Part 9 out of 14
And unto Solomon did we subject the wind, which travelled in the
morning a month's journey, and a month's journey in the evening.
And we made a fountain of molten brass to flow for him. And of
the Djinn were some who worked in his presence, by the will of
his Lord; and such of them as swerved from our bidding will we
cause to taste the torment of the flame.
They made for him whatever he pleased, of lofty halls, and images,
and dishes large as tanks for watering camels, and cooking pots
that stood firmly. "Work," said we, "O family of David with
thanksgiving:" But few of my servants are the thankful!
And when we decreed the death of Solomon, nothing shewed them
that he was dead but a reptile of the earth that gnawed the staff
which supported his corpse.2 And when it fell, the Djinn perceived
that if they had known the things unseen, they had not continued in
this shameful affliction.3
A sign there was to SABA, in their dwelling places: two gardens,
the one on the right hand and the other on the left: "Eat ye of
your Lord's supplies, and give thanks to him: Goodly is the
country, and gracious is the Lord!"
But they turned aside: so we sent upon them the flood of Irem;4
and we changed them their gardens into two gardens of bitter fruit
and tamarisk and some few jujube trees.
Such was our retribution on them for their ingratitude: but do we
thus recompense any except the ungrateful?
And we placed between them and the cities which we have
blessed, conspicuous cities, and we fixed easy stages: "Travel ye
through them by night and day, secure."
But they said, "O Lord! make the distance between our journeys
longer,"5 and against themselves did they act unjustly: so we
made them a tale, and scattered them with an utter scattering.
Truly herein are signs to everyone that is patient, grateful.
And Eblis found that he had judged truly of them: and they all
except a remnant of the faithful, followed him:
Yet no power had he over them. Only we would discern him who
believed in the life to come, from him who doubted of it; for thy
Lord watcheth all things.
SAY: Call ye upon those whom ye deem gods, beside God: their
power in the Heavens and in the Earth is not the weight of an
atom neither have they any share in either; nor hath He a helper
from among them.
No intercession shall avail with Him but that which He shall
Himself allow. Until when at last their hearts shall be relieved
from terror, they shall say, "What saith your Lord?" they shall say,
"The Truth; and He is the High, the Great."
SAY: Who supplieth you out of the Heavens and the Earth? SAY:
God. And either we or ye have guidance, or are in palpable error!
SAY: Not as to our faults shall ye be questioned; neither shall we
be questioned as to your actions.
SAY: Our Lord will gather us together: then will He judge between
us in justice; for He is the Judge, the Knowing!
SAY: Shew me those whom ye have united with Him as
associates: Nay, rather, He is God, the Mighty, the Wise!
And we have sent thee to mankind at large, to announce and to
threaten. But most men understand not.
And they say, "When will this threat come to pass? Tell us, if ye be
men of truth."
SAY: Ye are menaced with a day, which not for an hour shall ye
retard or hasten on.
The unbelievers say, "We will not believe in this Koran, nor in the
Books which preceded it." But couldst thou see when the wicked
shall be set before their Lord! With reproaches will they answer
one another. The weak shall say to the mighty ones, "But for you
we had been believers:"
Then shall the mighty ones say to the weak, "What! was it we who
turned you aside from the guidance which had reached you? Nay,
but ye acted wickedly yourselves."
And the weak shall say to the mighty ones, "Nay, but there was a
plot by night and by day, when ye bad us believe not in God, and
gave him peers." And they shall proclaim their repentance after
they have seen the punishment! And yokes will we place on the
necks of those who have not believed! Shall they be rewarded but
as they have wrought?
And never have we sent a warner to any city whose opulent men
did not say, "In sooth we disbelieve your message."
And they said, "We are the more abundant in riches and in
children, nor shall we be among the punished."
SAY: Of a truth my Lord will be liberal or sparing in his supplies
to whom he pleaseth: but the greater part of men acknowledge it
Neither by your riches nor by your children shall you bring
yourselves into nearness with Us; but they who believe and do the
thing that is right shall have a double reward for what they shall
have done: and in the pavilions of Paradise shall they dwell secure!
But they who shall aim to invalidate our signs, shall be consigned
SAY: Of a truth my Lord will be liberal in supplies to whom he
pleaseth of his servants, or will be sparing to him: and whatever ye
shall give in alms he will return; and He is the best dispenser of
One day he will gather them all together: then shall he say to the
angels, "Did these worship you?"
They shall say, "Glory be to thee! Thou art our master, not these!
But they worshipped the Djinn: it was in them that most of them
On this day the one of you shall have no power over others for help
or hurt. And we will say to the evil doers, "Taste ye the torment of
the fire, which ye treated as a delusion."
For when our distinct signs are recited to them, they say, "This is
merely a man who would fain pervert you from your father's
Worship." And they say, "This (Koran) is no other than a forged
falsehood." And the unbelievers say to the truth when it is
presented to them, "Tis nothing but palpable sorcery."
Yet have we given them no books in which to study deeply, nor
have we sent any one to them before thee, charged with warnings.
They also flourished before them, treated our apostles as impostors
in like sort: but not to the tenth part of what we bestowed on
them,6 have these attained. And yet when they charged my
with deceit, how terrible was my vengeance:
SAY: One thing in sooth do I advise you: that ye stand up before
God two and two, or singly,7 and then reflect that in your fellow
citizen is no djinn:8 he is no other than your warner before a
SAY: I ask not any wage from you: keep it for yourselves: my
wage is from God alone. And He is witness over all things!
SAY: Truly my Lord sendeth forth the Truth: Knower of things
SAY: Truth is come, and falsehood shall vanish and return no
SAY: If I err, verily to my own cost only shall I err: but if I have
guidance, it will be of my Lord's revealing, for He is the Hearer,
the near at hand.
Couldst thou see how they shall tremble and find no escape, and
be taken forth from the place that is so near;9
And shall say, "We believe in Him!" But how, in their present
distance, shall they receive the faith,
When they had before denied it, and aimed their shafts at the
mysteries from afar?10
And a gulf shall be between them and that which they shall
As was done unto their likes of old, who were lost in the
questionings of doubt.
1 In Arabia Felix, three days' journey from Sanaa.
2 The Talmud mentions the worm Shameer, used by Solomon to
cut the stones for building the temple. Pirke Aboth. v. See Buxt.
Lex. Talmud, p. 2456. Tr. Gittin, fol. 68; and Midr. Jalkut on 1
Kings, vi. 7. This passage of Scripture may have suggested the idea
that Solomon built, etc., by the aid of Spirits.
3 That is, in their difficult toils.
4 See M. Caussin de Perceval Hist. des Arabes, vol. iii., who, as
well as M. de Sacy, fix this event in the second century of our era.
5 The Saba, of verse 14 formed an important branch of the trading
population of Yemen. This whole passage, 14 18, alludes to the
cessation of traffic between them and Syria, which led to the
desire to lengthen the stages and diminish the expense of the
journey. See Muir's Life of Muhammad, i. p. cxxxix. Muhammad
attributes this desire to covetousness.
6 That is, of strength and material prosperity.
7 That is, so as to form a judgment free from the influence of
8 It is very remarkable, that when the power of Muhammad
became firmly established, he never reverts to the insinuations
against the soundness of his mind which in the earlier Suras he so
9 That is, their graves. Mar. So called because there is but a step
into it from the surface of the earth. Ullm.
10 That is, when in this life.
SURA XXXV. THE CREATOR, OR THE ANGELS [LXXXVI.]
MECCA. 45 Verses
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
PRAISE be to God, Maker of the Heavens and of the Earth! Who
employeth the ANGELS as envoys, with pairs of wings, two, three,
and four: He addeth to his creature what He will! Truly God hath
power for all things.
The mercy which God layeth open for man, no one can keep back;
and what He shall keep back, none can afterwards send forth. And
He is the Mighty, the Wise.
O men! bear in mind the favour of God towards you. Is there a
creator other than God, who nourisheth you with the gifts of
heaven and earth? There is no God but He! How then are ye turned
aside from Him?
If they treat thee as an impostor, then before thee have apostles
been treated as impostors. But to God shall all things return.
O men! assuredly the promise of God is true: let not then the
present life deceive you: and let not the Deceiver deceive you as to
Yes, Satan is your foe. For a foe then hold him. He calleth his
followers to him that they may become inmates of the flame.
The unbelievers, for them a terrible punishment!
But believers and doers of good works, for them is mercy, and a
Shall he, the evil of whose deeds are so tricked out to him that he
deemeth them good, be treated like him who seeth things aright?
Verily God misleadeth whom He will, and guideth whom He will.
Spend not thy soul in sighs for them: God knoweth their doings.
It is God who sendeth forth the winds which raise the clouds aloft:
then drive we them on to some land dead from drought,1 and give
life thereby to the earth after its death. So shall be the
If any one desireth greatness, all greatness is in God. The good
word riseth up to Him, and the righteous deed will He exalt. But a
severe punishment awaiteth the plotters of evil things; and the
plots of such will He render vain.
Moreover, God created you of dust then of the germs of
life then made you two sexes: and no female conceiveth or
bringeth forth without his knowledge; and the aged ageth not, nor
is aught minished from man's age, but in accordance with the
Book. An easy thing truly is this to God.
Nor are the two seas2 alike: the one fresh, sweet, pleasant for
drink, and the other salt, bitter; yet from both ye eat fresh fish, and
take forth for you ornaments to wear, and thou seest the ships
cleaving their waters that ye may go in quest of his bounties, and
that ye may be thankful.
He causeth the night to enter in upon the day, and the day to enter
in upon the night; and He hath given laws to the sun and to the
moon, so that each journeyeth to its appointed goal: This is God
your Lord: All power is His: But the gods whom ye call on beside
Him have no power over the husk of a date stone!
If ye cry to them they will not hear your cry; and if they heard they
would not answer you, and in the day of resurrection they will
disown your joining them with God: and none can instruct thee
like Him who is informed of all.
O men! ye are but paupers in need of God; but God is the Rich, the
If He please, He could sweep you away, and bring forth a new
Nor will this be hard for God.
And the burdened soul shall not bear the burden of another: and if
the heavy laden soul cry out for its burden to be carried, yet shall
not aught of it be carried, even by the near of kin! Thou shalt warn
those who fear their Lord in secret, and observe prayer. And
whoever shall keep himself pure, he purifieth himself to his own
behoof: for unto God shall be the final gathering.
And the blind and the seeing are not alike; neither darkness and
light; nor the shade and the hot wind;
Nor are the living and the dead the same thing! God indeed shall
make whom He will to hearken, but thou shalt not make those who
are in their graves to hearken; for only with warning art thou
Verily we have sent thee with the truth; a bearer of good tidings
and a warner; nor hath there been a people unvisited by its
And if they treat thee as a liar, so did those who were before them
threat their Apostles who came to them with the proofs of their
mission, and with the Scriptures and with the enlightening Book:3
Then chastised I the unbelievers: and how great was my
Seest thou not how that God sendeth down water from the Heaven,
and that by it we cause the up-growth of fruits of varied hues, and
that on the mountains4 are tracks of varied hues, white and red,
and others are of a raven black? And of men and reptiles and
animals, various likewise are the hues. Such only of his servants as
are possessed of knowledge fear God. Lo! God is Mighty,
Verily they who recite the Book of God, and observe prayer, and
give alms in public and in private from what we have bestowed
upon them, may hope for a merchandise that shall not perish:
God will certainly pay them their due wages, and of his bounty
increase them: for He is Gracious, Grateful.
And that which we have revealed to thee of the Book is the very
Truth, confirmatory of previous Scriptures: for God knoweth and
beholdeth his servants.
Moreover, we have made the Book an heritage to those of our
servants whom we have chosen. Some of them injure themselves by evil deeds; others keep the midway between good and evil; and
others, by the permission of God, outstrip in goodness; this is the
Into the gardens of Eden shall they enter: with bracelets of gold
and pearl shall they be decked therein, and therein shall their
raiment be of silk:
And they shall say, "Praise be to God who hath put away sorrow
from us. Verily our Lord is Gracious, Grateful,
Who of His bounty hath placed us in a manison that shall abide for
ever: therein no toil shall reach us, and therein no weariness shall
But for infidels is the fire of Hell; to die shall never be decreed
them, nor shall aught of its torment be made light to them. Thus
reward we every infidel!
And therein shall they cry aloud, "Take us hence, O our Lord!
righteousness will we work, and not what we wrought of
old." "Prolonged we not your days that whoever would be
warned might be warned therein? And the preacher came to you
Taste it then." There is no protector for the unjust.
God truly knoweth the hidden things both of the Heavens and of
the Earth: for He knoweth the very secrets of the breast.
He hath appointed you his vicegerents in the earth: And whoever
believeth not, on him shall be his unbelief; and their unbelief shall
only increase for the unbelievers, hatred at the hands of their
Lord: and their unbelief shall only increase for the unbelievers
their own perdition!
SAY: What think ye of the gods whom ye invoke beside God?
me what part of the earth they have created? Had they a share in
the creation of the Heavens? Have we given them a Book in which
they can find proofs that they are to be called on? Nay, the wicked
promise one another only deceits.
Verily God holdeth fast the Heavens and the Earth that they pass
not away: and if they were passing away none could hold them
back but He: for He is Kind, Gracious.
They swore by God with their mightiest oath that should a
preacher come to them they would yield to guidance more than
any people: but when the preacher came to them it only increased
in them their estrangement,
Their haughtiness on earth and their plotting of evil! But the
plotting of evil shall only enmesh those who make use of it.5 Look
they then for aught but God's way6 of dealing with the peoples of
old? Thou shalt not find any change in the way of God,
Yea, thou shalt not find any variableness in the way of God.
Have they never journeyed in the land and seen what hath been
the end of those who flourished before them, though mightier in
strength than they? God is not to be frustrated by aught in the
Heavens or in the Earth; for He is the All-knowing, the All-mighty.
If, moreover, God should chastise men according to their deserts,
He would not leave even a reptile on the back of the earth! But to
an appointed time doth He respite them.
And when their time shall come, then verily God's eye is on his
1 See note at Sura [xcvii.] iii. 18. This is one of the passages said
to have originated with Zayd.
2 Not only seas, properly so called, but the great masses of fresh
water in the Nile, Tigris, inland lakes, etc.
3 The Gospel.
4 This idea was probably suggested by Muhammad's
reminiscences of the view from the Cave of Hira, to the north and
west of which there is a prospect thus described by Burckhardt
(Travels, p. 176). "The country before us had a dreary aspect, not
a single green spot being visible; barren, black, and grey hills, and
white sandy valleys were the only objects in sight."
5 Lit. shall encompass its people.
6 Method of dealing, i.e., first warning, then punishing.
SURA VII. AL ARAF [LXXXVII.]
MECCA. 205 Verses
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
ELIF. LAM. MIM. SAD.1 A Book hath been sent down to thee:
therefore let there be no difficulty in thy breast concerning it: to
the intent that thou mayest warn thereby, and that it may be a
monition to the faithful.
Follow ye what hath been sent down to you from your Lord; and
follow no masters beside Him. How little will ye be monished!
How many cities have we destroyed! By night, or while they were
in their midday slumber, did our wrath reach them!
And what was their cry when our wrath reached them, but to say,
"Verily, we have been impious."
Surely, therefore, will we call those to account, to whom an
Apostle hath been sent, and of the sent ones themselves will we
certainly demand a reckoning.
And with knowledge will we tell them of their deeds, for we were
not absent from them.
The weighing2 on that day, with justice! and they whose balances
shall be heavy, these are they who shall be happy.
And they whose balances shall be light, these are they who have
lost their souls, for that to our signs they were unjust:
And now have we stabilished you on the earth, and given you
therein the supports of life. How little do ye give thanks!
We created you; then fashioned you; then said we to the angels,
"Prostrate yourselves unto Adam: and they prostrated them all in
worship, save Eblis: He was not among those who prostrated
To him said God: "What hath hindered thee from prostrating
thyself in worship at my bidding?" He said, "Nobler am I than he:
me hast thou created of fire; of clay hast thou created him."
He said, "Get thee down hence: Paradise is no place for thy pride:
Get thee gone then; one of the despised shalt thou be."
He said, "Respite me till the day when mankind shall be raised
from the dead."
He said, "One of the respited shalt thou be."
He said, "Now, for that thou hast caused me to err, surely in thy
straight path will I lay wait for them:
Then will I surely come upon them from before, and from behind,
and from their right hand, and from their left, and thou shalt not
find the greater part of them to be thankful."
He said, "Go forth from it, a scorned, a banished one! Whoever of
them shall follow thee, I will surely fill hell with you, one and all.
And, O Adam! dwell thou and thy wife in Paradise, and eat ye
whence ye will, but to this tree approach not, lest ye become of the
Then Satan whispered them to shew them their nakedness, which
had been hidden from them both. And he said, "This tree3 hath
your Lord forbidden you, only lest ye should become angels, or
lest ye should become immortals."
And he sware to them both, "Verily I am unto you one who
So he beguiled them by deceits: and when they had tasted of the
tree, their nakedness appeared to them, and they began to sew
together upon themselves the leaves of the garden. And their Lord
called to them, "Did I not forbid you this tree, and did I not say to
you, 'Verily, Satan is your declared enemy.' "
They said, "O our Lord! With ourselves have we dealt unjustly: if
thou forgive us not and have pity on us, we shall surely be of those
He said, "Get ye down, the one of you an enemy4 to the other; and
on earth shall be your dwelling, and your provision for a season."
He said, "On it shall ye live, and on it shall ye die, and from it
shall ye be taken forth."
O children of Adam! now have we sent down to you raiment to
hide your nakedness, and splendid garments; but the raiment of
piety this is best. This is one of the signs of God, that man haply
O children of Adam! let not Satan bring you into trouble, as he
drove forth your parents from the Garden, by despoiling them of
their raiment, that he might cause them to see their nakedness: He
truly seeth you, he and his comrades, whence ye see not them.
Verily, we have made the Satans tutelars of those who believe not.
And when the wicked commit some filthy deed, they say, "We
found our fathers practising it, and to us hath God commanded
it" SAY: God enjoineth not filthy deeds. Will ye speak of God ye
know not what?
SAY: My Lord hath enjoined what is right. Turn your faces
therefore towards every place where he is worshipped5 and call
upon him with sincere religion. As he created you, to him shall ye
return: some hath he guided, and some hath he justly left in error,
because they have taken the Satans as their tutelars beside God,
and have deemed that they were guided aright.
O children of Adam! wear your goodly apparel when ye repair to
any mosque,6 and eat ye and drink; but exceed not, for He loveth
not those who exceed.
SAY: Who hath prohibited God's goodly raiment, and the healthful
viands which He hath provided for his servants? SAY: These are
for the faithful in this present life, but above all on the day of the
resurrection. Thus make we our signs plain for people of
SAY: Truly my Lord hath forbidden filthy actions whether open or
secret, and iniquity, and unjust violence, and to associate with
God that for which He hath sent down no warranty, and to speak
of God that ye know not.
Every nation hath its set time. And when their time is come, they
shall not retard it an hour; and they shall not advance it.
O children of Adam! there shall come to you Apostles from among
yourselves, rehearsing my signs to you; and whoso shall fear God
and do good works, no fear shall be upon them, neither shall they
be put to grief.
But they who charge our signs with falsehood, and turn away from
them in their pride, shall be inmates of the fire: for ever shall they
And who is worse than he who deviseth a lie of God, or treateth
our signs as lies? To them shall a portion here below be assigned
in accordance with the Book of our decrees, until the time when
our messengers,7 as they receive their souls, shall say, "Where are
they on whom ye called beside God?" They shall say: "Gone from
us." And they shall witness against themselves that they were
He shall say, "Enter ye into the Fire with the generations of Djinn
and men who have preceded you. So oft as a fresh generation
entereth, it shall curse its sister, until when they have all reached
it, the last comers shall say to the former, 'O our Lord! these are
they who led us astray: assign them therefore a double torment of
the fire:"' He will say, "Ye shall all have double." But of this are
And the former of them shall say to the latter, "What advantage
have ye over us? Taste ye therefore the torment for that which ye
Verily, they who have charged our signs with falsehood and have
turned away from them in their pride, Heaven's gates shall not be
opened to them, nor shall they enter Paradise, until the camel8
passeth through the eye of the needle. After this sort will we
recompense the transgressors.
They shall make their bed in Hell, and above them shall be
coverings of fire! After this sort will we recompense the evil doers.
But as to those who have believed and done the things which are
right (we will lay on no one a burden beyond his power) These
shall be inmates of Paradise: for ever shall they abide therein;
And we will remove whatever rancour was in their bosoms: rivers
shall roll at their feet: and they shall say, "Praise be to God who
hath guided us hither! We had not been guided had not God
guided us! Of a surety the Apostles of our Lord came to us with
truth." And a voice shall cry to them, "This is Paradise, of which,
as the meed of your works, ye are made heirs."
And the inmates of Paradise shall cry to the inmates of the fire,
"Now have we found what our Lord promised us to be true. Have
ye too found what your Lord promised you to be true?" And they
shall answer, "Yes." And a Herald shall proclaim between them:
"The curse of God be upon the evil doers,
Who turn men aside from the way of God, and seek to make it
crooked, and who believe not in the life to come!"
And between them shall be a partition; and on the wall AL ARAF9
shall be men who will know all,10 by their tokens, and they shall
cry to the inmates of Paradise, "Peace be on you!" but they shall
not yet enter it, although they long to do so.
And when their eyes are turned towards the inmates of the Fire,
they shall say, "O our Lord! place us not with the offending
And they who are upon Al Araf shall cry to those whom they shall
know by their tokens, "Your amassings and your pride have
availed you nothing.
Are these they on whom ye sware God would not bestow mercy?
Enter ye11 into Paradise! where no fear shall be upon you, neither
shall ye be put to grief."
And the inmates of the fire shall cry to the inmates of Paradise:
"Pour upon us some water, or of the refreshments12 God hath
given you?" They shall say, "Truly God hath forbidden both to
Who made their religion a sport and pastime, and whom the life of
the world hath deceived." This day therefore will we forget them,
as they forgot the meeting of this their day, and as they did deny
And now have we brought them the Book: with knowledge have
explained it; a guidance and a mercy to them that believe.
What have they to wait for now but its interpretation? When its
interpretation13 shall come, they who aforetime were oblivious of
shall say, "The Prophets of our Lord did indeed bring the truth;
shall we have any intercessor to intercede for us? or could we not
be sent back? Then would we act otherwise than we have acted."
But they have ruined themselves; and the deities of their own
devising have fled from them!
Your Lord is God, who in six days created the Heavens and the
Earth, and then mounted the throne: He throweth the veil of night
over the day: it pursueth it swiftly: and he created the sun and the
moon and the stars, subjected to laws by His behest: Is not all
creation and its empire His? Blessed be God the Lord of the
Call upon your Lord with lowliness and in secret, for He loveth
And commit not disorders on the earth after it hath been well
ordered; and call on Him with fear and longing desire: Verily the
mercy of God is nigh unto the righteous.
And He it is who sendeth forth the winds as the heralds of his
compassion,14 until they bring up the laden clouds, which we
along to some dead land and send down water thereon, by which
we cause an upgrowth of all kinds of fruit. Thus will we bring
forth the dead. Haply ye will reflect.
In a rich soil, its plants spring forth abundantly by the will of its
Lord, and in that which is bad, they spring forth but scantily. Thus
do We diversify our signs for those who are thankful.
Of old sent We Noah to his people,15 and he said, "O my people!
worship God. Ye have no God but Him: indeed I fear for you the
chastisement of the great day."
The chiefs of his people said, "We clearly see that thou art in a
He said, "There is no error in me, O my people! but I am a
messenger from the Lord of the Worlds.
I bring to you the messages of my Lord, and I give you friendly
counsel; for I know from God what ye know not.
Marvel ye that a Warning should come to you from your Lord
through one of yourselves, that he may warn you, and that ye may
fear for yourselves, and that haply ye may find mercy?"
But they treated him as a liar: so we delivered him and those who
were with him in the ark, and we drowned those who charged our
signs with falsehood; for they were a blind people.
And to Ad16 we sent their brother Houd.17 "O my people!" said
"worship God: ye have no other god than Him: Will ye not then
Said the unbelieving chiefs among his people, "We certainly
perceive that thou art unsound of mind; and we surely deem thee
He said, "O my people! it is not unsoundness of mind in me, but I
am an Apostle from the Lord of the Worlds.
The messages of my Lord do I announce to you, and I am your
Marvel ye that a warning hath come to you from your Lord
through one of yourselves that He may warn you? Remember how
he hath made you the successors of the people of Noah, and
increased you in tallness of stature. Remember then the favours of
God, that it may haply be well with you."
They said, "Art thou come to us in order that we may worship one
God alone, and leave what our fathers worshipped? Then bring
that upon us with which thou threatenest us, if thou be a man of
He said, "Vengeance and wrath shall suddenly light on you from
your Lord. Do ye dispute with me about names that you and your
fathers have given your idols, and for which God hath sent you
down no warranty? Wait ye then, and I too will wait with you."
And we delivered him, and those who were on his side, by our
mercy, and we cut off, to the last man, those who had treated our
signs as lies, and who were not believers.
And to Themoud we sent their brother Saleh.19 He said, O my
people! worship God: ye have no other god than Him: now hath a
clear proof of my mission come to you from your Lord, this
she-camel of God being a sign to you: therefore let her go at large
to pasture on God's earth: and touch her not to harm her, lest a
grievous chastisement seize you.
And remember how he hath made you successors to the Adites,
given you dwellings on the earth, so that on its plains ye build
castles, and hew out houses in the hills. And bear in mind the
benefits of God, and lay not the earth waste with deeds of licence.
Said the chiefs of his people puffed up with pride, to those who
were esteemed weak, even to those of them who believed, "What!
know ye for certain that Saleh is sent by his Lord?" They said,
"Truly we believe in that with which he hath been sent."
Then said those proud men, "Verily, we reject that in which ye
And they ham-strung the she-camel, and rebelled against their
Lord's command, and said, "O Saleh, let thy menaces be
accomplished upon us if thou art one of the Sent Ones."
Then the earthquake surprised them; and in the morning they were
found dead on their faces in their dwellings.
So he turned away from them, and said, "O my people! I did
indeed announce to you the message of my Lord: and I gave you
faithful counsel, but ye love not faithful counsellors.20
We also sent Lot, when he said to his people, commit ye this filthy
deed in which no creature hath gone before you?
Come ye to men, instead of women, lustfully? Ye are indeed a
people given up to excess.
But the only answer of his people was to say, "Turn them out of
your city, for they are men who vaunt them pure."
And we delivered him and his family, except his wife; she was of
those who lingered:
And we rained a rain upon them: and see what was the end of the
And we sent to Madian21 their brother Shoaib. He said, "O my
people! worship God; ye have no other God than Him: now hath a
clear sign come to you from your Lord: give therefore the full in
measures and weights; take from no man his chattels, and commit
no disorder on the earth after it has been made so good. This will
be better for you, if you will believe it.
And lay not in ambush by every road in menacing sort; nor
mislead him who believeth in God, from His way, nor seek to
it crooked; and remember when ye were few and that he multiplied
you, and behold what hath been the end of the authors of disorder!
And if a part of you believe in that with which I am sent, and a
part of you believe not, then wait steadfastly until God shall judge
between us, for He is the best of judges."
Said the chiefs of his people puffed up with pride, "We will surely
banish thee, O Shoaib, and thy fellow-believers from our cities,
unless indeed ye shall come back to our religion." "What!" said
he, "though we abhor it?
Now shall we have devised a lie concerning God, if after he hath
delivered us from your religion we shall return to it; nor can we
return to it, unless by the will of God our Lord: our Lord
embraceth all things in his ken. In God have we put our trust: O
our Lord! decide between us and between our people, with truth;
for the best to decide art Thou."
And the chiefs of his people who believed not, said, "If ye follow
Shoaib, ye shall then surely perish."
An earthquake therefore surprised them, and they were found in
the morning dead on their faces, in their dwellings.
Those who had treated Shoaib as an impostor, became as though
they had never dwelt in them: they who treated Shoaib as an
impostor, were they that perished.
So he turned away from them and said, O my people! I proclaimed
to you the messages of my Lord, and I counselled you aright; but
how should I be grieved for a people who do not believe?
Nor did we ever send a prophet to any city without afflicting its
people with adversity and trouble, that haply they might humble
Then changed we their ill for good, until they waxed wealthy, and
said, "Of old did troubles and blessings befall our fathers:"
therefore did we seize upon them suddenly when they were
But if that the people of these cities had believed and feared us, we
would surely have laid open to them blessings out of the Heaven
and the Earth: but they treated our signs as lies, and we took
vengeance on them for their deeds.
Were the people, therefore, of those cities secure that our wrath
would not light on them by night, while they were slumbering?
Were the people of those cities secure that our wrath would not
light on them in broad day, while they were disporting themselves?
Did they, therefore, deem themselves secure from the deep
counsel23 of God? But none deem themselves secure from the
counsel of God, save those who perish.
Is it not proved to those who inherit this land after its ancient
occupants, that if we please we can smite them for their sins, and
put a seal upon their hearts, that they hearken not?
We will tell thee the stories of these cities. Their apostles came to
them with clear proofs of their mission; but they would not believe
in what they had before treated as imposture. Thus doth God
seal up the hearts of the unbelievers
And we found not of their covenant in most of them; but we found
most of them to be perverse.
Then after them we sent Moses with our signs to Pharaoh and his
nobles, who acted unjustly in their regard. But see what was the
end of the corrupt doers!
And Moses said, "O Pharaoh! verily I am an apostle from the Lord
of the Worlds.
Nothing but truth is it right for me to speak of God. Now am I
come to you from your Lord with a proof of my mission; send
away, therefore, the children of Israel with me." He said, "If thou
comest with a sign, shew it if thou art a man of truth."
So he threw down his rod, and lo! it distinctly became a serpent.
Then drew he forth his hand, and lo! it was white24 to the
The nobles of Pharaoh's people said, "Verily, this is an expert
Fain would he expel you from your land: what then do ye order to
They said, "Put25 him and his brother off awhile, and send round
men to your cities who shall muster
And bring to thee every skilled enchanter."
And the enchanters came to Pharaoh. Said they, "Shall we surely
be rewarded if we prevail?"
He said, "Yes; and ye certainly shall be near my person."
They said, "O Moses! either cast thou down thy rod first, or we
will cast down ours."
He said, "Cast ye down." And when they had cast them down they
enchanted the people's eyes, and made them afraid; for they had
displayed a great enchantment.
Then spake we unto Moses, "Throw down thy rod;" and lo! it
devoured their lying wonders.
So the truth was made strong, and that which they had wrought
And they were vanquished on the spot, and drew back humiliated.
But the other enchanters prostrated themselves adoring:
Said they, "We believe on the Lord of the Worlds,
The Lord of Moses and Aaron."
Said Pharaoh, "Have ye believed on him, ere I have given you
leave? This truly is a plot which ye have plotted in this my city, in
order to drive out its people. But ye shall see in the end what shall
I will surely cut off your hands and feet on opposite sides; then
will I have you all crucified."
They said, "Verily, to our Lord do we return;
And thou takest vengeance on us only because we have believed
the signs of our Lord when they came to us. Lord! pour out
constancy upon us, and cause us to die Muslims."
Then said the chiefs of Pharaoh's people "Wilt thou let Moses
and his people go to spread disorders in our land, and desert thee
and thy gods?" He said, "We will cause their male children to be
slain and preserve their females alive: and verily we shall be
masters over them."
Said Moses to his people, "Cry unto God for help, and bear up
patiently, for the earth is God's: to such of His servants as He
pleaseth doth He give it as a heritage; and for those that fear Him
is a happy issue."
"We have been oppressed," they said, "before thou camest to us,
and since thou hast been with us:" "Perhaps," said he, "your
Lord will destroy your enemy, and will make you his successors in
the land, and He will see how ye will act therein."
Already had we chastised the people of Pharaoh with dearth and
scarcity of fruits, that haply they might take warning:
And when good fell to their lot they said, "This is our due." But if
ill befel them, they regarded Moses and his partisans as (the birds)
of evil omen.26 Yet, was not their evil omen from God? But most
them knew it not.
And they said, "Whatever sign thou bring us for our enchantment,
we will not believe on thee."
And we sent upon them the flood and the locusts and the kummal
(lice) and the frogs and the blood, clear signs27 but they
behaved proudly, and were a sinful people.
And when any plague fell upon them, they said, "O Moses! pray
for us to thy Lord, according to that which he hath covenanted
with thee: Truly if thou take off the plague from us, we will surely
believe thee, and will surely send the children of Israel with thee."
But when we had taken off the plague from them, and the time
which God had granted them had expired,28 behold! they broke
Therefore we took vengeance on them and drowned them in the
sea, because they treated our signs as falsehoods and were
heedless of them.
And we gave to the people who had been brought so low, the
eastern and the western lands, which we had blessed as an
heritage: and the good word of thy Lord was fulfilled on the
children of Israel because they had borne up with patience: and
we destroyed the works and the structures of Pharaoh and his
And we brought the children of Israel across the sea, and they
came to a people who gave themselves up to their idols. They said,
"O Moses! make us a god, as they have gods." He said, "Verily,
ye are an ignorant people:
For the worship they practise29 will be destroyed, and that which
they do, is vain."
He said, "Shall I seek any other god for you than God, when it is
He who hath preferred you above all other peoples?"
And remember when we rescued you from the people of Pharaoh
they had laid on you a cruel affliction; they slew your sons, and let
only your daughters live, and in this was a great trial from your
And we appointed a meeting with Moses for thirty nights, which
we completed with ten other nights, so that his whole time with his
Lord30 amounted to forty nights. Then said Moses to his brother
Aaron, "Take thou my place among my people, and act rightly,
and follow not the way of the corrupt doers."
And when Moses came at our set time and his Lord spake with
him, he said, "O Lord, shew thyself to me, that I may look upon
thee." He said, "Thou shalt not see Me; but look towards the
mount, and if it abide firm in its place, then shalt thou see Me."
And when God manifested Himself to the mountain he turned it to
dust! and Moses fell in a swoon.
And when he came to himself, he said, "Glory be to thee! To thee
do I turn in penitence, and I am the first of them that believe."
He said, "O Moses! thee above all men have I chosen by my
commissions, and by my speaking to thee. Take therefore what I
have brought thee, and be one of those who render thanks.
And we wrote for him upon the tables a monition concerning every
matter, and said, "Receive them thyself with steadfastness, and
command thy people to receive them for the observance of its
goodly precepts: I will shew you the abode of the wicked."
The unjustly proud ones of the earth will I turn aside from my
signs, for even if they see every sign they will not believe them;
and if they see the path of uprightness, they will not take it for
their path, but if they see the path of error, for their path will they
This, for that they treated our signs as lies, and were heedless of
Vain will be the works of those who treated our signs, and the
meeting of the life to come, as lies! Shall they be rewarded but as
they have wrought?
And the people of Moses took during his absence a calf made of
their ornaments, and ruddy like gold, and lowing.31 Saw they not
that it could not speak to them, nor guide them in the way?
Yet they took if for a God and became offenders!
But when they repented, and saw that they had erred, they said,
Truly if our Lord have not mercy on us, and forgive us, we shall
surely be of those who perish.
And when Moses returned to his people, wrathful, angered, he
said, "Evil is it that ye have done next upon my departure. Would
ye hasten on the judgments of your Lord?" And he threw down the
tables, and seized his brother by the head and dragged him unto
him. Said he, "Son of my mother! the people thought me weak,
had well nigh slain me. Make not mine enemies to rejoice over
and place me not among the wrong doers."
He said, "O Lord, forgive me and my brother, and bring us into
thy mercy; for of those who shew mercy thou art the most
Verily as to those who took the calf as a god, wrath from their
Lord shall overtake them, and shame in this present life: for thus
recompense we the devisers of a lie.
But to those who have done evil, then afterwards repent and
believe, thy Lord will thereafter be Lenient, Merciful.
And when the anger of Moses was stilled, he took up the tables;
and in their writing was guidance and mercy for those who dread
And Moses chose seventy men of his people for a meeting
appointed by us. And when the earthquake overtook them, he said,
"O my Lord! if it had been thy pleasure, thou hadst destroyed them
and me ere this! wilt thou destroy us for what our foolish ones
have done? It is nought but thy trial: thou wilt mislead by it whom
thou wilt, and guide whom thou wilt. Our guardian, thou! Forgive
us then and have mercy on us; for of those who forgive art thou the
And write down for us what is good in this world, as well as in the
world to come, for to thee are we guided." He said, "My
chastisement shall fall on whom I will, and my mercy embraceth
all things, and I write it down for those who shall fear me, and pay
the alms, and believe in our signs,
Who shall follow the Apostle, the unlettered32 Prophet whom they
shall find described with them in the Law and Evangel. What is
right will he enjoin them, and forbid them what is wrong, and will
allow them healthful viands and prohibit the impure, and will ease
them of their burden, and of the yokes which were upon them; and
those who shall believe in him, and strengthen him, and help
and follow the light34 which hath been sent down with him, these
are they with whom it shall be well."
SAY to them: O men! Verily I am God's apostle to you all;
Whose is the kingdom of the Heavens and of the Earth! Therefore
believe on God but He! He maketh alive and killeth! Therefore
believe on God, and his Apostle the unlettered Prophet who
believeth in God and his word. And follow him that ye may be
And among the people of Moses there is a certain number35 who
guide others with truth, and practise what is right according to it.
And we divided the Israelites into twelve tribes, as nations; and we
revealed unto Moses when the people asked drink of him "Strike
the rock with thy staff:" and there gushed forth from it twelve
fountains the men all knew their drinking places. And we caused
clouds to overshadow them, and sent down upon them the manna
and the quails. "Eat of the good things with which we have
supplied you." But it was not us whom they injured, but they
injured their own selves:
And when it was said to them, "Dwell in this city, and eat
therefrom what ye will, and say 'Hittat' (forgiveness), and enter
the gate with prostrations; then will we pardon your offences, we
will give increase to the doers of good:"
But the ungodly ones among them changed that word into another
than that which had been told them:36 therefore sent we forth
wrath out of Heaven upon them for their wrong doings.
And-37 ask them about the city that stood by the sea, when its
inhabitants broke the Sabbath; when their fish came to them on
their Sabbath day appearing openly, but came not to them on the
day when they kept no Sabbath. Thus did we make trial of them,
for that they were evildoers.38
And when some of them said, why warn ye those whom God
destroy or chastise with terrible chastisement? they said, For our
own excuse with your Lord; and that they may fear Him.
And when they forgot their warnings, we delivered those who had
forbidden evil; and we inflicted a severe chastisement on those
who had done wrong, for that they were evil doers.
But when they proudly persisted in that which was forbidden, we
said to them, "Become scouted apes;" and then thy Lord declared
that until the day of the resurrection, he would surely send against
them39 (the Jews) those who should evil entreat and chastise
for prompt is thy Lord to punish; and He is Forgiving, Merciful.
And we have divided them upon the Earth as peoples: some of
them are upright and some are otherwise; and by good things and
by evil things have we proved them, to the intent that they might
return to us.
And they have had successors to succeed them: they have inherited
the Book: they have received the passing good things of this lower
world,40 and say, "It will be forgiven us." Yet if the like good
things came to them again, they would again receive them. But
hath there not been received on their part a covenant through the
Scripture that they should speak nought of God but the truth? And
yet they study its contents. But the mansion of the next world hath
more value for those who fear God Do ye not then
And who hold fast the Book, and observe prayer: verily, we will
not suffer the reward of the righteous to perish.
And when we shook the mount41 over them as if it had been a
shadow, and they thought it falling upon them, "Receive, said
we, with steadfastness what we have brought you, and remember
what is therein to the end that ye may fear God."
And when thy Lord brought forth their descendants from the reins
of the sons of Adam and took them to witness against themselves,
"Am I not," said He, "your Lord?" They said, "Yes, we witness
it." This we did, lest ye should say on the day of Resurrection,
"Truly, of this were we heedless, because uninformed;"
Or lest ye should say, "Our fathers, indeed, aforetime joined other
gods with our God, and we are their seed after them: wilt thou
destroy us for the doings of vain men?"
Thus make we our signs clear: that haply they may return to God.
Recite to them42 the history of him43 to whom we vouchsafed our
signs, and who departed from them, so that Satan followed him,
and he became one of the seduced.
Had we pleased, we had certainly thereby exalted him; but he
crouched to the earth and followed his own lust: his likeness,
therefore, is as that of the dog which lolls out his tongue, whether
thou chase him away, or leave him alone! Such is the likeness of
those who treat our signs as lies. Tell them this tale then, that they
Evil the likeness of those who treat our signs as lies! and it is
themselves they injure.
He whom God guideth is the guided, and they whom he misleadeth
shall be the lost.
Many, moreover, of the Djinn and men have we created for Hell.
Hearts have they with which they understand not, and eyes have
they with which they see not, and ears have they with which they
hearken not. They are like the brutes: Yea, they go more astray:
these are the heedless.
Most excellent titles hath God:44 by these call ye on Him, and
stand aloof from those who pervert45 his titles. For what they have
done shall they be repaid!
And among those whom we have created are a people who guide
others with truth, and in accordance therewith act justly.
But as for those who treat our signs as lies, we will gradually
bring them down by means of which they know not:
And though I lengthen their days, verily, my stratagem shall prove
Will they not bethink them that their companion Muhammad is not
djinn-possessed? Yes, his office is only that of plain warner.
Will they not look forth on the realms of the Heaven and of the
Earth, and on all things which God hath made, to see whether
haply their end be not drawing on? And in what other book will
they believe46 who reject the Koran?
No other guide for him whom God shall mislead! He will leave
them distraught in their wanderings.
They will ask thee of the Hour for what time is its coming fixed?
SAY: The knowledge of it is only with my Lord: none shall
manifest it in its time but He: it is the burden47 of the Heavens and
of the Earth: not otherwise than on a sudden will it come on
They will ask thee as if thou wast privy to it: SAY: The knowledge
of it is with none but God. But most men know not this.
SAY: I have no control over what may be helpful or hurtful to me,
but as God willeth. Had I the knowledge of his secrets, I should
revel in the good, and evil should not touch me. But I am only a
warner, and an announcer of good tidings to those who believe.
He it is who hath created you from a single person, and from him
brought forth his wife that he might dwell with her: and when he
had known her, she bore a light burden, and went about with it;
and when it became heavy, they both cried to God their Lord, "If
thou give us a perfect child we will surely be of the thankful."
Yet when God had given them a perfect child,49 they50 joined
partners with Him in return for what he had given them. But high
is God above the partners they joined with Him!
What! Will they join those with Him who cannot create anything,
and are themselves created, and have no power to help them, or to
And if ye summon them to "the guidance," they will not follow
you! It is the same to them whether ye summon them or whether
hold your peace!
Truly they whom ye call on beside God, are, like yourselves, His
servants! Call on them then, and let them answer you, if what ye
say of them be true!
Have they feet to walk with? Have they hands to hold with? Have
they eyes to see with? Have they ears to hear with? SAY: Call on
these joint gods of yours; then make your plot against me, and
delay it not.
Verily, my Lord is God, who hath sent down "the Book;" and He
is the protector of the righteous.
But they whom ye call on beside Him, can lend you no help, nor
can they help themselves:
And if ye summon them to "the guidance," they hear you not: thou
seest them look towards thee, but they do not see!
Make the best of things;51 and enjoin what is just, and withdraw
from the ignorant:
And if stirrings to evil from Satan stir thee, fly thou for refuge to
God: He verily heareth, knoweth!
Verily, they who fear God, when some phantom from Satan
toucheth them, remember Him, and lo! they see clearly.
Their Brethren52 will only continue them in error, and cannot
preserve themselves from it.
And when thou bringest not a verse (sign) of the Koran to them,
they say, "Hast thou not yet patched it up?53 SAY: I only follow
Lord's utterances to me. This is a clear proof on the part of your
Lord, and a guidance and a mercy for those who believe.
And when the Koran is read, then listen ye to it and keep silence,
that haply ye may obtain mercy.
And think within thine own self on God, with lowliness and with
fear and without loud spoken words, at even and at morn; and be
not one of the heedless.
Verily they who are round about thy Lord disdain not His service.
They praise Him and prostrate themselves before Him.
1 The initial letters, it has been conjectured, of (Amara li
Muhammad sahdiq), thus spake to me Muhammad the truthful.
see Sura 1xviii. p. 32. The first part of this Sura was perhaps
revealed when the Arabians were assembled at the Pilgrimage.
See verse 29.
2 A figure of frequent occurence in the Talmud. See Tr. Rosh.
3 Comp. Sura xx. 118, p. 101.
4 Gen. iii. 15.
5 Lit. towards each Mosque, i.e. towards the kibla of each Mosque.
The word mosque, mesjid, however, is usually applied only to that
of Mecca. The common term in use for larger places of worship is
djami, a word unknown, in that sense, to the Koran.
6 For full information as to the clothing of the ancient Arabians
see Freyt. Einl. pp. 295 327. The Koreisch (we are told in Sirat
Arrasul, fol. 26, and Beidh.), in order to instil a deep respect for
the Caaba and other holy places into the minds of the Arabians,
had forbidden all food during the processions, and required that
no clothes, except those borrowed from Meccans, should be worn,
or that those who wore their own should devote them to God as
holy vestments. The consequence was that most of the pilgrims
visited the holy places in perfect nudity. Hence the precept in the
7 The Angels of Death.
8 Comp. Matth. xix. 24; Mark x. 25; Luke xviii. 25. By the change
of a single vowel in the Arabic word for camel, we obtain the
rendering, cable. In the Rabbinic form of the proverb, however,
the elephant is substituted for the camel, which confirms the usual
rendering and reading.
9 "On this wall (the name of which is derived from Arafa, 'to
know,' with allusion to the employment of those upon it) will stand
those whose good and evil works are equal, and are not, therefore,
deserving of either Paradise or Gehenna. The idea, which is
analogous to that of Purgatory, may be derived from the Talmud.
Thus in the Midrasch on Eccl. vii. 14, 'How much space is there
between the two' (Paradise and Hell)? R. Jochanan saith, a wall;
R. Acha, a span: others hold them to be so close that a person may
see from one into the other." See Plato's Phaed. 62.
10 That is, they will know the inmates of Paradise by their
whiteness, and the people of Hell by the blackness of their faces.
11 That is, ye believers: to whom the speakers on Al Araf are
supposed to turn.
12 The fruits of Paradise. Comp. Luke xvi. 19.
13 The fulfilment of its promises and threats.
14 The rain. Thus, the Rabbins call the rain "the might and power
of God," Comp. Tract Tanith, fol. I, and connect it with the
Resurrection, Tract Berachoth, fol. 33.
15 The Rabbins in like manner describe the mission of Noah.
Comp. Sanhedr. 108. Midr. Rabbah on Gen. par. 30, 33; and on
Eccl. 9, 14. See Sura [lxxv.] xi. 40.
16 The two tribes of Ad and Themoud the latter of whom is
mentioned by Diod. Sic. and Ptolemy lay to the north of Mecca in
the direct line of traffic between the countries to the north and to
the south, and both probably disappeared with its cessation, when
the Arabs were no longer held in check by the Romans. The
traditions adopted by Muhammad attribute this to the divine
vengeance, throughout the Koran, and were derived by him from
the popular legends of Arabia. See Freyt. Einl. p. 12.
17 On Houd, see Geiger, pp. 113 119. He supposes him to be the
Eber of the Bible. But Mr. Muir suggests that both Houd and Saleh
may have been persecuted Jewish or Christian emissaries and
teachers, whose rejection was thus recast by Muhammad. See note
on verse 71.
18 Or, entrusted, i.e. with the office of apostle.
19 Saleh according to Bochart, the Peleg of Gen. xi. 16.
D'Herbelot, B. O. 740, makes him the Schelah of Gen. xi. 13. See
v. 63, n. and p. 220, n.
20 It is just possible that the act of Koleib, chief of the Banu
Taghlib tribe, in killing the milch camel of Bas–s, a female
of his wife of Bani-Bakr lineage which led to a forty years' war
between these two tribes, A.D. 490 may have been worked up by
Muhammad into this account of the persecutions of Saleh.
21 See Sura xxiv. 176, p. 109.
22 This verse may contain an implied reference to the famine with
which Mecca had been visited, and fix the date of this part of the
Sura. Comp. verse 127.
23 Lit. plot, stratagem.
24 Comp. the passage from Pirke R. Eliezer, c. 48, who makes
Moses perform this miracle in the presence of Pharaoh, which the
Scripture (Ex. vii.) account does not. The Muhammadan tradition
is that Moses was a black.
25 Lit. cause him to hope, temporise with him.
26 Lit. male ominati sunt. Mar. They traced their calamities to
Moses. So Sale. Kas. But Ullmann. renders, they attributed their
misfortunes to the predictions of Moses.
27 In Suras [lxvii.] xvii. and [lxviii.] Muhammad speaks of nine
plagues. The flood is not mentioned in the Scripture.
28 Lit. when we removed from them the plague until a period at
which they should arrive.
29 Lit. that in which these are.
30 Lit. the set time of his Lord was fulfilled in forty nights.
31 Sale and others render having a body, corporeal, of which the
commentators give no satisfactory explanation. I have adopted
that given by Freytag in v. That the calf lowed in consequence of
Sama‰l having entered into it, is one of the traditions of the
Talmud. Pirke R. Eliezer, c. 45.
32 Compare Sura [lxxxi.] xxix. 47, [xciv.] lxxii. 2, [xci.] ii. 73.
word ummyy is derived from ummah, a nation, and means Gentile;
it here refers to Muhammad's ignorance, previous to the
revelation of Islam, of the ancient Scriptures. It is equivalent to the
Gr. laic, ethnic, and to the term gojim, as applied by the Jews to
those unacquainted with the Scriptures. There can, however, be no
doubt that Muhammad in spite of his assertions to the contrary,
with the view of proving his inspiration was well acquainted with
the Bible histories. He wished to appear ignorant in order to raise
the elegance of the Koran into a miracle. For the passages of
Scripture said to foretel Muhammad, see Pocock's Sp. Hist. Ar. p.
188, ed. White.
33 If these words, as N”ldeke supposes, contain an allusion to the
Ansars, it is likely that this verse was added at Medina. The epithet
Al-Ummy (the unlettered) does not, thus, occur in Meccan Suras.
34 The Koran.
35 Pirke R. Eliezer, 45, explains Ex. xxxii. 26, of the tribe of Levi,
as not having been implicated with the other tribes in the sin of the
36 The Jews changed hittat, absolution, indulgence, into habbat,
37 This and the next six verses are supposed to have been added at
38 Comp. Sura [xci.] ii. 61. No trace of this legend is to be found
in the Talmudists. The city is said to have been Aila (Elath) on the
39 Perhaps in allusion to Deut. xxviii. 49, 50.
40 As bribes to pervert Scripture, etc.
41 Sinai which, however, is not mentioned in the Koran as the
place where the law was given. Comp. "I will cover you with the
mountain like a roof." Abodah Sar. 2, 2. Thus also in Tract
Sabbath, f. 88, 1, "R. Avdimi saith, These words teach us that the
Holy One, blessed be He, turned the mountain over them like a
vessel, and said to them, If ye will receive the law, well; but if not,
there shall be your grave." This tradition is still held by the Jews.
See D. Lewis Pent. Prayers, fol. 150. Its origin is a
misunderstanding of Ex. xix. 17, rightly rendered in the E. version
at the nether part of the mountain.
42 To the Jews.
43 Balaam. But according to others, a Jew who renounced his
faith in Muhammad.
44 The 99 titles of God, taken from the Koran, are to be found in
Maracci, vol. 11, p. 414, or in Macbride's Religion of the
Mohammedans, p. 121. To facilitate the repetition of these names,
the Muslims use a rosary.
45 In altering the names of God, changing allah into Allat, Elaziz
into Alozza, Mennan into Menat, etc.
46 Lit. and in what declaration after it will they believe?
47 That is, it weighs heavily on the hopes and fears of men, djinn,
48 Probably the usual final clause, whence ye looked not for it,
should here be added to make good the rhyme, which is otherwise
interrupted in the original.
49 Some render salihan, well made, rightly shaped; others,
virtuous, morally perfect.
50 And their idolatrous posterity. Beidh.
51 Take or use indulgence; i.e. take men and their actions as they
are, and make all due allowances. Some understand it, of
Muhammad's accepting such voluntary and superfluous alms as
the people could spare.
52 That is, those under Satanic influence.
53 Collected or sought it out. Beidh.
SURA XLVI. AL AHKAF [LXXXVIII.]
MECCA. 35 Verses
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
HA. MIM.1 The Revelation (sending down) of this Book is from
Mighty, the Wise!
We have not created the Heavens and the Earth and all that is
between them otherwise than in truth and for a settled term. But
they who believe not, turn away from their warning.
SAY: What think ye? As for those whom ye invoke beside God,
shew me what part of the earth it is which they have created? Had
they a share in the Heavens? Bring me a Book sent down by them
before this Koran, or traces of their knowledge;2 if ye are men of
And who erreth more than he who, beside God, calleth upon that
which shall not answer him until the day of Resurrection? Yes,
they regard not their invocations;
And when mankind shall be assembled together, they will become
their enemies, and ungratefully disown their worship.
And when our clear signs are recited to them, they who believe not
say of the truth when it cometh to them, "This is plain sorcery."
Will they say, "He hath devised It?" SAY: If I have devised the
Koran, then not one single thing shall ye ever obtain for me from
God! He best knoweth what ye utter in its regard! Witness enough
is He between me and you! And He is the Gracious, the Merciful.
SAY: I am no apostle of new doctrines: neither know I what will
done with me or you. Only what is revealed to me do I follow, and
I am only charged to warn openly.
SAY: What think ye? If this Book be from God, and ye believe it
not, and a witness of the children of Israel3 witness to its
conformity with the Law, and believe, while ye proudly disdain
it ? Ah! God guideth not the people guilty of such a wrong!
But the infidels say of the believers, "If it were a good Book they
would not have been before us in believing it:"4 And not having
submitted to guidance, they proceed to say, "It is an old lying
But before the Koran was the Book of Moses, a rule and a mercy;
and this Book confirmeth it (the Pentateuch) in the Arabic
tongue that those who are guilty of that wrong may be warned,
and as glad tidings to the doers of good.
Assuredly they who say, "Our Lord is God," and take the straight
way to Him no fear shall come on them, neither shall they be put
These shall be the inmates of Paradise to remain therein for
ever, the recompense of their deeds!
Moreover, we have enjoined on man to shew kindness to his
parents. With pain his mother beareth him; with pain she bringeth
him forth: and his bearing and his weaning is thirty months; until
when he attaineth his strength, and attaineth to forty years,5 he
saith, "O my Lord! stir me up to be grateful for thy favours
wherewith thou hast favoured me and my parents, and to do good
works which shall please thee: and prosper me in my offspring: for
to thee am I turned, and am resigned to thy will" (am a Muslim).
These are they from whom we will accept their best works, and
whose evil works we will pass by; among the inmates shall they be
of Paradise: a true promise which they are promised.
But he who saith to his parents, "Fie on you both! Promise ye me
that I shall be taken forth from the grave alive, when whole
generations have already passed away before me?" But they both
will implore the help of God, and say, "Alas for thee! Believe: for
the promise of God is true." But he saith, "It is no more than a
fable of the ancients."
These are they in whom the sentence passed on the nations, djinn
and men, who flourished before them, is made good. They shall
And there are grades for all, according to their works, that God
may repay them for their works; and they shall not be dealt with
And they who believe not shall one day be set before the fire. "Ye
made away your precious gifts during your life on earth; and ye
took your fill of pleasure in them: This day, therefore, with
punishment of shame shall ye be rewarded, for that ye behaved
you proudly and unjustly on the earth, and for that ye were given
Remember, too, the brother of Ad7 when he warned his people in
AL AHKAF8 and before and since his time there have been
warners "Worship none but God: verily I fear for you the
punishment of the great day."
They said, "Art thou come to us to turn us away from our Gods?
Bring on us now the woes which thou threatenest if thou speakest
"That knowledge," said he, "is with God alone: I only proclaim to
you the message with which I am sent. But I perceive that ye are a
people sunk in ignorance."
So when they saw a cloud coming straight for their valleys, they
said, "It is a passing cloud that shall give us rain." "Nay, it is that
whose speedy coming ye challenged a blast wherein is an
It will destroy everything at the bidding of its Lord!" And at morn
nought was to be seen but their empty dwellings! Thus repay we a
With power had we endued them, even as with power have we
endued you; and we had given them ears and eyes and hearts: yet
neither their eyes, nor their ears, nor their hearts aided them at
all, when once they gainsaid the signs of God; but that punishment
which they had mocked at enveloped them on all sides.
Of old, too, did we destroy the cities which were round about you;
and, in order that they might return to us, we varied our signs
But did those whom they took for gods beside God as his kindred
deities, help them?9 Nay, they withdrew from them. Such was
delusion, and their device!
And remember when we turned aside a company of the djinn to
thee, that they might hearken to the Koran: and no sooner were
they present at its reading than they said to each other, "Hist;"
and when it was ended, they returned to their people with
They said, "O our people! verily we have been listening to a book
sent down since the days of Moses, affirming the previous
scriptures; it guideth to the truth, and to the right way.
O our people! Obey the Summoner of God, and believe in him,
He may forgive your sins, and rescue you from an afflictive
And he who shall not respond to God's preacher, yet cannot
weaken God's power on earth, nor shall he have protectors beside
Him. These are in obvious error."
See they not that God who created the Heavens and the Earth, and
was not wearied with their creation, is of power to quicken the
dead? Yea, he is for all things Potent.
And a day is coming when the infidels shall be set before the fire.
"Is not this it in truth?" They shall say, "Aye, by our Lord." He
said, "Taste then the punishment for that ye would not believe."
Bear thou up, then, with patience, as did the Apostles endued with
firmness, and seek not to accelerate their doom. For, on the day
when they shall see that with which they have been menaced,
It shall be as though they had waited but an hour of the day.
Enough! shall any perish save they who transgress?
1 See Sura lxviii. p. 32.
2 Of a divine revelation, authorising the worship of other gods
3 Abdallah bin Salma, say the commentators.
4 Comp. John vii. 48.
5 Thus Mischn. Aboth, v. 21, "at forty years of age a man comes to
intelligence." This verse refers, it is said by the Sonnites, to Abu
Bekr, afterwards Chalif, who embraced Islam in his 40th year. But
this interpretation was probably invented after his accession to
6 Lit. suffer loss.
7 The Prophet Houd.
8 That is, Sandhills; at Taief, to which Muhammad had retired in
consequence of the opposition, etc., of the Meccans. Verses 20 31
are probably misplaced, as they interrupt the connection between
19 and 32, but appear to belong to the same period as the rest of
9 Thus Ullm. als naheverwandte G”tter. But Wahl, denen sie sich
mit gottesdienstlichen Opfer n„herten. Ad appropinquandum
(magis ipsi Deo), by intercession. Mar. Beidh.
SURA VI. CATTLE [LXXXIX.]
Mecca. 165 Verses
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
PRAISE be to God, who hath created the Heavens and the Earth,
and ordained the darkness and the light! Yet unto their Lord do the
infidels give peers!
He it is who created you of clay then decreed the term of your
life: and with Him is another prefixed term for the resurrection.
Yet have ye doubts thereof!
And He is God in the Heavens and on the Earth! He knoweth your
secrets and your disclosures! and He knoweth what ye deserve.
Never did one single sign from among the signs of their Lord come
to them, but they turned away from it;
And now, after it hath reached them, have they treated the truth
itself as a lie. But in the end, a message as to that which they have
mocked, shall reach them.
See they not how many generations we have destroyed before
them? We had settled them on the earth as we have not settled you,
and we sent down the very heavens upon them in copious rains,
and we made the rivers to flow beneath their feet: yet we destroyed
them in their sins, and raised up other generations to succeed
And had we sent down to thee a Book written on parchment, and
they had touched it with their hands, the infidels had surely said,
"This is nought but plain sorcery."
They say, too, "Unless an angel be sent down to him. " But if we
had sent down an angel, their judgment would have come on them
at once,1 and they would have had no respite:
And if we had appointed an angel, we should certainly have
appointed one in the form of a man, and we should have clothed
him before them in garments like their own.2
Moreover, apostles before thee have been laughed to scorn: but
that which they laughed to scorn encompassed the mockers among
SAY: Go through the land: then see what hath been the end of
those who treated them as liars.
SAY: Whose is all that is in the Heavens and the Earth?
SAY: God's. He had imposed mercy on Himself as a law. He will
surely assemble you on the Resurrection day; there is no doubt of
it. They who are the authors of their own ruin, are they who will
His, whatsoever hath its dwelling in the night and in the day! and
He, the Hearing, the Knowing!
SAY: Other than God shall I take as Lord, maker of the Heavens
and of the Earth, who nourisheth all, and of none is nourished?
SAY: Verily, I am bidden to be the first of those who surrender
them to God (profess Islam): and, be not thou of those who join
gods with God.
SAY: Verily, I fear, should I rebel against my Lord, the
of the great day.
From whomsoever it shall be averted on that day, He will have
had mercy on him: and this will be the manifest bliss.
If God touch thee with trouble, none can take it off but He: and if
He visit thee with good it is He whose power is over all things;
And He is the Supreme over his servants; and He is the Wise, the
SAY: What thing is weightiest in bearing witness? SAY: God is
witness between me and you; and this Koran hath been revealed to
me that I should warn you by it, and all whom it shall reach. What!
will ye really bear witness that there are other gods with God?
SAY: I bear no such witness. SAY: Verily, He is one God, and
am guiltless of what ye join with Him.
They to whom we have given the Book, recognise him
(Muhammad) as they do their own children: 3 but they who are the
authors of their own perdition are they who will not believe.
And who more wicked than he who inventeth a lie concerning
or who treateth our signs as lies? Verily those wicked ones shall
And on "the Day" we will gather them all together: then will we
say to those who joined gods with God, "Where are those
companion-gods of yours, as ye supposed them?"
Then shall they find no other excuse than to say, "By God our
Lord! we joined not companions with Him."
Behold! how they lie against themselves and the gods of their
own inventing desert them!
Some among them hearken unto thee: but we have cast veils over
their hearts that they should not understand the Koran, and a
weight into their ears: and though they should see all kinds of
signs, they will refuse all faith in them, until when they come to
thee, to dispute with thee, the infidels say, "Verily, this is nothing
but fables of the ancients."
And they will forbid it, and depart from it: but they are only the
authors of their own perdition, and know it not.
If thou couldst see when they shall be set over the fire, and shall
say, "Oh! would we might be sent back! we would not treat the
signs of our Lord as lies! we would be of the believers."
Aye! that hath become clear5 to them which they before
but though they should return, they would surely go back to that
which was forbidden them; for they are surely liars!
And they say, "There is no other than our life in this world, neither
shall we be raised again."
But if thou couldest see when they shall be set before their Lord!
He shall say to them, "Is not this it6 in truth?" They shall say,
"Yea, by our Lord!" "Taste then," saith He, "the torment, for that
ye believed not!"
Lost are they who deny the meeting with God until "the Hour"
cometh suddenly upon them! Then will they say, "Oh, our sighs for
past negligence of this hour!" and they shall bear their burdens on
their back! Will not that be evil with which they shall be
The life in this world is but a play and pastime; and better surely
for men of godly fear will be the future mansion! Will ye not then
Now know we that what they speak vexeth thee:7 But it is not
merely thee whom they charge with falsehood, but the ungodly
gainsay the signs of God.
Before thee have apostles already been charged with falsehood:
but they bore the charge and the wrong with constancy, till our
help came to them; for none can change the words of God. But
this history of His Sent Ones hath already reached thee.
But if their estrangement be grievous to thee, and if thou art able
to seek out an opening into the earth or a ladder into Heaven,8 that
thou mightest bring them a sign. yes! But if God pleased, He
would surely bring them, one and all, to the guidance! therefore be
not thou one of the ignorant.
To those only who shall lend an ear will He make answer: as for
the dead, God will raise them up; then unto Him shall they return.
They say, "Unless a sign be sent down to him from his
Lord. "SAY: Verily, God is able to send down a sign; but the
greater part of them know it not.
No kind of beast is there on earth nor fowl that flieth with its
wings, but is a folk9 like you: nothing have we passed over in the
Book: 10 then unto their Lord shall they be gathered.
They who gainsay our signs are deaf, and dumb, in darkness: God
will mislead whom He pleaseth, and whom He pleaseth He will
place upon the straight path.
SAY: What think ye? If the punishment of God were to come
you, or "the Hour" were to come upon you, will ye cry to any
other than God? Tell me, if ye speak the truth?
Yes! to Him will ye cry: and if He please He will deliver you from
that ye shall cry to Him to avert, and ye shall forget the partners
ye joined with Him.
Already have we sent apostles to nations that were before thee,
and we laid hold on them with troubles and with straits in order
that they might humble themselves:
Yet, when our trouble came upon them, they did not humble
themselves; but their hearts were hardened, and Satan
pre-arranged for them11 their course of conduct.
And when they had forgotten their warnings, we set open to them
the gates of all things, until, as they were rejoicing in our gifts, we
suddenly laid hold upon them, and lo! they were plunged into
And the uttermost part of that impious people was cut off. All
praise be to God, the Lord of the Worlds!
SAY: What think ye? If God should take away your hearing and
your sight and set a seal upon your hearts, what god beside God
would restore them to you? See! how we vary our wondrous verses
(signs)! yet they turn away from them!
SAY: What think ye? If the punishment of God come on you
suddenly or foreseen,12 shall any perish except the impious?
We send not our Sent Ones but as heralds of good news and
warners; and whoso shall believe and amend, on them shall come
no fear, neither shall they be sorrowful:
But whoso shall charge our signs with falsehood, on them shall
fall a punishment for their wicked doings.
SAY: I say not to you, "In my possession are the treasures of
God;" neither say I, "I know things secret;" neither do I say to
you, "Verily, I am an angel:" Only what is revealed to me do I
follow. SAY: Shall the blind and the seeing be esteemed alike?
ye not then reflect?
And warn those who dread their being gathered to their Lord, that
patron or intercessor they shall have none but Him, to the intent
that they may fear Him!
And thrust not thou away those who cry to their Lord at morn and
even, craving to behold his face. It is not for thee in anything to
judge of their motives, nor for them in anything to judge of thee. If
thou thrust them away thou wilt be of the doers of wrong.
Thus have we made proof of some of them by others, that they
say, "Are these they among us to whom God hath been gracious?"
Doth not God best know the thankful?
And when they who believe in our signs come to thee, SAY:
Peace be upon you! Your Lord hath laid down for himself a law of
mercy; so that if any one of you commit a fault through ignorance,
and afterwards turn and amend, He surely will be Gracious,
Thus have we distinctly set forth our signs, that the way of the
wicked might be made known.
SAY: Forbidden am I to worship those whom ye call on beside
God. SAY: I will not follow your wishes; for then should I have
gone astray, and should not be of the guided.
SAY: I act upon proofs from my Lord, but ye treat them as
falsehoods. That punishment which ye desire to be hastened is not
in my power; judgment is with God only: He will declare the truth;
and He is the best settler of disputes.
SAY: If what ye would hasten on, were in my power, the matter
between me and you had been decided: but God best knoweth the
And with Him are the keys13 of the secret things; none knoweth
them but He: He knoweth whatever is on the land and in the sea;
and no leaf falleth but He knoweth it; neither is there a grain in
the darknesses of the earth, nor a thing green or sere, but it is
noted in a distinct writing.14
It is He who taketh your souls at night,15 and knoweth what ye
have merited in the day: then he awaketh you therein, that the set
life-term may be fulfilled: then unto Him shall ye return; and then
shall be declare to you that which ye have wrought.