Part 11 out of 14
divine voice, etc., were restored by the intercession of the Law itself.
22 By storing them up in violation of God's command.
23 Jericho according to some commentators, Jerusalem according to others, but
see verse 58.
24 See Sura [lxxxvii.] vii. 162.
25 Lit. all men. This incident is perhaps inadvertently borrowed from Ex. xv.
26 This passage (comp. xxvi. 59) is one of the numerous anachronisms which
abound in the Koran and prove the gross ignorance of the Arabian Prophet.
27 The Sabeites are identical with the Mendaites, or so-called Christians of
S. John, residing in the marshy district at the mouth of the Euphrates, but
are not the same with the star-worshipping Sabians of Harran in Mesopotamia.
See D'Herbelot, Bibl. Or. under the word Sabi; Assemani, Bibl. Or. iii. 2,
609. For curious details as to the elements of the Sabeite religion, see
Chwolson's SSabier and SSabaismus I.
28 See Sura [lxxxvii.] vii. 170.
29 See Sura [lxxxvii.] vii. 164.
30 Compare Numb. xix.; Deut. xxii. 1-9. The cow was to be sacrificed in order
that a murderer might be discovered through the miracle to be wrought on the
corpse by a piece of her flesh.
31 To please you, O Muslims.
32 This is one of the passages which shews great familiarity with the habits
of the Jews, on the part of Muhammad. See Maracci's Prodr. i. 44. Wahl's
Einleitung, xxx. xxxv.
33 The Pentateuch. This passage shews that the art of writing was known in
Medina shortly after the Hejira.
34 Forty days; the period during which they worshipped the calf.
35 The blood of those who are as your own flesh.
36 Two Jewish tribes (Koreidha and Nadhir) in alliance with certain Arab
tribes who were at war, destroyed one another's abodes, but redeemed the
Jewish captives, professing that they were commanded to do this by the Law.
So the commentators.
37 Gabriel. Muhammad either knowingly rejected the divinity of the Holy
Ghost, or confounded Gabriel announcing the conception, with the Holy Spirit
that overshadowed Mary. It is probable that Muhammad's ideas of the Spirit
were at first indefinite, but that the two expressions, Gabriel and the Holy
Spirit, became ultimately synonymous. See note on Sura [lxvii.] xvii. 87.
Geiger (p. 82) quotes an instance in which the Jewish expositors understand
the distinctly-speaking Spirit (Sanhedr. 44) of Gabriel.
38 The gift of the prophetic office, etc., to a pagan Arab and not to a Jew.
39 Matt. xxiii. 37.
40 See Sura vii. 170, p. 309.
41 Comp. 1 Tim. v. 24.
42 In Solomon's Books of Magic. This story has been supposed to be of Persian
origin. See Hyde de Rel. Vet. Pers. ch. xii. But from a passage in the Midr.
Abhkhir quoted in the Midr. Jalkut, ch. 44, and from a quotation in Maracci's
Prodr. iv. 82, Geiger infers that Muhammad has transferred to the time of
Solomon, the Rabbinic traditions concerning the influence of angels upon men
at the time of the Deluge. p. 106. "Babel is regarded by the Muslims as the
fountain head of the science of magic. They suppose Haroot and Maroot to be
two angels who, in consequence of their want of compassion for the frailties
of mankind, were sent down to earth to be tempted. They both sinned; and
being permitted to choose whether they would be punished now or hereafter,
chose the former, and are still suspended by the feet at Babel in a rocky
pit, and are the great teachers of magic." (Lane on ch. iii. note 14 of the
43 Raina, as pronounced in Hebrew, "our bad one;" but in Arabic, "look upon
us," a kind of salutation of the same signification as ondhorna, which,
however, does not admit of any secondary bad sense like raina.
44 Comp. Sura xvi. 103; iv. 84. The Muslims admit that there are 225 verses
cancelled by later ones. The doctrine of "abrogation" is taught in the
Talmud. Thus Hilchoth Mamrim, ii. 1, 2, etc.
45 That is, does not weigh the evidence for Muhammad's mission already given,
but demands, as the Jews did, to see God himself.
46 In all Muhammadan countries the first time of prayer is the moghreb or
sunset, or rather, four minutes later; the second the eshe, when it has
become quite dark; the third the soobh or fegr, the daybreak; the fourth,
doohr, or a little after noon, when the sun has begun to decline; the fifth,
the asr, midway between noon and nightfall. The obligatory legal alms or
impost are called, as here, zekah (lit. purity), the voluntary, sudackah. It
is, however, left to the conscience of individuals to give and to apply them
as they think fit.
47 The idolatrous Arabs.
48 If this verse is aimed at the Meccans who, in the 6th year of the Hejira,
forbad Muhammad and his followers to enter the temple of Mecca in the
expedition of Hodeibiya, it is misplaced here.
49 Abrogated by verse 139 below.
50 The Caaba.
51 Freytag (Einl. p. 339) says that there is no good reason for doubting that
the Caaba was founded as stated in this passage. See note on Sura [xcvii.]
52 Deut. xviii. 15.
53 "At the time when our father Jacob quitted this world, be summoned his
twelve sons and said to them, Hearken to your father Israel (Gen. xlix. 2).
Have ye any doubts in your hearts concerning the Holy One, Blessed be He!
They said, Hear, O Israel, our Father. As there is no doubt in thy heart, so
neither is there in ours. For the Lord is our God, and He is one." Midr.
Rabbah on Gen. par. 98, and on Deut. par. 2. Comp. also Targ. Jer. on Deut.
vi. 4. Tract. Pesachim, 56.
54 See Sura [lxxiii.] xvi. 121, n., p. 209.
55 Ibn Batutah assures us (vol. ii. 10) that when in the 14th century he
visited Basra, he saw in the mosque the copy of the Koran which the Caliph
Othman had in his hands when murdered, and that the marks of his blood were
still visible at the words of this verse. Othman's originals are also said to
be preserved in Egypt, Morocco, Damascus, Mecca, and Medina. See M.
Quatremere in Journ. Asiatique, Juillet, 1838.
56 The original simply has Baptism of God. This may be understood either of
Islam generally, or, with Ullmann, in the more restricted sense of
circumcision. Perhaps Muhammad used the word advisedly as a hint to the
Christians of his land, that in the reception of his religion consisted the
true new birth.
57 Or, intermediate, i.e., according to the commentators, not addicted to
excess, just. Ullm. ein vermittelndes Volk, zwischen Juden und Christen die
58 In having prayed towards Jerusalem.
59 Of Mecca. This change of the Kebla from Jerusalem to Mecca shows that this
part of the Sura was revealed at a time when the breach between Muhammad and
the Jews was past healing; i.c. in the first half of the second year of the
Hejira. See Thilo's. Cod. Apoc. p. 21, n.
60 That is, the Jews are really convinced of the truth of Muhammad's mission.
61 That is, warring with the infidels. The precise date of verses 148-152
depends upon whether this passage refers to the battle of Bedr or Ohod.
62 These words are constantly used by the pious Muslims when in any trouble.
63 Hills in the sacred territory of Mecca, which had long been objects of
superstitious reverence to the idolatrous Arabs, on which account the Muslims
were at first unwilling to include them among the sacred places.
64 The Pentateuch. See verse 141.
65 This and the three following verses are probably Meccan, as also verses
66 The ringleaders of infidelity and idolatrous faiths.
67 Freyt. Lex. vol. ii. p. 477 Quid eos agere coegit quemadmodum damnati
agunt? But Mar. Quanta erit sustinentia corum!
68 To whom his brother, that is, any Arab or believer, shall remit the
penalty of death.
69 Of the stricter Mosaic lex talionis, as well of the ante-Islamitic Arabian
custom, by which the killing of a slave was avenged by the death of a free
man, and the killing of a woman by taking the life of a man. See Freyt. Einl.
p. 193. Comp. Ex. xxi. 23.
70 That is, by killing the manslayer.
71 On the word Furquan, see Sura [1xv.] xxi. 49.
72 A mutual comfort to each other.
73 Thus Misch. Berachoth, 1, 2, "Prayer is to be said as soon as one can
distinguish between a blue and white thread."
74 Judging from the minuteness of the precepts laid down in this and the
following verses to 193, it would appear that they were added at a late
period of Muhammad's residence at Medina.
75 Such appears to have been the superstitious custom of the Arabs after
their return from pilgrimages to Mecca.
76 Their driving you out of Mecca; or, the temptation (to idolatry).
77 Lit. the sacred month for the sacred month, and the sacred precincts or
things (for) reprisals. The meaning of this difficult passage is that in wars
for the cause of religion, the sacred month and the temple of Mecca may be
made the time and scene of contests, which then and there are usually
prohibited. For the most accurate information as to the Pilgrimage, see
Freytag, Einl. 418.
78 This shows that Muhammad inculcated the doctrine of entire freedom of the
79 The greater Pilgrimage, which every Muslim is bound to perform once in his
life, is the Hadjat el Farz (the one obligatory Pilgrimage), or the Hadjat el
Islam. The Umrah, or little pilgrimage, may be performed at any time except
the pilgrimage season, and its ceremonies are much fewer. They are described
by Lieut. Burton in his "Pilgrimage," vol. iii. ch. xxviii.
80 Namely, Shawâl, Dhu'lkaada, and Dhu'lhajja.
81 By trading during the Hadj.
82 The pilgrims move on very rapidly when in the immediate neighbourhood of
the Holy Places.
83 From the valley of Mina.
84 Said to have been one Al Akhnas Ibn Shoraik, a dissembler with Muhammad.
85 Sohaib, when he joined the standard of Muhammad, left all his property in
the hands of the infidels.
86 Verses 204-210 are probably addressed to those Muslims who were desirous
to observe certain parts of the Jewish law.
87 The Koran.
88 That is, there was originally but one religion in the world.
89 Comp. Sura [c.] iv. 42, and [cxiv.] v. 99, 100.
90 Limits, fences. The word is Talmudic. Thus Pirke Aboth, i. "The men of the
great synagogue said . . . Make a fence for the law;" and iii. 13, "Tradition
is a fence to the law."
91 Comp. Sura [lxxxii.] xxxi. 13.
92 Within the four months and ten days.
93 Either the asr, midway between noon and nightfall (see verse 104 above) or
the prayer immediately after midday. See note on Sura [c.] iv. 46.
94 This verse is certainly older than the commencement of Sura iv. which
alters the law here laid down.
95 Comp. Ezek. xxxvii. 1-10. These Jews are said by some commentators to have
abandoned their dwellings through fear of a pestilence (comp. Talmud Sanhed.
92); by others, for fear of being compelled to serve in the wars of God.
96 This and the seven following verses shew that Muhammad, foreseeing an open
rupture with the people of Medina at no distant period, felt it necessary to
stimulate the zeal and courage of his partisans by examples from Jewish
97 Ar. Shechinah. See Freytag Lex. in v. This word, as well as the Arabic
word for ark (p. 95, n.) betray in their form a Rabbinic origin.
98 The shoes and rod of Moses, the mitre of Aaron, the vase of manna, the
fragments of the two tables of the law.
99 Observe the confusion between Gideon and Saul.
100 See verse 81.
101 The drift of these words, which are of such frequent recurrence in the
Koran, is, that the former revelations had been abused, and instead of
leading them to Islam broke them up into sects and dissentient parties.
102 This verse must have been revealed before Muhammad felt himself secure in
his new position at Medina.
103 A name applied to an idol or idols especially Allat and Ozza, the ancient
idols of the Meccans. The termination of the word Thagout is more Hebraic
than pure Arabic, and literally means error.
105 Ozair or Esdras doubted whether Jerusalem could be rebuilt after its
destruction by Nebuchadnezzar, and the miracle here narrated, was wrought for
his assurance. The fable has its origin in the circuit made by Nehemiah
around the ruined city. Neh. ii. 13.
106 Lit. it was falling on its roofs.
107 Comp. Gen. xv. 9.
108 That is, Satan would dissuade you from liberal contributions by
instilling the fear of poverty.
109 Comp. Matt. vi. 3, 4. 110 This contradicts verse 254, as well as several
verses in Sura [1viii.] xix.
SURA XCVIII.–CLEAR EVIDENCE [XCII.]
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
THE unbelievers among the people of the Book, and the Polytheists, did not
waver, until the CLEAR EVIDENCE had come to them;
A messenger from God, reciting to them the pure pages wherein are true
Neither were they to whom the Scriptures were given divided into sects, till
after this clear evidence had reached them!
Yet was not aught enjoined on them but to worship God with sincere religion,
sound in faith; and to observe prayer and pay the stated alms. For this is
But the unbelievers among the people of the Book, and among the Polytheists,
shall go into the fire of Gehenna to abide therein for aye. Of all creatures
are they the worst!
But they who believe and do the things that are right–these of all creatures
are the best!
Their recompense with their Lord shall be gardens of Eden, 'neath which the
rivers flow, in which they shall abide for evermore.
God is well pleased in them and they in Him! This, for him who feareth his
SURA LXIV.–MUTUAL DECEIT [XCIII.]
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
ALL that is in the Heavens, and all that is in the Earth, praiseth God: His
the Kingdom and His the Glory! And He hath power over all things!
It is He who hath created you all; yet some of you are infidel and others
believers: but God beholdeth all your actions.
He hath created the Heavens and the Earth in Truth; and He hath fashioned you
and given you goodly forms; and to Him must ye all return.
He knoweth all that passeth in the Heavens and in the Earth; and He knoweth
what ye hide and what ye bring to light; and God knoweth the very secrets of
Hath not the story reached you of those who disbelieved of yore, and
therefore tasted the evil consequences of their doings? And a sore punishment
doth await them.
This, for that when their apostles came to them with the clear tokens, they
said, "What! shall men be our guides?" And they believed not and turned their
backs. But God can dispense with them; for God is the Rich, the Praiseworthy!
The infidels pretend that they shall not be raised from the dead. SAY: Yea,
by my Lord, ye shall surely be raised; then shall ye surely be told of your
deeds! And easy is this for God.
Believe then in God and his apostle and in the light which we have sent down;
for God is fully aware of all ye do.
The day when He shall gather you together for the day of mutual gathering,
will be the day of MUTUAL DECEIT,2 and whoso shall have believed in God and
done what is right, for him will He cancel his deeds of evil; and He will
bring him into the gardens beneath whose shades the rivers flow, to abide
therein for evermore. This will be the great bliss!
But the unbelieving–those who gave the lie to our signs–shall be the inmates
of the fire, wherein they shall remain for ever. And a wretched passage
No mischance chanceth but by God's permission; and whoso believeth in God,
that man's heart will he guide: and God knoweth all things.
Obey God then and obey the apostle: but if ye turn away, our apostle is not
to blame, for he is only charged with plain preaching.
God! there is no God but He! On God, then, let the faithful trust.
O ye who believe! Verily, in your wives and your children ye have an enemy:
wherefore beware of them. But if ye pass it3 over and pardon, and are
lenient, then God too is Lenient, Merciful.
Your wealth and your children are only a source of trial! but God! with Him
is the great recompense.
Fear God, then, with all your might, and hear and obey: and give alms for
your own weal; for such as are saved from their own greed, shall prosper.
If ye lend God a generous loan, He will double it to you and will forgive
you, for God is Grateful, Long-suffering.
He knoweth alike the Hidden and the Manifest: the Mighty, the Wise!
1 The first verse of this Sura, and the phrase obey God and the Apostle
(verses 8, 12), which usually occurs only in Medina Suras, the phrases in
verse 16 compared with Sura [cii.] lix. 9, as well as the subject matter,
incline me to follow those Muslim commentators who are of opinion that the
whole Sura was revealed at Medina. Weil and Muir suppose it to be Meccan.
2 That is, the day on which it will be found that if the just had been wicked
they would have taken the place of the reprobates, while the reprobates will
see that if they had been just persons they would have gone to Paradise.
3 Their occasionally beguiling you from your duty, especially that of
contending for the faith. Comp. 1 Cor. vii. 32.
SURA LXII.–THE ASSEMBLY [XCIV.]
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
ALL that is in the Heavens, and all that is on the Earth, uttereth the Praise
of God, the King! the Holy! the Mighty! the Wise!
It is He who hath sent to the pagan folk (Arabs) an Apostle from among
themselves, to rehearse His signs to them, and to purify them, and to impart
to them a knowledge of "the Book" and wisdom; for aforetime were they in
And others among them have not yet overtaken those who preceded them in the
faith. But He is the Mighty, the Wise!
This is the goodness of God: He bestoweth it on whom He will: God is of
They on whom the burden of the law was laid, and would not bear it, are like
an ass beneath a load of books. A sorry likeness this, for the people who
give the lie to the signs of God! God guideth not the people who do this
SAY: O ye Jews, if ye profess that ye rather than other men are the friends
of God, then wish for death if ye are men of truth.
But never on account of their previous handywork will they wish for it, and
God knoweth the wrong doers.
SAY: Verily the death from which ye flee will surely meet you. Then shall ye
be brought back to Him who knoweth alike the things done in secret and
openly: and He will tell you of your actions.
O ye who believe! When ye are summoned to prayer on the day of THE ASSEMBLY,1
haste to the commemoration of God, and quit your traffic. This, if ye knew
it, will be best for you.
And when the Prayer is ended, then disperse yourselves abroad and go in quest
of the bounties of God; and, that it may be well with you, oft remember God.
But when they get a sight of merchandise or sport, they disperse after it,
and leave thee standing alone.2 SAY: God hath in reserve what is better than
sport or wares. And God is the best provider!
1 Friday; the day on which Muhammad made his first entry into Medina, and the
day on which creation was finished.
2 It is said that when Muhammad was preaching, Dahya Alkalbi, while yet a
heathen, came, on a Friday, into Medina at the head of a caravan, and that
all the congregation, attracted by the music of the tambours which preceded
it, left the sermon for the spectacle. Muquâtil ap. Alfarrâ. If this account
be accurate, we may approximate to the date of this Sura as in Hej. 5
(towards the close). Dahya is known to have fought in the ranks of the
Muslims at the battle of the Ditch. And as the former part is aimed at the
Jews, it is probably of the same period as Sura [xci.] ii.
SURA VIII.–THE SPOILS1 [XCV.]
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
THEY will question thee about THE SPOILS. SAY: The spoils are God's and the
apostle's. Therefore, fear God, and settle this among yourselves; and obey
God and his apostle, if you are believers.
Believers are they only whose hearts thrill with fear when God is named, and
whose faith increaseth at each recital of his signs, and who put their trust
in their Lord;
Who observe the prayers, and give alms out of that with which we have
These are the believers: their due grade awaiteth them in the presence of
their Lord, and forgiveness, and a generous provision.
Remember how thy Lord caused thee to go forth from thy home2 on a mission of
truth, and part of the believers were quite averse to it:
They disputed with thee about the truth3 which had been made so clear, as if
they were being led forth to death, and saw it before them:
And remember when God promised you that one of the two troops4 should fall to
you, and ye desired that they who had no arms should fall to you: but God
purposed to prove true the truth of his words, and to cut off the uttermost
part ofthe infidels;
That he might prove his truth to be the truth, and bring to nought that which
is nought,5 though the impious were averse to it:
When ye sought succour of your Lord, and he answered you, "I will verily aid
you with a thousand6 angels, rank on rank:"
And God made this promise as pure good tidings, and to assure your hearts by
it: for succour cometh from God alone! Verily God is Mighty, Wise.
Recollect when sleep, a sign of security from Him, fell upon you, and he sent
down upon you water from Heaven that he might thereby cleanse you, and cause
the pollution of Satan to pass from you, and that he might gird up your
hearts, and stablish your feet by it:
When thy Lord spake unto the angels, "I will be with you: therefore stablish
ye the faithful. I will cast a dread into the hearts of the infidels." Strike
off their heads then, and strike off from them every finger-tip.
This, because they have opposed God and his apostle: And whoso shall oppose
God and his apostle. . . . Verily, God will be severe in punishment.
"This for you! Taste it then! and for the infidels is the torture of the
O ye who believe! when ye meet the marshalled hosts of the infidels, turn not
your backs to them:
Whoso shall turn his back to them on that day, unless he turn aside to fight,
or to rally to some other troop, shall incur wrath from God: Hell shall be
his abode and wretched the journey thither!
So it was not ye who slew them, but God slew them; and those shafts were
God's, not thine!7 He would make trial of the faithful by a gracious trial
from Himself: Verily, God Heareth, Knoweth.
This befel, that God might also bring to nought the craft of the infidels.
O Meccans! if ye desired a decision, now hath the decision come to you.8 It
will be better for you if ye give over the struggle. If ye return to it, we
will return; and your forces, though they be many, shall never avail you
aught, for God is with the faithful.
O ye faithful! obey God and his apostle, and turn not away from Him, now that
ye hear the truth;
And be not like those who say "We hear," when they hear not;
For the vilest beasts in God's sight, are the deaf, the dumb, who understand
Had God known any good in them, he would certainly have made them hear. But
even if He had made them hear, they would certainly have turned back and
O ye faithful! make answer to the appeal of God and his apostle when he
calleth you to that which giveth you life. Know that God cometh in between a
man and his own heart, and that to him shall ye be gathered.
And be afraid of temptation: the evil doers among you will not be the only
ones on whom it will light: And know ye that God is severe in punishment.
And remember when ye were few, and reputed weak in the land:9 ye feared lest
men should pluck you away; then was it that He took you in and strengthened
you with his help, and supplied you with good things, that haply ye might
O ye who believe! deal not falsely with God and his apostle; and be not false
in your engagements, with your own knowledge:
And know that your wealth and your children are a temptation; and that God!
with Him is a glorious recompense.
O ye who believe! if ye fear God he will make good your deliverance, and will
put away your sins from you, and will forgive you. God is of great
And call to mind when the unbelievers plotted against thee, to detain thee
prisoner, or to kill thee, or to banish thee: They plotted–but God plotted:
and of plotters is God the best!
And oft as our signs were rehearsed to them, they said, "Now have we heard:
if we pleased we could certainly utter its like! Yes, it is mere tales of the
And when they said, "God! if this be the very truth from before thee, rain
down stones upon us from Heaven, or lay on us some grievous chastisement."
But God chose not to chastise them while thou wast with them, nor would God
chastise them when they sued for pardon.
But because they debarred the faithful from the holy temple, albeit they are
not its guardians, nothing is there on their part why God should not chastise
them. The Godfearing only are its guardians; but most of them know it not.
And their prayer at the house of God is no other than whistling through the
fingers and clapping of the hands–"Taste then the torment, for that ye have
The infidels spend their riches10 with intent to turn men aside from the way
of God: spend it they shall; then shall sighing be upon them, and then shall
they be overcome.
And the infidels shall be gathered together into Hell,
That God may separate the bad from the good, and put the bad one upon the
other, and heap them all up and put them into Hell! These are they who shall
SAY to the infidels: If they desist from their unbelief, what is now past
shall be forgiven them; but if they return to it, they have already before
them11 the doom of the ancients!
Fight then against them till strife be at an end, and the religion be all of
it God's. If they desist, verily God beholdeth what they do:
But if they turn their back, know ye that God is your protector: Excellent
protector! excellent helper!
And know ye, that when ye have taken any booty, a fifth12 part belongeth to
God and to the Apostle, and to the near of kin, and to orphans, and to the
poor, and to the wayfarer, if ye believe in God, and in that which we have
sent down to our servant on the day of the victory,13 the day of the meeting
of the Hosts. Over all things is God potent.
When ye were encamped on the near side of the valley, and they were on the
further side, and the caravan was below you, if ye had made an engagement to
attack ye would have failed the engagement; but ye were led into action
notwithstanding, that God might accomplish the thing destined to be done:
That he who should perish might perish with a clear token14 before him, and
that he who liveth might live with it. And verily, God Heareth, Knoweth.
Remember when God shewed them to thee in thy dream, as few: Had he shown them
numerous, ye would certainly have become fainthearted, and would certainly
have disputed about the matter–But from this God kept you–He knoweth the very
secrets of the breast–
And when, on your meeting, he made them to appear to your eyes as few, and
diminished you in their eyes, that God might carry out the thing that was to
be done.15 To God do all things return.
Believers! when ye confront a troop, stand firm and make frequent mention of
the name of God, that it may fare well with you:
And obey God and his Apostle; and dispute not, lest ye become fainthearted
and your success go from you; but endure with steadfastness, for God is with
the steadfastly enduring.
And be not like those Meccans who came out of their houses insolently and to
be seen of men, and who turn others from the way of God: God is round about
When Satan prepared their works for them, and said, "No man shall conquer you
this day; and verily I will be near to help you:" But when the two armies
came in sight, he turned on his heel and said, "Ay, I am clear of you: ay, I
see what ye see not:16 ay, I fear God; for God is severe in punishing."
When the hypocrites and the diseased of heart said, "Their Religion hath
misled the Muslims:17 But whoso putteth his trust in God. , , , Yes, verily
God is Mighty, Wise!
If thou didst see, when the angels cause the infidels to die! They smite
their faces and their backs, and–"Taste ye the torture of the burning:
This, for what your hands have sent on before you:"–and God is not unjust to
Their state is like that of the people of Pharaoh and of those before them
who believed not in the signs of God: therefore God seized upon them in their
sin! God is Mighty, severe in punishing.
This, because God changeth not the favour with which he favoureth a people,
so long as they change not what is in their hearts; and for that God Heareth,
Their state is like that of the people of Pharaoh, and of those before them
who treated their Lord's signs as lies. We therefore destroyed them in their
sins, and we drowned the people of Pharaoh; for they were all doers of wrong.
The worst beasts truly in the sight of God are the thankless who will not
They with whom thou hast leagued, and who are ever breaking their league, and
who fear not God!
If thou take them in war, then, by the example of their fate, scatter those
who shall follow them–that they may be warned:
Or if thou fear treachery from any people, throw back their treaty to them as
thou fairly mayest,18 for God loveth not the treacherous.
And think not that the infidels shall escape Us! They shall not weaken God.
Make ready then against them what force ye can, and strong squadrons whereby
ye may strike terror into the enemy of God and your enemy, and into others
beside them whom ye know not, but whom God knoweth. All that you shall expend
for the cause of God shall be repaid you; and ye shall not be wronged.
And if they lean to peace, lean thou also to it; and put thy trust in God:
for He is the Hearing, the Knowing.
But if they seek to betray thee, God will be all-sufficient for thee. He it
is who hath strengthened thee with His help, and with the faithful, and hath
made their hearts one. Hadst thou spent all the riches of the earth, thou
couldst not have united their hearts; but God hath united them, for He is
O prophet! God, and such of the faithful as follow thee, will be all-
sufficient for thee.
O prophet! stir up the faithful to the fight. Twenty of you who stand firm
shall vanquish two hundred: and if there be a hundred of you they shall
vanquish a thousand of the infidels, for they are a people devoid of
Now hath God made your work easy, for he knoweth how weak ye are. If there be
an hundred of you who endure resolutely, they shall vanquish two hundred; and
if there be a thousand of you, they shall vanquish two thousand19 by God's
permission; for God is with those who are resolute to endure.
No prophet hath been enabled to take captives until he had made great
slaughter in the earth. Ye desire the passing fruitions of this world, but
God desireth the next life for you. And God is Mighty, Wise.
Had there not been a previous ordinance20 from God, a severe chastisement had
befallen you, for the ransom which ye took.
Eat therefore of the spoils ye have taken what is lawful and good; and fear
God: God is Gracious, Merciful.
O prophet! say to the captives who are in your hands, "If God shall know
good21 to be in your hearts, He will give you good beyond all that hath been
taken from you, and will forgive you: for God is Forgiving, Merciful."
But if they seek to deal treacherously with you–they have already dealt
treacherously22 with God before! Therefore hath He given you power over them.
God is Knowing, Wise.
Verily, they who have believed and fled their homes and spent their substance
for the cause of God, and they who have taken in the prophet and been helpful
to him, shall be near of kin the one to the other. And they who have
believed, but have not fled their homes, shall have no rights of kindred with
you at all, until they too fly their country. Yet if they seek aid from you
on account of the faith, your part it is to give them aid, except against a
people between whom and yourselves there shall be a treaty. And God beholdeth
The infidels lend one another mutual help. Unless ye do the same, there will
be discord in the land and great corruption.
But as for those who have believed and fled their country, and fought on the
path of God, and given the prophet an asylum, and been helpful to him, these
are the faithful; Mercy is their due and a noble provision.
And they who have believed and fled their country since, and have fought at
your side, these also are of you. Those who are united by ties of blood23 are
the nearest of kin to each other. This is in the Book of God. Verily, God
knoweth all things.
1 On this Sura, which relates mainly to the battle of Bedr, see Weil's M. der
Prophet, p. 268.
2 At Medina.
3 The necessity for the combat and its probable result.
4 Muhammad had conceived the design of attacking an unarmed caravan belonging
to the Koreisch on its way from Syria to Mecca. Abu Sofian, who had charge of
it, sent to Mecca for succour, whence a body of nearly 1000 armed men at once
set out to his assistance. Some of the Muslims were anxious to attack the
caravan: others, notwithstanding the disparity of numbers, proposed to throw
themselves upon the succours.
6 In Sura [xcvii.] iii. the angels are said to be 3000.
7 Lit. thou didst not cast when thou didst cast, but God cast. This is
explained of the miracle of the gravelstones and sand cast by God into the
eyes of the Meccans at Bedr.
8 That is, by our victory over you.
9 Muhammad specially addresses the Mohadjers in this verse, i.e. those who
had fled with him to Medin.
10 Twelve of the Koreisch had given camels and a large sum of money in aid of
the Meccan succours.
11 Lit. hath preceded.
12 Before Islam it had been the custom among the Arabians to assign a fourth
part of the booty to the leader of an expedition. See Freyt. Einl. p. 266.
13 That is, on the day of the battle of Bedr. See Sura xxi. 49, p. 154.
14 The mission of Gabriel to Muhammad with the promise of victory.
15 Compare the different account in Sura [xcvii.] iii. II. The commentators,
however, get over the discropancy by explaining the apparent diminution of
the Muslims at the commencement only of the battle, which had the effect of
drawing on the enemy in self-confidence.
16 The angels fighting for the Muslims.
17 By inducing them to attack so greatly superior a force.
18 Thus Beidh. Or, more simply, render them the like.
19 Comp. Lev. xxvi. 8; Josh. xxiii. 10.
20 Authorising the ransom of captives.
21 That is, a disposition to become Muslims.
22 That is, on account of their infidelity.
23 See Weil. Life of M. p. 84, n.
SURA1 XLVII.–MUHAMMAD [XCVI.]
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
WHOSO believe not, and prevent others from the way of God–their works will He
cause to miscarry;2
But whoso believe, and do things that are right, and believe in what hath
been sent down to MUHAMMAD–for it is the truth from their Lord–their sins
will He cancel, and dispose their hearts aright.
This–because the infidels followed vanity, while those who believe, followed
the truth from their Lord. Thus to men doth God set forth their likenesses.
When ye encounter the infidels,3 strike off their heads till ye have made a
great slaughter among them, and of the rest make fast the fetters.
And afterwards let there either be free dismissals or ransomings, till the
war hath laid down its burdens. Thus do. Were such the pleasure of God, he
could himself take vengeance upon them: but He would rather prove the one of
you by the other. And whoso fight for the cause of God, their works he will
not suffer to miscarry;
He will vouchsafe them guidance, and dispose their hearts aright;
And he will bring them into the Paradise, of which he hath told them.
Believers! if ye help God, God will help you, and will set your feet firm:
But as for the infidels, let them perish: and their works shall God bring to
This–because they were averse from the command which God sent down;
Fruitless, therefore, shall their works become!
Have they not journeyed through the land, and seen what hath been the end of
those who flourished before them? God brought destruction on them: and the
like of this doth await the infidels.
This–because God is the protector of those who believe, and because the
infidels have no protector.
Verily God will bring those who believe, and do the things that are right,
into the Gardens, beneath whose shades the rivers flow: but they who believe
not, take their fill, and eat as the beasts eat! And their dwelling-place the
And how many cities were mightier in strength than thy city, which hath
thrust thee forth!4 We destroyed them, and there was none to help them.
Shall he who followeth the clear teaching of his Lord be as he, the evil of
whose doings hath been made to seem good to him, or like those who follow
their own lusts?
A picture of the Paradise which is promised to the God-fearing! Therein are
rivers of water, which corrupt not: rivers of milk, whose taste changeth not:
and rivers of wine, delicious to those who quaff it;
And rivers of honey clarified: and therein are all kinds of fruit for them
from their Lord! Is this like the lot of those who must dwell for ever in the
fire? and shall have draughts of boiling water forced on them which will rend
their bowels asunder?
Some of them indeed hearken to thee, until when they go out from thee, they
say with sneers to those to whom "the knowledge" hath been given, "What is
this he said?" These are they whose hearts God hath sealed up, and who follow
their own lusts.
But as to those who have the guidance, He will increase their guidance, and
He will teach them what to fear.
For what do the infidels wait, but that the Hour come suddenly on them?
Already are its signs come,5 and when it hath come on them indeed, how can
they be warned then?
Know, then, that there is no god but God: and ask pardon for thy sin, and for
believers, both men and women. God knoweth your busy movements, and your
The believers say, "Oh, would that a Sura were sent down!"6 but when a
peremptory Sura is revealed, whose burden is war, thou mayest see the
diseased of heart look toward thee, with a look of one on whom the shadows of
death have fallen! But better in them would be obedience and becoming
And if, when the command for war is issued, they are true to God, it will be
assuredly best for them.
Were ye not ready, if ye had turned back from Him, to spread disorder in the
land, and violate the ties of blood?
These are they whom God hath cursed, and made deaf, and blinded their eyes!
Will they not then meditate on the Koran? Are locks upon their hearts?
But as to those who return to their errors after "the guidance" hath been
made plain to them, Satan shall beguile them, and fill them with his
This–because they say to those who abhor what God hath sent down, "We will
comply with you in part of what ye enjoin." But God knoweth their secret
But how? When the angels, in causing them to die, shall smite them on the
face and back!
This because they follow that which angereth God, and abhor what pleaseth
Him: therefore will He make their works fruitless.
Think these men of diseased hearts, that God will not bring out their malice
If such were our pleasure, we could point them out to thee, and thou surely
know them by their tokens: and know them thou shalt, by the strangeness of
their words.7 God knoweth your doings.
And we will surely test you, until we know the valiant and the steadfast
among you: and we will test the reports of your conduct.
Verily they who believe not, and turn others from the way of God, and
separate from the Apostle after that "the guidance" hath been clearly shewn
them, shall in no way injure God: but their works shall he bring to nought.
Believers! obey God and the Apostle: and render not your works vain.
Verily those who believe not, and who pervert others from the way of God, and
then die in unbelief, God will not forgive.
Be not fainthearted then; and invite not the infidels to peace when ye have
the upper hand: for God is with you, and will not defraud you of the
recompense of your works.
Surely this present life is only a play, and pastime! but if ye believe, fear
God; He will give you your rewards: but He will not ask all your riches of
Should He ask them of you, and urge you, ye would shew yourself niggards: and
He would bring your grudges to light.
Lo! ye are they, who are called to expend for the cause of God: and some of
you are niggards: but whoso is niggardly shall be niggard only to his own
loss; for God is the Rich, and ye are the poor: and if ye turn back, He will
change you for another people,8 and they shall not be your like!
1 This Sura was revealed at a period after the victory at Bedr, when there
was still some hesitation on the part of Muhammad's followers to take decided
steps for securing their position. See 37.
2 Lit. will He cause to wander, that is, from their proper aim and end, the
rewards of Paradise. See verse 5 ad f.
3 The Meccans and other unbelievers of Muhammad's time. The Hanefites suppose
this law to apply only to the battle of Bedr. The Shiites take it as of
4 This verse is said (by Omar b. Muhammad, and Itq. 43) to be the expression
of Muhammad's feelings at the injuries inflicted on Mecca. He is reported to
have wept over it.
5 The first sign being the mission of Muhammad; the second, the splitting of
the moon; the third, the smoke mentioned in Sura xliv. p. 89.
6 That is, commanding war against the infidels.
7 Unintelligible or affected words, applied to the new religion in contempt.
See Sura [xci.] ii. 56, p. 343.
8 Matt. xxi. 43.
SURA III.–THE FAMILY OF IMRAN1 [XCVII.]
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
ELIF. LAM. MIM.2 God! there is no god but He, the Living, the Merciful!
In truth hath He sent down to thee "the Book," which confirmeth those which
precede it: For He had sent down the Law, and the Evangel aforetime, as man's
Guidance; and now hath He sent down the "Illumination."3 (Furkan.)
Verily for those who believe not in the signs of God, is a severe
chastisement! And God is Mighty, the Avenger!
God! nought that is in Earth or that is in Heaven, is hidden unto Him. He it
is who formeth you in your mothers' wombs. There is no god but He; the
Mighty, the Wise!
He it is who hath sent down to thee "the Book." Some of its signs are of
themselves perspicuous;–these are the basis4 of the Book–and others are
figurative. But they whose hearts are given to err, follow its figures,
craving discord, craving an interpretation; yet none knoweth its
interpretation but God. And the stable in knowledge say, "We believe in it:
it is all from our Lord." But none will bear this in mind, save men endued
O our Lord! suffer not our hearts to go astray after that thou hast once
guided us, and give us mercy from before thee; for verily thou art He who
O our Lord! For the day of whose coming there is not a doubt, thou wilt
surely gather mankind together. Verily, God will not fail the promise.
As for the infidels, their wealth, and their children, shall avail them
nothing against God. They shall be fuel for the fire.
After the wont of the people of Pharaoh, and of those who went before them,
they treated our signs as falsehoods. Therefore God laid hold of them in
their sins; and God is severe in punishing!
Say to the infidels: ye shall be worsted, and to Hell shall ye be gathered
together; and wretched the couch!
Ye have already had a sign5 in the meeting of the two hosts. The one host
fought in the cause of God, and the other was infidel. To their own eyesight,
the infidels saw you twice as many as themselves: And God aided with his
succour whom He would: And in this truly was a lesson for men endued with
Fair-seeming to men is the love of pleasures from women and children, and the
treasured treasures of gold and silver, and horses of mark, and flocks, and
cornfields! Such the enjoyment of this world's life. But God! goodly the home
SAY: Shall I tell you of better things than these, prepared for those who
fear God, in His presence? Theirs shall be gardens, beneath whose pavilions
the rivers flow, and in which shall they abide for aye: and wives of
stainless purity, and acceptance with God: for God regardeth his servants–
Who say, "O our Lord! we have indeed believed; pardon us our sins, and keep
us from the torment of the fire;"–
The patient, and the truthful, the lowly, and the charitable, and they who
seek pardon at each daybreak.
God witnesseth that there is no god but He: and the angels, and men endued
with knowledge, stablished in righteousness, proclaim "There is no god but
He, the Mighty, the Wise!"
The true religion with God is Islam: and they to whom the Scriptures had been
given, differed not till after "the knowledge"6 had come to them, and through
mutual jealousy. But as for him who shall not believe in the signs of God–God
will be prompt to reckon with him!
If they shall dispute with thee, then SAY: I have surrendered myself to God,
as have they who follow me.
SAY to those who have received the Book, and to the common folk, Do ye
surrender yourselves unto God?7 If they become Muslims, then are they guided
aright: but if they turn away–thy duty is only preaching; and God's eye is on
But to those who believe not in the signs of God, and unjustly slay the
prophets, and slay those men who enjoin uprightness,–announce an afflictive
These are they whose works come to nought in this world, and in the next; and
none shall they have to help them!
Hast thou not marked those who have received a portion of the Scriptures,
when they are summoned to the Book of God, that it may settle their
differences? Then did a part of them turn back, and withdrew far off.
This–because they said, "The fire shall by no means touch us, but for certain
days:"–Their own devices have deceived them in their religion.
But how, when we shall assemble them together for the day of (which) whose
coming there is no doubt, and when every soul shall be paid what it hath
earned, and they shall not be wronged?
SAY: O God, possessor of all power,8 thou givest power to whom thou wilt, and
from whom thou wilt, thou takest it away! Thou raisest up whom thou wilt, and
whom thou wilt thou dost abase! In thy hand is good; for thou art over all
Thou causest the night to pass into the day, and thou causest the day to pass
into the night. Thou bringest the living out of the dead, and thou bringest
the dead out of the living; and thou givest sustenance to whom thou wilt,
Let not believers take infidels for their friends rather than believers:
whoso shall do this hath nothing to hope from God–unless, indeed, ye fear a
fear from them: But God would have you beware of Himself; for to God ye
return. SAY: Whether ye hide what is in your breasts, or whether ye publish
it abroad, God knoweth it: He knoweth what is in the heavens and what is in
the earth; and over all things is God potent.
On that day shall every soul find present to it, whatever it hath wrought of
good: and as to what it hath wrought of evil, it will wish that wide were the
space between itself and it! But God would have you beware of Himself; for
God is kind to His servants.
SAY: If ye love God, then follow me: God will love you, and forgive your
sins, for God is Forgiving, Merciful. SAY: Obey God and the Apostle; but if
ye turn away, then verily, God loveth not the unbelievers.
Verily above all human beings did God choose Adam, and Noah, and the family
of Abraham, and the family of IMRAN, the one the posterity of the other: And
God Heareth, Knoweth.
Remember when the wife of Imran9 said, "O my Lord! I vow to thee what is in
my womb, for thy special service. Accept it from me, for thou Hearest,
Knowest!" And when she had given birth to it, she said, "O my Lord! Verily I
have brought forth a female,"–God knew what she had brought forth; a male is
not as a female10–"and I have named her Mary, and I take refuge with thee for
her and for her offspring, from Satan the stoned."11
So with goodly acceptance did her Lord accept her, and with goodly growth did
he make her grow.12 Zacharias reared her. So oft as Zacharias went in to Mary
at the sanctuary, he found her supplied with food.13 "Oh, Mary!" said he,
"whence hast thou this?" She said, "It is from God; for God supplieth whom He
will, without reckoning!"
There did Zacharias call upon his Lord: "O my Lord!" said he, "vouchsafe me
from thyself good descendants,14 for thou art the hearer of prayer." Then did
the angels call to him, as he stood praying in the sanctuary:15
"God announceth John (Yahia) to thee, who shall be a verifier of the word
from God, and a great one, chaste, and a prophet of the number of the just."
He said, "O my Lord! how shall I have a son, now that old age hath come upon
me, and my wife is barren?" He said, "Thus will God do His pleasure."
He said, "Lord! give me a token." He said, "Thy token shall be, that for
three days thou shalt speak to no man but by signs: But remember thy Lord
often, and praise him at even and at morn:"
And remember when the angels said, "O Mary! verily hath God chosen thee,16
and purified thee, and chosen thee above the women of the worlds!
O Mary! be devout towards thy Lord,17 and prostrate thyself, and bow down
with those who bow."
This is one of the announcements of things unseen by thee: To thee, O
Muhammad! do we reveal it; for thou wast not with them when they cast lots
with reeds18 which of them should rear Mary; nor wast thou with them when
they disputed about it.
Remember when the angel said, "O Mary! Verily God announceth to thee the Word
from Him: His name shall be, Messiah Jesus the son of Mary,19 illustrious in
this world, and in the next, and one of those who have near access to God;
And He shall speak to men alike when in the cradle and when grown up; And he
shall be one of the just."
She said, "How, O my Lord! shall I have a son, when man hath not touched me?"
He said, "Thus: God will create what He will; When He decreeth a thing, He
only saith, 'Be,' and it is."
And he will teach him the Book, and the Wisdom, and the Law, and the Evangel;
and he shall be an apostle to the children of Israel. "Now have I come," he
will say, "to you with a sign from your Lord: Out of clay will I make for
you, as it were, the figure of a bird: and I will breathe into it, and it
shall become, by God's leave, a bird.20 And I will heal the blind, and the
leper; and by God's leave will I quicken the dead; and I will tell you what
ye eat, and what ye store up in your houses! Truly in this will be a sign for
you, if ye are believers.
And I have come to attest the law which was before me; and to allow you part
of that which had been forbidden you; and I come to you with a sign from your
Lord: Fear God, then, and obey me; of a truth God is my Lord, and your Lord:
Therefore worship Him. This is a right way."
And when Jesus perceived unbelief on their part, He said, "Who my helpers
with God?"20-21 The apostles21 said, "We will be God's helpers! We believe in
God, and bear thou witness that we are Muslims.
O our Lord! we believe in what thou hast sent down, and we follow the
apostle; write us up, then, with those who bear witness to him."
And the Jews plotted, and God plotted: But of those who plot is God the best.
Remember when God said, "O Jesus! verily I will cause thee to die,22 and will
take thee up to myself and deliver thee from those who believe not; and I
will place those who follow thee above those who believe not, until the day
of resurrection. Then, to me is your return, and wherein ye differ will I
decide between you.
And as to those who believe not, I will chastise them with a terrible
chastisement in this world and in the next; and none shall they have to help
But as to those who believe, and do the things that are right, He will pay
them their recompense. God loveth not the doers of evil.
These signs, and this wise warning do we rehearse to thee.
Verily, Jesus is as Adam in the sight of God.23 He created him of dust: He
then said to him, "Be"–and he was.
The truth from thy Lord! Be not thou, therefore, of those who doubt.
As for those 24 who dispute with thee about Him, after "theknowledge" hath
come to thee, SAY: Come,25 let us summon our sons and your sons, our wives
and your wives, and ourselves and yourselves. Then will we invoke and lay the
malison of God on those that lie!
This recital is very truth, and there is no god but God; and verily God is
the Mighty, the Wise.
But if they turn away, then verily God hath knowledge of the corrupt doers.
SAY: O people of the Book! come ye to a just judgment between us and you–That
we worship not aught but God, and that we join no other god with Him, and
that the one of us take not the other for lords,26 beside God. Then if they
turn their backs, SAY: Bear ye witness that we are Muslims.
O people of the Book! Why dispute about Abraham,27 when the Law and the
Evangel were not sent down till after him? Do ye not then understand?
Lo! ye are they who dispute about that in which ye have knowledge; 28 but why
dispute ye about that of which ye have no knowledge? God hath knowledge, but
ye know nothing.
Abraham was neither Jew nor Christian; but he was sound in the faith,29 a
Muslim; and not of those who add gods to God.
They among men, who are nearest of kin to Abraham, are surely those who
follow him, and this prophet Muhammad, and they who believe on him. And God
is the protector of the faithful.
A party among the people of the Book would fain mislead you: but they only
mislead themselves, and perceive it not.
O people of the Book! why disbelieve the signs of God, of which yourselves
have been witnesses?
O people of the Book! why clothe ye the truth with falsehood? Why wittingly
hide the truth?
Others of the people of the Book say: "Believe in what hath been sent down to
the believers, at daybreak, and deny it at its close"–Thus do they go back–
"And believe in those only who follow your Religion." SAY: True guidance is
guidance from God–that to others may be imparted the like of what hath been
imparted to you. Will they wrangle then with you in the presence of their
Lord? SAY: Plenteous gifts are in the hands of God: He imparteth them unto
whom He will, and God is Bounteous, Wise.
He will vouchsafe His mercy to whom He will, for God is of great
Among the people of the Book are some, to one of whom if thou entrust a
thousand dinars, he will restore them to thee: And there is of them to whom
if thou entrust a dinar, he will not restore it to thee, unless thou be ever
instant with him.
This–because they say, "We are not bound to keep faith with the ignorant
(Pagan) folk, and they utter a lie against God, and know they do so:"
But whoso is true to his engagement, and feareth God,–verily God loveth those
that fear Him.
Verily they who barter their engagement with God, and their oaths, for some
paltry price–These! no portion for them in the world to come! and God will
not speak to them, and will not look on them, on the day of resurrection, and
will not assoil them! for them, a grievous chastisement!
And some truly are there among them who torture the Scriptures with their
tongues, in order that ye may suppose it to be from the Scripture, yet it is
not from the Scripture. And they say, "This is from God;" yet it is not from
God: and they utter a lie against God, and they know they do so.
It beseemeth not a man, that God should give him the Scriptures and the
Wisdom, and the gift of prophecy, and that then he should say to his
followers, "Be ye worshippers of me, as well as of God;" 30 but rather, "Be
ye perfect in things pertaining to God, since ye know the Scriptures, and
have studied deep."
God doth not command you to take the angels or the prophets as lords.31 What!
would he command you to become infidels after ye have been Muslims?
When God entered into covenant with the prophets,32 he said, "This is the
Book and the Wisdom which I give you. Hereafter shall a prophet came unto you
to confirm the Scriptures already with you. Ye shall surely believe on him,
and ye shall surely aid him. Are ye resolved?" said he, "and do ye accept the
covenant on these terms?" They said, "We are resolved;" "Be ye then the
witnesses," said he, "and I will be a witness as well as you.
And whoever turneth back after this, these are surely the perverse."
Other religion than that of God desire they? To him doth everything that is
in the Heavens and in the Earth submit, in willing or forced obedience! and
to Him do they return.
SAY: We believe in God, and in what hath been sent down to us, and what hath
been sent down to Abraham, and Ismael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes,
and in what was given to Moses, and Jesus, and the Prophets, from their Lord.
We make no difference between them. And to Him are we resigned (Muslims).
Whoso desireth any other religion than Islam, that religion shall never be
accepted from him, and in the next world he shall be among the lost.
How shall God guide a people who, after they had believed and bore witness
that the apostle was true, and after that clear proofs of his mission had
reached them, disbelieved? God guideth not the people who transgress.
These! their recompense, that the curse of God, and of angels, and of all
men, is on them!
Under it shall they abide for ever; their torment shall not be assuaged! nor
shall God even look upon them!–
Save those who after this repent and amend; for verily God is Gracious,
As for those who become infidels, after having believed, and then increase
their infidelity–their repentance shall never be accepted. These! they are
the erring ones.
As for those who are infidels, and die infidels, from no one of them shall as
much gold as the earth could contain be accepted, though he should offer it
in ransom. These! a grievous punishment awaiteth them; and they shall have
none to help them.
Ye shall never attain to goodness till ye give alms of that which ye love;
and whatever ye give, of a truth God knoweth it.
All food was allowed to the children of Israel, except what Jacob forbad
himself, ere the law was sent down; SAY: Bring ye then the law and read it,
if ye be men of truth.
And whoso after this inventeth the lie about God: These are evil doers.
SAY: God speaketh truth. Follow, therefore, the religion of Abraham, the
sound in faith, who was not one of those who joined other gods to God.
The first temple that was founded for mankind, was that in Becca,33–Blessed,
and a guidance to human beings.
In it are evident signs, even the standing-place34 of Abraham: and he who
entereth it is safe. And the pilgrimage to the temple, is a service due to
God from those who are able to journey thither.
And as to him who believeth not–verily God can afford to dispense with all
SAY: O people of the Book! why disbelieve ye the signs of God? But God is
witness of your doings.
SAY: O people of the Book! why repel believers from the way of God? Ye fain
would make it crooked, and yet ye are its witnesses! But God is not
regardless of what ye do.
O believers! if ye obey some amongst those who have received the Scripture,
after your very Faith will they make you infidels!
But how can ye become infidels, when the signs of God are recited to you, and
his prophet is among you? Whoever holdeth fast by God, is already guided to a
O ye believers! fear God as He deserveth to be feared! and die not till ye
have become Muslims.
And hold ye fast by the cord 35 of God, all of you, and break not loose from
it; and remember God's goodness towards you, how that when ye were enemies,
He united your hearts, and by his favour ye became brethren;
And when ye were on the brink of the pit of fire, he drew you back from it.
Thus God clearly sheweth you his signs that ye may be guided;
And that there may be among you a people who invite to the Good, and enjoin
the Just, and forbid the Wrong. These are they with whom it shall be well.
And be ye not like those who have formed divisions, and fallen to variance
after the clear proofs have come to them. These! a terrible chastisement doth
On THE DAY when faces shall turn white, and faces shall turn black! And as to
those whose faces shall have turned black ". . . .What! after your belief
have ye become infidels? Taste then the chastisement, for that ye have been
And as to those whose faces shall have become white, they shall be within the
mercy of God: therein shall they abide for ever.
These are the signs of God: we recite them to thee in truth: And God willeth
not injustice to mankind.
Whatever is in the Heavens, and whatever is on the Earth, is God's. And to
God shall all things return.
Ye are the best folk that hath been raised up unto mankind. Ye enjoin the
Just, and ye forbid the Evil, and ye believe in God: And if the people of the
Book had believed, it had surely been better for them! Believers there are
among them, but most of them are perverse.
They will never inflict on you but a trifling damage; and if they do battle
with you, they shall turn their backs to you: then they shall not be
Shame shall be stamped upon them36 wherever found, unless they ally them with
God and men! And the wrath of God will they incur, and poverty shall be
stamped upon them! This–for that they believed not in the signs of God, and
slew the prophets unjustly: This–because they rebelled, and became
Yet all are not alike: Among the people of the Book is an upright folk, who
recite the signs of God in the night-season, and adore:
They believe in God and in the latter day, and enjoin justice, and forbid
evil, and speed on in good works. These are of the righteous.
And of whatever good ye do, ye shall not be denied the meed. God knoweth
those who fear Him.
But as for the infidels, their wealth, and their children shall avail them
nothing against God. They shall be the inmates of the fire, to abide therein
The alms which they bestow in this present life, are like a freezing wind,
which falleth upon and destroyeth the cornfields of a people who have been to
themselves unjust. God doeth them no injustice, but to themselves are they
O ye who have believed! form not intimacies among others than yourselves.
They will not fail to corrupt you. They long for your ruin. Hatred hath
already shewn itself out of their mouths, but more grievous is what their
breasts conceal. The tokens thereof we have already made plain to you, if ye
See now! ye love them, but they love not you. Ye believe the entire Book. And
when they meet you, they say, "We believe;" but when they are apart, they
bite their fingers' ends at you, out of wrath. SAY: "Die in your wrath!" God
truly knoweth the very recesses of your breasts.
If good befalleth you it grieveth them, and when ill lighteth on you, they
rejoice in it. But if ye be steadfast and fear God, their craft shall in no
way harm you. For God is round about their doings.
And remember when thou didst leave thy household at early morn, that thou
mightest prepare the faithful a camp for the war;37–God heard, knew it–
When two troops of you became full of anxious thoughts, and lost heart, and
when God became the protector of both! In God, then, let the faithful trust.
God had already succoured you at Bedr, when ye were the weaker! Fear God,
then, that ye may be thankful.
Then thou didst say to the faithful, "Is it not enough for you that your Lord
aideth you with three thousand angels sent down from on high?"
Aye: but ye if be steadfast and fear God, and the foe come upon you in hot
haste, your Lord will help you with five thousand angels in their
This, as pure good tidings for you, did God appoint, that your hearts might
be assured–for only from God, the Mighty, the Wise, cometh the Victory–and
that He might cut off the uttermost part of those who believed not, or cast
them down so that they should be overthrown, defeated without resource.
It is none of thy concern whether He be turned unto them in kindness or
chastise them: for verily they are wrongful doers.
Whatever is in the Heavens and the Earth is God's! He forgiveth whom He will,
and whom He will, chastiseth: for God is Forgiving, Merciful.
O ye who believe! devour not usury, doubling it again and again! But fear
God, that ye may prosper.
And fear the fire which is prepared for them that believe not; and obey God
and the apostle, that ye may find mercy:
And vie in haste for pardon from your Lord, and a Paradise, vast as the
Heavens and the Earth, prepared for the God-fearing.
Who give alms, alike in prosperity and in success, and who master their
anger, and forgive others! God loveth the doers of good.
They who, after they have done a base deed or committed a wrong against their
own selves, remember God and implore forgiveness of their sins–and who will
forgive sins but God only?–and persevere not in what they have wittingly done
As for these! Pardon from their Lord shall be their recompense, and gardens
'neath which the rivers flow; for ever shall they abide therein: And goodly
the reward of those who labour!
Already, before your time, have examples been made! Traverse the earth, then,
and see what hath been the end of those who treat prophets as liars.
This Koran is a manifest to man, and a guidance, and a warning to the God-
And be not fainthearted, and be not sorrowful: For ye shall gain the upper
hand if ye be believers.39
If a wound hath befallen you, a wound like it hath already befallen others:
we alternate these days of successes and reverses among men, that God may
know those who have believed, and that He may take martyrs from among you,–
but God loveth not the wrongful doers–
And that God may test those who believe, and destroy the infidels.
Thought ye that ye should enter Paradise ere God had taken knowledge of those
among you who did valiantly, and of those who steadfastly endure?
Ye had desired death ere ye met it. But ye have now seen it–and ye have
beheld it–and fled from it!
Muhammad is no more than an apostle; other apostles have already passed away
before him: if he die, therefore,40 or be slain, will ye turn upon your
heels?41 But he who turneth on his heels shall not injure God at all: And God
will certainly reward the thankful!
No one can die except by God's permission, according to the Book that fixeth
the term of life.42 He who desireth the recompense of this world, we will
give him thereof; And he who desireth the recompense of the next life, we
will give him thereof! And we will certainly reward the thankful.
How many a prophet hath combated those who had with them many myriads! Yet
were they not daunted at what befel them on the path of God, nor were they
weakened, nor did they basely submit! God loveth those who endure with
Nor said they more than this:43 "O our Lord! forgive us our sins and our
mistakes in this our work; and set our feet firm; and help us against the
unbelieving people." And God gave them the recompense of this world, and the
excellence of the recompense of the next. For God loveth the doers of what is
O ye who have believed! if ye obey the infidels, they will cause you to turn
upon your heels,44 and ye will fall back into perdition:
But God is your liege lord, and He is the best of helpers.
We will cast a dread into hearts of the infidels because they have joined
gods with God without warranty sent down; their abode shall be the fire; and
wretched shall be the mansion of the evil doers.
Already had God made good to you His promise, when by His permission ye
destroyed your foes, until your courage failed you, and ye disputed about the
order,45 and disobeyed, after that the Prophet had brought you within view of
that for which ye longed.46
Some of you were for this world, and some for the next.47 Then, in order to
make trial of you, He turned you to flight from them,–yet hath He now
forgiven you; for all-bounteous is God to the faithful–
When ye came up the height48 and took no heed of any one, while the Prophet
in your rear was calling you to the fight! God hath rewarded you with trouble
upon trouble, that ye might learn not to be chagrined at your loss of booty,
or at what befel you! God is acquainted with your actions.
Then after the trouble God sent down security upon you. Slumber fell upon a
part of you: as to the other part–their own passions stirred them up to think
unjustly of God with thoughts of ignorance! They said–What gain we by this
affair? SAY: Verily the affair resteth wholly with God. They hid in their
minds what they did not speak out to thee, saying, "Were we to have gained
aught in this affair, none of us had been slain at this place." SAY: Had ye
remained in your homes, they who were decreed to be slain would have gone
forth to the places where they lie:–in order that God might make trial of
what was in your breasts, and might discover what was in your hearts, for God
knoweth the very secrets of the breast.
Of a truth it was Satan alone who caused those of you to fail in duty who
turned back on the day when the hosts met, for some of their doings! But now
hath God pardoned them; For God is Forgiving, Gracious.
O ye who believe! be not like the infidels, who said of their brethren when
they had travelled by land or had gone forth to war, "Had they kept with us,
they had not died, and had not been slain!" God purposed that this affair
should cause them heart sorrow! God maketh alive and killeth; and God
beholdeth your actions.
And if ye shall be slain or die on the path of God, then pardon from God and
mercy is better than all your amassings;
For if ye die or be slain, verily unto God shall ye be gathered.
Of the mercy of God thou hast spoken to them in gentle terms. Hadst thou been
severe and harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from thee. Therefore,
forgive and ask for pardon for them, and consult them in the affair of war,
and when thou art resolved, then put thou thy trust in God, for God loveth
those who trust in Him.
If God help you, none shall overcome you; but if He abandon you, who is he
that shall help you when He is gone? In God, then, let the faithful trust.
It is not the Prophet who will defraud you;49–But he who shall defraud, shall
come forth with his defraudings on the day of the resurrection: then shall
every soul be paid what it hath merited, and they shall not be treated with
Shall he who hath followed the good pleasure of God be as he who hath brought
on himself wrath from God, and whose abode shall be Hell? and wretched the
There are varying grades with God: and God beholdeth what ye do.
Now hath God been gracious to the faithful, when he raised up among them an
apostle out of their own people, to rehearse unto them his signs, and to
cleanse them, and to give them knowledge of the Book and of Wisdom: for
before they were in manifest error.
When a reverse hath befallen you,50 the like of which ye had before
inflicted, say ye, "Whence is this?" SAY: It is from yourselves. For God hath
power over all things.
And that which befel you on the day when the armies met, was certainly by the
will of God, and that he might know the faithful, and that he might know the
hypocrites! And when the word was "Advance, fight on the path of God, or
drive back the foe,"–they said, "Had we known how to fight, we would have
followed you." Nearer were some of them on that day to unbelief, than to
They said with their lips what was not in their hearts! But God knew what
Who said of their brethren while themselves sat at home,
"Had they obeyed us, they had not been slain." SAY: Keep back death from
yourselves if ye speak truth.
And repute not those slain on God's path to be dead.51 Nay, alive with their
Lord, are they richly sustained;
Rejoicing in what God of his bounty hath vouchsafed them, filled with joy for
those who follow after them, but have not yet overtaken them, that on them
nor fear shall come, nor grief;
Filled with joy at the favours of God, and at his bounty: and that God
suffereth not the reward of the faithful to perish.
As to those who after the reverse52 which befel them, respond to God and the
Apostle–such of them as do good works and fear God, shall have a great
Who, when men said to them, "Now are the Meccans mustering against you;
therefore fear them!" it only increased their faith, and they said, "Our
sufficiency is God, and He is an excellent protector."
They returned, therefore, with the favour of God, enriched by Him, and
untouched by harm; and they followed what was well pleasing to God. And God
is of great Munificence.
Only would that Satan53 instil the fear of his adherents: Fear them not, but
fear me if ye are believers.
Let not those who vie in haste after infidelity grieve thee: Verily not one
whit shall they injure God! God will refuse them all part in the life to
come: a severe chastisement shall be their lot.
They truly who purchase infidelity at the price of their faith, shall not
injure God one whit! and a grievous chastisement shall be their lot.
Let not the infidels deem that the length of days we give them is good for
them! We only give them length of days that they may increase their sins! and
a shameful chastisement shall be their lot.
It is not in God to leave the faithful in the State in which they are, until
he sever the bad from the good:
Nor is God minded to lay open the secret things to you, but God chooseth whom
he will of his apostles to know them.54 Believe, therefore, in God and his
apostles: and if ye believe and fear God, a great reward awaiteth you.
And let not those who are niggard of what God hath vouchsafed them in his
bounty, think that this will be good for them–Nay, it will be bad for them–
That of which they have been niggard shall be their collar on the day of the
resurrection. God's, the heritage of the Heavens and of the Earth! And God is
well-informed of all ye do.
Now hath God heard the saying of those who said: "Aye, God is poor and we are
rich."55 We will surely write down their sayings, and their unjust slaughter
of the prophets; and and we will say, "Taste ye the torment of the burning.
This, for what your hands have sent before you; and because God will not
inflict a wrong upon his servants!"
To those who say, "Verily, God hath enjoined us that we are not to credit an
apostle until he present us a sacrifice which fire out of Heaven shall
SAY: Already have apostles before me come to you with miracles, and with that
of which ye speak. Wherefore slew ye them? Tell me, if ye are men of truth.
And if they treat thee as a liar, then verily apostles have been treated as
liars before thee, though they came with clear proofs of their mission, and
with Scriptures, and with the light-giving Book.
Every soul shall taste of death: and ye shall only receive your recompenses
on the day of resurrection. And whoso shall scape the fire, and be brought
into Paradise, shall be happy. And the life of this world is but a cheating
Ye shall assuredly be tried in your possessions and in yourselves. And many
hurtful things shall ye assuredly hear from those to whom the Scriptures were
given before you, and from those who join other gods with God. But if ye be
steadfast, and fear God this verily is needed in the affairs of life.
Moreover, when God entered into a convenant with those to whom the Scriptures
had been given, and said, "Ye shall surely make it known to mankind and not
hide it," they cast it behind their backs, and sold it for a sorry price! But
vile is that for which they have sold it.
Suppose not that they who rejoice in what they have brought to pass, and love
to be praised for what they have not done56–suppose not they shall escape the
chastisement. An afflictive chastisement doth await them,
For the Kingdom of the Heavens and the Earth is God's, and God hath power
over all things.
Verily, in the creation of the Heavens and of the Earth, and in the
succession of the night and of the day, are signs for men of understanding
Who standing, and sitting, and reclining, bear God in mind, and muse on the
creation of the Heavens and of the Earth. "O our Lord!" say they, "thou hast
not created this in vain. No. Glory be to Thee! Keep us, then, from the
torment of the fire.
O our Lord! surely thou wilt put him to shame whom thou shalt cause to enter
into the Fire, and the wrong-doers shall have none to help them.
O our Lord! we have indeed heard the voice of one that called. He called us
to the faith–’Believe on your Lord’–and we have believed.
O our Lord! forgive us then our sin, and hide away from us our evil deeds,
and cause us to die with the righteous.
O our Lord! and give us what thou hast promised us by thine apostles, and put
us not to shame on the day of the resurrection. Verily, Thou wilt not fail
And their Lord answereth them, "I will not suffer the work of him among you
that worketh, whether of male or female, to be lost. The one of you is the
issue of the other.57
And they who have fled their country and quitted their homes and suffered in
my cause, and have fought and fallen, I will blot out their sins from them,
and I will bring them into gardens beneath which the streams do flow."
A recompense from God! and God! with His is the perfection of recompense!
Let not prosperity in the land58 on the part of those who believe not,
deceive thee. 'Tis but a brief enjoyment! Then shall Hell be their abode; and
wretched the bed!
But as to those who fear their Lord–for them are the gardens 'neath which the
rivers flow: therein shall they abide for aye. Such their reception with God–
and that which is with God is best for the righteous.
Among the people of the Book are those who believe in God, and in what He
hath sent down to you, and in what He hath sent down to them, humbling
themselves before God. They barter not the signs of God for a mean price.
These! their recompense awaiteth them with their Lord: aye! God is swift to
O ye who believe! be patient, and vie in patience, and be firm, and fear God,
that it may be well with you.
1 Verses 1-87 probably belong to the period between the battle of Bedr and
Hej. 6.–Muhammad supposed Imran or Amran to be the father of the Virgin Mary
(Sura [cix.] lxvi. 12)–Mary and Elizabeth to be sisters; who, with Jesus,
John, and Zacharias, make up the family of Imran. It is difficult to avoid
the conclusion that Muhammad is guilty of the anachronism of confounding
Miriam with the Virgin Mary. On the other hand is the difficulty of
conceiving that as the sequence of time and fact is observed with tolerable
accuracy in regard to the main features of Jewish and Christian History, he
should have fallen into so serious an error, or have so inadvertently
adopted, as Mr. Muir supposes, the phraseology of his Jewish informants
(amongst whom the only well-known Mary (Miriam) was the daughter of Imran and
the sister of Moses) as to have overlooked the discrepancy in their
respective dates. But it is possible that Muhammad believed, as some Muslim
writers assert, that Miriam's soul and body were miraculously preserved till
the time of Jesus in order to become Mary his mother. Certainly the
Talmudists fabled that the Angel of Death and the worm of corruption had no
power over Miriam. Comp. Babha Bathra, 17. Jos. Ant. iv. 4, 6.
2 See note, p. 32.
3 See Sura xxi. 49, p. 154, n.
4 Lit. mother.
5 In the battle of Bedr, Muhammad, with 319 followers routed 1000 Meccans,
6 That is, knowledge, or revelation, became the cause of disputings.
7 That is, will ye receive Islam? The Ummiin, or common folk, the heathen
Arabians destitute of Revelation. In the earliest extant biography of
Muhammad by Ibn Ishaq, we find these words addressed by Zaid, previous to the
assumption of the prophetic office by Muhammad, to the Koreisch. This is one
of the facts which shew that the way was to a great extent prepared for
Islam. This whole address of Zaid's–which contains not less than six passages
afterwards repeated in the Koran–may be seen in Dr. Sprenger's Life of M. p.
42. The instances of others who had learned to disbelieve in idolatry, and
had either become Jews or Christians, or held their minds in suspense, might
easily be multiplied. Comp. Sharastani, p. 437. Masudi, ch. 6.
8 The King of the Kingdom, or, Lord of Might. This verse and the following
are either fragments of some lost Sura, or belonging to one of the Meccan
Suras. At any rate, they are misplaced, interrupting as they do the
connection of the preceding and subsequent verses.
9 The wife of Imran is Hannah or Anne. Comp. Protev. Jac. iv. [greek text].–
Evang. de Nat. Mar. 1: Voverunt tamen (Mari‘ parentes) si forte donaret eis
Deus sobolem, eam se Dni servitio mancipaturos.–Although Muhammad had no
direct access to the Apocryphal Gospels, yet these may have influenced, or at
any rate, contained much in common with, the ordinary traditions of S. Syria.
And of this, the Immaculate Conception of the B. V. Mary, supposed by Gibbon
(ch. 50) to have been "borrowed from the Koran," probably formed a part.
10 That is, the female could not become a priest.
11 See note, p. 114.
12 According to a tradition of Muhammad every new-born child is touched by
Satan, with the exception of Mary and her Son, between whom and Satan God
interposed a veil. (Djelal. Beidh.) Hence this passage may imply the
Immaculate Conception of the B. V. Mary. See v. 37 below.
13 Evang. de Nat. Mar. 7: Quotidie ab angelis frequentabatur, quotidie divinâ
visione fruebatur, queam a malis omnibus custodiebat et bonis omnibus
redundare faciebat. Protev. Jac. 8: [greek text]. Hist. Nativ. Mar. 6:
Quotidie escâ, quam de manu angeli accipiebat, ipsâ tantum reficiebatur.
14 The word rendered descendants is a collective noun. Gerock (p. 20) thinks
that Zacharias' prayer was not for a son of his own, but for an adopted son–
as, for instance, the future husband of Mary who might become his heir, and
hence accounts for his surprise and unbelief at the announcement of John.
15 Lit. chamber. By this may be meant an [greek text] of the Temple Comp.
Luke i. 21.
16 Luke i. 28.
17 Hist. de Nativ. Mar. 6: Abierunt simul Joachim et Anna uxor ejus ad
templum domini, et . . . tradiderunt . . . Mariam in contubernio virginum qu‘
die noctuque in Dei laudibus manebant.
18 These reeds, say the commentators, were written over with passages from
the law, and cast into Jordan. That of Zacharias alone swam, and was the
token that the charge of Mary was to devolve on him. Others render, their
divining arrows. See a detailed account of the manner in which this matter
was settled by [greek text], virgae, in Protev. Jac. Thilo. p. 204. Hist.
Nat. Mar. ib. p. 359 sqq.
19 Ar. El-Mesich Isa ben Mariam, illustrious in this world as a Prophet, in
the next as an Intercessor. Beidh.
20 Evang. Thom‘, ch. 2 (Thilo. p. 281) and Evang. Infantić Arab. ch. 36, 46.
(Thilo. p. 111, 123.)
20-21a (0) Addenda: Lit. who my helpers unto God? i.e., helpers of his
religion (Beidh). If Muhammad had become, by any means, acquainted with the
use of the Ćth. radeh, helper or disciple, we have herein a probable
interpretation of this passage, as well as of the word Ansar.
21 See Sura [cxiv.] v. 111.
22 Muhammad probably believed that God took the dead body of Jesus to Heaven–
for three hours according to some–while the Jews crucified a man who
resembled him. Sura [c.] iv. 156. The word motewaffika (comp. Sura [lxxx.]
xxxix. 156) means, in speaking of God, to cause to die, take to himself. It
would also seem from Sura [lviii.] xix. 34, that Muhammad supposed Jesus to
have died a natural death, though it is nowhere said how long he continued in
that state. The Muhammadans believe that Jesus on his return to earth at the
end of the world will slay the Antichrist, die, and be raised again. A vacant
place is reserved for his body in the Prophet's tomb at Medina. See Lieut.
Burton's Pilgrimage, vol. ii.
23 Lit. verily the similitude or analogy of Isa is as the similitude or
analogy of Adam, i.e. neither of them had a human father.
24 This refers to an embassy from the Christians in Nedjran in Arabia, with
their Bishop, Abu Hareth, at their head, to Muhammad at Medina, who had now
acquired political power. The embassy declined to be parties to the strange
mode of settling the dispute here proposed, but consented to pay tribute on
condition of not being molested in their religion or lands.
25 If this be not a mere figure of speech, it must mean let us call over and
curse the names, the persons being at a distance.
26 As the Christians do their Bishops and Priests.
27 Whether he were a Jew or Christian.
28 About Moses and Jesus, and their respective faiths.
29 See Sura xvi. 121, p. 209, note.
30 Muhammad insinuates that the claim to be equal with God could never have
been made by Jesus himself, but by his followers, in ignorance of the
Scriptures and of his true nature.
31 That is, to call them rabb–a title due only to God.
32 Assembled on Mount Sinai. Compare the Jewish legend, that all the
prophets, even those who were not yet born, were present on Mount Sinai, when
God gave the law to Moses. See Shemoth Rabba. Parashah 28, according to
which, not only the Prophets but the Rabbis of every generation, were present
at the giving of the Law.
33 Becca, place of crowding, i.e. Mecca. This sentence, together with other
Suras–the Cave, Mary, Imran, Repentance, T, H, are woven into the Kiswah or
covering of the Caaba, which is renewed annually.
34 The Makam Ibrahim (praying place of Abraham) is a small building supported
by six pillars about 8 ft. high, four of which are surrounded from top to
bottom by a fine iron railing, while they leave the space between the two
hind pillars open; within the railing is a frame about 5 ft. square, said to
contain the sacred stone on which Ibrahim stood when he built the Caaba.
Burckhardt. Lieut. Burton (Pilgrimage, iii. 336) says that as the Arab
tradition speaks clearly and consistently as to the fact of Abraham having
visited Mecca to build the Caaba, it may be considered an open question. Thus
also Dr. G. W. Freytag (Einl.).
35 The Koran.
36 Or, they are smitten with. Sale. S'etendra comme une tente. Kas.
37 This probably refers to the battle of Ohod.
38 The Arabic word occurs at verse 13 of horses as known by certain marks. So
here these angels would be known by their accoutrements, etc.
39 This and the following verses to 154 were probably revealed shortly after
the reverse of Ohod.
40 This verse and xxxix. 31 (p.257) were recited at Muhammad's death by Abu
Bekr, in order to convince Omar and the other Muslims of the possibility of
that event. It has been supposed that these passages were invented by Abu
Bekr on this occasion, and inserted into the Koran. But this is more than
doubtful. See Nöldeke, pp. 199-201.
41 That is, return to idolatry. A report had been spread in the battle of
Ohod that Muhammad had been slain.
42 Lit. according to a writing (i.e. of God) definite. The Rabbins also teach
(Com. Tract. Rosch. Haschanah) that there are books in which God has written
down the lifetime of every individual. Lit. No soul can die.
43 Lit. and their saying was no other than that they said.
44 To relapse into infidelity. The Koreisch attempted to seduce the Muslims
to renounce their faith after the battle of Ohod.
45 The command to abstain from taking the spoils. This disobedience turned
the scale of victory against the Muslims.
46 Victory and plunder.
47 Some took to flight, others stood firm, and were not careful of their
48 That is, in confused rout.
49 Muhammad had been accused of having secretly appropriated a portion of the
50 At Ohod.
51 See Sura [xci.] ii. 149.
52 At Ohod; lit. wound.
53 Lit. that Satan. Said to refer to Noaim, or Abu Sofian, the leader of the