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The Koran by Mohammed

Part 2 out of 14

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The orphan who is near of kin, or the poor that lieth in the dust;

Beside this, to be of those who believe, and enjoin stedfastness on each
other, and enjoin compassion on each other.

These shall be the people of the right hand:

While they who disbelieve our signs,

Shall be the people of the left.

Around them the fire shall close.


1 Lit. and begetter and what he hath begotten

2 Of good and evil.

3 Thus we read in Hilchoth Matt'noth Aniim, c. 8, "The ransoming of captives
takes precedence of the feeding and clothing of the poor, and there is no
commandment so great as this."


MECCA.–5 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

HAST thou not seen1 how thy Lord dealt with the army of the ELEPHANT?

Did he not cause their stratagem to miscarry?

And he sent against them birds in flocks (ababils),

Claystones did they hurl down upon them,

And he made them like stubble eaten down!


1 This Sura is probably Muhammad's appeal to the Meccans, intended at the
same time for his own encouragement, on the ground of their deliverance from
the army of Abraha, the Christian King of Abyssinia and Arabia Felix, said to
have been lost in the year of Muhammad's birth in an expedition against Mecca
for the purpose of destroying the Caaba. This army was cut off by small-pox
(Wakidi; Hishami), and there is no doubt, as the Arabic word for small-pox
also means "small stones," in reference to the hard gravelly feeling of the
pustules, what is the true interpretation of the fourth line of this Sura,
which, like many other poetical passages in the Koran, has formed the
starting point for the most puerile and extravagant legends. Vide Gibbon's
Decline and Fall, c. 1. The small-pox first shewed itself in Arabia at the
time of the invasion by Abraha. M. de Hammer Gemaldesaal, i. 24. Reiske
opusc. Med. Arabum. Hal‘, 1776, p. 8.


MECCA.–4 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

For the union of the KOREISCH:–

Their union in equipping caravans winter and summer.

And let them worship the Lord of this house, who hath provided them with food
against hunger,

And secured them against alarm.1


1 In allusion to the ancient inviolability of the Haram, or precinct round
Mecca. See Sura, xcv. n. p. 41. This Sura, therefore, like the preceding, is
a brief appeal to the Meccans on the ground of their peculiar privileges.


MECCA.–5 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

VERILY, we have caused It1 to descend on the night of POWER.

And who shall teach thee what the night of power is?

The night of power excelleth a thousand months:

Therein descend the angels and the spirit by permission of their Lord for
every matter;2

And all is peace till the breaking of the morn.


1 The Koran, which is now pressed on the Meccans with increased prominence,
as will be seen in many succeeding Suras of this period.

2 The night of Al Kadr is one of the last ten nights of Ramadhan, and as is
commonly believed the seventh of those nights reckoning backward. See Sura
xliv. 2. "Three books are opened on the New Year's Day, one of the perfectly
righteous, one of the perfectly wicked, one of the intermediate. The
perfectly righteous are inscribed and sealed for life," etc. Bab. Talm. Rosh.
Hash., § I.


MECCA. 17 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

BY the heaven, and by the NIGHT-COMER!

But who shall teach thee what the night-comer is?

'Tis the star of piercing radiance.

Over every soul is set a guardian.

Let man then reflect out of what he was created.

He was created of the poured-forth germs,

Which issue from the loins and breastbones:

Well able then is God to restore him to life,–

On the day when all secrets shall be searched out,

And he shall have no other might or helper.

I swear by the heaven which accomplisheth its cycle,

And by the earth which openeth her bosom,

That this Koran is a discriminating discourse,

And that it is not frivolous.

They plot a plot against thee,

And I will plot a plot against them.

Deal calmly therefore with the infidels; leave them awhile alone.


MECCA.–15 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

BY the SUN and his noonday brightness!

By the Moon when she followeth him!

By the Day when it revealeth his glory!

By the Night when it enshroudeth him!

By the Heaven and Him who built it!

By the Earth and Him who spread it forth!

By a Soul and Him who balanced it,

And breathed into it its wickedness and its piety,

Blessed now is he who hath kept it pure,

And undone is he who hath corrupted it!

Themoud1 in his impiety rejected the message of the Lord,

When the greatest wretch among them rushed up:–

Said the Apostle of God to them,–"The Camel of God! let her drink."

But they treated him as an impostor and hamstrung her.

So their Lord destroyed them for their crime, and visited all alike:

Nor feared he the issue.


1 See Sura vii. 33, for the story of Themoud.


MECCA.–42 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

HE FROWNED, and he turned his back,1

Because the blind man came to him!

But what assured thee that he would not be cleansed by the Faith,

Or be warned, and the warning profit him?

As to him who is wealthy–

To him thou wast all attention:

Yet is it not thy concern if he be not cleansed:2

But as to him who cometh to thee in earnest,

And full of fears–

Him dost thou neglect.

Nay! but it (the Koran) is a warning;

(And whoso is willing beareth it in mind)

Written on honoured pages,

Exalted, purified,

By the hands of Scribes, honoured, righteous.

Cursed be man! What hath made him unbelieving?

Of what thing did God create him?

Out of moist germs.3

He created him and fashioned him,

Then made him an easy passage from the womb,

Then causeth him to die and burieth him;

Then, when he pleaseth, will raise him again to life.

Aye! but man hath not yet fulfilled the bidding of his Lord.

Let man look at his food:

It was We who rained down the copious rains,

Then cleft the earth with clefts,

And caused the upgrowth of the grain,

And grapes and healing herbs,

And the olive and the palm,

And enclosed gardens thick with trees,

And fruits and herbage,

For the service of yourselves and of your cattle.

But when the stunning trumpet-blast shall arrive,4

On that day shall a man fly from his brother,

And his mother and his father,

And his wife and his children;

For every man of them on that day his own concerns shall be enough.

There shall be faces on that day radiant,

Laughing and joyous:

And faces on that day with dust upon them:

Blackness shall cover them!

These are the Infidels, the Impure.


1 We are told in the traditions, etc., that when engaged in converse with
Walid, a chief man among the Koreisch, Muhammad was interrupted by the blind
Abdallah Ibn Omm Maktûm, who asked to hear the Koran. The Prophet spoke very
roughly to him at the time, but afterwards repented, and treated him ever
after with the greatest respect. So much so, that he twice made him Governor
of Medina.

2 That is, if he does not embrace Islam, and so become pure from sin, thou
wilt not be to blame; thou art simply charged with the delivery of a message
of warning.

3 Ex spermate.

4 Descriptions of the Day of Judgment now become very frequent. See Sura
lxxxv. p. 42, and almost every Sura to the lv., after which they become
gradually more historical.


MECCA.–19 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

PRAISE the name of thy Lord THE MOST HIGH,

Who hath created and balanced all things,

Who hath fixed their destinies and guideth them,

Who bringeth forth the pasture,

And reduceth it to dusky stubble.

We will teach thee to recite the Koran, nor aught shalt thou forget,

Save what God pleaseth; for he knoweth alike things manifest and hidden;

And we will make easy to thee our easy ways.

Warn, therefore, for the warning is profitable:

He that feareth God will receive the warning,–

And the most reprobate only will turn aside from it,

Who shall be exposed to the terrible fire,

In which he shall not die, and shall not live.

Happy he who is purified by Islam,

And who remembereth the name of his Lord and prayeth.

But ye prefer this present life,

Though the life to come is better and more enduring.

This truly is in the Books of old,

The Books of Abraham1 and Moses.


1 Thus the Rabbins attribute the Book Jezirah to Abraham. See Fabr. Cod.
Apoc. V. T. p. 349.


MECCA.–8 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

I SWEAR by the FIG and by the olive,

By Mount Sinai,

And by this inviolate soil!1

That of goodliest fabric we created man,

Then brought him down to be the lowest of the low;–

Save who believe and do the things that are right, for theirs shall be a
reward that faileth not.

Then, who after this shall make thee treat the Judgment as a lie?

What! is not God the most just of judges?


1 In allusion to the sacredness of the territory of Mecca. This valley in
about the fourth century of our ‘ra was a kind of sacred forest of 37 miles
in circumference, and called Haram a name applied to it as early as the time
of Pliny (vi. 32). It had the privilege of asylum, but it was not lawful to
inhabit it, or to carry on commerce within its limits, and its religious
ceremonies were a bond of union to several of the Bedouin tribes of the
Hejaz. The Koreisch had monopolised most of the offices and advantages of the
Haram in the time of Muhammad. See Sprenger's Life of Mohammad, pp. 7 20.


MECCA.–3 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

I SWEAR by the declining day!

Verily, man's lot is cast amid destruction,1

Save those who believe and do the things which be right, and enjoin truth and
enjoin stedfastness on each other.


1 Said to have been recited in the Mosque shortly before his death by
Muhammad. See Weil, p. 328.


MECCA.–22 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

BY the star-bespangled Heaven!1

By the promised Day!

By the witness and the witnessed!2

Cursed the masters of the trench3

Of the fuel-fed fire,

When they sat around it

Witnesses of what they inflicted on the believers!

Nor did they torment them but for their faith in God, the Mighty, the

His the kingdom of the Heavens and of the Earth; and God is the witness of

Verily, those who vexed the believers, men and women, and repented not, doth
the torment of Hell, and the torment of the burning, await.

But for those who shall have believed and done the things that be right, are
the Gardens beneath whose shades the rivers flow. This the immense bliss!

Verily, right terrible will be thy Lord's vengeance!

He it is who produceth all things, and causeth them to return;

And is He the Indulgent, the Loving;

Possessor of the Glorious throne;

Worker of that he willeth.

Hath not the story reached thee of the hosts

Of Pharaoh and Themoud?

Nay! the infields are all for denial:

But God surroundeth them from behind.

Yet it is a glorious Koran,

Written on the preserved Table.


1 Lit. By the Heaven furnished with towers, where the angels keep watch;
also, the signs of the Zodiac: this is the usual interpretation. See Sura xv.

2 That is, by Muhammad and by Islam; or, angels and men. See, however, v. 7.

3 Prepared by Dhu Nowas, King of Yemen, A.D. 523, for the Christians. See
Gibbon's Decline and Fall, chap. xii. towards the end. Pocock Sp. Hist. Ar.
p. 62. And thus the comm. generally. But Geiger (p. 192) and Nöldeke (p. 77
n.) understand the passage of Dan. iii. But it should be borne in mind that
the Suras of this early period contain very little allusion to Jewish or
Christian legends.

4 Verses 8-11 wear the appearance of a late insertion, on account of their
length, which is a characteristic of the more advanced period. Observe also
the change in the rhymes.


MECCA.–8 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

THE BLOW! what is the Blow?

Who shall teach thee what the Blow is?

The Day when men shall be like scattered moths,

And the mountains shall be like flocks of carded wool,

Then as to him whose balances are heavy–his shall be a life that shall please
him well:

And as to him whose balances are light–his dwelling-place1 shall be the pit.

And who shall teach thee what the pit (El-Hawiya) is?

A raging fire!


1 Lit. Mother.


MECCA.–8 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

WHEN the Earth with her quaking shall quake

And the Earth shall cast forth her burdens,

And man shall say, What aileth her?

On that day shall she tell out her tidings,

Because thy Lord shall have inspired her.

On that day shall men come forward in throngs to behold their works,

And whosoever shall have wrought an atom's weight of good shall behold it,

And whosoever shall have wrought an atom's weight of evil shall behold it.


MECCA.–19 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

WHEN the Heaven shall CLEAVE asunder,

And when the stars shall disperse,

And when the seas1 shall be commingled,

And when the graves shall be turned upside down,

Each soul shall recognise its earliest and its latest actions.

O man! what hath misled thee against thy generous Lord,

Who hath created thee and moulded thee and shaped thee aright?

In the form which pleased Him hath He fashioned thee.

Even so; but ye treat the Judgment as a lie.

Yet truly there are guardians over you–

Illustrious recorders–

Cognisant of your actions.

Surely amid delights shall the righteous dwell,

But verily the impure in Hell-fire:

They shall be burned at it on the day of doom,

And they shall not be able to hide themselves from it.

Who shall teach thee what the day of doom is?

Once more. Who shall teach thee what the day of doom is?

It is a day when one soul shall be powerless for another soul: all
sovereignty on that day shall be with God.


1 Salt water and fresh water.


MECCA.–29 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

WHEN the sun shall be FOLDED UP,1

And when the stars shall fall,

And when the mountains shall be set in motion,

And when the she-camels shall be abandoned,

And when the wild beasts shall be gathered together,2

And when the seas shall boil,

And when souls shall be paired with their bodies,

And when the female child that had been buried alive shall be asked

For what crime she was put to death,3

And when the leaves of the Book shall be unrolled,

And when the Heaven shall be stripped away,4

And when Hell shall be made to blaze,

And when Paradise shall be brought near,

Every soul shall know what it hath produced.

It needs not that I swear by the stars5 of retrograde motions

Which move swiftly and hide themselves away,

And by the night when it cometh darkening on,

And by the dawn when it brighteneth,

That this is the word of an illustrious Messenger,6

Endued with power, having influence with the Lord of the Throne,

Obeyed there by Angels, faithful to his trust,

And your compatriot is not one possessed by djinn;

For he saw him in the clear horizon:7

Nor doth he grapple with heaven's secrets,8

Nor doth he teach the doctrine of a cursed9 Satan.

Whither then are ye going?

Verily, this is no other than a warning to all creatures;

To him among you who willeth to walk in a straight path:

But will it ye shall not, unless as God willeth it,10 the Lord of the worlds.


1 Involutus fuerit tenebris. Mar. Or, thrown down.

2 Thus Bab. Talm. Erchin, 3. "In the day to come (i.e., of judgment) all the
beasts will assemble and come, etc."

3 See Sura xvi. 61; xvii. 33.

4 Like a skin from an animal when flayed. The idea is perhaps borrowed from
the Sept. V. of Psalm civ. 2. Vulg. sicut pellem.

5 Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Mars, Saturn.

6 Gabriel; of the meaning of whose name the next verse is probably a

7 Sura 1iii. 7.

8 Like a mere Kahin, or soothsayer.

9 Lit. stoned. Sura iii. 31. This vision or hallucination is one of the few
clearly stated miracles, to which Muhammad appeals in the Koran. According to
the tradition of Ibn-Abbas in Waquidi he was preserved by it from committing
suicide by throwing himself down from Mount Hira, and that after it, God
cheered him and strengthened his heart, and one revelation speedily followed

10 Comp. the doctrine of predestination in Sura 1xxvi. v. 25 to end.


MECCA.–25 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

WHEN the Heaven shall have SPLIT ASUNDER

And duteously obeyed its Lord;1

And when Earth shall have been stretched out as a plain,

And shall have cast forth what was in her and become empty,

And duteously obeyed its Lord;

Then verily, O man, who desirest to reach thy Lord, shalt thou meet him.

And he into whose right hand his Book shall be given,

Shall be reckoned with in an easy reckoning,

And shall turn, rejoicing, to his kindred.

But he whose Book shall be given him behind his back2

Shall invoke destruction:

But in the fire shall he burn,

For that he lived joyously among his kindred,

Without a thought that he should return to God.

Yea, but his Lord beheld him.

It needs not therefore that I swear by the sunset redness,

And by the night and its gatherings,

And by the moon when at her full,

That from state to state shall ye be surely carried onward.3

What then hath come to them that they believe not?

And that when the Koran is recited to them they adore not?

Yea, the unbelievers treat it as a lie.

But God knoweth their secret hatreds:

Let their only tidings4 be those of painful punishment;

Save to those who believe and do the things that be right.

An unfailing recompense shall be theirs.


1 Lit. and obeyed its Lord, and shall be worthy, or capable, i.e., of

2 That is, into his left hand. The Muhammadans believe that the right hand of
the damned will be chained to the neck; the left chained behind the back.

3 From Life to Death, from the Grave to Resurrection, thence to Paradise.

4 The expression is ironical. See Freyt. on the word. Lit. tell them glad


Mecca.–11 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

By the snorting CHARGERS!

And those that dash off sparks of fire!

And those that scour to the attack at morn!

And stir therein the dust aloft;

And cleave therein their midway through a host!

Truly, Man is to his Lord ungrateful.

And of this he is himself a witness;

And truly, he is vehement in the love of this world's good.

Ah! knoweth he not, that when that which is in the graves shall be laid bare,

And that which is in men's breasts shall be brought forth,

Verily their Lord shall on that day be informed concerning them?


MECCA.–46 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

By those angels who DRAG FORTH souls with violence,

And by those who with joyous release release them;

By those who swim swimmingly along;

By those who are foremost with foremost speed;2

By those who conduct the affairs of the universe!

One day, the disturbing trumpet-blast shall disturb it,

Which the second blast shall follow:

Men's hearts on that day shall quake:–

Their looks be downcast.

The infidels will say, "Shall we indeed be restored as at first?

What! when we have become rotten bones?"

"This then," say they, "will be a return to loss."

Verily, it will be but a single blast,

And lo! they are on the surface of the earth.

Hath the story of Moses reached thee?

When his Lord called to him in Towa's holy vale:

Go to Pharaoh, for he hath burst all bounds:

And say, "Wouldest thou become just?

Then I will guide thee to thy Lord that thou mayest fear him."

And he showed him a great miracle,–

But he treated him as an impostor, and rebelled;

Then turned he his back all hastily,

And gathered an assembly and proclaimed,

And said, "I am your Lord supreme."

So God visited on him the punishment of this life and of the other.

Verily, herein is a lesson for him who hath the fear of God.

Are ye the harder to create, or the heaven which he hath built?

He reared its height and fashioned it,

And gave darkness to its night, and brought out its light,

And afterwards stretched forth the earth,–

He brought forth from it its waters and its pastures;

And set the mountains firm

For you and your cattle to enjoy.

But when the grand overthrow shall come,

The day when a man shall reflect on the pains that he hath taken,

And Hell shall be in full view of all who are looking on;

Then, as for him who hath transgressed

And hath chosen this present life,

Verily, Hell–that shall be his dwelling-place:

But as to him who shall have feared the majesty of his Lord, and shall have
refrained his soul from lust,

Verily, Paradise–that shall be his dwelling-place.

They will ask thee of "the Hour," when will be its fixed time?

But what knowledge hast thou of it?

Its period is known only to thy Lord;

And thou art only charged with the warning of those who fear it.

On the day when they shall see it, it shall seem to them as though they had
not tarried in the tomb, longer than its evening or its morn.


1 This Sura obviously consists of three portions, verses 1-14, 15-26, 27-46,
of which the third is the latest in point of style, and the second, more
detailed than is usual in the Suras of the early period, which allude to
Jewish and other legend only in brief and vague terms. It may therefore be
considered as one of the short and early Suras.

2 Or, By those angels which precede, i.e., the souls of the pious into
Paradise. Or, are beforehand with the Satans and djinn in learning the
decrees of God.


MECCA.–50 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

By the train of THE SENT ones,1

And the swift in their swiftness;

By the scatterers who scatter,

And the distinguishers who distinguish;

And by those that give forth the word

To excuse or warn;

Verily that which ye are promised is imminent.

When the stars, therefore, shall be blotted out,

And when the heaven shall be cleft,

And when the mountains shall be scattered in dust,

And when the Apostles shall have a time assigned them;

Until what day shall that time be deferred?

To the day of severing!

And who shall teach thee what the day of severing is?

Woe on that day to those who charged with imposture!

Have we not destroyed them of old?

We will next cause those of later times to follow them.2

Thus deal we with the evil doers.

Woe on that day to those who charged with imposture!

Have we not created you of a sorry germ,

Which we laid up in a secure place,

Till the term decreed for birth?

Such is our power! and, how powerful are We!

Woe on that day to those who charged with imposture!

Have we not made the earth to hold

The living and the dead?

And placed on it the tall firm mountains, and given you to drink of sweet

Woe on that day to those who charged with imposture!

Begone to that Hell which ye called a lie:–

Begone to the shadows that lie in triple masses;

"But not against the flame shall they shade or help you:"–

The sparks which it casteth out are like towers–

Like tawny camels.

Woe on that day to those who charged with imposture!

On that day they shall not speak,

Nor shall it be permitted them to allege excuses.

Woe on that day to those who charged with imposture!

This is the day of severing, when we will assemble you and your ancestors.

If now ye have any craft try your craft on me.

Woe on that day to those who charged with imposture!

But the god-fearing shall be placed amid shades and fountains,

And fruits, whatsoever they shall desire:

"Eat and drink, with health,3 as the meed of your toils."

Thus recompense we the good.

Woe on that day to those who charged with imposture!

"Eat ye and enjoy yourselves a little while. Verily, ye are doers of evil."

Woe on that day to those who charged with imposture!

For when it is said to them, bend the knee, they bend it not.

Woe on that day to those who charged with imposture

In what other revelation after this will they believe?


1 Lit. by the sent (fem.) one after another. Per missas. Mar. Either angels
following in a continued series; or, winds, which disperse rain over the
earth; or the successive verses of the Koran which disperse truth and
distinguish truth from error.

2 Sura xliv. 40.

3 Maimonides says that the majority of the Jews hope that Messiah shall come
and "raise the dead, and they shall be gathered into Paradise, and there
shall eat and drink and be in good health to all eternity."–Sanhedrin, fol.
119, col. I.


MECCA.–41 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Of what ask they of one another?

Of the great NEWS.1

The theme of their disputes.

Nay! they shall certainly knows its truth!

Again. Nay! they shall certainly know it.

Have we not made the Earth a couch?

And the mountains its tent-stakes?

We have created you of two sexes,

And ordained your sleep for rest,

And ordained the night as a mantle,

And ordained the day for gaining livelihood,

And built above you seven solid2 heavens,

And placed therein a burning lamp;

And we send down water in abundance from the rain-clouds,

That we may bring forth by it corn and herbs,

And gardens thick with trees.

Lo! the day of Severance is fixed;

The day when there shall be a blast on the trumpet, and ye shall come in

And the heaven shall be opened and be full of portals,

And the mountains shall be set in motion, and melt into thin vapour.

Hell truly shall be a place of snares,

The home of transgressors,

To abide therein ages;

No coolness shall they taste therein nor any drink,

Save boiling water and running sores;

Meet recompense!

For they looked not forward to their account;

And they gave the lie to our signs, charging them with falsehood;

But we noted and wrote down all:

"Taste this then: and we will give you increase of nought but torment."

But, for the God-fearing is a blissful abode,

Enclosed gardens and vineyards;

And damsels with swelling breasts, their peers in age,

And a full cup:

There shall they hear no vain discourse nor any falsehood:

A recompense from thy Lord–sufficing gift!–

Lord of the heavens and of the earth, and of all that between3 them lieth–the
God of Mercy! But not a word shall they obtain from Him.

On the day whereon the Spirit4 and the Angels shall be ranged in order, they
shall not speak: save he whom the God of Mercy shall permit, and who shall
say that which is right.

This is the sure day. Whoso then will, let him take the path of return to his

Verily, we warn you of a chastisement close at hand:

The day on which a man shall see the deeds which his hands have sent before
him; and when the unbeliever shall say, "Oh! would I were dust!"


1 Of the Resurrection. With regard to the date of this Sura, we can only be
guided (I) by the general style of the earlier portion (to verse 37, which is
analogous to that of the early Meccan Suras; (2) by verse 17, which pre-
supposes lxxvii. 12; (3) by the obviously later style of verse 37 to the end.

2 See Sura ii. 27. This is the title given by the Talmudists to the fifth of
the seven heavens.

3 This phrase is of constant recurrence in the Talmud. Maimonides, Yad Hach.
i. 3, makes it one of the positive commands of the Rabbins to believe "that
there exists a first Being . . . and that all things existing, Heaven and
Earth, and whatever is between them, exist only through the truth of his

4 Gabriel.


MECCA.–26 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Hath the tidings of the day that shall OVERSHADOW, reached thee?

Downcast on that day shall be the countenances of some,

Travailing and worn,

Burnt at the scorching fire,

Made to drink from a fountain fiercely boiling.

No food shall they have but the fruit of Darih,1

Which shall not fatten, nor appease their hunger.

Joyous too, on that day, the countenances of others,

Well pleased with their labours past,

In a lofty garden:

No vain discourse shalt thou hear therein:

Therein shall be a gushing fountain,

Therein shall be raised couches,

And goblets ready placed,

And cushions laid in order,

And carpets spread forth.

Can they not look up to the clouds, how they are created;

And to the heaven how it is upraised;

And to the mountains how they are rooted;

And to the earth how it is outspread?

Warn thou then; for thou art a warner only:

Thou hast no authority over them:

But whoever shall turn back and disbelieve,

God shall punish him with the greater punishment.

Verily to Us shall they return;

Then shall it be Our's to reckon with them.


1 The name of a bitter, thorny shrub.


MECCA.–30 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

By the DAYBREAK and ten nights.1

By that which is double and that which is single,

By the night when it pursues its course!

Is there not in this an oath becoming a man of sense?

Hast thou not seen how thy Lord dealt with Ad,

At Irem adorned with pillars,

Whose like have not been reared in these lands!

And with Themoud who hewed out the rocks in the valley;

And with Pharaoh the impaler;

Who all committed excesses in the lands,

And multiplied wickedness therein.

Wherefore thy Lord let loose on them the scourge of chastisement,2

For thy Lord standeth on a watch tower.

As to man, when his Lord trieth him and honoureth him and is bounteous to

Then saith he, "My Lord honoureth me:"

But when he proveth him and limiteth his gifts to him,

He saith, "My Lord despiseth me."

Aye. But ye honour not the orphan,

Nor urge ye one another to feed the poor,

And ye devour heritages, devouring greedily,

And ye love riches with exceeding love.

Aye. But when the earth shall be crushed with crushing, crushing,

And thy Lord shall come and the angels rank on rank,

And Hell on that day shall be moved up,3–Man shall on that day remember
himself. But how shall remembrance help him?

He shall say, Oh! would that I had prepared for this my life! On that day
none shall punish as God punisheth,

And none shall bind with such bonds as He.

Oh, thou soul which art at rest,

Return to thy Lord, pleased, and pleasing him:

Enter thou among my servants,

And enter thou my Paradise.


1 Of the sacred month Dhu'lhajja.

2 Or, poured on them the mixed cup of chastisement.

3 The orthodox Muhammadans take this passage literally. Djelal says that hell
will "be dragged up by 70,000 chains, each pulled by 70,000 angels," as if it
were an enormous animal or locomotive engine.


MECCA.–40 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

It needeth not that I swear by the day of the RESURRECTION,

Or that I swear by the self-accusing soul.

Thinketh man that we shall not re-unite his bones?

Aye! his very finger tips are we able evenly to replace.

But man chooseth to deny what is before him:

He asketh, "When this day of Resurrection?"

But when the eye shall be dazzled,

And when the moon shall be darkened,

And the sun and the moon shall be together,1

On that day man shall cry, "Where is there a place to flee to?"

But in vain–there is no refuge–

With thy Lord on that day shall be the sole asylum.

On that day shall man be told of all that he hath done first and last;

Yea, a man shall be the eye witness against himself:

And even if he put forth his plea. . . .2

(Move not thy tongue in haste to follow and master this revelation:3

For we will see to the collecting and the recital of it;

But when we have recited it, then follow thou the recital,

And, verily, afterwards it shall be ours to make it clear to thee.)

Aye, but ye love the transitory,

And ye neglect the life to come.

On that day shall faces beam with light,

Outlooking towards their Lord;

And faces on that day shall be dismal,

As if they thought that some great calamity would befal them.

Aye, when the soul shall come up into the throat,

And there shall be a cry, "Who hath a charm that can restore him?"

And the man feeleth that the time of his departure is come,

And when one leg shall be laid over the other,4

To thy Lord on that day shall he be driven on;

For he believed not, and he did not pray,

But he called the truth a lie and turned his back,

Then, walking with haughty men, rejoined his people.

That Hour is nearer to thee and nearer,5

It is ever nearer to thee and nearer still.

Thinketh man that he shall be left supreme?

Was he not a mere embryo?6

Then he became thick blood of which God formed him and fashioned him;

And made him twain, male and female.

Is not He powerful enough to quicken the dead?


1 Lit. shall be united. In the loss of light, or in the rising in the west.–

2 Supply, it shall not be accepted.

3 Verses 16-19 are parenthetic, and either an address to Muhammad by Gabriel
desiring him (I) not to be overcome by any fear of being unable to follow and
retain the revelation of this particular Sura; (2) or, not to interrupt him,
but to await the completion of the entire revelation before he should proceed
to its public recital. In either case we are led to the conclusion that, from
the first, Muhammad had formed the plan of promulging a written book. Comp.
Sura xx. 112.

4 In the death-struggle.

5 Or, Therefore woe to thee, woe! And, again, woe to thee, woe. Thus Sale,
Ullm. Beidhawi; who also gives the rendering in the text, which is that of

6 Nonne fuit humor ex spermate quod spermatizatur.


MECCA.–36 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Woe to those who STINT the measure:

Who when they take by measure from others, exact the full;

But when they mete to them or weigh to them, minish–

What! have they no thought that they shall be raised again

For the great day?

The day when mankind shall stand before the Lord of the worlds.

Yes! the register of the wicked is in Sidjin.1

And who shall make thee understand what Sidjin is?

It is a book distinctly written.

Woe, on that day, to those who treated our signs as lies,

Who treated the day of judgment as a lie!

None treat it as a lie, save the transgressor, the criminal,

Who, when our signs are rehearsed to him, saith, "Tales of the Ancients!"

Yes; but their own works have got the mastery over their hearts.

Yes; they shall be shut out as by a veil from their Lord on that day;

Then shall they be burned in Hell-fire:

Then shall it be said to them, "This is what ye deemed a lie."

Even so. But the register of the righteous is in Illiyoun.

And who shall make thee understand what Illiyoun is?

A book distinctly written;

The angels who draw nigh unto God attest it.

Surely, among delights shall the righteous dwell!

Seated on bridal couches they will gaze around;

Thou shalt mark in their faces the brightness of delight;

Choice sealed wine shall be given them to quaff,

The seal of musk. For this let those pant who pant for bliss–

Mingled therewith shall be the waters of Tasnim–2

Fount whereof they who draw nigh to God shall drink.

The sinners indeed laugh the faithful to scorn:

And when they pass by them they wink at one another,–

And when they return to their own people, they return jesting,

And when they see them they say, "These are the erring ones."

And yet they have no mission to be their guardians.

Therefore, on that day the faithful shall laugh the infidels to scorn,

As reclining on bridal couches they behold them.

Shall not the infidels be recompensed according to their works?


1 Sidjin is a prison in Hell which gives its name to the register of actions
there kept, as Illiyoun, a name of the lofty apartments of Paradise, is
transferred to the register of the righteous.

2 Derived from the root sanima, to be high: this water being conveyed to the
highest apartments in the Pavilions of Paradise.


MECCA.–52 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful


And who shall make thee comprehend what the Inevitable is?

Themoud and Ad treated the day of Terrors1 as a lie.

So as to Themoud,2 they were destroyed by crashing thunder bolts;

And as to Ad, they were destroyed by a roaring and furious blast.

It did the bidding of God3 against them seven nights and eight days together,
during which thou mightest have seen the people laid low, as though they had
been the trunks of hollow palms;

And couldst thou have seen one of them surviving?

Pharaoh also, and those who flourished before him, and the overthrown cities,
committed sin,–

And disobeyed the Sent one of their Lord; therefore did he chastise them with
an accumulated chastisement.

When the Flood rose high, we bare you in the Ark,

That we might make that event a warning to you, and that the retaining ear
might retain it.

But when one blast shall be blown on the trumpet,

And the earth and the mountains shall be upheaved, and shall both be crushed
into dust at a single crushing,

On that day the woe that must come suddenly shall suddenly come,4

And the heaven shall cleave asunder, for on that day it shall be fragile;

And the angels shall be on its sides, and over them on that day eight shall
bear up the throne of thy Lord.

On that day ye shall be brought before Him: none of your hidden deeds shall
remain hidden:

And he who shall have his book given to him in his right hand, will say to
his friends, "Take ye it; read ye my book;

I ever thought that to this my reckoning I should come."

And his shall be a life that shall please him well,

In a lofty garden,

Whose clusters shall be near at hand:

"Eat ye and drink with healthy relish, as the meed of what ye sent on
beforehand in the days which are past."

But he who shall have his book given into his left hand, will say, "O that my
book had never been given me!

And that I had never known my reckoning!

O that death had made an end of me!

My wealth hath not profited me!

My power hath perished from me!"

"Lay ye hold on him and chain him,

Then at the Hell-fire burn him,

Then into a chain whose length is seventy cubits thrust him;

For he believed not in God, the Great,

And was not careful to feed the poor;

No friend therefore shall he have here this day,

Nor food, but corrupt sores,

Which none shall eat but the sinners."

It needs not that I swear by what ye see,

And by that which ye see not,

That this verily is the word of an apostle worthy of all honour!

And that it is not the word of a poet–how little do ye believe!

Neither is it the word of a soothsayer (Kahin)–how little do ye receive

It is a missive from the Lord of the worlds.

But if Muhammad had fabricated concerning us any sayings,

We had surely seized him by the right hand,

And had cut through the vein of his neck.5

Nor would We have withheld any one of you from him.

But, verily, It (the Koran) is a warning for the God-fearing;

And we well know that there are of you who treat it as a falsehood.

But it shall be the despair of infidels,

For it is the very truth of sure knowledge.

Praise, then, the name of thy Lord, the Great.


1 Thus Beidh., Sale, etc. But with reference to another sense of the root
karaa, it may be rendered the day of decision, the day on which man's lot
shall be decided.

2 On Ad and Themoud. See Sura vii. 63-77.

3 Lit. God subjected it to himself, availed himself of it against them.

4 El-wakia, the sudden event, the calamity; the woe that must break in upon
Heaven and Earth. The same word is used, Sura lvi. 1, and ci. 1, for the
Resurrection and Day of Judgment.

5 In allusion to the mode of executing criminals in many eastern countries.


MECCA.–60 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

By the clouds1 which scatter with SCATTERING,

And those which bear their load,

And by those which speed lightly along,

And those which apportion by command!

True, indeed, is that with which ye are threatened,

And lo! the judgment will surely come.2

By the star-tracked heaven!

Ye are discordant in what ye say;

But whose turneth him from the truth, is turned from it by a divine decree.

Perish the liars,

Who are bewildered in the depths of ignorance!

They ask, "When this day of judgment?"

On that day they shall be tormented at the fire.

"Taste ye of this your torment, whose speedy coming ye challenged."

But the God-fearing shall dwell amid gardens and fountains,

Enjoying what their Lord hath given them, because, aforetime they were well-

But little of the night was it that they slept,

And at dawn they prayed for pardon,

And gave due share of their wealth to the suppliant and the outcast.

On Earth are signs for men of firm belief,

And also in your own selves: Will ye not then behold them?

The Heaven hath sustenance for you, and it containeth that which you are

By the Lord then of the heaven and of the earth, I swear that this is the
truth, even as ye speak yourselves.3

Hath the story reached thee of Abraham's honoured guests?4

When they went in unto him and said, "Peace!" he replied, "Peace:–they are

And he went apart to his family, and brought a fatted calf,

And set it before them. He said, "Eat ye not?"

And he conceived a fear of them. They said to him, "Fear not;" and announced
to him a wise son.

His wife came up with outcry: she smote her face and said, "What I, old and

They said, "Thus saith thy Lord. He truly is the Wise, the Knowing."

Said he, "And what, O messengers, is your errand?"

They said, "To a wicked people are we sent,

To hurl upon them stones of clay,

Destined5 by thy Lord for men guilty of excesses."

And we brought forth the believers who were in the city:

But we found not in it but one family of Muslims.

And signs we left in it for those who dread the afflictive chastisement,–

And in Moses: when we sent him to Pharaoh with manifest power:

But relying on his forces6 he turned his back and said, "Sorcerer, or

So we seized him and his hosts and cast them into the sea; for of all blame
was he worthy.

And in Ad: when we sent against them the desolating blast:

It touched not aught over which it came, but it turned it to dust.

And in Themoud:7 when it was said to them, "Enjoy yourselves for yet a

But they rebelled against their Lord's command: so the tempest took them as
they watched its coming.8

They were not able to stand upright, and could not help themselves.

And we destroyed the people of Noah, before them; for an impious people were

And the Heaven–with our hands have we built it up, and given it its expanse;

And the Earth–we have stretched it out like a carpet; and how

smoothly have we spread it forth!

And of everything have we created pairs: that haply ye may reflect.

Fly then to God: I come to you from him a plain warner.

And set not up another god with God: I come to you from him a plain warner.

Even thus came there no apostle to those who flourished before them, but they
exclaimed, "Sorcerer, or Possessed."

Have they made a legacy to one another of this scoff? Yes, they are a rebel

Turn away, then, from them, and thou shalt not incur reproach:

Yet warn them, for, in truth, warning will profit the believers.

I have not created Djinn and men, but that they should worship me:

I require not sustenance from them, neither require I that they feed me:

Verily, God is the sole sustainer: possessed of might: the unshaken!

Therefore to those who injure thee shall be a fate like the fate of

their fellows of old. Let them not challenge me to hasten it.

Woe then to the infidels, because of their threatened day.


1 Lit. (I swear) by those which scatter (i.e., the rain) with a scattering,
(2) and by those which carry a burden, (3) and by those which run lightly,
(4) and by those which divide a matter, or by command. The participles are
all in the feminine: hence some interpret verse 1 of winds; verse 2 of
clouds; verse 3 of ships; verse 4 of angels.

2 Comp. note at Sura lvi. 1, p. 65.

3 That is, this oath is for the confirmation of the truth, as ye are wont to
confirm things one among another by an oath.

4 Comp. Sura xi. 72, and xv. 51. From the want of connection with what
precedes, it is highly probable that the whole passage from verse 24 60 did
not originally form a part of this Sura, but was added at a later period,
perhaps in the recension of the text under Othman.

5 Lit. marked, with the names of the individuals to be slain, say the

6 Or, with his nobles.

7 For Ad and Themoud, see Sura xi.

8 That is, in broad daylight. Thus Beidh. Comp. Sura xlvi. 22.


MECCA.–49 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful


And by the Book written

On an outspread roll,

And by the frequented fane,1

And by the lofty vault,

And by the swollen sea,

Verily, a chastisement from thy Lord is imminent,

And none shall put it back.

Reeling on that day the Heaven shall reel,

And stirring shall the mountains stir.2

And woe, on that day, to those who called the apostles liars,

Who plunged for pastime into vain disputes–

On that day shall they be thrust with thrusting to the fire of Hell:–

"This is the fire which ye treated as a lie.

What! is this magic, then? or, do ye not see it?

Burn ye therein: bear it patiently or impatiently 'twill be the same to you:
for ye shall assuredly receive the reward of your doings."

But mid gardens and delights shall they dwell who have feared God,

Rejoicing in what their Lord hath given them; and that from the pain of hell-
fire hath their Lord preserved them.

"Eat and drink with healthy enjoyment, in recompense for your deeds."

On couches ranged in rows shall they recline; and to the damsels with large
dark eyes will we wed them.

And to those who have believed, whose offspring have followed them in the
faith, will we again unite their offspring; nor of the meed of their works
will we in the least defraud them. Pledged to God is every man for his
actions and their desert.3

And fruits in abundance will we give them, and flesh as they shall desire:

Therein shall they pass to one another the cup which shall engender no light
discourse, no motive to sin:

And youths shall go round among them beautiful as imbedded pearls:

And shall accost one another and ask mutual questions.

"A time indeed there was," will they say, "when we were full of care as to
the future lot of our families;

But kind hath God been to us, and from the pestilential torment hath he
preserved us;

For, heretofore we called upon Him–and He is the Beneficent, the Merciful."

Warn thou, then. For thou by the favour of thy Lord art neither soothsayer
nor possessed.

Will they say, "A poet! let us await some adverse turn of his fortune?"

SAY, wait ye, and in sooth I too will wait with you.

Is it their dreams which inspire them with this? or is it that they are a
perverse people?

Will they say, "He hath forged it (the Koran) himself?" Nay, rather it is
that they believed not.

Let them then produce a discourse like it, if they speak the Truth.

Were they created by nothing? or were they the creators of themselves?

Created they the Heavens and Earth? Nay, rather, they have no faith.

Hold they thy Lord's treasures? Bear they the rule supreme?

Have they a ladder for hearing the angels? Let any one who hath heard them
bring a clear proof of it.

Hath God daughters and ye sons?

Asketh thou pay of them? they are themselves weighed down with debts.

Have they such a knowledge of the secret things that they can write them

Desire they to lay snares for thee? But the snared ones shall be they who do
not believe.

Have they any God beside God? Glory be to God above what they join with Him.

And should they see a fragment of the heaven falling down, they would say,
"It is only a dense cloud."

Leave them then until they come face to face with the day when they shall
swoon away:

A day in which their snares shall not at all avail them, neither shall they
be helped.

And verily, beside this is there a punishment for the evildoers: but most of
them know it not.

Wait thou patiently the judgment of thy Lord, for thou art in our eye; and
celebrate the praise of thy Lord when thou risest up,

And in the night-season: Praise him when the stars are setting.


1 Of the Caaba.

2 Comp. Psalm lxviii. 9.

3 The more prosaic style of this verse indicates a later origin than the
context. Muir places the whole Sura in what he terms the fourth stage of
Meccan Suras.


MECCA.–96 Verses

In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

WHEN the day that must come shall have come suddenly,1

None shall treat that sudden coming as a lie:

Day that shall abase! Day that shall exalt!

When the earth shall be shaken with a shock,

And the mountains shall be crumbled with a crumbling,

And shall become scattered dust,

And into three bands shall ye be divided:2

Then the people of the right hand3–Oh! how happy shall be the people of the
right hand!

And the people of the left hand–Oh! how wretched shall be the people of the
left hand!

And they who were foremost on earth–the foremost still.4

These are they who shall be brought nigh to God,

In gardens of delight;

A crowd of the former

And few of the latter generations;

On inwrought couches

Reclining on them face to face:

Aye-blooming youths go round about to them

With goblets and ewers and a cup of flowing wine;

Their brows ache not from it, nor fails the sense:

And with such fruits as shall please them best,

And with flesh of such birds, as they shall long for:

And theirs shall be the Houris, with large dark eyes, like pearls hidden in
their shells,

In recompense of their labours past.

No vain discourse shall they hear therein, nor charge of sin,

But only the cry, "Peace! Peace!"

And the people of the right hand–oh! how happy shall be the people of the
right hand!

Amid thornless sidrahs5

Book of the day: