Part 5 out of 14
behind them: and everything have we set down in the clear Book of our
Set forth to them the instance of the people of the city4 when the Sent Ones
came to it.
When we sent two unto them and they charged them both with imposture–
therefore with a third we strengthened them: and they said, "Verily we are
the Sent unto you of God."
They said, "Ye are only men like us: Nought hath the God of Mercy sent down.
Ye do nothing but lie."
They said, "Our Lord knoweth that we are surely sent unto you;
To proclaim a clear message is our only duty."
They said, "Of a truth we augur ill from you:5 if ye desist not we will
surely stone you, and a grievous punishment will surely befall you from us."
They said, "Your augury of ill is with yourselves. Will ye be warned?6 Nay,
ye are an erring people."
Then from the end of the city a man came running:7 He said, "O my people!
follow the Sent Ones;
Follow those who ask not of you a recompense, and who are rightly guided.
And why should I not worship Him who made me, and to whom ye shall be brought
Shall I take gods beside Him? If the God of Mercy be pleased to afflict me,
their intercession will not avert from me aught, nor will they deliver:
Truly then should I be in a manifest error.
Verily, in your Lord have I believed; therefore hear me."8
–It was said to him, "Enter thou into Paradise:" And he said, "Oh that my
How gracious God hath been to me, and that He hath made me one of His
But no army sent we down out of heaven after his death, nor were we then
sending down our angels–
There was but one shout from Gabriel, and lo! they were extinct.
Oh! the misery that rests upon my servants! No apostle cometh to them but
they laugh him to scorn.
See they not how many generations we have destroyed before them?
Not to false gods is it that they shall be brought9 back,
But all, gathered together, shall be set before Us.
Moreover, the dead earth is a sign to them: we quicken it and bring forth the
grain from it, and they eat thereof:
And we make in it gardens of the date and vine; and we cause springs to gush
forth in it;
That they may eat of its fruits and of the labour of their hands. Will they
not therefore be thankful?
Glory be to Him, who hath created all the sexual pairs of such things as
Earth produceth,10 and of mankind themselves; and of things beyond their ken!
A sign to them also is the Night. We withdraw the day from it, and lo! they
are plunged in darkness;
And the Sun hasteneth to her place of rest. This, the ordinance of the
Mighty, the Knowing!
And as for the Moon, We have decreed stations for it, till it change like an
old and crooked palm branch.
To the Sun it is not given to overtake the Moon, nor doth the night outstrip
the day; but each in its own sphere doth journey on.
It is also a sign to them that we bare their posterity in the full-laden Ark;
And that we have made for them vessels like it on which they embark;
And if we please, we drown them, and there is none to help them, and they are
Unless through our mercy, and that they may enjoy themselves for yet awhile.
And when it is said to them, Fear what is before you and what is behind
you,11 that ye may obtain mercy. . . .
Aye, not one sign from among the signs of their Lord dost thou bring them,
but they turn away from it!
And when it is said to them, Give alms of what God hath bestowed on you,12
they who believe not say to the believers, "Shall we feed him whom God can
feed if He will? Truly ye are in no other than a plain error."
And they say, "When will this promise be fulfilled, if what ye say be true?"
They await but a single blast: as they are wrangling shall it assail them:
And not a bequest shall they be able to make, nor to their families shall
And the trumpet shall be blown, and, lo! they shall speed out of their
sepulchres to their Lord:
They shall say, "Oh! woe to us! who hath roused us from our sleeping place?
'Tis what the God of Mercy promised; and the Apostles spake the truth."
But one blast shall there be,13 and, lo! they shall be assembled before us,
And on that day shall no soul be wronged in the least: neither shall ye be
rewarded but as ye shall have wrought.
But joyous on that day shall be the inmates of Paradise, in their employ;
In shades, on bridal couches reclining, they and their spouses:
Therein shall they have fruits, and shall have whatever they require–
"Peace!" shall be the word on the part of a merciful Lord.
"But be ye separated this day, O ye sinners!
Did I not enjoin on you, O sons of Adam, 'Worship not Satan, for that he is
your declared foe,'
But 'Worship Me: this is a right path'?
But now hath he led a vast host of you astray. Did ye not then comprehend?
This is Hell with which ye were threatened:
Endure its heat this day, for that ye believed not."
On that day will we set a seal upon their mouths; yet shall their hands speak
unto us, and their feet14 shall bear witness of that which they shall have
And, if we pleased, we would surely put out their eyes: yet even then would
they speed on with rivalry in their path: but how should they see?
And, if we pleased, we would surely transform them as they stand,15 and they
would not be able to move onward, or to return.
Him cause we to stoop through age whose days we lengthen. Will they not
We have not taught him (Muhammad) poetry,16 nor would it beseem him. This
Book is no other than a warning and a clear Koran,
To warn whoever liveth; and, that against the Infidels sentence may be justly
See they not that we have created for them among the things which our hands
have wrought, the animals of which they are masters?
And that we have subjected them unto them? And on some they ride, and of
others they eat;
And they find in them profitable uses and beverages:
Yet have they taken other gods beside God that they might be helpful to them.
No power have they to succour them: yet are their votaries an army at their
Let not their speech grieve thee: We know what they hide and what they bring
Doth not man perceive that we have created him of the moist germs of life?
Yet lo! is he an open caviller.
And he meeteth us with arguments,17 and forgetteth his creation: "Who," saith
he, "shall give life to bones when they are rotten?"
SAY: He shall give life to them who gave them being at first, for in all
creation is he skilled:
Who even out of the green tree hath given you fire18, and lo! ye kindle flame
What! must not He who hath created the Heavens and the Earth be mighty enough
to create your likes? Yes! and He is the skilful creator.
His command when He willeth aught, is but to say to it, BE, and IT IS.
So glory be to Him in whose hand is sway over all things! And to Him shall ye
be brought back.
1 This Sura is said to have been termed by Muhammad "the heart of the Koran."
It is recited in all Muhammadan countries to the dying, at the tombs of
saints, etc. On Ya. Sin, see Sura lxviii. p. 32.
2 Sura xxxviii. 85, p. 129.
3 Lit. in the clear prototype, that is, in the Preserved Table, on which all
the actions of mankind are written down.
4 Antioch, to which Jesus is said to have sent two disciples to preach the
unity of God, and subsequently Simon Peter. This vague story, and that of the
seven sleepers in Sura xviii. are the only traces to be found in the Koran of
any knowledge, on the part of Muhammad, of the history of the Church
subsequent to the day of Pentecost, or of the spread of the Christian
5 Comp. Sura xxvii. 48; vii. 128, where, as in this passage, the word augur
refers to the mode of divination practised previous to Islam, by the flight
6 Lit. if ye have been warned (will ye still disbelieve?).
7 Habib, the carpenter, who, as implied at verse 25, was martyred, and whose
tomb at Antioch is still an object of veneration to the Muhammadans.
8 Ullm. following Wahl, renders, Als sie (die stadtlente) darauf ihn
schändlich behandleten. The verb in the original is thus used in the 4th
conj. Nöldeke supposes that words to this effect have been lost from the
text. But of this there is no trace in the Commentators.
9 Or, the Apostles shall not return to them again. Ullm.
10 For instance, date trees, the female blossoms of which were carefully
impregnated, when requisite, by branches of the male plant. See Freyt. Einl.
11 The chastisements of this world and of the next.
12 On account of this precept, Itq. 35, and Omar b. Muhammad suppose the
verse to have originated at Medina.
13 The Muhammadans affirm that a space of forty years will intervene between
two blasts of the Trumpet. Maracci suggests that the idea of the two blasts
is derived from 1 Thess. iv. 16, "the voice of the archangel and . . . the
trump of God."
14 Thus Chagiga, 16; Taanith, 11. "The very members of a man bear witness
against him, for thus is it written (Is. xliii. 12), Ye yourselves are my
witnesses, saith the Lord." See also Sura [lxxi.] xli. 19, 20.
15 Lit. in their place.
16 See Sura xxvi. 225, p. III.
17 Lit. he setteth forth to us comparisons.
18 The form of the Arabic word is Rabbinic Hebrew.
SURA XLIII.–ORNAMENTS OF GOLD [LXI.]
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
Ha. Mim.1 By the Luminous Book!
We have made it an Arabic Koran that ye may understand:
And it is a transcript of the archetypal Book,2 kept by us; it is lofty,
filled with wisdom,
Shall we then turn aside this warning from you because ye are a people who
Yet how many prophets sent we among those of old!
But no prophet came to them whom they made not the object of their scorn:
Wherefore we destroyed nations mightier than these Meccans in strength; and
the example of those of old hath gone before!
And if thou ask them who created the Heavens and the Earth, they will say:
"The Mighty, the Sage, created them both,"
Who hath made the Earth as a couch for you, and hath traced out routes
therein for your guidance;
And who sendeth down out of Heaven the rain in due degree, by which we
quicken a dead land; thus shall ye be brought forth from the grave:
And who hath created the sexual couples, all of them, and hath made for you
the ships and beasts whereon ye ride:
That ye may sit balanced on their backs and remember the goodness of your
Lord as ye sit so evenly thereon, and say: "Glory to Him who hath subjected
these to us! We could not have attained to it of ourselves:
And truly unto our Lord shall we return."
Yet do they assign to him some of his own servants for offspring! Verily man
is an open ingrate!
Hath God adopted daughters from among those whom he hath created, and chosen
sons for you?
But when that3 is announced to any one of them, which he affirmeth to be the
case with the God of Mercy,4 his face settleth into darkness and he is
What! make they a being to be the offspring of God who is brought up among
trinkets, and is ever contentious without reason?
And they make the angels who are the servants of God of Mercy, females. What!
did they witness their creation? Their witness shall be taken down, and they
shall hereafter be enquired at.
And they say: "Had the God of Mercy so willed it we should never have
worshipped them." No knowledge have they in this: they only lie.
Have we ere this given them a Book?5 and do they possess it still?
But say they: "Verily we found our fathers of that persuasion, and verily, by
their footsteps do we guide ourselves."
And thus never before thy time did we send a warner to any city but its
wealthy ones said: "Verily we found our fathers with a religion, and in their
tracks we tread."
SAY,–such was our command to that apostle–"What! even if I bring you a
religion more right than that ye found your fathers following?" And they
said, "Verily we believe not in your message."
Wherefore we took vengeance on them, and behold what hath been the end of
those who treated our messengers as liars!
And bear in mind when Abraham said to his father and to his people, "Verily I
am clear of what ye worship,
Save Him who hath created me; for he will vouchsafe me guidance."
And this he established as a doctrine that should abide among his posterity,
that to God might they be turned.
In sooth to these idolatrous Arabians and to their fathers did I allow their
full enjoyments, till the truth should come to them, and an undoubted
But now that the truth hath come to them, they say, "'Tis sorcery, and we
believe it not."
And they say, "Had but this Koran been sent down to some great one of the two
cities6 . . .!"
Are they then the distributors of thy Lord's Mercy?7 It is we who distribute
their subsistence among them in this world's life; and we raise some of them
by grades above others, that the one may take the other to serve him: but
better is the mercy of thy Lord than all their hoards.
But for fear that all mankind would have become a single people of
unbelievers, verily we would certainly have given to those who believe not in
the God of Mercy roofs of silver to their houses, and silver stairs to ascend
And doors of silver to their houses, and couches of silver to recline on;
And ORNAMENTS OF GOLD: for all these are merely the good things of the
present life; but the next life doth thy Lord reserve for those who fear Him.
And whoso shall withdraw from the Warning of the God of Mercy, we will chain
a Satan to him, and he shall be his fast companion:
For the Satans will turn men aside from the Way, who yet shall deem
themselves rightly guided;
Until when man shall come before us, he shall say, "O Satan, would that
between me and thee were the distance of the East and West."8 And a wretched
companion is a Satan.
But it shall not avail you on that day, because ye were unjust: partners
shall ye be in the torment.
What! Canst thou then make the deaf to hear, or guide the blind and him who
is in palpable error?
Whether therefore we take thee off by death, surely will we avenge ourselves
Or whether we make thee a witness of the accomplishment of that with which we
threatened them, we will surely gain the mastery over them.9
Hold thou fast therefore what hath been revealed to thee, for thou art on a
For truly to thee and to thy people it is an admonition; and ye shall have an
account to render for it at last.10
And ask our Sent Ones whom we have sent before thee,
"Appointed we gods beside the God of Mercy whom they should worship?"11
Of old sent we Moses with our signs to Pharaoh and his nobles: and he said,
"I truly am the Apostle of the Lord of the worlds."
And when he presented himself before them with our signs, lo! they laughed at
Though we shewed them no sign that was not greater than its fellow:12 and
therefore did we lay hold on them with chastisement, to the intent that they
might be turned to God.
Then they said, "O Magician! call on thy Lord on our behalf to do as he hath
engaged with thee, for truly we would fain be guided."
But when we relieved them from the chastisement, lo! they broke their pledge.
And Pharaoh made proclamation among his people. Said he, "O my people! is not
the kingdom of Egypt mine, and these rivers which flow at my feet?13 Do ye
Am I not mightier than this despicable fellow,
And who scarce can speak distinctly?
Have bracelets of gold14 then been put upon him, or come there with him a
train of Angels?"
And he inspired his people with levity, and they obeyed him; for they were a
And when they had angered us, we took vengeance on them, and we drowned them
And we made them a precedent and instance of divine judgments to those who
came after them.
And when the Son of Mary was set forth as an instance of divine power, lo!
thy people cried out for joy thereat:
And they said, "Are our gods or is he the better?"15 They put this forth to
thee only in the spirit of dispute. Yea, they are a contentious people.
Jesus is no more than a servant whom we favoured, and proposed as an instance
of divine power to the children of Israel.
(And if we pleased, we could from yourselves bring forth Angels to succeed
you on earth:)16
And he shall be a sign of the last hour;17 doubt not then of it, and follow
ye me: this is the right way;
And let not Satan turn you aside from it, for he is your manifest foe.
And when Jesus came with manifest proofs, he said, "Now am I come to you with
wisdom; and a part of those things about which ye are at variance I will
clear up to you; fear ye God therefore and obey me.
Verily, God is my Lord and your Lord; wherefore worship ye him: this is a
But the different parties18 fell into disputes among themselves; but woe to
those who thus transgressed, because of the punishment of an afflictive day!
For what wait they but for the hour "to come suddenly on them, while they
expect it not?"
Friends on that day shall become foes to one another, except the God-
"O my servants! on this day shall no fear come upon you, neither shall ye be
put to grief,
Who have believed in our signs and become Muslims:
Enter ye and your wives into Paradise, delighted."
Dishes and bowls of gold shall go round unto them: there shall they enjoy
whatever their souls desire, and whatever their eyes delight in; and therein
shall ye abide for ever.
This is Paradise, which ye have received as your heritage in recompense for
Therein shall ye have fruits in abundance, of which ye shall eat.
But in the torment of Hell shall the wicked remain for ever:
It shall not be mitigated to them, and they shall be mute for despair
For it is not we who have treated them unjustly, but it was they who were
unjust to themselves.
And they shall cry: "O Malec!19 would that thy Lord would make an end of us!"
He saith: "Here must ye remain."
We have come to you with the truth (O Meccans), but most of you abhor the
Have they drawn tight their toils for thee?20 We too will tighten ours.
Think they that we hear not their secrets and their private talk? Yes, and
our angels who are at their sides write them down.
SAY: If the God of Mercy had a son, the first would I be to worship him:
But far be the Lord of the Heavens and of the Earth, the Lord of the Throne,
from that which they impute to Him!
Wherefore let them alone, to plunge on, and sport, until they meet the day
with which they are menaced.
He who is God in the Heavens is God in earth also: and He is the Wise, the
And Blessed be He whose is the kingdom of the Heavens and of the Earth and of
all that is between them; for with Him is the knowledge of the Hour, and to
Him shall ye be brought back.
The gods whom they call upon beside Him shall not be able to intercede for
others: they only shall be able who bore witness to the truth and21 knew it."
If thou ask them who hath created them, they will be sure to say, "God." How
then hold they false opinions?
And one22 saith, "O Lord! verily these are people who believe not."
Turn thou then from them, and say, "Peace:" In the end they shall know their
1 See Sura lxviii. I, p. 32.
2 Lit. it is in the Mother of the Book, i.e. the original of the Koran,
preserved before God.
3 That is, of the birth of a female.
4 Lit. which he imputeth to the God of Mercy, as his likeness.
5 To authorise angel-worship.
6 Supply, Mecca and Taief, we would have received it.
7 Lit. mercy, i.e. the gift and office of prophecy.
8 Lit. the two Easts, by which some understand the distance between the two
9 Comp. Suras xl. 77; xxiii. 97; x. 47; xxix. 53; xxxvii. 179; xiii. 42.
These passages clearly show that Muhammad had at this period–towards the
close of his Meccan period–full faith in his ultimate success, and in the
fulfilment of his menaces against the unbelievers.
10 Lit. ye shall be examined in the end.
11 This verse is said (see Nöld. p. 100, n.) to have been revealed in the
temple at Jerusalem on the occasion of the night journey thither. See also
Weil's Muhammed der Prophet, p. 374.
12 Lit. sister.
13 See Sura [lxxix.] xxviii. 39, n.
14 Comp. Gen. xli. 42.
15 This was a captious objection made to Muhammad by the idolaters of Mecca
when he condemned their gods (Sura xxi. 98), as if they had said, "Jesus is
worshipped as a God by the Christians: does he come under your anathema
equally with our idols? we shall be content for our gods to be with him."
16 That is, as we caused Jesus to be born without a human father.
17 At his return to this earth. Some refer this to the Koran as revealing the
last Hour. Lit. He (or It) is for knowledge of the Hour.
18 Jewish and Christian sects.
19 Malec is one of the keepers of Hell, who specially presides over the
torments of the damned.
20 Lit. if they have twisted tight or set firmly the affair, i.e. their plots
against thee and the truth.
21 Or, and they (the Infidels). The Commentators say that Jesus, Ezra, and
the angels, will be allowed to intercede.
SURA LXXII.–DJINN [LXII.]
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
SAY: It hath been revealed to me that a company of
DJINN1 listened, and said,–"Verily, we have heard a marvellous discourse
It guideth to the truth; wherefore we believed in it, and we will not
henceforth join any being with our Lord;
And He,–may the majesty of our Lord be exalted!–hath taken no spouse neither
hath he any offspring.
But the foolish among us hath spoken of God that which is unjust:
And we verily thought that no one amongst men or Djinn would have uttered a
lie against God.
There are indeed people among men, who have sought for refuge unto people
among Djinn: but they only increased their folly:
And they thought, as ye think, that God would not raise any from the dead.
And the Heavens did we essay, but found them filled with a mighty garrison,
and with flaming darts;
And we sat on some of the seats to listen, but whoever listeneth findeth an
ambush ready for him of flaming darts.
And truly we know not whether evil be meant for them that are on earth, or
whether their Lord meaneth guidance for them.
And there are among us good, and others among us of another kind;–we are of
And verily we thought that no one could weaken God on earth, neither could we
escape from him by flight:
Wherefore as soon as we had heard 'the guidance' we believed in it; and
whoever believeth in his Lord, need not fear either loss or wrong.
There are some among us who have resigned themselves to God (the Muslims);
and there are others of us who have gone astray. And whoso resigneth himself
to God pursueth the way of truth;
But they who go astray from it shall be fuel for Hell."
Moreover, if they (the Meccans) keep straight on in that way, we will surely
give them to drink of abundant waters,
That we may prove them thereby: but whoso withdraweth from the remembrance of
his Lord, him will He send into a severe torment.
It is unto God that the temples are set apart: call not then on any other
therein with God.
When the servant of God stood up to call upon Him, the djinn almost jostled
him by their crowds.
SAY: I call only upon my Lord, and I join no other being with Him.
SAY: No control have I over what may hurt or benefit you.
SAY: Verily none can protect me against God;
Neither shall I find any refuge beside Him.
My sole work is preaching from God, and His message: and for such as shall
rebel against God and his apostle is the fire of Hell! they shall remain
therein alway,–for ever!
Until they see their threatened vengeance they will be perverse! but then
shall they know which side was the weakest in a protector and the fewest in
SAY: I know not whether that with which ye are threatened be nigh, or whether
my Lord hath assigned it to a distant day: He knoweth the secret, nor doth He
divulge his secret to any,
Except to that Apostle who pleaseth Him; and before him and behind him He
maketh a guard to march:
That He may know if his Apostles have verily delivered the messages of their
Lord: and He embraceth in his knowledge all their ways, and taketh count of
all that concerneth them.
1 This interview with the Djinn took place at Nakhla, probably the "Wady
Mohram" of Burckhardt, midway between Mecca and Ta‹ef, when Muhammad was
driven from Mecca. A.D. 620.
SURA LXVII.–THE KINGDOM [LXIII.]
MECCA.– 30 Verses
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
BLESSED be He is whose hand is the KINGDOM! and over all things is He potent:
Who hath created death and life to prove which of you will be most righteous
in deed; and He is the Mighty, the Forgiving!
Who hath created seven Heavens one above another: No defect canst thou see in
the creation of the God of Mercy: Repeat the gaze: seest thou a single flaw?
Then twice more repeat the gaze: thy gaze shall return to thee dulled and
Moreover we have decked the lowest heaven with lights, and have placed them
there to be hurled at the Satans, for whom we have prepared the torment of
the flaming fire.
And for those who believe not in their Lord is the torment of Hell; and
horrid the journey thither!
When they shall be thrown into it, they shall hear it braying:1 and it shall
Almost shall it burst for fury. So oft as a crowd shall be thrown into it,
its keepers shall ask them, "Came not the warner to you?"
They shall say, Yes! there came to us one charged with warnings; but we
treated him as a liar, and said, "Nothing hath God sent down: ye are in
nothing but a vast delusion."
And they shall say, "Had we but hearkened or understood, we had not been
among the dwellers in the flames;"
And their sin shall they acknowledge: but, "Avaunt, ye dwellers in the
But pardon and a great reward for those who fear their Lord in secret!
Be your converse hidden or open, He truly knoweth the inmost recess of your
What! shall He not know who hath created? for He is the Subtil,2 the
It is He who hath made the earth level for you: traverse then its broad
sides, and eat of what He hath provided.–Unto Him shall be the resurrection.
What! are ye sure that He who is in Heaven will not cleave the Earth beneath
you? And lo, it shall quake.
Or are ye sure that He who is in Heaven will not send against you a stone-
charged whirlwind? Then shall ye know what my warning meant!
And verily, those who flourish before you treated their prophets as liars:
and how grievous my wrath!
Behold they not the birds over their heads, outstretching and drawing in
their wings? None, save the God of Mercy, upholdeth them: for he regardeth
Who is he that can be as an army to you, to succour you, except the God of
Mercy? Truly, the infidels are in the merest delusion.
Or who is he that will furnish you supplies, if He withhold His supplies? Yet
do they persist in pride and in fleeing from Him!
Is he who goeth along grovelling on his face, better guided than he who goeth
upright on a straight path?
SAY: It is He who hath brought you forth, and gifted you with hearing and
sight and heart: yet how few are grateful!
SAY: It is He who hath sown you in the earth, and to Him shall ye be
And they say, "When shall this threat be put in force, if ye speak the
SAY: Nay truly, this knowledge is with God alone: and I am only an open
But when they shall see it nigh, sad shall wax the countenances of the
infidels: and it shall be said, "This is what ye have been calling for."
SAY: What think ye? Whether God destroy me or not, and those who follow me,
or whether he have mercy on us, yet who will protect the infidels from a
SAY: He is the God of Mercy: in Him do we believe, and in Him put we our
trust; and ye shall know hereafter who is in a manifest error.
SAY: What think ye? If at early morn your waters shall have sunk away, who
then will give you clear running water?
1 Thus Shakespeare uses the word braying of clamours of Hell; and Milton
speaks of braying horrible discord. Comp. Sura xxv. 12-21.
2 Der alles durchdringt. Ullm.; perspicax. Mar.; sagacious. Sale. The primary
meaning of the Arabic root is to draw near; hence the above signification, in
the sense of God's presence as interpenetrating all things: hence also the
other sense of benign, as in Sura [lxxxiii.] xlii. 18.
SURA XXIII.–THE BELIEVERS [LXIV.]
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
HAPPY now the BELIEVERS,
Who humble them in their prayer,
And who keep aloof from vain words,2
And who are doers of alms deeds,
And who restrain their appetites,
(Save with their wives, or the slaves whom their right hands possess: for in
that case they shall be free from blame:
But they whose desires reach further than this are transgressors:)
And who tend well their trusts and their covenants,
And who keep them strictly to their prayers:
These shall be the heritors,
Who shall inherit the paradise, to abide therein for ever.
Now of fine clay have we created man:
Then we placed him, a moist germ,3 in a safe abode;
Then made we the moist germ a clot of blood: then made the clotted blood into
a piece of flesh; then made the piece of flesh into bones: and we clothed the
bones with flesh: then brought forth man of yet another make4–Blessed
therefore be God, the most excellent of Makers5–
Then after this ye shall surely die:
Then shall ye be waked up on the day of resurrection.
And we have created over you seven heavens:6–and we are not careless of the
And we send down water from the Heaven in its due degree, and we cause it to
settle on the earth;–and we have power for its withdrawal:–
And by it we cause gardens of palm trees, and vineyards to spring forth for
you, in which ye have plenteous fruits, and whereof ye eat;
And the tree that groweth up on Mount Sinai; which yieldeth oil and a juice
for those who eat.
And there is a lesson for you in the cattle: We give you to drink of what is
in their bellies, and many advantages do ye derive from them, and for food
they serve you;
And on them and on ships are ye borne.
We sent Noah heretofore unto his people, and he said, "O my people! serve
God: ye have no other God than He: will ye not therefore fear Him?
But the chiefs of the people who believed not said, "This is but a man like
yourselves: he fain would raise himself above you: but had it pleased God to
send, He would have sent angels: We heard not of this with our sires of old;–
Verily he is but a man possessed; leave him alone therefore for a time."
He said, "O my Lord! help me against their charge of imposture."
So we revealed unto him, "Make the ark under our eye, and as we have taught,
and when our doom shall come on, and the earth's surface shall boil up,7
Carry into it of every kind a pair, and thy family, save him on whom sentence
hath already passed: and plead not with me for the wicked, for they shall be
And when thou, and they who shall be with thee, shall go up into the ark;
say, 'Praise be unto God, who hath rescued us from the wicked folk.'
And say, 'O my Lord! disembark me with a blessed disembarking: for thou art
the best to disembark."'
Verily in this were signs, and verily we made proof of man.
We then raised up other generations after them;
And we sent among them an apostle from out themselves, with, "Worship ye God!
ye have no other God than He: will ye not therefore fear Him?"
And the chiefs of His people who believed not, and who deemed the meeting
with us in the life to come to be a lie, and whom we had richly supplied in
this present life, said, "This is but a man like yourselves; he eateth of
what ye eat,
And he drinketh of what ye drink:
And if ye obey a man like yourselves, then ye will surely be undone.
What! doth he foretell you, that after ye shall be dead and become dust and
bones, ye shall be brought forth?
Away, away with his predictions!
There is no life beyond our present life; we die, and we live, and we shall
not be quickened again!
This is merely a man who forgeth a lie about God: and we will not believe
He said, "O my Lord! help me against this charge of imposture."
He said, "Yet a little, and they will soon repent them!"
Then did the shout of the destroying angel in justice surprise them, we made
them like leaves swept down by a torrent. Away then with the wicked people!
Then raised we up other generations after them–
Neither too soon, nor too late, shall a people reach its appointed time–
Then sent we our apostles one after another. Oft as their apostle presented
himself to a nation, they treated him as a liar; and we caused one nation to
follow another; and we made them the burden of a tale. Away then with the
people who believe not!
Then sent we Moses and his brother Aaron, with our signs and manifest power,
To Pharaoh and his princes; but they behaved them proudly, for they were a
And they said, "Shall we believe on two men like ourselves, whose people are
And they treated them both as impostors; wherefore they became of the
And we gave Moses the Book for Israel's guidance.
And we appointed the Son of Mary, and His mother for a sign; and we prepared
an abode for both in a lofty spot,8 quiet, and watered with springs.
"O ye apostles! eat of things that are good: and do that which is right: of
your doings I am cognisant.
And truly this your religion is the one religion;9 and I am your Lord:
therefore fear me."
But men have rent their great concern, one among another, into sects; every
party rejoicing in that which is their own;
Wherefore leave them till a certain time, in their depths of error.
What! think they that what we largely, bestow on them of wealth and children,
We hasten to them for their good? Nay, they have no knowledge.
But they who are awed with the dread of their Lord,
And who believe in the signs of their Lord,
And who join no other gods with their Lord,
And who give that which they give with hearts thrilled with dread because
they must return unto their Lord,
These hasten after good, and are the first to win it.
We will not burden a soul beyond its power: and with us is a book, which
speaketh the truth; and they shall not be wronged:
But as to this Book, their hearts are plunged in error, and their works are
far other than those of Muslims, and they will work those works,
Until when we lay hold on their affluent ones with punishment; lo! they cry
–"Cry not for help this day, for by Us ye shall not be succoured:
Long since were my signs rehearsed to you, but ye turned back on your heels,
Puffed up with pride, discoursing foolishly by night."
Do they not then heed the things spoken–whether that hath come to them which
came not to their fathers of old?
Or do they not recognise their apostle; and therefore disavow him?
Or say they, "A Djinn is in him?" Nay! he hath come to them with the truth;
but the truth do most of them abhor.
But if the truth had followed in the train of their desires, the heavens and
the earth, and all that therein is, had surely come to ruin! But we have
brought them their warning; and from their warning they withdraw.
Dost thou ask them for remuneration? But, remuneration from thy Lord is best;
and He is the best provider.
And thou indeed biddest them to the right path;
But verily they who believe not in the life to come, from that path do surely
And if we had taken compassion on them, and relieved them from their trouble,
they would have plunged on in their wickedness, wildly wandering.10
We formerly laid hold on them with chastisement, yet they did not humble them
to their Lord, nor did they abase them;
Until, when we have opened upon them the door of a severe punishment, lo!
they are in despair at it.
It is He who hath implanted in you hearing, and sight, and heart; how few of
you give thanks!
It is He who hath caused you to be born on the earth: and unto Him shall ye
And it is He who maketh alive and killeth, and of Him is the change of the
night and of the day: Will ye not understand?
But they say, as said those of old:–
They say,"What! When we shall be dead, and have become dust and bones, shall
we, indeed, be waked to life?
This have we been promised, we and our fathers aforetime: but it is only
fables of the ancients."
SAY: Whose is the earth, and all that is therein;–if ye know?
They will answer, "God's." SAY: Will ye not, then reflect?
SAY: Who is the Lord of the seven heavens, and the Lord of the glorious
They will say, "They are God's". SAY: Will ye not, then, fear Him?
SAY: In whose hand is the empire of all things, who protecteth but is not
protected? if ye know:
They will answer, "In God's." SAY: How, then, can ye be so spell-bound?
Yea, we have brought them the truth; but they are surely liars:
God hath not begotten offspring; neither is there any other God with Him:
else had each god assuredly taken away that which he had created,11 and some
had assuredly uplifted themselves above others! Far from the glory of God, be
what they affirm of Him!
He knoweth alike the unseen and the seen: far be He uplifted above the gods
whom they associate with Him!
SAY: O my Lord! If thou wilt let me witness the infliction of that with which
they have been threatened!
O my Lord! place me not among the ungodly people.
Verily, we are well able to make thee see the punishment with which we have
Turn aside evil with that which is better: we best know what they utter
And SAY: "O my Lord! I betake me to Thee, against the promptings of the
And I betake me to Thee, O my Lord! that they gain no hurtful access to me."
When death overtaketh one of the wicked, he saith, "Lord, send me back again,
That I may do the good which I have left undone."12 "By no means." These are
the very words which he shall speak:
But behind them shall be a barrier, until the day when they shall be raised
And when the trumpet shall be sounded, the ties of kindred between them shall
cease on that day; neither shall they ask each other's help.
They whose balances shall be heavy, shall be the blest.
But they whose balances shall be light,–these are they who shall lose their
souls, abiding in hell for ever:
The fire shall scorch their faces, and their lips shall quiver therein:–
–"What! Were not my signs rehearsed unto you? and did ye not treat them as
They shall say, "O our Lord! our ill-fortune prevailed against us, and we
became an erring people.
O our Lord! Bring us forth hence: if we go back again to our sins, we shall
indeed be evil doers."
He will say; "Be ye driven down into it; and, address me not."
A part truly of my servants was there, who said, "O our Lord! we believe:
forgive us, then, and be merciful to us, for of the merciful art thou the
But ye received them with such scoffs that they suffered you to forget my
warning, and ye laughed them to scorn.
Verily this day will I reward then, for their patient endurance: the blissful
ones shall they be!
He will say, "What number of years tarried ye on earth?"
They will say, "We tarried a day, or part of a day;13 but ask the recording
God will say, "Short indeed was the time ye tarried, if that ye knew it.
What! Did ye then think that we had created you for pastime, and that ye
should not be brought back again to us?" Wherefore let God be exalted, the
King, the Truth! There is no god but He! Lord of the stately throne! And
whoso, together with God, shall call on another god, for whom he hath no
proof, shall surely have to give account to his Lord. Aye, it shall fare ill
with the infidels.
And SAY: "O my Lord, pardon, and have mercy; for of those who show mercy, art
thou the best."
1 This Sura is said by Wahidi Intr, and by Assuyûti, 55, to be the last
Meccan revelation. But there seems to be no reason for this opinion.
2 In prayer. Eccl. v. I; Matt. vi. 7. But it may be understood of idle talk
3 See Sura xxii. 5, n.
4 That is, a perfect man at last, composed of soul and body. The verb halaka,
to create, is used throughout, for which I have necessarily substituted to
make, in order to retain the same word throughout the verse.
5 These words are said by most commentators on Sura vi. 93, to have been
uttered by Muhammad's scribe, Abdallah, on hearing the previous part of this
verse, and to have been adopted by the prophet, at the same moment, as
identical with his own inspirations.
6 Lit. seven paths–a Talmudic expression.
7 See Sura [lxxv.] xi. 42, n.
8 Comp. Sura xix. 22 ff., p. 119. Wahl understands this passage of Paradise.
9 Comp. Sura xxi. 92, p. 157.
10 There is no reliable tradition as to the nature of the visitation here
11 That is, each would have formed a separate and independent kingdom.
12 Or, in the (world) which I have left.
13 That is, our past life seems brevity itself in comparison with eternal
14 Lit. those who number, or keep account, i.e. our torments distract us too
much to allow us to compute.
SURA XXI.–THE PROPHETS [LXV.]
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
THIS people's reckoning hath drawn nigh, yet, sunk in carelessness, they turn
Every fresh warning that cometh to them from their Lord they only hear to
Their hearts set on lusts: and they who have done this wrong say in secret
discourse, "Is He more than a man like yourselves? What! will ye, with your
eyes open,1 accede to sorcery?"
SAY: "My Lord knoweth what is spoken in the heaven and on the earth: He is
the Hearer, the Knower."
"Nay," say they, "it is the medley of dreams: nay, he hath forged it: nay, he
is a poet: let him come to us with a sign as the prophets of old were sent."
Before their time, none of the cities which we have destroyed, believed: will
these men, then, believe?
And we sent none, previous to thee, but men to whom we had revealed
ourselves. Ask ye the people who are warned by Scriptures,2 if ye know it
We gave them not bodies which could dispense with food: and they were not to
live for ever.
Then made we good our promise to them; and we delivered them and whom we
pleased, and we destroyed the transgressors.
And now have we sent down to you "the book," in which is your warning: What,
will ye not then understand?
And how many a guilty city have we broken down, and raised up after it other
And when they felt our vengeance, lo! they fled from it.
"Flee not," said the angels in mockery, "but come back to that wherein ye
revelled, and to your abodes! Questions will haply be put to you."
They said, "Oh, woe to us! Verily we have been evil doers."
And this ceased not to be their cry, until we made them like reaped corn,
We created not the heaven and the earth, and what is between them, for sport:
Had it been our wish to find a pastime, we had surely found it in ourselves;–
if to do so had been our will.
Nay, we will hurl the truth at falsehood, and it shall smite it, and lo! it
shall vanish. But woe be to you for what ye utter of God!
All beings in the heaven and on the earth are His: and they who are in his
presence disdain not his service, neither are they wearied:
They praise Him night and day: they rest not.3
Have they taken gods from the earth who can quicken the dead?
Had there been in either heaven or earth gods besides God, both surely had
gone to ruin. But glory be to God, the Lord of the throne, beyond what they
He shall not be asked of his doings, but they shall be asked.
Have they taken other gods beside Him? SAY; Bring forth your proofs that they
are gods. This is the warning of those who are with me, and the warning of
those who were before me: but most of them know not the truth, and turn
No apostle have we sent before thee to whom we did not reveal that "Verily
there is no God beside me: therefore worship me."
Yet they say, "The God of Mercy hath begotten issue from the angels." Glory
be to Him! Nay, they are but His honoured servants:
They speak not till He hath spoken;4 and they do His bidding.
He knoweth what is before them and what is behind them; and no plea shall
Save for whom He pleaseth; and they tremble for fear of Him.
And that angel among them who saith "I am a god beside Him," will we
recompense with hell: in such sort will we recompense the offenders.
Do not the infidels see that the heavens and the earth were both a solid
mass, and that we clave them asunder, and that by means of water we give life
to everything? Will they not then believe?
And we set mountains on the earth lest it should move with them, and we made
on it broad passages between them as routes for their guidance;
And we made the heaven a roof strongly upholden; yet turn they away from its
And He it is who hath created the night and the day, and the sun and the
moon, each moving swiftly in its sphere.
At no time5 have we granted to man a life that shall last for ever: if thou
then die, shall they live for ever?
Every soul shall taste of death:6 and for trial will we prove you with evil
and with good; and unto Us shall ye be brought back.
And when the infidels see thee they receive thee only with scoffs:–"What! is
this he who maketh such mention of your gods?" Yet when mention is made to
them of the God of Mercy, they believe not.
"Man," say they, "is made up of haste."7 But I will shew you my signs:8
desire them not then to be hastened.
They say, "When will this threat be made good? Tell us, if ye be men of
Did the infidels but know the time when they shall not be able to keep the
fire of hell from their faces or from their backs, neither shall they be
But it shall come on them suddenly and shall confound them; and they shall
not be able to put it back, neither shall they be respited.
Other apostles have been scoffed at before thee: but that doom at which they
mocked encompassed the scoffers.
SAY: Who shall protect you by night and by day from the God of Mercy? Yet
turn they away from the warning of their Lord.
Have they gods beside Us who can defend them? For their own succour have they
no power; neither shall the gods they join with God screen them from Us.
Yes! we have given these men and their fathers enjoyments so long as their
life lasted. What! see they not that we come to a land and straiten its
borders9 Is it they who are the conquerors?
SAY: I only warn you of what hath been revealed to me: but the deaf will not
hear the call, whenever they are warned;
Yet if a breath of thy Lord's chastisement touch them, they will assuredly
say, "Oh! woe to us! we have indeed been offenders."
Just balances will we set up for the day of the resurrection, neither shall
any soul be wronged in aught; though, were a work but the weight of a grain
of mustard seed, we would bring it forth to be weighed: and our reckoning
We gave of old to Moses and Aaron the illumination,10 and a light and a
warning for the God-fearing,
Who dread their Lord in secret, and who tremble for "the Hour."
And this Koran which we have sent down is a blessed warning: will ye then
Of old we gave unto Abraham his direction,11 for we knew him worthy.
When he said to his Father and to his people, "What are these images to which
ye are devoted?"
They said, "We found our fathers worshipping them."
He said, "Truly ye and your fathers have been in a plain mistake."
They said, "Hast thou come unto us in earnest? or art thou of those who
He said, "Nay, your Lord is Lord of the Heavens and of the Earth, who hath
created them both; and to this am I one of those who witness:
–And, by God, I will certainly lay a plot against your idols, after ye shall
have retired and turned your backs."
So, he broke them all in pieces, except the chief of them, that to it they
might return, inquiring.
They said, "Who hath done this to our gods? Verily he is one of the unjust."
They said, "We heard a youth make mention of them: they call him Abraham."
They said, "Then bring him before the people's eyes, that they may witness
They said, "Hast thou done this to our gods, O Abraham?"
He said, "Nay, that their chief hath done it: but ask ye them, if they can
So they turned their thoughts upon themselves, and said, "Ye truly are the
Then became headstrong in their former error12 and exclaimed,"Thou knowest
that these speak not."
He said, "What! do ye then worship, instead of God, that which doth not
profit you at all, nor injure you? Fie on you and on that ye worship instead
of God! What! do ye not then understand?"
They said:13 "Burn him, and come to the succour of your gods: if ye will do
anything at all."
We said, "O fire! be thou cold, and to Abraham a safety!"14
And they sought to lay a plot against him, but we made them the sufferers.
And we brought him and Lot in safety to the land which we have blessed for
all human beings:
And we gave him Isaac and Jacob as a farther gift, and we made all of them
We also made them models who should guide others by our command, and we
inspired them with good deeds and constancy in prayer and almsgiving, and
they worshipped us.
And unto Lot we gave wisdom, and knowledge; and we rescued him from the city
which wrought filthiness; for they were a people, evil, perverse:
And we caused him to enter into our mercy, for he was of the righteous.
And remember Noah when aforetime he cried to us and we heard him, and
delivered him and his family from the great calamity;
And we helped him against the people who treated our signs as impostures. An
evil people verily were they, and we drowned them all.
And David and Solomon; when they gave judgment concerning a field when some
people's sheep had caused a waste therein; and we were witnesses of their
And we gave Solomon insight into the affair; and on both of them we bestowed
wisdom and knowledge. And we constrained the mountains and the birds to join
with David in our praise: Our doing was it!
And we taught David the art of making mail15 for you, to defend you from each
other's violence: will ye therefore be thankful?
And to Solomon we subjected we subjected the strongly blowing wind; it sped
at his bidding to the land we had blessed; for we know all things:
And sundry Satans16 who should dive for him and perform other work beside:
and we kept watch over them.
And remember Job: When he cried to his Lord, "Truly evil hath touched me: but
thou art the most merciful of those who shew mercy."
So we heard him, and lightened the burden of his woe; and we gave him back
his family, and as many more with them,–a mercy from us, and a memorial for
those who serve us:
And Ismael, and Edris17 and Dhoulkefl18–all steadfast in patience.
And we caused them to enter into our mercy; for they were of the righteous:
And Dhoulnoun;19 when he went on his way in anger, and thought that we had no
power over him. But in the darkness he cried "There is no God but thou: Glory
be unto Thee! Verily, I have been one of the evil doers:"
So we heard him and rescued him from misery: for thus rescue we the faithful:
And Zacharias; when he called upon his Lord saying, "O my Lord, leave me not
childless: but there is no better heir than Thyself."20
So we heard him, and gave him John, and we made his wife fit for child-
bearing. Verily, these vied in goodness, and called upon us with love and
fear, and humbled themselves before us:
And her who kept her maidenhood, and into whom21 we breathed of our spirit,
and made her and her son a sign to all creatures.
Of a truth, this, your religion, is the one22 Religion, and I your Lord;
therefore serve me:
But they have rent asunder this their great concern among themselves into
sects. All of them shall return to us.
And whoso shall do the things that are right, and be a believer, his efforts
shall not be disowned: and surely will we write them down for him.
There is a ban on every city which we shall have destroyed, that they shall
not rise again,
Until a way is opened for Gog and Magog,23 and they shall hasten from every
And this sure promise shall draw on. And lo! the eyes of the infidels shall
stare amazedly; and they shall say, "Oh, our misery! of this were we
careless! yea, we were impious persons."
Verily, ye, and what ye worship beside God,24 shall be fuel for hell: ye
shall go down into it.
Were these gods, they would not go down into it; but they shall all abide in
it for ever.
Therein shall they groan; but nought therein shall they hear to comfort them.
But they for whom we have before ordained good things, shall be far away from
Its slightest sound they shall not hear: in what their souls longed for, they
shall abide for ever:
The great terror shall not trouble them; and the angel shall meet them with,
"This is your day which ye were promised."
On that day we will roll up the heaven as one rolleth up25 written scrolls.
As we made the first creation, so will we bring it forth again. This promise
bindeth us; verily, we will perform it.
And now, since the Law was given, have we written in the Psalms that "my
servants, the righteous, shall inherit the earth."26
Verily, in this Koran is teaching for those who serve God.
We have not sent thee otherwise than as mercy unto all creatures.
SAY: Verily it hath been revealed to me that your God is one God; are ye then
resigned to Him? (Muslims.)
But if they turn their backs, then SAY: I have warned you all alike; but I
know not whether that with which ye are threatened be nigh or distant.
God truly knoweth what is spoken aloud, and He also knoweth that which ye
And I know not whether haply this delay be not for your trial, and that ye
may enjoy yourselves for a time.
My Lord saith: Judge ye with truth; for our Lord is the God of Mercy–whose
help is to be sought against what ye utter.
1 Lit. while ye see it to be such.
2 Lit. the people or family of the admonition. Itq. 34 considers this verse
to have been revealed at Medina.
3 Or, they invent not (concerning Him). Comp. Rev. iv. 8.
4 Lit. they precede him not in speech.
5 Lit. before thee, which might seem to imply that the grant of immortality
had been made to Muhammad. I have therefore rendered, as in the text, to
avoid the ambiguity. Comp. Suras [xcvii.] iii. 182; [lxxxi.] xxix. 57, and
Weil's Life of Mohammad, p. 350.
6 Comp. Matt. xvi. 28; Heb. ii. 9. Hist. Josephi Fabr. Lign. c. 22 at the
7 See the index under the word Man. The Rabbins teach that man was created
with innate evil propensities. See Schr der's Talm. Rabb.- Judenthum, p. 378.
8 That is, my teaching as to the future lot of the infidels, etc.
9 Muhammad appeals to the rapid progress of Islam as a proof of his divine
10 Ar. furquan–a derived by Muhammad from the Jews, constantly used in the
Talmud, and meaning as in Syr. and Æth. deliverance, liberation. Thus, Sura
viii. 29, 42, and hence, illumination, revelation, generally. The usual
interpretation here and in other passages is the distinction, i.e. between
good and evil, lawful and unlawful. The title is applied to the Koran and
11 This story is taken in part verbatim from Midr. Rabbah on Gen. par. 17.
See also Schalscheleth Hakabala, 2; Maimon de Idol. ch. 1; and Yad
Hachazakah, vii. 6, who makes Abraham–in his 40th year–renounce star-worship,
break images, escape the wrath of the king by a miracle, and preach that
there is one God of the whole universe.
12 Lit. sie neigten sich nach ihren Kopfen. They were turned down upon their
heads. Ullm. and Sale in notes. But Ullm. in the text, verfielen sie wieder
in ihren Aberglauben.
13 The Rabbins make Nimrod to have been the persecutor of Abraham. Comp.
Targ. Jon. on Gen. xv. 7. Tr. Bava Bathra, fol. 91 a. Maimon. More Nevochim,
iii. 29. Weil, Legenden, p. 74.
14 Or, let peace be upon Abraham. Comp. Targ. Jon. on Gen. xi. 28, from the
mistranslation of which this legend took its rise, the word ur in Heb.
meaning fire. See also Targ. Jon. on. Gen. xv. 7. The legend was adopted by
some of the Eastern Christians; and commemorated in the Syrian Calendar on
Jan. 29. (Hyde de Rel. V. Pers. 74). Comp. the Abyssinian Calendar on Jan.
25. (Ludolf. Hist. p. 409).
15 It has been observed that the blacksmith has ever been looked upon with
awe by barbarians on the same principle that made Vulcan a deity. In
Abyssinia all artisans are Budah, sorcerers, especially the blacksmith, and
he is a social outcast, as among the Somal; Throughout the rest of El-
Islam, the blacksmith is respected as treading in the path of David, the
father of the craft. Burton. First Footsteps in E. Africa, p. 33. The
numerous wars in which David was engaged, may have given rise to the myth of
his being the inventor of mail.
16 See Sura xxxviii. 37, p. 127.
17 See Sura xix. 55, 6, p. 121.
18 The man of the lot or portion. Or, of care, support. According to some
Elias, as others say, Isaiah. It is more probable, however, that he is he
Obadiah of 1 Kings xviii. 4, who supported 100 prophets in the cave, or
Ezechiel, who is called Kephil by the Arabs. See Niebuhr, Travels, ii. 265.
19 The man of the fish–Jonah.
20 See Suras [xcvii.] iii. 33; xix. p. 117, for the story of Zacharias in
full. The concluding sentence of this clause is obscure. It probably means
that even if no heir were vouchsafed to Zacharias, yet since God will be the
heir of all things he would take Zacharias to himself and thus abundantly
recompense him. See Sura [lxxix.] xxviii. 58.
21 See Sura [cix.] lxvi. 12. It is quite clear from these two passages that
Muhammad believed in the Immaculate and miraculous conception of Jesus.
22 That is, identical with that of the previous prophets, etc.
23 See Sura [lxix.] xviii. 93. Thus, the ancient Jewish and Christian legend
connects Gog and Magog with the end of the world. Rev. xx. 8. Pseudojon on
Lev. xxvi. 44. Comp. Numb. xi. 27. Gog, however, is probably the mountain
Ghef or Ghogh (see Reinegg's Beschreib. der Caucasus, ii. 79) and the
syllable Ma in Magog, the Sanscrit mah, maha great.
24 "Whenever a people is punished (for idolatry) the beings honoured by them
as gods, shall also be punished, for so it is written, on all the gods also
of Egypt will I inflict judgments." (Sakkah, 29.)
25 Ar. Sidjill, which is supposed by some to be the name of the angel who
writes down the actions of every man's life upon a scroll, which is rolled up
at his death (comp. Isai. xxxiv. 4); by others, to be the name of one of
26 Ps. xxxvii. 29. This is the only text quoted in the Koran.
SURA XXV.–AL FURKAN [LXVI.]
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
BLESSED be He who hath sent down AL FURKAN1 (the illumination) on his
servant, that to all creatures he may be a warner.
His the Kingdom of the Heavens and of the Earth! No son hath He begotten! No
partner hath He in his Empire! All things hath He created, and decreeing hath
decreed their destinies.
Yet have they adopted gods beside Him which have created nothing, but were
And no power have they over themselves for evil or for good, nor have they
power of death, or of life, or of raising the dead.
And the infidels say, "This Koran is a mere fraud of his own devising, and
others have helped him with it,2 who had come hither by outrage and lie."3
And they say, "Tales of the ancients that he hath put in writing! and they
were dictated to him morn and even."
SAY: He hath sent it down who knoweth the secrets of the Heavens and of the
Earth. He truly is the Gracious, the Merciful.
And they say, "What sort of apostle is this? He eateth food and he walketh
the streets! Unless an angel be sent down and take part in his warnings,
Or a treasure be thrown down to him, or he have a garden that supplieth him
with food . . ."4 and those unjust persons say, "Ye follow but a man
See what likenesses they strike out for thee! But they err, and cannot find
Blessed be He who if he please can give thee better than that of which they
speak–Gardens, 'neath which the rivers flow: and pavilions will He assign
Aye, they have treated the coming of "the Hour" as a lie. But a flaming fire
have we got ready for those who treat the coming of the Hour as a lie.
When it shall see them from afar, they shall hear its raging and roaring,–
And when they shall be flung into a narrow space thereof bound together, they
shall invoke destruction on the spot:
–"Call not this day for one destruction, but call for destructions many."
SAY: Is this, or the Paradise of Eternity which was promised to the God-
fearing, best? Their recompense shall it be and their retreat;
Abiding therein for ever, they shall have in it all that they desire! It is a
promise to be claimed of thy Lord.
And on the day when he shall gather them together, and those whom they
worshipped beside God, he will say, "Was it ye who led these my servants
astray, or of themselves strayed they from the path?"
They will say, "Glory be to thee! It beseemed not us to take other lords than
thee. But thou gavest them and their fathers their fill of good things, till
they forgat the remembrance of thee, and became a lost people."
Then will God say to the Idolaters, "Now have they made you liars in what ye
say,5 and they have no power to avert your doom, or to succour you."
And whosoever of you thus offendeth, we will make him taste a great
Never have we sent Apostles before thee who ate not common food, and walked
not the streets. And we test you by means of each other. Will ye be
steadfast? Thy Lord is looking on!
They who look not forward to meet Us say, "If the angels be not sent down to
us, or unless we behold our Lord. . . .” Ah! they are proud of heart, and
exceed with great excess!
On the day when they shall see the angels, no good news shall there be for
the guilty ones, and they shall cry out, "A barrier that cannot be passed!"6
Then will we proceed to the works which they have wrought, and make them as
Happier, on that day, the inmates of the Garden as to abode, and better off
as to place of noontide slumber!
On that day shall the heaven with its clouds be cleft, and the angels shall
be sent down, descending:
On that day shall all empire be in very deed with the God of Mercy, and a
hard day shall it be for the Infidels.
And on that day shall the wicked one7 bite his hands, and say, "Oh! would
that I had taken the same path with the Apostle!
"Oh! woe is me! would that I had not taken such an one8 for my friend!
It was he who led me astray from the Warning which had reached me! and Satan
is man's betrayer."9
Then said the Apostle, "O my Lord! truly my people have esteemed this Koran
to be vain babbling."
Thus have we given to every Prophet an enemy from among the wicked ones–But
thy Lord is a sufficient guide and helper.
And the infidels say, "Unless the Koran be sent down to him all at once. . .
." But in this way would we stablish thy heart by it; in parcels have we
parcelled it out to thee;10
Nor shall they come to thee with puzzling questions,11 but we will come to
thee with the truth, and their best solution.
They who shall be gathered upon their faces into hell, shall have the worst
place, and be farthest from the path of happiness.
Heretofore we gave the law to Moses, and appointed his brother Aaron to be
And we said, "Go ye to the people who treat our signs as lies." And them
destroyed we with utter destruction.
And as to the people of Noah! when they treated their Apostles as impostors,
we drowned them; and we made them a sign to mankind:–A grievous chastisement
have we prepared for the wicked!
And Ad and Themoud, and the men of Rass,13 and divers generations between
Unto each of them did we set forth parables for warnings, and each of them
did we utterly exterminate.
Oft are this have the unbelieving Meccans passed by the city on which was
rained a fatal rain. What! Have they not seen it? Yet have they no hope of a
And when they see thee, they do but take thee as the subject of their
railleries. "What! Is this he whom God has sent as an Apostle?
Indeed he had well nigh led us astray from our gods, had we not persevered
steadfastly in their service." But in the end they shall know, when they
shall see the punishment, who hath most strayed from the path.
What thinkest thou? He who hath taken his passions as a god–wilt thou be a
guardian over him?
Thinkest thou that the greater part of them hear or understand? They are just
like the brutes! Yes! they stray even further from the right way.
Hast thou not seen how thy Lord lengtheneth out the shadow?14 Had He pleased
he had made it motionless.15 But we made the sun to be its guide;
Then draw it in unto Us with easy indrawing.
He it is who ordaineth the night as a garment, and sleep for rest, and
ordaineth the day for waking up to life:
He it is who sendeth the winds as the forerunner of his mercy (rain); and
pure water send we down from Heaven,
That we may revive by it a dead land: and we give it for drink to our
creation, beasts and men in numbers;
And we distribute it among them on all sides, that they may reflect: but most
men refuse to be aught but thankless.
Had we pleased, we had raised up a warner in every city.
Give not way therefore to the Infidels, but by means of this Koran strive
against them with a mighty strife.
And He it is who hath let loose the two seas,16 the one sweet, fresh; and the
other salt, bitter; and hath put an interspace between them, and a barrier
that cannot be passed.
And it is He who hath created man of water,17 and established between them
the ties of kindred and affinity: and potent is thy Lord.
Yet beside God do they worship what can neither help nor hurt them: and the
Infidel is Satan's helper against his Lord:
Still we have sent thee only as a herald and a warner.
SAY: I ask of you no recompense for it,18 except from him who is willing to
take the way to his Lord.
And put thou thy trust in Him that liveth and dieth not, and celebrate his
praise; (He fully knoweth the faults of his servants) who in six days created
the Heavens and the Earth, and whatever is between them, then mounted his
Throne: the God of Mercy! Ask now of the Wise concerning Him.
But when it is said to them, "Bow down before the God of Mercy," they say,
"Who is the God of Mercy? Shall we bow down to what thou biddest?" And they
fly from thee the more.
Blessed be He who hath placed in the Heaven the sign of the Zodiac!19 who
hath placed in it the Lamp of the Sun, and the light-giving Moon!
And it is He who hath ordained the night and the day to succeed one another
for those who desire to think on God or desire to be thankful.
And the servants of the God of Mercy are they who walk upon the Earth softly;
and when the ignorant20 address them, they reply, "Peace!"
They that pass the night in the worship of their lord prostrate and
And that say, "O our Lord! turn away from us the torment of Hell, for its
torment is endless: it is indeed an ill abode and resting place!
Those who when they spend are neither lavish nor niggard, but keep the mean:–
Those who call on no other gods with God, nor slay whom God hath forbidden to
be slain, except for a just cause, and who commit not fornication (for he who
doth this shall meet the reward of his wickedness:
Doubled to him shall be the torment on the day of Resurrection; and in it
shall he remain, disgraced, for ever:–
Save those who shall repent and believe and do righteous works–for them God
will change their evil things into good things, for God is Gracious,
And whose turneth to God and doeth what is right, he verily will convert with
a true conversion):
And they who bear not witness to that which is false, and when they pass by
frivolous sport, pass on with dignity:–
And they who, when monished by the signs of their Lord, fall not down
thereat, as if deaf and blind:–
And who say, "O our Lord! give us in our wives and offspring the joy of our
eyes, and make us examples to those who fear thee:"
These shall be rewarded with the High Places of Paradise for their steadfast
endurance, and they shall meet therein with–Welcome and Salutation:–
For ever shall they remain therein: a fair abode and resting-place!
SAY: Not on your account doth my Lord care if ye call not on Him! ye have
treated his Apostle as an impostor: but bye and bye a punishment shall cleave
1 See Sura [lxv.] xxi. 49.
2 Comp. Sura [lxxiii.] xvi. 105. The frequency with which Muhammad feels it
necessary to rebut this charge by mere denial is strongly indicative of its
3 "The meaning may possibly be that the teachers of Muhammad were persons who
had taken refuge in Arabia for offences and heresies." Sprenger, Life of M.
p. 96, n. Or, but they utter an injustice and a falsehood. Nöldeke combats
Dr. Sprenger's supposition that "Tales of the ancients" (verse 6) is a book.
Hist. of Qoran, p. 13.
4 Supply, we will not believe.
5 In your ascriptions of divinity to them. Beidh.
6 Or, far, far be they removed. The same words occur at the end of verse 55.
The Commentators doubt whether they are spoken by the wicked of the
impossibility of their attaining Paradise, or by the angels to the wicked.
7 Said by Beidh. to be the polytheist Okbeh, the son of Abu Mo'eyt, who by
Muhammad's persuasion professed Islam, but afterwards retracted to please
Ubei ben Khalaf. See Gagnier's Vie de Mahom. i. 362.
8 Ar. fulani (whence the Spanish fulano) identical with the Heb. p. 155, used
of a person only in Ruth iv. 1, but by the Rabbinic writers, constantly.
9 Or, abandoner.
10 This verse shews that the Koran was of gradual growth in the time of
11 Lit. parables.
12 Lit. vizier.
13 It is uncertain whether Rass is the name of a city in Yemama; or merely,
as some interpret it, of a well near Midian; or, according to others, in the
territory of Hadramont.
14 Geiger is mistaken in supposing that this passage alludes to 2 Kings xx. 9
12, and his translation is inaccurate.
15 Lit. quiescent, i.e. always the same.
16 According to some commentators, Muhammad here speaks of the waters of the
Tigris, which do not mingle with the salt water of the sea till they have
reached a considerable distance from the river-mouth. See Zech. xiv. 8.
17 See Sura [cv.] xxiv. 44, n.
18 "Thou art taught that whoever would make a profit by the Law depriveth
himself of life." Pirke Aboth, i. 4. This precept is of frequent occurrence
in the Talmud.
19 Comp. Sura [xc.] xiii. 29; and the following Sura xvii. 109, n.
20 The idolaters.
SURA XVII.–THE NIGHT JOURNEY [LXVII.]
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
GLORY be to Him who carried his servant by night2 from the sacred temple of
Mecca to the temple3 that is more remote, whose precinct we have blessed,
that we might shew him of our signs! for He is the Hearer, the Seer.
And4 we gave the Book to Moses and ordained it for guidance to the children
of Israel–"that ye take no other Guardian than me."
O posterity of those whom we bare with Noah! He truly was a grateful servant!
And we solemnly declared to the children of Israel in the Book, "Twice surely
will ye enact crimes in the earth, and with great loftiness of pride will ye
surely be uplifted."
So when the menace for the first crime5 came to be inflicted, we sent against
you our servants endued with terrible prowess; and they searched the inmost
part of your abodes, and the menace was accomplished.
Then we gave you the mastery over them6 in turn, and increased you in wealth
and children, and made you a most numerous host.
We said, "If ye do well, to your own behoof will ye do well: and if ye do
evil, against yourselves will ye do it. And when the menace for your latter
crime7 came to be inflicted, then we sent an enemy to sadden your faces, and
to enter the temple as they entered it at first, and to destroy with utter
destruction that which they had conquered.
Haply your Lord will have mercy on you! but if ye return, we will return:8
and we have appointed Hell–the prison of the infidels.
Verily, this Koran guideth to what is most upright; and it announceth to
Who do the things that are right, that for them is a great reward;
And that for those who believe not in the life to come, we have got ready a
Man prayeth for evil as he prayeth for good; for man is hasty.
We have made the night and the day for two signs: the sign of the night do we
obscure, but the sign of the day cause we to shine forth, that ye may seek
plenty from your Lord, and that ye may know the number of the years and the
reckoning of time; and we have made everything distinct by distinctiveness.
And every man's fate9 have we fastened about his neck: and on the day of
resurrection will we bring forth to him a book which shall be proffered to
him wide open:
–"Read thy Book:10 there needeth none but thyself to make out an account
against thee this day."
For his own good only shall the guided yield to guidance, and to his own loss
only shall the erring err; and the heavy laden shall not be laden with
another's load. We never punished until we had first sent an apostle:
And when we willed to destroy a city, to its affluent ones did we address our
bidding; but when they acted criminally therein, just was its doom, and we
destroyed it with an utter destruction.
And since Noah, how many nations have we exterminated! And of the sins of his
servants thy Lord is sufficiently informed, observant.
Whoso chooseth this quickly passing life, quickly will we bestow therein that
which we please–even on him we choose; afterward we will appoint hell for
him, in which he shall burn–disgraced, outcast:
But whoso chooseth the next life, and striveth after it as it should be
striven for, being also a believer,–these! their striving shall be grateful
To all–both to these and those–will we prolong the gifts of thy Lord; for not
to any shall the gifts of thy Lord be denied.
See how we have caused some of them to excel others! but the next life shall
be greater in its grades, and greater in excellence.