Part 8 out of 14
Yet thus are they turned aside who gainsay the signs of God.
It is God who hath given you the earth as a sure foundation, and over it
built up the Heaven, and formed you, and made your forms beautiful, and
feedeth you with good things. This is God your Lord. Blessed then be God the
Lord of the Worlds!
He is the Living One. No God is there but He. Call then upon Him and offer
Him a pure worship. Praise be to God the Lord of the Worlds!
SAY: Verily I am forbidden to worship what ye call on beside God, after that
the clear tokens have come to me from my Lord, and I am bidden to surrender
myself to the Lord of the Worlds.
He it is who created you of the dust, then of the germs of life, then of
thick blood, then brought you forth infants: then he letteth you reach your
full strength, and then become old men (but some of you die first), and reach
the ordained term. And this that haply ye may understand.
It is He who giveth life and death; and when He decreeth a thing, He only
saith of it, "Be," and it is.
Seest thou not those who cavil at the signs of God? how are they turned
They who treat "the Book," and the message with which we have sent our Sent
Ones, as a lie, shall know the truth hereafter,
When the collars shall be on their necks and the chains to drag them into
Hell: then in the fire shall they be burned.
Then shall it be said to them, "Where are they whom ye made the objects of
joint worship with God?" They shall say, "They have vanished away from us.
Yea, it was nought on which we called heretofore." Thus God leadeth the
–"This for you, because of your unrighteous insolence and immoderate joys on
Enter ye the portals of Hell to abide therein for ever. And, wretched the
abode of the haughty ones!"
Therefore be thou steadfast in patience: for the promise of God is truth: and
whether we shall make thee see part of the woes with which we threatened
them, or whether we cause thee first to die, unto us shall they be brought
And we have already sent apostles before thee: of some we have told thee, and
of others we have told thee nothing:10 but no apostle had the power to work a
miracle unless by the leave of God. But when God's behest cometh, everything
will be decided with truth: and then they perish who treated it as a vain
It is God who hath given you the cattle that on some of them ye may ride, and
of some may eat:
(Other advantages too do ye derive from them)–and that by them ye may effect
the projects ye cherish in your breasts; for on them, and on ships are ye
And He sheweth you His signs: which, then, of the signs of God will ye deny?
Have they not journeyed in this land, and seen what hath been the end of
those who flourished before them? More were they than these in number and
mightier in strength, and greater are the traces of their power remaining in
the land:11 yet their labours availed them nothing.
And when their apostles had come to them with the tokens of their mission,
they exulted in what they possessed of knowledge; but that retribution at
which they scoffed, encompassed them.
And when they beheld our vengeance they said, "We believe in God alone, and
we disbelieve in the deities we once associated with Him."
But their faith, after they had witnessed our vengeance, profited them not.
Such the procedure of God with regard to his servants who flourished of old.
And then the unbelievers perished.
1 See Sura 1xviii. 1, p. 32.
2 The Cherubic beings of Scripture are said to be above the throne of God
(Is. vi. 1), beneath it (Ezek. x.); and the mystical beasts in the
Revelations are said to be in the midst of the throne and round about it.
3 Probably the union of life and death in the womb, and the subsequent life
followed by death.
4 See Sura [lxxix.] xxviii. 76.
5 Thus Sura [lxxix.] xxviii 20, and Sura [lx.] xxxvi. 19, we have a similar
character introduced into the narrative.
6 Comp. Acts v. 38, 39.
7 These tribes no doubt constantly formed temporary alliances. Muhammad
implies that they were confederate against their prophets.
8 Haman, the favourite of Ahasuerus and the enemy of the Jews, is thus made
the vizier of Pharaoh. The Rabbins make this vizier to have been Korah,
Jethro, or Balaam. Midr. Jalkut on Ex. ch. 1, Sect. 162-168; and Tr. Solah,
fol. 11. See Sura [lxxix.] xxviii. 5.
9 Thy remissness in propagating Islam. Beidh.
10 It is possible that Muhammad, conscious of his ignorance of Jewish
history, intends in this verse to screen himself from the charge of passing
over the histories of many of their prophets.
11 The wealth of Mecca, although it still numbered about 12,000 inhabitants
(as well as of Arabia generally), had much declined at the time of Muhammad,
owing mainly to the navigation of the Red Sea, under the Roman dominion over
Egypt, which of course impoverished the tribes situated on the line of the
old mercantile route southward. Mecca, however, was still to a certain extent
prosperous. Comp. Sura [lxi.] xliii. 28.
SURA XXVIII.–THE STORY [LXXIX.]
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
TA. SIN. MIM.1 These are the signs of the lucid Book.
We will recite to thee portions of the History of Moses and Pharaoh with
truth, for the teaching of the faithful.
Now Pharaoh lifted himself up in the earth, and divided his people into
parties: one portion of them he brought low–He slew their male children, and
let their females only live; for he was one of those who wrought disorders.
And we were minded to shew favour to those who were brought low in the land,
and to make them spiritual chiefs,2 and to make them Pharaoh's heirs,
And to stablish them in the land;3 and to make Pharaoh and Haman and their
hosts, the eye-witnesses of what they dreaded from them.
And we said by revelation to the mother of Moses, "Give him suck; and if thou
fearest for him, launch him on the sea; and fear not, neither fret; for we
will restore him to thee, and make him one of the apostles."
And Pharaoh's family took him up to be a foe and a sorrow to them, for
sinners were Pharaoh and Haman and their hosts!
And Pharaoh's wife said, "Joy of the eye4 to me and thee! put him not to
death: haply he will be useful to us, or we may adopt him as a son." But they
knew not what they did.
And the heart of Moses' mother became a blank through fear: and almost had
she discovered him, but that we girt up her heart with constancy, in order
that she might be one of those who believe.
She said to his sister, "Follow him." And she watched him from afar: and they
perceived it not.
And we caused him to refuse the nurses,5 until his sister came and said,
Shall I point out to you the family of a house that will rear him for you,
and will be careful of him?
So we restored him to his mother, to be the joy of her eyes, and that she
might not fret, and that she might know that the promise of God was true. But
most men knew it not.
And when he had reached his age of strength, and had become a man, we
bestowed on him wisdom and knowledge; for thus do we reward the righteous.
And he entered a city at the time when its inhabitants would not observe
him,6 and found therein two men fighting: the one, of his own people; the
other, of his enemies. And he who was of his own people asked his help
against him who was of his enemies. And Moses smote him with his fist and
slew him. Said he, "This is a work of Satan; for he is an enemy, a manifest
He said, "O my Lord, I have sinned to mine own hurt:7 forgive me." So God
forgave him; for He is the Forgiving, the Merciful.
He said, "Lord, because thou hast showed me this grace, I will never again be
the helper of the wicked."
And in the city at noon he was full of fear, casting furtive glances round
him: and lo! the man whom he had helped the day before, cried out to him
again for help. Said Moses to him, "Thou art plainly a most depraved person."
And when he would have laid violent hands on him who was their common foe, he
said to him, "O Moses, dost thou desire to slay me, as thou slayedst a man
yesterday? Thou desirest only to become a tyrant in this land, and desirest
not to become a peacemaker."
But a man came running up from the city's end. He said, "O Moses, of a truth,
the nobles consult to slay thee–Begone then–I counsel thee as a friend."
So forth he went from it in fear, looking warily about him. He said, "O Lord,
deliver me from the unjust people."
And when he was journeying toward Madian, he said, "Haply my Lord will direct
me in an even path."
And when he arrived at the water of Madian, he found at it a company of men
And he found beside them, two women8 keeping back their flock: "Why do ye,"
said he, "thus?" They said "We shall not water till the shepherds shall have
driven off; for our father is very aged."
So he watered for them–then retired to the shade and said, "O my Lord, of the
good thou hast caused me to meet with I stand in need."9
And one of them came to him, walking bashfully. Said she, "My father calleth
thee, that he may pay thee wages for thy watering for us." And when he came
to him and had told him his STORY, "Fear not," said he, "thou hast escaped
from an unjust people."
One of them said, "O my father, hire him: for the best thou canst hire is the
strong, the trusty."
He said, "Truly to one of these my two daughters I desire to marry thee, if
for eight years thou wilt be my hired servant:10 and if thou fulfil ten, it
shall be of thine own accord, for I wish not to deal hardly with thee. Thou
wilt find me, if God will, one of the upright."
He said, "Be it so between me and thee: Whichever of the two terms I fulfil,
there will be no injustice to me. And God is witness of what we say."
And when Moses had fulfilled the term, and was journeying with his family, he
perceived a fire on the mountain side. He said to his family, "Wait ye, for I
perceive a fire. Haply I may bring you tidings from it, or a brand from the
fire to warm you."
And when he came up to it, a Voice cried to him11 out of the bush from the
right side of the valley in the sacred hollow, "O Moses, I truly am God, the
Lord of the Worlds:
Throw down now thy rod." And when he saw it move as though it were a serpent,
he retreated and fled and returned not. "O Moses," cried the Voice, "draw
near and fear not, for thou art in safety.
Put thy hand into thy bosom; it shall come forth white, but unharmed: and
draw back thy hand12 to thee without fear. These shall be two signs from thy
Lord to Pharaoh and his nobles; for they are a perverse people."
He said, "O my Lord! truly I have slain one of them, therefore fear I lest
they slay me.
My brother Aaron is clearer of speech than I. Send him, therefore, with me as
a help, and to make good my cause, for I fear lest they treat me as an
He said, "We will strengthen thine arm with thy brother, and we will give
power unto you both, and they shall not equal you in our signs. Ye twain and
they who shall follow you, shall gain the day."
And when Moses came to him with our demonstrative signs they said, "This is
nought but magical device. We never heard the like among our sires of old."
And Moses said, "My Lord best knoweth on whom He hath bestowed His guidance,
and whose shall be the recompense of the abode of Paradise. Verily, the
wicked shall not prosper."
And Pharaoh said, "O ye nobles, ye have no other God that I know of but
myself. Burn me then, Haman, bricks of clay,13 and build me a tower that I
may mount up to the God of Moses, for in sooth, I deem him a liar."
And he and his hosts behaved themselves proudly and unjustly on the earth,
and thought that they should never be brought back to us.
But we seized on him and his hosts and cast them into the sea: Behold, then,
the end of the wrongful doers:
And we made them imâms who invite to the fire of hell, and on the day of
Resurrection they shall not be helped.
We followed them with a curse in this world, and covered shall they be with
shame on the day of Resurrection.
And after we had destroyed the former generations, we gave the book of the
Law to Moses for man's enlightening, and a guidance and a mercy, that haply
they might reflect.
And thou wast not on the western slope of Sinai when we laid his charge on
Moses, nor wast thou one of the witnesses;
But we raised up generations after Moses, men whose days were lengthened;14
neither didst thou dwell among the inhabitants of Madian to rehearse to them
our signs, but we sent Apostles to them.15
Nor wast thou on the slope of Sinai when we called to Moses, but it is of the
mercy of thy Lord that thou warnest a people, to whom no warner had come
before thee, to the intent that they should reflect:
And that they should not say when a calamity shall befal them for their
previous handy work, "O our Lord! why hast thou not sent an Apostle to us?
Then we should have followed thy signs and have been of the believers."
Yet when the truth came to them from our very presence, they said, "Unless
the like powers be given to him that were given to Moses. . . ."16 But did
they not disbelieve in what of old was given to Moses? They said, "Two works
of sorcery17 have helped each other;" and they said, "We disbelieve them
SAY: Bring then a Book from before God which shall be a better guide than
these, that I may follow it; if ye speak the truth.
And if they answer thee not, then know that verily they are following their
own caprices: and who goeth more widely astray than he who followeth his own
caprice without guidance from God? for God guideth not the wicked.
And now have we caused our word to come unto them, that they may be warned:
They18 to whom we gave the Scriptures before IT, do in IT believe.
And when it is recited to them they say, "We believe in it, for it is the
truth from our Lord. We were Muslims before it came."
Twice shall their reward be given them, for that they suffered with patience,
and repelled evil with good, and gave alms out of that with which we provided
And when they hear light discourse they withdraw from it, and say, "Our works
for us and your works for you! Peace be on you! We are not in quest of
Thou truly canst not guide whom thou desirest; but God guideth whom He will;
and He best knoweth those who yield to guidance.
But they say, "If we follow the way in which thou art guided,19 we shall be
driven from our country." But have we not established for them a sacred
secure precinct, to which fruits of every kind, our gift for their support,
are gathered together? But most of them have no knowledge.
And how many cities have we destroyed that flourished in wanton ease! And
these their dwellings have not been inhabited since their time save by a few,
and it is we who became their heirs.
But thy Lord did not destroy the cities till He had sent an apostle to their
mother-city to rehearse our signs to its people: nor did we destroy the
cities unless its people were unjust.
And all that hath been bestowed on you is merely for enjoyment and pomp of
this life present: but that which is with God is better and more lasting.
Will ye not be wise?
Shall he then to whom we have promised a goodly promise and who obtaineth it,
be as he on whom we have bestowed the enjoyments of this life present, and
who on the day of Resurrection shall be brought up for punishment?
On that day will God cry to them and say, "Where are my companions, as ye
They on whom doom shall be justly pronounced will say, "O our Lord! these are
they whom we led astray: we led them astray even as we had been led astray
ourselves: Thou hast no cause of blame against us: It was not we whom they
And it shall be said, "Call now on those whom ye made God's companions:" and
they shall call on them, but they will not answer them. And they shall see
the punishment, and wish that they had been guided aright.
And on that day shall God call to them and say, "How answered ye the
But on that day they shall be too blinded with confusion to give an
account,21 nor shall they ask it of one another.
Yet as to him who shall turn to God and believe and do the thing that is
right, it may come to pass that he shall be among the happy.
And thy Lord createth what he will and hath a free choice. But they, the
false gods, have no power to choose. Glory be to God! and high let him be
exalted above those whom they associate with him.
And thy Lord knoweth what their breasts conceal and what they bring to light.
And He is God! There is no god but He! His, all praise in this life and in
the next, and His the power supreme,22 and to Him shall ye be brought back!
SAY: What think ye? If God should enshroud you with a long night until the
day of resurrection, what god beside God would bring you light? Will ye not
SAY: What think ye? If God should make it one long day for you until the day
of resurrection, what god but God could bring you the night in which to take
your rest? Will ye not then see?
Of His mercy he hath made for you the night that ye may take your rest in it;
and the day that ye may seek what ye need out of his bounteous supplies, and
that ye may give thanks.
One day God will call to them and say, "Where are my companions as ye
And we will bring up a witness out of every nation and say, "Bring your
proofs." And they shall know that the truth is with God alone, and the gods
of their own devising shall desert them.
Now Korah23 was of the people of Moses: but he behaved haughtily toward them;
for we had given him such treasure that its keys would have burdened a
company of men of strength. When his people said to him, "Exult not, for God
loveth not those who exult;
But seek, by means of what God hath given thee, to attain the future Mansion;
and neglect not thy part in this world, but be bounteous to others as God
hath been bounteous to thee, and seek not to commit excesses on the earth;
for God loveth not those who commit excesses:"
He said, "It hath been given me only on account of the knowledge that is in
me." Did he not know that God had destroyed before him generations that were
mightier than he in strength and had amassed more abundant wealth? But the
wicked shall not be asked of their crimes.
And Korah went forth to his people in his pomp. Those who were greedy for
this present life said, "Oh that we had the like of that which hath been
bestowed on Korah! Truly he is possessed of great good fortune."
But they to whom knowledge had been given said, "Woe to you! the reward of
God is better for him who believeth and worketh righteousness, and none shall
win it but those who have patiently endured."
And we clave the earth for him and for his palace, and he had no forces, in
the place of God,24 to help him, nor was he among those who are succoured.
And in the morning those who the day before had coveted his lot said, "Aha!
God enlargeth supplies to whom he pleaseth of his servants, or is sparing.
Had not God been gracious to us, He had caused it to cleave for us. Aha! the
ungrateful can never prosper."
As to this future mansion, we will bestow it on those who seek not to exalt
them in the earth or to do wrong: And there is a happy issue for the God-
Whoso doeth good shall have reward beyond its merits, and whoso doeth evil,
they who do evil shall be rewarded only as they shall have wrought.
He who hath sanctioned the Koran to thee will certainly bring thee to thy
home.25 SAY: My Lord best knoweth who hath guidance, and who is in undoubted
Thou didst never expect that the Book would be given thee. Of thy Lord's
mercy only hath it been sent down. Be not thou helpful then to the
Neither let them turn thee aside from the signs of God after they have been
sent down to thee, but bid men to thy Lord; and be not among those who add
gods to God:
And call not on any other god with God. There is no god but He! Everything
shall perish except Himself! Judgment is His, and to Him shall ye return!
1 See Sura lxviii. 1, p. 32.
2 Lit. Imâms.
3 Comp. [xci.] ii. 58.
4 That is, This child will be a comfort to us. See Sura [lviii.] xix. 26.
5 "Why must the nurse be a Hebrew woman? (Ex. ii. 7.) This shews that he
refused the breast of all the Egyptian women. For the Holy, blessed be He,
had said, Shall the mouth that is to speak with me suck an unclean thing?"
Sotah. xii. 2.
6 Lit. in the time of neglect on the part of its people, i.e. at the hour of
the noon sleep.
7 Lit. I have acted unjustly to my soul.
8 Comp. Ex. ii. 16, 17, where the daughters are said to be seven.
9 That is, of a wife.
10 The compact (Gen. xxix. 15-39) between Laban and Jacob must have been
present to the mind of Muhammad when composing this tale.
11 Lit. he was cried to. According to Muhammad, Moses had resolved to quit
Madian previously to the Vision of the Bush, which, according to Ex. iii.,
was the real occasion.
12 Lit. thy wing.
13 Lit. kindle upon the clay. Comp. [lxxviii.] xl. 38-49. "He (Pharaoh) said
to them: From the first have ye spoken an untruth, for Lord of the Worlds am
I. I created myself and the Nile, as it is said (Ez. xxix. 3), 'My river is
mine own and I have made it for myself."' (E.T.) Mid. Rab. on Ex. Par. 5.
14 So that the oral traditions would be easily handed down.
15 Or, yet have we sent thee as an Apostle to them.
16 Supply, we will not believe.
17 That is, the Pentateuch and the Koran.
18 The Meccan Jews and Christians who had formerly embraced Islam, and could
now affirm that they had always held the same faith. This passage could not
have been written after Muhammad's experience of Jewish unbelief at Medina.
19 Lit. the guidance with thee.
20 But their own imaginations and passions.
21 Lit. the account shall be blind or dark to them. Sie werden vor Bestürzung
keine Rechenschaft geben. Ullm.
22 Potestas judiciaria. Mar. Richteramt. Ullm.
23 Ar. Karun. "Joseph concealed three treasures in Egypt, one of which became
known to Korah . . . the keys of Korah's treasure chambers were a burden for
300 white mules." Midr. Jalkut on Eccl. v. 12, "Riches kept for the owners
thereof to their hurt,"–which may have furnished Muhammad with the nucleus of
this story. Compare also Tract. Psachim. fol. 119 a.
24 Or, against God.
25 Probably to Paradise, according to others to Mecca, as a conqueror. But
this latter interpretation involves the revelation of this verse at least, at
SURA XXXIX.–THE TROOPS [LXXX.]
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
THE Book1 sent down from God, the Mighty, the Wise!
We have sent down the Book to thee with the truth: serve thou God then, and
be sincere in thy worship:
Is not a sincere worship due to God?
But they who take others beside him as lords saying, "We serve them only that
they may bring us near to God"–God will judge between them and the faithful,
concerning that wherein they are at variance.
Verily God will not guide him who is a liar, an infidel.
Had God desired to have had a son, he had surely chosen what he pleased out
of his own creation. But praise be to Him! He is God, the One, the Almighty.
For truth2 hath he created the Heavens and the Earth: It is of Him that the
night returneth upon the day and that the day returneth upon the night: and
He controlleth the sun and the moon so that each speedeth to an appointed
goal. Is He not the Mighty, the Gracious?
He created you all of one man, from whom He afterwards formed his wife; and
of cattle He hath sent down to you four pairs.3 In the wombs of your mothers
did He create you by creation upon creation in triple darkness. It is He who
is God your Lord: the kingdom is His: There is no God but He. How then are ye
so turned aside from Him?
Suppose ye render him no thanks! yet forsooth is God rich without you: but He
is not pleased with thanklessness in His servants: yet if ye be thankful He
will be pleased with you. The soul burdened with its own works shall not be
burdened with the burden of another: hereafter shall ye return to your Lord,
and he will tell you of all your works,
For he knoweth the very secrets of your breasts.
When some trouble toucheth a man, he turneth to his Lord and calleth on him:
yet no sooner hath He enriched him with his favour than he forgetteth Him on
whom he before had called, and setteth up peers with God, that he may beguile
others from His way. SAY: Enjoy thou thyself yet a little in thine
ingratitude! but thou shalt surely be one of the inmates of the fire.
Shall he who observeth the hours of the night, prostrate or standing in
devotion, heedful of the life to come, and hoping for the mercy of his Lord .
. .? SAY: Shall they who have knowledge and they who have it not, be treated
alike? In sooth, men of understanding only will take the warning.
SAY: O my believing servants, fear your Lord. For those who do good in this
world there is good: and broad is God's earth4–verily those who endure with
patience shall be repaid: their reward shall not be by measure.
SAY: I am bidden to serve God with a sincere worship: and I am bidden to be
the first of those who surrender themselves to him (Muslims).
SAY: Verily I fear if I rebel against my Lord the punishment of a great day.
SAY: God will I serve, presenting him with a sincere worship:
And serve ye what ye choose beside Him. SAY: The losers truly will they be
who shall lose their own souls and their families on the day of resurrection:
Is not this the clear ruin?
Canopies of fire shall be over them, and floors of fire beneath them. With
this doth God alarm his servants: Fear ye me, then, O my servants!
But good tidings are there for those who shun the worship of Thagout and are
turned to God. Cheer then with good tidings those my servants who hearken to
my word and follow its excellence. These are they whom God guideth, and these
are men of insight.
Him then on whom the sentence of punishment hath justly lighted–him who is
doomed to the fire canst thou rescue?
But for those who fear their Lord are storied pavilions beneath which shall
the rivers flow: it is the promise of God, and God will not fail in his
Seest thou not that God sendeth down water from heaven, and guideth it along
so as to form springs in the earth–then bringeth forth by it corn of varied
sorts–then causeth he it to wither, and thou seest it become yellow–then
crumbleth it away? Lo! herein is teaching for men of insight.
Shall he then whose breast God hath opened to Islam, and who hath light from
his Lord . . .? But woe to those whose hearts are hardened against the
remembrance of God! They plainly err.
The best of recitals hath God sent down a book in unison with itself, and
teaching by iteration.5 The very skins of those who fear their Lord do creep
at it! Then do their skins and their hearts soften at the remembrance of
their Lord! This is God's guidance: by it will He guide whom He pleaseth;
and, whom God shall mislead, no guide shall there be for him.
Shall he who shall have nought but his own face to shelter him with from the
torment of the punishment on the day of the resurrection . . .? Aye, to the
evil doers it shall be said, "Taste what ye have earned."
They who were before them said it was a lie; but a punishment came upon them
whence they looked not for it:
And God made them taste humiliation in this present life: but greater surely
will be the punishment of the life to come. Did they but know it!
Now have we set before man in this Koran every kind of parable for their
An Arabic Koran, free from tortuous wording, to the intent that they may fear
God setteth forth the comparison of a man with associates6 at variance among
themselves, and of a man devoted wholly to a man. Are these to be held alike?
No, praise be to God! But the greater part of them understand not.
Thou truly shall die, O Muhammad, and they too shall die:
Then, at the day of resurrection, ye shall wrangle with one another in the
presence of your Lord.
And who acteth more unjustly than he who lieth of God, and treateth the truth
when it cometh to him as a lie? Is there not a dwelling-place in Hell for the
But he who bringeth the truth, and he who believeth it to be the truth: these
are the God-fearing.
Whatever they shall desire, awaiteth them with their Lord! This is the reward
of the righteous;
That God may do away the guilt of their worst actions, and for their best
actions render them their reward.
Is not God all-sufficient for his servant? Yet would they scare thee by their
idols. But no guide shall there be for him whom God misleadeth:
And he whom God guideth shall have none to mislead him. Is not God, all-
mighty, able to revenge?
And if thou ask them who hath created the Heavens and the Earth, they will
surely answer, God. SAY: Think ye, then, that they7 on whom ye call beside
God, if God choose to afflict me, could remove his affliction? or if he
choose to show me mercy, could they withhold His mercy? SAY: God sufficeth
me: in Him let the trusting trust.
SAY: O my people, act your part as best ye can, I too will act mine; and in
the end ye shall know
On whom shall light a punishment that shall shame him, and on whom a lasting
punishment shall fall.
Assuredly we have sent down the Book to thee for man and for the ends of
truth. Whoso shall be guided by it–it will be for his own advantage, and
whoso shall err, shall only err to his own loss. But not to thy keeping are
God taketh souls unto Himself at death; and during their sleep those who do
not die:8 and he retaineth those on which he hath passed a decree of death,
but sendeth the others back till a time that is fixed. Herein are signs for
Have they taken aught beside God as intercessors? SAY: What! though they have
no power over anything, neither do they understand?
SAY: Intercession is wholly with God:9 His the kingdom of the Heavens and of
the Earth! To him shall ye be brought back hereafter!
But when the One God is named, the hearts of those who believe not in the
life to come, shrivel up: but when the deities who are adored beside Him are
named, lo! they are filled with joy.
SAY: O God, creator of the Heaven and of the Earth, who knowest the hidden
and the manifest, thou shalt judge between thy servants as to the subject of
If the wicked possessed all that is in the earth and as much again therewith,
verily they would ransom themselves with it from the pain of the punishment
on the day of the resurrection; and there shall appear to them, from God,
things they had never reckoned on:
And their own ill deeds shall be clearly perceived by them, and that fire at
which they mocked shall encircle them on every side.
When trouble befalleth a man he crieth to Us; afterwards, when we have
vouchsafed favour to him, he saith, "God knew that I deserved it."10 Nay, it
is a trial. But the greater part of them knew it not.
The same said those who flourished before them; but their deeds profited them
And their own ill deeds recoiled upon them. And whoso among these (Meccans)
shall do wrong, on them likewise their own misdeeds shall light, neither
shall they invalidate God.
Know they not that God giveth supplies with open hand, and that He is sparing
to whom He will? Of a truth herein are signs to those who believe.
SAY: O my servants who have transgressed to your own hurt,11 despair not of
God's mercy, for all sins doth God forgive. Gracious, Merciful is He!
And return ye to your Lord, and to Him resign yourselves, ere the punishment
come on you, for then ye shall not be helped:
And follow that most excellent thing which hath been sent down to you from
your Lord, ere the punishment come on you suddenly, and when ye look not for
So that a soul say, "Oh misery! for my failures in duty towards God! and
verily I was of those who scoffed:"
Or say, "Had God guided me, I had surely been of those who feared Him:"
Or say, when it seeth the punishment, "Could I but return, then I would be of
Nay! my signs had already come to thee, and thou didst treat them as
untruths, and wast arrogant, and becamest of those who believed not.
And on the resurrection day, thou shalt see those who have lied of God, with
their faces black. Is there not an abode in Hell for the arrogant?
But God shall rescue those who fear him into their safe retreat: no ill shall
touch them, neither shall they be put to grief.
God is the creator of all things, and of all things is He the guardian! His
the keys of the Heavens and of the Earth! and–who believe not in the signs of
God–these! they shall perish!
SAY: What! do ye then bid me worship other than God, O ye ignorant ones?
But now hath it been revealed to thee and to those who flourished before
thee,–"Verily, if thou join partners with God, vain shall be all thy work,
and thyself shalt be of those who perish.
Nay, rather worship God! and be of those who render thanks."
But they have not deemed of God as is His due;12 for on the resurrection day
the whole Earth shall be but his handful, and in his right hand shall the
Heavens be folded together. Praise be to Him! and high be He uplifted above
the partners they join with Him!
And there shall be a blast on the trumpet, and all who are in the Heavens and
all who are in the Earth shall expire, save those whom God shall vouchsafe to
live. Then shall there be another blast on it, and lo! arising they shall
gaze around them:
And the earth shall shine with the light of her Lord, and the Book shall be
set, and the prophets shall be brought up, and the witnesses; and judgment
shall be given between them with equity; and none shall be wronged:
And every soul shall receive as it shall have wrought, for well knoweth He
And by TROOPS shall the unbelievers be driven towards Hell, until when they
reach it, its gates shall be opened, and its keepers shall say to them, "Came
not apostles from among yourselves to you, reciting to you the signs of your
Lord, and warning you of the meeting with Him on this your day?"13 They shall
say, "Yes." But just is the sentence of punishment on the unbelievers.
It shall be said to them, "Enter ye the gates of Hell, therein to dwell for
ever;" and wretched the abode of the arrogant!
But those who feared their Lord shall be driven on by troops to Paradise,
until when they reach it, its gates shall be opened, and its keepers shall
say to them, "All hail! virtuous have ye been: enter then in, to abide herein
And they shall say, "Praise be to God, who hath made good to us His promise,
and hath given to us the earth as our heritage, that we may dwell in Paradise
wherever we please!" And goodly is the reward of those who travailed
And thou shalt see the Angels circling around the Throne with praises of
their Lord: and judgment shall be pronounced between them with equity: and it
shall be said, "Glory be to God the Lord of the Worlds."
1 Lit. the sending down, or revelation, of the Book is, etc.
2 Lit. in truth, i.e. for a serious and earnest purpose, and not as mere
3 That is, camels, oxen, sheep and goats.
4 The wording of this verse would seem to indicate a period when Muhammad was
meditating flight from Mecca. Comp. [lxxxi.] xxix. 56.
5 See on the word Mathani, Sura xv. 87, p. 116. Or, by rhyming couplets.
6 The word associates contains an implied allusion to the deities associated
with God, and who distract the idolaters in their worship.
7 In the fem. gender in the Ar. This passage was revealed shortly after the
circumstances mentioned, liii. 20, n. p. 70.
8 See Sura [lxxxix.] vi. 60.
9 That is, none may intercede with Him but those whom He permits to do so.
10 Lit. It was only given to me on account of knowledge. Mar. Deus sciebat me
esse dignum eo. Thus Sale.
11 By becoming apostates from Islam. Comp. Sura [lxxiii.] xvi. 108. This and
the two following verses are said to have originated at Medina. His 230, Wah.
Omar ben Muhammad. Beidh. Itq. 19.
12 Lit. they have not esteemed God according to the truth of His estimation.
13 Adventum diei hujus. Mar.
SURA XXIX.–THE SPIDER [LXXXI.]
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
ELIF. LAM. MIM.1 Think men that when they say, "We believe," they shall be
let alone and not be put to proof?
We put to proof those who lived before them; for God will surely take
knowledge of those who are sincere, and will surely take knowledge of the
Think they who work evil that they shall escape Us? Ill do they judge.
To him who hopeth to meet God, the set time of God will surely come. The
Hearer, the Knower, He!
Whoso maketh efforts for the faith, maketh them for his own good only. Verily
God is rich enough to dispense with all creatures.
And as to those who shall have believed and done the things that are right,
their evil deeds will we surely blot out from them, and according to their
best actions will we surely reward them.
Moreover we have enjoined on man to shew kindness to parents: but if they
strive with thee that thou join that with Me of which thou hast no
knowledge,2 obey them not. To me do ye return, and then will I tell you of
And those who shall have believed and done the things that are right, we will
surely give them an entering in among the just.
But some men say, "We believe in God," yet when they meet with sufferings in
the cause of God, they regard trouble from man as chastisement from God. Yet
if a success come from thy Lord they are sure to say, "We were on your side!"
Doth not God well know what is in the breasts of his creatures?
Yes, and God well knoweth those who believe, and He well knoweth the
The unbelievers say to the faithful, "Follow ye our way, and we will surely
bear your sins." But not aught of their sins will they bear–verily they are
But their own burdens, and burdens beside their own burdens shall they surely
bear: and inquisition shall be made of them on the day of Resurrection as to
their false devices.
Of old sent we Noah to his people: a thousand years save fifty did he tarry
among them; and the flood overtook them in their wrongful doings:
But we rescued him and those who were in the vessel; and we made it a sign to
And Abraham; when he said to his people, "Worship God and fear Him. This will
be best for you, if ye have knowledge;"
Ye only worship idols beside God, and are the authors of a lie. Those whom ye
worship beside God can give you no supplies: seek, then, your supplies from
God; and serve Him and give Him thanks. To Him shall ye return.
Suppose that ye treat me as a liar! nations before you have treated God's
messenger as a liar; but open preaching is his only duty.
See they not how God bringeth forth creation? and then causeth it to return
again? This truly is easy for God.
SAY,3 Go through the earth, and see how he hath brought forth created beings.
Hereafter, with a second birth will God cause them to be born again; for God
Whom He pleaseth will He chastise, and on whom He pleaseth will He have
mercy, and to Him shall ye be taken back.
And ye shall not invalidate his power either in the Earth or in the Heaven:4
and, save God, ye shall have neither patron nor helper.
As for those who believe not in the signs of God, or that they shall ever
meet him, these of my mercy shall despair, and these doth a grievous
And the only answer of his people was to say, "Slay him or burn him." But
from the fire did God save him! Verily, herein are signs to those who
And Abraham said, "Of a truth ye have taken idols along with God as your bond
of union5 in this life present;
But on the day of resurrection some of you shall deny the others, and some of
you shall curse the others; and your abode shall be the fire, and ye shall
have none to help."
But Lot believed on him,6 and said, "I betake me to my Lord, for He truly is
the Mighty, the Wise."
And we bestowed on him Isaac and Jacob,7 and placed the gift of prophecy and
the Scripture among his posterity; And we gave him his reward in this world,
and in the next he shall be among the just.
We sent also Lot: when he said to his people, "Proceed ye to a filthiness in
which no people in the world hath ever gone before you?
Proceed ye even to men? attack ye them on the highway? and proceed ye to the
crime in your assemblies?" But the only answer of his people was to say,
"Bring God's chastisement upon us, if thou art a man of truth."
He cried: My Lord! help me against this polluted people.
And when our messengers came to Abraham with the tidings of a son, they said,
"Of a truth we will destroy the in-dwellers in this city, for its in-dwellers
are evil doers."
He said, "Lot is therein." They said, "We know full well who therein is. Him
and his family will we save, except his wife; she will be of those who
And when our messengers came to Lot, he was troubled for them, and his arm
was too weak8 to protect them; and they said, "Fear not, and distress not
thyself, for thee and thy family will we save, except thy wife; she will be
of those who linger.9
We will surely bring down upon the dwellers in this city vengeance from
Heaven for the excesses they have committed."
And in what we have left of it is a clear sign to men of understanding.
And to Madian we sent their brother Shoaib. And he said, "Oh! my people!
worship God, and expect the latter day, and enact not in the land deeds of
But they treated him as an impostor: so an earthquake assailed them; and at
morn they were found prostrate and dead in their dwellings.
And we destroyed Ad and Themoud. Already is this made plain to you in the
ruins of their dwellings. For Satan had made their own works fair seeming to
them, and drew them from the right path, keen-sighted though they were.
And Corah and Pharaoh and Haman. With proofs of his mission did Moses come to
them, and they behaved proudly on the earth; but us they could not
For, every one of them did we seize in his sin. Against some of them did
wesend a stone-charged wind: Some of them did the terrible cry of Gabriel
surprise: for some of them we cleaved the earth; and some of them we drowned.
And it was not God who would deal wrongly by them, but they wronged
The likeness for those who take to themselves guardians instead of God is the
likeness of the SPIDER who buildeth her a house: But verily, frailest of all
houses surely is the house of the spider. Did they but know this!
God truly knoweth all that they call on beside Him; and He is the Mighty, the
These similitudes do we set forth to men: and none understand them except the
God hath created the Heavens and the Earth for a serious end.11 Verily in
this is a sign to those who believe.
Recite the portions of the Book which have been revealed to thee and
discharge the duty of prayer: for prayer restraineth from the filthy and the
blame-worthy. And the gravest duty is the remembrance of God; and God knoweth
what ye do.
Dispute not, unless in kindly sort, with the people of the Book;12 save with
such of them as have dealt wrongfully with you: And say ye, "We believe in
what hath been sent down to us and hath been sent down to you. Our God and
your God is one, and to him are we self-surrendered" (Muslims).
Thus have we sent down the Book of the Koran to thee: and they to whom we
have given the Book of the law believe in it: and of these Arabians there are
those who believe in it: and none, save the Infidels, reject our signs.
Thou didst not recite any book (of revelation) before it: with that right
hand of thine thou didst not transcribe one: else might they who treat it as
a vain thing have justly doubted:
But it is a clear sign in the hearts of those whom "the knowledge" hath
reached. None except the wicked reject our signs.
And they say, "Unless a sign be sent down to him from his Lord. . . ." SAY:
Signs are in the power of God alone. I am only a plain spoken warner.
Is it not enough for them that we have sent down to thee the Book to be
recited to them? In this verily is a mercy and a warning to those who
SAY: God is witness enough between me and you.
He knoweth all that is in the Heavens and the Earth, and they who believe in
vain things13 and disbelieve in God–these shall be the lost ones.
They will challenge thee to hasten the punishment: but had there not been a
season fixed for it, that punishment had already come upon them. But it shall
overtake them suddenly when they look not for it.
They will challenge thee to hasten the punishment: but verily Hell shall be
round about the infidels.
One day the punishment shall wrap them round, both from above them and from
beneath their feet; and God will say, "Taste ye your own doings."
O my servants who have believed! Vast truly is my Earth:14 me, therefore! yea
Every soul shall taste of death. Then to us shall ye return.
But those who shall have believed and wrought righteousness will we lodge in
gardens with palaces, beneath which the rivers flow. For ever shall they
abide therein. How goodly the reward of those who labour,
Who patiently endure, and put their trust in their Lord!
How many animals are there which provide not15 their own food! God feedeth
them and you. He Heareth, Knoweth all things.
If thou ask them who hath created the Heavens and the Earth, and hath imposed
laws on the sun and on the moon, they will certainly say, "God." How then can
they devise lies?
God lavisheth supplies on such of his servants as He pleaseth or giveth to
them by measure. God knoweth all things.
If thou ask them who sendeth rain from heaven, and by it quickeneth the
earth, after it hath been dead, they will certainly answer, "God." SAY:
Praise be to God! Yet most of them do not understand.
This present life is no other than a pastime and a disport: but truly the
future mansion is life indeed! Would that they knew this!
Lo! when they embark on shipboard, they call upon God, vowing him sincere
worship, but when He bringeth them safe to land, behold they join partners
In our revelation they believe not, yet take their fill of good things. But
in the end they shall know their folly.
Do they not see that we have established a safe precinct16 while all around
them men are being spoiled? Will they then believe in vain idols, and not own
the goodness of God?
But who acteth more wrongly than he who deviseth a lie against God, or calls
the truth when it hath come to him, a lie? Is there not an abode for the
infidels in Hell?
And whoso maketh efforts for us, in our ways will we guide them: for God is
assuredly with those who do righteous deeds.
1 See Sura lxviii. p. 32. The first ten verses of this Sura were revealed at
Medina, after the battles of Bedr and Ohod. Nöld. p. 115.
2 Deities for whose worship thou canst shew no authority. Comp. Tr.
Jebhamoth, fol. 6. If a father saith to his son, "Defile thyself," or saith,
"Make not restitution," shall he obey him? It is said (Lev. xix. 3), Let
every man reverence his father and mother, but keep my Sabbaths all of you:
ye are all bound to honour me. Thus also Midr. Jalkut, 604. Comp. next Sura,
3 The word SAY–the usual address of God or Gabriel to Muhammad–must either be
considered as spoken by God to Abraham, in which case we have a curious
instance of the manner in which Muhammad identifies himself with Abraham, and
makes Abraham speak in words which he constantly elsewhere uses himself; or,
with Wahl, we must suppose that from v. 17 to v. 22 are misplaced.
4 Comp. Ps. cxxxix. 7.
5 Lit. for love among yourselves, or as an object of love, i.e. devout
6 Thus Sura [lxv.] xxi. 71. The Midr. Rabbah on Gen. Par. 18, says that
Haran, the father of Lot, was brought by Abraham's deliverance from the
furnace to the adoption of his doctrines. Muhammad may have transferred this
idea to Lot.
7 The following passages deserve to be compared, as shewing the loose way in
which Muhammad could speak of the relationship subsisting between Abraham and
the other Patriarchs. See 38 below. Sura [xci.] ii. 127; [lxxxix.] vi. 84;
[lviii.] xix. 50; [lxv.] xxi. 72; [lxxvii.] xii. 6. It is a curious
coincidence that in the Sonna 398, 400, Joseph is said to be the Grandson,
and Jacob the Son, of Abraham.
8 Lit. was straitened in regard to them.
9 See [lxxv.] xi. 83.
10 So as to fly from our vengeance.
11 Lit. in truth.
12 With the Jews. This passage is quoted by modern Muslims in justification
of their indifference with respect to the propagation of their religion. "The
number of the faithful," said one of them to Mr. Lane, "is decreed by God,
and no act of man can increase or diminish it." Mod. Egypt. i. p. 364.
Nöldeke supposes this verse to have been revealed at Medina, and renders,
Contend not except in the best way, i.e. not by words but by force.
14 That is, you may find places of refuge where you may worship the true God
in some other parts of the earth, if driven forth from your native city. This
verse is very indicative of a late Meccan origin. Flight from Mecca must have
been imminent when Muhammad could thus write.
15 Lit. carry not. Comp. Matth. vi. 26; Luke xii. 24.
16 At Mecca.
SURA XXXI.–LOKMAN1 [LXXXII.]
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
ELIF. LAM. MIM.2 These are the verses (signs) of the wise Book,
A guidance and a mercy to the righteous,
Who observe prayer, and pay the impost,3 and believe firmly in the life to
These rest on guidance from their Lord, and with these it shall be well.
But a man there is4 who buyeth an idle tale, that in his lack of knowledge he
may mislead others from the way of God, and turn it to scorn. For such is
prepared a shameful punishment!
And when our signs are rehearsed to him, he turneth away disdainfully, as
though he heard them not,–as though his ears were heavy with deafness.
Announce to him therefore tidings of an afflictive punishment!
But they who shall have believed and wrought good works, shall enjoy the
gardens of delight:
For ever shall they dwell therein: it is God's true promise! and He is the
Mighty, the Wise.
Without pillars that can be seen hath He created the heavens, and on the
earth hath thrown mountains lest it should move with you;5 and He hath
scattered over it animals of every sort: and from the Heaven we send down
rain and cause every kind of noble plant to grow up therein.
This is the creation of God: Shew me now what others than He have created.
Ah! the ungodly are in a manifest delusion.
Of old we bestowed wisdom upon LOKMAN, and taught him thus–"Be thankful to
God: for whoever is thankful, is thankful to his own behoof; and if any shall
be thankless . . . God truly is self-sufficient, worthy of all praise!"
And bear in mind when Lokman said to his son by way of warning, "O my son!
join not other gods with God, for the joining gods with God is the great
(We have commanded6 man concerning his parents. His mother carrieth him with
weakness upon weakness; nor until after two years is he weaned.7 Be grateful
to me, and to thy parents. Unto me shall all come.
But if they importune thee to join that with Me of which thou hast no
knowledge, obey them not: comport thyself towards them in this world as is
meet and right; but follow the way of him who turneth unto me. Unto me shall
ye return at last, and then will I tell you of your doings;)
"O my son! verily God will bring everything to light, though it were but the
weight of a grain of mustard-seed, and hidden in a rock or in the heavens or
in the earth; for, God is subtile, informed of all.
O my son! observe prayer, and enjoin the right and forbid the wrong, and be
patient under whatever shall betide thee: for this is a bounden duty.
And distort not thy face at men; nor walk thou loftily on the earth; for God
loveth no arrogant vain-glorious one.
But let thy pace be middling; and lower thy voice: for the least pleasing of
voices is surely the voice of asses."
See ye not how that God hath put under you all that is in the heavens and all
that is on the earth, and hath been bounteous to you of his favours, both for
soul and body.8 But some are there who dispute of God without knowledge, and
have no guidance and no illuminating Book:
And when it is said to them, Follow ye what God hath sent down, they say,
"Nay; that religion in which we found our fathers will we follow." What!
though Satan bid them to the torment of the flame?
But whoso setteth his face toward God with self-surrender, and is a doer of
that which is good, hath laid hold on a sure handle; for unto God is the
issue of all things.
But let not the unbelief of the unbelieving grieve thee: unto us shall they
return: then will we tell them of their doings; for God knoweth the very
secrets of the breast.
Yet a little while will we provide for them: afterwards will we force them to
a stern punishment.
If thou ask them who hath created the heavens and the earth, they will
certainly reply, "God." SAY: God be praised! But most of them have no
God's, whatever is in the Heavens and the Earth! for God, He is the Rich,9
If all the trees that are upon the earth were to become pens, and if God
should after that swell the sea into seven seas of ink, His words would not
be exhausted: for God is Mighty, Wise.10
Your creation and your quickening hereafter, are but as those of a single
individual. Verily, God Heareth, Seeth!
Seest thou not that God causeth the night to come in upon the day, and the
day to come in upon the night? and that he hath subjected the sun and the
moon to laws by which each speedeth along to an appointed goal? and that God
therefore is acquainted with that which ye do?
This, for that God is the truth; and that whatever ye call upon beside Him is
a vain thing; and that God–He is the High, the Great.
Seest thou not how the ships speed on in the sea, through the favour of God,
that he may shew you of his signs? for herein are signs to all patient,
When the waves cover them like dark shadows they call upon God as with
sincere religion; but when He safely landeth them, some of them there are who
halt between two opinions.11 Yet none reject our signs but all deceitful,
O men! fear ye your Lord, and dread the day whereon father shall not atone
for son, neither shall a son in the least atone for his father.
Aye! the promise of God is a truth. Let not this present life then deceive
you; neither let the deceiver deceive you concerning God.
Aye! God!–with Him is the knowledge of the Hour: and He sendeth down the
rain–and He knoweth what is in the wombs–but no soul knoweth what it shall
have gotten on the morrow: neither knoweth any soul in what land it shall
die. But God is knowing, informed of all.
1 Nothing certain is known concerning the history of this fabulist and
philosopher. The opinion most generally received is that Lokman is the same
person whom the Greeks, not knowing his real name, have called Ćsop, i.e.,
Ćthiops. This Sura shews the high degree of respect entertained for Lokman in
Arabia at the time of Muhammad, who doubtless aimed to promote the interests
of his new religion by connecting the Koran with so celebrated a name.
2 See Sura lxviii. 1, p. 32.
3 Beidh. and Itq. suppose this verse to have been revealed at Medina, on
account of the precept to pay the impost, required by Muhammad of his
followers as a religious duty, and different from the alms. The former is
usually coupled with the duty of observing prayer. Mar. renders, sacrum
censum in marg.
4 Nodhar Ibn El Hareth, who had purchased in Persia the romance of Roustem
and Isfendiar, two of the most famous heroes of that land, which he recited
to the Koreisch as superior to the Koran.
5 Comp. Ps. civ. 5.
6 This verse and the verse following would seem more naturally to follow
verse 18, where Wahl has placed them. See preceding Sura, v. 7.
7 Comp. Talm. Kethuboth, 60, 1, "A woman is to suckle her child two years."
Comp. Jos. Ant. ii. 9, 6.
8 Or, the seen and unseen, lit., outwardly and inwardly.
9 Or as rendered in verse 11, "the self-sufficient."
10 Wah. Omar ben Muhammad, Zam. and Beidh. suppose this and the three
following verses to have been revealed at Medina, in answer to the Jews, who
had affirmed that all knowledge was contained in their own Law. But the
accuracy of this supposition is very doubtful, if considered with regard to
the preceding and following context.
11 Between idolatry and Islam.
SURA XLII.–COUNSEL [LXXXIII.]
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
HA. MIM. AIN. SIN. KAF.1 Thus unto thee as unto those who preceded thee doth
God, the Mighty, the Wise, reveal!
All that is in the Heavens and all that is in the Earth is His: and He is the
High, the Great!
Ready are the Heavens to cleave asunder from above for very awe: and the
angels celebrate the praise of their Lord, and ask forgiveness for the
dwellers on earth: Is not God the Indulgent, the Merciful?
But whose take aught beside Him as lords–God watcheth them! but thou hast
them not in thy charge.
It is thus moreover that we have revealed to thee an Arabic Koran, that thou
mayest warn the mother city2 and all around it, and that thou mayest warn
them of that day of the Gathering, of which there is no doubt–when part shall
be in Paradise and part in the flame.
Had God so pleased, He had made them one people and of one creed: but He
bringeth whom He will within His mercy; and as for the doers of evil, no
patron, no helper shall there be for them.
Will they take other patrons than Him? But God is man's only Lord: He
quickeneth the dead; and He is mighty over all things.
And whatever the subject of your disputes, with God doth its decision rest.
This is God, my Lord: in Him do I put my trust, and to Him do I turn in
Creator of the Heavens and of the Earth! he hath given you wives from among
your own selves, and cattle male and female–by this means to multiply you:
Nought is there like Him! the Hearer, the Beholder He!
His, the keys of the Heavens and of the Earth! He giveth with open hand, or
sparingly, to whom He will: He knoweth all things.
To you hath He prescribed the faith which He commanded unto Noah, and which
we have revealed to thee, and which we commanded unto Abraham and Moses and
Jesus, saying, "Observe this faith, and be not divided into sects therein."
Intolerable to those who worship idols jointly with God
Is that faith to which thou dost call them. Whom He pleaseth will God choose
for it, and whosoever shall turn to Him in penitence will He guide to it.
Nor were they divided into sects through mutual jealousy, till after that
"the knowledge" had come to them: and had not a decree from thy Lord gone
forth respiting them to a fixed time, verily, there had at once been a
decision between them.3 And they who have inherited "the Book" after them,
are in perplexity of doubt concerning it.
For this cause summon thou them to the faith, and go straight on as thou hast
been bidden, and follow not their desires: and SAY: In whatsoever Books God
hath sent down do I believe: I am commanded to decide justly between you: God
is your Lord and our Lord: we have our works and you have your works: between
us and you let there be no strife: God will make us all one: and to Him shall
And as to those who dispute about God, after pledges of obedience given to
Him,4 their disputings shall be condemned by their Lord, and wrath shall be
on them, and theirs shall be a sore torment.
It is God who hath sent down the Book with truth, and the Balance:5 but who
shall inform thee whether haply "the Hour" be nigh?
They who believe not in it, challenge its speedy coming:6 but they who
believe are afraid because of it, and know it to be a truth. Are not they who
dispute of the Hour, in a vast error?
Benign is God towards his servants: for whom He will doth He provide: and He
is the Strong, the Mighty.
Whoso will choose the harvest field of the life to come, to him will we give
increase in this his harvest field: and whoso chooseth the harvest field of
this life, thereof will we give him: but no portion shall there be for him in
the life to come.7
Is it that they have gods who have sanctioned for them aught in the matter of
religion which God hath not allowed? But had it not been for a decree of
respite till the day of severance, judgment had ere now taken place among
them; and assuredly the impious shall undergo a painful torment.
On that day thou shalt see the impious alarmed at their own works, and the
consequence thereof shall fall upon them: but they who believe and do the
things that are right, shall dwell in the meadows of paradise: whatever they
shall desire awaiteth them with their Lord. This, the greatest boon.
This is what God announceth to his servants who believe and do the things
that are right. SAY: For this ask I no wage of you, save the love of my kin.
And whoever shall have won the merit of a good deed, we will increase good to
him therewith; for God is forgiving, grateful.
Will they say he hath forged a lie of God? If God pleased,
He could then seal up thy very heart.8 But God will bring untruth to nought,
and will make good the truth by his word: for He knoweth the very secrets of
He it is who accepteth repentance from his servants, and forgiveth their sins
and knoweth your actions:
And to those who believe and do the things that are right will he hearken,
and augment his bounties to them:9 but the unbelievers doth a terrible
Should God bestow abundance upon his servants, they might act wantonly on the
earth: but He sendeth down what He will by measure; for he knoweth, beholdeth
He it is who after that men have despaired of it, sendeth down the rain, and
spreadeth abroad his mercy: He is the Protector, the Praiseworthy.
Among his signs is the creation of the Heavens and of the Earth, and the
creatures which he hath scattered over both: and, for their gathering
together when he will, He is allpowerful!
Nor happeneth to you any mishap, but it is for your own handy-work: and yet
he forgiveth many things.
Ye cannot weaken him on the earth: neither, beside God, patron or helper
shall ye have.
Among his signs also are the sea-traversing ships like mountains: if such be
his will, He lulleth the wind, and they lie motionless on the back of the
waves:–truly herein are signs to all the constant, the grateful;–
Or if, for their ill deserts, He cause them to founder, still He forgiveth
But they who gainsay our signs shall know that there will be no escape for
All that you receive is but for enjoyment in this life present: but better
and more enduring is a portion with God, for those who believe and put their
trust in their Lord;
And who avoid the heinous things of crime, and filthiness, and when they are
And who hearken to their Lord, and observe prayer, and whose affairs are
guided by mutual COUNSEL, and who give alms of that with which we have
And who, when a wrong is done them, redress themselves:
–Yet let the recompense of evil be only a like evil but he who forgiveth and
is reconciled, shall be rewarded by God himself; for He loveth not those who
And there shall be no way open against those who, after being wronged, avenge
But there shall be a way open against those who unjustly wrong others, and
act insolently on the earth in disregard of justice. These! a grievous
punishment doth await them.
And whoso beareth wrongs with patience and forgiveth;–this verily is a
But he whom God shall cause to err, shall thenceforth have no protector. And
thou shalt behold the perpetrators of injustice,
Exclaiming, when they see the torment, "Is there no way to return?"
And thou shalt see them when set before it, downcast for the shame: they
shall look at it with stealthy glances: and the believers shall say, "Truly
are the losers they who have lost themselves and their families on the day of
Resurrection! Shall not the perpetrators of injustice be in lasting torment?"
And no other protectors shall there be to succour them than God; and no
pathway for him whom God shall cause to err.
Hearken then to your Lord ere the day come, which none can put back when God
doth ordain its coming. No place of refuge for you on that day! no denying
your own works!
But if they turn aside from thee, yet we have not sent thee to be their
guardian. 'Tis thine but to preach. When we cause man to taste our gifts of
mercy, he rejoiceth in it; but if for their by-gone handy-work evil betide
them, then lo! is man ungrateful.
God's, the kingdom of the Heavens and of the Earth! He createth what He will!
and he giveth daughters to whom He will, and sons to whom He will:
Or He giveth them children of both sexes, and He maketh whom He will to be
childless; for He is Wise, Powerful!
It is not for man that God should speak with him but by vision, or from
behind a veil:
Or, He sendeth a messenger to reveal, by his permission, what He will: for He
is Exalted, Wise!
Thus have we sent the Spirit (Gabriel10) to thee with a revelation, by our
command. Thou knewest not, ere this, what "the Book" was, or what the faith.
But we have ordained it for a light: by it will we guide whom we please of
our servants. And thou shalt surely guide into the right way,
The way of God, whose is all that the Heaven and the Earth contain. Shall not
all things return to God?
1 See Sura lxviii. 1, p. 32.
3 Jews and Christians.
4 Or, nachdem ihm (Mohamed) die Lehre geworden. Ullm. Postquam responsum fuit
illi (id est, Mahumeto de Religione manifestanda). Mar.
5 The law contained in the Koran.
6 Isai. v. 19.
7 Comp. Gal. vi. 7, 8.
8 That is, deprive thee of the Prophetic mission; or, fortify thee with
patience against the calumny of forging lies of God. Thus Mar. If this latter
interpretation be adopted, the remainder of the verse must be rendered: And
God will abolish the lie and, etc.
9 Lit. he will increase them. Comp. Ps. cxv. 14.
10 Thus Beidhawi.
SURA X.–JONAH, PEACE BE ON HIM! [LXXXIV.]
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
ELIF. LAM. RA.1 These are the signs of the wise Book!
A matter of wonderment is it to the men of Mecca, that to a person among
themselves We revealed, "Bear warnings to the people: and, to those who
believe, bear the good tidings that they shall have with their Lord the
precedence merited by their sincerity." The unbelievers say, "Verily this is
a manifest sorcerer."
Verily your Lord is God who hath made the Heavens and the Earth in six days–
then mounted his throne to rule all things: None can intercede with him till
after his permission: This is God your Lord: therefore serve him: Will ye not
Unto Him shall ye return, all together: the promise of God is sure: He
produceth a creature, then causeth it to return again–that he may reward
those who believe and do the things that are right, with equity: but as for
the infidels!–for them the draught that boileth and an afflictive torment–
because they have not believed.
It is He who hath appointed the sun for brightness, and the moon for a light,
and hath ordained her stations that ye may learn the number of years and the
reckoning of time. God hath not created all this but for the truth.2 He
maketh his signs clear to those who understand.
Verily, in the alternations of night and of day, and in all that God hath
created in the Heavens and in the Earth are signs to those who fear Him.
Verily, they who hope not to meet Us, and find their satisfaction in this
world's life, and rest on it, and who of our signs are heedless;–
These! their abode the fire, in recompense of their deeds!
But they who believe and do the things that are right, shall their Lord
direct aright because of their faith. Rivers shall flow at their feet in
gardens of delight:
Their cry therein, "Glory be to thee, O God!" and their salutation therein,
And the close of their cry, "Praise be to God, Lord, of all creatures!"
Should God hasten evil on men as they fain would hasten their good, then were
their end decreed! So leave we those who hope not to meet Us, bewildered in
When trouble toucheth a man, he crieth to us, on his side, or sitting, or
standing; and when we withdraw his trouble from him, he passeth on as though
he had not called on us against the trouble which touched him! Thus are the
deeds of transgressors pre-arranged for them.
And of old destroyed we generations before you, when they had acted wickedly,
and their Apostles had come to them with clear tokens of their mission, and
they would not believe:–thus reward we the wicked.
Then we caused you to succeed them on the earth, that we might see how ye
But when our clear signs are recited to them, they who look not forward to
meet Us, say, "Bring a different Koran from this, or make some change in it."
SAY: It is not for me to change it as mine own soul prompteth. I follow only
what is revealed to me: verily, I fear, if I rebel against my Lord, the
punishment of a great day.
SAY: Had God so pleased, I had not recited it to you, neither had I taught it
to you. Already have I dwelt among you for years, ere it was revealed to me.
Understand ye not?
And who is more unjust than he who coineth a lie against God, or treateth his
signs as lies? Surely the wicked shall not prosper!
And they worship beside God, what cannot hurt or help them; and say, "These
are our advocates with God!" SAY: Will ye inform God of aught in the Heavens
and in the Earth which he knoweth not? Praise be to Him! High be He exalted
above the deities they join with Him!
Men were of one religion only:3 then they fell to variance: and had not a
decree (of respite) previously gone forth from thy Lord, their differences
had surely been decided between them!
They say: "Unless a sign be sent down to him from his Lord. . . ." But SAY:
The hidden is only with God: wait therefore: I truly will be with you among
those who wait.
And when after a trouble which you befallen them,4 we caused this people to
taste of mercy, lo! a plot on their part against our signs! SAY: Swifter to
plot is God! Verily, our messengers note down your plottings.
He it is who enableth you to travel by land and sea, so that ye go on board
of ships–which sail on with them, with favouring breeze in which they
rejoice. But if a tempestuous gale overtake them, and the billow come on them
from every side, and they think that they are encompassed therewith, they
call on God, professing sincere religion:–"Wouldst thou but rescue us from
this, then will we indeed be of the thankful."
But when we have rescued them, lo! they commit unrighteous excesses on the
earth! O men! assuredly your self-injuring excess is only an enjoyment of
this life present: soon ye return to us: and we will let you know what ye
Verily, this present life is like the water which we send down from Heaven,
and the produce of the earth, of which men and cattle eat, is mingled with
it, till the earth hath received its golden raiment, and is decked out: and
they who dwell on it deem that they have power over it! but, Our behest
cometh to it by night or by day, and we make it as if it had been mown, as if
it had not teemed only yesterday! Thus make we our signs clear to those who
And God calleth to the abode of peace;5 and He guideth whom He will into the
Goodness6 itself and an increase of it for those who do good! neither
blackness nor shame shall cover their faces! These shall be the inmates of
Paradise, therein shall they abide for ever.
And as for those who have wrought out evil, their recompense shall be evil of
like degree, and shame shall cover them–no protector shall they have against
God: as though their faces were darkened with deep murk of night! These shall
be inmates of the fire: therein they shall abide for ever.
And on that day will we gather them all together: then will we say to those
who added gods to God, "To your place, ye and those added gods of yours!"
Then we will separate between them: and those their gods shall say, "Ye
served us not:7
And God is a sufficient witness between us and you: we cared not aught for
There shall every soul make proof of what itself shall have sent on before,
and they shall be brought back to God, their true lord, and the deities of
their own devising shall vanish from them.
SAY: Who supplieth you from the Heaven and the Earth? Who hath power over
hearing and sight? And who bringeth forth the living from the dead, and
bringeth forth the dead from the living? And who ruleth all things? They will
surely say, "God:" then SAY: "What! will ye not therefore fear him?
This God then is your true Lord: and when the truth is gone, what remaineth
but error? How then are ye so perverted?
Thus is the word of thy Lord made good on the wicked, that they shall not
SAY: Is there any of the gods whom ye add to God who produceth a creature,
then causeth it to return to him? SAY: God produceth a creature, then causeth
it to return to Him: How therefore are ye turned aside?
SAY: Is there any of the gods ye add to God who guideth into the truth? SAY:
God guideth into the truth. Is He then who guideth into the truth the more
worthy to be followed, or he who guideth not unless he be himself guided?
What then hath befallen you that ye so judge?
And most of them follow only a conceit:–But a conceit attaineth to nought of
truth! Verily God knoweth what they say.
Moreover this Koran could not have been devised by any but God: but it
confirmeth what was revealed before it, and is a clearing up of the
Scriptures–there is no doubt thereof–from the Lord of all creatures.
Do they say, "He hath devised it himself?" SAY: Then bring a Sura like it;
and call on whom ye can beside God, if ye speak truth.
But that which they embrace not in their knowledge have they charged with
falsehood, though the explanation of it had not yet been given them. So those
who were before them brought charges of imposture: But see what was the end
of the unjust!
And some of them believe in it, and some of them believe not in it. But thy
Lord well knoweth the transgressors.
And if they charge thee with imposture, then SAY: My work for me, and your
work for you! Ye are clear of that which I do, and I am clear of that which
And some of them lend a ready ear to thee: But wilt thou make the deaf to
hear even though they understand not?
And some of them look at thee: But wilt thou guide the blind even though they
Verily, God will not wrong men in aught, but men will wrong themselves.
Moreover, on that day, He will gather them all together: They shall seem as
though they had waited but an hour of the day! They shall recognise one
another! Now perish they who denied the meeting with God, and were not guided
Whether we cause thee to see some of our menaces against them fulfilled, or
whether we first take thee to Ourself,8 to us do they return. Then shall God
bear witness of what they do.
And every people hath had its apostle.9 And when their apostle came, a
rightful decision took place between them, and they were not wronged.
Yet they say, "When will this menace be made good? Tell us if ye speak
SAY: I have no power over my own weal or woe, but as God pleaseth. Every
people hath its time: when their time is come, they shall neither retard nor
advance it an hour.
SAY: How think ye? if God's punishment came on you by night or by day, what
portion of it would the wicked desire to hasten on?
When it falleth on you, will ye believe it then? Yes! ye will believe it
then. Yet did ye challenge its speedy coming.
Then shall it be said to the transgressors, "Taste ye the punishment of
eternity! Shall ye be rewarded but as ye have wrought?"
They will desire thee to inform them whether this be true? SAY: Yes! by my
Lord it is the truth: and it is not ye who can weaken Him.
And every soul that hath sinned, if it possessed all that is on earth, would
assuredly ransom itself therewith; and they will proclaim their repentance
when they have seen the punishment: and there shall be a rightful decision
between them, and they shall not be unjustly dealt with.
Is not whatever is in the Heavens and the Earth God's? Is not then the
promise of God true? Yet most of them know it not.
He maketh alive and He causeth to die, and to Him shall ye return.
O men! now hath a warning come to you from your Lord, and a medicine for what
is in your breasts, and a guidance and a mercy to believers.
SAY: Through the grace of God and his mercy! and in this therefore let them
rejoice: better is this than all ye amass.
SAY: What think ye? of what God hath sent down to you for food, have ye made
unlawful and lawful? SAY: Hath God permitted you? or invent ye on the part of
But what on the day of Resurrection will be the thought of those who invent a
lie on the part of God? Truly God is full of bounties to man; but most of
them give not thanks.
Thou shalt not be employed in affairs, nor shalt thou read a text out of the
Koran, nor shall ye work any work, but we will be witnesses over you when ye
are engaged therein: and not the weight of an atom on Earth or in Heaven
escapeth thy Lord; nor is there aught that is less than this or greater, but
it is in the perspicuous Book.
Are not the friends of God, those on whom no fear shall come, nor shall they
be put to grief?
They who believe and fear God–
For them are good tidings in this life, and in the next! There is no change
in the words of God! This, the great felicity!
And let not their discourse grieve thee: for all might is God's: the Hearer,
the Knower, He!
Is not whoever is in the Heavens and the Earth subject to God? What then do
they follow who, beside God, call upon deities they have joined with Him?
They follow but a conceit, and they are but liars!
It is He who hath ordained for you the night wherein to rest, and the
lightsome day. Verily in this are signs for those who hearken.
They say, "God hath begotten children." No! by his glory! He is the self-
sufficient. All that is in the Heavens and all that is in the Earth is His!
Have ye warranty for that assertion? What! speak ye of God that which ye know
SAY: Verily, they who devise this lie concerning God shall fare ill.
A portion have they in this world! Then to us they return! Then make we them
to taste the vehement torment, for that they were unbelievers.
Recite to them the history of Noah,10 when he said to his people,–If, O my
people! my abode with you, and my reminding you of the signs of God, be
grievous to you, yet in God is my trust: Muster, therefore, your designs and
your false gods, and let not your design be carried on by you in the dark:
then come to some decision about me, and delay not.
And if ye turn your backs on me, yet ask I no reward from you: my reward is
with God alone, and I am commanded to be of the Muslims.
But they treated him as a liar: therefore we rescued him and those who were
with him in the ark, and we made them to survive the others; and we drowned
those who charged our signs with falsehood. See, then, what was the end of
these warned ones!
Then after him, we sent Apostles to their peoples, and they came to them with
credentials; but they would not believe in what they had denied aforetime:
Thus seal we up the hearts of the transgressors!
Then sent we, after them, Moses and Aaron to Pharaoh and his nobles with our
signs; but they acted proudly and were a wicked people:
And when the truth came to them from us, they said, "Verily, this is clear
Moses said: "What! say ye of the truth after it hath come to you, 'Is this
sorcery?' But sorcerers shall not prosper."
They said: "Art thou come to us to pervert us from the faith in which we
found our fathers, and that you twain shall bear rule in this land? But we
believe you not."
And Pharaoh said: "Fetch me every skilled magician." And when the magicians
arrived, Moses said to them, "Cast down what ye have to cast."
And when they had cast them down, Moses said, "Verily, God will render vain
the sorceries which ye have brought to pass: God prospereth not the work of
And by his words will God verify the Truth, though the impious be averse to
And none believed on Moses but a race among his own people, through fear of
Pharaoh and his nobles, lest he should afflict them: For of a truth mighty
was Pharaoh in the land, and one who committed excesses.
And Moses said: "O my people! if ye believe in God, then put your trust in
Him–if ye be Muslims."
And they said: "In God put we our trust. O our Lord! abandon us not to trial
from that unjust people,
And deliver us by thy mercy from the unbelieving people."
Then thus revealed we to Moses and to his brother: "Provide houses for your
people in Egypt, and in your houses make a Kebla, and observe prayer and
proclaim good tidings to the believers."
And Moses said: "O our Lord! thou hast indeed given to Pharaoh and his nobles
splendour and riches in this present life: O our Lord! that they may err from
thy way! O our Lord! confound their riches, and harden their hearts that they
may not believe till they see the dolorous torment."
He said: "The prayer of you both is heard: pursue ye both therefore the
straight path, and follow not the path of those who have no knowledge."
And we led the children of Israel through the sea; and Pharaoh and his hosts
followed them in eager and hostile sort until, when the drowning overtook
him, he said, "I believe that there is no God but he on whom the children of
Israel believe, and I am one of the Muslims."
"Yes, now," said God: "but thou hast been rebellious hitherto, and wast one
of the wicked doers.
But this day will we rescue thee with thy body that thou mayest be a sign to
those who shall be after thee:11 but truly, most men are of our signs
Moreover we prepared a settled abode for the children of Israel, and provided
them with good things: nor did they fall into variance till the knowledge
(the Law) came to them: Truly thy Lord will decide between them on the day of
Resurrection concerning that in which they differed.
And if thou art in doubt as to what we have sent down to thee, inquire at
those who have read the Scriptures before thee.12 Now hath the truth come
unto thee from thy Lord: be not therefore of those who doubt.
Neither be of those who charge the signs of God with falsehood, lest thou be
of those who perish.
Verily they against whom the decree of thy Lord is pronounced, shall not
Even though every kind of sign come unto them, till they behold the dolorous
Were it otherwise, any city, had it believed, might have found its safety in
its faith. But it was so, only with the people of JONAS. When they believed,
we delivered them from the penalty of shame in this world, and provided for
them for a time.
But if thy Lord had pleased, verily all who are in the earth would have
believed together. What! wilt thou compel men to become believers?
No soul can believe but by the permission of God: and he shall lay his wrath
on those who will not understand.
SAY: Consider ye whatever is in the Heavens and on the Earth: but neither
signs, nor warners, avail those who will not believe!
What then can they expect but the like of such days of wrath as befel those
who flourish before them? SAY: WAIT; I too will wait with you:
Then will we deliver our apostles and those who believe. Thus is it binding
on us to deliver the faithful.
SAY: O men! if ye are in doubt as to my religion, verily I worship not what
ye worship beside God; but I worship God who will cause you to die: and I am
commanded to be a believer.
And set thy face toward true religion, sound in faith, and be not of those
who join other gods with God:
Neither invoke beside God that which can neither help nor hurt thee: for if
thou do, thou wilt certainly then be one of those who act unjustly.
And if God lay the touch of trouble on thee, none can deliver thee from it
but He: and if He will thee any good, none can keep back his boons. He will
confer them on such of his servants as he chooseth: and He is the Gracious,
SAY: O men! now hath the truth come unto you from your Lord. He therefore who
will be guided, will be guided only for his own behoof: but he who shall err
will err only against it; and I am not your guardian!
And follow what is revealed to thee: and persevere steadfastly till God shall
judge, for He is the best of Judges.
1 See Sura 1xviii. n. 3, p. 32.
2 That is, for a serious end, to manifest the Divine Unity.
3 Gen. xi. 1.
4 This refers to the seven years of scarcity with which Mecca had been
6 Verses 27, 28 are to be noted, as defining the proportion to be observed in
rewards and punishments, the severity of the latter being only in proportion
to the crime, the excellence of the former being above and beyond its strict
7 But rather your own lusts. The Muhammadans believe that idols will be
gifted with speech at the day of judgment.
8 The ordinary Arabic word for to die seems to be avoided in speaking of
Jesus and Muhammad.
9 This is the doctrine of the Rabbins. Comp. Midrasch Rabba, and Midr. Jalkut
on Numb. xxii. 2.
10 The preaching of Noah is mentioned by the Rabbins. Sanhedrin, 108. Comp.
Midr. Rabbah on Gen. Par. 30 and 33, on Eccl. ix. 14, and in the probably