The Koran/The Q'uran

Part 2 out of 14

But what assured thee that he would not be cleansed by the Faith,
Or be warned, and the warning profit him?
As to him who is wealthy
To him thou wast all attention:
Yet is it not thy concern if he be not cleansed:2
But as to him who cometh to thee in earnest,
And full of fears
Him dost thou neglect.
Nay! but it (the Koran) is a warning;
(And whoso is willing beareth it in mind)
Written on honoured pages,
Exalted, purified,
By the hands of Scribes, honoured, righteous.
Cursed be man! What hath made him unbelieving?
Of what thing did God create him?
Out of moist germs.3
He created him and fashioned him,
Then made him an easy passage from the womb,
Then causeth him to die and burieth him;
Then, when he pleaseth, will raise him again to life.
Aye! but man hath not yet fulfilled the bidding of his Lord.
Let man look at his food:
It was We who rained down the copious rains,
Then cleft the earth with clefts,
And caused the upgrowth of the grain,
And grapes and healing herbs,
And the olive and the palm,
And enclosed gardens thick with trees,
And fruits and herbage,
For the service of yourselves and of your cattle.
But when the stunning trumpet-blast shall arrive,4
On that day shall a man fly from his brother,
And his mother and his father,
And his wife and his children;
For every man of them on that day his own concerns shall be
There shall be faces on that day radiant,
Laughing and joyous:
And faces on that day with dust upon them:
Blackness shall cover them!
These are the Infidels, the Impure.


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

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

3 Ex spermate.

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


MECCA. 19 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

PRAISE the name of thy Lord THE MOST HIGH,
Who hath created and balanced all things,
Who hath fixed their destinies and guideth them,
Who bringeth forth the pasture,
And reduceth it to dusky stubble.
We will teach thee to recite the Koran, nor aught shalt thou forget,
Save what God pleaseth; for he knoweth alike things manifest and
And we will make easy to thee our easy ways.
Warn, therefore, for the warning is profitable:
He that feareth God will receive the warning,
And the most reprobate only will turn aside from it,
Who shall be exposed to the terrible fire,
In which he shall not die, and shall not live.
Happy he who is purified by Islam,
And who remembereth the name of his Lord and prayeth.
But ye prefer this present life,
Though the life to come is better and more enduring.
This truly is in the Books of old,
The Books of Abraham1 and Moses.


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


MECCA. 8 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

I SWEAR by the FIG and by the olive,
By Mount Sinai,
And by this inviolate soil!1
That of goodliest fabric we created man,
Then brought him down to be the lowest of the low;
Save who believe and do the things that are right, for theirs shall
be a reward that faileth not.
Then, who after this shall make thee treat the Judgment as a lie?
What! is not God the most just of judges?


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


MECCA. 3 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

I SWEAR by the declining day!
Verily, man's lot is cast amid destruction,1
Save those who believe and do the things which be right, and
enjoin truth and enjoin stedfastness on each other.


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


MECCA. 22 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

BY the star-bespangled Heaven!1
By the promised Day!
By the witness and the witnessed!2
Cursed the masters of the trench3
Of the fuel-fed fire,
When they sat around it
Witnesses of what they inflicted on the believers!

Nor did they torment them but for their faith in God, the Mighty,
the Praiseworthy:4

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

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

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

Verily, right terrible will be thy Lord's vengeance!
He it is who produceth all things, and causeth them to return;
And is He the Indulgent, the Loving;
Possessor of the Glorious throne;
Worker of that he willeth.
Hath not the story reached thee of the hosts
Of Pharaoh and Themoud?
Nay! the infields are all for denial:
But God surroundeth them from behind.
Yet it is a glorious Koran,
Written on the preserved Table.


1 Lit. By the Heaven furnished with towers, where the angels keep
watch; also, the signs of the Zodiac: this is the usual interpretation.
See Sura xv. 15.

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

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

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


MECCA. 8 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

THE BLOW! what is the Blow?
Who shall teach thee what the Blow is?
The Day when men shall be like scattered moths,
And the mountains shall be like flocks of carded wool,
Then as to him whose balances are heavy his shall be a life that
shall please him well:

And as to him whose balances are light his dwelling-place1 shall
be the pit.
And who shall teach thee what the pit (El-Hawiya) is?
A raging fire!


1 Lit. Mother.


MECCA. 8 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

WHEN the Earth with her quaking shall quake
And the Earth shall cast forth her burdens,
And man shall say, What aileth her?
On that day shall she tell out her tidings,
Because thy Lord shall have inspired her.
On that day shall men come forward in throngs to behold their
And whosoever shall have wrought an atom's weight of good shall
behold it,
And whosoever shall have wrought an atom's weight of evil shall
behold it.


MECCA. 19 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

WHEN the Heaven shall CLEAVE asunder,
And when the stars shall disperse,
And when the seas1 shall be commingled,
And when the graves shall be turned upside down,
Each soul shall recognise its earliest and its latest actions.
O man! what hath misled thee against thy generous Lord,
Who hath created thee and moulded thee and shaped thee aright?
In the form which pleased Him hath He fashioned thee.
Even so; but ye treat the Judgment as a lie.
Yet truly there are guardians over you
Illustrious recorders
Cognisant of your actions.
Surely amid delights shall the righteous dwell,
But verily the impure in Hell-fire:
They shall be burned at it on the day of doom,
And they shall not be able to hide themselves from it.
Who shall teach thee what the day of doom is?
Once more. Who shall teach thee what the day of doom is?
It is a day when one soul shall be powerless for another soul: all
sovereignty on that day shall be with God.


1 Salt water and fresh water.


MECCA. 29 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

WHEN the sun shall be FOLDED UP,1
And when the stars shall fall,
And when the mountains shall be set in motion,
And when the she-camels shall be abandoned,
And when the wild beasts shall be gathered together,2
And when the seas shall boil,
And when souls shall be paired with their bodies,
And when the female child that had been buried alive shall be
For what crime she was put to death,3
And when the leaves of the Book shall be unrolled,
And when the Heaven shall be stripped away,4
And when Hell shall be made to blaze,
And when Paradise shall be brought near,
Every soul shall know what it hath produced.
It needs not that I swear by the stars5 of retrograde motions
Which move swiftly and hide themselves away,
And by the night when it cometh darkening on,
And by the dawn when it brighteneth,
That this is the word of an illustrious Messenger,6
Endued with power, having influence with the Lord of the Throne,
Obeyed there by Angels, faithful to his trust,
And your compatriot is not one possessed by djinn;
For he saw him in the clear horizon:7
Nor doth he grapple with heaven's secrets,8
Nor doth he teach the doctrine of a cursed 9 Satan.
Whither then are ye going?
Verily, this is no other than a warning to all creatures;
To him among you who willeth to walk in a straight path:
But will it ye shall not, unless as God willeth it,10 the Lord of the


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

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

3 See Sura xvi. 61; xvii. 33.

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

5 Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Mars, Saturn.

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

7 Sura 1iii. 7.

8 Like a mere Kahin, or soothsayer.

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

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


MECCA. 25 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

WHEN the Heaven shall have SPLIT ASUNDER
And duteously obeyed its Lord;1
And when Earth shall have been stretched out as a plain,
And shall have cast forth what was in her and become empty,
And duteously obeyed its Lord;
Then verily, O man, who desirest to reach thy Lord, shalt
thou meet him.
And he into whose right hand his Book shall be given,
Shall be reckoned with in an easy reckoning,
And shall turn, rejoicing, to his kindred.
But he whose Book shall be given him behind his back2
Shall invoke destruction:
But in the fire shall he burn,
For that he lived joyously among his kindred,
Without a thought that he should return to God.
Yea, but his Lord beheld him.
It needs not therefore that I swear by the sunset redness,
And by the night and its gatherings,
And by the moon when at her full,
That from state to state shall ye be surely carried onward.3
What then hath come to them that they believe not?
And that when the Koran is recited to them they adore not?
Yea, the unbelievers treat it as a lie.
But God knoweth their secret hatreds:
Let their only tidings4 be those of painful punishment;
Save to those who believe and do the things that be right.
An unfailing recompense shall be theirs.


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

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

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

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


Mecca. 11 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

By the snorting CHARGERS!
And those that dash off sparks of fire!
And those that scour to the attack at morn!
And stir therein the dust aloft;
And cleave therein their midway through a host!
Truly, Man is to his Lord ungrateful.
And of this he is himself a witness;
And truly, he is vehement in the love of this world's good.
Ah! knoweth he not, that when that which is in the graves shall be
laid bare,
And that which is in men's breasts shall be brought forth,
Verily their Lord shall on that day be informed concerning them?


Mecca. 46 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

By those angels who DRAG FORTH souls with violence,
And by those who with joyous release release them;
By those who swim swimmingly along;
By those who are foremost with foremost speed;2
By those who conduct the affairs of the universe!
One day, the disturbing trumpet-blast shall disturb it,
Which the second blast shall follow:
Men's hearts on that day shall quake:
Their looks be downcast.
The infidels will say, "Shall we indeed be restored as at first?
What! when we have become rotten bones?"
"This then," say they, "will be a return to loss."
Verily, it will be but a single blast,
And lo! they are on the surface of the earth.
Hath the story of Moses reached thee?
When his Lord called to him in Towa's holy vale:
Go to Pharaoh, for he hath burst all bounds:
And say, "Wouldest thou become just?
Then I will guide thee to thy Lord that thou mayest fear him."
And he showed him a great miracle,
But he treated him as an impostor, and rebelled;
Then turned he his back all hastily,
And gathered an assembly and proclaimed,
And said, "I am your Lord supreme."
So God visited on him the punishment of this life and of the other.
Verily, herein is a lesson for him who hath the fear of God.
Are ye the harder to create, or the heaven which he hath built?
He reared its height and fashioned it,
And gave darkness to its night, and brought out its light,
And afterwards stretched forth the earth,
He brought forth from it its waters and its pastures;
And set the mountains firm
For you and your cattle to enjoy.
But when the grand overthrow shall come,
The day when a man shall reflect on the pains that he hath taken,
And Hell shall be in full view of all who are looking on;
Then, as for him who hath transgressed
And hath chosen this present life,
Verily, Hell that shall be his dwelling-place:
But as to him who shall have feared the majesty of his Lord,
and shall have refrained his soul from lust,
Verily, Paradise that shall be his dwelling-place.
They will ask thee of "the Hour," when will be its fixed time?
But what knowledge hast thou of it?
Its period is known only to thy Lord;
And thou art only charged with the warning of those who fear it.

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


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

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


Mecca. 50 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

By the train of THE SENT ones,1
And the swift in their swiftness;
By the scatterers who scatter,
And the distinguishers who distinguish;
And by those that give forth the word
To excuse or warn;
Verily that which ye are promised is imminent.
When the stars, therefore, shall be blotted out,
And when the heaven shall be cleft,
And when the mountains shall be scattered in dust,
And when the Apostles shall have a time assigned them;
Until what day shall that time be deferred?
To the day of severing!
And who shall teach thee what the day of severing is?
Woe on that day to those who charged with imposture!
Have we not destroyed them of old?
We will next cause those of later times to follow them.2
Thus deal we with the evil doers.
Woe on that day to those who charged with imposture!
Have we not created you of a sorry germ,
Which we laid up in a secure place,
Till the term decreed for birth?
Such is our power! and, how powerful are We!
Woe on that day to those who charged with imposture!
Have we not made the earth to hold
The living and the dead?
And placed on it the tall firm mountains, and given you to drink of
sweet water.
Woe on that day to those who charged with imposture!
Begone to that Hell which ye called a lie:
Begone to the shadows that lie in triple masses;
"But not against the flame shall they shade or help you:"
The sparks which it casteth out are like towers
Like tawny camels.
Woe on that day to those who charged with imposture!
On that day they shall not speak,
Nor shall it be permitted them to allege excuses.
Woe on that day to those who charged with imposture!
This is the day of severing, when we will assemble you and your
If now ye have any craft try your craft on me.
Woe on that day to those who charged with imposture!
But the god-fearing shall be placed amid shades and fountains,
And fruits, whatsoever they shall desire:
"Eat and drink, with health,3 as the meed of your toils."
Thus recompense we the good.
Woe on that day to those who charged with imposture!
"Eat ye and enjoy yourselves a little while. Verily, ye are doers of
Woe on that day to those who charged with imposture!
For when it is said to them, bend the knee, they bend it not.
Woe on that day to those who charged with imposture
In what other revelation after this will they believe?


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

2 Sura xliv. 40.

3 Maimonides says that the majority of the Jews hope that Messiah
shall come and "raise the dead, and they shall be gathered into
Paradise, and there shall eat and drink and be in good health to all
eternity." Sanhedrin, fol. 119, col. 1.


Mecca. 41 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Of what ask they of one another?
Of the great NEWS.1
The theme of their disputes.
Nay! they shall certainly knows its truth!
Again. Nay! they shall certainly know it.
Have we not made the Earth a couch?
And the mountains its tent-stakes?
We have created you of two sexes,
And ordained your sleep for rest,
And ordained the night as a mantle,
And ordained the day for gaining livelihood,
And built above you seven solid2 heavens,
And placed therein a burning lamp;
And we send down water in abundance from the rain-clouds,
That we may bring forth by it corn and herbs,
And gardens thick with trees.
Lo! the day of Severance is fixed;
The day when there shall be a blast on the trumpet, and ye shall
come in crowds,
And the heaven shall be opened and be full of portals,
And the mountains shall be set in motion, and melt into thin
Hell truly shall be a place of snares,
The home of transgressors,
To abide therein ages;
No coolness shall they taste therein nor any drink,
Save boiling water and running sores;
Meet recompense!
For they looked not forward to their account;
And they gave the lie to our signs, charging them with falsehood;
But we noted and wrote down all:
"Taste this then: and we will give you increase of nought but
But, for the God-fearing is a blissful abode,
Enclosed gardens and vineyards;
And damsels with swelling breasts, their peers in age,
And a full cup:
There shall they hear no vain discourse nor any falsehood:
A recompense from thy Lord sufficing gift!

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

4 Gabriel.


Mecca. 26 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Hath the tidings of the day that shall OVERSHADOW, reached
Downcast on that day shall be the countenances of some,
Travailing and worn,
Burnt at the scorching fire,
Made to drink from a fountain fiercely boiling.
No food shall they have but the fruit of Darih,1
Which shall not fatten, nor appease their hunger.
Joyous too, on that day, the countenances of others,
Well pleased with their labours past,
In a lofty garden:
No vain discourse shalt thou hear therein:
Therein shall be a gushing fountain,
Therein shall be raised couches,
And goblets ready placed,
And cushions laid in order,
And carpets spread forth.
Can they not look up to the clouds, how they are created;
And to the heaven how it is upraised;
And to the mountains how they are rooted;
And to the earth how it is outspread?
Warn thou then; for thou art a warner only:
Thou hast no authority over them:
But whoever shall turn back and disbelieve,
God shall punish him with the greater punishment.
Verily to Us shall they return;
Then shall it be Our's to reckon with them.


1 The name of a bitter, thorny shrub.


Mecca. 30 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

By the DAYBREAK and ten nights.1
By that which is double and that which is single,
By the night when it pursues its course!
Is there not in this an oath becoming a man of sense?
Hast thou not seen how thy Lord dealt with Ad,
At Irem adorned with pillars,
Whose like have not been reared in these lands!
And with Themoud who hewed out the rocks in the valley;
And with Pharaoh the impaler;
Who all committed excesses in the lands,
And multiplied wickedness therein.
Wherefore thy Lord let loose on them the scourge of
For thy Lord standeth on a watch tower.
As to man, when his Lord trieth him and honoureth him and is
bounteous to him,
Then saith he, "My Lord honoureth me:"
But when he proveth him and limiteth his gifts to him,
He saith, "My Lord despiseth me."
Aye. But ye honour not the orphan,
Nor urge ye one another to feed the poor,
And ye devour heritages, devouring greedily,
And ye love riches with exceeding love.
Aye. But when the earth shall be crushed with crushing, crushing,
And thy Lord shall come and the angels rank on rank,

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

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

And none shall bind with such bonds as He.
Oh, thou soul which art at rest,
Return to thy Lord, pleased, and pleasing him:
Enter thou among my servants,
And enter thou my Paradise.


1 Of the sacred month Dhu'lhajja.

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

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


Mecca. 40 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
It needeth not that I swear by the day of the RESURRECTION,
Or that I swear by the self-accusing soul.
Thinketh man that we shall not re-unite his bones?
Aye! his very finger tips are we able evenly to replace.
But man chooseth to deny what is before him:
He asketh, "When this day of Resurrection?"
But when the eye shall be dazzled,
And when the moon shall be darkened,
And the sun and the moon shall be together,1
On that day man shall cry, "Where is there a place to flee to?"
But in vain there is no refuge
With thy Lord on that day shall be the sole asylum.
On that day shall man be told of all that he hath done first and last;
Yea, a man shall be the eye witness against himself:
And even if he put forth his plea. 2
(Move not thy tongue in haste to follow and master this
For we will see to the collecting and the recital of it;
But when we have recited it, then follow thou the recital,
And, verily, afterwards it shall be ours to make it clear to thee.)
Aye, but ye love the transitory,
And ye neglect the life to come.
On that day shall faces beam with light,
Outlooking towards their Lord;
And faces on that day shall be dismal,
As if they thought that some great calamity would befal them.
Aye, when the soul shall come up into the throat,
And there shall be a cry, "Who hath a charm that can restore him?"
And the man feeleth that the time of his departure is come,
And when one leg shall be laid over the other,4
To thy Lord on that day shall he be driven on;
For he believed not, and he did not pray,
But he called the truth a lie and turned his back,
Then, walking with haughty men, rejoined his people.
That Hour is nearer to thee and nearer,5
It is ever nearer to thee and nearer still.
Thinketh man that he shall be left supreme?
Was he not a mere embryo?6
Then he became thick blood of which God formed him and
fashioned him;
And made him twain, male and female.
Is not He powerful enough to quicken the dead?


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

2 Supply, it shall not be accepted.

3 Verses 16 19 are parenthetic, and either an address to
Muhammad by Gabriel desiring him (1) not to be overcome by any
fear of being unable to follow and retain the revelation of this
particular Sura; (2) or, not to interrupt him, but to await the
completion of the entire revelation before he should proceed to its
public recital. In either case we are led to the conclusion that, from
the first, Muhammad had formed the plan of promulging a written
book. Comp. Sura xx. 112.

4 In the death-struggle.

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

6 Nonne fuit humor ex spermate quod spermatizatur.


Mecca. 36 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Woe to those who STINT the measure:

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

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

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

For the great day?

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

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

And who shall make thee understand what Sidjin is?

It is a book distinctly written.

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

Who treated the day of judgment as a lie!

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

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

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

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

Then shall they be burned in Hell-fire:

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

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

And who shall make thee understand what Illiyoun is?

A book distinctly written;

The angels who draw nigh unto God attest it.

Surely, among delights shall the righteous dwell!
Seated on bridal couches they will gaze around;
Thou shalt mark in their faces the brightness of delight;
Choice sealed wine shall be given them to quaff,
The seal of musk. For this let those pant who pant for bliss
Mingled therewith shall be the waters of Tasnim 2
Fount whereof they who draw nigh to God shall drink.
The sinners indeed laugh the faithful to scorn:
And when they pass by them they wink at one another,
And when they return to their own people, they return jesting,
And when they see them they say, "These are the erring ones."
And yet they have no mission to be their guardians.
Therefore, on that day the faithful shall laugh the infidels to scorn,
As reclining on bridal couches they behold them.
Shall not the infidels be recompensed according to their works?


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

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


Mecca. 52 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful


What is the Inevitable?
And who shall make thee comprehend what the Inevitable is?
Themoud and Ad treated the day of Terrors1 as a lie.
So as to Themoud,2 they were destroyed by crashing thunder bolts;
And as to Ad, they were destroyed by a roaring and furious blast.
It did the bidding of God3 against them seven nights and eight
together, during which thou mightest have seen the people laid
low, as though they had been the trunks of hollow palms;
And couldst thou have seen one of them surviving?
Pharaoh also, and those who flourished before him, and the
overthrown cities, committed sin,
And disobeyed the Sent one of their Lord; therefore did he chastise
them with an accumulated chastisement.
When the Flood rose high, we bare you in the Ark,
That we might make that event a warning to you, and that the
retaining ear might retain it.
But when one blast shall be blown on the trumpet,
And the earth and the mountains shall be upheaved, and shall both
be crushed into dust at a single crushing,
On that day the woe that must come suddenly shall suddenly
And the heaven shall cleave asunder, for on that day it shall be
And the angels shall be on its sides, and over them on that day
eight shall bear up the throne of thy Lord.
On that day ye shall be brought before Him: none of your hidden
deeds shall remain hidden:
And he who shall have his book given to him in his right hand, will
say to his friends, "Take ye it; read ye my book;
I ever thought that to this my reckoning I should come."
And his shall be a life that shall please him well,
In a lofty garden,
Whose clusters shall be near at hand:
"Eat ye and drink with healthy relish, as the meed of what ye sent
on beforehand in the days which are past."
But he who shall have his book given into his left hand, will say,
"O that my book had never been given me!
And that I had never known my reckoning!
O that death had made an end of me!
My wealth hath not profited me!
My power hath perished from me!"
"Lay ye hold on him and chain him,
Then at the Hell-fire burn him,
Then into a chain whose length is seventy cubits thrust him;
For he believed not in God, the Great,
And was not careful to feed the poor;
No friend therefore shall he have here this day,
Nor food, but corrupt sores,
Which none shall eat but the sinners."
It needs not that I swear by what ye see,
And by that which ye see not,
That this verily is the word of an apostle worthy of all honour!
And that it is not the word of a poet how little do ye believe!
Neither is it the word of a soothsayer (Kahin) how little do ye
receive warning!
It is a missive from the Lord of the worlds.
But if Muhammad had fabricated concerning us any sayings,
We had surely seized him by the right hand,
And had cut through the vein of his neck.5
Nor would We have withheld any one of you from him.
But, verily, It (the Koran) is a warning for the God-fearing;
And we well know that there are of you who treat it as a falsehood.
But it shall be the despair of infidels,
For it is the very truth of sure knowledge.
Praise, then, the name of thy Lord, the Great.


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

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

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

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

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


Mecca. 60 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
By the clouds1 which scatter with SCATTERING,
And those which bear their load,
And by those which speed lightly along,
And those which apportion by command!
True, indeed, is that with which ye are threatened,
And lo! the judgment will surely come.2
By the star-tracked heaven!
Ye are discordant in what ye say;
But whose turneth him from the truth, is turned from it by a divine
Perish the liars,
Who are bewildered in the depths of ignorance!
They ask, "When this day of judgment?"
On that day they shall be tormented at the fire.
"Taste ye of this your torment, whose speedy coming ye
But the God-fearing shall dwell amid gardens and fountains,
Enjoying what their Lord hath given them, because, aforetime they
were well-doers:
But little of the night was it that they slept,
And at dawn they prayed for pardon,
And gave due share of their wealth to the suppliant and the
On Earth are signs for men of firm belief,
And also in your own selves: Will ye not then behold them?
The Heaven hath sustenance for you, and it containeth that which
you are promised.
By the Lord then of the heaven and of the earth, I swear that this is
the truth, even as ye speak yourselves.3
Hath the story reached thee of Abraham's honoured guests?4
When they went in unto him and said, "Peace!" he replied,
"Peace: they are strangers."
And he went apart to his family, and brought a fatted calf,
And set it before them. He said, "Eat ye not?"
And he conceived a fear of them. They said to him, "Fear not;"
and announced to him a wise son.
His wife came up with outcry: she smote her face and said, "What
I, old and barren!"
They said, "Thus saith thy Lord. He truly is the Wise, the
Said he, "And what, O messengers, is your errand?"
They said, "To a wicked people are we sent,
To hurl upon them stones of clay,
Destined5 by thy Lord for men guilty of excesses."
And we brought forth the believers who were in the city:
But we found not in it but one family of Muslims.
And signs we left in it for those who dread the afflictive
And in Moses: when we sent him to Pharaoh with manifest power:
But relying on his forces6 he turned his back and said, "Sorcerer,
or Possessed."
So we seized him and his hosts and cast them into the sea; for of
all blame was he worthy.
And in Ad: when we sent against them the desolating blast:
It touched not aught over which it came, but it turned it to dust.
And in Themoud:7 when it was said to them, "Enjoy yourselves for
yet a while."
But they rebelled against their Lord's command: so the tempest
took them as they watched its coming.8
They were not able to stand upright, and could not help
And we destroyed the people of Noah, before them; for an impious
people were they.
And the Heaven with our hands have we built it up, and given it
its expanse;
And the Earth we have stretched it out like a carpet; and how
smoothly have we spread it forth!
And of everything have we created pairs: that haply ye may reflect.
Fly then to God: I come to you from him a plain warner.
And set not up another god with God: I come to you from him a
plain warner.
Even thus came there no apostle to those who flourished before
them, but they exclaimed, "Sorcerer, or Possessed."
Have they made a legacy to one another of this scoff? Yes, they are
a rebel people.
Turn away, then, from them, and thou shalt not incur reproach:
Yet warn them, for, in truth, warning will profit the believers.
I have not created Djinn and men, but that they should worship
I require not sustenance from them, neither require I that they feed
Verily, God is the sole sustainer: possessed of might: the
Therefore to those who injure thee shall be a fate like the fate of
their fellows of old. Let them not challenge me to hasten it.
Woe then to the infidels, because of their threatened day.


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

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

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

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

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

6 Or, with his nobles.

7 For Ad and Themoud, see Sura xi.

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


MECCA. 49 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

And by the Book written
On an outspread roll,
And by the frequented fane,1
And by the lofty vault,
And by the swollen sea,
Verily, a chastisement from thy Lord is imminent,
And none shall put it back.
Reeling on that day the Heaven shall reel,
And stirring shall the mountains stir.2
And woe, on that day, to those who called the apostles liars,
Who plunged for pastime into vain disputes
On that day shall they be thrust with thrusting to the fire of Hell:
"This is the fire which ye treated as a lie.
What! is this magic, then? or, do ye not see it?

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

But mid gardens and delights shall they dwell who have feared

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

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

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

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

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

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

And youths shall go round among them beautiful as imbedded

And shall accost one another and ask mutual questions.

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

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

For, heretofore we called upon Him and He is the Beneficent, the

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hath God daughters and ye sons?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

2 Of the Caaba.

3 Comp. Psalm lxviii. 9.


MECCA. 96 Verses

In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

WHEN the day that must come shall have come suddenly,1
None shall treat that sudden coming as a lie:
Day that shall abase! Day that shall exalt!

When the earth shall be shaken with a shock,
And the mountains shall be crumbled with a crumbling,
And shall become scattered dust,
And into three bands shall ye be divided:2
Then the people of the right hand3 Oh! how happy shall be the
people of the right hand!
And the people of the left hand Oh! how wretched shall be the
people of the left hand!
And they who were foremost on earth the foremost still.4
These are they who shall be brought nigh to God,
In gardens of delight;
A crowd of the former
And few of the latter generations;
On inwrought couches
Reclining on them face to face:
Aye-blooming youths go round about to them
With goblets and ewers and a cup of flowing wine;
Their brows ache not from it, nor fails the sense:
And with such fruits as shall please them best,
And with flesh of such birds, as they shall long for:
And theirs shall be the Houris, with large dark eyes, like pearls
hidden in their shells,
In recompense of their labours past.
No vain discourse shall they hear therein, nor charge of sin,
But only the cry, "Peace! Peace!"
And the people of the right hand oh! how happy shall be the
people of the right hand!
Amid thornless sidrahs5
And talh6 trees clad with fruit,
And in extended shade,
And by flowing waters,
And with abundant fruits,7

Unfailing, unforbidden,
And on lofty couches.
Of a rare creation have we created the Houris,
And we have made them ever virgins,
Dear to their spouses, of equal age with them,8
For the people of the right hand,
A crowd of the former,
And a crowd of the latter generations.9
But the people of the left hand oh! how wretched shall be the
people of the left hand!
Amid pestilential10 winds and in scalding water,
And in the shadow of a black smoke,
Not cool, and horrid to behold.11
For they truly, ere this, were blessed with worldly goods,
But persisted in heinous sin,
And were wont to say,
"What! after we have died, and become dust and bones, shall we
be raised?
And our fathers, the men of yore?"
SAY: Aye, the former and the latter:
Gathered shall they all be for the time of a known day.
Then ye, O ye the erring, the gainsaying,
Shall surely eat of the tree Ez-zakkoum,
And fill your bellies with it,
And thereupon shall ye drink boiling water,
And ye shall drink as the thirsty camel drinketh.
This shall be their repast in the day of reckoning!
We created you, will ye not credit us?12
What think ye? The germs of life13
Is it ye who create them? or are we their creator?
It is we who have decreed that death should be among you;
Yet are we not thereby hindered14 from replacing you with others,
your likes, or from producing you again in a form which ye know
Ye have known the first creation: will ye not then reflect?
What think ye? That which ye sow

Is it ye who cause its upgrowth, or do we cause it to spring forth?
If we pleased we could so make your harvest dry and brittle that ye
would ever marvel and say,
"Truly we have been at cost,15 yet are we forbidden harvest."
What think ye of the water ye drink?
Is it ye who send it down from the clouds, or send we it down?
Brackish could we make it, if we pleased: will ye not then be
What think ye? The fire which ye obtain by friction
Is it ye who rear its tree, or do we rear it?
It is we who have made it for a memorial and a benefit to the
wayfarers of the desert,
Praise therefore the name of thy Lord, the Great.
It needs not that I swear by the setting of the stars,
And it is a great oath, if ye knew it,
That this is the honourable Koran,
Written in the preserved Book:16
Let none touch it but the purified,17
It is a revelation from the Lord of the worlds.
Such tidings as these will ye disdain?
Will ye make it your daily bread to gainsay them?
Why, at the moment when the soul of a dying man shall come up
into his throat,
And when ye are gazing at him,
Though we are nearer to him than ye, although ye see us not:
why do ye not, if ye are to escape the judgment,
Cause that soul to return? Tell me, if ye speak the truth.
But as to him who shall enjoy near access to God,
His shall be repose, and pleasure, and a garden of delights.
Yea, for him who shall be of the people of the right hand,
Shall be the greeting from the people of the right hand "Peace
be to thee."
But for him who shall be of those who treat the prophets as
And of the erring,

His entertainment shall be of scalding water,
And the broiling of hell-fire.
Verily this is a certain truth:
Praise therefore the name of thy Lord, the Great.


1 The renderings of Mar. cum inciderit casura, or as in Sur. lxix,
15, ingruerit ingruens nearly express the peculiar force of the
Arabic verb and of the noun formed from it; i.e. a calamity that
falls suddenly and surely. Weil renders, ween der Auferstehung's
Tag eintritt (p. 389). Lane, when the calamity shall have happened.

2 Comp. Tr. Rosch Haschanah, fol. 16, 6.

3 Lit., the companions of the right hand, what shall be the
companions of the right hand! and thus in verses 9, 37, 40.

4 Lit., the preceders, the preceders.

5 See Sura liii. 14, p. 69.

6 Probably the banana according to others, the acacia

7 "A Muslim of some learning professed to me that he considered
the descriptions of Paradise in the Koran to be, in a great measure,
figurative; 'like those,' said he, 'in the book of the Revelation of
St. John;' and he assured me that many learned Muslims were of
the same opinion." Lane's Modern Egyptians, i. p. 75, note.

8 Like them, grow not old.

9 This seems a direct contradiction to verse 14, unless we suppose
with Beidhawi that an inferior and more numerous class of
believers are here spoken of.

10 Or, scorching.

11 Lit., not noble, agreeable in appearance.

12 As to the resurrection.

13 Lit., semen quod emittitis.

14 Lit., forestalled, anticipated.

15 Lit, have incurred debt.

16 That is, The Prototype of the Koran written down in the Book
kept by God himself.

17 This passage implies the existence of copies of portions at least
of the Koran in common use. It was quoted by the sister of Omar
when at his conversion be desired to take her copy of Sura xx. into
his hands.


MECCA. 62 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

By the STAR when it setteth,
Your compatriot erreth not, nor is he led astray,
Neither speaketh he from mere impulse.
The Koran is no other than a revelation revealed to him:
One terrible in power2 taught it him,
Endued with wisdom. With even balance stood he
In the highest part of the horizon:
Then came he nearer and approached,
And was at the distance of two bows, or even closer,
And he revealed to his servant what he revealed.
His heart falsified not what he saw.
What! will ye then dispute with him as to what he saw?
He had seen him also another time,
Near the Sidrah-tree, which marks the boundary.3

Near which is the garden of repose.
When the Sidrah-tree4 was covered with what covered it,5
His eye turned not aside, nor did it wander:
For he saw the greatest of the signs of his Lord.
Do you see Al-Lat and Al-Ozza,6
And Manat the third idol besides?7
What? shall ye have male progeny and God female?
This were indeed an unfair partition!
These are mere names: ye and your fathers named them thus: God
hath not sent down any warranty in their regard. A mere conceit
and their own impulses do they follow. Yet hath "the guidance"
from their Lord come to them.
Shall man have whatever he wisheth?
The future and the present are in the hand of God:
And many as are the Angels in the Heavens, their intercession
shall be of no avail8
Until God hath permitted it to whom he shall please and will
Verily, it is they who believe not in the life to come, who name the
angels with names of females:
But herein they have no knowledge: they follow a mere conceit;
and mere conceit can never take the place of truth.
Withdraw then from him who turneth his back on our warning and
desireth only this present life.
This is the sum of their knowledge. Truly thy Lord best knoweth
him who erreth from his way, and He best knoweth him who hath
received guidance.
And whatever is in the Heavens and in the Earth is God's that he
may reward those who do evil according to their deeds: and those
who do good will He reward with good things.
To those who avoid great crimes and scandals but commit only
lighter faults, verily, thy Lord will be diffuse of mercy. He well
knew you when he produced you out of the earth, and when ye
were embryos in your mother's womb. Assert not then your own
purity. He best knoweth who feareth him.

Hast thou considered him who turned his back?
Who giveth little and is covetous?
Is it that he hath the knowledge and vision of the secret things?
Hath he not been told of what is in the pages of Moses?
And of Abraham faithful to his pledge?
That no burdened soul shall bear the burdens of another,
And that nothing shall be reckoned to a man but that for which he
hath made efforts:
And that his efforts shall at last be seen in their true light:
That then he shall be recompensed with a most exact recompense,
And that unto thy Lord is the term of all things,
And that it is He who causeth to laugh and to weep,
And that He causeth to die and maketh alive,
And that He hath created the sexes, male and female,
From the diffused germs of life,9
And that with Him is the second creation,
And that He enricheth and causeth to possess,
And that He is the Lord of Sirius,10
And that it was He who destroyed the ancient Adites,
And the people of Themoud and left not one survivor,
And before them the people of Noah who were most wicked and
most perverse.
And it was He who destroyed the cities that were overthrown.
So that that which covered them covered them.
Which then of thy Lord's benefits wilt thou make a matter of

He who warneth you is one of the warners of old.

The day that must draw nigh, draweth nigh already: and yet none
but God can reveal its time.

Is it at these sayings that ye marvel?

And that ye laugh and weep not?

And that ye are triflers?

Prostrate yourselves then to God and worship.


1 This Sura was revealed at about the time of the first emigration
of Muhammad's followers to Abyssinia, A. 5. The manner in
which the Prophet cancelled the objectionable verses 19, 20, is the
strongest proof of his sincerity (as also is the opening of Sura
1xxx.) at this period. Had he not done so, nothing would have been
easier for him than to have effected a reconciliation with the
powerful party in Mecca, who had recently compelled his
followers to emigrate.

2 The Angel Gabriel, to the meaning of whose name, as the strong
one of God, these words probably allude.

3 That is, Beyond which neither men nor angels can pass (Djelal).
The original word is also rendered, the Lote-Tree of the extremity,
or of the loftiest spot in Paradise, in the seventh Heaven, on the
right hand of the throne of God. Its leaves are fabled to be as
numerous as the members of the whole human family, and each
leaf to bear the name of an individual. This tree is shaken on the
night of the 15th of Ramadan every year a little after sunset, when
the leaves on which are inscribed the names of those who are to
die in the ensuing year fall, either wholly withered, or with more
or less green remaining, according to the months or weeks the
person has yet to live.

4 The Sidrah is a prickly plum, which is called Ber in India, the
zizyphus Jujuba of Linn‘us. A decoction of the leaves is used in
India to wash the dead, on account of the sacredness of the tree.

5 Hosts of adoring angels, by which the tree was masked.

6 Al-Lat or El-Lat, probably the Alilat of Herodotus (iii. 8) was an
idol at Nakhlah, a place east of the present site of Mecca. Al-Ozza
was an idol of the Kinanah tribe; but its hereditary priests were the
Banu Solaym, who were stationed along the mercantile road to
Syria in the neighbourhood of Chaibar.

7 When at the first recital of this Sura, the prophet had reached this
verse, he continued,

These are the exalted females, [or, sublime swans, i.e., mounting
nearer and nearer to God]

And truly their intercession may be expected.

These words, however, which were received by the idolaters with
great exultation, were disowned by Muhammad in the course of a
few days as a Satanic suggestion, and replaced by the text as it
now stands. The probability is that the difficulties of his position
led him to attempt a compromise of which he speedily repented. In
the Suras subsequent to this period the denunciations of idolatry
become much sterner and clearer. The authorities are given by
Weil, Sprenger and Muir. See Sura [lxvii.] xvii. 74 76.

8 Verses 26 33 are probably later than the previous part of the
Sura, but inserted with reference to it. Some (as Omar b.
Muhammad and 1tq.) consider verse 33, or (as Itq.36) verses
34 42, or (as Omar b. Muhammad) the whole Sura, to have
originated at Medina.

9 Ex spermate cum seminatum fuerit.

10 The Dog-star, worshipped by the Arabians.

11 Compare the refrain in Sura lv. p. 74.


Mecca. 44 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

A SUITOR sued1 for punishment to light suddenly

On the infidels: none can hinder

God from inflicting it, the master of those ASCENTS,

By which the angels and the spirit ascend to him in a day, whose
length is fifty thousand years.2

Be thou patient therefore with becoming patience;

They forsooth regard that day as distant,

But we see it nigh:

The day when the heavens shall become as molten brass,

And the mountains shall become like flocks of wool:

And friend shall not question of friend,

Though they look at one another. Fain would the wicked redeem
himself from punishment on that day at the price of his children,

Of his spouse and his brother,

And of his kindred who shewed affection for him,

And of all who are on the earth that then it might deliver him.

But no. For the fire,

Dragging by the scalp,

Shall claim him who turned his back and went away,

And amassed and hoarded.

Man truly is by creation hasty;

When evil befalleth him, impatient;

But when good falleth to his lot, tenacious.

Not so the prayerful,

Who are ever constant at their prayers;

And of whose substance there is a due and stated portion

For him who asketh, and for him who is ashamed3 to beg;

And who own the judgment-day a truth,

And who thrill with dread at the chastisement of their Lord

For there is none safe from the chastisement of their Lord

And who control their desires,

(Save with their wives or the slaves whom their right hands have
won, for there they shall be blameless;

But whoever indulge their desires beyond this are transgressors);

And who are true to their trusts and their engagements,

And who witness uprightly,

And who keep strictly the hours of prayer:

These shall dwell, laden with honours, amid gardens.

But what hath come to the unbelievers that they run at full stretch
around thee,

On the right hand and on the left, in bands?

Is it that every man of them would fain enter that garden of

Not at all. We have created them, they know of what.

It needs not that I swear by the Lord of the East and of the West4
that we have power.

To replace them with better than themselves: neither are we to be

Wherefore let them flounder on and disport them, till they come
face to face with their threatened day,

The day on which they shall flock up out of their graves in haste
like men who rally to a standard:

Their eyes downcast; disgrace shall cover them. Such their
threatened day.


1 Lit. asking one asked; probably some unbeliever, with reference
to the opening of Sura lvi., p. 60, or like statements in some
previous Sura.

2 The expression is hyperbolical, and, as such, identical with Sura
[lxx.] xxxii. 4. Compare also Sura xcvii., p. 37. where the descent
is said to take place in a single night.

3 Lit. forbidden or prevented by shame.

4 See next Sura. v. 16.


Mecca. 78 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

The God of MERCY hath taught the Koran,

Hath created man,

Hath taught him articulate speech,

The Sun and the Moon have each their times,

And the plants and the trees bend in adoration.

And the Heaven, He hath reared it on high, and hath appointed the

That in the balance ye should not transgress.

Weigh therefore with fairness, and scant not the balance.

And the Earth, He hath prepared it for the living tribes:

Therein are fruits, and the palms with sheathed clusters,

And the grain with its husk, and the fragrant plants.

Which then of the bounties of your Lord will ye twain1 deny?

He created man of clay like that of the potter.

And He created the djinn of pure fire:

Which then of the bounties, etc.

He is the Lord of the East,2

He is the Lord of the West:

Which, etc.

He hath let loose the two seas3 which meet each other:

Yet between them is a barrier which they overpass not:

Which, etc.

From each he bringeth up pearls both great and small:

Which, etc.

And His are the ships towering up at sea like mountains:

Which, etc.

All on the earth shall pass away,

But the face of thy Lord shall abide resplendent with majesty and

Which, etc.

To Him maketh suit all that is in the Heaven and the Earth. Every
day doth some new work employ Him:

Which, etc.

We will find leisure to judge you, O ye men and djinn:4

Which, etc.

O company of djinn and men, if ye can overpass the bounds of the
Heavens and the Earth, then overpass them. But by our leave only
shall ye overpass them:

Which, etc.

A bright flash of fire shall be hurled at you both, and molten brass,
and ye shall not defend yourselves from it:

Which, etc.

When the Heaven shall be cleft asunder, and become rose red, like
stained leather:

Which, etc.

On that day shall neither man nor djinn be asked of his sin:

Which, etc.

By their tokens shall the sinners be known, and they shall be seized
by their forelocks and their feet:

Which, etc.

"This is Hell which sinners treated as a lie."

To and fro shall they pass between it and the boiling water:

Which, etc.

But for those who dread the majesty of their Lord shall be two

Which, etc.

With o'erbranching trees in each:

Which, etc.

In each two kinds of every fruit:

Which, etc.

On couches with linings of brocade shall they recline, and the fruit
of the two gardens shall be within easy reach:

Which, etc.

Therein shall be the damsels with retiring glances, whom nor man
nor djinn hath touched before them:

Which, etc.

Like jacynths and pearls:

Which, etc.

Shall the reward of good be aught but good?

Which, etc.

And beside these shall be two other gardens:5

Which, etc.

Of a dark green:

Which, etc.

With gushing fountains in each:

Which, etc.

In each, fruits and the palm and the pomegranate:

Which, etc.

In each, the fair, the beauteous ones:

Which, etc.

With large dark eyeballs, kept close in their pavilions:

Which, etc.

Whom man hath never touched, nor any djinn:6

Which, etc.

Their spouses on soft green cushions and on beautiful carpets
shall recline:

Which, etc.

Blessed be the name of thy Lord, full of majesty and glory.


1 Men and djinn. The verb is in the dual.

2 Lit. of the two easts, of the two wests, i.e., of all that lies
the extreme points at which the sun rises and sets at the winter and
summer solstices.

3 Lit. he hath set at large, poured forth over the earth the masses
of fresh and salt water which are in contact at the mouths of
rivers, etc. See Sura [lxviii.] xxvii. 62; [lxxxvi.] xxxv. 13.

4 Lit. O ye two weights; hence, treasures; and, generally, any
collective body of men or things.

5 One for men, the other for the Genii; or, two for each man and
Genius; or, both are for the inferior classes of Muslims. Beidh.

6 It should be remarked that these promises of the Houris of
Paradise are almost exclusively to be found in Suras written at a
time when Muhammad had only a single wife of 60 years of age,
and that in all the ten years subsequent to the Hejira, women are
only twice mentioned as part of the reward of the faithful. Suras ii.
23 and iv. 60. While in Suras xxxvi. 56; xliii. 70; xiii. 23; xl. 8 the
proper wives of the faithful are spoken of as accompanying their
husbands into the gardens of bliss.


Mecca. 55 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

The hour hath approached and the MOON hath been cleft:

But whenever they see a miracle they turn aside and say, This is
well-devised magic.

And they have treated the prophets as impostors, and follow their
own lusts; but everything is unalterably fixed.

A message of prohibition had come to them

Consummate wisdom but warners profit them not.

Quit them then. On the day when the summoner shall summon to a
stern business,

With downcast eyes shall they come forth from their graves, as if
they were scattered locusts,

Hastening to the summoner. "This," shall the infidels say, "is the
distressful day."

Before them the people of Noah treated the truth as a lie. Our
servant did they charge with falsehood, and said, "Demoniac!"
and he was rejected.

Then cried he to his Lord, "Verily, they prevail against me; come
thou therefore to my succour."

So we opened the gates of Heaven with water which fell in

And we caused the earth to break forth with springs, and their
waters met by settled decree.

And we bare him on a vessel made with planks and nails.

Under our eyes it floated on: a recompence to him who had been
rejected with unbelief.

And we left it a sign: but, is there any one who receives the

And how great was my vengeance and my menace!

Easy for warning have we made the Koran but, is there any one
who receives the warning?

The Adites called the truth a lie: but how great was my vengeance
and my menace;

For we sent against them a roaring wind in a day of continued

It tore men away as though they were uprooted palm stumps.

And how great was my vengeance and my menace!

Easy for warning have we made the Koran but, is there any one
who receives the warning?

The tribe of Themoud treated the threatenings as lies:

And they said, "Shall we follow a single man from among
ourselves? Then verily should we be in error and in folly.

To him alone among us is the office of warning entrusted? No! he
is an impostor, an insolent person."

To-morrow shall they learn who is the impostor, the insolent.

"For we will send the she-camel to prove them: do thou mark them
well, O Saleh, and be patient:

And foretell them that their waters shall1 be divided between
themselves and her, and that every draught shall come by turns to

But they called to their comrade, and he took a knife and
ham-strung her.

And how great was my vengeance and my menance!

We sent against them a single shout; and they became like the dry
sticks of the fold-builders.

Easy have we made the Koran for warning but, is there any one
who receives the warning?

The people of Lot treated his warning as a lie;

But we sent a stone-charged wind against them all, except the
family of Lot, whom at daybreak we delivered,

By our special grace for thus we reward the thankful.

He, indeed, had warned them of our severity, but of that warning
they doubted.

Even this guess did they demand: therefore we deprived them of

And said, "Taste ye my vengeance and my menace;"

And in the morning a relentless punishment overtook them.

Easy have we made the Koran for warning but, is there any one
who receives the warning?

To the people of Pharaoh also came the threatenings:

All our miracles did they treat as impostures. Therefore seized we
them as he only can seize, who is the Mighty, the Strong.

Are your infidels, O Meccans, better men than these? Is there an
exemption for you in the sacred Books?

Will they say, "We are a host that lend one another aid?"

The host shall be routed, and they shall turn them back.

But, that Hour is their threatened time, and that Hour shall be
most severe and bitter.

Verily, the wicked are sunk in bewilderment and folly.


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