Part 10 out of 14
Supreme over his servants, He sendeth forth guardians who watch
over you, until, when death overtaketh any one of you, our
messengers take his soul, and fail not:
Then are they returned to God their Lord, the True. Is not
judgment His? Swiftest He, of those who take account!
SAY: Who rescueth you from the darkness of the land and of the
sea, when humbly and secretly ye cry to Him "If thou rescue us
from this, we will surely be of the thankful?"
SAY: God rescueth you from them, and from every strait: yet
afterwards ye give Him companions!
SAY: It is He who hath power to send on you a punishment from
above you, or from beneath your feet, or to clothe you with
discord,16 and to make some of you to taste the violence of others.
See how variously we handle the wondrous verses, that haply they
may become wise!
But thy people hath accused the Koran of falsehood, though it be
the truth: SAY: I am not in charge of you: To every prophecy is its
set time, and bye-and-bye ye shall know it!
And when thou seest those who busy themselves with cavilling at
our signs, withdraw from them till they busy themselves in some
other subject: and if Satan cause thee to forget this, sit not, after
recollection, with the ungodly people:17
Not that they who fear God are to pass any judgment upon them,
but the object of recollection is that they may continue to fear
And quit those who make their religion a sport and a pastime, and
whom this present life hath deceived: warn them hereby that every
soul will be consigned to doom for its own works: patron or
intercessor, beside God, shall it have none: and could it
compensate with fullest compensation, it would not be accepted
from it. They who for their deeds shall be consigned to doom for
them are draughts of boiling water, and a grievous torment; for
that they believed not!
SAY: Shall we, beside God, call upon those who can neither help
nor hurt us? Shall we turn upon our heel after that God hath
guided us? Like some bewildered man whom the Satans have
spell-bound in the desert, though his companions call him to the
true guidance, with, "Come to us!" SAY: Verily, guidance from
God, that is the true guidance; and we are commanded to
surrender ourselves to the Lord of the Worlds.
And observe ye the times of prayer, and fear ye God: for it is He to
whom ye shall be gathered.
And it is He who hath created the Heavens and the Earth, in truth,
and when He saith to a thing, "Be," it is.
His word is the truth: and His the kingdom, on the day when there
shall be a blast on the trumpet: He knoweth alike the unseen and
the seen: and He is the Wise, the Cognisant.
And remember when Abraham said to his father Azar,18 Takest
thou images as gods? Verily, I see that thou and thy people are in
And thus did we shew Abraham the kingdom of the Heavens and
the Earth,19 that he might be stablished in knowledge.
And when the night overshadowed him, he beheld a star. "This,"
said he, "is my Lord:" but when it set, he said, "I love not gods
And when he beheld the moon uprising, "This," said he, "is my
Lord:" but when it set, he said, "Surely, if my Lord guide me not, I
shall surely be of those who go astray."
And when he beheld the sun uprise, he said, "This is my Lord; this
is greatest." But when it set, he said, "O my people! I share not
with you the guilt of joining gods with God;
I turn my face to him who hath created the Heavens and the Earth,
following the right religion:20 I am not one of those who add gods
And his people disputed with him. He said: "Dispute ye with me
about God, when He hath guided me? And I fear not the deities
whom ye join with Him, for only by the will of my Lord have they
any power:21 My Lord embraceth all things in His knowledge.
ye not then consider?
And how should I fear what ye have joined with God, since ye fear
not for having joined with Him that for which He hath sent you
down no warranty? Which, therefore, of the two parties is more
worthy of safety? Know ye that?
They who believe, and who clothe not their faith with error.22
theirs is safety, and they are guided aright."
This is our reasoning with which we furnished Abraham against
his people: We uplift to grades of wisdom whom we will; Verily
Lord is Wise, Knowing.
And we gave him Isaac and Jacob, and guided both aright; and we
had before guided Noah; and among the descendants of Abraham,
David and Solomon, and Job and Joseph, and Moses and Aaron:
Thus do we recompense the righteous:
And Zachariah, John, Jesus, and Elias: all were just persons:
And Ismael and Elisha and Jonas and Lot: all these have we
favoured above mankind:
And some of their fathers, and of their offspring, and of their
brethren: and we chose them, and guided them into the straight
This is God's guidance: He guideth by it such of his servants as he
will: But if they join others god with Him, vain assuredly shall be
all their works.
These are they to whom we gave the Scripture and Wisdom and
Prophecy: but if these their posterity believe not therein, we will
entrust these gifts to a people who will not disbelieve therein.
These are they whom God hath guided: follow therefore their
guidance. SAY: No pay do I ask of you for this:23 Verily it is no
other than the teaching for all creatures.
No just estimate do they form of God when they say, "Nothing
God sent down to man." SAY: Who sent down the Book which
Moses brought, a light and guidance to man, which ye set down on
paper, publishing part, but concealing most: though ye have now
been taught that which neither ye nor your fathers knew? SAY: It
is God: then leave them in their pastime of cavillings.24
And this Book which we have sent down is blessed, confirming
which was before it; and in order that thou mightest warn the
mother-city and those who dwell round about it. They who believe
in the next life will believe in It, and will keep strictly to their
But is any more wicked than he who deviseth a lie of God, or saith,
"I have had a revelation," when nothing was revealed to him?25
And who saith, "I can bring down a book like that which God hath
sent down"? But couldst thou see when the ungodly are in the
floods of death, and the angels reach forth their hands, saying,
"Yield up your souls: this day shall ye be recompensed with a
humiliating punishment for your untrue sayings about God, and
for proudly rejecting his signs!"
"And now are ye come back to us, alone, as we created you at
first, and ye leave behind you the good things which we had given
you, and we see not with you your intercessors whom ye regarded
as the companions of God among you. There is a severance
between you now, and those whom ye regarded as partners with
God have deserted you."
Verily God causeth the grain and the date stone to put forth: He
bringeth forth the living from the dead, and the dead from the
living! This is God! Why, then, are ye turned aside from Him?
He causeth the dawn to appear, and hath ordained the night for
rest, and the sun and the moon for computing time! The ordinance
of the Mighty, the Wise!
And it is He who hath ordained the stars for you that ye may be
guided thereby in the darknesses of the land and of the sea! clear
have we made our signs to men of knowledge.
And it is He who hath produced you from one man, and hath
provided for you an abode and resting-place!26 Clear have we
made our signs for men of insight.
And it is He who sendeth down rain from Heaven: and we bring
forth by it the buds of all the plants, and from them bring we forth
the green foliage, and the close growing grain, and palm trees
with sheaths of clustering dates, and gardens of grapes, and the
olive and the pomegranate, like and unlike.27 Look ye on their
fruits when they fruit and ripen. Truly herein are signs unto people
Yet have they assigned the Djinn to God as his associates, though
He created them; and in their ignorance have they falsely ascribed
to him sons and daughters. Glory be to Him! And high let Him be
exalted above that which they attribute to Him!
Sole maker of the Heavens and of the Earth! how, when He hath
no consort, should He have a son? He hath created everything,
and He knoweth everything!
This is God your Lord. There is no God but He, the creator of all
things: therefore worship Him alone; and He watcheth over all
No vision taketh in Him, but He taketh in all vision:28 and He is
Subtile, the All-informed.
Now have proofs that may be seen, come to you from your Lord;
whoso seeth them, the advantage will be his own: and whoso is
blind to them, his own will be the loss: I am not made a keeper
Thus variously do we apply our signs,29 that they may say, "Thou
hast studied deep:" and that to people of understanding we may
make them clear.
Follow thou that which hath been revealed to thee by thy Lord:
there is no god but He! and withdraw from those who join other
gods with Him.
Had God pleased, they had not joined other gods with Him: and
we have not made thee keeper over them, neither art thou a
guardian over them.
Revile not those whom they call on beside God,30 lest they, in
ignorance, despitefully revile Him. Thus have we planned out their
actions for every people; then shall they return to their Lord, and
He will declare to them what those actions have been.
With their most solemn oath have they sworn by God, that if a sign
come unto them they will certainly believe it; SAY: Signs are in
power of God alone; and He teacheth you not thereby, only
because when they were wrought, ye did not believe.31
And we will turn their hearts and their eyes away from the truth,
because they did not believe therein at first, and we will leave
them in their transgressions, wandering in perplexity.
And though we had sent down the angels to them, and the dead
had spoken to them, and we had gathered all things about them in
tribes, they had not believed, unless God had willed it! but most of
them do not know it.
Thus have we given an enemy to every prophet Satans among
men and among Djinn: tinsel discourses do they suggest the one to
the other, in order to deceive: and had thy Lord willed it, they
would not have done it. Therefore, leave them and their vain
And let the hearts of those who believe not in the life to come
incline thereto, and let them find their content in this, and let them
gain what they are gaining.
What! shall I seek other judge than God, when it is He who hath
sent down to you the distinguishing Book? They to whom we have
given the Book know that it is sent down from thy Lord with truth.
Be not thou then of those who doubt.
And the words of thy Lord are perfect in truth and in justice: none
can change his words: He is the Hearing, Knowing.
But if thou obey most men in this land, from the path of God will
they mislead thee: they follow but a conceit, and they are only
Thy Lord! He best knoweth those who err from his path, and He
knoweth the rightly guided.
Eat32 of that over which the name of God hath been pronounced,
ye believe in his signs.
And why eat ye not of that over which the name of God hath been
pronounced, since He hath made plain to you what He hath
forbidden you, save as to that which is forced upon you? But
indeed many mislead others by their appetites, through lack of
knowledge. Verily, thy Lord! He best knoweth the transgressors.
And abandon the semblance of wickedness, and wickedness
itself.33 They, verily, whose only acquirement is iniquity, shall be
rewarded for what they shall have gained.
Eat not therefore of that on which the name of God has not been
named, for that is assuredly a crime: the Satans will indeed
suggest to their votaries to wrangle with you; but if ye obey them,
ye will indeed be of those who join gods with God.
Shall the dead, whom we have quickened, and for whom we have
ordained a light whereby he may walk among men, be like him,
whose likeness is in the darkness, whence he will not come forth?
Thus have the doings of the unbelievers been prepared for them.
Even so have we placed in every city, ringleaders of its wicked
ones, to scheme therein: but only against themselves shall they
scheme! and they know it not.
And when a sign cometh to them they say, "We will not believe,
the like of what was accorded to the apostles of God, be accorded
to us." God best knoweth where to place his mission. Disgrace
with God, and a vehement punishment shall come on the
transgressors for their crafty plottings.
And whom God shall please to guide, that man's breast will He
open to Islam; but whom He shall please to mislead, strait and
narrow will He make his breast, as though he were mounting up
into the very Heavens! Thus doth God inflict dire punishment on
those who believe not.
And this is the right way of thy Lord. Now have we detailed our
signs unto those who will consider.
For them is a dwelling of peace with their Lord! and in
recompense for their works, shall he be their protector.
On the day whereon God shall gather them all together "O race
of Djinn," will He say, "much did ye exact from mankind." And
their votaries from among men shall say, "O our Lord! we
rendered one another mutual services: but we have reached our
set term, which thou hast set for us." He will say, "Your abode the
fire! therein abide ye for ever: unless as God shall will." Verily,
thy Lord is Wise, Knowing.
Even thus place we some of the wicked over others, as the meed of
O race of Djinn and men! came not apostles to you from among
yourselves, rehearsing my signs to you, and warning you of the
meeting of this your day? They shall say, "We bear witness
against ourselves." This world's life deceived them; and they shall
bear witness against themselves that they were infidels:
This,34 because thy Lord would not destroy the cities in their sin,
while their people were yet careless.
And for all, are grades of recompense as the result of their deeds;
and of what they do, thy Lord is not regardless.
And thy Lord is the Rich one, full of compassion! He can destroy
you if He please, and cause whom He will to succeed you, as he
raised you up from the offspring of other people:
Verily, that which is threatened you shall surely come to pass,
neither shall ye weaken its might.
SAY: O my people! Act as ye best can: I verily will act my part,
and hereafter shall ye know
Whose will be the recompense of the abode! Verily, the ungodly
shall not prosper.
Moreover, they set apart a portion of the fruits and cattle35 which
he hath produced, and say, "This for God" so deem they "And
this for his companions, whom we associate with Him." But that
which is for these companions of theirs, cometh not to God; yet
that which is for God, cometh to the companions! Ill do they judge.
Thus have the companion-gods induced many of these, who join
them with God, to slay their children, that they might ruin them,
and throw the cloak of confusion over their religion. But if God
had pleased, they had not done this. Therefore, leave them and
They also say, "These cattle and fruits are sacred: none may taste
them but whom we please:" so deem they "And there are cattle,
whose backs should be exempt from labour." And there are cattle
over which they do not pronounce the name of God: inventing in
all this a lie against Him. For their inventions shall He reward
And they say, "That which is in the wombs of these cattle is
allowed to our males, and forbidden to our wives;" but if it prove
abortive, both partake of it. God shall reward them for their
distinctions! Knowing, Wise is He.
Lost are they who, in their ignorance, have foolishly slain their
children, and have forbidden that which God hath given them for
food, devising an untruth against God! Now have they erred; and
they were not rightly guided.
He it is who produceth gardens of the vine trellised and
untrellised, and the palm trees, and the corn of various food, and
olives, and pomegranates, like and unlike. Eat of their fruit when
they bear fruit, and pay the due thereof on the day of its
ingathering: and be not prodigal, for God loveth not the prodigal.
And there are cattle for burdens and for journeys. Eat of what God
hath given you for food; and follow not the steps of Satan, for he is
your declared enemy.
You have four sorts of cattle in pairs: of sheep a pair, and of goats
a pair. SAY: Hath He forbidden the two males or the two females;
or that which the wombs of the two females enclose? Tell me with
knowledge, if ye speak the truth:
And of camels a pair, and of oxen a pair. SAY: Hath He forbidden
the two males or the two females; or that which the wombs of the
two females enclose?36 Were ye witnesses when God enjoined
this? Who then is more wicked than he who, in his ignorance,
inventeth a lie against God, to mislead men? God truly guideth not
SAY: I find not in what hath been revealed to me aught forbidden
to the eater to eat, except it be that which dieth of itself, or blood
poured forth, or swine's flesh; for this is unclean or profane, being
slain in the name of other than God. But whoso shall be a forced
partaker, if it be without wilfulness, and not in
transgression, verily, thy Lord is Indulgent, Merciful!
To the Jews did we forbid every beast having an entire hoof, and
of both bullocks and sheep we forbade them the fat, save what
might be on their backs, or their entrails, and the fat attached to
the bone. With this have we recompensed them, because of their
transgression: and verily, we are indeed equitable.
If they treat thee as an impostor, then SAY: Your Lord is of
all-embracing mercy: but his severity shall not be turned aside
from the wicked.
They who add gods to God will say, "If God had pleased, neither
we nor our fathers had given him companions, nor should we have
interdicted anything." Thus did they who flourished before them
charge with imposture, until they had tasted our severity! SAY:
Have ye any knowledge that ye can produce to us? Verily, ye
follow only a conceit: ye utter only lies!
SAY: Peremptory proof is God's! Had He pleased He had guided
you all aright.
SAY: Bring hither your witnesses who can witness that God hath
forbidden these animals; but if they bear witness, witness not thou
with them, nor witness to the conceits of those who charge our
signs with falsehood, and who believe not in the life to come, and
give equals to our Lord.
SAY: Come, I will rehearse what your Lord hath made binding on
you that ye assign not aught to Him as partner; and that ye be
good to your parents; and that ye slay not your children, because
of poverty: for them and for you will we provide:37 and that ye
come not near to pollutions, outward or inward:38 and that ye slay
not anyone whom God hath forbidden you, unless for a just cause.
This hath he enjoined on you, to the intent that ye may understand.
And come not nigh to the substance of the orphan, but to improve
it, until he come of age: and use a full measure, and a just
balance: We will not task a soul beyond its ability. And when ye
give judgment, observe justice, even though it be the affair of a
kinsman, and fulfil the covenant of God. This hath God enjoined
you for your monition
And, "this is my right way." Follow it then; and follow not other
paths lest ye be scattered from His path. This hath he enjoined
you, that ye may fear Him.
Then39 gave we the Book to Moses complete for him who should
do right, and a decision for all matters, and a guidance, and a
mercy, that they might believe in the meeting with their Lord.
Blessed, too, this Book which we have sent down. Wherefore
follow it and fear God, that ye may find mercy:
Lest ye should say, "The Scriptures were indeed sent down only
unto two peoples before us, but we were not able to go deep into
Or lest ye should say, "If a book had been sent down to us, we had
surely followed the guidance better than they." But now hath a
clear exposition come to you from your Lord, and a guidance and
a mercy. Who then is more wicked than he who treateth the signs
of God as lies, and turneth aside from them? We will recompense
those who turn aside from our signs with an evil punishment,
because they have turned aside.
What wait they for, but the coming of the angels to them, or the
coming of thy Lord Himself, or that some of the sings of the Lord
should come to pass? On the day when some of thy Lord's signs
shall come to pass, its faith shall not profit a soul which believed
not before, nor wrought good works in virtue of its faith. SAY:
Wait ye. Verily, we will wait also.
As to those who split up their religion and become sects, have
thou nothing to do with them: their affair is with God only.
Hereafter shall he tell them what they have done.
He who shall present himself with good works shall receive a
tenfold reward; but he who shall present himself with evil works
shall receive none other than a like punishment: and they shall not
be treated unjustly.
SAY: As for me, my Lord hath guided me into a straight path; a
true religion, the creed of Abraham, the sound in faith; for he was
not of those who join gods with God.
SAY: My prayers and my worship and my life and my death are
unto God, Lord of the Worlds. He hath no associate. This am I
commanded, and I am the first of the Muslims.
SAY: Shall I seek any other Lord than God, when He is Lord of all
things? No soul shall labour but for itself; and no burdened one
shall bear another's burden. At last ye shall return to your Lord,
and he will declare that to you about which you differ.
And it is He who hath made you the successors of others on the
earth, and hath raised some of you above others by various
grades, that he may prove you by his gifts. Verily thy Lord is swift
to punish. But He is also Gracious, Merciful!
1 Lit. their affair would have been decided. In that case there
would no longer have been an opportunity for the warnings of the
prophets and for repentance, but the angels would at once have
executed the divine judgments.
2 See Sura xli. 13, p. 193.
3 See Sura [xc.] xiii. 36.
4 This denunciation is repeated in eleven other passages of the
Koran, and coupled with the known reverence of the early
Muslims for what they considered as the word of God, must have
greatly tended to secure the revelations of the Prophet from being
in any way tampered with and corrupted.
5 They are self-convicted of their own hypocrisy and of the
hollowness of their professions.
6 The Resurrection, etc.
7 Abu Jahl had said: "Muhammad speaks truth, and he never said
a falsehood; but, if the Banu Chosai, who enjoy already the offices
of bearing the standard, of providing the pilgrims with water, and
of keeping the keys of the Kaaba, should also obtain the
Prophetship, what would remain for the other Koreisch." Kashaf
8 See Sura lii. 38, p. 65. These passages may allude to the ladder
set up in a tower by Wacih ben Salamah, one of the ancient
doorkeepers of the Caaba, by which he professed to mount up to
God and receive divine Oracles. Freyt. Einl. p. 371.
9 A community. Comp. Prov. xxx. 25, 26. Animals as well as
mankind are under the control of God, are held within the limits of
his decrees, are accountable to him, and will stand before him in
10 Of the Eternal decrees.
11 Or, embellished, made it fair-seeming.
12 Lit. openly, i.e. preceded by some sign.
13 The Rabbins speak of the three keys in the hand of God. Tr.
Tanith, fol. x.
14 On the preserved tablet, on which are written the decrees of
15 That is, during sleep. See Sura xxxix. 43, p. 258. Or, layeth to
rest. Mar. renders literally, defungi faciet vos, id est,
obdormiscere. Thus also Beidh. But see the use of the same word
in the next verse.
16 Or, to perplex you (by dividing you into) sects.
17 Comp. Sura [cx.] 1x. 13.
18 Azar. This form is probably borrowed from Athar, as Terah is
called by Eusebius. See Maracci Prodr. iv. 90. Compare a similar
narrative (Midr. Rabbah on Gen. par. 17) in which Abraham is
given over by his idolatrous father Zarah to Nimrod, who says,
"We will adore the Fire:" "Rather," said Abraham, "the water
which puts out fire." "The Water then" "Rather the clouds that
bear the water." "The Clouds then" "Rather the wind which
scatters the clouds." "The Wind then" "Rather man who endures
the wind." Whereupon Abraham was thrown into the furnace. It
is quite possible that in what follows, Muhammad may have
intended to imply that Abraham had renounced the Sabian
starworship of his fathers, and to vindicate him from the habit of
consulting the stars attributed to him by the Talmudists. Shabbath,
fol. 156, col. 1. "Abraham replied, I have consulted my
Astrology." Comp. Rashi on Gen. xv. 5. See Maim. Yad Hachaz.
19 Comp. Gen. xv. 5.
20 See Sura xxi. 52.
21 Lit. unless that my Lord shall will anything.
22 Or, confuse not their faith with wrong, injustice, i.e. idolatry.
24 This verse and the following were probably added at Medina
after the Hejira; at least it is difficult to conceive that Muhammad
would have ventured thus to have written at Mecca.
25 This verse is said to have been revealed at Medina and to be
aimed at the false prophets Moseilama, Aswad and Amsi; also at
Abdallah Ibn Saad, Muhammad's secretary, who for corrupting
the sacred text and apostacy, was one of the ten proscribed at the
taking of Mecca.
26 In the womb.
27 Of all sorts.
28 Lit. attaineth to Mr. Lane renders, "the eyes see not Him, but
He seeth the eyes."
29 The verses of the Koran.
30 Comp. Ex. xxii. 28.
31 Notwithstanding this disclaimer, the Muslim tradition, etc.
speak of many of their Prophet's miracles. See Maracci's Prodr. p.
ii. p. 16, and 30 46.
32 Verses 118 121 seem misplaced, and should probably follow
33 Lit. the outside of iniquity and its inside. Some understand
words of open sins, and secret sins.
34 That is, God's method of dealing with the guilty was to send
apostles previous to the execution of his judgments.
35 It appears to have been the custom of the idolatrous Arabs to
set apart one portion of their fields for the Supreme God, and the
other for the inferior gods represented by their idols. If any of the
fruit happened to fall from the part consecrated to the idols into
that consecrated to God, they restored it, but if the reverse
occurred, they gave it to the idols. God, said they, is rich and can
dispense with it. The secret, however, was that the idols' portion
was reserved for the priests, Beidhawi. Freytag mentions the
names of 73 idols worshipped by the Arab tribes, previous to Islam
(Einl. pp. 270 and 342 357) and generally with Allah, as Supreme
36 Comp. Sura [cxiv.] v. 102.
37 Comp. Sura xvii. 33, p. 167.
38 See verse 120 above.
39 This very abrupt transition to Jewish history seems to indicate
that a passage between this and the preceding verse is lost.
40 Lit. we were careless of their studiesSURA XIII. THUNDER
MECCA. 43 Verses
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
ELIF. LAM. MIM. RA.1 These, the signs of the Book! And that
which hath been sent down to thee from thy Lord is the very truth:
But the greater part of men will not believe.
It is God who hath reared the Heavens without pillars thou canst
behold; then mounted his throne, and imposed laws on the sun and
moon: each travelleth to its appointed goal. He ordereth all
things. He maketh his signs clear, that ye may have firm faith in a
meeting with your Lord.
And He it is who hath outstretched the earth, and placed on it the
firm mountains, and rivers: and of every fruit He hath placed on it
two kinds: He causeth the night to enshroud the day. Verily in this
are signs for those who reflect.
And on the earth hard by each other are its various portions:
gardens of grapes and corn, and palm trees single or clustered.
Though watered by the same water, yet some make we more
excellent as food than other: Verily in all this are signs for those
If ever thou dost marvel, marvellous surely is their saying, "What!
when we have become dust, shall we be restored in a new
These are they who in their Lord believe not: these! the collars
shall be on their necks; and these shall be inmates of the fire, to
abide therein for aye.
To hasten evil rather than good will they challenge thee: but,
before their time have been like examples. Full, truly, of mercy is
thy Lord unto men, despite their sins; but verily, thy Lord is right
vehement to punish.
And they who believe not say: "If a sign from his Lord be not sent
down to him !" Thou art a warner only. And every people hath
God knoweth the burden of every female, and how much their
wombs lessen and enlarge: with Him everything is by measure:
Knower of the Hidden and the Manifest! the Great! the Most
Alike to Him is that person among you who concealeth his words,
and he that telleth them abroad: he who hideth him in the night,
and he who cometh forth in the day.
Each hath a succession of Angels before him and behind him, who
watch over him by God's behest. Verily, God will not change his
gifts to men, till they change what is in themselves: and when God
willeth evil unto men, there is none can turn it away, nor have they
any protector beside Him.
He it is who maketh the lightning to shine unto you; for fear and
hope: and who bringeth up the laden clouds.
And the THUNDER uttereth his praise, and the Angels also, for
awe of Him: and he sendeth his bolts and smiteth with them whom
he will2 while they are wrangling about God! Mighty is he in
Prayer is His of right: but these deities to whom they pray beside
Him give them no answer, otherwise than as he is answered who
stretcheth forth his hands to the water that it may reach his mouth,
when it cannot reach it! The prayer of the Infidels only wandereth,
and is lost.
And unto God doth all in the Heavens and on the Earth bow down
in worship, willingly or by constraint: their very shadows also
morn and even!
SAY: Who is Lord of the Heavens and of the Earth? SAY: God.
SAY: Why then have ye taken beside Him protectors, who even for
their own selves have no power for help or harm? SAY: What!
shall the blind and the seeing be held equal? Shall the darkness
and the light be held equal? Or have they given associates to God
who have created as He hath created, so that their creation appear
to them like His? SAY: God is the Creator of all things! He is the
One! the Conquering!
He sendeth down the rain from Heaven: then flow the torrents in
their due measure, and the flood beareth along a swelling foam.
And from the metals which are molten in the fire for the sake of
ornaments or utensils, a like scum ariseth. In this way doth God
depict (set forth) truth and falsehood. As to the foam, it is quickly
gone: and as to what is useful to man, it remaineth on the earth.
Thus doth God set forth comparisons! To those who respond to
their Lord shall be an excellent reward; but those who respond not
to his call, had they all that the earth containeth twice over, they
would surely give it for their ransom. Evil their reckoning! and
Hell their home! And wretched the bed!
Shall he then who knoweth that what hath been sent down to thee
from thy Lord is the truth, act like him who is blind? Men of
insight only will bear this in mind,
Who fulfil their pledge to God, and break not their compact:
And who join together what God hath bidden to be joined, and
who fear their Lord, and dread an ill reckoning;
And who, from desire to see the face of their Lord, are constant
amid trials, and observe prayer and give alms, in secret and
openly, out of what we have bestowed upon them, and turn aside
evil by good: for these is the recompense of that abode,
Gardens of Eden into which they shall enter together with the
just of their fathers, and their wives, and their descendants: and
the angels shall go in unto them at every portal:
"Peace be with you!" say they, "because ye have endured all
things!" Charming the recompense of their abode!
But those who, after having contracted it, break their covenant
with God, and cut asunder what God hath bidden to be united, and
commit misdeeds on the earth, these, a curse awaiteth them, and
an ill abode!
God is open-handed with supplies to whom he will, or is sparing.
They rejoice in the life that now is, but this present life is but a
passing good, in respect of the life to come!3
And they who believe not say, "Unless a sign be sent down to him
from his Lord. " SAY: God truly will mislead whom he will; and
He will guide to Himself him who turneth to Him,
Those who believe, and whose hearts rest securely on the thought
of God. What! Shall not men's hearts repose in the thought of
God? They who believe and do the things that be
right blessedness awaiteth them, and a goodly home.
Thus have we sent thee to a people whom other peoples have
preceded, that thou mightest rehearse to them our revelations to
thee. Yet they believe not on the God of Mercy.4 SAY: He is my
Lord. There is no God but He. In Him do I put my trust. To Him
must I return.
If there were a Koran by which the mountains could be set in
motion, or the earth cleft, or the dead be made to speak ! But all
sovereignty is in the hands of God. Do then believers doubt5 that
had He pleased God would certainly have guided all men aright?
Misfortune shall not cease to light on the unbelievers for what they
have done, or to take up its abode hard by their dwellings, until
the threat of God come to pass. Verily, God will not fail his
Before thee indeed have apostles been mocked at; but though I
bore long with the unbelievers, at last I seized upon them; and
how severe was my punishment!
Who is it then that is standing over every soul to mark its actions?
Yet have they set up associates with God. SAY: Name them.
Would ye inform God of that which He knoweth not on the Earth?
Or are they not a mere empty name? But prepared of old for the
infidels was this fraud of theirs; and they are turned aside from the
path; and whom God causeth to err, no guide shall there be for
Chastisement awaiteth them in this present life, and more grievous
shall be the chastisement of the next: and none shall screen them
A picture of the Paradise which God hath promised to them that
fear Him. The rivers flow beneath its bowers: its food and its
shades are perpetual. This is the reward of those who fear God;
but the reward of the unbelievers is the Fire.
They to whom we have given the Book rejoice6 in what hath been
sent down to thee; yet some are banded together who deny a part
of it. SAY: I am commanded to worship God, and not to associate
any creature with Him. On Him do I call, and to Him shall I
Thus, then, as a code in the Arabic tongue have we sent down the
Koran; and truly, if after the knowledge that hath reached thee
thou follow their desires, thou shalt have no guardian nor
protector against God.
Apostles truly have we already sent before thee, and wives and
offspring have we given them. Yet no apostle had come with
miracles unless by the leave of God. To each age its Book.
What He pleaseth will God abrogate or confirm: for with Him is
the source of revelation.7
Moreover, whether we cause thee to see the fulfilment of part of
our menaces, or whether we take thee hence, verily, thy work is
preaching only, and ours to take account.
See they not that we come into their land and cut short its
borders?8 God pronounceth a doom, and there is none to reverse
his doom. And swift is He to take account.
Those who lived before them made plots: but all plotting is
controlled by God: He knoweth the works of every one, and the
infidels shall know whose will be the recompense of the abode.
The infidels, moreover, will say; Thou art not sent of God. SAY:
God is witness enough betwixt me and you, and, whoever hath
knowledge of the Book.
1 See Sura 1xviii. p. 32.
2 This is said by the traditionists and commentators generally, to
refer to Amir and Arbad ben Kais, who in the year 9 or 10
conspired against Muhammad's life, and were struck dead by
lightning. See the authorities in N”ld. p. 120: Weil, 256; Caussin,
iii. 295. But this explanation may have been suggested by the
words of the text, which must, if the comment be correct, have
been revealed at Medina.
3 Thus, "one hour of bliss in the world to come is better than all
life in this world." Mischnah Aboth, iv. 17. Comp. Sura [cxiii.] ix.
4 See Sura xvii. 109. This verse is said to have been occasioned by
the refusal of the Meccans at Hudaibiya to adopt the formula
prescribed by Muhammad In the Name of the God of Mercy, the
Merciful declaring that they knew not who the God of Mercy
(Arrahman) was. This was in Hej. 6. See n. p. 173.
5 Lit. despair.
6 That is, the Jews, who at this period of Muhammad's prophetic
function, must have been highly gratified at the strong leaning
towards, and respect for, their Scriptures and Histories, which
shews itself increasingly in the later Meccan Suras.
7 Lit. Mother, or Prototype of the Book. Either God's knowledge
or Prescience, or the fabled preserved tablet, on which is written
the original of the Koran, and all God's decrees. The Jews have a
tradition that the Law existed before the Creation. Midr. Jalkut, 7.
8 That is, the progressive conquests of the Muslims trench more
and more on the territories of the idolatrous Arabians.
SURA II. THE COW1 [XCI.]
MEDINA. 286 Verses
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
ELIF. LAM. MIM.2 No doubt is there about this Book: It is a
guidance to the God-fearing,
Who believe in the unseen,3 who observe prayer, and out of what
we have bestowed on them, expend for God;
And who believe in what hath been sent down to thee, and in what
hath been sent down before thee, and full faith have they in the life
These are guided by their Lord; and with these it shall be well.
As to the infidels, alike is it to them whether thou warn them or
warn them not they will not believe:
Their hearts and their ears hath God sealed up; and over their
eyes is a covering. For them, a severe chastisement!
And some4 there are who say, "We believe in God, and in the
latter day:" Yet are they not believers!
Fain would they deceive God and those who have believed; but
they deceive themselves only, and know it not.
Diseased are their hearts! And that disease hath God increased
creased to them. Their's a sore chastisement, for that they treated
their prophet as a liar!
And when it is said to them, "Cause not disorders in the earth:"
they say, "Nay, rather do we set them right."
Is it not that they are themselves the authors of disorder? But they
perceive it not!
And when it is said to them, "Believe as other men have believed;"
they say, "Shall we believe as the fools have believed?" Is it not
that they are themselves the fools? But they know it not!
And when they meet the faithful they say, "We believe;" but when
they are apart with their Satans5 they say, "Verily we hold with
you, and at them we only mock."
God shall mock at them, and keep them long in their rebellion,
wandering in perplexity.
These are they who have purchased error at the price of guidance:
but their traffic hath not been gainful, neither are they guided at
They are like one6 who kindleth a fire, and when it hath thrown its
light on all around him. God taketh away their light and leaveth
them in darkness they cannot see!
Deaf, dumb, blind: therefore they shall not retrace their steps from
Or like those who, when there cometh a storm-cloud out of the
Heaven, big with darkness thunder and lightning, thrust their
fingers into their ears because of the thunder-clap, for fear of
death! God is round about the infidels.
The lightning almost snatcheth away their eyes! So oft as it
gleameth on them they walk on in it, but when darkness closeth
upon them, they stop! And if God pleased, of their ears and of their
eyes would he surely deprive them: verily God is Almighty! O
men of Mecca7 adore your Lord, who hath created you and those
who were before you: haply ye will fear Him
Who hath made the earth a bed for you, and the heaven a
covering, and hath caused water to come down from heaven, and
by it hath brought forth fruits for your sustenance! Do not then
wittingly give peers to God.
And if ye be in doubt as to that which we have sent down to our
servant, then produce a Sura like it, and summon your witnesses,
beside God, if ye are men of truth:
But if ye do it not, and never shall ye do it, then fear the fire
prepared for the infidels, whose fuel is men and stones:8
But announce to those who believe and do the things that are
right, that for them are gardens 'neath which the rivers flow! So
oft as they are fed therefrom with fruit for sustenance, they shall
say, "This same was our sustenance of old:" And they shall have
its like given to them.9 Therein shall they have wives of perfect
purity, and therein shall they abide for ever.
Verily God is not ashamed to set forth as well the instance of a
gnat10 as of any nobler object: for as to those who have believed,
they know it to be the truth from their Lord; but as to the
unbelievers, they will say, "What meaneth God by this
comparison?" Many will He mislead by such parables and many
guide: but none will He mislead thereby except the wicked,
Who, after its establishment, violate the covenant of God,11 and
in sunder what God hath bidden to be joined, and act disorderly
on the Earth. These are they who shall suffer loss!
How can ye withhold faith from God? Ye were dead and He gave
you life; next He will cause you to die; next He will restore you to
life: next shall ye return to Him!
He it is who created for you all that is on Earth, then proceeded to
the Heaven, and into seven12 Heavens did He fashion it: and He
knoweth all things.
When thy Lord said to the angels, "Verily, I am about to place one
in my stead on earth,"13 they said, "Wilt thou place there one who
will do ill therein and shed blood, when we celebrate thy praise
and extol thy holiness?" God said, "Verily, I know what ye know
And he taught Adam the names of all things, and then set them
before the angels,14 and said, "Tell me the names of these, if ye
endued with wisdom."15
They said, "Praise be to Thee! We have no knowledge but what
Thou hast given us to know. Thou! Thou art the Knowing, the
He said, "O Adam, inform them of their names." And when he had
informed them of their names, He said, "Did I not say to you that I
know the hidden things of the Heavens and of the Earth, and that I
know what ye bring to light, and what ye hide?"
And when we said to the angels, "Bow down and worship Adam,"
then worshipped they all, save Eblis.16 He refused and swelled
pride, and became one of the unbelievers.
And we said, "O Adam! dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden,
and eat ye plentifully therefrom wherever ye list; but to this tree
come not nigh, lest ye become of the transgressors."
But Satan17 made them slip from it, and caused their banishment
from the place in which they were. And we said, "Get ye down, the
one of you an enemy to the other: and there shall be for you in the
earth a dwelling-place, and a provision for a time."
And words of prayer learned Adam from his Lord: and God turned
to him; for He loveth to turn, the Merciful.
We said, "Get ye down from it, all together: and if
Guidance shall come to you from me, whoso shall follow my
guidance, on them shall come no fear, neither shall they be
But they who shall not believe, and treat our signs as false-hoods,
these shall be inmates of the fire; in it shall they remain for ever."
O children of Israel! remember my favour wherewith I shewed
favour upon you, and be true to your covenant with me; I will be
true to my covenant with you; me therefore, revere me! and
in what I have sent down confirming your Scriptures, and be not
the first to disbelieve it, neither for a mean price barter my signs:
me therefore, fear ye me!
And clothe not the truth with falsehood, and hide not the truth
when ye know it:18
And observe prayer and pay the legal impost, and bow down with
those who bow.
Will ye enjoin what is right upon others, and forget yourselves?
Yet ye read the Book: will ye not understand?
And seek help with patience and prayer: a hard duty indeed is this,
but not to the humble,
Who bear in mind that they shall meet their Lord, and that unto
Him shall they return.
O children of Israel! remember my favour wherewith I shewed
favour upon you; for verily to you above all human beings have I
And fear ye the day when soul shall not satisfy for soul at all, nor
shall any intercession be accepted from them, nor shall any
ransom be taken, neither shall they be helped.
And remember when we rescued you from the people of Pharaoh,
who had laid on you a cruel chastisement. They slew your male
children, and let only your females live: and in this was a great
trial from your Lord:
And when we parted the sea for you, and saved you, and drowned
the people of Pharaoh, while ye were looking on:
And when we were in treaty with Moses forty nights: then during
his absence took ye the calf and acted wickedly:
Yet after this we forgave you, that ye might be grateful:
And when we gave Moses the Book and the Illumination19 in
to your guidance:
And remember when Moses said to his people, "O my people!
verily ye - have sinned to your own hurt, by your taking the calf to
worship it: Be turned then to your creator, and slay the guilty
among you;20 this will be best for you with your creator:" Then
turned He unto you, for He is the one who turneth, the Merciful:
And when ye said, "O Moses! we will not believe thee until we see
God plainly;" the thunderbolt fell upon you while ye were looking
Then we raised you to life after ye had been dead,21 that haply ye
might give thanks:
And we caused the clouds to overshadow you, and we sent down
manna and quails upon; "Eat of the good things we have give
you for sustenance;" and they injured not us but they injured
And when we said, "Enter this city,23 and eat therefrom
at your will, and enter the gate with prostrations, and say,
'Forgiveness;' and we will pardon you your sins, and give an
increase to the doers of good:"
But the evil-doers changed that word into another than that
spoken to them,24 and we sent down upon those evil-doers wrath
from heaven, for that they had done amiss:
And when Moses asked drink for his people, we said, "Strike the
rock with thy rod;" and from it there gushed twelve fountains:
each tribe25 knew their drinking-place: "Eat and drink," said
we, "of what God hath supplied, and do no wrong on the earth by
And when ye said, "O Moses! we will not put up with one sort of
food: pray, therefore, thy Lord for us, that He would bring forth
for us of that which the earth groweth, its herbs and its cucumbers
and its garlic and its lentils and its onions:" He said, "What! will
ye exchange that which is worse for what is better? Get ye down
into Egypt; for ye shall have what ye have asked:" Vileness and
poverty were stamped upon them, and they returned with wrath
from God: This, for that they disbelieved the signs of God, and
slew the Prophets26 unjustly: this, for that they rebelled and
Verily, they who believe (Muslims), and they who follow the
Jewish religion, and the Christians, and the Sabeites27 whoever
of these believeth in God and the last day, and doeth that which is
right, shall have their reward with their Lord: fear shall not come
upon them, neither shall they be grieved.
Call to mind also when we entered into a covenant with you, and
lifted up the mountain28 over you: "Take hold," said we, "on
what we have revealed to you, with resolution, and remember what
is therein, that ye may fear:"
But after this ye turned back, and but for God's grace and mercy
toward you, ye had surely been of the lost! Ye know too those of
you who transgressed on the Sabbath, and to whom we said, "Be
changed into scouted apes:"29
And we made them a warning to those of their day, and to those
who came after them, and a caution to the God-fearing:
And when Moses said to his people, "Verily, God bids you
sacrifice a COW;"30 they said, "Makest thou a jest of us?" He
said, "God keep me from being one of the foolish." They said,
"Call on thy Lord for us that He would make plain to us what she
is." He said, "God saith, 'She is a cow neither old nor young, but
of the middle age between the two:' do therefore what ye are
They said, "Call on your Lord for us, that he would make plain to
us what is her colour." He said, "God saith, 'She is a
fawn-coloured cow; her colour is very bright; she rejoiceth the
They said, "Call on they Lord for us that He would make plain to
us what cow it is for to us are cows alike, and verily, if God
please, we shall be guided rightly:"
He said, "God saith, 'She is a cow not worn by ploughing the
earth or watering the field, sound, no blemish in her.' " They said,
"Now hast thou brought the truth:" Then they sacrificed her; Yet
nearly had they done it not:
And when ye slew a man, and strove among yourselves about him,
God brought to light what he had hidden:
For we said, "Strike the corpse with part of her." So God giveth
life to the dead, and sheweth you his signs, that haply ye may
Then after that your hearts became hard like rocks, or harder still:
for verily, from rocks have rivers gushed; others, verily, have been
cleft, and water hath issued from them; and others, verily, have
sunk down through fear of God: And God is not regardless of your
Desire ye then that for your sakes31 the Jews should believe? Yet
part of them heard the word of God, and then, after they had
understood it, perverted it, and knew that they did so.
And when they fall in with the faithful, they say, "We believe;" but
when they are apart32 one with another, they say, "Will ye
acquaint them with what God hath revealed to you, that they may
dispute with you about it in the presence of your Lord?"
Understand ye their aim?
Know they not that God knoweth what they hide, as well as what
they bring to light?
But there are illiterates among them who are unacquainted with
the Book,33 but with lies only, and have but vague fancies. Woe to
those who with their own hands transcribe the Book corruptly, and
then say, "This is from God," that they may sell it for some mean
price! Woe then to them for that which their hands have written!
and, Woe to them for the gains which they have made!
And they say, "Hell fire shall not touch us, but for a few days:"34
SAY: Have ye received such a promise from God? for God will not
revoke his promise: or, Speak ye of God that which ye know not?
But they whose only gains are evil works, and who are environed
by their sins, they shall be inmates of the fire, therein to abide for
But they who have believed and done the things that be right, they
shall be the inmates of Paradise, therein to abide for ever.
And when we entered into covenant with the children of Israel, we
said, "Worship none but God, and be good to your parents and
kindred, and to orphans, and to the poor, and speak with men what
is right, and observe prayer, and pay the stated alms." Then
turned ye away, except a few of you, and withdrew afar off.
And when we made a covenant with you that ye should not shed
your own blood,35 nor expel one another from your abodes, then
ratified it and yourselves were witnesses.
Then were ye the very persons who slew one another; and ye drove
out a part of your own people from their abodes; ye lent help
against them with wrong and hatred; but if they come captives to
you, ye redeem them! Yet it was forbidden you to drive them
out.36 Believe ye then part of the Book, and deny part? But what
shall be the meed of him among you who doth this, but shame in
this life? And on the day of the Resurrection they shall be sent to
the most cruel of torments, for God is not regardless of what ye do.
These are they who purchase this present life at the price of that
which is to come: their torment shall not be lightened, neither
shall they be helped.
Moreover, to Moses gave we "the Book," and we raised up
apostles after him; and to Jesus, son of Mary, gave we clear proofs
of his mission, and strengthened him by the Holy Spirit.37 So oft
then as an apostle cometh to you with that which your souls desire
not, swell ye with pride, and treat some as impostors, and slay
And they say, "Uncircumcised are our hearts." Nay! God hath
cursed them in their infidelity: few are they who believe!
And when a Book had come to them from God, confirming that
which they had received already although they had before
prayed for victory over those who believed not yet when that
Koran come to them, of which they had knowledge, they did not
recognise it. The curse of God on the infidels!
For a vile price have they sold themselves, by not believing what
God hath sent down, envious of God's sending down his grace on
such of his servants as he pleaseth:38 and they have brought on
themselves wrath upon wrath. And for the unbelievers is a
And when it is said to them, "Believe in what God hath sent
down," they say, "In that which hath been sent down to us we
believe:" but what hath since been sent down they disbelieve,
although it be the truth confirmatory of their own Scriptures. SAY:
Why then have ye of old slain God's prophets,39 if ye are indeed
Moreover, Moses came unto you with proofs of his mission. Then
in his absence ye took the calf for your God, and did wickedly.
And when we accepted your covenant, and uplifted40 the
over you, we said, "Take firm hold on what we have given you,
and hearken." They said, "We have hearkened and have
rebelled:" then were they made to drink down the calf into their
hearts for their ingratitude. SAY: A bad thing hath your faith
commanded you, if ye be indeed believers.
SAY: If the future dwelling place with God be specially for you,
but not for the rest of mankind, then wish for death, if ye are
But never can they wish for it, because of that which their own
hands have sent on before them!41 And God knoweth the
And thou wilt surely find them of all men most covetous of life,
beyond even the polytheists. To be kept alive a thousand years
might one of them desire: but that he may be preserved alive, shall
no one reprieve himself from the punishment! And God seeth what
SAY: Whoso is the enemy of Gabriel For he it is who by God's
leave hath caused the Koran to descend on thy heart, the
confirmation of previous revelations, and guidance, and good
tidings to the faithful
Whoso is an enemy to God or his angels, or to Gabriel, or to
Michael, shall have God as his enemy: for verily God is an enemy
to the Infidels.
Moreover, clear signs have we sent down to thee, and none will
disbelieve them but the perverse.
Oft as they have formed an engagement with thee, will some of
them set it aside? But most of them believe not.
And when there came to them an apostle from God, affirming the
previous revelations made to them, some of those to whom the
Scriptures were given, threw the Book of God behind their backs
as if they knew it not:
And they followed what the Satans read42 in the reign of
not that Solomon was unbelieving, but the Satans were
unbelieving. Sorcery did they teach to men, and what had been
revealed to the two angels, Harut and Marut, at Babel. Yet no man
did these two teach until they had said, "We are only a temptation.
Be not then an unbeliever." From these two did men learn how to
cause division between man and wife: but unless by leave of God,
no man did they harm thereby. They learned, indeed, what would
harm and not profit them; and yet they knew that he who bought
that art should have no part in the life to come! And vile the price
for which they have sold themselves, if they had but known it!
But had they believed and feared God, better surely would have
been the reward from God, if they had but known it!
O ye who believe! say not to our apostle, "Raina"43 (Look at us);
but say, "Ondhorna" (Regard us). And attend to this; for, the
Infidels shall suffer a grievous chastisement.
The unbelievers among the people of the Book, and among the
idolaters, desire not that any good should be sent down to you
from your Lord: but God will shew His special mercy to whom He
will, for He is of great bounty.
Whatever verses we cancel,44 or cause thee to forget, we bring a
better or its like. Knowest thou not that God hath power over all
Knowest thou not that the dominion of the Heavens and of the
Earth is God's? and that ye have neither patron nor helper, save
Would ye ask of your apostle what of old was asked of Moses? But
he who exchangeth faith for unbelief,45 hath already erred from
Many of the people of the Book desire to bring you back to
unbelief after ye have believed, out of selfish envy, even after the
truth hath been clearly shewn them. But forgive them, and shun
them till God shall come in with His working. Truly God hath
power over all things.
And observe prayer and pay the legal impost:46 and whatever good
thing ye have sent on before for your soul's sake, ye shall find it
with God. Verily God seeth what ye do.
And they say, "None but Jews or Christians shall enter Paradise:"
This is their wish. SAY: Give your proofs if ye speak the truth.
But they who set their face with resignation Godward, and do what
is right, their reward is with their Lord; no fear shall come on
them, neither shall they be grieved.
Moreover, the Jews say, "The Christians lean on nought:" "On
nought lean the Jews," say the Christians: Yet both are readers of
the Book. So with like words say they who have no knowledge.47
But on the resurrection day, God shall judge between them as to
that in which they differ.
And who committeth a greater wrong than he who hindereth God's
name from being remembered in his temples, and who hasteth to
ruin them?48 Such men cannot enter them but with fear. Their's is
shame in this world, and a severe torment in the next.
The East and the West is God's: therefore, whichever way ye turn,
there is the face of God:49 Truly God is immense and knoweth all.
And they say, "God hath a son:" No! Praise be to Him! But His,
whatever is in the Heavens and the Earth! All obeyeth Him,
Sole maker of the Heavens and of the Earth! And when He
decreeth a thing, He only saith to it, "Be," and it is.
And they who have no knowledge say, "Unless God speak to us, or
thou shew us a sign !" So, with like words, said those who were
before them: their hearts are alike: Clear signs have we already
shewn for those who have firm faith:
Verily, with the Truth have we sent thee, a bearer of good tidings
and a warner: and of the people of Hell thou shalt not be
But until thou follow their religion, neither Jews nor Christians
will be satisfied with thee. SAY: Verily, guidance of God, that is
the guidance! And if, after "the Knowledge" which hath reached
thee, thou follow their desires, thou shalt find neither helper nor
protector against God.
They to whom we have given the Book, and who read it as it ought
to be read, these believe therein: but whoso believeth not therein,
shall meet with perdition.
O children of Israel! remember my favour wherewith I have
favoured you, and that high above all mankind have I raised you:
And dread the day when not in aught shall soul satisfy for soul,
nor shall any ransom be taken from it, nor shall any intercession
avail, and they shall not be helped.
When his Lord made trial of Abraham by commands which he
fulfilled, He said, "I am about to make thee an Imƒm to mankind:"
he said, "Of my offspring also:" "My covenant," said God,
"embraceth not the evil doers."
And remember when we appointed the Holy House50 as man's
resort and safe retreat, and said, "Take ye the station of Abraham
for a place of prayer:" And we commanded Abraham and Ismael,
"Purify my house for those who shall go in procession round it,
and those who shall abide there for devotion, and those who shall
bow down and prostrate themselves."
And when Abraham said, "Lord! make this secure land, and
supply its people with fruits, such of them as believe in God and in
the last day:" He said, "And whoso believeth not, for a little while
will I bestow good things on him; then will I drive him to the
torment of the Fire!" An ill passage!
And when Abraham, with Ismael, raised the foundations51 of the
House, they said, "O our Lord! accept it from us; for thou art the
Hearer, the Knower.
O our Lord! make us also Muslims, and our posterity a Muslim
people; and teach us our holy rites, and be turned towards us, for
thou art He who turneth, the Merciful.
O our Lord! raise up among them an apostle52 who may rehearse
thy signs unto them, and teach them 'the Book,' and Wisdom, and
purify them: for thou art the Mighty, the Wise."
And who but he that hath debased his soul to folly will mislike the
faith of Abraham, when we have chosen him in this world, and in
the world to come he shall be of the Just?
When his Lord said to him, "Resign thyself to me," he said, "I
resign myself to the Lord of the Worlds."
And this to his children did Abraham bequeath, and Jacob also,
saying, "O my children! truly God hath chosen a religion for you;
so die not unless ye be also Muslims."
Were ye present when Jacob was at the point of death?53 when he
said to his sons, "Whom will ye worship when I am gone?" They
said, "We will worship thy God and the God of thy fathers
Abraham and Ismael and Isaac, one God, and to Him are we
That people have now passed away; they have the reward of their
deeds, and ye shall have the meed of yours: but of their doings ye
shall not be questioned.
They say, moreover, "Become Jews or Christians that ye may have
the true guidance." SAY: Nay! the religion of Abraham, the sound
in faith,54 and not one of those who join gods with God!
Say ye: "We believe in God, and that which hath been sent down
to us, and that which hath been sent down to Abraham and Ismael
and Isaac and Jacob and the tribes: and that which hath been
given to Moses and to Jesus, and that which was given to the
prophets from their Lord. No difference do we make between any
of them: and to God are we resigned (Muslims)."
If therefore they believe even as ye believe, then have they true
guidance; but if they turn back, then do they cut themselves off
from you: and God will suffice to protect thee against them, for He
is the Hearer, the Knower.55
Islam is the Baptism of God,56 and who is better to baptise than
God? And Him do we serve.
SAY: Will ye dispute with us about God? when He is our Lord and
your Lord! We have our works and ye have your works; and we
are sincerely His.
Will ye say, "Verily Abraham, and Ismael, and Isaac, and Jacob,
and the tribes, were Jews or Christians?" SAY: Who knoweth best,
ye, or God? And who is more in fault than he who concealeth the
witness which he hath from God? But God is not regardless of
what ye do.
That people have now passed away: they have the reward of their
deeds, and for you is the meed of yours; but of their doings ye
shall not be questioned.
The foolish ones will say, "What hath turned them from the kebla
which they used?" SAY: The East and the West are God's. He
guideth whom he will into the right path.
Thus have we made you a central people,57 that ye may be
witnesses in regard to mankind, and that the apostle may be a
witness in regard to you.
We appointed the kebla which thou formerly hadst, only that we
might know him who followeth the apostle, from him who turneth
on his heels: The change is a difficulty, but not to those whom God
hath guided. But God will not let your faith58 be fruitless; for unto
man is God Merciful, Gracious.
We have seen thee turning thy face towards every part of Heaven;
but we will have thee turn to a kebla which shall please thee. Turn
then thy face towards the sacred Mosque,59 and wherever ye be,
turn your faces towards that part. They, verily, to whom "the
Book" hath been given, know this to be the truth from their Lord:
and God is not regardless of what ye do.
Even though thou shouldest bring every kind of sign to those who
have received the Scriptures, yet thy kebla they will not adopt; nor
shalt thou adopt their kebla; nor will one part of them adopt the
kebla of the other. And if, after the knowledge which hath come to
thee, thou follow their wishes, verily then wilt thou become of the
They to whom we have given the Scriptures know him the
apostle even as they know their own children: but truly a part of
them do conceal the truth, though acquainted with it.60
The truth is from thy Lord. Be not then of those who doubt.
All have a quarter of the Heavens to which they turn them; but
wherever ye be, hasten emulously after good: God will one day
bring you all together; verily, God is all-powerful.
And from whatever place thou comest forth, turn thy face toward
the sacred Mosque; for this is the truth from thy Lord; and God is
not inattentive to your doings.
And from whatever place thou comest forth, turn thy face toward
the sacred Mosque; and wherever ye be, to that part turn your
faces, lest men have cause of dispute against you: but as for the
impious among them, fear them not; but fear me, that I may
my favours on you, and that ye may be guided aright.
And we sent to you an apostle from among yourselves to rehearse
our signs unto you, and to purify you, and to instruct you in "the
Book," and in the wisdom, and to teach you that which ye knew
Therefore remember me: I will remember you; and give me thanks
and be not ungrateful.
O ye who believe! seek help with patience and with prayer, for
God is with the patient.
And say not of those who are slain on God's path61 that they are
Dead; nay, they are Living! But ye understand not.
With somewhat of fear and hunger, and loss of wealth, and lives,
and fruits, will we surely prove you: but bear good tidings to the
Who when a mischance chanceth them, say, "Verily we are God's,
and to Him shall we return:"62
On them shall be blessings from their Lord, and mercy: and
these! they are the rightly guided.
Verily, Safa and Marwah63 are among the monuments of God:
whoever then maketh a pilgrimage to the temple, or visiteth it,
shall not be to blame if he go round about them both. And as for
him who of his own accord doeth what is good God is Grateful,
They who conceal aught that we have sent down, either of clear
proof or of guidance, after what we have so clearly shewn to men
in the Book,64 God shall curse them, and they who curse shall
But as for those who turn to me, and amend and make known the
truth, even unto them will I turn me, for I am He who Turneth, the
Verily, they who are infidels and die infidels, these! upon them
shall be the malison of God and of angels and of all men:
Under it shall they remain for ever: their torment shall not be
lightened, and God will not even look upon them!
Your God is one God:65 there is no God but He, the
Compassionate, the Merciful.
Assuredly in the creation of the Heavens and of the Earth; and in
the alternation of night and day; and in the ships which pass
through the sea with what is useful to man; and in the rain which
God sendeth down from Heaven, giving life by it to the earth after
its death, and by scattering over it all kinds of cattle; and in the
change of the winds, and in the clouds that are made to do service
between the Heaven and the Earth; are signs for those who
Yet there are men who take to them idols along with God, and love
them with the love of God: But stronger in the faithful is the love
of God. Oh! the impious will see, when they see their
that all power is God's, and that God is severe in chastising.
When those who have had followers66 shall declare themselves
clear from their followers after that they have seen the
chastisement, and when the ties between them shall be cut
The followers shall say, "Could we but return to life we would
keep ourselves clear from them, as they have declared themselves
clear of us." So will God shew them their works! Sighing is upon
them! but, forth from the fire they come not.
Oh men! eat of that which is lawful and good on the earth, but
follow not the steps of Satan, for he is your avowed enemy:
He only enjoineth you evil and wickedness, and that ye should
aver of God that which ye know not.
And when it is said to them, "Follow ye that which God hath sent
down;" they say, "Nay, we follow the usages which we found with
our fathers." What! though their fathers were utterly ignorant and
devoid of guidance?
The infidels resemble him who shouteth aloud to one who heareth
no more than a call and cry! Deaf, Dumb, blind: therefore they
have no understanding.
O ye who believe! eat of the good things with which we have
supplied you, and give God thanks if ye are His worshippers.
But that which dieth of itself, and blood, and swine's flesh, and
that over which any other name than that of God hath been
invoked, is forbidden you. But he who shall partake of them by
constraint, without lust or wilfulness, no sin shall be upon him.
Verily God is Indulgent, Merciful.
They truly who hide the Scriptures which God hath sent down, and
barter them for a mean price these shall swallow into their
bellies nought but fire. God will not speak to them, or assoil them,
on the day of the Resurrection: and theirs shall be a grievous
These are they who have bartered guidance for error, and pardon
for torment; But how great their endurance in fire!67
This shall be their doom, because God had sent down "the Book"
with the very truth. And verily they who dispute about that Book
are in a far-gone severance from it.
There is no piety in turning your faces toward the east or the west,
but he is pious who believeth in God, and the last day, and the
angles, and the Scriptures, and the prophets; who for the love of
God disburseth his wealth to his kindred, and to the orphans, and
the needy, and the wayfarer, and those who ask, and for
ransoming; who observeth prayer, and payeth the legal alms, and
who is of those who are faithful to their engagements when they
have engaged in them, and patient under ills and hardships, and in
time of trouble: these are they who are just, and these are they
who fear the Lord.
O believers! retaliation for bloodshedding is prescribed to you:
the free man for the free, and the slave for the slave, and the
woman for the woman: but he to whom his brother shall make any
remission,68 is to be dealt with equitably; and to him should he
a fine with liberality.
This is a relaxation69 from your Lord and a mercy. For him who
after his shall transgress,70 a sore punishment!
But in this law of retaliation is your security for life, O men of
understanding! to the intent that ye may fear God.
It is prescribed to you, when any one of you is at the point of
death, if he leave goods, that he bequeath equitably to his parents
and kindred. This is binding on those who fear God. But as for him
who after he hath heard the bequest shall change it, surely the
wrong of this shall be on those who change it: verily, God
But he who feareth from the testator any mistake or wrong, and
shall make a settlement between the parties that shall be no
wrong in him: verily, God is Lenient, Merciful.
O believers! a Fast is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to
those before you, that ye may fear God,
For certain days. But he among you who shall be sick, or on a
journey, shall fast that same number of other days: and as for
those who are able to keep it and yet break it, the expiation of this
shall be the maintenance of a poor man. And he who of his own
accord performeth a good work, shall derive good from it: and
good shall it be for you to fast if ye knew it.
As to the month Ramadhan in which the Koran was sent down to
be man's guidance, and an explanation of that guidance, and of
that illumination,71 as soon as any one of you observeth the moon,
let him set about the fast; but he who is sick, or upon a journey,
shall fast a like number of other days. God wisheth you ease, but
wisheth not your discomfort, and that you fulfil the number of
days, and that you glorify God for his guidance, and that you be
And when my servants ask thee concerning me, then will I be nigh
unto them. I will answer the cry of him that crieth, when he crieth
unto me: but let them hearken unto me, and believe in me, that
they may proceed aright.
You are allowed on the night of the fast to approach your wives:
they are your garment and ye are their garment.72 God knoweth
that ye defraud yourselves therein, so He turneth unto you and
forgiveth you! Now, therefore, go in unto them with full desire for
that which God hath ordained for you; and eat and drink until ye
can discern a white thread from a black thread73 by the daybreak:
then fast strictly till night, and go not in unto them, but rather pass
the time in the Mosques. These are the bounds set up by God:
therefore come not near them. Thus God maketh his signs clear to
men that they may fear Him.74
Consume not your wealth among yourselves in vain things, nor
present it to judges that ye may consume a part of other men's
wealth unjustly, while ye know the sin which ye commit.
They will ask thee of the new moons. SAY: They are periods fixed
for man's service and for the Pilgrimage. There is no piety in
entering your houses at the back,75 but piety consists in the fear of
God. Enter your houses then by their doors; and fear God that it
may be well with you.
And fight for the cause of God against those who fight against you:
but commit not the injustice of attacking them first: God loveth not
And kill them wherever ye shall find them, and eject them from
whatever place they have ejected you; for civil discord76 is worse
than carnage: yet attack them not at the sacred Mosque, unless
they attack you therein; but if they attack you, slay them. Such the
reward of the infidels.
But if they desist, then verily God is Gracious, Merciful.
Fight therefore against them until there be no more civil discord,
and the only worship be that of God: but if they desist, then let
there be no hostility, save against the wicked.
The sacred month and the sacred precincts are under the
safeguard of reprisals:77 whoever offereth violence to you, offer
the like violence to him, and fear God, and know that God is with
those who fear Him.
Give freely for the cause of God, and throw not yourselves with
your own hands into ruin;78 and do good, for God loveth those
Accomplish the Pilgrimage and the Visitation79 of the holy places
in honour of God: and if ye be hemmed in by foes, send whatever
offering shall be the easiest: and shave not your heads until the
offering reach the place of sacrifice. But whoever among you is
sick, or hath an ailment of the head, must satisfy by fasting, or
alms, or an offering. And when ye are safe from foes, he who
contents himself with the Visitation of the holy places, until the
Pilgrimage, shall bring whatever offering shall be the easiest. But
he who findeth nothing to offer, shall fast three days in the
Pilgrimage itself, and seven days when ye return: they shall be ten
days in all. This is binding on him whose family shall not be
present at the sacred Mosque. And fear God, and know that God is
terrible in punishing.
Let the Pilgrimage be made in the months already known:80
whoever therefore undertaketh the Pilgrimage therein, let him not
know a woman, nor transgress, nor wrangle in the Pilgrimage. The
good which ye do, God knoweth it. And provide for your journey;
but the best provision is the fear of God: fear me, then, O men of
It shall be no crime in you if ye seek an increase from your
and when ye pour swiftly on from Arafat, then remember God near
the holy monument; and remember Him, because He hath guided
you who before this were of those who went astray:
Then pass on quickly82 where the people quickly pass, and ask
pardon of God, for God is Forgiving, Merciful.
And when ye have finished your holy rites, remember God as ye
remember your own fathers, or with a yet more intense
remembrance! Some men there are who say, "O our Lord! give us
our portion in this world:" but such shall have no portion in the
And some say, "O our Lord! give us good in this world and good
in the next, and keep us from the torment of the fire."
They shall have the lot which they have merited: and God is swift
Bear God in mind during the stated days: but if any haste away83
in two days, it shall be no fault in him: And if any tarry longer, it
shall be no fault in him, if he fear God. Fear God, then, and know
that to Him shall ye be gathered.
A man there is84 who surpriseth thee by his discourse concerning
this life present. He taketh God to witness what is in his heart; yet
is he the most zealous in opposing thee:
And when he turneth his back on thee, he runneth through the land
to enact disorders therein, and layeth waste the fields and flocks:
but God loveth not the disorder.
And when it is said to him, "Fear God," the pride of sin seizeth
him: but he shall have his fill of Hell; and right wretched the
A man, too, there is85 who selleth his very self out of desire to
please God: and God is good to his servants.
O believers! enter completely into the true religion, and follow not
the steps of Satan, for he is your declared enemy.
But if ye lapse after that our clear signs86 have come to you, know
that God is Mighty, Wise.
What can such expect but that God should come down to them
overshadowed with clouds, and the angels also, and their doom be
sealed? And to God shall all things return.
Ask the children of Isreal how many clear signs we have given
them. But if any man shall alter the boon87 of God after it shall
have reached him, assuredly God will be vehement in punishing
This present life is prepared for those who believe not, and who
mock at the faithful. But they who fear God shall be above them
the day of resurrection; and God is bounteous without measure to
whom He will.
Mankind was but one people;88 and God sent prophets to
glad tidings and to warn; and He sent down with them the Book of
Truth, that it might decide the disputes of men; and none disputed
but those to whom the Book had been given, after the clear tokens
had reached them, being full of mutual jealousy. And God guided
those who believed to the truth of that about which, by his
permission, they had disputed; for God guideth whom he pleaseth
into the straight path.
Think ye to enter Paradise, when no such things have come upon
you, as on those who flourish before you? Ills and troubles tried
them; and so tossed were they by trials, that the Apostle and they
who shared his faith, said, "When will the help of God come?" Is
not the help of God nigh?
They will ask thee what they shall bestow in alms. SAY: Let the
good which ye bestow be for parents, and kindred, and orphans,
and the poor, and the wayfarer; and whatever good ye do, of a
truth God knoweth.
War is prescribed to you: but from this ye are averse.
Yet haply ye are averse from a thing, though it be good for you,
and haply ye love a thing though it be bad for you: And God
knoweth; but ye, ye know not.
They will ask thee concerning war in the Sacred Month. SAY: To
war therein is bad, but to turn aside from the cause of God, and to
have no faith in Him, and in the Sacred Temple, and to drive out
its people, is worse in the sight of God; and civil strife is worse
than bloodshed. They will not cease to war against you until they
turn you from your religion, if they be able: but whoever of you
shall turn from his religion and die an infidel, their works shall be
fruitless in this world, and in the next: they shall be consigned to
the fire; therein to abide for aye.
But they who believe, and who fly their country, and fight in the
cause of God may hope for God's mercy: and God is Gracious,
They will ask thee concerning wine89 and games of chance. SAY:
both is great sin, and advantage also, to men; but their sin is
greater than their advantage. They will ask thee also what they
shall bestow in alms:
SAY: What ye can spare. Thus God sheweth you his signs that ye
On this present world, and on the next. They will also ask thee
concerning orphans. SAY: Fair dealing with them is best;
But if ye mix yourselves up (in their affairs) they are your
brethren: God knoweth the foul dealer from the fair: and, if God
pleased, he could indeed afflict you! Verily, God is Mighty, Wise.
Marry not idolatresses until they believe; a slave who believeth is
better than an idolatress, though she please you more. And wed
not your daughters to idolaters until they believe; for a slave who
is a believer, is than better an idolater, though he please you.
They invite to the Fire; but God inviteth to Paradise, and to
pardon, if he so will, and maketh clear his signs to men that they
They will also question thee as to the courses of women. SAY:
are a pollution. Separate yourselves therefore from women and
approach them not, until they be cleansed. But when they are
cleansed, go in unto them as God hath ordained for you. Verily
God loveth those who turn to Him, and loveth those who seek to
Your wives are your field: go in, therefore, to your field as ye will;
but do first some act for your souls' good: and fear ye God, and
know that ye must meet Him; and bear these good tidings to the
Swear not by God, when ye make oath, that ye will be virtuous and
fear God, and promote peace among men; for God is He who
God will not punish you for a mistake in your oaths: but He will
punish you for that which your hearts have done. God is Gracious,
They who intend to abstain from their wives shall wait four
months; but if they go back from their purpose, then verily God is
And if they resolve on a divorce, then verily God is He who
The divorced shall wait the result, until they have had their
courses thrice, nor ought they to conceal what God hath created in
their wombs, if they believe in God and the last day; and it will be
more just in their husbands to bring them back when in this state,
if they desire what is right. And it is for the women to act as they
(the husbands) act by them, in all fairness; but the men are a step
above them. God is Mighty, Wise.
Ye may divorce your wives twice: Keep them honourably, or put
them away with kindness. But it is not allowed you to appropriate
to yourselves aught of what ye have given to them, unless both fear
that they cannot keep within the bounds90 set up by God. And if
fear that they cannot observe the ordinances of God, no blame
shall attach to either of you for what the wife shall herself give for
her redemption. These are the bounds of God: therefore overstep
them not; for whoever oversteppeth the bounds of God, they are
But if the husband divorce her a third time, it is not lawful for him
to take her again, until she shall have married another husband;
and if he also divorce her, then shall no blame attach to them if
they return to each other, thinking that they can keep within the
bounds fixed by God. And these are the bounds of God; He maketh
them clear to those who have knowledge.
But when ye divorce women, and the time for sending them away
is come, either retain them with generosity, or put them away with
generosity: but retain them not by constraint so as to be unjust
towards them. He who doth so, doth in fact injure himself. And
make not the signs of God a jest; but remember God's favour
toward you, and the Book and the Wisdom which He hath sent
down to you for your warning, and fear God, and know that God's
knowledge embraceth everything.
And when ye divorce your wives, and they have waited the
prescribed time, hinder them not from marrying their husbands
when they have agreed among themselves in an honourable way.
This warning is for him among you who believeth in God and in
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