Part 11 out of 14
the last day. This is most pure for you, and most decent. God
knoweth, but ye know not.
Mothers, when divorced, shall give suck to their children two full
years,91 if the father desire that the suckling be completed; and
such maintenance and clothing as is fair for them, shall devolve on
the father. No person shall be charged beyond his means. A
mother shall not be pressed unfairly for her child, nor a father for
his child: And the same with the father's heir. But if they choose to
wean the child by consent and by bargain, it shall be no fault in
them. And if ye choose to have a nurse for your children, it shall
be no fault in you, in case ye pay what ye promised her according
to that which is fair. Fear God, and know that God seeth what ye
If those of you who die leave wives, they must await their state
during four months and ten days; and when this their term is
expired, you shall not be answerable for the way in which they
shall dispose of themselves fairly. And God is cognisant of what ye
And then shall no blame attach to you in making proposals of
marriage92 to such women, or in keeping such intention to
yourselves? God knoweth that ye will not forget them. But promise
them not in secret, unless ye speak honourable words;
And resolve not on the marriage tie until the prescribed time be
reached; and know that God knoweth what is in your minds:
therefore, beware of Him; and know that God is Gracious, Mild!
It shall be no crime in you if ye divorce your wives so long as ye
have not consummated the marriage, nor settled any dowry on
them. And provide what is needful for them he who is in ample
circumstances according to his means, and he who is straitened,
according to his means with fairness: This is binding on those
who do what is right.
But if ye divorce them before consummation, and have already
settled a dowry on them, ye shall give them half of what ye have
settled, unless they make a release, or he make a release in whose
hand is the marriage tie. But if ye make a release, it will be nearer
to piety. And forget not generosity in your relations one towards
another; for God beholdeth your doings.
Observe strictly the prayers, and the middle93 prayer, and stand up
full of devotion towards God.
And if you have any alarm, then pray on foot or riding: but when
you are safe, then remember God, how he hath made you to know
what ye knew not.
And94 such of you as shall die and leave wives, shall bequeath
their wives a year's maintenance without causing them to quit
their homes; but if they quit them of their own accord, then no
blame shall attach to you for any disposition they may make of
themselves in a fair way. And God is Mighty, Wise.
And for the divorced let there be a fair provision. This is a duty in
those who fear God.
Thus God maketh his signs clear to you that ye may understand.
Hast thou not thought on those who quitted their dwellings and
they were thousands for fear of death?95 God said to them,
"Die:" then He restored them to life, for full of bounty towards
man is God. But most men give not thanks!
Fight for the cause of God; and know that God is He who Heareth,
Who is he that will lend to God a goodly loan? He will double it to
him again and again: God is close, but open handed also: and to
Him shall ye return.
Hast thou not considered96 the assembly of the children of Israel
after the death of Moses, when they said to a prophet of theirs,
"Set up for us a king; we will do battle for the cause of God?" He
said, "May it not be that if to fight were ordained you, ye would
not fight?" They said, "And why should we not fight in the cause
of God, since we and our children are driven forth from our
dwellings?" But when fighting was commanded them, they turned
back, save a few of them: But God knew the offenders!
And their prophet said to them, "Now hath God set (Talout) Saul
king over you." They said, "How shall he reign over us, when we
are more worthy of the kingdom than he, and of wealth he hath no
abundance?" He said, "Verily God hath chosen him to be over
you, and hath given him increase in knowledge and stature; God
giveth his kingdom to whom he pleaseth; and God is Liberal,
And their prophet said to them, "Verily, the sign of his kingship
shall be that the Ark shall come to you: in it is a pledge of
security97 from your Lord and the relics98 left by the family of
Moses, and the family of Aaron; the angels shall bear it: Truly
herein shall be a sign indeed to you if ye are believers."
And when Saul marched forth with his forces, he said, "God will
test you by a river: He who drinketh of it shall not be of my band;
but he who shall not taste it, drinking a drink out of the hand
excepted, shall be of my band."99 And, except a few of them, they
drank of it. And when they had passed it, he and those who
believed with him, the former said, "We have no strength this day
against (Djalout) Goliath and his forces:" But they who held it as
certain that they must meet God, said, "How oft, by God's will,
hath a small host vanquished a numerous host! and God is with the
And when they went forth against Goliath and his forces, they
said, "O our Lord! pour out steadfastness upon us, and set our feet
firm, and help us against the infidels!"
And by the will of God they routed them; and (Daood) David slew
Goliath; and God gave him the kingship and wisdom, and taught
him according to His will: and were it not for the restraint of one
by means of the other, imposed on men by God, verily the earth
had been utterly corrupted. But God is bounteous to his creatures.
Such are the signs of God: with truth do we rehearse them to thee,
for one of the Sent Ones art Thou.
Some of the apostles we have endowed more highly than others:
Those to whom God hath spoken, He hath raised to the loftiest
grade, and to Jesus the Son of Mary we gave manifest signs, and
we strengthened him with the Holy Spirit.100 And if God had
pleased, they who came after them would not have wrangled, after
the clear signs had reached them. But into disputes101 they fell:
some of them believed, and some were infidels; yet if God had
pleased, they would not have thus wrangled: but God doth what he
O Believers! give alms of that with which we have supplied you,
before the day cometh when there shall be no trafficking, nor
friendship, nor intercession. And the infidels are the wrong-doers.
God! There is no God but He; the Living, the Eternal; Nor slumber
seizeth Him, nor sleep; His, whatsoever is in the Heavens and
whatsoever is in the Earth! Who is he that can intercede with Him
but by His own permission? He knoweth what hath been before
them and what shall be after them; yet nought of His knowledge
shall they grasp, save what He willeth. His Throne reacheth over
the Heavens and the Earth, and the upholding of both burdeneth
Him not; and He is the High, the Great!
Let there be no compulsion in Religion.102 Now is the right way
made distinct from error. Whoever therefore shall deny
and believe in God he will have taken hold on a strong handle
that shall not be broken: and God is He who Heareth, Knoweth.
God is the patron of believers: He shall bring them out of darkness
As to those who believe not, their patrons are Thagout: they shall
bring them out of light into darkness: they shall be given over to
the fire: they shall abide therein for ever.
Hast thou not thought on him104 who disputed with Abraham
his Lord, because God had given him the kingdom? When
Abraham said, "My Lord is He who maketh alive and cause to
die:" He said, "It is I who make alive and cause to die!" Abraham
said, "Since God bringeth the sun from the East, do thou, then,
bring it from the West." The infidel was confounded; for God
guideth not the evil doers:
Or how he105 demeaned him who passed by a city which had been
laid in ruins.106 "How," said he, "shall God give life to this city,
after she hath been dead?" And God caused him to die for an
hundred years, and then raised him to life. And God said, "How
long hast thou waited?" He said, "I have waited a day or part of a
day." He said, "Nay, thou hast waited an hundred years. Look on
thy food and thy drink; they are not corrupted; and look on thine
ass: we would make thee a sign unto men: And look on the bones
of thine ass, how we will raise them, then clothe them with flesh."
And when this was shewn to him, he said, "I acknowledge that
God hath power to do all things."
When Abraham said, "O Lord, shew me how thou wilt give life to
the dead!" He said, "Hast thou not believed?"
He said, "Yes; but I have asked thee, that my heart may be well
assured." He said, "Take, then, four birds,107 and draw them
towards thee, and cut them in pieces; then place a part of them on
every mountain; then call them and they shall come swiftly to thee:
and know thou that God is Might, Wise!"
The likeness of those who expend their wealth for the cause of
God, is that of a grain of corn which produceth seven ears, and in
each ear a hundred grains; and God will multiply to whom He
pleaseth: God is Liberal, Knowing!
They who expend their wealth for the cause of God, and never
follow what they have laid out with reproaches or harm, shall have
their reward with their Lord; no fear shall come upon them,
neither shall they be put to grief.
A kind speech and forgiveness is better than alms followed by
injury. God is Rich, Clement.
O ye who believe! make not your alms void by reproaches and
injury, like him who spendeth his substance to be seen of men, and
believeth not in God and in the latter day. The likeness of such an
one is that of a rock with a thin soil upon it, on which a heavy rain
falleth but leaveth it hard: No profit from their works shall they be
able to gain; for God guideth not the unbelieving people.
And the likeness of those who expend their substance from a
to please God, and for the stablishing of their souls, is as a garden
on a hill, on which the heavy rain falleth, and it yieldeth its fruits
twofold; and even if a heavy rain fall not on it, yet is there a dew:
God beholdeth your actions.
Desireth any one of you a garden of palms and vines through
which rivers flow, in which he may have every fruit, and that old
age should surprise him there, and that his offspring should be
weakly, and that then a fiery violent wind shall strike it so that it
shall be burned? Thus God maketh plain his signs to you that ye
O ye who believe! bestow alms of the good things which ye have
acquired, and of that which we have brought forth for you out of
the earth, and choose not the bad for almsgiving, 270 Such as ye
would accept yourselves only by connivance: and know that God is
Satan menaceth you with poverty,108 and enjoineth base actions:
but God promiseth you pardon from himself and abundance: God
is All-bounteous, Knowing.
He giveth wisdom to whom He will: and he to whom wisdom is
given, hath had much good given him; but none will bear it in
mind, except the wise of heart.
And whatever alms ye shall give, or whatever vow ye shall vow, of
a truth God knoweth it: but they who act unjustly shall have no
helpers. Give ye your alms openly?109 it is well. Do ye conceal
them and give them to the poor? This, too, will be of advantage to
you, and will do away your sins: and God is cognisant of your
Their guidance is not thine affair, O Muhammad; but God guideth
whom he pleaseth. And the good that ye shall give in alms shall
redound unto yourselves; and ye shall not give but as seeking the
face of God; and whatever good thing ye shall have given in alms,
shall be repaid you, and ye shall not be wronged. There are among
you the poor, who being shut up to fighting for the cause of God,
have it not in their power to strike out into the earth for riches.
Those who know them not, think them rich because of their
modesty. By this their token thou shalt know them they ask not of
men with importunity: and of whatever good thing ye shall give
them in alms, of a truth God will take knowledge.
They who give away their substance in alms, by night and day, in
private and in public, shall have their reward with their Lord: no
fear shall come on them, neither shall they be put to grief.
They who swallow down usury, shall arise in the resurrection only
as he ariseth whom Satan hath infected by his touch. This, for that
they say, "Selling is only the like of usury:" and yet God hath
allowed selling, and forbidden usury. He then who when this
warning shall come to him from his Lord, abstaineth, shall have
pardon for the past, and his lot shall be with God. But they who
return to usury, shall be given over to the fire; therein shall they
abide for ever.
God will bring usury to nought, but will increase alms with usury,
and God loveth no infidel, or evil person. But they who believe
do the things that are right, and observe the prayers, and pay the
legal impost, they shall have their reward with their Lord: no fear
shall come on them, neither shall they be put to grief.
O believers! fear God and abandon your remaining usury, if ye are
But if ye do it not, then hearken for war on the part of God and his
apostle: yet if ye repent, ye shall have the principal of your money.
Wrong not, and ye shall not be wronged.
If any one find difficulty in discharging a debt, then let there be a
delay until it be easy for him: but if ye remit it as alms it will be
better for you, if ye knew it.
Fear the day wherein ye shall return to God: then shall every soul
be rewarded according to its desert, and none shall have injustice
done to them.
O ye who believe! when ye contract a debt (payable) at a fixed
date, write it down, and let the notary faithfully note between you:
and let not the notary refuse to note, even as God hath taught him;
but let him note it down, and let him who oweth the debt dictate,
and let him fear God his Lord, and not diminish aught thereof. But
if he who oweth the debt be foolish or weak, or be not able to
dictate himself, let his friend dictate for him with fairness; and call
to witness two witnesses of your people: but if there be not two
men, let there be a man, and two women of those whom ye shall
judge fit for witnesses: if the one of them should mistake, the other
may cause her to recollect. And the witnesses shall not refuse,
whenever they shall be summoned. And disdain not to put the debt
in writing, be it large or small, with its time of payment: this will
be more just for you in the sight of God, better suited for
witnessing, and the best for avoiding doubt. But if the goods be
there present, and ye pass them from hand to hand then it shall
be no fault in you not to write it down. And have witnesses when
sell, and harm not writer or witness: it will be a crime in you to do
this. But fear God and God will give you knowledge, for God hath
knowledge of all things.
And if ye be on a journey and shall find no notary, let pledges be
taken: but if one of you trust the other, let him who is trusted,
restore what he is trusted with, and fear God his Lord. And refuse
not to give evidence. He who refuseth is surely wicked at heart:
and God knoweth your deeds.
Whatever is in the Heavens and in the Earth is God's: and whether
ye bring forth to light what is in your minds or conceal it, God will
reckon with you for it; and whom He pleaseth will He forgive, and
whom He pleaseth will He punish; for God is All-powerful.
The apostle believeth in that which hath been sent down from his
Lord, as do the faithful also. Each one believeth in God, and His
Angels, and His Books, and His Apostles: we make no distinction
between any of His Apostles.110 And they say, "We have heard
we obey. Thy mercy, Lord! for unto thee must we return."
God will not burden any soul beyond its power. It shall enjoy the
good which it hath acquired, and shall bear the evil for the
acquirement of which it laboured. O our Lord! punish us not if we
forget, or fall into sin; O our Lord! and lay not on us a load like
that which thou hast laid on those who have been before us; O our
Lord! and lay not on us that for which we have not strength: but
blot out our sins and forgive us, and have pity on us. Thou art our
protector: give us victory therefore over the infidel nations.
1 The greater part of this, the oldest of the Medina Suras, was
revealed in the early part of the second year of the Hejira and
previously to the battle of Bedr. The Hejira took place in the
beginning of Muharram, or middle of April, A.D. 622. The
numbers who emigrated with Muhammad at first, were about 150
persons. Medina is 250 miles north of Mecca, and ten days'
2 Said to mean A mara li Muhammad, i.e. at the command of
Muhammad; but see Sura 1xviii. p. 32.
3 Death, Resurrection, Judgment, etc.
4 The Jews.
5 The Jews and Christians, hostile to the mission of Muhammad.
6 Lit. the similitude of them is as the similitude of, etc.
7 The people of Medina are generally addressed with "O ye who
believe;" the Meccans, with "O men." Hence it has been inferred
that from verse 19 (O men) to 37 inclusively, is of the Meccan
period. The subjects treated of also lead to this conclusion.
8 The statues of false gods.
9 It will be an agreeable surprise to the blessed to have fruits,
which at first sight resemble those of earth, but are infinitely more
10 Muhammad had been reproached for having drawn
illustrations from the Ant, Bee, Spider, etc.
11 Concerning faith in Muhammad. See verse 39 below, note.
12 The number of the Heavens is borrowed from the Talmud, or
traditions based upon it; but the idea probably has its root in the
Scriptural expression, "Heaven of Heavens."
13 Lit. a caliph, vicegerent. "When the Holy One, Blessed be He,
would create man, He took counsel with the Angels and said to
them, We will make man in our image." Midr. Rabbah on Numb.
iv. par. 19. Comp. Midr. on Gen. 1, par. 8, 17. Sanhedr. 38.
14 "God said to the Angels, 'His wisdom is greater than yours.'
Then brought he before them beasts, cattle, and birds, and asked
for their names, but they knew them not. But when he had created
man," etc. Midr. as above.
15 Or, if ye are truthful, or can make good a better claim to the
16 In the name Eblis (diabolos) and in the honour claimed for
Adam as a kind of Godman, there are traces of a Christian
original, as well as in the identification of the serpent with Satan.
Comp. Ps. civ. 4; Heb. i. 6. The Talmudists also enlarge on the
honour paid to Adam. "Adam sat in the garden and the Angels
brought him flesh and cooling wine." Sanhedr. 29. "In the hour
when the Holy One, Blessed be He, created man, the Angels went
astray in regard to him, and essayed to say before him, 'O Holy
One!' then God permitted sleep to fall on him, and all knew that he
was of earth." Midr. Rabbah on Gen. par. 8. It is possible that the
Arabic word balas, a profligate, wicked person, may have
influenced Muhammad in the formation of the word Eblis. See
note, p. 185. Eblis is used in the Arabic version of the New
Testament, for the probable date of which, see Tischendorf, Prol.
17 Observe the change from Eblis, the calumniator, to Satan, the
18 Muhammad rarely accused the Jews and Christians of
corrupting, but often of misinterpreting, their Sacred Books, in
order to evade his claims. His charges, however, are always very
vaguely worded, and his utterances upon this subject are
tantamount to a strong testimony in favour of the unimpeachable
integrity of the sacred books, both of the Jews and Christians, so
far as he knew them. See Sura [lxxxvii.] vii. 168, and v. 73 below.
19 See Sura [lxv.] xxi. 49.
20 Lit. slay one another.
21 The Talmudists relate how the Israelites who had died, on
hearing the divine voice, etc., were restored by the intercession of
the Law itself. Sanh. 5.
22 By storing them up in violation of God's command.
23 Jericho according to some commentators, Jerusalem according
to others, but see verse 58.
24 See Sura [lxxxvii.] vii. 162.
25 Lit. all men. This incident is perhaps inadvertently borrowed
from Ex. xv. 27.
26 This passage (comp. xxvi. 59) is one of the numerous
anachronisms which abound in the Koran and prove the gross
ignorance of the Arabian Prophet.
27 The Sabeites are identical with the Mendaites, or so-called
Christians of S. John, residing in the marshy district at the mouth
of the Euphrates, but are not the same with the star-worshipping
Sabians of Harran in Mesopotamia. See D'Herbelot, Bibl. Or.
under the word Sabi; Assemani, Bibl. Or. iii. 2, 609. For curious
details as to the elements of the Sabeite religion, see Chwolson's
SSabier and SSabaismus I.
28 See Sura [lxxxvii.] vii. 170.
29 See Sura [lxxxvii.] vii. 164.
30 Compare Numb. xix.; Deut. xxii. 1 9. The cow was to be
sacrificed in order that a murderer might be discovered through
the miracle to be wrought on the corpse by a piece of her flesh.
31 To please you, O Muslims.
32 This is one of the passages which shews great familiarity with
the habits of the Jews, on the part of Muhammad. See Maracci's
Prodr. i. 44. Wahl's Einleitung, xxx. xxxv.
33 The Pentateuch. This passage shews that the art of writing was
known in Medina shortly after the Hejira.
34 Forty days; the period during which they worshipped the calf.
35 The blood of those who are as your own flesh.
36 Two Jewish tribes (Koreidha and Nadhir) in alliance with
certain Arab tribes who were at war, destroyed one another's
abodes, but redeemed the Jewish captives, professing that they
were commanded to do this by the Law. So the commentators.
37 Gabriel. Muhammad either knowingly rejected the divinity of
the Holy Ghost, or confounded Gabriel announcing the
conception, with the Holy Spirit that overshadowed Mary. It is
probable that Muhammad's ideas of the Spirit were at first
indefinite, but that the two expressions, Gabriel and the Holy
Spirit, became ultimately synonymous. See note on Sura [lxvii.]
xvii. 87. Geiger (p. 82) quotes an instance in which the Jewish
expositors understand the distinctly-speaking Spirit (Sanhedr. 44)
38 The gift of the prophetic office, etc., to a pagan Arab and not to
39 Matt. xxiii. 37.
40 See Sura vii. 170, p. 309.
41 Comp. 1 Tim. v. 24.
42 In Solomon's Books of Magic. This story has been supposed to
be of Persian origin. See Hyde de Rel. Vet. Pers. ch. xii. But from
a passage in the Midr. Abhkhir quoted in the Midr. Jalkut, ch. 44,
and from a quotation in Maracci's Prodr. iv. 82, Geiger infers that
Muhammad has transferred to the time of Solomon, the Rabbinic
traditions concerning the influence of angels upon men at the time
of the Deluge. p. 106. "Babel is regarded by the Muslims as the
fountain head of the science of magic. They suppose Haroot and
Maroot to be two angels who, in consequence of their want of
compassion for the frailties of mankind, were sent down to earth to
be tempted. They both sinned; and being permitted to choose
whether they would be punished now or hereafter, chose the
former, and are still suspended by the feet at Babel in a rocky pit,
and are the great teachers of magic." (Lane on ch. iii. note 14 of
the 1001 Nights.)
43 Raina, as pronounced in Hebrew, "our bad one;" but in
Arabic, "look upon us," a kind of salutation of the same
signification as ondhorna, which, however, does not admit of any
secondary bad sense like raina.
44 Comp. Sura xvi. 103; iv. 84. The Muslims admit that there are
225 verses cancelled by later ones. The doctrine of "abrogation"
is taught in the Talmud. Thus Hilchoth Mamrim, ii. 1, 2, etc.
45 That is, does not weigh the evidence for Muhammad's mission
already given, but demands, as the Jews did, to see God himself.
46 In all Muhammadan countries the first time of prayer is the
moghreb or sunset, or rather, four minutes later; the second the
eshe, when it has become quite dark; the third the soobh or fegr,
the daybreak; the fourth, doohr, or a little after noon, when the
sun has begun to decline; the fifth, the asr, midway between noon
and nightfall. The obligatory legal alms or impost are called, as
here, zekah (lit. purity), the voluntary, sudackah. It is, however,
left to the conscience of individuals to give and to apply them as
they think fit.
47 The idolatrous Arabs.
48 If this verse is aimed at the Meccans who, in the 6th year of the
Hejira, forbad Muhammad and his followers to enter the temple of
Mecca in the expedition of Hodeibiya, it is misplaced here.
49 Abrogated by verse 139 below.
50 The Caaba.
51 Freytag (Einl. p. 339) says that there is no good reason for
doubting that the Caaba was founded as stated in this passage. See
note on Sura [xcvii.] iii. 90.
52 Deut. xviii. 15.
53 "At the time when our father Jacob quitted this world, be
summoned his twelve sons and said to them, Hearken to your
father Israel (Gen. xlix. 2). Have ye any doubts in your hearts
concerning the Holy One, Blessed be He! They said, Hear, O
Israel, our Father. As there is no doubt in thy heart, so neither is
there in ours. For the Lord is our God, and He is one." Midr.
Rabbah on Gen. par. 98, and on Deut. par. 2. Comp. also Targ.
Jer. on Deut. vi. 4. Tract. Pesachim, 56.
54 See Sura [lxxiii.] xvi. 121, n., p. 209.
55 Ibn Batutah assures us (vol. ii. 10) that when in the 14th
century he visited Basra, he saw in the mosque the copy of the
Koran which the Caliph Othman had in his hands when murdered,
and that the marks of his blood were still visible at the words of
this verse. Othman's originals are also said to be preserved in
Egypt, Morocco, Damascus, Mecca, and Medina. See M.
Quatremere in Journ. Asiatique, Juillet, 1838.
56 The original simply has Baptism of God. This may be
understood either of Islam generally, or, with Ullmann, in the
more restricted sense of circumcision. Perhaps Muhammad used
the word advisedly as a hint to the Christians of his land, that in
the reception of his religion consisted the true new birth.
57 Or, intermediate, i.e., according to the commentators, not
addicted to excess, just. Ullm. ein vermittelndes Volk, zwischen
Juden und Christen die Mitte haltend.
58 In having prayed towards Jerusalem.
59 Of Mecca. This change of the Kebla from Jerusalem to Mecca
shows that this part of the Sura was revealed at a time when the
breach between Muhammad and the Jews was past healing; i.c. in
the first half of the second year of the Hejira. See Thilo's. Cod.
Apoc. p. 21, n.
60 That is, the Jews are really convinced of the truth of
61 That is, warring with the infidels. The precise date of verses
148 152 depends upon whether this passage refers to the battle of
Bedr or Ohod.
62 These words are constantly used by the pious Muslims when in
63 Hills in the sacred territory of Mecca, which had long been
objects of superstitious reverence to the idolatrous Arabs, on
which account the Muslims were at first unwilling to include them
among the sacred places.
64 The Pentateuch. See verse 141.
65 This and the three following verses are probably Meccan, as
also verses 167 171.
66 The ringleaders of infidelity and idolatrous faiths.
67 Freyt. Lex. vol. ii. p. 477 Quid eos agere coegit quemadmodum
damnati agunt? But Mar. Quanta erit sustinentia corum!
68 To whom his brother, that is, any Arab or believer, shall remit
the penalty of death.
69 Of the stricter Mosaic lex talionis, as well of the ante-Islamitic
Arabian custom, by which the killing of a slave was avenged by
death of a free man, and the killing of a woman by taking the life
of a man. See Freyt. Einl. p. 193. Comp. Ex. xxi. 23.
70 That is, by killing the manslayer.
71 On the word Furquan, see Sura [1xv.] xxi. 49.
72 A mutual comfort to each other.
73 Thus Misch. Berachoth, 1, 2, "Prayer is to be said as soon as
one can distinguish between a blue and white thread."
74 Judging from the minuteness of the precepts laid down in this
and the following verses to 193, it would appear that they were
added at a late period of Muhammad's residence at Medina.
75 Such appears to have been the superstitious custom of the
Arabs after their return from pilgrimages to Mecca.
76 Their driving you out of Mecca; or, the temptation (to idolatry).
77 Lit. the sacred month for the sacred month, and the sacred
precincts or things (for) reprisals. The meaning of this difficult
passage is that in wars for the cause of religion, the sacred month
and the temple of Mecca may be made the time and scene of
contests, which then and there are usually prohibited. For the most
accurate information as to the Pilgrimage, see Freytag, Einl. 418.
78 This shows that Muhammad inculcated the doctrine of entire
freedom of the will.
79 The greater Pilgrimage, which every Muslim is bound to
perform once in his life, is the Hadjat el Farz (the one obligatory
Pilgrimage), or the Hadjat el Islam. The Umrah, or little
pilgrimage, may be performed at any time except the pilgrimage
season, and its ceremonies are much fewer. They are described by
Lieut. Burton in his "Pilgrimage," vol. iii. ch. xxviii.
80 Namely, Shawâl, Dhu'lkaada, and Dhu'lhajja.
81 By trading during the Hadj.
82 The pilgrims move on very rapidly when in the immediate
neighbourhood of the Holy Places.
83 From the valley of Mina.
84 Said to have been one Al Akhnas Ibn Shoraik, a dissembler
85 Sohaib, when he joined the standard of Muhammad, left all his
property in the hands of the infidels.
86 Verses 204 210 are probably addressed to those Muslims who
were desirous to observe certain parts of the Jewish law.
87 The Koran.
88 That is, there was originally but one religion in the world.
89 Comp. Sura [c.] iv. 42, and [cxiv.] v. 99, 100.
90 Limits, fences. The word is Talmudic. Thus Pirke Aboth, i.
men of the great synagogue said Make a fence for the law;"
and iii. 13, "Tradition is a fence to the law."
91 Comp. Sura [lxxxii.] xxxi. 13.
92 Within the four months and ten days.
93 Either the asr, midway between noon and nightfall (see verse
104 above) or the prayer immediately after midday. See note on
Sura [c.] iv. 46.
94 This verse is certainly older than the commencement of Sura iv.
which alters the law here laid down.
95 Comp. Ezek. xxxvii. 1 10. These Jews are said by some
commentators to have abandoned their dwellings through fear of a
pestilence (comp. Talmud Sanhed. 92); by others, for fear of being
compelled to serve in the wars of God.
96 This and the seven following verses shew that Muhammad,
foreseeing an open rupture with the people of Medina at no distant
period, felt it necessary to stimulate the zeal and courage of his
partisans by examples from Jewish history.
97 Ar. Shechinah. See Freytag Lex. in v. This word, as well as the
Arabic word for ark (p. 95, n.) betray in their form a Rabbinic
98 The shoes and rod of Moses, the mitre of Aaron, the vase of
manna, the fragments of the two tables of the law.
99 Observe the confusion between Gideon and Saul.
100 See verse 81.
101 The drift of these words, which are of such frequent
recurrence in the Koran, is, that the former revelations had been
abused, and instead of leading them to Islam broke them up into
sects and dissentient parties.
102 This verse must have been revealed before Muhammad felt
himself secure in his new position at Medina.
103 A name applied to an idol or idols especially Allat and Ozza,
the ancient idols of the Meccans. The termination of the word
Thagout is more Hebraic than pure Arabic, and literally means
105 Ozair or Esdras doubted whether Jerusalem could be rebuilt
after its destruction by Nebuchadnezzar, and the miracle here
narrated, was wrought for his assurance. The fable has its origin
in the circuit made by Nehemiah around the ruined city. Neh. ii.
106 Lit. it was falling on its roofs.
107 Comp. Gen. xv. 9.
108 That is, Satan would dissuade you from liberal contributions
by instilling the fear of poverty.
109 Comp. Matt. vi. 3, 4.
110 This contradicts verse 254, as well as several verses in Sura
SURA XCVIII. CLEAR EVIDENCE [XCII.]
MEDINA. 8 Verses
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
THE unbelievers among the people of the Book, and the
Polytheists, did not waver, until the CLEAR EVIDENCE had
A messenger from God, reciting to them the pure pages wherein
are true Scriptures!
Neither were they to whom the Scriptures were given divided into
sects, till after this clear evidence had reached them!
Yet was not aught enjoined on them but to worship God with
sincere religion, sound in faith; and to observe prayer and pay the
stated alms. For this is true religion.
But the unbelievers among the people of the Book, and among the
Polytheists, shall go into the fire of Gehenna to abide therein for
aye. Of all creatures are they the worst!
But they who believe and do the things that are right these of all
creatures are the best!
Their recompense with their Lord shall be gardens of Eden, 'neath
which the rivers flow, in which they shall abide for evermore.
God is well pleased in them and they in Him! This, for him who
feareth his Lord.
SURA LXIV. MUTUAL DECEIT [XCIII.]
MEDINA.1 18 Verses
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
ALL that is in the Heavens, and all that is in the Earth, praiseth
God: His the Kingdom and His the Glory! And He hath power over
It is He who hath created you all; yet some of you are infidel and
others believers: but God beholdeth all your actions.
He hath created the Heavens and the Earth in Truth; and He hath
fashioned you and given you goodly forms; and to Him must ye all
He knoweth all that passeth in the Heavens and in the Earth; and
He knoweth what ye hide and what ye bring to light; and God
knoweth the very secrets of men's breasts.
Hath not the story reached you of those who disbelieved of yore,
and therefore tasted the evil consequences of their doings? And a
sore punishment doth await them.
This, for that when their apostles came to them with the clear
tokens, they said, "What! shall men be our guides?" And they
believed not and turned their backs. But God can dispense with
them; for God is the Rich, the Praiseworthy!
The infidels pretend that they shall not be raised from the dead.
SAY: Yea, by my Lord, ye shall surely be raised; then shall ye
surely be told of your deeds! And easy is this for God.
Believe then in God and his apostle and in the light which we have
sent down; for God is fully aware of all ye do.
The day when He shall gather you together for the day of mutual
gathering, will be the day of MUTUAL DECEIT,2 and whoso shall
have believed in God and done what is right, for him will He
cancel his deeds of evil; and He will bring him into the gardens
beneath whose shades the rivers flow, to abide therein for
evermore. This will be the great bliss!
But the unbelieving those who gave the lie to our signs shall
be the inmates of the fire, wherein they shall remain for ever. And
a wretched passage thither!
No mischance chanceth but by God's permission; and whoso
believeth in God, that man's heart will he guide: and God knoweth
Obey God then and obey the apostle: but if ye turn away, our
apostle is not to blame, for he is only charged with plain
God! there is no God but He! On God, then, let the faithful trust.
O ye who believe! Verily, in your wives and your children ye have
an enemy: wherefore beware of them. But if ye pass it3 over and
pardon, and are lenient, then God too is Lenient, Merciful.
Your wealth and your children are only a source of trial! but God!
with Him is the great recompense.
Fear God, then, with all your might, and hear and obey: and give
alms for your own weal; for such as are saved from their own
greed, shall prosper.
If ye lend God a generous loan, He will double it to you and will
forgive you, for God is Grateful, Long-suffering.
He knoweth alike the Hidden and the Manifest: the Mighty, the
1 The first verse of this Sura, and the phrase obey God and the
Apostle (verses 8, 12), which usually occurs only in Medina Suras,
the phrases in verse 16 compared with Sura [cii.] lix. 9, as well as
the subject matter, incline me to follow those Muslim
commentators who are of opinion that the whole Sura was
revealed at Medina. Weil and Muir suppose it to be Meccan.
2 That is, the day on which it will be found that if the just had been
wicked they would have taken the place of the reprobates, while
the reprobates will see that if they had been just persons they
would have gone to Paradise.
3 Their occasionally beguiling you from your duty, especially that
of contending for the faith. Comp. 1 Cor. vii. 32.
SURA LXII. THE ASSEMBLY [XCIV.]
MEDINA. II Verses
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
ALL that is in the Heavens, and all that is on the Earth, uttereth
the Praise of God, the King! the Holy! the Mighty! the Wise!
It is He who hath sent to the pagan folk (Arabs) an Apostle from
among themselves, to rehearse His signs to them, and to purify
them, and to impart to them a knowledge of "the Book" and
wisdom; for aforetime were they in manifest error.
And others among them have not yet overtaken those who
preceded them in the faith. But He is the Mighty, the Wise!
This is the goodness of God: He bestoweth it on whom He will:
God is of immense goodness!
They on whom the burden of the law was laid, and would not bear
it, are like an ass beneath a load of books. A sorry likeness this,
for the people who give the lie to the signs of God! God guideth
not the people who do this wrong!
SAY: O ye Jews, if ye profess that ye rather than other men are the
friends of God, then wish for death if ye are men of truth.
But never on account of their previous handywork will they wish
for it, and God knoweth the wrong doers.
SAY: Verily the death from which ye flee will surely meet you.
Then shall ye be brought back to Him who knoweth alike the
things done in secret and openly: and He will tell you of your
O ye who believe! When ye are summoned to prayer on the day of
THE ASSEMBLY,1 haste to the commemoration of God, and quit
your traffic. This, if ye knew it, will be best for you.
And when the Prayer is ended, then disperse yourselves abroad
and go in quest of the bounties of God; and, that it may be well
with you, oft remember God.
But when they get a sight of merchandise or sport, they disperse
after it, and leave thee standing alone.2 SAY: God hath in reserve
what is better than sport or wares. And God is the best provider!
1 Friday; the day on which Muhammad made his first entry into
Medina, and the day on which creation was finished.
2 It is said that when Muhammad was preaching, Dahya Alkalbi,
while yet a heathen, came, on a Friday, into Medina at the head of
a caravan, and that all the congregation, attracted by the music of
the tambours which preceded it, left the sermon for the spectacle.
Muquâtil ap. Alfarrâ. If this account be accurate, we may
approximate to the date of this Sura as in Hej. 5 (towards the
close). Dahya is known to have fought in the ranks of the Muslims
at the battle of the Ditch. And as the former part is aimed at the
Jews, it is probably of the same period as Sura [xci.] ii.
SURA VIII. THE SPOILS1 [XCV.]
MEDINA 76 Verses
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
THEY will question thee about THE SPOILS. SAY: The spoils are
God's and the apostle's. Therefore, fear God, and settle this
among yourselves; and obey God and his apostle, if you are
Believers are they only whose hearts thrill with fear when God is
named, and whose faith increaseth at each recital of his signs, and
who put their trust in their Lord;
Who observe the prayers, and give alms out of that with which we
have supplied them;
These are the believers: their due grade awaiteth them in the
presence of their Lord, and forgiveness, and a generous provision.
Remember how thy Lord caused thee to go forth from thy home2
a mission of truth, and part of the believers were quite averse to it:
They disputed with thee about the truth3 which had been made so
clear, as if they were being led forth to death, and saw it before
And remember when God promised you that one of the two
should fall to you, and ye desired that they who had no arms
should fall to you: but God purposed to prove true the truth of his
words, and to cut off the uttermost part ofthe infidels;
That he might prove his truth to be the truth, and bring to nought
that which is nought,5 though the impious were averse to it:
When ye sought succour of your Lord, and he answered you, "I
will verily aid you with a thousand6 angels, rank on rank:"
And God made this promise as pure good tidings, and to assure
your hearts by it: for succour cometh from God alone! Verily God
is Mighty, Wise.
Recollect when sleep, a sign of security from Him, fell upon you,
and he sent down upon you water from Heaven that he might
thereby cleanse you, and cause the pollution of Satan to pass from
you, and that he might gird up your hearts, and stablish your feet
When thy Lord spake unto the angels, "I will be with you:
therefore stablish ye the faithful. I will cast a dread into the hearts
of the infidels." Strike off their heads then, and strike off from
them every finger-tip.
This, because they have opposed God and his apostle: And whoso
shall oppose God and his apostle. Verily, God will be severe in
"This for you! Taste it then! and for the infidels is the torture of
O ye who believe! when ye meet the marshalled hosts of the
infidels, turn not your backs to them:
Whoso shall turn his back to them on that day, unless he turn aside
to fight, or to rally to some other troop, shall incur wrath from
God: Hell shall be his abode and wretched the journey thither!
So it was not ye who slew them, but God slew them; and those
shafts were God's, not thine!7 He would make trial of the faithful
by a gracious trial from Himself: Verily, God Heareth, Knoweth.
This befel, that God might also bring to nought the craft of the
O Meccans! if ye desired a decision, now hath the decision come
to you.8 It will be better for you if ye give over the struggle. If ye
return to it, we will return; and your forces, though they be many,
shall never avail you aught, for God is with the faithful.
O ye faithful! obey God and his apostle, and turn not away from
Him, now that ye hear the truth;
And be not like those who say "We hear," when they hear not;
For the vilest beasts in God's sight, are the deaf, the dumb, who
Had God known any good in them, he would certainly have made
them hear. But even if He had made them hear, they would
certainly have turned back and withdrawn afar.
O ye faithful! make answer to the appeal of God and his apostle
when he calleth you to that which giveth you life. Know that God
cometh in between a man and his own heart, and that to him shall
ye be gathered.
And be afraid of temptation: the evil doers among you will not be
the only ones on whom it will light: And know ye that God is
severe in punishment.
And remember when ye were few, and reputed weak in the land:9
ye feared lest men should pluck you away; then was it that He took
you in and strengthened you with his help, and supplied you with
good things, that haply ye might give thanks.
O ye who believe! deal not falsely with God and his apostle; and
be not false in your engagements, with your own knowledge:
And know that your wealth and your children are a temptation;
and that God! with Him is a glorious recompense.
O ye who believe! if ye fear God he will make good your
deliverance, and will put away your sins from you, and will forgive
you. God is of great bounteousness!
And call to mind when the unbelievers plotted against thee, to
detain thee prisoner, or to kill thee, or to banish thee: They
plotted but God plotted: and of plotters is God the best!
And oft as our signs were rehearsed to them, they said, "Now have
we heard: if we pleased we could certainly utter its like! Yes, it is
mere tales of the ancients."
And when they said, "God! if this be the very truth from before
thee, rain down stones upon us from Heaven, or lay on us some
But God chose not to chastise them while thou wast with them, nor
would God chastise them when they sued for pardon.
But because they debarred the faithful from the holy temple, albeit
they are not its guardians, nothing is there on their part why God
should not chastise them. The Godfearing only are its guardians;
but most of them know it not.
And their prayer at the house of God is no other than whistling
through the fingers and clapping of the hands "Taste then the
torment, for that ye have been unbelievers."
The infidels spend their riches10 with intent to turn men aside
the way of God: spend it they shall; then shall sighing be upon
them, and then shall they be overcome.
And the infidels shall be gathered together into Hell,
That God may separate the bad from the good, and put the bad one
upon the other, and heap them all up and put them into Hell!
These are they who shall be lost.
SAY to the infidels: If they desist from their unbelief, what is now
past shall be forgiven them; but if they return to it, they have
already before them11 the doom of the ancients!
Fight then against them till strife be at an end, and the religion be
all of it God's. If they desist, verily God beholdeth what they do:
But if they turn their back, know ye that God is your protector:
Excellent protector! excellent helper!
And know ye, that when ye have taken any booty, a fifth12 part
belongeth to God and to the Apostle, and to the near of kin, and to
orphans, and to the poor, and to the wayfarer, if ye believe in God,
and in that which we have sent down to our servant on the day of
the victory,13 the day of the meeting of the Hosts. Over all things
When ye were encamped on the near side of the valley, and they
were on the further side, and the caravan was below you, if ye had
made an engagement to attack ye would have failed the
engagement; but ye were led into action notwithstanding, that God
might accomplish the thing destined to be done:
That he who should perish might perish with a clear token14
him, and that he who liveth might live with it. And verily, God
Heareth, Knoweth. Remember when God shewed them to thee in
thy dream, as few: Had he shown them numerous, ye would
certainly have become fainthearted, and would certainly have
disputed about the matter But from this God kept you He
knoweth the very secrets of the breast
And when, on your meeting, he made them to appear to your eyes
as few, and diminished you in their eyes, that God might carry out
the thing that was to be done.15 To God do all things return.
Believers! when ye confront a troop, stand firm and make frequent
mention of the name of God, that it may fare well with you:
And obey God and his Apostle; and dispute not, lest ye become
fainthearted and your success go from you; but endure with
steadfastness, for God is with the steadfastly enduring.
And be not like those Meccans who came out of their houses
insolently and to be seen of men, and who turn others from the
of God: God is round about their actions.
When Satan prepared their works for them, and said, "No man
shall conquer you this day; and verily I will be near to help you:"
But when the two armies came in sight, he turned on his heel and
said, "Ay, I am clear of you: ay, I see what ye see not:16 ay, I fear
God; for God is severe in punishing."
When the hypocrites and the diseased of heart said, "Their
Religion hath misled the Muslims:17 But whoso putteth his trust in
God. Yes, verily God is Mighty, Wise!
If thou didst see, when the angels cause the infidels to die! They
smite their faces and their backs, and "Taste ye the torture of the
This, for what your hands have sent on before you:" and God is
not unjust to his servants.
Their state is like that of the people of Pharaoh and of those before
them who believed not in the signs of God: therefore God seized
upon them in their sin! God is Mighty, severe in punishing.
This, because God changeth not the favour with which he
favoureth a people, so long as they change not what is in their
hearts; and for that God Heareth, Knoweth.
Their state is like that of the people of Pharaoh, and of those
before them who treated their Lord's signs as lies. We therefore
destroyed them in their sins, and we drowned the people of
Pharaoh; for they were all doers of wrong.
The worst beasts truly in the sight of God are the thankless who
will not believe;
They with whom thou hast leagued, and who are ever breaking
their league, and who fear not God!
If thou take them in war, then, by the example of their fate, scatter
those who shall follow them that they may be warned:
Or if thou fear treachery from any people, throw back their treaty
to them as thou fairly mayest,18 for God loveth not the
And think not that the infidels shall escape Us! They shall not
Make ready then against them what force ye can, and strong
squadrons whereby ye may strike terror into the enemy of God and
your enemy, and into others beside them whom ye know not, but
whom God knoweth. All that you shall expend for the cause of
shall be repaid you; and ye shall not be wronged.
And if they lean to peace, lean thou also to it; and put thy trust in
God: for He is the Hearing, the Knowing.
But if they seek to betray thee, God will be all-sufficient for thee.
He it is who hath strengthened thee with His help, and with the
faithful, and hath made their hearts one. Hadst thou spent all the
riches of the earth, thou couldst not have united their hearts; but
God hath united them, for He is Mighty, Wise.
O prophet! God, and such of the faithful as follow thee, will be
all-sufficient for thee.
O prophet! stir up the faithful to the fight. Twenty of you who
firm shall vanquish two hundred: and if there be a hundred of you
they shall vanquish a thousand of the infidels, for they are a
people devoid of understanding.
Now hath God made your work easy, for he knoweth how weak ye
are. If there be an hundred of you who endure resolutely, they
shall vanquish two hundred; and if there be a thousand of you,
they shall vanquish two thousand19 by God's permission; for God
is with those who are resolute to endure.
No prophet hath been enabled to take captives until he had made
great slaughter in the earth. Ye desire the passing fruitions of this
world, but God desireth the next life for you. And God is Mighty,
Had there not been a previous ordinance20 from God, a severe
chastisement had befallen you, for the ransom which ye took.
Eat therefore of the spoils ye have taken what is lawful and good;
and fear God: God is Gracious, Merciful.
O prophet! say to the captives who are in your hands, "If God
shall know good21 to be in your hearts, He will give you good
beyond all that hath been taken from you, and will forgive you: for
God is Forgiving, Merciful."
But if they seek to deal treacherously with you they have already
dealt treacherously22 with God before! Therefore hath He given
you power over them. God is Knowing, Wise.
Verily, they who have believed and fled their homes and spent
their substance for the cause of God, and they who have taken in
the prophet and been helpful to him, shall be near of kin the one to
the other. And they who have believed, but have not fled their
homes, shall have no rights of kindred with you at all, until they
too fly their country. Yet if they seek aid from you on account of
the faith, your part it is to give them aid, except against a people
between whom and yourselves there shall be a treaty. And God
beholdeth your actions.
The infidels lend one another mutual help. Unless ye do the same,
there will be discord in the land and great corruption.
But as for those who have believed and fled their country, and
fought on the path of God, and given the prophet an asylum, and
been helpful to him, these are the faithful; Mercy is their due and a
And they who have believed and fled their country since, and have
fought at your side, these also are of you. Those who are united by
ties of blood23 are the nearest of kin to each other. This is in the
Book of God. Verily, God knoweth all things.
1 On this Sura, which relates mainly to the battle of Bedr, see
Weil's M. der Prophet, p. 268.
2 At Medina.
3 The necessity for the combat and its probable result.
4 Muhammad had conceived the design of attacking an unarmed
caravan belonging to the Koreisch on its way from Syria to Mecca.
Abu Sofian, who had charge of it, sent to Mecca for succour,
whence a body of nearly 1000 armed men at once set out to his
assistance. Some of the Muslims were anxious to attack the
caravan: others, notwithstanding the disparity of numbers,
proposed to throw themselves upon the succours.
6 In Sura [xcvii.] iii. the angels are said to be 3000.
7 Lit. thou didst not cast when thou didst cast, but God cast. This is
explained of the miracle of the gravelstones and sand cast by God
into the eyes of the Meccans at Bedr.
8 That is, by our victory over you.
9 Muhammad specially addresses the Mohadjers in this verse, i.e.
those who had fled with him to Medin.
10 Twelve of the Koreisch had given camels and a large sum of
money in aid of the Meccan succours.
11 Lit. hath preceded.
12 Before Islam it had been the custom among the Arabians to
assign a fourth part of the booty to the leader of an expedition. See
Freyt. Einl. p. 266.
13 That is, on the day of the battle of Bedr. See Sura xxi. 49, p.
14 The mission of Gabriel to Muhammad with the promise of
15 Compare the different account in Sura [xcvii.] iii. II. The
commentators, however, get over the discropancy by explaining
the apparent diminution of the Muslims at the commencement
of the battle, which had the effect of drawing on the enemy in
16 The angels fighting for the Muslims.
17 By inducing them to attack so greatly superior a force.
18 Thus Beidh. Or, more simply, render them the like.
19 Comp. Lev. xxvi. 8; Josh. xxiii. 10.
20 Authorising the ransom of captives.
21 That is, a disposition to become Muslims.
22 That is, on account of their infidelity.
23 See Weil. Life of M. p. 84, n.
SURA1 XLVII. MUHAMMAD [XCVI.]
MEDINA. 40 Verses
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
WHOSO believe not, and prevent others from the way of
God their works will He cause to miscarry;2
But whoso believe, and do things that are right, and believe in
what hath been sent down to MUHAMMAD for it is the truth
from their Lord their sins will He cancel, and dispose their
This because the infidels followed vanity, while those who
believe, followed the truth from their Lord. Thus to men doth God
set forth their likenesses.
When ye encounter the infidels,3 strike off their heads till ye have
made a great slaughter among them, and of the rest make fast the
And afterwards let there either be free dismissals or ransomings,
till the war hath laid down its burdens. Thus do. Were such the
pleasure of God, he could himself take vengeance upon them: but
He would rather prove the one of you by the other. And whoso
fight for the cause of God, their works he will not suffer to
He will vouchsafe them guidance, and dispose their hearts aright;
And he will bring them into the Paradise, of which he hath told
Believers! if ye help God, God will help you, and will set your feet
But as for the infidels, let them perish: and their works shall God
bring to nought:
This because they were averse from the command which God
sent down; Fruitless, therefore, shall their works become!
Have they not journeyed through the land, and seen what hath
been the end of those who flourished before them? God brought
destruction on them: and the like of this doth await the infidels.
This because God is the protector of those who believe, and
because the infidels have no protector.
Verily God will bring those who believe, and do the things that are
right, into the Gardens, beneath whose shades the rivers flow: but
they who believe not, take their fill, and eat as the beasts eat! And
their dwelling-place the fire!
And how many cities were mightier in strength than thy city,
hath thrust thee forth!4 We destroyed them, and there was none to
Shall he who followeth the clear teaching of his Lord be as he, the
evil of whose doings hath been made to seem good to him, or like
those who follow their own lusts?
A picture of the Paradise which is promised to the God-fearing!
Therein are rivers of water, which corrupt not: rivers of milk,
whose taste changeth not: and rivers of wine, delicious to those
who quaff it;
And rivers of honey clarified: and therein are all kinds of fruit for
them from their Lord! Is this like the lot of those who must dwell
for ever in the fire? and shall have draughts of boiling water
forced on them which will rend their bowels asunder?
Some of them indeed hearken to thee, until when they go out from
thee, they say with sneers to those to whom "the knowledge" hath
been given, "What is this he said?" These are they whose hearts
God hath sealed up, and who follow their own lusts.
But as to those who have the guidance, He will increase their
guidance, and He will teach them what to fear.
For what do the infidels wait, but that the Hour come suddenly on
them? Already are its signs come,5 and when it hath come on them
indeed, how can they be warned then?
Know, then, that there is no god but God: and ask pardon for thy
sin, and for believers, both men and women. God knoweth your
busy movements, and your final resting-places.
The believers say, "Oh, would that a Sura were sent down!"6 but
when a peremptory Sura is revealed, whose burden is war, thou
mayest see the diseased of heart look toward thee, with a look of
one on whom the shadows of death have fallen! But better in them
would be obedience and becoming language.
And if, when the command for war is issued, they are true to God,
it will be assuredly best for them.
Were ye not ready, if ye had turned back from Him, to spread
disorder in the land, and violate the ties of blood?
These are they whom God hath cursed, and made deaf, and
blinded their eyes!
Will they not then meditate on the Koran? Are locks upon their
But as to those who return to their errors after "the guidance"
hath been made plain to them, Satan shall beguile them, and fill
them with his suggestions.
This because they say to those who abhor what God hath sent
down, "We will comply with you in part of what ye enjoin." But
God knoweth their secret reservations.
But how? When the angels, in causing them to die, shall smite
them on the face and back!
This because they follow that which angereth God, and abhor
what pleaseth Him: therefore will He make their works fruitless.
Think these men of diseased hearts, that God will not bring out
their malice to light?
If such were our pleasure, we could point them out to thee, and
thou surely know them by their tokens: and know them thou shalt,
by the strangeness of their words.7 God knoweth your doings.
And we will surely test you, until we know the valiant and the
steadfast among you: and we will test the reports of your conduct.
Verily they who believe not, and turn others from the way of God,
and separate from the Apostle after that "the guidance" hath been
clearly shewn them, shall in no way injure God: but their works
shall he bring to nought.
Believers! obey God and the Apostle: and render not your works
Verily those who believe not, and who pervert others from the way
of God, and then die in unbelief, God will not forgive.
Be not fainthearted then; and invite not the infidels to peace when
ye have the upper hand: for God is with you, and will not defraud
you of the recompense of your works.
Surely this present life is only a play, and pastime! but if ye
believe, fear God; He will give you your rewards: but He will not
ask all your riches of you.
Should He ask them of you, and urge you, ye would shew yourself
niggards: and He would bring your grudges to light.
Lo! ye are they, who are called to expend for the cause of God:
and some of you are niggards: but whoso is niggardly shall be
niggard only to his own loss; for God is the Rich, and ye are the
poor: and if ye turn back, He will change you for another people,8
and they shall not be your like!
1 This Sura was revealed at a period after the victory at Bedr,
when there was still some hesitation on the part of Muhammad's
followers to take decided steps for securing their position. See 37.
2 Lit. will He cause to wander, that is, from their proper aim and
end, the rewards of Paradise. See verse 5 ad f.
3 The Meccans and other unbelievers of Muhammad's time. The
Hanefites suppose this law to apply only to the battle of Bedr. The
Shiites take it as of universal obligation.
4 This verse is said (by Omar b. Muhammad, and Itq. 43) to be the
expression of Muhammad's feelings at the injuries inflicted on
Mecca. He is reported to have wept over it.
5 The first sign being the mission of Muhammad; the second, the
splitting of the moon; the third, the smoke mentioned in Sura xliv.
6 That is, commanding war against the infidels.
7 Unintelligible or affected words, applied to the new religion in
contempt. See Sura [xci.] ii. 56, p. 343.
8 Matt. xxi. 43.
SURA III. THE FAMILY OF IMRAN1 [XCVII.]
MEDINA. 200 Verses
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
ELIF. LAM. MIM.2 God! there is no god but He, the Living, the
In truth hath He sent down to thee "the Book," which confirmeth
those which precede it: For He had sent down the Law, and the
Evangel aforetime, as man's Guidance; and now hath He sent
down the "Illumination."3 (Furkan.)
Verily for those who believe not in the signs of God, is a severe
chastisement! And God is Mighty, the Avenger!
God! nought that is in Earth or that is in Heaven, is hidden unto
Him. He it is who formeth you in your mothers' wombs. There is
no god but He; the Mighty, the Wise!
He it is who hath sent down to thee "the Book." Some of its signs
are of themselves perspicuous; these are the basis4 of the
Book and others are figurative. But they whose hearts are given
to err, follow its figures, craving discord, craving an
interpretation; yet none knoweth its interpretation but God. And
the stable in knowledge say, "We believe in it: it is all from our
Lord." But none will bear this in mind, save men endued with
O our Lord! suffer not our hearts to go astray after that thou hast
once guided us, and give us mercy from before thee; for verily
thou art He who giveth.
O our Lord! For the day of whose coming there is not a doubt,
thou wilt surely gather mankind together. Verily, God will not fail
As for the infidels, their wealth, and their children, shall avail
them nothing against God. They shall be fuel for the fire.
After the wont of the people of Pharaoh, and of those who went
before them, they treated our signs as falsehoods. Therefore God
laid hold of them in their sins; and God is severe in punishing!
Say to the infidels: ye shall be worsted, and to Hell shall ye be
gathered together; and wretched the couch!
Ye have already had a sign5 in the meeting of the two hosts. The
one host fought in the cause of God, and the other was infidel. To
their own eyesight, the infidels saw you twice as many as
themselves: And God aided with his succour whom He would: And
in this truly was a lesson for men endued with discernment.
Fair-seeming to men is the love of pleasures from women and
children, and the treasured treasures of gold and silver, and
horses of mark, and flocks, and cornfields! Such the enjoyment of
this world's life. But God! goodly the home with Him.
SAY: Shall I tell you of better things than these, prepared for those
who fear God, in His presence? Theirs shall be gardens, beneath
whose pavilions the rivers flow, and in which shall they abide for
aye: and wives of stainless purity, and acceptance with God: for
God regardeth his servants
Who say, "O our Lord! we have indeed believed; pardon us our
sins, and keep us from the torment of the fire;"
The patient, and the truthful, the lowly, and the charitable, and
they who seek pardon at each daybreak.
God witnesseth that there is no god but He: and the angels, and
men endued with knowledge, stablished in righteousness, proclaim
"There is no god but He, the Mighty, the Wise!"
The true religion with God is Islam: and they to whom the
Scriptures had been given, differed not till after "the knowledge"6
had come to them, and through mutual jealousy. But as for him
who shall not believe in the signs of God God will be prompt to
reckon with him!
If they shall dispute with thee, then SAY: I have surrendered
to God, as have they who follow me.
SAY to those who have received the Book, and to the common
Do ye surrender yourselves unto God?7 If they become Muslims,
then are they guided aright: but if they turn away thy duty is only
preaching; and God's eye is on His servants.
But to those who believe not in the signs of God, and unjustly slay
the prophets, and slay those men who enjoin
uprightness, announce an afflictive chastisement.
These are they whose works come to nought in this world, and in
the next; and none shall they have to help them!
Hast thou not marked those who have received a portion of the
Scriptures, when they are summoned to the Book of God, that it
may settle their differences? Then did a part of them turn back,
and withdrew far off.
This because they said, "The fire shall by no means touch us, but
for certain days:" Their own devices have deceived them in their
But how, when we shall assemble them together for the day of
(which) whose coming there is no doubt, and when every soul
be paid what it hath earned, and they shall not be wronged?
SAY: O God, possessor of all power,8 thou givest power to whom
thou wilt, and from whom thou wilt, thou takest it away! Thou
raisest up whom thou wilt, and whom thou wilt thou dost abase! In
thy hand is good; for thou art over all things potent.
Thou causest the night to pass into the day, and thou causest the
day to pass into the night. Thou bringest the living out of the dead,
and thou bringest the dead out of the living; and thou givest
sustenance to whom thou wilt, without measure.
Let not believers take infidels for their friends rather than
believers: whoso shall do this hath nothing to hope from God
unless, indeed, ye fear a fear from them: But God would have
you beware of Himself; for to God ye return. SAY: Whether ye
what is in your breasts, or whether ye publish it abroad, God
knoweth it: He knoweth what is in the heavens and what is in the
earth; and over all things is God potent.
On that day shall every soul find present to it, whatever it hath
wrought of good: and as to what it hath wrought of evil, it will
wish that wide were the space between itself and it! But God
have you beware of Himself; for God is kind to His servants.
SAY: If ye love God, then follow me: God will love you, and
forgive your sins, for God is Forgiving, Merciful. SAY: Obey God
and the Apostle; but if ye turn away, then verily, God loveth not
Verily above all human beings did God choose Adam, and Noah,
and the family of Abraham, and the family of IMRAN, the one the
posterity of the other: And God Heareth, Knoweth.
Remember when the wife of Imran9 said, "O my Lord! I vow to
thee what is in my womb, for thy special service. Accept it from
me, for thou Hearest, Knowest!" And when she had given birth to
it, she said, "O my Lord! Verily I have brought forth a
female," God knew what she had brought forth; a male is not as
a female10 "and I have named her Mary, and I take refuge with
thee for her and for her offspring, from Satan the stoned."11
So with goodly acceptance did her Lord accept her, and with
goodly growth did he make her grow.12 Zacharias reared her. So
oft as Zacharias went in to Mary at the sanctuary, he found her
supplied with food.13 "Oh, Mary!" said he, "whence hast thou
this?" She said, "It is from God; for God supplieth whom He will,
There did Zacharias call upon his Lord: "O my Lord!" said he,
"vouchsafe me from thyself good descendants,14 for thou art the
hearer of prayer." Then did the angels call to him, as he stood
praying in the sanctuary:15
"God announceth John (Yahia) to thee, who shall be a verifier of
the word from God, and a great one, chaste, and a prophet of the
number of the just."
He said, "O my Lord! how shall I have a son, now that old age
hath come upon me, and my wife is barren?" He said, "Thus will
God do His pleasure."
He said, "Lord! give me a token." He said, "Thy token shall be,
that for three days thou shalt speak to no man but by signs: But
remember thy Lord often, and praise him at even and at morn:"
And remember when the angels said, "O Mary! verily hath God
chosen thee,16 and purified thee, and chosen thee above the
of the worlds!
O Mary! be devout towards thy Lord,17 and prostrate thyself, and
bow down with those who bow."
This is one of the announcements of things unseen by thee: To
thee, O Muhammad! do we reveal it; for thou wast not with them
when they cast lots with reeds18 which of them should rear Mary;
nor wast thou with them when they disputed about it.
Remember when the angel said, "O Mary! Verily God announceth
to thee the Word from Him: His name shall be, Messiah Jesus the
son of Mary,19 illustrious in this world, and in the next, and one of
those who have near access to God;
And He shall speak to men alike when in the cradle and when
grown up; And he shall be one of the just."
She said, "How, O my Lord! shall I have a son, when man hath not
touched me?" He said, "Thus: God will create what He will;
When He decreeth a thing, He only saith, 'Be,' and it is."
And he will teach him the Book, and the Wisdom, and the Law,
the Evangel; and he shall be an apostle to the children of Israel.
"Now have I come," he will say, "to you with a sign from your
Lord: Out of clay will I make for you, as it were, the figure of a
bird: and I will breathe into it, and it shall become, by God's
leave, a bird.20 And I will heal the blind, and the leper; and by
God's leave will I quicken the dead; and I will tell you what ye
eat, and what ye store up in your houses! Truly in this will be a
sign for you, if ye are believers.
And I have come to attest the law which was before me; and to
allow you part of that which had been forbidden you; and I come
to you with a sign from your Lord: Fear God, then, and obey me;
of a truth God is my Lord, and your Lord: Therefore worship Him.
This is a right way."
And when Jesus perceived unbelief on their part, He said, "Who
my helpers with God?" The apostles21 said, "We will be God's
helpers! We believe in God, and bear thou witness that we are
O our Lord! we believe in what thou hast sent down, and we
the apostle; write us up, then, with those who bear witness to
And the Jews plotted, and God plotted: But of those who plot is
God the best.
Remember when God said, "O Jesus! verily I will cause thee to
die,22 and will take thee up to myself and deliver thee from those
who believe not; and I will place those who follow thee above
those who believe not, until the day of resurrection. Then, to me is
your return, and wherein ye differ will I decide between you.
And as to those who believe not, I will chastise them with a
terrible chastisement in this world and in the next; and none shall
they have to help them."
But as to those who believe, and do the things that are right, He
will pay them their recompense. God loveth not the doers of evil.
These signs, and this wise warning do we rehearse to thee.
Verily, Jesus is as Adam in the sight of God.23 He created him of
dust: He then said to him, "Be" and he was.
The truth from thy Lord! Be not thou, therefore, of those who
As for those 24 who dispute with thee about Him, after
"theknowledge" hath come to thee, SAY: Come,25 let us summon
our sons and your sons, our wives and your wives, and ourselves
and yourselves. Then will we invoke and lay the malison of God
those that lie!
This recital is very truth, and there is no god but God; and verily
God is the Mighty, the Wise.
But if they turn away, then verily God hath knowledge of the
SAY: O people of the Book! come ye to a just judgment between
and you That we worship not aught but God, and that we join no
other god with Him, and that the one of us take not the other for
lords,26 beside God. Then if they turn their backs, SAY: Bear ye
witness that we are Muslims.
O people of the Book! Why dispute about Abraham,27 when the
Law and the Evangel were not sent down till after him? Do ye not
Lo! ye are they who dispute about that in which ye have
knowledge; 28 but why dispute ye about that of which ye have no
knowledge? God hath knowledge, but ye know nothing.
Abraham was neither Jew nor Christian; but he was sound in the
faith,29 a Muslim; and not of those who add gods to God.
They among men, who are nearest of kin to Abraham, are surely
those who follow him, and this prophet Muhammad, and they who
believe on him. And God is the protector of the faithful.
A party among the people of the Book would fain mislead you: but
they only mislead themselves, and perceive it not.
O people of the Book! why disbelieve the signs of God, of which
yourselves have been witnesses?
O people of the Book! why clothe ye the truth with falsehood?
wittingly hide the truth?
Others of the people of the Book say: "Believe in what hath been
sent down to the believers, at daybreak, and deny it at its
close" Thus do they go back
"And believe in those only who follow your Religion." SAY: True
guidance is guidance from God that to others may be imparted
the like of what hath been imparted to you. Will they wrangle then
with you in the presence of their Lord? SAY: Plenteous gifts are in
the hands of God: He imparteth them unto whom He will, and God
is Bounteous, Wise.
He will vouchsafe His mercy to whom He will, for God is of great
Among the people of the Book are some, to one of whom if thou
entrust a thousand dinars, he will restore them to thee: And there
is of them to whom if thou entrust a dinar, he will not restore it to
thee, unless thou be ever instant with him.
This because they say, "We are not bound to keep faith with the
ignorant (Pagan) folk, and they utter a lie against God, and know
they do so:"
But whoso is true to his engagement, and feareth God, verily
God loveth those that fear Him.
Verily they who barter their engagement with God, and their
oaths, for some paltry price These! no portion for them in the
world to come! and God will not speak to them, and will not look
on them, on the day of resurrection, and will not assoil them! for
them, a grievous chastisement!
And some truly are there among them who torture the Scriptures
with their tongues, in order that ye may suppose it to be from the
Scripture, yet it is not from the Scripture. And they say, "This is
from God;" yet it is not from God: and they utter a lie against
God, and they know they do so.
It beseemeth not a man, that God should give him the Scriptures
and the Wisdom, and the gift of prophecy, and that then he should
say to his followers, "Be ye worshippers of me, as well as of
God;" 30 but rather, "Be ye perfect in things pertaining to God,
since ye know the Scriptures, and have studied deep."
God doth not command you to take the angels or the prophets as
lords.31 What! would he command you to become infidels after ye
have been Muslims?
When God entered into covenant with the prophets,32 he said,
"This is the Book and the Wisdom which I give you. Hereafter
shall a prophet came unto you to confirm the Scriptures already
with you. Ye shall surely believe on him, and ye shall surely aid
him. Are ye resolved?" said he, "and do ye accept the covenant on
these terms?" They said, "We are resolved;" "Be ye then the
witnesses," said he, "and I will be a witness as well as you.
And whoever turneth back after this, these are surely the
Other religion than that of God desire they? To him doth
everything that is in the Heavens and in the Earth submit, in
willing or forced obedience! and to Him do they return.
SAY: We believe in God, and in what hath been sent down to us,
and what hath been sent down to Abraham, and Ismael, and Isaac,
and Jacob, and the tribes, and in what was given to Moses, and
Jesus, and the Prophets, from their Lord. We make no difference
between them. And to Him are we resigned (Muslims).
Whoso desireth any other religion than Islam, that religion shall
never be accepted from him, and in the next world he shall be
among the lost.
How shall God guide a people who, after they had believed and
bore witness that the apostle was true, and after that clear proofs
of his mission had reached them, disbelieved? God guideth not the
people who transgress.
These! their recompense, that the curse of God, and of angels, and
of all men, is on them!
Under it shall they abide for ever; their torment shall not be
assuaged! nor shall God even look upon them!
Save those who after this repent and amend; for verily God is
As for those who become infidels, after having believed, and then
increase their infidelity their repentance shall never be accepted.
These! they are the erring ones.
As for those who are infidels, and die infidels, from no one of
shall as much gold as the earth could contain be accepted, though
he should offer it in ransom. These! a grievous punishment
awaiteth them; and they shall have none to help them.
Ye shall never attain to goodness till ye give alms of that which ye
love; and whatever ye give, of a truth God knoweth it.
All food was allowed to the children of Israel, except what Jacob
forbad himself, ere the law was sent down; SAY: Bring ye then the
law and read it, if ye be men of truth.
And whoso after this inventeth the lie about God: These are evil
SAY: God speaketh truth. Follow, therefore, the religion of
Abraham, the sound in faith, who was not one of those who joined
other gods to God.
The first temple that was founded for mankind, was that in
Becca,33 Blessed, and a guidance to human beings.
In it are evident signs, even the standing-place34 of Abraham: and
he who entereth it is safe. And the pilgrimage to the temple, is a
service due to God from those who are able to journey thither.
And as to him who believeth not verily God can afford to
dispense with all creatures!
SAY: O people of the Book! why disbelieve ye the signs of God?
But God is witness of your doings.
SAY: O people of the Book! why repel believers from the way of
God? Ye fain would make it crooked, and yet ye are its witnesses!
But God is not regardless of what ye do.
O believers! if ye obey some amongst those who have received the
Scripture, after your very Faith will they make you infidels!
But how can ye become infidels, when the signs of God are recited
to you, and his prophet is among you? Whoever holdeth fast by
God, is already guided to a straight path.
O ye believers! fear God as He deserveth to be feared! and die not
till ye have become Muslims.
And hold ye fast by the cord 35 of God, all of you, and break not
loose from it; and remember God's goodness towards you, how
that when ye were enemies, He united your hearts, and by his
favour ye became brethren;
And when ye were on the brink of the pit of fire, he drew you back
from it. Thus God clearly sheweth you his signs that ye may be
And that there may be among you a people who invite to the Good,
and enjoin the Just, and forbid the Wrong. These are they with
whom it shall be well.
And be ye not like those who have formed divisions, and fallen to
variance after the clear proofs have come to them. These! a
terrible chastisement doth await them,
On THE DAY when faces shall turn white, and faces shall turn
black! And as to those whose faces shall have turned black
" What! after your belief have ye become infidels? Taste then the
chastisement, for that ye have been unbelievers."
And as to those whose faces shall have become white, they shall
within the mercy of God: therein shall they abide for ever.
These are the signs of God: we recite them to thee in truth: And
God willeth not injustice to mankind.
Whatever is in the Heavens, and whatever is on the Earth, is
God's. And to God shall all things return.
Ye are the best folk that hath been raised up unto mankind. Ye
enjoin the Just, and ye forbid the Evil, and ye believe in God: And
if the people of the Book had believed, it had surely been better for
them! Believers there are among them, but most of them are
They will never inflict on you but a trifling damage; and if they do
battle with you, they shall turn their backs to you: then they shall
not be succoured.
Shame shall be stamped upon them36 wherever found, unless they
ally them with God and men! And the wrath of God will they
and poverty shall be stamped upon them! This for that they
believed not in the signs of God, and slew the prophets unjustly:
This because they rebelled, and became transgressors.
Yet all are not alike: Among the people of the Book is an upright
folk, who recite the signs of God in the night-season, and adore:
They believe in God and in the latter day, and enjoin justice, and
Back to Full Books