Part 8 out of 14
of what we say."
And when Moses had fulfilled the term, and was journeying with
his family, he perceived a fire on the mountain side. He said to his
family, "Wait ye, for I perceive a fire. Haply I may bring you
tidings from it, or a brand from the fire to warm you."
And when he came up to it, a Voice cried to him 11 out of the
from the right side of the valley in the sacred hollow, "O Moses, I
truly am God, the Lord of the Worlds:
Throw down now thy rod." And when he saw it move as though it
were a serpent, he retreated and fled and returned not. "O Moses,"
cried the Voice, "draw near and fear not, for thou art in safety.
Put thy hand into thy bosom; it shall come forth white, but
unharmed: and draw back thy hand12 to thee without fear. These
shall be two signs from thy Lord to Pharaoh and his nobles; for
they are a perverse people."
He said, "O my Lord! truly I have slain one of them, therefore fear
I lest they slay me.
My brother Aaron is clearer of speech than I. Send him, therefore,
with me as a help, and to make good my cause, for I fear lest they
treat me as an impostor."
He said, "We will strengthen thine arm with thy brother, and we
will give power unto you both, and they shall not equal you in our
signs. Ye twain and they who shall follow you, shall gain the day."
And when Moses came to him with our demonstrative signs they
said, "This is nought but magical device. We never heard the like
among our sires of old."
And Moses said, "My Lord best knoweth on whom He hath
bestowed His guidance, and whose shall be the recompense of the
abode of Paradise. Verily, the wicked shall not prosper."
And Pharaoh said, "O ye nobles, ye have no other God that I know
of but myself. Burn me then, Haman, bricks of clay,13 and build
a tower that I may mount up to the God of Moses, for in sooth, I
deem him a liar."
And he and his hosts behaved themselves proudly and unjustly on
the earth, and thought that they should never be brought back to us.
But we seized on him and his hosts and cast them into the sea:
Behold, then, the end of the wrongful doers:
And we made them imâms who invite to the fire of hell, and on the
day of Resurrection they shall not be helped.
We followed them with a curse in this world, and covered shall
they be with shame on the day of Resurrection.
And after we had destroyed the former generations, we gave the
book of the Law to Moses for man's enlightening, and a guidance
and a mercy, that haply they might reflect.
And thou wast not on the western slope of Sinai when we laid his
charge on Moses, nor wast thou one of the witnesses;
But we raised up generations after Moses, men whose days were
lengthened;14 neither didst thou dwell among the inhabitants of
Madian to rehearse to them our signs, but we sent Apostles to
Nor wast thou on the slope of Sinai when we called to Moses, but
it is of the mercy of thy Lord that thou warnest a people, to whom
no warner had come before thee, to the intent that they should
And that they should not say when a calamity shall befal them for
their previous handy work, "O our Lord! why hast thou not sent an
Apostle to us? Then we should have followed thy signs and have
been of the believers."
Yet when the truth came to them from our very presence, they
said, "Unless the like powers be given to him that were given to
Moses. "16 But did they not disbelieve in what of old was given
to Moses? They said, "Two works of sorcery17 have helped each
other;" and they said, "We disbelieve them both."
SAY: Bring then a Book from before God which shall be a better
guide than these, that I may follow it; if ye speak the truth.
And if they answer thee not, then know that verily they are
following their own caprices: and who goeth more widely astray
than he who followeth his own caprice without guidance from
God? for God guideth not the wicked.
And now have we caused our word to come unto them, that they
may be warned:
They18 to whom we gave the Scriptures before IT, do in IT
And when it is recited to them they say, "We believe in it, for it is
the truth from our Lord. We were Muslims before it came."
Twice shall their reward be given them, for that they suffered with
patience, and repelled evil with good, and gave alms out of that
with which we provided them.
And when they hear light discourse they withdraw from it, and say,
"Our works for us and your works for you! Peace be on you! We
are not in quest of fools!"
Thou truly canst not guide whom thou desirest; but God guideth
whom He will; and He best knoweth those who yield to guidance.
But they say, "If we follow the way in which thou art guided,19 we
shall be driven from our country." But have we not established for
them a sacred secure precinct, to which fruits of every kind, our
gift for their support, are gathered together? But most of them have
And how many cities have we destroyed that flourished in wanton
ease! And these their dwellings have not been inhabited since their
time save by a few, and it is we who became their heirs.
But thy Lord did not destroy the cities till He had sent an apostle to
their mother-city to rehearse our signs to its people: nor did we
destroy the cities unless its people were unjust.
And all that hath been bestowed on you is merely for enjoyment
and pomp of this life present: but that which is with God is better
and more lasting. Will ye not be wise?
Shall he then to whom we have promised a goodly promise and
who obtaineth it, be as he on whom we have bestowed the
enjoyments of this life present, and who on the day of Resurrection
shall be brought up for punishment?
On that day will God cry to them and say, "Where are my
companions, as ye supposed them?"
They on whom doom shall be justly pronounced will say, "O our
Lord! these are they whom we led astray: we led them astray even
as we had been led astray ourselves: Thou hast no cause of blame
against us: It was not we whom they worshipped.20
And it shall be said, "Call now on those whom ye made God's
companions:" and they shall call on them, but they will not answer
them. And they shall see the punishment, and wish that they had
been guided aright.
And on that day shall God call to them and say, "How answered ye
But on that day they shall be too blinded with confusion to give an
account,21 nor shall they ask it of one another.
Yet as to him who shall turn to God and believe and do the thing
that is right, it may come to pass that he shall be among the happy.
And thy Lord createth what he will and hath a free choice. But
they, the false gods, have no power to choose. Glory be to God!
and high let him be exalted above those whom they associate with
And thy Lord knoweth what their breasts conceal and what they
bring to light.
And He is God! There is no god but He! His, all praise in this life
and in the next, and His the power supreme,22 and to Him shall ye
be brought back!
SAY: What think ye? If God should enshroud you with a long
night until the day of resurrection, what god beside God would
bring you light? Will ye not then hearken?
SAY: What think ye? If God should make it one long day for you
until the day of resurrection, what god but God could bring you the
night in which to take your rest? Will ye not then see?
Of His mercy he hath made for you the night that ye may take your
rest in it; and the day that ye may seek what ye need out of his
bounteous supplies, and that ye may give thanks.
One day God will call to them and say, "Where are my
companions as ye supposed them?
And we will bring up a witness out of every nation and say, "Bring
your proofs." And they shall know that the truth is with God alone,
and the gods of their own devising shall desert them.
Now Korah23 was of the people of Moses: but he behaved
haughtily toward them; for we had given him such treasure that its
keys would have burdened a company of men of strength. When
his people said to him, "Exult not, for God loveth not those who
But seek, by means of what God hath given thee, to attain the
future Mansion; and neglect not thy part in this world, but be
bounteous to others as God hath been bounteous to thee, and seek
not to commit excesses on the earth; for God loveth not those who
He said, "It hath been given me only on account of the knowledge
that is in me." Did he not know that God had destroyed before him
generations that were mightier than he in strength and had
amassed more abundant wealth? But the wicked shall not be asked
of their crimes.
And Korah went forth to his people in his pomp. Those who were
greedy for this present life said, "Oh that we had the like of that
which hath been bestowed on Korah! Truly he is possessed of
great good fortune."
But they to whom knowledge had been given said, "Woe to you!
the reward of God is better for him who believeth and worketh
righteousness, and none shall win it but those who have patiently
And we clave the earth for him and for his palace, and he had no
forces, in the place of God,24 to help him, nor was he among those
who are succoured.
And in the morning those who the day before had coveted his lot
said, "Aha! God enlargeth supplies to whom he pleaseth of his
servants, or is sparing. Had not God been gracious to us, He had
caused it to cleave for us. Aha! the ungrateful can never prosper."
As to this future mansion, we will bestow it on those who seek not
to exalt them in the earth or to do wrong: And there is a happy
issue for the God-fearing.
Whoso doeth good shall have reward beyond its merits, and whoso
doeth evil, they who do evil shall be rewarded only as they shall
He who hath sanctioned the Koran to thee will certainly bring thee
to thy home.25 SAY: My Lord best knoweth who hath guidance,
and who is in undoubted error.
Thou didst never expect that the Book would be given thee. Of thy
Lord's mercy only hath it been sent down. Be not thou helpful then
to the unbelievers:
Neither let them turn thee aside from the signs of God after they
have been sent down to thee, but bid men to thy Lord; and be not
among those who add gods to God:
And call not on any other god with God. There is no god but He!
Everything shall perish except Himself! Judgment is His, and to
Him shall ye return!
1 See Sura lxviii. 1, p. 32.
2 Lit. Imâms.
3 Comp. [xci.] ii. 58.
4 That is, This child will be a comfort to us. See Sura [lviii.] xix.
5 "Why must the nurse be a Hebrew woman? (Ex. ii. 7.) This
shews that he refused the breast of all the Egyptian women. For the
Holy, blessed be He, had said, Shall the mouth that is to speak with
me suck an unclean thing?" Sotah. xii. 2.
6 Lit. in the time of neglect on the part of its people, i.e. at the
of the noon sleep.
7 Lit. I have acted unjustly to my soul.
8 Comp. Ex. ii. 16, 17, where the daughters are said to be seven.
9 That is, of a wife.
10 The compact (Gen. xxix. 15-39) between Laban and Jacob must
have been present to the mind of Muhammad when composing this
11 Lit. he was cried to. According to Muhammad, Moses had
resolved to quit Madian previously to the Vision of the Bush,
which, according to Ex. iii., was the real occasion.
12 Lit. thy wing.
13 Lit. kindle upon the clay. Comp. [lxxviii.] xl. 38 49. "He
(Pharaoh) said to them: From the first have ye spoken an untruth,
for Lord of the Worlds am I. I created myself and the Nile, as it is
said (Ez. xxix. 3), 'My river is mine own and I have made it for
myself."' (E.T.) Mid. Rab. on Ex. Par. 5.
14 So that the oral traditions would be easily handed down.
15 Or, yet have we sent thee as an Apostle to them.
16 Supply, we will not believe.
17 That is, the Pentateuch and the Koran.
18 The Meccan Jews and Christians who had formerly embraced
Islam, and could now affirm that they had always held the same
faith. This passage could not have been written after Muhammad's
experience of Jewish unbelief at Medina.
19 Lit. the guidance with thee.
20 But their own imaginations and passions.
21 Lit. the account shall be blind or dark to them. Sie werden vor
Bestürzung keine Rechenschaft geben. Ullm.
22 Potestas judiciaria. Mar. Richteramt. Ullm.
23 Ar. Karun. "Joseph concealed three treasures in Egypt, one of
which became known to Korah the keys of Korah's treasure
chambers were a burden for 300 white mules." Midr. Jalkut on
Eccl. v. 12, "Riches kept for the owners thereof to their
hurt," which may have furnished Muhammad with the nucleus of
this story. Compare also Tract. Psachim. fol. 119 a.
24 Or, against God.
25 Probably to Paradise, according to others to Mecca, as a
conqueror. But this latter interpretation involves the revelation of
this verse at least, at Medina.
SURA XXXIX. THE TROOPS [LXXX.]
MECCA. 75 Verses
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
THE Book1 sent down from God, the Mighty, the Wise!
We have sent down the Book to thee with the truth: serve thou God
then, and be sincere in thy worship:
Is not a sincere worship due to God?
But they who take others beside him as lords saying, "We serve
them only that they may bring us near to God" God will judge
between them and the faithful, concerning that wherein they are at
Verily God will not guide him who is a liar, an infidel.
Had God desired to have had a son, he had surely chosen what he
pleased out of his own creation. But praise be to Him! He is God,
the One, the Almighty.
For truth2 hath he created the Heavens and the Earth: It is of Him
that the night returneth upon the day and that the day returneth
upon the night: and He controlleth the sun and the moon so that
each speedeth to an appointed goal. Is He not the Mighty, the
He created you all of one man, from whom He afterwards formed
his wife; and of cattle He hath sent down to you four pairs.3 In the
wombs of your mothers did He create you by creation upon
creation in triple darkness. It is He who is God your Lord: the
kingdom is His: There is no God but He. How then are ye so
turned aside from Him?
Suppose ye render him no thanks! yet forsooth is God rich without
you: but He is not pleased with thanklessness in His servants: yet if
ye be thankful He will be pleased with you. The soul burdened
with its own works shall not be burdened with the burden of
another: hereafter shall ye return to your Lord, and he will tell you
of all your works,
For he knoweth the very secrets of your breasts.
When some trouble toucheth a man, he turneth to his Lord and
calleth on him: yet no sooner hath He enriched him with his favour
than he forgetteth Him on whom he before had called, and setteth
up peers with God, that he may beguile others from His way. SAY:
Enjoy thou thyself yet a little in thine ingratitude! but thou shalt
surely be one of the inmates of the fire.
Shall he who observeth the hours of the night, prostrate or standing
in devotion, heedful of the life to come, and hoping for the mercy
of his Lord ? SAY: Shall they who have knowledge and they
who have it not, be treated alike? In sooth, men of understanding
only will take the warning.
SAY: O my believing servants, fear your Lord. For those who do
good in this world there is good: and broad is God's earth4 verily
those who endure with patience shall be repaid: their reward shall
not be by measure.
SAY: I am bidden to serve God with a sincere worship: and I am
bidden to be the first of those who surrender themselves to him
SAY: Verily I fear if I rebel against my Lord the punishment of a
SAY: God will I serve, presenting him with a sincere worship:
And serve ye what ye choose beside Him. SAY: The losers truly
will they be who shall lose their own souls and their families on
the day of resurrection: Is not this the clear ruin?
Canopies of fire shall be over them, and floors of fire beneath
them. With this doth God alarm his servants: Fear ye me, then, O
But good tidings are there for those who shun the worship of
Thagout and are turned to God. Cheer then with good tidings those
my servants who hearken to my word and follow its excellence.
These are they whom God guideth, and these are men of insight.
Him then on whom the sentence of punishment hath justly
lighted him who is doomed to the fire canst thou rescue?
But for those who fear their Lord are storied pavilions beneath
which shall the rivers flow: it is the promise of God, and God will
not fail in his promise.
Seest thou not that God sendeth down water from heaven, and
guideth it along so as to form springs in the earth then bringeth
forth by it corn of varied sorts then causeth he it to wither, and
thou seest it become yellow then crumbleth it away? Lo! herein
is teaching for men of insight.
Shall he then whose breast God hath opened to Islam, and who
hath light from his Lord ? But woe to those whose hearts are
hardened against the remembrance of God! They plainly err.
The best of recitals hath God sent down a book in unison with
itself, and teaching by iteration.5 The very skins of those who fear
their Lord do creep at it! Then do their skins and their hearts soften
at the remembrance of their Lord! This is God's guidance: by it
will He guide whom He pleaseth; and, whom God shall mislead,
no guide shall there be for him.
Shall he who shall have nought but his own face to shelter him
with from the torment of the punishment on the day of the
resurrection ? Aye, to the evil doers it shall be said, "Taste what
ye have earned."
They who were before them said it was a lie; but a punishment
came upon them whence they looked not for it:
And God made them taste humiliation in this present life: but
greater surely will be the punishment of the life to come. Did they
but know it!
Now have we set before man in this Koran every kind of parable
for their warning:
An Arabic Koran, free from tortuous wording, to the intent that
they may fear God.
God setteth forth the comparison of a man with associates6 at
variance among themselves, and of a man devoted wholly to a
man. Are these to be held alike? No, praise be to God! But the
greater part of them understand not.
Thou truly shall die, O Muhammad, and they too shall die:
Then, at the day of resurrection, ye shall wrangle with one another
in the presence of your Lord.
And who acteth more unjustly than he who lieth of God, and
treateth the truth when it cometh to him as a lie? Is there not a
dwelling-place in Hell for the infidels?
But he who bringeth the truth, and he who believeth it to be the
truth: these are the God-fearing.
Whatever they shall desire, awaiteth them with their Lord! This is
the reward of the righteous;
That God may do away the guilt of their worst actions, and for
their best actions render them their reward.
Is not God all-sufficient for his servant? Yet would they scare thee
by their idols. But no guide shall there be for him whom God
And he whom God guideth shall have none to mislead him. Is not
God, all-mighty, able to revenge?
And if thou ask them who hath created the Heavens and the Earth,
they will surely answer, God. SAY: Think ye, then, that they7 on
whom ye call beside God, if God choose to afflict me, could
remove his affliction? or if he choose to show me mercy, could
they withhold His mercy? SAY: God sufficeth me: in Him let the
SAY: O my people, act your part as best ye can, I too will act
mine; and in the end ye shall know
On whom shall light a punishment that shall shame him, and on
whom a lasting punishment shall fall.
Assuredly we have sent down the Book to thee for man and for the
ends of truth. Whoso shall be guided by it it will be for his own
advantage, and whoso shall err, shall only err to his own loss. But
not to thy keeping are they entrusted.
God taketh souls unto Himself at death; and during their sleep
those who do not die:8 and he retaineth those on which he hath
passed a decree of death, but sendeth the others back till a time
that is fixed. Herein are signs for the reflecting.
Have they taken aught beside God as intercessors? SAY: What!
though they have no power over anything, neither do they
SAY: Intercession is wholly with God:9 His the kingdom of the
Heavens and of the Earth! To him shall ye be brought back
But when the One God is named, the hearts of those who believe
not in the life to come, shrivel up: but when the deities who are
adored beside Him are named, lo! they are filled with joy.
SAY: O God, creator of the Heaven and of the Earth, who knowest
the hidden and the manifest, thou shalt judge between thy servants
as to the subject of their disputes.
If the wicked possessed all that is in the earth and as much again
therewith, verily they would ransom themselves with it from the
pain of the punishment on the day of the resurrection; and there
shall appear to them, from God, things they had never reckoned
And their own ill deeds shall be clearly perceived by them, and
that fire at which they mocked shall encircle them on every side.
When trouble befalleth a man he crieth to Us; afterwards, when
we have vouchsafed favour to him, he saith, "God knew that I
deserved it."10 Nay, it is a trial. But the greater part of them knew
The same said those who flourished before them; but their deeds
profited them not.
And their own ill deeds recoiled upon them. And whoso among
these (Meccans) shall do wrong, on them likewise their own
misdeeds shall light, neither shall they invalidate God.
Know they not that God giveth supplies with open hand, and that
He is sparing to whom He will? Of a truth herein are signs to those
SAY: O my servants who have transgressed to your own hurt,11
despair not of God's mercy, for all sins doth God forgive.
Gracious, Merciful is He!
And return ye to your Lord, and to Him resign yourselves, ere the
punishment come on you, for then ye shall not be helped:
And follow that most excellent thing which hath been sent down to
you from your Lord, ere the punishment come on you suddenly,
and when ye look not for it:
So that a soul say, "Oh misery! for my failures in duty towards
God! and verily I was of those who scoffed:"
Or say, "Had God guided me, I had surely been of those who
Or say, when it seeth the punishment, "Could I but return, then I
would be of the righteous."
Nay! my signs had already come to thee, and thou didst treat them
as untruths, and wast arrogant, and becamest of those who
And on the resurrection day, thou shalt see those who have lied of
God, with their faces black. Is there not an abode in Hell for the
But God shall rescue those who fear him into their safe retreat: no
ill shall touch them, neither shall they be put to grief.
God is the creator of all things, and of all things is He the
guardian! His the keys of the Heavens and of the Earth! and who
believe not in the signs of God these! they shall perish!
SAY: What! do ye then bid me worship other than God, O ye
But now hath it been revealed to thee and to those who flourished
before thee, "Verily, if thou join partners with God, vain shall be
all thy work, and thyself shalt be of those who perish.
Nay, rather worship God! and be of those who render thanks."
But they have not deemed of God as is His due;12 for on the
resurrection day the whole Earth shall be but his handful, and in
his right hand shall the Heavens be folded together. Praise be to
Him! and high be He uplifted above the partners they join with
And there shall be a blast on the trumpet, and all who are in the
Heavens and all who are in the Earth shall expire, save those
whom God shall vouchsafe to live. Then shall there be another
blast on it, and lo! arising they shall gaze around them:
And the earth shall shine with the light of her Lord, and the Book
shall be set, and the prophets shall be brought up, and the
witnesses; and judgment shall be given between them with equity;
and none shall be wronged:
And every soul shall receive as it shall have wrought, for well
knoweth He men's actions.
And by TROOPS shall the unbelievers be driven towards Hell,
until when they reach it, its gates shall be opened, and its keepers
shall say to them, "Came not apostles from among yourselves to
you, reciting to you the signs of your Lord, and warning you of the
meeting with Him on this your day?"13 They shall say, "Yes." But
just is the sentence of punishment on the unbelievers.
It shall be said to them, "Enter ye the gates of Hell, therein to
dwell for ever;" and wretched the abode of the arrogant!
But those who feared their Lord shall be driven on by troops to
Paradise, until when they reach it, its gates shall be opened, and its
keepers shall say to them, "All hail! virtuous have ye been: enter
then in, to abide herein for ever."
And they shall say, "Praise be to God, who hath made good to us
His promise, and hath given to us the earth as our heritage, that we
may dwell in Paradise wherever we please!" And goodly is the
reward of those who travailed virtuously.
And thou shalt see the Angels circling around the Throne with
praises of their Lord: and judgment shall be pronounced between
them with equity: and it shall be said, "Glory be to God the Lord of
1 Lit. the sending down, or revelation, of the Book is, etc.
2 Lit. in truth, i.e. for a serious and earnest purpose, and not as
3 That is, camels, oxen, sheep and goats.
4 The wording of this verse would seem to indicate a period when
Muhammad was meditating flight from Mecca. Comp. [lxxxi.]
5 See on the word Mathani, Sura xv. 87, p. 116. Or, by rhyming
6 The word associates contains an implied allusion to the deities
associated with God, and who distract the idolaters in their
7 In the fem. gender in the Ar. This passage was revealed shortly
after the circumstances mentioned, liii. 20, n. p. 70.
8 See Sura [lxxxix.] vi. 60.
9 That is, none may intercede with Him but those whom He
permits to do so.
10 Lit. It was only given to me on account of knowledge. Mar.
Deus sciebat me esse dignum eo. Thus Sale.
11 By becoming apostates from Islam. Comp. Sura [lxxiii.] xvi.
108. This and the two following verses are said to have originated
at Medina. His 230, Wah. Omar ben Muhammad. Beidh. Itq. 19.
12 Lit. they have not esteemed God according to the truth of His
13 Adventum diei hujus. Mar.SURA XXIX. THE SPIDER
MECCA 69 Verses
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
ELIF. LAM. MIM.1 Think men that when they say, "We believe,"
they shall be let alone and not be put to proof?
We put to proof those who lived before them; for God will surely
take knowledge of those who are sincere, and will surely take
knowledge of the liars.
Think they who work evil that they shall escape Us? Ill do they
To him who hopeth to meet God, the set time of God will surely
come. The Hearer, the Knower, He!
Whoso maketh efforts for the faith, maketh them for his own good
only. Verily God is rich enough to dispense with all creatures.
And as to those who shall have believed and done the things that
are right, their evil deeds will we surely blot out from them, and
according to their best actions will we surely reward them.
Moreover we have enjoined on man to shew kindness to parents:
but if they strive with thee that thou join that with Me of which
thou hast no knowledge,2 obey them not. To me do ye return, and
then will I tell you of your doings:
And those who shall have believed and done the things that are
right, we will surely give them an entering in among the just.
But some men say, "We believe in God," yet when they meet with
sufferings in the cause of God, they regard trouble from man as
chastisement from God. Yet if a success come from thy Lord they
are sure to say, "We were on your side!" Doth not God well know
what is in the breasts of his creatures?
Yes, and God well knoweth those who believe, and He well
knoweth the Hypocrites.
The unbelievers say to the faithful, "Follow ye our way, and we
will surely bear your sins." But not aught of their sins will they
bear verily they are liars!
But their own burdens, and burdens beside their own burdens shall
they surely bear: and inquisition shall be made of them on the day
of Resurrection as to their false devices.
Of old sent we Noah to his people: a thousand years save fifty did
he tarry among them; and the flood overtook them in their
But we rescued him and those who were in the vessel; and we
made it a sign to all men:
And Abraham; when he said to his people, "Worship God and fear
Him. This will be best for you, if ye have knowledge;"
Ye only worship idols beside God, and are the authors of a lie.
Those whom ye worship beside God can give you no supplies:
seek, then, your supplies from God; and serve Him and give Him
thanks. To Him shall ye return.
Suppose that ye treat me as a liar! nations before you have treated
God's messenger as a liar; but open preaching is his only duty.
See they not how God bringeth forth creation? and then causeth it
to return again? This truly is easy for God.
SAY,3 Go through the earth, and see how he hath brought forth
created beings. Hereafter, with a second birth will God cause them
to be born again; for God is Almighty.
Whom He pleaseth will He chastise, and on whom He pleaseth
will He have mercy, and to Him shall ye be taken back.
And ye shall not invalidate his power either in the Earth or in the
Heaven:4 and, save God, ye shall have neither patron nor helper.
As for those who believe not in the signs of God, or that they shall
ever meet him, these of my mercy shall despair, and these doth a
grievous chastisement await."
And the only answer of his people was to say, "Slay him or burn
him." But from the fire did God save him! Verily, herein are signs
to those who believe.
And Abraham said, "Of a truth ye have taken idols along with God
as your bond of union5 in this life present;
But on the day of resurrection some of you shall deny the others,
and some of you shall curse the others; and your abode shall be the
fire, and ye shall have none to help."
But Lot believed on him,6 and said, "I betake me to my Lord, for
He truly is the Mighty, the Wise."
And we bestowed on him Isaac and Jacob,7 and placed the gift of
prophecy and the Scripture among his posterity; And we gave him
his reward in this world, and in the next he shall be among the just.
We sent also Lot: when he said to his people, "Proceed ye to a
filthiness in which no people in the world hath ever gone before
Proceed ye even to men? attack ye them on the highway? and
proceed ye to the crime in your assemblies?" But the only answer
of his people was to say, "Bring God's chastisement upon us, if
thou art a man of truth."
He cried: My Lord! help me against this polluted people.
And when our messengers came to Abraham with the tidings of a
son, they said, "Of a truth we will destroy the in-dwellers in this
city, for its in-dwellers are evil doers."
He said, "Lot is therein." They said, "We know full well who
therein is. Him and his family will we save, except his wife; she
will be of those who linger.
And when our messengers came to Lot, he was troubled for them,
and his arm was too weak8 to protect them; and they said, "Fear
not, and distress not thyself, for thee and thy family will we save,
except thy wife; she will be of those who linger.9
We will surely bring down upon the dwellers in this city
vengeance from Heaven for the excesses they have committed."
And in what we have left of it is a clear sign to men of
And to Madian we sent their brother Shoaib. And he said, "Oh! my
people! worship God, and expect the latter day, and enact not in
the land deeds of harmful excess."
But they treated him as an impostor: so an earthquake assailed
them; and at morn they were found prostrate and dead in their
And we destroyed Ad and Themoud. Already is this made plain to
you in the ruins of their dwellings. For Satan had made their own
works fair seeming to them, and drew them from the right path,
keen-sighted though they were.
And Corah and Pharaoh and Haman. With proofs of his mission
did Moses come to them, and they behaved proudly on the earth;
but us they could not outstrip;10
For, every one of them did we seize in his sin. Against some of
them did wesend a stone-charged wind: Some of them did the
terrible cry of Gabriel surprise: for some of them we cleaved the
earth; and some of them we drowned. And it was not God who
would deal wrongly by them, but they wronged themselves.
The likeness for those who take to themselves guardians instead of
God is the likeness of the SPIDER who buildeth her a house: But
verily, frailest of all houses surely is the house of the spider. Did
they but know this!
God truly knoweth all that they call on beside Him; and He is the
Mighty, the Wise.
These similitudes do we set forth to men: and none understand
them except the wise.
God hath created the Heavens and the Earth for a serious end.11
Verily in this is a sign to those who believe.
Recite the portions of the Book which have been revealed to thee
and discharge the duty of prayer: for prayer restraineth from the
filthy and the blame-worthy. And the gravest duty is the
remembrance of God; and God knoweth what ye do.
Dispute not, unless in kindly sort, with the people of the Book;12
save with such of them as have dealt wrongfully with you: And say
ye, "We believe in what hath been sent down to us and hath been
sent down to you. Our God and your God is one, and to him are we
Thus have we sent down the Book of the Koran to thee: and they to
whom we have given the Book of the law believe in it: and of
Arabians there are those who believe in it: and none, save the
Infidels, reject our signs.
Thou didst not recite any book (of revelation) before it: with that
right hand of thine thou didst not transcribe one: else might they
who treat it as a vain thing have justly doubted:
But it is a clear sign in the hearts of those whom "the knowledge"
hath reached. None except the wicked reject our signs.
And they say, "Unless a sign be sent down to him from his
Lord. " SAY: Signs are in the power of God alone. I am only a
plain spoken warner.
Is it not enough for them that we have sent down to thee the Book
to be recited to them? In this verily is a mercy and a warning to
those who believe.
SAY: God is witness enough between me and you.
He knoweth all that is in the Heavens and the Earth, and they who
believe in vain things13 and disbelieve in God these shall be the
They will challenge thee to hasten the punishment: but had there
not been a season fixed for it, that punishment had already come
upon them. But it shall overtake them suddenly when they look not
They will challenge thee to hasten the punishment: but verily Hell
shall be round about the infidels.
One day the punishment shall wrap them round, both from above
them and from beneath their feet; and God will say, "Taste ye your
O my servants who have believed! Vast truly is my Earth:14 me,
therefore! yea worship me.
Every soul shall taste of death. Then to us shall ye return.
But those who shall have believed and wrought righteousness will
we lodge in gardens with palaces, beneath which the rivers flow.
For ever shall they abide therein. How goodly the reward of those
Who patiently endure, and put their trust in their Lord!
How many animals are there which provide not15 their own food!
God feedeth them and you. He Heareth, Knoweth all things.
If thou ask them who hath created the Heavens and the Earth, and
hath imposed laws on the sun and on the moon, they will certainly
say, "God." How then can they devise lies?
God lavisheth supplies on such of his servants as He pleaseth or
giveth to them by measure. God knoweth all things.
If thou ask them who sendeth rain from heaven, and by it
quickeneth the earth, after it hath been dead, they will certainly
answer, "God." SAY: Praise be to God! Yet most of them do not
This present life is no other than a pastime and a disport: but truly
the future mansion is life indeed! Would that they knew this!
Lo! when they embark on shipboard, they call upon God, vowing
him sincere worship, but when He bringeth them safe to land,
behold they join partners with Him.
In our revelation they believe not, yet take their fill of good things.
But in the end they shall know their folly.
Do they not see that we have established a safe precinct16 while
around them men are being spoiled? Will they then believe in vain
idols, and not own the goodness of God?
But who acteth more wrongly than he who deviseth a lie against
God, or calls the truth when it hath come to him, a lie? Is there not
an abode for the infidels in Hell?
And whoso maketh efforts for us, in our ways will we guide them:
for God is assuredly with those who do righteous deeds.
1 See Sura lxviii. p. 32. The first ten verses of this Sura were
revealed at Medina, after the battles of Bedr and Ohod. Nöld. p.
2 Deities for whose worship thou canst shew no authority. Comp.
Tr. Jebhamoth, fol. 6. If a father saith to his son, "Defile thyself,"
or saith, "Make not restitution," shall he obey him? It is said (Lev.
xix. 3), Let every man reverence his father and mother, but keep
my Sabbaths all of you: ye are all bound to honour me. Thus also
Midr. Jalkut, 604. Comp. next Sura, v. 13.
3 The word SAY the usual address of God or Gabriel to
Muhammad must either be considered as spoken by God to
Abraham, in which case we have a curious instance of the manner
in which Muhammad identifies himself with Abraham, and makes
Abraham speak in words which he constantly elsewhere uses
himself; or, with Wahl, we must suppose that from v. 17 to v. 22
4 Comp. Ps. cxxxix. 7.
5 Lit. for love among yourselves, or as an object of love, i.e.
6 Thus Sura [lxv.] xxi. 71. The Midr. Rabbah on Gen. Par. 18, says
that Haran, the father of Lot, was brought by Abraham's
deliverance from the furnace to the adoption of his doctrines.
Muhammad may have transferred this idea to Lot.
7 The following passages deserve to be compared, as shewing the
loose way in which Muhammad could speak of the relationship
subsisting between Abraham and the other Patriarchs. See 38
below. Sura [xci.] ii. 127; [lxxxix.] vi. 84; [lviii.] xix. 50; [lxv.]
xxi. 72; [lxxvii.] xii. 6. It is a curious coincidence that in the Sonna
398, 400, Joseph is said to be the Grandson, and Jacob the Son, of
8 Lit. was straitened in regard to them.
9 See [lxxv.] xi. 83.
10 So as to fly from our vengeance.
11 Lit. in truth.
12 With the Jews. This passage is quoted by modern Muslims in
justification of their indifference with respect to the propagation of
their religion. "The number of the faithful," said one of them to
Mr. Lane, "is decreed by God, and no act of man can increase or
diminish it." Mod. Egypt. i. p. 364. Nöldeke supposes this verse to
have been revealed at Medina, and renders, Contend not except in
the best way, i.e. not by words but by force.
14 That is, you may find places of refuge where you may worship
the true God in some other parts of the earth, if driven forth from
your native city. This verse is very indicative of a late Meccan
origin. Flight from Mecca must have been imminent when
Muhammad could thus write.
15 Lit. carry not. Comp. Matth. vi. 26; Luke xii. 24.
16 At Mecca.
SURA XXXI. LOKMAN1 [LXXXII.]
MECCA. 34 Verses
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
ELIF. LAM. MIM.2 These are the verses (signs) of the wise Book,
A guidance and a mercy to the righteous,
Who observe prayer, and pay the impost,3 and believe firmly in
life to come:
These rest on guidance from their Lord, and with these it shall be
But a man there is4 who buyeth an idle tale, that in his lack of
knowledge he may mislead others from the way of God, and turn it
to scorn. For such is prepared a shameful punishment!
And when our signs are rehearsed to him, he turneth away
disdainfully, as though he heard them not, as though his ears
were heavy with deafness. Announce to him therefore tidings of an
But they who shall have believed and wrought good works, shall
enjoy the gardens of delight:
For ever shall they dwell therein: it is God's true promise! and He
is the Mighty, the Wise.
Without pillars that can be seen hath He created the heavens, and
on the earth hath thrown mountains lest it should move with you;5
and He hath scattered over it animals of every sort: and from the
Heaven we send down rain and cause every kind of noble plant to
grow up therein.
This is the creation of God: Shew me now what others than He
have created. Ah! the ungodly are in a manifest delusion.
Of old we bestowed wisdom upon LOKMAN, and taught him
thus "Be thankful to God: for whoever is thankful, is thankful to
his own behoof; and if any shall be thankless God truly is
self-sufficient, worthy of all praise!"
And bear in mind when Lokman said to his son by way of warning,
"O my son! join not other gods with God, for the joining gods with
God is the great impiety."
(We have commanded6 man concerning his parents. His mother
carrieth him with weakness upon weakness; nor until after two
years is he weaned.7 Be grateful to me, and to thy parents. Unto
shall all come.
But if they importune thee to join that with Me of which thou hast
no knowledge, obey them not: comport thyself towards them in
this world as is meet and right; but follow the way of him who
turneth unto me. Unto me shall ye return at last, and then will I tell
you of your doings;)
"O my son! verily God will bring everything to light, though it
were but the weight of a grain of mustard-seed, and hidden in a
rock or in the heavens or in the earth; for, God is subtile, informed
O my son! observe prayer, and enjoin the right and forbid the
wrong, and be patient under whatever shall betide thee: for this is a
And distort not thy face at men; nor walk thou loftily on the earth;
for God loveth no arrogant vain-glorious one.
But let thy pace be middling; and lower thy voice: for the least
pleasing of voices is surely the voice of asses."
See ye not how that God hath put under you all that is in the
heavens and all that is on the earth, and hath been bounteous to
you of his favours, both for soul and body.8 But some are there
who dispute of God without knowledge, and have no guidance and
no illuminating Book:
And when it is said to them, Follow ye what God hath sent down,
they say, "Nay; that religion in which we found our fathers will we
follow." What! though Satan bid them to the torment of the flame?
But whoso setteth his face toward God with self-surrender, and is a
doer of that which is good, hath laid hold on a sure handle; for
unto God is the issue of all things.
But let not the unbelief of the unbelieving grieve thee: unto us
shall they return: then will we tell them of their doings; for God
knoweth the very secrets of the breast.
Yet a little while will we provide for them: afterwards will we
force them to a stern punishment.
If thou ask them who hath created the heavens and the earth, they
will certainly reply, "God." SAY: God be praised! But most of
them have no knowledge.
God's, whatever is in the Heavens and the Earth! for God, He is
the Rich,9 the Praiseworthy.
If all the trees that are upon the earth were to become pens, and if
God should after that swell the sea into seven seas of ink, His
words would not be exhausted: for God is Mighty, Wise.10
Your creation and your quickening hereafter, are but as those of a
single individual. Verily, God Heareth, Seeth!
Seest thou not that God causeth the night to come in upon the day,
and the day to come in upon the night? and that he hath subjected
the sun and the moon to laws by which each speedeth along to an
appointed goal? and that God therefore is acquainted with that
which ye do?
This, for that God is the truth; and that whatever ye call upon
beside Him is a vain thing; and that God He is the High, the
Seest thou not how the ships speed on in the sea, through the
favour of God, that he may shew you of his signs? for herein are
signs to all patient, grateful ones.
When the waves cover them like dark shadows they call upon God
as with sincere religion; but when He safely landeth them, some of
them there are who halt between two opinions.11 Yet none reject
our signs but all deceitful, ungrateful ones.
O men! fear ye your Lord, and dread the day whereon father shall
not atone for son, neither shall a son in the least atone for his
Aye! the promise of God is a truth. Let not this present life then
deceive you; neither let the deceiver deceive you concerning God.
Aye! God! with Him is the knowledge of the Hour: and He
sendeth down the rain and He knoweth what is in the
wombs but no soul knoweth what it shall have gotten on the
morrow: neither knoweth any soul in what land it shall die. But
God is knowing, informed of all.
1 Nothing certain is known concerning the history of this fabulist
and philosopher. The opinion most generally received is that
Lokman is the same person whom the Greeks, not knowing his real
name, have called Ĺsop, i.e., Ĺthiops. This Sura shews the high
degree of respect entertained for Lokman in Arabia at the time of
Muhammad, who doubtless aimed to promote the interests of his
new religion by connecting the Koran with so celebrated a name.
2 See Sura lxviii. 1, p. 32.
3 Beidh. and Itq. suppose this verse to have been revealed at
Medina, on account of the precept to pay the impost, required by
Muhammad of his followers as a religious duty, and different from
the alms. The former is usually coupled with the duty of observing
prayer. Mar. renders, sacrum censum in marg.
4 Nodhar Ibn El Hareth, who had purchased in Persia the romance
of Roustem and Isfendiar, two of the most famous heroes of that
land, which he recited to the Koreisch as superior to the Koran.
5 Comp. Ps. civ. 5.
6 This verse and the verse following would seem more naturally to
follow verse 18, where Wahl has placed them. See preceding Sura,
7 Comp. Talm. Kethuboth, 60, 1, "A woman is to suckle her child
two years." Comp. Jos. Ant. ii. 9, 6.
8 Or, the seen and unseen, lit., outwardly and inwardly.
9 Or as rendered in verse 11, "the self-sufficient."
10 Wah. Omar ben Muhammad, Zam. and Beidh. suppose this and
the three following verses to have been revealed at Medina, in
answer to the Jews, who had affirmed that all knowledge was
contained in their own Law. But the accuracy of this supposition is
very doubtful, if considered with regard to the preceding and
11 Between idolatry and Islam.
SURA XLII. COUNSEL [LXXXIII.]
MECCA. 53 Verses
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
HA. MIM. AIN. SIN. KAF.1 Thus unto thee as unto those who
preceded thee doth God, the Mighty, the Wise, reveal!
All that is in the Heavens and all that is in the Earth is His: and He
is the High, the Great!
Ready are the Heavens to cleave asunder from above for very awe:
and the angels celebrate the praise of their Lord, and ask
forgiveness for the dwellers on earth: Is not God the Indulgent, the
But whose take aught beside Him as lords God watcheth them!
but thou hast them not in thy charge.
It is thus moreover that we have revealed to thee an Arabic Koran,
that thou mayest warn the mother city2 and all around it, and that
thou mayest warn them of that day of the Gathering, of which
there is no doubt when part shall be in Paradise and part in the
Had God so pleased, He had made them one people and of one
creed: but He bringeth whom He will within His mercy; and as for
the doers of evil, no patron, no helper shall there be for them.
Will they take other patrons than Him? But God is man's only
Lord: He quickeneth the dead; and He is mighty over all things.
And whatever the subject of your disputes, with God doth its
decision rest. This is God, my Lord: in Him do I put my trust, and
to Him do I turn in penitence;
Creator of the Heavens and of the Earth! he hath given you wives
from among your own selves, and cattle male and female by this
means to multiply you: Nought is there like Him! the Hearer, the
His, the keys of the Heavens and of the Earth! He giveth with open
hand, or sparingly, to whom He will: He knoweth all things.
To you hath He prescribed the faith which He commanded unto
Noah, and which we have revealed to thee, and which we
commanded unto Abraham and Moses and Jesus, saying, "Observe
this faith, and be not divided into sects therein." Intolerable to
those who worship idols jointly with God
Is that faith to which thou dost call them. Whom He pleaseth will
God choose for it, and whosoever shall turn to Him in penitence
will He guide to it.
Nor were they divided into sects through mutual jealousy, till after
that "the knowledge" had come to them: and had not a decree from
thy Lord gone forth respiting them to a fixed time, verily, there had
at once been a decision between them.3 And they who have
inherited "the Book" after them, are in perplexity of doubt
For this cause summon thou them to the faith, and go straight on as
thou hast been bidden, and follow not their desires: and
SAY: In whatsoever Books God hath sent down do I believe: I am
commanded to decide justly between you: God is your Lord and
our Lord: we have our works and you have your works: between us
and you let there be no strife: God will make us all one: and to
Him shall we return.
And as to those who dispute about God, after pledges of obedience
given to Him,4 their disputings shall be condemned by their Lord,
and wrath shall be on them, and theirs shall be a sore torment.
It is God who hath sent down the Book with truth, and the
Balance:5 but who shall inform thee whether haply "the Hour" be
They who believe not in it, challenge its speedy coming:6 but they
who believe are afraid because of it, and know it to be a truth. Are
not they who dispute of the Hour, in a vast error?
Benign is God towards his servants: for whom He will doth He
provide: and He is the Strong, the Mighty.
Whoso will choose the harvest field of the life to come, to him will
we give increase in this his harvest field: and whoso chooseth the
harvest field of this life, thereof will we give him: but no portion
shall there be for him in the life to come.7
Is it that they have gods who have sanctioned for them aught in the
matter of religion which God hath not allowed? But had it not been
for a decree of respite till the day of severance, judgment had ere
now taken place among them; and assuredly the impious shall
undergo a painful torment.
On that day thou shalt see the impious alarmed at their own works,
and the consequence thereof shall fall upon them: but they who
believe and do the things that are right, shall dwell in the meadows
of paradise: whatever they shall desire awaiteth them with their
Lord. This, the greatest boon.
This is what God announceth to his servants who believe and do
the things that are right. SAY: For this ask I no wage of you, save
the love of my kin. And whoever shall have won the merit of a
good deed, we will increase good to him therewith; for God is
Will they say he hath forged a lie of God? If God pleased,
He could then seal up thy very heart.8 But God will bring untruth
nought, and will make good the truth by his word: for He knoweth
the very secrets of the breast.
He it is who accepteth repentance from his servants, and forgiveth
their sins and knoweth your actions:
And to those who believe and do the things that are right will he
hearken, and augment his bounties to them:9 but the unbelievers
doth a terrible punishment await.
Should God bestow abundance upon his servants, they might act
wantonly on the earth: but He sendeth down what He will by
measure; for he knoweth, beholdeth his servants.
He it is who after that men have despaired of it, sendeth down the
rain, and spreadeth abroad his mercy: He is the Protector, the
Among his signs is the creation of the Heavens and of the Earth,
and the creatures which he hath scattered over both: and, for their
gathering together when he will, He is allpowerful!
Nor happeneth to you any mishap, but it is for your own
handy-work: and yet he forgiveth many things.
Ye cannot weaken him on the earth: neither, beside God, patron or
helper shall ye have.
Among his signs also are the sea-traversing ships like mountains: if
such be his will, He lulleth the wind, and they lie motionless on
the back of the waves: truly herein are signs to all the constant,
Or if, for their ill deserts, He cause them to founder, still He
But they who gainsay our signs shall know that there will be no
escape for them.
All that you receive is but for enjoyment in this life present: but
better and more enduring is a portion with God, for those who
believe and put their trust in their Lord;
And who avoid the heinous things of crime, and filthiness, and
when they are angered, forgive;
And who hearken to their Lord, and observe prayer, and whose
affairs are guided by mutual COUNSEL, and who give alms of that
with which we have enriched them;
And who, when a wrong is done them, redress themselves:
Yet let the recompense of evil be only a like evil but he who
forgiveth and is reconciled, shall be rewarded by God himself; for
He loveth not those who act unjustly.
And there shall be no way open against those who, after being
wronged, avenge themselves;
But there shall be a way open against those who unjustly wrong
others, and act insolently on the earth in disregard of justice.
These! a grievous punishment doth await them.
And whoso beareth wrongs with patience and forgiveth; this
verily is a bounden duty;
But he whom God shall cause to err, shall thenceforth have no
protector. And thou shalt behold the perpetrators of injustice,
Exclaiming, when they see the torment, "Is there no way to
And thou shalt see them when set before it, downcast for the
shame: they shall look at it with stealthy glances: and the believers
shall say, "Truly are the losers they who have lost themselves and
their families on the day of Resurrection! Shall not the perpetrators
of injustice be in lasting torment?"
And no other protectors shall there be to succour them than God;
and no pathway for him whom God shall cause to err.
Hearken then to your Lord ere the day come, which none can put
back when God doth ordain its coming. No place of refuge for you
on that day! no denying your own works!
But if they turn aside from thee, yet we have not sent thee to be
their guardian. 'Tis thine but to preach. When we cause man to
taste our gifts of mercy, he rejoiceth in it; but if for their by-gone
handy-work evil betide them, then lo! is man ungrateful.
God's, the kingdom of the Heavens and of the Earth! He createth
what He will! and he giveth daughters to whom He will, and sons
to whom He will:
Or He giveth them children of both sexes, and He maketh whom
He will to be childless; for He is Wise, Powerful!
It is not for man that God should speak with him but by vision, or
from behind a veil:
Or, He sendeth a messenger to reveal, by his permission, what He
will: for He is Exalted, Wise!
Thus have we sent the Spirit (Gabriel10) to thee with a revelation,
by our command. Thou knewest not, ere this, what "the Book"
was, or what the faith. But we have ordained it for a light: by it
will we guide whom we please of our servants. And thou shalt
surely guide into the right way,
The way of God, whose is all that the Heaven and the Earth
contain. Shall not all things return to God?
1 See Sura lxviii. 1, p. 32.
3 Jews and Christians.
4 Or, nachdem ihm (Mohamed) die Lehre geworden. Ullm.
Postquam responsum fuit illi (id est, Mahumeto de Religione
5 The law contained in the Koran.
6 Isai. v. 19.
7 Comp. Gal. vi. 7, 8.
8 That is, deprive thee of the Prophetic mission; or, fortify thee
with patience against the calumny of forging lies of God. Thus
Mar. If this latter interpretation be adopted, the remainder of the
verse must be rendered: And God will abolish the lie and, etc.
9 Lit. he will increase them. Comp. Ps. cxv. 14.
10 Thus Beidhawi.
SURA X. JONAH, PEACE BE ON HIM! [LXXXIV.]
MECCA. 109 Verses
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
ELIF. LAM. RA.1 These are the signs of the wise Book!
A matter of wonderment is it to the men of Mecca, that to a person
among themselves We revealed, "Bear warnings to the people:
and, to those who believe, bear the good tidings that they shall
have with their Lord the precedence merited by their sincerity."
The unbelievers say, "Verily this is a manifest sorcerer."
Verily your Lord is God who hath made the Heavens and the Earth
in six days then mounted his throne to rule all things: None can
intercede with him till after his permission: This is God your Lord:
therefore serve him: Will ye not reflect?
Unto Him shall ye return, all together: the promise of God is sure:
He produceth a creature, then causeth it to return again that he may
reward those who believe and do the things that are right, with
equity: but as for the infidels! for them the draught that boileth and
an afflictive torment because they have not believed.
It is He who hath appointed the sun for brightness, and the moon
for a light, and hath ordained her stations that ye may learn the
number of years and the reckoning of time. God hath not created
all this but for the truth.2 He maketh his signs clear to those who
Verily, in the alternations of night and of day, and in all that God
hath created in the Heavens and in the Earth are signs to those who
Verily, they who hope not to meet Us, and find their satisfaction in
this world's life, and rest on it, and who of our signs are heedless;
These! their abode the fire, in recompense of their deeds!
But they who believe and do the things that are right, shall their
Lord direct aright because of their faith. Rivers shall flow at their
feet in gardens of delight:
Their cry therein, "Glory be to thee, O God!" and their salutation
And the close of their cry, "Praise be to God, Lord, of all
Should God hasten evil on men as they fain would hasten their
good, then were their end decreed! So leave we those who hope
not to meet Us, bewildered in their error.
When trouble toucheth a man, he crieth to us, on his side, or
sitting, or standing; and when we withdraw his trouble from him,
he passeth on as though he had not called on us against the trouble
which touched him! Thus are the deeds of transgressors
pre-arranged for them.
And of old destroyed we generations before you, when they had
acted wickedly, and their Apostles had come to them with clear
tokens of their mission, and they would not believe: thus reward
we the wicked.
Then we caused you to succeed them on the earth, that we might
see how ye would act.
But when our clear signs are recited to them, they who look not
forward to meet Us, say, "Bring a different Koran from this, or
make some change in it." SAY: It is not for me to change it as
mine own soul prompteth. I follow only what is revealed to me:
verily, I fear, if I rebel against my Lord, the punishment of a great
SAY: Had God so pleased, I had not recited it to you, neither had I
taught it to you. Already have I dwelt among you for years, ere it
was revealed to me. Understand ye not?
And who is more unjust than he who coineth a lie against God, or
treateth his signs as lies? Surely the wicked shall not prosper!
And they worship beside God, what cannot hurt or help them; and
say, "These are our advocates with God!" SAY: Will ye inform
God of aught in the Heavens and in the Earth which he knoweth
not? Praise be to Him! High be He exalted above the deities they
join with Him!
Men were of one religion only:3 then they fell to variance: and
had not a decree (of respite) previously gone forth from thy Lord,
their differences had surely been decided between them!
They say: "Unless a sign be sent down to him from his Lord. " But
SAY: The hidden is only with God: wait therefore: I truly will be
with you among those who wait.
And when after a trouble which you befallen them,4 we caused
this people to taste of mercy, lo! a plot on their part against our
signs! SAY: Swifter to plot is God! Verily, our messengers note
down your plottings.
He it is who enableth you to travel by land and sea, so that ye go
on board of ships which sail on with them, with favouring breeze
in which they rejoice. But if a tempestuous gale overtake them,
and the billow come on them from every side, and they think that
they are encompassed therewith, they call on God, professing
sincere religion: "Wouldst thou but rescue us from this, then will
we indeed be of the thankful."
But when we have rescued them, lo! they commit unrighteous
excesses on the earth! O men! assuredly your self-injuring excess
is only an enjoyment of this life present: soon ye return to us: and
we will let you know what ye have done!
Verily, this present life is like the water which we send down from
Heaven, and the produce of the earth, of which men and cattle eat,
is mingled with it, till the earth hath received its golden raiment,
and is decked out: and they who dwell on it deem that they have
power over it! but, Our behest cometh to it by night or by day, and
we make it as if it had been mown, as if it had not teemed only
yesterday! Thus make we our signs clear to those who consider.
And God calleth to the abode of peace;5 and He guideth whom He
will into the right way.
Goodness6 itself and an increase of it for those who do good!
neither blackness nor shame shall cover their faces! These shall be
the inmates of Paradise, therein shall they abide for ever.
And as for those who have wrought out evil, their recompense
shall be evil of like degree, and shame shall cover them no
protector shall they have against God: as though their faces were
darkened with deep murk of night! These shall be inmates of the
fire: therein they shall abide for ever.
And on that day will we gather them all together: then will we say
to those who added gods to God, "To your place, ye and those
added gods of yours!" Then we will separate between them: and
those their gods shall say, "Ye served us not:7
And God is a sufficient witness between us and you: we cared not
aught for your worship."
There shall every soul make proof of what itself shall have sent on
before, and they shall be brought back to God, their true lord, and
the deities of their own devising shall vanish from them.
SAY: Who supplieth you from the Heaven and the Earth? Who
hath power over hearing and sight? And who bringeth forth the
living from the dead, and bringeth forth the dead from the living?
And who ruleth all things? They will surely say, "God:" then SAY:
"What! will ye not therefore fear him?
This God then is your true Lord: and when the truth is gone, what
remaineth but error? How then are ye so perverted?
Thus is the word of thy Lord made good on the wicked, that they
shall not believe.
SAY: Is there any of the gods whom ye add to God who produceth
a creature, then causeth it to return to him? SAY: God produceth a
creature, then causeth it to return to Him: How therefore are ye
SAY: Is there any of the gods ye add to God who guideth into the
truth? SAY: God guideth into the truth. Is He then who guideth
into the truth the more worthy to be followed, or he who guideth
not unless he be himself guided? What then hath befallen you that
ye so judge?
And most of them follow only a conceit: But a conceit attaineth to
nought of truth! Verily God knoweth what they say.
Moreover this Koran could not have been devised by any but God:
but it confirmeth what was revealed before it, and is a clearing up
of the Scriptures there is no doubt thereof from the Lord of all
Do they say, "He hath devised it himself?" SAY: Then bring a Sura
like it; and call on whom ye can beside God, if ye speak truth.
But that which they embrace not in their knowledge have they
charged with falsehood, though the explanation of it had not yet
been given them. So those who were before them brought charges
of imposture: But see what was the end of the unjust!
And some of them believe in it, and some of them believe not in it.
But thy Lord well knoweth the transgressors.
And if they charge thee with imposture, then SAY: My work for
me, and your work for you! Ye are clear of that which I do, and I
am clear of that which ye do.
And some of them lend a ready ear to thee: But wilt thou make the
deaf to hear even though they understand not?
And some of them look at thee: But wilt thou guide the blind even
though they see not?
Verily, God will not wrong men in aught, but men will wrong
Moreover, on that day, He will gather them all together: They shall
seem as though they had waited but an hour of the day! They shall
recognise one another! Now perish they who denied the meeting
with God, and were not guided aright!
Whether we cause thee to see some of our menaces against them
fulfilled, or whether we first take thee to Ourself,8 to us do they
return. Then shall God bear witness of what they do.
And every people hath had its apostle.9 And when their apostle
came, a rightful decision took place between them, and they were
Yet they say, "When will this menace be made good? Tell us if ye
SAY: I have no power over my own weal or woe, but as God
pleaseth. Every people hath its time: when their time is come, they
shall neither retard nor advance it an hour.
SAY: How think ye? if God's punishment came on you by night or
by day, what portion of it would the wicked desire to hasten on?
When it falleth on you, will ye believe it then? Yes! ye will believe
it then. Yet did ye challenge its speedy coming.
Then shall it be said to the transgressors, "Taste ye the punishment
of eternity! Shall ye be rewarded but as ye have wrought?"
They will desire thee to inform them whether this be true? SAY:
Yes! by my Lord it is the truth: and it is not ye who can weaken
And every soul that hath sinned, if it possessed all that is on earth,
would assuredly ransom itself therewith; and they will proclaim
their repentance when they have seen the punishment: and there
shall be a rightful decision between them, and they shall not be
unjustly dealt with.
Is not whatever is in the Heavens and the Earth God's? Is not then
the promise of God true? Yet most of them know it not.
He maketh alive and He causeth to die, and to Him shall ye return.
O men! now hath a warning come to you from your Lord, and a
medicine for what is in your breasts, and a guidance and a mercy
SAY: Through the grace of God and his mercy! and in this
therefore let them rejoice: better is this than all ye amass.
SAY: What think ye? of what God hath sent down to you for food,
have ye made unlawful and lawful? SAY: Hath God permitted
you? or invent ye on the part of God?
But what on the day of Resurrection will be the thought of those
who invent a lie on the part of God? Truly God is full of bounties
to man; but most of them give not thanks.
Thou shalt not be employed in affairs, nor shalt thou read a text
out of the Koran, nor shall ye work any work, but we will be
witnesses over you when ye are engaged therein: and not the
weight of an atom on Earth or in Heaven escapeth thy Lord; nor is
there aught that is less than this or greater, but it is in the
Are not the friends of God, those on whom no fear shall come, nor
shall they be put to grief?
They who believe and fear God
For them are good tidings in this life, and in the next! There is no
change in the words of God! This, the great felicity!
And let not their discourse grieve thee: for all might is God's: the
Hearer, the Knower, He!
Is not whoever is in the Heavens and the Earth subject to God?
What then do they follow who, beside God, call upon deities they
have joined with Him? They follow but a conceit, and they are but
It is He who hath ordained for you the night wherein to rest, and
the lightsome day. Verily in this are signs for those who hearken.
They say, "God hath begotten children." No! by his glory! He is the
self-sufficient. All that is in the Heavens and all that is in the Earth
is His! Have ye warranty for that assertion? What! speak ye of God
that which ye know not?
SAY: Verily, they who devise this lie concerning God shall fare ill.
A portion have they in this world! Then to us they return! Then
make we them to taste the vehement torment, for that they were
Recite to them the history of Noah,10 when he said to his people,
If, O my people! my abode with you, and my reminding you of the
signs of God, be grievous to you, yet in God is my trust: Muster,
therefore, your designs and your false gods, and let not your design
be carried on by you in the dark: then come to some decision about
me, and delay not.
And if ye turn your backs on me, yet ask I no reward from you: my
reward is with God alone, and I am commanded to be of the
But they treated him as a liar: therefore we rescued him and those
who were with him in the ark, and we made them to survive the
others; and we drowned those who charged our signs with
falsehood. See, then, what was the end of these warned ones!
Then after him, we sent Apostles to their peoples, and they came
to them with credentials; but they would not believe in what they
had denied aforetime: Thus seal we up the hearts of the
Then sent we, after them, Moses and Aaron to Pharaoh and his
nobles with our signs; but they acted proudly and were a wicked
And when the truth came to them from us, they said, "Verily, this
is clear sorcery."
Moses said: "What! say ye of the truth after it hath come to you, 'Is
this sorcery?' But sorcerers shall not prosper."
They said: "Art thou come to us to pervert us from the faith in
which we found our fathers, and that you twain shall bear rule in
this land? But we believe you not."
And Pharaoh said: "Fetch me every skilled magician." And when
the magicians arrived, Moses said to them, "Cast down what ye
have to cast."
And when they had cast them down, Moses said, "Verily, God will
render vain the sorceries which ye have brought to pass: God
prospereth not the work of the evildoers.
And by his words will God verify the Truth, though the impious be
averse to it.
And none believed on Moses but a race among his own people,
through fear of Pharaoh and his nobles, lest he should afflict them:
For of a truth mighty was Pharaoh in the land, and one who
And Moses said: "O my people! if ye believe in God, then put your
trust in Him if ye be Muslims."
And they said: "In God put we our trust. O our Lord! abandon us
not to trial from that unjust people,
And deliver us by thy mercy from the unbelieving people."
Then thus revealed we to Moses and to his brother: "Provide
houses for your people in Egypt, and in your houses make a Kebla,
and observe prayer and proclaim good tidings to the believers."
And Moses said: "O our Lord! thou hast indeed given to Pharaoh
and his nobles splendour and riches in this present life: O our
Lord! that they may err from thy way! O our Lord! confound their
riches, and harden their hearts that they may not believe till they
see the dolorous torment."
He said: "The prayer of you both is heard: pursue ye both therefore
the straight path, and follow not the path of those who have no
And we led the children of Israel through the sea; and Pharaoh and
his hosts followed them in eager and hostile sort until, when the
drowning overtook him, he said, "I believe that there is no God but
he on whom the children of Israel believe, and I am one of the
"Yes, now," said God: "but thou hast been rebellious hitherto, and
wast one of the wicked doers.
But this day will we rescue thee with thy body that thou mayest be
a sign to those who shall be after thee:11 but truly, most men are
of our signs regardless!"
Moreover we prepared a settled abode for the children of Israel,
and provided them with good things: nor did they fall into variance
till the knowledge (the Law) came to them: Truly thy Lord will
decide between them on the day of Resurrection concerning that in
which they differed.
And if thou art in doubt as to what we have sent down to thee,
inquire at those who have read the Scriptures before thee.12 Now
hath the truth come unto thee from thy Lord: be not therefore of
those who doubt.
Neither be of those who charge the signs of God with falsehood,
lest thou be of those who perish.
Verily they against whom the decree of thy Lord is pronounced,
shall not believe,
Even though every kind of sign come unto them, till they behold
the dolorous torment!
Were it otherwise, any city, had it believed, might have found its
safety in its faith. But it was so, only with the people of JONAS.
When they believed, we delivered them from the penalty of shame
in this world, and provided for them for a time.
But if thy Lord had pleased, verily all who are in the earth would
have believed together. What! wilt thou compel men to become
No soul can believe but by the permission of God: and he shall lay
his wrath on those who will not understand.
SAY: Consider ye whatever is in the Heavens and on the Earth: but
neither signs, nor warners, avail those who will not believe!
What then can they expect but the like of such days of wrath as
befel those who flourish before them? SAY: WAIT; I too will wait
Then will we deliver our apostles and those who believe. Thus is it
binding on us to deliver the faithful.
SAY: O men! if ye are in doubt as to my religion, verily I worship
not what ye worship beside God; but I worship God who will cause
you to die: and I am commanded to be a believer.
And set thy face toward true religion, sound in faith, and be not of
those who join other gods with God:
Neither invoke beside God that which can neither help nor hurt
thee: for if thou do, thou wilt certainly then be one of those who
And if God lay the touch of trouble on thee, none can deliver thee
from it but He: and if He will thee any good, none can keep back
his boons. He will confer them on such of his servants as he
chooseth: and He is the Gracious, the Merciful!
SAY: O men! now hath the truth come unto you from your Lord.
He therefore who will be guided, will be guided only for his own
behoof: but he who shall err will err only against it; and I am not
And follow what is revealed to thee: and persevere steadfastly till
God shall judge, for He is the best of Judges.
1 See Sura 1xviii. n. 3, p. 32.
2 That is, for a serious end, to manifest the Divine Unity.
3 Gen. xi. 1.
4 This refers to the seven years of scarcity with which Mecca had
6 Verses 27, 28 are to be noted, as defining the proportion to be
observed in rewards and punishments, the severity of the latter
being only in proportion to the crime, the excellence of the former
being above and beyond its strict merits.
7 But rather your own lusts. The Muhammadans believe that idols
will be gifted with speech at the day of judgment.
8 The ordinary Arabic word for to die seems to be avoided in
speaking of Jesus and Muhammad.
9 This is the doctrine of the Rabbins. Comp. Midrasch Rabba, and
Midr. Jalkut on Numb. xxii. 2.
10 The preaching of Noah is mentioned by the Rabbins. Sanhedrin,
108. Comp. Midr. Rabbah on Gen. Par. 30 and 33, on Eccl. ix. 14,
and in the probably sub. Apostolic 2 Pet. ii. 5.
11 This is in accordance with Talmudic legend. "Recognise the
power of repentance, in the case of Pharaoh, King of Egypt, who
rebelled excessively against the most High; Who is God that I
should hearken to his voice? (Ex. v. 2). But with the same tongue
that sinned he did penance: Who is like thee, O Lord, among the
Gods? (xv. 11). The Holy One, Blessed be He, delivered him from
the dead so that he should not die (ix. 15, 16). For now have I
stretched forth my hand, and verily thee have I raised up from
among the dead, to proclaim my might." Ex. ix. 15, 16. A strange
comment! Pirke R. Eliezer, 43. Comp. Midr. on Ps. cvi. Midr.
Jalkut, ch. 238.
12 That is, whether thou art not foretold in the Law and Gospel,
and whether the Koran is not in unison with, and confirmatory of,
SURA XXXIV. SABA1 [LXXXV.]
MECCA. 54 Verses
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
PRAISE be to God! to whom belongeth all that is in the Heavens
and all that is on the Earth; and to Him be praise in the next world:
for he is the All-wise, the All-informed!
He knoweth what entereth into the earth, and what proceedeth
from it; and what cometh down from heaven, and what goeth up
into it: and He is the Merciful, the Forgiving!
"Never," say the unbelievers, "will the Hour come upon us!" SAY:
Yea, by my Lord who knoweth the unseen, it will surely come
upon you! not the weight of a mote either in the Heavens or in the
Earth escapeth him; nor is there aught less than this or aught
greater, which is not in the clear Book;
To the intent that God may reward those who have believed and
done the things that are right: Pardon and a noble provision shall
But as for those who aim to invalidate our signs, a chastisement
of painful torment awaiteth them!
And they to whom knowledge hath been given see that what hath
been sent down to thee from thy Lord is the truth, and that it
guideth into the way of the Glorious one, the Praiseworthy.
But the unbelievers say to those whom they fall in with, "Shall we
shew you a man who will foretell you that when ye shall have been
utterly torn and rent to pieces, ye shall be restored in a new form?
He deviseth a lie about God, or there is a djinn in him," but they
who believe not in the next life, shall incur the chastisement, and
be lost in the mazes of estrangement from God.
What! have they never contemplated that which is before them and
behind them, the Heaven and the Earth? If such were our pleasure,
we could sink them into that Earth, or cause a portion of that
Heaven to fall upon them! herein truly is a sign for our every
Of old bestowed we on David a gift, our special boon: "Ye
mountains and ye birds answer his songs of praise." And we made
the iron soft for him: "Make coats of mail, and arrange its
plates; and work ye righteousness; for I behold your actions."
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