In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
KAF. HA. YA. AIN. SAD.2 A recital of thy Lord's mercy to his servant
When he called upon his Lord with secret calling,
And said: "O Lord, verily my bones are weakened, and the hoar hairs glisten
on my head,
And never, Lord, have I prayed to thee with ill success.
But now I have fears for my kindred after me;3 and my wife is barren:
Give me, then, a successor as thy special gift, who shall be my heir and an
heir of the family of Jacob: and make him, Lord, well pleasing to thee."
�"O Zachariah! verily we announce to thee a son,�his name John:
That name We have given to none before him."4
He said: "O my Lord! how when my wife is barren shall I have a son, and when
I have now reached old age, failing in my powers?"
He said: So shall it be. Thy Lord hath said, Easy is this to me, for I
created thee aforetime when thou wast nothing."
He said: "Vouchsafe me, O my Lord! a sign." He said: "Thy sign shall be that
for three nights, though sound in health, thou speakest not to man."
And he came forth from the sanctuary to his people, and made signs to them to
sing praises morn and even.
We said: "O John! receive the Book with purpose of heart:"5�and We bestowed
on him wisdom while yet a child;
And mercifulness from Ourself, and purity; and pious was he, and duteous to
his parents; and not proud, rebellious.
And peace was on him on the day he was born, and the day of his death, and
shall be on the day when he shall be raised to life!
And make mention in the Book, of Mary, when she went apart from her family,
And took a veil to shroud herself from them:7 and we sent our spirit8 to her,
and he took before her the form of a perfect man.9
She said: "I fly for refuge from thee to the God of Mercy! If thou fearest
Him, begone from me."
He said: "I am only a messenger of thy Lord, that I may bestow on thee a holy
She said: "How shall I have a son, when man hath never touched me? and I am
He said: "So shall it be. Thy Lord hath said: 'Easy is this with me;' and we
will make him a sign to mankind, and a mercy from us. For it is a thing
And she conceived him,10 and retired with him to a far-off place.
And the throes came upon her11 by the trunk of a palm. She said: "Oh, would
that I had died ere this, and been a thing forgotten, forgotten quite!"
And one cried to her from below her:12 "Grieve not thou, thy Lord hath
provided a streamlet at thy feet:�
And shake the trunk of the palm-tree toward thee:13 it will drop fresh ripe
dates upon thee.
Eat then and drink, and be of cheerful eye:14 and shouldst thou see a man,
Say,�Verily, I have vowed abstinence to the God of mercy.�To no one will I
speak this day."
Then came she with the babe to her people, bearing him. They said, "O Mary!
now hast thou done a strange thing!
O sister of Aaron!15 Thy father was not a man of wickedness, nor unchaste thy
And she made a sign to them, pointing towards the babe. They said, "How shall
we speak with him who is in the cradle, an infant?"
It said,16 "Verily, I am the servant of God; He hath given me the Book, and
He hath made me a prophet;
And He hath made me blessed wherever I may be, and hath enjoined me prayer
and almsgiving so long as I shall live;
And to be duteous to her that bare me: and he hath not made me proud,
And the peace of God was on me the day I was born, and will be the day I
shall die, and the day I shall be raised to life."
This is Jesus, the son of Mary; this is a statement of the truth concerning
which they doubt.
It beseemeth not God to beget a son. Glory be to Him! when he decreeth a
thing, He only saith to it, Be, and it Is.17
And verily, God is my Lord and your Lord; adore Him then. This is the right
But the Sects have fallen to variance among themselves about Jesus: but woe,
present chastisement, or whether it be "the Hour," and they shall then know
which is in the worse state, and which the more weak in forces:
But God will increase the guidance of the already guided.
And good works which abide, are in thy Lord's sight better in respect of
guerdon, and better in the issue than all worldly good.
Hast thou marked him who believeth not in our signs, and saith, "I shall
surely have riches and children bestowed upon me?"
Hath he mounted up into the secrets of God? Hath he made a compact with the
God of Mercy?
No! we will certainly write down what he saith, and will lengthen the length
of his chastisement:
And we will inherit what he spake of, and he shall come before us all alone.
They have taken other gods beside God to be their help.27
But it shall not be. Those gods will disavow their worship and will become
Seest thou not that we send the Satans against the Infidels to urge them into
Wherefore be not thou in haste with them;28 for a small number of days do we
number to them.
One day we will gather the God-fearing before the God of Mercy with honours
But the sinners will we drive unto Hell, like flocks driven to the watering.
None shall have power to intercede, save he who hath received permission at
the hands of the God of Mercy.
They say: "The God of Mercy hath gotten offspring." Now have ye done a
Almost might the very Heavens be rent thereat, and the Earth cleave asunder,
and the mountains fall down in fragments,
That they ascribe a son to the God of Mercy, when it beseemeth not the God of
Mercy to beget a son!
Verily there is none in the Heavens and in the Earth but shall approach the
God of Mercy as a servant. He hath taken note of them, and numbered them with
And each of them shall come to Him, on the day of Resurrection, singly:
But love will the God of Mercy vouchsafe to those who believe and do the
things that be right.
Verily we have made this Koran easy and in thine own tongue, that thou mayest
contentious by it.
How many generations have we destroyed before them! Canst thou search out one
of them? or canst thou hear a whisper from them?
1 Comp. the first 37 verses of this Sura with Sura iii. 35-57 with reference
to the different style adopted by Muhammad in the later Suras, probably for
the purpose of avoiding the imputation of his being merely a poet, a
sorcerer, or person possessed. Sura lii. 29, 30; xxi. 5; lxviii. 2, 51. This
Sura is one of the fullest and earliest Koranic Gospel Histories, and was
recited to the Nagash or King of Ćthiopia, in the presence of the ambassadors
of the Koreisch. His. 220; Caussin, i. 392; Sprenger (Life of M.) p. 193.
2 See Sura lxviii. I, p. 32. Golius conjectured that these letters represent
coh ya'as, thus he counselled, and that they were added by some Jewish
scribe. Sprenger (Journ. of As. Soc. of Bengal, xx. 280) arranges them as
Ain, Sad, Kaf, Ha, Ya, and supposes them to be taken from the Arabic words
for Aisa (Jesus) of the Nazarenes, King of the Jews. But we can hardly
imagine that Muhammad would ascribe such a title to our Lord, and the word
which Dr. Sprenger uses for Jews is not the form peculiar to the Koran.
3 Lest they should desert the worship of the God of Israel.
4 Ar. Yahia. It may be true that the name in this form had never been given.
Otherwise, we have in this passage a misunderstanding of Luke i. 61, as well
as ignorance of the Jewish Scriptures. Comp. 2 Kings xxv. 23; 1 Chron. iii.
16; Ezra viii. 12; Jerem. xl. 8. Some commentators try to avoid the
difficulty by rendering samiyan, deserving of the name.
5 Or, with firm resolve. See Sura [xcvii.] iii. 36. The speaker is God.
6 To an eastern chamber in the temple to pray. Or it may mean, to some place
eastward from Jerusalem, or from the house of her parents.
7 Thus the Protev. Jac. c. 12 says that Mary, although at a later period,
[greek text] But Wahl, she laid aside her veil.
9 See Sura [lxxxix.] vi. 9.
10 It is quite clear from this passage, and from verse 36, that Muhammad
believed Jesus to have been conceived by an act of the divine will. Comp.
Sura [xcvii.] iii. 52; see also note at Sura [xci.] ii. 81.
11 Or, the throes urged her to the trunk of, etc.
12 This was either the Infant which spoke as soon as born, or Gabriel. Comp.
Thilo Cod. Apoc. 136-139 on this passage. Beidhawi explains: from behind the
13 See Thilo Cod. Apoc. N. T. p. 138, and the Hist. Nat. Mar. c. 20, which
connects similar incidents with the flight into Egypt. Thus also Latona,
[greek text], Call. H. in Apoll. and [greek text], H. in Delum.
14 Or, settle, calm thine eye, refresh thine eye. The birth of a son is still
called korrat ol ain.
15 The anachronism is probably only apparent. See Sura iii. 1, n. Muhammad
may have supposed that this Aaron (or Harun) was the son of Imran and Anna.
either because she was of the Levitical race, or by way of comparison.
16 See Sura [cxiv.] v. 109.
17 From the change in the rhyme, and from the more polemical tone of the
following five verses, it may be inferred that they were added at a somewhat
18 The title Nabi, prophet, is used of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as
depositaries of the worship of the one true God, but with a mission
restricted to their own families; whereas Houd, Saleh, Shoaib, etc., are
designated as (Resoul) apostles and envoys, charged with a more extended
mission to the tribes of Arabia. In Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad, etc., are
united the office and gift both of prophet (nabi) and apostle (resoul).
19 Made them to be highly praised. Beidh.
20 Enoch. Beidhawi derives the name Edris from the Ar. darasa, to search out,
with reference to his knowledge of divine mysteries. The Heb. Enoch, in like
manner, means initiated.
21 Comp. Gen. v. 24, and the tract Derek Erez in Midr. Jalkut, c. 42, where
Enoch is reckoned among the nine according to other Talmudists, thirteen
(Schroeder's Talm. und Rabb. Judenthum)�individuals who were exempted from
death and taken straight to Paradise. It should be observed that both here
and Sura xxi. 85, Edris is named after Ismael.
22 Maracci and Beidhawi, in absentid. Sale, as an object of faith. Beidhawi
ad f. in reward for their secret faith. Ullmann für die verborgene Zukunft.
23 This verse is to be understood as an answer on the part of Gabriel to
Muhammad's complaints of the long intervals between the revelations.
24 The idolaters called their deities Gods, but as Polytheists were unused to
the singular Allah, God.
25 Even the pious on their way to Paradise are to pass the confines of Hell.
26 The Koreisch, or the Muslims.
27 Or, glory, strength.
28 To call down judgments upon them.
29 As ambassadors come into the presence of a prince. Sale. This is implied
in the original.
SURA XXXVIII.�SAD [LIX.]
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
SAD.1 By the Koran full of warning! In sooth the Infidels are absorbed in
pride, in contention with thee.
How many generations have we destroyed before them! And they cried for mercy
but no time was it of escape!
And they marvel that a warner from among themselves hath come to them; and
he said, make me her keeper. And he over-persuaded me in the dispute."
He said, "Certainly he hath wronged thee in asking for thine ewe to add her
to his own ewes: and truly many associates do one another wrong�except those
who believe and do the things that are right; and few indeed are they!" And
David perceived that we had tried him; so he asked pardon of his Lord, and
fell down and bowed himself and repented.
So we forgave him that his sin; and truly he shall have a high rank with Us,
and an excellent retreat in Paradise.
O David! verily we have made thee our vicegerent upon earth. Judge therefore
between men with truth, and follow not thy passions, lest they cause thee to
err from the way of God. For they who err from the way of God shall meet with
a grievous chastisement, for that they have forgotten the day of reckoning.
We have not created the heaven and the earth and what is between them for
nought. That is the thought of infidels; but woe to the infidels because of
Shall we treat those who believe and do the things that are right like those
who propagate evil on earth? Shall we treat the God-fearing like the impious?
A blessed Book9 have we sent down to thee, that men may meditate its verses,
and that those endued with understanding may bear it in mind.
And Solomon gave we unto David. An excellent servant, for he loved to turn
Remember when at eventide the prancing10 chargers were displayed before him,
And he said, "Truly I have loved the love of earthly goods above the
remembrance of my Lord, till the sun hath been hidden by the veil of
Bring them back to me." And he began to sever the legs and necks.
We also made trial of Solomon, and placed a phantom12 on his throne:
whereupon he returned to Us (in penitence).
He said, O my Lord! pardon me, and give me a dominion that may not be to any
one beside me, for thou art the liberal giver.
So we subjected the wind to him; it ran softly at his bidding, whithersoever
he directed it:
And the Satans�every builder and diver�
And others bound in chains:13
"This," said we, "is our gift: be bounteous then, or withhold thy favours; no
account shalt thou render."
And his rank also is high with Us, and an excellent retreat.
And remember our servant Job when he cried to his Lord, "Verily, Satan hath
laid on me disease and pain."
"Stamp," said we, "with thy foot. This14 is to wash with; cool, and to
And we gave him back his family, and as many more with them in our mercy; and
for a monition to men of judgment.
And we said, "Take in thine hand a rod, and strike15 with it, nor break thine
oath." Verily, we found him patient!
How excellent a servant, one who turned to Us was he!
And remember our servants Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, men of might and
With this cleansing did we cleanse them the remembrance of the abode of
And verily, they were, in our sight, of the elect and of the good.
And remember Ishmael and Elisha and Dhoulkefl, for all these were of the
This is a monition: and verily, the pious shall have a goodly retreat:
Gardens of Eden, whose portals shall stand open to them:
Therein reclining, they shall there call for many a fruit and drink:
And with them shall be virgins of their own age, with modest retiring
"This is what ye were promised at the day of reckoning."
"Yes! this is our provision: it shall never fail."
Even so. But for the evil doers is a wretched home�
Hell�wherein they shall be burned: how wretched a bed!
Even so. Let them then taste it�boiling water and gore,
And other things of kindred sort!
To their leaders it shall be said, "This company shall be thrown in headlong
with you. No greetings shall await them, for they shall be burned in the
They shall say: "But ye, too! there shall be no welcome for you. It was ye
who prepared this for us, and wretched is the abode!"
They will say: "O our Lord! increase twofold in the fire, the punishment of