Earth. He truly is the Gracious, the Merciful.
the streets! Unless an angel be sent down and take part in his warnings,
with food . . ."4 and those unjust persons say, "Ye follow but a man
See what likenesses they strike out for thee! But they err, and cannot find
speak�Gardens, 'neath which the rivers flow: and pavilions will He assign
Aye, they have treated the coming of "the Hour" as a lie. But a flaming fire
have we got ready for those who treat the coming of the Hour as a lie.
shall invoke destruction on the spot:
fearing, best? Their recompense shall it be and their retreat;
promise to be claimed of thy Lord.
worshipped beside God, he will say, "Was it ye who led these my servants
astray, or of themselves strayed they from the path?"
They will say, "Glory be to thee! It beseemed not us to take other lords than
thee. But thou gavest them and their fathers their fill of good things, till
they forgat the remembrance of thee, and became a lost people."
Then will God say to the Idolaters, "Now have they made you liars in what ye
say,5 and they have no power to avert your doom, or to succour you."
not the streets. And we test you by means of each other. Will ye be
steadfast? Thy Lord is looking on!
They who look not forward to meet Us say, "If the angels be not sent down to
us, or unless we behold our Lord. . . .� Ah! they are proud of heart, and
exceed with great excess!
On the day when they shall see the angels, no good news shall there be for
the guilty ones, and they shall cry out, "A barrier that cannot be passed!"6
as to place of noontide slumber!
be sent down, descending:
hard day shall it be for the Infidels.
that I had taken the same path with the Apostle!
is man's betrayer."9
to be vain babbling."
thy Lord is a sufficient guide and helper.
." But in this way would we stablish thy heart by it; in parcels have we
parcelled it out to thee;10
Nor shall they come to thee with puzzling questions,11 but we will come to
thee with the truth, and their best solution.
place, and be farthest from the path of happiness.
destroyed we with utter destruction.
we drowned them; and we made them a sign to mankind:�A grievous chastisement
have we prepared for the wicked!
And Ad and Themoud, and the men of Rass,13 and divers generations between
Unto each of them did we set forth parables for warnings, and each of them
did we utterly exterminate.
Oft are this have the unbelieving Meccans passed by the city on which was
rained a fatal rain. What! Have they not seen it? Yet have they no hope of a
And when they see thee, they do but take thee as the subject of their
railleries. "What! Is this he whom God has sent as an Apostle?
steadfastly in their service." But in the end they shall know, when they
shall see the punishment, who hath most strayed from the path.
What thinkest thou? He who hath taken his passions as a god�wilt thou be a
guardian over him?
like the brutes! Yes! they stray even further from the right way.
he had made it motionless.15 But we made the sun to be its guide;
ordaineth the day for waking up to life:
pure water send we down from Heaven,
creation, beasts and men in numbers;
men refuse to be aught but thankless.
against them with a mighty strife.
other salt, bitter; and hath put an interspace between them, and a barrier
that cannot be passed.
And it is He who hath created man of water,17 and established between them
the ties of kindred and affinity: and potent is thy Lord.
Infidel is Satan's helper against his Lord:
take the way to his Lord.
praise; (He fully knoweth the faults of his servants) who in six days created
the Heavens and the Earth, and whatever is between them, then mounted his
Throne: the God of Mercy! Ask now of the Wise concerning Him.
"Who is the God of Mercy? Shall we bow down to what thou biddest?" And they
fly from thee the more.
Blessed be He who hath placed in the Heaven the sign of the Zodiac!19 who
hath placed in it the Lamp of the Sun, and the light-giving Moon!
for those who desire to think on God or desire to be thankful.
and when the ignorant20 address them, they reply, "Peace!"
torment is endless: it is indeed an ill abode and resting place!
be slain, except for a just cause, and who commit not fornication (for he who
doth this shall meet the reward of his wickedness:
Doubled to him shall be the torment on the day of Resurrection; and in it
shall he remain, disgraced, for ever:�
will change their evil things into good things, for God is Gracious,
And whose turneth to God and doeth what is right, he verily will convert with
a true conversion):
frivolous sport, pass on with dignity:�
thereat, as if deaf and blind:�
eyes, and make us examples to those who fear thee:"
endurance, and they shall meet therein with�Welcome and Salutation:�
treated his Apostle as an impostor: but bye and bye a punishment shall cleave
necessary to rebut this charge by mere denial is strongly indicative of its
3 "The meaning may possibly be that the teachers of Muhammad were persons who
had taken refuge in Arabia for offences and heresies." Sprenger, Life of M.
p. 96, n. Or, but they utter an injustice and a falsehood. Nöldeke combats
Dr. Sprenger's supposition that "Tales of the ancients" (verse 6) is a book.
Hist. of Qoran, p. 13.
4 Supply, we will not believe.
5 In your ascriptions of divinity to them. Beidh.
6 Or, far, far be they removed. The same words occur at the end of verse 55.
The Commentators doubt whether they are spoken by the wicked of the
impossibility of their attaining Paradise, or by the angels to the wicked.
7 Said by Beidh. to be the polytheist Okbeh, the son of Abu Mo'eyt, who by
Muhammad's persuasion professed Islam, but afterwards retracted to please
Ubei ben Khalaf. See Gagnier's Vie de Mahom. i. 362.
8 Ar. fulani (whence the Spanish fulano) identical with the Heb. p. 155, used
of a person only in Ruth iv. 1, but by the Rabbinic writers, constantly.
as some interpret it, of a well near Midian; or, according to others, in the
territory of Hadramont.
14 Geiger is mistaken in supposing that this passage alludes to 2 Kings xx. 9
12, and his translation is inaccurate.
Tigris, which do not mingle with the salt water of the sea till they have
reached a considerable distance from the river-mouth. See Zech. xiv. 8.
17 See Sura [cv.] xxiv. 44, n.
18 "Thou art taught that whoever would make a profit by the Law depriveth
himself of life." Pirke Aboth, i. 4. This precept is of frequent occurrence
in the Talmud.
19 Comp. Sura [xc.] xiii. 29; and the following Sura xvii. 109, n.
20 The idolaters.
SURA XVII.�THE NIGHT JOURNEY [LXVII.]
Mecca to the temple3 that is more remote, whose precinct we have blessed,
that we might shew him of our signs! for He is the Hearer, the Seer.
And4 we gave the Book to Moses and ordained it for guidance to the children
of Israel�"that ye take no other Guardian than me."
will ye enact crimes in the earth, and with great loftiness of pride will ye
surely be uplifted."
So when the menace for the first crime5 came to be inflicted, we sent against
you our servants endued with terrible prowess; and they searched the inmost
part of your abodes, and the menace was accomplished.
Then we gave you the mastery over them6 in turn, and increased you in wealth
and children, and made you a most numerous host.
evil, against yourselves will ye do it. And when the menace for your latter
crime7 came to be inflicted, then we sent an enemy to sadden your faces, and
to enter the temple as they entered it at first, and to destroy with utter
destruction that which they had conquered.
Haply your Lord will have mercy on you! but if ye return, we will return:8
and we have appointed Hell�the prison of the infidels.
obscure, but the sign of the day cause we to shine forth, that ye may seek
plenty from your Lord, and that ye may know the number of the years and the
reckoning of time; and we have made everything distinct by distinctiveness.
resurrection will we bring forth to him a book which shall be proffered to
him wide open:
�"Read thy Book:10 there needeth none but thyself to make out an account
against thee this day."
only shall the erring err; and the heavy laden shall not be laden with
another's load. We never punished until we had first sent an apostle:
And when we willed to destroy a city, to its affluent ones did we address our
bidding; but when they acted criminally therein, just was its doom, and we
destroyed it with an utter destruction.
And since Noah, how many nations have we exterminated! And of the sins of his
servants thy Lord is sufficiently informed, observant.
which we please�even on him we choose; afterward we will appoint hell for
him, in which he shall burn�disgraced, outcast:
But whoso chooseth the next life, and striveth after it as it should be
striven for, being also a believer,�these! their striving shall be grateful
To all�both to these and those�will we prolong the gifts of thy Lord; for not
to any shall the gifts of thy Lord be denied.
be greater in its grades, and greater in excellence.
parents, whether one or both of them attain to old age with thee: and say not
to them, "Fie!" neither reproach them; but speak to them both with respectful
And defer humbly to them12 out of tenderness; and say, "Lord, have compassion
on them both, even as they reared me when I was little."
Your Lord well knoweth what is in your souls; he knoweth whether ye be
wayfarer; yet waste not wastefully,
But if thou turn away from them, while thou thyself seekest boons from thy
Lord for which thou hopest, at least speak to them with kindly speech:
And let not thy hand be tied up to thy neck; nor yet open it with all
openness, lest thou sit thee down in rebuke, in beggary.
be sparing. His servants doth he scan, inspect.
provide. Verily, the killing them is a great wickedness.
cause: and whosoever shall be slain wrongfully, to his heir14 have we given
powers; but let him not outstep bounds in putting the manslayer to death, for
he too, in his turn, will be assisted and avenged.
attain his age of strength: And perform your covenant; verily the covenant
shall be enquired of:
And give full measure when you measure, and weigh with just balance. This
will be better, and fairest for settlement:
and the sight and the heart,�each of these shall be enquired of:
neither shalt thou reach to the mountains in height:
any other god with God, lest thou be cast into Hell, rebuked, cast away.
from among the angels? Indeed, ye say a dreadful saying.
increaseth their flight from it.
case seek occasion against the occupant of the throne:
neither is there aught which doth not celebrate his praise; but their
utterances of praise ye understand not. He is kind, indulgent.
When thou recitest the Koran we place between thee and those who believe not
in the life to come, a dark veil;
their ears a heaviness;
We well know why they hearken, when they hearken unto thee, and when they
whisper apart; when the wicked say, "Ye follow no other than a man
can they find the path.
be raised a new creation?"
seeming, yet harder to be raised." But they will say, "Who shall bring us
back?" SAY: "He who created you at first." And they will wag their heads at
thee, and say, "When shall this be?" SAY: "Haply it is nigh."
and ye shall seem to have tarried but a little while.
strifes among them, for Satan is man's avowed foe.
please He will chastise you: and we have not sent thee to be a guardian over
Thy Lord hath full knowledge of all in the heavens and the earth. Higher
gifts have we given to some of the prophets than to others, and the Psalter
we gave to David.
SAY: Call ye upon those whom ye fancy to be gods beside Him; yet they will
have no power to relieve you from trouble, or to shift it elsewhere.
which of them shall be nearest to him: they also hope for his mercy and fear
his chastisement. Verily the chastisement of thy Lord is to be dreaded.
There is no city which we will not destroy before the day of Resurrection, or
chastise it with a grievous chastisement. This is written in the Book.
except that the peoples of old treated them as lies. We gave to Themoud19 the
she-camel before their very eyes, yet they maltreated her! We send not a
prophet with miracles but to strike terror.
we ordained the vision20 which we shewed thee, and likewise the cursed tree
of the Koran, only for men to dispute of; we will strike them with terror;
but it shall only increase in them enormous wickedness:
all prostrated them, save Eblis. "What!" said he, "shall I bow me before him
whom thou hast created of clay?
Seest thou this man whom thou hast honoured above me? Verily, if thou respite
me till the day of Resurrection, I will destroy his offspring, except a few."
be your recompense; an ample recompense!
horsemen and thy footmen;21 be their partner in their riches and in their
children, and make them promises: but Satan shall make them only deceitful
their sufficient guardian."
seek of his abundance; for he is merciful towards you.
found: God alone is there: yet when he bringeth you safe to dry land, ye
place yourselves at a distance from Him. Ungrateful is man.
What! are ye sure, then, that he will not cleave the sides of the earth for
you? or that he will not send against you a whirlwind charged with sands?
Then shall ye find no protector.
Or are ye sure that he will not cause you to put back to sea a second time,
and send against you a storm blast, and drown you, for that ye have been
thankless? Then shall ye find no helper against us therein.
And now have we honoured the children of Adam: by land and by sea have we
carried them: food have we provided for them of good things, and with