SAY: He hath sent it down who knoweth the secrets of the Heavens and of the
Earth. He truly is the Gracious, the Merciful.
And they say, "What sort of apostle is this? He eateth food and he walketh
the streets! Unless an angel be sent down and take part in his warnings,
Or a treasure be thrown down to him, or he have a garden that supplieth him
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
Blessed be He who if he please can give thee better than that of which they
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.
When it shall see them from afar, they shall hear its raging and roaring,�
And when they shall be flung into a narrow space thereof bound together, they
shall invoke destruction on the spot:
�"Call not this day for one destruction, but call for destructions many."
SAY: Is this, or the Paradise of Eternity which was promised to the God-
fearing, best? Their recompense shall it be and their retreat;
Abiding therein for ever, they shall have in it all that they desire! It is a
promise to be claimed of thy Lord.
And on the day when he shall gather them together, and those whom they
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."
And whosoever of you thus offendeth, we will make him taste a great
Never have we sent Apostles before thee who ate not common food, and walked
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
Then will we proceed to the works which they have wrought, and make them as
Happier, on that day, the inmates of the Garden as to abode, and better off
as to place of noontide slumber!
On that day shall the heaven with its clouds be cleft, and the angels shall
be sent down, descending:
On that day shall all empire be in very deed with the God of Mercy, and a
hard day shall it be for the Infidels.
And on that day shall the wicked one7 bite his hands, and say, "Oh! would
that I had taken the same path with the Apostle!
"Oh! woe is me! would that I had not taken such an one8 for my friend!
It was he who led me astray from the Warning which had reached me! and Satan
is man's betrayer."9
Then said the Apostle, "O my Lord! truly my people have esteemed this Koran
to be vain babbling."
Thus have we given to every Prophet an enemy from among the wicked ones�But
thy Lord is a sufficient guide and helper.
And the infidels say, "Unless the Koran be sent down to him all at once. . .
." 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.
They who shall be gathered upon their faces into hell, shall have the worst
place, and be farthest from the path of happiness.
Heretofore we gave the law to Moses, and appointed his brother Aaron to be
And we said, "Go ye to the people who treat our signs as lies." And them
destroyed we with utter destruction.
And as to the people of Noah! when they treated their Apostles as impostors,
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?
Indeed he had well nigh led us astray from our gods, had we not persevered
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?
Thinkest thou that the greater part of them hear or understand? They are just
like the brutes! Yes! they stray even further from the right way.
Hast thou not seen how thy Lord lengtheneth out the shadow?14 Had He pleased
he had made it motionless.15 But we made the sun to be its guide;
Then draw it in unto Us with easy indrawing.
He it is who ordaineth the night as a garment, and sleep for rest, and
ordaineth the day for waking up to life:
He it is who sendeth the winds as the forerunner of his mercy (rain); and
pure water send we down from Heaven,
That we may revive by it a dead land: and we give it for drink to our
creation, beasts and men in numbers;
And we distribute it among them on all sides, that they may reflect: but most
men refuse to be aught but thankless.
Had we pleased, we had raised up a warner in every city.
Give not way therefore to the Infidels, but by means of this Koran strive
against them with a mighty strife.
And He it is who hath let loose the two seas,16 the one sweet, fresh; and the
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.
Yet beside God do they worship what can neither help nor hurt them: and the
Infidel is Satan's helper against his Lord:
Still we have sent thee only as a herald and a warner.
SAY: I ask of you no recompense for it,18 except from him who is willing to
take the way to his Lord.
And put thou thy trust in Him that liveth and dieth not, and celebrate his
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.
But when it is said to them, "Bow down before the God of Mercy," they say,
"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!
And it is He who hath ordained the night and the day to succeed one another
for those who desire to think on God or desire to be thankful.
And the servants of the God of Mercy are they who walk upon the Earth softly;
and when the ignorant20 address them, they reply, "Peace!"
They that pass the night in the worship of their lord prostrate and
And that say, "O our Lord! turn away from us the torment of Hell, for its
torment is endless: it is indeed an ill abode and resting place!
Those who when they spend are neither lavish nor niggard, but keep the mean:�
Those who call on no other gods with God, nor slay whom God hath forbidden to
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:�
Save those who shall repent and believe and do righteous works�for them God
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):
And they who bear not witness to that which is false, and when they pass by
frivolous sport, pass on with dignity:�
And they who, when monished by the signs of their Lord, fall not down
thereat, as if deaf and blind:�
And who say, "O our Lord! give us in our wives and offspring the joy of our
eyes, and make us examples to those who fear thee:"
These shall be rewarded with the High Places of Paradise for their steadfast
endurance, and they shall meet therein with�Welcome and Salutation:�
For ever shall they remain therein: a fair abode and resting-place!
SAY: Not on your account doth my Lord care if ye call not on Him! ye have
treated his Apostle as an impostor: but bye and bye a punishment shall cleave
1 See Sura [lxv.] xxi. 49.
2 Comp. Sura [lxxiii.] xvi. 105. The frequency with which Muhammad feels it
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.
9 Or, abandoner.
10 This verse shews that the Koran was of gradual growth in the time of
11 Lit. parables.
12 Lit. vizier.
13 It is uncertain whether Rass is the name of a city in Yemama; or merely,
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.
15 Lit. quiescent, i.e. always the same.
16 According to some commentators, Muhammad here speaks of the waters of the
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.]
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
GLORY be to Him who carried his servant by night2 from the sacred temple of
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."
O posterity of those whom we bare with Noah! He truly was a grateful servant!
And we solemnly declared to the children of Israel in the Book, "Twice surely
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.
We said, "If ye do well, to your own behoof will ye do well: and if ye do
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.
Verily, this Koran guideth to what is most upright; and it announceth to
Who do the things that are right, that for them is a great reward;
And that for those who believe not in the life to come, we have got ready a
Man prayeth for evil as he prayeth for good; for man is hasty.
We have made the night and the day for two signs: the sign of the night do we
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.
And every man's fate9 have we fastened about his neck: and on the day of
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."
For his own good only shall the guided yield to guidance, and to his own loss
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.
Whoso chooseth this quickly passing life, quickly will we bestow therein that
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.
See how we have caused some of them to excel others! but the next life shall
be greater in its grades, and greater in excellence.
Set not up another god with God, lest thou sit thee down disgraced,
Thy Lord hath ordained that ye worship none but him; and, kindness to your
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
And gracious is He to those who return to Him.
And to him who is of kin render his due, and also to the poor and to the
wayfarer; yet waste not wastefully,
For the wasteful are brethren of the Satans, and Satan was ungrateful to his
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.
Verily, thy Lord will provide with open hand for whom he pleaseth, and will
be sparing. His servants doth he scan, inspect.
Kill not your children for fear of want:13 for them and for you will we
provide. Verily, the killing them is a great wickedness.
Have nought to do with adultery; for it is a foul thing and an evil way:
Neither slay any one whom God hath forbidden you to slay, unless for a just
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.
And touch not the substance of the orphan, unless in an upright way, till he
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 follow not that of which thou hast no knowledge;15 because the hearing
and the sight and the heart,�each of these shall be enquired of:
And walk not proudly on the earth, for thou canst not cleave the earth,
neither shalt thou reach to the mountains in height:
All this is evil; odious to thy Lord.
This is a part of the wisdom which thy Lord hath revealed to thee. Set not up
any other god with God, lest thou be cast into Hell, rebuked, cast away.
What! hath your Lord prepared sons for you, and taken for himself daughters
from among the angels? Indeed, ye say a dreadful saying.
Moreover, for man's warning have we varied16 this Koran: Yet it only
increaseth their flight from it.
SAY: If, as ye affirm, there were other gods with Him, they would in that
case seek occasion against the occupant of the throne:
Glory to Him! Immensely high is He exalted above their blasphemies!
The seven heavens17 praise him, and the earth, and all who are therein;
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;
And we put coverings over their hearts lest they should understand it, and in
their ears a heaviness;
And when in the Koran thou namest thy One Lord, they turn their backs in
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
See what likenesses they strike out for thee! But they are in error, neither
can they find the path.
They also say, "After we shall have become bones and dust, shall we in sooth
be raised a new creation?"
SAY: "Yes, though ye were stones, or iron, or any other creature, to your
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."
On that day shall God call you forth, and ye shall answer by praising Him;
and ye shall seem to have tarried but a little while.
Enjoin my servants to speak in kindly sort: Verily Satan would stir up
strifes among them, for Satan is man's avowed foe.
Your Lord well knoweth you: if He please He will have mercy on you; or if He
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.
Those whom ye call on, themselves desire union with their Lord,18 striving
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.
Nothing hindered us from sending thee with the power of working miracles,
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.
And remember when we said to thee, Verily, thy Lord is round about mankind;
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:
And when we said to the Angels, "Prostrate yourselves before Adam:" and they
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."
He said, "Begone; but whosoever of them shall follow thee, verily, Hell shall
be your recompense; an ample recompense!
And entice such of them as thou canst by thy voice; assault them with thy
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
As to my servants, no power over them shalt thou have; And thy Lord will be
their sufficient guardian."
It is your Lord who speedeth onward the ships for you in the sea, that ye may
seek of his abundance; for he is merciful towards you.
When a misfortune befalleth you out at sea, they whom ye invoke are not to be
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