devices; for God is with those who fear him and do good deeds.
1 See Sura [lxxxiv.] x. 5, n.
2 Ex gutta spermatis. Pirke Aboth iii. Unde venisti? ex guttá foetidâ. This
verse is said to be an allusion to a difficulty proposed by an idolatrous
Arab, who brought a carious leg-bone to Muhammad, and asked whether it could
be restored to life. Compare a similar argument for the Resurrection, Tr.
Sanhedrin, fol. 91 a.
3 Lit. there is beauty in them for you, i.e. they win you credit.
4 In allusion to Gen. xi. 1-10.
5 An Arabian idol.
6 Ps. xxxv. 9.
7 Lit. the family of the admonition, i.e. Jews and Christians versed in the
Pentateuch and Gospel.
8 The idolatrous Arabians regarded Angels as females and daughters of God.
But their own preference was always for male offspring. Thus Rabbinism
teaches that to be a woman is a great degradation. The modern Jew says in his
Daily Prayers, fol. 5, 6, "Blessed art thou, O Lord our God! King of the
Universe! who hath not made me a woman."
9 See Sura lxxxi. 8, p. 45. It is said that the only occasion on which Othman
ever shed a tear was when his little daughter, whom he was burying alive,
wiped the dust of the grave-earth from his beard.
10 Lit. the likeness of evil to those, etc.
11 The Arabs are curious in and fond of honey: Mecca alone affords eight or
nine varieties�green, white, red, and brown. Burton's Pilgr. iii. 110.
12 Ex. xx. 4.
13 The slave, and the dumb in verse following, are the idols.
14 See Sura [xcvii.] iii. 34, and n. 1, p. 114.
16 This passage has been supposed to refer to Salman the Persian. He did not,
however, embrace Islam till a much later period, at Medina. Nöld. p. 110. Mr.
Muir thinks that it may refer to Suheib, son of Sinan, "the first fruits of
Greece," as Muhammad styled him, who, while yet a boy, had been carried off
by some Greeks as a slave, from Mesopotamia to Syria, brought by a party of
the Beni Kalb, and sold to Abdallah ibn Jodda'ân of Mecca. He became rich,
and embraced Islam. Dr. Sprenger thinks the person alluded to may have been
Addas, a monk of Nineveh, who had settled at Mecca. Life of M. p. 79.
17 This is to be understood of the persecutions endured by the more humble
and needy Muslims by their townspeople of Mecca.
18 From Mecca to Medina, i.e. the Mohadjers, to whom also verse 43 refers.
Both passages, therefore, are of a later date than the rest of this Sura.
seven slaves purchased and manumitted by Abu Bekr. They had been tortured for
professing Islam, shortly after Muhammad assumed the Prophetic office.
20 Lit. the garment.
21 Comp. Sura [lxxxix.] vi. 119.
22 Comp. Sura [lxxxix.] vi. 147. This verse as well as the following, and
verse 125, were probably added at Medina.
23 Antistes. Maracci. Or the text may be literally rendered Abraham was a
people, i.e. the people of Abraham; from whom the idolatrous Koreisch
pretended to derive their origin.
24 Ar. a Hanyf. According to a tradition in Waquidi, fol. 255, Zaid (who died
only five years before Muhammad received his first inspiration, and
undoubtedly prepared the way for many of his subsequent announcements)
adopted this term at the instance of a Christian and a Jew, who exhorted him
to become a Hanyf. Zaid having at this time renounced idolatry, and being
unable to receive either Judaism or Christianity, "What," said he, "is a
Hanyf?" They both told him, it was the religion of Abraham, who worshipped
nothing but God. On this Zaid exclaimed, "O God, I bear witness that I follow
the religion of Abraham." The root, whence Hanyf is derived, means generally
to turn from good to bad, or vice versâ, and is equivalent to the verbs
convert and pervert.
25 All Muhammadan commentators explain this verse as a prohibition to avenge
the death of Hamza on the Meccans with too great severity.
SURA XXX.�THE GREEKS [LXXIV.]
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
ELIF. LAM. MIM.1 THE GREEKS have been defeated2
In a land hard by: But after their defeat they shall defeat their foes,
In a few years.3 First and last is the affair with God. And on that day
shall the faithful rejoice
In the aid of their God: He aideth whom He will; and He is the Mighty, the
It is the promise of God: To his promise God will not be untrue: but most men