The Project Gutenberg ebook of The Koran



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thou given us life:3 and we acknowledge our sins: is there no way to escape?"


"This hath befallen you, for that when One God was proclaimed to you, ye

believed not: but when partners had been united with him, ye believed: But

judgment belongeth unto God, the High, the Great."
It is He who sheweth you his signs, and sendeth down supplies to you from

Heaven: but none will receive warning save he who turneth to God.


Call then on God, offering him a pure worship, though the infidels abhor it.
Of exalted grade, of the throne possessed, He sendeth forth the Spirit at His

own behest on whomsoever of His servants He pleaseth, that He may warn of the

day of meeting,
The day when they shall come forth from their graves, when nought that

concerneth them shall be hidden from God. With whom shall be the power

supreme on that day? With God, the One, the Almighty.
On that day shall every soul be recompensed as it hath deserved: no injustice

on that day! Verily, God will be swift to reckon.


Warn them, then, of the approaching day, when men's hearts shall rise up,

choking them, into their throats.


The evil-doers shall have no friend or intercessor who shall prevail.
God knoweth the deceitful of eye, and what men's breasts conceal.
And everything will God decide with truth: But nothing shall those gods whom

men call on beside him, decide. Verily, God! the Hearer, the Beholder, He!


Have they never journeyed in this land, and seen what hath been the end of

those who flourished before them? Mightier were they in strength than these

Meccans, and their traces remain in the land: Yet God took them in their

sins, and there was none to defend them against God.


This, because their apostles had come to them with proofs of their mission,

and they believed not: so God took them in hand; for He is mighty, vehement

in punishing.
Moreover we had sent Moses of old with our signs and with clear authority.
To Pharaoh, and Haman, and Karun:4 and they said, "Sorcerer, impostor."
And when he came to them from our presence with the truth, they said, "Slay

the sons of those who believe as he doth, and save their females alive;" but

the stratagem of the unbelievers issued only in failure.
And Pharaoh said, "Let me alone, that I may kill Moses; and let him call upon

his Lord: I fear lest he change your religion, or cause disorder to shew

itself in the land."
And Moses said, "I take refuge with my Lord and your Lord from every proud

one who believeth not in the day of reckoning."


And a man of the family of Pharaoh, who was a BELIEVER,5 but hid his faith,

said, "Will ye slay a man because he saith my Lord is God, when he hath

already come to you with proofs of his mission from your Lord? and if he be a

liar, on him will be his lie:6 but if he be a man of truth, part at least of

what he threateneth will fall upon you. Truly God guideth not him who is a

transgressor, a liar.


O my people! this day is the kingdom yours, the eminent of the earth! but who

shall defend us from the vengeance of God if it come on us?" Pharaoh said, "I

would have you see only what I see; and in a right way only will I guide

you."
Then said he who believed, "O my people! truly I fear for you the like of the

day of the allies,7
The like of the state of the people of Noah and Ad and Themoud,
And of those who came after them; yet God willeth not injustice to his

servants.


And, O my people! I indeed fear for you the day of mutual outcry�
The day when ye shall be turned back from the Judgment into hell. No

protector shall ye have then against God. And he whom God shall mislead no

guide shall there be for him.
Moreover, Joseph had come to you before with clear tokens, but ye ceased not

to doubt of the message with which he came to you, until when he died, ye

said, 'God will by no means raise up an apostle after him.' " Thus God

misleadeth him who is the transgressor, the doubter.


They who gainsay the signs of God without authority having come to them, are

greatly hated by God and by those who believe. Thus God sealeth up every

proud, contumacious heart.
And Pharaoh said, "O Haman,8 Build for me a tower that I may reach the

avenues,
The avenues of the heavens, and may mount to the God of Moses, for I verily

deem him a liar."
And thus the evil of his doings was made fair-seeming to Pharaoh, and he

turned away from the path of truth; but the artifice of Pharaoh ended only in

his ruin.
And he who believed said, "O my people! follow me: into the right way will I

guide you.


O my people! this present life is only a passing joy, but the life to come is

the mansion that abideth.


Whoso shall have wrought evil shall not be recompensed but with its like; but

whoso shall have done the things that are right, whether male or female, and

is a believer�these shall enter paradise: good things unreckoned shall they

enjoy therein.


And, O my people! how is it that I bid you to salvation, but that ye bid me

to the fire?


Ye invite me to deny God, and to join with him gods of whom I know nothing;

but I invite you to the Mighty, the Forgiving.


No doubt is there that they to whom ye invite me are not to be invoked either

in this world or in the world to come: and that unto God is our return, and

that the transgressors shall be the inmates of the fire.
Then shall ye remember what I am saying unto you: and to God commit I my

case: Verily, God beholdeth his servants."


So God preserved him from the evils which they had planned, and the woe of

the punishment encompassed the people of Pharaoh.


It is the fire to which they shall be exposed morning and evening, and on the

day when "the Hour" shall arrive�"Bring in the people of Pharaoh into the

severest punishment."
And when they shall wrangle together in the fire, the weak shall say to those

who had borne themselves so proudly, "It is you we followed: will ye

therefore relieve us from aught of the fire?"
And those proud ones shall say, "Verily we are all in it; for now hath God

judged between his servants."


And they who are in the fire shall say to the keepers of Hell, "Implore your

Lord that he would give us ease but for one day from this torment."


They shall say, "Came not your apostles to you with the tokens?" They shall

say, "Yes." They shall say, "Cry ye then aloud for help:" but the cry of the

unbelievers shall be only in vain.
Assuredly, in this present life will we succour our apostles and those who

shall have believed, and on the day when the witnesses shall stand forth;


A day whereon the plea of the evil doers shall not avail them; but theirs

shall be a curse, and theirs the woe of the abode in Hell.


And of old gave we Moses the guidance, and we made the children of Israel the

heritors of the Book,�a guidance and warning to men endued with

understanding.
Therefore be steadfast thou and patient; for true is the promise of God: and

seek pardon for thy fault,9 and celebrate the praise of thy Lord at evening

and at morning.
As to those who cavil at the signs of God without authority having reached

them, nought is there but pride in their breasts: but they shall not succeed.

Fly thou for refuge then to God, for He is the Hearer, the Beholder.
Greater surely than the creation of man is the creation of the heavens and of

the earth: but most men know it not.


Moreover, the blind and the seeing, and the evil doer and they who believe

and do the things that are right, shall not be deemed equal. How few ponder

this!
Aye, "the Hour" will surely come: there is no doubt of it: but most men

believe it not.


And your Lord saith, "Call upon me�I will hearken unto you: but they who turn

in disdain from my service shall enter Hell with shame."


It is God who hath ordained the night for your rest, and the day to give you

light: verily God is rich in bounties to men: but most men render not the

tribute of thanks.
This is God your Lord, Creator of all things: no god is there but He: why

then do ye turn away from Him?


Yet thus are they turned aside who gainsay the signs of God.
It is God who hath given you the earth as a sure foundation, and over it

built up the Heaven, and formed you, and made your forms beautiful, and

feedeth you with good things. This is God your Lord. Blessed then be God the

Lord of the Worlds!


He is the Living One. No God is there but He. Call then upon Him and offer

Him a pure worship. Praise be to God the Lord of the Worlds!


SAY: Verily I am forbidden to worship what ye call on beside God, after that

the clear tokens have come to me from my Lord, and I am bidden to surrender

myself to the Lord of the Worlds.
He it is who created you of the dust, then of the germs of life, then of

thick blood, then brought you forth infants: then he letteth you reach your

full strength, and then become old men (but some of you die first), and reach

the ordained term. And this that haply ye may understand.


It is He who giveth life and death; and when He decreeth a thing, He only

saith of it, "Be," and it is.


Seest thou not those who cavil at the signs of God? how are they turned

aside!
They who treat "the Book," and the message with which we have sent our Sent

Ones, as a lie, shall know the truth hereafter,
When the collars shall be on their necks and the chains to drag them into

Hell: then in the fire shall they be burned.


Then shall it be said to them, "Where are they whom ye made the objects of

joint worship with God?" They shall say, "They have vanished away from us.

Yea, it was nought on which we called heretofore." Thus God leadeth the

unbelievers astray.


�"This for you, because of your unrighteous insolence and immoderate joys on

earth.
Enter ye the portals of Hell to abide therein for ever. And, wretched the

abode of the haughty ones!"
Therefore be thou steadfast in patience: for the promise of God is truth: and

whether we shall make thee see part of the woes with which we threatened

them, or whether we cause thee first to die, unto us shall they be brought

back.
And we have already sent apostles before thee: of some we have told thee, and

of others we have told thee nothing:10 but no apostle had the power to work a

miracle unless by the leave of God. But when God's behest cometh, everything

will be decided with truth: and then they perish who treated it as a vain

thing.
It is God who hath given you the cattle that on some of them ye may ride, and

of some may eat:
(Other advantages too do ye derive from them)�and that by them ye may effect

the projects ye cherish in your breasts; for on them, and on ships are ye

borne:
And He sheweth you His signs: which, then, of the signs of God will ye deny?
Have they not journeyed in this land, and seen what hath been the end of

those who flourished before them? More were they than these in number and

mightier in strength, and greater are the traces of their power remaining in

the land:11 yet their labours availed them nothing.


And when their apostles had come to them with the tokens of their mission,

they exulted in what they possessed of knowledge; but that retribution at

which they scoffed, encompassed them.
And when they beheld our vengeance they said, "We believe in God alone, and

we disbelieve in the deities we once associated with Him."


But their faith, after they had witnessed our vengeance, profited them not.

Such the procedure of God with regard to his servants who flourished of old.

And then the unbelievers perished.

_______________________


1 See Sura 1xviii. 1, p. 32.
2 The Cherubic beings of Scripture are said to be above the throne of God

(Is. vi. 1), beneath it (Ezek. x.); and the mystical beasts in the

Revelations are said to be in the midst of the throne and round about it.
3 Probably the union of life and death in the womb, and the subsequent life

followed by death.


4 See Sura [lxxix.] xxviii. 76.
5 Thus Sura [lxxix.] xxviii 20, and Sura [lx.] xxxvi. 19, we have a similar

character introduced into the narrative.


6 Comp. Acts v. 38, 39.
7 These tribes no doubt constantly formed temporary alliances. Muhammad

implies that they were confederate against their prophets.


8 Haman, the favourite of Ahasuerus and the enemy of the Jews, is thus made

the vizier of Pharaoh. The Rabbins make this vizier to have been Korah,

Jethro, or Balaam. Midr. Jalkut on Ex. ch. 1, Sect. 162-168; and Tr. Solah,

fol. 11. See Sura [lxxix.] xxviii. 5.


9 Thy remissness in propagating Islam. Beidh.
10 It is possible that Muhammad, conscious of his ignorance of Jewish

history, intends in this verse to screen himself from the charge of passing

over the histories of many of their prophets.
11 The wealth of Mecca, although it still numbered about 12,000 inhabitants

(as well as of Arabia generally), had much declined at the time of Muhammad,

owing mainly to the navigation of the Red Sea, under the Roman dominion over

Egypt, which of course impoverished the tribes situated on the line of the

old mercantile route southward. Mecca, however, was still to a certain extent

prosperous. Comp. Sura [lxi.] xliii. 28.

SURA XXVIII.�THE STORY [LXXIX.]
MECCA.�88 Verses
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
TA. SIN. MIM.1 These are the signs of the lucid Book.
We will recite to thee portions of the History of Moses and Pharaoh with

truth, for the teaching of the faithful.


Now Pharaoh lifted himself up in the earth, and divided his people into

parties: one portion of them he brought low�He slew their male children, and

let their females only live; for he was one of those who wrought disorders.
And we were minded to shew favour to those who were brought low in the land,

and to make them spiritual chiefs,2 and to make them Pharaoh's heirs,


And to stablish them in the land;3 and to make Pharaoh and Haman and their

hosts, the eye-witnesses of what they dreaded from them.


And we said by revelation to the mother of Moses, "Give him suck; and if thou

fearest for him, launch him on the sea; and fear not, neither fret; for we

will restore him to thee, and make him one of the apostles."
And Pharaoh's family took him up to be a foe and a sorrow to them, for

sinners were Pharaoh and Haman and their hosts!


And Pharaoh's wife said, "Joy of the eye4 to me and thee! put him not to

death: haply he will be useful to us, or we may adopt him as a son." But they

knew not what they did.
And the heart of Moses' mother became a blank through fear: and almost had

she discovered him, but that we girt up her heart with constancy, in order

that she might be one of those who believe.
She said to his sister, "Follow him." And she watched him from afar: and they

perceived it not.


And we caused him to refuse the nurses,5 until his sister came and said,

Shall I point out to you the family of a house that will rear him for you,

and will be careful of him?
So we restored him to his mother, to be the joy of her eyes, and that she

might not fret, and that she might know that the promise of God was true. But

most men knew it not.
And when he had reached his age of strength, and had become a man, we

bestowed on him wisdom and knowledge; for thus do we reward the righteous.


And he entered a city at the time when its inhabitants would not observe

him,6 and found therein two men fighting: the one, of his own people; the

other, of his enemies. And he who was of his own people asked his help

against him who was of his enemies. And Moses smote him with his fist and

slew him. Said he, "This is a work of Satan; for he is an enemy, a manifest

misleader."


He said, "O my Lord, I have sinned to mine own hurt:7 forgive me." So God

forgave him; for He is the Forgiving, the Merciful.


He said, "Lord, because thou hast showed me this grace, I will never again be

the helper of the wicked."


And in the city at noon he was full of fear, casting furtive glances round

him: and lo! the man whom he had helped the day before, cried out to him

again for help. Said Moses to him, "Thou art plainly a most depraved person."
And when he would have laid violent hands on him who was their common foe, he

said to him, "O Moses, dost thou desire to slay me, as thou slayedst a man

yesterday? Thou desirest only to become a tyrant in this land, and desirest

not to become a peacemaker."


But a man came running up from the city's end. He said, "O Moses, of a truth,

the nobles consult to slay thee�Begone then�I counsel thee as a friend."


So forth he went from it in fear, looking warily about him. He said, "O Lord,

deliver me from the unjust people."


And when he was journeying toward Madian, he said, "Haply my Lord will direct

me in an even path."


And when he arrived at the water of Madian, he found at it a company of men

watering.


And he found beside them, two women8 keeping back their flock: "Why do ye,"

said he, "thus?" They said "We shall not water till the shepherds shall have

driven off; for our father is very aged."
So he watered for them�then retired to the shade and said, "O my Lord, of the

good thou hast caused me to meet with I stand in need."9


And one of them came to him, walking bashfully. Said she, "My father calleth

thee, that he may pay thee wages for thy watering for us." And when he came

to him and had told him his STORY, "Fear not," said he, "thou hast escaped

from an unjust people."


One of them said, "O my father, hire him: for the best thou canst hire is the

strong, the trusty."


He said, "Truly to one of these my two daughters I desire to marry thee, if

for eight years thou wilt be my hired servant:10 and if thou fulfil ten, it

shall be of thine own accord, for I wish not to deal hardly with thee. Thou

wilt find me, if God will, one of the upright."


He said, "Be it so between me and thee: Whichever of the two terms I fulfil,

there will be no injustice to me. And God is witness 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 him11 out of the bush 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 me 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 them.15
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 reflect:
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 believe.
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

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