The Project Gutenberg ebook of The Koran

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In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
ELIF. LAM. MIM.1 Think men that when they say, "We believe," they shall be

let alone and not be put to proof?

We put to proof those who lived before them; for God will surely take

knowledge of those who are sincere, and will surely take knowledge of the

Think they who work evil that they shall escape Us? Ill do they judge.
To him who hopeth to meet God, the set time of God will surely come. The

Hearer, the Knower, He!

Whoso maketh efforts for the faith, maketh them for his own good only. Verily

God is rich enough to dispense with all creatures.

And as to those who shall have believed and done the things that are right,

their evil deeds will we surely blot out from them, and according to their

best actions will we surely reward them.
Moreover we have enjoined on man to shew kindness to parents: but if they

strive with thee that thou join that with Me of which thou hast no

knowledge,2 obey them not. To me do ye return, and then will I tell you of

your doings:

And those who shall have believed and done the things that are right, we will

surely give them an entering in among the just.

But some men say, "We believe in God," yet when they meet with sufferings in

the cause of God, they regard trouble from man as chastisement from God. Yet

if a success come from thy Lord they are sure to say, "We were on your side!"

Doth not God well know what is in the breasts of his creatures?

Yes, and God well knoweth those who believe, and He well knoweth the


The unbelievers say to the faithful, "Follow ye our way, and we will surely

bear your sins." But not aught of their sins will they bear�verily they are

But their own burdens, and burdens beside their own burdens shall they surely

bear: and inquisition shall be made of them on the day of Resurrection as to

their false devices.
Of old sent we Noah to his people: a thousand years save fifty did he tarry

among them; and the flood overtook them in their wrongful doings:

But we rescued him and those who were in the vessel; and we made it a sign to

all men:
And Abraham; when he said to his people, "Worship God and fear Him. This will

be best for you, if ye have knowledge;"
Ye only worship idols beside God, and are the authors of a lie. Those whom ye

worship beside God can give you no supplies: seek, then, your supplies from

God; and serve Him and give Him thanks. To Him shall ye return.
Suppose that ye treat me as a liar! nations before you have treated God's

messenger as a liar; but open preaching is his only duty.

See they not how God bringeth forth creation? and then causeth it to return

again? This truly is easy for God.

SAY,3 Go through the earth, and see how he hath brought forth created beings.

Hereafter, with a second birth will God cause them to be born again; for God

is Almighty.
Whom He pleaseth will He chastise, and on whom He pleaseth will He have

mercy, and to Him shall ye be taken back.

And ye shall not invalidate his power either in the Earth or in the Heaven:4

and, save God, ye shall have neither patron nor helper.

As for those who believe not in the signs of God, or that they shall ever

meet him, these of my mercy shall despair, and these doth a grievous

chastisement await."
And the only answer of his people was to say, "Slay him or burn him." But

from the fire did God save him! Verily, herein are signs to those who

And Abraham said, "Of a truth ye have taken idols along with God as your bond

of union5 in this life present;

But on the day of resurrection some of you shall deny the others, and some of

you shall curse the others; and your abode shall be the fire, and ye shall

have none to help."
But Lot believed on him,6 and said, "I betake me to my Lord, for He truly is

the Mighty, the Wise."

And we bestowed on him Isaac and Jacob,7 and placed the gift of prophecy and

the Scripture among his posterity; And we gave him his reward in this world,

and in the next he shall be among the just.
We sent also Lot: when he said to his people, "Proceed ye to a filthiness in

which no people in the world hath ever gone before you?

Proceed ye even to men? attack ye them on the highway? and proceed ye to the

crime in your assemblies?" But the only answer of his people was to say,

"Bring God's chastisement upon us, if thou art a man of truth."
He cried: My Lord! help me against this polluted people.
And when our messengers came to Abraham with the tidings of a son, they said,

"Of a truth we will destroy the in-dwellers in this city, for its in-dwellers

are evil doers."
He said, "Lot is therein." They said, "We know full well who therein is. Him

and his family will we save, except his wife; she will be of those who

And when our messengers came to Lot, he was troubled for them, and his arm

was too weak8 to protect them; and they said, "Fear not, and distress not

thyself, for thee and thy family will we save, except thy wife; she will be

of those who linger.9

We will surely bring down upon the dwellers in this city vengeance from

Heaven for the excesses they have committed."

And in what we have left of it is a clear sign to men of understanding.
And to Madian we sent their brother Shoaib. And he said, "Oh! my people!

worship God, and expect the latter day, and enact not in the land deeds of

harmful excess."
But they treated him as an impostor: so an earthquake assailed them; and at

morn they were found prostrate and dead in their dwellings.

And we destroyed Ad and Themoud. Already is this made plain to you in the

ruins of their dwellings. For Satan had made their own works fair seeming to

them, and drew them from the right path, keen-sighted though they were.
And Corah and Pharaoh and Haman. With proofs of his mission did Moses come to

them, and they behaved proudly on the earth; but us they could not

For, every one of them did we seize in his sin. Against some of them did

wesend a stone-charged wind: Some of them did the terrible cry of Gabriel

surprise: for some of them we cleaved the earth; and some of them we drowned.

And it was not God who would deal wrongly by them, but they wronged

The likeness for those who take to themselves guardians instead of God is the

likeness of the SPIDER who buildeth her a house: But verily, frailest of all

houses surely is the house of the spider. Did they but know this!
God truly knoweth all that they call on beside Him; and He is the Mighty, the

These similitudes do we set forth to men: and none understand them except the

God hath created the Heavens and the Earth for a serious end.11 Verily in

this is a sign to those who believe.

Recite the portions of the Book which have been revealed to thee and

discharge the duty of prayer: for prayer restraineth from the filthy and the

blame-worthy. And the gravest duty is the remembrance of God; and God knoweth

what ye do.

Dispute not, unless in kindly sort, with the people of the Book;12 save with

such of them as have dealt wrongfully with you: And say ye, "We believe in

what hath been sent down to us and hath been sent down to you. Our God and

your God is one, and to him are we self-surrendered" (Muslims).

Thus have we sent down the Book of the Koran to thee: and they to whom we

have given the Book of the law believe in it: and of these Arabians there are

those who believe in it: and none, save the Infidels, reject our signs.
Thou didst not recite any book (of revelation) before it: with that right

hand of thine thou didst not transcribe one: else might they who treat it as

a vain thing have justly doubted:
But it is a clear sign in the hearts of those whom "the knowledge" hath

reached. None except the wicked reject our signs.

And they say, "Unless a sign be sent down to him from his Lord. . . ." SAY:

Signs are in the power of God alone. I am only a plain spoken warner.

Is it not enough for them that we have sent down to thee the Book to be

recited to them? In this verily is a mercy and a warning to those who

SAY: God is witness enough between me and you.
He knoweth all that is in the Heavens and the Earth, and they who believe in

vain things13 and disbelieve in God�these shall be the lost ones.

They will challenge thee to hasten the punishment: but had there not been a

season fixed for it, that punishment had already come upon them. But it shall

overtake them suddenly when they look not for it.
They will challenge thee to hasten the punishment: but verily Hell shall be

round about the infidels.

One day the punishment shall wrap them round, both from above them and from

beneath their feet; and God will say, "Taste ye your own doings."

O my servants who have believed! Vast truly is my Earth:14 me, therefore! yea

worship me.

Every soul shall taste of death. Then to us shall ye return.
But those who shall have believed and wrought righteousness will we lodge in

gardens with palaces, beneath which the rivers flow. For ever shall they

abide therein. How goodly the reward of those who labour,
Who patiently endure, and put their trust in their Lord!
How many animals are there which provide not15 their own food! God feedeth

them and you. He Heareth, Knoweth all things.

If thou ask them who hath created the Heavens and the Earth, and hath imposed

laws on the sun and on the moon, they will certainly say, "God." How then can

they devise lies?
God lavisheth supplies on such of his servants as He pleaseth or giveth to

them by measure. God knoweth all things.

If thou ask them who sendeth rain from heaven, and by it quickeneth the

earth, after it hath been dead, they will certainly answer, "God." SAY:

Praise be to God! Yet most of them do not understand.
This present life is no other than a pastime and a disport: but truly the

future mansion is life indeed! Would that they knew this!

Lo! when they embark on shipboard, they call upon God, vowing him sincere

worship, but when He bringeth them safe to land, behold they join partners

with Him.
In our revelation they believe not, yet take their fill of good things. But

in the end they shall know their folly.

Do they not see that we have established a safe precinct16 while all around

them men are being spoiled? Will they then believe in vain idols, and not own

the goodness of God?
But who acteth more wrongly than he who deviseth a lie against God, or calls

the truth when it hath come to him, a lie? Is there not an abode for the

infidels in Hell?
And whoso maketh efforts for us, in our ways will we guide them: for God is

assuredly with those who do righteous deeds.

1 See Sura lxviii. p. 32. The first ten verses of this Sura were revealed at

Medina, after the battles of Bedr and Ohod. Nöld. p. 115.

2 Deities for whose worship thou canst shew no authority. Comp. Tr.

Jebhamoth, fol. 6. If a father saith to his son, "Defile thyself," or saith,

"Make not restitution," shall he obey him? It is said (Lev. xix. 3), Let

every man reverence his father and mother, but keep my Sabbaths all of you:

ye are all bound to honour me. Thus also Midr. Jalkut, 604. Comp. next Sura,

v. 13.
3 The word SAY�the usual address of God or Gabriel to Muhammad�must either be

considered as spoken by God to Abraham, in which case we have a curious

instance of the manner in which Muhammad identifies himself with Abraham, and

makes Abraham speak in words which he constantly elsewhere uses himself; or,

with Wahl, we must suppose that from v. 17 to v. 22 are misplaced.

4 Comp. Ps. cxxxix. 7.
5 Lit. for love among yourselves, or as an object of love, i.e. devout

6 Thus Sura [lxv.] xxi. 71. The Midr. Rabbah on Gen. Par. 18, says that

Haran, the father of Lot, was brought by Abraham's deliverance from the

furnace to the adoption of his doctrines. Muhammad may have transferred this

idea to Lot.
7 The following passages deserve to be compared, as shewing the loose way in

which Muhammad could speak of the relationship subsisting between Abraham and

the other Patriarchs. See 38 below. Sura [xci.] ii. 127; [lxxxix.] vi. 84;

[lviii.] xix. 50; [lxv.] xxi. 72; [lxxvii.] xii. 6. It is a curious

coincidence that in the Sonna 398, 400, Joseph is said to be the Grandson,

and Jacob the Son, of Abraham.

8 Lit. was straitened in regard to them.
9 See [lxxv.] xi. 83.
10 So as to fly from our vengeance.
11 Lit. in truth.
12 With the Jews. This passage is quoted by modern Muslims in justification

of their indifference with respect to the propagation of their religion. "The

number of the faithful," said one of them to Mr. Lane, "is decreed by God,

and no act of man can increase or diminish it." Mod. Egypt. i. p. 364.

Nöldeke supposes this verse to have been revealed at Medina, and renders,

Contend not except in the best way, i.e. not by words but by force.

13 Idols.
14 That is, you may find places of refuge where you may worship the true God

in some other parts of the earth, if driven forth from your native city. This

verse is very indicative of a late Meccan origin. Flight from Mecca must have

been imminent when Muhammad could thus write.

15 Lit. carry not. Comp. Matth. vi. 26; Luke xii. 24.
16 At Mecca.


MECCA.�34 Verses
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
ELIF. LAM. MIM.2 These are the verses (signs) of the wise Book,
A guidance and a mercy to the righteous,
Who observe prayer, and pay the impost,3 and believe firmly in the life to

These rest on guidance from their Lord, and with these it shall be well.

But a man there is4 who buyeth an idle tale, that in his lack of knowledge he

may mislead others from the way of God, and turn it to scorn. For such is

prepared a shameful punishment!
And when our signs are rehearsed to him, he turneth away disdainfully, as

though he heard them not,�as though his ears were heavy with deafness.

Announce to him therefore tidings of an afflictive punishment!
But they who shall have believed and wrought good works, shall enjoy the

gardens of delight:

For ever shall they dwell therein: it is God's true promise! and He is the

Mighty, the Wise.

Without pillars that can be seen hath He created the heavens, and on the

earth hath thrown mountains lest it should move with you;5 and He hath

scattered over it animals of every sort: and from the Heaven we send down

rain and cause every kind of noble plant to grow up therein.

This is the creation of God: Shew me now what others than He have created.

Ah! the ungodly are in a manifest delusion.

Of old we bestowed wisdom upon LOKMAN, and taught him thus�"Be thankful to

God: for whoever is thankful, is thankful to his own behoof; and if any shall

be thankless . . . God truly is self-sufficient, worthy of all praise!"
And bear in mind when Lokman said to his son by way of warning, "O my son!

join not other gods with God, for the joining gods with God is the great

(We have commanded6 man concerning his parents. His mother carrieth him with

weakness upon weakness; nor until after two years is he weaned.7 Be grateful

to me, and to thy parents. Unto me shall all come.
But if they importune thee to join that with Me of which thou hast no

knowledge, obey them not: comport thyself towards them in this world as is

meet and right; but follow the way of him who turneth unto me. Unto me shall

ye return at last, and then will I tell you of your doings;)

"O my son! verily God will bring everything to light, though it were but the

weight of a grain of mustard-seed, and hidden in a rock or in the heavens or

in the earth; for, God is subtile, informed of all.
O my son! observe prayer, and enjoin the right and forbid the wrong, and be

patient under whatever shall betide thee: for this is a bounden duty.

And distort not thy face at men; nor walk thou loftily on the earth; for God

loveth no arrogant vain-glorious one.

But let thy pace be middling; and lower thy voice: for the least pleasing of

voices is surely the voice of asses."

See ye not how that God hath put under you all that is in the heavens and all

that is on the earth, and hath been bounteous to you of his favours, both for

soul and body.8 But some are there who dispute of God without knowledge, and

have no guidance and no illuminating Book:

And when it is said to them, Follow ye what God hath sent down, they say,

"Nay; that religion in which we found our fathers will we follow." What!

though Satan bid them to the torment of the flame?
But whoso setteth his face toward God with self-surrender, and is a doer of

that which is good, hath laid hold on a sure handle; for unto God is the

issue of all things.
But let not the unbelief of the unbelieving grieve thee: unto us shall they

return: then will we tell them of their doings; for God knoweth the very

secrets of the breast.
Yet a little while will we provide for them: afterwards will we force them to

a stern punishment.

If thou ask them who hath created the heavens and the earth, they will

certainly reply, "God." SAY: God be praised! But most of them have no

God's, whatever is in the Heavens and the Earth! for God, He is the Rich,9

the Praiseworthy.

If all the trees that are upon the earth were to become pens, and if God

should after that swell the sea into seven seas of ink, His words would not

be exhausted: for God is Mighty, Wise.10
Your creation and your quickening hereafter, are but as those of a single

individual. Verily, God Heareth, Seeth!

Seest thou not that God causeth the night to come in upon the day, and the

day to come in upon the night? and that he hath subjected the sun and the

moon to laws by which each speedeth along to an appointed goal? and that God

therefore is acquainted with that which ye do?

This, for that God is the truth; and that whatever ye call upon beside Him is

a vain thing; and that God�He is the High, the Great.

Seest thou not how the ships speed on in the sea, through the favour of God,

that he may shew you of his signs? for herein are signs to all patient,

grateful ones.
When the waves cover them like dark shadows they call upon God as with

sincere religion; but when He safely landeth them, some of them there are who

halt between two opinions.11 Yet none reject our signs but all deceitful,

ungrateful ones.

O men! fear ye your Lord, and dread the day whereon father shall not atone

for son, neither shall a son in the least atone for his father.

Aye! the promise of God is a truth. Let not this present life then deceive

you; neither let the deceiver deceive you concerning God.

Aye! God!�with Him is the knowledge of the Hour: and He sendeth down the

rain�and He knoweth what is in the wombs�but no soul knoweth what it shall

have gotten on the morrow: neither knoweth any soul in what land it shall

die. But God is knowing, informed of all.

1 Nothing certain is known concerning the history of this fabulist and

philosopher. The opinion most generally received is that Lokman is the same

person whom the Greeks, not knowing his real name, have called Ćsop, i.e.,

Ćthiops. This Sura shews the high degree of respect entertained for Lokman in

Arabia at the time of Muhammad, who doubtless aimed to promote the interests

of his new religion by connecting the Koran with so celebrated a name.

2 See Sura lxviii. 1, p. 32.
3 Beidh. and Itq. suppose this verse to have been revealed at Medina, on

account of the precept to pay the impost, required by Muhammad of his

followers as a religious duty, and different from the alms. The former is

usually coupled with the duty of observing prayer. Mar. renders, sacrum

censum in marg.
4 Nodhar Ibn El Hareth, who had purchased in Persia the romance of Roustem

and Isfendiar, two of the most famous heroes of that land, which he recited

to the Koreisch as superior to the Koran.
5 Comp. Ps. civ. 5.
6 This verse and the verse following would seem more naturally to follow

verse 18, where Wahl has placed them. See preceding Sura, v. 7.

7 Comp. Talm. Kethuboth, 60, 1, "A woman is to suckle her child two years."

Comp. Jos. Ant. ii. 9, 6.

8 Or, the seen and unseen, lit., outwardly and inwardly.
9 Or as rendered in verse 11, "the self-sufficient."
10 Wah. Omar ben Muhammad, Zam. and Beidh. suppose this and the three

following verses to have been revealed at Medina, in answer to the Jews, who

had affirmed that all knowledge was contained in their own Law. But the

accuracy of this supposition is very doubtful, if considered with regard to

the preceding and following context.
11 Between idolatry and Islam.


MECCA.�53 Verses
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
HA. MIM. AIN. SIN. KAF.1 Thus unto thee as unto those who preceded thee doth

God, the Mighty, the Wise, reveal!

All that is in the Heavens and all that is in the Earth is His: and He is the

High, the Great!

Ready are the Heavens to cleave asunder from above for very awe: and the

angels celebrate the praise of their Lord, and ask forgiveness for the

dwellers on earth: Is not God the Indulgent, the Merciful?
But whose take aught beside Him as lords�God watcheth them! but thou hast

them not in thy charge.

It is thus moreover that we have revealed to thee an Arabic Koran, that thou

mayest warn the mother city2 and all around it, and that thou mayest warn

them of that day of the Gathering, of which there is no doubt�when part shall

be in Paradise and part in the flame.

Had God so pleased, He had made them one people and of one creed: but He

bringeth whom He will within His mercy; and as for the doers of evil, no

patron, no helper shall there be for them.
Will they take other patrons than Him? But God is man's only Lord: He

quickeneth the dead; and He is mighty over all things.

And whatever the subject of your disputes, with God doth its decision rest.

This is God, my Lord: in Him do I put my trust, and to Him do I turn in

Creator of the Heavens and of the Earth! he hath given you wives from among

your own selves, and cattle male and female�by this means to multiply you:

Nought is there like Him! the Hearer, the Beholder He!

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