The Project Gutenberg ebook of The Koran

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And Pharaoh said: "Fetch me every skilled magician." And when the magicians

arrived, Moses said to them, "Cast down what ye have to cast."

And when they had cast them down, Moses said, "Verily, God will render vain

the sorceries which ye have brought to pass: God prospereth not the work of

the evildoers.
And by his words will God verify the Truth, though the impious be averse to

And none believed on Moses but a race among his own people, through fear of

Pharaoh and his nobles, lest he should afflict them: For of a truth mighty

was Pharaoh in the land, and one who committed excesses.

And Moses said: "O my people! if ye believe in God, then put your trust in

Him�if ye be Muslims."

And they said: "In God put we our trust. O our Lord! abandon us not to trial

from that unjust people,

And deliver us by thy mercy from the unbelieving people."
Then thus revealed we to Moses and to his brother: "Provide houses for your

people in Egypt, and in your houses make a Kebla, and observe prayer and

proclaim good tidings to the believers."
And Moses said: "O our Lord! thou hast indeed given to Pharaoh and his nobles

splendour and riches in this present life: O our Lord! that they may err from

thy way! O our Lord! confound their riches, and harden their hearts that they

may not believe till they see the dolorous torment."

He said: "The prayer of you both is heard: pursue ye both therefore the

straight path, and follow not the path of those who have no knowledge."

And we led the children of Israel through the sea; and Pharaoh and his hosts

followed them in eager and hostile sort until, when the drowning overtook

him, he said, "I believe that there is no God but he on whom the children of

Israel believe, and I am one of the Muslims."

"Yes, now," said God: "but thou hast been rebellious hitherto, and wast one

of the wicked doers.

But this day will we rescue thee with thy body that thou mayest be a sign to

those who shall be after thee:11 but truly, most men are of our signs

Moreover we prepared a settled abode for the children of Israel, and provided

them with good things: nor did they fall into variance till the knowledge

(the Law) came to them: Truly thy Lord will decide between them on the day of

Resurrection concerning that in which they differed.

And if thou art in doubt as to what we have sent down to thee, inquire at

those who have read the Scriptures before thee.12 Now hath the truth come

unto thee from thy Lord: be not therefore of those who doubt.
Neither be of those who charge the signs of God with falsehood, lest thou be

of those who perish.

Verily they against whom the decree of thy Lord is pronounced, shall not

Even though every kind of sign come unto them, till they behold the dolorous

Were it otherwise, any city, had it believed, might have found its safety in

its faith. But it was so, only with the people of JONAS. When they believed,

we delivered them from the penalty of shame in this world, and provided for

them for a time.

But if thy Lord had pleased, verily all who are in the earth would have

believed together. What! wilt thou compel men to become believers?

No soul can believe but by the permission of God: and he shall lay his wrath

on those who will not understand.

SAY: Consider ye whatever is in the Heavens and on the Earth: but neither

signs, nor warners, avail those who will not believe!

What then can they expect but the like of such days of wrath as befel those

who flourish before them? SAY: WAIT; I too will wait with you:

Then will we deliver our apostles and those who believe. Thus is it binding

on us to deliver the faithful.

SAY: O men! if ye are in doubt as to my religion, verily I worship not what

ye worship beside God; but I worship God who will cause you to die: and I am

commanded to be a believer.
And set thy face toward true religion, sound in faith, and be not of those

who join other gods with God:

Neither invoke beside God that which can neither help nor hurt thee: for if

thou do, thou wilt certainly then be one of those who act unjustly.

And if God lay the touch of trouble on thee, none can deliver thee from it

but He: and if He will thee any good, none can keep back his boons. He will

confer them on such of his servants as he chooseth: and He is the Gracious,

the Merciful!

SAY: O men! now hath the truth come unto you from your Lord. He therefore who

will be guided, will be guided only for his own behoof: but he who shall err

will err only against it; and I am not your guardian!
And follow what is revealed to thee: and persevere steadfastly till God shall

judge, for He is the best of Judges.

1 See Sura 1xviii. n. 3, p. 32.
2 That is, for a serious end, to manifest the Divine Unity.
3 Gen. xi. 1.
4 This refers to the seven years of scarcity with which Mecca had been

5 Paradise.

6 Verses 27, 28 are to be noted, as defining the proportion to be observed in

rewards and punishments, the severity of the latter being only in proportion

to the crime, the excellence of the former being above and beyond its strict

7 But rather your own lusts. The Muhammadans believe that idols will be

gifted with speech at the day of judgment.
8 The ordinary Arabic word for to die seems to be avoided in speaking of

Jesus and Muhammad.

9 This is the doctrine of the Rabbins. Comp. Midrasch Rabba, and Midr. Jalkut

on Numb. xxii. 2.

10 The preaching of Noah is mentioned by the Rabbins. Sanhedrin, 108. Comp.

Midr. Rabbah on Gen. Par. 30 and 33, on Eccl. ix. 14, and in the probably

sub. Apostolic 2 Pet. ii. 5.
11 This is in accordance with Talmudic legend. "Recognise the power of

repentance, in the case of Pharaoh, King of Egypt, who rebelled excessively

against the most High; Who is God that I should hearken to his voice? (Ex. v.

2). But with the same tongue that sinned he did penance: Who is like thee, O

Lord, among the Gods? (xv. 11). The Holy One, Blessed be He, delivered him

from the dead, . . . so that he should not die (ix. 15, 16).�For now have I

stretched forth my hand, and verily thee have I raised up from among the

dead, to proclaim my might." Ex. ix. 15, 16. A strange comment! Pirke R.

Eliezer, § 43. Comp. Midr. on Ps. cvi. Midr. Jalkut, ch. 238.
12 That is, whether thou art not foretold in the Law and Gospel, and whether

the Koran is not in unison with, and confirmatory of, them.

MECCA.�54 Verses
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
PRAISE be to God! to whom belongeth all that is in the Heavens and all that

is on the Earth; and to Him be praise in the next world: for he is the All-

wise, the All-informed!
He knoweth what entereth into the earth, and what proceedeth from it; and

what cometh down from heaven, and what goeth up into it: and He is the

Merciful, the Forgiving!
"Never," say the unbelievers, "will the Hour come upon us!" SAY: Yea, by my

Lord who knoweth the unseen, it will surely come upon you! not the weight of

a mote either in the Heavens or in the Earth escapeth him; nor is there aught

less than this or aught greater, which is not in the clear Book;�

To the intent that God may reward those who have believed and done the things

that are right: Pardon and a noble provision shall they receive:

But as for those who aim to invalidate our signs,�a chastisement of painful

torment awaiteth them!

And they to whom knowledge hath been given see that what hath been sent down

to thee from thy Lord is the truth, and that it guideth into the way of the

Glorious one, the Praiseworthy.
But the unbelievers say to those whom they fall in with, "Shall we shew you a

man who will foretell you that when ye shall have been utterly torn and rent

to pieces, ye shall be restored in a new form?
He deviseth a lie about God, or there is a djinn in him," but they who

believe not in the next life, shall incur the chastisement, and be lost in

the mazes of estrangement from God.
What! have they never contemplated that which is before them and behind them,

the Heaven and the Earth? If such were our pleasure, we could sink them into

that Earth, or cause a portion of that Heaven to fall upon them! herein truly

is a sign for our every returning servant.

Of old bestowed we on David a gift, our special boon:�"Ye mountains and ye

birds answer his songs of praise." And we made the iron soft for him:�"Make

coats of mail, and arrange its plates; and work ye righteousness; for I

behold your actions."

And unto Solomon did we subject the wind, which travelled in the morning a

month's journey, and a month's journey in the evening. And we made a fountain

of molten brass to flow for him. And of the Djinn were some who worked in his

presence, by the will of his Lord; and such of them as swerved from our

bidding will we cause to taste the torment of the flame.
They made for him whatever he pleased, of lofty halls, and images, and dishes

large as tanks for watering camels, and cooking pots that stood firmly.

"Work," said we, "O family of David with thanksgiving:" But few of my

servants are the thankful!

And when we decreed the death of Solomon, nothing shewed them that he was

dead but a reptile of the earth that gnawed the staff which supported his

corpse.2 And when it fell, the Djinn perceived that if they had known the

things unseen, they had not continued in this shameful affliction.3

A sign there was to SABA, in their dwelling places:�two gardens, the one on

the right hand and the other on the left:�"Eat ye of your Lord's supplies,

and give thanks to him: Goodly is the country, and gracious is the Lord!"
But they turned aside: so we sent upon them the flood of Irem;4 and we

changed them their gardens into two gardens of bitter fruit and tamarisk and

some few jujube trees.
Such was our retribution on them for their ingratitude: but do we thus

recompense any except the ungrateful?

And we placed between them and the cities which we have blessed, conspicuous

cities, and we fixed easy stages: "Travel ye through them by night and day,

But they said, "O Lord! make the distance between our journeys longer,"5�and

against themselves did they act unjustly: so we made them a tale, and

scattered them with an utter scattering. Truly herein are signs to everyone

that is patient, grateful.

And Eblis found that he had judged truly of them: and they all except a

remnant of the faithful, followed him:

Yet no power had he over them. Only we would discern him who believed in the

life to come, from him who doubted of it; for thy Lord watcheth all things.

SAY: Call ye upon those whom ye deem gods, beside God: their power in the

Heavens and in the Earth is not the weight of an atom�neither have they any

share in either; nor hath He a helper from among them.
No intercession shall avail with Him but that which He shall Himself allow.

Until when at last their hearts shall be relieved from terror, they shall

say, "What saith your Lord?" they shall say, "The Truth; and He is the High,

the Great."

SAY: Who supplieth you out of the Heavens and the Earth? SAY: God. And either

we or ye have guidance, or are in palpable error!

SAY: Not as to our faults shall ye be questioned; neither shall we be

questioned as to your actions.

SAY: Our Lord will gather us together: then will He judge between us in

justice; for He is the Judge, the Knowing!

SAY: Shew me those whom ye have united with Him as associates: Nay, rather,

He is God, the Mighty, the Wise!

And we have sent thee to mankind at large, to announce and to threaten. But

most men understand not.

And they say, "When will this threat come to pass? Tell us, if ye be men of

SAY: Ye are menaced with a day, which not for an hour shall ye retard or

hasten on.
The unbelievers say, "We will not believe in this Koran, nor in the Books

which preceded it." But couldst thou see when the wicked shall be set before

their Lord! With reproaches will they answer one another. The weak shall say

to the mighty ones, "But for you we had been believers:"

Then shall the mighty ones say to the weak, "What! was it we who turned you

aside from the guidance which had reached you? Nay, but ye acted wickedly

And the weak shall say to the mighty ones, "Nay, but there was a plot by

night and by day, when ye bad us believe not in God, and gave him peers." And

they shall proclaim their repentance after they have seen the punishment! And

yokes will we place on the necks of those who have not believed! Shall they

be rewarded but as they have wrought?
And never have we sent a warner to any city whose opulent men did not say,

"In sooth we disbelieve your message."

And they said, "We are the more abundant in riches and in children, nor shall

we be among the punished."

SAY: Of a truth my Lord will be liberal or sparing in his supplies to whom he

pleaseth: but the greater part of men acknowledge it not.

Neither by your riches nor by your children shall you bring yourselves into

nearness with Us; but they who believe and do the thing that is right shall

have a double reward for what they shall have done: and in the pavilions of

Paradise shall they dwell secure!

But they who shall aim to invalidate our signs, shall be consigned to


SAY: Of a truth my Lord will be liberal in supplies to whom he pleaseth of

his servants, or will be sparing to him: and whatever ye shall give in alms

he will return; and He is the best dispenser of gifts.
One day he will gather them all together: then shall he say to the angels,

"Did these worship you?"

They shall say, "Glory be to thee! Thou art our master, not these! But they

worshipped the Djinn: it was in them that most of them believed.

On this day the one of you shall have no power over others for help or hurt.

And we will say to the evil doers, "Taste ye the torment of the fire, which

ye treated as a delusion."
For when our distinct signs are recited to them, they say, "This is merely a

man who would fain pervert you from your father's Worship." And they say,

"This (Koran) is no other than a forged falsehood." And the unbelievers say

to the truth when it is presented to them, "Tis nothing but palpable

Yet have we given them no books in which to study deeply, nor have we sent

any one to them before thee, charged with warnings.

They also flourished before them, treated our apostles as impostors in like

sort: but not to the tenth part of what we bestowed on them,6 have these

attained. And yet when they charged my apostles with deceit, how terrible was

my vengeance:

SAY: One thing in sooth do I advise you:�that ye stand up before God two and

two, or singly,7 and then reflect that in your fellow citizen is no djinn:8

he is no other than your warner before a severe punishment.
SAY: I ask not any wage from you: keep it for yourselves: my wage is from God

alone. And He is witness over all things!

SAY: Truly my Lord sendeth forth the Truth:�Knower of things unseen!
SAY: Truth is come, and falsehood shall vanish and return no more.
SAY: If I err, verily to my own cost only shall I err: but if I have

guidance, it will be of my Lord's revealing, for He is the Hearer, the near

at hand.
Couldst thou see how they shall tremble and find no escape, and be taken

forth from the place that is so near;9

And shall say, "We believe in Him!" But how, in their present distance, shall

they receive the faith,

When they had before denied it, and aimed their shafts at the mysteries from

And a gulf shall be between them and that which they shall desire�

As was done unto their likes of old, who were lost in the questionings of


1 In Arabia Felix, three days' journey from Sanaa.
2 The Talmud mentions the worm Shameer, used by Solomon to cut the stones for

building the temple. Pirke Aboth. v. See Buxt. Lex. Talmud, p. 2456. Tr.

Gittin, fol. 68; and Midr. Jalkut on 1 Kings, vi. 7. This passage of

Scripture may have suggested the idea that Solomon built, etc., by the aid of

Spirits. 3 That is, in their difficult toils.
4 See M. Caussin de Perceval Hist. des Arabes, vol. iii., who, as well as M.

de Sacy, fix this event in the second century of our era.

5 The Saba, of verse 14 formed an important branch of the trading population

of Yemen. This whole passage, 14-18, alludes to the cessation of traffic

between them and Syria, which led to the desire to lengthen the stages and

diminish the expense of the journey. See Muir's Life of Muhammad, i. p.

cxxxix. Muhammad attributes this desire to covetousness.
6 That is, of strength and material prosperity.
7 That is, so as to form a judgment free from the influence of others.
8 It is very remarkable, that when the power of Muhammad became firmly

established, he never reverts to the insinuations against the soundness of

his mind which in the earlier Suras he so often rebuts.
9 That is, their graves. Mar. So called because there is but a step into it

from the surface of the earth. Ullm.

10 That is, when in this life.


MECCA.�45 Verses
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
PRAISE be to God, Maker of the Heavens and of the Earth! Who employeth the

ANGELS as envoys, with pairs of wings, two, three, and four: He addeth to his

creature what He will! Truly God hath power for all things.
The mercy which God layeth open for man, no one can keep back; and what He

shall keep back, none can afterwards send forth. And He is the Mighty, the

O men! bear in mind the favour of God towards you. Is there a creator other

than God, who nourisheth you with the gifts of heaven and earth? There is no

God but He! How then are ye turned aside from Him?
If they treat thee as an impostor, then before thee have apostles been

treated as impostors. But to God shall all things return.

O men! assuredly the promise of God is true: let not then the present life

deceive you: and let not the Deceiver deceive you as to God.

Yes, Satan is your foe. For a foe then hold him. He calleth his followers to

him that they may become inmates of the flame.

The unbelievers,�for them a terrible punishment!
But believers and doers of good works, for them is mercy, and a great reward!
Shall he, the evil of whose deeds are so tricked out to him that he deemeth

them good, be treated like him who seeth things aright? Verily God misleadeth

whom He will, and guideth whom He will. Spend not thy soul in sighs for them:

God knoweth their doings.

It is God who sendeth forth the winds which raise the clouds aloft: then

drive we them on to some land dead from drought,1 and give life thereby to

the earth after its death. So shall be the resurrection.
If any one desireth greatness, all greatness is in God. The good word riseth

up to Him, and the righteous deed will He exalt. But a severe punishment

awaiteth the plotters of evil things; and the plots of such will He render

Moreover, God created you of dust�then of the germs of life�then made you two

sexes: and no female conceiveth or bringeth forth without his knowledge; and

the aged ageth not, nor is aught minished from man's age, but in accordance

with the Book. An easy thing truly is this to God.
Nor are the two seas2 alike: the one fresh, sweet, pleasant for drink, and

the other salt, bitter; yet from both ye eat fresh fish, and take forth for

you ornaments to wear, and thou seest the ships cleaving their waters that ye

may go in quest of his bounties, and that ye may be thankful.

He causeth the night to enter in upon the day, and the day to enter in upon

the night; and He hath given laws to the sun and to the moon, so that each

journeyeth to its appointed goal: This is God your Lord: All power is His:

But the gods whom ye call on beside Him have no power over the husk of a date

If ye cry to them they will not hear your cry; and if they heard they would

not answer you, and in the day of resurrection they will disown your joining

them with God: and none can instruct thee like Him who is informed of all.
O men! ye are but paupers in need of God; but God is the Rich, the


If He please, He could sweep you away, and bring forth a new creation!
Nor will this be hard for God.
And the burdened soul shall not bear the burden of another: and if the heavy

laden soul cry out for its burden to be carried, yet shall not aught of it be

carried, even by the near of kin! Thou shalt warn those who fear their Lord

in secret, and observe prayer. And whoever shall keep himself pure, he

purifieth himself to his own behoof: for unto God shall be the final


And the blind and the seeing are not alike; neither darkness and light; nor

the shade and the hot wind;

Nor are the living and the dead the same thing! God indeed shall make whom He

will to hearken, but thou shalt not make those who are in their graves to

hearken; for only with warning art thou charged.
Verily we have sent thee with the truth; a bearer of good tidings and a

warner; nor hath there been a people unvisited by its warner.

And if they treat thee as a liar, so did those who were before them threat

their Apostles who came to them with the proofs of their mission, and with

the Scriptures and with the enlightening Book:3
Then chastised I the unbelievers: and how great was my vengeance!
Seest thou not how that God sendeth down water from the Heaven, and that by

it we cause the up-growth of fruits of varied hues, and that on the

mountains4 are tracks of varied hues, white and red, and others are of a

raven black? And of men and reptiles and animals, various likewise are the

hues. Such only of his servants as are possessed of knowledge fear God. Lo!

God is Mighty, Gracious!

Verily they who recite the Book of God, and observe prayer, and give alms in

public and in private from what we have bestowed upon them, may hope for a

merchandise that shall not perish:
God will certainly pay them their due wages, and of his bounty increase them:

for He is Gracious, Grateful.

And that which we have revealed to thee of the Book is the very Truth,

confirmatory of previous Scriptures: for God knoweth and beholdeth his

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