A.D. 490�may have been worked up by Muhammad into this account of the
persecutions of Saleh.
21 See Sura xxiv. 176, p. 109.
22 This verse may contain an implied reference to the famine with which Mecca
had been visited, and fix the date of this part of the Sura. Comp. verse 127.
23 Lit. plot, stratagem.
24 Comp. the passage from Pirke R. Eliezer, c. 48, who makes Moses perform
this miracle in the presence of Pharaoh, which the Scripture (Ex. vii.)
account does not. The Muhammadan tradition is that Moses was a black.
25 Lit. cause him to hope, temporise with him.
26 Lit. male ominati sunt. Mar. They traced their calamities to Moses. So
Sale. Kas. But Ullmann. renders, they attributed their misfortunes to the
predictions of Moses.
27 In Suras [lxvii.] xvii. and [lxviii.] Muhammad speaks of nine plagues. The
flood is not mentioned in the Scripture.
28 Lit. when we removed from them the plague until a period at which they
29 Lit. that in which these are.
30 Lit. the set time of his Lord was fulfilled in forty nights.
31 Sale and others render having a body, corporeal, of which the commentators
give no satisfactory explanation. I have adopted that given by Freytag in v.
That the calf lowed in consequence of Sama�l having entered into it, is one
of the traditions of the Talmud. Pirke R. Eliezer, c. 45.
32 Compare Sura [lxxxi.] xxix. 47, [xciv.] lxxii. 2, [xci.] ii. 73. The word
ummyy is derived from ummah, a nation, and means Gentile; it here refers to
Muhammad's ignorance, previous to the revelation of Islam, of the ancient
Scriptures. It is equivalent to the Gr. laic, ethnic, and to the term gojim,
as applied by the Jews to those unacquainted with the Scriptures. There can,
however, be no doubt that Muhammad�in spite of his assertions to the
contrary, with the view of proving his inspiration�was well acquainted with
the Bible histories. He wished to appear ignorant in order to raise the
elegance of the Koran into a miracle. For the passages of Scripture said to
foretel Muhammad, see Pocock's Sp. Hist. Ar. p. 188, ed. White.
33 If these words, as Nöldeke supposes, contain an allusion to the Ansars, it
is likely that this verse was added at Medina. The epithet Al-Ummy (the
unlettered) does not, thus, occur in Meccan Suras.
34 The Koran.
35 Pirke R. Eliezer, 45, explains Ex. xxxii. 26, of the tribe of Levi, as not
having been implicated with the other tribes in the sin of the golden calf.
36 The Jews changed hittat, absolution, indulgence, into habbat, corn.
37 This and the next six verses are supposed to have been added at Medina.
38 Comp. Sura [xci.] ii. 61. No trace of this legend is to be found in the
Talmudists. The city is said to have been Aila (Elath) on the Red Sea.
39 Perhaps in allusion to Deut. xxviii. 49, 50.
40 As bribes to pervert Scripture, etc.
41 Sinai�which, however, is not mentioned in the Koran as the place where the
law was given. Comp. "I will cover you with the mountain like a roof." Abodah
Sar. 2, 2. Thus also in Tract Sabbath, f. 88, 1, "R. Avdimi . . . saith,
These words teach us that the Holy One, blessed be He, turned the mountain
over them like a vessel, and said to them, If ye will receive the law, well;
but if not, there shall be your grave." This tradition is still held by the
Jews. See D. Lewis Pent. Prayers, fol. 150. Its origin is a misunderstanding
of Ex. xix. 17, rightly rendered in the E. version at the nether part of the
42 To the Jews.
43 Balaam. But according to others, a Jew who renounced his faith in
44 The 99 titles of God, taken from the Koran, are to be found in Maracci,
vol. 11, p. 414, or in Macbride's Religion of the Mohammedans, p. 121. To
facilitate the repetition of these names, the Muslims use a rosary.
45 In altering the names of God, changing allah into Allat, Elaziz into
Alozza, Mennan into Menat, etc.
46 Lit. and in what declaration after it will they believe?
47 That is, it weighs heavily on the hopes and fears of men, djinn, and
48 Probably the usual final clause, whence ye looked not for it, should here
be added to make good the rhyme, which is otherwise interrupted in the
49 Some render salihan, well made, rightly shaped; others, virtuous, morally
50 And their idolatrous posterity. Beidh.
51 Take or use indulgence; i.e. take men and their actions as they are, and
make all due allowances. Some understand it, of Muhammad's accepting such
voluntary and superfluous alms as the people could spare.
52 That is, those under Satanic influence.
53 Collected or sought it out. Beidh.
SURA XLVI.�AL AHKAF [LXXXVIII.]
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
HA. MIM.1 The Revelation (sending down) of this Book is from the Mighty, the
We have not created the Heavens and the Earth and all that is between them
otherwise than in truth and for a settled term. But they who believe not,
turn away from their warning.
SAY: What think ye? As for those whom ye invoke beside God, shew me what part
of the earth it is which they have created? Had they a share in the Heavens?
Bring me a Book sent down by them before this Koran, or traces of their
knowledge;2�if ye are men of truth.
And who erreth more than he who, beside God, calleth upon that which shall
not answer him until the day of Resurrection? Yes, they regard not their
And when mankind shall be assembled together, they will become their enemies,
and ungratefully disown their worship.
And when our clear signs are recited to them, they who believe not say of the
truth when it cometh to them, "This is plain sorcery."
Will they say, "He hath devised It?" SAY: If I have devised the Koran, then
not one single thing shall ye ever obtain for me from God! He best knoweth
what ye utter in its regard! Witness enough is He between me and you! And He
is the Gracious, the Merciful.
SAY: I am no apostle of new doctrines: neither know I what will be done with
me or you. Only what is revealed to me do I follow, and I am only charged to
SAY: What think ye? If this Book be from God, and ye believe it not, and a
witness of the children of Israel3 witness to its conformity with the Law,
and believe, while ye proudly disdain it . . . ? Ah! God guideth not the
people guilty of such a wrong!
But the infidels say of the believers, "If it were a good Book they would not
have been before us in believing it:"4 And not having submitted to guidance,
they proceed to say, "It is an old lying legend!"
But before the Koran was the Book of Moses, a rule and a mercy; and this Book
confirmeth it (the Pentateuch)�in the Arabic tongue�that those who are guilty
of that wrong may be warned, and as glad tidings to the doers of good.
Assuredly they who say, "Our Lord is God," and take the straight way to Him�
no fear shall come on them, neither shall they be put to grief:
These shall be the inmates of Paradise to remain therein for ever,�the
recompense of their deeds!
Moreover, we have enjoined on man to shew kindness to his parents. With pain
his mother beareth him; with pain she bringeth him forth: and his bearing and
his weaning is thirty months; until when he attaineth his strength, and
attaineth to forty years,5 he saith, "O my Lord! stir me up to be grateful
for thy favours wherewith thou hast favoured me and my parents, and to do
good works which shall please thee: and prosper me in my offspring: for to
thee am I turned, and am resigned to thy will" (am a Muslim).
These are they from whom we will accept their best works, and whose evil
works we will pass by; among the inmates shall they be of Paradise:�a true
promise which they are promised.
But he who saith to his parents, "Fie on you both! Promise ye me that I shall
be taken forth from the grave alive, when whole generations have already
passed away before me?" But they both will implore the help of God, and say,
"Alas for thee! Believe: for the promise of God is true." But he saith, "It
is no more than a fable of the ancients."
These are they in whom the sentence passed on the nations, djinn and men, who
flourished before them, is made good. They shall surely perish.6
And there are grades for all, according to their works, that God may repay
them for their works; and they shall not be dealt with unfairly.
And they who believe not shall one day be set before the fire. "Ye made away
your precious gifts during your life on earth; and ye took your fill of
pleasure in them: This day, therefore, with punishment of shame shall ye be
rewarded, for that ye behaved you proudly and unjustly on the earth, and for
that ye were given to excesses."
Remember, too, the brother of Ad7 when he warned his people in AL AHKAF8�and
before and since his time there have been warners�"Worship none but God:
verily I fear for you the punishment of the great day."
They said, "Art thou come to us to turn us away from our Gods? Bring on us
now the woes which thou threatenest if thou speakest truth."
"That knowledge," said he, "is with God alone: I only proclaim to you the
message with which I am sent. But I perceive that ye are a people sunk in
So when they saw a cloud coming straight for their valleys, they said, "It is
a passing cloud that shall give us rain." "Nay, it is that whose speedy
coming ye challenged a blast wherein is an afflictive punishment:�
It will destroy everything at the bidding of its Lord!" And at morn nought
was to be seen but their empty dwellings! Thus repay we a wicked people.
With power had we endued them, even as with power have we endued you; and we
had given them ears and eyes and hearts: yet neither their eyes, nor their
ears, nor their hearts aided them at all, when once they gainsaid the signs
of God; but that punishment which they had mocked at enveloped them on all
Of old, too, did we destroy the cities which were round about you; and, in
order that they might return to us, we varied our signs before them.
But did those whom they took for gods beside God as his kindred deities, help
them?9 Nay, they withdrew from them. Such was their delusion, and their
And remember when we turned aside a company of the djinn to thee, that they
might hearken to the Koran: and no sooner were they present at its reading
than they said to each other, "Hist;" and when it was ended, they returned to
their people with warnings.
They said, "O our people! verily we have been listening to a book sent down
since the days of Moses, affirming the previous scriptures; it guideth to the
truth, and to the right way.
O our people! Obey the Summoner of God, and believe in him, that He may
forgive your sins, and rescue you from an afflictive punishment.
And he who shall not respond to God's preacher, yet cannot weaken God's power
on earth, nor shall he have protectors beside Him. These are in obvious
See they not that God who created the Heavens and the Earth, and was not
wearied with their creation, is of power to quicken the dead? Yea, he is for
all things Potent.
And a day is coming when the infidels shall be set before the fire. "Is not
this it in truth?" They shall say, "Aye, by our Lord." He said, "Taste then
the punishment for that ye would not believe."
Bear thou up, then, with patience, as did the Apostles endued with firmness,
and seek not to accelerate their doom. For, on the day when they shall see
that with which they have been menaced,
It shall be as though they had waited but an hour of the day. Enough! shall
any perish save they who transgress?
1 See Sura lxviii. p. 32.
2 Of a divine revelation, authorising the worship of other gods than God
3 Abdallah bin Salma, say the commentators.
4 Comp. John vii. 48.
5 Thus Mischn. Aboth, v. 21, "at forty years of age a man comes to
intelligence." This verse refers, it is said by the Sonnites, to Abu Bekr,
afterwards Chalif, who embraced Islam in his 40th year. But this
interpretation was probably invented after his accession to power.
6 Lit. suffer loss.
7 The Prophet Houd.
8 That is, Sandhills; at Taief, to which Muhammad had retired in consequence
of the opposition, etc., of the Meccans. Verses 20-31 are probably misplaced,
as they interrupt the connection between 19 and 32, but appear to belong to
the same period as the rest of the Sura.
9 Thus Ullm. als naheverwandte Götter. But Wahl, denen sie sich mit
gottesdienstlichen Opfer näherten. Ad appropinquandum (magis ipsi Deo), by
intercession. Mar. Beidh.
SURA VI.�CATTLE [LXXXIX.]
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
PRAISE be to God, who hath created the Heavens and the Earth, and ordained
the darkness and the light! Yet unto their Lord do the infidels give peers!
He it is who created you of clay then decreed the term of your life: and with
Him is another prefixed term for the resurrection. Yet have ye doubts
And He is God in the Heavens and on the Earth! He knoweth your secrets and
your disclosures! and He knoweth what ye deserve.
Never did one single sign from among the signs of their Lord come to them,
but they turned away from it;
And now, after it hath reached them, have they treated the truth itself as a
lie. But in the end, a message as to that which they have mocked, shall reach
See they not how many generations we have destroyed before them? We had
settled them on the earth as we have not settled you, and we sent down the
very heavens upon them in copious rains, and we made the rivers to flow
beneath their feet: yet we destroyed them in their sins, and raised up other
generations to succeed them.
And had we sent down to thee a Book written on parchment, and they had
touched it with their hands, the infidels had surely said, "This is nought
but plain sorcery."
They say, too, "Unless an angel be sent down to him. . . ." But if we had
sent down an angel, their judgment would have come on them at once,1 and they
would have had no respite:
And if we had appointed an angel, we should certainly have appointed one in
the form of a man, and we should have clothed him before them in garments
like their own.2
Moreover, apostles before thee have been laughed to scorn: but that which
they laughed to scorn encompassed the mockers among them!
SAY: Go through the land: then see what hath been the end of those who
treated them as liars.
SAY: Whose is all that is in the Heavens and the Earth?
SAY: God's. He had imposed mercy on Himself as a law. He will surely assemble
you on the Resurrection day; there is no doubt of it. They who are the
authors of their own ruin, are they who will not believe.
His, whatsoever hath its dwelling in the night and in the day! and He, the
Hearing, the Knowing!
SAY: Other than God shall I take as Lord, maker of the Heavens and of the
Earth, who nourisheth all, and of none is nourished? SAY: Verily, I am bidden
to be the first of those who surrender them to God (profess Islam): and, be
not thou of those who join gods with God.
SAY: Verily, I fear, should I rebel against my Lord, the punishment of the
From whomsoever it shall be averted on that day, He will have had mercy on
him: and this will be the manifest bliss.
If God touch thee with trouble, none can take it off but He: and if He visit
thee with good�it is He whose power is over all things;
And He is the Supreme over his servants; and He is the Wise, the Cognisant!
SAY: What thing is weightiest in bearing witness? SAY: God is witness between
me and you; and this Koran hath been revealed to me that I should warn you by
it, and all whom it shall reach. What! will ye really bear witness that there
are other gods with God? SAY: I bear no such witness. SAY: Verily, He is one
God, and truly am guiltless of what ye join with Him.
They to whom we have given the Book, recognise him (Muhammad) as they do
their own children:3 but they who are the authors of their own perdition are
they who will not believe.
And who more wicked than he who inventeth a lie concerning God, or who
treateth our signs as lies? Verily those wicked ones shall not prosper.4
And on "the Day" we will gather them all together: then will we say to those
who joined gods with God, "Where are those companion-gods of yours, as ye
Then shall they find no other excuse than to say, "By God our Lord! we joined
not companions with Him."
Behold! how they lie against themselves�and the gods of their own inventing
Some among them hearken unto thee: but we have cast veils over their hearts
that they should not understand the Koran, and a weight into their ears: and
though they should see all kinds of signs, they will refuse all faith in
them, until when they come to thee, to dispute with thee, the infidels say,
"Verily, this is nothing but fables of the ancients."
And they will forbid it, and depart from it:�but they are only the authors of
their own perdition, and know it not.
If thou couldst see when they shall be set over the fire, and shall say, "Oh!
would we might be sent back! we would not treat the signs of our Lord as
lies! we would be of the believers."
Aye! that hath become clear5 to them which they before concealed; but though
they should return, they would surely go back to that which was forbidden
them; for they are surely liars!
And they say, "There is no other than our life in this world, neither shall
we be raised again."
But if thou couldest see when they shall be set before their Lord! He shall
say to them, "Is not this it6 in truth?" They shall say, "Yea, by our Lord!"
"Taste then," saith He, "the torment, for that ye believed not!"
Lost are they who deny the meeting with God until "the Hour" cometh suddenly
upon them! Then will they say, "Oh, our sighs for past negligence of this
hour!" and they shall bear their burdens on their back! Will not that be evil
with which they shall be burdened?
The life in this world is but a play and pastime; and better surely for men
of godly fear will be the future mansion! Will ye not then comprehend?
Now know we that what they speak vexeth thee:7 But it is not merely thee whom
they charge with falsehood, but the ungodly gainsay the signs of God.
Before thee have apostles already been charged with falsehood: but they bore
the charge and the wrong with constancy, till our help came to them;�for none
can change the words of God. But this history of His Sent Ones hath already
But if their estrangement be grievous to thee, and if thou art able to seek
out an opening into the earth or a ladder into Heaven,8 that thou mightest
bring them a sign. . . . Yes! But if God pleased, He would surely bring
them, one and all, to the guidance! therefore be not thou one of the
To those only who shall lend an ear will He make answer: as for the dead, God
will raise them up; then unto Him shall they return.
They say, "Unless a sign be sent down to him from his Lord. . . ." SAY:
Verily, God is able to send down a sign; but the greater part of them know it
No kind of beast is there on earth nor fowl that flieth with its wings, but
is a folk9 like you: nothing have we passed over in the Book:10 then unto
their Lord shall they be gathered.
They who gainsay our signs are deaf, and dumb, in darkness: God will mislead
whom He pleaseth, and whom He pleaseth He will place upon the straight path.
SAY: What think ye? If the punishment of God were to come upon you, or "the
Hour" were to come upon you, will ye cry to any other than God? Tell me, if
ye speak the truth?
Yes! to Him will ye cry: and if He please He will deliver you from that ye
shall cry to Him to avert, and ye shall forget the partners ye joined with
Already have we sent apostles to nations that were before thee, and we laid
hold on them with troubles and with straits in order that they might humble
Yet, when our trouble came upon them, they did not humble themselves; but
their hearts were hardened, and Satan pre-arranged for them11 their course of
And when they had forgotten their warnings, we set open to them the gates of
all things, until, as they were rejoicing in our gifts, we suddenly laid hold
upon them, and lo! they were plunged into despair,
And the uttermost part of that impious people was cut off. All praise be to
God, the Lord of the Worlds!
SAY: What think ye? If God should take away your hearing and your sight and
set a seal upon your hearts, what god beside God would restore them to you?
See! how we vary our wondrous verses (signs)! yet they turn away from them!
SAY: What think ye? If the punishment of God come on you suddenly or
foreseen,12 shall any perish except the impious?
We send not our Sent Ones but as heralds of good news and warners; and whoso
shall believe and amend, on them shall come no fear, neither shall they be
But whoso shall charge our signs with falsehood, on them shall fall a
punishment for their wicked doings.
SAY: I say not to you, "In my possession are the treasures of God;" neither
say I, "I know things secret;" neither do I say to you, "Verily, I am an
angel:" Only what is revealed to me do I follow. SAY: Shall the blind and the
seeing be esteemed alike? Will ye not then reflect?
And warn those who dread their being gathered to their Lord, that patron or
intercessor they shall have none but Him,�to the intent that they may fear
And thrust not thou away those who cry to their Lord at morn and even,
craving to behold his face. It is not for thee in anything to judge of their
motives, nor for them in anything to judge of thee. If thou thrust them away
thou wilt be of the doers of wrong.
Thus have we made proof of some of them by others, that they may say, "Are
these they among us to whom God hath been gracious?" Doth not God best know
And when they who believe in our signs come to thee, SAY: Peace be upon you!
Your Lord hath laid down for himself a law of mercy; so that if any one of
you commit a fault through ignorance, and afterwards turn and amend, He
surely will be Gracious, Merciful.