disposition they may make of themselves in a fair way. And God is Mighty,
And for the divorced let there be a fair provision. This is a duty in those
who fear God.
Thus God maketh his signs clear to you that ye may understand.
Hast thou not thought on those who quitted their dwellings�and they were
thousands�for fear of death?95 God said to them, "Die:" then He restored them
to life, for full of bounty towards man is God. But most men give not thanks!
Fight for the cause of God; and know that God is He who Heareth, Knoweth.
Who is he that will lend to God a goodly loan? He will double it to him again
and again: God is close, but open handed also: and to Him shall ye return.
Hast thou not considered96 the assembly of the children of Israel after the
death of Moses, when they said to a prophet of theirs, "Set up for us a king;
we will do battle for the cause of God?" He said, "May it not be that if to
fight were ordained you, ye would not fight?" They said, "And why should we
not fight in the cause of God, since we and our children are driven forth
from our dwellings?" But when fighting was commanded them, they turned back,
save a few of them: But God knew the offenders!
And their prophet said to them, "Now hath God set (Talout) Saul king over
you." They said, "How shall he reign over us, when we are more worthy of the
kingdom than he, and of wealth he hath no abundance?" He said, "Verily God
hath chosen him to be over you, and hath given him increase in knowledge and
stature; God giveth his kingdom to whom he pleaseth; and God is Liberal,
And their prophet said to them, "Verily, the sign of his kingship shall be
that the Ark shall come to you: in it is a pledge of security97 from your
Lord and the relics98 left by the family of Moses, and the family of Aaron;
the angels shall bear it: Truly herein shall be a sign indeed to you if ye
And when Saul marched forth with his forces, he said, "God will test you by a
river: He who drinketh of it shall not be of my band; but he who shall not
taste it, drinking a drink out of the hand excepted, shall be of my band."99
for it; and whom He pleaseth will He forgive, and whom He pleaseth will He
punish; for God is All-powerful.
The apostle believeth in that which hath been sent down from his Lord, as do
the faithful also. Each one believeth in God, and His Angels, and His Books,
and His Apostles: we make no distinction between any of His Apostles.110 And
they say, "We have heard and we obey. Thy mercy, Lord! for unto thee must we
God will not burden any soul beyond its power. It shall enjoy the good which
it hath acquired, and shall bear the evil for the acquirement of which it
laboured. O our Lord! punish us not if we forget, or fall into sin; O our
Lord! and lay not on us a load like that which thou hast laid on those who
have been before us; O our Lord! and lay not on us that for which we have not
strength: but blot out our sins and forgive us, and have pity on us. Thou art
our protector: give us victory therefore over the infidel nations.
1 The greater part of this, the oldest of the Medina Suras, was revealed in
the early part of the second year of the Hejira and previously to the battle
of Bedr.�The Hejira took place in the beginning of Muharram, or middle of
April, A.D. 622. The numbers who emigrated with Muhammad at first, were about
150 persons. Medina is 250 miles north of Mecca, and ten days' journey.
2 Said to mean A mara li Muhammad, i.e. at the command of Muhammad; but see
Sura 1xviii. p. 32.
3 Death, Resurrection, Judgment, etc.
4 The Jews.
5 The Jews and Christians, hostile to the mission of Muhammad.
6 Lit. the similitude of them is as the similitude of, etc.
7 The people of Medina are generally addressed with "O ye who believe;" the
Meccans, with "O men." Hence it has been inferred that from verse 19 (O men)
to 37 inclusively, is of the Meccan period. The subjects treated of also lead
to this conclusion.
8 The statues of false gods.
9 It will be an agreeable surprise to the blessed to have fruits, which at
first sight resemble those of earth, but are infinitely more delicious,.
10 Muhammad had been reproached for having drawn illustrations from the Ant,
Bee, Spider, etc.
11 Concerning faith in Muhammad. See verse 39 below, note.
12 The number of the Heavens is borrowed from the Talmud, or traditions based
upon it; but the idea probably has its root in the Scriptural expression,
"Heaven of Heavens."
13 Lit. a caliph, vicegerent. "When the Holy One, Blessed be He, would create
man, He took counsel with the Angels and said to them, We will make man in
our image." Midr. Rabbah on Numb. iv. par. 19. Comp. Midr. on Gen. 1, par. 8,
17. Sanhedr. 38.
14 "God said to the Angels, 'His wisdom is greater than yours.' Then brought
he before them beasts, cattle, and birds, and asked for their names, but they
knew them not. But when he had created man," etc. Midr. as above.
15 Or, if ye are truthful, or can make good a better claim to the
16 In the name Eblis (diabolos) and in the honour claimed for Adam as a kind
of Godman, there are traces of a Christian original, as well as in the
identification of the serpent with Satan. Comp. Ps. civ. 4; Heb. i. 6. The
Talmudists also enlarge on the honour paid to Adam. "Adam sat in the garden
and the Angels brought him flesh and cooling wine." Sanhedr. 29. "In the hour
when the Holy One, Blessed be He, created man, the Angels went astray in
regard to him, and essayed to say before him, 'O Holy One!' then God
permitted sleep to fall on him, and all knew that he was of earth." Midr.
Rabbah on Gen. par. 8. It is possible that the Arabic word balas, a
profligate, wicked person, may have influenced Muhammad in the formation of
the word Eblis. See note, p. 185. Eblis is used in the Arabic version of the
New Testament, for the probable date of which, see Tischendorf, Prol. p. 78.
17 Observe the change from Eblis, the calumniator, to Satan, the hater.
18 Muhammad rarely accused the Jews and Christians of corrupting, but often
charges, however, are always very vaguely worded, and his utterances upon
this subject are tantamount to a strong testimony in favour of the
unimpeachable integrity of the sacred books, both of the Jews and Christians,
so far as he knew them. See Sura [lxxxvii.] vii. 168, and v. 73 below.
19 See Sura [lxv.] xxi. 49.
20 Lit. slay one another.
21 The Talmudists relate how the Israelites who had died, on hearing the
divine voice, etc., were restored by the intercession of the Law itself.
22 By storing them up in violation of God's command.
23 Jericho according to some commentators, Jerusalem according to others, but
see verse 58.
24 See Sura [lxxxvii.] vii. 162.
25 Lit. all men. This incident is perhaps inadvertently borrowed from Ex. xv.
26 This passage (comp. xxvi. 59) is one of the numerous anachronisms which
abound in the Koran and prove the gross ignorance of the Arabian Prophet.
27 The Sabeites are identical with the Mendaites, or so-called Christians of
S. John, residing in the marshy district at the mouth of the Euphrates, but
are not the same with the star-worshipping Sabians of Harran in Mesopotamia.
See D'Herbelot, Bibl. Or. under the word Sabi; Assemani, Bibl. Or. iii. 2,
609. For curious details as to the elements of the Sabeite religion, see
Chwolson's SSabier and SSabaismus I.
28 See Sura [lxxxvii.] vii. 170.
29 See Sura [lxxxvii.] vii. 164.
30 Compare Numb. xix.; Deut. xxii. 1-9. The cow was to be sacrificed in order
that a murderer might be discovered through the miracle to be wrought on the
corpse by a piece of her flesh.
31 To please you, O Muslims.
32 This is one of the passages which shews great familiarity with the habits
of the Jews, on the part of Muhammad. See Maracci's Prodr. i. 44. Wahl's
Einleitung, xxx. xxxv.
33 The Pentateuch. This passage shews that the art of writing was known in
Medina shortly after the Hejira.
34 Forty days; the period during which they worshipped the calf.
35 The blood of those who are as your own flesh.
36 Two Jewish tribes (Koreidha and Nadhir) in alliance with certain Arab
tribes who were at war, destroyed one another's abodes, but redeemed the
Jewish captives, professing that they were commanded to do this by the Law.
So the commentators.
37 Gabriel. Muhammad either knowingly rejected the divinity of the Holy
Ghost, or confounded Gabriel announcing the conception, with the Holy Spirit
that overshadowed Mary. It is probable that Muhammad's ideas of the Spirit
were at first indefinite, but that the two expressions, Gabriel and the Holy
Spirit, became ultimately synonymous. See note on Sura [lxvii.] xvii. 87.
Geiger (p. 82) quotes an instance in which the Jewish expositors understand
the distinctly-speaking Spirit (Sanhedr. 44) of Gabriel.
38 The gift of the prophetic office, etc., to a pagan Arab and not to a Jew.
39 Matt. xxiii. 37.
40 See Sura vii. 170, p. 309.
41 Comp. 1 Tim. v. 24.
42 In Solomon's Books of Magic. This story has been supposed to be of Persian
origin. See Hyde de Rel. Vet. Pers. ch. xii. But from a passage in the Midr.
Abhkhir quoted in the Midr. Jalkut, ch. 44, and from a quotation in Maracci's
Prodr. iv. 82, Geiger infers that Muhammad has transferred to the time of
Solomon, the Rabbinic traditions concerning the influence of angels upon men
at the time of the Deluge. p. 106. "Babel is regarded by the Muslims as the
fountain head of the science of magic. They suppose Haroot and Maroot to be