11 Lit. hath preceded.
12 Before Islam it had been the custom among the Arabians to assign a fourth
part of the booty to the leader of an expedition. See Freyt. Einl. p. 266.
13 That is, on the day of the battle of Bedr. See Sura xxi. 49, p. 154.
14 The mission of Gabriel to Muhammad with the promise of victory.
15 Compare the different account in Sura [xcvii.] iii. II. The commentators,
however, get over the discropancy by explaining the apparent diminution of
the Muslims at the commencement only of the battle, which had the effect of
drawing on the enemy in self-confidence.
16 The angels fighting for the Muslims.
17 By inducing them to attack so greatly superior a force.
18 Thus Beidh. Or, more simply, render them the like.
19 Comp. Lev. xxvi. 8; Josh. xxiii. 10.
20 Authorising the ransom of captives.
21 That is, a disposition to become Muslims.
22 That is, on account of their infidelity.
23 See Weil. Life of M. p. 84, n.
SURA1 XLVII.�MUHAMMAD [XCVI.]
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
WHOSO believe not, and prevent others from the way of God�their works will He
cause to miscarry;2
But whoso believe, and do things that are right, and believe in what hath
been sent down to MUHAMMAD�for it is the truth from their Lord�their sins
will He cancel, and dispose their hearts aright.
This�because the infidels followed vanity, while those who believe, followed
the truth from their Lord. Thus to men doth God set forth their likenesses.
When ye encounter the infidels,3 strike off their heads till ye have made a
great slaughter among them, and of the rest make fast the fetters.
And afterwards let there either be free dismissals or ransomings, till the
war hath laid down its burdens. Thus do. Were such the pleasure of God, he
could himself take vengeance upon them: but He would rather prove the one of
you by the other. And whoso fight for the cause of God, their works he will
not suffer to miscarry;
He will vouchsafe them guidance, and dispose their hearts aright;
And he will bring them into the Paradise, of which he hath told them.
Believers! if ye help God, God will help you, and will set your feet firm:
But as for the infidels, let them perish: and their works shall God bring to
This�because they were averse from the command which God sent down;
Fruitless, therefore, shall their works become!
Have they not journeyed through the land, and seen what hath been the end of
those who flourished before them? God brought destruction on them: and the
like of this doth await the infidels.
This�because God is the protector of those who believe, and because the
Were ye not ready, if ye had turned back from Him, to spread disorder in the
land, and violate the ties of blood?
These are they whom God hath cursed, and made deaf, and blinded their eyes!
Will they not then meditate on the Koran? Are locks upon their hearts?
But as to those who return to their errors after "the guidance" hath been
made plain to them, Satan shall beguile them, and fill them with his
This�because they say to those who abhor what God hath sent down, "We will
comply with you in part of what ye enjoin." But God knoweth their secret
But how? When the angels, in causing them to die, shall smite them on the
face and back!
This because they follow that which angereth God, and abhor what pleaseth
Him: therefore will He make their works fruitless.
Think these men of diseased hearts, that God will not bring out their malice
If such were our pleasure, we could point them out to thee, and thou surely
know them by their tokens: and know them thou shalt, by the strangeness of
their words.7 God knoweth your doings.
And we will surely test you, until we know the valiant and the steadfast
among you: and we will test the reports of your conduct.
Verily they who believe not, and turn others from the way of God, and
separate from the Apostle after that "the guidance" hath been clearly shewn
them, shall in no way injure God: but their works shall he bring to nought.
Believers! obey God and the Apostle: and render not your works vain.
Verily those who believe not, and who pervert others from the way of God, and
then die in unbelief, God will not forgive.
Be not fainthearted then; and invite not the infidels to peace when ye have
the upper hand: for God is with you, and will not defraud you of the
recompense of your works.
Surely this present life is only a play, and pastime! but if ye believe, fear
God; He will give you your rewards: but He will not ask all your riches of
Should He ask them of you, and urge you, ye would shew yourself niggards: and
He would bring your grudges to light.
Lo! ye are they, who are called to expend for the cause of God: and some of
you are niggards: but whoso is niggardly shall be niggard only to his own
change you for another people,8 and they shall not be your like!
1 This Sura was revealed at a period after the victory at Bedr, when there
was still some hesitation on the part of Muhammad's followers to take decided
steps for securing their position. See 37.
2 Lit. will He cause to wander, that is, from their proper aim and end, the
rewards of Paradise. See verse 5 ad f.
3 The Meccans and other unbelievers of Muhammad's time. The Hanefites suppose
this law to apply only to the battle of Bedr. The Shiites take it as of
4 This verse is said (by Omar b. Muhammad, and Itq. 43) to be the expression
of Muhammad's feelings at the injuries inflicted on Mecca. He is reported to
have wept over it.
5 The first sign being the mission of Muhammad; the second, the splitting of
the moon; the third, the smoke mentioned in Sura xliv. p. 89.
6 That is, commanding war against the infidels.
7 Unintelligible or affected words, applied to the new religion in contempt.
See Sura [xci.] ii. 56, p. 343.
8 Matt. xxi. 43.
SURA III.�THE FAMILY OF IMRAN1 [XCVII.]
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
ELIF. LAM. MIM.2 God! there is no god but He, the Living, the Merciful!
In truth hath He sent down to thee "the Book," which confirmeth those which
precede it: For He had sent down the Law, and the Evangel aforetime, as man's
Guidance; and now hath He sent down the "Illumination."3 (Furkan.)
Verily for those who believe not in the signs of God, is a severe
chastisement! And God is Mighty, the Avenger!
God! nought that is in Earth or that is in Heaven, is hidden unto Him. He it
is who formeth you in your mothers' wombs. There is no god but He; the
Mighty, the Wise!
He it is who hath sent down to thee "the Book." Some of its signs are of
themselves perspicuous;�these are the basis4 of the Book�and others are
figurative. But they whose hearts are given to err, follow its figures,
craving discord, craving an interpretation; yet none knoweth its
interpretation but God. And the stable in knowledge say, "We believe in it:
it is all from our Lord." But none will bear this in mind, save men endued
O our Lord! suffer not our hearts to go astray after that thou hast once