liars before thee, though they came with clear proofs of their mission, and
with Scriptures, and with the light-giving Book.
Every soul shall taste of death: and ye shall only receive your recompenses
on the day of resurrection. And whoso shall scape the fire, and be brought
into Paradise, shall be happy. And the life of this world is but a cheating
Ye shall assuredly be tried in your possessions and in yourselves. And many
hurtful things shall ye assuredly hear from those to whom the Scriptures were
given before you, and from those who join other gods with God. But if ye be
steadfast, and fear God this verily is needed in the affairs of life.
Moreover, when God entered into a convenant with those to whom the Scriptures
had been given, and said, "Ye shall surely make it known to mankind and not
hide it," they cast it behind their backs, and sold it for a sorry price! But
vile is that for which they have sold it.
Suppose not that they who rejoice in what they have brought to pass, and love
to be praised for what they have not done56�suppose not they shall escape the
chastisement. An afflictive chastisement doth await them,
For the Kingdom of the Heavens and the Earth is God's, and God hath power
over all things.
Verily, in the creation of the Heavens and of the Earth, and in the
succession of the night and of the day, are signs for men of understanding
Who standing, and sitting, and reclining, bear God in mind, and muse on the
creation of the Heavens and of the Earth. "O our Lord!" say they, "thou hast
not created this in vain. No. Glory be to Thee! Keep us, then, from the
torment of the fire.
O our Lord! surely thou wilt put him to shame whom thou shalt cause to enter
into the Fire, and the wrong-doers shall have none to help them.
O our Lord! we have indeed heard the voice of one that called. He called us
to the faith��Believe on your Lord��and we have believed.
O our Lord! forgive us then our sin, and hide away from us our evil deeds,
and cause us to die with the righteous.
O our Lord! and give us what thou hast promised us by thine apostles, and put
us not to shame on the day of the resurrection. Verily, Thou wilt not fail
And their Lord answereth them, "I will not suffer the work of him among you
that worketh, whether of male or female, to be lost. The one of you is the
issue of the other.57
And they who have fled their country and quitted their homes and suffered in
my cause, and have fought and fallen, I will blot out their sins from them,
and I will bring them into gardens beneath which the streams do flow."
A recompense from God! and God! with His is the perfection of recompense!
Let not prosperity in the land58 on the part of those who believe not,
deceive thee. 'Tis but a brief enjoyment! Then shall Hell be their abode; and
wretched the bed!
But as to those who fear their Lord�for them are the gardens 'neath which the
rivers flow: therein shall they abide for aye. Such their reception with God�
and that which is with God is best for the righteous.
Among the people of the Book are those who believe in God, and in what He
hath sent down to you, and in what He hath sent down to them, humbling
themselves before God. They barter not the signs of God for a mean price.
These! their recompense awaiteth them with their Lord: aye! God is swift to
O ye who believe! be patient, and vie in patience, and be firm, and fear God,
that it may be well with you.
1 Verses 1-87 probably belong to the period between the battle of Bedr and
Hej. 6.�Muhammad supposed Imran or Amran to be the father of the Virgin Mary
(Sura [cix.] lxvi. 12)�Mary and Elizabeth to be sisters; who, with Jesus,
John, and Zacharias, make up the family of Imran. It is difficult to avoid
the conclusion that Muhammad is guilty of the anachronism of confounding
Miriam with the Virgin Mary. On the other hand is the difficulty of
conceiving that as the sequence of time and fact is observed with tolerable
should have fallen into so serious an error, or have so inadvertently
adopted, as Mr. Muir supposes, the phraseology of his Jewish informants
(amongst whom the only well-known Mary (Miriam) was the daughter of Imran and
the sister of Moses) as to have overlooked the discrepancy in their
respective dates. But it is possible that Muhammad believed, as some Muslim
writers assert, that Miriam's soul and body were miraculously preserved till
the time of Jesus in order to become Mary his mother. Certainly the
Talmudists fabled that the Angel of Death and the worm of corruption had no
power over Miriam. Comp. Babha Bathra, 17. Jos. Ant. iv. 4, 6.
2 See note, p. 32.
3 See Sura xxi. 49, p. 154, n.
4 Lit. mother.
5 In the battle of Bedr, Muhammad, with 319 followers routed 1000 Meccans,
6 That is, knowledge, or revelation, became the cause of disputings.
7 That is, will ye receive Islam? The Ummiin, or common folk, the heathen
Arabians destitute of Revelation. In the earliest extant biography of
Muhammad by Ibn Ishaq, we find these words addressed by Zaid, previous to the
assumption of the prophetic office by Muhammad, to the Koreisch. This is one
of the facts which shew that the way was to a great extent prepared for
Islam. This whole address of Zaid's�which contains not less than six passages
afterwards repeated in the Koran�may be seen in Dr. Sprenger's Life of M. p.
42. The instances of others who had learned to disbelieve in idolatry, and
had either become Jews or Christians, or held their minds in suspense, might
easily be multiplied. Comp. Sharastani, p. 437. Masudi, ch. 6.
8 The King of the Kingdom, or, Lord of Might. This verse and the following
Suras. At any rate, they are misplaced, interrupting as they do the
connection of the preceding and subsequent verses.
9 The wife of Imran is Hannah or Anne. Comp. Protev. Jac. iv. [greek text].�
Evang. de Nat. Mar. 1: Voverunt tamen (Mari� parentes) si forte donaret eis
Deus sobolem, eam se Dni servitio mancipaturos.�Although Muhammad had no
direct access to the Apocryphal Gospels, yet these may have influenced, or at
any rate, contained much in common with, the ordinary traditions of S. Syria.
And of this, the Immaculate Conception of the B. V. Mary, supposed by Gibbon
(ch. 50) to have been "borrowed from the Koran," probably formed a part.
10 That is, the female could not become a priest.
11 See note, p. 114.
12 According to a tradition of Muhammad every new-born child is touched by
Satan, with the exception of Mary and her Son, between whom and Satan God
interposed a veil. (Djelal. Beidh.) Hence this passage may imply the
Immaculate Conception of the B. V. Mary. See v. 37 below.
13 Evang. de Nat. Mar. 7: Quotidie ab angelis frequentabatur, quotidie divinâ
visione fruebatur, queam a malis omnibus custodiebat et bonis omnibus
use of the Ćth. radeh, helper or disciple, we have herein a probable
interpretation of this passage, as well as of the word Ansar.
21 See Sura [cxiv.] v. 111.
22 Muhammad probably believed that God took the dead body of Jesus to Heaven�
for three hours according to some�while the Jews crucified a man who
resembled him. Sura [c.] iv. 156. The word motewaffika (comp. Sura [lxxx.]
xxxix. 156) means, in speaking of God, to cause to die, take to himself. It
would also seem from Sura [lviii.] xix. 34, that Muhammad supposed Jesus to
have died a natural death, though it is nowhere said how long he continued in
that state. The Muhammadans believe that Jesus on his return to earth at the
end of the world will slay the Antichrist, die, and be raised again. A vacant
place is reserved for his body in the Prophet's tomb at Medina. See Lieut.
Burton's Pilgrimage, vol. ii.
23 Lit. verily the similitude or analogy of Isa is as the similitude or
analogy of Adam, i.e. neither of them had a human father.
24 This refers to an embassy from the Christians in Nedjran in Arabia, with
their Bishop, Abu Hareth, at their head, to Muhammad at Medina, who had now
acquired political power. The embassy declined to be parties to the strange
mode of settling the dispute here proposed, but consented to pay tribute on
condition of not being molested in their religion or lands.
25 If this be not a mere figure of speech, it must mean let us call over and
curse the names, the persons being at a distance.
26 As the Christians do their Bishops and Priests.
27 Whether he were a Jew or Christian.
28 About Moses and Jesus, and their respective faiths.
29 See Sura xvi. 121, p. 209, note.
30 Muhammad insinuates that the claim to be equal with God could never have
been made by Jesus himself, but by his followers, in ignorance of the
Scriptures and of his true nature.
31 That is, to call them rabb�a title due only to God.
32 Assembled on Mount Sinai. Compare the Jewish legend, that all the
prophets, even those who were not yet born, were present on Mount Sinai, when
God gave the law to Moses. See Shemoth Rabba. Parashah 28, according to
at the giving of the Law.
33 Becca, place of crowding, i.e. Mecca. This sentence, together with other
Suras�the Cave, Mary, Imran, Repentance, T, H, are woven into the Kiswah or
covering of the Caaba, which is renewed annually.
34 The Makam Ibrahim (praying place of Abraham) is a small building supported
by six pillars about 8 ft. high, four of which are surrounded from top to
bottom by a fine iron railing, while they leave the space between the two
hind pillars open; within the railing is a frame about 5 ft. square, said to
contain the sacred stone on which Ibrahim stood when he built the Caaba.
Burckhardt. Lieut. Burton (Pilgrimage, iii. 336) says that as the Arab
tradition speaks clearly and consistently as to the fact of Abraham having
visited Mecca to build the Caaba, it may be considered an open question. Thus
also Dr. G. W. Freytag (Einl.).
35 The Koran.
36 Or, they are smitten with. Sale. S'etendra comme une tente. Kas.
37 This probably refers to the battle of Ohod.
38 The Arabic word occurs at verse 13 of horses as known by certain marks. So
here these angels would be known by their accoutrements, etc.
39 This and the following verses to 154 were probably revealed shortly after
the reverse of Ohod.
40 This verse and xxxix. 31 (p.257) were recited at Muhammad's death by Abu
Bekr, in order to convince Omar and the other Muslims of the possibility of
that event. It has been supposed that these passages were invented by Abu
Bekr on this occasion, and inserted into the Koran. But this is more than
doubtful. See Nöldeke, pp. 199-201.
41 That is, return to idolatry. A report had been spread in the battle of
Ohod that Muhammad had been slain.
42 Lit. according to a writing (i.e. of God) definite. The Rabbins also teach
(Com. Tract. Rosch. Haschanah) that there are books in which God has written
down the lifetime of every individual. Lit. No soul can die.
43 Lit. and their saying was no other than that they said.
44 To relapse into infidelity. The Koreisch attempted to seduce the Muslims
to renounce their faith after the battle of Ohod.
45 The command to abstain from taking the spoils. This disobedience turned
the scale of victory against the Muslims.
46 Victory and plunder.
47 Some took to flight, others stood firm, and were not careful of their
48 That is, in confused rout.
49 Muhammad had been accused of having secretly appropriated a portion of the
50 At Ohod.
51 See Sura [xci.] ii. 149.
52 At Ohod; lit. wound.
53 Lit. that Satan. Said to refer to Noaim, or Abu Sofian, the leader of the
54 This is an answer to the taunt that Muhammad could not distinguish true