The Project Gutenberg ebook of The Koran

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your former ignorance,15 but observe prayer, and pay the impost, and obey God

and the Apostle: for God only desireth to put away filthiness from you16 as

his household, and with cleansing to cleanse you.

And recollect what is rehearsed to you in your houses of the Book of God, and

of wisdom: for God is keen-sighted, cognisant of all.

Truly the men who resign themselves to God (Muslims), and the women who

resign themselves, and the believing men and the believing women, and the

devout men and the devout women, and the men of truth, and the women of

truth, and the patient men and the patient women, and the humble men and the

humble women, and the men who give alms and the women who give alms, and the

men who fast and the women who fast, and the chaste men and the chaste women,

and the men and the women who oft remember God: for them hath God prepared

forgiveness and a rich recompense.

And it is not for a believer, man or woman, to have any choice in their

affairs, when God and His Apostle have decreed a matter: and whoever

disobeyeth God and His Apostle, erreth with palpable error.
And, remember, when thou saidst to him unto whom God had shewn favour,17 and

to whom thou also hadst shewn favour, "Keep thy wife to thyself, and fear

God;" and thou didst hide in thy mind what God would bring to light.18 and

thou didst fear man; but more right had it been to fear God. And when Zaid

had settled concerning her to divorce her, we married her to thee, that it

might not be a crime in the faithful to marry the wives of their adopted

sons, when they have settled the affair concerning them. And the behest of

God is to be performed.

No blame attacheth to the prophet where God hath given him a permission. Such

was the way of God with those prophets who flourished before thee; for God's

behest is a fixed decree�
Who fulfilled the mission with which God had charged them,19 and feared Him,

and feared none but God. And God taketh a sufficient account.

Muhammad is not the father of any man among you, but he is the Apostle of

God, and the seal of the prophets: and God knoweth all things.

O Believers! remember God with frequent remembrance, and praise Him morning

and evening.

He blesseth you, and His angels intercede for you, that He may bring you

forth out of darkness into light: and Merciful is He to the Believers.

Their greeting on the day when they shall meet Him shall be "Peace!" And He

hath got ready for them a noble recompense.

O Prophet ! we have sent thee to be a witness, and a herald of glad tidings,

and a warner;

And one who, through His own permission, summoneth to God, and a light-giving

Announce, therefore, to believers, that great boons do await them from God;

And obey not the Infidels and Hypocrites�yet abstain from injuring them: and

put thou thy trust in God, for God is a sufficient guardian.

O Believers! when ye marry believing women, and then divorce them before ye

have consummated the marriage, ye have no term prescribed you, which ye must

fulfil towards them: provide for them, and dismiss them with a reputable


O Prophet! we allow thee thy wives whom thou hast dowered, and the slaves

whom thy right hand possesseth out of the booty which God hath granted thee,

and the daughters of thy uncle, and of thy paternal and maternal aunts who

fled with thee to Medina, and any believing woman who hath given herself up

to the Prophet, if the Prophet desired to wed her�a Privilege for thee above

the rest of the Faithful.

We well know what we have settled for them, in regard to their wives and to

the slaves whom their right hands hold, that there may be no fault on thy

part:20 and God is Indulgent, Merciful!
Thou mayst decline for the present whom thou wilt of them, and thou mayest

take to thy bed her whom thou wilt, and whomsoever thou shalt long for of

those thou shalt have before neglected; and this shall not be a crime in

thee. Thus will it be easier to give them the desire of their eyes, and not

to put them to grief, and to satisfy them with what thou shalt accord to each

of them. God knoweth what is in your hearts, and God is Knowing, Gracious.

It is not permitted thee to take other wives hereafter,21 nor to change thy

present wives for other women, though their beauty charm thee, except slaves

whom thy right hand shall possess.22 And God watcheth all things.
O Believers! enter not into the houses of the Prophet,23 save by his leave,

for a meal, without waiting his time. When ye are invited then enter, and

when ye have eaten then disperse at once.24 And engage not in familiar talk,

for this would cause the Prophet trouble, and he would be ashamed to bid you

go; but God is not ashamed to say the truth. And when ye would ask any gift

of his wives, ask it from behind a veil. Purer will this be for your hearts

and for their hearts. And ye must not trouble the Apostle of God, nor marry

his wives, after him, for ever. This would be a grave offence with God.

Whether ye bring a matter to the light or hide it, God truly hath knowledge

of all things.

No blame shall attach to them (your wives) for speaking to their fathers

unveiled, or to their sons, or to their brothers, or to their brothers' sons,

or to their sisters' sons, or to their women, or to the slaves whom their

right hands hold. And fear ye God: for God witnesseth all things.

Verily, God and His Angels bless the Prophet! Bless ye Him, O Believers, and

salute Him with salutations of Peace.

Verily, they who affront God and His Apostle, the curse of God is on them in

this world, and in the world to come: and He hath prepared for them a

shameful chastisement.
And they who shall affront believing men and believing women, for no fault of

theirs, they shall surely bear the guilt of slander, and of a clear wrong.

O Prophet! speak to thy wives and to thy daughters,25 and to the wives of the

Faithful, that they let their veils fall low. Thus will they more easily be

known, and they will not be affronted. God is Indulgent, Merciful!
If the Hypocrites, and the men of tainted heart, and the stirrers of sedition

in Medina desist not, we will surely stir thee up against them. Then shall

they not be suffered to dwell near thee therein, but a little while:
Cursed wherever they are found; they shall be seized and slain with


Such hath been the way of God with those who lived before them; and no change

canst thou find in the way of God.

Men will ask thee of "the Hour." SAY: The knowledge of it is with God alone:

and who can tell thee whether haply the Hour be not nigh at hand?

Verily, God hath cursed the Infidels, and hath got ready for them the flame:
For aye shall they abide therein; none to befriend them, no helper shall they

On the day when their faces shall be rolled in the fire, they shall cry: "Oh!

would that we had obeyed God, and obeyed the Apostle!"
And they shall say: "Oh our Lord! indeed we obeyed our chiefs and our great

ones, and they misled us from the way of God�

O our Lord! give them a double chastisement, and curse them with a heavy

O Believers! be not like those who affronted Moses.26 But God cleared him

from what they said of him, and of God was he highly esteemed.
O Believers! fear God, and speak with well-guided speech.
That God may bless your doings for you, and forgive you your sins. And whoso

obeyeth God and His Apostle with great bliss shall be blessed.

Verily, we proposed to the Heavens, and to the Earth, and to the Mountains to

receive the Faith, but they refused the burden, and they feared to receive

it. Man undertook to bear it, but hath proved unjust, senseless!
Therefore will God punish the hypocritical men and the hypocritical women,

and the men and the women who join gods with God; but to the believing men

and women will God turn him: for God is Indulgent, Merciful!


1 Medina was besieged, when this Sura was revealed, by certain confederate

tribes at the instigation of the Jews, an. Hej. 5. The first nine verses,

however, have no immediate reference to this event, but to Muhammad's

cotemporary marriage with Zeinab. See below, verse 37.

2 The Arabians had been accustomed, before the time of Muhammad, to divorce

their wives with the words,�thy back be to me as the back of my mother. The

drift and motive of this passage is explained by verse 37 below. It had also

been the custom to hold adopted sons to be as nearly related to them as their

natural ones. See Sura lviii. 2, p. 451.
3 The Mohadjers�those who had emigrated with Muhammad from Mecca. This verse

abrogates Sura [xcv.] viii. 73.

4 How they have discharged their prophetic functions.
5 Verses 9-33 have reference to the events of the year Hej. 5, towards the

close. See next note. His. 688; Waq. 4 f.

6 In the engagement which took place under the walls of Medina, some of the

enemy were posted on a height to the east of the city, others in a valley on

the west. The besiegers were 12,000, the Muslims 3,000 strong, when a violent

storm, which upset the tents, put out the camp fires, and blinded the eyes of

the confederates with sand, turned the scale of victory against them.

Muhammad ascribes the storm to angelic agency.

7 That is, with infidelity.
8 The ancient name of El-Medina.
9 In the trenches which had been dug around the city by the advice of Salmân,

the Persian.

10 They would speedily have quitted the city to attack the faithful in the


11 That is, raise the siege.
12 That is, that through trials we should attain to Paradise, v. 29.
13 After the siege of Medina had been raised, Muhammad made a successful

expedition against the Jews of Koreidha, for their treason and violation of

14 Muhammad's wives having caused him much annoyance by demands of rich

dresses, etc., he gave them the choice of continuing with him as before, or

of divorce. They chose the former. See Abulfeda's Hist. Moh. p. 77, and

Gagnier's Vie de Moh. i. 4, chap. ii.

15 That is, Idolatry. Acts xvii. 30. Freytag (Einl. p. 453) thinks that

previous to Islam, the Arabian women went in public unveiled.

16 The pronoun is in the pl. masc., whereas the pl. fem. is used in the

previous part of the verse. The partisans of Ali quote this passage to prove

the intimate union of Ali and his posterity with the Prophet.
17 That is, to Zaid. The favour of God to Zaid consisted in having caused him

to become a Muslim: the favour of Muhammad in adopting him as his son. Zaid

and Abu Lahab (Sura cxi. p. 29) are the only contemporaries of Muhammad

mentioned by name in the Koran.

18 Thy plan to obtain Zeinab, or Zenobia, Zaid's wife, as thy wife.
19 Lit, who brought the messages of God.
20 If thou makest use of the special prerogative (conferred in verse 49).
21 He had nine wives at this period, beside slaves. The number of wives

allowed to the faithful is four. See note, p. 411. 22 The first slave whom

Muhammad took to wife was Raihana, at the conquest of the Banu Koreidha. His.

693. Weil, 170.

23 Verses 53-55 refer to the conduct of the guests at Muhammad's house after

his marriage with Zeinab. Albuhari passim. Muslim i. 824 ff. Wah. Comp.

Caussir, iii. 151.
24 Ullmann, p. 263, quotes a similar precept from the Talmud, "Do all that

the master of the house biddeth, but wait not to be asked to depart."

25 This verse cannot be of later date than Hej. 8, when Muhammad's daughter

Omm Kulthum died. leaving only Fatima.

26 This may refer to the charge of adultery said by the Rabbins to have been

brought by Korah against Moses. Comp. Tr. Sanhedrin, fol. 110a. and Numbers

xii. 1. The verse is said to have been revealed on account of aspersions

thrown on Muhammad for unfairly dividing spoils, whereupon he said, "God be

merciful to my brother Moses. He was wronged more than this, and bore it with


MEDINA.�11 Verses
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
WHEN the Hypocrites come to thee, they say, "We bear witness that thou art

the Sent One of God." God knoweth that thou art His Sent One: but God beareth

witness that the HYPOCRITES do surely lie.
Their faith2 have they used as a cloak, and they turn aside others from the

way of God! Evil are all their doings.

This, for that they believed, then became unbelievers!Therefore hath a seal

been set upon their hearts, and they understand not.

When thou seest them, their persons make thee marvel; and if they speak, thou

listenest with pleasure to their discourse. Like timbers are they leaning

against a wall!3 They think that every shout is against them. They are

enemies�Beware of them then�God do battle with them! How false are they!

And when it is said to them, "Come, the Apostle of God will ask pardon for

you," they turn their heads aside, and thou seest them withdraw in their

Alike shall it be to them whether thou ask forgiveness for them, or ask it

not. By no means will God forgive them: God hath no guidance for a perverse

These are they who say to you of Medina, "Spend not aught upon those who are

with the Apostle of God, and they will be forced to quit him." Yet the

treasures of the Heavens and of the Earth are God's! But the Hypocrites have

no understanding.

They say: "If we return to the city, the mightier will assuredly drive out

the weaker from it." But might is with God, and with the Apostle, and with

the Faithful! Yet the Hypocrites understand not.
O ye who believe! let not your wealth and your children delude you into

forgetfulness of God. Whoever shall act thus, shall surely suffer loss.

And expend in the cause of God out of that with which we have supplied you,

ere death surprise each one of you, and he say, "O Lord! wilt thou not

respite me to a term not far distant, that I may give alms, and become one of

the just?"

And by no means will God respite a soul when its hour hath come! And God is

fully cognisant of what ye do.

1 Revealed shortly after the expedition against the Banu 'l Mustaliq in Hej.

6. See Nöld. p. 156 n. The "Hypocrites" mentioned in the later Suras are the

disaffected portion of the population of Medina, who covertly opposed the

claims of Muhammad to temporal authority over that city. They were gradually

absorbed, as the authority of Islam increased.
2 Or, in accordance with another reading, oaths. Comp. Ps. cix. 18.
3 Like timbers or joists supported in a wall or leaned against it, i.e.,

their persons are bulky, but their hearts so hypocritical and cowardly that

they are afraid of the slightest noise. In the original, saďkat is perhaps an

allusion to the shout of Gabriel, that is to exterminate the wicked.

MEDINA.�64 Verses
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
A SURA which we have sent down and sanctioned! Clear signs have we sent down

therein, that ye may take warning.

The whore and the whoremonger�scourge each of them with an hundred stripes;

and let not compassion keep you from carrying out the sentence of God, if ye

believe in God and the last day: And let some of the faithful witness their


The whoremonger shall not marry other than a whore or an idolatress; and the

whore shall not marry other than a whoremonger or an idolater. Such alliances

are forbidden to the faithful.
They who defame virtuous women,2 and bring not four witnesses, scourge them

with fourscore stripes, and receive ye not their testimony for ever, for

these are perverse persons�
Save those who afterwards repent and live virtuously; for truly God is

Lenient, Merciful!

And they who shall accuse their wives, and have no witnesses but themselves,

the testimony of each of them shall be a testimony by God four times

repeated, that he is indeed of them that speak the truth.3
And the fifth time that the malison of God be upon him, if he be of them that

But it shall avert the chastisement from her if she testify a testimony four

times repeated, by God, that he is of them that lie;
And a fifth time to call down the wrath of God on her, if he have spoken the

And but for the goodness and mercy of God towards you, and that God is He who

loveth to turn, Wise . . . . !
Of a truth, they who advanced that lie4 were a large number of you; but

regard it not as an evil to you. No, it is an advantage to you.5 To every man

among them shall it be done according to the offence he hath committed; and

as to that person6 among them who took on himself to aggravate it, a sore

punishment doth await him.
Did not the faithful of both sexes, when ye heard of this, form a favourable

judgment in their own minds, and say,

"This is a manifest lie?"
Have they brought four witnesses of the fact? If they cannot produce the

witnesses, they are the liars in the sight of God.

And but for the goodness of God towards you, and His mercy in this world and

in the next, a severe punishment had come upon you for that which ye spread

abroad, when ye uttered with your tongues, and spake with your mouths that of

which ye had no knowledge. Ye deemed it to be a light matter, but with God it

was a grave one.
And did ye say when ye heard it, "It is not for us to talk of this affair! O

God! By thy Glory, this is a gross calumny?"

God hath warned you that ye go not back to the like of this for ever, if ye

be believers:

And God maketh His signs clear to you: for God is Knowing, Wise.
But as for those who love that foul calumnies should go forth against those

who believe, a grievous chastisement awaits them

In this world and in the next. And God hath knowledge, but ye have not.
And but for the goodness of God towards you and His Mercy, and that God is

Kind, Merciful . . . !

O ye who believe! follow not the steps of Satan, for whosoever shall follow

the steps of Satan, he will enjoin on him what is base and blameworthy; and

but for the goodness of God towards you,7 and His mercy, no one of you had

been cleansed for ever: but God maketh whom He will to be clean, and God

Heareth, Knoweth.
And let not persons of wealth and means among you swear that they will not

give to their kindred, to the poor, and to those who have fled their homes in

the cause of God; let them rather pardon and pass over the offence.8 Desire

ye not that God should forgive you? And God is Gracious, Merciful!

Verily, they who throw out charges against virtuous but careless women, who

yet are believers, shall be cursed in this world and in the world to come;

and a terrible punishment doth await them.
Their own tongues, and hands, and feet, shall one day bear witness against

them of their own doings.9

On that day will God pay them their just due, and they shall know that God is

the clear Truth itself.

Bad women for bad men, and bad men for bad women; but virtuous women for

virtuous men, and virtuous men for virtuous women! These shall be cleared

from calumnies; theirs shall be forgiveness and an honourable provision.
O ye who believe! enter not into other houses10 than your own, until ye have

asked leave, and have saluted its inmates. This will be best for you: haply

ye will bear this in mind.
And if ye find no one therein, then enter it not till leave be given you; and

if it be said to you, "Go ye back," then go ye back. This will be more

blameless in you, and God knoweth what ye do.
There shall be no harm in your entering houses in which no one dwelleth, for

the supply of your needs: and God knoweth what ye do openly and what ye hide.

Speak unto the believers that they restrain their eyes and observe

continence. Thus will they be more pure. God is well aware of what they do.

And speak to the believing women that they refrain their eyes, and observe

continence; and that they display not their ornaments, except those which are

external; and that they throw their veils over their bosoms, and display not

their ornaments, except to their husbands or their fathers, or their

husbands' fathers, or their sons, or their husbands' sons, or their brothers,

or their brothers' sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or their

slaves, or male domestics who have no natural force, or to children who note

not women's nakedness. And let them not strike their feet together, so as to

discover their hidden ornaments.11 And be ye all turned to God, O ye

Believers! that it may be well with you.

And marry those among you who are single, and your good servants, and the

handmaidens. If they are poor, God of His bounty will enrich them. God is

all-bounteous, Knowing.
And let those who cannot find a match12 live in continence till God of His

bounty shall enrich them. And to those of your slaves who desire a deed of

manumission, execute it for them, if ye know good in them, and give them a

portion of the wealth of God which He hath given you.13 Force not your female

slaves into sin, in order that ye may gain the casual fruitions of this

world, if they wish to preserve their modesty. Yet if any one compel them,

then Verily to them, after their compulsion, will God be Forgiving, Merciful.
And now have we sent down to you clear signs, and an instance from among

those who flourished before you, and a caution for the God-fearing.14

God is the LIGHT of the Heavens and of the Earth. His Light is like a niche

in which is a lamp�the lamp encased in glass�the glass, as it were, a

glistening star. From a blessed tree is it lighted, the olive neither of the

East nor of the West, whose oil would well nigh shine out, even though fire

touched it not! It is light upon light. God guideth whom He will to His

light, and God setteth forth parables to men, for God knoweth all things.

In the temples which God hath allowed to be reared, that His name may therein

be remembered, do men praise Him morn and even.

Men whom neither merchandise nor traffic beguile from the remembrance of God,

and from the observance of prayer, and the payment of the stated alms,

through fear of the day when hearts shall throb and eyes shall roll:
That for their most excellent works may God recompense them, and of His

bounty increase it to them more and more: for God maketh provision for whom

He pleaseth without measure.
But as to the infidels, their works are like the vapour in a plain which the

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