others, cloisters, and churches, and oratories, and mosques, wherein the name
of God is ever commemorated, would surely have been destroyed. And him who
helpeth God will God surely help:11 for God is right Strong, Mighty:�
Those who, if we establish them in this land, will observe prayer, and pay
the alms of obligation, and enjoin what is right, and forbid what is evil.
And the final issue of all things is unto God.
Moreover, if they charge thee with imposture, then already, before them, the
people of Noah, and Ad and Themoud, and the people of Abraham, and the people
of Lot, and the dwellers in Madian, have charged their prophets with
imposture! Moses, too, was charged with imposture! And I bore long with the
unbelievers; then seize on them: and how great was the change I wrought!
And how many cities which had been ungodly, and whose roofs are now laid low
in ruin, have We destroyed! And wells have been abandoned and lofty castles!
Have they not journeyed through the land? Have they not hearts to understand
with, or ears to hear with? It is not that to these sights their eyes are
blind, but the hearts in their breasts are blind!
And they will bid thee to hasten the chastisement. But God cannot fail His
threat. And verily, a day with thy Lord is as a thousand years,12 as ye
How many cities have I long borne with, wicked though they were, yet then
laid hold on them to chastise them! Unto Me shall all return.
SAY: O men! I am only your open warner:
And they who believe and do the things that are right, shall have forgiveness
and an honourable provision;
But those who strive to invalidate our signs shall be inmates of Hell.
We have not sent any apostle or prophet before thee, among whose desires
Satan injected not some wrong desire, but God shall bring to nought that
which Satan had suggested. Thus shall God affirm His revelations13 for God is
That He may make that which Satan hath injected, a trial to those in whose
hearts is a disease, and whose hearts are hardened.�Verily, the wicked are in
a far-gone severance from the truth!�
And that they to whom "the Knowledge" hath been given, may know that the
Koran is the truth from thy Lord, and may believe in it, and their hearts may
acquiesce in it: for God is surely the guider of those who believe, into the
But the Infidels will not cease to doubt concerning it, until "the Hour" come
suddenly upon them, or until the chastisement of the day of desolation come
On that day the Kingdom shall be God's: He shall judge between them: and they
who shall have believed and done the things that are right, shall be in
gardens of delight:
But they who were Infidels and treated our signs as lies�these then�their's a
And as to those who fled their country for the cause of God, and were
afterwards slain, or died, surely with goodly provision will God provide for
them! for verily, God! He, surely, is the best of providers!
He will assuredly bring them in with an in-bringing that shall please them
well: for verily, God is right Knowing, Gracious.
So shall it be. And whoever in making exact reprisal for injury done him,
shall again be wronged, God will assuredly aid him: for God is most Merciful,
So shall it be; for that God causeth the night to enter in upon the day, and
He causeth the day to enter in upon the night: and for that God Heareth,
So shall it be, for that God is the truth; and because what they call on
beside Him is vanity: and because God is the Lofty, the Mighty!
Seest thou not that God sendeth down water from Heaven, and that on the
morrow the earth is clad with verdure? for God is benignant, cognisant of
His, all in the Heavens and all on Earth: and verily, God! He assuredly is
the Rich, the Praiseworthy!
Seest thou not that God hath put under you whatever is in the earth; and the
ships which traverse the sea at His bidding? And He holdeth back the heaven
that it fall not on the earth, unless He permit it! for God is right Gracious
to mankind, Merciful.
And He it is who hath given you life, then will cause you to die, then will
give you life�of a truth man is all ungrateful.
To every people have we appointed observances which they observe. Therefore,
let them not dispute this matter with thee, but bid them to thy Lord, for
thou art on the right way:
But if they debate with thee, then Say: God best knoweth what ye do!
God will judge between you on the day of resurrection, as to the matters
wherein ye differ.
Knowest thou not that God knoweth whatever is in the Heaven and on the Earth?
This truly is written in the Book: this truly is easy for God.
They worship beside God, that for which He hath sent down no warranty, and
that of which they have no knowledge: but for those who commit this wrong, no
And when our clear signs are rehearsed to them, thou mayst perceive disdain
in the countenances of the Infidels. Scarce can they refrain from rushing to
attack those who rehearse our signs to them! SAY: Shall I tell you of worse
than this? The fire which God hath threatened to those who believe not!
Wretched the passage thither!
O men! a parable is set forth to you, wherefore hearken to it. Verily, they
on whom ye call beside God, cannot create a fly, though they assemble for it;
and if the fly carry off aught from them, they cannot take it away from it!
Weak the suppliant and the supplicated!
Unworthy the estimate they form of God!14 for God is right Powerful, Mighty!
God chooseth messengers from among the angels and from among men: verily, God
He knoweth what is before them and what is behind them; and unto God shall
all things return.
Believers! bow down and prostrate yourselves and worship your Lord, and work
righteousness that you may fare well.
And do valiantly in the cause of God as it behoveth you to do for Him. He
hath elected you, and hath not laid on you any hardship in religion, the
Faith of your father Abraham. He hath named you the Muslims
Heretofore and in this Book, that the Apostles may be a witness against you,
and that ye may be witnesses against the rest of mankind. Therefore observe
prayer, and pay the legal impost, and cleave fast to God. He is your liege
Lord�a goodly Lord, and a goodly Helper!
1 This Sura is generally said to have been revealed at Mecca,�but this is
probably only the case with verses 1-24; 43-56; 60-65; 67-75. Mr. Muir places
it at the close of the Meccan Suras of the fifth period. See Nöld, p. 158.
2 Said to be Abu Jahl. See Sura xcvi. p. 20, n. 2.
3 Lit. so that after knowledge he knoweth not aught.
4 The teachings and progress of Islam.
5 See Sura [xci.] ii. 59. The Sabeites were probably Hanyfs. See Pref.
6 The Kaaba. Sharastani informs us that there was an opinion prevalent among
the Arabs, that the walking round the Kaaba, and other ceremonies, were
symbolic of the motion of the planets and of other astronomical facts.
Watwat, Mabahij al Fikr., Lib. i., c. 2, says that "most Arabic tribes were
originally star-worshippers, Sabeans. The people of Saba worshipped the Sun,
the tribes of Asad and Kaninah the Moon, etc. etc. At a later period they all
sunk into idolatry, and in the time of Muhammad, the idols round the Kaaba
amounted to 360."
7 Lit. thin, with the implied sense of fleet.
8 The ten first days of the Dhu'lhajja. For the ceremonies, see Freytag's
Einleitung, p. 418; Burton's Pilgrimage, vol. iii.; Sale's Notes and Prelim.
9 That is, the uncut beards, nails, etc.
10 Offerings of animals are by no means confined to Mecca and the Pilgrimage.
"It is not uncommon," says Mr. Lane, "without any definite view but that of
obtaining general blessings, to make vows (of animals): and sometimes a
peasant vows that he will sacrifice, for the sake of a saint, a calf which he
possesses, as soon as it is grown and fatted. It is let loose, by consent of
all his neighbours, to pasture where it will, even in fields of young wheat;
and at last, after it has been sacrificed, a public feast is made of its
meat. Many a large bull is thus given away." Modern Egyptians, i. 307.
Compare Dr. Gobat's Abyssinia, p. 294, 7, for similar customs among
Christians of probably Arabian extraction. Five or six thousand animals are
said to have been slain in the valley of Mina by the pilgrims of the year
1854. (See Lieut. Burton's Pilgrimage, iii. p. 313.) The victim is considered
by the devout as an expression of their conviction that death is their desert
at the hands of God.
11 See Ibn Batoutah, iv. 106. (Par. ed.)
12 Comp. Sur. xxxii. 4, p. 190.
13 The ayats, signs or verses of the Koran. It is said by tradition that
Muhammad was consoled by this revelation for the Satanic suggestion mentioned
Sur. liii. 20, p. 70 (n.). But in this view of the text, for among whose
desires, or affections, we should render when he recited.
14 Lit. they measure not God with truth of His measurement.
SURA XLVIII.�THE VICTORY [CVIII.]
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
Verily, We have won for thee an undoubted VICTORY1�
In token that God forgiveth thy earlier and later faults, and fulfilleth His
goodness to thee, and guideth thee on the right way,
And that God succoureth thee with a mighty succour.
He it is who sendeth down a spirit of secure repose into the hearts of the
faithful that they might add faith to their faith; (for God's are the armies
of the Heavens and of the Earth: and God is Knowing, Wise:)
And that He may bring the believing men and the believing women into gardens
'neath whose trees the rivers flow, to dwell therein for ever, and that He
may cancel their evil deeds: for this is the great bliss with God:
And that He may punish the hypocritical men and the hypocritical women, and
the men and women who join other gods with God, and think evil thoughts of
Him. Theirs shall be a round of evil; and God is angry with them and curseth
them, and hath prepared Hell for them: and, an evil journey thither!
The armies of the Heavens and of the Earth are God's, and God is Mighty,
Verily, we have sent thee to be a witness and a herald of good (an
announcer), and a warner,
That ye may believe on God and on His Apostle; and may assist Him, and honour
Him, and praise him, morning and evening.
In truth, they who plighted fealty to thee, really plighted that fealty to
God: the hand of God was over their hands! Whoever, therefore, shall break
his oath shall only break it to his own hurt; but whoever shall be true to
his engagement with God, He will give him a great reward.
The Arabs who took not the field with you,2 will say to thee,3 "We were
engaged with our property and our families; therefore ask thou pardon for
us." They speak with their tongues what is not in their hearts. SAY: And who
can have any power over God in your behalf, whether he will you some loss, or
whether he will you an advantage? Yes, God is acquainted with your doings.
But ye thought that the Apostle and the faithful could never more come back
to their families; and your hearts were pleased at this; and ye thought an
evil thought of this expedition, and ye became an undone people:
For, whoso believeth not in God, and His Apostle. . . . Verily, we have got
ready the flame for the Infidels!
And God's is the kingdom of the Heavens and of the Earth: Whom He will He
forgiveth, and whom He will He punisheth: and God is Gracious, Merciful!
They who took not the field with you will say, when ye go forth to the spoil
to take it, "Let us follow you." Fain would they change the word of God.4
SAY: Ye shall by no means follow us: thus hath God said already. They will
say, "Nay, ye are jealous of us." Nay! they are men of little understanding.
SAY to those Arabs of the desert, who took not the field, ye shall be called
forth against a people of mighty valour. Ye shall do battle with them, or
they shall profess Islam. If ye obey, a goodly recompense will God give you;
but if ye turn back, as ye turned back aforetime, He will chastise you with a
It shall be no crime on the part of the blind, the lame, or the sick, if they
go not to the fight. But whoso shall obey God and His Apostle, he shall bring
him into the gardens 'neath which the rivers flow: but whoso shall turn back,
He will punish him with a sore punishment.
Well pleased now hath God been with the believers when they plighted fealty
to thee under the tree;5 and He knew what was in their hearts: therefore did
He send down upon them a spirit of secure repose, and rewarded them with a
And with the rich booty which they took: for God is Mighty, Wise!
God promised you the taking of a rich booty6 and sped it to you; and He
withheld men's hands from you, for a sign to the faithful, and that He might
guide you along the right way:�
And other booty, over which ye have not yet had power: but now hath God
compassed them for you; for God is over all things Potent.
If the Infidels shall fight against you, they shall assuredly turn their
backs; then, neither protector nor helper shall they find!
Such is God's method carried into effect of old; no change canst thou find in
God's mode of dealing.
And He it was who held their hands from you and your hands from them in the
valley of Mecca,7 after that He had given you the victory over them: for God
saw what ye did.
These are they who believed not, and kept you away from the sacred Mosque, as
well as the offering which was prevented from reaching the place of
sacrifice. And had it not been that ye would have trodden down believers,
both men and women, whom ye knew not, so that a crime might have lighted on
you without your knowledge on their account, and that God would bring whom He
will within His mercy, this would have been otherwise ordered. Had they been
apart,8 we had surely punished such of them as believed not, with a sore
When the unbelievers had fostered rage in their hearts�the rage of ignorance
(of heathens)�God sent down His peace on His Apostle and on the faithful, and
stablished in them the word of piety, for they were most worthy and deserving
of it: and God knoweth all things.
Now hath God in truth made good to His Apostle the dream9 in which he said,
"Ye shall surely enter the sacred Mosque, if God will, in full security,
having your heads shaved and your hair cut: ye shall not fear; for He knoweth
what ye know not; and He hath ordained you, beside this, a speedy victory."
It is He who hath sent His Apostle with "the Guidance," and the religion of
truth, that He may exalt it above every religion. And enough for thee is this
testimony on the part of God.
Muhammad is the Apostle of God; and his comrades are vehement against the
infidels, but full of tenderness among themselves. Thou mayst see them bowing
down, prostrating themselves, imploring favours from God, and His acceptance.
Their tokens10 are on their faces, the marks of their prostrations. This is
their picture in the Law, and their picture in the Evangel:11 they are as the
seed which putteth forth its stalk; then strengtheneth it, and it groweth
stout, and riseth upon its stem,12 rejoicing the husbandman�that the infidels
may be wrathful at them. To such of them as believe and do the things that
are right, hath God promised forgiveness and a noble recompense.
1 This Sura was probably revealed shortly after the peace of Hudaibiya. Ann.
Hej. 6. Some commentators, however, understand the Victory of the taking of
Mecca two years�later the preterite being used in the prophetic style for the
future�others of the taking of Chaibar, or Muta (?), a town of the Roman
2 Lit. were left behind.
3 On the return to Medina. See Weil's Leben M. p. 173 (n.).
4 The law relative to booty, viz. that those who were not at Hudaibiya should
have no share in the booty to be obtained from the Jews at Chaibar. Muhammad
marched against them in Hej. 7.
5 When the rumour reached Muhammad at Hudaibiya that Othman Ibn Affan, whom
he had sent to inform the Meccans that he was merely coming to visit their
temple, and with peaceable intentions, had been slain by them.
6 At Chaibar.
7 The valley of Mecca may mean Hudaibiya. But the commentators explain this
verse of different events. It probably, however, refers to the 50 (according
to Djalalein 80) prisoners whom Muhammad dismissed freely at Hudaibiya.
8 Had the believers been separate from the infidels.
9 This dream Muhammad had at Medina, before he set out for al Hudaibiya. His
followers expected its fulfilment within the year, but when the truce
frustrated their hopes, this verse was revealed to pacify them.
10 Dust from the pavement. The Muhammadans who say their prayers on carpets
often place little bricks before them which they touch in prostration with
11 Comp. Mark iv. 28.
12 Lit. legs.
SURA LXVI.�THE FORBIDDING [CIX.]
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
WHY,1 O Prophet! dost thou hold that to be FORBIDDEN which God hath made
lawful to thee, from a desire to please thy wives, since God is Lenient,
God hath allowed you release from your oaths; and God is your master: and He
is the Knowing, Wise.
When the prophet told a recent occurrence as a secret to one of his wives,
and when she divulged it and God informed him of this, he acquainted her with
part and withheld part.2 And when he had told her of it, she said, "Who told
thee this?" He said, "The Knowing, the Sage hath told it me.
"If ye both be turned to God in penitence, for now have your hearts gone
astray . . . .3 but if ye conspire against the Prophet, then know that God is
his Protector, and Gabriel, and every just man among the faithful; and the
angels are his helpers besides.
"Haply if he put you both away, his Lord will give him in exchange other
wives better than you, Muslims, believers, devout, penitent, obedient,
observant of fasting, both known of men and virgins."
O Believers! save yourselves and your families from the fire whose fuel is
men and stones, over which are set angels fierce and mighty: they disobey not
God in what He hath commanded them, but execute His behests.
O ye Infidels! make no excuses for yourselves this day; ye shall surely be
recompensed according to your works.
O Believers! turn to God with the turning of true penitence; haply your Lord
will cancel your evil deeds, and will bring you into the gardens 'neath which
the rivers flow, on the day when God will not shame the Prophet, nor those
who have shared his faith: their light shall run before them, and on their
right hands! they shall say, "Lord perfect our light, and pardon us: for thou
hast power over all things."
O Prophet! make war on the infidels and hypocrites, and deal rigorously with
them. Hell shall be their abode! and wretched the passage to it!
God setteth forth as an example to unbelievers the wife of Noah and the wife
of Lot; they were under two of our righteous servants, both of whom they
deceived: but their husbands availed them nought against God: and it shall be
said "Enter ye into the fire with those who enter."
God also holdeth forth to those who believe the example of the wife of
Pharaoh,4 when she said, "Lord, build me an house with thee in Paradise, and
deliver me from Pharaoh and his doings; and deliver me from the wicked:"
And Mary, the daughter of Imran, who kept her maidenhood, and into whose
womb5 we breathed of our spirit, and who believed in the words of her Lord
and His Scriptures, and was one of the devout.
1 The first verses of this Sura were revealed (Hej. 7.) on occasion of
Muhammad's reviving affection for Mary, a Copt slave sent him by the governor
of Egypt, from whom he had recently (verse 3) sworn to his wife Hafsa to
separate entirely. Hafsa, who had been greatly incensed at their amour, of
which Muhammad had himself informed her, communicated the matter in
confidence to Ayesha, from whose altered manner, probably, the prophet found
that his secret had been betrayed. To free Muhammad from his obligation to
Hafsa was the object of this chapter.
2 Muhammad withheld the fact that Ayesha, as well as God, was his informant,
but taxed Hafsa with not having kept his secret.
3 Supply God will pardon you.
4 Asia, a name, perhaps, corrupted from that of Pharaoh's daughter Bithiah. 1
5 See Sura xxi. 91. Lit. quae rimam suam tuita est, in quam (rimam)
inflavimus Spiritus nostri partem. Thus Beidh.
SURA1 LX.�SHE WHO IS TRIED [CX.]
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
O YE who believe! take not my foe2 and your foe for friends, shewing them
kindness, although they believe not that truth which hath come to you: they
drive forth the Apostles and yourselves because ye believe in God your Lord!
If ye go forth to fight on my way, and from a desire to please me, and shew
them kindness in private, I well know what ye conceal, and what ye discover!
Whoso doth this hath already gone astray from the even way.
If they meet with you they will prove your foes: hand and tongue will they
put forth for your hurt, and will desire that you become infidels again.
Neither your kindred nor your children shall at all avail you on the day of
the resurrection. A severance between you will it make! and your actions doth
A good example had ye in Abraham,3 and in those who followed him, when they
said to their people, "Verily, we are clear of you, and of what ye worship
beside God: we renounce you: and between us and hath hatred and enmity sprung
up for ever, until ye believe in God alone." Yet imitate not the language of
Abraham to his Father, "I will pray for thy forgiveness, but not aught shall
I obtain for thee from God."4 O our Lord! in thee do we trust! to thee do we
turn! to thee we shall come back at the last.
O our Lord! expose us not for trial to the unbelievers, and forgive us: for
thou art the Mighty, the Wise!
A good example had ye in them, for all who hope in God and in the last day.
But let who will turn back, God truly is the Rich, the Praiseworthy!