The Project Gutenberg ebook of The Koran

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22 Lit. contracted.
23 Death.


MECCA.�98 Verses
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
KAF. HA. YA. AIN. SAD.2 A recital of thy Lord's mercy to his servant


When he called upon his Lord with secret calling,
And said: "O Lord, verily my bones are weakened, and the hoar hairs glisten

on my head,

And never, Lord, have I prayed to thee with ill success.
But now I have fears for my kindred after me;3 and my wife is barren:
Give me, then, a successor as thy special gift, who shall be my heir and an

heir of the family of Jacob: and make him, Lord, well pleasing to thee."

�"O Zachariah! verily we announce to thee a son,�his name John:
That name We have given to none before him."4
He said: "O my Lord! how when my wife is barren shall I have a son, and when

I have now reached old age, failing in my powers?"

He said: So shall it be. Thy Lord hath said, Easy is this to me, for I

created thee aforetime when thou wast nothing."

He said: "Vouchsafe me, O my Lord! a sign." He said: "Thy sign shall be that

for three nights, though sound in health, thou speakest not to man."

And he came forth from the sanctuary to his people, and made signs to them to

sing praises morn and even.

We said: "O John! receive the Book with purpose of heart:"5�and We bestowed

on him wisdom while yet a child;

And mercifulness from Ourself, and purity; and pious was he, and duteous to

his parents; and not proud, rebellious.

And peace was on him on the day he was born, and the day of his death, and

shall be on the day when he shall be raised to life!

And make mention in the Book, of Mary, when she went apart from her family,


And took a veil to shroud herself from them:7 and we sent our spirit8 to her,

and he took before her the form of a perfect man.9

She said: "I fly for refuge from thee to the God of Mercy! If thou fearest

Him, begone from me."

He said: "I am only a messenger of thy Lord, that I may bestow on thee a holy

She said: "How shall I have a son, when man hath never touched me? and I am

not unchaste."
He said: "So shall it be. Thy Lord hath said: 'Easy is this with me;' and we

will make him a sign to mankind, and a mercy from us. For it is a thing

And she conceived him,10 and retired with him to a far-off place.
And the throes came upon her11 by the trunk of a palm. She said: "Oh, would

that I had died ere this, and been a thing forgotten, forgotten quite!"

And one cried to her from below her:12 "Grieve not thou, thy Lord hath

provided a streamlet at thy feet:�

And shake the trunk of the palm-tree toward thee:13 it will drop fresh ripe

dates upon thee.

Eat then and drink, and be of cheerful eye:14 and shouldst thou see a man,
Say,�Verily, I have vowed abstinence to the God of mercy.�To no one will I

speak this day."

Then came she with the babe to her people, bearing him. They said, "O Mary!

now hast thou done a strange thing!

O sister of Aaron!15 Thy father was not a man of wickedness, nor unchaste thy

And she made a sign to them, pointing towards the babe. They said, "How shall

we speak with him who is in the cradle, an infant?"
It said,16 "Verily, I am the servant of God; He hath given me the Book, and

He hath made me a prophet;

And He hath made me blessed wherever I may be, and hath enjoined me prayer

and almsgiving so long as I shall live;

And to be duteous to her that bare me: and he hath not made me proud,


And the peace of God was on me the day I was born, and will be the day I

shall die, and the day I shall be raised to life."

This is Jesus, the son of Mary; this is a statement of the truth concerning

which they doubt.

It beseemeth not God to beget a son. Glory be to Him! when he decreeth a

thing, He only saith to it, Be, and it Is.17

And verily, God is my Lord and your Lord; adore Him then. This is the right

But the Sects have fallen to variance among themselves about Jesus: but woe,

because of the assembly of a great day, to those who believe not!
Make them hear, make them behold the day when they shall come before us! But

the offenders this day are in a manifest error.

Warn them of the day of sighing when the decree shall be accomplished, while

they are sunk in heedlessness and while they believe not.

Verily, we will inherit the earth and all who are upon it. To us shall they

be brought back.

Make mention also in the Book of Abraham; for he was a man of truth, a


When he said to his Father, "O my Father! why dost thou worship that which

neither seeth nor heareth, nor profiteth thee aught?

O my Father! verily now hath knowledge come to me which hath not come to

thee. Follow me therefore�I will guide thee into an even path.

O my Father! worship not Satan, for Satan is a rebel against the God of

O my Father! indeed I fear lest a chastisement from the God of Mercy light

upon thee, and thou become Satan's vassal."
He said, "Castest thou off my Gods, O Abraham? If thou forbear not, I will

surely stone thee. Begone from me for a length of time."

He said, "Peace be on thee! I will pray my Lord for thy forgiveness, for he

is gracious to me:

But I will separate myself from you, and the gods ye call on beside God, and

on my Lord will I call. Haply, my prayers to my Lord will not be with ill

And when he had separated himself from them and that which they worshipped

beside God, we bestowed on him Isaac and Jacob, and each of them we made a

And we bestowed gifts on them in our mercy, and gave them the lofty tongue of


And commemorate Moses in "the Book;" for he was a man of purity: moreover he

was an Apostle, a Prophet:

From the right side of the mountain we called to him, and caused him to draw

nigh to us for secret converse:

And we bestowed on him in our mercy his brother Aaron, a Prophet.
And commemorate Ismael in "the Book;" for he was true to his promise, and was

an Apostle, a Prophet;

And he enjoined prayer and almsgiving on his people, and was well pleasing to

his Lord.

And commemorate Edris20 in "the Book;" for he was a man of truth, a Prophet:
And we uplifted him to a place on high.21
These are they among the prophets of the posterity of Adam, and among those

whom we bare with Noah, and among the posterity of Abraham and Israel, and

among those whom we have guided and chosen, to whom God hath shewed favour.

When the signs of the God of Mercy were rehearsed to them, they bowed them

down worshipping and weeping.
But others have come in their place after them: they have made an end of

prayer, and have gone after their own lusts; and in the end they shall meet

with evil:�
Save those who turn and believe and do that which is right, these shall enter

the Garden, and in nought shall they be wronged:

The Garden of Eden, which the God of Mercy hath promised to his servants,

though yet unseen:22 for his promise shall come to pass:

No vain discourse shall they hear therein, but only "Peace;" and their food

shall be given them at morn and even:

This is the Paradise which we will make the heritage of those our servants

who fear us.

We23 come not down from Heaven but by thy Lord's command. His, whatever is

before us and whatever is behind us, and whatever is between the two! And thy

Lord is not forgetful,�
Lord of the Heavens and of the Earth, and of all that is between them!

Worship Him, then, and abide thou steadfast in his worship. Knowest thou any

other of the same name?24
Man saith: "What! after I am dead, shall I in the end be brought forth

Doth not man bear in mind that we made him at first, when he was nought?

And I swear by thy Lord, we will surely gather together them and the Satans:

then will we set them on their knees round Hell:

Then will we take forth from each band those of them who have been stoutest

in rebellion against the God of Mercy:

Then shall we know right well to whom its burning is most due:
No one is there of you who shall not go down unto it25�This is a settled

decree with thy Lord�

Then will we deliver those who had the fear of God, and the wicked will we

leave in it on their knees.

And when our clear signs are rehearsed to them, the infidels say to those who

believe: "Which of the two parties26 is in the best plight? and which is the

most goodly company?"
But how many generations have we brought to ruin before them, who surpassed

them in riches and in splendour!

SAY: As to those who are in error, the God of Mercy will lengthen out to them

a length of days

Until they see that with which they are threatened, whether it be some

present chastisement, or whether it be "the Hour," and they shall then know

which is in the worse state, and which the more weak in forces:
But God will increase the guidance of the already guided.
And good works which abide, are in thy Lord's sight better in respect of

guerdon, and better in the issue than all worldly good.

Hast thou marked him who believeth not in our signs, and saith, "I shall

surely have riches and children bestowed upon me?"

Hath he mounted up into the secrets of God? Hath he made a compact with the

God of Mercy?

No! we will certainly write down what he saith, and will lengthen the length

of his chastisement:

And we will inherit what he spake of, and he shall come before us all alone.
They have taken other gods beside God to be their help.27
But it shall not be. Those gods will disavow their worship and will become

their enemies.

Seest thou not that we send the Satans against the Infidels to urge them into

Wherefore be not thou in haste with them;28 for a small number of days do we

number to them.
One day we will gather the God-fearing before the God of Mercy with honours

But the sinners will we drive unto Hell, like flocks driven to the watering.

None shall have power to intercede, save he who hath received permission at

the hands of the God of Mercy.

They say: "The God of Mercy hath gotten offspring." Now have ye done a

monstrous thing!

Almost might the very Heavens be rent thereat, and the Earth cleave asunder,

and the mountains fall down in fragments,

That they ascribe a son to the God of Mercy, when it beseemeth not the God of

Mercy to beget a son!

Verily there is none in the Heavens and in the Earth but shall approach the

God of Mercy as a servant. He hath taken note of them, and numbered them with

exact numbering:
And each of them shall come to Him, on the day of Resurrection, singly:
But love will the God of Mercy vouchsafe to those who believe and do the

things that be right.

Verily we have made this Koran easy and in thine own tongue, that thou mayest

announce glad tidings by it to the God-fearing, and that thou mayest warn the

contentious by it.
How many generations have we destroyed before them! Canst thou search out one

of them? or canst thou hear a whisper from them?

1 Comp. the first 37 verses of this Sura with Sura iii. 35-57 with reference

to the different style adopted by Muhammad in the later Suras, probably for

the purpose of avoiding the imputation of his being merely a poet, a

sorcerer, or person possessed. Sura lii. 29, 30; xxi. 5; lxviii. 2, 51. This

Sura is one of the fullest and earliest Koranic Gospel Histories, and was

recited to the Nagash or King of Ćthiopia, in the presence of the ambassadors

of the Koreisch. His. 220; Caussin, i. 392; Sprenger (Life of M.) p. 193.
2 See Sura lxviii. I, p. 32. Golius conjectured that these letters represent

coh ya'as, thus he counselled, and that they were added by some Jewish

scribe. Sprenger (Journ. of As. Soc. of Bengal, xx. 280) arranges them as

Ain, Sad, Kaf, Ha, Ya, and supposes them to be taken from the Arabic words

for Aisa (Jesus) of the Nazarenes, King of the Jews. But we can hardly

imagine that Muhammad would ascribe such a title to our Lord, and the word

which Dr. Sprenger uses for Jews is not the form peculiar to the Koran.
3 Lest they should desert the worship of the God of Israel.
4 Ar. Yahia. It may be true that the name in this form had never been given.

Otherwise, we have in this passage a misunderstanding of Luke i. 61, as well

as ignorance of the Jewish Scriptures. Comp. 2 Kings xxv. 23; 1 Chron. iii.

16; Ezra viii. 12; Jerem. xl. 8. Some commentators try to avoid the

difficulty by rendering samiyan, deserving of the name.
5 Or, with firm resolve. See Sura [xcvii.] iii. 36. The speaker is God.
6 To an eastern chamber in the temple to pray. Or it may mean, to some place

eastward from Jerusalem, or from the house of her parents.

7 Thus the Protev. Jac. c. 12 says that Mary, although at a later period,

[greek text] But Wahl, she laid aside her veil.

8 Gabriel.
9 See Sura [lxxxix.] vi. 9.
10 It is quite clear from this passage, and from verse 36, that Muhammad

believed Jesus to have been conceived by an act of the divine will. Comp.

Sura [xcvii.] iii. 52; see also note at Sura [xci.] ii. 81.
11 Or, the throes urged her to the trunk of, etc.
12 This was either the Infant which spoke as soon as born, or Gabriel. Comp.

Thilo Cod. Apoc. 136-139 on this passage. Beidhawi explains: from behind the

palm tree.
13 See Thilo Cod. Apoc. N. T. p. 138, and the Hist. Nat. Mar. c. 20, which

connects similar incidents with the flight into Egypt. Thus also Latona,

[greek text], Call. H. in Apoll. and [greek text], H. in Delum.
14 Or, settle, calm thine eye, refresh thine eye. The birth of a son is still

called korrat ol ain.

15 The anachronism is probably only apparent. See Sura iii. 1, n. Muhammad

may have supposed that this Aaron (or Harun) was the son of Imran and Anna.

Or, if Aaron the brother of Moses be meant Mary may be called his sister,

either because she was of the Levitical race, or by way of comparison.

16 See Sura [cxiv.] v. 109.
17 From the change in the rhyme, and from the more polemical tone of the

following five verses, it may be inferred that they were added at a somewhat

later period.
18 The title Nabi, prophet, is used of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as

depositaries of the worship of the one true God, but with a mission

restricted to their own families; whereas Houd, Saleh, Shoaib, etc., are

designated as (Resoul) apostles and envoys, charged with a more extended

mission to the tribes of Arabia. In Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad, etc., are

united the office and gift both of prophet (nabi) and apostle (resoul).

19 Made them to be highly praised. Beidh.
20 Enoch. Beidhawi derives the name Edris from the Ar. darasa, to search out,

with reference to his knowledge of divine mysteries. The Heb. Enoch, in like

manner, means initiated.
21 Comp. Gen. v. 24, and the tract Derek Erez in Midr. Jalkut, c. 42, where

Enoch is reckoned among the nine according to other Talmudists, thirteen

(Schroeder's Talm. und Rabb. Judenthum)�individuals who were exempted from

death and taken straight to Paradise. It should be observed that both here

and Sura xxi. 85, Edris is named after Ismael.
22 Maracci and Beidhawi, in absentid. Sale, as an object of faith. Beidhawi

ad f. in reward for their secret faith. Ullmann für die verborgene Zukunft.

23 This verse is to be understood as an answer on the part of Gabriel to

Muhammad's complaints of the long intervals between the revelations.

24 The idolaters called their deities Gods, but as Polytheists were unused to

the singular Allah, God.

25 Even the pious on their way to Paradise are to pass the confines of Hell.
26 The Koreisch, or the Muslims.
27 Or, glory, strength.
28 To call down judgments upon them.
29 As ambassadors come into the presence of a prince. Sale. This is implied

in the original.

MECCA.�88 Verses
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
SAD.1 By the Koran full of warning! In sooth the Infidels are absorbed in

pride, in contention with thee.

How many generations have we destroyed before them! And they cried for mercy

but no time was it of escape!

And they marvel that a warner from among themselves hath come to them; and

the Infidels say, "This is a sorcerer, a liar:

Maketh he the gods to be but one god? A strange thing forsooth is this!"
And their chiefs took themselves off. "Go, said they, and cleave steadfastly2

to your gods. Ye see the thing aimed at.

We heard not of this in the previous creed.3 It is but an imposture:
To him alone of us all hath a book of warning been sent down?" Yes! they are

in doubt as to my warnings, for they have not yet tasted my vengeance.

Are the treasures of the mercy of thy Lord, the Mighty, the bounteous, in

their hands?

Is the kingdom of the heavens and of the earth and of all that is between

them theirs? Then let them mount up by cords!

Any army of the confederates4 shall here be routed.
Before them the people of Noah and Ad and Pharaoh the impaler5 treated their

prophets as impostors;

And Themoud, and the people of Lot, and the dwellers in the forest: these

were the confederates.

Nought did they all but charge the apostles with falsehood: Just, therefore,

the retribution.

And these (Meccans) await but one single trumpet blast�There shall be no

delaying it�

Yet they dare to say, "O our Lord! hasten our lot to us, before the day of


Put thou up with what they say: and remember our servant David, a man strong

of hand6, one who turned him to Us in penitence:

We constrained the mountains7 to join with him in lauds at even and at

And the birds which flocked to him, and would all return to him oft;

And we stablished his kingdom: and wisdom, and skill to pronounce clear

decisions, did we bestow on him.

Hath the story of the two pleaders8 reached thee, O Muhammad, when they

mounted the walls of his closet?

When they entered in upon David, and he was frightened at them, they said,

"Be not afraid; we are two opposing parties: one of us hath wronged the

other. Judge therefore with truth between us, and be not unjust, but guide us

to the right way.

Now this my brother had ninety and nine ewes, and I had but a single ewe; and

he said, make me her keeper. And he over-persuaded me in the dispute."

He said, "Certainly he hath wronged thee in asking for thine ewe to add her

to his own ewes: and truly many associates do one another wrong�except those

who believe and do the things that are right; and few indeed are they!" And

David perceived that we had tried him; so he asked pardon of his Lord, and

fell down and bowed himself and repented.
So we forgave him that his sin; and truly he shall have a high rank with Us,

and an excellent retreat in Paradise.

O David! verily we have made thee our vicegerent upon earth. Judge therefore

between men with truth, and follow not thy passions, lest they cause thee to

err from the way of God. For they who err from the way of God shall meet with

a grievous chastisement, for that they have forgotten the day of reckoning.

We have not created the heaven and the earth and what is between them for

nought. That is the thought of infidels; but woe to the infidels because of

the fire!
Shall we treat those who believe and do the things that are right like those

who propagate evil on earth? Shall we treat the God-fearing like the impious?

A blessed Book9 have we sent down to thee, that men may meditate its verses,

and that those endued with understanding may bear it in mind.

And Solomon gave we unto David. An excellent servant, for he loved to turn

him Godward.

Remember when at eventide the prancing10 chargers were displayed before him,
And he said, "Truly I have loved the love of earthly goods above the

remembrance of my Lord, till the sun hath been hidden by the veil of

Bring them back to me." And he began to sever the legs and necks.
We also made trial of Solomon, and placed a phantom12 on his throne:

whereupon he returned to Us (in penitence).

He said, O my Lord! pardon me, and give me a dominion that may not be to any

one beside me, for thou art the liberal giver.

So we subjected the wind to him; it ran softly at his bidding, whithersoever

he directed it:

And the Satans�every builder and diver�
And others bound in chains:13
"This," said we, "is our gift: be bounteous then, or withhold thy favours; no

account shalt thou render."

And his rank also is high with Us, and an excellent retreat.
And remember our servant Job when he cried to his Lord, "Verily, Satan hath

laid on me disease and pain."

"Stamp," said we, "with thy foot. This14 is to wash with; cool, and to

And we gave him back his family, and as many more with them in our mercy; and

for a monition to men of judgment.
And we said, "Take in thine hand a rod, and strike15 with it, nor break thine

oath." Verily, we found him patient!

How excellent a servant, one who turned to Us was he!
And remember our servants Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, men of might and


With this cleansing did we cleanse them the remembrance of the abode of


And verily, they were, in our sight, of the elect and of the good.
And remember Ishmael and Elisha and Dhoulkefl, for all these were of the

This is a monition: and verily, the pious shall have a goodly retreat:

Gardens of Eden, whose portals shall stand open to them:
Therein reclining, they shall there call for many a fruit and drink:
And with them shall be virgins of their own age, with modest retiring

"This is what ye were promised at the day of reckoning."

"Yes! this is our provision: it shall never fail."
Even so. But for the evil doers is a wretched home�
Hell�wherein they shall be burned: how wretched a bed!
Even so. Let them then taste it�boiling water and gore,
And other things of kindred sort!
To their leaders it shall be said, "This company shall be thrown in headlong

with you. No greetings shall await them, for they shall be burned in the

They shall say: "But ye, too! there shall be no welcome for you. It was ye

who prepared this for us, and wretched is the abode!"

They will say: "O our Lord! increase twofold in the fire, the punishment of

him who hath brought this upon us."

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