The Project Gutenberg ebook of The Koran

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They know the outward shews of this life present, but of the next life are

they careless.

Have they not considered within themselves that God hath not created the

Heavens and the Earth and all that is between them but for a serious end, and

for a fixed term? But truly most men believe not that they shall meet their

Have they never journeyed through the land, and seen what hath been the end

of those who were before them? Mightier were they than these in strength; and

they broke up the land, and dwelt in it in greater numbers than they who

dwell there now; and their apostles came to them with proofs of their

mission: and it was not God who would wrong them, but they wronged

Then evil was the end of the evil doers; because they had treated our signs

as lies, and laughed them to scorn.

God bringth forth the creation�then causeth it to return again�then to Him

shall ye come back.4

And on the day when the hour shall arrive, the guilty shall be struck dumb

for despair,

And they shall have no intercessors from among the gods whom they have joined

with God, and they shall deny the gods they joined with Him.

And on that day when the Hour shall arrive, shall men be separated one from

And as for those who shall have believed and done the things that are right,

they shall enjoy themselves in a flowery mead;
But as for those who shall not have believed, but treated our signs and the

meeting of the next life as lies, they shall be given over to the torment.

Glorify God therefore when ye reach the evening, and when ye rise at morn:
And to Him be praise in the Heavens and on the Earth; and at twilight, and

when ye rest at noon.

He bringeth forth the living out of the dead, and He bringeth forth the dead

out of the living: and He quickeneth the earth when dead. Thus is it that ye

too shall be brought forth.5
And one of his signs it is that He hath created you out of dust; then lo! ye

become men who spread themselves far and wide:

And one of his signs it is, that He hath created wives for you of your own

species,6 that ye may dwell with them, and hath put love and tenderness

between you. Herein truly are signs for those who reflect.
And among his signs are the creation of the Heavens and of the Earth, and

your variety of tongues and colour. Herein truly are signs for all men.

And of his signs are your sleep by night and by day, and your goings in quest

of his bounties. Herein truly are signs to those who hearken.

And of his signs are, that He sheweth you the lightning, a source of awe and

hope; and that He sendeth down rain from the heaven and giveth life by it to

the earth when dead. Herein truly are signs to those who understand.
And of his signs also one is that the Heaven and the Earth stand firm at his

bidding: hereafter, when with one summons He shall summon you out of the

earth,�lo! forth shall ye come.
His, whatsoever is in the Heavens and on the Earth: all are obedient to him.
And He it is who bringeth a creature forth, then causeth it to return again;

and to him is this most easy. To whatever is loftiest in heaven and earth is

He to be likened; and He is the Mighty, the Wise.
He setteth forth to you an instance drawn from yourselves. Have ye among the

slaves whom your right hands have won, any partner in what we have bestowed

on you, so that ye share alike? Fear ye them as ye fear each other? (Thus

make we our signs clear to men of understanding.)

No, ye do not. But the wicked, devoid of knowledge, follow their own

desires:7 and those whom God shall mislead, who shall guide, and who shall be

their protector?
Set thou thy face then, as a true convert,8 towards the Faith which God hath

made, and for which He hath made man. No change is there in the creation of

God. This is the right Faith, but the greater part of men know it not.
And be ye turned to Him, and fear Him, and observe prayer, and be not of

those who unite gods with God:

Of those who have split up their religion, and have become sects, where every

party rejoices in what is their own.9

When some evil toucheth men, they turn to their Lord and call upon him: then

when he hath made them taste his mercy, lo, a part of them join other gods

with their Lord,
Ungrateful for our favours! Enjoy yourselves then. But in the end ye shall

know your folly.

Have we sent down to them any mandate which speaketh in favour of what they

join with God?

When we cause men to taste mercy they rejoice in it; but if, for that which

their hands have aforetime wrought, evil befall them, they despair.

See they not that God bestoweth full supplies on whom He pleaseth and giveth

sparingly to whom He pleaseth? Signs truly are there herein to those who

To him who is of kin to thee give his due, and to the poor and to the

wayfarer: this will be best for those who seek the face of God; and with them

it shall be well.
Whatever ye put out at usury to increase it with the substance of others

shall have no increase from God:10 but whatever ye shall give in alms, as

seeking the face of God, shall be doubled to you.
It is God who created you�then fed you�then will cause you to die�then will

make you alive. Is there any of your companion-gods who can do aught of these

things? Praise be to Him! and far be He exalted above the gods they join with

Destruction hath appeared by land and by sea on account of what men's hands

have wrought, that it might make them taste somewhat of the fruit of their

doings, that haply they might turn to God.

SAY: Journey through the land, and see what hath been the end of those who

were before you! The greater part of them joined other gods with God.

Set thy face then towards the right faith, ere the day come which none can

hinder God from bringing on.11 On that day shall they be parted in twain:

Unbelievers on whom shall be their unbelief; and they who have wrought

righteousness, and prepared for themselves couches of repose:

That of his bounty He may reward those who have believed and wrought

righteousness; for the unbelievers He loveth not.

And one of his signs is that He sendeth the winds with glad tidings of rain,

both that He may cause you to taste his mercy, and that ships may sail at his

command, that out of his bounties ye may seek wealth, and that haply ye may

render thanks.

We have sent apostles before thee to their peoples, and they presented

themselves to them with clear proofs of their mission; and while it behoved

us to succour the faithful, we took vengeance on the guilty.
It is God who sendeth the winds and uplifteth the clouds, and, as He

pleaseth, spreadeth them on high, and breaketh them up; and thou mayest see

the rain issuing from their midst; and when He poureth it down on such of his

servants as He pleaseth, lo! they are filled with joy,

Even they who before it was sent down to them, were in mute despair.
Look then at the traces of God's mercy�how after its death he quickeneth the

earth! This same God will surely quicken the dead, for to all things His

might is equal.
Yet should we send a blast, and should they see their harvest turn yellow,

they would afterwards shew themselves ungrateful.

Thou canst not make the dead to hear, neither canst thou make the deaf to

hear the call, when they withdraw and turn their backs:

Neither canst thou guide the blind out of their error: in sooth, none shalt

thou make to hear, save him who shall believe in our signs: for they are

resigned to our will (Muslims).
It is God who hath created you in weakness, then after weakness hath given

you strength: then after strength, weakness and grey hairs: He createth what

He will; and He is the Wise, the Powerful.
And on the day whereon the Hour shall arrive, the wicked will swear
That not above an hour have they waited: Even so did they utter lies on

But they to whom knowledge and faith have been given will say, "Ye have

waited, in accordance with the book of God, till the day of Resurrection: for

this is the day of the Resurrection�but ye knew it not."

On that day their plea shall not avail the wicked, neither shall they again

be bidden to seek acceptance with God.

And now have we set before men, in this Koran, every kind of parable: yet if

thou bring them a single verse of it, the infidels will surely say, "Ye are

only utterers of vain things."
It is thus that God hath sealed up the hearts of those who are devoid of


But do thou, Muhammad, bear with patience, for true is the promise of God;

and let not those who have no firm belief, unsettle thee.

1 See Sura lxviii. 1, p. 32.
2 By the Persians; probably in Palestine in the 6th year before the Hejira,

under Khosrou Parviz. (Ann. 615. See Gibbon's Decline and Fall, ch. xlvi.)

The sympathies of Muhammad would naturally be enlisted on the side of the

Christians rather than on that of the idolatrous fire-worshippers, with whom

Islam had nothing in common.
3 This alludes to the defeat of the Persians by Heraclius, ann. 625. The

Muhammadans appeal to this passage as a clear proof of the inspiration of

their prophet. But it should be borne in mind that the vowel points of the

consonants of the Arabic word for defeated in verse 1, not being originally

written, and depending entirely on the speaker or reader, would make the

prophecy true in either event, according as the verb received an active or

passive sense in pronunciation. The whole passage was probably constructed

with the view of its proving true in any event.

4 Comp. Psalm xc. 30, in the Arabic version.
5 The Talmudists apply the description of God of the sender of the rain to

the divine command which shall cause the dead to arise. Taanith (init.).

6 Lit. from yourselves, i.e. either from the side of Adam or of human, and of

no other kind of being. Beidh.

7 By worshipping idols conjointly with God.
8 Lit. as a Hanyf. See note on the preceding Sura, 121, p. 209.
9 Peculiar to and distinctive of themselves. Muhammad had a just appreciation

of that narrowness of mind which is the characteristic of sectarians in every

age, who seize upon some one point of truth, through inability to grasp the

whole in its due proportions and bearing, and glory in it, as if the fragment

were the whole.
10 Comp. Ps. xv. 5.
11 Lit. which none can put back from God.


MECCA.�123 Verses
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
ELIF. LAM. RA.1 A book whose verses are stablished in wisdom and then set

forth with clearness from the Wise, the All-informed�

That ye worship none other than God�Verily I come to you from Him charged

with warnings, announcements;

And that ye seek pardon of your Lord, and then be turned unto Him! Goodly

enjoyments will He give you to enjoy until a destined time, and His favours

will He bestow on every one who deserves his favours.2 But if ye turn away,

then verily I fear for you the chastisement of the great day.

Unto God shall ye return, and over all things is he Potent.
Do they not doubly fold up their breasts, that they may hide themselves from

But when they enshroud themselves in their garments, doth He not know alike

what they conceal and what they shew?
For He knoweth the very inmost of their breast.
There is no moving thing on earth whose nourishment dependeth not on God; he

knoweth its haunts and final resting place: all is in the clear Book.

And He it is who hath made the Heavens and the Earth in six days: His throne

had stood ere this upon the waters,3 that He might make proof which of you4

would excel in works.
And if thou say, "After death ye shall surely be raised again," the infidels

will certainly exclaim, "This is nothing but pure sorcery."

And if we defer their chastisement to some definite time, they will exclaim,

"What keepeth it back?" What! will it not come upon them on a day when there

shall be none to avert it from them? And that at which they scoffed shall

enclose them in on every side.

And if we cause man to taste our mercy, and then deprive him of it, verily,

he is despairing, ungrateful.

And if after trouble hath befallen him we cause him to taste our favour, he

will surely exclaim, "The evils are passed away from me." Verily, he is

joyous, boastful.
Except those who endure with patience and do the things that are right: these

doth pardon await and a great reward.

Perhaps thou wilt suppress a part of what hath been revealed to thee, and

wilt be distress at heart lest they say, "If a treasure be not sent down to

him, or an angel come with him. . . ." But thou art only a warner, and God

hath all things in his charge.

If they shall say, "The Koran is his own device," SAY: Then bring ten Suras

like it5 of your devising, and call whom ye can to your aid beside God, if ye

are men of truth.
But if they answer you not, then know that it hath been sent down to you in

the wisdom of God only, and that there is no God but He. Are ye then Muslims?

Those who choose this present life and its braveries, we will recompense for

their works therein: they shall have nothing less therein than their deserts.

These are they for whom there is nothing in the next world but the Fire: all

that they have wrought in this life shall come to nought, and vain shall be

all their doings.
With such can they be compared who rest upon clear proofs from their Lord? to

whom a witness from him reciteth the Koran, and who is preceded by the Book

of Moses, a guide and mercy? These have faith in it: but the partisans of

idolatry, who believe not in it, are menaced with the fire! Have thou no

doubts about that Book, for it is the very truth from thy Lord. But most men

will not believe.

Who is guilty of a greater injustice than he who inventeth a lie concerning

God? They shall be set before their Lord, and the witnesses shall say, "These

are they who made their Lord a liar." Shall not the malison of God be on

these unjust doers,

Who pervert others from the way of God, and seek to make it crooked, and

believe not in a life to come? God's power on earth they shall not weaken;

and beside God they have no protector! Doubled shall be their punishment!

They were not able to hearken, and they could not see.

These are they who have lost their own souls, and the deities of their own

devising have vanished from them:

There is no doubt but that in the next world they shall be the lost ones.
But they who shall have believed and done the things that are right, and

humbled them before their Lord, shall be the inmates of Paradise; therein

shall they abide for ever.
These two sorts of persons resemble the blind and deaf, and the seeing and

hearing: shall these be compared as alike? Ah! do ye not comprehend?

We sent Noah of old unto his people:�"Verily I come to you a plain


That ye worship none but God. Verily I fear for you the punishment of a

grievous day."

Then said the chiefs of his people who believed not, "We see in thee but a

man like ourselves; and we see not who have followed thee except our meanest

ones of hasty judgment, nor see we any excellence in you above ourselves:

nay, we deem you liars."

He said: "O my people! how think you? If I am upon a clear revelation from my

Lord, who hath bestowed on me mercy from Himself to which ye are blind, can

we force it on you, if ye are averse from it?
And, O my people! I ask you not for riches: my reward is of God alone: and I

will not drive away those who believe that they shall meet their Lord:�but I

see that ye are an ignorant people.
And, O my people! were I to drive them away, who shall help me against God?

Will ye not therefore consider?

And I tell you not that with me are the treasures of God: nor do I say, 'I

know the things unseen;' nor do I say, 'I am an angel;' nor do I say of those

whom you eye with scorn, No good thing will God bestow on them:�God best

knoweth what is in their minds�for then should I be one of those who act

They said: "O Noah! already hast thou disputed with us, and multiplied

disputes with us: Bring then upon us what thou hast threatened, if thou be of

those who speak truth."
He said, "God will bring it on you at His sole pleasure, and it is not you

who can weaken him;

Nor, if God desire to mislead you, shall my counsel profit you, though I fain

would counsel you aright. He is your Lord, and unto Him shall ye be brought

Do they say, "This Koran is of his own devising?" Say: On me be my own guilt,

if I have devised it, but I am clear of that whereof ye are guilty.

And it was revealed unto Noah. Verily, none of thy people shall believe, save

they who have believed already; therefore be not thou grieved at their

But build the Ark under our eye and after our revelation: and plead not with

me for the evil doers, for they are to be drowned.

So he built the Ark; and whenever the chiefs of his people passed by they

laughed him to scorn:6 said he, "Though ye laugh at us, we truly shall laugh

at you, even as ye laugh at us; and in the end ye shall know
On whom a punishment shall come that shall shame him, and on whom shall light

a lasting punishment."

Thus was it until our sentence came to pass, and the earth's surface7 boiled

up. We said, "Carry into it one pair of every kind, and thy family, except

him on whom sentence hath before been passed, and those who have believed."

But there believed not with him except a few.

And he said, "Embark ye therein. In the name of God be its course and its

riding at anchor! Truly my Lord is right Gracious, Merciful."

And the Ark moved on with them amid waves like mountains: and Noah called to

his son�for he was apart�"Embark with us, O my child! and be not with the

He said, "I will betake me to a mountain that shall secure me from the

water." He said, "None shall be secure this day from the decree of God, save

him on whom He shall have mercy." And a wave passed between them, and he was

among the drowned.

And it was said, "O Earth! swallow up thy water;" and "cease, O Heaven!" And

the water abated, and the decree was fulfilled, and the Ark rested upon Al-

Djoudi;8 and it was said, "Avaunt! ye tribe of the wicked!"
And Noah called on his Lord and said, "O Lord! verily my son is of my family:

and thy promise is true, and thou art the most just of judges."

He said, "O Noah! verily, he is not of thy family: in this thou actest not

aright.9 Ask not of me that whereof thou knowest nought: I warn thee that

thou become not of the ignorant.
He said, "To thee verily, O my Lord, do I repair lest I ask that of thee

wherein I have no knowledge: unless thou forgive me and be merciful to me I

shall be one of the lost.
It was said to him, "O Noah! debark with peace from Us, and with blessings on

thee and on peoples to be born from those who are with thee; but as for other

and unbelieving peoples, we will give them their good things in this world,

but hereafter shall a grievous punishment light on them from us.

This is one of the secret Histories: we reveal it unto thee: neither thou nor

thy people knew it ere this: be patient thou: verily, there is a prosperous

issue to the God-fearing.
And unto Ad we sent their Brother HOUD. He said, "O my people, worship God.

You have no God beside Him. Ye only devise a lie.

O my people! I ask of you no recompense for this: my recompense is with Him

only who hath made me. Will ye not then understand?

O my people! ask pardon of your Lord; then be turned unto Him: He will send

down the heavens upon you with copious rains:

And with strength on strength will He increase you: only turn not back with

deeds of evil."

They said, "O Houd, thou hast not brought us proofs of thy mission: we will

not abandon our gods at thy word, and we believe thee not.

We can only say that some of our gods have smitten thee with evil." Said he,

"Now take I God to witness, and do ye also witness, that I am clear of your

joining other gods
To God. Conspire then against me all of you, and delay me not.
For I trust in God, my Lord and yours. No single beast is there which he

holdeth not by its forelock. Right, truly, is the way in which my Lord goeth.

But if ye turn back, I have already declared to you my message. And my Lord

will put another people in your place, nor shall ye at all hurt Him; verily,

my Lord keepeth watch over all things."
And when our doom came to be inflicted, we rescued Houd and those who had

like faith with Him, by our special mercy: we rescued them from the rigorous

These men of Ad gainsaid the signs of their Lord, and rebelled against his

messengers, and followed the bidding of every proud contumacious person.

Followed therefore were they in this world by a curse; and in the day of the

Resurrection it shall be said to them, "What! Did not Ad disbelieve their

Lord?" Was not Ad, the people of Houd, cast far away?
And unto Themoud we sent their Brother Saleh:10�"O my people! said he,

worship God: you have no other god than Him. He hath raised you up out of the

earth, and hath given you to dwell therein. Ask pardon of him then, and be

turned unto him; for thy Lord is nigh, ready to answer."

They said, "O Saleh! our hopes were fixed on thee till now:11 forbiddest thou

us to worship what our fathers worshipped? Truly we misdoubt the faith to

which thou callest us, as suspicious."
He said, "O my people! what think ye? If I have a revelation from my Lord to

support me, and if He hath shewed his mercy on me, who could protect me from

God if I rebel against him? Ye would only confer on me increase of ruin.
O my people! this is the she-Camel of God, and a sign unto you. Let her go at

large and feed in God's earth, and do her no harm, lest a speedy punishment

overtake you."
Yet they hamstrung her: then said he, "Yet three days more enjoy yourselves

in your dwellings: this menace will not prove untrue."

And when our sentence came to pass, we rescued Saleh and those who had a like

faith with him, by our mercy, from ignominy on that day. Verily, thy Lord is

the Strong, the Mighty!
And a violent tempest overtook the wicked, and they were found in the morning

prostrate in their dwellings,

As though they had never abode in them. What! Did not Themoud disbelieve his

Lord? Was not Themoud utterly cast off?

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