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.
shall ye come back.4
with God, and they shall deny the gods they joined with Him.
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.
when ye rest at noon.
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:
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.
of his bounties. Herein truly are signs to those who hearken.
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.)
desires:7 and those whom God shall mislead, who shall guide, and who shall be
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:
party rejoices in what is their own.9
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.
join with God?
their hands have aforetime wrought, evil befall them, they despair.
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.
were before you! The greater part of them joined other gods with God.
hinder God from bringing on.11 On that day shall they be parted in twain:
righteousness, and prepared for themselves couches of repose:
righteousness; for the unbelievers He loveth not.
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
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,
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.
hear the call, when they withdraw and turn their backs:
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."
be bidden to seek acceptance with God.
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
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.
the divine command which shall cause the dead to arise. Taanith (init.).
no other kind of being. Beidh.
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.
SURA XI.�HOUD [LXXV.]
forth with clearness from the Wise, the All-informed�
with warnings, announcements;
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.
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.
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."
"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.
he is despairing, ungrateful.
will surely exclaim, "The evils are passed away from me." Verily, he is
Except those who endure with patience and do the things that are right: these
doth pardon await and a great reward.
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.
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?
their works therein: they shall have nothing less therein than their deserts.
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.
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,
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.
devising have vanished from them:
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?
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."
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?
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;
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.
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.
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."
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.
riding at anchor! Truly my Lord is right Gracious, Merciful."
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.
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."
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.
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.
only who hath made me. Will ye not then understand?
down the heavens upon you with copious rains:
deeds of evil."
not abandon our gods at thy word, and we believe thee not.
"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.
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.
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."
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
Yet they hamstrung her: then said he, "Yet three days more enjoy yourselves
in your dwellings: this menace will not prove untrue."
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,
Lord? Was not Themoud utterly cast off?