The Project Gutenberg ebook of The Koran

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Thou truly canst not guide whom thou desirest; but God guideth whom He will;

and He best knoweth those who yield to guidance.

But they say, "If we follow the way in which thou art guided,19 we shall be

driven from our country." But have we not established for them a sacred

secure precinct, to which fruits of every kind, our gift for their support,

are gathered together? But most of them have no knowledge.

And how many cities have we destroyed that flourished in wanton ease! And

these their dwellings have not been inhabited since their time save by a few,

and it is we who became their heirs.
But thy Lord did not destroy the cities till He had sent an apostle to their

mother-city to rehearse our signs to its people: nor did we destroy the

cities unless its people were unjust.
And all that hath been bestowed on you is merely for enjoyment and pomp of

this life present: but that which is with God is better and more lasting.

Will ye not be wise?
Shall he then to whom we have promised a goodly promise and who obtaineth it,

be as he on whom we have bestowed the enjoyments of this life present, and

who on the day of Resurrection shall be brought up for punishment?
On that day will God cry to them and say, "Where are my companions, as ye

supposed them?"

They on whom doom shall be justly pronounced will say, "O our Lord! these are

they whom we led astray: we led them astray even as we had been led astray

ourselves: Thou hast no cause of blame against us: It was not we whom they


And it shall be said, "Call now on those whom ye made God's companions:" and

they shall call on them, but they will not answer them. And they shall see

the punishment, and wish that they had been guided aright.
And on that day shall God call to them and say, "How answered ye the


But on that day they shall be too blinded with confusion to give an

account,21 nor shall they ask it of one another.

Yet as to him who shall turn to God and believe and do the thing that is

right, it may come to pass that he shall be among the happy.

And thy Lord createth what he will and hath a free choice. But they, the

false gods, have no power to choose. Glory be to God! and high let him be

exalted above those whom they associate with him.
And thy Lord knoweth what their breasts conceal and what they bring to light.
And He is God! There is no god but He! His, all praise in this life and in

the next, and His the power supreme,22 and to Him shall ye be brought back!

SAY: What think ye? If God should enshroud you with a long night until the

day of resurrection, what god beside God would bring you light? Will ye not

then hearken?
SAY: What think ye? If God should make it one long day for you until the day

of resurrection, what god but God could bring you the night in which to take

your rest? Will ye not then see?
Of His mercy he hath made for you the night that ye may take your rest in it;

and the day that ye may seek what ye need out of his bounteous supplies, and

that ye may give thanks.
One day God will call to them and say, "Where are my companions as ye

supposed them?

And we will bring up a witness out of every nation and say, "Bring your

proofs." And they shall know that the truth is with God alone, and the gods

of their own devising shall desert them.
Now Korah23 was of the people of Moses: but he behaved haughtily toward them;

for we had given him such treasure that its keys would have burdened a

company of men of strength. When his people said to him, "Exult not, for God

loveth not those who exult;

But seek, by means of what God hath given thee, to attain the future Mansion;

and neglect not thy part in this world, but be bounteous to others as God

hath been bounteous to thee, and seek not to commit excesses on the earth;

for God loveth not those who commit excesses:"

He said, "It hath been given me only on account of the knowledge that is in

me." Did he not know that God had destroyed before him generations that were

mightier than he in strength and had amassed more abundant wealth? But the

wicked shall not be asked of their crimes.

And Korah went forth to his people in his pomp. Those who were greedy for

this present life said, "Oh that we had the like of that which hath been

bestowed on Korah! Truly he is possessed of great good fortune."
But they to whom knowledge had been given said, "Woe to you! the reward of

God is better for him who believeth and worketh righteousness, and none shall

win it but those who have patiently endured."
And we clave the earth for him and for his palace, and he had no forces, in

the place of God,24 to help him, nor was he among those who are succoured.

And in the morning those who the day before had coveted his lot said, "Aha!

God enlargeth supplies to whom he pleaseth of his servants, or is sparing.

Had not God been gracious to us, He had caused it to cleave for us. Aha! the

ungrateful can never prosper."

As to this future mansion, we will bestow it on those who seek not to exalt

them in the earth or to do wrong: And there is a happy issue for the God-

Whoso doeth good shall have reward beyond its merits, and whoso doeth evil,

they who do evil shall be rewarded only as they shall have wrought.

He who hath sanctioned the Koran to thee will certainly bring thee to thy

home.25 SAY: My Lord best knoweth who hath guidance, and who is in undoubted

Thou didst never expect that the Book would be given thee. Of thy Lord's

mercy only hath it been sent down. Be not thou helpful then to the

Neither let them turn thee aside from the signs of God after they have been

sent down to thee, but bid men to thy Lord; and be not among those who add

gods to God:
And call not on any other god with God. There is no god but He! Everything

shall perish except Himself! Judgment is His, and to Him shall ye return!

1 See Sura lxviii. 1, p. 32.
2 Lit. Imâms.
3 Comp. [xci.] ii. 58.
4 That is, This child will be a comfort to us. See Sura [lviii.] xix. 26.
5 "Why must the nurse be a Hebrew woman? (Ex. ii. 7.) This shews that he

refused the breast of all the Egyptian women. For the Holy, blessed be He,

had said, Shall the mouth that is to speak with me suck an unclean thing?"

Sotah. xii. 2.

6 Lit. in the time of neglect on the part of its people, i.e. at the hour of

the noon sleep.

7 Lit. I have acted unjustly to my soul.
8 Comp. Ex. ii. 16, 17, where the daughters are said to be seven.
9 That is, of a wife.
10 The compact (Gen. xxix. 15-39) between Laban and Jacob must have been

present to the mind of Muhammad when composing this tale.

11 Lit. he was cried to. According to Muhammad, Moses had resolved to quit

Madian previously to the Vision of the Bush, which, according to Ex. iii.,

was the real occasion.
12 Lit. thy wing.
13 Lit. kindle upon the clay. Comp. [lxxviii.] xl. 38-49. "He (Pharaoh) said

to them: From the first have ye spoken an untruth, for Lord of the Worlds am

I. I created myself and the Nile, as it is said (Ez. xxix. 3), 'My river is

mine own and I have made it for myself."' (E.T.) Mid. Rab. on Ex. Par. 5.

14 So that the oral traditions would be easily handed down.
15 Or, yet have we sent thee as an Apostle to them.
16 Supply, we will not believe.
17 That is, the Pentateuch and the Koran.
18 The Meccan Jews and Christians who had formerly embraced Islam, and could

now affirm that they had always held the same faith. This passage could not

have been written after Muhammad's experience of Jewish unbelief at Medina.
19 Lit. the guidance with thee.
20 But their own imaginations and passions.
21 Lit. the account shall be blind or dark to them. Sie werden vor Bestürzung

keine Rechenschaft geben. Ullm.

22 Potestas judiciaria. Mar. Richteramt. Ullm.
23 Ar. Karun. "Joseph concealed three treasures in Egypt, one of which became

known to Korah . . . the keys of Korah's treasure chambers were a burden for

300 white mules." Midr. Jalkut on Eccl. v. 12, "Riches kept for the owners

thereof to their hurt,"�which may have furnished Muhammad with the nucleus of

this story. Compare also Tract. Psachim. fol. 119 a.
24 Or, against God.
25 Probably to Paradise, according to others to Mecca, as a conqueror. But

this latter interpretation involves the revelation of this verse at least, at



MECCA.�75 Verses
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
THE Book1 sent down from God, the Mighty, the Wise!
We have sent down the Book to thee with the truth: serve thou God then, and

be sincere in thy worship:

Is not a sincere worship due to God?
But they who take others beside him as lords saying, "We serve them only that

they may bring us near to God"�God will judge between them and the faithful,

concerning that wherein they are at variance.
Verily God will not guide him who is a liar, an infidel.
Had God desired to have had a son, he had surely chosen what he pleased out

of his own creation. But praise be to Him! He is God, the One, the Almighty.

For truth2 hath he created the Heavens and the Earth: It is of Him that the

night returneth upon the day and that the day returneth upon the night: and

He controlleth the sun and the moon so that each speedeth to an appointed

goal. Is He not the Mighty, the Gracious?

He created you all of one man, from whom He afterwards formed his wife; and

of cattle He hath sent down to you four pairs.3 In the wombs of your mothers

did He create you by creation upon creation in triple darkness. It is He who

is God your Lord: the kingdom is His: There is no God but He. How then are ye

so turned aside from Him?
Suppose ye render him no thanks! yet forsooth is God rich without you: but He

is not pleased with thanklessness in His servants: yet if ye be thankful He

will be pleased with you. The soul burdened with its own works shall not be

burdened with the burden of another: hereafter shall ye return to your Lord,

and he will tell you of all your works,
For he knoweth the very secrets of your breasts.
When some trouble toucheth a man, he turneth to his Lord and calleth on him:

yet no sooner hath He enriched him with his favour than he forgetteth Him on

whom he before had called, and setteth up peers with God, that he may beguile

others from His way. SAY: Enjoy thou thyself yet a little in thine

ingratitude! but thou shalt surely be one of the inmates of the fire.
Shall he who observeth the hours of the night, prostrate or standing in

devotion, heedful of the life to come, and hoping for the mercy of his Lord .

. .? SAY: Shall they who have knowledge and they who have it not, be treated

alike? In sooth, men of understanding only will take the warning.

SAY: O my believing servants, fear your Lord. For those who do good in this

world there is good: and broad is God's earth4�verily those who endure with

patience shall be repaid: their reward shall not be by measure.
SAY: I am bidden to serve God with a sincere worship: and I am bidden to be

the first of those who surrender themselves to him (Muslims).

SAY: Verily I fear if I rebel against my Lord the punishment of a great day.
SAY: God will I serve, presenting him with a sincere worship:
And serve ye what ye choose beside Him. SAY: The losers truly will they be

who shall lose their own souls and their families on the day of resurrection:

Is not this the clear ruin?
Canopies of fire shall be over them, and floors of fire beneath them. With

this doth God alarm his servants: Fear ye me, then, O my servants!

But good tidings are there for those who shun the worship of Thagout and are

turned to God. Cheer then with good tidings those my servants who hearken to

my word and follow its excellence. These are they whom God guideth, and these

are men of insight.

Him then on whom the sentence of punishment hath justly lighted�him who is

doomed to the fire canst thou rescue?

But for those who fear their Lord are storied pavilions beneath which shall

the rivers flow: it is the promise of God, and God will not fail in his

Seest thou not that God sendeth down water from heaven, and guideth it along

so as to form springs in the earth�then bringeth forth by it corn of varied

sorts�then causeth he it to wither, and thou seest it become yellow�then

crumbleth it away? Lo! herein is teaching for men of insight.

Shall he then whose breast God hath opened to Islam, and who hath light from

his Lord . . .? But woe to those whose hearts are hardened against the

remembrance of God! They plainly err.
The best of recitals hath God sent down a book in unison with itself, and

teaching by iteration.5 The very skins of those who fear their Lord do creep

at it! Then do their skins and their hearts soften at the remembrance of

their Lord! This is God's guidance: by it will He guide whom He pleaseth;

and, whom God shall mislead, no guide shall there be for him.
Shall he who shall have nought but his own face to shelter him with from the

torment of the punishment on the day of the resurrection . . .? Aye, to the

evil doers it shall be said, "Taste what ye have earned."
They who were before them said it was a lie; but a punishment came upon them

whence they looked not for it:

And God made them taste humiliation in this present life: but greater surely

will be the punishment of the life to come. Did they but know it!

Now have we set before man in this Koran every kind of parable for their

An Arabic Koran, free from tortuous wording, to the intent that they may fear

God setteth forth the comparison of a man with associates6 at variance among

themselves, and of a man devoted wholly to a man. Are these to be held alike?

No, praise be to God! But the greater part of them understand not.
Thou truly shall die, O Muhammad, and they too shall die:
Then, at the day of resurrection, ye shall wrangle with one another in the

presence of your Lord.

And who acteth more unjustly than he who lieth of God, and treateth the truth

when it cometh to him as a lie? Is there not a dwelling-place in Hell for the

But he who bringeth the truth, and he who believeth it to be the truth: these

are the God-fearing.

Whatever they shall desire, awaiteth them with their Lord! This is the reward

of the righteous;

That God may do away the guilt of their worst actions, and for their best

actions render them their reward.

Is not God all-sufficient for his servant? Yet would they scare thee by their

idols. But no guide shall there be for him whom God misleadeth:

And he whom God guideth shall have none to mislead him. Is not God, all-

mighty, able to revenge?

And if thou ask them who hath created the Heavens and the Earth, they will

surely answer, God. SAY: Think ye, then, that they7 on whom ye call beside

God, if God choose to afflict me, could remove his affliction? or if he

choose to show me mercy, could they withhold His mercy? SAY: God sufficeth

me: in Him let the trusting trust.
SAY: O my people, act your part as best ye can, I too will act mine; and in

the end ye shall know

On whom shall light a punishment that shall shame him, and on whom a lasting

punishment shall fall.

Assuredly we have sent down the Book to thee for man and for the ends of

truth. Whoso shall be guided by it�it will be for his own advantage, and

whoso shall err, shall only err to his own loss. But not to thy keeping are

they entrusted.

God taketh souls unto Himself at death; and during their sleep those who do

not die:8 and he retaineth those on which he hath passed a decree of death,

but sendeth the others back till a time that is fixed. Herein are signs for

the reflecting.

Have they taken aught beside God as intercessors? SAY: What! though they have

no power over anything, neither do they understand?

SAY: Intercession is wholly with God:9 His the kingdom of the Heavens and of

the Earth! To him shall ye be brought back hereafter!

But when the One God is named, the hearts of those who believe not in the

life to come, shrivel up: but when the deities who are adored beside Him are

named, lo! they are filled with joy.
SAY: O God, creator of the Heaven and of the Earth, who knowest the hidden

and the manifest, thou shalt judge between thy servants as to the subject of

their disputes.
If the wicked possessed all that is in the earth and as much again therewith,

verily they would ransom themselves with it from the pain of the punishment

on the day of the resurrection; and there shall appear to them, from God,

things they had never reckoned on:

And their own ill deeds shall be clearly perceived by them, and that fire at

which they mocked shall encircle them on every side.

When trouble befalleth a man he crieth to Us; afterwards, when we have

vouchsafed favour to him, he saith, "God knew that I deserved it."10 Nay, it

is a trial. But the greater part of them knew it not.
The same said those who flourished before them; but their deeds profited them

And their own ill deeds recoiled upon them. And whoso among these (Meccans)

shall do wrong, on them likewise their own misdeeds shall light, neither

shall they invalidate God.

Know they not that God giveth supplies with open hand, and that He is sparing

to whom He will? Of a truth herein are signs to those who believe.

SAY: O my servants who have transgressed to your own hurt,11 despair not of

God's mercy, for all sins doth God forgive. Gracious, Merciful is He!

And return ye to your Lord, and to Him resign yourselves, ere the punishment

come on you, for then ye shall not be helped:

And follow that most excellent thing which hath been sent down to you from

your Lord, ere the punishment come on you suddenly, and when ye look not for

So that a soul say, "Oh misery! for my failures in duty towards God! and

verily I was of those who scoffed:"

Or say, "Had God guided me, I had surely been of those who feared Him:"
Or say, when it seeth the punishment, "Could I but return, then I would be of

the righteous."

Nay! my signs had already come to thee, and thou didst treat them as

untruths, and wast arrogant, and becamest of those who believed not.

And on the resurrection day, thou shalt see those who have lied of God, with

their faces black. Is there not an abode in Hell for the arrogant?

But God shall rescue those who fear him into their safe retreat: no ill shall

touch them, neither shall they be put to grief.

God is the creator of all things, and of all things is He the guardian! His

the keys of the Heavens and of the Earth! and�who believe not in the signs of

God�these! they shall perish!
SAY: What! do ye then bid me worship other than God, O ye ignorant ones?
But now hath it been revealed to thee and to those who flourished before

thee,�"Verily, if thou join partners with God, vain shall be all thy work,

and thyself shalt be of those who perish.
Nay, rather worship God! and be of those who render thanks."
But they have not deemed of God as is His due;12 for on the resurrection day

the whole Earth shall be but his handful, and in his right hand shall the

Heavens be folded together. Praise be to Him! and high be He uplifted above

the partners they join with Him!

And there shall be a blast on the trumpet, and all who are in the Heavens and

all who are in the Earth shall expire, save those whom God shall vouchsafe to

live. Then shall there be another blast on it, and lo! arising they shall

gaze around them:

And the earth shall shine with the light of her Lord, and the Book shall be

set, and the prophets shall be brought up, and the witnesses; and judgment

shall be given between them with equity; and none shall be wronged:
And every soul shall receive as it shall have wrought, for well knoweth He

men's actions.

And by TROOPS shall the unbelievers be driven towards Hell, until when they

reach it, its gates shall be opened, and its keepers shall say to them, "Came

not apostles from among yourselves to you, reciting to you the signs of your

Lord, and warning you of the meeting with Him on this your day?"13 They shall

say, "Yes." But just is the sentence of punishment on the unbelievers.
It shall be said to them, "Enter ye the gates of Hell, therein to dwell for

ever;" and wretched the abode of the arrogant!

But those who feared their Lord shall be driven on by troops to Paradise,

until when they reach it, its gates shall be opened, and its keepers shall

say to them, "All hail! virtuous have ye been: enter then in, to abide herein

for ever."

And they shall say, "Praise be to God, who hath made good to us His promise,

and hath given to us the earth as our heritage, that we may dwell in Paradise

wherever we please!" And goodly is the reward of those who travailed


And thou shalt see the Angels circling around the Throne with praises of

their Lord: and judgment shall be pronounced between them with equity: and it

shall be said, "Glory be to God the Lord of the Worlds."


1 Lit. the sending down, or revelation, of the Book is, etc.
2 Lit. in truth, i.e. for a serious and earnest purpose, and not as mere

3 That is, camels, oxen, sheep and goats.

4 The wording of this verse would seem to indicate a period when Muhammad was

meditating flight from Mecca. Comp. [lxxxi.] xxix. 56.

5 See on the word Mathani, Sura xv. 87, p. 116. Or, by rhyming couplets.
6 The word associates contains an implied allusion to the deities associated

with God, and who distract the idolaters in their worship.

7 In the fem. gender in the Ar. This passage was revealed shortly after the

circumstances mentioned, liii. 20, n. p. 70.

8 See Sura [lxxxix.] vi. 60.
9 That is, none may intercede with Him but those whom He permits to do so.
10 Lit. It was only given to me on account of knowledge. Mar. Deus sciebat me

esse dignum eo. Thus Sale.

11 By becoming apostates from Islam. Comp. Sura [lxxiii.] xvi. 108. This and

the two following verses are said to have originated at Medina. His 230, Wah.

Omar ben Muhammad. Beidh. Itq. 19.
12 Lit. they have not esteemed God according to the truth of His estimation.
13 Adventum diei hujus. Mar.


MECCA�69 Verses

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