The Project Gutenberg ebook of The Koran

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than a like punishment: and they shall not be treated unjustly.
SAY: As for me, my Lord hath guided me into a straight path; a true religion,

the creed of Abraham, the sound in faith; for he was not of those who join

gods with God.
SAY: My prayers and my worship and my life and my death are unto God, Lord of

the Worlds. He hath no associate. This am I commanded, and I am the first of

the Muslims.
SAY: Shall I seek any other Lord than God, when He is Lord of all things? No

soul shall labour but for itself; and no burdened one shall bear another's

burden. At last ye shall return to your Lord, and he will declare that to you

about which you differ.

And it is He who hath made you the successors of others on the earth, and

hath raised some of you above others by various grades, that he may prove you

by his gifts. Verily thy Lord is swift to punish. But He is also Gracious,


1 Lit. their affair would have been decided. In that case there would no

longer have been an opportunity for the warnings of the prophets and for

repentance, but the angels would at once have executed the divine judgments.
2 See Sura xli. 13, p. 193.
3 See Sura [xc.] xiii. 36.
4 This denunciation is repeated in eleven other passages of the Koran, and

coupled with the known reverence of the early Muslims for what they

considered as the word of God, must have greatly tended to secure the

revelations of the Prophet from being in any way tampered with and corrupted.

5 They are self-convicted of their own hypocrisy and of the hollowness of

their professions.

6 The Resurrection, etc.
7 Abu Jahl had said: "Muhammad speaks truth, and he never said a falsehood;

but, if the Banu Chosai, who enjoy already the offices of bearing the

standard, of providing the pilgrims with water, and of keeping the keys of

the Kaaba, should also obtain the Prophetship, what would remain for the

other Koreisch." Kashaf in 1.
8 See Sura lii. 38, p. 65. These passages may allude to the ladder set up in

a tower by Wacih ben Salamah, one of the ancient doorkeepers of the Caaba, by

which he professed to mount up to God and receive divine Oracles. Freyt.

Einl. p. 371.

9 A community. Comp. Prov. xxx. 25, 26. Animals as well as mankind are under

the control of God, are held within the limits of his decrees, are

accountable to him, and will stand before him in the judgment.
10 Of the Eternal decrees.
11 Or, embellished, made it fair-seeming.
12 Lit. openly, i.e. preceded by some sign.
13 The Rabbins speak of the three keys in the hand of God. Tr. Tanith, fol.

14 On the preserved tablet, on which are written the decrees of God.

15 That is, during sleep. See Sura xxxix. 43, p. 258. Or, layeth to rest.

Mar. renders literally, defungi faciet vos, id est, obdormiscere. Thus also

Beidh. But see the use of the same word in the next verse.
16 Or, to perplex you (by dividing you into) sects.
17 Comp. Sura [cx.] 1x. 13.
18 Azar. This form is probably borrowed from Athar, as Terah is called by

Eusebius. See Maracci Prodr. iv. 90. Compare a similar narrative (Midr.

Rabbah on Gen. par. 17) in which Abraham is given over by his idolatrous

father Zarah to Nimrod, who says, "We will adore the Fire:" "Rather," said

Abraham, "the water which puts out fire." "The Water then"�"Rather the clouds

that bear the water." "The Clouds then"�"Rather the wind which scatters the

clouds." "The Wind then"�"Rather man who endures the wind." Whereupon Abraham

was thrown into the furnace. It is quite possible that in what follows,

Muhammad may have intended to imply that Abraham had renounced the Sabian

starworship of his fathers, and to vindicate him from the habit of consulting

the stars attributed to him by the Talmudists. Shabbath, fol. 156, col. 1.

"Abraham replied, I have consulted my Astrology." Comp. Rashi on Gen. xv. 5.

See Maim. Yad Hachaz. vii. 6.
19 Comp. Gen. xv. 5.
20 See Sura xxi. 52.
21 Lit. unless that my Lord shall will anything.
22 Or, confuse not their faith with wrong, injustice, i.e. idolatry.
23 Koran.
24 This verse and the following were probably added at Medina after the

Hejira; at least it is difficult to conceive that Muhammad would have

ventured thus to have written at Mecca.
25 This verse is said to have been revealed at Medina and to be aimed at the

false prophets Moseilama, Aswad and Amsi; also at Abdallah Ibn Saad,

Muhammad's secretary, who for corrupting the sacred text and apostacy, was

one of the ten proscribed at the taking of Mecca.

26 In the womb.
27 Of all sorts.
28 Lit. attaineth to. Mr. Lane renders, "the eyes see not Him, but He seeth

the eyes."

29 The verses of the Koran.
30 Comp. Ex. xxii. 28.
31 Notwithstanding this disclaimer, the Muslim tradition, etc. speak of many

of their Prophet's miracles. See Maracci's Prodr. p. ii. p. 16, and 30 46.

32 Verses 118-121 seem misplaced, and should probably follow 154.
33 Lit. the outside of iniquity and its inside. Some understand these words

of open sins, and secret sins.

34 That is, God's method of dealing with the guilty was to send apostles

previous to the execution of his judgments.

35 It appears to have been the custom of the idolatrous Arabs to set apart

one portion of their fields for the Supreme God, and the other for the

inferior gods represented by their idols. If any of the fruit happened to

fall from the part consecrated to the idols into that consecrated to God,

they restored it, but if the reverse occurred, they gave it to the idols.

God, said they, is rich and can dispense with it. The secret, however, was

that the idols' portion was reserved for the priests, Beidhawi. Freytag

mentions the names of 73 idols worshipped by the Arab tribes, previous to

Islam (Einl. pp. 270 and 342 357) and generally with Allah, as Supreme God.
36 Comp. Sura [cxiv.] v. 102.
37 Comp. Sura xvii. 33, p. 167.
38 See verse 120 above.
39 This very abrupt transition to Jewish history seems to indicate that a

passage between this and the preceding verse is lost.

40 Lit. we were careless of their studies


MECCA.�43 Verses
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
ELIF. LAM. MIM. RA.1 These, the signs of the Book! And that which hath been

sent down to thee from thy Lord is the very truth: But the greater part of

men will not believe.
It is God who hath reared the Heavens without pillars thou canst behold; then

mounted his throne, and imposed laws on the sun and moon: each travelleth to

its appointed goal. He ordereth all things. He maketh his signs clear, that

ye may have firm faith in a meeting with your Lord.

And He it is who hath outstretched the earth, and placed on it the firm

mountains, and rivers: and of every fruit He hath placed on it two kinds: He

causeth the night to enshroud the day. Verily in this are signs for those who

And on the earth hard by each other are its various portions: gardens of

grapes and corn, and palm trees single or clustered. Though watered by the

same water, yet some make we more excellent as food than other: Verily in all

this are signs for those who understand.
If ever thou dost marvel, marvellous surely is their saying, "What! when we

have become dust, shall we be restored in a new creation?"

These are they who in their Lord believe not: these! the collars shall be on

their necks; and these shall be inmates of the fire, to abide therein for

To hasten evil rather than good will they challenge thee: but, before their

time have been like examples. Full, truly, of mercy is thy Lord unto men,

despite their sins; but verily, thy Lord is right vehement to punish.
And they who believe not say: "If a sign from his Lord be not sent down to

him . . . !" Thou art a warner only. And every people hath its guide.

God knoweth the burden of every female, and how much their wombs lessen and

enlarge: with Him everything is by measure:

Knower of the Hidden and the Manifest! the Great! the Most High!
Alike to Him is that person among you who concealeth his words, and he that

telleth them abroad: he who hideth him in the night, and he who cometh forth

in the day.
Each hath a succession of Angels before him and behind him, who watch over

him by God's behest. Verily, God will not change his gifts to men, till they

change what is in themselves: and when God willeth evil unto men, there is

none can turn it away, nor have they any protector beside Him.

He it is who maketh the lightning to shine unto you; for fear and hope: and

who bringeth up the laden clouds.

And the THUNDER uttereth his praise, and the Angels also, for awe of Him: and

he sendeth his bolts and smiteth with them whom he will2 while they are

wrangling about God! Mighty is he in prowess.
Prayer is His of right: but these deities to whom they pray beside Him give

them no answer, otherwise than as he is answered who stretcheth forth his

hands to the water that it may reach his mouth, when it cannot reach it! The

prayer of the Infidels only wandereth, and is lost.

And unto God doth all in the Heavens and on the Earth bow down in worship,

willingly or by constraint: their very shadows also morn and even!

SAY: Who is Lord of the Heavens and of the Earth? SAY: God. SAY: Why then

have ye taken beside Him protectors, who even for their own selves have no

power for help or harm? SAY: What! shall the blind and the seeing be held

equal? Shall the darkness and the light be held equal? Or have they given

associates to God who have created as He hath created, so that their creation

appear to them like His? SAY: God is the Creator of all things! He is the

One! the Conquering!
He sendeth down the rain from Heaven: then flow the torrents in their due

measure, and the flood beareth along a swelling foam. And from the metals

which are molten in the fire for the sake of ornaments or utensils, a like

scum ariseth. In this way doth God depict (set forth) truth and falsehood. As

to the foam, it is quickly gone: and as to what is useful to man, it

remaineth on the earth. Thus doth God set forth comparisons! To those who

respond to their Lord shall be an excellent reward; but those who respond not

to his call, had they all that the earth containeth twice over, they would

surely give it for their ransom. Evil their reckoning! and Hell their home!

And wretched the bed!

Shall he then who knoweth that what hath been sent down to thee from thy Lord

is the truth, act like him who is blind? Men of insight only will bear this

in mind,
Who fulfil their pledge to God, and break not their compact:
And who join together what God hath bidden to be joined, and who fear their

Lord, and dread an ill reckoning;

And who, from desire to see the face of their Lord, are constant amid trials,

and observe prayer and give alms, in secret and openly, out of what we have

bestowed upon them, and turn aside evil by good: for these is the recompense

of that abode,

Gardens of Eden�into which they shall enter together with the just of their

fathers, and their wives, and their descendants: and the angels shall go in

unto them at every portal:
"Peace be with you!" say they, "because ye have endured all things!" Charming

the recompense of their abode!

But those who, after having contracted it, break their covenant with God, and

cut asunder what God hath bidden to be united, and commit misdeeds on the

earth, these, a curse awaiteth them, and an ill abode!
God is open-handed with supplies to whom he will, or is sparing. They rejoice

in the life that now is, but this present life is but a passing good, in

respect of the life to come!3
And they who believe not say, "Unless a sign be sent down to him from his

Lord. . . ." SAY: God truly will mislead whom he will; and He will guide to

Himself him who turneth to Him,
Those who believe, and whose hearts rest securely on the thought of God.

What! Shall not men's hearts repose in the thought of God? They who believe

and do the things that be right�blessedness awaiteth them, and a goodly home.
Thus have we sent thee to a people whom other peoples have preceded, that

thou mightest rehearse to them our revelations to thee. Yet they believe not

on the God of Mercy.4 SAY: He is my Lord. There is no God but He. In Him do I

put my trust. To Him must I return.

If there were a Koran by which the mountains could be set in motion, or the

earth cleft, or the dead be made to speak ! But all sovereignty is in the

hands of God. Do then believers doubt5 that had He pleased God would

certainly have guided all men aright?

Misfortune shall not cease to light on the unbelievers for what they have

done, or to take up its abode hard by their dwellings, until the threat of

God come to pass. Verily, God will not fail his plighted word.
Before thee indeed have apostles been mocked at; but though I bore long with

the unbelievers, at last I seized upon them;�and how severe was my

Who is it then that is standing over every soul to mark its actions? Yet have

they set up associates with God. SAY: Name them. What! Would ye inform God of

that which He knoweth not on the Earth? Or are they not a mere empty name?

But prepared of old for the infidels was this fraud of theirs; and they are

turned aside from the path; and whom God causeth to err, no guide shall there

be for him!

Chastisement awaiteth them in this present life, and more grievous shall be

the chastisement of the next: and none shall screen them from God.

A picture of the Paradise which God hath promised to them that fear Him. The

rivers flow beneath its bowers: its food and its shades are perpetual. This

is the reward of those who fear God; but the reward of the unbelievers is the

They to whom we have given the Book rejoice6 in what hath been sent down to

thee; yet some are banded together who deny a part of it. SAY: I am commanded

to worship God, and not to associate any creature with Him. On Him do I call,

and to Him shall I return.
Thus, then, as a code in the Arabic tongue have we sent down the Koran; and

truly, if after the knowledge that hath reached thee thou follow their

desires, thou shalt have no guardian nor protector against God.
Apostles truly have we already sent before thee, and wives and offspring have

we given them. Yet no apostle had come with miracles unless by the leave of

God. To each age its Book.
What He pleaseth will God abrogate or confirm: for with Him is the source of


Moreover, whether we cause thee to see the fulfilment of part of our menaces,

or whether we take thee hence, verily, thy work is preaching only, and ours

to take account.
See they not that we come into their land and cut short its borders?8 God

pronounceth a doom, and there is none to reverse his doom. And swift is He to

take account.
Those who lived before them made plots: but all plotting is controlled by

God: He knoweth the works of every one, and the infidels shall know whose

will be the recompense of the abode.
The infidels, moreover, will say; Thou art not sent of God. SAY: God is

witness enough betwixt me and you, and, whoever hath knowledge of the Book.

1 See Sura 1xviii. p. 32.
2 This is said by the traditionists and commentators generally, to refer to

Amir and Arbad ben Kais, who in the year 9 or 10 conspired against Muhammad's

life, and were struck dead by lightning. See the authorities in Nöld. p. 120:

Weil, 256; Caussin, iii. 295. But this explanation may have been suggested by

the words of the text, which must, if the comment be correct, have been

revealed at Medina.

3 Thus, "one hour of bliss in the world to come is better than all life in

this world." Mischnah Aboth, iv. 17. Comp. Sura [cxiii.] ix. 38.

4 See Sura xvii. 109. This verse is said to have been occasioned by the

refusal of the Meccans at Hudaibiya to adopt the formula prescribed by

Muhammad�In the Name of the God of Mercy, the Merciful�declaring that they

knew not who the God of Mercy (Arrahman) was. This was in Hej. 6. See n. p.

5 Lit. despair.
6 That is, the Jews, who at this period of Muhammad's prophetic function,

must have been highly gratified at the strong leaning towards, and respect

for, their Scriptures and Histories, which shews itself increasingly in the

later Meccan Suras.

7 Lit. Mother, or Prototype of the Book. Either God's knowledge or

Prescience, or the fabled preserved tablet, on which is written the original

of the Koran, and all God's decrees. The Jews have a tradition that the Law

existed before the Creation. Midr. Jalkut, 7.

8 That is, the progressive conquests of the Muslims trench more and more on

the territories of the idolatrous Arabians.

MEDINA.�286 Verses
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
ELIF. LAM. MIM.2 No doubt is there about this Book: It is a guidance to the


Who believe in the unseen,3 who observe prayer, and out of what we have

bestowed on them, expend for God;

And who believe in what hath been sent down to thee, and in what hath been

sent down before thee, and full faith have they in the life to come:

These are guided by their Lord; and with these it shall be well.
As to the infidels, alike is it to them whether thou warn them or warn them

not�they will not believe:

Their hearts and their ears hath God sealed up; and over their eyes is a

covering. For them, a severe chastisement!

And some4 there are who say, "We believe in God, and in the latter day:" Yet

are they not believers!

Fain would they deceive God and those who have believed; but they deceive

themselves only, and know it not.

Diseased are their hearts! And that disease hath God increased creased to

them. Their's a sore chastisement, for that they treated their prophet as a

And when it is said to them, "Cause not disorders in the earth:" they say,

"Nay, rather do we set them right."

Is it not that they are themselves the authors of disorder? But they perceive

it not!
And when it is said to them, "Believe as other men have believed;" they say,

"Shall we believe as the fools have believed?" Is it not that they are

themselves the fools? But they know it not!

And when they meet the faithful they say, "We believe;" but when they are

apart with their Satans5 they say, "Verily we hold with you, and at them we

only mock."
God shall mock at them, and keep them long in their rebellion, wandering in


These are they who have purchased error at the price of guidance: but their

traffic hath not been gainful, neither are they guided at all.

They are like one6 who kindleth a fire, and when it hath thrown its light on

all around him. . . . God taketh away their light and leaveth them in

darkness�they cannot see!�
Deaf, dumb, blind: therefore they shall not retrace their steps from error!
Or like those who, when there cometh a storm-cloud out of the Heaven, big

with darkness thunder and lightning, thrust their fingers into their ears

because of the thunder-clap, for fear of death! God is round about the


The lightning almost snatcheth away their eyes! So oft as it gleameth on them

they walk on in it, but when darkness closeth upon them, they stop! And if

God pleased, of their ears and of their eyes would he surely deprive them:

verily God is Almighty! O men of Mecca7 adore your Lord, who hath created you

and those who were before you: haply ye will fear Him
Who hath made the earth a bed for you, and the heaven a covering, and hath

caused water to come down from heaven, and by it hath brought forth fruits

for your sustenance! Do not then wittingly give peers to God.
And if ye be in doubt as to that which we have sent down to our servant, then

produce a Sura like it, and summon your witnesses, beside God, if ye are men

of truth:
But if ye do it not, and never shall ye do it, then fear the fire prepared

for the infidels, whose fuel is men and stones:8

But announce to those who believe and do the things that are right, that for

them are gardens 'neath which the rivers flow! So oft as they are fed

therefrom with fruit for sustenance, they shall say, "This same was our

sustenance of old:" And they shall have its like given to them.9 Therein

shall they have wives of perfect purity, and therein shall they abide for

Verily God is not ashamed to set forth as well the instance of a gnat10 as of

any nobler object: for as to those who have believed, they know it to be the

truth from their Lord; but as to the unbelievers, they will say, "What

meaneth God by this comparison?" Many will He mislead by such parables and

many guide: but none will He mislead thereby except the wicked,

Who, after its establishment, violate the covenant of God,11 and cut in

sunder what God hath bidden to be joined, and act disorderly on the Earth.

These are they who shall suffer loss!
How can ye withhold faith from God? Ye were dead and He gave you life; next

He will cause you to die; next He will restore you to life: next shall ye

return to Him!
He it is who created for you all that is on Earth, then proceeded to the

Heaven, and into seven12 Heavens did He fashion it: and He knoweth all

When thy Lord said to the angels, "Verily, I am about to place one in my

stead on earth,"13 they said, "Wilt thou place there one who will do ill

therein and shed blood, when we celebrate thy praise and extol thy holiness?"

God said, "Verily, I know what ye know not."

And he taught Adam the names of all things, and then set them before the

angels,14 and said, "Tell me the names of these, if ye are endued with

They said, "Praise be to Thee! We have no knowledge but what Thou hast given

us to know. Thou! Thou art the Knowing, the Wise."

He said, "O Adam, inform them of their names." And when he had informed them

of their names, He said, "Did I not say to you that I know the hidden things

of the Heavens and of the Earth, and that I know what ye bring to light, and

what ye hide?"

And when we said to the angels, "Bow down and worship Adam," then worshipped

they all, save Eblis.16 He refused and swelled with pride, and became one of

the unbelievers.

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