The Project Gutenberg ebook of The Koran

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the Caaba was founded as stated in this passage. See note on Sura [xcvii.]

iii. 90.
52 Deut. xviii. 15.
53 "At the time when our father Jacob quitted this world, be summoned his

twelve sons and said to them, Hearken to your father Israel (Gen. xlix. 2).

Have ye any doubts in your hearts concerning the Holy One, Blessed be He!

They said, Hear, O Israel, our Father. As there is no doubt in thy heart, so

neither is there in ours. For the Lord is our God, and He is one." Midr.

Rabbah on Gen. par. 98, and on Deut. par. 2. Comp. also Targ. Jer. on Deut.

vi. 4. Tract. Pesachim, 56.
54 See Sura [lxxiii.] xvi. 121, n., p. 209.
55 Ibn Batutah assures us (vol. ii. 10) that when in the 14th century he

visited Basra, he saw in the mosque the copy of the Koran which the Caliph

Othman had in his hands when murdered, and that the marks of his blood were

still visible at the words of this verse. Othman's originals are also said to

be preserved in Egypt, Morocco, Damascus, Mecca, and Medina. See M.

Quatremere in Journ. Asiatique, Juillet, 1838.

56 The original simply has Baptism of God. This may be understood either of

Islam generally, or, with Ullmann, in the more restricted sense of

circumcision. Perhaps Muhammad used the word advisedly as a hint to the

Christians of his land, that in the reception of his religion consisted the

true new birth.
57 Or, intermediate, i.e., according to the commentators, not addicted to

excess, just. Ullm. ein vermittelndes Volk, zwischen Juden und Christen die

Mitte haltend.
58 In having prayed towards Jerusalem.
59 Of Mecca. This change of the Kebla from Jerusalem to Mecca shows that this

part of the Sura was revealed at a time when the breach between Muhammad and

the Jews was past healing; i.c. in the first half of the second year of the

Hejira. See Thilo's. Cod. Apoc. p. 21, n.

60 That is, the Jews are really convinced of the truth of Muhammad's mission.
61 That is, warring with the infidels. The precise date of verses 148-152

depends upon whether this passage refers to the battle of Bedr or Ohod.

62 These words are constantly used by the pious Muslims when in any trouble.
63 Hills in the sacred territory of Mecca, which had long been objects of

superstitious reverence to the idolatrous Arabs, on which account the Muslims

were at first unwilling to include them among the sacred places.
64 The Pentateuch. See verse 141.
65 This and the three following verses are probably Meccan, as also verses

66 The ringleaders of infidelity and idolatrous faiths.

67 Freyt. Lex. vol. ii. p. 477 Quid eos agere coegit quemadmodum damnati

agunt? But Mar. Quanta erit sustinentia corum!

68 To whom his brother, that is, any Arab or believer, shall remit the

penalty of death.

69 Of the stricter Mosaic lex talionis, as well of the ante-Islamitic Arabian

custom, by which the killing of a slave was avenged by the death of a free

man, and the killing of a woman by taking the life of a man. See Freyt. Einl.

p. 193. Comp. Ex. xxi. 23.

70 That is, by killing the manslayer.
71 On the word Furquan, see Sura [1xv.] xxi. 49.
72 A mutual comfort to each other.
73 Thus Misch. Berachoth, 1, 2, "Prayer is to be said as soon as one can

distinguish between a blue and white thread."

74 Judging from the minuteness of the precepts laid down in this and the

following verses to 193, it would appear that they were added at a late

period of Muhammad's residence at Medina.
75 Such appears to have been the superstitious custom of the Arabs after

their return from pilgrimages to Mecca.

76 Their driving you out of Mecca; or, the temptation (to idolatry).
77 Lit. the sacred month for the sacred month, and the sacred precincts or

things (for) reprisals. The meaning of this difficult passage is that in wars

for the cause of religion, the sacred month and the temple of Mecca may be

made the time and scene of contests, which then and there are usually

prohibited. For the most accurate information as to the Pilgrimage, see

Freytag, Einl. 418.

78 This shows that Muhammad inculcated the doctrine of entire freedom of the

79 The greater Pilgrimage, which every Muslim is bound to perform once in his

life, is the Hadjat el Farz (the one obligatory Pilgrimage), or the Hadjat el

Islam. The Umrah, or little pilgrimage, may be performed at any time except

the pilgrimage season, and its ceremonies are much fewer. They are described

by Lieut. Burton in his "Pilgrimage," vol. iii. ch. xxviii.

80 Namely, Shawâl, Dhu'lkaada, and Dhu'lhajja.
81 By trading during the Hadj.
82 The pilgrims move on very rapidly when in the immediate neighbourhood of

the Holy Places.

83 From the valley of Mina.
84 Said to have been one Al Akhnas Ibn Shoraik, a dissembler with Muhammad.
85 Sohaib, when he joined the standard of Muhammad, left all his property in

the hands of the infidels.

86 Verses 204-210 are probably addressed to those Muslims who were desirous

to observe certain parts of the Jewish law.

87 The Koran.
88 That is, there was originally but one religion in the world.
89 Comp. Sura [c.] iv. 42, and [cxiv.] v. 99, 100.
90 Limits, fences. The word is Talmudic. Thus Pirke Aboth, i. "The men of the

great synagogue said . . . Make a fence for the law;" and iii. 13, "Tradition

is a fence to the law."
91 Comp. Sura [lxxxii.] xxxi. 13.
92 Within the four months and ten days.
93 Either the asr, midway between noon and nightfall (see verse 104 above) or

the prayer immediately after midday. See note on Sura [c.] iv. 46.

94 This verse is certainly older than the commencement of Sura iv. which

alters the law here laid down.

95 Comp. Ezek. xxxvii. 1-10. These Jews are said by some commentators to have

abandoned their dwellings through fear of a pestilence (comp. Talmud Sanhed.

92); by others, for fear of being compelled to serve in the wars of God.
96 This and the seven following verses shew that Muhammad, foreseeing an open

rupture with the people of Medina at no distant period, felt it necessary to

stimulate the zeal and courage of his partisans by examples from Jewish

97 Ar. Shechinah. See Freytag Lex. in v. This word, as well as the Arabic

word for ark (p. 95, n.) betray in their form a Rabbinic origin.
98 The shoes and rod of Moses, the mitre of Aaron, the vase of manna, the

fragments of the two tables of the law.

99 Observe the confusion between Gideon and Saul.
100 See verse 81.
101 The drift of these words, which are of such frequent recurrence in the

Koran, is, that the former revelations had been abused, and instead of

leading them to Islam broke them up into sects and dissentient parties.
102 This verse must have been revealed before Muhammad felt himself secure in

his new position at Medina.

103 A name applied to an idol or idols especially Allat and Ozza, the ancient

idols of the Meccans. The termination of the word Thagout is more Hebraic

than pure Arabic, and literally means error.
104 Nimrod.
105 Ozair or Esdras doubted whether Jerusalem could be rebuilt after its

destruction by Nebuchadnezzar, and the miracle here narrated, was wrought for

his assurance. The fable has its origin in the circuit made by Nehemiah

around the ruined city. Neh. ii. 13.

106 Lit. it was falling on its roofs.
107 Comp. Gen. xv. 9.
108 That is, Satan would dissuade you from liberal contributions by

instilling the fear of poverty.

109 Comp. Matt. vi. 3, 4. 110 This contradicts verse 254, as well as several

verses in Sura [1viii.] xix.

MEDINA.�8 Verses
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
THE unbelievers among the people of the Book, and the Polytheists, did not

waver, until the CLEAR EVIDENCE had come to them;

A messenger from God, reciting to them the pure pages wherein are true


Neither were they to whom the Scriptures were given divided into sects, till

after this clear evidence had reached them!

Yet was not aught enjoined on them but to worship God with sincere religion,

sound in faith; and to observe prayer and pay the stated alms. For this is

true religion.
But the unbelievers among the people of the Book, and among the Polytheists,

shall go into the fire of Gehenna to abide therein for aye. Of all creatures

are they the worst!
But they who believe and do the things that are right�these of all creatures

are the best!

Their recompense with their Lord shall be gardens of Eden, 'neath which the

rivers flow, in which they shall abide for evermore.

God is well pleased in them and they in Him! This, for him who feareth his


MEDINA.1�18 Verses
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
ALL that is in the Heavens, and all that is in the Earth, praiseth God: His

the Kingdom and His the Glory! And He hath power over all things!

It is He who hath created you all; yet some of you are infidel and others

believers: but God beholdeth all your actions.

He hath created the Heavens and the Earth in Truth; and He hath fashioned you

and given you goodly forms; and to Him must ye all return.

He knoweth all that passeth in the Heavens and in the Earth; and He knoweth

what ye hide and what ye bring to light; and God knoweth the very secrets of

men's breasts.
Hath not the story reached you of those who disbelieved of yore, and

therefore tasted the evil consequences of their doings? And a sore punishment

doth await them.
This, for that when their apostles came to them with the clear tokens, they

said, "What! shall men be our guides?" And they believed not and turned their

backs. But God can dispense with them; for God is the Rich, the Praiseworthy!
The infidels pretend that they shall not be raised from the dead. SAY: Yea,

by my Lord, ye shall surely be raised; then shall ye surely be told of your

deeds! And easy is this for God.
Believe then in God and his apostle and in the light which we have sent down;

for God is fully aware of all ye do.

The day when He shall gather you together for the day of mutual gathering,

will be the day of MUTUAL DECEIT,2 and whoso shall have believed in God and

done what is right, for him will He cancel his deeds of evil; and He will

bring him into the gardens beneath whose shades the rivers flow, to abide

therein for evermore. This will be the great bliss!
But the unbelieving�those who gave the lie to our signs�shall be the inmates

of the fire, wherein they shall remain for ever. And a wretched passage

No mischance chanceth but by God's permission; and whoso believeth in God,

that man's heart will he guide: and God knoweth all things.

Obey God then and obey the apostle: but if ye turn away, our apostle is not

to blame, for he is only charged with plain preaching.

God! there is no God but He! On God, then, let the faithful trust.
O ye who believe! Verily, in your wives and your children ye have an enemy:

wherefore beware of them. But if ye pass it3 over and pardon, and are

lenient, then God too is Lenient, Merciful.
Your wealth and your children are only a source of trial! but God! with Him

is the great recompense.

Fear God, then, with all your might, and hear and obey: and give alms for

your own weal; for such as are saved from their own greed, shall prosper.

If ye lend God a generous loan, He will double it to you and will forgive

you, for God is Grateful, Long-suffering.

He knoweth alike the Hidden and the Manifest: the Mighty, the Wise!


1 The first verse of this Sura, and the phrase obey God and the Apostle

(verses 8, 12), which usually occurs only in Medina Suras, the phrases in

verse 16 compared with Sura [cii.] lix. 9, as well as the subject matter,

incline me to follow those Muslim commentators who are of opinion that the

whole Sura was revealed at Medina. Weil and Muir suppose it to be Meccan.
2 That is, the day on which it will be found that if the just had been wicked

they would have taken the place of the reprobates, while the reprobates will

see that if they had been just persons they would have gone to Paradise.
3 Their occasionally beguiling you from your duty, especially that of

contending for the faith. Comp. 1 Cor. vii. 32.

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
ALL that is in the Heavens, and all that is on the Earth, uttereth the Praise

of God, the King! the Holy! the Mighty! the Wise!

It is He who hath sent to the pagan folk (Arabs) an Apostle from among

themselves, to rehearse His signs to them, and to purify them, and to impart

to them a knowledge of "the Book" and wisdom; for aforetime were they in

manifest error.

And others among them have not yet overtaken those who preceded them in the

faith. But He is the Mighty, the Wise!

This is the goodness of God: He bestoweth it on whom He will: God is of

immense goodness!

They on whom the burden of the law was laid, and would not bear it, are like

an ass beneath a load of books. A sorry likeness this, for the people who

give the lie to the signs of God! God guideth not the people who do this

SAY: O ye Jews, if ye profess that ye rather than other men are the friends

of God, then wish for death if ye are men of truth.
But never on account of their previous handywork will they wish for it, and

God knoweth the wrong doers.

SAY: Verily the death from which ye flee will surely meet you. Then shall ye

be brought back to Him who knoweth alike the things done in secret and

openly: and He will tell you of your actions.
O ye who believe! When ye are summoned to prayer on the day of THE ASSEMBLY,1

haste to the commemoration of God, and quit your traffic. This, if ye knew

it, will be best for you.
And when the Prayer is ended, then disperse yourselves abroad and go in quest

of the bounties of God; and, that it may be well with you, oft remember God.

But when they get a sight of merchandise or sport, they disperse after it,

and leave thee standing alone.2 SAY: God hath in reserve what is better than

sport or wares. And God is the best provider!


1 Friday; the day on which Muhammad made his first entry into Medina, and the

day on which creation was finished.

2 It is said that when Muhammad was preaching, Dahya Alkalbi, while yet a

heathen, came, on a Friday, into Medina at the head of a caravan, and that

all the congregation, attracted by the music of the tambours which preceded

it, left the sermon for the spectacle. Muquâtil ap. Alfarrâ. If this account

be accurate, we may approximate to the date of this Sura as in Hej. 5

(towards the close). Dahya is known to have fought in the ranks of the

Muslims at the battle of the Ditch. And as the former part is aimed at the

Jews, it is probably of the same period as Sura [xci.] ii.

MEDINA.�76 Verses
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
THEY will question thee about THE SPOILS. SAY: The spoils are God's and the

apostle's. Therefore, fear God, and settle this among yourselves; and obey

God and his apostle, if you are believers.
Believers are they only whose hearts thrill with fear when God is named, and

whose faith increaseth at each recital of his signs, and who put their trust

in their Lord;
Who observe the prayers, and give alms out of that with which we have

supplied them;

These are the believers: their due grade awaiteth them in the presence of

their Lord, and forgiveness, and a generous provision.

Remember how thy Lord caused thee to go forth from thy home2 on a mission of

truth, and part of the believers were quite averse to it:

They disputed with thee about the truth3 which had been made so clear, as if

they were being led forth to death, and saw it before them:

And remember when God promised you that one of the two troops4 should fall to

you, and ye desired that they who had no arms should fall to you: but God

purposed to prove true the truth of his words, and to cut off the uttermost

part ofthe infidels;

That he might prove his truth to be the truth, and bring to nought that which

is nought,5 though the impious were averse to it:

When ye sought succour of your Lord, and he answered you, "I will verily aid

you with a thousand6 angels, rank on rank:"

And God made this promise as pure good tidings, and to assure your hearts by

it: for succour cometh from God alone! Verily God is Mighty, Wise.

Recollect when sleep, a sign of security from Him, fell upon you, and he sent

down upon you water from Heaven that he might thereby cleanse you, and cause

the pollution of Satan to pass from you, and that he might gird up your

hearts, and stablish your feet by it:

When thy Lord spake unto the angels, "I will be with you: therefore stablish

ye the faithful. I will cast a dread into the hearts of the infidels." Strike

off their heads then, and strike off from them every finger-tip.
This, because they have opposed God and his apostle: And whoso shall oppose

God and his apostle. . . . Verily, God will be severe in punishment.

"This for you! Taste it then! and for the infidels is the torture of the

O ye who believe! when ye meet the marshalled hosts of the infidels, turn not

your backs to them:
Whoso shall turn his back to them on that day, unless he turn aside to fight,

or to rally to some other troop, shall incur wrath from God: Hell shall be

his abode and wretched the journey thither!
So it was not ye who slew them, but God slew them; and those shafts were

God's, not thine!7 He would make trial of the faithful by a gracious trial

from Himself: Verily, God Heareth, Knoweth.
This befel, that God might also bring to nought the craft of the infidels.
O Meccans! if ye desired a decision, now hath the decision come to you.8 It

will be better for you if ye give over the struggle. If ye return to it, we

will return; and your forces, though they be many, shall never avail you

aught, for God is with the faithful.

O ye faithful! obey God and his apostle, and turn not away from Him, now that

ye hear the truth;

And be not like those who say "We hear," when they hear not;
For the vilest beasts in God's sight, are the deaf, the dumb, who understand

Had God known any good in them, he would certainly have made them hear. But

even if He had made them hear, they would certainly have turned back and

withdrawn afar.

O ye faithful! make answer to the appeal of God and his apostle when he

calleth you to that which giveth you life. Know that God cometh in between a

man and his own heart, and that to him shall ye be gathered.
And be afraid of temptation: the evil doers among you will not be the only

ones on whom it will light: And know ye that God is severe in punishment.

And remember when ye were few, and reputed weak in the land:9 ye feared lest

men should pluck you away; then was it that He took you in and strengthened

you with his help, and supplied you with good things, that haply ye might

give thanks.

O ye who believe! deal not falsely with God and his apostle; and be not false

in your engagements, with your own knowledge:

And know that your wealth and your children are a temptation; and that God!

with Him is a glorious recompense.

O ye who believe! if ye fear God he will make good your deliverance, and will

put away your sins from you, and will forgive you. God is of great

And call to mind when the unbelievers plotted against thee, to detain thee

prisoner, or to kill thee, or to banish thee: They plotted�but God plotted:

and of plotters is God the best!
And oft as our signs were rehearsed to them, they said, "Now have we heard:

if we pleased we could certainly utter its like! Yes, it is mere tales of the

And when they said, "God! if this be the very truth from before thee, rain

down stones upon us from Heaven, or lay on us some grievous chastisement."

But God chose not to chastise them while thou wast with them, nor would God

chastise them when they sued for pardon.

But because they debarred the faithful from the holy temple, albeit they are

not its guardians, nothing is there on their part why God should not chastise

them. The Godfearing only are its guardians; but most of them know it not.
And their prayer at the house of God is no other than whistling through the

fingers and clapping of the hands�"Taste then the torment, for that ye have

been unbelievers."
The infidels spend their riches10 with intent to turn men aside from the way

of God: spend it they shall; then shall sighing be upon them, and then shall

they be overcome.
And the infidels shall be gathered together into Hell,
That God may separate the bad from the good, and put the bad one upon the

other, and heap them all up and put them into Hell! These are they who shall

be lost.
SAY to the infidels: If they desist from their unbelief, what is now past

shall be forgiven them; but if they return to it, they have already before

them11 the doom of the ancients!
Fight then against them till strife be at an end, and the religion be all of

it God's. If they desist, verily God beholdeth what they do:

But if they turn their back, know ye that God is your protector: Excellent

protector! excellent helper!

And know ye, that when ye have taken any booty, a fifth12 part belongeth to

God and to the Apostle, and to the near of kin, and to orphans, and to the

poor, and to the wayfarer, if ye believe in God, and in that which we have

sent down to our servant on the day of the victory,13 the day of the meeting

of the Hosts. Over all things is God potent.
When ye were encamped on the near side of the valley, and they were on the

further side, and the caravan was below you, if ye had made an engagement to

attack ye would have failed the engagement; but ye were led into action

notwithstanding, that God might accomplish the thing destined to be done:

That he who should perish might perish with a clear token14 before him, and

that he who liveth might live with it. And verily, God Heareth, Knoweth.

Remember when God shewed them to thee in thy dream, as few: Had he shown them

numerous, ye would certainly have become fainthearted, and would certainly

have disputed about the matter�But from this God kept you�He knoweth the very

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