The Project Gutenberg ebook of The Koran

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then, it will be better for you. But if ye believe not, then, all that is in

the Heavens and the Earth is God's; and God is Knowing, Wise!

O ye people of the Book! overstep not bounds in your religion;31 and of God,

speak only truth. The Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, is only an apostle of God,

and his Word which he conveyed into Mary, and a Spirit32 proceeding from

himself. Believe therefore in God and his apostles, and say not, "Three:"

(there is a Trinity)�Forbear�it will be better for you. God is only one God!

Far be it from His glory that He should have a son! His, whatever is in the

Heavens, and whatever is in the Earth! And God is a sufficient Guardian.
The Messiah disdaineth not to be a servant of God, nor do the angels who are

nigh unto Him.

And whoso disdaineth His service, and is filled with pride, God will gather

them all to Himself.

And to those who believe and do the things that are right, will He pay them

their due recompense, and out of His bounty will He increase them: but as for

those who are disdainful and proud, with a grievous chastisement will He

chastise them;

And none beside God shall they find to protect or to help them.
O men! now hath a proof come to you from your Lord, and we have sent down to

you a clear light. As to those who believe in God and lay fast hold on Him,

these will He cause to enter into his mercy and grace, and along the straight

way unto Himself will He guide them.

They will consult thee. SAY: God instructeth you as to distant kindred. If a

man die childless, but have a sister, half what he shall have shall be her's;

and if she die childless he shall be her heir. But if there be two sisters,

two-third parts of what he shall have shall be theirs; and if there be both

brothers and sisters, the male shall have the portion of two females. God

teacheth you plainly, that ye err not! God knoweth all things.

1 Most of the events alluded to in this Sura fall between the end of the

third and the close of the fifth year after the Flight to Medina.

2 Muhammad assumed to himself the privilege of having a yet greater number of

wives. But in doing so, he was probably actuated by a desire for male

offspring. Chadijah was his only wife until quite a late period of his

career. Comp. Arbah Turim. Ev. Hazaer 1, "A man may marry many wives, for

Rabba saith it is lawful to do so, if he can provide for them. Nevertheless,

the wise men have given good advice, that a man should not marry more than

four wives." See also Yad Hachazakah Hilchoth Ishuth. 14, 3.
3 Verses 8 and 12 are said by the commentators to have been revealed in

consequence of the complaints of Omm Kuhha that, in accordance with the ante-

Islamitic custom, she had been excluded from any portion of her deceased

husband's property. The unsatisfactory nature of the Muhammadan traditions

may be inferred from the fact, that no less than six different names are

assigned to him. It is, however, probable that these and similar laws

relative to inheritances were given at a time when many heads of families had

fallen, as at Ohod, in battle. This remark applies to verses 33-45.

4 Women found guilty of adultery and fornication were punished at the first

rise of Islam, by being literally immured. But this was exchanged, in the

case of a maiden, for one year's banishment and 100 stripes; and in the case

of a married woman, for stoning.

5 What took place in the times of ignorance, previous to the revelation of

the Koran. See Freytag's Einl. p. 201, as to the incestuous nature of the

ante-Islamitic Arabian marriages.
6 By marrying without means adequate to the support of a free wife, or by

remaining single.

7 From marrying slaves.
8 Games of chance, usury, etc.
9 By providing for them a home and the protection of a husband. Or, of that

which God would have them care for.

10 An undutiful child is very seldom heard of among the Egyptians, or the

Arabs in general. Sons scarcely ever sit, or sit, or eat, or smoke, in the

presence of the father unless bidden to do so; and they often wait upon him

and upon his guests at meals and on other occasions: they do not cease to act

thus when they have become men. Lane's Mod. Egypt. vol. i. p. 69.
11 The Koranic precepts as to prayer savour of Jewish origin. Thus, "Prayer

should be said standing" is a Rabbinic precept.�Comp. Sura [xci.] ii. 240.�

Misch.Berachoth 10�may be shortened in dangerous places, ib. iv. 10�is

forbidden to the drunken, ib. 31, 2. Erubin, 64�and to the polluted;

Berachoth iii. 4�and is to be preceded, in this case, by washings with water

or sand. See Sura xvii. 110, note 2, p. 173. 1 Cor. xi. 21.

12 The Jews and their Rabbis.
13 See Sura [xci.] ii. 98.
14 Lit. the companions of the sabbath. See [xci.] ii. 61.
15 This refers to certain renegade Jews, who out of hatred against Muhammad,

went over to the Koreisch. See Nöldeke. p. 149.

16 Lit. ripened.
17 Mecca.
18 And therefore a fit subject for plunder.
19 Some of the Meccans after embracing Islam did not thoroughly break with

the infidels and fly their country. These persons were miraculously slain by

angels at Bedr. Others suppose the angels to be Nakir and Monkir, who examine

the dead in the grave.

20 That is, to what religion did ye belong?
21 And therefore could not resist the unbelievers.
22 Thus the Rabbins Tr. Berachoth, iv. 4, "He that goeth in a dangerous place

may pray a short prayer."

23 See Mischna Tr. Berachoth, 10.
24 This verse is said to have been revealed when Muhammad was about to acquit

a Muslim who had committed theft, and laid the guilt at the door of a Jew.

But the particulars are given in a very contradictory manner. See Nöldeke, p.

25 In allusion to an idolatrous and superstitious custom of the old Arabians.

26 By the mutilation of slaves, branding their bodies, filing the teeth, etc.
27 See Sura lxxxiv. 24, p. 47, note.
28 Sura vi.
29 See Sura [xci.] ii.7.
30 Lit. one was made to appear to them like (Jesus). Comp. [xcvii.] iii.48.

Photius, Bibl. Cod. cxiv.says that the Apocr. Book, [Greek text]�This

individual according to the Basilidans was-Simon of Cyrene; according to the

Evang. Barnab�, Judas.�Mani, Ep. Fund. ap. Evodium: "Princeps itaque

tenebrarum cruci est affixus, idemque coronam spineam portavit."
31 By believing too much, like the Christians who regarded Jesus as God; or

too little, like the Jews who would not believe on Muhammad.

32 That is, a Being possessing a Spirit.


MECCA.�12 Verses
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
O PROPHET! when ye divorce women, divorce them at their special times. And

reckon those times exactly, and fear God your Lord. Put them not forth from

their houses, nor allow them to depart, unless they have committed a proven

adultery. This is the precept of God; and whoso transgresseth the precept of

God, assuredly imperilleth his own self. Thou knowest not whether, after

this, God may not cause something new to occur which may bring you together

And when they have reached their set time, then either keep them with

kindness, or in kindness part from them. And take upright witnesses from

among you, and bear witness as unto God. This is a caution for him who

believeth in God and in the latter day. And whoso feareth God, to him will He

grant a prosperous issue, and will provide for him whence he reckoned not

upon it.
And for him who putteth his trust in Him will God be all-sufficient. God

truly will attain his purpose. For everything hath God assigned a period.
As to such of your wives as have no hope of the recurrence of their times, if

ye have doubts in regard to them, then reckon three months, and let the same

be the term of those who have not yet had them. And as to those who are with

child, their period shall be until they are delivered of their burden. God

will make His command easy to him who feareth Him.
This is God's command which He hath sent down to you: Whoso feareth God, his

evil deeds will He cancel and will increase his reward.

Lodge the divorced wherever ye lodge, according to your means; and distress

them not by putting them to straits. And if they are pregnant, then be at

charges for the them till they are delivered of their burden; and if they

suckle your children, then pay them their hire and consult among yourselves,

and act generously: And if herin ye meet with obstacles, then let another

female suckle for him.

Let him who hath abundance of his abundance; let him, too, whose store is

scanty, give of what God hath vouchsafed to him. God imposeth burdens only

according to the means which He hath given. God will cause ease to succeed


How many cities have turned aside from the command of their Lord and of his

apostles! Therefore did we reckon with them in a severe reckoning, and

chastised them with a stern chastisement;
And they tasted the harmfulness of their own conduct: and the end of their

conduct was ruin.

A vehement chastisement hath God prepared for them! Fear God, then, O ye men

of understanding!2

Believers! Now hath God sent down to you a warning! a prophet, who reciteth

to you the clear signs of God, that he may bring those who believe, and do

the things that are right, out of the darkness into the light. And-whoso

believeth in God, and doeth the things that are right, God will cause them to

enter the gardens beneath which the rivers flow, to remain therein for aye! A

goodly provision now hath God made for him.

It is God who hath created seven heavens and as many earths.3 The Divine

command cometh down through them all, that ye may know that God hath power

over all things, and that God in his knowledge embraceth all things!


1 Comp. Sura [xci.] ii. 228, which this Sura is perhaps intended to

supplement. Wahidi and Beidhawi state that it was revealed on account of Ibn

Omar who had divorced his wife at improper time, and was obliged to take her

2 In order to make good the rhyme, verse 10 ought to be continued to the end

of the first clause of verse II.
3 Lit. and of the earth, their likes. The style of this verse resembles that

of the Meccan Suras. Hence, probably; a tradition in Omar ben Muhammad makes

the whole Sura Meccan.


MEDINA.�24 Verses
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
ALL that is in the Heavens and all that is on the Earth praiseth God! He, the

Mighty, the Wise!

He it is who caused the unbelievers among the people of the Book to quit

their homes and join those who had EMIGRATED previously.1 Ye did not think

that they would quit them; and they on their part thought that their

fortresses would protect them against God: But God came upon them whence they

looked not for Him, and cast such fear into their hearts that by their own

hands as well as by the hands of the victorious believers they demolished

their houses! Profit by this example ye who are men of insight!
And were it not that God had decreed their exile, surely in this world would

he have chastised them: but in the world to come the chastisement of the fire

awaiteth them.
This because they set them against God and his apostle; and whoso setteth him

against God. . . . ! God truly is vehement in punishing.

Your cutting down some of their palm trees and sparing others was by God's

permission, and to put the wicked to shame.

After the spoils of these Jews which God hath assigned to his apostle, ye

pressed not with horse or camel.2 But God giveth his apostles power over what

he will. God is Almighty.
The spoil taken from the people of the towns and assigned by God to his

apostle, belongeth to God, and to the apostle, and to his kindred, and to the

orphan, and to the poor, and to the wayfarer, that none of it may circulate

among such of you only as are rich: What the apostle hath given you, take:

What he hath refused you, refuse: And fear ye God, for God is severe in


To the poor refugees (Mohadjerin) also doth a part belong, who have been

driven from their homes and their substance, and who seek favour from God and

his goodwill, and aid God and his apostle. These are the men of genuine

They of Medina who had been in possession of their abodes and embraced the

faith before them, cherish those who take refuge with them; and they find not

in their breasts any desire for what hath fallen to their share: they prefer

them before themselves, though poverty be their own lot. And with such as are

preserved from their own covetousness shall it be well.

And they who have come after them into the faith say, "O our Lord! forgive us

and our brethren who have preceded us in the faith, and put not into our

hearts ill-will against those who believe. O our Lord! thou verily art Kind,


Hast thou not observed the disaffected saying to their unbelieving brethren3

among the people of the Book, "If ye be driven forth, we will go forth with

you; and in what concerneth you, never will we obey any one; and if ye be

attacked we will certainly come to your help." But God is witness that they

are liars.
No! if they were driven forth, they would not share their banishment; if they

were attacked they would not help them, or if they help them they will surely

turn their backs: then would they remain unhelped.
Assuredly the fear of you is more intense in their hearts than the fear of

God! This because they are a people devoid of discernment.

They (the Jews) will not fight against you in a body except in fenced towns

or from behind walls. Mighty is their valour among themselves! thou thinkest

them united�but their hearts are divided. This for that they are a people who

understand not.

They act like those who lately preceded them,4 who also tasted the result of

their doings; and a grievous chastisement awaiteth them�

Like Satan when he saith to a man, "Be an infidel:" and when he hath become

an infidel, he saith, "I share not thy guilt:5 verily, I fear God the Lord of

the Worlds."
Of both, therefore, shall the end be that they dwell for ever in the fire:

This is the recompense of the evil doers.

O ye who believe! fear God. And let every soul look well to what it sendeth

on before for the morrow. And fear ye God: Verily, God is cognisant of what

ye do.
And be ye not like those who forget God, and whom He hath therefore caused to

forget their proper selves. Such men are the evil doers.

The inmates of the Fire and the inmates of Paradise are not to be held equal.

The inmates of Paradise only shall be the blissful.

Had we sent down this Koran on some mountain, thou wouldst certainly have

seen it humbling itself6 and cleaving asunder for the fear of God. Such are

the parables we propose to men in order that they may reflect.
He is God beside whom there is no god. He knoweth things visible and

invisible: He is the Compassionate, the Merciful.

He is God beside whom there is no god: He is the King, the Holy, the

Peaceful, the Faithful, the Guardian, the Mighty, the Strong, the Most High!

Far be the Glory of God from that which they unite with Him!
He is God, the Producer, the Maker, the Fashioner! To Him are ascribed

excellent titles. Whatever is in the Heavens and in the Earth praiseth Him.

He is the Mighty, the Wise!


1 The Jews of Nadhir, three miles from Medina, had broken a treaty made with

Muhammad, and in the month Rab� of the fourth year of the Hejira were

besieged by him and driven first to the Jews of Kainoka, who had emigrated

previously, under compulsion, after the battle of Bedr, and subsequently out

of Arabia. Weil, Life of M. p.137.n.
2 On which account these spoils were entirely assigned to Muhammad, and not

divided in the usual manner. See Sura [xcv.] viii. 42. Weil, p. 138, 184.

3 To the Jews of the tribe of Nadhir.
4 The idolaters slain at Bedr (Djal.) or the Jews of Kainoka, who had been

plundered previously to those of Nadhir.

5 Lit. I am clear of thee.
6 This may be derived from the Rabbinical idea that Mount Sinai was chosen,

on account of its lowness, to be the scene of the revelation to Moses, in

order to shew that God loves the humble.


MEDINA.�73 Verses
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
O PROPHET, fear thou God, and obey not the unbelievers and the hypocrites;�

Truly God is Knowing, Wise:

But follow what is revealed to thee from thy Lord: Cognisant truly is He of

all your actions�

And put thou thy trust in God, for a sufficient guardian is God.
God hath not given a man two hearts within him; neither hath he made your

wives whom ye divorce2 to be as your mothers; nor hath he made your adopted

sons to be as your own sons. Such words are indeed in your mouths; but God

speaketh the truth, and in the right way He guideth.

Name them after their fathers: this will be more right before God. But if ye

know not who their fathers are, then let them be your brethren in the faith,

and your comrades. And unless made with intent of heart, mistakes in this

matter shall be no crime in you: for God is Lenient, Merciful.

Nearer of kin to the faithful is the Prophet, than they are to their own

selves. His wives are their mothers. According to the Book of God, they who

are related by blood, are nearer the one to the other than other believers,

and than those who have fled their country3 for the cause of God: but

whatever kindness ye shew to your kindred, shall be noted down in the Book.
And remember that we have entered into covenant with the Prophets, and with

thee, and with Noah, and Abraham, and Moses, and Jesus, Son of Mary: and we

formed with them a strict covenant,
That God may question the men of truth as to their truth.4 But a sore torment

hath He prepared for the unbelievers.

O believers!5 remember the goodness of God towards you, when the armies came

against you, and we sent against them a blast, and hosts that ye saw not; for

the eye of God was upon your doings:
When they assailed you from above you, and from below you,6 and when your

eyes became distracted, and your hearts came up into your throat, and ye

thought divers thoughts of God:
Then were the faithful tried, and with strong quaking did they quake:
And when the disaffected and the diseased7 of heart said, "God and his

Apostle have made us but a cheating promise:"

And when a party of them said, "O people of Yathrib!8 there is no place of

safety for you here;9 therefore return into the city." And another party of

you asked the prophet's leave to return, saying, "Our houses are left

defenceless." No! they were not left defenceless: but their sole thought was

to flee away.
If the enemy had effected an entry at all points, and they (the disaffected)

had been asked to promote confusion, they would have done so; but only a

short time would they have remained in it.�(Medina).10
They had before pledged themselves to God that they would not turn their

backs; and a pledge given to God must be enquired of.

SAY: Flight shall not profit you; if ye have fled the death or the slaughter,

yet even then, but a little while shall ye enjoy your good things!

SAY: Who is he that will screen you from God, whether He choose to bring evil

on you, or to shew you mercy? None beside God shall they find to be their

patron or helper.
God well knoweth those among you who cause hindrances, and those who say to

their brethren, "Come hither to us;" and who come not to the fight except a

It is out of covetousness in your regard: for when an alarm cometh, thou

mayest see them look to thee, and roll their eyes like him on whom the

shadows of death have fallen! Yet, when the alarm is passed, with sharp

tongues will they assail you, covetous of the best of the spoil. No faith

have these! God will make their doings of no avail! And easy is this with

They thought that the CONFEDERATES would never retire:11 and were the

confederates to come again, they would fain be dwelling among the Arabs of

the desert, and there ask news about you! for though they were with you, they

fought not except a little.
A noble pattern had ye in God's Apostle, for all who hope in God, and in the

latter day, and oft remember God!

And when the faithful saw the confederates, they said, "This is what God and

His Apostle promised us,12 and God and His Apostle spoke truly:" and it only

increased their faith and self-devotion.
Some were there among the faithful who made good what they had promised to

God. Some have fulfilled their course, and others await its fulfilment, and

have not been changelings who change�
That God may reward the faithful for their faithfulness, and may punish the

hypocrites, if He so please, or be turned unto them: for God is Forgiving,

And God drove back the infidels in their wrath; they won no advantage; God

sufficed the faithful in the fight: for God is Strong, Mighty!

And He caused those of the people of the Book (the Jews), who had aided the

confederates, to come down out of their fortresses, and cast dismay into

their hearts: some ye slew, others ye took prisoners.13
And He gave you their land, and their dwellings, and their wealth, for an

heritage�even a land on which ye had never set foot: for the might of God is

equal to all things.
O Prophet! say to thy wives,14 If ye desire this present life and its

braveries, come then, I will provide for you, and dismiss you with an

honourable dismissal.
But if ye desire God and His Apostle, and a home in the next life, then,

truly, hath God prepared for those of you who are virtuous, a great reward.

O wives of the Prophet! should any of you be guilty of a proven lewdness,

doubly shall her chastisement be doubled: and with God this is easy.

But whoever of you shall obey God and His Apostle, and shall do that which is

right, twice over will we give her her reward, and we have prepared for her a

noble provision.
O wives of the Prophet! ye are not as other women. If ye fear God, be not too

complaisant of speech, lest the man of unhealthy heart should lust after you,

but speak with discreet speech.
And abide still in your houses, and go not in public decked as in the days of

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