The Project Gutenberg ebook of The Koran

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Then into a chain whose length is seventy cubits thrust him;
For he believed not in God, the Great,
And was not careful to feed the poor;
No friend therefore shall he have here this day,
Nor food, but corrupt sores,
Which none shall eat but the sinners."
It needs not that I swear by what ye see,
And by that which ye see not,
That this verily is the word of an apostle worthy of all honour!
And that it is not the word of a poet�how little do ye believe!
Neither is it the word of a soothsayer (Kahin)�how little do ye receive

It is a missive from the Lord of the worlds.

But if Muhammad had fabricated concerning us any sayings,
We had surely seized him by the right hand,
And had cut through the vein of his neck.5
Nor would We have withheld any one of you from him.
But, verily, It (the Koran) is a warning for the God-fearing;
And we well know that there are of you who treat it as a falsehood.
But it shall be the despair of infidels,
For it is the very truth of sure knowledge.
Praise, then, the name of thy Lord, the Great.


1 Thus Beidh., Sale, etc. But with reference to another sense of the root

karaa, it may be rendered the day of decision, the day on which man's lot

shall be decided.
2 On Ad and Themoud. See Sura vii. 63-77.
3 Lit. God subjected it to himself, availed himself of it against them.
4 El-wakia, the sudden event, the calamity; the woe that must break in upon

Heaven and Earth. The same word is used, Sura lvi. 1, and ci. 1, for the

Resurrection and Day of Judgment.
5 In allusion to the mode of executing criminals in many eastern countries.


MECCA.�60 Verses
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
By the clouds1 which scatter with SCATTERING,
And those which bear their load,
And by those which speed lightly along,
And those which apportion by command!
True, indeed, is that with which ye are threatened,
And lo! the judgment will surely come.2
By the star-tracked heaven!
Ye are discordant in what ye say;
But whose turneth him from the truth, is turned from it by a divine decree.
Perish the liars,
Who are bewildered in the depths of ignorance!
They ask, "When this day of judgment?"
On that day they shall be tormented at the fire.
"Taste ye of this your torment, whose speedy coming ye challenged."
But the God-fearing shall dwell amid gardens and fountains,
Enjoying what their Lord hath given them, because, aforetime they were well-

But little of the night was it that they slept,

And at dawn they prayed for pardon,
And gave due share of their wealth to the suppliant and the outcast.
On Earth are signs for men of firm belief,
And also in your own selves: Will ye not then behold them?
The Heaven hath sustenance for you, and it containeth that which you are


By the Lord then of the heaven and of the earth, I swear that this is the

truth, even as ye speak yourselves.3

Hath the story reached thee of Abraham's honoured guests?4
When they went in unto him and said, "Peace!" he replied, "Peace:�they are


And he went apart to his family, and brought a fatted calf,
And set it before them. He said, "Eat ye not?"
And he conceived a fear of them. They said to him, "Fear not;" and announced

to him a wise son.

His wife came up with outcry: she smote her face and said, "What I, old and

They said, "Thus saith thy Lord. He truly is the Wise, the Knowing."

Said he, "And what, O messengers, is your errand?"
They said, "To a wicked people are we sent,
To hurl upon them stones of clay,
Destined5 by thy Lord for men guilty of excesses."
And we brought forth the believers who were in the city:
But we found not in it but one family of Muslims.
And signs we left in it for those who dread the afflictive chastisement,�
And in Moses: when we sent him to Pharaoh with manifest power:
But relying on his forces6 he turned his back and said, "Sorcerer, or


So we seized him and his hosts and cast them into the sea; for of all blame

was he worthy.

And in Ad: when we sent against them the desolating blast:
It touched not aught over which it came, but it turned it to dust.
And in Themoud:7 when it was said to them, "Enjoy yourselves for yet a

But they rebelled against their Lord's command: so the tempest took them as

they watched its coming.8
They were not able to stand upright, and could not help themselves.
And we destroyed the people of Noah, before them; for an impious people were

And the Heaven�with our hands have we built it up, and given it its expanse;

And the Earth�we have stretched it out like a carpet; and how
smoothly have we spread it forth!
And of everything have we created pairs: that haply ye may reflect.
Fly then to God: I come to you from him a plain warner.
And set not up another god with God: I come to you from him a plain warner.
Even thus came there no apostle to those who flourished before them, but they

exclaimed, "Sorcerer, or Possessed."

Have they made a legacy to one another of this scoff? Yes, they are a rebel

Turn away, then, from them, and thou shalt not incur reproach:

Yet warn them, for, in truth, warning will profit the believers.
I have not created Djinn and men, but that they should worship me:
I require not sustenance from them, neither require I that they feed me:
Verily, God is the sole sustainer: possessed of might: the unshaken!
Therefore to those who injure thee shall be a fate like the fate of
their fellows of old. Let them not challenge me to hasten it.
Woe then to the infidels, because of their threatened day.


1 Lit. (I swear) by those which scatter (i.e., the rain) with a scattering,

(2) and by those which carry a burden, (3) and by those which run lightly,

(4) and by those which divide a matter, or by command. The participles are

all in the feminine: hence some interpret verse 1 of winds; verse 2 of

clouds; verse 3 of ships; verse 4 of angels.
2 Comp. note at Sura lvi. 1, p. 65.
3 That is, this oath is for the confirmation of the truth, as ye are wont to

confirm things one among another by an oath.

4 Comp. Sura xi. 72, and xv. 51. From the want of connection with what

precedes, it is highly probable that the whole passage from verse 24 60 did

not originally form a part of this Sura, but was added at a later period,

perhaps in the recension of the text under Othman.

5 Lit. marked, with the names of the individuals to be slain, say the


6 Or, with his nobles.
7 For Ad and Themoud, see Sura xi.
8 That is, in broad daylight. Thus Beidh. Comp. Sura xlvi. 22.


MECCA.�49 Verses
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
And by the Book written
On an outspread roll,
And by the frequented fane,1
And by the lofty vault,
And by the swollen sea,
Verily, a chastisement from thy Lord is imminent,
And none shall put it back.
Reeling on that day the Heaven shall reel,
And stirring shall the mountains stir.2
And woe, on that day, to those who called the apostles liars,
Who plunged for pastime into vain disputes�
On that day shall they be thrust with thrusting to the fire of Hell:�
"This is the fire which ye treated as a lie.
What! is this magic, then? or, do ye not see it?
Burn ye therein: bear it patiently or impatiently 'twill be the same to you:

for ye shall assuredly receive the reward of your doings."

But mid gardens and delights shall they dwell who have feared God,
Rejoicing in what their Lord hath given them; and that from the pain of hell-

fire hath their Lord preserved them.

"Eat and drink with healthy enjoyment, in recompense for your deeds."
On couches ranged in rows shall they recline; and to the damsels with large

dark eyes will we wed them.

And to those who have believed, whose offspring have followed them in the

faith, will we again unite their offspring; nor of the meed of their works

will we in the least defraud them. Pledged to God is every man for his

actions and their desert.3

And fruits in abundance will we give them, and flesh as they shall desire:
Therein shall they pass to one another the cup which shall engender no light

discourse, no motive to sin:

And youths shall go round among them beautiful as imbedded pearls:
And shall accost one another and ask mutual questions.
"A time indeed there was," will they say, "when we were full of care as to

the future lot of our families;

But kind hath God been to us, and from the pestilential torment hath he

preserved us;

For, heretofore we called upon Him�and He is the Beneficent, the Merciful."
Warn thou, then. For thou by the favour of thy Lord art neither soothsayer

nor possessed.

Will they say, "A poet! let us await some adverse turn of his fortune?"
SAY, wait ye, and in sooth I too will wait with you.
Is it their dreams which inspire them with this? or is it that they are a

perverse people?

Will they say, "He hath forged it (the Koran) himself?" Nay, rather it is

that they believed not.

Let them then produce a discourse like it, if they speak the Truth.
Were they created by nothing? or were they the creators of themselves?
Created they the Heavens and Earth? Nay, rather, they have no faith.
Hold they thy Lord's treasures? Bear they the rule supreme?
Have they a ladder for hearing the angels? Let any one who hath heard them

bring a clear proof of it.

Hath God daughters and ye sons?
Asketh thou pay of them? they are themselves weighed down with debts.
Have they such a knowledge of the secret things that they can write them

Desire they to lay snares for thee? But the snared ones shall be they who do

not believe.
Have they any God beside God? Glory be to God above what they join with Him.
And should they see a fragment of the heaven falling down, they would say,

"It is only a dense cloud."

Leave them then until they come face to face with the day when they shall

swoon away:

A day in which their snares shall not at all avail them, neither shall they

be helped.

And verily, beside this is there a punishment for the evildoers: but most of

them know it not.

Wait thou patiently the judgment of thy Lord, for thou art in our eye; and

celebrate the praise of thy Lord when thou risest up,

And in the night-season: Praise him when the stars are setting.


1 Of the Caaba.
2 Comp. Psalm lxviii. 9.
3 The more prosaic style of this verse indicates a later origin than the

context. Muir places the whole Sura in what he terms the fourth stage of

Meccan Suras.


MECCA.�96 Verses
In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
WHEN the day that must come shall have come suddenly,1
None shall treat that sudden coming as a lie:
Day that shall abase! Day that shall exalt!
When the earth shall be shaken with a shock,
And the mountains shall be crumbled with a crumbling,
And shall become scattered dust,
And into three bands shall ye be divided:2
Then the people of the right hand3�Oh! how happy shall be the people of the

right hand!

And the people of the left hand�Oh! how wretched shall be the people of the

left hand!

And they who were foremost on earth�the foremost still.4
These are they who shall be brought nigh to God,
In gardens of delight;
A crowd of the former
And few of the latter generations;
On inwrought couches
Reclining on them face to face:
Aye-blooming youths go round about to them
With goblets and ewers and a cup of flowing wine;
Their brows ache not from it, nor fails the sense:
And with such fruits as shall please them best,
And with flesh of such birds, as they shall long for:
And theirs shall be the Houris, with large dark eyes, like pearls hidden in

their shells,

In recompense of their labours past.
No vain discourse shall they hear therein, nor charge of sin,
But only the cry, "Peace! Peace!"
And the people of the right hand�oh! how happy shall be the people of the

right hand!

Amid thornless sidrahs5
And talh6 trees clad with fruit,
And in extended shade,
And by flowing waters,
And with abundant fruits,7
Unfailing, unforbidden,
And on lofty couches.
Of a rare creation have we created the Houris,
And we have made them ever virgins,
Dear to their spouses, of equal age with them,8
For the people of the right hand,
A crowd of the former,
And a crowd of the latter generations.9
But the people of the left hand�oh! how wretched shall be the people of the

left hand!

Amid pestilential10 winds and in scalding water,
And in the shadow of a black smoke,
Not cool, and horrid to behold.11
For they truly, ere this, were blessed with worldly goods,
But persisted in heinous sin,
And were wont to say,
"What! after we have died, and become dust and bones, shall we be raised?
And our fathers, the men of yore?"
SAY: Aye, the former and the latter:
Gathered shall they all be for the time of a known day.
Then ye, O ye the erring, the gainsaying,
Shall surely eat of the tree Ez-zakkoum,
And fill your bellies with it,
And thereupon shall ye drink boiling water,
And ye shall drink as the thirsty camel drinketh.
This shall be their repast in the day of reckoning!
We created you, will ye not credit us?12
What think ye? The germs of life13�
Is it ye who create them? or are we their creator?
It is we who have decreed that death should be among you;
Yet are we not thereby hindered14 from replacing you with others, your likes,

or from producing you again in a form which ye know not!

Ye have known the first creation: will ye not then reflect?
What think ye? That which ye sow�
Is it ye who cause its upgrowth, or do we cause it to spring forth?
If we pleased we could so make your harvest dry and brittle that ye would

ever marvel and say,

"Truly we have been at cost,15 yet are we forbidden harvest."
What think ye of the water ye drink?
Is it ye who send it down from the clouds, or send we it down?
Brackish could we make it, if we pleased: will ye not then be thankful?
What think ye? The fire which ye obtain by friction�
Is it ye who rear its tree, or do we rear it?
It is we who have made it for a memorial and a benefit to the wayfarers of

the desert,

Praise therefore the name of thy Lord, the Great.
It needs not that I swear by the setting of the stars,
And it is a great oath, if ye knew it,
That this is the honourable Koran,
Written in the preserved Book:16
Let none touch it but the purified,17
It is a revelation from the Lord of the worlds.
Such tidings as these will ye disdain?
Will ye make it your daily bread to gainsay them?
Why, at the moment when the soul of a dying man shall come up into his

And when ye are gazing at him,

Though we are nearer to him than ye, although ye see us not:�
Why do ye not, if ye are to escape the judgment,
Cause that soul to return? Tell me, if ye speak the truth.
But as to him who shall enjoy near access to God,
His shall be repose, and pleasure, and a garden of delights.
Yea, for him who shall be of the people of the right hand,
Shall be the greeting from the people of the right hand�"Peace be to thee."
But for him who shall be of those who treat the prophets as deceivers,
And of the erring,
His entertainment shall be of scalding water,
And the broiling of hell-fire.
Verily this is a certain truth:
Praise therefore the name of thy Lord, the Great.


1 The renderings of Mar. cum inciderit casura, or as in Sur. lxix, 15,

ingruerit ingruens nearly express the peculiar force of the Arabic verb and

of the noun formed from it; i.e. a calamity that falls suddenly and surely.

Weil renders, ween der Auferstehung's Tag eintritt (p. 389). Lane, when the

calamity shall have happened.
2 Comp. Tr. Rosch Haschanah, fol. 16, 6.
3 Lit., the companions of the right hand, what shall be the companions of the

right hand! and thus in verses 9, 37, 40.

4 Lit., the preceders, the preceders.
5 See Sura liii. 14, p. 69.
6 Probably the banana according to others, the acacia gummifera.
7 "A Muslim of some learning professed to me that he considered the

descriptions of Paradise in the Koran to be, in a great measure, figurative;

'like those,' said he, 'in the book of the Revelation of St. John;' and he

assured me that many learned Muslims were of the same opinion." Lane's Modern

Egyptians, i. p. 75, note.
8 Like them, grow not old.
9 This seems a direct contradiction to verse 14, unless we suppose with

Beidhawi that an inferior and more numerous class of believers are here

spoken of.
10 Or, scorching.
11 Lit., not noble, agreeable in appearance.
12 As to the resurrection.
13 Lit., semen quod emittitis.
14 Lit., forestalled, anticipated.
15 Lit, have incurred debt.
16 That is, The Prototype of the Koran written down in the Book kept by God

17 This passage implies the existence of copies of portions at least of the

Koran in common use. It was quoted by the sister of Omar when at his

conversion be desired to take her copy of Sura xx. into his hands.

MECCA.�62 Verses
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
By the STAR when it setteth,
Your compatriot erreth not, nor is he led astray,
Neither speaketh he from mere impulse.
The Koran is no other than a revelation revealed to him:
One terrible in power2 taught it him,
Endued with wisdom. With even balance stood he
In the highest part of the horizon:
Then came he nearer and approached,
And was at the distance of two bows, or even closer,�
And he revealed to his servant what he revealed.
His heart falsified not what he saw.
What! will ye then dispute with him as to what he saw?
He had seen him also another time,
Near the Sidrah-tree, which marks the boundary.3
Near which is the garden of repose.
When the Sidrah-tree4 was covered with what covered it,5
His eye turned not aside, nor did it wander:
For he saw the greatest of the signs of his Lord.
Do you see Al-Lat and Al-Ozza,6
And Manat the third idol besides?7
What? shall ye have male progeny and God female?
This were indeed an unfair partition!
These are mere names: ye and your fathers named them thus: God hath not sent

down any warranty in their regard. A mere conceit and their own impulses do

they follow. Yet hath "the guidance" from their Lord come to them.
Shall man have whatever he wisheth?
The future and the present are in the hand of God:
And many as are the Angels in the Heavens, their intercession shall be of no

Until God hath permitted it to whom he shall please and will accept.

Verily, it is they who believe not in the life to come, who name the angels

with names of females:

But herein they have no knowledge: they follow a mere conceit; and mere

conceit can never take the place of truth.

Withdraw then from him who turneth his back on our warning and desireth only

this present life.

This is the sum of their knowledge. Truly thy Lord best knoweth him who

erreth from his way, and He best knoweth him who hath received guidance.

And whatever is in the Heavens and in the Earth is God's that he may reward

those who do evil according to their deeds: and those who do good will He

reward with good things.
To those who avoid great crimes and scandals but commit only lighter faults,

verily, thy Lord will be diffuse of mercy. He well knew you when he produced

you out of the earth, and when ye were embryos in your mother's womb. Assert

not then your own purity. He best knoweth who feareth him.

Hast thou considered him who turned his back?
Who giveth little and is covetous?
Is it that he hath the knowledge and vision of the secret things?
Hath he not been told of what is in the pages of Moses?
And of Abraham faithful to his pledge?
That no burdened soul shall bear the burdens of another,
And that nothing shall be reckoned to a man but that for which he hath made

And that his efforts shall at last be seen in their true light:

That then he shall be recompensed with a most exact recompense,
And that unto thy Lord is the term of all things,
And that it is He who causeth to laugh and to weep,
And that He causeth to die and maketh alive,
And that He hath created the sexes, male and female,
From the diffused germs of life,9
And that with Him is the second creation,
And that He enricheth and causeth to possess,
And that He is the Lord of Sirius,10
And that it was He who destroyed the ancient Adites,
And the people of Themoud and left not one survivor,
And before them the people of Noah who were most wicked and most perverse.
And it was He who destroyed the cities that were overthrown.
So that that which covered them covered them.
Which then of thy Lord's benefits wilt thou make a matter of doubt?11
He who warneth you is one of the warners of old.
The day that must draw nigh, draweth nigh already: and yet none but God can

reveal its time.

Is it at these sayings that ye marvel?
And that ye laugh and weep not?
And that ye are triflers?
Prostrate yourselves then to God and worship.


1 This Sura was revealed at about the time of the first emigration of

Muhammad's followers to Abyssinia, A. 5. The manner in which the Prophet

cancelled the objectionable verses 19, 20, is the strongest proof of his

sincerity (as also is the opening of Sura 1xxx.) at this period. Had he not

done so, nothing would have been easier for him than to have effected a

reconciliation with the powerful party in Mecca, who had recently compelled

his followers to emigrate.
2 The Angel Gabriel, to the meaning of whose name, as the strong one of God,

these words probably allude.

3 That is, Beyond which neither men nor angels can pass (Djelal). The

original word is also rendered, the Lote-Tree of the extremity, or of the

loftiest spot in Paradise, in the seventh Heaven, on the right hand of the

throne of God. Its leaves are fabled to be as numerous as the members of the

whole human family, and each leaf to bear the name of an individual. This

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