Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAPTER II.: ENTITLED SURAT UL BAQR (THE COW). Revealed partly at Makkah and partly at Madína. - The Quran, vol. 1
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CHAPTER II.: ENTITLED SURAT UL BAQR (THE COW). Revealed partly at Makkah and partly at Madína. - Mohammed, The Quran, vol. 1 
A Comprehensive Commentary on the Quran: Comprising Sale’s Translation and preliminary Discourse, with Additional Notes and Emendations (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner, and Co., 1896). 4 vols.
Part of: The Quran, 4 vols.
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ENTITLED SURAT UL BAQR (THE COW).
“The title of this chapter was occasioned by the story of the red heifer” (in vers. 66-73) —Sale.
“In this Sura are collected the passages composed in the first two or three years of Mahomet’s stay at Medina. The greater part relates to the Jews, with biblical and rabbinical stories, notice of the change of the Kibla, &c. The disaffected citizens are also denounced in it. There is likewise much matter of a legislative character, produced during the first Medina stage, with additions and interpolations from the revelations of later stages.”—Muir’s Life of Mahomet, vol. iii, Appendix.
The following is a brief analysis of this chapter, based for the most part on Noeldeke’s Origine et Compositions Surarum Quranicarum ipsiusque Quráni, showing Makkan and Madina revelations, probable date of composition, and principal topics treated.
These are found in verses 21-38, 164-172, and probably 254-257, 285, and 286. They belong to the period of Muhammad’s mission previous to the Hijra.
These make up the bulk of the chapter, and are found in verses 1-20, 39-153, 173-253, and 258-284.
As to the date of composition, verses 1-20, 39-153, 173-185, 203-253, and 258-284, belong to the interval between the Hijra and the early part of a.h. 2. Verses 154-163 were revealed soon after the battle of Badr, a.h. 2. Verses 186, 187, belong to a.h. 3, and verses 188-202 must be referred to a period shortly before the pilgrimage to Makkah in a.h. 7.
IN THE NAME OF THE MOST MERCIFUL GOD.
∥ (1) A. L. M. (2) There is no doubt in this book; it is a direction to the pious, (3) who believe in the mysteries of faith, who observe the appointed times of prayer, and distribute alms out of what we have bestowed on them, (4) and who believe in that revelation, which hath been sent down unto thee and that which hath been sent down unto the prophets before thee, and have firm assurance of the life to come: (5) these are directed by their Lord, and they shall prosper. (6) As for the unbelievers, it will be equal to them whether thou admonish them, or do not admonish them; they will not believe. (7)God hath sealed up their hearts and their hearing; a dimness covereth their sight, and they shall suffer a grievous punishment.
∥ (8) There are some who say, We believe in God, and the last day; but are not really believers: (9) they seek to deceive God, and those who do believe, but they deceive themselves only, and are not sensible thereof. (10) There is an infirmity in their hearts, and God hath increased that infirmity; and they shall suffer a most painful punishment, because they have disbelieved. (11) When one saith unto them, Act not corruptly in the earth; they reply, Verily we are men of integrity. (12) Are not they themselves corrupt doers? but they are not sensible thereof. (13) And when one saith unto them, Believe ye as others believe; they answer, Shall we believe as fools believe? Are not they themselves fools? but they know it not. (14) When they meet those who believe, they say, We do believe: but when they retire privately to their devils, they say, We really hold with you, and only mock at those people:(15)God shall mock at them, and continue them in their impiety; they shall wander in confusion. (16) These are the men who have purchased error at the price of true direction: but their traffic hath not been gainful, neither have they been rightly directed. (17) They are like unto one who kindleth a fire, and when it hath enlightened all around him, God taketh away their light and leaveth them in darkness, they sball not see; (18) they are deaf, dumb, and blind, therefore will they not repent. (19) Or like a stormy cloud from heaven, fraught with darkness, thunder, and lightning, they put their fingers in their ears because of the noise of the thunder, for fear of death; God encompasseth the infidels: (20) the lightning wanteth but little of taking away their sight; so often as it enlighteneth them, they walk therein, but when darkness cometh on them, they stand still: and if God so pleased he would certainly deprive them of their hearing and their sight, for God is mighty.
∥ (21) O men of Makkah, serve your Lord who hath created you, and those who have been before you: peradventure ye will fear him;(22) who hath spread the earth as a bed for you, and the heaven as a covering, and hath caused water to descend from heaven, and thereby produced fruits for your sustenance. Set not up therefore any equals unto God, against your own knowledge. (23) If ye be in doubt concerning that revelation which we have sent down unto our servant, produce a chapter like unto it, and call upon your witnesses besides God, if ye say truth. (24) But if ye do it not, nor shall ever be able to do it; justly fear the fire whose fuel is men and stones, prepared for the unbelievers. (25) But bear good tidings unto those who believe, and do good works, that they shall have gardens watered by rivers; so often as they eat of the fruit thereof for sustenance, they shall say, This is what we have formerly eaten of; and they shall be supplied with several sorts of fruit having a mutual resemblance to one another. There shall they enjoy wives subject to no impurity, and there shall they continue for ever. (26) Moreover, God will not be ashamed to propound in a parable a gnat, or even a more despicable thing: for they who believe will know it to be the truth from their Lord; but the unbelievers will say, What meaneth God by this parable? he will thereby mislead many, and will direct many thereby: but he will not mislead any thereby, except the transgressors, (27) who make void the covenant of God after the establishing thereof, and cut in sunder that which God hath commanded to be joined, and act corruptly in the earth: they shall perish. (28) How is it that ye believe not in God? Since ye were dead, and he gave you life; he will hereafter cause you to die, and will again restore you to life; then shall ye return unto him. (29) It is he who hath created for you whatsoever is on earth, and then set his mind to the ereation of heaven, and formed it into seven heavens; he knoweth all things.
∥ (30) When thy Lord said unto the angels, I am going to place a substitute on earth; they said, Wilt thou place there one who will do evil therein, and shed blood? but we celebrate thy praise, and sanctify thee. God answered, Verily I know that which ye know not: (31) and he taught Adam the names of all things, and then proposed them to the angels, and said, Declare unto me the names of these things if ye say truth. (32) They answered, Praise be unto thee; we have no knowledge but what thou teachest us, for thou art knowing and wise. (33)God said, O Adam, tell them their names. And when he had told them their names, God said, Did I not tell you that I know the secrets of heaven and earth, and know that which ye discover, and that which ye conceal? (34) And when we said unto the angels, Worship Adam; they all worshipped him, except Iblis, who refused, and was puffed up with pride, and became of the number of unbelievers. (35) And we said, O Adam, dwell thou and thy wife in the garden, and eat of the fruit thereof plentifully wherever ye will; but approach not this tree, lest ye become of the number of the transgressors. But Satan caused them to forfeit paradise, and turned them out of the state of happiness wherein they had been; whereupon we said, Get ye down, the one of you an enemy unto the other; and there shall be a dwelling-place for you on earth, and a provision for a season. (36) And Adam learned words of prayer from his Lord, and God turned unto him, for he is easy to be reconciled and merciful. (37) We said, Get ye all down from hence; hereafter shall there come unto you a direction from me, and whoever shall follow my direction, on them shall no fear come, neither shall they be grieved; (38) but they who shall be unbelievers, and accuse our signs of falsehood, they shall be the companions of hell-fire, therein shall they remain for ever.
∥ (39) O children of Israel, remember my favour wherewith I have favoured you; and perform your covenant with me, and I will perform my covenant with you; and revere me: (40) and believe in the revelation which I have sent down, confirming that which is with you, and be not the first who believe not therein, neither exchange my signs for a small price; and fear me (41) Clothe not the truth with vanity, neither conceal the truth against your own knowledge; (42) observe the stated times of prayer, and pay your legal alms, and bow down yourselves with those who bow down. (43) Will ye command men to do justice, and forget your own souls? yet ye read the book of the law: do ye not therefore understand? (44) Ask help with perseverance and prayer; this indeed is grievous unless to the humble, (45) who seriously think they shall meet their Lord, and that to him they shall return.
∥ (46) O children of Israel, remember my favour wherewith I have favoured you, and that I have preferred you above all nations; (47) dread the day wherein one soul shall not make satisfaction for another soul, neither shall any intercession be accepted from them, nor shall any compensation be received, neither shall they be helped. (48)Remember when we delivered you from the people of Pharaoh, who grievously oppressed you, they slew your male children, and let your females live: therein was a great trial from your Lord. (49) And when we divided the sea for you and delivered you, and drowned Pharaoh’s people while ye looked on. (50) And when we treated with Moses forty nights; then ye took the calf for your God, and did evil; (51) yet afterwards we forgave you, that peradventure ye might give thanks. (52) And when we gave Moses the book of the law, and the distinction between good and evil, that peradventure ye might be directed. (53) And when Moses said unto his people, O my people, verily ye have injured your own souls, by your taking the calf for your God; therefore be turned unto your Creator, and slay those among you who have been guilty of that crime: this will be better for you in the sight of your Creator: and thereupon he turned unto you, for he is easy to be reconciled, and merciful. (54) And when ye said, O Moses, we will not believe thee, until we see God manifestly; therefore a punishment came upon you, while ye looked on; (55) then we raised you to life after ye had been dead, that peradventure ye might give thanks. (56) And we caused clouds to overshadow you, and manna and quails to descend upon you, saying, Eat of the good things which we have given you for food: and they injured not us, but injured their own souls. (57) And when we said, Enter into this city, and eat of the provisions thereof plentifully as ye will; and enter the gate worshipping, and say, Forgiveness! we will pardon you your sins, and give increase unto the well-doers. (58) But the ungodly changed the expression into another, different from what had been spoken unto them; and we sent down upon the ungodly indignation from heaven, because they had transgressed.
(59) And when Moses asked drink for his people, we said, Strike the rock with thy rod; and there gushed thereout twelve fountains according to the number of the tribes, and all men knew their respective drinking-place. Eat and drink of the bounty of God, and commit not evil on the earth, acting unjustly. (60) And when ye said, O Moses, we will by no means be satisfied with one kind of food; pray unto thy Lord therefore for us, that he would produce for us of that which the earth bringeth forth, herbs and cucumbers, and garlic, and lentils, and onions; Moses answered, Will ye exchange that which is better, for that which is worse? Get ye down into Egypt, for there shall ye find what ye desire: and they were smitten with vileness and misery, and drew on themselves indignation from God. This they suffered, because they believed not in the signs of God, and killed the prophets unjustly; this, because they rebelled and transgressed.
∥ (61) Surely those who believe, and those who Judaize, and Christians, and Sabians, whoever believeth in God, and the last day, and doth that which is right, they shall have their reward with their Lord;there shall come no fear on them, neither shall they be grieved. (62)Call to mind also when we accepted your covenant, and lifted up the mountain of Sinai over you, saying, Receive the law which we have given you, with a resolution to keep it, and remember that which is contained therein, that ye may beware. (63) After this ye again turned back, so that if it had not been for God’s indulgence and mercy towards you, ye had certainly been destroyed. (64) Moreover ye know what befell those of your nation who transgressed on the Sabbath day; We said unto them, Be ye changed into apes, driven away from the society of men.(65) And we made them an example unto those who were contemporary with them, and unto those who came after them, and a warning to the pious. (66) And when Moses said unto his people, Verily God commandeth you to sacrifice a cow; they answered. Dost thou make a jest of us! Moses said, God forbid that I should be one of the foolish. (67) They said, Pray for us unto thy Lord, that he would show us what cow it is. Moses answered, He saith, She is neither an old cow, nor a young heifer, but of a middle age between both: do ye therefore that which ye are commanded. (68) They said, Pray for us unto thy Lord, that he would show us what colour she is of. Moses answered, He saith, She is a red cow, intensely red, her colour rejoiceth the beholders. (69) They said, Pray for us unto thy Lord, that he would further show us what cow it is, for several cows with us are like one another and we, if God please, will be directed. (70) Moses answered, He saith, She is a cow not broken to plough the earth, or water the field, a sound one, there is no blemish in her. They said, Now hast thou brought the truth. Then they sacrificed her; yet they wanted but little of leaving it undone.
∥ (71) And when ye slew a man, and contended among yourselves concerning him, God brought forth to light that which ye concealed. (72) For we said, Strike the dead body with part of the sacrificed cow: so God raiseth the dead to life, and showeth you his signs, that peradventure ye may understand. (73) Then were your hearts hardened after this, even as stones, and exceeding them in hardness: for from some stones have rivers bursted forth, others have been rent in sunder, and water hath issued from them, and others have fallen down for fear of God. But God is not regardless of that which ye do. (74) Do ye therefore desire that the Jews should believe you? yet a part of them heard the word of God, and then perverted it, after they had understood it, against their own conscience. (75) And when they meet the true believers, they say, We believe: but when they are privately assembled together, they say, Will ye acquaint them with what God hath revealed unto you, that they may dispute with you concerning it in the presence of your Lord? Do ye not therefore understand? (76) Do not they know that God knoweth that which they conceal as well as that which they publish? ∥ (77) But there are illiterate men among them, who know not the book of the law, but only lying stories, although they think otherwise. (78) And woe unto them, who transcribe corruptly the book of the Law with their hands, and then say, This is from God: that they may sell it for a small price. Therefore woe unto them because of that which their hands have written; and woe unto them for that which they have gained. (79) They say, The fire of hell shall not touch us but for a certain number of days. Answer, Have ye received any promise from Godto that purpose? for God will not act contrary to his promise: or do ye speak concerning God that which ye know not? (80) Verily whoso doth evil, and is encompassed by his iniquity, they shall be the companions of hell-fire, they shall remain therein forever: (81) but they who believe and do good works, they shall be the companions of paradise, they shall continue therein forever.
∥ (82)Remember also, when we accepted the covenant of the children of Israel, saying, Ye shall not worship any other except God, and ye shall show kindness to your parents and kindred, and to orphans, and to the poor, and speak that which is good unto men, and be constant at prayer, and give alms. Afterwards ye turned back, except a few of you, and retired afar off. (83) And when we accepted your covenant, saying, Ve shall not shed your brother’s blood, nor dispossess one another of your habitations; then ye confirmed it, and were witnesses thereto.(84) Afterwards ye were they who slew one another, and turned several of your brethren out of their houses, mutually assisting each other against them with injustice and enmity; but if they come captives unto you, ye redeem them: yet it is equally unlawful for you to dispossess them. Do ye therefore believe in part of the book of the law, and reject other part thereof? But whoso among you doth this, shall have no other reward than shame in this life, and on the day of resurrection they shall be sent to a most grievous punishment; for God is not regardless of that which ye do. (85) These are they who have purchased this present life, at the price of that which is to come; wherefore their punishment shall not be mitigated, neither shall they be helped.
∥ (86) We formerly delivered the book of the law unto Moses, and caused apostles to succeed him, and gave evident miracles to Jesus the son of Mary, and strengthened him with the holy spirit. Do ye therefore, whenever an apostle cometh unto you with that which your souls desire not, proudly reject him, and accuse some of imposture, and slay others? (87)The Jews say, Our hearts are uncircumcised: but God hath cursed them with their infidelity; therefore few shall believe. (88) And when a book came unto them from God, confirming the scriptures which were with them, although they had before prayed for assistance against those who believed not, yet when that came unto them which they knew to be from God, they would not believe therein: therefore the curse of God shall be on the infidels. (89) For a vile price have they sold their souls, that they should not believe in that which God hath sent down; out of envy, because God sendeth down his favours to such of his servants as he pleaseth: therefore they brought on themselves indignation on indignation; and the unbelievers shall suffer an ignominious punishment. (90) When one saith unto them, Believe in that which God hath sent down; they answer, We believe in that which hath been sent down unto us: and they reject what hath been revealed since, although it be the truth, confirming that which is with them. Say, Why therefore have ye slain the prophets of God in times past, if ye be true believers? (91) Moses formerly came unto you with evident signs, but ye afterwards took the calf for your god and did wickedly. (92) And when we accepted your covenant, and lifted the mountain of Sinai over you, saying, Receive the law which we have given you, with a resolution to perform it, and hear; they said, We have heard, and have rebelled: and they were made to drink down the calf into their hearts for their unbelief. Say, A grievous thing hath your faith commanded you, if ye be true believers? (93) Say, If the future mansion with God be prepared peculiarly for you, exclusive of the rest of mankind, wish for death, if ye say truth; (94) but they will never wish for it, because of that which their hands have sent before them; God knoweth the wicked-doers; (95) and thou shalt surely find them of all men the most covetous of life, even more than the idolaters: one of them would desire his life to be prolonged a thousand years, but none shall reprieve himself from punishment, that his life may be prolonged: God seeth that which they do.
∥ (96) Say, Whoever is an enemy to Gabriel (for he hath caused the Qurán to descend on thy heart, by the permission of God, confirming that which was before revealed, a direction, and good tidings to the faithful); (97) whosoever is an enemy to God, or his angels, or his apostles, or to Gabriel, or Michael, verily God is an enemy to the unbelievers. (98) And now we have sent down unto thee evident signs, and none will disbelieve them but the evil-doers. (99) Whenever they make a covenant, will some of them reject it? yea, the greater part of them do not believe. (100) And when there came unto them an apostle from God, confirming that scripture which was with them, some of those to whom the scriptures were given cast the book of God behind their backs, as if they knew it not: (101) and they followed the device which the devils devised against the kingdom of Solomon, and Solomon was not an unbeliever; but the devils believed not; they taught men sorcery, and that which was sent down to the two angels at Babel, Hárút and Márút; yet those two taught no man until they had said, Verily we are a temptation, therefore be not an unbeliever. So men learned from those two a charm by which they might cause division between a man and his wife; but they hurt none thereby, unless by God’s permission, and they learned that which would hurt them, and not profit them; and yet they knew that he who bought that art should have no part in the life to come, and woful is the price for which they have sold their souls, if they knew it. (102) But if they had believed, and feared God, verily the reward they would have had from God would have been better, if they had known it.
∥ (112) The Jews say, The Christians are grounded on nothing; and the Christians say, The Jews are grounded on nothing; yet they both read the scriptures. So likewise say they who know not the scripture, according to their saying. But God shall judge between them on the day of the resurrection, concerning that about which they now disagree. (113) Who is more unjust than he who prohibiteth the temples of God, that his name should be remembered therein, and who hasteth to destroy them? Those men cannot enter therein, but with fear: (114) they shall have shame in this world, and in the next a grievous punishment. (115) To Godbelongeth the east and the west; therefore whithersoever ye turn yourselves to pray, there is the face of God; for God is omnipresent and omniscient. (116) They say, God hath begotten children: God forbid! To him belongeth whatever is in heaven, and on earth; (117) all is possessed by him, the Creator of heaven and earth; and when he dreceeth a thing, he only saith unto it, Be, and it is. (118) And they who know not the scriptures say, Unless God speak unto us, or thou show us a sign, we will not believe. So said those before them, according to their saying: their hearts resemble each other. We have already shown manifest signs unto people who firmly believe; (119) we have sent thee in truth, a bearer of good tidings and a preacher; and thou shalt not be questioned concerning the companions of hell. (120) But the Jews will not be pleased with thee, neither the Christians, until thou follow their religion; say, The direction of God is the true direction. And verily if thou follow their desires, after the knowledge which hath been given thee, thou shalt find no patron or protector against God.(121) They to whom we have given the book of the Qurán, and who read it with its true reading, they believe therein; and whoever believeth not therein, they shall perish.
∥ (122) O children of Israel, remember my favour wherewith I have favoured you, and that I have preferred you before all nations; (123) and dread the day wherein one soul shall not make satisfaction for another soul, neither shall any compensation be accepted from them, nor shall any intercession avail, neither shall they be helped. (124)Remember when the Lord tried Abraham by certain words, which he fulfilled: God said, Verily I will constitute thee a model of religion unto mankind; he answered, And also of my posterity; God said, My covenant doth not comprehend the ungodly. (125) And when we appointed the holy house of Makkah to be a place of resort for mankind, and a place of security; and said, Take the station of Abraham for a place of prayer; and we covenanted with Abraham and Ismaíl, that they should cleanse my house for those who should compass it, and those who should be devoutly assiduous there, and those who should bow down and worship. (126) And when Abraham said, Lord, make this a territory of security, and bounteously bestow fruits on its inhabitants, such of them as believe in God and the last day; God answered, And whoever believeth not, I will bestov on him little; afterwards I will drive him to the punishment of hell-fire; an ill journey shall it be! (127) And when Abraham and Ismaíl raised the foundations of the house, saying,Lord, accept it from us, for thou art he who heareth and knoweth: (128)Lord, make us also resigned unto thee, and of our posterity a people resigned unto thee, and show us our holy ceremonies, and be turned unto us, for thou art easy to be reconciled, and merciful. (129)Lord, send them likewise an apostle from among them, who may declare thy signs unto them, and teach them the book of the Qurán and wisdom, and may purify them; for thou art mighty and wise.
∥ (130) Who will be averse to the religion of Abraham, but he whose mind is infatuated? Surely we have chosen him in this world, and in that which is to come he shall be one of the righteous. (131) When his Lord said unto him, Resign thyself unto me; he answered, I have resigned myself unto the Lord of all creatures. (132) And braham bequeathed this religion to his children, and Jacob did the same, saying, My children, verily God hath chosen this religion for you, therefore die not, unless ye also be resigned. (133) Were ye present when Jacob was at the point of death? when he said to his sons, Whom will ye worship after me? They answered, We will worship thy God, and the God of thy fathers Abraham, and Ismaíl, and Isaac, one God, and to him will we be resigned. (134) That people are now passed away, they have what they have gained, and ye shall have what ye gain; and ye shall not be questioned concerning that which they have done. (135) They say, Become Jews or Christians that ye may be directed. Say, Nay, we follow the religion of Abraham the orthodox, who was no idolater. (136) Say, We believe in God, and that which hath been sent down unto us, and that which hath been sent down unto Abraham, and Ismaíl, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes, and that which was delivered unto Moses, and Jesus, and that which was delivered unto the prophets from their Lord: We make no distinction between any of them, and to God are we resigned. (137) Now if they believe according to what ye believe, they are surely directed, but if they turn back, they are in schism. God shall support thee against them, for he is the hearer, the wise (138) The baptism of Godhave we received, and who is better than God to baptize? him do we worship. (139) Say, Will ye dispute with us concerning God, who is our Lord, and your Lord? we have our works, and ye have your works, and unto him are we sincerely devoted. (140) Will ye say, truly Abraham, and Ismaíl and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes were Jews or Christians? Say, are ye wiser, or God? And who is more unjust than he who hideth the testimony which he hath received from God? But God is not regardless of that which ye do. (141) That people are passed away, they have what they have gained, and ye shall have what ye gain, nor shall ye be questioned concerning that which they have done.
∥ (149) Every sect hath a certain tract of heaven to which they turn themselves in prayer; but do ye strive to run after good things; wherever ye be, God will bring you all back at the resurrection, for God is almighty. (150) And from what place soever thou comest forth, turn thy face towards the holy temple; for this is truth from thy Lord; neither is God regardless of that which ye do. (151) From what place soever thou comest forth, turn thy face towards the holy temple; and wherever ye be, thitherward turn your faces, lest men have matter of dispute against you; but as for those among them who are unjust doers, fear them not, but fear me, that I may accomplish my grace upon you, and that ye may be directed. (152) As we have sent unto you an apostle from among you, to rehearse our signs unto you, and to purify you, and to teach you the book of the Qurán and wisdom, and to teach you that which ye knew not: (153) therefore remember me, and I will remember you, and give thanks unto me, and be not unbelievers.
∥ (154) O true believers, beg assistance with patience and prayer, for God is with the patient. (155) And say not of those who are slain in fight for the religion of God, that they are dead; yea, they are living: but ye do not understand. (156) We will surely prove you by afflicting you in some measure with fear, and hunger, and decrease of wealth, and loss of lives, and scarcity of fruits: but bear good tidings unto the patient, (157) who, when a misfortune befalleth them, say, We are God’s, and unto him shall we surely return. (158) Upon them shall be blessings from their Lord and mercy, and they are the rightly directed. (159) Moreover Safá and Marwah are two of the monuments of God: whoever therefore goeth on pilgrimage to the temple of Makkah or visiteth it, it shall be no crime in him, if he compass them both. And as for him who voluntarily performeth a good work; verily God is grateful and knowing. (160) They who conceal any of the evident signs, or the direction which we have sent down, after what we have manifested unto men in the scripture, God shall curse them; and they who curse shall curse them. (161) But as for those who repent and amend, and make known what they concealed, I will be turned unto them, for I am easy to be reconciled and merciful. (162) Surely they who believe not, and die in their unbelief, upon them shall be the curse of God, and of the angels, and of all men; (163) they shall remain under it forever, their punishment shall not be alleviated, neither shall they be regarded. (164) Your God is one God; there is no God but He, the most merciful.
∥ (165) Now in the creation of heaven and earth, and the vicissitude of night and day, and in the ship which saileth in the sea, laden with what is profitable for mankind, and in the rain water which God sendeth from heaven, quickening thereby the dead earth, and replenishing the same with all sorts of cattle, and in the change of winds, and the clouds that are compelled to do service between heaven and earth, are signs to people of understanding: (166) yet some men take idols beside God, and love them as with the love due toGod; but the true believers are more fervent in love towards God. Oh, that they who act unjustly did perceive, when they behold their punishment, that all power belongeth unto God, and that he is severe in punishing. (167) When those who have been followed shall separate themselves from their followers, and shall see the punishment, and the cords of relation between them shall be cut in sunder; (168) the followers shall say, If we could return to life, we would separate ourselves from them, as they have now separated themselves from us. So God will show them their works; they shall sigh grievously, and shall not come forth from the fire of hell.
∥ (169) O men, eat of that which is lawful and good on the earth; and tread not in the steps of the devil, for he is your open enemy. (170) Verily he commandeth you evil and wickedness, and that you should say that of God which ye know not. (171) And when it is said unto them who believe not, Follow that which God hath sent down; they answer, Nay, but we will follow that which we found our fathers practise. What? though their fathers knew nothing, and were not rightly directed? (172) The unbelievers are like unto one who crieth aloud to that which heareth not so much as his calling, or the sound of his voice. They are deaf, dumb, and blind, therefore do they not understand (173) O true believers, eat of the good things which we have bestowed on you for food, and return thanks unto God, if ye serve him. (174) Verily he hath forbidden you to eat that which dieth of itself, and blood and swine’s flesh, and that on which any other name but God’s hath been invocated. But he who is forced by necessity, not lusting, nor returning to transgress, it shall be no crime in him if he eat of those things, for God is gracious and merciful. (175) Moreover they who conceal any part of the scripture which God hath sent down unto them, and sell it for a small price, they shall swallow into their bellies nothing but fire; God shall not speak unto them on the day of resurrection, neither shall he purify them, and they shall suffer a grievous punishment. (176) These are they who have sold direction for error, and pardon for punishment: but how great will their suffering be in the fire! This they shall endure, because God sent down the book of the Qurán with truth, and they who disagree concerning that book are certainly in a wide mistake.
∥ (177) It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces in prayer towards the east and the west, but righteousness is of him who believeth in God and the last day and the angels, and the scriptures, and the prophets; who giveth money for God’s sake unto his kindred, and unto orphans, and the needy, and the stranger, and those who ask, and for redemption of captives; who is constant at prayer, and giveth alms and of those who perform their covenant, when they have covenanted, and who behave themselves patiently in adversity, and hardships, and in time of violence; these are they who are true, and these are they who fear God.(178) O true believers, the law of retaliation is ordained you for the slain: the free shall die for the free, and the servant for the servant, and a woman for a woman; but he whom his brother shall forgive may be prosecuted, and obliged to make satisfaction according to what is just, and a fine shall be set on him with humanity. This is indulgence from your Lord, and mercy. And he who shall transgress after this, by killing the murderer, shall suffer a grievous punishment. (179) And in this law of retaliation ye have life, O ye of understanding, that peradventure ye may fear. (180) It is ordained you, when any of you is at the point of death, if he leave any goods, that he bequeath a legacy to his parents, and kindred, according to what shall be reasonable. This is a duty incumbent on those who fear God.(181) But he who shall change the legacy, after he hath heard it bequeathed by the dying person, surely the sin thereof shall be on those who change it, for God is he who heareth and knoweth. (182) Howbeit he who apprehendeth from the testator any mistake or injustice, and shall compose the matter between them, that shall be no crime in him, for God is gracious and merciful.
∥ (183) O true believers, a fast is ordained you, as it was ordained unto those before you, that ye may fear God.(184) A certain number of days shall ye fast: but he among you who shall be sick, or on a journey, shall fast an equal number of other days. And those who can keep it, and do not, must redeem their neglect by maintaining of a poor man. And he who voluntarily dealeth better with the poor man than he is obliged, this shall be better for him. But if ye fast, it will be better for you, if ye knew it. (185) The month of Ramadhán shall ye fast, in which the Qurán was sent down from heaven, a direction unto men, and declarations of direction, and the distinction between good and evil. Therefore, let him among you who shall be present in this month, fast the same month; but he who shall be sick, or on a journey, shall fast the like number of other days. God would make this an ease unto you, and would not make it a difficulty unto you; that ye may fulfil the number of days, and glorify God, for that he hath directed you, and that ye may give thanks. (186) When my servants ask thee concerning me, Verily I am near; I will hear the prayer of him that prayeth, when he prayeth unto me: but let them hearken unto me, and believe in me, that they may be rightly directed. (187) It is lawful for you, on the night of the fast, to go in unto your wives; they are a garment unto you, and ye are a garment unto them. God knoweth that ye defraud yourselves therein, wherefore he turneth unto you, and forgiveth you. Now, therefore, go in unto them; and earnestly desire that which God ordaineth you, and eat and drink, until ye can plainly distinguish a white thread from a black thread by the daybreak: then keep the fast until night, and go not in unto them, but be constantly present in the places of worship. These are the prescribed bounds of God, therefore draw not near them to transgress them. Thus God declareth his signs unto men, that ye may fear him.(188) Consume not your wealth among yourselves in vain; nor present it unto judges, that ye may devour part of men’s substance unjustly, against your own consciences.
∥ (189) They will ask thee concerning the phases of the moon: Answer, They are times appointed unto men, and to show the season of the pilgrimage to Makkah. It is not righteousness that ye enter your houses by the back parts thereof, but righteousness is of him who feareth God. Therefore enter your houses by their doors; and fear God, that ye may be happy. (190) And fight for the religion of God against those who fight against you; but transgress not by attacking them first, for God loveth not the transgressors. (191)(191) And kill them wherever ye find them, and turn them out of that whereof they have dispossessed you; for temptation to idolatry is more grievous than slaughter; yet fight not against them in the holy temple, until they attack you therein; but if they attack you, slay them there. This shall be the reward of infidels. (192)(192) But if they desist, God is gracious and merciful. (193)(193) Fight therefore against them, until there be no temptation to idolatry, and the religion be God’s; but if they desist, then let there be no hostility, except against the ungodly. (194) A sacred month for a sacred month, and the holy limits of Makkah, if they attack you therein, do ye also attack them therein in retaliation; and whoever transgresseth against you by so doing, do ye transgress against him in like manner as he hath transgressed against you, and fear God, and know that God is with those who fear him.(195) Contribute out of your substance toward the defence of the religion of God, and throw not yourselves with your own hands into perdition; and do good, for God loveth those who do good. (196) Perform the pilgrimage of Makkah, and the visitation of God; and, if ye be besieged, send that offering which shall be the easiest; and shave not your heads, until your offering reacheth the place of sacrifice. But, whoever among you is sick, or is troubled with any distemper of the head must redeem the shaving his head, by fasting, or alms, or some offering. When ye are secure from enemies, he who tarrieth in the visitation of the temple of Makkah until the pilgrimage, shall bring that offering which shall be the easiest. But he who findeth not anything to offer, shall fast three days in the pilgrimage, and seven when ye are returned: they shall be ten days complete. This is incumbent on him whose family shall not be present at the holy temple. And fear God, and know that God is severe in punishing.
∥ (197) The pilgrimage must be performed in the known months: whosoever therefore purposeth to go on pilgrimage therein, let him not know a woman, nor transgress, nor quarrel in the pilgrimage. The good which ye do, God knoweth it. Make provision for your journey; but the best provision is piety; and fear me, O ye of understanding. (198) It shall be no crime in you, if ye seek an increase from your Lord,by trading during the pilgrimage. And when ye go in procession from Arafát remember God near the holy monument; and remember him for that he hath directed you, although ye were before this of the number of those who go astray. (199) Therefore go in procession from whence the people go in procession, and ask pardon of God, for God is gracious and merciful. (200) And when ye have finished your holy ceremonies, remember God, according as ye remember your fathers, or with a more reverent commemoration. There are some men who say, O Lord, give us our portion in this world; but such shall have no portion in the next life; (201) and there are others who say, O Lord, give us good in this world and also good in the next world, and deliver us from the torment of hell fire. They shall have a portion of that which they have gained: God is swift in taking an account.
∥ (202) Remember God the appointed number of days, but if any haste to depart from the valley of Mína in two days, it shall be no crime in him. And if any tarry longer, it shall be no crime in him, in him who feareth God. Therefore fear God, and know that unto him ye shall be gathered. (203) There is a man who causeth thee to marvel by his speech concerning this present life, and calleth God to witness that which is in his heart, yet he is most intent in opposing thee; (204) and when he turneth away from thee, he hasteth to act corruptly in the earth, and to destroy that which is sown, and springeth up: but God loveth not corrupt doing. (205) And if one say unto him, Fear God; pride seizeth him, together with wickedness; but hell shall be his reward, and an unhappy couch shall it be. (206) There is also a man who selleth his soul for the sake of those things which are pleasing unto God; and God is gracious unto his servants. (207) O true believers, enter into the true religion wholly, and follow not the steps of Satan, for he is your open enemy. (208) If ye have slipped after the declarations of our will have come unto you, know that God is mighty and wise. (209) Do the infidels expect less than that God should come down to them overshadowed with clouds, and the angels also? but the thing is decreed, and to God shall all things return.
∥ (210) Ask the children of Israel how many evident signs we have showed them; and whoever shall change the grace of God after it shall have come unto him, verily God will be severe in punishing him.(211) The present life was ordained for those who believe not, and they laugh the faithful to scorn; but they who fear God shall be above them, on the day of the resurrection: for God is bountiful unto whom he pleaseth without measure. (212) Mankind was of one faith, and God sent prophets bearing good tidings, and denouncing threats, and sent down with them the scripture in truth, that it might judge between men of that concerning which they disagreed: and none disagreed concerning it, except those to whom the same scriptures were delivered, after the declarations ofGod’swill had come unto them, out of envy among themselves. And God directed those who believed, to that truth concerning which they disagreed, by his will: for God directeth whom he pleaseth into the right way. (213) Did ye think ye should enter paradise, when as yet no such thing had happened unto you, as hath happened unto those who have been before you? They suffered calamity, and tribulation, and were afflicted; so that the apostle, and they who believed with him, said: When will the help of Godcome? Is not the help of God nigh? (214) They will ask thee what they shall bestow in alms: Answer, The good which ye bestow, let it be given to parents, and kindred, and orphans, and the poor and the stranger. Whatsoever good ye do, God knoweth it. (215) War is enjoined you against the infidels; but this is hateful unto you: yet perchance ye hate a thing which is better for you, and perchance ye love a thing which is worse for you: but God knoweth and ye know not.
∥ (216) They will ask thee concerning the sacred month, whether they may war therein: Answer, To war therein is grievous; but to obstruct the way of God, and infidelity towards him and to keep men from the holy temple, and to drive out his people from thence, is more grievous in the sight of God, and the temptation to idolatry is more grievous than to kill in the sacred months. They will not cease to war against you, until they turn you from your religion, if they be able: but whoever among you shall turn back from his religion, and die an infidel, their works shall be vain in this world, and the next; they shall be the companions of hell-fire, they shall remain therein forever. (217) But they who believe, and who fly for the sake of religion, and fight in God’s cause, they shall hope for the mercy of God; for God is gracious and merciful. (218) They will ask thee concerning wine and lots: Answer, In both there is great sin, and also some things of use unto men; but their sinfulness is greater than their use. They will ask thee also what they shall bestow in alms:(219) Answer, What ye have to spare. Thus God showeth his signs unto you, that peradventure ye might seriously think of this present world, and of the next. (220) They will also ask thee concerning orphans: Answer, To deal righteously with them is best; and if ye intermeddle with the management of what belongs to them, do them no wrong; they are your brethren: God knoweth the corrupt dealer from the righteous; and if God please, he will surely distress you, for God is mighty and wise. (221) Marry not women who are idolaters, until they believe: verily a maidservant who believeth is better than an idolatress, although she please you more. And give not women who believe in marriage to the idolaters, until they believe: for verily a servant who is a true believer is better than an idolater, though he please you more. They invite unto hell-fire, but God inviteth unto paradise and pardon through his will, and declareth his signs unto men, that they may remember.
∥ (222) They will ask thee also concerning the courses of women: Answer, They are a pollution: therefore separate yourselves from women in their courses, and go not near them, until they be cleansed. But when they are cleansed, go in unto them as God hath commanded you, for God loveth those who repent, and loveth those who are clean. (223) Your wives are your tillage; go in therefore unto your tillage in what manner soever ye will: and do first some act that may be profitable unto your souls; and fear God, and know that ye must meet him; and bear good tidings unto the faithful. (224) Make not God the object of your oaths, that ye will deal justly, and be devout, and make peace among men; for God is he who heareth and knoweth. (225)God will not punish you for an inconsiderate word in your oaths; but he will punish you for that which your hearts have assented unto: God is merciful and gracious. (226) They who vow to abstain from their wives are allowed to wait four months: but if they go back from their vow, verily God is gracious and merciful; (227) and if they resolve on a divorce, God is he who heareth and knoweth. (228) The women who are divorced shall wait concerning themselves until they have their courses thrice, and it shall not be lawful for them to conceal that which God hath created in their wombs, if they believe in God and the last day; and their husbands will act more justly to bring them back at this time, if they desire a reconciliation. The women ought also to behave towards their husbands in like manner as their husbands should behave towards them, according to what is just: but the men ought to have a superiority over them. God is mighty and wise.
∥ (229) Ye may divorce your wives twice; and then either retain them with humanity, or dismiss them with kindness. But it is not lawful for you to take away anything of what ye have given them, unless both fear that they cannot observe the ordinance of God. And if ye fear that they cannot observe the ordinance of God, it shall be no crime in either of them on account of that for which the wife shall redeem herself. These are the ordinances of God; therefore transgress them not; for whoever transgresseth the ordinances of God, they are unjust doers. (230) But if the husband divorce her a third time, she shall not be lawful for him again, until she marry another husband. But if he also divorce her, it shall be no crime in them if they return to each other, if they think they can observe the ordinances of God, and these are the ordinances of God; he declareth them to people of understanding. (231) But when ye divorce women, and they have fulfilled their prescribed time, either retain them with humanity or dismiss them with kindness; and retain them not by violence, so that ye transgress; for he who doth this surely injureth his own soul. And make not the signs of God a jest: but remember God’s favour towards you, and that he hath sent down unto you the book of the Qurán, and wisdom admonishing you thereby; and fear God, and know that God is omniscient.
∥ (232) But when ye have divorced your wives, and they have fulfilled their prescribed time, hinder them not from marrying their husbands, when they have agreed among themselves according to what is honourable. This is given in admonition unto him among you who believeth in God, and the last day. This is most righteous for you, and most pure. God knoweth, but ye know not. (233) Mothers after they are divorced shall give suck unto their children two full years, to him who desireth the time of giving suck to be completed; and the father shall be obliged to maintain them and clothe them in the meantime, according to that which shall be reasonable. No person shall be obliged beyond his ability. A mother shall not be compelled to what is unreasonable on account of her child, nor a father on account of his child. And the heir of the father shall be obliged to do in like manner. But if they choose to wean the child before the end of two years, by common consent and on mutual consideration, it shall be no crime in them. And if ye have a mind to provide a nurse for your children, it shall be no crime in you, in case ye fully pay what ye offer her, according to that which is just. And fear God, and know that God seeth whatsoever ye do. (234) Such of you as die, and leave wives, their wives must wait concerning themselves four months and ten days, and when they shall have fulfilled their term, it shall be no crime in you, for that which they shall do with themselves, according to what is reasonable. God well knoweth that which ye do. (235) And it shall be no crime in you, whether ye make public overtures of marriage unto such women, within the said four months and ten days, or whether ye conceal such your designs in your minds: God knoweth that ye will remember them. But make no promises unto them privately, unless ye speak honourable words; and resolve not on the knot of marriage until the prescribed time be accomplished; and know that God knoweth that which is in your minds, therefore beware of him and know that God is gracious and merciful.
∥ (236) It shall be no crime in you if ye divorce your wives, so long as ye have not touched them, nor settled any dowry on them. And provide for them (he who is at his ease must provide according to his circumstances, and he who is straitened according to his circumstances) necessaries, according to what shall be reasonable. This is a duty incumbent on the righteous. (237) But if ye divorce them before ye have touched them, and have already settled a dowry on them, ye shall give them half of what ye have settled, unless they release any part, or he release part in whose hand the knot of marriage is; and if ye release the whole, it will approach nearer unto piety. And forget not liberality among you, for God seeth that which ye do. (238) Carefully observe the appointed prayers, and the middle prayer, and be assiduous therein, with devotion towards God. (239) But if ye fear any danger, pray on foot or on horseback; and when ye are safe remember God, how he hath taught you what as yet ye knew not. (240) And such of you as shall die and leave wives, ought to bequeath their wives a year’s maintenance, without putting them out of their houses: but if they go out voluntarily, it shall be no crime in you, for that which they shall do with themselves, according to what shall be reasonable: God is mighty and wise. (241) And unto those who are divorced, a reasonable provision is also due: this is a duty incumbent on those who fear God. (242) Thus God declareth his signs unto you, that ye may understand.
∥ (243) Hast thou not considered those who left their habitations (and they were thousands), for fear of death? And God said unto them, Die; then he restored them to life, for God is gracious towards mankind; but the greater part of men do not give thanks. (244) Fight for the religion of God, and know that God is he who heareth and knoweth. (245) Who is he that will lend unto God on good usury? verily he will double it unto him manifold; for God contracteth and extendeth his hand as he pleaseth, and to him shall ye return. (246) Hast thou not considered the assembly of the children of Israel, after the time of Moses; when they said unto their prophet Samuel, Set a king over us, that we may fight for the religion of God.The prophet answered, If ye are enjoined to go to war, will ye be near refusing to fight? They answered, And what should ail us that we should not fight for the religion of God, seeing we are dispossessed of our habitations and deprived of our children? But when they were enjoined to go to war, they turned back, except a few of them: and God knew the ungodly. (247) And their prophet said unto them, Verily God hath set Tálút, king over you: they answered How shall he reign over us, seeing we are more worthy of the kingdom than he, neither is he possessed of great riches? Samuel said, Verily God hath chosen him before you, and hath caused him to increase in knowledge and stature, for God giveth his kingdom unto whom he pleaseth; God is bounteous and wise. (248) And their prophet said unto them, Verily the sign of his kingdom shall be, that the ark shall come unto you: therein shall be tranquillity from your Lord, and the relics which have been left by the family of Moses and the family of Aaron; the angels shall bring it. Verily this shall be a sign unto you, if ye believe.
∥ (249) And when Tálút departed with his soldiers he said, Verily God will prove you by the river; for he who drinketh thereof shall not be on my side (but he who shall not taste thereof he shall be on my side), except he who drinketh a draught out of his hand. And they drank thereof, except a few of them. And when they had passed the river, he and those who believed with him, they said, We have no strength to-day, against Jálút and his forces. But they who considered that they should meet Godat the resurrection said, How often hath a small army discomfited a great one, by the will of God! and God is with those who patiently persevere. (250) And when they went forth to battle against Jálút and his forces, they said. O Lord, pour on us patience, and confirm our feet, and help us against the unbelieving people. (251) Therefore they discomflted them, by the will of God, and David slew Jálút. And God gave him the kingdom and wisdom, and taught him his will; and if God had not prevented men, the one by the other, verily the earth had been corrupted; but God is beneficent towards his creatures. (252) These are the signs of God: we rehearse them unto thee with truth, and thou art surely one of those who have been sent byGod.
∥ (253) These are the apostles; we have preferred some of them before others; some of them hath God spoken unto, and hath exalted the degree of others of them. And we gave unto Jesus the son of Mary manifest signs, and strengthened him with the holy spirit. And if God had so pleased, they who came after those apostles would not have contended among themselves, after manifest signs had been shown unto them. But they fell to variance; therefore some of them believed, and some of them believed not; and if God had so pleased, they would not have contended among themselves; but God doth what he will
∥ (254) O true believers, give alms of that which we have bestowed unto you, before the day cometh wherein there shall be no merchandising, nor friendship, nor intercession. The infidels are unjust doers. (255)Goo! there is no God but he; the living, the self-subsisting: neither slumber nor sleep seizeth him; to him belongeth whatsoever is in heaven, and on earth. Who is he that can intercede with him, but through his good pleasure? He knoweth that which is past, and that which is to come unto them, and they shall not comprehend anything of his knowledge, but so far as he pleaseth. His throne is extended over heaven and earth, and the preservation of both is no burden unto him. He is the high, the mighty. (256) Let there be no violence in religion. Now is right direction manifestly distinguished from deceit: whoever therefore shall deny Tághút, and believe in God, he shall surely take hold on a strong handle, which shall not be broken; God is he who heareth and seeth. (257) God is the patron of those who believe; he shall lead them out of darkness into light: but as to those who believe not, their patrons are Tághút; they shall lead them from the light into darkness; they shall be the companions of hell-fire, they shall remain therein for ever.
∥ (258) Hast thou not considered him who dispured with Abraham concerning his Lord, because God had given him the kingdom? When Abraham said, My Lord is he who giveth life and killeth: he answered, I give life and I kill. Abraham said, Verily God bringeth the sun from the east, now do thou bring it from the west. Whereupon the infidel was confounded: for God directeth not the ungodly people. (259) Or hast thou not considered how he behaved who passed by a city which had been destroyed, even to her foundations? He said, How shall God quicken this city, after she hath been dead? And God caused him to die for an hundred years, and afterwards raised him to life. AndGod said, How long hast thou tarried here? He answered, A day, or part of a day. God said, Nay, thou hast tarried here a hundred years. Now look on thy food and thy drink, they are not yet corrupted; and look on thine ass: and this have we done that we might make thee a sign unto men. And look on the bones of thine ass, how we raise them, and afterwards clothe them with flesh. And when this was shown unto him, he said, I know that God is able to do all things. (260) And when Abraham said, O Lord, show me how thou wilt raise the dead: God said, Dost thou not yet believe? He answered, Yea, but I ask this that my heart may rest at ease. God said, Take therefore four birds, and divide them; then lay a part of them on every mountain; then call them, and they shall come swiftly unto thee: and know that God is mighty and wise.
∥ (261) The similitude of those who lay out their substance, for advancing the religion of God, is as a grain of corn which produceth seven ears, and in every ear an hundred grains; for God giveth twofold unto whom he pleaseth: God is bounteous and wise. (262) They who lay out their substance for the religion of God, and afterwards follow not what they have so laid out by reproaches or mischief, they shall have their reward with their Lord; upon them shall no fear come, neither shall they be grieved. (263) A fair speech and to forgive is better than alms followed by mischief. God is rich and merciful. (264) O true believers, make not your alms of none effect by reproaching or mischief, as he who layeth out what he hath to appear unto men to give alms, and believeth not in God and the last day. The likeness of such a one is as a flint covered with earth, on which a violent rain falleth, and leaveth it hard. They cannot prosper in anything which they have gained, for God directeth not the unbelieving people. (265) And the likeness of those who lay out their substance from a desire to please God, and for an establishment for their souls, is as a garden on a hill, on which a violent rain falleth, and it bringeth forth its fruits twofold; and if a violent rain falleth not on it, yet the dew falleth thereon: and God seeth that which ye do. (266) Doth any of you desire to have a garden of palm-trees and vines, through which rivers flow, wherein ye may have all kinds of fruits, and that he may attain to old age, and have a weak offspring? then a violent fiery wind shall strike it, so that it shall be burned. Thus God declareth his signs unto you, that ye may consider.
∥ (267) O true believers, bestow alms of the good things which ye have gained, and of that which we have produced for you out of the earth, and choose not the bad thereof, to give it in alms, such as ye would not accept yourselves, otherwise than by connivance: and know that God is rich and worthy to be praised. (268) The devil threateneth you with poverty, and commandeth you filthy covetousness; but God promiseth you pardon from himself and abundance: God is bounteous and wise. (269) He giveth wisdom unto whom he pleaseth; and he unto whom wisdom is given hath received much good: but none will consider, except the wise of heart. (270) And whatever alms ye shall give, or whatever vow ye shall vow, verily God knoweth it; but the ungodly shall have none to help them.(271) If ye make your alms to appear, it is well; but if ye conceal them, and give them unto the poor, this will be better for you, and will stone for your sins; and God is well informed of that which ye do. (272) The direction of them belongeth not unto thee; but God directeth whom he pleaseth. The good that ye shall give in alms shall redound unto yourselves; and ye shall not give unless out of desire of seeing the face of God. And what good thing ye shall give in alms, it shall be repaid you, and ye shall not be treated unjustly; (273) unto the poor who are wholly employed in fighting for the religion of God, and cannot go to and fro on the earth; whom the ignorant man thinketh rich, because of their modesty: thou shalt know them by this mark, they ask not men with importunity; and what good ye shall give in alms, verily God knoweth it.
∥ (274) They who distribute alms of their substance night and day, in private and in public, shall have their reward with the Lord; on them shall no fear come, neither shall they be grieved. (275) They who devour usury shall not arise from the dead, but as he ariseth whom Satan hath infected by a touch: this shall happen to them because they say, Truly selling is but as usury: and yet God hath permitted selling and forbidden usury. He therefore who when there cometh unto him an admonition from his Lord abstaineth from usury for the future, shall have what is past forgiven him, and his affair belongeth unto God. But whoever returneth to usury, they shall be the companions of hell-fire, they shall continue therein forever. (276) God shall take his blessing from usury, and shall increase alms: for God loveth no infidel, or ungodly person. (277) But they who believe and do that which is right, and observe the stated times of prayer, and pay their legal alms, they shall have their reward with their Lord: there shall come no fear on them, neither shall they be grieved. (278) O true believers, fear God, and remit that which remaineth of usury, if ye really believe; (279) but if ye do it not, hearken unto war, which is declared against you from God and his apostle: yet if ye repent, ye shall have the capital of your money. Deal not unjustly with others, and ye shall not be dealt with unjustly. (280) If there be any debtor under a difficulty of paying his debt, let his creditor wait till it be easy for him to do it; but if ye remit it as alms, it will be better for you, if ye knew it. (281) And fear the day wherein ye shall return unto God; then shall every soul be paid what it hath gained, and they shall not be treated unjustly.
∥ (282) O true believers, when ye bind yourselves one to the other in a debt for a certain time, write it down; and let a writer write between you according to justice, and let not the writer refuse writing according to what God hath taught him; but let him write, and let him who oweth the debt dictate, and let him fear God his Lord, and not diminish aught thereof. But if he who oweth the debt be foolish, or weak, or be not able to dictate himself, let his agent dictate according to equity; and call to witness two witnesses of your neighbouring men; but if there be not two men, let there be a man and two women of those whom ye shall choose for witnesses: if one of those women should mistake, the other of them will cause her to recollect. And the witnesses shall not refuse, whensoever they shall be called. And disdain not to write it down, be it a large debt, or be it a small one, until its time of payment: this will be more just in the sight of God, and more right for bearing witness, and more easy, that ye may not doubt. But if it be a present bargain which ye transact between yourselves, it shall be no crime in you, if ye write it not down. And take witnesses when ye sell one to the other, and let no harm be done to the writer, nor to the witness; which if ye do, it will surely be injustice in you: and fear God, and God will instruct you, for God knoweth all things. (283) And if ye be on a journey, and find no writer, let pledges be taken: but if one of you trust the other, let him who is trusted return what he is trusted with, and fear God his Lord. And conceal not the testimony, for he who concealeth it hath surely a wicked heart: God knoweth that which ye do.
∥ (284) Whatever is in heaven and on earth is God’s; and whether ye manifest that which is in your minds, or conceal it, God will call you to account for it, and will forgive whom he pleaseth, and will punish whom he pleaseth; for God is almighty. (285) The apostle believeth in that which hath been sent down unto him from his Lord, and the faithful also. Every one of them believeth in God, and his angels, and his scriptures, and his apostles: we make no distinction at all between his apostles. And they say, We have heard, and do obey; we implore thy mercy, O Lord, for unto thee must we return. (286)God will not force any soul beyond its capacity: it shall have the good which it gaineth, and it shall suffer the evil which it gaineth. O Lord, punish us not if we forget or act sinfully: O Lord, lay not on us a burden like that which thou hast laid on those who have been before us; neither make us, O Lord, to bear what we have not strength to bear, but be favourable unto us, and spare us, and be merciful unto us. Thou art our patron, help us therefore against the unbelieving nations.
printed by ballantyne, manson and co. edinburgh and london.
[(1) ]A. L. M. There are twenty-nine chapters which begin with certain letters, and these the Muhammadans believe to conceal profound mysteries that have not been communicated to any but the prophet; notwithstanding which, various explanations of them have been proffered (see Prelim. Disc., sec. iii.) Sale says, “None of the numerous conjectures as to the meaning of these letters is more plausible than that of Golius, who suggests the idea that they were originally inserted by the amanuensis, and that they stood for the phrase Amar li Muhammad, i.e., by the command of Muhammad.”
[(2) ]There is no doubt in this book. The author of the notes in the Roman Urdú Qurán well observes, that Muhammad has cast doubt upon his Qurán by the constant effort to show that there is no room for doubt. For where there is no consciousness of guilt, there is no anticipation of a criminal charge. The contrast between the Qurán and the Christian Scriptures in this respect is very striking.
[(3) ]Mysteries of faith. “The Arabic word is Ghaib, which properly signifies a thing that is absent, at a great distance, or invisible, such as the resurrection, paradise, and hell. And this is agreeable to the language of Scripture, which defines faith to be the evidence of things not seen (Heb. xi 1; 2 Cor. iv. 18, and v. 7).”—Sale. Rodwell translates it “unseen.”
[(4) ]That which hath been sent down before thee. “The Muhammadans believe that God gave written revelations not only to Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad, but to several prophets, though they acknowledge none of those which preceded the Qurán to be now extant except the Pentateuch of Moses, the Psalms of David, and the Gospel of Jesus, which yet they say were, even before Muhammad’s time, altered and corrupted by the Jews and Christians, and therefore will not allow our present copies to be genuine”—Sale.
[(6) ]They will not believe. The Tafsír-i-Raufi raises the inquiry why God sent prophets to infidels whom he knew would not believe, and in reply says they were sent (1) to pronounce condemnation against them, and (2) to deprive them of the possible excuse that no prophet had been sent to them.
[(7) ]The doctrine of this verse is that infidels “who will not believe” have been condemned to judicial blindness, which portends the more awful punishment of hell. Sate says: “Muhammad here and elsewhere imitates the truly inspired writers in making God, by operation on the minds of reprobates, prevent their conversion.”
[(8-10) ]The persons referred to here were probably hypocritical disciples from among the Jews. Abdul Qádir says the reference is to Ibn Abi and his friands, who, when reproached by the prophet for his hypocrisy, declared themselves to be true followers of Islám. Muslim commentators, however, never want for historical characters wherewith to illustrate the Qurán.
[(11) ]Act not corruptly. “Some expositors understand by this the sowing of false doctrine, and corrupting people’s principles.”—Sale.
[(13) ]Believe ye as others believe, i.e., as the first followers of Islám believe.
[(14) ]Devils. Their leaders and friends, so Tafsír-i-Raufi.
[(15) ]Shall wander in confusion. For the manner see next verse.
[(16) ]Their traffic hath not been gainful, &c. According to the Tafsír-i-Raufi, the reward of their hypocrisy is that they are infidels, whilst regarding themselves as of the faithful; heretics, whilst thinking themselves sound in doctrine; ignorant, whilst thinking themselves learned; doomed to destruction, whilst fancying themselves in the way of salvation. Compare this with the teaching of Paul in 2 Thess. ii. 11, 12. Was there ever a more striking example of this very kind of reprobation than the Arabian prophet himself? The earnest reformer of Makkah becomes the cruel and sensual deceiver, and yet the apparently self-deceived politician of Madína.
[(17) ]Like unto one who kindleth a fire, &c. The author of the notes in the Roman Urdu Qurán, referring to the claim that the Qurán is in every respect absolutely perfect, and therefore in itself a standing miracle, calls attention to the want of agreement in the number of the first and last parts of this verse. The first half of the sentence, and consequently the parable also, is incomplete. Sale suggests the number may have been thus changed in affectation of the prophetic style, and that the sense “may be completed by adding the words, he turns from it, shuts his eyes, or the like.” “Muhammad compares those who believed not in him to a man who wants to kindle a fire, but as soon as it burns up and the flames give a light, shuts his eyes, lest he should see. As if he had said, You, O Arabians, have long desired a prophet of your own nation, and now I am sent unto you, and have plainly proved my mission by the excellence of my doctrine and revelation, you resist convietion, and refuse to believe in me; therefore shall God leave you in your ignorance.”—Sale.
[(19, 20) ]Or like a stormy cloud from heaven, &c. “Here Muhammad compares the unbelieving Arabs to people caught in a violent storm.To perceive the beauty of this comparison, it must be observed that the Muhammadan doctors say this tempest is a type or image of the Qurán itself: the thunder signifying the threats therein contained; the lightning, the promises; and the darkness, the mysteries. The terror of the threats makes them stop their ears, unwilling to hear truths so disagreeable; when the promises are read to them they attend with pleasure; but when anything mysterious or difficult of belief occurs, they stand stock-still, and will not submit to be directed.”—Sale, Jaláluddin.
[(21) ]O men of Makkah. The passage beginning with this verse and ending with verse 38 belongs to the Makkan period of Muhammad’s mission.
[(22) ]Set not up therefore any equals unto God, &c. This is the rational conclusion from the considerations before mentioned. It reveals to us the grand motive-power within the bosom of the Makkan reformer. He has listened to the testimony of conscience to a Supreme Being, the Creator, Preserver, and Benefactor. He here appeals to his countrymen to come to this same source of light, and to abandon idolatry, which contradicts their own reason. The passage has something of the sublimity of similar passages in the Old Testament.
[(23) ]If ye be in doubt . . . produce a chapter like unto it. In chap. xvii. ver. 90, this challenge is presented in the following boastful declaration: “Verily if men and genii were purposely assembled that they might produce a book like this Qurán, they could not produce one like unto it, although the one of them assisted the other.” Will those who would exonerate Muhammad from the charge of being an impostor explain how an honest man could put these words into the mouth of God? If Muhammad be the author of the Qurán—and all apologists regard him as such—he must have known that even the most excellent human composition had no claim to be called inspired; yea, further, it is inconceivable that he should have been so self-deceived as to fancy that when he put these words into the mouth of God, he was speaking the words of God, and not those of his own invention. Which is greater, the credulity which can believe an honest man, of high intelligence and poetic genius, capable of such self-deception as this, or that which believes a wicked man and a deliberate impostor capable of feigning sincerity and honest piety? Let it be observed this claim was ever set up at Makkah. It was there that the question of being an honest reformer or a prophet of Arabia was decided.
[(24) ]Whose fuel is men and stones. Men and idols. The Tafsír-i-Raufi gives the opinion of some commentators that clouds, apparently laden with refreshing showers, will pour down torrents of stones, which will greatly increase the heat and torments of hell!
[(25) ]This is what we have formerly eaten of. “Some commentators (Jalálain) approve of this sense, supposing the fruits of paradise, though of various tastes, are alike in colour and outward appearance; but others (Zamakhshari) think the meaning to be, that the inhabitants of that place will find there fruits of the same or the like kinds as they used to eat while on earth.”—Sale.
[(26) ]God will not be ashamed to propound in a parable a gnat. “God is no more ashamed to propound a gnat as a parable than to use a more dignified illustration.”—Savary. This was revealed to refute the objection of infidels, that the employment of such parables was beneath the dignity of God.—Abdul Qádir, Yahya, &c.
[(28) ]Ye were dead, &c. Sale, on the authority of Jaláluddín, paraphrases thus: “Ye were dead while in the loins of your fathers, and he gave you life in your mothers’ wombs; and after death ye shall again be raised at the resurrection.”
[(29) ]Seven heavens. See the same expression in chapters xli. 11, lxv. 12, lxvii. 13, and lxxi. 14. It is probably borrowed from the Jews.
[(30) ]A substitute on earth. Literally, a khalífah, vioegerent.
[(32, 33) ]God said, O Adam, tell them their names. “This story Muhammad borrowed from the Jewish traditions, which say that the angels having spoken of man with some contempt when God consulted them about his creation, God made answer that the man was wiser than they; and to convince them of it he brought all kinds of animals to them, and asked them their names; which they not being able to tell, he put the same question to the man, who named them one after another: and being asked his own name and God’s name, he answered very justly, and gave God the name of Jehovah.”—Sale.
[(34) ]When we said unto the angels, Worship Aádm. Sale says the angels’ adoring Adam is mentioned in the Talmud. “The original word signifies properly to prostrate oneself till the forehead touches the ground, which is the humblest posture of adoration, and strictly due to God only; but it is sometimes, as in this place, used to express the civil worship or homage which may be paid to creatures (Jaláluddin.)”
[(35) ]Dwell thou and thy wife in the garden. Muhammadans believe the residence of Adam and Eve before the Fall to have been paradise or heaven, the place to which all good Muslims go.
[(36) ]Adam learned words of prayer, &c. There is a difference of opinion among the commentators as to what these words were. The Tafsír-i-Raufi accepts the opinion that they were the words of the creed, “Lá-iláha-illal-láho, Muhammad-ur-Rusul-ulláh,” God he is God, and Muhammad is the apostle of God. But all such traditionary statements are the outgrowth of a desire to exalt Muhammad. One of the traditions makes Adam say that “As soon as the breath came into my body I opened my eyes, and saw the words, Lá-iláha-illal-láho, Muhammad-ur-Rusúl-ulláh written on the heavens.”
[(37, 38) ]Hereafter shall cause . . . a direction. “God here promises Adam that his will should be revealed to him and his posterity; which promise the Muhammadans believe was fulfilled at several times by the ministry of several prophets, from Adam himself, who was the first, to Muhammad, who was the last. The number of books revealed unto Adam they saw was ten” (Jaláluddín).—Sale.
[(39, 40) ]O children of Israel. . . . believe in the revelation which I have sent down confirming that which is with you. “The Jews are here called upon to receive the Qurán, as verifying and confirming the Pentateuch, particularly with respect to the unity of God and the mission of Muhammad. And they are exhorted not to conceal the passages of their law which bear witness to those truths, nor to corrupt them by publishing false copies of the Pentateuch, for which the writers were but poorly paid.”—Sale; on the authority of Yahya and Jaláluddín.
[(41) ]Clothe not the truth with vanity; neither conceal the truth against your own knowledge. Rodwell translates the latter part of the verse thus: Hide not the truth when ye know it. On this he writes as follows: “Muhammad rarely accused the Jews and Christians of corrupting, but often of misrepresenting, their ascred books, in order to evade his claims. His charges, however, are always very vaguely worded, and his utterances upon this subject are tantamount to a strong testimony in favour of the unimpeachable integrity of the sacred books, both of the Jews and Christians, so far as he knew them.” The Tafsír-i-Raufi confirms the position taken above. It paraphrases thus: “Do not mingle with the truth that the praise of Muhammad is recorded in the Pentateuch the lie of a denial, and do not hide the truth that he is the prophet of the last times, for you know that this prophet is a prophet indeed. Why then do ye deliberately hide his praise and title (of prophet), and make yourselves the prisoners of hell?”
[(42) ]Stated times of prayer . . . legal alms. The prayer (sulát) of the Muslim differs from what the Christian calls prayer in that it consists invariably of the repetition of ascriptions of praise to God and of petitions for divine blessing uttered in the Arabic language, and is almost entirely mechanical. The mind and the heart of the worshippers are alike shut up to the words and forms of the stereotyped prayer. The Arabic dúa expresses more nearly the Christian idea of prayer. This, too, probably corresponded more nearly to Muhammad’s own idea of sulát.
[(43) ]Ye read the book of the law, i.e., the Pentateuch. This verse affords another proof that Muhammad believed the Jewish Scriptures then extant to be the genuine Word of God.
[(44, 45) ]Ask help with perseverance and prayer, &c. Abdul Qádir translates, “Get strength by toil and prayer,” &c., and paraphrases, “Make it (prayer) a habit, and the duties of religion will become easy.”
[(46) ]O children of Israel, remember my favour, &c. The object of passages like this was to conciliate the Jews by appeals to their national pride, and by an attempt to imitate the style of their prophets in his exhortations to them. Passages of the Qurán like this concerning the children of Israel evince considerable knowledge of the history of the chosen people. And yet the error which is here mixed up with the truth, without any apparent design, would seem to show, that Muhammad had not access to the Jewish Scriptures directly. It is therefore most probable that he obtained his infermation from Jewish friends, who had themselves an imperfect knowledge of their own Scriptures. See on this subject Muir’s Life of Mahomet, vol. ii., supplement to chap. v.
[(47) ]Dread the day wherein one soul shall not make satisfaction for another soul. “This verse, often repeated, contradicts the notion of Muhammad as an intercessor, and, of course, contradicts Scripture also, unless understood thus:—‘The guilty shall not atone for the guilty.’ ”—Brinckman’s Notes on Islám.
[(48) ]They slew your male children. The Tafsír-i-Raufi gives a story which illustrates the habit of Muslim commentators of inventing history to explain the indefinite statements of the Qurán. The story is that Pharaoh had a dream, in which he saw a fire issue forth from the Temple at Jerusalem. The fire consumed him and his people. Calling his wise men, he asked the meaning of his dream. They told him that a person would be born from among the children of Israel who would destroy both him and his nation. Accordingly he ordered all the male children of the Israelites to be destroyed. When some twelve thousand—according to others seventy thousand—infants had been destroyed, his subjects interfered, and so far modified Pharaoh’s intention that he spared the children born every alternate year. During one of these years Aaron was born; but Moses, being born the following year, was placed in a basket and allowed to float down the Nile. On its reaching the palace, Pharaoh drew the basket to shore and found the infant Moses in it. His wife at once declared that the child did not belong to the Jews, and proposed to adopt it as their own, inasmuch as they had no children. Thus Moses was preserved by his enemy. See also Qurán, chaps. vii., xx., and xxvi., &c.
[(50) ]Then took ye the calf for your God, and did evil. “The person who cast this calf, the Muhammadans say, was (not Aaron, but) al Sámairi, one of the principal men among the children of Israel, some of whose descendants, it is pretended, still inhabit an island of that name in the Arabian Gulf. It was made of the rings and bracelets of gold, silver, and other materials which the Israelites had borrowed of the Egyptians; for Aaron, who commanded in his brother’s absence, having ordered Sámairi to collect those ornaments from the people, who carried on a wicked commerce with them, and to keep them together till the return of Moses, al Sámairi, understanding the founder’s art, put them all together into a furnace to melt them down into one mass, which came out in the form of a calf. The Israelites, accustomed to the Egyptian idolatry, paying a religious worship to this image, al Sámairi went further, and took some dust from the footsteps of the horse of the Angel Gabriel, who marched at the head of the people, and threw it into the mouth of the calf, which immediately began to low, and became animated; for such was the virtue of that dust.”—Sale, on authority of Jalaludáín.
[(51) ]Yet afterwards we forgave you, i.e., those who did not actually worship the golden calf. See ver. 53.
[(52) ]When we gave Moses the book. We have here one instance, of which this chapter furnishes many, wherein the Quran shows the ignerence of Muhammad with respect to the history of the Jews as contained in the books of Moses. The “Book” of the law (the Torah or Pentateuch) is here represented as given to Moses in the Mount, whereas the story refers to the giving of the two tables (Arabic, Alwáh, meaning tablets) containing the ten commandments only. See Exod. xxxiv. 28.
[(53) ]Ye have injured your own souls. Rodwell has it, “Ye have sinned to your own hurt.” The allusion is to the slaying of certain of their number for the sin of idolatry.
[(54) ]When ye said, O Moses, we will not believe thee, until we see God manifestly. “The persons here meant are said to have been seventy men, who were made choice of by Moses, and heard the voice of God talking with him. But not being satisfied with that, they demanded to see God; whereupon they were all struck dead by lightning.”—Sale, Ismaíl ibn Ali, Tafsír-i-Raufi.
[(55) ]Then we raised you to life. The Tafsír-i-Raufi states that Moses, seeing his seventy companions stricken dead, immediately interceded for their restoration to life, on the ground that the people might suspect him of their murder. God then, on Moses’ intercession, restored them to life. See also Rodwell’s note on this passage.
[(56) ]We caused clouds to overshadow you. The pillar of cloud, and may be the pillar of fire also (Exod. xiii. 21, 22). Some commentators say that the cloud was as a canopy over the Israelites to shield them from the heat of the sun (Tafsír-i-Raufi).
[(57) ]Enter this city. Some commentators suppose this city to be Jericho, others Jerusalem.—Sale.
[(58) ]But the ungodly changed the expression, &c. “According to Jaláluddín, instead of Hittaton, they cried Hubbat fi shaírat, i.e., a grain in an ear of barley; and in ridicule of the divine command to enter the city in an humble posture, they indecently crept in upon their breech.”—Sale, Yahya.
[(59) ]Strike the rock. “The commentators say this was a stone which Moses brought from Mount Sinai, and the same that fled away with his garments which he had laid upon it one day while he washed.
[(60) ]We will by no means be satisfied with one kind of food. This refers to the second murmuring of the Israelites. See Num. xi. 5, &c.
[(61) ]Surely those who believe, &c. “From these words, which are repeated in the fifth chapter, several writers have wrongly concluded that the Muhammadans hold it to be the doctrine of their prophet that every man may be saved in his own religion, provided he be sincere and lead a good life. It is true some of their doctors do agree this to be the purport of the words: but then they say the latitude hereby granted was soon revoked, for that this passage is abrogated by several others in the Qurán, which expressly declare that none can be saved who is not of the Muhammadan faith; and particularly by those words of the third chapter (ver. 84), Whoever followeth any other religion than Islâm (i.e., the Muhammadan), it shall not be accepted of him and at the last day he shall be of those who perish. However, others are of opinion that this passage is not abrogated, but interpret it differently, taking the meaning of it to be, that no man, whether he be a Jew, a Christian, or a Sabian, shall be excluded from salvation, provided he quit his erroneous religion and become a Muslim, which they say is intended by the following words, Whoever believeth in God and the last day, and doth that which is right. And this interpretation is approved by Mr. Reland, who thinks the words here import no more than those of the apostle, In every nation he that feareth God and worketh righteousness is accepted of him (Acts x. 35); from which it must not be inferred that the religion of nature, or any other, is sufficient to save, without faith in Christ (Relig. Moham., p. 128).”—Sale.
[(62) ]Lifted up the mountain of Sinaí over you. “The Muhammadan tradition is, that the Israelites refusing to receive the law of Moses, God tore up the mountain by the roots, and shook it over their heads to terrify them into a compliance.”—Sale and Abdul Qádir.
[(63) ]After this ye again turned back. Some commentators (Tafsír-i-Raufi) think these words refer to the rejection of Jesus, but more probably they refer to the rebellion at Kadesh-Barnea, or some similar event connected with the journey in the wilderness.
[(64, 65) ]Be ye changed into apes, &c. “The story to which this passage refers is as follows:—In the days of David some Israelites dwelt at Ailah or Elath, on the Red Sea, where on the night of the Sabbath the fish used to come in great numbers to the shore, and stay there all the Sabbath to tempt them; but the night following they returned into the sea again. At length some of the inhabitants, neglecting God’s command, catched the fish on the Sabbath, and dressed and ate them; and afterwards cut canals from the sea for the fish to enter, with sluices, which they shut on the Sabbath, to prevent their return to the sea. The other part of the inhabitants, who strictly observed the Sabbath, used both oersuasion and force to stop this impiety, but to no purpose, the offenders growing only more and more obstinate; whereupon David cursed the Sabbath-breakers, and God transformed them into apes. It is said that one going to see a friend of his that was among them, found him in the shape of an ape, moving his eyes about wildly, and asking him whether he was not such a one, the ape made a sign with his head that it was he: whereupon the friend said to him, ‘Did not I advise you to desist? at which the ape wept. They add that these unhappy people remained three days in this condition, and were afterwards destroyed by a wind which swept them all into the sea.”—Sale.
[(66) ]Verily God commandeth you to sacrifice a cow. “The occasion of this sacrifice is thus related:—A certain man at his death left his son, then a child, a cow-calf, which wandered in the desert till he came to age, at which time his mother told him the heifer was his, and bid him fetch her and sell her for three pieces of gold. When the young man came to the market with his heifer, an angel in the shape of a man accosted him, and bid him six pieces of gold for her; but he would not take the money till he had asked his mother’s consent, which when he had obtained, he returned to the marketplace, and met the angel, who now offered him twice as much for the heifer, provided he would say nothing of it to his mother; but the young man refusing, went and acquainted her with the additional offer. The woman perceiving it was an angel, bid her son go back and ask him what must be done with the heifer; whereupon the angel told the young man that in a little time the children of Israel would buy that heifer of him at any price. And soon after it happened that an Israelite, named Hammiel, was killed by a relation of his, who, to prevent discovery, conveyed the body to a place considerably distant from that where the fact was committed. The friends of the slain man accused some other persons of the murder before Moses; but they denying the fact, and there being no evidence to convict them, God commanded a cow, of such and such particular marks, to be killed; but there being no other which answered the description except the orphan’s heifer, they were obliged to buy her for as much gold as her hide would hold; according to some, for her full weight in gold, and as others say, for ten times as much. This heifer they sacrificed, and the dead body being, by divine direction, struck with a part of it, revived, and standing up, named the person who had killed him, after which it immediately fell down dead again. The whole story seems to be borrowed from the red heifer, which was ordered by the Jewish law to be burnt, and the ashes kept for purifying those who happened to touch a dead corpse (Num. xix.), and from the heifer directed to be slain for the expiation of a certain murder. See Deut. xxi. 1-9.”—Sale, on authority of Abulfeda.
[(68) ]She is a red cow, intensely red. “The original is yellow, but this word we do not use in speaking of the colour of cattle.”—Sale.
[(70) ]Moses answered. He saith, &c. Muhammad here presents Moses as a prophet of God like himself. He, like Muhammad, the inspired prophet, delivers the precise message of God word for word. But the inspiration here and elsewhere attributed to the prophets in the Qurán is a very different thing from that attributed to them in the Bible. This fact affords another instance of the falsehood of the claim that the Qurán attests the Christian Scriptures ch. xii. 111).
[(71) ]When ye slew a man, &c. The commentators are troubled to reconcile this charge of murder against the, whole nation, when, according to their history of the transaction, it was the act of only one man. The Tafsír-i-Raufi conceives the Jews generally as becoming partners in crime with the one guilty person by their unwillingness to use the divine instrumentality to discover the murderer, and their readiness to charge the crime upon one another.
[(72) ]Strike the dead body with part of the sacrificed cow. There is considerable learning displayed in the discussion as to what part of the cow was used for this purpose. The weight of learning is pretty well divided between the tongue and the end of the tail!
[(73) ]Hardened after this, i.e., after the sacrifice of the cow, the restoration to life of the murdered, and the conviction of the murderer. The events here alluded to are not, for a wonder, described by the commentators. From what follows, it appears to me the allusion is to their rejection of the prophets, and especially of Muhammad (ver. 74).
[(74) ]Do ye therefore desire the Jews should believe you? Rodwell translates, “Desire ye then that for your sakes (i.e., to please you, O Muslims) the Jews should believe?”
[(75) ]And when they meet the true believers, they say, We believe. These are the hypocrites referred to in ver. 74. More likely they were ignorant Jews, who were really drawn toward Muhammad when in his presence and under his influence, but who were drawn away again by the influence of other Jews who were adverse to Muhammad. Failure to ally themselves to him was quite sufficient to put them under the ban of hypocrisy.
[(77) ]Illiterate men . . . who know not the book. “Among them the vulgar know the Pentateuch only by tradition. They have but a blind belief.”—Savary.
[(78) ]Woe unto them, who transcribe corruptly the book of the Law with their hands, and then say, This is from God. “These are they who form sentences as they please for the people, and then ascribe them to God or his prophet.”—Abdul Qádir.
[(79) ]A certain number of days. “That is, says Jaláluddín, forty, being the number of days that their forefathers worshipped the golden calf, after which they gave out that their punishment should cease. It is a received opinion among the Jews at present that no person, be he ever so wicked, or of whatever sect, shall remain in hell above eleven months, or at most a year, except Dathan and Abiram and atheists, who will be tormented there to all eternity.”—Sale.
[(80) ]Whoso doeth evil. “By evil in this case the commentators generally understand polytheiam or idolatry, which sin, the Muhammadans believe, unless repented of in this life, is unpardonable, and will be punished by eternal damnation; but all other sins they hold will at length be forgiven.”—Sale.
[(81) ]But they who believe and do good works, i.e., Muslims performing the duties required by their profession.
[(82) ]The covenant of the children of Israel, &c. It is noteworthy that the Qurán nowhere makes allusion to the ceremonial rites of sacrifice as a sin-offering, when narrating the religious duties of the Jews. Even the famous passage in chap. xxii. 36-40, where sacrifice is recognised as a rite appointed by God unto every nation, and the story of the “Yellow Cow” (vers. 66-70), do not indicate a sacrifice in any Jewish sense as having atoning efficacy. Muhammad could hardly have known so much of Judaism as is manifest in the Qurán—could not have met with so many Jews as he did in Madina, without knowing something at least of their ideas of sacrifice. The conclusion would seem well founded that he deliberately eliminated the whole idea of atonement from what he declared to be the Word of God, and, therefore, never permitted the doctrine of salvation by atonement to appear as having divine sanction in any dispensation. With facts like this before us, it is very difficult to exonerate the author of the Qurán from the charge of deliberate forgery and conscious imposture.
[(83) ]Shall not shed your brother’s blood. Rodwell translates, “your own blood,” and explains as follows: “The blood of those who are as your own flesh.”
[(84) ]Yet it is equally unlawful for you to dispossess them. “This passage was revealed on occasion of some quarrels which arose between the Jews of the tribes of Quraidha, and those of al Aws, al Nadhír, and al Khazraj, and came to that height that they took arms and destroyed one another’s habitations, and turned one another out of their houses; but when any were taken captive, they redeemed them. When they were asked the reason of their acting in this manner, they answered, that they were commanded by their law to redeem the captives, but that they fought out of shame, lest their chiefs should be despised.”—Sale, on authority of Jaláluddín.
[(85) ]Who have purchased this present life, &c. This clear recognition of the importance of seeking happiness in the life to come, together with the personal character given to the Judge of all men, have not been the least potent factors in gaining influence for Islám among its votaries.
[(86) ]And caused apostles to succeed him. “It is recorded that there were four thousand prophets, more or less, between Moses and Jesus, all of whom obeyed the precepts of the Pentateuch, e.g., Joshua, Simeon, Job, David, Solomon, Elijah, Zacharaya, and John Baptist. They were sent in order to proclaim and enforce the law, for the corruptions (of the text of the Word of God) made by Jewish doctors had been spread abroad. Wherefore these apostles were, so to speak, divine teachers and renewers of the true religion. Such are referred to in this verse.”—Tafsír-i-Raufi.
[(87) ]But God hath cursed them with their infidelity, therefore few shall believe. Rodwell renders it, “God hath cursed them in their infidelity: few are they who believe.”
[(88) ]And when a book came unto them from God. The Qurán, which Muhammad here distinctly claims to be the Word of God.
[(89) ]Out of envy, because God sendeth down his favours to such of his servants as he pleaseth. Eavious of “the gift of the prophetic office, &c., to a pagan Arab, and not to a Jew.”—Rodwell.
[(90) ]That which God hath sent down. The Qurán. The Tafsír-i-Raufi understands the allusion to be to the Gospel also, but this opinion is not well founded. The latter part of the verse undoubtedly refers to the Qurán alone, and the allusion here must be to the same thing.
[(91) ]The calf. See notes on ver. 50.
[(92) ]Lifted the mountain of Sinai over you. See note on ver. 62.
[(93) ]If the future mansion . . . wish for death, if ye say truth. This same claim can be set up with equal justice against Muslims, who hold ont no hope of salvation to such as reject Islám. The Tafsír-i-Raufi regards the words as being addressed to believers as a test of their faith. Tried by such a test, there are indeed very few true Muslims.
[(94) ]That which their hands have sent before them. “That is, by reason of the wicked forgeries which they have been guilty of in respect to the Scriptures. An expression much like that of St. Paul where he says, that some men’s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment.”—Sale.
[(96) ]Whoever is an enemy to Gabriel. “The commentators say that the Jews asked what angel it was that brought the divine revelations to Muhammad; and being told that it was Gabriel, they replied that he was their enemy, and the messenger of wrath and punishment; but if it had been Michael, they would have believed on him, because that angel was their friend, and the messenger of peace and plenty. And on this occasion, they say, this passage was revealed.
[(98) ]Evident signs, “i.e., the revelations of this book.”—Sale. “The Qurán and miracles.”—Tafsír-i-Raufi. The word Ayát, here translated signs, is that which is used to denote the various sections or verses of the Qurán. As these verses were claimed to be a standing miracle, and were for this reason called signs, the allusion of the passage is to the revelations of the Qurán, as Sale has it.
[(100) ]An apostle from God, confirming that scripture which was with them. Muhammad here reiterates his claim to be an apostle confirming the Jewish Scriptures. He would also be recognised as an apostle of God because he confirms the Jewish Scriptures. He therefore attests the divine character of the Scriptures extant in his time. See also note on ver. 90.
[(101) ]The device which the devils devised. “The devils having, by God’s permission, tempted Solomon without success, they made use of a trick to blast his character. For they wrote several books of magic, and hid them under that prince’s throne, and after his death told the chief men that if they wanted to know by what means Solomon had obtained his absolute power over men, genii, and the winds, they should dig under his throne; which having done, they found the aforesaid books, which contained impious superstitions. The better sort refused to learn the evil arts therein delivered, but the common people did; and the priests published this scandalous story of Solomon, which obtained credit among the Jews, till God, say the Muhammadans, cleared that king by the mouth of their prophet, declaring that Solomon was no idolater.”—Sale, Yahya, Jaláluddín.
[(103) ]Say not to our apostle, “Raina;” but say “Undhúrna.” “Those two Arabic words have both the same signification, viz., Look on us, and are a kind of salutation. Muhammad had a great aversion to the first, because the Jews frequently used it in derision, it being a word of reproach in their tongue. They alluded, it seems, to the Hebrew verb רוע, rua, which signifies to be bad or mischievous.”—Sale, Jalôluddin.
[(105) ]Whatever verse we shall abrogate, or cause thee to forget, we will bring a better than it, or one like unto it. “Imám Baghawí says, that the number of abrogated verses has been variously estimated from five to five hundred.”—Hughes’ Introduction to the Roman Urdú Qurán, 1876, p. xix.
[(107) ]That which was formerly required of Moses? “Jaláluddín says that what the Jews required of Moses was that they might see God manifestly. The Tafsír Husaini, however, has it that they demanded that Muhammad should show them such a complete book, given at one time, as was given to Moses. Whatever the allusion may be, one thing is evident, viz., that Muhammad was troubled and displeased at the disposition of his followers to require of him similar evidence of his prophetic mission to that given by Moses.”—Notes on Roman Urdú Qurán.
[(108) ]Out of envy from their souls, &c. See notes on ver. 89.
[(109) ]Be constant in prayer. Prayer is the first of the five principal duties of the Muslim. It consists in the offering or ascriptions of praise to the deity with supplication for divine blessing five times a day. The times for prayer are: (1.) In the evening at four minutes after sunset; (2.) just after nightfall; (3.) at daybreak in the morning; (4.) at noon, as soon as the sun begins to decline from the meridian; (5.) midway between noon and sunset. See also note on ver. 42.
[(110) ]They say, Verily none shall enter paradise, except they who are Jews or Christians. “This passage was revealed on occasion of a dispute which Muhammad had with the Jews of Madína and the Christians of Najrán, each of them asserting that those of their religion only should be saved.”—Sale. Jaláluddín. See note on ver. 61.
[(111) ]Nay, but he who resigneth himself to God, and doth that which is right, &c. Here we have first a denial of the teaching of Jews and Christians that a profession of, and obedience to, the requirements of their religion is necessary to salvation. As this is also the teaching of the Muslims, the force of this denial of it by Muhammad can only be evaded by the convenient doctrine of abrogation. Secondly, we have here a declaration that resignation to the will of God and right doing, which Jaláluddín interprets as “asserting the unity of God,” are the sole conditions of salvation. If so, then men are still under the law, and so cannot be saved, seeing none can fulfil its requirements. If so, then the Gospel of Jesus, which the Qurán claims to have attested, is untrue.
[(112) ]The Jews say, The Christians are grounded on nothing, &c. “The Jews and Christians are here accused of denying the truth of each other’s religion, notwithstanding they read the Scriptures; whereas the Pentateuch bears testimony to Jesus, and the Gospel bears testimony to Moses.”—Sale, Jaláluddín.
[(113, 114) ]Who is more unjust than he who prohibiteth the temples of God, &c. “Or hindereth men from paying their adorations to God in those sacred places. This passage, says Jaláluddín, was revealed on news being brought that the Romans had spoiled the temple of Jerusalem; or else when the idolatrous Arabs obstructed Muhammad’s visiting the temple of Makkah in the expedition of al Hudaibiya, which happened in the sixth year of the Hijra.”—Sale.
[(115) ]Whithersoever ye turn yourselves to pray, there is the face of God. This verse is regarded by all commentators as abrogated by ver. 145. It is said to have been revealed in the interval between the abrogation of the command to pray toward Jerusalem and the final command to turn toward Makkah. A multitude of stories have been invented to explain the verse, but their recital would be unprofitable.
[(116) ]They say, God hath begotten children. “This is spoken not only of the Christians and of the Jews (for they are accused of holding Uzair or Ezra to be the Son of God), but also the pagan Arabs, who imagined the angels to be daughters of God.”—Sale, Tafsír-i-Raufi.
[(117) ]Be, and it is. The doctrine that God creates out of nothing is here clearly recognised. Also his entire sovereignty over all things.
[(118) ]Or thou show us a sign. This passage points to the strong pressure brought to bear upon Muhammad, not only by Jews and Christians, but also by the Arabs, in their constant demand for miracles. Such passages also clearly show that Muhammad wrought no miracles.
[(119) ]We have sent thee . . . a preacher. This is Muhammad’s claim concerning himself. He ever sets himself forth as a preacher, yet as a messenger of God, an apostle, by whom the Qurán was to be conveyed to and enforced upon the world. The power by which it was to be enforced, at the time this passage was written, was persuasion. The pains consequent on unbelief were the pains of hell-fire. Believers were not yet made by the power of the sword.
[(120) ]Until thou follow their religion. We learn from this passage the growing division between the Jews and Christians and Muhammad, who is now regarded as teaching doctrine which is far from attesting the laith of Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. Even Muhammad recognises “their religion” as different from his own, but yet different only as heresy differs from orthodoxy.
[(121) ]They to whom we have given the book. Sale, in his translation, supplies the words “of the Qurán” after this sentence. Some Muslim commentators understand the passage in the same way; but the sentiment of the whole passage, as well as the interpretation of most Muslim commentators, is against it. The reference is to the Jewish and Christian Scriptures, and the meaning of the passage then is, “The direction of God is the true direction,” i.e., Islám, and those Jews and Christians who read their own Scriptures “with its true reading,” i.e., who do not change or twist the evident import thereof, “they believe therein.”
[(122) ]O children of Israel. . . . I have preferred you before all nations, i.e., “until the time of Muhammad. Then the descendants of Ishmael were not so approved by God.”—Brinckman’s Notes on Islám.
[(124) ]Remember when the Lord tried Abraham. “God tried Abraham chiefly by commanding him to leave his native country and to offer his son. But the commentators suppose the trial here meant related only to some particular ceremonies, such as circumcision, pilgrimageto the Kaabah, several rites of purification, and the like.”—Sale.
[(125) ]The holy house. “That is, the Kaabah, which is usually called, by way of eminence, the house. Of the sanctity of this building and other particulars relating to it, see the Preliminary Discourse, p. 180.”—Sale.
[(127) ]And when Abraham and Ismaíl raised the foundations of the house, &c. Muir, in his Life of Mahomet, Introduction, pp. cxci. and cxcii., shows the whole story to be most clearly a legendary fiction.
[(128) ]Lord, make us also resigned. “The Arabic word is Muslimana, in the singular Muslim, which the Muhammadans take as a title peculiar to themselves. The Europeans generally write and pronounce it Musalman.”—Sale.
[(129) ]Lord, send them likewise an apostle from among them, who may declare thy signs unto them, &c. If these words had been put into the mouth of Moses, we might regard them as an allusion to Deut. xviii. 15. As they stand, and regarded in the light of Muhammad’s prophetic pretensions, the resemblance is probably accidental.
[(130) ]The religion of Abraham, i.e., Islám. Whilst such language was intended to serve the purpose of winning the Jews, it expresses no real concession to them. In so far as they differed from Islám, just so far had they departed from “the religion of Abraham.”
[(132) ]And Abraham bequeathed this religion to his children, and Jacob did the same, &c. That the religion referred to here is Islám is evident from the latter part of the verse. Understood in the sense intended by Muhammad, viz., that the Muslim faith was the religion of Abraham and the patriarchs, this statement is false. Accordingly, we have here a statement, which, if overthrown, carries with it the whole fabric of Muhammadanism built upon it. Either the religion of Islám was the religion of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, or it was not. If it was, let us have the evidence of the former Scriptures, the witness of the former prophets. Failure here must stigmatise the whole system as a forgery.
[(134) ]They have what they have gained. “Or, deserved. The Muhammadan notion, as to the imputation of moral actions to man, which they call gain or acquisition, is sufficiently explained in the Preliminary Discourse,” p. 156.—Sale.
[(135) ]They say, Become Jews or Christians, that ye may be directed. Say, Nay, &c. We here learn the estimate which Muhammad put upon the Judaism and Christianity of his day. They were systems of idolatry: the Jews regarding Ezra as the Son of God, as the commentators allege; the Christians holding to a Trinity which, with Muhammad, consisted of God, Mary, and Jesus. See chap. iv. 169; comp. chap. v. 116, and chap. xix. 36. The Muslim is taught to regard himself as a follower of that faith from which both Jew and Christian had wandered, the faith of Abraham, “who was no idolater.”
[(136) ]Say, We believe in God and that which hath been sent down to us, &c. No passage in the Qurán sets forth more clearly than this the claims of Islám. It is the one true religion of all the prophets and apostles of God. It was the religion of Abraham, of Moses, and of Jesus. Upon this foundation the whole structure of Islám stands. The controversy between the Christian and the Muslim is, mainly, one as to fact. The principal question is, Does Islám conserve within itself the system of spiritual truth, the historical facts, and the plan of salvation set forth in the teachings of the patriarchs and prophets of the Old Testament dispensation, and of Jesus and his Apostles in the New? This is the point which Muslims ever seek to evade, and yet this is the point which, above all others, they are bound to establish (see also above on ver. 132).
[(137) ]If they turn back, they are in schism. This last clause is translated in Rodwell, “they cut themselves off from you;” in the Tafsír-i-Raufi, “are in opposition and enmity to you;” in Abdul Qádir’s translation, “are opposed to you.”
[(138) ]The baptism of God have we received. Rodwell translates this passage, “Islam is the baptism of God,” but says, “The original simply has ‘Baptism of God.’ This may be understood either of Islám generally, or, with Ullman, in the more restricted sense of circumcision.”
[(139) ]Will ye dispute with us concerning God, &c.? “These words were revealed because the Jews insisted that they first received the Scriptures, that their Qibla was more ancient, and that no prophets could arise among the Arabs; and therefore if Muhammad was a prophet, he must have been of their nation.”—Sale, Jaláluddín.
[(140) ]Jews or Christians. The author of the notes on the Roman Urdú Qurán calls attention to the anachronism of applying the names “Jew” and “Christian” to those who were dead centuries before these titles had any existence.
[(142) ]What hath turned them from their Qibla, &c.? “At first, Muhammad and his followers observed no particular rite in turning their faces towards any certain place or quarter of the world when they prayed, it being declared to be perfectly indifferent (ver. 115). Afterwards, when the prophet fled to Madína, he directed them to turn towards the temple of Jerusalem (probably to ingratiate himself with the Jews), which continued to be their Qibla for six or seven months; but either finding the Jews too intractable, or despairing otherwise to gain the pagan Arabs, who could not forget their respect to the temple of Makkah, he ordered that prayers for the future should be towards the last. This change was made in the second year of the Hijra, and occasioned many to fall from him, taking offence at his inconstancy.”—Sale, Jaláluddín.
[(143) ]Thus have we placed you, O Arabians, an intermediate nation, &c. Savary translates thus: “We have established you, O chosen people, to bear witness against the rest of the nation, as your apostle will bear it against you.”
[(144) ]We appointed the Qibla, . . . only that we might know him who followeth the apostle, from him who turneth back on the heels. Many of Muhammad’s followers, especially those who had come out from among the Jews, were offended at the manifest inconsistency of changing the Qibla from Jerusalem to the idolatrous city of Makkah with its pantheon. They naturally apostatised and returned to the faith of their fathers. Muhammad now pretends that the change was made as a test of their faith, whereas nothing is clearer than the fact, that, failing in his attempt to win over the Jews by the deference he had shown to their religion and the holy city, he now adopts a similar policy in recognising the Kaabah as the holy place, towards which prayer is to be made, in order to conciliate the favour of the Arabians. The duplicity and worldly policy of the “prophet” was too manifest to escape the notice of even many of his own disciples. These are the “fools” and “disaffected.” When facts were against the prophet of Arabia, it was only so much the worse for the facts!
[(145) ]Turn, therefore, thy face towards the holy temple, &c. Abdul Qádir says that whilst Jerusalem was the Qibla, Muhammad desired to turn toward the Kaabah, and accordingly prayed “toward heaven,” hoping for the command to change the Qibla to Makkah!
[(146) ]Verily although thou shouldest show . . . all kinds of signs, &c. The opposition of the Jews had become so decided as to leave no hope of a reconciliation. They now charged him with worshipping toward a heathen temple, and with fickleness. These objections he now strives to meet by such “revelations” as this. “But it was the victory at Badr, one or two months after, and the subsequent hostilities against the Jews, which furnished the only effective means for silencing their objections.”—Muir’s Life of Mahomet, vol. iii. p. 45.
[(147) ]They to whom we have given the Scripture know our apostle, even as they know their own children. “That is, the Jews are really convinced of the truth of Muhammad’s mission.”—Rodwell.
[(148) ]Truth is from thy Lord. The “truth” referred to here is the new doctrine of the Qibla. See the same expression in vers. 145 and 150.
[(151) ]Lest men have master of dispute against you. Muhammad had acquired sufficient experience of the injury likely to be inflicted upon his religion by disputes concerning the proper Qibla to allow the possibility of any such disputes in the future. All must hereafter turn toward Makkah in prayer.
[(152) ]An apostle from among you. The former nations, thus distinguished, having rejected their prophets, are here regarded as apostates. Compare with chap. x. 14. The Arabs are now declared to be the chosen people of God, and, by implication, the Jews are stigmatised as rejected of God. The policy of the “prophet” is now to flatter the national pride of his countrymen, and to quicken their zeal for religion by the doctrine that they are now, as believers, the favourites of Heaven.
[(153) ]Remember me, and I will remember you. The Tafsír-i-Raufi comments on this as follows:—“Remember me with gifts, that I may remember you with favours; or remember me with worship, that I may remember you with benefits; or remember me with prayer, that I may remember you with blessings; or remember me among the people, that I may remember you among the angels.”
[(155) ]And say not of those who are slain in fight for the religion of God, that they are dead. Rodwell renders “in fight” by the phrase “on God’s path.”
[(156) ]We will surely prove you by afflicting you in some measure with fear and hunger, &c. This passage,beginning with ver. 154, was intended to comfort those who had lost friends among the slain at the battle of Badr, and also those of the companions who, having suffered loss of property and health in the emigration from Makkah, had not yet enriched themselves by the plunder of the caravans of the unbelievers.
[(157) ]We are God’s, and unto him shall we surely return. “An expression frequently in the mouths of the Muhammadans when under any great affliction or in any imminent danger.”—Sale.
[(159) ]Moreover Safá and Marwah are two of the monuments of God, &c. Savary translates this verse as follows:—“He who shall have performed the pilgrimage of Makkah, and shall have visited the holy house, shall be exempted, from offering an expiatory victim, provided that he maketh the circuit of those two mountains. He who goeth beyond what the precept requireth shall experience the gratitude of the Lord.”
[(160) ]They who conceal any of the evident signs, &c.; i.e., the Jews. See note on ver. 145.
[(161) ]Make known what they concealed. Rodwell translates “make known the truth,” i.e., of Islám
[(162, 163) ]Upon them chall be the curse of God. These verses clearly teach that all are lost except Muslims. Their punishment is also eternal.
[(164) ]Your God is one God. The passage beginning with this verse and ending with verse 172 is probably Makkan. The truth here enunciated is taught with equal clearness in the Bible (Deut. vi. 4, Mark xii. 29). It might have been addressed to Jews at Madína, but the verses following, being addressed to idolaters, decide against this view. The idolaters of the Madína period of Muhammad’s ministry were spoken of in different terms.
[(165) ]This verse, says the Tafsír-i-Raufi, contains eight signs of divine power, thereby demonstrating the superiority of the one true God over the three hundred and sixty idols which the Makkans worshipped. The Christian will be reminded of a similar style of argument used by the Apostle Paul at Lystra, and also at Athens (Acts xiv. 15-17, and xviii. 24-29).
[(166) ]True believers are more fervent in love towards God. Love towards God is here recognised as a characteristic of believers. And yet this is a doctrine rarely taught in the Qurán. In the Christian Scriptures this doctrine may be compared to Jordan, flowing continually in an ever-widening stream through the length of the Holy Land; but, in the Qurán, it is like the occasional spring in the desert. The love of God is rarely presented as a motive to obedience.
[(167) ]Those who have beer followed, &c. “That is, when the broachers or heads of new sects shall at the last day forsake or wash their hands of their disciples, as if they were not accomplices in their superstitions.”—Sale.
[(168) ]The followers shall say, &c. There shall be mutual antipathy between the leaders of false systems of religion and their followers. They shall spend an eternity of sighing and regret in the flames of hell.
[(169) ]Eat of that which is lawful. Addressed to the Makkans, who, in the “times of ignorance,” had departed from the religion of Abraham, and being idolaters, ate things forbidden, especially swine’s flesh. So faithfully do Muslims obey this command that they regard even the name of the forbidden meat as polluting.
[(171) ]We will follow that which we found our fathers practise. The reproof here administered contains an important rule which may well be urged upon modern Muslims themselves. Nothing is more manifest than their perfect satisfaction with the religion of their fathers, and their unwillingness to consider even the possibility of their fathers having been mistaken. Such texts as this are very useful for those who would arouse them to examine the grounds of their faith.
[(172) ]Like one who crieth aloud, &c. Abdul Qádir paraphrases thus: “Teaching infidels is like calling to wild animals, who may hear a sound, but who do not understand.”
[(173) ]A true believer. Addressed to the people of Madína. See Rodwell on ver. 21. The exhortation corresponds with that of ver. 169, addressed to the Makkans. The teaching here is, however, more explicit, detailing the articles forbidden.
[(174) ]He hath forbidden, &c. Godfrey Higgins, in his Apology for the Life and Character of Mahomet, p. 33, expresses the belief that these prohibitions were made for sanitary reasons. But it is much more likely that he adopted them from the religion of the Jews. Sanitary considerations would have required the prohibition of camel’s flesh as well as that of swine. Yet modifications were made out of deference to Arab prejudice, as was done in the changing of the Qibla. An illustration of this is found in the permission to eat camel’s flesh, already alluded to.
[(175) ]See notes on ver. 160.
[(176) ]Sold direction for error, &c. An exposition of the phrase, “Selling for a small price,” ver. 175.
[(177) ]Righteousness is of him who believeth in God, &c. This is one of the noblest verses in the Qurán. It clearly distinguishes between a formal and a practical piety. Faith in God and benevolence towards man is clearly set forth as the essence of religion. It contains a compendium of doctrine to be believed as well as of precept to be practised in life.
[(178) ]For the Mosaic “law of retaliation,” see Levit. xxiv. 17-22. The Qurán modifies this law, which was probably nearly identical with the ancient Arab law, so as to distinguish between the life of a freeman and that of a slave, between the life of a woman and that of a man, and to provide for the settlement of a blood-claim by the payment of money. It is scarcely necessary to point out the fact that this law deals a blow at the equality of man, based on a universal brotherhood, and that it opens the door to untold oppression and tyranny of masters over servants, of husbands over wives, and of man over woman. It cannot be fairly claimed that the moral and social laws of Islám are even an advance on those of Judaism, much less on those of Christianity. The law as here stated is abrogated by chap. v. 49, and xvii. 35.
[(179) ]In this law . . . ye have life; i.e., this law has been enacted as a benevolent measure, whereby blood-feuds might be finally settled, and thus life be saved.
[(180) ]A legacy to his parents. &c. Muslim commentators, on the authority of Baidháwi, say this law was enacted to correct the custom of the ancient Arabs, whereby parents and relatives were sometimes disinherited in favour of the religious mendicant. These translate the words rendered in the text, “This is a duty incumbent on,” &c., so as to read, “There is a duty toward the temperate,” i.e., faqírs or mendicants; and they understand that not more than one-third of the property of the testator may be devoted to such persons. However, they believe this law to have been abrogated by the law concerning inheritance in chap. iv., and that there is therefore now no law requiring them to will any of their substance to charitable objects. See Abdul Qádir in loco.
[(181, 182) ]These verses contain a warning to those who would tamper with a will after it has been made, and at the same time provide for the correction of a will made contrary to law. Some writers understand them to refer to the friendly mediation of those who succeed in securing a change in the will, in the interest of justice, before the death of the testator. See Tafsír-i-Raufi.
[(183) ]A fast is ordained, &c. Muir, in his Life of Mahomet, vol. iii. pp. 47, 48, conjectures that fasting was not observed by the Muslims till after the flight to Madína. The following is his account of its institution —
[(184) ]A certain number of days; the whole of the month Ramadhán. See next verse.
[(185) ]Ramadhán. The ninth month of the Muslim year, in the latter part of which occurs the Laylut ul Qadr, or Night of Power, in which the Qurán was brought down to the lowest heaven. See Hughes’ Notes on Muhammadanism, chap. xx.; also Prelim. Disc., p. 177.
[(186) ]I will hear the prayer. The special reference is to prayers offered during the fast. Faith and obedience are here declared to be necessary to successful prayer. A tradition says, “The person who observes the prayers particularly appointed for the nights of Ramadhán, shall be forgiven all his past faults!” Surely if the fast be of difficult observance, the way of pardon seems easy enough.
[(187) ]This verse seems to show clearly that the Muslims at first felt bound to continue, in some measure, the rigour of the fast during the night.
[(188) ]This verse is understood by Muslim commentators to forbid every species of prodigality and dishonesty in dealing with one another. If so, scarcely any precept of the Qurán is so universally transgressed as this
[(189) ]Enter your houses, &c. “Some of the Arabs had a superstitious custom after they had been at Makkah (in pilgrimage, as it seems), on their return home, not to enter their house by the old door, but to make a hole through the back part for a passage, which practice is here reprehended.”—Sale.
[(190-193) ]Fight for the religion of God. This is, perhaps, the first expressed command of the Arabian prophet to establish his religion by the sword. Whilst in Makkah he appeared in the simple garb of a preacher, and this he retained for a while at Madína (ver. 119 supra). There he advised his persecuted followers to flee from their enemies. Even at Madína he advises them to “forgive and avoid” their adversaries (ver. 108). He now finds himself in circumstances to take a bolder, though certainly a less noble stand. The Muslims are now to fight not only in defence of their faith, but are enjoined to overthrow idolatry by the sword (see ver. 193). It is probable that a number of injunctions, delivered at different times at Madína, are gathered together in this passage, inasmuch as the strong language of vers. 192 and 193 is scarcely reconcilable with the injunction of ver. 190 to fight simply in defence of Islám.
[(191) ]Kill them, &c. Much is made of expressions like this, by some Christian apolegists, to show the cruel character of the Arabian prophet, and the inference is thence drawn that he was an impostor and his Qurán a fraud. Without denying that Muhammad was cruel, we think this mode of assault to be very unsatisfactory to say the least, as it is capable of being turned against the Old Testament Scriptures. If the claim of Muhammad to have received a divine command to exterminate idolatry by the slaughter of all impenitent idolaters be admitted, I can see no objection to his practice. The question at issue is this, Did God command such slaughter of idolaters, as he commanded the destruction of the Canaanites or of the Amalekites? Taking the stand of the Muslim, that God did so command Muhammad and his followers, his morality in this respect may be defended on precisely the same ground that the morality of Moses and Joshua is defended by the Christian.
[(192) ]If they desist, &c. If they repent and accept Islám, Tafsír-i-Raufi.
[(193) ]Until . . . the religion be God’s. This expresses the breadth of the claim of Islám. Idolatry must be extirpated, and the religion of Islám be vindicated by God as his own, through the overthrow of idolatry. It is probable that Muhammad had as yet no idea of extending his religion beyond the borders of Arabia, but the idea here attached to it would logically lead to its propagation everywhere.
[(194) ]A sacred month. See Prelim. Disc., p. 228. Rodwell translates: “The sacred month and the sacred precincts are under the safeguard of reprisals,” and says, “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.”
[(195) ]Contribute of your substance. The duty enjoined here is not identical with that of giving Zikát or legal alms. It means more, having reference to all that may be necessary to carry on a holy war. The verse is closely connected with those preceding. The faithful are therefore not only to kill the infidels, but spend their substance freely to help others, especially the Gházís or fanatical crusaders of Islám, by supplying them with food and the materials of war.
[(196) ]Perform the pilgrimage and the visitation; i.e., the Hajj or greater pilgrimage, and Umrah or lesser pilgrimage. The former is absolutely necessary, provided the Muslim possesses the means necessary for the journey. The latter is meritorious, and its rites may be performed at any time, while the rites of the Hajj may only be performed on the three days intervening between the seventh and tenth of the month Dhul Hajja. See Prelim. Disc., pp. 186-188, and Hughes’ Notes on Muhammadanism, second edition, chap. xxii.
[(197) ]The known months; i.e., Shawál, Dhul Qáada, and Dhul Hajja. See Prelim. Disc., p. 186.
[(198) ]It shall be no crime, &c. In the days of Muhammad, as at the present time, Makkah was dependent for its importance as a city upon the great annual pilgrimage. Situated in a comparatively barren region, not only its own food-supply was brought from a distance, but also the provisions necessary for the multitudes flocking to it from all parts of Arabia had to be procured by caravans from the surrounding country. For this reason it was possible for many pilgrims to carry on a profitable trade while fulfilling the requirements of their religion. The service of God and mammon could thus be undertaken at the same time. The temporising policy of the Arabian prophet is here again apparent in sanctioning a practice which he either could not prevent, or which, if condoned, would minister to the purposes of his religion. He not only does so, but actually suggests a worldly motive as an incentive to the performance of an otherwise hard duty. The gifts of mammon now became “an increase from your Lord.” Compare with our Lord’s treatment of the servants of mammon at Jerusalem (John ii. 14-16).
[(199) ]Go in procession. Rodwell translates, “Pass on quickly.” Abdul Qádir has it, “Go to the circling,” i.e., of the Kaabah (tawáf). It is generally understood by the commentators to refer to the return from Muzdalífa to the Kaabah.
[(200) ]Remember God according as ye remember your fathers. Abdul Qádir tells us that the Arabs, after completing the rites of pilgrimage, spent three days in Makkah in rejoicing, during which they recounted the deeds performed by their fathers. The Muslims are here commanded to spend these three days, called Ayám-ut-Tashríq, in remembering God instead of remembering their fathers.
[(201) ]There are others; i.e., hypocrites.—Tafsír-i-Raufi.
[(202) ]Appointed number of days. Three days (see note on ver. 200).
[(203) ]There is a man, &c. “This person was al Akhnas Ibn Shuraiq, a fair-spoken dissembler, who swore that he believed in Muhammad, and pretended to be one of his friends, and to contemn this world. But God here reveals to the prophet his hypocrisy and wickedness.”—Sale, Jaláluddín.
[(204) ]To destroy, &c. “Setting fire to his neighbour’s corn, and killing his asses by night.”—Sale, Jaláludain.
[(206) ]A man who selleth, &c. “The person here meant was one Suhaib, who being persecuted by the idolaters of Makkah, forsook all he had, and fled to Medína.”—Sale, Jaláluddín.
[(207) ]Enter into the true religion wholly. This exhortation is thought to refer to such Jewish and Arab converts at Madína as had not yet adopted all the rites and customs of the new religion. Jewish converts had scruples about using the flesh and milk of camels for food, being contrary to the teaching of the Mosaic law. The Arabs were not all hearty in accepting the innovations made upon the customs of their fathers in order to make a difference between them and the unbelievers, especially in the rites and ceremonies of the pilgrimage described above. The temptation of such to apostatise from Islám is here ascribed to Satan.
[(208) ]If ye have slipped. Rodwell’s translation is preferable: “If ye lapse.”
[(209) ]Overshadowed with clouds. The allusion here is to the storm which destroyed the infidels in the days of the prophet Shuaib. See chap. vii. 92.
[(210) ]Evident signs; i.e., the miracles wrought among them by former prophets, especially by Moses.—Tafsír-i-Raufi.
[(211) ]The present life, &c. Savary translates thus: “The life of this world is strewed with flowers for the unbelievers. They make a scoff of the faithful. Those who have the fear of the Lord shall be raised above them at the day of resurrection. God dispenseth as he pleaseth his innumerable gifts.”
[(212) ]Mankind was of one faith. Muhammad here teaches the truth, that originally there was but one religion in the world. But this religion from time to time became corrupt. Hence prophets were sent to correct abuses and restore the religion of God to the children of men. They brought with them Scriptures, breathing “good tidings and denouncing threats,” and “judging between men concerning which they disagreed” This religion, according to the Qurán, is Islám. The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are then “the Scripture in truth.” If, therefore, Muhammad be a prophet of God, his doctrine must agree in all essential particulars with the teachings of Moses and Jesus. Do they? If not, Muhammad is a false prophet, on his own showing.
[(213) ]Did ye think ye should enter paradise? &c. This verse was addressed to the Makkan fugitives who suffered grievously from hunger and poverty during the first years of their exile. They are pointed to the sufferings of God’s people in former ages. So Tafsír-i-Raufi. The allusion may, however, be to the sufferings endured by himself and the first believers in Makkah, when persecuted by the Quraish. There is apparently evidence of great courage in adversity and firm trust in God in the words, “Is not the help of God nigh?” The expression may, however, simply point to the prospect of success due to the now growing political power of the Muslims at Madína.
[(214) ]What they shall bestow in alms. That “charity begins at home” was a truth of Islám as well as of Christianity is evident from the injunction in this verse. The contributions of the Muslims were as yet too meagre to supply the wants of any outside their own community, yet we see the “stranger” is still to share the benefit of Arab hospitality and generosity. On the subject of legal alms, see notes on vers. 42 and 109. This verse was afterwards abrogated. See chap. ix. 60.
[(215) ]War is enjoined you. See note on ver. 191.
[(216) ]To war therein is grievous. See notes on vers. 190-194.
[(217) ]They who . . . fight in God’s cause. Literally, They, who strive carnestly in the way of God. “The word (Jihád) is the same as that subsequently used for a religious war; but it had not yet probably acquired its fixed application. It was employed in its general sense before the Hegira, and probably up to the battle of Badr.”—Muir’s Life of Mahomet, vol. iii. p. 74, note.
[(218) ]Concerning wine. “Under the name of wine all sorts of strong and inebriating liquors are comprehended.”—Prelim. Disc., p. 191.
[(219) ]What ye have to spare. See note on ver. 214. There the question relates to beneficiaries, here to the amount to be bestowed. But see also notes on ver. 42.
[(220) ]Concerning orphans. The following, from R. Bosworth Smith’s Mohammed and Mohammedanism, p. 251, second edition, is eloquently misleading:—“The orphan was not less than the slave the object of the prophet’s peculiar care, for he had been an orphan himself; and what God had done for him, he was anxious, as far as might be, to do for others. The poor were always present with him, and their condition never absent from his mind.” He should not have forgotten to say that this solicitude, so far as it went, did not go beyond the Muslim circle; that, having made thousands of orphans by his wars against the infidels, he was in duty bound to care for them; and that orphans being Muslims (for the children of infidels and Jews or Christians, slain for their unbelief, were made Muslims by compulsion) were to be cares for, not only because they were orphans, but because they were brethren Whilst giving the Arabian prophet due credit for that kindliness of feeling which he sometimes exhibited towards the poor and helpless, and which finds expression in the Qurán, we cannot shut our eyes to the fact that he was an utter stranger to that universal charity which is the chief glory of Christianity.
[(221) ]Marry not . . . idolaters. This law was probably copied from the requirements of both Judaism and Christianity (cf. Deut. vii. 3, 4, and 2 Cor. vi. 14-16). Abdul Qadir says this prohibition does not apply to Jews and Christians, and that Muslims are permitted to intermarry with them.
[(222, 223) ]These verses, with the disgusting comments of Muslim expositors, too indecent to find a place in this work, reveal the sensual character of the Arabian prophet and his followers. They account for the degradation of Muslim women. And yet this licentious mandate is clothed in the garb of piety, and its performance is to be accompanied by acts of devotion and charity. See Sale in loco.
[(224, 225) ]Make not God the object of your oaths; i.e., “So as to swear frequently by him. The word translated object properly signifies a butt to shoot at with arrows.”—Sale.
[(226) ]Those who vow to abstain, &c. Rodwell translates thus: “Those who intend to abstain,” &c. The Tafsír-i-Raufi and Abdul Qádir understand an oath, and not an intention, to be meant, and translate accordingly. The passage therefore supplies an instance in which an oath may be violated, but the oath must not be in the name of God (ver. 224). Indeed it seems to us that this is the special case provided for by the general principle enunciated in ver. 225.
[(227) ]If they resolve on a divorce; i.e., within, or at the termination of, the four months.
[(228) ]The divorced shall wait, &c. “This is to be understood of those only with whom the marriage has been consummated; for as to the others there is no time limited. Those who are not quite past child-bearing (which a woman is reckoned to be after her courses cease, and she is about fifty-five lunar years, or about fifty-three solar years old), and those who are too young to have children, are allowed three months only; but they who are with child must wait till they be delivered.”—Sale, Jaláluddín.
[(229) ]Ye may divorce your wives twice. Compare the Mosaic law, Deut. xxiv. 1-4. Here we find the Qurán, which professes to attest the former Scriptures, giving sanction to that which is declared by Moses to be “abomination before the Lord.” The doctrine of abrogation cannot be made to apply in such a case, unless it be admitted that what is “abomination before the Lord” in one age may be acceptable to him in another.
[(230) ]But if her husband divorce her a third time, &c. See Prelim. Disc., p. 207. The Mishqát ul Musábih relates a number of traditions on this subject, too indecent for reproduction here, showing how this law is to be fulfilled, and how pious Muslims have vainly sought to evade the rigour of its requirement. See Bombay edition in Urdú, vol. iii. pp. 176-178.
[(231) ]Retain them not by violence; i.e., by obliging them to purchase their liberty with part of their dowry.—Sale.
[(232) ]Hinder them not from marrying their husbands; i.e., their former husbands, from whom they have been divorced. If the parties are willing to remarry, their relatives are not to interfere.—Tafsír-i-Raufi.
[(233) ]And the heir, &c.; i.e., in case the father die before the child is weaned.
[(234) ]Four months and ten days. “That is to say, before they marry again; and this not only for decency sake, but that it may be known whether they be with child by the deceased or not.”—Sale.
[(237) ]Unless they release any part, &c.; i.e., “unless the wife agree to take less than half her dowry, or unless the husband be so generous as to give her more than half, or the whole, which is here approved of as most commendable.”—Sale.
[(238) ]Carefully observe the appointed prayers. The command has reference to the five daily prayers. See Prelim. Disc., p. 165. Four of these are distinctly mentioned in chap. xxx. 16, 17, and all Muslim commentators understand the fifth to be included in the “evening” prayer of ver. 16. Mr. Bosworth Smith is therefore mistaken in saying that “the five daily prayers, like the rite of circumcision, are not enjoined in the Koran itself.”—Mohammed and Mohammedanism, note on p. 196.
[(240) ]Abdul Qádir says this law was abrogated by the law of inheritance, in which each heir’s portion is definitely fixed (see chap. iv. 11, which refers to the wife’s share); and the Tafsír-i-Raufi declares it abrogated by ver. 234. Rodwell says this passage “is certainly older than the commencement of Sura iv.” The view of Abdul Qádir is therefore probably correct. So far as we are aware, the Muslim law of inheritance is based upon chap. iv. 11, in so far as it relates to the share of the wife or wives in the property of a deceased husband. It is fortunate for the millions of Muslim widows that the spirit of the prophet became more liberal in this respect as the years rolled by. It is difficult to estimate the amount of misery that would have resulted had the law of this verse remained in force.
[(241) ]Unto those who are divorced. The husband, in making his bequest, is required to provide for the support of his divorced wives during the period of waiting (ver. 228), provided such period be not accomplished at the time of making bequest. The Tafsír-i-Raufi regards this law as still in force.
[(243) ]Those who left their habitations. “These were some of the children of Israel, who abandoned their dwellings because of a pestilence, or, as others say, to avoid serving in a religious war; but, as they fled, God struck them all dead in a certain valley. About eight days or more after, when their bodies were corrupted, the prophet Ezekiel, the son of Buzi, happening to pass that way, at the sight of their bones wept; whereupon God said to him, Call to them, O Ezekiel, and I will restore them to life. And accordingly on the prophet’s call they all arose, and lived several years after; but they retained the colour and stench of dead corpses as long as they lived, and the clothes they wore changed as black as pitch, which qualities they transmitted to their posterity. As to the number of these Israelites the commentators are not agreed; they who reckon least say they were 3000, and they who reckon most, 70,000. This story seems to have been taken from Ezekiel’s vision of the resurrection of dry bones.
[(244) ]Fight for the religion of God. (See notes on vers. 190 and 191.) Rodwell regards the exhortation of these verses as having special reference to the coming struggle with the people of Madína. We think the purpose of Muhammad had a much wider range. He certainly had special reference to the conflict with the Makkans in the exhortations of vers. 191-193. All his teaching concerning the Qibla and the pilgrimage, all his legislation for the company of the faithful, points to the conquest of Arabia, and the establishment of Islám throughout its bounds by the sword.
[(245) ]Who is he that will lend, &c.; i.e “by contributing towards the establishment of his true religion.”—Sale.
[(246) ]That we may fight for the religion of God. The children of Israel said, “We will have a king over us: that we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles” (1 Sam. viii. 19, 20).
[(247) ]And their prophet. The name of this prophet is not given in the original. Some commentators think he was Ishmuíl (Samuel): others, that Joshua is referred to; and others, that his name, was Shimaún.—Tafsír-i-Raufi.
[(248) ]The sign of his kingdom. &c. Compare this story with the Biblical account (1 Sam. chap. xi.)
[(249) ]God will prove you by the river. The story of Saul is hereconfounded with that of Gideon (comp. Judges vii.), and with David’s conflict with Goliath! And yet this ridiculous jumble is declared below (252) to be rehearsed by God unto Muhammad “with truth.” Is it possible to believe Muhammad sincere and consciously truthful while making a statement like this? He must have received his information respecting Israelitish history from the Jews or Jewish converts to Islám, either directly, or, as is more probable, indirectly. How could he imagine that he had received it by a divine revelation? I confess my entire inability to reconcile such facts with any theory of balluciuation or self-deception.
[(251) ]And God . . . taught him his will. “Or what he pleased to teach him. Yahya most rationally understands hereby the divine revelations which David received from God; but Jaláluddín, the art of making coats of mail (which the Muhammadans believe was that prophet’s peculiar trade) and the knowledge of the language of birds.”—Sale.
[(252) ]Thou art surely . . . sent by God. Look at this statement in the light of my note on (249).
[(253) ]Jesus the son of Mary. “Christ was, with Mohammed, the greatest of prophets. He had the power of working miracles; he spoke in his cradle; he made a bird out of clay. He could give sight to the blind, and even raise the dead to life. He is the Word proceeding from God; his name is the Messiah. Illustrious in this world and in the next, and one of those who have near access to God. ‘He is strengthened by the Holy Spirit,’ for so Mohammed, in more than one passage, calls the Angel Gabriel.”—R. Bosworth Smith, Mohammed and Mohammedanism, p. 271, second edition.
[(254) ]Give alms. See notes on vers. 42, 109, and 214.
[(255) ]God! there is no God, &c. “This verse contains a magnificent description of the divine majesty and providence; but it must not be supposed the translation comes up to the dignity of the original. This passage is justly admired by the Muhammadans, who recite it in their prayers; and some of them wear it about them, engraved on an agate or other precious stone.”—Sale.
[(256) ]No violence in religion. “This passage was particularly directed to some of Muhammad’s first proselytes, who having sons that had been brought up in idolatry or Judaism, would oblige them to embrace Muhammadism by force.”—Sale, Jaláladdin.
[(258) ]Him who disputed with Abraham. “This was Nimrod. who, as the commentators say, to prove his power of life and death by ocular demonstration, caused two men to be brought before him at the same time, one of whom he slew and saved the other alive. As to this tyrant’s persecution of Abraham, see chap. xxi. (vers. 52-70), and the notes thereon.”—Sale.
[(259) ]He who passed by a city, &c. “The person here meant was Uzair or Ezra, who riding on an ass by the ruins of Jerusalem, after it had been destroyed by the Chaldeans, doubted in his mind by what means God could raise the city and its inhabitants again; whereupon God caused him to die, and he remained in that condition one hundred years; at the end of which God restored him to life, and he found a basket of figs and a cruse of wine he had with him not in the least spoiled or corrupted; but his ass was dead, the bones only remaining, and these, while the prophet looked on, were raised and clothed with flesh becoming an ass again, which being inspired with life, began immediately to bray (Jaláluddín, Yahya). This apocryphal story may perhaps have taken its rise from Nehemiah’s viewing of the ruins of Jerusalem” (Neh. ii.)—Sale.
[(260) ]Show me how thou wilt raise the dead. “The occasion of this request of Abraham is said to have been on a doubt proposed to him by the devil, in human form, how it was possible for the several parts of the corpse of a man which lay on the seashore, and had been partly devoured by the wild beasts, the birds, and the fish, to be brought together at the resurrection.”—Sale.
[(262) ]Reproaches or mischief; i.e., either by reproaching the person whom they have relieved with what they have done for him, or by exposing his poverty to his prejudice.”— Sale, Jaláluddín.
[(266) ]A garden of palm-trees, &c. “This garden is an emblem of alms given out of hypocrisy or attended with reproaches, which perish, and will be of no service hereafter to the giver.”—Sale, Jaláluddín.
[(267) ]Otherwise than by connivance. “That is, on having some amends made by the seller of such goods, either by abatement of the price, or giving something else to the buyer to make up the value.”—Sale.
[(268) ]The devil threateneth . . . but God promiseth. Satan deters from giving by suggesting possible poverty. God encourages to give by the promise of pardon and salvation. Compare ver. 271, infra.
[(271) ]If you make your alms to appear, it is well. This contradicts the teaching of our Lord (Matt. vi. 1-4). The whole of Muhammad’s exhortation in these verses (271-274) is based upon the idea that almsgiving is profitable both in this world and the world to come. As an additional motive, he condones and thereby encourages that human pride which is willing to give for the sake of the reputation for liberality acquired thereby.
[(272) ]Ye shall not give unless, &c.; i.e., “for the sake of a reward hereafter, and not for any worldly consideration.”—Sale.
[(273) ]The poor wholly employed in fighting (see notes on ver. 195). Here we observe that Muhammad’s exhortations to the performance of religious duty were closely connected with his scheme for political advancement.
[(274) ]See notes on ver. 271.
[(275) ]Whom Satan hath infected; viz., “like demoniacs or possessed persons; that is, in great horror and distraction of mind, and convulsive agitation of body.”—Sale.
[(277) ]See notes on vers. 3-5, 37, 38, and 177.
[(278) ]Remit which remaineth; i.e., “the interest due before usury was prohibited. For this some of Muhammad’s followers exacted of their debtors, supposing they lawfully might.”—Sale, Jaláluddín. See also note on ver. 275.
[(280) ]Wait till it be easy for him, &c. This regulation does great credit to Muhammad, and is yet carried out in practice by many of his followers.
[(281) ]And fear the day, &c. “The fear rather than the love of God is the spur of Islám.”—Poole in Introduction to Lane’s Selections from the Koran, p. lxxx.
[(282) ]His agent. “Whoever manages his affairs, whether his father, heir, guardian, or interpreter.”—Sale, Jaláluddín.
[(283) ]Return what he is trusted with. Forbids a breach of trust and all embezzlement.—Tafsír-i-Raufi.
[(284) ]Whether ye manifest that which is in your minds, &c. Abdul Qádir says that on hearing these words, one of the companions said that this command was exceedingly difficult to perform, whereupon the following two verses were revealed. He understands these verses as mitigating in some degree the rigour of this command. Modern Muslims generally agree that thoughts of evil only acquire a moral character by their manifestation in word or deed.
[(285) ]We make no distination at all between his apostles. This verse contradicts ver. 253 and chap. xvii. 57.
[(286) ]A burden like that which thou hast laid on those who, &c. “That is, on the Jews, who, as the commentators tell us, were ordered to kill a man by way of atonement, to give one-fourth of their substance in alms, and to cut off an unclean ulcerous part, and were forbidden to eat fat, or animals that divide the hoof, and were obliged to observe the sabbath, and other particulars wherein the Muhammadans are at liberty.”—Sale, Jaláluddín, Yahya.
[(230) ]But if her husband divorce her a third time, &c. See Prelim. Disc., p. 207. The Mishqát ul Musábih relates a number of traditions on this subject, too indecent for reproduction here, showing how this law is to be fulfilled, and how pious Muslims have vainly sought to evade the rigour of its requirement. See Bombay edition in Urdú, vol. iii. pp. 176-178.
[(238) ]Carefully observe the appointed prayers. The command has reference to the five daily prayers. See Prelim. Disc., p. 165. Four of these are distinctly mentioned in chap. xxx. 16, 17, and all Muslim commentators understand the fifth to be included in the “evening” prayer of ver. 16. Mr. Bosworth Smith is therefore mistaken in saying that “the five daily prayers, like the rite of circumcision, are not enjoined in the Koran itself.”—Mohammed and Mohammedanism, note on p. 196.
[1 ]“A thousand lovers rather than one Mostahil—Burckhardt’s Arabic Proverbs, p. 21.
[1 ]Introduction to Lane’s Selections from the Koran by Stanley Lane Poole, p. lxxxiii.