Revealed partly at Makkah and partly at Madina.


"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 Compositione Surarum Qurarnicarum ipsiusque Qurani, showing Makkan and Madina revelations, probable date of composition, and principal topics treated.

Makkan Revelations.

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.

Madina Revelations.

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.

Analysis of the Chapter as to its Teaching.

Unbelievers and hypocrites reproved ... verses 1-20
Exhortation to the worship of the true God .. 21-38
Jews and Christians urged to accept the claim of Muhammad to be a prophet of God ... 39-102
The opposition of Jews and Christians to Muhammad's prophetic pretensions combated ... 102-112
The doctrine of abrogation enunciated ... 113
A Qibla declared to be unnecessary ... 115
The Jews denounced and the religion of Abraham declared to be the true Islam ... 116-141
The Jews finally abandoned and the Arabs accepted by the adoption of Makkah as the Qibla of Islam ... 142-153
The bereaved friends of those slain at Badr comforted ... 154-163
Makkans exhorted to faith in God, and directed to observe the law respecting forbidden meats ... 164-172
Law concerning lawful and unlawful food (delivered at Madina) ... 173-176
The sum of Muslim duty ... 177
The law of retaliation ... 178,179
The law concerning bequests ... 180-182
The law concerning fasting ... 183-185
The fast of Ramadhan ... 186, 187
The pilgrimage to Makkah and war for the faith ... 188-202
Hypocrites and true believers contrasted ... 203-206
Exhortation to a hearty acceptance of Islam ... 207, 208
The doom of infidels pronounced ... 209
The Jews reproached ... 210-212
Suffering to be patiently endured ... 213
Sundry laws relating to almsgiving, war, wine, lots, orphans, marriage, women, oaths, and divorce ... 214-242
The duty of warring in defence of religion enjoined by precept, and illustrated by the history of former prophets ... 243-253
The Throne Verse ... 254-257
The doctrine of the resurrection illustrated ... 258-260
Exhortation and encouragement to almsgiving ... 261-274
Usury forbidden ... 275-277
The law concerning contracts and debts ... 278-284
The prophet's confession and prayer ... 285, 286



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(l) 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

(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 Urdu Quran well observes, that Muhammad has cast doubt upon his Quran 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 Quran and the Christian Scriptures in this respect is very striking.

The Tafsir-i-Raufi explains that when the infidels charged Muhammad with being a juggler, a poet, and a collector of stories, many were in doubt about the truth of the Quran. Accordingly some said one thing, some another; wherefore God settled the minds of the faithful by the declaration of this verse. The same writer regards these words as an answer to the prayer of the previous chapter.

(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."

Are not Muslims chargeable with disobedience to this precept of the Quran when they refuse to believe the mysteries of the former Scriptures, the Trinity in unity, the Sonship of Christ, &c?

Appointed times of prayer. See Prelim. Discourse, sec. iv. p. 169.

(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 Quran 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,


unto the prophets before thee, and have firm assurance of the life to come: (5) these are directed by their LORD, and the 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.

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(8) There are some who say, We believe in GOD, and the last day; but are not really believers: (9) they seek

altered and corrupted by the Jews and Christians, and therefore will not allow our present copies to be genuine." - Sale.

Sent down. For the Muslim belief as to the manner in which God revealed the Scriptures, see Prelim. Discourse, sec. iii. p. 108.

Firm assurance of the life to come. "The original word, al akhirat, properly signifies the latter part of anything, and by way of excellence the next life, the latter or future state after death and is opposed to al dunya, this world, and al aula, the former or present life." - Sale. Rodwell translates "And full faith have they in the life to come."

The assurance predicated of the true believers is in regard to the fact of a judgment day and a future state, not of their certain participation in the joys of heaven. Muhammadans regard anything like assurance of faith, in a Christian sense, as gross presumption, and as tending to sin by breaking down the barriers against its commission. Nevertheless, the plain teaching of the Quran and of the traditions - see Mishqat-ul-Masabih, chap. i. - clearly assures final salvation to all Muslims. Why any Muslim should express a doubt, or rather hesitate to confess his assurance as to salvation, may be accounted for partly by his unwillingness to anticipate the divine decree, partly because of the teachings of the theologians respecting purgatory, and lastly, because of the protest of the conscience against a plan of salvation without atonement.

(6) They will not believe. The Tafsir-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. Sale says: "Muhammad here and elsewhere mutates 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 Qadir says the reference is to Ibn Abi and his friends, who, when reproached by the prophet for his hypocrisy, declared themselves to be true followers of Islam. Muslim commentators, however, never want for historical characters wherewith to illustrate the Quran.


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

(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 Islam believe.

(14) Devils. Their leaders and friends, so Tafsir-i- Raufi.

(15) Shall wander in confusion. For the manner see next verse.

(16) Their traffic hath not been gainful &c. According to the Tafsir-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 Madina.

(17) Like unto one who kindleth a fire, &c. The author of the notes in the Roman Urdu Quran, referring to the claim that the Quran 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


fire, and when it hath enlightened all round him, GOD taketh away their light and leaveth them in darkness, they shall 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,

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 conviction, 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 Quran 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, Jalauddin.

Abdul Qadir observes that up to this point three classes have been described - true believers, infidels, and hypocrites. This latter class is referred to in this parable. They fear the difficulties of their profession as a traveller fears the thunder in a dark night. As a traveller guided by the lightning moves on, but finding himself enveloped in darkness again stops stock-still, so the hypocrite some-times professes his faith, at other times denies it, according as his circumstances are those of peace or danger.

The Tafsir-i-Raufi explains the storm as symbolic of the dangers incurred in fighting against the infidels. The hypocrites through fear hid themselves, desiring to escape the danger; but as soon as they saw the glitter of the booty, they made great professions of loyalty to Islam. "In short, while they had the hope of securing a share in the booty, they professed themselves friendly and were fulsome in praises - but when they were confronted by the fear and toil (of the battle), they became inimical fault-finders."


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.

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(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, pro

(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 equivalant unto God, &c. This is the rational conclusion from the considerations before mentioned. It reveals to us the rand motive-power within the bosom of the Makkan reformer. He has listened to the testimony of conscience to a Supreme Being, the Creator. 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 Quran, 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 Quran - -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; yes, 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.

"If any one has a mind to test ,this boastful claim, let him read


duce 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

the 40th chapter of Isaiah, the 145th Psalm, the 38th of Job, and a hundred other passages in the Christian Scriptures, which are in style and diction superior to the Quran. It may be said that the beauty of the original cannot be rendered in a translation. Very well; this is equally true of the translations of the Christian Scriptures. Besides these there are hundreds of books which, in point of matter, arrangement, and instruction, are superior to the Quran." Thus writes the author of the notes on the Roman Urdu Quran. The same author gives the names and titles of a number of Arabic authors and books, which deny the claim of Muhammad and Muhammadans respecting the divine perfection of the Quran, among whom are the founder of the sect of the Muzdaryans, Isa-bin-Sabih, al Muzdar, and others. Gibbon describes the Quran as an "incoherent rhapsody of fable, and precept, and declamation which sometimes crawls in the dust, and sometimes is lost in the clouds." - Decline and Fall of Roman Empire, vol. i. p. 365, Milman's edition. See also Prelim. Discourse, sect. iii. p.103.

Your witnesses besides God. Your false gods and idols - said in ridicule.

(24) Whose fuel is men and stones. Men and idols. The Tafsir--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 (Jalalain) approve of this sense, supposing the fruits of paradise, though of various tastes, are alike in colour an 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.

There they shall enjoy wives subject to no impurity. "It is very remarkable that the notices in the Coran of this voluptuous paradise are almost entirely confined to a time when, whatever the tendency of his desires, Mahomet was living chaste and temperate with a single wife of three score years of age. "It is noteworthy that in the Medina Sura, that is, in all the


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 be 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 creation of heaven,

voluminous revelations of the ten years following the Hegira, women are only twice referred to as constituting one of the delights of paradise, and on both occasions in these simple words: And to them (believers) there shall be therein pure wives. Was it that the soul of Mahomet had at that period no longings after that he had then to satiety the enjoyment of? Or that a closer contact with Jewish principles and morality repressed the budding pruriency of the revelation, and covered with merited confusion the picture of his sensual paradise which had been drawn at Mecca? "- Muir's Life of Mahomet, vol. ii. p.143.

The paradise of Islam is the garden of Eden inhabited by men and women with carnal appetites of infinite capacity, and with ability and opportunity to indulge them to the full. We strain our eyes in vain to catch a glimpse of a spiritual heaven anywhere in the Quran.

(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 emloyment of such parables was beneath the dignity of God. - Abdul Qadir, Yahya, &c.

The transgressors. Infidels and hypocrites. The Tafsir-i-Raufi says the transgressors are distinguished by three characteristics: covenant-breaking, dissolving all connection with one's relatives, and quarrelsomeness. This is, of course, a mere paraphrase of the next verse.

(28) Ye were dead, &c. Sale, on the authority of Jalaluddin, 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,


and formed it into seven heavens; he knoweth all things.

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(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

lxv. 12, lxvii 3, and lxxi. 14. It is probably borrowed from the Jews.

(30) A substitute on earth. Literally, a khalifah, vicegerent.

"Concerning the creation of Adam, here intimated, the Muhammadans have several peculiar traditions. They say the angels Gabriel Michael, and Israfil were sent by God, one after another, to fetch for that purpose seven handfuls of earth from different depths and of different colours (whence some account for the various complexions of mankind); but the earth being apprehensive of the consequence, and desiring them to represent her fear to God that the creature he designed to form would rebel against him and draw down his curse upon her, they returned without performing God's command; whereupon he sent Azrail on the same errand, who executed his commission without remorse; for which reason God appointed that angel to separate the souls from the bodies, being therefore called the angel of death. The earth he had taken was carried into Arabia, to a place between Makkah and Tayif, where being first kneaded by the angels, it was afterwards fashioned by God himself into a human form, and left to dry (Quran, chap. lv. v.13) for the space of forty days, or, as others say, as many years, the angels in the meantime often visiting it, and Iblis (then one of the angels who are nearest to God's presence, afterwards the devil) among the rest; but be, not contented with looking on it, kicked it with his foot till it rung, and knowing God designed that creature to be his superior, took a secret resolution never to acknowledge him as such. After this God animated the figure of clay, and endued it with an intelligent soul, and when he had placed him in paradise formed Eve out of his left side (Jalaluddin, &c.)" - Sale.

They said, Wilt thou place there one, &c. This knowledge on the part of the angels, says the Tafsir-i-Raufi, was either derived from a divine revelation to that effect, or from a perusal of the writings on the preserved tables.

(32, 33) God said, O Adam, tell them their names. "This story Muhammad borrowed from the Jewish traditions, which say that the


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.

angels having spoken of man with some contempt when God con suited 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 Adam. 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. (Jalauddin.)"

Except Iblis. The story of Iblis and the angels probably owes its origin to Jewish tradition. The name Iblis, from balas, a wicked person, may have been derived by translation from the of the New Testament, Matt. xiii 19, 38; I John ii 13, 14. The Tafsir-i-Raufi says the name of Iblis before this disobedience was Azazil and that this name was given to indicate his now hopeless condition. Muhammad probably adopted the name most familiar to his countrymen whilst relating a story derived from Jewish sources. Muslim commentators, believing the angels to be impeccable, and denying that they propagate their species, argue that Iblis is of the genii, and the Quran, chap. xviii. 48, seems to prove that Muhammad regarded him as the father of the genii.

The whole doctrine of the Quran concerning Iblis and the genii, or Satans of the Quran, has been borrowed for the most part from the Magi of Persia, and the attempt to identify them in the Quran with the Satan and evil spirits of the Bible is so unsuccessful as to form a plain indication of the forger's hand. A comparison of the two books on this subject will reveal more than one instance when the Quran, not withatanding its boast that it preserves and confirms the teaching of the former Scriptures, fails to attest the teaching of the Bible.

Because of the number of unbelievers. Sale says, "The occasion of the devil's fall has some affinity with an opinion which has been pretty much entertained among Christians (Irenĉus, Lact., Greg. Nyssen, &c.), viz., that the angels being informed of God's intention to create man after his own image, and to dignify human nature by


(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

Christ's assuming it, some of them, thinking their glory to be eclipsed thereby, envied man's happiness, and so revolted."

(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.

This tree. "Concerning this tree, or the forbidden fruit, the Muhammadans, as well as the Christians, have various opinions. Some say it was an ear of wheat; some will have it to have been a fig-tree, and others a vine. The story of the Fall is told, with some further circumstances, in the beginning of the seventh chapter." - Sale.

But Satan. Rodwell calls attention to the change from Iblis, the calumniator, to Satan, the hater. "They have a tradition that the devil, offering to get in to paradise to tempt Adam, was not admitted by the guard; whereupon he begged of the animals, one after another, to carry him in, that he might speak to Adam and his wife; but they all refused him, except the serpent, who took him between two of his teeth, and so introduced him. They add that the serpent was then of a beautiful form, and not in the shape he now bears." - Sale.

We said, Get ye down. "The Muhammadans say that when they were cast down from paradise, Adam fell on the isle of Ceylon or Sarandib, and Eve near Jiddah (the port of Makkah) in Arabia; and that after a separation of two hundred years Adam was, on his repentance, conducted by the Angel Gabriel to a mountain near Makkah, where he found and knew his wife, the mountain being thence named Arifat, and that he afterwards retired with her to Ceylon.

"It may not be improper here to mention another tradition concerning the gigantic stature of our first parents. Their prophet, they say, affirmed Adam to have been as tall as a high palm-tree; but this would be too much in proportion, if that were really the print of his foot, which is pretended to be such, on the top of a mountain in the isle of Ceylon, thence named Pico de Adam, and by the Arab writers Rahun, being somewhat above two spans long (though others say it is seventy cubits long, and that when Adam set one foot here he had the other in the sea), and too little, if Eve were of so enormous a size, as is said, when her head lay on one hill near Makkah, her knees rested on two others in the plain, about two musket-shots asunder." - Sale

The Tafsr-i-Raufi regards these words as being addressed to the serpent as well as to Adam and Eve.

The one of you an enemy unto the other, i.e., Satan an enemy of man, or the allusion may be to enmity between Adam and Eve, typifying the enmity between the faithful and the infidels. - Tafsir-i-Raufi.


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

(36) Adam learned words of prayer, &c. There is a difference of opinion among the commentators as to what these words were. The Tafsir-i-Raufi accepts the opinion that they were the words of the creed, "La-ilama-ileal-laho, Muhammad-ur-Rusul-ullah," 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, La-ilama-ileal-laho, Muhammad-ur-Rusul-ullah written on the heavens."

The purport of the verse seems to be that God taught Adam, in a general way, the words be then revealed for the benefit of himself and his children, Adam being regarded as the prophet of God to his generation.

God turned to him, for he is easy to be reconciled. Rodwell translates, "For he loveth to turn." All the Quran requires to secure the favour of God is to repent, i.e., to submit to the will of God and ask pardon for sin.

(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" (Jalaluddin). - Sale.

And whoever shall follow my direction, &c. The Tafsir-i-Raufi conceives the idea that the story of Adam was placed at the very beginning of the Quran as a warning to all his posterity. He says, "God has narrated the story of Adam before he tells of others, in order that by showing his people how they were adored by the angels, through Adam, in whose loins they were hidden, and yet, instead of being drawn to him by his goodness, they have turned from him, broken his commandments, and have not been ashamed. Then in the expulsion of Adam from paradise, as here related, he intimates that notwithstanding the nearness of Adam to himself, and the adoration of angels bestowed upon him, yet, for one act of disobedience, was expelled from paradise; Wherefore he says, Fear me, and dare not to disobey my commands, lest I refuse to receive you into paradise at the judgment-day."

And accuse our signs of falsehood. Concerning the word here trans-


signs of falsehood, they shall be the companions of hell-fire, therein shall they remain for ever.

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(39) O children of Israel, remember my favour where-with 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 know-

lated signs Sale says, "This word has various significations in the Quran; sometimes, as in this passage it signifies divine revelation or Scripture in general, sometimes the verses of the Quran in particular, and at other times visible miracles. But the sense is easily distinguished by the context."

They shall be the companions of hell-fire, therin shall they remain forever. The sufferings of the damned are described in chap. XIV. 19-21, xxv. 11-15, xxxvii. 61 71, and lvi. 40-56. This punishment is eternal, and varies in intensity according to the heinousness of sin.

Hell is divided into seven apartments. For description of each see Preliminary Discourse, sec. iv. p.148.

(39, 40) O children of Israel, ... believe in the revelation which I hove sent down confirming that which is with you. "The Jews are here called upon to receive the Quran, 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 Jalaluddin.

For passages of the Quran attesting the genuineness of the Christian and Jewish Scriptures, see Index under the word QURAN.

A careful consideration of the import of such passages as this ought to convince every honest Muslim of the fact that Muhammad certainly did regard the Scriptures then current among Jews and Christians as the pure Word of God. If he did not, then the Quran attests, verifies, and confirms a lie! See chap. iii. 93, v.70, vi. 90, 91, x.97, and xlvi. 11.

(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 sacred books, in order to evade his claims. His charges, however, are always very vague1y worded, and his utterances upon this subject are tantamount to a strong testimony in favour of the unimpeachable integrity of the


ledge; (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 perse-

sacred book; both of the Jews and Christians, so far as he knew them." The Tafsir-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?"

The whole force of this exposition rests on the admission that the Jews were in possession of the uncorrupted Scriptures.

Again, it is noteworthy that the corruption charged is not directed against the Scriptures, but against their interpretation of those Scriptures. The author of the notes on the Roman Urdu Quran call attention to the fact, that while Muhammad would conciliate Jews and Christians by the pretence that his Quran confirms their Scriptures, he constantly misrepresents and falsifies them. This is true of both their doctrinal teaching and historical statement. It must, however, be observed that this inconsistency was not always due to the intention of the Arabian prophet, but generally to his ignorance.

(42) Stated times of prayer . . . legal alms. The prayer (sulat) 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 stereo-typed prayer. The Arabic dua expresses more nearly the Christian idea of prayer. This, too, probably corresponded more nearly to Muhammad's own idea of sulat.

Legal alms (zikat) are levied on money, grain, fruit, cattle, and merchandise. The object for which it is levied is the support of the poor. It amounts to about two and a half or three per cent on annual profits. Although these words are addressed to Jews, the prayer and alms, concerning which exhortation is made, are Muslim, i.e., of the kind and form belonging to the last dispensation of the one true religion. For nearly all the rites and forms of religion, Islam finds sanction in the volume of traditions. This fact affords a strong argument against the Quran as the inspired Scripture of a new dispensation.

(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 Qadir translates, "Get strength by toil and prayer," &c., and paraphrases, " Make it (prayer) a habit, and the duties of religion will become easy."


verance 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.

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(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 satisfacation 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

The humble, who seriously think they shall meet their Lord, and that to him they shall return. Sentiments like these exhibit the vast moral superiority of Muhammad's teaching with regard to God and man's relation to him over that of his idolatrous countrymen and of idolaters of any country. The influence of passages like this must be taken into account if we would understand the power which the Quran exerts over Muslims.

(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 Quran 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 information 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 Islam.

The author of the Tafsir-i-Raufi thinks this verse is addressed to unbelievers, and regards it as teaching the certain damnation of all who have not secured the intercession of Muhammad.

(48) They slew your male children. The Tafsir-i-Raufi gives a story which illustrates the habit of Muslim commentators of inventing history to expain the indefinite statements of the Quran. 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


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 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 und 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 Quran, 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 Samairi, 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 Samairi 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 Samairi, 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 Samairi 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 Jalaluddin.

Some writers explain that Samairi discovered the virtue of this dust of the footsteps of Gabriel's horse by observing that wherever such footsteps were there green grass immediately appeared. Others account for the voice in the golden calf by referring it to Satan, who, entering it, began to say to the people, "I am your preserver, wherefore worship me."

(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,


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

which this chapter furnishes many, wherein the Quran shows the ignorance 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, Alwah, meaning tablets) containing the ten commandments only. See Exod. xxxiv. 28.

For further exposition of discrepancy between the Quran and the Pentateuch, see comments on chap. vii., vers. 104-163, where is recorded the most detailed account of the exodus of Israel from Egypt and God's dealings with them in the wilderness to be found in the Quran.

And the DISTINCTION between good and evil. Rodwell translates, "and the illumination," chap. xxi. 49.

The Arabic word here translated distinction is Furqan, a name which, among Muslims, is given solely to the Quran. The author of the notes on the Roman Urdu Quran argues from the use of this word, which is derived from the Syraic, that Muhammad must have had access to the writings of Syrian Christians, and especially to the commentary of the Old and New Testaments by Ephraim, a Syrian, in which a great many stories similar to those of the Quran are said to be recorded, and in which the Pentateuch is uniformly called the Furqan.

That this word may have been. introduced into Muhammad's vocabulary from Syrian sources is altogether probable, but the stories of the Quran bear no traces of having been copied from, or even learned from, any written record. On the contrary, they everywhere bear the marks of having been recorded in the Quran from hearsay sources. Any written record in the hands of Muhammad would have enabled him to give more accurate statements of fact, and thus would have better coufirmed his claim that the Quran attests the former Scriptures.

The meaning of the term Furqan, as applied to Scripture, is not "that which is divided into sections" (Hughes' Notes on Muhammadanism, p.1l), but that which divides betwenn good and evil, "that peradventure ye might be directed."

(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.

Slay those among you, &c. Lit. slay one another.

"In this particular the narration agrees with that of Moses, who ordered the Levites to slay every man his brother; but the Scripture


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

says there fell of the people that day about three thousand (the Vulgate says 23,000) men; whereas the commentators of the Quran make the number of the slain to amount to 70,000; and add, that God sent a dark cloud which hindered them from seeing one another, lest the sight should move those who executed the sentence to compassion." - Sale and Jalaluddin.

(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 satistied with that, they demanded to see God; whereupon they were all struck dead by lightning."- Sale, Ismail ibn Ali, Tafsir-i-Raufi.

As this statement is nowhere corroborated in the Bible, it is probably derived from Jewish tradition.

(55) Then we raised you to life. The Tafsir-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 clonds 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 (Tafsir-i-Raufi).

Manna and quails. "The Eastern writers say these quails were of a peculiar kind, to be found nowhere but in Yaman, from whence they were brought by a south wind in great numbers to the Israelites' camp in the desert. The Arabs call these birds Salwa, which is plainly the same with the Hebrew Salwim, and say they have no bones, but are eaten whole." - Sale.

A great variety of opinions have been entertained among Muslim commentators as to what manna represents, e.g., flour, honey, heavenly gifts bestowed secretly, &c. As to the quails, some have it that they were dressed in the air and baked by the heat of the sun before they fell on the ground.

As to the Salwa having no bones (see Sale's note above), the fact is, their bones are so tender that many eat them along with the flesh.


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.

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(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

And they injured not us, but injured their own souls. Savary translates this passage, "Your murmurs have been injurious only to yourselves."

The Tafsir-i-Raufi seems to refer the injury spoken of in this verse to the wandering in the wilderness.

(57) Enter this city. Some commentators suppose this city to be Jericho, others Jerusalem. - Sale.

The author of the notes on the Roman Urdu Quran takes the allusion to be to a "city of refuge." This mixing up of events, some of which happened in the wilderness, others in the Holy Land, and still others which happened nowhere, added to which is the narration of events as occurring successively, whose chronological order is widely different, shows the ignorance of the Arabian prophet.

Say forgiveness. "The Arabic word is Hittaton, which some take to signify that profession of the unity of God so frequently used by the Muhammadans, La ilaha illa 'llaho, There is no God but God." - Sale, Jalaluddin.

(58) But the ungodly changed the expression, &c. "According to Jalaluddin, instead of Hittaton, they cried Hubbat fi shairat, 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.

Indignation from heaven. "A pestilence which carried off near seventy thousand of them." - Sale.

(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.

"They describe it to be a square piece of white marble, shaped like a man's head; wherein they differ not much from the accounts of European travellers, who say this rock stands among several lesser ones, about a hundred paces from Mount Horeb, and appears to have been loosened from the neighbouring mountains, having no coherence with the others; that it is a huge mass of red granite, almost


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.

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(61) Surely those who believe, and those who Judaize,

round on one side, and flat on the other, twelve feet high, and as many thick, but broader than it is high, and about fifty feet in circumference."- Sale, Jalaluddin.

Twelve fountains. "Marracci thinks this circumstance looks like a Rabbinical fiction, or else that Muhammad confounds the water of the rock at Horeb with the twelve wells at Elim." - Sale.

All men knew their drinking-place. Rodwell translates, "all men," but understands" each tribe." He adds, "This incident is perhaps inadvertently borrowed from Exod. XV. 27."

(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.

Moses answered... Get ye down to Egypt. According to the Pentateuch, this is not only not what Moses said, but what he would not have said. Cf. Exod. xxxii. 9-14, with Num. xiv. 13, &c.

This they suffered, because they . . . killed the prophets. Muslim commentators, following the anachronism of this passage, instance John Baptist and Zachariah as being among the martyred prophets referred to here!

(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 Quran, 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


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

followeth any other religion than Islam (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.

Rodwell identifies the Sabeites with the so-called Christians of St. John. See his note on this passage.

Brinckman thinks the fairest interpretation of this passage to be (as follows - "Jews, Christians, Sabians, whoever become Moslems, shall be saved if they become Moslems, and they shall be safe no matter what was their previous religion." - Notes on Islam, p.53

Abdul Qadir and the Tafsir-i-Raufi render the passage as making faith in God and the last day and the performance of required duty the condition of salvation, no matter whit a man's infidelity may have consisted in before he believed. They agree in regarding Jews and Christians as infidels.

The true explanation of this passage, so often quoted in controversy, will be made evident from the following considerations -

(1.) The passage is addressed to the People of the Book (Ahl-i-Kitab), as appears from the context. Rodwell describes the "Sabeans" correctly.

(2.) Muhammad did not regard all Jews and Christians as infidels (chap. iii. 113 and 199). He everywhere describes Islam as the one only true religion given by God to men through the medium of the prophets. It was the religion of Adam, of Noah, of Abraham, of Moses, and of Jesus. Jews and Christians, &c., therefore, who believed "in God and the last day," and did "that which was right," were true Muslims. Only those Jews and Christians who rejected Muhammad as the prophet of God are stigmatised as infidels. In this passage and passages of similar purport Muhammad assumes that be is the prophet of the true faith, and really strives to conciliate Jews and Christians by endorsing their religion as true. He would have them abjure the errors into which they had fallen, and return to the simple faith and practice of their, or rather God's religion, as now taught by the prophet of God.

It follows from this, that as a true Jew must receive Jesus Christ, and hence become a Christian, if he would be saved, so a true Chris-


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

tian must receive Muhammad and hence become a Muhammadan, if he would be saved.

Granting, as Muslims do that Muhammad is the prophet be claimed to be, there is nothing in this passage inconsistent with his usual teaching as to the way of salvation.

(62) Lifted up the mountain of Sinai 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 Qadir.

Rodwell has clearly demonstrated the Jewish origin of this statement.

(63) After this ye again turned back. Some commentators (Tafsir-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 old David some Israelites dwelt at Ailah or Elath, on the Red Sea, where on the light 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 persuasion 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


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.

people remained three days in this condition, and were afterwards destroyed by a wind which swept them all into the sea."-Sale.

Rodwell says there is no trace of this legend in the Talmudists. Comp. chap. vii. 164.

The Tafsir-i-Raufi says the number thus changed into apes was seventy thousand a number very commonly assigned by Muslim writers to every display of divine judgment.

(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 market-place, 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 friends1 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 apart of it, revived, and standing up, named the person who had killed him, after which it immediately felt down dead again. The whole story seems to be

1 The Tafsir-i-Raufi has it that the murderer himself became the accuser, and set up a claim for compensation against his neighbours.


(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

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.

The Tafsir-i-Raufi, dilating on this story at great length, gives it with some variations from the version given above, yet substantially the same story.

This piece of history is manifestly manufactured by the commentators to explain a very obscure passage. The substance of the story is gathered from the Quran see succeeding verses). The passage is of an additional proof that Muhammad was not in possession of a copy of the Jewish Scriptures. His information must have been received from some one who was himself ignorant of the Scriptures. Certainly Muhammad could not have garbled the Mosaic account to make his Quran appear as a new revelation, as has been charged upon him (Notes on Roman Urdu Quran). A deliberate garbler, with the Pentateuch before him, would have done better work. The passage is perfectly incoherent, as the invented history of the Muslim commentators shows.

(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

It seems to me the peculiar colour is here intended as a sign to indicate what cow. The succeeding question, as well as the preceding, desiring that Moses should pray for them, is presented to show the unbelief and hardness of heart on the part of the Jews. They doubt the inspiration of Moses, wherefore these numerous questions. See Tafsir-i-Raufi, in loco.

(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 Quran is a very different thing from that attributed to them


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.

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(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 sacred 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

in the Bible. This fact affords another instance of the falsehood of the claim that the Quran attests the Christian Scriptures (cli. xii. 111).

They wanted but little of leaving it undone "Because of the exorbitant price which they were obliged to pay for the heifer."- Sale, and the Tafsir-i-Raufi.

(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 Tafsir-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).

Others have fallen down for fear of God. Some think the allusion here to be to the tottering of the rocks from the mountain-side under an earthquake shock. Others have quoted much tradition to show the literal fulfilment of this in connection with the prophet, stones doing obeisance to him See Tafsir-i-Raufi.

(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?"

The negative here suggested as an answer to this question throws


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

some light on the various examples of Jewish unbelief related in the preceding context, the narration of which closes with the preceding verse. The object of these statements is primarily to show the similarity of Arabia's prophet to Moses, and, secondarily, to arouse in Arab minds that fanatical hatred of the Jews which was soon to vent itself on the Bani Quraidha and other tribes. See Muir's Life of Mahomet, vol. iii. p p. 255-291.

Yet a part of them heard ... then perverted it. They listened with apparent interest to the words of the Quran, and gave Muhammad reason to believe they received it as the Word of God, but after wards were led to change their minds, probably through the influence of their more stable-minded brethren.

(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.

The Tafsir-i-Raufi instances Qab, who was assassinated about this time by the order or consent of Muhammad, on account of his opposition to Islam, as one of these hypocrites.

When they are privately assembled together, they say, &c. Abdul Qadir translates "one says to another," instead of "they say." He comments as follows : - "The hypocrites were in the habit of telling the Muslims, in order to win their favour, what was written in their books concerning Muhammad; but his enemies, finding fault with them, objected to their placing such proofs in their hands," i.e., of the Muslims. Does not this verse throw some light on the source from which Muhammad obtained the garbled accounts of the history and experience of the prophets found in his Quran? Ignorant Jews related the stories imperfectly to the followers of Muhammad, who repeated them still more imperfectly to their prophet, who embodied them in the Quran.

(77) Illiterate men . . . who know not the book." Among them the


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 GOD to 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

vulgar know the Pentateuch only by tradition. They have but a blind belief." - Savary.

The author of the notes to the Roman Urdu Quran well observes that this passage implies that, in Muhammad's estimate, the Jewish Scriptures were extant and entirely credible, and that they were read and understood by their doctors.

(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 to God or his the prophet." - Abdul Qadir.

The inference drawn by modern Muslims from passages like this, that, according to the Quran the Jewish and Christian Scriptures have been corrupted, and are therefore no longer credible, is entirely unjustifiable. Admitting the charge made here against certain Jews to be true (and the Christian need not deny it), it proves nothing concerning the text of present copies. On the contrary, the charge implies the existence, at that date, of genuine copies.

That they may sell it for a small price. This formula occurs repeatedly in the Quran. Its meaning is, that the gain arising from such a course would be small compared with the loss of the soul in hell.

The Tafsir-i-Raufi relates a story to the effect that certain Jews were bribed to pervert the Mosaic description of Antichrist or Dajjal, so as to make him correspond in size, complexion, and otherwise to Muhammad.

(79) A certain number of days. "That is, says Jalaluddin, 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 polytheism or idolatry, which sin, the Mu-


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.

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(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,

hammadans 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.

The final pardon of sin, however, is true only of Muslims. For the kafir or infidel i.e., any one who rejects Islam, there is eternal burning (chaps. xi. 53 and xli. 28).

Companions of fire. The Quran everywhere represents the pains of hell as being those produced by fire. Everywhere the prophet seems to gloat over the horror of the punishment meted out to the lost in perdition. See references in Index under the word HELL.

(81) But they who believe and do good works, i.e., Muslims performing the duties required by their profession.

The statement made in these verses would seem to contradict that of such passages as speak of salvation by the grace of God, e.g., chap. xxiv. 21. But there is not necessarily any more contradiction here than in similar passages of the Bible, where the doctrines of faith and works seem to be inconsistent with each other. The grace of God is bestowed upon the ground of faith, which is inseparable from good works.

(82) The covenant of the children of Israel, &c. It is noteworthy that the Quran 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 Quran - 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 Quran from the charge of deliberate forgery and conscious imposture.


except a few of you, and retired afar off. (83) And when we accepted your covenant, saying, Ye 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.

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(86) We formerly delivered the book of the law unto

(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 Nadhir, 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 Jalaluddin.

(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 Islam among its votaries.

Shall not be helped. By the intercession of prophets and angels to save them from wrath on the judgment-day.

(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


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

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." - Tafsir-i-Raufi.

This authority states, in this same connection, that a prophet was sent at the beginning of every century, and that at the beginning of each millennium a great prophet (Nabi ul Azim) was sent. This state of things continued until the coming of Muhammad, who, being the last of the prophets, closed the book of inspiration and established the true faith in perfection. He does not, however, seem to see the inconsistency of this theory with the fact of the four thousand prophets belonging to the Mosaic dispensation before mentioned? nor does he show by what process the disposition of doctors of divinity to corrupt the text of Scripture has been changed in the last dispensation. If the former Scriptures were corrupted in spite of the four thousand prophets, how about the Quran in a dispensation devoid of prophets?

And gave evident miracles to Jesus the son of Mary. These were - (1) speaking when an infant in his mother's arms; (2) making birds of clay when a child, and causing them to fly away; (3) healing the blind-born; (4) cleansing lepers; and (5) raising the dead. See chaps. 5. iii. 48 and v.110.

These passages, while recognising Jesus as a worker of miracles, everywhere ascribe them to divine power external to him. He is only "the son of Mary."

And strengthened him with the Holy Spirit. "We must not imagine Muhammad here means the Holy Ghost in the Christian acceptation. The commentators say this spirit was the angel Gabriel, who sanctified Jesus and constantly attended on him." -Sale, Jalaluddin

In chap. iv. 169, Jesus is said to be "a spirit proceeding from God," so that he would appear, according to the Quran, to be the Holy Ghost. Muslims even accord to his followers the creed, "There is one God, and Jesus is the Spirit of God," as expressive of the truth. In chap. xxi. 91, Mary's conception is said to have been due to the breathing by God of his spirit into her. And in chap. iii. 45, Jesus is called the "Word proceeding from Himself," i.e., God. Now, while it is certain that these expressions, and many others of a similar import in the Quran, do express the doctrine of the divinity of Jesus, as well as of the Holy Ghost, it is perfectly clear that Muhammad never intended to express that idea. For instance, in chap. iii. 47, it is evident that Muhammad regarded Jesus as a creature. And in chap. iv. 169, 170, where Jesus is called the "word which he (God) conveyed into Mary, and a spirit proceeding from him," this very expression, which is one of the strongest in the


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

Quran, is followed by the command, "Say not, there are three Gods," which is evidently intended to deny the idea of the divinity of Jesus as well as of Mary. Nevertheless, the fact of such expressions being used in the Quran can only be explained on the ground that they were in use among the Arabs in Muhammad's time in a Christian sense, and that Muhammad either used them, while explaining away their meaning, in order to commend his doctrine to Christians, or, as is more probable, be used them without understanding their Christian import himself. See Muir's Life of Mohamet, vol. ii. p.138.

The unintentional testimony of Muhammad to the character of Jesus is a subject worthy the study of the Christian controversialist.

The Tafsir-i-Husaini gives four opinions of Muslim commentators as to the import of the expression "holy spirit:" (1.) The holy soul of Jesus; (2.) the angel Gabriel; (3.) a potent name whereby he was able to raise the dead; and (4.) the Gospel.

And accuse some of imposture. The prophet of Arabia as is his wont, here likens the treatment he received at the hands of the Jews to that endured by Jesus, whom they rejected as an impostor. The passage shows that Muhammad was regarded as an impostor by the Jews of Madina at least.

(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."

Savary has it: "God cursed them because of their perfidy. Oh, how small is the number of the true believers ."

(88) And when a book came unto them from God. The Quran, which Muhammad here distinctly claims to be the Word of God.

They had before prayed, &c.: "The Jews in expectation of the coming of Muhammad (according to the tradition of his followers), used this prayer: O God, help us against the unbelievers by the prophet who is to be sent in the last times." -Sale.

Which they knew to be from God. Another charge of deliberate rejection of his claims.

(89) Out of envy, because God sendeth down his favours to such of his servants as he pleaseth. Envious of "the gift of the prophetic office, &c., to a pagan Arab, and not to a Jew."-Rodwell.


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

"It is remarkable that Muhammad accuses the Jews of rejecting him for the same reason their elders and priests had refused Christ, namely, for envy."- Brinckman, Notes on Islam.

This assumption of Muhammad, like that of deliberate rejection of him whom they knew to be the prophet of God, and of that which they knew to be the Word of God (i.e., the Quran, see ver. 88), is purely gratuitous. He had failed to give his Jewish hearers one single good reason for believing him to be sent of God as a prophet.

R. Bosworth Smith (Mohammed and Mohammedanism, p.14, second edition) is surprised "that the avowed relation of Christianity to Judaism has not protected Islam from the assaults of Christian apologists, grounded on its no less explicitly avowed relation to the two together." But surely "avowed" relationship can afford no protection to any religion against assault. The avowed relationship must be proven to be genuine. Mere assertions on the part of Jesus never could have established any relationship between Christianity and Judaism. This relationship is only established by showing Christianity to be a development of Judaism - a development demanded by Judaism itself. Until it can be shown that Islam is a further development of both Judaism and Christianity, all "avowed" relationship counts for nothing. The ground of assault on the part of Christian apologists is the manifest disagreement between Islam and its "avowed relation" to Christianity.

(90) That which God hath sent down. The Quran. The Tajsir-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 Quran alone, and the allusion here must be to the same thing.

That which hath been sent down to us. The Pentateuch.

They reject . . . the truth, confirming that which is with them. See note on ver. 40. This statement, so frequently reiterated, is one of the chief of the points inviting attack upon the Quran. The question to be decided is one of fact. Does the Quran confirm the doctrine, the history, and the plan of salvation by atonement set forth in the writings of Moses? If not, then the Quran is a forgery, and Muhammad an impostor, the Quran being witness.

Muslims are so thoroughly convinced of the force of this argument against them that they see no way of evading it except in the claim that the Pentateuch now in use among Jews and Christians is in whole or in part a forgery.

Say, Why therefore have ye slain the prophets of God? See Matt. xxiii. 37. So Rodwell; but see also notes on ver. 60.


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;

(91) The calf. See notes on ver. 50.

(92) Lifted the mountain of Sinai over you. See note on ver. 62.

We have heard and rebelled. Muslim commentators express a variety of opinions in regard to these words, e.g., they cried aloud "we have heard," but said softly "and rebelled," or "we have heard" with our ears "and rebelled" with our hearts, or that their fathers heard and they rebelled; or that some said "we have heard," and others "and rebelled ;" or, finally, that two different occasions are referred to, one of obedience and another of rebellion. See Tafsir-i-Raufi.

Say, A grievous thing, &c. "Muhammad here infers from their forefathers' disobedience in worshipping the calf, at the same time that they pretended to believe in the law of Moses, that the faith of the Jews in his time was as vain and hypocritical, since they rejected him, who was foretold therein, as an impostor." - Sale, Yahya, Baidhawi.

(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 out no hope of salvation to such as reject Islam. The Tafsir-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


(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.

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(96) Say, Whoever is an enemy to Gabriel (for he hath caused the Quran 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

where he says, that some men's sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment." - Sale.

God knoweth the wicked-doers. This, with a multitude of similar passages in the Quran, clearly emphasises the truth of God's omniscience. it is one of those truths which has given Islam so much moral power, and which asserts its superiority over the various forms of heathenism with which it comes in contact. Such truths regarding God account in great measure for its influence as a "missionary religion."

(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.

That Michael was really the protector or guardian angel of the Jews we know from Scripture (Dan. xii. I); and it seems that Gabriel was, as the Persians call him, the angel of revelations, being frequently sent on messages of that kind (Dan. viii. 16; ix 21; Luke i. 19, 26); for which reason it is probable Muhammad pretended he was the angel from whom he received the Quran." - Sale, Jalaluddin, Yahya.

(98) Evident signs, "i.e. the revelations of this book."-Sale. "The Quran and miracles" -Tafsir-i-Raufi. The word Ayat, here translated sign, is that which is used to denote the various sections or verses of the Quran. 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 Qunan, as Sale has it.

As to the claim of Muslim tradition and of modern Muhammadans that Muhammad wrought miracles, it is sufficient to say that such a claim is made directly in opposition to the repeated declaration of the Quran to the contrary. See vers. I 18, I 19; chap. iii. 184, 185; chap. vii. 34-36, 109, 111; chap. X. 21, &c.


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, Harut and Marut: yet those two taught no men until they had said, Verily we are a temptation, therefore be not an

(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, Jalaluddin.

"Babel is regarded by the Muslims as the fountain-head of the science of magic. They suppose Harut and Marut to be two angels who, in consequence of their want of compassion for the frailties of mankind, were sent down to earth to be tempted. They both sinned; and being permitted to choose whether they would be punished now or hereafter, chose the former, and are still suspended by the feet at Babel in a rocky pit, and are the great teachers of magic." - Lane on ch. iii., note 14, of the Thousand and One Nights See also Rodwell's note.

Harut and Marut. "Some say only that these were two magicians or angels sent by God to teach men magic and to tempt them; but others tell a longer fable, that the angels expressing their surprise at the wickedness of the sons of Adam, after prophets had been sent


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.

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(103)O true believers, say not to our apostle, "Raina;" but say "Undhurna;" and hearken: the infidels shall suffer a grievous punishment. (104) It is not the desire of the un

to them with divine commissions, God bid them choose two out of their own number to be sent down to be judges on earth. Where-upon they pitched upon Harut and Marut, who executed their office with integrity for some time, till Zuharah, or the planet Venus, descended and appeared before them in the shape of a beautiful woman, bringing a complaint against her husband (though others say she was a real woman). As soon as they saw her they fell in love with her, and endeavoured to prevail on her to satisfy their desires; but she flew up again to heaven, whither the two angels also returned, but were not admitted. However, on the intercession of a certain pious man, they were allowed to choose whether they would be punished in this life or in the other; whereupon they chose the former, and now suffer punishment accordingly in Babel where they are to remain till the day of judgment. They add that if a man has a fancy to learn magic, he may go to them, and hear their voice, but cannot see them.

"The Jews have something like this of the angel Shamhozai, who having debauched himself with women, repented, and by way of penance hung himself up between heaven and earth. (See Bereshit Rabbah in Gen. vi. 2)." - Sale, Yahya, Jalaluddin, &c.

(103) Say no to our Apostle, "Raina;" but say "Undhurna." "Those two Arabic words have both the same signification, viz., Lock 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 rua, which signifies to be bad or mischievous." - Sale, Jalaluddun.

"Raina," as pronounced, means in Hebrew, "our bad one;" but in Arabic, "look on us." - Rodwell, Abdul Qadir.

(105) Whatever verse we shall abrogate, or cause thee to forget, we will bring a better than it, or one like unto it. "Imam Baghawi says, - that the number of abrogated verses has been variously estimated


believers, either among those unto whom the scriptures have been given, or among the idolaters, that any good should be sent down unto you from your LORD: but GOD will appropriate his mercy unto whom he pleaseth; for GOD is exceeding beneficent. (105) Whatever verse we shall abrogate, or cause thee to forget, we will bring a better than

from five to five hundred." - Hughes' Introduction to the Roman Urdu Quran 1876, p. xix.

The Tafsir Fatah-ul-Aziz describes three classes of abrogated passages: (1.) one verse or passage is substituted for another; (2.) where the meaning and force of a passage is abrogated by the addition of another passage, both passages being retained in the book; and (3.) where the passage is removed entirely from both the book and the memory of those who may have heard it. See on this subject Introduction to Muir's Life of Mahomet, pp. xxii. and xxvi., also Preliminary Discourse, p. 110.

Brinckman, in his Notes on Islam, draws from this passage the following conclusion: - "If God gave verses to Muhammad and then cancelled them, it utterly destroys the notion that the original of the present Quran, as we now have it, was written on the preserved table from all eternity by God. If it be said that God thought it better to withdraw some verses after declaring them it looks as if God, like man, did not know the future; and as we do not know for a certainty what words were cancelled, we cannot tell which verse it is best for us to attend to."

The doctrine of abrogation, as taught in this passage and others (xiii. 39 and xvi. 103), sprang up during Muhammad's prophetic career as a matter of necessity. The prophetic passages being delivered piecemeal, and generally as the religious or political circumstances of the prophet demanded, it came to pass that some of the later deliverances were contradictory to former ones. The Jews, ever alert in their opposition to the pretensions of the new religion, pointed out the discrepancies already manifest in the so-called revelations. Objections of this order could not but seriously influence the popularity of the prophet among his countrymen, and even jeopardise his credit in the eyes of his own followers. Under circumstances like these Muhammad promulgated the doctrine of abrogation, a doctrine which not only secured the allegiance of those whose faith had been shaken by Jewish objections, but which has served to strengthen his followers in all ages in their controversy with Jews and Christians.

The claim of the commentators is: (1.) That God is a sovereign, and is therefore at liberty to change or abolish his laws at his own discretion; (2.) that abrogation on his part does not imply any imperfection in the laws changed or abo1ished, as Jews and Christians had declared, but that circumstances of time, place, &c., called forth new laws, rites, and ceremonies. All God's laws, rites, and ceremonies, ordained for the guidance of his creatures, are good and


it, or one like unto it. Dost thou not know that GOD is almighty? (106) Dost thou not know that unto GOD belongeth the kingdom of heaven and earth? neither have ye any protector or helper except GOD. (107) Will ye require of your apostle according to that which was formerly required of Moses? but he that hath exchanged faith

true for the time and under the circumstances in which they were given and for which they were intended.

Now, while it may be admitted that the abrogated passages of the Quran may thus be upheld against the objection that they militate against the perfection of the divine character, assuming, as Muslims do, the inspiration of the Quran, yet this doctrine will not serve their purpose when applied to the alleged abrogation of the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments.

On this point it becomes us to admit freely that God has abrogated in one age rites ceremonies, and laws which were commanded in another. We claim this much in our controversy with Jews concerning the rites and ordinances of the Mosaic dispensation relating to clean and unclean meats, sacrifices and offerings, the observance of certain feasts, holy days, pilgrimmages, &c. This doctrine is clearly maintained by the Apostle Paul in is Epistle to the Galatians and by the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews.

But when the Muslim principle of abrogation to the great cardinal doctrines of the Christian faith, as taught consistently throughout the whole Bible, and thus attempts to reconcile concerning the former Scriptures with the contradictory teachings of the Quran concerning the being and attributes of God, the Trinity, the Sonship of Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the Atonement, not to mention historical facts and the spirit of prophecy, the Christian does fairly take exception to this doctrine of abrogation. No amount of argument can ever so reconcile the Quran with the former Scriptures, which it professes to confirm, as to make it possible to accept both as the Word of God. If the Bible be acknowledged to be the Word of God (and every Muslim is bound to do so) then, all reasonable concession to the doctrine of abrogation being made, the Quran must still be rejected.

Dost not thou know that God is Almighty? This is given so the reason why God may abrogate any portion of his Word. It is the reason given by all Muslim commentators. "He can do as he pleases." But God cannot lie. He cannot deny eternal truth, historical facts, and his own nature. "He cannot deny himself." Compare the teaching of Jesus in Matt v. 17.

(107) That which was formerly required of Moses? "Jalaluddin says that what the Jews required of Moses was that they might see God manifestly. The Tafsir 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


for infidelity, hath already erred from the straight way. (108) Many of those unto whom the scriptures have been given, desire to render you again unbelievers, after ye have believed; out of envy from their souls, even after the truth is become manifest unto them; but for-give them and avoid them, till GOD shall send his command; for GOD is omnipotent.


(109) Be constant in prayer, and give alms; and what good ye have sent before for your souls, ye shall find it with GOD; surely GOD seeth that which ye do. (110) They say, Verily none shall enter paradise, except they who are Jews or Christians: this is their wish. Say, Produce your proof of this, if ye speak truth. (111) Nay, but he who resigneth himself to GOD, and doth that which is right, he shall have his reward

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 Urdu Quran.

(108) Out of envy from their souls, &c. See notes on ver. 89.

But forgive them, and avoid them. These words indicate the policy of Muhammad, so long as he was too weak to use the more convincing argument of the sword in the controversy with the powerful Jewish tribes of Madina. The faithful were not to wage war against them, but to forgive them, and to prevent their exercising any evil influence, they were to be avoided. The Tafsir-i-Raufi paraphrases this passage thus: "Forgive and pass them by, until God reveal his command concerning their slaughter or their payment of tribute."

(109) Be constant in prayer. Prayer is the first of the five principal duties of the Muslim. It consists in the offering of 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.

And alms. The giving of zakat, or legal and obligatory alms, is another of the five duties. The idea was probably borrowed from the Jewish tithes. See note on ver. 42, and Preliminary Discourse, p.172.

(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 Madina and the Christians of Najran, each of them asserting that those of their religion only should be saved." - Sale, Jalaluddin. See note on ver. 61.

(111) Say, but he who resigneth himself to God, and doth that which


with his LORD: there shall come no fear on them, neither shall they be grieved.

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(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

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 Jalaluddin 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 Quran 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, Jalaluddin.

Yet they both read the Scriptures. This is further testimony to the Jewish and Christian Scriptures, as not only extant and in general use among Jews and Christians, but also to their credibility. The plain inference from this passage is that Muhammad regarded them as genuine. Whence then the ground for the charge made by him that the Jews and Christians changed and corrupted their Scriptures (ver. 41)? The answer is, that he did not charge upon them the crime of corrupting the text, but of perverting and concealing the meaning of their Scriptures.

The charge made by modern Muslims as to the corruption of the Bible text cannot be justified by any fair interpretation of the Quran. This is an arrow borrowed from the quiver of Christian infidelity.

They who know not the Scripture. The heathen Arabs, who sided with Jews and Christians in their debates.

(113, 114) Who is more unjust than he who prohibiteth the temples God, &c. "Or hindereth men from paying their adorations to


have shame in this world, and in the next a grievous punishment. (115) To GOD belongeth 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

God in those sacred places. This passage, says Jalaluddin, 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.

But Rodwell points out that this verse is misplaced here, in case it has reference to the Makkans who obstructed Muhammad's visit to the Kaabah in the sixth year of the Hijra.

"Muhammad little thought how this verse foreshadowed his successors. The Mosque of Omer at Jerusalem and the Mosque of St. Sophia will occur to the reader." - Brinckman's Notes on Islam.

Those men cannot enter therein but with fear. This verse is referred to as authority for excluding Christians from the Musjid, especially from the Kaabah.

(115) Whithersoever ye turn yourself 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.

For God is omnipresent and omniscient. This is given as the reason for requiring no Qibla. Even the Muslim must be struck with the very strange inconsistency between this reasonable statement and the reason assigned in ver. 145 for the command to turn to Makkah as the Qibla.

(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, Tafsir-i-Raufi.

This charge indicates the ignorance of the Arabian prophet. Neither Jews nor Christians ever said God begot children in the sense here ascribed. The charge was probably due to an inference drawn from the language used by Christians, and perhaps by Jews, in speaking of Christ an his people as the "Son of God" and" the children of God." The charge against the Jews that they called Ezra the Son of God (chap. x.30) is entirely without proof, and altogether beyond the region of probability.

(117) Be, and it is. The doctrine that God creates out of nothing is here clearly recognized. Also his entire sovereignty over all things.


heaven and earth; and when he decreeth 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

(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.

We have already shown manifest signs. Muhammad here probably alludes to the verses (Ayat, signs) of the Quran as manifest signs to believers.

(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 Quran 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 perauasion. The pains consequent on unbelief were the pains of hell-fire. Believers were not yet made by the power of the sword.

Thou shall not be questioned concerning the companions of hell. Tafsir Husaini says these words were spoken in reply to the inquiry of Muhammad concerning his parents who had died in idolatry. The meaning, however, seems to be that the prophet was not to dispute, but simply to proclaim the truth. If men would not believe, the responsibility rested with them. They thereby proved themselves to be companions of hell.

(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 faith of Abraham Moses, and Jesus. Even Muhammad recognizes "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,


given the book of the Quran and who read it with its true reading, they believe therein; and whoever believeth not therein, they shall perish.

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(122) O children of Israel, remember my favor 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.

supplies the words "of the Quran" 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., Islam, 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."

We have in this passage a distinct witness of Muhammad himself to the genuineness and credibility of the Scriptures extant in his own time, and in use among Jews and Christians.

(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 Islam.

This verse and the next are identical with vers. 46 and 47.

(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, pilgrimage to the Kaabah, several rites of purification, and the like." - Sale.

Which he fulfilled. Which Abraham fulfilled by leaving his home and country, and, as Muslims believe, by offering up Ismail as a sacrifice. chap. xxxvii. 101-107.

Verily I will constitute thee a model of religion. "I will establish thee the leader of the people."- Savary.

"I have rather expressed the meaning than truly translated the Arabic word Imam, which answers to the Latin Antiutes. This title the Muhammadans give to their priests who begin the prayers in their mosques, and whom all the congregation follow."- Sale.


(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 Ismail, 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)

(125) The holy house. "That is, the Kaabah, which isusually 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.

The station of Abraham. "A place so called within the inner enclosure of the Kaabah where they pretend to show the print of his foot in a stone."- Sale ,

According to the Tafsir-i-Raufi, Abraham visited the house of Ismail in his absence, but not liking the treatment he received from his wife, left with her a message or his son which was understood by Ismail to express a desire that he should divorce his wife. This he did, when he married another. Abraham came again in the absence of his son, and being urged by his daughter-in-law to descend from his camel and to permit her to was to wash his head, he declared that, owing to a vow not to leave his camel till he had completed his journey, he could not get down. Being pressed, however, he so far consented, that with one foot on his camel and the other on a stone he had his head washed! This is "the place of Abraham."

And we covenanted with Abraham and Ismail &c. The purpose of this passage seems to have been: (1.) To confirm in Arab minds their own traditions respecting Abraham and Ismail as the founders of the temple at Makkah and (2.) to present the prophet of Arabia as a reformer of Makkan idolatry, as Abraham was said to have been.

Throughout the Quran Muhammad endeavours very adroitly on the one hand to imitate the Old Testament prophets, and on the other to make it appear that the circumstances of trial and opposition under which the Old Testament prophets laboured were precisely similar to those under which he labored.

For most satisfactory reasons for regarding this whole Muslim history of Abraham and Ismail as utterly unworthy of the least credit, see Introduction to Muir's Life of Mahomet, pp. cxciii, cxciv., and ccix. note.

The adoption of Arab and Jewish legend current in his day as true, and the promulgation of it as of divine authority, might be reconciled with the theory that Muhammad, though self-deceived, yet was honest in his prophetic character. But when we add to this his vacillation between the temples at Makkah and Jerusalem, fixing on the latter first, then expressing himself indifferent to either an finally settling on Makkah, the inconsistency is a little too striking to tally with such a theory.


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 bestow 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 Ismail 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 say declare thy signs unto them, and teach them the book of the Quran and wisdom, and may purify them; for thou art mighty and wise.

(127) And when Abraham and Ismail raised the foundations of the house, &c. Muir, in his Life of Mahomet, Introduction, pp. cxci. and cxcli., shows the whole story to be most clearly a legendary fiction.

(128) Lord, make us also resigned. "The Arabic word is Muslimuna, in the singular Muslim, which the Muhammadans take as a title peculiar to themselves. The Europeans generally write and pronounce it Musalman."- Sale.

Rodwell has greatly improved the translation by retaining the original form of the word, "Lord, make us also Muslims, and our posterity a Muslim people" &c

(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.

Underlying these words there is the claim of the Quraish to be the children of Abraham, a claim which has little positive evidence in its favour. The negative proof derived from the fact that the Jews never denied it is, after all, very much weakened when we consider that a claim to be an Ishmaelite would be a matter of small interest to a Jew; besides, the general ignorance of Arabia and its people prevalent everywhere would naturally lead them to regard all Arabs as Ishmaelites. Under such circumstances, the silence of the Jews carries little weight with it.

"And wisdom, i.e., the meaning of the Quran, or its declarations as to things required and forbidden, as to things clean and unclean, and thus through the law to purify them." -Tafsir-i-Raufi.


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(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 Abraham 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 Ismail, 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,

(130) The religion of Abraham, i.e., Islam. 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 Islam, 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 Islam 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 Islam 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.

Ye shall not be questioned concerning that which they have done. Neither their virtues nor their vices will be accredited to you. - Every man shall answer for his own sin. See chap. xxxv. 19.

They say, Become Jews or Christians, that ye may be directed. Say, Nay, &c. We here learn the estimate which Muhammad put


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 Ismail, 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

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."

The orthodox, Arabic Hanif, meaning one who has turned from good to bad, or from bad to good. Here the meaning is one who has turned from idolatry to the worship of the true God. See Rodwell's note on p. xvi. 121.

(136) Say, We believe in God, and that which hath been sent down to us, &c. No passage in the Quran sets forth more clearly than this the claims of Islam. 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 Islam stands. The controversy between the Christian and the Muslim is, mainly, one as to fact. The principal question is, Does Islam 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).

That which hath been sent down unto Abraham, &c... we make no distinction between any of them. Two points of importance in the controversy with Muslims may be noted here : - First, it is here asserted that written revelations (books) like unto the Quran were "sent down" from God "unto Abraham, and Ismail, and Isaac, aud Jacob." Where is the evidence of the truth of these statements? Where the proof that Ismail was a prophet at all? The Muslim will say that the testimony of the Quran is sufficient evidence. This is the argument of Muhammad himself in the next verse. But this same statement declares that the writings of Moses and Jesus are, equally with the Quran, to be regarded as the inspired Word of God. This is our second point. If, now, the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments contradict or fail to corroborate these assertions of the Quran, then the Quran points to the evidence which refutes its own statements. The assertion of modern Muslims, that these books, the writings of Moses and Jesus included, are no longer


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 GOD have we received, and who is better than GOD to baptize? him do

extant, and that the books in the hands of Jews and Christians are either forgeries or old copies of the Scripture so full of corruptions as to be no longer credible, is itself evidence of the desperation of the Muslim apologist. Such an assertion is, of course, incapable of proof. Notwithstanding, it is marvellous with what pertinacity the assertion continues to be made.

(137) If they turn back, they are in schism. This last clause is translated in Rodwell, "they cut themselves off from you;" in the Tafsir-i-Raufi, "are in opposition and enmity to you;" in Abdul Qadir's translation, "are opposed to you."

On his entry into Madina, Muhammad courted the favour of the Jews. Hoping to bring them over to acknowledge his prophetic pretensions, he expressed much reverence for the patriarchs of the Jews, and especially for Abraham, "the orthodox." A similar desire to win the influence of the Abyssinian "Najashi," and the Christian tribes of Yaman, drew forth from him similar expressions of respect for Jesus. His was the religion of Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. Why should they not acknowledge him, seeing he had been sent to confirm the Scriptures of both Jew and Christian? His neighbors and fellow-townsmen, the Jews, demanded of him the proof of his claim. Failing to satisfy this very reasonable demand, he soon found the Jews to be his keenest opponents, whose objections he could not silence, save by the assassin's knife and the fanatic's sword. This verse marks the growing antipathy towards these. Failure to obey the "prophet" was now evident apostasy from God; refusal to accept the doctrines of Islam, evidence of enmity toward the Muslims.

God will support thee against them. The bloody triumph over the Bani Quraidha and the Bani Nadhir is here foreshadowed. Argument and miracle being denied him, Muhammad still relies on God. With this faith he instigates the assassination of Abu Afak, of Kab, and Ibn Sanina; exiles the Bani Nadhir and Qainucaa; and orders the slaughter of eight hundred men of the Bani Quraidha in cold blood.

It is said that the blood of the Khalifah Othman, which was shed by an assassin's hand while reading the Quran, fell upon the words of this verse. See Rodwell in loco.

(138) The baptism of God have we received. Rodwell translates this passage, Islam is the baptism of God," but says, "The original simple has Baptism of God. This may be understood either of Islam generally, or, with Ullman, in the more restricted sense of circumcision."

Sale says, "By baptism is to be understood the religion which God


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 Ismail, 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.


(142) The foolish men will say, What hath turned them from their Qibla, towards which they formerly prayed? Say, unto GOD belongeth the east and the west: he directeth whom he pleaseth into the right

instituted in the beginning; because the signs of it appear in the person who professes it, as the signs of water appear in the clothes of him that is baptized."

Abdul Qadir translates it "The Colour of God," and comments thus in the margin: "The Christians had a custom that when any one was introduced into their religion, they prepared a yellow colouring matter with which they coloured the man's clothes and person. This verse was spoken in opposition to this practice." The Tafsir-i-Raufi gives the same translation, and refers it to the baptism of infants by immersion in water coloured yellow, which was used for their purification. He understands the verse to mean, "that purification of Muslims from the contamination of idols by faith in God."

(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, Jalaluddin.

(140) Jews or Christians. The author of the notes on the Roman Urdu Quran calls attention to the anachronism of applying the names "Jew" and "Christian" to those who were dead centuries before these titles had any existence.

Who hideth the testimony, &c. "The Jews are again accused of corrupting and suppressing the prophecies in the Pentateuch relating to Muhammad."- Sale.

On this subject see further Prelim. Disc., p. 106, and notes on verse 74.

(142) What hath turned them from their Qibla &c? "At first, Muhammad and his followers observed no particular rite in turning


way. (143) Thus have we placed you, O Arabians, an intermediate nation, that ye may be witness against the rest of mankind, and that the apostle may be a witness

their faces towards any certain place or quarter or the world when they prayed, it being declared to be perfectly indifferent (ver. II 5). Afterwards, when the prophet fled to Madina, 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, Jalaluddin.

The "foolish men" were the Jews and the disaffected among the people of Madina. Their folly consisted in their inability to reconcile the statement of Muhammad in ver. 115, and his practice, for fifteen months in turning towards Jerusalem, with the new command to turn towards the temple of the idolaters. Every appeal to reason was deprecated, and those claiming the right of private judgment were stigmatised as fools. All who failed to acquiesce in every proposal of the "prophet" were disaffected. Islam then, as now, demanded the entire submission of the intellect, as well as the will, to the dictum of the in fallible prophet of an unattested reve1ation.

Say, unto God belongeth the east and the west. This is used as an argument to justify the change of Qibla. God may do as he pleaseth with his own. The same statement is used in ver. 115 to show that no Qibla was necessary on the ground that God lain is everywhere present.

"Whithersoever ye turn yourselves to pray there is the face of God." It is very convenient argument that will both prove the rationality of turning from one Qibla to another, and at the same time disprove the necessity for a Qibla at all!

(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."

Rodwell says, "A central people," instead of "intermediate nation."

Sale says, "The commentators (Jalaluddin, Yahya, &c.) will have the meaning to be, that the Arabians are here declared to be a most just and good nation."

The idea intended seems to me to be this: Makkah with the Kaabah being now constituted the sacred city of Islam, as Jerusalem with the temple was the sacred city of the Jews, Arabia was thereby made, so to speak, the centre of the world in matters of religion, and, consequently, the Arabians were constituted witnesses for the true religion against the rest of mankind even as Muhammad was a witness for Islam against them, or as Rodwell translates, "in regard to them."


against you. (144) We appointed the Qibla, towards which thou didst formerly pray, only that we might know him who followeth the apostle, from him who turneth back on the heels; though this change seem a great matter, unless unto those whom GOD hath directed. But GOD will not render your faith of none effect; for GOD is gracious and merciful unto man. (145) We have seen thee turn about thy face towards heaven with uncertainty, but we will cause thee to turn thyself towards a Qibla that will please thee. Turn therefore, thy face towards the holy temple of Makkah; and wherever ye be, turn your faces towards that place. They to whom the scripture hath been given, know this to be truth from their LORD.

Thus early we see the idea of a universal Islam developed in the mind of Muhammad.

(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 in any 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!

But God will not render your faith of none effect. "Or will not suffer it to go without its reward, while ye prayed towards Jerusalem." - Sale.

(145) Turn, therefore, thy face towards the holy temple, &c. Abdul Qadir says that whilst Jerusalem was the Qibla, Muhammad desired to turn toward the Kaabab, and accordingly prayed "toward heaven," hoping for the command to change the Qibla to Makkah!

They to whom the Scripture hath been given know this to be truth from their Lord; i.e., the Jews know that this change of Qibla is in accordance with the divine command. The Tafsir-i-Raufi understands Christians to be also alluded to under the expression "they to whom the Scripture hath been given;" but the circumstances under which the passage was written, viz., the final breach between Muhammad and Judaism, would limit the application here to the Jews.


GOD is not regardless of that which ye do. (146) Verily although thou shouldest show unto those to whom the scripture hath been given all kinds of signs, yet they will not follow thy Qibla, neither shalt thou follow their Qibla; nor will one part of them follow the Qibla of the other. And if thou follow their desires, after the

Of course, the words have an equally fit application to Christians. In this verse we find distinct traces of deliberate deception and falsehood on the part of Muhammad. (a.) In his pretending to have been displeased with Jerusalem as the Qibla. He had been praying toward it for fifteen months, had taught others to pray in like manner, and had even built the first mosque of Islam with the pulpit towards Jerusalem. His "displeasure" , therefore evidently grew out of his failure to win over the Jews, coupled with his desire to gain influence among the Arabs by constituting their sacred city the Qibla of his religion. (b.) Again, the assertion that the Jews knew by the teaching of their Scriptures that such a change was from the Lord, is so plainly false as to render it impossible to account for it on any rational ground other than that of deliberate fabrication.

It may be said that Muhammad was deceived by the representations of his converts from Judaism. If so it would truly show him to be the "ignorant prophet." But it must be remembered that this is not the word of Muhammad, but, according to Muhammad's claim, the Word of God. He it is who is here made to sanction "the representations" of such converts. But regarding these statements as made by Muhammad, we think his character, his shrewdness, his profound knowledge of the men he had to deal with all combine to make the theory of his being deceived exceedingly improbable.

(l46)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 their objections."- Muir'a Life of Mahomat, vol. iii. p. 45.

Nor will one part of them follow the Qibla of the other. "That is, each religion has its own (appointed) Kibla; he refers, apparently, to Christians turning towards the east, and Jews towards Jerusalem; whence Mahomet would argue a propriety in his having a peculiar and distinctive Kibla for Islam." - Muir's Life of Mahomat, vol. iii. p.45, note.

Muslim commentators refer the words to the Jews and Christians. I think the reference is to the Jews entirely. The preceding and succeeding context seems to demand this limitation. The history of the passage seems also to demand it. The reference, then, may be to one of three possible differences of opinion among the Jews: (a.) Some may have questioned the propriety of worshipping


knowledge which hath been given thee, verily thou wilt become one of the ungodly. (147) They to whom we have given the scripture know our apostle, even as they know their own children; but some of them hide the truth, against their own knowledge. (148) Truth is from thy LORD, therefore thou shalt not doubt.

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(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,

towards any Qibla, seeing the holy temple was destroyed; or (b.) the allusion may be to those who had espoused the cause of Islam; or, (c.) what is most probable, reference may be had to the ancient difference in the holy mounts of Jew and Samaritan (John iv. 20 and references.

(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.

Is not the allusion to those who had now become the converts of Islam? Such a view is favoured by the concluding sentence, "but some of them hide the truth," &c., referring to the unbelieving Jews. If it do not have such a reference, then we must place this statement in the catalogue of deliberate fabrications. See note on ver. 145.

According to Abdul Qadir's translation, the reference is not to Muhammad but to the propriety of the change of Qibla. The passage then merely reiterates the statement of ver. 145.

(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 matter 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 here-after turn toward Makkah in prayer.

Unjust doers; i.e., Jews and disaffected Arabs.


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 Quran 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.

(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.

To rehearse our signs, i.e., the verses of the Quran, regarded as self-evidently divine.

To purify you from idolatry and ceremonial defilement. The Tafasir-i-Raufi adds, "He (the apostle) asks pardon for you, "that you may be pure from your sins." Muhammad, however, never claimed any such mediatorial office. In the Quran he repeatedly rejects the idea of a mediator altogether. See chap. vi. 50; vii. 188; xxxix. 42, &c. Islam requires no mediator; Muslims will be saved because they are Muslims.

The fact, however, that Muhammad has been constituted a mediator by his followers, notwithstanding the teaching of the Quran, constitutes a powerful argument against Islam. Muslims, like other fallen men, feel their need of a mediator. They chose Muhammad for their intercessor; but the Quran rejects the idea altogether. See chap. xliv. 41, 42, and references noted above. Islam, therefore, fails to satisfy the felt wants of sinful men everywhere.

The book of the Quran. The term book, which is here used to describe the collection of passages of Muhammad's revelation, gives us reason to believe that the Quran was recorded in book form in the days of Muhammad himself. It is so often referred to under this appellation - the same as is applied to the writings of Moses - as to leave the impression that numerous copies were extant among the Muslims.

(153) Remember me, and I will remember you. The Tafsir-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."

This passage, with the commentary, expresses the legal spirit of Muhammadanism, notwithstanding the constant declaration that God is "merciful and gracious."


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(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

(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."

"The original words are literally, who are slain in the way of God by which expression, frequently occurring in the Quran, is always meant war undertaken against unbelievers for the propagation of the Muhammadan faith." - Sale.

Abdul Qadir says "that believers are here encouraged to labour and gather strength for the crusade."

Yea, they are living. "The souls of martyrs (for such they esteem those who die in battle against infidels), says Jalaluddin, are in the crops of green birds, which have liberty to fly wherever they please in paradise, and feed on the fruits thereof."- Sale.

(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.

This sentence is believed to be laden with merit to those who use it in circumstances of trial and affliction. Even when the trial is past, if the pious repeat it at the remembrance of their grief, it is said to bestow great merit. The commentators have drawn from this verse and the one following the doctrine that sin is washed away from the souls of believers by means of suffering. The Tafsir-i-Raufi declares, on the authority of Tirmuzi and others, that the man who has lost three sons by death may be absolutely certain of entering paradise; the gates of hell, or rather purgatory, are closed against him, and much more to the same effect. Affliction is therefore submitted to by the Muslim in the perfect assurance that he will be the recipient of blessing hereafter. Thus it is robbed of its uses as a warning or as a judgment from God on account of sin.


blessings from their LORD and mercy, and they are the rightly directed. (159) Moreover Safa 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

(159) Moreover Safa 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, I 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."

"Safa and Marwa are two mountains near Makkah, whereon were anciently two idols, to which the pagan Arabs used to pay a superstitious veneration (Prelim. Disc., p. 42). Jalaluddin says this passage was revealed because the followers of Muhammad made a scruple of going round these mountains, as the idolaters did. But the true reason of his allowing this relic of ancient superstition seems to be the difficulty he found in preventing it. Abu'l Qasim Hibatullah thinks these last words are abrogated by those other who will reject the religion of Abraham, except he who hath infatuated his soul? (ver. 130). So that he will have the meaning to be quite contrary to the letter, as if it had been, it shall be no crime in him if he do not compass them. However, the expositors are all against him, and the ceremony of running between these two hills is still observed at the pilgrimage" (Prelim. Disc., p. 187). - Sale.

The Tafsir-i-Raufi and Tafsir Fatah al aziz relate that in former times two pillars were erected on these two hills to commemorate the judgment of God upon two notable sinners, Asaf, a man, and Naila, a woman, who had committed adultery in the holy Kaabah. When the people fell into idolatry they worshipped these as images of God. This worship Muhammad abolished whereupon some doubted the propriety of going round these hills. This verse was revealed to remove their scruples.

The true reason for this "revelation"is given by Sale in his note quoted above. Muhammad found it easier to break the idols of his countrymen than to overcome their superstitions, hence the toleration of an idolatrous custom, which the commentators would have us believe to be a relic of the religion of Abraham.

God is grateful. The author of the notes on the Roman Urdu Quran says, "The teaching of this verse is that whoever performs the pilgrimage to the Kaabah, according to the commandment, has great merit; but he who of his own accord makes the circuit of these two mountains, has such great reward that God becomes grateful and obligated to him!" He then compares with this the contrary teaching of the Bible (see Job xxii. 3, and Luke xvii. 10).

But surely gratitude may be ascribed to God on the same principle that repentance is attributed to him in the Bible.


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.

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(165) Now in the creation of heaven and earth, and

(160) They who conceal any of the evident signs, &c.; i.e., the Jews. See note on ver. 145.

In the Scripture. Rodwell says, "in the Book," the allusion being to the Jewish Scriptures.

They who curse. The Tafsir-i-Raufi understands the reference to the "angels, men, and genii." He also promulgates the strange doctrine that when Muslims curse one another, seeing that curses cannot affect one of the faithful, they fall upon the Jews and others, who are justly exposed to a curse.

"Yahya interprets it of the curses which will be given to the wicked, when they cry out because of the punishment of the sepulchre (see Prelim. Disc., p.127), by all who hear them, that is, by all creatures except men and genii."- Sale.

(161) Make known what they concealed. Rodwell translates "make known the truth," i.e., of Islam.

(162, 163) Upon them shall be the curse of God. These verses clearly teach that all are lost except Muslims. Their punishment is also eternal.

Neither shall they be regarded. "God will not wait for their repentance."- Jalaluddin.

(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). lt might have been addressed to Jews at Madina, but the verses following, being addressed to idolaters, decide against this view. The idolaters of the Madina period of Muhammad's ministry were spoken of in different terms.

(165) This verse, says the Tafsir-i-Raufi, contains eight signs of divine power, thereby demonstrating the superiority of the one true


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 to GOD; 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

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).

Compelled to do service &c. "The original word signifies properly that are pressed or compelled to do personal service without hire, which kind of service is often exacted by the Eastern princes of their subjects, and is called by the Greek and Latin writers angaria. The Scripture often mentions this source of compulsion or force, Matt. v.41, xxvii. 32, &c."- Sale.

(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 Quran. 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 Quran, it is like the occasional spring in the desert. The love of God is rarely presented as a motive to obedience.

Oh, that they who act unjustly did perceive. "Or it may be translated, Although the ungodly will perceive, &c. But, some copies, instead of yara, in the third person, read tara, in the second; and then it must be rendered, Oh, if thou didst see when the ungodly beheld their punishment, &c."- Sale.

We have here an illustration of the fact that the Quran, in its original text, is not entirely pure as some writers seem to think. It has its various other ancient writings.. A critical examination of any considerable number of old manuscripts would probably reveal a great many more such readings than are now known. Yet it may be safely asserted that the text of the Quran is the purest of all works of a like antiquity.

(167) Those who have been followed, &c. "That is, when the


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.

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(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

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.

The devil. Satan is the avowed enemy of mankind, and the instigator to idolatry and blasphemy. See chap. vii. 16, 17.

(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 Qadir paraphrases thus: "Teaching infidels is like calling to wild animals, who may hear a sound, but who do not understand."


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

(173) A true believer. Addressed to the people of Madina. 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.

The redundancy found here is probably due to the judgment of those who compiled the Quran under the direction of Othman. Had this portion of the chapter been recited by Muhammad himself, we should not have this medley of Makkan and Madina passages. A tradition, on the authority of Hudhaifah, relates that Muhammad was in the habit of repeating the chapter of the Cow several times during a single night, besides other portions of the Quran (Matthews' Mishqat-ul-Masabih chap. xxxii.). Such an exercise, in addition to ordinary sleep, would be impossible. It is therefore probable that much additional matter was added to these chapters by the compilers of the volume now called the Quran, though the names of the chapters and some portions of them were undoubtedly in use in the days of Muhammad. To these were added other revelations gathered from the contents of the box in Hafza's keeping and from the memories of men.

(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.

On which any other name, &c. "For this reason, whenever the Muhammadans kill any animal for food, they always say Bismillah, or, In the name of God; which, if it be neglected, they think it not lawful to eat of it."- Sale.

Forced by necessity. That is, if forbidden meats be eaten under compulsion, or to save one's life.- Abdul Qadir, Tafsir-i-Raufi.

(175) See notes on ver. 160.


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 Quran with truth, and they who disagree concerning that book are certainly in a wide mistake.

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(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,

(176) Sold direction for error, &c. An exposition of the phrase, "Selling for a small price," ver. 175.

God sent down the book of the Quran. Many Muslim commentators agree in referring the "book" to the Pentateuch. The meaning then would be that the Jews shall be accounted worthy of the punishment above described, because, having the Pentateuch by them, with its prophecies concerning Muhammad, they have "concealed the Scriptures which God hath sent down unto them." The passage is not explicit, and may refer also to the Quran. The former view agrees best with the preceding context, the latter with what follows. Modern Muslims, by their "concealment of the former Scriptures," and their constant disputing "concerning that Book," bring themselves under the condemnation of their own prophet.

(177) Righteousness is of him who believeth in God, &c. This is one of the noblest verses in the Quran. 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.

The Scriptures. Not only the Quran, but the "former Scriptures," accepted by Jews and Christians, besides the writings (Sahife) of Adam, ten, of Seth, fifty, of Enoch (Idris), thirty, and of Abraham, ten, in all one hundred and four books.

The prophets. This word being in the masculine plural, Muslim commentators generally agree that there were no prophetesses. For doctrine and practice set forth here, see Preliminary Discourse, p. 117.


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

(178) For the Mosaic "law of retaliation," see Levit. xxiv 17-22 The Quran 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 matters over servants, of husbands over wives, and of man over woman. It cannot be fairly claimed that the moral and social laws of Islam 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.

The free shall die for the free, ... woman for woman. "This is not to be strictly taken; for, according to the Sunnat, a man also is to be put to death for the murder of a woman. Regard is also to be had to difference in religion, so that a Muhammadan, though a slave, is not to be put to death for an infidel, though a freeman. But the civil magistrates do not think themselves always obliged to conform to this last determination of the Sunnat."- Sale, Jalaluddin.

He whom his brother ahall forgive, &c. - Rodwell translates this passage: "He to whom his brother shall make any remission (that is, by killing the manslayer), is to be dealt with equitably; and to him should he pay a fine with liberality." Savary translates thus: "He who forgiveth the murderer of his brother (brother used in a religious sense) shall have the right of requiring a reasonable reparation, which shall be thankfully paid." So, too, in the main, Abdul Qadir, Husaini, and Tafsfr-i-Raufi. The meaning is, that whenever a murderer has been spared by the avenger of blood, he must pay a fine to the said avenger. This must then be regarded as a final settlement. If, after the amount of the fine, the avenger kill the manslayer, he shall "suffer a grievous punishment." Presumably he would be regarded as a common murderer. Sale says, "This is the common practice in Muhammadan countries, particularly in Persia."


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.

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(183) O true believers a fast is ordained you, as was ordained unto those before you, that ye may fear

(179) In this law ... we 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 Baidhawi, 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 incumbemt on," &c., so as to read, "There is a duty toward the temperate," i.e., faqirs 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 Qadir in loco.

The principal passages of the Quran relating to the law of inheritance are the following -chaps. iv. 113, 175, and v.105-107. (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 Tafsir-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 Madina. The following is his account of its institution :-

"Two or three months after his arrival in Medina, Mahomet ob-


-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

served the Jews, on the tenth day of their seven month, keeping the great fast of the Atonement, and he readily adopted it for his own people. Prior to this, fasting does not appear to have been a prescribed ordinance of Islam. It was established at a period when the great object of Mahomet was to symbolise with the Jews in all their rules and ceremonies.

"But when it became his endeavour to cast off Judaism and its customs, this fast was superseded by another. Eighteen months after his arrival in Medina, Mahomet promulgated, as a divine command, that the following month, or Ramadhan, was to be henceforth observed as an annual fast. Although the new ordinance was professedly similar in principle to that of the Jews, the mode of its observance was entirely different."

This verse is said to be abrogated by ver. 187.

(184) A certain number of days; the whole of the month Ramadhan. See next verse.

Those who can keep it, &c. Sale says, "The expositors differ much about the meaning of this passage, thinking it very improbable that people should be left entirely at liberty either to fast or not, on compounding for it in this manner. Jalaluddin, therefore, supposes the negative particle not to be understood, and that this is allowed only to those who are not able to fast, by reason of age or dangerous sickness; but afterwards he says, that in the beginning of Muhammadanism it was free for them to choose whet er they would fast or maintain a poor man which liberty was soon after taken away, and this passage abrogated by the following: Therefore let him who shall be present in this month, fast the same month. Yet this abrogation he says, does not extend to women with child or that give suck, lest the infant suffer.

"Al Zamakhshari, having first given an explanation of Ibn Abbas, who, by a different interpretation of the Arabic word Yutikunahu, which signifies can or are able to fast, renders it, Those who find great difficultly therein, &c, adds an exposition of his own, by supposing something to be understood, according to which the sense will be, Those who can fast, and yet have a legal excuse to break it, must redeem it,"&c.

Abdul Qadir understands that those who are able to fast and do not are here required to redeem their neglect, as Sale has it in the text, by feeding a poor man for one day. So, too, the Tafsir-i-Raufi. Rodwell, also, in his translation, recognises the same meaning.


it. (185) The month of Ramadhan shall ye fast, in which the Quran 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 be 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 be 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

(185) Ramadhan. 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 Quran was brought down to the lowest heaven. See Hughes' Notes on Muhammadanism, chap. xx.; also Prelim. Disc., p. 177.

The distinction. The Arabic word is furqan, a term derived from the Hebrew, and applied to the Pentateuch as well as to the Quran. See ver. 52.

Shall be present; i.e., "at home, and not in a strange country, where the fast cannot be performed, or on a journey."-Sale.

Children who have not reached the age of puberty are exempt from the observance of this fast.

God would make this an ease unto you. This is said in reference to the sick and others exempted above. It may also refer to what is said below in ver. 187. With all these alleviating circumstances, however, the strict observance of this fast, during the long days of a tropical summer, is anything but an ease to the Muslim. Muir thinks Muhammad did not foresee the hardship that would ensue in the observance of this fast, when he changed the Jewish intercalary year for the lunar (Life of Mahomet, chap. iii. p.49). But there is reason to believe the month occurred originally during the hot season, the word Ramadhan being derived from ramadh, to burn. The words of the text therefore, probably refer to the present observance as being easy in comparison with the more rigid practice in the beginning. This interpretation presumes that this passage was revealed some time after ver. 183.

(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 Ramadhan, shall be forgiven all his past faults!" Surely if the fast be of difficult observance, the way of pardon seems easy enough.


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.

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(189) They will ask thee concerning the phases of the moon: Answer, They are times appointed unto men, and

(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.

They are a garment unto you, &c. "A metaphorical expression, to signify the mutual comfort a man and his wife find in each other."-Sale.

Earnestly desire. Some commmentators understand this to have special reference to the desire for children.

A white thread from a black thread. A form of expression used by the Jews also (see Rodwell), signifying early dawn.

Be constantly pressing, &c. This seclusion is called 'Itiqaf, and is observed during the day, by remaining in the mosque during the day, abstaining from all worldly thoughts and conversation, and by reading the Quran and religious books. Hughes' Notes on Muhammadanism, chap. xx.

(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 Quran 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.


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) 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

(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 Madina (ver. 119 supra). There he advised his persecuted followers to flee from their enemies. Even at Madina 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 Madina, 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 Islam.

(191) Kill them, &c. Much is made of expressions like this, by some Christian apologists, to show the cruel character of the Arabian prophet, and the inference is thence drawn that he was an impostor and his Quran a fraud. Without denying that Muhammad was cruel, we think this mode of assault to he 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.

Fight not ... in the holy temple; i.e., the Kaabah. Ordinarily, the sanctity of the temple at Makkah would have been a safeguard to an enemy, but the antipathy between the Makkans and the Muslims was now so great as to make it probable that the latter might be attacked even in the Kaaba. This permission is, however, abrogated by chap. ix. 5.


temple, until they attack you therein; but if they attack you, slay them there. This shall be the reward of infidels. (192) But if they desist, GOD is gracious and merciful. (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 your selves with your own hands into perdition; and do good,

(192) If the desist, &c. If they repent and accept Islam, Tafsir-i-Raufi.

(193) Until ... the religion be God's. This expresses the breadth of the claim of Islam. Idolatry must be extirpated, and the religion of Islam 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.

Except against the ungodly; i.e., those who were worthy of punishment on other grounds than that of their faith.

(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."

Transgress against him Contrast this with the teaching of Christ (Luke vi. 27-31). Love to enemies is a doctrine unknown to Islam. Forgiveness of such, whenever enjoined (ver. 108), was dictated as a matter of policy, not of compassion or love.

(195) Contribute of your substance. The duty enjoined here is not identical with that of giving Zikat 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 Ghazis or fanatical crusaders of Islam, by supplying them with food and the materials of war.

Throw not your selves . . . into perdition; i.e., "be not accessory to your own destruction, by neglecting your contributions towards the


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

wars against infidels, and thereby suffering them to gather strength."- Sale.

Do good. Do good to the Ghazis. If they are in want, give them money; if on foot, give them carriage; if married and unprovided, give them equipment. Without doubt God is a friend of them that do good. - Tafsir-i-Raufi.

This passage illustrates how easily readers of the English translation of the Quran may be misled by the bias of their own language.

(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.

The rites and ceremonies connected with the Hajj and Umrah are exceedingly puerile, and decidedly inconsistent with the spirit of Islam. The idolatrous customs of the ancient Arabs, though sanctified by the teaching of the Quran and the example of Muhammad, but poorly comport with the monotheistic teaching of the reformer of Makkah, and come far short of "confirming the former Scriptures." Its sanction by Muhammad is one of the darkest blots on his religion and shows at the same time how far the politician of Madina differed from the preacher of Makkah. How his apologists fail to see the inconsistency of his conduct and teaching here, not only with the dignity of a prophet of God, but with the character of an honest man, is beyond our comprehension. The kissing of the Black Stone and the Yamani Pillar was so manifestly inconsistent with the doctrine of Islam, that naught but the example of the prophet and the implicit obedience of his followers secured its perpetuation. The firery Omar, kissing the stone, said, "Verily I know that thou art a stone; thou dost no good or harm in the world, and if it was not that I saw the prophet kiss thee, I would not kiss thee "-Matthews' Mishqat ul Masabih, book xi. chap. iv. part iii.

If ye be besieged. By sickness as well as by enemies.

Send that offering, &c. The offering must be at the rate of one goat for a single person, or a cow or a camel for every seven persons.

Shave not your heads, &c. "For this was a sign they had completed their vow, and performed all the ceremonies of the pilgrimage" - Sale, Jalaluddin.


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.

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(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 pil-

Fasting, or alms, or some offering; i.e., "either by fasting three days,or feeding six poor people, or sacrificing a sheep." -Sale

He who tarrieth, &c. "This passage is somewhat obscure Yahya interprets it of him who marries a wife during the visitation, and performs the pilgrimage the year following. But Jalaluddin expounds it of him who stays within the sacred enclosures, in order to complete the ceremonies which (as it should seem) he had not been able to do within the prescribed time."- Sale.

(197) The known months; i.e., Shawal, Dhul Qaada, 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)


grimage. And when ye go in procession from Arafat 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

Procession. "The original word signifies to rusk forward impetuously, as the pilgrims do when they proceed from Arafat to Muzdalifa."- Sale.

Arafat. "A mountain near Makkah, so called because Adam there met and knew his wife after a long separation. Yet others say that Gabriel, after he had instructed Abraham in all the sacred ceremonies, coming to Arafat, there asked him if he knew the ceremonies which had been shown him, to which Abraham answering in the affirmative, the mountain had thence its name." - Sale. These stories are probably inventions, suggested by the meaning of the word Arafat. See also note on ver. 35.

The holy monument. "In Arabic, Al Mashar al haram. It is a mountain in the farther part of Muzdalifa, where it is said Muhammad stood praying and praising God, till his face became extremely shining. "- Sale. This legend is probably adapted from the story of the shining of Moses' face on Sinai.

Remember him, &c. The heathen customs of circling round the Kaabah, kissing the Black Stone, capering between Arafat and Muzdalifa, and throwing pebbles in Mina, are to be sanctified by prayers and praise to Allah. The skeleton of Arab stone-worship and magianism was thus clothed in the habiliments of Islam. See, on this subject, Muir's Life of Mahomet, vol. i., introduction, pp. ccxii. and ccxiii.

(199) Go in procession. Rodwell translates, "Pass on quickly." Abdul Qadir has it, "Go to the circling," i.e., of the Kaabah (tawaf). It is generally understood by the commentators to refer to the return from Muzdalifa to the Kaabah.

Ask pardon of God. The Mishqat ul Masabih gives a tradition, on the authority of Ibn Omar, as follows: "The apostle of God said, When you see a pilgrim, salam to him, and shake him by the hand; and tell him to ask pardon for you, before he enters into his own house; because his faults have been forgiven, and his supplications are approved."-Book xi. chap. i. part 3.

The duty of asking pardon was commanded the prophet himself as well as his followers (see chap. xlvii. 21). Tradition repeatedly represents Muhammad as seeking pardon for sin. "Verily I ask pardon of God, and turn from sin towards him, more than seventy times daily." "I ask pardon of God one hundred times a day." Such are the sayings ascribed to Muhammad. - Mishqat ul Masabih, book I. chap. iii. part I. In another place in this same chapter Muhammad is declared to have taught the monstrous doctrine, that when a Muslim says, "O my patron! I have been guilty of a fault,


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 Mina 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

forgive it," God says to the angels, "Did my servant know that he had a defender who forgives and punishes? I have pardoned him : then tell my servant to commit faults as often as he likes, as long as he asks pardon!", With such doctrines implicitly received, is it any wonder that Muslims are immoral? that ordinary sins should seem to them a light thing? Is it any wonder they should fail to see the need of an atonement, seeing God may even license sin for the delight he has in hearing his servants asking pardon? This is perhaps the most damning doctrine of Islam. It says peace, peace, where there is no peace; it lulls the vilest sinners to the sleep of death; it dishonours the God of holiness, and saps the foundations of morality and true piety.

(200) Remember God according as ye remember your fathers. Abdul Qadir 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 Ayam-ut-Tashriq, in remembering God instead of remembering their fathers.

There are some men; i.e., unbelievers. - Tafsir-i-Raufi.

(201) There are others; i.e., hypocrites. - Tafsir-i-Raufi. They shall have a portion. They will be rewarded according to their works.

Swift in taking account. "For he will judge all creatures, says Jalaluddin, in the space of half a day."- Sale.

(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 dissemble; who swore that he believed in Muhammad, and pretended to be one of his friends, and to contemn


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 over

this world. But God here reveals to the prophet his hypocrisy and wickedness." - Sale, Jalaluddin.

(204) To destroy, &c. "Setting fire to his neighbour's corn, and killing his asses by night." - Sale, Jalaluddin.

The Tafsir-i-Raufi regards these verses as descriptive of all hypocrites.

(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 Medina." - Sale, Jalaluddin.

A great variety of stories have been invented by the commentators to illustrate passages like this. See Tafsir-i-Raufi in loco.

(207) Enter into the true religion wholly. This exhortation is thought to refer to such Jewish and Arab converts at Madina 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 Islam is here ascribed to Satan.

(208) If ye have slipped. Rodwell's translation is preferable " If ye lapse."

God is mighty and wise. Mighty to punish apostasy, and wise to discern it.

(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.


shadowed with clouds, and the angels also? but the thing is decreed, and to GOD shall all things return.

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(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

Angels. Referred to as the ministers of judgment and the keepers of hell. See chap. lxxiv. 29.

(210) Evident signs; i.e., the miracles wrought among them by former prophets, especially by Moses. Tafsir-i-Raufi.

Whoever shall change the grace of God. By the grace (translated boon of God, Rodwell understands the Quran to be intended. The Tafsir-i-Raufi seems to refer the expression to the Pentateuch or Jewish Scriptures. The meaning would then be that those Jews who objected to Muslim practice on the ground that it contradicted their Scriptures were guilty of changing or perverting the Word of God. This I believe to be the true interpretation of this passage inasmuch as there is no reason to believe the Jews ever attempted to change the Quran in any way. Certainly they did not at this stage in the history of Islam. Such being the case, Muhammad lays himself open to the charge of having committed the crime he here threatens with the "severe punishment" of God. The fear of incurring this punishment is one of the reasons why Muslims have been so scrupulously careful to preserve the text of the Quran.

(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."

The Tafsir-i-Raufi tells us that the very reason why infidels are prospered is that they may be filled with contemptuous pride and run madly on the way to destruction. But although 'they scoff at the poor slave-followers of Muhammad, such as Bilal and Amar, yet these shall be exalted far above them at the resurrection day.

This kind of consolation satisfied the poor companions during the trials of the early days of their exile in Madina, but the successes of Muslim arms soon secured a glory sufficiently comforting to the Arab mind for the present life at least. Their prosperity has brought with it a pride not unlike that ascribed to the unbelievers by the commentators.

(212) Mankind was of one faith. Muhammad here teaches the truth, that originally there was but one religion in the world. But


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 of GOD'S will 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 GOD

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 Quran, is Islam. 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.

None disagreed .. except those, &c. The reference is to the Jews who refused to accept the Quran as the Word of God. The statement, however, is not literally true, for multitudes of heathen in India, China, and Africa still "disagree." The passage, however, shows that at this stage Muhammad had only the Jews and Arabs in mind. The idea of a universal Islam, though logically involved in his doctrine, does not seem to have been yet fully developed in his mind.

God directeth whom he pleaseth. The doctrine of election is here expressly taught.

(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 Tafsir-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 Madina.


come? 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. What soever 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.

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(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

(214) What they shall bestow in alms. That "charity begins at home" was a truth of Islam 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.

This is hateful unto you: yet,&. The hatefulness referred to here was probably due to the reluctance of some of the Muslims to fight against their own relatives and fellow-townsmen. By the infidels we must understand the Makkans specially to be designated. Muhammad had now determined to resort to the sword to accomplish what his preaching had failed to do. The divine sanction to his belligerent purpose was now promulgated. But the doctrine was unpalatable to some, and Muhammad had no little difficulty in securing obedience to it. Even the rule limiting the distribution of booty to those who assisted in the fight for it was scarcely sufficient to arouse their martial spirit. See chap. xlviii. 15, 16.

(216) To war therein is grievous. See notes on vers. 190-194.

The commentators agree in assigning the occasion of this revelation to the attack of Abdulah Ibn Jahash and his party of Muslims upon a Quraish caravan at Nakhla, between Makkah and Tayif, during the sacred month of Rajab. The attack was made by the express order of Muhammad, though afterwards he denied having ordered them to attack during the sacred month. The unbelievers taunted him and his Muslims, charging them with perfidy and cowardice in attacking men secured from assault by the customs of the times. Even the Muslims felt the disgrace thus brought upon them. They reproached Abdullah and his followers for what they had done. But the prophet


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

was equal to the occasion. He affected displeasure. The booty was put aside without division until this revelation was made, declaring war at such a time to be "grievous," but assuring the Muslims that the conduct of the Makkans and the temptation to idolatry was more grievous than killing in the sacred months. After the reception of this revelation the booty was divided among the marauders, Muhammad receiving the fifth part thereof thus condoning, if not actually sanctioning, the conduct of the transgressors. Can it be believed that Muhammad was not guilty of imposture in producing such a revelation under such circumstances? - For a fuller account of this affair, see Muir's Life of Mahomet, vol. iii. pp 70-74

(217) They who . . . fight in God's cause. Literally, They who strive earnestly in the way of God. "The word (Jihad) is the same as that subsequently used for a religious war; but if 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.

This verse is said to have been revealed for the special purpose of comforting Abdullah and his companions.

(218) Concerning wine. "Under the name of wine all sorts of strong and inebriating liquors are comprehended." - Prelim. Disc., p.191.

And lots. "The original word al Maisar, properly signifies a particular game performed with arrows, and much in use with the pagan Arabs. But by lots we are here to understand all games whatsoever, which are subject to chance or hazard, as dice, cards, &c."- Sale.

Though lots are forbidden to Muslims on the ground that they are "a great sin" and "an abomination of the work of Satan" (chap. v. 92), yet the angels are said to have cast lots to determine which of them "should have the education of Mary " (chap. iii. 44).

Some things of use unto men. "From these words some suppose that only drinking to excess and too frequent gaming are prohibited.


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 inter-meddle 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,

And the moderate use of wine they also think is allowed by these words of the 16th chapter (ver. 69), And of the fruits of palm-trees and grapes ye obtain inebriating drink, and also good nourishment. But the more received opinion is, that both drinking wine or other strong liquors in any quantity, and playing at any game of chance, are absolutely forbidden." - Sale, on the authority of Jalaluddin and Zamakhshari.

Comparing this passage with chap. iv. 42, chap. v.92, and chap. xvi. 69, the conclusion seems fairly drawn that wine and lots were forbidden on the ground that their abuse was fraught with great evil, as stated in the text, though their occasional use to men is admitted. Muslims came to prayer in a state of drunkenness, and quarrels and blood-feuds grew out of the use of lots. They were therefore totally forbidden.

(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 man might be, to do for others. The poor were always present with him,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 cared 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 Quran, 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.

If ye intermeddle; i.e., if you make use of their money or property in carrying on your own business affairs, "do them no wrong."


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.

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(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

Will surely distress you, viz., "By his curse which will certainly bring to nothing what ye shall wrong the orphans of."-Sale.

(221) Marry not . . . idolaters. This law was probably copied from the requirements of both Judaism and Christianity (cf. Deut. vi 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.

Yet the example of the prophet himself, as testified by scores of traditions, and the teaching of the Quran (see chaps. li., lxxix lxxxvi., xci., xcii., xciv., &c.), justify the most promiscuous and


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

varied use of oaths by all things in heaven and earth, Allah not excepted. Compare our Lord's teaching on this subject (Matt. v. 34-37, xxiii. 16-22), and it will be seen how far the Quran comes short of "confirming the former Scriptures" on this point.

That ye will justly, &c. "Some commentators (Jalaluddin, Yahya, &c.) expound this negatively, That ye will not deal justly, nor be devout, &c. For such wicked oaths, they nay, were customary among the idolatrous inhabitants of Makkah, which gave occasion to the following saying of Muhammad: When you swear to do, a thing, and afterwards find it better to do otherwise, do that which is better, and make void your oath."-Sale.

The positive rendering is clearly the right one. The exhortation then seems to be, that by abstaining from the use of God's name in ordinary oaths men would feel at liberty to break their rash vows when their fulfilment would involve the performance of a wicked act. This view is borne out by the teaching of the next verse.

(226) Those who vow to abstain, &c. Rodwell translates thus:"Those who intend to abstain," &c. The Tafsir-i-Raufi and Abdul Qadir 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.

Four months. "That is, they may take so much time to consider; and shall not, by a rash oath, be obliged actually to divorce them." - Sale.

Others are of opinion that such an oath does not have the force of an actual divorce for the period of four months. If, however, it be maintained for that period, a divorce is thereby declared, and the parties would have to be married again to render their living together lawful. See Tafsir-i-Raufi in loco.

(227) If they resolve on a divorce; i.e., within, or at the termination of the four months.

God is he who heareth and knoweth. These words, so often repeated in the Quran, express alike the pleasure and displeasure of God. The context decides which is intended. Compare vers. 127, 137, 244, and 256. They generally have reference to matters of faith. Exhortations in regard to the practice of religion usually end with the


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.

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(229) Ye may divorce your wives twice; and then

expression, "God knoweth that which ye do" or "God seeth that which ye do." Here while divorce is permitted and legislated for, the will of God seems to he against it.

(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 he 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, Jalaluddin.

For the various kinds of divorce recognised by Muslim law, see Prelim. Disc., pp.207, 208, and Hughes' Notes on Muhammadanism, p.182.

That which God hath created, &c. "That is, they shall tell the real truth, whether they have their courses, or be with child, or not; and shall not, by deceiving their husband, obtain a separation from him before the term be accomplished, lest the first husband's child should, by that means, go to the second, or the wife, in case of the first husband's death, should set up her child as his heir, or demand her maintenance during the time she went with such child, and the expenses of her lying-in, under pretence that she waited not her full prescribed time." - Sale, Yahya.

The women ought also to behave towards their husbands, &c. Husbands were exhorted to "bring back" their wives during the prescribed period of waiting, provided the wives desired a reconciliation. The only meaning of the exhortation to the women is that they should be willing to go back to their husbands, provided the husbands desired to be reconciled. Lest such a statement should predicate equality between the sexes, the clause is added, "but the men ought to have a superiority over them."

(229) Ye may divorce your wives twice. Compare the Mosaic law,


either retain them with humanity, or dismiss them with kindness. But it is not lawful for you to take away any thing 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

Deut. xxiv. 1-4. Here we find the Quran, 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.

What ye have given them; i.e., the dowry, which must not be less than ten dirhams (Hughes' Notes on Muhammadanism, p.177). The difficulty of divorce among Muslims is greatly increased by their insisting on large dowries being settled upon their daughters when given in marriage. Unless this dowry be voluntarily remitted by the wife, it must be paid by the husband divorcing her against her will.

Unless both fear, &c. In this case the wife consents to the divorcement, thereby forfeiting her dowry.

It shall be no crime, &c.; i.e., "If she prevail on her husband to dismiss her, by releasing part of her dowry."- Sale.

This release is usually obtained by the most outrageous abuse of the wife, often making her willing to forfeit the whole of her dower rather than live with her brutal husband. This law of the Quran is responsible for such treatment of women. It makes her the helpless victim of her husband's cupidity and tyranny.

(230) But if her husband divorce her a third time, &c. See Prelim. Disc., p.207. The Misqat ul Musabih 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 Urdu, vol. iii. pp 176-178.

Muir, in his Life of Mahomet, vol. iii. p.306, new edition, p. 349, referring to this law, says: "In the rules regarding divorce there is one which (much as I might desire) cannot be passed over in silence. A husband may twice divorce his wife, and each time receive her back again. But when the words of separation have been thrice repeated the divorce is irreversible. However unjust or injurious the action, how much soever the result of passion or of caprice, however it may affect the interests not only of an innocent wife but also


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 Quran, and wisdom admonishing you thereby and fear GOD, and know that GOD is omniscient.

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(232) But when ye have divorced your wives, and they have fulfilled their prescribed time hinder them not

of her innocent children, however desirous the husband may be of undoing the wrong, the decision cannot be recalled; the divorced wife can return to her husband but on one condition, and that is that she shall first be married to another, and after cohabitation be again divorced. The tone of Mahometan manners may be imagined front the functions of the temporary husband (Mostahil), hired to legalise remarriage with a thrice-divorced wife, having passed into a proverb*. Such flagrant breach of decency, such cruel violation of the modesty of an unoffendinding wife, may be an abuse the full extent of which was not at the time contemplated by Mahomet, but it is not the less an abuse for which, as a direct result of the unnatural and revolting provision framed by him, Mahomet is justly responsible."

But if he also divorce her. The Quran everywhere presumes that divorce is the sole prerogative of the husband. The idea of a wife claiming the right was foreign to Muhammad's mind. He regarded women as a lower order of beings, intervening between the slave and their lords. The elevation of woman to her true position is impossible under Islam.

It shall be no crime, &c. This is a direct contradiction of the teaching of the Bible. See note on ver. 229.

(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.- Tafsir-i-Raufi.

* A thousand lovers rather than one Mostahil."- Burckhardt's Arabic Proverbs, p.21.


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 mean-time 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 re-

(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.

It shall be no crime; i.e., "if they look out for new husbands." - Sale.


member 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 graciousand merciful.

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(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,

(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 f 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.

Apologists for Muhammadanism are fond of dilating at great length upon the fervour of Muslims in prayer, and "missionaries and the like" are severely condemned for bringing against Muslim prayers the charge of being "merely lifeless forms and vain repetition"* If fervour in prayer consists in punctilious performance of a prescribed round of bowing and prostration, or the repetition of a formal service of prayer in a foreign tongue, then the fervour and

* Introduction to Lane's selections from the Koran by Stanley Lane Poole, p. lxxxiii.


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

reality of Muslim prayer must be acknowledged. But, whatever maybe thought of the probable character of Muslim prayer in the earlier days of Islam, we think no man acquainted with the worship of modern Muslims can accredit them generally with having any true conception of the spiritual character of prayer, much less of striving after real heart communion with God. Granting that Muhammad had a correct idea of prayer, no system could have been invented to destroy all vestige of real prayer which would have succeeded better than this stereotyped service of Islam. So far as the great mass of Muslims are concerned, the merit of prayer consists in its performance according to the external rite, and not in putting forth heart desires after God.

The middle prayer; i.e., 'Asar.

With devotion. The devotion consists in the punctilious performance of the prescribed round of bowing and prostration, previous ablution, an perfect silence during prayer. Here again the English reader is misled by the language of an English translation. See any Muslim commentary on the passage.

(240) Abdul Qadir says this law was abrogated by the law of inheritance, in which each heir's portion is definitely fixed (see chap. iv. II, which refers to the wife's share); and the Tafsir-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 Qadir is therefore probably correct. So far as we are aware, the Muslim law of inheritance is based upon chap. iv. II, 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 Tafsir-i-Raufi regards this law as still in force.


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.

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(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

(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 the retained the colour and stench of dead corpses as long as they live 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.

"Some of the Mohammedan writers will have Ezekiel to have been one of the judges of Israel, and to have succeeded Othoniel the son of Caleb. They also call this prophet Ibn al ajuz; or the son of the old woman, because they say his mother obtained him by her prayers in her old age." - Sale, Jalaluddin, Yahya, &c.

This is another instance of the failure of the Quran to confirm the teaching of the "former Scriptures." The purpose of Muhammad in relating this story appears in the exhortation of the next verse. Muslims must not fear death, lest they be punished with death and disgrace.

(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 Madina. 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 Islam throughout its bounds by the sword.

(245) Who is he that wilt tend, &c; i.e., "by contributing towards the establishment of his true religion." - Sale.


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 Talut, 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

(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" (i Sam. viii. 19, 20)

The garbled rendering of Israelitish history in this verse and those following illustrates at once Muhammad's ignorance of the Bible story, and his unscrupulous adaptation of Jewish tradition to the purposes of his prophetic ambition. Granting that he was unacquainted with the Scripture narrative, and that he was dependent for his information on Jewish tradition, I cannot see how he can be fairly exonerated from the charge of deliberate imposition here.

Seeing we are dispossessed, &c. The commentators relate a story in illustration of this passage to the effect that God, on account of their defection from the true faith, permitted Goliath to invade their country, and to destroy their habitations, and carry their children into captivity.

(247) And their prophet. The name of this prophet is not given the original. Some commentators think he was Ishmull (Samuel); others, that Joshua is referred to; and others, that his name was Shimaun. - Tafsir-i-Raufi.

Talut, Saul.


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.

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(249) And when Talut departed with his soldiers he said, Verily GOD will prove you by the river; for he who

(248) The sign of his kingdom, &c. Compare this story with the Biblical account (I Sam. chap. xi.)

The ark. Arabic = Coptic Hebrew . "This ark, says Jalaluddin contained the images of the prophets, and was sent down from heaven to Adam, and at length came to the Israelites, who put great confidence therein, and continually carried it in the front of their army, till it was taken by the Amalekites. But on this occasion the angels brought it back in the sight of all the people, and placed it at the feet of Talut, who was thereupon unanimously acknowledged for their king.

"This relation seems to have arisen from some imperfect tradition of the taking and sending back the ark by the Philistines." - Sale.

Tranquillity. Arabic See Rodwell's note in loco. Also Penrice's Dictionary and Glossary of the Koran under

"Tranquillity. That is because of the great confluence the Israelites placed in it, having won several battles by its miraculous assistance. I imagine, however, that the Arabic word Sakinat, which signifies tranquillity or security of mind, and is so understood by the commentators, may not improbably mean the divine presence or glory, which used to appear on the ark, and which the Jews expressed by the same word, Shechinah"- Sale.

The relics. "These were the shoes and rod of Moses, the mitre of Aaron, a pot of manna, and the broken pieces of the two tables of the law."- Sale, Jalaluddin.

The angels shall bring it. The author of the Notes on the Roman Urdu Quran points out that these angels were "two milch kine." Abdul Qadir says the angels drove the kine.

(249) God will prove you by the river. The story of Saul is here confounded 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 Islam, 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 hallucination or self deception.


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 Jalut and his forces. But they who considered that they should meet GOD at 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 Jalut 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 discomfited them, by the will of GOD, and David slew Jalut. 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 by GOD.


(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

(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 Jalaluddin, 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.


so pleased, they who came after those apostles would not have contended among themselves, after manifest signs bad 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.

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(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) GOD! 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

'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.

But that which, beyond all question, exalts Jesus above all the prophets of Islam, Muhammad himself not being excepted, is his sinlessness. Both the Quran and the Sunnat attribute a sinful character to all the prophets excepting Jesus, who appears everywhere as being absolutely immaculate. HE IS THE SINLESS PROPHET OF ISLAM.

With the holy spirit. "It is clear that at a later period at least, if not from the first, Mahomet confounded Gabriel with the Holy Ghost. The idea may have arisen from some such misapprehension as the following a conceived Jesus by the power of the Holy Ghost which overshadowed her. But it was Gabriel who visited Mary to announce the conception of the Saviour. The Holy Ghost was, therefore, another name for Gabriel. We need hardly wonder at this ignorance, when Mahomet seems to have believed that Christians held Mary to be the third person in the Trinity." - Muir's Life of Mahomet, new edition, p.47, note. See also notes on ver. 86.

They fell at variance. The allusion is to the various sects into which the followers of former "apostles" became divided. This was in accordance with the will of God. It would seem that God willed that the followers of Muhammad should be no exception in this respect.

(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.

This verse is called the 'Ayat ul Kursi or The Throne verse, and is frequently used by Muslims in prayer. The Mishqat ul Masibih


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 Taghut, 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

(Matthews' edition, vol. i. p.203) records the following tradition concerning it : - "Ali Ibn Abu Talib said, 'I heard the prophet say in the pulpit, "That person who repeats 'Ayat ul Kursi after every prayer, nothing prevents him entering into paradise but life; and whoever says 'Ayat ul Kursi when he goes to his bedchamber, God will keep him in safety, his house, and the house of his neighbor."'"

His throne. "This throne, in Arabic called Kursi, is by the Muhammadans supposed to be God's tribunal or seat of justice, being placed under that other called al Arsh, which they say is his imperial throne. The Kursi allegorically signifies the divine providence, which sustains and governs the heaven and the earth, and is infinitely above human comprehension." - Sale.

This is, without doubt, one of the grandest verses of the Quran. Its place in the text does not seem natural. It sounds more like one of the impassioned effusions of the preacher of Makkah than the utterance of the Madina politician.

(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, Jalaladdin

There is an apparent contradiction between this verse and verses 191-193 and 244 of this chapter. The comment of Jalaluddin given by Sale as quoted here affords a key to reconciliation. It was still politic to exercise moderation at Madina, but being at war with the Makkans, and anticipating the coming conflict with the unbelievers elsewhere, the Muslims were incited to "fight for the religion of God." This warfare was for the present ostensibly in self-defence, but the warriors were being educated for a career of conquest in the not distant future.

Taghut. "This word properly signifies an idol, or whatever is worshipped besides God - particularly the two idols of the Makkans, al Lat and al Uzza; an a so the devil, or any seducer."- Sale


patrons are Taghut; they shall lead them from the light into darkness; they shall be the companions of hell-fire, they shall remain therein for ever.

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(258) Hast thou not considered him who disputed 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. And GOD 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

(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 (Jalaluddin, Yahya). This apocryphal story may perhaps have taken its rise from Nehemiah's viewing of the ruins of Jerusalem" (Neh. ii.)- Sale.

The Quran is here again at variance with the facts of Jewish history.


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 there fore 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)

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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 for give is better than alms followed by mischief. GOD is

(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.

Take four birds and divide them. "These birds, according to the commentators, were an eagle (a dove, say others), a peacock, a raven and a cock, which Abraham cut to pieces, and mingled their flesh and leathers together, or as some tell us, pounded all in a mortar, and dividing the mass into four parts laid them on so many mountains, but kept the heads, which he had preserved whole, in his hand. Then he called them each by their name, and immediately one part flew to the other, till they all recovered their first shape, and then came to be joined to their respective heads.

"This seems to be taken from Abraham's sacrifice of birds mentioned by Moses (Gen. xv.), with some additional circumstances."- Sale, Jaluluddin, Abdul Qadir.

(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, Jalaluddin. See notes on vers. 42, 109, and 214.


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.

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(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

(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, Jalaluddin.

(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.


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 atone 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

(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.

If ye conceal them .. it will be better for you. This translation agrees with that of Abdul Qadir, the Tafsir Hussaini and the Tafsir-i-Raufi. This part of the exhortation is then in agreement with that of Matt. vi. 1-4. Both, public giving and private charity are commended. See also ver. 274.

But Rodwell translates this clause thus :"Do ye conceal them and give them to the poor? This, too, will be of advantage to you."

Abdul Qadir paraphrases the verse thus: "If you make your alms appear, it is well, for others will be encouraged to give; but if you conceal them, it is better, because the poor will not be made ashamed by exposing their poverty."

Will atone for your sins. This sentiment contradicts the teaching of the Bible, that "without shedding of blood there is no remission."

(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


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.

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(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

of religious duty were closely connected with his scheme for political advancement.

Their modesty. If ever this virtue belonged to a ghazi or Muslim warrior, it has long since been supplanted by the most impudent and cruel audacity.

(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.

Usury is one of the seventeen kabira or great sins. Hughes' Notes on Muhammadanism, p. 139.

Shall have what is past forgiven. Repentance thus atones for past sin. This, again, contradicts the teaching of the "former Scriptures." The Tafsir-i-Raufi, while recognising the above as a possible interpretation, prefers another, viz., that those who had borrowed money before the date of the prohibition of usury, are hereby relieved from the responsibility of payment of interest on their debts. This is ex post facto law of a kind scarcely creditable to Islam. And yet this interpretation seems to be borne out by the exhortation of ver.278.

(277) See notes on vers. 3-5, 37, 38, and 177.


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.

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(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 neigh

(278) Remit that 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, Jalaluddin. 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 Islam." - 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, Jalaluddin

A man and two women. Another illustration of the Muslim estimate of woman. She is but half a man! A man, too ignorant to dictate an article of agreement, may still be equal to any two women, however intelligent; or "if one of those women should mistake, the other of them will cause her to recollect!"


bouring 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.

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(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

(283) Return what he is trusted with. Forbids a breach of trust and all embezzlement. - Tafsir-i-Raufi.

(284) Whether ye manifest that which is in your minds, &c. Abdul Qadir 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.

Will forgive whom he pleaseth. Pardon of sin here depends on the will of God alone. Compare notes on vers. 271 and 275.


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.

(285) We make no distinction at all between his apostles. This verse contradicts ver. 253 and chap. xvii. 57.

"But this, say the Muhammadans, the Jews do, who receive Moses, but reject Jesus; and the Christians, who receive both those prophets, but reject Muhammad." - Sale, Jalaluddin.

(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, Jalaluddin, Yahya. See note on ver. 284.

Abdul Qadir says, "God approved of this prayer and accepted it. This command no longer rests heavily upon us, so that the thoughts of the heart are no longer taken into account, and sins of carelessness are forgiven!"

The Quran then, seems to be responsible for the general insensibility of Muslims to sin, and especially sinful states of the heart. The doctrine of personal holiness is alike foreign to the Quran and the experience of the followers of Islam.


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