Revealed at Makkah.


"SEVERAL circumstances," says Sale, "relating to the Virgin Mary being mentioned in this chapter, her name was pitched upon for the title." It contains the fullest and earliest accounts of gospel history found in the Quran. According to Muslim authorities, it was recited by Jafir, Muhammad's uncle, before the Najashi or king of Ethiopia, in the presence of the Quraishite envoys, sent from Makkah to secure the expulsion of Muslim refugees; whereupon "the king wept until his beard became moist, and the bishops also wept, so that their tears ran down upon their books, saying, 'Verily this revelation and that of Moses proceed from one and the same source"' Muir's Life of Mohamet, vol. ii. pp.172, 173, note).

Rodwell calls attention to the change of style of this chapter, vers. 1-37, and that of chap. iii. vers. 35-57, and suggests that it was due to a desire to avoid the imputation "of being merely a poet, a sorcerer, or person possessed." This does not seem very likely; as these charges were peculiarly Makkan, he would hardly have waited until his arrival in Madina before making the change in his style, if indeed desirous of avoiding these particular charges against his prophetic character. It seems to me the cause of this change of style is to be sought in the change of his surroundings, his habits, and aspirations. The prophet had given place in some measure to the general of armies and the ruler of a people.

The numerous historical errors contained in this chapter prove that Muhammad had no personal acquaintance with Jewish or Christian records. He seems to have been indebted to Jewish or Christian informants, who were themselves very ignorant of their own traditions.


Probable Date of the Revelation.

Excepting vers 35-41, the revelations of this chapter belong to an early period of Muhammad's prophetic career at Makkah. Muir (Life of Moh., vol. ii. p.278) assigns it to a period shortly succeeding Muhammad's return from Tayif, but this period seems to me to be too late to accord with the general spirit of the chapter. The exhortations to the Quraish are earnest and the threatenings against unbelievers are solemn, but there is not a sign of that violent imprecation and bitter enmity against the people of Makkah which characterise the later Makkan chapters. I would therefore fix the date as early as the beginning of the second period of Muhammad's ministry at Makkah.

Vers. 35-41 are more polemic in style than the rest of the chapter, and for this reason should be assigned to a later date, say the end of the second or the beginning of the third Makkan period. Ver. 74 seq. have been thought to be Madinic, but on insufficient grounds. The change in rhyme belongs to vers. 35-41, these are confessedly Makkan, while the words "two parties" may refer to infidels and unbelievers in general, and therefore may apply to Makkah as aptly as to Madina.

Principal Subjects.

Zacharias prays for offspring ... 16
Gabriel is sent with an answer promising a son .. . 7, 8
Zacharias asks a sign which is given . . .
John's mission and character described . . . 13-15
Story of Mary's miraculous conception . . . . . 16-22
The birth of Jesus . . .22, 23
Mary in distress is comforted by Jesus . . .23-27
Mary brings her child to her people, who reproach her .. . 28, 29
Jesus (speaking in infancy) vindicates his mother and describes his own prophetic character... 33-34
Jesus the Word of Truth . . . 35
God has no son . . . 36
God alone to be worshipped ... 37
The miserable fate of Jewish and Christian sectaries .. .38-41

The story of Abraham:-

He reproaches his father for idolatry . . .42-46
His father threatens to stone him . . . 47
Abraham prays for his father but separates himself from him... 48-50
God gives him Isaac and Jacob, who were notable prophets... 50, 51


Moses - an apostle and prophet . . . 52

Discourses with God privately . . . 53
Aaron given him for an assistant. . . . 54

Ismail was a prophet acceptable to his Lord . . . 55,56
Idris was taken up to heaven . . . 57,58
God is bounteous to all the prophets . . . 59
The followers of former prophets compared with those of Muhammad...59, 60
The reward of the faithful in Paradise ... 61, 64
Gabriel comes down from heaven only when commanded ... 65
God is the only Lord-no name like his ... 66
The dead shall surely rise . . . 67, 68
The dead shall be judged on their knees . . . 69-73
Believers and unbelievers compared . . . . . 74, 75
The prosperity of infidels a sign of God's reprobation. . . 76, 77
Good works better than riches ... 78, 79
The doom of the wicked certain . . . 80-83
Even the false gods will desert idolaters in the judgment ... 84, 85
God sends devils to incite infidels to sin ... 86, 87
The pious to be honoured before God . . . 88
The wicked to be driven into hell . . . 89, 90
Attributing children to God a great sin . . . 91, 93
God the only Lord-all creatures his servants . . . 94, 95
Believers to be rewarded with love . . . 96
The Quran made easy for Muhammad . . . 97
Miserable doom of all God's enemies . . . 98


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(1) K. H. Y. A. S. A commemoration of the mercy of thy LORD towards his servant Zacharias. (2) When he called upon his LORD, invoking him in secret, (3) and

(1) K. H. Y. A. S. See Prelim. Disc., pp. 100-102. The conjecture of Golius that these letters represent Koh Y'as = thus he counselled, or that of Sprenger (Journal As. Soc. Bengal, xx. 280) that they siginfy, Jesus of the Nazarenes, king of the Jews, may be placed in the same category with that of the commentators, that each letter is the initial of one of the Divine attributes - Ali having sometimes addressed God in prayer, Ya Kahy'as.

Zacharias See chap. iii. 38, 39, and xxi. 89, 90.

(2) Invoking him in secret, or in a low tone of voice, through fear of ridicule. See chap. iii. 38, note.


said, O LORD, verily my bones are weakened, and my head is become white with hoariness, (4) and I have never been unsuccessful in my prayers to thee, O LORD. (5) But now I fear my nephews, who are to succeed after me, for my wife is barren: wherefore give me a successor of my own body from before thee; (6) who may be my heir, and may be an heir of the family of Jacob; and grant, O LORD, that he may be acceptable unto thee. (7) And the angel answered him, O Zacharias, verily we bring thee tidings of a son, whose name shall be John; (8) we have not caused any to bear the same name before him. (9) Zacharias said, LORD, how shall I have a son, seeing my wife is barren, and I am now arrived at a great age, and am decrepit? (10) The angel said, So shall it be: thy LORD saith, This is easy with me; since I created thee heretofore, when thou wast nothing. (11) Zacharias

(5) My nephews. "These were his brother's sons, who were very wicked men, and Zacharias was apprehensive lest, after his death, instead of confirming the people in the true religion, they should seduce them to idolatry. And some commentators imagine that he made this prayer in private, lest his nephews should overhear him."- Sale, Baidhawi, Jalaluddin.

A successor. See note on chap. iii. 38.

(6) An heir of . . . Jacob, viz., "in holiness and knowledge, or in the government and superintendence of the Israelites. There are some who suppose it is not the patriarch who is here meant, but another Jacob, the brother of Zacharias, or of Imran Ibn Mathan, of the race of Solomon."- Sale, Jalaluddin, Tafsir-i.Raufi.

(8) We have not caused any to bear the same name. "For he was the first who bore the name of John, or Yahya (as the Arabs pronounce it); which fancy seems to be occasioned by the words of St. Luke misunderstood, that none of Zacharias's kindred was called by that name: for otherwise John, or, as it is written in Hebrew, Johanan, was a common name among the Jews.

"Some expositors avoid this objection by observing that the original word samiyyan signifies not only one who is actually called by the same name, but also one who, by reason of his possessing the like qualities and privileges, deserves or may pretend to the same name." Sale, Baidhawi, Julaluddin.

The only way to reconcile this passage with 2 Kings xxv. 23, 1 Chron. iii. 16, Ezra vii. 12, &c., is to regard Yahya as the Baptist's name, and not John, as recorded in Luke i.; but in this case the statement contradicts the former Scriptures.

(9) See note on chap. iii. 40.


answered, O LORD give me a sign. The angel replied, Thy sign shall be that thou shalt not speak to men for three nights, although thou be in perfect health. (12) And he went forth into his people from the chamber, and he made signs unto them, as if he should say, Praise ye God in the morning and in the evening. (13) And we said unto his son, O John, receive the book of the law, with a resolution to study and observe it. And we bestowed on him wisdom, when he was yet a child, (14) and mercy from us, and purity of life; and he was a devout person, and dutiful towards his parents, and was not proud or rebellious. (15) Peace be on him the day whereon he was born, and the day whereon he shall die, and the day whereon he shall be raised to life.


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(16) And remember in the book of the Quran the story of Mary, when she retired from her family to a place towards the east, (17) and took a veil to conceal herself from them; and we sent our spirit Gabriel unto

(11) Thy sign. See note on chap. iii. 41.

(12) He made signs. "Some say he wrote the following words on the ground."- Sale. See chap. iii. 41.

(13) Wisdom. The Tafsir-i-Raufi gives the following illustration of John's wisdom. When three years of age, some children asked him to play with them, but he declined, saying that he had not been created for play!

(15) Compare with ver. 34 below. This verse was probably first applied by Muhammad to Jesus, but misplaced here by the compilers.

(16) A place towards the east. "To the eastern part of the temple; or to a private chamber in the house, which opened to the east: whence, says Al Baidhawi, the Christians pray towards that quarter.""There is a tradition that when the Virgin was grown to years of puberty, she used to leave her apartment in the temple, and retire to Zacharias's house, to her aunt, when her courses came upon her; and so soon as she was clean, she returned again to the temple; and that at the time of the angel's visiting her, she was at aunt's on the like occasion, and was sitting to wash herself, man open place, behind a veil, to prevent her being seen. But others more prudently suppose the design of her retirement was to pray." Sale, Yahya, Baidhawi, &c.

This passage contradicts Luke i. 26 and 39.

(17) Our spirit . . appeared . . . a perfect man. "Like a full-


her, and he appeared unto her in the shape of a perfect man. (18) She said, I fly for refuge unto the merciful God, that he may defend me from thee: if thou fearest him, thou wilt not approach me. (19) He answered, Verily I am the messenger of thy LORD, and am sent to give thee a holy son. (20) She said, How shall I have a son, seeing a man hath not touched me, and I am no harlot? (21) Gabriel replied, So shall it be: thy LORD saith, This is easy with me; and we will perform it, that we may ordain him for a sign unto men, and a mercy from us: for it is a thing which is decreed. (22) Wherefore she conceived him; and she retired aside with him in her womb to a distant place; (23) and the pains

grown, but beardless youth. Al Baidhawi, not contended with having given one good reason why he appeared in that form, viz. to moderate her surprise, that she might hear his message with less shyness, adds, that perhaps it might be to raise an emotion in her, and assist her conception. - Sale.

See chap. vi. 9, and notes there.

(18) If thou fearest. The original is In kunta taqian. Some commentators understanding taqian to be a proper name, translate the passage if thou art Taqi. They say this man was a noted villain, who bad assaulted many women in the neighbourhood. Mary fancying that the man, who now appeared to her in her private apartrnents, must be Taqi, took refuge in God against him. Tafsir-i-Raufi.

(19) A holy son. The only fair inference from this statement is that Jesus was thus miraculously conceived in order that he might be holy and sinless. See notes on chap. ii. 253.

(22) Wherefore she conceived him. " For Gabriel blew into the bosom of her shift, which he opened with his fingers, and his breath reaching her womb, caused the conception. The age of the Virgin Mary at the time of her conception was thirteen ; or, as others say, ten; and she went six, seven, eight, or nine months with him, according to different traditions; though some say the child was conceived at its full growth of nine months, and that she was delivered of him within an hour after."- Sale, Baidhawi, Yahya, &c.

All authorities agree that Jesus was conceived by an act of the Divine will. Those Muslims who, with Syed Abmad, believe that Jesus was the son of Joseph and Mary, are certainly at enmity alike with the Quran and with orthodox Islam.

A distant place. "To conceal her delivery she went out of the city by night to a certain mountain."- Sale.

The language of the Quran certainly gives the impression that the birth of Jesus took place almost immediately after conception.


of child-birth came upon her near the trunk of a palm-tree. She said, Would to GOD I had died before this, and had become a thing forgotten and lost in oblivion. (24) And he who was beneath her called to her, saying, Be not grieved; now hath GOD provided a rivulet under thee; (25) and do thou shake the body of the palm-tree, and it shall let fall ripe dates upon thee ready gathered. (26) And eat, and drink, and calm thy mind. Moreover, if thou see any man, and he question thee, (27) say, Verily I have vowed a fast unto the Merciful: wherefor I will by no means speak to a man this day. (28) So she brought the child to her people, carrying him in her arms.

(23) A palm-tree. "The palm to which she fled, that she might lean on it in her travail, was a withered trunk, without any head or verdure, and this happened in the winter season; notwithstanding which, it miraculously sup plied her with fruits for her refreshment, as is mentioned immediately.

"It has been observed, that the Muhammadan account on the delivery of the Virgin Mary very much resembles that of Latona, as described by the poets , not only in this circumstance of their laying hold on a palm-tree(though some say Latona embraced an olive-tree, or an olive and a palm, or else two laurels), but also in that of their infants speaking, which Apollo is fabled to have done in the womb."- Sale.

See also chap. iii. 46, and note there.

Would to God I had died. The spirit of this passage contradicts Luke i. 46-55. Joseph's betrothal and marriage is here, as every-where in the Quran, totally ignored. Was Muhammad ignorant of this portion of the history of Jesus?

(24) He who was beneath her. The commentators are divided in opinion as to who addressed Mary on this occasion. Some say it was Jesus, who spoke as soon as he was born: others, that it was Gabriel, who spoke from behind the palm-tree (Baidhawi).

(25) Ripe dates. "And according y she had no sooner spoken it than the dry trunk revived, and shot forth green leaves, and a head loaded with ripe fruit."- Sale.

(26) Calm thy mind. Literally, Calm thine eye, an expression which may apply either to the birth of a son or to refreshment derived from the sight of delicious fruit or food of any kind.

(27) Say, Verily I have vowed a fast. The bountiful provision of fruit and the command to eat and drink (ver. 26) must then be regarded as preparatory to this fast.

I will by no means speak. Sale says : - "She was not to speak to anybody, unless to acquaint them with the reason of her silence and some suppose she did that by signs."


And they said unto her, O Mary, now hast thou done a strange thing. (29) O sister of Aaron, thy father was not a bad man, neither was thy mother a harlot. (30) But she made signs unto the child to answer them; and they said, How shall we speak to him, who is an infant in the cradle? (31) Whereupon the child said, Verily I am the servant of GOD; he hath given me the book of the gospel, and hath appointed me a prophet. (32) And he hath made me blessed, wheresoever I shall be; and hath commanded me to observe prayer, and to give alms, so long as I shall live; (33) and he hath made me dutiful towards my mother, and hath not made me proud or unhappy. (34) And peace be on me the day whereon I was born, and the day whereon I shall die, and the day whereon I shall be raised to life. (35) This was Jesus, the son of Mary; the Word of truth, concerning whom

(29) A sister of Aaron. "Several Christian writers think the Quran stands convicted of a manifest falsehood in this particular, but I am afraid the Muhammadans may avoid the charge; as they do by several answers. Some say the Virgin Mary had really a brother named Aaron, who had the same father, but a different mother; others suppose Aaron, the brother of Moses, is here meant, but say Mary is called his sister, either because she was of the Levitical race (as by her being related to Elizabeth it should seem she was), or by way of comparison; others say that it was a different person of that name who was contemporary with her, and conspicuous for his good or bad qualities, and that they likened her to him either by way of commendation or of reproach, &c." - Sale, Zamakhshari, Baidhawi, &c.

See this subject discussed in note on chap. iii. 35.

(31) I am the servant of God. "These were the first words which were put into the mouth of Jesus, to obviate the imagination of his partaking of the Divine nature, or having a right to the worship of mankind, on account of his miraculous speaking so soon after his birth."- Sale, Baidhawi.

Let it not be forgotten that these words, "put into the mouth of Jesus," are presented to us here as coming to Muhammad from God by the mouth of Gabriel Was there nothing dishonest in this business? If not, perhaps some of Muhammad's apologists will tell us why. See also note on chap. iii. 46.

(34) See notes on chap. iii. 53,54,and below on ver. 156.

(35) The Word of truth. "This expression may either be referred to Jesus as the Word of God, or to the account just given of him."- Sale.


they doubt. (36) It is not meet for GOD, that he should have any son; GOD forbid! When he decreeth a thing, he only saith unto it, Be; and it is. (37) And verily GOD is my LORD and your LORD; wherefore, serve him: this is the right way. (38) Yet the sectaries differ among themselves concerning Jesus: but woe be unto those who are unbelievers, because of their appearance at the great day. (39) Do thou cause them to hear, and do thou cause them to see, on the day whereon they shall come unto us to be judged: but the ungodly are this day in a manifest error. (40) And do thou forewarn them of on the day of sighing, when the matter shall be determined, while they are now sunk in negligence, and do not believe. (41) Verily we will inherit the earth, and whatever creatures are therein and unto us shall they all return.

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(42) And remember Abraham in the book of the

Rodwell translates : "This is a statement of the truth concerning which they doubt," which agrees with the Urdu and Persian translations, and accords with the interpretations of the commentators.

(36) It is not meet for God. See notes on chaps. ii. 116, vi 101, 102, and xvii. 111.

Be, and it is. See note on chap. ii. 117. Rodwell says this and the four following verses belong to a later date than the remaining portion of this chapter.

(38) The sectaries. Either Jews and Christians differ, or Christians differ among themselves. - Tafsir-i-Raufi. Their appearance. See Prelim. Disc., pp. 138, 139.

(39) "These words are variously expounded, some taking them to express admiration (chap. xviii. 27) at the quickness of those senses in the wicked at the day of judgment, when they shall plainly perceive the torments prepared for them, though they have been deaf and blind in this life, and others supposing the words contain a threat to the unbelievers of what they shall then hear and see, or else a command to Muhammad to lay before them the terrors of that day."- Sale, Baidhawi.

(41) We shall inherit the earth, i.e., "alone surviving when all creatures shall be dead and annihilated. See chap. xv. 23."- Sale.

Shall return. Abdul Qadir says that previous to the day of judgment all Muslims will have been taken out of hell and transferred to heaven. The Angel of Death shall then cast all the infidels into hell.

(42) Abraham. See notes on chap. iv. 124 and xvi. 121.


Quran; for he was one of great veracity, and a prophet. (43) When he said unto his father, O my father, why dost thou worship that which heareth not, neither seeth, nor profiteth thee at all? (44) O my father, verily a degree of knowledge hath been bestowed on me, which hath not been bestowed on thee: wherefore follow me; I will lead thee into an even way. (45) O my father, serve not Satan; for Satan was rebellious unto the Merciful. (46) O my father, verily I fear lest a punishment be inflicted on thee from the Merciful, and thou become a companion of Satan. (47) His father answered, Dost thou reject my gods, O Abraham? If thou forbear not, I will surely stone thee: wherefore leave me for a long time. (48) Abraham replied, Peace be on thee: I will ask pardon for thee of my LORD; for he is gracious unto me. (49) And I will separate myself from you, and from the idols which ye invoke besides GOD; and I will call upon my LORD: it may be that I shall not be unsuccessful in calling on my LORD, as ye are in calling upon them. (50) And when he had separated himself from them, and from the idols which they worshipped besides GOD, we gave him Isaac and Jacob; and we made each of them a prophet, (51) and we bestowed on them, through our mercy, the gift of prophecy, and children and wealth; and we caused them to deserve the highest commendations. (52) And remember Moses in the book of the Quran: for he was sincerely upright, and was an apostle and a prophet. (53) And we called unto him from the right side of Mount Sinai, and

A prophet. Rodwell distinguishes between a prophet (nabi) and .tn apostle (rasul), the mission of the former being restricted to a family, that of an apostle being extended to a tribe, some of the prophets, e.g., Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad, possessing the credentials of both nabi and rasul.

(43-50) See notes on chap. vi. 75-85.

(50) When he had separated himself from them."By flying to Harran and thence to Palestine.- Sale.

(51) To deserve, &c. Literally, We granted them a lofty tongue of truth.

(52) An apostle and a prophet. See above on ver. 42.


caused him to draw near, and to discourse privately with us. (54) And we gave him, through our mercy, his brother Aaron a prophet, for his assistant. (55) Remember also Ismail in the same book; for he was true to his promise, and was an apostle and a prophet. (56) And he commanded his family to observe prayer and to give alms; and he was acceptable unto his LORD. (57) And remember Idris in the same book; for he was a just person and a prophet: (58) and we exalted him to a high place. (59) These are they unto whom GOD hath been bounteous, of the prophets of the posterity of Adam, and of those whom we carried in the ark with Noah; and of the posterity of Abraham, and of Israel, and of those whom we have directed and chosen. When the signs of the Merciful

(53) To draw near. "Or, as some expound it, And we raised him on high; for, say they, he was raised to so great an elevation, that he heard tbe creaking of the pen writing on the table of God's decrees." - Sale, Baidhawi.

(55) He was true to his promise. "Being celebrated on that account, and particularly for his behaving with that resignation and constancy which be had promised his father on his receiving God's command to sacrifice him: for the Muhammadans say it was Ismail, and not Isaac, whom he was commanded to offer."- Sale, Baidhawi.

Abdul Qadir says Ismail obtained this title (in Arabic Sadiq ul W'adi) because having promised to wait for a certain person in a certain place till he came he waited there a whole year.

(57) Idris,"or Enoch, the great-grandfather of Noah, who had that surname from his great knowledge; for he was favoured with no less than thirty books of divine revelations, and was the first who wrote with a pen, and studied the sciences of astronomy and arithmetic, &c. Baidhawi, Jalaluddin.

"The learned Bartolocci (Bartol. Bibl. Rab., part ii. p.845) endeavours to show from the testimonies of the ancient Jews, that Enoch, surnamed Idris, was a very different person from, the Enoch of Moses, and many ages younger." Sale.

Arab writers derive the name Idris from Darasa, to search out.

(58) We exalted him. "Some understand by this the honour or the prophetic office and his familiarity with God; but others suppose his translation is here meant: for they say he was taken up by God into heaven at the age of three hundred and fifty, having first suffered death, and been restored to life, and that he is now alive in one of the seven heavens, or in paradise."- Sale, Jalaluddin, Baidhawi.

See Rodwell's note in loco for corresponding Jewish tradition.


were read unto them, they fell down, worshipping, and wept.

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(60) But a succeeding generation have come after them, who neglect prayer and follow their lusts; and they shall surely fall into evil: (61) except him who repenteth and believeth, and doth that which is right; these shall enter Paradise, and they shall not in the least be wronged: (62) gardens of perpetual abode shall be their reward, which the Merciful hath promised unto his servants, as an object of faith; for his promise will surely come to be fulfilled. (63) Therein shall they hear no vain discourse, but peace; and their provision shall be prepared for them therein morning and evening. (64) This is Paradise, which we will give for an inheritance unto such of our servants as shall be pious. (65) We descend not from heaven unless by command of thy LORD: unto himt belongeth whatsoever is before us, and whatsoever is behind us, and whatsoever is in the intermediate space; neither is thy LORD forgetful of thee. (66) He is the LORD of heaven

(59) And wept. The Tafsir-i-Raufi draws from these words the inference that tears should be shed during the reading of the Quran. "if they do not flow voluntarily," says a tradition, "then strain them out with difficulty."

(61) Except him who repenteth, &c. Salvation is here promised on the ground of repentance, faith, and good works (prayer, fasting, almsgiving, &c.) In other words, those who live the lives of good Muslims will be saved-Islam being the one true religion of God on earth. See also note on chap. iii.31.

(62) Gardens. See note on chap. iii. 15.

(63) Peace, i.e., "words of peace and comfort, or the salutations of the angels, &c."-Sale. See also chap. x. 10, and note there.

(65) "These are generally supposed to have been the words of the Angel Gabriel in answer to Muhammad's complaint for his long delay of fifteen, or, according to another tradition, of forty days, before he brought him instructions what solution he should give to the questions which had been asked him concerning the sleepers, Dhu-'l-Qarnain, and the spirit (see p. xviii. 23, note).

"Others, however, are of opinion that they are the words which the godly will use at their entrance into Paradise; and that their meaning is, 'We take up our abode here at the command and through the mercy of God alone, who ruleth alt things, past, future, and present; and who is not forgetful of the works of his servants.' " - Sale, Baidhawi.


and earth, and of whatsoever is between them: wherefore worship him, and be constant in his worship. Dost thou know any named like him?

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(67) Man saith, After I shall have been dead, shall I really be brought forth alive from the grave? (68) Doth not man remember that we created him heretofore, when he was nothing? (69) But by thy LORD we will surely assemble them and the devils to judgment; then will we set them round about hell on their knees: (70) afterwards we will draw forth from every sect such of them as shall have been a more obstinate rebel against the Merciful; (71) and we best know which of them are more worthy to be burned therein. (72) There shall be none of you but shall approach near the same: this is an established decree with thy LORD. (73) Afterwards we will deliver those who shall have been pious, but we will leave the ungodly therein on their knees. (74) When our manifest signs

(66) Dost thou know any named like him? "That is, deserving or having a right to the name and attributes of God."- Sale.

His name is Allah,a name not used by the idolaters, who worshipped gods whom they called Ilhat (from Ilah), or Alihat (plural of Ilah).

(67) Man saith. "Some suppose a particular person is here meant, namely, Abi Ibn Khalf."- Sale. See note on chap. xvi.4.

(69) Them and the devils. "It is said that every infidel will appear at the day of judgment chained to the devil who seduced him." - Sale, Baidhawi.

(70) We will draw forth from every sect, &c. " Hence, says al Baidhawi, it appears that God will pardon some of the rebellious people. But perhaps the distinguishing the unbelievers into different classes, in order to consign them to different places and degrees of torment, is here meant."- Sale.

But see ver. 73 below. The pious are probably the erring faithful, who will be punished by purgatorial fire.

(81) More worthy, viz., "the more obstinate and. perverse, and especially the heads sects, who will suffer a double punishment for their own errors and their seducing of others."- Sale.

(72) You . . shall approach near the same. "For the true believers must also pass by or through hell, but the fire will be damped and the flames abated, so as not to hurt them, though it will lay hold on the others. Some, however, suppose that the words intend no more than the passage over the narrow bridge, which is laid over hell."- Sale. See Prelim. Disc., p.147.

(73) See above on ver. 70.


are read unto them, the infidels say unto the true believers, Which of the two parties is in the more eligible condition, and formeth the more excellent assembly? (75) But how many generations have we destroyed before them, which excelled them in wealth, and in outward appearance? (76) Say, Whosoever is in error, the Merciful will grant him a long and prosperous life, (77) until they see that with which they are threatened, whether it be the punishment of this life, or that of the last hour; and hereafter they shall know who is in the worse condition, and the weaker in forces. (78) GOD shall more fully direct those who receive direction; (79) and the good works which remain for ever are better in the sight of thy LORD than worldly possessions, in respect to the reward, and more eligible in respect to the future recompense. (80) Hast thou seen him who believeth not in our signs, and saith, I shall surely have riches and children bestowed on me? (81) Is he acquainted with the secrets of futurity; or hath he received a covenant from the Merciful that it shall be so? (82) By no means. We will surely write down that which he saith; and increasing we will increase his punishment; (83) and we will be his heir as to that which he speaketh of; and on the last day he shall appear before us alone

(74) The two parties, viz., "of us or of you. When the Quraish were unable to produce a composition to equal the Quran, they began to glory in their wealth and nobility, valuing themselves highly on that account, and despising the followers of Muhammad."- Sale.

(76) A long and prosperous life. Not in order that lie may have a longer day of probation, but that he may thus treasure up a greater degree of suffering. See chap. iii. 179, and note on chap. ii. 211.

(80) "This passage was revealed on account of 'Aas Ibn Wail, who being indebted to Khabbah, when he demanded the money refused to pay it, unless he would deny Muhammad; to which proposal Khabbah answered that he would never deny that prophet, neither alive, nor dead, nor when he should be raised to life at the last day. Therefore, replied al 'Aas, 'When thou art raised again, come to me, for I shall then have abundance of riches and children, and I win pay you'"- Sale, Baidhawi, Jalaluddin.

We shall heir &c., i.e., "God will take from him all his wealth and children, whom he will be obliged to leave behind at death." See the same idea above in ver. 41.


and naked. (84) They have taken other gods, besides GOD, that they may be a glory unto them. (85) By no means. Hereafter shall they deny their worship; and they shall become adversaries unto them.

R 6/9.

(86) Dost thou not see that we send the devils against the infidels, to incite them to sin by their instigation? (87) Wherefore be not in haste to call down destruction upon them; for we number unto them a determined number of days of respite. (88) On a certain day we will assemble the pious before the Merciful in an honourable manner, as ambassadors come into the presence of a prince: (89) but we will drive the wicked into hell, as cattle are driven to water: (90) they shall obtain no intercession, except he only who hath received a covenant from the Merciful. (91) They say, The Merciful hath begotten issue. Now have ye uttered an impious thing: (92) it wanteth little but that on occasion thereof the heavens be rent, and the earth cleave in sunder, and the mountains be overthrown and fall, (93) for that they attribute children unto the Merciful; whereas it becometh not GOD to beget children. (94) Verily there is none in

(85) They shall deny their worship, viz., "at the resurrection, when the idolaters shall disclaim their idols, and the idols their worshippers, and shall mutually accuse one another."- Sale.

See note on chap. x. 29.

(86) We send devils . . . to incite. This contradicts the teaching of the Bible. Comp. James i. 13.

(90) Except he only. "That is, except he who shall be a subject properly disposed to receive that favou; by having possessed Islam. Or the words may also be translated, according to another exposition, 'They shall not obtain the intercession of any, except the intercession of him,' &c. Or else, 'None shall be able to make intercession for others, except he who shall have received a covenant (or permission) from God;' i.e., who shall be qualified for that office by faith and good works, according to God a promise, or shall have special leave given him by God for that purpose."- Sale, Baidhawi.

(91-95) The fact, however clearly explained, that the word walada, used throughout the Quran, involves the notion of sex, while the equivalent word used in the New Testament to express the Christian doctrine of the divine sonship, never does so, will do little to remove Muslim misconception on this subject (Bosworth Smith, Mahom., p :75.) This misconception is based upon the statements of the


heaven or on earth but shall approach the Merciful as his servant. He encompasseth them by his knowledge and power, and numbereth them with an exact computation: (95) and they shall all come unto him on the day of resurrection, destitute both of helpers and followers. (96) But as for those who believe and do good works, the Merciful will bestow on them love. (97) Verily we have rendered the Quran easy for thy tongue, that thou mayest thereby declare our promises unto the pious, and mayest thereby denounce threats unto contentious people. (98) And how many generations have we destroyed before them ? Dost thou find one of them remaining? Or dost thou hear so much as a whisper concerning them?

Quran, whose author certainly believed that Christians held these carnal notions of the Godhead. So long therefore, as Muslims believe in the Quran, they are bound to believe that the Christians' language on this subject is to be understood in a grossly carnal sense. See notes on chap. iv. 169-174,v. 19, 116, and vii. 101, 102.

(96) The Merciful will bestow on them love, viz, "the love of God and all the inhabitants of heaven. Some suppose this verse was revealed to comfort the Muslims, who were hated and despised at Makkah on account of their faith, by the promise of their gaining the love and esteem of mankind in a short time."- Sale.

(97) The Quran easy. Either because it is written in the Arabic language, or because the Prophet had received facility in recollecting and repeating the revelations of the Quran. See Tafsir-i-Raufi, in loco.

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