Revealed at Makkah.


THE title of this chapter, understood as referring to the infallible truth of the doctrine of a future judgment, though probably taken at random from the first verse, as in the case of so many other titles, nevertheless expresses the purport of the contents very well. The strong asseveration of the Prophet to the truth of his claims found in the last verses of the chapter must be understood as intended to emphase the inevitable advent of the dread day. The necessity for such strong language, however, predicates strong opposition to the Prophet and his message on the part of his hearers. Aside from this, there is nothing worthy of special note to distinguish this from other Makkan revelations.

Probable Date of the Revelations.

In his chronological list, NoŽldeke places this chapter immediately before chap. li., i.e., about the sixth year of the Call. Muir places it somewhat later.

Principal Subjects.

The judgment of God will infallibly come . . . 1-3
Ad, Thamud, and Pharaoh destroyed for rejecting their prophets. . .4-10
As the flood came, so shall the judgment certainly come ... 11-16
On the judgment-day God's throne shall be borne by eight mighty angels . . . 17
The good and bad shall receive their account-books and be judged according to their deeds ...18-29


Infidels shall be bound with chains seventy cubits in length and be cast into hell-fire ...30-37
With terrible oaths Muhammad asserts the truth of his prophetic claims .. 38-39



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(1) The infallible! (2) What is the infallible? (3) And what shall cause thee to understand what the infallible is? (4) The tribes of Thamud and Ad denied as a falsehood the day which shall strike men's hearts with terror. (5) But Thamud were destroyed by a terrible noise, (6) and Ad were destroyed by a roaring and furious wind, (7) which God caused to assail them for seven nights and eight days successively: thou mightest have seen people during the same lying prostrate, as though they had been the roots of hollow palm-trees; (8) and couldest thou have seen any of them remaining? (9) Pharaoh also, and those who were before him, and the cities which were overthrown, were guilty of sin: (10) and they severally were disobedient to the apostle of their LORD; wherefore he chastised them with an abundant chastisement. (11) When the water of the deluge arose, we carried you in the ark which swam thereon; (12) that we might make the same a memorial unto you, and the retaining ear might retain it. (13) And when one blast

(1) The infallible. "The original word, al haqqat, is one of the names or epithets of the day of judgment. As the root from which it is derived signifies not only to be or come to pass of necessity, but also to verify, some rather think that day to be so called because it will verify and show the truth of what men doubt of in this life, viz., the resurrection of the dead, their being brought to account and the consequent rewards and punishments."-Sale, Baidhawi.

(4) The day which shall strike. "Arabic, al qariat or the striking, which is another name or epithet of the last day."- Sale.

(7) Hollow palm-trees. Compare chap. lii. 31, 32. See also notes on chap. xi. 50-68.

(9) Cities, &c. See note on chap. xi. 81, 82.

(13) One blast. See Prelim. Disc., p.135.


shall sound the trumpet, (14) and the earth shall be moved from its place, and the mountains also, and shall be dashed in pieces at one stroke: (15) on that day the inevitable hour of judgment shall suddenly come; (16) aud the heavens shall cleave in sunder, and shall fall in pieces, on that day: (17) and the angels shall be on the sides thereof; and eight shall bear the throne of thy LORD above them, on that day. (18) On that day ye shall be presented before the judgment-seat of God; and none of your secret actions shall be hidden. (19) And he who shall have his book delivered into his right hand shall say, Take ye, read this my book; (20) verily I thought that I should be brought to this my account: (21) he shall lead a pleasing life (22) in a lofty garden, (23) the fruits whereof shall be near to gather. (24) Eat and drink with easy digestion; because of the good works which ye sent before you, in the days which are past. (25) But be who shall have his book delivered into his ]eft hand shall say, O that I had not received this book; (26) and that I had not known what this my account was! (27) O that death had made an end of me! (28) My riches have not profited me; (29) and my power is passed from me. (30) And God shall say to the keepers of hell, Take him and bind him, (31) and cast him into hell to be burned: (32) then put him into a chain of the length of seventy cubits: (33) because he believed not in the great GOD, (34) and was not solicitous to feed the poor: (35) wherefore this day he shall have no friend

(17) The angels, &c. "These words seem to intimate the death of the angels at the demolition of their habitation, beside the ruins whereof they shall lie like dead bodies."-Sale.

Light shall bear, &c. "The number of those who bear it at present being generally supposed to be but four, to whom four more will be added at the last day for the grandeur of the occasion." - Sale, Baidhawi.

(19-25) See Prelim. Disc., pp.142, 144.

(32) Seventy cubits. "Wrap him round with it, so that he may not be able to stir."-Sale.


here; (36) nor any food, but the filthy corruption flowing from the bodies of the damned, (37) which none shall eat but the sinners.

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(38) I swear by that which ye see, (39) and that which ye see not, (40) that this is the discourse of an honourable apostle, (41) and not the discourse of a poet: how little do ye believe! (42) Neither is it the discourse of a soothsayer: how little are ye admonished! (43) It is a revelation from the LORD of all creatures. (44) If Muhammad had forged any part of these discourses concerning us, (45) verily we had taken him by the right hand, (46) and had cut in sunder the vein of his heart; (47) neither would we have withheld any of you from chastising him. (48) And verily this book is an admonition unto the pious; (49) and we well know that there are some of you who charge the same with imposture: (50) but it shall surely be an occasion of grievous sighing unto the infidels; (51) for it is the truth of a certainty. (52) Wherefore praise the name of thy LORD, the great God.

(38) I swear. Or, I will not swear. See note on chap. lvi. 74.

(41) A poet. Muhammad was so anxious to combat the idea that was merely a mad poet (chaps. xxi. 5 and xxxvii. 5), that he brings in the oath of Divinity itself to prove that he is not. This desire no doubt accounts in a measure for the more prosaic style of the later chapters of the Quran.

(42-52) This passage contains, perhaps, the strongest as well as most impassioned assertions of the Prophet's belief in his own inspiration to be found in the Quran. Yet the very earnestness and temper in which Muhammad makes this assertion is in strong contrast with the calm dignity of the true prophet. Let it be remembered that the speaker here, as elsewhere in the idiom of the Quran, is God. The real speaker, however, is Muhammad. One would think that if miracles were ever needed to attest the claims of a prophet, they were needed in this case. But of these there were none.

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