Revealed at Makkah.


THE first ten verses of this chapter are very similar in style and rhythm to chap. xc., and may with it be numbered among what Muir calls the "Soliloquies." In regard to the following verses, however, we think that, owing to the change in style, they must be relegated to a later period. This illustrates how the Prophet revised and improved the revelations in later years, for we can hardly refer the additions to these short chapters to the compilers.

Probable Date of the Revelations.

The first part of this chapter may well be classed along with the preceding chapter as a revelation of the first year of Muhammad's ministry. The allusion to imposture in the latter part of the chapter, however, points to the third and fourth year of the Call.

Principal Subjects.

Oaths that man's happiness and misery depends on the purity or corruption he bath wrought in it ... 1-10.
Thamud destroyed for rejecting their prophet . . . 11-15


R 1/16.

(1) By the sun, and its rising brightness; (2) by the moon, when she followeth him; (3) by the day, when it

(2) When she followeth him, i.e., "when she rises just after him, as she does at the beginning of the month ; or when she sets after him, as happens when she is a little past the full."- Sale, Baidháwi.


showeth his splendour; (4) by the night, when it covereth him with darkness; (5) by the heaven, and him who built it; (6) by the earth, and him who spread it forth; (7) by the soul, and him who completely formed it, (8) and inspired into the same its faculty of distinguishing and power of choosing wickedness and piety; (9) now is he who hath purified the same happy; (10) but he who hath corrupted the same is miserable. (11) Thamud accused their prophet Salih of imposture, through the excess of their wickedness: (12) when the wretch among them was sent to slay the camel; (13) and the Apostle of GOD said unto them, Let alone the camel of GOD, and hinder not her drinking. (14) But they charged him with imposture, and they slew her. Wherefore their LORD destroyed them for their crime, and made their punishment equal unto them all: (15) and he feareth not the issue thereof.

(8) Wickedness and piety. Sale's words in italics here destroy the meaning of the original. The translation according to Rodwell is "breathed into it its wickedness and its piety." Instead of "breathed," Palmer has "taught." In any case, God is made the author of man's sin as well as of good.

(11-15) Thamud. See notes on chaps. vii. 74—80, and liv. 19 seq.

(12) The wretch. Kidár Ibn Salif. See chaps. vii. 78, and liv. 29,

Table of Contents
Answering Islam Home Page