Revealed at Makkah.


THIS chapter contains what seems to be one of the earliest notices of the judgment-day in the Quran. Indeed, if vers. 7 and 8 are rightly understood as addressed to Muhammad himself, we may regard this Sara as giving expression to his own apprehension of the doctrine of the judgment-day taught in the Quran.

Probable Date of the Revelations.

Some Muslim writers, blindly following traditions manufactured to illustrate the Quran have declared this chapter to be Madinc. But the statement of the third verse, to say nothing of language and style, plainly points to Makkah. Noëldeke places it immediately after chap. lxxxv.

Principal Subjects.

Oaths that God created man "a most excellent fabric" ... 1-4
God has made all men vile except true believers... 5, 6
None may rightly deny the judgment-day. . . 7, 8


R 1/21.

(1) By the fig and the olive; (2) and by Mount

(1) The fig and the olive. "God, say the commentators, swears by these two fruits, because of their great uses and virtues; for the fig is wholesome and easy of digestion, and physically good to carry off


Sinai, (3) and this territory of security; (4) verily we created man of a most excellent fabric; (5) afterwards we rendered him the vilest of the vile: (6) except those who believe and work righteousness; for they shall receive an endless reward. (7) What, therefore, shall cause thee to deny the day of judgment after this? (8) Is not GOD the most wise judge?

phlegm, and gravel in the kidneys or bladder, and to remove obstructions of the liver and spleen, and also cures the piles, and the gout, &c. ; the olive produces oil, which is not only excellent to eat, but otherwise useful for the compounding of ointments; the wood of the olive-tree, moreover, is good for cleansing the teeth, preventing their growing rotten, and giving a good odour to the mouth; for which reason the prophets, and Muhammad in particular, made use of no other for toothpicks.
"Some, however, suppose that these words do not mean the fruits or trees above mentioned, but two mountains in the Holy Land, where they grow in plenty; or else the temple of Damascus and that at Jerusalem." - Sale, Baidhdwi, Jaláluddin, Zamakhshari.

(3) This territory. That of Makkah, see chap. xc. i. See also Rodwell's note in loco.

(4, 5) "As the commentators generally expound this passage, ‘We created man of comely proportion of body, and great perfection of mind; and yet we have doomed him, in case of disobedience, to be an inhabitant of hell.' Some, however, understand the words of the vigorous constitution of man in the prime and strength of his age, and of his miserable decay when he becomes old and decrepit; but they seem rather to intimate the perfect state of happiness wherein man was originally created, and his fall from thence, in consequence of Adam's disobedience, to a state of misery in this world, and becoming liable to one infinitely more miserable in the next." - Sale.

Time meaning here seems to be about the same as that given under chap. xci. 8.

(7) "Some suppose these words directed to Muhammad, and others to man in general, by way of apostrophe."- Sale.

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