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mind when it was said unto them, Dwell in this city,' and eat of the provisions thereof wherever ye will, and say, Forgiveness; and enter the gate worshipping: we will pardon you your sins, and will give increase unto the well-doers. But they who were ungodly among them changed the expression into another, which had not been spoken unto them. Wherefore we sent down upon them indignation from heaven, because they transgressed. And ask them concerning the city, which was situate on the sea, when they transgressed on the sabbath day: when their fish came unto them on their sabbath day, appearing openly on the water; but on the day whereon they celebrated no sabbath, they came not unto them. Thus did we prove them, because they were wicked-doers. And when a party of themi said unto the others, Why do ye warn a people whom God will destroy, or will punish with a grievous punishment? They answered, This is an excuse for us unto your Lord,k and peradventure they will beware. But when they had forgotten the admonitions which had been given them, we delivered those who forbade them to do evil; and we inflicted on those who had transgressed a severe punishment, because they had acted wickedly. And when they proudly refused to desist from what had been forbidden them, we said unto them, Be ye transformed into apes, driven away from the society of men. And remember when thy LORD declared that he would surely send against the Jews, until the day of resurrection, some nation who should afflict them with a grievous oppression: for thy LORD is swift in punishing, and he is also ready to forgive, and merciful: and we dispersed them among the nations in the earth. Some of them are upright persons, and some of them are otherwise. And we proved them with prosperity and with adversity, that they might return from their disobedience; and a succession of their posterity hath succeeded after them, who have inherited the book of the law, who receive the temporal goods of this world,TM and say, It will surely be forgiven us: and if a temporal advantage like the former be offered them, they accept it also. Is it not the covenant of the book of the law established with them, that they should not speak of GOD

See this passage explained, chap. 2. p. 7.

Professor Sike says that, being prone to leave spiritual for worldly matters, instead of Hittaton, they said Hintaton, which signifies wheat," and comes much nearer the true word than the expression I have, in the place last quoted, set down from Jallalo'ddin. Whether he took this from the same commentator or not, does not certainly appear, though he mentions him just before; but if he did, his copy must differ from that which I have followed.

This city was Ailah, or Elath, on the Red Sea; though some pretend it was Midian, and others Tiberias. The whole story is already given in the notes to chap. 2, p. 9. Some suppose the following five or eight verses to have been revealed at Medina.

i Viz., the religious persons among them, who strictly observed the sabbath, and endeavoured to reclaim the others, till they despaired of success. But some think these words were spoken by the offenders, in answer to the admonitions of the others.

That we have done our duty in dissuading them from their wickedness. 1 See chap. 5. p. 91, note.

By accepting of bribes for wresting judgment, and for corrupting the copies af the Pentateuch; and by extorting of usury, &c.

Sike in not. ad Evang. Infant. p. 71. • Al Beidâwi.

for we

aught but the truth?" Yet they diligently read that which is therein. But the enjoyment of the next life will be better for those who fear God than the wicked gains of these people; (Do ye not therefore understand?) and for those who hold fast the book of the law, and are constant at prayer: will by no means suffer the reward of the righteous to perish. And when we shook the mountain of Sinai over them as though it had been a covering, and they imagined that it was falling upon them; and we said, Receive the law which we have brought you with reverence; and remember that which is contained therein, that ye may take heed. And when thy LORD drew forth their posterity from the loins of the sons of Adam, and took them to witness against themselves, saying, Am not I your LORD? They answered, Yea: we do bear witness. This was done lest ye should say, at the day of the resurrection, Verily we were negligent as to this matter, because we were not apprised thereof: or lest ye should say, Verily our fathers were formerly guilty of idolatry, and we are their posterity who have succeeded them; wilt thou therefore destroy us for that which vain men have committed? Thus do we explain our signs, that they may return from their vanities. And relate unto the Jews the history of him unto whom we brought our signs, and they departed from them; wherefore Satan followed him, and he became one of those who were seduced. And if we had pleased, we had surely raised him thereby unto wisdom; but he inclined unto the earth, and followed his own desire." Wherefore his likeness as the likeness of a dog, which, if thou drive him away, putteth forth his tongue, or, if thou let him alone, putteth forth his tongue also. This is the likeness of the people, who accuse our signs of falsehood. Rehearse therefore this history unto them, that they may consider. Evil is

•Particularly by giving out that God will forgive their corruption without sincere repentance and amendment.

See chap. 2, p. 9, note.

This was done in the plain of Dahia, in India, or, as others imagine, in a valley near Mecca. The commentators tell us that God stroked Adam's back, and extracted from his loins his whole posterity, which should come into the world until the resurrection, one generation after another; that these men were actually assembled all together in the shape of small ants, which were endued with understanding; and that after they had, in the presence of angels, confessed their dependence on God, they were again caused to return into the loins of their great ancestor. From this fiction it appears that the doctrine of pre-existence is not unknown to the Mohammedans; and there is some little conformity between it and the modern theory of generation ex animalculis in semine maritorum.

Some suppose the person here intended to be a Jewish rabbi, or one Ommeya Ebn Abi'lsalt, who read the scriptures and found thereby that God would send a prophet about that time, and was in hopes that he might be the man; but when Mohammed declared his mission, believed not on him through envy. But according to the more general opinion, it was Balaam the son of Beor, of the Canaanitish race, well acquainted with part, at least, of the scripture, having even been favoured with some revelations from God; who being requested by his nation to curse Moses and the children of Israel, refused it at first, saying, How can I curse those who are protected by the angels? But afterwards he was prevailed on by gifts; and he had no sooner done it than he began to put his tongue out like a dog, and it hung down upon his breast. Loving the wages of unrighteousness, and running greedily after error for reward."

7 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo'ddin, Yahya. Vide D'Herbelot, Bibl. Orient. p. 54. 8 Al Beidawi, Jallalo'ddin, al Zamakhshari. Vide D'Herbelot, Bibl. Orient. Art. Balaam • 2 Pet. ii. 5. Jude 11.


the similitude of those people who accuse our signs of falsehood, and injure their own souls. Whomsoever GOD shall direct, he will be rightly directed; and whomsoever he shall lead astray, they shall perish. Moreover we have created for hell many of the genii and of men; they have hearts by which they understand not, and they have eyes by which they see not; and they have ears by which they hear not. These are like the brute beasts; yea they go more astray: these are the negligent. God hath most excellent names: therefore call on him by the same; and withdraw from those who use his name perversely: they shall be rewarded for that which they shall have wrought. And of those whom we have created there are a people who direct others with truth, and act justly according thereto." But those who devise lies against our signs, we will suffer them to fall gradually into ruin, by a method which they knew not: and I will grant them to enjoy a long and prosperous life;* for my stratagem is effectual. Do they not consider that there is no devil in their companion? He is no other than a public preacher. Or do they not contemplate the kingdom of heaven and earth, and the things which God hath created; and consider that peradventure it may be that their end draweth nigh? And in what new declaration will they believe, after this?" He whom GOD shall cause to err, shall have no director; and he shall leave them in their impiety, wandering in confusion. They will ask thee concerning the last hour; at what time its coming is fixed? Answer, Verily the knowledge thereof is with my LORD; none shall declare the fixed time thereof, except he. The expectation thereof is grievous in heaven and on earth:" it shall come upon you no otherwise than suddenly. They will ask thee, as though thou wast well acquainted therewith. Answer, Verily the knowledge thereof is with God alone: but the greater part of men know it not. Say, I am able neither to procure advantage unto myself, nor to avert mischief from me, but as GOD pleaseth. If I knew the secrets of God, I should surely enjoy abundance of good, neither should evil befall me. Verily I am no other than a denouncer of threats, and a messenger of good tidings unto people

Expressing his glorious attributes. Of these the Mohammedan Arabs have no less than ninety-nine, which are reckoned up by Marracci.1

t As did Walid Ebn al Mogheira; who hearing Mohammed give God the title of al Rahmân, or the merciful, laughed aloud, saying that he knew none of that name, except a certain man who dwelt in Yamama: 2 or as the idolatrous Meccans did, who deduced the names of their idols from those of the true God; deriving, for example, Allât from Allah; al Uzza from al Azîz, the mighty; and Manât from al Mannân, the bountiful.3

"As it is said a little above, that God had created many to eternal misery, so here he is said to have created others to eternal happiness.

By flattering them with prosperity in this life, and permitting them to sin in an uninterrupted security; till they find themselves unexpectedly ruined."

"Though my vengeance be slow, it is only the more terrible."-Savary.

▾ Viz. in Mohammed; whom they gave out to be possessed when he went up to mount Safâ, and from thence called to the several families of each respective tribe, in order to warn them of God's vengeance if they continued in their idolatry.

i. e. After they have rejected the Korân. For what more evident revelation can they hereafter expect??

Not only to men and genii, but to the angels also.

1 In Alc. p. 414. Marracc. Vit. Moh. p. 19. 3 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo'ddin. So 5 Idem. • Idem. 7 Idem.

the Prelim. Disc. sect. i.

• Al Beidâwi.

who believe. It is he who hath created you from one person, and out of him produced his wife, that he might dwell with her: and when he had known her, she carried a light burden for a time, wherefore she walked easily therewith. But when it became more heavy, she called upon GOD their LORD, saying, If thou give us a child rightly shaped, we will surely be thankful. Yet when he had given them a child rightly shaped, they attributed companions unto him, for that which he had given them. But far be that from GOD, which they associated with him! Will they associate with him false gods which create nothing, but are themselves created; and can neither give them assistance, nor help, themselves? And if ye invite them to the true direction, they will not follow you: it will be equal unto you, whether ye invite them, or whether ye hold your peace. Verily, the false deities whom ye invoke besides GOD are servants like unto you." Call therefore upon them, and let them give you an answer, if ye speak Have they feet, to walk with? Or have they hands, to lay hold with? Or have they eyes, to see with? Or have they ears, to hear with ? Say, Call upon your companions, and then lay a snare for me, and defer it not; for GOD is my protector, who sent down the book of the Korân; and he protecteth the righteous. But they whom ye invoke besides him cannot assist you, neither do they help themselves; and if ye call on them to direct you, they will not hear. Thou seest them look towards thee, but they see not. Use indulgence, and command that which is just, and withdraw far from the ignorant. And if an evil suggestion from Satan be


b That is, when the child grew bigger in her womb.

For the explaining of this whole passage the commentators tell the following story. They say that when Eve was big with her first child, the devil came to her and asked her whether she knew what she carried within her, and which way she should be delivered of it; suggesting that possibly it might be a beast. She, being unable to give an answer to this question, went in a fright to Adam, and acquainted him with the matter, who not knowing what to think of it, grew sad and pensive. Whereupon, the devil appeared to her again (or, as others say, to Adam,) and pretended that he by his prayers would obtain of God that she might be safely delivered of a son in Adam's likeness, provided they would promise to name him Abd'alhareth, or the servant of al Hareth (which was the devil's name among the angels,) instead of Abd'allah, or the servant of God, as Adam had designed. This proposal was agreed to, and accordingly, when the child was born, they gave it that name: upon which it immediately died. And with this Adam and Eve are here taxed, as an act of idolatry. The story looks like a rabbinical fiction, and seems to have no other foundation than Cain's being called by Moses Obed adâmah, that is, a tiller of the ground, which might be translated into Arabic by Abd'alhareth.

But al Beidâwi, thinking it unlikely that a prophet (as Adam is by the Mohammedans supposed to have been) should be guilty of such an action, imagines the Korân in this place means Kosai, one of Mohammed's ancestors, and his wife; who begged issue of God, and having four sons granted them, called their names Abd Menáf, Abd Shams, Abd' al Uzza, and Abd' al Dâr, after the names of four principal idols of the Koreish. And the following words also he supposes to relate to their idolatrous posterity.

4 Being subject to the absolute command of God. For the chief idols of the Arabs were the sun, moon, and stars.1

Or, as the words may also be translated, Take the superabundant overplus: meaning that Mohammed should accept such voluntary alms from the people as they could spare. But the passage, if taken in this sense, was abrogated by the precept of legal alms, which was given at Medina.

'Al Beidâwi, Yahya. Vide D'Herbelot, Bibl. Orient. p. 438, et Selden. de Jure Nat. Sec. Hebr. lib. 5, c. 8. See the Prelim. Disc. p. 11, &c.

suggested unto thee, to divert thee from thy duty, have recourse unto God: for he heareth and knoweth. Verily they who fear God, when a temptation from Satan assaileth them, remember the divine commands, and behold, they clearly see the danger of sin, and the wiles of the devil. But as for the brethren of the devils, they shall continue them in error; and afterwards they shall not preserve themselves therefrom. And when thou bringest not a verse of the Koran unto them they say, Hast thou not put it together?' Answer, I follow that only which is revealed unto me from my LORD. This book containeth evident proofs from your LORD, and is a direction and mercy unto people who believe. And when the Korân is read, attend thereto, and keep silence; that ye may obtain mercy. And meditate on thy Lord in thine own mind, with humility and fear, and without loud speaking, evening and morning; and be not one of the negligent. Moreover the angels who are with my LORD do not proudly disdain his service. but they celebrate his praise and worship him.




THEY will ask thee concerning the spoils: Answer, The division of the spoils belongeth unto God and the apostle. Therefore fear GOD, and compose the matter amicably among you: and obey GOD and his apostle, if ye are true believers. Verily the true believers are those whose hearts fear when God is mentioned, and whose faith increaseth when his signs are rehearsed unto them, and who trust in their LORD; who observe the stated

fi. e. Hast thou not yet contrived what to say; or canst thou obtain no revelation from God?

This chapter was occasioned by the high disputes which happened about the division of the spoils taken at the battle of Bedr,2 between the young men, who had fought, and the old men who had stayed under the ensigns; the former insisting they ought to have the whole, and the latter, that they deserved a share. To end the contention, Mohammed pretended to have received orders from heaven to divide the booty among them equally, having first taken thereout a fifth part for the purposes which will be mentioned hereafter.

Except seven verses, beginning at these words, And call to mind when the unbelievers plotted against thee, &c. Which some think were revealed at Mecca.

It is related that Saad Ebn Abi Wakkâs, one of the companions, whose brother Omair was slain in this battle, having killed Said Ebn al As, took his sword, and carrying it to Mohammed, desired that he might be permitted to keep it; but the prophet told him, that it was not his to give away, and ordered him to lay it with the other spoils. At this repulse, and the loss of his brother, Saad was greatly disturbed; but in a very little while this chapter was revealed, and thereupon Mohammed gave him the sword, saying, You asked this sword of me when I had no power to dispose of it, but now I have received authority from God to distribute the spoils, you may take it.

See chap. 3, p. 36.

Al Beidâwi, Jallalo'd‹lin.

Al Beidâwi.

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