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them; for God knoweth all things. Verily unto GOD belongeth the kingdom of heaven and of earth: he giveth life, and he causeth to die; and ye have no patron or helper besides GOD. GOD is reconciled unto the prophet, and unto the Mohajerin and the Ansars, who followed him in the hour of distress, after that it had wanted little but that the hearts of a part of them had swerved from their duty: afterwards was he turned unto them: for he was compassionate and merciful towards them. And he is also reconciled unto the three who were left behind, so that the earth became too strait for them, notwithstanding its spaciousness, and their souls became straitened within them, and they considered that there was no refuge from GOD, otherwise than by having recourse unto him. Then was he turned unto them, that they might repent; for GOD is easy to be reconciled and merciful. O true believers, fear GOD, and be with the sincere. There was no reason why the inhabitants of Medina, and the Arabs of the desert who dwell around them, should stay behind the apostle of GOD, or should prefer themselves before him." This is unreasonable: because they are not distressed either by thirst, or labour, or hunger, for the defence of God's true religion; neither do they stir a step, which may irritate the unbelievers; neither do they receive from the enemy any damage, but a good work is written down unto them for the same; for GOD suffereth not the reward of the righteous to perish. And they contribute not any sum either small or great, nor do they pass a valley;* but it is written down unto them, that God may reward them with a recompense exceeding that which they have wrought. The believers are not obliged to go forth to war all together: if a part of every band of them go not forth, it is that they may diligently instruct themselves in their religion; and may admonish their

Having forgiven the crime they committed, in giving the hypocrites leave to be absent from the expedition to Tabuc; or for the other sins which they might, through inadvertence, have been guilty of. For the best men have need of repentance.2

f Viz., in the expedition of Tabûc; wherein Mohammed's men were driven to such extremities, that, besides what they endured by reason of the excessive heat, ten men were obliged to ride by turns on one camel, and provisions and water were so scarce, that two men divided a date between them, and they were obliged to drink the water out of the camels' stomachs.3

8 Or, as it may be translated, who were left in suspense, whether they should be pardoned or not. These were three Ansârs, named Caab Ebn Malec, Helâl Ebn Omeyya, and Merâra Ebn Rabî, who went not with Mohammed to Tabûe, and were therefore, on his return, secluded from the fellowship of the other Moslems; the prophet forbidding any to salute them, or to hold discourse with them. Under which interdiction they continued fifty days, till, on their sincere repentance, they were at length discharged from it, by the revelation of this passage.5

By not caring to share with him the dangers and fatigues of war. Al Beidawi tells us, that after Mohammed had set out for Tabûc, one Abu Khaithama sitting in his garden, where his wife, a very beautiful woman, had spread a mat for him in the shade, and had set new dates and fresh water before him, after a little reflection, cried out, This is not well, that I should thus take my ease and pleasure, while the apostle of God is exposed to the scorching of the sunbeams, and the inclemencies of the air; and immediately mounting his camel, took his sword and lance, and went to join the army. "That which they expend, the passing of a torrent, all that they do, written in the book of God, are so many claims to his glorious recompenses."-Savary.

1 That is, if some of every tribe or town be left behind, the end of their being so left

2 Al Beidawi. 3 Idem. See before, p. 162, note ". Abulf. Vit. Moh. pp. 133, 126.

Al Beidâwi, Jallalo'ddin,


people, when they return unto them, that they may take heed to themselves. O true believers, wage war against such of the infidels as are near you; and let them find severity1in you: and know that GOD is with those who fear him. Whenever a Sura is sent down, there are some of them who say, Which of you hath this caused to increase in faith? It will increase the faith of those who believe, and they shall rejoice but unto those in whose hearts there is an infirmity, it will add farther doubt unto their present doubt; and they shall die in their infidelity. Do they not see that they are tried every year once or twice?m yet they repent not, neither are they warned. And whenever a Sura is sent down, they look at one another, saying, Doth any one see you?" then do they turn aside.* GOD shall turn aside their hearts from the truth; because they are a people who do not understand. Now hath an apostle come unto you of our own nation, an excellent person: it is grievous unto him that ye commit wickedness; he is careful over you, and compassionate and merciful towards the believers. If they turn back, say, GOD is my support: there is no GOD but he. On him do I trust; and he is the LORD of the magnificent throne.

is that they may apply themselves to study, and attain a more exact knowledge of the several points of their religion, so as to be able to instruct such as, by reason of their continual employment in the wars, have no other means of information. They say that after the preceding passages were revealed, reprehending those who had stayed at home during the expedition of Tabûc, every man went to war; so that the study of religion, which is rather more necessary for the defence and propagation of the faith than even arms themselves, became wholly laid aside and neglected; to prevent which, for the future, a convenient number are hereby directed to be left behind, that they may have leisure to prosecute their studies.

Either of your kindred or neighbours; for these claim your pity and care in the first place, and their conversion ought first to be endeavoured. The persons particularly meant in this passage are supposed to have been the Jews of the tribes of Khoreidha and Nadhir, and those of Khaibar; or else the Greeks of Syria.

'Or fierceness in war.


i. e. By various kinds of trials; or by being called forth to war, and by being made witnesses of God's miraculous protection to the faithful.

They wink at one another to rise and leave the prophet's presence, if they think they can do it without being observed; to avoid hearing the severe and deserved reproofs which they apprehend in every new revelation. The persons intended are the hypocritical Moslems.

See they not that, once or twice a year, the anger of heaven weighs heavy upon them? These warnings open not their eyes, nor excite them to repentance. Should another chapter be sent to them, they would look on each other, and if no one saw them would take to flight. God has led their hearts astray, because they hearken not to wisdom."-Savary.

See chap. 3, p. 54, note ".

Al Beidawi.




AL. R. These are the signs of the wise book. Is it a strange thing unto the men of Mecca, that we have revealed our will unto a man from among them, saying, Denounce threats unto men if they believe not; and bear good tidings unto those who believe, that on the merit of their sincerity they have an interest with their LORD? The unbelievers say, This is manifest sorcery. Verily your LORD is GOD, who hath created the heavens and the earth in six days; and then ascended his throne, to take on himself the government of all things. There is no intercessor, but by his permission. This is GOD, your LORD; therefore serve him. Will ye not consider? Unto him shall ye all return, according to the certain promise of GOD; for he produceth a creature, and then causeth it to return again; that he may reward those who believe and do that which is right, with equity. But as for the unbelievers, they shall drink boiling water, and they shall suffer a grievous punishment, for that they have disbelieved. It is he who hath ordained the sun to shine by day, and the moon for a light by night; and hath appointed her stations, that ye might know the number of years, and the computation of time. GOD hath not created this, but with truth. He explaineth his signs unto people who understand. Moreover in the vicissitude of night and day, and whatever GOD hath created in heaven and earth, are surely signs unto men who fear him. Verily they who hope not to meet us at the last day, and delight in this present life, and rest securely in the same, and who are negligent of our signs; their dwelling shall be hell fire, for that which they have deserved. But as to those who believe, and work righteousness, their LORD will direct them because of their faith; they shall have rivers flowing through gardens of pleasure. Their prayer therein shall be, Praise be unto thee, O GOD! and their salutation" therein shall be Peace! and the end of

This prophet is mentioned towards the end of the chapter. (After the name, Savary adds, "Peace be with him.")

9 See the Prelim. Disc. sect. iii. pp. 42, 43.

And not one of the most powerful among them neither; so that the Koreish said it was a wonder God could find out no other messenger than the orphan pupil of Abu Taleb."

Meaning the Korân. According to the reading of some copies, the words may be rendered, This man (i. e., Mohammed) is no other than a manifest sorcerer. These words were revealed to refute the foolish opinion of the idolatrous Meccans, who imagined their idols were intercessors with God for them.

"Either the mutual salutation of the blessed to one another, or that of the angels to the blessed.

7 Al Beidawi.

their prayer shall be, Praise be unto GOD, the LORD of all creatures! If GOD should cause evil to hasten unto men, according to their desire of hastening good, verily their end hath been decreed. Wherefore we suffer those who hope not to meet us at the resurrection, to wander amazedly in their error. When evil befalleth a man; he prayeth unto us lying on his side, or sitting, or standing: but when we deliver him from his affliction, he continueth his former course of life, as though he had not called upon us to defend him against the evil which had befallen him. Thus was that which the transgressors committed prepared for them.* We have formerly destroyed the generations who were before you, O men of Mecca, when they had acted unjustly, and our apostles had come unto them with evident miracles, and they would not believe. Thus do we reward the wicked people. Afterwards did we cause you to succeed them in the earth; that we might see how ye would act. When our evident signs are recited unto them, they who hope not to meet us at the resurrection, say, Bring a different Korân from this; or make some change therein. Answer, It is not fit for me, that I should change it at my pleasure: I follow that only which is revealed unto me. Verily I fear, if I should be disobedient unto my LORD, the punishment of the great day. Say, if GOD had so pleased, I had not read it unto you, neither had I taught you the same. I have already dwelt among you to the age of forty years, before I received it. Do ye not therefore understand? And who is more unjust than he who deviseth a lie against GOD, or accuseth his signs of falsehood? Surely the wicked shall not prosper. They worship besides GOD, that which can neither hurt them nor profit them, and they say, These are our intercessors with GOD. Answer, Will ye tell GOD that which he knoweth not, neither in heaven nor in earth? Praise be unto him! and far be that from him,t which they associate with him! Men were professors of one religion only," but they dissented therefrom; and if a decree had not previously issued from thy LORD, deferring their punishment, verily the matter had been decided between them, concerning which they disagreed. They say, Unless a sign be sent down unto him from his LORD, we will not believe. Answer, Verily that which is hidden is known only unto GoD: wait, therefore, the

▾ i. e. In all postures, and at all times.


"Thus the ungodly man delighteth in his ingratitude."-Savary.

For so old was Mohammed before he took upon him to be a prophet; during which time his fellow citizens well knew that he had not applied himself to learning of any sort, nor frequented learned men, nor had ever exercised himself in composing verses or orations, whereby he might acquire the art of rhetoric, or elegance of speech. A flagrant proof, says Al Beidâwi, that this book could be taught him by none but God.

See the Prelim. Disc. sect. i. p. 11, &c.

Viz., that he hath equals or companions either in heaven, or on earth; since he acknowledgeth none?

"Accursed be their chimerical deities.”—Savary.

That is to say, the true religion, or Islâm, which was generally_professed, as some say, till Abel was murdered, or, as others, till the days of Noah. Some suppose the first ages after the flood are here intended; others, the state of religion in Arabia, from the time of Abraham to that of Amru Ebn Lohai, the great introducer of idolatry into that country.

See the Prelim. Disc. p. 30. Abulfed. Vit. Moh. c. 7 Disc. p. 19, &c.

See the Prelim.

pleasure of God; and I also will wait with you.



And when we caused

the men of Mecca to taste mercy, after an affliction which had befallen them, behold, they devised a stratagem against our signs. Say unto them, GOD is more swift in executing a stratagem, than ye. Verily our mesgengers write down that which ye deceitfully devise. It is he who hath given you conveniences for travelling by land and by sea; so that ye be in ships, which sail with them, with a favourable wind, and they rejoice therein. And when a tempestuous wind overtaketh them, and waves come upon them from every side, and they think themselves to be encompassed with inevitable dangers; they call upon GoD, exhibiting the pure religion unto him, and saying, Verily, if thou deliver us from this peril, we will be of those who give thanks. But when he hath delivered them, behold, they behave themselves insolently in the earth, without justice. O men, verily the violence which ye commit against your own souls, is for the enjoyment of this present life only; afterwards unto us shall ye return, and we will declare unto you that which ye have done. Verily the likeness of this present life is no other than as water, which we send down from heaven, and wherewith the productions of the earth are mixed, of which men eat, and cattle also, until the earth receive its vesture, and be adorned with various plants: the inhabitants thereof imagine that they have power over the same; but our command cometh unto it by night, or by day, and we render it as though it had been mowen, as though it had not yesterday abounded with fruits. Thus do we explain our signs unto people who consider. GOD inviteth unto the dwelling of peace, and directeth whom he pleaseth into the right way. They who do right shall receive a most excellent reward, and a superabundant addition; neither blackness nor shame shall cover their faces. These shall be the inhabitants of paradise; they shall continue therein for ever. But they who commit evil shall receive the reward of evil, equal thereunto, and they shall be covered with shame, for they shall have no protector against GOD;) as though their faces were covered with the profound darkness of the night. These shall be the inhabitants of hell fire; they shall remain therein for ever. On the day of the resurrection we will gather them altogether; then will we say unto the idolaters, Get ye to your place, ye and your companions:" and we will separate them from one another; and their companions will


b For it is said that they were afflicted with a dearth for seven years, so that they were very near perishing; but no sooner relieved by God's sending them plenty, than they began again to charge Mohammed with imposture, and to ridicule his revelations.1


i. e. The guardian angels.

d That is, applying themselves to God only, and neglecting their idols; their fears directing them in such an extremity to ask help of him only who could give it. • Viz., paradise.

For their reward will vastly exceed the merit of their good works. Al Ghazali supposes this additional recompense will be the beatific vision."

See the Prelim. Disc. p. 62, &c.

hi. e. Though the blessed will be rewarded beyond their deserts, yet God will not punish any beyond their demerits, but treat them with the exactest justice. That is, your idols, or the companions which ye attributed unto God.

1 Al Beidawi.

2 See the Prelim, Disc. p. 71.

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