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yet God hath permitted selling and forbidden usury. He therefore who, when there cometh unto him an admonition from his LORD, abstaineth from usury for the future, shall have what is past forgiven him, and his affair belongeth unto God. But whoever returneth to usury, they shall be the companions of hell fire, they shall continue therein for ever. GoD shall take his blessing from usury, and shall increase alms: for GOD loveth no infidel, or ungodly person. But they who believe, and do that which is right, and observe the stated times of prayer, and pay their legal alms, they shall have their reward with their LORD: there shall come no fear on them, neither shall they be grieved. O true believers, fear GOD, and remit that which remaineth of usury, if ye really believe; but if ye do it not, hearken unto war, which is declared against you from GOD and his apostle : yet if ye repent, ye shall have the capital of your money. Deal not unjustly with others, and ye shall not be dealt with unjustly. If there be any debtor under a difficulty of paying his debt, let his creditor wait till it be easy for him to do it; but if ye remit it as alms, it will be better for you, if ye knew it. And fear the day wherein ye shall return unto God; then shall every soul be paid what it hath gained, and they shall not be treated unjustly. O true believers, when ye bind yourselves one to the other in a debt for a certain time, write it down; and let a writer write between you according to justice, and let not the writer refuse writing according to what GOD hath taught him; but let him write, and let him who oweth the debt dictate, and let him fear GOD his LORD, and not diminish aught thereof. But if he who oweth the debt be foolish, or weak, or be not able to dictate himself, let his agent' dictate according to equity; and call to witness two witnesses of your neighbouring men; but if there be not two men, let there be a man and two women of those whom ye shall choose for witnesses: if one of those women should mistake, the other of them will cause her to recollect. And the witnesses shall not refuse, whensoever they shall be called. And disdain not to write it down, be it a large debt, or be it a small one, until its time of payment: this will be more just in the sight of GOD, and more right for bearing witness, and more easy, that ye may not doubt. But if it be a present bargain which ye transact between yourselves, it shall be no crime in you, if ye write it not down. And take witnesses when ye sell one to the other, and let no harm be done to the writer, nor to the witness; which if ye do, it will surely be injustice in you: and fear GOD, and GOD will instruct you, for God knoweth all things. And if ye be on a journey, and find no writer, let pledges be taken: but if you trust the other, let him who is trusted return what he is trusted with, and fear GOD his LORD. And conceal not the testimony, for he who concealeth it hath surely a wicked heart: God knoweth that which ye do. Whatever is in heaven and on earth is GOD's; and whether ye manifest

one of

Or the interest due before usury was prohibited. For this some of Mohammed's followers exacted of their debtors, supposing they lawfully might.

Whoever manages his affairs, whether his father, heir, guardian or interpreter.

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that which is in your minds, or conceal it, GOD will call you to account for it, and will forgive whom he pleaseth, and will punish whom he pleaseth; for GOD is almighty. The apostle believeth in that which hath been sent down unto him from his LORD, and the faithful also. Every one of them believeth in GOD, and his angels, and his scriptures, and his apostles: we make no distinction at all between his apostles. And they say, We have heard, and do obey: we implore thy mercy, O LORD, for unto thee must we return. GOD will not force any soul beyond its capacity: it shall have the good which it gaineth, and it shall suffer the evil which it gaineth. O LORD, punish us not, if we forget, or act sinfully: O LORD, lay not on us a burden like that which thou hast laid on those who have been before us ; neither make us, O LORD, to bear what we have not strength to bear, but be favourable unto us, and spare us, and be merciful unto us. Thou art our patron, help us therefore against the unbelieving nations.

CHAPTER III.

INTITLED, THE FAMILY OF IMRAM;' REVEALED AT MEDINA.

IN THE NAME OF THE MOST MERCIFUL GOD.

:

AL. M. There is no GOD but GOD, the living, the self-subsisting he hath sent down unto thee the book of the Koran with truth, confirming that which was revealed before it; for he had formerly sent down the law, and the gospel, a direction unto men; and he had also sent down the distinction between good and evil. Verily those who believe not the signs of GOD shall suffer a grievous punishment; for GOD is mighty, able to revenge. Surely nothing is hidden from GOD, of that which is on earth, or in heaven it is he who formeth you in the wombs, as he pleaseth; there is no God but he, the mighty, the wise. It is he who hath sent down unto thee the book, wherein are some verses clear to be understood, they are the foundation of the book; and others are parabolical.' But they whose hearts are perverse will follow that which is parabolical therein, out of love of schism, and a desire of the interpretation thereof;

But this, say the Mohammedans, the Jews do, who receive Moses, but reject Jesus; and the Christians, who receive both those prophets, but reject Mohammed.* That is, on the Jews, who, as the commentators tell us, were ordered to kill a man by way of atonement, to give one-fourth of their substance in alms, and to cut off an unclean ulcerous part, and were forbidden to eat fat, or animals that divide the hoof, and were obliged to observe the sabbath, and other particulars wherein the Mohammedans are at liberty. 6

This name is given in the Korân to the father of the Virgin Mary. See below, p. 39. *For the meaning of these letters, the reader is referred to the Preliminary Discourse, sect. iii.

This passage is translated according to the exposition of al Zamakhshari and Beidawi, which seems to be the truest.

The contents of the Korân are here distinguished into such passages as are to

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yet none knoweth the interpretation thereof, except GOD. But they who are well grounded in the knowledge say, We believe therein, the whole is from our LORD; and none will consider except the prudent.* O LORD, cause not our hearts to swerve from truth, after thou hast directed us: and give us from thee mercy, for thou art he who giveth. O LORD, thou shalt surely gather mankind together, unto a day of resurrection: there is no doubt of it, for God will not be contrary to the promise. As for the infidels, their wealth shall not profit them any thing, nor their children, against GOD: they shall be the fuel of hell fire. According to the wont of the people of Pharaoh, and of those who went before them, they charged our signs with a lie; but GOD caught them in their wickedness, and GOD is severe in punishing. Say unto those who believe not, Ye shall be overcome, and thrown together into hell; and an unhappy couch shall it be. Ye have already had a miracle shown you in two armies, which attacked each other: one army fought for God's true religion, but the other were infidels; they saw the faithful twice as many as themselves in their eye-sight; for God strengtheneth with his help whom he pleaseth. Surely herein was an example unto men of understanding. The love and eager desire of wives, and children, and sums heaped up of gold and silver, and excellent horses, and cattle, and land, is prepared for men: this is the provision of the present life;† but unto God shall be the most excellent return. Say, Shall I declare unto you better things than this? For those be taken in the literal sense, and such as require a figurative acceptation. The former being plain and obvious to be understood, compose the fundamental part, or, as the original expresses it, the mother of the book, and contain the principal doctrines and precepts; agreeably to, and consistently with which, those passages which are wrapt up in metaphors, and delivered in enigmatical, allegorical style, are always to be interpreted.?

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This language is that of the wise."-Savary.

The sign or miracle here meant was the victory gained by Mohammed in the second year of the Hejra, over the idolatrous Meccans, headed by Abu Sofiân, in the valley of Bedr, which is situate near the sea between Mecca and Medina. Mohammed's forces consisted of no more than three hundred and nineteen men, but the enemies' army of near a thousand; notwithstanding which odds, he put them to flight, having killed seventy of the principal Koreish, and taken as many prisoners, with the loss of only fourteen of his own men.8 This was the first victory obtained by the prophet, and though it may seem no very considerable action yet it was of great advantage to him, and the foundation of all his future power and success. For which reason it is famous in the Arabian history, and more than once vaunted in the Korân, as an effect of the divine assistance. The miracle, it is said, consisted in three things: 1. Mohammed, by the direction of the angel Gabriel, took a handful of gravel and threw it towards the enemy in the attack, saying, May their faces be confounded; whereupon they immediately turned their backs and fled. But, though the prophet seemingly threw the gravel himself, yet it is told in the Korân, that it was not he, but God, who threw it; that is to say, by the ministry of his angel. 2. The Mohammedan troops seemed to the Infidels to be twice as many in number as themselves, which greatly discouraged them. And, 3. God sent down to their assistance first a thousand, and afterwards three thousand angels, led by Gabriel, mounted on his horse Haizûm; and according to the Korân, these celestial auxiliaries really did all the execution, though Mohammed's men imagined themselves did it, and fought stoutly at the same time.

"Such are the enjoyments of this earthly life; but the asylum which is prepared by God is far more delectable."-Savary.

Hottinger. Hist. Orient

7 See the Prelim. Disc. sect. iii. 8 See Elmacin. p. 5. 1. 2. c. 4. Abulfed. Vit. Moham p. 56, &c. Prideaux's Life of Moham. p. 71, &c. See this chap. below, and chaps. 8 and 32. 1 Chap. 8, not far from the beginning.

who are devout are prepared with their LORD gardens through which rivers flow; therein shall they continue for ever: and they shall enjoy wives free from impurity, and the favour of GOD; for GOD regardeth his servants; who say, O LORD, we do sincerely believe; forgive us therefore our sins, and deliver us from the pain of hell fire: the patient, and the lovers of truth, and the devout, and the almsgivers, and those who ask pardon early in the morning. GOD hath borne witness that there is no GOD but he; and the angels, and those who are endowed with wisdom, profess the same; who executeth righteousness; there is no GOD but he; the mighty, the wise. Verily the true religion in the sight of GOD is Islam;" and they who had received the scriptures dissented not therefrom, until after the knowledge of God's unity had come unto them, out of envy among themselves; but whosoever believeth not in the signs of GOD, verily GOD will be swift in bringing him to account. If they dispute with thee, say, I have resigned myself unto GOD, and he who followeth me doth the same: and say unto them who have received the scriptures, and to the ignorant,° Do ye profess the religion of Islam? now if they embrace Islam, they are surely directed; but if they turn their backs, verily unto thee belongeth preaching only; for GOD regardeth his servants. And unto those who believe not in the signs of GOD, and slay the prophets without a cause, and put those men to death who teach justice; denounce unto them a painful punishment. These are they whose works perish in this world, and in that which is to come; and they shall have none to help them. Hast thou not observed those unto whom part of the scripture was given?P They were called unto the book of GOD, that it might judge between them; then some of them turned their backs, and retired afar off. This they did

The proper name of the Mohammedan religion, which signifies the resigning or devoting one's self entirely to God, and his service. This they say is the religion which all the prophets were sent to teach, being founded on the unity of God.3 i. e. The pagan Arabs, who had no knowledge of the scriptures.

That is, the Jews.

This passage was revealed on occasion of a dispute Mohammed had with some Jews, which is differently related by the commentators.

Al Beidâwi says, that Mohammed going one day into a Jewish synagogue, Naïm Ebn Amru and al Hareth Ebn Zeid asked him what religion he was of? To which he answering, Of the religion of Abraham; they replied, Abraham was a Jew; but on Mohammed's proposing that the Pentateuch might decide the question, they would by no means agree to it.

But Jallalo'ddin tells us, That two persons of the Jewish religion having committed adultery, their punishment was referred to Mohammed, who gave sentence that they should be stoned, according to the law of Moses. This the Jews refused to submit to, alleging there was no such command in the Pentateuch: but on Mohammed's appealing to the book, the said law was found therein. Whereupon the criminals were stoned, to the great mortification of the Jews.

It is very remarkable that this law of Moses concerning the stoning of adulterers is mentioned in the New Testament (though I know some dispute the authenticity of that whole passage), but it is not now to be found, either in the Hebrew or Samaritan Pentateuch, or in the Septuagint; it being only said that such shall be put to death. This omission is insisted on by the Mohammedans as one instance of the corruption of the law of Moses by the Jews.

It is also observable that there was a verse once extant in the Korân, commanding

• Lev. xx. 10.

Jallalo'ddin; Al Beidâwi. ♦ Iidem. 5 John viii. 5.
Whiston's Essay towards restoring the true Text of the Old Test. p. 99, 100.

See

because they said, the fire of hell shall by no means touch us, but for a certain number of days:" and that which they had falsely devised hath deceived them in their religion. How then will it be with them, when we shall gather them together at the day of judgment, of which there is no doubt; and every soul shall be paid that which it hath gained, neither shall they be treated unjustly? Say, O GOD, who possessest the kingdom; thou givest the kingdom unto whom thou wilt, and thou takest away the kingdom from whom thou wilt: thou exaltest whom thou wilt, and thou humblest whom thou wilt: in thy hand is good, for thou art almighty. Thou makest the night to succeed the day: thou bringest forth the living out of the dead, and thou bringest forth the dead out of the living;t and providest food for whom thou wilt without measure. Let not the faithful take the infidels for their protectors, rather than the faithful: he who doth this shall not be protected of GOD at all; unless ye fear any danger from them: But GOD warneth you to beware of himself; for unto GOD must ye return. Say, Whether ye conceal that which is in your breasts, or whether ye declare it, GOD knoweth it; for he knoweth whatever is in heaven, and whatever is on earth: GOD is almighty. On the last day every soul shall find the good which it hath wrought, present; and the evil which it hath wrought, it shall wish that between itself and that were a wide distance: but GOD warneth you to beware of himself;* for GOD is gracious unto his servants. Say, If ye love GOD, follow me: then GOD shall love you, and forgive you your sins; for GOD is gracious and merciful. Say, Obey GOD, and his apostle; but if ye go back, verily God loveth not the unbelievers. GOD hath surely chosen Adam, and Noah, and the family of Abraham, and the family of Imran adulterers to be stoned; and the commentators say the words only are abrogated, the sense or law still remaining in force.7

i. e. Forty; the time their forefathers worshipped the calf. Al Beidâwi adds, that some of them pretended their punishment was to last but seven days, that is a day for every thousand years which they supposed the world was to endure; and that they imagined they were to be so mildly dealt with, either by reason of the intercession of their fathers the prophets, or because God had promised Jacob, that his offspring should be punished but slightly.

The Mohammedans have a tradition, that the first banner of the infidels that shall be set up, on the day of judgment, will be that of the Jews; and that GoD will first reproach them with their wickedness, over the heads of those who are present, and then order them to hell."

As a man from seed, and a bird from an egg; and vice versa.

"The Lord exhorteth you to dread his anger. He looketh on his servants with a propitious eye."-Savary.

" Or Amrân, is the name of two several persons, according to the Mohammedan tradition. One was the father of Moses and Aaron; and the other was the father of the Virgin Mary; but he is called by some Christian writers Joachim. The commentators suppose the first, or rather both of them, to be meant in this place; however, the person intended in the next passage, it is agreed, was the latter; who besides Mary the mother of Jesus, had also a son named Aaron,3 and a sister named Ishá (or Elizabeth), who married Zacharias, and was the mother of John the Baptist; whence that prophet and Jesus are usually called by the Mohammedans The two sons of the aunt, or the cousins german.

From the identity of names it has been generally imagined by Christian writers that

7 See the Prelim. Disc. sect. 3. 8 See before, p. 11. • Al Beidâwi, 1 Jallalo'ddin. 2 Al Zamakhshari, al Beidâwi. Korân, c. 19. Vide Reland, de Rel. Moh. p. 211. Marracc. in Alc. p. 115, &c. Prideaux, Letter to the Deists, p. 185.

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