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from thy LORD, for the destruction of transgressors. And we brought forth the true believers who were in the city: but we found not therein more than one family of Moslems. And we overthrew the same, and left a sign therein unto those who dread the severe chastisement of God. In Moses also was a sign: when he sent him unto Pharaoh with manifest power. But he turned back, with his princes, saying, This man is a sorcerer, or a madman. Wherefore we took him and his forces, and cast them into the sea: and he was one worthy of reprehension And in the tribe of Ad also was a sign: when we sent against them a destroying wind; it touched not aught whereon it came, but it rendered the same as a thing rotten, and reduced to dust. In Thamud likewise was a sign: when

it was said unto them, Enjoy yourselves for a time. But they insolently transgressed the command of their LORD: wherefore a terrible noise from heaven assailed them, while they looked on; and they were not able to stand on their feet, neither did they save themselves from destruction.o And the people of Noah did we destroy before these: for they were a people who enormously transgressed.† We have built the heaven with might; and we have given it a large extent and we have stretched forth the earth beneath; and how evenly have we spread the same! And of every thing we have created two kinds," that peradventure ye may consider. Fly, therefore, unto GOD; verily I am a public warner unto you, from him. And set not up another god with the true GOD: verily I am a public warner unto you, from him. In like manner there came no apostle unto their predecessors, but they said, This man is a magician, or a madman. Have they bequeathed this behaviour successively the one to the other? Yea; they are a people who enormously transgress.§ Wherefore withdraw from them; and thou shalt not be blameworthy in so doing. Yet continue to admonish; for admonition profiteth the true believers. I have not created genii and men for any other end than that they should serve me. I require not any sustenance from them; neither will I that they feed me. Verily GOD is he who provideth for all creatures; possessed of mighty power. Unto those who shall injure our apostle shall be given a portion like unto the portion of those who behaved like them in times past; and they shall not wish the same to be hastened. Woe, therefore, to the unbelievers, because of their day with which they are threatened!

"We are about," replied they, "to chastise an infamous people. We shall cause to fall on the guilty a shower of stones, on which their names are engraven by the hand of the Lord."-Savary.

See chap. 7, p. 124, &c.

Pie. For three days. See chap. 11, p. 181.

For this calamity happened in the day-time.

+ "We exterminated the people of Noah, in the midst of their crimes."—Savary. As for example: male and female; the heaven and the earth; the sun and the moon; light and darkness; plains and mountains; winter and summer; sweet and bitter, &c.

"Give not unto him an equal, or fear my threats."-Savary.

S"Have the people bequeathed themselves unto error? The people of Mecca persist in their unbelief."-Savary.

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• Jallalo'ddin.




By the mountain of Sinai; and by the book written in an expanded scroll; and by the visited house; and by the elevated roof of heaven; and by the swelling ocean: verily the punishment of thy LORD will surely descend; there shall be none to withhold it. On that day the heaven shall be shaken, and shall reel; and the mountains shall walk and pass away. And on that day woe be unto those who accused God's apostles of imposture; who amused themselves in wading in vain disputes! On that day shall they be driven and thrust into the fire of hell; and it shall be said unto them, This is the fire which ye denied as a fiction. Is this a magic illusion? Or do ye not see? Enter the same to be scorched: whether ye bear your torments patiently or impatiently, it will be equal unto you: ye shall surely receive the reward of that which ye have wrought. But the pious shall dwell amidst gardens and pleasures; delighting themselves in what their LORD shall have given them: and their LORD shall deliver them from the pains of hell. And it shall be said unto them, Eat and drink with easy digestion;* because of that which ye have wrought; leaning on couches disposed in order: and we will espouse them unto virgins having large black eyes. And unto those who believe, and whose offspring follow them in the faith, we will join their offspring in paradise: and we will not diminish unto them aught of the merit of their works. (Every man is given in pledge for that which he shall have wrought.") And we will give them fruits in abundance, and flesh of the kinds which they shall desire. They shall present unto one another therein a cup of wine, wherein there shall be no vain discourse, nor any incitement unto wickedness. And youths appointed to attend them shall go round them: beautiful as pearls hidden in their shell. And they shall approach unto one another, and shall ask mutual questions. And they shall say, Verily we were heretofore amidst our family, in great dread with regard to our state after death: but God hath been gracious unto us, and hath delivered us from the pain of burning fire: for we called on him heretofore;

The book here intended, according to different opinions, is either the book or register wherein every man's actions are recorded; or the preserved tables, containing God's decrees; or the book of the law, which was written by God, Moses hearing the creaking of the pen; or else the Korân."

i. e. The Caaba, so much visited by pilgrims; or, as some rather think, the original model of that house in heaven, called al Dorâh, which is visited and compassed by the angels, as the other is by men."

"Satiate yourselves, it shall be said unto them, with the blessings which are offered unto you; they are the reward of your virtues."-Savary.

i. 6. Every man is pledged unto God for his behaviour: and if he does well, he redeems his pledge; but if evil he forfeits it.

Al Zamakh, al Beidâwi.

See Prelian. Disc, sect. 4.

and he is the beneficent, the merciful. Wherefore do thou, O prophet, admonish thy people. Thou art not, by the grace of thy LORD, a soothsayer, or a madman. Do they say, He is a poet: we wait, concerning him, some adverse turn of fortune? Say, Wait ye my ruin: verily I wait, with you, the time of your destruction.* Do their mature understandings bid them say this; or are they people who perversely transgress? Do they say, He hath forged the Koran? Verily they believe not. Let them produce a discourse like unto it, if they speak truth. Were they created by nothing; or were they the creators of themselves? Did they create the heavens and the earth? Verily they are not firmly persuaded that God hath created them. Are the stores of thy LORD in their hands? Are they the supreme dispensers of all things? Have they a ladder, whereby they may ascend to heaven, and hear the discourses of the angels? Let one, therefore, who hath heard them, produce an evident proof thereof. Hath God daughters, and have ye sons? Dost thou ask them a reward for thy preaching? but they are laden with debts. Are the secrets of futurity with them; and do they transcribe the same from the table of God's decrees? Do they seek to lay a plot against thee? But the unbelievers are they who shall be circumvented. Have they any god, besides GOD? Far be GOD exalted above the idols which they associate with him! If they should see a fragment of the heaven falling down upon them, they would say, It is only a thick cloud.* Wherefore leave them, until they arrive at their day wherein they shall swoon for fear: a day, in which their subtle contrivances shall not avail them at all, neither shall they be protected. And those who act unjustly shall surely suffer another punishment besides this; but the greater part of them do not understand. And wait thou patiently the judgment of thy LORD concerning them; for thou art in our eye: and celebrate the praise of thy LORD, when thou risest up; and praise him in the night-season, and when the stars begin to disappear.

"Reply unto them, Wait! I will wait with you."-Savary.

For though they confess this with their tongues, yet they deny it by their averseness to render him his due worship.

See chap. 16, p. 218, &c.

See chap. 8, p. 142, &c.

This was one of the judgments which the idolatrous Meccans defied Mohammed to bring down upon them; and yet, says the text, if they should see a part of the heaven falling on them, they would not believe it till they were crushed to death by it.7

bi. e. At the first sound of the trumpet.8

• That is, Besides the punishment to which they shall be doomed at the day of judgment, they shall be previously chastised by calamities in this life, as the slaughter at Bedr, and the seven years' famine, and also after their death, by the examination of the sepulchre."

7 Al Beidâwi. 8 See the Prelim. Disc. sect. iv. p. 59. • Al Beidawi.





By the star,d when it setteth; your companion Mohammed erreth not; nor is he led astray: neither doth he speak of his own will. It is no other than a revelation, which hath been revealed unto him. One mighty in power, endued with understanding, taught it him: and he appeared in the highest part of the horizon. Afterwards he approached the prophet, and near unto him; until he was at the distance of two bows' length' from him, or yet nearer; and he revealed unto his servant that which he revealed. The heart of Mohammed did not falsely represent that which he saw.k Will ye therefore dispute with him concerning that which he saw ? He also saw him another time, by the lote-tree beyond which there is no passing: near it is the garden of eternal abode. When the lote-tree covered that which it covered," his eyesight turned not aside, neither did it wander :* and he really beheld some of the greatest signs of his LORD." What think ye of Allat, and Al Uzza, and Manah, that other third goddess ?° Have ye male children, and God female? This, therefore, is an

d Some suppose the stars in general, and others the Pleiades in particular, to be meant in this place.

• Or, according to a contrary signification of the verb here used, when it riseth. Namely, the angel Gabriel.

In his natural form, in which God created him, and in the eastern part of the sky. It is said that this angel appeared in his proper shape to none of the prophets, except Mohammed: and to him only twice: once when he received the first revelation of the Koran, and a second time when he took his night journey to heaven; as it follows in the text.

a In a human shape.

1 Or, as the word also signifies, two cubits' length.

* But he saw it in reality.

This tree, say the commentators, stands in the seventh heaven, on the right hand of the throne of God; and is the utmost bounds beyond which the angels themselves must not pass; or, as some rather imagine, beyond which no creature's knowledge can extend.

The words seem to signify, that what was under this tree exceeded all description and number. Some suppose the whole host of angels worshipping beneath it1 are intended; and others, the birds which sit on its branches.2

"He had before seen the same angel near the lotos which bounds the abode of delights. Near this tree is the garden of refuge. The lotos was shadowed by the veil which covers it. The eye of the prophet bore the splendour of the divine magnificence."—Savary.

Seeing the wonders both of the sensible and the intellectual world."

Those were three idols of the ancient Arabs, of which we have spoken in the Preliminary Discourse.

As to the blasphemy which some pretend Mohammed once uttered, through inadvertence, as he was reading this passage, See chap. 22, p. 279, note *.

P See chap. 16, p. 218, &c.

1 Al Beidâwi.


"This lotos, says Jallalo'ddin, is the tree called Nabe."-Savary.

"This garden is thus denominated because that it will be the asylum of the angels, the martyrs, and the virtuous."-Savary.

Al Beidawi. • Sect. i. p. 13.

unjust partition. They are no other than empty names, which ye and your fathers have named goddesses. God hath not revealed concerning them any thing to authorize their worship. They follow no other than a vain opinion, and what their souls desire: yet hath the true direction come unto them from their LORD. Shall man have whatever he wisheth for 19 The life to come and the present life are GOD's: and how many angels soever there be in the heavens, their intercession shall be of no avail, until after GOD shall have granted permission unto whom he shall please and shall accept. Verily they who believe not in the life to come give unto the angels a female appellation.* But they have no knowledge herein: they follow no other than a bare opinion; and a bare opinion attaineth not any thing of truth. Wherefore withdraw from him who turneth away from our admonition, and seeketh only the present life. This is their highest pitch of knowledge. Verily thy LORD well knoweth him who erreth from his way; and he well knoweth him who is rightly directed. Unto GOD belongeth whatever is in heaven and earth: that he may reward those who do evil, according to that which they shall have wrought; and may reward those who do well, with the most excellent reward. As to those who avoid great crimes, and heinous sins, and are guilty only of lighter faults; † verily thy LORD will be extensive in mercy towards them. He well knew you when he produced you out of the earth, and when ye were embryos in your mothers' wombs: wherefore justify not yourselves: he best knoweth the man who feareth him. What thinkest thou of him who turneth aside from following the truth, and giveth little, and covetously stoppeth his hand?" Is the knowledge of futurity with him, so that he seeth the same ? Hath he not been informed of that which is contained in the books of Moses, and of Abraham who faithfully performed his engagements? To wit: that a burdened soul shall not bear the burden of another; and that nothing shall be imputed to a man for righteousness, except his own labour; and that his labour shall surely be made manifest hereafter, and that he shall be rewarded for the same with a most abundant reward; and that unto thy LORD will be the end of all things; and that he causeth to laugh, and causeth to weep; and that he putteth to death, and giveth life: and that he createth

ai. e. Shall he dictate to God, and name whom he pleases for his intercessors. or for his prophet; or shall he choose a religion according to his own fancy, and prescribe the terms on which he may claim the reward of this life and the next?? "The unbelievers pretend that the angels are the daughters of God."Savary.

"Who are guilty only of those faults which are inevitable to human weak. ness."-Savary.

This passage, it is said, was revealed on account of al Walid Ebn al Mogheira, who following the prophet one day, was reviled by an idolater for leaving the religion of the Koreish, and giving occasion of scandal; to which he answered, that what he did was out of apprehension of the divine vengeance: whereupon the man offered, for a certain sum, to take the guilt of his apostasy on himself; and the bargain being made, al Walid returned to his idolatry, and paid the man part of what had been agreed on, but afterwards, on farther consideration, he thought it too much, and kept back the remainder.

That is, Is he assured that the person with whom he made the above-mentioned agreement will be allowed to suffer in his stead hereafter ?

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