Revealed at Madina.


ALTHOUGH, as is usual with all the long chapters of the Qur'an, this chapter refers to a variety of matters of a general and miscellaneous character, e.g., rules respecting purification, laws concerning lawful and unlawful food, yet there are four points which attract the special notice of the reader. These are (1) the extended reference to the rites of the pilgrimage to Makkah; (2) the fierce hatred of the Prophet towards the Jews and his denunciations against them; (3) the laboured effort to refute the Christian doctrine of the Trinity and the Sonship of Christ; and (4) the repeated warning given to Muslims not to make friends of either Jews or Christians. Wherefore both the historic references of this chapter as well as the animus of the revelation point to a period late in the life of Muhammad as that to which it belongs - a period when successful warfare had made the Prophet indifferent alike to Jewish hatred and Christian friendship.

The statement of ver. 4, "This day have I perfected your religion for you," &c., has led some writers to regard this chapter as the last of the chapters of the Qur'an, taken in their chronological order. Muslim authorities agree that this verse and a few others at the beginning of this chapter fairly claim the last place on the list of revelations. However, excepting this short section, there is nothing in this chapter to lead us to believe it to be chronologically the last in the Qur'an. Nöeldeke and Muir both agree in placing chap. ix. at the end of the chronological list of Suras, the former, however, admitting that there are some verses in this chapter which fairly claim posteriority to all others in the Qur'an. He refers especially to ver. 4, which he thinks was revealed when Muhammad, with perhaps a


presentiment of death being near, could say that all his enemies had lost their courage and that his religion was completed. It is for this reason he places it last in his historico-critical observations.

The revelations of this chapter are therefore of Madina origin.

Probable Date of the Revelations.

Following Nöeldeke for the most part, the dates within which the revelations of this chapter were made are as follows:-

Vers. 1-11 belong to A.H. 10. The date of ver. 12 cannot be ascertained with certainty. Vers. 13 and 14 may be placed almost anywhere between A.H. 2 and 7, the probability being that they belong nearer to the latter than to the former date. Vers. 45-55, though referred by most Muslim writers to a period prior to the massacre of the Bani Quraidha, should nevertheless be placed later, i.e., prior to the expedition against the Jews of Khaibar in A.H. 7.

Vers. 56-63, according to Muslim authorities, belong to the latter part of A.H. 3 or the early part of A.H. 4.

Of vers. 64-88, the most that can be said is that they belong to a period between A.H. 4 and 8, after many wars with the Jews, and before the final outbreak with the Christians. Vers. 89-104 belong to A.H. 4-6. The date of the remaining verses is uncertain, but way be fixed approximately at A.H. 5-8.

Principal Subjects.

Covenants are to be fulfilled ... 1
Lawful meats . . . 2
Heathen pilgrims not to be molested ... 3
Islam completed-last revelation of the Quran ... 4
Certain kinds of food, gaming, and lots forbidden . . . 4,5
Muslims permitted to eat the food of Jews and Christians, and to marry their women ... 6
The law of purifications ... 7
Believers reminded of the covenant of Aqabah ... 8
Muslims should forget old quarrels with brethren ... 9-11
God's favour to Muslims . . . 12
Disobedience of Jews and Christians exposed ... 13-15
Jews and Christians are exhorted to accept Islam ... 16-18
The divinity of Christ denied . . . . . 19, 20
Jews and Christians not the children of God . . . 21
Muhammad sent as a warner . . . 22
Israel's rebellion at Kadesh Barnea ... 23-29
The story of Cain and Abel .. . 30-34


The sin of homicide . . . 35, 36
The punishment of theft accompanied by apostasy ... 37, 38
The faithful exhorted to fight for religion . . . 39
The punisment of infidels . . . 40-41
The penalty of theft . . . 42-44
Muhammad to judge the Jews and Christians by the law, gospel, and the Qur'an . .. 45-55
Muslims forbidden to fraternise with Jews and Christians... 56
Hypocrites threatened . . . . 57, 58
Believers warned and instructed . . . . 59-61
Muslims not to associate with infidels . . . 62, 63
The Jews exhorted and warned . . . . . 64, 65
The hypocrisy and unbelief of tile Jews rebuked. ... 66-69
Promises to believing Jews and Christians . . . . 70
Muhammad required to preach . . . . 71
He attests Jewish and Christian Scriptures . . . . 72
Believing Jews, Sabeans, and Christians to be saved . 73
The Jews rejected and killed the prophets of God . . 74, 75
The doctrines of the Trinity and Christ's Sonship rejected .. . 76-81
Disobedient Jews cursed by their prophets . . . . 82-84
Jewish hatred and Christian friendship compared . . 85-88
Muslims to use lawful food, &C . . . . 89, 90
Expiation for perjury . . . . . 91
Wine and lots forbidden . . . . . . 92-94
Law concerning hunting and gaming during pilgrimage... 95-97
Pilgrimage and its rites enjoined . . . . . 98-100
The Prophet not to be pestered with questions ... 101, 102
Heathen Arab customs denounced . . . . 102-104
Will to be attested by witnesses . . . . 105-107
The prophets ignorant of the characters of their followers 108
Jesus-his miracles-God's favour to him . 109, 110
The apostles of Jesus were Muslims . . . 111
A table provided by Jesus for the apostles . . . 112-114
Jesus did not teach his followers to worship him and his mother . .. 115-118
The reward of the true believer . . . 119
God is sovereign . . . 120



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(1) O TRUE believers, perform your contracts. (2) Ye are allowed to eat the brute cattle, other than what ye are commanded to abstain from; except the game which ye are allowed at other times, but not while ye are on pilgrimage to Makkah; GOD ordaineth that which he pleaseth. (3) O true believers, violate not the holy rites of GOD, nor the sacred month, nor the offering, nor the ornaments hung thereon, nor those who are travelling to the holy house, seeking favour from their LORD, and to please him. But when ye shall have finished your pilgrimage, then hunt. And let not the malice of some, in that they hindered you from entering the sacred temple, provoke you to transgress, by taking revenge on them in the sacred months. Assist one another according to justice and piety, but assist not one another in injustice and malice: therefore fear GOD; for GOD is severe in punish-

(1) Perform your contracts. The command is general, and is introductory to the matters following.

(2) Ye are allowed, &c. See below, on vers. 4-6 ; also chap. ii. 174. The only flesh forbidden in the Qur'an, if properly slain, is that of the swine ; but tradition and custom decide many animals unfit for food. Wild animals, otherwise lawful, are forbidden during the pilgrimage.

(3) Holy rites, i.e., the rites connected with pilgrimage to Makkah. This passage relates to the heathen pilgrims and their offerings, tolerated for a short time after the capture of Makkah.

Sacred month. See Prelim. Disc., sect. vii.

The offering. An animal devoted to sacrifice might not be captured even from an infidel. A garland on the neck of an animal indicated its sacred character. It is related in the Tafsir-i-Raufi that a camel was stolen from Muhammad at Madina. Some time afterwards, when oh a pilgrimage, he recognised his stolen camel in a caravan on its way to Makkah; but seeing the garland on its neck, he forbade his followers taking it. This story may be apocryphal, but it illustrates the force of this law.

The malice of some, i.e., in the pilgrimage A.H. 6, when the Muslims were stopped at Hudaibaya. See Prelim. Disc., p .89.

Assist one another, &c., in the pilgrimage. The sense is closely connected with what precedes.


ing. (4) Ye are forbidden to eat that which dieth of itself, and blood, and swine's flesh, and that on which the name of any besides GOD hath been invocated; and that which hath been strangled, or killed by a blow, or by a fall, or by the horns of another beast, and that which hath been eaten by a wild beast, except what ye shall kill yourselves; and that which hath been sacrificed unto idols. It is likewise unlawful for you to make division by casting lots with arrows. This is an impiety. On th is day woe be unto those who have apostatised from their religion; therefore fear not them, but fear me. This day have I perfected your religion for you, and have completed my mercy upon you; and I have chosen for you Islam, to be your religion. But whosoever shall be driven

(4) Ye are forbidden, &c. See notes on chap. ii. 174.

Eaten by a wild beast, i.e., the flesh of an animal killed by a wild beast is forbidden unless it be found before life is extinct. In this case the flesh may be eaten, provided the hunter cuts its throat in the usual manner.

Sacrificed to idols. "The word also signifies certain stones which the pagan Arabs used to set up near their houses, and on which they superstitiously slew animals in honour of their gods."- Sale, Baidhawi.

These stones of the Ishmaelites were probably such as are referred to in Gen. xxviii. 18-22. They were the altars upon which sacrifices were offered to the idols Lat and Uzza, but which pointed to the blood which speaketh better things than the blood of Abel. It is probable that every animal slain for food was offered as a sacrifice.

Lots with arrows. See note on chap. ii. 218, and Prelim. Disc., p.196. Three arrows were ordinarily used. On one was written My God commands me, on another was written My God forbids me, and the third was blank. If the first were drawn, the way was clear; if the second were drawn, the matter was left in abeyance for one year, when arrows were again drawn; if the blank were drawn, it was returned to the bag and another trial was made, and so on until either first or second should be drawn (Tafsir-i-Raufi).

On this day. "This passage, it is said, was revealed on Friday evening, being the day of the pilgrims visiting Mount Arafat the last time Muhammad visited the temple of Makkah, therefore called the pilgrimage of valediction. "- Sale.

This day have I perfected your religion. "And therefore the commentators say that after this time ho positive or negative precept was given."- Sale.


by necessity through hunger to eat of what we have forbidden, not designing to sin, surely GOD will be indulgent and merciful unto him. (5) They will ask thee what is allowed them as lawful to eat. Answer, Such things as are good are allowed you; and what ye shall teach animals of prey to catch, training them up for hunting after the manner of dogs, and teaching them according to the skill which GOD hath taught you. Eat therefore of that which they shall catch for you; and commemorate the name of GOD thereon; and fear GOD, for GOD is swift in taking an account. (6) This day are ye allowed to eat such things as are good, and the food of those to whom the scriptures were given is also allowed as lawful unto you; and your food is allowed as lawful unto them. And ye are also allowed to marry free women that are believers, and also free women of those who have received the scriptures before you, when ye shall have assigned them their dower, living chastely with them, neither committing fornication, nor taking them for concubines. Whoever shall renounce the faith, his work shall be vain, and in the next life he shall be of those who perish.

(5) Commemorate the name of God thereon. Sale says, "Either when ye let go the hound, hawk, or other animal after the game, or when ye kill it." The rule is to say Bismillah alluho Akbar, or simply Bismillah, when the dog or hawk is let go.

The requirements of these verses look as if they were either delivered on two different occasions, or they represent the same command as repeated by two different persons to those who compiled the Quran in its present form.

(6) The food of those to whom the Scriptures, &c. This one passage is sufficient to refute the position of those Muslims in India who regard Christians as infidels, and forbid their co-religionists to eat and drink with them.

Free women of those who, &c. Muslims are allowed to have Christian and Jewish wives, but Muslim women may not have Christian or Jewish husbands. Such Christian women, however, may not be taken as concubines.

Muhammad did not feel himself bound by this law in the case of the Jewess Rihana, whom he took for his concubine immediately after the cruel slaughter of the Bani Quraidha; nor in the case of the Coptic Mary. This law may, however, have been delivered after these women had been taken into the Prophet's harem.


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(7) O true believers, when ye prepare yourselves to pray, wash your faces, and your hands unto the elbows; and rub your heads, and your feet unto the ankles; and if ye be polluted by having lain with a woman, wash yourselves all over. But if ye be sick, or on a journey, or any of you cometh from the privy, or if ye have touched women, and ye find no water, take fine clean sand, and rub your faces and your hands therewith: GOD would not put a difficulty upon you; but he desireth to purify you, and to complete his favour upon you, that ye may give thanks. (8) Remember the favour of GOD towards you, and his covenant which he hath made with you, when ye said, We have heard, and will obey. Therefore fear GOD, for GOD knoweth the innermost parts of the breasts of men. (9) O true believers, observe justice when ye appear as witnesses before GOD, and let not hatred towards any induce you to do wrong: but act justly; this will approach nearer unto piety; and fear GOD, for GOD is fully acquainted with what ye do. (10) GOD hath promised unto those who believe and do that which is right that they shall receive pardon and a great reward. (11) But they who believe not and accuse our signs of falsehood, they

(7) He desireth to purify you. This verse, as well as the chapter on purifications in the Mishqat ul Masabih, abundantly show that this external purity is all Islam knows of holiness. The word holy conveys no other idea to a Muslim's mind.

(8) We have heard. Sale says, "These words are the form used at the inauguration of a prince; and Muhammad here intends the oath of fidelity which his followers had taken to him at Al Aqabah." (See Prelim Disc., p. 81.)

(9) Let not hatred, &c. According to the Tafsir-i-Raufi this passage has reference to those who, having once persecuted the Muslims, afterwards embraced Islam. Muslims are here exhorted to forgive all such injuries.

(11) They . . . who accuse our signs, &c. This is another passage showing (1) that the charge of imposture was made in Muhammad's lifetime; (2) that the language and style of the Quran was not so striking as to convince Muhammad's contemporaries that they were inimtable; and (3) that Muhammad's only argument in reply was his usual threat.


shall be the companions of hell. (12) O true believers, remember GOD'S favour towards you, when certain men designed to stretch forth their hands against you, but he restrained their bands from hurting you; therefore fear GOD and in GOD let the faithful trust.

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(13) GOD formerly accepted the covenant of the chil-

(12) He restrained their hands. "The commentators tell several stories as the occasion of this passage. One says that Muhammad and some of his followers being at Usfan (a place not far from Makkah, in the way to Madina), and performing their noon devotions, a company of idolaters who were in view repented they had not taken that opportunity of attacking them, and therefore waited till the hour of evening prayer, intending to fall upon them then but God defeated their design by revealing the verse of Fear. Another relates that the Prophet going to the tribe of Quraidha (who were Jews) to levy a rue for the blood of two Muslims who had been killed by mistake by Amru Ibn Ummaya al Dhimri, they desired him to sit down and eat with them, and they would pay the fine: Muhammad complying with their request, while he was sitting they laid a design against his life, one Amru Ibn Jash undertaking to throw a millstone upon him; but God withheld his hand, and Gabriel immediately descended to acquaint the Prophet with their treachery, upon which he rose up and went his way. A third story is, that Muhammad having hung up his arms on a tree under which he was resting himself, and his companions being dispersed some distance from him, an Arab of the desert came up to him and drew his sword, saying, 'Who hindereth me from killing thee?' to which Muhammad answered, 'God;' and Gabriel beating the sword out of the Arab's hand, Muhammad took it up, and asked him the same question, 'Who hinders me from killing thee?' the Arab replied, 'No-body,' and immediately professed Muhammadanism. Abulfida tells the same story, with some variation of circumstances." - Sale, Baidhawi.

We have little reason to regard any of these stories, excepting the first, as true. They possess the marks of the improbable and the apocryphal. Nevertheless they are reproduced by all commentators and expositors of the Quran, and are believed by all good Muslims. The passage apparently points to the leaser pilgrimage and events connected therewith.

(13) Twelve leaders. The following is the Muslim account of these twelve leaders as given by Sale on the authority of Baidhawi:-

"After the Israelites had escaped from Pharaoh, God ordered them to go against Jericho, which was then inhabited by giants,* of

* These giants, say the Muslims, were from 800 to 3300 yards in height; their grapes were so large it required five persons to lift a cluster, and the pomegranates were so large that five persons could get into the shell at once.


dren of Israel, and we appointed out of them twelve leaders; and GOD said, Verily I am with you: if ye observe prayer, and give alms, and believe in my apostles, and assist them, and lend unto GOD on good usury, I will surely expiate your evil deeds from you, and I will lead you into gardens wherein rivers flow: but he among you who disbelieveth after this, erreth from the straight path. (14) Wherefore because they have broken their covenant, we have cursed them, and hardened their hearts; they dislocate the words of the Pentateuch from their places, and have forgotten part of what they were admonished; and thou wilt not cease to discover deceitful practices among them, except a few of them. But forgive them, and pardon them, for GOD loveth the beneficent (15) And from those who say, We are Christians, we have received their covenant; but they have forgotten part of what they were admonished; wherefore we have raised up enmity and hatred among them, till the day of resurrection; and GOD will then surely declare unto them what they have been doing. (16) O ye who have received the

the race of the Canaanites, promising to give it into their hands; and Moses, by the divine direction, appointed a prince or captain over each tribe to lead them in that expedition (Num. i. 4,5); and when they came to the borders of the land of Canaan, sent the captains as spies to get information of the state of the country, enjoining them secrecy ; but they, being terrified at the prodigious size and strength of the inhabitants, disheartened the people by publicly telling what they had seen, except only Caleb the son of Yafunna (Jephunneh), and Joshua the son of Nun" (Num. xiii. xiv.)

As usual, the messige to the Israelites is represented as the same as that given to the Arabs by Muhammad.

Good usury. The reward of those who spent their money in the wars for the faith.

I will surely expiate. See note on chap. iii. 194. It is altogether probable that the word expiate was used in conformity with Jewish idiom, but certainly not in a Jewish sense.

(14) They dislocate the words. See note on chap. iv. 44.

But forgive them. "That is, if they repent and believe, or submit to pay tribute. Some, however, think these words are abrogated by the verse of the Sword."- Sale, Baidhawi.

(15) Forgotten part, i.e., the prophecies of the gospel concerning Muhammad as the Paraclete (Tafsir-i-Raufi).

Enmity and hatred. The reference is to the sectarian quarrels among Christians.


scriptures, now is our apostle come unto you, to make manifest unto you many things which ye concealed in the scriptures, and to pass over many things. (17) Now is light and a perspicuous book of revelations come unto you from GOD. (18) Thereby will GOD direct him who shall follow his good pleasure into the paths of peace; and shall lead them out of darkness into light by his will, and shall direct them in the right way. (19) They are infidels who say, Verily GOD is Christ the son of Mary. Say unto them, And who could obtain anything from GOD to the contrary, if he pleased to destroy Christ the son of Mary, and his mother, and all those who are on the earth?

(16) Which ye concealed, e.g., "the verse of stoning adulterers (chap. iii. 23), the description of Muhammad, and Christ's prophecy of him by the name of AHMED" (chap. lxi. 6). - Sale, Baidhawi.

And to pass over other things. The things thus passed over were all that made Christianity a religion at all. The additions, made under pretence of restoring lost revelation, were distinctly Muslim in their character. How such a proceeding can be reconciled with a character for honest sincerity is beyond my ken.

(17) Now is light . . . come unto you, i.e., the light of prophecy, which resided in Muhammad and all the predecessors of Muhammad up to Adam. This light was the first creation of God, and through this light all the works of God were made manifest (Tafsir-i-Raufi). Muhammadan mystics have little difficulty in persuading themselves in this way that Muhammad and the Quran are divine in the sense that they are the light of God, manifesting him as the light of the sun reveals to us the orb of day with all its retinue of worlds.

The orthodox, however, take more sober views of the passage, and understand the truth of Islam as recorded in the Quran to be all that is intended.

(19) The infidels. Christians are here called by the same name as that which is applied to idolaters, because their clear confession of the divine nature and attributes of Christ declares them to be guilty of this unpardonable sin of Islam In almost all the earlier chapters of the Quran, Christians are spoken of as "the people of the book," and the status assigned to them is far above that of either Jews or idolaters. In the latter revelations the Nazarines are, as here, plainly called idolaters. This inconsistency may be explained either by supposing Muhammad to have been ignorant of Christianity until a late period of his life, or by presuming that he chose to ignore them when he could, and to patronise where he could not ignore, until his Pretensions as a prophet and his power as a politician had been established. We think the last to be most in accord with probability,


(20) For unto GOD belongeth the kingdom of heaven and earth, and whatsoever is contained between them; he createth what he pleaseth, and GOD is almighty. (21) The Jews and the Christians say, We are the children of GOD and his beloved. Answer, Why therefore doth he punish you for your sins? Nay, but ye are men, of those whom he hath created. He forgiveth whom he pleaseth, and punisheth whom he pleaseth; and unto GOD belongeth the kingdom of heaven and earth, and of what is contained between them both; and unto him shall all things return. (22) O ye who have received the scriptures, now is our apostle come unto you, declaring unto you the true religion, during the cessation of apostles, lest ye should say, There came unto us no bearer of good tidings, nor any warner: but now is a bearer of good tidings and a warner come unto you; for GOD is almighty.

and as being most easily reconciled with traditions which accredit Muhammad with a knowledge of Christianity even before he claimed to be a prophet, and which even declare his wife Khadijah to have been a Christian.

If he pleased to destroy Christ. This passage decidedly proves that whatever purpose Muhammad had in using the terms "Word of God," "Spirit from God," &c. (see chaps. ii. 86 and iii. 39), he certainly never intended to sanction the doctrine of Christ's divinity in any way.

(21) Why. . . doth he punish you? Compare with Heb. xii.5-8. This verse shows that Muhammad, while using the phraseology of Christians, did not understand its import. A son of God seemed to him to certainly express the idea of a divine nature, hence he says, "Nay. but ye are men," &c.

(22) The cessation of the apostles. "The Arabic word al fatra signifies the intermediate space of time between two prophets, during which no hew revelation or dispensation was given ; as the interval between Moses and Jesus, and between Jesus and Muhammad, at the expiration of which last Muhammad pretended to be sent"- Sale.

The Tafsir-i-Raufi says there were one thousand prophets intervening successively between Moses and Jesus, but none between Jesus and Muhammad. During the whole period of 2300 years, according to Arab reckoning, between Moses and Muhammad, no prophet appeared among the children of Ishmail. Surely the promise was to Isaac, even on Muslim showing.


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(23) Call to mind when Moses said unto his people, O my people, remember the favour of GOD towards you, since he hath appointed prophets among you, and constituted you kings, and bestowed on you what he hath given to no other nation in the world. (24) O my people, enter the holy land, which GOD hath decreed you, and turn not your backs, lest ye be subverted and perish. (25) They answered, O Moses, verily there are a gigantic people in the land; and we will by no means enter it, until they depart thence; but if they depart thence, then will we enter therein. (26) And two men of those who feared GOD, unto whom GOD had been gracious, said, Enter ye upon them suddenly by the gate of the city; and when ye shall have entered the same, ye shall surely be victorious: therefore trust in GOD, if ye are true believers. (27) They replied, O Moses, we will never enter the land while they remain therein: go therefore thou and thy LORD

(23) Kings. There is almost certainly an anachronism here; but Muslims regard the words as a prophecy of Moses concerning kings to come, or they understand by the expression that God had "made them kings or masters of themselves by delivering them from Egyptian bondage" (Sale).

What he hath given, &c. Baidhawi says, "Having divided the Red Sea for you, and guided you by a cloud, and fed you with quails and manna, &c." The allusion is with more probability assigned to the peculiar blessings of Israel as the chosen people of God.

(24) Holy land. This expression, like the language of the previous verse, was received from the vocabulary of contemporary Jews or Christians. But it is here put in the mouth of Moses.

(25) Gigantic people. See note on ver. 13.

(26) Two men. Caleb and Joshua.

Enter . . . by the gate. This illustrates Muhammad's idea of the mission of the Israelites to Canaan, and of Joshua's resources in his efforts to conquer Jericho. He is confident of success through stratagem. Yet this whole caricature of the history of the rebellion of the children of Israel at Kadesh Barnea is put in the mouth of God and related as authentic story. What can account for such a phenomenon but satanic possession or wilful imposture? Certainly nothing from a Christian standpoint. The only other possible supposition is the faith of the Muslim that this is inspired history, and that everything contradictory to it is false.


and fight; for we will sit here. (28) Moses said, O LORD, surely I am not master of any except myself and my brother; therefore make a distinction between us and the ungodly people. (29) GOD answered, Verily, the land shall be forbidden them forty years; during which time they shall wander like men astonished on the earth; therefore be not thou solicitous for the ungodly people.

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(30) Relate unto them also the history of the two sons of Adam, with truth. When they offered their offering, and it was accepted from one of them, and was not accepted from the other, Cain said to his brother, I will

(28) Except myself and my brother. Moses would seem to have forgotten Caleb and Joshua. The author of the Tafsir-i-Raufi conjectures that it is Aaron who is called Lord in ver. 27 ; but this theory is contrary to the dignity bestowed on Moses everywhere in the Quran.

Therefore make a distinction, &c. Compare Numb. xiv. 11-20.

(29) They shall wander. "The commentators pretend that the Israelites, while they thus wandered in the desert, were kept within the compass of about eighteen (or, as some say, twenty-seven) miles and that though they travelled from morning to night, yet they constantly found themselves the next day at the place from whence they set out."- Sale.

(30) Relate with... truth. See note on chap. ii. 145.

The two sons of Adam, Cain and Abel; called by Muhammadans Kabil and Habil.

When they offered, &c. "The occasion of their making this offering is thus related, according to the common tradition in the East. Each of them being born with a twin sister, when they were grown up, Adam, by God's direction, ordered Cain to marry Abel's twin sister, and that Abel should marry Cain's (for it being the common opinion that marriages ought not to be had in the nearest degrees of consanguinity, since they must necessarily marry their sisters, it seemed reasonable to suppose they ought to take those of the remoter degree; but this Cain refusing to agree to, because his own sister was the handsomest, Adam ordered them to make their offerings to God, thereby referring the dispute to his determination. The commentators say Cain's offering was a sheaf of the very worst of his corn, but Abel's a fat lamb, of the best of his flock."- Sale, Baidhawi, Jalaluddin.

"The offering of Abel was accepted by fire descending from heaven and consuming it, while that of Cain was untouched."- Tafsir-i-Raufi, Tafsir-i-Husaini.

Abel answered, &c. "This conversation between the two brothers," says Sale, "is related somewhat to the same purpose in the Jerusalem Targum and that of Jonathan ben Uzziel."


certainly kill thee. Abel answered, GOD only accepteth the offering of the pious;


(31) If thou stretchest forth thy hand against me, to slay me, I will not stretch forth my hand against thee, to slay thee; for I fear GOD, the LORD of all creatures. (32) I choose that thou shouldest bear my iniquity and thine own iniquity; and that thou become a companion of hell fire; for that is the reward of the unjust. (33) But his soul suffered him to slay his brother, and he slew him; wherefore he became of the number of those who perish. (34) And GOD sent a raven, which scratched the earth, to show him how he should hide the shame of his brother, and he said, Woe is me! am I unable to be like this raven,

(31) I will not stretch forth my hand, &c. Baidhawi says Abel was much stronger than Cain, and that he could easily have prevailed against him if he had chosen to fight.

(32) A companion of hell fire. This fierce revengeful spirit comports well with the character of the Arabian Prophet, but comes far short of the truth when applied to the brother of Cain.

(33) He slew him. The commentators say he did not know how to kill his brother until the devil, appearing in human form, killed in his sight a bird by laying its head on one stone and smiting it with another. Cain then went at night-time to his brother, who was sleeping with his head pillowed on a stone, and striking him on the head with a stone, slew him (Tafsir-i-Raufi).

(34) A raven . . to show him, &c. The Jewish tradition, which makes Adam to be indebted to a raven for his knowledge as to how to dispose of the body of his murdered son, is here so distorted as actually to make God to sympathise with the murderer in his anxiety to conceal the corpse of his victim.

"Cain, having committed this fratricide, became exceedingly troubled in his mind, and carried the dead body about on his shoulders for a considerable time, not knowing where to conceal it, till it stank horridly; and then God taught him to bury it by the example of a raven, who having killed another raven in his presence, dug a pit with his claws and beak, and buried him therein"- Sale, Baidhawi.

The commentators say that, previous to the burial, Cain carried the body of his brother about for forty days (others say a year), ever struggling to keep off birds of prey and ravenous beasts; that his skin became black, and a voice ever shouted in his ears "Be thou for ever in terror," and that at last he was murdered by his own son. The punishment of Cain is said to be equal to half the punishment of all the rest of mankind. His repentance was therefore in vain. See the Tafsir-i-Raufi in loco.


that I may hide my brother's shame? and he became one of those who repent. (35) Wherefore we commanded the children of Israel, that he who slayeth a soul, without having slain a soul, or committed wickedness in the earth, shall be as if he had slain all mankind: but he who saveth a soul alive, shall be as if he had saved the lives of all mankind. (36) Our apostles formerly came unto them, with evident miracles; then were many of them after this transgressors on the earth. (37) But the recompense of those who fight against GOD and his apostle, and study to act corruptly in the earth, shall be, that they shall be slain, or crucified, or have their hands and their feet cut off on the opposite sides, or be banished the land. This shall be their disgrace iii this world, and in the next

(35) Without having slain a soul. From this the inference is drawn that a murderer may be slain without crime (Abdul Qadir).

Wickedness in the earth, "Such as idolatry or robbing on the highway." - Sale, Baidhawi.

All mankind. See Rodwell's note here, showing the Jewish origin of this sentiment.

(37) The recompense, &c. A party of eight Bedouin Arabs, having professed Islam at Madina, was appointed to guard the camels of Muhammad sent to graze at Ayr, near Madina. The Bedouins drove off the camels and wounded some herdsmen who had gone in pursuit, killing one in a barbarous manner. Muhammad, having been informed of this transaction, sent twenty horsemen in pursuit, who captured the robbers, recovering all the camels but one. In punishment Muhammad ordered the arms and legs of the eight men to be cut off, their eyes to be put out, and their trunks to be impaled until life was extinct. This horrible barbarity seems to have appeared excessive, and accordingly this verse was revealed. (See Muir's Life of Mahomet, vol. iv. pp.19 and 20.) The barbarities herein sanctioned are still practised in every Muhammadan country. As to the infliction of these punishments, Sale, on the authority of Baidhawi and others, says, "The lawyers are not agreed. But the commentators suppose that they who commit murder only are to be put to death in the ordinary way; those who murder and rob too, to be crucified; those who rob without committing murder, to have their right hand and their left foot cut off; and they who assault persons and put them in fear, to be banished. It is also a doubt whether they who are crucified shall be crucified alive, or be first put to death, or whether they shall hang on the cross till they die."


world they shall suffer a grievous punishment; (38) except those who shall repent before ye prevail against them; for know that GOD is inclined to forgive, and merciful.

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(39) O true believers, fear GOD, and earnestly desire a near conjunction with him, and fight for his religion, that ye may be happy. (40) Moreover they who believe not, although they had whatever is in the earth, and as much more withal, that they might therewith redeem themselves from punishment on the day of resurrection; it shall not be accepted from them, but they shall suffer a painful punishment. (41) They shall desire to go forth from the fire, but they shall not go forth from it, and their punishment shall be permanent. (42) If a man or a woman steal, cut off their hands, in retribution for that which they have committed; this is an exemplary punishment appointed by GOD; and GOD is mighty and wise. (43) But whoever shall repent after his iniquity and amend,

(38) Except those who shall repent. If the offenders be unbelievers, and previous to their being forcibly seized they profess Islam, they are to be forgiven ; even stolen property may not be taken from them. If they be Muslims, they are to be pardoned stolen property being returned and the price of blood being paid in case murder have been committed. See the Tafsir-i-Raufi in loco.

(39) A near conjunction. The original word means a helper or a means of accomplishing anything. The meaning here is that believers should seek the means of near approach to God, which means, say the commentators, is obedience to his commandments.

(42) Cut off their hands. " But this punishment, according to the Sunnat, is not to be inflicted unless the value of the thing stolen amount to four dinars, or about forty shillings. For the first offence the criminal is to lose his right hand, which is to be cut off at the wrist ; for the second offence, his left foot, at the ankle ; for the third, his left hand; for the fourth, his right foot; and if he continue to offend, he shall be scourged at the discretion of the judge." Sale, Jalaluddin.

Savary says this law is not observed by the Turks, who use the bastonnado in ordinary cases, often beheading robbers of notoriety. But if so, the Turk is inconsistent with his religion, for "this is an exemplary punishment appointed of God."

(43) But whoever shall repent. "That is, God will not punish him for it hereafter; but his repentance does not supersede the execution of the law here, nor excuse him from making restitution. Yet,


verily GOD will be turned unto him, for GOD is inclined to forgive, and merciful. (44) Dost thou not know that the kingdom of heaven and earth is GOD'S? He punisheth whom he pleaseth, and he pardoneth whom he pleaseth; for GOD is almighty. (45) O apostle, let not them grieve thee who hasten to infidelity, either of those who say, We believe, with their mouths, but whose hearts believe not; or of the Jews, who hearken to a lie, and hearken to other people; who come unto thee: they pervert the words of the law from their true places, and say, If this be brought unto you, receive it; but if it be not brought unto you, beware of receiving aught else; and in behalf of him whom GOD shall resolve to seduce, thou shalt not prevail with GOD at all. They whose hearts GOD shall not please to

according to al Shafa'i, he shall not be punished if the party wronged forgive him before he be carried before a magistrate." - Sale, Baidhawi.

See above on vers. 37 and 38.

(45) See notes on chap. iv. 43-50. The passage is directed against apostates, hypocrites, and Jews.

And hearken to other people. "These words are capab1e of two senses, and may either mean that they attended to the lies and forgeries of their Rabbins neglecting the remonstrances of Muhammad, or else that they came to hear Muhammad as spies only, that they might report what he said to their companions, and represent him as a liar." Sale, Baidhawi.

If this be brought unto you &c. "That is, if what Muhammad tells you agrees with Scripture, as corrupted and dislocated by us, then you may accept it as the Word of God; but if not, reject it. These words, it is said relate to the sentence pronounced by that prophet on an adulterer and adulteress, both persons of some figure among the Jews. For they, it seems, though they referred the matter to Muhammad, yet directed the persons who carried the criminals before him, that if he ordered them to he scourged and to have their faces blackened (by way of ignominy), they should acquiesce in his determination; but in case he condemned them to be stoned, they should not. And Muhammad pronouncing the latter sentence against them, they refused to execute it, till Ibn Suriya (a Jew), who was called upon to decide the matter, acknowledged the law to be so. Whereupon they were stoned at the door of the mosque. "- Sale, Baidhawi.

That which is forbidden, i.e., usury, which in Oriental languages is said to be eaten. Forbidden meats could only be intended providing the persons addressed here included Christians as well as Jews.


cleanse shall suffer shame in this world, and a grievous punishment in the next: who hearken to a lie, and eat that which is forbidden. (46) But if they come unto thee for judgment, either judge between them, or leave them; and if thou leave them, they shall not hurt thee at all. But if thou undertake to judge, judge between them with equity; for GOD loveth those who observe justice. (47) And how will they submit to thy decision, since they have the law, containing the judgment of GOD? Then will they turn their backs, after this; but those are not true believers.

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(48) We have surely sent down the law, containing direction and light: thereby did the prophets, who professed the true religion, judge those who judaised; and

(46) Or leave them, i.e., "take thy choice whether thou wilt determine their differences or not. Hence al Shafa'i was of opinion that a judge was not obliged to decide causes between Jews or Christians; though if one or both of them be tributaries, or under the protection of the Muhammadans, they are obliged, this verse not regarding them. Abu Hanifa, however, thought that the magistrates were obliged to judge all cases which were submitted to them." - Sa1e, Baidhawi.

(47) They have the law. See note on chap. iv. 44. Sale says that in the following passage Muhammad endeavours to answer the objections of the Jews and Christians who insisted that they ought to be judged the former by the law of Moses, and the latter by the gospel. He allows that the law was the proper rule of. judging till the coming of Jesus Christ, alter which the gospel was the rule ; but pretends that both are set aside by the revelation of the Quran, which is so far from being contradictory to either of the former, that it is more full and explicit; declaring several points which had been stifled or corrupted therein, and requiring a vigorous execution of the precepts in both, which had been too remissly observed, or rather neglected, by the latter professors of those religions."

On the doctrine of abrogation alluded to by Sale, see note on chap. ii. 105. The statements of this passage alike contradict the idea that Muhammad regarded the Christian or Jewish Scriptures as corrupted in any way whatever, and that of the abrogation of those Scriptures; for, if corrupted, how could he say the Jews of Madina "have the law, containing the judgment of God"? And, if abrogated, how could he say in ver. 49, "We have therein (in the law (Tauret), see ver. 48) commanded them," &c., quoting almost literally a portion of the law of Exod. xxi. 23-27, and adding, "Whoso judgeth not according to what God hath revealed, they are unjust and infidels "?

(48) The true religion, i.e., Islam, the one true religion of all ages of the world. See note on chap. ii. 136.


the doctors and priests also judged by the book of GOD, which had been committed to their custody; and they were witnesses thereof. Therefore fear not men, but fear me; neither sell my signs for a small price. And whoso judgeth not according to what GOD hath revealed, they are infidels. (49) We have therein commanded them, that they should give life for life, and eye for eye, and nose for nose, and ear for ear, and tooth for tooth; and that wounds should also be punished by retaliation: but whoever should remit it as alms, it should accepted as an atonement for him. And whoso judgeth not according to what GOD hath revealed, they are unjust. (50) We also caused Jesus the son of Mary to follow the footsteps of the prophets, confirming the law which was sent down before him;

Committed to their custody; and . . . witnesses. The only fair interpretation of this passage is that the Scriptures of the Jews were preserved from corruption by the jealous watchfulness of those "doctors and priests" who had been appointed as the custodians of the precious treasure. These keepers of the LAW are the witnesses to the character of that which has been committed to their charge. ("They are vigilant to prevent any corruption therein."- Sale.) Wherefore he exhorts the Jews whom he is here addressing, "Therefore, O Jews, fear not men, but fear me (i.e., God); neither sell my signs for a small price," i.e., by perverting the meaning of your Scriptures, as in ver. 45.

(49) Compare with Exod. xxi. 23-27. Muhammad could not have had the Scriptures before him, else he would have quoted more fully.

An atonement. This expression conveys here the Mosaic idea of satisfaction but does not seem to have been used by Muhammad in the Bible sense, the meaning being that when the injured person forgave the transgressor, no punishment should be inflicted by others on this account. The popular belief among Muslims agrees with this-, viz., that God cannot forgive in offence against a man or beast unless the offender first be pardoned by those whom he has injured. See also note on chap. iii. 194.

This passage, as well as chap. xv. 35, is said to be abrogated by chap. ii. 178. That passage certainly professes to relax the law of retaliation prescribed by Moses. If so, there appears to be a contradiction between these two passages which cannot fairly be reconciled by the convenient doctrine of abrogation, for in this case the passage abrogated was revealed several years after the passage which abrogates it.

(50) Confirming also the law. The testimony to the law is the gospel of Jesus and the testimony confirming both is the Quran.


and we gave him the gospel, containing direction and light; confirming also the light which was given before it, and a direction and admonition unto those who fear God: (51) that they who have received the gospel might judge according to what GOD hath revealed therein: and whoso judgeth not according to what GOD hath revealed, they are transgressors. (52) We have also sent down unto thee the book of the Quran with truth, confirming that scripture which was revealed before it; and preserving the same safe from corruption. Judge therefore between them according to that which GOD hath revealed; and follow not their desires by swerving from the truth which hath come unto thee. Unto every one of you have we given a law and an open path; (53) and if GOD had pleased, he had surely made you one people; but he hath thought fit to give you different laws, that he might try you in that which he hath given you respectively. Therefore strive to excel each other in good works: unto GOD shall ye all return, and then will he declare unto you that concerning

See v.52. Portions may be abrogated, and so cease to be of binding force to whom they are so abrogated, but all remains true. The eternal truths of God as to his own nature and attributes, his moral law, historical fact, &c., cannot be abrogated (see chap. ii. 105 note), and therefore the Quran again points the way to its own refutation.

(52) See notes on chaps. ii. 75-78 ; iii. 77 ; iv. 44.

(53) One people, i.e., "He had given you the same laws, which should have continued in force through all ages, without being abolished or changed by new dispensations; or he could have forced you all to embrace the Muhammadan religion."- Sale, Baidhawi.

This passage seems to have been intended to reconcile all parties to Islam, notwithstanding its differences when compared with Judaism and Christianity. These were intended as a trial of faith. But, in accordance with the teaching of the preceding verses, the claim should have been that God had made them one people, possessing the same religion and acknowledging the same divine messengers, and that that wherein they differed was due to their own sin and disbelief, and not to God's will. The fact of irreconcilable differences between the "people of the book" and himself seems to have forced itself into the consciousness of the oracle of Islam, and made consistency in the statement of prophetic claims and the facts of experience an impossibility. See also Arnold's Islam and Christianity, pp. 172 and 174.


which ye have disagreed. (54) Wherefore do thou, O prophet, judge between them according to that which GOD hath revealed, and follow not their desires; but beware of them, lest they cause thee to err from part of those precepts which GOD hath sent down unto thee; and if they turn back, know that GOD is pleased to punish them for some of their crimes; for a great number of men are transgressors. (55) Do they therefore desire the judgment of the time of ignorance? but who is better than GOD, to judge between people who reason aright?

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(56) O true believers, take not the Jews or Christians for your friends; they are friends the one to the other; but whoso among you taketh them for his friends, he is surely one of them: verily GOD directeth not unjust people. (57) Thou shalt see those in whose hearts there is an infirmity, to hasten unto them, saying, We fear lest

(54) Beware of these. "It is related that certain of the Jewish priests came to Muhammad with a design to entrap him; and having first represented to him that if they acknowledged him for a prophet, the rest of the Jews would certainlly follow their example, made this proposal - that if he would give judgment for them in a controversy of moment which they pretended to have with their own people, and which was agreed to be referred to his decision, they would believe him ; but this Muhammad absolutely refused to comply with."- Sale, Baidhawi.

This story of the commentators looks very like the one given in note on ver. 45. That the passage is a reply to some effort on the part of the Jews to tempt Muhammad is clear enough. The following verse points to some law abolishing the practices of the heathen Arabs as the point of attack. The story of Baidhawi in the note in ver. 45, if true, would sufficiently explain the character of the Jewish proposal.

(56) Take not Jews and Christians for your friends. See note on chap. iii. 118. The statement that Jews and Christians "are friends one of another" is another slip of the pen that recorded the history of the Quran. The spirit of hatred and contempt inculcated here is entirely inconsistent with the teaching of ver. 53. Yet this is the spirit of Islam as it now is. Religious toleration in Muhammadan countries is the toleration of contempt.

(57) We fear &c. "These were the words of Ibn Ubbai, who, when Obadah Ibn al Samat publicly renounced the friendship of the infidels, and professed that he took God and his Apostle for his


some adversity befall us; but it is easy for GOD to give victory, or a command from him, that they may repent of that which they concealed in their minds. (58) And they who believe will say, Are these the men who have sworn by GOD, with a most firm oath, that they surely held with you? their works are become vain, and they are of those who perish. (59) O true believers, whoever of you apostatiseth from his religion, GOD will certainly bring other people to supply his place, whom he will love,

patrons, said that he was a man apprehensive of the fickleness of fortune, and therefore would not throw off his old friends, who might be of service to him hereafter."- Sale, Baidhawi,

.A command "to extirpate and banish the Jews, or to detect and punish the hypocrites."-Sale.

This verse and the one following refer to the Jews of the tribes of Nadhir and Quraidha.

(59) Whoever of you apostatiseth, &c. "This is one of those accidents which it is pretended were foretold by the Quran long before they came to pass. For in the latter days of Muhammad, and after his death, considerable numbers of the Arabs quitted his religion and returned to Paganism, Judaism, or Christianity. Al Baidhawi reckons them up in the following order :- 1. Three companies of Banu Mudlaj, seduced by Dhu'lhamar al Aswad al Ansi, who set up for a prophet in Yaman, and grew very powerful there. 2. Banu Hunaifah, who followed the famous false prophet Musailama. 3. Banu Assad, who acknowledged Tulaiha lbn Khuwailad, another pretender to divine revelation, for their prophet. All these fell off in Muhammad's lifetime. The following, except only the last, apostatised in the reign of Abu Baqr. 4. Certain of the tribe of Fizarah, headed by Uyaima Ibn Husain. 5. Some of the tribe of Ghatfan, whose leader was Qurrah Ibn Salmah. 6. Banu Sulaim, who followed al Fahjaah Ibn Abd Yalil. 7. Banu Yarbu, whose captain was Malik Ibn Nuwairah Ibn Qais. 8. Part of the tribe of Tamin, the proselytes of Sajaj the daughter of at Mundhar, who gave herself out for a prophetess. 9. The tribe of Kindah, led by al Ashath Ibn Qais. 10. Banu Baqr Ibn al Wayil in the province of Bahrain, headed by al Hutam Ibn Zaid. And 11.. Some of the tribes of Ghassan, who, with their prince Jabalah Ibn at Aysham, renounced Muhammadanism in the time of Omar, and returned to their former profession of Christianity.

"But as to the persons who fulfilled the other part of this prophecy, by supplying the loss of so many renegades, the commentators are not agreed. Some will have them to be the inhabitants of Yaman, and others the Persians; the authority of Muhammad himself being vouched for both opinions. Others, however, suppose them to be two thousand of the tribe of at Nakha (who dwelt in Yaman), five


and who will love him; who shall be humble towards the believers, but severe to the unbelievers; they shall fight for the religion of GOD, and shall not fear the obloquy of the detractor. This is the bounty of GOD; he bestoweth it on whom he pleaseth: GOD is extensive and wise. (60) Verily your protector is GOD, and his apostle, and those who believe, who observe the stated times of prayer, and give alms, and who bow down to worship. (61) And whoso taketh GOD, and his apostle and the believers for his friends, they are the party of GOD, and they shall be victorious.

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(62) O true believers, take not such of those to whom the scriptures were delivered before you, or of the infidels, for your friends, who make a laughing-stock and a jest of your religion; but fear GOD, if ye be true believers; (63) nor those who, when ye call to prayer, make a laughing-stock and a jest of it; this they do because they are people who do not understand. (64) Say, O ye who have received the scriptures, do ye reject us for any other reason than because we believe in GOD, and that revelation which

thousand of those of Kindah and Bajilah, and three thousand of unknown descent, who were present at the famous battle of Kadisia, fought in the Khalifat of Omar, and which put an end to the Persian empire."- Sale.

For an account of the pretenders who rose up against Muhammad towards the end of his lifetime, see Muir's Life of Mahomet, vol. iv. chap. xxxii.

(60) Stated times of prayer, &c. See note, chap. ii. 42.

(62) Who makes . . . a jest of your religion, i.e., certain Jews who mocked the Muslims when at prayer (Tafsir-i-Raufi). Baidhawi gives the following story as translated by Sale:- "These words were added on occasion of a certain Christian who, hearing the Muadhdhin, or crier, in calling to prayers, repeat this part of the usual form, ' I profess that Muhammad is the apostle of God,' said aloud, 'May God burn the liar;' but a few nights after his own house was accidentally set on fire by a servant, and himself and his family perished in the flames."

(64) The Jews and Christians are here again told that a profession of Islam is consistent with their own Scriptures. The passage belongs to a period before Muhammad had broken with Jews and Christians.


hath been sent down unto us, and that which was formerly sent down, and for that the greater part of you are transgressors? (65) Say, Shall I denounce unto you a worse thing than this, as to the reward which ye are to expect with GOD? He whom GOD hath cursed, and with whom he hath been angry, having changed some of them into apes and swine, and who worship Taghut, they are in the worse condition, and err more widely from the straightness of the path. (66) When they came unto you, they said, We believe: yet they entered into your company with infidelity, and went forth from you with the same; but GOD well knew what they concealed. (67) Thou shalt see many of them hastening unto iniquity and malice, and to eat things forbidden; and woe unto them for what they have done. (68) Unless their doctors and priests forbid them uttering wickedness and eating things forbidden, woe unto them for what they shall have committed. (69) The Jews say, The hand of GOD is tied up Their hands shall be tied up, and they shall be cursed for that which they have said. Nay, his hands are both stretched forth; he bestoweth as he pleaseth: that which hath been sent down unto thee from thy LORD shall increase the transgression and infidelity of many of them; and we have put enmity and hatred between them, until the day of resurrection. So often as they shall kindle a fire for war GOD shall extinguish it; and they shall set their minds to act corruptly in the earth, but GOD loveth

(65) Having changed . . . them into apes. See note on chap. ii. 64.

(67) Things forbidden. See notes on ver. 4.

(69) The hand of God is tied up. "That is, he is become niggardly and close-fisted. These were the words of Phineas, Ibn Azura (another indecent expression of whom, almost to the same purpose, is mentioned elsewhere), when the Jews were much impoverished by a dearth which the commentators will have to be a judgment on them for their rejecting of Muhammad ; and the other Jews who heard him, instead of reproving him, expressed their approbation of what he had said."- Sale, Baidhawi. <> Their hands shall be tied up, i.e., they shall appear in the judg-


not the corrupt doers. (70) Moreover, if they who have received the scriptures believe and fear God, we will surely expiate their sins from them, and we will lead them into gardens of pleasure; and if they observe the law, and the gospel, and the other scriptures which have been sent down unto them from their LORD, they shall

ment with their hands tied up to their necks. See Prelim Disc., p. 144.

That which hath been sent down, &c. This statement is put in the form of a prophecy, though the fulfilment had taken place years before the oracle spake. There is, however, underlying this statement, the prophetic claim of Muhammad still firmly maintained at this late period of his life. This claim has not changed its form. He still places himself in the catalogue of true prophets, and his religion is still presented as the one only true religion, the rejection of which by the Jews adds to their transgression, as did their rejection of Jesus.

God shall extinguish it. "Either by raising feuds and quarrels among themselves, or by granting the victory to the Muslims. Al Baidhawi adds, that on the Jews neglecting the true observance of their law, corrupting their religion, God had successively delivered them into the hands, first of Bakht Nasr or Nebuchadnezzar, then of Titus the Roman, and afterwards of the Persians, and has now at last subjected them to the Muhammadans."- Sale.

(70) We will surely expiate their sins. The word translated expiate is the same as that used above (ver. 49) and in chap. iii. 194 (see notes). The meaning attached to it here is simply that of removal or taking away.

And . . . which hath been sent down, &c. Sale fills in the ellipsis by supplying the words, "the other scriptures." But this is hardly correct. The expression here is certainly the same in import as that of the preceding verse, where the Quran is undoubtedly meant. The meaning, then, is that those Jews and Christians, who, while holding on to their own Scriptures, believe also in the Quran, shall be blessed in both heaven and earth, "from above them and from under their feet." The inference would therefore seem to follow that every true Muslim must accept the Old and New Testament Scriptures, along with the Quran, as the Word of God. The doctrine of abrogation can have no force here, for this Sara was the last revealed, and therefore its requirements, while they may abrogate passages in the earlier chapters, can by no means be abrogated. Of course, practically no Muslim does truly accept the former Scriptures along with the Quran, nor indeed can he be blamed for failing to do the impossible, but it is of great importance that he should know what he is here required to do. There is no more manifest display of Muhammad's ignorance of the true teaching of the former Scriptures than this; no more violent contradiction of the plainest instincts of common sense.


surely eat of good things both from above them and from under their feet. Among them there are people who act uprightly; but how evil is that which many of them do work!

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(71) O apostle, publish the whole of that which hath been sent down unto thee from thy LORD; for if thou do not, thou dost not in effect publish any part thereof: and GOD will defend thee against wicked men; for GOD directeth not the unbelieving people. (72) Say, O ye who have received the scriptures, ye are not grounded on anything, until ye observe the law and the gospel and that which hath been sent down unto you from your LORD. That

(71) Publish the whole, &c. "That is, if they do not complete the publication of all thy revelations without exception, thou dost not answer the end for which they were revealed; because the concealing of any part renders the system of religion which God has thought fit to publish to mankind by thy ministry lame and imperfect. Sale, Baidhawi.

This is another mark indicating that this chapter was the last of the revelations of the Quran.

God will defend thee. "Until this verse was revealed, Muhammad entertained a guard of armed men for his security; but on receiving this assurance of God's protection, he immediately dismissed them:" - Sale, Baidhawi.

(72) This verse, by implication, condemns the, practices of every Muslim. See notes on vers. 69 and 70. The purpose of the revelation was, however, to persuade the Jews and Christians to embrace Islam. To quote this passage in proof of Muhammad's sincerity is therefore really begging of the question. Can his apologists show us a single passage requiring Arab or Gentile Muslims to believe the Scnptures of the Old and New Testament in addition to the Quran, as necessary to salvation? So far as I know, such requirement is purely, but, as we admit, justly, inferential, nevertheless there is no reason to believe Muhammad intended any such inference to be drawn. His great object was to maintain his prophetic claim, and if possible to win over to his side the Jews Christians, and Sabians. In his anxiety to accomplish this, he made statements, like that of the passage under consideration, which implied more than he intended to teach. Certainly the universal faith of Muslims for thirteen centuries shows what Muhammad's real teaching was. None such have ever felt bound to believe the doctrines of the Jewish and Christian Scriptures, except in the sense that all such are conserved by the Quran and to be found in it. The statement, twice repeated that "that which hath been sent down unto thee from thy Lord will surely increase the transgression and infidelity of many of them,"


which hath been sent down unto thee from thy LORD will surely increase the transgression and infidelity of many of them: but be not thou solicitous for the unbelieving people. (73) Verily, they who believe, and those who Judaise, and the Sabians, and the Christians, whoever of them believeth in GOD and the last day, and doth that which is right, there shall come no fear on them, neither shall they be grieved. (74) We formerly accepted the covenant of the children of Israel, and sent apostles unto them. So often as an apostle came unto them with that which their souls desired not, they accused some of them of imposture, and some of them they killed: (75) And they imagined that there should be no punishment for those crimes, and they became blind, and deaf. Then was GOD turned unto them; afterwards many of them again became blind and deaf; but GOD saw what they did. (76) They are surely infidels who say, Verily GOD is Christ the Son of Mary; since Christ said, O children of Israel, serve GOD, my LORD and your LORD. Whoever shall give a companion unto GOD, GOD shall exclude him from paradise, and his habitation shall be hell fire; and the ungodly shall have none to help them. (77) They are certainly infidels who say, GOD is the third of three; for there is no GOD besides one GOD; and if they refrain not from what they say, a painful torment shall surely be inflicted on such of them as are unbelievers. (78) Will

creates in the mind of the thoughtful reader a conviction that Muhammad knew something at least of the irreconcilable differences between the doctrines of the Quran and those of the Bible, and that therefore the Jews and Christians would not believe in him or his Quran.

(73) See note on chap. ii. 61.

(74) They accused . . of imposture. Chap. iii. 185, note.

(75) Because blind and deaf. "Shutting their eyes and ears against conviction and the remonstrances of the law, as when they worshipped the calf."- Sale.

(76) See notes on ver. 19 above. The teaching of Jesus, according to this verse, was identical with that of Muhammad.

(77) God . . . the third of three. See notes on chap. iv. 169. The Tafsir-i-Raufi says the Marcusians believed in the Trinity of God, Mary, and Jesus, but in this the communicator is mistaken.


they not therefore be turned unto GOD and ask pardon of him, since GOD is gracious and merciful? (79) Christ the son of Mary is no more than an apostle; other apostles have preceded him; and his mother was a woman of veracity: they both ate food. Behold, how we declare unto them the signs of God's unity; and then behold how they turn aside from the truth. (80) Say unto them, Will ye worship, besides GOD, that which can cause you neither harm nor profit? GOD is he who heareth and seeth. (81) Say, O ye who have received the scriptures, exceed not the just bounds in your religion by speaking beside the truth; neither follow the desires of people who have heretofore erred, and who have seduced many, and have gone astray from the straight path.

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(82) Those among the children of Israel who believed not were cursed by the tongue of David, and of Jesus the son of Mary. This befell them because they were rebellious and transgressed: they forbade not one another the wickedness which they committed; and woe unto them for what they committed. (83) Thou shalt see many of them take for their friends those who believe not. Woe unto them for what their souls have sent before them, for that GOD is incensed against them and they shall remain in torment for ever. (84) But if they had believed in God

(79) Compare chap. iii. 39.

A woman of veracity, i.e., "never pretending to partake of the divine nature, or to be the mother of God."- Sale, Jalaluddin. Compare note on chap. iv. 169.

(81) Exceed not, &c. See chap. iv. note 169.

Who have. . . erred. "Their prelates and predecessors, who erred in ascribing divinity to Christ before the mission of Muhammad." - Sale, Baidhawi.

(82) Cursed . . . by Jesus. See note, chap. ii. 64. The curse said to have been pronounced by Jesus against the Jews probably has reference to his prophetic denunciations and warnings in general, especially his prophecy concerning the destruction of Jerusalem and the fall of the Jewish nationality. The woes of this passage may have been suggested by the woes of our Lord against the Scribes, Pharisees, and hypocrites.

(83) What their souls have sent before them. See chap. ii. 94.


and the prophet, and that which hath been revealed unto him, they had not taken them for their friends; but many of them are evil-doers. (85) Thou shalt surely find the most violent of all men in enmity against the true believers to be the Jews and the idolaters; and thou shalt surely find those among them to be the most inclined to entertain friendship for the true believers who say, We are Christians. This cometh to pass because there are priests and monks among them, and because they are not elated with pride.


(86) And when they hear that which hath been sent down to the apostle read unto them, thou shalt see their

(85) This revelation must be relegated to a period earlier than is usually assigned to the verses of this chapter. The bitter enmity attributed to the Jews points to a period succeeding A.H. 3, while the friendly feeling shown towards Christians points to a time preceding A.H. 8, for in A.H. 9 Muhammad contemptuously cast aside both Jews and Christians. The mention of "the Jews and the idolaters" together may refer to a period near to the end of A.H. 4 or the beginning of A.H. 5, when the Jews, owing to the expulsion of the Bani Nadhir, began to show their readiness to help the Quraish against the common enemy.

The kindliness attributed to the Christians, who are here said to call themselves Nazarenes, was due (1) to the friendly treatment Muhammad had received at their hands during his journeys to Syria in the early years of his life, and (2) to the kindness shown by the African Najshi towards the Muslim exiles from Makkah.

Priests and monks. The original words are qissisina wa ruhbanan. They are translated by Abdul Qadir well-read and worshippers; in the Persian translation, wise and sitters-in-a-corner (Dervishes). All English translators follow Geiger, who derives both words from Syriac terms, and ascribes to them the meaning of the text.

The principles of forbearance and love, inculcated hy the Lord Jesus, and still manifested in some degree by the corrupt Churches of Muhammad's time, had impressed his mind favourably. It is probable that his admiration was due especially to the fact that they offered little or no opposition to his prophetic claims. Some of them seem to have become Muslims (see next verse). On the story of Muhammad's intercourse with the monk Sergius or Bahaira, see chap. x. 17, note.

(86) When they hear, &c. The following stories, invented by the Muslims to illustrate this passage, are related by Sale on the authority of Baidhawi and Abulfida :- "The persons directly intended in this passage were either Ashama, king of Ethiopia, and several bishops and priests, who, being assembled for that purpose, heard Jaafar Ibn Abi


eyes overflow with tears because of the truth which they perceive therein, saying, O LORD, we believe; write us down therefore with those who bear witness to the truth. (87) And what should hinder us from believing in GOD and the truth which hath come unto us, and from earnestly desiring that our LORD would introduce us into paradise with the righteous people? (88) Therefore hath GOD rewarded them, for what they have said, with gardens through which rivers flow; they shall continue therein forever; and this is the reward of the righteous. But they who believe not, and accuse our signs of falsehood, they shall be the companions of hell.

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(89) O true believers, forbid not the good things which

Talib, who fled to that country in the first flight, read the 29th and 30th, and afterwards the 18th and 19th chapters of the Quran; on hearing of which the king and the rest of the company burst into tears and confessed what was delivered therein to be conformable to truth; that prince himself, in particular, becoming a proselyte to Muhammadanism: or else thirty, or as others say seventy, persons sent ambassadors to Muhammad by the same king of Ethiopia, to whom the prophet himself read the 36th chapter, entitled Y.S. Whereupon they began to weep, saying, 'How like is this to that which was revealed unto Jesus!' and immediately professed themselves Muslims."

The point of this revelation is that Christians hearing the Quran at once recognised it as the word of God, and that its teachings were in perfect accord with those of Jesus, and that they were thereby persuaded to accept Islam. The tears shed were those of joy.

This passage therefore implies that these converts had the Christian Scriptures in their possession, that they were acquainted with their teaching, and that they, by comparing them with the Quran, at once recognised Muhammad as the prophet of God The copies of their Scriptures were genuine, and if, as Muslims assert, the true gospel be no longer in existence, we may fairly ask why Muslims allowed them to become corrupt, seeing they had equal responsibility in the preserving of them, and further, we may challenge them to prove that the copies in possession of the early converts of Islam and their Christian contemporaries ever were corrupted.

(89) Forbid not the good things. "These words were revealed when certain of Muhammad's companions agreed to oblige themselves to continual fasting and watching, and to abstain from women, eating flesh, sleeping on beds, and other lawful enjoyments of life, in imitation of some self-denying Christians; but this the Prophet disapproved, declaring that he would have no monks in his religion." Sale, Jalaluddin.


GOD hath allowed you; but transgress not, for GOD loveth not the transgressors. (90) And eat of what GOD hath given you for food, that which is lawful and good: and fear GOD, in whom ye believe. (91) GOD will not punish you for an inconsiderate word in your oaths; but he will punish you for what ye solemnly swear with deliberation. And the expiation of such an oath shall be the feeding of ten poor men with such moderate food as ye feed your own families withal; or to clothe them or to free the neck of a true believer from captivity: but he who shall not find wherewith to perform one of these three things shall fast three days. This is the expiation of your oaths, when ye swear inadvertently. Therefore keep your oaths. Thus GOD declareth unto you his signs, that ye may give thanks. (92) O true believers, surely wine, and lots, and images, and divining arrows are an abomination of the work of Satan; therefore avoid them that ye may prosper. (93) Satan seeketh to sow dissension and hatred among you by means of wine and lots, and to divert you from

However, in ver. 85, these priests and monks are the special objects of Muhammad's praise. The passage, according to Abdul Qadir and the Tafsir-i-Raufi, has a general reference, and teaches that there is no merit in works of supererogation.

(91) An inconsiderate word. See note on chap. ii. 225 Perjury, according to the Imams Azim and Shafa'i, is swearing deliberately to that which is at the time thought to be false by the person swearing. They therefore classify all thoughtless oaths used in conversation or mistakes made under oath under the head of "inconsiderate words." The passage so understood contradicts the doctrine of Jesus.

Inadvertently. This word should not have been introduced by the translator. The inadvertent oaths require no expiation. On the word expiation see chap. iii. 194.

(92) See notes on chap. ii. 218 and chap. iv. 42.

(93) Satan seeketh to sow dissension, &c. We here learn the real reason for prohibiting the practices of gambling and drinking - a reason, utilitarian though it be, yet sufficient. This law of Islam, considered by itself, reflects great glory on Muhammad and his religion; yet, regarded as a part of the whole system of Islam, it appears to great disadvantage. It is seen to be a surely political measure, based on no solid groundwork of moral principle, and in consistent with much that is permitted by Islam. The same principle of utility would have led to the distinct prohibition of all intoxicating drugs and of polygamy.


remembering GOD and from prayer: will ye not therefore abstain from them? Obey GOD and obey the apostle, and take heed to yourselves: but if ye turn back, know that the duty of our apostle is only to preach publicly. (94) In those who believe and do good works, it is no sin that they have tasted wine or gaming before they were forbidden; if they fear God, and believe, and do good works, and shall for the future fear God, and believe, and shall persevere to fear him and to do good; for GOD loveth those who do good.

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(95) O true believers, GOD will surely prove you in offering you plenty of game; which ye may take with your hands or your lances, that GOD may know who feareth him in secret; but whoever transgresseth after this shall suffer a grievous punishment. (96) O true believers, kill no game while ye are on pilgrimage; whosoever among

The duty of our apostle, &c. See Prelim. Disc., p.83. This passage looks very like a fragment of a Makkan chapter.

(94) If they fear, &c. "The commentators endeavour to excuse the tautology of this passage by supporting the threefold repetition of fearing and believing refers either to the three parts of time, past, present and future or to the threefold duty of man, towards God, himself, and his neighbour, &c."- Sale, Baidhawi.

(95) God will prove you. "This temptation or trial was at al Hudaibiya, where Muhammad's men, who had attended him thither with an intent to perform a pilgrimage to the Kaabah, and had initiated themselves with the usual rights, were surrounded by so great a number of birds and beasts, that they impeded their march; from which unusual accident some of them concluded that God had allowed them to be taken; but this passage was to convince them of the contrary."- Sale, Baidhawi, Jalaluddin.

(96) On pilgrimage, i.e., while ye are muhrims. Muhrims are those Muslims who have put on the ihram or peculiar dress donned on entering the sacred precincts of Makkah to indicate that they are now on the way to the sacred Kaabah. The law forbidding hunting was established in accordance with the peaceful character of the sacred places within the boundaries called Haram. Certain hurtful animals might be killed, but this was also in accord with the law which permitted Muslims to fight infidels within the sacred months, provided they did so in self-defence. See chap. ii. 210.

Domestic animals. "That is, be shall bring an offering to the temple of Makkah, to be slain there and distributed among the poor, of some domestic or tame animal, equal in value to what he shall have killed; as a sheep, for example, in lieu of an antelope ; a


you shall kill any designedly shall restore the like of what he shall have killed in domestic animals, according to the determination of two just persons among you, to be brought as an offering to the Kaabah; or in atonement thereof shall feed the poor; or instead thereof shall fast, that he may taste the heinousness of his deed. GOD hath forgiven what is past, but whoever returneth to transgress, GOD will take vengeance on him; for GOD is mighty and able to avenge. (97) It is lawful for you to fish in the sea, and to eat what ye shall catch, as a provision for you and for those who travel; but it is unawful for you to hunt by land while ye are performing the rights of pilgrimage; therefore fear GOD, before whom ye shall be assembled at the last day. (98) GOD hath appointed the Kaabah, the holy house, an establishment for mankind

pigeon for a partridge, &c. And of this value two prudent persons were to be judges. If the offender was not able to do this, be was to give a certain quantity of food to one or more poor men; or if he could not afford that, to fast a proportionable number of days."- Sale, Jalaluddin, Abdul Qadir.

That ye may taste, &c. We see here again the idea attached to atonement in the Quran. It is not to free from condemnation by vicarious suffering, but is in its nature a punishment, and intended as a warning to transgressors.

(97) Lawful . . . to fish. This law has reference to pilgrimage, though of general application. The commentators understand fish found in all bodies of water, whether fountains, rivulets, rivers, or ponds, and lakes, as well as the sea. They differ in applying the law to amphibious creatures.

Unlawful . . . to hunt, i.e., during pilgrimage, after the ihram has once been put on. See notes on 95.

(98) The Kaabah. See notes on chap. ii. 125 and 189.

An establishment, i.e., "the place where the practice of their religious ceremonies is chiefly established; where those who are under any apprehension of danger may find a sure asylum, and the merchant certain gain, &c."- Sale, Jalaluddin.

Sacred month. "Baidhawi understands this to be the month of Dhu'l Hajja, wherein the ceremonies of the pilgrimage are performed; but Jalaluddin supposes all the four sacred months are here intended. See Prelim. Disc., sect. vii."- Sale.

Ornaments. See note on ver. 3.

That ye might know, &c. How the observance of the rites of pilgrimage can convince any one of God's omniscience is enough to puzzle the clearest-headed Muslim.


and hath ordained the sacred month, and the offering, and the ornaments hung thereon. This hath he done that ye might know that GOD knoweth whatsoever is in heaven and on earth, and that GOD is omniscient. Know that GOD is severe in punishing, and that GOD is also ready to forgive, and merciful. (99) The duty of our apostle is to preach only; and GOD knoweth that which ye discover, and that which ye conceal. (100) Say, Evil and good shall not be equally esteemed of, though the abundance of evil pleaseth thee; therefore fear GOD, O ye of understanding, that ye may be happy.

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(101) O true believers, inquire not concerning things which, if they be declared unto you, may give you pain; but if ye ask concerning them when the Quran is sent down, they will be declared unto you: GOD pardoneth you as to these matters; for GOD is ready to forgive, and gracious. (102) People who have been before you formerly inquired concerning them; and afterwards disbelieved therein. GOD liath not ordained anything concerning Bahaira, nor Saiba, nor Wasila, nor Hami; but the

(99) The duty of our apost1e. See note on ver. 93.

(101)Inquire not &c. "The Arabs continually teasing their Prophet with questions, which probably he was not always prepared to answer, they are here ordered to wait till God should think fit to declare his pleasure by some farther revelation: and to abate their curiosity, they are told, at the same time, that very likely the answers would not be agreeable to their inclinations. Al Baidhawi says, that when the pilgrimage was first commanded, Suraka Ibn Malik asked Muhammad whether they were obliged to perform it every year. To this question the Prophet at first turned a deaf ear; but being asked it a second and a third time, he at last said, 'No but if I had said yes, it would have become a duty, and if it were a duty, ye would not be able to perform it; therefore give me no trouble as to things wherein I give you none:' whereupon this passage was revealed."- Sale.

(102) Bahaira . . . Hami. "These were the names given by the pagan Arabs to certain camels or sheep which were turned loose to feed, and exempted from common services in some particular cases, having their ears slit, or some other mark that they might be known; and this they did in honour of their gods (Prelim. Disc., p. 199). Which superstitions are here declared to be no ordinances of God, but the inventions of foolish men."- Sale.


unbelievers have invented a lie against GOD: and the greater part of them do not understand. (103) And when it was said unto them, Come unto that which GOD hath revealed, and to the apostle; they answered, that religion which we found our fathers to follow is sufficient for us. What, though their fathers knew nothing and were not rightly directed? (104) O true believers, take care of your souls! He who erreth shall not hurt you while ye are rightly directed: unto GOD shall ye all return, and he will tell you that which ye have done. (105) O true believers, let witnesses be taken between you, when death approaches any of you, at the time of making the

A camel devoted to an idol had its ears slit, and was called Bahaira. Any animal devoted to an idol and let run loose to roam whither it pleased was called Saiba. It was unlawful to kill or eat any animal thus consecrated. If a man should devote the offspring of his animals yet unborn, saying. "If a male is born I will sacrifice it to an idol, and if a female I will keep it," and the result should the birth of twins, one male and the other a female he would in that case keep the male alive as sacred to the idol; such an animal was called wasila. A camel that had been the mother of ten camels fit to carry a rider or a burden was allowed to roam at liberty in any pasture, and was called Hami (Tafsir-i-Raufi and Abdul Qadir). 'this account differs somewhat from Rodwell's. See his note in loco.

(103) That religion, &c. This is a very common reply on the hart of idolaters even in these days. But for the sword of Islam the Arabs would no doubt have remained in the religion of their fathers for many years after the death of the Makkan preacher.

(104) See note on chap. iii. 118.

(105) Let witnesses be taken, &c. Sale gives the following story, on the authority of Baidhawi, as the occasion of the revelations in this and the following verse :- 'The occasion of the preceding passage is said to have been this. Tamin al Dari and Addi Ibn Yazid, both Christians, took a journey into Syria to trade, in company with Budhal, the freedman of Amru Ibn al Aas, who was a Muslim. When they came to Damascus, Budhail fell sick and died, having first wrote down a list of his effects on a piece of paper, which he hid in his baggage, without acquainting is componions with it, and hid in his baggage, and desired them only to deliver what he had to his friends of the tribe of Sahm. The survivors, however, searching among his goods, found a vessel of silver of considerable weight and inlaid with gold, which they concealed, and on their return delivered the rest to the deceased's relations, who, finding the list of Budhail's writing, demanded the vessel of silver of them, but they denied it; and the affair being brought before Muhammad, these words, viz., O true believers, take witnesses, &c., were revealed, and he ordered them to be sworn at the


testament; let there be two witnesses, just men, from among you; or two others of a different tribe or faith from yourselves, if ye be journeying in the earth, and the accident of death befall you. Ye shall shut them both up after the afternoon prayer, and they shall swear by GOD, if ye doubt them, and they shall say, We will not sell our evidence for a bribe, although the person concerned be one who is related to us, neither will we conceal the testimony of GOD, for then should we certainly be of the number of the wicked. (106) But if it appear that both have been guilty of iniquity, two others shall stand up in their place,

pulpit in the mosque, just as afternoon prayer was over, and on their making oath that they knew nothing of the plate demanded, dismissed them. But afterwards, the vessel being found in their hands, the Salimites, suspecting it was Budhail's, charged them with it, and they confessed it was his, but insisted that they had bought it of him, and that they had not produced it because they had no proof of the bargain. Upon this they went again before Muhammad, to whom these words, And if it appear, &c., were revealed; and there-upon Amru Ibn al Aas and al Mutallib Ibn Abi Rafaa, both of the tribe of Sahm, stood up, and were sworn against them; and judgment was given accordingly."

Two others. Two different parties may be referred to here, and hence the difference of interpretation, indicated by italics in the text. Those who hold that the witnesses must be Muslims understand the two others to mean two Muslims of different family or tribe. Others, holding that the witnesses intended here may belong to any religion still practically agree with the principle that only Muslim should be witnesses inasmuch as they regard this portion of the verse as being abrogated. The former view is certainly the correct one.

The stories of the commentators show that Muhammad actually decided that two Christians to be guilty of a breach of trust on the adverse testimony of two Muslims. While this is entirely in accord with the spirit of Islam, it does not commend the justice of the Law-giver. It may, however, be seriously doubted whether the story of the commentators is anything more than a fabrication. Their being brought out during the afternoon prayer, the oath prescribed, and the purport of ver. 107, all indicate that the law has nothing to do with Christians whatever.

The afternoon prayer, i.e., Asar, "because," says Sale, on the authority of Baidhawi, "that was the time of people's assembling in public, or, say some, because the guardian angels then relieve each other, so that there would be four angels to witness against them if they gave false evidence. But others suppose they might be examined after the hour of any other prayer, when there was a sufficient assembly."


of those who have convicted them of falsehood the two nearest in blood, and they shall swear by GOD, saying, Verily our testimony is more true than the testimony of these two, neither have we prevaricated; for then should we become of the number of the unjust. (107) This will be easier, that men may give testimony according to the plain intention thereof, or fear lest a different oath be given, after their oath. Therefore fear GOD and hearken for GOD directeth not the unjust people.

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(108) On a certain day shall GOD assemble the apostles, and shall say unto them, What answer was returned you when ye preached unto the people to whom ye were sent? They shall answer, We have no knowledge, but thou art the knower of secrets. (109) When GOD shall say, O Jesus son of Mary, remember my favour towards thee, and towards thy mother; when I strength ened thee with the holy spirit, that thou shouldst speak unto men in the cradle, and when thou wast grown up; (110) and when I taught thee the scripture, and wisdom, and the law, and the gospel: and when thou didst create

(107) This verse shows the purpose for which the law of witnesses was given, viz., to deter from corrupt practices by the knowledge that a solenm oath might be called for, and that even perjured persons might be confronted by the oaths of the witnesses and thereby be condemned. Two witnesses were necessary. Compare with Deut. xix. 15.

(108) On a certain day, i.e., on the judgment-day.

Thou art the knower. That is, we are ignorant whether our proselytes were sincere, or whether they apostatised after our deaths but thou well knowest, not only what answer they gave us, but the secrets of their hearts, and whether they have since continued firm in their religion or not. - Sale.

This passage contradicts the idea that the prophets will intercede for their followers on the judgment-day.

(109) The Holy Spirit. See note on chap. ii. 86.

Speak . . - in the cradle. See notes on chap. iii. 46.

(110) The gospel. Muslims believe the New Testament Scriptures (Injil) were sent down to Jesus just as the Quran was given to Muhammad Christ is here represented as having been taught of God as Muhammad was. Muhammad is the type of all apostles.

The figure of a bird. See note on chap. iii. 48.

Blind . . . leper . . . dead from their graves. Three classes of mir-


of clay as it were the figure of a bird by my permission, and didst breathe thereon, and it became a bird, by my permission, and thou didst heal one blind from his birth, and the leper, by my permission; and when thou didst bring forth the dead from their graves by my permission; and when I withheld the children of Israel, from killing thee, when thou hadst come unto them with evident miracles, and such of them as believed not said, This is nothing but manifest sorcery. (111) And when I commanded the apostles of Jesus, saying, Believe in me and in my messenger; they. answered, We do believe; and do thou bear witness that we are resigned unto thee. (112) Remember when the apostles said, O Jesus son of Mary? is thy LORD able to cause a table to descend unto us from heaven? He answered, Fear GOD, if ye be true believers.

acles referred to here, all of which testified to the divinity Muhammad is here so careful to deny. The constant use of the phrase "By my permission" seems to indicate clearly one of two things: either a deliberate effort to combat the Christian doctrine of the divinity of Christ, or to apologise for the absence of similar miracles in his own case. Of the two, the first is most probable, for at this late day there was no occasion to vindicate his own apostleship from charges of this kind. The signs of the Quran and the successes of Islam were now considered sufficient proof of his apostleship.

From killing thee. See notes on chap. iii. 53,55, and iv. 156.

Sorcery. See Sale's note on chap. iii. 48, and Rodwell in loco.

(111) Apostles. In Arabic Al hawarin, a word descriptive of the chosen followers of Jesus. It does not convey any idea of apostleship in the ordinary sense of the word. If derived from the Ethiopic hawyra (Rodwell), the etymological meaning would indicate one sent; but if derived from hur, it would mean friends or helpers, and so correspond with the idea of the Ansar, or helpers of Muhammad.

We are resigned, i.e., we are Muslims. Such expressions show that Muhammad regarded his followers as identified with the true followers of all other prophets.

(112) A table. This word supplies the title of this chapter. It is thought to allude to the Table of the Lord or Christ's Last Supper. It might as well allude to the miracles of loaves and fishes given in Matt. xiv. and xv. A similar inquiry is attributed to the children of Israel, Ps. lxxviii. 19. The passage is far from being confirmatory of the former Scriptures, if the following opinions of the commentators indicate anything of what Muhammad believed on this subject:- "This miracle is thus related by the commentators. Jesus having, at the request of his followers, asked it of God, a red table


(113) They said, We desire to eat thereof, and that our hearts may rest at ease, and that we may know that thou hast told us the truth, and that we may be witnesses thereof. (114) Jesus the son of Mary said, O GOD our LORD, cause a table to descend unto us from heaven, that the day of its descent may become a festival day unto us, unto the first of us, and unto the last of us, and a sign from thee; and do thou provide food for us, for thou art

immediately descended in their sight between two clouds, and was set before them: whereupon he rose up, and having made the abulution, prayed, and then took off the cloth which covered the table, saying, "In the name of God, the best provider of food." What the provisions were with which this table was furnished is a matter wherein the expositors are not agreed. One will have them to be nine cakes of bread and nine fishes; another, bread and flesh; another, all sorts of food except flesh; another, all sorts of food except bread and flesh; another, all except bread and fish ; another, one fish, which had the taste of all manner of food ; and another, fruits of Paradise; but the most received tradition is, that when the table was uncovered, there appeared a fish ready dressed, without scales or prickly fins, dropping with fat, having salt placed at its head, and vinegar at its tail, and round it all sorts of herbs except leeks, and five loaves of bread, on one of which there were olives, on the second honey, on the third butter, on the fourth cheese, and on the fifth dried flesh. They add, that Jesus, at the request of the apostles, showed them another miracle, by restoring the fish to life, and causing its scales and fins to return to it ; at which the standers-by being affrighted, he caused it to become as it was before : that one thousand three hundred men and women, all afflicted with bodily infirmities or poverty, ate of these provisions, and were satisfied, the fish remaining whole as it was at first; that then the table flew up to heaven in the sight of all ; and that all who had partaken of this food were delivered from their infirmities and misfortunes; and that it continued to descend for forty days together at dinner-time, and stood on the ground till the sun declined and was then taken up into the clouds. Some of the Muhammadan writers art of opinion that this table did not really descend, but that it was only a parable; but most think the words of the Quran are plain to the contrary. A further tratlition is, that several men were changed into swine for disbelieving this miracle and attributing it to magic art; or, as others pretend, for stealing some of the victuals from off it. Several other fabulous circumstances are also told, which are scarce worth transcribing." - Sale, Baidhawi, Thalabi.

(114) A festival day. This expression seems to point to the Eucharist as the subject of this passage. It may, however, rather refer to the love-feasts of the early Christians, which were observed every Sunday.


the best provider. (115) GOD said, Verily I will cause it to descend unto you; but whoever among you shall dis believe hereafter, I will surely punish him with a punishment wherewith I will not punish any other creature.

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(116) And when GOD shall say unto Jesus at the last day, O Jesus son of Mary, hast thou said unto men, Take me and my mother for two gods beside GOD? He shall answer, Praise be unto thee! it is not for me to say that which I ought not; if I had said so, thou wouldst surely have known it: thou knowest what is in me, but I know not what is in thee; for thou art the knower of secrets. (117) I have not spoken to them any other than what thou didst command me, namely, Worship GOD, my LORD and your LORD: and I was1 a witness of their actions while I stayed among them; but since thou hast taken me to thyself, thou hast been the watcher over them; for thou art witness of all things. (118) If thou punish them, they are surely thy servants; and if thou forgive them, thou art mighty and wise. (119) GOD will say, This day shall their veracity be of advantage unto those who speak truth; they shall have gardens wherein rivers flow, they shall remain therein forever: God hath been well pleased

(116) Two gods beside God. See notes on chap. iv. 169, and V.77. Muir says, "So far as I can judge from the Coran, Mahomet's knowledge of Christianity was derived from the Orthodox party, who styled Mary 'Mother of God.' He may have heard of the Nestorian heresy, and it is possibly referred to among the 'sects' into which Jews and Christians are said in the Coran to be divided; but, had lie ever obtained a closer acquaintance with the Nestorian doctrine, at least in the earlier part of his career, it would (according to the analogy of his practice with respect to other subjects) have been more definitely mentioned in his revelation. The truth, however, is, that Mahomet's acquaintance with Christianity was at the best singularly dim and meagre."- Life of Mahomet, vol. ii. p.19, note.

I know not what is in thee. This passage expressly contradicts the teaching of Jesus in John x. 15.

(117) My Lord and your Lord. The strained effort of Muhammad to refute the doctrine of Christ's divinity is here manifest. See note on ver. 110.

Since thou hast taken me, &c., "or since thou hast caused me to


in them, and they have been well pleased in him. This shall be great felicity. (120) Unto GOD belongeth the kingdom of heaven and of earth, and of whatever therein is; and he is almighty.

die; but as it is a dispute among the Muhammadans whether Christ actually died or not before his assumption, and the original may be translated either way, I have chosen the former expression, which leaves the matter undecided." - Sale.

See notes on chap. iii. 54, and chap. iv. 156.

(120) Thus the Quran ends as it begins, with a declaration of the sovereignty of God - the cardinal doctrine of Islam.

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