Revealed at Madina.


THIS chapter contains revelations suited to the circumstances of the Muslim community at Madina and the interests of the new religion after the defeat of Ohod. Questions relating to inheritance, the treatment of widows and orphans, forbidden degrees, &c., naturally arose. These questions find an answer here. Besides these, there are numerous passages containing exhortations to fight for the faith of Islam, together with denunciations against the Jews and the disaffected tribes of Madina and its vicinity. The various expeditions sent against these during the year following the battle at Ohod called for certain regulations which are the subject of a portion of this chapter. And, fimally, the Christians are referred to in the latter part of the chapter, where they are reproved, partly under cover of the Jews, for their faith in the crucifixion and death of Jesus, and their belief in the doctrine of the Trinity and the Son-ship of Christ.

Probable Date of the Revelations.

Nearly all the stories told by the commentators to illustrate this chapter point to a period following the battle of Ohod, the expulsion of the Bani Nadhir, aud the expedition against the tribes of the Bani Ghatafan at Dzat al Riqa. It follows, therefore, that the revelations of this chapter belong in general to a period extending from the beginning of A.H. 4 to the middle or latter part of A.H. 5. The following passages may, however, belong to a different period, viz., ver. 42, which probably belongs to A.H. 3, and vers. 104-114 and 134, which may belong to a date later than A.H. 5, but earlier than the subjugation of Makkah (see note on ver. 186).

Vers. 115-125 and 130-132 probably belong to the number of


the early Madina revelations. Nöeldeke inclines to place them among the later Makkan revelations, because the Jews are referred to in a friendly spirit. But this circumstance would rather point to Madina, where, during the first year of the Hijra, Muhammad courted the favour of the Jews. Still, the form of address, "O men" (ver. 132), points to Makkah. The question may therefore still be regarded as open, though we think the evidence, thus far, to be in favour of the early part of A.H. I.

Principal Subjects.

Man and his Creator ...I
Orphans, the duty of guardians to such ... 2-5
The law of ineritance ... 6-13
The punishment of adulteresses . . . 14,15
Repentance enjoined . . . . . . 16, 17
Women's rights . . . . . . 18, 19
Forbidden and lawful degrees in marriage . . . 20-27
Gaming, rapine, and suicide forbidden . . . 28-30
Man's superiority over woman recognised . . 31-33
Reconcilement of man and wife . . . . . 34
Parents, orphans, the poor, &c., to be kindly treated .. 35, 36
Hypocrisy in almsgiving condemned . . . . 37-41
Prayer forbidden to the drunken and polluted ... 42
Jewish mockers denounced . . . . . . 43-45
Idolatry the unpardonable sin . . . . . 46-53
The rewards of faith and unbelief . . . . . 54,55
Trusts to be faithfully paid back . . . . . 56
Disputes to be settled by God and his Apostle . . 57-8
Precautions, &c., in warring for the faith . . . . 69-74
The disobedient and cowardly reproved . . . . 75-84
Salutations to be returned . . . . . . 85
Treatment of hypocrites and apostates . . 86-90
Believers not to be slain or plundered . . . . 91-93
Believers in heathen countries to fly to Muslim lands ... 94-99
Special order for prayer in time of war . . . 100-102
Exhortation to zeal for Islam . . . . 103
Fraud denounced . . . . . . . 104-114,133
Idolatry and Islam compared . . . . . 115-125
Equity in dealing with women and orphans enjoined 126
Wives to be subject to the will of husbands . . . 127-129
God to be feared . . . . . . . . 130-132
Muslims exhorted to steadfastness . . . . 134-138
Hypocrites to be shunned . . . . . 139-143


The reward of hypocrisy and belief compared . . . 144-151
Presumptuous and disobedient Jews destroyed. .. 152-154
The Jews calumniate Mary and Jesus . .. . 155-158
Certain kinds of food forbidden to Jews as punishment ...159, 160
Muhammad's inspiration like that of other prophets .... 161-168
Christians reproved for their faith in Jesus as the Son of God and in the doctrine of the Trinity . . . 169-174
The law of inheritance for distant relatives . . . 175


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(1) O MEN, fear your LORD, who hath created you out of one man, and out of him created his wife, and from them two hath multiplied many men and women: and fear GOD by whom ye beseech one another; and respect women who have borne you, for GOD is watching over you. (2) And give the orphans when they come to age their substance; and render them not in exchange bad for good: and devour not their substance, by adding it to your own substance; for this is a great sin. (3) And if ye fear that ye shall not act with equity towards orphans

(1) O men, &c. This chapter is entitled WOMEN because it contains, for the most part, laws and precepts relating to them. The men are specially addressed, but the instruction is intended for both men and women. They are addressed in the original, "O ye people."

From them two, &c. The unity of the human race is here distinctly declared. All men are of "one blood."

And respect women. The word translated women (in the Arabic, wombs) is the object of the verb fear. Palmer translates, "Fear God, in whose name ye beg of one another, and the wombs." Sale, however, expresses the meaning by inserting the word respect.

(2) Give the orphans, &c. These orphans were the children of those who lost their lives in the wars for the cause of Islam. Not only the children but their property was intrusted to those who agreed to become guardians. These orphans were defrauded in various ways. Sometimes their property was appropriated by the guardians; others "exchanged bad for good," e.g., by turning the good goats or camels of the orphan ward along with their own herds, and then selecting the bad ones as the orphan's share. This law was instituted by Muhammad to prevent this kind of abuse.

(3) If ye fear that ye cannot act equitably, &c. "The commentators understand this passage differently. The true meaning seems


of the female sex, take in marriage of such other women as please you) two, or three, or four, and not more. But

to be as it is here translated; Muhammad advising his followers that if they found they should wrong the female orphans under their care, either by marrying them against their inclinations for the sake of their riches or beauty, or not using or maintaining them so well as they ought, by reason of their having already several wives, they should rather choose to marry other women, to avoid all occasion of sin. Others Bay that when this passage was revealed, many of the Arabians, fearing trouble and temptation, refused to take upon them the charge of orphans, and yet multiplied wives to a great excess, and used them ill; or, as others write, gave themselves up to fornication; which occasioned the passage. And according to these, its meaning must be either that if they feared they could not act justly towards orphans, they had as great reason to apprehend they could not deal equitably with so many wives, and therefore are commanded to marry but a certain number; or else, that since fornication was a crime as well as wronging of orphans, they ought to avoid that also, by marrying according to their abilities." - Sale, Baidawi.

The connection of this verse with the preceding is undoubted and that connection is close. How the explanation of the commentators would remove the fear of acting unjustly with orphans of the female sex, I cannot see. Surely marrying two, or three, or our other women would hardly produce a moral change in a man who feared he could not act justly in the matter of a sacred trust. I therefore venture to suggest that Muhammad here advises his followers to marry orphan wards, and so, by fixing upon them a lawful dowry and exalting them to the position of lawful wives, avoid the evil of committing a breach of trust or an act of immorality. This view seems to me to be required by the preceding context. The word other, inserted by Sale and others before women, is not required. The Muslim may marry of women such as are pleasing to him, two, three, or four, whether his orphan wards or not.

Two, or three, or four. Literally, two and two, three and three, and four and four. The meaning is that each might have two, or three, or four lawful wives. See Prelim. Disc., p.206. Muhammad did not bind himself by this law. See chap. xxxiii. 49.

The statement of Mir Aulad Ali, professor of Oriental languages at Trinity College, Dublin, "that Muhammad had not enjoined polygamy," but only permitted it, quoted by Mr. R. Bosworth Smith (Mohammed and Mohammedanism, p.144, note), is hardly borne out by this passage. Nor is such a statement borne out by the example of the Prophet. Nor is Mr. Smith's plea, that this permission may be placed in the same category as slavery not forbidden in the Bible, at all justified by the facts. Slavery is contrary to the whole spirit of the Bible, while polygamy is in accord with the whole spirit of the Quran. Even the heaven of Islam is to witness the perpetuation of almost unlimited polygamy (see chaps. lv. and lvi.) The attempt to apologise for the polygamy of Islam, when made by


if ye fear that ye cannot act equitably towards so many, marry one only, or the slaves which ye shall have acquired.

Europeans, indicates either prejudice or a want of information on the part of the writer; when made by a few "enlightened Orientals," it indicates their desire to cover up what they, by an English education and by mingling in Christian society, have learned to be thoroughly ashamed of.

One only, or the slaves. Were the requirements of this rule strictly observed, there would be no polygamy in practice, for the simple reason that the impartial treatment of two or more wives is with man an impossibility. Muhammad did not fulfil this his own precept, as his marked preference, now for the Coptic Mary and again for the sprightly Ayesha, clearly shows.

But whilst polygamy would be impracticable, the floodgates of vice would be, and now are, opened wide by the permission to add to the one wife any number of slave girls. Those who quote this passage to show that Muhammad restricted polygamy and that monogamy is entirely in accord with Muhammadanism fail to quote the words, "or the slaves which ye shall have acquired." The whole force of the restriction is evaporated by these words. There is absolutely no restriction in this direction. The number of concubines may be as great as any Osmanali could desire, and yet it receives the sanction of the Quran.

Instead, therefore, of any "strong moral sentiment" being aroused by these laws, by which Muhammad "has succeeded, down to this very day, and to a greater extent than has ever been the case elsewhere in freeing Muhammadan countries from those professional outcasts who live by their own misery," * the very reverse is true. No countries under heaven present such a cesspool of seething corruption and sensuality as those ruled over by the Muslims. To be sure, the form under which it appears is different, but the fact, no man acquainted with the state of things in Muslim harems, can honestly deny. The distrust which Muslims show towards their own wives and daughters testifies to the low state of morality among them. "It is the Moslim theory that women can never, in any time, place, or circumstances, be trusted; they must be watched, veiled, suspected, secluded." "In these days, when so much has been written about the high ethical tone of Islam, we shall speak plainly on this subject, unpleasant though it is. We would reiterate the position already taken, that polygamy has not diminished licentiousness among the Mohammedans. The sin of Sodom is so common among them as to make them in many places objects of dread to their neighbours. The burning denunciations of the Apostle Paul in the first chapter of Romans, vers. 24 and 27, are applicable to tens of thousands in Mohammedan lands to-day." "In the city of Hamath, in Northern Syria, the Christian population, even to this day, are afraid to allow their boys from ten to fourteen years of age to appear

* R. B. Smith's Mohammad and Mohammedaniam, p.242.


This will be easier, that ye swerve not from righteousness. And give women their dowry freely; but if they voluntarily remit unto you any part if it, enjoy it with satisfaction and advantage. (4) And give not unto those who are weak of understanding the substance which GOD hath appointed you to preserve for them; but maintain them thereout, and clothe them, and speak kindly unto them. (5) And examine the orphans until they attain the age of

in the streets after sunset, lest they be carried off by the Moslems as victims of the horrible practice of Sodomy. Mohammadan pashas surround themselves with fair-faced boys, nominally scribes and pages, when in reality their object is of entirely another character." This, and much more, is told by Dr. Henry H. Jessup in his book entitled The Mohammedan Missionary Problem, pp.46-48.

In India the case may not be as bad as it is in Turkey, but I think we can fairly agree with the Rev. J. Vaughan, who says: -

"However the phenomenon may be accounted for, we, after mixing with Hindoos and Mussulmans for nineteen years back, have no hesitation in saying that the latter are, as a whole, some degrees lower in the social and moral scale than the former." Nor have we any hesitation in saying that the law here recorded, permitting as many as four lawful wives and any number of slave women besides, with whom even the form of a marriage is in no way necessary to legalise cohabitation, is responsible in large measure for this state of things. It is one of the darkest of the many spots which mar the pages of the Quran.

Or the slaves. It is not even necessary that a Muslim have even one lawful wife. Should he feel it difficult to be impartial toward many wives, he may take his slave girls, whom he may treat as he please, and so avoid the responsibility of providing a dowry for even one wife!

Give women their dowry. The lawful and required amount of dowry is ten dirhams, but it may be fixed at any amount to which the contracting parties agree. See chap. ii. 229, note.

If they voluntarily remit &c. A woman may legally insist upon the payment of the "lawful dowry," or that agreed upon by contract, in case she be divorced, unless she voluntarily remits it in part or altogether. In every case of dispute such remission must be proved by competent witnesses or by legal documents.

(4) Those of weak understanding, i.e., idiots or persons of weak intellects, whose property is to be adimnistered so as to provide for their necessities. Their treatment must also be kindly. Here is the Muslim lunatic asylum.

(5) Examine the orphans. If males, see to their intellect and capacity to care for themselves; if females, examine them as to their ability to perform household duties.

The age of marriage. "Or age of maturity, which is generally


marriage: but if ye perceive they are able to manage their affairs well, deliver their substance unto them; and waste it not extravagantly or hastily, because they grow up. Let him who is rich abstain entirely from the orphans' estates; and let him who is poor take thereof according to what shall be reasonable. And when ye deliver their substance unto them, call witnesses thereof in their presence: GOD taketh sufficient account of your actions. (6) Men ought to have a part of what their parents and kindred leave behind them when they die: and women also ought to have a part of what their parents and kindred leave, whether it be little, or whether it be much; a determinate part is due to them. (7) And when they who are of kin are present at the dividing of what is left, and also the orphans and the poor, distribute unto them some part thereof; and if the estate be too small, at least

reckoned to be fifteen; a decision supported by a tradition of their prophet; though Abu Hanifah thinks eighteen the proper age." Sale, Baidhawi.

Waste it not . . . hastily, i.e., when ye see them growing up rapidly to years of discretion, do not hasten to expend the orphan's inheritance, seeing it is soon to pass from your hands." - Tafsir-i-Raufi.

What shall be reasonable. "That is, no more than what shall make sufficient recompense for the trouble of their education." - Sale, Baidhawi.

Call witnesses, to prevent future dispute and trouble.

(6) Women also ought to have a part, &c. "This law was given to abolish a custom of the pagan Arabs, who suffered not women or children to have any part of their husband's or father's inheritance, on pretence that they only should inherit who were able to go to war. " - Sale, Baidhawi.

Complaints were first made against this old Arab custom by Omm Kuha, in consequence of which this passage was revealed.- Tafsfr-i-Raufi.

The importance of this reform cannot be overrated. Previous to this, women and helpless children might be disinherited by the adult male heirs, and thus be reduced to absolute penury, for no fault but that of being widows and orphans.

(7) And speak comfortably. The supposed ellipsis, filled in here by Sale, has not any real existence. See the same expression in ver. 4. The idea is that in any case, some portion of the estate should be cheerfully given to the poor-they were to be treated kindly, notwithstanding that their presence would necessitate the


speak comfortably unto them. (8) And let those fear to abuse orphans, who if they leave behind them a weak offspring, are solicitous for them; let them therefore fear GOD, and speak that which is convenient. (9) Surely they who devour the possessions of orphans unjustly shall swallow down nothing but fire into their bellies, and shall broil in raging flames.

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(10) GOD hath thus commanded you concerning your children. A male shall have as much as the share of two females; but if they be females only, and above two in

parting with some portion of the property about to be divided. This verse is abrogated by ver. 11 of this chapter. See Preface, R. Urdu Quran, Lodiana edition, p. xx.

(8) Let those fear. There is in this verse a threat of retributive justice against those who would deal unjustly with the helpless orphan. Their own children might be dealt with in a similar manner.

No doubt Muhammad had learned the substance of this revelation by his own experience as an orphan. Certainly the anxiety he exhibited to alleviate the sad condition of such is most praiseworthy. His terrible curses against the oppressors of such (see next verse) evince the earnestness of his purpose to reform this abuse.

(10) A male ... two females."This is the general rule to be followed in the distribution of the estate of the deceased, as may be observed in the following cases."- Sale.

See also Prelim. Disc., p.212.

Above two, or only two (Tafsir-i-Raufi). The two-third share of the property must be shared equally by the daughters being the sole heirs. One, she shall have the half. "And the remaining third part, or the remaining moiety of the estate, which is not here expressly disposed of, if the deceased leaves behind him no son, nor a father, goes to the public treasury. It must be observed that Mr. Selden is certainly mistaken when, in explaining this passage of the Quran, he says, that where there is a son and an only daughter, each of them will have a moiety: for the daughter can have a moiety but in one case only, that is, where there is no son; for if there be a son, she can have but a third, according to the above-mentioned rule."- Sale.

If he have a child = a son. It is implied that the parents would receive the same were the child a daughter. But of the remaining two-thirds, while the son would get the whole, a daughter would only get three-sixths or one-half of the whole estate. See note above.

His mother . . . the third, i.e., half as much as her husband (the father), a man being entitled to the share of two women.


number, they shall have two third parts of what the deceased shall leave; and if there be but one, she shall have the half. And the parents of the deceased shall have each of them a sixth part of what he shall leave, if he have a child; but if he have no child, and his parents be his heirs, then his mother shall have the third part. And if he have brethren, his mother shall have a sixth part, after the legacies which he shall bequeath and his debts be paid. Ye know not whether your parents or your children be of greater use unto you. This is an ordinance from GOD, and GOD is knowing and wise. (11) Moreover, ye may claim half of what your wives shall leave, if they have no issue; but if they have issue, then ye shall have the fourth part of what they shall leave, after the legacies which they shall bequeath and the debts be paid. They also shall have the fourth part of

In the case where there are brethren, the mother receives a sixth only. The remainder to be divided between his brethren and his father, if living. The father would receive a sixth of the whole, the remaining two-thirds of the estate being divided equally between the brothers. If he have sisters as well as brothers, we would infer from the following verse that they would share equally with the brothers.

The legacies. Those given for charitable purposes. According to Muhammadan law in India, a man cannot, by a will, devote more than one-third of his propcrty in charity.

Your parents or your children. The meaning seems to be that parents and children are equally near related to the deceased. From this the inference is drawn that the brothers of the deceased can only be regarded as lawful heirs in case the father be deceased also. When living, the parents are the sole heirs, except where there be children. See Tafsir-i-Raufi in loco.

(11) Fourth part . . . eighth part. The principle that one man is equal to two women is preserved here. There being issue to deceased wives, they inherit the remainder of the property according to the law of ver. 10. So, too, in regard to what remains after a wife's eighth has been paid her.

Where there is no issue, the part remaining after the husband's or wife's share has been paid goes to more distant relatives or to the public treasury.

A distant relation. "For this may happen by contract, or on some other special occasion." - Sale.

The words in Arabic indicate a man who has neither parents nor


what ye shall leave, in case ye have no issue; but if ye have issue, then they shall have the eighth part of what ye shall leave, after the legacies which ye shall bequeath, and your debts be paid. And if a man or woman's substance be inherited by a distant relation, and he or she have a brother or sister; each of them two shall have a

children, and must therefore bequeath his property to more distant relatives.

Each of them. "Here, and in the next case, the brother and sister are made equal sharers, which is an exception to the general rule of giving a male twice as much as a female; and the reason is said to be, because of the smallness of the portions, which deserve not such exactness of distribution for in other cases the rule holds between brother and sister, as well as other relations."- Sale.

The case of parents receiving each a sixth when there is a child is also an exception. See note, ver. 10.

Without prejudice to the heirs, i.e., the distant relatives mentioned above. Abdul Qadir, commenting on this passage, says: "This relates to the inheritance of brothers and sisters, who have no claims so long as there be father or son alive. Should there be neither father nor son, then the brothers and sisters become heirs. There are three classes of these - First, brothers and sisters by the same wife; secondly, by different wives; and thirdly, by different fathers. The inheritance belonging to these three classes is as follows: - If there be a single heir, he or she will receive a sixth part of the property; if more than one, then one-third of the property will be divided among them no distinction being made between men and women. The first and second classes mentioned above rank as members of the deceased person's family when there is left to him neither father nor son. First the brothers by the same mother are heirs. If there be none such, then the brothers by a different mother. It is only in case there be no heirs of these classes that those of class third become heirs.

"This passage also declares that bequests for charitable purposes have the precedence, provided no injustice be done to the heirs. This may take place in two ways: either by deceased's having bequeathed in charity more than one-third of his property - he may not give in charity more than one-third of his property; or injustice may be done the heirs by willing to some one of the heirs more than his lawful share, through partiality. Such increased bequest, beyond a third of the property, or partial bestowal of property beyond the legal share, can only become legal by the consent of the heirs at the time of bequest.

"These five classes of heirs (children, parents, widower, widow, and brothers and sisters) all have fixed portions or fractional parts of the inheritance. Besides these, there are other heirs, called Usbah (distant relations), who have not portions. If there be no heirs having portions, then the usbah receive the whole property.


sixth part of the estate. But if there be more than than this number, they shall be equal sharers in a third part, after payment of the legacies which shall be bequeathed and the debts, without prejudice to the heirs. This is an ordinance from GOD, and GOD is knowing and gracious. (12) These are are statutes of GOD. And whoso obeyeth GOD and his apostle, God shall lead him into gardens wherein rivers flow, they shall continue therein for ever; and this shall be great happiness. (13) But whoso disobeyeth GOD and his apostle, and transgresseth his statutes, God shall cast him into hell fire; he shall remain therein for ever, and he shall suffer a shameful punishment.

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(14) If any of your women be guilty of whoredom, produce four witnesses from among you against them,

But if there be both heirs with portions and usbah, then the latter receive what remains after the former have had their portions. An usbah must be a male, not a female, nor even a male connected on the mother's side only (i.e., having no relationship by blood with the father's side). These are of four degrees: First, son and grandson; second, father and grandfather (on father's side); third, brothers and nephews (on father's side); fourth uncle (father's elder brother), his son and his grandson (these all lank alike). If there be several persons having claims, that one has the precedence who is nearest related to the decessed, e.g., a son has the precedenee of a grandson, a brother of a nephew, the brother of a step-brother, &c.

"Finally, among the children and brothers and sisters of the deceased, women have a portion, but among the usbah they have no claim. Should there be no heir of the kind already enumerated, then the ziwilrihm or relations by the 'female' (literally, woman) side, and who have no portion, become heirs, e.g., a daughters son, a maternal grandfather, a sister's son, a mother's brother, a maternal aunt, a father's sister, and their children, reckoned as in the case of the usbah."

(14) Whoredom. Either fornication or adultery.

Imprison in apartments, i.e., they were to be built into a wall, and be left there until they were dead.

Or God afford, &c. "Their punishment in the beginning of Muhammadanism was to be immured till they died, but afterwards this cruel doom was mitigated, and they might avoid it by undergoing the punishment ordained in its stead by the Sunnat, according to which the maidens are to be scourged with a hundred stripes, and to be banished for a full year, and the married women to be stoned." - Sale, Jalaluddin.

See also note, chap. iii. 23.


and if they bear witness against them, imprison them in separate apartments until death release them, or GOD affordeth them a way to escape. (15) And if two of you commit the like wickedness, punish them both: but if they repent and amend, let them both alone; for GOD is easy to be reconciled and merciful. (16) Verily repentance will be accepted with GOD from those who do evil ignorantly, and then repent speedily; unto them will GOD be turned: for GOD is knowing and wise. (17) But no repentance shall be accepted from those who do evil until the time when death presenteth itself unto one of them and he saith, Verily I repent now; nor unto those

(15) Two of you. "The commentators are not agreed whether tbe text speaks of fornication or sodomy. Al Zamakhshari and from him, al Baidhawi, supposes the former is here meant; but Jalaluddin is of opinion that the crime intended in this passage must be committed between two men, and not between a man and a woman; not only because the pronouns are in the masculine gender, but because both are ordered to suffer the same slight punishment, and are both allowed the same repentance and indulgence; and especially for that a different and much severer punishment is appointed for the women in the preceding words. Abul Qasim Hibatullah takes simple fornication to be the crime intended, and that this passage is abrogated by that of the 24th chapter, where the man and the woman who shall be guilty of fornication are ordered to be scourged with a hundred stripes each." - Sale.

Punish them both. "The original is, Do them some hurt or damage, by which some understand that they are only to reproach them in public, or strike them on the head with their slippers (a great indignity in the East), though some imagine they may be scourged." - Sale, Baidhawi, Jalaluddin.

The Tafsir-i-Raufi declares the punishment is to be inflicted with the tongue, by reproaches and admonitions; at most, they are to be smitten with the hand. Surely the partiality shown in the award of punishment to the sexes sufficiently indicates the slavish position of Muslim women. This law of Islam falls far short of attesting the former Scriptures.

(16, 17) Repentance. The Muhammadans understand this verse to refer to the infidels, who may be forgiven on the ground of repentance, provided it be done before death, i.e., as I understand it, if they repent sincerely. For Muslims there is always full and free pardon when they repent, or even say, "I seek forgiveness, O Lord."

This view of this passage is not borne out by the last clause, "nor unto those who die in unbelief." The passage, therefore, probably refers to hypocritical professors of Islam.


who die unbelievers; for them have we prepared a grievous punishment. (18) O true believers, it is not lawful for you to be heirs of women against their will, nor to hinder them from marrying others, that ye may take away part of what ye have given them in dowry, unless they have been guilty of a manifest crime: but converse kindly with them. And if ye hate them, it may happen that ye may hate a thing wherein GOD hath placed much good. If ye be desirous to exchange a wife for another wife, and ye have already given one of them a talent take not away anything therefrom: will ye take it by slandering her and doing her manifest injustice? (19) And how can ye take it, since the one of you hath gone in unto the other and they have received from you a firm covenant? (20) Marry not women whom your fathers have had to wife; (except what is already

(18) Heirs of women. "It was customary among the pagan Arabs when a man died for one of his relations to claim a right to his widow, which he asserted by throwing his garment over her; and then he either married her himself, if he thought fit on assigning her the same dower that her former husband had done, or kept her dower and married her to another, or else refused to let her marry unless she redeemed herself by quitting what she might claim of her husband's goods. This unjust custom is abolished by this passage." - Sale.

This passage was occasioned, says the Tafsir-i-Raufi, by the wife of Abu Qais, one of the companions, complaining to Muhammad against a son, who wished to treat her in accordance with the old custom.

Not hinder them. The allusion is to those who would hinder their father's widows from marrying others, in order to retain the property in the family. Some, however, think the allusion to be to those who maltreated their wives, in order to make them relinquish the dowry fixed upon them at marriage. The language will very well bear this interpretation. Hindering would then mean imprisonment in some part of the house.

Unless they have been guilty, i.e., of disobedience or shameless conduct. This passage carefully guards the right of a husband to punish his wife for whatever he may fancy a fault in her.

A wife for another wife. See notes on chap. ii. 229.

A talent. A large dowry.

Will ye take it by slandering her? i.e., by giving out a false report of infidelity, in order to escape the necessity of forfeiting the dowry. See chap. ii. 229, note.

(20) Women whom your fathers have had. The pre-Islamite religion


past:) for this is uncleanness, and an abomination, and an evil way.

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(21) Ye are forbidden to marry your mothers, and your daughters, and your sisters, and your aunts both on the father's and on the mother's side, and your brothers' daughters, and your sisters' daughters, and your mothers who have given you suck, and your foster-sisters, and your wives mothers, and your daughters-in-law which are under your tuition, born of your wives unto whom ye have gone in, (but if ye have not gone in unto them, it shall be no sin in you to marry them and the wives of your sons who proceed out of your loins; and ye are also forbidden to take to wife two sisters except what is already past: for GOD is gracious and merciful.


(22) Ye are also forbidden to take to wife free women who are married, except those women whom your right hands shall possess as slaves. This is ordained you from GOD. Whatever is beside this is allowed you; that ye may with your substance provide wives for yourselves, acting that which is right, and avoiding whoredom. (23)

of Arabia not only allowed such marriages, but made such women a lawful part of the son's inheritance. See Muir's Life of Mahomet, vol. ii. .52. The reform of Muhammad had respect to the future only. What was "already past" was allowed to remain unchanged.

(21) Ye are forbidden to marry, &c. It is quite certain that these prohibited degrees were adapted from the Jewish law. Compare Lev. xviii. 6-18. Muhammad did not consider himself bound by this law (see chap. xxxiii. 49, 50).

(22) Free women, except, &c. "According to this passage, it is not lawful to marry a free woman that is already married, be she a Muhammadan or not, unless she be legally parted from her husband by divorce; but it is lawful to marry those who are slaves or taken in war, after they shall have gone through the proper purifications, though their husbands be living. Yet, according to the decision of Abu Hanifah, it is not lawful to marry such whose hushands shall be taken or be in actual slavery with them."- Sale, Baidhdwi.

Marriage, in the Muslim sense, is not required in the case of those who are held as slaves. Sale has used the word marry rather freely in his italicised phrases. It is not marriage that is here forbidden, but certain women marriage being predicated only where, according to Muhammadan law, the ceremony is required.


And for the advantage which ye receive from them, give them their reward, according to what is ordained: but it shall be no crime in you to make any other agreement among yourselves, after the ordinance shall be complied with; for GOD is knowing and wise. (24) Whoso among you hath not means sufficient that he may marry free women, who are believers, let him marry with such of

(23) Their reward, i.e., their dowry, which is everywhere in the Quran spoken of in this fashion. The allusion is very suggestive of the character of the marriage bond. The power of the bond of that pure and holy love which unites the Christian wife to her husband is unknown to Islam. If ever found in a Muslim household, it is there, not because of Islam but in spite of it.

Any other arraangement. The amount of dowry may be increased or diminished at any time subsequent to marriage by the consent of the parties. A wife may remit the whole amount.

(24) Whoso ... hath not means, i.e., he who is too poor to support a wife, who is free, and therefore does not possess slave girls of his own, may marry slave women with the consent of their masters. In this case the dowry is fixed by the master.- Tafsir-i-Raufi.

Such ... as are true believers. This is not the only passage antagonistic to Mr. R. Bosworth Smith's statements (Muhammad and Muhammadanism, p.243) that Muhammad "laid down the principle that the captive who embraced Islam should be ipso facto free."

The Quran provides not only for enslaving conquered infidels thus justifying the cruellest war ever waged by Arab slave-traders in the heart of Africa, but it provides for their retention even when converted, and, although misters are forbidden to maltreat them, yet they are enjoined to sell them in case they are displeased with them. See Muir's Life of Mahomet, vol. iv. p. 239. "As regards female slaves." says the same author (vol. iii. p.305) "under the thraldom of Mahometan masters, it is difficult to conceive more signal degradation of the human species; they are treated as an inferior class of beings. Equally restricted as if they had entered the marriage state, they are expressly excluded from any title to conjugal rights. They are purely at the disposal of their proprietors." Here the learned author is compelled to stop, being unable to say more without offence to morality, adding, that "the reader must believe at second-hand that the whole system is vile and revolting."

That system of slavery prevalent among the so-called Christian nations was utterly opposed to the clearest precepts of the Bible, and cannot be fairly compared with the system of slavery sanctioned by the Quran, even granting the claim that the rigour of the latter is less than that of the former. The abolition of slavery by Christian nations was the natural result of obedience to the teaching of the Bible, applying in practice the doctrine of man's common brotherhood, and the duty of loving our neighbour as ourselves. The


your maid-servants whom your right hands possess, as are true believers; for GOD well knoweth your faith. Ye are the one from the other: therefore marry them with the consent of their masters; and give them their dower according to justice; such as are modest, not guilty of whoredom, nor entertaining lovers. And when they are married, if they be guilty of adultery, they shall suffer half the punishment which is appointed for the free women. This is allowed unto him among you who feareth to sin by marrying free women; but if ye abstain from marrying slaves, it will be better for you; GOD is gracious and merciful.

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(25) GOD is willing to declare these things unto you, and to direct you according to the ordinances of those who have gone before you, and to be merciful

abolition of slavery in Muslim states would be equivalent to the abrogation of a large part of the teaching of the Quran. As a matter of fact, Muslim states never did anything voluntarily towards abolishing slavery, and we may safely predict that they never will. The interest in slave women is too great, and too firmly rooted in the Quran to permit it.

One from the other. "Being alike descended from Adam, and of the same faith."- Sale, Baihdawi.

Such as are modest, &c. - These crimes would cause them to forfeit their dowry.

Half the punishment. - "The reason of this is because they are not presumed to have had so good education. A slave, therefore, in such a case, is to have fifty stripes, and to be banished for half a year; but she shall not be stone , because it is a punishment which cannot be inflicted by halves." - Sale, Baidhawi.

Who feareth to sin. Not merely by marrying free women when unable to support them or the dowry, but also by remaining unmarried. - Tafsir-i-Raufi.

If ye abstain, &c. "Because he could not marry a free woman and a slave" (Abdul Qadir), i.e., no free woman would consent to be co-wife with a slave, but he could easily divorce the slave wife, and so avoid the difficulty.

The Tafsir-i-Raufi says the reason why abstaining from marrying slaves is here recommended is because of the "stain of slavery which would belong to the children."

(25) The ordinances, &c. The claim here made is that these laws concerning marriage are in accord with the teaching of the former prophets. I think we have here a declaration clearly indicating the source from which Muhammad drew his inspiration on this point. He does not, however, scruple to represent this new Jaw as coming


unto you. GOD is knowing and wise. (26) GOD desireth to be gracious unto you; but they who follow their lusts, desire that ye should turn aside from the truth with great deviation. (27) GOD is minded to make his religion light unto you; for man was created weak. (28) O true believers, consume not your wealth among yourselves in vanity, unless there be merchandising among you by mutual consent: neither slay yourselves; for GOD is merciful towards you: (29) and whoever doth this maliciously and wickedly, he will surely cast him to be broiled in hell fire; and this is easy with GOD. (30) If ye turn aside from the grievous sins of those which ye

from God and place himself in the position of a disciple learning for the first time that this new revelation is ill accord "with the ordinances of those who have gone before."

(26) They who follow their lusts. "Some commentators suppose that these words have a particular regard to the Magians, who formerly were frequently guilty of incestuous marriages, their prophet Zerdusht having allowed them to take their mothers and sisters to wife ; and also to the Jews; who likewise might marry within some of the degrees here prohibited."- Sale, Baidhawi.

According to the Tafsir-i-Raufi, the allusion is to the Jews.

(27) God is minded, &c. The spirit of this verse, as well as the opinions of the commentators, clearly shows that the legislation in the preceding verses was intended to remove the temptation to fornication and adultery by facilitating marriage and concubinage.

God created man weak. This sentence indicates a low conception of morals, not to say of God's holiness. Man's immorality is excused on the ground that God made him liable to sins of incontinency. This doctrine plainly makes God the author of sin.

(28) Consume not your wealth, &c. i.e., "employ it not in things prohibited by God, such as usury, extortion, rapine, gaming, and the like." - Sale.

Unless there be merchandising. The merchant's calling receives the imprimatur of the Quran. The faithful are encouraged to unite together for purposes of trade.

Neither slay yourselves. This is understood to forbid suicide, which the heathen were in the habit of committing in honour of the idols (Tafsir-i-Raufi); or it may be understood in a spiritual sense, as an exhortation to avoid all sin. The words may be translated slay not your souls (see Sale). Abdul Qadir understands the command to be not to slay one another.

(29) And whosoever doeth this. This statement best agrees with Abdul Qadir's interpretation, and therefore teaches that those who maliciously slay their brethren in the faith are doomed to hell fire.

(30) If ye turn aside, &c. Sins are divided by this and other pas-


are forbidden to commit, we will cleanse you from your smaller faults, and will introduce you into paradise with an honourable entry. (31) Covet not that which GOD hath bestowed on some of you preferably to others. Unto the men shall be given a portion of what they shall have gained, and unto the women shall be given a portion of what they shall have gained: therefore ask GOD of his bounty; for GOD is omniscient. (32) We have appointed unto every one kindred, to inherit part of what their parents and relations shall leave at their deaths. And unto those with whom your right hands have made an alliance, give their part of the inheritance; for GOD is witness of all things.

sages into two classes, kabira and saghira, or great and small. The commentators differ as to which are great. Some say they are seven: idolatry, murder, false charge of adultery against virtuous women, wasting the substance of orphans, usury, desertion in time of a religious war, and disobedience to parents (Sale in loco). Others enumerate seventeen (see Hughes's Notes, p. 139). Still others say there are as many as seven hundred great sins. The majority regard only those sins as kabira which are described in the Quran as meriting hell fire, the chief of all great sins being idolatry, or the associating of any thing with God so as to express or imply a participation in the attributes of God.

Muhammad's teaching must lead his followers to carelessness in regard to all sins except those regarded as kabira. As a matter of fact, this is true. Lying, deception, anger, lust, &c. are all numbered among the smaller and lighter offences. All such sins will be forgiven if men only keep clear of the great sins. Such passages exhibit to the Christian the sad fact that Muhammad had no true conception of the nature of sin. Great sins and small sins alike spring from an evil heart. But Muhammad seems not to have ascribed any moral character to simple states of the heart; the sins here described are the doing of what is forbidden. The Christian regards all such sin as rebellion against God, but Muhammad conceived of only a portion of these as great, which, if forgiven, would predicate the forgiveness of the smaller crimes also.

(31) Covet not, &c. "Such as honour, power, riches, and other worldly advantages. Some, however, understand this of the distribution of inheritances according to the preceding determinations, whereby some have a larger share than others."- Sale.

What they shall have gained, i.e., "What is gained by men in their warring for the faith and in other good works; by women, in their chaste behaviour, and in submission to the will of their husbands."

- Tafsir-i-Raufi in loco.

(32) Those with them . . . an alliance. "A precept conformable


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(33) Men shall have the pre-eminence above women, because of those advantages wherein GOD hath caused the one of them to excel the other, and for that which they expend of their substance in maintaining their wives. The honest women are obedient, careful in the absence of their husbands, for that GOD preserveth them, by committing them to the care and protection of the men. But those whose perverseness ye shall be apprehensive of, rebuke; and remove them into separate apartments, and chastise them. But if they shall be obedient unto you, seek not an occasion of quarrel against them: for GOD

to an old custom of the Arabs, that where persons mutually entered into a strict friendship or confederacy, the surviving friend should have a sixth part of the deceased's estate. But this was afterwards abrogated, according to Jalaluddin and al Zamakhshari, at least as to infidels. The passage may likewise be understood of a private contract, whereby the survivor is to inherit a certain part of the substance of him that dies first." - Sale, Baidhawi.

Abdul Qadir says this law had relation to the circumstances which grew out of the "brotherhood" established by Muhammad soon after his arrival in Madina, whereby "each of the refugees selected one of the citizens as his brother. The bond was of the closest description and involved not only a peculiar devotion to each other's interests in the persons thus associated, but in case of the death it superseded the claims of blood, the 'brother' becoming exclusive heir to all the property of the deceased."- Muir's Life of Mahomet, vol. iii. p.17.

The custom was abolished after the lapse of eighteen months. It has therefore, no present application to Muslims.

(33) Men shall have the pre-eminence. The ground of the preeminence of man over woman is here said to be man's natural superiority over woman. Women are an inferior class of human beings. "The advantages wherein God hath caused the one of them to excel the other" are said by the commentators to be "superior understanding and strength, and the other privileges of the male sex," e.g., ruling in church and state, warring for the faith, and receiving double portions of the estates of deceased ancestors (see Sale in loco). Men are the lords of the women, and women become the virtual slaves of the men. The holy, happy estate of Eve in Eden can never be even approximately secured for her daughters under Islam.

Careful to reserve their husband's property and their own chastity. - Sale, Baidhawi.

Those whose perverseness, &c. Recreant wives are to be punished in three degrees: (1) They are to be rebuked, (2) if they remain rebellious, they are to be assigned separate apartments, and so be


is high and great. (34) And if ye fear a breach between the husband and wife, send a judge out of his family, and a judge out of her family: if they shall desire a reconciliation) GOD will cause them to agree; for GOD is knowing and wise. (35) Serve GOD, and associate no creature with him; and show kindness unto parents, and relations, and orphans, and the poor, and your neighbour who is of kin to you, and also your neighbour who is a stranger, and to your familiar companion, and the traveller, and the captives whom your right hands shall possess; for GOD loveth not the proud or vainglorious, (36) who are covetous, and recommend covetousness unto men, and conceal that which GOD of his bounty hath given them; (we have prepared a shameful punishment for the unbelievers;) (37) and who bestow their wealth in charity to be observed of men, and believe not in GOD, nor in the last day; and whoever hath Satan for a companion, an evil companion

banished from the bed; and (3) they are to be beaten, but not so as to cause any permanent injury.- Abdul Qadir.

Seek not an occasion. Muslims are here warned not to use the authority here granted to the men to beat their wives as a means of tyrannising over them and of abusing them, being reminded that "God is high and great" above them. The difference between the home-life of the Christian and that of the Muslim cannot be more clearly indicated than by a comparison of this verse with Gen. ii. 24, Eph. v.28, and i Pet. iii. 7.

(34) If ye fear a breach, &c. This arrangement was intended to prevent divorce. The verse is closely connected with the one preceding. When beating should prove unsuccessful, arbitration might be resorted to, each party being represented by a friend.

(35) Serve God.... and show kindness, &c. This passage gives the sum of the decalogue for a Muslim: God to be served - his unity to be preserved intact-relatives and neighbours, &c, to be kindly treated. It must be remembered that a Muslim's friend or neighhour is a Muslim. They are expressly forbidden to have friendships with Jews, Christians, or unbelievers. See chap. v. 56.

(36) That which God . . . hath given them, i.e., "wealth, knowledge, or any other talent whereby they may help their neighbor." - Sale.

(37) To be observed of men. The duty of giving alms from a high motive is here enjoined. One is reminded of Matt. vi. 1-4. Abdul Qadir says: The miser who refuses to give in charity, and the man who gives to make a show of giving, are equally hateful in the sight of God.


hath he! (38) And what harm would befall them if they should believe in GOD and the last day, and give alms out of that which GOD hath bestowed on them? since GOD knoweth them who do this. (39) Verily GOD will not wrong any one even the weight of an ant: and if it be a good action, he will double it, and will recompense it in his sight with a great reward. (40) How will it be with the unbelievers when we shall bring a witness out of each nation against itself and shall bring thee, O Muhammad, a witness against these people? (41) In that day they who have not believed, and have rebelled against the apostle of God, shall wish the earth was levelled with them; and they shall not be able to hide any matter from GOD.

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(42) O true believers, come not to prayers when ye are drunk, until ye understand what ye say; nor when ye are polluted by emission of seed, unless ye be traveling

(38, 39) These verses teach the truth that no man is a loser by performing his duty toward God and man.

God will not wrong, &c., i.e., "either by diminishing the recompense due to his good actions, or too severely punishing his sins. On the contrary, he will reward the former in the next life far above their deserts. The Arabic word dharra, which is translated an ant, signifies a very small sort of that insect, and is used to denote a thing that is exceeding small, as a mite."-Sale.

(40) A witness out of each nation. This verse seems to clearly teach the doctrine that God sends a prophet to every distinct nation, and that Muhammad was sent to the Arabs. If so, this passage shows that Muhammad's idea of a universal Islam, though logically connected with the teaching of the Makkan Suras, yet only took a practical form at Madina, after military and political triumphs had cleared the way to foreign conquest. See also chap. ii. 143.

(42) Come not to prayers when ye are drunk. "It is related, that before the prohibition of wine, Abd'ur - Rahman Ibn Auf made an entertainment, to which he invited several of the Apostle's companions; and after they had ate and drunk plentifully, the hour of evening prayer being come, one of the company rose up to pray, but being overcome with liquor, made a shameful blunder in reciting a passage of the Quran; whereupon, to prevent the danger of any such indecency for the future, this passage was revealed." - Sale, Baidhawi.

See note on chap. ii. 218.

When polluted. Ordinarily ceremonial purity can only be had by performing ablutions in water. This verse provides for those


on the road, until ye wash yourselves. But if ye be sick, or on a journey, or any of you come from easing nature, or have touched women, and find no water; take fine clean sand and rub your faces and your hands therewith; for GOD is merciful and inclined to forgive. (43) Hast thou not observed those unto whom part of the Scripture was delivered? they sell error, and desire that ye may wander from the right way; but GOD well knoweth your enemies. GOD is a sufficient patron, and GOD is a sufficient helper. (44) Of the Jews there are some who pervert words from their places and say, We have heard, and

who are so situated as to be unable to secure water. See Prelim. Disc., p.167.

(43) Those unto whom part, &c. The Jews. They are said to sell error because they misrepresented the teachings of their sacred books from sordid motives.

(44) Who pervert words from their places. On the general subject of the corruption charged by Muslims against the Christians and Jews, much has already been said. I cannot, however, omit a somewhat lengthy quotation from Muir's Life of Mahomet, vol. iii. pp. 249 and 295, which affords a decided answer to this unfounded imputation of Muslims. The learned author says: "I pass over the passages in which the Jews are accused of 'hiding the signs of God,' or 'selling them for a small price.' For the meaning is evidently that the Jews merely refused to bring forward those texts which Mahomet believed to contain evidence in his favour. The renegade Jews applied the prophecies of the Messiah to Mahomet the staunch Jews denied such application, and herein lay the whole dispute. There is no imputation or hint that any passages were removed from the sacred record. The Jews 'concealed the testimony of God' simply because they declined to bring it forward. The expression to sell a thing for a small price' is metaphorical, and signifies abandoning a duty for a worldly and sordid motive ; it is used also of the disaffected citizens of Madina. [It might far more truly have been applied to the renegade Jews who purchased their safety and prosperity by pandering their evidence to Muhammad's ambition.]

"The passages in which 'dislocation' or 'perversion 'is imlputed are these: Sura ii. 75, V. 14, v. 47, iv. 43. The latter verse ... well illustrates the meaning of tahrif, ordinarily but incorrectly translated interpolation; it signifies the perversion of a word or passage, by using it in a double or erroneous sense, or with a wrong contextual reference. The words Raina, &c., in the verse quoted (chap. ii. 103), are examples given by Mahomet himself. So with the passages of their Scriptures which the Jews wrested from their proper signification, as expressed in S. ii. 75, 'they perverted them after they understood them'.


have disobeyed; and do thou hear without understanding our meaning, and look upon us: perplexing with their tongues, and reviling the true religion. But if they had said, We have heard and do obey, and do thou hear and regard us; Certainly it were better for them, and more right. But GOD hath Cursed them by reason of their

"Next comes S. iii. 77. 'They twist their tongues in (reading) the Book, that ye may think it is out of the Book, though it is not out of the Book ; and they say it is from God, and it is not from God.' Twisting their tongues is the same expression as in the verse above quoted, S. iv. 43. They read out passages which they pretended were from the Book, but were not (so Mahomet alleged); it was a deception of their tongues, not any corruption of their MSS.

"So also S. ii. 78. Here reference is evidently made to the ignorant Jews who copied out legends, traditions, or glosses from rabbinical books, and brought them forward as possessed of divine authority. Even if a more serious meaning were admitted, viz., that the same unscrupulous Jews copied out passages from the writings of their rabbins, &c., and brought them forward, pretending they were actual extracts from Scripture, the charge would indeed be one of fraud, but not by any means of corrupting the MSS. of the Old Testament.

"These are, I believe, the main passages alleged to contain evidence of corruption or interpolation, and even if they were capable of a more serious construction, which I believe them not to be, they must be construed in accordance with the general tenor of the Coran; and the very numerous passages, contemporary and subsequent, in which 'the Book,' as current in the neighbourhood and elsewhere is spoken of as a genuine and authoritative record as containing the rule of faith and practice to be followed by Jews and Christians respectively, and as a divine record, belief in which is earnestly enjoined on the Moslems also. Assuredly such would not have been the language of Mahomet had he regarded either the Jewish or the Christian Scriptures as in any degree interpolated.

"The similitude of an ass laden with books, employed by Mahomet to describe the Jews in reference to their Scriptures (S. lxii. 5), exactly illustrates the point of his charge against them they had indeed a precious charge in their possession but they were ignorant of its value and use."

See notes on chap. ii. 75-78, and chap. iii. 77.

Look upon us. "The original word is Raina which, being a term of reproach in Hebrew, Muhammad forbade their using to him."- Sale.

And regard us. "In Arabic undkurna, which, having no ill or equivocal meaning, he ordered them to use instead of the former."- Sale.

Sale understands the "perverting of words " charged upon the Jews in this verse to be illustrated here. See also note on chap. ii. 103.


infidelity; therefore a few of them only shall believe. (45) O ye to whom the scriptures have been given, believe in the revelation which ye have sent down, confirming that which is with you, before we deface your countenances, and render them as the back parts thereof, or curse them, as we cursed those who transgressed on the Sabbath-day, and the command of GOD was fulfilled. (46) Surely GOD will not pardon the giving him an equal, but will pardon any other sin except that, to whom he pleaseth; and whoso giveth a companion unto GOD hath devised a great wickedness. (47) Hast thou not observed those who justify themselves? But GOD justifieth whomsoever he pleaseth, nor shall they be wronged a hair. (48) Behold, how they imagine a lie against GOD; and therein is iniquity sufficiently manifest.

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(49) Hast thou not considered those to whom part of the scripture hath been given? They believe in false gods and idols, and say of those who believe not, These are more rightly directed in the way of truth than they who believe on Muhammad. (50) Those are the men

(45) Confirming that, &c. This claim, so oft repeated, surely predicates the genuineness of the Scriptures in the hands of Jews and Christians at that time.

Those who transgressed. See note on chap. ii. 64.

(46) God will not pardon, &c., i.e., idolatry, which includes the ascribing of divine attributes to a creature as well as idol-worship, is the unpardonable sin of Islam. It is unpardonable, however, only to those who, having received Islam or a knowledge of Islam, persist in this sin.

To whom he pleaseth, i.e., to those who repent before death and accept of Islam. These he forgives not on the ground of their good works, nor on account of any atonement but because he pleaseth. (47) Those who justly, "i.e., the Christians and Jews, who called themselves the children of God, and his beloved people." - Sale, Jalaluddin, Baidhawi. A hair, literally afibre in the cleft of a date-stone.

(48) A lie against God. The lie here seems to be their regarding themselves as the children of God. As applied to the Jews, compare John viii. 39-44.

(49) They believe. The commentators say this passage refers to certain Jews, who fraternised with the Makkan idolaters in their opposition to Muhammad. Modern Muslims, who join hands with


whom GOD hath Cursed; and unto him whom GOD shall curse thou shalt surely find no helper. (51) Shall they have a part of the kingdom, since even then they would not bestow the smallest matter on men? (52) Do they envy other men that which GOD of his bounty hath given them? We formerly gave unto the family of Abraham a book of revelations and wisdom; and we gave them a great kingdom. (53) There is of them who believeth on him; and there is of them who turneth aside from him; but the raging fire of hell is a sufficient punishment. (54) Verily those who disbelieve our signs we will surely cast to be broiled in hell fire; so often as their skins shall be well burned we will give them other skins in exchange, that they may taste the sharper torment; for GOD is mighty and wise.


(55) But those who believe and do that which is right, we will bring into gardens watered by rivers there in shall they remain forever, and there shall they enjoy

idolaters in opposition to Christianity, receive no encouragement from passages like this.

False gods and idols. This is better translated Jibt and Taghut, reference being had to certain idols bearing these names See chap. ii. 2,6, note.

The story of the commentators, given by Sale, alleging that the Jews actually worshipped idols at Makkah, is most likely a fabrication.

(51) Shall they have apart of the kingdom? The reference is to Messiah's kingdom, in which the Jews would be restored to thieir former grandeur.

(52) That which God hath given them, viz., "the spiritual gifts of prophecy and divine revelations, and the temporal blessings of victory and success bestowed on Muhammad and his followers." - Sale.

The family of Abraham, i.e., the children of Israel. Reference is to the Jews before their apostasy in rejecting Jesus. Compare with preceding verse. See note in chap. iii. 33.

(53) Who believe on him. Sale refers the him to Muhammad, but manifestly primary allusion is to Abraham. The inference is that those who reject the religion of Muhammad also reject the religion of Abraham the Orthodox.

54) To be broiled, &c. See note, chap. ii. 38.

55) Who believe and do, &c. See notes, chap. ii. 25 and 223, and chap. iii. 15, 31, and 196.


wives free from all impurity; and we will lead them into perpetual shades. (56) Moreover GOD commandeth you to restore what ye are trusted with to the owners; and when ye judge between men, that ye judge according to equity: and surely an excellent virture it is to which GOD exhorteth you; for GOD both heareth and seeth. (57) O true believers, obey GOD and obey the apostle, and those who are in authority among you; and if ye differ in anything, refer it unto GOD and the apostle, if ye believe in GOD and the last day: this is better, and a fairer method of determination.

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(58) Hast thou not observed those who pretend they

(56) God commandeth you, &c. "This passage, it is said, was revealed on the day of the taking of Makkah, the primary design of it being to direct Muhammad to return the keys of the Kaabah to Othman Ibn Taiha Ibn Abdul Dar, who had then the honour to be keeper of that holy place, and not to deliver them to his uncle al Abbas who having a ready the custody of the well Zamzam, would fain have had also that of the Kaabah. The Prophet obeying the divine order, Othman was so affected with the justice of the action, notwithstanding he had at first refused him entrauce, that he immediately embraced Muhammadanism; whereupon the guardianship of the Kaabah was confirmed to this Othman and his heirs for ever." - Sale, Buidhawi.

If this account of this revelation be correct, it is certainly out of place here, sandwiched in between passages of an earlier date. We think the reference is general, and that the passage is a sort of introduction to what follows. Note that the sentiment of this verse is expressive of high moral principle.

(57) Those who are in authority. This passage teaches the duty of submission to kings and judge, so long as their decisions are in accord with the teaching of God and his Apostle (Abdul Qadir), i.e., so long as they are in accord with the Qur'an and the traditions.

The doctrine that Muhammad was "free from sin in what he ordered to be done, and in what he prohibited, in all his words and acts," for otherwise obedience to him would not be obedience to God, is based upon this verse among others (see The Faith of Islam, p. 12). But if so, the Aulai al Amri, or those in authority, must also e regarded as sinless and infallible!

The effort to establish the inspiration of the Ahadis or traditions of Islam on grounds like this requires not only inspired Imams but also inspired Rawis. But all admiit that the latter were uninspired, wherefore the science of Muslim tradition is one of the most difficult as well as unsatisfactory departments of Muslim learning.

(58) Those who pretend. The hypocrites.


believe in what hath been revealed unto thee, and what hath been revealed before thee? They desire to go to judgement before Taghut, although they have been commanded not to believe in him; and Satan desireth to seduce them into a wide error. (59) And when it is said unto them, Come unto the book which GOD hath sent down, and to the apostle; thou seest the ungodly turn aside from thee with great aversion. (60) But how will they behave when a misfortune shall befall them, for that which their hands have sent before them? Then will they come unto thee, and swear by GOD, saying, If we intended any other than to do good, and to reconcile the parties. (61) GOD knoweth what is in the hearts of these men; therefore let them alone, and admonish them, and speak unto

Before Taghut. "That is, before the tribunals of infidels. "This passage was occasioned by the following remarkable accident. A certain Jew having a dispute with a wicked Muhammadan, the latter appealed to the judgment of Qab Ibn al Ashraf, the principal Jew, and the former to Muhammad. But at length they agreed to refer the matter to the Prophet singly, who giving it in favour of the Jew, the Muhammadan refused to acquiesce in his sentence, but would needs have it re-heard by Omar, afterwards Khalifah. When they came to him the Jew told him that Mohammad had already decided the affair in his favour, but that the other would not submit to his determination; and the Muhammadan confessiug this to be true, Omar bid them stay a little, and fetching his sword, struck off the obstinate Muslim's head, saying aloud, 'This is the reward of him who refuseth to submit to the judgment of God and his Apostle.' And from this action Omar had the surname of al Faruk, which alludes both to his separating that knave's head from his body, and to his distinguishing between truth and falsehood. The name of Taghut, therefore, in this place, seems to be given to Qab Ibn al Ashraf " - Sale, Baidhawi, Abdul Qadir.

This story does not fit in well with the passage it is intended to illustrate, and is probably tagged on here by the commentators, who seem to feel that every allusion of the Qur'an must be historically explained. The passage simply refers to the disaffected citizens of Madina, some of whom pretended to lie favourable to Muhammad's cause when it was in their interest to do so (see ver. 60), and at other times showed too plainly their liking for the national idolatry, as is intimated in the next verse.

(60) If we intended. "For this was the excuse of the friends of the Muhammadan whom Omar slew, when they came to demand satisfaction for his blood." - Sale, Baidhawi.


them a word which may affect their souls. (62) We have not sent any apostle, but that he might be obeyed by the permission of GOD; but if they, after they have injured their own souls, come unto thee and ask pardon of GOD, and the apostle ask pardon for them, they shall surely find GOD easy to be reconciled and merciful. (63) And by thy LORD they will not perfectly believe until they make thee judge of their controversies; and shall not afterwards find in their own minds any hardship in what thou shalt determine, but shall acquiesce therein with entire submission. (64) And if we had commanded them, saying, Slay yourselves, or depart from your houses; they would not have done it except a few of them. (65) And if they had done what they were admonished, it would certainly have been better for them, and more efficacious for confirming their faith; and we should then have surely given them in our sight an exceeding great reward, (66) and we should have directed them in the right way. (67) Whoever obeyeth GOD and the apostle, they shall be with those

(62) Obeyed by the permission of God. The claim of Muhammad is that he should be implicitly obeyed. All controversies were to be decided by him, and all his decisions were to be "acquiesced it with entire submission." See next verse. There is a remarkable similarity between this claim of Muhammad and that of the Pope of Rome. He holds the keys of heaven and hell, and pardon is dependedt upon his intercession. He is their rightful judge, and his judgment is infallible. Muhammad seems to arrogate to himself a similar position in this passage.

(64) If we had commanded, &c. "Some understand these words of their venturing their lives in a religious expedition ; and others, of their undergoing the same punishments which the Israelites did for their idolatry in worshipping the golden calf."- Sale.

See chap. ii. 53.

(67) Whosoever obeyeth God and his Apostle. Whilst it is true that rebellion against the messengers of God is rebellion against God, yet there is a vast difference between the teaching of the true messengers of God and that of Muhammad on this point. This habit of associating himself with God, and so making implicit obedience to him necessary to salvation, is not the least of the many blasphemies of Muhammad. Repudiating the divinity of our Lord, Muhammad here claims almost all our Lord claimed by virtue of his divine nature.


uno whom GOD hath been gracious, of the prophets, and the sincere, and the martyrs, and the righteous; and these are the most excellent company. (68) This is bounty from GOD; and GOD is sufficiently knowing.

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(69) O true believers, take your necessary precaution against your enemies, and either go forth to war in separate parties, or go forth all together, in a body. (70) There is of you who tarrieth behind; and if a misfortune befall you, he saith, Verily GOD hath been gracious unto me, that I was not present with them: (71) but if success attend you from GOD, he will say (as if there was no friendship between you and him), Would to GOD I had been with them, for I should have acquired great merit. (72) Let them therefore fight for the religion of GOD, who part with the present life in exchange for that which is to come; for whosoever fighteth for the religion of GOD, whether he be slain or be victorious, we will surely give him a great reward. (73) And what ails you, that ye fight not for GOD'S true religion, and in defence of the weak among men, women, and children, who say, O LORD,

(69) Necessary precaution. This verse illustrates how that every dispatch from the orderly-room, so to speak, finds a place in the Qur'an. This result is probably due to the faith of the Muslims that every word spoken by their Prophet was a revelation. Hence the inspired character of the traditions. These are, so, far as they represent his teaching, fragmentary revelations.

The passage begining here and ending with verse 83 has for its object the incitement of the Muslims to fight for Islam. By counsel, by reproaches, by taunts, by threats, by exhortation, and by promises the Muslims are urged to fight for the religion of God.

(70) Who tarrieth. The reference is to the hypocrites of Madina, particularly Ibn Ubai and his companions (Tafsir-i-Raufi).

(71) As if . . . not friendship, i.e., "as one who attendeth not to the public but his own private interest. Or else these may be the words of the hypocritical Muhammadan himself, insinuating that he stayed not behind the rest of the army by his own fault, but was left by Muhammad, who chose to let the others share in his good fortune preferably to him."- Sale, Baidhawi.

(72) See notes on chap. ii. 190-195. and chap. iii. 157 and 170.

(73) And what ails you, &c. viz., "those believers who stayed behind at Makkah, being detained there either forcibly by the idolaters or for want of means to fly for refuge to Madina. Al Baidhawi observes


bring us forth from this City, whose inhabitants are wicked; grant us from before thee a protector, and grant us from before thee a defender. (74) They who believe fight for the religion of GOD; but they who believe not fight for the religion of Taghut. Fight therefore against the friends of Satan, for the stratagem of Satan is weak.

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(75) Hast thou not observed those unto whom it was said, Withhold your hands from war, and be constant at prayers, and pay the legal alms? But when war is commanded them, behold a part of them fear men as they should fear GOD, or with a great fear, and say, O LORD, wherefore hast thou commanded us to go to war, and hast not suffered us to wait our approaching end? (76) Say unto them, The provision of this life is but small; but the future shall be better for him who feareth God; and ye shall not be in the least injured at the day of judgment. (77) Wheresoever ye be, death will overtake you, although ye be in lofty towers. If good befall them, they say, This is from GOD; but if evil befall them, they say, this is from thee, O Muhammad: say, All is from GOD; and what aileth these people, that they are so far from understand-

that children are mentioned here to show the inhumanity of the Quraish, who persecuted even that tender age."- Sale.

Bring us forth from this city. The city referred to here is Makkah. Muhammad pictures to his followers the forlorn condition of their brethren there as a motive to fight against the infidel Quraish. Weak helpless men, women, and children are crying to God for help and deliverance. Muhammad well knew how to fire the martial spirit of his countrymen.

"This petition, the commentators say, was heard. For God afforded several of them an opportunity and means of escaping, and delivered the rest at the taking of Makkah by Muhammad, who left Utab Ibn Usaid governor of the city; and under his care and protection those who had suffered for their religion became the most considerable men in the place."- Sale.

(74) The religion of Taghut. See note, chap. ii. 256.

(75) Those unto whom. Those Muslims who were ready enough to observe the ordinary duties of Islam, but who disliked to fight. It is possible such were more averse to fighting against their relatives and neighbours than to the fear of death attributed to them here.

(77) Wherever ye be, &c. See notes on chap. iii. 155.


ing what is said unto them? (78) Whatever good befalleth thee, O man, it is from GOD; and whatever evil befalleth thee, it is from thyself. We have sent thee an apostle unto men, and GOD is a sufficient witness thereof.

(79) Whoever obeyeth the apostle, obeyeth GOD; and whoever turneth back, we have not sent thee to be a keeper over them. (80) They say, Obedience: yet when they go forth from thee, part of them meditate by night a matter different from what thou speakest; but GOD shall write down what they meditate by night: therefore let them alone, and trust in GOD, for GOD is a sufficient protector. (81) Do they not attentively consider the Qura'n? if it had been from any besides GOD, they would certainly have found therein many contradictions. (82) When any news cometh unto them, either of security or fear, they

(78) Evil . . . is from thyself. "These words are not to be understood as contradictory to the preceding, that all proceeds from God, since the evil which befalls mankind, though ordered by God, is yet the consequence of their own wicked actions." - Sale.

The passage is, however, contradictory of chap. vii. 179, 180; xv. 39-43; xvi. 95; xvii. 14-16, &c.

God . . . is witness. The allusion is probably to the verses (ayat) of the Qur'an as being self-evidently miraculous. The ordinary testimony of God to his prophecy, viz., prophecy and miracles, was wanting. of course this statement is only applicable to the Qur'an. Tradition has provided an abundant supply of both.

(79) See note on ver. 67.

(81) Do they not attentively consider the Qur'an? The belief that the Qur'an was possessed in book form by many of the Muslims receives confirmation from this statement.

In this verse Muhammad sets up the claim that the Qur'an is from God because it is free from contradictions. But notwithstanding his own convenient doctrine of abrogation (note in chap. ii. 105), he has left sufficient ground upon which to refute his prophetic pretensions on the basis of this his own claim. Compare chap. ii. 256 with chap. iv. 88; chap. v.73 with ver. 76 of the same chapter; chap. ii. 61 with chap. iii. 84, &c. In addition to this, there is the more important as well as more palpable contradiction between the doctrine of the Qur'an and that of the former Scriptures, though the former distinctly professes to confirm the latter. See notes on chap. ii. 90; chap. iii. 2, 31, 39, and 94, &c.

(82) Any news. This passage was occasioned thus: Muhammad sent a certain person to a neighbouring tribe to collect the legal alms. On the near approach of this messenger the people came forth


immediately divulge it; but if they told it to the apostle and to those who are in authority among them, such of them would understand the truth of the matter, as inform themselves thereof from the apostle and his chiefs. And if the favour of GOD and his mercy had not been upon you, ye had followed the devil, except a few of you. (83) Fight therefore for the religion of GOD, and oblige not any to what is difficult, except thyself; however, excite the faithful to war, perhaps GOD will restrain the courage of the unbelievers; for GOD is stronger than they, and more able to punish. (84) He who intercedeth between men with a good intercession shall have a portion thereof; and he who intercedeth with an evil intercession shall have a portion thereof; for GOD overlooketh all things. (85) When ye are saluted with a salutation, salute the person with a better salutation, or at least return the same; for GOD taketh an account of all things.

to receive him, but he, supposing them to have come out to kill him, fled into Madina and spread the report of the disaffection of the tribe. - Tasfir-i-Raufi.

Ye had followedi the devil. "That is, if God had not sent his Apostle with the Qur'an to instruct you in your duty, ye had continued in idolatry and been doomed to destruction, except only those who, by God's favour and their superior understanding, should have true notions of the divinity; such, for example, as Zaid Ibn Amru Ibn Nufail and Waraqa Ibn Naufal, who left idols and acknowledged but one God before the mission of Muhammad."- Sale, Baidhawi.

(83) Oblige not, &c. "It is said this passage was revealed when the Muhammadans refused to follow their Prophet to the lesser expedition of Badr, so that he was obliged to set out with no more than seventy (chap. iii. ver. 174). Some copies vary in this place, and instead of la tukallafu, in the second person singular, read la nukallafu, in the first person plural, 'We do not oblige,' &c. The meaning being, that the Prophet only was under an indispensable necessity of obeying God's commands, however difficult, but others might choose, though at their peril." - Sale.

Perhaps God will restrain. This is said to have been fulfilled in the return of Abu Sufian, who had started on the second expedition to Badr. The character of this prophecy, if such were intended, is made sufficiently clear by reference to note on chap. iii. 175.

(84) God overlooketh all things, i.e., God sees all things, even the secret motives which inspire your efforts at reconciliation, whether they be good or bad, and will therefore certainly reward accordingly.

(85) A better salutation. "By adding something further. As



(86) GOD! there is no GOD but he; he will surely gather YOU together on the day of resurrection; there is no doubt of it: and who is more true than God in what he saith?

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(87) Why are ye divided concerning the ungodly into two parties; since GOD hath overturned them for what they have committed? Will ye direct him whom GOD hath led astray; since for him whom GOD shall lead astray, thou shalt find no true path? (88) They desire that ye should become infidels, as they are infidels, and that ye should be equally wicked with themselves. Therefore take not friends from among them, until they fly their country for the religion of GOD; and if they turn back from the faith, take them, and kill them wherever

when one salutes another by this form, 'Peace be unto thee,' he ought not only to return the salutation, but to add, 'and the mercy of God and his blessing.' "- Sale.

The salutation in Arabic is As salamo alaikum, and the reply should be wa alaikomussalam o rahmat ullah or if the address be As salam alaikum o rahmat o ullah, the reply should add wa barakdtoh. This Salutation is used only in addressing a Muslim. If addressed to a Muslim, he may only reply as above directed when he recognises in the speaker a Muslim. The use of it is, therefore, equivatlent to a profession of Islam. It is the watchword of the Muslim.

(87) Two parties. "This passage was revealed, according to some, when certain of Muhammad's followers, pretending not to like Madina, desired leave to go elsewhere, and having obtained it, went farther and farther, till they joined the idolaters; or, as others say, on occasion of some deserters at the battle of Ohod, concerning whom the Muslims were divided in opinion whether they should be slain as infidels or not."- Sale.

Whom God hath led astray, i.e., by eternally decreeing his course of evil, or by a righteous reprobation.

(88) The desire, &c. "The people here meant, say some, were the tribe of Khuzaah, or, according to others, the Aslamiaus, whose chief, named Hilal Ibn Uwaimar, agreed with Muhammad, when he set out against Makkah, to stand neuter; or, as others rather think, Banu Baqr Ibn Zaid."- Sale, Baidhawi,Jalaluddin.

No covenant of friendship was to be entered into with these, except in the case of those who became refugees, and of whose sincerity there could be no doubt. Should they afterwards apostatise, they were to be slain. This law was inexorably executed in all Muslim countries for over twelve hundred years. Death is still the penalty that may be legally inflicted on every convert from Islam to Christianity in every country not yet under Christian domination.


ye find them; and take no friend from among them, nor any helper, (89) except those who go unto a people who are in alliance with you, or those who come unto you, their hearts forbidding them either to fight against you, or to fight against their own people. And if GOD pleased he would have permitted them to have prevailed against you, and they would have fought against you. But if they depart from you, and fight not against you, and offer you peace, GOD doth not allow you to take or kill them. (90) Ye shall find others who are desirous to enter into confidence with you, and at the same time to preserve a confidence with their own people; so often as they return to sedition, they shall be subverted therein; and if they depart not from you, and offer you peace, and restrain their hands from warring against you, take them and kill them wheresoever ye find them; over these have we granted you a manifest power.

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(91) It is not lawful for a believer to kill a believer, unless it happen by mistake; and whoso killeth a believer by mistake, the penalty shall be the freeing of a believer

(89) Except those, &c., i.e., "the Bani Mudlaj, who had agreed to remain neutral between Muhammad and the Quraish."- Tafsir-i-Raufi. The importance of this treaty is indicated in the latter part of this verse.

(90) Ye shall find others. "The persons hinted at here were the tribes of Asad and Ghatfan, or, as some say, Banu Abdaldar, who came to Madina and pretended to embrace Muhammadanism, that they might be trusted by the Muslims, but when they returned, fell back to their old idolatry."- Sale, Baidhawi.

The history of Muslim wars with the Bani Quraidha and the Jews of Khaibar illustrate how faithfully the fierce injunction of this verse was carried out.

(91) Unless by mistake. "That is, by accident and without design. This passage was revealed to decide the case of Ayash Ibn Abi Rabia, the brother by the mother's side of Abu Jahl, who, meeting Harath Ibn Zaid on the rosd, and not knowing that he had embraced Muhammadanism, slew him." - Sale, Baidhawi.

A believer from slavery, i.e., a slave who has professed Islam. The hope of freedom must have been a strong inducement to unbelieving slaves to profess the religion of their masters.

A fine, "which is to be distributed according to the law of inheritance given in the beginning of this chapter."- Sale, Baidhawi.


from slavery, and a fine to be paid to the family of the deceased, unless they remit it as alms: and if the slain person be of a people at enmity with you, and be a true believer, the penalty shall be the freeing of a believer; but if he be of a people in confederacy with you, a fine to be paid to his family, and the freeing of a believer. And he who findeth not wherewith to do this shall fast two months consecutively as a penance enjoined from GOD; and GOD is knowing and wise. (92) But whoso killeth a believer designedly, his reward shall be hell; he shall remain therein forever; and GOD shall be angry with him, and shall curse him, and shall prepare for him a great punishment. (93) O true believers, when ye are on a march in defence of the true religion, justly discern such as ye shall happen to meet, and say not unto him who saluteth you, thou art not a true believer; seeking the accidental goods of the present life; for with GOD is much spoil. Such have ye formerly been; but GOD hath been gracious unto

When, however, the deceased believer's people are unbelievers, no fine is to be paid. The legal fine as the price of blood is one hundred camels, as follows: - Twenty males one year old, twenty females of one year, twenty of two years, twenty of three years, and twenty of four years old. If the slain person be a woman, the fine is half this sum. In the case of a slave, the price must be paid to the master. If the fine be paid in coin, then the blood price is one thousand dinars gold, or ten thousand dirhams in silver. Half this sum to be paid for a woman.

But if he be of a people in confederacy, &c. The same rule as to fine was applied to the case of a person slain, who, though not a Muslim, yet belonged to a tribe or nation with whom a treaty of peace had been formed.

(92) This verse was intended to abolish the Uhod feuds so prevalent among the Arabs, and no doubt it ministered to the welding together of the various factions under the banner of Islam. How many millions of Muslims have been consigned to hell by this law since the death of Muhammad the annals of Islam abundantly declare. The punishment is, say the commentators, purgatorial, and the Muslim will eventually be restored to paradise, for, according to the Qur'an, no true Muslim can be for ever lost. This view of the matter is, however, contradicted by this very passage, which says the murderer "shall remain therein for ever,"- the same language used in speaking of the fate of infidels.

(93) Say not...thau art not a true believer. The desire for


you; therefore make a just discernment, for GOD is well acquainted with that which ye do.

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(94) Those believers who sit still at home, not having any hurt, and those who employ their fortunes and their persons for the religion of GOD, shall not be held equal. GOD hath prepared those who employ their fortunes and their persons in that cause to a degree of honour above those who sit at home; GOD hath indeed promised every one paradise, but GOD hath preferred those who fight for the faith before those who sit still, by adding unto them a great reward, (95) by degrees of honour conferred on them from him, and by granting them forgiveness and mercy; for GOD is indulgent and merciful. (96) Moreover unto those whom the angels put to death, having injured their own

plunder, which Muhammad had stirred up, bad become so insatiable, that even Muslims were slain on the pretence that they were infidels, in order that they might be lawfully plundered. See Muir's Life of Mahomet, vol. iii. p.307.

With God is much spoil. The motive here was certainly suited to Arab minds: Don't rob and murder Muslims for the sake of spoil, for God will give you the opportunity of spoiling many infidels. Muhammad did not scruple to pander to the worst passions of human nature in order to advance his political ends. Let it be remembered, however, this language does not purport to be Muhammad's, but that of the only true God! See our note in Prelim. Disc., p. 118.

(94) Not having any hurt, i.e., "not being disabled from going to war by sickness or other just impediment. It is said that when this passage was first revealed there was no such exception therein, which occasioned Ibn Umm Maqtum, on his hearing it repeated, to object, 'And what though I be blind?' Whereupon Muhammad, falling into a kind of trance, which was succeeded by strong agitations, pretended he had received the divine direction to add these words to the text"- Sale, Baidhawi.

The Makkan preacher declared that force was not to be used in religion, but the Madina politician promises the highest honours to those who spend life and property in warring for the faith. The prophet has now become a soldier and a general of armies. Like Jeroboam, Muhammad, having built his altars in Bethel and Dan, no longer hesitates to make any use of the holy name and religion of Jehovah which would seem to advance his political aspirations.

(96) Whom the angels put to death. "These were certain inhabitants of Makkah, who held with the hare and ran with the hounds, for though they embraced Muhammadanism, yet they would not


souls, the angels said, Of what religion were ye? they answered, We were weak in the earth. The angels replied, was not GOD'S earth wide enough, that ye might fly therein to a place of refuge? Therefore their habitation shall be hell; and an evil journey shall it be thither: (97) except the weak among men, and women, and children, who were not able to find means, and were not directed in the way; (98) these peradventure GOD will pardon, for GOD is ready to forgive, and gracious. (99) Whosoever flieth from his country for the sake of GOD'S true religion, shall find in the earth many forced to do the same, and plenty of provisions. And whoever departeth from his house, and flieth unto GOD and his apostle, if death overtake him in the way, GOD will be obliged to reward him, for GOD is gracious and merciful.

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(100) When ye march to war in the earth, it shall be

leave that city to join the Prophet, as the rest of the Muslims did, but, on the contrary, went out with the idolaters, and were therefore slain with them at the battle of Badr."- Sale, Jalalunddin.

The angels who slew these Muslims were of the three thousand who assisted the faithful (chap. iii. 13, note), but the angels who examined them were Munkir and Nakir, "two fierce-looking black angels with blue eyes, who visit every man in his grave and examine him with regard to his faith in God and Muhammad." - Sell's Faith of Islam, p 145.

(97) Except the weak, &c. None were excused from the duty of flight (Hijrat) excepting those who were unable to perform it. Muslims still recognise the duty of flight from the Dar al Harb to the Dar al Islam. This duty is so imperative that even a doubt is thrown upon the case of the "weak," &c. in the next verse.

The purpose of this law is evident from the circumstances of the Prophet at the time of its enunciation. He needed the help of the faithful. All must therefore fly to Madina for refuge. When there, all must fight "in the way of God."

(99) If death overtake him. "This passage was revealed, says al Baidhawi, on account of Jundub Ibn Dhamra. This person being sick, was, in his flight, carried by his sons on a couch, and before he arrived at Madina, perceiving his end approached, he clapped his right hand on his left, and solemnly plighting his faith to God and his Apostle died."- Sale.

God will be obliged. Rodwell's translation is better, "His reward from God is sure."

(100 and 101) The service here sanctioned was called "The Service of Danger." It was introduced during the return of Muhammad


no crime in you if ye shorten your prayers, in case ye fear the infidels may attack you; for the infidels are your open enemy. (101) But when thou, O Prophet, shalt be among them, and shalt pray with them, let a party of them arise to prayer with thee, and let them take their arms; and when they shall have worshipped, let them stand behind you, and let another party come that hath not prayed, and let them pray with thee, and let them be cautious and take their arms. The unbelievers would that ye should neglect your arms and your baggage while ye pray, that they might turn upon you at once. It shall be no crime in you, if ye be incommoded by rain or be sick, that ye lay down your arms; but take your necessary precaution: GOD hath prepared for the unbelievers an ignominious punishment. (102) And when ye shall have ended your prayer, remember GOD, standing, and sitting, and lying on your sides. But when ye are secure from danger, complete your prayers: for prayer is commanded the faithful, and appointed to be said at the stated times. (103) Be not negligent in seeking out the unbelieving people, though

and his army from Dzat al Rica, where they had captured many women. The following passage from Muir's Life of Mahomet, vol. iii. p. 224, relating to this service, well expresses the character of the revelations of this period (A.H. 5). He says : "I quote the revelation which sanctioned this practice, less for its own interest, than to illustrate the tendency of the Coran now to become the vehicle of military commands. In the Coran, victories are announced, success promised, actions recounted, failure is explained, bravery applauded, cowardice or disobedience chided, military or political movements are directed; and all this as an immediate communication from the Deity. The following verses resemble in part what one might expect to find in the 'General Orders' of some Puritan leader or commander of a crusade in the Holy Land." Here he quotes the verses under comment.

We should like to know how the apologists for Muhammad would reconcile this practical use of inspiration to political ends with their dictum that he can no longer be regarded as an impostor.

(102) Standing, sitting, &c. See note on chap. iii. 192.

(103) Sale, on the authority of Baidhawi, says, "This verse was revealed on the occasion of the unwillingness of Muhammad's men to accompany him in the lesser expedition of Badr." The Tafsir-i-Raufi refers it to the pursuit of Abu Sufian after the battle of Ohod. The "seeking out the unbelieving people" was not to save, but to destroy them.


ye suffer some inconvenience; for they also shall suffer as ye suffer, and ye hope for a reward from GOD which they cannot hope for; and GOD is knowing and wise.

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(104) We have sent down unto thee the book of the Qur'an with truth, that thou mayest judge between men through that wisdom, which GOD showeth thee therein; and be not an advocate for the fraudulent; (105) but ask pardon of GOD for thy wrong intention, since GOD is indulgent and merciful. (106) Dispute not for those who deceive one another, for GOD loveth not him who is a deceiver or unjust. (107) Such conceal themselves from men, but they conceal not themselves from GOD; for he is

(104) Be not an advocate for the fraudulent. "Tima Abu Ubairak, of the sons of Dhafar, one of Muhammad's companions, stole a coat of mail from his neighbour, Kitada Ibn al Numan, in a bag of meal, and hid it at a Jew's, named Zaid Ibn al Samin. Tima being suspected, the coat of mail was demanded of him, but he denying he knew anything of it, they followed the track of the meal, which had run through a hole in the bag, to the Jew's house, and there seized it, accusing him of the theft; but he producing witnesses of his own religion that he had it of Tima, the sons of Dhafar came to Muhammad, and desired him to defend his companion's reputation and condemn the Jew; which he having some thoughts of doing, this passage was revealed, reprehending him for his rash intention, and commanding him to judge, not according to his own prejudice and opinion, but according to the merit of the case." - Sale, Baidhawi, Jalaluddin, Yahya.

(105) Ask pardon, i.e., for the purpose, entertained for a while, of acquitting the Muslim and of unjustly condemning the Jew. This passage affords an unanswerable argument against those modern Muslims who claim that Muhammad was sinless.

(106) Who deceive one another. The friends of Tima, who were importunate in their demands for favour to the Muslims.

A deceiver or unjust. "Al Baidhawi, as an instance of the divine justice, adds, that Tima, after the fact above mentioned, fled to Makkah and returned to idolatry; and there, undermining the wall of a house in order to commit a robbery, the wall fell in upon him and crushed him to death."- Sale.

Many other stories of a like nature have been related by the commentators. See Tafsir-i-Raufi under ver. 14. (107) A saying which pleaseth him not, i.e., "When they secretly contrive means, by false evidence or otherwise, to lay their crime on innocent persons."- Sale.

This verse and 108-114 refer to the case of Tima and his associates. The whole passage shows how much superior the morality of


with them when they imagine by night a saying which pleaseth him not, and GOD comprehendeth what they do. (108) Behold, ye are they who have disputed for them in this present life; but who shall dispute with GOD for them on the day of resurrection, or who will become their patron? (109) Yet he who doth evil or injureth his own soul, and afterwards asketh pardon of God, shall find God gracious and merciful. (110) Whoso committeth wickedness, committeth it against his own soul: GOD is knowing and wise. (111) And whoso committeth a sin or iniquity, and afterwards layeth it on the innocent, he shall surely bear the guilt of calumny and manifest injustice.

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(112) If the indulgence and mercy of GOD had not been upon thee, surely a part of them had studied to seduce thee; but they shall seduce themselves only, and shall not hurt thee at all. GOD hath sent down unto thee the book of the Qur'an and wisdom, and hath taught thee that which thou knewest not; for the favour of GOD hath been great towards thee.


(113) There is no good in the multitude of their private discourses, unless in the discourse of him who recommendeth alms, or that which is right, or agreement amongst men: whoever doth this out of a desire to please GOD, we will surely give him a great reward. (114) But whoso separateth himself from the apostle, after true direction hath been manifested unto him, and followeth any other way than that of the true believers, we will cause him to obtain that to which he is inclined, and will cast him to be burned in hell; and an unhappy journey shall it be thither.

Muhammad was to that of his Arab followers. Did he learn it from his Jewish converts?

(109) Who . . . asketh pardon. See note on chap. ii 199.

(112) A partof them. The friends of Tima alluded to above.

(114) We will cause him to obtain, &c. This refers to all deceivers and dishonest persons represented by Tima (ver. 106). This passage has probably suggested the numerous stories of the commentators related to illustrate it.


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(115) Verily GOD will not pardon the giving him a companion, but he will pardon any crime besides that, unto whom he pleaseth: and he who giveth a companion unto GOD is surely led aside into a wide mistake; (116) the infidels invoke beside him only female deities, and

(115) God will not pardon, &G See note on ver. 46.

(116) Only female deities. "Namely, Al Lat, al Uzza and Minat, the idols of the Makkans; or the angels whom they called the daughters of God."- Sale. See Prelim. Disc., pp.39-43. The Tafsir-i-Raufi and the Tafsir-i-Hussaini tell us that the idols at Makkah were made in the form of women, and that the goddesses thus represented were called the daughters of God. And only invoke rebellious Satan, i.e., when they pray to the idols. Muhammad everywhere recognises the personality of Satan as a being possessed of mighty power for evil, and he seems to have had a strong conviction of his own exposure to his influences. See chap. vi. 67,112, xvi. 100, xix. 86, xx 53,54, cxiv. 1-6, &c.

Muir accounts for Muhammad's apostasy and his belief in his inspiration, in part at least, by reference to direct Satanic influence (see his Life of Mahomet, vol. ii. chap. iii.) This theory, while scouted by Muslims and apologists for Islam, is decidedly the most satisfactory of any yet enunciated, and to a believer in the Word of God there should he no difficulty in accepting it. It accounts for the sincere efforts at reform inaugurated at Makkah when Muhammad seemed to be really a preacher of righteousness. It accounts for his fall, and for all the deception and iniquity practised by him in later years under the garb of religion, and by what he presumed to be divine right. It accounts for his deliberate imposture, while fancying himself directed by God, for it is not impossible for Satan to have, speak reflected back upon the mind of Muhammad the devices of his own heart, and so by a revelation not only confirm his own views, but also lead him to fancy his every thought to be born of inspiration, so that he came practically to indentify himself with God, though really identified with Satan I think that something like this is absolutely necessary to account for Muhammad's having, even in giving military orders, &c. (see vers. 100, 101), invariably spoken in the person as well as in the name of God.

I am aware of the reply of Mr. R. Bosworth Smith (in his Mohammed and Mohammedanism, p. 116, note), that "if the Spirit of Evil did suggest the idea to Mohammed, he never so completely outwitted himself, since friend and foe must alike admit that it was Mohammed's firm belief in supernatural guidance that lay at the root of all he achieved." But this is exactly what the Lying Spirit of false prophecy desires. Did Ahab's prophet think that he spoke by the dictum of a lying spirit when lie withstood the prophet of God before the kings of Israel and Judah?

Again, as to Muhammad's achievements, we think Satan has no reason to believe he overstepped the matter in the accomplishment


only invoke rebellious Satan. (117) GOD cursed him; and he said, Verily I will take of thy servants a part cut off from the rest, (118) and I will seduce them, and will insinuate vain desires into them, and I will command them, and they shall cut off the ears of cattle; and I will command them, and they shall change GOD'S creature. But whoever taketh Satan for his patron, besides GOD, shall surely perish with a manifest destruction. (119) He maketh them promises, and insinuateth into them vain desires: yet Satan maketh them only deceitful promises. (120) The receptacle of these shall be hell; they shall find no refuge from it. (121) But they who believe and do good works we will surely lead them into gardens, through which rivers flow; they shall continue therein for ever, according to the true promise of GOD; and who is more true than GOD in what he saith? (122) It shall not be according to your desires, nor according to the desires of those who have received the scriptures. Whoso doth evil shall be rewarded for it; and shall not find any

of these. What better achievement could he devise than the establishment of a religion which would destroy the souls of men by denying the atoning blood which alone can destroy his power? Idolatry is certainly his strong tower, but when monotheism can be made to serve the same end, his fortress is rendered doubly strong.

(117) God cursed him, or God curse him. The usual idiom would require we cursed him. The word say introduced, however, makes all consistent. See chap. i., note on ver. 2.

A part cut off, "or a part destined or predetermined to be seduced by me."- Sale.

(118) Cut off the ears. This was an ancient Arab custom, whereby they marked the animals devoted to their idols.

They shall change God's creature, i.e., they shall devote their property to the service of Satan by offering it to idols (Abdul Qadir). Baidhawi thinks the allusion is to the mutilation and disfigurement of the human body, e.g., marking their bodies with figures by pricking and dying them with wood or indigo, sharpening their teeth by filing, by unnatural amours, &c. See Sale's note.

(122) Nor according to the desires, &c. "That is, the promises of God are not to be gained by acting after your own fancies, nor yet after the fancies of the Jews or Christians, but by obeying the commands of God. This passage, they say, was revealed on a dispute which arose between those of the three religions, each preferring his own and


patron or helper beside GOD; (123) but whoso doth good works, whether he be male or female, and is a true believer, they shall be admitted into paradise, and shall not in the least be unjustly dealt with. (124) Who is better in point of religion than he who resigneth himself unto GOD, and is a worker of righteousness, and followeth the law of Abraham the orthodox? since GOD took Abraham for his friend; (125) and to GOD belongeth whatsoever is in heaven and on earth; GOD comprehendeth all things.

condemning the others. Some, however, suppose the persons here spoken to in the second person were not the Muhammadans, but the idolaters." - Sale, Baidhawi, &c.

"Those who have received the Scriptures" must refer to false professors of the religion revealed in their Scriptures, else the passage contradicts the claim of the Qur'an that Islam is the religion of the former Scriptures.

(123) Male or female. This passage clearly disproves the opinion of those who imagine that women are excluded from the paradise of Islam. See also notes on chap. iii. 196, chap. ix. 73, and chap. xlviii.5. The ground of salvation given here is good works, which works are, however, such as Islam requires.

(124) He who resigneth himsself, i.e., a Muslim, one who submits himself to the divine will. Such are said to be the followers of "the law of Abraham the Orthodox."

God took Abraham for his friend. Compare 2 Kings xx. 7, Isa. xli. 8, and James ii. 23. "Muhammadans usually call that patriarch, as the Scripture also does. Khalil Ullah, the friend of God, and simply al Khalil; and they tell the following story: - That Abraham in a time of dearth sent to a friend of his in Egypt for a supply of corn; but the friend denied him, saying in his excuse, that though there was a famine in their country also, yet had it been for Abraham's own family, he would have sent what he desired, but he knew he wanted it only to entertain his guests and give away to the poor, according to his usual hospitality. The servants whom Abraham had sent on this message, being ashamed to return empty, to conceal the matter from their neighbours, filled their sacks with the fine white sand, which in the East pretty much resembles meal. Abraham being informed by his servants, on their return, of their ill success, the concern he was under threw him into a sleep; and in the mean-time Sarah, knowing nothing of what had happened, opening one of the sacks, found good flour in it. and immediately set about making of bread. Abraham awaking and smelling the new bread, asked her whence she had the flour. 'Why,' says she, 'from your friend in Egypt.' 'Nay,' replied the patriarch, 'it must have come from no other than my friend God Almighty.' "- Sale, Baidawi, Jalaluddin, Yahya.


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(126) They will consult thee concerning women; Answer, GOD instructeth YOU concerning them, and that which is read unto you in the book of the Qur'an concerning female orphans, to whom ye give not that which is ordained them, neither will ye marry them, and concerning weak infants, and that ye observe justice towards orphans: whatever good ye do, GOD knoweth it. (127) If a woman fear ill usage, or aversion from her husband, it shall be no crime in them if they agree the matter amicably between themselves; for a reconciliation is better than a separation. Men's souls are naturally inclined to covetousness: but if ye be kind towards women, and fear to wrong them, GOD is well acquainted with what

(126) They will consult thee concerning women, i.e., "as to the share they are to have in the distribution of the inheritances of their deceased relations; for it seems that the Arabs were not satisfied with Muhammad's decision on this point against the old customs."- Sale.

God instructeth you, i.e., as in the earlier portion of the chapter.

Neither will ye marry them. "Or the words may be rendered in the affirmative, and whom ye desire to marry. For the pagan Arabs used to wrong their female orphans in both instances; obliging them to marry against their inclinations, if they were beautiful or rich ; or else not suffering them to marry at all, that they might keep what belonged to them. "- Sale, Baidhawi.

Rodwell translates, "And whom ye refuse to marry." See also note on ver. 3.

Weak infants. See notes on Vers. 6 and 8.

(127) If a woman fear &c. The Tafsir-i-Raufi says this verse was occasioned by a man's having sought an excuse for divorcing his wife. His wife, however, having a number of children, besought him not to do so, saying he might take to himself as many wives as he chose.

This verse, then, encourages wives to be reconciled to their husbands, by remitting some portion of their dower, or by granting them other wives, and there by assuming the unenviable place of co-wife. On the other hand, it encourages the husbands to practise this kind of domestic oppression: " It shall be no crime in them if they agree" in this manner.

Souls are naturally inclined to covetousness. This is said to refer to Sauda, one of Muhammad's wives, who besought him to marry her, that she might be amongst his wives at the resurrection! It would seem, however, rather to be intended to justify the covetousness of husbands referred to above.


ye do. (128) Ye can by no means carry yourselves equally between women in all respects, although ye study to do it; therefore turn not from a wife with all manner of aversion, nor leave her like one in suspense: if ye agree, and fear to abuse your wives, GOD is gracious and merciful; (129) but if they separate, GOD will satisfy them both of his abundance; for GOD is extensive and wise, (130) and unto GOD belongeth whatsoever is in heaven and on earth. We have already commanded those unto whom the scriptures were given before you, and we command you also, saying, Fear GOD; but if ye disbelieve, unto GOD belongeth whatsoever is in heaven and on earth; and GOD is self-sufficient, and to be praised; (131) for unto GOD belongeth whatsoever is in heaven and on earth, and GOD is a sufficient protector. (132) If he pleaseth he will take you away, O men, and will produce others in your stead; for GOD is able to do this. Whoso desireth the reward of this world, verily with GOD is the reward of this world, and also of that which is to come; GOD both heareth and teeth.

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(133) O true believers, observe justice when ye bear witness before GOD although it be against yourselves, or your parents, or relations; whether the party be rich, or whether he be poor; for GOD is more worthy than them both; therefore follow not your own lust in bearing testimony so that ye swerve from justice. And whether ye wrest your evidence or decline giving it, GOD is well

(128) Carry yourselves equally. See note on ver. 3.

Like one in suspense, "or like one that neither has a husband, nor is divorced, and at liberty to marry elsewhere."- Sale.

(129) God will satisfy them. They will have peace, or God will bless them with a better match.

(130) We have already commanded, &c. This seems to indicate that these laws, thus instituted, are in accord with the laws of the Bible. If so, the Qur'an again comes far short of confirming the former Scriptures.

God is selfsufficient, i.e., needing the service of no creature.

(132) Illustrative of God's sovereign power and self-sufficiency.


acquainted with that which ye do. (134) O true believers, believe in GOD and his apostle, and the book which he hath caused to descend unto his apostle, and the book which he hath formerly sent down. And whosoever believeth not in GOD, and his angels, and his scriptures, and his apostles, and the last day, he surely erreth in a wide mistake. (136) Moreover they who believed, and afterwards became infidels, and then believed again, and after that disbelieved, and increased in infidelity, GOD will by no means forgive them, nor direct them into the right way. (137) Declare unto the ungodly that they shall suffer a painful punishment. (138) They who take the unbelievers for their protectors, besides the faithful, do they seek for power with them? since all power belongeth unto GOD. (139) And he hath already revealed unto you, in the book of the Quran, the

(134) Observe justice when ye bear witness. The duty of truthfulness in witness-bearing is clearly inculcated hire.

(135) The book which he hath formerly sent down. "It is said that Abdullah Ibn Salam and his companions told Muhammad that they believed in him, and in his Quran, and in Moses, and the Pentateuch, and in Ezra, but no farther; whereupon this passage was revealed, declaring that a partial faith is little better than none at all, and that a true believer must believe in all God's prophets and revelations without exception." - Sale, Baidhawi.

The duty of believing the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments is here again inculcated. But so certainly impossible is the fulfilment, that Muslims reject the Gospels, and holding to the Quran, deny the teaching of all former prophets. See notes on chap. ii. 105.

(136) Who . . . increased in infidelity. "These were the Jews, who first believed in Moses, and afterwards fell into idolatry by worshipping the golden calf; and though they repented of that, yet in after ages rejected the prophets who were sent to them, and particularly Jesus the son of Mary, and now filled up the measure of their unbelief by rejecting of Muhammad."- Sale, Baidhawi.

Abdul Qadir applies the passage to hypocritical professors of Islam. All such will die and suffer the penalty of infidelity.

The passage also teaches the reprobation of such hypocrites. They shall be given over to destruction, for they shall neither be pardoned nor directed.

(139) He hath already revealed. This passage expresses the substance of what is contained in chap. vi. If any particular verse is indicated, it is probably chap. vi. 10.


following passage - WHEN YE SHALL HEAR THE SIGNS OF GOD, THEY SHALL NOT BE BELIEVED, BUT THEY SHALL BE LAUGHED TO SCORN. Therefore sit not with them who believe not, until they engage in different discourse; for if ye do, ye will certainly become like unto them. GOD will surely gather the ungodly and the unbelievers together in hell. (140) They who wait to observe what befalleth you, if victory be granted you from GOD, say, Were we not with you? But if any advantage happen to the infidels, they say unto them, Were we not superior to you, and have we not defended you against the believers? GOD shall judge between you on the day of resurrection: and GOD will not grant the unbelievers means to prevail over the faithful.

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(141) The hypocrites act deceitfully with GOD, but he will deceive them; and when they stand up to pray, they stand carelessly, affecting to be seen of men, and remember not GOD, unless a little, (142) wavering between faith and infidelity, and adhering neither unto these nor unto those: and for him whom GOD shall lead astray thou shalt find no true path. (143) O true believers take not the unbelievers for your protectors besides the faithful. Will ye furnish GOD with an evident argument of impiety against you? (144) Moreover the hypocrites shall be in the lowest bottom of hell fire,

Sit not with them. Muslims are not allowed even to listen to the adverse criticisms of unbelievers, lest they should become like them. These scoffers were no doubt Jews, whose arguments were to the Muslims unanswerable. Anything like a fair investigation would have been disastrous to the cause of Islam. Ignorant bigotry has ever been its strongest defence.

(140) They who wait. The hypocrites who played fast and loose with the Muslims and their enemies. When the former were victorious, as at Badr, these desired to share the booty, on pretence of having been in sympathy with the victors. When, however, the latter gained the day, as at Ohod, the hypocrites could show how the victory was due to their withdrawing from the Muslims!

(141) He will deceive them. This is a good illustration of the play upon words frequently met with in the Quran. See chap. iii. 53.

(144) The lowest bottom of hell fire. See Prelim. Disc., p.148.


and thou shalt not find any to help them thence. (145) But they who repent and amend, and adhere firmly unto GOD, and approve the sincerity of their religion to GOD, they shall be numbered with the faithful; and GOD will surely give the faithful a great reward. (146) And how should GOD go about to punish you, if ye be thankful and believe? for GOD is grateful and wise.


(147) GOD loveth not the speaking ill of any one in public, unless he who is injured call for assistance; and GOD heareth and knoweth: (148) whether ye publish a good action, or conceal it, or forgive evil, verily GOD is gracious and powerful. (149) They who believe not in GOD and his apostles, and would make a distinction between GOD and his apostles, and say, We believe in some of the prophets and reject others of them, and seek to take a middle way in this matter; (150) these are really unbelievers: and we have prepared for the unbelievers an ignominious punishment. (151) But they who believe in GOD and his apostles, and make no distinction between any of them, unto those will ye surely give their reward; and GOD is gracious and merciful.

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(152) They who have received the scriptures will demand of thee, that thou cause a book to descend unto

(146) God is grateful. The idea that God is placed under some sort of obligation to true Muslims is certainly suggested by the language of this verse, but the meaning is that he acts towards believers as if he were grateful. The passage may be quoted to illustrate the use of the word repent in Gen. vi. 6.

(147) Unless he who is injured. The words call for assistance are incorrectly supplied. The phrase gives an exception to the rule that evil-speaking is displeasing to God. The oppressed may speak evil of their oppressors. See Tafsir-i-Raufi in loco.

(149) They who believe not, &c. See chap. ii. 285.

(150) These are really unbelievers. The reference is to the Jews who said, "We believe in Moses and Ezra, but we reject Jesus and Muhammad" (Tafsir-i-Raufi).

(152) That thou cause a book to descend, i.e., "the Jews, who demanded of Muhammad, as a proof of his mission, that they might see a book of revelations descend to him from heaven, or that he would produce one written in a celestial character, like the two tables of Moses." - Sale.


them from heaven: they formerly asked of Moses a greater thing than this; for they said, Show us GOD visibly. Wherefore a storm of fire from heaven destroyed them, because of their iniquity. Then they took the calf for their God, after that evident proofs of the divine unity had come unto them: but we forgave them that, and gave Moses a manifest power to punish them. (153) And we lifted the mountain of Sinai over them when we exacted from them their covenant; and said unto them, Enter the gate of the city worshipping. We also said unto them, Transgress not on the Sabbath-day. And we received from them a firm covenant, that they would observe these things. (154) Therefore for that they have made void their covenant, and have not believed in the signs of GOD, and have slain the prophets unjustly, and have said, Our hearts are circumcised; (but GOD hath sealed them up, because of their unbelief; therefore they shall not believe, except a few of them:) (155) and for that they have not believed in Jesus, and have spoken against Mary a grievous calumny; (156) and have said, Verily we have slain Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the apostle of GOD; yet

Show us God visibly. See notes on chap. ii. 54 and 62; comp. Exod. xxiv. 9, 10, and 11.

A storm of fire, &c. There is no truth in this statement, which is here given as so much inspired history. See note, chap. iii. 39.

They took the calf. Note on chap. ii. 50.

(153) We lifted the mountain, &c. See note on chap. ii. 62 and 64.

(154) For that. "There being nothing in the following words of this sentence to answer to the casual for that, Jalaluddin supposes something to be understood to complete the sense, as, therefore we have cursed them, or the like."- Sale.

(156) A grievous calumny. "By accusing her of fornication. - Sale.

They slew him not. See notes on chap. iii. 53 and 54.

Who disagreed. "For some maintained that he was justly and really crucified; some insisted that it was not Jesus who suffered, but another who resembled him in the face, pretending the other parts of his body, by their unlikeness, plainly discovered the imposition; some said he was taken up into heaven ; and others, that his manhood only suffered, and that his godhead ascended into heaven."- Sale, Baidhawi.


they slew him not, neither crucified him, but he was represented by one in his likeness; and verily they who disagreed concerning him were in a doubt as to this matter, and had no sure knowledge thereof, but followed only an uncertain opinion. They did not really kill him; (157) but GOD took him up unto himself: and GOD is mighty and, wise. (158) And there shall not be one of those who have received the scriptures who shall not believe in him before his death; and on the day of resur-

They did not really kill him. But the former Scriptures teach the contrary. The death of Christ was foretold to take place at the first advent (Dan. ix. 24). Jesus himself, according to the gospel, often foretold his death, and afterwards refers to it as past; the same Scriptures testify to his death as an accomplished fact, and all gospel preaching for eighteen centuries has been based upon it. The historians, Jewish, Heathen, and Christian, attest the fact. In short, there is no fact of either history or revelation so certainly established as that which is here contradicted. This one passage is sufficient to refute Muhammad's claim to be a prophet of God. And the Qur'an, instead, of attesting the former Scriptures, is found to attest a fiction of Christian heresy.

(158) And there shall not be one of those, &c. "This passage is expounded two ways:-

"Some, referring the relative his to the first antecedent, take the meaning to be that no Jew or Christian shall die before he believer in Jesus for the say, that when one of either of those religions is ready to breathe his last, and sees the angel of death before him, he shall then believe in that prophet as he ought, though his faith will not then be of any avail. According to a tradition of Hijaj, when a Jew is expiring, the angels will strike him on the back and face, and say to him, 'O thou enemy of God ! Jesus was sent as a prophet unto thee, and thou didst not believe on him;' to which he will answer, 'I now believe him to be the servant of God ;' and to a dying Christian they wilt say, 'Jesus was sent as a prophet unto thee, and thou hast imagined him to be God, or the son of God ;' whereupon he will believe him to be the servant of God only, and his apostle.

"Others, taking the above-mentioned relative to refer to Jesus, suppose the intent of the passage to be, that all Jews and Christians in general shall have a right faith in that prophet before his death, that is, when he descends from heaven and returns into the world, where he is to kill Antichrist, and to establish the Muhammadan religion, and a most perfect tranquillity and security on earth."- Sale, Baidhawi, Jalaluddin, Yahya, Zamakhshari.

The latter view seems to be the most reasonable. See note on chap. iii. 54.

He shall be a witness against them. His witness, says Sale, on


rection he shall be a witness against them. (159) Because of the iniquity of those who Judaise, we have forbidden them good things, which had been formerly allowed them; and because they shut out many from the way of GOD, (160) and have taken usury, which was forbidden them by the law, and devoured men's substance vainly: we have prepared for such of them as are unbelievers a painful punishment. (161) But those among them who are well grounded in knowledge, and the faithful, who believe in that which hath been sent down unto thee, and that which hath been sent down unto the prophets before thee, and who observe the stated times of prayer, and give alms, and believe in GOD and the last day, unto these will we give a great reward.

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(162) Verily we have revealed our will unto thee, as we have revealed it unto Noah and the prophets who succeeded him; and as we revealed it unto Abraham, and Ismail, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes, and unto

the authority of Baidhawi, shall be "against the Jews for rejecting him, and against the Christians for calling him God and the Son of God." See note on chap. v. 116-119.

(159) We have forbidden them good things. See notes on chap. iii. 93.

(161) Those . . . who are well grounded. Such as Abdullah Ibn Salam (Tafsir-i-Raufi). It seems that those were well grounded in the faith who accepted Islam. Infidelity and incorrigible stupidity went hand in hand in rejecting the claims of Muhammad.

(162) We have revealed our will unto thee, &c. This jumble of names, presented without any respect to chronology, is probably due to Muhammad's receiving his information second-hand and piecemeal through Jewish informants. Yet Muhammad claims to have been inspired, as were all the prophets. He also asserts that his inspiration was of precisely the same character as that of all the persons here enumerated, i.e., they received the message directly from Gabriel, by direct communication and audible voice, the tinkling sound of bells in his ears, &c., which Muslims call Wahi and Ilham (see Sell's Faith of Islam, p.37, and Hughes's Notes on Muhammadanism p. 47).

The Bible shows clearly that some of those mentioned here were not prophets at all, and that few of them knew aught of the inspiration claimed by Muhammad. Here again the Qur'an denies historical fact and contradicts the book it professes to attest.

We have given the Qur'an. This clause should have been omitted. The text is clear without it.


Jesus, and Job, and Jonas, and Aaron, and Solomon; and we have given thee the Qur'an as we gave the psalms unto David: (163) some apostles have we sent, whom we have formerly mentioned unto thee; and other apostles have we sent, whom we have not mentioned unto thee; and GOD spake unto Moses, discoursing with him; (164) apostles declaring good tidings and denouncing threats, lest men should have an argument of excuse against GOD, after the apostles had been sent unto them, GOD is mighty and wise. (165) GOD is witness of that revelation which he hath sent down unto thee; he sent it down with his special knowledge; the angels also, are witnesses thereof; but GOD is a sufficient witness. (166) They who believe not, and turn aside others from the way of GOD, have erred in a wide mistake. (167) Verily those who believe not and act unjustly, GOD will by no means forgive, neither will he direct them into any other way than the way of hell; they shall remain therein forever; and this is easy with GOD. (168) O men, now is the apostle come unto you, with truth from your LORD; believe, therefore; it will be better for you. But if ye disbelieve, verily unto GOD belongeth whatsoever is in heaven and on earth; and GOD is knowing and wise. (169) O ye who have received the scriptures, exceed not the just bounds in your religion,

(163) God spake unto Moses. This Muslims understand to be the highest form of wahi (revelation), or inspiration, as the word is incorrectly translated. In this respect, say they, Moses resembled Muhammad. Tafsir-i-Raufi in loco.

(165) God is witness. The occasion of this revelation was the infidelity of certain Jews, who being asked to testify to his prophecy before certain Quraish chiefs, declared that they did not recognise him as a prophet (Tasfir-i-Raufi). The witness of God is in the incomparable language and style of the Qur'an ; the witness of angels has reference to the testimony of Gabriel. See the plural form used for the singular, chap. iii. 39, note.

(166) Turned aside others, i.e., the chiefs of the Quraish, who were turned aside by the answer of the Jews referred to in the note on the preceding verse.

(168) With truth from your Lord. A new assertion of his prophetic claim. See notes on vers. 116, 156, and 162.

(169) Exceed not the just bounds, i.e., "either by rejecting or con-


neither say of GOD and other than the truth. Verily Christ Jesus the son of Mary is the apostle of GOD, and his Word, which he conveyed into Mary, and a spirit proceeding from him. Believe therefore in GOD and his apostles, and say not, There are three Gods; forbear this; it will be better for you. GOD is but one GOD. Far be it from him that he should have a son; unto him belongeth whatever is in heaven and on earth; and GOD is a sufficient protector.

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(170) Christ doth not proudly disdain to be a servant unto GOD; neither the angels who approach near to his presence: and whoso disdaineth his service and is puffed up with pride, God will gather them all to himself on the last day. (171) Unto those who believe and do that which is right lie shall give their rewards, and shall superabundantly add unto them of his liberality: but those who are disdainful and proud, he will punish with a grievous punishment; (172) and they shall not find any

demning Jesus, as the Jews do ; or raising him to an equality with GOD, as do the Christians." - Sale, Baidhawi.

His word, . . . a spirit proceeding from him. See notes on chap. ii. 86, and chap. iii. 39.

Say not... three, "Namely, God, Jesus, Mary. For the Eastern writers mention a sect of Christians which held the Trinity to be composed of those three; but it is allowed that this heresy has been long since extinct (Elmacin, p. 227). The passage, however, is equally levelled against the Holy Trinity, according to the doctrine of the orthodox Christians, who, as Al Baidhawi acknowledges, believe the divine nature to consist of three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; by the Father, understanding God's essence; by the Son, his knowledge; and by the Holy Ghost, his life." - Sale.

See also Prelim. Disc., p. 64.

The commentators Baidhawi, Jalaluddin, and Yahya agree in interpreting the three to mean "God, Jesus, and Mary," in the relation of Father, Mother, and Son. This misrepresentation of the Scripture doctrine again stamps the Qur'an as a fabrication, and furnishes the evidence of its being such on the ground of its own claims. The history of the Church, as well as the Bible, proves the statement of the text, as interpreted by authoritative commentators, to be false; for even granting that some obscure Christian sect did hold such a doctrine of the Trinity (of which statement we have yet to learn the truth), yet the spirit of Muhammad's inspiration represents it as the faith of the Christians generally. In almost every case


to protect or to help them, besides GOD. (173) O men, now is an evident proof come unto you from your LORD, and we have sent down unto you manifest light. (174) They who believe in GOD and firmly adhere to him, he will lead them into mercy from him, and abundance; and he will direct them in the right way to himself. (175) They will consult thee for thy decision in certain cases; say unto them, GOD giveth you these determinations concerning the more remote degrees of kindred. If a man die without issue, and have a sister, she shall have the half of what he shall leave: and he shall be heir to her, in case she have no issue. But if there be two sisters, they shall have between them, two third parts of what he shall leave; and if there be several, both brothers and sisters, a male shall have as much as the portion of two females. GOD declareth unto you these precepts, lest ye err: and GOD knoweth all things.

where the Qur'an refers to the Christian faith, it is to inveigh against the idea that God has a son. See chap. ix. 31, xix. 31, xliii. 59.

(173) Manifest light, i.e., the teaching of the Qur'an.

(175) See notes on vers. 10 and 11.

And he shall be heir to her, i.e. where there is a brother and a sister, the sister inherits half the brother's property in case he die first without issue. On the other hand, in case the sister die first without issue, the brother inherits all her property.

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