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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.

|| (112) If the indulgence and mercy of GOD had not R 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 Qurún 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 SULS. 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 part of them. The friends of Tíma alluded to above. (114) We will cause him to obtain, &c. This refers to all deceivers and dishonest persons represented by Tíma (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, &c. See note on ver. 46.

(116) Only female deities. "Namely, Al Lát, al Uzza and Mínát, 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 Islám, is decidedly the most satisfactory of any yet enunciated, and to a believer in the Word of God there should be 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, so to 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 identify 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 he 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 Quran that Islám 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 Islám. 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 Islám requires.

(124) He who resigneth himself, 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 meantime 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, Baidhawi, 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 Qurán 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 For the pagan Arabs the affirmative, and whom ye desire to marry. 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 thereby 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.

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