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

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

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

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



Revealed at Makkah.


THIS chapter owes its title to the frequent mention of certain cattle in connection with the idolatrous rites of the people of Makkah. It relates to the controversy of Muhammad with the inhabitants of his native city during the period immediately preceding his flight to Madína. This is evident from the tone of the revelations. Everywhere the Quraish are spoken of as hopelessly infidel, as given over to unbelief, abandoned of God, and doomed to perdition. Having rejected the signs of the Qurán, they will not hear though an angel were to speak audibly to them, though a written book were to descend to them from heaven, or though the Prophet were to ascend into the heavens or delve into the earth to bring them a sign to their own liking.

Other passages contain commands addressed to the Prophet to withdraw from the idolaters and to have no fellowship with them. From all this it is clear that Muhammad had matured his plan of leaving Makkah and of retiring to Madína.

Probable Date of the Revelations.

From what has been said above, and relying especially upon the command of ver. 106, to retire from the idolaters, which all authorities agree in referring to the Hijra, we may fairly conclude that most of the revelations of this chapter were rehearsed in public for the first time during the year immediately preceding that event. There are, however, a few verses which belong to the number of Madína revelations. These are vers. 92-94 and 151-153. Noëldeke thinks the latter three are referred to Madína without good reason. The requirements of ver. 152 certainly fit in best with the circum

stances of Islám after the Hijra. Their date may be considered as doubtful. This is, in our opinion, true also of vers. 118–121, 145, 146, and 159-165. The command to abstain from certain kinds of meat is said, on the authority of tradition, to have been delivered after the Night Journey, and might therefore have been delivered before the Hijra. But the requirements of the law of permitted and forbidden meats are so certainly an imitation of the Jewish law on the same subject, as to lead us to think that all passages referring to this law of Islám belong to Madína though found in chapters belonging to Makkah. As Muir has already pointed out, the habit was formed soon after the Hijra "of throwing into a former Sura newly-revealed passages connected with its subject.” ' Wherefore many passages like these, relating to rites borrowed from the Jews, may belong to Madína, though recited in a Makkan chapter.

Principal Subjects.

Praise to the Almighty and Omniscient Creator
The wilful unbelief of the Makkah infidels.
They are threatened with the divine judgment
The people of Makkah hopelessly unbelieving
Why angels were not sent to the infidels

Those who rejected the former prophets were punished
Why the true God should be served

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God the witness between Muhammad and the infidels.
The Jews recognise Muhammad as a prophet
Idolaters on the judgment-day—their condition
Scoffing idolaters rebuked and threatened.



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The condition of believers and unbelievers after death
Unbelievers make God a liar

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God's word and purposes unchangeable
Miracles of no avail to convince infidels



Infidels are deaf and dumb.

God will raise the dead to life

Why God did not grant the signs asked by unbelievers
Animals and birds to be brought into judgment

Idolaters will call upon God in their distress

Adversity and prosperity alike unmeaning to infidels
God is the only helper in trouble.

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Unbelievers, if impenitent, sure to perish
Muhammad unacquainted with the secrets of God
There shall be no intercessor on the judgment-day

* Life of Mahomet, vol. ii. p. 268, note.

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The motives of professing Muslims not to be judged

Muhammad declines the proposals of idolaters.
God the Omniscient and Sovereign Ruler

God the Almighty Deliverer

Muhammad charged with imposture
Unbelievers will certainly be punished
Mockers to be avoided by Muslims







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The punishment of idolaters certain and dreadful
Muslims commanded to obey God only



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Abraham's testimony against idolatry

The prophets who succeeded Abraham

The unbelieving Jews (of Madína) rebuked

The Qurán confirms the former Scriptures

The fate of those who forge Scriptures

Idolaters deserted by their gods on the judgment-day
The God of nature the true God

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The direction of Muslims and idolaters contrasted
Law of permitted and forbidden meats

The righteous and unbelievers compared

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Wicked leaders of the people-conduct and punishment
The blessedness of the faithful .

God's threatenings against unbelieving men and genii
God always warns men before punishing idolatry
Rewards and punishments shall be according to works
The punishment of unbelievers certain

The idolaters of Makkah rebuked

Evil customs of the Quraish exposed

The idolaters of Makkah threatened.

The fruit of trees to be eaten

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Controversy between the Quraish and Muhammad con

cerning forbidden meats referred to

The law concerning forbidden meats rehearsed

The Jewish law of forbidden meats.

God will punish those who accuse the prophets of impos


The idolaters of Makkah are reprobate

Their testimony unworthy of credit.



Forbidden things rehearsed

The Qurán attests the teaching of Moses and Jesus
The fate of the wicked on the judgment-day

Sectaries reproved

The reward of the righteous and wicked compared

Islam the true religion

Muhammad's self-consecration to God

The idolaters exhorted to believe in God.

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|| (1) PRAISE be unto GOD, who hath created the heavens and the earth, and hath ordained the darkness and the light nevertheless they who believe not in the LORD equalise other gods with him. (2) It is he who hath created you of clay, and then decreed the term of your lives; and the prefixed term is with him: yet do ye doubt thereof. (3) He is GOD in heaven and in earth; he knoweth what ye keep secret and what ye publish, and knoweth what ye deserve. (4) There came not unto them any sign of the signs of their LORD, but they retired from the same; (5) and they have gainsaid the truth after that it hath come unto them; but a message shall come unto them concern

(1) Darkness and the light. Literally, darknesses and the light, from which form some commentators infer that by darknesses is intended the many false religions, and by light the one true faith of Islám. These make God to be the author of evil as well as good. See the Tafsir-i-Raufi in loco.

Abdul Qadir thinks the passage is directed against the eternal duality of the Magian religion. This also makes God the author of both good and evil.

Equalise, i.e., they regard their idols as equal with God.

(2) The term, &c. "By the last term some understand the time of the resurrection. Others think that by the first term is intended space between creation and death, and by the latter that between death and the resurrection."—Sale.


(3) He knoweth, &c. The omniscience of God is here very forcibly expressed. The speaker is, according to Muslim faith, God, and the passage should be introduced by Say (see note on chap. i.) These words are addressed to the unbelievers mentioned in ver. 1.

(5) A message shall come. Coming destruction, either in this

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