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

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


From killing thee. See notes on chap. iii. 53, 55, and iv. 156. Sorcery. See Sale's note on chap. iii. 48, and Rodwell in loco. (111) Apostles. In Arabic Al hawáriín, a word descriptive of the chosen followers of Jesus. It does not convey any idea of apostleship in the ordinary sense of the word. If derived from the Ethiopic hawyra (Rodwell), the etymological meaning would indicate one sent; but if derived from hur, it would mean friends or helpers, and so correspond with the idea of the Ansár, or helpers of Muhammad.

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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


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

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

note on ver. IIO.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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