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day that shall be a day, whereon all men shall be assembled, and that shall be a day whereon witness shall be borne; (105) we defer it not, but to a determined time. (106) When that day shall come, no soul shall speak to excuse itself or to intercede for another but by the permission of God. Of them, one shall be miserable and another shall be happy. (107) And they who shall be miserable. shall be thrown into hell-fire; (108) there shall they wail and bemoan themselves: they shall remain therein so long as the heavens and the earth shall endure, except what thy LORD shall please to remit of their sentence; for thy LORD effecteth that which he pleaseth. (109) But they who shall be happy shall be admitted into Paradise; they shall remain therein so long as the heavens and the earth. endure besides what thy LORD shall please to add unto their bliss; a bounty which shall not be interrupted. (110) Be not therefore in doubt concerning that which these men worship: they worship no other than what their fathers worshipped before them; and we will surely give them their full portion, not in the least diminished.

|| (111) We formerly gave unto Moses the book of the law, and disputes arose among his people concerning it: and unless a previous decree had proceeded from thy

(108) Wail and bemoan. "The two words in the original signify, properly, the vehement drawing in and expiration of one's breath, which is usual to persons in great pain and anguish; and particularly the reciprocation of the voice of an ass when he brays."-Sale.

So long as the heavens and the earth shall endure. "This is not to be strictly understood, as if either the punishment of the damned should have an end or the heavens and the earth should endure for ever, the expression being only used by way of image or comparison, which needs not agree in every point with the thing signified. Some, however, think the future heavens and earth, into which the present shall be changed, are here meant."-Sale, Baidhawi. Except what thy Lord shall please to remit. See Prelim. Disc., pp.

149, 150.

The logical

(110) We will surely give them their full portion. inference from all that is taught in this chapter, and especially in the examples given, is that the Quraish would reject Muhammad, and be ignominiously destroyed. This verse sets the seal to this threat. Muslims are, however, obliged to admit that, with a few exceptions, the "people of Muhammad" are reckoned true believers.

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LORD to bear with them during this been surely decided between them. And thy people are also jealous and in doubt concerning the Qurán. (112) But unto every one of them will thy LORD render the reward of their works; for he well knoweth that which they do. (113) Be thou steadfast, therefore, as thou hast been commanded; and let him also be steadfast who shall be converted with thee; and transgress not, for he seeth that which ye do. (114) And incline not unto those who act unjustly, lest the fire of hell touch you: for ye have no protectors except GOD; neither shall ye be assisted against him. (115) Pray regularly morning and evening; and in the former part of the night, for good works drive away evil. This is an admonition unto those who consider: (116) wherefore persevere with patience; for GOD suffereth not the reward of the righteous to perish. (117) Were such of the generations before you endued with understanding and virtue who forbade the acting corruptly in the earth, any more than a few only of those whom we delivered; but they who were unjust followed the delights which they enjoyed in this world, and were

(111) Thy people are... in doubt, &c. This verse "disproves the miracle of the Qurán. A miracle requires to be so convincing that none who see it can doubt that it is a miracle. Christ did miracles ; the fact of them was not doubted by those who saw them done, though the unbelievers and jealous said Satan was the doer of them. If the doubts here referred to are regarding the meaning of the Koran, then it is not an easy, light-giving book, as it is said to be." -Brinckman's "Notes on Islám."

(115) Morning and evening. "Literally in the extremities of the day."-Sale.

The former part of the night. "That is, after sunset and before supper, when the Muhammadans say their fourth prayer, called by them Salát al maghrab, or the evening prayer."-Sale, Baidhawi.

(117) Which they enjoyed. "Making it their sole business to please their luxurious desires and appetites, and placing their whole felicity therein."-Sale.

Were wicked doers. "Al Baidhawi says that this passage gives the reason why the nations were destroyed of old, viz., for their violence and injustice, their following their own lusts, and for their idolatry and unbelief."-Sale.

wicked doers: (118) and thy LORD was not of such a disposition as to destroy the cities unjustly, while their inhabitants behaved themselves uprightly. (119) And if thy LORD pleased, he would have made all men of one religion; but they shall not cease to differ among themselves, unless those on whom thy LORD shall have mercy and unto this hath he created them; for the word of thy LORD shall be fulfilled when he said, Verily I will fill hell altogether with genii and men. (120) The whole which we have related of the histories of our apostles do we relate unto thee, that we may confirm thy heart thereby; and herein is the truth come unto thee, and an admonition and a warning unto the true believers. (121) Say unto those who believe not, Act ye according to your condition; we surely will act according to our duty: (122) and wait the issue; for we certainly wait it also. (123) Unto GOD is known that which is secret in heaven and earth; and unto him shall the whole matter be referred. Therefore worship him and put thy trust in him; for thy LORD is not regardless of that which ye do.


(118) Unjustly. "Or, as Baidhawi explains it, for their idolatry only, when they observed justice in other respects."-Sale. meaning, however, is that God never destroys a people without a good reason-and such a good reason is idolatry, as is evident from all the examples given in this chapter.

(119) I will fill hell, &c. See notes on chap. vii. 179–183.

(121) See above on ver. 93.

(123) Thy Lord is not regardless of that which ye do. Muhammad attributed his grey hairs to this chapter and its sisters. See Muir's Life of Mahomet, vol. iv. p. 255.



Revealed at Makkah.


THIS chapter purports to give an inspired account of the life of the patriarch Joseph. It differs from every other chapter of the Qurán, in that it deals with only one subject. Baidháwi, says Sale, tells us that it was occasioned in the following manner :

"The Quraish, thinking to puzzle Muhammad, at the instigation and by the direction of certain Jewish Rabbins, demanded of him how Jacob's family happened to go down into Egypt, and that he would relate to them the history of Joseph, with all its circumstances;" whereupon he pretended to have received this chapter from heaven.

Jalaluddín-us-Syutí, in his Itqán, says this chapter was given by Muhammad to those Madinese converted at Makkah before the Hijra. Weil conjectures that it was especially prepared with reference to the Hijra. This conjecture has, however, but little in its favour. Certain it is that the chapter belongs to Makkah. Much intercourse with the Jews at Madína would have improved the general historical character of the record.

The story related here bears every mark of having been received at second hand from persons themselves ignorant of the history of Joseph, except as recounted from hearsay among ignorant people. Muhammad's informants had probably learned the story from popular Jewish tradition, which seems to have been garbled and improved upon by the Prophet himself. Certainly no part of the Qurán more clearly reveals the hand of the forger. The whole chapter is a miserable travesty of the Mosaic account of Joseph. In almost every instance the facts of the original story are misrepresented, misplaced, and garbled, while the additions are often wanting

the poor authority of the Rabbins. Nevertheless, this story is not only related as coming from God, but also as attesting the Divine character of the Qurán. It is significant that this chapter was rejected by the Ajáredites and Maimúnians as apocryphal and spurious.

Probable Date of the Revelations.

There are those (as Jalaluddín-us-Sayutí) who would assign vers. 1-3 to Madína, but the generally received opinion, as stated above, is that the whole chapter belongs to Makkah. The spirit shown in vers. 105, 110, towards the unbelieving Quraish, along with the general character of the chapter, based as it is upon information drawn from Jewish sources, point to the years immediately preceding the Hijra as the period to which it belongs. Muir, in his Chronological List of Suras, places it just before chap. xi. See Life of Mahomet, vol. ii. Appendix.

Principal Subjects.

The Prophet acquainted by inspiration with the history of

Joseph tells his father of his vision of the stars




Jacob warns Joseph against the jealousy of his brethren


Jacob understands the dream to signify Joseph's future prophetic character

Joseph's story a sign of God's providence

Joseph's brethren are jealous of him and of Benjamin.

They counsel together to kill or to expatriate him

One of them advises their putting him into a well


They beg their father to send Joseph with them .

II, 12

Jacob hesitates through fear that Joseph may be devoured by a wolf


Joseph's brethren, receiving their father's consent, take him

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The brethren bring to Jacob the report that Joseph had been devoured by a wolf

16, 17

Jacob does not believe the story of his sons
Certain travellers finding Joseph carry him into bondage

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An Egyptian purchases Joseph and proposes to adopt him
God bestows on him wisdom and knowledge
The Egyptian's wife endeavours to seduce Joseph
By God's grace he was preserved from her enticements
She accuses Joseph of an attempt to dishonour her

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