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earth, or in heaven: (6) it is he who formeth you in the wombs, as he pleaseth; there is no GOD but he, the mighty, the wise. (7) It is he who hath sent down unto thee the book, wherein are some verses clear to be understood, they are the foundation of the book; and others are parabolical. But they whose hearts are perverse will follow that which is parabolical therein, out of love of schism, and a desire of the interpretation thereof; yet none knoweth the interpretation thereof, except God. But they who are well

of Mary did not know everything, therefore he could not be divine. Here again we see that the Muslim conception of Christ's divinity is that his humanity was divine.

(6) He that formeth you, &c., i.e., "tall or short, male or female, black or white, deformed or perfect, beautiful or ugly, good and fortunate, or wretched and miserable."-Tafsír-i-Raufi.

(7) Some verses clear, . . . others are parabolical. "This passage is translated according to the exposition of al Zamakhsharí‍and Baidháwi, which seems to be the truest.

"The contents of the Qurán are here distinguished into such passages as are to be taken in the literal sense, and such as require a figurative acceptation. The former, being plain and obvious to be understood, compose the fundamental part, or, as the original expresses it, the mother of the book, and contain the principal doctrines and precepts, agreeably to and consistently with which, those passages which are wrapt up in metaphors and delivered in enigmatical, allegorical style are always to be interpreted." See Prelim. Disc., P. 113.-Sale.

On this subject, Hughes, in his Notes on Muhammadanism, pp. 32-34, second edition, writes as follows:-"The sentences ('Ibárat) of the Qurán are either Zahir or Khafi, i.e., either obvious or hidden. "Obvious sentences are of four classes: záhir, nass, mufassar, muhkam.


"Záhir those sentences the meaning of which is obvious or clear without any assistance from the context, &c.

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Hidden sentences are either khafi, mushkil, mujmal, or mutashabih," i.e., "hidden,' ambiguous," "compendious," or "intricate." We have therefore in this passage the foundation principle of Muslim exegesis. See also the Tafsir-i-Raufi in loco.

None knoweth the interpretation, &c. Sale has followed the interpretation of the Sunní or orthodox sect in this translation. The Shiál sect, however, dissents from an interpretation which makes God say that he has revealed what is not after all a revelation. They, therefore, understand this sentence as being closely connected with the one following, as the original will very well allow, and render the passage thus: "None knoweth the interpretation thereof except God AND those who are well grounded in the knowledge which


grounded in the knowledge say, We believe therein, the whole is from our LORD; and none will consider except the prudent. (8) O LORD, cause not our hearts to swerve from truth, after thou hast directed us and give us from thee mercy, for thou art he who giveth. (9) O LORD, thou shalt surely gather mankind together, unto a day of resurrection: there is no doubt of it, for GOD will not be contrary to the promise.

|| (10) As for the infidels, their wealth shall not profit them anything, nor their children, against GOD: they shall be the fuel of hell fire. (11) According to the wont of the people of Pharaoh, and of those who went before them, they charged our signs with a lie; but GOD caught them in their wickedness, and GOD is severe in punishing. (12) Say unto those who believe not, Ye shall be overcome, and thrown together into hell; and an unhappy couch shall it be. (13) Ye have already had a miracle shown you in two armies,

say, &c. By "those who are well grounded in the knowledge," they understand the Imams of their own sect. This interpretation, however, does not avail them much, inasmuch as they are dependent on the fallible testimony of the traditionists for a knowledge of the dictum of the Imáms; and, amidst the conflict of witnesses, most men would be ready to say with the text, "None knoweth the interpretation thereof except God."

The principle enunciated in this verse should not be forgotten by Christians when called upon by Muslims to explain some of the obscure passages of the Bible or the mysteries of our religion.

(8) O Lord, &c. Muslims understand all prayers of this kind found in the Quán as introduced by the word "say." See notes in chap. i. This prayer is dictated by the third clause of the preceding verse, and is connected with that passage thus: "They who are well grounded, say O Lord," &c.

(9) A day, &c. Rodwell gives the correct rendering of this passage thus: "For the day of whose coming there is not a doubt, thou wilt surely gather mankind together." So too the Urdú and Persian translations.

(11) They charged our signs with a lie. Muhammad again likens himself to Moses and other prophets, whose message had been treated with contempt by infidels like unto the Jews and Quraish of his time.

(12) Ye shall be overcome. These defiant words, addressed to the enemies of Islám, and to the Quraish in particular, were inspired by the Muslim victory at Badr, A.H. 2.

(13) Ye have already had a miracle shown you. "The sign or

which attacked each other: one army fought for GOD's true religion, but the other were infidels; they saw the faithful twice as many as themselves in their eyesight; for GOD strengthened with his help whom he pleaseth. Surely herein was an example unto men of understanding. (14)

miracle here meant was the victory by Muhammad in the second year of the Hijra over the idolatrous Makkans. . . in the valley of Badr. . . . Muhammad's forces consisted of no more than three hundred and nineteen men, but the enemy's army of near a thousand, notwithstanding which odds he put them to flight, having killed seventy of the principal Quraish" (forty-nine, see Muir's Life of Mahomet, vol. iii. p. 107, note), "and taken as many prisoners, with the loss of only fourteen of his own men. This was the first victory obtained by the Prophet; and though it may seem no very considerable action, yet it was of great advantage to him, and the foundation of all his future power and success. For which reason it is famous in the Arabian history, and more than once vaunted in the Qurán (chap. viii. 45, 46) as an effect of the divine assistance. The miracle, it is said, consisted in three things: 1. Muhammad, by the direction of the Angel Gabriel, took a handful of gravel and threw it towards the enemy in the attack, saying, May their fuces be confounded; whereupon they immediately turned their backs and fled. But though the Prophet seemingly threw the gravel himself, yet it is told in the Qurán (chap. viii. 17) that it was not he, but God, who threw it, that is to say, by the ministry of his angel. 2. The Muhammadan troops seemed to the infidels to be twice as many in number as themselves, which greatly discouraged them. And 3. God sent down to their assistance first a thousand, and afterwards three thousand angels, led by Gabriel, mounted on his horse Haizúm; and, according to the Qurán (chap. viii. 17), these celestial auxiliaries really did all the execution, though Muhammad's men imagined themselves did it, and fought stoutly at the same time.”—Sale.

There is a discrepancy between the statement of this verse and that of chap. viii. 46. Here the miracle consists in the dismay wrought among the Quraish by magnifying the number of Muslims in their eyes; but there it is recorded that "when he caused them to appear unto you when ye met to be few in your eyes, and diminished your number in their eyes." In this verse the miracle consisted in encouraging the Muslims by diminishing the number of those of Makkah and in luring on the Quraish to destruction by making the number of their adversaries appear even less than it really was. The commentators reconcile these statements by making the former to succeed the latter in time. Considering the number of angels called in to assist the Muslims on this occasion, one would infer that the angelic hosts of Islám were not highly gifted in the art of war. Compare Isa. xxxvii. 36, but see below, ver. 123, note, and on chap. viii. 45, 46.


The love and eager desire of wives, and children, and sums heaped up of gold and silver, and excellent horses, and cattle, and land, is prepared for men: this is the provision of the present life; but unto GOD shall be the most excellent return. (15) Say, Shall I declare unto you better things than this? For those who are devout are prepared with their LORD gardens through which rivers flow; therein shall they continue for ever: and they shall enjoy wives free from impurity, and the favour of GOD; for GOD regardeth his servants, (16) who say, O LORD, we do sincerely believe; forgive us therefore our sins, and deliver us from the pain of hell fire: (17) the patient, and the lovers of truth, and the devout, and the almsgivers, and those who ask pardon early in the morning. (18) GOD hath borne witness that there is no GOD but he; and the angels, and those who are endowed with wisdom, profess the same; who executeth righteousness; there is no GOD but he; the mighty, the wise.

(19) Verily the true religion in the sight of GOD is

(15) Shall I declare unto you better things than this? This verse, taken in connection with the preceding, clearly shows that the joys of the Muslim heaven are carnal. "The provision of the present life," viz., women, gold and silver, horses, cattle, and land, were such as could alone gratify the "eager desire" of an Arab in this life. All these are to be infinitely multiplied amid the pavilions and gardens of paradise. See also notes on chap. ii. 25.

The attempt to explain these passages as figurative and symbolical of spiritual blessing, while sanctioned by the teaching of some Muslim writers, does violence to the language of the Qurán as well as to the faith of the orthodox in all ages of Islám. It is unfair to quote in evidence the dreamy statements of the Súfís or the rationalistic pleading of modern free-thinkers. These are alike regarded as infidels by the orthodox Muhammadan. There cannot be a shadow of a doubt that the heaven of Muslims is a place of sensual delights. No orthodox Muslim commentator takes any other view, "and it is impossible for any candid mind to read the Qurán and the traditions and arrive at any other conclusion on the subject." See Hughes's Notes on Muhammadanism, 2d ed., pp. 91-95.

God regardeth his servants who say, &c. The ground of forgiveness, as here stated, is faith in Islám and obedience to its precepts. (19) The true religion... is Islám. "The proper name of the Muhammadan religion, which signifies the resigning or devoting one's self entirely to God and his service. This they say is the religion

Islám: and they who had received the scriptures dissented not therefrom, until after the knowledge of God's unity had come unto them, out of envy among themselves; but whosoever believeth not in the signs of GOD, verily GOD will be swift in bringing him to account. (20) If they dispute with thee, say, I have resigned myself unto GOD, and he who followeth me doth the same; and say unto them who have received the scriptures, and to the ignorant, Do ye profess the religion of Islám? now if they embrace Islám, they are surely directed; but if they turn their backs, verily unto thee belongeth preaching only; for GOD regardeth his servants.

|| (21) And unto those who believe not in the signs of R 11 GOD, and slay the prophets without a cause, and put those men to death who teach justice; denounce unto them a painful punishment. (22) These are they whose works perish in this world, and in that which is to come; and they shall have none to help them. (23) Hast thou not observed those unto whom part of the scripture was

which all the prophets were sent to teach, being founded on the unity of God."-Sale, Jalaluddin.

See also below, on vers. 83, 84.

They who had received the Scriptures dissented, &c. The meaning of this passage seems to be that Jews and Christians belonged to this true religion of Islám until the revelation of the Qurán came. They were then filled with envy, and on this account dissented from the truth.

Muhammad, therefore, again attests the truth of Judaism and Christianity, and in this passage seems clearly to state that the Jews and Christians were the followers of the true religion up to the date of his prophetic claim. If so, a comparison of the religions will show how far Islám falls short of being the true religion taught by the prophets and Jesus, and also how far the charge of envy is justified.

(20) Do ye profess Islám? See Rodwell's note on this passage. The mission of Muhammad thus far was that of a preacher only. Although the enemies of Islám were threatened, the policy of Muhammed was as yet purely defensive.

(21, 22) The Jews are referred to in these verses. of the opposition is very marked.

The intensity

(23) Part of the Scripture, i.e., the Scriptures given to the Jews. This verse shows clearly that these Jews possessed copies of the Scriptures attested as the word of God by the Qurán. Some com

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