Page images

tween them shall be cut in sunder; the followers shall say, If we could return to life, we would separate ourselves from them, as they have now separated themselves from us. So God will show them their works; they shall sigh grievously, and shall not come forth from the fire of hell. O men, eat of that which is lawful and good on the earth; and tread not in the steps of the devil, for he is your open enemy. Verily he commandeth you evil and wickedness, and that ye should say that of God which ye know not. And when it is said unto them who believe not, Follow that which God hath sent down; they answer, Nay, but we will follow that which we found our fathers practise. What? though their fathers knew nothing, and were not rightly directed? The unbelievers are like unto one who crieth aloud to that which heareth not so much as his calling, or the sound of his voice. They are deaf, dumb, and blind, therefore they do not understand.

O true believers, eat of the good things which we have bestowed on you for food, and return thanks unto God, if ye serve him. Verily he hath forbidden you to eat that which dieth of itself, and blood, and swine's flesh, and that on which any other name but God's hath been invocated. But he who is forced by necessity, not lusting, nor returning to transgress, it shall be no crime in him if he eat of those things, for God is gracious and merciful.

Moreover they who conceal any part of the scripture which God hath sent down unto them, and sell it for a small price, they shall swallow into their bellies nothing but fire; God shall not speak unto them on the day of resurrection, neither shall he purify them, and they shall suffer a grievous punishment. These are they who have sold direction for error, and pardon for punishment: but how great will their suffering be in the fire! This they shall endure, because God sent down the book of the Koran with truth, and they who disagree concerning that book are certainly in a wide mistake.

It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces in prayer toward the east and the west, but righteousness is of him who believeth in God, and the last day, and the angels, and the scriptures, and the prophets; who giveth money for God's

sake unto his kindred, and unto orphans, and the needy, and the stranger, and those who ask, and for redemption of captives; who is constant at prayer, and giveth alms; and of those who perform their covenant, when they have covenanted, and who behave themselves patiently in adversity, and hardships, and in time of violence: these are they who are true, and these are they who fear God.

O true believers, the law of retaliation is ordained you for the slain: the free shall die for the free, and the servant for the servant, and a woman for a woman: but he whom his brother shall forgive may be prosecuted, and obliged to make satisfaction according to what is just, and a fine shall be set on him with humanity. This is indulgence from your Lord, and mercy. And he who shall transgress after this, by killing the murderer, shall suffer a grievous punishment. And in this law of retaliation ye have life, O ye of understanding, that peradventure ye may fear.

It is ordained you, when any of you is at the point of death, if he leave any goods, that he bequeath a legacy to his parents, and kindred, according to what shall be reasonable. This is a duty incumbent on those who fear God. But he who shall change the legacy, after he hath heard it bequeathed by the dying person, surely the sin thereof shall be on those who change it, for God is he who heareth and knoweth. Howbeit he who apprehendeth from the testator any mistake or injustice, and shall compose the matter between them, that shall be no crime in him, for God is gracious and merciful.

O true believers, a fast is ordained you, as it was ordained unto those before you, that ye may fear God. A certain number of days shall ye fast: but he among you who shall be sick, or on a journey, shall fast an equal number of other days. And those who can keep it, and do not, must redeem their neglect by maintaining of a poor man. And he who voluntarily dealeth better with the poor man than he is obliged, this shall be better for him. But if ye fast it will be better for you, if ye knew it. The month of Ramadan shall ye fast, in which the Koran was sent down from heaven, a direction unto men, and declarations of direction, and the

distinction between good and evil. Therefore let him among you who shall be present in this month fast the same month; but he who shall be sick, or on a journey, shall fast the like number of other days. God would make this an ease unto you, and would not make it a difficulty unto you; that ye may fufil the number of days, and glorify God, for that he hath directed you, and that ye may give thanks. When my servants ask thee concerning me, Verily I am near; I will hear the prayer of him that prayeth, when he prayeth unto me: but let them harken unto me, and believe in me, that they may be rightly directed.

It is lawful for you on the night of the fast to go in unto your wives, they are a garment unto you, and ye are a garment unto them. God knoweth that ye defraud yourselves therein, wherefore he turneth unto you, and forgiveth you. Now therefore go in unto them; and earnestly desire that which God ordaineth you, and eat and drink, until ye can plainly distinguish a white thread from a black thread by the daybreak: then keep the fast until night, and go not in unto them, but be constantly present in the places of worship. These are the prescribed bounds of God, therefore draw not near them to transgress them. Thus God declareth his signs unto men, that ye may fear him.

Consume not your wealth among yourselves in vain; nor present it unto judges, that ye may devour part of men's substance unjustly, against your own consciences. They will ask thee concerning the phases of the moon. Answer, They are times appointed unto men, and to show the season of the pilgrimage to Mecca. It is not righteousness that ye enter your houses by the back part thereof, but righteousness is of him who feareth God. Therefore enter your houses by their doors; and fear God, that ye may be happy.

And fight for the religion of God against those who fight against you, but transgress not by attacking them first, for God loveth not the transgressors. And kill them wherever ye find them, and turn them out of that whereof they have dispossessed you; for temptation to idolatry is more grievous than slaughter: yet fight not against them in the holy temple,

until they attack you therein; but if they attack you, slay them there. This shall be the reward of the infidels. But if they desist, God is gracious and merciful. Fight therefore against them, until there be no temptation to idolatry, and the religion be God's: but if they desist, then let there be no hostility, except against the ungodly. A sacred month for a sacred month, and the holy limits of Mecca, if they attack you therein, do ye also attack them therein in retaliation; and whoever transgresseth against you by so doing, do ye transgress against him in like manner as he hath transgressed against you, and fear God, and know that God is with those who fear him. Contribute out of your substance toward the defense of the religion of God, and throw not yourselves with your own hands into perdition; and do good, for God loveth those who do good.

Perform the pilgrimage of Mecca, and the visitation of God; and if ye be besieged, send that offering which shall be the easiest; and shave not your heads, until your offering reacheth the place of sacrifice. But whoever among you is sick, or is troubled with any distemper of the head, must redeem the shaving of his head by fasting, or alms, or some offering. When ye are secure from enemies, he who tarrieth in the visitation of the temple of Mecca until the pilgrimage shall bring that offering which shall be the easiest. But he who findeth not anything to offer shall fast three days in the pilgrimage, and seven when ye are returned; they shall be ten days complete. This is incumbent on him whose family shall not be present at the holy temple. And fear God, and know that God is severe in punishing. The pilgrimage must be performed in the known months; whosoever therefore purposeth to go on pilgrimage therein, let him not know a woman, nor transgress, nor quarrel in the pilgrimage. The good which ye do, God knoweth it. Make provision for your journey; but the best provision is piety: and fear me, O ye of understanding. It shall be no crime in you, if ye seek an increase from your Lord, by trading during the pilgrimage. And when ye go in procession from Arafat, remember God

near the holy monument; 15 and remember him for that he hath directed you, although ye were before this of the number of those who go astray. Therefore go in procession from whence the people go in procession, and ask pardon of God, for God is gracious and merciful. And when ye have finished your holy ceremonies, remember God, according as ye remember your fathers, or with a more reverent commemoration.

There are some men who say, O Lord, give us our portion in this world; but such shall have no portion in the next life: and there are others who say, O Lord, give us good in this world, and also good in the next world, and deliver us from the torment of hell fire. They shall have a portion of that which they have gained: God is swift in taking an account. Remember God appointed the number of days: but if any haste to depart from the valley of Mina in two days, it shall be no crime in him. And if any tarry longer, it shall be no crime in him, in him who feareth God. Therefore fear God, and know that unto him ye shall be gathered.

There is a man who causeth thee to marvel 16 by his speech concerning this present life, and calleth God to witness that which is in his heart, yet he is most intent in opposing thee; and when he turneth away from thee, he hasteth to act corruptly in the earth, and to destroy that which is sown, and springeth up: but God loveth not corrupt doing. And if one say unto him, Fear God; pride seizeth him, together with wickedness; but hell shall be his reward, and an unhappy couch shall it be. There is also a man who selleth his soul for the sake of those things which are pleasing unto God; and God is gracious unto his servants. O true believers, enter into the true religion wholly, and follow not the steps of

15 In Arabic, al Masher al haram. It is a mountain in the farther part of Mozdalifa, where it is said Mohammed stood praying and praising God, till his face became extremely shining.

16 This person was Al Akhnas Ebn Shoraik, a fair-spoken dissembler, who swore that he believed in Mohammed, and pretended to be one of his friends, and to contemn this world. But God here reveals to the prophet his hypocrisy and wickedness.

« PreviousContinue »