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Sura V — The Table

by Rev. G. Margoliouth, M.A.

Medina — 120 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

O BELIEVERS! be faithful to your engagements. You are allowed the flesh of cattle other than what is hereinafter recited, except game, which is not allowed you while ye are on pilgrimage. Verily, God ordaineth what he pleaseth.

O Believers! violate neither the rites of God, nor the sacred month Muharram, nor the offering, nor its ornaments[1261] , nor those who press on to the sacred house seeking favour from their Lord and his good pleasure in them.

But when all is over[1262] , then take to the chase: and let not ill will at those[1263] who would have kept you from the sacred mosque lead you to transgress[1264] , but rather be helpful to one another according to goodness and piety, but be not helpful for evil and malice: and fear ye God. Verily, God is severe in punishing!

That which dieth of itself, and blood, and swine's flesh, and all that hath been sacrificed under the invocation of any other name than that of God, and the strangled, and the killed by a blow, or by a fall, or by goring[1265] , and that which hath been eaten by beasts of prey, unless ye make it clean by giving the death-stroke yourselves, and that which hath been sacrificed on the blocks of stone[1266] , is forbidden you: and to make division of the slain by consulting the arrows,[1267] is impiety in you. Woe this day on those who forsake your religion! And fear them not, but fear Me.

This day have I perfected your religion for you, and have filled up the measure of my favours upon you: and it is my pleasure that Islam be your religion; but whoso without wilful leanings to wrong shall be forced by hunger to transgress, to him,verily, will God be Indulgent, Merciful.

They will ask thee what is made lawful for them. Say: Those things which are good[1268] are legalised to you, and the prey of beasts of chase which ye have trained like dogs, teaching them as God hath taught you. Eat, therefore, of what they shall catch for you, and make mention of the name of God over it, and fear God: Verily, Swift is God to reckon:

This day, things healthful are legalised to you, and the meats of those who have received the Scriptures are allowed to you, as your meats are to them. And you are permitted to marry virtuous women who are believers, and virtuous women of those who have received the Scriptures before you, when you shall have provided them their portions, living chastely with them without fornication, and without taking concubines. Vain the works of him who shall renounce the faith! and in the next world he shall be of the lost.

O Believers! when ye address yourselves to prayer, wash your faces, and your hands up to the elbow, and wipe your heads, and your feet to the ankles.

And if ye have become unclean, then purify yourselves. But if ye are sick, or on a journey, or if one of you come from the place of retirement, or if ye have touched women, and ye find no water, then take clean sand and rub your faces and your hands with it.[1269] God desireth not to lay a burden upon you, but he desireth to purify you, and He would fill up the measure of His favour upon you, that ye may be grateful.

And remember the favour of God upon you, and His covenant which He hath covenanted with you, when ye said, "We have heard and will obey;"[1270] and fear God; verily, God knoweth the very secrets of the breast.

O Believers! stand up as witnesses for God by righteousness: and let not ill-will at any, induce you not to act uprightly. Act uprightly. Next will this be to the fear of God. And fear ye God: verily, God is apprised of what ye do.

God hath promised to those who believe, and do the things that are right, that for them is pardon and a great reward.

But they who are Infidels and treat our signs as lies—these shall be mated with Hell fire.

O Believers! recollect God's favour upon you, when[1271] certain folk were minded to stretch forth their hands against you, but He kept their hands from you. Fear God then: and on God let the faithful trust.

Of old did God accept the covenant of the children of Israel,[1272] and out of them we raised up twelve leaders, and God said, "Verily, I will be with you. If ye observe prayer and pay the obligatory alms, and believe in my Apostles and help them, and lend God a liberal loan, I will surely put away from you your evil deeds, and I will bring you into gardens 'neath which the rivers flow! But whoso of you after this believeth not, hath gone astray from the even path."

But for their breaking their covenant we have cursed them, and have hardened their hearts. They shift the words of Scripture from their places, and have forgotten part of what they were taught. Thou wilt not cease to discover deceit on their part, except in a few of them. But forgive them, and pass it over: verily, God loveth those who act generously!

And of those who say, "We are Christians," have we accepted the covenant. But they too have forgotten a part of what they were taught; wherefore we have stirred up enmity and hatred among them that shall last till the day of the Resurrection; and in the end will God tell them of their doings.

O people of the Scriptures! now is our Apostle come to you to clear up to you much that ye concealed of those Scriptures, and to pass over many things. Now hath a light and a clear Book come to you from God, by which God will guide him who shall follow after his good pleasure, to paths of peace, and will bring them out of the darkness to the light, by his will: and to the straight path will he guide them.

Infidels now are they who say, "Verily God is the Messiah Ibn Maryam (son of Mary)!" SAY: And who could aught obtain from God, if he chose to destroy the Messiah Ibn Maryam, and his mother, and all who are on the earth together?

For with God is the sovereignty of the Heavens and of the Earth, and of all that is between them! He createth what He will; and over all things is God potent.

Say the Jews and Christians, "Sons are we of God and his beloved." SAY: Why then doth he chastise you for your sins? Nay! ye are but a part of the men whom he hath created! He will pardon whom he pleaseth, and chastise whom he pleaseth, and with God is the sovereignty of the Heavens and of the Earth, and of all that is between them, and unto Him shall all things return.

O people of the Book! now hath our Apostle come to you to clear up to you the cessation[1273] of Apostles, lest you should say, "There hath come to us no bearer of good tidings, nor any warner." But now hath a bearer of good tidings and a warner reached you. And God is Almighty.

And remember when Moses said to his people, "O my people! call to mind the goodness of God towards you when he appointed Prophets among you, and appointed you kings, and gave you what never had been given before to any human beings:

Enter, O my people! the holy land which God hath destined for you. Turn not back, lest ye be overthrown to your ruin."

They said, "O Moses! Therein are men of might. And verily, we can by no means enter it till they be gone forth. But if they go forth from it, then verily will we enter in."

Then said two men of those who feared their Lord and to whom God had been gracious, "Enter in upon them by the gate: and when ye enter it, ye overcome! If ye be believers, put ye your trust in God."

They said, "O Moses! never can we enter while they remain therein. Go thou and thy Lord and fight; for here will we sit us down."

He said, "O my Lord, Verily of none am I master but of myself and my brother: put thou therefore a difference between us and this ungodly people."

He said, "Verily the land shall be forbidden them forty years: they shall wander in the earth perplexed. Fret not thyself therefore for the ungodly people."

Relate to them exactly the story of the sons of Adam[1274] when they each offered an offering; accepted from the one of them, and not accepted from the other. The one said, "I will surely slay thee." Said the other, "God only accepted from those that fear Him.

"Even if thou stretch forth thine hand against me to slay me, I will not stretch forth my hand against thee to slay thee. Truly I fear God the Lord of the Worlds.

"Yea, rather would I that thou shouldest bear my sin[1275] and thine own sin, and that thou become an inmate of the Fire: for that is the recompense of the unjust doers."

And his passion led him to slay his brother: and he slew him; and he became one of those who perish.

And God sent a raven which scratched upon the ground, to shew him[1276] how he might hide his brother's wrong.[1277] He said: "O woe is me! am I too weak to become like this raven, and to hide away my brother's wrong?" And he became one of the repentant.

For this cause have we ordained to the children of Israel that he who slayeth any one, unless it be a person guilty of manslaughter, or of spreading disorders in the land, shall be as though he had slain all mankind; but that he who saveth a life, shall be as though he had saved all mankind alive.[1278]

Of old our Apostles came to them with the proofs of their mission; then verily after this most of them committed excesses in the land.

Only, the recompense of those who war against God and his Apostle, and go about to commit disorders on the earth, shall be that they shall be slain or crucified, or have their alternate hands and feet cut off, or be banished the land: This their disgrace in this world, and in the next a great torment shall be theirs—

Except those who, ere you have them in your power, shall repent; for know that God is Forgiving, Merciful.

O ye who believe! fear God. Desire union with Him. Contend earnestly on his path, that you may attain to happiness.

As to the infidels—if that they had twice the riches of the earth to be their ransom from torment on the day of resurrection, it should not be accepted from them! And a dolorous torment shall be their's.

Fain would they come forth from the Fire; but forth from it they shall not come: and a lasting torment shall be their's.

As to the thief, whether man or woman, cut ye off their hands in recompense for their doings.[1279] This is a penalty by way of warning from God himself. And God is Mighty, Wise.

But whoever shall turn him to God after this his wickedness, and amend, God truly will be turned to him: for God is Forgiving, Merciful.

Knowest thou not that the sovereignty of the Heavens and of the Earth is God's? He chastiseth whom He will, and whom He will He forgiveth. And God hath power over all things.

O Apostle! let not those who vie with one another in speeding to infidelity vex thee;—of those who say with their mouths, "We believe," but whose hearts believe not;—or of the Jews listeners to a lie—listeners to others—but who come not to thee. They shift the words of the law from their places, and say, "If this be brought to you, receive it; but if this be not brought to you, then beware of it." For him whom God would mislead, thou canst in no wise prevail with God! They whose hearts God shall not please to cleanse, shall suffer disgrace in this world, and in the next a grievous punishment;

Listeners to a falsehood and greedy devourers of the forbidden![1280] If, therefore, they have recourse to thee, then judge between them, or withdraw from them. If thou withdraw from them, then can they have no power to injure thee. But if thou judge, then judge between them with equity. Verily, God loveth those who deal equitably.

But how shall they make thee their judge, since they possess already the Law, in which are the behests of God, and have not obeyed it? After this, they will turn their backs; but such are not believers.

Verily, we have sent down the law (Towrat) wherein are guidance and light. By it did the prophets who professed Islam judge the Jews; and the doctors and the teachers judged by that portion of the Book of God, of which they were the keepers and the witnesses. Therefore, O Jews! fear not men but fear Me; and barter not away my signs for a mean price! And whoso will not judge by what God hath sent down—such are the Infidels.

And therein[1281] have we enacted for them, "Life for life, and eye for eye, and nose for nose, and ear for ear, and tooth for tooth, and for wounds retaliation:"—Whoso shall compromise it as alms shall have therein the expiation of his sin; and whoso will not judge by what God hath sent down— such are the transgressors.

And in the footsteps of the prophets caused we Jesus, the son of Mary, to follow, confirming the law which was before him: and we gave him the Evangel with its guidance and light, confirmatory of the preceding Law; a guidance and warning to those who fear God;—

And that the people of the Evangel may judge according to what God hath sent down therein. And whoso will not judge by what God hath sent down—such are the perverse.

And to thee we have sent down the Book of the Koran with truth, confirmatory of previous Scriptures, and their safeguard. Judge therefore between them by what God hath sent down, and follow not their desires by deserting the truth which hath come unto thee. To every one of you have we given a rule and a beaten track.

And if God had pleased He had surely made you all one people; but He would test you by what He hath given to each. Be emulous, then, in good deeds. To God shall ye all return, and He will tell you concerning the subjects of your disputes.

Wherefore do thou judge between them, by what God hath sent down, and follow not their wishes! but be on thy guard against them lest they beguile thee from any of those precepts which God hath sent down to thee; and if they turn back, then know thou that for some of their crimes doth God choose to punish them: for truly most men are perverse.

Desire they, therefore, the judgments of the times of(pagan) ignorance? But what better judge can there be than God for those who believe firmly?

O Believers! take not the Jews or Christians[1282] as friends. They are but one another's friends. If any one of you taketh them for his friends, he surely is one of them! God will not guide the evil doers.

So shalt thou see the diseased at heart speed away to them, and say, "We fear lest a change of fortune befall us." But haply God will of himself bring about some victory or event of His own ordering: then soon will they repent them of their secret imaginings.

Then will the faithful say, "What! are these they who swore, by their most solemn oath, that they were surely with you?" Vain their works; and themselves shall come to ruin.

O ye who believe! should any of you desert His religion, God will then raise up a people loved by Him, and loving Him, lowly towards the faithful, haughty towards the Infidels. For the cause of God will they contend, and not fear the blame of the blamer. This is the Grace of God! On whom He will He bestoweth it! God is Vast, Omniscient!

Verily, your protector is God and His Apostle, and those who believe, who observe prayer, and pay the alms of obligation, and who bow in worship.

And whoso take God and His Apostle, and those who believe for friends, they truly are the people of God; they shall have the upper hand.

O ye who believe! take not such of those who have received the Scriptures before you, as scoff and jest at your religion, or the Infidels, for your friends, but fear God if ye are believers:

Nor those who when ye call to prayer, make it an object of raillery and derision. This they do because they are a people who understand not.

SAY:[1283] O people of the Book! do ye not disavow us only because we believe in God, and in what He hath sent down to us, and in what He hath sent down aforetime, and because most of you are doers of ill?

SAY: Can I announce to you any retribution worse than that which awaiteth them with God? They whom God hath cursed and with whom He hath been angry— some of them hath He changed into apes and swine; and they who worship Thagout are in evil plight, and have gone far astray from the right path!

When they presented themselves to you they said, "We believe;" but Infidels they came in unto you, and Infidels they went forth! God well knew what they concealed.

Many of them shalt thou see hastening together to wickedness and malice, and to eat unlawful things. Shame on them for what they have done!

Had not their doctors and teachers forbidden their uttering wickedness, and their eating unlawful food, bad indeed would have been their doings!

"The hand of God," say the Jews, "is chained up."[1284] Their own hands shall be chained up—and for that which they have said shall they be cursed. Nay! outstretched are both His hands! At His own pleasure does He bestow gifts. That which hath been sent down to thee from thy Lord will surely increase the rebellion and unbelief of many of them; and we have put enmity and hatred between them that shall last till the day of the Resurrection. Oft as they kindle a beacon fire for war shall God quench it! and their aim will be to abet disorder on the earth: but God loveth not the abettors of disorder.

But if the people of the Book believe and have the fear of God, we will surely put away their sins from them, and will bring them into gardens of delight: and if that they observe the law and the Evangel, and what hath been sent down to them from their Lord, they shall surely have their fill of good things from above them and from beneath their feet. Some there are among them who act aright; but many of them—how evil are their doings!

O Apostle! proclaim all that hath been sent down to thee from thy Lord: for if thou do it not, thou hast not proclaimed His message at all. And God will protect thee from evil men: verily, God guideth not the unbelievers.

SAY: O people of the Book! ye have no ground to stand on, until ye observe the Law and the Evangel, and that which hath been sent down to you from your Lord.[1285] The Book which hath been sent down to thee from thy Lord will certainly increase the rebellion and unbelief of many of them; but, be not thou troubled for the unbelievers.

Verily, they who believe, and the Jews, and the Sabeites,[1286] and the Christians—whoever of them believeth in God and in the last day, and doth what is right, on them shall come no fear, neither shall they be put to grief.

Of old we accepted the covenant of the children of Israel, and sent Apostles to them. Oft as an Apostle came to them with that for which they had no desire, some they treated as liars, and some they slew;[1287]

And they reckoned that no harm would come of it:—but they became blind and deaf! Then was God turned unto them: then many of them again became blind and deaf! but God beheld what they did.

Infidels now are they who say, "God is the Messiah, Son of Mary;" for the Messiah said, "O children of Israel! worship God, my Lord and your Lord." Whoever shall join other gods with God, God shall forbid him the Garden, and his abode shall be the Fire; and the wicked shall have no helpers.

They surely are Infidels who say, "God is the third of three:" for there is no God but one God: and if they refrain not from what they say, a grievous chastisement shall light on such of them as are Infidels.

Will they not, therefore, be turned unto God, and ask pardon of Him? since God is Forgiving, Merciful!

The Messiah, Son of Mary, is but an Apostle; other Apostles have flourished before him; and his mother was a just[1288] person: they both ate food.[1289] Behold! how we make clear to them the signs! then behold how they turn aside!

SAY: Will ye worship, beside God, that which can neither hurt nor help? But God! He only Heareth, Knoweth.

SAY: O people of the Book! outstep not bounds of truth in your religion; neither follow the desires of those who have already gone astray, and who have caused many to go astray, and have themselves gone astray from the evenness of the way.

Those among the children of Israel who believed not were cursed by the tongue of David,[1290] and of Jesus, Son of Mary. This, because they were rebellious, and became transgressors: they forbade not one another the iniquity which they wrought! detestable are their actions!

Thou shalt see many of them make friends of the infidels. Evil the actions which their own passions have sent on beforehand; for God is angry with them, and in torment shall they abide for ever:

But, if they had believed in God, and the Prophet, and the Koran which hath been sent down to him, they had not taken them for their friends; but perverse are most of them.

Of all men thou wilt certainly find the Jews, and those who join other gods with God, to be the most intense in hatred of those who believe; and thou shalt certainly find those to be nearest in affection to them who say, "We are Christians." This, because some of them are priests and monks,[1291] and because they are free from pride.

And when they hear that which hath been sent down to the Apostle, thou seest their eyes overflow with tears at the truth they recognise therein, saying, "O our Lord! we believe; write us down therefore with those who bear witness to it.

And why should we not believe in God, and in the truth which hath come down to us, and crave that our Lord would bring us into Paradise with the Just?"

Therefore hath God rewarded them for these their words, with gardens 'neath which the rivers flow; they shall abide therein for ever: this the reward of the righteous! But they who believe not and treat our signs as lies shall be the inmates of Hell-fire.

O ye who believe! interdict not the healthful viands which God hath allowed you; go not beyond this limit. God loveth not those who outstep it.[1292]

And eat of what God hath given you for food, that which is lawful and wholesome: and fear God, in whom ye believe.

God will not punish you for a mistaken word in your oaths: but he will punish you in regard to an oath taken seriously.[1293] Its expiation shall be to feed ten poor persons with such middling food as ye feed your own families with, or to clothe them; or to set free a captive. But he who cannot find means, shall fast three days. This is the expiation of your oaths when ye shall have sworn. Keep then your oaths. Thus God maketh his signs clear to you, that ye may give thanks.

O believers! surely wine and games of chance,[1294] and statues, and the divining arrows, are an abomination of Satan's work! Avoid them, that ye may prosper.

Only would Satan sow hatred and strife among you, by wine and games of chance, and turn you aside from the remembrance of God, and from prayer: will ye not, therefore, abstain from them? Obey God and obey the Apostle, and be on your guard: but if ye turn back, know that our Apostle is only bound to deliver a plain announcement.

No blame shall attach to those who believe and do good works, in regard to any food they have taken, in case they fear God and believe, and do the things that are right, and shall still fear God and believe, and shall still fear him, and do good; for God loveth those who do good.

O ye who believe! God will surely make trial of you with such game as ye may take with your hands, or your lances, that God may know who feareth him in secret: and whoever after this transgresseth, shall suffer a grievous chastisement.

O believers![1295] kill no game while ye are on pilgrimage. Whosoever among you shall purposely kill it, shall comsent pensate for it in domestic animals of equal value (according to the judgment of two just persons among you), to be brought as an offering to the Caaba; or in expiation thereof shall feed the poor; or as the equivalent of this shall fast, that he may taste the ill consequence of his deed. God forgiveth what is past; but whoever doth it again, God will take vengeance on him; for God is mighty and vengeance is His.

It is lawful for you to fish in the sea, and to eat fish, as provision for you and for those who travel; but it is unlawful for you to hunt by land while ye are still on pilgrimage: fear ye God, therefore, before whom ye shall be assembled.

God hath appointed the Caaba,[1296] the sacred house, to be a station for mankind, and the sacred month, and the offering, and its ornaments. This, that ye may know that God knoweth all that is in the heavens and on the earth, and that God hath knowledge of everything. Know that God is severe in punishing, and that God is Forgiving, Merciful.

The Apostle is only bound to preach: and God knoweth what ye bring to light, and what ye conceal.

SAY: The evil and the good shall not be valued alike, even though the abundance of evil please thee; therefore fear God, O ye of understanding! that it may be well with you.

O believers! ask us not of things which if they were told might only pain you; but if ye ask of such things when the entire Koran shall have been sent down, they will be declared to you: God will pardon you for this, for God is Forgiving, Gracious. They who were before you, asked concerning such things, and afterwards quickly disbelieved therein

God hath not ordained anything on the subject. of Bahira, or Saïba, or Wasila, or Hami;[1297] but the unbelievers have invented this lie against God: and most of them had no understanding.

And when it was said to them, "Accede to that which God hath sent down, and to the Apostle:" they said, "Sufficient for us is the faith in which we found our fathers." What! though their fathers knew nothing, and had no guidance?

O believers! take heed to yourselves.[1298] He who erreth shall not hurt you when ye have the "guidance:" to God shall ye all return, and He will tell you that which ye have done.

O believers! let there be witnesses between you, when death draweth nigh to any of you, at the time of making the testament; two witnesses—just men from among yourselves, or two others of a different tribe from yourselves—if ye be journeying in the earth, and the calamity of death surprise you. Ye shall shut them both up, after the prayer; and if ye doubt them, they shall swear by God, "We will not take a bribe though the party be of kin to us, neither will we conceal the testimony of God, for then we should be among the wicked."

But if it shall be made clear that both have been guilty of a falsehood, two others of those who have convicted them thereof, the two nearest in blood shall stand up in their place, and they shall swear by God, "Verily our witness is more true than the witness of these two; neither have we advanced anything untrue, for then should we be of the unjust."

Thus will it be easier for men to bear a true[1299] witness, or fear lest after their oath another oath be given. Therefore fear God and hearken; for God guideth not the perverse.

One day will God assemble the Apostles, and say, "What reply was made to you?" They shall say, "We have no knowledge, but Thou art the Knower of Secrets."

When He shall say: O Jesus! Son of Mary! call to mind my favour upon thee and upon thy mother, when I strengthened thee with the Holy Spirit, that thou shouldest speak[1300] to men alike in the cradle, and when grown up;—

And when I taught thee the Scripture, and Wisdom, and the Law, and the Evangel: and thou didst create of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, by my leave, and didst breathe into it, and by my leave it became a bird; and thou didst heal the blind and the leper, by my leave; and when, by my leave, thou didst bring forth the dead; and when I withheld the children of Israel from thee, when thou hadst come to them with clear tokens: and such of them as believed not said, "This is nought but plain sorcery;"[1301]

And when I revealed unto the Apostles, "Believe on me and on my Sent One," they said, "We believe; and bear thou witness that we are Muslims."

Remember when the Apostles[1302] said—"O Jesus, Son of Mary! is thy Lord able to send down a furnished TABLE to us out of Heaven?" He said—"Fear God if ye be believers."

They said—"We desire to eat therefrom, and to have our hearts assured; and to know that thou hast indeed spoken truth to us, and to be witnesses thereof."

Jesus, Son of Mary, said—"O God, our Lord! send down a table to us out of Heaven, that it may become a recurring festival to us, to the first of us and to the last of us, and a sign from thee; and do thou nourish us, for thou art the best of nourishers."

And God said—Verily, I will cause it to descend unto you; but whoever among you after that shall disbelieve, I will surely chastise him with a chastisement, wherewith I will not chastise any other creature.[1303]

And when God shall say—"O Jesus, Son of Mary: hast thou said unto mankind— 'Take me and my mother as two Gods, beside God?"' He shall say—"Glory be unto Thee! it is not for me to say that which I know to be not the truth; had I said that, verily thou wouldest have known it: Thou knowest what is in me, but I know not what is in Thee; for Thou well knowest things unseen!

"I spake not to them aught but that which thou didst bid me—'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 Thyself watched them, and Thou art witness of all things:

"If Thou punish them, they are Thy servants, and if Thou forgive them. . . .[1304] Thou, verily, art the Mighty, the Wise!"

God will say—This day shall their truth advantage the truthful. Gardens shall they have 'neath which the rivers flow, and remain therein for ever: God is well pleased with them and they with Him. This shall be the great bliss.

Unto God belongeth the sovereignty of the Heavens and of the Earth, and of all that they contain; and He hath power over all things.



[1261] The garlands, etc., attached to the victims offered at Mecca.

[1262] When you have again returned to your common and everyday life by laying aside the ihram, or pilgrim's robe. This generally consists of two pieces of cotton, or linen, or woollen cloth, without seam or ornament, one of which is wrapped round the loins, and the other thrown over the shoulders. The instep, heel, and head must be bare.

[1263] The Koreisch sent to meet Muhammad, who was on his way to visit the Caaba with 1400 men, at Hudaibiya (An. Hej. 6) to prohibit his nearer approach. A truce for ten years was ultimately concluded.

[1264] By making war in the holy month.

[1265] Comp. Tract Cholin, c. 3.

[1266] Lit. on blocks or shafts of stone. These were set up by the pagan Arabs in front of their houses for the purpose of sacrificing thereon. See Freytag's Einl. p. 462, and Tr. Cholin, p. 39, 40, 41.

[1267] It was the custom to draw lots for joints of a camel with arrows, some feathered and others unfeathered, kept for this purpose in the temple of Mecca. See Pocock, Spec. Hist. Ar., under the word Hobal.

[1268] In the sense of sound, healthful.

[1269] Thus Talm. Tr. Berachoth, 46.

[1270] This refers to the oath of fidelity which Muhammad's followers took at Al Akaba. Abulf. Vit.Moh.p.43.

[1271] It is quite uncertain to what events this refers. The commentators narrate, and have doubtless invented, various incidents as having occasioned it.

[1272] Verses 15-38 belong probably to the period shortly before the taking of Chaibar in the beginning of Hej. 7. It is remarkable that Muhammad, although he has invented these twelve leaders of tribes, should nowhere mention the number of the Apostles. There is no doubt, however, from the ancient biographies, that he chose twelve assistants for the propagation of Islam. See Gagnier, Vie de M. ii. xvi.

[1273] The space between the mission of different prophets.

[1274] Called by the Arabians Habeel and Kabeel. The dialogue between Cain and Abel is slightly varied from that given in Targ. Jerus. on Gen. iv. 8, and Jonath. Ben Uzziel.

[1275] Or, the sin against me, i.e. of slaying me.

[1276] In the Jewish tradition the raven shews the mode of burial to Adam, not to Cain. Pirke R. Elieser, c. 21. Midr. fol. II ap. Weil (Legenden, p. 39).

[1277] Or, corpse.

[1278] Thus Mischn. Sanhedr. iv. 5, "We find it said in the case of Cain who murdered his brother—'The voice of thy brother's bloods crieth'—It is not said, blood of thy brother, but bloods, i.e. his blood and the blood of his seed. Therefore was man created single, in order to shew that to him who kills a single individual of Israel it shall be reckoned as if he had slain the whole race, and that he, etc." precisely as in the text. Comp. also the same form of expression in Bab. Tal, Kidush, § 1, "If one fulfil but one commandment, he causes the scale of innocence to preponderate for himself and the whole world; but if he commit one sin, he causes the scale of guilt to preponderate for himself and the whole world."

[1279] Muhammad is said by the early traditionists to have punished a woman who had been guilty of theft in this manner while on the route to Mecca previous to its capture. We are, therefore, able to fix the date of verses 39-44.

[1280] Usury, bribes.

[1281] Ex. xxi. 23-27.

[1282] This may refer to proposals made to the Muslims to enter into alliance with the Jews and Christians against the heathen, after the reverse at Ohod. Lane observes (Mod. Egyptians, i. 358) with regard to this precept, that "of the leading features of the character of the Mooslims none is more remarkable than their religious pride. They regard persons of every other faith as the children of perdition; and such the Mooslim is early taught to despise." They are, however, "as remarkable for their toleration as for their contempt of unbelievers."

[1283] Weil suggests that verses 64-88 were revealed subsequently to contests with the Jews, but before Muhammad had broken with the Christians, i.e. between Hej. 4 and 8.

[1284] That is, God has ceased to be bounteous. The Muslims believe that at the day of judgment all the Jews will appear with the right hand tied to the neck.

[1285] That is, the Koran. The Jew was to retain a faith in the Towrât, or Law; the Christian in the Injil, or Gospel; but both Jews and Christians were to receive the Koran as the complement of both.

[1286] See Sura [xci.] ii. 59, p. 344.

[1287] I Thess. ii. 15.

[1288] Did not give herself out to be a goddess. Djelal.

[1289] That is, were human beings, and subject to the usual wants and liabilities of ordinary persons.

[1290] See Sura ii. 61, p. 344. Mark viii. 30.

[1291] Geiger derives both the Arabic words from Syriac terms, and renders elders and clerics, p. 51. But the root of the Arabic word rendered monk is generally said to be rahaba, to fear.

[1292] Comp. Sura [cix.] 1xvi. 2. The date of verses 89-91 is therefore probably Hej. 7.

[1293] If you violate it.

[1294] See verse 4. Tradition has expanded the word ansab, so as to include all figures, and hence the strict observers of the letter of the Koran forbid the game of chess. The Persians, however, and Indians generally interpret this verse more liberally.

[1295] This and the two following verses are placed by the commentators in the year of Hudaibiya, as also 98, 99, 100.

[1296] That is, Cube-House. Maison Carrée. It is also commonly called the Bait Ullah, House of God. The Caaba is an oblong massive structure 55 ft. in length, 45 in breadth, and the height somewhat greater than the length. At the S.E. corner is the famous Hajar El-Aswad, or Black Stone, according to Lieut. Burton, an undoubted aerolite. It is figured in Mr. Muir's "Life of Mahomet." The Caaba stands in an open parallelogram of about 500 ft. by 530 ft. and is surrounded by colonnades, the pillars of which, made of various marbles, some Egyptian but mostly Meccan, stand in a quadruple row on the east side, and three deep on the other sides, and amount to 554. It has been rebuilt several times, but has not been materially altered since A.H. 1040.

[1297] Names given to the sacred animals which were marked and allowed to range for pasture at liberty. The dedicated mother-camel was the Saiba; the Wasila included also goats or ewes; the eleventh female offspring of the camel was Bahira; the dedicated stallion was Hami. These forms of superstition grew up, obviously, from a remote period, out of the intense affection of the Bedouin for his flocks, especially his horses and camels.

[1298] Lit. on you your souls.

[1299] Lit. upon its face, i.e. according to its plain scope.

[1300] See Evang. Infant. c. 1, Invenimus in libro Josephi Pontificis qui vixit tempore Christi, Jesum locutum esse, et quidem cum in cunis jaceret, etc. The date of verse 108 to the end is uncertain.

[1301] Precisely the same expression is applied to our Lord in the Arabic Evang. Infantiæ, c. 36 at the end, which also relates the story of the Birds.

[1302] Ar. El-hawariyin, a different word from that used for Jesus, Hud, Saleh, and the other apostles par excellence. The root of the word is the Æthiopic hawyra, to go, send; hence the Church is called in Æthiopic the Beth chrestyan ant hawariyat, i.e. Apostolic. See, however, the note on Thilo's Cod. Apoc. p. 152, who derives from the root hur, to be white, pure; hence, friends, helpers.

[1303] Comp. 1 Cor. xi. 27, sqq.—Muhammad obviously refers to the Eucharist.

[1304] Thou hast a right to do so as their Lord.


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