Revealed at Makkah.


THIS chapter owes its title to the meution of the Creator in the first verse. In the same verse mention is made of THE ANGELS, which title is also given in some editions of the Quran.

As to its character and contents, this chapter is so very much like the chapter immediately preceding it as to make the description of one applicable in all essential points to the other.

Probable Date of the Revelations.

As this chapter might very well have been joined on to the one preceding it, there is no need of saying more here than that it belongs to the same date.

Principal Subjects.

God praised as the Sovereign Creator . . . 1, 2
The Quraish exhorted to worship the true God . . . 3
Muhammad told that it is no strange thing for a prophet to be called an impostor ...4
God's promises true, but Satan is a deceiver . . . 5,6
Reward for believers and punishment for infidels sure ... 7, 8
Reprobate sinners shall not be as the righteous before God... 9
The desert made green by rainfall a type of the resurrection. .. 10
God exalteth the righteous but bringeth to nought the devices of sinners ...11
God, who is man's Creator, knoweth all things . . . 12
God's mercy to man seen in the waters . . .13
Day, night, the sun, and moon glorify God . . . 14


The vanity of idol-worship ... 14, 15
Man is dependent on God, but God is self-sufficient ... 16-18
Every one shall bear his own burden in the judgment-day ... 19
Muhammad commanded to admonish secret believers.. . 19
God will not regard the righteous and the unrighteous alike... 20, 21
Every nation has its own prophet . ..22
Those who accused the former prophets of imposture were punished...23, 24
God's mercy seen in nature .. . 25
God rewards the prayerful and the charitable ... 26, 27
The Qunan a confirmation of former Scriptures... 28
The varied conduct of those who receive the Quran... 29
The rewards of the faithful in Paradise... 30-32
The just punishment of unbelievers in hell ... 33-35
God knoweth the secrets of the heart ...36
Unbelievers shall reap the fruit of their infidelity.. . 37
God gave the idolaters no authority for their idolatry ...38
God alone sustains the heavens...39
The Quraish impiously reject their Prophet...40, 41
They shall receive the punishment bestowed upon those who rejected the former prophets...42,43
Were God to punish sinners the world would be bereft of its human population...44
God will regard his servants in the judgment day...45


R 1/13.

(1) Praise be unto God, the Creator of heaven and earth, who maketh the angels his messengers, furnished with two, and three, and four pair of wings; GOD maketh what addition he pleaseth unto his creatures, for GOD is almighty. (2) The mercy which GOD shall freely bestow on mankind there is none who can withhold, and what he shall withhold there is none who can bestow besides him;

(1) Four pair of wings. "That is, some angels have a greater and some a lesser number of wings, according to their different orders--the words not being designed to express the particular number. Gabriel is said to have appeared to Muhammad on the night he made his journey to heaven with no less than six hundred wings." - Baidhawi.


and he is the mighty, the wise. (3) O men, remember the favour of GOD towards you; is there any creator besides GOD who provideth food for you from heaven and earth? There is no GOD but he1 how therefore are ye turned aside from acknowledging his unity? (4) If they accuse thee of imposture, apostles before thee have also been accused of imposture, and unto GOD shall all things return. (5) O men, verily the promise of GOD is true; let not therefore the present life deceive you, neither let the deceiver deceive you concerning GOD, (6) for Satan is an enemy unto you, wherefore hold him for an enemy; he only inviteth his confederates to be the inhabitants of hell. (7) For those who believe not there is prepared a severe torment, (8) but for those who shall believe and do that which is right is prepared mercy and a great reward.

R 2/14.


(9) Shall he therefore for whom his evil work hath been prepared, and who imagineth it to be good, be as he who is rightly disposed and discerneth the truth? Verily GOD will cause to err whom he pleaseth, and will direct whom he pleaseth. Let not thy soul therefore be spent in sighs for their sakes, on account of their obstinacy, for GOD well knoweth that which they do. (10) It is God who sendeth the winds and raiseth a cloud, and we drive the same unto a dead country, and thereby quicken the earth after it hath been dead, so shall the resurrection be. (11) Whoever desireth excellence, unto GOD doth all excellence belong; unto him ascendeth the good speech, and

(4) See notes on chaps. ii. 38, xvi. 105, xxi. 5, and xxxiv. 8.

(9) God will cause to err, &c. This looks very like making God the author of both good and evil. The following sentence, however, points to the unbelievers as already reprobate, which, if so, would limit the act of God to the abandonment of the impenitent in their error. It may, however, predicate active exercise of divine power to lead the reprobate into such sin as will result in aggravated suffering hereafter. See chaps. vii. 179, 180, xvi. 95, xx. 87, and note on chap. iii. 155.

(10) Compare chap. xxii. 5-7, and see note on xxix. 18.

(11) Wicked plots. "As the Quraish did against Muhammad." See chap. viii. 30, note.- Sale.


the righteous work will he exalt; but as for them who devise wicked plots, they shall suffer a severe punishment, and the device of those men shall be rendered vain. (12) GOD created you first of the dust, and afterwards of seed, and he hath made you man and wife. No female conceiveth or bringeth forth but with his knowledge. Nor is anything added unto the age of him whose life is prolonged, neither is anything diminished from his age, but the same is written in the book of God's decrees. Verily this is easy with GOD. (13) The two seas are not to be held in comparison; this is fresh and sweet, pleasant to drink, but that is salt and bitter; yet out of each of them ye eat fish and take ornaments for you to wear. Thou seest the ships also ploughing the waves thereof, that ye may seek to enrich yourselves by commerce of the abundance of God, peradventure ye will be thankful. (14) He causeth the night to succeed the day, and he causeth the day to succeed the night, and he obligeth the sun and the moon to perform their services, each of them runneth an appointed course. This is GOD your LORD, his is the kingdom. But the idols which ye invoke besides him have not the power even over the skin of a date-stone; (15) if ye invoke them they will not hear your calling, and although they should, hear, yet they would not answer you. On the day of resurrection they shall disclaim your having associated them with God, and none shall declare unto thee the truth like one who is well acquainted therewith.

R 3/15.

(16) O men, ye have need of GOD, but GOD is self-sufficient, and to be praised. (17) If he pleaseth he can take you away and produce a new creature in your stead, (18) neither will this be difficult with GOD. (19) A, bur-

(12) Seed. See chap. xxii. 4-7.

(13) Two Seas. See chap. xxv. 55, note.

Fish. See chap. xvi., note on ver. 14.

Ornaments. "As pearls and coral."- Sale. See also chap. xvi. 14.

(14) Idols. . . have not power over a date-stone. Compare chap. xxii. 74.

(19) See note on chap. xx. 108.


dened soul shall not bear the, burden of another; and if a heavy-burdened soul call on another to bear part of its burden, no part thereof shall be borne by the person who shall be called on, although he be ever so nearly related. Thou shalt admonish those who fear their LORD in secret and are constant at prayer; and whosoever cleanseth himself from the guilt of disobedience cleanseth himself to the advantage of his own soul; for all shall be assembled before GOD at the last day. (20) The blind and the seeing shall not be held equal, neither darkness and light, nor the cool shade and the scorching wind, (21) neither shall the living and the dead be held equal. GOD shall cause him to hear whom he pleaseth, but thou shalt not make those to hear who are in their graves. Thou art no other than a preacher; (22) verily we have sent thee with truth, a bearer of good tidings and a denouncer of threats. There hath been no nation but a preacher hath in past times been conversant among them; (23) if they charge thee with imposture, they who were before them likewise charged their apostles with imposture. Their apostles came unto them with evident miracles, and with divine writings, and with the enlightening book; (24) afterwards I chastised those who were unbelievers, and how severe was my vengeance!

R 4/16.

(25) Dost not thou see that GOD sendeth down rain from heaven, and that we thereby produce fruits of vari-

(20, 21) "This passage expresses the great difference between a true believer and an infidel, truth and vanity, and their future reward and punishment."- Sale.

(21) Thou shalt not make those head, &c., i.e., "those who obstinately persist in their unbelief, who are compared to the dead."- Sale.

(23) Divine writings. "As the volumes delivered to Abraham and to other prophets before Moses."- Sale. See references in note on ver. 4 above.

Enlightening book, viz., "the Law or the Gospel."- Sale.

(25) Various colours, i.e., various kinds. See chap. xvi. 13, note.

Mountains....of various colours, "being more or less intense." -Sale.

Rodwell suggests that Mubammad recalled the mountains as they appeared from the cave of Hira, and as described by Burckhardt (Travels, p.176).


ous colors? In the mountains also there are some tracts white and red, of various colours, and others are of a deep black; and of men, and beasts, and cattle there are whose colours are in like manner various. Such only of his servants fear GOD as are endued with understanding: verily GOD is mighty and ready to forgive. (26) Verily they who read the book of GOD, and are constant at prayer, and give alms out of what we have bestowed on them, both in secret and openly, hope for a merchandise which shall not perish: (27) that God may fully pay them their wages and make them a superabundant addition of his liberality; for he is ready to forgive the faults of his servants and to requite their endeavours. (28) That which we have revealed unto thee of the book of the Quran is the truth, confirming the Scriptures which were revealed before it; for GOD knoweth and regardeth his servants. (29) And we have given the book of the Quran in heritage unto such of our servants as we have chosen: of them there is one who injureth his own soul; and there is another of them who keepeth the middle way; and there is another of them who outstrippeth others in good works, by the permission of GOD. This is the great excellence. (30) They shall be introduced into gardens of perpetual abode; they shall be adorned therein with bracelets of gold and pearls, and their clothing therein shall be of silk: (31) and they shall say, Praise be unto GOD, who hath taken away sorrow from us! verily our LORD is ready to forgive the sinners and to reward the obedient: (32) who hath caused us to take up our rest in a dwelling of eternal stability, through his bounty, wherein no labour shall touch us, neither shall any weariness affect us. (33) But for the unbelievers is

(28) See notes on chap. ii. 39, 40.

(29) One who injureth his own soul. "By not practising what he is taught and commanded in the Quran."- Sale.

Middle way, "that is. who meaneth well, and performeth his duty for the most part, but not perfectly."- Sale.

(30) Silk. See note on chap. xx. 23.


prepared the fire of hell: it shall not be decreed them to die a second time; neither shall any part of the punishment thereof be made lighter unto them. Thus shall every infidel be rewarded. (34) And they shall cry out aloud in hell, saying, LORD, take us hence, and we will work righteousness, and not what we have formerly wrought. But it shall be answered them, Did we not grant you lives of length sufficient, that whoever would be warned might be warned therein; and did not the preacher come unto you? (35) taste therefore the pains of hell. And the unjust shall have no protector.

R 5/17.

(36) Verily GOD knoweth the secrets both of heaven and earth, for he knoweth the innermost parts of the breasts of men. (37) It is he who hath made you to succeed in the earth. Whoever shall disbelieve, on him be his unbelief; and their unbelief shall only gain the unbelievers greater indignation in the sight of their LORD; and their unbelief shall only increase the perdition of the unbelievers. (38) Say, What think ye of your deities which ye invoke besides GOD? Show me what part of the earth they have created. Or had they any share in the creation of the heavens? Have we given unto the idolaters any book of revelations, so that they may rely on any proof therefrom to authorise their practice? Nay; but the ungodly make unto one another only deceitful promises. (39) Verily GOD sustaineth the heavens and the earth, lest they fail: and if they should fail, none could support the same besides him; he is gracious and merciful. (40) The Quraish swore by GOD, with a most solemn oath, that if a preacher had come unto them, they would surely have been more willingly directed than any nation: but now a preacher is come unto them, it hath only increased in them their aversion from the truth, (41) their arrogance in the earth, and their

(34) Preacher, i.e., Muhammad. See note on chap. ii. 119.

(40) See note on chap. vi. 156.

(41) Contriving of evil, i.e., their plotting evil against Muhammad and the Muslims.


contriving of evil; but the contrivance of evil shall only encompass the authors thereof. Do they expect any other than the punishment awarded against the unbelievers of former times? For thou shalt not find any change in the ordinance of GOD; (42) neither shalt thou find any variation in the ordinance of GOD. (43) Have they not gone through the earth, and seen what hath been the end of those who were before them; although they were more mighty in strength than they? GOD is not to be frustrated by anything either in heaven or on earth; for he is wise and powerful. (44) If GOD should punish men according to what they deserve, he would not leave on the back of the earth so much as a beast: but he respiteth them to a determined time; (45) and when their time shall come, verily GOD will regard his servants.

Ordinance of God. Rodwell translates "way of God." The expression might refer to the ordinances of God's religion, as Brinckman assumes in his argument to show how this statement contradicts the fact of numerous changes in God's ordinances (Notes on Islam, p.164); but unfortunately for his argument, the context clearly fixes the meaning here as equivalent to "way of dealing with unbelievers." The Quraish shall not escape the wrath of God, for such is his ordinance that all infidels "of former times" have been punished.

(44) This verse clearly proves man's lost condition without God's mercy intervening for his salvation, but the Quran nowhere presents any way whereby this mercy may be exercised in consistency with His justice, holiness, and truth. Comp. chap. xvi. 63.

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