E. M. (Elwood Morris) Wherry.

A comprehensive commentary on the Qurán; comprising Sale's translation and preliminary discourse, with additional notes and emendations; together with a complete index to the text, preliminary discourse, and notes (Volume 2) online

. (page 22 of 42)
Online LibraryE. M. (Elwood Morris) WherryA comprehensive commentary on the Qurán; comprising Sale's translation and preliminary discourse, with additional notes and emendations; together with a complete index to the text, preliminary discourse, and notes (Volume 2) → online text (page 22 of 42)
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The folly of idolatry ....
Muhammad commanded to use moderation
He is to repel Satan by using the name of God
The people of Makkah incorrigible .
They charge Muhammad with imposture .
The Quran to be listened to in silence and holy medita

tion



VI I'.SI s
l60
l6l
l6l

l62, I63
I64-I67
168, 169
170,171
172

173-175

176-179

l80

l8l, 182

183, 184

185

186

187

188

I89, I9O

I9I-I98

199

200, 20I

202

203

204-206



IN THE NAME OF THE MOST MERCIFUL GOD.

R "s || (1) A. L. M. S. (2) A book hath been sent down unto

thee : and therefore let there be no doubt in thy breast
concerning it ; that thou may est preach the same, and that
it may be an admonition unto the faithful. (3) Follow
that which hath been sent down unto you from your
Lord : and follow no guides besides him : how little will



(1) See note on chap. ii. 1. Some conjecture that these letters
represent the sentence Amara li Muhammad sdndiq, " thus spake
to me Muhammad the truthful." See Rodwell's note in loco.

(2) Let there be no doubt. See note on chap. ii. 2. Arnold's re-
mark on this pa-sage is worthy of careful consideration : " The



SI PARA VIII.] ( 205 ) [CHAP. VII.

ye be warned ! (4) How many cities have we destroyed ;
which our vengeance overtook by night, or while they
were reposing themselves at noon-day ! (5) And their
supplication, when our punishment came upon them, was
no other than that they said, Verily we have been unjust.
(6) We will surely call those to an account unto whom a
'prophet hath been sent ; and we will also call those to
account who have been sent unto them. (7) And we will
declare their actions unto them with knowledge ; for we
are not absent from them. (8) The weighing of mens
actions on that day shall he just ; and they whose balances
laden with their good works shall be heavy, are those who
shall be happy; (9) but they whose balances shall be
light, are those who have lost their souls, because they
injured our signs. (10) And now have we placed you on
the earth, and have provided you food therein ; but how
little are ye thankful!

|| (11) We created you, and afterwards formed you ; B, $

author of the Koran betrays precisely the disquietude and suspicion
which invariably indicate fraud, and never exist in guileless, honest,
and truthful minds." Jsldm and Christianity, p. 316.* And yet this
constant and persistent assertion of honesty and truthfulness is re-
garded by many as certain evidence of his sincerity.

(4) Cities destroyed . . . by night, as in the case " of Sodom and
Gomorrah, to whom Lot was sent." Or . . . noon-day, " as happened
to the Midianites, to whom Shuaib preached." Sale, Tafsir-i-Raufi.

(5) Verily we have been unjust. They will make this confession,
thinking thereby to secure deliverance, not knowing that the time
of repentance and confession has gone by. Tafsir-i-Raufi.

(6) The prophets will testify for or against the people to whom
they have been sent, and the people will witness to the faithfulness
of the prophets. Tafsir-i-Raufi.

(8) The weighing, dkc. See Prelim. Disc, p. 144.

The balances. One of these shall be called Light and the other
Darkness. The good actions shall be placed in Light and the evil
ones in Darkness. The length of the beam of these scales, according
to Ibn Abbas, will be equal to a journey of 50,000 years. Tafsir-i-
Raufi.

(9) Because they injured our signs. The one great object of Mu-
hammad in picturing the terrors of the judgment-day was to frighten
his townsmen into accepting his prophetic claims. The one great
reason for a soul's being lost will be that it rejected the prophetic
claims of Muhammad.



CHAP. VII.] ( 206 ) [SIPARA VIII.

and then said unto the angels, Worship Adam ; and they
all worshipped him, except Iblfs, who was not one of those
who worshipped. (12) God said unto him, What hindered
thee from worshipping Adam, since I had commanded
thee ? He answered, I am more excellent than he : thou
hast created me of fire, and hast created him of clay.
(13) God said, Get thee down therefore from paradise ; for
it is not^ that thou behave thyself proudly therein: get
thee hence; thou shalt be one of the contemptible. (14)
He answered, Give me respite until the day of resurrec-
tion. (15) God said, Verily thou shalt be one of those who
are respited. (16) The devil said, Because thou hast de-
praved me, I will lay wait for men in thy strait way; (17)
then will I come upon them from before, and from behind,
and from their right hands, and from their left ; and thou
shalt not find the greater part of them thankful. (18)



(11) Created and . . . formed you. The creation probably has
reference to the souls of mankind, all of which were created before
Adam was formed, the forming having special reference to the pre-
paration of bodies for the souls. But see also chap. vi. 99 and notes
there.

Worship Adam, dec. See notes on the parallel passage in chap.

" 34-

(12) Thou hast created me of fire. The idea that angels are
created of fire may have been obtained from Jewish sources. See
Arnold's learned note in Isldm and Christianity, p. 10 1.

Heb. i. 7 gives no ground for such an opinion, for there the angels
are said to be spirits. The ministers called a name of fire may refer
to 2 Kings ii. 1 1, vi. 7, &c.

The Tafsir-i-Raufi has a long note here, showing how mistaken
Satan was in supposing creatures made of fire to be superior to those
made of clay.

(15) One of the respited. "As the time till which the devil is re-
prieved is not particularly expressed, the commentators suppose his
request was not wholly granted ; but agree that he shall die, as well
as other creatures, at the second sound of the trumpet." Sale, Bai-
dhd wi.

(17) Then will I come upon them, dec, i.e., "I will attack them on
every side that I shall be able. The other two ways, viz., from
above and from under their feet, are omitted, say the commenta-
tors, to show that the devil's power is limited." Sale, Baidhdwi.

The Quran clearly teaches that Satan has no power to destroy
true believers. See chap. xvi. 101.



SIPARA VIII.] ( 207 ) [CHAP. VII.

God said unto him, Get thee hence, despised, and driven
far away: (19) verily -whoever of them shall follow thee,
I will surely till hell with you all.

|| (20) But as for thee, Adam, dwell thou and thy wife nist.
in paradise ; and eat of the fruit thereof wherever ye will ;
but approach, not this tree, lest ye become of the number
of the unjust. (21) And Satan suggested to them both,
that he would discover unto them their nakedness, which
was hidden from them ; and he said, Your Lord hath not
forbidden you this tree for any other reason but lest ye
should become angels, or lest ye become immortal. (22)
And he sware unto them, saying, Verily, I am one of those
who counsel you aright. (23) And he caused them to fall
through deceit. And when they had tasted of the tree,
their nakedness appeared unto them ; and they began to
join together the leaves of paradise, to cover themselves.
And their Lord called to them, saying, Did I not forbid
you this tree : and did I not say unto you, Verily Satan is
your declared enemy ? (24) They answered, Lord, we
have dealt unjustly with our own souls ; and if thou for-
give us not, and be not merciful unto us, we shall surely
be of those who perish. (25) God said, Get ye down, the
one of you an enemy unto the other ; and ye shall have a
dwelling-place upon the earth, and a provision for a season.

(18) Despised and driven away. See note, chap. iv. 117. Rod well
translates it, a scorned and banished one.

(20) See notes on chap. ii. 35.

(21) Lest ye become immortal. Muhammad did not distinguish
between the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good
and Evil. According to this passage, Adam and Eve should have
been rendered immortal by eating the forbidden fruit. Compare
chap. xx. 118 and 119.

(22) He sware. The Tafsir-i-Raufi comments thus : Adam, may
the peace of God be on him! thought no one could perjure himself,
and thus was deceived by Satan.

(23) The tree. See chap. ii. 35, note.

Their nakedness. They were hitherto clothed in light or garments
of Paradise, or enrobed by their long hair.

Leaves. Either of the grape-vine or the fig-tree. Tafsir-i-Raufi.

(24) They answered, dec. Compare Gen. iii. 10-13 to 8ee now the
former Scriptures are attested here.

(25) See notes on chap. ii. 37. Compare Gen. iii. 1 5.



CHAP. VII.] ( 208 ) [SIPARA VIII.

(26) He said, Therein shall ye live, and therein shall ye
die, and from thence shall ye be taken forth at the resur-
rection.
R iV II (27) children of Adam, we have sent down unto
you apparel, to conceal your nakedness, and fair gar-
ments ; but the clothing of piety is better. This is one of
the signs of God; that peradventure ye may consider.
(28) children of Adam, let not Satan seduce you, as he
expelled your parents out of paradise, by stripping them
of their clothing, that he might show them their naked-
ness : verily he seeth you, both he and his companions,
whereas ye see not them. We have appointed the devils
to be patrons of those who believe not : (29) and when
they commit a filthy action, they say, We found our
fathers practising the same ; and God hath commanded us
to do it Say, Verily God commandeth not filthy actions.
Do ye speak concerning God that which ye know not ?
(30) Say, My Lord hath commanded me to observe justice ;

(27) Apparel. " Not only proper materials, but also ingenuity of
mind and dexterity of hand to make use of them." Sale.

(28-34) Let not Satan seduce you, dec. " This passage was revealed
to reprove an immodest custom of the pagan Arab*, who used to en-
compass the Kaabah naked, because clothes, they said, were the
signs of their disobedience to God. The Sunnat orders that when a
man goes to prayers he should put on his better apparel, out of re-
spect to the divine majesty before whom he is to appear. But as the
Muhammad ans think it indecent, on the one hand, to come into
God's presence in a slovenly manner ; so they imagine, on the other,
that they ought not to appear before him in habits too rich or sump-
tuous, and particularly in clothes adorned with ^old or silver, lest
they should seem proud." Sale, Jal&luddln, Baidhdici.

The Quraish seem to have defended their indecent practice on the
ground of custom.

(29) Muhammad declares them to be under the beguiling influence
of Satan, who had by deception exposed the shame of Adam and
Eve. Seeing, then, that their progenitor himself had been deceived
by Satan, the authority of their forefathers could not be relied on
for the establishment of filthy customs contrary to the nature of a
pure God : " God commandest not filthy actions."

Ye see them not. "Because of the subtlety of their bodies and
their being void of all colour." Sale.

(30) My Lord hath commanded me to observe justice, should be
translated, My Lord hath commanded aiight, ?>., in the Quran.



SIPARA VIII.] ( 209 ) [CHAP. VII.

therefore set your faces to pray at every place of worship,
and call upon him, approving unto him the sincerity of
your religion. As he produced you at first, so unto him
shall ye return. (31) A part of mankind hath he directed;
and a part hath been justly led into error, because they
have taken the devils for their patrons besides God, and
imagine they are riyhtly directed. (32) children of
Adam, take your decent apparel at every place of worship,
and eat and drink, but be not guilty of excess ; for he
loveth not those who are guilty of excess.

|| (33) Say, Who hath forbidden the decent apparel of
God, which he hath produced for his servants, and the
good things which he hath provided for food ? Say, these
things are for those who believe, in this present life, hut
peculiarly on the day of resurrection. Thus do we dis-
tinctly explain our signs unto people who understand.
(34) Say, Verily my Lord hath forbidden filthy actions,
both that which is discovered thereof, and that winch is
concealed, and also iniquity and unjust violence; and hath
forbidden you to associate with God that concerning which

Place of worship. Literally every masjid. Rodwell is surely-
mistaken in saying that the word " is usually applied only to that
of Makkah, and that the term commonly used for the larger mosques
is djami." The term masjid is certainly used everywhere in India
for the ordinary mosque ; and, though larger places are called jama
(or djami), this term is added on to the other, e.g., jama masjid.

The word, as used here, probably has no reference to any particu-
lar building, but to the places where the Muslims offer prayer, i.e.,
wherever they may be at the hour of prayer. If we understand
the reference to be to the qibla of each masjid (so Rodwell), then
we must count this passage among the Madina revelations.

(32) Decent apparel. See general note by Sale on ver. 28.

And eat and drink. " The sons of Amar, it is said, when they
performed the pilgrimage to Makkah, used to eat no more than was
absolutely necessary, and that not of the more delicious sort of food
neither ; which abstinence they looked upon as a piece of merit ;
but they are here told the contrary." Sale, Jaldluddin.

(33) But peculiarly, &c. " Because then the wicked, who also
partook of the blessings of this life, will have no share in the enjoy-
ments of the next." Sale.

(34) Filthy actions, <&c. See notes above.

To associate with God, i.e., to worship idols or inferior deities.
VOL. II.



CHAP. VIl/j ( 2IO ) [SIPARAVIII.

he hath sent you down no authority, or to speak of God
that which ye know not. (35) Unto every nation there is
a prefixed term ; therefore when their term is expired,
they shall not have respite for an hour, neither shall they
be anticipated. (36) O children of Adam, verily apostles
from among you shall come unto you, who shall expound
my signs unto you: whosoever therefore shall fear God
and amend, there shall come no fear on them, neither
shall they be grieved. (37) But they who shall accuse
our signs of falsehood, and shall proudly reject them, they
shall be the companions of hell-fire ; they shall remain
therein for ever. (38) And who is more unjust than he
who deviseth a lie concerning God, or accuseth his signs
of imposture ? Unto these shall be given their portion of
worldly happiness, according to what is written in the book
of God's decrees, until our messengers come unto them, and
shall cause them to die ; saying, Where are the idols which
ye called upon besides God ? They shall answer, They
have disappeared from us. And they shall bear witness
against themselves that they were unbelievers. (39) God
shall say unto them at the resurrection, Enter ye with the
nations which have preceded you, of genii and of men, into
hell-r\vQ ; so often as one nation shall enter, it shall curse
its sister, until they shall all have successively entered
therein. The latter of them shall say of the former of
them: Lord, these have seduced us, therefore inflict
on them a double punishment of the fire of hell. God



(35) Every nation. Literally every following, whether of a true or
false prophet.

(36-38} See notes on chap. vi. 48, 60, and iii. 185.

(38) Where are the idols. See note on chap. vi. 23.

(39) Genii and men. See below on ver. 180.

It* sister. " That is, the nation whose example, betrayed them
into their idolatry and other wickedness." Sale.

Doubled unto all. "Unto those who set the example, because
they not only transgressed themselves, but were also the occasion of
the others' transgression ; and unto those who followed them, be-
cause of their own infidelity and their imitating an ill example."
Sale, Baidhduri, Jaldluddln.



SIPARAVIII.] ( 211 ) [CHAP. VII.

shall answer, It shall he doubled unto all : but ye know
it not: (40) and the former of them shall say unto
the latter of them, Ye have not therefore any favour
above us ; taste the punishment for that which ye have
gained.

|| (41) Verily they who shall charge our signs with 11 t~2*
falsehood, and shall proudly reject them, the gates of
heaven shall not be opened unto them, neither shall they
enter into paradise, until a camel pass through the eye
of a needle, and thus will we reward the wicked doers.

(42) Their couch shall be in hell, and over them shall be
coverings of fire; and thus will we reward the unjust.

(43) But they who believe, and do that which is right (we
will not load any soul but according to its ability), they
shall be the companions of Paradise ; they shall remain
therein for ever. (44) And we will remove all grudges
from their minds ; rivers shall run at their feet, and they
shall say, Praised be God, who hath directed us into this



(41) They who shall charge, &c. See notes on iii. 185, and vi. 48.
The gates shall not be opened, &c. " That is, when their souls shall,

after death, ascend to heaven, they shall not be admitted, but shall
be thrown down into the dungeon under the seventh earth." Sale,
Jaldluddin. See also Prelim. Disc, p. 129.

The eye of a needle. Compare Matt. xix. 24. See Eodwell's note
on this passage.

(42) See note on chap. iii. 197.

(43) We will not load any soul, <&c. See chap. iv. 27, and notes
there.

(44) Will remove all grudges, &c. " So that, whatever differences
or animosities there had been between them in their lifetime, they
shall now be forgotten, and give place to sincere love and amity.
This Ali is said to have hoped would prove true to himself and his
inveterate enemies, Othman, Talha, and Al Zubair." Sale, Baidhdwi.
See also note on iii. 1 5.

For that which ye have wrought Here salvation is said to be given
in virtue of the good works wrought by Muslims. Brinckman says,
" This is one of the numerous places in the Koran which deceives a
man, makes him proud, self-righteous, and denies the whole Atone-
ment. It would be a trying question for any Muslim to answer,
Tell me of your good works, what they have been, and the good
works you have neglected to do." Notes on Islam, p. 99. But the
good works of a Muslim are his professing the Muslim faith and per-



CHAP. VII. J ( 212 ) [SIPARA VIII.

felicity ! For we should not have been rightly directed if
God had not directed us ; now are we convinced by demon-
stration that the apostles of our Lord came unto us with
truth. And it shall be proclaimed unto them, This is
Paradise, whereof ye are made heirs as a reward for that
which ye have wrought. (45) And the inhabitants of
Paradise shall call out to the inhabitants of hell-fire, say-
ing, Now have we found that which our Lord promised
us to be true : have ye also found that which your Lord
promised you to be true ? They shall answer, Yea. And
a crier shall proclaim between them, The curse of God
sliall be on the wicked ; (46) who turn men aside from the
way of God, and seek to render it crooked, and who deny
the life to come. (47) And between the blessed and the
damned there shall be a veil ; and men shall stand on Al
Araf who shall know every one of them by their marks ;
and shall call unto the inhabitants of paradise, saying,



forming the rive stated duties belonging to his religion. See notes
on chap. ii. 3-5, 37, 38; iii. 194 ; iv. 55, 121-123.

A crter. " This crier, some say, will be the angel Israfil." Sale.

(47) A veil, or a wall, which is designated Al Ardf. See Prelim.
Disc, p. 152.

And men. The commentators differ as to who these are to be.
The most common understanding is that those whose good and bad
deeds are equal, and who are therefore neither fit for heaven nor
worthy of hell, will be placed upon this wall. Others suppose these
to be martyrs and notable believers, who receive this knowledge of
the reward they are to receive, and also of the pains from which
they have escaped. Still others think they are angels in the form
of men. See Prelim. Disc., p. 152, and Tafslr-i-Raufi, in loco.

Their marks. The blessed are distinguished by the whiteness and
the damned by the blackness of their faces. Tafsir-i-RauJi.

They shall not enter therein, dec. " From this circumstance it seems
that their opinion is the most probable who make this intermediate
partition a sort of purgatory for those who, though they deserve not
to be sent to hell, yet have not merits sufficient to gain them imme-
diate admittance into Paradise, and will be tantalised here for a cer-
tain time with a bare view of the felicity of that place." Sale.

They will, however, eventually be received into heaven, for when
the command to worship will be given to the universe just before
the final judgment, these will prostrate themselves, and thus the
balance on the side of virtue will become heavier, and they will be
admitted into heaven. Tafsir-i-Raufi.



SIPARA VIII.] ( 213 ) [CHAP. VII.

Peace be upon you: yet they shall not enter therein,
although they earnestly desire it. (48) And when they
shall turn their eyes towards the companions of hell-fire,
they say, Lord, place us not with the ungodly people !

|| (49) And those who stand on Al Araf shall call unto sum.
certain men, whom they shall know by their marks, and J JL.
shall say, What hath your gathering of riches availed you, 3
and that you were puffed up with pride ? (50) Are these
the men on whom you swear that God would not bestow
mercy ? Enter ye into Paradise ; there shall come no fear
on you, neither shall ye be grieved. (51) And the inhabi-
tants of hell-five shall call unto the inhabitants of Paradise,
saying, Pour upon us some water, or of those refreshments
which God hath bestowed on you. They shall answer,
Verily God hath forbidden them unto the unbelievers,
(52) who made a laughing-stock and a sport of their reli-
gion, and whom the life of the world hath deceived : there-
fore this day will we forget them, as they did forget the
meeting of this day, and for that they denied our signs to
be from God. (53) And now have we brought unto those
of Makkah a book of divine revelations: we have explained it

(49) Certain men. " The chiefs and ringleaders of the infidels"
(Sale, Baidk&wi), e.g., Walfd Bin Mughaira, Abu Jahl, and Aas Bin
Wail. Tafslr-i-Raufi.

(50) Are these the men, dec. The poorer believers, e.g., Bilal and
Amar, &c, some of whom had been slaves.

Enter ye. " These words are directed, by an apostrophe, to the
poor and despised believers above mentioned. Some commentators,
however, imagine these and the next preceding words are to be
understood of those who will be confined in Al Araf ; and that the
damned will, in return for their reproachful speech, swear that they
shall never enter Paradise themselves ; whereupon God of his mercy
shall order them to be admitted by these words." Sale, Baidh&wb.

(51-54) Compare this passage with the story of the rich man and
Lazarus (Luke xvi. 19-26).

(52) See notes on chap. vi. 69.

(53) A book, i.e., the Quran, spoken of here as a complete volume.
Assuming the pre-existence of the Quran, as Muslims do, there could
be no ground for the charge of imposture referred to in the Prelim.
Disc, p. 96. But regarding Muhammad as its author, as his Euro-
pean apologists, in common with ourselves, do, we think there is in
this language very good reason for believing that author to have



CHAP. VII.] ( 214 ) [SIPARA VIII.

with knowledge ; a direction and mercy unto people who
shall believe. (54) Do they wait for any other than the
interpretation thereof ? On the day whereon the inter-
pretation thereof shall come, they who had forgotten the
same before shall say, Now art we convinced by demonstra-
tion that the messengers of our Lord came unto us with
truth : shall we therefore have any intercessors, who will
intercede for us ? or shall we be sent back into the world,
that we may do other works than what we did in our life-
time ? But now have they lost their souls ; and that
which they impiously imagined hath fled from them.
R 1*' " (^) Verily, your Lord is God, who created the
heavens and the earth in six days ; and then ascended his
throne: he causeth the night to cover the day; it suc-
ceedeth the same swiftly : he also created the sun, and the
moon, and the stars, which are absolutely subject unto his
command. Is not the whole creation and the empire
thereof his ? Blessed be God, the Lord of all creatures !

been an impostor. There can be no reasonable doubt that the mean-
ing which Muhammad intended to attach to this expression is that
a book was sent down to him from heaven through the medium of
the Angel Gabriel, as the Taurat or Pentateuch had been sent down
to Moses, which, though revealed to his disciples piecemeal, was



Online LibraryE. M. (Elwood Morris) WherryA comprehensive commentary on the Qurán; comprising Sale's translation and preliminary discourse, with additional notes and emendations; together with a complete index to the text, preliminary discourse, and notes (Volume 2) → online text (page 22 of 42)