a In Arabic al Fâtihat. This chapter is a prayer, and held in great veneration by the Mohammedans, who give it several other honourable titles; as the chapter of prayer, of praise, of thanksgiving, of treasure, &c. They esteem it as the quintessence of the whole Korân, and often repeat it in their devotions both public and private, as the Christians do the Lord’s Prayer.1

1 Vide Bobovium de Precib. Mohammed. p. 3, et seq.

b The original words are, Rabbi ‘lâlamîna, which literally signify Lord of the worlds; but âlamîna in this and other places of the Korân properly mean the three species of rational creatures, men, genii, and angels. Father Marracci has endeavoured to prove from this passage that Mohammed believed a plurality of worlds, which he calls the error of the Manichees, &c.:2 but this imputation the learned Reland has shown to be entirely groundless.3

2 In Prodromo ad Refut. Alcorani part iv. p. 76, et in notis ad Alc. c. I.
3 De Religion. Mohammed. p. 262

c This last sentence contains a petition, that GOD would lead the supplicants into the true religion, by which is meant the Mohammedan, in the Korân often called the right way; in this place more particularly defined to be, the way of those to whom GOD hath been gracious, that is, of the prophets and faithful who preceded Mohammed; under which appellations are also comprehended the Jews and Christians, such as they were in the times of their primitive purity, before they had deviated from their respective institutions; not the way of the modern Jews, whose signal calamities are marks of the just anger of GOD against them for their obstinacy and disobedience: nor of the Christians of this age, who have departed from the true doctrine of Jesus, and are bewildered in a labyrinth of error.4
      This is the common exposition of the passage; though al Zamakhshari, and some others, by a different application of the negatives, refer the whole to the true believers; and then the sense will run thus: The way of those to whom thou hast been gracious, against whom thou art not incensed, and who have not erred. Which translation the original will very well bear.

4 Jallalo’ddin. Al Beidawi, &c.

d This title was occasioned by the story of the red heifer, mentioned p. 9.
e As to the meaning of these letters, see the Preliminary Discourse, Sect. III.
f The Arabic word is gheib, which properly signifies a thing that is absent, at a great distance, or invisible, such as the resurrection, paradise, and hell. And this is agreeable to the language of scripture, which defines faith to be the evidence of things not seen.1

1 Heb. xi. I. See also Rom. xxiv. 25; 2 Cor. iv. 18 and v. 7.

g The Mohammedans believe that GOD gave written revelations not only to Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed, but to several other prophets;2 though they acknowledge none of those which preceded the Korân to be now extant, except the Pentateuch of Moses, the Psalms of David, and the Gospel of Jesus; which yet they say were even before Mohammed’s time altered and corrupted by the Jews and Christians; and therefore will not allow our present copies to be genuine.

2 Vide Reland. de Relig. Moham. p. 34 and Dissert. de Samaritanis, p. 34, &c.

h The original word al-âkherhat properly signifies the latter part of anything, and by way of excellence the next life, the latter or future state after death; and is opposed to al-donya, this world; and al-oula, the former or present life. The Hebrew word ahharith, from the same root, is used by Moses in this sense, and is translated latter end.3

3 Numb. xxiv. 20; Deut. viii. 16.

i Mohammed here, and elsewhere frequently, imitates the truly inspired writers, in making GOD by operation on the minds of reprobates to prevent their conversion. This fatality or predestination, as believed by the Mohammedans, hath been sufficiently treated of in the Preliminary Discourse.
k Literally corrupt not in the earth, by which some expositors understand the sowing of false doctrine, and corrupting people’s principles.
l According to the explication in the preceding note, this word must be translated reformers, who promote true piety by their doctrine and example.
m The first companions and followers of Mohammed.4

4 Jallalo’ddin.

n The prophet, making use of the liberty zealots of all religions have, by prescription, of giving ill language, bestows this name on the Jewish rabbins and Christian priests; though he seems chiefly to mean the former, against whom he had by much the greater spleen.
o In this passage, Mohammed compares those who believed not on him, to a man who wants to kindle a fire, but as soon as it burns up, and the flames give a light, shuts his eyes, lest he should see. As if he had said, You, O Arabians, have long desired a prophet of your own nation, and now I am sent unto you, and have plainly proved my mission by the excellence of my doctrine and revelation, you resist conviction, and refuse to believe in me; therefore shall God leave you in your ignorance.
p The sense seems to be here imperfect, and may be completed by adding the words, He turns from it, shuts his eyes, or the like.
q That is of the unbelievers, to whom the word their being in the plural, seems to refer; though it is not unusual for Mohammed, in affectation of the prophetic style, suddenly to change the number against all rules of grammar.
r Here he compares the unbelieving Arabs to people caught in a violent storm. To perceive the beauty of this comparison, it must be observed, that the Mohammedan doctors say, this tempest is a type or image of the Korân itself: the thunder signifying the threats therein contained; the lightning, the promises; and the darkness, the mysteries. The terror of the threats makes them stop their ears, unwilling to hear truths so disagreeable; when the promises are read to them, they attend with pleasure; but when anything mysterious or difficult of belief occurs, they stand stock still, and will not submit to be directed.
s i.e., Your false gods and idols.
t Some commentators1 approve of this sense, supposing the fruits of paradise, though of various tastes, are alike in colour and outward appearance: but others2 think the meaning to be, that the inhabitants of that place will find there fruits of the same or the like kinds as they used to eat while on earth.

1 Jallalo’ddin.
2 Al Zamakhshari.

u This was revealed to take off an objection made to the Korân by the infidels, for condescending to speak of such insignificant insects as the spider, the pismire, the bee, &c.3

3 Yahya.

x i.e., Ye were dead while in the loins of your fathers, and he gave you life in your mothers wombs; and after death ye shall be again raised at the resurrection.4

4 Jallalo’ddin.

y Concerning the creation of Adam, here intimated, the Mohammedans have several peculiar traditions. They say the angels, Gabriel, Michael, and Israfil, were sent by God, one after another, to fetch for that purpose seven handfuls of earth from different depths, and of different colours (whence some account for the various complexion of mankind5); but the earth being apprehensive of the consequence, and desiring them to represent her fear to God that the creature he designed to form would rebel against him, and draw down his curse upon her, they returned without performing God’s command; whereupon he sent Azraïl on the same errand, who executed his commission without remorse, for which reason God appointed that angel to separate the souls from the bodies, being therefore called the angel of death. The earth he had taken was carried into Arabia, to a place between Mecca and Tayef, where, being first kneaded by the angels, it was afterwards fashioned by God himself into a human form, and left to dry6 for the space of forty days, or, as others say, as many years, the angels in the meantime often visiting it, and Eblis (then one of the angels who are nearest to God’s presence, afterwards the devil) among the rest; but he, not contented with looking on it, kicked it with his foot till it rung and knowing God designed that creature to be his superior, took a secret resolution never to acknowledge him as such. After this, God animated the figure of clay and endued it with an intelligent soul, and when he had placed him in paradise, formed Eve out of his left side.7

5 Al Termedi, from a tradition of Abu Musa al Ashari
6 Kor. c. 55.
7 Khondamir. Jallalo’ddin. Comment. in Korân, &c. Vide D’Herbelot, Biblioth. Orient. p. 55.

z This story Mohammed borrowed from the Jewish traditions, which say that the angels having spoken of man with some contempt when God consulted them about his creation, God made answer that the man was wiser than they; and to convince them of it, he brought all kinds of animals to them, and asked them their names; which they not being able to tell, he put the same question to the man, who named them one after another; and being asked his own name and God’s name, he answered very justly, and gave God the name of JEHOVAH1. The angels’ adoring of Adam is also mentioned in the Talmud.2

1 Vide Rivin. Serpent. seduct. p. 56.
2 R. Moses Haddarshan, in Bereshit rabbah.

a The original word signifies properly to prostrate one’s self till the forehead touches the ground, which is the humblest posture of adoration, and strictly due to GOD only; but it is sometimes, as in this place, used to express that civil worship or homage, which may be paid to creatures.3

3 Jallalo’ddin.
b This occasion of the devil’s fall has some affinity with an opinion which has been pretty much entertained among Christians,4 viz., that the angels being informed of GOD’S intention to create man after his own image, and to dignify human nature by CHRIST’S assuming it, some of them, thinking their glory to be eclipsed thereby, envied man’s happiness, and so revolted.

4 Irenæus, Lact. Greg. Nyssen. &c.

c Mohammed, as appears by what presently follows, does not place this garden or paradise on earth, but in the seventh heaven.5

5 Vide Marracc. in Alc. p. 24.

d Concerning this tree or the forbidden fruit, the Mohammedans, as well as the Christians, have various opinions. Some say it was an ear of wheat; some will have it to have been a fig-tree, and others a vine.6 The story of the Fall is told, with some further circumstances, in the beginning of the seventh chapter.

6 Vide ibid. p. 22.

e They have a tradition that the devil offering to get into paradise to tempt Adam, was not admitted by the guard; whereupon he begged of the animals, one after another, to carry him in, that he might speak to Adam and his wife; but they all refused him except the serpent, who took him between two of his teeth, and so introduced him. They add that the serpent was then of a beautiful form, and not in the shape he now bears.7

7 Vide ibid.

f The Mohammedans say that when they were cast down from paradise, Adam fell on the isle of Ceylon or Serendib, and Eve near Joddah (the port of Mecca) in Arabia; and that after a separation of 200 years, Adam was, on his repentance, conducted by the angel Gabriel to a mountain near Mecca, where he found and knew his wife, the mountain being thence named Arafat; and that he afterwards retired with her to Ceylon, where they continued to propagate their species.8
It may not be improper here to mention another tradition concerning the gigantic stature of our first parents. Their prophet, they say, affirmed Adam to have been as tall as a high palm-tree;9 but this would be too much in proportion, if that were really the print of his foot, which is pretended to be such, on the top of a mountain in the isle of Ceylon, thence named Pico de Adam, and by the Arab writers Rahûn, being somewhat above two spans long10 (though others say it is 70 cubits long, and that when Adam set one foot here, he had the other in the sea)11; and too little, if Eve were of so enormous a size, as is said, when her head lay on one hill near Mecca, her knees rested on two others in the plain, about two musket-shots asunder.12

8 D’Herbelot, Bib. Orient. p. 55.
9 Yahya.
10 Moncony’s Voyage, part i. p. 372, &c. See Knox’s Account of Ceylon.
11 Anciennes Relations des Indes, &c. p. 3.
12 Moncony’s, ubi sup.

g GOD here promises Adam that his will should be revealed to him and his posterity; which promise the Mohammedans believe was fulfilled at several times by the ministry of several prophets, from Adam himself, who was the first, to Mohammed, who was the last. The number of books revealed unto Adam they say was ten.1

1 Vide Hottinger Hist. Orient. p. 11. Reland. de Relig. Mohammed, p. 21.

h This word has various significations in the Korân; sometimes, as in this passage, it signifies divine revelation, or scripture in general; sometimes the verses of the Korân in particular, and at other times visible miracles. But the sense is easily distinguished by the context.
i The Jews are here called upon to receive the Korân, as verifying and confirming the Pentateuch, particularly with respect to the unity of God and the mission of Mohammed.2 And they are exhorted not to conceal the passages of their law which bear witness to those truths, nor to corrupt them by publishing false copies of the Pentateuch, for which the writers were but poorly paid.3

2 Yahya.
3 Jallalo’ddin.

k See the story of Moses and Pharaoh more particularly related, chapter vii. and xx. &c.
l The person who cast this calf, the Mohammedans say, was (not Aaron but) al Sâmeri, one of the principal men among the children of Israel, some of whose descendants it is pretended still inhabit an island of that name in the Arabian Gulf.4 It was made of the rings5 and bracelets of gold, silver, and other materials, which the Israelites had borrowed of the Egyptians; for Aaron, who commanded in his brother’s absence, having ordered al Sâmeri to collect those ornaments from the people, who carried on a wicked commerce with them, and to keep them together till the return of Moses; al Sâmeri, understanding the founder’s art, put them altogether into a furnace to melt them down into one mass, which came out in the form of a calf.1 The Israelites, accustomed to the Egyptian idolatry, paying a religious worship to this image, al Sâmeri went farther, and took some dust from the footsteps of the horse of the angel Gabriel, who marched at the head of the people, and threw it into the mouth of the calf, which immediately began to low, and became animated;2 for such was the virtue of that dust.3 One writer says that all the Israelites adored this calf, except only 12,000.4

4 Geogr. Nubiens. p. 45.
5 Kor. c. 7.
1 See Exod. xxxii. 24.
2 Kor. c. 7.
3 Jallalo’ddin. Vide D’Herbelot, Bibl. Orient. p. 650.
4 Abulfeda.

m In this particular, the narration agrees with that of Moses, who ordered the Levites to slay every man his brother:5 but the scripture says, there fell of the people that day about 3,000 (the Vulgate says 23,000) men;6 whereas the commentators of the Korân make the number of the slain to amount to 70,000; and add, that GOD sent a dark cloud which hindered them from seeing one another, lest the sight should move those who executed the sentence to compassion.7

5 Exod. xxxii. 26, 27.
6 Ibid. 28.
7 Jallalo’ddin, &c.

n The persons here meant are said to have been seventy men, who were made choice of by Moses and heard the voice of GOD talking with him. But not being satisfied with that, they demanded to see GOD; whereupon they were all struck dead by lightning, and on Moses’s intercession restored to life.8

8 Ismael Ebn Ali.

o The eastern writers say these quails were of a peculiar kind, to be found nowhere but in Yaman, from whence they were brought by a south wind in great numbers to the Israelites’ camp in the desert.9 The Arabs call these birds Salwâ, which is plainly the same with the Hebrew Salwim, and say they have no bones, but are eaten whole.10

9 See Psalm lxxviii. 26.
10 Vide D’Herbelot, Bibl. Orient. p. 477.

p Some commentators suppose it to be Jericho, others Jerusalem.
q The Arabic word is Hittaton, which some take to signify that profession of the unity of GOD so frequently used by the Mohammedans, La ilâha illa ‘llaho, There is no god but GOD.
r According to Jallalo’ddin, instead of Hittaton, they cried Habbat fi shaïrat–i.e., a grain in an ear of barley; and in ridicule of the divine command to enter the city in an humble posture, they indecently crept in upon their breech.
s A pestilence which carried off near 70,000 of them.11

11 Jallalo’ddin.

The commentators say this was a stone which Moses brought from Mount Sinai, and the same that fled away with his garments which he laid upon it one day while he washed; they add that Moses ran after the stone naked, till he found himself, ere he was aware, in the midst of the people, who, on this accident, were convinced of the falsehood of a report which had been raised of their prophet, that he was bursten, or, as others write, an hermaphrodite.1
They describe it to be a square piece of white marble, shaped like a man’s head; wherein they differ not much from the accounts of European travellers, who say this rock stands among several lesser ones, about 100 paces from Mount Horeb, and appears to have been loosened from the neighbouring mountains, having no coherence with the others; that it is a huge mass of red granite, almost round on one side, and flat on the other, twelve feet high, and as many thick, but broader than it is high, and about fifty feet in circumference.2

1 Jallalo’ddin, Yahya.
2 Breydenbach, Itinerar. Chartâ m. p. 1. Sicard, dans les Mémoires des Missions, vol. vii. p. 14.

u Marracci thinks this circumstance looks like a Rabbinical fiction, or else that Mohammed confounds the water of the rock at Horeb with the twelve wells at Elim;3 for he says several who have been on the spot affirm there are but three orifices whence the water issued.4 But it is to be presumed that Mohammed had better means of information in this respect than to fall into such a mistake; for the rock stands within the borders of Arabia, and some of his countrymen must needs have seen it, if he himself did not, as it is most probable he did. And in effect he seems to be in the right. For one who went into those parts in the end of the fifteenth century tells us expressly that the water issued from twelve places of the rock, according to the number of the tribes of Israel; egressæ sunt aquæ largissimæ in duodecim locis petræ, juxta numerum duodecim tribuum Israel.5 A late curious traveller6 observes that there are twenty-four holes in the stone, which may be easily counted–that is to say, twelve on the flat side, and as many on the opposite round side, every one being a foot deep, and an inch wide; and he adds, that the holes on one side do not communicate with those on the other, which a less accurate spectator not perceiving (for they are placed horizontally, within two feet of the top of the rock), might conclude they pierced quite through the stone, and so reckon them to be but twelve.

3 Exod. xv. 27; Numb. xxxiii. 9.
4 Marracc. Prodr. part iv. p. 80.
5 Breydenbach, ubi sup.
6 Sicard, ubi sup.

x See Numb. xi. 5, &c.

y From these words, which are repeated in the fifth chapter, several writers7 have wrongly concluded that the Mohammedans hold it to be the doctrine of their prophet that every man may be saved in his own religion, provided he be sincere and lead a good life. It is true, some of their doctors do agree this to be the purport of the words;1 but then they say the latitude hereby granted was soon revoked, for that this passage is abrogated by several others in the Korân, which expressly declare that none can be saved who is not of the Mohammedan faith, and particularly by those words of the third chapter, Whoever followeth any other religion than Islâm (i.e., the Mohammedan) it shall not be accepted of him, and at the last day he shall be of those who perish.2 However, others are of opinion that this passage is not abrogated, but interpret it differently, taking the meaning of it to be that no man, whether he be a Jew, a Christian, or a Sabian, shall be excluded from salvation, provided he quit his erroneous religion and become a Moslem, which they say is intended by the following words, Whoever believeth in GOD and the last day, and doth that which is right. And this interpretation is approved by Mr. Reland, who thinks the words here import no more than those of the apostle, In every nation he that feareth GOD, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him;3 from which it must not be inferred that the religion of nature, or any other, is sufficient to save, without faith in Christ.4

7 Selden, de Jure Nat. et Gent. sec. Hebr. l. 6, c. 12. Angel, a St. Joseph. Gazophylac. Persic. p. 365. Nic. Cusanus in Cribratione Alcorani, l. 3, c. 2, &c.
1 See Chardin’s Voyages, vol. ii. p. 326, 331.
2 Abu’lkasem Hebatallah de abrogante et abrogato.
3 Acts x. 35.
4 Vide Reland. de Rel. Moham. p. 128, &c.

z The Mohammedan tradition is, that the Israelites refusing to receive the law of Moses, GOD tore up the mountain by the roots, and shook it over their heads, to terrify them into a compliance.5

5 Jallalo’ddin.

a The story to which this passage refers, is as follows: In the days of David some Israelites dwelt at Ailah, or Elath, on the Red Sea, where on the night of the sabbath the fish used to come in great numbers to the shore, and stay there all the sabbath, to tempt them; but the night following they returned into the sea again. At length some of the inhabitants, neglecting GOD’S command, catched fish on the sabbath, and dressed and ate them; and afterward cut canals from the sea, for the fish to enter, with sluices, which they shut on the sabbath, to prevent their return to the sea. The other part of the inhabitants, who strictly observed the sabbath, used both persuasion and force to stop this impiety, but to no purpose, the offenders growing only more and more obstinate; whereupon David cursed the sabbath-breakers, and God transformed them into apes. It is said that one going to see a friend of his that was among them, found him in the shape of an ape, moving his eyes about wildly; and asking him whether he was not such a one, the ape made a sign with his head that it was he; whereupon the friend said to him, Did not I advise you to desist? at which the ape wept. They add that these unhappy people remained three days in this condition, and were afterwards destroyed by a wind which swept them all into the sea.6

6 Abulfeda.

b The occasion of this sacrifice is thus related. A certain man at his death left his son, then a child, a cow-calf, which wandered in the desert till he came to age; at which time his mother told him the heifer was his, and bid him fetch her, and sell her for three pieces of gold. When the young man came to the market with his heifer, an angel in the shape of a man accosted him, and bid him six pieces of gold for her; but he would not take the money till he had asked his mother’s consent; which when he had obtained, he returned to the market-place, and met the angel, who now offered him twice as much for the heifer, provided he would say nothing of it to his mother; but the young man refusing, went and acquainted her with the additional offer. The woman perceiving it was an angel, bid her son go back and ask him what must be done with the heifer; whereupon the angel told the young man that in a little time the children of Israel would buy that heifer of him at any price. And soon after it happened that an Israelite, named Hammiel, was killed by a relation of his, who, to prevent discovery, conveyed the body to a place considerably distant from that where the fact was committed. The friends of the slain man accused some other persons of the murder before Moses; but they denying the fact, and there being no evidence to convict them, God commanded a cow, of such and such particular marks, to be killed; but there being no other which answered the description except the orphan’s heifer, they were obliged to buy her for as much gold as her hide would hold; according to some, for her full weight in gold, and as others say, for ten times as much. This heifer they sacrificed, and the dead body being, by divine direction, struck with a part of it, revived, and standing up, named the person who had killed him; after which it immediately fell down dead again.1 The whole story seems to be borrowed from the red heifer, which was ordered by the Jewish law to be burnt, and the ashes kept for purifying those who happened to touch a dead corpse;2 and from the heifer directed to be slain for the expiation of an uncertain murder. See Deut. xxi. 1-9.

1 Abulfeda.
2 Numb. xix.

c The epithet in the original is yellow; but this word we do not use in speaking of the colour or cattle.
d Because of the exorbitant price which they were obliged to pay for the heifer.
e i.e., Her tongue, or the end of her tail.3

3 Jallalo’ddin.
f Mohammed again accuses the Jews of corrupting their scripture.
g That is, says Jallalo’ddin, forty; being the number of days that their forefathers worshipped the golden calf; after which they gave out that their punishment should cease. It is a received opinion among the Jews at present, that no person, be he ever so wicked, or of whatever sect, shall remain in hell above eleven months, or at most a year; except Dathan and Abiram, and atheists, who will be tormented there to all eternity.1

1 Vide Bartoloccii Biblioth. Rabbinic. tom. ii. p. 128, et tom. iii. p. 421.

h By evil in this place the commentators generally understand polytheism or idolatry; which sin the Mohammedans believe, unless repented of in this life, is unpardonable and will be punished by eternal damnation; but all other sins they hold will at length be forgiven. This therefore is that irremissible impiety, in their opinion, which in the New Testament is called the sin against the Holy Ghost.
i This passage was revealed on occasion of some quarrels which arose between the Jews of the tribes of Koreidha, and those of al Aws, al Nadhîr, and al Khazraj, and came to that height that they took arms and destroyed one another’s habitations, and turned one another out of their houses; but when any were taken captive, they redeemed them. When they were asked the reason of their acting in this manner, they answered, That they were commanded by their law to redeem the captives, but that they fought out of shame, lest their chiefs should be despised.2

2 Jallalo’ddin.

k We must not imagine Mohammed here means the Holy Ghost in the Christian acceptation. The commentators says this spirit was the angel Gabriel, who sanctified Jesus and constantly attended on him.1

1 Jallalo’ddin.

l The Jews in expectation of the coming of Mohammed (according to the tradition of his followers) used this prayer, O God, help us against the unbelievers by the prophet who is to be sent in the last times.2

2 Idem.

m The Korân.
n The Pentateuch.
o See before p. 8.
p Moses took the calf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and strewed it upon the water (of the brook that descended from the mount), and made the children of Israel drink of it.3

3 Exod. xxxii. 20; Deut. ix. 21.

q Mohammed here infers from their forefathers’ disobedience in worshipping the calf, at the same time that they pretended to believe in the law of Moses, that the faith of the Jews in his time was as vain and hypocritical, since they rejected him, who was foretold therein, as an impostor.4

4 Jallalo’ddin, Yahya, al Beidâwi.

r That is, by reason of the wicked forgeries which they have been guilty of in respect to the scriptures. An expression much like that of St. Paul, where he says, that some men’s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment.5

5 1 Tim. v. 24.

s The commentators say that the Jews asked what angel it was that brought the divine revelations to Mohammed; and being told that it was Gabriel, they replied that he was their enemy, and the messenger of wrath and punishment; but if it had been Michael, they would have believed on him, because that angel was their friend, and the messenger of peace and plenty. And on this occasion, they say, this passage was revealed.1
That Michael was really the protector or guardian angel of the Jews, we know from scripture;2 and it seems that Gabriel was, as the Persians call him, the angel of revelations, being frequently sent on messages of that kind;3 for which reason it is probable Mohammed pretended he was the angel from whom he received the Korân.

1 Jallalo’ddin; al Zamakh. Yahya.
2 Dan. xii. I.
3 Ibid.. c. viii. 16, and ix. 21; Luke i. 19, 26. See Hyde de Rel. Vet. Persar. p. 263.

t i.e., the revelations of this book.
u The devils having, by GOD’S permission, tempted Solomon without success, they made use of a trick to blast his character. For they wrote several books of magic, and hid them under that prince’s throne, and after his death, told the chief men that if they wanted to know by what means Solomon had obtained his absolute power over men, genii, and the winds, they should dig under his throne; which having done, they found the aforesaid books, which contained impious superstitions. The better sort refused to learn the evil arts therein delivered, but the common people did; and the priests published this scandalous story of Solomon, which obtained credit among the Jews, till GOD, say the Mohammedans, cleared that king by the mouth of their prophet, declaring that Solomon was no idolater.4

4 Yahya, Jallalo’ddin.

v Some say only that these were two magicians, or angels sent by GOD to teach men magic, and to tempt them.5 But others tell a longer fable; that the angels expressing their surprise at the wickedness of the sons of Adam, after prophets had been sent to them with divine commissions, GOD bid them choose two out of their own number to be sent down to be judges on earth. Whereupon they pitched upon Harût and Marût, who executed their office with integrity for some time, till Zohara, or the planet Venus, descended and appeared before them in the shape of a beautiful woman, bringing a complaint against her husband (though others say she was a real woman). As soon as they saw her, they fell in love with her, and endeavoured to prevail on her to satisfy their desires; but she flew up again to heaven, whither the two angels also returned, but were not admitted. However, on the intercession of a certain pious man, they were allowed to choose whether they would be punished in this life, or in the other; whereupon they chose the former, and now suffer punishment accordingly in Babel, where they are to remain till the day of judgment. They add that if a man has a fancy to learn magic, he may go to them, and hear their voice, but cannot see them.1
This story Mohammed took directly from the Persian Magi, who mention two rebellious angels of the same names, now hung up by the feet, with their heads downwards, in the territory of Babel.2 And the Jews have something like this, of the angel Shamhozai, who, having debauched himself with women, repented, and by way of penance hung himself up between heaven and earth.3

5 Jallalo’ddin.
1 Yahya, &c.
2 Vide Hyde, ubi sup. c. 12.

3 Bereshit rabbah, in Gen. vi. 2.

x Those two Arabic words have both the same signification, viz., Look on us; and are a kind of salutation. Mohammed had a great aversion to the first, because the Jews frequently used it in derision, it being a word of reproach in their tongue.4 They alluded, it seems, to the Hebrew verb [Hebrew Text] ruá, which signifies to be bad or mischievous.

4 Jallalo’ddin.

y Namely, to see GOD manifestly.5

5 See before, p. 7.

z This passage was revealed on occasion of a dispute which Mohammed had with the Jews of Medina, and the Christians of Najrân, each of them asserting that those of their religion only should be saved.6

6 Jallalo’ddin.

a Literally, resigneth his face, &c.
b That is, asserteth the unity of GOD.7

7 Idem.

c The Jews and Christians are here accused of denying the truth of each other’s religion, notwithstanding they read the scriptures. Whereas the Pentateuch bears testimony to Jesus, and the Gospel bears testimony to Moses.1

1 Idem.

d Or hindereth men from paying their adorations to GOD in those sacred places. This passage, says Jallalo’ddin, was revealed on news being brought that the Romans had spoiled the temple of Jerusalem; or else when the idolatrous Arabs obstructed Mohammed’s visiting the temple of Mecca, in the expedition of al Hodeibiya, which happened in the sixth year of the Hejra.2

2 Vide Abulfeda. Vit. Moham. p. 84, &c.
e This is spoken not only of the Christians and of the Jews (for they are accused of holding Ozair, or Ezra, to be the Son of GOD), but also the pagan Arabs, who imagined the angels to be the daughters of GOD.
f GOD tried Abraham chiefly by commanding him to leave his native country, and to offer his son. But the commentators suppose the trial here meant related only to some particular ceremonies, such as circumcision, pilgrimage to the Caaba, several rites of purification, and the like.3

3 Jallalo’ddin.

g I have rather expressed the meaning, than truly translated the Arabic word Imâm, which answers to the Latin Antistes. This title the Mohammedans give to their priests, who begin the prayers in their mosques, and whom all the congregation follow.
h That is, the Caaba, which is usually called, by way of eminence, the House. Of the sanctity of this building, and other particulars relating to it, see the Preliminary Discourse, Sect. IV.

i A place so called within the inner enclosure of the Caaba, where they pretend to show the print of his foot in a stone.4

4 See the Prelim. Disc., Sect. IV.

k The Arabic word is Moslemûna, in the singular Moslem, which the Mohammedans take as a title peculiar to themselves. The Europeans generally write and pronounce it Musulman.

l Or deserved. The Mohammedan notion, as to the imputation of moral actions to man, which they call gain, or acquisition, is sufficiently explained in the Preliminary Discourse.
m By baptism is to be understood the religion which GOD instituted in the beginning; because the signs of it appear in the person who professes it, as the signs of water appear in the clothes of him that is baptized.1

1 Jallalo’ddin.

n These words were revealed because the Jews insisted that they first received the scriptures, that their Keblah was more ancient, and that no prophets could arise among the Arabs; and therefore if Mohammed was a prophet, he must have been of their nation.2

2 Idem.

o The Jews are again accused of corrupting and suppressing the prophecies in the Pentateuch relating to Mohammed.
p At first, Mohammed and his followers observed no particular rite in turning their faces towards any certain place, or quarter of the world, when they prayed; it being declared to be perfectly indifferent.3 Afterwards, when the prophet fled to Medina, he directed them to turn towards the temple of Jerusalem (probably to ingratiate himself with the Jews), which continued to be their Keblah for six or seven months; but either finding the Jews too intractable, or despairing otherwise to gain the pagan Arabs, who could not forget their respect to the temple of Mecca, he ordered that prayers for the future should be towards the last. This change was made in the second year of the Hejra,4 and occasioned many to fall from him, taking offence at his inconstancy.5

3 See before, p. 13.
4 Vide Abulfeda, Vit. Moham. p. 54.
5 Jallalo’ddin.

q This seems to be the sense of the words; though the commentators6 will have the meaning to be that the Arabians are here declared to be a most just and good nation.

6 Idem. Yahya, &c.

r i.e., Returneth to Judaism.
s Or will not suffer it to go without its reward, while ye prayed towards Jerusalem.
t That is, of your own nation.

u The original words are literally, who are slain in the way of GOD; by which expression, frequently occurring in the Korân, is always meant war undertaken against unbelievers for the propagation of the Mohammedan faith.

x The souls of martyrs (for such they esteem those who die in battle against infidels), says Jallalo’ddin, are in the crops of green birds, which have liberty to fly wherever they please in paradise, and feed on the fruits thereof.
y An expression frequently in the mouths of the Mohammedans, when under any great affliction, or in any imminent danger.
z Safâ and Merwâ are two mountains near Mecca, whereon were anciently two idols, to which the pagan Arabs used to pay a superstitious veneration.1 Jallalo’ddin says this passage was revealed because the followers of Mohammed made a scruple of going round these mountains, as the idolaters did. But the true reason of his allowing this relic of ancient superstition seems to be the difficulty he found in preventing it. Abul Kâsem Hebato’llah thinks these last words are abrogated by those other, Who will reject the religion of Abraham, except he who hath infatuated his souls?2 So that he will have the meaning to be quite contrary to the letter, as if it had been, it shall be no crime in him if he do not compass them. However, the expositors are all against him3, and the ceremony of running between these two hills is still observed at the pilgrimage.4

1 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. I.
2 See before, p. 15.
3 Vide Marracci in Alc. p. 69, &c
4 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV.

a That is, the angels, the believers, and all things in general.5 But Yahya interprets it of the curses which will be given to the wicked, when they cry out because of the punishment of the sepulchre,6 by all who hear them, that is, by all creatures except men and genii.

5 Jallalo’ddin.
6 See Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV

b Or, as Jallalo’ddin expounds it, GOD will not wait for their repentance.
c The original word signifies properly that are pressed or compelled to do personal service without hire; which kind of service is often exacted by the eastern princes of their subjects, and is called by the Greek and Latin writers, Angaria. The scripture often mentions this sort of compulsion by force.7

7 Matth. v. 41; xxvii. 32, &c.

d Or it may be translated, Although the ungodly will perceive, &c. But some copies instead of yara, in the third person, read tara, in the second; and then it must be rendered, Oh if thou didst see when the ungodly behold their punishment, &c.
e That is, when the broachers or heads of new sects shall at the last day forsake or wash their hands of their disciples, as if they were not accomplices in their superstitions.
f For this reason, whenever the Mohammedans kill any animal for food, they always say, Bismi llah, or In the name of GOD; which, if it be neglected, they think it not lawful to eat of it.
g This is not to be strictly taken; for according to the Sonna, a man also is to be put to death for the murder of a woman. Regard is also to be had to difference in religion, so that a Mohammedan, though a slave, is not to be put to death for an infidel, though a freeman.1 But the civil magistrates do not think themselves always obliged to conform to this last determination of the Sonna.

1 Jallalo’ddin.

h This is the common practice in Mohammedan countries, particularly in Persia,2 where the relations of the deceased may take their choice, either to have the murderer put into their hands to be put to death, or else to accept of a pecuniary satisfaction.

2 Vide Chardin Voyage de Perse, t. ii. p. 299, &c.

i That is, the legacy was not to exceed a third part of the testator’s substance, nor to be given where there was no necessity. But this injunction is abrogated by the law concerning inheritances.
k The expositors differ much about the meaning of this passage, thinking it very improbable that people should be left entirely at liberty either to fast or not, on compounding for it in this manner. Jallalo’ddin, therefore, supposes the negative particle not to be understood, and that this is allowed only to those who are not able to fast, by reason of age or dangerous sickness; whether they would fast or maintain a poor man, which liberty was soon after taken away, and this passage abrogated by the following, Therefore let him who shall be present in this month, fast the same month. Yet this abrogation, he says, does not extend to women with child or that give suck, lest the infant suffer.
      Al Zamakhshari, having first given an explanation of Ebn Abbâs, who, by a different interpretation of the Arabic word Yotikûnaho, which signifies can or are able to fast, renders it, Those who find great difficulty therein, &c., adds an exposition of his own, by supposing something to be understood, according to which the sense will be, Those who can fast and yet have a legal excuse to break it, must redeem it, &c.

l According to the usual quantity which a man eats in a day and the custom of the country.3

3 Jallalo’ddin.

m See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV.

n i.e., At home, and not in a strange country, where the fact cannot be performed, or on a journey.
o In the beginning of Mohammedism, during the fast, they neither lay with their wives, nor ate nor drank after supper. But both are permitted by this passage.1

1 Jallalo’ddin.

p A metaphorical expression, to signify the mutual comfort a man and his wife find in each other.
q Some of the Arabs had a superstitious custom after they had been at Mecca (in pilgrimage, as it seems), on their return home, not to enter their house by the old door, but to make a hole through the back part for a passage, which practice is here reprehended.
r As to these sacred months, wherein it was unlawful for the ancient Arabs to attack one another, see the Prelim. Disc. Sect. VII.
s i.e., Be not accessory to your own destruction, by neglecting your contributions towards the wars against infidels, and thereby suffering them to gather strength.

t For this was a sign they had completed their vow, and performed all the ceremonies of the pilgrimage.1

1 Jallalo’ddin.

u That is, either by fasting three days, or feeding six poor people, or sacrificing a sheep.
x This passage is somewhat obscure. Yahya interprets it of him who marries a wife during the visitation, and performs the pilgrimage the year following. But Jallalo’ddin expounds it of him who stays within the sacred enclosures, in order to complete the ceremonies which (as it should seem) he had not been able to do within the prescribed time.
y i.e., Shawâl, Dhu’lkaada, and Dhu’lhajja. See the Preliminary Discourse, Sect. IV.
z The original word signifies to rush forward impetuously; as the pilgrims do when they proceed from Arafat to Mozdalifa.
a A mountain near Mecca, so called because Adam there met and knew his wife, after a long separation.2 Yet others say that Gabriel, after he had instructed Abraham in all the sacred ceremonies, coming to Arafat, there asked him if he knew the ceremonies which had been shown him; to which Abraham answering in the affirmative, the mountain had thence its name.3

2 See before, p. 5, note f.
3 Al Hasan.

b In Arabic, al Masher al harâm. 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.4 Bobovious calls it Farkh5, but the true name seems to be Kazah; the variation being occasioned only by the different pointing of the Arabic letters.

4 Jallalo’ddin.
5 Bobov. de Peregr. Meccana, p. 15.

c For he will judge all creatures, says Jallalo’ddin, in the space of half a day.
d i.e., Three days after slaying the sacrifices.

e 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.1

1 Jallalo’ddin.

f Setting fire to his neighbour’s corn, and killing his asses by night.2

2 Idem.

g The person here meant was one Soheib, who being persecuted by the idolaters of Mecca, forsook all he had, and fled to Medina.3

3 Idem.

h Under the name of wine all sorts of strong and inebriating liquors are comprehended.1

1 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. V.

i The original word, al Meiser, properly signifies a particular game performed with arrows, and much in use with the pagan Arabs. But by lots we are here to understand all games whatsoever, which are subject to chance or hazard, as dice, cards, &c.2

2 See ibid.

k From these words some suppose that only drinking to excess and too frequent gaming are prohibited.3 And the moderate use of wine they also think is allowed by these words of the 16th chapter, And of the fruits of palm-trees and grapes ye obtain inebriating drink, and also good nourishment. But the more received opinion is, that both drinking wine or other strong liquors in any quantity, and playing at any game of chance, are absolutely forbidden.4

3 Vide Jallalo’ddin et al Zamakhshari.
4 See the Prelim. Disc. ubi sup.

l viz., By his curse, which shall certainly bring to nothing what ye shall wrong the orphans of.
m But not while they have their courses, nor by using preposterous venery.1

1 Ebn Abbas, Jallalo’ddin.

n It has been imagined that these words allow that preposterous lust, which the commentators say is forbidden by the preceding; but I question whether this can be proved.2

2 Jallalo’ddin, Yahya, al Zamakhshari Vide Lucret. de Rer. Nat. l. 4, v. 1258, &c.

o i.e., Perform some act of devotion or charity.

p So as to swear frequently by him. The word translated object, properly signifies a butt to shoot at with arrows.3

3 Jallalo’ddin.

q Some commentators4 expound this negatively, That ye will not deal justly, nor be devout, &c. For such wicked oaths, they say, were customary among the idolatrous inhabitants of Mecca; which gave occasion to the following saying of Mohammed: When your swear to do a thing, and afterwards find it better to do otherwise, do that which is better, and make void your oath.

4 Idem. Yahya.

r When a man swears inadvertently, and without design.
s That is, they may take so much time to consider; and shall not, by a rash oath, be obliged actually to divorce them.
t i.e., If they be reconciled to their wives within four months, or after, they may retain them, and GOD will dispense with their oath.
u This is to be understood of those only with whom the marriage has been consummated; for as to the others there is no time limited. Those who are not quite past childbearing (which a woman is reckoned to be after her courses cease, and she is fifty-five lunar years, or about fifty-three solar years old), and those who are too young to have children, are allowed three months only; but they who are with child must wait till they be delivered.5

5 Jallalo’ddin.

x That is, they shall tell the real truth, whether they have their courses, or be with child, or not; and shall not, by deceiving their husband, obtain a separation from him before the term be accomplished: lest the first husband’s child should, by that means, go to the second; or the wife, in case of the first husband’s death, should set up her child as his heir, or demand her maintenance during the time she went with such child, and the expenses of her lying-in, under pretence that she waited not her full prescribed time.6

6 Yahya.

y For if there be a settled aversion on either side, their continuing together may have very ill, and perhaps fatal consequences.
z i.e., If she prevail on her husband to dismiss her, by releasing part of her dowry.
a viz., By obliging them to purchase their liberty with part of their dowry.
b That is to say, before they marry again; and this, not only for decency sake, but that it may be known whether they be with child by the deceased or not.
c That is, if they leave off their mourning weeds, and look out for new husbands.
d i.e., Unless the wife agree to take less than half her dowry, or unless the husband be so generous as to give her more than half, or the whole, which is here approved of as most commendable.
e Yahya interprets this from a tradition of Mohammed, who, being asked which was the middle prayer, answered, The evening prayer, which was instituted by the prophet Solomon. But Jallalo’ddin allows a greater lattitude, and supposes it may be the afternoon prayer, the morning prayer, the noon prayer, or any other.
f These were some of the children of Israel, who abandoned their dwellings because of a pestilence, or, as others say, to avoid serving in a religious war; but, as they fled, God struck them all dead in a certain valley. About eight days or more after, when their bodies were corrupted, the prophet Ezekiel, the son of Buzi, happening to pass that way, at the sight of their bones wept; whereupon God said to him, Call to them, O Ezekiel, and I will restore them to life. And accordingly on the prophet’s call they all arose, and lived several years after; but they retained the colour and stench of dead corpses as long as they lived, and the clothes they wore changed as black as pitch, which qualities they transmitted to their posterity.1 As to the number of these Israelites the commentators are not agreed; they who reckon least say they were 3,000, and they who reckon most, 70,000. This story seems to have been taken from Ezekiel’s vision of the resurrection of dry bones.2

1 Jallalo’ddin, Yahya, Abulfeda, &c.
2 Ezek. xxxvii. 1-10.

      Some of the Mohammedan writers will have Ezekiel to have been one of the judges of Israel, and to have succeeded Othoniel the son of Caleb. They also call this prophet Ebn al ajûz, or the son of the old woman; because they say his mother obtained him by her prayers in her old age.3

3 Al Thalabi, Abu Ishak, &c.

g viz., By contributing towards the establishment of his true religion.
h So the Mohammedans name Saul.

i This ark, says Jallalo’ddin, contained the images of the prophets, and was sent down from heaven to Adam, and at length came to the Israelites, who put great confidence therein, and continually carried it in the front of their army, till it was taken by the Amalekites. But on this occasion the angels brought it back, in the sight of all the people, and placed it at the feet of Talût; who was thereupon unanimously acknowledged for their king.
      This relation seems to have arisen from some imperfect tradition of the taking and sending back the ark by the Philistines.4

4 I Sam. iv. v. and vi.

k That is, because of the great confidence the Israelites placed in it, having won several battles by its miraculous assistance. I imagine, however, that the Arabic word Sakînat, which signifies tranquillity or security of mind, and is so understood by the commentators, may not improbably mean the divine presence or glory, which used to appear on the ark, and which the Jews express by the same word Shechinah.
l These were the shoes and rod of Moses, the mitre of Aaron, a pot of manna, and the broken pieces of the two tables of the law.5

5 Jallalo’ddin.

m The number of those who drank out of their hands was about 313.1 It seems that Mohammed has here confounded Saul with Gideon, who by the divine direction took with him against the Midianites such of his army only as lapped water out of their hands, which were 300 men.2

1 Idem, Yahya.
2 Judges vii.

n Or Goliath.
o Or what he pleased to teach him. Yahya most rationally understands hereby the divine revelations which David received from GOD; but Jallalo’ddin the art of making coats of mail (which the Mohammedans believe was that prophet’s peculiar trade), and the knowledge of the language of birds.
p See before p. 10, note k.

q The following seven lines contain a magnificent description of the divine majesty and providence; but it must not be supposed the translation comes up to the dignity of the original. This passage is justly admired by the Mohammedans, who recite it in their prayers; and some of them wear it about them, engraved on an agate or other precious stone.3

3 Vide Bobov. de Prec. Moham. p. 5, et Reland. Dissert. de Gemmis Arab p. 235, 239.

r This throne, in Arabic called Corsi, is by the Mohammedans supposed to be God’s tribunal, or seat of justice; being placed under that other called al Arsh, which they say is his imperial throne. The Corsi allegorically signifies the divine providence, which sustains and governs the heaven and the earth, and is infinitely above human comprehension.4

4 Vide D’Herbelot, Bibl. Orient. Art. Corsi.

s This passage was particularly directed to some of Mohammed’s first proselytes, who, having sons that had been brought up in idolatry or Judaism, would oblige them to embrace Mohammedism by force.1

1 Jallalo’ddin.

t This word properly signifies an idol, or whatever is worshipped besides GOD–particularly the two idols of the Meccans, Allât and al Uzza; and also the devil, or any seducer.
u This was Nimrod, who, as the commentators say, to prove his power of life and death by ocular demonstration, caused two men to be brought before him at the same time, one of whom he slew, and saved the other alive. As to this tyrant’s persecution of Abraham, see chapter 21, and the notes thereon.
x The person here meant was Ozair or Ezra, who riding on an ass by the ruins of Jerusalem, after it had been destroyed by the Chaldeans, doubted in his mind by what means God could raise the city and its inhabitants again; whereupon God caused him to die, and he remained in that condition 100 years; at the end of which God restored him to life, and he found a basket of figs and a cruse of wine he had with him not in the least spoiled or corrupted; but his ass was dead, the bones only remaining, and these, while the prophet looked on, were raised and clothed with flesh, becoming an ass again, which being inspired with life, began immediately to bray.2

2 Jallalo’ddin, Yahya, &c See D’Herbel. Bibl. Orient. Art. Ozair.

      This apocryphal story may perhaps have taken its rise from Nehemiah’s viewing of the ruins of Jerusalem.3

3 Nehem. ii. 12, &c.
y The occasion of this request of Abraham is said to have been on a doubt proposed to him by the devil, in human form, how it was possible for the several parts of the corpse of a man which lay on the sea-shore, and had been partly devoured by the wild beasts, the birds, and the fish, to be brought together at the resurrection.4

4 See D’Herbelot, p. 13.

z These birds, according to the commentators, were an eagle (a dove, say others), a peacock, a raven and a cock, which Abraham cut to pieces, and mingled their flesh and feathers together, or, as some tell us, pounded all in a mortar, and dividing the mass into four parts, laid them on so many mountains, but kept the heads, which he had preserved whole, in his hand. Then he called them each by their name, and immediately one part flew to the other, till they all recovered their first shape, and then came to be joined to their respective heads.1
      This seems to be taken from Abraham’s sacrifice of birds mentioned by Moses,2 with some additional circumstances.

1 Jallalo’ddin. See D’Herbelot, ubi supra.
2 Gen. xv

a i.e., Either by reproaching the person whom they have relieved with what they have done for him, or by exposing his poverty to his prejudice.3

3 Jallalo’ddin.

b This garden is an emblem of alms given out of hypocrisy, or attended with reproaches, which perish, and will be of no service hereafter to the giver.4

4 Idem.
c That is, on having some amends made by the seller of such goods, either by abatement of the price, or giving something else to the buyer to make up the value.
d i.e., For the sake of a reward hereafter, and not for any worldly consideration.1

1 Jallalo’ddin.

e viz., Like demoniacs or possessed persons, that is, in great horror and distraction of mind and convulsive agitation of body.
f Or the interest due before usury was prohibited. For this some of Mohammed’s followers exacted of their debtors, supposing they lawfully might.2

2 Idem.
g Whoever manages his affairs, whether his father, heir, guardian, or interpreter.1

1 Jallalo’ddin.

h But this, say the Mohammedans, the Jews do, who receive Moses but reject Jesus; and the Christians, who receive both those prophets, but reject Mohammed.2

2 Idem.

i That is, on the Jews, who, as the commentators tell us, were ordered to kill a man by way of atonement, to give one-fourth of their substance in alms, and to cut off an unclean ulcerous part,3 and were forbidden to eat fat, or animals that divided the hoof, and were obliged to observe the sabbath, and other particulars wherein the Mohammedans are at liberty.4

3 Idem.
4 Yahya.

k This name is given in the Korân to the father of the Virgin Mary. See below, p. 35.
l For the meaning of these letters the reader is referred to the Preliminary Discourse, Sect. III.
m This passage is translated according to the exposition of al Zamakhshari and al Beidâwi, which seems to be the truest.
      The contents of the Korân 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 an enigmatical, allegorical style, are always to be interpreted.5

5 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. III.

n The sign or miracle here meant, was the victory gained by Mohammed in the second year of the Hejra, over the idolatrous Meccans, headed by Abu Sofiân, in the valley of Bedr, which is situate near the sea, between Mecca and Medina. Mohammed’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 Koreish, and taken as many prisoners, with the loss of only fourteen of his own men.1 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 Korân,2 as an effect of the divine assistance. The miracle, it is said, consisted in three things: 1. Mohammed, by the direction of the angel Gabriel, took a handful of gravel and threw it toward the enemy in the attack, saying, May their faces 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 Korân,3 that it was not he, but God, who threw it, that is to say, by the ministry of his angel. 2. The Mohammedan 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 Haizûm; and, according to the Korân,4 these celestial auxiliaries really did all the execution, though Mohammed’s men imagined themselves did it, and fought stoutly at the same time.

1 Elmacin. p. 5. Hottinger. Hist. Orient. l. 2, c. 4. Abulfed. Vit. Moham. p. 56, &c. Prideaux’s Life of Mahom. p. 71, &c.
2 See this chapter below, and c. 8 and 32.
3 Cap. 8, not far from the beginning.
4 Ibid.

o The proper name of the Mohammedan religion, which signifies the resigning or devoting one’s self entirely to GOD and his service. This they say is the religion which all the prophets were sent to teach, being founded on the unity of GOD.5

5 Jallalo’ddin, al Beidâwi.

p i.e., The pagan Arabs, who had no knowledge of the scriptures.1

1 Idem.

q That is, the Jews.
r This passage was revealed on occasion of a dispute Mohammed had with some Jews, which is differently related by the commentators.
      Al Beidâwi says that Mohammed going one day into a Jewish synagogue, Naïm Ebn Amru and al Hareth Ebn Zeid asked him what religion he was of? To which he answering, “Of the religion of Abraham;” they replied, “Abraham was a Jew.” But on Mohammed’s proposing that the Pentateuch might decide the question, they would by no means agree to it.
      But Jallalo’ddin tells us that two persons of the Jewish religion having committed adultery, their punishment was referred to Mohammed, who gave sentence that they should be stoned, according to the law of Moses. This the Jews refused to submit to, alleging there was no such command in the Pentateuch; but on Mohammed’s appealing to the book, the said law was found therein. Whereupon the criminals were stoned, to the great mortification of the Jews.
      It is very remarkable that this law of Moses concerning the stoning of adulterers is mentioned in the New Testament2 (though I know some dispute the authenticity of that whole passage), but is not now to be found, either in the Hebrew or Samaritan Pentateuch, or in the Septuagint; it being only said that such shall be put to death.3 This omission is insisted on by the Mohammedans as one instance of the corruption of the law of Moses by the Jews.
      It is also observable that there was a verse once extant in the Korân, commanding adulterers to be stoned; and the commentators say the words only are abrogated, the sense or law still remaining in force.4

2 John viii. 5.
3 Levit. xx. 10. See Whiston’s Essay towards restoring the true text of the Old Test. p. 99, 100. 4 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. III.

s i.e., Forty; the time their forefathers worshipped the calf.5 Al Beidâwi adds, that some of them pretended their punishment was to last but seven days, that is, a day for every thousand years which they supposed the world was to endure; and that they imagined they were to be so mildly dealt with, either by reason of the intercession of their fathers the prophets, or because GOD had promised Jacob that his offspring should be punished but slightly.

5 See before, p. 10, note g.

t The Mohammedans have a tradition that the first banner of the infidels that shall be set up, on the day of judgment, will be that of the Jews; and that GOD will first reproach them with their wickedness, over the heads of those who are present, and then order them to hell.6

6 Al Beidâwi.

u As a man from seed, and a bird from an egg; and vice versâ.1

1 Jallalo’ddin

x Or Amrân, is the name of two several persons, according to the Mohammedan tradition. One was the father of Moses and Aaron; and the other was the father of the Virgin Mary;2 but he is called by some Christian writers Joachim. The commentators suppose the first, or rather both of them, to be meant in this place; however, the person intended in the next passage, it is agreed, was the latter; who besides Mary the mother of Jesus, had also a son named Aaron,3 and another sister, named Ishá (or Elizabeth), who married Zacharias, and was the mother of John the Baptist; whence that prophet and Jesus are usually called by the Mohammedans, The two sons of the aunt, or the cousins german.
      From the identity of names it has been generally imagined by Christian writers4 that the Korân here confounds Mary the mother of Jesus, with Mary or Miriam the sister of Moses and Aaron; which intolerable anachronism, if it were certain, is sufficient of itself to destroy the pretended authority of this book. But though Mohammed may be supposed to have been ignorant enough in ancient history and chronology to have committed so gross a blunder, yet I do not see how it can be made out from the words of the Korân. For it does not follow, because two persons have the same name, and have each a father and brother who bear the same names, that they must therefore necessarily be the same person: besides, such a mistake is inconsistent with a number of other places in the Korân, whereby it manifestly appears that Mohammed well knew and asserted that Moses preceded Jesus several ages. And the commentators accordingly fail not to tell us that there had passed about one thousand eight hundred years between Amrân the father of Moses, and Amrân the father of the Virgin Mary: they also make them the sons of different persons; the first, they say, was the son of Yeshar, or Izhar (though he was really his brother),5 the son of Kâhath, the son of Levi; and the other was the son of Mathân,6 whose genealogy they trace, but in a very corrupt and imperfect manner, up to David, and thence to Adam.7
      It must be observed that though the Virgin Mary is called in the Korân1 the sister of Aaron, yet she is nowhere called the sister of Moses; however, some Mohammedan writers have imagined that the same individual Mary, the sister of Moses, was miraculously preserved alive from his time till that of Jesus Christ, purposely to become the mother of the latter.2

2 Al Zamakhshari, al Beidâwi.
3 Kor. c. 19.
4 Vide Reland. de Rel. Moh. p. 211 Marracc. in Alc. p. 115, &c. Prideaux, Letter to the Deists, p. 185.
5 Exod. vi. 18.
6 Al Zamakh. al Beidâwi.
7 Vide Reland. ubi sup. D’Herbelot, Bibl. Orient. p. 583.
1 Cap. 19.
2 Vide Guadagnol. Apolog. pro Rel. Christ. contra Ahmed Ebn Zein al Abedin. p. 279.

y The Imrân here mentioned was the father of the Virgin Mary, and his wife’s name was Hannah, or Ann, the daughter of Fakudh. This woman, say the commentators, being aged and barren, on seeing a bird feed her young ones, became very desirous of issue, and begged a child of GOD, promising to consecrate it to his service in the temple; whereupon she had a child, but it proved a daughter.3

3 Al Beidâwi, al Thalabi.

z The Arabic word is free, but here signifies particularly one that is free or detached from all worldly desires and occupations, and wholly devoted to GOD’S service.4

4 Jallalo’ddin, al Zamakhshari.

a Because a female could not minister in the temple as a male could.5

5 Jallalo’ddin.

b This expression alludes to a tradition, that Abraham, when the devil tempted him to disobey God in not sacrificing his son, drove the fiend away by throwing stones at him; in memory of which, the Mohammedans, at the pilgrimage of Mecca, throw a certain number of stones at the devil, with certain ceremonies, in the valley of Mina.6

6 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV.

      It is not improbable that the pretended immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary is intimated in this passage; for according to a tradition of Mohammed, every person that comes into the world is touched at his birth by the devil, and therefore cries out: Mary and her son only excepted, between whom and the evil spirit God placed a veil, so that his touch did not reach them.7 And for this reason, they say, neither of them were guilty of any sin, like the rest of the children of Adam:8 which peculiar grace they obtained by virtue of this recommendation of them by Hannah to God’s protection.

7 Jallalo’ddin, al Beidâwi.
8 Kitada.

c Though the child happened not to be a male, yet her mother presented her to the priests who had the care of the temple, as one dedicated to GOD; and they having received her, she

was committed to the care of Zacharias, as will be observed by-and-bye, and he built her an apartment in the temple, and supplied her with necessaries.9

9 Jallalo’ddin, al Beidâwi. Vide Lud. de Dieu, in not. ad Hist. Christi Xaverii, p. 542.

d The commentators say that none went into Mary’s apartment but Zacharias himself, and that he locked seven doors upon her, yet he found she had always winter fruits in summer, and summer fruits in winter.10

10 Al Beidâwi. Vide de Dieu, ubi sup. p. 548.

e There is a story of Fâtema, Mohammed’s daughter, that she once brought two loaves and a piece of flesh to her father, who returned them to her, and having called for her again, when she uncovered the dish, it was full of bread and meat; and on Mohammed’s asking her whence she had it, she answered in the words of this passage: This is from GOD; for GOD provideth for whom he pleaseth without measure. Whereupon he blessed GOD, who thus favoured her, as he had the most excellent of the daughters of Israel.1

1 Al Beidâwi

f Though the word be in the plural, yet the commentators say it was the angel Gabriel only. The same is to be understood where it occurs in the following passages.
g That is, Jesus, who, al Beidâwi says, is so called because he was conceived by the word or command of GOD without a father.
h The original word signifies one who refrains not only from women, but from all other worldly delights and desires. Al Beidâwi mentions a tradition, that during his childhood some boys invited him to play, but he refused, saying that he was not created to play.
i Zacharias was then ninety-nine years old, and his wife eighty-nine.2

2 Idem.

k Though he could not speak to anybody else, yet his tongue was at liberty to praise GOD as he is directed to do by the following words.
l When Mary was first brought to the temple, the priests, because she was the daughter of one of their chiefs, disputed among themselves who should have the education of her. Zacharias insisted that he ought to be preferred, because he had married her aunt; but the others not consenting that it should be so, they agreed to decide the matter by casting of lots; whereupon twenty-seven of them went to the river Jordan and threw in their rods (or arrows without heads or feathers, such as the Arabs used for the same purpose), on which they had written some passages of the law; but they all sank except that of Zacharias, which floated on the water; and he had thereupon the care of the child committed to him.3

3 Idem. Jallalo’ddin, &c.

m Besides an instance of this given in the Korân itself,1 which I shall not here anticipate, a Mohammedan writer, (of no very great credit, indeed) tells two stories, one of Jesus’s speaking while in his mother’s womb, to reprove her cousin Joseph for his unjust suspicions of her;2 and another of his giving an answer to the same person soon after he was born. For Joseph being sent by Zacharias to seek Mary (who had gone out of the city by night to conceal her delivery) and having found her began to expostulate with her, but she made no reply; whereupon the child spoke these words: Rejoice, O Joseph, and be of good cheer; for God hath brought me forth from the darkness of the womb, to the light of the world; and I shall go to the children of Israel, and invite them to the obedience of God.3
      These seem all to have been taken from some fabulous traditions of the eastern Christians, one of which is preserved to us in the spurious gospel of the Infancy of Christ; where we read that Jesus spoke while yet in the cradle, and said to his mother, Verily I am Jesus the Son of God, the word which thou hast brought forth, as the angel Gabriel did declare unto thee; and my father hath sent me to save the world.4

1 Cap. 19.
2 Vide Sikii notas in Evang. Infant. p. 5.
3 Al Kessai, apud eundem
4 Evang. Infant. p. 5.

n The Arabic word properly signifies a man in full age, that is, between thirty or thirty-four, and fifty-one; and the passage may relate to Christ’s preaching here on earth. But as he had scarce attained this age when he was taken up into heaven, the commentators choose to understand it of his second coming.5

5 Jallalo’ddin. Al Beidâwi.

o Some say it was a bat,6 though others suppose Jesus made several birds of different sorts.
      This circumstance is also taken from the following fabulous tradition, which may be found in the spurious gospel above mentioned. Jesus being seven years old, and at play with several children of his age, they made several figures of birds and beasts, for their diversion, of clay; and each preferring his own workmanship, Jesus told them, that he would make his walk and leap; which accordingly, at his command, they did. He made also several figures of sparrows and other birds, which flew about or stood on his hands as he ordered them, and also ate and drank when he offered them meat and drink. The children telling this to their parents, were forbidden to play any more with Jesus, whom they held to be a sorcerer.8

6 Jallalo’ddin.
7 Al Thalabi
8 Evang. Infant. p. 111, &c.

p The commentators observe that these words are added here, and in the next sentence, lest it should be thought Jesus did these miracles by his own power, or was GOD.9

9 Al Beidâwi, &c.

q Jallalo’ddin mentions three persons whom Christ restored to life, and who lived several years after, and had children, viz., Lazarus, the widow’s son, and the publican’s (I suppose he means the ruler of the synagogue’s) daughter. He adds that he also raised Shem the son of Noah, who, as another writes10 thinking he had been called to judgment, came out of his grave with his head half grey, whereas men did not grow grey in his days; after which he immediately died again.

10 Al Thalabi.

r Such as the eating of fish that have neither fins nor scales, the caul and fat of animals, and camel’s flesh, and to work on the sabbath. These things, say the commentators, being arbitrary institutions in the law of Moses, were abrogated by Jesus; as several of the same kind, instituted by the latter, have been since abrogated by Mohammed.1

1 Al Beidâwi. Jallalo’ddin.

s In Arabic, al Hawâriyûn; which word they derive from Hâra, to be white, and suppose the apostles were so called either from the candour and sincerity of their minds, or because they were princes and wore white garments, or else because they were by trade fullers.2 According to which last opinion, their vocation is thus related; that as Jesus passed by the seaside, he saw some fullers at work, and accosting them, said, Ye cleanse these clothes, but cleanse not your hearts; upon which they believed on him. But the true etymology seems to be from the Ethiopic verb Hawyra, to go; whence Hawârya signifies one that is sent, a messenger or apostle.3

2 Idem.
3 Vide Ludolfi Lexic. Æthiop. col. 40, et Golii notas ad cap. 61 Korâni, p. 205.

t i.e., They laid a design to take away his life.
u This stratagem of God’s was the taking of Jesus up into heaven, and stamping his likeness on another person, who was apprehended and crucified in his stead. For it is the constant doctrine of the Mohammedans that it was not Jesus himself who underwent that ignominious death, but somebody else in his shape and resemblance.4 The person crucified some will have to be a spy that was sent to entrap him; others, that it was one Titian, who by the direction of Judas entered in at a window of the house where Jesus was, to kill him; and others that it was Judas himself, who agreed with the rulers of the Jews to betray him for thirty pieces of silver, and led those who were sent to take him.
      They add, that Jesus after his crucifixion in effigy, was sent down again to the earth, to comfort his mother and disciples and acquaint them how the Jews were deceived; and was then taken up a second time into heaven.5
      It is supposed by several that this story was an original invention of Mohammed’s; but they are certainly mistaken; for several sectaries held the same opinion, long before his time. The Basilidians,6 in the very beginning of Christianity, denied that Christ himself suffered, but that Simon the Cyrenean was crucified in his place. The Cerinthians before them, and the Carpocratians next (to name no more of those who affirmed Jesus to have been a mere man), did believe the same thing; that it was not himself, but one of his followers very like him that was crucified. Photius tells us, that he read a book entitled, “The Journeys of the Apostles,” relating the acts of Peter, John, Andrew, Thomas and Paul; and among other things contained therein, this was one, that Christ, was not crucified, but another in his stead, and that therefore he laughed at his crucifiers,7 or those who thought they had crucified him.8
      I have in another place9 mentioned an apocryphal gospel of Barnabas, a forgery originally of some nominal Christians, but interpolated since by Mohammedans; which gives this part of the history of Jesus with circumstances too curious to be omitted. It is therein related, that the moment the Jews were going to apprehend Jesus in the garden, he was snatched up into the third heaven by the ministry of four angels, Gabriel, Michael, Raphael and Uriel; that he will not die till the end of the world, and that it was Judas who was crucified in his stead; God having permitted that traitor to appear so like his master, in the eyes of the Jews, that they took and delivered him to Pilate. That this resemblance was so great, that it deceived the Virgin Mary and the Apostles themselves; but that Jesus Christ afterward obtained leave of God to go and comfort them. That Barnabas having then asked him, why the divine goodness had suffered the mother and disciples of so holy a prophet to believe even for one moment that he had died in so ignominious a manner? Jesus returned the following answer. “O Barnabas, believe me that every sin, how small soever, is punished by God with great torment, because God is offended with sin. My mother therefore and faithful disciples, having loved me with a mixture of earthly love, the just God has been pleased to punish this love with their present grief, that they might not be punished for it hereafter in the flames of hell. And as for me, though I have myself been blameless in the world, yet other men having called me God and the Son of God; therefore God, that I might not be mocked by the devils at the day of judgment, has been pleased that in this world I should be mocked by men with the death of Judas, making everybody believe that I died upon the cross. And hence it is that this mocking is still to continue till the coming of Mohammed, the messenger of God; who, coming into the world, will undeceive every one who shall believe in the law of God from this mistake.1

4 See Kor. c. 4.
5 Vide Marracc. in Alc. p. 113, &c., et in Prodr. part iii. p. 63, &c.
5 Irenæus, l. I, c. 23, &c. Epiphan. Hæres. 24, num. iii.
7 Photius, Bibl. Cod. 114, col. 291.
8 Toland’s Nararenus, p 17, &c.
9 Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV.
1 See the Menagiana. tom. iv. p. 326, &c.

x It is the opinion of a great many Mohammedans that Jesus was taken up into heaven without dying; which opinion is consonant to what is delivered in the spurious gospel above mentioned. Wherefore several of the commentators say that there is a hysteron proteron in these words, I will cause thee to die, and I will take thee up unto me; and that the copulative does not import order, or that he died before his assumption; the meaning being this, viz., that GOD would first take Jesus up to heaven, and deliver him from the infidels, and afterwards cause him to die; which they suppose is to happen when he shall return into the world again, before the last day.2 Some, thinking the order of the words is not to be changed, interpret them figuratively, and suppose their signification to be that Jesus was lifted up while he was asleep, or that GOD caused him to die a spiritual death to all worldly desires. But others acknowledge that he actually died a natural death, and continued in that state three hours, or, according to another tradition, seven hours; after which he was restored to life, and then taken up to heaven.3

2 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV.
3 Al Beidâwi.

y Some Mohammedans say this was done by the ministry of Gabriel; but others that a strong whirlwind took him up from Mount Olivet.4

4 Al Thalabi. See 2 Kings ii. I, II

z That is, they who believe in Jesus (among whom the Mohammedans reckon themselves) shall be for ever superior to the Jews, both in arguments and in arms. And accordingly, says al Beidâwi, to this very day the Jews have never prevailed either against the Christians or Moslems, nor have they any kingdom or established government of their own.
a He was like to Adam in respect of his miraculous production by the immediate power of GOD.1

1 Jallalo’ddin, &c

b Namely, Jesus.
c To explain this passage their commentators tell the following story. That some Christians, with their bishop named Abu Hareth, coming to Mohammed as ambassadors from the inhabitants of Najrân, and entering into some disputes with him touching religion and the history of Jesus Christ, they agreed the next morning to abide the trial here mentioned, as a quick way of deciding which of them were in the wrong. Mohammed met them accordingly, accompanied by his daughter Fâtema, his son-in-law Ali, and his two grandsons, Hasan and Hosein, and desired them to wait till he had said his prayers. But when they saw him kneel down, their resolution failed them, and they durst not venture to curse him, but submitted to pay him tribute.2

2 Jallalo’ddin, al Beidâwi.

d That is, to such terms of agreement as are indisputably consonant to the doctrine of all the prophets and scriptures, and therefore cannot be reasonably rejected.3

3 Idem.

e Besides other charges of idolatry on the Jews and Christians, Mohammed accused them of paying too implicit an obedience to their priests and monks, who took upon them to pronounce what things were lawful, and what unlawful, and to dispense with the laws of GOD.4

4 Idem.

f viz., By pretending him to have been of your religion.
g i.e., Ye perversely dispute even concerning those things which ye find in the law and the gospel, whereby it appears they were both sent down long after Abraham’s time; why then will ye offer to dispute concerning such points of Abraham’s religion, of which your scriptures say nothing, and of which ye consequently can have no knowledge?5

Al Beidâwi.

h This passage was revealed when the Jews endeavoured to pervert Hodheifa, Ammâr, and Moâdh to their religion.1

1 Idem.

i The Jews and Christians are again accused of corrupting the scriptures and stifling the prophecies concerning Mohammed.
k The commentators, to explain this passage, say that Caab Ebn al Ashraf and Malec Ebn al Seif (two Jews of Medina) advised their companions, when the Keblah was changed,2 to make as if they believed it was done by the divine direction, and to pray towards the Caaba in the morning, but that in the evening they should pray, as formerly, towards the temple of Jerusalem; that Mohammed’s followers, imagining the Jews were better judges of this matter than themselves, might imitate their example. But others say these were certain Jewish priests of Khaibar, who directed some of their people to pretend in the morning that they had embraced Mohammedism, but in the close of the day to say that they had looked into their books of scripture, and consulted their Rabbins, and could not find that Mohammed was the person described and intended in the law, by which trick they hoped to raise doubts in the minds of the Mohammedans.3

2 See before, c. 2, p. 16.
3 Al Beidâwi

l As an instance of this, the commentators bring Abd’allah Ebn Salâm, a Jew, very intimate with Mohammed,4 to whom one of the Koreish lent 1,200 ounces of gold, which he very punctually repaid at the time appointed.5

4 See Prideaux’s Life of Mahom. p. 33.
5 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin.

m Al Beidâwi produces an example of such a piece of injustice in one Phineas Ebn Azûra, a Jew, who borrowed a dinâr, which is a gold coin worth about ten shillings, of a Koreishite, and afterwards had the conscience to deny it.
      But the person more directly struck at in this passage was the above-mentioned Caab Ebn al Ashraf, a most inveterate enemy of Mohammed and his religion, of whom Jallalo’ddin relates the same story as al Beidâwi does of Phineas. This Caab, after the battle of Bedr, went to Mecca, and there, to excite the Koreish to revenge themselves, made and recited verses lamenting the death of those who were slain in that battle, and reflecting very severely on Mohammed; and he afterwards returned to Medina, and had the boldness to repeat them publicly there also, at which Mohammed was so exceedingly provoked that he proscribed him, and sent a party of men to kill him, and he was circumvented and slain by Mohammed Ebn Moslema, in the third year of the Hejra.1 Dr. Prideaux2 has confounded the Caab we are now speaking of with another very different person of the same name, and a famous poet, but who was the son of Zohair, and no Jew, as a learned gentleman has already observed.3 In consequence of which mistake, the doctor attributes what the Arabian historians write of the latter to the former, and wrongly affirms that he was not put to death by Mohammed.
      Some of the commentators, however, suppose that in the former part of this passage the Christians are intended, who, they say, are generally people of some honour and justice; and in the latter part the Jews, who, they think, are more given to cheating and dishonesty.4

1 Al Jannâbi, Elmacin.
2 Life of Mahom. p. 78, &c.
3 Vide Gagnier, in not. ad Abulfed. Vit. Moh. p. 64 and 122.
4 Al Beidâwi.

n This passage was revealed, say the commentators, in answer to the Christians, who insisted that Jesus had commanded them to worship him as GOD. Al Beidâwi adds that two Christians, named Abu Râfé al Koradhi and al Seyid al Najrâni, offered to acknowledge Mohammed for their Lord, and to worship him; to which he answered, GOD forbid that we should worship any besides GOD.
o Some commentators interpret this of the children of Israel themselves, of whose race the prophets were. But others say the souls of all the prophets, even of those who were not then born, were present on Mount Sinai when GOD gave the law to Moses, and that they entered into the covenant here mentioned with him. A story borrowed by Mohammed from the Talmudists, and therefore most probably his true meaning in this place.

p See before, chapter 2, p. 8, note y.
q This passage was revealed on the Jews reproaching Mohammed and his followers with their eating of the flesh and milk of camels,1 which they said was forbidden Abraham, whose religion Mohammed pretended to follow. In answer to which he tells them that GOD ordained no distinction of meats before he gave the law to Moses, though Jacob voluntarily abstained from the flesh and milk of camels; which some commentators say was the consequence of a vow made by that patriarch, when afflicted with the sciatica, that if he were cured he would eat no more of that meat which he liked best; and that was camel’s flesh: but others suppose he abstained from it by the advice of physicians only.2
      This exposition seems to be taken from the children of Israel’s not eating of the sinew on the hollow of the thigh, because the angel, with whom Jacob wrestled at Peniel, touched the hollow of his thigh in the sinew that shrank.3

1 See Levit. xi. 4; Deut. xiv. 7.
2 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin.
3 Gen. xxxii. 32.

r Wherein the Israelites, because of their wickedness and perverseness, were forbidden to eat certain animals which had been allowed their predecessors.4

4 Kor. c. 4. See the notes there.

s Mohammed received this passage when the Jews said that their Keblah, or the temple of Jerusalem, was more ancient than that of the Mohammedans, or the Caaba.5 Becca is another name of Mecca.6 Al Beidâwi observes that the Arabs used the “M” and “B” promiscuously in several words.

5 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin.
6 See the Prelim. Disc Sect. I. p. 3.

t i.e., The Keblah, towards which they are to turn their faces in prayer.
u Such is the stone wherein they show the print of Abraham’s feet, and the inviolable security of the place immediately mentioned; that the birds light not on the roof of the Caaba, and wild beasts put off their fierceness there; that none who came against it in a hostile manner ever prospered,1 as appeared particularly in the unfortunate expedition of Abraha al Ashram;2 and other fables of the same stamp which the Mohammedans are taught to believe.

1 Jallalo’ddin, al Beidâwi.
2 See Kor. c. 105.

x According to an exposition of this passage attributed to Mohammed, he is supposed to be able to perform the pilgrimage, who can supply himself with provisions for the journey, and a beast to ride upon. Al Shâfeï has decided that those who have money enough, if they cannot go themselves, must hire some other to go in their room. Malec Ebn Ans thinks he is to be reckoned able who is strong and healthy, and can bear the fatigue of the journey on foot, if he has no beast to ride, and can also earn his living by the way. But Abu Hanîfa is of opinion that both money sufficient and health of body are requisite to make the pilgrimage a duty.3

3 Al Beidâwi.

y This passage was revealed on occasion of a quarrel excited between the tribes of al Aws and al Khazraj, by one Shâs Ebn Kais, a Jew; who, passing by some of both tribes as they were sitting and discoursing familiarly together, and being inwardly vexed at the friendship and harmony which reigned among them on their embracing Mohammedism, whereas they had been, for 120 years before, most inveterate and mortal enemies, though descendants of two brothers; in order to set them at variance, sent a young man to sit down by them, directing him to relate the story of the battle of Boâth (a place near Medina), wherein, after a bloody fight, al Aws had the better of al Khazraj, and to repeat some verses on that subject. The young man executed his orders; whereupon those of each tribe began to magnify themselves, and to reflect on and irritate the other, till at length they called to arms, and great numbers getting together on each side, a dangerous battle had ensued, if Mohammed had not stepped in and reconciled them; by representing to them how much they would be to blame if they returned to paganism, and revived those animosities which Islâm had composed; and telling them that what had happened was a trick of the devil to disturb their present tranquility.4

4 Idem.

z Literally, Hold fast by the cord of God. That is, Secure yourselves by adhering to Islâm, which is here metaphorically expressed by a cord, because it is as sure a means of saving those who profess it from perishing hereafter, as holding by a rope is to prevent one’s falling into a well, or other like place. It is said that Mohammed used for the same reason to call the Korân, Habl Allah al matîn, i.e., the sure cord of GOD.5

5 Idem.

a i.e., As the Jews and Christians, who dispute concerning the unity of GOD, the future state, &c.1

1 Idem

b See the Preliminary Discourse, Sect. IV.

c As Abd’allah Ebn Salâm and his companions,2 and those of the tribes of al Aws and al Khazraj who had embraced Mohammedism.

2 Al Beidâwi.

d This verse, al Beidâwi says, is one of those whose meaning is mysterious, and relates to something future: intimating the low condition to which the Jewish tribes of Koreidha, Nadîr, Banu Kainokâ, and those who dwelt at Khaibar, were afterwards reduced by Mohammed.
e i.e., Unless they either profess the Mohammedan religion, or submit to pay tribute.
f Those namely who have embraced Islâm.
g That is, the Korân.
h Some copies have a different reading in this passage, which they express in the third person: They shall not be denied, &c.
i i.e., Of a different religion.

k This was at the battle of Ohod, a mountain about four miles to the north of Medina. The Koreish, to revenge their loss at Bedr,1 the next year being the third of the Hejra, got together an army of 3,000 men, among whom there were 200 horse, and 700 armed with coats of mail. These forces marched under the conduct of Abu Sofiân and sat down at Dhu’lholeifa, a village about six miles from Medina. Mohammed, being much inferior to his enemies in numbers, at first determined to keep himself within the town, and receive them there; but afterwards, the advice of some of his companions prevailing, he marched out against them at the head of 1,000 men (some say he had 1,050 men, others but 900), of whom 100 were armed with coats of mail, but he had no more than one horse, besides his own, in his whole army. With these forces he formed a camp in a village near Ohod, which mountain he contrived to have on his back; and the better to secure his men from being surrounded, he placed fifty archers in the rear, with strict orders not to quit their post. When they came to engage, Mohammed had the better at first, but afterwards by the fault of his archers, who left their ranks for the sake of the plunder, and suffered the enemies’ horse to encompass the Mohammedans and attack them in the rear, he lost the day, and was very near losing his life, being struck down by a shower of stones, and wounded in the face with two arrows, on pulling out of which his two foreteeth dropped out. Of the Moslems seventy men were slain, and among them Hamza the uncle of Mohammed, and of the infidels twenty-two.2 To excuse the ill success of this battle, and to raise the drooping courage of his followers, is Mohammed’s drift in the remaining part of this chapter.

1 See before, p. 32.
2 Abulfeda, in Vita Moham. p. 64, &c. El Macin. l. x. Prideaux’s Life of Mahomet, p. 80.

l These were some of the families of Banu Salma of the tribe of al Khazraj, and Banu’l Hareth of the tribe of al Aws, who composed the two wings of Mohammed’s army. Some ill impression had been made on them by Abda’llah Ebn Obba Solûl, then an infidel, who having drawn off 300 men, told them that they were going to certain death, and advised them to return back with him; but he could prevail on but a few, the others being kept firm by the divine influence, as the following words intimate.3

3 Al Beidâwi.

m See before, p. 32.
n The angels who assisted the Mohammedans at Bedr, rode, say the commentators, on black and white horses, and had on their heads white and yellow sashes, the ends of which hung down between their shoulders.
o i.e., As an earnest of future success.
p This passage was revealed when Mohammed received the wounds above mentioned at the battle of Ohod, and cried out, How shall that people prosper who have stained their prophet’s face with blood, while he called them to their Lord? The person who wounded him was Otha the son of Abu Wakkas.4

4 Idem. Abulfeda, ubi supra.
q It is related of Hasan the son of Ali, that a slave having once thrown a dish on him boiling hot, as he sat at table, and fearing his master’s resentment, fell immediately on his knees, and repeated these words, Paradise is for those who bridle their anger: Hasan answered, I am not angry. The slave proceeded, and for those who forgive men. I forgive you, said Hasan. The slave, however, finished the verse, adding, for God loveth the beneficent. Since it is so replied Hasan, I give you your liberty, and four hundred pieces of silver.5 A noble instance of moderation and generosity.

5 Vide D’Herbelot, Bibl. Orient. Art. Hassan.

r That is, by your being worsted at Ohod.
s When they were defeated at Bedr. It is observable that the number of Mohammedans slain at Ohod, was equal to that of the idolaters slain at Bedr; which was so ordered by GOD for a reason to be given elsewhere.1

1 In not. ad cap. 8.

t Several of Mohammed’s followers who were not present at Bedr, wished for an opportunity of obtaining, in another action, the like honour as those had gained who fell martyrs in that battle; yet were discouraged on seeing the superior numbers of the idolaters in the expedition of Ohod. On which occasion this passage was revealed.2

2 Al Beidâwi

u These words were revealed when it was reported in the battle of Ohod that Mohammed was slain; whereupon the idolaters cried out to his followers, Since your prophet is slain, return to your ancient religion, and to your friends; if Mohammed had been a prophet he had not been slain. It is related that a Moslem named Ans Ebn al Nadar, uncle to Malec Ebn Ans, hearing these words, said aloud to his companions, My friends, though Mohammed be slain, certainly Mohammed’s Lord liveth and dieth not; therefore value not your lives since the prophet is dead, but fight for the cause for which he fought: then he cried out, O God, I am excused before thee, and acquitted in thy sight of what they say; and drawing his sword, fought valiantly till he was killed.3

3 Idem.

x Mohammed, the more effectually to still the murmurs of his party on their defeat, represents to them that the time of every man’s death is decreed and predetermined by God, and that those who fell in the battle could not have avoided their fate had they stayed at home; whereas they had now obtained the glorious advantage of dying martyrs for the faith. Of the Mohammedan doctrine of absolute predestination I have spoken in another place.4

4 Prelim. Disc. Sect IV.
y This passage was also occasioned by the endeavours of the Koreish to seduce the Mohammedans to their old idolatry, as they fled in the battle of Ohod.
z To this Mohammed attributed the sudden retreat of Abu Sofiân and his troops, without making any farther advantage of their success; only giving Mohammed a challenge to meet them next year at Bedr, which he accepted. Others say that as they were on their march home, they repented they had not utterly extirpated the Mohammedans, and began to think of going back to Medina for that purpose, but were prevented by a sudden consternation or panic fear, which fell on them from GOD.5

5 Al Beidâwi.

a i.e., In the beginning of the battle, when the Moslems had the advantage, putting the idolaters to flight, and killing several of them.
b That is, till the bowmen, who were placed behind to prevent their being surrounded, seeing the enemy fly, quitted their post, contrary to Mohammed’s express orders, and dispersed themselves to seize the plunder; whereupon Khâled Ebn al Walîd perceiving their disorder, fell on their rear with the horse which he commanded, and turned the fortune of the day. It is related that though Abda’llah Ebn Johair, their captain, did all he could to make them keep their ranks, he had not ten that stayed with him out of the whole fifty.6

6 Idem. Vide Abulfeda, Vit. Moh. p. 65, 66, and note, ibid.

c The former were they who, tempted by the spoil, quitted their post; and the latter they who stood firm by their leader.
d Crying aloud, Come hither to me, O servants of GOD! I am the apostle of GOD; he who returneth back, shall enter paradise. But notwithstanding all his endeavours to rally his men, he could not get above thirty of them about him.
e i.e., GOD punished your avarice and disobedience by suffering you to be beaten by your enemies, and to be discouraged by the report of your prophet’s death; that ye might be inured to patience under adverse fortune, and not repine at any loss or disappointment for the future

f After the action, those who had stood firm in the battle were refreshed as they lay in the field by falling into an agreeable sleep, so that the swords fell out of their hands; but those who had behaved themselves ill were troubled in their minds, imagining they were now given over to destruction.1

1 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin.

g That is, is there any appearance of success, or of the divine favour and assistance which we have been promised?2

2 Idem.

h i.e., To themselves, or to one another in private.
i If GOD had assisted us according to his promise; or, as others interpret the words, if we had taken the advice of Abda’llah Ebn Obba Solûl, and had kept within the town of Medina, our companions had not lost their lives.3

3 Idem.

k viz., For their covetousness in quitting their post to seize the plunder.
l This passage was revealed, as some say, on the division of the spoil at Bedr; when some of the soldiers suspected Mohammed of having privately taken a scarlet carpet made all of silk and very rich, which was missing.4 Others suppose the archers, who occasioned the loss of the battle of Ohod, left their station because they imagined Mohammed would not give them their share of the plunder; because, as it is related, he once sent out a party as an advanced guard, and in the meantime attacking the enemy, took some spoils which he divided among those who were with him in the action, and gave nothing to the party that was absent on duty.5

4 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin.
5 Al Beidâwi.

m According to a tradition of Mohammed, whoever cheateth another will on the day of judgment carry his fraudulent purchase publicly on his neck.

n Some copies, instead of min anfosihim, i.e., of themselves, read min anfasihim, i.e., of the noblest among them; for such was the tribe of Koreish, of which Mohammed was descended.1

1 Idem.

o i.e., The Sonna.2

2 Idem.

p viz., In the battle of Bedr, where ye slew seventy of the enemy, equalling the number of those who lost their lives at Ohod, and also took as many prisoners.3

3 See before, p. 32.

q It was the consequence of your disobeying the orders of the prophet, and abandoning your post for the sake of plunder.
r That is, if we had conceived the least hope of success when ye marched out of Medina to encounter the infidels, and had not known that ye went rather to certain destruction than to battle, we had gone with you. But this Mohammed here tells them was only a feigned excuse; the true reason of their staying behind being their want of faith and firmness in their religion.4

4 Al Beidâwi.

s See before, p. 17.
t i.e., Rejoicing also for their sakes, who are destined to suffer martyrdom, but have not as yet attained it.5

5 Vide Rev. vi. II.

u The commentators differ a little as to the occassion of this passage. When news was brought to Mohammed, after the battle of Ohod, that the enemy, repenting of their retreat, were returning towards Medina, he called about him those who had stood by him in the battle, and marched out to meet the enemy as far as Homarâ al Asad, about eight miles from that town, notwithstanding several of his men were so ill of their wounds that they were forced to be carried; but a panic fear having seized the army of the Koreish, they changed their resolution and continued their march home; of which Mohammed having received intelligence, he also went back to Medina: and, according to some commentators, the Korân here approves the faith and courage of those who attended the prophet on this occasion. Others say the persons intended in this passage were those who went with Mohammed the next year, to meet Abu Sofiân and the Koreish, according to their challenge, at Bedr,1 where they waited some time for the enemy, and then returned home; for the Koreish, though they set out from Mecca, yet never came so far as the place of appointment, their hearts failing them on their march; which Mohammed attributed to their being struck with a terror from GOD.2 This expedition the Arabian histories call the second, or lesser expedition of Bedr.

1 See before, p. 47, note 2.
2 Al Beidâwi.

x The persons who thus endeavoured to discourage the Mohammedans were, according to one tradition, some of the tribe of Abd Kais, who, going to Medina, were bribed by Abu Sofiân with a camel’s load of dried raisins; and, according to another tradition, it was Noaim Ebn Masúd al Ashjaï who was also bribed with a she-camel ten months gone with young (a valuable present in Arabia). This Noaim, they say, finding Mohammed and his men preparing for the expedition, told them that Abu Sofiân, to spare them the pains of coming so far as Bedr, would seek them in their own houses, and that none of them could possibly escape otherwise than by timely flight. Upon which Mohammed, seeing his followers a little dispirited, swore that he would go himself though not one of them went with him. And accordingly he set out with seventy horsemen, every one of them crying out, Hashna Allah, i.e., GOD is our support.3

3 Idem, Jallalo’ddin.

y While they stayed at Bedr expecting the enemy, they opened a kind of fair there, and traded to very considerable profit.4

4 Al Beidâwi.

z Meaning either Noaim, or Abu Sofiân himself.
a That is, he will not suffer the good and sincere among you to continue indiscriminately mixed with the wicked and hypocritical.
b This passage was revealed on the rebellious and disobedient Mohammedans telling Mohammed that if he was a true prophet he could easily distinguish those who sincerely believed from the dissemblers.1

1 Idem.

c Mohammed is said to have declared, that whoever pays not his legal contribution of alms duly shall have a serpent twisted about his neck at the resurrection.2

2 Idem, Jallalo’ddin.

d It is related that Mohammed, writing to the Jews of the tribe of Kainokâ to invite them to Islâm, and exhorting them, among other things, in the words of the Korân,3 to lend unto GOD on good usury, Phineas Ebn Azûra, on hearing that expression, said, Surely GOD is poor, since they ask to borrow for him. Whereupon Abu Becr, who was the bearer of that letter, struck him on the face, and told him that if it had not been for the truce between them, he would have struck off his head; and on Phineas’s complaining to Mohammed of Abu Becr’s ill usage, this passage was revealed.4

3 Cap. 2, p. 26.
4 Al Beidâwi.

e The Jews, say the commentators, insisted that it was a peculiar proof of the mission of all the prophets sent to them, that they could, by their prayers, bring down fire from heaven to consume the sacrifice, and therefore they expected Mohammed should do the like. And some Mohammedan doctors agree that GOD appointed this miracle as the test of all their prophets, except only Jesus and Mohammed;5 though others say any other miracle was a proof full as sufficient as the bringing down fire from heaven.6
      The Arabian Jews seem to have drawn a general consequence from some particular instances of this miracle in the Old Testament.7 And the Jews at this day say, that first the fire which fell from heaven on the altar of the tabernacle,8 after the consecration of Aaron and his sons, and afterwards that which descended on the altar of Solomon’s temple, at the dedication of that structure,9 was fed and constantly maintained there by the priests, both day and night, without being suffered once to go out, till it was extinguished, as some think, in the reign of Manasses,10 but, according to the more received opinion, when the temple was destroyed by the Chaldeans. Several Christians11 have given credit to this assertion of the Jews, with what reason I shall not here inquire; and the Jews, in consequence of this notion, might probably expect that a prophet who came to restore GOD’S true religion, should rekindle for them this heavenly fire, which they have not been favoured with since the Babylonish captivity.

5 Jallalo’ddin.
6 Al Beidâwi.
7 Levit. ix. 24; I Chron. xxi. 26; 2 Chron. vii. I; 1 Kings xviii. 38.
8 Levit. ix. 24.
9 2 Chron. vii. x.
10 Talmud, Zebachim, c. 6.
11 See Prideaux’s Connect part i. bk. iii. p. 158.

f Among these the commentators reckon Zacharias and John the Baptist.
g i.e., Dearly shall they pay hereafter for taking bribes to stifle the truth. Whoever concealeth the knowledge which GOD has given him, says Mohammed, GOD shall put on him a bridle of fire on the day of resurrection.
h i.e., Who think they have done a commendable deed in concealing and dissembling the testimonies in the Pentateuch concerning Mohammed, and in disobeying GOD’S commands to the contrary. It is said that, Mohammed once asking some Jews concerning a passage in their law, they gave him an answer very different from the truth, and were mightily pleased that they had, as they thought, deceived him. Others, however, think this passage relates to some pretended Mohammedans who rejoiced in their hypocrisy, and expected to be commended for their wickedness.12

12 Al Beidâwi.
i viz., At all times and in all postures. Al Beidâwi mentions a saying of Mohammed to one Imrân Ebn Hosein, to this purpose: Pray standing, if thou art able; if not, sitting; and if thou canst not sit up, then as thou liest along. Al Shâfeï directs that he sick should pray lying on their right side.
k Namely, Mohammed, with the Korân.
l These words were added, as some relate, on Omm Salma, one of the prophet’s wives, telling him that she had observed GOD often made mention of the men who fled their country for the sake of their faith, but took no notice of the women.1

1 Idem.

m The original word properly signifies success in the affairs of life, and particularly in trade. It is said that some of Mohammed’s followers observing the prosperity the idolaters enjoyed, expressed their regret that those enemies of GOD should live in such ease and plenty, while themselves were perishing for hunger and fatigue; whereupon this passage was revealed.2

2 Idem.

n Because of its short continuance.
o The persons here meant, some will have to be Abda’llah Ebn Salâm3 and his companions; others suppose they were forty Arabs of Najrân, or thirty-two Ethiopians, or else eight Greeks, who were converted from Christianity to Mohammedism; and others say this passage was revealed in the ninth year of the Hejra, when Mohammed, on Gabriel’s bringing him the news of the death of Ashama king of Ethiopia, who had embraced the Mohammedan religion some years before,4 prayed for the soul of the departed; at which some of his hypocritical followers were displeased, and wondered that he should pray for a Christian proselyte whom he had never seen.5

3 See before, p. 44.
4 See the Prelim. Discourse, Sect. II.
5 Al Beidâwi.

p See before, p. 21, and the Preliminary Discourse, Sect. IV.
q This title was given to this chapter, because it chiefly treats of matters relating to women; as, marriages, divorces, dower, prohibited degrees, &c.
r Saying, I beseech thee for GOD’S sake.1

1 Idem.

s Literally, the wombs.
t That is, take not what ye find of value among their effects to your own use, and give them worse in its stead.
u The commentators understand this passage differently. The true meaning seems to be as it is here translated; Mohammed advising his followers that if they found they should wrong the female orphans under their care, either by marrying them against their inclinations, ought, by reason of their having already several wives, they should rather choose to marry other women, to avoid all occasion of sin.2 Others say that when this passage was revealed, many of the Arabians, fearing trouble and temptation, refused to take upon them the charge of orphans, and yet multiplied wives to a great excess, and used them ill; or, as others write, gave themselves up to fornication; which occasioned this passage. And according to these, its meaning must be either that if they feared they could not act justly towards orphans, they had as great reason to apprehend they could not deal equitably with so many wives, and therefore are commanded to marry but a certain number; or else, that since fornication was a crime as well as wronging of orphans, they ought to avoid that also, by marrying according to their abilities.3

2 Idem
3 Idem, Jallalo’ddin.

x For slaves requiring not so large a dower, nor so good and plentiful a maintenance as free women, a man might keep several of the former, as easily as one of the latter.

y i.e., Try whether they be well grounded in the principles of religion, and have sufficient prudence for the management of their affairs. Under this expression is also comprehended the duty of a curator’s instructing his pupils in those respects.
z Or age of maturity, which is generally reckoned to be fifteen; a decision supported by a tradition of their prophet, though Abu Hanîfah thinks eighteen the proper age.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

a i.e., Because they will shortly be of age to receive what belongs to them.
b That is, no more than what shall make sufficient recompense for the trouble of their education.
c This law was given to abolish a custom of the pagan Arabs, who suffered not women or children to have any part of their husband’s or father’s inheritance, on pretence that they only should inherit who were able to go to war.2

2 Idem.

d viz., Either to comfort the children, or to assure the dying father they shall be justly dealt by.3

3 Idem.

e This is the general rule to be followed in the distribution of the estate of the deceased, as may be observed in the following cases.4

4 Vide Prelim. Disc. Sect. VI.

f Or if there be two and no more, they will have the same share.
g And the remaining third part, or the remaining moiety of the estate, which is not here expressly disposed of, if the deceased leaves behind him no son, nor a father, goes to the public treasury. It must be observed that Mr. Selden is certainly mistaken when, in explaining this passage of the Korân, he says, that where there is a son and an only daughter, each of them will have a moiety:5 for the daughter can have a moiety but in one case only, that is, where there is no son; for if there be a son, she can have but a third, according to the above-mentioned rule.

5 Selden, de Success. ad Leges Ebræor. l. I, c. I.

h And his father consequently the other two-thirds.6

6 Al Beidâwi.

i By legacies, in this and the following passages, are chiefly meant those bequeathed to pious uses; for the Mohammedans approve not of a person’s giving away his substance from his family and near relations on any other account.

k For this may happen by contract, or on some other special occasion.
l Here, and in the next case, the brother and sister are made equal sharers, which is an exception to the general rule, of giving a male twice as much as a female; and the reason is said to be because of the smallness of the portions, which deserve not such exactness of distribution; for in other cases the rule holds between brother and sister, as well as other relations.1

1 See this chapter, near the end.

m Either adultery or fornication.
n Their punishment, in the beginning of Mohammedism, was to be immured till they died, but afterwards this cruel doom was mitigated, and they might avoid it by undergoing the punishment ordained in its stead by the Sonna, according to which the maidens are to be scourged with a hundred stripes, and to be banished for a full year; and the married women to be stoned.2

2 Jallalo’ddin.

o The commentators are not agreed whether the text speaks of fornication or sodomy. Al Zamakhshari, and from him, al Beidâwi, supposes the former is here meant: but Jallalo’ddin is of opinion that the crime intended in this passage must be committed between two men, and not between a man and a woman; not only because the pronouns are in the masculine gender, but because both are ordered to suffer the same slight punishment, and are both allowed the same repentance and indulgence; and especially for that a different and much severer punishment is appointed for the women in the preceding words. Abu’l Kâsem Hebatallah takes simple fornication to be the crime intended, and that this passage is abrogated by that of the 24th chapter, where the man and the woman who shall be guilty of fornication are ordered to be scourged with a hundred stripes each.
p The original is, Do them some hurt or damage: by which some understand that they are only to reproach them in public,3 or strike them on the head with their slippers4 (a great indignity in the east), though some imagine they may be scourged.5

3 Jallalo’ddin, Yahya, Abul Kâsem Habatallah, al Beidâwi.
4 Jallalo’ddin al Beidâwi.
5 Al Beidâwi.

q It was customary among the pagan Arabs, when a man died, for one of his relations to claim a right to his widow, which he asserted by throwing his garment over her; and then he either married her himself, if he thought fit, on assigning her the same dower that her former husband had done, or kept her dower and married her to another, or else refused to let her marry unless she redeemed herself by quitting what she might claim of her husband’s goods.1 This unjust custom is abolished by this passage.

1 Al Beidâwi.

r Some say these words are directed to husbands who used to imprison their wives without any just cause, and out of covetousness, merely to make them relinquish their dower or their inheritance.2

2 Idem.

s Such as disobedience, ill behaviour, immodesty, and the like.3

3 Idem.

t That is, by divorcing one, and marrying another.
u i.e., Ever so large a dower.
x See chapter 2, p. 25.
y The same was also prohibited by the Levitical law.4

4 Levit. xviii. 18.

z According to this passage it is not lawful to marry a free woman that is already married, be she a Mohammedan or not, unless she be legally parted from her husband by divorce; but it is lawful to marry those who are slaves, or taken in war, after they shall have gone through the proper purifications, though their husbands be living. Yet, according to the decision of Abu Hanîfah, it is not lawful to marry such whose husbands shall be taken, or in actual slavery with them.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

a That is, assign them their dower.
b That is, either to increase the dower, or to abate some part or even the whole of it.
c Being alike descended from Adam, and of the same faith.2

2 Idem.

d The reason of this is because they are not presumed to have had so good education. A slave, therefore, in such a case, is to have fifty stripes, and to be banished for half a year; but she shall not be stoned, because it is a punishment which cannot be inflicted by halves.3

3 Idem.

e viz., Of the prophets, and other holy and prudent men of former ages.4

4 Jallalo’ddin. Al Beidâwi.

f Some commentators suppose that these words have a particular regard to the Magians, who formerly were frequently guilty of incestuous marriages, their prophet Zerdusht having allowed them to take their mothers and sisters to wife; and also to the Jews, who likewise might marry within some of the degrees here prohibited.5

5 Al Beidâwi.

g Being unable to refrain from women, and too subject to be led away by carnal appetites.6

6 Idem, Jallalo’ddin.

h That is, employ it not in things prohibited by GOD; such as usury, extortion, rapine, gaming, and the like.7

7 Idem.

i Literally, slay not your souls; i.e., says Jallalo’ddin, by committing mortal sins, or such crimes as will destroy them. Others, however, are of opinion that self-murder, which the gentile Indians did, and still do, often practise in honour of their idols, or else the taking away the life of any true believer, is hereby forbidden.8

8 Idem.

k See Wisdom xvi. 14, in the Vulgate.
l These sins al Beidâwi, from a tradition of Mohammed, reckons to be seven (equaling in number the sins called deadly by Christians), that is to say, idolatry, murder, falsely accusing modest women of adultery, wasting the substance of orphans, taking of usury, desertion in a religious expedition, and disobedience to parents. But Ebn Abbâs says they amount to near seven hundred; and others suppose that idolatry only, of different kinds, in worshipping idols or any creature, either in opposition to or jointly with the true God, is here intended; that sin being generally esteemed by Mohammedans, and in a few lines after declared by the Korân itself, to be the only one which God will not pardon.1

1 Idem. See before, c. 2, p. 10.

m Such as honour, power, riches, and other worldly advantages. Some, however, understand this of the distribution of inheritances according to the preceding determinations, whereby some have a larger share than others.2

2 Idem, Jallalo’ddin.

n That is, they shall be blessed according to their deserts; and ought, therefore, instead of displeasing God by envying of others, to endeavor to merit his favour by good works and to apply to him by prayer.

o A precept conformable to an old custom of the Arabs, that where persons mutually entered into a strict friendship or confederacy, the surviving friend should have a sixth part of the deceased’s estate. But this was afterwards abrogated, according to Jallalo’ddin and al Zamakhshari, at least as to infidels. The passage may likewise be understood of a private contract, whereby the survivor is to inherit a certain part of the substance of him that dies first.3

3 Vide al Beidâwi.

p Such as superior understanding and strength, and the other privileges of the male sex, which enjoys the dignities in church and state, goes to war in defence of GOD’S true religion, and claims a double share of their deceased ancestors’ estates.4

4 Idem.

q Both to preserve their husband’s substance from loss or waste, and themselves from all degrees of immodesty.5

5 Idem, Jallalo’ddin.

r That is, banish them from your bed.
s By this passage the Mohammedans are in plain terms allowed to beat their wives, in case of stubborn disobedience; but not in a violent or dangerous manner.6

6 Idem.

t i.e., Let the magistrate first send two arbitrators or mediators, one on each side, to compose the difference, and prevent, if possible, the ill consequences of an open rupture.
u Either of your own nation or religion.
x Whether it be wealth, knowledge, or any other talent whereby they may help their neighbour.
y Either by diminishing the recompense due to his good actions, or too severely punishing his sins. On the contrary, he will reward the former in the next life far above their deserts. The Arabic word dharra, which is translated an ant, signifies a very small sort of that insect, and is used to denote a thing that is exceeding small, as a mite.

z When the prophet who was sent to each nation in particular, shall on the last day be produced to give evidence against such of them as refused to believe on him, or observed not the laws which he brought.
a That is, the Arabians, to whom Mohammed was, as he pretended, more peculiarly sent.1

1 See before, c. 2, p. 16.

b It is related, that before the prohibition of wine, Abd’alrahmân Ebn Awf made an entertainment, to which he invited several of the apostle’s companions; and after they had ate and drunk plentifully, the hour of evening prayer being come, one of the company rose up to pray, but being overcome with liquor, made a shameful blunder in reciting a passage of the Korân; whereupon to prevent the danger of any such indecency for the future, this passage was revealed.2

2 Al Beidâwi.

c See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV.
d Meaning the Jews, and particularly their Rabbins.
e That is (according to the commentators), who change the true sense of the Pentateuch by dislocating passages, or by wresting the words according to their own fancies and lusts.3 But Mohammed seems chiefly to intend here the Jews bantering of him in their addresses, by making use of equivocal words, seeming to bear a good sense in Arabic, but spoken by them in derision according to their acceptation in Hebrew; an instance of which he gives in the following words.

3 Idem, Jallalo’ddin.

f Literally, without being made to hear or apprehend what we say.
g The original word is Raïna, which being a term of reproach in Hebrew, Mohammed forbade their using to him.4

4 See before, c. 2, p. 13.

h In Arabic, Ondhorna; which having no ill equivocal meaning, the prophet ordered them to use instead of the former.
i That is, perfectly plain, without eyes, nose, or mouth. The original, however, may also be translated, and turn them behind, by wringing their necks backward.
k And were therefore changed into apes.5

5 See before, c. 2, p. 8.

l That is, idolatry of all kinds.
m viz., To those who repent.6

6 Al Beidâwi.
n i.e., The Christians and Jews, who called themselves the children of GOD, and his beloved people.1

7 Idem, Jallalo’ddin. See c. 5, not far from the beginning.

o The original word signifies a little skin in the cleft of a date-stone, and is used to express a thing of no value.
p The Arabic is, in Jibt and Taghût. The former is supposed to have been the proper name of some idol; but it seems rather to signify any false deity in general. The latter we have explained already.8
It is said that this passage was revealed on the following occasion. Hoyai Ebn Akhtab and Caab Ebn al Ashraf,9 two chief men among the Jews, with several others of that religion, went to Mecca, and offered to enter into a confederacy with the Koreish, and to join their forces against Mohammed. But the Koreish, entertaining some jealousy of them, told them, that the Jews pretended to have a written revelation from heaven, as well as Mohammed, and their doctrines and worship approached much nearer to what he taught, than the religion of their tribe; wherefore, said they, if you would satisfy us that you are sincere in the matter, do as we do, and worship our gods. Which proposal, if the story be true, these Jews complied with, out of their inveterate hatred to Mohammed.1

8 See p. 28, note t.
9 See before, p. 40, note m.
1 Al Beidâwi.

q For the Jews gave out that they should be restored to their ancient power and grandeur;2 depending, it is to be presumed, on the victorious Messiah whom they expected.

2 Idem.

r The original word properly signifies a small dent on the back of a date-stone, and is commonly used to express a thing of little or no value.
s viz., The spiritual gifts of prophecy, and divine revelations; and the temporal blessings of victory and success, bestowed on Mohammed and his followers.
t Wherefore GOD will doubtless show equal favour to this prophet (a descendant also of Abraham), and those who believe on him.3

3 Idem.

u Namely, on Mohammed.
x This passage, it is said, was revealed on the day of the taking of Mecca, the primary design of it being to direct Mohammed to return the keys of the Caaba to Othmân Ebn Telha Ebn Abdaldâr, who had then the honour to be keeper of that holy place,4 and not to deliver them to his uncle al Abbâs, who having already the custody of the well Zemzem, would fain have had also that of the Caaba. The prophet obeying the divine order, Othmân was so affected with the justice of the action, notwithstanding he had at first refused him entrance, that he immediately embraced Mohammedism; whereupon the guardianship of the Caaba was confirmed to this Othmân and his heirs for ever.5

4 See Prideaux’s Life of Mahomet, p. 2.
5 Al Beidâwi See D’Herbel. Bibl. Orient. p. 220, 221.

y i.e., To the decision of the Korân.
z That is, before the tribunals of infidels. This passage was occasioned by the following remarkable accident. A certain Jew having a dispute with a wicked Mohammedan, the latter appealed to the judgment of Caab Ebn al Ashraf, a principal Jew, and the former to Mohammed. But at length they agreed to refer the matter to the prophet singly, who, giving it in favor of the Jew, the Mohammedan refused to acquiesce in his sentence, but would needs have it re-heard by Omar, afterwards Khalif. When they came to him, the Jew told him that Mohammed had already decided the affair in his favour, but that the other would not submit to his determination; and the Mohammedan confessing this to be true, Omar bid them stay a little, and fetching his sword, struck off the obstinate Moslem’s head, saying aloud, This is the reward of him who refuseth to submit to the judgment of God and his apostle. And from this action Omar had the surname of al Farûk, which alludes both to his separating that knave’s head from his body, and to his distinguishing between truth and falsehood.1 The name of Taghût,2 therefore, in this place, seems to be given to Caab Ebn al Ashraf.

1 Jallalo’ddin, al Beidâwi. See D’Herbel. Bibl. Orient. p. 688, and Ockley’s Hist. of the Sarac. v. I, p. 365.
2 See before, p. 28.

a For this was the excuse of the friends of the Mohammedan whom Omar slew, when they came to demand satisfaction for his blood.3

3 Al Beidâwi.

b viz., By acting wickedly, and appealing to the judgment of the infidels.
c Some understand these words of their venturing their lives in a religious expedition; and others, of their undergoing the same punishments which the Israelites did for their idolatry in worshipping the golden calf.4

4 Idem, see before, p. 7

d i.e., Be vigilant, and provide yourselves with arms and necessaries.
e Mohammed here upbraids the hypocritical Moslems, who, for want of faith and constancy in their religion, were backward in going to war for its defence.
f i.e., As one who attendeth not to the public, but his own private interest. Or else these may be the words of the hypocritical Mohammedan himself, insinuating that he stayed not behind the rest of the army by his own fault, but was left by Mohammed, who chose to let the others share in his good fortune, preferably to him.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

g By venturing their lives and fortunes in defence of the faith.
h For no man ought to quit the field till he either fall a martyr or gain some advantage for the cause.2

2 Idem.

i viz., Those believers who stayed behind at Mecca, being detained there either forcibly by the idolaters, or for want of means to fly for refuge to Medina. Al Beidâwi observes that children are mentioned here to show the inhumanity of the Koreish, who persecuted even that tender age.
k This petition, the commentators say, was heard. For GOD afforded several of them an opportunity and means of escaping, and delivered the rest at the taking of Mecca by Mohammed, who left Otâb Ebn Osaid governor of the city: and under his care and protection, those who had suffered for their religion became the most considerable men in the place.
l See before, p. 28.
m These were some of Mohammed’s followers, who readily performed the duties of their religion so long as they were commanded nothing that might endanger their lives.
n That is, a natural death.
o As the Jews, in particular, who pretended that their land was grown barren, and provisions scarce, since Mohammed came to Medina.3

3 Idem.
p These words are not to be understood as contradictory to the preceding, That all proceeds from GOD; since the evil which befalls mankind, though ordered by GOD, is yet the consequence of their own wicked actions.
q Or, to take an account of their actions, for this is GOD’S part.
r That is, if GOD had not sent his apostle with the Korân to instruct you in your duty, ye had continued in idolatry and been doomed to destruction; except only those who, by GOD’S favour and their superior understanding, should have true notions of the divinity; such, for example, as Zeid Ebn Amru Ebn Nofail1 and Waraka Ebn Nawfal,2 who left idols, and acknowledged but one GOD, before the mission of Mohammed.3

1 Vide Millium, de Mohammedismo ante Moh. p. 311.
2 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. II.
3 Al Beidâwi.

s It is said this passage was revealed when the Mohammedans refused to follow their prophet to the lesser expedition of Bedr, so that he was obliged to set out with no more than seventy.4 Some copies vary in this place, and instead of la tokallafo, in the second person singular, read la nokallafo, in the first person plural, We do not oblige, &c. The meaning being, that the prophet only was under an indispensable necessity of obeying GOD’S commands, however difficult, but others might choose, though at their peril.

4 See before, c. 3, p. 49.

t i.e., To maintain the right of a believer, or to prevent his being wronged.
u By adding something farther. As when one salutes another by this form, Peace be unto thee, he ought not only to return the salutation, but to add, and the mercy of GOD and his blessing.
x This passage was revealed, according to some, when certain of Mohammed’s followers, pretending not to like Medina, desired leave to go elsewhere, and, having obtained it, went farther and farther, till they joined the idolaters; or, as others say, on occasion of some deserters at the battle of Ohod; concerning whom the Moslems were divided in opinion whether they should be slain as infidels or not.

y The people here meant, say some, were the tribe of Khozâah, or, according to others, the Aslamians, whose chief, named Helâl Ebn Owaimar, agreed with Mohammed, when he set out against Mecca, to stand neuter; or, as others rather think, Banu Becr Ebn Zeid.1

1 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin.

z These, it is said, were the tribe of Modlaj, who came in to Mohammed, but would not be obliged to assist him in war.2

2 Al Beidâwi.

a The person hinted at here were the tribes of Asad and Ghatfân, or, as some say, Banu Abdaldâr, who came to Medina and pretended to embrace Mohammedism, that they might be trusted by the Moslems, but when they returned, fell back to their old idolatry.3

3 Idem.

b That is, by accident and without design. This passage was revealed to decide the case of Ayâsh Ebn Abi Rabîa, the brother, by the mother’s side, of Abu Jahl, who meeting Hareth Ebn Zeid on the road, and not knowing that he had embraced Mohammedism, slew him.4

4 Idem.

c Which fine is to be distributed according to the laws of inheritances given in the beginning of this chapter.5

5 Idem.

d And no fine shall be paid, because in such case his relations, being infidels and at open war with the Moslems, have no right to inherit what he leaves.
e That is, unless he repent. Others, however, understand not here an eternity of damnation (for it is the general doctrine of the Mohammedans that none who profess that faith shall continue in hell for ever), but only a long space of time.1

1 Idem.

f On pretence that he only feigns to be a Moslem, that he might escape from you. The commentators mention more instances than one of persons slain and plundered by Mohammed’s men under this pretext, notwithstanding they declared themselves Moslems by repeating the usual form of words, and saluting them; for which reason this passage was revealed, to prevent such rash judgments for the future.

g That is, being willing to judge him an infidel, only that ye may kill and plunder him.
h viz., At your first profession of Islâmism, before ye had given any demonstrations of your sincerity and zeal therein.
i i.e., Not being disabled from going to war by sickness, or other just impediment. It is said that when the passage was first revealed there was no such exception therein, which occasioned Ebn Omm Mactûm, on his hearing it repeated, to object, And what though I be blind? Whereupon Mohammed, falling into a kind of trance, which was succeeded by strong agitations, pretended he had received the divine direction to add these words to the text.2

2 Al Beidâwi.

k These were certain inhabitants of Mecca, who held with the hare and ran with the hounds, for though they embraced Mohammedism, yet they would not leave that city to join the prophet, as the rest of the Moslems did, but on the contrary went out with the idolaters, and were therefore slain with them at the battle of Bedr.3

3 Idem, Jallalo’ddin

l Being unable to fly, and compelled to follow the infidels to war.
m As they did who fled to Ethiopia and to Medina.
n This passage was revealed, says al Beidâwi, on account of Jondob Ebn Damra. This person being sick, was, in his flight, carried by his sons on a couch, and before he arrived at Medina, perceiving his end approached, he clapped his right hand on his left, and solemnly plighting his faith to GOD and his apostle, died.
o To defend those who are at prayers, and to face the enemy.

p By keeping strict guard.
q That is, in such posture as ye shall be able.1

1 See before, c. 3, p. 52.

r This verse was revealed on occasion of the unwillingness of Mohammed’s men to accompany him in the lesser expedition of Bedr.2

2 Al Beidâwi.

s Tima Ebn Obeirak, of the sons of Dhafar, one of Mohammed’s companions, stole a coat of mail from his neighbour, Kitâda Ebn al Nomân, in a bag of meal, and hid it at a Jew’s named Zeid Ebn al Samîn; Tima, being suspected, the coat of mail was demanded of him, but he denying he knew anything of it, they followed the track of the meal, which had run out through a hole in the bag, to the Jew’s house, and there seized it, accusing him of the theft; but he producing witnesses of his own religion that he had it of Tima, the sons of Dhafar came to Mohammed and desired him to defend his companion’s reputation, and condemn the Jew; which he having some thoughts of doing, this passage was revealed, reprehending him for his rash intention, and commanding him to judge not according to his own prejudice and opinion, but according to the merit of the case.3

3 Idem, Jallalo’ddin, Yahya.

t Al Beidâwi, as an instance of the divine justice, adds, that Tima, after the fact above mentioned, fled to Mecca, and returned to idolatry; and there undermining the wall of a house, in order to commit a robbery, the wall fell in upon him and crushed him to death.
u That is, when they secretly contrive means, by false evidence or otherwise, to lay their crimes on innocent persons.
x Meaning the sons of Dhafar.
y By instructing them in the knowledge of right and wrong, and the rules of justice.

z viz., Error, and false notions of religion.
a Namely, Allât, al Uzza, and Menât, the idols of the Meccans; or the angels, whom they called the daughters of GOD.4

4 See the Prelim. Discourse, Sect. I.

b Or, as the original may be translated, a part destined or predetermined to be seduced by me.
c Which was done out of superstition by the old pagan Arabs. Some more of this custom in the notes to the fifth chapter.
d Either by maiming it, or putting it to uses not designed by the Creator. Al Beidâwi supposes the text to intend not only the superstitious amputations of the ears and other parts of cattle, but the castration of slaves, the marking their bodies with figures, by pricking and dyeing them with wood or indigo (as the Arabs did and still do), the sharpening their teeth by filing; and also sodomy, and the unnatural amours between those of the female sex, the worship of the sun, moon, and other parts of nature, and the like.
e i.e., By leaving the service of GOD, and doing the works of the devil.
f That is, the promises of GOD are not to be gained by acting after your own fancies, nor yet after the fancies of the Jews or Christians, but by obeying the commands of GOD. This passage, they say, was revealed on a dispute which arose between those of the three religions, each preferring his own, and condemning the others. Some, however, suppose the persons here spoken to in the second person were not the Mohammedans, but the idolaters.1

1 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin, Yahya,

g Therefore the Mohammedans usually call that patriarch, as the scripture also does, Khalîl Allah, the Friend of God, and simply al Khalîl; and they tell the following story: That Abraham in a time of dearth sent to a friend of his in Egypt for a supply of corn; but the friend denied him, saying in his excuse, that though there was a famine in their country also, yet had it been for Abraham’s own family, he would have sent what he desired, but he knew he wanted it only to entertain his guests and give away to the poor, according to his usual hospitality. The servants whom Abraham had sent on this message, being ashamed to return empty, to conceal the matter from their neighbours, filled their sacks with fine white sand, which in the east pretty much resembles meal. Abraham being informed by his servants, on their return of their ill success, the concern he was under threw him into a sleep; and in the meantime Sarah, knowing nothing of what had happened, opening one of the sacks, found good flour in it, and immediately set out about making of bread. Abraham awaking and smelling the new bread, asked her whence she had the flour? Why, says she, from your friend in Egypt. Nay, replied the Patriarch, it must have come from no other than my friend GOD Almighty.2

2 Al Beidâwi. See D’Herbel. Bibl. Orient. p. 14, and Morgan’s Mahometism Explained, vol. i. p. 132.

h i.e., As to the share they are to have in the distribution of the inheritances of their deceased relations; for it seems that the Arabs were not satisfied with Mohammed’s decision on this point, against the old customs.
i i.e., He hath already made his will known unto you, by revealing the passages concerning inheritances in the beginning of this chapter.
k Or the words may be rendered in the affirmative, and whom ye desire to marry. For the pagan Arabs used to wrong their female orphans in both instances; obliging them to marry against their inclinations, if they were beautiful or rich; or else not suffering them to marry at all, that they might keep what belonged to them.3

3 Al Beidâwi.

l That is, male children of tender years, to whom the Arabs, in the time of paganism, used to allow no share in the distribution of their parents’ estate.4

4 See before, p. 54, note c.

m By the wife’s remitting part of her dower or other dues.
n So that the woman, on the one side, is unwilling to part with any of her right; and the husband, on the other, cares not to retain one he has no affection for; or, if he should retain her, she can scarce expect he will use her in all respects as he ought.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

o i.e., Though you cannot use her equally well with a beloved wife, yet observe some measures of justice towards her; for if a man is not able perfectly to perform his duty, he ought not, for that reason, entirely to neglect it.2

2 Idem.

p Or like one that neither has a husband, nor is divorced, and at liberty to marry elsewhere.
q That is, either will bless them with a better and more advantageous match, or with peace and tranquility of mind.3

3 Idem.

r Wanting the service of no creature.
s i.e., Either another race of men or a different species of creatures.

t It is said that Abda’llah Ebn Salâm and his companions told Mohammed that they believed in him, and his Korân, and in Moses, and the Pentateuch, and in Ezra, but no farther; whereupon this passage was revealed, declaring that a partial faith is little better than none at all, and that a true believer must believe in all GOD’S prophets and revelations without exception.4

4 Al Beidâwi.

u These were the Jews, who first believed in Moses, and afterwards fell into idolatry by worshiping the golden calf; and though they repented of that, yet in after ages rejected the prophets who were sent to them, and particularly Jesus, the son of Mary, and now filled up the measure of their unbelief by rejecting of Mohammed.5

5 Idem.

x Mohammed here means those who hypocritically pretended to believe in him but really did not, and by their treachery did great mischief to his party.1

1 Idem.

y Cap. 6.
z i.e., Did we not assist you? Therefore give us part of the spoil.2

2. Idem.

a Would not our army have cut you off if it had not been for our faint assistance, or rather desertion, of the Moslems, and our disheartening them?3

3 Idem.

b That is, with the tongue, and not with the heart.
c Halting between two opinions, and being staunch friends neither to the Moslems nor the infidels.

d See the Preliminary Discourse, Sect. IV.
e See c. 2, p. 31, note h.
f That is, the Jews; who demanded of Mohammed, as a proof of his mission, that they might see a book of revelations descend to him from heaven, or that he would produce one written in a celestial character, like the two tables of Moses.
g See chapter 2, p. 6.
      This story seems to be an addition to what Moses says of the seventy elders, who went up to the mountain with him, and with Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and saw the GOD of Israel.1

1 Exod. xxiv. 9, 10, 11.

h See chapter 2, p. 6.
i See ibid. p. 6, note m.
k See ibid. p. 8.
l See ibid. p. 7.
m There being nothing in the following words of this sentence, to answer to the causal for that, Jallalo’ddin supposes something to be understood to complete the sense, as therefore we have cursed them, or the like.
n By accusing her of fornication.2

2 See the Kor. c. 19, and that virulent book entitled Toldoth Jesu.

o See chapter 3, p. 38, and the notes there.

p For some maintained that he was justly and really crucified; some insisted that it was not Jesus who suffered, but another who resembled him in the face, pretending the other parts of his body, by their unlikeness, plainly discovered the imposition; some said he was taken up into heaven; and others, that his manhood only suffered, and that his godhead ascended into heaven.3

3 Al Beidâwi.

q This passage is expounded two ways.
      Some, referring the relative his, to the first antecedent, take the meaning to be, that no Jew or Christian shall die before he believes in Jesus: for they say, that when one of either of those religions is ready to breathe his last, and sees the angel of death before him, he shall then believe in that prophet as he ought, though his faith will not then be of any avail. According to a tradition of Hejâj, when a Jew is expiring, the angels will strike him on the back and face, and say to him, O thou enemy of GOD, Jesus was sent as a prophet unto thee, and thou didst not believe on him; to which he will answer, I now believe him to be the servant of GOD; and to a dying Christian they will say, Jesus was sent as a prophet unto thee, and thou hast imagined him to be GOD, or the son of GOD; whereupon he will believe him to be the servant of GOD only, and his apostle.
      Others, taking the above-mentioned relative to refer to Jesus, suppose the intent of the passage to be, that all Jews and Christians in general shall have a right faith in that prophet before his death, that is, when he descends from heaven and returns into the world, where he is to kill Antichrist, and to establish the Mohammedan religion, and a most perfect tranquility and security on earth.1

1 Jallalo’ddin, Yahya, al Zamakhshari, and al Beidâwi. See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV.

r i.e., Against the Jews, for rejecting him; and against the Christians, for calling him GOD, and the son of GOD.2

2 Al Beidâwi.

s See chapter 3, p. 38 and 42, and the notes there.
t As Abda’llah Ebn Salâm, and his companions.3

3 Idem.
u Either by rejecting and contemning of Jesus as the Jews do; or raising him to an equality with GOD, as do the Christians.4

4 Al Beidâwi.

x Namely, God, Jesus, and Mary.1 For the eastern writers mention a sect of Christians which held the Trinity to be composed of those three;2 but it is allowed that this heresy has been long since extinct.3 The passage, however, is equally levelled against the Holy Trinity, according to the doctrine of the orthodox Christians, who, as al Beidâwi acknowledges, believe the divine nature to consist of three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; by the Father understanding GOD’S essence; by the Son his knowledge, and by the Holy Ghost his life.

1 Idem, Jallalo’ddin, Yahya.
2 Elmacin. p. 227. Eutych. p. 120. See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. II
3 Ahmed Ebn Abd’al Halim.

y That is, Mohammed and his Korân.
z viz., Into the religion of Islâm, in this world, and the way to paradise in the next.4

4 Al Beidâwi.

a See the beginning of this chapter, p. 53.
b And the other half will go to the public treasury.
c That is, he shall inherit her whole substance.

d The title is taken from the Table, which, towards the end of the chapter, is fabled to have been let down from heaven to Jesus. It is sometimes also called the chapter of Contracts, which word occurs in the first verse.
e As camels, oxen, and sheep; and also wild cows, antelopes, &c.;1 but not swine, nor what is taken in hunting during the pilgrimage.

1 Jallalo’ddin, al Beidâwi.

f i.e., The ceremonies used in the pilgrimage of Mecca.
g See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. VII.
h The offering here meant is the sheep led to Mecca, to be there sacrificed, about the neck of which they used to hang garlands, green boughs, or some other ornament, that it may be distinguished as a thing sacred.2

2 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV.

i In the expedition of Al Hodeibiya.3

3 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. II.

k For the idolatrous Arabs used, in killing any animal for food, to consecrate it, as it were, to their idols, by saying, In the name of Allât, or al Uzza.4

4 See c. 2, p. 18.

l Or by a creature trained up to hunting.5

5 Al Beidâwi.

m That is, unless ye come up time enough to find life in the animal, and to cut its throat.
n The word also signifies certain stones, which the pagan Arabs used to set up near their houses, and on which they superstitiously slew animals, in honour of their gods.6

6 Idem.

o See Prelim. Disc. Sect. V.
p This passage, it is said, was revealed on Friday evening, being the day of the pilgrims visiting Mount Arafat, the last time Mohammed visited the temple of Mecca, therefore called the pilgrimage of valediction.7

7 Idem. See Prid. Life of Mahom. p. 99.

q And therefore the commentators say, that after this time, no positive or negative precept was given.1

1 Vide Abulfed. Vit. Moh. p. 131.
r By having given you a true and perfect religion; or, by the taking of Mecca, and the destruction of idolatry.
s Not such as are filthy, or unwholesome.
t Whether beasts or birds.
u Either when ye let go the hound, hawk, or other animal, after the game; or when ye kill it.
x viz., Slain or dressed by Jews or Christians.
y These words are the form used at the inauguration of a prince; and Mohammed here intends the oath of fidelity which his followers had taken to him at al Akaba.2

2 Vide Abulfed. ibid. p. 43, and the Prelim. Disc. Sect. II.

z The commentators tell several stories as the occasion of this passage. One says, that Mohammed and some of his followers being at Osfân (a place not far from Mecca, in the way to Medina), and performing their noon devotions, a company of idolaters, who were in view, repented they had not taken that opportunity of attacking them, and therefore waited till the hour of evening prayer, intending to fall upon them then: but GOD defeated their design, by revealing the verse of fear. Another relates, that the prophet going to the tribe of Koreidha (who were Jews) to levy a fine for the blood of two Moslems, who had been killed by mistake, by Amru Ebn Ommeya al Dimri, they desired him to sit down and eat with them, and they would pay the fine; Mohammed complying with their request, while he was sitting, they laid a design against his life, one Amru Ebn Jahâsh undertaking to throw a millstone upon him; but GOD withheld his hand, and Gabriel immediately descended to acquaint the prophet with their treachery, upon which he rose up and went his way. A third story is, that Mohammed having hung up his arms on a tree, under which he was resting himself, and his companions being dispersed some distance from him, an Arab of the desert came up to him and drew his sword, saying, Who hindereth me from killing thee? To which Mohammed answered, GOD; and Gabriel beating the sword out of the Arab’s hand, Mohammed took it up, and asked him the same question, Who hinders me from killing thee? the Arab replied, nobody, and immediately professed Mohammedism.1 Abûlfeda2 tells the same story, with some variation of circumstances.

1 Al Beidâwi.
2 Vit. Moh. p. 73.

a After the Israelites had escaped from Pharaoh, GOD ordered them to go against Jericho, which was then inhabited by giants, of the race of the Canaanites, promising to give it into their hands; and Moses, by the divine direction, appointed a prince or captain over each tribe, to lead them in that expedition,3 and when they came to the borders of the land of Canaan, sent the captains as spies to get information of the state of the country, enjoining them secresy; but they being terrified at the prodigious size and strength of the inhabitants, disheartened the people by publicly telling them what they had seen, except only Caleb the son of Yufanna (Jephunneh) and Joshua the son of Nun.4

3 See Numb. i. 4. 5.
4 Al Beidâwi. Numb. xiii. and xiv

b By contributing towards this holy war.
c That is, if they repent and believe, or submit to pay tribute. Some, however, think these words are abrogated by the verse of the sword.5

5 Al Beidâwi.

d Such as the verse of stoning adulterers,6 the description of Mohammed, and Christ’s prophecy of him by the name of Ahmed.7

6 See c. 3, p. 34.
7 Al Beidâwi.

e i.e., Those which it was not necessary to restore.

f The Arabic word al Fatra signifies the intermediate space of time between two prophets, during which no new revelation or dispensation was given; as the interval between Moses and Jesus, and between Jesus and Mohammed, at the expiration of which last, Mohammed pretended to be sent.
g This was fulfilled either by GOD’S giving them a kingdom, and a long series of princes; or by his having made them kings or masters of themselves, by delivering them from the Egyptian bondage.
h Having divided the Red Sea for you, and guided you by a cloud, and fed you with quails and manna, &c.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

i The largest of these giants, the commentators say, was Og, the son of Anak; concerning whose enormous stature, his escaping the Flood, and the manner of his being slain by Moses, the Mohammedans relate several absurd fables.2

2 Vide Marraacc. in Alcor. p. 231, &c. D’Herbel. Bibl. Orient. p. 336.

k Namely, Caleb and Joshua.
l The commentators pretend that the Israelites, while they thus wandered in the desert, were kept within the compass of about eighteen (or as some say twenty-seven) miles; and that though they travelled from morning to night, yet they constantly found themselves the next day at the place from whence they set out.1

1 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin.

m viz., Cain and Abel, whom the Mohammedans call Kâbil and Hâbil.
n The occasion of their making this offering is thus related, according to the common tradition in the east.2 Each of them being born with a twin sister, when they were grown up, Adam, by God’s direction, ordered Cain to marry Abel’s twin sister, and that Abel should marry Cain’s (for it being the common opinion that marriages ought not to be had in the nearest degrees of consanguinity, since they must necessarily marry their sisters, it seemed reasonable to suppose they ought to take those of the remoter degree), but this Cain refusing to agree to, because his own sister was the handsomest, Adam ordered them to make their offerings to GOD, thereby referring the dispute to his determination.3 The commentators say Cain’s offering was a sheaf of the very worst of his corn, but Abel’s a fat lamb, of the best of his flock.

2 Vide Abulfarag, p. 6, 7; Eutych. Annal. p. 15, 16; and D’Herbelot, Bibl. Orient. Art. Cabil.
3 Al Beidâwi.

o Namely, from Abel, whose sacrifice GOD declared his acceptance of in a visible manner, by causing fire to descend from heaven and consume it, without touching that of Cain.4

4 Idem, Jallalo’ddin.

p To enhance Abel’s patience, al Beidâwi tells us, that he was the stronger of the two, and could easily have prevailed against his brother.
q The conversation between the two brothers is related somewhat to the same purpose in the Jerusalem Targum and that of Jonathan ben Uzziel.
r Some say he knocked out his brains with a stone;5 and pretend that as Cain was considering which way he should effect the murder, the devil appeared to him in a human shape, and showed him how to do it, by crushing the head of a bird between two stones.6

5 Vide Eutych. ubi supra.
6 Vide D’Herbelot, ubi sup.

s i.e., His dead corpse. For Cain, having committed this fratricide, became exceedingly troubled in his mind, and carried the dead body about on his shoulders for a considerable time, not knowing where to conceal it, till it stank horridly; and then God taught him to bury it by the example of a raven, who having killed another raven in his presence, dug a pit with his claws and beak, and buried him therein.7 For this circumstance of the raven Mohammed was beholden to the Jews, who tell the same story, except only that they make the raven to appear to Adam, and that he thereupon buried his son.8

7 Jallalo’ddin, al Beidâwi.
8 Vide R. Eliezer, Pirke, c. 20.

t Such as idolatry, or robbing on the highway.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

u Having broken the commandment which forbids the shedding of blood.
x The lawyers are not agreed as to the applying of these punishments. But the commentators suppose that they who commit murder only are to be put to death in the ordinary way; those who murder and rob too, to be crucified; those who rob without committing murder, to have their right hand and their left foot cut off; and they who assault persons and put them in fear, to be banished.2 It is also a doubt whether they who are to be crucified shall be crucified alive, or be first put to death, or whether they shall hang on the cross till they die.3

2 Idem, Jallalo’ddin.
3 Al Beidâwi.

y But this punishment, according to the Sonna, is not to be inflicted, unless the value of the thing stolen amount to four dinârs, or about forty shillings. For the first offence, the criminal is to lose his right hand, which is to be cut off at the wrist; for the second offence, his left foot, at the ankle; for the third, his left hand; for the fourth, his right foot; and if he continue to offend, he shall be scourged at the discretion of the judge.4

4 Jallalo’ddin, Al Beidâwi.

z That is, GOD will not punish him for it hereafter; but his repentance does not supersede the execution of the law here, nor excuse him from making restitution. Yet, according to al Shâfeï, he shall not be punished if the party wronged forgive him before he be carried before a magistrate.5

5 Idem.

a i.e., Who take the first opportunity to throw off the mask, and join the unbelievers.
b viz., The hypocritical Mohammedans.
c These words are capable of two senses; and may either mean that they attended to the lies and forgeries of their Rabbins, neglecting the remonstrances of Mohammed; or else, that they came to hear Mohammed as spies only, that they might report what he said to their companions, and represent him as a liar.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

d See chapter 4, p. 59, note e.
e That is, if what Mohammed tells you agrees with scripture, as corrupted and dislocated by us, then you may accept it as the word of GOD; but if not, reject it. These words, it is said, relate to the sentence pronounced by that prophet on an adulterer and an adulteress,2 both persons of some figure among the Jews. For they, it seems, though they referred the matter to Mohammed, yet directed the persons who carried the criminals before him, that if he ordered them to be scourged, and to have their faces blackened (by way of ignominy), they should acquiesce in his determination; but in case he condemned them to be stoned, they should not. And Mohammed pronouncing the latter sentence against them, they refused to execute it, till Ebn Sûriya (a Jew), who was called upon to decide the matter, acknowledged the law to be so–whereupon they were stoned at the door of the mosque.3

2 See c. 3, p. 34, note r.
3 Al Beidâwi.

f Some understand this of unlawful meats; but others of taking or devouring, as it is expressed, of usury and bribes.4
      i.e., Take thy choice, whether thou wilt determine their differences or not. Hence al Shâfeï was of opinion that a judge was not obliged to decide causes between Jews or Christians; though if one or both of them be tributaries, or under the protection of the Mohammedans, they are obliged: this verse not regarding them. Abu Hanîfa, however, thought that the magistrates were obliged to judge all cases which were submitted to them.6

4 Idem.
6 Idem.

h In the following passage Mohammed endeavours to answer the objections of the Jews and Christians, who insisted that they ought to be judged, the former by the law of Moses, and the latter by the gospel. He allows that the law was the proper rule of judging till the coming revelation of the Korân, which is so far from being contradictory to either of the former, that it is more full and explicit; declaring several points which had been stifled or corrupted therein, and requiring a rigorous execution of the precepts in both, which had been too remissly observed, or rather neglected, by the latter professors of those religions.
i That is, notwithstanding their outward submission, they will not abide by thy sentence, though conformable to the law, if it contradict their own false and loose decisions.
k As gainsaying the doctrine of the books which they acknowledge for scripture.
l That is, vigilant, to prevent any corruptions therein.
m The original word is soul.
n See Exod. xxi. 24, &c.
o i.e., He had given you the same laws, which should have continued in force through all ages, without being abolished or changed by new dispensations; or he could have forced you all to embrace the Mohammedan religion.1

1 Idem.
p It is related that certain of the Jewish priests came to Mohammed with a design to entrap him; and having first represented to him that if they acknowledged him for a prophet, the rest of the Jews would certainly follow their example, made this proposal–that if he would give judgment for them in a controversy of moment which they pretended to have with their own people, and which was agreed to be referred to his decision, they would believe him; but this Mohammed absolutely refused to comply with.2

2 Al Beidâwi.

q Or refuse to be judged by the Korân.
r That is, to be judged according to the customs of paganism, which indulge the passions and vicious appetites of mankind: for this, it seems, was demanded by the Jewish tribes of Koreidha and al Nadîr.3

3 Idem.

s These were the words of Ebn Obba, who, when Obâdah Ebn al Sâmat publicly renounced the friendship of the infidels, and professed that he took GOD and his apostle for his patrons, said that he was a man apprehensive of the fickleness of fortune, and therefore would not throw off his old friends, who might be of service to him hereafter.1

1 Idem.

t To extirpate and banish the Jews; or to detect and punish the hypocrites.
u These words may be spoken by the Mohammedans either to one another or to the Jews, since these hypocrites had given their oaths to both.2

2 Idem.

x This is one of those accidents which, it is pretended, were foretold by the Korân long before they came to pass. For in the latter days of Mohammed, and after his death, considerable numbers of the Arabs quitted his religion, and returned to Paganism, Judaism, or Christianity. Al Beidâwi reckons them up in the following order. 1. Three companies of Banu Modlaj, seduced by Dhu’lhamâr al Aswad al Ansi, who set up for a prophet in Yaman, and grew very powerful there.3 2. Banu Honeifa, who followed the famous false prophet Moseilama.4 3. Banu Asad, who acknowledged Toleiha Ebn Khowailed, another Banu Asad, who acknowledged Toleiha Ebn Khowailed, another pretender to divine revelation,5 for their prophet. All these fell off in Mohammed’s lifetime. The following, except only the last, apostatized in the reign of Abu Becr. 4. Certain of the tribe of Fezârah, headed by Oyeyma Ebn Hosein. 5. Some of the tribe of Ghatfân, whose leader was Korrah Ebn Salma. 6. Banu Soleim, who followed al Fajâah Ebn Ad Yalîl. 7. Banu Yarbu, whose captain was Malec Ebn Noweirah Ebn Kais. 8. Part of the tribe of Tamîm, the proselytes of Sajâj the daughter of al Mondhar, who gave herself out for a prophetess.6 9. The tribe of Kendah, led by al Asháth Ebn Kais. 10. Banu Becr Ebn al Wayel, in the province of Bahrein, headed by al Hotam Ebn Zeid. And, 11. Some of the tribe of Ghassân, who with their prince Jabalah Ebn al Ayham, renounced Mohammedism in the time of Omar, and returned to their former profession of Christianity.7
But as to the persons who fulfilled the other part of this prophecy, by supplying the loss of so many renegades, the commentators are not agreed. Some will have them to be the inhabitants of Yaman, and others the Persians; the authority of Mohammed himself being vouched for both opinions. Others, however, suppose them to be 2,000 of the tribe of al Nakhá (who dwelt in Yaman), 5,000 of those of Kendah and Bajîlah, and 3,000 of unknown descent,8 who were present at the famous battle of Kadesia, fought in the Khalîfat of Omar, and which put an end to the Persian empire.9

3 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. VIII.
4 See ibid.
5 See Ibid.
6 See ibid.
7 See ibid. Sect I.
8 Vide D’Herbel. Bibl. Orient. p. 226.
9 Al Beidâwi.

y This passage was primarily intended to forbid the Moslems entering into a friendship with two hypocrites named Refâa Ebn Zeid, and Soweid Ebn al Hareth, who, though they had embraced Mohammedism, yet ridiculed it on all occasions, and were notwithstanding greatly beloved among the prophet’s followers.
z These words were added on occasion of a certain Christian, who hearing the Muadhdhin, or crier, in calling to prayers, repeat this part of the usual form, I profess that Mohammed is the apostle of GOD, said aloud, May GOD burn the liar: but a few nights after his own house was accidentally set on fire by a servant, and himself and his family perished in the flames.1

1 Idem.

a The former were the Jews of Ailah, who broke the sabbath;2 and the latter those who believed not in the miracle of the table which was let down from heaven to Jesus.3 Some, however, imagine that the Jews of Ailah only are meant in this place, pretending that the young men among them were metamorphosed into apes, and the old men into swine.4

2 See c. 2, p. 8.
3 See towards the end of this chapter
4 Al Beidâwi.

b See chap. 2, p. 28.
c See before, p. 73.
d That is, he is become niggardly and close-fisted. These were the words of Phineas Ebn Azûra (another indecent expression of whom, almost to the same purpose, is mentioned elsewhere)5 when the Jews were much impoverished by a dearth, which the commentators will have to be a judgment on them for their rejecting of Mohammed; and the other Jews who heard him, instead of reproving him, expressed their approbation of what he had said.6

5 Cap. 3, p. 51.
6 Al Beidâwi.

e i.e., They shall be punished with want and avarice. The words may also allude to the manner wherein the reprobates shall appear at the last day, having their right hands tied up to their necks;7 which is the proper signification of the Arabic word.

7 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV.

f viz., The Korân.
g Either by raising feuds and quarrels among themselves, or by granting the victory to the Moslems. Al Beidâwi adds, that on the Jews neglecting the true observance of their law, and corrupting their religion, GOD has successively delivered them into the hands, first of Bakht Nasr or Nebuchadnezzar, then of Titus the Roman, and afterwards of the Persians, and has now at last subjected them to the Mohammedans.
h That is, they shall enjoy the blessings both of heaven and earth.
i That is, if thou do not complete the publication of all thy revelations without exception, thou dost not answer the end for which they were revealed; because the concealing of any part, renders the system of religion which GOD has thought fit to publish to mankind by thy ministry lame and imperfect.1

1 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin.

k Until this verse was revealed, Mohammed entertained a guard of armed men for his security, but on his receiving this assurance of GOD’S protection, he immediately dismissed them.2

2 Idem.

l See chap. 2, p. 8.
m Shutting their eyes and ears against conviction and the remonstrance of the law; as when they worshipped the calf.
n i.e., Upon their repentance.

o See chap. 4, p. 72.
p Never pretending to partake of the divine nature, or to be the mother of GOD.3

2 Jallalo’ddin.

q Being obliged to support their lives by the same means, and being subject to the same necessities and infirmities as the rest of mankind, and therefore no Gods.1

1 Idem, al Beidâwi.

r See chap. 4, p. 72. But here the words are principally directed to the Christians.
s That is, of their prelates and predecessors, who erred in ascribing divinity to Christ, before the mission of Mohammed.2

2 Idem.

t See before, p. 81, note a.
u See chap. 2, p. 11, note r.
x Having not that high conceit of themselves, as the Jews have; but being humble and well disposed to receive the truth; qualities, says al Beidâwi, which are to be commended even in infidels.
y The persons directly intended in this passage were, either Ashama, king of Ethiopia, and several bishops and priests, who, being assembled for that purpose, heard Jaafar Ebn Abi Taleb, who fled to that country in the first flight,3 read the 29th and 30th, and afterwards the 18th and 19th chapters of the Korân; on hearing of which the king and the rest of the company burst into tears, and confessed what was delivered therein to be conformable to truth; that prince himself, in particular, becoming a proselyte to Mohammedism:4 or else, thirty, or as others say, seventy persons, sent ambassadors to Mohammed by the same king of Ethiopia, to whom the prophet himself read the 36th chapter, entitled Y.S. Whereupon they began to weep, saying, How like is this to that which was revealed unto Jesus! and immediately professed themselves Moslems.5

3 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. II.
4 Al Beidâwi, al Thalabi. Vide Abulfed. Vit. Moham. p. 25, &c. Marracc. Prodr. ad Refut. Alcor. part i. p. 45.
5 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin. Vide Marracc. ubi sup.

z These words were revealed when certain of Mohammed’s companions agreed to oblige themselves to continual fasting and watching, and to abstain from women, eating flesh, sleeping on beds, and other lawful enjoyments of life, in imitation of some self-denying Christians; but this the prophet disapproved, declaring that he would have no monks in his religion.1

1 Jallalo’ddin, al Beidâwi.

a See chap. 2, p. 24.
b The commentators give us the different opinions of the doctors, as to the quantity of food and clothes to be given in this case; which I think scarce worth transcribing.
c That is, three days together, says Abu Hanîfa. But this is not observed in practice, being neither explicitly commanded in the Korân, nor ordered in the Sonna.2

2 Al Beidâwi.

d That is, all inebriating liquors, and games of chance. See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. V. and chap. 2, p. 23.
e Al Beidâwi and some other commentators expound this of idols; but others, with more probability, of the carved pieces or men, with which the pagan Arabs played at chess, being little figures of men, elephants, horses, and dromedaries; and this is supposed to be the only thing Mohammed disliked in that game: for which reason the Sonnites play with plain pieces of wood or ivory; but the Persians and Indians, who are not so scrupulous, still make use of the carved ones.3

3 Vide Prelim Disc. Sect. V.

f See the Prelim. Discourse, Sect. V.
g See ibid. Sect. II.
h The commentators endeavour to excuse the tautology of this passage, by supposing the threefold repetition of fearing and believing refers either to the three parts of time, past, present, and future, or to the threefold duty of man, towards GOD, himself, and his neighbour, &c.4

4 Al Beidâwi.

i This temptation or trial was at al Hodeibiya, where Mohammed’s men, who had attended him thither with an intent to perform a pilgrimage to the Caaba, and had initiated themselves with the usual rites, were surrounded by so great a number of birds and beasts that they impeded their march; for which unusual accident, some of them concluded that GOD had allowed them to be taken; but this passage was to convince them of the contrary.1

1 Idem, Jallalo’ddin.

k Literally, while ye are Mohrims, or have actually initiated yourselves as pilgrims, by putting on the garment worn at that solemnity. Hunting and fowling are hereby absolutely forbidden to persons in this state, though they are allowed to kill certain kinds of noxious animals.2

2 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. V.

l That is, he shall bring an offering to the temple of Mecca, to be slain there and distributed among the poor, of some domestic or tame animal, equal in value to what he shall have killed; as a sheep, for example, in lieu of an antelope, a pigeon for a partridge, &c. And of this value two prudent persons were to be judges. If the offender was not able to do this, he was to give a certain quantity of food to one or more poor men; or, if he could not afford that, to fast a proportionable number of days.3

3 Jallalo’ddin, al Beidâwi

m This, says Jallalo’ddin, is to be understood of fish that live altogether in the sea, and not of those that live in the sea and on land both, as crabs, &c. The Turks, who are Hanifites, never eat this sort of fish; but the sect of Malec Ebn Ans, and perhaps some others, make no scruple of it.
n See above, note k.
o That is, the place where the practice of their religious ceremonies is chiefly established; where those who are under any apprehension of danger may find a sure asylum, and the merchant certain gain, &c.4

4 Idem.

p Al Beidâwi understands this of the month of Dhu’lhajja, wherein the ceremonies of the pilgrimage are performed; but Jallalo’ddin supposes all the four sacred months are here intended.5

5 See the Prelim Disc. Sect. VII

q See before, p. 73.
r See the Prelim. Discourse, Sect. II.
s For judgment is to be made of things not from their plenty or scarcity, but from their intrinsic good or bad qualities.6

6 Al Beidâwi.

t The Arabs continually teasing their prophet with questions, which probably he was not always prepared to answer, they are here ordered to wait, till GOD should think fit to declare his pleasure by some farther revelation; and, to abate their curiosity, they are told, at the same time, that very likely the answers would not be agreeable to their inclinations. Al Beidâwi says, that when the pilgrimage was first commanded, Sorâka Ebn Malec asked Mohammed whether they were obliged to perform it every year? To this question the prophet at first turned a deaf ear, but being asked it a second and a third time, he at last said, No; but if I had said yes it would have become a duty, and, if it were a duty, ye would not be able to perform it; therefore give me no trouble as to things wherein I give you none: whereupon this passage was revealed.
u These were the names given by the pagan Arabs to certain camels or sheep which were turned loose to feed, and exempted from common services, in some particular cases; having their ears slit, or some other mark, that they might be known; and this they did in honour of their gods.1 Which superstitions are here declared to be no ordinances of God, but the inventions of foolish men.

1 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. V

x This was revealed when the infidels reproached those who embraced Mohammedism and renounced their old idolatry, that by so doing they arraigned the wisdom of their forefathers.2

2 Al Beidâwi.

y That is, of your kindred or religion.
z They who interpret these words of persons of another religion, say they are abrogated, and that the testimony of such ought not to be received against a Moslem.3

3 Idem.

a In case there was any doubt, the witnesses were to be kept apart from company, lest they should be corrupted, till they gave their evidence, which they generally did when the afternoon prayer was over, because that was the time of people’s assembling in public, or, say some, because the guardian angels then relieve each other, so that there would be four angels to witness against them if they gave false evidence. But others suppose they might be examined after the hour of any other prayer, when there was a sufficient assembly.4

4 Idem.

b The occasion of the preceding passage is said to have been this. Tamîn al Dâri and Addi Ebn Yâzid, both Christians, took a journey into Syria to trade, in company with Bodeil, the freed man of Amru Ebn al As, who was a Moslem. When they came to Damascus, Bodeil fell sick, and died, having first wrote down a list of his effects on a piece of paper, which he hid in his baggage, without acquainting his companions with it, and desired them only to deliver what he had to his friends of the tribe of Sahm. The survivors, however, searching among his goods, found a vessel of silver of considerable weight, and inlaid with gold, which they concealed, and on their return delivered the rest to the deceased’s relations, who, finding the list of Bodeil’s writing, demanded the vessel of silver of them, but they denied it; and the affair being brought before Mohammed, these words, viz., O true believers, take witnesses, &c., were revealed, and he ordered them to be sworn at the pulpit in the mosque, just as afternoon prayer was over, and on their making oath that they knew nothing of the plate demanded, dismissed them. But afterwards, the vessel being found in their hands, the Sahmites, suspecting it was Bodeil’s, charged them with it, and they confessed it was his, but insisted that they had bought it of him, and that they had not produced it because they had no proof of the bargain. Upon this they went again before Mohammed, to whom these words, And if it appear, &c., were revealed; and thereupon Amru Ebn al As and al Motalleb Ebn Abi Refâa, both of the tribe of Sahm, stood up, and were sworn against them; and judgment was given accordingly.1

1 Al Beidâwi.
c That is, on the day of judgment.
d That is, we are ignorant whether our proselytes were sincere, or whether they apostatized after our deaths; but thou well knowest, not only what answer they gave us, but the secrets of their hearts, and whether they have since continued firm in their religion or not.
e See chapter 2, p. 10.
f See chapter 3, p. 37.
g See ibid.
h See ibid. p. 38.
i This miracle is thus related by the commentators. Jesus having, at the request of his followers, asked it of God, a red table immediately descended, in their sight, between two clouds, and was set before them; whereupon he rose up, and having made the ablution, prayed, and then took off the cloth which covered the table, saying, In the name of GOD, the best provider of food. What the provisions were with which this table was furnished is a matter wherein the expositors are not agreed. One will have them to be nine cakes of bread and nine fishes; another bread and flesh; another, all sorts of food, except flesh; another all sorts of food, except bread and flesh; another, all except bread and fish; another, one fish, which had the taste of all manner of food; and another, fruits of paradise; but the most received tradition is that when the table was uncovered, there appeared a fish ready dressed, without scales or prickly fins, dropping with fat, having salt placed at its head and vinegar at its tail, and round it all sorts of herbs, except leeks, and five loaves of bread, on one of which there were olives, on the second honey, on the third butter, on the fourth cheese, and on the fifth dried flesh. They add that Jesus, at the request of the apostles, showed them another miracle, by restoring the fish to life, and causing its scales and fins to return to it, at which the standers-by being affrighted, he caused it to become as it was before; that 1,300 men and women, all afflicted with bodily infirmities or poverty, ate of these provisions, and were satisfied, the fish remaining whole as it was at first; that then the table flew up to heaven in the sight of all; and every one who had partaken of this food were delivered from their infirmities and misfortunes; and that it continued to descend for forty days together at dinner-time, and stood on the ground till the sun declined, and was then taken up into the clouds. Some of the Mohammedan writers are of opinion that this table did not really descend, but that it was only a parable; but most think the words of the Korân are plain to the contrary. A further tradition is, that several men were changed into swine for disbelieving this miracle, and attributing it to magic art; or, as others pretend, for stealing some of the victuals from off it.1 Several other fabulous circumstances are also told, which are scarce worth transcribing.2

Idem, al Thalabi.
2 Vide Marracc. in Alc. p. 238, &c.

k Some say the table descended on a Sunday, which was the reason of the Christians observing that day as sacred. Others pretend this day is still kept among them as a very great festival; and it seems as if the story had its rise from an imperfect notion of Christ’s last supper and the institution of the Eucharist.
i Or, since thou hast caused me to die: but as it is a dispute among the Mohammedans whether Christ actually died or not, before his assumption,3 and the original may be translated either way, I have chosen the former expression, which leaves the matter undecided.

3 See cap. 3, p. 38.
m This chapter is so entitled, because some superstitious customs of the Meccans, as to certain cattle, are therein incidentally mentioned.
n Except only six verses, or, say others, three verses, which are taken notice of in the notes.
o By the last term some understand the time of the resurrection. Others think that by the first term is intended the space between creation and death, and by the latter, that between death and the resurrection.
p That is, they shall be convinced of the truth which they have made a jest of, when they see the punishment which they shall suffer for so doing, both in this world and the next; or when they shall see the glorious success of Mohammedism.
q i.e., We had blessed them with greater power and length of prosperity than we have granted you, O men of Mecca.1 Mohammed seems here to mean the ancient and potent tribes of Ad and Thamûd, &c.2

1 Al Beidâwi.
2 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. I. p. 5, &c.

r That is to say, As they would not have believed, even if an angel had descended to them from heaven, GOD has shown his mercy in not complying with their demands; for if he had, they would have suffered immediate condemnation, and would have been allowed no time for repentance.
s As Gabriel generally appeared to Mahommed; who, though a prophet, was not able to bear the sight of him when he appeared in his proper form, much less would others be able to support it.
t That is, the first of my nation.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

u This passage was revealed when the Koreish told Mohammed that they had asked the Jews and Christians concerning him, who assured them they found no mention or description of him in their books of scripture, Therefore, said they, who bears witness to thee, that thou art the apostle of GOD?2

2 Idem, Jallalo’ddin.

x See chapter 2, p. 16.
y Saying the angels are the daughters of GOD, and intercessors for us with him, &c.3

3 Al Beidâwi.

z i.e., Your idols and false gods.
a That is, their imaginary deities prove to be nothing, and disappear like vain phantoms and chimeras.
b The persons here meant were Abu Sofiân, al Walîd, al Nodar, Otha, Abu Jahl, and their comrades, who went to hear Mohammed repeat some of the Korân; and Nodar being asked what he said, answered, with an oath, that he knew not, only that he moved his tongue, and told a parcel of foolish stories, as he had done to them.4

4 Idem.

c Their hypocrisy and vile actions; nor does their promise proceed from any sincere intention of amendment, but from the anguish and misery of their condition.5

5 Idem.

d viz., In order for judgment.
e The last day is here called the hour, as it is in scripture;6 and the preceding expression of meeting GOD on that day is also agreeable to the same.7

6 1 John v. 25, &c.
7 1 Thess. iv. 17.

f When an infidel comes forth from his grave, says Jallalo’ddin, his works shall be represented to him under the ugliest form that ever he beheld, having a most deformed countenance, a filthy smell, and a disagreeable voice; so that he shall cry out, GOD defend me from thee, what art thou? I never saw anything more detestable! To which the figure will answer, Why dost thou wonder at my ugliness? I am thy evil works;1 thou didst ride upon me while thou wast in the world; but now will I ride upon thee, and thou shalt carry me. and immediately it shall get upon him; and whatever he shall meet shall terrify him, and say, Hail, thou enemy of God, thou art he who was meant by (these words of the Korân), and they shall carry their burdens, &c.2

1 See Milton’s Paradise Lost, bk. ii v. 737, &c.
2 See also cap. 3, p. 48.

g That is, it is not thou but GOD whom they injure by their impious gainsaying of what has been revealed to thee. It is said that Abu Jahl once told Mohammed that they did not accuse him of falsehood, because he was known to be a man of veracity, but only they did not believe the revelations which he brought them; which occasioned this passage.3

3 Al Beidâwi.

h i.e., Thou has been acquainted with the stories of several of the preceding prophets; what persecutions they suffered from those to whom they were sent, and in what manner GOD supported them and punished their enemies, according to his unalterable promise.4

4 Idem.

i In this passage Mohammed is reproved for his impatience in not bearing with the obstinacy of his countrymen, and for his indiscreet desire of effecting what GOD hath not decreed, namely, the conversion and salvation of all men.5

5 Idem.

k Being both ignorant of GOD’S almighty power, and of the consequence of what they ask, which might prove their utter destruction.
l Being created and preserved by the same omnipotence and providence as ye are.
m That is, in the preserved table, wherein GOD’S decrees are written, and all things which come to pass in this world, as well the most minute as the more momentous, are exactly registered.6

6 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV.

n For, according to the Mohammedan belief, the irrational animals will also be restored to life at the resurrection, that they may be brought to judgment, and have vengeance taken on them for the injuries they did one another while in this world.7

7 See ibid. p. 67.

o That is, ye shall then forsake your false gods, when ye shall be effectually convinced that GOD alone is able to deliver you from eternal punishment. But others rather think that this forgetting will be the effect of the distress and terror which they will then be in.8

8 Al Beidâwi.

p That is, we gave them all manner of plenty; that since they took no warning by their afflictions, their prosperity might become a snare to them, and they might bring down upon themselves swifter destruction.
q Laying them before you in different views, and making use of arguments and motives drawn from various considerations.
r That is, says al Beidâwi, either without any previous notice, or after some warning given.

s These words were occasioned when the Koreish desired Mohammed not to admit the poor or more inferior people, such as Ammâr, Soheib, Khobbâb, and Salmân, into his company, pretending that then they would come and discourse with him; but he refusing to turn away any believers, they insisted at least that he should order them to rise up and withdraw when they came, which he agreed to do. Others say that the chief men of Mecca expelled all the poor out of their city, bidding them go to Mohammed; which they did, and offered to embrace his religion; but he made some difficulty to receive them, suspecting their motive to be necessity, and not real conviction;1 whereupon this passage was revealed.

1 Idem, Jallalo’ddin.

t i.e., Rashly to decide whether their intentions be sincere or not; since thou canst not know their heart, and their faith may possibly be more firm than that of those who would persuade thee to discard them.
u That is to say, the noble by those of mean extraction, and the rich by the poor; in that GOD chose to call the latter to the faith before the former.2

2 Al Beidâwi.

x This passage is an answer to the audacious defiances of the infidels, who bad Mohammed, if he were a true prophet, to call for a shower of stones from heaven, or some other sudden and miraculous punishment, to destroy them.3

3 Idem.

y For I should ere now have destroyed you, out of zeal for GOD’S honour, had it been in my power.4

4 Idem.
z i.e., The preserved table, or register of GOD’S decrees.
a See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV.
b That is, the angel of death and his assistants.5

5 See the Prelim. Disc. Sec. IV.

c See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV.
d That is, the dangers and distresses.
e The Cufic copies read it in the third person, if he deliver us, &c.
f Returning to your old idolatry.
g That is, by storms from heaven, as he destroyed the unbelieving people of Noah, and of Lot, and the army of Abraha, the lord of the elephant.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

h Either by drowning you, as he did Pharaoh and his host, or causing the earth to open and swallow you up, as happened to Korah, or (as the Mohammedans name him) Karun.2

2 Idem.

i And therefore need not be troubled at the indecent and impious talk of the infidels, provided they take care not to be infected by them. When the preceding passage was revealed, the Moslems told their prophet that if they were obliged to rise up whenever the idolaters spoke irreverently of the Korân, they could never sit quietly in the temple, nor perform their devotions there; whereupon these words were added.3

3 Idem, Jallalo’ddin.
k See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV.
l This is the name which the Mohammedans give to Abraham’s father, named in scripture Terah. However, some of their writers pretend that Azer was the son of Terah,1 and D’Herbelot says that the Arabs always distinguish them in their genealogies as different persons; but that because Abraham was the son of Terah according to Moses, it is therefore supposed (by European writers) that Terah is the same with the Azer of the Arabs.2 How true this observation may be in relation to some authors, I cannot say, but I am sure it cannot be true of all; for several Arab and Turkish writers expressly make Azer and Terah the same person.3 Azer, in ancient times, was the name of the planet Mars, and the month of March was so called by the most ancient Persians; for the word originally signifying fire (as it still does,) it was therefore given by them and the Chaldeans to that planet,4 which partaking, as was supposed, of a fiery nature, was acknowledged by the Chaldeans and Assyrians as a god or planetary deity, whom in old times they worshipped under the form of a pillar: whence Azer became a name among the nobility, who esteemed it honourable to be denominated from their gods,5 and is found in the composition of several Babylonish names. For these reasons a learned author supposes Azer to have been the heathen name of Terah, and that the other was given him on his conversion.6 Al Beidâwi confirms this conjecture, saying that Azer was the name of the idol which he worshipped. It may be observed that Abraham’s father is also called Zarah in the Talmud and Athar by Eusebius.

1 Tarîkh Montakhab, apud D’Herbel. Bibl. Orient. p. 12.
2 D’Herbel. ibid.
3 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin, Yahya, Ebn Shohnah, Mirat Kainat, &c. Vide etiam Pharhang Jehang-hiri, apud Hyde de Rel. Vet. Persar. p. 68.
4 Hyde, ibid. p. 63.
5 Idem, ibid. p. 64.
6 Idem, ibid. p. 62.

m That Azer, or Terah, was an idolater is allowed on all hands; nor can it be denied, since he is expressly said in scripture to have served strange gods.7 The eastern authors unanimously agree that he was a statuary, or carver of idols; and he is represented as the first who made images of clay, pictures only having been in use before,8 and taught that they were to be adored as gods.9 However, we are told his employment was a very honourable one,10 and that he was a great lord, and in high favour with Nimrod, whose son-in-law he was,11 because he made his idols for him, and was excellent in his art. Some of the Rabbins say Terah was a priest, and chief of the order.12

7 Josh. xxiv. 2, 14.
8 Epiphan. adv. Hær. l. r, p. 7, 8.
9 Suidas in Lexico, voce …epúx.
10 Vide Hyde, ubi sup. p. 63.
11 D’Herbel. ubi sup.
12 Shalshel. hakkab. p. 94.

n That is, we gave him a right apprehension of the government of the world and of the heavenly bodies, that he might know them all to be ruled by GOD, by putting him on making the following reflections.
o Since Abraham’s parents were idolaters, it seems to be a necessary consequence that himself was one also in his younger years; the scripture not obscurely intimates as much,1 and the Jews themselves acknowledge it.2 At what age he came to the knowledge of the true God and left idolatry, opinions are various. Some Jewish writers tell us he was then but three years old,3 and the Mohammedans likewise suppose him very young, and that he asked his father and mother several shrewd questions when a child.4 Others, however, allow him to have been a middle-aged man at that time.5 Maimonides, in particular, and R. Abraham Zacuth think him to have been forty years old, which age is also mentioned in the Korân. But the general opinion of the Mohammedans is that he was about fifteen or sixteen.6 As the religion wherein Abraham was educated was the Sabian, which consisted chiefly in the worship of the heavenly bodies,7 he is introduced examining their nature and properties, to see whether they had a right to the worship which was paid them or not; and the first which he observed was the planet Venus, or, as others will have it, Jupiter.8 This method of Abraham’s attaining to the knowledge of the supreme Creator of all things, is conformable to what Josephus writes, viz.: That he drew his notions from the changes which he had observed in the earth and the sea, and in the sun and the moon, and the rest of the celestial bodies; concluding that they were subject to the command of a superior power, to whom alone all honour and thanks are due.9 The story itself is certainly taken from the Talmud.10 Some of the commentators, however, suppose this reasoning of Abraham with himself was not the first means of his conversion, but that he used it only by way of argument to convince the idolaters among whom he then lived.

1 Vide Josh. xxiv. 2, 14, and Hyde, ubi sup. p. 59.
2 Joseph. Ant. l. I, c. 7. Maimon. More Nev. part iii. c. 29, et Yad Hazzak. de Id. c. I, &c.
3 Tanchuma, Talmud, Nedarim, 32, I, et apud Maimon. Yad Hazz. ubi sup.
4 Vide D’Herbel. Bibl. Orient. Art. Abraham.
5 Maimon. ubi sup. R. Abr. Zacuth in Sefer Juchasin, Shalshel. hakkab, &c.
6 Vide Hyde, ubi sup. p. 60, 61, et Hotting. Smegma Orient. p. 290, &c. Genebr. in Chron.
7 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. I. p. 11.
8 Al Beidâwi.
9 Joseph. Ant. l. I, c. 7.
10 R. Bechai, in Midrash. Vide Bartolocc. Bibl. Rabb. part i. p. 640.

p That is, I am not afraid of your false gods, which cannot hurt me, except GOD permitteth it, or is pleased to afflict me himself.
q By injustice, in this place, the commentators understand idolatry, or open rebellion against GOD.
r Some refer the relative his to Abraham, the person chiefly spoken of in this passage; some to Noah, the next antecedent, because Jonas and Lot were not (say they) of Abraham’s seed; and others suppose the persons named in this and the next verse are to be understood as the descendants of Abraham, and those in the following verse as those of Noah.11

11 Al Beidâwi.

s The Mohammedans say he was of the race of Esau. See chapters 21 and 38.
t See chapter 37.
u This prophet was the successor of Elias, and, as the commentators will have it, the son of Okhtûb, though the scripture makes him the son of Shaphat.
x See chapters 10, 21, and 37.
y See chapter 7, &c.

z That is, the Koreish.1

1 Idem.

a That is, they know him not truly, nor have just notions of his goodness and mercy towards man. The persons here meant, according to some commentators, are the Jews, and according to others, the idolaters.2

2 Idem.

      This verse and the two next, as Jallalo’ddin thinks, were revealed at Medina.
b By these words the Jews (if they were the persons meant) chiefly intended to deny the Korân to be of divine revelation, though they might in strictness insist that GOD never revealed, or sent down, as the Korân expresses it, any real composition or material writing from heaven in the manner that Mohammed pretended his revelations were delivered,3 if we except only the Decalogue, GOD having left to the inspired penmen not only the labour of writing, but the liberty, in a great measure at least, of putting the truths into their own words and manner of expression.

3 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. III. p. 50, &c.

c Falsely pretending to have received revelations from him, as did Moselama, al Aswad al Ansi, and others.
d As did Abda’llah Ebn Saad Ebn Abi Sarah, who for some time was the prophet’s amanuensis, and when these words were dictated to him as revealed, viz., We created man of a purer kind of clay, &c.,4 cried out, by way of admiration, Blessed be GOD the best Creator! and being ordered by Mohammed to write these words down also, as part of the inspired passage, began to think himself as great a prophet as his master.5 Whereupon he took upon himself to corrupt and alter the Korân according to his own fancy, and at length apostatizing, was one of the ten who were proscribed at the taking of Mecca,6 and narrowly escaped with life on his recantation, by the interposition of Othmân Ebn Affán, whose foster-brother he was.7

4 Kor. c. 23.
5 Al Beidâwi.
6 See the Prelim. Disc. p. 43.
7 Vide Abulfeda, Vit. Moh. p. 109.

e For some Arabs, it seems, had the vanity to imagine, and gave out, that, if they pleased, they could write a book nothing inferior to the Korân.
f See before, p. 94, note b.
g That is, without your wealth, your children, or your friends, which ye so much depended on in your lifetime.
h i.e., Naked and helpless.

Or false gods.
k Concerning the intercession of your idols, or the disbelief of future rewards and punishments.
l See chapter 3, p. 34.
m Namely, in the loins of your fathers, and the wombs of your mothers.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

n This word signifies properly the genus of rational, invisible beings, whether angels, devils, or that intermediate species usually called genii. Some of the commentators therefore, in this place, understand the angels, whom the pagan Arabs worshipped; and others the devils, either because they became their servants by adoring idols at their instigation, or else because, according to the Magian system, they looked on the devil as a sort of creator, making him the author and principle of all evil, and GOD the author of good only.2

2 Idem.

o See the Prelim. Discourse, p. 14 and 30.
p Or, as the word may be translated, the incomprehensible.3

3 Idem.

q That is, Thou hast been instructed by the Jews and Christians in these matters, and only retailest to us what thou hast learned of them. For this the infidels objected to Mohammed, thinking it impossible for him to discourse on subjects of so high a nature, and in so clear and pertinent a manner, without being well versed in the doctrines and sacred writings of those people.

r In this passage Mohammed endeavours to excuse his inability of working a miracle, as had been demanded of him; declaring that GOD did not think fit to comply with their desires; and that if he had so thought fit, yet it had been in vain, because if they were not convinced by the Korân, they would not be convinced by the greatest miracle.4

4 Confer Luke xvi. 31.

s i.e., In the Korân.
t For the Meccans required that Mohammed should either show them an angel descending from heaven in their sight, or raise their dead fathers, that they might discourse with them, or prevail on GOD and his angels to appear to them in a body.
u Some interpret this of the immutability of GOD’S decree, and the certainty of his threats and promises; others, of his particular promise to preserve the Korân from any such alterations or corruptions as they imagine to have happened to the Pentateuch and the Gospel;1 and others, of the unalterable duration of the Mohammedan law, which they hold is to last till the end of the world, there being no other prophet, law, or dispensation to be expected after it.

1 See the Prelim. Disc. p. 58, and Kor. c. 15.

x Imagining that the true religion was that which their idolatrous ancestors professed.
y See chap. 2, p. 18, and chap. 5, p. 73.

z That is, both open and secret sins.
a The persons primarily intended in this passage, were Hamza, Mohammed’s uncle, and Abu Jahl; others, instead of Hamza, name Omar, or Ammâr
b In the same manner as we have done in Mecca.
c i.e., Any verse or passage of the Korân.
d These were the words of the Koreish, who thought that there were persons among themselves more worthy of the honour of being GOD’S messenger than Mohammed.
e Literally, Where he will place his commission. GOD, says al Beidâwi, bestows not the gift of prophecy on any one on account of his nobility or riches, but for their spiritual qualifications; making choice of such of his servants as he pleases, and who he knows will execute their commissions faithfully.
f Or had undertaken the most impossible thing in the world. In like manner shall the heart of such a man be incapable of receiving the truth.
g That is, of devils.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

h In tempting and seducing them to sin.
i The advantage which men received from the evil spirits, was their raising and satisfying their lusts and appetites; and that which the latter received in return, was the obedience paid them by the former, &c.2

2 Idem, Jallalo’ddin.

k viz., The day of resurrection, which we believed not in the other world.

l The commentators tell us that this alleviation of the pains of the damned will be when they shall be taken out of the fire to drink the boiling water,3 or to suffer the extreme cold, called al Zamharîr, which is to be one part of their punishment; but others think the respite which God will grant to some before they are thrown into hell, is here intended.4 According to the exposition of Ebn Abbas, these words may be rendered, Unless him whom GOD shall please to deliver thence.5

3 Jallalo’ddin.
4 Al Beidâwi.
5 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. p. 72, &c.

m It is the Mohammedan belief that apostles were sent by GOD for the conversion both of genii and of men; being generally of humane race (as Mohammed, in particular, who pretended to have a commission to preach to both kinds); according to this passage, it seems there must have been prophets of the race of genii also, though their mission be a secret to us.
n Or considered not their danger; but GOD first sent some prophet to them to warn them of it, and to invite them to repentance.
o That is, ye may proceed in your rebellion against GOD and your malice towards me, and be confirmed in your infidelity; but I will persevere to bear your insults with patience, and to publish those revelations which GOD has commanded me.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

p i.e., Our idols. In which sense this word is to be taken through the whole passage.
q As to this custom of the pagan Arabs, see the Prelim. Disc. Sect. I. p. 13. To what is there said we may add, that the share set apart for GOD was employed chiefly in relieving the poor and strangers; and the share of the idols, for paying their priests, and providing sacrifices for them.2

2 Idem, Jallalo’ddin.

r Either by that inhuman custom, which prevailed among those of Kendah and some other tribes, of burying their daughters alive, so soon as they were born, if they apprehended they could not maintain them;3 or else be offering them to their idols, at the instigation of those who had the custody of their temples.4

3 See cap. 81.
4 Al Beidâwi.

s By corrupting with horrid superstitions that religion which Ismael had left to his posterity.5

5 Idem.
t That is, those who serve our idols, and are of the male sex; for the women were not allowed to eat of them.6

6 Idem.

u Which they superstitiously exempted from such services, in some particular cases, as they did the Bahîra, the Sâïba, and the Hâmi.7

7 See cap. 5, p. 86, and Prelim. Disc. Sect. V.

x See c. 5, p. 73.
y That is, the foetus or embryos of the Bahîra and the Sâïba, which shall be brought forth alive.
z For if those cattle cast their young, the women might eat thereof as well as the men.
a See above, note r.
b Not having a due sense of GOD’S providence.
c Or, as some choose to interpret the words, Trees or plants which are planted by the labour of man, and those which grow naturally in the deserts and on mountains.
d That is, give alms thereof to the poor. And these alms, as al Beidâwi observes, were what they used to give before the Zacât, or legal alms, was instituted, which was done after Mohammed had retired from Mecca, where this verse was revealed. Yet some are of another opinion, and for this very reason will have the verse to have been revealed at Medina.
e i.e., Give not so much thereof in alms as to leave your own families in want, for charity begins at home.
f Or, literally, eight males and females paired together; that is, four of each sex, and two of every distinct kind.
g In this passage Mohammed endeavours to convince the Arabs of their superstitious folly in making it unlawful, one while, to eat the males of these four kinds of cattle; another while, the females; and at another time, their young.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

h The person particularly intended here, some say, was Amru Ebn Lohai, king of Hejâz, a great introducer of idolatry and superstition among the Arabs.2

2 Idem. See Prelim. Disc. p. 15, and Pocock Spec. p. 80.
i That is, fluid blood; in opposition to what the Arabs suppose to be also blood, but not fluid, as the liver and the spleen.3

3 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin.

k See Levit. vii. 23, and iii. 16.
l viz., The fat of the rumps or tails of sheep, which are very large in the east, a small one weighing ten or twelve pounds, and some no less than threescore.
m This and the two following verses Jallalo’ddin supposes to have been revealed at Medina.
n The original word signifies peculiarly fornication and avarice.
o As for murder, apostacy, or adultery.4

4 Al Beidâwi.

p That is, the Jews and the Christians.
q Either because we knew nothing of them, or did not understand the language wherein they were written.
r Because of the acuteness of our wit, the clearness of our understanding, and our facility of learning sciences–as appears from our excelling in history, poetry, and oratory, notwithstanding we are illiterate people.5

5 Idem.

s Al Beidâwi, from a tradition of Mohammed, says that ten signs will precede the last day, viz., the smoke, the beast of the earth, an eclipse in the east, another in the west, and a third in the peninsula of Arabia, the appearance of anti-Christ, the sun’s rising in the west, the eruption of Gog and Magog, the descent of Jesus on earth, and fire which shall break forth from Aden.1

1 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. p. 62, &c.

t For faith in the next life will be of no advantage to those who have not believed in this; nor yet faith in this life without good works.
u That is, who believe in part of it, and disbelieve other parts of it, or who form schisms therein. Mohammed is reported to have declared that the Jews were divided into seventy-one sects, and the Christians into seventy-two; and that his own followers would be split into seventy-three sects; and that all of them would be damned, except only one of each.2

2 Al Beidâwi.

x See before, p. 90.
y This was revealed in answer to the pressing instances of the idolaters, who offered to take the crime upon themselves, if Mohammed would conform to their worship.3

3 Idem.

z Al Arâf signifies the partition between paradise and hell, which is mentioned in this chapter.1

1 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. p. 74.

a Some, however, except five or eight verses, begin at these words, And ask them concerning the city, &c.
b The signification of those letters the more sober Mohammedans confess GOD alone knows. Some, however, imagine they stand for Allah, Gabriel, Mohammed, on whom be peace.
c As it did the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah, to whom Lot was sent.
d As happened to the Midianites, to whom Shoaib preached.
e See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. p. 69.
f See chapter 2, p. 5, &c.
g As the time till which the devil is reprieved 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.2

2 Al Beidâwi. See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. p. 65, and D’Herbelot, Bibl. Orient. Art. Eblis.

h 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 commentators, to show that the devil’s power is limited.3

3 Al Beidâwi.

i The Mohammedan gospel of Barnabas tells us that the sentence which GOD pronounced on the serpent for introducing the devil into paradise4 was, that he should not only be turned out of paradise, but that he should have his legs cut off by the angel Michael, with the sword of GOD; and that the devil himself, since he had rendered our first parents unclean, was condemned to eat the excrements of them and all their posterity; which two last circumstances I do not remember to have read elsewhere. The words of the manuscript are these: Y llamó [Dios] a la serpiente, y a Michael, aquel que tiene la espada de Dios, y le dixo; Aquesta sierpe es acelerada, echala la primera del parayso, y cortale las piernas, y si quisiere caminar, arrastrara la vida por tierra. Y llamó à Satanas, el qual vino riendo, y dixole; Porque tu reprobo has engañado a aquestos, y los has hecho immundos? Yo quiero que toda immundicia suya, y de todos sus hijos, en saliendo de sus cuerpos entre por tu boca, porque en verdad ellos haran penitencia, y tu quedaras harto de immundicia.

4 See the notes to cap. 2, p. 5.

k Which they had not perceived before; being clothed, as some say, with light, or garments of paradise, which fell from them on their disobedience. Yahya imagines their nakedness was hidden by their hair.5

5 Idem.

l Which it is said were fig-leaves.6

6 Idem.

m Not only proper materials, but also ingenuity of mind and dexterity of hand to make use of them.7

7 Idem.
n Because of the subtlety of their bodies, and their being void of all colour.8

8 Jallalo’ddin.

o This passage was revealed to reprove an immodest custom of the pagan Arabs, who used to encompass the Caaba naked, because clothes, they said, were the signs of their disobedience to GOD.1 The Sonna orders that, when a man goes to prayers, he should put on his better apparel, out of respect to the divine majesty before whom he is to appear. But as the Mohammedans 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 sumptuous, and particularly in clothes adorned with gold or silver, lest they should seem proud.

1 idem, al Beidâwi.

p The sons of Amer, it is said, when they performed the pilgrimage to Mecca, 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.2

2 Idem.

q Because then the wicked, who also partook of the blessings of this life, will have no share in the enjoyments of the next.

r viz., The angel of death and his assistants.
s That is, the nation whose example betrayed them into their idolatry and other wickedness.
t 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, because of their own infidelity and their imitating an ill example.1

1 Idem.

u 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.2

2 Jallalo’ddin. See the Prelim. Disc. ubi sup. p. 61.

x This expression was probably taken from our Saviour’s words in the gospel,3 though it be proverbial in the east.

3 Matth. xix. 24

y 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, Othmân, Telha, and al Zobeir.4

4 Al Beidâwi.

z Literally, the companions.
a This crier, some say, will be the angel Israfil.
b Al Arâf is the name of the wall or partition which, as Mohammed taught, will separate paradise from hell.5 But as to the persons who are to be placed thereon the commentators differ, as has been elsewhere observed.6

5 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. p. 74.
6 See ibid.

c i.e., Who shall distinguish the blessed from the damned by their proper characteristics; such as the whiteness and splendour of the faces of the former, and the blackness of those of the latter.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

d 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 immediate admittance into paradise, and will be tantalized here for a certain time with a bare view of the felicity of that place.
e That is, the chiefs and ringleaders of the infidels.2

2 Idem.

f These were the inferior and poorer among the believers, whom they despised in their lifetimes as unworthy of God’s favour.
g 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 Arâf; 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.3

3 Idem

h i.e., Of the other liquors or fruits of paradise. Compare this passage with the parable of Dives and Lazarus.
i That is, the event of the promises and menaces therein.
k See chapter 6, p. 90, note a.

l Behaving themselves arrogantly while they pray; or praying with an obstreperous voice, or a multitude of words and vain repetitions.1

1 Idem.

m i.e., After that GOD hath sent his prophets, and revealed his laws, for the reformation and amendment of mankind.
n Or ranging over a large extent of land. Some copies, instead of noshran, which is the reading I have here followed, have boshran, which signifies good tidings; the rising of the wind in such a manner being the forerunner of rain.
o That is, rain. For the east wind, says al Beidâwi, raises the clouds, the north wind drives them together, the south wind agitates them, so as to make the rain fall, and the west wind disperses them again.2

2 Idem.

p Or a dry and parched land.
q See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV.
r Noah the son of Lamech, according to the Mohammedan writers, was one of the six principal prophets,3 though he had no written revelations delivered to him,4 and the first who appeared after his great-grandfather Edrîs or Enoch. They also say he was by trade a carpenter, which they infer from his building the ark, and that the year of his mission was the fiftieth, or, as others say, the fortieth of his age.5
      That Noah was a preacher of righteousness unto the wicked antediluvians is testified by scripture.6 The eastern Christians say that when God ordered Noah to build the ark, he also directed him to make an instrument of wood, such as they make use of at this day in the east, instead of bells, to call the people to church, and named in Arabic Nâkûs, and in modern Greek Semandra; on which he was to strike three times every day, not only to call together the workmen that were building the ark, but to give him an opportunity of daily admonishing his people of the impending danger of the Deluge, which would certainly destroy them if they did not repent.7
      Some Mohammedan authors pretend Noah was sent to convert Zohâk, one of the Persian kings of the first race, who refused to hearken to him; and that he afterwards preached GOD’s unity publicly.8

3 See the Prelim. Disc. p. 59.
4 Vide Reland. de Relig. Moh. p. 34.
5 Al Zamakhshari.
6 2 Pet. ii. 5.
7 Eutych. Annal. p. 37.
8 Vide D’Herbal. Bibl. Orient. p. 675.

s From these words, and other passages of the Korân where Noah’s preaching is mentioned, it appears that, according to Mohammed’s opinion, a principal crime of the antediluvians was idolatry.9

9 See c. 71, and the Prelim. Disc. Sect. I. p. 14.

t viz., Either the day of resurrection, or that whereon the Flood was to begin.
u For, said they, if GOD had pleased, he would have sent an angel, and not a man; since we never heard of such an instance in the times of our fathers.10

10 Al Beidâwi.

x That is, those who believed on him, and entered into that vessel with him. Though there be a tradition among the Mohammedans, said to have been received from the prophet himself, and conformable to the scripture, that eight persons, and no more, were saved in the ark, yet some of them report the number variously. One says they were but six, another ten, another twelve, another seventy-eight, and another four-score, half men and half women,1 and that one of them was the elder Jorham,2 the preserver, as some pretend, of the Arabian language.3

1 Al Zamakhshari, Jallalo’ddin, Ebn Shohnah.
2 Idem. See the Prelim. Disc. Sect I. p. 6.
3 Vide Pocock. Orat. Præfix. Carm. Tograi.

y Ad was an ancient and potent tribe of Arabs,4 and zealous idolaters.5 They chiefly worshipped four deities, Sâkia, Hâfedha, Râzeka and Sâlema; the first, as they imagined, supplying them with rain, the second preserving them from all dangers abroad, the third providing food for their sustenance, and the fourth restoring them to health when afflicted with sickness,6 according to the signification of the several names.

4 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. I. p. 5.
5 Abulfeda.
6 Vide D’Herbel. Bibl. Orient. Art. Houd.

z Generally supposed to be the same person with Heber;7 but others say he was the son of Abda’llah, the son of Ribâh, the son of Kholûd, the son of Ad, the son of Aws or Uz, the son of Aram, the son of Sem.8

7 See the Prelim. Disc. p. 5.
1 Al Beidâwi.

a These words were added because some of the principal men among them believed on Hûd, one of whom was Morthed Ebn Saad.9

9 Idem.

b Dwelling in the habitations of the antediluvians, who preceded them not many centuries, or having the chief sway in the earth after them. For the kingdom of Shedâd, the son of Ad, is said to have extended from the sands of Alaj to the trees of Omân.10

10 Idem.

c See the Prelim. Disc. p. 5.
d That is, concerning the idols and imaginary objects of your worship, to which ye wickedly gave the names, attributes, and honour due to the only true GOD.
e The dreadful destruction of the Adites we have mentioned in another place,1 and shall only add here some further circumstances of that calamity, and which differ a little from what is there said; for the Arab writers acknowledge many inconsistencies in the histories of these ancient tribes.2
The tribe of Ad having been for their incredulity previously chastised with a three years’ drought, sent Kail Ebn Ithar and Morthed Ebn Saad, with seventy other principal men, to the temple of Mecca to obtain rain. Mecca was then in the hands of the tribe of Amalek whose prince was Moâwiyah Ebn Becr; and he, being without the city when the ambassadors arrived, entertained them there for a month in so hospitable a manner that they had forgotten the business they came about had not the king reminded them of it, not as from himself, lest they should think he wanted to be rid of them, but by some verses which he put into the mouth of a singing woman. At which, being roused from their lethargy, Morthed told them the only way they had to obtain what they wanted would be to repent and obey their prophet; but this displeasing the rest, they desired Moâwiyah to imprison him, lest he should go with them; which being done, Kail with the rest entering Mecca, begged of GOD that he would send rain to the people of Ad. Whereupon three clouds appeared, a white one, a red one, and a black one; and a voice from heaven ordered Kail to choose which he would. Kail failed not to make choice of the last, thinking it to be laden with the most rain; but when this cloud came over them, it proved to be fraught with the divine vengeance, and a tempest broke forth from it which destroyed them all.3

1 Prelim. Disc. p. 5.
2 Al Beidâwi. Vide D’Herbelot, Bibl Orient. Art. Houd.
3 See the Prelim. Disc. p. 5.

f Thamûd was another tribe of the ancient Arabs who fell into idolatry. See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. I. p. 5.
g Al Beidâwi deduces his genealogy thus: Sâleh, the son of Obeid, the son of Asaf, the son of Masekh, the son of Obeid, the son of Hâdher, the son of Thamûd.4

4 Abulfeda, al Zamakhshari. Vide D’Herbel. Bibl. Orient. Art. Sâleh.

h The Thamûdites, insisting on a miracle, proposed to Sâleh that he should go with them to their festival, and that they should call on their gods, and he on his, promising to follow that deity which should answer. But after they had called on their idols a long time to no purpose, Jonda Ebn Amru, their prince, pointed to a rock standing by itself, and bade Sâleh cause a she-camel big with young to come forth from it, solemnly engaging that, if he did, he would believe, and his people promised the same. Whereupon Sâleh asked it of GOD, and presently the rock, after several throes as if in labour, was delivered of a she-camel answering the description of Jonda, which immediately brought forth a young one, ready weaned, and, as some say, as big as herself. Jonda, seeing this miracle, believed on the prophet, and some few with him; but the greater part of the Thamûdites remained, notwithstanding, incredulous. Of this camel the commentators tell several very absurd stories: as that, when she went to drink, she never raised her head from the well or river till she had drunk up all the water in it, and then she offered herself to be milked, the people drawing from her as much milk as they pleased; and some say that she went about the town crying aloud, If any wants milk let him come forth.5

5 See the Prelim. Disc. p. 6.

i The tribe of Thamûd dwelt first in the country of the Adites, but their numbers increasing, they removed to the territory of Hejr for the sake of the mountains, where they cut themselves habitations in the rocks, to be seen at this day.
k This extraordinary camel frighting the other cattle from their pasture, a certain rich woman named Oneiza Omm Ganem, having four daughters, dressed them out and offered one Kedâr his choice of them if he would kill the camel. Whereupon he chose one, and with the assistance of eight other men, hamstrung and killed the dam, and pursuing the young one, which fled to the mountain, killed that also and divided his flesh among them.1 Others tell the story somewhat differently, adding Sadaka Bint al Mokhtâr as a joint conspiratress with Oneiza, and pretending that the young one was not killed; for they say that having fled to a certain mountain named Kâra, he there cried three times, and Sâleh bade them catch him if they could, for then there might be hopes of their avoiding the divine vengeance; but this they were not able to do, the rock opening after he had cried, and receiving him within it.2

1 Abulfeda.
2 Al Beidâwi. Vide D’Herbel. ubi supra.

l Defying the vengeance with which they were threatened; because they trusted in their strong dwellings hewn in the rocks, saying that the tribe of Ad perished only because their houses were not built with sufficient strength.3

3 Al Kessai.

m Like violent and repeated claps of thunder, which some say was no other than the voice of the angel Gabriel,4 and which rent their hearts.5 It is said that after they had killed the camel, Sâleh told them that on the morrow their faces should become yellow, the next day red, and the third day black, and that on the fourth GOD’S vengeance should light on them; and that the first three signs happening accordingly, they sought to put him to death, but GOD delivered him by sending him into Palestine.6

4 See the Prelim. Disc. p. 6.
5 Abulfeda, al Beidâwi.
6 Al Beidâwi.

n Mohammed, in the expedition of Tabûc, which he undertook against the Greeks in the ninth year of the Hejra, passing by Hejr, where this ancient tribe had dwelt, forbade his army, though much distressed with heat and thirst, to draw any water there, but ordered them if they had drunk of that water to bring it up again, or if they had kneaded any meal with it, to give it to their camels;7 and wrapping up his face in his garment, he set spurs to his mule, crying out, Enter not the houses of those wicked men, but rather weep, lest that happen unto you which befell them; and having so said, he continued galloping full speed with his face muffled up, till he had passed the valley.8

7 Abulfed. Vit. Moh. p. 124.
8 Al Bokhari.

o Whether this speech was made by Sâleh to them at parting, as seems most probable, or after the judgment had fallen on them, the commentators are not agreed.
p The commentators say, conformably to the scripture, that Lot was the son of Haran, the son of Azer or Terah, and consequently Abraham’s nephew, who brought him with him from Chaldea into Palestine, where they say he was sent by GOD to reclaim the inhabitants of Sodom and the other neighbouring cities which were overthrown with it, from the unnatural vice to which they were addicted.9 And this Mohammedan tradition seems to be countenanced by the words of the apostle, that this righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearinng vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;10 whence it is probable that he omitted no opportunity of endeavouring their reformation. The story of Lot is told with further circumstances in the eleventh chapter.

9 Vide D’Herbelot, Bibl. Orient. Art. Loth.
10 2 Pet. ii. 8.

q viz., Lot, and those who believe on him.
r See chap. II.
s See ibid.
t Or Midian, was a city of Hejâz, and the habitation of a tribe or the same name, the descendants of Midian, the son of Abraham by Keturah,1 who afterwards coalesced with the Ismaelites, as it seems; Moses naming the same merchants who sold Joseph to Potiphar, in one place Ismaelites,2 and in another Midianites.3

1 Gen. xxv. 2.
2 Gen. xxxix. I.
3 Gen. xxxvii. 36.

      This city was situated on the Red Sea, south-east of Mount Sinai, and is doubtless the same with the Modiana of Ptolemy; what was remaining of it in Mohammed’s time was soon after demolished in the succeeding wars,4 and it remains desolate to this day. The people of the country pretend to show the well whence Moses watered Jethro’s flocks.5

4 Vide Golii not. in Alfrag. p. 143.
5 Abulfed Desc. Arab. p. 42. Geogr. Nub. p. 10

u Some Mohammedan writers make him the son of Mikaïl, the son of Yashjar, the son of Madian;6 and they generally suppose him to be the same person with the father-in-law of Moses, who is named in scripture Reuel or Raguel, and Jethro.7 But Ahmed Ebn Abd’alhalim charges those who entertain this opinion with ignorance. Al Kessâi says that his father’s name was Sanûn, and that he was first called Boyûn, and afterwards Shoaib: and adds that he was a comely person, but spare and lean, very thoughtful and of few words. Doctor Prideaux writes this name, after the French translation, Chaib.8

6 Al Beidâwi, Tarikh Montakhab.
7 Exod. ii. 18; iii. I.
8 Life of Mah. p. 24.

x This demonstration the commentators suppose to have been a power of working miracles, though the Korân mentions none in particular. However, they say (after the Jews) that he gave his son-in-law that wonder-working rod,9 with which he performed all those miracles in Egypt and the desert, and also excellent advice and instructions,10 whence he had the surname of Khatîb al anbiyâ, or the preacher to the prophets.11

9 Al Beidâwi. Vide Shalshel hakkab. p. 12.
10 Exod. xviii. 13, &c.
11 Vide D’Herbelot. Bibl. Orient. Art. Schoaib.

y For one of the great crimes which the Midianites were guilty of was the using of diverse measures and weights, a great and a small, buying by one and selling by another.12

12 Vide ibid. al Beidâwi. See Deut. xxv. 13, 14.

z See before, p. 110, note m.
a Robbing on the highway, it seems, was another crying sin frequent among these people. But some of the commentators interpret this passage figuratively, of their besetting the way of truth, and threatening those who gave ear to the remonstrances of Shoaib.13

13 Idem.

b Like that which destroyed the Thamûdites. Some suppose it to have been an earthquake, for the original word signifies either or both; and both these dreadful calamities may well be supposed to have jointly executed the divine vengeance.

c Hereby is figuratively expressed the manner of GOD’S dealing with proud and ungrateful men, by suffering them to fill up the measure of their iniquity, without vouchsafing to bring them to a sense of their condition by chastisements and afflictions till they find themselves utterly lost, when they least expect it.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

d This was the common title or name of the kings of Egypt (signifying king in the Coptic tongue), as Ptolemy was in after times; and as Cæsar was that of the Roman emperors, and Khosrû that of the kings of Persia. But which of the kings of Egypt this Pharaoh of Moses was, is uncertain. Not to mention the opinions of the European writers, those of the east generally suppose him to have been al Walîd, who, according to some, was an Arab of the tribe of Ad, or, according to others, the son of Masáb, the son of Riyân, the son of Walîd,2 the Amalekite.3 There are historians, however, who suppose Kabûs, the brother and predecessor of al Walîd, was the prince we are speaking of; and pretend he lived six hundred and twenty years, and reigned four hundred. Which is more reasonable, at least, than the opinion of those who imagine it was his father Masáb, or grand-father Riyân.4 Abulfeda says that Masáb being one hundred and seventy years old, and having no child, while he kept the herds saw a cow calve, and heard her say, at the same time, O Masáb, be not grieved, for thou shalt have a wicked son, who will be at length cast into hell. And he accordingly had this Walîd, who afterwards coming to be king of Egypt, proved an impious tyrant.

2 See the Prelim. Disc. p. 7.
3 Abulfeda, &c.
4 Kitâb tafsir lebâb, and al Keshâf.

e By not believing therein.
f The Arab writers tell enormous fables of this serpent or dragon. For they say that he was hairy, and of so prodigious a size, that when he opened his mouth, his jaws were fourscore cubits asunder, and when he laid his lower jaw on the ground, his upper reached to the top of the palace; that Pharaoh seeing this monster make toward him, fled from it, and was so terribly frightened that he befouled himself; and that the whole assembly also betaking themselves to their heels, no less than twenty-five thousand of them lost their lives in the press. They add that Pharaoh upon this adjured Moses by GOD who had sent him, to take away the serpent, and promised he would believe on him, and let the Israelites go; but when Moses had done what he requested, he relapsed, and grew as hardened as before.5

5 Al Beidâwi.
g There is a tradition that Moses was a very swarthy man; and that when he put his hand into his bosom, and drew it out again, it became extremely white and splendid, surpassing the brightness of the sun.6 Marracci7 says we do not read in scripture that Moses showed this sign before Pharaoh. It is true, the scripture does not expressly say so, but it seems to be no more than a necessary inference from that passage where GOD tells Moses that if they will not hearken to the first sign, they will believe the latter sign, and if they will not believe these two signs, then directs him to turn the water into blood.8

6 Idem.
7 In Alc. p. 284.
8 Exod. iv. 8, 9.

h The Arabian writers name several of these magicians, besides their chief priest Simeon, viz., Sadûr and Ghadûr, Jaath and Mosfa, Warân and Zamân, each of whom came attended with their disciples, amounting in all to several thousands.9

9 Vide D’Herbelot, Bibl. Orient. Art. Mousa. p. 643, &c. Al Kessâi.

i They provided themselves with a great number of thick ropes and long pieces of wood, which they contrived, by some means, to move, and make them twist themselves one over the other, and so imposed on the beholders, who at a distance took them to be true serpents.1

1 Al Beidâwi. Vide D’Herbelot, ubi sup. and Kor. c. 20.

k The expositors add, that when this serpent had swallowed up all the rods and cords, he made directly towards the assembly, and put them into so great a terror that they fled, and a considerable number were killed in the crowd; then Moses took it up, and it became a rod in his hand as before. Whereupon the magicians declared that it could be no enchantment, because in such case their rods and cords would not have disappeared.2

2 Al Beidâwi.

l It seems probable that all the magicians were not converted by this miracle, for some writers introduce Sadûr and Ghadûr only, acknowledging Moses’s miracle to be wrought by the power of GOD. These two, they say, were brothers, and the sons of a famous magician, then dead; but on their being sent for to court on this occasion, their mother persuaded them to go to their father’s tomb to ask his advice. Being come to the tomb, the father answered their call; and when they had acquainted him with the affair, he told them that they should inform themselves whether the rod of which they spoke became a serpent while its masters slept, or only when they were awake; for, said he, enchantments have no effect while the enchanter is asleep, and therefore if it be otherwise in this case, you may be assured that they act by a divine power. These two magicians then, arriving at the capital of Egypt, on inquiry found, to their great astonishment, that when Moses and Aaron went to rest, their rod became a serpent, and guarded them while they slept.3 And this was the first step towards their conversion.

3 Vide D’Herbel. ubi. sup.

m i.e., This is a confederacy between you and Moses, entered into before ye left the city to go to the place of appointment, to turn out the Copts, or native Egyptians, and establish the Israelites in their stead.4

4 Al Beidâwi.

n That is, your right hands and your left feet.
o Some say Pharaoh was the first inventor of this ignominious and painful punishment.
p Some think these converted magicians were executed accordingly; but others deny it, and say that the king was not able to put them to death, insisting on these words of the Korân,5 You two, and they who follow you, shall overcome.

5 Cap. 28.

q Which were the stars, or other idols. But some of the commentators, from certain impious expressions of this prince, recorded in the Korân,1 whereby he sets up himself as the only god of his subjects, suppose that he was the object of their worship, and therefore instead of alihataca, thy gods, read ilahataca, thy worship.2

1 Ibid. and c. 26, &c.
2 Al Beidâwi.

r That is, we will continue to make use of the same cruel policy to keep the Israelites in subjection, as we have hitherto done. The commentators say that Pharaoh came to this resolution because he had either been admonished in a dream, or by the astrologers or diviners, that one of that nation should subvert his kingdom.3

3 Idem, Jallalo’ddin.

s Looking on him and his followers as the occasion of those calamities. The original word properly signifies to take an ominous and sinister presage of any future event, from the flight of birds, or the like.
t By whose will and decree they were so afflicted, as a punishment for their wickedness.
u This inundation, they say, was occasioned by unusual rains, which continued eight days together, and the overflowing of the Nile; and not only covered their lands, but came into their houses, and rose as high as their backs and necks; but the children of Israel had no rain in their quarters.4 As there is no mention of any such miraculous inundation in the Mosaic writings, some have imagined this plague to have been either a pestilence, or the small-pox, or some other epidemical distemper.5 For the word tufân, which is used in this place, and is generally rendered a deluge, may also signify any other universal destruction or mortality.

4 Idem, Abulfed.
5 Al Beidâwi.

x Some will have these insects to have been a larger sort of tick; others, the young locusts before they have wings.6

6 Idem.

y viz., Any of the calamities already mentioned, or the pestilence which GOD sent upon them afterwards.
z See this wonderful event more particularly described in the tenth and twentieth chapters.
a That is, the land of Syria, of which the eastern geographers reckon Palestine a part, and wherein the commentators say the children of Israel succeeded the kings of Egypt and the Amalekites.1

1 Idem.

b Particularly the lofty tower which Pharaoh caused to be built, that he might attack the GOD of Moses.2

2 Vide Kor. c. 28 and 40.

c These people some will have to be of the tribe of Amalek, whom Moses was commanded to destroy, and others of the tribe of Lakhm. Their idols, it is said, were images of oxen, which gave the first hint to the making of the golden calf.3

3 Al Beidâwi.

d The commentators say that GOD, having promised Moses to give him the law, directed him to prepare himself for the high favour of speaking with GOD in person by a fast of thirty days; and that Moses accordingly fasted the whole month of Dhu’lkaada; but not liking the savour of his breath, he rubbed his teeth with a dentrifice, upon which the angels told him that his breath before had the odour of musk,4 but that his rubbing his teeth had taken it away. Whereupon GOD ordered him to fast ten days more, which he did; and these were the first ten days of the succeeding month Dhu’lhajja. Others, however, suppose that Moses was commanded to fast and pray thirty days only, and that during the other ten GOD discoursed with him.5

4 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV
5 Al Beidâwi. Jallalo’ddin.

e Without the mediation of any other, and face to face, as he speaks unto the angels.6

6 Al Beidâwi. Vide D’Herbel. Bibl. Orient. p. 650.

f This mountain the Mohammedans name al Zabir.
g Or, as it is literally, unto the mount. For some of the expositors pretend that GOD endued the mountain with life and the sense of seeing.
h This is not to be taken strictly. See the like expression in chapter 6, p. 90.
i The Mohammedans have a tradition that Moses asked to see GOD on the day of Arafat, and that he received the law on the day they slay the victims at the pilgrimage of Mecca, which days are the ninth and tenth of Dhu’lhajja.
k These tables, according to some, were seven in number, and according to others ten. Nor are the commentators agreed whether they were cut out of a kind of lote-tree in paradise called al Sedra, or whether they were chrysolites, emeralds, rubies or common stone.1 But they say that they were each ten or twelve cubits long; for they suppose that not only the ten commandments but the whole law was written thereon: and some add that the letters were cut quite through the tables, so that they might be read on both sides2–which is a fable of the Jews.

1 Al Beidâwi.
2 Vide D’Herbel. ubi sup.

l That is, a perfect law comprehending all necessary instructions, as well in regard to religious and moral duties, as the administration of justice.
m viz., The desolate habitations of the Egyptians, or those of the impious tribes of Ad and Thamûd, or perhaps hell, the dwelling of the ungodly in the other world.
n That is, as some understand it, consisting of flesh and blood; or, as others, being a mere body or mass of metal, without a soul.3

3 Al Beidâwi. See cap. 20, and the notes to cap. 2, p. 6.

o Such as their rings and bracelets of gold and silver.4

4 Vide ibid.

p See chapter 20, and the notes to chapter 2, p. 6.
q Father Marracci seems not to have understood the meaning of this phrase, having literally translated the Arabic words, wa lamma sokita fi eidîhim, without any manner of sense, Et cum cadere factus fuisset in manibus eorum.

r By neglecting his precepts, and bringing down his swift vengeance on you.
s Which were all broken and taken up to heaven, except one only; and this, they say, contained the threats and judicial ordinances, and was afterwards put into the ark.1

1 Al Beidâwi. Vide D’Herbel. ubi sup. p. 649.

t Literally, rendered me weak.
u See chapter 2, p. 6.
x Or the fragments of that which was left.
y See chapter 2, p. 6, and chapter 4, p. 70.
z That is, Mohammed. See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. II.
a i.e., Both foretold by name and certain description.
b See chapter 3, p. 37.
c As the eating of blood and swine’s flesh, and the taking of usury, &c.
d See chapter 2, p. 31.
e That is, to all mankind in general, and not to one particular nation, as the former prophets were sent.

f viz., Those Jews who seemed better disposed than the rest of their brethren to receive Mohammed’s law; or perhaps such of them as had actually received it. Some imagine they were a Jewish nation dwelling somewhere beyond China, which Mohammed saw the night he made his journey to heaven, and who believed on him.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

g See chapter 2, p. 7.
      To what is said in the notes there, we may add that, according to a certain tradition, the stone on which this miracle was wrought was thrown down from paradise by Adam, and came into the possession of Shoaib, who gave it with the rod to Moses; and that, according to another, the water issued thence by three orifices on each of the four sides of the stone, making twelve in all, and that it ran in so many rivulets to the quarter of each tribe in the camp.2

2 Idem.

h See chapter 2, p. 7.
i See this passage explained, ibid.
k Professor Sike says, that being prone to leave spiritual for worldly matters, instead of Hittaton they said Hintaton, which signifies wheat,3 and comes much nearer the true word than the expression I have in the last place quoted, set down from Jallalo’ddin. Whether he took this from the same commentator or not does not certainly appear, though he mentions him just before; but if he did, his copy must differ from that which I have followed.

3 Sike, in not. ad Evang. Infant. p. 71.

l This city was Ailah or Elath, on the Red Sea; though some pretend it was Midian, and others Tiberias. The whole story is already given in the notes to chapter 2, p. 8. Some suppose the following five or eight verses to have been revealed at Medina.
m viz., The religious persons among them, who strictly observed the Sabbath, and endeavoured to reclaim the others, till they despaired of success. But some think these words were spoken by the offenders, in answer to the admonitions of the others.
n That we have done our duty in dissuading them from their wickedness.

o See chapter 5, p. 82, note g.
p By accepting of bribes for wresting judgment, and for corrupting the copies of the Pentateuch, and by extorting of usury, &c.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

q Particularly by giving out that GOD will forgive their corruption without sincere repentance and amendment.
r See chapter 2, p. 8, note z.
s This was done in the plain of Dahia in India, or as others imagine, in a valley near Mecca. The commentators tell us that God stroked Adam’s back, and extracted from his loins his whole posterity, which should come into the world until the resurrection, one generation after another; that these men were actually assembled all together in the shape of small ants, which were endued with understanding; and that after they had, in the presence of angels, confessed their dependence on GOD, they were again caused to return into the loins of their great ancestor.2 From this fiction it appears that the doctrine of pre-existence is not unknown to the Mohammedans; there is some little conformity between it and the modern theory of generation ex animalculis in semine marium.

2 Idem, Jallalo’ddin. Yahya. Vide D’Herbelot, Bibl. Orient. p. 54.

t Some suppose the person here intended to be a Jewish rabbi, or one Ommeya Ebn Abi’lsalt, who read the scriptures, and found thereby that GOD would send a prophet about that time, and was in hopes that he might be the man; but when Mohammed declared his mission, believed not on him through envy. But according to the more general opinion, it was Balaam, the son of Beor, of the Canaanitish race, well acquainted with part at least of the scripture, having even been favoured with some revelations from GOD; who being requested by his nation to curse Moses and the children of Israel, refused it at first, saying, How can I curse those who are protected by the angels? But afterwards he was prevailed on by gifts; and he had no sooner done it, than he began to put out his tongue like a dog, and it hung down upon his breast.3

3 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin, al Zamakhshari. Vide D’Herbel. Bibl. Orient. Art. Balaam.
u Loving the wages of unrighteousness, and running greedily after error for reward.4

4 2 Peter ii. v.; Jude II.

x Expressing his glorious attributes. Of these the Mohammedan Arabs have no less than ninety-nine, which are reckoned up by Marracci.5

5 In Alc. p. 414.

y As did Walid Ebn al Mogheira, who hearing Mohammed give GOD the title of al Rahmân, or the merciful, laughed aloud, saying he knew none of that name, except a certain man who dwelt in Yamama;1 or as the idolatrous Meccans did, who deduced the names of their idols from those of the true GOD; deriving, for example, Allât from Allah, al Uzza from al Azîz, the mighty, and Manât from al Mannân, the bountiful.2

1 Marrac. Vit. Moh. p. 19.
2 Al Beidâwi. Jallalo’ddin. See the Prelim. Disc. p. 14.

z As it is said a little above that GOD hath created many to eternal misery, so here he is said to have created others to eternal happiness.3

3 Al Beidâwi.

a By flattering them with prosperity in this life, and permitting them to sin in an uninterrupted security, till they find themselves unexpectedly ruined.4

4 Idem.

b viz., In Mohammed, whom they gave out to be possessed when he went up to Mount Safâ, and from thence called to the several families of each respective tribe in order, to warn them of GOD’S vengeance if they continued in their idolatry.5

5 Idem.

c i.e., After they have rejected the Korân. For what more evident revelation can they hereafter expect?6

6 Idem.

d Not only to men and genii, but to the angels also.

e That is, when the child grew bigger in her womb.
f For the explaining of this whole passage, the commentators tell the following story:–
      They say, that when Eve was big with her first child, the devil came to her and asked her whether she knew what she carried within her, and which way she should be delivered of it, suggesting that possibly it might be a beast. She, being unable to give an answer to this question, went in a fright to Adam, and acquainted him with the matter, who, not knowing what to think of it, grew sad and pensive. Whereupon the devil appeared to her again (or, as others say, to Adam), and pretended that he by his prayers would obtain of GOD that she might be safely delivered of a son in Adam’s likeness, provided they would promise to name him Abda’lhareth, or the servant of al Hareth (which was the devil’s name among the angels), instead of Abd’allah, or the servant of GOD, as Adam had designed. This proposal was agreed to, and accordingly, when the child was born, they gave it that name, upon which it immediately died.1 And with this Adam and Eve are here taxed, as an act of idolatry. The story looks like a rabbinical fiction, and seems to have no other foundation than Cain’s being called by Moses Obed adâmah, that is, a tiller of the ground, which might be translated into Arabic by Abd’alhareth.
      But al Beidâwi, thinking it unlikely that a prophet (as Adam is, by the Mohammedans, supposed to have been) should be guilty of such an action, imagines the Korân in this place means Kosai, one of Mohammed’s ancestors, and his wife, who begged issue of GOD, and having four sons granted them, called their names Abd Menâf, Abd Shams, Abd’al Uzza, and Abd’al Dâr, after the names of the four principal idols of the Koreish. And the following words also he supposes to relate to their idolatrous posterity.

1 Idem, Yahya. Vide D’Herbelot, Bibl. Orient. p. 438, et Selden. de Jure Nat. Sec. Hebr. l. 5, c. 8.

g Being subject to the absolute command of GOD. For the chief idols of the Arabs were the sun, moon, and stars.2

2 See the Prelim. Disc. p. 12, &c.

h Or, as the words may also be translated, Take the superabundant overplus–meaning that Mohammed should accept such voluntary alms from the people as they could spare. But the passage, if taken in this sense, was abrogated by the precept of legal alms, which was given at Medina.

i i.e., Hast thou not yet contrived what to say; or canst thou obtain no revelation from GOD
k This chapter was occasioned by the high disputes which happened about the division of the spoils taken at the battle of Bedr,1 between the young men who had fought, and the old men who had stayed under the ensigns; the former insisting they ought to have the whole, and the latter that they deserved a share.2 To end the contention, Mohammed pretended to have received orders from heaven to divide the booty among them equally, having first taken thereout a fifth part for the purposes which will be mentioned hereafter.

1 See cap. 3, p. 33.
2 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin.

l Except seven verses, beginning at these words, And call to mind when the unbelievers plotted against thee, &c. Which some think were revealed at Mecca.
m It is related that Saad Ebn Abi Wakkâs, one of the companions, whose brother Omair was slain in this battle, having killed Saîd Ebn al As, took his sword, and carrying it to Mohammed, desired that he might be permitted to keep it; but the prophet told him that it was not his to give away, and ordered him to lay it with the other spoils. At this repulse, and the loss of his brother, Saad was greatly disturbed; but in a very little while this chapter was revealed, and thereupon Mohammed gave him the sword, saying, You asked this sword of me when I had no power to dispose of it, but now I have received authority from GOD to distribute the spoils, you may take it.3

3 Al Beidâwi.
n i.e., From Medina. The particle as having nothing in the following words to answer it, al Beidâwi supposes the connection to be that the division of the spoils belonged to the prophet, notwithstanding his followers were averse to it, as they had been averse to the expedition itself.
o For the better understanding of this passage, it will be necessary to mention some further particulars relating to the expedition of Bedr.
      Mohammed having received private information (for which he pretended he was obliged to the angel Gabriel) of the approach of a caravan belonging to the Koreish, which was on its return from Syria with a large quantity of valuable merchandise, and was guarded by no more than thirty, or, as others say, forty men, set out with a party to intercept it. Abu Sofiân, who commanded the little convoy, having notice of Mohammed’s motions, sent to Mecca for succours; upon which Abu Jahl, and all the principal men of the city, except only
Abu Laheb, marched to his assistance, with a body of nine hundred and fifty men. Mohammed had no sooner received advice of this, than Gabriel descended with a promise that he should either take the caravan or beat the succours; whereupon he consulted with his companions which of the two he should attack. Some of them were for setting upon the caravan, saying that they were not prepared to fight such a body of troops as were coming with Abu Jahl: but this proposal Mohammed rejected, telling them that the caravan was at a considerable distance by the seaside, whereas Abu Jahl was just upon them. The others, however, insisted so obstinately on pursuing the first design of falling on the caravan, that the prophet grew angry, but by the interposition of Abu Becr, Omar, Saad Ebn Obadah, and Mokdâd Ebn Amru, they at length acquiesced in his opinion. Mokdâd in particular assured him they were all ready to obey his orders, and would not say to him, as the children of Israel did to Moses, Go thou and thy LORD to fight, for we will sit here;1 but, Go thou and thy LORD to fight, and we will fight with you. At this Mohammed smiled, and again sat down to consult with them, applying himself chiefly to the Ansârs or helpers, because they were the greater part of his forces, and he had some apprehension lest they should not think themselves obliged by the oath they had taken to him at al Akaba,2 to assist him against any other than such as should attack him in Medina. But Saad Ebn Moâdh, in the name of the rest, told him that they had received him as the apostle of GOD, and had promised him obedience, and were therefore all to a man ready to follow him where he pleased, though it were into the sea. Upon which the prophet ordered them in GOD’S name to attack the succours, assuring them of the victory.3

1 Kor. c. 5, p. 76.
2 See the Prelim. Disc. p. 37.
3 Al Beidâwi.

p That is, concerning their success against Abu Jahl and the Koreish; notwithstanding they had GOD’S promise to encourage them.
q The reason of this great backwardness was the smallness of their number, in comparison of the enemy, and their being unprepared; for they were all foot, having but two horses among them, whereas the Koreish had no less than a hundred horse.4

4 Idem. Vide Abulfed, Vit. Moh. p. 56.

r That is, either the caravan or the succours from Mecca. Father Marracci mistaking al îr and al nafîr, which are appellatives and signify the caravan and the troop or body of succours, for proper names, has thence coined two families of the Koreish never heard of before, which he calls Airenses and Naphirenses.5

5 Marracc. in Alc. p. 297.

s viz., The caravan, which was guarded by no more than forty horse; whereas the other party was strong and well appointed.
t As if he had said, Your view was only to gain the spoils of the caravan, and to avoid danger; but God designed to exalt his true religion by extirpating its adversaries.6

6 Al Beidâwi.

u When Mohammed’s men saw they could not avoid fighting, they recommended themselves to GOD’S protection; and their prophet prayed with great earnestness, crying out, O GOD, fulfil that which thou hast promised me: O GOD, if this party be cut off, thou wilt no more be worshipped on earth. And he continued to repeat these words till his cloak fell from off his back.7

7 Idem. Vide Abulfed. Vit. Moh. p. 58.

x Which were afterwards reinforced with three thousand more.8 Wherefore some copies instead of a thousand, read thousands in the plural.

8 See cap. 3, p. 33 and 45.

y See chap. 3, p. 45.
z It is related, that the spot where Mohammed’s little army lay was a dry and deep sand, into which their feet sank as they walked, the enemy having the command of the water; and that having fallen asleep, the greater part of them were disturbed with dreams, wherein the devil suggested to them that they could never expect God’s assistance in the battle, since they were cut off from the water, and besides suffering the inconvenience of thirst, must be obliged to pray without washing, though they imagined themselves to be the favourites of God, and that they had his apostle among them. But in the night rain fell so plentifully that it formed a little brook, and not only supplied them with water for all their uses, but made the sand between them and the infidel army firm enough to bear them; whereupon the diabolical suggestions ceased.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

a This is the punishment expressly assigned the enemies of the Mohammedan religion; though the Moslems did not inflict it on the prisoners they took at Bedr, for which they are reprehended in this chapter.
b That is, if it be not downright running away, but done either with design to rally and attack the enemy again, or by way of feint or stratagem, or to succour a party which is hard pressed, &c.2

9 Idem.

c See c. 3, p. 32, note n.
d See ibid.
e These words are directed to the people of Mecca, whom Mohammed derides, because the Koreish, when they were ready to set out from Mecca, took hold of the curtains of the Caaba, saying O GOD, grant the victory to the superior army, the party that is most rightly directed, and the most honourable.1

1 Idem.

f That is, to hearken to the remonstrances of the Korân. Some say that the infidels demanded of Mohammed that he should raise Kosai, one of his ancestors, to life, to bear witness to the truth of his mission, saying he was a man of honour and veracity, and they would believe his testimony: but they are here told that it would have been in vain.2

2 Idem. See c. 6, p. 99.

g Not only knowing the innermost secrets of his heart, but overruling a man’s designs, and disposing him either to belief or infidelity.
h The original word signifies any epidemical crime, which involves a number of people in its guilt; and the commentators are divided as to its particular meaning in this place.
i viz., At Mecca. The persons here spoken to are the Mohâjerîn, or refugees who fled from thence to Medina.
k Al Beidâwi mentions an instance of such treacherous dealing in Abu Lobâba, who was sent by Mohammed to the tribe of Koreidha, then besieged by that prophet for having broken their league with him and perfidiously gone over to the enemies at the war of the ditch,3 to persuade them to surrender at the discretion of Saad Ebn Moadh, prince of the tribe of Aws, their confederates, which proposal they had refused. But Abu Lobâba’s family and effects being in the hands of those of Koreidha, he acted directly contrary to his commission, and instead of persuading them to accept Saad as their judge, when they asked his advice about it, drew his hand across his throat, signifying that he would put them all to death. However, he had no sooner done this than he was sensible of his crime, and going into a mosque, tied himself to a pillar, and remained there seven days without meat or drink, till Mohammed forgave him.

3 See Prid. Life of Mah. p. 85. Abulf. Vit. Moh. p. 76, and the notes to c. 33.

l As they were to Abu Lobâba.
m i.e., A direction that you may distinguish between truth and falsehood; or success in battle to distinguish the believers from the infidels; or the like.
n When the Meccans heard of the league entered into by Mohammed with those of Medina, being apprehensive of the consequence, they held a council, whereat they say the devil assisted in the likeness of an old man of Najd. The point under consideration being what they should do with Mohammed, Abu’lbakhtari was of opinion that he should be imprisoned, and the room walled up, except a little hole, through which he should have necessaries given him, till he died. This the devil opposed, saying that he might probably be released by some of his own party. Heshâm Ebn Amru was for banishing him, but his advice also the devil rejected, insisting that Mohammed might engage some other tribes in his interest, and make war on them. At length Abu Jahl gave his opinion for putting him to death, and proposed the manner, which was unanimously approved.1

1 Al Beidâwi. See the Prelim. Disc. p. 39.
o Revealing their conspiracy to Mohammed, and miraculously assisting him to deceive them and make his escape;2 and afterwards drawing them to the battle of Bedr.

2 See ibid.

p See chapter 6, p. 90.
r This was the speech of Al Nodar Ebn al Hareth.3

3 Al Beidâwi.

s Saying, GOD forgive us! Some of the commentators, however, suppose the persons who asked pardon were certain believers who stayed among the infidels; and others think the meaning to be, that GOD would not punish them, provided they asked pardon.
t Obliging them to fly from Mecca, and not permitting them so much as to approach the temple, in the expedition of al Hodeibiya.4

4 See the Prelim. Disc. p. 41.

u Because of their idolatry and indecent deportment there. For otherwise the Koreish had a right to the guardianship of the Caaba, and it was continued in their tribe and in the same family even after the taking of Mecca.5

5 See c. 4, p. 60, note x.

x It is said that they used to go round the Caaba naked,6 both men and women, whistling at the same time through their fingers, and clapping their hands. Or, as others say, they made this noise on purpose to disturb Mohammed when at his prayers, pretending to be at prayers also themselves.7

6 See c. 7, p. 107.
7 Al Beidâwi.

y The persons particularly meant in this passage were twelve of the Koreish, who gave each of them ten camels every day to be killed for provisions for their army in the expedition of Bedr; or, according to others, the owners of the effects brought by the caravan, who gave great part of them to the support of the succours from Mecca. It is also said that Abu Sofiân, in the expedition of Ohod, hired two thousand Arabs, who cost him a considerable sum, besides the auxiliaries which he had obtained gratis.8

8 Idem.

z According to this law, a fifth part of the spoils is appropriated to the particular uses here mentioned, and the other four-fifths are to be equally divided among those who were present at the action: but in what manner or to whom the first fifth is to be distributed, the Mohammedan doctors differ, as we have elsewhere observed.1 Though it be the general opinion that this verse was revealed at Bedr, yet there are some who suppose it was revealed in the expedition against the Jewish tribe of Kainokâ, which happened a little above a month after.2

1 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. VI.
2 Al Beidâwi.

a i.e., Of the battle of Bedr; which is so called because it distinguished the true believers from the infidels.
b Which was much more inconvenient than the other, because of the deep sand and want of water.
c By the seaside, making the best of their way to Mecca.
d Because of the great superiority of the enemy, and the disadvantages ye lay under.
e By granting a miraculous victory to the faithful, and overthrowing their enemies; for the conviction of the latter, and the confirmation of the former.3

3 Idem.

f With which vision Mohammed acquainted his companions for their encouragement.
g Whether ye should attack the enemy or fly.
h It is said that Ebn Masúd asked the man who was next him whether he did not see them to be about seventy, to which he replied that he took them to be a hundred.4

4 Idem.

i This seeming contradictory to a passage in the third chapter,5 where it is said that the Moslems appeared to the infidels to be twice their own number, the commentators reconcile the matter by telling us that, just before the battle began, the prophet’s party seemed fewer than they really were, to draw the enemy to an engagement; but that so soon as the armies were fully engaged, they appeared superior, to terrify and dismay their adversaries. It is related that Abu Jahl at first thought them so inconsiderable a handful, that he said one camel would be as much as they could all eat.6

5 Page 33
6 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin, Yahya.

k These were the Meccans, who, marching to the assistance of the caravan, and being come as far as Johfa, were there met by a messenger from Abu Sofiân, to acquaint them that he thought himself out of danger, and therefore they might return home; upon which, Abu Jahl, to give the greater opinion of the courage of himself and his comrades, and of their readiness to assist their friends, swore that they would not return till they had been at Bedr, and had there drunk wine and entertained those who should be present, and diverted themselves with singing women.1 The event of which bravado was very fatal, several of the principal Koreish, and Abu Jahl in particular, losing their lives in the expedition.

1 Al Beidâwi.
l By inciting them to oppose the prophet.
m Some understand this passage figuratively, of the private instigation of the devil, and of the defeating of his designs and the hopes with which he had inspired the idolaters. But others take the whole literally, and tell us that when the Koreish, on their march, bethought themselves of the enmity between them and the tribe of Kenâna, who were masters of the country about Bedr, that consideration would have prevailed on them to return, had not the devil appeared in the likeness of Sorâka Ebn Malec, a principal person of that tribe, and promised them that they should not be molested, and that himself would go with them. But when they came to join battle, and the devil saw the angels descending to the assistance of the Moslems, he retired; and al Hareth Ebn Heshâm, who had him then by the hand, asking him whither he was going, and if he intended to betray them at such a juncture, he answered, in the words of this passage: I am clear of you, for I see that which ye see not; meaning the celestial succours. They say further, that when the Koreish, on their return, laid the blame of their overthrow on Sorâka, he swore that he did not so much as know of their march till he heard they were routed: and afterwards, when they embraced Mohammedism, they were satisfied it was the devil.2

2 Idem, Jallalo’ddin.

n In tempting them to so great a piece of folly, as to attack so large a body of men with such a handful.
o This passage is generally understood of the angels who slew the infidels at Bedr, and who fought (as the commentators pretend) with iron maces, which shot forth flames of fire at every stroke.3 Some, however, imagine that the words hint, at least, at the examination of the sepulchre, which the Mohammedans believe every man must undergo after death, and will be very terrible to the unbelievers.4

3 Idem.
4 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. p. 50, &c.

p See chapter 2, p. 11, note r.

q As did the tribe of Koreidha.1

1 See before, p. 128, and c. 33.

r Some copies read it in the third person, Let not the unbelievers think, &c.
s viz., Those who made their escape from Bedr.
t Because of the inveterate enmity which reigned among many of the Arab tribes; and therefore this reconciliation is reckoned by the commentators as no inconsiderable miracle, and a strong proof of their prophet’s mission.
u This passage, as some say, was revealed in a plain called al Beidâ, between Mecca and Medina, during the expedition of Bedr; and, as others, in the sixth year of the prophet’s mission, on the occasion of Omar’s embracing Mohammedism.
x See Levit. xxvi. 8; Josh xxiii. 10.
y Because severity ought to be used where circumstances require it, though clemency be more preferable where it may be exercised with safety. While the Mohammedans, therefore, were weak, and their religion in its infancy, GOD’S pleasure was that the opposers of it should be cut off, as is particularly directed in this chapter. For which reason, they are here upbraided with their preferring the lucre of the ransom to their duty
z That is, had not the ransom been, in strictness, lawful for you to accept, by GOD’S having in general terms allowed you the spoil and the captives, ye had been severely punished.
      Among the seventy prisoners which the Moslems took in this battle were Al Abbâs, one of Mohammed’s uncles, and Okail, the son of Abu Tâleb and brother of Ali. When they were brought before Mohammed, he asking the advice of his companions what should be done with them, Abu Becr was for releasing them on their paying ransom, saying, that they were near relations to the prophet, and GOD might possibly forgive them on their repentance; but Omar was for striking off their heads, as professed patrons of infidelity. Mohammed did not approve of the latter advice, but observed that Abu Becr resembled Abraham, who interceded for offenders, and that Omar was like Noah, who prayed for the utter extirpation of the wicked antediluvians; and thereupon it was agreed to accept a ransom from them and their fellow-captives. Soon after which, Omar, going into the prophet’s tent, found him and Abu Becr weeping, and, asking them the reason of their tears, Mohammed acquainted him that this verse had been revealed, condemning their ill-timed lenity towards their prisoners, and that they had narrowly escaped the divine vengeance for it, adding that, if GOD had not passed the matter over, they had certainly been destroyed to a man, excepting only Omar and Saad Ebn Moadh, a person of as great severity, and who was also for putting the prisoners to death.1 Yet did not this crime go absolutely unpunished neither: for in the battle of Ohod the Moslems lost seventy men, equal to the number of prisoners taken at Bedr, 2 which was so ordered by GOD, as a retaliation or atonement for the same.

1 Idem.
2 See c. 3, p. 46.

a i.e., Of the ransom which ye have received of your prisoners. For it seems, on this rebuke, they had some scruple of conscience whether they might convert it to their own use or not.3

3 Al Beidâwi.

b That is, if ye repent and believe, GOD will make you abundant retribution for the ransom ye have now paid. It is said that this passage was revealed on the particular account of al Abbâs, who, being obliged by Mohammed, though his uncle, to ransom both himself and his two nephews, Okail and Nawfal Ebn al Hareth, complained that he should be reduced to beg alms of the Koreish as long as he lived. Whereupon Mohammed asked him what was become of the gold which he delivered to Omm al Fadl when he left Mecca, telling her that he knew not what might befall him in the expedition, and therefore, if he lost his life, she might keep it herself for the use of her and her children? Al Abbâs demanded who told him this, to which Mohammed replied that GOD had revealed it to him. And upon this al Abbâs immediately professed Islâmism, declaring that none could know of that affair except GOD, because he gave her the money at midnight. Some years after, al Abbâs reflecting on this passage, confessed it to be fulfilled; for he was then not only possessed of a large substance, but had the custody of the well Zemzem, which, he said, he preferred to all the riches of Mecca.4

4 Idem. Vide D’Herbel. Bibl. Orient. Art. Abbâs.

c By not paying the ransom agreed on.
d And shall consequently inherit one another’s substance, preferably to their relations by blood. And this, they say, was practised for some time, the Mohâjerin and Ansârs being judged heirs to one another, exclusive of the deceased’s other kindred, till this passage was abrogated by the following: Those who are related by blood shall be deemed the nearest of kin to each other.

e The reason why the chapter had this title appears from the first verse. Some, however, give it other titles, and particularly that of Repentance, which is mentioned immediately after.
      It is observable that this chapter alone has not the auspicatory form, In the name of the most merciful GOD, prefixed to it; the reason of which omission, as some think, was, because these words imply a concession of security, which is utterly taken away by this chapter, after a fixed time; wherefore some have called it the chapter of Punishment; others say that Mohammed (who died soon after he had received this chapter), having given no direction where it should be placed, nor for the prefixing the Bismillah to it, as had been done to the other chapters; and the argument of this chapter bearing a near resemblance to that of the preceding, his companions differed about it, some saying that both chapters were but one, and together made the seventh of the seven long ones, and others that they were two distinct chapters; whereupon, to accommodate the dispute, they left a space between them, but did not interpose the distinction of the Bismillah.1
      It is agreed that this chapter was the last which was revealed; and the only one, as Mohammed declared, which was revealed entire and at once, except the hundred and tenth.
      Some will have the two last verses to have been revealed at Mecca.

1 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin, Yahya, &c.

f Some understand this sentence of the immunity or security therein granted to the infidels for the space of four months; but others think that the words properly signify that Mohammed for the space of four months; but others think that the words properly signify that Mohammed is here declared by GOD to be absolutely free and discharged from all truce or league with them, after the expiration of that time;2 and this last seems to be the truest interpretation.
      Mohammed’s thus renouncing all league with those who would not receive him as the apostle of GOD, or submit to become tributary, was the consequence of the great power to which he was now arrived. But the pretext he made use of was the treachery he had met with among the Jewish, and idolatrous Arabs–scarce any keeping faith with him, except Banu Damra, Banu Kenâna, and a few others.3

2 Idem.
3 Idem.

g These months were Shawâl, Dhu’lkaada, Dhu’lhajja, and Moharram; the chapter being revealed in Shawâl. Yet others compute them from the tenth of Dhu’lhajja, when the chapter was published at Mecca, and consequently make them expire on the tenth of the former Rabî.4

4 Idem, al Zamaksh., Jallalo’ddin.

h viz., The tenth of Dhu’lhajja, when they slay the victims at Mina; which day is their great feast, and completes the ceremonies of the pilgrimage. Some suppose the adjective greater is added here to distinguish the pilgrimage made at the appointed time from lesser pilgrimages, as they may be called, or visitations of the Caaba, which may be performed at any time of the year; or else because the concourse at the pilgrimage this year was greater than ordinary, both Moslems and idolaters being present at it.
      The promulgation of this chapter was committed by Mohammed to Ali, who rode for that purpose on the prophet’s slit-eared camel from Medina to Mecca; and on the day above mentioned, standing up before the whole assembly at al Akaba, told them that he was the messenger of the apostle of GOD unto them. Whereupon they asking him what was his errand, he read twenty or thirty verses of the chapter to them, and then said, I am commanded to acquaint you with four things: I. That no idolater is to come near the temple of Mecca after this year; 2. That no man presume to compass the Caaba naked for the future;5 3. That none but true believers shall enter paradise; and 4. That public faith is to be kept.6

5 See before, cap. 7, p. 107.
6 Al Beidâwi. Vide Abulfed. Vit. Moh. p. 127, &c.

i So that notwithstanding Mohammed renounces all league with those who had deceived him, he declares himself ready to perform his engagements to such as had been true to him.
k Either within or without the sacred territory.
l That is, you shall give him a safe-conduct, that he may return home again securely, in case he shall not think fit to embrace Mohammedism.
m These are the persons before excepted.
n As did the Koreish in assisting the tribe of Becr against those of Khozâah,7 and laying a design to ruin Mohammed, without any just provocation; and as several of the Jewish tribes did, by aiding the enemy, and endeavouring to oblige the prophet to leave Medina, as he had been obliged to leave Mecca.8

7 See the Prelim. Disc. p. 42.
8 Al Beidâwi.

o viz., Those of Khozâah; or, as others say, certain families of Yaman and Saba, who went to Mecca, and there professed Mohammedism, but were very injuriously treated by the inhabitants; whereupon they complained to Mohammed, who bade them take comfort, for that joy was approaching.1

1 Idem.

p These words are to warn the believers from having too great a confidence in their own merits, and likewise to deter the unbelievers; for if the faithful will but perhaps be saved, what can the others hope for?2

2 Idem.

q This passage was revealed on occasion of some words of al Abbâs, Mohammed’s uncle, who, when he was taken prisoner, being bitterly reproached by the Moslems, and particularly by his nephew Ali, answered: You rip up our ill actions, but take no notice of our good ones; we visit the temple of Mecca, and adorn the Caaba with hangings, and give drink to the pilgrims (of Zemzem water, I suppose) and free captives.3

3 Idem.

r Or shall punish you. Some suppose the taking of Mecca to be here intended.4

4 Idem

s This battle was fought in the eighth year of the Hejra, in the valley of Honein, which lies about three miles from Mecca towards Tâyef, between Mohammed, who had an army of twelve thousand men, and the tribes of Hawâzen and Thakîf, whose forces did not exceed four thousand. The Mohammedans, seeing themselves so greatly superior to their enemies, made sure of the victory; a certain person, whom some suppose to have been the prophet himself, crying out, These can never be overcome by so few. But GOD was so highly displeased with this confidence, that in the first encounter the Moslems were put to flight,5 some of them running away quite to Mecca, so that none stood their ground except Mohammed himself, and some few of his family; and they say the prophet’s courage was so great, that his uncle al Abbâs, and his cousin Abu Sofiân Ebn al Hareth, had much ado to prevent his spurring his mule into the midst of the enemy, by laying hold of the bridle and stirrup. Then he ordered al Abbâs, who had the voice of a Stentor, to recall his flying troops; upon which they rallied, and the prophet throwing a handful of dust against the enemy, they attacked them a second time, and by the divine assistance gained the victory.6

5 See Prid. Life of Mahomet, p. 96, &c. Hotting. Hist. Orient. p. 271, &c. D’Herbel. Bibl. Orient. p. 601.
6 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin, Abulfeda, Vit. Moh. p. 112, &c.

t For the valley being very deep, and encompassed by craggy mountains, the enemy placed themselves in ambush on every side, attacking them in the straits and narrow passages, and from behind the rocks, with great advantage.1

1 Ebn Ishak.

u The original word is Sakînat, which the commentators interpret in this sense; but it seems rather to signify the divine presence, or Shechinah, appearing to aid the Moslems.2

2 See cap. 2, p. 27, note k.

x As to the number of these celestial auxiliaries, the commentators differ; some say they were five thousand, some eight thousand, and others sixteen thousand.3

3 Al Beidâwi.

y Besides a great number of proselytes who were gained by this battle, Mohammed, on their request, was so generous as to restore the captives (which were no less than six thousand) to their friends, and offered to make amends himself to any of his men who should not be willing to part with his prisoners; but they all consented to it.4

4 Idem.

z Which was the ninth year of the Hejra. In consequence of this prohibition, neither Jews nor Christians, nor those of any other religion, are suffered to come near Mecca to this day.
a This promise, says al Beidâwi, was fulfilled by GOD’S sending plenty of rain, and disposing the inhabitants of Tebâla and Jorash, two towns in Yaman, to embrace Islâm, who thereupon brought sufficient provisions to Mohammed’s men; and also by the subsequent coming in of the Arabs from all quarters to him.
b That is, who have not a just and true faith in these matters; but either believe a plurality of gods, or deny the eternity of hell torments,5 or the delights of paradise as described in the Korân. For as it appears by the following words, the Jews and Christians are the persons here chiefly meant.

5 See cap. 2, p. 10, and cap. 3, p. 34.

c This I think the true meaning of the words an yadin, which literally signify by or out of hand, and are variously interpreted: some supposing they mean that the tribute is to be paid readily, or by their own hands and not by another; or that tribute is to be exacted of the rich only, or those who are able to pay it, and not of the poor; or else that it is to be taken as a favour that the Mohammedans are satisfied with so small an imposition, &c.6

6 Vide al Beidâwi.

      That the Jews and Christians are, according to this law, to be admitted to protection on payment of tribute, there is no doubt: though the Mohammedan doctors differ as to those of other religions. It is said that Omar at first refused to accept tribute from a Magian, till Abd’alrahmân Ebn Awf assured him that Mohammed himself had granted protection to a Magian, and ordered that the professors of that religion should be included among the people of the book, or those who found their religion on some book which they suppose to be of divine original. And it is the more received opinion that these three religions only ought to be tolerated on the condition of paying tribute: others, however, admit the Sabians also. Abu Hanîfa supposed people of any religion might be suffered, except the idolatrous Arabs; and Malec excepted only apostates from Mohammedism.
      The least tribute that can be taken from every such person, is generally agreed to be a dinâr or about ten shillings, a year; nor can he be obliged to pay more unless he consent to it; and this, they say, ought to be laid as well on the poor as on the rich.1 But Abu Hanîfa decided that the rich should pay forty-eight dirhems (twenty, and sometimes twenty-five, of which made a dinâr) a year; one in middling circumstances half that sum; and a poor man, who was able to get his living, a quarter of it: but that he who was not able to support himself should pay nothing.2

1 Vide Reland. de Jure Militari Mohammedanor. p. 17 and 50.
2 Al Beidâwi.

d This grievous charge against the Jews the commentators endeavour to support by telling us that it is meant of some ancient heterodox Jews, or else of some Jews of Medina; who said so for no other reason than for that the law being utterly lost and forgotten during the Babylonish captivity, Ezra, having been raised to life after he had been dead one hundred years,3 dictated the whole anew to the scribes, out of his own memory; at which they greatly marvelled, and declared that he could not have done it unless he were the son of GOD.4 Al Beidâwi, adds that the imputation must be true, because this verse was read to the Jews, and they did not contradict it; which they were ready enough to do in other instances.
      That Ezra did thus restore not only the Pentateuch, but also the other books of the Old Testament, by divine revelation, was the opinion of several of the Christian fathers, who are quoted by Dr. Prideaux,5 and of some other writers;6 which they seem to have first borrowed from a passage in that very ancient apocryphal book, called (in our English Bible) the second book of Esdras.7 Dr. Prideaux8 tells us that herein the fathers attributed more to Ezra than the Jews themselves, who suppose that he only collected and set forth a correct edition of the scriptures, which he laboured much in, and went a great way in the perfecting of it. It is not improbable, however, that the fiction came originally from the Jews, though they be now of another opinion, and I cannot fix it upon them by any direct proof. For, not to insist on the testimony of the Mohammedans (which yet I cannot but think of some little weight in a point of this nature), it is allowed by the most sagacious critics that the second book of Ezra was written by a Christian indeed,9 but yet one who had been bred a Jew, and was intimately acquainted with the fables of the Rabbins;10 and the story itself is perfectly in the taste and way of thinking of those men.

3 See cap. 2, p. 28.
4 Al Beidâwi, al Zamakhshari, &c.
5 Connect. part i. l. 5, p. 329.
6 Athanasius junior, in Synopsi S. Script. tom. ii. p. 86. Leontius Byzantin. de Sectis, p. 428.
7 Cap. xiv. 20, &c.
8 Loco citat.
9 See 2 Esdras ii. 43–47; and vii. 28, &c.
10 Vide Dodwelli Dissert. Cyprian. Dissert. 4, § 2. Whiston’s Essay on the Apostolical Constit. p. 34, 76, and 304, &c.; et Fabricii Codic. Apocryph. Novi Test. part ii. p. 936, &c.

e See the chap. 3, p. 39, note e.
f By taking of bribes, says al Beidâwi; meaning, probably, the money they took for dispensing with the commands of GOD, and by way of commutation.

g According to this passage, the intercalation of a month every third or second year, which the Arabs had learned of the Jews, in order to reduce their lunar years to solar years, is absolutely unlawful. For by this means they fixed the time of the pilgrimage and of the fast of Ramadân to certain seasons of the year which ought to be ambulatory.1

1 See Prid. Life of Mahomet, p. 65, &c., and the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. and VII.

h viz., The preserved table.
i See the Prelim. Discourse, Sect. VII.
k For it is not reasonable that you should observe the sacred months with regard to those who do not acknowledge them to be sacred, but make war against you therein.2

2 See cap. 2, p. 20.

l This was an invention or innovation of the idolatrous Arabs, whereby they avoided keeping a sacred month, when it suited not their conveniency, by keeping a profane month in its stead; transferring, for example, the observance of Moharram to the succeeding month Safar. The first man who put this in practice, they say, was Jonâda Ebn Awf, of the tribe of Kenâna.3
      These ordinances relating to the months were promulgated by Mohammed himself at the pilgrimage of valediction.4

3 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin. Vide Poc. Spec. p. 323, and the Prelim. Disc. Sect. VII.
4 Abulfeda, Vit. Moh. p. 132.

m As did Jonâda, who made public proclamation at the assembly of pilgrims, that their gods had allowed Moharram to be profane, whereupon they observed it not; but the next year he told them that the gods had ordered it to be kept sacred.5

5 Al Beidâwi.

n viz., In the expedition of Tabûc, a town situate about half-way between Medina and Damascus, which Mohammed undertook against the Greeks, with an army of thirty thousand men, in the ninth year of the Hejra. On this expedition the Moslems set out with great unwillingness, because it was undertaken in the midst of the summer heats, and at a time of great drought and scarcity; whereby the soldiers suffered so much, that this army was called the distressed army: besides, their fruits were just ripe, and they had much rather have stayed to have gathered them.6

6 Idem, Jallalo’ddin. Vide Abulfeda, Vit. Moh. p. 123.

o See chap. 5, p. 80.
p That is, having only Abu Becr with him.
q See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. II. p. 39.
r See before, p. 137, note u.
s Who, as some imagine, guarded him in the cave. Or the words may relate to the succours from heaven which Mohammed pretended to have received in several encounters; as at Bedr, the war of the ditch, and the battle of Honein.
t i.e., Whether the expedition be agreeable or not; or whether ye have sufficient arms and provisions or not; or whether ye be on horseback or on foot, &c.
u That is, had there been no difficulties to surmount in the expedition of Tabûc, and the march thither had been short and easy, so that the plunder might have cost them little or no trouble, they would not have been so backward.
x For Mohammed excused several of his men, on their request, from going on this expedition; as Abda’llah Ebn Obba and his hypocritical adherents, and also three of the Ansârs, for which he is here reprehended.
y i.e., With the women and children, and other impotent people.
z As they did at the battle of Ohod.1

1 See cap. 3, p. 45, &c.

a By obliging me to go, against my will, on an expedition, the hardships of which may tempt me to rebel or to desert. It is related that one Jadd Ebn Kais said that the Ansârs well knew he was much given to women, and he dared not trust himself with the Greek girls; wherefore he desired he might be left behind, and he would assist them with his purse.2

2 Al Beidâwi.

b Discovering their hypocrisy by their backwardness to go to war for the promotion of the true religion.
c That is, we took care to keep out of harm’s way by staying at home.

d i.e., Either by some signal judgment from heaven, or by remitting their punishment to the true believers.
e viz., Staunch Moslems.
f Hypocritically concealing their infidelity, lest ye should chastise them, as ye have done the professed infidels and apostates; and yet ready to avow their infidelity, when they think they may do it with safety.
g This person was Abu’l Jowâdh the hypocrite, who said Mohammed gave them away among the keepers of sheep only; or, as others suppose, Ebn Dhi’lkhowaisara, who found fault with the prophet’s distribution of the spoils taken at Honein, because he gave them all among the Meccans, to reconcile and gain them over to his religion and interest.3

3 Idem. Vide Abulfeda. Vit. Moh. p. 118, 119.

h See what is said as to this point in the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV.
i The commentators make a distinction between these two words in the original, fakîr and meskîn; one, they say, signifies him who is utterly destitute both of money and means of livelihood; the other, one who is in want indeed, but is able to get something towards his own support. But to which of the two words either of these different significations properly belongs, the critics differ.
k That is, who were lately enemies to the faithful, but have now embraced Mohammedism, and entered into amity with them. For Mohammed, to gain their hearts and confirm them in his religion, made large presents to the chief of the Koreish out of the spoils at Honein, as has been just now mentioned.4 But this law they say became of no obligation when the Mohammedan faith was established, and stood not in need of such methods for its support.

4 Abulfeda, ibid.

l i.e., He hears everything that we say; and gives credit to all the stories that are carried to him.
m Giving credit to nothing that may do you hurt.

n So the Mohammedans call a chapter of the Korân.5

5 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. III.

o It is related that in the expedition of Tabûc, a company of hypocrites passing near Mohammed, said to one another, Behold that man! he would take the strongholds of Syria. Away! away!–which being told the prophet, he called them to him, and asked them why they had said so? Whereto they replied with an oath that they were not talking of what related to him or his companions, but were only diverting themselves with indifferent discourse to beguile the tediousness of the way.6

6 Al Beidâwi.

p Namely, Sodom and Gomorrah, and the other cities which shared their fate, and are thence called al Motakifât, or the subverted.7

7 See cap. II.
q Literally, gardens of Eden; but the commentators do not take the word Eden in the sense which it bears in Hebrew, as has been elsewhere observed.8

8 See the Prelim. Disc. p. 75.

r It is related that al Jallâs Ebn Soweid hearing some passages of this chapter, which sharply reprehend those who refused to go on the above-mentioned expedition of Tabûc, declared that if what Mohammed said of his brethren was true, they were worse than asses; which coming to the prophet’s ear, he sent for him; and he denied the words upon oath. But on the immediate revelation of this passage, he confessed his fault, and his repentance was accepted.9

9 Al Beidâwi.

s The commentators tell us that fifteen men conspired to kill Mohammed in his return from Tabûc by pushing him from his camel into a precipice, as he rode by night over the highest part of al Akaba. But when they were going to execute their design, Hodheifa, who followed and drove the prophet’s camel, which was led by Ammâr Ebn Yâser, hearing the tread of camels and the clashing of arms, gave the alarm, upon which they fled. Some, however, suppose the design here meant was a plot to expel Mohammed from Medina.10

10 Idem.

t For Mohammed’s residing at Medina was of great advantage to the place, the inhabitants being generally poor, and in want of most conveniences of life; but on the prophet’s coming among them, they became possessed of large herds of cattle and money also. Al Beidâwi says that the above-named al Jallâs in particular, having a servant killed, received by Mohammed's order no less than ten thousand dirhems, or about three hundred pounds, as a fine for the redemption of his blood.
u An instance of this is given in Thalaba Ebn Hateb, who came to Mohammed and desired him to beg of GOD that he would bestow riches on him. The prophet at first advised him rather to be thankful for the little he had than to covet more, which might become a temptation to him; but on Thalaba’s repeated request and solemn promise that he would make a good use of his riches, he was at length prevailed on, and preferred the petition to GOD. Thalaba in a short time grew vastly rich, which, Mohammed being acquainted with, sent two collectors to gather the alms. Other people readily paid them; but, when they came to Thalaba, and read the injunction to him out of the Korân, he told them that it was not alms, but tribute, or next kin to tribute, and bid them go back till he had better considered of it. Upon which this passage was revealed; and when Thalaba came afterwards and brought his alms, Mohammed told him that GOD had commanded him not to accept it, and threw dust upon his head, saying, This is what thou hast deserved. He then offered his alms to Abu Becr, who refused to accept them, as did Omar some years after, when he was Khalîf.1

1 Idem.

x Al Beidâwi relates that Mohammed, exhorting his followers to voluntary alms, among others, Abda’lrahmân Ebn Awf gave four thousand dirhems, which was one-half of what he had; Asem Ebn Adda gave a hundred beasts’ loads of dates; and Abu Okail a saá, which is no more than a sixtieth part of a load, of the same fruit, but was the half of what he had earned by a night’s hard work. This Mohammed accepted: whereupon the hypocrites said that Abda’lrahmân and Asem gave what they did out of ostentation, and that GOD and his apostle might well have excused Abu Okail’s mite; which occasioned this passage.
      I suppose this collection was made to defray the charge of the expedition of Tabûc, towards which, as another writer tells us, Abu Becr contributed all that he had, and Othmân very largely, viz., as it is said, three hundred camels for slaughter, and a thousand dinârs of gold.2

2 Abulfed. Vit. Moh. p. 123.
y In the last sickness of Abda’llah Ebn Obba, the hypocrite (who died in the ninth year of the Hejra), his son, named also Abda’llah, came and asked Mohammed to beg pardon of GOD for him, which he did, and thereupon the former part of this verse was revealed. But the prophet, not taking that for a repulse, said he would pray seventy times for him; upon which the latter part of the verse was revealed, declaring it would be absolutely in vain. It may be observed that the numbers seven, and seventy, and seven hundred, are frequently used by the eastern writers, to signify not so many precisely, but only an indefinite number, either greater or lesser,3 several examples of which are to be met with in the scripture.4

3 Al Beidâwi.
4 Matth. xviii. 22.

z This they spoke in a scoffing manner to one another, because, as has been observed, the expedition of Tabûc was undertaken in a very hot and dry season.
a That is, if thou return in safety to Medina to the hypocrites, who are here called some of them who stayed behind, because they were not all hypocrites. The whole number is said to have been twelve.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

b This passage was also revealed on account of Abda’llah Ebn Obba. In his last illness he desired to see Mohammed, and, when he was come, asked him to beg forgiveness of GOD for him, and requested that his corpse might be wrapped up in the garment that was next his body (which might have the same efficacy with the habit of a Franciscan), and that he would pray over him when dead. Accordingly, when he was dead, the prophet sent his shirt, or inner vestment, to shroud the corpse, and was going to pray over it, but was forbidden by these words. Some say they were not revealed till he had actually prayed for him.2

2 Idem.

c Either by assisting at his funeral, or visiting his sepulchre.
d See before, p. 142, note n.

e These were the tribes of Asad and Ghatfân, who excused themselves on account of the necessities of their families, which their industry only maintained. But some write they were the family of Amer Ebn al Tofail, who said that if they went with the army, the tribe of Tay would take advantage of their absence, and fall upon their wives and children, and their cattle.3

3 Idem.

f By reason of their extreme poverty; as those of Joheina, Mozeina, and Banu Odhra.4

4 Idem.

g The persons here intended were seven men of the Ansârs, who came to Mohammed and begged he would give them some patched boots and soled shoes, it being impossible for them to march so far barefoot in such a season; but he told them he could not supply them; whereupon they went away weeping. Some, however, say these were the Banu Mokren; and others, Abu Musa and his companions.5

5 Idem.

h And not chastise them.
i Because of their wild way of life, the hardness of their hearts, their not frequenting people of knowledge, and the few opportunities they have of being instructed.6

6 Idem. See the Prelim. Disc. p. 10 and 23.

k Or a contribution exacted by force, the payment of which he can in no wise avoid.
l Hoping that some reverse may afford a convenient opportunity of throwing off the burden

m The Arabs meant in the former of these two passages, are said to have been the tribes of Asad, Ghatfân, and Banu Tamim; and those intended in the latter, Abdallah, surnamed Dhû’lbajâdîn, and his people.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

n The Mohâjerîn, or refugees, were those of Mecca, who fled thence on account of their religion; and the Ansârs, or helpers, were those of Medina, who received Mohammed and his followers into their protection, and assisted them against their enemies. By the leaders of the Mohâjerîn are meant those who believed on Mohammed before the Hejra, or early enough to pray towards Jerusalem, from which the Kebla was changed to the temple of Mecca in the second year of the Hejra, or else such of them as were present at the battle of Bedr. The leaders of the Ansârs were those who took the oath of fidelity to him at al Akaba, either the first or the second time.2

2 Idem.

o i.e., In the neighbourhood of Medina. These were the tribes of Joheina, Mozeina, Aslam, Ashjá, and Ghifâr.3

3 Idem.

p Either by exposing them to public shame, and putting them to death; or by either of those punishments, and the torment of the sepulchre: or else by exacting alms of them by way of fine, and giving them corporal punishment.4

4 Idem.

q Making no hypocritical excuses for them. These were certain men, who, having stayed at home instead of accompanying Mohammed to Tabûc, as soon as they heard the severe reprehensions and threats of this chapter against those who had stayed behind, bound themselves to the pillars of the mosque, and swore that they would not loose themselves till they were loosed by the prophet. But when he entered the mosque to pray, and was informed of the matter, he also swore that he would not loose them without a particular command from GOD; whereupon this passage was revealed, and they were accordingly dismissed.5

5 Idem.

r Though they were backward in going to war, and held with the hypocrites, yet they confessed their crime and repented.
s When these persons were loosed, they prayed Mohammed to take their substance, for the sake of which they had stayed at home, as alms, to cleanse them from their transgression; but he told them he had no orders to accept anything from them: upon which this verse was sent down, allowing him to take their alms.6

6 Idem.

t The persons here intended were the three Ansârs whose pardon is granted a little below.
u When Banu Amru Ebn Awf had built the temple or mosque of Kobâ, which will be mentioned by-and-bye, they asked Mohammed to come and pray in it, and he complied with their request. This exciting the envy of their brethren, Banu Ganem Ebn Awf, they also built a mosque, intending that the Imâm or priest who should officiate there should be Abu Amer, a Christian monk; but he dying in Syria, they came to Mohammed and desired he would consecrate, as it were, their mosque by praying in it. The prophet accordingly prepared himself to go with them, but was forbidden by the immediate revelation of this passage, discovering their hypocrisy and ill design; whereupon he sent Malec Ebn al Dokhshom, Maan Ebn Addi, Amer Ebn al Sacan, and al Wahsha, the Ethiopian, to demolish and burn it, which they performed, and made it a dunghill. According to another account, this mosque was built a little before the expedition of Tabûc, with a design to hinder Mohammed’s men from engaging therein; and when he was asked to pray there, he answered that he was just setting out on a journey, but that when he came back, with GOD’S leave, he would do what they desired; but when they applied to him again, on his return, this passage was revealed.1

1 Idem, Jallalo’ddin.

x That is, Abu Amer, the monk, who was a declared enemy to Mohammed, having threatened him at Ohod, that no party should appear in the field against him, but he would make one of them; and, to be as good as his word, he continued to oppose him till the battle of Honein, at which he was present, and being put to flight with those of Hawâzen, he retreated into Syria, designing to obtain a supply of troops from the Grecian emperor to renew the war, but he died at Kinnisrîn. Others say that this monk was a confederate at the war of the ditch, and that he fled thence into Syria.2

2 Idem.

y viz., That of Kobâ, a place about two miles from Medina, where Mohammed rested four days before he entered that city, in his flight from Mecca, and where he laid the foundation of a mosque,3 which was afterwards built by Banu Amru Ebn Awf. But according to a different tradition, the mosque here meant was that which Mohammed built at Medina.

3 Idem, Ebn Shohnah. Vide Abulfed. Vit. Moh. p. 52. Where the translator, taking this passage of the Korân, which is there cited, for the words of his author, has missed the true sense.

z Al Beidâwi says, that Mohammed walking once with the Mohâjerîn to Kobâ, found the Ansârs sitting at the mosque door, and asked them whether they were believers; and, on their being silent, repeated the question: whereupon Omar answered, that they were believers; and Mohammed demanding whether they acquiesced in the judgment Omar had made of them, they said yes. He then asked them whether they would be patient in adversity and thankful in prosperity; to which they answering in the affirmative, he swore by the LORD of the Caaba that they were true believers. Afterwards he examined them as to their manner of performing the legal washings, and, particularly, what they did after easing themselves; they told him that in such a case they used three stones, and after that washed with water: upon which he repeated these words of the Korân to them.
a Some interpret these words of their being deprived of their judgment and understanding; and others of the punishment they are to expect, either of death in this world, or of the rack of the sepulchre, or the pains of hell.

b This passage was revealed, as some think, on account of Abu Taleb, Mohammed’s uncle and great benefactor; who, on his death-bed, being pressed by his nephew to speak a word which might enable him to plead his cause before GOD, that is, to profess Islâm, absolutely refused. Mohammed, however, told him that he would not cease to pray for him, till he should be forbidden by GOD; which he was by these words. Others suppose the occasion to have been Mohammed’s visiting his mother Amena’s sepulchre at al Abwâ, soon after the taking of Mecca; for they say that while he stood at the tomb he burst into tears, and said, I asked leave of GOD to visit my mother’s tomb, and he granted it me; but when I asked leave to pray for her, it was denied me.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

c By their dying infidels. For otherwise it is not only lawful, but commendable, to pray for unbelievers, while there are hopes of their conversion.
d viz., To pray that GOD would dispose his heart to repentance. Some suppose this was a promise made to Abraham by his father, that he would believe in GOD. For the words may be taken either way.
e Desisting to pray for him, when he was assured by inspiration that he was not to be converted; or after he actually died an infidel. See c. 6, p. 96.
f i.e., To consider or punish them as transgressors. This passage was revealed to excuse those who had prayed for such of their friends as had died idolaters, before it was forbidden; or else to excuse certain people who had ignorantly prayed towards the first Kebla, and drank wine, &c.
g Having forgiven the crime they committed, in giving the hypocrites leave to be absent from the expedition to Tabûc; or for the other sins which they might, through inadvertence, have been guilty of. For the best men have need of repentance.2

2 Idem.

h viz., In the expedition of Tabûc; wherein Mohammed’s men were driven to such extremities that (besides what they endured by reason of the excessive heat) ten men were obliged to ride by turns on one camel, and provisions and water were so scarce that two men divided a date between them, and they were obliged to drink the water out of the camels’ stomachs.3

3 Al Beidâwi.

i Or, as it may be translated, who were left in suspense, whether they should be pardoned or not.4 These were three Ansârs, named Caab Ebn Malec, Helâl Ebn Omeyya, and Merâra Ebn Rabî, who went not with Mohammed to Tabûc, and were therefore, on his return, secluded from the fellowship of the other Moslems; the prophet forbidding any to salute them, or to hold discourse with them. Under which interdiction they continued fifty days, till, on their sincere repentance, they were at length discharged from it, by the revelation of this passage.5

4 See before, p. 147, note t.
5 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin Abulf. Vit. Moh. p. 133, 126.

k By not caring to share with him the dangers and fatigues of war. Al Beidâwi tells us, that after Mohammed had set out for Tabûc, one Abu Khaithama, sitting in his garden, where his wife, a very beautiful woman, had spread a mat for him in the shade, and had set new dates and fresh water before him, after a little reflection, cried out: This is not well that I should thus take my ease and pleasure, while the apostle of GOD is exposed to the scorching of the sunbeams and the inclemencies of the war; and immediately mounting his camel, took his sword and lance, and went to join the army.
l That is, if some of every tribe of town be left behind, the end of their being so left is that they may apply themselves to study, and attain a more exact knowledge of the several points of their religion, so as to be able to instruct such as, by reason of their continual employment in the wars, have no other means of information. They say, that after the preceding passages were revealed, reprehending those who had stayed at home during the expedition of Tabûc, every man went to war, so that the study of religion, which is rather more necessary for the defence and propagation of the faith than even arms themselves, became wholly laid aside and neglected; to prevent which, for the future, a convenient number are hereby directed to be left behind, that they may have leisure to prosecute their studies.
m Either of your kindred or neighbours; for these claim your pity and care in the first place, and their conversion ought first to be endeavoured. The persons particularly meant in this passage are supposed to have been the Jews of the tribes of Koreidha and Nadhîr, and those of Khaibar; or else the Greeks of Syria.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

n Or fierceness in war.
o i.e., By various kinds of trials, or by being called forth to war, and by being made witnesses of GOD’S miraculous protection of the faithful.
p They wink at one another to rise and leave the prophet’s presence, if they think they can do it without being observed, to avoid hearing the severe and deserving reproofs which they apprehended in every new revelation. The persons intended are the hypocritical Moslems.
q See chapter 3, p. 49, note n
r This prophet is mentioned towards the end of the chapter.
s See the Prelim. Disc. Sec. III. p. 46, 47.
t And not one of the most powerful among them neither; so that the Koreish said it was a wonder GOD could find out no other messenger than the orphan pupil of Abu Taleb.2

2 Idem.

u Meaning the Korân. According to the reading of some copies, the words may be rendered, This man (i.e., Mohammed) is no other than a manifest sorcerer.
x These words were revealed to refute the foolish opinion of the idolatrous Meccans, who imagined their idols were intercessors with GOD for them.

y Either the mutual salutation of the blessed to one another, or that of the angels to the blessed.
z i.e., In all postures, and at all times.
a For so old was Mohammed before he took upon him to be a prophet;1 during which time his fellow-citizens well knew that he had not applied himself to learning of any sort, nor frequented learned men, nor had ever exercised himself in composing verses or orations whereby he might acquire the art of rhetoric, or elegance of speech.2 A flagrant proof, says al Beidâwi, that this book could be taught him by none but God.

1 See the Prelim. Disc. p. 33. Abulfeda, Vit. Moh. c. 7.
2 See the Prelim. Disc. p. 21, &c.

b See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. I. p. 12, &c.
c viz., That he hath equals or companions either in heaven or on earth; since he acknowledgeth none.
d That is to say, the true religion, or Islâm, which was generally professed, as some say, till Abel was murdered, or, as others, till the days of Noah. Some suppose the first ages after the Flood are here intended: others, the state of religion in Arabia, from the time of Abraham to that of Amru Ebn Lohai, the great introducer of idolatry into that country.

e For it is said that they were afflicted with a dearth for seven years, so that they were very near perishing; but no sooner relieved by GOD’S sending them plenty, than they began again to charge Mohammed with imposture, and to ridicule his revelations.3

3 Al Beidâwi.

f i.e., The guardian angels.
g That is, applying themselves to GOD only, and neglecting their idols; their fears directing them in such an extremity to ask help of him only who could give it.
h viz., Paradise.
i For their reward will vastly exceed the merit of their good works. Al Ghazâli supposes this additional recompense will be the beatific vision.4

4 See the Prelim. Disc. p. 78.

k See the Prelim. Disc. p. 67, &c.
l i.e., Though the blessed will be rewarded beyond their deserts, yet GOD will not punish any beyond their demerits, but treat them with the exactest justice.

m That is, your idols, or the companions which ye attributed unto GOD.
n But ye really worshipped your own lusts, and were seduced to idolatry, not by us, but by your own superstitious fancies. It is pretended that GOD will, at the last day, enable the idols to speak, and that they will thus reproach their worshippers, instead of interceding for them, as they hoped. Some suppose the angels, who were also objects of the worship of the pagan Arabs, are particularly intended in this place.
o Some copies instead of tablu, read tatiu, i.e., shall follow, or meditate upon.
p See chapter 2, p. 11, note r.
q i.e., There are some of them who are inwardly well satisfied of the truth of thy doctrine, though they are so wicked as to oppose it; and there are others of them who believe it not, through prejudice and want of consideration. Or the passage may be understood in the future tense, of some who should afterwards believe, and repent, and of others who should die infidels.1

1 Al Beidâwi.
r These words were revealed on account of certain Meccans, who seemed to attend while Mohammed read the Korân to them, or instructed them in any point of religion, but yet were as far from being convinced or edified, as if they had not heard him at all.2

2 Idem. See cap. 6, p. 90.

s For GOD deprives them not of their senses or understanding; but they corrupt and make an ill use of them.
t Either in the world or in the grave.
u As if it were but a little while since they parted. But this will happen during the first moments only of the resurrection; for afterwards the terror of the day will disturb and take from them all knowledge of one another.3

3 Idem.

x By delivering the prophet and those who believed on him, and destroying the obstinate infidels.
y To hide their shame and regret;4 or because their surprise and astonishment will deprive them of the use of speech.5 Some, however, understand the verb which is here rendered will conceal, in the contrary signification, which it sometimes bears; and then it must be translated–They will openly declare their repentance, &c.

4 Jallalo’ddin.
5 Al Beidâwi.

z See chapter 6, p. 101, &c.
a See chapter 4, p. 58, note y.
b The preserved table, wherein GOD’S decrees are recorded.
c The impious and rebellious talk of the infidels.
d See chapter 7, p. 110, &c.
e Therefore ye cannot excuse yourselves by saying that I am burdensome to you.
f As Hûd, Sâleh, Abraham, Lot, and Shoaib, to those of Ad, Thamûd, Babel, Sodom, and Midian.
g See chapter 7, p. 115, &c.
h For when he first began to preach, a few of the younger Israelites only believed on him; the others not giving ear to him, for fear of the king. But some suppose the pronoun his refers to Pharaoh, and that these were certain Egyptians, who, together with his wife Asia, believed on Moses.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

i So Jallalo’ddin expounds the original word Kebla, which properly signifies that place or quarter toward which one prays. Wherefore al Zamakhshari supposes that the Israelites are here ordered to dispose their oratories in such a manner that, when they prayed, their faces might be turned towards Mecca; which he imagines was the Kebla of Moses, as it is that of the Mohammedans. The former commentator adds that Pharaoh had forbidden the Israelites to pray to GOD; for which reason they were obliged to perform that duty privately in their houses.
k As magnificent apparel, chariots, and the like.
l The pronoun is in the dual number; the antecedent being Moses and Aaron. The commentators say that, in consequence of this prayer, all the treasures of Egypt were turned into stones.2

2 Jallalo’ddin.

m Or, as al Beidâwi interprets it, Be ye constant and steady in preaching to the people. The Mohammedans pretend that Moses continued in Egypt no less than forty years after he had first published his mission: which cannot be reconciled to scripture.

n These words, it is said, Pharaoh repeated often in his extremity, that he might be heard. But his repentance came too late; for Gabriel soon stopped his mouth with mud, lest he should obtain mercy; reproaching him at the same time in the words which follow.
o Some of the children of Israel doubting whether Pharaoh was really drowned. Gabriel, by GOD’S command, caused his naked corpse to swim to shore, that they might see it.3 The word here translated body, signifying also a coat of mail, some imagine the meaning to be, that his corpse floated armed with his coat of mail, which they tell us was of gold, by which they knew that it was he.

3 See Exod. xiv. 30.

p i.e., After the law had been revealed, and published by Moses.
q That is, concerning the truth of the histories which are here related. The commentators doubt whether the person here spoken to be Mohammed himself or his auditor.
r viz., The inhabitants of Ninive, which stood on or near the place where al Mawsel now stands. This people having corrupted themselves with idolatry, Jonas the son of Mattai (or Amittai, which the Mohammedans suppose to be the name of his mother), an Israelite of the tribe of Benjamin, was sent by God to preach to and reclaim them. When he first began to exhort them to repentance, instead of hearkening to him, they used him very ill, so that he was obliged to leave the city; threatening them, at his departure, that they should be destroyed within three days, or, as others say, within forty.1 But when the time drew near, and they saw the heavens overcast with a black cloud, which shot forth fire, and filled the air with smoke, and hung directly over their city, they were in a terrible consternation, and getting into the fields with their families and cattle, they put on sackcloth, and humbled themselves before God, calling aloud for pardon, and sincerely repenting of their past wickedness. Whereupon God was pleased to forgive them, and the storm blew over.2

1 See Jonah iii. 4.
2 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin, Abulfeda. See cap. 21 and 37.

s i.e., Until they died according to the ordinary course of nature.

t The story of which prophet is repeated in this chapter.
u See the Prelim. Disc. p. 46, &c.
x According to the various senses which the verb ohkimat, in the original, may bear, the commentators suggest as many different interpretations. Some suppose the meaning to be, according to our version, that the Korân is not liable to be corrupted,1 as the law and the gospel have been, in the opinion of the Mohammedans; others, that every verse in this particular chapter is in full force, and not one of them abrogated; others, that the verses of the Korân are disposed in a clear and perspicuous method, or contain evident and demonstrative arguments; and others, that they comprise judicial declarations, to regulate both faith and practice.2

1 See the Prelim. Disc. p. 53.
2 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin, al Zamakhshari, &c.

y The signification of the verb fossilat, which is here used, being also ambiguous, the meaning of this passage is supposed to be, either that the verses are distinctly proposed or expressed in a clear manner; or that the subject matter of the whole may be distinguished or divided into laws, monitions, and examples; or else that the verses were revealed by parcels.

z Or, as it may be translated, Do they not turn away their breasts, &c.
a This passage was occasioned by the words of certain of the idolaters, who said to one another, When we let down our curtains (such as the women use in the east to screen themselves from the sight of the men when they happen to be in the room), and wrap ourselves up in our garments, and fold up our breasts, to conceal our malice against Mohammed, how should he come to the knowledge of it? Some suppose the passage relates to certain hypocritical Moslems; but this opinion is generally rejected, because the verse was revealed at Mecca, and the birth of hypocrisy among the Mohammedans happened not till after the Hejra.
b i.e., Both during its life and after its death; or the repository of every animal, before its birth, in the loins and wombs of the parents.
c For the Mohammedans suppose this throne, and the waters whereon it stands, which waters they imagine are supported by a spirit or wind, were, with some other things, created before the heavens and earth. This fancy they borrowed from the Jews, who also say that the throne of glory then stood in the air, and was borne on the face of the waters, by the breath of GOD’S mouth.1

1 Rashi, ad Gen. i. 2. Vide Reland. de Relig. Moh. p. 50, &c.

d Casting aside all hopes of the divine favour, for want of patience and trust in GOD.
e This was the number which he first challenged them to compose; but they not being able to do it, he made the matter still easier, challenging them to produce a single chapter only,2 comparable to the Korân in doctrine and eloquence.

2 See c. 2, p. 3; c. 10, p. 153, &c.

f Or containing several passages wrapped up in dark and mysterious expressions, which can proceed from and are perfectly comprehended by none but GOD.3

3 See c. 3, p. 32.

g The Korân; or, as others suppose, the angel Gabriel.
h Which bears testimony thereto.
i That is, the angels, and prophets, and their own members.
k For they shall be punished both in this life and in the next.
l i.e., The believers and the infidels.
m See chapter 7, p. 110, &c.
n For want of mature consideration, and moved by the first impulse of their fancy.

o For this they asked him to do, because they were poor mean people. The same thing the Koreish demanded of Mohammed, but he was forbidden to comply with their request.1

1 See cap. 6, p. 93.

p See chapter 6, p. 93.
q For building a vessel in an inland country, and so far from the sea; and for that he was turned carpenter after he had set up for a prophet.2

2 Al Beidâwi.

r Or, as the original literally signifies, boiled over; which is consonant to what the Rabbins say, that the waters of the Deluge were boiling hot.
      This oven was, as some say, at Cûfa, in a spot whereon a mosque now stands; or, as others rather think, in a certain place in India, or else at Ain warda in Mesopotamia;3 and its exundation was the sign by which Noah knew the flood was coming.4 Some pretend that it was the same oven which Eve made use of to bake her bread in, being of a form different from those we use, having the mouth in the upper part, and that it descended from patriarch to patriarch, till it came to Noah.5 It is remarkable that Mohammed, in all probability, borrowed this circumstance from the Persian Magi, who also fancied that the first waters of the Deluge gushed out of the oven of a certain old woman named Zala Cûfa.6
      But the word tannûr, which is here translated oven, also signifying the superficies of the earth, or a place whence waters spring forth, or where they are collected, some suppose it means no more in this passage than the spot or fissure whence the first eruption of waters brake forth.

3 Idem.
4 Jallalo’ddin, &c.
5 Vide D’Herbelot, Bibl. Orient. Art. Noah.
6 Vide Hyde, de Rel. Vet. Persar, and Lord’s Account of the Relig. of the Persees, p. 9.

s Or, as the words may also be rendered, and some commentators think they ought, two pair, that is, two males and two females of each species; wherein they partly agree with divers Jewish and Christian writers,1 who from the Hebrew expression, seven and seven and two and two, the male and his female,2 suppose there went into the ark fourteen pair of every clean, and two pair of every unclean species. There is a tradition that GOD gathered together unto Noah all sorts of beasts, birds, and other animals (it being indeed difficult to conceive how he should come by them all without some supernatural assistance), and that as he laid hold on them, his right hand constantly fell on the male, and his left on the female.3

1 Aben Ezra, Justin Martyr, Origen, &c.
2 Gen. vii. 2.
3 Jallalo’ddin.

t Namely, thy wife, and thy sons and their wives.4

4 Al Beidâwi.

u This was an unbelieving son of Noah,5 named Canaan,6 or Yam;7 though others say he was not the son of Noah, but his grandson by his son Ham, or his wife’s son by another husband; nay, some pretend he was related to him no farther than by having been educated and brought up in his house.8 The best commentators add, that Noah’s wife, named Wâïla, who was n infidel, was also comprehended in this exception, and perished with her son.9

5 Yahya.
6 Jallalo’ddin, al Beidâwi.
7 Ebn Shohnah.
8 Al Zamakhshari. Vide D’Herbel. Bibl. Orient. p. 676.
9 Jallalo’ddin, al Zamakhshari, al Beidâwi.

x Noah’s family being mentioned before, it is supposed that by these words are intended the other believers, who were his proselytes, but not of his family: whence the common opinion among the Mohammedans, of a greater number than eight being saved in the ark, seems to have taken its rise.10

10 See c. 7, p. 111.

y viz., His other wife, who was a true believer, his three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japhet, and their wives, and seventy-two persons more.11

11 See ibid. note x.

z That is, omit no opportunity of getting on board. According to a different reading, the latter words may be rendered, Who shall cause it to move forward, and to stop, as there shall be occasion. The commentators tell us that the ark moved forwards, or stood still, as Noah would have it, on his pronouncing only the words, In the name of GOD.12
      It is to be observed that the more judicious commentators make the dimensions of the ark to be the same with those assigned by Moses:13 Notwithstanding, others have enlarged them most extravagantly,14 as some Christian writers15 have also done. They likewise tell us that Noah was two years in building the ark, which was framed of Indian plane-tree,16 that it was divided into three stories, of which the lower was designed for the beasts, the middle one for the men and women, and the upper for the birds;17 and that the men were separated from the women by the body of Adam, which Noah had taken into the ark.18 This last is a tradition of the eastern Christians,19 some of whom pretend that the matrimonial duty was superseded and suspended during the time Noah and his family were in the ark;20 though Ham has been accused of not observing continency on that occasion, his wife, it seems, bringing forth Caanan in the very ark.21

12 Al Beidâwi, &c.
13 Idem, &c.
14 Yahya. Vide Marracc. in Alcor. p. 340.
15 Origen. Contr. Cels. l. 4. Vide Kircher. de Arca Noe, c. 8.
16 Al Beidâwi. Vide D’Herbel. p. 675, and Eutych. p. 34.
17 Al Beidâwi. Vide Eutych. Annal. p. 34.
18 Yahya.
19 Jacob, Edessenus, apud Barcepham de Parad. part i. c. 14. Eutych. ubi sup. Vide etiam Eliezer. pirke c. 23.
20 Ambros. de Noa et Arca, c. 21.
21 Vide Heidegger. Hist. Patriarchar. vol. i. p. 409.

a The waters prevailing fifteen cubits above the mountains.22

22 Al Beidâwi.

b See above, note u.
c This mountain is one of those which divide Armenia, on the south, from Mesopotamia, and that part of Assyria which is inhabited by the Curds, from whom the mountains took the name of Cardu, or Gardu, by the Greeks turned into Gordyæi, and other names.1 Mount al Jûdi (which name seems to be a corruption, though it be constantly so written by the Arabs, for Jordi, or Giordi) is also called Thamanin,2 probably from a town at the foot of it,3 so named from the number of persons saved in the ark, the word thamanin signifying eighty, and overlooks the country of Diyâr Rabîah, near the cities of Mawsel, Forda, and Jazîrat Ebn Omar, which last place one affirms to be but four miles from the place of the ark, and says that a Mohammedan temple was built there with the remains of that vessel, by the Khalif Omar Ebn Abd’alaziz, whom he by mistake calls Omar Ebn al Khattâb.4
      The tradition which affirms the ark to have rested on these mountains, must have been very ancient, since it is the tradition of the Chaldeans themselves:5 the Chaldee paraphrasts consent to their opinion,6 which obtained very much formerly, especially among the eastern Christians.7 To confirm it, we are told that the remainders of the ark were to be seen on the Gordyæan mountains: Berosus and Abydenus both declare there was such a report in their time;8 the first observing that several of the inhabitants thereabouts scraped the pitch off the planks as a rarity, and carried it about them for an amulet: and the latter saying that they used the wood of the vessel against many diseases with wonderful success. The relics of the ark were also to be seen here in the time of Epiphanius, if we may believe him;9 and we are told the emperor Heraclius went from the town of Thamanin up to the mountain al Jûdi, and saw the place of the ark.10 There was also formerly a famous monastery, called the monastery of the ark, upon some of these mountains, where the Nestorians used to celebrate a feast day on the spot where they supposed the ark rested; but in the year of Christ 776, that monastery was destroyed by lightning, with the church, and a numerous congregation in it.11 Since which time it seems the credit of this tradition hath declined, and given place to another, which obtains at present, and according to which the ark rested on Mount Masis, in Armenia, called by the Turks Aghir dagh, or the heavy or great mountain, and situate about twelve leagues south-east of Erivan.12

1 See Bochart. Phaleg. l. I, c. 3.
2 Geogr. Nub. p. 202.
3 Vide D’Herbel. Bibl. Orient. p. 404 and 676, and Agathiam, l. 14, p. 135.
4 Benjamin. Itiner. p. 61.
5 Berosus, apud Joseph. Antiq. l. I, c. 4.
6 Onkelos et Jonathan, in Gen. viii. 4.
7 Vide Eutych. Annal. p. 41.
8 Berosus, apud Joseph. ubi sup. Abydenus, apud Euseb. Præp. Ev. l. 9, c.4.
9 Epiph. Hæres. 18.
10 Elmacin. l. I, c. I.
11 Vide Chronic. Dionysii Patriarch. Jacobitar. apud Asseman. Bibl. Orient. t. 2, p. 113.
12 Al Beidâwi.

d Noah here challenges GOD’S promise that he would save his family.
e Being cut off from it on account of his infidelity.
f According to a different reading, this passage may be rendered, For he hath acted unrighteously.
g The Mohammedans say that Noah went into the ark on the tenth of Rajeb, and came out of it the tenth of al Moharram, which therefore became a fast. So that the whole time of Noah’s being in the ark, according to them, was six months.1

1 Idem. See D’Herbel. ubi sup.

h viz., Such of them as continued in their belief.
i That is, such of his posterity as should depart from the true faith, and fall into idolatry.
k See chapter 7, p. 111.

l For the Adites were grievously distressed by a drought for three years.2

2 See the notes to cap. 7, p. 111.

m By giving you children; the wombs of their wives being also rendered barren during the time of the drought, as well as their lands.3

3 Al Beidâwi.

n Or madness; having deprived thee of thy reason for the indignities thou hast offered them.
o That is, he exerciseth an absolute power over it. A creature held in this manner being supposed to be reduced to the lowest subjection.
p Who were in number four thousand.4

4 Idem.

q See chapter 7, p. 112.
r Designing to have made thee our prince, because of the singular prudence and other good qualities which we observed in thee; but thy dissenting from us in point of religious worship has frustrated those hopes.5

5 Idem.

s viz., Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.1 See chapter 7, p. 113, note m.

1 Idem.

t These were the angels who were sent to acquaint Abraham with the promise of Isaac, and to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. Some of the commentators pretend they were twelve, or nine, or ten in number; but others, agreeably to scripture, say they were but three, viz., Gabriel, Michael and Israfîl.2

2 Idem, Jallalo’ddin. See Gen. xviii.

u Apprehending they had some ill design against him, because they would not eat with him.
x Being angels, whose nature needs not the support of food.3

3 Idem.

y Either behind the curtain, or door of the tent; or else waiting upon them.
z The commentators are so little acquainted with scripture, that, not knowing the true occasion of Sarah’s laughter, they strain their invention to give some reason for it. One says that she laughed at the angels discovering themselves, and ridding Abraham and herself of their apprehensions; and another, that it was at the approaching destruction of the Sodomites (a very probable motive in one of her sex). Some, however, interpret the original word differently, and will have it that she did not laugh, but that her courses, which had stopped for several years, came upon her at this time, as a previous sign of her future conception.4

4 Idem, Jallalo’ddin, al Zamakhshari.

a Al Beidâwi writes that Sarah was then ninety or ninety-nine years old, and Abraham a hundred and twenty.
b Or the stock whence all the prophets were to proceed for the future. Or the expression may perhaps refer to Abraham and Ismael’s building the Caaba, which is often called, by way of excellence, the house.
c That is, he interceded with us for them.5 Jallalo’ddin, instead of the numbers mentioned by Moses, says that Abraham first asked whether GOD would destroy those cities if three hundred righteous persons were found therein, and so fell successively to two hundred, forty, fourteen, and at last came to one: but there was not one righteous person to be found among them, except only Lot and his family.

5 Vide Gen. xviii. 23, &c.

d Because they appeared in the shape of beautiful young men, which must needs tempt those of Sodom to abuse them.6

6 Jallalo’ddin, al Beidâwi. Vide Joseph. Ant. l. I, c. II.

e i.e., He knew himself unable to protect them against the insults of his townsmen.
f Al Beidâwi says that Lot shut his door, and argued the matter with the riotous assembly from behind it; but at length they endeavoured to get over the wall: whereupon Gabriel, seeing his distress, struck them on the face with one of his wings, and blinded them; so that they moved off, crying out for help, and saying that Lot had magicians in his house.
g This seems to be the true sense of the passage; but according to a different reading of the vowel, some interpret it, Except thy wife; the meaning being that Lot is here commanded to take his family with him except his wife. Wherefore the commentators cannot agree whether Lot’s wife went forth with him or not; some denying it, and pretending that she was left behind and perished in the common destruction; and others affirming it, and saying that when she heard the noise of the storm and overthrow of the cities, she turned back lamenting their fate, and was immediately struck down and killed by one of the stones mentioned a little lower.1 A punishment she justly merited for her infidelity and disobedience to her husband.2

1 Idem interpretes.
2 See cap. 66.

h For they tell us that Gabriel thrust his wing under them, and lifted them up so high, that the inhabitants of the lower heaven heard the barking of the dogs and the crowing of the cocks; and then, inverting them, threw them down to the earth.3

3 Jallalo’ddin, al Beidâwi.

i The kiln wherein they were burned some imagine to have been hell.
k That is, as some suppose, streaked with white and red, or having some other peculiar mark to distinguish them from ordinary stones. But the common opinion is that each stone had the name of the person who was to be killed by it written thereon.4 The army of Abraha al Ashram was also destroyed by the same kind of stones.

4 Idem.

l This is a kind of threat to other wicked persons, and particularly to the infidels of Mecca, who deserved and might justly apprehend the same punishment.
m See chap. 7, p. 113, &c.
n That is, enjoying plenty of all things; and therefore having the less occasion to defraud one another, and being the more strongly bound to be thankful and obedient unto GOD.

o For this liberty they imagined was taken from them, by his prohibition of false weights and measures, or to diminish or adulterate their coin.5

5 Al Beidâwi.

p For Sodom and Gomorrah were situate not a great way from you, and their destruction happened not many ages ago; neither did they deserve it, on account of their obstinacy and wickedness, much more than yourselves.
q The Arabic word daîf, weak, signifying also, in the Hamyaritic dialect, blind, some suppose that Shoaib was so, and that the Midianites objected that to him as a defect which disqualified him for the prophetic office.
r i.e., For the respect we bear to thy family and relations, whom we honour as being of our religion, and not for any apprehension we have of their power to assist you against us. The original word, here translated family, signifies any number from three to seven or ten, but not more.6

6 Idem.

s See chapter 6, p. 101, note o.
t See chapter 7, p. 115, &c.
u Literally, mown down; the sentence presenting the different images of corn standing, and cut down, which is also often used by the sacred writers.

x The two words in the original signify properly the vehement drawing in and expiration of one’s breath, which is usual to persons in great pain and anguish; and particularly the reciprocation of the voice of an ass when he brays.
y This is not to be strictly understood as if either the punishment of the damned should have an end, or the heavens and the earth should endure for ever; the expression being only used by way of image or comparison, which need not agree in every point with the thing signified. Some, however, think the future heavens and earth, into which the present shall be changed, are here meant.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

z See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. p. 72, 73.
a Literally, in the two extremities of the day.
b That is, after sunset and before supper, when the Mohammedans say their fourth prayer, called by them Salât al moghreb, or the evening prayer.2

2 Idem.
c Making it their sole business to please their luxurious desires and appetites, and placing their whole felicity therein.
d Al Beidâwi says that this passage gives the reason why the nations were destroyed of old; viz., for their violence and injustice, their following their own lusts, and for their idolatry and unbelief.
e Or, as the commentator just named explains it, for their idolatry only, when they observed justice in other respects.
f See chapter 6, p. 110, note o.
g The Koreish, thinking to puzzle Mohammed, at the instigation and by the direction of certain Jewish Rabbins, demanded of him how Jacob’s family happened to go down into Egypt, and that he would relate to them the history of Joseph, with all its circumstances: whereupon he pretended to have received this chapter from heaven, containing the story of that patriarch.1 It is said, however, to have been rejected by two Mohammedan sects, branches of the Khârejites, called the Ajâredites and the Maimûnians, as apocryphal and spurious.

1 Al Beidâwi.

h See the Prelim. Disc. p. 46, &c.
i Or this particular chapter. For the word Korân, as has been elsewhere observed,2 properly signifying no more than a reading or lecture, is often used to denote, not only the whole volume, but any distinct chapter or section of it.

2 Prelim. Disc. Sect. III. p. 44.

k i.e., So far from being acquainted with the story, that it never so much as entered into thy thoughts; a certain argument, says al Beidâwi, that it must have been revealed to him from heaven.

l Who was Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham.3

1 Al Beidâwi, &c.

m The commentators give us the names of these stars (which I think it needless to trouble the reader with), as Mohammed repeated them, at the request of a Jew, who thought to entrap him by the question.2

2 Idem, al Zamakhshari.

n For they say, Jacob, judging that Joseph’s dream portended his advancement above the rest of the family, justly apprehended his brethren’s envy might tempt them to do him some mischief.
o That is, of dreams; or, as others suppose, of the profound passages of scripture, and all difficulties respecting either religion or justice.
p viz., Benjamin, his brother by the same mother.
q Or, he will settle his love wholly upon you, and ye will have no rival in his favour.
r This person, as some say, was Judah, the most prudent and noble-minded of them all; or, according to others, Reuben, whom the Mohammedan writers call Rubîl.3 And both these opinions are supported by the account of Moses, who tells us that Reuben advised them not to kill Joseph, but to throw him into a pit privately, intending to release him;4 and that afterwards Judah, in Reuben’s absence, persuaded them not to let him die in the pit, but to sell him to the Ishmaelites.5

3 Idem.
4 Gen. xxxvii. 21, 22.
5 Ibid. v. 26, 27.

s Some copies read, in the first person plural, that we may divert ourselves, &c.
t The reason why Jacob feared this beast in particular, as the commentators say, was, either because the land was full of wolves, or else because Jacob had dreamed he saw Joseph devoured by one of those creatures.6

6 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin, al Zamakhshari.

u i.e., It will be an instance of extreme weakness and folly in us, and we shall be justly blamed for his loss.
x This well, say some, was a certain well near Jerusalem, or not far from the river Jordan; but others call it the well of Egypt or Midian. The commentators tell us that, when the sons of Jacob had gotten Joseph with them in the field, they began to abuse and to beat him so unmercifully, that they had killed him, had not Judah, on his crying out for help, insisted on the promise they had made not to kill him, but to cast him into the well. Whereupon they let him down a little way; but, as he held by the sides of the well, they bound him, and took off his inner garment, designing to stain it with blood, to deceive their father. Joseph begged hard to have his garment returned him, but to no purpose, his brothers telling him, with a sneer, that the eleven stars and the sun and the moon might clothe him and keep him company. When they had let him down half-way, they let him fall thence to the bottom, and, there being water in the well (though the scripture says the contrary), he was obliged to get upon a stone, on which, as he stood weeping, the angel Gabriel came to him with the revelation mentioned immediately.1

1 Idem.
y Joseph being then but seventeen years old, al Beidâwi observes that herein he resembled John the Baptist and Jesus, who were also favoured with the divine communication very early. The commentators pretend that Gabriel also clothed him in the well with a garment of silk of paradise. For they say that when Abraham was thrown into the fire by Nimrod,2 he was stripped; and that Gabriel brought this garment and put it on him; and that from Abraham it descended to Jacob, who folded it up and put it into an amulet, which he hung about Joseph’s neck, whence Gabriel drew it out.3

2 See cap. 21.
3 Al Beidâwi, al Zamakhshari.

z These races they used by way of exercise; and the commentators generally understand here that kind of race wherein they also showed their dexterity in throwing darts, which is still used in the east.
a This Jacob had reason to suspect, because, when the garment was brought to him, he observed that, though it was bloody, yet it was not torn.4

4 Al Beidâwi.

b viz., A caravan or company travelling from Midian to Egypt, who rested near the well three days after Joseph had been thrown into it.
c The commentators are so exact as to give us the name of this man, who, as they pretend, was Malec Ebn Dhór, of the tribe of Khozâah.5

5 Idem.

d And Joseph, making use of the opportunity, took hold of the cord, and was drawn up by the man.
e The original words are Ya boshra: the latter of which some take for the proper name of the water-drawer’s companion, whom he called to his assistance; and then they must be translated, O Boshra.
f The expositors are not agreed whether the pronoun they relates to Malec and his companions or to Joseph’s brethren. They who espouse the former opinion say that those who came to draw water concealed the manner of their coming by him from the rest of the caravan, that they might keep him to themselves, pretending that some people of the place had given him to them to sell for them in Egypt. And they who prefer the latter opinion tell us that Judah carried victuals to Joseph every day while he was in the well, but not finding him there on the fourth day, he acquainted his brothers with it; whereupon they all went to the caravan and claimed Joseph as their slave, he not daring to discover that he was their brother, lest something worse should befall him; and at length they agreed to sell him to them.6

6 Idem.

g Namely, twenty or twenty-two dirhems, and those not of full weight neither; for having weighed one ounce of silver only, the remainder was paid by tale, which is the most unfair way of payment.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

h His name was Kitfîr, or Itfîr (a corruption of Potiphar); and he was a man of great consideration, being superintendent of the royal treasury.2

2 Idem.

      The commentators say that Joseph came into his service at seventeen, and lived with him thirteen years; and that he was made prime minister in the thirty-third year of his age, and died at a hundred and twenty.
      They who suppose Joseph was twice sold differ as to the price the Egyptian paid for him; some saying it was twenty dinârs of gold, a pair of shoes, and two white garments; and others, that it was a large quantity of silver or of gold.
i Some call her Raïl; but the name she is best known by is that of Zoleikha.

k Kitfîr having no children. It is said that Joseph gained his master’s good opinion so suddenly by his countenance, which Kitfîr, who, they pretend, had great skill in physiognomy, judged to indicate his prudence and other good qualities.
l viz., Kitfîr. But others understand it to be spoken of GOD.
m That is, had he not seriously considered the filthiness of whoredom, and the great guilt thereof. Some, however, suppose that the words mean some miraculous voice or apparition, sent by GOD to divert Joseph from executing the criminal thoughts which began to possess him. For they say that he was so far tempted with his mistress’s beauty and enticing behaviour that he sat in her lap, and even began to undress himself, when a voice called to him, and bade him beware of her; but he taking no notice of this admonition, though it was repeated three times, at length the angel Gabriel, or, as others will have it, the figure of his master, appeared to him: but the more general opinion is that it was the apparition of his father Jacob, who bit his fingers’ ends, or, as some write, struck him on the breast, whereupon his lubricity passed out at the ends of his fingers.3

3 Idem, al Zamakhshari, Jallalo’ddin, Yahya.

      For this fable, so injurious to the character of Joseph, the Mohammedans are obliged to their old friends the Jews,4 who imagine that he had a design to lie with his mistress, from these words of Moses,5 And it came to passthat Joseph went into the house to do his business, &c.

4 Talm. Babyl. Sed. Nashim, p. 36. Vide Bartolocc. Bibl. Rabb. part iii. p. 509.
5 Gen. xxxix. II.

n He flying from her, and she running after to detain him.
o viz., A cousin of hers, who was then a child in the cradle.6

6 Supra citati interpretes

p These women, whose tongues were so free with Zoleikha’s character on this occasion, were five in number, and the wives of so many of the king’s chief officers–viz., his chamberlain, his butler, his baker, his jailer, and his herdsman.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

q The number of all the women invited was forty, and among them were the five ladies above mentioned.2

2 Idem.

r The old Latin translators have strangely mistaken the sense of the original word acbarnaho, which they render menstruatoe sunt; and then rebuke Mohammed for the indecency, crying out demurely in the margin, O fœdum et obscœnum prophetam! Erpenius3 thinks that there is not the least trace of such a meaning in the word; but he is mistaken: for the verb cabara in the fourth conjugation, which is here used, has that import, though the subjoining of the pronoun to it here (which possibly the Latin translators did not observe) absolutely overthrows that interpretation.

3 In not. ad Hist. Josephi.

s Through extreme surprise at the wonderful beauty of Joseph; which surprise Zoleikha foreseeing, put knives into their hands, on purpose that this accident might happen. Some writers have observed, on occasion of this passage, that it is customary in the east for lovers to testify the violence of their passion by cutting themselves, as a sign that they would spend their blood in the service of the person beloved; which is true enough, but I do not find that any of the commentators suppose these Egyptian ladies had any such design.
t That is, to Kitfîr and his friends. The occasion of Joseph’s imprisonment is said to be, either that they suspected him to be guilty, notwithstanding the proofs which had been given of his innocence, or else that Zoleikha desired it, feigning, to deceive her husband, that she wanted to have Joseph removed from her sight, till she could conquer her passion by time; though her real design was to force him to compliance.
u viz., His chief butler and baker, who were accused of a design to poison him.
x Namely, the butler.
y The meaning of this passage seems to be, either that Joseph, to show he used no arts of divination or astrology, promises to interpret their dreams to them immediately, even before they should eat a single meal; or else, he here offers to prophesy to them beforehand, the quantity and quality of the victuals which should be brought them, as a taste of his skill.
z See c. 7, p. 111, note d.

a According to the explication of some, who take the pronoun him to relate to Joseph, this passage may be rendered, But the devil caused him (i.e., Joseph) to forget to make his application unto his Lord; and to beg the good offices of his fellow-prisoner for his deliverance, instead of relying on GOD alone, as it became a prophet, especially, to have done.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

b The original word signifying any number from three to nine or ten, the common opinion is that Joseph remained in prison seven years, though some say he was confined no less than twelve years.2

2 Idem, Jallalo’ddin.

c This prince, as the oriental writers generally agree, was Riyân, the son of al Walîd, the Amalekite,3 who was converted by Joseph to the worship of the true GOD, and died in the lifetime of that prophet. But some pretend that the Pharaoh of Joseph and of Moses were one and the same person, and that he lived (or rather reigned) four hundred years.4

3 See the Prelim. Disc. p. 7.
4 Al Beidâwi. See c. 7, p. 115, note d.

d To preserve it from the weevil.5

5 Idem.

e Notwithstanding what some ancient authors write to the contrary,6 it often rains in winter in the lower Egypt, and even snow has been observed to fall at Alexandria, contrary to the express assertion of Seneca.7 In the upper Egypt, indeed, towards the cataracts of Nile, it rains very seldom.8 Some, however, suppose that the rains here mentioned are intended of those which should fall in Ethiopia, and occasion the swelling of the Nile, the great cause of the fertility of Egypt; or else of those which should fall in the neighbouring countries, which were also afflicted with famine during the same time.

6 Plato, in Timæo. Pomp. Mela.
7 Nat. Quæst. l. 4.
8 See Greaves’s Descr. of the Pyramids, p. 74, &c. Ray’s Collection of Travels, tom. ii. p. 92.

f Joseph, it seems, cared not to get out of prison till his innocence was publicly known and declared. It is observed by the commentators that Joseph does not bid the messenger move the king to inform himself of the truth of the affair, but bids him directly to ask the king, to incite him to make the proper inquiry with the greater earnestness. They also observe that Joseph takes care not to mention his mistress, out of respect and gratitude for the favours he had received while in her house.1

1 Al Beidâwi, &c.

g Endeavouring both by threats and persuasion to entice me to commit folly with my mistress.
h According to a tradition of Ebn Abbâs, Joseph had no sooner spoken the foregoing words, asserting his innocency, than Gabriel said to him, What, not when thou wast deliberating to lie with her? Upon which Joseph confessed his frailty.2

2 Idem, &c.

i The commentators say that Joseph being taken out of prison, after he had washed and changed his clothes, was introduced to the king, whom he saluted in the Hebrew tongue, and on the king’s asking what language that was, he answered that it was the language of his fathers. This prince, they say, understood no less than seventy languages, in every one of which he discoursed with Joseph, who answered him in the same; at which the king greatly marvelling, desired him to relate his dream, which he did, describing the most minute circumstances: whereupon the king placed Joseph by him on his throne, and made him his Wazîr, or chief minister. Some say that his master Kitfîr dying about this time, he not only succeeded him in his place, but, by the king’s command, married the widow, his late mistress, whom he found to be a virgin, and who bare him Ephraim and Manasses.3 So that according to this tradition, she was the same woman who is called Asenath by Moses. This supposed marriage, which authorized their amours, probably encouraged the Mohammedan divines to make use of the loves of Joseph and Zoleikha, as an allegorical emblem of the spiritual love between the Creator and the creature, GOD and the soul; just as the Christians apply the Song of Solomon to the same mystical purpose.4

3 Idem, Kitab Tafasir, &c.
4 Vide D’Herbelot. Bibl. Orient. Art. Jousouf.

k Joseph, being made Wazîr, governed with great wisdom; for he not only caused justice to be impartially administered, and encouraged the people to industry and the improvement of agriculture during the seven years of plenty, but began and perfected several works of great benefit; the natives at this day ascribing to the patriarch Joseph almost all the ancient works of public utility throughout the kingdom; as particularly the rendering the province of al Feyyûm, from a standing pool or marsh, the most fertile and best cultivated land in all Egypt.5 When the years of famine came, the effects of which were felt not only in Egypt, but in Syria and the neighbouring countries, the inhabitants were obliged to apply to Joseph for corn, which he sold to them, first for their money, jewels, and ornaments, then for their cattle and lands, and at length for their persons; so that all the Egyptians in general became slaves to the king, though Joseph, by his consent, soon released them, and returned them their substance. The dearth being felt in the land of Canaan, Jacob sent all his sons, except only Benjamin, into Egypt for corn. On their arrival, Joseph (who well knew them) asked them who they were, saying he suspected them to be spies; but they told him they came only to buy provisions, and that they were all the sons of an ancient man, named Jacob, who was also a prophet. Joseph then asked how many brothers there were of them; they answered, Twelve; but that one of them had been lost in a desert. Upon which he inquired for the eleventh brother, there being no more than ten of them present. They said he was a lad, and with their father, whose fondness for him would not suffer him to accompany them in their journey. At length Joseph asked them who they had to vouch for their veracity; but they told him they knew no man who could vouch for them in Egypt. Then, replied he, one of you shall stay behind with me as a pledge, and the others may return home with their provisions; and when ye come again, ye shall bring your younger brother with you, that I may know ye have told me the truth. Whereupon, it being in vain to dispute the matter, they cast lots who should stay behind, and the lot fell upon Simeon. When they departed, Joseph gave each of them a camel, and another for their brother.1

5 Vide Golii not. in Alfragan. p. 175, &c. Kircher. Oedip. Ægypt vol. i. p. 8. Lucas, Voy. tom. ii. p. 205, and tom. iii. p. 53.
1 Al Beidâwi.

l The original word signifying not only money, but also goods bartered or given in exchange for other merchandise, some commentators tell us, that they paid for their corn, not in money, but in shoes and dressed skins,2

2 Idem.

m The meaning may be, either that the corn they now brought was not sufficient for the support of their families, so that it was necessary for them to take another journey, or else, that a camel’s load, more or less, was but a trifle to the king of Egypt. Some suppose these to be the words of Jacob, declaring it was too mean a consideration to induce him to part with his son.

n It is related that Joseph, having invited his brethren to an entertainment, ordered them to be placed two and two together, by which means Benjamin, the eleventh, was obliged to sit alone, and bursting into tears, said, If my brother Joseph were alive, he would have sat with me. Whereupon Joseph ordered him to be seated at the same table with himself, and when the entertainment was over, dismissed the rest, ordering that they should be lodged two and two in a house, but kept Benjamin in his own apartment, where he passed the night. The next day Joseph asked him whether he would accept of himself for his brother, in the room of him whom he had lost, to which Benjamin replied, Who can find a brother comparable unto thee? yet thou art not the son of Jacob and Rachel. And upon this Joseph discovered himself to him.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

o Some imagine this to be a measure holding a saá (or about a gallon), wherein they used to measure corn or give water to the beasts. But others take it to be a drinking-cup of silver or gold.
p Both by our behaviour among you, and our bringing again our money, which was returned to us without our knowledge.
q This was the method of punishing theft used by Jacob and his family; for among the Egyptians it was punished in another manner.
r Some suppose this search was made by the person whom Joseph sent after them; others by Joseph himself, when they were brought back to the city.
s For there the thief was not reduced to servitude, but was scourged, and obliged to restore the double of what he had stolen.2

2 Idem, Jallalo’ddin.

t The occasion of this suspicion, it is said, was, that Joseph having been brought up by his father’s sister, she became so fond of him that, when he grew up, and Jacob designed to take him from her, she contrived the following stratagem to keep him: –Having a girdle which had once belonged to Abraham, she girt it about the child, and then, pretending she had lost it, caused strict search to be made for it; and it being at length found on Joseph, he was adjudged, according to the above-mentioned law of the family, to be delivered to her as her property. Some, however, say that Joseph actually stole an idol of gold, which belonged to his mother’s father, and destroyed it; a story probably taken from Rachel’s stealing the images of Laban: and others tell us that he once stole a goat, or a hen, to give to a poor man.3

3 Jallalo’ddin.
u viz., Reuben. But some think Simeon or Judah to be here meant; and instead of the elder, interpret it the most prudent of them.
x i.e., Joseph, Benjamin, and Simeon.
y That is, the pupils lost their deep blackness and became of a pearl colour (as happens in suffusions), by his continual weeping: which very much weakened his sight, or, as some pretend, made him quite blind.4

4 Al Beidâwi.

z viz., That Joseph is yet alive, of which some tell us he was assured by the angel of death in a dream; though others suppose he depended on the completion of Joseph’s dream, which must have been frustrated had he died before his brethren had bowed down before him.5

5 Idem.

a Their money being clipped and adulterated. Some, however, imagine they did not bring money, but goods to barter, such as wool and butter, or other commodities of small value.6

6 Idem.
b The injury they did Benjamin was the separating him from his brother; after which they kept him in so great subjection, that he durst not speak to them but with the utmost submission. Some say that these words were occasioned by a letter which Joseph’s brethren delivered to him from their father, requesting the releasement of Benjamin, and by their representing his extreme affliction at the loss of him and his brother. The commentators observe that Joseph, to excuse his brethren’s behaviour towards him, attributes it to their ignorance, and the heat of youth.1

1 Idem.

c They say this question was not the effect of a bare suspicion that he was Joseph, but that they actually knew him, either by his face and behaviour, or by his foreteeth, which he showed in smiling, or else by putting off his tiara, and discovering a whitish mole on his forehead.2

2 Idem.

d Which the commentators generally suppose to be the same garment with which Gabriel invested him in the well; which having originally come from paradise, had preserved the odour of that place, and was of so great virtue as to cure any distemper in the person who was touched with it.3

3 Idem, Jallalo’ddin.

e This was the odour of the garment above mentioned, brought by the wind to Jacob, who smelt it, as is pretended, at the distance of eighty parasangs;4 or, as others will have, three, or eight days’ journey off.5

4 Idem.
5 Jallalo’ddin.

f Being led into this imagination by the excessive love of Joseph.
g viz., Judah, who, as he had formerly grieved his father by bringing him Joseph’s coat stained with blood, now rejoiced him as much by being the bearer of this vest, and the news of Joseph’s prosperity.6

6 Al Beidâwi.

h Deferring it, as some fancy, till he should see Joseph, and have his consent.
i viz., His father and Leah, his mother’s sister, whom he looked on as his mother after Rachel’s death.7
      Al Beidâwi tells us that Joseph sent carriages and provisions for his father and his family; and that he and the king of Egypt went forth to meet them. He adds that the number of the children of Israel who entered Egypt with him was seventy-two; and that when they were led out thence by Moses, they were increased to six hundred thousand five hundred and seventy men and upwards, besides the old people and children.

7 Idem. See Gen. xxxvii. 10.

k A transposition is supposed to be in these words, and that he seated his father and mother after they had bowed down to him, and not before.1

1 Idem.

l The Mohammedan authors write that Jacob dwelt in Egypt twenty-four years, and at his death ordered his body to be buried in Palestine by his father, which Joseph took care to perform; and then returning into Egypt, died twenty-three years after. They add that such high disputes arose among the Egyptians concerning his burial, that they had like to have come to blows; but at length they agreed to put his body into a marble coffin, and to sink it in the Nile–out of a superstitious imagination, that it might help the regular increase of the river, and deliver them from famine for the future; but when Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, he took up the coffin, and carried Joseph’s bones with him into Canaan, where he buried them by his ancestors.2

2 Idem.

m For this crime Mohammed charges not only on the idolatrous Meccans, but also on the Jews and Christians, as has been already observed more than once.
n And not of the inhabitants of the deserts; because the former are more knowing and compassionate, and the latter more ignorant and hard-hearted.3

3 Idem. See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. I. p. 24.

o This word occurs in the next page.
p Or, according to some copies, at Medina.
q The meaning of these letters is unknown. Of several conjectural explications which are given of them, the following is one: I am the most wise and knowing GOD.
r As sweet and sour, black and white, small and large, &c.1

1 Idem, Jallalo’ddin.

s Some tracts being fruitful and others barren, some plain and others mountainous, some proper for corn and others for trees, &c.2

2 Idem.

t The collar here mentioned is an engine something like a pillory, but light enough for the criminal to walk about with. Besides the hole to fix it on the neck, there is another for one of the hands, which is thereby fastened to the neck.3 And in this manner the Mohammedans suppose the reprobates will appear at the day of judgment.4 Some understand this passage figuratively, of the infidels being bound in the chains of error and obstinacy.5

3 Vide Chardin, Voy. de Perse, tom. ii. p. 220.
4 See cap. 5, p. 81.
5 Al Beidâwi.

u Provoking and daring thee to call down the divine vengeance on them for their impenitency.
x See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. p. 56.
y Thunder and lightning being the sign of approaching rain; a great blessing, in the eastern countries more especially.
z Or causeth those who hear it to praise him. Some commentators tell us that by the word thunder, in this place, is meant the angel who presides over the clouds, and drives them forwards with twisted sheets of fire.6

6 Idem, Jallalo’ddin.

a This passage was revealed on the following occasion: Amer Ebn al Tofail and Arbad Ebn Rabîah, the brother of Labîd, went to Mohammed with an intent to kill him; and Amer began to dispute with him concerning the chief points of his doctrine, while Arbad, taking a compass, went behind him to dispatch him with his sword; but the prophet, perceiving his design, implored GOD’S protection; whereupon Arbad was immediately struck dead by thunder, and Amer was struck with a pestilential boil, of which he died in a short time, in a miserable condition.7
      Jallalo’ddin, however, tells another story saying that Mohammed, having sent one to invite a certain man to embrace his religion, the person put this question to the missionary, Who is this apostle, and what is God? Is he of gold, or of silver, or of brass? Upon which a thunderbolt struck off his skull, and killed him.

7 Al Beidâwi. Vide Golii. not. in Adagia Arab. adject. ad Gram Erpenii, p. 99.

b The infidels and devils themselves being constrained to humble themselves before him, though against their will, when they are delivered up to punishment.
c This is an allusion to the increasing and diminishing of the shadows, according to the height of the sun; so that, when they are the longest, which is in the morning and the evening, they appear prostrate on the ground, in the posture of adoration.
d By believing in all the prophets, without exception, and joining thereto the continual practice of their duty, both towards GOD and man.1

1 Idem, Jallalo’ddin, Yahya.

e Literally, gardens of Eden. See chapter 9, p. 143.

f These are miracles which the Koreish required of Mohammed; demanding that he would, by the power of his Korân, either remove the mountains from about Mecca, that they might have delicious gardens in their room, or that he would oblige the wind to transport them, with their merchandise, to Syria (according to which tradition, the words here translated, or the earth cleaved in sunder, should be rendered, or the earth be travelled over in an instant); or else raise to life Kosai Ebn Kelâb,1 and others of their ancestors, to bear witness to him; whereupon this passage was revealed.

1 See cap. 8, p. 128, note f.

g It is supposed by some that these words are spoken to Mohammed, and then they must be translated in the second person, Nor shall thou cease to sit down, &c. For they say this verse relates to the idolaters of Mecca, who were afflicted with a series of misfortunes for their ill-usage of their prophet, and were also continually annoyed and harassed by his parties, which frequently plundered their caravans and drove off their cattle, himself sitting down with his whole army near the city in the expedition of al Hodeibîya.2

2 Al Beidâwi.

h i.e., Till death and the day of judgment overtake them; or, according to the exposition in the preceding note, until the taking of Mecca.3

3 Idem.

i That is, calling them the companion of GOD, without being able to assign any reason, or give any proof why they deserve to be sharers in the honour and worship due from mankind to him.4

4 Idem.

k viz., The first proselytes to Mohammedism from Judaism and Christianity; or the Jews and Christians in general, who were pleased to find the Korân so consonant to their own scriptures.5

5 See cap. 3, p. 52.

l That is, such of them as had entered into a confederacy to oppose Mohammed; as did Caab Ebn al Ashraf, and the Jews who followed him, and al Seyid al Najrâni, al Akib, and several other Christians; who denied such parts of the Korân as contradicted their corrupt doctrines and traditions.6

6 Idem.

m As we have on thee. This passage was revealed in answer to the reproaches which were cast on Mohammed, on account of the great number of his wives. For the Jews said that if he was a true prophet, his care and attention would be employed about something else than women and the getting of children.7 It may be observed that it is a maxim of the Jews that nothing is more repugnant to prophecy than carnality.8

7 Jallalo’ddin, Yahya.
8 Vide Maimon. More Nev. part ii. c. 36, &c.

n Literally, the mother of the book; by which is meant the preserved table, from which all the written revelations which have been from time to time published to mankind, according to the several dispensations, are transcripts.
o The persons intended in this passage, it is said, were the Jewish doctors.9

9 Al Beidâwi.
a Mention is made of this patriarch towards the end of the chapter.
b See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. III p. 46, &c.
c That so they might not only perfectly and readily understand those revelations themselves, but might also be able to translate and interpret them unto others.1

1 Idem.

d Literally, the days of GOD; which may also be translated, the battles of GOD (the Arabs using the word day to signify a remarkable engagement, as the Italians do giornata, and the French, journée), or his wonderful acts manifested in the various success of former nations in their wars.2

2 Idem.

e See chapter 7, p. 117, &c.
f See ibid. p. 111, &c.
g That is, such of them as were committed directly against GOD, which are immediately cancelled by faith, or embracing Islâm; but not the crimes of injustice, and oppression, which were committed against man:1 for to obtain remission of these last, besides faith, repentance and restitution, according to a man’s ability, are also necessary.

1 Al Beidâwi.

h The commentators are uncertain whether these were the prophets, who begged assistance against their enemies; or the infidels, who called for GOD’S decision between themselves and them; or both. And some suppose this verse has no connection with the preceding, but is spoken of the people of Mecca, who begged rain in a great drought with which they were afflicted at the prayer of their prophet, but could not obtain it.2

2 Idem.

i Which will issue from the bodies of the damned, mixed with purulent matter and blood.
j i.e., The more simple and inferior people shall say to their teachers and princes who seduced them to idolatry, and confirmed them in their obstinate infidelity.
k That is, We made the same choice for you, as we did for ourselves: and had not GOD permitted us to fall into error, we had not seduced you.

l Lay not the blame on my temptations, but blame your own folly in obeying and trusting in me, who had openly professed myself your irreconcilable enemy.
m Or I do now declare myself clear of your having obeyed me, preferably to GOD, and worshipped idols at my instigation. Or the words may be translated, I believed not heretofore in that Being with whom ye did associate me; intimating his first disobedience in refusing to worship Adam at GOD’S command.1

1 Idem.

n See chapter 10, p. 151.
o What is particularly intended in this passage by the good word, and the evil word, the expositors differ. But the first seems to mean the profession of GOD’S unity; the inviting others to the true religion, or the Korân itself; and the latter, the acknowledging a plurality of gods, the seducing of others to idolatry, or the obstinate opposition of GOD’S prophets.2

2 Idem, Jallalo’ddin.

p Jallalo’ddin supposes the sepulchre to be here understood; in which place when the true believers come to be examined by the two angels concerning their faith, they will answer properly and without hesitation; which the infidels will not be able to do.3

3 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. p. 59.

q That is, who requite his favours with disobedience and incredulity. Or, whose ingratitude obliged GOD to deprive them of the blessings he had bestowed on them; as he did the Meccans, who though GOD had placed them in the sacred territory, and given them the custody of the Caaba, and abundant provision of all necessaries and conveniences of life, and had also honoured them by the mission of Mohammed, yet in return for all this became obstinate unbelievers, and persecuted his apostle; for which they were not only punished by a famine of seven years, but also by the loss and disgrace they sustained at Bedr; so that they who had before been celebrated for their prosperity, were not stripped of that, and become conspicuous only for their infidelity.4 If this be the drift of the passage, it could not have been revealed at Mecca, as the rest of the chapter is agreed to be; wherefore some suppose this verse and the next to have been revealed at Medina.

4 Al Beidâwi.

r The word used here, and in the following sentences, is sakhkhara, which signifies forcibly to press into any service.1

1 See chapter 2, p. 17, note c.

s viz., The territory of Mecca. See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV.
t This prayer, it seems, was not heard as to all his posterity, particularly as to the descendants of Ismael; though some pretend that these latter did not worship images, but only paid a superstitious veneration to certain stones, which they set up and compassed, as representations of the Caaba.2

2 Al Beidâwi. See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. I. p. 13-16.

u That is, by disposing him to repentance. But Jallalo’ddin supposes these words were spoken by Abraham before he knew that GOD would not pardon idolatry.
x i.e., Ismael and his posterity. The Mohammedans say, that Hagar, his mother, belonged to Sarah, who gave her to Abraham; and that, on her bearing him this son, Sarah became so jealous of her, that she prevailed on her husband to turn them both out of doors; whereupon he sent them to the territory of Mecca, where GOD caused the fountain of Zemzem to spring forth for their relief, in consideration of which the Jorhamites, who were the masters of the country, permitted them to settle among them.3

3 Idem.

y Had he said the hearts of men, absolutely, the Persians and the Romans would also have treated them as friends; and both the Jews and Christians would have made their pilgrimages to Mecca.4

4 Idem, Jallalo’ddin.

z This part of the prayer was granted; Mecca being so plentifully supplied, that the fruits of spring, summer, and autumn, are to be found there at one and the same time.5

5 Idem.

a For he knew by revelation that somme of them would be infidels.
b Abraham put up this petition to GOD before he knew that his parents were the enemies of GOD.6 Some suppose his mother was a true believer, and therefore read it in the singular, and my father. Others fancy that by his parents the patriarch here means Adam and Eve.7

6 See chapter 9, p. 148.
7 Jallalo’ddin, Al Beidâwi.

c That is, That ye should not taste of death, but continue in this world for ever; or that ye should not after death be raised to judgment.1

1 Iidem, Al Zamakhshari, Yahya.

d viz., Of the Adites and Thamûdites.
e Not only by the histories of those people revealed in the Korân, but also by the monuments remaining of them (as the houses of the Thamûdites, and the traditions preserved among you of the terrible judgments which befell them.
f This the Mohammedans suppose will come to pass at the last day; the earth becoming white and even, or, as some will have it, of silver; and the heavens of gold.2

2 Iidem. Vide Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV, p. 67.

g Al Hejr is a territory in the province of Hejaz, between Medina and Syria, where the tribe of Thamûd dwelt;1 and is mentioned towards the end of the chapter.

1 See the Prelim. Disc. p. 4.

h See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. III. p. 46, &c.
i viz., When they shall see the success and prosperity of the true believers; or when they shall come to die; or at the resurrection.
j i.e., The revelations which compose the Korân.
k When the divine wisdom shall judge it proper to use their ministry, as in bearing his revelations to the prophets, and the executing his sentence on wicked people; but not to humour you with their appearance in visible shapes, which, should your demand be complied with, would only increase your confusion, and bring GOD’S vengeance on you the sooner.
l See the Prelim. Disc. IV. p. 57.
m i.e., The incredulous Meccans themselves; or, as others rather think, the angels in visible forms.
n For the Mohammedans imagine that the devils endeavour to ascend to the constellations, to pry into the actions and overhear the discourse of the inhabitants of heaven, and to tempt them. They also pretend that these evil spirits had the liberty of entering any of the heavens till the birth of JESUS, when they were excluded three of them; but that on the birth of Mohammed they were forbidden the other four.2

2 Al Beidâwi.

o See chapter 3, p. 35, note b.

p For when a star seems to fall or shoot, the Mohammedans suppose the angels, who keep guard in the constellations, dart them at the devils who approach too near.
q viz., Your family, servants, and slaves, whom ye wrongly imagine that ye feed yourselves; though it is GOD who provides for them as well as you:1 or, as some rather think, the animals, of whom men take no care.2

1 Idem.
2 Jallalo’ddin.

r i.e., Alone surviving, when all creatures shall be dead and annihilated.
s What these words particularly drive at is uncertain. Some think them spoken of the different times of men’s several entrance into this world, and their departure out of it; others of the respective forwardness and backwardness of Mohammed’s men in battle; and a third says, the passage was occasioned by the different behaviour of Mohammed’s followers, on seeing a very beautiful woman at prayers behind the prophet; some of them going out of the Mosque before her, to avoid looking on her more nearly, and others staying behind, on purpose to view her.3

3 Al Beidâwi.

t See chapter 2, p. 4, &c.
u See ibid. and chapter 7, p. 106.
x viz., The saving of the elect, and the utter reprobation of the wicked, according to my eternal decree.

y See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. p. 71
z That is, all hatred and ill-will which they bore each other in their lifetime; or, as some choose to expound it, all envy or heart-burning on account of the different degrees of honour and happiness to which the blessed will be promoted according to their respective merits.

1 See chapter 7, p. 108, note, 7.

a Never turning their backs to one another;2 which might be construed a sign of contempt.

2 Jallalo’ddin.

b See chapter 11, p. 165, &c.
c What occasioned Abraham’s apprehension was, either their sudden entering without leave or their coming at an unseasonable time; or else their not eating with him.
d Which was into Syria; or into Egypt.
e Some will have these words spoken by the angels to Lot; others, by GOD to Mohammed.

3 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin.

f To whom Shoaib was also sent, as well as to the inhabitants of Midian. Abulfeda says these people dwelt near Tabûc, and that they were not of the same tribe with Shoaib. See also Geog. Nub. 110.
g Destroying them, for their incredulity and disobedience, by a hot suffocating wind.1

1 Iidem.

h Who were the tribe of Thamûd.2

2 See chapter 7, p. 113, &c., and Prel. Disc. p. 5.

i This verse, it is said, was abrogated by that of the sword.
j That is, the first chapter of the Korân, which consists of so many verses: though some suppose the seven long chapters3 are here intended.

3 See chapter 9, p. 134, note e.

k That is, Do not envy or covet their worldly prosperity, since thou hast received, in the Korân, a blessing, in comparison whereof all that we have bestowed on them ought to be contemned as of no value. Al Beidâwi mentions a tradition, that Mohammed meeting at Adhriât (a town of Syria) seven caravans, very richly laden, belonging to some Jews of the tribes of Koreidha and al Nadîr, his men had a great mind to plunder them, saying, That those riches would be of great service for the propagation of GOD’S true religion. But the prophet represented to them, by this passage, that they had no reason to repine, GOD having given them the seven verses, which were infinitely more valuable than those seven caravans.4

4 Al Beidâwi.

l Some interpret the original word, the obstructers, who hindered men from entering Mecca, to visit the temple, lest they should be persuaded to embrace Islâm: and this, it is said, was done by ten men, who were all slain at Bedr. Others translate the word, who bound themselves by oath; and suppose certain Thamûdites, who swore to kill Saleh by night, are here meant. But the sentence more probably relates to the Jews and Christians, who (say the Mohammedans) receive some part of the scriptures, and reject others; and also approved of some passages of the Korân, and disapproved of others, according to their prejudices; or else to the unbelieving Meccans, some of whom called the Korân a piece of witchcraft; others, flights of divination; others, old stories; and others, a poetical composition.5

5 Idem, Jallalo’ddin.

m This passage, it is said, was revealed on account of five noble Koreish, whose names were al Walîd Ebn al Mogheira, al As Ebn Wayel, Oda Ebn Kais, al Aswad Ebn Abd Yaghûth, and al Aswad Ebn al Motalleb. These were inveterate enemies of Mohammed, continually persecuting him, and turning him into ridicule; wherefore at length Gabriel came and told him that he was commanded to take his part against them; and on the angel’s making a sign towards them one after another, al Walîd passing by some arrows, one of them hitched in his garment, and he, out of pride, not stooping to take it off, but walking forward, the head of it cut a vein in his heel, and he bled to death; al As was killed with a thorn, which stuck into the sole of his foot, and caused his leg to swell to a monstrous size; Oda died with violent and perpetual sneezing; al Aswad Ebn Abd Yaghûth ran his head against a thorny tree and killed himself; and al Aswad Ebn al Motalleb was struck blind.1

1 Al Beidâwi.
n Literally, That which is certain.
o This insect is mentioned about the middle of the chapter.
p Except the three last verses.
q The person particularly intended in this place was Obba Ebn Khalf, who came to Mohammed with a rotten bone, and asked him whether it was possible for GOD to restore it to life.2

2 Idem.

r viz., Their skins, wool, and hair, which serve you for clothing.
s Being a grace to your court-yards, and a credit to you in the eyes of your neighbours.3

3 Idem.

t That is, of every kind; the various colour of things being one of their chief distinctions.1

1 Idem.

u Literally, fresh flesh; by which fish is meant, as being naturally more fresh, and sooner liable to corruption, than the flesh of birds and beasts. The expression is thought to have been made use of here the rather, because the production of such fresh food from salt water is an instance of GOD’S power.2

2 Idem.

x As pearls and coral.
y The Mohammedans suppose that the earth, when first created, was smooth and equal, and thereby liable to a circular motion as well as the celestial orbs; and that the angels asking, who could be able to stand on so tottering a frame, God fixed it the next morning by throwing the mountains on it.
z Which are their guides, not only at sea, but also on land, when they travel by night through the deserts. The stars which they observe for this purpose, are either the Pleiades, or some of those near the Pole.
a i.e., At what time they or their worshippers shall be raised to receive judgment.
b Some understand this passage figuratively, of God’s disappointing their wicked designs; but others suppose the words literally relate to the tower which Nimrod (whom the Mohammedans will have to be the son of Caanan, the son of Ham, and so the nephew of Cush, and not his son) built in Babel, and carried to an immense height (five thousand cubits, say some), foolishly purposing thereby to ascend to heaven and wage war with the inhabitants of that place; but God frustrated his attempt, utterly overthrowing the tower by a violent wind and earthquake.1

1 Idem, Jallalo’ddin. Vide D’Herbel. Bibl. Orient. Art. Nimrod
c viz., The prophets, and the teachers and professors of GOD’S unity; or, the angels.
d Making their submission, and humbly excusing their evil actions, as proceeding from ignorance, and not from obstinacy or malice.2

2 Iidem Interp

e Literally, gardens of Eden. See chapter 9, p. 142.
f This they spoke of in a scoffing manner, justifying their idolatry and superstitious abstaining from certain cattle,3 by pretending, that had these things been disagreeable to GOD, he would not have suffered them to be practised.

3 See chapter 6, p. 102, &c.

g See chapter 2, p. 28.

h Some suppose the prophet and the companions of his flight in general, are here intended: others suppose that those are particularly meant in this place, who, after Mohammed’s departure, were imprisoned at Mecca on account of their having embraced his religion, and suffered great persecution from the Koreish; as, Belâl, Soheib, Khabbab, Ammâr, Abes, Abu’l Jandal, and Sohail.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

i It is uncertain whether the pronoun they relates to the infidels, or to the true believers. If to the former, the consequence would be, that they they would be desirous of attaining to the happiness of the Mohajerîn, by professing the same faith; if to the latter, the knowledge of this is urged as a motive to patience and perseverance.2

2 Idem.

j See chapter 7, p. 110, note r; chapter 12, p. 189, &c.
k Literally, this admonition.3

3 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. III. p. 44.

l See chapter 13, p. 182, note c.
m Or, which they know not; foolishly imagining that they have power to help them, or interest with GOD to intercede for them.
      As to the ancient Arabs setting apart a certain portion of the produce of their lands for their idols, and their superstitions abstaining from the use of certain cattle, in honour to the same, see chapter 5, p. 86, and chapter 6, p. 102, and the notes there.
n See the Prelim. Disc. p. 14. Al Beidâwi says, that the tribes of Khozâah and Kenâna, in particular, used to call the angels the daughters of GOD.
o viz., Sons: for the birth of a daughter was looked on as a kind of misfortune among the Arabs; and they often used to put them to death by burying them alive.1

1 See chapter 81.

p i.e., Clouded with confusion and sorrow.
q This passage condemns the Meccans’ injudicious and blasphemous application of such circumstances to GOD as were unworthy of him, and not only derogatory to the perfections of the Deity, but even disgraceful to man; while they arrogantly applied the more honourable circumstances to themselves.
r By giving him daughters, and associates in power and honour; by disregarding his messengers; and by setting apart the better share of the presents and offerings for their idols, and the worse for him.2

2 Al Beidâwi

s Or, He is the patron of them (viz. the Koreish) this day, &c.
t The milk consisting of certain particles of the blood, supplied from the finer parts of the ailment. Ebn Abbas says, that the grosser parts of the food subside into excrement, and that the finer parts are converted into milk, and the finest of all into blood.
u Having neither the colour of the blood, nor the smell of the excrements.

x Not only wine, which is forbidden, but also lawful food, as dates, raisins, a kind of honey flowing from the dates, and vinegar.
      Some have supposed that these words allow the moderate use of wine; but the contrary is the received opinion.

1 See chapter 2, p. 23.

y So the apartments which the bee builds are here called, because of their beautiful workmanship, and admirable contrivance, which no geometrician can excel.2

2 Al Beidâwi.

z i.e., The ways through which, by GOD’S power, the bitter flowers passing the bee’s stomach become money; or, the methods of making honey, which he has taught her by instinct; or else the ready way home from the distant places to which that insect flies.3

3 Idem.

a viz., Honey; the colour of which is very different, occasioned by the different plants on which the bees feed; some being white, some yellow, some red, and some black.4

4 Idem.

b The same being not only good food, but a useful remedy in several distempers, particularly those occasioned by phlegm. There is a story, that a man came once to Mohammed, and told him that his brother was afflicted with a violent pain in his belly: upon which the prophet bade him give him some honey. The fellow took his advice; but soon after coming again, told him that the medicine had done his brother no manner of service: Mohammed answered, Go and give him more honey, for God speaks truth, and thy brother’s belly lies. And the dose being repeated, the man, by GOD’S mercy, was immediately cured.5

5 Idem.

c These words reprove the idolatrous Meccans, who could admit created beings to a share of the divine honour, though they suffered not their slaves to share with themselves to what GOD had bestowed on them.6

6 Idem.

d That is, of your own nations and tribes. Some think the formation of Eve from Adam is here intended.
e Or propound no similitudes or comparisons between him and his creatures. One argument the Meccans employed in defence of their idolatry, it seems, was, that the worship of inferior deities did honour to GOD; in the same manner as the respect showed to the servants of a prince does honour to the prince himself.7

7 Idem.

f The idols are here likened to a slave, who is so far from having anything of his own, that he is himself in the possession of another; whereas GOD is as a rich free man, who provideth for his family abundantly, and also assisteth others who have need, both in public, and in private.8

8 Idem, Jallalo’ddin.

g The idol is here again represented under the image of one who, by a defect in his senses, is a useless burthen to the man who maintains him; and GOD, under that of a person completely qualified either to direct or to execute any useful undertaking. Some suppose the comparison is intended of a true believer and an infidel.
h That is, The resurrection of the dead.
i As trees, houses, tents, mountains, &c.
j viz., Caves and grottos, both natural and artificial.
k Al Beidâwi says, that one extreme, and that the most insupportable in Arabia, is here put for both; but Jallalo’ddin supposes that by heat we are in this place to understand cold.
l Confessing God to be the author of all the blessings they enjoy; and yet directing their worship and thanks to their idols, by whose intercession they imagine blessings are obtained.
m Absolutely denying GOD’S providence, either through ignorance or perverseness.
n See chapter 4, p. 59, note z.
o Literally, Their companions.
p For that we are not the companions of GOD, as ye imagined; neither did ye really serve us, but your own corrupt affections and lusts; nor yet were ye led into idolatry by us, but ye fell into it of your own accord.1

1 Al Beidâwi.
q This verse, which was the occasion of the conversion of Othmân Ebn Matûn, the commentators say, containeth the whole which it is a man’s duty either to perform or to avoid; and is alone a sufficient demonstration of what is said in the foregoing verse. Under the three things here commanded, they understand the belief of GOD’S unity, without inclining to atheism, on the one hand, or polytheism, on the other; obedience to the commands of God; and charity towards those in distress. And under the three things forbidden, they comprehend all corrupt and carnal affections; all false doctrines and heretical opinions; and all injustice towards man.2

2 Idem.

r By persevering in his true religion. Some think that the oath of fidelity taken to Mohammed by his followers is chiefly intended here.
s Some suppose that a particular woman is meant in this passage, who used (like Penelope) to undo at night the work that she had done in the day. Her name, they say, was Reita Bint Saad Ebn Teym, of the tribe of Koreish.3

3 Idem.

t Of this insincerity in their alliances the Koreish are accused; it being usual with them, when they saw the enemies of their confederates to be superior in force, to renounce their league with their old friends, and strike up one with the others.4

4 Idem.

u Or, of one religion.
x That is, Be not prevailed on to renounce your religion, or your engagements with your prophet, by any promises or gifts of the infidels. For, it seems, the Koreish, to tempt the poorer Moslems to apostatize, made them offers, not very considerable indeed, but such as they imagined might be worth their acceptance.5

5 Idem.

y Mohammed one day reading in the Korân, uttered a horrid blasphemy, to the great scandal of those who were present, as will be observed in another place;1 to excuse which he assured them that those words were put into his mouth by the devil; and to prevent any such accident for the future, he is here taught to beg GOD’S protection before he entered on that duty.2 Hence the Mohammedans, before they begin to read any part of this book, repeat these words, I have recourse unto God for assistance against Satan driven away with stones.

1 In not. ad cap. 22.
2 Jallalo’ddin, Al Beidâwi, Yahya, &c.

z viz., Gabriel. See chapter 2, p. 10.
a This was a great objection made by the Meccans to the authority of the Korân; for when Mohammed insisted, as a proof of its divine original, that it was impossible a man so utterly unacquainted with learning as himself could compose such a book, they replied, that he had one or more assistants in the forgery; but as to the particular person or persons suspected of this confederacy, the traditions differ. One says it was Jabar, a Greek, servant to Amer Ebn al Hadrami, who could read and write well;3 another, that they were Jabar and Yesâr, two slaves who followed the trade of sword-cutlers at Mecca, and used to read the pentateuch and gospel, and had often Mohammed for their auditor, when he passed that way.4 Another tells us, it was one Aïsh, or Yâïsh, a domestic of al Haweiteb Ebn Abd al Uzza, who was a man of some learning, and had embraced Mohammedism.5 Another supposes it was one Kais, a Christian, whose house Mohammed frequented;6 another, that it was Addâs, a servant of Otba Ebn Rabîa;7 and another, that it was Salmân the Persian.8
      According to some Christian writers,9 Abdallah Ebn Salâm, the Jew who was so intimate with Mohammed (named by one, according to the Hebrew dialect, Abdias Ben Salon and by another, Abdala Celen), was assisting to him in the compiling his pretended revelations. This Jew Dr. Prideaux confounds with Salmân the Persian, who was a very different man, as a late author10 has observed before me; wherefore, and for that we may have occasion to speak of Salmân hereafter, it may be proper to add a brief extract of his story as told by himself. He was of a good family of Ispahan, and, in his younger years, left the religion of his country to embrace Christianity; and travelling into Syria, was advised by a certain monk of Amuria to go into Arabia, where a prophet was expected to arise about that time, who should establish the religion of Abraham; and whom he should know, among other things, by the seal of prophecy between his shoulders. Salmân performed the journey, and meeting with Mohammed at Koba, where he rested in his flight to Medina, soon found him to be the person he sought, and professed Islâm.11
      The general opinion of the Christians, however is, that the chief help Mohammed had in the contriving his Korân, was from a Nestorian monk named Sergius, supposed to be the same person with the monk Boheira, with whom Mohammed in his younger years had some conference, at Bosra, a city of Syria Damascena, where that monk resided.12 To confirm which supposition, a passage has been produced from an Arab writer,1 who says that Boheira’s name in the books of the Christians, is Sergius; but this is only a conjecture; and another2 tells us, his true name was Saïd, or Felix, and his surname Boheira. But be that as it will, if Boheira and Sergius were the same man, I find not the least intimation in the Mohammedan writers that he ever quitted his monastery to go into Arabia (as is supposed by the Christians); and his acquaintance with Mohammed at Bosra was too early to favour the surmise of his assisting him in the Korân, which was composed long after; though Mohammed might, from his discourse, gain some knowledge of Christianity and of the scriptures, which might be of use to him therein.
      From the answer given in this passage of the Korân to the objection of the infidels, viz., that the person suspected by them to have a hand in the Korân spoke a foreign language, and therefore could not, with any face of probability, be supposed to assist in a composition written in the Arabic tongue, and with so great elegance, it is plain this person was no Arabian. The word Ajami, which is here used, signifies any foreign or barbarous language in general; but the Arabs applying it more particularly to the Persian, it has been thence concluded by some that Salmân was the person; however, if it be true that he came not to Mohammed till after the Hejra, either he could not be the man here intended, or else this verse must have been revealed at Medina, contrary to the common opinion.

3 Al Zamakhshari, Al Beidâwi, Yahya.
4 Al Zamakh., Al Beidâwi. See Prid. Life of Mah. p. 32.
5 Iidem.
6 Jallalo’ddin.
7 Al Zamakh., Yahya.
8 Al Zamakh., Al Beidâwi.
9 Ricardi Confut. Legis Saracenicæ, c. 13. Joh. Andreas, de Confus. Sectæ Mahometanæ, c. 2 See Prid. Life of Mah. pp. 33, 34.
10 Gagnier not. in Abulf. Vit. Moh. p. 74.
11 Ex Ebn Ishak. Vide Gagnier, ibid
12 See Prid. ubi sup. p. 35, &c. Gagnier, ubi sup. pp. 10, 11. Marrac. de Alcor. p. 37.
1 Al Masudi.
2 Abu’l Hasan al Becri in Korân.

b These words were added for the sake of Ammâr Ebn Yaser, and some others, who being taken and tortured by the Koreish, renounced their faith out of fear, though their hearts agreed not with their mouths.3 It seems Ammâr wanted the constancy of his father and mother, Yâser, and Sommeya, who underwent the like trial at the same time with their son, and resolutely refusing to recant, were both put to death, the infidels tying Sommeya between two camels, and striking a lance through her privy parts.4 When news was brought to Mohammed, that Ammâr had denied the faith, he said, it could not be, for that Ammâr was full of faith from the crown of his head to the sole of his foot, faith being mixed and incorporated with his very flesh and blood; and when Ammâr himself came weeping to the prophet, he wiped his eyes, saying, What fault was it of thine, if they forced thee?
But though it be here said, that those who apostatize in appearance only, to avoid death or torments, may hope for pardon from GOD, yet it is unanimously agreed by the Mohammedan doctors, to be much more meritorious and pleasing in the sight of GOD, courageously and nobly to persist in the true faith, and rather to suffer death itself than renounce it, even in words. Nor did the Mohammedan religion want its martyrs, in the strict sense of the word; of which I will here give two instances, besides the above-mentioned. One is that of Khobaib Ebn Ada, who being perfidiously sold to the Koreish, was by them put to death in a cruel manner, by mutilation, and cutting off his flesh piecemeal; and being asked, in the midst of his tortures, whether he did not wish Mohammed was in his place, answered I would not wish to be with my family, my substance, and my children, on condition that Mohammed was only to be pricked with a thorn.5 The other is that of a man who was put to death by Moseilama, on the following occasion. That false prophet having taken two of Mohammed’s followers, asked one of them, what he said of Mohammed? the man answered, That he was the apostle of God: And what sayest thou of me? added Moseilama; to which he replied, Thou also art the apostle of God; whereupon he was immediately dismissed in safety. But the other, having returned the same answer to the former question, refused to give any to the last, though required to do it three several times, but pretended to be deaf, and was therefore slain. It is related that Mohammed, when the story of these two men was told him, said, The first of them threw himself on God’s mercy; but the latter professed the truth; and he shall find his account in it.6

3 Al Beidâwi, Al Zamakh., Yahya.
4 Al Beidâwi.
5 Ebn Shohnah.
6 Al Beidâwi.

c As did Ammâr, who made one in both the flights. Some, reading the verb with different vowels, render the last words, after having persecuted the true believers; and instance in al Hadrami, who obliged a servant of his to renounce Mohammedism, by force, but afterwards, together with that servant professed the same faith, and fled for it.1

1 Idem.

d That is, Every person shall be solicitous for his own salvation, not concerning himself with the condition of another, but crying out, My own soul, my own soul!2

2 Idem.

e This example is applied to every city which having received great blessings from GOD, becometh insolent and unthankful, and is therefore chastised by some signal judgment; or rather to Mecca in particular, on which the calamities threatened in this passage, viz. both famine and sword, were inflicted.3

3 Idem.

f See chapter 5, p. 73.
g Allowing what GOD hath forbidden, and superstitiously abstaining from what he hath allowed. See chapter 6, p. 101, &c.
h viz., In the 6th chapter, p. 103.
i i.e., They were forbidden things which were in themselves indifferent, as a punishment for their wickedness and rebellion.
j This was to reprehend the idolatrous Koreish, who pretended that they professed the religion of Abraham.

k These were the Jews; who being ordered by Moses to set apart Friday (the day now observed by the Mohammedans) for the exercise of divine worship, refused it, and chose the sabbath-day, because on that day GOD rested from his works of creation: for which reason they were commanded to keep the day they had chosen in the strictest manner.1

1 Idem, Jallalo’ddin.

l This passage is supposed to have been revealed at Medina, on occasion of Hamza, Mohammed’s uncle, being slain at the battle of Ohod. For the infidels having abused his dead body, by taking out his bowels, and cutting off his ears and his nose, when Mohammed saw it, he swore that if God granted him success, he would retaliate those cruelties on seventy of the Koreish; but he was by these words forbidden to execute what he had sworn, and he accordingly made void his oath.2 Abu’lfeda makes the number on which Mohammed swore to reek his vengeance to be but thirty:3 but it may be observed, by the way, that the translator renders the passage in that author, GOD hath revealed unto me that I shall retaliate, &c., instead of, If GOD grant me victory over the Koreish, I will retaliate, &c., reading Laïn adhharni, for adhfarni; GOD, far from putting this design into the prophet’s head by a revelation, expressly forbidding him to put it in execution.

2 Iidem.
3 Abu’lf. Vit. Moh. n. 68.

m Here, says al Beidâwi, the Korân principally points at Mohammed, who was of all men the most conspicuous for meekness and clemency.
n The reason of this inscription appears in the first words. Some entitle the chapter, The children of Israel.
o Some except eight verses, beginning at these words, It wanted little but that the infidels had seduced thee, &c.
p From whence he was carried through the seven heavens to the presence of GOD, and brought back again to Mecca the same night.
      This journey of Mohammed to heaven is so well known that I may be pardoned if I omit the description of it. The English reader may find it in Dr. Prideaux’s Life of Mahomet,1 and the learned in Abu’lfeda,2 whose annotator has corrected several mistakes in the relation of Dr. Prideaux, and in other writers.
      It is a dispute among the Mohammedan divines, whether their prophet’s night-journey was really performed by him corporally, or whether it was only a dream or vision. Some think the whole was no more than a vision; and allege and express tradition of Moâwiyoh,3 one of Mohammed’s successors, to that purpose. Others suppose he was carried bodily to Jerusalem, but no farther; and that he ascended thence to heaven in spirit only. But the received opinion is, that it was no vision, but that he was actually transported in the body to his journey’s end; and if any impossibility be objected, they think it a sufficient answer to say, that it might easily be effected by an omnipotent agent.4

1 Page 43, &c. See also Morgan’s Mahometism Explained, vol. 2
2 Vit. Moham. cap. 19.
3 Vide ibid, c. 18.
4 Al Beidâwi.

q The commentators are put to it to find out the connection of these words with the foregoing. Some think the accusative case is here put for the vocative, as I have translated it: and others interpret the words thus, Take not for your patrons besides me, the posterity of those, &c., meaning, mortal men.
r Their first transgression was their rejecting the decisions of the law, their putting Isaiah to death,5 and their imprisoning of Jeremiah:6 and the second, was their slaying of Zachariah and John the Baptist, and their imagining the death of JESUS.7

5 Id. m.
6 Jallalo’ddin.
7 Iidem.

s These were Jalût, or Goliah, and his forces;8 or Sennacherib the Assyrian; or else Nebuchadnezzar, whom the eastern writers called Bakhtnasr (which was however only his surname, his true name being Gudarz, or Raham), the governor of Babylon under Lohorasp, king of Persia,9 who took Jerusalem, and destroyed the temple.

8 Jallalo’ddin, Yahya.
9 Al Zamakhshari, Al Beidâwi.

t By permitting David to kill Goliah; or by the miraculous defeat of Sennacherib’s army; or for that GOD put it into the heart of Bahman the son of Isfandiyar, when he succeeded his grandfather Lohorasp, to order Kiresh, or Cyrus, then governor of Babylon, to send home the Jews from their captivity, under the conduct of Daniel; which he accordingly did, and they prevailed against those whom Bakhtnasr had left in the land.10

10 Iidem.

u Some imagine the army meant in this place was that of Bakhtnasr;11 but others say the Persians conquered the Jews this second time, by the arms of Gudarz (by whom they seem to intend Antiochus Epiphanes), one of the successors of Alexander at Babylon. It is related that the general in this expedition, entering the temple, saw blood bubbling up on the great altar, and asking the reason of it, the Jews told him it was the blood of a sacrifice which had not been accepted of GOD; to which he replied, that they had not told him the truth, and ordered a thousand of them to be slain on the altar; but the blood not ceasing, he told them that if they would not confess the truth, he would not spare one of them; whereupon they acknowledged it was the blood of John: and the general said, Thus hath your Lord taken vengeance on you; and then cried out, O John, my LORD and thy LORD knoweth what hath befallen thy people for thy sake; wherefore let thy blood stop, by GOD’S permission, lest I leave not one of them alive; upon which the blood immediately stopped.12
      These are the explications of the commentators, wherein their ignorance in ancient history is sufficiently manifest; though perhaps Mohammed himself, in this latter passage, intended the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans.

11 Yahya, Jallalo’ddin
12 Al Beidâwi.

x And this came accordingly to pass; for the Jews being again so wicked as to reject Mohammed, and conspire against his life, God delivered them into his hands; and he exterminated the tribe of Koreidha, and slew the chiefs of al Nadîr, and obliged the rest of the Jewish tribes to pay tribute.1

1 Idem.

y Out of ignorance, mistaking evil for good; or making wicked imprecations on himself and others, out of passion and impatience.
z Or inconsiderate, not weighing the consequence of what he asks.
      It is said that the person here meant is Adam, who, when the breath of life was breathed into his nostrils, and had reached so far as his navel, though the lower part of his body was, as yet, but a piece of clay, must needs try to rise up, and got an ugly fall by the bargain. But others pretend the passage was revealed on the following occasion. Mohammed committed a certain captive to the charge of his wife, Sawda bint Zamáa, who, moved with compassion at the man’s groans, unbound him, and let him escape: upon which the prophet, in the first motions of his anger, wished her hand might fall off; but immediately composing himself, said aloud, O God, I am but a man: therefore turn my curse into a blessing.2

2 Jallalo’ddin

a Literally, the bird, which is here used to signify a man’s fortune or success; the Arabs, as well as the Greeks and Romans, taking omens from the flight of birds, which they supposed to portend good luck, if they flew from the left to the right, but if from the right to the left, the contrary; the like judgment they also made when certain beasts passed before them.
b Like a collar, which he cannot by any means get off. See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV p. 80.
c See ibid. p. 20.

d That is, receiving their support and maintenance from thee.
e Literally, Lower the wing of humility, &c.
f That is, friendship and affection, and assistance in time of need.
g Prodigality, and squandering away one’s substance in folly or luxury, being a very great sin. The Arabs were particularly guilty of extravagance in killing camels, and distributing them by lot, merely out of vanity and ostentation; which they are forbidden by this passage, and commanded to bestow what they could spare on their poor relations, and other indigent people.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

h That is, If thy present circumstances will not permit thee to assist others, defer thy charity till GOD shall grant thee better ability.
i i.e., Be neither niggardly nor profuse, but observe the mean between the two extremes, wherein consists true liberality.2

2 Idem.

j See chapter 6, p. 101 and 103, and chapter 81.
k The crimes for which a man may justly be put to death are these: apostasy, adultery and murder.3

3 Idem.

l It being at the election of the heir, or next of kin, either to take the life of the murderer or to accept of a fine in lieu of it.4

4 See chapter 2, p. 19.

m Some refer the pronoun he to the person slain, for the avenging whose death this law was made; some to the heir, who has a right granted him to demand satisfaction for his friend’s blood;1 and others to him who shall be slain by the heir, if he carry his vengeance too far.2

1 Yahya.
2 Vide Al Beidâwi.

n See chapter 4, p. 53, 54.
o Or, more advantageous in the end.3

3 Idem. Al Zamakh.

p i.e., Vain and uncertain opinions, which thou hast not good reason to believe true, or at least probable. Some interpret the words, Accuse not another of a crime whereof thou hast no knowledge; supposing they forbid the bearing false witness, or the spreading or giving credit to idle reports of others.4

4 Iidem.

q See chapter 16, p. 199.
r i.e., They would in all probability contend with GOD for superiority, and endeavour to dethrone him, in the same manner as princes act with one another on earth.
s Not allowing their gods to be his associates, nor praying their intercession with him.

t The dead, says al Beidâwi, at his call shall immediately rise, and shaking the dust off their heads, shall say, Praise be unto thee, O God.
u viz., In your graves; or in the world.
x These words are designed as a pattern for the Moslems to follow, in discoursing with the idolaters; by which they are taught to use soft and dubious expressions, and not to tell them directly that they are doomed to hell fire; which, besides the presumption in offering to determine the sentence of others, would only make them more irreconcilable enemies.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

y And may choose whom he pleases for his ambassador. This is an answer to the objections of the Koreish, that Mohammed was the orphan pupil of Abu Taleb, and followed by a parcel of naked and hungry fellows.2

2 Idem.

z Which were a greater honour to him than his kingdom; and wherein Mohammed and his people are foretold by these words, among others:3 The righteous shall inherit the earth.4

3 Vide Marracc. in Alc. p. 28, &c. Prid. Life of Mah. p. 122.
4 Psal. xxxvii. 28. Al Beid.

a viz., The angels and prophets, who are the servants of GOD as well as yourselves.
b See chapter 7, p. 112.
c Mohammed’s journey to heaven is generally agreed to be intended in this place; which occasioned great heats and debates among his followers, till they were quieted by Abu Becr’s bearing testimony to the truth of it.5 The word vision, here used, is urged by those who take this journey to have been no more than a dream, as a plain confirmation of their opinion. Some, however, suppose the vision meant in this passage was not the night-journey, but the dream Mohammed saw at al Hodeibiya, wherein he seemed to make his entrance into Mecca;6 or that at Bedr;7 or else a vision he had relating to the family of Ommeya, whom he saw mount his pulpit, and jump about in it like monkeys; upon which he said, This is their portion in this world, which they have gained by their profession of Islâm.1 But if any of these latter expositions be true, the verse must have been revealed at Medina.

5 Vide Abulf. Vit. Moh. p. 39, and not. ibid Prideaux, Life of Mah. p. 50, and Prelim. Disc. Sect. II, p. 36. 6 See Kor. chapter 48.
7 See chapter 8, p. 129.
1 Al Beidâwi.

d Called al Zakkûm, which springs from the bottom of hell.2

2 See chapter 37.

e See chapter 2, p. 5, and chapter 7, p. 106, &c.
f i.e., With all thy forces.
g Instigating them to get wealth by unlawful means, and to spend it in supporting vice and superstition; and tempting them to incestuous mixtures, and to give their children names in honour of their idols, as Abd Yaghuth, Abd’ al Uzza, &c.3

3 Al Beidâwi.

h See chapter 10, p. 152.
i Some interpret this of the prophet sent to every people; others, of the heads of sects; others, of the various religions professed in the world; others, of the books which shall be given to every man at the resurrection, containing a register of their good and bad actions.
j See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. p. 70.
k See chapter 4, p. 60, note o.

l These are generally supposed to have been the tribe of Thakîf, the inhabitants of al Tâyef, who insisted on Mohammed’s granting them several very extraordinary privileges, as the terms of their submission to him; for they demanded that they might be free from the legal contribution of alms, and from observing the appointed times of prayer; that they might be allowed to keep their idol Allât for a certain time,1 and that their territory might be declared a place of security and not be violated, like that of Mecca, &c. And they added, that if the other Arabs asked him the reason of these concessions, he should say, that GOD had commanded him so to do.2 According to which explication it is plain this verse must have been revealed long after the Hejra.
      Some, however, will have the passage to have been revealed at Mecca, on occasion of the Koreish; who told Mohammed they would not suffer him to kiss the black stone in the wall of Caaba, unless he also visited their idols, and touched them with his hand, to show his respect.

1 See the Prelim. Disc. p. 14.
2 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin. Vide Abulf. Vit. Moham. p. 126, &c.

m i.e., Both of this life and the next. Some interpret the first of the punishment in the next world, and the latter of the torture of the sepulchre.3

3 Al Beidâwi.

n The commentators differ as to the place where this passage was delivered, and the occasion of it. Some think it was revealed at Mecca, and that it refers to the violent enmity which the Koreish bore Mohammed, and their restless endeavours to make him leave Mecca;4 as he was at length obliged to do. But as the persons here spoken of seem not to have prevailed in their project, others suppose that the verse was revealed at Medina, on the following occasion. The Jews, envious of Mohammed’s good reception and stay there, told him, by way of counsel, that Syria was the land of the prophets, and that if he was really a prophet he ought to go thither. Mohammed seriously reflecting on what they had said, began to think they had advised him well; and actually set out, and proceeded a day’s journey in his way to Syria: whereupon GOD acquainted him with their design by the revelation of this verse; and he returned to Medina.5

4 Idem.
5 Idem, Jallalo’ddin.

o This was fulfilled, according to the former of the above-mentioned explications, by the loss of the Koreish at Bedr; and according to the latter, by the great slaughter of the Jews of Koreidha and al Nadîr.6

6 Iidem.

p i.e., At the time of noon prayer, when the sun declines from the meridian; or, as some choose to translate the words, at the setting of the sun, which is the time of the first evening prayer.
q The time of the last evening prayer.
r Literally, the reading of the daybreak; whence some suppose the reading of the Korân at that time is here meant.
s viz., The guardian angels, who, according to some, are relieved at that time; or else the angels appointed to make the change of night into day, &c.7

7 Al Beidâwi.

t According to a tradition of Abu Horeira, the honourable station here intended is that of intercessor for others.1

1 Idem.

u That is, Grant that I may enter my grave with peace, and come forth from it, at the resurrection, with honour and satisfaction. In which sense this petition is the same with that of Balaam, Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his.2
      But as the person here spoken to is generally supposed to be Mohammed, the commentators say he was commanded to pray in these words for a safe departure from Mecca, and a good reception at Medina; or for a sure refuge in the cave, where he hid himself when he fled from Mecca;3 or (which is the more common opinion) for a victorious entrance into Mecca, and a safe return thence.4

2 Numb. xxiii. 10.
3 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. II. p. 39.
4 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin.

x These words Mohammed repeated, when he entered the temple of Mecca, after the taking of that city, and cleansed it of the idols; a great number of which are said to have fallen down on his touching them with the end of the stick he held in his hand.5

5 Iidem. Vide Gagnier, Vie de Mahomet, tom. 2, p. 127.

y i.e., According to his judgment or opinion, be it true or false; or according to the bent of his mind, and the natural constitution of his body.6

6 Al Beidâwi.

z Or the soul of man. Some interpret it of the angel Gabriel, or of the divine revelation.7

7 Idem.

a viz., By the word Kun, i.e., Be; consisting of an immaterial substance, and not generated, like the body. But, according to a different opinion, this passage should be translated, The spirit is of those things, the knowledge of which thy Lord hath reserved to himself. For it is said that the Jews bid the Koreish ask Mohammed to relate the history of those who slept in the cave,8 and of Dhu’lkarnein,9 and to give them an account of the soul of man; adding, that if he pretended to answer all the three questions, or could answer none of them, they might be sure he was no prophet; but if he gave an answer to one or two of the questions and was silent as to the other, he was really a prophet. Accordingly, when they propounded the questions to him, he told them the two histories, but acknowledged his ignorance as to the origin of the human soul.10

8 See the next chapter.
9 See ib.
10 Al Beidâwi.

b All your knowledge being acquired from the information of your senses, which must necessarily fail you in spiritual speculations, without the assistance of divine revelation.11

11 Idem.

c viz., The Korân; by razing it both from the written copies, and the memories of men.

d This and the following miracles were demanded of Mohammed by the Koreish, as proofs of his mission.
e As thou pretendest to have done in thy night-journey; but of which no man was witness.
f See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. p. 66.
g i.e., When the fire shall go out or abate for want of fuel, after the consumption of the skins and flesh of the damned, we will add fresh vigour to the flames by giving them new bodies.1

1 Al Beidâwi. See chapter 4, p. 60.

h Or life, or resurrection.
i That is, lest they should be exhausted.
j These were, the changing his rod into a serpent, the making his hand white and shining, the producing locusts, lice, frogs, and blood, the dividing of the Red Sea, the bringing water out of the rock, and the shaking of Mount Sinai over the children of Israel. In lieu of the three last some reckon the inundation of the Nile, the blasting of the corn, and scarcity of the fruits of the earth.2 These words, however, are interpreted by others, not of nine miracles, but of nine commandments, which Moses gave his people, and were thus numbered up by Mohammed himself to a Jew, who asked him the question, viz., That they should not be guilty of idolatry, nor steal, nor commit adultery or murder, nor practise sorcery or usury, nor accuse an innocent man to take away his life, or a modest woman of whoredom, nor desert the army; to which he added the observing of the sabbath, as a tenth commandment, but which peculiarly regarded the Jews: upon which answer, it is said, the Jew kissed the prophet’s hands and feet.3

2 Idem, Jallalo’ddin.
3 Al Beidâwi.

k Some think these words are directed to Moses, who is hereby commanded to demand the children of Israel of Pharaoh, that he might let them go with him.

l See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. III. p. 50.
m Literally, on their chins.
n The infidels hearing Mohammed say, O GOD, and O Merciful, imagined the Merciful was the name of a deity different from GOD, and that he preached the worship of two; which occasioned this passage. See chapter 7, p. 123.
o Neither so loud, that the infidels may overhear thee, and thence take occasion to blaspheme and scoff; nor so softly as not to be heard by the assistants. Some suppose that by the word prayer, in this place, is meant the reading of the Korân.
p The chapter is thus inscribed because it makes mention of the cave wherein the seven sleepers concealed themselves.
q Some except one verse, which begins thus, Behave thyself with constancy, &c.
r These were certain Christian youths, of a good family in Ephesus, who, to avoid the persecution of the emperor Decius, by the Arab writers called Decianus, hid themselves in a cave, where they slept for a great number of years.1
      This apocryphal story (for Baronius2 treats it as no better, and Father Marracci3 acknowledges it to be partly false, or at least doubtful, though he calls Hottinger a monster of impiety, and the off-scum of heretics, for terming it a fable4), was borrowed by Mohammed from the Christian traditions,5 but has been embellished by him and his followers with several additional circumstances.6

1 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin, &c.
2 In Martyrol. ad 27 Julii.
3 In Alcor. p. 425. et in Prodr. part. 4, p. 103.
4 Hotting. Hist. Orient. p. 40.
5 Vide Greg. Turon. et Simeon. Metaphrast.
6 Vide D’Herbelot, Bibl. Orient. p. 189.

s What is meant by this word the commentators cannot agree. Some will have it to be the name of the mountain, or the valley, wherein the cave was; some say it was the name of their dog; and others (who seem to come nearest the true signification) that it was a brass plate, or stone table, placed near the mouth of the cave, on which the names of the young men were written.
      There are some, however, who take the companions of al Rakîm to be different from the seven sleepers; for they say the former were three men who were driven by ill weather into a cave for shelter, and were shut in there by the falling down of a vast stone, which stopped the cave’s mouth; but on their begging GOD’S mercy, and their relating each of them a meritorious action which they hoped might entitle them to it, were miraculously delivered by the rock’s rending in sunder to give them passage.7

7 Al Beidâwi, ex trad Noomân Ebn Bashir.

t viz., Of the sleepers themselves, or others, who were divided in opinion as to the length of their stay in the cave.
u For they, like other idolaters, worshipped the true GOD and idols also.8

8 Idem.

x Lest it should be offensive to them, the cave opening towards the south.1

1 Idem.

y i.e., In the midst of it, where they were incommoded neither by the heat of the sun nor the closeness of the cave.2

2 Idem.

z Because of their having their eyes open, or their frequent turning themselves from one side to the other.3

3 Idem.

a Lest their lying so long on the ground should consume their flesh.4

4 Idem, Jallalo’ddin.

b This dog had followed them as they passed by him when they fled to the cave, and they drove him away; whereupon GOD caused him to speak, and he said, I love those who are dear unto God; go to sleep therefore, and I will guard you. But some say, it was a dog belonging to a shepherd who followed them, and that the dog followed the shepherd; which opinion is supported by reading, as some do, câlebohom, their dog’s master instead of calbohom, their dog.5 Jallalo’ddin adds, that the dog behaved as his masters did, in turning himself, in sleeping, and in waking.
      The Mohammedans have a great respect for this dog, and allow him a place in paradise with some other favourite brutes; and they have a sort of proverb which they use in speaking of a covetous person, that he would not throw a bone to the dog of the seven sleepers; nay, it is said that they have the superstition to write his name, which they suppose to be Katmîr (though some, as is observed above, think he was called al Rakîm), on their letters which go far, or which pass the sea, as a protection, or kind of talisman, to preserve them from miscarriage.6

5 Idem.
6 La Roque, Voy. de l’Arabie Heur. p. 74. Vide D’Herbel. ubi sup.

c For that GOD had given them terrible countenances; or else because of the largeness of their bodies, or the horror of the place.
      It is related that the Khalif Moâwiyah, in an expedition he made against Natolia, passed by the cave of the seven sleepers, and would needs send somebody into it, notwithstanding Ebn Abbâs remonstrated to him the danger of it, saying, That a better man than him (meaning the prophet) had been forbidden to enter it, and repeated this verse; but the men the Khaliff sent in had no sooner entered the cave, than they were struck dead by a burning wind.7

7 Al Beidâwi.

d As they entered the cave in the morning, and waked about noon, they at first imagined they had slept half a day, or a day and a half at most; but when they found their nails and hair grown very long, they used these words.8

8 Idem.

e Which some commentators suppose was Tarsus.

f The long sleep of these young men, and their waking after so many years, being a representation of the state of those who die, and are afterwards raised to life.
g i.e., Concerning the resurrection; some saying that the souls only should be raised, others, that they should be raised with the body; or, concerning the sleepers, after they were really dead; one saying, that they were dead, and another, they were only asleep: or else concerning the erecting a building over them, as it follows in the next words; some advising a dwelling-house to be built there, and others a temple.1
h When the young man who was sent into the city, went to pay for the provision he had bought, his money was so old, being the coin of Decianus, that they imagined he had found a treasure, and carried him before the prince, who was a Christian, and having heard his story, sent some with him to the cave, who saw and spoke to the others: after which they fell asleep again and died; and the prince ordered them to be buried in the same place, and built a chapel over them.
i This was the opinion of al Seyid, a Jacobite Christian of Najrân.
j Which was the opinion of certain Christians, and particularly of a Nestorian prelate.
k And this is the true opinion.2
l It is said, that when the Koreish, by the direction of the Jews, put the three questions above mentioned to Mohammed, he bid them come to him the next day, and he would give them an answer, but added not, if it please God; for which reason he had the mortification to wait above ten days before any revelation was vouchsafed him concerning those matters, so that the Koreish triumphed, and bitterly reproached him as a liar: but at length Gabriel brought him directions what he should say; with this admonition, however, that he should not be so confident for the future.3
m i.e., Give the glory to him, and ask pardon for thy omission, in case thou forget to say, If it please God.
n Jallalo’ddin supposes the whole space was three hundred solar years, and that the odd nine are added to reduce them to lunar years.
      Some think these words are introduced as spoken by the Christians, who differed among themselves about the time; one saying it was three hundred years, and another, three hundred and nine years.4 The interval between the reign of Decius, and that of Theodosius the younger, in whose time the sleepers are said to have awaked, will not allow them to have slept quite two hundred years; though Mohammed is somewhat excusable, since the number assigned by Simeon Metaphrastes5 is three hundred and seventy-two years.
o This is an ironical expression, intimating the folly and madness of man’s presuming to instruct GOD.6

1 Idem. 2 Idem, Jallalo’ddin. 3 Al Beidâwi. 4 Idem. 5 Ubi sup. 6 Al Beidâwi. Jallalo’ddin
p As the unbelievers would persuade thee to do.1

1 Iidem.

q That is, Despise not the poor believers because of their meanness, nor honour the rich because of their wealth and grandeur.
r The person more particularly intended here, it is said, was Ommeya Ebn Khalf, who desired Mohammed to discard his indigent companions, out of respect to the Koreish. See chapter 6 p. 93.
s Literally of Eden. See chapter 9, p. 142, 143.
t Though these seem to be general characters only, designed to represent the different end of the wicked, and of the good; yet it is supposed, by some, that two particular persons are here meant. One says they were two Israelites and brothers, who had a considerable sum left them by their father, which they divided between them; and that one of them, being an unbeliever, bought large fields and possessions with his portion, while the other, who was a true believer, disposed of his to pious uses; but that in the end, the former was ruined, and the latter prospered. Another thinks they were two men of the tribe of Makhzûm: the one named al Aswad Ebn Abd’al Ashadd, an infidel; and the other Abu Salma Ebn Abd’allah, the husband of Omm Salma (whom the prophet married after his death), and a true believer.2

2 Al Beidâwi.

u Carrying his companion with him, out of ostentation, and to mortify him with the view of his large possessions.3

3 Idem.

x Vainly imagining that his prosperity was not so much the free gift of GOD, as due to his merit.4

4 Idem

y For being torn up by the roots, they shall fly in the air, and be reduced to atoms.1

1 Idem. See Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. p. 64.

z See chapter 2, p. 5, and chapter 7, p. 105, &c.
a Hence some imagine the genii are a species of angels: others suppose the devil to have been originally a genius, which was the occasion of his rebellion, and call him the father of the genii, whom he begat after his fall;2 it being a constant opinion among the Mohammedans, that the angels are impeccable, and do not propagate their species.3

2 Jallalo’ddin, &c.
3 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. p. 56, &c.

b i.e., Between the idolaters and their false gods. Some suppose the meaning is no more than that GOD will set them at variance and division.
c viz., Of their calamity at Bedr (for the Koreish are the infidels here intended), or their punishment at the resurrection.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

d That is, the towns of the Adites, Thamûdites, Sodomites, &c.
e The original word properly signifies the space of eighty years and upwards. To explain this long passage the commentators tell the following story: They say that Moses once preaching to the people, they admired his knowledge and eloquence so much, that they asked him whether he knew any man in the world who was wiser than himself; to which he answered in the negative: whereupon GOD, in a revelation, having reprehended him for his vanity (though some pretend that Moses asked GOD the question of his own accord), acquainted him that his servant al Khedr was more knowing than he; and, at Moses’ request told him he might find that person at a certain rock, where the two seas met; directing him to take a fish with him in a basket, and that where he missed the fish, that was the place. Accordingly Moses set out, with his servant Joshua, in search of al Khedr; which expedition is here described.2

2 Idem, Al Zamakhshari, Al Bokhari, in Sonna, &c.

f viz., Those of Persia and Greece. Some fancy that the meeting of Moses and al Khedr is here intended, as of the two seas of knowledge.3

3 Idem.

g Moses forgot to inquire concerning it, and Joshua forgot to tell him when he missed it. It is said that when they came to the rock, Moses falling asleep, the fish, which was roasted, leaped out of the basket into the sea; some add, that Joshua making the ablution at the fountain of life (of which immediately), some of the water happened to be sprinkled on the fish, which immediately restored it to life.1

1 Idem.
h The word here translated freely, signifying also a pipe or arched canal for conveyance of water, some have imagined that the water of the sea was miraculously kept from touching the body of the fish, which passed through it as under an arch.2

2 Idem.

i This person, according to the general opinion, was the prophet al Khedr; whom the Mohammedans usually confound with Phineas, Elias, and St. George, saying that his soul passed by a metempsychosis successively through all three. Some, however, say his true name was Balya Ebn Malcân, and that he lived in the time of Afridûn, one of the ancient kings of Persia, and that he preceded Dhu’lkarnein, and lived to the time of Moses. They suppose al Khedr, having found out the fountain of life and drunk thereof, became immortal; and that he had therefore this name from his flourishing and continual youth.3
      Part of these fictions they took from the Jews, some of whom also fancy Phineas was Elias.4

3 Idem. Vide D’Herbelot, Bibl. Orient. Art. Khedher, Septemcastrens. de Turcar. Moribus. Busbeq. Epist. I, p. 93, &c. Hotting. Hist. Orient. p. 58, &c., 99, &c., 292, &c.
4 R. Levi Ben Gerson in Append. l. I, Reg. I, 27.

j For al Khedr took an axe, and knocked out two of her planks.5

5 Al Beidâwi.

k By twisting his neck round, or dashing his head against a wall, or else by throwing him down and cutting his throat.6

6 Idem

l This city was Antioch; or, as some rather think, Obollah, near Basra, or else Bâjirwân in Armenia.1

1 Idem.

m By only stroking it with his hand; though others say he threw it down and rebuilt it.2

2 Idem.

n They were ten brothers, five of whom were past their labour by reason of their age.3

3 Idem.

o Named Jaland Ebn Karkar, or Minwâr Ebn Jaland al Azdi.4

4 Idem.

p It is said that they had afterwards a daughter, who was the wife and the mother of a prophet; and that her son converted a whole nation.5

5 Idem.

q Their names were Asram and Sarim.6

6 Idem.

r Or, the two-horned. The generality of the commentators7 suppose the person here meant to be Alexander the Great, or, as they call him, Iscander al Rûmi, king of Persia and Greece; but there are very different opinions as to the reason of this surname. Some think it was given him because he was king of the East and of the West, or because he had made expeditions to both those extreme parts of the earth; or else because he had two horns on his diadem, or two curls of hair, like horns, on his forehead; or, which is most probable, by reason of his great valour. Several modern writers8 rather suppose the surname was occasioned by his being represented in his coins and statues with horns, as the son of Jupiter Ammon; or else by his being compared by the prophet Daniel to a he-goat;9 though he is there represented with but one horn.10
      There are some good writers, however, who believe the prince intended in this passage of the Korân was not Alexander the Grecian, but another great conqueror, who bore the same name and surname, and was much more ancient than he, being contemporary with Abraham, and one of the kings of Persia of the first race;11 or, as others suppose, a king of Yaman, named Asaab Ebn al Râyesh.12
      They all agree he was a true believer, but whether he was a prophet or no, is a disputed point.

7 Idem, Al Zamakhshari, Jallalo’ddin, Yahya.
8 Scaliger, de Emend. temp. L’Empereur, not. in Jachiad. Dan. viii. 5. Gol. in Alfrag. p. 58, &c.
9 Schickard. Tarikh Reg. Pers. p. 73.
10 See Dan. viii.
11 Abulfeda, Khondemir, Tarikh Montakhab, &c. Vide D’Herbel. Bibl. Orient. Art. Escander.
12 Ex trad. Ebn Abbas. Vide Poc. Spec. p. 58.

s That is, it seemed so to him, when he came to the ocean, and saw nothing but water.1

1 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin.

t An unbelieving nation, who were clothed in the skins of wild beasts, and lived upon what the sea cast on shore.2

2 Iidem.

u For GOD gave Dhu’lkarnein his choice, either to destroy them for their infidelity, or to instruct them in the true faith; or, according to others, either to put them to the sword, or to take them captives: but the words which follow confirm the former interpretation, by which it appears he chose to invite them to the true religion, and to punish only the disobedient and incredulous.
x i.e., That part of the habitable world on which the sun first rises.
y Who had neither clothes nor houses, their country not bearing any buildings, but dwelt in holes underground, into which they retreated from the heat of the sun.3 Jallalo’ddin says they were the Zenj, a black nation lying south-west of Ethiopia. They seem to be the Troglodytes of the ancients.

3 Iidem.

z Between which Dhu’lkarnein built the famous rampart, mentioned immediately, against the irruptions of Gog and Magog. These mountains are situate in Armenia and Adherbijân, or, according to others, much more northwards, on the confines of Turkestan.4 The relation of a journey taken to this rampart, by one who was sent on purpose to view it by the Khalîf al Wathec, may be seen in D’Herbelot.5

4 Al Beidâwi.
5 Bibl. Orient. Art. Jagiouge.

a By reason of the strangeness of their speech and their slowness of apprehension; wherefore they were obliged to make use of an interpreter.6

6 Al Beidâwi.

b The Arabs call them Yajûi and Majûj, and say they are two nations or tribes descended from Japhet the son of Noah, or, as others write, Gog are a tribe of the Turks, and Magog of those of Gilân,7 the Geli and Gelæ of Ptolemy and Strabo.8
      It is said these barbarous people made their irruptions into the neighbouring countries in the spring, and destroyed and carried off all the fruits of the earth; and some pretend they were man-eaters.9

7 Idem. Vide D’Herbel. ubi supra.
8 V. Gol. in Alfrag. p. 207.
9 Al Beidâwi.

c The commentators say the wall was built in this manner. They dug till they found water, and having laid the foundation of stone and melted brass, they built the super-structure of large pieces of iron, between which they laid wood and coals, till they equalled the height of the mountains; and then setting fire to the combustibles, by the help of large bellows, they made the iron red hot, and over it poured melted brass, which filling up the vacancies between the pieces of iron, rendered the whole work as firm as a rock. Some tell us that the whole was built of stones joined by cramps of iron, on which they poured melted brass to fasten them.1

1 Idem, &c.
d That is, when the time shall come for Gog and Magog to break forth from their confinement; which shall happen sometime before the resurrection.2

2 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. p. 63.

e These words represent either the violent irruption of Gog and Magog, or the tumultuous assembly of all creatures, men, genii, and brutes, at the resurrection.3

3 See ib. p. 67.

f Several circumstances relating to the Virgin Mary being mentioned in this chapter, her name was pitched upon for the title.
g Except the verse of Adoration.
h See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. III. p. 46, 47.
i See chapter 3. p. 36, &c.
j These were his brother’s sons, who were very wicked men, and Zacharias was apprehensive lest, after his death, instead of confirming the people in the true religion, they should seduce them to idolatry.1 And some commentators imagine that he made this prayer in private, lest his nephews should overhear him.

1 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin.

k viz., In holiness and knowledge; or in the government and superintendence of the Israelites. There are some who suppose it is not the patriarch who is here meant, but another Jacob, the brother of Zacharias, or of Imrân Ebn Mâthân, of the race of Solomon.2

2 Iidem.

l For he was the first who bore the name of John, or Yahya (as the Arabs pronounce it); which fancy seems to be occasioned by the words of St. Luke misunderstood, that none of Zacharias’s kindred was called by that name:3 for otherwise John, or, as it is written in Hebrew, Johanan, was a common name among the Jews.
      Some expositors avoid this objection, by observing that the original word samiyyan signifies, not only one who is actually called by the same name, but also one who by reason of his possessing the like qualities and privileges, deserves, or may pretend to the same name.

3 Luke i. 61.

m The Mohammedan traditions greatly differ as to the age of Zacharias at this time; we have mentioned one already:4 Jallalo’ddin says, he was an hundred and twenty, and his wife ninety-eight; and the Sonna takes notice of several other opinions.
n Some say he wrote the following words on the ground.

o Or, as the word also signifies, The love of alms-deeds.
p viz., To the eastern part of the temple; or to a private chamber in the house, which opened to the east: whence, says al Beidâwi, the Christians pray towards that quarter.
      There is a tradition, that when the virgin was grown to years of puberty, she used to leave her apartment in the temple, and retire to Zacharias’s house to her aunt, when her courses came upon her; and so soon as she was clean, she returned again to the temple: and that at the time of the angel’s visiting her, she was at her aunt’s on the like occasion, and was sitting to wash herself, in an open place, behind a veil to prevent her being seen.1 But others more prudently suppose the design of her retirement was to pray.2

1 Yahya, Al Beidâwi.
2 Al Zamakh.

q Like a full-grown but beardless youth. Al Beidâwi, not contented with having given one good reason why he appeared in that form, viz., to moderate her surprise, that she might hear his message with less shyness, adds, that perhaps it might be to raise an emotion in her, and assist her conception.
r For Gabriel blew into the bosom of her shift, which he opened with his fingers,3 and his breath reaching her womb, caused the conception.4 The age of the Virgin Mary at the time of her conception was thirteen, or, as others say, ten; and she went six, seven, eight, or nine months with him, according to different traditions; though some say the child was conceived at its full growth of nine months, and that she was delivered of him within an hour after.5

3 Yahya.
4 Jallalo’ddin, Al Beidâwi.
5 Al Beidâwi, Yahya.

s To conceal her delivery, she went out of the city by night, to a certain mountain.
t The palm to which she fled, that she might lean on it in her travail, was a withered trunk, without any head or verdure, and this happened in the winter season; notwithstanding which it miraculously supplied her with fruits for her refreshment;6 as is mentioned immediately.
      It has been observed, that the Mohammedan account of the delivery of the Virgin Mary very much resembles that of Latona, as described by the poets,7 not only in this circumstance of their laying hold on a palm-tree8 (though some say Latona embraced an olive-tree, or an olive and a palm, or else two laurels), but also in that of their infants speaking; which Apollo is fabled to have done in the womb.9

6 Iidem, Al Zamakh.
7 Vide Sikii not. in Evang. Infant. p. 9, 21, &c.
8 Homer. Hymn. in Apoll. Callimach. Hymn. in Delum.
9 Callimach. ibid. See Kor. chapter 3, p. 57.

u This some imagine to have been the child himself; but others suppose it was Gabriel who stood somewhat lower than she did.10 According to a different reading this passage may be rendered, And he called to her from beneath her, &c. And some refer the pronoun, translated her, to the palm-tree; and then it should be beneath it, &c.

10 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin.
x And accordingly she had no sooner spoken it than the dry trunk revived, and shot forth green leaves, and a head loaded with ripe fruit.
y Literally, thine eye.
z During which she was not to speak to anybody, unless to acquaint them with the reason of her silence: and some suppose she did that by signs.
a Several Christian writers think the Korân stands convicted of a manifest falsehood in this particular, but I am afraid the Mohammedans may avoid the charge;1 as they do by several answers. Some say the Virgin Mary had really a brother named Aaron, who had the same father, but a different mother; others suppose Aaron the brother of Moses is here meant, but say Mary is called his sister, either because she was of the Levitical race (as by her being related to Elizabeth, it should seem she was), or by way of comparison; others say that it was a different person of that name who was contemporary with her, and conspicuous for his good or bad qualities, and that they likened her to him either by way of commendation of of reproach,2 &c.

1 See chapter 3, p. 34, 35.
2 Al Zamakh., Al Beidâwi. Jallalo’ddin, Yahya, &c.

b These were the first words which were put into the mouth of JESUS, to obviate the imagination of his partaking of the divine nature, or having a right to the worship of mankind, on account of his miraculous speaking so soon after his birth.3

3 Al Beidâwi, &c.

c This expression may either be referred to JESUS, as the Word of GOD; or to the account just given of him.
d These words are variously expounded; some taking them to express admiration4 at the quickness of those senses in the wicked, at the day of judgment, when they shall plainly perceive the torments prepared for them, though they have been deaf and blind in this life; and others supposing the words contain a threat to the unbelievers, of what they shall then hear and see; or else a command to Mohammed to lay before them the terrors of that day.5

4 See chapter 18, p. 220.
5 Al Beidâwi.

e i.e., Alone surviving, when all creatures shall be dead and annihilated. See chapter 15, p. 192.

f See chapter 6, p. 95, &c.
g By flying to Harrân, and thence to Palestine.
h Literally, We granted them a lofty tongue of truth.
i Or, as some expound it, And we raise him on high; for, say they, he was raised to so great an elevation, that he heard the creaking of the pen writing on the table of GOD’S decrees.1

1 Idem.

j Being celebrated on that account; and particularly for his behaving with that resignation and constancy which he had promised his father, on his receiving GOD’S command to sacrifice him;2 for the Mohammedans say it was Ismael, and not Isaac, whom he was commanded to offer.

2 Idem.

k Or Enoch, the great-grandfather of Noah, who had that surname from his great knowledge; for he was favoured with no less than thirty books of divine revelations, and was the first who wrote with a pen, and studied the sciences of astronomy and arithmetic, &c.3

3 Idem, Jallalo’ddin, &c.

      The learned Bartolocci endeavours to show, from the testimonies of the ancient Jews, that Enoch, surnamed Edris, was a very different person from the Enoch of Moses, and many ages younger.4

4 Bartol. Bibl. Rabb. part 2, p. 845. 5 Iidem, Abulfeda.

l Some understand by this the honour of the prophetic office, and his familiarity with GOD; but others suppose his translation is here meant: for they say that he was taken up by GOD into heaven at the age of three hundred and fifty, having first suffered death, and been restored to life; and that he is now alive in one of the seven heavens, or in paradise.5

5 Iidem, Abulfeda.

m i.e., Words of peace and comfort; or the salutations of the angels,1 &c.

1 See chapter 10, p. 151.

n These are generally supposed to have been the words of the angel Gabriel, in answer to Mohammed’s complaint for his long delay of fifteen, or, according to another tradition, of forty days, before he brought him instructions what solution he should give to the questions which had been asked him concerning the sleepers, Dhu’lkarnein, and the spirit.2
      Others, however, are of opinion that they are the words which the godly will use at their entrance into paradise; and that their meaning is, We take up our abode here at the command and through the mercy of God alone, who ruleth all things, past, future, and present; and who is not forgetful of the works of his servants.3

2 See before, p. 118, 119.
3 Al Beidâwi.

o That is, Deserving, or having a right to the name and attributes of GOD.
p Some suppose a particular person is here meant, namely, Obba Ebn Khalf.4

4 See chapter 16, p. 195.

q It is said that every infidel will appear, at the day judgment, chained to the devil who seduced him.5

5 Al Beidâwi.

r Hence, says al Beidâwi, it appears that GOD will pardon some of the rebellious people. But perhaps the distinguishing the unbelievers into different classes, in order to consign them to different places and degrees of torment, is here meant.
s viz., The more obstinate and perverse, and especially the heads of sects, who will suffer double punishment for their own errors and their seducing of others.
t For the true believers must also pass by or through hell, but the fire will be damped and the flames abated, so as not to hurt them, though it will lay hold on the others. Some, however, suppose that the words intend no more than the passage over the narrow bridge, which is laid over hell.6

6 Idem. See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. p. 71.
u viz., Of us, or of you. When the Koreish were unable to produce a composition to equal the Korân, they began to glory in their wealth and nobility, valuing themselves highly on that account, and despising the followers of Mohammed.
x This passage was revealed on account of al As Ebn Wayel, who being indebted to Khabbâb, when he demanded the money, refused to pay it, unless he would deny Mohammed; to which proposal Khabbâb answered, that he would never deny that prophet, neither alive, nor dead, nor when he should be raised to life at the last day; therefore replied al As, when thou art raised again, come to me, for I shall then have abundance of riches, and children, and I will pay you.1

1 Idem, Jallalo’ddin.

y i.e., He shall be obliged to leave all his wealth and his children behind him at his death.
z viz., At the resurrection; when the idolaters shall disclaim their idols, and the idols their worshippers, and shall mutually accuse one another.2

2 See chapter 6, p. 90; chapter 10, p. 152, 153, &c.

a Or, the contrary; that is to say, a disgrace instead of an honour.
b That is, except he who shall be a subject properly disposed to receive that favour, by having possessed Islâm. Or, the words may also be translated, according to another exposition, They shall not obtain the intercession of any, except the intercession of him, &c. Or else, None shall be able to make intercession for others, except he who shall have received a covenant (or permission) from God; i.e., who shall be qualified for that office by faith, and good works, according to GOD’s promise, or shall have special leave given him by GOD for that purpose.3

3 Al Beidâwi. See chapter 2, p. 28, &c.

c viz., The love of GOD and all the inhabitants of heaven. Some suppose this verse was revealed to comfort the Moslems who were hated and despised at Mecca, on account of their faith, by the promise of their gaining the love and esteem of mankind in a short time.
d The signification of these letters, which being prefixed to the chapter are therefore taken for the title, is uncertain.1 Some, however, imagine they stand for Ya rajol, i.e. O man! which interpretation, seeming not easily to be accounted for from the Arabic, is by a certain tradition deduced from the Ethiopic:2 or for Ta, i.e. tread; telling us that Mohammed, being employed in watching and prayer the night this passage was revealed, stood on one foot only, but was hereby commanded to ease himself by setting both feet to the ground. Others fancy the first letter stands for Tûba, beatitude; and the latter for Hawiyat, the name of the lower apartment of hell. Tah is also an interjection commanding silence, and may properly enough be used in this place.

1 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. III. p. 46, &c.
2 Moham. Ebn Abd al Baki, ex trad. Acremæ Ebn Abi Sofian.

e Either by reason of thy zealous solicitude for the conversion of the infidels, or thy fatiguing thyself by watching and other religious exercises; for, it seems, the Koreish urged the extraordinary fatigues he underwent in those respects, as the consequence of his having left their religion.3

3 Al Beidâwi.

f See chapter 7, p. 123, and chapter 17, p. 216.
g The relation of the story of Moses, which takes up the greatest part of this chapter, was designed to encourage Mohammed, by his example, to discharge the prophetic office with firmness of mind, as being assured of receiving the like assistance from GOD: for it is said this chapter was one of the first that were revealed.4

4 Idem.

h The commentators say, that Moses having obtained leave of Shoaib, or Jethro, his father-in-law, to visit his mother, departed with his family from Midian towards Egypt; but coming to the valley of Towa, wherein Mount Sinai stands, his wife fell in labour, and was delivered of a son, in a very dark and snowy night; he had also lost his way, and his cattle were scattered from him; when on a sudden he saw a fire by the side of a mountain, which on his nearer approaching he found burning in a green bush.1

1 Idem.

i This was a mark of humility and respect: though some fancy there was some uncleanness in the shoes themselves, because they were made of the skin of an ass not dressed.2

2 Idem.

j As to drive away wild beasts from my flock, to carry my bottle of water on, to stick up and hang my upper garment on to shade me from the sun; and several other uses enumerated by the commentators.
k Which was at first no bigger than the rod, but afterwards swelled to a prodigious size.3

3 Idem.

l When Moses saw the serpent move about with great nimbleness, and swallow stones and trees, he was greatly terrified, and fled from it; but recovering his courage at these words of GOD, he had the boldness to take the serpent by the jaws.4

4 Idem.

m See chapter 7, p. 116.
n For Moses had an impediment in his speech, which was occasioned by the following accident. Pharaoh one day carrying him in his arms, when a child, he suddenly laid hold of his bear, and plucked it in a very rough manner, which put Pharaoh into such a passion, that he ordered him to be put to death: but Asia, his wife, representing to him that he was but a child, who could not distinguish between a burning coal and a ruby, he ordered the experiment to be made; and a live coal and a ruby being set before Moses, he took the coal and put it into his mouth, and burnt his tongue; and thereupon he was pardoned. This is a Jewish story a little altered.5

5 Vide Shalsh. Hakkab, p. 11.

o The Arabic word is Wazîr, which signifies one who has the chief administration of affairs under a prince.

p The commentators are not agreed by what means this revelation was made; whether by private inspiration, by a dream, by a prophet, or by an angel.
q The commentators say, that his mother accordingly made an ark of the papyrus, and pitched it, and put in some cotton; and having laid the child therein, committed it to the river, a branch of which went into Pharaoh’s garden: that the stream carried the ark thither into a fishpond, at the head of which Pharaoh was then sitting, with his wife Asia, the daughter of Mozahem; and that the king, having commanded it to be taken up and opened, and finding in it a beautiful child, took a fancy to it, and ordered it to be brought up.1
      Some writers mention a miraculous preservation of Moses before he was put into the ark; and tell us, that his mother having hid him from Pharaoh’s officers in an oven, his sister, in her mother’s absence, kindled a large fire in the oven to heat it, not knowing the child was there, but that he was afterwards taken out unhurt.2

1 Al Beidâwi.
2 Abulfeda, &c.

r That is, I inspired the love of thee into the hearts of those who saw thee, and particularly into the heart of Pharaoh.
s The Mohammedans pretend that several nurses were brought, but the child refused to take the breast of any, till his sister Miriam, who went to learn news of him, told them she would find a nurse, and brought his mother.3

3 Al Beidâwi.

t Moses killed an Egyptian, in defence of an Israelite, and escaped the danger of being punished for it, by flying to Midian, which was eight days’ journey distant from Mesr.4
      The Jews pretend he was actually imprisoned for the fact, and condemned to be beheaded, but that, when he should have suffered, his neck became as hard as ivory, and the sword rebounded on the executioner.5

4 Idem.
5 Shalsh Hakkab. p. 11.

u For he was obliged to abandon his country and his friends, and to travel several days, in great terror and want of necessary provisions, to seek a refuge among strangers; and was afterwards forced to serve for hire, to gain a livelihood.
x i.e., Ten.6

6 Al Beidâwi.

y Aaron being by this time come out to meet his brother, either by divine inspiration, or having notice of his design to return to Egypt.7

7 Idem.

z viz., As to happiness or misery after death.
a Which was probably the first day of their new year.
b By saying the miracles performed in his name are the effects of magic.
c They rubbed them over with quicksilver, which being wrought upon by the heat of the sun, caused them to move.1 See chapter 7, p. 116.

1 Idem.

d See Ibid.

e Literally, gardens of Eden; see chapter 9, p. 142, 143.
f The expositors add, that the sea was divided into twelve separate paths, one for each tribe:1 a fable borrowed from the Jews.2

1 Idem, Abulfed. in Hist.
2 Vide R. Eliezer, Pirke, chapter 42.

g See chapter 2, p. 7.
h By ingratitude, excess, or insolent behaviour.
i For Moses, it seems, outwent the seventy elders, who had been chosen, in obedience to the divine command, to accompany him to the mount,3 and appeared before GOD while they were at some, though no great, distance behind him.

3 See chapter 2, p. 6, 7; chapter 7, p. 120, &c.

j They continued in the worship of the true GOD for the first twenty days of Moses’s absence, which, by taking the nights also into their reckoning, they computed to be forty, and at their expiration concluded they had stayed the full time which Moses had commanded them, and so fell into the worship of the golden calf.4

4 Al Beidâwi.

k This was not his proper name, but he had this appellation because he was of a certain tribe among the Jews called Samaritans (wherein the Mohammedans strangely betray their ignorance in history); though some say he was a proselyte, but a hypocritical one, and originally of Kirmân, or some other country. His true name was Moses, or Mûsa, Ebn Dhafar.5
      Selden is of opinion that this person was no other than Aaron himself, (who was really the maker of the calf), and that he is here called al Sâmeri, from the Hebrew verb shamar, to keep;1 because he was the Keeper or Guardian of the children of Israel during his brother’s absence in the mount; which is a very ingenious conjecture, not absolutely inconsistent with the text of the Korân (though Mohammed seems to have mistaken al Sâmeri for the name of a different person), and offers a much more probable origin of that appellation, than to derive it, as the Mohammedans do, from the Samaritans, who were not formed into a people, nor bore that name till many ages after.

5 Idem.
1 Selden, de Diis Syris, Synt. I, chapter 4.

l viz., After he had completed his forty days’ stay in the mount, and had received the law.2

2 Al Beidâwi.

m i.e., The law, containing a light and certain direction to guide you in the right way.
n These ornaments were rings, bracelets, and the like, which the Israelities had borrowed of the Egyptians, under pretence of decking themselves out for some feast, and had not returned to them; or, as some think, what they had stripped from the dead bodies of the Egyptians, cast on shore by the sea: and al Sameri, conceiving them unlawful to be kept, and the occasion of much wickedness, persuaded Aaron to let him collect them from the people; which being done, he threw them all into the fire, to melt them down into one mass.3
      It is observable, that the Mohammedans generally suppose the cast metal’s coming forth in the shape of a calf, was beside the expectation of al Sameri, who had not made a mould of that figure: and that when Aaron excuses himself to his brother, in the pentateuch, he seems as if he would persuade him it was an accident.4

3 Idem. Vide D’Herbel. Bibl. Orient. p. 650, and Kor. chapter 2, p. 6, &c.
4 See Exod. xxxii. 24.

o See chapter 7, p. 119, note n.
p By these words Moses reprehends Aaron for not seconding his zeal in taking arms against the idolaters; or for not coming after him to the mountain, to acquaint him with their rebellion.
q i.e., Lest if I had taken arms against the worshippers of the calf, thou shouldest say that I had raised a sedition; or if I had gone after thee, thou shouldest blame me for abandoning my charge, and not waiting thy return to rectify what was amiss.
r Or, I knew that which they knew not; viz., That the messenger sent to thee from GOD was a pure spirit, and that his footsteps gave life to whatever they touched; being no other than the angel Gabriel, mounted on the horse of life: and therefore I made use of the dust of his feet to animate the molten calf. It is said al Sâmeri knew the angel, because he had saved and taken care of him when a child and exposed by his mother for fear of Pharaoh.1

1 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin.
s See chapter 2, p. 6.
t Lest they infect thee with a burning fever: for that was the consequence of any man’s touching him, and the same happened to the persons he touched; for which reason he was obliged to avoid all communication with others, and was also shunned by them, wandering in the desert like a wild beast.2
      Hence, it is concluded that a tribe of Samaritan Jews, said to inhabit a certain isle in the Red Sea, are the descendants of our al Sâmeri; because it is their peculiar mark of distinction, at this day, to use the same words, viz., La mesâs, i.e., Touch me not, to those they meet.3 It is not improbable that this story may owe its rise to the known hatred borne by the Samaritans to the Jews, and their superstitiously avoiding to have any commerce with them, or any other strangers.4

2 Iidem.
3 Vide Geogr. Nub. p. 45.
4 Vide Selden, ubi sup.

u Or, as the word may also be translated, We will file it down; but the other is the more received interpretation.
x See chapter 6, p. 91.
y For this, with the Arabs, is one mark of an enemy, or a person they abominate; to say a man has a black liver (though I think we express our aversion by the term white-livered), reddish whiskers and grey eyes, being a periphrasis for a foe, and particularly a Greek, which nation were the most inveterate enemies of the Arabs, and have usually hair and eyes of those colours.5 The original word, however, signifies also those who are squint-eyed, or even blind of a suffusion.

5 Al Beidâwi, Jawhari, in Lex.

z viz., In the world; or, in the grave.
a See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. p. 64.
b See ibid. p. 56.

c Or, Except unto him, &c. See chapter 19, p. 232.
d The original word properly expresses the humility and dejected looks of captives in the presence of their conqueror.
e Mohammed is here commanded not to be impatient at any delay in Gabriel’s bringing the divine revelations, or not to repeat it too fast after the angel, so as to overtake him before he had finished the passage. But some suppose the prohibition relates to the publishing any verse before the same was perfectly explained to him.1

1 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin

f Adam’s so soon forgetting the divine command, has occasioned some Arab etymologists to derive the word Insân, i.e., man, from nasiya, to forget; and has also given rise to the following proverbial saying, Awwalo nâsin awwalo ‘nnâsi, that is, The first forgetful person was the first of men; alluding to the like sound of the words
g See chapter 2, p. 4, &c.; chapter 7, p. 105, &c.
h See chapter 7, p. 106.
i See chapter 2, p. 5.
j See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. p. 66.

k Seeing the footsteps of their destruction; as of the tribes of Al, and Thamûd.
l i.e., Evening and morning; which times are repeated as the principal hours of prayer. But some suppose these words intend the prayer of noon; the first half of the day ending, and the second half beginning at that time.1

1 Iidem.

m That is, do not envy or covet their pomp and prosperity in this world.2

2 See chapter 15, p. 194.

n viz., The reward laid up for thee in the next life: or the gift of prophecy, and the revelations with which GOD had favoured thee.
o It is said that when Mahommed’s family were in any strait or affliction, he used to order them to go to prayers, and to repeat this verse.3

3 Al Beidâwi.

p The chapter bears this title, because some particular relating to several of the ancient prophets are here recited.
q i.e., Concerning the present posture of affairs, by way of consultation: or, that ye may be examined as to your deeds, that ye may receive the reward thereof.1

1 Idem, Jallalo’ddin, al Zamakh.

r It is related that a prophet was sent to the inhabitants of certain towns in Yaman, but instead of hearkening to his remonstrances, they killed him: upon which GOD delivered them into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar, who put them to the sword: a voice at the same time crying from heaven, Vengeance for the blood of the prophets! Upon which they repented, and used the words of this passage.

s But for the manifestation of our power and wisdom to people of understanding, that they may seriously consider the wonders of the creation, and direct their actions to the attainment of future happiness, neglecting the vain pomp and fleeting pleasures of this world.
t viz., We had sought our pleasure in our own perfections; or, in the spiritual beings which are in our immediate presence; and not in raising of material buildings, with painted roofs, and fine floors, which is the diversion of man.
      Some think the original word, translated diversion, signifies in this place a wife, or a child; and that the passage is particularly levelled against the Christians.1

1 Iidem.

u That is, the whole creation would necessarily fall into confusion and be overturned, by the competition of such mighty antagonists.
x i.e., This is the constant doctrine of all the sacred books; not only of the Korân, but of those which were revealed in former ages; all of them bearing witness to the great and fundamental truth of the unity of God.
y This passage was revealed on account of the Khozâites, who held the angels to be the daughters of GOD.
z i.e., They presume not to say anything, until he hath spoken it; behaving as servants who know their duty.
a That is, They were one continued mass of matter, till we separated them, and divided the heaven into seven heavens, and the earth into as many stories; and distinguished the various orbs of the one, and the different climates of the other, &c. Or, as some choose to translate the words, The heavens and the earth were shut up, and we opened the same; their meaning being, that the heavens did not rain, nor the earth produce vegetables, till GOD interposed his power.2

2 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin.

b See chapter 16, p. 196.

c This passage was revealed when the infidels said, We expect to see Mohammed die, like the rest of mankind.
d Denying his unity; or rejecting his apostles and the scriptures which were given for their instruction, and particularly the Korân.
e Being hasty and inconsiderate.1 It is said this passage was revealed on account of al Nodar Ebn al Hareth, when he desired Mohammed to hasten the divine vengeance with which he threatened the unbelievers.2

1 See chapter 17, p. 208, &c.
2 Al Beidâwi.

f Arab. ‘al Forkân. See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. III. p. 44.

g viz., The ten books of divine revelations which were given him.1

1 See the Prel. Disc. Sect. IV. p. 57.

h See chapter 6, p. 95, &c., chapter 19, p. 230, and chapter 2, p. 28.
i Abraham took his opportunity to do this while the Chaldeans were abroad in the fields, celebrating a great festival; and some say he hid himself in the temple: and when he had accomplished his design, that he might the more evidently convince them of their folly in worshipping them, he hung the axe, with which he had hewn and broken down the images, on the neck of the chief idol, named by some writers, Baal; as if he had been the author of all the mischief.2 For this story, which, though it be false, is not ill invented, Mohammed stands indebted to the Jews; who tell it with a little variation: for they say Abraham performed this exploit in his father’s shop, during his absence; that Terah, on his return, demanding the occasion of the disorder, his son told him that the idols had quarrelled and fallen together by the ears about an offering of fine flour, which had been brought them by an old woman; and that the father, finding he could not insist on the impossibility of what Abraham pretended, without confessing the impotence of his gods, fell into a violent passion and carried him to Nimrod that he might be exemplarily punished for his insolence.3

2 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin, &c. Vide Hyde, de Rel. vet. Pers. c. 2.
3 R. Gedal. in Shalshel. hakkab. p. 8 Vide Maimon. Yad hazzaka, c. I, de idol.

j That is, They became sensible of their folly.
k Literally, They were turned down upon their heads.
l Perceiving they could not prevail against Abraham by dint of argument, says al Beidâwi, they had recourse to persecution and torments. The same commentator tells us the person who gave this counsel was a Persian Curd,4 named Heyyûn, and that the earth opened and swallowed him up alive: some, however, say it was Andeshân, a Magian priest;5 and others, that it was Nimrod himself.

4 Vide D’Herbel. Bibl. Orient. Art. Dhokak. et Schultens, Indic. Geogr. in Vit. Saladini, voce Curdi.
5 Vide D’Herbel. p. 115.

m The commentators relate that, by Nimrod’s order, a large space was enclosed at Cûtha, and filled with a vast quantity of wood, which being set on fire burned so fiercely, that none dared to venture near it: then they bound Abraham, and putting him into an engine (which some suppose to have been of the devil’s invention), shot him into the midst of the fire; from which he was preserved by the angel Gabriel who was sent to his assistance; the fire burning only the cords with which he was bound.1 They add that the fire having miraculously lost its heat, in respect to Abraham, became an odoriferous air, and that the pile changed to a pleasant meadow; though it raged so furiously otherwise, that, according to some writers, about two thousand of the idolaters were consumed by it.2
      This story seems to have had no other foundation than that passage of Moses, where GOD is said to have brought Abraham out of Ur, of the Chaldees,3 misunderstood: which words the Jews, the most trifling interpreters of scripture, and some moderns who have followed them, have translated, out of the fire of the Chaldees; taking the word Ur, not for the proper name of a city, as it really is, but for an appellative, signifying fire.4 However, it is a fable of some antiquity, and credited, not only by the Jews, but by several of the eastern Christians; the twenty-fifth of the second Canûn, or January, being set apart in the Syrian calendar, for the commemoration of Abraham’s being cast into the fire.5
      The Jews also mention some other persecutions which Abraham underwent on account of his religion, particularly a ten years’ imprisonment;6 some saying he was imprisoned by Nimrod;7 and others, by his father Terah.8

1 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin, &c. Vide Morgan’s Mahometism Expl. v. I, chapter 4.
2 The MS Gospel of Barnabas, chapter 28.
3 Genes. xv. 7.
4 Vide Targ. Jonath. et Hierosol. in Genes. c. II et 15; et Hyde, de Rel. vet. Pers. p. 74, &c.
5 Vide Hyde, ibid., p. 73.
6 R. Eliez. Pirke, c. 26, &c. Vide Maim. More Nev. l. 3, c. 29.
7 Glossa Talmud. in Gemar. Bava bathra, 91, I.
8 In Aggada.

n Some tell us that Nimrod, on seeing this miraculous deliverance from his palace, cried out, that he would make an offering to the GOD of Abraham; and that he accordingly sacrificed four thousand kine.9 But, if he ever relented, he soon relapsed into his former infidelity: for he built a tower that he might ascend to heaven to see Abraham’s GOD; which being overthrown,10 still persisting in his design, he would be carried to heaven in a chest borne by four monstrous birds; but after wandering for some time through the air, he fell down on a mountain with such a force, that he made it shake, whereto (as some fancy) a passage in the Korân11 alludes, which may be translated, although their contrivances be such as to make the mountains tremble.
      Nimrod, disappointed in his design of making war with GOD, turned his arms against Abraham, who, being a great prince, raised forces to defend himself; but GOD, dividing Nimrod’s subjects, and confounding their language, deprived him of the greater part of his people, and plagued those who adhered to him by swarms of gnats, which destroyed almost all of them: and one of those gnats having entered into the nostril, or ear, of Nimrod, penetrated to one of the membranes of his brain, where, growing bigger every day, it gave him such intolerable pain, that he was obliged to cause his head to be beaten with a mallet, in order to procure some ease, which torture he suffered four hundred years; GOD being willing to punish, by one of the smallest of his creatures, him who insolently boasted himself to be lord of all.12 A Syrian calendar places the death of Nimrod, as if the time were well known, on the eighth of Thamûz, or July.13

9 Al Beidâwi.
10 See chapter 16, p. 196.
11 Chapter 14, p. 190.
12 Vide D’Herbel. Bibl. Orient. Art. Nemrod. Hyde, ubi supra.
13 Vide Hyde, ibid. p. 74.

o i.e., Palestine; in which country the greater part of the prophets appeared.
p See chapter 2, p. 14.
q See chapter 7, p. 113, &c., and chapter II, p. 166.
r See chapter 8, p. 132, note z.

s Some sheep, in their shepherd’s absence, having broken into another man’s field (or vineyard, say others), by night, and eaten up the corn, a dispute arose thereupon: and the cause being brought before David and Solomon, the former said, that the owner of the land should take the sheep, in compensation of the damage which he had sustained; but Solomon, who was then but eleven years old, was of opinion that it would be more just for the owner of the field to take only the profit of the sheep, viz., their milk, lambs, and wool, till the shepherd should, by his own labour and at his own expense, put the field into as good condition as when the sheep entered it; after which the sheep might be returned to their master. And this judgment of Solomon was approved by David himself as better than his own.1

1 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin, &c.

t Mohammed, it seems, taking the visions of the Talmudists for truth, believed that when David was fatigued with singing psalms, the mountains, birds, and other parts of the creation, both animate and inanimate, relieved him in chanting the divine praises. This consequence the Jews draw from the words of the psalmist, when he calls on the several parts of nature to join with him in celebrating the praise of GOD;2 it being their perverse custom to expound passages in the most literal manner, which cannot bear a literal sense without a manifest absurdity; and, on the contrary, to turn the plainest passages into allegorical fancies.

2 See Psalm cxlviii

u Men, before his inventing them, used to arm themselves with broad plates of metal. Lest this fable should want something of the marvellous, one writer tells us, that the iron which David used became soft in his hands like wax.3

3 Tarikh Montakkab. Vide D’Herbel. p. 284.

x Which transported his throne with prodigious swiftness. Some say, this wind was violent or gentle, just as Solomon pleased.4

4 See chapter 27.

y viz., Palestine: whither the wind brought back Solomon’s throne in the evening, after having carried it to a distant country in the morning.
z Such as the building of cities and palaces, the fetching of rare pieces of art from foreign countries, and the like.
a Lest they should swerve from his orders, or do mischief according to their natural inclinations. Jallalo’ddin says, that when they had finished any piece of building, they pulled it down before night, if they were not employed in something new.
b The Mohammedan writers tell us, that Job was of the race of Esau, and was blessed with a numerous family, and abundant riches; but that GOD proved him, by taking away all that he had, even his children, who were killed by the fall of a house; notwithstanding which he continued to serve GOD, and to return him thanks, as usual; that he was then struck with a filthy disease, his body being full of worms, and so offensive, that as he lay on the dunghill none could bear to come near him: that his wife, however (whom some call Rahmat the daughter of Ephraim the son of Joseph, and others Makhir the daughter of Manasses), attended him with great patience, supporting him with what she earned by her labour; but that the devil appeared to her one day, after having reminded her of her past prosperity, promised her that if she would worship him, he would restore all they had lost; whereupon she asked her husband’s consent, who was so angry at the proposal, that he swore, if he recovered, to give his wife a hundred stripes: that Job having pronounced the prayer recorded in this passage, GOD sent Gabriel, who taking him by the hand raised him up; and at the same time a fountain sprang up at his feet, of which having drank, the worms fell off his body, and washing therein he recovered his former health and beauty: that GOD then restored all to him double; his wife also becoming young and handsome again, and bearing him twenty-six sons; and that Job, to satisfy his oath, was directed by GOD to strike her one blow with a palm-branch having a hundred leaves.1 Some, to express the great riches which were bestowed on Job after his sufferings, say he had two threshing-floors, one for wheat, and the other for barley, and that GOD sent two clouds which rained gold on the one, and silver on the other, till they ran over.2 The traditions differ as to the continuance of Job’s calamities; one will have it to be eighteen years, another thirteen, another three, and another exactly seven years seven months and seven hours.

1 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin, Abu’lfeda, &c. See D’Herbel. Bibl. Orient. Art. Aicub.
2 Jallalo’ddin.

c See chapter 19, p. 230.
d Who this prophet was is very uncertain. One commentator will have him to be Elias, or Joshua, or Zacharias:3 another supposes him to have been the son of Job, and to have dwelt in Syria; to which some add, that he was first a very wicked man, but afterwards repenting, died; upon which these words appeared miraculously written over his door, Now hath God been merciful unto Dhu’lkefl:4 and a third tells us he was a person of great strictness of life, and one who used to decide causes to the satisfaction of all parties, because he was never in a passion: and that he was called Dhu’lkefl from his continual fasting, and other religious exercises.5

3 Al Beidâwi.
4 Abu’lf.
5 Jallalo’ddin.

e This is the surname of Jonas; which was given him because he was swallowed by the fish. See chapter 10, p. 157.
f Some suppose Jonas’s anger was against the Ninevites, being tired with preaching to them for so long a time, and greatly disgusted at their obstinacy and ill usage of him; but others, more agreeably to scripture, say the reason of his ill humour was GOD’S pardoning of that people on their repentance, and averting the judgment which Jonas had threatened them with, so that he thought he had been made a liar.6

6 Al Beidâwi.

g i.e., Out of the belly of the fish.
h See chapter 37.
i Namely, the Virgin Mary
j Being the same which was professed by all the prophets, and holy men and women, without any fundamental difference or variation.

k i.e., Until the resurrection; one sign of the approach whereof will be the eruption of those barbarians.1

1 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. p. 63.

l In this passage some copies, instead of hadabin, i.e., an elevated part of the earth, have jadathin, which signifies a grave; and if we follow the latter reading, the pronoun they must not refer to Gog and Magog, but to mankind in general.
m Because of their astonishment and the insupportable torments they shall endure; or, as others expound the words, They shall not hear therein anything which may give them the least comfort.
n One Ebn al Zabári objected to the preceding words, Both ye and that which ye worship besides GOD, shall be cast into hell, because, being general , they asserted an absolute falsehood; some of the objects of idolatrous worship being so far from any danger of damnation, that they were in the highest favour with GOD, as JESUS, Ezra, and the angels: wherefore this passage was revealed, excepting those who were predestined to salvation.2

2 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin.

o Whose office it is to write down the actions of every man’s life, which, at his death, he rolls up, as completed. Some pretend one of Mohammed’s scribes is here meant: and others take the word Sijil, or, as it is also written, Sijjill, for an appellative, signifying a book or written scroll; and accordingly render the passage, as a written scroll is rolled up.3

3 Iidem, &c.

p These words are taken from Psalm xxxvii. v. 29.
q Or, I have publicly declared unto you what I was commanded.
r viz., The losses and disgraces which ye shall suffer by the future successes of the Moslems; or, the day of judgment.

s Some ceremonies used at the pilgrimage of Mecca being mentioned in this chapter, gave occasion to the inscription.
t Some1 except two verses, beginning at these words, There are some men who serve GOD, in a wavering manner, &c. And others2 six verses, beginning at, These are two opposite parties, &c.

1 Jallalo’ddin.
2 Al Beidâwi.

u Or, the earthquake which, some say, is to happen a little before the sun rises from the west; one sign of the near approach of the day of judgment.3

3 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. p. 61, &c.

x See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. p. 64.
y This passage was revealed on account of al Nodar Ebn al Hareth, who maintained that the angels were the daughters of GOD, that the Korân was a fardel of old fables, and denied the resurrection.4

4 Al Beidâwi.

z See chapter 96.

a The person here meant, it is said, was Abu Jahl,1 a principal man among the Koreish, and a most inveterate enemy of Mohammed and his religion. His true name was Amru Ebn Heshâm, of the family of Makhzûm; and he was surnamed Abu’lhocm, i.e., the father of wisdom, which was afterwards changed into Abu Jahl, or the father of folly. He was slain in the battle of Bedr.2

1 Jallalo’ddin.
2 See chapter 8, p. 132.

b This expression alludes to one who being posted in the skirts of an army, if he sees the victory inclining to his own side, stands his ground, but if the enemy is likely to prevail, takes to his heels.
      The passage, they say, was revealed on account of certain Arabs of the desert, who came to Medina, and having professed Mohammedism, were well enough pleased with it so long as their affairs prospered, but if they met with any adversity, were sure to lay the blame on their new religion. A tradition of Abu Saïd mentions another accident as the occasion of this passage, viz., that a certain Jew embraced Islâm, but afterwards taking a dislike to it, on account of some misfortune which had befallen him, went to Mohammed, and desired he might renounce it, and be freed from the obligation of it: but the prophet told him that no such thing was allowed in his religion.3

3 Al Beidâwi.

c Or, Let him tie a rope to the roof of his house, and hang himself; that is, let him carry his anger and resentment to ever so great a height, even to be driven to the most desperate extremities, and see whether with all his endeavours he will be able to intercept the divine assistance.4

4 Idem.

d Confessing his power, and obeying his supreme command.

e viz., The true believers, and the infidels. The passage is said to have been revealed on occasion of a dispute between the Jews and the Mohammedans; the former insisting that they were in greater favour with GOD, their prophet and revelations being prior to those of the latter; and these replying, that they were more in GOD’S favour, for that they believed not only in Moses but also in Mohammed, and in all the scriptures without exception; whereas the Jews rejected Mohammed, though they knew him to be a prophet, out of envy.1

1 Idem.

f viz., The profession of GOD’S unity; or these words, which they shall use at their entrance into paradise, Praise be unto GOD, who hath fulfilled his promise unto us.2

2 Idem.

g i.e., For a place of religious worship; showing him the spot where it had stood, and also the model of the old building, which had been taken up to heaven at the flood.3

3 See the Prelim. Disc., Sect. IV.

h It is related that Abraham, in obedience to this command, went up to Mount Abu kobeis, near Mecca, and cried from thence, O men, perform the pilgrimage to the house of your LORD; and that GOD caused those who were then in the loins of their fathers, and the wombs of their mothers, from east to west, and who, he knew beforehand, would perform the pilgrimage, to hear his voice. Some say, however, that these words were directed to Mohammed, commanding him to proclaim the pilgrimage of valediction:4 according to which exposition the passage must have been revealed at Medina.

4 Al Beidâwi.

i viz., The temporal advantage made by the great trade driven at Mecca during the pilgrimage, and the spiritual advantage of having performed so meritorious a work.
j Namely, The ten first days of Dhu’lhajja; or the tenth day of the same month, on which they slay the sacrifices, and the three following days.5

5 Idem, Jallalo’ddin.

k By shaving their heads, and other parts of their bodies, and cutting their beards and nails in the valley of Mina; which the pilgrims are not allowed to do from the time they become Mohrims, and have solemnly dedicated themselves to the performance of the pilgrimage, till they have finished the ceremonies, and slain their victims.6

6 Iidem. See chapter 2, p. 14, chapter 5, p. 85, and Bobov. de Peregr. Meccana, p. 15, &c.

l By doing the good works which they have vowed to do in their pilgrimage. Some understand the words only of the performance of the requisite ceremonies.

m i.e., The Caaba; which the Mohammedans pretend was the first edifice built and appointed for the worship of GOD.1 The going round this chapel is a principal ceremony of the pilgrimage, and is often repeated; but the last time of their doing it, when they take their farewell of the temple, seems to be more particularly meant in this place.

1 See chapter 3, p. 42, and the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV.

n By observing what he has commanded, and avoiding what he has forbidden, or, as the words also signify, Whoever shall honour what GOD hath sanctified, or commanded not to be profaned; as the temple and territory of Mecca, and the sacred months, &c.
o Either by asserting wrong and impious things of the Deity; or by bearing false witness against your neighbours.
p Because he who falls into idolatry, sinketh from the height of faith into the depth of infidelity, has his thoughts distracted by wicked lusts, and is hurried by the devil into the most absurd errors.2

2 Al Beidâwi.

q By choosing a well-favoured and costly victim, in honour of him to whom it is destined. They say Mohammed once offered a hundred fat camels, and among them one which had belonged to Abu Jahl, having in his nose a ring of gold: and that Omar offered a noble camel, for which he had been bid three hundred dinârs.3

3 Idem.

      The original may also be translated generally, Whoso regardeth the rites of the pilgrimage, &c. But the victims seem to be more particularly intended in this place.
r Jallalo’ddin understands this passage in a restrained sense, of the former nations who were true believers; to whom God appointed a sacrifice, and a fixed place and proper ceremonies for the offering of it.
s That is, as some expound the word, standing on three feet, having one of their fore feet tied up, which is the manner of tying camels to prevent their moving from the place. Some copies instead of sawâffa, read sawâffena, from the verb safana, which properly signifies the posture of a horse, when he stands on three feet, the edge of the fourth only touching the ground.
t Or, as the words may also be rendered, Unto him who asketh in a modest and humble manner, and unto him who wanteth but dareth not ask.

u This was the first passage of the Korân which allowed Mohammed and his followers to defend themselves against their enemies by force, and was revealed a little before the flight to Medina; till which time the prophet had exhorted his Moslems to suffer the injuries offered them with patience, which is also commanded in above seventy different places of the Korân.1

1 Al Beidâwi, &c. Vide the Prelim. Disc. Sect. II. p. 38, &c.

x That is, The public exercise of any religion, whether true or false, is supported only by force; and therefore, as Mohammed would argue, the true religion must be established by the same means.
y That is, How many spots in the deserts, which were formerly inhabited, are now abandoned? a neglected well being the proper sign of such a deserted dwelling in those parts, as ruins are of a demolished town.
      Some imagine that this passage intends more particularly a well at the foot of a certain hill in the province of Hadramaut, and a castle built on the top of the same hill, both belonging to the people of Handha Ebn Safwân, a remnant of the Thamudites, who having killed their prophet, were utterly destroyed by GOD, and their dwelling abandoned.2

2 Iidem

z See 2 Pet. iii. 8.

a The occasion of the passage is thus related. Mohammed one day reading the 53rd chapter of the Korân, when he came to this verse, What think ye of Allât, and al Uzza, and of Manâh, the other third goddess? the devil put the following words into his mouth, which he pronounced through inadvertence, or, as some tell us, because he was then half asleep.1 viz., These are the most high and beauteous damsels, whose intercession is to be hoped for. The Koreish, who were sitting near Mohammed, greatly rejoiced at what they had heard, and when he had finished the chapter, joined with him and his followers in making their adoration: but the prophet, being acquainted by the angel Gabriel with the reason of their compliance, and with what he had uttered, was deeply concerned at his mistake, till this verse was revealed for his consolation.2
      We are told however by Al Beidâwi, that the more intelligent and accurate persons reject the aforesaid story; and the verb, here translated read, signifying also to wish for anything, interpret the passage of the suggestions of the devil to debauch the affections of those holy persons, or to employ their minds in vain wishes and desires.

1 Yahya.
2 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin, Yahya, &c. See chapter 16, p. 203.

b Or, a day which maketh childless; by which some great misfortune in war is expressed: as the overthrow the infidels received at Bedr. Some suppose the resurrection is here intended.
c And shall not take a more severe revenge than the fact deserves.
d By the aggressor’s seeking to revenge himself again of the person injured, by offering him some further violence.
      The passage seems to relate to the vengeance which the Moslems should take of the infidels, for their unjust persecution of them.

e Which it will do at the last day.
f The commentators say, that the Arabs used to anoint the images of their gods with some odoriferous composition, and with honey, which the flies eat, though the doors of the temple were carefully shut, getting in at the windows or crevices.
      Perhaps Mohammed took this argument from the Jews, who pretend that the temple of Jerusalem, and the sacrifices there offered to the true GOD, were never annoyed by flies;1 whereas swarms of those insects infested the heathen temples, being drawn thither by the steam of the sacrifices.2

1 Pirke Aboth c. 5, Sect. 6, 7.
2 Vide Selden, de Diis Syris, Synt. 2, c. 6.

g Who are the bearers of the divine revelations to the prophets; but ought not to be the objects of worship.

h viz., The womb.
i i.e., Producing a perfect man, composed of soul and body.
j See chapter 6, p. 97, note d.
k Literally, seven paths; by which the heavens are meant, because, according to some expositors they are the paths of the angels and of the celestial bodies: though the original word also signifies things which are folded or placed like stories one above another, as the Mohammedans suppose the heavens to be.
l viz., The olive. The gardens near this mountain are yet famous for the excellent fruit-trees of almost all sorts which grow there.1

1 Vide Voyages de Thevenot, liv. 2, ch. 9.
m The beast more particularly meant in this place is the camel, which is chiefly used for carriage in the east; being called by the Arabs, the land ship, on which they pass those seas of sand, the deserts.
n See chapter 11, p. 160, &c.
o Namely, the tribe of Ad, or of Thamud.
p viz., The prophet Hûd, or Sâleh.
q As the Sodomites, Midianites, &c.
r The commentators tell us the place here intended is Jerusalem, or Damascus, or Ramlah, or Palestine, or Egypt.1
      But perhaps the passage means the hill to which the Virgin Mary retired to be delivered, according to the Mohammedan tradition.2

1 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin.
2 See chapter 19, p. 228.

s These words are addressed to the apostles in general, to whom it was permitted to eat of all clean and wholesome food; and were spoken to them severally at the time of their respective mission. Some, however, think them directed particularly to the Virgin Mary and JESUS, or singly to the latter (in which case the plural number must be used out of respect only), proposing the practice of the prophets for their imitation. Mohammed probably designed in this passage to condemn the abstinence observed by the Christian monks.3

3 Al Beidâwi.

t See chapter 21, p. 248.
u i.e., Till they shall be slain, or shall die a natural death.
x By which is intended either the overthrow at Bedr, where several of the chief Korashites lost their lives; or the famine with which the Meccans were afflicted, at the prayer of the prophet, conceived in these words, O GOD, set thy foot strongly on Modar (an ancestor of the Koreish), and give them years like the years of Joseph: whereupon so great a dearth ensued, that they were obliged to feed on dogs, carrion, and burnt bones.4

4 Idem.

y That is, If there had been a plurality of gods, as the idolaters contend:1 or, if the doctrine taught by Mohammed had been agreeable to their inclinations, &c.

1 See chapter 21, p. 243.

z viz., The famine. It is said that the Meccans being reduced to eat ilhiz, which is a sort of miserable food made of blood and camels’ hair, used by the Arabs in time of scarcity, Abu Sofiân came to Mohammed, and said, Tell me, I adjure thee by God and the relation that is between us, dost thou think thou art sent as a mercy unto all creatures; since thou hast slain the fathers with the sword and the children with hunger?2

2 Al Beidâwi.

a Namely, the slaughter at Bedr.
b viz., Famine; which is more terrible than the calamities of war.3
      According to these explications, the passage must have been revealed at Medina; unless it be taken in a prophetical sense.

3 Idem.

c And set up a distinct creation and kingdom of his own.
d See chapter 17, p. 210.
e That is, By forgiving injuries, and returning of good for them: which rule is to be qualified, however, with this proviso; that the true religion receive no prejudice by such mildness and clemency.1

1 Idem.

f To besiege me: or, as it may also be translated, That they hurt me not.
g Or, as the word may also import, In the world which I have left; that is, during the further term of life which shall be granted me, and from which I have been cut off.2

2 Idem.

h The original word barzakh, here translated bar, primarily signifies any partition, or interstice, which divides one thing from another; but is used by the Arabs not always in the same, and sometimes in an obscure sense. They seem generally to express by it what the Greeks did by the word Hades; one while using it for the place of the dead, another while for the time of their continuance in that state, another while for the state itself. It is defined by their critics to be the interval or space between this world and the next, or between death and the resurrection; every person who dies being said to enter into al barzakh; or, as the Greek expresses it, [Greek text].3 One lexicographer4 tells us that in the Korân it denotes the grave; but the commentators on this passage expound it a bar, or invincible obstacle, cutting off all possibility of return into the world, after death. See chapter 25, where the word again occurs.
      Some interpreters understand the words we have rendered behind them, to mean before them (it being one of those words, of which there are several in the Arabic tongue, that have direct contrary significations), considering al Barzakh as a future space, and lying before, and not behind them.

3 Vide Pocock. not. in Port. Mosis, p. 248, &c., and the Prelim Disc. Sect. IV. p. 60.
4 Ebn Maruf, apud Gol. Lex. Arab. col. 254.

i See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV., p. 69.

j Being unable to prevail on you by their remonstrances, because of the contempt wherein ye held them.
k The time will seem thus short to them in comparison to the eternal duration of their torments, or because the time of their living in the world was the time of their joy and pleasure; it being usual for the Arabs to describe what they like as of short, and what they dislike, as of long continuance.
l That is, the angels, who keep account of the length of men’s lives and of their works, or any other who may have leisure to compute; and not us, whose torments distract our thoughts and attention.
m This title is taken from an allegorical comparison made between light and GOD, or faith in him, about the middle of the chapter.
n This law is not to be understood to relate to married people, who are of free condition; because adultery in such, according to the Sonna, is to be punished by stoning.1

1 See chapter 4, p. 55 and 57.

o i.e., Be not moved by pity, either to forgive the offenders, or to mitigate their punishment. Mohammed was for so strict and impartial an execution of the laws, that he is reported to have said, If Fâtema the daughter of Mohammed steal, let her hand be struck off.2

2 Al Beidâwi.

p That is, Let the punishment be inflicted in public, and not in private; because the ignominy of it is more intolerable than the smart, and more likely to work a reformation on the offender. Some say there ought to be three persons present at the least; but others think two, or even one, to be sufficient.1

1 Idem.

q The preceding passage was revealed on account of the meaner and more indigent Mohâjerins, or refugees, who sought to marry the whores of the infidels, taken captives in war, for the sake of the gain which they made by prostituting themselves. Some think the prohibition was special, and regarded only the Mohâjerins before mentioned; and others are of opinion it was general; but it is agreed to have been abrogated by the words which follow in this chapter, Marry the single women among you; harlots being comprised under the appellation of single women.2
      It is supposed by some that not marriage, but unlawful commerce with such women is here forbidden.

2 Idem, Jallalo’ddin.

r The Arabic word, mohsinât, properly signifies women of unblamable conduct; but to bring the chastisement after mentioned on the calumniator, it is also requisite that they be free women, of ripe age, having their understandings perfect, and of the Mohammedan religion. Though the word be of the feminine gender, yet men are also supposed to be comprised in this law.
      Abu Hanîfa was of opinion that the slanderer ought to be scourged in public, as well as the fornicator; but the generality are against him.3

3 Idem.

s See chapter 4, p. 55.
t In case both swear, the man’s oath discharges him from the imputation and penalty of slander, and the woman’s oath frees her from the imputation and penalty of adultery: but though the woman do swear to her innocence, yet the marriage is actually void, or ought to be declared void by the judge: because it is not fit they should continue together after they have come to these extremities.4

4 Idem.

u For the understanding of this passage, it is necessary to relate the following story:
      Mohammed having undertaken an expedition against the tribe of Mostalak, in the sixth year of the Hejra, took his wife Ayesha with him, to accompany him. In their return, when they were not far from Medina, the army removing by night, Ayesha, on the road, alighted from her camel, and stepped aside on a private occasion: but, on her return, perceiving she had dropped her necklace, which was of onyxes of Dhafâr, she went back to look for it; and in the meantime her attendants, taking it for granted, that she was got into her pavilion (or little tent surrounded with curtains, wherein women are carried in the east) set it again on the camel, and led it away. When she came back to the road, and saw her camel was gone, she sat down there, expecting that when she was missed some would be sent back to fetch her; and in a little time she fell asleep. Early in the morning, Safwân Ebn al Moattel, who had stayed behind to rest himself, coming by, and perceiving somebody asleep, went to see who it was and knew her to be Ayesha; upon which he waked her, by twice pronouncing with a low voice these words, We are God’s, and unto him must we return. Then Ayesha immediately covered herself with her veil; and Safwân set her on his own camel, and led her after the army, which they overtook by noon, as they were resting.
      This accident had like to have ruined Ayesha, whose reputation was publicly called in question, as if she had been guilty of adultery with Safwân; and Mohammed himself knew not what to think, when he reflected on the circumstances of the affair, which were improved by some malicious people very much to Ayesha’s dishonour; and notwithstanding his wife’s protestations of her innocence, he could not get rid of his perplexity, nor stop the mouths of the censorious, till about a month after, when this passage was revealed, declaring the accusation to be unjust.1

1 Al Bokhari in Sonna, Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin, &c. Vide Abu’lf. Vit. Moh. p. 82, &c., and Gagnier, Vie de Mahomet, lib. 4. c. 7.

x The words are directed to the prophet, and to Abu Becr, Ayesha, and Safwân, the persons concerned in this false report; since, besides the amends they might expect in the next world, GOD had done them the honour to clear their reputations by revealing eighteen verses expressly for that purpose.2

2 Al Beidâwi.

y The persons concerned in spreading the scandal were Abd’allah Ebn Obba (who first raised it, and inflamed the matter to the utmost, out of hatred to Mohammed), Zeid Ebn Refâa, Hassân Ebn Thabet, Mestah Ebn Othâtha, a great-grandson of Abd’almotalleb’s, and Hamna Bint Jahash: and every one of them received fourscore stripes, pursuant to the law ordained in this chapter, except only Abd’allah, who was exempted, being a man of great consideration.3
      It is said that, as a farther punishment, Hassân and Mestah became blind, and that the former of them also lost the use of both his hands.4

3 Abulfeda, Vit. Moh. p. 83.
4 Al Beidâwi.

z viz., Abd’allah Ebn Obba , who had not the grace to become a true believer, but died an infidel.5

5 See chapter 9, p. 144.
a This passage was revealed on account of Abu Becr: who swore that he would not for the future bestow anything on Mestah, though he was his mother’s sister’s son, and a poor Mohâjer or refugee, because he had joined in scandalizing his daughter Ayesha. But on Mohammed’s reading this verse to him, he continued Mestah’s pension.1

1 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin.

b i.e., Who may be less careful in their conduct, and more free in their behaviour, as being conscious of no ill.
c Though the words be general, yet they principally regard those who should calumniate the prophet’s wives. According to a saying of Ebn Abbas, if the threats contained in the whole Korân be examined, there are none so severe as those occasioned by the false accusation of Ayesha; wherefore he thought even repentance would stand her slanderers in no stead.2

2 Al Beidâwi.

d Al Beidâwi observes, on this passage, that GOD cleared four persons, by four extraordinary testimonies: for he cleared Joseph by the testimony of a child in his mistress’s family;3 Moses, by means of the stone which fled away with his garments;4 Mary, by the testimony of her infant;5 and Ayesha, by these verses of the Korân.

3 See chapter 12, p. 172.
4 See chapter 2, p. 7, and chapter 33.
5 See chapter 19, p. 229.

e To enter suddenly or abruptly into any man’s house or apartment, is reckoned a great incivility in the east; because a person may possibly be surprised in an indecent action or posture, or may have something discovered which he would conceal. It is said, that a man came to Mohammed, and wanted to know whether he must ask leave to go in to his sister; which being answered in the affirmative, he told the prophet that his sister had nobody else to attend upon her, and it would be troublesome to ask leave every time he went in to her. What, replied Mohammed, wouldest thou see her naked?6

6 Al Beidâwi.

f Than to be importunate for admission, or to wait at the door.
g i.e., Which are not the private habitation of a family; such as public inns, shops, sheds, &c.

h As their clothes, jewels, and the furniture of their toilet; much less such parts of their bodies as ought not be seen.
i Some think their outward garments are here meant; and others their hands and faces: it is generally held, however, that a free woman ought not to discover even those parts, unless to the persons after excepted, or on some unavoidable occasion, as their giving evidence in public, taking advice or medicines in case of sickness, &c.
j Taking care to cover their heads, necks, and breasts.
k For whose sake it is that they adorn themselves, and who alone have the privilege to see their whole body.
l These near relations are also excepted, because they cannot avoid seeing them frequently, and there is no great danger to be apprehended from them. They are allowed, therefore, to see what cannot well be concealed in so familiar an intercourse,1 but no other part of their body, particularly whatever is between the navel and the knees.2
      Uncles not being here particularly mentioned, it is a doubt whether they may be admitted to see their nieces. Some think they are included under the appellation of brothers: but others are of opinion that they are not comprised in this exception; and give this reason for it, viz., lest they should describe the persons of their nieces to their sons.3

1 Idem.
2 Jallalo’ddin.
3 Al Beidâwi.

m That is, such as are of the Mohammedan religion; it being reckoned by some unlawful, or, at least, indecent, for a woman, who is a true believer, to uncover herself before one who is an infidel, because she will hardly refrain describing her to the men: but others suppose all women in general are here excepted; for, in this particular, doctors differ.4

4 Idem, Jallalo’ddin.

n Slaves of either sex are included in this exception, and, as some think, domestic servants who are not slaves; as those of a different nation. It is related, that Mohammed once made a present of a man-slave to his daughter Fâtema; and when he brought him to her, she had on a garment which was so scanty that she was obliged to leave either her head or her feet uncovered: and that the prophet, seeing her in great confusion on that account, told her, she need be under no concern, for that there was none present besides her father and her slave.5

5 Idem.

o Or have no desire to enjoy them; such as decrepit old men, and deformed or silly persons, who follow people as hangers-on, for their spare victuals, being too despicable to raise either a woman’s passion, or a man’s jealousy. Whether eunuchs are comprehended under this general designation, is a question among the learned.6

6 Idem, Yahya, &c.

p By shaking the rings, which the women in the east wear about their ankles, and are usually of gold or silver.7 The pride which the Jewish ladies of old took in making a tinkling with these ornaments of their feet, is (among other things of that nature) severely reproved by the prophet Isaiah.8

7 Idem
8 Isaiah iii. 16 and 18.

q i.e., Those who are unmarried of either sex; whether they have been married before or not.
r Of either sex.
s Whereby the master obliges himself to set his slave at liberty, on receiving a certain sum of money, which the slave undertakes to pay.

t That is, if ye have found them faithful, and have reason to believe they will perform their engagement.
u Either by bestowing something on them of your own substance, or by abating them a part of their ransom. Some suppose these words are directed, not to the masters only, but to all Moslems in general; recommending it to them to assist those who have obtained their freedom, and paid their ransom, either out of their own stock, or by admitting them to have a share in the public alms.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

x It seems Abda’llah Ebn Obba had six women-slaves, on whom he laid a certain tax, which he obliged them to earn by the prostitution of their bodies: and one of them made her complaint to Mohammed, which occasioned the revelation of this passage.2

2 Idem, Jallalo’ddin

y i.e., The story of the false accusation of Ayesha, which resembles those of Joseph and the Virgin Mary.3

3 Iidem.

z But of a more excellent kind. Some think the meaning to be that the tree grows neither in the eastern nor the western parts, but in the midst of the world, namely, in Syria, where the best olives grow.4

4 Iidem.

a Or a light whose brightness is doubly increased by the circumstances above mentioned.
      The commentators explain this allegory, and every particular of it, with great subtlety; interpreting the light here described to be the light revealed in the Korân, or God’s enlightening grace in the heart of man; and in divers other manners.
b The connection of these words is not very obvious. Some suppose they ought to be joined with the preceding words, Like a niche, or It is lighted in the houses, &c., and that the comparison is more strong and just, by being made to the lamps in Mosques, which are larger than those in private houses. Some think they are rather to be connected with the following words, Men praise, &c. And others are of opinion they are an imperfect beginning of a sentence, and that the words, Praise ye God, or the like, are to be understood. However, the houses here intended are those set apart for divine worship; or particularly the three principal temples of Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem.5

4 Al Beidâwi.

c The Arabic word Serâb signifies that false appearance which, in the eastern countries, is often seen in sandy plains about noon, resembling a large lake of water in motion, and is occasioned by the reverberation of the sunbeams. It sometimes tempts thirsty travellers out of their way, but deceives them when they come near, either going forward (for it always appears at the same distance), or quite vanishing.1

1 Vide Q. Curt. de rebus Alex. lib. 7, et Gol. in Alfrag. p. 111, et in Adag. Arab. ad calcem Gram. Erp. p. 93.
d That is, He will not escape the notice or vengeance of GOD.
e This assertion, which has already occurred in another place,2 being not true in strictness, the commentators suppose that by water is meant seed; or else that water is mentioned only as the chief cause of the growth of animals, and a considerable and necessary constituent part of their bodies.

2 Chapter 21, p. 243.

f This passage was occasioned by Bashir the hypocrite, who, having a controversy with a Jew, appealed to Caab Ebn al Ashraf, whereas the Jew appealed to Mohammed;3 or, as others tell us, by Mogheira Ebn Wayel, who refused to submit a dispute he had with Al. to the prophet’s decision.4

3 See chapter 4, p. 61.
4 Al Beidâwi

g i.e., As he caused the Israelites to dispossess the Canaanites, &c.
h Because there are certain times when it is not convenient, even for a domestic, or a child, to come in to one without notice. It is said this passage was revealed on account of Asma Bint Morthed, whose servant entered suddenly upon her, at an improper time; but others say, it was occasioned by Modraj Ebn Amru, then a boy, who, being sent by Mohammed to call Omar to him, went directly into the room where he was, without giving notice, and found him taking his noon’s nap, and in no very decent posture; at which Omar was so ruffled, that he wished GOD would forbid even their fathers, and children, to come in to them abruptly, at such times.1

1 Idem.

i Which is the time of people’s rising from their beds, and dressing themselves for the day.
j That is, when ye take off your upper garments to sleep at noon; which is a common custom in the east, and all warm countries.
k When ye undress yourselves to prepare for bed. Al Beidâwi adds a fourth season, when permission to enter must be asked, viz., at night: but this follows of course.
l See before, p. 266.
m i.e., Where your wives or families are; or in the houses of your sons, which may be looked on as your own.
      This passage was designed to remove some scruples or superstitions of the Arabs in Mohammed’s time; some of whom thought their eating with maimed or sick people defiled them; others imagined they ought not to eat in the house of another, though ever so nearly related to them, or though they were entrusted with the key and care of the house in the master’s absence, and might therefore conclude it would be no offence; and others declined eating with their friends though invited, lest they should be burthensome.1 The whole passage seems to be no more than a declaration that the things scrupled were perfectly innocent; however, the commentators say it is now abrogated, and that it related only to the old Arabs, in the infancy of Mohammedism.

1 Idem, Jallalo’ddin.
n As the tribe of Leith thought it unlawful for a man to eat alone; and some of the Ansârs, if they had a guest with them, never ate but in his company; so there were others who refused to eat with any, out of a superstitious caution lest they should be defiled, or out of a hoggish greediness.2

2 Iidem.

o Literally yourselves; that is, according to al Beidâwi, the people of the house, to whom ye are united by the ties of blood, and by the common bond of religion. And if there be nobody in the house, says Jallalo’ddin, salute yourselves, and say, Peace be on us, and on the righteous servants of God: for the angels will return your salutation.
p As, at public prayers, or a solemn feast, or at council, or on a military expedition.
q Because such departure, though with leave, and on a reasonable excuse, is a kind of failure in the exact performance of their duty; seeing they prefer their temporal affairs to the advancement of the true religion.3

3 Al Beidâwi.

r These words are variously interpreted; for their meaning may be, either, Make not light of the apostle’s summons, as ye would of another person’s of equal condition with yourselves, by not obeying it, or by departing out of, or coming into, his presence without leave first obtained; or, Think not that when the apostle calls upon God in prayer, it is with him, as with you, when ye prefer a petition to a superior, who sometimes grants, but as often denies, your suit; or, Call not to the apostle, as ye do to one another, that is, by name, or familiarly and with a loud voice; but make use of some honourable compellation, as, O apostle of GOD, or, O prophet of GOD, and speak in an humble modest manner.4

4 Idem, Jallalo’ddin, &c.

s Which is one of the names of the Korân. See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. III. p. 44.
t Being either the heavenly bodies, or idols, the works of men’s hands.
u See chapter 16, p. 203. It is supposed the Jews are particularly intended in this place; because they used to repeat passages of ancient history to Mohammed, on which he used to discourse and make observations.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

x Being subject to the same wants and infirmities of nature, and obliged to submit to the same low means of supporting himself and his family, with ourselves. The Meccans were acquainted with Mohammed, and with his circumstances and way of life, too well to change their old familiarity into the reverence due to the messenger of GOD; for a prophet hath no honour in his own country.

y Giving occasion of envy, repining, and malice; to the poor, mean, and sick, for example, when they compare their own condition with that of the rich, the noble, and those who are in health: and trying the people to whom prophets are sent, by those prophets.1

1 Idem, Jallal.

z viz., At their death, or at the resurrection.
a For the business of the day of judgment will be over by that time; and the blessed will pass their noon in paradise, and the damned in hell.2

2 Idem.

b i.e., They shall part and make way for the clouds which shall descend with the angels, bearing the books wherein every man’s actions are recorded.
c It is supposed by some that these words particularly relate to Okba Ebn Abi Moait, who used to be much in Mohammed’s company, and having once invited him to an entertainment, the prophet refused to taste of his meat unless he would profess Islâm; which accordingly he did. Soon after, Okba, meeting Obba Ebn Khalf, his intimate friend, and being reproached by him for changing his religion, assured him that he had not, but had only pronounced the profession of faith to engage Mohammed to eat with him, because he could not for shame let him go out of his house without eating. However, Obba protested that he would not be satisfied, unless he went to Mohammed, and set his foot on his neck, and spit in his face: which Okba, rather than break with his friend, performed in the public hall, where he found Mohammed sitting; whereupon the prophet told him that if ever he met him out of Mecca, he would cut off his head. And he was as good as his word: for Okba, being afterwards taken prisoner at the battle of Bedr, had his head struck off by Ali at Mohammed’s command. As for Obba, he received a wound from the prophet’s own hand, at the battle of Ohod, of which he died at his return to Mecca.3

3 Al Beidâwi. Vide Gagnier, Vie de Mahom. vol. I, p. 362.
d According to the preceding note, this was Obba Ebn Khalf.
e As were the Pentateuch, Psalms, and Gospel, according to the Mohammedan notion whereas it was twenty-three years before the Korân was completely revealed.1

1 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. III. p. 50, &c.

f Both to infuse courage and constancy into thy mind, and to strengthen thy memory and understanding. For, say the commentators, the prophet’s receiving the divine direction, from time to time, how to behave, and to speak, on any emergency, and the frequent visits of the angel Gabriel, greatly encouraged and supported him under all his difficulties: and the revealing of the Korân by degrees was a great, and, to him, a necessary help for his retaining and understanding it; which it would have been impossible for him to have done with any exactness, had it been revealed at once; Mohammed’s case being entirely different from that of Moses, David, and JESUS, who could all read and write, whereas he was perfectly illiterate.2

2 Al Beidâwi, &c.

g The commentators are at a loss where to place al Rass. According to one opinion it was the name of a well (as the word signifies) near Midian, about which some idolaters having fixed their habitations, the prophet Shoaib was sent to preach to them; but they not believing on him, the well fell in, and they and their houses were all swallowed up. Another supposes it to have been in a town in Yamâma, where a remnant of the Thamûdites settled, to whom a prophet was also sent; but they slaying him, were utterly destroyed. Another thinks it was a well near Antioch, where Habîb al Najjâr (whose tomb is still to be seen there, beige frequently visited by Mohammedans) was martyred.3 And a fourth takes al Rass to be a well in Hadramaut, by which dwelt some idolatrous Thamûdites, whose prophet was Handha, or Khantala (for I find the name written both ways) Ebn Safwân.4 These people were first annoyed by certain monstrous birds, called Ankâ, which lodged in the mountain above them, and used to snatch away their children, when they wanted other prey; but this calamity was so far from humbling them, that on their prophet’s calling down a judgment upon them, they killed him, and were all destroyed.5

3 Abu’lf. Geog. Vide Vit. Saladini, p. 86.
4 See chapter 22, p. 254, note y.
5 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin.

h viz., Sodom; for the Koreish often passed by the place where it once stood, in the journeys they took to Syria for the sake of trade.

i i.e., Dost thou expect to reclaim such a one from idolatry and infidelity?
j See chapter 7, p. 110. There is the same various reading here as is mentioned in the notes to that passage.
k Properly, purifying water; which epithet may perhaps refer to the cleansing quality of that element, of so great use both on religious and on common occasions.
l That is, To such as live in the dry deserts, and are obliged to drink rain-water; which the inhabitants of towns, and places well-watered, have no occasion to do.
m Or, out of infidelity: for the old Arabs used to think themselves indebted for their rains, not to GOD, but to the influence of some particular stars.

1 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. I. p. 24.

n And had not given thee, O Mohammed, the honour and trouble of being a preacher to the whole world in general.
o To keep them asunder, and prevent their mixing with each other. The original word is barzakh; which has been already explained.2

2 In not. ad cap. 23, p. 261.

p With which Adam’s primitive clay was mixed; or, of seed. See chapter 24, p. 268.
q Joining with him in his rebellion and infidelity. Some think Abu Jahl is particularly struck at in this passage. The words may also be translated, The unbeliever is contemptible in the sight of his Lord.

a Seeking to draw near unto him, by embracing the religion taught by me his apostle; which is the best return I expect from you for my labours.1 The passage, however, is capable of another meaning, viz., that Mohammed desires none to give, but him who shall contribute freely and voluntarily towards the advancement of GOD’S true religion.

1 Al Beidâwi.

b See chapter 17, p. 237.
c i.e., The sun.
d This is intended here not as a salutation, but as a waiving all farther discourse and communication with the idolaters.
e See chapter 17, p. 230.
f Blotting out their former rebellion, on their repentance, and confirming and increasing their faith and obedience.2

2 Idem.

g The chapter bears this inscription because at the conclusion of it the Arabian poets are severely censured.
h The five last verses, beginning at these words, And those who err follow the poets, &c., some take to have been revealed at Medina.
i See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. III. p. 46, &c.
k See chap. 20, p. 257.
l viz., The having killed an Egyptian.1

1 See cap. 28.

m The word is in the singular number in the original; for which the commentators give several reasons.
n It is said that Moses dwelt among the Egyptians thirty years, and then went to Midian, where he stayed ten years; after which he returned to Egypt, and spent thirty years in endeavouring to convert them; and that he lived after the drowning of Pharaoh fifty years.2

2 Al Beidâwi.

o Having killed the Egyptian undesignedly.
p Pharaoh, it seems, thought Moses had given but wild answers to his question; for he wanted to know the person and true nature of the GOD whose messenger Moses pretended to be; whereas he spoke of his works only. And because this answer gave so little satisfaction to the king, he is therefore supposed by some to have been a Dahrite, or one who believed the eternity of the world.3

3 Idem.

q From this and a parallel expression in the twenty-eighth chapter, it is inferred that Pharaoh claimed the worship of his subjects, as due to his supreme power.
r These words, says al Beidâwi, were a more terrible menace than if he had said I will imprison thee; and gave Moses to understand that he must expect to keep company with those wretches whom the tyrant had thrown, as was his custom, into a deep dungeon, where they remained till they died.
s But has reserved the most efficacious secrets to himself.4

4 Idem.

t See chapter 7, p. 116, &c.
u Hence some suppose the Israelites, after the destruction of Pharaoh and his host, returned to Egypt, and possessed themselves of the riches of that country.5 But others are of opinion that the meaning is no more than that GOD gave them the like possessions and dwellings in another country.6

5 Jallalo’ddin, Yahya.
6 Al Zamakh. See cap. 7, p. 118.

x Literally, Grant me a tongue of truth, that is, a high encomium. The same expression is used in c. 19, p. 252.
y By disposing him to repentance, and the receiving of the true faith. Some suppose Abraham pronounced this prayer after his father’s death, thinking that possibly he might have been inwardly a true believer, but have concealed his conversion for fear of Nimrod, and before he was forbidden to pray for him.7

7 See cap. 9, p. 148, and c. 14, p. 209.
z See chapter 21, p. 273.
a i.e., Whether they have embraced the faith which I have preached, out of the sincerity of their hearts, or in prospect of some worldly advantage.
b See chapter 11, p. 161.
c Or to mock the passengers; who direct themselves in their journeys by the stars, and have no need of such buildings?1

1 Al Beidâwi.

d Putting to death, and inflicting other corporal punishments without mercy, and rather for the satisfaction of your passion than the amendment of the sufferer.2

2 Idem.

e Or, as the original word may also be rendered, showing art and ingenuity in your work.
f That is, they were to have the use of the water by turns, the camel drinking one day, and the Thamudites drawing the other day; for when this camel drank, she emptied the wells or brooks for that day. See chapter 7, p. 112.
g See chapter 15, p. 213. Shoaib being not called the brother of these people, which would have preserved the conformity between this passage and the preceding, it has been thought they were not Midianites, but of another race; however, we find the prophet taxes them with the same crimes as he did those of Midian.1

1 See cap. 7, p. 113.
h GOD first plagued them with such intolerable heat for seven days that all their waters were dried up, and then brought a cloud over them, under whose shade they ran, and were all destroyed by a hot wind and fire which proceeded from it.2

2 Al Beidâwi.

i i.e., Gabriel, who is entrusted with the divine secrets and revelations.
k The infidels were continually defying Mohammed to bring some signal and miraculous destruction on them, as a shower of stones, &c.
l See chapter 15, p. 211.
m The commentators suppose the same command to have been virtually contained in the 74th chapter, which is prior to this in point of time.3 It is said that Mohammed, on receiving the passage before us, went up immediately to Mount Safâ, and having called the several families to him, one by one, when they were all assembled, asked them whether, if he should tell them that mountain would bring forth a smaller mountain, they would believe him; to which they answering in the affirmative, Verily, says he, I am a warner sent unto you, before a severe chastisement.4

3 See the notes thereon, and the Prelim. Disc. Sect. II. p. 34.
4 Al Beidâwi.

n Literally, lower thy wing.
o i.e., Who seeth thee when thou risest up to watch and spend the night in religious exercises, and observeth thy anxious care for the Moslems’ exact performance of their duty. It is said that the night on which the precept of watching was abrogated. Mohammed went privately from one house to another, to see how his companions spent the time; and that he found them so intent in reading the Korân, and repeating their prayers, that their houses, by reason of the humming noise they made, seemed to be so many nests of hornets.5 Some commentators, however, suppose that by the prophet’s behaviour, in this place, are meant the various postures he used in praying at the head of his companions; as standing, bowing, prostration, and sitting.6

5 Idem.
6 Idem, Jallalo’ddin.

p The prophet, having vindicated himself from the charge of having communication with the devils, by the opposition between his doctrine and their designs, and their inability to compose so consistent a book as the Korân, proceeds to show that the persons most likely to a correspondence with those evil spirits were liars and slanderers, that is, his enemies and opposers.
q i.e., They are taught by the secret inspiration of the devils, and receive their idle and inconsistent suggestions for truth. It being uncertain whether the slanderers or the devils be the nominative case to the verb, the words may also be rendered, They impart what they hear; that is, The devils acquaint their correspondents on earth with such incoherent scraps of the angels’ discourse as they can hear by stealth.7

7 Idem.

r Their compositions being as wild as the actions of a distracted man: for most of the ancient poetry was full of vain imaginations; as fabulous stories and descriptions, love verses, flattery, excessive commendations of their patrons, and as excessive reproaches of their enemies, incitements to vicious actions, vainglorious vauntings, and the like.8

8 Idem.

s That is, such poets as had embraced Mohammedism; whose works, free from the profaneness of the former, run chiefly on the praises of GOD, and the establishing his unity, and contain exhortations to obedience and other religious and moral virtues, without any satirical invectives, unless against such as have given just provocations, by having first attacked them, or some others of the true believers, with the same weapons. In this last case Mohammed saw it was necessary for him to borrow assistance from the poets of his party, to defend himself and religion from the insults and ridicule of the others, for which purpose he employed the pens of Labid Ebn Rabîa,1 Abda’llah Ebn Rawâha, Hassân Ebn Thabet, and the two Caabs. It is related that Mohammed once said to Caab Ebn Malec, Ply them with satires; for, by him in whose hand my soul is, they wound more deeply than arrows.2

1 See the Prelim. Disc. p. 47.
2 Al Beidâwi.

t In this chapter is related, among other strange things, an odd story of the ant, which has therefore been pitched on for the title.
u By rendering them pleasing and agreeable to their corrupt natures and inclinations.
x See chapter 20, p. 234.
y Some suppose GOD to be intended by the former words, and by the latter, the angels who were present;1 others think Moses and the angels are here meant, or all persons in general in this holy plain, and the country round it.2

1 Yahya.
2 Jallalo’ddin, al Beidâwi.

z This exception was designed to qualify the preceding assertion, which seemed too general; for several of the prophets have been subject to sins, though not great ones, before their mission, for which they had reason to apprehend GOD’S anger, though they are here assured that their subsequent merits entitle them to his pardon. It is supposed that Moses’s killing the Egyptian undesignedly is hinted at.3

3 Idem.

a See chapter 17, p. 215.
b Inheriting not only his kingdom, but also the prophetical office, preferably to his other sons, who were no less than nineteen.4

4 Idem.
c That is, the meaning of their several voices, though not articulate; of Solomon’s interpretation whereof the commentators give several instances.5

5 See Maracc. not. in loc. p. 511.

d For this fancy, as well as the former, Mohammed was obliged to the Talmudists,6 who, according to their manner, have interpreted the Hebrew words of Solomon,7 which the English version renders, I gat men-singers and women-singers, as if that prince had forced demons or spirits to serve him at his table, and in other capacities; and particularly in his vast and magnificent buildings, which they could not conceive he could otherwise have performed.

6 Vide Midrash, Yalkut Shemuni, p. 11, f. 29, et Millium, de Mohammedismo ante Mohammed. p. 232. 7 Eccles. ii. 8

e The valley seems to be so called from the great numbers of ants which are found there. Some place it in Syria, and others in Tâyef.8

8 Al Beidâwi. Jallalo’ddin.

f The Arab historians tell us that Solomon, having finished the temple of Jerusalem, went in pilgrimage to Mecca, where, having stayed as long as he pleased, he proceeded toward Yaman; and leaving Mecca in the morning, he arrived by noon at Sanaa, and being extremely delighted with the country, rested there; but wanting water to make the ablution, he looked among the birds for the lapwing, called by the Arabs al Hudbud, whose business it was to find it; for it is pretended she was sagacious or sharp-sighted enough to discover water underground, which the devils used to draw, after she had marked the place by digging with her bill: they add, that this bird was then taking a tour in the air, whence, seeing one of her companions alighting, she descended also, and having had a description given her by the other of the city of Saba, whence she was just arrived, they both went together to take a view of the place, and returned soon after Solomon had made the inquiry which occasioned what follows.1
      It may be proper to mention her what the eastern writers fable of the manner of Solomon’s travelling. They say that he had a carpet of green silk, on which his throne was placed, being of a prodigious length and breadth, and sufficient for all his forces to stand on, the men placing themselves on his right hand, and the spirits on his left; and that when all were in order, the wind, at his command, took up the carpet, and transported it, with all that were upon it, wherever he pleased;2 the army of birds at the same time flying over their heads, and forming a kind of canopy, to shade them from the sun.

1 Idem.
2 See cap. 21, p. 247.

g By plucking off her feathers, and setting her in the sun, to be tormented by the insects; or by shutting her up in a cage.3

3 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin.

h This queen the Arabs name Balkîs: some make her the daughter of al Hodhâd Ebn Sharhabil,4 and others of Sharahîl Ebn Malec;5 but they all agree she was a descendant of Yárab Ebn Kahtân. She is placed the twenty-second in Dr. Pocock’s list of the kings of Yaman.6

4 Vide Pocock. Spec. p. 59.
5 Al Beidâwi, &c. Vide D’Herbel. Bibl. Orient. p. 182.
6 Ubi sup.

i Which the commentators say was made of gold and silver, and crowned with precious stones. But they differ as to the size of it; one making it fourscore cubits long, forty broad, and thirty high; while some say it was fourscore, and others thirty cubits every way.

k Jallalo’ddin says that the queen was surrounded by her army when the lapwing threw the letter into her bosom; but al Beidâwi supposes she was in an apartment of her palace, the doors of which were shut, and that the bird flew in at the window. The former commentator gives a copy of the epistle somewhat more full than that in the text; viz., From the servant of GOD, Solomon, the son of David, unto Balkîs queen of Saba. In the name of the most merciful GOD. Peace be on him who followeth the true direction. Rise not up against me, but come and surrender yourselves unto me. He adds that Solomon perfumed this letter with musk, and sealed it with his signet.
l Or, Come unto me and resign yourselves unto the divine direction, and profess the true religion which I preach.
m i.e., Whether thou wilt obey the summons of Solomon, or give us orders to make head against him.
n Bearing the presents, which they say were five hundred young slaves of each sex, all habited in the same manner, five hundred bricks of gold, a crown enriched with precious stones, besides a large quantity of musk, amber, and other things of value.1 Some add that Balkîs, to try whether Solomon was a prophet or no, dressed the boys like girls, and the girls like boys, and sent him in a casket, a pearl not drilled, and an onyx drilled with a crooked hole; and that Solomon distinguished the boys from the girls by the different manner of their taking water, and ordered one worm to bore the pearl, and another to pass a thread through the onyx.2 They also tell us that Solomon, having notice of this embassy, by means of the lapwing, even before they set out, ordered a large square to be enclosed with a wall built of gold and silver bricks, wherein he ranged his forces and attendants to receive them.3

1 Jallalo’ddin
2 Al Beidâwi.
3 Jallalo’ddin.

o This was an Ifrît, or one of the wicked and rebellious genii; and his name, says al Beidâwi, was Dhacwân or Sakhr.
p i.e., From thy seat of justice. For Solomon used to sit in judgment every day till noon.4

4 Idem interp.

q This person, as is generally supposed, was Asaf the son of Barachia, Solomon’s Wazir (or Visir), who knew the great or ineffable name of GOD, by pronouncing of which he performed this wonderful exploit.5 Others, however, suppose it was al Khedr, or else Gabriel, or some other angel; and some imagine it to have been Solomon himself.6

5 Jallalo’ddin.
6 Al Beidâwi.

r The original is, Before thou canst look at any object, and take thy eye off it. It is said that Solomon, at Asaf’s desire, looked up to heaven, and before he cast his eye downwards, the throne made its way underground, and appeared before him.
s For, on the return of her ambassador, she determined to go and submit herself to that prince; but before her departure, she secured her throne, as she thought, by locking it up in a strong castle, and setting a guard to defend it; after which she set out, attended by a vast army.7

7 Jallalo’ddin.

t It is uncertain whether these be the words of Balkîs, acknowledging her conviction by the wonders she had already seen; or of Solomon and his people, acknowledging the favour of GOD, in calling them to the true faith before her.
u Or, as some understand the word, the court before the palace, which Solomon had commanded to be built against the arrival of Balkîs; the floor or pavement being of transparent glass, laid over running water, in which fish were swimming. Fronting this pavement was placed the royal throne, on which Solomon sat to receive the queen.8

8 Idem, al Beidâwi

x Some Arab writers tell us Solomon had been informed that Balkîs’s legs and feet were covered with hair, like those of an ass, of the truth of which he had hereby an opportunity of being satisfied by ocular demonstration.
y The queen of Saba having by these words professed Islâm, and renounced idolatry, Solomon had thoughts of making her his wife; but could not resolve to do it; till the devils had by a depilatory taken off the hair from her legs.9 Some,10 however, will have it that she did not marry Solomon, but a prince of the tribe of Hamdân.

9 Jallalo’ddin.
10 Apud al Beidâwi

z Concerning the doctrine preached by Saleh; one party believing on him, and the other treating him as an impostor.
a i.e., Why do ye urge and defy the divine vengeance with which ye are threatened, instead of averting it by repentance?

b See chapter 7, p. 117, where the Egyptians in the same manner accuse Moses as the cause of their calamities.
c It is related that Saleh, and those who believed on him, usually meeting to pray in a certain narrow place between the mountains, the infidels said, He thinks to make an end of us after three days,1 but we will be beforehand with him; and that a party of them went directly to the straits above mentioned, thinking to execute their design, but were terribly disappointed; for, instead of catching the prophet, they were caught themselves, their retreat being cut off by a large piece of rock, which fell down at the mouth of the straits, so that they perished there in a miserable manner.

1 See cap. 7, p. 113, note m.

d See chapter 7, p. 113, and chapter 11, p. 166.
e See chapter 25, p. 274. The word barzakh is not used here, but another of equivalent import.
f Literally, Him who is driven by distress to implore GOD’S assistance.

g See chapter 7, p. 110, and chapter 25, p. 274.
h Or the words may be translated thus: Yea, their knowledge faileth as to the life to come: yea, &c.
i Such as the comparing of GOD to sensible things, or to created beings: the removing all imperfections from the description of the Divine Being; the state of paradise and hell; the stories of Ezra and Jesus Christ, &c.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

k The Mohammedans call this beast, whose appearance will be one sign of the approach of the day of judgment, al Jassâsa, or the Spy. I have given the description of her elsewhere;2 to which should be added that she is to have two wings.

2 Prelim. Disc. Sec. IV. p. 62, &c.

l Or, according to a different reading, viz., taclimohom instead of tocallimohom, who shall wound them.3

3 Vide ibid.
m See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. p. 65, &c. Some say the persons exempted from this general consternation will be the angels Gabriel, Michael, Israfil, and Izraël;1 others suppose them to be the virgins of paradise, and the angels who guard that place, and carry GOD’S throne;2 and others will have them to be the martyrs.3

1 Jallalo’ddin, al Beidâwi.
2 Idem.
3 Ebn Abbas.

n That is, from the fear of damnation, and the other terrors which will disturb the wicked; not from the general terror or consternation before mentioned.
o viz., The successes of the true believers against the infidels, and particularly the victory of Bedr
p The title is taken from the 26th verse, where Moses is said to have related the story of his adventures to Shoaib.
q Some except a verse towards the latter end, beginning with these words: He who hath given thee the Korân for a rule of faith and practice, &c.
r See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. III. p. 46.

s i.e., Either into companies, that they might the better attend his order and perform the services he exacted of them; or into opposite factions, to prevent their attempting anything against them, to deliver themselves from his tyranny.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

t viz., The Israelites.
u See chapter 26, p. 278.
x This name is given to Pharaoh’s chief minister; from whence it is generally inferred that Mohammed has here made Haman, the favourite of Ahasuerus king of Persia, and who indisputably lived many ages after Moses, to be that prophet’s contemporary. But how probable soever this mistake may seem to us, it will be very hard, if not impossible, to convince a Mohammedan of it; for, as has been observed in a parallel case,2 two very different persons may bear the same name.3

2 See p. 34, note x.
3 Vide Reland. de Rel Moham. p. 217.

y For Pharaoh had either dreamed, or been told by some diviners, that one of the Hebrew nation should be the ruin of his kingdom; which prophecy is supposed to have been the occasion of his cruelty to them.4 This circumstance is owing to the invention of the Jews.5

4 See cap. 7, p. 117.
5 Vide Shalshel. hakkab, p. 11. et R. Eliez. pirke, c. 48

z It is related that the midwife appointed to attend the Hebrew women, terrified by a light which appeared between the eyes of Moses at his birth, and touched with an extraordinary affection for the child, did not discover him to the officers, so that his mother kept him in her house, and nursed him three months; after which it was impossible for her to conceal him any longer, the king then giving orders to make the searches more strictly.6

6 Al Beidâwi. See the notes to cap. 20, p. 235.

a This sudden affection or admiration was raised in them either by his uncommon beauty, or by the light which shone on his forehead, or because, when they opened the ark, they found him sucking his thumb, which supplied him with milk.7

7 Idem, Jallalo’ddin.

b See chapter 20, p. 235.

c viz., At noon; at which time it is usual in those countries for people to retire to sleep; or, as others rather suppose, a little within night.
d i.e., The one being an Israelite of his own religion and nation, and the other an idolatrous Egyptian.
e Mohammed allows that Moses killed the Egyptian wrongfully; but, to excuse it, supposes that he struck him without designing to kill him.
f Some suppose these words to have been spoken by the Israelite, who, because Moses had reprimanded him, imagined he was going to strike him; and others, by the Egyptian, who either knew or suspected that Moses had killed his countryman the day before.
g This person, says the tradition, was an Egyptian, and Pharaoh’s uncle’s son, but a true believer; who, finding that the king had been informed of what Moses had done, and designed to put him to death, gave him immediate notice to provide for his safety by flight.
h For Moses knew not the way, and coming to a place where three roads met, committed himself to the guidance of GOD, and took the middle road, which was the right; providence likewise so ordering it, that his pursuers took the other two roads, and missed him.1 Some say he was led by an angel in the appearance of a traveller.2

1 Al Beidâwi.
2 Jallalo’ddin.

i By rolling away a stone of a prodigious weight, which had been laid over the mouth of the well by the shepherds, and required no less than seven men (though some name a much larger number) to remove it.1

1 Idem, interp. Yahya.
k This was Sefûra (or Zipporah) the elder, or, as others suppose, the younger daughter of Shoaib, whom Moses afterwards married.
l The girl, being asked by her father how she knew Moses deserved this character, told him that he had removed the vast stone above mentioned without any assistance, and that he looked not in her face, but held down his head till he heard her message, and desired her to walk behind him, because the wind ruffled her garments a little, and discovered some part of her legs.2

2 Idem.

m viz., The longest terms of ten years. The Mohammedans say, after the Jews,3 that Moses received from Shoaib the rod of the prophets (which was a branch of a myrtle of paradise, and had descended to him from Adam) to keep off the wild beasts from his sheep; and that this was the rod with which he performed all those wonders in Egypt.

3 Vide Shals. hakkab. p. 12. R. Eliez. pirke, c. 40, &c.

n See chapter 20, p. 234.
o LIterally, thy wing: the expression alludes to the action of birds, which stretch forth their wings to fly away when they are frighted, and fold them together again when they think themselves secure.4

4 Al Beidâwi.

p See chapter 26, p. 277.
q It is said that Haman, having prepared bricks and other materials, employed no less than fifty thousand men, besides labourers, in the building; which they carried to so immense a height that the workmen could no longer stand on it: that Pharaoh, ascending this tower, threw a javelin towards heaven, which fell back again stained with blood, whereupon he impiously boasted that he had killed the GOD of Moses; but at sunset GOD sent the angel Gabriel, who, with one stroke of his wing, demolished the tower, a part whereof, falling on the king’s army, destroyed a million of men.5

5 Al Zamakhshari.

r That is, to the Arabians; to whom no prophet had been sent, at least since Ismael.
s viz., The Pentateuch and the Korân. Some copies read, Two impostors, meaning Moses and Mohammed.

t Holding the same faith in fundamentals, before the revelation of the Korân, which we receive because it is consonant to the scriptures, and attested to by them. The passage intends those Jews and Christians who had embraced Mohammedism.
u Because they have believed both in their own scriptures and in the Korân.
x See chap. 25, p. 275, note d.
y This objection was made by Al Hareth Ebn Othmân Ebn Nawfal Ebn Abd Menâf, who came to Mohammed and told him that the Koreish believed he preached the truth, but were apprehensive that if they made the Arabs their enemies by quitting their religion, they would be obliged likewise to quit Mecca, being but a handful of men, in comparison to the whole nation.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

z By giving them for their habitation the sacred territory of Mecca, a place protected by GOD, and reverenced by man.
a That is, for a day, or a few hours only, while travellers stay there to rest and refresh themselves; or, as the original may also signify, unless by a few inhabitants: some of those ancient cities and dwellings being utterly desolate, and others thinly inhabited.
b There being none left to enjoy it after them.

c See chap. 10, p. 153.
d Literally, The account thereof shall be dark unto them; for the consternation they shall then be under, will render them stupid, and unable to return an answer.
e viz., The prophet who shall have been sent to each nation.
f The commentators say, Karûn was the son of Yeshar (or Izhar), the uncle of Moses, and, consequently, make him the same with the Korah of the scriptures. This person is represented by them as the most beautiful of the Israelites, and so far surpassing them all in opulency that the riches of Karûn have become a proverb. The Mohammedans are indebted to the Jews for this last circumstance, to which they have added several other fables; for they tell us that he built a large palace overlaid with gold, the doors whereof were of massy gold; that he became so insolent because of his immense riches, as to raise a sedition against Moses, though some pretend the occasion of his rebellion to have been his unwillingness to give alms, as Moses had commanded; that one day, when that prophet was preaching to the people, and, among other laws which he published, declared that adulterers should be stoned, Karûn asked him what if he should be found guilty of the same crime? To which Moses answered, that in such case he would suffer the same punishment; and thereupon Karûn produced a harlot, whom he had hired to swear that Moses had lain with her, and charged him publicly with it; but on Moses adjuring the woman to speak the truth, her resolution failed her, and she confessed that she was suborned by Karûn to accuse him wrongfully; that then God directed Moses, who had complained to him of this usage, to command the earth what he pleased, and it should obey him; whereupon he said, O earth swallow them up! and that immediately the earth opened under Karûn and his confederates, and swallowed them up, with his palace and all his riches.1 There goes a tradition, that as Karûn sank gradually into the ground, first to his knees, then to his waist, then to his neck, he cried out four several times, O Moses, have mercy on me! but that Moses continued to say, O earth, swallow them up, till at last he wholly disappeared; upon which GOD said to Moses, Thou hast no mercy on Karûn, though he asked pardon of thee four times; but I would have had compassion on him if he had asked pardon of me but once.2

1 Abulfeda, Jallalo’ddin, al Beidâwi, &c.
2 Al Beidâwi. Vide D’Herbel. Bibl. Orient. Art. Carun.

g The original word properly signifies any number of persons from ten to forty. Some pretend these keys were a sufficient load for seventy men; and Abulfeda says forty mules used to be employed to carry them.
h This passage is parallel to that in the New Testament, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.3

3 Luke xvi. 9.

i For some say he was the most learned of all the Israelites, and the best versed in the law, after Moses and Aaron; others pretend he was skilled in chemistry, or in merchandising, or other arts of gain, and others suppose (as the Jews also fable4) that he found out the treasures of Joseph in Egypt.5

4 Vide R. Ghedal, Shalsh. hakkab. p. 13.
5 Jallalo’ddin, al Beidâwi.

k It is said he rode on a white mule adorned with trappings of gold, and that he was clothed in purple, and attended by four thousand men, all well mounted and richly dressed.
l This verse, some say, was revealed to Mohammed when he arrived at Johsa, in his flight from Mecca to Medina, to comfort him and still his complaints.

m Transient mention is made of this insect towards the middle of the chapter.
n Some think the first ten verses, ending with these words, And he well knoweth the hypocrites, were revealed at Medina, and the rest at Mecca; and others believe the reverse.
o See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. III. p. 46, &c.
p Literally, That they shall be let alone, &c.
q This passage reprehends the impatience of some of the prophet’s companions, under the hardships which they sustained in defence of their religion, and the losses which they suffered from the infidels; representing to them that such trials and afflictions were necessary to distinguish the sincere person from the hypocrite, and the steady from the wavering. Some suppose it to have been occasioned by the death of Mahja, Omar’s slave, killed by an arrow at the battle of Bedr, which was deeply lamented and laid to heart by his wife and parents.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

r That is, If they endeavour to pervert thee to idolatry. The passage is said to have been revealed on account of Saad Ebn Abi Wakkâs, and his mother Hamna, who, when she heard that her son had embraced Mohammedism, swore that she would neither eat nor drink till he returned to his old religion, and kept her oath for three days.2

2 Idem.

s viz., The guilt of seducing others, which shall be added to the guilt of their own obstinacy without diminishing the guilt of such as shall be seduced by them.
t This is true, if the whole life of Noah be reckoned; and accordingly Abulfeda says he was sent to preach in his two hundred and fiftieth year, and that he lived in all nine hundred and fifty: but the text seeming to speak of those years only which he spent in preaching to the wicked antediluvians, the commentators suppose him to have lived much longer. Some say the whole length of his life was a thousand and fifty years; that his mission happened in the fortieth year of his age, and that he lived after the Flood sixty years;1 and others give different numbers; one, in particular, pretending that Noah lived near sixteen hundred years.2
      This circumstance, says al Beidâwi, was mentioned to encourage Mohammed, and to assure him that God, who supported Noah so many years against the opposition and plots of the antediluvian infidels, would not fail to defend him against all attempts of the idolatrous Meccans and their partisans.

1 Idem, al Zamakh.
2 Caab, apud Yahyam.

u i.e., The ark.
x This seems to be part of Abraham’s speech to his people: but some suppose that GOD here speaks, by way of apostrophe, first to the Koreish, and afterwards to Mohammed; and that the parenthesis is continued to these words, And the answer of his people was no other, &c. In which case we should have said, If ye charge Mohammed your apostle with imposture, &c.
y The infidels are bid to consider how GOD causeth the fruits of the earth to spring forth, and reneweth them every year, as in the preceding; which is an argument of his power to raise man, whom he created at first, to life again after death, at his own appointed time.
z See Psalm cxxxix. 7, &c.

a See chapter 21.
b Some suppose the Sodomites robbed and murdered the passengers; others, that they unnaturally abused their bodies.
c Their meetings being scenes of obscenity and riot.
d See chapter 11, p. 165, &c.
e See ibid. p. 166.
f viz., The story of its destruction, handed down by common tradition; or else its ruins, or some other footsteps of this signal judgment; it being pretended that several of the stones, which fell from heaven on those cities, are still to be seen, and that the ground where they stood appears burnt and blackish.
g See chapter 7, p. 114.
h The original word properly signifies a wind that drives the gravel and small stones before it; by which the storm, or shower of stones, which destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, seems to be intended.
i Which was the end of Ad and Thamud.
k As it did Karûn.
l As the unbelievers in Noah’s time, and Pharaoh and his army
m i.e., Without ill language or passion. This verse is generally supposed to have been abrogated by that of the sword; though some think it relates only to those who are in alliance with the Moslems.
n See chapter 6, p. 93
o That is, If ye cannot serve me in one city or country, fly unto another, where ye may profess the true religion in safety; for the earth is wide enough, and ye may easily find places of refuge. Mohammed is said to have declared, That whoever flies for the sake of his religion, though he stir but the distance of a span, merits paradise, and shall be the companion of Abraham and of himself.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

p And particularly who will make a good, and who will make a bad use of their riches.

q The original word is al Rûm; by which the later Greeks, or subjects of the Constantinopolitan empire, are here meant; though the Arabs give the same name also to the Romans, and other Europeans.
r Some except the verse beginning at these words, Praise be unto GOD.
s The Prelim. Disc. Sect. III. p. 46, &c.
t The accomplishment of the prophecy contained in this passage, which is very famous among the Mohammedans, being insisted on by their doctors as a convincing proof that the Korân really came down from heaven, it may be excusable to be a little particular.
      The passage is said to have been revealed on occasion of a great victory obtained by the Persians over the Greeks, the news whereof coming to Mecca, the infidels became strangely elated, and began to abuse Mohammed and his followers, imagining that this success of the Persians, who, like themselves, were idolaters, and supposed to have no scriptures, against the Christians, who pretended as well as Mohammed to worship one GOD, and to have divine scriptures, was an earnest of their own future successes against the prophet and those of his religion: to check which vain hopes, it was foretold, in the words of the text, that how improbable soever it might seem, yet the scale should be turned in a few years, and the vanquished Greeks prevail as remarkably against the Persians.
      That this prophecy was exactly fulfilled the commentators fail not to observe, though they do not exactly agree in the accounts they give of its accomplishment; the number of years between the two actions being not precisely determined. Some place the victory gained by the Persians in the fifth year before the Hejra, and their defeat by the Greeks in the second year after it, when the battle of Bedr was fought:1 others place the former in the third or fourth year before the Hejra, and the latter in the end of the sixth or beginning of the seventh year after it, when the expedition of al Hodeibiyah was undertaken.2
      The date of the victory gained by the Greeks, in the first of these accounts, interferes with a story which the commentators tell, of a wager laid by Abu Becr with Obba Ebn Khalf, who turned this prophecy into ridicule. Abu Becr at first laid ten young camels that the Persians should receive an overthrow within three years; but on his acquainting Mohammed with what he had done, that prophet told him that the word bed’, made use of in this passage, signified no determinate number of years, but any number from three to nine (though some suppose the tenth year is included), and therefore advised him to prolong the time, and to raise the wager; which he accordingly proposed to Obba, and they agreed that the time assigned should be nine years, and the wager a hundred camels. Before the time was elapsed, Obba died of a wound he had received at Ohod, in the third year of the Hejra;3 but the event afterwards showing that Abu Becr had won, he received the camels of Obba’s heirs, and brought them in triumph to Mohammed.4
      History informs us that the successes of Khosru Parviz, king of Persia, who carried on a terrible war against the Greek empire, to revenge the death of Maurice, his father-in-law, slain by Phocas, were very great, and continued in an uninterrupted course for two and twenty years. Particularly in the year of Christ 615, about the beginning of the sixth year before the Hejra the Persians, having the preceding year conquered Syria, made themselves masters of Palestine, and took Jerusalem; which seems to be that signal advantage gained over the Greeks mentioned in this passage, as agreeing best with the terms here used, and most likely to alarm the Arabs by reason of their vicinity to the scene of action: and there was so little probability, at that time, of the Greeks being able to retrieve their losses, much less to distress the Persians, that in the following years the arms of the latter made still farther and more considerable progresses, and at length they laid siege to Constantinople itself. But in the year 625, in which the fourth year of the Hejra began, about ten years after the taking of Jerusalem, the Greeks, when it was least expected, gained a remarkable victory over the Persians, and not only obliged them to quit the territories of the empire, by carrying the war into their own country, but drove them to the last extremity, and spoiled the capital city al Madâyen; Heraclius enjoying thenceforward a continued series of good fortune, to the deposition and death of Khosru. For more exact information in these matters, and more nicely fixing the dates, either so as to correspond with or to overturn this pretended prophecy (neither of which is my business here), the reader may have recourse to the historians and chronologers.5

1 Jallalo’ddin, &c.
2 Al Zamakh., al Beidâwi.
3 See p. 272, note h.
4 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin, &c.
5 Vide etiam Asseman, Bibl. Orient. t. 3, part i. p. 411, &c. et Boulainy. Vie de Mahom. p. 333, &c.

u Some interpreters, supposing that the land here meant is the land of Arabia, or else that of the Greeks, place the scene of action in the confines of Arabia and Syria, near Bostra and Adhraât;6 others imagine the land of Persia is intended, and lay the scene in Mesopotamia, on the frontiers of that kingdom;7 but Ebn Abbas, with more probability, thinks it was in Palestine.

6 Yahya, al Beidâwi.
7 Mojahed, apud Zamakh. Jallalo’ddin.

x To dig for water and minerals, and to till the ground for seed, &c.8

8 Al Beidâwi.

y Some are of opinion that the five times of prayer are intended in this passage; the evening including the time both of the prayer of sunset, and of the evening prayer properly so called, and the word I have rendered at sunset, marking the hour of afternoon prayer, since it may be applied also to the time a little before sunset.
z See chapter 3, p. 34.

z Which are certainly most wonderful, and, as I conceive, very hard to be accounted for, if we allow the several nations in the world to be all the offspring of one man, as we are assured by scripture they are, without having recourse to the immediate omnipotency of GOD.
a That is, in speaking of him we ought to make use of the most noble and magnificent expressions we can possibly devise.
b See chapter 16, p. 200
c i.e., The immutable law, or rule, to which man is naturally disposed to conform, and which every one would embrace, as most fit for a rational creature, if it were not for the prejudices of education. The Mohammedans have a tradition that their prophet used to say, That every person is born naturally disposed to become a Moslem; but that a man’s parents make him a Jew, a Christian, or a Magian.
d That is, Have we either by the mouth of any prophet, or by any written revelation, commanded or encouraged the worship of more gods than one?
e And seek not to regain the favour of GOD by timely repentance.
f Or by way of bribe. The word may include any sort of extortion or illicit gain.
g viz., Mischief and public calamities, such as famine, pestilence, droughts, shipwrecks, &c. or erroneous doctrines, or a general depravity of manners.
h Some copies read in the first person plural, That we might cause them to taste &c.

i viz., In the world or in their graves. See chapter 23, p. 262.
k That is, according to his foreknowledge and decree in the preserved table; or according to what is said in the Korân, where the state of the dead is expressed by these words:1 Behind them there shall be a bar until the day of resurrection.2

1 Cap. 23, p. 261.
2 Al Beidâwi.

l The chapter is so entitled from a person of this name mentioned therein, of whom more immediately.
m Some except the fourth verse, beginning at these words, Who observe the appointed times of prayer, and give alms, &c. And others three verses, beginning at these words, If all the trees in the earth were pens, &c.
n See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. III. p. 46, &c.
o i.e., Vain and silly fables. The passage was revealed, it is said, on occasion of al Nodar Ebn al Hareth, who, having brought from Persia the romance of Rostam and Isfandiyar, the two heroes of that country, recited it in the assemblies of the Koreish, highly extolling the power and splendour of the ancient Persian kings, and preferring their stories to those of Ad and Thamud, David and Solomon, and the rest which are told in the Korân. Some say that al Nodar bought singing girls, and carried them to those who were inclined to become Moslems to divert them from their purpose by songs and tales.3

3 Idem
p See chapter 16, p. 196. A learned writer,1 in his notes on this passage, says the original word rawâsiya, which the commentators in general will have to signify stable mountains, seems properly to express the Hebrew word mechonim, i.e., bases or foundations; and therefore he thinks the Korân has here translated that passage of the Psalms, He laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be moved for ever.2 This is not the only instance which might be given that the Mohammedan doctors are not always the best interpreters of their own scriptures.

1 Gol. in Append. ad Erpenii Gram. p. 187.
2 Ps. civ. 5.

q The Arab writers say, that Lokmân was the son of Baûra who was the son or grandson of a sister or aunt of Job; and that he lived several centuries, and to the time of David, with whom he was conversant in Palestine. According to the description they give of his person, he must have been deformed enough; for they say he was of a black complexion (whence some call him an Ethiopian), with thick lips and splay feet: but in return he received from GOD wisdom and eloquence in a great degree, which some pretend were given him in a vision, on his making choice of wisdom preferably to the gift of prophecy, either of which were offered him. The generality of the Mohammedans, therefore, hold him to have been no prophet, but only a wise man. As to his condition, they say he was a slave, but obtained his liberty on the following occasion: His master having one day given him a bitter melon to eat, he paid him such exact obedience as to eat it all; at which his master being surprised, asked him how he could eat so nauseous a fruit? To which he replied, it was no wonder that he should for once accept a bitter fruit from the same hand from which he had received so many favours.3 The commentators mention several quick repartees of Lokmân, which, together with the circumstances above mentioned, agree so well with what Maximus Planudes has written of Esop, that from thence, and from the fables attributed to Lokmân by the orientals, the latter has been generally thought to have been no other than the Esop of the Greeks. However, that be (for I think the matter will bear a dispute), I am of opinion that Planudes borrowed great part of his life of Esop from the traditions he met with in the east concerning Lokmân, concluding them to have been the same person, because they were both slaves, and supposed to be the writers of those fables which go under their respective names, and bear a great resemblance to one another; for it has long since been observed by learned men that the greater part of that monk’s performance is an absurd romance, and supported by no evidence of the ancient writers.4

3 Al Zamakh, al Beidâwi, &c. Vide D’Herbel. Bibl. Orient. p. 516, et Marracc. in Alc. p. 547.
4 Vide la Vie d’Esope, par M. de Meziriac, et Bayle, Dict. Hist. Art. Esope. Rem. B.

r Whom some name Anám (which comes pretty near the Ennus of Planudes), some Ashcam, and others Mathan.
s The two verses which begin at these words, and end with the following, viz., And then will I declare unto you that which ye have done, are no part of Lokmân’s advice to his son, but are inserted by way of parenthesis, as very pertinent and proper to be repeated here, to show the heinousness of idolatry; they are to be read (excepting some additions) in the twenty-ninth chapter, and were originally revealed on account of Saad Ebn Abi Wakkâs, as has been already observed.5

5 See cap. 29, p. 297, and the notes thereon.
t That is, show them all deference and obedience, so far as may be consistent with thy duty towards GOD.
u The person particularly meant here was Abu Becr, at whose persuasion Saad had become a Moslem.
x To the braying of which animal the Arabs liken a loud and disagreeable voice.
y i.e., All kinds of blessings, regarding as well the mind as the body.
z This passage is said to have been revealed in answer to the Jews, who insisted that all knowledge was contained in the law.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

a GOD being able to produce a million of worlds by the single word Kun, i.e., Be, and to raise the dead in general by the single word Kum, i.e., Arise.

b viz., The devil.
c In this passage five things are enumerated which are known to GOD alone, viz., The time of the day of judgment; the time of rain; what is forming in the womb, as whether it be male or female, &c.; what shall happen on the morrow; and where any person shall die. These the Arabs, according to a tradition of their prophet, call the five keys of secret knowledge. The passage, it is said, was occasioned by al Hareth Ebn Amru, who propounded questions of this nature to Mohammed.
      As to the last particular, al Beidâwi relates the following story: The angel of death passing once by Solomon in a visible shape, and looking at one who was sitting with him, the man asked who he was, and upon Solomon’s acquainting him that it was the angel of death, said, He seems to want me; wherefore order the wind to carry me from hence into India; which being accordingly done, the angel said to Solomon, I looked so earnestly at the man out of wonder; because I was commanded to take his soul in India, and found him with thee in Palestine.
d The title is taken from the middle of the chapter, where the believers are said to fall down adoring
e See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. III p. 46, &c.
f See chapter 28, p. 293.
g As to the reconciliation of this passage with another,1 which seems contradictory, see the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. p. 65.
      Some, however, do not interpret the passage before us of the resurrection, but suppose that the words here describe the making and executing of the decrees of GOD, which are sent down from heaven to earth, and are returned (or ascend, as the verb properly signifies) back to him, after they have been put in execution; and present themselves, as it were, so executed, to his knowledge, in the space of a day with GOD, but with man, of a thousand years. Others imagine this space to be the time which the angels, who carry the divine decrees, and bring them back executed, take in descending and reascending, because the distance from heaven to earth is a journey of five hundred years: and others fancy that the angels bring down at once decrees for a thousand years to come, which being expired, they return back for fresh orders, &c.2

1 Cap. 20.
2 Al Beidâwi.

h i.e., Seed.
i See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. p. 56.
k See chapter 7, p. 106, and chapter 11, p. 169.
l Not even an angel of those who approach nearest GOD’S throne, nor any prophet who hath been sent by him.3

3 Idem.

m Literally, The joy of the eyes. The commentators fail not, on occasion of this passage, to produce that saying of their prophet, which was originally none of his own; GOD saith, I have prepared for my righteous servants, what eye hath not seen, nor hath ear heard, nor hath entered into the heart of man to conceive.

n Or, as some interpret it, of the revelation of the Korân to thyself; since the delivery of the law to Moses proves that the revelation of the Korân to thee is not the first instance of the kind. Others think the words should be translated thus: Be thou not in doubt as to thy meeting of that prophet; supposing that the interview between Moses and Mohammed in the sixth heaven, when the latter took his night journey thither, is here intended.4

4 Idem.

o The Meccans frequently passing by the places where the Adites, Thamudites, Midianites, Sodomites, &c., once dwelt.
p That is, on the day of judgment; though some suppose the day here intended to be that of the victory at Bedr, or else that of the taking of Mecca, when several of those who had been proscribed were put to death without remission.5

5 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. II. p. 42.
q Part of this chapter was revealed on occasion of the war of the ditch, which happened in the fifth year of the Hejra, when Medina was besieged, for above twenty days, by the joint and confederate forces of several Jewish tribes, and of the inhabitants of Mecca, Najd, and Tehâma, at the instigation of the Jews of the tribe of Nadhîr, who had been driven out of their settlement near Medina, by Mohammed, the year before.1
r It is related that Abu Sofiân, Acrema Ebn Abi Jahl, and Abu’l A war al Salami, having an amicable interview with Mohammed, at which were present also Abda’llah Ebn Obba, Moatteb Ebn Kosheir, and Jadd Ebn Kais, they proposed to the prophet that if he would leave off preaching against the worship of their gods, and acknowledge them to be mediators, they would give him and his LORD no farther disturbance; upon which these words were revealed.2

1 Vide Abulfeda, Vit. Moh. p. 73, et Gagnier, Vie de Mahomet, l. 4, c. I
2 Al Beidâwi

s This passage was revealed to abolish two customs among the old Arabs. The first was their manner of divorcing their wives, when they had no mind to let them go out of their house, or to marry again; and this the husband did by saying to the woman, Thou art henceforward to me as the back of my mother; after which words pronounced he abstained from her bed, and regarded her in all respects as his mother, and she became related to all his kindred in the same degree as if she had been really so. The other custom was the holding their adopted sons to be as as nearly related to them as their natural sons, so that the same impediments of marriage arose from that supposed relation, in the prohibited degrees, as it would have done in the case of a genuine son. The latter Mohammed had a peculiar reason to abolish–viz., his marrying the divorced wife of his freedman Zeid, who was also his adopted son, of which more will be said by-and-bye. By the declaration which introduces this passage, that GOD has not given a man two hearts, is meant, that a man cannot have the same affection for supposed parents and adopted children, as for those who are really so. They tell us the Arabs used to say, of a prudent and acute person, that he had two hearts; whence one Abu Mámer, or, as others write, Jemîl Ebn Asad al Fihri, was surnamed Dhu’lkalbein, or the man with two hearts.3

3 Idem, Jallalo’ddin, &c.

t Through ignorance or mistake; or, that ye have erred for the time past.
u Commanding them nothing but what is for their interest and advantage, and being more solicitous for their present and future happiness even than themselves; for which reason he ought to be dear to them, and deserves their utmost love and respect. In some copies these words are added, And he is a father unto them; every prophet being the spiritual father of his people, who are therefore brethren. It is said that this passage was revealed on some of Mohammed’s followers telling him, when he summoned them to attend him in the expedition of Tabûc,4 that they would ask leave of their fathers and mothers.5

4 See cap. 9, p. 139.
5 Al Beidâwi.

x Though the spiritual relation between Mohammed and his people, declared in the preceding words, created no impediment to prevent his taking to wife such women among them as he thought fit; yet the commentators are of opinion that they are here forbidden to marry any of his wives.6

6 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. VI.

y These words, which also occur, excepting the latter part of the sentence, in the eighth chapter, abrogate that law concerning inheritances, published in the same chapter, whereby the Mohâjerûn and Ansârs were to be the heirs of one another, exclusive of their nearer relations, who were infidels.7

7 See cap. 8, p. 133.

z i.e., In the preserved table, or the Korân; or, as others suppose, in the Pentateuch.
a Jallalo’ddin supposes this covenant was made when Adam’s posterity were drawn forth from his loins, and appeared before GOD like small ants:8 but Marracci conjectures that the covenant here meant was the same which the Talmudists pretend all the prophets entered into with GOD on Mount Sinai, where they were all assembled in person with Moses.9

8 See cap. 7, p. 122.
9 See cap. 3, p. 41.

b Whereby they undertook to execute their several commissions, and promised to preach the religion commanded them by GOD.
c i.e., That he may at the day of judgment demand of the prophets in what manner they executed their several commissions, and how they were received by their people; or, as the words may also import, that he may examine those who believed on them, concerning their belief, and reward them accordingly.
d These were the forces of the Koreish and the tribe of Ghatfân, confederated with the Jews of al Nadhîr and Koreidha, who besieged Medina to the number of twelve thousand men, in the expedition called the war of the ditch.
e On the enemies’ approach, Mohammed, by the advice of Salmân, the Persian, ordered a deep ditch or entrenchment to be dug round Medina, for the security of the city, and went out to defend it with three thousand men. Both sides remained in their camps near a month, without any other acts of hostility than shooting of arrows and slinging of stones; till, in a winter’s night, GOD sent a piercing cold east wind, which benumbed the limbs of the confederates, blew the dust in their faces, extinguished their fires, overturned their tents, and put their horses in disorder, the angels at the same time crying, Allah acbar! round about their camp; whereupon Toleiha Ebn Khowailed, the Asadite, said aloud, Mohammed is going to attack you with enchantments, wherefore provide for your safety by flight: and accordingly the Koreish first, and afterward the Ghatfânites, broke up the siege, and returned home; which retreat was also not a little owing to the dissensions among the confederate forces, the raising and fomenting whereof the Mohammedans also ascribe to GOD. It is related that when Mohammed heard that his enemies were retired, he said, I have obtained success by means of the east wind; and Ad perished by the west wind.1

1 Al Beidâwi, Abulf. Vit. Moh. p. 77, &c.

f The Ghatfânites pitched on the east side of the town, on the higher part of the valley; and the Koreish on the west side, on the lower part of the valley.2

2 Idem.

g The sincere and those who were more firm of heart fearing they should not be able to stand the trial; and the weaker-hearted and hypocrites thinking themselves delivered up to slaughter and destruction

h The person who uttered these words, it is said, was Moatteb Ebn Kosheir, who told his fellows that Mohammed had promised them the spoils of the Persians and the Greeks, whereas now not one of them dared to stir out of their entrenchment.3

3 Idem. Vide Abulf. ubi sup. p. 76.

i viz., Aws Ebn Keidhi and his adherents.
k This was the ancient and proper name of Medina, or of the territory wherein it stands. Some suppose the town was so named from its founder, Yathreb, the son of Kâbiya, the son of Mahlayel, the son of Aram, the son of Sem, the son of Noah; though others tell us it was built by the Amalekites.4

4 Ahmed Ebn Yusof. See the Prelim. Disc. p. 4

l i.e., In the city; or, in their apostasy and rebellion, because the Moslems would surely succeed at last.
m The persons meant here were Banu Haretha, who having behaved very ill and run away on a certain occasion, promised they would do so no more.5

5 Al Beidâwi.

n Either coming to the army in small numbers, or staying with them but a little while, and then returning on some feigned excuse; or behaving ill in time of action. Some expositors take these words to be part of the speech of the hypocrites, reflecting on Mohammed’s companions for lying idle in the trenches, and not attacking the enemy.
o i.e., Sparing of their assistance either in person or with their purse; or being greedy after the booty.
p That they might be absent, and not obliged to go to war.
q viz., Of firmness in time of danger, of confidence in the divine assistance, and of piety by fervent prayer for the same.

r Namely, That we must not expect to enter paradise without undergoing some trials and tribulations.1 There is a tradition that Mohammed actually foretold this expedition of confederates some time before, and the success of it.2

1 See cap. 2, p. 22; cap. 3, p. 46; cap. 29, p. 298, &c.
2 Al Beidâwi.

s By standing firm with the prophet, and strenuously opposing the enemies of the true religion, according to their engagement.
t Or, as the words may be translated, have fulfilled their vow, or paid their debt to nature, by falling martyrs in battle; as did Hamza, Mohammed’s uncle, Masab Ebn Omair, and Ans Ebn al Nadr,3 who were slain at the battle of Ohod. The martyrs at the war of the ditch were six, including Saad Ebn Moadh, who died of his wound about a month after.4

3 Idem.
4 Abulf. Vit. Moh. p. 79.

u As Othmân and Telha.5

5 Al Beidâwi.

x These were the Jews of the tribe of Koreidha, who, though they were in league with Mohammed, had, at the incessant persuasion of Caab Ebn Asad, a principal man among them, perfidiously gone over to his enemies in this war of the ditch, and were severely punished for it. For the next morning, after the confederate forces had decamped, Mohammed and his men returned to Medina, and, laying down their arms, began to refresh themselves after their fatigue; upon which Gabriel came to the prophet and asked him whether he had suffered his people to lay down their arms, when the angels had not laid down theirs; and ordering him to go immediately against the Koradhites, assuring him that himself would lead the way. Mohammed, in obedience to the divine command, having caused public proclamation to be made that every one should pray that afternoon for success against the sons of Koreidha, set forward upon the expedition without loss of time; and being arrived at the fortress of the Koradhites, besieged them for twenty-five days, at the end of which those people, being in great terror and distress, capitulated, and at length, not daring to trust to Mohammed’s mercy, surrendered at the discretion of Saad Ebn Moadh,6 hoping that he, being the prince of the tribe of Aws, their old friends and confederates, would have some regard for them. But they were deceived: for Saad, being greatly incensed at their breach of faith, had begged of GOD that he might not die of the wound he had received at the ditch till he saw vengeance taken on the Koradhites, and therefore adjudged that the men should be put to the sword, the women and children made slaves, and their goods be divided among the Moslems; which sentence Mohammed had no sooner heard than he cried out, That Saad had pronounced the sentence of GOD: and the same was accordingly executed, the number of men who were slain amounting to six hundred, or, as others say, to seven hundred, or very near, among whom were Hoyai Ebn Akhtab, a great enemy of Mohammed’s, and Caab Ebn Asad, who had been the chief occasion of the revolt of their tribe: and soon after Saad, who had given judgment against them, died, his wound, which had been skinned over, opening again.7

6 See cap. 8, p. 128.
7 Al Beidâwi, Abulf. Vit. Moh. p. 77, &c. Vide Gagnier, Vie de Mah. l. 4, c. 2.

z This was the work of Gabriel, who, according to his promise, went before the army of Moslems. It is said that Mohammed, a little before he came to the settlement of the Koradhites, asking some of his men whether anybody had passed them, they answered, that Dohya Ebn Kholeifa, the Calbite, had just passed by them, mounted on a white mule, with housings of satin: to which he replied, That person was the angel Gabriel, who is sent to the sons of Koreidha to shake their castles, and to strike their hearts with fear and consternation.8

8 Ebn Ishak.

a Their immovable possessions Mohammed gave to the Mohâjerin, saying, that the Ansârs were in their own houses, but that the others were destitute of habitations. The movables were divided among his followers, but he remitted the fifth part, which was usual to be taken in other cases.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

b By which some suppose Persia and Greece are meant; others, Khaibar; and others, whatever lands the Moslems may conquer till the day of judgment.2

2 Idem.

c This passage was revealed on Mohammed’s wives asking for more sumptuous clothes, and an additional allowance for their expenses; and he had no sooner received it than he gave them their option, either to continue with him or to be divorced, beginning with Ayesha, who chose GOD and his apostle, and the rest followed her example; upon which the prophet thanked them, and the following words were revealed, viz., It shall not be lawful for thee to take other women to wife hereafter,3 &c. From hence some have concluded that wife who has her option given her, and chooses to stay with her husband, shall not be divorced, though others are of a contrary opinion.4

3 See after, in this chapter, p. 310.
4 Al Beidâwi.

d For the crime would be more enormous and unpardonable in them, because of their superior condition, and the grace which they have received from GOD; whence it is that the punishment of a free person is ordained to be double to that of a slave,5 and prophets are more severely reprimanded for their faults than other men.6

5 See cap 4, p. 57.
6 Al Beidâwi.

e viz., Once for her obedience, and a second time for her conjugal affection to the prophet, and handsome behaviour to him.
f That is, in the old time of idolatry. Some suppose the times before the Flood, or the time of Abraham, to be here intended, when women adorned themselves with all their finery, and went abroad into the streets to show themselves to the men.7

7 Idem.

g The pronouns of the second person in this part of the passage being of the masculine gender, the Shiites pretend the sentence has no connection with the foregoing or the following words; and will have it that by the household of the prophet are particularly meant Fâtema and Ali, and their two sons, Hasan and Hosein, to whom these words are directed.8

8 Idem.
h This verse was revealed on account of Zeinab (or Zenobia), the daughter of Jahash, and wife of Zeid, Mohammed’s freedman, whom the prophet sought in marriage, but received a repulse from the lady and her brother Abdallah, they being at first averse to the match: for which they are here reprehended. The mother of Zeinab, it is said, was Amîma, the daughter of Abd’almotalleb, and aunt to Mohammed.1

1 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin.

i viz., Zeid Ebn Haretha, on whom GOD had bestowed the grace early to become a Moslem.
k By giving him his liberty, and adopting him for thy son, &c.
      Zeid was of the tribe of Calb, a branch of the Khodaites, descended from Hamyar, the son of Saba; and being taken in his childhood by a party of freebooters, was bought by Mohammed, or, as others say, by his wife Khadijah before she married him. Some years after, Haretha, hearing where his son was, took a journey to Mecca, and offered a considerable sum for his ransom; whereupon, Mohammed said, Let Zeid come hither: and if he chooses to go with you, take him without ransom: but if it be his choice to stay with me, why should I not keep him? And Zeid being come, declared that he would stay with his master, who treated him as if he were his only son. Mohammed no sooner heard this, but he took Zeid by the hand, and led him to the black stone of the Caaba, where he publicly adopted him for his son, and constituted him his heir, with which the father acquiesced, and returned home well satisfied. From this time Zeid was called the son of Mohammed, till the publication of Islâm, after which the prophet gave him to wife Zeinab.2

2 Al Jannabi. Vide Gagnier, Vie de Moh. l. 4. c. 3.

l Namely, thy affection to Zeinab. The whole intrigue is artfully enough unfolded in this passage. The story is as follows:–
      Some years after his marriage, Mohammed, going to Zeid’s house on some affair, and not finding him at home, accidentally cast his eyes on Zeinab, who was then in a dress which discovered her beauty to advantage, and was so smitten at the sight, that he could not forbear crying out, GOD be praised, who turneth the hearts of men as he pleaseth! This Zeinab failed not to acquaint her husband with on his return home; whereupon, Zeid, after mature reflection, thought he could do no less than part with his wife in favour of his benefactor, and therefore resolved to divorce her, and acquainted Mohammed with his resolution; but he, apprehending the scandal it might raise, offered to dissuade him from it, and endeavoured to stifle the flames which inwardly consumed him; but at length, his love for her being authorized by this revelation, he acquiesced, and after the term of her divorce was expired, married her in the latter end of the fifth year of the Hejra.3

3 Al Beidâwi, al Jannabi, &c.

m It is observed that this is the only person, of all Mohammed’s companions, whose name is mentioned in the Korân.
n Whence Zeinab used to vaunt herself above the prophet’s other wives, saying that GOD had made the match between Mohammed and herself, whereas their matches were made by their relations.4

4 Idem.

o For this feigned relation, as has been observed, created an impediment of marriage among the old Arabs within the prohibited degrees, in the same manner as if it had been real; and therefore Mohammed’s marrying Zeinab, who had been his adopted son’s wife, occasioned great scandal among his followers, which was much heightened by the Jews and hypocrites: but the custom is here declared unreasonable, and abolished for the future.

p That is, Ye are not obliged to keep them any certain time before ye dismiss them, as ye are those with whom the marriage has been consummated. See chap. 2, p. 24.
q i.e., If no dower has been assigned them: for if a dower has been assigned, the husband is obliged, according to the Sonna, to give the woman half the dower agreed on, besides a present.1 This is still to be understood of such women with whom the marriage has not been consummated.

1 Idem.

r It is said, therefore, that the women slaves which he should buy are not included in this grant.
s But not the others. It is related of Omm Hâni, the daughter of Abu Taleb, that she should say, The apostle of GOD courted me for his wife, but I excused myself to him, and he accepted of my excuse: afterwards this verse was revealed; but he was not thereby allowed to marry me, because I fled not with him.2
      It may be observed that Dr. Prideaux is much mistaken when he asserts that Mohammed, in this chapter, brings in GOD exempting him from the law in the fourth chapter,3 whereby the Moslems are forbidden to marry within certain degrees, and giving him an especial privilege to take to wife the daughter of his brother, or the daughter of his sister.4

2 Idem.
3 Page 56.
4 See Prid. Life of Mahomet, p. 116.

t Without demanding any dower. According to a tradition of Ebn Abbas, the prophet, however, married no woman without assigning her a dower. The commentators are not agreed who was the woman particularly meant in this passage; but they name four who are supposed to have thus given themselves to the prophet, viz., Maimûna Bint al Hareth, Zeinab Bint Khozaima, Ghozîa Bint Jâber, surnamed Omm Shoraic (which three he actually married), and Khawla Bint Hakim, whom, as it seems, he rejected.
u For no Moslem can legally marry above four wives, whether free women or slaves; whereas Mohammed is, by the preceding passage, left at liberty to take as many as he pleased, though with some restrictions.

x By this passage some farther privileges were granted unto Mohammed; for, whereas other men are obliged to carry themselves equally towards their wives,1 in case they had more than one, particularly as to the duties of the marriage bed, to which each has a right to be called in her turn (which right was acknowledged in the most early ages),2 and cannot take again a wife whom they have divorced the third time, till she has been married to another and divorced by him,3 the prophet was left absolutely at liberty to deal with them in these and other respects as he thought fit.

1 See Kor. c. 4, p. 53, &c.
2 See Gen. xxx. 14, &c
3 See cap. 2, p. 24.

z The commentators differ as to the express meaning of these words. Some think Mohammed was thereby forbidden to take any more wives than nine, which number he then had, and is supposed to have been his stint, as four was that of other men; some imagine that after this prohibition, though any of the wives he then had should die or be divorced, yet he could not marry another in her room: some think he was only forbidden from this time forward to marry any other woman than one of the four sorts mentioned in the preceding passage; and others4 are of opinion that this verse is abrogated by the two preceding verses, or one of them, and was revealed before them, though it be read after them.5

4 As Abu’l Kasem Hebatallah.
5 Al Zamakh., al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin, &c.

a By divorcing her and marrying another. Al Zamakhshari tells us that some are of opinion this prohibition is to be understood of a particular kind of exchange used among the idolatrous Arabs, whereby two men made a mutual exchange of their wives without any other formality.
b That is, let there be a curtain drawn between you, or let them be veiled while ye talk with them. As the design of the former precept was to prevent the impertinence of troublesome visitors, the design of this was to guard against too near an intercourse or familiarity between his wives and his followers; and was occasioned, it is said, by the hand of one of his companions accidentally touching that of Ayesha, which gave the prophet some uneasiness.6

6 Al Beidâwi.

c i.e., Either such as he shall divorce in his lifetime, or his widows after his death. This was another privilege peculiar to the prophet.
      It is related that, in the Khalifat of Omar, Ashath Ebn Kais married the woman whom Mohammed had dismissed without consummating his marriage with her;7 upon which the Khalîf at first was thinking to stone her, but afterwards changed his mind, on its being represented to him that this prohibition related only to such women to whom the prophet had gone in.8

7 See before, p. 318, note t.
8 Al Beidâwi.

d See chapter 24, p. 264.
e The words are directed to the prophet’s wives.
f Hence the Mohammedans seldom mention his name without adding, On whom be the blessing of GOD and peace! or the like words.
g This verse was revealed, according to some, on occasion of certain hypocrites who had slandered Ali; or, according to others, on occasion of those who falsely accused Ayesha,9 &c.

9 See cap. 24.

h The original word properly signifies the large wrappers, usually of white linen, with which the women in the east cover themselves from head to foot when they go abroad.
i The commentators are not agreed what this injury was. Some say that Moses using to wash himself apart, certain malicious people gave out that he had a rupture (or, say others, that he was a leper, or an hermaphrodite), and for that reason was ashamed to wash with them; but GOD cleared him from this aspersion by causing the stone on which he had laid his clothes while he washed to run away with them into the camp, whither Moses followed it naked; and by that means the Israelites, in the midst of whom he was gotten ere he was aware, plainly perceived the falsehood of the report. Others suppose Karûn’s accusation of Moses is here intended,1 or else the suspicion of Aaron’s murder, which was cast on Moses because he was with him when he died on Mount Hor; of which latter he was justified by the angels bringing his body and exposing it to public view, or, say some, by the testimony of Aaron himself, who was raised to life for that purpose.2
      The passage is said to have been occasioned by reflections which were cast on Mohammed, on his dividing certain spoils; and that when they came to his ear, he said, GOD be merciful unto my brother Moses: he was wronged more than this, and bore it with patience.3

1 See cap. 28, p. 295.
2 Jallalo’ddin, al Beidâwi.
3 Al Bokhari.

k Some copies for inda read abda, according to which the words should be translated, And he was an illustrious servant of GOD.1
l By faith is here understood entire obedience to the law of GOD, which is represented to be of so high concern (no less than eternal happiness or misery depending on the observance or neglect thereof), and so difficult in the performance, that if GOD should propose the same on the conditions annexed, to the vaster parts of the creation, and they had understanding to comprehend the offer, they would decline it, and not dare to take on them a duty, the failing wherein must be attended with so terrible a consequence; and yet man is said to have undertaken it, notwithstanding his weakness and the infirmities of his nature. Some imagine this proposal is not hypothetical, but was actually made to the heavens, earth, and mountains, which at their first creation were endued with reason, and that GOD told them he had made a law, and had created paradise for the recompense of such as were obedient to it, and hell for the punishment of the disobedient; to which they answered they were content to be obliged to perform the services for which they were created, but would not undertake to fulfil the divine law on those conditions, and therefore desired neither reward nor punishment; they add that when Adam was created, the same offer was made to him, and he accepted it.4 The commentators have other explications of this passage, which it would be too prolix to transcribe.

4 Jallalo’ddin, al Beidâwi.

m Unjust to himself in not fulfilling his engagements and obeying the law he had accepted; and foolish in not considering the consequence of his disobedience and neglect.
n Mention is made of the people of Saba in the fifteenth verse.
o As the rain, hidden treasures, the dead, &c.
p As animals, plants, metals, spring-water, &c.
q As the angels, scriptures, decrees of GOD, rain, thunder and lightning, &c.
r As the angels, men’s works, vapours, smoke, &c.5

5 Al Beidâwi.

s See chapter 21, p. 247
t See ibid.
u See ibid. and chapter 27, p. 284.
x This fountain they say was in Yaman, and flowed three days in a month.1

1 Idem, Jallalo’ddin.

y Or, as some expound the words, We caused him to taste the pain of burning; by which they understand the correction the disobedient genii received at the hands of the angel set over them, who whipped them with a whip of fire.
z Some suppose these were images of the angels and prophets, and that the making of them was not then forbidden; or else that they were not such images as were forbidden by the law. Some say these spirits made him two lions, which were placed at the foot of his throne, and two eagles, which were set above it; and that when he mounted it the lions stretched out their paws, and when he sat down the eagles shaded him with their wings.2

2 Idem.

a Being so monstrously large that a thousand men might eat out of each of them at once.
b These cauldrons, they say, were cut out of the mountains of Yaman, and were so vastly big that they could not be moved; and people went up to them by steps.3

3 Jallalo’ddin.

c The commentators, to explain this passage, tell us that David, having laid the foundations of the temple of Jerusalem, which was to be in lieu of the tabernacle of Moses, when he died, left it to be finished by his son Solomon, who employed the genii in the work: that Solomon, before the edifice was quite completed, perceiving his end drew nigh, begged of GOD that his death might be concealed from the genii till they had entirely finished it; that GOD therefore so ordered it, that Solomon died as he stood at his prayers, leaning on his staff, which supported the body in that posture a full year; and the genii, supposing him to be alive, continued their work during that term, at the expiration whereof the temple being perfectly completed, a worm, which had gotten into the staff, ate it through, and the corpse fell to the ground and discovered the king’s death.4
      Possibly this fable of the temple’s being built by genii, and not by men, might take its rise from what is mentioned in scripture, that the house was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither; so that there was neither hammer, nor axe, nor any tool of iron heard in the house while it was building;5 the Rabbins indeed, tell us of a worm, which might assist the workmen, its virtue being such as to cause the rocks and stones to fly in sunder.6 Whether the worm which gnawed Solomon’s staff were of the same breed with this other, I know not; but the story has perfectly the air of a Jewish invention.

4 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin.
5 I Kings vi. 7.
6 Vide Kimhi, in loc. Buxt. Lex. Talm. p. 2456, et Schickardi Tarich reg. Pers. p. 62.

d i.e., They had not continued in servile subjection to the command of Solomon, nor had gone on with the work of the temple.
e Saba was the son of Yashhab, the son of Yárab, the son of Kahtân, whose posterity dwelt in Yaman, in the city of Mâreb, called also Saba, about three days’ journey from Sanaa.
f That is, two tracts of land, one on this side of their city, and the other on that, planted with trees, and made into gardens, which lay so thick and close together, that each tract seemed to be one continued garden: or, it may be, every house had a garden on each hand of it.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

g The commentators set down several significations of the word al Arem, which are scarce worth mentioning: it most properly signifies mounds or dams for the stopping or containing of water, and is here used for that stupendous mound or building which formed the vast reservoir above the city of Saba, described in another place,2 and which, for the great impiety, pride, and insolence of the inhabitants, was broken down in the night by a mighty flood, and occasioned a terrible destruction.3 Al Beidâwi supposes this mound was the work of queen Balkîs, and that the above-mentioned catastrophe happened after the time of Jesus Christ; wherein he seems to be mistaken.

2 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. I. p. 8.
3 See ibid.

h A low shrub bearing no fruit, and delighting in saltish and barren ground.
i viz., The cities of Syria.
k By reason of their near distance, so that during the whole journey a traveller might rest in one town during the heat of the day, and in another at night; nor was he obliged to carry provisions with him.4

4 Jallal., al Beidâwi.

l This petition they made out of covetousness, that the poor being obliged to be longer on the road, they might make greater advantages in letting out their cattle, and furnishing the travellers with provision: and GOD was pleased to punish them by granting them their wish, and permitting most of the cities, which were between Saba and Syria, to be ruined and abandoned.5

5 Idem.

m For the neighbouring nations justly wondered at so sudden and unforeseen a revolution in the affairs of this once flourishing people: whence it became a proverbial saying, to express a total dispersion, that they were gone and scattered like Saba.6
      Of the descendants of Saba, who quitted their country and sought new settlements on this inundation, the tribe of Ghassân went into Syria, the tribe of Anmâr to Yathreb, the tribe of Jodhâm to Tehâmah, the tribe of al Azd to Omân,1 the tribe of Tay to Najd, the tribe of Khozaah to Batan Marr near Mecca, Banu Amela to a mountain, thence called the Mountain of Amela, near Damascus, and others went to Hira in Irâk,2 &c.

6 Al Beidâwi. Vide Gol. not. in Alfrag. p. 87
1 Al Beidâwi.
2 Vide Poc. Spec. p. 42, 45, and 66.

n Either his opinion of the Sabeans, when he saw them addicted to pride and ingratitude, and the satisfying their lusts; or else the opinion he entertained of all mankind at the fall of Adam, or at his creation, when he heard the angels say, Wilt thou place in the earth one who will do evil therein, and shed blood?3

3 See cap. 2, p. 4; cap. 7, p. 106; and cap. 15, p. 192, &c.

o Who were saved from the common destruction.
p See chapter 19, p. 232.
q i.e., From the hearts of the intercessors, and of those for whom GOD shall allow them to intercede, by the permission which he shall then grant them; for no angel or prophet shall dare to speak at the last day without the divine leave.
r It is said that the infidels of Mecca, having inquired of the Jews and Christians concerning the mission of Mohammed, were assured by them that they found him described as the prophet who should come, both in the Pentateuch and in the Gospel; at which they were very angry, and broke out into the words here recorded.4

4 Al Beidâwi

s See chapter 14, p. 187, note

t See chapter 10, p. 154, note y.
u i.e., That ye set yourselves to deliberate and judge of me and my pretensions coolly and sincerely, as in the sight of GOD, without passion or prejudice. The reason why they are ordered to consider either alone, or by two and two at most together, is because in larger assembles, where noise, passion, and prejudice generally prevail, men have not that freedom of judgment which they have in private.1

1 Al Beidâwi.
x Mohammed, having in the preceding words answered the imputation of madness or vain enthusiasm, by appealing to their cooler thoughts of him and his actions, endeavours by these to clear himself of the suspicion of any worldly view or interest, declaring that he desired no salary or support from them for executing his commission, but expected his wages from GOD alone.
y See chapter 25, p. 275.
z viz., At their death, or the day of judgment, or the battle of Bedr.2

2 Al Beidâwi.

a That is, from the outside of the earth to the inside thereof; or, from before GOD’S tribunal to hell fire; or, from the plain of Bedr to the well into which the dead bodies of the slain were thrown.3

3 Idem.

b i.e., When they are in the other world; whereas faith is to be received in this.
c Some entitle this chapter The Angels: both words occur in the first verse.
d 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 Mohammed, on the night he made his journey to heaven, with no less than six hundred wings.4

4 Idem.
e See chapter 29, p. 298, note
f As the Koreish did against Mohammed. See chapter 8, p. 128, note n.
g See chapter 22, p. 250.
h That is, the two collective bodies of salt water and fresh. See chapter 25, p. 274
i See chapter 16, p. 196, note u.
k As pearls and coral.
l This passage expresses the great difference between a true believer and an infidel, truth and vanity, and their future reward and punishment.
m i.e., Those who obstinately persist in their unbelief, who are compared to the dead.
n As the volumes delivered to Abraham, and to other prophets before Moses.
o viz., The law or the gospel.
p That is, of different kinds. See chapter 16, p. 196.
q Being more or less intense.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

r By not practising what he is taught and commanded in the Korân.
s That is, who meaneth well, and performeth his duty for the most part, but not perfectly

t viz., Mohammed.
u The meaning of these letters is unknown:1 some, however, from a tradition of Ebn Abbas, pretend they stand for Ya insân, i.e., O man. This chapter, it is said, had several other titles given it by Mohammed himself, and particularly that of The heart of the Korân. The Mohammedans read it to dying persons in their last agony.2

1 See the Prelim. Disc. Sec. III. p. 46, &c.
2 Vide Bobov. De Visit. Ægrot. p. 17.

x viz., The sentence of damnation, which GOD pronounced against the greater part of genii and men at the fall of Adam.3

3 See cap. 7, p. 106; c. II, p. 169, &c.

y Or collars, such as are described p. 181, note t.
z That is, we have placed obstacles to prevent their looking either forwards or backwards. The whole passage represents the blindness and invincible obstinacy, with which GOD justly curses perverse and reprobate men.
a It is said that when the Koreish, in pursuance of a resolution they had taken, had sent a select number to beset Mohammed’s house, and to kill him,4 the prophet, having caused Ali to lie down on his bed to deceive the assassins, went out and threw a handful of dust at them, repeating the nine first verses of this chapter, which end here; and they were thereupon stricken with blindness, so that they could not see him.5

4 See the Prelim. Disc. p. 39.
5 Vide Abulf. Vit Moh. p. 50.

b As their good or evil example, doctrine, &c.
c To explain this passage, the commentators tell the following story:–
      The people of Antioch being idolaters, Jesus sent two of his disciples thither to preach to them; and when they drew near the city they found Habîb, surnamed al Najjâr, or the carpenter, feeding sheep, and acqainted him with their errand; whereupon he asked them what proof they had of their veracity, and they told him they could cure the sick, and the blind, and the lepers; and to demonstrate the truth of what they said, they laid their hands on a child of his who was sick, and immediately restored him to health. Habîb was convinced by this miracle, and believed; after which they went into the city and preached the worship of one true GOD, curing a great number of people of several infirmities; but at length, the affair coming to the prince’s ear, he ordered them to be imprisoned for endeavouring to seduce the people. When Jesus heard of this, he sent another of his disciples, generally supposed to have been Simon Peter, who, coming to Antioch, and appearing as a zealous idolater, soon insinuated himself into the favour of the inhabitants and of their prince, and at length took an opportunity to desire the prince would order the two persons who, as he was informed, had been put in prison for broaching new opinions, to be brought before him to be examined; and accordingly they were brought: when Peter, having previously warned them to take no notice that they knew him, asked them who sent them, to which they answered, GOD, who had created all things, and had no companion. He then required some convincing proof of their mission, upon which they restored a blind person to his sight and performed some other miracles, with which Peter seemed not to be satisfied, for that, according to some, he did the very same miracles himself, but declared that, if their GOD could enable them to raise the dead, he would believe them; which condition the two apostles accepting, a lad was brought who had been dead seven days, and at their prayers he was raised to life; and thereupon Peter acknowledged himself convinced, and ran and demolished the idols, a great many of the people following him, and embracing the true faith; but those who believed not were destroyed by the cry of the angel Gabriel.1

1 Al Zamakh., al Beidâwi, &c. Vide etiam Marracc. in Alc. p. 580.

d Some say these two were John and Paul; but others name different persons.
e viz., Simon Peter.
f i.e., If any evil befall you, it will be the consequence of your own obstinacy and unbelief. See chapter 27, p. 287, note b.
g This was Habîb al Najjâr, whose martyrdom is here described. His tomb is still shown near Antioch, and is much visited by the Mohammedans.2

2 Vide Schultens, Indic. Geogr. ad calcem Vitæ Saladini, voce Antiochia.

h As a deluge, or a shower of stones, or a suffocating wind, &c. The words may also be translated, Nor did we determine to send down such executioners of our justice.

i See cap. 29, p. 298, note y.
k That is, he hasteneth to run his daily course, the setting of the sun resembling a traveller’s going to rest. Some copies vary in this place, and instead of limostakarrin laha, read la mostakarra laha; according to which the sentence should be rendered, The sun runneth his course without ceasing, and hath not a place of rest.
l viz., These are twenty-eight constellations, through one of which the moon passes every night, thence called the mansions or houses of the moon.1

1 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. I. p. 24.

m For when a palm-branch grows old, it shrinks, and becomes crooked and yellow, not ill representing the appearance of the new moon.
n Some suppose that the deliverance of Noah and his companions in the ark is here intended; and then the words should be translated, That we carried their progeny in the ark filled with living creatures.
o As camels, which are the land-ships; or lesser vessels and boats.
p i.e., The punishment of this world and of the next.
q When the poor Moslems asked alms of the richer Koreish, they told them that if GOD could provide for them, as they imagined, and did not, it was an argument that they deserved not his favour so well as themselves: whereas GOD permits some to be in want, to try the rich and exercise their charity.
r See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. p. 64, 65, and the notes to chapter 39
s See ibid.

t For they shall sleep during the interval between these two blasts of the trumpet, and shall feel no pain.1

1 Jallalo’ddin.

u See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. p. 69.
x That is, They deserve to be thus treated for their infidelity and disobedience; but we bear with them out of mercy, and grant them respite.
y That is in answer to the infidels, who pretended the Korân was only a poetical composition.
z i.e., Endued with understanding; the stupid and careless being like dead persons.2

2 Al Beidâwi.

a See chapter 16, p. 195, note
b The usual way of striking fire in the east is by rubbing together two pieces of wood, one of which is commonly of the tree called Markh, and the other of that called Afâr: and it will succeed even though the wood be green and wet.1

1 Vide Hyde, de Rel. Vet. Pers. c. 25, p. 333, &c.

c Some understand by these words the souls of men who range themselves in obedience to GOD’S laws, and put away from them all infidelity and corrupt doings; or the souls of those who rank themselves in battle array, to fight for the true religion, and push on their horses to charge the infidels, &c.2

2 Al Beidâwi.

d Or, who put in motion all bodies, in the upper and lower world, according to the divine command; or, who keep off men from disobedience to GOD, by inspiring them with good thoughts and inclinations; or, who drive away the devils from them, &c.3

3 Idem.

e The original word, being in the plural number, is supposed to signify the different points of the horizon from whence the sun rises in the course of the year, which are in number 360 (equal to the number of days in the old civil year), and have as many corresponding points where it successively sets, during that space.4 Marracci groundlessly imagines this interpretation to be built on the error of the plurality of worlds.5

4 Idem, Yahya.
5 Marracc. in Alc. p. 589.

f See chapter 15, p. 192.

g Literally, from the right hand. The words may also be rendered, with force, to compel us; or with an oath, swearing that ye were in the right.
h See chapter 15, p. 193, note
i This may seem an odd comparison to an European; but the orientals think nothing comes so near the colour of a fine woman’s skin as that of an ostrich’s egg when kept perfectly clean.

k There is a thorny tree so called, which grows in Tehâma, and bears fruit like an almond, but extremely bitter; and therefore the same name is given to this infernal tree.
l The infidels not conceiving how a tree could grow in hell, where the stones themselves serve for fuel.
m Or of serpents ugly to behold; the original word signifies both.
n Some suppose that the entertainment mentioned will be the welcome given the damned before they enter that place; and others, that they will be suffered to come out of hell from time to time, to drink their scalding liquor.
o For Noah and he agreed in the fundamental points both of faith and practice; though the space between them was no less than 2640 years.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

p He made as if he gathered so much from the aspect of the heavens–the people being greatly addicted to the superstitions of astrology–and made it his excuse for being absent from their festival, to which they had invited him.
q Fearing he had some contagious distemper.2

2 Idem.

r See chapter 21, p. 246, &c.
s Whither he hath commanded me.

t He was then thirteen years old.3

3 Idem.

u The commentators say, that Abraham was ordered in a vision, which he saw on the eighth night of the month Dhu’lhajja, to sacrifice his son; and to assure him that this was not from the devil, as he was inclined to suspect, the same vision was repeated a second time the next night, when he knew it to be from GOD, and also a third time the night following, when he resolved to obey it, and to sacrifice his son; and hence some think the eighth, ninth, and tenth days of Dhu’lhajja are called Yawm altarwiya, yawm ar afat, and yawm alnehr, that is, the day of the vision, the day of knowledge, and the day of the sacrifice.
      It is the most received opinion among the Mohammedans that the son whom Abraham offered was Ismael, and not Isaac, Ismael being his only son at that time: for the promise of Isaac’s birth is mentioned lower, as subsequent in time to this transaction. They also allege the testimony of their prophet, who is reported to have said, I am the son of the two who were offered in sacrifice; meaning his great ancestor, Ismael, and his own father Abd’allah: for Abd’almotalleb had made a vow that if GOD would permit him to find out and open the well Zemzem, and should give him ten sons, he would sacrifice one of them. Accordingly, when he had obtained his desire in both respects, he cast lots on his sons, and the lot falling on Abd’allah, he redeemed him by offering a hundred camels, which was therefore ordered to be the price of a man’s blood in the Sonna.1

1 Idem, Jallalo’ddin, al Zamakh.

x The commentators add, that Abraham went so far as to draw the knife with all his strength across the lad’s throat, but was miraculously hindered from hurting him.2

2 Idem, Jallalo’ddin.

y The epithet of great or noble is here added, either because it was large and fat, or because it was accepted as the ransom of a prophet. Some suppose this victim was a ram, and, if we may believe a common tradition, the very same which Abel sacrificed, having been brought to Abraham out of paradise; others fancy it was a wild goat, which came down from Mount Thabîr, near Mecca, for the Mohammedans lay the scene of this transaction in the valley of Mina; as a proof of which they tell us that the horns of the victim were hung upon the spout of the Caaba, where they remained till they were burnt, together with that building, in the days of Abda’llah Ebn Zobeir;3 though others assure us that they had been before taken down by Mohammed himself, to remove all occasion of idolatry.4

3 Idem.
4 Vide D’Herbel. Bibl. Orient. Art. Ismail.

z This prophet the Mohammedans generally suppose to be the same with al Khedr, and confound him with Phineas,5 and sometimes with Edris, or Enoch. Some say he was the son of Yasin, and nearly related to Aaron; and others suppose him to have been a different person. He was sent to the inhabitants of Baalbec, in Syria, the Heliopolis of the Greeks, to reclaim them from the worship of their idol Baal, or the sun, whose name makes part of that of the city, which was anciently called Becc.6

5 See cap. 18, p. 223, note
6 Jallalo’ddin, al Beidâwi.

a The commentators do not well know what to make of this word. Some think it is the plural of Elias, or, as the Arabs write it, Ilyâs, and that both that prophet and his followers, or those who resembled him, are meant thereby; others divide the word, and read âl Yasîn, i.e., the family of Yasin, who was the father of Elias according to an opinion mentioned above; and others imagine it signifies Mohammed, or the Korân, or some other book of scripture. But the most probable conjecture is that Ilyâs and Ilyâsin are the same name, or design one and the same person, as Sinai and Sinin denote one and the same mountain; the last syllable being added here, to keep up the rhyme or cadence, at the close of the verse.
b See chapter 7, p. 113, &c., and chapter 11, p. 166, &c.
c See chapter 10, p. 157.
d See chapter 21, p. 248.
e Al Beidâwi says the ship stood stock-still, wherefore they concluded that they had a fugitive servant on board, and cast lots to find him out.
f i.e., He was taken by the lot.
g When the lot fell on Jonas he cried out, I am the fugitive; and immediately threw himself into the sea.7

7 Idem.

h The words seem to relate particularly to Jonas’s supplication while in the whale’s belly.8

8 See cap. 21, p. 248.

i By reason of what he had suffered; his body becoming like that of a new-born child.9 It is said that the fish, after it had swallowed Jonas, swam after the ship with its head above water, that the prophet might breathe, who continued to praise GOD till the fish came to land and vomited him out.
      The opinions of the Mohammedan writers as to the time Jonas continued in the fish’s belly differ very much: some suppose it was part of a day, others three days, others seven, others twenty, and others forty.10

9 Al Beidâwi.
10 Idem.

k The original word signifies a plant which spreads itself upon the ground, having no erect stalk or stem to support it, and particularly a gourd; though some imagine Jonas’s plant to have been a fig, and others the small tree or shrub called Mauz,1 which bears very large leaves, and excellent fruit.2 The commentators add, that this plant withered the next morning, and that Jonas being much concerned at it, GOD made a remonstrance to him in behalf of the Ninivites, agreeable to what is recorded in scripture.

1 Idem.
2 Vide J Leon. Descr. Afric. lib. 9. Gab. Sionit. de Urb. Orient. ad calcem Geogr. Nub. p. 32, et Hottinger. Hist. Orient. p. 78, &c.

l See chapter 16, p. 199.

m That is, the angels, who are also comprehended under the name of genii, being a species of them. Some say that the infidels went so far as to assert that GOD and the devil were brothers,3 which blasphemous expression may have been occasioned by the magian notions.

3 Al Beidâwi.

n These words are supposed to be spoken by the angels, disclaiming the worship paid to them by the idolaters, and declaring that they have each their station and office appointed them by GOD, whose commands they are at all times ready to execute, and whose praises they continually sing. There are some expositors, however, who think they are the words of Mohammed and his followers; the meaning being, that each of them has a place destined for him in paradise, and that they are the men who range themselves in order before GOD, to worship and pray to him, and who celebrate his praise by rejecting every false notion derogatory to the divine wisdom and power.
o The meaning of this letter is unknown:1 some guess it stands for Sidk, i.e., Truth; or for Sadaka, i.e., He (viz., Mohammed) speaketh the truth; and others propose different conjectures, all equally uncertain.

1 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. III. p. 46, &c.

p Something must be understood to answer this oath, which the commentators variously supply.

q On the conversion of Omar, the Koreish being greatly irritated, the most considerable of them went in a body to Abu Taleb, to complain to him of his nephew Mohammed’s proceedings; but being confounded and put to silence by the prophet’s arguments, they left the assembly, and encouraged one another in their obstinacy.2

2 Al Beidâwi.

r Namely, to draw us from their worship.
s i.e., In the religion which we received from our fathers; or, in the religion of Jesus, which was the last before the mission of Mohammed.3

3 Idem.

t For they say Pharaoh used to tie those he had a mind to punish by the hands and feet to four stakes fixed in the ground, and so tormented them.4 Some interpret the words, which may also be translated the lord or master of the stakes, figuratively, of the firm establishment of Pharaoh’s kingdom; because the Arabs fix their tents with stakes;5 but they may possibly intend that prince’s obstinacy and hardness of heart.

4 Jallalo’ddin.
5 Al Beidâwi.

u See chapter 15, p. 194.
x The commentators suppose that ability to undergo the frequent practice of religious exercises is here meant. They say David used to fast every other day, and to spend one-half of the night in prayer.1

1 Idem. interp.

y See chapter 21, p. 247.
z These were two angels, who came unto David in the shape of men, to demand judgment in the feigned controversy after mentioned. It is no other than Nathan’s parable to David,2 a little disguised.

2 2 Sam. xii.
a Because they came suddenly upon him, on a day of privacy: when the doors were guarded, and no person admitted to disturb his devotions. For David, they say, divided his time regularly, setting apart one day for the service of GOD, another day for rendering justice to his people, another day for preaching to them, and another day for his own affairs.3

3 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin.

b The crime of which David had been guilty, was the taking the wife of Uriah, and ordering her husband to be set in the front of the battle to be slain.4

4 Idem.

      Some suppose this story was told to serve as an admonition to Mohammed, who, it seems, was apt to covet what was another’s.
c So as to permit injustice to go unpunished, and righteousness unrewarded.
d Some say that Solomon brought these horses, being a thousand in number, from Damascus and Nisibis, which cities he had taken; others say that they were left him by his father, who took them from the Amalekites; while others, who prefer the marvellous, pretend that they came up out of the sea, and had wings. However, Solomon, having one day a mind to view these horses, ordered them to be brought before him, and was so taken up with them that he spent the remainder of the day, till after sunset, in looking on them; by which means he neglected the prayer, which ought to have been said at that time, till it was too late; but when he perceived his omission, he was so greatly concerned at it, that ordering the horses to be brought back, he killed them all as an offering to GOD, except only a hundred of the best of them. But GOD made him ample amends for the loss of these horses, by giving him dominion over the winds.5

5 Al Beidâwi, al Zamakh., Yahya.
e The most received exposition of this passage is taken from the following Talmudic fable.1
      Solomon, having taken Sidon, and slain the king of that city, brought away his daughter Jerâda, who became his favourite; and because she ceased not to lament her father’s loss, he ordered the devils to make an image of him for her consolation: which being done, and placed in her chamber, she and her maids worshipped it morning and evening, according to their custom. At length Solomon being informed of this idolatry, which was practised under his roof, by his vizir Asâf, he broke the image, and having chastised the woman, went out into the desert, where he wept and made supplications to GOD; who did not think fit, however, to let his negligence pass without some correction. It was Solomon’s custom, while he eased or washed himself, to entrust his signet, on which his kingdom depended, with a concubine of his named Amîna: one day, therefore, when she had the ring in her custody, a devil, named Sakhar, came to her in the shape of Solomon, and received the ring from her; by virtue of which he became possessed of the kingdom, and sat on the throne in the shape which he had borrowed, making what alterations in the law he pleased. Solomon, in the meantime, being changed in his outward appearance, and known to none of his subjects, was obliged to wander about, and beg alms for his subsistence; till at length, after the space of forty days, which was the time the image had been worshipped in his house, the devil flew away, and threw the signet into the sea: the signet was immediately swallowed by a fish, which being taken and given to Solomon, he found the ring in its belly, and having by this means recovered the kingdom, took Sakhar, and tying a great stone to his neck, threw him into the lake of Tiberias.2

1 Vide Talm. En Jacob, part ii. et Yalkut in lib. Reg. p. 182.
2 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin, Abulfeda.

f i.e., That I may surpass all future princes in magnificence and power.
g See chapter 21, p. 247; chapter 27, p. 284, &c.
h Some suppose these words to relate to the genii, and that Solomon is thereby empowered to release or to keep in chains such of them as he pleased.
i See chapter 21, p. 247.
k Some say there were two springs, one of hot water, wherein he bathed; and the other of cold, of which he drank.3

3 Al Beidâwi.

l The original not expressing what this handful was to consist of, one supposes it was to be only a handful of dry grass or of rushes, and another that it was a branch of a palm-tree.4

4 See the notes to cap. 21, p. 247.

m The commentators are not agreed what fault Job’s wife had committed to deserve this chastisement: we have mentioned one opinion already.5 Some think it was only because she stayed too long on an errand.

5 See ibid.

n For he had sworn to give her a hundred stripes if he recovered.

o Or, as the words may be interpreted, according to al Zamakhshari, We have purified them, or peculiarly destined and fitted them for paradise.
p See chapter 6, p. 96.
q See chapter 21, p. 248. Al Beidâwi here takes notice of another tradition concerning this prophet, viz., that he entertained and took care of a hundred Israelites, who fled to him from certain slaughter, from which action he probably had the name of Dhu’lkefl given him, the primary signification of the verb cafala being to maintain or take care of another. If a conjecture might be founded on this tradition, I should fancy the person intended was Obadiah, the governor of Ahab’s house.6
r i.e., About thirty or thirty-three.1
s That is, the angels.
t See chapter 2, p. 4.

6 See I Kings xviii. 4. 1 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. p. 77.
u See chapter 7, p. 106, and chapter 15, p. 192, &c.
x This title is taken from the latter end of the chapter, where it is said the wicked shall be sent to hell, and the righteous admitted into paradise by troops.
y Except the verse beginning, Say, O my servants, who have transgressed against your own souls, &c.1

1 Jallalo’ddin, al Beidâwi.

z Because, says Al Beidâwi, there is no being besides himself but what hath been created by him, since there cannot be two necessarily-existent beings; and hence appears the absurdity of the imagination here condemned, because no creature can resemble the Creator, or be worthy to bear the relation of a son to him.
a Literally, He hath sent down; from which expression some have imagined that these four kinds of beasts were created in paradise, and thence sent down to earth.2

2 Al Zamakh.

b See chapter 6, p. 102.
c See chapter 22, p. 250.
d i.e., The belly, the womb, and the membranes which enclose the embryo.
e Or, He forgetteth the evil which he before prayed against.
f Or, They who do good, shall obtain good even in this world.
g Wherefore let him who cannot safely exercise his religion where he was born or resides, fly to a place of liberty and security.1

1 Al Beidâwi

h i.e., The first of the Koreish who professeth the true religion, or the leader in chief of the Moslems.

i For his hands shall be chained to his neck, and he shall not be able to oppose anything but his face to the fire.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

k i.e., No contradiction, defect, or doubt.
l This passage represents the uncertainty of the idolater, who is distracted in the service of different masters; and the satisfaction of mind which attends the worshipper of the only true GOD.2

2 Idem.

m For the prophet will represent his endeavours to reclaim them from idolatry, and their obstinacy; and they will make frivolous excuses, as that they obeyed their chiefs, and kept to the religion of their fathers, &c.3

3 Idem.

n i.e., Mohammed and his followers. Some suppose that by the latter words Abu Becr is particularly intended, because he asserted the prophet’s veracity in respect to his journey to heaven.

o The Koreish used to tell Mohammed that they feared their gods would do him some mischief, and deprive him of the use of his limbs, or of his reason, because he spoke disgracefully of them. It is thought by some that this passage was verified in Khâled Ebn al Walîd; who, being sent by Mohammed to demolish the idol al Uzza, was advised by the keeper of her temple to take heed what he did, because the goddess was able to avenge herself severely; but he was so little moved at the man’s warning, that he immediately stepped up to the idol, and broke her nose. To support the latter explication, they say that what happened to Khâled is attributed to Mohammed, because the former was then executing the prophet’s orders.1 A circumstance not much different from the above mentioned is told of the demolition of Allat.2

1 Idem.
2 Vide Gagnier, not. in Abulf. Vit. Moh. p. 127.

p That is, seemingly and to outward appearance, sleep being the image of death.
q Not permitting them to return again into their bodies.
r viz., Into their bodies, when they awake.3

3 Al Beidâwi.

s For none can or dare presume to intercede with him, unless by his permission.

t Or by means of my own wisdom.
u As did Karûn in particular.1

1 See cap. 28, p. 295.

x As it happened accordingly: for they were punished with a sore famine for seven years and had the bravest of their warriors cut off at the battle of Bedr.2

2 Al Beidâwi.

y To those who sincerely repent and profess his unity: for the sins of idolaters will not be forgiven.3

3 See p. 10, note h.

z See chapter 6, p. 97, note a.
a The first time, says Al Beidâwi; who consequently supposes there will be no more than two blasts (and two only are distinctly mentioned in the Korân), though others suppose there will be three.1

1 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. p. 65.
b These, some say, will be the angels Gabriel, Michael, and Israfil, and the angel of death, who yet will afterwards all die, at the command of GOD;2 it being the constant opinion of the Mohammedan doctors, that every soul, both of men and of animals, which live either on land or in the sea, and of the angels also, must necessarily taste of death:3 others suppose those who will be exempted are the angels who bear the throne of GOD,4 or the black-eyed damsels, and other inhabitants of paradise.5
      The space between these two blasts of the trumpet will be forty days, according to Yahya and others; there are some, however, who suppose it will be as many years.6

2 Al Beidâwi, Yahya.
3 Vide Pocock. not. in Port. Mosis. p. 266
4 Al Beidâwi.
5 Jallalo’ddin
6 See the Prelim. Disc. ubi sup.

c See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. p. 68.
d See chapter 74, and the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. p. 72.
e See chapter 7, p. 106; chapter 11, p. 169, &c. It seems as if the damned, by these words, attributed their ruin to GOD’S decree of predestination.
f This is a metaphorical expression, representing the perfect security and abundance which the blessed will enjoy in paradise.

g This title is taken from the passage wherein mention is made of one of Pharaoh’s family who believed in Moses.
h See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. III. p. 46, &c.
i By trading into Syria and Yaman. See chapter 3, p. 52, note m.
k These are the Cherubim, the highest order of angels, who approach nearest to GOD’S presence.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

l Having first created us in a state of death, or void of life and sensation, and then given life to the inanimate body;2 and afterwards caused us to die a natural death, and raised us again at the resurrection. Some understand the first death to be a natural death, and the second that in the sepulchre, after the body shall have been there raised to life in order to be examined;3 and consequently suppose the two revivals to be those of the sepulchre and the resurrection.4

2 See c p. 2, p. 4.
3 See Prelim Disc. Sect. IV. p. 60, &c.
4 Al Beidâwi. Jallal.

m When the Creator and his creatures,5 the inhabitants of heaven and of earth, the false deities and their worshippers, the oppressor and the oppressed, the labourer and his works, shall meet each other.6

5 See cap. 6, p. 91
6 Al Beidâwi, Jallal

n i.e., Pursue the resolution which has been formerly taken, and execute it more strictly for the future. See chapter 7, p. 117, note r.
o For they advised him not to put Moses to death, lest it should be thought he was not able to oppose him by dint of argument.1

1 Al Beidâwi

p By raising of commotions and seditions, in order to introduce his new religion.
q This seems to be the same person who is mentioned, chapter 28, p. 291.

r See the speech of Gamaliel to the Jewish Sanhedrim, when the apostles were brought before them.2

2 Acts v. 38, 39

s i.e., The day of judgment, when the inhabitants of paradise and of hell shall enter into mutual discourse: when the latter shall call for help, and the seducers and the seduced shall cast the blame upon each other.3

3 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin

t See chapter 28, p. 293.
u Some are of opinion that those who were sent by Pharaoh to seize the true believer, his kinsman, are the persons more particularly meant in this place: for they tell us that the said believer fled to a mountain, where they found him at prayers, guarded by the wild beasts, which ranged themselves in order about him, and that his pursuers thereupon returned in a great fright to their master, who put them to death for not performing his command.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

x Some expound these words of the previous punishment they are doomed to suffer according to a tradition of Ebn Masúd, which informs us that their souls are in the crops of black birds, which are exposed to hell fire every morning and evening until the day of judgment.2

2 Idem.

y See chapter 14, p. 187, note
z See chapter 74.
a In being too backward and negligent in advancing the true religion, for fear of the infidels.3

3 Idem.

b This sentence may be understood generally, though it was revealed on account of the idolatrous Meccans or of the Jews, who said of Mohammed, This man is not our lord, but the Messias, the Son of David, whose kingdom will be extended over sea and land.4

4 Idem.

c See chapter 22, p. 250.
d Seeing an idol is nothing in the world.1

1 Idem

e See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. p. 59.
f See chapter 16, p. 195

g Being prejudiced in favour of their own erroneous doctrines, and despising the instructions of the prophets.
h Some entitle this chapter Worship, or Adoration, because the infidels are herein commanded to forsake the worship of idols, and to worship GOD: but the thirty-second chapter bearing the same title, that which we have here prefixed is, for distinction, generally used.
i See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. III. p. 46, &c.
k See chapter 11, p. 158, note y.
l viz., The two first days of the week.1

1 Jallalo’ddin.

m See chapter 16, p. 196.
n That is, including the two former days wherein the earth was created.
o i.e., For all, in proportion to the necessity of each, and as their several appetites require. Some refer the word sawâan, here translated equally, and which also signifies completely, to the four days; and suppose the meaning to be that GOD created these things in just so many entire and complete days.2

2 Idem, al Beidâwi.
p Or darkness. Al Zamakhshari says this smoke proceeded from the waters under the throne of GOD (which throne was one of the things created before the heavens and the earth), and rose above the water; that the water being dried up, the earth was formed out of it, and the heavens out of the smoke which had mounted aloft.
q viz., On the fifth and sixth days of the week. It is said the heavens were created on Thursday, and the sun, moon, and stars on Friday; in the evening of which last day Adam was made.3

3 Idem.

r See chapter 15.
s That is, on every side; persuading and urging them continually, and by arguments drawn from past examples, and the expectation of future rewards or punishments.
t It is said that this wind continued from Wednesday to Wednesday inclusive, being the latter end of the month Shawâl; and that a Wednesday is the day whereon GOD sends down his judgments on a wicked people.4

4 Idem.

u See chapter 7, p. 112, &c.
x i.e., Ye hid your crimes from men, little thinking that your very members, from which ye could not hide them, would rise up as witnesses against you.

y Or, talk aloud.
z i.e., Those of either species, who drew us into sin and ruin. Some suppose that the two more particularly intended here are Eblis and Cain, the two authors of infidelity and murder.1

1 Idem, Jallalo’ddin.

a Either while they are living on earth to dispose their minds to good, to preserve them from temptations, and to comfort them; or at the hour of death to support them in their last agony; or at their coming forth from their graves at the resurrection.2

2 Idem.

b That is, it shall not be prevailed against, or frustrated by any means or in any respect whatever.
c See chapter 16, p. 203, &c.
d Being so far off that they hear not, or understand not the voice of him who calls to them.
e For they shall disclaim their idols at the resurrection.
f By the surprising victories and conquests of Mohammed and his successors.1

1 Al Beidâwi.
g The title is taken from the verse wherein the believers are commended, among other things, for using deliberation in their affairs, and consulting together in order to act for the best. Some, instead of this word, prefix the five single letters with which the chapter begins.
h Jallalo’ddin excepts three verses, beginning with these words, Say, I ask not of you, for this my preaching, any reward, &c.
i See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. III. p. 46, &c.
k See ibid. Sect. IV. p. 55 and 59.
l viz., The modern Jews and Christians.
m Not understanding the true meaning, nor believing the real doctrines thereof.
n Labouring here to obtain a reward hereafter; for what is sown in this world will be reaped in the next.
o The meaning of these words is somewhat obscure. Some imagine they express a detestation of the forgery charged on the prophet by the infidels; because none could be capable of so wicked an action but one whose heart was close shut, and knew not his LORD; as if he had said, God forbid that thou shouldst be void of grace, or have so little sense of thy duty. Others think the signification to be that GOD might strike all the revelations which had been vouchsafed to Mohammed, out of his heart at once; and others, that GOD would strengthen his heart with patience against the insults of the unbelievers.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

p Wherefore if the doctrine taught in this book be of man, it will certainly fail and come to nothing; but if it be of GOD, it can never be overthrown.2

2 Idem.

q Using the means which GOD has put into their hands for their own defence. This is added to complete the character here given; for valour and courage are not inconsistent with clemency,3 the rule being,
       Parcere subjectis, et debellare superbos.

3 Idem.

r See chapter 5, p. 79, &c.

s Or, as the words may be also translated, Thus have we sent the spirit Gabriel unto thee with a revelation.
t The words chosen for the title of this chapter occurs p. 364.
u Some except the verse beginning with these words, And ask our apostles whom we have sent before thee, &c.
x See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. III. p. 46, &c.
y i.e., The preserved table; which is the original of all the scriptures in general.
z See chapter 16, p. 100, &c.
a i.e., To one of the principal inhabitants of Mecca, or of Tâyef, such as al Walid Ebn al Mogheira, or Erwa Ebn Masud, the Thakifite.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

b By this expression the prophetic office is here particularly intended.
c See chapter 19.
d That is, ask those who profess the religions which they taught, and their learned men.2

2 Idem, Jallal., &c.

e Literally, Than its sister. The meaning is that the miracles were all very great and considerable, or, as the French may express it, by a phrase nearly the same, les uns plus grands que les autres.
f viz., The successive plagues which they suffered, previous to their final destruction in the Red Sea.
g To wit, the Nile and its branches.3

3 Idem.
h See chapter 20, p. 234, note
i Such bracelets were some of the insignia of royalty; for when the Egyptians raised a person to the dignity of a prince, they put a collar or chain of gold about his neck,1 and bracelets of gold on his wrists.2

1 See Gen. xli. 42.
2 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin.

k This passage is generally supposed to have been revealed on occasion of an objection made by one Ebn al Zabári to those words in the 21st chapter,3 by which all in general, who were worshipped as deities, besides GOD, are doomed to hell: whereupon the infidels cried out, We are contented that our gods should be with Jesus; for he also is worshipped as GOD.4 Some, however, are of opinion it might have been revealed in answer to certain idolaters, who said that the Christians, who received the scriptures, worshipped Jesus, supposing him to be the son of GOD; whereas the angels were more worthy of that honour than he.5

3 See p. 249.
4 Jallalo’ddin, al Beidâwi.
5 Idem.

l Or an instance of our power, by his miraculous birth.
m As easily as we produced Jesus without a father.6 The intent of the words is to show how just and reasonable it is to think that the angels should bear the relation of children to men, rather than to GOD; they being his creatures, as well as men, and equally in his power.

6 Idem.

n For some time before the resurrection Jesus is to descend on earth, according to the Mohammedans, near Damascus,7 or, as some say, near a rock in the holy land named Afik, with a lance in his hand, wherewith he is to kill Antichrist, whom he will encounter at Ludd, or Lydda, a small town not far from Joppa.8 They add that he will arrive at Jerusalem at the time of morning prayer, that he shall perform his devotions after the Mohammedan institution, and officiate instead of the Imâm, who shall give place to him; that he will break down the cross, and destroy the churches of the Christians, of whom he will make a general slaughter, excepting only such as shall profess Islâm, etc.9

7 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. p. 63.
8 See ibid. p. 63.
9 Al Beidâwi.

o That is, with a book of revelations, and an excellent system of religion.
p This may be understood either of the Jews in the time of Jesus, who opposed his doctrine, or of the Christians since, who have fallen into various opinions concerning him; some making him to be GOD, others the Son of GOD, and others, one of the persons of the Trinity, &c.10

10 Idem, Jallalo’ddin.
q This the Mohammedans suppose to be the name of the principal angel who has the charge of hell.
r Some say that this answer will not be given till a thousand years after.
s i.e., The guardian angels.
t That is, to the doctrine of GOD’S unity. The exception comprehends Jesus, Ezra, and the angels; who will be admitted as intercessors, though they have been worshipped as gods.1

1 Idem.

u See chapter 25, p. 275, note d.

x This word occurs within a few lines from the beginning of the chapter.
y Some except the verse beginning, We will take the plague off you a little, &c.
z See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. III. p. 46, &c.
a Generally supposed to be that between the twenty-third and twenty-fourth of Ramadân. See ibid. p. 50, and chapter 97, and the notes there.
b For annually on this night, as the Mohammedans are taught, all the events of the ensuing year, with respect to life and death and the other affairs of this world, are disposed and settled.1 Some, however, suppose that these words refer only to that particular night on which the Korân, wherein are completely contained the divine determinations in respect to religion and morality, was sent down;2 and, according to this exposition, the passage may be rendered, The night whereon every determined or adjudged matter was sent down.

1 Jallalo’ddin, al Beidâwi.
2 Idem.

c The commentators differ in their expositions of this passage. Some think it spoke of a smoke which seemed to fill the air during the famine which was inflicted on the Meccans in Mohammed’s time,3 and was so thick that, though they could hear, yet they could not see one another.4 But, according to a tradition of Ali, the smoke here meant is that which is to be one of the previous signs of the day of judgment,5 and will fill the whole space from east to west, and last for forty days. This smoke, they say, will intoxicate the infidels, and issue at their nose, ears and posteriors, but will very little inconvenience the true believers.6

3 See cap. 23, p. 259, note
4 Al Zamakh., al Beidâwi, Yahya, Jallalo’ddin.
5 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. p. 63.
6 Al Zamakh., al Beidâwi.

d See chapter 16, p. 203.
e If we follow the former exposition, the words are to be understood, of the ceasing of the famine upon the intercession of Mohammed, at the desire of the Koreish, and on their promise of believing on him; notwithstanding which, they fell back to their old incredulity; but if we follow the latter exposition, they are to be understood of GOD’S taking away the plague of the smoke, after the expiration of the forty days, at the prayer of the infidels, and on their promise of receiving the true faith, which being done, they will immediately return to their wonted obstinacy.
f Some expound this of the slaughter at Bedr, and others of the day of judgment.

g i.e., Let the Israelites go with me to worship their GOD.
h Or that ye injure me not, either by word or deed.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

i Without opposing me or offering me any injury, which I have not deserved from you.
k See chapter 26, p. 278.
l That is, none pitied their destruction.
m i.e., Knowing that they were worthy of our choice; or, notwithstanding we knew they would, in time to come, fall into idolatry, &c.
n As the dividing of the Red Sea, the cloud which shaded them, the raining on them manna and quails, &c.2

2 Idem.

o The Hamyarites, whose kings had the title of Tobba.3 The commentators tell us that the Tobba here meant was very potent, and built Samarcand, or, as others say, demolished it; and that he was a true believer, but his subjects were infidels.4
      This prince seems to have been Abu Carb Asaad, who flourished about seven hundred years before Mohammed, and embraced Judaism, which religion he first introduced into Yaman (being the true religion at that time, inasmuch as Christianity was not then promulgated), and was, for that cause probably, slain by his own people.5

3 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. I. p. 7.
4 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin.
5 Al Jannâbi. Vide Poc. Spec. p. 60.

p See chapter 21, p. 242, and chapter 38, p. 341.
q i.e., The day of judgment; when the wicked shall be separated from the righteous, &c.
r Jallalo’ddin supposes this passage to have been particularly levelled against Abu Jahl.

s The word from which this chapter is denominated occurs p. 370.
t See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. III. p. 46, &c.
u By the days of GOD, in this place, are meant the prosperous successes of his people in battle against the infidels.1 The passage is said to have been revealed on account of Omar, who being reviled by one of the tribe of Ghifâr, was thinking to revenge himself by force. Some are of opinion that this verse is abrogated by that of war.2

1 See p. 186, note d.
2 Al Beidâwi.

x That is, of the principal Koreish, who were urgent with Mohammed to return to the religion of his forefathers.3

3 Idem.

y The original word Ommat properly signifies a people who profess one and the same law or religion.

z See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. p. 70.
a Al Ahkâf is the plural of Hekf, and signifies lands which lie in a crooked or winding manner; whence it became the name of a territory in the province of Hadramaut, where the Adites dwelt. It is mentioned about the middle of the chapter.
b See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. III. p. 46, &c.
c See chapter 21, p. 242, and chapter 38, p. 341, &c.
d Being to last but a certain space of time, and not for ever.
e i.e., Any part of the revelations of the Korân.
f That is, I do not teach a doctrine different from what the former apostles and prophets have taught, nor am I able to do what they could not, particularly to show the signs which every one shall think fit to demand.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

g This witness is generally supposed to have been the Jew Abd’allah Ebn Salâm, who declared that Mohammed was the prophet foretold by Moses. Some, however, suppose the witness here meant to have been Moses himself.2

2 Idem, Jallalo’ddin

h These words were spoken, as some think, by the Jews, when Abd’allah professed Islâm; or, according to others, by the Koreish, because the first followers of Mohammed were for the most part poor and mean people; or else by the tribes of Amer, Ghatfân, and Asad, on the conversion of those of Joheinah, Mozeinah, Aslam, and Ghifar.3

3 Idem.

i At the least. For if the full time of suckling an infant be two years,4 or twenty-four months, there remain but six months for the space of his being carried in the womb; which is the least that can be allowed.5

4 See cap. 2, p. 25.
5 Al Beidâwi.

k These words, it is said, were revealed on account of Abu Becr, who professed Islâm in the fortieth year of his age, two years after Mohammed’s mission, and was the only person, either of the Mohâjerin or the Ansârs, whose father and mother were also converted; his son Abd’alrahmân, and his grandson Abu Atik, likewise embracing the same faith.6

6 Idem, Jallalo’ddin, &c.
l The words seem to be general; but it is said they were revealed particularly on occasion of Abd’alrahmân, the son of Abu Becr, who used these expressions to his father and mother before he professed Islâm.7

7 Al Beidâwi.

m Unless they redeem their fault by repentance, and embracing the true faith, as did Abd’alrahmân.
n i.e., The prophet Hud.
o Which came to pass accordingly; for this pestilential and violent wind killed all who believed not in the doctrine of Hud, without distinction of sex, age, or degree; and entirely destroyed their possessions. See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. I. p. 5, and the notes to chapter 7, p. 111.
p As the settlements of the Thamudites, Midianites, and the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, &c.

q These genii, according to different opinions, were of Nisibin, or of Yaman, or of Ninive; and in number nine or seven. They heard Mohammed reading the Korân by night, or after the morning prayer, in the valley of al Nakhlah, during the time of his retreat to al Tayef, and believed on him.1

1 Idem, Jallalo’ddin.

r Hence the commentators suppose those genii, before their conversion to Mohammedism, to have been of the Jewish religion.
s Some entitle this chapter War, which is therein commanded to be vigorously carried on against the enemies of the Mohammedan faith.
t Some suppose the whole to have been revealed at Mecca.

u This law the Hanifites judge to be abrogated, or to relate particularly to the war of Bedr, for the severity here commanded, which was necessary in the beginning of Mohammedism,1 they think too rigorous to be put in practice in its flourishing state. But the Persians and some others hold the command to be still in full force; for, according to them, all the men of full age who are taken in battle are to be slain, unless they embrace the Mohammedan faith; and those who fall into the hands of the Moslems after the battle are not to be slain, but may either be set at liberty gratis or on payment of a certain ransom, or may be exchanged for Mohammedan prisoners, or condemned to slavery, at the pleasure of the Imâm or prince.2

1 See cap. 8, p. 127 and 132.
2 Al Beidâwi. Vide Reland. Dissert. de Jure Militari Mohammedanor. p. 32.

x Some copies, instead of kâtilu, read kûtilu, according to which latter reading it should be rendered, who are slain, or suffer martyrdom, &c.

y i.e., The more learned of Mohammed’s companions, such as Ebn Masúd and Ebn Abbâs.3

3 Jallalo’ddin.

z Or, as the words may also be translated, and he will reward them for their piety.
a As the mission of Mohammed, the splitting of the moon, and the smoke,1 mentioned in the forty-fourth chapter.

1 Idem, al Beidâwi.

b Though Mohammed here and elsewhere2 acknowledges himself to be a sinner, yet several Mohammedan doctors pretend he was wholly free from sin, and suppose he is here commanded to ask forgiveness, not that he wanted it, but that he might set an example to his followers: wherefore he used to say of himself, if the tradition be true, I ask pardon of GOD a hundred times a day.3

2 See cap. 48, in the beginning.
3 Jallalo’ddin

c As hypocrisy, cowardice, or instability in their religion.
d Or, as the words may also be translated, If ye had turned back, and apostatized from your faith.
e i.e., In part of what ye desire of us; by staying at home and not going forth with Mohammed to war, and by private combination against him.4

4 Al Beidâwi.

f These words are supposed to allude to the examination of the sepulchre.

g These were the tribes of Koreidha and al Nadir; or those who distributed provision to the army of the Koreish at Bedr.1

1 Al Beidâwi. See cap. 8, p. 129, note y.

h i.e., In backwardness and aversion to the propagation of the faith. The people here designed to be put in the place of these lukewarm Moslems are generally supposed to be the Persians, there being a tradition that Mohammed, being asked what people they were, at a time when Salmân was sitting by him, clapped his hand on his thigh, and said, This man and his nation. Others, however, are of opinion the Ansârs or the angels are intended in this place.2

2 Idem.

i This victory, from which the chapter takes its title, according to the most received interpretation, was the taking of the city of Mecca. The passage is said to have been revealed on Mohammed’s return from the expedition of al Hodeibiya, and contains a promise or prediction of this signal success, which happened not till two years after, the preterite tense being therein used, according to the prophetic style, for the future.3
      There are some, notwithstanding, who suppose the advantage here intended was the pacification of al Hodeibiya, which is here called a victory, because the Meccans sued for peace, and made a truce there with Mohammed, their breaking of which occasioned the taking of Mecca. Others think the conquest of Khaibar, or the victory over the Greeks at Mûta, &c., to be meant in this place.

3 Al Zamakh., al Beidâwi, &c.

k That is to say, that GOD ay give thee an opportunity of deserving forgiveness by eradicating of idolatry, and exalting his true religion, and the delivering of the weak from the hands of the ungodly, &c.
l i.e., Whatever thou hast done worthy reprehension; or, thy sins committed as well in the time of ignorance as since. Some expound the words more particularly, and say the preceding or former fault was his lying with his handmaid Mary,1 contrary to his oath; and the latter, his marrying of Zeinab,2 the wife of Zeîd his adopted son.3

1 See cap. 66, and the notes thereon.
2 See cap. 33, and the notes thereon.
3 Al Zamakh.

m The original word signifies publicly to acknowledge or inaugurate a prince, by swearing fidelity and obedience to him.
n That is, he beholdeth from above, and is witness to the solemnity of your giving your faith to his apostle, and will reward you for it.4 The expression alludes to the manner of their plighting their faith on these occasions.

4 Jallalo’ddin.

o These were the tribes of Aslam, Joheinah, Mozeinah, and Ghifâr, who, being summoned to attend Mohammed in the expedition of al Hodeibiya, stayed behind, and excused themselves by saying their families must suffer in their absence, and would be robbed of the little they had (for these tribes were of the poorer Arabs); whereas in reality they wanted firmness in the faith, and courage to face the Koreish.5

5 Idem, al Beidâwi.

p viz., In the expedition of Khaibar. The prophet returned from al Hodeibiya in Dhu’lhajja, in the sixth year of the Hejra, and stayed at Medina the remainder of that month and the beginning of Moharram, and then set forward against the Jews of Khaibar, with those only who had attended him to Hodeibiya; and having made himself master of the place, and all the castles and strongholds in that territory,1 took spoils to a great value, which he divided among them who were present at that expedition, and none else.2

1 Vide Abulf. Vit. Moh. p. 87, &c.
2 Al Beidâwi.

q Which was his promise to those who attended the prophet to al Hodeibiya, that he would make them amends for their missing of the plunder of Mecca at that time by giving them that of Khaibar in lieu thereof. Some think the word here intended, to be that passage in the ninth chapter,3 Ye shall not go forth with me for the future, &c., which yet was plainly revealed long after the taking of Khaibar, on occasion of the expedition of Tabûc.4

3 Page 144.
4 Al Beidâwi.

r These were Banu Honeifa, who inhabited al Yamâma, and were the followers of Moseilama, Mohammed’s competitor; or any other of those tribes which apostatized from Mohammedism,5 or, as others rather suppose, the Persians or the Greeks.6

5 Idem.
6 Jallalo’ddin.

s Mohammed, when at al Hodeibiya, sent Jawwâs Ebn Omeyya the Khozaïte, to acquaint the Meccans that he was come with a peaceable intention to visit the temple; but they, on some jealousy conceived, refusing to admit him, the prophet sent Othman Ebn Affân, whom they imprisoned, and a report ran that he was slain: whereupon Mohammed called his men about him, and they took an oath to be faithful to him, even to death; during which ceremony he sat under a tree, supposed by some to have been an Egyptian thorn, and by others a kind of lote-tree.7

7 Idem, al Beidâwi. Vide Abulf. Vit. Moh. p. 86.

t The original word is Sakînat, of which notice has been taken elsewhere.8

8 In not. ad cap. 2, p. 27.

u Namely, the success at Khaibar; or, as some rather imagine, the taking of Mecca, &c.
x i.e., The hands of those of Khaibar, or of their successors of the tribes of Asad and Ghatfân, or of the inhabitants of Mecca, by the pacification of al Hodeibiya.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

y Jallalo’ddin says that fourscore of the infidels came privately to Mohammed’s camp at al Hodeibiya, with an intent to surprise some of his men, but were taken and brought before the prophet, who pardoned them and ordered them to be set at liberty; and this generous action was the occasion of the truce struck up by the Koreish with Mohammed; for thereupon they sent Sohail Ebn Amru and some others (and not Arwa Ebn Masúd, as is said by mistake in another place,2 for his errand was an actual defiance) to treat for peace.
      Al Beidâwi explains the passage by another story, telling us that Acrema Ebn Abi Jahl marching from Mecca at the head of five hundred men to al Hodeibiya, Mohammed sent against him Khâled Ebn al Walîd with a detachment, who drove the infidels back to the innermost part of Mecca (as the word here translated valley properly signifies), and then left them, out of respect to the place.

2 Prelim. Disc. Sect. II. p. 41.
z Mohammed’s intent, in the expedition of al Hodeibiya, being only to visit the temple of Mecca in a peaceable manner, and to offer a sacrifice in the valley of Mina, according to the established rites, he carried beasts with him for that purpose; but was not permitted by the Koreish either to enter the temple or to go to Mina.
a This passage was occasioned by the stiffness of Sohail and his companions in wording the treaty concluded with Mohammed; for when the prophet ordered Ali to begin with the form, In the name of the most merciful GOD, they objected to it, and insisted that he should begin with this: In thy name, O GOD; which Mohammed submitted to, and proceeded to dictate, These are the conditions on which Mohammed, the apostle of GOD, has made peace with those of Mecca; to this Sohail again objected, saying, If we had acknowledged thee to be the apostle of GOD, we had not given thee any opposition; whereupon Mohammed ordered Ali to write as Sohail desired, These are the conditions which Mohammed, the son of Abdallah, &c. But the Moslems were so disgusted thereat, that they were on the point of breaking off the treaty, and had fallen on the Meccans, had not GOD appeased and calmed their minds, as it follows in the text.3
      The terms of this pacification were that there should be a truce for ten years; that any person might enter into league either with Mohammed or with the Koreish, as he should think fit; and that Mohammed should have the liberty to visit the temple of Mecca the next year for three days.4

3 Al Beidâwi. Vide Abulf. Vit. Moh. p. 87.
4 Idem.

b i.e., The Mohammedan profession of faith; or the Bismillah, and the words, Mohammed, the apostle of GOD, which were rejected by the infidels.
c Or dream which Mohammed had at Medina before he set out for al Hodeibiya; wherein he dreamed that he and his companions entered Mecca in security, with their heads shaven and their hair cut. This dream being imparted by the prophet to his followers, occasioned a great deal of joy among them, and they supposed it would be fulfilled that same year; but when they saw the truce concluded, which frustrated their expectation for that time, they were deeply concerned; whereupon this passage was revealed for their consolation, confirming the vision, which was not to be fulfilled till the year after, when Mohammed performed the visitation distinguished by the addition of al Kadâ, or completion, because he then completed the visitation of the former year, when the Koreish not permitting him to enter Mecca, he was obliged to kill his victims, and to shave himself at al Hodeibiya.5

5 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin. Vide Abulf. Vit. Moh. p. 84, 87.
d i.e., Some being shaved, and others having only their hair cut.
e viz., The taking of Khaibar.
f That is, do not presume to give your own decision in any case, before ye have received the judgment of GOD and his apostle.
g This verse is said to have been occasioned by a dispute between Abu Becr and Omar, concerning the appointing of a governor of a certain place; in which they raised their voices so high, in the presence of the apostle, that it was thought proper to forbid such indecencies for the future.1

1 Jallal.

h These, they say, were Oyeyna Ebn Osein, and al Akrá Ebn Hâbes; who wanting to speak with Mohammed, when he was sleeping at noon in his women’s apartment, had the rudeness to call out several times, Mohammed, come forth to us.2

2 Al Beidâwi.
i This passage was occasioned, it is said, by the following accident. Al Walid Ebn Okba being sent by Mohammed to collect the alms from the tribe of al Mostalek, when he saw them come out to meet him in great numbers, grew apprehensive they designed him some mischief, because of past enmity between him and them in the time of ignorance, and immediately turned back, and told the prophet they refused to pay their alms, and attempted to kill him; upon which Mohammed was thinking to reduce them by force: but on sending Khâled Ebn al Walîd to them, he found his former messenger had wronged them, and that they continued in their obedience.3

3 Idem, Jallal.

k This verse is supposed to have been occasioned by a fray which happened between the tribes of al Aws and al Khazraj. Some relate that the prophet one day riding on an ass, as he passed near Abdallah Ebn Obba, the ass chanced to stale, at which Ebn Obba stopped his nose; and Ebn Rawâha said to him, By GOD, the piss of his ass smells sweeter than thy musk: whereupon a quarrel ensued between their followers, and they came to blows, though they struck one another only with their hands and slippers, or with palm-branches.4

4 Idem

l It is said that this verse was revealed on account of Safiya Bint Hoyai, one of the prophet’s wives; who came to her husband and complained that the women said to her, O thou Jewess, the daughter of a Jew and of a Jewess: to which he answered, Canst thou not say, Aaron is my father, and Moses is my uncle, and Mohammed is my husband?5

5 Al Beidâwi. See Prid. Life of Mahom. p. 111, &c.

m These were certain of the tribe of Asad, who came to Medina in a year of scarcity, and having professed Mohammedism, told the prophet that they had brought all their goods and their families, and would not oppose him, as some other tribes had done: and this they said to obtain a part of the alms, and to upbraid him with their having embraced his religion and party.6

6 Idem.
n That is, Ye are not sincere believers, but outward professors only of the true religion.
o i.e., Will ye pretend to deceive him, by saying ye are true believers?
p The obligation being not on GOD’S side, but on yours, for that he has favoured you so far as to guide you into the true faith, if ye are sincere believers.
q Some imagine that this letter is designed to express the mountain Kâf, which several eastern writers fancy encompass the whole world.1 Others say it stands for Kada al amr, i.e., The matter is decreed, viz., the chastisement of the infidels.2 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. III. p. 46, &c.

1 Vide D’Herbel. Bibl. Orient. Art. Caf.
2 Al Beidâwi. Jallalo’ddin.

r Not knowing what certainly to affirm of the Korân; calling it sometimes a piece of poetry, at other times a piece of sorcery, and at other times a piece of divination, &c.
s See chapter 16, p. 196, and chapter 31, p. 307.

t See chapter 25, p. 273.
u See chapter 44, p. 368.
x The intent of the passage is to exalt the omniscience of GOD, who wants not the information of the guardian angels, though he has thought fit, in his wisdom, to give them that employment; for if they are so exact as to write down every word which falls from a man’s mouth, how can we hope to escape the observation of him who sees our inmost thoughts?
      The Mohammedans have a tradition that the angel who notes a man’s good actions has the command over him who notes his evil actions; and that when a man does a good action, the angel of the right hand writes it down ten times, and when he commits an ill action, the same angel says to the angel of the left hand, Forbear setting it down for seven hours; peradventure he may pray, or may ask pardon.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

y i.e., Two angels, one acting as a sergeant, to bring every person before the tribunal; and the other prepared as a witness, to testify either for or against him. Some say the former will be the guardian angel who took down his evil actions, and the other the angel who took down his good actions.2

2 Idem.

z viz., The devil which shall be chained to him.
a This will be the answer of the devil, whom the wicked person will accuse as his seducer; for the devil has no power over a man to cause him to do evil, any otherwise than by suggesting what is agreeable to his corrupt inclinations.3

3 See cap. 14, p. 188, &c.

b i.e., Are there yet any more condemned to this place, or is my space to be enlarged and rendered more capacious to receive them?
      The commentators suppose hell will be quite filled at the day of judgment, according to that repeated expression in the Korân, Verily I will fill hell with you, &c.

c See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. p. 78.
d This was revealed in answer to the Jews, who said that GOD rested from his work of creation on the seventh day, and reposed himself on his throne, as one fatigued.1

1 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin.

e viz., Either what the idolaters say, in denying the resurrection; or the Jews, in speaking indecently of GOD.
f These are the two inclinations used after the evening prayer, which are not necessary, or of precept, but voluntary, and of supererogation; and may therefore be added, or omitted, indifferently.
g That is, from a place whence every creature may equally hear the call. This place, it is supposed, will be the mountain of the temple of Jerusalem, which some fancy to be nigher heaven than any other part of the earth; whence Israfil will sound the trumpet, and Gabriel will make the following proclamation: O ye rotten bones, and torn flesh, and dispersed hairs, GOD commandeth you to be gathered together to judgment.2

2 Idem.

h Or, by the women who bring forth or scatter children, &c.
i Or, by the women bearing a burden in their womb, or the winds bearing the clouds, &c.
k Or, by the winds passing swiftly in the air, or the stars moving swiftly in their courses, &c.

l Or, by the winds which distribute the rain, &c.
m i.e., The paths or orbs of the stars, or the streaks which appear in the sky like paths, being thin and extended clouds.
n Concerning Mohammed, or the Korân, or the resurrection and day of judgment; speaking variously and inconsistently of them.
o Spending the greater part in prayer and religious meditation.
p i.e., Your food cometh from above, whence proceedeth the change of seasons and rain; and your future reward is also there, that is to say, in paradise, which is situate above the seven heavens.
q That is, without any doubt or reserved meaning, as ye affirm a truth unto one another.
r See chapter 11, p. 165, and chapter 15, p. 193.
s Some add, that to remove Abraham’s fear, Gabriel, who was one of these strangers, touched the calf with his wing, and it immediately rose up and walked to its dam; upon which Abraham knew them to be the messengers of GOD.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

t This, some pretend, she did for shame, because she felt her courses coming upon her.

u See chapter 7, p. 111, &c.
x i.e., For three days. See chapter 11, p. 165.
y For this calamity happened in the daytime.
z As for example: male and female; the heaven and the earth; the sun and the moon; light and darkness; plains and mountains; winter and summer; sweet and bitter, &c.1

1 Jallalo’ddin.

a The book here intended, according to different opinions, is either the book or register wherein every man’s actions are recorded; or the preserved table containing GOD’S decrees; or the book of the law, which was written by GOD, Moses hearing the creaking of the pen; or else the Korân.2

2 Al Zamakh., al Beidâwi.

b i.e., The Caaba, so much visited by pilgrims; or, as some rather think, the original model of that house in heaven, called al Dorâh, which is visited and compassed by the angels, as the other is by men.3

3 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV.
c i.e., Every man is pledged unto GOD for his behaviour; and if he does well, he redeems his pledge, but if evil, he forfeits it.
d For though they confess this with their tongues, yet they deny it by their averseness to render him his due worship.

e See chapter 16, p. 199, &c.
f See chapter 8, p. 128, &c.
g This was one of the judgments which the idolatrous Meccans defied Mohammed to bring down upon them; and yet, says the text, if they should see a part of the heaven falling on them, they would not believe it till they were crushed to death by it.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

h i.e., At the first sound of the trumpet.2

2 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. p. 64.

i That is, besides the punishment to which they shall be doomed at the day of judgment, they shall be previously chastised by calamities in this life, as the slaughter at Bedr, and the seven years’ famine, and also after their death, by the examination of the sepulchre.3

3 Al Beidâwi.

k Some suppose the stars in general, and others the Pleiades in particular, to be meant in this place.
l Or, according to a contrary signification of the verb here used, when it riseth.
m Namely, the angel Gabriel.
n In his natural form, in which GOD created him, and in the eastern part of the sky. It is said that this angel appeared in his proper shape to none of the prophets, except Mohammed, and to him only twice: once when he received the first revelation of the Korân, and a second time when he took his night journey to heaven; as it follows in the text.
o In a human shape.

p Or, as the word also signifies, two cubits’ length.
q But he saw it in reality.
r This tree, say the commentators, stands in the seventh heaven, on the right hand of the throne of GOD; and is the utmost bounds beyond which the angels themselves must not pass; or, as some rather imagine, beyond which no creature’s knowledge can extend.
s The words seem to signify that what was under this tree exceeded all description and number. Some suppose the whole host of angels worshipping beneath it1 are intended, and others, the birds which sit on its branches.2

1 Al Beidâwi.
2 Jalallo’ddin.

t Seeing the wonders both of the sensible and the intellectual world.3

3 Al Beidâwi.

u Those were three idols of the ancient Arabs, of which we have spoken in the Preliminary Discourse.4
      As to the blasphemy which some pretend Mohammed once uttered, through inadvertence, as he was reading this passage, see chapter 22, p. 255.

4 Sect. I. p. 14, &c.

x See chapter 16, p. 199, &c.
y i.e., Shall he dictate to GOD, and name whom he pleases for his intercessors, or for his prophet; or shall he choose a religion according to his own fancy, and prescribe the terms on which he may claim the reward of this life and the next?5

5 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin.
z This passage, it is said, was revealed on account of al Walid Ebn al Mogheira, who, following the prophet one day, was reviled by an idolater for leaving the religion of the Koreish, and giving occasion of scandal; to which he answered, that what he did was out of apprehension of the divine vengeance: whereupon the man offered, for a certain sum, to take the guilt of his apostacy on himself; and the bargain being made, al Walid returned to his idolatry, and paid the man part of what had been agreed on; but afterwards, on farther consideration, he thought it too much, and kept back the remainder.6

6 Al Beidâwi.

a That is, is he assured that the person with whom he made the above-mentioned agreement will be allowed to suffer in his stead hereafter?7

7 Idem.

b Sirius, or the greater dog-star, was worshipped by some of the old Arabs.1

1 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. I. p. 13, and Hyde, not. in Ulug. Beig. Tab. Stell. fix. p. 53.

c viz., Sodom, and the other cities involved in her ruin. See chapter 11, p. 166.
d This passage is expounded two different ways. Some imagine the words refer to a famous miracle supposed to have been performed by Mohammed; for it is said that, on the infidels demanding a sign of him, the moon appeared cloven in two,1 one part vanishing, and the other remaining; and Ebn Masúd affirmed that he saw Mount Harâ interpose between the two sections. Others think the preter tense is here used in the prophetic style for the future, and that the passage should be rendered, The moon shall be split in sunder: for this, they say, is to happen at the resurrection. The former opinion is supported by reading, according to some copies, wakad inshakka ‘lkamaro, i.e., since the moon hath already been split in sunder; the splitting of the moon being reckoned by some to be one of the previous signs of the last day.2

1 See a long and fabulous account of this pretended miracle in Gagnier, Vie de Mah. c. 19
2 Al Zamakh., al Beidâwi.

e Or, as the participle here used may also signify, a continued series of magic, or a transient magic illusion.
f Or will reach a final period of ruin or success in this world, and of misery or happiness in the next, which will be conclusive and unchangeable thenceforward for ever.3

3 Al Beidâwi.

g i.e., The Korân, containing stories of former nations which have been chastised for their incredulity, and threats of a more dreadful punishment hereafter.
h That is, when the angel Israfil shall call men to judgment.
i This petition was not preferred by Noah till after he had suffered repeated violence from his people; for it is related that one of them having fallen upon him and almost strangled him, when he came to himself he said, O LORD, forgive them, for they know not what they do.4

4 Idem.

k i.e., Under our special regard and keeping.
l Or, a cold wind.
m viz., On a Wednesday. See chapter 41, p. 356, note t.
n It is related that they sought shelter in the clefts of rocks, and in pits, holding fast by one another; but that the wind impetuously tore them away, and threw them down dead.5

5 Idem.

o See chapter 7, p. 112, &c.
p That is, between the Thamudites and the camel. See chapter 26, p. 280, note f.
q Namely, Kodâr Ebn Salef; who was not an Arab, but a stranger dwelling among the Thamudites. See chapter 7, p. 112, note k.
r Or, as the word also imports, He became resolute and daring.
s The words may signify either the dry boughs with which, in the east, they make folds or enclosures, to fence their cattle from wind and cold; or the stubble and other stuff with which they litter them in those folds during the winter season.
t So that their sockets became filled up even with the other parts of their faces. This, it is said, was done by one stroke of the wing of the angel Gabriel. See chapter 11, p. 166.
u Under which they shall continue till they receive their full punishment in hell.
x This prophecy was fulfilled by the overthrow of the Koreish at Bedr. It is related, from a tradition of Omar, that when this passage was revealed, Mohammed professed himself to be ignorant of its true meaning; but on the day of the battle of Bedr, he repeated these words as he was putting on his coat of mail.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

y i.e., The time when they shall receive their full punishment; what they suffer in this world being only the forerunner or earnest of what they shall feel in the next.
z viz., Kun, i.e., Be. The passage may also be rendered, The execution of our purpose is but a single act, exerted in a moment. Some suppose it refers to the business of the day of judgment.1

1 Idem.

a Most of the commentators doubt whether this chapter was revealed at Mecca or at Medina; or partly at the one place, and partly at the other.
b Or justice and equity in mutual dealings.
c The words are directed to the two species of rational creatures, men and genii; the verb and the pronoun being in the dual number.
      This verse is intercalated, or repeated by way of burden, throughout the whole chapter no less than thirty-one times, which was done, as Marracci guesses, in imitation of David.2

2 See Psalm cxxxvi.

d The original words are both in the dual number, and signify the different points of the horizon at which the sun rises and sets at the summer and winter solstice. See chapter 37, p. 334, note e.
e Of salt water and fresh;3 or the Persian and Mediterranean seas.4

3 See cap. 25, p. 274.
4 Al Beidâwi.

f In executing those things which he hath decreed from eternity; by giving life and death, raising one and abasing another, hearing prayers and granting petitions, &c.5

5 Idem, Jallalo’ddin.

g To fly from the power and to avoid the decree of GOD.
h Or, as the word also signifies, molten brass, which shall be poured on the heads of the damned.
i Or, shall appear like red leather; according to a different signification of the original word.
k For their crimes will be known by their different marks; as it follows in the text. This, says al Beidâwi, is to be understood of the time when they shall be raised to life, and shall be led towards the tribunal: for when they come to trial, they will then undergo an examination, as is declared in several places of the Korân.
l See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. p. 66, &c.
m For the only respite they shall have from the flames of hell, will be when they are suffered to go to drink this scalding liquor. See chapter 37, p. 336.
n i.e., One distinct paradise for men, and another for genii, or, as some imagine, two gardens for each person; one as a reward due to his works, and the other as a free and superabundant gift, &c.
o Some being known, and like the fruits of the earth; and others of new and unknown species, or fruits both green and ripe.
p So that a man may reach them as he sits or lies down.

q For the inferior classes of the inhabitants of paradise.
r From hence, says al Beidâwi, it may be inferred that these gardens will chiefly produce herbs or the inferior sorts of vegetables, whereas the former will be planted chiefly with fruit-trees. The following part of this description also falls short of that of the other gardens, prepared for the superior classes.
s The original word, the force whereof cannot well be expressed by a single one in English, signifies a calamitous accident, which falls surely and with sudden violence, and is therefore made use of here to design the day of judgment.
t That is, the blessed and the damned; who may be thus distinguished here, because the books wherein their actions are registered will be delivered into the right hands of the former and into the left hands of the latter,1 thought he words translated right hand and left hand do also signify happiness and misery.

1 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin.

u Either the first converts to Mohammedism, or the prophets, who were the respective leaders of their people, or any persons who have been eminent examples of piety and virtue, may be here intended. The original words literally rendered are, The leaders, the leaders: which repetition, as some suppose, was designed to express the dignity of these persons and the certainty of their future glory and happiness.2

2 Idem.

x i.e., There shall be more leaders, who have preceded others in faith and good works, among the followers of the several prophets from Adam down to Mohammed, than of the followers of Mohammed himself.3

3 Idem.

y See chapter 25, p. 193, note a.
z The original word Talh is the name, not only of the mauz,1 but also of a very tall and thorny tree, which bears abundance of flowers of an agreeable smell,2 and seems to be the Acacia.

1 See p. 338.
2 Vide J. Leon. Descript. Africæ, l. 2.

a Which shall be conveyed in channels to such places and in such manner as every one shall desire.3 Al Beidâwi observes that the condition of the few who have preceded others in faith and good works, is represented by whatever may render a city life agreeable; and that the condition of the companions of the right hand, or the generality of the blessed, is represented by those things which make the principal pleasure of a country life; and that this is done to show the difference of the two conditions.

3 Al Beidâwi.

b The word translated beds, signifies also, by way of metaphor, wives or concubines; and if the latter sense be preferred, the passage may be rendered thus, And they shall enjoy damsels raised on lofty couches, whom we have created, &c.
c Having created them purposely of finer materials than the females of this world, and subject to none of those inconveniences which are natural to the sex.4 Some understand this passage of the beatified women; who, though they died old and ugly, shall yet be restored to their youth and beauty in paradise.5

4 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. p. 75, &c.
5 See ibid. p. 80.

d For how often soever their husbands shall go in unto them, they shall always find them virgins.
e Father Marracci thinks this to be a manifest contradiction to what is said above, There shall be many of the former and few of the latter: but al Beidâwi obviates such an objection, by observing that the preceding passage speaks of the leaders only, and those who have preceded others in faith and good works; and the passage before us speaks of the righteous of inferior merit and degree; so that though there be many of both sorts, yet there may be few of one sort, comparatively speaking, in respect to the other.
f Which shall penetrate into the passages of their bodies.
g Or to repent of your time and labour bestowed to little purpose, &c.
h Or, We are undone.
i Or, We are unfortunate wretches, who are denied the necessaries of life.
k See chapter 36, p. 334, note b.
l To put men in mind of the resurrection;1 which the production of fire in some sort resembles, or, of the fire of hell.2

1 See cap. 36, p. 334.
2 Al Beidâwi.

m The particle la is generally supposed to be intensive in this place; but if it be taken for a negative, the words must be translated, I will not or do not swear, because what is here asserted is too manifest to need the confirmation of an oath.3

3 Idem.

n Or, Let none touch the same, &c. Purity both of body and mind being requisite in him who would use this book with the respect he ought, and hopes to edify by it: for which reason these words are usually written on the cover.4

4 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. III. p. 54.

o By ascribing the rains, which fertilize your lands, to the influence of the stars.5
      Some copies instead of rizkacom, i.e., your food, read shocracom, i.e., your gratitude; and then the passage may be rendered thus, And do ye make this return of gratitude, for GOD’S revealing the Korân, that ye reject the same as a fiction?

5 See ibid. Sect. I. p. 25.

p The meaning of this obscure passage is, if ye shall not be obliged to give an account of your actions at the last day, as by your denying the resurrection ye seem to believe, cause the soul of the dying person to return into his body; for ye may as easily do that as avoid the general judgment.6

6 Jallal., al Beidâwi.

q That is, of the leaders, or first professors of the faith.
r The word occurs toward the end of the chapter.
s It is uncertain which of the two places was the scene of revelation of this chapter.

t That is, ye are obliged to believe in him by the strongest arguments and motives.
u Because afterwards there was not so great necessity for either, the Mohammedan religion being firmly established by that great success.
x One light leading them the right way to paradise, and the other proceeding from the book wherein their actions are recorded, which they will hold in their right hand.
y For the righteous will hasten to paradise swift as lightning.
z i.e., A rule of justice. Some think that a balance was actually brought down from heaven by the angel Gabriel to Noah, the use of which he was ordered to introduce among his people.
a That is, we taught them how to dig the same from mines. Al Zamakhshari adds, that Adam is said to have brought down with him from paradise five things made of iron, viz., an anvil, a pair of tongs, two hammers, a greater and a lesser, and a needle.
b Warlike instruments and weapons being generally made of iron.
c That is, sincerely and heartily.
d These words are directed to the Jews and Christians, or rather to the latter only.
e One as a recompence for their believing in Mohammed, and the other as a recompense for their believing in the prophets who preceded him; for they will not lose the reward of their former religion, though it be now abrogated by the promulgation of Islâm.1

1 Al Beidâwi.
f i.e., That they cannot expect to receive any of the favours above mentioned, because they believe not in his apostle, and those favours are annexed to faith in him; or, that they have not power to dispose of GOD’S favours, particularly of the greatest of them, the gift of prophecy, so as to appropriate the same to whom they please.1

1 Idem.

g Some are of opinion that the first ten verses of this chapter, ending with these words, and fear GOD, before whom ye shall be assembled, were revealed at Mecca, and the rest at Medina.2

2 Idem.

h This was Khawla bint Thálaba, the wife of Aws Ebn al Sâmat, who, being divorced by her husband by a form in use among the Arabs in the time of ignorance, viz., by saying to her, Thou art to me as the back of my mother,3 came to ask Mohammed’s opinion whether they were necessarily obliged to a separation; and he told her that it was not lawful for her to cohabit with her husband any more: to which she replying, that her husband had not put her away, the prophet repeated his former decision, adding that such form of speaking was by general consent understood to imply a perpetual separation. Upon this the woman, being greatly concerned because of the smallness of her children, went home, and uttered her complaint to GOD in prayer: and thereupon this passage was revealed,4 allowing a man to take his wife again, notwithstanding his having pronounced the above-mentioned form of divorce, on doing certain acts of charity or mortification, by way of penance.

3 See cap. 33, p. 312.
4 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin, &c.

i And therefore no woman ought to be placed in the same degree of prohibition, except those whom GOD has joined with them, as nursing mothers, and the wives of the prophet.5

5 Al Beidâwi See cap. 4, p. 56, and cap. 33, p. 319.

k This seems to be here the true meaning of the original word, which properly signifies to return, and is variously expounded by the Mohammedan doctors.
l Which captive, according to the most received decision, ought to be a true believer, as is ordered for the expiation of manslaughter.6

6 See cap. 4, p. 64.
m That is, the Jews and hypocritical Moslems, who caballed privately together against Mohammed, and made signs to one another when they saw the true believers; and this they continued to do, notwithstanding they were forbidden.
n It seems they used, instead of Al salâm aleica, i.e., Peace be upon thee, to say, Al sâm aleica, i.e., Mischief on thee, &c.1

1 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin.

o In this passage the Moslems are commanded to give place, in the public assemblies, to the prophet and the more honourable of his companions; and not to press and crowd upon him, as they used to do, out of a desire of being near him, and hearing his discourse.
p To show your sincerity, and to honour the apostle. It is doubted whether this be a counsel or a precept; but, however, it continued but a very little while in force, being agreed on all hands to be abrogated by the following passage, Do ye fear to give alms, &c.2

2 Idem

q i.e., The Jews.
r Being hypocrites, and wavering between the two parties.
s i.e., They have solemnly professed Islâm, which they believe not in their hearts.
t The original word signifies the quitting or removing from one’s native country or settlement, to dwell elsewhere, whether it be by choice or compulsion.
u The people here intended were the Jews of the tribe of al Nadîr, who dwelt in Medina, and when Mohammed fled thither from Mecca, promised him to stand neuter between him and his opponents, and made a treaty with him to that purpose. When he had gained the battle of Bedr, they confessed that he was the prophet described in the law: but upon his receiving that disgrace at Ohod, they changed their note; and Caab Ebn al Ashraf, with forty horse, went and made a league with Abu Sofiân, which they confirmed by oath. Upon this, Mohammed got Caab dispatched, and, in the fourth year of the Hejra, set forward against al Nadîr, and besieged them in their fortress, which stood about three miles from Medina, for six days, at the end of which they capitulated, and were allowed to depart, on condition that they should entirely quit that place: and accordingly some of them went into Syria, and others to Khaibar and Hira.1
      This was the first emigration, mentioned in the passage before us. The other happened several years after, in the reign of Omar, when that Khalîf banished those who had settled at Khaibar, and obliged them to depart out of Arabia.2
      Dr. Prideaux, speaking of Mohammed’s obliging those of al Nadîr to quit their settlements, says that a party of his men pursued those who fled into Syria, and having overtaken them, put them all to the sword, excepting only one man that escaped. With such cruelty, continues he, did those barbarians first set up to fight for that imposture they had been deluded into.3 But a learned gentleman has already observed that this is all grounded on a mistake, which the doctor was led into by an imperfection in the printed edition of Elmacinus; where, after mentioning the expulsion of the Nadîrites, are inserted som e incoherent words relating to another action which happened the month before, and wherein seventy Moslems, instead of putting others to the sword, were surprised and put to the sword themselves, together with their leader al Mondar Ebn Omar, Caab Ebn Zeid alone escaping.4

1 Al Beidâwi, Jallal. &c. Vide Abulf. Vit. Moh. c. 35.
2 Idem interp.
3 Prid. Life of Mah. p. 82.
4 Vide Gagnier, not. in Abulf. Vit. Moh. p. 72.

x Doing what damage they could, that the Moslems might make the less advantage of what they were obliged to leave behind them.
y By delivering them up to slaughter and captivity, as he did those of Koreidha.
z It is remarkable that in this expedition the spoils were not divided according to the law given for that purpose in the Korân,5 but were granted to the apostle, and declared to be entirely in his disposition. And the reason was, because the place was taken without the assistance of horse, which became a rule for the future.6

5 Cap. 8, p. 130.
6 Vide Abulf. Vit. Moh. p. 91.

a For the settlement of those of al Nadîr being so near Medina, the Moslems went all on foot thither, except only the prophet himself.7

7 Al Beidâwi.

b Wherefore Mohammed distributed those spoils among the Mohâjerîn, or those who had fled from Mecca, only, and gave no part thereof to the Ansârs, or those of Medina, except only to three of them, who were in necessitous circumstances.8

8 Idem. Vide Abulf. ubi sup. p. 72.

c That is, the Ansârs; who enjoyed their houses and the free exercise of their religion before the Hejra, while the converts of Mecca were persecuted and harassed by the idolaters.

d i.e., And bear them no grudge or envy on that account.
e The persons here meant seem to be those who fled from Mecca after Mohammed began to gain strength, and his religion had made a considerable progress.
f That is, the Jews of the tribe of al Nadîr.
g And it happened accordingly; for Ebn Obba and his confederates wrote to the Nadîrites to this purpose, but never performed their promise.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

h i.e., It is not their weakness or cowardice which makes them decline a field battle with you, since they show strength and valour enough in their wars with one another; but both fail them when they enter into the lists with GOD and his apostle.
i viz., The idolaters who were slain at Bedr; or the Jews of Kainokâ, who were plundered and sent into exile before those of al Nadîr.
k That is, for the next life, which may be called the morrow, as this present life may be called to-day.

l See cap. 7, p. 123, note x.
m This chapter bears this title because it directs the women who desert and come over from the infidels to the Moslems to be examined, and tried whether they be sincere in their profession of the faith.
n This passage was revealed on account of Hateb Ebn Abi Balpaa, who understanding that Mohammed had a design to surprise Mecca, wrote a letter to the Koreish, giving them notice of the intended expedition, and advised them to be on their guard: which letter he sent by Sarah, a maid-servant belonging to the family of Hâshem. The messenger had not been gone long, before Gabriel discovered the affair to the prophet, who immediately sent after her; and having intercepted the letter, asked Hateb how he came to be guilty of such an action? To which he replied that it was not out of infidelity, or a desire to return to idolatry, but merely to induce the Koreish to treat his family, which was still at Mecca, with some kindness; adding that he was well assured his intelligence would be of no service at all to the Meccans, because he was satisfied GOD would take vengeance on them. Whereupon Mohammed received his excuse and pardoned him; but it was thought proper to forbid any such practices for the future.1

1 Idem. Vide Abulf. Vit. Moh. p. 192.

o The verb here used has also a contrary signification, according to which the words may be rendered, and yet openly show friendship unto them.

p For in this Abraham’s example is not to be followed. See chapter 9, p. 148.
q i.e., Suffer them not to prevail against us, lest they thence conclude themselves to be in the right, and endeavour to make us deny our faith by the terror of persecution.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

r And this happened accordingly on the taking of Mecca; when Abu Sofiân and others of the Koreish, who had till then been inveterate enemies to the Moslems, embraced the same faith, and became their friends and brethren. Some suppose the marriage of Mohammed with Omm Habîba, the daughter of Abu Sofiân, which was celebrated the year before, to be here intended.2

2 Vide Gagnier, not in Abulf. Vit. Moh. p. 91.

s This passage, it is said, was revealed on account of Koteila bint Abd’al Uzza, who having, while she was an idolatress, brought some presents to her daughter, Asma bint Abi Becr, the latter not only refused to accept them, but even denied her admittance.3

3 Al Beidâwi.

t For, according to the terms of the pacification of al Hodeibiya,4 each side was to return whatever came into their power belonging to the other; wherefore when the Moslems were, by this passage, forbidden to restore the married women who should come over to them, they were at the same time commanded to make some sort of satisfaction, by returning their dowry.
      It is related that, after the aforesaid pacification, while Mohammed was yet at al Hodeibiya, Sobeia bint al Hareth, of the tribe of Aslam, having embrace Mohammedism, her husband, Mosâfer the Makhzumite, came and demanded her back; upon which this passage was revealed: and Mohammed, pursuant thereto, administered to her the oath thereafter directed, and returned her husband her dower; and then Omar married her.5

4 See cap. 48, p. 380, &c.
5 Al Beidâwi.

u For what is returned to their former husbands is not to be considered as their dower.
x Literally, anything of your wives; which some interpret, any part of their dowry.

y Or, as the original verb may also be translated, and ye take spoils; in which case the meaning will be, that those Moslems, whose wives shall have gone over to the infidels, shall have a satisfaction for their dower out of the next booty. This law, they saw, was given because of the idolaters, after the preceding verse had been revealed, refused to comply therewith, or to make any return of the dower of those women who went over to them from the Moslems;1 so that the latter were obliged to indemnify themselves as they could.

1 Idem.

z See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. II. p. 37. Some are of opinion that this passage was not revealed till the day of the taking of Mecca; when, after having received the solemn submission of the men, he proceeded to receive that of the women.2

2 Idem.

a See chapter 81.
b Jallalo’ddin understands these words of their laying their spurious children to their husbands.
c i.e., The infidels in general; or the Jews in particular.3

3 See cap. I, p. 1.

d By reason of their infidelity; or because they well know they cannot expect to be made partakers of the happiness of the next life, by reason of their rejecting of the prophet foretold in the law, and whose mission is confirmed by miracles.4

4 Al Beidâwi.

e Or, as some rather judge, at Medina; which opinion is confirmed by the explication in the next note.
f The commentators generally suppose these words to be directed to the Moslems, who, notwithstanding they had solemnly engaged to spend their lives and fortunes in defence of their faith, yet shamefully turned their backs at the battle of Ohod.5 They may, however, be applied to hypocrites of all sorts, whose actions contradict their words.

5 Cap. 3, p. 45, &c.

g viz., By your disobedience; or by maliciously aspersing me.6

6 See cap. 33, p. 320.
i For Mohammed also bore the name of Ahmed; both names being derived from the same root, and nearly of the same signification. The Persian paraphrast, to support what is here alleged, quotes the following words of Christ, I go to my father, and the Paraclete shall come:7 the Mohammedan doctors unanimously teaching that by the Paraclete (or, as they choose to read it, the Periclyte, or Illustrious) their prophet is intended, and no other.8

7 See John xvi. 7, &c.
8 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. p. 58.

k See chapter 3, p. 38.
l Either by rejecting him, or by affirming him to be GOD, and the son of GOD.9

9 Jallalo’ddin.
m See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. II. p. 32.
n Because they understand not the prophecies contained in the law, which bear witness to Mohammed, no more than the ass does the books he carries.
o i.e., Make it your request to GOD that he would translate you from this troublesome world to a state of never-fading bliss.
p See chapter 2, p. 11.
q That is, Friday, which being more peculiarly set apart by Mohammed for the public worship of GOD, is therefore called Yawm al jomá, i.e., the day of the assembly or congregation; whereas before it was called al Arûba. The first time this day was particularly observed, as some say, was on the prophet’s arrival at Medina, into which city he made his first entry on a Friday: but others tell us that Caab Ebn Lowa, one of Mohammed’s ancestors, gave the day its present name, because on that day the people used to be assembled before him.1 One reason given for the observation of Friday, preferably to any other day of the week, is because on that day GOD finished the creation.2
      By returning to your commerce and worldly occupations, if ye think fit: for the Mohammedans do not hold themselves obliged to observe the day of their public assembly with the same strictness as the Christians and Jews do their respective Sabbath; or particularly to abstain from work, after they have performed their devotions. Some, however, from a tradition of their prophet, are of opinion that works of charity, and religious exercises, which may draw down the blessing of GOD, are recommended in this passage.

1 Al Beidâwi.
2 Vide Gol. in Alfrag p. 15.

r It is related that one Friday, while Mohammed was preaching, a caravan of merchants happened to arrive with their drums beating, according to custom; which the congregation hearing, they all ran out of the mosque to see them, except twelve only.3

3 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin.
t The commentators tell us, that Abdallah Ebn Obba, a chief hypocrite, was a tall man of a very graceful presence, and of a ready and eloquent tongue; and used to frequent the prophet’s assembly, attended by several like himself; and that these men were greatly admired by Mohammed, who was taken with their handsome appearance, and listened to their discourse with pleasure.1

1 Al Beidâwi

u Being tall and big, but void of knowledge and consideration.2

2 Idem.

x Living under continual apprehensions; because they are conscious of their hypocrisy towards GOD, and their insincerity towards the Moslems.
y These, as well as the preceding, were the words of Ebn Obba to one of Medina, who in a certain expedition quarrelling with an Arab of the desert about water, received a blow on the head with a stick, and made his complaint thereof to him.3

3 Idem.
z The commentators are not agreed whether this chapter was revealed at Mecca, or at Medina; or partly at the one place, and partly at the other.
a When the blessed will deceive the damned, by taking the places which they would have had in paradise had they been true believers; and contrariwise.1

1 Idem, Jallalo’ddin, Yahya.

b For these are apt to distract a man from his duty, especially in time of distress;2 a married man caring for the things that are of this world, while the unmarried careth for the things that belong to the LORD.3

2 Idem.
3 See I Cor. vii. 25, &c.

c Considering that the hindrance they may occasion you proceeds from their affection, and their ill bearing your absence in time of war, &c.

d That is, when they shall have had their courses thrice after the time of their divorce, if they prove not to be with child; or, if they prove with child, when they shall have been delivered.1 Al Beidâwi supposes husbands are hereby commanded to divorce their wives while they are clean; and says that the passage was revealed on account of Ebn Omar, who divorced his wife when she had her courses upon her, and was therefore obliged to take her again.

1 cap. 2, p. 24.

e See chapter 2, p. 24.

f Which ought at least to be sufficient to maintain and clothe them during the time of suckling. See chapter 2, p. 25.
g Penetrating and pervading them all with absolute efficacy.
h There are some who suppose this passage to have been occasioned by Mohammed’s protesting never to eat honey any more, because, having once eaten some in the apartment of Hafsa, or of Zeinab, three other of his wives, namely, Ayesha, Sawda, and Safia, all told him they smelt he had been eating of the juice which distils from certain shrubs in those parts, and resembles honey in taste and consistence, but is of a very strong flavour, and which the prophet had a great aversion to.1 But the more received opinion is, that the chapter was revealed on the following occasion. Mohammed having lain with a slave of his named Mary, of Coptic extract (who had been sent him as a present by al Mokawkas, governor of Eygpt), on the day which was due to Ayesha, or to Hafsa, and, as some say, on Hafsa’s own bed, while she was absent; and this coming to Hafsa’s knowledge, she took it extremely ill, and reproached her husband so sharply that, to pacify her, he promised, with an oath, never to touch the maid again:1 and to free him from the obligation of this promise was the design of the chapter.
      I cannot here avoid observing, as a learned writer2 has done before me, that Dr. Prideaux has strangely misrepresented this passage. For having given the story of the prophet’s amour with his maid mary, a little embellished, he proceeds to tell us that in this chapter Mohammed brings in GOD allowing him, and all his Moslems, to lie with their maids when they will, notwithstanding their wives (whereas the words relate to the prophet only, who wanted not any new permission for that purpose, because it was a privilege already granted him,3 though to none else); and then, to show what ground he had for his assertion, adds that the first words of the chapter are, O prophet, why dost thou forbid what GOD hath allowed thee, that thou mayest please thy wives? GOD hath granted unto you to lie with your maid-servants.4 Which last words are not to be found here, or elsewhere in the Korân, and contain an allowance of what is expressly forbidden therein;5 though the doctor has thence taken occasion to make some reflections which might as well have been spared. I shall say nothing to aggravate the matter, but leave the reader to imagine what this reverend divine would have said of a Mohammedan if he had caught him tripping in the like manner.
      Having digressed so far, I will venture to add a word or two in order to account for one circumstance which Dr. Prideaux relates concerning Mohammed’s concubine Mary; viz., that after her master’s death, no account was had of her or the son which she had borne him, but both were sent away into Egypt, and no mention made of either ever after among them; and then he supposes (for he seldom is at a loss for a supposition) that Ayesha, out of the hatred which she bore her, procured of her father, who succeeded the impostor in the government, to have her thus disposed of.6 But it being certain, by the general consent of all the eastern writers, that Mary continued in Arabia till her death, which happened at Medina about five years after that of her master, and was buried in the usual burying-place there, called al Bakí, and that her son died before his father, it has been asked, whence the doctor had this?7 I answer, that I guess he had it partly from Abulfaragius, according to the printed edition of whose work, the Mary we are speaking of is said to have been sent with her sister Shirin (not with her son) to Alexandria by al Mokawkas;8 though I make no doubt but we ought in that passage to read min, from, instead if ila, to (notwithstanding the manuscript copies of this author used by Dr. Pocock, the editor, and also a very fair one in my own possession, agree in the latter reading); and that the sentence ought to run thus, quam (viz., Mariam) unà cum sorore Shirina ab Alexandria miserat al Mokawkas.

1 Al Zamakh., al Beidâwi.
1 Idem, Jallal., Yahya.
2 Gagnier, not. ad Abulf. Vit. Moh. p. 150.
3 See cap. 33, p. 318, 319.
4 Prid. Life of Mah. p. 113.
5 See cap. 17, p. 209; cap. 4, p. 56; and cap. 24, p. 267, &c.
6 Prid. Life of Mah. p. 114.
7 Gagnier, ubi supra.
8 Abulfarag. Hist. Dynast. p. 165.

i By having appointed an expiation for that purpose;9 or, as the words may be translated, God hath allowed you to use an exception in your oaths if it please GOD; in which case a man is excused from guilt if he perform not his oath.10 The passage, though directed to all the Moslems in general, seems to be particularly designed for quieting the prophet’s conscience in regard to the oath above mentioned: but Al Beidâwi approves not this opinion, because such an oath was to be looked upon as an inconsiderate one, and required no expiation.

9 See cap. 5, p. 84.
10 Al Beidâwi.

k When Mohammed found that Hafsa knew of his having injured her, or Ayesha, by lying with his concubine Mary on the day due to one of them, he desired her to keep the affair secret, promising, at the same time, that he would not meddle with Mary any more; and foretold her, as a piece of news which might soothe her vanity, that Abu Becr and Omar should succeed him in the government of his people. Hafsa, however, could not conceal this from Ayesha, with whom she lived in strict friendship, but acquainted her with the whole matter: whereupon the prophet, perceiving, probably by Ayesha’s behaviour, that his secret had been discovered, upbraided Hafsa with her betraying him, telling her that GOD had revealed it to him; and not only divorced her, but separated him from all his other wives for a whole month, which time he spent in the apartment of Mary. In a short time, notwithstanding, he took Hafsa again, by the direction, as he gave out, of the angel Gabriel, who commended her for her frequent fasting and other exercises of devotion, assuring him likewise that she should be one of his wives in paradise.11

11 Idem. al Zamakh, &c.
l This sentence is directed to Hafsa and Ayesha; the pronouns and verbs of the second person being in the dual number.
m See chapter 74, and the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. p. 72.
n These words will be spoken to the infidels at the last day.
o See chapter 57, p. 400.
p Who were both unbelieving women, but deceived their respective husbands by their hypocrisy. Noah’s wife, named Wâïla, endeavoured to persuade the people her husband was distracted; and Lot’s wife, whose name was Wâhela (though some writers give this name to the other, and that of Wâïla to the latter), was in confederacy with the men of Sodom, and used to give them notice when any strangers came to lodge with him, by a sign of smoke by day, and of fire by night.1

1 Jallal., al Zamakh.

q For they both met with a disastrous end in this world,2 and will be doomed to eternal misery in the next. In like manner, as Mohammed would insinuate, the infidels of his time had no reason to expect any mitigation of their punishment, on account of their relation to himself and the rest of the true believers.

2 See cap. 11, p. 162, 166, and 167.

r viz., Asia, the daughter of Mozâhem. The commentators relate, that because she believed in Moses, her husband cruelly tormented her, fastening her hands and feet to four stakes, and laying a large mill-stone on her breast, her face, at the same time, being exposed to the scorching beams of the son. These pains, however, were alleviated by the angels shading her with their wings, and the view of the mansion prepared for her in paradise, which was exhibited to her on her pronouncing the prayer in the text. At length GOD received her soul; or, as some say, she was taken up alive into paradise, where she eats and drinks.3

3 Jallal., al Zamakh.

s See chapter 19, p. 228, &c.
t On occasion of the honourable mention here made of these two extraordinary women, the commentators introduce a saying of their prophet, That among men there had been many perfect, but no more than four of the other sex had attained perfection; to wit, Asia, the wife of Pharaoh; Mary, the daughter of Imrân; Khadîjah, the daughter of Khowailed (the prophet’s first wife); and Fâtema, the daughter of Mohammed.
u It is also entitled by some, The Saving, or The Delivering, because, say they, it will save him who reads it from the torture of the sepulchre.
x See chapter 15, p. 192.
y See chapter 31, p. 308.
z This comparison is applied by the expositors to the infidel and the true believer.
a This letter is sometimes made the title of the chapter, but its meaning is confessedly uncertain. They who suppose it stands for the word Nûn are not agreed as to its signification in this place; for it is not only the name of the letter N in Arabic, but signifies also an inkhorn and a fish; some are of opinion the former signification is the most proper here, as consonant to what is immediately mentioned of the pen and writing, and, considering that the blood of certain fish is good ink, not inconsistent with the latter signification; which is, however, preferred by others, saying that either the whole species of fish in general is thereby intended, or the fish which swallowed Jonas (who is mentioned in this chapter), or else that vast one called Behemoth, fancied to support the earth, in particular. Those who acquiesce in none of the foregoing explications have invented others of their own, and imagine this character stands for the table of GOD’S decrees, or one of the rivers in paradise, &c.1

1 Al Zamakh., al Beidâwi, Yahya.

b Some understand these words generally, and others of the pen with which GOD’S decrees are written on the preserved table, and of the angels who register the same.
c In that thou hast borne with so much patience and resignation the wrongs and insults of thy people, which have been greater than those offered to any apostle before thee.2

2 Al Beidâwi.

d i.e., If thou wilt let them alone in their idolatry and other wicked practices, they will cease to revile and persecute thee.

3 Idem, Jallal.

e The person at whom this passage was particularly levelled is generally supposed to have been Mohammed’s inveterate enemy, al Walid Ebn al Mogheira, whom, to complete his character, he calls bastard, because al Mogheira did not own him for his son till he was eighteen years of age.1 Some, however, think it was al Akhnas Ebn Shoraik, who was really of the tribe of Thakîf, though reputed to be of that of Zahra.2

1 Idem, Jallalo’ddin.
2 Idem.

f Which being the most conspicuous part of the face, a mark set thereon is attended with the utmost ignominy. It is said that this prophetical menace was actually made good, al Walid having his nose slit by a sword at the battle of Bedr, the mark of which wound he carried with him to his grave.3

3 Idem, Jallalo’ddin.

g By afflicting them with a grievous famine. See chapter 23, p. 260.
h This garden was a plantation of palm-trees, about two parsangs from Sanaa, belonging to a certain charitable man, who, when he gathered his dates, used to give public notice to the poor, and to leave them such of the fruit as the knife missed, or was blown down by the wind, or fell beside the cloth spread under the tree to receive it: after his death, his sons, who were then become masters of the garden, apprehending they should come to want if they followed their father’s example, agreed to gather the fruit early in the morning, when the poor could have no notice of the matter: but when they came to execute their purpose, they found, to their great grief and surprise, that their plantation had been destroyed in the night.4

4 Idem.

i Literally, that they would cut it; the manner of gathering dates being to cut the clusters off with a knife. Marracci supposes they intended to cut down the trees, and destroy the plantation; which, as he observes, renders the story ridiculous and absurd.
k Or, as the original may also be rendered, like a dark night; it being burnt up and black.5
l The same expression is used, chapter 56, p. 398.
m For one advised this expedition, another approved of it, a third gave consent by his silence, but the fourth was absolutely against it.5

5 Al Beidâwi

n This passage was revealed in answer to the infidels, who said, If we shall be raised again, as Mohammed and his followers imagine, they will not excel us; but we shall certainly be in a better condition than they in the next world, as we are in this.6

6 Idem.

o Or, as some interpret the word, idols; which can make their condition, in the next life, equal to that of the Moslems?
p This expression is used to signify a grievous and terrible calamity: thus they say, War has made bare the leg, when they would express the fury and rage of battle.7

7 Idem, Jallalo’ddin

q Because the time of acceptance shall be past. Al Beidâwi is uncertain whether the words respect the day of judgment, or the article of death: but Jallalo’ddin supposes them to relate to the former, and adds that the infidels shall not be able to perform the act of adoration, because their backs shall become stiff and inflexible.
r i.e., By granting them long life and prosperity in this world; which will deceive them to their ruin.
s See chapter 52, p. 389.
t That is, be not impatient and pettish, as Jonas was. See chapter 21, p. 248.
u The original word al Hâkkat is one of the names or epithets of the day of judgment. As the root from which it is derived signifies not only to be or come to pass of necessity, but also to verify; some rather think that day to be so called because it will verify and show the truth of what men doubt of in this life, viz., the resurrection of the dead, their being brought to account, and the consequent rewards and punishments.8

8 Idem

x Arab. al Kâriát, or the striking; which is another name or epithet of the last day.
y See chapter 54, p. 392.
z Viz., Sodom and Gomorrah. See chapter 9, p. 142, note p.
a These words seem to intimate the death of the angels at the demolition of their habitation; beside the ruins whereof they shall lie like dead bodies.
b The number of those who bear it at present being generally supposed to be but four; to whom four more will be added at the last day, for the grandeur of the occasion.1

1 Idem.

c i.e., Wrap him round with it, so that he may not be able to stir.
d Or, I will not swear. See chapter 56, p. 398, note m.

e The person here meant is generally supposed to have been al Nodar Ebn al Hareth, who said, O GOD, if what Mohammed preaches be the truth from thee, rain down upon us a shower of stones, or send some dreadful judgment to punish us.1 Others, however, think it was Abu Jahl, who challenged Mohammed to cause a fragment of heaven to fall on them.2

1 Al Zamakh., al Beidâwi.
2 Al Beidâwi.

f By which prayers and righteous actions ascend to heaven; or by which the angels ascend to receive the divine commands, or the believers will ascend to paradise. Some understand thereby the different orders of angels; or the heavens, which rise gradually one above another.
g This is supposed to be the space which would be required for their ascent from the lowest part of creation to the throne of GOD, if it were to be measured; or the time which it would take a man up to perform that journey; and this is not contradictory to what is said elsewhere3 (if it be to be interpreted of the ascent of the angels), that the length of the day whereon they ascend is one thousand years; because that is meant only of their ascent from earth to the lower heaven, including also the time of their descent.
      But the commentators generally taking the day spoken of in both these passages to be the day of judgment, have recourse to several expedients to reconcile them, some of which we have mentioned in another place;4 and as both passages seem to contradict what the Mohammedan doctors teach, that GOD will judge all creatures in the space of half a day,5 they suppose those large number of years are designed to express the time of the previous attendance of those who are to be judged;6 or else to the space wherein GOD will judge the unbelieving nations, of which they say there will be fifty, the trial of each nation taking up one thousand years, though that of the true believers will be over in the short space above mentioned.7

3 Cap. 32, p. 310.
4 Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. p. 65.
5 See ibid. p. 69.
6 See ibid. p. 67.
7 Al Zamakh.

h See chapter 17, p. 208.

i viz., Of filthy seed, which bears no relation or resemblance to holy beings; wherefore it is necessary for him who would hope to be an inhabitant of paradise, to perfect himself in faith and spiritual virtues, to fit himself for that place.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

k Or, I will not swear, &c. See chapter 56, p. 398, note m.
l The original words are in the plural number, and signify the different points of the horizon at which the sun rises and sets in the course of the year. See chapter 37, p. 334, note e.
m i.e., Your past sins; which are done away by the profession of the true faith.

n It is said that after Noah had for a long time preached to them in vain, GOD shut up the heaven for forty years, and rendered their women barren.2

2 Idem.

o i.e., That GOD will accept and amply reward those who serve him? For some suppose Noah’s people made him this answer, If what we now follow be the truth, we ought not to forsake it; but if it be false, how will GOD accept, or be favourable unto us, who have rebelled against him?3

3 Idem.

p That is, as the commentators expound it, by various steps or changes, from the original matter, till ye became perfect men.4

4 See cap. 22, p. 250, and cap. 23, p. 257, &c.

q These were five idols worshipped by the Antediluvians, and afterwards by the ancient Arabs. See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. I. p. 15.
r They say Noah preferred not this prayer for the destruction of his people till after he had tried them for nine hundred and fifty years, and found them incorrigible reprobates.
s His father Lamech, and his mother, whose name was Shamkha, the daughter of Enosh, being true believers.
t The commentators are uncertain whether Noah’s dwelling-house be here meant, or the temple he had built for the worship of GOD, or the ark.

u See chapter 46, p. 374, note q.
x viz., Eblis, or the rebellious genii.
y For the Arabs, when they found themselves in a desert in the evening (the genii being supposed to haunt such places about that time), used to say, I fly for refuge unto the Lord of this valley, that he may defend me from the foolish among his people.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

z It is uncertain which of these pronouns is to be referred to mankind, and which to the genii, some expositors taking that of the third person to relate to the former, and that of the second person to the latter; and others being of the contrary opinion.
a See chapter 15, p. 192.
b See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV.
c i.e., We will grant them plenty of all good things. Some think by these words rain is promised to the Meccans, after their seven years’ drought, on their embracing Islâm.
d viz., Mohammed.

e That is to say, either that the prophet may know that Gabriel and the other angels, who bring down the revelation, have communicated it to him pure and free from any diabolical suggestions; or that GOD may know that the prophet has published the same to mankind.1

1 Idem.

f Some will have the last verse, beginning at these words, Verily thy LORD knoweth, &c., to have been revealed at Medina.
g When this revelation was brought to Mohammed, he was wrapped up in his garments, being affrighted at the appearance of Gabriel; or, as some say, he lay sleeping unconcernedly, or, according to others, praying, wrapped up in one part of a large mantle or rug, with the other part of which Ayesha had covered herself to sleep.2
      This epithet of wrapped up, and another of the same import given to Mohammed in the next chapter, have been imagined, by several learned men,3 pretty plainly to intimate his being subject to the falling sickness: a malady generally attributed to him by the Christians,4 but mentioned by no Mohammedan writer. Though such an inference may be made, yet I think it scarce probable, much less necessary.5

2 Al Zamakh., al Beidâwi.
3 Hotting. Hist. Orient. l. I, c. 2. Marracc. in Alc. p. 763. Vide Gagnier, not. ad Abulf. Vit. Moh. p. 9. 4 See Prideaux, Life of Mahomet, p. 16, and the authors there cited.
5 See Ockley’s Hist. of the Saracens, vol. i. p. 300, &c

h For a half is such, with respect to the whole. Or, as the sentence may be rendered, Pray half the night, within a small matter, &c. Some expound these words as an exception to nights in general; according to whom the sense will be, Spend one-half of every night in prayer, except some few nights in the year, &c.6

6 Al Beidâwi.

i i.e., Set apart either less than half the night, as one-third, for example, or more, as two-thirds. Or the meaning may be, either take a small matter from a lesser part of the night than one-half, e.g., from one-third, and so reduce it to a fourth; or add to such lesser part, and make it a full half.1

1 Idem.

k viz., The precepts contained in the Korân; which are heavy and difficult to those who are obliged to observe them, and especially to the prophet, whose care it was to see that his people observed them also.2

2 Idem, Jallalo’ddin.

l Or, the person who riseth by night; or, the hours, or particularly the first hours of the night, &c.
m For the nighttime is most proper for meditation and prayer, and also for reading GOD’S word distinctly and with attention, by reason of the absence of every noise and object which may distract the mind.
      Marracci, having mentioned this natural explication of the Mohammedan commentators, because he finds one word in the verse which may be taken in a sense tending that way, says the whole may with greater exactness be expounded of the fitness of the night season for amorous diversions and discourse; and he paraphrases it in Latin thus: Certe in principio noctis majus robur et vim habet homo, ad foeminas premendas et subagitandas, et ad clarioribus verbis amores suos propalandos.3 A most effectual way, this, to turn a book into ridicule!

3 Marracc. in Alc. p. 759.

n As thorns and thistles, the fruit of the infernal tree al Zakkûm, and the corruption flowing from the bodies of the damned.
o By making the matter easy to you, and dispensing with your scrupulous counting of the hours of the night which ye are directed to spend in reading and praying: for some of the Moslems, not knowing how the time passed, used to watch the whole night, standing and walking about till their legs and feet swelled in a sad manner. The commentators add that this precept of dedicating a part of the night to devotion, is abrogated by the institution of the five hours of prayer.4

4 Al Beidâwi.
p i.e., The good which ye shall do in your lifetime will be much more meritorious in the sight of GOD, than what ye shall defer till death, and order by will.1

1 Idem.

q It is related, from Mohammed’s own mouth, that being on Mount Harâ, and hearing himself called, he looked on each hand, and saw nobody; but looking upwards, he saw the angel Gabriel on a throne, between heaven and earth; at which sight being much terrified, he returned to his wife Khadîjah, and bade her cover him up; and that then the angel descended, and addressed him in the words of the text. From hence some think this chapter to have been the first which was revealed: but the more received opinion is, that it was the 96th. Others say that the prophet, having been reviled by certain of the Koreish, was sitting in a melancholy and pensive posture, wrapped up in his mantle, when Gabriel accosted him: and some say he was sleeping. See the second note to the preceding chapter.
r It is generally supposed that Mohammed is here commanded more especially to warn his near relations, the Koreish; as he is expressly ordered to do in a subsequent revelation.2

2 See cap. 26, p. 281, and the Prelim. Disc. Sect. II. p. 33.

s By the word abomination the commentators generally agree idolatry to be principally intended.
t The person here meant is generally supposed to have been al Walid Ebn al Mogheira,3 a principal man among the Koreish.

3 Al Zamakh., al Beidâwi, Jallal.

u Being well provided for, and not obliged to go abroad to seek their livings, as most others of the Meccans were.4

4 Al Beidâwi.

x By facilitating his advancement to power and dignity; which were so considerable that he was surnamed Rihâna Koreish, or The sweet odour of the Koreish, and al Wahîd, i.e., The only one, or The incomparable.5

5 Idem.

y On the revelation of this passage it is said that Walid’s prosperity began to decay, and continued daily so to do to the time of his death.6

6 Idem.

z Or, as the words may be strictly rendered, I will drive him up the crag of a mountain; which some understand of a mountain of fire, agreeably to a tradition of their prophet, importing that al Walid will be condemned to ascend this mountain, and then to be cast down from thence, alternately for ever; and that he will be seventy years in climbing up, and as many in falling down.7

7 Idem.
a The reason of which is said to be, that they might be of a different nature and species from those who are to be tormented, lest they should have a fellow-feeling of, and compassionate their sufferings; or else, because of their great strength and severity of temper.1

1 Idem

b Or, for a trial of them: because they might say this was a particular borrowed by Mohammed of the Jews.
c And especially the Jews; this being conformable to what is contained in their books.2

2 Jallal.

d i.e., All his creatures; or particularly the number and strength of the guards of hell.
e The antecedent seems to be hell.
f See chapter 52, p. 388.
g i.e., The blessed;3 who shall redeem themselves by their good works. Some say these are the angels, and others, such as die infants.4

3 See cap. 56, p. 396, note t.
4 Al Beidâwi.

h Literally, That which is certain.
i For the infidels to Mohammed that they would never obey him as a prophet till he brought each man a writing from heaven, to this effect, viz., From GOD to such a one: Follow Mohammed.5

5 Idem.
k Or, I will not swear. See chapter 56, p. 398, note m.
l Being conscious of having offended, and of failing of perfection, notwithstanding its endeavours to do its duty; or, the pious soul which shall blame others, at the last day, for having been remiss in their devotions, &c. Some understand the words of the soul of Adam, in particular; who is continually blaming himself for having lost paradise by his disobedience.6

6 Idem.

m Rising both in the west:1 which conjunction is no contradiction to what is mentioned just before, of the moon’s being eclipsed; because those words are not to be understood of a regular eclipse, but metaphorically, of the moon’s losing her light at the last day in a preternatural manner. Some think the meaning rather to be, that the sun and the moon shall be joined in the loss of their light.2

1 See the Prelim. Disc. p. 62.
2 Al Beidâwi.

n Or, the good which he hath done, and that which he hath left undone, &c.
o i.e., The fleeting pleasures of this life. The words intimate the natural hastiness and impatience of man,3 who takes up with a present enjoyment, though short and bitter in its consequences, rather than wait for real happiness in futurity.

3 See cap. 17, p. 208.
p i.e., And when he shall stretch forth his legs together, as is usual with dying persons. The words may also be translated, And when one affliction shall be joined with another affliction.
q Or, He did not give alms; or, He was not a man of veracity. Some suppose Abu Jahl, and others one Adi Ebn Rabîa, to be particularly inveighed against in this chapter.
r It is somewhat doubtful whether this chapter was revealed at Mecca or Medina.
s Some take these words to be spoken of Adam, whose body, according to Mohammedan tradition, was at first a figure of clay, and was left forty years to dry before GOD breathed life into it;1 others understand them of man in general and of the time he lies in the womb.

1 See the notes to cap. 2, p. 4.

t That he might be capable of receiving the rules and directions given by GOD for his guidance;2 and of meriting reward or punishment for his observance or neglect of them.

2 Al Beidâwi.

u Is the name of a fountain in paradise, so called from its resembling camphire (which the word signifies) in odour and whiteness. Some take the word for an appellative, and think the wine of paradise will be mixed with camphire, because of its agreeable coolness and smell.3

3 Idem.

x It is related that Hasan and Hosein, Mohammed’s grandchildren, on a certain time being both sick, the prophet, among others, visited them, and they wished Ali to make some vow to GOD for the recovery of his sons: whereupon Ali, and Fâtema, and Fidda, their maid-servant, vowed a fast of three days in case they did well; as it happened they did. This vow was performed with so great strictness, that the first day, having no provisions in the house, Ali was obliged to borrow three measures of barley of one Simeon, a Jew, of Khaibar, one measure of which Fâtema ground the same day, and baked five cakes of the meal, and they were set before them to break their fast with after sunset: but a poor man coming to them, they gave all their bread to him, and passed the night without tasting anything except water. The next day Fâtema made another measure into bread, for the same purpose; but an orphan begging some food, they chose to let him have it, and passed that night as the first; and the third day they likewise gave their whole provision to a famished captive. Upon this occasion Gabriel descended with the chapter, before us, and told Mohammed that GOD congratulated him on the virtues of his family.1

1 Idem.

y Because they shall not need the light of either.2 The word Zamharîr, here translated moon, properly signifies extreme cold: for which reason some understand the meaning of the passage to be, that in paradise there shall be felt no excess either of heat or of cold.

2 See Revel. xxi. 23.

z The word signifies ginger, which the Arabs delight to mix with the water they drink; and therefore the water of this fountain is supposed to have the taste of that spice.3

3 Al Beidâwi, Jallal.

a Signifies water which flows gently and pleasantly down the throat.

b Some understand the whole passage of the verses of the Korân; which continued to be sent down, parcel after parcel, during the space of several years, and which rescind (for so the verb ásafa may also be translated) and abolish all former dispensations, divulging and making known the ways of salvation, distinguishing truth from falsehood, and communicating admonition, &c. Some interpret the first three verses of the winds, sent in a continual succession, blowing with a violent gust, and dispersing rain over the earth; and others give different explications.
c viz., The day of judgment.
d Being of fiery colour. Others, however, suppose these sparks will be of a dusky hue, like that of black camels, which always inclines a little to the yellow; the word translated yellow, signifying sometimes black. Some copies, by the variation of a vowel, have cables, instead of camels.
e See chapter 16, p. 196, and chapter 31, p. 307.
f This, say the commentators, is the most severe and terrible sentence in the whole Korân, pronounced against the inhabitants of hell; they being hereby assured that every change in their torments will be for the worse.
g These are the angel of death and his assistants, who will take the souls of the wicked in a rough and cruel manner from the inmost part of their bodies, as a man drags up a thing from the bottom of the sea; but will take the souls of the good in a gentle and easy manner from their lips, as when a man draws a bucket of water at one pull.1
      There are several other interpretations of this whole passage; some expounding all the five parts of the oath of the stars, others of the souls of men, others of the souls of warriors in particular, and others of war-horses: a detail of which, I apprehend, would rather tire than please.

1 Al Beidâwi.

h i.e., Shall we be restored to our former condition?
i viz., The second or third blast, according to different opinions.
k Or, they shall appear at the place of judgment. The original word al Sâhira is also one of the names of hell.
l See chapter 20, p. 234.

m Which had been created before the heavens, but without expansion.1

1 Jallalo’ddin.

n This passage was revealed on the following occasion. A certain blind man, named Abdallah Ebn Omm Mactûm, came and interrupted Mohammed while he was engaged in earnest discourse with some of the principal Koreish, whose conversion he had hopes of; but the prophet taking no notice of him, the blind man, not knowing he was otherwise busied, raised his voice, and said, O apostle of GOD, teach me some part of what GOD hath taught thee; but Mohammed, vexed at this interruption, frowned and turned away from him; for which he is here reprehended. After this, whenever the prophet saw Ebn Omm Mactûm, he showed him great respect, saying, The man is welcome, on whose account my LORD hath reprimanded me; and he made him twice governor of Medina.2

2 Idem al Beidâwi.

o Being transcribed from the preserved table, highly honoured in the sight of GOD, kept pure and uncorrupted from the hands of evil spirits, and touched only by the angels. Some understand hereby the books of the prophets, with which the Korân agrees in substance.1

1 Al Zamakh.

p As a garment that is laid by.
q See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. p. 64.
r See ibid. p. 64 and 67.
s See ibid. p. 64.
t For it was customary among the ancient Arabs to bury their daughters alive as soon as they were born; for fear they should be impoverished by providing for them, or should suffer disgrace on their account. See chapter 16, p. 199.
u Or plucked away from its place, as the skin is plucked off from a camel which is flaying; for that is the proper signification of the verb here used. Marracci fancies the passage alludes to that in the Psalms,2 where, according to the versions of the Septuagint and the Vulgate, GOD is said to have stretched out the heaven like a skin.

2 Psalm civ. 2.

x Or, I will not swear, &c. See chapter 56, p. 398, note m.
y Some understand hereby the stars in general, but the more exact commentators, five of the planets, viz., the two which accompany the sun, and the three superior planets; which have both a retrograde and a direct motion, and hide themselves in the rays of the sun, or when they set.
z i.e., Gabriel.
a See chapter 53, p. 389.
b Some copies, by a change of one letter only, instead of dhanînin, read danînin; and then the words should be rendered, He is not tenacious of, or grudges not to communicate to you, the secret revelations which he has received.
c Who has overheard, by stealth, the discourse of the angels. The verse is an answer to a calumny of the infidels, who said the Korân was only a piece of divination, or magic; for the Arabs suppose the soothsayer, or magician, receives his intelligence from those evil spirits, who are continually listening to learn what they can from the inhabitants of heaven.
d See chapter 50, p. 384, and the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. p. 56.
e Is the name of the general register, wherein the actions of all the wicked, both men and genii, are distinctly entered. Sejn signifies a prison; and this book, as some think, derives its name from thence, because it will occasion those whose deeds are there recorded to be imprisoned in hell. Sejjin, or Sajin, is also the name of the dungeon beneath the seventh earth, the residence of Eblis and his host, where, it is supposed by some, that this book is kept, and where the souls of the wicked will be detained till the resurrection.1 If the latter explication be admitted, the words, And what shall make thee to understand what Sejjin is? should be enclosed within a parenthesis.

1 Jallalo’ddin, al Beidâwi. See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. p. 61.

f The word is a plural, and signifies high places. Some say it is the general register wherein the actions of the righteous, whether angels, men, or genii, are distinctly recorded. Others will have it to be a place in the seventh heaven, under the throne of GOD, where this book is kept, and where the souls of the just, as many think, will remain till the last day.2 If we prefer the latter opinion, the words, And what shall make thee to understand what Illiyyûn is? should likewise be enclosed in a parenthesis.

2 Jallalo’ddin. See the Prelim. Disc. ubi sup.

g Or, are present with, and keep the same.
h i.e., The vessels containing the same shall be sealed with musk, instead of clay. Some understand by the seal of this wine its farewell, or the flavour it will leave in the mouth after it is drank.
i Is the name of a fountain in paradise, so called from its being conveyed to the highest apartments.
k For they shall drink the water of Tasnîm pure and unmixed, being continually and wholly employed in the contemplation of GOD; but the other inhabitants of paradise shall drink it mixed with their wine.3

3 Al Beidâwi.
l i.e., The infidels are not commissioned by GOD to call the believers to account, or to judge of their actions.
m When they shall see them ignominiously driven into hell. It is also said, that a door shall be shown the damned, opening into paradise, and they shall be bidden to go in; but when they come near the door it shall be suddenly shut, and the believers within shall laugh at them.1

1 Idem.

n There are some who take this chapter to have been revealed at Medina.
o Like a skin; every mountain and hill being levelled.
p As the treasures hidden in its bowels, and the dead bodies which lie in their graves.
q Or, and thou shalt meet thy labour; whether thy works be good, or whether they be evil
r i.e., His relations or friends who are true believers; or rather, to his wives and servants, of the damsels and youths of paradise, who wait to receive him.2

2 Idem.

s That is, into his left hand; for the wicked will have that hand bound behind their back, and their right hand to their neck.
t Or, I will not swear. See chapter 56, p. 398, note m.
u i.e., From the state of the living, to that of the dead; and from the state of the dead, to a new state of life in another world.
x Or, humble not themselves.

y The original word properly signifies towers, which some interpret of real towers,1 wherein it is supposed the angels keep guard;2 and others, of the stars of the first magnitude: but the generality of expositors understand thereby the twelve signs of the zodiac, wherein the planets make their several stations.3

1 Yahya.
2 See cap. 15, p. 191.
3 Jallal., al Beidâwi, Yahya.

z The meaning of these words is very uncertain, and the explications of the commentators consequently vary. One thinks the witness to be Mohammed, and that which is borne witness of, to be the resurrection, or the professors of the Mohammedan faith; or else that these latter are the witness, and the professors of every other religion, those who will be witnessed against by them. Another supposes the witness to be the guardian angel, and his charge the person witnessed against. Another expounds the words of the day of Arafat, the 9th of Dhu’lhajja, and of the day of slaying the victims, which is the day following, or else of Friday, the day of the weekly assembling of the Mohammedans at their mosques, and of the people who are assembled on those days, &c.4

4 Idem.

a Literally, the lords of the pit. These were the ministers of the persecution raised by Dhu Nowâs, king of Yaman, who was of the Jewish religion, against the inhabitants of Najrân; for they having embraced Christianity (at that time the true religion, by the confession of Mohammed himself), the bigoted tyrant commanded all those who would not renounce their faith to be cast into a pit, or trench, filled with fire, and there burnt to ashes.5 Others, however, tell the story with different circumstances.6

5 Idem. Vide Poc. Spec. p. 62; Ecchellens. Hist. Arab. part i. c. 10; and Prid. Life of Mah. p. 61.
6 Vide D’Herbel. Bibl. Orient. Art. Abou Navas.

b Or, as some choose to understand the words, And shall be witnesses against themselves, at the day of judgment, of their unjust treatment of the true believers.
c Which pain, it is said, the persecutors of the Christian martyrs above mentioned felt in this life; the fire bursting forth upon them from the pit, and consuming them.7

7 Al Beidâwi, Yahya.

d See chapter 7, p. 115, &c.
e See ibid. p. 111, &c.

f And preserved from the least change or corruption. See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. III. p. 50, and Sect. IV. p. 58.
g Some take the words to signify any bright star, without restriction; but others think some particular star or stars to be thereby intended; which one supposes to be the morning star (peculiarly called al Târek, or the appearing by nights), another Saturn (that planet being by the Arabs surnamed al Thakeb, or the piercing, as it was by the Greeks, Phoenon, or the shining), and a third, the Pleiades.
h i.e., From the loins of the man, and the breast-bones of the woman.1

1 Al Beidâwi, Yahya

i Or, as some expound it, Which performeth its periodic motion, returning to the point from whence it began the same. The words seem designed to express the alternate returns of the different seasons of the year.
k Some take the first word of this chapter, viz., Praise, for its title.

l Determining their various species, properties, ways of life, &c.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

m Guiding the rational by their reason and also by revelation, and the irrational by instinct, &c.2

2 Idem.

n See chapter 75, p. 431.
o i.e., Except such revelations as GOD shall think fit to abrogate and blot out of thy memory. See chapter 2, p. 13, and chapter 75, p. 431.
p To retain the relations communicated to thee by Gabriel; or, as some understand the words, We will dispose thee to the profession and strict observance of the most easy religion, that is, of Islâm.
q That is a name, or epithet, of the last day; because it will suddenly overwhelm all creatures with fear and astonishment. It is also a name, or epithet, of hell fire.
r i.e., Dragging their chains, and labouring through hell fire, as camels labour through mud, &c. Or, Employing and fatiguing themselves in what shall not avail them.3

3 Idem.

s Such as the camels eat when green and tender. Some take the original word al Darí for the name of a thorny tree.
t These animals are of such use, or rather necessity, in the east, that the creation of a species so wonderfully adapted to those countries is a very proper instance, to an Arabian, of the power and wisdom of GOD. Some, however, think the clouds (which the original word ibl also signifies) are here intended; the heaven being mentioned immediately after.

u Or, Except him who shall turn back, and be an infidel: and GOD shall also punish him &c. By which exception some suppose that power is here given to Mohammed to chastise obstinate infidels and apostates.
x Some are of opinion this chapter was revealed at Medina.
y That is, the ten nights of Dhu’lhajja, or the 10th of that month (whence some understand the daybreak mentioned just before, of the morning of that day, or of the preceding); or the nights of the 10th of Moharram; or, as others rather think, the 10th, 11th, and 12th of Dhu’lhajja; all which are days peculiarly sacred among the Mohammedans.
z These words are variously interpreted. Some understand thereby all things in general; some, all created beings (which are said to have been created by pairs, or of two kinds),1 and the Creator, who is single; some, of the primum mobile, and the other orbs; some, of the constellations and the planets; some, of the nights before mentioned, taken either together or singly; and some, of the day of slaying the victims (the 10th of Dhu’lhajja), and of the day of Arafat, which is the day before, &c.2

1 See cap. 51, p. 387.
2 Al Zamakh.

a Was the name of the territory or city of the Adites, and of the garden mentioned in the next note; which were so called from Irem, or Aram, the grandfather of Ad, their progenitor. Some think Aaron himself to be here meant, and his name to be added to signify the ancient Adites, his immediate descendants, and to distinguish them from the latter tribe of that name:3 but the adjective and relative joined to the word are, in the original, of the feminine gender, which seems to contradict this opinion.

3 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin.

b Or pillars. Some imagine these words are used to express the great size and strength of the old Adites;4 and then they should be translated, who were of enormous stature. But the more exact commentators take the passage to relate to the sumptuous palace and delightful gardens built and made by Sheddâd the son of Ad. For they say Ad left two sons, Sheddâd and Sheddîd, who reigned jointly after his decease, and extended their power over the greater part of the world; but Sheddîd dying, his brother became sole monarch; who, having heard of the celestial paradise, made a garden in imitation thereof, in the deserts of Aden, and called it Irem, after the name of his great-grandfather: when it was finished he set out, with a great attendance, to take a view of it; but when they were come within a day’s journey of the place, they were all destroyed by a terrible noise from heaven. Al Beidâwi adds that one Abdallah Ebn Kelâbah (whom, after D’Herbelot, I have elsewhere named Colabah)5 accidentally hit on this wonderful place, as he was seeking a camel.

4 Idem. See the Prelim. Disc. p. 5.
5 Prelim. Disc. p. 5.

c If we suppose the preceding words to relate to the vast stature of the Adites, these must be translated, The like of whom hath not been created, &c.
d The learned Greaves, in his translation of Abulfeda’s description of Arabia,6 has falsely rendered these words, which are there quoted, Quibus petroe vallis responsum dederunt, i.e., To whom the rocks of the valley returned answer: which slip being made by so great a man, I do not at all wonder that La Roque, and Petis de la Croix, from whose Latin version, and with whose assistance, La Roque made his French translation of the aforesaid treatise, have been led into the same mistake, and rendered those words, A qui les pierres de la valée rendirent réponse.1 The valley here meant, say the commentators,2 is Wâdi’lkora, lying about one day’s journey3 (not five and upwards, as Abulfeda will have it) from al Hejr.

6 p. 43. It was published by Dr. Hudson, in the third vol. of the Geograhphiæ Veteris Scriptor. Gr. minor.
1 Descr. de l’Arabie, mise à la suite du Voyage de la Palestine, par La Roque, p. 35.
2 Jallalo’ddin, al Beidâwi.
3 Ebn Hawkal, apud Abulf. ubi sup. Geogr. Nub. p. 110.

e See chapter 38, p. 340.
f The original word signifies a mixture, and also a scourge of platted thongs: whence some suppose the chastisement of this life is here represented by scourge, and intimated to be as much lighter than that of the next life, as scourging is lighter than death.4

4 Al Beidâwi.

g For worldly prosperity or adversity is not a certain mark either of the favour or disfavour of GOD.
h Not suffering women or young children to have any share in the inheritance of their husbands or parents. See chapter 4, p. 54.
i There is a tradition that at the last day hell will be dragged towards the tribunal by 70,000 halters, each halter being hauled by 70,000 angels, and that it will come with great roaring and fury.5

5 Idem, Jallalo’ddin.

k Or, for this my latter life.
l i.e., None shall be able to punish or to bind, as GOD shall then punish and bind the wicked.6

6 Idem.

m Some expound this of the soul, which, having, by pursuing the concatenation of natural causes, raised itself to the knowledge of that Being which produced them, and exists of necessity, rests fully contented, or acquiesces in the knowledge of him, and the contemplation of his perfections. By this the reader will observe that the Mohammedans are no strangers to Quietism. Others, however, understand the words of the soul, which, having attained the knowledge of the truth, rests satisfied, and relies securely thereon, undisturbed by doubts; or of the soul which is secure of its salvation, and free from fear or sorrow.7

7 Al Beidâwi
n Or, I will not swear, &c. See chapter 56, p. 398, note m.
o viz., The sacred territory of Mecca.
p Or, Thou shalt be allowed to do what thou pleasest in this territory; the words, in this sense, importing a promise of that absolute power which Mohammed attained on the taking of Mecca.1

1 Idem.

q Some understand these words generally; others of Adam or Abraham, and of their offspring, and of Mohammed in particular.2

2 Idem.

r Or, to trouble. This passage was revealed to comfort the prophet under the persecutions of the Koreish.3

3 Idem.

s Some expositors take a particular person to be here intended, who was one of Mohammed’s most inveterate adversaries; as al Walid Ebn al Mogheira;4 others suppose Abu’l Ashadd Ebn Calda to be the man, who was so very strong, that a large skin being spread under his feet, and ten men pulling at it, they could not make him fall, though they tore the skin to pieces.5

4 Al Zamakh.
5 Al Beidâwi.

t In a vain and ostentatious manner, or in opposing of Mohammed.6

6 Idem.

u See chapter 56, p. 396.
x See ibid.
y i.e., When she rises just after him, as she does at the beginning of the month; or when she gets after him, as happens when she is a little past the full.7

7 Idem.

z viz., Kedâr Ebn Sâlef. See chapter 7, p. 112, and chapter 54, p. 393.
a Jallalo’ddin thinks this whole description belongs peculiarly to Abu Becr: for when he had purchased Belâl, the Ethiopian (afterwards the prophet’s Muedhdhin, or crier to prayers), who purchased Belâl, the Ethiopian (afterwards the prophet’s Muedhdhin, or crier to prayers), who had been put to the rack on account of his faith, the infidels said he did it only out of a view of interest; upon which this passage was revealed.
b The original word properly signifies the bright part of the day, when the sun shines full out, three or four hours after it is risen.
c It is related that no revelation having been vouchsafed to Mohammed for several days, in answer to some questions put to him by the Koreish, because he had confidently promised to resolve them the next day, without adding the exception, if it please GOD,1 or because he had repulsed an importunate beggar, or else because a dead puppy lay under his seat, or for some other reason; his enemies said that GOD had left him: whereupon this chapter was sent down for his consolation.2

1 See cap. 18, p. 219
2 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin.

d By disposing and enlarging it to receive the truth, and wisdom, and prophecy; or, by freeing thee from uneasiness and ignorance? This passage is thought to intimate the opening of Mohammed’s heart, in his infancy, or when he took his journey to heaven, by the angel Gabriel; who having wrung out the black drop, or seed of original sin, washed and cleansed the same, and filled it with wisdom and faith:3 but some think it relates to the occasion of the preceding chapter.4

3 Al Beidâwi, Yahya. Vide Abulf. Vit. Moh. p. 8 and 33; Prid, Life of Mohamet, p. 105, &c.
4 Al Beidâwi.

e i.e., Of thy sins committed before thy mission; or of thy ignorance, or trouble of mind.
f Or When thou shalt have finished thy prayer, labour in preaching the faith.5

5 Idem.

g GOD, say the commentators swears by these two fruits, because of their great uses and virtues: for the fig is wholesome and of easy digestion, and physically good to carry off phlegm, and gravel in the kidneys or bladder, and to remove obstructions of the liver and spleen, and also cures the piles and the gout, &c.; the olive produces oil, which is not only excellent to eat, but otherwise useful for the compounding of ointments;1 the wood of the olive-tree, moreover, is good for cleansing the teeth, preventing their growing rotten, and giving a good odour to the mouth, for which reason the prophets, and Mohammed in particular, made use of no other for toothpicks.2
      Some, however, suppose that these words do not mean the fruits or trees above mentioned, but two mountains in the holy land, where they grow in plenty; or else the temple of Damascus and that at Jerusalem.3

1 Idem, al Zamakh.
2 Al Zamakh.
3 Idem, Yahya, al Beidâwi, Jallal.

h viz., The territory of Mecca.4 These words seem to argue the chapter to have been revealed there.

4 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV.

i i.e., As the commentators generally expound this passage, We created man of comely proportion of body, and great perfection of mind; and yet we have doomed him, in case of disobedience, to be an inhabitant of hell. Some, however, understand the words of the vigorous constitution of man in the prime and strength of his age, and of his miserable decay when he becomes old and decrepit: but they seem rather to intimate the perfect state of happiness wherein man was originally created, and his fall from thence, in consequence of Adam’s disobedience, to a state of misery in this world, and becoming liable to one infinitely more miserable in the next.5

5 Vide Marracc. in loc. p. 809.

k Some suppose these words directed to Mohammed, and others to man in general, by way of apostrophe.
l The first five verses of this chapter, ending with the words, Who taught man that which he knew not, are generally allowed to be the first passage of the Korân which was revealed, though some give this honour to the seventy-four chapter, and others to the first, the next, they say, being the sixty-eighth.
m All men being created of thick or concreted blood,6 except only Adam, Eve, and Jesus.7

6 See cap. 22, p. 250.
7 Yahya.

n These words, containing a repetition of the command, are supposed to be a reply to Mohammed, who, in answer to the former words spoken by the angel, had declared that he could not read, being perfectly illiterate; and intimate a promise that GOD, who had inspired man with the art of writing, would graciously remedy this defect in him.8

8 Al Beidâwi.

o The commentators agree the remaining part of the chapter to have been revealed against Abu Jahl, Mohammed’s great adversary.
p For Abu Jahl threatened that if he caught Mohammed in the act of adoration, he would set his foot on his neck; but when he came and saw him in that posture, he suddenly turned back as in a fright, and, being asked what was the matter, said there was a ditch of fire between himself and Mohammed, and a terrible appearance of troops, to defend him.9

9 Idem.
q See chapter 11, p. 164, note o.
r i.e., The council or assembly of the principal Meccans, the far greater part of whom adhered to Abu Jahl.
s The word al Kadr signifies power and honor or dignity, and also the divine decree; and the night is so named either from its excellence above all other nights in the year, or because, as the Mohammedans believe, the divine decrees for the ensuing year are annually on this night fixed and settled, or taken from the preserved table by GOD’S throne, and given to the angels to be executed.1 On this night Mohammed received his first revelations; when the Korân, say the commentators, was sent down from the aforesaid table, entire and in one volume, to the lowest heaven, from whence Gabriel revealed it to Mohammed by parcels, as occasion required.
      The Moslem doctors are not agreed where to fix the night of al Kadr; the greater part are of opinion that it is one of the ten last nights of Ramadân, and, as is commonly believed, the seventh of those nights, reckoning backward; by which means it will fall between the 23rd and 24th days of that month.2

1 See cap. 44, p. 367.
2 Al Zamakh., al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin.

t See the preceding note, and chapter 44, p. 367.
u Some entitle this chapter, from the first words, Did not.
x i.e., Did not waver in their religion, or in their promises to follow the truth, when an apostle should come unto them. For the commentators pretend that before the appearance of Mohammed, the Jews and Christians, as well as the worshippers of idols, unanimously believed and expected the coming of that prophet, until which time they declared they would persevere in their respective religions, and then would follow him; but when he came, they rejected him through envy.3

3 Idem.

y viz., Mohammed, or the Korân.

z But when the promised apostle was sent, and the truth became manifest to them, they withstood the clearest conviction, differing from one another in their opinions; some believing and acknowledging Mohammed to be the prophet foretold in the scriptures, and others denying it.1

1 Idem.

a But these divine precepts in the law and the gospel have they corrupted, changed, and violated.2

2 Idem.

b This earthquake will happen at the first, or, as others say, at the second blast of the trumpet.3

3 Al Zamakh., al Beidâwi. See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. p. 65

c viz., The treasures and dead bodies within it.4

4 See cap. 84, p. 441.

d i.e., Will inform all creatures of the occasion of her trembling, and casting forth her treasures and her dead, by the circumstances which shall immediately attend them. Some say the earth will, at the last day, be miraculously enabled to speak, and will give evidence of the actions of her inhabitants.5

5 Al Beidâwi. See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV.

e See chapter 4, p. 58, note y.

f Some will have it that not horses, but the camels which went to the battle of Bedr, are meant in this passage.1 Others interpret all the parts of the oath of the human soul;2 but their explications seem a little forced, and therefore I choose to omit them.

1 Yahya, ex trad. Ali Ebn Abi Taleb.
2 Al Beidâwi.

g This is one of the names or epithets given to the last day, because it will strike the hearts of all creatures with terror.3

3 Idem, Jallalo’ddin.

h The original word Hâwiyat is the name of the lowest dungeon of hell, and properly signifies a deep pit or gulf.

i i.e., Until ye die. According to the exposition of some commentators, the words should be rendered thus: The contending or vieing in numbers wholly employeth you, so that ye visit even the graves, to number the dead: to explain which, they relate that there was a great dispute and contention between the descendants of Abd Menâf and the descendants of Sahm, which of the two families were the more numerous; and it being found, on calculation, that the children of Abd Menâf exceeded those of Sahm, the Sahmites said that their numbers had been much diminished by wars in the time of ignorance, and insisted that the dead, as well as the living, should be taken into the account; and by this way of reckoning they were found to be more than the descendants of Abd Menâf.1

1 Al Zamakh., al Beidâwi, Jallal.

k Or the time from the sun’s declination to his setting, which is one of the five appointed times of prayer. The original word also signifies, The age, or time in general.
      This passage is said to have been revealed against al Akhnas Ebn Shoreik, or al Walîd Ebn al Mogheira, or Omeyya Ebn Khalf, who were all guilty of slandering others, and especially the prophet.1

1 Idem.
m Is one of the names of hell, or the name of one of its apartments;2 which is so called because it will break in pieces whatever shall be thrown into it.

2 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. p. 72.

n And therefore shall not be extinguished by any.3

3 Al Beidâwi.

o This chapter relates to the following piece of history, which is famous among the Arabs; Abraha Ebn al Sabâh, surnamed al Ashram, i.e., the Slit-nosed, king or viceroy of Yaman, who was an Ethiopian,4 and of the Christian religion, having built a magnificent church at Sanaa with a design to draw the Arabs to go in pilgrimage thither, instead of visiting the temple of Mecca, the Koreish, observing the devotion and concourse of the pilgrims at the Caaba began considerably to diminish, sent one Nofail, as he is named by some of the tribe of Kenânah, who getting into the aforesaid church by night, defiled the altar and walls thereof with his excrements. At this profanation Abraha being highly incensed, vowed the destruction of the Caaba, and accordingly set out against Mecca at the head of a considerable army, wherein were several elephants, which he had obtained of the king of Ethiopia, their numbers being, as some say, thirteen, though others mention but one. The Meccans, at the approach of so considerable a host, retired to the neighbouring mountains, being unable to defend their city or temple; but GOD himself undertook the protection of both. For when Abraha drew near to Mecca, and would have entered it, the elephant on which he rode, which was a very large one, and named Mahmûd, refused to advance any nigher to the town, but knelt down whenever they endeavoured to force him that way, though he would rise and march briskly enough if they turned him towards any other quarter: and while matters were in this posture, on a sudden a large flock of birds, like swallows, came flying from the sea coast, every one of which carried three stones, one in each foot, and one in its bill; and these stones they threw down upon the heads of Abraha’s men, certainly killing every one they struck. Then GOD sent a flood, which swept the dead bodies, and some of those who had not been struck by the stones, into the sea: the rest fled toward Yaman, but perished by the way; none of them reaching Sanaa, except only Abraha himself, who died soon after his arrival there, being struck with a sort of plague or putrefaction, so that his body opened, and his limbs rotted off by piecemeal. It is said that one of Abraha’s army, named Abu Yacsûm, escaped over the Red Sea into Ethiopia, and going directly to the king, told him the tragical story; and upon that prince’s asking him what sort of birds they were that had occasioned such a destruction, the man pointed to one of them, which had followed him all the way, and was at that time hovering directly over his head, when immediately the bird let fall the stone, and struck him dead at the king’s feet.5
      This remarkable defeat of Abraha happened the very year Mohammed was born, and as this chapter was revealed before the Hejra, and within fifty-four years, at least, after it came to pass, when several persons who could have detected the lie, had Mohammed forged this story out of his own head, were alive, it seems as if there was really something extraordinary in the matter, which might, by adding some circumstances, have been worked up into a miracle to his hands. Marracci6 judges the whole to be either a fable, or else a feat of some evil spirits, of which he gives a parallel instance, as he thinks, in the strange defeat of Brennus, when he was marching to attack the temple of Apollo at Delphi.7 Dr. Prideaux directly charges Mohammed with coining this miracle, notwithstanding he might have been so easily disproved, and supposes, without any foundation, that this chapter might not have been published till Othman’s edition of the Korân,1 which was many years after, when all might be dead who could remember anything of the above-mentioned war.2 But Mohammed had no occasion to coin such a miracle himself, to gain the temple of Mecca any greater veneration: the Meccans were but too superstitiously fond of it, and obliged him, against his inclinations and original design, to make it the chief place of his new invented worship. I cannot, however, but observe Dr. Prideaux’s partiality on this occasion, compared with the favourable reception he gives to the story of the miraculous overthrow of Brennus and his army, which he concludes in the following words: “Thus was GOD pleased in a very extraordinary manner to execute his vengeance upon those sacrilegious wretches for the sake of religion in general, how false and idolatrous soever that particular religion was, for which that temple at Delphos was erected.”3 If it be answered, that the Gauls believed the religion, to the devotions of which that temple was consecrated, to be true (though that be not certain), and therefore it was an impiety in them to offer violence to it, whereas Abraha acknowledged not the holiness of the Caaba, or the worship there practised; I reply, that the doctor, on occasion of Cambyses being killed by a wound he accidentally received in the same part of the body where he had before mortally wounded the Apis, or bull worshipped by the Egyptians, whose religion and worship that prince most certainly believed to be false and superstitious, makes the same reflection: “The Egyptians,” says he, “reckoned this as an especial judgment from heaven upon him for that fact, and perchance they were not much out in it: for it seldom happening in an affront given to any mode of worship, how erroneous soever it may be, but that religion is in general wounded hereby, there are many instances in history, wherein GOD hath very signally punished the profanations of religion in the worst of times, and under the worst modes of heathen idolatry.”4

4 See the Prelim. Disc. p. 8.
5 Al Zamakh., al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin, Abulf. Hist. Gen. &c. See Prid. Life of Mahomet, p. 61, &c., and D’Herbel. Bibl. Orient. Art. Abrahah.
6 Refut. in Alcor. p. 823.
7 See Prid. Connection, part ii. book i. p. 25, and the authors there quoted.
1 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. III. p. 45.
2 Prid. Life of Mahomet, p. 63, 64.
3 Prid. Connection, in the place above cited.
4 Ibid. part i. book iii. p. 173.

p These stones were of the same kind with those by which the Sodomites were destroyed,5 and were no bigger than vetches, though they fell with such force as to pierce the helmet and the man through, passing out at his fundament. It is said also that on each stone was written the name of him who was to be slain by it.

5 See cap. 11, p. 166.

q Some connect these words with the following, and suppose the natural order to be, Let them serve the Lord of this house, for the uniting, &c. Others connect them with the last words of the preceding chapter, and take the meaning to be, that GOD had so destroyed the army of Abraha for the uniting of the Koreish, &c. And the last opinion is confirmed by one copy, mentioned by al Beidâwi, wherein this and the preceding make but one chapter. It may not be amiss to observe, that the tribe of Koreish, the most noble among all the Arabians, and of which was Mohammed himself, were the posterity of Fehr, surnamed Koreish, the son of Malec, the son of al Nadr, who was descended in a right line from Ismael. Some writers say that al Nadr bore the surname of Koreish, but the more received opinion is that it was his grandson Fehr, who was so called because of his intrepid boldness, the word being a diminutive of Karsh, which is the name of a sea monster, very strong and daring; though there be other reasons given for its imposition.6

6 Vide Gagnier, Vie de Mah. t. I, p. 44 and 46.

r It was Hâshem, the great-grandfather of Mohammed, who first appointed the two yearly caravans here mentioned;7 one of which set out in the winter for Yaman, and the other in summer for Syria.8

7 See the Prelim. Disc. p. 3.
8 Al Zamakh., Jallal., al Beidâwi.

s By means of the aforesaid caravans of purveyors; or, Who supplied them with food in time of a famine, which those of Mecca had suffered.1

1 Idem.

t By delivering them from Abraha and his troops; or, by making the territory of Mecca a place of security.
u The person here intended, according to some, was Abu Jahl, who turned away an orphan, to whom he was guardian, and who came to him naked, and asked for some relief out of his own money. Somme say it was Abu Sofiân, who, having killed a camel, when an orphan begged a piece of the flesh, beat him away with his staff; and others think it was al Walid Ebn al Mogheira, &c.
x The original word al Maûn properly signifies utensils, or whatever is of necessary use, as a hatchet, a pot, a dish, and a needle, to which some add a bucket and a hand-mill; or, according to a tradition of Ayesha, fire, water, and salt; and this signification it bore in the time of ignorance: but since the establishment of the Mohammedan religion, the word has been used to denote alms, either legal or voluntary; which seems to be the true meaning in this place.
y There are some, however, who think it to have been revealed at Medina.
z This word signifies abundance, especially of good, and thence the gift of wisdom and prophecy, the Korân, the office of intercessor, &c. Or it may imply abundance of children, followers, and the like. It is generally, however, expounded of a river in paradise of that name, whence the water is derived into Mohammed’s pond, of which the blessed are to drink before their admission into that place.2 According to a tradition of the prophet’s, this river, wherein his LORD promised him abundant good, is sweeter than honey, whiter than milk, cooler than snow, and smoother than cream; its banks are of chrysolites, and the vessels to drink thereout of silver; and those who drink of it shall never thirst.3
      Euthymius Zigabenus,4 instead of Cauthar, reading Canthar, supposes the word to have the same signification in Arabic as in Greek, and translates the two first verses of the chapter thus: [Greek text],–i.e., We have given thee the beetle; wherefore pray unto thy LORD, and slay it; and then he cries out, O wonderful and magnificent sacrifice, worthy of the legislator!

2 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. IV. p. 74.
3 Al Beidâwi, Jallal. &c.
4 In Panoplia Dogmat. inter Sylburgii Sarocenic. p. 29.

a Which are to be sacrificed at the pilgrimage in the valley of Mina. Al Beidâwi explains the words thus: Pray with fervency and intense devotion, not out of hypocrisy; and slay the fatted camels and oxen, and distribute the flesh among the poor; for he says this chapter is the counterpart of the preceding, exhorting to those virtues which are opposite to the vices there condemned.
b These words were revealed against al As Ebn Wayel, who, on the death of al Kâsem, Mohammed’s son, called that prophet Abtar, which signifies one who has no children or posterity.1

1 Jallalo’ddin.

c It is said that certain of the Koreish once proposed to Mohammed that if he would worship their gods for a year, they would worship his GOD for the same space of time; upon which this chapter was revealed.2

2 Idem, al Beidâwi.

d i.e., When GOD shall cause thee to prevail over thy enemies, and thou shalt take the city of Mecca.
e Which happened in the ninth year of the Hejra, when, Mohammed having made himself master of Mecca, and obliged the Koreish to submit to him, the rest of the Arabs came in to him in great numbers, and professed Islâm.3

3 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. II. p. 43.

f Most of the commentators agree this chapter to have been revealed before the taking of Mecca, and suppose it gave Mohammed warning of his death; for they say that when he read it al Abbâs wept, and being asked by the prophet what was the reason of his weeping, answered, Because it biddeth thee to prepare for death; to which Mohammed replied, It is as thou sayest.4 And hence, adds Jallalo’ddin, after the revelation of this chapter the prophet was more frequent in praising and asking pardon of GOD, because he thereby knew that his end approached; for Mecca was taken in the eighth year of the Hejra, and he died in the beginning of the tenth.

4 Al Beidâwi.
g Abu Laheb was the surname of Abd’al Uzza, one of the sons of Abd’almotalleb, and uncle to Mohammed. He was a most bitter enemy to his nephew, and opposed the establishment of his new religion to the utmost of his power. When that prophet, in obedience to the command he had received to admonish his near relations,1 had called them together, and told them he was a warner sent unto them before a grievous chastisement, Abu Laheb cried out, Mayest thou perish! Hast thou called us together for this? and took up a stone to cast at him. Whereupon this passage was revealed.2
      By the hands of Abu Laheb some commentators, by a synecdoche, understand his person; others, by a metonymy, his affairs in general, they being transacted with those members; or his hopes in this world and the next.

1 See the Prelim. Disc. Sect. II. p. 34.
2 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin, &c.

h He died of grief and vexation at the defeat his friends had received at Bedr, surviving that misfortune but seven days.3 They add, that his corpse was left aboveground three days, till it stank, and then some negroes were hired to bury him.4

3 Abulf. Vit. Moh. p. 57.
4 Al Beidâwi.

i And accordingly his great possessions, and the rank and esteem in which he lived at Mecca, were of no service to him, nor could protect him against the vengeance of GOD. Al Beidâwi mentions also the loss of his son Otha, who was torn to pieces by a lion in the way to Syria, though surrounded by the whole caravan.
k Arab. nâr dhât laheb; alluding to the surname of Abu Laheb, which signifies the father of flames.
l Her name was Omm Jemîl: she was the daughter of Harb, and sister of Abu Sofiân.
m For fuel in hell; because she fomented the hatred which her husband bore to Mohammed; or, bearing a bundle of thorns and brambles, because she carried such, and strewed them by night in the prophet’s way.5

5 Idem, Jallalo’ddin.

n This chapter is held in particular veneration by the Mohammedans, and declared, by a tradition of their prophet, to be equal in value to a third part of the whole Korân. It is said to have been revealed in answer to the Koreish, who asked Mohammed concerning the distinguishing attributes of the GOD he invited them to worship.6

6 Idem.
o The original word properly signifies a cleaving, and denotes, says al Beidâwi, the production of all things in general, from the darkness of privation to the light of existence, and especially of those things which proceed from others, as springs, rain, plants, children, &c., and hence it is used more particularly to signify the breaking forth of the light from darkness, which is a most wonderful instance of the divine power.
p i.e., From the mischiefs proceeding either from the perverseness and evil choice of those beings which have a power to choose, or the natural effects of necessary agents, as fire, poison, &c., the world being good in the whole, though evils may follow from those two causes.1

1 Al Beidâwi.

q Or, as the words may be rendered, From the mischief of the moon, when she is eclipsed.
r That is, of witches, who used to tie knots in a cord, and to blow on them, uttering at the same time certain magical words over them, in order to work on or debilitate the person they had a mind to injure. This was a common practice in former days:2 what they call in France Nouër l’eguillette, and the knots which the wizards in the northern parts tie, when they sell mariners a wind (if the stories told of them be true), are also relics of the same superstition.
      The commentators relate that Lobeid, a Jew, with the assistance of his daughters, bewitched Mohammed, by tying eleven knots on a cord, which they hid in a well; whereupon Mohammed falling ill, GOD revealed this chapter and the following, and Gabriel acquainted him with the use he was to make of them, and of the place where the cord was hidden: according to whose directions the prophet sent Ali to fetch the cord, and the same being brought, he repeated the two chapters over it, and at every verse (for they consist of eleven) a knot was loosed, till on finishing the last words, he was entirely freed from the charm.3

2 Vide Virgil. in Pharmaceutria.
3 Al Beidâwi, Jallalo’ddin.

s This chapter was revealed on the same occasion and at the same time with the former.
t i.e., The devil; who withdraweth when a man mentioneth GOD, or hath recourse to his protection.