A Source Book of Mediaeval History: Documents Illustrative of European Life and Institutions from the Germanic Invasions to the Renaissance

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Author: Qur'ān

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CHAPTER VII. The Rise of Mohammedanism

13.

Selections from the Koran

Source—Text in Edward William Lane, Selections from the Kur-án, edited by Stanley Lane-Poole (London, 1879) passim.

In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful.

The opening prayer

Praise be to God, the Lord of the Worlds, The Compassionate, the Merciful, The King of the day of judgment. Thee do we worship, and of Thee seek we help. Guide us in the fight way, The way of those to whom Thou hast been gracious, Not of those with whom Thou art wroth, nor of the erring.2

Say, He is God, One [God]; God, the Eternal. He begetteth not nor is begotten, And there is none equal unto Him.3

The "throne verse"

God! There is no God but He, the Ever-Living, the Ever-Subsisting. Slumber seizeth Him not, nor sleep. To Him belongeth whatsoever is in the Heavens and whatsoever is in the Earth. Who is he that shall intercede with Him, unless by His permission? He knoweth what [hath been] before them and what [shall be] after them, and they shall not compass aught of His knowledge save what He willeth. His Throne comprehendeth the Heavens and the Earth, and the care of them burdeneth Him not. And He is the High, The Great.4

The day of resurrection

When the earth is shaken with her shaking, And the earth hath cast forth her dead, And man shall say, ’What aileth her?’ On that day shall she tell out her tidings, Because thy Lord ha?? inspired her, On that day shall men come one by one to behold their works, And whosoever shall have wrought an ant s weight of good shall behold it, And whosoever shall have wrought an ant’s weight of ill shall behold it.

The coming judgment

When the heaven shall be cloven asunder, And when the stars shall be scattered, And when the seas shall be let loose, And when the graves shall be turned upside-down,1Every soul shall know what it hath done and left undone. O man! what hath seduced thee from thy generous Lord, Who created thee and fashioned thee and disposed thee aright? In the form which pleased Him hath He fashioned thee. Nay, but ye treat the Judgment as a lie. Verily there are watchers over you, Worthy recorders, Knowing what ye do. Verily in delight shall the righteous dwell; And verily the wicked in Hell [-Fire]; They shall be burnt at it on the day of doom, And they shall not be hidden from it. And what shall teach thee what the Day of Judgment is? Again: What shall teach thee what is the Day of Judgment? It is a day when one soul shall be powerless fog another soul; and all on that day shall be in the hands of God.

The reward of the righteous

When one blast shall be blown on the trumpet, And the earth shall be raised and the mountains, and be broken to dust with one breaking, On that day the Calamity shall come to pass: And the heavens shall cleave asunder, being frail on that day, And the angels on the sides thereof; and over them on that day eight of the angels shall bear the throne of thy Lord. On that day ye shall be presented for the reckoning; none of your secrets shall be hidden. And as to him who shall have his book1 given to him in his right hand, he shall say, ’Take ye, read my book;’ Verily I was sure I should come to my reckoning. And his [shall be] a pleasant life In a lofty garden, Whose clusters [shall be] near at hand. ’Eat ye and drink with benefit on account of that which ye paid beforehand in the past days.’

The fate of the wicked

But as to him who shall have his book given to him in his left hand, he shall say, ’O would that I had not had my book given to me, Nor known what [was] my reckoning! O would that my death had been the ending of me! My wealth hath not profited me! My power is passed from me!’ ’Take him and chain him, Then cast him into hell to be burnt, Then in a chain of seventy cubits bind him: For he believed not in God, the Great, Nor urged to feed the poor; Therefore he shall not have here this day a friend, Nor any food save filth Which none but the sinners shall eat.’

"The preceders"

When the Calamity shall come to pass There shall not be a soul that will deny its happening, [It will be] an abaser of some, an exalter of others; When the earth shall be shaken with a violent shaking, And the mountains shall be crumbled with a violent crumbling, And shall become fine dust scattered abroad; And ye shall be three classes.1 And the people of the right hand, what shall be the people of the right hand! And the people of the left hand, what the people of the left hand! And the Preceders, the Preceders!2 These [shall be] the brought-nigh [unto God] In the gardens of delight,— A crowd of the former generations, And a few of the latter generations, Upon inwrought couches, Reclining thereon, face to face. Youths ever-young shall go unto them round about With goblets and ewers and a cup of flowing wine, Their [heads] shall ache not with it, neither shall they be drunken; And with fruits of the [sorts] which they shall choose, And the flesh of birds of the [kinds] which they shall desire. And damsels with eyes like pearls laid up We will give them as a reward for that which they have done. Therein shall they hear no vain discourse nor accusation of sin, But [only] the saying, ’Peace! Peace!’

The pleasures of paradise

And the people of the right hand—what [shall be] the people of the right hand! [They shall dwell] among lote-trees without thorns And bananas loaded with fruit, And a shade ever-spread, And water ever-flowing, And fruits abundant Unstayed and unforbidden,1 And couches raised.2 Verily we have created them3 by a [peculiar] creation, And have made them virgins, Beloved of their husbands, of equal age [with them], For the people of the right hand, A crowd of the former generations And a crowd of the latter generations.

The torments of hell

And the people of the left hand—what [shall be] the people of the left hand! [They shall dwell] amidst burning wind and scalding water, And a shade of blackest smoke, Not cool and not grateful. For before this they were blest with wordly goods, And they persisted in heinous sin, And said, ’When we shall have died and become dust and bones, shall we indeed be raised to life, And our fathers the former generations?’ Say, verily the former and the latter generations Shall be gathered together for the appointed time of a known day.

Then ye, O ye erring, belying [people], Shall surely eat of the tree of Ez-Zakkoom,1 And fill therewith [your] stomachs, And drink thereon boiling water, And ye shall drink as thirsty camels drink.— This [shall be] their entertainment on the day of retribution.

1 This prayer of the Mohammedans corresponds in a way to the Lord’s Prayer of Christian peoples. It is recited several times in each of the five daily prayers, and on numerous other occasions.

2 The petition is for guidance in the "right way" of the Mohammedan, marked out in the Koran. By those with whom God is "wroth," and by the "erring," is meant primarily the Jews. Mohammed regarded the Jews and Chistians as having corrupted the true religion.

3 "This chapter is held in particular veneration by the Mohammedans and is declared, by a tradition of their prophet, to be equal in value to a third part of the whole Koran."—Sale, quoted in Lane, Selections from the Kur—án, p. 5.

4 This passage, known as the "throne verse," is regarded by Mohammedans as one of the most precious in the Koran and is often recited at the end of the five daily prayers. It is sometimes engraved on a precious stone or an ornament of gold and worn as an amulet.

1 These are all to be signs of the day of judgment.

1 The record of his deeds during life on earth.

1 The three classes are: (1) the "preceeders," (2) the people of the right hand, i. e., the good, and (3) the people of the left hand, i. e., the evil. The future state of each of the three is described in the lines that follow.

2 "Either the first converts to Mohammedanism, 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."—Sale, quoted in Wherry, Comprehensive Commentary on the Qur-án, Vol. IV., pp. 109–110.

1 The luxuries of paradise—the flowing rivers, the fragrant flowers, the delicious fruits—are sharply contrasted with the conditions of desert life most familiar to Mohammed’s early converts. Such a description of the land of the blessed must have appealed strongly to the imaginative Arabs. It should be said that in the modern Mohammedan idea of heaven the spiritual element has a rather more prominent place.

2 Lofty beds.

3 The "damsels of paradise."

1 A scrubby bush bearing fruit like almonds, and extremely bitter. It was familiar to Arabs and hence was made to stand as a type of the tree whose fruit the wicked must eat in the lower world.

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Chicago: Koran, "Chapter 7. The Rise of Mohammedanism," A Source Book of Mediaeval History: Documents Illustrative of European Life and Institutions from the Germanic Invasions to the Renaissance in A Source Book of Mediaeval History: Documents Illustrative of European Life and Institutions from the Germanic Invasions to the Renaissance, ed. Frederic Austin Ogg (1878-1951) (New York: American Book Company, 1908), 97–104. Original Sources, accessed December 1, 2022, http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=B6MRZ5ILEHGKPM2.

MLA: Koran. "Chapter 7. The Rise of Mohammedanism." A Source Book of Mediaeval History: Documents Illustrative of European Life and Institutions from the Germanic Invasions to the Renaissance, in A Source Book of Mediaeval History: Documents Illustrative of European Life and Institutions from the Germanic Invasions to the Renaissance, edited by Frederic Austin Ogg (1878-1951), New York, American Book Company, 1908, pp. 97–104. Original Sources. 1 Dec. 2022. http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=B6MRZ5ILEHGKPM2.

Harvard: Koran, 'Chapter 7. The Rise of Mohammedanism' in A Source Book of Mediaeval History: Documents Illustrative of European Life and Institutions from the Germanic Invasions to the Renaissance. cited in 1908, A Source Book of Mediaeval History: Documents Illustrative of European Life and Institutions from the Germanic Invasions to the Renaissance, ed. , American Book Company, New York, pp.97–104. Original Sources, retrieved 1 December 2022, from http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=B6MRZ5ILEHGKPM2.