Sura X — Jonah, Peace Be On Him!

by Rev. G. Margoliouth, M.A.

Mecca — 109 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

ELIF. LAM. RA.[714] These are the signs of the wise Book!

A matter of wonderment is it to the men of Mecca, that to a person among themselves We revealed, "Bear warnings to the people: and, to those who believe, bear the good tidings that they shall have with their Lord the precedence merited by their sincerity." The unbelievers say, "Verily this is a manifest sorcerer."

Verily your Lord is God who hath made the Heavens and the Earth in six days— then mounted his throne to rule all things: None can intercede with him till after his permission: This is God your Lord: therefore serve him: Will ye not reflect?

Unto Him shall ye return, all together: the promise of God is sure: He produceth a creature, then causeth it to return again—that he may reward those who believe and do the things that are right, with equity: but as for the infidels!—for them the draught that boileth and an afflictive torment— because they have not believed.

It is He who hath appointed the sun for brightness, and the moon for a light, and hath ordained her stations that ye may learn the number of years and the reckoning of time. God hath not created all this but for the truth.[715] He maketh his signs clear to those who understand.

Verily, in the alternations of night and of day, and in all that God hath created in the Heavens and in the Earth are signs to those who fear Him.

Verily, they who hope not to meet Us, and find their satisfaction in this world's life, and rest on it, and who of our signs are heedless;—

These! their abode the fire, in recompense of their deeds!

But they who believe and do the things that are right, shall their Lord direct aright because of their faith. Rivers shall flow at their feet in gardens of delight:

Their cry therein, "Glory be to thee, O God!" and their salutation therein, "Peace!"

And the close of their cry, "Praise be to God, Lord, of all creatures!"

Should God hasten evil on men as they fain would hasten their good, then were their end decreed! So leave we those who hope not to meet Us, bewildered in their error.

When trouble toucheth a man, he crieth to us, on his side, or sitting, or standing; and when we withdraw his trouble from him, he passeth on as though he had not called on us against the trouble which touched him! Thus are the deeds of transgressors pre-arranged for them.

And of old destroyed we generations before you, when they had acted wickedly, and their Apostles had come to them with clear tokens of their mission, and they would not believe:—thus reward we the wicked.

Then we caused you to succeed them on the earth, that we might see how ye would act.

But when our clear signs are recited to them, they who look not forward to meet Us, say, "Bring a different Koran from this, or make some change in it." SAY: It is not for me to change it as mine own soul prompteth. I follow only what is revealed to me: verily, I fear, if I rebel against my Lord, the punishment of a great day.

SAY: Had God so pleased, I had not recited it to you, neither had I taught it to you. Already have I dwelt among you for years, ere it was revealed to me. Understand ye not?

And who is more unjust than he who coineth a lie against God, or treateth his signs as lies? Surely the wicked shall not prosper!

And they worship beside God, what cannot hurt or help them; and say, "These are our advocates with God!" SAY: Will ye inform God of aught in the Heavens and in the Earth which he knoweth not? Praise be to Him! High be He exalted above the deities they join with Him!

Men were of one religion only:[716] then they fell to variance: and had not a decree (of respite) previously gone forth from thy Lord, their differences had surely been decided between them!

They say: "Unless a sign be sent down to him from his Lord. . . ." But SAY: The hidden is only with God: wait therefore: I truly will be with you among those who wait.

And when after a trouble which you befallen them,[717] we caused this people to taste of mercy, lo! a plot on their part against our signs! SAY: Swifter to plot is God! Verily, our messengers note down your plottings.

He it is who enableth you to travel by land and sea, so that ye go on board of ships—which sail on with them, with favouring breeze in which they rejoice. But if a tempestuous gale overtake them, and the billow come on them from every side, and they think that they are encompassed therewith, they call on God, professing sincere religion:—"Wouldst thou but rescue us from this, then will we indeed be of the thankful."

But when we have rescued them, lo! they commit unrighteous excesses on the earth! O men! assuredly your self-injuring excess is only an enjoyment of this life present: soon ye return to us: and we will let you know what ye have done!

Verily, this present life is like the water which we send down from Heaven, and the produce of the earth, of which men and cattle eat, is mingled with it, till the earth hath received its golden raiment, and is decked out: and they who dwell on it deem that they have power over it! but, Our behest cometh to it by night or by day, and we make it as if it had been mown, as if it had not teemed only yesterday! Thus make we our signs clear to those who consider.

And God calleth to the abode of peace;[718] and He guideth whom He will into the right way.

Goodness[719] itself and an increase of it for those who do good! neither blackness nor shame shall cover their faces! These shall be the inmates of Paradise, therein shall they abide for ever.

And as for those who have wrought out evil, their recompense shall be evil of like degree, and shame shall cover them—no protector shall they have against God: as though their faces were darkened with deep murk of night! These shall be inmates of the fire: therein they shall abide for ever.

And on that day will we gather them all together: then will we say to those who added gods to God, "To your place, ye and those added gods of yours!" Then we will separate between them: and those their gods shall say, "Ye served us not:[720]

And God is a sufficient witness between us and you: we cared not aught for your worship."

There shall every soul make proof of what itself shall have sent on before, and they shall be brought back to God, their true lord, and the deities of their own devising shall vanish from them.

SAY: Who supplieth you from the Heaven and the Earth? Who hath power over hearing and sight? And who bringeth forth the living from the dead, and bringeth forth the dead from the living? And who ruleth all things? They will surely say, "God:" then SAY: "What! will ye not therefore fear him?

This God then is your true Lord: and when the truth is gone, what remaineth but error? How then are ye so perverted?

Thus is the word of thy Lord made good on the wicked, that they shall not believe.

SAY: Is there any of the gods whom ye add to God who produceth a creature, then causeth it to return to him? SAY: God produceth a creature, then causeth it to return to Him: How therefore are ye turned aside?

SAY: Is there any of the gods ye add to God who guideth into the truth? SAY: God guideth into the truth. Is He then who guideth into the truth the more worthy to be followed, or he who guideth not unless he be himself guided? What then hath befallen you that ye so judge?

And most of them follow only a conceit:—But a conceit attaineth to nought of truth! Verily God knoweth what they say.

Moreover this Koran could not have been devised by any but God: but it confirmeth what was revealed before it, and is a clearing up of the Scriptures—there is no doubt thereof—from the Lord of all creatures.

Do they say, "He hath devised it himself?" SAY: Then bring a Sura like it; and call on whom ye can beside God, if ye speak truth.

But that which they embrace not in their knowledge have they charged with falsehood, though the explanation of it had not yet been given them. So those who were before them brought charges of imposture: But see what was the end of the unjust!

And some of them believe in it, and some of them believe not in it. But thy Lord well knoweth the transgressors.

And if they charge thee with imposture, then SAY: My work for me, and your work for you! Ye are clear of that which I do, and I am clear of that which ye do.

And some of them lend a ready ear to thee: But wilt thou make the deaf to hear even though they understand not?

And some of them look at thee: But wilt thou guide the blind even though they see not?

Verily, God will not wrong men in aught, but men will wrong themselves.

Moreover, on that day, He will gather them all together: They shall seem as though they had waited but an hour of the day! They shall recognise one another! Now perish they who denied the meeting with God, and were not guided aright!

Whether we cause thee to see some of our menaces against them fulfilled, or whether we first take thee to Ourself,[721] to us do they return. Then shall God bear witness of what they do.

And every people hath had its apostle.[722] And when their apostle came, a rightful decision took place between them, and they were not wronged.

Yet they say, "When will this menace be made good? Tell us if ye speak truly."

SAY: I have no power over my own weal or woe, but as God pleaseth. Every people hath its time: when their time is come, they shall neither retard nor advance it an hour.

SAY: How think ye? if God's punishment came on you by night or by day, what portion of it would the wicked desire to hasten on?

When it falleth on you, will ye believe it then? Yes! ye will believe it then. Yet did ye challenge its speedy coming.

Then shall it be said to the transgressors, "Taste ye the punishment of eternity! Shall ye be rewarded but as ye have wrought?"

They will desire thee to inform them whether this be true? SAY: Yes! by my Lord it is the truth: and it is not ye who can weaken Him.

And every soul that hath sinned, if it possessed all that is on earth, would assuredly ransom itself therewith; and they will proclaim their repentance when they have seen the punishment: and there shall be a rightful decision between them, and they shall not be unjustly dealt with.

Is not whatever is in the Heavens and the Earth God's? Is not then the promise of God true? Yet most of them know it not.

He maketh alive and He causeth to die, and to Him shall ye return.

O men! now hath a warning come to you from your Lord, and a medicine for what is in your breasts, and a guidance and a mercy to believers.

SAY: Through the grace of God and his mercy! and in this therefore let them rejoice: better is this than all ye amass.

SAY: What think ye? of what God hath sent down to you for food, have ye made unlawful and lawful? SAY: Hath God permitted you? or invent ye on the part of God?

But what on the day of Resurrection will be the thought of those who invent a lie on the part of God? Truly God is full of bounties to man; but most of them give not thanks.

Thou shalt not be employed in affairs, nor shalt thou read a text out of the Koran, nor shall ye work any work, but we will be witnesses over you when ye are engaged therein: and not the weight of an atom on Earth or in Heaven escapeth thy Lord; nor is there aught that is less than this or greater, but it is in the perspicuous Book.

Are not the friends of God, those on whom no fear shall come, nor shall they be put to grief?

They who believe and fear God—

For them are good tidings in this life, and in the next! There is no change in the words of God! This, the great felicity!

And let not their discourse grieve thee: for all might is God's: the Hearer, the Knower, He!

Is not whoever is in the Heavens and the Earth subject to God? What then do they follow who, beside God, call upon deities they have joined with Him? They follow but a conceit, and they are but liars!

It is He who hath ordained for you the night wherein to rest, and the lightsome day. Verily in this are signs for those who hearken.

They say, "God hath begotten children." No! by his glory! He is the self-sufficient. All that is in the Heavens and all that is in the Earth is His! Have ye warranty for that assertion? What! speak ye of God that which ye know not?

SAY: Verily, they who devise this lie concerning God shall fare ill.

A portion have they in this world! Then to us they return! Then make we them to taste the vehement torment, for that they were unbelievers.

Recite to them the history of Noah,[723] when he said to his people,—If, O my people! my abode with you, and my reminding you of the signs of God, be grievous to you, yet in God is my trust: Muster, therefore, your designs and your false gods, and let not your design be carried on by you in the dark: then come to some decision about me, and delay not.

And if ye turn your backs on me, yet ask I no reward from you: my reward is with God alone, and I am commanded to be of the Muslims.

But they treated him as a liar: therefore we rescued him and those who were with him in the ark, and we made them to survive the others; and we drowned those who charged our signs with falsehood. See, then, what was the end of these warned ones!

Then after him, we sent Apostles to their peoples, and they came to them with credentials; but they would not believe in what they had denied aforetime: Thus seal we up the hearts of the transgressors!

Then sent we, after them, Moses and Aaron to Pharaoh and his nobles with our signs; but they acted proudly and were a wicked people:

And when the truth came to them from us, they said, "Verily, this is clear sorcery."

Moses said: "What! say ye of the truth after it hath come to you, 'Is this sorcery?' But sorcerers shall not prosper."

They said: "Art thou come to us to pervert us from the faith in which we found our fathers, and that you twain shall bear rule in this land? But we believe you not."

And Pharaoh said: "Fetch me every skilled magician." And when the magicians arrived, Moses said to them, "Cast down what ye have to cast."

And when they had cast them down, Moses said, "Verily, God will render vain the sorceries which ye have brought to pass: God prospereth not the work of the evildoers.

And by his words will God verify the Truth, though the impious be averse to it.

And none believed on Moses but a race among his own people, through fear of Pharaoh and his nobles, lest he should afflict them: For of a truth mighty was Pharaoh in the land, and one who committed excesses.

And Moses said: "O my people! if ye believe in God, then put your trust in Him—if ye be Muslims."

And they said: "In God put we our trust. O our Lord! abandon us not to trial from that unjust people,

And deliver us by thy mercy from the unbelieving people."

Then thus revealed we to Moses and to his brother: "Provide houses for your people in Egypt, and in your houses make a Kebla, and observe prayer and proclaim good tidings to the believers."

And Moses said: "O our Lord! thou hast indeed given to Pharaoh and his nobles splendour and riches in this present life: O our Lord! that they may err from thy way! O our Lord! confound their riches, and harden their hearts that they may not believe till they see the dolorous torment."

He said: "The prayer of you both is heard: pursue ye both therefore the straight path, and follow not the path of those who have no knowledge."

And we led the children of Israel through the sea; and Pharaoh and his hosts followed them in eager and hostile sort until, when the drowning overtook him, he said, "I believe that there is no God but he on whom the children of Israel believe, and I am one of the Muslims."

"Yes, now," said God: "but thou hast been rebellious hitherto, and wast one of the wicked doers.

But this day will we rescue thee with thy body that thou mayest be a sign to those who shall be after thee:[724] but truly, most men are of our signs regardless!"

Moreover we prepared a settled abode for the children of Israel, and provided them with good things: nor did they fall into variance till the knowledge (the Law) came to them: Truly thy Lord will decide between them on the day of Resurrection concerning that in which they differed.

And if thou art in doubt as to what we have sent down to thee, inquire at those who have read the Scriptures before thee.[725] Now hath the truth come unto thee from thy Lord: be not therefore of those who doubt.

Neither be of those who charge the signs of God with falsehood, lest thou be of those who perish.

Verily they against whom the decree of thy Lord is pronounced, shall not believe,

Even though every kind of sign come unto them, till they behold the dolorous torment!

Were it otherwise, any city, had it believed, might have found its safety in its faith. But it was so, only with the people of JONAS. When they believed, we delivered them from the penalty of shame in this world, and provided for them for a time.

But if thy Lord had pleased, verily all who are in the earth would have believed together. What! wilt thou compel men to become believers?

No soul can believe but by the permission of God: and he shall lay his wrath on those who will not understand.

SAY: Consider ye whatever is in the Heavens and on the Earth: but neither signs, nor warners, avail those who will not believe!

What then can they expect but the like of such days of wrath as befel those who flourish before them? SAY: WAIT; I too will wait with you:

Then will we deliver our apostles and those who believe. Thus is it binding on us to deliver the faithful.

SAY: O men! if ye are in doubt as to my religion, verily I worship not what ye worship beside God; but I worship God who will cause you to die: and I am commanded to be a believer.

And set thy face toward true religion, sound in faith, and be not of those who join other gods with God:

Neither invoke beside God that which can neither help nor hurt thee: for if thou do, thou wilt certainly then be one of those who act unjustly.

And if God lay the touch of trouble on thee, none can deliver thee from it but He: and if He will thee any good, none can keep back his boons. He will confer them on such of his servants as he chooseth: and He is the Gracious, the Merciful!

SAY: O men! now hath the truth come unto you from your Lord. He therefore who will be guided, will be guided only for his own behoof: but he who shall err will err only against it; and I am not your guardian!

And follow what is revealed to thee: and persevere steadfastly till God shall judge, for He is the best of Judges.



[714] See Sura 1xviii. n. 3, p. 32.

[715] That is, for a serious end, to manifest the Divine Unity.

[716] Gen. xi. 1.

[717] This refers to the seven years of scarcity with which Mecca had been visited.

[718] Paradise.

[719] Verses 27, 28 are to be noted, as defining the proportion to be observed in rewards and punishments, the severity of the latter being only in proportion to the crime, the excellence of the former being above and beyond its strict merits.

[720] But rather your own lusts. The Muhammadans believe that idols will be gifted with speech at the day of judgment.

[721] The ordinary Arabic word for to die seems to be avoided in speaking of Jesus and Muhammad.

[722] This is the doctrine of the Rabbins. Comp. Midrasch Rabba, and Midr. Jalkut on Numb. xxii. 2.

[723] The preaching of Noah is mentioned by the Rabbins. Sanhedrin, 108. Comp. Midr. Rabbah on Gen. Par. 30 and 33, on Eccl. ix. 14, and in the probably sub. Apostolic 2 Pet. ii. 5.

[724] This is in accordance with Talmudic legend. "Recognise the power of repentance, in the case of Pharaoh, King of Egypt, who rebelled excessively against the most High; Who is God that I should hearken to his voice? (Ex. v. 2). But with the same tongue that sinned he did penance: Who is like thee, O Lord, among the Gods? (xv. 11). The Holy One, Blessed be He, delivered him from the dead, . . . so that he should not die (ix. 15, 16).—For now have I stretched forth my hand, and verily thee have I raised up from among the dead, to proclaim my might." Ex. ix. 15, 16. A strange comment! Pirke R. Eliezer, § 43. Comp. Midr. on Ps. cvi. Midr. Jalkut, ch. 238.

[725] That is, whether thou art not foretold in the Law and Gospel, and whether the Koran is not in unison with, and confirmatory of, them.