By the star when it falls, your comrade errs not, nor is he deluded! nor speaks he out of lust! It is but an inspiration inspired! One mighty in power1 taught him, endowed with sound understanding and appeared, he being in the loftiest tract.
Then drew he near and hovered oer! until he was two bows length off or nigher still! Then he inspired his servant what he inspired him; the heart belies not what he saw! What, will ye dispute with him on what he saw?
And he saw him another time, by the lote tree none may pass; near which is the garden of the Abode! When there covered the lote tree what did cover it! The sight swerved not nor wandered. He saw then the greatest of the signs of his Lord.
Have ye considered Allât and Al Huzzâ, and Manât the other third? Shall there be male offspring for Him and female for you? That were an unfair division! They are but names which ye have named, ye and your fathers! God has sent down no authority for them! They do but follow suspicion and what their souls lust after!And yet there has come to them guidance from their Lord.
Verily, those who believe not in the hereafter do surely name the angels with female names!but they have no knowledge thereof; they do but follow suspicion, and, verily, suspicion shall not avail against the truth at all!
But turn aside from him who turns his back upon our remembrance and desires naught but this worlds life! This is their sum of knowledge; verily, thy Lord knows best who has erred from His way, and He knows best who is guided!
Gods is what is in the heavens and what is in the earth, that He may reward those who do evil for what they have done; and may reward those who do good with good! those who shun great sins and iniquities,all but venial faults,verily, thy Lord is of ample forgiveness; He knows best about you, when He produced you from the earth, and when ye were embryos in the wombs of your mothers.
Has he not been informed of what is in the pages of Moses and Abraham who fulfilled his word?that no burdened soul shall bear the burden of another? and that man shall have only that for which he strives; and that his striving shall at length be seen? Then shall he be rewarded for it with the most full reward; and that unto thy Lord is the limit; and that it is He who makes men laugh and weep; and that it is He who kills and makes alive; and that He created pairs, male and female, from a clot when it is emitted; and that for Him is the next production3; and that He enriches and gives possession; and that He is the Lord of the Dog-star,4 and that He it was who destroyed Ad of yore, and Thamûd, and left none of them; and the people of Noah before them,verily, they were most unjust and outrageous!
Note 1. The angel Gabriel, who appeared twice to Mohammed in his natural form, namely, on the occasion of the Night Journey, to which this passage refers, and on the first revelation of the Qurân. [back]
Note 2. This passage refers to one El Walîd 1bn Mughâirah, who being abused for following Mohammed and forsaking the religion of the Qurâis, answered that he had done so to escape divine vengeance. Thereupon an idolater offered to take on himself El Walîds sin for a certain sum of money. The offer was accepted, and Walîd apostatized from El Islâm, paying down a portion of the amount agreed upon at the time. Later on he refused to pay the balance on the ground that he had already paid enough. [back]