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- The Koran - 1/136 -

The Koran


Introduction Preface Index

Sura Number (this edition) Sura Number (Arabic text) Title

1 96 Thick Blood or Clots of Blood 2 74 The Enwrapped 3 73 The Enfolded 4 93 The Brightness 5 94 The Opening 6 113 The Daybreak 7 114 Men 8 1 Sura I. 9 109 Unbelievers 10 112 The Unity 11 111 Abu Lahab 12 108 The Abundance 13 104 The Backbiter 14 107 Religion 15 102 Desire 16 92 The Night 17 68 The Pen 18 90 The Soil 19 105 The Elephant 20 106 The Koreisch 21 97 Power 22 86 The Night-Comer 23 91 The Sun 24 80 He Frowned 25 87 The Most High 26 95 The Fig 27 103 The Afternoon 28 85 The Starry 29 101 The Blow 30 99 The Earthquake 31 82 The Cleaving 32 81 The Folded Up 33 84 The Splitting Asunder 34 100 The Chargers 35 79 Those Who Drag Forth 36 77 The Sent 37 78 The News 38 88 The Overshadowing 39 89 The Daybreak 40 75 The Resurrection 41 83 Those Who Stint 42 69 The Inevitable 43 51 The Scattering 44 52 The Mountain 45 56 The Inevitable 46 53 The Star 47 70 The Steps or Ascents 48 55 The Merciful 49 54 The Moon 50 37 The Ranks 51 71 Noah 52 76 Man 53 44 Smoke 54 50 Kaf 55 20 Ta. Ha. 56 26 The Poets 57 15 Hedjr 58 19 Mary 59 38 Sad 60 36 Ya. Sin 61 43 Ornaments of Gold 62 72 Djinn 63 67 The Kingdom 64 23 The Believers 65 21 The Prophets 66 25 Al Furkan 67 17 The Night Journey 68 27 The Ant 69 18 The Cave 70 32 Adoration 71 41 The Made Plain 72 45 The Kneeling 73 16 The Bee 74 30 The Greeks 75 11 Houd 76 14 Abraham, On Whom Be Peace 77 12 Joseph, Peace Be On Him 78 40 The Believer 79 28 The Story 80 39 The Troops 81 29 The Spider 82 31 Lokman 83 42 Counsel 84 10 Jonah, Peace Be On Him! 85 34 Saba 86 35 The Creator, or The Angels 87 7 Al Araf 88 46 Al Ahkaf 89 6 Cattle 90 13 Thunder 91 2 The Cow 92 98 Clear Evidence 93 64 Mutual Deceit 94 62 The Assembly 95 8 The Spoils 96 47 Muhammad 97 3 The Family of Imran 98 61 Battle Array 99 57 Iron 100 4 Women 101 65 Divorce 102 59 The Emigration 103 33 The Confederates 104 63 The Hypocrites 105 24 Light 106 58 She Who Pleaded 107 22 The Pilgrimage 108 48 The Victory 109 66 The Forbidding 110 60 She Who Is Tried 111 110 HELP 112 49 The Apartments 113 9 Immunity 114 5 The Table

MOHAMMED was born at Mecca in A.D. 567 or 569. His flight (hijra) to Medina, which marks the beginning of the Mohammedan era, took place on 16th June 622. He died on 7th June 632.


THE Koran admittedly occupies an important position among the great religious books of the world. Though the youngest of the epoch-making works belonging to this class of literature, it yields to hardly any in the wonderful effect which it has produced on large masses of men. It has created an all but new phase of human thought and a fresh type of character. It first transformed a number of heterogeneous desert tribes of the Arabian peninsula into a nation of heroes, and then proceeded to create the vast politico-religious organisations of the Muhammedan world which are one of the great forces with which Europe and the East have to reckon to-day.

The secret of the power exercised by the book, of course, lay in the mind which produced it. It was, in fact, at first not a book, but a strong living voice, a kind of wild authoritative proclamation, a series of admonitions, promises, threats, and instructions addressed to turbulent and largely hostile assemblies of untutored Arabs. As a book it was published after the prophet's death. In Muhammed's life-time there were only disjointed notes, speeches, and the retentive memories of those who listened to them. To speak of the Koran is, therefore, practically the same as speaking of Muhammed, and in trying to appraise the religious value of the book one is at the same time attempting to form an opinion of the prophet himself. It would indeed be difficult to find another case in which there is such a complete identity between the literary work and the mind of the man who produced it.

That widely different estimates have been formed of Muhammed is well-known. To Moslems he is, of course, the prophet par excellence, and the Koran is regarded by the orthodox as nothing less than the eternal utterance of Allah. The eulogy pronounced by Carlyle on Muhammed in Heroes and Hero Worship will probably be endorsed by not a few at the present day. The extreme contrary opinion, which in a fresh form has recently been revived1 by an able writer, is hardly likely to find much lasting support. The correct view very probably lies between the two extremes. The relative value of any given system of religious thought must depend on the amount of truth which it embodies as well as on the ethical standard which its adherents are bidden to follow. Another important test is the degree of originality that is to be assigned to it, for it can manifestly only claim credit for that which is new in it, not for that which it borrowed from other systems.

With regard to the first-named criterion, there is a growing opinion among students of religious history that Muhammed may in a real sense be regarded as a prophet of certain truths, though by no means of truth in the absolute meaning of the term. The shortcomings of the moral teaching contained in the Koran are striking enough if judged from the highest ethical standpoint with which we are acquainted; but a much more favourable view is arrived at if a comparison is made between the ethics of the Koran and the moral tenets of Arabian and other forms of heathenism which it supplanted.

The method followed by Muhammed in the promulgation of the Koran also requires to be treated with discrimination. From the first flash of prophetic inspiration which is clearly discernible in the earlier portions of the book he, later on, frequently descended to deliberate invention and artful rhetoric. He, in fact, accommodated his moral sense to the circumstances in which the r\oc\le he had to play involved him.

On the question of originality there can hardly be two opinions now that the Koran has been thoroughly compared with the Christian and Jewish traditions of the time; and it is, besides some original Arabian legends, to those only that the book stands in any close relationship. The matter is for the most part borrowed, but the manner is all the prophet's own. This is emphatically a case in which originality consists not so much in the creation of new materials of thought as in the manner in which existing traditions of various kinds are utilised and freshly blended to suit the special exigencies of the occasion. Biblical reminiscences, Rabbinic legends, Christian traditions

The Koran - 1/136

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