The way of those upon whom Thou hast bestowed Thy blessings,* not of those who have been condemned [by Thee], nor of those who go astray!*
It is they who follow the guidance [which comes from their Sustainer; and it is they, they who' shall attain to a happy state!
BEHOLD, as for those who are bent on denying the truth* - it is all one to them whether thou warnest them or dost not warn them: they will not believe.
God; has sealed their hearts and their hearing, and over their eyes is a veil;* and awesome suffering awaits them.
The lightning well-nigh takes away their sight; whenever it gives them light, they advance therein, and whenever darkness falls around them, they stand still. And if God so willed, He could indeed take away their hearing and their sight:* for, verily, God has the power to will anything.
And if you doubt any part of what We have, bestowed from on high, step by step, upon Our servant [Muhammad],* then produce a surah of similar merit, and call upon any other than God to bear witness for you* -if what you say is true!
And He imparted unto Adam the names of all things;* then He brought them within the ken of the angels and said: "Declare unto Me the names of these [things], if what you say is true."*
Thereupon Adam received words [of guidance] from his Sustainer, and He accepted his repentance: for, verily, He alone is the-Acceptor of Repentance, the Dispenser of Grace.
[For although] We did say, "Down with you all from this [state]," there shall, none the less, most certainly come unto you guidance from Me: and those who follow My guidance need have no fear, and neither shall they grieve;
O CHILDREN of Israel!* Remember those blessings of Mine with which I graced you, and fulfil your promise unto Me, [whereupon] I shall fulfil My promise unto you; and of Me, of Me stand in awe!
And seek aid in steadfast patience and prayer: and this, indeed, is a hard thing for all but the humble in spirit,
O children of Israel ! Remember those blessings of Mine with which I graced you, and how I favoured you above all other people;
and when Moses said unto his people: "O my people! Verily, you have sinned against yourselves by worshipping the calf; turn, then. in repentance to your Maker and mortify yourselves;* this will be the best for you in your Maker's sight". And thereupon He accepted your repentance: for, behold, He alone is the Acceptor of Repentance, the Dispenser of Grace.
And We caused the clouds to comfort you with their shade, and sent down unto you manna and quails. [saying,] "Partake of the good things which We have provided for you as sustenance." And [by all their sinning] they did no harm unto Us-but [only] against their own selves did they sin.
But those who were bent on evildoing substituted another saying for that which had been given them:* and so We sent down upon those evildoers a plague from heaven in requital for all their iniquity.
And [remember] when you said: "O Moses, indeed we cannot endure but one kind of food; pray, then, to thy Sustainer that He bring forth for us aught of what grows from the earth - of its herbs, its cucumbers, its garlic, its lentils, its onions." Said [Moses]: "Would you take a lesser thing in exchange for what is [so much] better?* Go back in shame to Egypt , and then you can have what you are asking for!"* And so, ignominy and humiliation overshadowed them, and they earned the burden of God's condemnation: all this, because they persisted in denying the truth of God's messages and in slaying the prophets against all right: all this, because they rebelled [against God], and persisted in transgressing the bounds of what is right.*
VERILY, those who have attained to faith [in this divine writ], as well as those who follow the Jewish faith, and the Christians, and the Sabians* -all who believe in God and the Last Day and do righteous deeds-shall have their reward with their Sustainer; and no fear need they have, and neither shall they grieve.*
And you turned away after that-! And had it not been for God's favour upon you and His grace, you would surely have found yourselves among the lost;
Said' they: "Pray on our behalf unto thy Sustainer that He make clear to us what she is to be like, for to us all cows resemble one another; and then, if God so wills, we shall truly be guided aright!"
For, when they meet those who have attained to faith. they say, "We believe [as you believe]" - but when they find themselves alone with one another, they say. "Do you inform them of what God has disclosed to you, so that they might use it in argument against you, quoting the words of your Sustainer?* Will you not. then, use your reason?"
And they say, "The fire will most certainly not touch us for more than a limited number of days."* Say [unto them]: "Have you received a promise from God - for God never breaks His promise - or do you attribute to God something which you cannot know?"
And yet, it is you who slay one another and drive some of your own people from their homelands, aiding one another against them in sin and hatred; but if they come to you as captives, you ransom them - although the very [act of] driving them away has been made unlawful to you!* . Do you, then, believe in some parts of the divine writ and deny the truth pf other parts? What, then, could be the reward of those among you who do such things but ignominy in the life of this world and, on the Day of Resurrection, commitment to most grievous suffering? For God is not unmindful of what you do.
And whenever there came unto them a [new] revelation from God, confirming the truth already in their possession-and [bear in mind that] aforetime they used to pray for victory over those who were bent on denying the truth -: whenever there came unto them something which they recognized [as the truth], they would deny it. And God's rejection is the due of all who deny the truth.
Vile is that [false pride] for which they have sold their own selves by denying the truth of what God has bestowed from on high, out of envy that God should bestow aught of His favour upon whomsoever He wills of His servants:* and thus have they earned the burden of God's condemnation, over and over. And for those who deny the truth there is shameful suffering in store.
For when they are told, "Believe in what God has bestowed from on high," they reply, "We believe [only] in what has been bestowed on us"-and they deny the truth of everything else, although it be a truth confirming the one already in their possession. Say "Why, then, did you slay God's prophets aforetime, if you were (truly] believers?"*
And thou wilt most certainly find that they cling to life more eagerly than any other people, even more than those who are bent on ascribing divinity to other beings beside God: every one of them would love to live a thousand years, although the grant of long life could not save him from suffering [in the hereafter]: for God sees all that they do.
SAY [O Prophet]: "Whosoever is an enemy of Gabriel" -who,, verily, by God's leave, has brought down upon thy heart this [divine writ] which confirms the truth of whatever there still remains [of earlier revelations], and is a guidance and a glad tiding for the believers-:
and follow [instead] that which the evil ones used to practice during Solomon's reign - for it was not Solomon who denied the truth, but those evil ones denied it by teaching people sorcery* -; and [they follow] that which has come down through the two angels in Babylon, Hurut and Marut-although these two never taught it to anyone without first declaring, "We are but a temptation to evil: do not, then, deny [God's] truth!"* And they learn from these two how to create discord between a man and his wife; but whereas they can harm none thereby save by God's leave, they acquire a knowledge that only harms themselves and does not benefit them - although they know; indeed, that he who acquires this [knowledge] shall have no share in the good of the life to come.* For, vile indeed is that [art] for which they have sold their own selves -had they but known it!
Neither those from among the followers of earlier revelation who are bent on denying the truth, nor those who ascribe divinity to other beings beside God, would like to see any good* ever bestowed upon you from on high by your Sustainer; but God singles out for His grace whom He wills-for God is limitless in His great bounty.
Any message which, We annul or consign to oblivion We replace with a better or a similar one.* Dost thou not know that God has the power to will anything?
Out of their selfish envy, many among the followers of earlier revelation would like to bring you back to denying the truth after you have attained to faith - [even] after the truth has become clear unto them. None the less, forgive and forbear, until God shall make manifest His will: behold, God has the power to will anything.
Yea, indeed: everyone who surrenders his whole being unto God,* and is a doer of good withal, shall have his reward with his Sustainer; and all such need have no fear, and neither shall they grieve.*
Furthermore, the Jews assert, "The Christians have no valid ground for their beliefs," while the Christians assert, "The Jews have no valid ground for their beliefs" - and both quote the divine writ! Even thus, like unto what they say, have [always] spoken those who were devoid of knowledge;"* but it is God who will judge between them on Resurrection Day with regard to all on which they were wont to differ.*
O CHILDREN of Israel ! Remember those blessings of Mine with which I graced you, and how I favoured you above all other people;
"O our Sustainer! Make us surrender ourselves unto Thee, and make out of our offspring* a community that shall surrender itself unto Thee, and show us our ways of worship, and accept our repentance: for, verily, Thou alone art the Acceptor of Repentance, the Dispenser of Grace!
"O our Sustainer! Raise up from the midst of our off spring* an apostle from among themselves, who shall convey unto them Thy messages, and impart unto them revelation as well as wisdom, and cause them to grow in purity: for, verily, Thou alone art almighty, truly wise!"
THE WEAK-MINDED among people will say, "What has turned them away from the direction of prayer which they have hitherto observed?"* Say: "God's is the east and the west; He guides whom He wills onto a straight way."*
And thus have We willed you to be a community of the middle way,* so that [with your lives] you might bear witness to the truth before all mankind, and that the Apostle might bear witness to it before you.* And it is only to the end that We might make a clear distinction between those who follow the Apostle and those who turn about on their heels that We have appointed [for this community] the direction of prayer which thou [O Prophet] hast formerly observed: for this was indeed a hard test for all but those whom God has guided aright.* But God will surely not lose sight of your faith-for, behold, God is most compassionate towards man, a dispenser of grace.
for, every community faces a direction of its own, of which He is the focal point.* Vie, therefore, with one another in doing good works. Wherever you may be, God will gather you all unto Himself: for, verily, God has the power to will anything.
Hence, from wherever thou mayest come forth, turn thy face [in prayer] towards the Inviolable House of Worship; and wherever you all may be, turn your faces towards it, so that people should have no argument against you unless they are bent upon wrongdoing.* And hold not them in awe, but stand in awe of Me, and [obey Me,] so that I might bestow upon you the full measure of My blessings., and that you might follow the right path.
Even as We have sent unto you an apostle from among yourselves to convey unto you Our messages, and to cause you to grow in purity, and to impart unto you revelation and wisdom, and to teach you that which you knew not:
It is they upon whom their Sustainer's blessings and grace are bestowed, and it is they, they who are on the right path!
[Hence,] behold, As-Safa and Al-Marwah are among the symbols set up by God;* and thus, no wrong does he who, having come to the Temple on pilgrimage or on a pious visit, strides to and fro between these two:* for, if one does more good than he is bound to do-behold, God is responsive to gratitude, all-knowing.*
Excepted, however, shall be they that repent, and put themselves to rights, and make known the truth: and it is they whose repentance I shall accept-for I alone am the Acceptor of Repentance, the Dispenser of Grace.
Behold, as for those who are bent on denying the truth and die as deniers of the truth -their due is rejection by God, and by the angels,, and by all [righteous] men.
And then those followers shall say: "Would that we had a second chance [in life],* so that we could disown them as they have disowned us!" Thus will God show them their works [in a manner that will cause them] batter regrets; but they will not come out of the fire.*
and bids you only to do evil, and to commit deeds of abomination, and to attribute unto God something of which you have no knowledge.*
But when they are told, "Follow what God has bestowed from on high," some answer, "Nay, we shall follow [only] that which we found our forefathers believing in and doing." Why, even if their forefathers did not use their reason at all, and were devoid of all guidance?
He has forbidden to you only carrion, and blood, and the flesh of swine, and that over which any name other than God's has been invoked;* but if one is driven by necessity - neither coveting it nor exceeding his immediate need -no sin shall be upon him: for, behold, God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
It is they who take error in exchange for guidance, and suffering in exchange for forgiveness: yet how little do they seem to fear the fire!
True piety does not consist in turning your faces towards the east or the west* - but truly pious is he who believes in God, and the Last Day; and the angels, and revelation,* and the prophets; and spends his substance - however much he himself may cherish - it - upon his near of kin, and the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer,* and the beggars, and for the freeing of human beings from bondage;* and is constant in prayer, and renders the purifying dues; and [truly pious are] they who keep their promises whenever they promise, and are patient in misfortune and hardship and in time of peril: it is they that have proved themselves true, and it is they, they who are conscious of God.
O YOU who have attained to faith! Just retribution is ordained for you in cases of killing: the free for the free, and the slave for the slave, and the woman for the woman.* And if something [of his guilt] is remitted to a guilty person by his brother,* this [remission] shall be adhered to with fairness, and restitution to his fellow-man shall be made in a goodly manner.* This is an alleviation from your Sustainer, and an act of His grace. And for him who, none the less,* wilfully transgresses the bounds of what is right, there is grievous suffering in store:
IT IS ordained for you, when death approaches any of you and he is leaving behind much wealth, to make bequests in favour of his parents and [other] near of kin in accordance with what is fair:* I this is binding on all who are conscious of God.
And if anyone alters such a provision._ after having come to know it, the sin of acting thus shall fall only upon those who have altered it.* Verily, God is all-hearing, all-knowing.
If, however, one has reason to fear that the testator has committed a mistake or a [deliberate] wrong, and thereupon brings about a settlement between the heirs,* he will incur no sin [thereby]. Verily, God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
O YOU who have attained to faith! Fasting is ordained for you as it was ordained for those before you, so that you might remain conscious of God:
[fasting] during a certain number of days.* But whoever of you is ill, or on a journey, [shall fast instead for the same] number of other days; and [in such cases] it is incumbent upon those who can afford it to make sacrifice by feeding a needy person.* And whoever does more good than he is bound to do* does good unto himself thereby; for to fast is to do good unto yourselves - if you but knew it.
It was the month of Ramadan in which the Qur'an was [first] bestowed from on high as a guidance unto man and a self-evident proof of that guidance, and as the standard by which to discern the true from the false. Hence, whoever of you lives to see* this month shall fast throughout it; but he that is ill, or on a journey, [shall fast instead for the same] number of other days. God wills that you shall have ease, and does not will you to suffer hardship; but [He desires] that you complete the number [of days required], and that you extol God for His having guided you aright, and that you render your thanks [unto Him].
IT IS lawful for you to go in unto your wives during the night preceding the [day's] fast: they are as a garment for you, and you are as a garment for them. God is aware that you would have deprived yourselves of this right,* and so He has turned unto you in His mercy and removed this hardship from you. Now, then, you may lie with them skin to skin, and avail yourselves of that which God has ordained for you,* and eat and drink until you can discern the white streak of dawn against the blackness of night,* and then resume fasting until nightfall; but do not lie with them skin to skin when you are about to abide in meditation in houses of worship.* These are the bounds set by God: do not, then, offend against them - [for] it is thus that God makes clear His messages unto mankind, so that they might remain conscious of Him.
Hence, fight against them until there is no more oppression and all worship is devoted to God alone;* but if they desist, then all hostility shall cease, save against those who [wilfully] do wrong.
Fight during the sacred months if you are attacked:* for a violation of sanctity is [subject to the law of] just retribution. Thus, if anyone commits aggression against you, attack him just as he has attacked you - but remain conscious of God, and know that God is with those who are conscious of Him.*
[However,] you will be committing no sin if [during the pilgrimage] you seek to obtain any bounty from your Sustainer.* And when you surge downward in multitudes from `Arafat,* remember God at the holy place, and remember Him as the One who guided you after you had indeed been lost on your way;*
And bear God in mind during the appointed days;* but he who hurries away within two days shall incur no sin, and he who tarries longer shall incur no sin, provided that he is conscious of God. Hence, remain conscious of God, and know that unto Him you shall be gathered.
NOW THERE IS a kind of man* whose views on the life of this world may please thee greatly, and [the more so as] he cites God as witness to what is in his heart and is, moreover, exceedingly skillful in argument.*
FIGHTING is ordained for you, even though it be hateful to you; but it may well be that you hate a thing the while it is good for you, and it may well be that you love a thing the while it is bad for you: and God knows, whereas you do not know.*
And the divorced women shall undergo, without remarrying,* a waiting-period of three monthly courses: for it is not lawful for them to conceal what God may have created in their wombs,* if they believe in God and the Last Day. And during this period their husbands are fully entitled to take them back, if they desire reconciliation; but, in accordance with justice, the rights of the wives [with regard to their husbands] are equal to the [husbands'] rights with regard to them, although men have precedence over them [in this respect].* And God is almighty, wise.
A divorce may be [revoked] twice, whereupon the marriage must either be resumed in fairness or dissolved in a goodly manner.* And it is not lawful for you to take back anything of what you have ever given to your wives unless both [partners] have cause to fear that they may not be able to keep within the bounds set by God: hence, if you have cause to fear that the two may not be able to keep within the bounds set by God, there shall be no sin upon either of them for what the wife may give up [to her husband] in order to free herself.* These are the bounds set by God; do not, then, transgress them: for they who transgress the bounds set by God-it is they, they who are evildoers!
And if he divorces her [finally], she shall thereafter not be lawful unto him unless she first takes another man for husband; then, if the latter divorces her, there shall be no sin upon either of the two if they return to one another-provided that both of them think that they will be able to keep within the bounds set by God: for these are the bounds of God which He makes clear unto people of [innate] knowledge.
And so, when you divorce women and they are about to reach the end of their waiting-term, then either retain them in a fair manner or let them go in a fair manner. But do not retain them against their will in order to hurt [them]: for he who does so sins indeed against himself. And do not take [these] messages of God in a frivolous spirit; and remember the blessings with which God has graced you, and all the revelation and the wisdom which He has bestowed on you from on high in order to admonish you thereby; and remain conscious of God, and know that God has full knowledge of everything.
And the [divorced] mothers may nurse their children for two whole years, if they wish to complete the period of nursing; and it is incumbent upon him who has begotten the child to provide in a fair manner for their sustenance and clothing. No human being shall be burdened with more than he is well able to bear: neither shall a mother be made to suffer because of her child, nor, because of his child, he who has begotten it. And the same duty rests upon the [father's] heir. And if both [parents] decide, by mutual consent and counsel, upon separation [of mother and child],* they will incur no sin [thereby]; and if you decide to entrust your children to foster-mothers, you will incur no sin provided you ensure, in a fair manner, the safety of the child which you are handing over.* But remain conscious of God, and know that God sees all that you do.
And if any of you die and leave wives behind, they shall undergo, without remarrying,* a waiting-period of four months and ten days; whereupon, when they have reached the end of their waiting-term, there shall be no sin* in whatever they may do with their persons in a lawful manner. And God is aware of all that you do.
But you will incur no sin if you give a hint of [an intended] marriage-offer to [any of] these women, or if you conceive such an intention without making it obvious: [for] God knows that you intend to ask them in marriage.* Do not, however, plight your troth with them in secret, but speak only in a decent manner; and do not proceed with tying the marriage-knot ere the ordained [term of waiting] has come to its end. And know that God knows what is in your minds, and therefore remain conscious of Him; and know, too, that God is much-forgiving, forbearing.
You will incur no sin if you divorce women while you have not yet touched them nor settled a dower upon them;* but [even in such a case] make provision for them - the affluent according to his means, and the straitened according to his means - a provision in an equitable manner: this is a duty upon all who would do good.*
BE EVER mindful of prayers, and of praying in the most excellent way;* and stand before God in devout obedience.
AND IF any of you die and leave wives behind, they bequeath thereby to their widows [the right to] one year's maintenance without their being obliged to leave [the dead husband's home].* If, however, they leave [of their own accord], there shall be no sin in whatever they may do with themselves in a lawful manner.* And God is almighty, wise.
And the divorced women, too, shall have [a right to] maintenance in a goodly manner:* this is a duty for all who are conscious of God.
ART THOU NOT aware of those who forsook their homelands in their thousands for fear of death-whereupon God said unto them, "Die," and later brought them back to life ?* Behold, God is indeed limitless in His bounty unto man -but most people are ungrateful.
Art thou not aware of those elders of the children of Israel , after the time of Moses, how they said unto a prophet of theirs,* "Raise up a king for us, [and] we shall fight in God's cause"? Said he: "Would you, perchance, refrain from fighting if fighting is ordained for you?" They answered: "And why should we not fight in God's cause when we and our children have been driven from our homelands?"* Yet, when fighting was ordained for them, they did turn back, save for a few of them; but God had full knowledge of the evildoers.
And their prophet said unto those elders:* "Behold, now God has raised up Saul to be your king." They said: "How can he have dominion over us when we have a better claim to dominion than he, and he has not [even] been endowed with abundant wealth?" [The prophet] replied: "Behold, God has exalted him above you, and endowed him abundantly with knowledge and bodily perfection. And God bestows His dominion* upon whom He wills: for God is infinite, all-knowing."
And when they came face to face with Goliath and his forces, they prayed: "O our Sustainer! Shower us with patience in adversity, and make firm our steps, and succour us against the people who deny the truth!"
And thereupon, by God's leave, they routed them. And David slew Goliath; and God bestowed upon him dominion, and wisdom, and imparted to him the knowledge of whatever He willed. And if God had not enabled people to defend themselves against one another,* corruption would surely overwhelm the earth: but God is limitless in His bounty unto all the worlds.
THESE are God's messages: We convey them unto thee, [O Prophet,] setting forth the truth-for, verily, thou art among those who have been entrusted with a message.
Some of these apostles have We endowed more highly than others: among them were such as.were spoken to by God [Himself], and some He has raised yet higher.'* And We vouchsafed unto Jesus, the son of Mary, all evidence of the truth, and strengthened him with holy inspiration.* And if God had so willed, they who succeeded those [apostles] would not have contended with one another after all evidence of the truth had come to them; but [as it was,] they did take to divergent views, and some of them attained to faith, while some of them came to deny the truth. Yet if God had so willed, they would not have contended with one another: but God does whatever He wills.*
Or [art thou, O man, of the same mind] as he* who passed by a town deserted by its people, with its roofs caved in, [and] said, "How could God bring all this back to life after its death?"* Thereupon God caused him to be dead for a hundred years; where after He brought him back to life [and] said: "How long hast thou remained thus?" He answered: "I have remained thus a day, or part of a day." Said [God]: "Nay, but thou hast remained thus for a hundred years! But look at thy food and thy drink-untouched is it by the passing of years - and look at thine ass!* And [We did all this so that We might make thee a symbol unto men. And look at the bones [of animals and men] - how We put them together and then clothe them with flesh!"* And when [all this] became clear to him, he said: "I know [now] that God has the power to will anything!"
And, lo, Abraham said: "O my Sustainer! Show me how Thou givest life unto the dead!" Said He: "Hast thou, then, no faith?" (Abraham) answered: "Yea, but [let me see it] so that my heart may be set fully at rest." Said He: "Take, then, four birds and teach them to obey thee;* . then place them separately on every hill [around thee]; then summon them: they will come flying to thee. And know that God is almighty, wise."*
They who spend their possessions for the sake of God and do not thereafter mar* their spending by stressing their own benevolence and hurting [the feelings of the needy] shall have their reward with 'their Sustainer, and no fear need they have, and neither shall they grieve.
O you who have attained to faith! Do not deprive your charitable deeds of all worth by stressing your own benevolence and hurting [the feelings of the needy], as does he who spends his wealth only to be seen and praised by men, and believes not in God and the Last Day: for his parable is that of a smooth rock with [a little] earth upon it - and then a rainstorm smites it and leaves it hard and bare. Such as these shall have no gain whatever from all their [good] works: for God does not guide people who refuse to acknowledge the truth.
It is not for thee [O Prophet] to make people follow the right path,* since it is God [alone] who guides whom He wills. And whatever good you may spend on others is for your own good, provided that you spend only out of a longing for God's countenance: for, whatever good you may spend will be repaid unto you in full, and you shall not be wronged.
Those who spend their possessions [for the sake of God] by night and by day, secretly and openly, shall have their reward with their Sustainer; and no fear need they have, and neither shall they grieve.
Verily, those who have attained to faith and do good works, and are constant in prayer, and dispense charity - they shall have their reward with their Sustainer, and no fear need they have, and neither shall they grieve.
O YOU who have attained to faith! Whenever you give or take credit* for a stated term, set it down in writing. And let a scribe write it down equitably between you; and no scribe shall refuse to write as God has taught him:* thus shall he write. And let him who contracts the debt dictate; and let him be conscious of God, his Sustainer, and not weaken anything of his undertaking.* And if he who contracts the debt is weak of mind or body, or, is not able to dictate himself,* then let him who watches over his interests dictate equitably. And call upon two of your men to act as witnesses; and if two men are not available, then a man and two women from among such as are acceptable to you as witnesses, so that if one of them should make a mistake, the other could remind her.* And the witnesses must not refuse [to give evidence] whenever they are called upon. And be not loath to write down every contractual provision,* be it small or great, together with the time at which it falls due; this is more equitable in the sight of God, more reliable as evidence, and more likely to prevent you from having doubts [later]. If, however, [the transaction] concerns ready merchandise which you transfer directly unto one another, you will incur no sin if you do not write it down. And have witnesses whenever you trade with one another, but neither scribe nor witness must suffer harm;* for if you do [them harm], behold, it will be sinful conduct on your part. And remain conscious of God, since it is God who teaches you [herewith] - and God has full knowledge of everything.
And if you are on a journey and cannot find a scribe, pledges [may be taken] in hand: but if you trust one another, then let him who is trusted fulfil his trust, and let him be conscious of God, his Sustainer. And do not conceal what you have witnessed* - for, verily, he who conceals it is sinful at heart; and God has full knowledge of all that you do.
Unto God belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth. And whether you bring into the open what is in your minds or conceal it, God will call you to account for it; and then He will forgive whom He wills, and will chastise whom He wills: for God has the power to will anything.
God does not burden any human being with more than he is well able to bear: in his favour shall be whatever good he does, and against him whatever evil he does. O our Sustainer! Take us not to task if we forget or unwittingly do wrong! "O our Sustainer! Lay not upon us a burden such as Thou didst lay upon those who lived before us!* O our Sustainer! Make us not bear burdens which we have no strength to bear! "And efface Thou our sins, and grant us forgiveness, and bestow Thy mercy upon us! Thou art our Lord Supreme: succour us, then, against people who deny the truth!"
Step by step has He bestowed upon thee from on high this divine writ,* setting forth the truth which confirms whatever there still remains [of earlier revelations]:* for it is He who has bestowed from on high the Torah and the Gospel
Verily, nothing on earth or in the heavens is hidden from God.
He it is who has bestowed upon thee from on high this divine writ, containing messages that are clear in and by themselves - and these are the essence of the divine writ - as well as others that are allegorical.* Now those whose hearts are given to swerving from the truth go after that part of the divine writ* which has been expressed in allegory, seeking out [what is bound to create] confusion,* and seeking [to arrive at] its final meaning [in an arbitrary manner]; but none save God knows its final meaning.* Hence, those who are deeply rooted in knowledge say: "We believe in it; the whole [of the divine writ] is from our Sustainer - albeit none takes this to heart save those who are endowed with insight.
Thus, [O Prophet,] if they argue with thee, say, "I have surrendered my whole being unto God, and [so have] all who follow me!" - and ask those who have been vouchsafed revelation aforetime, as well as all unlettered people,* "Have you [too] surrendered yourselves unto Him?" And if they surrender themselves unto Him, they are on the right path; but if they turn away - behold, thy duty is no more than to deliver the message: for God sees all that is in [the hearts of] His creatures.
SAY: "O God, Lord of all dominion! Thou grantest dominion unto whom Thou willest, and takest away dominion from whom Thou willest; and Thou exaltest whom Thou willest, and abasest whom Thou willest. In Thy hand is all good. Verily, Thou hast the power to will anything.
Say: "Whether you conceal what is in your hearts* or bring it into the open, God knows it: for He knows all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth; and God has the power to will anything."
BEHOLD, God raised Adam, and Noah, and the House of Abraham, and the House of `Imran above all mankind,
And thereupon her Sustainer accepted the girl-child with goodly acceptance, and caused her to grow up in goodly growth, and placed her in the care of Zachariah.* Whenever Zachariah visited her in the sanctuary, he found her provided with food. He would ask: "O Mary, whence came this unto thee?" She would answer: "It is from God; behold, God grants sustenance unto whom He wills, beyond all reckoning."*
AND LO! The angels said: "O Mary! Behold, God has elected thee and made thee pure, and raised thee above all the women of the world.
"And [I have come] to confirm the truth of whatever there still remains* of the Torah, and to make lawful unto you some of the things which [aforetime] were forbidden to you. And I have come unto you with a message from your Sustainer; remain, then, conscious of God, and pay heed unto me.
THIS MESSAGE do We convey unto thee, and this tiding full of wisdom:*
And if anyone should argue with thee about this [truth] after all the knowledge that has come unto thee, say: "Come! Let us summon our sons and your sons, and our women and your women, and ourselves and yourselves; and then let us pray [together] humbly and ardently, and let us invoke God's curse upon those [of us] who are telling a lie."*
And some of the followers of earlier revelation say [to one another]: "Declare your belief in what has been revealed unto those who believe [in Muhammad] at the beginning of the day, and deny the truth of what came later,* so that they might go back [on their faith];
AND AMONG the followers of earlier revelation there is many a one who, if thou entrust him with a treasure, will [faithfully] restore it to thee; and there is among them many a one who, if thou entrust him with a tiny gold coin, will not restore it to thee unless thou keep standing over him - which is an outcome of their assertion,* "No blame can attach to us [for anything that we may do] with regard to these unlettered folk": and [so] they tell a lie about God, being well aware [that it is a lie]."*
And, behold, there are indeed some among them who distort the Bible with their tongues, so as to make you think that [what they say] is from the Bible, the while it is not from the Bible; and who say, "This is from God," the while it is not from God: and thus do they tell a lie about God, being well aware [that it is a lie].*
AND, LO, God accepted, through the prophets, this solemn pledge [from the followers of earlier revelation]:* "If, after all the revelation and the wisdom which I have vouchsafed unto you, there comes to you an apostle confirming the truth already in your possession, you must believe in him and succour him. Do you" - said He - "acknowledge and accept My bond on this condition?" They answered: "We do acknowledge it." Said He: "Then bear witness [thereto], and I shall be your witness.*
Say: "We believe in God, and in that which has been bestowed from on high upon us, and that which has been bestowed upon Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and their descendants, and that which has been vouchsafed by their Sustainer unto Moses and Jesus and all the [other] prophets: we make no distinction between any of them.* And unto Him do we surrender ourselves."
Their requital shall be rejection by God, and by the angels, and by all [righteous] men.
ALL FOOD was lawful unto the children of Israel, save what Israel had made unlawful unto itself [by its sinning] before the Torah was bestowed from on high.* Say: "Come forward, then, with the Torah and recite it, if what you say is true!"
And all who henceforth invent lies about God - it is they, they who are evildoers!*
full of clear messages.* [It is] the place whereon Abraham once stood; and whoever enters it finds inner peace.* Hence, pilgrimage unto the Temple is a duty owed to God by all people who are able to undertake it. And as for those who deny the truth - verily, God does not stand in need of anything in all the worlds.
SAY: "O followers of earlier revelation! Why do you refuse to acknowledge the truth of God's messages, when God is witness to all that you do?"
And how could you deny the truth when it is unto you that God's messages are being conveyed, and it is in your midst that His Apostle lives? But he who holds fast unto God has already been guided onto a straight way.
And hold fast, all together, unto the bond with God, and do not draw apart from one another. And remember the blessings which God has bestowed upon you: how, when you were enemies, He brought your hearts together, so that through His blessing you became brethren; and [how, when] you were on the brink of a fiery abyss.* He saved you from it. In this way God makes clear His messages unto you, so that you might find guidance,
These are God's messages: We convey them unto thee, setting forth the truth, since God wills no wrong to His creation.*
Overshadowed by ignominy are they wherever they may be, save [when they bind themselves again] in a bond with God and a bond with men;* for they have earned the burden of God's condemnation, and are overshadowed by humiliation: all this [has befallen them] because they persisted in denying the truth of God's messages and in slaying the prophets against all right: all this, because they rebelled [against God], and persisted in transgressing the bounds of what is right.*
Lo! It is you who [are prepared to] love them, but they will not love you, although you believe in all of the revelation.* And when they meet you, they assert, "We believe [as you believe]"; but when they find themselves alone, they gnaw their fingers in rage against you. Say: "Perish in your rage! Behold, God has full knowledge of what is in the hearts [of men]!"
when two groups from among you were about to lose heart,* although God was near unto them and it is in God that the believers must place their trust:
[And] it is in no wise for thee [O Prophet] to decide whether He shall accept their repentance or chastise them - for, behold, they are but wrongdoers,
and who, when they have committed a shameful deed or have [otherwise] sinned against themselves, remember God and pray that their sins be forgiven - for who but God could forgive sins? - and do not knowingly persist in doing whatever [wrong] they may have done.
AND MUHAMMAD is only an apostle; all the [other] apostles have passed away before him: if, then, he dies or is slain, will you turn about on your heels?* But he that turns about on his heels can in no wise harm God - whereas God will requite all who are grateful [to Him].
and all that they said was this: "O our Sustainer! Forgive us our sins and the lack of moderation in our doings! And make firm our steps, and succour us against people who deny the truth!" -
O YOU who have attained to faith! If you pay heed to those who are bent on denying the truth, they will cause you to turn back on your heels, and you will be the losers.
AND, INDEED, God made good His promise unto you when, by His leave, you were about to destroy your foes* - until the moment when you lost heart and acted contrary to the [Prophet's] command,* and disobeyed after He had brought you within view of that [victory] for which you were longing. There were among you such as cared for this world [alone], just as there were among you such as cared for the life to come:* whereupon, in order that He might put you to a test, He prevented you from defeating your foes.* But now He has effaced your sin: for God is limitless in His bounty unto the believers.
[Remember the time] when you fled, paying no heed to anyone, while at your rear the Apostle was calling out to you - wherefore He requited you with woe in return for [the Apostle's] woe, so that you should not grieve [merely] over what had escaped you, nor over what had befallen you: for God is aware of all that you do.*
Then, after this woe, He sent down upon you a sense of security, an inner calm which enfolded some of you,* whereas the others, who cared mainly for themselves, entertained wrong thoughts about God - thoughts of pagan ignorance - saying, "Did we, then, have any power of decision [in this matter]?"* Say: "Verily, all power of decision does rest with God"* - [but as for them,] they are trying to conceal within themselves that [weakness of faith] which they would not reveal unto thee, [O Prophet, by] saying, "If we had any power of decision, we would not have left so many dead behind."* Say [unto them]: "Even if you had remained in your homes, those [of you] whose death had been ordained would indeed have gone forth to the places where they were destined to lie down." And [all this befell you] so that God might put to a test all that you harbour in your bosoms, and render your innermost hearts* pure of all dross: for God is aware of what is in the hearts [of men].
And it was by God's grace that thou [O Prophet] didst deal gently with thy followers:* for if thou hadst been harsh and hard of heart, they would indeed have broken away from thee. Pardon them, then, and pray that they be forgiven. And take counsel with them in all matters of public concern; then, when thou hast decided upon a course of action, place thy trust in God: for, verily, God loves those who place their trust in Him.*
If God succours you, none can ever overcome you; but if He should forsake you, who could succour you thereafter? In God, then, let the believers place their trust!
Indeed, God bestowed a favour upon the believers when he raised up in their midst an apostle from among themselves, to convey His messages unto them, and to cause them to grow in purity, and to impart unto them the divine writ as well as wisdom - whereas before that they were indeed, most obviously, lost in error.
AND DO YOU, now that a calamity has befallen you after you had inflicted twice as much [on your foes],* ask yourselves, "How has this come about?" Say: "It has come from your own selves."* Verily, God has the power to will anything:
exulting in that [martyrdom] which God has bestowed upon them out of His bounty. And they rejoice in the glad tiding given to those [of their brethren] who have been left behind and have not yet joined them, that no fear need they have, and neither shall they grieve:
It is not God's will [O you who deny the truth] to abandon the believers to your way of life:* [and] to that end He will set apart the bad from the good. And it is not God's will to give you insight into that which is beyond the reach of human perception: but [to that end] God elects whomsoever He wills from among His apostles.* Believe, then, in God and His apostles; for if you believe and are conscious of Him, a magnificent requital awaits you.
AND UNTO GOD belongs the dominion over the heavens and the earth: and God has the power to will anything.
[and] who remember God when they stand, and when they sit, and when they lie down to sleep,* and [thus] reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth: "O our Sustainer! Thou hast not created [aught of] this without meaning and purpose.* Limitless art Thou in Thy glory! Keep us safe, then, from suffering through fire!
"And, O our Sustainer, grant us that which Thou hast promised us through Thy apostles, and disgrace us not on Resurrection Day! Verily, Thou never failest to fulfil Thy promise!"
O MANKIND! Be conscious of your Sustainer, who has created you out of one living entity, and out of it created its mate, and out of the two spread abroad a multitude of men and women.* And remain conscious of God, in whose name you demand [your rights] from one another, and of these ties of kinship. Verily, God is ever watchful over you!
And test the orphans [in your charge] until they reach a marriageable age; then, if you find them to be mature of mind, hand over to them their possessions; and do not consume them by wasteful spending, and in haste, ere they grow up. And let him who is rich abstain entirely [from his ward's property]; and let him who is poor partake thereof in a fair manner. And when you hand over to them their possessions, let there be witnesses on their behalf - although none can take count as God does.
And let them stand in awe [of God], those [legal heirs] - who, if they [themselves] had to leave behind weak offspring, would feel fear on their account - and let them remain conscious of God, and let them speak [to the poor] in a just manner.
AND AS FOR those of your women who become guilty of immoral conduct, call upon four from among you who have witnessed their guilt; and if these bear witness thereto, confine the guilty women* to their houses until death takes them away or God opens for them a way [through repentance].
Verily, God's acceptance of repentance relates only to those who do evil out of ignorance and then repent before their time runs out:* and it is they unto whom God will turn again in His mercy - for God is all-knowing, wise;
Forbidden to you are your mothers, and your daughters, and your sisters, and your aunts paternal and maternal, and a brother's daughters, and a sister's daughters; and your milk-mothers, and your milk-sisters; and the mothers of your wives; and your step-daughters - who are your foster children - born of your wives with whom you have consummated your marriage; but if you have not consummated your marriage, you will incur no sin [by marrying their daughters]; and [forbidden to you are] the spouses of the sons who have sprung from your loins; and [you are forbidden] to have two sisters [as your wives] at one and the same time - but what is past is past:* for, behold, God is indeed much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
And [forbidden to you are] all married women other than those whom you rightfully possess [through wedlock]:* this is God's ordinance, binding upon you. But lawful to you are all [women] beyond these, for you to seek out, offering them of your possessions,* taking them in honest wedlock, and not in fornication. And unto those with whom you desire to enjoy marriage, you shall give the dowers due to them; but you will incur no sin if, after [having agreed upon] this lawful due, you freely agree with one another upon anything [else]:* behold, God is indeed all-knowing, wise.
And as for those of you who, owing to circumstances, are not in a position* to marry free believing women, [let them marry] believing maidens from among those whom you rightfully possess.* And God knows all about your faith; each one of you is an issue of the other.* Marry them, then, with their people's leave, and give them their dowers in an equitable manner - they being women who give themselves in honest wedlock, not in fornication, nor as secret love-companions.* And when they are married, and thereafter become guilty of immoral conduct, they shall be liable to half the penalty to which free married women are liable.* This [permission to marry slave-girls applies] to those of you who fear lest they stumble into evil.* But it is for your own good to persevere in patience [and to abstain from such marriages]: and God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
God wants to make [all this] clear unto you, and to guide you onto the [righteous] ways of life of those who preceded you,* and to turn unto you in His mercy: for God is all-knowing, wise.
And God wants to turn unto you in His mercy, whereas those who follow [only] their own lusts want you to drift far away from the right path.*
And as for him who does this with malicious intent and a will to do wrong* - him shall We, in time, cause to endure [suffering through] fire: for this is indeed easy for God.
Hence, do not covet the bounties which God has bestowed more abundantly on some of you than on others. Men shall have a benefit from what they earn, and women shall have a benefit from what they earn. Ask, therefore, God [to give you] out of His bounty: behold, God has indeed full knowledge of everything.
And unto everyone have We appointed heirs to what he may leave behind: parents, and near kinsfolk, and those to whom you have pledged your troth* give them, therefore, their share. Behold, God is indeed a witness unto everything.
MEN SHALL take full care of women with the bounties which God has bestowed more abundantly on the former than on the latter,* and with what they may spend out of their possessions. And the righteous women are the truly devout ones, who guard the intimacy which God has [ordained to be] guarded.* And as for those women whose ill-will* you have reason to fear, admonish them [first]; then leave them alone in bed; then beat them;* and if thereupon they pay you heed, do not seek to harm them. Behold, God is indeed most high, great!
And what would they have to fear* if they would but believe in God and the Last Day, and spend [in His way] out of what God has granted them as sustenance - since God has indeed full knowledge of them?
How, then, [will the sinners fare on Judgment Day,] when We shall bring forward witnesses from within every community,* and bring thee [O Prophet] as witness against them?
O YOU who have attained to faith! Do not attempt to pray while you are in a state of drunkenness,* [but wait] until you know what you are saying; nor yet [while you are] in a state requiring total ablution,* until you have bathed - except if you are travelling [and are unable to do so]. But if you are ill, or are travelling, or have just satisfied a want of nature,* or have cohabited with a woman, and can find no water - then take resort to pure dust, passing [therewith] lightly over your face and your hands.* Behold, God is indeed an absolver of sins, much-forgiving.
O you who have been granted revelation [aforetime]! Believe in what We have [now] bestowed from on high in confirmation of whatever [of the truth] you already possess, lest We efface your hopes and bring them to an end* - just as We rejected those people who broke the Sabbath: for God's will is always done.*
Behold how they attribute their own lying inventions to God - than which there is no sin more obvious.*
Do they, perchance, envy other people for what God has granted them out of His bounty?* But then, We did grant revelation and wisdom unto the House of Abraham, and We did bestow on them a mighty dominion:
Yet if We were to ordain for them,* "Lay down your lives," or, "Forsake your homelands," only a very few of them would do it* - although, if they did what they are admonished to do, it would indeed be for their own good and apt to strengthen them greatly [in faith],
For, all who pay heed unto God and the Apostle shall be among those upon whom God has bestowed His blessings: the prophets, and those who never deviated from the truth, and those who [with their lives] bore witness to the truth, and the righteous ones: and how goodly a company are these!
And, behold, there are indeed among you such as would lag behind, and then, if calamity befalls you, say, "God has bestowed His favour upon me in that I did not accompany them."
ART THOU NOT aware of those who have been told, "Curb your hands,* and be constant in prayer, and render the purifying dues"? But as soon as fighting [in God's cause] is ordained for them, lo, some of them stand in awe of men as one should stand in awe of God - or in even greater awe - and say, "O our Sustainer! Why hast Thou ordained fighting for us? If only Thou hadst granted us a delay for a little while!" Say: "Brief is the enjoyment of this world, whereas the life to come is the best for all who are conscious of God - since none of you shall be wronged by as much as a hair's breadth.
Whoever pays heed unto the Apostle pays heed unto God thereby; and as for those who turn away - We have not sent thee to be their keeper.
And they say, "We do pay heed unto thee''* - but when they leave thy presence, some of them devise, in the dark of night, [beliefs] other than thou art voicing;* and all the while God records what they thus devise in the dark of night. Leave them, then, alone, and place thy trust in God: for none is as worthy of trust as God.
AND IF any [secret] matter pertaining to peace or war comes within their ken, they* spread it abroad - whereas, if they would but refer it unto the Apostle and unto those from among the believers* who have been entrusted with authority, such of them as are engaged in obtaining intelligence* would indeed know [what to do with] it And but for God's bounty towards you, and His grace, all but a few of you would certainly have followed Satan.
Whoever rallies to a good cause shall have a share in its blessings;* and whoever rallies to an evil cause shall be answerable for his part in it: for, indeed, God watches over everything.*
But when you are greeted with a greeting [of peace], answer with an even better greeting, or [at least] with the like thereof.* Verily, God keeps count indeed of all things.
unless it be such [of them] as have ties with people to whom you yourselves are bound by a covenant, or such as come unto you because their hearts shrink from [the thought of] making war either on you or on their own folk - although, if God had willed to make them stronger than you, they would certainly have made war on you.* Thus, if they let you be, and do not make war on you, and offer you peace, God does not allow you to harm them.*
You will find [that there are] others who would like to be safe from you as well as safe from their own folk, [but who,] whenever they are faced anew with temptation to evil, plunge into it headlong.* Hence, if they do not let you be, and do not offer you peace, and do not stay their hands, seize them and slay them whenever you come upon them: for it is against these that We have clearly empowered you [to make war].*
But whoever deliberately slays another believer, his requital shall be hell, therein to abide; and God will condemn him, and will reject him, and will prepare for him awesome suffering.
[Hence,] O you who have attained to faith, when you go forth [to war] in God's cause, use your discernment, and do not - out of a desire for the fleeting gains of this worldly life - say unto anyone who offers you the greeting of peace, "Thou art not a believer"* for with God there are gains abundant. You, too, were once in the same condition* - but God has been gracious unto you. Use, therefore, your discernment: verily, God is always aware of what you do.
SUCH of the believers as remain passive* - other than the disabled - cannot be deemed equal to those who strive hard in God's cause with their possessions and their lives:* God has exalted those who strive hard with their possessions and their lives far above those who remain passive. Although God has promised the ultimate good unto all [believers], yet has God exalted those who strive hard above those who remain passive by [promising them] a mighty reward -
And he who forsakes the domain of evil for the sake of God shall find on earth many a lonely road,* as well as life abundant. And if anyone leaves his home, fleeing from evil unto God and His Apostle, and then death overtakes him - his reward is ready with God: for God iss indeed much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
AND WHEN you go forth [to war] on earth, you will incur no sin by shortening your prayers* if you have reason to fear that those who are bent on denying the truth might suddenly fall upon you:* for, verily, those who deny the truth are your open foes.
Thus, when thou art among the believers* and about to lead them in prayer, let [only] part of them stand up with thee, retaining their arms. Then, after they have finished their prayer, let them provide you cover* while another group, who have not yet prayed, shall come forward and pray with thee, being fully prepared against danger and retaining their arms: (for) those who are bent on denying the truth would love to see you oblivious of your arms and your equipment, so that they might fall upon you in a surprise attack.* But it shall not be wrong for you to lay down your arms [while you pray] if you are troubled by rain* or if you are ill; but [always] be fully prepared against danger. Verily, God has readied shameful suffering for all who deny the truth!
And when you have finished your prayer, remember God - standing and sitting and lying down; and when you are once again secure, observe your prayers [fully]. Verily, for all believers prayer is indeed a sacred duty linked to particular times [of day].
Oh, you might well argue in their behalf in the life of this world: but who will argue in their behalf with God on the Day of Resurrection, or who will be their defender?
for he who commits a sin, commits it only to his own hurt;* and God is indeed all-knowing, wise.
And but for God's favour upon thee and His grace, some of those [who are false to themselves] would indeed endeavour to lead thee astray; yet none but themselves do they lead astray. Nor can they harm thee in any way, since God has bestowed upon thee from on high this divine writ and [given thee] wisdom, and has imparted unto thee the knowledge of what thou didst not know. And God's favour upon thee is tremendous indeed.
AND THEY will ask thee to enlighten them about the laws concerning women.* Say: "God [Himself] enlightens you about the laws concerning them"- for [His will is shown] in what is being conveyed unto you through this divine writ about orphan women [in your charge], to whom - because you yourselves may be desirous of marrying them - you do not give that which has been ordained for them;* and about helpless children; and about your duty to treat orphans with equity. And whatever good you may do - behold, God has indeed full knowledge thereof.
And if a woman has reason to fear ill-treatment from her husband, or that he might turn away from her, it shall not be wrong for the two to set things peacefully to rights between themselves: for peace is best, and selfishness is ever-present in human souls. But if you do good and are conscious of Him - behold, God is indeed aware of all that you do.
If He so wills, He can cause you, O mankind, to disappear, and bring forth other beings [in your stead]: for God has indeed the power to do this.
O YOU who have attained to faith! Be ever steadfast in upholding equity, bearing witness to the truth for the sake of God, even though it be against your own selves or your parents and kinsfolk. Whether the person concerned be rich or poor, God's claim takes precedence over [the claims of] either of them.* Do not, then, follow your own desires, lest you swerve from justice: for if you distort [the truth], behold, God is indeed aware of all that you do!
O you who have attained to faith! Hold fast unto your belief in God and His Apostle, and in the divine writ which He has bestowed from on high upon His Apostle, step by step, as well as in the revelation which He sent down aforetime:** for he who denies God, and His angels, and His revelations, and His apostles, and the Last Day, has indeed gone far astray.*
And, indeed, He has enjoined upon you in this divine writ that whenever you hear people deny the truth of God's messages and mock at them, you shall avoid their company until they begin to talk of other things* - or else, verily, you will become like them. Behold, together with those who deny the truth God will gather in hell the hypocrites,
who but wait to see what betides you: thus, if triumph comes to you from God, they say, "Were we not on your side?"- whereas if those who deny the truth are in luck, they say [to them], "Have we not earned your affection by defending you against those believers?''* But God will judge between you all on the Day of Resurrection; and never will God allow those who deny the truth to harm the believers.*
O you who have attained to faith! Do not take the deniers of the truth for your allies in preference to the believers! Do you want to place before God a manifest proof of your guilt?*
THE FOLLOWERS of the Old Testament* demand of thee [O Prophet] that thou cause a revelation to be sent down to them from heaven.* And an even greater thing than this did they demand of Moses when they said, "Make us see God face to face" - whereupon the thunderbolt of punishment overtook them for this their wickedness.* After that, they took to worshipping the [golden] calf - and this after all evidence of the truth had come unto them! None the less, We effaced this [sin of theirs], and vouchsafed unto Moses a clear proof [of the truth],
And so, [We punished them* ] for the breaking of their pledge, and their refusal to acknowledge God's messages, and their slaying of prophets against all right, and their boast, "Our hearts are already full of knowledge"- nay, but God has sealed their hearts in result of their denial of the truth, and [now] they believe in but few things - ;*
and for their refusal to acknowledge the truth, and the awesome calumny which they utter against Mary,*
Yet there is not one of the followers of earlier revelation who does not, at the moment of his death, grasp the truth about Jesus;* and on the Day of Resurrection he [himself] shall bear witness to the truth against them.
So, then, for the wickedness committed by those who followed the Jewish faith did We deny unto them certain of the good things of life which [aforetime] had been allowed to them;* and [We did this] for their having so often turned away from the path of God,*
and as [We inspired other] apostles whom We have mentioned to thee ere this,* as well as apostles whom We have not mentioned to thee; and as God spoke His word unto Moses:
[We sent all these] apostles as heralds of glad tidings and as warners, so that men might have no excuse before God after [the coming of] these apostles: and God is indeed almighty, wise.
but the road that leads to hell, therein to abide beyond the count of time: and this is indeed easy for God.
O FOLLOWERS of the Gospel! Do not overstep the bounds [of truth] in your religious beliefs,* and do not say of God anything but the truth. The Christ Jesus, son of Mary, was but God's Apostle - [the fulfilment of] His promise which He had conveyed unto Mary - and a soul created by Him.* Believe, then, in God and His apostles, and do not say, "[God is] a trinity". Desist [from this assertion] for your own good. God is but One God; utterly remote is He, in His glory, from having a son: unto Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth; and none is as worthy of trust as God.
O YOU who have attained to faith! Be true to your covenants!* Lawful to you is the [flesh of every] beast that feeds on plants, save what is mentioned to you [hereinafter* ]: but you are not allowed to hunt while you are in the state of pilgrimage. Behold, God ordains in accordance with His will.*
O you who have attained to faith! Offend not against the symbols set up by God, nor against the sacred month [of pilgrimage], nor against the garlanded offerings,* nor against those who flock to the Inviolable Temple, seeking favour with their Sustainer and His goodly acceptance; and [only] after your pilgrimage is over* are you free to hunt. And never let your hatred of people who would bar you from the Inviolable House of Worship lead you into the sin of aggression:* but rather help one another in furthering virtue and God-consciousness, and do not help one another in furthering evil and enmity; and remain conscious of God: for, behold, God is severe in retribution!
FORBIDDEN to you is carrion, and blood, and the flesh of swine, and that over which any name other than God's has been invoked,* and the animal that has been strangled, or beaten to death, or killed by a fall, or gored to death, or savaged by a beast of prey, save that which you [yourselves] may have slaughtered while it was still alive; and [forbidden to you is] all that has been slaughtered on idolatrous altars.* And [you are forbidden] to seek to learn through divination what the future may hold in store for you:* this is sinful conduct. Today, those who , are bent on denying the truth have lost all hope of [your ever forsaking] your religion: do not, then, hold them in awe, but stand in awe of Me! Today have I perfected your religious law for you, and have bestowed upon you the full measure of My blessings, and willed that self-surrender unto Me shall be your religion.* As for him, however, who is driven [to what is forbidden] by dire necessity* and not by an inclination to sinning -behold, God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
They will ask thee as to what is lawful to them. Say: "Lawful to you are all the good things of life."* And as for those hunting animals* which you train by imparting to them something of the knowledge that God has imparted to yourselves-eat of what they seize for you, but mention God's name over it. and remain conscious of God: verily, God is swift in reckoning.
O YOU who have attained to faith! When you are about to pray, wash your face, and your hands and arms up to the elbows, and pass your [wet] hands lightly over your head, and [wash] your feet up to the ankles. And if you are in a state. requiring total ablution, purify yourselves.* But if you are ill, or are travelling, or have just satisfied a want of nature, or have cohabited with a woman, and can find no water-then take resort to pure dust, passing therewith lightly over your face and your hands. God does not want to impose any hardship on you, but wants to make you pure, and to bestow upon you the full measure of His blessings, so that you might have cause to be grateful.
And [always] remember the blessings which God has bestowed upon you, and the solemn pledge by which He bound you to Himself* when you said, "We have heard, and we pay heed." Hence, remain conscious of God: verily, God has full knowledge of what is in the hearts [of men].
O YOU who have attained to faith! Be ever steadfast in your devotion to God, bearing witness to the truth in all equity; and never let hatred of any-one* lead you into the sin of deviating from justice. Be just: this is closest to being God-conscious. And remain conscious of God: verily, God is aware of all that you do.
O you who have attained to faith! Remember the blessings which God bestowed upon you when [hostile] people were about to lay hands on you* and He stayed their hands from you. Remain, then, conscious of God: and in God let the believers place their trust.
Then, for having broken their solemn pledge,* We rejected them and caused their hearts to harden-[so that now] they distort the meaning of the [re-vealed] words, taking them out of their context;* and they have forgotten much of what they had been told to bear in mind; and from all but a few of them thou wilt always experience treachery. But pardon them, and forbear: verily, God loves the doers of good.
Indeed, the truth deny they who say, "Behold, God is the Christ, son of Mary." Say: "And who could have prevailed with God in any way had it been His will to destroy the Christ, son of Mary, and his mother, and everyone who is on earth-all of them? For, God's is the dominion over the heavens and the earth and all that is between them; He creates what He wills: and God has the power to will anything!"
O followers of the Bible! Now, after a long time during which no apostles have appeared, there has come unto you [this] Our Apostle to make [the truth] clear to you, lest you say, "No bearer of glad tidings has come unto us, nor any warner ": for now there has come unto you a bearer of glad tidings and a warner -since God has the power to will anything.
AND, LO, Moses said unto his people:"* O my people! Remember the blessings which God bestowed upon you when he raised up prophets among you, and made you your own masters,* and granted unto you [favours] such as He had not granted to anyone else in the world.
O my people! Enter the holy land which God has promised you; but do not turn back [on your faith], for then you will be lost!"
[Whereupon] two men from among those who feared [God, and] whom God had blessed, said: "Enter upon them through the gate'* -for as soon as you enter it, behold, you shall be victorious! And in God you must place your trust if you are [truly] believers!"
Answered He: "Then, verily, this [land] shall be forbidden to them for forty years, while they wander on earth, bewildered, to and fro; and sorrow thou not over these iniquitous folk."
AND CONVEY unto them, setting forth the truth, the story of the two sons of Adam* -how each offered a sacrifice, and it was accepted from one of them whereas it was not accepted from the other. [And Cain] said: "I will surely slay thee!" [Abel] replied: "Behold, God accepts only from those who are conscious of Him.
Because of this did We ordain unto the children of Israel that if anyone slays a human being-unless it be [in punishment] for murder or for spreading corruption on earth-it shall be as though he had slain all mankind; whereas, if anyone saves a life, it shall be as though he had saved the lives of all mankind.* And, indeed, there came unto them* Our apostles with all evidence of the truth: yet, behold, notwithstanding all this, many of them go on committing all manner of excesses on earth.*
save for such [of them] as repent ere you [O believers] become more powerful than they:* for you must know that God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
But as for him who repents after having thus done wrong, and makes amends,* behold, God will accept his repentance: verily, God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
Dost thou not know that God's is the dominion over the heavens and the earth? He chastises whom He wills, and He forgives whom He wills: for God has the power to will anything.
Verily, it is We who bestowed from on high the Torah, wherein there was guidance and light. On `its strength did the prophets, who had surrendered themselves unto God, deliver judgment unto those who followed the Jewish faith;* and so did the [early] men of God and the rabbis, inasmuch as some of God's writ had been entrusted to their care;* and they [all] bore witness to its truth. Therefore, [O children of Israel,] hold not men in awe, but stand in awe of Me; and do not barter away My messages for a trifling gain:* for they who do not judge in accordance with what God has bestowed from on high are, indeed, deniers of the truth!
And We ordained for them in that [Torah]: A life for a life, and an eye for an eye, and a nose for a nose, and an ear for an ear, and a tooth for a tooth, and a [similar] retribution for wounds;* but he who shall forgo it out of charity will atone thereby for some of his past sins.* And they who do not judge in accordance with what God has revealed - they, they are the evildoers! ,
And We caused Jesus, the son of Mary, to follow in the footsteps of those [earlier prophets], confirming the truth of whatever there still remained* of the Torah; and We vouchsafed unto him the Gospel, wherein there was guidance and light, confirming the truth of whatever there still remained of the Torah, and as a guidance and admonition unto the God-conscious.
And unto thee [O Prophet] have We vouchsafed this divine writ, setting forth the truth, confirming the truth of whatever there still remains of earlier revelations and determining what is true therein.* Judge, then, between the followers of earlier revelation in accordance with what God has bestowed from on high,* and do not follow their errant views, forsaking the truth that has come unto thee. Unto every one of you have We appointed a [different] law and way of life.* And if God had so willed, He could surely have made you all one single community: but [He willed it otherwise] in order to test you by means of what He has vouchsafed unto, you.* Vie, then, with one another in doing good works! Unto God you all must return; and then He will make you truly understand all that on which you were wont to differ.*
And yet thou canst see how those in whose hearts there is disease vie with one another for their good will,* saying [to themselves], "We fear lest fortune turn against us." But God may well bring about good fortune [for the believers] or any [other] event of His own devising,* whereupon those [waverers] will be smitten with remorse for the thoughts which they had secretly harboured within themselves-
O you who have attained to faith! If you ever abandon your faith,"* God will in time bring forth [in your stead] people whom He loves and who love Him - humble towards the believers, proud towards all who deny the truth: [people] who strive hard in God's cause, and do not fear to be censured by anyone who might censure them: such is God's favour, which He grants unto whom He wills. And God is infinite, all-knowing.
Say: "Shall I tell you who, in the sight of God, deserves a yet worse retribution than these? They whom God has rejected and whom He has condemned, and whom He has turned into apes and swine because they worshipped the powers of evil:* these are yet worse in station, and farther astray from the right path [than the mockers]."*
Say: "O followers of the Bible! You have no valid ground for your beliefs -unless you [truly] observe the Torah and the Gospel, and all that has been bestowed from on high upon you by your Sustainer!"* Yet all that has been bestowed from on high upon thee [O Prophet] by thy Sustainer is bound to make many of them yet more stubborn in their overweening arrogance and in their denial of the truth. But sorrow not over people who deny the truth:
for, verily, those who have attained to faith [in this divine writ], as well as those who follow the Jewish faith, and the Sabians,* and the Christians - all who believe in God and the Last Day and do righteous deeds - no fear need they have, and neither shall they grieve.
thinking that no harm would befall them; and so they became blind and deaf [of heart]. Thereafter God accepted their repentance: and again many of them became blind and deaf. But God sees all that they do.
Indeed, the truth deny they who say, "Behold, God is the Christ, son of Mary" - seeing that the Christ [himself] said, "O children of Israel! Worship God [alone], who is my Sustainer as well as your Sustainer."* Behold, whoever ascribes divinity to any being beside God, unto him will God deny paradise, and his goal shall be the fire: and such evildoers will have none to succour them!
THOSE of the children of Israel who were bent on denying the truth have [already] been cursed by the tongue of David and of Jesus, the son of Mary?* this, because they rebelled [against God] and persisted in transgressing the bounds of what is right.
[And now] thou canst see many of them allying themselves with those who are bent on denying the truth! [So] vile indeed is what their passions make them do* that God has condemned them; and in suffering shall they abide.
Hence, pay heed unto God, and pay heed unto the Apostle, and be ever on your guard [against evil]; and if you turn away, then know that Our Apostle's only duty is a clear delivery of the message [entrusted to him].*
Those who have attained to faith and do righteous deeds incur no sin by partaking of whatever they may,* so long as they are conscious of God and [truly] believe and do righteous deeds, and continue to be conscious of God and to believe, and grow ever more* conscious of God, and persevere in doing good: for God loves the doers of good.
Lawful to you is all water-game, and what the sea brings forth,* as a provision for you [who are settled] as well as for travellers, although you are forbidden to hunt on land while you are in the state of pilgrimage.* And be conscious of God, unto whom you shall be gathered.
No more is the Apostle bound to do than deliver the message [entrusted to him]: and God knows all that you do openly, and all that you would conceal.
IT IS NOT of God's ordaining that certain kinds of cattle should be marked out by superstition and set aside from the use of man;* yet those who are bent on denying the truth attribute their own lying inventions to God. And most of them never use their reason:
for when they are told, "Come unto that which God has bestowed from on high, and unto the Apostle" - they answer, "Enough for us is that which we found our forefathers believing in and doing." Why, even though their forefathers knew nothing, and were devoid of all guidance?
O you who have attained to faith! It is [but] for your own selves that you are responsible: those who go astray can do you no harm if you [yourselves] are on the right path. Unto God you all must return: and then He will make you [truly] understand all that you were doing [in life].
But if afterwards it should come to light that the two [witnesses] have become guilty of [this very] sin, then two others - from among those whom the two former have deprived of their right* - shall take their place and shall swear by God, "Our testimony is indeed truer than the testimony of these two, and we have not transgressed the bounds of what is right - or else, may we indeed be counted among the evildoers!"
Thus it will be more likely that people will offer testimony in accordance with the truth-or else they will [have cause to] fear that their oaths will be refuted by the oaths of others.* Be, then, conscious of God, and hearken [unto Him]: for God does not bestow His guidance upon iniquitous folk.
Lo!* God will say: "O Jesus, son of Mary! Remember the blessings which I bestowed upon thee and thy mother-how I strengthened thee with holy inspiration,* so that thou couldst speak unto men in thy cradle, and as a grown man; and how I imparted unto thee revelation and wisdom, including the Torah and the Gospel;* and how by My leave thou didst create out of clay, as it were, the shape of [thy followers'] destiny, and then didst breathe into it, so that it might become, by My leave, [their] destiny ;* and how thou didst heal the blind and the leper by My leave, and how thou didst raise the dead by My leave;* and how I prevented the children of Israel from harming thee when thou camest unto them with all evidence of the truth, and [when] those of them who were bent on denying the truth were saying, `This is clearly nothing but deception!"'
[And,] lo, the white-garbed ones said: "O Jesus, son of Mary! Could thy Sustainer send down unto us a repast from heaven?"* [Jesus] answered: "Be conscious of God, if you are [truly] believers!"
Said they: "We desire to partake thereof, so that our hearts might be set fully at rest, and that we might know that thou hast spoken the truth to us, and that we might be of those who bear witness thereto!"
Said Jesus, the son of Mary: "O God, our Sustainer! Send down upon us a repast from heaven: it shall be an ever-recurring feast for us - for the first and the last of us -and a sign from Thee. And provide us our sustenance, for Thou art the best of providers!"
God answered: "Verily, I [always] do send it down unto you:* and so, if any of you should henceforth deny [this] truth, on him, behold, will I inflict suffering the like of which I have never [yet] inflicted upon anyone in the world!"
Nothing did I tell them beyond what Thou didst bid me [to say]: `Worship God, [who is] my Sustainer as well as your Sustainer.' And I bore witness to what they did as long as I dwelt in their midst; but since Thou hast caused me to die, Thou alone hast been their keeper:* for Thou art witness unto everything.
God's is the dominion over the heavens and the earth and all that they contain; and He has the power to will anything.
Do they not see how many a generation We have destroyed before their time - [people] whom We had given a [bountiful] place on earth, the like of which We never gave unto you, and upon whom We showered heavenly blessings abundant, and at whose feet We made running waters flow? And yet we destroyed them for their sins, and gave rise to other people in their stead.*
But even if we had sent down unto thee [O Prophet] a writing on paper, and they had touched it with their own hands - those who are bent on denying the truth would indeed have said, "This is clearly nothing but a deception!"
They are saying, too, "Why has not an angel (visibly] been sent down unto him?" But had we sent down an angel, all would indeed have been decided,* and they would have been allowed no further respite [for repentance.
And (even] if We had appointed an angel as Our message-bearer,* We would certainly have made him [appear as] a man - and thus We would only have confused them in the same way as they are now confusing themselves.*
Say: "Unto whom belongs all that is in the heavens and on earth?" Say: "Unto God, who has willed upon Himself the law of grace and mercy.* He will assuredly gather you all together on the Day of Resurrection, [the coming of] which is beyond all doubt: yet those who have squandered their own selves-it is they who refuse to believe [in Him],
And if God should touch thee with misfortune, there is none who could remove it but He; and if He should touch thee with good fortune -it is He who has the power to will anything:
And who could be more wicked than he who attributes his own lying inventions to God or gives the lie to His messages? Verily, such evildoers will never attain to a happy state:
Behold how they have lied to themselves* -and [how] their false imagery has forsaken them!
And there are among them such as [seem to] listen to thee [O Prophet]: but over their hearts We have laid veils which prevent them from grasping the truth, and into their ears, deafness.* And were they to see every sign [of the truth], they would still not believe in it-so much so that when they come unto thee to contend with thee, those who are bent on denying the truth say, "This is nothing but fables of ancient times!"
If thou couldst but see [them] when they will be made to stand before the fire and will say, "Oh, would that we were brought back [to life]: then we would not give the lie to our Sustainer's messages, but would be among the believers!"
If thou couldst but see [them] when they shall be made to stand before their Sustainer [and] He will say, "Is not this the truth?" They will answer: "Yea, indeed, by our Sustainer!" [Whereupon] He will say: "Taste, then, the suffering that comes from* your having refused to acknowledge the truth!"
Lost indeed are they who consider it a lie that they will have to meet God -till the Last Hour suddenly comes upon them, [and] they cry, "Alas for us, that we disregarded it!" - for they shall bear on their backs the burden of their sins:* oh, how evil the load with which they shall be burdened!
And, indeed, [even] before thy time have apostles been given the lie, and they endured with patience all those charges of falsehood, and all the hurt done to them, till succour came unto them from Us: for there is no power that could alter [the outcome of] God's promises. And some of the histories of those apostles have already come within thy ken.*
And if it distress thee that those who deny the truth* turn their backs on thee - why, then, if thou art able to go down deep into the earth or to ascend a ladder unto heaven* in order to bring them a [yet more convincing] message, [do so;] but [remember that] had God so willed, He would indeed have gathered them all unto [His] guidance. Do not, therefore, allow thyself to ignore [God's ways].*
And they say, "Why has no miraculous sign been bestowed on him* from on high by his Sustainer?" Say: "Behold, God has the power to bestow any sign from on high." Yet most human beings are unaware of this*
And they who give the lie to Our messages are deaf and dumb, in darkness deep. Whomever God wills, He lets go astray; and whomever He wills, He places upon a straight way.*
Then, when they had forgotten all that they had been told to take to heart, We threw open to them the gates of all [good] things* until -even as they were rejoicing in what they had been granted - We suddenly took them to task: and lo! they were broken in spirit;*
Say: "What do you think? If God should take away your hearing and your sight and seal your hearts - what deity but God is there that could bring it all back to you?" Behold how many facets we give to our messages-and yet they turn away in disdain!
And We send [Our] message-bearers only as heralds of glad tidings and as warners: hence, all who believe and live righteously -no fear need they have, and neither shall they grieve;
Hence, repulse not [any of] those who at morn and evening invoke their Sustainer, seeking His countenance.* Thou art in no wise accountable for them-just as they are in no wise accountable for thee* -and thou hast therefore no right to repulse them: for then thou wouldst be among the evildoers.*
For it is in this way* that We try men through one another - to the end that they might ask, "Has God, then, bestowed His favour upon those others in preference to us?"* Does not God know best as to who is grateful [to Him]?
And when those who believe in Our messages come unto thee, say: "Peace be upon you. Your Sustainer has willed upon Himself the law of grace and mercy* - so that if any of you does a bad deed out of ignorance, and thereafter repents and lives righteously, He shall be [found] much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace."
Say: "Behold, I take my stand on a clear evidence from my Sustainer-and [so] it is to Him that you are giving the lie! Not in my power is that which [in your ignorance] you so hastily demand:* judgment rests with none but God. He shall declare the truth, since it is He who is the best judge between truth and falsehood."
And He alone holds sway over His servants. And He sends forth heavenly forces to watch over you* until, when death approaches any of you, Our messengers cause him to die: and they do not overlook [anyone].
Say: "It is He alone who has the power to let loose upon you suffering from above you or from beneath your feet,* or to confound you with mutual discord and let you taste the fear of one another."* Behold how many facets we give to these messages, so that they might understand the truth.
and yet, to all this thy peoples* have given the lie, although it is the truth. Say [then]: "I am not responsible for your conduct.
for whom those who are conscious of God are in no wise accountable. Theirs, however, is the duty to admonish [the sinners],* so that they might become conscious of God.
SAY: "Shall we invoke, instead of God, something that can neither benefit us nor harm us, and [thus] turn around on our heels after God has guided us aright? -like one whom the satans have enticed into blundering after earthly lusts, the while his companions, trying to guide him, call out unto him [from afar] ,* `Come thou to us!"' Say: "Verily, God's guidance is the only guidance: and so we have been bidden to surrender ourselves unto the Sustainer of all the worlds,
Then, when the night overshadowed him with its darkness, he beheld a star;., [and] he exclaimed, "This is my Sustainer!" -but when it went down, he said, "I love not the things that go down."
And why should I fear anything that you worship side by side with Him, seeing that you are not afraid of ascribing divinity to other powers beside God without His ever having bestowed upon you from on high any warrant therefor? [Tell me,] then, which of the two parties has a better right to feel secure -if you happen to know [the answer]?
And this was Our argument* which We vouchsafed unto Abraham against his people: [for] We do raise by degrees whom We will.* Verily, thy Sustainer is wise, all-knowing.
and [upon] Ishmael, and Elisha, and Jonah, and Lot.* And every one of them did We favour above other people;
to those whom God has guided. Follow, then, their guidance, [and] say: "No reward do I ask of you for this [truth]: behold, it is but an admonition unto all mankind!"
For, no true understanding of God have they when they say, "Never has God revealed anything unto man." Say: "Who has bestowed from on high the divine writ which Moses brought unto men as a light and a guidance, [and] which you treat as* [mere] leaves of paper, making a show of them the while you conceal [so] much - although you have been taught [by it] what neither you nor your forefathers had ever known?"* Say: "God [has revealed that divine writ]!" - and then leave them to play at their vain talk.
And this, too, is a divine writ which We have bestowed from on high - blessed, confirming the truth of whatever there still remains [of earlier revelations]* -and [this] in order that thou mayest warn the foremost of all cities and all who dwell around it.* And those who believe in the life to come do believe in this [warning]; and it is they who are ever-mindful of their prayers.
And who could be more wicked than he who invents a lie about God,* or says, "This has been revealed unto me," the while nothing has been revealed to him? - or he who says, "I, too, can bestow from on high the like of what God has bestowed"?* If thou couldst but see [how it will be] when these evildoers find themselves in the agonies of death, and the angels stretch forth their hands [and call]: "Give up your souls! Today you shall be requited with the suffering of humiliation for having attributed to God something that is not true, and for having persistently scorned His messages in your arrogance!"
Such is God, your Sustainer: there is no deity save Him, the Creator of everything: worship, then, Him alone -for it is He who has everything in His care.
Means of insight have now come unto you from your Sustainer [through this divine writ]. Whoever, therefore, chooses to see, does so for his own good; and whoever chooses to remain blind, does so to his own hurt. And [say unto the blind of heart]: "I am not your keeper."
Yet if God had so willed, they would not have ascribed divinity to aught beside Him;* hence, We have not made thee their keeper, and neither art thou responsible for their conduct.
And even if We were to send down angels unto them, and if the dead were to speak unto them* and [even if] We were to assemble before them, face to face, all the things [that can prove the truth], they would still not believe unless God so willed* But [of this] most of them are entirely unaware.
EAT, then, of that over which God's name has been pronounced, if you truly believe in His messages.*
And why should you not eat of that over which God's name has been pronounced, seeing that He has so clearly spelled out to you what He has forbidden you [to eat] unless you are compelled [to do so]? But, behold, [it is precisely in such matters that] many people lead others astray by their own errant views, without [having any real] knowledge. Verily, thy Sustainer is fully aware of those who transgress the bounds of what is right.
Hence, eat not of that over which God's name has not been pronounced: for this would be sinful conduct indeed. And, verily, the evil impulses [within men's hearts] whisper unto those who have made them their own* that they should involve you in argument [as to what is and what is not a sin]; and if you pay heed unto them, lo! you will become [like] those who ascribe divinity to other beings or forces beside God.*
And whomsoever God wills to guide, his bosom He opens wide with willingness towards self-surrender [unto Him]; and whomsoever He wills to let go astray, his bosom He causes to be tight and constricted, as if he were climbing unto the skies: it is thus that God inflicts horror upon those who will not believe.
[And thus will God continue:] "O you who have lived in close communion with [evil] invisible beings and [like-minded] humans! Have there not come unto you apostles from among yourselves, who conveyed unto you My messages and warned you of the coming of this your Day [of Judgment]?" They will answer: "We do bear witness against ourselves!"-for the life of this world had beguiled them: and so they will bear witness against themselves that they had been denying the truth.
Say: "O my [unbelieving] people! Do yet all that may be within your power, [while] I, behold, shall labour [in God's way]; and in time you will come to know to whom the future belongs.* Verily, never will evildoers attain to a happy state!"
And, likewise, their belief in beings or powers that are supposed to have a share in God's divinity makes* [even] the slaying of their children seem goodly to many of those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God, thus bringing them to ruin and confusing them in their faith.* Yet, unless God had so willed, they would not be doing all this:* stand, therefore, aloof from them and all their false imagery!
And they say, "Such-and-such cattle and fruits of the field are sacred; none may eat thereof save those whom we will [to do so]" -so they [falsely] claim;* and [they declare that] it is forbidden to burden the backs of certain kinds of cattle; and there are cattle over which they do not pronounce God's name* - falsely attributing [the origin of these customs] to Him. [But] He will requite them for all their false imagery.
And they say, "All that is in the wombs of such-and-such cattle is reserved for our males and forbidden to our women; but if it be stillborn, then both may have their share thereof." [God] will requite them for all that they [falsely] attribute [to Him]: behold, He is wise, all-knowing.
Lost, indeed, are they who, in their weak-minded ignorance, slay their children and declare as forbidden that which God has provided for them as sustenance, falsely ascribing [such prohibitions] to God: they have gone astray and have not found the right path.
[His followers would have it that, in certain cases, any of these] four kinds of cattle of either sex [is unlawful to man]: either of the two sexes of sheep and of goats.* Ask [them]: "Is it the two males that He has forbidden, or the two females, or that which the wombs of the two females may contain? Tell me what you know in this respect,* if what you say is true."
And [likewise they declare as unlawful] either of the two sexes of camels and of bovine cattle.* Ask [them]: "Is it the two males that He has forbidden, or the two females, or that which the wombs of the two females may contain? Is it, perchance, that you [yourselves] were witnesses when God enjoined [all] this upon you?" And who could be more wicked than he who, without any [real] knowledge, attributes his own lying inventions to God, and thus leads people astray'?* Behold, God does not grace [such] evildoing folk with His guidance.
Say [O Prophet]: "In all that has been revealed unto me, I do not find anything forbidden to eat, if one wants to eat thereof,* unless it be carrion, or blood poured forth, or the flesh of swine-for that, behold, is loathsome-or a sinful offering* over which any name other than God's has been invoked. But if one is driven by necessity - neither coveting it nor exceeding his immediate need -then [know that], behold, thy Sustainer is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace."*
And [only] unto those who followed the Jewish faith did We forbid all beasts that have claws;* and We forbade unto them the fat of both oxen and sheep, excepting that which is in their backs or entrails or that which is within the bone:* thus did We requite them for their evildoing-for, behold, We are true to Our word!"*
Say: "Come, let me convey unto you what God has [really] forbidden to you: "Do not ascribe divinity, in any way, to aught beside Him; and [do not offend against but, rather,] do good unto your parents;* and do not kill your children for fear of poverty - [for] it is We who shall provide sustenance for you as well as for them;* and do not commit any shameful deeds, be they open or secret; and do not take any human being's life-[the life] which God has declared to be sacred -otherwise than in [the pursuit of] justice: this has He enjoined upon you so that you might use your reason;*
AND ONCE AGAIN:* We vouchsafed the divine writ unto Moses in fulfilment [of Our favour] upon those who persevered in doing good, clearly spelling out everything,* and [thus providing] guidance and grace, so that they might have faith in the [final] meeting with their Sustainer.
It has been given to you] lest you say, "Only unto two groups of people, [both of them] before our time, has a divine writ been bestowed from on high* and we were indeed unaware of their teachings";
or lest you say, "If a divine writ had been bestowed from on high upon us, we would surely have followed its guidance better than they did."* And so, a clear evidence of the truth has now come unto you from your Sustainer, and guidance, and grace. Who, then, could be more wicked than he who gives the lie to God's messages, and turns away from them in disdain? We shall requite those who turn away from Our messages in disdain with evil suffering for having thus turned away!
Say: "Am I, then, to seek a sustainer other than God, when He is the Sustainer of all things?" And whatever [wrong] any human being commits rests upon himself alone; and no bearer of burdens shall be made to bear another's burden.* And, in time, unto your Sustainer you all must return: and then He will make you. [truly] understand all that on which you were wont to differ.*
and thereupon We shall most certainly reveal unto them Our knowledge [of their doings]:* for never have We been absent [from them].
-and thus he led them on with deluding thoughts. But as soon as the two had tasted [the fruit] of the tree, they became conscious of their nakedness; and they began to cover themselves with pieced-together leaves from the garden. And their Sustainer called unto them: "Did I not forbid that tree unto you and tell you, `Verily, Satan is your open foe'?"
O CHILDREN of Adam! Indeed, We have bestowed upon you from on high [the knowledge of making] garments to cover your nakedness, and as a thing of beauty:* but the garment of God-consciousness is the best of all. Herein lies a message from God, so that man"* might take it to heart.
and [so,] whenever they commit a shameful deed, they are wont to say, "We found our forefathers doing it," and, "God has enjoined it upon us." Say: "Behold, never does God enjoin deeds of abomination. Would you attribute unto God something of which you have no knowledge?"
some [of you] He will have graced with His guidance, whereas, for some a straying from the right path will have become unavoidable:* for, behold, they will have taken [their own] evil impulses for their masters in preference to God, thinking all the while that they have found the right path!"
Say: "Verily, my Sustainer has forbidden only shameful deeds, be they open or secret, and [every kind of] sinning, and unjustified envy, and the ascribing of divinity to aught beside Him - since He has never bestowed any warrant therefor from on high and the attributing unto God of aught of which you have no knowledge."
O CHILDREN of Adam! Whenever there come unto you apostles of your own, conveying My messages unto you, then all who are conscious of Me and live righteously - no fear need they have, and neither shall they grieve;
And who could be more wicked than they who attribute their own lying inventions to God or give the lie to His messages? Whatever has been decreed to be their lot [in life] will be theirs* -till there shall come _ unto them Our messengers to cause them to die, [and] shall say, "Where, now, are those beings whom you were wont to invoke beside God?" And [those sinners] will reply, "They have forsaken us!" -and [thus] they will bear witness against themselves that they had been denying the truth.
And the first of them will say unto the last of them: "So you were in no wise superior to us!* Taste, then, this suffering for all [the evil] that you were wont to do!"
And the inmates of paradise will call out to the inmates of the fire: "Now we have found that what our Sustainer promised us has come true; have you. too, found that what your Sustainer promised you has come true?" [The others] will answer, "Yes!"-whereupon from their midst a voice* will loudly proclaim: "God's rejection is the due of the evildoers
And between the two there will be a barrier.* And there will be persons who [in life] were endowed with the faculty of discernment [between right and wrong], recognizing each by its mark.* And they will call out unto the inmates of paradise, "Peace be upon you!"-not having entered it themselves, but longing [for it].
Are those [blessed ones] the self-same people of whom you once solemnly declared, `Never will God bestow His grace upon them'?* [For now they have been told,] `Enter paradise; no fear need you have, and neither shall you grieve!"'
And the inmates of the fire will call out unto the inmates of paradise: "Pour some water upon us, or some of the sustenance [of paradise] which God has provided for you!" [The inmates of paradise] will reply: "Verily, God has denied both to those who have denied the truth -
for, indeed, We did convey unto them a divine writ which We clearly, and wisely,* spelled out - a guidance and a grace unto people who will believe."
VERILY, your Sustainer is God, who has created the heavens and the earth in six aeons, and is established on the throne of His almightiness.* He covers the day with the night in swift pursuit, with the sun and the moon and the stars subservient to His command: oh, verily, His is all creation and all command. Hallowed is God, the Sustainer of all the worlds!
INDEED, We sent forth Noah unto his people,* and he said: "O my people! Worship God alone: you have no deity other than Him. Verily, I fear lest suffering befall you on an awesome Day!"*
Why, do you deem it strange that a tiding from your Sustainer should have come unto you through a man from among yourselves, so that he might warn you, and that you might become conscious of God, and that you might be graced with His mercy?"
Why, do you deem it strange that a tiding from your Sustainer should have come unto you through a man from among yourselves, so that he might warn you? Do but remember how He made you heirs to Noah's people, and endowed you abundantly with power:* remember, then, God's blessings, so that you might attain to a happy state!"
Said [Hud]: "You are already beset by loath some evils* and by your Sustainer's condemnation! Do you argue with me about the [empty] names which you have invented* - you and your forefathers - for which God has bestowed no warrant from on high? Wait, then, [for what will happen:] verily, I shall wait with you!"*
the while We rained a rain [of destruction] upon the others: and behold what happened in the end to those people lost in sin!
We should be guilty of blaspheming against God* were we to return to your ways after God has saved us from them! It is not conceivable that we should return to them-unless God, our Sustainer, so wills.* All things does our Sustainer embrace within His knowledge; in God do we place our trust. O our Sustainer! Lay Thou open the truth between us and our people -for Thou art the best of all to lay open the truth!"*
And he turned away from them, and said: "O my people! Indeed, I delivered unto you my Sustainer's message and gave you good advice: how, then, could I mourn for people who have denied the truth?"
Yet if the people of those communities had but attained to faith and been conscious of Us, We would indeed have opened up for them blessings out of heaven and earth: but they gave the lie to the truth - and so We took them to task through what they [themselves] had been doing.*
Has it, then, not become obvious unto those who have inherited the earth in the wake of former generations* that, if We so willed, We could smite them [too] by means of their sins, sealing their hearts so that they cannot hear [the truth]?*
Unto those [earlier] communities - some of whose stories We [now] relate unto thee -there had indeed come apostles of their own with all evidence of the truth; but they would not believe in anything to which they had once given the lie:* thus it is that God seals the hearts of those who deny the truth;
so constituted that I cannot say anything about God but the truth. I have now come unto you with a clear evidence from your Sustainer: let, then, the children of Israel go with me!"
for thou takest vengeance on us only because we have come to believe in our Sustainer's messages as soon as they came to us. O our Sustainer! Shower us with patience in adversity, and make us die as men who have surrendered themselves unto Thee!"
Thereupon We let loose upon them floods, and [plagues of] locusts, and lice, and frogs, and [water turning into] blood* -distinct signs [all]: but they gloried in their arrogance, for they were people lost in sin.
And whenever a plague struck them, they would cry: "O Moses, pray for us to thy Sustainer on the strength of the covenant [of prophethood] which He has made with thee! If thou remove this plague from us, we will truly believe in thee. and will let the children of Israel go with thee!"
whereas unto the people who [in the past] had been deemed utterly low, We gave as their heritage the eastern and western parts of the land that We had blessed.* And [thus] thy Sustainer's good promise unto the children of Israel was fulfilled in result of their patience in adversity;* whereas We utterly destroyed all that Pharaoh and his people had wrought, and all that they had built.*
AND WE BROUGHT the children of Israel across the sea; and thereupon they came upon people who were devoted to the worship of some idols of theirs.* Said [the children of Israel ]: "O Moses, set up for us a god even as they have gods!" He replied: "Verily, you are people without any awareness [of right and wrong]!
[And] he said: "Am I to seek for you a deity other than God, although it is He who has favoured you above all other people?"*
Said [God]: "O Moses! Behold, I have raised thee above all people by virtue of the messages which I have entrusted to thee,* and by virtue of My speaking [unto thee]: hold fast, therefore, unto what I have vouchsafed thee, and be among the grateful!"
those who shall follow the [last] Apostle, the unlettered Prophet whom they shall find described in the Torah that is with them, and [later on] in the Gospel:* [the Prophet] who will enjoin upon them the doing of what is right and forbid them the doing of what is wrong, and make lawful to them the good things of life and forbid them the bad things, and lift from them their burdens and the shackles that were upon them [aforetime].* Those, therefore, who shall believe in him, and honour him, and succour him, and follow the light that has been bestowed from on high through him-it is they that shall attain to a happy state."
And We divided them into twelve tribes, [or] communities. And when his people asked Moses for water, We inspired him, "Strike the rock with thy staff!" -whereupon twelve springs gushed forth from it, so that all the people knew whence to drink., And We caused the clouds to comfort them with their shade, and We sent down unto them manna and quails, [saying:] "Partake of the good things which We have provided for you as sustenance." And [by all their sinning] they did no harm unto Us-but [only] against their own selves did they sin.
But those among them who were bent on wrongdoing substituted another saying for that which they had been given: and so We let loose against them a plague from heaven in requital of all their evil doings.*
And lo! Thy Sustainer made it known that most certainly He would rouse against them, unto Resurrection Day, people who would afflict them with cruel suffering: verily, thy Sustainer is swift in retribution - yet, verily, He is [also] much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
And they have been succeeded by [new] generations who - [in spite of] having inherited the divine writ-clutch but at the fleeting good of this lower world and say, "We shall be forgiven,* the while they are ready, if another such fleeting good should come their way, to clutch at it [and sin again]. Have they not been solemnly pledged through the divine writ not to attribute unto God aught but what is true,* and [have they not] read again and again all that is therein? Since the life in the hereafter is the better [of the two] for all who are conscious of God -will you not, then, use your reason?
AND WHENEVER thy Sustainer brings forth their offspring from the loins of the children of Adam, He [thus] calls upon them to bear witness about themselves: "Am I not your Sustainer?" - to which they answer: "Yea, indeed, we do bear witness thereto!"* [Of this We remind you,] lest you say on the Day of Resurrection, "Verily, we were unaware of this";
And tell them what happens to him* to whom We vouchsafe Our messages and who then discards them: Satan catches up with him, and he strays, like so many others, into grievous error.*
Now had We so willed, We could indeed have exalted him by means of those [messages]: but he always clung to the earth and followed but his own desires. Thus, his parable is that of an [excited] dog: if thou approach him threateningly, he will pant with his tongue lolling; and. if thou leave him alone, he will pant with his tongue lolling.* Such is the parable of those who are bent on giving the lie to Our messages. Tell [them], then, this story, so that they might take thought.
and, if you pray to them for guidance, do not respond to you?* As far as you are concerned, it is all one whether you invoke them or keep silent.
Believers are only they whose hearts tremble with awe whenever God is mentioned, and whose faith is strengthened whenever His messages are conveyed unto them,* and who in their Sustainer place their trust -
[Remember how it was] when He caused inner calm to enfold you,* as an assurance from Him, and sent down upon you water from the skies, so that He might purify you thereby and free you from Satan's unclean whisperings* and strengthen your hearts and thus make firm your steps.
And whenever Our messages were conveyed to them, they would say, "We have heard [all this] before; if we wanted, we could certainly compose sayings like these [ourselves]: they are nothing but fables of ancient times!"*
And, lo, they would say, "O God! If this. be indeed the truth from Thee, then rain down upon us stones from the skies, or inflict [some other] grievous suffering on us!*
Behold, those who are bent on denying the truth are spending their riches in order to turn others away from the path of God; and they will go on spending them until they become [a source of] intense regret for them; and then they will be overcome! And those who [until their death] have denied the truth shall be gathered unto hell,
so that God might separate the bad from the good, and join the bad with one another, and link them all together [within His condemnation], and then place them in hell. They, they are the lost!
AND KNOW that whatever booty you acquire [in war], one-fifth thereof belongs to God and the Apostle, and the near of kin, and the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer.* [This you must observe] if you believe in God and in what We bestowed from on high upon Our servant on the day when the true was distinguished from the false - the day when the two hosts met in battle. And God has the power to will anything.*
And, lo, Satan made all their doings seem goodly to them, and said, "No one can overcome you this day, for, behold, I shall be your protector !"* but as soon as the two hosts came within sight of one another, he turned on his heels and said, "Behold, I am not responsible for you: behold, I see something that you do not see: behold, I fear God-for God is severe in retribution !"*
At the same time, the hypocrites and those in whose hearts was disease were saying, "Their faith has deluded these [believers] !"* But he who places his trust in God [knows that], verily, God is almighty, wise.
This, because God would never change* the blessings with which He has graced a people unless they change their inner selves :* and [know] that God is all-hearing, all-seeing.
or, if thou hast reason to fear treachery* from people [with whom thou hast made a covenant], cast it back at them in an equitable manner:* for, verily, God does not love the treacherous!
But if they incline to peace, incline thou to it as well, and place thy trust in God: verily, He alone is all-hearing, all-knowing!
O Prophet! Inspire the believers to conquer all fear of death when fighting,* [so that,] if there be twenty of you who are patient in adversity, they might overcome two hundred; and [that,] if there be one hundred of you, they might overcome one thousand of those who are bent on denying the truth, because they are people who cannot grasp it.*
BEHOLD, as for those who have attained to faith, and who have forsaken the domain of evil* and are striving hard, with their possessions and their lives, in God's cause, as well as those who shelter and succour [them]* - these are [truly] the friends and protectors of one another. But as for those who have come to believe without having migrated [to your country]* - you are in no wise responsible for their protection until such a time as they migrate [to you]. Yet, if they ask you for succour against religious persecution,* it is your duty to give [them] this succour-except against a people between whom and yourselves there is a covenant:* for God sees all that you do.
But excepted shall be* -from among those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God - [people] with whom you [O believers] have made a covenant and who thereafter have in no wise failed to fulfil their obligations towards you, and neither have aided anyone against you: observe, then, your covenant with them until the end of the term agreed with them.* Verily, God loves those who are conscious of Him.
How [else could it be]?* -since, if they [who are hostile to you] were to overcome you, they would not respect any tie [with you,] nor any obligation to protect [you].* They seek to please you with their mouths, the while their hearts remain averse [to you]; and most of them are iniquitous.
Fight against them! God will chastise them by your hands, and will bring disgrace upon them, and will succour you against them; and He will soothe the bosoms of those who believe,
and will remove the wrath that is in their hearts. And God will turn in His mercy unto whom He wills:* for, God is all-knowing, wise.
IT IS NOT for those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God to visit or tend* God's houses of worship, the while [by their beliefs] they bear witness against themselves that they are denying the truth. It is they whose works shall come to nought, and they who in the fire shall abide*
O YOU who have attained to faith! Do not take your fathers and your brothers for allies if a denial of the truth is dearer to them than faith: for those of you who ally themselves with them-it is they, they who are evildoers!*
Indeed, God has succoured you on many battlefields, [when you were few;] and [He did so, too,] on the Day of Hunayn, when you took pride in your great numbers and they proved of no avail whatever to you -for the earth, despite all its vastness, became [too] narrow for you and you turned back, retreating:*
whereupon God bestowed from on high His [gift of] inner peace upon His Apostle and upon the believers, and bestowed [upon you] from on high forces which you could not see,* and chastised those who were bent on denying the truth: for such is the recompense of all who deny the truth!
But with all this ,* God will turn in His mercy unto whom He wills: for God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.*
He it is who has sent forth His Apostle with the [task of spreading] guidance and the religion of truth, to the end that He may cause it to prevail over all [false] religion* -however hateful this may be to those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God.
on the Day when that [hoarded wealth] shall be heated in the fire of hell and their foreheads and their sides and their backs branded therewith* , [those sinners shall be told:] "These are the treasures which you have laid up for yourselves! Taste, then, [the evil of] your hoarded treasures!"
If you do not go forth to war [in God's cause], He will chastise you with grievous chastisement, and will place another people in your stead - whereas you shall in no wise harm Him: for, God has the power to will anything.
If you do not succour the Apostle,* then [know that God will do so -just as] God succoured him at the time when those who were bent on denying the truth drove him away, [and he was but] one of two:* when these two were [hiding] in the cave, [and] the Apostle said to his companion, "Grieve not: verily, God is with us."* And thereupon God bestowed upon him from on high His (gift of] inner peace,* and brought utterly low the cause of those who were bent on denying the truth, whereas the cause of God remained supreme:* for God is almighty, wise.
Had there been [a prospect of] immediate gain, and an easy journey, they would certainly have followed thee, [O Prophet:] but the distance was too great for them* . And yet, [after your return, O believers,] they will swear by God, "Had we been able to do so, we would certainly have set out with you!" - [and by thus falsely swearing] they will be destroying their own selves: for God knows indeed that they are lying!
Say: "Never can anything befall us save what God has decreed! He is our Lord Supreme; and in God let the believers place their trust!"
The offerings given for the sake of God* are [meant] only for the poor and the needy, and those who are in charge thereof,* and those whose hearts are to be won over, and for the freeing of human beings from bondage, and [for] those who are over burdened with debts, and [for every struggle] in God's cause, and [for] the wayfarer: [this is] an ordinance from God - and God is all-knowing, wise.*
[Some of] the hypocrites dread lest a [new] surah be revealed [in evidence] against them, making them understand what is [really] in their hearts.* Say: "Go on mocking! Behold, God will bring to light the very thing that you are dreading!"*
O PROPHET! Strive hard against the deniers of the truth and the hypocrites, and be adamant with them.* And [if they do not repent,] their goal shall be hell -and how vile a journey's end!
And never shalt thou pray over any of them that has died, and never shalt thou stand by his grave:* for, behold, they were bent on denying God and His Apostle, and they died in this their iniquity.*
They were well-pleased to remain with those who were left behind - where for their hearts have been sealed,* so that they cannot grasp the truth.
[But] no blame shall attach to the weak,* nor to the sick, nor to those who have no means. [to equip themselves],* provided that they are sincere towards God and His Apostle: there is no cause to reproach the doers of good, for God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
Nor [shall blame attach] to those who, when they came unto thee [O Prophet, with the request] that thou provide them with mounts, were told by thee, "I cannot find anything whereon to mount you" - [whereupon] they turned away, their eyes overflowing with tears out of sorrow that they had no means to spend [on their equipment].
Only they may rightly be reproached who asked thee for exemption even though they were fully able [to go to war].* They were well-pleased to remain with those who were left behind -wherefore God has sealed their hearts, so that they do not know [what they are doing].
[The hypocrites among] the bedouin* are more tenacious in [their] refusal to acknowledge the truth and in [their] hypocrisy [than are settled people], and more liable to ignore the ordinances which God has bestowed from on high upon His Apostle - but God is all-knowing, wise.*
And among the bedouin there are such as regard all that they might spend [in God's cause] as a loss, and wait for misfortune to encompass you, [O believers: but] it is they whom evil fortune shall encompass - for God is all-hearing, all-knowing.
But among the bedouin who dwell around you there are hypocrites; and among the people of the [Prophet's] City* [too] there are such as have grown insolent in [their] hypocrisy. Thou dost not [always] know them, [O Muhammad - but] We know them. We shall cause them to suffer doubly [in this world];* and then they will be given over to awesome suffering [in the life to come].
And [there are] others* - [people who] have become conscious of their sinning after having done righteous deeds side by side with evil ones;* [and] it may well be that God will accept their repentance: for, verily, God is much-forgiving, a dispenser' of grace.
[Hence, O Prophet,] accept that [part] of their possessions which is offered for the sake of God,* so that thou mayest cleanse them thereby and cause them to grow in purity, and pray for them: behold, thy prayer will be [a source of] comfort to them-for God is all-hearing, all-knowing.
And [there are yet] others-[people whose cases are] deferred until God wills to judge them:* He will either chastise them or turn again unto them in His mercy-for God is all-knowing, wise.
Never set foot in such a place!* Only a house of worship founded, from the very first day, upon God-consciousness is worthy of thy setting foot therein* -[a house of worship] wherein there are men desirous of growing in purity: for God loves all who purify themselves.
Which. then, is the better: he who has founded his building on God-consciousness and [a desire for] His goodly acceptance-or he who has founded his building on the edge of a water-worn, crumbling river-bank, so that it [is bound to] tumble down with him into the fire of hell? For, God does not grace with His guidance people who [deliberately] do wrong:
BEHOLD, God has bought of the believers their lives and their possessions, promising them paradise in return, ,[and so] they fight in God's cause, and slay, and are slain: a promise which in truth He has willed upon Himself in [the words of] the Torah, and the Gospel, and the Qur'an. And who could be more faithful to his covenant than God? Rejoice, then, in the bargain which you have made with Him: for this, this is the triumph supreme!
INDEED, God has turned in His mercy unto the Prophet, as well as unto those who have forsaken the domain of evil and those who have sheltered and succoured the Faiths* - [all] those who followed him in the hour of distress, when the hearts of some of the other believers had well-nigh swerved from faith.* And once again:* He has turned unto them in His mercy - for, behold, He is compassionate towards them, a dispenser of grace.
And [He turned in His mercy, too,] towards the three [groups of believers] who had fallen prey to corruption,* until in the end-after the earth, despite all its vastness, had become [too] narrow for them and their souls had become [utterly] constricted they came to know with certainty that there is no refuge from God other than [a return] unto Him; and thereupon He turned again unto them in His mercy, so that they might repent: for, verily, God alone is an acceptor of repentance, a dispenser of grace.*
INDEED, there has come unto you [O mankind] an Apostle from among yourselves:* heavily weighs -upon him [the thought] that you might suffer [in the life to come]; full of concern for you [is he, and] full of compassion and mercy towards the believers.
But if those [who are bent on denying the truth] turn away, say: "God is enough for me! There is no- deity save Him. In Him have I placed my trust, for He is the Sustainer, in awesome almightiness enthroned."*
VERILY, your Sustainer is God, who has created the heavens and the earth in six aeons, and is established on the throne of His almightiness,* governing all that exists. There is none that could intercede with Him unless He grants leave therefor.* Thus is God, your Sustainer: worship, therefore, Him [alone]: will you not, then, keep this in mind?
AND [thus it is:] whenever Our messages are conveyed unto them in all their clarity, those who do not believe that they are destined to meet Us [are wont to] say, "Bring us a discourse other than this, or alter this one."* Say [O Prophet]: "It is not conceivable that I should alter it of my own volition; I only follow what is revealed to me. Behold, I would dread, were I [thus] to rebel against my Sustainer, the suffering [which would befall me] on that ,awesome Day [of Judgment]!"
Say: "Had God willed it [otherwise], I would not have conveyed this [divine writ] unto you, nor would He have brought it to your knowledge. Indeed. a whole lifetime have I dwelt among you ere this [revelation came unto me]: will you not, then, use your reason ?"*
And who could be more wicked than they who attribute their own lying inventions to God or give the lie to His messages? Verily, those who are lost in sin will never attain to a happy state* -
NOW THEY [who deny the truth] are wont to ask, "Why has no miraculous sign ever been bestowed upon him from on high by his Sustainer?"* Say, then: "God's alone is the knowledge of that which. is beyond the reach of human perception.* Wait, then, [until His will becomes manifest:] verily, I shall wait with you!"
Yet as soon as He has saved them from this [danger], lo! they behave outrageously on earth, offending against all right !* O men! All your outrageous deeds are bound to fall back upon your own selves!* [You care only for] the enjoyment of life in this world: [but remember that] in the end unto Us you must return, whereupon We shall make you truly understand all that you were doing [in life].
The parable of the life of this world is but that of rain which We send down from the sky, and which is absorbed by the plants of the earth* whereof men and animals draw nourishment, until -when the earth has assumed its artful adornment and has been embellished, and they who dwell on it believe that they have gained mastery over it* -there comes down upon it Our judgment, by night or by day, and We cause it to become [like] a field mown down, as if there had been no yesterday.* Thus clearly do We spell out these messages unto people who think!
Thus is thy Sustainer's word proved true with regard to such as are bent on sinful doings: they will not believes*
And whether We show thee [in this world something of what We hold in store for those [deniers of the truth],* or whether We cause thee to die [before that retribution takes place - know that, in the end], it is unto Us that they must return; and God is witness to all that they do.*
Say: "Have you ever considered all the means of sustenance which God has bestowed upon you from on high* -and which you thereupon divide into 'things forbidden' and 'things lawful?* Say: "Has God given you leave [to do this] -or do you, perchance, attribute your own guesswork to God?"
But what do they think-they who attribute their own lying inventions to God-[what do they think will happen to them]. on the Day of Resurrection? Behold, God is indeed limitless in His bounty unto men -but most of them are ungrateful.
AND IN whatever condition thou mayest find thyself, [O Prophet,] and whatever discourse of this [divine writ]* thou mayest be reciting, and whatever work you [all, O men,] may do -[remember that] We are your witness* [from the moment] when you enter upon it: for, not even an atom's weight [of whatever there is] on earth or in heaven escapes thy Sustainer's knowledge; and neither is there anything smaller than that, or larger, but is recorded in [His] clear decree.
Oh, verily, they who are close to God* - no fear need they have, and neither shall they grieve:
[And yet] they assert, "God has taken unto Himself a son!" Limitless is He in His glory!* Self-sufficient is He: unto Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth! No evidence whatever have you for this [assertion]! Would you ascribe unto God something which you cannot know?
Say: "Verily, they who attribute their own lying inventions to God will never attain to a happy state!"
AND CONVEY unto them the story of Noah-when he said unto his people: "O my people! If my presence [among you] and my announcement of God's messages are repugnant to you* -well, in God have I placed my trust. Decide, then, upon what you are going to do [against me],* and [call to your aid] those beings to whom you ascribe a share in God's divinity;* and once you have chosen your course of action, let no hesitation deflect you from it;* and then carry out against me [whatever you may have decided], and give me no respite!
But if you turn away [from the message which I bear, remember that] I have asked no reward whatever of you: my reward rests with none but God, for I have been bidden to be among those who have surrendered themselves unto Him."
AND THEN, after him, We sent forth [other] apostles-each one unto his own people* -and they brought them all evidence of the truth; but they would not believe in anything to which they had once given the lie:* thus it is that We seal the hearts of such as [are wont to] transgress the bounds of what is right.*
[The great ones] replied: "Hast thou come to turn us away from what we found our forefathers believing in and doing, so that the two of you might become supreme in this land? However, we do not believe in you two!"*
But none save a few of his people declared their faith in Moses,* [while others held back] for fear of Pharaoh and their great ones, lest they persecute them:* for, verily, Pharaoh was mighty on earth and was, verily, of those who are given to excesses.
And Moses said: "O my people! If you believe in God, place your trust in Him -if you have [truly] surrendered yourselves unto Him!"
Whereupon they answered: "In God have we placed our trust! O our Sustainer, make us not a plaything* for evildoing folk,
And Moses prayed: "O our Sustainer! Verily, splendour and riches hast Thou vouchsafed, in the life of this world, unto Pharaoh and his great ones-with the result, O our Sustainer, that they are leading [others] astray from Thy path!* O our Sustainer! Wipe out their riches, and harden their hearts, so that they may not attain to faith ere they see the grievous suffering [that awaits them]!"
Verily, they against whom thy Sustainer's word [of judgment] has come true* will not attain to faith -
notwithstanding that no human being can ever attain to faith otherwise than by God's leave,* and [that] it is He who lays the loathsome evil [of disbelief] upon those who will not use -their reason?*
[For thus it always happens: We seal the doom of all who deny the truth and give the lie to Our messages;] and thereupon We save Our apostles and those who have attained to faith.* Thus have We willed it upon Ourselves: We save all who believe [in Us],*
SAY [O Prophet]: "O mankind! The truth from your Sustainer has now come unto you. Whoever, therefore, chooses to follow the right path, follows it but for his own good; and whoever chooses to go astray, goes but astray to his own hurt. And I am not responsible for your conduct."
Ask your Sustainer to forgive you your sins, and then turn towards Him in repentance - [whereupon] He will grant you a goodly enjoyment of life [in this world] until a term set [by Him is fulfilled];* and [in the life to come] He will bestow upon everyone possessed of merit [a full reward for] his merit.* But if you turn away, then, verily, I dread for you the suffering [which is bound to befall you] on that awesome Day*
Unto God you all must return: and He has the power to will anything."
And there is no living creature on earth but depends for its sustenance on God; and He knows its time-limit [on earth] and its resting-place [after death]:* all [this] is laid down in [His] clear decree.
And He it is who has created the heavens and the earth in six aeons; and [ever since He has willed to create life,] the throne of His almightiness has rested upon water.* [God reminds you of your dependence on Him] in order to test you [and thus to make manifest] which of you is best in conduct. For thus it is: if* thou sayest [unto men], "Behold, you shall be raised again after death!" - they who are bent on denying the truth are sure to answer, "This is clearly nothing but an enchanting delusion"*
IS IT, then, conceivable [O Prophet] that thou couldst omit any part of what is being revealed unto thee [because the deniers of the truth dislike it,-and] because thy heart is distressed at their saying,* "Why has not a treasure been bestowed upon him from on high?" -or, "[Why has not] an angel come [visibly:: with him ?"* [They fail to understand that] thou art only a warner, whereas God has everything in His care ;*
Can, then, [he who cares for no more than the life of this world be compared with* ] one who takes his stand on a clear evidence from his Sustainer, conveyed through [this] testimony from Him,* as was the revelation vouchsafed to Moses aforetime-[a divine writ ordained by Him] to be a guidance and grace [unto man]? They [who understand this message-it is they alone who truly] believe in it;* whereas for any of those who, leagued together [in common hostility],* deny its truth - the fire shall be their appointed state [in the life to come]. And so,* be not in doubt about this [revelation]: behold, it is the truth from thy Sustainer, even though* most people will not believe in it.
And who could be more wicked than they who attribute their own lying inventions to God?* [On the Day of Judgment, such as] these shall be arraigned before their Sustainer, and those who are called upon to bear witness [against them]* shall say, "It is they who uttered lies about their Sustainer!"* Oh, verily, God's rejection is the due of all evildoers*
that you may worship none but God-for, verily, I fear lest suffering befall you on a grievous Day!"*
But the great ones among his people, who refused to acknowledge the truth, answered: "We do not see in thee anything but a mortal man like ourselves; and we do not see that any follow thee save those who are quite obviously the most abject among us;* and we do not see that you could be in any way superior to us:* on the ,contrary, we think that you are liars!"
Said [Noah]: "O my people! What do you think? If [it be true that I am taking my stand on a clear evidence from my~ Sustainer, who has vouchsafed unto me grace from Himself - [a revelation] to which you have remained blind-: [if this be true,] can we force it on you even though it be hateful to you?*
"And, O my people, no benefit do I ask of you for this [message]: my reward rests with none but God. And I shall not repulse [any of] those who have attained to faith.* Verily, they [know that they] are destined to meet their Sustainer, whereas in you I see people without any awareness [of right and wrong]!
DO SOME, perchance, assert, "[Muhammad] has invented this [story]"?* Say [O Prophet]: "If I have invented it, upon me be this sin; but far be it from me to commit the sin of which you are guilty."*
And [so Noah] set himself to building the ark; and every time the great ones of his people passed by him, they scoffed at him. [Thereupon] he said: "If you are scoffing at us-behold, we are scoffing at you [and your ignorance], just as you are scoffing at us.*
But in time you will come to know who it is that [in this world] shall be visited by suffering which will cover him with ignominy, and upon whom long lasting suffering shall alight [in the life to come]!"
[And so it went on] till, when Our judgment came to pass, and waters gushed forth in torrents over the face of the earth,* We said [unto Noah]: "Place on board of this [ark] one pair of each [kind of animal] of either sex,* as well as thy family -except those on whom [Our] sentence has already been passed* -and all [others] who have attained to faith!"-for, only a few [of Noah's people] shared his faith.
And the word was spoken: "O earth, swallow up thy waters! And, O sky, cease [thy rain]!" And the waters sank into the earth, and the will [of God] was done, and the ark came to rest on Mount Judl* And the word was spoken: "Away with these evildoing folk!"
[Thereupon] the word was spoken: "O Noah! Disembark in peace from Us,* and with [Our] blessings upon thee as well as upon the people [who are with thee, and the righteous ones that will spring from thee and] from those who are with thee.* But [as for the unrighteous] folk [that will spring from you] - We shall allow them to enjoy life [for a little while], and then there will befall them grievous suffering from Us."
"O my people! No reward do I ask of you for this [message]: my reward rests with none but Him who brought me into being. Will you not, then, use your reason?
"Hence, O my people, ask your Sustainer to forgive you your sins, and then turn towards Him in repentance-[whereupon] He will shower upon you heavenly blessings abundant,* and will add strength to your strength: only do not turn away [from me] as people lost in sin!"
Behold, I have placed my trust in God, [who is] my Sustainer as well as your Sustainer: for there is no living creature which He does not hold by its forelock.* Verily, straight is my Sustainer's way!*
"But if you choose to turn away, then [know that] I have delivered to you the message with which I was sent unto you, and [that] my Sustainer may cause another people to take your place,* whereas you will in no wise harm Him. Verily, my Sustainer watches over all things!"
He retorted: "O my people! What do you think? If [it be true that] I am taking my stand on a cleat evidence from my Sustainer, who has vouchsafed unto me grace from Himself -[if this be true,] who would shield me from God were I to rebel against Him?* Hence, what you are offering me is no more than perdition!"*
Answered [the messengers]: "Dost thou deem it strange that God should decree what He wills?* The grace of God and His blessings be upon you, O people of this house! Verily, ever to be praised, sublime is He!"
And so, when Our judgment came to pass, We turned those [sinful towns] upside down, and rained down upon them stone-hard blows of chastisement pre-ordained.* one upon another,
AND UNTO [the people of] Madyan [We sent] their brother Shu'ayb.* He said: "O my people! Worship God [alone]: you have no deity other than Him; and do not give short measure and weight [in any of your dealings with men].* Behold, I see you [now] in a happy state; but, verily, I dread lest suffering befall you on a Day that will encompass [you with doom]!
That which rests with God* is best for you, if you but believe [in Him]! However, I am not your keeper."
He answered: "O my people! What do you think? If [it be true that] I am taking my stand on a clear evidence from my Sustainer, who has vouchsafed me goodly sustenance [as a gift] from Himself - [how could I speak to you otherwise than I do]?* And yet, I have no desire to do, out of opposition to you, what I am asking you not to do:* I desire no more than to set things to rights in so far as it lies within my power; but the achievement of my aim depends on God alone. In Him have I placed my trust, and unto Him do I always turn!
[But his people] said: "O Shu'ayb! We cannot grasp the purport of much of what thou sayest;* on the other hand, behold, we do see clearly how- weak thou art in our midst:"* and were it not for thy family, we would have most certainly stoned thee to death, considering that thou hast no power over us!"
Said he: "O my people! Do you hold my family in greater esteem than God? -for, Him you regard as something that may be cast behind you and be forgotten!* Verily, my Sustainer encompasses [with His might] all that you do!
Hence, O my people, do [to me] anything that may be within your power, [while] I, behold, shall labour [in God's way]; in time you will come to know which [of us] shall be visited by suffering that will cover him with ignominy, and which [of us] is a liar. Watch, then, [for what is coming:] behold, I shall watch with you!"
THIS ACCOUNT* of the [fate of those ancient] communities - some of them still remaining, and some [extinct like] a field mown-down - We convey unto thee [as a lesson for mankind]:*
AND [remember:] out of all the accounts relating to the [earlier] apostles We convey unto thee [only] that wherewith We [aim to] make firm thy heart:* for through these [accounts] comes the truth unto thee, as well as an admonition and a reminder unto all believers.
And say unto those who will not believe: "Do anything that may be within your power, [while] we, behold, shall labour [in God's way];
And God alone comprehends the hidden reality of the heavens and the earth:* for, all that exists goes back to Him [as its source]. Worship Him, then, and place thy trust in Him alone: for thy Sustainer is not unaware of what you do.
In the measure that We reveal* this Qur'an unto thee, [O Prophet,] We explain it to thee in the best possible way,* seeing that ere this thou wert indeed among those who are unaware [of what revelation is].*
[Jacob] replied: "O my dear son!* Do not relate thy dream to thy brothers lest [out of envy] they devise an evil scheme against thee; verily, Satan is man's open foe!*