Behold, God does not disdain to propound a parable of a gnat, or of something [even] less than that.* Now, as for those who have attained to faith, they know that it is the truth from their Sustainer - whereas those who are bent on denying the truth say, "What could God mean by this parable?" In this way does He cause many a one to go astray, just as He guides many a one aright: but none does He cause thereby to go astray save the iniquitous,
But Satan caused them both to stumble therein, and thus brought about the loss of their erstwhile state.* And so We said: "Down with you, [and be henceforth] enemies unto one another; and on earth you shall have your abode and your livelihood for a while !"*
We said: "Apply this [principle] to some of those [cases of unresolved murder]:* in this way God saves lives from death and shows you His will, so that you might [learn to] use your reason."*
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 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 yet, even if thou wert to place all evidence* before those who have been vouchsafed earlier revelation, they would not follow thy direction of prayer; and neither mayest thou follow their direction of prayer, nor even do they follow one another's direction. And if thou shouldst follow their errant views after all the knowledge that has come unto thee thou wouldst surely be among the evildoers.
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.
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 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.
in one line of descent.* And God was all-hearing, all-knowing*
"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.
Say: "O followers of earlier revelation! Come unto that tenet which we and you hold in common:* that we shall worship none but God, and that we shall not ascribe divinity to aught beside Him, and that we shall not take human beings for our lords beside God."* And if they turn away, then say: "Bear witness that it is we who have surrendered ourselves unto Him."
Behold, as for those of you who turned away [from their duty] on the day when the two hosts met in battle - Satan caused them to stumble only by means of something that they [themselves] had done.* But now God has effaced this sin of theirs: verily, God is much-forgiving, forbearing.
And thus does their Sustainer answer their prayer: "I shall not lose sight of the labour of any of you who labours [in My way], be it man or woman: each of you is an issue of the other.* Hence, as for those who forsake the domain of evil,* and are driven from their homelands, and suffer hurt in My cause, and fight [for it], and are slain - I shall most certainly efface their bad deeds, and shall most certainly bring them into gardens through which running waters flow, as a reward from God: for with God is the most beauteous of rewards."
O YOU who have attained to faith! It is not lawful for you to [try to] become heirs to your wives [by holding onto them] against their will;* and neither shall you keep them under constraint with a view to taking away anything of what you may have given them, unless it be that they have become guilty, in an obvious manner, of immoral conduct.* And consort with your wives* in a goodly manner; for if you dislike them, it may well be that you dislike something which God might yet make a source of* abundant good.
And how could you take it away after you have given yourselves to one another, and she has* received a most solemn pledge from you?
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.
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.
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!
VERILY, those who deny God and His apostles by endeavouring to make a distinction between [belief in] God and [belief in] His apostles, and who say, "We believe in the one but we deny the other,"* and want to pursue a path in-between -
Hence, judge between the followers of earlier revelation* in accordance with what God has bestowed from on high, and do not follow their errant views; and beware of them, lest they tempt thee away from aught that God has bestowed from on high upon thee. And if they turn away [from His commandments], then know that it is but God's will [thus] to afflict them for some of their sins:* for, behold, a great many people are iniquitous indeed.
O YOU who have attained to faith! Do not take the Jews and the Christians for your allies: they are but allies of one another* and whoever of you allies himself with them becomes, verily, one of them; behold, God does not guide such 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]?
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 THUS it is that against every prophet We have set up as enemies the evil forces from among humans as well as from among invisible beings that whisper unto one another glittering half-truths meant to delude the mind* But they could not do this unless thy Sustainer had so willed: stand, therefore, aloof from them and from all their false imagery!
AND ON THE DAY when He shall gather them [all] together, [He will say:] "O you who have lived in close communion with [evil] invisible beings! A great many [other] human beings have you ensnared!* And those of the humans who were close to them* will say: "O our Sustainer! We did enjoy one another's fellowship [in life]; but (now that] we have reached the end of our term-the term which Thou hast laid down for us - (we see the error of our ways]!" [But] He will say: "The fire shall be your abode, therein to abide-unless God wills it otherwise."* Verily, thy Sustainer is wise, all-knowing.
And in this manner do We cause evildoers to seduce one another* by means of their (evil] doings.
Do they, perchance, wait for the angels to appear unto them, or for thy Sustainer [Himself] to appear, or for some of thy Sustainer's [final] portents to appear?* [But] on the Day when thy Sustainer's [final] portents do appear, believing will be of no avail to any human being who did not believe before, or who, while believing, did no good works.* Say: "Wait, [then, for the Last Day, O unbelievers:] behold, we [believers] are waiting, too!"
For, He it is who has made you inherit the earth,* and has raised some of you by degrees above others, so that He might try you by means of what He has bestowed upon you.* Verily, thy Sustainer is swift in retribution: yet, behold, He is indeed much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
Said He: "Down with you,* [and be henceforth] enemies unto one another, having on earth your abode and livelihood for a while:
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!
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.
With all this, [remember that] those who are bent on denying the truth are allies of one another;* and unless you act likewise [among yourselves], oppression will reign on earth, and great corruption.
And as for those who henceforth come to believe,* and who forsake the domain of evil and strive hard [in God's cause] together with you - these [too] shall belong to you;* and they who are [thus] closely related have the highest claim on one another in [accordance with] God's decree.* Verily, God has full knowledge of everything.
The hypocrites, both men and women. are all of a kind: they enjoin the doing of what is wrong and forbid the doing of what is right* and withhold their hands [from doing good]. They are oblivious of God, and so He is oblivious of them. Verily, the hypocrites-it is they, they who are truly iniquitously*
AND [as for] the believers, both men and women they are close unto one another:* they [all] enjoin the doing of what is right and forbid the doing of what is wrong, and are constant in prayer, and render the purifying dues, and pay heed unto God and His Apostle. It is they upon whom God will bestow His grace: verily, God is almighty, wise!
and whenever a surah is bestowed from on high, they look at one another [and say, as it were], "Is there anyone who can see what is in your hearts?"* -and then they turn away. God has turned their hearts away [from the truth] - for they are people who will not grasp it.*
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.*
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 ;*
We can say no more than that one of our gods may have smitten thee with something evil!"* Answered [Hud]: "Behold, I call God to witness - and you, too, be [my] witnesses - that, verily, it is not in me to ascribe divinity, as you do,* to aught
Another of them said: "Do not slay Joseph, but -rather - if you must do something - cast him into the dark depths of this well, [whence] some caravan may pick him up."*
And there are on earth [many] tracts of land close by one another [and yet widely differing from one another* ]; and [there are on it] vinyards, and fields of grain, and date-palms growing in clusters from one root or standing alone,* [all] watered with the same water: and yet, some of them have We favoured above others by way of the food [which they provide for man and beast].* Verily, in all this there are messages indeed for people who use their reason!
Hence, they unto whom We have vouchsafed this revelation* rejoice at all that has been bestowed upon thee [O Prophet] from on high;* but among the followers of other creeds there are such as deny the validity of some of it.* Say [unto them, O Prophet]: "I have only been bidden to worship God, and not to ascribe divine. powers to aught beside Him :* unto Him do I call [all mankind], and He is my goal!"
BUT WHETHER We let thee see [in thy lifetime, O Prophet, the fulfilment of] some of what We have promised them,* or whether We cause thee to die [before its fulfilment] - thy duty is no more than to deliver the message; and the reckoning is Ours.
And on some of you God has bestowed more abundant means of sustenance than on others: and yet, they who are more abundantly favoured are [often] unwilling to share their sustenance with those whom their right hands possess, so that they [all] might be equal in this respect.* Will they, then, God's blessings [thus] deny?
Behold how We bestow [on earth) more bounty on some of them than on others: but [remember that] the life to come will be far higher in degree and far greater in merit and bounty.*
seeing that thy Sustainer is fully aware of [what is in the minds of] all beings that are in the heavens and on earth. But, indeed, We did endow some of the prophets more highly than others* -just as We bestowed upon David a book of divine wisdom [in token of Our grace]*
Say: "If all mankind and all invisible beings* would come together with a view to producing the like of this Qur'an, they could not produce its like even though they were to exert all their strength in aiding one another!"
And so, [in the course of time,] We awakened them;* and they began to ask one another [as to what had happened to them].* One of them asked: "How long have you remained thus?" [The others] answered: "We have remained thus a day, or part of a day."* Said they [who were endowed with deeper insight]: "Your Sustainer knows best how long you have thus remained.* Let, then, one of you go with these silver coins to the town, and let him find out what food is purest there, and bring you thereof [some] provisions. But let him behave with great care and by no means make anyone aware of you:
AND ON that Day"* We shall [call forth all mankind and] leave them to surge like waves [that dash] against one another; and the trumpet [of judgment] will be blown, and We shall gather them all together.
saying: "Down with you all* from this [state of innocence, and be henceforth] enemies unto one another! None the less, there shall most certainly come unto you guidance from Me: and he who follows My guidance will not go astray, and neither will he be unhappy.
those who have been driven from their homelands against all right for no other reason than their saying. Our Sustainer is God!" For, if God had not enabled people to defend themselves against one another,* all] monasteries and churches and synagogues and mosques - in [all of] which Gods name is abundantly extolled - would surely have been destroyed [ere now].* And God will most certainly succour him who succours His cause: for, verily, God is most powerful, almighty,
And We sent forth Our apostles, one after another: [and] every time their apostle came to a community, they gave him the lie: and so We caused them to follow one another [into the grave], and let them become [mere] tales: and so - away with the folk who would not believe!
Never did God take unto Himself any offspring,* nor has there ever been any deity side by side with Him: [for, had there been any,] lo! each deity would surely have stood apart [from the others] in whatever it had created,* and they would surely have [tried to] overcome one another! Limitless in His glory is God, [far] above anything that men may devise by way of definition,*
They will answer: 'We have spent there a day, or part of a day; but ask those who [are able to] count [time]
Or [else, their deeds are]* like the depths of darkness upon an abysmal sea, made yet more dark by wave billowing over wave, with [black] clouds above it all: depths of darkness, layer upon layer,* [so that] when one holds up his hand, he can hardly see it: for he to whom God gives no light, no light whatever has he!
O YOU who have attained to faith!* At three times [of day], let [even] those whom you rightfully possess,* as well as those from among you who have not yet attained to puberty,* ask leave of you [before intruding upon your privacy]: before the prayer of daybreak, and whenever you lay aside your garments in the middle of the day, and after the prayer of nightfall:* the three occasions on which your nakedness is likely to be bared.* Beyond these [occasions], neither you nor they will incur any sin if they move [freely] about you, attending to [the needs of] one another. In this way God makes clear unto you His messages: for God is all-knowing, wise!
[TRUE BELIEVERS are only they who have attained to faith in God and His Apostle, and who, whenever they are [engaged] with him upon a matter of concern to the whole community* do not depart [from whatever has been decided upon] unless they have sought [and obtained] his leave.* Verily, those who [do not abstain from the agreed upon action unless they] ask leave of thee - it is [only] they who [truly] believe in God and His Apostle! Hence, when they ask leave of thee for some [valid] reason of their own, grant thou this leave to whomsoever of them thou choose [to grant it],* and ask God to forgive them: for, behold, God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace!*
DO NOT regard the Apostles summons to you* [in the same light] as a summons of one of you to another: God is indeed aware of those of you who would withdraw surreptitiously: so let those who would go against His bidding beware, lest a [bitter] trial befall them [in this world] or grievous suffering befall them [in the life to come].
AND [even] before thee, [O Muhammad,] We never sent as Our message-bearers any but [mortal men] who indeed ate food [like other human beings] and went about in the market places: for [it is thus that] We cause you [human beings] to be a means of testing one another.* Are you* able to endure [this test] with patience? For [remember, O man,] thy Sustainer is truly all-seeing!
But [even] had We bestowed it from on high upon any of the non-Arabs,
say thou: It may well be that something of that which [in your ignorance] you so hastily demands* has already drawn close unto you."
And [Abraham] said: You have chosen to worship idols instead of God for no other reason than to have a bond of love* in the life of this world, between yourselves [and your forebears]:* but then, on Resurrection Day, you shall disown one another and curse one another - for the goal of you all will be the fire, and you will have none to succour you.
[Since they have become oblivious of God,] corruption has appeared on land and in the sea as an outcome of what men's hands have wrought: and so* He will let them taste [the evil of] some of their doings, so that they might return [to the right path].*
The Prophet has a higher claim on the believers than [they have on] their own selves, [seeing that he is as a father to them] and his wives are their mothers:* and they who are [thus] closely related have, in accordance with God's decree, a higher claim upon one another than [was even the case between] the believers [of Yathrib] and those who had migrated [there for the sake of God].* None the less, you are to act with utmost goodness towards your [other] close friends as well:* this [too] is written down in God's decree.
And [yet,] those who are bent on denying the truth do say, We shall never believe in this Qur'an, and neither in whatever there still remains of earlier revelations!"* But if thou couldst only see [how it will be on Judgment Day,] when these evildoers shall be made to stand before their Sustainer, hurling reproaches back and forth at one another! Those [of them] who had been weak [on earth] will say unto those who had gloried in their arrogance:* Had it not been for you, we would certainly have been believers!"
And [on that Day God will say]: None of you [created beings] has today any power to benefit or to harm another!" And [then] We shall say unto those who had been bent on evildoing: Taste [now] that suffering through fire which you were wont to call a lie!"
Say: Have you ever [really] considered those beings and forces to whom you ascribe a share in God's divinity,* [and] whom you invoke beside God? Show me what it is that they have created on earth - or do [you claim that] they have a share in [governing] the heavens?" Have We ever vouchsafed them* a divine writ on which they could rely as evidence [in support of their views]?* Nay, [the hope which] the evildoers hold out to one another [is] nothing but a delusion.*
but [since it will be too late,] they will turn upon one another, demanding of each other [to relieve them of the burden of their past sins].*
And they will all turn to one another, asking each other [about their past lives].*
As they came upon David, and he shrank back in fear from them, they said: Fear not! [We are but] two litigants. One of us has wronged the other: so judge thou between us with justice, and deviate not from what is right, and show [both of] us the way to rectitude.
Said [David]: He has certainly wronged thee by demanding that thy ewe be added to his ewes! Thus, behold, do many kinsmen wrong one another* [all] save those who believe [in God] and do righteous deeds: but how few are they!" And [suddenly] David understood that We had tried him:* and so he asked his Sustainer to forgive him his sin, and fell down in prostration, and turned unto Him in repentance.
At that, a believing man of Pharaoh's family, who [until then] had concealed his faith, exclaimed:* Would you slay a man because he says, 'God is my Sustainer' - seeing, withal, that he has brought you all evidence of this truth from your Sustainer? Now if he be a liar, his lie will fall back on him; but if he is a man of truth, something [of the punishment] whereof he warns you is bound to befall you: for, verily, God would not grace with His guidance one who has wasted his own self by lying [about Him].*
HENCE, remain thou patient in adversity - for, verily, God's promise always comes true. 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 [ere that retribution takes place - know that, in the end], it is unto Us that they will be brought back.*
But is it they who distribute thy Sustainer's grace? [Nay, as] it is We who distribute their means of livelihood among them in the life of this world, and raise some of them by degrees above others, to the end that they might avail themselves of one another's help - [so, too, it is We who bestow gifts of the spirit upon whomever We will]: and this thy Sustainer's grace is better than all [the worldly wealth] that they may amass.
NOW WHEN Jesus came [to his people] with all evidence of the truth, he said: I have now come unto you with wisdom,* and to make clear Unto you some of that on which you are at variance:* hence, be conscious of God, and pay heed unto me.
On that Day, [erstwhile] friends will be foes unto one another* - [all] save the God-conscious.
Behold, they could never be of any avail to thee if thou wert to defy the will of God* for, verily, such evildoers are but friends and protectors of one another, whereas God is the Protector of all who are conscious of Him.
NOW WHEN you meet [in war] those who are bent on denying the truth,* smite their necks until you overcome them fully, and then tighten their bonds;* but thereafter [set them free,] either by an act of grace or against ransom, so that the burden of war may be lifted:* thus [shall it be]. And [know that] had God so willed, He could indeed punish them [Himself]; but [He wills you to struggle] so as to test you [all] by means of one another.* And as for those who are slain in God's cause, never will He let their deeds go to waste:
[they do turn their backs on it] inasmuch as* they are wont to say unto those who abhor all that God has revealed, We will comply with your views on some points."* But God knows their secret thoughts:
O you who have attained to faith! Do not raise your voices above the voice of the Prophet,* and neither speak loudly to him, as you would speak loudly to one another,* lest all your [good] deeds come to nought without your perceiving it.
O you who have attained to faith! Avoid most guesswork [about one another]* for, behold, some of [such] guesswork is [in itself] a sin; and do not spy upon one another, and neither allow yourselves to speak ill of one another behind your backs. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Nay, you would loathe it! And be conscious of God. Verily, God is an acceptor of repentance, a dispenser of grace!
And they [who are thus blest] will turn to one another, asking each other [about their past lives].*
And lo!* [It so happened that] the Prophet told something in confidence to one of his wives; and when she thereupon divulged it, and God made this known to him, he acquainted [others] with some of it and passed over some of it.* And as soon as he let her know it, she asked, "Who has told thee this?"* - [to which] he replied, "The All-Knowing, the All-Aware has told me."
- and then they turned upon one another with mutual reproaches.
Now if he [whom We have entrusted with it] had dared to attribute some [of his own] sayings unto Us,