And so, when they are about to reach the end of their waiting-term, either retain them in a fair manner or part with them in a fair manner. And let two persons of [known] probity from among your own community* witness [what you have decided]; and do yourselves bear true witness before God:* thus are admonished all who believe in God and the Last Day. And unto everyone who is conscious of God, He [always] grants a way out [of unhappiness],
thus separating [right and wrong] with all clarity,*
Thereupon We inspired Moses thus: Strike the sea with thy staff!"- whereupon it parted, and each part appeared like a mountain vast.*
With all this, it is not desirable that all of the believers take the field [in time of war]. From within every group in their midst, some shall refrain from going forth to war, and shall devote themselves [instead] to acquiring a deeper knowledge of the Faith. and [thus be able to] teach their home-coming brethren, so that these [too] might guard themselves against evil.*
And he added: "O my sons! Do not enter [the city all] by one gate, but enter by different gates.* Yet [even so,] I can be of no avail whatever to you against [anything that may be willed by] God: judgment [as to what is to happen] rests with none but God. In Him have I placed my trust: for, all who have trust [in His existence] must place their trust in Him alone."
"O my companions in imprisonment! Which is more reasonable:* [belief in the existence of numerous divine] lords, each of them different from the other"* -or [in] the One God, who holds absolute sway over all that exists?
AND [there are hypocrites] who have established a [separate] house of worship in order to create mischief, and to promote apostasy and disunity among the believers, and to provide an outpost for all who from the outset have been warring against God and His Apostle.* And they will surely swear [to you, O believers], "We had but the best of intentions!" -the while God [Himself] bears witness that they are lying.*
[The sage] replied: "This is the parting of ways between me and thee. [And now] I shall let thee know the real meaning of all [those events] that thou wert unable to bear with patience:,
the while he [himself] knows that this is the parting,
and when We cleft the sea before you, and thus saved you and caused Pharaoh's people to drown before your very eyes;
Prayed [Moses]: "O my Sustainer! Of none am I master but of myself and my brother [Aaron]: draw Thou, then, a dividing-line between us and these iniquitous folk!"
And they swear by God that they do indeed belong to you -the while they do not belong to you, but are [only] people ridden by fear:
[bearing] a discourse which We have gradually unfolded,* so that thou might read it out to mankind by stages, seeing that We have bestowed it from on high step by step, as [one] revelation.*
On that [night] was made clear, in wisdom, the distinction between all things [good and evil]*
And [remember the time] when We vouchsafed unto Moses the divine writ-and [thus] a standard by which to discern the true from the false* -so that you might be guided aright;
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].
aforetime, as a guidance unto mankind, and it is He who has bestowed [upon man] the standard by which to discern the true from the false.* Behold, as for those who are bent on denying God's messages - grievous suffering awaits them: for God is almighty, an avenger of evil.
O you who have attained to faith! If you remain conscious of God. He will endow you with a standard by which to discern the true from the false,* and will efface your bad deeds, and will forgive you your sins: for God is limitless in His great bounty.
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, INDEED, We vouchsafed unto Moses and Aaron [Our revelation as] the standard by which to discern the true from the false,* and as a [guiding] light and a reminder for the God-conscious
Hallowed is He who from on high, step by step, has bestowed upon His servant the standard by which to discern the true from the false,* so that to all the world it might be a warning:
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,
And be not like those who have drawn apart from one another and have taken to conflicting views after all evidence of the truth has come unto them:* for these it is for whom tremendous suffering is in store
And if husband and wife* do separate, God shall provide for each of them out of His abundance: for God is indeed infinite, wise,
And [know] that this is the way leading straight unto Me: follow it, then, and follow not other ways, lest they cause you to deviate* from His way. [All] this has He enjoined upon you, so that you might remain conscious of Him.
And when the Last Hour dawns - on that Day will all [men] be sorted out:
In matters of faith,* He has ordained for you that which He had enjoined upon Noah - and into which We gave thee [O Muhammad] insight through revelation* as well as that which We had enjoined upon Abraham, and Moses, and Jesus: Steadfastly uphold the [true] faith, and do not break up your unity therein.* [And even though] that [unity of faith] to which thou callest them appears oppressive to those who are wont to ascribe to other beings or forces a share in His divinity, God draws unto Himself everyone who is willing, and guides unto Himself everyone who turns unto Him.
And [as for the followers of earlier revelation,] they broke up their unity, out of mutual jealousy, only after they had come to know [the truth].* And had it not been for a decree that had already gone forth from thy Sustainer, [postponing all decision] until a term set [by Him], all would indeed have been decided between them [from the outset].* As it is, behold, they who have inherited their divine writ from those who preceded them* are [now] in grave doubt, amounting to suspicion, about what it portends.*
Now those who have been vouchsafed revelation aforetime* did break up their unity [of faith] after such an evidence of the truth had come to them.*
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!
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 to Moses and Jesus; and that which has been vouchsafed to all the [other] prophets by their Sustainer: we make no distinction between any of them.* And it is unto Him that we surrender ourselves."
THE APOSTLE, and the believers with him, believe in what has been bestowed upon him from on high by his Sustainer: they all believe in God, and His angels, and His revelations, and His apostles, making no distinction between any of His apostles;* and they say: We have heard, and we pay heed. Grant us Thy forgiveness, O our Sustainer, for with Thee is all journeys' end!
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."
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 -
But as for those who believe in God and His apostles and make no distinction between any of them** - unto them, in time, will He grant their rewards [in full]. And God is indeed much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
VERILY, as for those who have broken the unity of their faith and have become sects - thou hast nothing to do with them.* Behold, their case rests with God: and in time He will make them understand what they were doing.
Answered [Aaron]: "O my mother's son! Seize me not by my beard, nor by my head!* Behold, I was afraid lest [on thy return] thou say, 'Thou hast caused a split among the children of Israel, and hast paid no heed to my bidding!"*
[or] among those who have broken the unity of their faith and have become sects, each group delighting in but what they themselves hold [by way of tenets].*
CAN YOU, then, hope that they will believe in what you are preaching* - seeing that a good many of them were wont to listen to the word of God and then, after having understood it, to pervert it knowingly?*
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.
For, indeed, We vouchsafed unto Moses the divine writ and caused apostle after apostle to follow him;* and We vouchsafed unto Jesus, the son of Mary, all evidence of the truth, and strengthened him with holy inspiration.* [Yet] is it not so that every time an apostle came unto you with something that was not to your liking, you gloried in your arrogance, and to some of them you gave the lie, while others you would slay?*
Is it not so that every time they made a promise [unto God], some of them cast it aside? Nay, indeed: most of them do not believe.
And [even now,] when there has come unto them an apostle from God, confirming the truth already in their possession, some of those who were granted revelation aforetime cast the divine writ behind their backs as though unaware [of what it says],*
They unto whom We have vouchsafed revelation aforetime know it as they know their own children: but, behold, some of them knowingly suppress the truth -
AND DEVOUR NOT one another's possessions wrongfully, and neither employ legal artifices* with a view to devouring sinfully, and knowingly, anything that by right belongs to others.*
Art thou not aware of those who have been granted their share of revelation [aforetime]? They have been called upon to let God's writ be their law* - and yet some of them turn away [from it] in their obstinacy,
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].*
O you who have attained to faith! If you pay heed to some of those to whom revelation was vouchsafed aforetime, they might cause you to renounce the truth after you have come to believe [in it].
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.
INDEED, We accepted a solemn pledge from the children of Israel, and We sent apostles unto them; [but] every time an apostle came unto them with anything that was not to their liking, [they rebelled:] to some of them they gave the lie, while others they would slay,*
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]?
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!"
EVEN AS thy Sustainer brought thee forth from thy home [to fight] in the cause of the truth, although some of the believers were averse to it,
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.
These two kinds of man* may be likened to the blind and deaf and the seeing and hearing. Can these two be deemed alike in [their] nature?* ` Will you not, then, keep this in mind?
yet as soon as He has removed the harm from you, lo! some of you [begin to] ascribe to other powers a share 'in their Sustainer's divinity*
AS IT IS, whenever Our messages are conveyed to them in all their clarity, those who are bent on denying the truth are wont to say unto those who have attained to faith: "Which of the two kinds of man* is in a stronger position and superior as a community?"*
Behold, there were among My servants such as would pray, 'O our Sustainer! We have come to believe [in Thee]; forgive, then, our sins and bestow Thy mercy on us: for Thou art the truest bestower of mercy!'*
For, [many are] they [who] say, We believe in God and in the Apostle, and we pay heed!" - but then, some of them turn away after this [assertion]: and these are by no means [true] believers.
And [so it is that] whenever they are summoned unto God and His Apostle in order that [the divine writ] might judge between them,* lo! some of them turn away;
AND [likewise], indeed, We sent unto [the tribe of] Thamud their brother Salih [with this message]: Worship God alone!"* and, behold, they were [split into] two factions contending with one another.
NOW [thus it is:] when affliction befalls men, they cry out unto their Sustainer, turning unto Him [for help]; but as soon as He lets them taste of His grace, lo! some of them [begin to] ascribe to other powers a share in their Sustainer's divinity,*
and when some of them said, O you people of Yathrib! You cannot withstand [the enemy] here:* hence, go back [to your homes]!" Whereupon a party from among them asked leave of the Prophet, saying, Behold, our houses are exposed [to attack]!" The while they were not [really] exposed: they wanted nothing but to flee.
and He brought down from their strongholds those of the followers of earlier revelation who had aided the aggressors,* and cast terror into their hearts: some you slew, and some you made captive;
Now, indeed, Iblis did prove that his opinion of them had been right:* for [when he called them,] they followed him - all but some of the believers [among them].
[Thou art but entrusted with Our message:] and so We have revealed unto thee a discourse in the Arabic tongue* in order that thou mayest warn the foremost of all cities and all who dwell around it* to wit, warn [them] of the Day of the Gathering, [the coming of] which is beyond all doubt: [the Day when] some shall find themselves in paradise, and some in the blazing flame.