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!"
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!"
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 had it been Our will [that they should not be free to choose between right and wrong], We could surely have given them a different nature* [and created them as beings rooted] in their places, so that they would not be able to move forward, and could not turn back.]*
Say: O my [truth-denying] people! Do yet all that may be within your power, [whereas] I, behold, shall labour [in God's way]: in time you will come to know
But if you desire to give up a wife and to take another in her stead, do not take away anything of what you have given the first one, however much it may have been.* Would you, perchance, take it away by slandering her and thus committing a manifest sin?*
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]."*
then We transformed the affliction into ease of life,* so that they throve and said [to themselves], "Misfortune and hardship befell our forefathers as well* -whereupon We took them to task, all of a sudden, without their being aware [of what was coming].*
And when Moses came [to Mount Sinai] at the time set by Us, and his Sustainer spoke unto him, he said: "O my Sustainer! Show [Thyself] unto me, so that I might behold Thee!" Said [God]: "Never canst thou see Me. However, behold this mountain: if it remains firm in its place, then - only then - wilt thou see Me.* And as soon as his Sustainer revealed His glory to the mountain, He caused it to crumble to dust; and Moses fell down in a swoon. And when he came to himself, he said: "Limitless art Thou in Thy glory! Unto Thee do I turn in repentance; and I shall [always] be the first to believe in Thee!"*
He it is who enables you to travel on land and sea. And [behold what happens] when you go to sea in ships:* [they go to sea in ships,] and they sail on in them in a favourable wind, and they rejoice thereat until there comes upon them a tempest, and waves surge towards them from all sides, so that they believe themselves to be encompassed [by death; and then] they call unto God, [at that moment] sincere in their faith in Him alone, "If Thou wilt but save us from this, we shall most certainly be among the grateful!"
For, one Day We shall gather them all together, and then We shall say unto those who [in their lifetime] ascribed divinity to aught but God, "Stand where you are, you and those [beings and powers] to whom you were wont to ascribe a share in God's divinity!* -for by then We shall have [visibly] separated them from one another .* And the beings to whom they had ascribed a share in God's divinity will say [to those who had worshipped them], "It was not us that you were wont to worship;*
[As soon as the cup came to light out of Benjamin's bag, the brothers] exclaimed: "If he has stolen-well, a brother of his used to steal afore-time !"* Thereupon Joseph said to himself, without revealing his thought to them:* "You are far worse in this respect, and God is fully aware of what you are saying.*
They said: "O thou great one! Behold, he has a father, a very old man: detain, therefore, one of us in his stead. Verily, we see that thou art a doer of good!"
gulping it [unceasingly,] little by little, and yet hardly able to swallow it.* And death will beset him from every quarter - but he shall not die: for [yet more] severe suffering lies ahead of him.
And now that We replace one message by another* -since God is fully aware of what He bestows from on high, step by step* - they [who deny the truth] are wont to say, "Thou but inventest it!" Nay, but most of them do not understand it!*
AND GOD propounds [to you] a parable: [Imagine] a town which was [once] secure and at ease, with its sustenance coming to it abundantly from all quarters, and which thereupon blasphemously refused to show gratitude for God's blessings: and therefore God caused it to taste the all-embracing misery* of hunger and fear in result of all [the evil] that its people had so persistently wrought.*
AND CALL to mind, through this divine writ,* Mary. Lo! She withdrew from her family to an eastern place
and in time she conceived him, and then she withdrew with him to a far-off place.
whom We exalted onto a lofty station.*
Say: "As for him who lives in error, may the Most Gracious lengthen the span of his life!* [And let them say whatever they say* until the time when they behold that [doom] of which they were forewarned-whether it be suffering [in this world] or [at the coming of] the Last Hour -: for then they will understand which [of the two kinds of man] was worse in station and weaker in resources!*
In that case, we shall most certainly produce before thee the like thereof! Appoint, then, a tryst between us and thee - which we shall not fail to keep, nor [mayest] thou -at a suitable place!"
For, when We assigned unto Abraham the site of this Temple,* [We said unto him:] Do not ascribe divinity to aught beside Me!"* and: Purify My Temple for those who will walk around it,* and those who will stand before it [in meditation], and those who will bow down and prostrate themselves [in prayer]."
[inclining] towards God, [and] turning away from all that is false,* without ascribing divine qualities to aught beside Him: for he who ascribes divinity to aught but God is like one who is hurtling down from the skies - whereupon the birds carry him off, or the wind blows him away onto a far-off place.
when it shall face them from afar, they will hear its angry roar and its hiss;*
and when they are flung, linked [all] together, into a tight space within, they will pray for extinction there and then!*
[And so, tell those who are bent on denying the truth that] they who shall be gathered unto hell upon their faces * it is they who [in the life to come] will be worst in station and still farther astray from the path [of truth]!*
And on the morrow, those who but yesterday had longed to be in his place exclaimed: Alas [for our not having been aware] that it is indeed God [alone] who grants abundant sustenance, or gives it in scant measure, unto whichever He wills of His creatures! Had not God been gracious to us, He might have caused [the earth] to swallow us, too! Alas [for our having forgotten] that those who deny the truth can never attain to a happy state!"
IF THOU couldst but see [how the deniers of the truth will fare on Resurrection Day,] when they will shrink in terror, with nowhere to escape - since they will have been seized from so close nearby*
and will cry, We do [now] believe in it!" But how can they [hope to] attain [to salvation] from so far away,*
seeing that aforetime they had been bent on denying the truth, and had been wont to cast scorn, from far away, on something that was beyond the reach of human perception?*
Now if We had willed this [divine writ] to be a discourse in a non-Arabic tongue, they [who now reject it] would surely have said, Why is it that its messages have not been spelled out clearly?* Why - [a message in] a non-Arabic tongue, and [its bearer] an Arab?" Say: Unto all who have attained to faith, this [divine writ] is a guidance and a source of health; but as for those who will not believe - in their ears is deafness, and so it remains obscure to them: they are [like people who are] being called from too far away.*
And [always] listen for the day when He who issues the call [of death] shall call [thee] from close-by;*
In their hearts is disease, and so God lets their disease increase; and grievous suffering awaits them because of their persistent lying.*
[for] it is they who have taken error in exchange for guidance; and neither has their bargain brought them gain, nor have they found guidance [elsewhere].
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!
How can you refuse to acknowledge God, seeing that you were lifeless and He gave you life, and that He will cause you to die and then will bring you again to life, whereupon unto Him you will be brought back?
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."*
Said He: "O Adam, convey unto them the names of these [things]." And as soon as [Adam] had conveyed unto them their names, [God] said: "Did I not say unto you, `Verily, I alone know the hidden reality of the heavens and the earth, and know all that you bring into the open and all. that you would conceal'?"
And when We told the angels, "Prostrate yourselves before Adam!"* -they all prostrated themselves, save Iblis, who refused and gloried in his arrogance: and thus he became one of those who deny the truth.*
And We said: "O Adam, dwell thou and thy wife in this garden,* and eat freely thereof, both of you, whatever you may wish; but do not approach this one tree, lest you become wrongdoers."*
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 !"*
Believe in that which I have [now] bestowed from on high, confirming the truth already in your possession, and be not foremost among those who deny its truth; and do not barter away My messages for a trifling gain;* and of Me, of Me be conscious
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.*
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;
for you are well aware of those from among you who profaned the Sabbath, whereupon We said unto them, "Be as apes despicable!"
AND LO! Moses said unto his people: "Behold, God bids you to sacrifice a cow."* They said: "Dost thou mock at us?" He answered: "I seek refuge with God against being so ignorant!"*
For, O children of Israel, because you had slain a human being and then cast the blame for this [crime] upon one another -although God will bring to light what you would conceals*
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 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.
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, lo, We accepted your solemn pledge, raising Mount Sinai high above you, [saying,] "Hold fast with [all your] strength unto what We have vouchsafed you, and hearken unto it!" [But] they say, "We have heard, but we disobey"* - for their hearts are filled to overflowing with love of the [golden] calf because of their refusal to acknowledge the truth.* Say: "Vile is what this [false] belief of yours enjoins upon you-if indeed you are believers!"
Say: "If an afterlife with God is to be for you alone, to the exclusion of all other people,* then. you should long for death-if what you say is true!"
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-:
"whosover is an enemy of God and His angels and His message-bearers, including Gabriel and Michael, [should know that,] verily, God is the enemy of all who deny the truth."*
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!
And had they but believed and been conscious of Him, reward from God would indeed have brought them good-had they but known it!
AND THEY claim,* "None shall ever enter paradise unless he be a Jew" - or, "a Christian". Such are their wishful beliefs! Say: "Produce an evidence for what you are claiming,* if what you say is true!"
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.*
Hence, who could be more wicked than those who bar the mention of God's name from [any of] His houses of worship and strive for their ruin, [although] they have no right to enter them save in fear [of God]?* For them, in this world, there is ignominy in store; and for them, in the life to come, awesome suffering.
The Originator is He of the heavens and the earth: and when He wills a thing to be, He but says unto it, "Be" -and it is.
Nay, but you [yourselves, O children of Israel ,] bear witness* that when death was approaching Jacob, he said unto his sons: "Whom will you worship after I am gone?" They answered: "We will worship thy God, the God of thy forefathers Abraham and Ishmael* and Isaac, the One God; and unto Him w;1l we surrender ourselves."
Now those people have passed away; unto them shall be accounted what they have earned, and unto you, what you have earned; and you will not be, judged on the strength of what they did.*
AND THEY say, "Be Jews" - or, "Christians" - "and you shall be on the right path." Say: "Nay, but [ours is] the creed of Abraham, who turned away from all that is false,* and was not of those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God."
"Do you claim that Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and their descendants were `Jews' or `Christians'?"* Say: "Do you know more than God does? And who could be more wicked than he who suppresses a testimony given to him by God?* Yet God is not unmindful of what you do.
"Now those people have passed away; unto them shall be accounted what they have earned, and unto you, what you have earned; and you will not be judged on the strength of what they did."
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.
We have seen thee [O Prophet] often turn thy face towards heaven [for guidance]: and now We shall indeed make thee turn in prayer in a direction which will fulfil thy desire. Turn, then, thy face towards the Inviolable House of Worship; and wherever you all may be, turn your faces towards it [in prayer]. And, verily, those who have been vouchsafed revelation aforetime know well that this [commandment] comes in truth from their Sustainer; and God is not unaware of what they do.
the truth from thy Sustainer!* Be not, then, among the doubters:
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:
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?
O you who have attained to faith! Partake of the good things which We have provided for you as sustenance, and render thanks unto God, if it is [truly] Him that you worship.
[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.
AND PERFORM the pilgrimage and the pious visit [to Mecca ]* in honour of God; and if you are held back, give instead whatever offering you can easily afford. And do not shave your heads until the offering has been sacrificed;* but he from among you who is ill or suffers from an ailment of the head shall redeem himself by fasting, or alms, or [any other] act of worship. And if you are hale and secure,* then he who takes advantage of a pious visit before the [time of] pilgrimage shall give whatever offering he can easily afford;* whereas he who cannot afford it shall fast for three days during the pilgrimage and for seven days after your return: that is, ten full [days]. All this relates to him who does not live near the Inviolable House of Worship.* And remain conscious of God, and know that God is severe in retribution.*
[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;*
ALL MANKIND were once one single community; [then they began to differ - ] whereupon God raised up the prophets as heralds of glad tidings and as warners, and through them bestowed revelation from on high, setting forth the truth, so that it might decide between people with regard to all on which they had come to hold divergent views.* Yet none other than the selfsame people who had been granted this [revelation] began, out of mutual jealousy, to disagree about its meaning after all evidence of the truth had come unto them. But God guided the believers unto the truth about which, by His leave, they had disagreed: for God guides onto a straight way him that wills [to be guided].*
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.
And when you divorce women, and they have come to the end of their waiting-term, hinder them not from marrying other men if they have agreed with each other in a fair manner. This is an admonition unto every one of you who believes in God and the Last Day; it is the most virtuous [way] for you, and the cleanest. And God knows, whereas you do not know.
But if you are in danger, [pray] walking or riding;* and when you are again secure, bear God in mind - since it is He who taught you what you did not previously know.
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 their prophet said unto them: "Behold, it shall be a sign of his [rightful] dominion that you will be granted a heart* endowed by your Sustainer with inner peace and with all that is enduring in the angel-borne heritage left behind by the House of Moses and the House of Aaron.* Herein, behold, there shall indeed be a sign for you if you are [truly] believers."
Would any of you like to have a garden of date-palms and vines, through which running waters flow, and have all manner of fruit therein - and then be overtaken by old age, with only weak children to [look after] him-and then [see] it smitten by a fiery whirlwind and utterly scorched? In this way God makes clear His messages unto you, so that you might take thought.
O you who have attained to faith! Remain conscious of God. and give up all outstanding gains from usury, if you are [truly] believers;*
If, however, [the debtor] is in straitened circumstances, [grant him] a delay until a time of ease; and it would be for your own good -if you but knew it -to remit [the debt entirely] by way of charity.
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.
You have already had a sign in the two hosts that met in battle, one host fighting in God's cause and the other denying Him; with their own eyes [the former] saw the others as twice their own number: but God strengthens with His succour whom He wills. In this, behold, there is indeed a lesson for all who have eyes to see.*
simply because they claim, "The fire will most certainly not touch us for more than a limited number of days":* and thus the false beliefs which they invented have [in time] caused them to betray their faith.*
Say [O Prophet]: "If you love God, follow me, [and] God will love you and forgive you your sins; for God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace."
[Zachariah] exclaimed: "O my Sustainer! How can I have a son when old age has already overtaken me, and my wife is barren?" Answered [the angel]: "Thus it is: God does what He wills."
This account of something that was beyond the reach of thy perception We [now] reveal unto thee:* for thou wert not with them when they drew lots as to which of them should be Mary's guardian,* and thou wert not with them when they contended [about it] with one another.
Said she: "O my Sustainer! How can I have a son when no man has ever touched me?" [The angel] answered: "Thus it is: God creates what He wills* when He wills a thing to be, He but says unto it, 'Be' - and it is.
and [will make him] an apostle unto the children of Israel ."* "I HAVE COME unto you with a message from your Sustainer. I shall create for you out of clay, as it were, the shape of [your] destiny, and then breathe into it, so that it might become [your] destiny by God's leave;* and I shall heal the blind and the leper, and bring the dead back to life by God's leave;* and I shall let you know what you may eat and what you should store up in your houses.* Behold, in all this there is indeed a message for you, if you are [truly] believers.
Lo! God said: "O Jesus! Verily, I shall cause thee to die, and shall exalt thee unto Me, and cleanse thee of [the presence of] those who are bent on denying the truth; and I shall place those who follow thee [far] above those who are bent on denying the truth, unto the Day of Resurrection. In the end, unto Me you all must return, and I shall judge between you with regard to all on which you were wont to differ.*
Verily, in the sight of God, the nature of Jesus is as the nature of Adam, whom He created out of dust and then said unto him, "Be" - and he is.*
[This is] the truth from thy Sustainer; be not, then, among the doubters!
Abraham was neither a "Jew" nor a "Christian", but was one who turned away from all that is false, having surrendered himself unto God; and he was not of those who ascribe divinity to aught beside Him.
It is not conceivable that a human being unto whom God had granted revelation, and sound judgment, and prophethood, should thereafter have said unto people,* "Worship me beside God"; but rather [did he exhort them], "Become men of God* by spreading the knowledge of the divine writ, and by your own deep study [thereof]."
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!"
Say: "God has spoken the truth: follow, then, the creed of Abraham, who turned away from all that is false, and was not of those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God."
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.
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 that there might grow out of you a community [of people] who invite unto all that is good, and enjoin the doing of what is right and forbid the doing of what is wrong: and it is they, they who shall attain to a happy state!
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
on the Day [of Judgment] when some faces will shine [with happiness] and some faces will be dark [with grief]. And as for those with faces darkened, [they shall be told:] "Did you deny the truth after having attained to faith? Taste, then, this suffering for having denied the truth!"
YOU ARE indeed the best community that has ever been brought forth for [the good of] mankind: you enjoin the doing of what is right and forbid the doing of what is wrong, and you believe in God. Now if the followers of earlier revelation had attained to [this kind of] faith, it would have been for their own good; [but only few] among them are believers, while most of them are iniquitous:
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.*
O YOU who have attained to faith! Do not take for your bosom-friends people who are not of your kind.* They spare no effort to corrupt you; they would love to see you in distress.* Vehement hatred has already come into the open from out of their mouths, but what their hearts conceal is yet worse. We have indeed made the signs [thereof] clear unto you, if you would but use your reason.
[MANY] WAYS of life have passed away before your time.* Go, then, about the earth and behold what happened in the end to those who gave the lie to the truth:
Be not, then, faint of heart, and grieve not:* for you are bound to rise high if you are [truly] believers.
For, indeed, you did long for death [in God's cause] before you came face to face with it; and now you have seen it with your own eyes!*
And no human being can die save by God's leave, at a term pre-ordained. And if one desires the rewards of this world, We shall grant him thereof; and if one desires the rewards of the life to come, We shall grant him thereof; and We shall requite those who are grateful [to Us].
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!" -
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].
O you who have attained to faith! Be not like those who are bent on denying the truth and say of their brethren [who die] after having set out on a journey to faraway places* or gone forth to war, "Had they but remained with us, they would not have died," or, "they would not have been slain" - for God will cause such thoughts to become* a source of bitter regret in their hearts, since it is God who grants life and deals death. And God sees all that you do.
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.*
AND IT IS not conceivable that a prophet should deceive* - since he who deceives shall be faced with his deceit on the Day of Resurrection, when every human being shall be repaid in full for whatever he has done, and none shall be wronged.
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.
they who, having themselves held back [from fighting, later] said of their [slain] brethren, "Had they but paid heed to us, they would not have been slain." Say: "Avert, then, death from yourselves, if what you say is true!"
It is but Satan who instils [into you] fear of his allies:* so fear them not, but fear Me, if you are [truly] believers!
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.
As for those who maintain, "Behold, God has bidden us not to believe in any apostle unless he comes unto us with burnt offerings"* - say [unto them, O Prophet]: "Even before me there came unto you apostles with all evidence of the truth, and with that whereof you speak: why, then, did you slay them, if what you say is true?"*
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!
Hence, render unto the orphans their possessions, and do not substitute bad things [of your own] for the good things [that belong to them], and do not consume their possessions together with your own:* this, verily, is a great crime.
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.
CONCERNING [the inheritance of] your children, God enjoins [this] upon you:* The male shall have the equal of two females' share; but if there are more than two females, they shall have two-thirds of what [their parents] leave behind; and if there is only one daughter, she shall have one-half thereof. And as for the parents [of the deceased], each of them shall have one-sixth of what he leaves behind, in the event of his having [left] a child; but if he has left no child and his parents are his [only] heirs, then his mother shall have one-third; and if he has brothers and sisters, then his mother shall have one-sixth after [the deduction of] any bequest he may have made, or any debt [he may have incurred]. As for your parents and your children - you know not which of them is more deserving of benefit from you: [therefore this] ordinance from God. Verily, God is all-knowing, wise.
And you shall inherit one-half of what your wives leave behind, provided they have left no child; but if they have left a child, then you shall have one-quarter of what they leave behind, after [the deduction of] any bequest they may have made, or any debt [they may have incurred]. And your widows* shall have one-quarter of what you leave behind, provided you have left no child; but if you have left a child, then they shall have one-eighth of what you leave behind, after [the deduction of] any bequest you may have made, or any debt [you may have incurred]. And if a man or a woman has no heir in the direct line, but has a brother or a sister, then each of these two shall inherit one-sixth; but if there are more than two,* then they shall share in one-third [of the inheritance], after [the deduction of] any bequest that may have been made, or any debt [that may have been incurred], neither of which having been intended to harm [the heirs].* [This is] an injunction from God: and God is all-knowing, forbearing.
And punish [thus] both of the guilty parties;* but if they both repent and mend their ways, leave them alone: for, behold, God is an acceptor of repentance, a dispenser of grace.*
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;
AND DO NOT marry women whom your fathers have previously married - although what is past is past:* this, verily, is a shameful deed, and a hateful thing, and an evil way.
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.
O YOU who have attained to faith! Do not devour one another's possessions wrongfully - not even by way of trade based on mutual agreement* - and do not destroy one another: for, behold, God is indeed a dispenser of grace unto you!
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 if you have reason to fear that a breach might occur between a [married] couple, appoint an arbiter from among his people and an arbiter from among her people; if they both want to set things aright, God may bring about their reconciliation. Behold, God is indeed all-knowing, aware.
AND WORSHIP God [alone], and do not ascribe divinity, in any way, to aught beside Him.* And do good unto your parents, and near of kin, and unto orphans, and the needy, and the neighbour from among your own people, and the neighbour who is a stranger,* and the friend by your side, and the wayfarer, and those whom you rightfully possess.* Verily, God does not love any of those who, full of self-conceit, act in a boastful manner;
And [God does not love] those who spend their possessions on others [only] to be seen and praised by men, the while they believe neither in God nor in the Last Day; and he who has Satan for a soul-mate, how evil a soul-mate has he!*
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?
Verily, God does not wrong [anyone] by as much as an atom's weight; and if there be a good deed, He will multiply it, and will bestow out of His grace* a mighty reward.
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.
Among those of the Jewish faith there are some who distort the meaning of the [revealed] words, taking them out of their context and saying, [as it were,] "We have heard, but we disobey," and, "Hear without hearkening,"* and, Hearken thou unto us, (O Muhammad)" - thus making a play with their tongues, and implying that the [true] Faith is false.* And had they but said, "We have heard, and we pay heed," and "Hear [us], and have patience with us," it would indeed have been for their own good, and more upright: but God has rejected them because of their refusal to acknowledge the truth - for it is in but few things that they believe.*
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.*
for, verily, those who are bent on denying the truth of Our messages We shall, in time, cause to endure fire: [and] every time their skins are burnt off, We shall replace them with new skins, so that they may taste suffering [in full]* Verily, God is almighty, wise.
BEHOLD, God bids you to deliver all that you have been entrusted with unto those who are entitled thereto, and whenever you judge between people, to judge with justice.* Verily, most excellent is what God exhorts you to do: verily, God is all-hearing, all-seeing!
O you who have attained to faith! Pay heed unto God, and pay heed unto the Apostle and unto those from among you* who have been entrusted with authority; and if you are at variance over any matter, refer it unto God and the Apostle,* if you [truly] believe in God and the Last Day. This is the best [for you], and best in the end.*
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],
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."
But if good fortune comes to you from God, such a person* is sure to say - just as if there had never been any question of love between you and him - : "Oh, would that I had been with them, and thus had a [share in their] mighty triumph !"
Those who have attained to faith fight in the cause of God, whereas those who are bent on denying the truth fight in the cause of the powers of evil. Fight, then, against those friends of Satan: verily, Satan's guile is weak indeed!*
Wherever you may be, death will overtake you - even though you be in towers raised high. "Yet, when a good thing happens to them, some [people] say, "This is from God," whereas when evil befalls them, they say, "This is from thee [O fellowman]!"* Say: "All is from God." What, then, is amiss with these people that they are in no wise near to grasping the truth of what they are told?*
Will they not, then, try to understand this Qur'an? Had it issued from any but God, they would surely have found in it many an inner contradiction!*
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.
They would love to see you deny the truth even as they have denied it, so that you should be like them. Do not, therefore, take them for your allies until they forsake the domain of evil* for the sake of God; and if they revert to [open] enmity, seize them and slay them wherever you may find them. And do not take any of them* for your ally or giver of succour,
AND IT IS not conceivable that a believer should slay another believer, unless it be by mistake.* And upon him who has slain a believer by mistake there is the duty of freeing a believing soul from bondage and paying an indemnity to the victim's relations,* unless they forgo it by way of charity. Now if the slain, while himself a believer, belonged to a people who are at war with you,* [the penance shall be confined to] the freeing of a believing soul from bondage; whereas, if he belonged to a people to whom you are bound by a covenant, [it shall consist of] an indemnity to be paid to his relations in addition to the freeing of a believing soul from bondage.* And he who does not have the wherewithal shall fast [instead] for two consecutive months.* (This is) the atonement ordained by God: and God is indeed all-knowing, wise.
[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.
[many] degrees thereof - and forgiveness of sins, and His grace; for God is indeed much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
Behold, those whom the angels gather in death while they are still sinning against themselves, [the angels] will ask, "What was wrong with you?''* They will answer: "We were too weak on earth." [The angels] will say: "Was, then, God's earth not wide enough for you to forsake the domain of evil?"* For such, then, the goal is hell - and how evil a journey's end!
as for them, God may well efface their sin - for God is indeed an absolver of sins, much-forgiving.
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].
And be not faint of heart when you seek out the [enemy] host. If you happen to suffer pain, behold, they suffer pain even as you suffer it: but you are hoping [to receive] from God what they cannot hope for. And God is indeed all-knowing, wise.
BEHOLD, We have bestowed upon thee from on high this divine writ, setting forth the truth, so that thou may judge between people in accordance with what God has taught thee.* Hence, do not contend with those who are false to their trust,
but pray God to forgive [them]:* behold, God is indeed much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
Yet do not argue in behalf of those who are false to their own selves:* verily, God does not love those who betray their trust and persist in sinful ways.
They would conceal their doings from men; but from God they cannot conceal them - for He is with them whenever they devise, in the dark of night, all manner of beliefs* which He does not approve. And God indeed encompasses [with His knowledge] whatever they do.
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.
For, unto God belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth; and, indeed, God encompasses everything.
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.
And it will not be within your power to treat your wives with equal fairness, however much you may desire it;* and so, do not allow yourselves to incline towards one to the exclusion of the other, leaving her in a state, as it were, of having and not having a husband.* But if you put things to rights and are conscious of Him - behold, God is indeed much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
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 unto God belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth. AND, INDEED, We have enjoined upon those who were granted revelation before your time, as well as upon yourselves, to remain conscious of God. And if you deny Him - behold, unto God belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth, and God is indeed self-sufficient, ever to be praised.
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.
If one desires the rewards of this world, [let him remember that] with God are the rewards of [both] this world and the life to come: and God is indeed all-hearing, all-seeing.
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!
Behold, as for those who come to believe, and then deny the truth, and again come to believe, and again deny the truth, and thereafter grow stubborn in their denial of the truth* - God will not forgive them, nor will He guide them in any way.
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.*
Why would God cause you to suffer [for your past sins] if you are grateful and attain to belief - seeing that God is always responsive to gratitude, all-knowing?*
God does not like any evil to be mentioned openly, unless it be by him who has been wronged (thereby)* And God is indeed all-hearing, all-knowing,
whether you do good openly or in secret, or pardon others for evil [done unto you]: for, behold, God is indeed an absolver of sins, infinite in His power.
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.
nay, God exalted him unto Himself* - and God is indeed almighty, wise.
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.
[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.
Behold, those who are bent on denying the truth and on evildoing - God will indeed not forgive them, nor will He guide them onto any road
but the road that leads to hell, therein to abide beyond the count of time: and this is indeed easy for God.
O mankind! The Apostle has now come unto you with the truth from your Sustainer: believe, then, for your own good! And if you deny the truth - behold, unto God belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth, and God is indeed all-knowing, wise!
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.
Never did the Christ feel too proud to be God's servant, nor do the angels who are near unto Him. And those who feel too proud to serve Him and glory in their arrogance [should know that on Judgment Day] He will gather them all unto Himself:
THEY WILL ASK thee to enlighten them.* Say: "God enlightens you [thus] about the laws concerning [inheritance from] those who leave no heir in the direct line: If a man dies childless and has a sister, she shall inherit one-half of what he has left, just as he shall inherit from her if she dies childless. But if there are two sisters, both [together] shall have two-thirds of what he has left; and if there are brothers and sisters,* then the male shall have the equal of two females' share." God makes [all this] clear unto you, lest you go astray; and God knows everything.
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.
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.
And [likewise,] from those who say, "Behold, we are Christians."* We have accepted a solemn pledge: and they, too, have forgotten much of what they had been told to bear in mind - wherefore We have given rise among them to enmity and hatred, [to last] until Resurrection Day:* and in time God will cause them to understand what they have contrived.
O followers of the Bible! Now there has come unto you Our Apostle, to make clear unto you much of what you have been concealing [from yourselves) of the Bible,* and to pardon much. Now there has come unto you from God a light, and a clear divine writ,
[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!"
I am willing, indeed, for thee to bear [the burden of] all the sins ever done by me as well as of the sin done by thee:* [but] then thou wouldst be destined for the fire, since that is the requital of evildoers!"
Thereupon God sent forth a raven which scratched the earth, to show him how he might conceal the nakedness of his brother's body. [And Cain] cried out: "Oh, woe is me! Am I then too weak to do what this raven did,* and to conceal the nakedness of my brother's body?" - and was thereupon smitten with remorse.*
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 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.*
O you who have attained to faith! Do not take for your friends such as mock at your, faith and make a jest of it-be they from among those who have been vouchsafed revelation before your time, or [from among] those who deny the truth [of revelation as such] -but remain conscious of God, if you are [truly] believers:
For, when they come unto you, they say, "We do believe": whereas, in fact, they come with the resolve to deny the truth, and depart in the same state.* But God is fully aware of all that they would conceal.
And thou canst see many of them vie with one another in sinning and tyrannical conduct and in their swallowing of all that is evil.
Why do not their men of God and their rabbis* forbid them to make sinful assertions and to swallow all that is evil? Vile indeed is what they contrive!
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.
The Christ, son of Mary, was but an apostle: all [other] apostles had passed away before him; and his mother was one who never deviated from the truth; and they both ate food [like other mortals].* Behold how clear We make these messages unto them: and then behold how perverted are their minds!*
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.
They would not prevent one another from doing whatever hateful things they did: vile indeed was what they were wont to do!
For, if they [truly] believed in God and their Prophet* and all that was bestowed upon him from on high, they would not take those [deniers of the truth] for their allies: but most of them are iniquitous.
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].
O YOU who have attained to faith! Let there be witnesses to what you do when death approaches you and you are about to make bequests:* two persons of probity from among your own people, or -if the pangs of death come upon you while you are travelling far from home* -two other persons from [among people] other than your own. Take hold of the two after having prayed; and if you have any doubt in your mind, let each of them swear by God, "We shall not sell this [our word] for any price, even though it were [for the sake of] a near kinsman; and neither shall we conceal aught of what we have witnessed before God* -or else, may we indeed be counted among the sinful."
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!"
AND LO! God said:* O Jesus, son of Mary! Didst thou say unto men, `Worship me and my mother as deities beside God'?" [Jesus] answered: "Limitless art Thou in Thy glory! It would not have been possible for me to say what I had no right to [say]! Had I said this, Thou wouldst indeed have known it! Thou knowest all that is within myself, whereas I know not what is in Thy Self. Verily, it is Thou alone who fully knowest all the things that are beyond the reach of a created being's perception.
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.
Yet whenever any of their Sustainer's messages comes unto them, they [who are bent on denying the truth] turn their backs upon it:*
and so they give the lie to this truth now that it has come unto them. In time, however, they will come to understand what it was that they were wont to deride.*
And, indeed, [even] before thy time have apostles been derided - but those who scoffed at them were [in the end] overwhelmed by the very thing which they were wont to deride.*
Say: "Go all over the earth, and behold what happened in the end to those who gave the lie to the truth!"
Say: "Am I to take for my master anyone but God, the Originator of the heavens and the earth, when it is He who gives nourishment and Himself needs none?"* Say: "I am bidden to be foremost among those who surrender themselves unto God, and not to be* among those who ascribe divinity to aught beside Him."
for one Day We shall gather them all together, and then We shall say unto those who ascribed divinity to aught beside God: "Where, now, are those beings whom you imagined to have a share in God's divinity?"*
Whereupon, in their utter confusion, they will only [be able to] say: "By God, our Sustainer, we did not [mean to] ascribe divinity to aught beside Him !"*
Behold how they have lied to themselves* -and [how] their false imagery has forsaken them!
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!"
But nay -[they will say this only because] the truth which they used to conceal [from themselves] in the past will have become obvious to them; and if they were brought back [to life], they would return to the very thing which was forbidden to them: for behold, they are indeed liars!*
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!"
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].*
Say: "Can you see yourselves invoking any but God when God's chastisement befalls you [in this world], or the Last Hour comes upon you? [Tell me this,] if you are men of truth!
yet when the misfortune decreed by Us befell them, they did not humble themselves, but rather their hearts grew hard, for Satan had made all their doings seem goodly to them.
whereas those who give the lie to Our messages - suffering will afflict them in result of all their sinful doings.
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.*
And He it is who causes you to be [like] dead* at night, and knows what you work in daytime; and He brings you back to life each days* in order that a term set [by Him] be fulfilled. In the end, unto Him you must return: and then He will make you understand all that you were doing [in life].
Say: "Who is it that saves you from the dark dangers* of land and sea [when] you call unto Him humbly, and in the secrecy of your hearts, `If He will but save us from this [distress], we shall most certainly be among the grateful'?"
And leave to themselves all those who, beguiled by the life of this world, have made play and passing delights their religion;* but remind [them] herewith that [in the life to come] every human being shall be held in pledge for whatever wrong he has done, and shall have none to protect him from God, and none to intercede for him; and though he offer any conceivable ransom,* it shall not be accepted from him. It is [people such as] these that shall be held in pledge for the wrong they have done; for them there is [in the life to come] a draught of burning despair* and grievous suffering awaits them because of their persistent refusal to acknowledge the truth.
And He it is who has created the heavens and the earth in accordance with [an inner] truth* - and whenever He says, "Be," His word comes true; and His will be the dominion on the Day when the trumpet [of resurrection] is blown. He knows all that is beyond the reach of a created being's perception, as well as all that can be witnessed by a creature's senses or mind:* for He alone is truly wise, all-aware.
And thus We gave Abraham [his first] insight into [God's] mighty dominion over the heavens and the earth - and [this] to the end that he might become one of those who are inwardly sure.
Then, when he beheld the moon rising, he said, "This is my Sustainer!"-but when it went down, he said, "Indeed, if my Sustainer guide me not. I will most certainly become one of the people who go astray!"
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]?
Such is God's guidance: He guides therewith whomever He wills of His servants. And had they ascribed divinity to aught beside Him-in vain, indeed, would have been all [the good] that they ever did:
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!"
[And God shall say:] "And now, indeed, you have come unto Us in a lonely state, even as We created you in the first instance; and you have left behind you all that We bestowed on you [in your lifetime]. And We do not see with you those intercessors of yours whom you supposed to have a share in God's divinity with regard to yourselves!* Indeed, all the bonds between you [and your earthly life] are now severed, and all your former fancies have forsaken you!*
the Originator of the heavens and the earth! How could it be that He should have a child without there ever having been a mate for Him - since it is He who has created everything, and He alone knows everything?
But do not revile those [beings] whom they invoke instead of God,* lest they revile God out of spite, and in ignorance: for, goodly indeed have We made their own doings appear unto every community* In time, [however,] unto their Sustainer they must return: and then He will make them [truly] understand all that they were doing.
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.
[say thou:] "Am I, then, to look unto anyone but God for judgment* [as to what is right and wrong], when it is He who has bestowed upon you from on high this divine writ, clearly spelling out the truth?"* And those unto whom We have vouchsafed revelation aforetime know that this one, too, has been bestowed from on high, step by step, by thy Sustainer.* Be not, then, among the doubters-
EAT, then, of that over which God's name has been pronounced, if you truly believe in His messages.*
But abstain from sinning,* be it open or secret-for, behold, those who commit sins shall be requited for all that they have earned.
IS THEN -HE who was dead [in spirit] and whom We thereupon gave life, and for whom We set up a light whereby he might see his way among men* - [is then he] like one [who is lost] in darkness deep, out of which he cannot emerge? [But] thus it is: goodly seem all their own doings to those who deny the truth.
And whenever. a [divine] message comes to them, they say, "We shall not believe unless we are given the like of what God's apostles were given!"* [But] God knows best upon whom to bestow His message. Abasement in the sight of God will befall those who have become guilty of evildoing, and suffering severe for all the schemes which they were wont to weave.
Theirs shall be an abode of peace with their Sustainer; and He shall be near unto them in result of what they have been doing.
And in this manner do We cause evildoers to seduce one another* by means of their (evil] doings.
[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.
And so it is that thy Sustainer would never destroy a community* for its wrongdoing so long as its people are still unaware [of the meaning of right and wrong]:
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 OUT OF whatever He has created of the fruits of the field and the cattle, they assign unto God a portion, saying, "This belongs to God"-or so they [falsely] claim* - "and this is for those beings who, we are convinced, have a share in God's divinity."* But that which is assigned to the beings associated in their minds with God does not bring [them] closer to God - whereas that which is assigned to God brings [them but] closer to those beings to whom they ascribe a share in His divinity.* Bad, indeed, is their judgment!
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 do not touch the substance of an orphan - save to improve it-before he comes of age."* And [in all your dealings] give full measure and weight,* with equity: [however,] We do not burden any human being with more than he is well able to bear;* and when you voice an opinion, be just, even though it be [against] one near of kin.* And [always] observe your bond with God:* this has He enjoined upon you, so that you might keep it in mind.
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!
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!"
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.
SAY: "Behold, my Sustainer has guided me onto a straight way through an ever-true faith-the way of Abraham, who turned away from all that is false, and wa,. not of those who ascribe divinity to aught beside Him."
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.*
A DIVINE WRIT has been bestowed from on high upon thee -and let there be no doubt about this in thy heart-in order that thou mayest warn [the erring] thereby, and [thus] admonish the believers:*
And when Our punishment came upon them, they had nothing to say for themselves, and could only cry,* "Verily, we were wrongdoers!"
and thereupon We shall most certainly reveal unto them Our knowledge [of their doings]:* for never have We been absent [from them].
whereas those whose weight is light in the balance - it is they who will have squandered their own selves by their wilful rejection of Our messages.*
Yea, indeed, We have created you, and then formed you;* and then We said unto the angels, "Prostrate yourselves before Adam!" - whereupon they [all] prostrated themselves, save Iblis: he was not among those who prostrated themselves.*
[God] said: "Down with thee, then, from this [state] -for it is not meet for thee to show arrogance here! Go forth, then: verily, among the humiliated shalt thou be!"
And [as for thee], O Adam', dwell thou and thy wife in this garden, and eat, both of you, whatever you may wish; but do not approach this one tree, lest you become evildoers!"*
Thereupon Satan whispered unto the two with a view to making them conscious of their nakedness, of which [hitherto] they had been unaware;* and he said: "Your Sustainer has but forbidden you this tree lest you two become .[as] angels, or lest you live forever."*
The two replied: "O our Sustainer! We have sinned against ourselves -and unless Thou grant us forgiveness and bestow Thy mercy upon us, we shall most certainly be lost!"
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!"
after We shall have removed whatever unworthy thoughts or feelings may have been [lingering] in their bosoms. Running waters will flow at their feet;* and they will say: "All praise is due to God, who has guided us unto this; for we would certainly not have found the right path unless God had guided us! Indeed, our Sustainer's apostles have told us the truth!" And [a voice] will call out unto them: "This is the paradise which you have inherited by virtue of your past deeds!"
And they who [in life] had possessed this faculty of discernment will call out to those whom they recognize by their marks [as sinners], saying: "What has your amassing [of wealth] availed you, and all the false pride of your past?
those who, beguiled by the life of this world, have made play and passing delights their religion!* [And God will say:] "And so We shall be oblivious of them today as they were oblivious of the coming of this their Day [of Judgment], and as Our messages they did deny:
Are [the unbelievers] but waiting for the final meaning of that [Day of Judgment] to unfold?* [But] on the Day when its final meaning is unfolded, those who aforetime had been oblivious thereof will say: "Our Sustainer's apostles have indeed told us the truth! Have we, then, any intercessors who could intercede in our behalf? Or could we be brought back [to life] so that we might act otherwise than we were wont to act?"* Indeed, they will have squandered their own selves, and all their false imagery will have forsaken them.
And yet they gave him the lie! And so We saved him and those who stood by him, in the ark, the while We caused those who had given the lie to Our messages to drown: verily, they were blind folk!*
They answered: "Hast thou come to us [with the demand] that we worship God alone, and give up all that our forefathers were wont to worship? Bring about, then, that [punishment] with which thou hast threatened us, if thou art a man of truth!"
And so, by Our grace, We saved him and those who stood by him, the while We wiped out the last remnant of those who gave the lie to Our messages and would not believe.*
And then they cruelly slaughtered the she-camel* and turned with disdain from their Sustainer's commandment, and said: "O Salih! Bring about that [punishment] with which thou hast threatened us, if thou art truly one of God's message bearers!"
But his people's only answer was this:* "Expel them from your land! Verily, they are folk who make themselves out to be pure!"*
Thereupon We saved him and his household except his wife, who was among those that stayed behind*
the while We rained a rain [of destruction] upon the others: and behold what happened in the end to those people lost in sin!
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. Clear evidence of the truth has now come unto you from your Sustainer. Give, therefore, full measure and weight [in all your dealings], and do not deprive people of what is rightfully theirs;* and do not spread corruption on earth after it has be, en so well ordered: [all] this is for your own good, 'if you would but believe.
And do not lie in ambush by every road [that leads to the truth* ], threatening and trying to turn away from God's path all who believe in Him, and trying to make it appear crooked. And remember [the time] when you were few, and [how] He made you many: and behold what happened in the end to the spreaders of corruption!
"And if there be some among you who have come to believe in the message which I bear, the while the others do not believe, then have patience in adversity till God shall judge between us [and them]: for He is the best of all judges!"
Said the great ones among his people, who gloried in their arrogance: "Most certainly, O Shu'ayb, we shall expel thee and thy fellow-believers from our land, unless you indeed return to our ways!" Said [Shu'ayb]: "Why, even though we abhor [them]?
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!"*
they who had given the lie to Shu'ayb - as though they had never lived there: they who had given the lie to Shu'ayb -it was they who were the losers!
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.*
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;
AND AFTER those [early people] We sent Moses with Our messages unto Pharaoh and his great ones, and they wilfully rejected them:* and behold what happened in the end to those spreaders of corruption!
Said [Pharaoh]: "If thou hast come with a sign, produce it-if thou art a man of truth!"
And the sorcerers came unto Pharaoh [and] said: "Verily, we ought to have a great reward* if it is we who prevail."
They said: "O Moses! Either thou shalt throw [thy staff first], or we shall [be the first to] throw."
whereupon the truth was established, and vain was proved all that they had been doing.
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 so We inflicted Our retribution on them, and caused them to drown in the sea, because they had given the lie to Our messages and had been heedless of them;
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.*
As for these here -verily, their way of life is bound to lead to destruction; and worthless is all that they have ever done!"
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!"
From My messages shall I cause to turn away all those who, without any right, behave haughtily on earth: for, though they may see every sign [of the truth], they do not believe in it, and though they may see the path of rectitude, they do not choose fo follow it-whereas, if they see a path of error, they take it for their own: this, because they have given the lie to Our messages, and have remained heedless of them,"*
Hence, all who give the lie to Our messages, and [thus] to the truth* of the life to come -in vain shall be all their doings: [for] are they to be rewarded for aught but what they were wont to do?*
AND IN his absence the people of Moses took to worshipping the effigy of a calf [made] of their ornaments, which gave forth a lowing sound."* Did they not see that it could neither speak unto them nor guide them in any way? [And yet] they took to worshipping it, for they were evildoers:
although [later,] when they would smite their hands in remorse,* having perceived that they had gone astray, they would say, "Indeed, unless our Sustainer have mercy on us and grant us forgiveness, we shall most certainly be among the lost!"*
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 ask them about that town which stood by the sea: how its people would profane the Sabbath whenever their fish came to them, breaking the water's surface, on a day on which they ought to have kept Sabbath -because they would not come to them on other than Sabbath-days!* Thus did We try them by means of their [own] iniquitous doings.
And thereupon, when those [sinners] had forgotten all that they had been told to take to. heart, We saved those who had tried to prevent the doing of evil,* and overwhelmed those who had been bent on evildoing with dreadful suffering for all their iniquity;
and then, when they disdainfully persisted in doing what they had been forbidden to do, We said unto them: "Be as apes despicable!"*
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";
or lest you say, "Verily, it was but our forefathers who, in times gone by, began to ascribe divinity to other beings beside God; and we were but their late offspring: wilt Thou, then, destroy us for the doings of those inventors of falsehoods?"
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.*
Evil is the example of people who are bent on giving the lie to Our messages: for it is against their own selves that they are sinning!
AND GOD'S [alone] are the attributes of perfection;* invoke Him, then, by these, and stand aloof from all who distort the meaning of His attributes:* they shall be requited for all that they were wont to do!
Have they, then, never considered [God's] mighty dominion over the heavens and the earth, and all the things that God has created, and [asked themselves] whether, perchance, the end of their own term might already have drawn nigh? In what other tiding, then, will they, after this, believe?*
Say [O Prophet]: "It is not within my power to bring benefit to, or avert harm from, myself, except as God may please. And if I knew that which is beyond the reach of human perception, abundant good fortune-would surely have fallen to my lot, and no evil would ever have touched me. I am nothing but a warner, and a herald of glad tidings unto people who will believe."*
IT IS HE who has created you [all] out of one living entity, and out of it brought into being its mate, so that man might incline [with love] towards woman.* And so, when he has embraced her, she conceives [what at first is] a light burden, and continues to bear it. Then, when she grows heavy [with child], they both call unto God, their Sustainer, "If Thou indeed grant us a sound [child], we shall most certainly be among the grateful!"
Verily, all those whom you invoke beside God are but created beings* like yourselves: invoke them, then, and let them answer your prayer - if what you claim is true!
And bethink thyself of thy Sustainer humbly and with awe, and without raising thy voice, at morn and at evening; and do not allow thyself to be heedless.
HEY WILL ASK thee about the spoils of war. Say: "All spoils of war belong to God and the Apostle."* Remain, then, conscious of God, and keep alive the bonds of brotherhood among yourselves,* and pay heed unto God and His Apostle, if you are [truly] believers!
And, lo, God gave you the promise that one of the two [enemy] hosts would fall to you: and you would have liked to seize the less powerful one,* whereas it was God's will to prove the truth to be true in accordance with His words, and to wipe out the last remnant of those who denied the truth* -
and be not like those who say, "We have heard", the while they do not hearken.*
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!*
But God did not choose thus to chastise them whip thou [O Prophet] wert still among them,* nor would God chastise them when they [might yet] ask for forgiveness.
But what have they [now] in their favour that God should not chastise them-seeing that they bar [the believers] from the Inviolable House of Worship, although they are not its [rightful] guardians?* None but the God-conscious can be its guardians: but of this most of these [evildoers] are unaware;
and their prayers before the Temple are nothing but whistling and clapping of hands.* Taste then, [O unbelievers,] this chastisement as an outcome of your persistent denial of the truth!*
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,
And fight against them until there is no more oppression and all worship is devoted to God alone.* And if they desist-behold, God sees all that they do;*
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.*
[Remember that day] when you were at the near end of the valley [of Badr], and they were at its farthest end, while the caravan was below you.* And if you had known that a battle was to take place, you would indeed have refused to accept the challenge:* but [the battle was brought about none the less,] so that God might accomplish a thing [which He willed] to be done,* [and] that he who would perish might perish in clear evidence of the truth, and that he who would remain alive might live in clear evidence of the truth.* And, behold, God is indeed all-hearing, all-knowing.
And so, when you met in battle, He made them appear as few in your eyes -just as He made you appear as of little account in their eyes - so that God might accomplish a thing [which He willed] to be done:* for all things go back to God [as their source].
And be not like those [unbelievers] who went forth from their homelands full of self-conceit and a desire to be seen and praised by men* for they were trying to turn others away from the path of God -the while God encompassed all their doings [with His might].
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.
[To those sinners shall happen] the like of what happened to Pharaoh's people and those who lived before them: they gave the lie to their Sustainer's messages - and so We destroyed them in return for their sins, and caused Pharaoh's people to drown: for they were evildoers all.
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.*
For the time being, [however,] God has lightened your burden. for He knows that you are weak: and so, if there be one hundred of you who are patient in adversity, they should [be able to]' overcome two hundred; and if there be one thousand of you, they should [be able to] overcome two thousand by God's leave: for God is with those who are patient in adversity.*
IT DOES NOT behove a prophet to keep captives unless he has battled strenuously on earth.* You may desire the fleeting gains of this world-but God desires [for you the good of] the life to come: and God is almighty, wise.
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.
HOW COULD they who ascribe divinity to aught beside God be granted a covenant by God and His Apostle,* unless it be those [of them] with whom you [O believers] have made a covenant in the vicinity of the Inviolable House of Worship?* [As for the latter,] so long as they remain true to you, be true to them: for, verily, God loves those who are conscious of Him.
God's messages have they bartered away for a trifling gain, and have thus turned away from His path: evil, behold, is all that they are wont to do,
Would you, perchance, fail to fight against people who have broken their solemn pledges, and have done all that they could to drive the Apostle away,* and have been first to attack you? Do you hold them in awe? Nay, it is God alone of whom you ought to stand in awe,* if you are [truly] believers!
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*
Only he should visit or tend God's houses of worship who believes in God and the Last Day, and is constant in prayer, and spends in charity, and stands in awe of none but God: for [only such as] these may hope to be among the right-guided!*
Say: "If your fathers and your sons and your brothers and your spouses and your clan, and the worldly goods which you have acquired, and the commerce whereof you fear a decline, and the dwellings in which you take pleasure - [if all these] are dearer to you than God and His Apostle and the struggle in His cause, then wait until God makes manifest His will;* and [know that] God does not grace iniquitous folk with His guidance."
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!"
Go forth to war, whether it be easy or difficult [for you],* and strive hard in God's cause with your possessions and your lives: this is for your own good -if you but knew it!
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: "You may spend [anything], willingly-or unwillingly, [pretending that you do it for the sake of God:] it shall never be accepted from you* -for, verily, you are people bent on iniquity!"
[The hypocrites] swear to you by God [that they are acting in good faith], with a view to pleasing you [O believers] - the while it is God and His Apostle whose pleasure they should seek above all else, if indeed they are believers!*
Yet, indeed, if thou wert to question them. they would surely answer, "We were only indulging in idle talk, and were playing [with words].* Say: "Were you, then. mocking at God and His messages and His Apostle?
Do not offer [empty] excuses! You have indeed denied the truth after [having professed] your belief [in it] -* Though We may efface the sin of some of you, We shall chastise others - seeing that they were lost in sin.*
[Say unto them: "You are] like those [hypocrites] who lived before your time.* Greater than you were they in power, and richer in wealth and in children; and they enjoyed their share [of happiness]. And you have been enjoying your share -just as those who preceded you enjoyed their share; and you have been indulging in scurrilous talk -just as they indulged in it. It is they .whose works have come to nought in this world and in the life to come - and it is they, they who are the cost!"*
Have, then, the stories of those who preceded them never come within the ken of these [hypocrites and deniers of the truth]?-[the stories] of Noah's people, and of [the tribes of] `Ad and Thamud, and of Abraham's people, and of the folk of Madyan, and of the cities that were overthrown?* To [all of] them their apostles had come with all evidence of the truth. [but they rejected them:] and so it was not God who wronged them [by His punishment], but it was they who wronged themselves.
[The hypocrites] swear by God that they have said nothing [wrong]; yet most certainly have they uttered a saying which amounts to a denial of the truth,* and have [thus] denied the truth after [having professed] their self-surrender to God: for they were aiming at something which was beyond their reach.* And they could find no fault [with the Faith] save that God had enriched them and [caused] His Apostle [to enrich them] out of His bounty!* Hence, if they repent, it will be for their own good. but if they turn away, God will cause them to suffer grievous suffering in this world and in the life to come, and they will find no helper on earth, and none to give [them] succour.
And among them are such as vow unto God, "If indeed He grant us [something] out of His bounty, we shall most certainly spend in charity, and shall most certainly be among the righteous!"
whereupon He causes hypocrisy to take root in their hearts, [therein to remain] until the Day on which they shall meet Him"* - because they have failed to fulfil the vow which they had made unto God, and because they were wont to lie.*
THOSE [hypocrites] who were left behind rejoiced in their staying away [from war]* after [the departure of] God's Apostle, for they hated the thought of striving with their possessions and their lives in God's cause; and they had [even] said [to the others], "Do not go forth to war in this heat!" Say: "The fire of hell is hotter by far!" Had they but grasped this truth!
Let them, then, laugh a little -.for they will weep a lot* in return for what they have earned.
[They are indeed denying it:] for, when they were called upon through revelation,* "Believe in God, and strive hard [in His cause] together with His Apostle," [even] such of them as were well able [to go to war] asked thee for exemption, saying, "Allow us to stay behind with those who remain at home!"*
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.
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].
[And] they will [still] be offering excuses to you when you return to them ,[from the campaign]! Say: "Do not offer [empty] excuses, [for] we shall not believe you: God has already enlightened us about you. And God will behold your [future] deeds, and [so will] His Apostle; and in the end you will be brought before Him* who knows all that is beyond the reach of a created being's perception as well as all that can be witnessed by a creature's senses or mind,* and then He will make you truly understand what you were doing [in life]."
When you will have returned to them, (O believers,] they will swear to you by God, [repeating their excuses,] with a view to your letting them be.* Let them be, then: behold, they are loathsome, and hell is their goal in recompense for what they were wont to do.
And say [unto them, O Prophet]: "Act!* And God will behold your deeds, and [so will] His Apostle, and the believers: and [in the end] you will be brought before Him who knows all that is beyond the reach of a created being's perception as well as all that can be witnessed by a creature's senses or mind* -and then He will make you understand what you have been doing."
IT DOES NOT behove the Prophet and those who have attained to faith to pray that they who ascribed divinity to aught beside God be forgiven [by Him] even though they happened to be [their] near of kin* -after it has been made clear unto them that those [dead sinners] are destined for. the blazing fire.
And Abraham's prayer that his father be forgiven was but due to a promise which he had given the latter [in his lifetime];* but when it was made clear unto him that he had been God's enemy, [Abraham] disavowed him - [although;] behold, Abraham was most tender-hearted. most clement.
And God would never-after having invited them to His guidance -condemn people for going astray* ere He has made [entirely] clear unto them of what they should beware. Verily, God has full knowledge of everything.*
O YOU who have attained to faith! Remain conscious of God, and be among those who are true to their word!
It does not behove the people of the [Prophet's] City and the bedouin [who live] around them to hold back from following God's Apostle, or to care for their own selves more than for him* -for, whenever they suffer from thirst or weariness or hunger in God's cause, and whenever they take any step which confounds* those who deny the truth, and whenever there comes to them from the enemy whatever may be destined for them* -[whenever anything thereof comes to pass,,] a good deed is recorded in their favour.* Verily, God does not fail to requite the doers of good!
And whenever they spend anything [for the sake of God], be it little or much, and whenever they move on earth* [in God's cause] -it is recorded in their favour, and God will grant them the best reward for all that they have been doing.
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.*
Do people deem it strange that We should have inspired a man from their own midst [with this Our message]:* "Warn all mankind, and give unto those who have attained to faith the glad tiding that in their Sustainer's sight they surpass all others in that they are completely sincere-?* [Only] they who deny the truth say, "Behold. he is clearly but a spellbinder!"*
Unto Him you all must return: this is, in truth, God's promise-for, behold, He creates [man] in the first instance, and then brings him forth anew* to the end that He may reward with equity all who attain to faith and do righteous deeds; whereas for those who are bent on denying the truth there is in store a draught of burning despair and grievous suffering because of their persistent refusal to acknowledge the truth.*
their goal is the fire in return for all [the evil] that they were wont to do.
For [thus it is:] when affliction befalls man, he cries out unto Us, whether he be lying on his side or sitting or standing;* but as soon as We have freed him of his affliction, he goes on as though he had never invoked Us to save him from the affliction* that befell him! Thus do their own doings seem goodly unto those who waste their own selves.*
And, indeed, We destroyed before your time [whole] generations when they [persistently] did evil although the apostles sent unto them brought them all evidence of the truth; for they refused to believe [them]. Thus do We requite people who are lost in sin.*
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]!"
AND [know that] all mankind were once but one single community, and only later did they begin to hold divergent views.* And had it not been for a decree- that had already gone forth from thy Sustainer, all their differences would indeed have been settled [from the outset].*
He it is who enables you to travel on land and sea. And [behold what happens] when you go to sea in ships:* [they go to sea in ships,] and they sail on in them in a favourable wind, and they rejoice thereat until there comes upon them a tempest, and waves surge towards them from all sides, so that they believe themselves to be encompassed [by death; and then] they call unto God, [at that moment] sincere in their faith in Him alone, "If Thou wilt but save us from this, we shall most certainly be among the grateful!"
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].
For, one Day We shall gather them all together, and then We shall say unto those who [in their lifetime] ascribed divinity to aught but God, "Stand where you are, you and those [beings and powers] to whom you were wont to ascribe a share in God's divinity!* -for by then We shall have [visibly] separated them from one another .* And the beings to whom they had ascribed a share in God's divinity will say [to those who had worshipped them], "It was not us that you were wont to worship;*
and none can bear witness between us and you as God does: we were, for certain, unaware of your worshipping [us].*
There and then will every human being clearly apprehend what he has done in the past; and all will be brought back unto God,* their true Lord Supreme, and all their false imagery will have forsaken them.
Now this Qur'an could not possibly have been devised by anyone save God: nay indeed,* it confirms the truth of whatever there still remains [of earlier revelations] and clearly spells out the revelation [which comes] -let there be no doubt about it-from the Sustainer of all the worlds.*
And yet,* they [who are bent on denying the truth] assert, "[Muhammad] has invented it!" Say [unto them]: "Produce, then, a surah of similar merit; and [to this end] call to your aid whomever you can, other than God, if what you say is true !*
Nay, but they are bent on giving the lie to everything the wisdom whereof they do not comprehend, and ere its inner meaning has become clear to them* Even thus did those who lived before their time give the lie to the truth: and behold what happened in the end to those evildoers!
And there are among them such as (pretend to] listen to thee: but canst thou cause the deaf to hearken even though they will not use their reason?
And there are among them such as [pretend to] look towards thee: but canst thou show the right way to the blind even though they cannot see?
And on the Day when He shall gather them [unto Himself, it will seem to them] as if they had not tarried [on earth] longer than an hour of a day, knowing one another;* [and] lost indeed will be they who [in their lifetime] considered it a lie that they were destined to meet God, and [thus] failed to find the right' way.
And yet, they [who deny the truth] are wont to ask, "When is that promise [of resurrection and judgment] to be fulfilled? [Answer this, O you who believe in it,] if you are men of truth!"
Will you, then, believe in it [only] after it has come to pass -[on the Day when you will be asked, `Do you believe in it] now,* after having [contemptuously] called for its speedy advent?'
-whereupon those who [in their lifetime] were bent on evildoing will be told, `Taste suffering abiding! Is this requital anything but the just due for what you were wont to do?"*
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.
they who have attained to faith and have always been conscious of Him.
[A brief] enjoyment in this world-and thereafter unto Us they must return: and then We shall let them taste suffering severe as an outcome of their persistent denial of the truth.
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 yet they gave him the lie! And so We saved him and all who stood by him, in the ark, and made them inherit [the earth],* the while We caused those who gave the lie to Our messages to drown:* behold, then, what happened in the end to those people who had been warned [in vain]!
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.*
And after those [earlier prophets] We sent Moses and Aaron with Our messages unto Pharaoh and his great ones: but they gloried in their arrogance, for they were people lost in sin.
[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!"*
And Moses said: "O my people! If you believe in God, place your trust in Him -if you have [truly] surrendered yourselves unto Him!"
[But God said:] "Now?* -when ever before this thou hast been rebelling [against Us], and hast been among those who spread corruption?
[Nay,] but today We shall save only thy body,* so that thou mayest be a [warning] sign unto those who will come after thee: for, behold, a good many people are heedless of Our messages!"
And [thereafter], indeed, We assigned unto the children of Israel a most goodly abode,* and provided for them sustenance out of the good things of life. And it was not until knowledge [of God's revelation] was vouchsafed to them that they began to hold divergent views: [but,] verily, thy Sustainer will judge between them on Resurrection Day regarding all on which they were wont to differ.*
AND SO, [O man,] if thou art in doubt about [the truth of] what We have [now] bestowed upon thee from on high,* ask those who read the divine writ [revealed] before thy time:* [and thou wilt find that,] surely, the truth has now come unto thee from thy Sustainer. Be not, then, among the doubters -
and neither be among those who are bent on giving the lie to God's messages, lest thou find thyself among the lost.
For, alas,* there has never yet been any community that attained to faith [in its entirety,] and thereupon benefited by its faith, except the people of Jonah.* When they came to believe, We removed from them the suffering of disgrace [which otherwise would have befallen them even] in the life of this world, and allowed them to enjoy their life during the time allotted to them.*
And [thus it is:] had thy Sustainer so willed, all those who live on earth would surely have attained to faith, all of them:* dost thou, then, think that thou couldst compel people to believe,
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?*
SAY [O Prophet]: "O mankind! If you are in doubt as to what my faith is, then [know that] I do not worship those beings whom you worship beside God,* but [that] I worship God alone, who shall cause you [all] to die:* for I have been bidden to be among those who believe [in Him alone]."
Hence, [O man,] set thy face steadfastly towards the [true] faith, turning away from all that is false,* and be not among those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God.
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"*
And thus it is: if We defer their suffering until a time-limit set [by Us],* they are sure to say, "What is preventing it [from coming now]?"* Oh, verily, on the Day when it befalls them there will be nothing to avert it from them; and they shall be overwhelmed by the very thing which they were wont to deride.*
and so they assert, "[Muhammad himself] has invented this [Qur'an)!"* Say [unto them]: "Produce, then, ten surahs of similar merit, invented [by yourselves], and [to this end] call to your aid whomever you can, other than, God, if what you say is true!*
AS FOR THOSE who care for [no more than] the life of this world and its bounties -We shall repay them in full for all that they did in this [life], and they, shall not be deprived of their just due therein:
[yet] it is they who, in the life to come, shall have nothing but the fire -for in vain shall be all that they wrought in this [world], and worthless all that they ever did !*
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.
Never can they elude [their final reckoning, even if they remain unscathed] on earth :* never will they find anyone who could protect them from God. [In the life to come] double suffering will be imposed on them* for having lost the ability to hear [the truth] and having failed to see [it].*
It is they who have squandered their own selves-for [on the Day of Resurrection] all their false imagery* will have forsaken them:
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?*
[But the great ones] said: "O Noah! Thou hast contended with us in argument, and hast [needlessly] prolonged our controversy :* bring upon us, therefore, that with which thou dost threaten us,* if thou art a man of truth!"
for, my advice will not benefit you -much as I desire to give you good advice - if it be God's will that you shall remain lost in grievous error.* He is your Sustainer, and unto Him you must return."
AND THIS was revealed unto Noah: "Never will any of thy people believe except those who have already attained to faith. Be not, then, distressed by anything that they may do,
And it moved on with them into waves that were like mountains. At that [moment] Noah cried out to a son of his, who had kept himself aloof [from the others]: "O my dear son!* Embark with us, and remain not with those who deny the truth!"
[But the son] answered: "I shall betake myself to a mountain that will protect me from the waters." Said [Noah]: "Today there is no protection [for anyone] from God's judgment, save [for] those who have earned [His] mercy!" And a wave rose up between them, and [the son] was among those who were drowned.
[God] answered: "O Noah, behold, he was not of thy family, for, verily, he was unrighteous in his conduct.* And thou shalt not ask of Me anything whereof thou canst not have any knowledge:* thus, behold, do I admonish thee lest thou become one of those who are unaware [of what is right]."*
Said [Noah]: "O my Sustainer! Verily, I seek refuge with Thee from [ever again] asking of Thee anything whereof I cannot have any knowledge! For unless Thou grant me forgiveness and bestow Thy mercy upon me, I shall be among the lost!"
THESE ACCOUNTS of something that was beyond the reach of thy perception We [now] reveal unto thee, [O Muhammad: for] neither thou nor thy people knew them [fully] ere this.* Be, then, [like Noah,] patient in adversity - for, behold, the future belongs to the God-conscious!
They answered: "O Salih! Great hopes did we place in thee ere this!* Wouldst thou forbid us to worship what our forefathers were wont to worship? Because [of this], behold, we are in grave doubt, amounting to suspicion, about [the meaning of] thy call to us!"*
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!"*
And his people came running to him, impelled towards his house [by their desire]:* for they had ever been wont to commit [such], abominations. Said [Lot]: "O my people! [Take instead] these daughters of mine: they are purer for you [than men]!* Be, then, conscious of God, and disgrace me not by [assaulting] my guests. Is there not among you even one right-minded man?"
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!
AND SO, [O Prophet,] be not in doubt about anything that those [misguided people] worship:* they but [thoughtlessly] worship as their forefathers worshipped aforetime; and, behold, We shall most certainly give them their full due [for whatever good or evil they have earned], without diminishing aught thereof.*
BUT, ALAS, among those generations [whom We destroyed] before your time there were no people endowed with any virtue* - [people] who would speak out against the [spread of] corruption on earth -except the few of them whom We saved [because of their righteousness], whereas those who were bent on evildoing only pursued pleasures which corrupted their whole being,* and so lost themselves in sinning.
For, never would thy Sustainer destroy a community* for wrong [beliefs alone] so long as its people behave righteously [towards one another].*
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].*
Indeed, in [the story of] Joseph and his brothers there are messages for all who search [after truth].*
[Said one of them:] "Slay Joseph, or else drive him away to some [faraway] land, so that your father's regard may be for you alone: and after this is done, you will be [free to repent and to live once again as] righteous people!"*
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] said: "O our father! Behold, we went off racing with one another, and left Joseph behind with our things; and thereupon the wolf devoured him! But [we know that] thou wouldst not believe us even though we speak the truth" -
And they sold him for a paltry price - a mere few silver coins: thus low did they value him.
[Joseph] exclaimed: "It was she who sought to make me yield myself unto her!" Now one of those present, a member of her own household, suggested this:* If his tunic has been torn from the front, then she is telling the truth, and he is a liar;
but if his tunic has been torn from behind, then she is lying, and he is speaking the truth."
[But,] Joseph, let this pass!* And thou, [O wife,] ask forgiveness for thy sin-for, verily, thou hast been greatly at fault!"
Said she: "This, then, is he about whom you have been blaming me! And, indeed, I did try to make him yield himself unto me, but he remained chaste. Now, however, if he does not do what I bid him, he shall most certainly be imprisoned, and shall most certainly find himself among the despised!*
Said he: "O my Sustainer! Prison is more desirable to me than [compliance with] what these women invite me to: for, unless Thou turn away their guile from me, I might yet yield to their allure* and become one of those who are unaware [of right and wrong]."
and I follow the creed of my forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It is not conceivable that we should [be allowed to] ascribe divinity to aught beside God: this is [an outcome] of God's bounty unto us and unto all mankind* -but most people are ungrateful.
AND [one day] the King said:* Behold, I saw [in a dream] seven fat cows being devoured by seven emaciated ones, and seven green ears [of wheat] next to [seven] others that were withered. O you nobles! Enlighten me about [the meaning of] my dream, if you are able to interpret dreams!"
But in the eyes of those who have attained to faith and have always been conscious of Us, a reward in the life to come is a far greater good [than any reward in this world].*
But although* they entered [Joseph's city] in the way their father had bidden them, this proved of no avail whatever to them against [the plan of] God* [His request] had served only to satisfy Jacob's heartfelt desire [to protect them]:* for, behold, thanks to what We had imparted unto him, he was indeed endowed with the knowledge [that God's will must always prevail* ]; but most people know it not.
AND WHEN [the sons of Jacob] presented themselves before Joseph, he drew his brother [Benjamin] unto himself, saying [to him in secret]: "Behold, I am thy brother! So grieve thou not over their past doings!"*
Said [the brothers]: "By God! Well do you know that we have not come to commit deeds of corruption in this land, and that we have not been thieving!"
[The Egyptians] said: "But what shall be the requital of this [deed] if you are [proved to be] liars?"
Thereupon [they were brought before Joseph to be searched; and] he began with the bags of his half-brothers* before the bag of his brother [Benjamin]: and in the end he brought forth the drinking Cups* out of his brother's bag. In this way did We contrive for Joseph [the attainment of his heart's desire]: under the King's law, he would [otherwise] not have been able to detain his brother, had not God so willed. We do raise to [high] degrees [of knowledge] whomever We will - but above everyone who is endowed with knowledge there is One who knows all.*
[And as for you others,] return to your father and say: `O our father! Behold, thy son has stolen-but we [can] bear witness to no more than what has become known to us;* and [although we gave you our pledge,] we could not guard against something that [lay hidden in the future and, hence,] was beyond the reach of our perception.*
And ask thou in the town in which we were [at the time], and of the people of the caravan with whom we travelled hither, and [thou wilt find that] we, are indeed telling the truth!"'
Said [his sons]: "By God! Thou wilt never cease to remember, Joseph till thou art broken in body and spirit or art dead!"
[The brothers] said: "By God! Most certainly has God raised thee high above us, and we were indeed but sinners!"
[His sons] answered: "O our father! Ask God to forgive us our sins, for, verily, we were sinners."
THIS ACCOUNT of something that was beyond the reach of thy perception We [now] reveal unto thee, [O Prophet:] for thou wert not with Joseph's brothers* when they resolved upon what they were going to do and wove their schemes [against him].
And [even] before thy time, We never sent [as Our apostles] any but [mortal] men, whom We inspired, [and whom We always chose] from among the people of the [very] communities [to whom the message was to be brought].* Have, then, they [who reject this divine writ] never journeyed about the earth and beheld what happened in the end to those [deniers of the truth] who lived before them?-and [do they not know that] to those who are conscious of God the life in the hereafter is indeed better [than this world]? Will they not, then, use their reason?
Indeed, in the stories of these men* there is a lesson for those who are endowed with insight. [As for this revelation,* ] it could not possibly be a discourse invented [by man]: nay indeed,* it is [a divine writ] confirming the truth of whatever there still remains [of earlier revelations], clearly spelling out everything,* and [offering] guidance and grace unto people who will believe.
BUT IF thou art amazed [at the marvels of God's creation], amazing, too, is their saying, "What! After we have become dust, shall we indeed be [restored to life] in a new act .of creation?"* It is they who [thus show that they] are bent on denying their Sustainer;* and it is they who carry the shackles [of their own making] around their necks;* and it is they who are destined for the fire, therein to abide.
And, indeed, [even] before thy time have [God's] apostles been derided, and for a while I gave rein to those who were [thus] bent on denying the truth: but then I took them to task - and how awesome was My retribution!