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.*
True piety does not consist in turning your faces towards the east or the west* - but truly pious is he who believes in God, and the Last Day; and the angels, and revelation,* and the prophets; and spends his substance - however much he himself may cherish - it - upon his near of kin, and the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer,* and the beggars, and for the freeing of human beings from bondage;* and is constant in prayer, and renders the purifying dues; and [truly pious are] they who keep their promises whenever they promise, and are patient in misfortune and hardship and in time of peril: it is they that have proved themselves true, and it is they, they who are conscious of God.
THEY WILL ASK thee about the new moons. Say: "They indicate the periods for [various doings of] mankind, including the pilgrimage."* However, piety does not consist in your entering houses from the rear, [as it were,] but truly pious is he who is conscious of God.* Hence, enter houses through their doors, and remain conscious of God, so that you might attain to a happy state.
[However,] you will be committing no sin if [during the pilgrimage] you seek to obtain any bounty from your Sustainer.* And when you surge downward in multitudes from `Arafat,* remember God at the holy place, and remember Him as the One who guided you after you had indeed been lost on your way;*
And when Saul set out with his forces, he said: "Behold, God will now try you by a river: he who shall drink of it will not belong to me, whereas he who shall refrain from tasting it - he, indeed, will belong to me; but forgiven shall be he* who shall scoop up but a single handful." However, save for a few of them, they all drank [their fill] of it. And as soon as he and those who had kept faith with him had crossed the river, the others said: "No strength have we today [to stand up] against Goliath and his forces!" [Yet] those who knew with certainty that they were destined to meet God, replied: "How often has a small host overcome a great host by God's leave! For God is with those who are patient in adversity."
O you who have attained to faith! Spend on others out of the good things which you may have acquired, and out of that which We bring forth for you from the earth; and choose not for your spending the bad things which you yourselves would not accept without averting your eyes in disdain. And know that God is self-sufficient, ever to be praised.
It is not for thee [O Prophet] to make people follow the right path,* since it is God [alone] who guides whom He wills. And whatever good you may spend on others is for your own good, provided that you spend only out of a longing for God's countenance: for, whatever good you may spend will be repaid unto you in full, and you shall not be wronged.
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.
LET NOT the believers take those who deny the truth for their allies in preference to the believers* - since he who does this cuts himself off from God in everything - unless it be to protect yourselves against them in this way.* But God warns you to beware of Him: for with God is all journeys' end.
But when she had given birth to the child,* she said: "O my Sustainer! Behold, I have given birth to a female" - the while God had been fully aware of what she would give birth to, and [fully aware] that no male child [she might have hoped for] could ever have been like this female* - "and I have named her Mary. And, verily, I seek Thy protection for her and her offspring against Satan, the accursed."
Lo! You are the ones who would argue about that which is known to you; but why do you argue about something which is unknown to you?* Yet God knows [it], whereas you do not know:
AND AMONG the followers of earlier revelation there is many a one who, if thou entrust him with a treasure, will [faithfully] restore it to thee; and there is among them many a one who, if thou entrust him with a tiny gold coin, will not restore it to thee unless thou keep standing over him - which is an outcome of their assertion,* "No blame can attach to us [for anything that we may do] with regard to these unlettered folk": and [so] they tell a lie about God, being well aware [that it is a lie]."*
[But] they are not all alike: among the followers of earlier revelation there are upright people,* who recite God's messages throughout the night, and prostrate themselves [before Him].
[And] it is in no wise for thee [O Prophet] to decide whether He shall accept their repentance or chastise them - for, behold, they are but wrongdoers,
and mark out those who were tainted with hypocrisy and, when they were told, "Come, fight in God's cause" - or, "Defend yourselves"* - answered, "If we but knew [that it would come to a] fight, we would indeed follow you." Unto apostasy were they nearer on that day than unto faith, uttering with their mouths something which was not in their hearts,* the while God knew fully well what they were trying to conceal:
in return for what your own hands have wrought - for never does God do the least wrong to His creatures!"
whereas repentance shall not be accepted from those who do evil deeds until their dying hour and then say,* "Behold, I now repent"; nor from those who die as deniers of the truth: it is these for whom We have readied grievous suffering.
[Hence,] O you who have attained to faith, when you go forth [to war] in God's cause, use your discernment, and do not - out of a desire for the fleeting gains of this worldly life - say unto anyone who offers you the greeting of peace, "Thou art not a believer"* for with God there are gains abundant. You, too, were once in the same condition* - but God has been gracious unto you. Use, therefore, your discernment: verily, God is always aware of what you do.
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.
It may not accord with your wishful thinking - nor with the wishful thinking of the followers of earlier revelation* - [that] he who does evil shall be requited for it, and shall find none to protect him from God, and none to bring him succour,
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.
Say: "O followers of the Bible! You have no valid ground for your beliefs -unless you [truly] observe the Torah and the Gospel, and all that has been bestowed from on high upon you by your Sustainer!"* Yet all that has been bestowed from on high upon thee [O Prophet] by thy Sustainer is bound to make many of them yet more stubborn in their overweening arrogance and in their denial of the truth. But sorrow not over people who deny the truth:
Those who have attained to faith and do righteous deeds incur no sin by partaking of whatever they may,* so long as they are conscious of God and [truly] believe and do righteous deeds, and continue to be conscious of God and to believe, and grow ever more* conscious of God, and persevere in doing good: for God loves the doers of good.
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.
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 warn hereby those who fear lest they be gathered unto their Sustainer with none to protect them from Him or to intercede with Him, so that they might become [fully] conscious of Him.*
For it is in this way* that We try men through one another - to the end that they might ask, "Has God, then, bestowed His favour upon those others in preference to us?"* Does not God know best as to who is grateful [to Him]?
and yet, to all this thy peoples* have given the lie, although it is the truth. Say [then]: "I am not responsible for your conduct.
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.
[but] it was to them that We vouchsafed revelation, and sound judgment, and prophethood. And now, although the unbelievers may choose to deny these truths,* [know that] We have entrusted them to people who will never refuse to acknowledge them-
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.
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.
Said [Noah]: "O my people! There is no error in me, but I am an apostle from the Sustainer of all the worlds.
Said [Hud]: "O my people! There is no weak-mindedness in me, but I am an apostle from the Sustainer of all the worlds.
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";
in return for what your own hands have wrought - for, never does God do the least wrong to His creatures!"
[But] no blame shall attach to the weak,* nor to the sick, nor to those who have no means. [to equip themselves],* provided that they are sincere towards God and His Apostle: there is no cause to reproach the doers of good, for God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
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.*
[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 !*
[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!"
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?"
[Whereupon the angels] said: "O Lot! Behold, we are messengers from thy Sustainer! Never shall [thy enemies] attain to thee! Depart, then, with thy household while it is yet night, and let none of you look back;* [and take with thee all thy family] with the exception of thy wife: for, behold, that which is to befall these [people of Sodom] shall befall her [as well].* Verily, their appointed time is the morning [and] is not the morning nigh?"
And [if] they who are bent on denying the truth say [unto thee, O Prophet], "Thou hast not been sent [by God]", say thou: "None can bear witness between me and you as God does; and [none can bear witness as does] he who truly understands this divine writ.*
and provided thereon means of livelihood for you [O men] as well as for all [living beings] whose sustenance does not depend on you.*
verily, thou shalt have no power over My creatures- unless it be such as are [already] lost in grievous error and follow thee [of their own will]:*
Behold, he has no power over those who have attained to faith and in their Sustainer place their tray trust:
And never concern thyself with anything of which thou hast no knowledge:* verily, [thy] hearing and sight and heart - all of them - will be called to account for it [on Judgment Day]!
"(And yet,] behold, thou shalt have no power over [such of] My servants [as place their trust in Me]:* for none is as worthy of trust as thy Sustainer."
[and he shall be told:] This is an outcome of what thine own hands have wrought - for, never does God do the least wrong to His creatures!"
And yet* they [who claim to believe in Him often] worship [other beings or forces] beside God - something for which He has never bestoweed any warrant from on high,* and [of the reality] whereof they cannot have any knowledge:* and such evildoers shall have none to succour them [on Judgment Day].
when you take it up with your tongues, uttering with your mouths something of which you have no knowledge, and deeming it a light matter whereas in the sight of God it is an awful thing!
[On the other hand,] you will incur no sin if you [freely] enter houses not intended for living in but serving a purpose useful to you:* but [always remember that] God knows all that you do openly, and all that you would conceal.
O YOU who have attained to faith!* At three times [of day], let [even] those whom you rightfully possess,* as well as those from among you who have not yet attained to puberty,* ask leave of you [before intruding upon your privacy]: before the prayer of daybreak, and whenever you lay aside your garments in the middle of the day, and after the prayer of nightfall:* the three occasions on which your nakedness is likely to be bared.* Beyond these [occasions], neither you nor they will incur any sin if they move [freely] about you, attending to [the needs of] one another. In this way God makes clear unto you His messages: for God is all-knowing, wise!
AND* [know that] women advanced in years, who no longer feel any sexual desire,* incur no sin if they discard their [outer] garments, provided they do not aim at a showy display of [their] charms. But [even so,] it is better for them to abstain [from this]: and God is all-hearing, all-knowing.
[ALL OF YOU, O believers, are brethren: hence.]* no blame attaches to the blind, nor does blame attach to the lame, nor does blame attach to the sick [for accepting charity from the hale], and neither to yourselves for eating [whatever is offered to you by others, whether it be food obtained] from your [children's] houses,* or your fathers' houses, or your mothers' houses, or your brothers' houses, or your sisters' houses, or your paternal uncles' houses, or your paternal aunts' houses, or your maternal uncles' houses, or your maternal aunts' houses, or [houses] the keys whereof are in your charge!* or [the house] of any of your friends; nor will you incur any sin by eating in company or separately. But whenever you enter [any of these] houses, greet one another with a blessed, goodly greeting, as enjoined by God. In this way God makes clear unto you His messages, so that you might [learn to] use your reason.
Now [among the best of righteous deeds which] We have enjoined upon man [is] goodness towards his parents;* yet [even so,] should they endeavour to make thee ascribe divinity, side by side with Me, to something which thy mind cannot accept [as divine], obey then, not:* [for] it is unto Me that you all must return, whereupon I shall make you [truly] understand [the right and wrong of] all that you were doing [in life].
Now there is among men many a one who says [of himself and of others like him], We do believe in God" - but whenever he is made to suffer in God's cause, he thinks that persecution at the hands of man is as [much to be feared, or even more than,] God's chastisement;* whereas, if succour from thy Sustainer comes [to those who truly believe]* he is sure to say. Behold, we have always been with you!" Is not God fully aware of what is in the hearts of all creatures?
And who could be more wicked than he who attributes his own lying inventions to God,* or gives the lie to the truth when it comes unto him [through revelation]? Is not hell the [proper] abode for all who [thus] deny the truth?
'[Revere thy parents;] yet should they endeavour to make thee ascribe divinity, side by side with Me, to something which thy mind cannot accept [as divine],* obey them not; but [even then] bear them company in this world's life with kindness, and follow the path of those who turn towards Me. In the end, unto Me you all must return; and thereupon I shall make you [truly] understand all that you were doing [in life].'
[As for your adopted children,] call them by their [real] fathers' names: this is more equitable in the sight of God; and if you know not who their fathers were, [call them] your brethren in faith and your friends.* However, you will incur no sin if you err in this respect:* [what really matters is] but what your hearts intend - for God is indeed much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace!
O wives of the Prophet! You are not like any of the [other] women, provided that you remain [truly] conscious of God.* Hence, be not over-soft in your speech, lest any whose heart is diseased should be moved to desire [you]: but, withal, speak in a kindly way.
Is, then, He who has created the heavens and the earth not able to create [anew] the like of those [who have died]? Yea, indeed - for He alone is the all-knowing Creator:
And who could be more wicked than he who invents lies about God?* and gives the lie to the truth as soon as it has been placed before him? Is not hell the [proper] abode for all who deny the truth?*
IS NOT God enough for His servant? And yet, they would frighten thee with those [imaginary divine powers which they worship] beside Him!* But he whom God lets go astray can never find any guide,
whereas he whom God guides aright can never be led astray. Is not God almighty, an avenger of evil?
And [so,] on the Day of Resurrection thou wilt see all who invented lies about God [with] their faces darkened [by grief and ignominy].* Is not hell the [proper] abode for all who are given to false pride?*
- [for] you call upon me to deny [the oneness of] God and to ascribe a share in His divinity to aught of which I cannot [possibly] have any knowledge the while I summon you to [a cognition of] the Almighty, the All-Forgiving!*
There is no doubt that what you summon me to is something that has no claim to being invoked either in this world or in the life to come - as [there is no doubt] that unto God is our return, and that they who have wasted their own selves shall find themselves in the fire:
The Originator [is He] of the heavens and the earth. He has given you mates of your own kind* just as [He has willed that] among the beasts [there be] mates - to multiply you thereby: [but] there is nothing like unto Him, and He alone is all-hearing, all-seeing.*
And Pharaoh issued a call to his people, saying: O my people! Does not the dominion over Egypt belong to me, since all these running waters flow at my feet?* Can you not, then, see [that I am your lord supreme]?
But he who does not respond to God's call can never elude [Him] on earth, nor can he has any protector against Him [in the life to come]: all such are most obviously lost in error."*
And so, on the Day when those who were bent on denying the truth will be brought within sight of the fire [and will be asked], Is not this the truth?" - they will answer, Yea, by Our Sustainer!" [And] He will say: Taste, then, this suffering as an outcome of your denial of the truth!"
Those of the bedouin who stayed behind will say unto thee:* [The need to take care of] our chattels and our families kept us busy: do then, [O Prophet,] ask God to forgive us!" [Thus,] they will utter with their tongues something that is not in their hearts.* Say: Who, then, has it in his power to avert from you aught that God may have willed,* whether it be His will to harm you or to confer a benefit on you? Nay, but God is fully aware of what you do!
No blame attaches to the blind, nor does blame attach to the lame, nor does blame attach to the sick [for staying away from a war in God's cause];* but whoever heeds [the call of] God and His Apostle [in deed or in heart],* him will He admit into gardens through which running waters flow; whereas him who turns away will He chastise with grievous chastisement.
and that nought shall be accounted unto man but what he is striving for;*
[although] none but God can unveil it....
there will be nought that could give the lie to its having come to pass,
[All other kinds of] secret confabulations are but of Satan's doing, so that he might cause grief to those who have attained to faith; yet he cannot harm them in the least, unless it be by God's leave:* in God, then, let the believers place their trust!
and so, no friend has here today,
those who deny the truth.* [Know, then, that] nothing can ward it off,
Is not He, then; able to bring the dead back to life?
No food for them save the bitterness of dry thorns,
thou canst not compel them [to believe].*
Is not God the most just of judges?