who used to enjoin upon his people prayer and charity,* and found favour in his Sustainer's sight.
Return thou unto thy Sustainer, well-pleased [and] pleasing [Him]:
who will be my heir as well as an heir [to the dignity] of the House of Jacob; and make him, O my Sustainer, well-pleasing to Thee!"
And the [divorced] mothers may nurse their children for two whole years, if they wish to complete the period of nursing; and it is incumbent upon him who has begotten the child to provide in a fair manner for their sustenance and clothing. No human being shall be burdened with more than he is well able to bear: neither shall a mother be made to suffer because of her child, nor, because of his child, he who has begotten it. And the same duty rests upon the [father's] heir. And if both [parents] decide, by mutual consent and counsel, upon separation [of mother and child],* they will incur no sin [thereby]; and if you decide to entrust your children to foster-mothers, you will incur no sin provided you ensure, in a fair manner, the safety of the child which you are handing over.* But remain conscious of God, and know that God sees all that you do.
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 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.
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.
How [else could it be]?* -since, if they [who are hostile to you] were to overcome you, they would not respect any tie [with you,] nor any obligation to protect [you].* They seek to please you with their mouths, the while their hearts remain averse [to you]; and most of them are iniquitous.
[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!*
He knows all that lies open before them* and all that is hidden from them:* hence, they cannot intercede for any but those whom He has [already] graced with His goodly acceptance, since they themselves stand in reverent awe of Him.*
God has promised those of you who have attained to faith and do righteous deeds that, of a certainty, He will cause them to accede to power on earth,* even as He caused [some of] those who lived before them to accede to it; and that, of a certainty, He will firmly establish for them the religion which He has been pleased to bestow on them;* and that, of a certainty, He will cause their erstwhile state of fear to be replaced by a sense of security* [seeing that] they worship Me [alone], not ascribing divine powers to aught beside Me.* But all who, after [having understood] this, choose to deny the truth - it is they, they who are truly iniquitous!
unless it be to an apostle whom He has been pleased to elect [there for]:* and then He sends forth [the forces of heaven] to watch over him in whatever lies open before him and in what is beyond his ken*
And so he will find himself in a happy state of life,
well-pleased with [the fruit of] their striving,
Return thou unto thy Sustainer, well-pleased [and] pleasing [Him]:
shall find himself in a happy' state of life;
But there is [also] a kind of man who would willingly sell his own self in order to please God:* and God is most compassionate towards His servants.
And the parable of those who spend their possessions out of a longing to please God, and out of their own inner certainty, is that of a garden on high, fertile ground: a rainstorm smites it, and thereupon it brings forth its fruit twofold; and if no rainstorm smites it, soft rain [falls upon it]. And God sees all that you do.
NO GOOD comes, as a rule, out of secret confabulations - saving such as are devoted to enjoining charity, or equitable dealings, or setting things to rights between people:* and unto him who does this out of a longing for God's goodly acceptance We shall in time grant a mighty reward.
O YOU who have attained to faith! Do not take My enemies - who are your enemies as well* - for your friends, showing them affection even though they are bent on denying whatever truth has come unto you, [and even though] they have driven the Apostle and yourselves away, [only] because you believe in God, your Sustainer!* If [it be true that] you have gone forth [from your homes] to strive in My cause, and out of a longing for My goodly acceptance, [do not take them for your friends,] inclining towards them in secret affection: for I am fully aware of all that you may conceal as well as of all that you do openly. And any of you who does this has already strayed from the right path.*
O PROPHET! Why dost thou, out of a desire to please [one or another of] thy wives, impose [on thyself] a prohibition of something that God has made lawful to thee?* But God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace:
Say: "Shall I tell you of better things than those [earthly joys]? For the God-conscious there are, with their Sustainer, gardens through which running waters flow, therein to abide, and spouses pure, and God's goodly acceptance." And God sees all that is in [the hearts of] His servants -
Is then he* who strives after God's goodly acceptance like unto him who has earned the burden of God's condemnation* and whose goal is hell? - and how vile a journey's end!
- and returned [from the battle] with God's blessings and bounty, without having been touched by evil:* for they had been striving after God's goodly acceptance - and God is limitless in His great bounty.
O you who have attained to faith! Offend not against the symbols set up by God, nor against the sacred month [of pilgrimage], nor against the garlanded offerings,* nor against those who flock to the Inviolable Temple, seeking favour with their Sustainer and His goodly acceptance; and [only] after your pilgrimage is over* are you free to hunt. And never let your hatred of people who would bar you from the Inviolable House of Worship lead you into the sin of aggression:* but rather help one another in furthering virtue and God-consciousness, and do not help one another in furthering evil and enmity; and remain conscious of God: for, behold, God is severe in retribution!
through which God shows unto all that seek His goodly acceptance the paths leading to salvation* and, by His grace, brings them out of the depths of darkness into the light and guides them onto a straight way.
Their Sustainer gives them the glad tiding of the grace [that flows] from Him, and of [His] goodly acceptance, and of the gardens which await them, full of lasting bliss,
God has promised the believers, both men and women, gardens through which running waters flow, therein to abide, and goodly dwellings in gardens of perpetual bliss:* but God's goodly acceptance is the greatest [bliss of all] -for this, this is the triumph supreme!
Which. then, is the better: he who has founded his building on God-consciousness and [a desire for] His goodly acceptance-or he who has founded his building on the edge of a water-worn, crumbling river-bank, so that it [is bound to] tumble down with him into the fire of hell? For, God does not grace with His guidance people who [deliberately] do wrong:
This, because they were wont to pursue what God condemns and to hate [whatever would meet with] His goodly acceptance:* and so He has caused all their [good] deeds to come to nought.
MUHAMMAD is God's Apostle; and those who are [truly] with him are firm and unyielding* towards all deniers of the truth, [yet] full of mercy towards one another.* Thou canst see them bowing down, prostrating themselves [in prayer], seeking favour with God and [His] goodly acceptance: their marks are on their faces, traced by prostration.* This is their parable in the Torah as well as their parable in the Gospel:* [they are] like a seed that brings forth its shoot, and then He strengthens it, so that it grows stout, and [in the end] stands firm upon its stem, delighting the sowers. [Thus will God cause the believers to grow in strength,] so that through them He might confound the deniers of the truth.* [But] unto such of them as may [yet] attain to faith and do righteous deeds, God has promised forgiveness and a reward supreme.*
KNOW [O men] that the life of this world is but a play and a passing delight, and a beautiful show, and [the cause of] your boastful vying with one another, and [of your] greed for more and more riches and children.* Its parable is that of* [life-giving] rain: the herbage which it causes to grow delights the tillers of the soil;* but then it withers, and thou canst see it turn yellow; and in the end it crumbles into dust. But [the abiding truth of man's condition will become fully apparent] in the life to come: [either] suffering severe, or* God's forgiveness and His goodly acceptance: for the life of this world is nothing but an enjoyment of self-delusion.
And thereupon We caused [other of] Our apostles to follow in their footsteps; and [in the course of time] We caused them to be followed by Jesus, the son of Mary, upon whom We bestowed the Gospel;* and in the hearts of those who [truly] followed him We engendered compassion and mercy. But as for monastic asceticism -* We did not enjoin it upon them: they invented it themselves out of a desire for God's goodly acceptance.* But then, they did not [always] observe it as it ought to have been observed:* and so We granted their recompense unto such of them as had [truly] attained to faith, whereas many of them became iniquitous.*
[Thus, part of such war-gains shall be given] to the poor among those who have forsaken the domain of evil:* those who have been driven from their homelands and their possessions, seeking favour with God and [His] goodly acceptance, and who aid [the cause of] God and His Apostle: it is they, they who are true to their word!
For, never will the Jews be pleased with thee. nor yet the Christians, unless thou follow their own creeds. Say: "Behold, God's guidance is the only true guidance." And, indeed, if thou shouldst follow their errant views after all the knowledge that has come unto thee. thou wouldst have none to protect thee from God, and none to bring thee succour.
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.
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.
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.
FORBIDDEN to you is carrion, and blood, and the flesh of swine, and that over which any name other than God's has been invoked,* and the animal that has been strangled, or beaten to death, or killed by a fall, or gored to death, or savaged by a beast of prey, save that which you [yourselves] may have slaughtered while it was still alive; and [forbidden to you is] all that has been slaughtered on idolatrous altars.* And [you are forbidden] to seek to learn through divination what the future may hold in store for you:* this is sinful conduct. Today, those who , are bent on denying the truth have lost all hope of [your ever forsaking] your religion: do not, then, hold them in awe, but stand in awe of Me! Today have I perfected your religious law for you, and have bestowed upon you the full measure of My blessings, and willed that self-surrender unto Me shall be your religion.* As for him, however, who is driven [to what is forbidden] by dire necessity* and not by an inclination to sinning -behold, God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
[AND on Judgment Day] God will say:* "Today, their truthfulness shall benefit all who have been true to their word: theirs shall be gardens through which running waters flow, therein to abide beyond the count of time; well-pleased is God with them, and well-pleased are they with Him: this is the triumph supreme."
Yet, to the end that the hearts of those who do not believe in the life to come might incline towards Him, and that in Him they might find contentment, and that they might earn whatever they can earn [of merit] -
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."
O YOU who have attained to faith! What is amiss with you that, when you are called upon, "Go forth to war in God's cause," you cling heavily to the earth?* Would you content yourselves with [the comforts of] this worldly life in preference to [the good of] the life to come? But the enjoyment of life in this world is but a paltry thing when compared with the life to come!
And among them are such as find fault with thee [O Prophet] concerning [the distribution of] the offerings given for the sake of God:* if they are given something thereof, they are well-pleased; but if they are not given anything thereof, lo! they are consumed with anger.
And yet, [it would be but for their own good] if they were to content themselves with what God has given them and [caused] His Apostle [to give them],* and would say, "God is enough for us! God will give us [whatever He wills] out of His bounty, and [will cause] His Apostle [to give us, too]: verily, unto God alone do we turn with hope!"
Hence, [O Prophet,] if God brings thee again face to face with some of them,"* and then they ask thy leave to go forth [to war with thee], say: "Never shall you go forth with me. nor shall you fight an enemy together with me! Behold, you were well-pleased to stay at home on that first occasion: stay at home, then, with, those who [are obliged to] remain behind!"*
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].
They will swear to you with a view to making you pleased with them: but [even] should you be pleased with them, verily, God shall never be pleased with iniquitous folk.
And as for the first and foremost of those who have forsaken the domain of evil and of those who have sheltered and succoured the Faith,* as well as those who follow them in [the way of] righteousness - God is well-pleased with them, and well--pleased are they with Him. And for them has He readied gardens through which running waters flow, therein to abide beyond the count of time: this is the triumph supreme!
Verily, as for those who do not believe that they are destined to meet Us,* but content themselves with the life of this world and do not look beyond it,* and are heedless of Our messages -
He answered: "They are treading in my footsteps* while I have hastened unto Thee, O my Sustainer, so that Thou might be well-pleased [with me]."
On that Day, intercession shall be of no avail [to any] save him in whose case the Most Gracious will have granted leave therefor, and whose word [of faith) He will have accepted:*
Hence, bear with patience whatever they [who deny the truth] may say, and extol thy Sustainer's limitless glory and praise Him before the rising of the sun and before its setting; and extol His glory, too, during some of the hours of the night as well as during the hours of the day,* so that thou might attain to happiness.
[and] He will most certainly cause them to enter upon a state (of being) that shall please them well:* for, verily, God is all-knowing, most forbearing.
Thereupon [Solomon] smiled joyously at her words, and said: O my Sustainer! Inspire me so that I may forever be grateful for those blessings of Thine with which Thou hast graced me and my parents,* and that I may do what is right [in a manner] that will please Thee; and include me, by Thy grace, among Thy righteous servants!"
[know that] thou mayest put off for a time whichever of them thou pleasest, and mayest take unto thee whichever thou pleasest; and [that,] if thou seek out any from whom thou hast kept away [for a time], thou wilt incur no sin [thereby]:* this will make it more likely that their eyes are gladdened [whenever they see thee],* and that they do not grieve [whenever they are overlooked], and that all of them may find contentment in whatever thou hast to give them: for God [alone] knows what is in your hearts - and God is indeed all-knowing, forbearing.*
If you are ingrate* behold, God has no need of you; none the less, He does not approve of ingratitude in His servants: whereas, if you show gratitude, He approves it in you. And no bearer of burdens shall be made to bear another's burden.* In time, unto your Sustainer you all must return, and then He will make you [truly] understand all that you were doing [in life]: for, verily, He has full knowledge of what is in the hearts [of men].
NOW [among the best of the deeds which] We have enjoined upon man is goodness towards his parents.* In pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she give him birth; and her bearing him and his utter dependence on her took thirty months.* and so, when he attains to full maturity and reaches forty years,* he [that is righteous] prays: O my Sustainer! Inspire me so that I may forever be grateful for those blessings of Thine with which Thou hast graced me and my parents, and that I may do what is right [in a manner] that will meet with Thy goodly acceptance; and grant me righteousness in my offspring [as well]. Verily, unto Thee have I turned in repentance:* for, verily, I am of those who have surrendered themselves unto Thee!"
INDEED, well-pleased was God with the believers when they pledged their allegiance unto thee [O Muhammad] under that tree,* for He knew what was in their hearts; and so He bestowed inner peace upon them from on high, and rewarded them with [the glad tiding of] a victory soon to come*
For, however many angels there be in the heavens, their intercession can be of no least avail [to anyone] - except after God has given leave [to intercede] for whomever He wills and with whom He is well-pleased.*
Thou canst not find people who [truly] believe in God and the Last Day and [at the same time] love anyone who contends against God and His Apostle - even though they be their fathers, or their sons, or their brothers, or [others of] their kindred.* [As for the true believers,] it is they in whose hearts He has inscribed faith, and whom He has strengthened with inspiration from Himself,* and whom [in time] He will admit into gardens through which running waters flow, therein to abide. Well-pleased is God with them, and well-pleased are they with Him. They are God's partisans: oh, verily, it is they, the partisans of God, who shall attain to a happy state!
and such, indeed, shall in time be well-pleased.
And, indeed, in time will thy Sustainer grant thee [what thy heart desires], and thou shalt be well-pleased.
Their reward [awaits them] with God: gardens of perpetual bliss, through which running waters flow, therein to abide beyond the count of time; well-pleased is God with them, and well-pleased are they with Him: all this awaits him who of his Sustainer stands in awe!.