The Koran/Sura II — The Cow

Updated September 23, 2019 | Infoplease Staff

Sura II — The Cow[852]

Medina — 286 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

ELIF. LAM. MIM.[853] No doubt is there about this Book: It is a guidance to the God-fearing,

Who believe in the unseen,[854] who observe prayer, and out of what we have bestowed on them, expend for God;

And who believe in what hath been sent down to thee, and in what hath been sent down before thee, and full faith have they in the life to come:

These are guided by their Lord; and with these it shall be well.

As to the infidels, alike is it to them whether thou warn them or warn them not—they will not believe:

Their hearts and their ears hath God sealed up; and over their eyes is a covering. For them, a severe chastisement!

And some[855] there are who say, "We believe in God, and in the latter day:" Yet are they not believers!

Fain would they deceive God and those who have believed; but they deceive themselves only, and know it not.

Diseased are their hearts! And that disease hath God increased to them. Theirs is a sore chastisement, for they treated their prophet as a liar!

And when it is said to them, "Cause not disorders in the earth:" they say, "Nay, rather do we set them right."

Is it not that they are themselves the authors of disorder? But they perceive it not!

And when it is said to them, "Believe as other men have believed;" they say, "Shall we believe as the fools have believed?" Is it not that they are themselves the fools? But they know it not!

And when they meet the faithful they say, "We believe;" but when they are apart with their Satans[856] they say, "Verily we hold with you, and at them we only mock."

God shall mock at them, and keep them long in their rebellion, wandering in perplexity.

These are they who have purchased error at the price of guidance: but their traffic hath not been gainful, neither are they guided at all.

They are like one[857] who kindleth a fire, and when it hath thrown its light on all around him. . . . God taketh away their light and leaveth them in darkness—they cannot see!—

Deaf, dumb, blind: therefore they shall not retrace their steps from error!

Or like those who, when there cometh a storm-cloud out of the Heaven, big with darkness, thunder, and lightning, thrust their fingers into their ears because of the thunder-clap, for fear of death! God is round about the infidels.

The lightning almost snatcheth away their eyes! So oft as it gleameth on them they walk on in it, but when darkness closeth upon them, they stop! And if God pleased, of their ears and of their eyes would he surely deprive them: verily God is Almighty! O men of Mecca[858] adore your Lord, who hath created you and those who were before you: haply ye will fear Him

Who hath made the earth a bed for you, and the heaven a covering, and hath caused water to come down from heaven, and by it hath brought forth fruits for your sustenance! Do not then wittingly give peers to God.

And if ye be in doubt as to that which we have sent down to our servant, then produce a Sura like it, and summon your witnesses, beside God, if ye are men of truth:

But if ye do it not, and never shall ye do it, then fear the fire prepared for the infidels, whose fuel is men and stones:[859]

But announce to those who believe and do the things that are right, that for them are gardens 'neath which the rivers flow! So oft as they are fed therefrom with fruit for sustenance, they shall say, "This same was our sustenance of old:" And they shall have its like given to them.[860] Therein shall they have wives of perfect purity, and therein shall they abide for ever.

Verily God is not ashamed to set forth as well the instance of a gnat[861] as of any nobler object: for as to those who have believed, they know it to be the truth from their Lord; but as to the unbelievers, they will say, "What meaneth God by this comparison?" Many will He mislead by such parables and many guide: but none will He mislead thereby except the wicked,

Who, after its establishment, violate the covenant of God,[862] and cut in sunder what God hath bidden to be joined, and act disorderly on the Earth. These are they who shall suffer loss!

How can ye withhold faith from God? Ye were dead and He gave you life; next He will cause you to die; next He will restore you to life: next shall ye return to Him!

He it is who created for you all that is on Earth, then proceeded to the Heaven, and into seven[863] Heavens did He fashion it: and He knoweth all things.

When thy Lord said to the angels, "Verily, I am about to place one in my stead on earth,"[864] they said, "Wilt thou place there one who will do ill therein and shed blood, when we celebrate thy praise and extol thy holiness?" God said, "Verily, I know what ye know not."

And he taught Adam the names of all things, and then set them before the angels,[865] and said, "Tell me the names of these, if ye are endued with wisdom."[866]

They said, "Praise be to Thee! We have no knowledge but what Thou hast given us to know. Thou! Thou art the Knowing, the Wise."

He said, "O Adam, inform them of their names." And when he had informed them of their names, He said, "Did I not say to you that I know the hidden things of the Heavens and of the Earth, and that I know what ye bring to light, and what ye hide?"

And when we said to the angels, "Bow down and worship Adam," then worshipped they all, save Eblis.[867] He refused and swelled with pride, and became one of the unbelievers.

And we said, "O Adam! dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden, and eat ye plentifully therefrom wherever ye list; but to this tree come not nigh, lest ye become of the transgressors."

But Satan[868] made them slip from it, and caused their banishment from the place in which they were. And we said, "Get ye down, the one of you an enemy to the other: and there shall be for you in the earth a dwelling-place, and a provision for a time."

And words of prayer learned Adam from his Lord: and God turned to him; for He loveth to turn, the Merciful.

We said, "Get ye down from it, all together: and if

Guidance shall come to you from me, whoso shall follow my guidance, on them shall come no fear, neither shall they be grieved:

But they who shall not believe, and treat our signs as false-hoods, these shall be inmates of the fire; in it shall they remain for ever."

O children of Israel! remember my favour wherewith I shewed favour upon you, and be true to your covenant with me; I will be true to my covenant with you; me therefore, revere me! and believe in what I have sent down confirming your Scriptures, and be not the first to disbelieve it, neither for a mean price barter my signs: me therefore, fear ye me!

And clothe not the truth with falsehood, and hide not the truth when ye know it:[869]

And observe prayer and pay the legal impost, and bow down with those who bow.

Will ye enjoin what is right upon others, and forget yourselves? Yet ye read the Book: will ye not understand?

And seek help with patience and prayer: a hard duty indeed is this, but not to the humble,

Who bear in mind that they shall meet their Lord, and that unto Him shall they return.

O children of Israel! remember my favour wherewith I shewed favour upon you; for verily to you above all human beings have I been bounteous.

And fear ye the day when soul shall not satisfy for soul at all, nor shall any intercession be accepted from them, nor shall any ransom be taken, neither shall they be helped.

And remember when we rescued you from the people of Pharaoh, who had laid on you a cruel chastisement. They slew your male children, and let only your females live: and in this was a great trial from your Lord:

And when we parted the sea for you, and saved you, and drowned the people of Pharaoh, while ye were looking on:

And when we were in treaty with Moses forty nights: then during his absence took ye the calf and acted wickedly:

Yet after this we forgave you, that ye might be grateful:

And when we gave Moses the Book and the Illumination[870] in order to your guidance:

And remember when Moses said to his people, "O my people! verily ye have sinned to your own hurt, by your taking the calf to worship it: Be turned then to your creator, and slay the guilty among you;[871] this will be best for you with your creator:" Then turned He unto you, for He is the one who turneth, the Merciful:

And when ye said, "O Moses! we will not believe thee until we see God plainly;" the thunderbolt fell upon you while ye were looking on:

Then we raised you to life after ye had been dead,[872] that haply ye might give thanks:

And we caused the clouds to overshadow you, and we sent down manna and quails upon you;—"Eat of the good things we have give you for sustenance;"—and they injured not us but they injured themselves.[873]

And when we said, "Enter this city,[874] and eat therefrom plentifully, at your will, and enter the gate with prostrations, and say, 'Forgiveness;' and we will pardon you your sins, and give an increase to the doers of good:"—

But the evil-doers changed that word into another than that spoken to them,[875] and we sent down upon those evil-doers wrath from heaven, for that they had done amiss:

And when Moses asked drink for his people, we said, "Strike the rock with thy rod;" and from it there gushed twelve fountains: each tribe[876] knew their drinking-place:—"Eat and drink," said we, "of what God hath supplied, and do no wrong on the earth by licentious deeds:"

And when ye said, "O Moses! we will not put up with one sort of food: pray, therefore, thy Lord for us, that He would bring forth for us of that which the earth groweth, its herbs and its cucumbers and its garlic and its lentils and its onions:" He said, "What! will ye exchange that which is worse for what is better? Get ye down into Egypt;—for ye shall have what ye have asked:" Vileness and poverty were stamped upon them, and they returned with wrath from God: This, for that they disbelieved the signs of God, and slew the Prophets[877] unjustly: this, for that they rebelled and transgressed!

Verily, they who believe (Muslims), and they who follow the Jewish religion, and the Christians, and the Sabeites[878] —whoever of these believeth in God and the last day, and doeth that which is right, shall have their reward with their Lord: fear shall not come upon them, neither shall they be grieved.

Call to mind also when we entered into a covenant with you, and lifted up the mountain[879] over you:—"Take hold," said we, "on what we have revealed to you, with resolution, and remember what is therein, that ye may fear:"

But after this ye turned back, and but for God's grace and mercy toward you, ye had surely been of the lost! Ye know too those of you who transgressed on the Sabbath, and to whom we said, "Be changed into scouted apes:"[880]

And we made them a warning to those of their day, and to those who came after them, and a caution to the God-fearing:

And when Moses said to his people, "Verily, God bids you sacrifice a COW;"[881] they said, "Makest thou a jest of us?" He said, "God keep me from being one of the foolish." They said, "Call on thy Lord for us that He would make plain to us what she is." He said, "God saith, 'She is a cow neither old nor young, but of the middle age between the two:' do therefore what ye are bidden."

They said, "Call on your Lord for us, that he would make plain to us what is her colour." He said, "God saith, 'She is a fawn-coloured cow; her colour is very bright; she rejoiceth the beholders.' "

They said, "Call on they Lord for us that He would make plain to us what cow it is—for to us are cows alike,—and verily, if God please, we shall be guided rightly:"

He said, "God saith, 'She is a cow not worn by ploughing the earth or watering the field, sound, no blemish in her.' " They said, "Now hast thou brought the truth:" Then they sacrificed her; Yet nearly had they done it not:

And when ye slew a man, and strove among yourselves about him, God brought to light what he had hidden:

For we said, "Strike the corpse with part of her." So God giveth life to the dead, and sheweth you his signs, that haply ye may understand.

Then after that your hearts became hard like rocks, or harder still: for verily, from rocks have rivers gushed; others, verily, have been cleft, and water hath issued from them; and others, verily, have sunk down through fear of God: And God is not regardless of your actions.

Desire ye then that for your sakes[882] the Jews should believe? Yet a part of them heard the word of God, and then, after they had understood it, perverted it, and knew that they did so.

And when they fall in with the faithful, they say, "We believe;" but when they are apart[883] one with another, they say, "Will ye acquaint them with what God hath revealed to you, that they may dispute with you about it in the presence of your Lord?" Understand ye their aim?

Know they not that God knoweth what they hide, as well as what they bring to light?

But there are illiterates among them who are unacquainted with the Book,[884] but with lies only, and have but vague fancies. Woe to those who with their own hands transcribe the Book corruptly, and then say, "This is from God," that they may sell it for some mean price! Woe then to them for that which their hands have written! and, Woe to them for the gains which they have made!

And they say, "Hell fire shall not touch us, but for a few days:"[885] SAY: Have ye received such a promise from God? for God will not revoke his promise: or, Speak ye of God that which ye know not?

But they whose only gains are evil works, and who are environed by their sins,—they shall be inmates of the fire, therein to abide for ever:

But they who have believed and done the things that be right, they shall be the inmates of Paradise,—therein to abide for ever.

And when we entered into covenant with the children of Israel, we said, "Worship none but God, and be good to your parents and kindred, and to orphans, and to the poor, and speak with men what is right, and observe prayer, and pay the stated alms." Then turned ye away, except a few of you, and withdrew afar off.

And when we made a covenant with you that ye should not shed your own blood,[886] nor expel one another from your abodes, then ye ratified it and yourselves were witnesses.

Then were ye the very persons who slew one another; and ye drove out a part of your own people from their abodes; ye lent help against them with wrong and hatred; but if they come captives to you, ye redeem them!—Yet it was forbidden you to drive them out.[887] Believe ye then part of the Book, and deny part? But what shall be the meed of him among you who doth this, but shame in this life? And on the day of the Resurrection they shall be sent to the most cruel of torments, for God is not regardless of what ye do.

These are they who purchase this present life at the price of that which is to come: their torment shall not be lightened, neither shall they be helped.

Moreover, to Moses gave we "the Book," and we raised up apostles after him; and to Jesus, son of Mary, gave we clear proofs of his mission, and strengthened him by the Holy Spirit.[888] So oft then as an apostle cometh to you with that which your souls desire not, swell ye with pride, and treat some as impostors, and slay others?

And they say, "Uncircumcised are our hearts." Nay! God hath cursed them in their infidelity: few are they who believe!

And when a Book had come to them from God, confirming that which they had received already—although they had before prayed for victory over those who believed not—yet when that Koran come to them, of which they had knowledge, they did not recognise it. The curse of God on the infidels!

For a vile price have they sold themselves, by not believing what God hath sent down, envious of God's sending down his grace on such of his servants as he pleaseth:[889] and they have brought on themselves wrath upon wrath. And for the unbelievers is a disgraceful chastisement.

And when it is said to them, "Believe in what God hath sent down," they say, "In that which hath been sent down to us we believe:" but what hath since been sent down they disbelieve, although it be the truth confirmatory of their own Scriptures. SAY: Why then have ye of old slain God's prophets,[890] if ye are indeed believers?

Moreover, Moses came unto you with proofs of his mission. Then in his absence ye took the calf for your God, and did wickedly.

And when we accepted your covenant, and uplifted[891] the mountain over you, we said, "Take firm hold on what we have given you, and hearken." They said, "We have hearkened and have rebelled:" then were they made to drink down the calf into their hearts for their ingratitude. SAY: A bad thing hath your faith commanded you, if ye be indeed believers.

SAY: If the future dwelling place with God be specially for you, but not for the rest of mankind, then wish for death, if ye are sincere:

But never can they wish for it, because of that which their own hands have sent on before them![892] And God knoweth the offenders.

And thou wilt surely find them of all men most covetous of life, beyond even the polytheists. To be kept alive a thousand years might one of them desire: but that he may be preserved alive, shall no one reprieve himself from the punishment! And God seeth what they do.

SAY: Whoso is the enemy of Gabriel—For he it is who by God's leave hath caused the Koran to descend on thy heart, the confirmation of previous revelations, and guidance, and good tidings to the faithful—

Whoso is an enemy to God or his angels, or to Gabriel, or to Michael, shall have God as his enemy: for verily God is an enemy to the Infidels.

Moreover, clear signs have we sent down to thee, and none will disbelieve them but the perverse.

Oft as they have formed an engagement with thee, will some of them set it aside? But most of them believe not.

And when there came to them an apostle from God, affirming the previous revelations made to them, some of those to whom the Scriptures were given, threw the Book of God behind their backs as if they knew it not:

And they followed what the Satans read[893] in the reign of Solomon: not that Solomon was unbelieving, but the Satans were unbelieving. Sorcery did they teach to men, and what had been revealed to the two angels, Harut and Marut, at Babel. Yet no man did these two teach until they had said, "We are only a temptation. Be not then an unbeliever." From these two did men learn how to cause division between man and wife: but unless by leave of God, no man did they harm thereby. They learned, indeed, what would harm and not profit them; and yet they knew that he who bought that art should have no part in the life to come! And vile the price for which they have sold themselves,—if they had but known it!

But had they believed and feared God, better surely would have been the reward from God,—if they had but known it!

O ye who believe! say not to our apostle, "Raina"[894] (Look at us); but say, "Ondhorna" (Regard us). And attend to this; for, the Infidels shall suffer a grievous chastisement.

The unbelievers among the people of the Book, and among the idolaters, desire not that any good should be sent down to you from your Lord: but God will shew His special mercy to whom He will, for He is of great bounty.

Whatever verses we cancel,[895] or cause thee to forget, we bring a better or its like. Knowest thou not that God hath power over all things?

Knowest thou not that the dominion of the Heavens and of the Earth is God's? and that ye have neither patron nor helper, save God?

Would ye ask of your apostle what of old was asked of Moses? But he who exchangeth faith for unbelief,[896] hath already erred from the even way.

Many of the people of the Book desire to bring you back to unbelief after ye have believed, out of selfish envy, even after the truth hath been clearly shewn them. But forgive them, and shun them till God shall come in with His working. Truly God hath power over all things.

And observe prayer and pay the legal impost:[897] and whatever good thing ye have sent on before for your soul's sake, ye shall find it with God. Verily God seeth what ye do.

And they say, "None but Jews or Christians shall enter Paradise:" This is their wish. SAY: Give your proofs if ye speak the truth.

But they who set their face with resignation Godward, and do what is right,— their reward is with their Lord; no fear shall come on them, neither shall they be grieved.

Moreover, the Jews say, "The Christians lean on nought:" "On nought lean the Jews," say the Christians: Yet both are readers of the Book. So with like words say they who have no knowledge.[898] But on the resurrection day, God shall judge between them as to that in which they differ.

And who committeth a greater wrong than he who hindereth God's name from being remembered in his temples, and who hasteth to ruin them?[899] Such men cannot enter them but with fear. Their's is shame in this world, and a severe torment in the next.

The East and the West is God's: therefore, whichever way ye turn, there is the face of God:[900] Truly God is immense and knoweth all.

And they say, "God hath a son:" No! Praise be to Him! But—His, whatever is in the Heavens and the Earth! All obeyeth Him,

Sole maker of the Heavens and of the Earth! And when He decreeth a thing, He only saith to it, "Be," and it is.

And they who have no knowledge say, "Unless God speak to us, or thou shew us a sign . . . !" So, with like words, said those who were before them: their hearts are alike: Clear signs have we already shewn for those who have firm faith:

Verily, with the Truth have we sent thee, a bearer of good tidings and a warner: and of the people of Hell thou shalt not be questioned.

But until thou follow their religion, neither Jews nor Christians will be satisfied with thee. SAY: Verily, guidance of God,—that is the guidance! And if, after "the Knowledge" which hath reached thee, thou follow their desires, thou shalt find neither helper nor protector against God.

They to whom we have given the Book, and who read it as it ought to be read,— these believe therein: but whoso believeth not therein, shall meet with perdition.

O children of Israel! remember my favour wherewith I have favoured you, and that high above all mankind have I raised you:

And dread the day when not in aught shall soul satisfy for soul, nor shall any ransom be taken from it, nor shall any intercession avail, and they shall not be helped.

When his Lord made trial of Abraham by commands which he fulfilled, He said, "I am about to make thee an Imâm to mankind:" he said, "Of my offspring also:" "My covenant," said God, "embraceth not the evil doers."

And remember when we appointed the Holy House[901] as man's resort and safe retreat, and said, "Take ye the station of Abraham for a place of prayer:" And we commanded Abraham and Ismael, "Purify my house for those who shall go in procession round it, and those who shall abide there for devotion, and those who shall bow down and prostrate themselves."

And when Abraham said, "Lord! make this secure land, and supply its people with fruits, such of them as believe in God and in the last day:" He said, "And whoso believeth not, for a little while will I bestow good things on him; then will I drive him to the torment of the Fire!" An ill passage!

And when Abraham, with Ismael, raised the foundations[902] of the House, they said, "O our Lord! accept it from us; for thou art the Hearer, the Knower.

O our Lord! make us also Muslims, and our posterity a Muslim people; and teach us our holy rites, and be turned towards us, for thou art He who turneth, the Merciful.

O our Lord! raise up among them an apostle[903] who may rehearse thy signs unto them, and teach them 'the Book,' and Wisdom, and purify them: for thou art the Mighty, the Wise."

And who but he that hath debased his soul to folly will mislike the faith of Abraham, when we have chosen him in this world, and in the world to come he shall be of the Just?

When his Lord said to him, "Resign thyself to me," he said, "I resign myself to the Lord of the Worlds."

And this to his children did Abraham bequeath, and Jacob also, saying, "O my children! truly God hath chosen a religion for you; so die not unless ye be also Muslims."

Were ye present when Jacob was at the point of death?[904] when he said to his sons, "Whom will ye worship when I am gone?" They said, "We will worship thy God and the God of thy fathers Abraham and Ismael and Isaac, one God, and to Him are we surrendered (Muslims)."

That people have now passed away; they have the reward of their deeds, and ye shall have the meed of yours: but of their doings ye shall not be questioned.

They say, moreover, "Become Jews or Christians that ye may have the true guidance." SAY: Nay! the religion of Abraham, the sound in faith,[905] and not one of those who join gods with God!

Say ye: "We believe in God, and that which hath been sent down to us, and that which hath been sent down to Abraham and Ismael and Isaac and Jacob and the tribes: and that which hath been given to Moses and to Jesus, and that which was given to the prophets from their Lord. No difference do we make between any of them: and to God are we resigned (Muslims)."

If therefore they believe even as ye believe, then have they true guidance; but if they turn back, then do they cut themselves off from you: and God will suffice to protect thee against them, for He is the Hearer, the Knower.[906]

Islam is the Baptism of God,[907] and who is better to baptise than God? And Him do we serve.

SAY: Will ye dispute with us about God? when He is our Lord and your Lord! We have our works and ye have your works; and we are sincerely His.

Will ye say, "Verily Abraham, and Ismael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes, were Jews or Christians?" SAY: Who knoweth best, ye, or God? And who is more in fault than he who concealeth the witness which he hath from God? But God is not regardless of what ye do.

That people have now passed away: they have the reward of their deeds, and for you is the meed of yours; but of their doings ye shall not be questioned.

The foolish ones will say, "What hath turned them from the kebla which they used?" SAY: The East and the West are God's. He guideth whom he will into the right path.

Thus have we made you a central people,[908] that ye may be witnesses in regard to mankind, and that the apostle may be a witness in regard to you.

We appointed the kebla which thou formerly hadst, only that we might know him who followeth the apostle, from him who turneth on his heels: The change is a difficulty, but not to those whom God hath guided. But God will not let your faith[909] be fruitless; for unto man is God Merciful, Gracious.

We have seen thee turning thy face towards every part of Heaven; but we will have thee turn to a kebla which shall please thee. Turn then thy face towards the sacred Mosque,[910] and wherever ye be, turn your faces towards that part. They, verily, to whom "the Book" hath been given, know this to be the truth from their Lord: and God is not regardless of what ye do.

Even though thou shouldest bring every kind of sign to those who have received the Scriptures, yet thy kebla they will not adopt; nor shalt thou adopt their kebla; nor will one part of them adopt the kebla of the other. And if, after the knowledge which hath come to thee, thou follow their wishes, verily then wilt thou become of the unrighteous.

They to whom we have given the Scriptures know him—the apostle—even as they know their own children: but truly a part of them do conceal the truth, though acquainted with it.[911]

The truth is from thy Lord. Be not then of those who doubt.

All have a quarter of the Heavens to which they turn them; but wherever ye be, hasten emulously after good: God will one day bring you all together; verily, God is all-powerful.

And from whatever place thou comest forth, turn thy face toward the sacred Mosque; for this is the truth from thy Lord; and God is not inattentive to your doings.

And from whatever place thou comest forth, turn thy face toward the sacred Mosque; and wherever ye be, to that part turn your faces, lest men have cause of dispute against you: but as for the impious among them, fear them not; but fear me, that I may perfect my favours on you, and that ye may be guided aright.

And we sent to you an apostle from among yourselves to rehearse our signs unto you, and to purify you, and to instruct you in "the Book," and in the wisdom, and to teach you that which ye knew not:

Therefore remember me: I will remember you; and give me thanks and be not ungrateful.

O ye who believe! seek help with patience and with prayer, for God is with the patient.

And say not of those who are slain on God's path[912] that they are Dead; nay, they are Living! But ye understand not.

With somewhat of fear and hunger, and loss of wealth, and lives, and fruits, will we surely prove you: but bear good tidings to the patient,

Who when a mischance chanceth them, say, "Verily we are God's, and to Him shall we return:"[913]

On them shall be blessings from their Lord, and mercy: and these!—they are the rightly guided.

Verily, Safa and Marwah[914] are among the monuments of God: whoever then maketh a pilgrimage to the temple, or visiteth it, shall not be to blame if he go round about them both. And as for him who of his own accord doeth what is good—God is Grateful, Knowing.

They who conceal aught that we have sent down, either of clear proof or of guidance, after what we have so clearly shewn to men in the Book,[915] God shall curse them, and they who curse shall curse them.

But as for those who turn to me, and amend and make known the truth, even unto them will I turn me, for I am He who Turneth, the Merciful.

Verily, they who are infidels and die infidels,—these! upon them shall be the malison of God and of angels and of all men:

Under it shall they remain for ever: their torment shall not be lightened, and God will not even look upon them!

Your God is one God:[916] there is no God but He, the Compassionate, the Merciful.

Assuredly in the creation of the Heavens and of the Earth; and in the alternation of night and day; and in the ships which pass through the sea with what is useful to man; and in the rain which God sendeth down from Heaven, giving life by it to the earth after its death, and by scattering over it all kinds of cattle; and in the change of the winds, and in the clouds that are made to do service between the Heaven and the Earth;—are signs for those who understand.

Yet there are men who take to them idols along with God, and love them with the love of God: But stronger in the faithful is the love of God. Oh! the impious will see, when they see their chastisement, that all power is God's, and that God is severe in chastising.

When those who have had followers[917] shall declare themselves clear from their followers after that they have seen the chastisement, and when the ties between them shall be cut asunder;

The followers shall say, "Could we but return to life we would keep ourselves clear from them, as they have declared themselves clear of us." So will God shew them their works! Sighing is upon them! but, forth from the fire they come not.

Oh men! eat of that which is lawful and good on the earth, but follow not the steps of Satan, for he is your avowed enemy:

He only enjoineth you evil and wickedness, and that ye should aver of God that which ye know not.

And when it is said to them, "Follow ye that which God hath sent down;" they say, "Nay, we follow the usages which we found with our fathers." What! though their fathers were utterly ignorant and devoid of guidance?

The infidels resemble him who shouteth aloud to one who heareth no more than a call and cry! Deaf, Dumb, blind: therefore they have no understanding.

O ye who believe! eat of the good things with which we have supplied you, and give God thanks if ye are His worshippers.

But that which dieth of itself, and blood, and swine's flesh, and that over which any other name than that of God hath been invoked, is forbidden you. But he who shall partake of them by constraint, without lust or wilfulness, no sin shall be upon him. Verily God is Indulgent, Merciful.

They truly who hide the Scriptures which God hath sent down, and barter them for a mean price—these shall swallow into their bellies nought but fire. God will not speak to them, or assoil them, on the day of the Resurrection: and theirs shall be a grievous torment.

These are they who have bartered guidance for error, and pardon for torment; But how great their endurance in fire![918]

This shall be their doom, because God had sent down "the Book" with the very truth. And verily they who dispute about that Book are in a far-gone severance from it.

There is no piety in turning your faces toward the east or the west, but he is pious who believeth in God, and the last day, and the angles, and the Scriptures, and the prophets; who for the love of God disburseth his wealth to his kindred, and to the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer, and those who ask, and for ransoming; who observeth prayer, and payeth the legal alms, and who is of those who are faithful to their engagements when they have engaged in them, and patient under ills and hardships, and in time of trouble: these are they who are just, and these are they who fear the Lord.

O believers! retaliation for bloodshedding is prescribed to you: the free man for the free, and the slave for the slave, and the woman for the woman: but he to whom his brother shall make any remission,[919] is to be dealt with equitably; and to him should he pay a fine with liberality.

This is a relaxation[920] from your Lord and a mercy. For him who after his shall transgress,[921] a sore punishment!

But in this law of retaliation is your security for life, O men of understanding! to the intent that ye may fear God.

It is prescribed to you, when any one of you is at the point of death, if he leave goods, that he bequeath equitably to his parents and kindred. This is binding on those who fear God. But as for him who after he hath heard the bequest shall change it, surely the wrong of this shall be on those who change it: verily, God Heareth, Knoweth.

But he who feareth from the testator any mistake or wrong, and shall make a settlement between the parties—that shall be no wrong in him: verily, God is Lenient, Merciful.

O believers! a Fast is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may fear God,

For certain days. But he among you who shall be sick, or on a journey, shall fast that same number of other days: and as for those who are able to keep it and yet break it, the expiation of this shall be the maintenance of a poor man. And he who of his own accord performeth a good work, shall derive good from it: and good shall it be for you to fast if ye knew it.

As to the month Ramadhan in which the Koran was sent down to be man's guidance, and an explanation of that guidance, and of that illumination,[922] as soon as any one of you observeth the moon, let him set about the fast; but he who is sick, or upon a journey, shall fast a like number of other days. God wisheth you ease, but wisheth not your discomfort, and that you fulfil the number of days, and that you glorify God for his guidance, and that you be thankful.

And when my servants ask thee concerning me, then will I be nigh unto them. I will answer the cry of him that crieth, when he crieth unto me: but let them hearken unto me, and believe in me, that they may proceed aright.

You are allowed on the night of the fast to approach your wives: they are your garment and ye are their garment.[923] God knoweth that ye defraud yourselves therein, so He turneth unto you and forgiveth you! Now, therefore, go in unto them with full desire for that which God hath ordained for you; and eat and drink until ye can discern a white thread from a black thread[924] by the daybreak: then fast strictly till night, and go not in unto them, but rather pass the time in the Mosques. These are the bounds set up by God: therefore come not near them. Thus God maketh his signs clear to men that they may fear Him.[925]

Consume not your wealth among yourselves in vain things, nor present it to judges that ye may consume a part of other men's wealth unjustly, while ye know the sin which ye commit.

They will ask thee of the new moons. SAY: They are periods fixed for man's service and for the Pilgrimage. There is no piety in entering your houses at the back,[926] but piety consists in the fear of God. Enter your houses then by their doors; and fear God that it may be well with you.

And fight for the cause of God against those who fight against you: but commit not the injustice of attacking them first: God loveth not such injustice:

And kill them wherever ye shall find them, and eject them from whatever place they have ejected you; for civil discord[927] is worse than carnage: yet attack them not at the sacred Mosque, unless they attack you therein; but if they attack you, slay them. Such the reward of the infidels.

But if they desist, then verily God is Gracious, Merciful.

Fight therefore against them until there be no more civil discord, and the only worship be that of God: but if they desist, then let there be no hostility, save against the wicked.

The sacred month and the sacred precincts are under the safeguard of reprisals:[928] whoever offereth violence to you, offer ye the like violence to him, and fear God, and know that God is with those who fear Him.

Give freely for the cause of God, and throw not yourselves with your own hands into ruin;[929] and do good, for God loveth those who do good.

Accomplish the Pilgrimage and the Visitation[930] of the holy places in honour of God: and if ye be hemmed in by foes, send whatever offering shall be the easiest: and shave not your heads until the offering reach the place of sacrifice. But whoever among you is sick, or hath an ailment of the head, must satisfy by fasting, or alms, or an offering. And when ye are safe from foes, he who contents himself with the Visitation of the holy places, until the Pilgrimage, shall bring whatever offering shall be the easiest. But he who findeth nothing to offer, shall fast three days in the Pilgrimage itself, and seven days when ye return: they shall be ten days in all. This is binding on him whose family shall not be present at the sacred Mosque. And fear God, and know that God is terrible in punishing.

Let the Pilgrimage be made in the months already known:[931] whoever therefore undertaketh the Pilgrimage therein, let him not know a woman, nor transgress, nor wrangle in the Pilgrimage. The good which ye do, God knoweth it. And provide for your journey; but the best provision is the fear of God: fear me, then, O men of understanding!

It shall be no crime in you if ye seek an increase from your Lord;[932] and when ye pour swiftly on from Arafat, then remember God near the holy monument; and remember Him, because He hath guided you who before this were of those who went astray:

Then pass on quickly[933] where the people quickly pass, and ask pardon of God, for God is Forgiving, Merciful.

And when ye have finished your holy rites, remember God as ye remember your own fathers, or with a yet more intense remembrance! Some men there are who say, "O our Lord! give us our portion in this world:" but such shall have no portion in the next life:

And some say, "O our Lord! give us good in this world and good in the next, and keep us from the torment of the fire."

They shall have the lot which they have merited: and God is swift to reckon.

Bear God in mind during the stated days: but if any haste away[934] in two days, it shall be no fault in him: And if any tarry longer, it shall be no fault in him, if he fear God. Fear God, then, and know that to Him shall ye be gathered.

A man there is[935] who surpriseth thee by his discourse concerning this life present. He taketh God to witness what is in his heart; yet is he the most zealous in opposing thee:

And when he turneth his back on thee, he runneth through the land to enact disorders therein, and layeth waste the fields and flocks: but God loveth not the disorder.

And when it is said to him, "Fear God," the pride of sin seizeth him: but he shall have his fill of Hell; and right wretched the couch!

A man, too, there is[936] who selleth his very self out of desire to please God: and God is good to his servants.

O believers! enter completely into the true religion, and follow not the steps of Satan, for he is your declared enemy.

But if ye lapse after that our clear signs[937] have come to you, know that God is Mighty, Wise.

What can such expect but that God should come down to them overshadowed with clouds, and the angels also, and their doom be sealed? And to God shall all things return.

Ask the children of Isreal how many clear signs we have given them. But if any man shall alter the boon[938] of God after it shall have reached him, assuredly God will be vehement in punishing him.

This present life is prepared for those who believe not, and who mock at the faithful. But they who fear God shall be above them on the day of resurrection; and God is bounteous without measure to whom He will.

Mankind was but one people;[939] and God sent prophets to announce glad tidings and to warn; and He sent down with them the Book of Truth, that it might decide the disputes of men; and none disputed but those to whom the Book had been given, after the clear tokens had reached them,—being full of mutual jealousy. And God guided those who believed to the truth of that about which, by his permission, they had disputed; for God guideth whom he pleaseth into the straight path.

Think ye to enter Paradise, when no such things have come upon you, as on those who flourish before you? Ills and troubles tried them; and so tossed were they by trials, that the Apostle and they who shared his faith, said, "When will the help of God come?"—Is not the help of God nigh?

They will ask thee what they shall bestow in alms. SAY: Let the good which ye bestow be for parents, and kindred, and orphans, and the poor, and the wayfarer; and whatever good ye do, of a truth God knoweth.

War is prescribed to you: but from this ye are averse.

Yet haply ye are averse from a thing, though it be good for you, and haply ye love a thing though it be bad for you: And God knoweth; but ye, ye know not.

They will ask thee concerning war in the Sacred Month. SAY: To war therein is bad, but to turn aside from the cause of God, and to have no faith in Him, and in the Sacred Temple, and to drive out its people, is worse in the sight of God; and civil strife is worse than bloodshed. They will not cease to war against you until they turn you from your religion, if they be able: but whoever of you shall turn from his religion and die an infidel, their works shall be fruitless in this world, and in the next: they shall be consigned to the fire; therein to abide for aye.

But they who believe, and who fly their country, and fight in the cause of God may hope for God's mercy: and God is Gracious, Merciful.

They will ask thee concerning wine[940] and games of chance. SAY: In both is great sin, and advantage also, to men; but their sin is greater than their advantage. They will ask thee also what they shall bestow in alms:

SAY: What ye can spare. Thus God sheweth you his signs that ye may ponder

On this present world, and on the next. They will also ask thee concerning orphans. SAY: Fair dealing with them is best;

But if ye mix yourselves up (in their affairs)—they are your brethren: God knoweth the foul dealer from the fair: and, if God pleased, he could indeed afflict you! Verily, God is Mighty, Wise.

Marry not idolatresses until they believe; a slave who believeth is better than an idolatress, though she please you more. And wed not your daughters to idolaters until they believe; for a slave who is a believer, is than better an idolater, though he please you.

They invite to the Fire; but God inviteth to Paradise, and to pardon, if he so will, and maketh clear his signs to men that they may remember.

They will also question thee as to the courses of women. SAY: They are a pollution. Separate yourselves therefore from women and approach them not, until they be cleansed. But when they are cleansed, go in unto them as God hath ordained for you. Verily God loveth those who turn to Him, and loveth those who seek to be clean.

Your wives are your field: go in, therefore, to your field as ye will; but do first some act for your souls' good: and fear ye God, and know that ye must meet Him; and bear these good tidings to the faithful.

Swear not by God, when ye make oath, that ye will be virtuous and fear God, and promote peace among men; for God is He who Heareth, Knoweth.

God will not punish you for a mistake in your oaths: but He will punish you for that which your hearts have done. God is Gracious, Merciful.

They who intend to abstain from their wives shall wait four months; but if they go back from their purpose, then verily God is Gracious, Merciful:

And if they resolve on a divorce, then verily God is He who Heareth, Knoweth.

The divorced shall wait the result, until they have had their courses thrice, nor ought they to conceal what God hath created in their wombs, if they believe in God and the last day; and it will be more just in their husbands to bring them back when in this state, if they desire what is right. And it is for the women to act as they (the husbands) act by them, in all fairness; but the men are a step above them. God is Mighty, Wise.

Ye may divorce your wives twice: Keep them honourably, or put them away with kindness. But it is not allowed you to appropriate to yourselves aught of what ye have given to them, unless both fear that they cannot keep within the bounds[941] set up by God. And if ye fear that they cannot observe the ordinances of God, no blame shall attach to either of you for what the wife shall herself give for her redemption. These are the bounds of God: therefore overstep them not; for whoever oversteppeth the bounds of God, they are evil doers.

But if the husband divorce her a third time, it is not lawful for him to take her again, until she shall have married another husband; and if he also divorce her, then shall no blame attach to them if they return to each other, thinking that they can keep within the bounds fixed by God. And these are the bounds of God; He maketh them clear to those who have knowledge.

But when ye divorce women, and the time for sending them away is come, either retain them with generosity, or put them away with generosity: but retain them not by constraint so as to be unjust towards them. He who doth so, doth in fact injure himself. And make not the signs of God a jest; but remember God's favour toward you, and the Book and the Wisdom which He hath sent down to you for your warning, and fear God, and know that God's knowledge embraceth everything.

And when ye divorce your wives, and they have waited the prescribed time, hinder them not from marrying their husbands when they have agreed among themselves in an honourable way. This warning is for him among you who believeth in God and in the last day. This is most pure for you, and most decent. God knoweth, but ye know not.

Mothers, when divorced, shall give suck to their children two full years,[942] if the father desire that the suckling be completed; and such maintenance and clothing as is fair for them, shall devolve on the father. No person shall be charged beyond his means. A mother shall not be pressed unfairly for her child, nor a father for his child: And the same with the father's heir. But if they choose to wean the child by consent and by bargain, it shall be no fault in them. And if ye choose to have a nurse for your children, it shall be no fault in you, in case ye pay what ye promised her according to that which is fair. Fear God, and know that God seeth what ye do.

If those of you who die leave wives, they must await their state during four months and ten days; and when this their term is expired, you shall not be answerable for the way in which they shall dispose of themselves fairly. And God is cognisant of what ye do.

And then shall no blame attach to you in making proposals of marriage[943] to such women, or in keeping such intention to yourselves? God knoweth that ye will not forget them. But promise them not in secret, unless ye speak honourable words;

And resolve not on the marriage tie until the prescribed time be reached; and know that God knoweth what is in your minds: therefore, beware of Him; and know that God is Gracious, Mild!

It shall be no crime in you if ye divorce your wives so long as ye have not consummated the marriage, nor settled any dowry on them. And provide what is needful for them he who is in ample circumstances according to his means, and he who is straitened, according to his means—with fairness: This is binding on those who do what is right.

But if ye divorce them before consummation, and have already settled a dowry on them, ye shall give them half of what ye have settled, unless they make a release, or he make a release in whose hand is the marriage tie. But if ye make a release, it will be nearer to piety. And forget not generosity in your relations one towards another; for God beholdeth your doings.

Observe strictly the prayers, and the middle[944] prayer, and stand up full of devotion towards God.

And if you have any alarm, then pray on foot or riding: but when you are safe, then remember God, how he hath made you to know what ye knew not.

And[945] such of you as shall die and leave wives, shall bequeath their wives a year's maintenance without causing them to quit their homes; but if they quit them of their own accord, then no blame shall attach to you for any disposition they may make of themselves in a fair way. And God is Mighty, Wise.

And for the divorced let there be a fair provision. This is a duty in those who fear God.

Thus God maketh his signs clear to you that ye may understand.

Hast thou not thought on those who quitted their dwellings—and they were thousands—for fear of death?[946] God said to them, "Die:" then He restored them to life, for full of bounty towards man is God. But most men give not thanks!

Fight for the cause of God; and know that God is He who Heareth, Knoweth.

Who is he that will lend to God a goodly loan? He will double it to him again and again: God is close, but open handed also: and to Him shall ye return.

Hast thou not considered[947] the assembly of the children of Israel after the death of Moses, when they said to a prophet of theirs, "Set up for us a king; we will do battle for the cause of God?" He said, "May it not be that if to fight were ordained you, ye would not fight?" They said, "And why should we not fight in the cause of God, since we and our children are driven forth from our dwellings?" But when fighting was commanded them, they turned back, save a few of them: But God knew the offenders!

And their prophet said to them, "Now hath God set (Talout) Saul king over you." They said, "How shall he reign over us, when we are more worthy of the kingdom than he, and of wealth he hath no abundance?" He said, "Verily God hath chosen him to be over you, and hath given him increase in knowledge and stature; God giveth his kingdom to whom he pleaseth; and God is Liberal, Knowing!"

And their prophet said to them, "Verily, the sign of his kingship shall be that the Ark shall come to you: in it is a pledge of security[948] from your Lord and the relics[949] left by the family of Moses, and the family of Aaron; the angels shall bear it: Truly herein shall be a sign indeed to you if ye are believers."

And when Saul marched forth with his forces, he said, "God will test you by a river: He who drinketh of it shall not be of my band; but he who shall not taste it, drinking a drink out of the hand excepted, shall be of my band."[950] And, except a few of them, they drank of it. And when they had passed it, he and those who believed with him, the former said, "We have no strength this day against (Djalout) Goliath and his forces:" But they who held it as certain that they must meet God, said, "How oft, by God's will, hath a small host vanquished a numerous host! and God is with the steadfastly enduring."

And when they went forth against Goliath and his forces, they said, "O our Lord! pour out steadfastness upon us, and set our feet firm, and help us against the infidels!"

And by the will of God they routed them; and (Daood) David slew Goliath; and God gave him the kingship and wisdom, and taught him according to His will: and were it not for the restraint of one by means of the other, imposed on men by God, verily the earth had been utterly corrupted. But God is bounteous to his creatures.

Such are the signs of God: with truth do we rehearse them to thee, for one of the Sent Ones art Thou.

Some of the apostles we have endowed more highly than others: Those to whom God hath spoken, He hath raised to the loftiest grade, and to Jesus the Son of Mary we gave manifest signs, and we strengthened him with the Holy Spirit.[951] And if God had pleased, they who came after them would not have wrangled, after the clear signs had reached them. But into disputes[952] they fell: some of them believed, and some were infidels; yet if God had pleased, they would not have thus wrangled: but God doth what he will.

O Believers! give alms of that with which we have supplied you, before the day cometh when there shall be no trafficking, nor friendship, nor intercession. And the infidels are the wrong-doers.

God! There is no God but He; the Living, the Eternal; Nor slumber seizeth Him, nor sleep; His, whatsoever is in the Heavens and whatsoever is in the Earth! Who is he that can intercede with Him but by His own permission? He knoweth what hath been before them and what shall be after them; yet nought of His knowledge shall they grasp, save what He willeth. His Throne reacheth over the Heavens and the Earth, and the upholding of both burdeneth Him not; and He is the High, the Great!

Let there be no compulsion in Religion.[953] Now is the right way made distinct from error. Whoever therefore shall deny Thagout[954] and believe in God—he will have taken hold on a strong handle that shall not be broken: and God is He who Heareth, Knoweth.

God is the patron of believers: He shall bring them out of darkness into light:

As to those who believe not, their patrons are Thagout: they shall bring them out of light into darkness: they shall be given over to the fire: they shall abide therein for ever.

Hast thou not thought on him[955] who disputed with Abraham about his Lord, because God had given him the kingdom? When Abraham said, "My Lord is He who maketh alive and cause to die:" He said, "It is I who make alive and cause to die!" Abraham said, "Since God bringeth the sun from the East, do thou, then, bring it from the West." The infidel was confounded; for God guideth not the evil doers:

Or how he[956] demeaned him who passed by a city which had been laid in ruins.[957] "How," said he, "shall God give life to this city, after she hath been dead?" And God caused him to die for an hundred years, and then raised him to life. And God said, "How long hast thou waited?" He said, "I have waited a day or part of a day." He said, "Nay, thou hast waited an hundred years. Look on thy food and thy drink; they are not corrupted; and look on thine ass: we would make thee a sign unto men: And look on the bones of thine ass, how we will raise them, then clothe them with flesh." And when this was shewn to him, he said, "I acknowledge that God hath power to do all things."

When Abraham said, "O Lord, shew me how thou wilt give life to the dead!" He said, "Hast thou not believed?"

He said, "Yes; but I have asked thee, that my heart may be well assured." He said, "Take, then, four birds,[958] and draw them towards thee, and cut them in pieces; then place a part of them on every mountain; then call them and they shall come swiftly to thee: and know thou that God is Might, Wise!"

The likeness of those who expend their wealth for the cause of God, is that of a grain of corn which produceth seven ears, and in each ear a hundred grains; and God will multiply to whom He pleaseth: God is Liberal, Knowing!

They who expend their wealth for the cause of God, and never follow what they have laid out with reproaches or harm, shall have their reward with their Lord; no fear shall come upon them, neither shall they be put to grief.

A kind speech and forgiveness is better than alms followed by injury. God is Rich, Clement.

O ye who believe! make not your alms void by reproaches and injury, like him who spendeth his substance to be seen of men, and believeth not in God and in the latter day. The likeness of such an one is that of a rock with a thin soil upon it, on which a heavy rain falleth but leaveth it hard: No profit from their works shall they be able to gain; for God guideth not the unbelieving people.

And the likeness of those who expend their substance from a desire to please God, and for the stablishing of their souls, is as a garden on a hill, on which the heavy rain falleth, and it yieldeth its fruits twofold; and even if a heavy rain fall not on it, yet is there a dew: God beholdeth your actions.

Desireth any one of you a garden of palms and vines through which rivers flow, in which he may have every fruit, and that old age should surprise him there, and that his offspring should be weakly, and that then a fiery violent wind shall strike it so that it shall be burned? Thus God maketh plain his signs to you that ye may reflect.

O ye who believe! bestow alms of the good things which ye have acquired, and of that which we have brought forth for you out of the earth, and choose not the bad for almsgiving,

Such as ye would accept yourselves only by connivance: and know that God is Rich, Praiseworthy.

Satan menaceth you with poverty,[959] and enjoineth base actions: but God promiseth you pardon from himself and abundance: God is All-bounteous, Knowing.

He giveth wisdom to whom He will: and he to whom wisdom is given, hath had much good given him; but none will bear it in mind, except the wise of heart.

And whatever alms ye shall give, or whatever vow ye shall vow, of a truth God knoweth it: but they who act unjustly shall have no helpers. Give ye your alms openly?[960] it is well. Do ye conceal them and give them to the poor? This, too, will be of advantage to you, and will do away your sins: and God is cognisant of your actions.

Their guidance is not thine affair, O Muhammad; but God guideth whom he pleaseth. And the good that ye shall give in alms shall redound unto yourselves; and ye shall not give but as seeking the face of God; and whatever good thing ye shall have given in alms, shall be repaid you, and ye shall not be wronged. There are among you the poor, who being shut up to fighting for the cause of God, have it not in their power to strike out into the earth for riches. Those who know them not, think them rich because of their modesty. By this their token thou shalt know them—they ask not of men with importunity: and of whatever good thing ye shall give them in alms, of a truth God will take knowledge.

They who give away their substance in alms, by night and day, in private and in public, shall have their reward with their Lord: no fear shall come on them, neither shall they be put to grief.

They who swallow down usury, shall arise in the resurrection only as he ariseth whom Satan hath infected by his touch. This, for that they say, "Selling is only the like of usury:" and yet God hath allowed selling, and forbidden usury. He then who when this warning shall come to him from his Lord, abstaineth, shall have pardon for the past, and his lot shall be with God. But they who return to usury, shall be given over to the fire; therein shall they abide for ever.

God will bring usury to nought, but will increase alms with usury, and God loveth no infidel, or evil person. But they who believe and do the things that are right, and observe the prayers, and pay the legal impost, they shall have their reward with their Lord: no fear shall come on them, neither shall they be put to grief.

O believers! fear God and abandon your remaining usury, if ye are indeed believers.

But if ye do it not, then hearken for war on the part of God and his apostle: yet if ye repent, ye shall have the principal of your money. Wrong not, and ye shall not be wronged.

If any one find difficulty in discharging a debt, then let there be a delay until it be easy for him: but if ye remit it as alms it will be better for you, if ye knew it.

Fear the day wherein ye shall return to God: then shall every soul be rewarded according to its desert, and none shall have injustice done to them.

O ye who believe! when ye contract a debt (payable) at a fixed date, write it down, and let the notary faithfully note between you: and let not the notary refuse to note, even as God hath taught him; but let him note it down, and let him who oweth the debt dictate, and let him fear God his Lord, and not diminish aught thereof. But if he who oweth the debt be foolish or weak, or be not able to dictate himself, let his friend dictate for him with fairness; and call to witness two witnesses of your people: but if there be not two men, let there be a man, and two women of those whom ye shall judge fit for witnesses: if the one of them should mistake, the other may cause her to recollect. And the witnesses shall not refuse, whenever they shall be summoned. And disdain not to put the debt in writing, be it large or small, with its time of payment: this will be more just for you in the sight of God, better suited for witnessing, and the best for avoiding doubt. But if the goods be there present, and ye pass them from hand to hand—then it shall be no fault in you not to write it down. And have witnesses when ye sell, and harm not writer or witness: it will be a crime in you to do this. But fear God and God will give you knowledge, for God hath knowledge of all things.

And if ye be on a journey and shall find no notary, let pledges be taken: but if one of you trust the other, let him who is trusted, restore what he is trusted with, and fear God his Lord. And refuse not to give evidence. He who refuseth is surely wicked at heart: and God knoweth your deeds.

Whatever is in the Heavens and in the Earth is God's: and whether ye bring forth to light what is in your minds or conceal it, God will reckon with you for it; and whom He pleaseth will He forgive, and whom He pleaseth will He punish; for God is All-powerful.

The apostle believeth in that which hath been sent down from his Lord, as do the faithful also. Each one believeth in God, and His Angels, and His Books, and His Apostles: we make no distinction between any of His Apostles.[961] And they say, "We have heard and we obey. Thy mercy, Lord! for unto thee must we return."

God will not burden any soul beyond its power. It shall enjoy the good which it hath acquired, and shall bear the evil for the acquirement of which it laboured. O our Lord! punish us not if we forget, or fall into sin; O our Lord! and lay not on us a load like that which thou hast laid on those who have been before us; O our Lord! and lay not on us that for which we have not strength: but blot out our sins and forgive us, and have pity on us. Thou art our protector: give us victory therefore over the infidel nations.

[852] The greater part of this, the oldest of the Medina Suras, was revealed in the early part of the second year of the Hejira and previously to the battle of Bedr.—The Hejira took place in the beginning of Muharram, or middle of April, A.D. 622. The numbers who emigrated with Muhammad at first, were about 150 persons. Medina is 250 miles north of Mecca, and ten days' journey.

[853] Said to mean A mara li Muhammad, i.e. at the command of Muhammad; but see Sura 1xviii. p. 32.

[854] Death, Resurrection, Judgment, etc.

[855] The Jews.

[856] The Jews and Christians, hostile to the mission of Muhammad.

[857] Lit. the similitude of them is as the similitude of, etc.

[858] The people of Medina are generally addressed with "O ye who believe;" the Meccans, with "O men." Hence it has been inferred that from verse 19 (O men) to 37 inclusively, is of the Meccan period. The subjects treated of also lead to this conclusion.

[859] The statues of false gods.

[860] It will be an agreeable surprise to the blessed to have fruits, which at first sight resemble those of earth, but are infinitely more delicious.

[861] Muhammad had been reproached for having drawn illustrations from the Ant, Bee, Spider, etc.

[862] Concerning faith in Muhammad. See verse 39 below, note.

[863] The number of the Heavens is borrowed from the Talmud, or traditions based upon it; but the idea probably has its root in the Scriptural expression, "Heaven of Heavens."

[864] Lit. a caliph, vicegerent. "When the Holy One, Blessed be He, would create man, He took counsel with the Angels and said to them, We will make man in our image." Midr. Rabbah on Numb. iv. par. 19. Comp. Midr. on Gen. 1, par. 8, 17. Sanhedr. 38.

[865] "God said to the Angels, 'His wisdom is greater than yours.' Then brought he before them beasts, cattle, and birds, and asked for their names, but they knew them not. But when he had created man," etc. Midr. as above.

[866] Or, if ye are truthful, or can make good a better claim to the vicegerency.

[867] In the name Eblis (diabolos) and in the honour claimed for Adam as a kind of Godman, there are traces of a Christian original, as well as in the identification of the serpent with Satan. Comp. Ps. civ. 4; Heb. i. 6. The Talmudists also enlarge on the honour paid to Adam. "Adam sat in the garden and the Angels brought him flesh and cooling wine." Sanhedr. 29. "In the hour when the Holy One, Blessed be He, created man, the Angels went astray in regard to him, and essayed to say before him, 'O Holy One!' then God permitted sleep to fall on him, and all knew that he was of earth." Midr. Rabbah on Gen. par. 8. It is possible that the Arabic word balas, a profligate, wicked person, may have influenced Muhammad in the formation of the word Eblis. See note, p. 185. Eblis is used in the Arabic version of the New Testament, for the probable date of which, see Tischendorf, Prol. p. 78.

[868] Observe the change from Eblis, the calumniator, to Satan, the hater.

[869] Muhammad rarely accused the Jews and Christians of corrupting, but often of misinterpreting, their Sacred Books, in order to evade his claims. His charges, however, are always very vaguely worded, and his utterances upon this subject are tantamount to a strong testimony in favour of the unimpeachable integrity of the sacred books, both of the Jews and Christians, so far as he knew them. See Sura [lxxxvii.] vii. 168, and v. 73 below.

[870] See Sura [lxv.] xxi. 49.

[871] Lit. slay one another.

[872] The Talmudists relate how the Israelites who had died, on hearing the divine voice, etc., were restored by the intercession of the Law itself. Sanh. 5.

[873] By storing them up in violation of God's command.

[874] Jericho according to some commentators, Jerusalem according to others, but see verse 58.

[875] See Sura [lxxxvii.] vii. 162.

[876] Lit. all men. This incident is perhaps inadvertently borrowed from Ex. xv. 27.

[877] This passage (comp. xxvi. 59) is one of the numerous anachronisms which abound in the Koran and prove the gross ignorance of the Arabian Prophet.

[878] The Sabeites are identical with the Mendaites, or so-called Christians of S. John, residing in the marshy district at the mouth of the Euphrates, but are not the same with the star-worshipping Sabians of Harran in Mesopotamia. See D'Herbelot, Bibl. Or. under the word Sabi; Assemani, Bibl. Or. iii. 2, 609. For curious details as to the elements of the Sabeite religion, see Chwolson's SSabier and SSabaismus I.

[879] See Sura [lxxxvii.] vii. 170.

[880] See Sura [lxxxvii.] vii. 164.

[881] Compare Numb. xix.; Deut. xxii. 1-9. The cow was to be sacrificed in order that a murderer might be discovered through the miracle to be wrought on the corpse by a piece of her flesh.

[882] [Lit.] To please you, O Muslims.

[883] This is one of the passages which shews great familiarity with the habits of the Jews, on the part of Muhammad. See Maracci's Prodr. i. 44. Wahl's Einleitung, xxx. xxxv.

[884] The Pentateuch. This passage shews that the art of writing was known in Medina shortly after the Hejira.

[885] Forty days; the period during which they worshipped the calf.

[886] The blood of those who are as your own flesh.

[887] Two Jewish tribes (Koreidha and Nadhir) in alliance with certain Arab tribes who were at war, destroyed one another's abodes, but redeemed the Jewish captives, professing that they were commanded to do this by the Law. So the commentators.

[888] Gabriel. Muhammad either knowingly rejected the divinity of the Holy Ghost, or confounded Gabriel announcing the conception, with the Holy Spirit that overshadowed Mary. It is probable that Muhammad's ideas of the Spirit were at first indefinite, but that the two expressions, Gabriel and the Holy Spirit, became ultimately synonymous. See note on Sura [lxvii.] xvii. 87. Geiger (p. 82) quotes an instance in which the Jewish expositors understand the distinctly-speaking Spirit (Sanhedr. 44) of Gabriel.

[889] The gift of the prophetic office, etc., to a pagan Arab and not to a Jew.

[890] Matt. xxiii. 37.

[891] See Sura vii. 170, p. 309.

[892] Comp. 1 Tim. v. 24.

[893] In Solomon's Books of Magic. This story has been supposed to be of Persian origin. See Hyde de Rel. Vet. Pers. ch. xii. But from a passage in the Midr. Abhkhir quoted in the Midr. Jalkut, ch. 44, and from a quotation in Maracci's Prodr. iv. 82, Geiger infers that Muhammad has transferred to the time of Solomon, the Rabbinic traditions concerning the influence of angels upon men at the time of the Deluge. p. 106. "Babel is regarded by the Muslims as the fountain head of the science of magic. They suppose Haroot and Maroot to be two angels who, in consequence of their want of compassion for the frailties of mankind, were sent down to earth to be tempted. They both sinned; and being permitted to choose whether they would be punished now or hereafter, chose the former, and are still suspended by the feet at Babel in a rocky pit, and are the great teachers of magic." (Lane on ch. iii. note 14 of the 1001 Nights.)

[894] Raina, as pronounced in Hebrew, "our bad one;" but in Arabic, "look upon us," a kind of salutation of the same signification as ondhorna, which, however, does not admit of any secondary bad sense like raina.

[895] Comp. Sura xvi. 103; iv. 84. The Muslims admit that there are 225 verses cancelled by later ones. The doctrine of "abrogation" is taught in the Talmud. Thus Hilchoth Mamrim, ii. 1, 2, etc.

[896] That is, does not weigh the evidence for Muhammad's mission already given, but demands, as the Jews did, to see God himself.

[897] In all Muhammadan countries the first time of prayer is the moghreb or sunset, or rather, four minutes later; the second the eshe, when it has become quite dark; the third the soobh or fegr, the daybreak; the fourth, doohr, or a little after noon, when the sun has begun to decline; the fifth, the asr, midway between noon and nightfall. The obligatory legal alms or impost are called, as here, zekah (lit. purity), the voluntary, sudackah. It is, however, left to the conscience of individuals to give and to apply them as they think fit.

[898] The idolatrous Arabs.

[899] If this verse is aimed at the Meccans who, in the 6th year of the Hejira, forbad Muhammad and his followers to enter the temple of Mecca in the expedition of Hodeibiya, it is misplaced here.

[900] Abrogated by verse 139 below.

[901] The Caaba.

[902] Freytag (Einl. p. 339) says that there is no good reason for doubting that the Caaba was founded as stated in this passage. See note on Sura [xcvii.] iii. 90.

[903] Deut. xviii. 15.

[904] "At the time when our father Jacob quitted this world, be summoned his twelve sons and said to them, Hearken to your father Israel (Gen. xlix. 2). Have ye any doubts in your hearts concerning the Holy One, Blessed be He! They said, Hear, O Israel, our Father. As there is no doubt in thy heart, so neither is there in ours. For the Lord is our God, and He is one." Midr. Rabbah on Gen. par. 98, and on Deut. par. 2. Comp. also Targ. Jer. on Deut. vi. 4. Tract. Pesachim, 56.

[905] See Sura [lxxiii.] xvi. 121, n., p. 209.

[906] Ibn Batutah assures us (vol. ii. 10) that when in the 14th century he visited Basra, he saw in the mosque the copy of the Koran which the Caliph Othman had in his hands when murdered, and that the marks of his blood were still visible at the words of this verse. Othman's originals are also said to be preserved in Egypt, Morocco, Damascus, Mecca, and Medina. See M. Quatremere in Journ. Asiatique, Juillet, 1838.

[907] The original simply has Baptism of God. This may be understood either of Islam generally, or, with Ullmann, in the more restricted sense of circumcision. Perhaps Muhammad used the word advisedly as a hint to the Christians of his land, that in the reception of his religion consisted the true new birth.

[908] Or, intermediate, i.e., according to the commentators, not addicted to excess, just. Ullm. ein vermittelndes Volk, zwischen Juden und Christen die Mitte haltend.

[909] In having prayed towards Jerusalem.

[910] Of Mecca. This change of the Kebla from Jerusalem to Mecca shows that this part of the Sura was revealed at a time when the breach between Muhammad and the Jews was past healing; i.c. in the first half of the second year of the Hejira. See Thilo's. Cod. Apoc. p. 21, n.

[911] That is, the Jews are really convinced of the truth of Muhammad's mission.

[912] That is, warring with the infidels. The precise date of verses 148-152 depends upon whether this passage refers to the battle of Bedr or Ohod.

[913] These words are constantly used by the pious Muslims when in any trouble.

[914] Hills in the sacred territory of Mecca, which had long been objects of superstitious reverence to the idolatrous Arabs, on which account the Muslims were at first unwilling to include them among the sacred places.

[915] The Pentateuch. See verse 141.

[916] This and the three following verses are probably Meccan, as also verses 167-171.

[917] The ringleaders of infidelity and idolatrous faiths.

[918] Freyt. Lex. vol. ii. p. 477 Quid eos agere coegit quemadmodum damnati agunt? But Mar. Quanta erit sustinentia corum!

[919] To whom his brother, that is, any Arab or believer, shall remit the penalty of death.

[920] Of the stricter Mosaic lex talionis, as well of the ante-Islamitic Arabian custom, by which the killing of a slave was avenged by the death of a free man, and the killing of a woman by taking the life of a man. See Freyt. Einl. p. 193. Comp. Ex. xxi. 23.

[921] That is, by killing the manslayer.

[922] On the word Furquan, see Sura [1xv.] xxi. 49.

[923] A mutual comfort to each other.

[924] Thus Misch. Berachoth, 1, 2, "Prayer is to be said as soon as one can distinguish between a blue and white thread."

[925] Judging from the minuteness of the precepts laid down in this and the following verses to 193, it would appear that they were added at a late period of Muhammad's residence at Medina.

[926] Such appears to have been the superstitious custom of the Arabs after their return from pilgrimages to Mecca.

[927] Their driving you out of Mecca; or, the temptation (to idolatry).

[928] Lit. the sacred month for the sacred month, and the sacred precincts or things (for) reprisals. The meaning of this difficult passage is that in wars for the cause of religion, the sacred month and the temple of Mecca may be made the time and scene of contests, which then and there are usually prohibited. For the most accurate information as to the Pilgrimage, see Freytag, Einl. 418.

[929] This shows that Muhammad inculcated the doctrine of entire freedom of the will.

[930] The greater Pilgrimage, which every Muslim is bound to perform once in his life, is the Hadjat el Farz (the one obligatory Pilgrimage), or the Hadjat el Islam. The Umrah, or little pilgrimage, may be performed at any time except the pilgrimage season, and its ceremonies are much fewer. They are described by Lieut. Burton in his "Pilgrimage," vol. iii. ch. xxviii.

[931] Namely, Shawâl, Dhu'lkaada, and Dhu'lhajja.

[932] By trading during the Hadj.

[933] The pilgrims move on very rapidly when in the immediate neighbourhood of the Holy Places.

[934] From the valley of Mina.

[935] Said to have been one Al Akhnas Ibn Shoraik, a dissembler with Muhammad.

[936] Sohaib, when he joined the standard of Muhammad, left all his property in the hands of the infidels.

[937] Verses 204-210 are probably addressed to those Muslims who were desirous to observe certain parts of the Jewish law.

[938] The Koran.

[939] That is, there was originally but one religion in the world.

[940] Comp. Sura [c.] iv. 42, and [cxiv.] v. 99, 100.

[941] Limits, fences. The word is Talmudic. Thus Pirke Aboth, i. "The men of the great synagogue said . . . Make a fence for the law;" and iii. 13, "Tradition is a fence to the law."

[942] Comp. Sura [lxxxii.] xxxi. 13.

[943] Within the four months and ten days.

[944] Either the asr, midway between noon and nightfall (see verse 104 above) or the prayer immediately after midday. See note on Sura [c.] iv. 46.

[945] This verse is certainly older than the commencement of Sura iv. which alters the law here laid down.

[946] Comp. Ezek. xxxvii. 1-10. These Jews are said by some commentators to have abandoned their dwellings through fear of a pestilence (comp. Talmud Sanhed. 92); by others, for fear of being compelled to serve in the wars of God.

[947] This and the seven following verses shew that Muhammad, foreseeing an open rupture with the people of Medina at no distant period, felt it necessary to stimulate the zeal and courage of his partisans by examples from Jewish history.

[948] Ar. Shechinah. See Freytag Lex. in v. This word, as well as the Arabic word for ark (p. 95, n.) betray in their form a Rabbinic origin.

[949] The shoes and rod of Moses, the mitre of Aaron, the vase of manna, the fragments of the two tables of the law.

[950] Observe the confusion between Gideon and Saul.

[951] See verse 81.

[952] The drift of these words, which are of such frequent recurrence in the Koran, is, that the former revelations had been abused, and instead of leading them to Islam broke them up into sects and dissentient parties.

[953] This verse must have been revealed before Muhammad felt himself secure in his new position at Medina.

[954] A name applied to an idol or idols especially Allat and Ozza, the ancient idols of the Meccans. The termination of the word Thagout is more Hebraic than pure Arabic, and literally means error.

[955] Nimrod.

[956] Ozair or Esdras doubted whether Jerusalem could be rebuilt after its destruction by Nebuchadnezzar, and the miracle here narrated, was wrought for his assurance. The fable has its origin in the circuit made by Nehemiah around the ruined city. Neh. ii. 13.

[957] Lit. it was falling on its roofs.

[958] Comp. Gen. xv. 9.

[959] That is, Satan would dissuade you from liberal contributions by instilling the fear of poverty.

[960] Comp. Matt. vi. 3, 4.

[961] This contradicts verse 254, as well as several verses in Sura [1viii.] xix.

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