THIS CHAPTER of 286 verses is arranged in forty sections. It, as well as Chapter 3 and Chapters 29-32 inclusive, begin with the mystic initials A.L.M. It dates from the first year after the Hijra or Transfer from Mecca to Madina, or around the year 623 A.D. It was revealed before Chapter 8 Booty, except for verse 281 (XXXVII) which was revealed at Mina, a suburb just east of Mecca, during the Farewell Pilgrimage shortly before the Prophet passed away. The title is taken from the Cow, or the Golden Calf, the story of which appears in section VIII below, and which Moses wanted the Children of Israel to sacrifice to God Alone.
Because the chapter is quite long, it continues through two and a half of the thirty Parts into which the Quran is traditionally divided, and comprises more than one-tenth of the whole text of the holy Book. The chapter mostly concerns legislation promulgated during the Madinese period. begins with the majestic invocation to the Book which announces the first section, and then proceeds to describe disbelievers and those arrogant persons who take it upon themselves to dictate to others concerning religion. There is a parable on "The Gnat" in section III, and we proceed the story of Adam's creation in IV.
Prayer is discussed in V , and we are told in vi that intercession is acceptable because God's face is to be found everywhere. The Direction Prayer, or our qibla, is dealt with in XVII-XVIII, and prayer itself once more in XXXI. Section XIX instructs us that we should simply strive to meet God Alone. Abraham is introduced to us at Mecca (XV) while his signs appEAR in XXXV.
Fasting, the month of Ramaddan and God's care are other the discussed here (XXIII). Food is mentioned in XXI; virtue and retaliation in xxii; the Pilgrimage appears in XXV. Charity is prescribed in XXXV-XXXVI and we are told to favor the genteel poor who do not go around begging in public. Death and wills are treated in XXII; waste and bribery in XXIII. There is legislation against liquor and gambling in XXV, the loan business XXXVIII, while the matter of debts and loans is handled in XXXIX. Then follow such matters as orphans, the sin of associating others with our worship of God Alone, menstruation (XXVIII), marriage, oaths, divorce nursing mothers and widows (XXX).
In Part III of the Quran, towards the end of this chapter, we offered the great vision of God's Seat or Throne, which embraces Heaven and Earth, and are admonished to observe tolerance (XXXIV). The chapter ends with a statement of the Islamic creed, given as this is generally recited by Muslims (XL).
In the name of God, the Mercy-giving, the Merciful!
Invocation to the Book
The Heedful Or Pious
*This is the Book which contains no doubt; it means guidance for those who do their duty
* who believe in the Unseen, keep up prayer, and spend something from whatever We have provided them with;
* who believe in what has been sent down to you as well as what was sent down before you,
While they are convinced about the Hereafter; ** such people on to guidance from their Lord; those will be successful.
* It is all the same whether you warn those who disbelieve or do not warn them; they still will not believe: * God has sealed off their hearts and their hearts and their hearing, while over their sight there hangs a covering; they will have severe torment.
Disbelievers (Arrogation Explained)
(II) * Some people say: "We believe in God and the Last Day," while they are not believers. * They would like to deceive God and those who believe, while they merely outwit themselves and do not even notice it! ** Their hearts contain malice so God has increased their [share of] malice. They will have painful torment because they have been lying.
* Whenever someone tells them: "Don't act so depraved on earth," they say: "We are only improving matters!" * They are indeed mischief makers, but they are not aware of it. * When someone tells them: "Believe just as other people believe," they say: "Are we to believe just as simpletons believe?" Surely they are the fools even though they do not realize it!
* Whenever they meet those who believe, they say: "We believe;' while once they go off alone with their ringleaders, they say: "We are with you; we were only joking!" ** God will joke with them and let them go on acting arrogantly in their blind fashion! Those are the ones who have purchased error at the price of guidance, while their bargain does n them nor have they been guided.
* They may be compared to someone who kindles a fire, and once it lights up whatever lies around him, God takes away their light and leaves them in darkness. They do not see: * deaf, dumb and blind will never respond!
* Or to a raincloud from the sky containing darkness, Thunder and lightning; they stick their fingers in their ears to ward off death of the thunderclaps, for God will soon be rounding up disbelievers ** Lightning almost snatches their sight away: each time it lights things up for them, they walk along in it, while when darkness settles down on them, they stand stockstill. If God wanted, He would take away their hearing and eyesight; God is capable of everything!
(III) * Mankind, worship your Lord Who created you as well as those before you, so that you may do your duty! * [He is] the One Who has made the earth a carpet for you and had the sky built above you, and sent water to pour down from the sky and brought forth fruit by means of it as sustenance for you. Do not set up rivals for God while you know [better].
* If you (all) are in any doubt about what We have sent down to Our servant, then bring a chapter like it and call in your witnesses besides God if you are so truthful. * If you do not-and you will never do so-then heed the Fire which has been prepared for disbelievers whose fuel is mankind and stones! ** Proclaim to those who believe and perform honorable deeds that they will have gardens through which rivers flow. Each time they are provided with fruits from it for their sustenance, they will say: "This is what we were provided with before!" They will be given similar things and have clean-living spouses there. They will live in it for ever!
Parables (The Gnat)
* God does not hesitate to compare things to a mosquito nor to anything bigger than it. Those who believe realize that it is the Truth from their Lord, while those who disbelieve say: "What does God want in such a comparison?" He lets so many go astray through it, and guides many by means of it. Yet only immoral persons are led astray by it! * Those who break God's covenant after they have pledged to keep it, and sever whatever God has ordered to be joined, and act depraved on earth, will be the losers. * How can you disbelieve in God when you once were dead and He furnished you with life? Soon He will let you die once more, then bring you back to life again; then unto Him will you return! * He is the One Who has created everything that is on earth for you; then He soared up to Heaven and perfected it as seven heavens. He is Aware of everything!
The Story of Adam
(IV)** So when your Lord told the angels: "I am placing an overlord on earth", they said: "Will You place someone there who will corrupt it and shed blood, while we hymn Your praise and sanctify You?" He said: "I know something you do not know."
* He taught Adam all the names of everything; then presented them to the angels, and said: "Tell me the names of these if you are so truthful." * They said: "Glory be to You; we have no knowledge except whatever You have taught us. You are the Aware, the Wise!" * He said: "Adam, tell them their names."
Once he had told them their names, He said: "Did I not tell you that I know the Unseen in Heaven and Earth? I know whatever you disclose and whatever you have been hiding."
* So We told the angels: "Bow down on your knees before Adam." They [all] knelt down except for Diabolis. He refused and acted proudly, and became a disbeliever.
** We said: 'Adam, settle down in the Garden, both you and your wife, and eat freely from it anywhere either of you may wish. Yet do not approach this tree lest you become wrongdoers."
* Satan made them stumble over it and had them both expelled from where they had been [living]. We said: "Clear out! Some of you will [become] enemies of others. You will have a resting place on earth a enjoyment for a while."
* Adam received words [of inspiration] from his Lord and he turned towards Him. He is the Relenting, the Merciful!
* We said: 'Clear out from it together! If you should be hand guidance from Me, then anyone who follows My guidance will have fear nor will they be saddened; * while those who disbelieve and reject Our signs will become inmates of the Fire; they shall remain in it!
(V)** Children of Israel, remember My favor which I have shown you, and fulfill My agreement! I shall fulfill your covenant. I am the One you should revere! * Believe in what I have sent down to confirm what you already have, and do not be the first to disbelieve in it. Do not sell My signs for paltry price. I am the One you should heed! * Do not cloak Truth with falsehood nor hide the Truth while you realize it.
* Keep up prayer, pay the welfare tax, and worship along with those who bow their heads. * Are you ordering people to be virtuous while forgetting it yourselves, even as you recite the Book? Will you not use you reason?
** Seek help through patience and prayer, since it is exacting except for the submissive * who assume they will meet their Lord, and that they will return to Him.
Intercession is not Accepted
(VI) * Children of Israel, remember My favor which I have bestowed on you. I have preferred you over [the rest of] the Universe! * Heed a day when no soul will compensate for any other soul in any way. Intercession will not be accepted from him, nor will any alternative be taken for it. They will not be supported. * When We rescued you from Pharaoh's household, they had been subjecting you to the worst torment, slaying your sons and sparing your women. That meant such awful testing by your Lord! * * So We divided the sea for you and saved you, while We drowned Pharaoh's household as you were looking on. * When We appointed forty nights for Moses, you took the Calf after he [had left], and you became wrongdoers. * Then later on We still overlooked this for you, so that you might act grateful * when We gave Moses the Book and the Standard so that you might be guided. * When Moses told his folk: "My people, you have wronged yourselves in accepting the Calf, so turn towards your Maker in repentance and kill your own [guilty] selves; that will be better for you with your Maker. He will (then) relent towards you, since He is the Relenting, the Merciful."
** So you said: "Moses, we will never believe in you until we see God openly," the Thunderbolt caught you while you were (all) looking on. * Then We raised you up after you had died so that you might act grateful; * We spread the clouds out to shade you, and sent down manna and quail for you: 'Eat some of the good things which We have provided you with!" They did not harm Us, but it was themselves whom they harmed.
* So We said: "Enter this town and eat wherever you may wish in it at your leisure. Enter the gate [walking] on your knees and say: 'Relieve us!" We will forgive you your mistakes and give even more to those who kindly. * Yet those who do wrong altered the Statement to something than what had been told them, so We sent a blight down from Heaven on those who did wrong since they had acted so immorally.
(VII) ** Thus Moses looked for something for his people to drink, and said: "Strike the rock with your staff!'; so twelve springs gushed forth fro it. Each group of people knew its drinking spot: "Eat and drink from Go provisions, and do not cause any havoc on earth, as if you were mischief-makers."
* When you said: "Moses, we'll never stand one [kind of] food! Appeal to your Lord to produce whatever the earth will grow for us, such as vegetables and cucumbers, and its garlic, lentils and onions;" He said: "Do you want to exchange something commonplace for something that better?" Settle in some city to get what you have asked for!' Humiliation and poverty beat them down and they incurred anger from God. That was because they had disbelieved in God's signs and killed the prophets without having any right to. That happened because they disobeyed and had act so defiant.
(VIII) * Those who believe and those who are Jews, Christians and Sabeans, [in fact] anyone who believes in God and the Last Day, and acts honorably will receive their earnings from their Lord: no fear will lie upon them nor need they feel saddened. * Thus we have made an agreement with you and raised the Mountain over you: "Hold firmly to what We have brought you and remember what it contains, so that you may do your duty;" * while later on you turned away, and if God's bounty and His mercy had not [rested] upon you, you would have turned out to be losers! ** Yet you knew which of you had been defiant on the Sabbath, so We told them: "Become apes, rejected!" * We set them up as an illustration of what had come before them and what would come after them, and as a lesson for the heedful.
* When Moses told his folk: "God commands you to sacrifice a cow," they said: "Do you take us for a laughingstock?" He said: "I seek refuge with God lest I become so ignorant!" * They said: "Appeal to your Lord for us, to explain to us what she is."
He said: "He says she is neither a worn-out cow, nor a heifer, but of an age in between. Do as you are ordered!" * They said: "Appeal to your Lord for us, to explain to us what color she is." He said: "He says that she is a bright yellow cow. Her color gladdens those who look at her." ** They said: "Appeal to your Lord for us, to explain to us what she is like. Cows seem all alike to us and we should be guided properly, if God so wishes." * He said: "He says that she is a cow which has not yet been broken in to plow the earth nor to irrigate any crops; she is sound and has no blemish on her." They said: "Now you are telling the Truth!", and they slaughtered her though they almost had not done so.
(IX) * When You killed a soul and quarreled over it, God was bound to bring forth whatever you had hidden. * We said: "Strike him with some part of it." Thus God revives the dead and shows you His signs so you ma use your reason. * Even after that your hearts were hardened and became stony, and even harder yet, for there are some stones which rivers gush out of and there are others which water comes forth from when they split open and there are still others which collapse out of awe for God. God is no oblivious of what you are doing!
Making a Living from Misinterpreting the Quran
** Are you so keen for them to believe for your own sake while group of them have already heard God's word? Then they tamper with it once they have studied it, and they realize it. * Whenever they meet with those who believe, they say: "We believe!", while when some of them go off privately with one another, they say: "Will you report something to the which God has disclosed to you, so they may dispute with you about it in the presence of your Lord? Don't you use your reason?" * Do they not realize that God knows anything they hide and anything they display?* Some of them are illiterate and do not know the Book except to say "Amen" [to it]. They are merely guessing. * It will be too bad for those who write the Book down in their own hand[writing], then say: "This is from God!", so they may sell it for a paltry price. It will be too bad for them because of what their hands have written. Too bad for whatever the earn! ** They say: "The Fire will only touch us for several days."
SAY: "Have you taken it on oath from God? God never breaks Hi word. Or are you saying something about God which you really do no know?" * Rather anyone who commits evil will find his mistake will he him in; those will become inmates of the Fire; they will remain in it for ever. * Those who believe and perform honorable deeds will be inhabit ants of the Garden; they will live in it for ever.
The Children of Israel
(X)* Thus We made an agreement with the Children of Israel: "You shall serve God Alone, and treat your parents kindly, and [also] near relatives orphans and the needy, and say kind things to [other] people, and keep up prayer and pay the welfare tax"; then you turned away and except for few of you, you avoided doing anything. * So We made an agreement with you: "You must not shed your own blood, nor drive one another out of your homes;" then you ratified this and were witnesses [for it]. ** Then there you go killing one another and driving a group of you from their homes, backing one another up against them out of sin and enmity. If the are brought to you as prisoners, you ransom them, while it has been forbidden for you even to expel them!
Do you believe in part of the Book and disbelieve in another part of it? What reward has anyone of you who does so, except disgrace during worldly life, while on Resurrection Day they will be driven off to the harshest torment? God does not overlook anything you do! * Those are the ones who purchase worldly life instead of the Hereafter; punishment will not be lightened for them nor will the be supported.
(XI) * We gave Moses the Book and followed him up with messengers later on. We gave Jesus the son of Mary evidence and assisted him with the Holy Spirit. Yet every time some messenger comes to you with what you yourselves do not fancy, why do you act so overbearing? One group you have rejected while another group you would [like to] kill.
* They said: "Our hearts are covered over." Rather God has cursed them because of their disbelief; little do they believe. * Whenever a Book has come to them from God to confirm what they already have-whereas previously they had been seeking victory over those who disbelieve-so whenever something they can recognize is brought to them, they disbelieve go in it. God's curse lies on disbelievers! ** How wretchedly have they sold their own souls by disbelieving in what God has sent down to them, begrudging that God should send down some of His bounty on any of His servants He may wish. They have brought an exchange of anger for anger on themselves; disbelievers will have shameful torment. * Whenever someone tells them: "Believe in what God has sent down;" they say: "We believe [only] in what has been sent down to us," while they disbelieve in what has come after that, even though it is the Truth confirming what they already have.
SAY: "Why did you kill God's prophets previously if you were believers?
* Moses came to you with evidence; then later on you adopted the Calf and became wrongdoers." * When We made an agreement with you and raised the Mountain up over you [as a symbol]: "Take whatever We have brought you seriously, and listen;" they said: "We listen and [yet] we disobey!" They sucked the [spirit of the] Calf into their hearts because of their disbelief. SAY: "How wretchedly your faith commands you, if you ever have been believers!"
* SAY: "If a home in the Hereafter with God is exclusively yours instead of [other] people's, then long for death if you are so truthful!" ** They will never long for it because of what their hands have already prepared. God is Aware of wrongdoers! * You will find them the people most eager to live, even compared with those who associate [others with God]. Each one of them would like to live on for a thousand years! Yet it would never save anyone from torment, even should he live that long. God is Observant of whatever they do.
(XII)* SAY: 'Who is Gabriel's enemy? He has brought it down for your heart with God's permission, to confirm what came before it and as guidance and good news for believers. * Who is an enemy of God and His angels and His messengers, as well as of Gabriel and Michael? * Anyhow, God is an enemy of disbelievers! * We have sent you down clear signs; only immoral people disbelieve in them. *** Each time they swear an oath, does a group of them shrug it off? Rather most of them do not even believe.
* Whenever a messenger from God has come to them to confirm what they already had, a group of those who were given the Book have tossed God's book behind their backs as if they did not know [any better].
Learning Things Wrong
*They followed whatever the devils recited concerning Solomon's control. Solomon did not disbelieve but the devils disbelieved, teaching people magic and what was sent down to Harut and Marut, two angels at Babylon. Neither of these would teach anyone unless they [first] said: "We are only a temptation, so do not disbelieve!" They learned from them both what will separate a man from his wife. Yet they do not harm anyone through it except with God's permission. They learn what will harm them and does not benefit them. They know that anyone who deals in it will have no share in the Hereafter; how wretched is what they have sold themselves for, if they only knew! * If they had only believed and done their duty, a recompense from God would have been better, if they had realized it!
(XIII)* You who believe, do not say: "Herd us,"; and say [instead]: "Watch over us,"
and [then] "Listen!" Disbelievers will have painful torment ** Neither those People of the Book who disbelieve, nor associators [of others with God] would like any good from your Lord to be sent down t you. God will single out anyone He wishes for His mercy; God possesses splendid bounty. * We do not cancel any verse nor let it be forgotten instead We bring something better than it or else something similar. Do you not know that God is Capable of everything? * Do you not know that God [Alone] holds control over Heaven and Earth. You have no patron nor any supporter besides God. * Or do you (all) want to question you Messenger just as Moses was questioned previously? Anyone who exchanges faith for disbelief has strayed right down the line!
* Many People of the Book would like to turn you back into disbelievers following your [profession of] faith, out of envy for themselves, even though the Truth has been explained to them. Pardon [them] and disregard it till God brings His command; God is Capable of everything
Jews and Christians
** Keep up prayer and pay the welfare tax; you will find any good you have sent on ahead for your own souls' sake is already [stored up] with God. God is Observant of whatever you do. * They say: "No one will enter the Garden unless he is a Jew or a Christian. Those individuals are merely saying "Amen" [to their leaders]. Say: "Bring on your proof if you are so truthful," * Rather anyone who commits his person peacefully to God and is acting kindly will receive his earnings from his Lord. No fear shall come upon them nor will they be saddened.
(XIV)* Jews say: Christians have no point to make;" while Christians say: "The Jews have no point to make." Yet they (all) quote from the [same] Book. Likewise those who do know anything make a statement similar to theirs. God will judge between them on Resurrection Day concerning how they have been differing.
* Who is more in the wrong than someone who prevents God's name from being mentioned in His places of worship and attempts to ruin them? Such persons should not even enter them except in fear; they will suffer disgrace in this world as well as serious torment in the Hereafter.
** The East and West are God's:
wherever you may turn,
there will be God's countenance,
for God is Boundless, Aware!
* They say: 'God has adopted a son!" Glory be to Him! Rather owns whatever is in Heaven and Earth. All things are devoted Him. * Devisor of Heaven and Earth, whenever He decrees so affair, He merely tells it: "Be!" and it is.
* Those who do not know (anything) say: "If God would only speak to or a sign were brought us!" Likewise those before them said the same they are saying; their hearts are all alike. We have explained signs for folk who are certain. * We have sent you with the Truth as a herald and warner: you will not be questioned about the inmates of Hades.
** Neither the Jews nor the Christians will ever be satisfied with you until you follow their sect. SAY:
"God's guidance means [real] guidance!"
If you followed their whims after the knowledge which has come to you would not have any patron nor supporter against God. * Those whom We have brought the Book, recite it in the way it should be recited such men believe in it. Those who disbelieve in it will be the losers.
(XV)* 0 Children of Israel, remember My favor which I bestowed on and how I preferred you over [everyone in] the Universe. * Heed a day when no soul will make amends in any way for any other soul and adjustment will be accepted from it nor an intercession benefit it. They will not be supported.
Abraham at Mecca
* When his Lord tested Abraham by means of [certain] words, and he fulfilled them, He said: "I am going to make you into a leader for mankind." He said: "What about my offspring?"; He said: "My pledge not apply to evildoers."
** Thus We set up the House as a resort for mankind and a sanctuary and [said]: 'Adopt Abraham's station as a place for prayer." We entrusted Abraham and Ishmael with cleaning out My house for those who around it and are secluded [praying] there, and who bow down on their knees in worship.
* So Abraham said: 'My Lord, make this countryside safe and provide any of its people who believe in God and the Last Day with fruit from He said: "Even anyone who disbelieves, I'll let enjoy things for a while then drive him along towards the torment of Fire. How awful is goal!"
* Thus Abraham along with Ishmael laid the foundations for the House: "Our Lord, accept this from us! Indeed You are the Alert, the Aware! * Our Lord, leave us peacefully committed to You, and make our offspring into a nation which is at peace with you. Show us our ceremonies and turn towards us. You are so Relenting, the Merciful! * Our Lord, send a messenger in among them from among themselves who will recite Your verses to
them and teach them the Book and wisdom! He will purify them, for You are the Powerful, the Wise!"
(XVI)** Who would shrink from [joining] Abraham's sect except someone who fools himself? We selected him during worldly life, while in the Hereafter he will be among the honorable ones. * So when his Lord told him: "Commit yourself to [live in] peace"; he said: "I have already committed myself peacefully to the Lord of the Universe!"
* Abraham commissioned his sons with it [as a legacy], and [so did] Jacob: "My sons, God has selected your religion for you. Do not die unless you are Muslims." * Or were you present as death appeared for Jacob, when he said to his sons: "What will you serve after I am gone?" They said: 'We shall worship your God and the God of your forefathers Abraham, Ishmael and Isaac: God Alone! We are committed peacefully to Him."
* That is a nation which has already passed away: there awaits it whatever it has earned, while you will have what you have earned. You will not be questioned about what they have been doing.
** They say: "Become Jews or Christians; you will [then] be guided." SAY: "Rather Abraham's sect, [for he was] a seeker [after Truth]; he was no associator [of others with God Alone]." * SAY: "We believe in God and what has been sent down to us, and what was sent down to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and their descendants, and what was given Moses and Jesus, and what was given the [other] prophets by their Lord. We do not discriminate against any one of them and are committed [to live] in peace to Him."
* If they believe the same as you believe, then they are guided, while if they turn elsewhere, they will only fall into dissension. God will suffice for you [in dealing with] them: He is the Alert, Aware. * [Such is] God's design! Who is better than God for a design? We are serving Him. * SAY: "Do you argue with us about God while He is our Lord and your Lord as well? We have our actions while you have your actions, and we are loyal to Him. ** Or do you say that Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and their descendants were Jews or Christians?" SAY: "Are you more knowledgeable than God? Who is more unjust than someone who hides some evidence from God which he holds? God is not heedless of what you are doing. * That is a nation which has already passed away. There awaits it whatever it has earned, while you will have what you have earned. You will not be questioned about what they are doing.
The Direction of Prayer
(XVII)* Some foolish folk will say: "Whatever turned them away from the Direction [of Prayer] toward which they used to face?" SAY: "God holds the
East and West; He guides whomever He wishes towards a Straight Road." * Thus We have set you up as a moderate nation so you may act as witnesses for mankind, even as the Messenger is a witness for you. We have only set up the Direction towards which you used to face so We might know the one who is following the Messenger from someone who turns on his heels. It is such a serious matter except for those whom God has guided! God will never let your faith be forfeited; God is Gentle, Merciful with mankind.
* We see you shifting your face all over the sky, so We shall appoint a Direction for you which you will feel satisfied with; so turn your face towards the Hallowed Mosque. Wherever you (all) may be, turn your faces towards it!
Those who were given the Book know that it brings the Truth from their Lord; while God is not unaware of what they do. ** Even though you brought every sign for those who were given the Book they still would not follow your Direction. You are not following their direction, nor will any of them follow one another's direction. If you were to follow their whims once knowledge has come to you, you would then be an evildoer. * Those to whom We have given the Book recognize it just as they recognize their own children. Nevertheless a group of them hide the Truth even though they know it. * Truth comes from your Lord, so do not be a doubter!
The Direction of Prayer (cont'd)
(XVIII) * Everyone has some course he steers by, so compete in [doing] good deeds. Wherever you may be, God will bring you all together; God is Capable of everything. * No matter where you may set out from, turn your face towards the Hallowed Mosque. It means the Truth from your Lord; nor will God overlook whatever you are doing. ** No matter where you set out from, turn your face towards the Hallowed Mosque; wherever you may be, turn your faces towards it, so that people will not have any argument against you, except for those among them who do wrong. Do not dread them but dread Me, so I may complete My favor towards you and so that you may be guided; * just as We have sent a messenger to you from among yourselves to recite My signs to you, and to cleanse you and teach you the Book and wisdom, and to teach you what you did not know. * Remember Me; I shall remember you. Thank Me, and do not act ungrateful with Me!
Striving for God
(XIX) You who believe, seek help through patience and prayer; God stands alongside the patient!
* Do not say: "They are dead!" about anyone who is killed for God's sake. Rather they are living, even though you do not notice it.
** We shall test you with a bit of fear and hunger, plus a shortage of wealth and souls and produce. Announce such to patient people * who say, whenever some misfortune strikes them: "We belong to God, and are returning to Him!"
* Such will have their prayers [accepted] by their Lord,
and [granted] mercy. Those have consented to be guided!
*Safa and Marwa are some of God's waymarks. Anyone who goes on Pilgrimage to the House or visits [it] will not be blamed if he runs along between them. With anyone who volunteers some good, God is Appreciative, Aware. * God curses those who hide whatever We send down explanations and guidance, once We have explained it to mankind in the Book, and cursers will curse them, ** except for those who repent, reform and explain; those I accept repentance from, for I am the Receiver Repentance, the Merciful!
* Those who disbelieve and die while they are disbelievers will have God's curse upon them, as well as the angels' and all mankind's * to live for ever. Torment will not be lightened for them will they be allowed to wait.
* Your God is God Alone
there is no deity except Him,
the Mercy-giving, the Merciful!
(XX)* In the creation of Heaven and Earth, the alternation between night and day, the ships which plow the sea with something to benefit mankind and any water God sends down from the sky with which to revive the following its death, and to scatter every kind of animal throughout it, and directing the winds and clouds which are driven along between the sky and earth, are (all) signs for folk who use their reason. ** Yet there are some people who adopt rivals instead of God, whom they love just as they should love God. Those who believe are firmer in their love of God; if only those who commit evil might see, when they face torment, how strength is wholly God's, and God is Severe with torment. * When those who been following them free themselves from those they have been following and they see the torment, their bonds will be cut off from them! *Those they have been following will say: 'If we only had another chance, then we would free ourselves from them just as they have freed themselves from us!' Thus God will show them their actions as regrets on their part. They will never leave the Fire!
(XXI)* Mankind, eat anything lawful, wholesome that exists on earth do not follow in Satan's footsteps; he is an open enemy of yours.* He merely orders you to commit evil and shocking deeds, and to say what you do not know about God. ** Whenever someone tells them: "Follow what God has sent down;" they say: "Rather we will follow what we discovered our forefathers were doing," even though their forefathers did not use reason in any way nor were they guided. * Those who disbelieve may be compared to those who bleat away at something that only listens to calls and cries: deaf, dumb and blind, they do not use their reason. * You who believe, eat any wholesome things We have provided you with and thank God if it is He whom you worship.
* He has only forbidden you what has died by itself, blood and pork, and anything that has been consecrated to something besides God. Yet anyone who may be forced to do so, without craving or going too far, will have no offence held against him; for God is Forgiving, Merciful.
* Those who hide what God has sent down in the Book and (then) barter it off for a paltry price only suck fire into their bellies. God will not speak to them on Resurrection Day nor will He purify them; they will have painful torment! ** Those are the ones who have purchased error instead of guidance, and torment instead of forgiveness. Why do they insist on facing the Fire? * That is because God has sent the Book down with the Truth, while those who disagree about the Book go much too far in dissension.
(XXII)* Virtue does not mean for you to turn your faces towards the East and West, but virtue means one should believe in God [Alone], the Last Day, angels, the Book and prophets; and no matter how he loves it, to give his wealth away to near relatives, orphans, the needy, the wayfarer and beggars, and towards freeing captives; and to keep up prayer and pay the welfare tax; and those who keep their word whenever they promise anything; and are patient under suffering and hardship and in time of violence. Those are the ones who act loyal and they perform their duty.
* You who believe, compensation for the murder (ed victim) has been prescribed for you: the freeman for the free, the slave for the slave, and female for the female. Anyone who is pardoned in any way for it by his brother should follow this up appropriately, and handsomely make amends with him; that means a lightening as well as mercy from your Lord. Anyone who exceeds the limit after that shall have painful torment. * You will find [security for] life in [such] compensation, 0 prudent persons, that you may do your duty!
Death and Wills
** It has been prescribed for you that whenever death faces one of you, he should draw up a will in a proper manner for both his parents and near relatives if he leaves any property behind, as a duty for the heedful. * Anyone who alters it once he has heard it [read] will have his sin fall upon only such as those who alter it; God is Alert, Aware. * However there is no sin to be charged anyone who fears some alteration or any sin on the part of an executor, and so patches things up among them. God is Forgiving, Merciful.
(XXIII)* You who believe, fasting has been prescribed for you just as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may do your duty, * on days which have been planned ahead. Any of you who is ill or on a journey [should choose] a number of other days. For those who can [scarcely] afford it, making up for it means feeding a poor man. It is even better for anyone who can volunteer some wealth; although it is better yet for you to fast, if you only knew.
The Month of Ramadan
** The month of Ramadan is when the Quran was sent down as guidance for mankind, and with explanations for guidance, and as a Standard. Let any of you who is at home during the month, fast in it; while anyone who is ill or on a journey should [set an equal] number of other days.
God wants thins to be easy for you and does not want any hardship for you, so complete the number and magnify God because He has guided you, so that you may act grateful.
* Whenever My servants ask you about Me,
[it means] I am Near.
I answer the appeal of the prayerful one
whenever he appeals to Me.
Let them respond to Me,
and believe in Me
so they may be directed!
* It is lawful for you to have intercourse with your wives on the night of the Fast: they are garments for you while you are garments for them. God knows how you have been deceiving yourselves, so He has relented towards you and pardoned you. Now [feel free to} frequent them and seek what God has prescribed for you.
Eat and drink until the white streak [of dawn] can be distinguished by you from the black thread [of night] at daybreak. Then complete the Fast until nightfall and have no dealings with women while you are secluded at your devotions in the mosques. Such are God's limits, so do not attempt to cross them! Thus God explains His signs to mankind so they may do their duty.
Waste and Bribery
* Do not eat up one another's wealth to no good purpose, nor try to bribe authorities with it so you may consume a share of [other] people's wealth viciously while you realize [what you are doing].
(XXIV)* They will ask you about the phases of the moon. SAY: "They serve as datelines for mankind as well as the Pilgrimage. It is no virtue for you to go into houses through their backdoors, but virtue lies in doing one's duty; approach houses through their [front] doors and heed God, so that you may prosper.
** Fight those who fight against you along God's way, yet do not initiate hostilities; God does not love aggressors. * Kill them wherever you may catch them, and expel the from anywhere they may have expelled you. Sedition is more serious than killing! Yet do not fight them at the Hallowed Mosque unless the fight you there. If they should fight you, then fight them back; such is the reward for disbelievers. * However if they stop, God will be forgiving, Merciful. * Fight them until there is no more subversion and [all] religion belongs to God. If they stop, let there be no [more] hostility except toward wrongdoers.
* One hallowed month matches [another] hallowed month, while sacred matters have [their] means of compensation. Attack anyone who attacks you to the same extent as he has attacked you. Heed God, know that God stands by the heedful. ** Spend for God's sake, yet do expose yourselves to ruin through your own hands. Do good: God loves those who act kindly.
* Accomplish the Pilgrimage and the Experience for God's sake. If you are prevented from doing so, then make some offering available. Do not shave your heads until after the offering has reached its destination. For anyone of you who is ill or has some rash on his head, redemption means fasting, or some other act of charity or devotion. Once you feel safe, anyone who is enjoying the Experience along with the Pilgrimage should [send along] whatever he may make available in the form of an offering. Whoever does not find any should fast three days during the Pilgrimage and seven [more] when you return [home]; those make ten exactly. That is for anyone whose family is not present at the Hallowed Mosque. Heed God and know that God is Firm in retribution.
(XXV) Pilgrimage falls during specific months. Anyone who undertakes the Pilgrimage during them should not indulge in amorous intercourse, nor any immorality nor wrangling during the Pilgrimage, God knows about any good you may do. Make provision; yet the best provision is doing your duty. Heed me, those who are prudent!
*It will not be held against you if you seek bounty from your Lord. When you stream forth from Arafat, remember God at the Hallowed Monument. Remember Him just as He has guided you, even if previously you acted like those who are lost. * Then stream forth from wherever the people stream forth, and seek forgiveness from God. God is Forgiving, Merciful! *** Once you have performed your ceremonies, remember God just as you remember your forefathers, or even more fervently. There is the occasional man who says: "Our Lord, give us [such and such] during this world!" while he will have no share in the Hereafter. * There is another kind who says:
A Short Prayer
"Our Lord, give us something fine in this world,
as well as something fine in the Hereafter,
and shield us from the torment of Fire!"
* Those will have a portion of anything they have earned: God is swift in reckoning!
* Remember God during the calculated days. Anyone whose anxious to leave within two days commits no offence, while anyone who stays on, commits no offence either, provided he does his duty. Heed God, and know that you will be summoned to Him.
Frivolity and Anarchy Condemned
* There is a certain man whose talk about worldly life intrigues you. He calls God to witness whatever is in his heart. He is extremely violent in quarreling. ** Whenever he holds the upper hand, he rushes around the earth ruining it. He destroys [people's] crops and breeding stock even though God does not like ruination. * When someone tells him: "Heed God," a [false] sense of importance leads him off to sin. He can count on Hell; what an awful couch!
* Another type sells his own soul while craving God's approval, even though God is Gentle with [His] servants. * You who believe, enter absolutely into peace! Do not follow Satan's footsteps; he is an open enemy of yours. * If you should lapse after explanations have come to you, then know that God is Powerful, Wise. ** Are they only waiting for God as well as angels to come along to them under canopies of clouds, so the matter will be settled? Unto God do matters return!
(XXVI)* Ask the Children of Israel how many clear signs We have given them. Anyone who changes God's favor once it has come to him will find God is Stem in punishment. * Worldly life has attracted those who disbelieve. They ridicule those who believe! Yet those who do their duty will stand ahead of them on Resurrection Day; God provides for anyone He wishes without any reckoning!
* Mankind was [once] one nation, so God dispatched prophets as heralds and warners. He sent the Book down along with them to bring the Truth, so as to decide among mankind concerning whatever they had been disagreeing about. However only those to whom it was given disagreed about it out of envy towards one another, after explanations had been brought them. By His permission God has guided those who believe to any Truth they may have disagreed about. God guides anyone He wishes to a Straight Road.
* Or did you reckon you will enter the Garden when the same thing never happened to you such as [happened] to those who have passed away before you? Suffering and hardship assailed them, and they were battered about until the Messenger and those who believed along with him said: "When is God's support [due]? Is not God's support near?"
** They will ask you about what they should spend [in taxes]. SAY: 'Any money you contribute should be [first] spent on both your parents, close relatives, orphans, the needy and the wayfarer. God is Aware of any good you do. * Fighting is also prescribed for you even though it may seem detestable to you. It may be that you detest something which is good for you; while perhaps you love something even though it is bad for you. God knows, while you do not know."
(XXVII)* They will ask you about fighting during the hallowed month. SAY: "Fighting in it is serious, while obstructing God's way, disbelief in Him and the Hallowed Mosque, and turning His people out of it are even more serious with God. Even dissension is more serious than killing."
They will never stop fighting you until they make you abandon your religion if they can manage to do so. Anyone of you who abandons his religion and dies while he is a disbeliever will find their actions will miscarry in this world and the Hereafter. Those [will become] inmates o the Fire; they will remain there. * Those who have believed and who have migrated and striven for God's sake may expect to receive God's mercy, for God is Forgiving, Merciful.
Liquor and Gambling
* They will ask you about liquor and gambling. SAY: In each of them there lies serious vice as well as some benefits for mankind. Yet their vice is greater than their usefulness."
They may ask you what to spend. SAY: "As much as you can spare!" Thus God explains His signs to you so that you may meditate ** concerning this world and the Hereafter.
They will ask you about orphans. SAY: "To improve their lot is best; if you have any dealings with them, [remember] they are your brethren. God distinguishes the plunderer from the improver. If God so wished, He might crush you. God is Powerful, Wise.
Marriage with Associators
* Do not marry women who associate [others with God] until they believe. A believing maid is better than an associating woman, no matter how attractive she may seem to you. Do not let [your daughters] marry men who associate [others with God] until the latter believe; a believing slave is better than an associator, no matter how attractive he may seem you. Those people invite (one) to the Fire while God invites (us) to t Garden and to forgiveness through His permission. He explains His signs to mankind in order that they may bear them in mind.
(XXVIII)* They will ask you about menstruation. SAY: "It is a nuisance, so keep away from women during menstruation. Do not approach them until they are cleansed. Once they cleanse themselves, then go to them just as God has commanded you to do. God loves the penitent and He loves those who try to keep clean.
* Your wives are [meant] for you to cultivate: so go to your cultivation whenever you wish. Send things on ahead for yourselves, and heed God; know that you will be meeting Him. Proclaim such to believers!
* Do not use God as an excuse in your oaths, to keep yourselves from being virtuous, doing your duty, and improving matters among mankind God is Alert, Aware. ** God does not take you to task for any idle talk in your oaths, but He does take you to task for whatever your hearts have earned. God is Forgiving, Lenient.
* Those who fail to [have intercourse with] their wives, should lie low for four months longer. If they should then change their minds, well God is Forgiving, Merciful.* However if they insist on a divorce, God s Alert, Aware.
* Divorced women should wait [alone] by themselves for three menstrual periods; it is not lawful for them to hide what God has created in their wombs if they believe in God and the Last Day. Their husband ought to take them back meanwhile in case they want a reconciliation. Women have the same [rights in relation to their husbands] as are expected in all decency from them; while men stand a step above them. God is Powerful, Wise.
(XXIX)* Divorce may be [pronounced] twice; then [it means] either to retain [your mate] in all decency, or else part from [the other partner] with (all) kindness. It is not lawful for you to take anything you have given any women unless both parties fear they will not keep within God's limits. If you fear they will not keep within God's limits, then there is no blame on either of them if she buys him off. Such are God's limits, so do not exceed them; those who exceed God's limits are wrongdoers. ** If he [finally] divorces her, she is not allowed [to remarry] him afterward, until she marries some husband other than him [in between]. If [the latter later] divorces her, there is no blame on either of them if they return to one another, provided they both think they can keep within God's limits.
Such are God's limits; He explains them to folk who know. * Once you divorce women, and they have reached the end of their waiting period, then either retain them in all decency or part from them decently. Do not retain them just to act mean with them; anyone who does that merely hurts himself. Do not take God's signs as a joke! Remember God's favor towards you, and anything He has sent down to you out of the Book and wisdom for your instruction. Heed God and know that God is Aware of everything.
(XXX)* Whenever you divorce women and they have reached the end their waiting period, do not hinder them from marrying their [new] husbands if they have agreed to do so with proper formalities among themselves. Whoever among you believes in God and the Last Day is instructed to act thus; that is purer for you as well as more orderly. God knows while you do not know [what is fitting].
* Mothers should breastfeed their children two full years, provided they want to complete the nursing. The family head must support women and clothe them properly. Yet no person is charged with more than he can cope with. No mother should be made to suffer because of her child, nor family head because of his child. An heir has the same [duties] in that respect. If they both prefer to wean [the child] when they have agreed terms and consulted together, it should not be held against them; so if you want to find a wetnurse for your children, it should not be held against you, provided you hand over whatever you may have given in all decency. Heed God and know that God is Observant of anything you do.
Proposals of Marriage
* Those of you who pass away and leave spouses behind, let [the latter] hold themselves back for four months and ten [days more]. Once they reach the end of their term, you are not responsible for however they may dispose of themselves with due formality. God is Informed of anything you do. ** It should not be held against you concerning whatever you propose in the way of becoming engaged to such women, or may keep yourselves; God knows that you will bear them in mind. However do not propose anything to them secretly unless you utter a formal statement. Do not tie the marriage knot until the decree has become final; know that God knows whatever is on your minds, so be careful with Him! Know that God is Forgiving, Lenient.
(XXXI) * It will not be held against you if you divorce women when you have never had any contact with them, nor assigned them any living. Provide for them, the well-to-do according to his means and the straitened according to his means; an assignment is due in all decency from those who act kindly. * If you divorce women before you have had contact with them and have already assigned them a living, then [give them] half of what you have assigned [them] unless they forego it, or the man in whose hand lies the marriage knot foregoes it. That you forego it is nearer heedfulness. Do not forget to be generous with one another; God is Observant of whatever you do.
* Watch over prayers and [especially] the Middle Prayer; and stand up devoutly to [worship] God. * If you feel afraid while on foot or out riding, then [perform it] once you feel safe. Remember God just as He has taught you what you did not know.
Wills and Inheritance
** For those of you who pass away leaving [widowed] spouses, a will means making provision for a year without having them leave [home]. If any women should leave, then you are not to blame for however they may dispose of themselves in all decency. God is Powerful, Wise. * Divorced women should have some provision [made] for them as a duty binding on the heedful. * Thus God explains His signs to you, so you may use your reason.
(XXXII)* Have you not seen those who have left their homes? There were thousands of them risking death! God told them: "Die!"; then He revived them. God possesses bounty for mankind, even though most men do not act grateful.
Fighting for God's Sake
* Fight in God's way and know that God is Alert, Aware. ** Who is there to offer God a handsome loan, so He may compound it many times over for him? God both withholds and bestows; to Him will you return.
* Have you not seen how the councilors for the Children of Israel told a prophet of theirs [who came] after Moses: "Send us a king; we will fight for God's sake." He said: "Perhaps you will not fight even though fighting has been prescribed for you." They said: "What do we have to keep us from fighting for God's sake? We and our children have been turned out of our homes!"
Yet whenever fighting was prescribed for them, all but a few of them turned away. God is Aware as to who are evildoers. * Their prophet told them: "God has sent Saul as a king for you." They said: "How could he hold control over us, since we are fitter to exercise control than he is? He has not been given ample wealth."
He said: "God has singled him out for you and added plenty to his knowledge and physique. God gives his control to anyone He wishes; God is Boundless, Aware." * Their prophet told them: "A sign of his control will be that the Ark shall come to you containing Serenity from your Lord, as well as some relics which Moses' house and Aaron's house have left behind. The angels will bring it; in that there will be a sign for you if you are believers.
(XXXIII)* When Saul set out with the troops, he said: "God will test you at a river: anyone who drinks from it will not be on my side; while anyone who does not taste it is with me, except for someone who scoops up only a palmful in his hand." Yet all but a few of them drank some of it!
When he and those who were along with him and believed had crossed over, they said: "We have no way today to prevail over Goliath and his troops!" Those who thought they were going to meet God said: "How often has a small detachment defeated a larger detachment with God's permission! God stands alongside the patient!"
** When they marched forth to face Goliath and his troops, they said [in prayer]: "Our Lord, fill us full of patience and brace our feet. Support us against such disbelieving folk!"
* They routed them with God's permission. David killed Goliath, God gave him control and wisdom, and taught him whatever He wished. If God did not defend some men by means of others, the earth would ruined; but God possesses bounty for [everybody in] the Universe. These are God's verses which We recite to you for the Truth, since you are one the messengers.
(XXXIII cont'd)* We have preferred some of these messengers over others. Some of them God spoke to, while others He raised in rank. We gave Jesus the son of Mary explanations, and endorsed him by means of the Holy Spirit. If God had wished, the ones who came after them would not have fallen out with one another once explanations had come to them; however they disagreed. Some of them believed while others disbelieved. If God had wished, they would not have fallen out with one another, but God does whatever He wants.
(XXXIV)* You who believe, spend some of what We have provided you with before a day comes along in which there will be no bartering, friendship, nor any intercession! Disbelievers are such evildoers.
** God! There is no deity except Him,
the Living, the Eternal!
Slumber does not overtake Him, nor does sleep.
What the Heavens hold and what Earth holds
[belongs] to Him. Who is there
to intercede with Him except by His permission?
He knows what lies before them and what's behind them,
while they embrace nothing of His knowledge
except whatever He may wish.
His Seat extends far over Heaven and Earth;
preserving them both does not overburden Him.
He is the Sublime, the Almighty!
* There should be no compulsion in religion. Normal behavior stands out clearly from error; so anyone who rejects the Arrogant ones and believes in God has grasped the Firmest Handle which will never break. God is Alert, Aware.
* God is the Patron of those who believe.
He brings them out of darkness into Light,
while those who disbelieve have the Arrogant ones
for their patrons; they will lead them
out of Light into darkness. Those are
inmates of the Fire. they shall remain there!
Abraham's Proof With The Sun
(XXXV)* Have you not considered the person who argued with Abraham about his Lord, concerning whether God would grant him any control. When Abraham said: "My Lord is the One Who gives life and bring death;" [the former] said: "I (too) give life and bring death!" Abraham said: "God brings the sun from the East, so you bring it from the West." The man who disbelieved was dumbfounded. God does not guide such wrong-doing folk.
The Stranger at the Ghost Town
* Or like the man who passed by a town whose roofs had caved in. He said: "How will God revive this following its death?" God let him die for a hundred years; then raised him up again.
He said: "How long have you been waiting here?" He said: "I've been waiting a day or part of a day." He said: "Rather you have stayed here a hundred years. Yet look at your food and drink: they have not yet even become stale! And look at your donkey. We will grant you it as a sign for mankind. Look how We set its bones together, then clothe them with flesh."
When it was explained to him. he said: "I know that God is Capable of everything!"
** When Abraham said: "My Lord, show me how You revive the dead;" He said: "Why, do you not believe?" He said: "Of course [I do], but just to set my heart at ease." He said: "Take four [kinds] of birds and train them to [follow] you; then place a part of them on every mountain. Then call them; they will come to you at once. Know that God is Powerful, Wise."
Charity is Like Sprouting Grain
(XXXVI)* Those who spend their wealth for God's sake may be compared to a grain which sprouts into seven ears with a hundred grains in each ear. God multiplies things for anyone He wishes; God is Boundless, Aware. * Those who spend their wealth for God's sake, then do not follow up what they have spent with any reproach or scolding, shall receive their earnings from their Lord. No fear will lie upon them nor should they feel saddened. * Polite conversation and forgiveness are better than any act of charity followed by a scolding. God is Transcendent, Lenient.
The Bare Boulder
* You who believe, do not cancel your acts of charity by [making] any reproach or scolding like someone who spends his money simply for people to see it while he does not believe in God and the Last Day. He may be compared to a boulder covered with some soil which a rainstorm strikes and leaves bare. They cannot do anything with whatever they have earned. God does not guide such disbelieving folk.
The Hilltop Garden
** Those who spend their wealth seeking God's approval and to strengthen their souls may be compared to a garden on a hilltop; should a rainstorm strike it, its produce is doubled, while if a rainstorm does not strike it, then drizzle does. God is Observant of anything you do. * Would any of you like to have a garden full of palms and grapes through which rivers flow? He would have all [sorts of] fruit in it. Yet old age will afflict him while he still has some helpless offspring, and a windstorm containing fire will strike it, so it is burned off. Thus God explains signs to you so that you (all) may think things over.
Charity and Taxes
(XXXVII)* You who believe, spend some of the wholesome things you may have acquired as well as anything We produce from the earth for you. Do not choose the poorest parts of it for anything you spend [in taxes or on charity] which you yourselves would only accept disdainfully. Know that God is Transcendent, Praiseworthy. * Satan threatens you with poverty and orders you to misbehave sexually, while God promises you forgiveness from Himself as well as bounty. God is Boundless, Aware. * He gives wisdom to anyone He wishes, and anyone He gives wisdom to, receives an abundant boon. Yet only prudent persons will reflect on it.
** God knows any expenses you may have incurred, or any promise you may have sworn. Wrongdoers will have no supporters. * If you publicize any acts of charity, it is quite worthwhile; while if you conceal them and give [directly] to the poor, it will be even better for you, and will cancel out some of your evil deeds for you. God is Informed about anything you do. * Guiding them is not your duty, but God guides anyone He wishes to. Any (tax] money you may spend is for your own good and whatever you spend is only through a craving to see God's face. Any money you spend will be repaid you, and you will not be harmed.
The Genteel Poor
* Take care of the poor who, being totally absorbed in working for God's cause, cannot manage to travel [freely] around the earth seeking their livelihood. An ignorant person might assume they are rich because of their modesty; yet you will recognize them from their features: they do not make insistent demands on people. Yet God is Aware of any money you may so spend.
(XXXVIII)* Those who spend their wealth night and day, both privately and publicly, will receive their earnings from their Lord. No fear will lie upon them nor need they ever feet saddened.
The Loan Business
** Those who live off the interest on loans will never stand up, except in the way those whom Satan knocks down with a fit rise up again. That is because they say: "Trading is just like taking interest." Yet God has permitted trading and forbidden taking interest. Anyone who receives such an instruction from his Lord and stops doing so, may keep whatever [capital] is a thing of the past, while his case rests with God; yet those who do so over and over again will become inmates of the Fire, to remain the for ever. * God wipes out usury and nourishes acts of charity; God does not love every vicious disbeliever.
* Those who believe and perform honorable actions, keep up prayer and pay the welfare tax, will receive their wages from their Lord; no fear shall lie upon them nor should they feel saddened. * You who believe heed God and write off anything that remains outstanding from lending at interest if you are [true] believers. * If you do not do so, then be prepared to face war declared by God and His messenger! If you repent, you may retain your principal. Do not wrong [others] and you will not be wronged.
** If any debtor suffers hardship, then postpone [repaying] it until conditions become easier [for him]; while if you treat it as an act of charity, would be better for you, if you only knew! * Heed a day when you will be brought back to God; then every soul will be paid in fun according to whatever he has earned, and they will not be treated unjustly.
Debts and Loans; Buying on Credit
(XXXIX)* You who believe, whenever you contract a debt for a stated period, write it down. Let some literate person write [what goes on] between you properly; no literate person should refuse to write it down. Just as God has taught him, so let him write it down, and let the borrower dictate. May he heed God and not omit any part of it.
If the borrower is feeble-minded or incapacitated or cannot manage to dictate himself, then let his guardian dictate it in all fairness, and seek out two witnesses from among your men-folk to act as witnesses. If there are not two men [available], then one man and two women [may serve] as witnesses from anyone you may approve of, so that if either of them should slip up, then the other woman may remind the other. Witnesses must not refuse [to serve] when they are called upon, nor try to get out of writing anything down whether it is small or large, along with its due date.
Such [procedure] is more equitable so far as God is concerned and it makes for more valid testimony, as well as reducing the chances for doubt; unless it is some transaction handled on the spot that you pass around among yourselves, in which case it will not be held against you for not writing it down. Call in witnesses whenever you engage in trade, and let no literate man nor any witness feel obligated if you do so; that would be immoral on your part. Heed God, for God teaches you! God is Aware of everything.
* If you are on a journey and do not find any literate person, then a deposit may be withheld as a lien. If one of you entrusts (something to] another, the one who has been entrusted with it should hand over his security and he should heed God his Lord and not hide any testimony. Anyone who hides it has a vicious heart. God is Aware of anything you do!
(XL)* God holds whatever is in Heaven and whatever is on Earth; whether you disclose what is on your minds, or hide it, God will bring you to account for it. He forgives anyone He wishes to and punishes anyone wishes; God is Capable of everything!
An Islamic Profession of Faith
** The Messenger believes in what has been sent down to him from Lord, and [so do] believers; everyone believes in God and His angels, His books and His messengers. We do not differentiate between any His messengers. They say: "We have heard and obey; (we beg) Your pardon, our Lord! Toward You lies the Goal!"
* God only assigns a soul something it can cope with: it is credited with whatever it has earned, while it is debited with whatever it has brought upon itself.
Our Lord, do not take us to task
if we have forgotten or slipped up!
Our Lord, do not lay any obligation us
such as You placed on those before us.
Our Lord, do not overburden us
with more than we can bear!
Pardon us, forgive us, and show us mercy!
You are our Protector,
so support us against disbelieving folk!