THIS CHAPTER of 120 verses arranged in sixteen sections was revealed at Madina (except for V. 3, which was announced after the stay a Arafat during the Farewell Pilgrimage in the 10th year of the Hijra, or March 632 A.D.). The chapter comes after [Divine] Support 110 and before Dispensation 9 in the sequence of revelation. It is called The Table fro section XV towards the end, where Jesus' disciples asked for the rule governing food, and he was challenged to have a table sent down from Heaven.
The chapter starts out like The House of lmran 3, with important statements on Islam as a religion, so as to consolidate the nascent Islam community. This begins by considering behavior during Pilgrimage (I), subject which is resumed in xiii. Food, marriage (I), and washing before prayer (II) come next; also oaths, liquor and gambling (XII). Good and evil (XIII) are moral issues which are likewise discussed. Judicial procedure is recorded (VI) while Mosaic law is mentioned in VII. Adam's sons Cain and Abel were participants in the first murder (V), although they are not name in the Quran. Theft (VI) and wills (XIV) are other matters discussed.
Christians are addressed and we are told that Christ is not God (III). Jesus himself is discussed in vii; as well as Christians, the trinity and the figure of Christ again in X. The Jews are mentioned in XI, but we are advised that Christians are closer than they are to Islam. Jesus' miracles are described in XV, and we are informed how Jesus himself rejected Godhood at the end of section XVI, which closes the chapter.
Conduct and Food During Pilgrimage
(I)* You who believe, fulfil any contracts [you may make].
Any animals from livestock are permitted you except for what has already been listed for you. What is not permitted you is game while you are in pilgrim dress. God judges anything He wishes. * You who believe, do not profane God's monuments nor the hallowed month, nor the offerings and [beasts with] garlands, nor those intent on visiting the Hallowed House to seek bounty and approval from their Lord. Once you are permitted to [go on your way], then go hunting. Do not let ill will towards any folk incriminate you, just because they blocked your way to the Hallowed Mosque, so that you act aggressive; cooperate with one another for virtue and heedfulness, and do not cooperate with one another for the purpose of vice and aggression. Heed God [Alone]; God is Strict with punishment!
* Forbidden to you is anything that dies by itself, and blood and pork, as well as whatever has been consecrated to something besides God, and whatever has been strangled, beaten to death, trapped in a pit, gored, and what some beast of prey has begun to eat, unless you give it the final blow; and what has been slaughtered before some idol, or what you divide up in a raffle; (all) that is immoral!
Today those who disbelieve despair about your religion, so do no dread them, and (rather) dread Me.
(Today I have perfected your religion for you, and completed My favor towards you, and have consented to grant you [Islam] as a religion: a commitment to live in peace.)
Anyone who is obliged to do so while (he is) starving, yet without deliberately sinning, [will find] God is Forgiving, Merciful.
* They will ask you what has been made allowable for them. SAY: "It is lawful for you [to eat] wholesome things, and what you have trained beast and birds of prey to catch-you have trained them to do something just God has taught you. So eat anything they may catch for you, and mention God's name over it. Heed God; God is Swift in reckoning, ** Today wholesome things are [made] lawful for you, and so is the food of those who were given the Book lawful for you, while your food is lawful them.
And believing matrons [are lawful to marry] as well as matrons from among those who were given the Book before you, once you have give them their marriage- portions and taken them in wedlock respectably, not seeking any thrills nor taking [them on as] mistresses. Anyone who rejects faith [will find] his action will miscarry, while he will be one who will lose out in the Hereafter.
Washing Before Prayer
(II)* You who believe, whenever you intend to pray, wash your faces your hands up to the elbows, and wipe off your heads and [wash] your up to the ankles. If you are [ritually] soiled, then take a full bath. If you are ill or on a journey, or one of you has just come from the toilet or had contact with any women, and you do not find any water, then resort to wholesome soil and wipe your faces and hands off with some of it. God does not want to place any inconvenience on you, but He does want to purify you and to complete His favor towards you, in order that you (all) may act grateful.
* Remember God's favor towards you and His charter which He ratified for you when you said: "We hear and obey." Heed God; God is Aware of whatever is on your minds."
* You who believe, act steadfast towards God, as witnesses for fairplay, and do not let ill-will toward any folk incriminate you so that you swerve from dealing justly. Be just: that is nearest to heedfulness; and heed God [Alone]. God is Informed about anything you do. God has promised those who believe and perform honorable deeds that they will have forgiveness plus a splendid wage. ** Those who disbelieve, and refute Our signs, will become inmates of Hades. * You who believe, remember God's favor towards you when some folk intended to stretch their hands out toward you, and He fended their hands off from you. Heed God, and let believers rely on God.
The Children of Israel
(III)* God made a covenant with the Children of Israel, and We dispatched twelve of them as captains. God said: "I shall be with you if you will keep up prayer and pay the welfare tax, and believe in My messengers and respect them, and advance God a handsome loan. I shall overlook your evil deeds for you and show you into gardens through which rivers flow. Anyone of you who disbelieves following that will have strayed from the Level Path."
* Since they broke their covenant, We have cursed them and planted a hard shell over their hearts. They lift words out of their context and have forgotten a portion of what they should have memorized. Except for a few of them, you will always catch some of them committing some act of treachery. Yet pardon them and overlook it; God loves those who act kindly.
* We accepted their agreement from those who say: "We are Christians;" then they forgot a portion of what they had been reminded of, so We have stirred up enmity and jealousy among them until Resurrection Day. God will notify them about whatever they have been accomplishing. ** People of the Book, Our messenger has come to you to explain much of what you have been concealing out of the Book, and to dispense with much of it. Light and a Clear Book have been brought to you from God. * God thereby guides anyone who seeks His approval along pathways of peace; He leads them out of darkness into Light by His permission, and guides them along a Straight Road.
Christ is not God
* Those who say: "God is Christ, the son of Mary," disbelieve.
SAY:"Who would control anything from God if He ever wanted to do away with Christ, the son of Mary and his mother, plus everyone on earth? God holds control over Heaven and Earth, as well as anything in be them. He creates anything He wishes. God is Capable of everything!
* Jews and Christians say: 'We are God's children and His favorites." SAY: "Then why does He punish you for your offences?" Rather you are human beings just like anyone else He has created. He forgives anyone He wishes and punishes anyone He wishes. God holds control over Heaven and Earth, and whatever lies between them. Towards Him lies the goals!" People of the Book, Our messenger has come to explain [things] you after an interval between the messengers, lest you say: 'No herald nor any warner has ever come to us." A herald and a warner has indeed come to you! God is Capable of everything!
(IV)** So Moses told his people: "My people, remember God's favor towards you when He planted prophets among you and set you up as kings; and gave you what no one else in the Universe had ever been given. * My people, enter the Holy Land which God has assigned to you; do not turn your backs on it, lest you be sent away as losers.
* They said: "Moses, there is a heavy-handed folk in it. We will never enter it until they leave. If they should leave it, then we will enter." * Two men from among those who fear-God favored them both-said: "Walk right in through the gate on them. Once you have entered it, you will be victorious. You should rely on God if you are believers." * They said: "Moses, we will never enter it at all so long as they remain in it! You go off and fight, both you and your Lord; we will be sitting around here.
** He said: 'My Lord, I control only myself and my brother. Distinguish between us and such perverse folk!" * He said: "It will proscribed them for forty years. They will wander around the earth, so do not worry about such perverse people.
Murder (Cain and Able)
(V)* Recite information to them about the Truth concerning Adam's two sons. When they both presented an offering, it was accepted from one of them and not accepted from the other. He said: "I'll kill you!" [The former] said: "God only accepts [things] from the heedful. * Even if you stretch forth your hand towards me in order to kill me, I'll never stretch out hand towards you to kill you. I fear God, Lord of the Universe! * I want you to atone for my sin as well as for your own sin; you will become inmate of the Fire. That is the wrongdoers' reward."
** His own self urged him on to kill his brother, so he killed him, and one morning he turned out to be a loser. * God sent a raven to scratch the earth in order to show him how to dispose of his brother's corpse, He said: "It's too bad for me! Have I failed to be like this raven and dispose of my brother's corpse?" So one morning he felt full of remorse.
* On account of that, We prescribed with the Children of Israel that anyone who kills any person without another soul being involved or causing mischief in the land, acts as if he had killed all mankind. Anyone who spares life acts as if he had granted life to all mankind. Our messengers have brought them explanations; then later on many of the committed excesses on earth.
* The penalty for those who wage war on God and His messenger, and spread havoc through the land, is to be slaughtered or crucified, or have their hands and feet cut off on opposite sides, or to be banished from the land. That will mean their disgrace in this world, while they will have serious torment in the Hereafter, * except for those who come to term before you overpower them. Know that God is Forgiving, Merciful.
(VI)** You who believe, heed God and aspire for contact with him; strive for His sake so that you may prosper. * Even if those who disbelieve owned whatever is on earth plus its like besides, in order to redeem themselves from torment by means of it on Resurrection Day, it would not be accepted from them; they will have painful torment. * They may want to leave the Fire, yet they will not leave it; theirs will be constant torment.
* A thief, whether a man or a woman, shall have his or her hands cut off as a penalty for whatever he or she has earned, as an example set by God. God is Powerful, Wise. * God will relent towards anyone who repents following his wrongdoing, and reforms; God is Forgiving, Merciful. ** Do you not know that God holds control over Heaven and Earth? He punishes anyone He wants to and forgives anyone He wants. God is Capable of everything!
Consolation with Intrigue
* 0 Messenger, do not let those who rush off into disbelief worry you, such as those who say: "We believe" with their mouths, while their hearts do not believe. Some of those are Jews who are listening for [the sake of] lying, listening for other folk who do not come to you. They lift words out of their context, saying: "If you are given this, then take it; while if you are not given it, then watch out!" God will never let you control someone whom God wants to test in any way; those are the ones whose hearts God does not want to purify. They will have disgrace in this world, while in the Hereafter they will have terrible punishment, * as listeners to lying, living off graft.
If they should come to you, then judge between them or else put them off. If you put them off, they will never harm you in any way, while if you judge among them, then judge fairly. God loves those who deal fairly. * How can they choose you as a judge when they have the Torah, which contains God's judgment? Yet even then they will turn away, and such persons are not believers.
(VII)* We have sent down the Torah containing guidance and Light. The prophets who were committed to [live in] peace judge those who were Jews by means of it, and [so do] the rabbis and scholars, because of what they sought to observe from God's book. They have even acted as witnesses for it.
So do not dread mankind, and dread Me; do not buy up My signs for a paltry price. Those who do not judge by what God has sent down disbelievers!
Mosaic Law** There We prescribed for them a life for a life, an eye for an eye, a nose for a nose, an ear for an ear, a tooth for a tooth, and wounds should have [similar] compensation. Yet anyone who treats it as charity, [will find] it serves as an atonement for him. Those who do not judge by what God has sent down are wrongdoers!
* We had Jesus, the son of Mary, follow in their footsteps in order to confirm what had come before him from the Torah and We gave him the Gospel which contains guidance and Light, to confirm what he already had in the Old Testament, and as guidance and a lesson for those who do their duty. * Let the people of the Gospel judge by what God has sent down in it; Those who do not judge by what God has sent down are perverse!
* We have sent you down the Book with the Truth, to confirm what was already there from the [previous] Book, and to safeguard it. Judge among them according to whatever God has sent down, and do not follow their whims concerning any Truth that has been given to you.
The Diversity of Human Life
* We have given each of you a code of law plus a program [for action]. If God had wished, He might have made you into one community, compete rather in doing good deeds so He may test you by means of what He has given you. To God is your return entirely, and He will notify you concerning anything you have been disagreeing about.
* So judge among them according to what God has sent down, and do not follow their whims. Beware of them lest they seduce you away from what God has sent down to you. If they should turn away, then know that God only wants to afflict them with some of their own offences; many men are so immoral! ** Do they crave judgment [from the time] of Ignorance? Yet who is finer in judgment than God for any folk who are convinced?
(VIII)* You who believe, do not accept Jews or Christians as sponsors; some of them act as sponsors for one another. Any of you who makes friends with them becomes one of them. God does not guide such wrongdoing folk. * You will see those in whose hearts there lurks malice dashing in among them saying: "We dread lest a turn of fortune strike us!" Perhaps God will bring some victory or command from Himself, so some morning they will awaken regretful about what they have concealed within themselves.* Those who believe will say: "Are these the ones who swore by God with their most solemn oaths that they stood alongside you?" Their works have failed and they have turned out to be losers. * You who believe, any one of you who abandons his religion [will find] God will bring a people whom He will love just as they love Him, docile towards believers, stern against disbelievers; they will strive for God's sake and not fear reproach from any critic. Such is God's bounty which He gives to anyone He wishes. God is Boundless, Aware.
** Your Patron is God [Alone], as well as His messenger and those who believe-who keep up prayer, pay the welfare tax and bow their heads [in worship]. * Anyone who enlists God as a patron, and His messenger and those who believe, [will find] God's side will be victorious!
(IX)* You who believe, do not accept as sponsors those from among the ones who were given the Book before you nor any disbelievers, if they treat your religion as a joke and a sport. Heed God if you are believers. Whenever you call [people] to prayer, they take it as a joke and a sport. That is because they are folk who do not use their reason. * SAY: "People of the Book, do you persecute us just because we believe in God and what has been sent down to us, and what was sent down previously? Most of you are perverse!"
** SAY: "Shall I announce to you something worse than this as a recompense from God?"' Those whom God has cursed and become angry at, and made them into monkeys and swine, and who serve the arrogant ones, are in a worse plight and even further astray from the Level Path. * When they come to you, they say: "We believe," while they have entered with disbelief and they leave with it. God is quite Aware as to what they have been hiding. * You will see many of them plunging into vice and hostility, and living off graft. What they have been doing is so wretched! * If their rabbis and scholars had only forbidden them from speaking sinfully and living off graft! How wretched is what they have been producing.
* The Jews say: "God's hand is shackled." May their own hands be shackled and themselves cursed because of what they have said! Rather both His hands are outstretched; He dispenses [things] just as He wishes. Anything sent down to you from your Lord increases many of them in arrogation and disbelief. We have tossed hostility and hatred between them until Resurrection Day. Every time they kindle a fire for war, God snuffs it out. They rush around the earth creating havoc. God does not love those who create havoc. ** If the People of the Book would only believe and do their duty, We would overlook their evil deeds for them and show them into gardens full of Bliss. * If they had only kept up the Torah and the Gospel, and whatever was sent down to them by their Lord, they would have eaten anything above them and from beneath their feet. Some of them form a moderate community, while many of them act badly in anything they do.
(X)* 0 Messenger, deliver whatever has been sent down to you by your Lord. If you do not do so, you will not have conveyed His message. God will defend you from mankind: God does not guide disbelieving folk. * SAY: 'People of the Book, you will not make any point until you keep up the Torah and the Gospel, as well as anything that has been sent down to you by your Lord." What has been sent down to you by your Lord increases many of them in arrogation and disbelief, yet do not despair about disbelieving folk.
* Those who believe and those who are Jews, Sabeans and Christians- anyone who believes in God and the Last Day, and acts honorably, should have no fear nor will they be saddened. ** We made an agreement with the Children of Israel and sent them messengers. Every time a messenger would come to them with what they themselves did not fancy, one group they accused of lying while another group they killed. * They reckoned theme would be no testing, so they acted blind and deaf. Then God relented toward them; still many of them acted blind and deaf. Yet God is Observant of whatever they do.
* Those who say that God is Christ the son of Mary have disbelieved. Christ [himself] said: "Children of Israel, worship God [Alone, Who is] my Lord as well as your Lord." God will ban the Garden for anyone who associates anything else with God; his lodging will be the Fire. Wrongdoers will have no supporters.
* Those who say: 'God is the third of three," have disbelieved! There is no deity except God Alone. If they do not stop saying what they say, painful torment will afflict those among them who disbelieve. * Why do they not turn towards God and seek His forgiveness? God is Forgiving, Merciful.
** Christ the son of Mary was only a messenger; messengers have passed away before him. His mother was sincere. They both ate food.
Look how We explain signs to them; then look [again] how they shrug them off! * SAY: "Do you worship something instead of God that does not control any harm nor any advantage for you while God is Alert, Aware?" * SAY: "People of the Book, do not exaggerate in your religion beyond the Truth, nor follow the whims of a folk who have already gone astray and misled many as they stray from the Level Path.
Jesus Again(XI)* Those Children of Israel who disbelieved were cursed by the tongue of David and Jesus, the son of Mary. That was because they disobeyed and had acted defiantly. * They did not refrain from the debauchery they were indulging in; how awful is what they had been doing! ** You will see many of them making friends with those who disbelieve. How wretched is what their souls have sent on ahead for them, since God is exasperated with them and they will live in torment for ever. * If they had believed in God and the Prophet, and what was sent down to him, they would not have adopted them as patrons; but so many of them are perverse.
Christians are Closer To Islam
* You will find the most violently hostile people towards those who believe are the Jews and those who associate [others with God]; while you will find the most affectionate of them towards those who believe, are those who say: "We are Christians." That is because some of them are priests and monks; they do not behave so proudly.
(XI cont'd.) * When they listen to what has been sent down to the Messenger, you will see their eyes well up with tears because of the Truth they recognize. They say: "Our Lord, we believe, so enroll us among the witnesses! * Why should we not believe in God and any Truth that has come to us? We yearn for our Lord to admit us along with honorable folk."
** God will compensate them with gardens through which rivers flow to live in for ever because of what they have said. Such will be the reward of those who act kindly, * while those who disbelieve and reject Our signs will become the inmates of Hades!
Food(XII)* You who believe, do not forbid any wholesome things which God has permitted you, nor exceed the limits. God does not love the defiant. Eat any lawful, wholesome thing which God has provided you with. Heed God in Whom you are believers.
* God will not take you to task for what you may rattle off in your oaths, but He does take you to task for anything you have sworn to solemnly [and then ignored]. Exoneration for it means feeding ten paupers with the average of what you would feed your own families, or clothing them, or freeing a captive. Whoever does not find the wherewithal [to do so], should fast for three days. This is what penance involves in order to free yourselves from any oath you have sworn [loosely]. Keep your word; thus God explains His signs to you, so you may act grateful.
Liquor and Gambling
** You who believe, liquor and gambling, idols and raffles, are only the filthy work of Satan; turn aside from it so that you may prosper.
* Satan only wants to stir up enmity and jealousy among you by means of liquor and gambling, and to hinder you from remembering God and from praying. So will you stop?
* Obey God and obey the Messenger, and be on your guard. If you should ever turn away, know that Our messenger need only state thing clearly. * It will not be held against those who believe and perform honorable deeds for what they may have fed on while they did not do their duty, since they did believe and performed honorable deeds. So do you duty and believe-and then again, do your duty and act kindly: God loves those who act kindly!
(XIII)* You who believe, God will test you by means of some of the game which your hands and spears have caught, so that God may know who fears Him even though [He is] Unseen. Anyone who acts defiant later on, will have painful torment. ** You who believe, do not kill any game while you are forbidden [this while on Pilgrimage]. Anyone of you who kills some deliberately may make compensation through the same [type of animal] as he has killed, in livestock, with two fair-minded men from among you judging it, which should be sent as an offering to reach the Kaba; or else exoneration may mean feeding paupers or the equivalent of that in fasting, so that he may taste the effect of his action. God pardons whatever is a thing of the past. God will avenge Himself on anyone who does so over again; God is Powerful, the Wielder of Retribution.
* Game from the sea is lawful for you; eating it means provision for you as well as for travellers. Game from land is forbidden you so long as you are under taboo [on Pilgrimage]. Heed God, before Whom you will be summoned.
* God has placed the Kaba as the Hallowed House to be maintained for mankind, as well as the Hallowed Month and the offerings and garlands; that is so you may know that God knows whatever is in Heaven and whatever is on Earth, and that God is Aware of everything. * Know that God is Stern in punishment and (also) that God is Forgiving Merciful. * The Messenger has only to proclaim matters; while God knows whatever you show and whatever you hide.
Good and Evil
*** SAY: "Evil and good are not equal, even though the abundance of evil may fascinate you; so heed God, you prudent persons, so that you may prosper!"
How to Believe
(XIV)* You who believe, do not ask about such things as would worry you if they were shown to you. Yet if you should ask about them while the Quran is being sent down, they will be explained to you. God pardons it, for God is Forgiving, Lenient. * A folk before you asked about them; then became disbelievers because of it.
* God has not set up [especially] any slit-eared camel, nor is any [livestock] to be turned loose [to pasture freely], nor any twin-bearing goat or ewe nor any pensioned stallion, but rather those who disbelieve make up a lie about God. Most of them do not use their reason. * Whenever they are told: "Come to what God has sent down, and to [hear] the Messenger," they say: 'We are satisfied with what we found our forefathers doing;" even though their forefathers did not know anything and were not guided!
** You who believe, your souls are in your own care. No one who goes astray will harm you, provided you are guided. Toward God will you all return together, and He will notify you about whatever you have doing.
* You who believe, testimony should be taken by you whenever death appears for one of you; at the time for drawing up any will, two of you who are fair-minded, or two others besides yourselves if you are travelling around the earth and the calamity of death should strike you. Detain them both after prayer so they may swear by God if you (all) have any doubts "We will not sell it for any price, not even to a near relative, nor will we hide God's testimony: otherwise we would be sinners!" * If it turns out that either of them has been accused of any sin, then let two others than the first two from among those who deserve to be [executors] stand up in their stead. Let them both swear by God: "Our testimony is more valid than the testimony by either of them; we have never defied [God] for then we would be wrongdoers!" * That is more appropriate for you in order to secure testimony at its face value, or for them to fear you may check back by means of [fresh] oaths following their own oaths [now]. Heed God and listen; God does not guide immoral folk.
(XV) * Some day God will assemble [His] messengers and say: "What response have you received?" They will say: "We possess no knowledge; You are the Knower of Unseen things!" ** So God will say: 'Jesus, son of Mary, remember My favor towards you and towards your mother when I assisted you with the Holy Spirit. You spoke to people from the cradle and as an adult when I taught you the Book and wisdom, the Torah and the Gospel. So you created something out of clay looking like a bird with my permission; you breathed into it, and by My permission it became a bird! You cured anyone born blind, and the leper with My permission. So you brought forth the dead by My permission, and I fended off the Children of Israel from you, when you brought them explanations, so those among them who disbelieved said: 'This is sheer magic!'
* "When I inspired the disciples to believe in Me and in My messenger, they said: 'We believe, so take witness that we are Muslims.' * When the disciples said: 'Jesus, son of Mary, can your Lord send a Table down from Heaven for us?, he said: 'Heed God if you are believers!' * They said: 'We want to eat from it, and for our hearts to feet at rest, and so we know that you have told us the Truth, and that we should be witnesses for it.' * Jesus the son of Mary said: 'O God our Lord, send us down a Table from Heaven so it may be a recurring feast for us, for both the first of us and the last of us, and as a sign from You! Provide for us, since you are the best Provider.' ** God said: 'I shall send it down to you. Any of you who disbelieves afterward, I shall punish with such torment as I have never punished anyone in the Universe!"'
Jesus Himself Rejects Godhood
(XVI)* When God said: 'Jesus, son of Mary, have you told people: "Take me and my mother as two gods instead of God [Alone]?';" he said: "Glory be to You! It is not my place to say what I have no right to [say]. If I had said it, You would have known it already: You know what is on my mind, while I do not know anything that is on Yours. You are the Knower of Unseen things. * I have never told them anything except what You have ordered me to: 'Worship God as my Lord and your Lord.' I was a witness for them so long as I was among them. When You have gathered me up, You became the Watcher over them; You are a Witness for everything. * If you should punish them, they are still Your servants; while if You should forgive them, surely You are Powerful, Wise."
* God said: "This is a day when their truthfulness will benefit the truthful: they shall have gardens through which rivers flow, to live in ever and ever." God approves of them, while they are pleased with Him; that will be the supreme Achievement. God holds control over Heaven and Earth, as well as whatever lies within them. He is capable of everything!
Published with authorization from Dr.T.B.Irving.