Al-Quran Surah 2. Al-Baqara, Ayah 65

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وَلَقَدْ عَلِمْتُمُ الَّذِينَ اعْتَدَوْا مِنْكُمْ فِي السَّبْتِ فَقُلْنَا لَهُمْ كُونُوا قِرَدَةً خَاسِئِينَ


Asad : for you are well aware of those from among you who profaned the Sabbath, whereupon We said unto them, "Be as apes despicable!" -
Khattab :

You are already aware of those of you who broke the Sabbath. We said to them, “Be disgraced apes!”1

Malik : You very well know the story of those of you who transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath; We ordered them: "Be detested apes".
Pickthall : And ye know of those of you who broke the Sabbath, bow We said unto them: Be ye apes, despised and hated!
Yusuf Ali : And well ye knew those amongst you who transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath; We said to them: "Be ye apes despised and rejected." 79
Transliteration : Walaqad AAalimtumu allatheena iAAtadaw minkum fee alssabti faqulna lahum koonoo qiradatan khasieena
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Yusuf Ali   
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Yusuf Ali 79 The punishment for breach of the Sabbath under the Mosaic law was death. "Every one that defieth it (the Sabbath) shall surely be put to death; for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people." (Exod. xxxi. 14). There must have been a Jewish tradition about a whole fishing community in a seaside town, which persisted in breaking the Sabbath and were turned into apes; cf. vii. 163-166. Or should we translate in both these passages. "Be as apes", instead of "Be apes"? This is the suggestion of Maulvi Muhammad Ali on this passage, on the authority of Mujabid and Ibn Jarir Tabari. The punishment would be, not for the breach of the Sabbath in itself, but for their contumacious defiance of the Law.
   
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 Although many scholars believe that these individuals were turned into real apes, others interpret this verse in a metaphorical sense. This style is not uncommon in the Quran. See 62:5 regarding the donkey that carries books and 2:18 regarding the deaf, dumb, and blind.

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