O ye who believe! fulfil (all) obligations. Lawful unto you (for food) are all four-footed animals with the exceptions named: but animals of the chase are forbidden while ye are in the Sacred Precincts or in pilgrim garb: for Allah doth command according to His Will and Plan. 682 683 684 685
O ye who believe! violate not the sanctity of the Symbols of Allah nor of the Sacred Month nor of the animals brought for sacrifice nor the garlands that mark out such animals nor the people resorting to the Sacred House seeking of the bounty and good pleasure of their Lord. But when ye are clear of the Sacred Precincts and of pilgrim garb ye may hunt and let not the hatred of some people in (once) shutting you out of the Sacred Mosque lead you to transgression (and hostility on your part). Help ye one another in righteousness and piety but help ye not one another in sin and rancor: fear Allah: for Allah is strict in punishment. 686 687 688 689 690
Forbidden to you (for food) are: dead meat blood the flesh of swine and that on which hath been invoked the name of other than Allah that which hath been killed by strangling or by a violent blow or by a headlong fall or by being gored to death; that which hath been (partly) eaten by a wild animal; unless ye are able to slaughter it (in due form); that which is sacrificed on stone (altars); (forbidden) also is the division (of meat) by raffling with arrows: that is impiety. This day have those who reject faith given up all hope of your religion: yet fear them not but fear Me. This day have I perfected your religion for you completed my favor upon you and have chosen for you Islam as your religion. But if any forced by hunger with no inclination to transgression Allah is indeed Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful. 691 692 693 694
They ask thee what is lawful to them (as food): say: Lawful unto you are (all) things good and pure: and what ye have taught your trained hunting animals (to catch) in the manner directed to you by Allah; eat what they catch for you but pronounce the name of Allah over it: and fear Allah; for Allah is swift in taking account. 697 698
This day are (all) things good and pure made lawful unto you. The food of the People of the Book is lawful unto you and yours is lawful unto them. (Lawful unto you in marriage) are (not only) chaste women who are believers but chaste women among the People of the Book revealed before your time when ye give them their due dowers and desire chastity not lewdness nor secret intrigues. If anyone rejects faith fruitless is his work and in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (all spiritual good). 699 700 701
O ye who believe! when ye prepare for prayer wash your faces and your hands (and arms) to the elbows; rub your heads (with water); and (wash) your feet to the ankles. If ye are in a state of ceremonial impurity bathe your whole body. But if ye are ill or on a journey or one of you cometh from offices of nature or ye have been in contact with women and ye find no water then take for yourselves clean sand or earth and rub therewith your faces and hands. Allah doth not wish to place you in a difficulty but to make you clean and to complete His favor to you that ye may be grateful. 702 703 704
And call in remembrance the favor of Allah unto you and His Covenant which He ratified with you when ye said: "We hear and we obey": and fear Allah for Allah knoweth well the secrets of your hearts. 705
O ye who believe! stand out firmly for Allah as witnesses to fair dealing and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to Piety: and fear Allah for Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do. 706 707
To those who believe and do deeds of righteousness hath Allah promised forgiveness and a great reward.
Those who reject faith and deny our signs will be companions of hell-fire.
O ye who believe! call in remembrance the favor of Allah unto you when certain men formed the design to stretch out their hands against you but (Allah) held back their hands from you: so fear Allah. And on Allah let believers put (all) their trust. 708
Allah did aforetime take a Covenant from the Children of Israel and We appointed twelve captains among them and Allah said: "I am with you: if ye (but) establish regular prayers practice regular charity believe in My apostles honor and assist them and loan to Allah a beautiful loan verily I will wipe out from you your evils and admit you to gardens with rivers flowing beneath; but if any of you after this resisteth faith he hath truly wandered from the path of rectitude." 709 710 711
But because of their breach of their Covenant We cursed them and made their hearts grow hard: they change the words from their (right) places and forget a good part of the Message that was sent them nor wilt thou cease to find them barring a few ever bent on (new) deceits: but forgive them and overlook (their misdeeds): for Allah loveth those who are kind. 712 713 714
From those too who call themselves Christians We did take a Covenant but they forgot a good part of the Message that was sent them: so We estranged them with enmity and hatred between the one and the other to the Day of Judgment. And soon will Allah show them what it is they have done. 715 715
O People of the Book! there hath come to you Our Apostle revealing to you much that ye used to hide in the Book and passing over much (that is now unnecessary): There hath come to you from Allah a (new) Light and a perspicuous Book. 716
Wherewith Allah guideth all who seek His good pleasure to ways of peace and safety and leadeth them out of darkness by His Will unto the light guideth them to a Path that is Straight.
In blasphemy indeed are those that say that Allah is Christ the son of Mary. Say: "Who then hath the least power against Allah if His Will were to destroy Christ the son of Mary his mother and all everyone that is on the earth? For to Allah belongeth the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all that is between. He createth what He pleaseth. For Allah hath power over all things." 717
(Both) the Jews and the Christians say: "We are sons of Allah and His beloved." Say: "Why then doth He punish you for your sins? Nay ye are but men of the men He hath created: He forgiveth whom He pleaseth and He punisheth whom He pleaseth: and to Allah belongeth the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all that is between: and unto Him is the final goal (of all)." 718 719
O people of the Book! now hath come unto you making (things) clear unto you Our Apostle after the break in (the series of) Our apostles lest ye should say: there came unto us no bringer of glad tidings and no warner (from evil): but now hath come unto you a bringer of glad tidings and a warner (from evil): and Allah hath power over all things. 720
Remember Moses said to his people: "O my people! call in remembrance the favor of Allah unto you when He produced prophets among you made you kings and gave you what He had not given to any other among the peoples. 721 722 723
"O my people! enter the holy land which Allah hath assigned unto you and turn not back ignominiously for then will ye be overthrown to your own ruin." 724
They said: "O Moses! in this land are a people of exceeding strength: never shall we enter it until they leave it: if (once) they leave then shall we enter." 725
(But) among (their) Allah-fearing men were two on whom Allah had bestowed His Grace: they said: "Assault them at the (proper) gate: when once ye are in, victory will be yours. But on Allah put your trust if ye have faith." 726
They said: O "Moses! while they remain there never shall we be able to enter to the end of time. Go thou and thy Lord and fight ye two while we sit here (and watch)." 727
He said: "O my Lord! I have power only over myself and my bother so separate us from this rebellious people!" 728
Allah said: "Therefore will the land be out of their reach for forty years; in distraction will they wander through the land: but sorrow thou not over these rebellious people." 729
Recite to them the truth of the story of the two sons of Adam. Behold! they each presented a sacrifice (to Allah): it was accepted from one but not from the other. Said the latter: "Be sure I will slay thee." "Surely" said the former "Allah doth accept of the sacrifice of those who are righteous. 730 731
"If thou dost stretch thy hand against me to slay me it is not for me to stretch my hand against thee to slay thee: for I do fear Allah the Cherisher of the worlds.
"For me I intend to let thee draw on thyself my sin as well as thine for thou wilt be among the companions of the fire and that is the reward of those who do wrong." 732 733
The (selfish) soul of the other led him to the murder of his brother: he murdered him and became (himself) one of the lost ones. 734
Then Allah sent a raven who scratched the ground to show him how to hide the shame of his brother. "Woe is me!" said he: "Was I not even able to be as this raven and to hide the shame of my brother?" Then he became full of regrets. 735 736
On that account: We ordained for the Children of Israel that if anyone slew a person unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if anyone saved a life it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. Then although there came to them Our apostles with clear Signs yet even after that many of them continued to commit excesses in the land. 737
The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Apostle and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution or crucifixion of the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter. 738 739
Except for those who repent before they fall into your power: in that case know that Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful.
O ye who believe! do your duty to Allah seek the means of approach unto Him and strive with might and main in His cause: that ye may prosper. 740 741
As to those who reject faith if they had everything on earth and twice repeated to give as ransom for the penalty of the Day of Judgment it would never be accepted of them. Theirs would be a grievous penalty.
Their wish will be to get out of the fire but never will they get out therefrom: their penalty will be one that endures.
As to the thief male or female cut off his or her hands: a punishment by way of example from Allah for their crime: and Allah is Exalted in Power. 742
But if the thief repent after his crime and amend his conduct Allah turneth to him in forgiveness; for Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful.
Knowest thou not that to Allah (alone) belongeth the dominion of the heavens and the earth? He punisheth whom He pleaseth and He forgiveth whom He pleaseth: and Allah hath power over all things. 743
O Apostle! let not those grieve thee who race each other into unbelief: (whether it be) among those who say: "We believe" with their lips but whose hearts have no faith; or it be among the Jews men who will listen to any lie will listen even to others who have never so much as come to thee. They change the words from their (right) times and places; they say "If ye are given this take it but if not beware:" If anyone's trial is intended by Allah thou hast no authority in the least for him against Allah. For such it is not Allah's will to purify their hearts. For them there is disgrace in this world and in the Hereafter a heavy punishment. 744 745 746
(They are fond of) listening to falsehood of devouring anything forbidden. If they do come to thee either judge between them or decline to interfere. If thou decline they cannot hurt thee in the least. If thou judge judge in equity between them; for Allah loveth those who judge in equity. 747 748
But why do they come to thee for decision when they have (their own) laws before them? Therein is the (plain) command of Allah; yet even after that they would turn away. For they are not (really) people of faith. 749
It was We who revealed the law (to Moses); therein was guidance and light. By its standard have been judged the Jews by the Prophet who bowed (as in Islam) to Allah's will by the Rabbis and the doctors of Law: for to them was entrusted the protection of Allah's Book and they were witnesses thereto: therefore fear not men but fear Me and sell not My Signs for a miserable price. If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed they are (no better than) unbelievers. 750 751 752 753
We ordained therein for them: "Life for life eye for eye nose for nose ear for ear tooth for tooth and wounds equal for equal." But if anyone remits the retaliation by way of charity it is an act of atonement for himself. And if any fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed they are (no better than) wrong-doers. 754 755 756
And in their footsteps We sent Jesus the son of Mary confirming the law that had come before him: We sent him the Gospel: therein was guidance and light and confirmation of the law that had come before him: a guidance and an admonition to those who fear Allah. 757
Let the people of the Gospel Judge by what Allah hath revealed therein. If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed they are (no better than) those who rebel. 758
To thee We sent the Scripture in truth confirming the scripture that came before it and guarding it in safety; so judge between them by what Allah hath revealed and follow not their vain desires diverging from the truth that hath come to thee. To each among you have We prescribed a Law and an Open Way. If Allah had so willed He would have made you a single people but (His plan is) to test you in what He hath given you: so strive as in a race in all virtues. The goal of you all is to Allah; it is He that will show you the truth of the matters in which ye dispute. 759 760 761 762
And this (He commands): Judge thou between them by what Allah hath revealed and follow not their vain desires but beware of them lest they beguile thee from any of that (teaching) which Allah hath sent down to thee. And if they turn away be assured that for some of their crimes it is Allah's purpose to punish them. And truly most men are rebellious.
Do they then seek after a judgment of (the Days of) Ignorance? But who for a people whose faith is assured can give better judgment than Allah? 763
O ye who believe! take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors: they are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them. Verily Allah guideth not a people unjust. 764
Those in whose heart is a disease thou seest how eagerly they run about amongst them saying: "We do fear lest a change of fortune bring us disaster." Ah! perhaps Allah will give (thee) victory or a decision according to His Will. Then will they repent of the thoughts which they secretly harbored in their hearts. 765
And those who believe will say: "Are these the men who swore their strongest oaths by Allah that they were with you?" All that they do will be in vain and they will fall into (nothing but) ruin. 766
O ye who believe! if any from among you turn back from his faith soon will Allah produce a people whom He will love as they will love Him lowly with the believers mighty against the rejecters fighting in the way of Allah and never afraid of the reproaches of such as find fault. That is the Grace of Allah which He will bestow on whom He pleaseth: and Allah encompasseth all and He knoweth all things. 767
Your (real) friends are (no less than) Allah His Apostle and the (fellowship of) believers those who establish regular prayers and regular charity and they bow down humbly (in worship).
As to those who turn (for friendship) to Allah His Apostle and the (fellowship of) believers it is the fellowship of Allah that must certainly triumph.
O ye who believe! take not for friends and protectors those who take your religion for a mockery or sport whether among those who received the Scripture before you or among those who reject faith; but fear ye Allah if ye have Faith (indeed). 768
When ye proclaim your call to prayer they take it (but) as mockery and sport; that is because they are a people without understanding.
Say: "O People of the Book! do ye disapprove of us for no other reason than that we believe in Allah and the revelation that hath come to us and that which came before (us) and (perhaps) that most of you are rebellious and disobedient?" 769
Say: "Shall I point out to you something much worse than this (as judged) by the treatment it received from Allah? Those who incurred the curse of Allah and His wrath those of whom some He transformed into apes and swine those who worshipped Evil; these are (many times) worse in rank and far more astray from the even Path! 770
When they come to thee they say: "We believe": but in fact they enter with a mind against Faith and they go out with the same: but Allah knoweth fully all that they hide.
Many of them dost thou see racing each other in sin and rancor and their eating of things forbidden. Evil indeed are the things that they do. 771
Why do not the Rabbis and the doctors of laws forbid them from their (habit of) uttering sinful words and eating things forbidden? Evil indeed are their works.
The Jews say: "Allah's hand is tied up." Be their hands tied up and be they accursed for the (blasphemy) they utter. Nay both His hands are widely outstretched: He giveth and spendeth (of His bounty) as He pleaseth. But the revelation that cometh to thee from Allah increaseth in most of them their obstinate rebellion and blasphemy. Amongst them We have placed enmity and hatred till the Day of Judgment. Every time they kindle the fire of war Allah doth extinguish it; but they (ever) strive to do mischief on earth. And Allah loveth not those who do mischief. 772 773 774 775
If only the people of the Book had believed and been righteous We should indeed have blotted out their iniquities and admitted them to gardens of Bliss.
If only they had stood fast by the Law the Gospel and all the revelation that was sent to them from their Lord they would have enjoyed happiness from every side. There is from among them a party on the right course; but many of them follow a course that is evil. 776
O Apostle! proclaim the (Message) which hath been sent to thee from thy Lord. If thou didst not thou wouldst not have fulfilled and proclaimed His mission: and Allah will defend thee from men (who mean mischief). For Allah guideth not those who reject faith. 777
Say: "O People of the Book! ye have no ground to stand upon unless ye stand fast by the Law the Gospel and all the revelation that has come to you from your Lord." It is the revelation that cometh to thee from thy Lord that increaseth in most of them their obstinate rebellion and blasphemy. But sorrow thou not over (these) people without Faith. 778
Those who believe (in the Qur'an) those who follow the Jewish (Scriptures) and the Sabians and the Christians any who believe in Allah and the Last Day and work righteousness on them shall be no fear nor shall they grieve. 779
We took the Covenant of the Children of Israel and sent them Apostles. Every time there came to them an apostle with what they themselves desired not some (of these) they called impostors and some they (go so far as to) slay. 780
They thought there would be no trial (or punishment); so they became blind and deaf: yet Allah (in mercy) turned to them: yet again many of them became blind and deaf. But Allah sees well all that they do. 781
They do blaspheme who say: "Allah is Christ the son of Mary." But said Christ: "O children of Israel! worship Allah my Lord and your Lord." Whoever joins other gods with Allah Allah will forbid him the garden and the Fire will be his abode. There will for the wrong-doers be no one to help. 782
They do blaspheme who say: Allah is one of three in a Trinity: for there is no god except One Allah. If they desist not from their word (of blasphemy) verily a grievous penalty will befall the blasphemers among them.
Why turn they not to Allah and seek His forgiveness? For Allah is Oft-forgiving Most Merciful.
Christ the son of Mary was no more than an Apostle; many were the Apostles that passed away before him. His mother was a woman of truth. They had both to eat their (daily) food. See how Allah doth makes His Signs clear to them; yet see in what ways they are deluded away from the truth! 783 784
Say: Will ye worship besides Allah something which hath no power either to harm or benefit you? But Allah He it is that heareth and knoweth all things."
Say: "O people of the Book! exceed not in your religion the bounds (of what is proper) trespassing beyond the truth nor follow the vain desires of people who went wrong in times gone by who misled many and strayed (themselves) from the even way. 785
Curses were pronounced on those among the Children of Israel who rejected faith by the tongue of David and of Jesus the son of Mary: because they disobeyed and persisted in excesses. 786 787
Nor did they (usually) forbid one another the iniquities which they committed: evil indeed were the deeds which they did. 788
Thou seest many of them turning in friendship to the unbelievers. Evil indeed are (the works) which their souls have sent forward before them (with the result) that Allah's wrath is on them and in torment will they abide.
If only they had believed in Allah in the Apostle and in what hath been revealed to him never would they have taken them for friends and protectors but most of them are rebellious wrong-doers.
Strongest among men in enmity to the believers wilt thou find the Jews and Pagans; and nearest among them in love to the believers wilt thou find those who say: "We are Christians:" because amongst these are men devoted to learning and men who have renounced the world and they are not arrogant. 789 790
And when they listen to the revelation received by the Apostle thou wilt see their eyes overflowing with tears for they recognize the truth: they pray: "Our Lord! we believe; write us down among the witnesses.
"What cause can we have not to believe in Allah and the truth which has come to us seeing that we long for our Lord to admit us to the company of the righteous?"
And for this their prayer hath Allah rewarded them with gardens with rivers flowing underneath their eternal home. Such is the recompense of those who do good.
But those who reject faith and belie our Signs they shall be companions of hell-fire.
O ye who believe! make not unlawful the good things which Allah hath made lawful for you but commit no excess: for Allah loveth not those given to excess. 791
Eat of the things which Allah hath provided for you lawful and good: but fear Allah in Whom ye believe.
Allah will not call you to account for what is futile in your oaths but He will call you to account for your deliberate oaths: for expiation feed then indigent persons on a scale of the average for the food of your families; or clothe them; or give a slave his freedom. If that is beyond your means fast for three days. That is the expiation for the oaths ye have sworn. But keep to your oaths. Thus doth Allah make clear to you His Signs that ye may be grateful. 792
O ye who believe! intoxicants and gambling (dedication of) stones and (divination by) arrows are an abomination of Satan's handiwork: eschew such (abomination) that ye may prosper. 793 794 795
Satan's plan is (but) to excite enmity and hatred between you with intoxicants and gambling and hinder you from the remembrance of Allah and from prayer: will ye not then abstain?
Obey Allah and obey the Apostle and beware (of evil): if ye do turn back know ye that it is Our Apostle's duty to proclaim (the Message) in the clearest manner. 796 797
On those who believe and do deeds of righteousness there is no blame for what they ate (in the past) when they guard themselves from evil and believe and do deeds of righteousness (or) again guard themselves from evil and do good. For Allah loveth those who do good. 798
O ye who believe! Allah doth but make a trial of you in a little matter of game well within reach of your hands and your lances that He may test who feareth Him unseen: any who transgress thereafter will have a grievous penalty. 799
O ye who believe! kill not game while in the Sacred Precincts or in pilgrim garb. If any of you doth so intentionally the compensation is an offering brought to the Ka'ba of a domestic animal equivalent to the one he killed as adjudged by two just men among you; or by way of atonement the feeding of the indigent; or its equivalent in fasts: that he may taste of the penalty of his deed. Allah forgives what is past: for repetition Allah will exact from him the penalty: for Allah is Exalted and Lord of Retribution. 800 801
Lawful to you is the pursuit of water-game and its use for food for the benefit of yourselves and those who travel; but forbidden is the pursuit of land-game: as long as ye are in the Sacred Precincts or in pilgrim garb. And fear Allah to whom ye shall be gathered back. 802
Allah made the Ka'ba the Sacred House an asylum of security for men as also the Sacred Months the animals for offerings and the garlands that mark them: that ye may know that Allah hath knowledge of what is in the heavens and on earth and that Allah is well acquainted with all things. 803 804 805
Know ye that Allah is strict in punishment and that Allah is Oft- Forgiving Most Merciful.
The Apostle's duty is but to proclaim (the Message): but Allah knoweth all that ye reveal and ye conceal.
Say: "Not equal are things that are bad and things that are good even though the abundance of the bad may dazzle thee; so fear Allah O ye that understand! that (so) ye may prosper." 806
O ye who believe! ask not questions about things which if made plain to you may cause you trouble. But if ye ask about things when the Qur'an is being revealed they will be made plain to you: Allah will forgive those: for Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most Forbearing. 807
Some people before you did ask such questions and on that account lost their faith. 808
It was not Allah Who instituted (superstitions like those of) a slit-ear she-camel or a she-camel let loose for free pasture or idol sacrifices for twin-births in animals or stallion-camels freed from work; it is blasphemers who invent a lie against Allah but most of them lack wisdom. 809
When it is said to them: "Come to what Allah hath revealed; come to the Apostle": they say: "Enough for us are the ways we found our fathers following." What! even though their fathers were void of knowledge and guidance? 810
O ye who believe! guard your own souls: if ye follow (right) guidance no hurt can come to you from those who stray. The goal of you all is to Allah: it is He that will show you the truth of all that ye do. 811
O ye who believe! when death approaches any of you (take) witnesses among yourselves when making bequests two just men of your own (brotherhood) or others from outside if ye are journeying through the earth and the chance of death befalls you (thus). If ye doubt (their truth) detain them both after prayer and let them both swear by Allah: "We wish not in this for any worldly gain even though the (beneficiary) be our near relation: we shall hide not the evidence before Allah: if we do then behold! the sin be upon us!" 812
But if it gets known that these two were guilty of the sin (of perjury). Let two others stand forth in their places nearest in kin from among those who claim a lawful right: let them swear by Allah: "We affirm that our witness is truer than that of those two and that we have not trespassed (beyond the truth): if we did behold! the wrong be upon us! 813
That is most suitable: that they may give the evidence in its true nature and shape or else they would fear that other oaths would be taken after their oaths. But fear Allah and listen (to His counsel): for Allah guideth not a rebellious people.
One day will Allah gather the apostles together and ask: "What was the response ye received (from men to your teaching)? They will say: "We have no knowledge: it is thou who knowest in full all that is hidden. 814
Then will Allah say: "O Jesus the son of Mary! recount my favor to thee and to thy mother. Behold! I strengthened thee with the holy spirit so that thou didst speak to the people in childhood and in maturity. Behold! I taught thee the Book and Wisdom the Law and the Gospel. And behold! thou makest out of clay as it were the figure of a bird by My leave and thou breathest into it and it becometh a bird by My leave and thou healest those born blind and the lepers by My leave. And behold! thou bringest forth the dead by My leave. And behold! I did restrain the Children of Israel from (violence to) thee when thou didst show them the Clear Signs and the unbelievers among them said: `This is nothing but evident magic'. 815 816 817 818 820 821 822
"And behold! I inspired the Disciples to have faith in Me and Mine Apostle: they said `We have faith and do thou bear witness that we bow to Allah as Muslims'." 823 824
Behold! the disciples said: "O Jesus the son of Mary! can thy Lord send down to us a table set (with viands) from heaven?" Said Jesus: "Fear Allah if ye have faith." 825
They said: "We only wish to eat thereof and satisfy our hearts and to know that thou hast indeed told us the truth; and that we ourselves may be witnesses to the miracle.
Said Jesus the son of Mary: "O Allah our Lord! send us from heaven a table set (with viands) that there may be for us for the first and the last of us a solemn festival and a sign from Thee; and provide for our sustenance for Thou art the best Sustainer (of our needs). 826 827
Allah said: "I will send it down unto you: but if any of you after that resisteth faith I will punish him with a penalty such as I have not inflicted on anyone among all the peoples. 828
And behold! Allah will say "O Jesus the son of Mary! didst thou say unto men `worship me and my mother as gods in derogation of Allah"? He will say: "Glory to Thee! never could I say what I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing Thou wouldst indeed have known it. Thou knowest what is in my heart though I know not what is in Thine. For Thou knowest in full all that is hidden. 829
"Never said I to them aught except what Thou didst command me to say to wit `Worship Allah my Lord and your Lord'; and I was a witness over them whilst I dwelt amongst them; when Thou didst take me up thou wast the Watcher over them and Thou art a Witness to all things. 831
"If Thou dost punish them they are Thy servants: if Thou dost forgive them Thou art the Exalted the Wise. 832
Allah will say: "This is a day on which the truthful will profit from their truth: theirs are Gardens with rivers flowing beneath their eternal home: Allah well-pleased with them and they with Allah: that is the great Salvation (the fulfillment of all desires). 833
To Allah doth belong the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all that is therein and it is He who hath power over all things.
This line has been justly admired for its terseness and comprehensiveness. Obligations: 'uqud the Arabic word implies so many things that a whole chapter of Commentary can be written on it. First, there are the divine obligations that arise from our spiritual nature and our relation to Allah. He created us and implanted in us the faculty of knowledge and foresight: besides the intuition and reason which He gave us. He made Nature responsive to our needs, and His Signs in Nature are so many lessons to us in our own inner life; He further sent Messengers and Teachers, for the guidance of our conduct in individual, social, and public life. All these gifts create corresponding obligations which we must fulfil. But in our own human and material life we undertake mutual obligations express and implied. We make a promise: we enter into a commercial or social contract; we enter into a contract of marriage: we must faithfuly fulfil all obligations in all these relationships. Our group or our State enters into a treaty; every individual in that group or State is bound to see that as far as lies in his power, such obligations are faithfully discharged. There are tacit obligations; living in civil society, we must respect its tacit conventions unless they are morally wrong, and in that case we must get out of such society. There are tacit obligations in the characters of host and guest, wayfarer of companion, employer or employed, etc., etc., which every man of Faith must discharge conscientiously. The man who deserts those who need him and goes to pray in a desert is a coward who disregards his obligations. All these obligations are inter-connected. Truth and fidelity are parts of religion in all relations of life. This verse is numbered separately from the succeeding verses.
That is, the exceptions named not only in the Qur-an but in the Sunnah as well. See v. 3 below.
Cf. v. 94-96. Hunting and the use of game are forbidden "while ye are hurumun," i.e., while ye are (1) in the Sacred Precincts, or (2) in the special pilgrim garb (ihram), as to which see n. 212, ii. 196. In most cases the two amount to the same thing. The Sacred Precincts are sanctuary both for man and beast.
Allah's commands are not arbitrary. His Will is the perfect Archetype or Plan of the world. Everything He wills has regard to His Plan, in which are reflected His perfect wisdom and goodness.
Cf. ii. 158, where Safa and Marwa are called "Symbols (sha'a'ir) of Allah". Here the Symbols are everything connected with the Pilgrimage, viz., (1) the places (like Safii and Marwa, or the Ka'ba or 'Arafat, etc.); (2) the rites and ceremonies prescribed; (3) prohibitions (such as that of hunting, etc.); (4) the times and seasons prescribed. There is spiritual and moral dimension in all these. See notes on ii. 158, ii. 194-200.
The month of pilgrimage, or else, collectively, the four sacred months (ix. 36), viz., Rajab (7th). Zul-qa'dah (11th), Zul-hijjah (12th, the month of Pilgrimage), and Muharram (the first of the year). In all these months War was prohibited. Excepting Rajab the other three months are consecutive.
The immunity from attack or interference extended to the animals brought as offerings for sacrifice and the garlands or fillets or distinguishing marks which gave them immunity. They were treated as sacred symbols. And of course every protection or immunity was enjoyed by the Pilgrims.
This is the state opposite to that described in n. 684, i.e., when ye have left the Sacred Precincts, and have doffed the special pilgrim garb, showing your return to ordinary life.
See n. 205 to ii. 191. In the sixth year of the Hijra the Pagans, by way of hatred and persecution of the Muslims, had prevented them from access to the Sacred Mosque. When the Muslims were re-established in Makkah, some of them wanted to retaliate. Passing from the immediate event to the general principle, we must not retaliate or return evil for evil. The hatred of the wicked does not justify hostility on our part. We have to help each other in righteousness and piety, not in perpetuating feuds of hatred and enmity. We may have to fight and put down evil, but never in a spirit of malice or hatred, but always in a spirit of justice and righteousness.
Cf. ii. 173 and nn. 173 and 174. The prohibition of dead meat, blood, the flesh of swine, and that on which other names than that of Allah have been invoked, has been there explained.
If an animal dies by strangling, or by a violent blow, or a headlong fall, or by being gored to death, or by being attacked by a wild animal, the presumption is that it becomes carrion, as the life-blood is congealed before being taken out of the body. But the presumption can be rebutted. If the life-blood still flows and the solemn mode of slaughter (zabh in the name of Allah is carried out, it becomes lawful as food.
This was also an idolatrous rite, different from that in which a sacrifice was devoted to a particular idol or a false god.
Gambling of all kinds is forbidden; ii. 291. A sort of lottery or raffle practised by Pagan Arabs has been described in n. 241. Division of meat in this way is here forbidden, as it is a form of gambling.
The previous verse was negative; it defined what was not lawful for food, viz., things gross, or disgusting, or dedicated to superstition. This verse is positive: it defines what is lawful, viz., all things that are good and pure.
In the matter of the killing for meat, the general rule is that the name of Allah, the true God should be pronounced as a rite in order to call our attention to the fact that we do not take life thoughtlessly but solemnly for food, with the permission of Allah, to whom we render the life back. The question of hunting is then raised. How can this solemn rite be performed when we send forth trained hawks, trained hounds, or trained cheetahs or other animals trained for the chase? They must necessarily kill at some distance from their masters. Their game is legalised on these conditions: (1) that they are trained to kill, not merely for their own appetite, or out of mere wantonness, but for their master's food; the training implies that something of the solemnity which Allah has taught us in this matter goes into their action; and (2) we are to pronounce the name of Allah over the quarry; this is interpreted to mean that the Takbir should be pronounced when the hawk or dog, etc., is released to the quarry.
The question is for food generally, such as is ordinarily "good and pure": in the matter of meat it should be killed with some sort of solemnity analogous to that of the Takbir. The rules of Islam in this respect being analogous to those of the People of the Book, there is no objection to mutual recognition, as opposed to meat killed by Pagans with superstitious rites. In this respect the Christian rule is the same: "That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication." (Acts, xv. 29). Notice the bracketing of fornication with things unlawful to eat.
Islam is not exclusive. Social intercourse, including inter-marriage, is permitted with the People of the Book. A Muslim man may marry a woman from their ranks on the same terms as he would marry a Muslim woman, i.e., he must give her an economic and moral status, and must not be actuated merely by motives of lust or physical desire. A Muslim woman may not marry a non-Muslim man, because her Muslim status would be affected; the wife ordinarily takes the nationality and status given by her husband's law. Any man or woman, of any race or faith, may, on accepting Islam, freely marry any Muslim woman or man, provided it be from motives of purity and chastity and not of lewdness.
As always, food, cleanliness, social intercourse, marriage and other interests in life, are linked with our duty to Allah and faith in Him. Duty and faith are for our own benefit, here and in the Hereafter.
These are the essentials of Wudhu, or ablutions preparatory to prayers, viz., (1) to bathe the whole face in water, and (2) both hands and arms to the elbows, with (3) a little rubbing of the head with water (as the head is usually protected and comparatively clean), and (4) the bathing of the feet to the ankles. In -addition, following the practice of the Prophet, it is usual first to wash the mouth, and the nose before proceeding with the face, etc.
Cf. iv. 43 and n. 563. Ritual impurity arises from sex pollution.
This is Tayammum, or wiping with clean sand or earth where water is not available. I take it that this substitute is permissible both for Wudhu and for a full bath, in the circumstances mentioned.
There is a particular and a general meaning. The particular meaning refers to the solemn Pledge and Covenant taken by two groups of people at 'Aqaba, a valley near Mina, the first about fourteen months before the Hijra, and the second a little later. These were Pledges of fealty to the Messenger of Allah, comparable to the Covenant under Mount Sinai taken in the time of Moses (See 0. ii. 63 and n. 78). The general meaning has been explained in n. 682 to v. 1: man is under a spiritual obligation under an implied Covenant with Allah: Allah has given man reason, judgment, the higher faculties of the soul, and even the position of vicegerent on earth (ii. 30), and man is bound to serve Allah faithfully-and obey His Will. That obedience begins with cleanliness in bodily functions, food, etc. It goes on to cleanliness of mind and thought, and culminates in purity of motives in the inmost recesses of his heart and soul.
Cf. iv. 135.
To do justice and act righteously in a favourable or neutral atmosphere is meritorious enough, but the real test comes when you have to do justice to people who hate you or to whom you have an aversion. But no less is required of you by the higher moral law.
In the life-time of the Prophet it happened again and again that the enemies of Islam stretched out their hands against him, his people, and his teaching. The odds were, from a worldy point of view, in their favour, but their hands were rendered inert and powerless because they were fighting against the truth of Allah. So does it happen always, now as it did then. True faith must take heart, and at the same time humbly recognise Allah's favour and mercy, and be grateful.
Cf. ii. 63 and n. 78, "Moses... called for the elders of the people... and all the people answered together and said. 'All that the Lord hath spoken we will do.' " (Exod. xix, 7-8). This was under the towering height of Mount Sinai. The chieftains or elders or leaders of the people were selected, one from each of the twelve tribes (see ii. 60 and n. 73). For census purposes the names of the elders of the tribes are given in Num. i. 4-16: they are called "every one the head of the house of his fathers". Later, twelve other "heads of the Children of Israel" were selected to spy out the land of Canaan: their names are mentioned in Num. xiii. 1-16. See also, below, v. 20-26 and notes.
Cf. ii. 245, n. 276. The phrase means "spending in the cause of Allah". Allah in His infinite grace looks upon this as a loan, for which He gives a recompense manifold.
The path of rectitude: or the even way: see ii. 108. n. 109.
Cursed them: that means that because of the breach of their Covenant, Allah withdrew His overflowing Grace from them. The withdrawal of Grace made their hearts grow hard in two ways: (1) they were no longer protected from the assaults of evil, and (2) they became impervious even to the message of forgiveness and mercy which is open to all Allah's creatures.
Israel, when it lost Allah's grace as above, began to sin against truth and religion in three ways: (1) they began to misuse Scripture itself, by either taking words out of their right meaning, or applying them to things for which they were never meant; (2) in doing so, they conveniently forgot a part of the Message and purpose of Allah; and (3) they invented new deceits to support the old ones.
Cf. ii. 109 and n. 110, where I have explained the different shades of meaning in the words for "forgiveness."
The Christian Covenant may be taken to be the charge which Jesus gave to his disciples, and which the disciples accepted, to welcome Ahmad (Q. lxi. 6). Glimpses of this are to be found in the Gospel of St. John even as it exists now (John xv. 26. xvi. 7). It is those who call themselves "Christians" who reject this. True Christians have accepted it. The enmity between those who call themselves Christians and the Jews will continue till the Last Day. A) The change from the First Person in the beginning of the verse to the Third Person here illustrates the change from the personal relationship of the Covenant, to the impersonal operation of Justice at Judgment. Cf. xxxv. 9.
Mubin: I wish I could translate by a simpler word than "perspicuous". But "plain" may mean unadorned, the opposite of beautiful, and this Book is among the most beautiful that it is the privilege of mankind to read. "Clear" would be right as far as it means "unambiguous, self-evident, not involved in mysteries of origin, history, or meaning, one which every one can understand as to the essentials necessary for him, without the intervention of priests or privileged persons". Mubin has all these meanings, but it suggests, besides, some quality of a shining light, by which we are able to make things clear, to distinguish the true from the false, This I think is suggested better by "perspicuous" than by the word "clear". Besides it is hardly good idiom to speak of "a clear Book."
The most honoured of the prophets of Allah are but men. All power belongs to Allah, and not to any man. Allah's creation may take many forms, but because in any particular form it is different from what we see daily around us, it does not cease to be Creation, or to be subject to the power of Allah. No creature can be God.
Sons of God: Cf. Job, xxxviii. 7; "When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy." In the 29th Psalm, 1st verse, the authorised Translation "O ye mighty" should apparently be "O ye sons of Elim". El being a name of God, Cf. also Genesis, vi. 2: "The sons of God saw the daughters of men." Beloved: Cf. Psalms, cxxvii, 2: "He giveth his beloved sleep." If used figuratively, these and like words refer to the love of Allah. Unfortunately, "son" used in a physical sense, or "beloved" in an exclusive sense as if Allah loved only the Jews, make a mockery of religion.
This refrain in the last verse negatives the idea of sonship, and in this verse negatives the idea of an exclusive "Beloved". In both cases it means that Allah is independent of physical relationship or exclusive partiality,
The six hundred years (in round figures) between Christ and Muhammad were truly the dark ages of the world. Religion was corrupted: the standard of morals fell low: many false systems and heresies arose; and there was a break in the succession of prophets until the advent of Muhammand.
There was a long line of patriarchs and prophets before Moses, e.g., Abraham, Isaac, Ismail, Jacob, etc.
From the slavery of Egypt the Children of Israel were made free and independent, and thus each man became as it were a king, if only he had obeyed Allah and followed the lead of Moses.
Cf. Exod. xix. 5: "Now, therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people." Israel was chosen to be the vehicle of Allah's message, the highest honour which any nation can receive.
We now come to the events detailed in the 13th and 1th chapters of the Book of Numbers in the Old Testament. Read these as a Commentary, and examine a good map of the Sinai Peninsula, showing its connections with Egypt on the west, North-West Arabia on the east, and Palestine on the north-east. We may suppose that Israel crossed from Egypt into the Peninsula somewhere near the northern extremity of the Gulf of Suez. Moses organised and numbered the people, and instituted the Priesthood. They went south about 200 miles to Mount Sinai where the Torah was received. Then, perhaps a hundred and fifty miles north, was the desert of Paran, close to the southern borders of Canaan. From the camp there twelve men were sent to spy out the land, and they penetrated as far as Hebron, say about 150 miles north of their camp, about 20 miles south of the future Jerusalem. They saw a rich country, and brought from it pomegranates and figs and a bunch of grapes so heavy that it had to be carried by two men on a staff. They came back and reported that the land was rich, but the men there were too strong for them. The people of Israel had no courage and no faith, and Moses remonstrated with them.
The people were not willing to follow the lead of Moses, and were not willing to fight for their "inheritance." In effect they said: "Turn out the enemy first, and then we shall enter into possession." In Allah's Law we must work and strive for what we wish to enjoy.
Among those who returned after spying out the land were two men who had faith and courage. They were Joshua and Caleb. Joshua afterwards succeeded Moses in the leadership after 40 years. These two men pleaded for an immediate entry through the proper Gate, which I understand to mean, "after taking all due precautions and making all due preparations". Cf. ii.189 and n. 203. But of course, they said, they must put their trust in Allah for victory.
The advice of Joshua and Caleb, and the proposals of Moses under divine instructions were unpalatable to the crowd, whose prejudices were further inflamed by the other ten men who had gone with Joshua and Caleb. They made an "evil report," and were frightened by the great stature of the Canaanites. The crowd was in open rebellion, was prepared to stone Moses, Aaron, Joshua, and Caleb, and return to Egypt. Their reply to Moses was full of irony, insolence, blasphemy, and cowardice. In effect they said: "You talk of your God and all that: go with your God and fight there if you like: we shall sit here and watch."
"Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation. "(Num. xiv. 5). According to the words in the Old Testament story, Allah said: "I will smite them with the pestilence, and disinherit them." (Num. xiv. 12). Moses prayed and interceded. But as we are told here, (a spiritual touch not found in the Jewish story). Moses was careful to separate himself and his brother from the rebellion.
The punishment of the rebellion of these stiff-necked people, rebellion that was repeated "these ten times" (Num. xiv. 22) and more, was that they were left to wander distractedly hither and thither through the wilderness for forty years. That generation was not to see the Holy Land. All those that were twenty years old and upwards were to die in the wilderness: "your carcasses shall fail in this wilderness." (Num. xiv. 29). Only those who were then children would reach the Promised land. And so it happened. From the desert of Paran they wandered south, north, and east for forty years. From the head of what is now the Gulf of 'Aqaba, they travelled north, keeping to the east side of the depression of which the Dead Sea and the river Jordan are portions. Forty years afterwards they crossed the Jordan opposite what is now Jericho, but by that time Moses, Aaron, and the whole of the elder generation had died.
Literally; "recite to them in truth the story", etc. The point is that the story in Gen. iv. 1-15 is a bare narrative, not including the lessons now to be enforced. The Prophet is told now to supply the truth of the matter, the details that will enforce the lessons.
The two sons of Adam were Habil (in the English Bible, Abel) and Qabil (in English, Cain). Cain was the elder, and Abel the younger,-the righteous and innocent one. Presuming on the right of the elder, Cain was puffed up with arrogance and jealousy, which led him to commit the crime of murder. Among the Christians, Cain was the type of the Jew as against Abel the Christian. The Jew tried to kill Jesus and exterminate the Christian. In the same way, as against Muhammad, the younger brother of the Semitic family, Cain was the type of the Old Testament and New Testament people, who tried to resist and kill Muhammad and put down his people.
My sin as well as thine. "My sin" has been interpreted as "the sin against me, in that thou slayest me": in that case thy "sin" may mean either "thy crime in committing a murder." or "thy sin against thyself, for the crime causes real loss to thyself in the Hereafter." See the last clause of the next verse.
Abel's speech is full of meaning. He is innocent and God-fearing. To the threat of death held out by the other, he returns a calm reply, aimed at reforming the other. "Surely," he pleads, "if your sacrifice was not accepted, there was something wrong in you, for Allah is just and accepts the sacrifice of the righteous. If this does not deter you, I am not going to retaliate, though there is as much power in me against you as you have against me. I fear my Maker, for I know He cherishes all His Creation. Let me warn you that you are doing wrong. I do not intend even to resist, but do you know what the consequences will be to you? You will be in torment."
The innocent unselfish pleading of the younger brother had no effect, for the soul of the other was full of pride, selfishness and jealousy. He committed the murder, but in doing so, ruined his own self.
Sau-at may mean "corpse", with a suggestion of nakedness and shame in two senses: (1) the sense of being exposed without burial, and (2) the sense of being insulted by being violently deprived by the unwarranted murder, of the soul which inhabited it,- the soul, too, of a brother.
The thought at last came home to the murderer. It was dreadful indeed to slay any one-the more so as he was a brother, and an innocent righteous brother! But worse still, the murderer had not even the decency to bury the corpse, and of this simple duty he was reminded by a raven-a black bird usually held in contempt! His regret was on that account. That was no true repentance.
The story of Cain is referred to in a few graphic details in order to tell the story of Israel. Israel rebelled against Allah, slew and insulted righteous men who did them no harm but on the contrary came in all humility. When Allah withdrew His favour from Israel because of its sins and bestowed it on brother nation, the jealousy of Israel plunged it deeper into sin. To kill or seek to kill an individual because he represents an ideal is to kill all who upold the ideal. On the other hand, to save an individual life in the same circumstances is to save a whole community. What could be stronger condemnation of individual assassination and revenge?
For the double crime of treason against the State, combined with treason against Allah, as shown by overt crimes, four alternative punishments are mentioned, any one of which is to be applied according to the crime committed, viz., execution (cutting off of the head), crucifixion, maiming, or exile. These were features of the Criminal Law then and for centuries afterwards, except that tortures such as "hanging, drawing, and quartering" in English Law, and piercing of eyes and leaving the unfortunate victim exposed to a tropical sun, which was practised in Arabia, and all such tortures were abolished. In any case sincere repentance before it was too late was recognised as a ground for mercy.
Understood to mean the right hand and the left foot.
Taqwa here too might be translated "fear of Allah", but the very next clause shows that "fear of Allah" does not mean "fear" in the ordinary sense, which would make you avoid the object of fear. On the contrary the "fear of Allah" is the intense desire to avoid everything that is against His Will and Law. It is in fact duty to Allah, for we are told to seek ardently the means by which we may approach Him, and that can only be done by striving with might and main for His cause.
"Prosper" in the real sense, for that is all that matters, as the life of this world is brief and fleeting, and of small account as against Eternity.
Here we touch upon jurisprudence. The Canon Law jurists are not unanimous as to the value of the property stolen, which would involve the penalty of the cutting off of the hand. The majority hold that petty thefts are exempt from this punishment. The general opinion is that only one hand should be cut off for the first theft, on the principle that "if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee" (Matt. xviii. 8). Apparently in the age of Jesus thieves were crucified (Matt. xxvii. 38).
Punishment really does not belong to mortals, but to Allah alone. Only, in order to keep civil society together, and protect innocent people from crime, certain principles are laid down on which people can build up their criminal law. But we must always remember that Allah not only punishes but forgives, and forgiveness is the attribute which is more prominently placed before us. It is not our wisdom that can really define the bounds of forgiveness or punishment, but His Will or Plan, which is the true standard of righteousness and justice.
Two classes of men are meant, viz., the Hypocrites and the Jews. For both of them Al-Mustafa laboured earnestly and assiduously, and it must have been a cause of great grief and disappointment to him that some among them showed so much insincerity, cunning, and hardness of heart. These are types not yet extinct.
There were men among the Jews who were eager to catch up any lie against the Prophet. They had their ears open even to tales from people who had never so much as come near to the Prophet. If we understand "for" instead of "to" before "others" (for the Arabic word would bear both meanings), the sense will be: They are keen listeners or spies for any lies they can catch; and they will act as spies for others (their Rabbis, etc.) who are in the background but to whom they carry false tales.
Cf. v. 13. The addition of the words min badi here suggests the change of words from their right times as well as places. They did not deal honestly with their Law, and misapplied it, by distorting the meaning. Or it may be that as tale-bearers they distorted the meaning by misrepresenting the context.
Devouring anything forbidden: both in a literal and in a figurative sense. In the figurative sense, it would be: the taking of usury or bribes, or taking undue advantage of people's weak position or their own fiduciary powers to add to their own wealth.
Where it is merely a trick to catch out the unwary, a just man may honourably decline to interfere in a cause submitted to him, as also in a case where the parties are not honestly desirous of justice, but each hopes that some partiality will be shown to it.
This is a searching question as to the motive of the Jews in bringing their cases for decision to the Prophet. They came either (1) to ridicule whatever he said, or (2) to deceive him as to facts and snatch a favourable decision which was against equity. If their own Law did not suit their selfish interests, they sometimes twisted it. But Muhammad was always inflexible in his justice.
Guidance, with reference to conduct, light, with reference to insight into the higher realms of the faith.
Rabbani may, I think, be rightly translated by the Jewish title of Rabbi for their learned men, Jewish learning is identified with Rabbinical literature. Ahbar is the plural of hibr or habr, by which we may understand Jewish Doctors of Law. Later the term was applied to those of other religions.
They were living witnesses to the truth of Scripture, and could testify that they had made it known to the people: Cf. ii. 143, and iv. 135.
Two charges are made, against the Jews: (1) that even the books which they had, they twisted in meaning, to suit their own purposes, because they feared men rather than Allah: (2) that what they had was but fragments of the original Law given to Moses, mixed up with a lot of semi-historical and legendary matter, and some fine poetry. The Taurat mentioned in the Qur-an is not the Old Testament as we have it: nor is it even the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Old Testament, containing the Law embedded in a great deal of semi-historical and legendary narrative). See Appendix 11, on the Taurat (printed at the end of this Sura).
The retaliation is prescribed in three places in the Pentateuch, viz,. Exod. xxi, 23-25: Leviticus xxiv. 18-21, and Deut, xix. 21. The wording in the three quotations is different, but in none of them is found the additional rider for mercy, as here. Note that in Matt. v. 38. Jesus quotes the Old Law "eye for eye," etc,, and modifies it in the direction of forgiveness, but the Quranic injunction is more practical. Even where the injured one forgives, the State or Ruler is competent to take such action as is necessary for the preservation of law and order in Society. For crime has a bearing that goes beyond the interests of the person injured: the Community is affected: see Q. v. 32.
This is not part of the Mosaic Law, but the teaching of Jesus and of Muhammad. Notice how the teaching of Jesus is gradually introduced as leading up to the Qur-an.
The seeming repetitions at the end of verses 47, 48 and 50 are not real repetitions. The significant words in the three cases are: Unbelievers, wrong-doers, and rebellious; and each fits the context. If the Jews tamper with their books they are Unbelievers; if they give false judgments, they are wrong-doers. If the Christians follow not their light, they are rebellious.
Guidance and light: see n. 750 above. For the meaning of the Gospel (Injil), see Appendix III, "On the Injil", (printed at the end of this Sura).
See n. 756 above.
After the corruption of the older revelations, the Qur-an comes with a twofold purpose: (1) to confirm the true and original Message, and (2) to guard it, or act as a check to its interpretation. The Arabic word Muhaimin is very comprehensive in meaning. It means one who safeguards, watches over, stands witness, preserves, and upholds. The Qur-an safeguards "the Book", for it has preserved within it the teachings of all the former Books. It watches over these Books in the sense that it will not let their true teachings to be lost. It supports and upholds these Books in the sense that it corroborates the Word of Allah which has remained intact in them. It stands a witness because it bears testimony to the Word of Allah contained in these Books and helps to sort it out from the interpretations and commentaries of the people which were mixed with it: what is confirmed by the Qur-an is the Word of Allah and what is against it is that of the people.
Law: shir'at = rules of practical conduct. Open Way: Minhaj = The guidance of the Prophet in all aspects of life.
By origin mankind were a single people or nation: iv. 1, and ii. 213. That being so Allah could have kept us all alike, with one language, one kind of disposition, and one set of physical conditions (including climate) to live in. But in His wisdom, He gives us diversity in these things, not only at any given time, but in different periods and ages. This tests our capacity for Unity (Wahdaniyat) still more, and accentuates the need of Unity and Islam.
Men are wont to make conflicting claims regarding Allah, the ultimate destiny of man, and other questions of vital importance. No matter how vehement and eloquent the proponents of false doctrines might be, their efforts will prove fruitless and it will be indisputably clear on the Day of Judgment as to who entertained false notions and who cherished the truth.
The Days of Ignorance were the days of tribalism, feuds and selfish accentuation of differences in man. Those days are really not yet over. It is the mission of Islam to take us away from that false mental attitude, towards the true attitude of Unity. If our Faith is certain (and not merely a matter of words), Allah will guide us to that Unity.
That is, look not to them for help and comfort. They are more likely to combine against you than to help you. And this happened more than once in the lifetime of the Prophet, and in after-ages again and again. He who associates with them and shares their counsels must be counted as of them. The trimmer loses whichever way the wheel of fortune turns.
Cf. ii. 10.
The Hypocrites, while matters were doubtful, pretended to be with Muslims, but were in league with their enemies. When matters came to a decision and Allah granted victory to Islam, their position was awkward. They were not only disowned by the Muslims, but the Muslims could well say in reproach to their enemies: "Are these the men who swore friendship for you? What was their friendship worth to you? Where are they now?"
As "most men are rebellious" (v. 49), it is inevitable that there should be apostates even from such a religion of reason and common-sense as Islam. But here is a warning to the Muslim body that they should not repeat the history of the Jews, and become so self-satisfied or arrogant as to depart from the spirit of Allah's teaching. If they do, the loss will be their own. Allah's bounty is not confined to one group or section of humanity. He can always raise up people who will follow the true spirit of Islam. That spirit is defined in two ways: first in general terms; they will love Allah and Allah will love them; and secondly, by specific signs; amongst the Brethren, their attitude will be that of humility, but to wrong-doers they will offer no mealy-mouthed compromises; they will always strive and fight for truth and right; they will know no fear, either physical, or that more insidious form, which says; "What will people say if we act thus? They are too great in mind to be haunted by any such thought. For, as the next verse says, their friends are Allah, His Prophet, and His people, the people who judge rightly, without fear or favour.
It is not right that we should be in intimate association with those to whom religion is either a subject of mockery or at best is nothing but a plaything. They may be amused, or they may have other motives for encouraging you. But your association with them will sap the earnestness of your Faith, and make you cynical and insincere.
There is the most biting irony in this and the next verse, You People of the Book! Do you hate us because we believe in Allah and not only our scripture, but yours also? Perhaps you hate us because we obey and you are in rebellion against Allah! Why hate us? There are worse things than our obedience and our Faith. Shall I tell you some of them? Our test will be: what treatment Allah meted out to the things I mention. Who were the people who incurred the curse of Allah? (See Deut. xi. 28, and xxviii. 15-68: and numerous passages like Hosea viii. 14, and ix- 1). Who provoked Allah's wrath? (See numerous passages like Deut. i. 34: Matt. iii. 7). Who forsook Allah, and worshipped evil? (See Jeremiah, xvi. 11-13). That is your record. Is that why you hate us?'
For apes see Q. ii. 65. For men possessed by devils, and the devils being sent into swine, see Matt. viii. 28-32.
Eating of things forbidden: may be construed in a literal or a figurative sense. From its juxtaposition with sin and hatred, it is better to construe it in a figurative sense, as referring to their fraudulent misappropriations of other people's property or trust property. "Eating" is used in v. 66 below in the general sense of enjoyment and happiness.
Cf. v. 12. and ii. 245, for a "beautiful loan to Allah", and iii. 181, for the blasphemous taunt, "Then Allah is poor!" It is another form of the taunt to say, "Then Allah's hands are tied up. He is close-fisted. He does not give!" This blasphemy is repudiated. On the contrary, boundless is Allah's bounty, and He gives, as it were, with both hands outstretched,-a figure of speech for unbounded liberality.
Their jealousy-because Al-Mustafa is chosen for Allah's Message-is so great that it only confirms and strengthens their rebellion and blasphemy.
Cf. v. 14. where the eternal warring of the Christian sects, among themselves and against the Jews, is referred to. The reference is to the whole of the People of the Book, Jews and Christians-their internal squabbles and their external disputes, quarrels, and wars.
The argument of the whole verse may be thus stated. The Jews blaspheme and mock, and because of their jealousy, the more they are taught, the more obstinate they become in their rebellion. But what good will it do to them? Their selfishness and spite sow quarrels among themselves, which will not be healed till the Day of Judgment. When they stir up wars, especially against the innocent, Allah's Mercy is poured down like a flood of water to extinguish them. But their wickedness continues to devise ever new mischief. And Allah loves not mischief or those who do mischief.
To eat (akala) is a very comprehensive word, and denotes enjoyment generally, physical, social, mental and moral, and spiritual. "To eat what is forbidden" in verses 62 and 63 referred to taking unlawful profit, from usury or trust funds or in other ways. Here "eating" would seem to mean receiving satisfaction or happiness in this life as well as in the life to come. "From above them" may refer to heavenly or spiritual satifaction, and "from below their feet" to earthly satisfaction. But it is better to take the words as a general idiom, and understand "satisfaction or happiness from every side."
Muhammad had many difficulties to contend with, many enemies and dangers to avoid. Hismission must be fulfilled. And he must-as he did-go forward and proclaim that Message and fulfil his mission, trusting to Allah for protection, and unconcerned if people who had lost all sense of right rejected it or threatened him.
In v. 26, Moses was told not to sorrow over a rebellious people. Here Muhammad is told not to sorrow over people without Faith. The second situation is even more trying than the first. Rebellion may be a passing phase. Want of faith is an attitude of mind that is well-nigh hopeless. Yet the Prophet patiently reasoned with them and bore their taunts and insults. If, the argument runs, you do not believe in anything, even in the things that you may be expected to believe in, how can you receive in Faith Allah's Message that has come in another form? In fact your jealousy adds to your obstinacy and unbelief.
Here, as in Sura Al-Baqarah (ii. 62), the Qur-an underscores the importance of true and genuine faith, which is to be judged by a sincere belief in Allah and man's accountability to Him backed by a righteous conduct rather than by mere forms or labels. At both the places it repudiates the false claims of the People of the Book that they had a special relationship with Allah for they were the children of Abraham; that they were a chosen people with special privileges, and no matter what they did, their high status would remain unaffected. Here this false notion is refuted and the People of the Book are being reminded that it is through sincere belief and righteous conduct rather than pretentious claims that man can win his Lord's pleasure and achieve ultimate success. The verse does not purport to lay down an exhaustive list of the articles of faith. Nor does it seek to spell out the essentials of a genuine belief in Allah, which has no meaning unless it is accompanied by belief in His Prophets for it is through their agency alone that we know Allah's Will and can abide by it in our practical lives. This is especially true of His final Prophet, Muhammad (peace be on him) whose message is universal, and not confined to any particular group or section of humanity. Belief in the Prophethood of Muhammad (peace be on him) is thus an integral part and a logical corollary of belief in Allah. Moreover, it is also an essential test of genuineness of such belief. This becomes clear when the verse is read in conjunction with other relevant verses of the Qur-an. See, for instance, iv. 170, v. 15, 19, vii. 157, 158, xxi. 107, xxv. I, xxxiii, 40, lxi. 6. See also ii. 40, iii. 31-32, iv. 150-151.
Cf. ii. 87, and n. 91.
That is, they turned away their eyes from Allah's Signs and they turned a deaf ear to Allah's Message.
Cf. Matt. iv. 10, where Christ rebukes Satan for desiring the worship of other than Allah: John xx. 17, where Christ says to Mary Magdalene, "Go unto my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father; and to my God and your God." Cf. also Luke xviii. 19, where Christ rebukes a certain ruler for calling him Good Master: "Why callest thou me good? None is good, save One, that is, Allah." In Mark xii. 25 Jesus says: "The first of all the commandments is, Hear O Israel; the Lord our God is One Lord."
She never claimed that she was a mother of God, or that her son was God. She was a pious virtuous woman.
Note how logically the argument has led up from Jewish back-slidings and want of faith, to blasphemies associated with the names of Jesus and Mary, and in the following verses to the worship of senseless stocks and stones. Allah is One; His Message is one; yet how people's perversity transforms truth into falsehood, religion into superstition!
Excess, as opposed to moderation and reason, is the simplest test by which a hypocrite or a selfish man who "trades" on religion, is known from a sincere, pious, and truly religious man. Excess means that truth is sometimes concealed or trampled upon, that the fashions of ancestors or contemporaries are copied or overdone, and Allah's name is dishonoured by blasphemies or the setting up of false gods or fetishes, or that good (or even bad) men are deified and worshipped. The true path is the even path, the path of rectitude. (Cf. ii. 108, and v. 12).
The Psalms of David have several passages of imprecations against the wicked. Cf- Psalms cix 17-18; lxxviii. 21-22 ("Therefore the Lord heard this and was wroth; so a fire was kindled against Jacob, and anger also came up against Israel; because they believed not in God, and trusted not in His salvation"); Psalms lxix. 22-28, and Psalms v. 10.
Cf. Matt- xxiii, 33 ("Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of Hell?); also Matt. xii. 34.
There are bad men in every community, but if leaders connive at the misdeeds of the commonalty,-and even worse, if leaders themsevles share in the misdeeds, as happened with the Pharisees and Scribes against whom Jesus spoke out, then that community is doomed.
The meaning is not that they merely call themselves Christians, but that they were such sincere Christians that they appreciated Muslim virtues, as did the Abyssinians to whom Muslim refugees went during the persecution in Makkah.
Qissis: I have translated as "devoted to learning," following the Commentators. it seems to be a foreign word, possibly Abyssinian rather than Syriac, as the reference seems to be to the Abyssinian Christians. Their real devotion to learning and the renunciation of the world by the Monastic Orders are contrasted with the hypocrisy and arrogance of the Pharisees and Scribes.
In pleasures that are good and lawful the crime is excess. There is no merit merely in abstention or asceticism, though the humility or unselfishness that may go with asceticism may have its value. In v. 82, Christian monks are praised for particular virtues, though here and elsewhere monasticism is disapproved of. Use Allah's gifts of all kinds with gratitude, but excess is not approved of by Allah.
Vows of penance or abstention may sometimes be futile, or even stand in the way of really good or virtuous act. See ii. 224-226, and notes. The general principles established are: (1) take no futile oaths; (2) use not Allah's name, literally or in intention, to fetter yourself against doing a lawful or good act: (3) keep to your solemn oaths to the utmost of your ability; (4) where you are unable to do so, expiate your failure by feeding or clothing the poor, or obtaining some one's freedom, or if you have not the means, by fasting. This is from a spiritual aspect.
Cf. ii. 219, and notes 240 and 241.
Cf. v. 3. The stones there referred to were stone altars or stone columns on which oil was poured for consecration, or slabs on which meat was sacrificed to idols. Any idolatrous or superstitious practices are here condemned. The ansab were objects of worship, and were common in Arabia before Islam. See Renan, "History of Israel", Chapter iv, and Corpus Inscriptionum Semiticarum. Part 1. p. 154: Illustrations Nos. 123 and 123 bis are Phoenician columns of that kind, found in Malta.
Cf. v. 3. The arrows there referred to were used for the division of meat by a sort of lottery or rate. But arrows were also used for divination, i.e., for ascertaining lucky or unlucky moments, or learning the wishes of the heathen gods, as to whether men should undertake certain actions or not. All superstitions are condemned.
We are asked to obey the commands of Allah (which are always reasonable), instead of following superstitions (which are irrational), or seeking undue stimulation in intoxicants or undue advantage in gambling. To some there may be temporary excitement or pleasure in these, but that is not the way either of prosperity or piety.
Cf. v. 67. Both the worldly and the spiritual aspects of loss are pointed out. Can Allah's Message do more?
There is a subtle symphony in what appears at first sight to be a triple repetition. The relation of such simple regulations as those of food, or game, or the reverence due to a sacred place or sacred institution, has to be explained vis-a-vis man's higher duties. Baidhawi is right in classifying such duties under three heads; those due to Allah, those due from a man to himself (his self-respect), and those due to other creatures of Allah. Or perhaps all duties have this threefold aspect. The first may be called Believing or Faith; the second, Guarding ourselves from evil, or Conscience: and the third, doing good or Righteousness. But the simplest physical rules, e.g., those about eating, cleanliness, etc., if they are good, refer also to the higher aspects. If we eat bad food, we hurt ourselves, we cause offence to our neighbours, and we disobey Allah. If we have faith and righteousness, are we likely to be wanting in conscience? If we have conscience and faith, are we likely to fail in righteousness? If we have conscience and righteousness, what can be their foundation but faith? All three manifest themselves in a willing obedience to Allah, and love for Him. We realise His love in loving and doing good to His creatures, and our love for Him is meaningless without such good.
Literally, "know" Cf. iii. 166, and iii, 154, n. 467. Game is forbidden in the Sacred Precincts.
See v. 1, and n. 684. The pilgrim garb, Ihram, has been explained in n. 212, ii. 196.
Intentional breach will be prevented, if possible, by previous action. If in some case the preventive action is not effective, the penalty is prescribed. The penalty is in three alternatives: an equivalent animal should be brought to the Ka'ba for sacrifice; if so, the meat would be distributed to the poor; or the poor must be fed, with grain or money, according to the value of the animal if one had been sacrificed: or the offender must fast as many days as the number of the poor who would have been fed under the second alternative. Probably the last alternative would only be open if the offender is too poor to afford the first or second, but on this point Commentators are not agreed. The "equivalent animal" in the first alternative would be a domestic animal of similar value or weight in meat or of similar shape (e.g., goat to antelope), as adjudged by two just men on the spot. The alternatives about the penalty and its remission ("Allah forgives what is past") or exaction explain the last two lines of the verse: being "Exalted and Lord of Retribution", Allah can remit or regulate according to His just laws.
Water-game: i.e., game found in water, e.g., fish, etc. "Water" includes sea, river, lake, pond, etc.
The Sacred or Prohibited Months are explained in n. 209. ii. 194, and n. 687, v. 2.
See v. 2 and n. 688.
All sorts of people from all parts of the earth gather during the Pilgrimage. They must not think that they are strangers, that nobody knows them, and that they may behave as they like. It is the House of Allah, and He has supreme knowledge of all things, of all thoughts, and all motives. As the next verse says, while He is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. He is also strict in enforcing respect for His ordinances.
Cf. ii. 204. People often judge by quantity rather than quality. They are dazzled by numbers: their hearts are captured by what they see everywhere around them. But the man of understanding and discrimination judges by a different standard. He knows that good and bad things are not to be lumped together, and carefully chooses the best, which may be the scarcest, and avoids the bad, though evil may meet him at every step.
Many secrets are wisely hidden from us. If the future were known to us, we need not necessarily be happy. In many cases we should be miserable. If the inner meaning of some of the things we see before our eyes were disclosed to us, it might cause a lot of mischief. Allah's Message, in so far as it is necessary for shaping our conduct, is plain and open to us. But there are many things too deep for us to understand, either individually or collectively. It would be foolish to pry into them, as some people tried to do in the time of the Prophet. Where a matter is mentioned in the Qur-an, we can reverently ask for its meaning. That is not forbidden. But we should never pass the bounds of (1) our own capacity to understand, (2) the time and occasion when we ask questions, and (3) the part of the Universal Plan which it is Allah's purpose to reveal to us.
For example, the merely fractious questions asked of Moses by the Jews: ii. 68- 71. They showed that they had no faith. When foolish questions are asked, and there is no answer, it also shakes the faith of the foolish ones.
A number of Arab Pagan superstitions are referred to. The Pagan mind, not understanding the hidden secrets of nature, attributed certain phenomena to divine anger and were assailed by superstitious fears which haunted their lives. If a she-camel or other female domestic animal had a large number of young, she (or one of her offspring) had her ear slit and she was dedicated to a god: such an animal was a bahira. On return in safety from a journey, or on recovery from an illness a she-camel was similarly dedicated and let loose for free pasture: she was called a saiba. Where an animal bore twins, certain sacrifices or dedications were made to idols: an animal so dedicated was a wasila. A stallion-camel dedicated to the gods by certain rites was a ham. The particular examples lead to the general truth: that superstition is due to ignorance, and is degrading to men and dishonouring to Allah.
Cf. ii. 170. Where a Messenger of Truth comes to teach us the better way, it is foolish to say: "What our ancestors did is good enough for us."
The unity of the one Judge will do perfect justice to each one's conduct, however different in form it may have appeared in this world.
Ordinarily this oath should be decisive, and the matter must rest here. But if it gets known that the oath was false, other evidence may be taken as in the next verse.
Istahaqqa = Deserved having something (good or evil) attributed to one; hence the alternative meanings: (1) committed or was guilty (of a sin): (2) had or claimed a lawful right (to property). The procedure was followed in an actual case in the Prophet's life-time. A man from Madinah died abroad, having made over his goods, to two friends, to be delivered to his designated heirs in Madinah. They, however, kept back a valuable silver cup. When this was found out, oaths were taken from those who knew, and justice was done.
A scene of the Day of Reckoning is put before us in graphic words, showing the responsibility and the limitations of the Prophets of Allah, sent to preach His Message to men, with special reference to the Message of Jesus. The Messengers are sent to preach the Truth. What fantastic forms the Message takes in men's reactions to it was beyond their knowledge, at the time, and beyond their responsibility.
In a solemn scene before the Court of Judgment, Jesus is asked to recount all the mercies and favours shown to him, so that his followers should become ashamed of their ingratitude in corrupting that Message, when they could have done so much in profiting by its purity and spiritual truth. This argument continues to the end of the Sura.
Cf. ii. 87, and iii. 62, n. 401.
Cf. iii. 46, and n. 388.
Cf. iii. 48.
Note how the words "by My leave" are repeated with each miracle to emphasize the fact that they arose, not out of the power or will of Jesus, but by the leave and will and power of Allah, who is supreme over Jesus as He is over all other mortals.
The Jews were seeking to take the life of Jesus long before their final attempt to crucify him: see Luke iv. 28-29. Their attempt to crucify him was also foiled, according to the teaching we have received: Q. iv. 157.
According to Luke (xi. 15), when Christ performed the miracle of casting out devils, the Jews said he did it through the chief of the devils. i.e., they accused him of black magic. No such miracle of casting out devils is mentioned in the Qur-an. But Moses, Jesus. and Muhammad were all accused of magic and sorcery, by those who could find no other explanation of Allah's power.
"Thou" refers to Jesus, who is being addressed by his Disciples. Cf. iii. 52.
Before or after Muhammad's life on this earth, all who bowed to Allah's Will were Muslims, and their religion is Islam. Cf. iii, 52, and n. 392.
The request of the Disciples savours a little of (1) want of faith, (2) too much attention to physical food, and (3) a childish desire for miracles or Signs. All these three can be proved from the Canonical Gospels. (1) Simon Peter, quite early in the story, asked Jesus to depart from him, as he (Simon) was a sinful man (Luke v. 8). The same Peter afterwards denied his Master three times shamelessly when the Master was in the power of his enemies. And one of the Disciples (Judas) actually betrayed Jesus. (2) Even in the Canonical Gospels, so many of the miracles are concerned with food and drink, e.g., the turning of the water into wine (John, ii, 1-11); the conversion of five loaves and two small fishes into food for 5,000 men (John vi. 5-13), this being the only miracle recorded in all the four Gospels; the miraculous number of fishes caught for food (Luke V. 4-11); the cursing of the fig tree because it had no fruit (Matt. xxi. 18-19); the allegory of eating Christ's flesh and drinking his blood (John vi. 53-57). (3) Because the Samaritans would not receive Jesus into their village, the Disciples James and John wanted a fire to come down from heaven and consume them (Luke ix. 54).
The words of the Prayer seem to suggest the Last Supper. Cf. also the vision of Peter in "The Acts of the Apostles." x. 9-16.
As in Islam, so in Christ's Prayer, sustenance should be taken for both physical and spiritual strength, especially the latter. "Give us this day our daily bread" seems the rendering of a literalist whose attention was fixed too much on bread.
It is a wicked generation that asks for Signs and Miracles. Usually they are not vouchsafed. But where they are, the responsibility of those who ask for them is increased. If, after that, they reject faith, invent lies, and go after false gods or false ideals, their penalty will be worse than that of other people. How this works out practically among those who call themselves Christians is exemplified in such books as the late Mr. W.T. Stead's "If Christ Came to Chicago?"
Jesus disclaims here any knowledge of the sort of things that are attributed to him by those who take his name. The worship of Mary, though repudiated by the Protestants, was widely spread in the earlier churches, both in the East and the West.
Jesus here acknowledges that he was mortal, and that his knowledge was limited like that of a mortal.
A Master can justly punish His servants for disobedience: no one can say Him nay, for He is high above all. But if He chooses to forgive. He in His wisdom sees things that we mortals cannot see. This is the limit of intercession that men of God can make on behalf of sinners.
Fauz = Felicity, happiness, achievement, salvation, the attainment or fulfilment of desires. What a beautiful definition of salvation or the end of life!-that we should win Allah's good pleasure and that we should reach the stage at which His good pleasure is all-in-all to us.