And [remember] when you said, "O Moses. indeed we shall not believe thee unto we see God face to face!" - whereupon the thunderbolt of punishment* overtook you before your very eyes.
and follow [instead] that which the evil ones used to practice during Solomon's reign - for it was not Solomon who denied the truth, but those evil ones denied it by teaching people sorcery* -; and [they follow] that which has come down through the two angels in Babylon, Hurut and Marut-although these two never taught it to anyone without first declaring, "We are but a temptation to evil: do not, then, deny [God's] truth!"* And they learn from these two how to create discord between a man and his wife; but whereas they can harm none thereby save by God's leave, they acquire a knowledge that only harms themselves and does not benefit them - although they know; indeed, that he who acquires this [knowledge] shall have no share in the good of the life to come.* For, vile indeed is that [art] for which they have sold their own selves -had they but known it!
Out of their selfish envy, many among the followers of earlier revelation would like to bring you back to denying the truth after you have attained to faith - [even] after the truth has become clear unto them. None the less, forgive and forbear, until God shall make manifest His will: behold, God has the power to will anything.
For, never will the Jews be pleased with thee. nor yet the Christians, unless thou follow their own creeds. Say: "Behold, God's guidance is the only true guidance." And, indeed, if thou shouldst follow their errant views after all the knowledge that has come unto thee. thou wouldst have none to protect thee from God, and none to bring thee succour.
IT IS lawful for you to go in unto your wives during the night preceding the [day's] fast: they are as a garment for you, and you are as a garment for them. God is aware that you would have deprived yourselves of this right,* and so He has turned unto you in His mercy and removed this hardship from you. Now, then, you may lie with them skin to skin, and avail yourselves of that which God has ordained for you,* and eat and drink until you can discern the white streak of dawn against the blackness of night,* and then resume fasting until nightfall; but do not lie with them skin to skin when you are about to abide in meditation in houses of worship.* These are the bounds set by God: do not, then, offend against them - [for] it is thus that God makes clear His messages unto mankind, so that they might remain conscious of Him.
And slay them wherever you may come upon them, and drive them away from wherever they drove you away - for oppression is even worse than killing.* And fight not against them near the Inviolable House of Worship unless they fight against you there first;* but if they fight against you, slay them: such shall be the recompense of those who deny the truth.
Hence, fight against them until there is no more oppression and all worship is devoted to God alone;* but if they desist, then all hostility shall cease, save against those who [wilfully] do wrong.
AND PERFORM the pilgrimage and the pious visit [to Mecca ]* in honour of God; and if you are held back, give instead whatever offering you can easily afford. And do not shave your heads until the offering has been sacrificed;* but he from among you who is ill or suffers from an ailment of the head shall redeem himself by fasting, or alms, or [any other] act of worship. And if you are hale and secure,* then he who takes advantage of a pious visit before the [time of] pilgrimage shall give whatever offering he can easily afford;* whereas he who cannot afford it shall fast for three days during the pilgrimage and for seven days after your return: that is, ten full [days]. All this relates to him who does not live near the Inviolable House of Worship.* And remain conscious of God, and know that God is severe in retribution.*
[But] do you think that you could enter para-dise without having suffered like those [believers] who passed away before you?* Misfortune and hardship befell them, and so shaken were they that the apostle, and the believers with him, would exclaim, "When will God's succour come?"* Oh, verily, God's succour is [always] near!
They will ask thee about fighting in the sacred month.* Say: "Fighting in it is an awesome thing (grave transgression); but turning men away from the path of God and denying Him, and [turning them away from] the Inviolable House of Worship and expelling its people there from - [all this] is yet more awesome (greater transgression) in the sight of God, since oppression is more awesome (greater transgression) than killing." [Your enemies] will not cease to fight against you till they have turned you away from your faith, if they can. But if any of you should turn away from his faith and die as a denier of the truth - these it is whose works will go for nought in this world and in the life to come; and these it is who are destined for the fire, therein to abide.
AND DO NOT marry women who ascribe divinity to aught beside God ere they attain to [true] belief: for any believing bondwoman [of God]* is certainly better than a woman who ascribes divinity to aught beside God, even though she please you greatly. And do not give your women in marriage to men who ascribe divinity to aught beside God ere they attain to [true] belief: for- any believing bondman [of God] is certainly better than a man who ascribes divinity to aught beside God, even though he please you greatly. [Such as] these invite unto the fire, whereas God invites unto paradise, and unto [the achievement of] forgiveness by His leave; and He makes clear His messages unto mankind, so that they might bear them in mind.
AND THEY will ask thee about [woman's] monthly courses. Say: "It is a vulnerable condition. Keep, therefore, aloof from women during their monthly courses, and do not draw near unto them until they are cleansed; and when they are cleansed, go in unto them as God has bidden you to do."* Verily, God loves those who turn unto Him in repentance* and He loves those who keep themselves pure.
And if he divorces her [finally], she shall thereafter not be lawful unto him unless she first takes another man for husband; then, if the latter divorces her, there shall be no sin upon either of the two if they return to one another-provided that both of them think that they will be able to keep within the bounds set by God: for these are the bounds of God which He makes clear unto people of [innate] knowledge.
But you will incur no sin if you give a hint of [an intended] marriage-offer to [any of] these women, or if you conceive such an intention without making it obvious: [for] God knows that you intend to ask them in marriage.* Do not, however, plight your troth with them in secret, but speak only in a decent manner; and do not proceed with tying the marriage-knot ere the ordained [term of waiting] has come to its end. And know that God knows what is in your minds, and therefore remain conscious of Him; and know, too, that God is much-forgiving, forbearing.
[But as for you, O believers,] never shall you attain to true piety unless you spend on others out of what you cherish yourselves; and whatever you spend - verily, God has full knowledge thereof.*
AND, INDEED, God made good His promise unto you when, by His leave, you were about to destroy your foes* - until the moment when you lost heart and acted contrary to the [Prophet's] command,* and disobeyed after He had brought you within view of that [victory] for which you were longing. There were among you such as cared for this world [alone], just as there were among you such as cared for the life to come:* whereupon, in order that He might put you to a test, He prevented you from defeating your foes.* But now He has effaced your sin: for God is limitless in His bounty unto the believers.
It is not God's will [O you who deny the truth] to abandon the believers to your way of life:* [and] to that end He will set apart the bad from the good. And it is not God's will to give you insight into that which is beyond the reach of human perception: but [to that end] God elects whomsoever He wills from among His apostles.* Believe, then, in God and His apostles; for if you believe and are conscious of Him, a magnificent requital awaits you.
As for those who maintain, "Behold, God has bidden us not to believe in any apostle unless he comes unto us with burnt offerings"* - say [unto them, O Prophet]: "Even before me there came unto you apostles with all evidence of the truth, and with that whereof you speak: why, then, did you slay them, if what you say is true?"*
And test the orphans [in your charge] until they reach a marriageable age; then, if you find them to be mature of mind, hand over to them their possessions; and do not consume them by wasteful spending, and in haste, ere they grow up. And let him who is rich abstain entirely [from his ward's property]; and let him who is poor partake thereof in a fair manner. And when you hand over to them their possessions, let there be witnesses on their behalf - although none can take count as God does.
AND AS FOR those of your women who become guilty of immoral conduct, call upon four from among you who have witnessed their guilt; and if these bear witness thereto, confine the guilty women* to their houses until death takes them away or God opens for them a way [through repentance].
whereas repentance shall not be accepted from those who do evil deeds until their dying hour and then say,* "Behold, I now repent"; nor from those who die as deniers of the truth: it is these for whom We have readied grievous suffering.
O YOU who have attained to faith! Do not attempt to pray while you are in a state of drunkenness,* [but wait] until you know what you are saying; nor yet [while you are] in a state requiring total ablution,* until you have bathed - except if you are travelling [and are unable to do so]. But if you are ill, or are travelling, or have just satisfied a want of nature,* or have cohabited with a woman, and can find no water - then take resort to pure dust, passing [therewith] lightly over your face and your hands.* Behold, God is indeed an absolver of sins, much-forgiving.
But nay, by thy Sustainer! They do not [really] believe unless they make thee [O Prophet] a judge of all on which they disagree among themselves, and then find in their hearts no bar to an acceptance of thy decision and give themselves up [to it] in utter self-surrender.*
They would love to see you deny the truth even as they have denied it, so that you should be like them. Do not, therefore, take them for your allies until they forsake the domain of evil* for the sake of God; and if they revert to [open] enmity, seize them and slay them wherever you may find them. And do not take any of them* for your ally or giver of succour,
And, indeed, He has enjoined upon you in this divine writ that whenever you hear people deny the truth of God's messages and mock at them, you shall avoid their company until they begin to talk of other things* - or else, verily, you will become like them. Behold, together with those who deny the truth God will gather in hell the hypocrites,
They answered: "O Moses! Behold, ferocious people -dwell in that land,* and we will surely not enter it unless they depart therefrom; but if they depart therefrom, then, behold, we will enter it."
Say: "O followers of the Bible! You have no valid ground for your beliefs -unless you [truly] observe the Torah and the Gospel, and all that has been bestowed from on high upon you by your Sustainer!"* Yet all that has been bestowed from on high upon thee [O Prophet] by thy Sustainer is bound to make many of them yet more stubborn in their overweening arrogance and in their denial of the truth. But sorrow not over people who deny the truth:
And there are among them such as [seem to] listen to thee [O Prophet]: but over their hearts We have laid veils which prevent them from grasping the truth, and into their ears, deafness.* And were they to see every sign [of the truth], they would still not believe in it-so much so that when they come unto thee to contend with thee, those who are bent on denying the truth say, "This is nothing but fables of ancient times!"
Lost indeed are they who consider it a lie that they will have to meet God -till the Last Hour suddenly comes upon them, [and] they cry, "Alas for us, that we disregarded it!" - for they shall bear on their backs the burden of their sins:* oh, how evil the load with which they shall be burdened!
And, indeed, [even] before thy time have apostles been given the lie, and they endured with patience all those charges of falsehood, and all the hurt done to them, till succour came unto them from Us: for there is no power that could alter [the outcome of] God's promises. And some of the histories of those apostles have already come within thy ken.*
Then, when they had forgotten all that they had been told to take to heart, We threw open to them the gates of all [good] things* until -even as they were rejoicing in what they had been granted - We suddenly took them to task: and lo! they were broken in spirit;*
And He alone holds sway over His servants. And He sends forth heavenly forces to watch over you* until, when death approaches any of you, Our messengers cause him to die: and they do not overlook [anyone].
NOW, whenever thou meet such as indulge in [blasphemous] talk about Our messages, turn thy back upon them until they begin to talk of other things* and if Satan should ever cause thee to forget [thyself], remain not, after recollection, in the company of such evildoing folk,
And whenever. a [divine] message comes to them, they say, "We shall not believe unless we are given the like of what God's apostles were given!"* [But] God knows best upon whom to bestow His message. Abasement in the sight of God will befall those who have become guilty of evildoing, and suffering severe for all the schemes which they were wont to weave.
THOSE who are bent on ascribing divinity to aught beside God will say, "Had God so willed, we would not have ascribed divinity to aught but Him, nor would our forefathers [have done so]; and neither would we have declared as forbidden anything [that He has allowed]." Even so did those who lived before them give the lie to the truth* -until they came to taste Our punishment! Say: "Have you any [certain] knowledge which you could proffer to us?* You follow but [other people's] conjectures, and you yourselves do nothing but guess."
and do not touch the substance of an orphan - save to improve it-before he comes of age."* And [in all your dealings] give full measure and weight,* with equity: [however,] We do not burden any human being with more than he is well able to bear;* and when you voice an opinion, be just, even though it be [against] one near of kin.* And [always] observe your bond with God:* this has He enjoined upon you, so that you might keep it in mind.
And who could be more wicked than they who attribute their own lying inventions to God or give the lie to His messages? Whatever has been decreed to be their lot [in life] will be theirs* -till there shall come _ unto them Our messengers to cause them to die, [and] shall say, "Where, now, are those beings whom you were wont to invoke beside God?" And [those sinners] will reply, "They have forsaken us!" -and [thus] they will bear witness against themselves that they had been denying the truth.
[And God] will say: "Join those hosts of invisible beings and humans who have gone before you into the fire!" [And] every time a host enters [the fire], it will curse its fellow-host -so much so that, when they all shall have passed into it, one after another, the last of them will speak [thus] of the first of them:* "O our Sustainer! It is they who have led us astray: give, them, therefore, double suffering through fire!" He, will reply: "Every one of you deserves double suffering* -but you know it not."
VERILY, unto those who give the lie to Our messages and scorn them in their pride, the gates of heaven shall not be opened;* and they shall not enter paradise any more than a twisted rope can pass through a needle's eye:* for thus do We requite such as are lost in sin.
And He it is who sends forth the winds as a glad tiding of His coming grace-so that, when they have brought heavy clouds, We may drive them towards dead land and cause thereby water to descend; and by this means do We cause all manner of fruit to come forth. Even thus shall We cause the \dead to come forth: [and this] you ought to keep in mind.*
"And if there be some among you who have come to believe in the message which I bear, the while the others do not believe, then have patience in adversity till God shall judge between us [and them]: for He is the best of all judges!"
then We transformed the affliction into ease of life,* so that they throve and said [to themselves], "Misfortune and hardship befell our forefathers as well* -whereupon We took them to task, all of a sudden, without their being aware [of what was coming].*
And fight against them until there is no more oppression and all worship is devoted to God alone.* And if they desist-behold, God sees all that they do;*
This, because God would never change* the blessings with which He has graced a people unless they change their inner selves :* and [know] that God is all-hearing, all-seeing.
IT DOES NOT behove a prophet to keep captives unless he has battled strenuously on earth.* You may desire the fleeting gains of this world-but God desires [for you the good of] the life to come: and God is almighty, wise.
BEHOLD, as for those who have attained to faith, and who have forsaken the domain of evil* and are striving hard, with their possessions and their lives, in God's cause, as well as those who shelter and succour [them]* - these are [truly] the friends and protectors of one another. But as for those who have come to believe without having migrated [to your country]* - you are in no wise responsible for their protection until such a time as they migrate [to you]. Yet, if they ask you for succour against religious persecution,* it is your duty to give [them] this succour-except against a people between whom and yourselves there is a covenant:* for God sees all that you do.
And if any of those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God seeks thy protection,* grant him protection, so that he might [be able to] hear the word of God [from thee]; and thereupon convey him to a place where he can feel secure:* this, because they [may be] people who [sin only because they] do not know [the truth].
Say: "If your fathers and your sons and your brothers and your spouses and your clan, and the worldly goods which you have acquired, and the commerce whereof you fear a decline, and the dwellings in which you take pleasure - [if all these] are dearer to you than God and His Apostle and the struggle in His cause, then wait until God makes manifest His will;* and [know that] God does not grace iniquitous folk with His guidance."
[And] fight against those who - despite having been vouchsafed revelation [aforetime]* -do not [truly] believe either in God or the Last Day, and do not consider forbidden that which God and His Apostle have forbidden,* and do not follow the religion of truth [which God has enjoined upon them]* till they [agree to] pay the exemption tax with a willing hand, after having been humbled [in war].*
May God pardon thee [O Prophet] !* Why didst thou grant them permission [to stay at home] ere it had become obvious to thee as to who was speaking the truth, and [ere] thou camest to know. [who were] the liars?
Indeed, even before this time* have they tried to stir up discord and devised all manner of plots against thee, [O Prophet,] until the truth was revealed and God's will became manifest, however hateful this may have been to them.
And God would never-after having invited them to His guidance -condemn people for going astray* ere He has made [entirely] clear unto them of what they should beware. Verily, God has full knowledge of everything.*
And [He turned in His mercy, too,] towards the three [groups of believers] who had fallen prey to corruption,* until in the end-after the earth, despite all its vastness, had become [too] narrow for them and their souls had become [utterly] constricted they came to know with certainty that there is no refuge from God other than [a return] unto Him; and thereupon He turned again unto them in His mercy, so that they might repent: for, verily, God alone is an acceptor of repentance, a dispenser of grace.*
He it is who enables you to travel on land and sea. And [behold what happens] when you go to sea in ships:* [they go to sea in ships,] and they sail on in them in a favourable wind, and they rejoice thereat until there comes upon them a tempest, and waves surge towards them from all sides, so that they believe themselves to be encompassed [by death; and then] they call unto God, [at that moment] sincere in their faith in Him alone, "If Thou wilt but save us from this, we shall most certainly be among the grateful!"
The parable of the life of this world is but that of rain which We send down from the sky, and which is absorbed by the plants of the earth* whereof men and animals draw nourishment, until -when the earth has assumed its artful adornment and has been embellished, and they who dwell on it believe that they have gained mastery over it* -there comes down upon it Our judgment, by night or by day, and We cause it to become [like] a field mown down, as if there had been no yesterday.* Thus clearly do We spell out these messages unto people who think!
And Moses prayed: "O our Sustainer! Verily, splendour and riches hast Thou vouchsafed, in the life of this world, unto Pharaoh and his great ones-with the result, O our Sustainer, that they are leading [others] astray from Thy path!* O our Sustainer! Wipe out their riches, and harden their hearts, so that they may not attain to faith ere they see the grievous suffering [that awaits them]!"
And We brought the children of Israel across the sea; and thereupon Pharaoh and his hosts pursued them with vehement insolence and tyranny, until [they were overwhelmed by the waters of the sea. And] when he was about to drown, [Pharaoh] exclaimed:* "I have come to believe that there is no deity save Him in whom the children of Israel believe, and I am of those who surrender themselves unto Him!"
And [thereafter], indeed, We assigned unto the children of Israel a most goodly abode,* and provided for them sustenance out of the good things of life. And it was not until knowledge [of God's revelation] was vouchsafed to them that they began to hold divergent views: [but,] verily, thy Sustainer will judge between them on Resurrection Day regarding all on which they were wont to differ.*
even though every sign [of the truth] should come within their ken - until they behold the grievous suffering [that awaits them in the life to come].*
And [thus it is:] had thy Sustainer so willed, all those who live on earth would surely have attained to faith, all of them:* dost thou, then, think that thou couldst compel people to believe,
And [as for thyself, O Muhammad,] follow but what is being revealed unto thee, and be patient in adversity, until God shall give His judgment: for He is the best of all judges.
[And so it went on] till, when Our judgment came to pass, and waters gushed forth in torrents over the face of the earth,* We said [unto Noah]: "Place on board of this [ark] one pair of each [kind of animal] of either sex,* as well as thy family -except those on whom [Our] sentence has already been passed* -and all [others] who have attained to faith!"-for, only a few [of Noah's people] shared his faith.
For, presently it occurred to the nobleman and his household* _ [even] after they had seen all the signs [of Joseph's innocence] - that they might as well imprison him for a time.*
Said [Jacob]: "I will not send him with you until you give me a solemn pledge, before God, that you will indeed bring him back unto me, unless you yourselves be encompassed [by death]!" And when they had given him their solemn pledge, [Jacob] said: "God is witness to all that we say!"
And so, when they lost all hope of [moving] him, they withdrew to take counsel [among themselves]. The eldest of them said: "Do you not remember* that your father has bound you by a solemn pledge before God - and how, before that, you had failed with regard to Joseph? Hence, I shall not depart from this land till my father gives me leave or God passes judgment in my favour:* for He is the best of all judges.
Said [his sons]: "By God! Thou wilt never cease to remember, Joseph till thou art broken in body and spirit or art dead!"
[All the earlier apostles had to suffer persecution for a long time;] but at last* -when those apostles had lost all hope and saw themselves branded as liars* - Our succour attained to them: whereupon everyone whom We Milled [to be saved] was saved [and the deniers of the truth were destroyed]: for, never can Our punishment be averted from people who are lost in sin.
[thinking that] he has hosts of helpers-both such as can be perceived by him and such as are hidden from him* -that could preserve him from whatever God may have willed.* Verily, God does not change men's condition unless they change their inner selves;* and when God wills people to suffer evil [in consequence of their . own evil deeds], there is none who could avert it: for they have none who could protect them from Him.
Yet even if [they should listen to] a [divine] discourse by which mountains could be moved, or the earth cleft asunder, or the dead made to speak - [they who are bent on denying the truth would still refuse to believe in it]!* Nay, but God alone has the power to decide what shall be.* Have, then, they who have attained to faith not yet come to know that, had God so willed; He would indeed have guided all mankind aright?* But as for those who are bent on denying the truth-in result of their [evil] deeds, sudden calamities will always befall them or will alight close to their homes;* [and this will continue] until God's promise [of resurrection] is fulfilled: verily, God never fails to fulfil His promise!
and worship thy Sustainer till death comes to thee.*
Whoever chooses to follow the right path, follows it but for his own good; and whoever goes astray. goes but astray to his own hurt; and no bearer of burdens shall be made to bear another" burden.* Moreover. We would never chastise [any community for the wrong they may do[ ere We have sent an apostle [to them].*
And do not touch the substance of an orphan, save to improve it, before he comes of age.* And be true to every promise - for, verily, [on Judgment Day] you will be called to account for every promise which you have made !*
and so they say: "[O Muhammad,] we shall not believe thee till thou cause a spring to gush forth for us from the earth,*
or thou have a house [made] of gold, or thou ascend to heaven - but nay, we would not [even] believe in thy ascension unless thou bring down to us [from heaven] a writing which we [ourselves] could read!* Say thou, [O Prophet:] "Limitless in His glory is my Sustainer!* Am I, then, aught but a mortal man, an apostle?"
AND LO! [In the course of his wanderings,] Moses said to his servant:* "I shall not give up until I reach the junction of the two seas, even if I [have to] spend untold years [in my quest]!"
Said [the sage]: "Well, then, if thou art to follow me, do not question me about aught [that I may do] until I myself give thee an account thereof."
And so the two went on their way, till (they reached the seashore; and] when they disembarked from the boat [that had ferried them across], the sage* made a hole in it-[whereupon Moses] exclaimed: "Hast thou made a hole in it in order to drown the people who may be [travelling] in it? Indeed, thou hast done a grievous thing!"
And so the two went on, till, when they met a young man, [the sage] slew him -(whereupon Moses] exclaimed: "Hast thou slain an innocent human being without [his having taken] another man's life? Indeed, thou hast done a terrible thing!"
And so the two went on, till, when they came upon some village people, they asked them* for food; but those [people] refused them all hospitality. And they saw in that (village] a wall which was on the point of tumbling down, and [the sage] rebuilt it[whereupon Moses] said: "Hadst thou so wished, surely thou couldst [at least] have obtained some payment for it?"
[And he marched westwards] till, when he came to the setting of the sun,* it appeared to him that it was setting in a dark, turbid sea;* and nearby he found a people [given to every kind of wrongdoing]. We said: "O thou Two-Horned One! Thou mayest either cause [them] to suffer or treat them with kindness!"*
[And then he marched eastwards] till, when he came to the rising of the sun* he found that it was rising on a people for whom We had provided no coverings against it:
[And he marched on] till, when he reached [a place] between the two mountain-barriers,* he found beneath them a people who could scarcely understand a word [of his language].
Bring me ingots of iron!" Then, after he had [piled up the iron and] filled the gap between the two mountain-sides, he said: "[Light a fire and] ply your bellows!"* At length, when he had made it [glow like] fire, he commanded: "Bring me molten copper which I may pour upon it."
Say: "As for him who lives in error, may the Most Gracious lengthen the span of his life!* [And let them say whatever they say* until the time when they behold that [doom] of which they were forewarned-whether it be suffering [in this world] or [at the coming of] the Last Hour -: for then they will understand which [of the two kinds of man] was worse in station and weaker in resources!*
[But] they answered: "By no means shall we cease to worship it until Moses comes back to us!"
And that cry of theirs did not cease until We caused them to become [like] a field mown down, still and silent as ashes.
Nay, We have allowed these [sinners] as [We allowed] their forebears to enjoy the good things of life for a great length of time:* but then have they never yet seen how We visit the earth [with Our punishment], gradually depriving it of all that is best thereon?* Can they, then, [hope to] be the winners?
until such a time as Gog and Magog are let loose [upon the world] and swarm down from every corner [of the earth],*
whereas those who are bent on denying the truth will not cease to be in doubt about Him until the Last Hour comes suddenly upon them and [supreme] suffering befalls them on a Day void of all hope.*
He is nothing but a madman: so bear with him for a while."
But leave them alone, lost in their ignorance, until a [future] time.*
until - after We shall have taken to task, through suffering, those from among them who [now] are lost in the pursuit of pleasures -* they cry out in [belated] supplication.
until We open before them a gate of [truly] severe suffering [in the life to come]: and then, lo! they will be broken in spirit.*
[AS FOR THOSE who will not believe in the life to come, they go on lying to themselves]* until, when death approaches any of them, he prays: O my Sustainer! Let me return, let me return [to life],*
- but you made them a target of your derision to the point where it made you forget* all remembrance of Me; and you went on and on laughing at them.
O YOU who have attained to faith! Do not enter houses other than your own unless you have obtained permission and greeted their inmates. This is [enjoined upon you] for your own good, so that you might bear [your mutual rights] in mind.*
Hence, [even] if you find no one within [the house], do not enter it until you are given leave;* and if you are told, Turn back," then turn back. This will be most conducive to your purity; and God has full knowledge of all that you do.
And as for those who are unable to marry,* let them live in continence until God grants them sufficiency out of His bounty, And if any of those whom you rightfully possess* desire [to obtain] a deed of freedom, write it out for them if you are aware of any good in them:* and give them [their share of the wealth of God which He has given you.* And do not, in order to gain* some of the fleeting pleasures of this worldly life, coerce your [slave] maidens into whoredom if they happen to be desirous of marriage;* and if anyone should coerce them, then, verily, after they have been compelled [to submit in their helplessness], God will be much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace!
But as for those who are bent on denying the truth, their [good] deeds are like a mirage in the desert, which the thirsty supposes to be water until, when he approaches it, he finds that it was nothing:* instead, he finds [that] God [has always been present] with him, and [that] He will pay him his account in full - for God is swift in reckoning!
[TRUE BELIEVERS are only they who have attained to faith in God and His Apostle, and who, whenever they are [engaged] with him upon a matter of concern to the whole community* do not depart [from whatever has been decided upon] unless they have sought [and obtained] his leave.* Verily, those who [do not abstain from the agreed upon action unless they] ask leave of thee - it is [only] they who [truly] believe in God and His Apostle! Hence, when they ask leave of thee for some [valid] reason of their own, grant thou this leave to whomsoever of them thou choose [to grant it],* and ask God to forgive them: for, behold, God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace!*
They will answer: Limitless art Thou in Thy glory! It was inconceivable for us to take for our masters anyone but Thyself!* But [as for them -] Thou didst allow them and their forefathers to enjoy [the pleasures of] life to such an extent that* they forgot all remembrance [of Thee]: for they were people devoid of all good."
they will not believe in it till they behold the grievous suffering
till, when they came upon a valley [full] of ants, an ant exclaimed: O you ants! Get into your dwellings, lest Solomon and his hosts crush you without [even] being aware [of you]!"
She added: O you nobles! Give me your opinion on the problem with which I am now faced;* I would never make a [weighty] decision unless you are present with me."
until such a time as they shall come [to be judged. And] He will say: Did you give the lie to My messages even though you failed to encompass them with [your] knowledge?* Or what was it that [you thought] you were doing?"
NOW WHEN he arrived at the wells* of Madyan, he found there a large group of men who were watering [their herds and flocks]; and at some distance from them he came upon two women who were keeping back their flock. He asked [them]: What is the matter with you?" They answered: We cannot water [our animals] until the herdsmen drive [theirs] home - for [we are weak and] our father is a very old man."
Yet, withal, thy Sustainer would never destroy a community without having [first] raised in its midst an apostle who would convey unto them Our messages;* and never would We destroy a community unless its people are wont to do wrong [to one another].*
And, before Him, intercession can be of no avail [to any] save one in whose case He may have granted leave [there for]:* so much so that when the terror [of the Last Hour] is lifted from their hearts, they [who have been resurrected] will ask [one another], What has your Sustainer decreed [for you]?" - [to which] the others will answer, Whatever is true and deserved - for He alone is exalted, great!"*
and [in] the moon, for which We have determined phases [which it must traverse] till it becomes like an old date-stalk, dried-up and curved:*
Hence, turn thou aside for a while from those [who deny the truth],
Hence, turn thou aside for a while from them,
he would say, Verily, I have come to love the love of all that is good because I bear my Sustainer in mind!"* [repeating these words as the steeds raced away,] until they were hidden by the veil [of distance - whereupon he would command],*
And those who were bent on denying the truth will be urged on in throngs towards hell till, when they reach it, its gates will be opened, and its keepers will ask them, Have there not come to you apostles from among yourselves, who conveyed to you your Sustainer's messages and warned you of the coming of this your Day [of Judgment]? "They will answer: Yea, indeed!" But the sentence of suffering will [already] have fallen due upon the deniers of the truth;*
But those who were conscious of their Sustainer will be urged on in throngs towards paradise till, when they reach it, they shall find its gates wide- open;* and its keepers will say unto them, Peace be upon you! Well have you done: enter, then, this [paradise], herein to abide!"
And [remember:] it was to you that Joseph came aforetime with all evidence of the truth; but you never ceased to throw doubt on all [the messages] that he brought you - so much so that when he died, you said, 'Never will God send any apostle [even] after him!'* In this way God lets go astray such as waste their own selves by throwing suspicion [on His revelations]
till, when they come close to it, their hearing and their sight and their [very] skins will bear witness against them, speaking of what they were doing [on earth].
In time We shall make them fully understand* Our messages [through what they perceive] in the utmost horizons [of the universe] and within themselves,* so that it will become clear unto them that this [revelation] is indeed the truth. [Still,] is it not enough [for them to know] that thy Sustainer is witness unto everything?*
Now [as for those who did come after him,] I allowed them - as [I had allowed] their forebears - to enjoy their lives freely until the truth should come unto them through an apostle who would make all things clear:*
But in the end,* when he [who has thus sinned] appears before us [on Judgment Day], he will say [to his other self], Would that between me and thee there had been the distance of east and west!"* for, evil indeed [has proved] that other self!
But leave them to indulge in idle talk and play [with words]* until they face that [Judgment] Day of theirs which they have been promised:
NOW [among the best of the deeds which] We have enjoined upon man is goodness towards his parents.* In pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she give him birth; and her bearing him and his utter dependence on her took thirty months.* and so, when he attains to full maturity and reaches forty years,* he [that is righteous] prays: O my Sustainer! Inspire me so that I may forever be grateful for those blessings of Thine with which Thou hast graced me and my parents, and that I may do what is right [in a manner] that will meet with Thy goodly acceptance; and grant me righteousness in my offspring [as well]. Verily, unto Thee have I turned in repentance:* for, verily, I am of those who have surrendered themselves unto Thee!"
NOW WHEN you meet [in war] those who are bent on denying the truth,* smite their necks until you overcome them fully, and then tighten their bonds;* but thereafter [set them free,] either by an act of grace or against ransom, so that the burden of war may be lifted:* thus [shall it be]. And [know that] had God so willed, He could indeed punish them [Himself]; but [He wills you to struggle] so as to test you [all] by means of one another.* And as for those who are slain in God's cause, never will He let their deeds go to waste:
Now among those [hapless sinners] are such as [pretend to] listen to thee, [O Muhammad,]* and then, as soon as they leave thy presence, speak [with scorn] unto those who have understood [thy message]:* What is it that he has said just now?" It is such as these whose hearts God has sealed because they [always] followed but their own lusts*
and most certainly We shall try you all, so that We might mark out* those of you who strive hard [in Our cause] and are patient in adversity: for We shall put to a test [the truth of] all your assertions.*
for, if they had the patience [to wait] until thou come forth to them [of thine own accord], it would be for their own good. Still, God is much forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
Hence, if two groups of believers fall to fighting,* make peace between them; but then, if one of the two [groups] goes on acting wrongfully towards the other, fight against the one that acts wrongfully until it reverts to God's commandment;* and if they revert, make peace between them with justice, and deal equitably [with them]: for verily, God loves those who act equitably!
And in [the story of the tribe of] Thamud, too, when they were told, You shall enjoy your life for [but] a little while,"*
Hence, leave them alone until they face that [Judgment] Day of theirs, when they will be stricken with terror:
They [who will remain without] will call out to those [within], Were we not with you?" - [to which] the others will answer: So it was! But you allowed yourselves to succumb to temptation,* and you were hesitant [in your faith],* and you were doubtful [of resurrection]; and your wishful thinking beguiled you until God's command came to pass:* for, [indeed, your own] deceptive thoughts about God deluded you*
Indeed, you have had a good example in Abraham and those who followed him, when they said unto their [idolatrous] people: "Verily, we are quit of you and of all that you worship instead of God: we deny the truth of whatever you believe; and between us and you there has arisen enmity and hatred, to last until such a time* as you come to believe in the One God!" The only exception was* Abraham's saying to his father "I shall indeed pray for [God's] forgiveness for thee,* although I have it not in my power to obtain anything from God in thy behalf." [And Abraham and his followers prayed:] "O our Sustainer! In Thee have we placed our trust, and unto Thee do we turn: for unto Thee is all journeys' end.
It is they who say [to their compatriots* ], "Do not spend anything on those who are with God's Apostle, so that they [may be forced to] leave."* However, unto God belong the treasures of the heavens and the earth: but this truth the hypocrites cannot grasp.
[Hence,] let the women [who are undergoing a waiting-period] live in the same manner as you live yourselves,* In accordance with your means; and do not harass them with a view to making their lives a misery. And if they happen to be with child, spend freely on them until they deliver their burden; and if they nurse your offspring [after the divorce has become final], give them their [due] recompense; and take counsel with one another in a fair manner [about the child's future]. And if both of you find it difficult [that the mother should nurse the child],* let another woman nurse it on behalf of him [who has begotten it].*
Hence, leave them to indulge in idle talk and play [with words]* until they face that [Judgment] Day of theirs which they have been promised
[Let them, then, wait] until the time when they behold that [doom] of which they were forewarned:* for then they will come to understand which [kind of man] is more helpless and counts for less!*
until certainty came upon us [in death]."
does it make secure,* until the rise of dawn.
IT IS NOT [conceivable] that such as are bent on denying the truth - [be they] from among the followers of earlier revelation or from among those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God* should ever be abandoned [by Him] ere there comes unto them the [full] evidence of the truth:
until you go down to your graves.*