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A Colorful Recital

towards an English redaction of the Koran

©  Wim van den Dungen
Antwerp, 2017.

2 - The Cow (Al-Baqarah)

In the Name of ALLAH, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
Alif Lâm Mîm 1

the book for the godfearing

1. This is the book 2 then in which there is no doubt, a guidance to the godfearing.
2. Those who believe in the unseen, perform the prayer, and expend of what We have given them.
3. Those who believe in what has been sent down to you and what has been sent down before you, and they are sure of the hereafter.3
4. Those alone are guided by their Lord 4, those alone are the ones who prosper.
5. Surely the unbelievers, -it being alike to them whether it is you who warns them or not- will not believe. 5
6. ALLAH has set a seal upon their hearts and upon their hearing, and their eyes are covered, and a mighty chastisement awaits them.

lip-profession rejected

7. And there are some who say : 'We believe in ALLAH and the last day.' Yet, they are not believers.
8. They try to trick ALLAH and those who believe, but they deceive only themselves, and they are not aware of it.
9. In their hearts is a sickness, and ALLAH has increased this sickness. A painful chastisement awaits them, because they lied.
10. When it is said to them : 'Do no corruption in the land.', they say : 'On the contrary, we put things right.'
11. Truly, they are the workers of corruption, but they do not percieve this.
12. When it is said to them : 'Believe as all those other people believe.', they say : 'Shall we believe, as fools believe ?' Now surely, they are the fools. But they do not know it.
13. When they meet those who believe, they say : 'We believe !' But when they are alone, together with their demons, they say : 'We are with you, we were only mocking !'
14. ALLAH shall mock them, and shall let them persist a long time in their rebellion, wandering here & there.
15. They are the ones that have bought error at the price of guidance, and their commerce has not profited them, and they are not rightly guided.
16. They are like those who kindled a fire ; when it lit everything around him ALLAH took away its light, leaving them in darkness.
17. Unseeing, deaf, dumb, blind ; they shall not return.
18. They are like those who, when a cloud out of heaven -in which there is darkness and thunder, and lightning- bursts, put their fingers in their ears against the thunderclaps, fearful of death. ALLAH encompasses the unbelievers.
19. The lightning nearly snatches away their sight. When it gives them light, they walk in it, and when the darkness is over them, they halt. Had ALLAH willed, He would have taken away their hearing and their sight. Truly, ALLAH is powerful over everything.

ALLAH has no associates

20. O you people, serve your Lord Who created you, you and those that were before you. Fear Me ! It is ALLAH who gave you the earth for a couch, and heaven for an edifice, and sent down water out of heaven, with which He brought forth fruits for your provision. So do not give ALLAH any associates. You know this !
21. And if you are in doubt concerning what We have sent down on Our servant, then bring a sûra like it, and call -if you are truthful- your witnesses, apart from ALLAH.
22. And if you do not do so -and surely you will not- then fear the fire prepared for the unbelievers, whose fuel is people and stones.
23. Give good tidings to those who believe and do deeds of righteousness. That they have gardens underneath which rivers flow. Each time they are given fruits of this garden, they shall say : 'These are the fruits with which we were provided of before.' What is given has only a perfect semblance. There shall be purified spouses for them. And they shall dwell there forever.
24. ALLAH is not ashamed to strike a similitude, even of a gnat, or anything larger. The believers know it is the truth from their Lord. But the unbelievers say : 'What did ALLAH desire to tell us by this similitude ?' With these similitudes He leads many astray, and He guides many. No ! Thereby He leads only the ungodly astray.
25. The ungodly, who break the covenant of ALLAH after its solemn binding, who cut what ALLAH has commanded to be joined, and who do corruption in the land : they shall be the losers !
26. How can you disbelieve in ALLAH, you who were dead and He gave you life ? Who will make you die and then will give you life again, and to Him you shall be returned !
27. It is He who created for you all that is on the earth, and when this work was finished, lifted Himself to heaven and levelled them with seven heavens. He has knowledge of everything !

the vast capacities given to humanity

28. And when Your Lord said to the angels : 'I am setting a viceroy in the earth.', they said : 'What ? Will You set one who will do corruption, and shed blood while We proclaim Your praise and extoll Your holiness ?' He answered : 'I know what you know not.'
29. And He taught Adam the names of all things, then, presented them to the angels, He said : 'Now tell Me -if you speak truly- the names of these.'
30. They answered : 'Glory be to You ! We only know what You have taught us. Surely You are the Knowing, the Wise.'
31. He said : 'Adam, tell them their names.' And when he had told them their names, He said : 'Did I not tell you that I know the unseen things of the heavens and the earth ? And I know the things you publish and what you hide.'
32. And when We said to the angels : 'Bow to Adam.', they bowed, save Iblîs. He refused, and was proud, and so he became one of the unbelievers.
33. And We said : 'Adam, dwell in the garden with your wife, and eat easefully of its fruits wherever you desire ; but do not approach this tree, for then you will be an evildoer.'
34. But the devil caused them to slip and brought them out of that garden. Then We said : 'Descent ! Each of you is an enemy of the other, and the earth shall serve you as a house, and as a temporary possession.'
35. Adam received some words from his Lord, and He turned towards him. And truly He returns often to those who repent, the Compassionate.
36. We said : 'Get out of here all together ! To you there shall come guidance from Me, and whosoever follows My guidance, no fear shall be on them, neither shall they sorrow.
37. But the unbelievers who treat Our signs as lies shall be the inhabitants of the eternal fire.'

advice to the children of Israel

38. O children of Israel ! Remember the blessing with which I blessed you, and fulfil My covenant and I shall fulfil your covenant ; and have awe of Me ; and believe in that which I have sent down, confirming that which is with you, and be not the first to disbelieve in it. And do not buy with My signs a thing of no value. Fear Me !
39. And do not dress the truth with the robe of lies, and do not conceal the truth when you know it.
40. And perform the prayer, pay the alms, and bow with those who bow.
41. Will you bid others to piety, and forget yourselves ? Yet, you recite the books ? Will you never understand ?
42. Seek help in patience and prayer, for hard it is, save to the humble.
43. Those who reckon that they shall meet their Lord and that to Him they shall return.

Divine favours on Israel

44. O children of Israel, remember My blessing with which I blessed you, and remember that I have preferred you above all humans.
45. Beware of the day when no soul shall give satisfaction to another soul, and when no intercession shall be accepted from it, nor any compensation be taken, neither help.
46. Remember that We delivered you from the folk of Pharaoh who were visiting you with an evil chastisement, slaughtering your sons, and sparing your women. That was a grievous trial from your Lord.
47. Remember that We divided the sea for you and delivered you, and drowned Pharaoh under your eyes.
48. And when We fashioned Our alliance with Moses during forty nights, then you took to yourselves the calf to adore and you were evildoers.
49. After that, We pardoned you, so that you might give Us thanks.
50. And when We gave to Moses the book and the distinction, so that you might walk aright.
51. Moses said to his people : 'My people, you have done wrong to yourselves by adoring the calf. Turn to your Creator and slay your people. That is best for you with your Creator. He will pardon you, for He truly turns to him who returns. He is Compassionate.'
52. You said : 'Moses, we will not believe you untill we see ALLAH openly.', and for this, the thunderbolt takes you while you are beholding.
53. We have raised you up after you were dead, so that you may be thankful.
54. We outspread a cloud to overshadow you, and We sent manna and quails upon you, saying : 'Eat of the good things with which We have given you.' You worked wrong upon your own souls, not upon Us.
55. We said to the people of Israel : 'Enter this town and eat easefully of the goods that are there ; but when entering the gate, prostrate and say : "Forgiveness !" and We will forgive you your transgressions. Surely We increase the good-doers. 
56. But the evildoers among them substituted to what had been said to them another saying and so We sent down upon them wrath out of heaven for their ungodliness.

the stubbornness of some Israelites

57. Moses sought water for his people, and so We said : 'Strike with your staff the rock.' and from it gushed forth twelve fountains and now all the people knew their drinking-place. We said to them : 'Eat and drink of ALLAH's providing, and do not corrupt the earth.'
58. And when you said : 'O Moses ! We can not endure one kind of food any longer ; pray to your Lord that He may bring forth for us the products of the earth : green herbs, cucumbers, corn, lentils and onions.' Moses said : 'Would you exchange what is better for what is meaner ? So go to Egypt and you shall find there what you demanded.' And abasement and poverty were pitched upon them, and they were laden with the burden of ALLAH's anger because they had disbelieved the signs of ALLAH and had unrightfully slain their prophets. And that was the retribution because they revolted, and were transgressors.

the cunning of some Israelites

59. Those who have believed, those who follow the Jewish religion, the Christians, and the Sabaeans, and anyone who will have believed in ALLAH and the last day and will have done works of righteousness, all of them receive their wage from their Lord, and no fear shall be on them, neither shall they sorrow. 
60. And when We accepted your alliance, and raised mount Sinaï above you, We said : 'Take firmly hold of the laws We have given you, and remember what is in them. Perhaps you will fear ALLAH.'
61. But thereafter you turned away from them. Were it not for the bounty and the mercy of ALLAH towards you, you had perished. And you know well those among you who transgressed the Sabbath. We said to them : 'Be apes, miserably slinking !'
62. And We gave them a punishment exemplary to their contemporaries and their descendants and as an admonition to those who are godfearing.
63. One day Moses said to his people : 'ALLAH commands you to sacrifice a cow.' They said : 'Are you mocking us ?' He answered : 'May ALLAH preserve me to be one of the ignorant.' They said : 'Pray to your Lord, so that He may make clear to us what she may be.' He said : 'He says she is a cow neither old, nor virgin, middling between the two ; so do that which is bidden.'
64. They said : 'Pray to your Lord, so that He make clear to us what her colour may be.' He said : 'He says she shall be a golden cow, bright of colour and giving delight to the beholders.'
65. They said : 'Pray to your Lord, so that He make clear to us what she may be, for cows are all alike to us ; and, if ALLAH will, we shall then be guided.'
66. Moses said : 'ALLAH says she shall be a cow not broken to plough the earth or to water the tillage, one kept secure, with no blemish on her.' They answered : 'Now you have said us the truth.' They sacrificed her, and yet little was needed for them not to do so.

the hard
-heartedness of some Israelites

67. Remember the murder of one among you, object of your disputes. ALLAH disclosed what you were hiding.
68. We said : 'Smite him with a part of it.' 6 In this way, ALLAH brings to life the dead, and makes His signs shine before your eyes. Perhaps you will end up understanding.
69. Thereafter your hearts became hardened like stones, or yet even harder, for there are stones from which rivers come gushing, others split and water issues from them, and others crash down in the fear of ALLAH. ALLAH is not heedless of the things you do.
70. Are you so eager then that they would believe in you, seeing there is a party of them that heard ALLAH's word, and then wittingly tampered with it, all that after they had comprehended it ?
71. And when they meet those who believe, they say : 'We believe.' And when they are among themselves, they say : 'Do you talk to them about what ALLAH has revealed to you, so that they may thereby contend with you before your Lord ? Have you no understanding ?'
72. Do they not know that ALLAH knows what they keep secret and with what they go public ?
73. Among them, the common folk do not know the book, but only fancies and mere conjectures. They have no firm belief. So woe to those who write the book with their hands, and then say : 'This is from ALLAH.', so that they may sell it for a little price. So woe to them for what their hands have written, and woe to them for their earnings !
74. They say : 'If the fire touches us, it will only be for a few days.' Say to them : 'Have you taken a convenant with ALLAH ? ALLAH will not fail in His covenant, or do you say these things because you are ignorant ?'
75. Yes indeed ! Those who earn evil, and are encompassed by their transgression, those are the inhabitants of the fire, were they shall dwell forever.
76. And those who believe, and do deeds of righteousness, they are the inhabitants of the garden, were they shall dwell forever.

most Israelites turn away from the convenant

77. When We received the alliance with the children of Israel, We said to them : 'Serve only ALLAH, be good to your parents, to the near kinsman, to orphans, and to the needy. Speak good to men, and perform the prayer, and pay the alms. Then you turned away, all but a few of you, swerving aside.'
78. When We stipulated with you that You should not shed your own blood, neither expel your own from your habitations, you confirmed this and bore witness yourselves.
79. And yet you are killing one another, expelling a party of you from their habitations, conspiring against them in sin and enmity and if they become your captives, you ransom them, yet their expulsion was forbidden. What ? Do you believe a part of your book, and disbelieve another part ? What shall be the recompense of those of you who do that ? Degradation in the present life, and on the day of resurrection turned to the most terrible chastisement ! Surely ALLAH is not heedless of the things you do.
80. The chastisement shall not be lightened for those who purchase the present life at the price of the world to come, neither shall they be helped.

Israelites slaying their prophets and worshipping the calf

81. And We gave to Moses the book of the law, and after him sent succeeding messengers. We gave Jesus, the son of Mary the clear signs of his mission, and confirmed him with the spirit of holiness.7 And whenever there came to you a messenger with a doctrine which your souls had no desire for, did you not resist arrogantly ? Some you called liars and some you slay.
82. And they said : 'Our hearts are covered 8.' ALLAH has cursed them for their unbelief, so little do they believe !
83. When there came to them a book from ALLAH, confirming what they have -they used to pray for help against the unbelievers-, but when then that foretold book came to them, they disbelieved in it ! May the curse of ALLAH be upon the unbelievers.
84. Evil is that for which they have sold themselves, disbelieving in what ALLAH sent down, out of envy that ALLAH should send down of His bounty on the servants of His choice. They were laden with anger upon anger. A humbling chastisement awaits the unbelievers.
85. And when they were told : 'Believe in what ALLAH has sent down.' they answer : 'We believe in the scriptures that were sent down on us.' and they disbelieve in what is beyond that, yet that book confirms what is with them. Say to them : 'Why -if you were believers- were you slaying the prophets of ALLAH ?'
86. Moses came to you with clear arguments and then you took to yourselves the calf to adore. Were you not evildoers ?
87. When We made an alliance with you, and raised over you mount Sinaï, We made you hear : 'Take firmly hold what We have given you to preserve and give ear.' They answered : 'We heared but obey not.' ; and their hearts were still drinking the cult of the calf. Say : 'Evil is the thing your faith bids you to, if you have any faith.'
88. Say to them : 'If the last abode with ALLAH is yours exclusively, and not for other people, then long for death, that is, if you speak truly !'
89. But no, they will never long for it, because of that which their hands have done, and ALLAH knows the unjust.
90. You shall find them the eagerest of people for life, just like the idolaters. One of them wishes to be spared for a thousand years, yet his being granted a long life shall not remove him from the chastisement. ALLAH sees the things they do.

their enmity towards the Lord, his angels & messengers

91. Say : 'Who declares to be an enemy to Gabriel ? It is he who, by the leave of ALLAH, brought down upon your heart the book destined to confirm the holy books that were before it to guide and announce good tidings to the believers.
92. He who will be the enemy of the Lord, of His angels, of His messengers, of Gabriel and Michael, will have ALLAH as his enemy, for ALLAH hates the unbelievers.'
93. We have sent down upon you clear arguments, and none but the transgressors disbelieve them.
94. Whenever they have made a covenant, does not a party of them reject it ? Indeed, most of them are unbelievers.
95. When a messenger from ALLAH came to them, confirming the holy books that were with them, a party of them that were given these scriptures threw the book of ALLAH behind their backs, as though they knew it not.
96. They have followed what the demons imagined against Solomon's kingdom. Solomon disbelieved not, but the demons did. They teach the people sorcery and the science that was sent down upon Babylon's two angels, Harut and Marut. These taught not anybody, without saying : 'We are but a temptation ; do not disbelieve.' From them the people learned how they might divide a man and his wife, yet they did not hurt anybody thereby save by the leave of ALLAH. Yet they learned what hurt them, and not what could be profitable to them, knowing well that whoso buys this art shall have no share in the world to come. Evil then it was what they sold themselves for, if they had but known ...
97. Yet had they believed, and had they been godfearing, then a recompense from ALLAH had been better to them, if they had but known.

the abrogation of
verses and ALLAH's power

98. O believers ! Do not say : 'Listen to us !' and say : 'Regard us !' 9 Give ear. A painful chastisement awaits the unbelievers.
99. Those who possess the scriptures as well as the idolaters, wish that no good should be sent down upon you from your Lord ; but ALLAH singles out for His mercy whom He pleases, for ALLAH is of an abounding bounty.
100. And for whatever verse We abrogate or cast into oblivion, We bring a better one or the like of it. Do you not know that ALLAH is powerful over everything ?
101. Do you not know that the kingdom of heaven and earth belongs to ALLAH, and that you have, apart from ALLAH, neither protector nor helper ?
102. Or do you put questions to your messenger as Moses was questioned before ? Whoso exchanges belief for unbelief has surely strayed from the straight path.
103. Many of the people of the book wish they might restore you as unbelievers, after you have believed, in the jealousy of their souls, and after the truth has become clear to them. Yet, pardon them but avoid them till ALLAH commands otherwise. Truly He is powerful over everything.
104. And perform the prayer, and pay the alms ; whatever good you shall forward to your the account of your souls, you shall find it with ALLAH ; assuredly He sees the things you do.
105. They say : 'None shall enter the garden of paradise except Jews or Christians.' Such are their fancies. Say to them : 'Produce your proof, if you speak truly.'
106. Indeed ! Whoever entirely submits to ALLAH, being a good-doer, his wage is from his Lord, and no fear shall be on him, neither shall he sorrow.

ALLAH is the true guidance

107. The Jews say : 'The Christians stand on nothing.' The Christians say : 'The Jews stand not nothing.' Yet, both recite their scriptures. Likewise say the idolaters, who are ignorant. Regarding their differences, ALLAH shall decide between them on the day of resurrection.
108. And who does greater evil than he who bars the places of worship of ALLAH, so that His Name is not remembered in them, and who strives to destroy them ? Such people should never enter them, save in fear ; for them is degradation in the present world, and a mighty chastisement in the world to come.
109. To ALLAH belong the rising and the setting. And wherever you turn, there is the face of ALLAH. He is Embracing, Knowing.
110. They say : 'ALLAH has taken to Himself a son.' This blasphemy is far from Him. Yes indeed ! To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and on the earth and all obeys His will.
111. Unique 10 in the heavens and the earth, as soon as He decrees a thing, He but says to it : 'Be !' and it is.
112. And those who do not know say : 'Why does ALLAH not speak to us ? Why does a sign not come to us ? Otherwise we will not believe.' So spoke their fathers, their words and hearts are much alike. Yet, We have made clear the signs to those who believe.
113. We have sent you with the truth, and charged you to bear good tidings and to warn. You shall not be questioned touching the inhabitants of hell.
114. Never will the Jews or the Christians be satisfied with you, except if you follow their religion. Say to them : 'ALLAH's guidance is the true guidance.' If you follow their caprices, after the science has come to you, you shall find in ALLAH neither protector nor helper.
115. Those to whom We have given the book and who recite it with true recitation, they believe in it. Those who disbelieve in it shall be the losers.

the Abrahamic convenant

116. O children of Israel ! Remember My blessing with which I blessed you. Remember that I have preferred you above all beings.
117. Beware of the day when no soul shall give satisfaction to another soul, when no compensation shall be accepted from it, nor any intercession shall be profitable to it, neither should help be expected. 
118. When ALLAH tested Abraham with certain words, and he fulfilled them, He said : 'Behold, I make you a leader for the people.' 'And of my seed ?' asked Abraham. 'My covenant,' said He, 'shall not reach the evildoers.'
119. We appointed the house to be a place of visitation for the people, and a sanctuary, and We said : 'Take to yourselves Abraham's station to be a place of prayer.' We made a covenant with Abraham and Ishmael, saying to them : 'Purify My house for those that shall go about it, those that cleave to it and those who bow and prostrate themselves.' 
120. Then Abraham said to ALLAH : 'My Lord, make this a secure land, and provide with the food of Your fruits those of them who believe in ALLAH and the last day.' He answered : 'I will provide those who disbelieve too, but they will only enjoy it for a little while, then I shall compel them to the chastisement of the fire. How evil a homecoming !'
121. When Abraham and Ishmael raised up the foundations of the house, they cried : 'Our Lord, receive this from us, for You are the Hearing, the Knowing. 
122. Make us, O Lord, submissive to You, and make our seed a nation submissive to You, and teach us the holy rites, and turn towards us, for You turn towards the penitent and You are Compassionate.
123. Send among them a messenger, who shall recite to them Your signs, and teach them the book and the wisdom, and shall purify them. Surely You are the Mighty, the Wise.'

the religion of Abraham and the baptism of ALLAH

124. And who shrinks from the religion of Abraham, except the foolish-minded ? Indeed, We made him pure 11 in the present world, and in the world to come he shall be among the righteous.
125. When ALLAH said to Abraham : 'Surrender to My will.', he answered : 'I have surrendered to the Lord of the worlds.'
126. And Abraham charged his sons with this and Jacob likewise said to them : 'My sons, ALLAH has chosen for you a religion. See that you do not die without having embraced it.'
127. No ! Were you witnesses when death came to Jacob and he said to his sons : 'What will you serve after me ?' They answered : 'We will serve your ALLAH and the ALLAH of your fathers Abraham, Ishmael and Isaac, the One ALLAH only, to Him we surrender.'
128. That generation has passed away and what they have earned awaits them, and what you have earned awaits you and you shall not be questioned concerning the things they did.
129. It they say to you : 'Be Jews or Christians and you shall be guided.' Answer them : 'No ! We are rather of the creed of Abraham, a man of true faith who was no idolater.'
130. Say : 'We believe in ALLAH and in that which has been sent down on us and sent down on Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac and Jacob, and on the tribes, and that which was given to Moses and Jesus and the prophets, from their Lord. We make no division between any of them, and to Him we surrender.'
131. And if they adopt the like of what you believe, then they are truly guided, but if they turn away, then they are clearly in schism with you. But ALLAH will suffice for you. He is the Hearing, the Knowing.
132. It is the baptism of ALLAH ! And who baptizes better than ALLAH ?
133. Say to them : 'Would you dispute with us concerning ALLAH, who is our Lord and your Lord ? Our deeds belong to us, and to you belong your deeds. Him we sincerely serve.
134. No ! Do you say that Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac and Jacob, and the tribes were Jews or Christians ?' Say to them : 'Have you then greater knowledge, or ALLAH ? And who does greater evil than he who conceals a testimony received from ALLAH ? And ALLAH is not heedless of the things you do.'
135. That generation has passed away and what they have earned awaits them, and what you have earned awaits you and you shall not be questioned concerning the things they did.

the Ka'ba is the

136. The fools among the people will ask : 'What has turned them from the direction they were facing in their prayers before ?' Answer them : 'Only to ALLAH belong the East and the West. He guides who He pleases on the straight path.'
137. In this way, We made you into a balanced nation 12, so that you may be witnesses to everybody and that the messenger might be a witness to you.
138. We appointed the preceding direction but to distinguish who followed the messenger from him who turned on his heels. This change is a grave thing, except for those whom ALLAH has guided. ALLAH would never leave your faith to waste, for truly ALLAH is Gentle and Compassionate with the people.
139. We have seen you turning your face in all directions of heaven. Now We will surely turn you to a direction that shall satisfy you. Turn your face towards the holy mosque, and wherever you are, turn your faces towards it. Those who have been given the scriptures, know that it is the truth from their Lord and ALLAH is not heedless of the things they do.
140. Even if you should bring every sign to those who have been given the scriptures, yet they will not adopt your direction. You are not to follow theirs. Among themselves, some do not follow the direction of the others. If, after the science which has come to you, you follow their caprices, then you will surely be among the evildoers.
141. Those who have been given the scriptures, recognize the apostle as they do their own children, but a party of them conceal the truth they know about.
142. The truth comes from your Lord, so then be not among the doubters.

to turn towards the Ka'ba

143. All people have a direction to which they turn praying. You, force yourselves to practice good works wherever you are. ALLAH will bring you all together, for He is powerful over everything.
144. From whatever place you come forth, turn your face towards the holy mosque. It's a true precept from your Lord, and ALLAH is not heedless of the things you do.
145. From whatever place you come forth, turn your face towards the holy mosque. And wherever you may be, turn your faces towards it, so that the people may have no argument against you. As for the evildoers, fear them not, but fear Me, so that I may perfect My blessing upon you, and so that you may be guided on the straight path.
146. So We have sent among you a messenger from among you, to recite to you Our signs and to purify you, and to teach you the book and the wisdom, and to teach you that which you knew not.
147. So remember Me, and I will remember you. Be thankful to Me and be not ungrateful towards Me.

seek help from heaven in patience and prayer

148. O believers ! Seek help from heaven in patience and prayer. Surely ALLAH is with the patient.
149. Do not say of those slain in ALLAH's way : 'They are dead.', rather they are living but you are not aware of it.
150. Surely We will try you with fear & hunger, diminution of goods, lives & fruits. Yet, give good tidings to the patient.
151. And those who, when they are visited by an affliction, say : 'Surely we belong to ALLAH and to Him we return.',
152. upon them rests blessings and mercy from their Lord, and they are the truly guided.
153. Safá and Marwah 13 are among the waymarks of ALLAH. So whoever makes the pilgrimage to Mecca, or the visitation to the house, there is no fault in circumambulating them. Whoso does good spontaneously, will receive a recompensation, for ALLAH is Grateful, Knowing.
154. That those who conceal the clear signs and the guidance that We have sent down, and this after We have shown them clearly in the book, be cursed by ALLAH and by all those who know how to curse.
155. Towards those I shall turn who repent and make amends, and make the truth known to the others, for I turn to the converted sinner, and I am Compassionate.
156. But upon them that die disbelieving shall rest the curse of ALLAH and the angels, and of all people.
157. They will be covered by this forever. The chastisement shall not be lightened for them, and ALLAH will not turn and look at them.
158. Your ALLAH is One ALLAH ; there is no ALLAH but He, the Merciful, the Compassionate.

the signs of ALLAH

159. In the creation of the heavens and the earth, in the alternation of night and day, in the ship that cleaves the sea with profit for the people, in this water that ALLAH sends down from heaven, therewith reviving the earth after it is dead, scattering there all kinds of crawling thing, in the turning about of the winds, in the clouds compelled between heaven and earth, surely in these are signs for a people who understand.
160. Yet, there are people who take to themselves companions next to ALLAH, loving them as ALLAH is loved. But those who believe, love ALLAH above all. O may the evildoers know, at the moment of chastisement, that there is altogether no other power than ALLAH, and that ALLAH is terrible in His chastisement.
161. When those that were followed are separated from their followers, then they will see the chastisement, and their cords will be cut asunder.
162. Those who followed will cry out : 'Ah ! If only we might return again to earth and separate us from them, as they have separated from us !' Even so ALLAH shall show them their works. O bitter regrets for them, but never shall they issue from the fire !

eat of what is lawful

163. O you people ! Eat of what is lawful and good on the earth, and do not follow the steps of the devil, for he is your manifest foe.
164. He only commands you to do evil and indecencies. He teaches you to say about ALLAH things you do not know.
165. And when it is said to them : 'Follow the law that ALLAH has sent down.' they answer : 'No ! We will follow the things we found our fathers doing.' What ? How can they follow their fathers, who had no understanding of anything, and who were not guided ?
166. The likeness of those who disbelieve is as the likeness of one who shouts to one who hears nothing, save a call and a cry. Deaf, dumb, blind, so they do not understand.
167. O believers ! Eat of the good things with which We have provided you, and give thanks to ALLAH, if Him you serve !
168. It is forbidden to eat what dies of itself, blood, the flesh of swine, and any animal that has been hallowed to another than ALLAH. Yet on him who is constrained by circumstances, not rebelling nor transgressing, shall be no sin, for ALLAH is Forgiving, Compassionate.
169. Those who conceal any part of the book which ALLAH has sent down and sell it for a little price shall eat the fire in their bellies. ALLAH shall not speak to them on the day of resurrection, neither absolve them. A painful chastisement awaits them.
170. Those that have bought error at the price of guidance, and chastisement at the price of pardon, how patiently shall they endure the fire !
171. They will be condemned to it, because ALLAH has sent down the book with the truth. And those that are at variance with the book, are a in wide schism.

virtue, retaliation and bequests

172. Virtue is not that you turn your faces to the rising and the setting. Truly virtuous are those who believe in ALLAH, the last day, the angels, the book, and the prophets, who -for the love of ALLAH- help kinsmen, orphans, the needy, the traveller, beggars, who ransom the slave, perform the prayer, pay the alms, fulfil the covenant they have engaged, and endure with fortitude misfortune, hardship and peril. Those are just and truly godfearing.
173. O believers ! Touching the slain, retaliation is prescribed for you. Freeman for freeman, slave for slave, female for female. He who obtains the pardon of his brother will have to pay a certain amount. Let the punishment be pronounced with kindness.
174. That is an alleviation granted to you by your Lord and a favour of His mercy. But anyone who commits aggression after that, awaits a painful chastisement.
175. There is life for you in retaliation, O people of understanding ! Perhaps you will end up fearing ALLAH.
176. When any of you is visited by death, it is prescribed for you to make a testament in favour of his parents and kinsmen in a generous way. This is an obligation for those who fear ALLAH.
177. Then if anybody changes it after hearing it, the sin shall rest upon them.
ALLAH is Hearing, Knowing.
178. But if any man fears injustice or sin from the one making the testament, and so makes things right for the inheritors, then sin shall not rest upon him ;
surely ALLAH is Forgiving, Compassionate.


179. O believers ! The fast is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those that were before you. Guard against evil !
180. The fast will only last for a certain number of days. But if any of you is sick or on a journey, then fast afterwards an equal number of days. And those who are able to fast, but stop, will have -in order to be redeemed- to feed a poor man. Whoever accomplishes a work of good spontaneoulsy will profit from it. Before anything else, it is better for you to observe the fast, if you know the law.
181. The month of Ramadan, wherein the Koran 14 was sent down as a guidance to the people, to give them a clear explanation of it and the distinction between good and evil, is the time destined to fast. So let those of you, who observe this moon, immediately start the fast. If any of you be sick, or if he be on a journey, then fast afterwards an equal number of days. ALLAH desires ease for you, not hardship. He only wants that you fulfil the number. Magnify ALLAH for guiding you. He wants you to be thankful.
182. When My servants question you concerning Me, I will be near them. I will answer the call of the caller, when he calls Me. So let them respond to Me, and let them believe in Me. So they will go on the straight path. 
183. You are permitted, during the night of the fast, to go into your wives. They are like a vestment to you, and you are a vestment to them. ALLAH knows that you have transgressed in this respect, and has turned to you and pardoned you. So now lie with them, and seek what ALLAH has prescribed for you. And eat and drink, until you -at dawn- can clearly distinguish the white thread from the black thread. Then, complete the fast till the night, and do not lie with them. Instead, cleave to acts of devotion in the mosques. These are ALLAH's bounds. Keep them. In this way ALLAH makes clear His signs to men, so that they will fear Him.
184. Consume not your goods between you in vanity ; neither bring them to the judges, so that you may sinfully & knowingly consume a portion of other people's goods.

to fight in the way of ALLAH

185. They will question you concerning the new moons. Say : 'They are the appointed times for the people, and the pilgrimage.' It is not piety to enter the houses at their backs. But piety is to fear ALLAH. So enter the houses through their doors, and fear ALLAH. You will be happy.
186. And fight in the way of ALLAH with those who fight with you, but aggress not by attacking first, for ALLAH does not love the aggressors.
187. Slay them wherever you find them, and expel them from where they expelled you. The temptation of idolatery is more grievous than the slayings of war. But do not fight them by the holy mosque, except if they should fight you there. Then, if they fight you there, slay them. Such is the recompense of unbelievers.
188. But if they give over,
surely ALLAH is Forgiving, Compassionate.
189. Fight them, till there is no fear for the temptation and the religion is ALLAH's. If they give over, there shall be no hostility, except for evildoers.
190. The holy month for the holy month. Holy things demand retaliation. Whoso commits aggression against you, do commit aggression against him like he has committed against you.
Fear ALLAH, and know that ALLAH is with those who fear Him.
191. Expend in the way of ALLAH and do not cast yourselves by your own hands into destruction, but be good-doers, for ALLAH loves the good-doers.
192. Fulfil the pilgrimage and the visitation to honor ALLAH. But if you are prevented, then offer as may be feasible. Do not shave your heads till the offering reaches its place of sacrifice. If any of you is sick, or injured in his head, then redemption comes by fasting, alms, or ritual sacrifice. When you are secure, then he who combines the visitation with the pilgrimage, let his offering be such as may be feasible. If he does not have the means, then let him fast for three days during the pilgrimage, and seven days when he returns, that is ten days in all. This expiation is imposed on him whose family is not present at the holy mosque. Fear ALLAH, and know that ALLAH is terrible in retribution.

the pilgrimage and the hypocrites

193. The pilgrimage is in the well-known months. Whoso undertakes the duty of the pilgrimage shall not go into his women nor indulge in foul speech and disputing. Whatever good you do, ALLAH knows it. And take provision, but the best provision is to fear ALLAH. Fear Me, O people of understanding !
194. There is no fault in you, if you should seek bounty from your Lord by doing commerce. But when you return from 'Arafât, 15 then remember ALLAH at the holy waymark, and remember Him as He has guided you on the straight path, though formerly you were gone astray.
195. Then perform the processions in the places where the others do it, and pray for ALLAH's forgiveness, for ALLAH is Forgiving, Compassionate.
196. And when you have performed your holy rites, then remember ALLAH, as you remember your fathers, yes, even with more devotion ! Now some people say : 'Our Lord, give to us in this world.' Such people shall have no part in the world to come.
197. And others say : 'Our Lord, give us good in this world, and good in the world to come, and guard us against the chastisement of the fire.'
198. They shall have the portion that they have earned. ALLAH is swift at the reckoning.
199. And remember ALLAH during certain numbered days. If any man hastens the departure with two days, there is no sin in him. And if any delays it, there is no sin in him either, if he fears ALLAH. So fear ALLAH, and know that one day you shall be assembled before Him.
200. Some please you by the way he speaks about the present world, and he calls upon ALLAH to witness what is in his heart. Yet, he is the most stubborn of adversaries.
201. For, when he turns his back, he hastens about the earth, to do corruption there and to destroy the tillage and the stock. ALLAH does not love disorder. 
202. And when it is said to him : 'Fear ALLAH !', then vainglory is added to his sin. The fire shall be enough for him. What an evil place to rest !
203. But others sell themselves, desiring ALLAH's good pleasure. ALLAH is gentle with His servants.
204. O believers ! Enter the peace, all of you, 16 and do not follow the steps of the devil. He is your manifest foe.
205. But if you slip, after the clear signs came to you, know then that ALLAH is Mighty, Wise.
206. What ? Do the infidels expect that ALLAH shall come to them in the darkness of thick clouds, accompanied by His angels ? The matter has already been decided. To ALLAH all matters return.

do not change ALLAH's blessings & the trials

207. Ask the children of Israel how many a clear sign We gave them ? ALLAH is terrible in retribution to him who changes ALLAH's blessing after it has come to him.
208. The present life is for the unbelievers and for those who mock the believers. Those who fear ALLAH shall be above them on the resurrection day. ALLAH gives means to whom He pleases without reckoning His goodness.
209. Once the people were one nation. Then ALLAH sent forth the prophets, to bear good tidings and to warn. And He sent them down with a book containing the truth, so that He might decide between the people touching their differences. But, those who had been given it, were at variance with it, after the clear signs had come to them, being insolent one to another. ALLAH guided by His will those who believed in the truth of that which they were at variance with ; and ALLAH guides whom He pleases on the straight path.
210. Did you suppose to enter the garden without experiencing the evils experienced by those that came before you ? They were afflicted by misery and hardship and were so convulsed, that the messenger and those who believed with him cried out : 'When does ALLAH's help come ? Is the help of ALLAH not near ?'
211. They will question you as to what they should spend. Say to them : 'Whatever good you give is for parents and kinsmen, orphans, the needy, and the traveller. Whatever good you do, ALLAH has knowledge of it.'
212. Fighting is prescribed for you and you hate it.
213. Yet, it may happen that you will hate a thing which is better for you, and love a thing which is worse for you. ALLAH knows, and you do not.

miscellaneous matters

214. They will question you concerning the holy month, and fighting in it. Say to them : 'Fighting in it is a heinous thing, but to turn away from ALLAH's way, to disbelief in Him and the holy mosque, and to expel its people from it, that is more heinous in ALLAH's sight.'
The temptation of idolatery is more heinous than slaying. They will not cease to fight with you, till they turn you away from your religion, if they are able. But whoever of you turns back from his religion, and dies disbelieving, their works have failed in this world and the next. They are the inhabitants of the fire wherein they shall dwell forever.
215. Those who emigrate and struggle in ALLAH's way may have hope of ALLAH's compassion, for He is Forgiving, Compassionate.
216. They will question you concerning wine and games of chance. 17 Say to them : 'In both is heinous sin and means of profit for the people, but their sin is more heinous than their usefulness.' They will also question you concerning what they should spend.
217. Answer them : 'Give of what is over.' ALLAH makes clear His signs to you so that you may reflect
218. on this world and on the world to come. They will question you concerning the orphans. Say to them : 'To set their affairs aright is good.'
219. And if you live with them, regard them as your brothers. ALLAH knows well how to distinguish the wicked from the just. Had He willed, He would have harassed you, for ALLAH is Mighty, Wise.
220. Do not marry idolatresses until they believe.
A believing slavegirl is better than an idolatress, though you may admire her. And do not marry your daughters to idolaters until they believe. A believing slave is better than an idolater, though you may admire him.
221. The unbelievers call you to the fire and ALLAH calls you to the garden and to pardon. Only by His leave does He make clear His signs to the people, so that they may remember.


222. They will question you concerning the monthly course.
Say : 'It is an inconvenience. So go apart from your spouses during the monthly course, and do not approach them untill they are clean. And when they have cleansed themselves, then come to them as ALLAH has commanded you. Truly, ALLAH loves those who repent, and He loves those who cleanse themselves.'
Your women are your tillage. Cultivate your tillage as you wish after beforehand having done some good for yourselves. Fear ALLAH, and know that you shall meet Him. Give good tidings to the believers.
224. Do not make ALLAH a hindrance for you through your oaths of justice, piety and fear of ALLAH. Surely ALLAH is Hearing, Knowing.
225. ALLAH will not punish you for a slip in your oaths ; but He will punish you for what your hearts have earned.
ALLAH is Forgiving, Clement.
226. For those who swear that they will not go into their wives 18 there is a wait of four months and if they revert,
ALLAH is Forgiving, Compassionate.
227. But if they resolve on a divorce,
surely ALLAH is Hearing, Knowing.
228. Divorced women shall wait by themselves for three periods before to remarry. If they believe in ALLAH and the last day they should not hide what ALLAH has created in their wombs. In such times, their mates do better to restore them, if they desire peace. Both husband and wife have honourable rights as well as obligations.
But their husbands have a degree above their wives. ALLAH is Mighty, Wise.

divorce again

229. Divorce may be twice. You retain your wife ? Treat her honourably. You set her free ? Do it generously. It is not lawful for you to take what you have given them, unless both fear that they cannot keep within ALLAH's bounds. Then if you fear not to maintain ALLAH's bounds, there is no fault on them for everything she gives up to free herself thereby. Those are ALLAH's bounds ; do not transgress them. Whosoever transgresses the bounds of ALLAH is an evildoer.
230. If a husband finally divorces her, she shall not be lawful to him after that, until she marries another husband and the latter divorces her too. Then there is no fault in them to return to each other, if they suppose that they will maintain ALLAH's bounds. Those are ALLAH's bounds made clear to a people who listen.
231. When you divorce a women, and the moment to set her free is reached, then retain them honourably or set them free honourably. Do not retain them by force, to transgress. Whoever does that has wronged himself. Take not ALLAH's signs in mockery, and remember ALLAH's blessing upon you, and the book and the wisdom He has sent down upon you, to admonish you.
Fear ALLAH, and know that ALLAH has knowledge of everything.


232. When you divorce your women, and the moment to set them free is reached, do not debar them from marrying their husbands when both parties have agreed together honourably. That is an admonition for those of you who believe in ALLAH and the last day. That is cleaner and purer for you. ALLAH knows, and you know not.
233. Divorced mothers shall suckle their children two years completely, if the father desires to make complete the time of suckling. It is for the father to provide them and clothe them honourably. No soul is charged save to its capacity. A mother shall not be pressed for her child, neither a father for his child. The heir has a like duty. But if the couple desire by mutual consent and consultation to wean before the term consented upon voluntarily, then there is no fault in them. And if you desire to seek nursing for your children, it is no fault in you, provided that you hand over what you have promised.
Fear ALLAH, and know that ALLAH sees the things you do.
234. If those who die leave wives, they shall wait by themselves for four months and ten nights. When this term is expired, you are not responsible for what they may do with themselves honourably.
ALLAH is aware of the things you do.
235. There is no fault in you to openly propose to these women, or to hide its secret in your hearts. ALLAH knows that you will be mindful of them, but do not make promises to them secretly and speak honourable words.
236. And do not resolve on the knot of marriage until the prescribed time has reached its term, and know that ALLAH knows what is in your hearts, and know that
ALLAH is Forgiving, Clement.

additional provision for divorced women and widows

237. There is no fault in you, if you divorce a women you have not touched nor appointed any marriage-portion for. Yet make the necessary provision for them -the affluent man according to his means, and the needy man according to his means- in a honourable way. This is an obligation for the good-doers.
238. And if you divorce them before you have touched them, and you have already appointed for them a marriage-portion, then she may keep one-half of what you have appointed, unless she relinquishes, or unless he in whose hand is the knot of marriage relinquishes. That you should remit is nearer to piety. Do not forget to be generous one towards another.
Surely ALLAH sees the things you do.
239. Be watchful over the prayers, especially the best prayer. 19 Stand up, obedient to ALLAH.
240. And if you are in fear, then you may pray afoot or mounted. When you are secure, then remember ALLAH again, as He taught you the things that you knew not.
241. Those of you who die, leaving wives, let them make a testament for their wives with a provision for a year without expulsion of the house. But if they go forth by themselves, then there is no fault in you regarding what they may do with themselves honourably. ALLAH is Mighty, Wise.
242. A honourable provision is due for divorced women. This is an obligation on those who fear ALLAH.

243. In this way ALLAH makes clear His communications, so that you may understand.


244. Have you not regarded those who went forth from their habitations in their thousands, fearful of death ? ALLAH said to them : 'Die !' Then He gave them life. Truly ALLAH is bounteous to the people, but most of the people are not thankful for all His good works.
245. So fight in ALLAH's way, and know that ALLAH is Hearing, Knowing. 
246. Who is he that will lend ALLAH a good loan ? He will multiply it for him infinitely, for ALLAH limits or outspreads to whom He pleases, and all of you shall be returned to Him.
247. Remember the council of the children of Israel after Moses died, when they said to a prophet of theirs : 'Raise up for us a king, and we will fight in ALLAH's way.' He answered : 'Might it be that, if fighting is prescribed for you, you will not fight ?' They said : 'Why should we not fight in ALLAH's way, we who have been expelled from our habitations and separated from our children ?' Yet, when they were commanded to fight, they turned their backs except for a few of them. But ALLAH has knowledge of the evildoers.
248. Then their prophet said to them : 'Verily ALLAH has raised up Saul for you as king.' They said : 'How could he be king over us, we who have better right than he to kingship, seeing he has not been given abundance of wealth ?' Their prophet said : 'ALLAH has chosen him to command you, and has increased him broadly in knowledge and body. ALLAH gives kingship to whom He pleases and ALLAH is Embracing, Knowing.'
249. And their prophet said to them : 'The sign of his kingship is that the heart 20 will come to you, in it a sakînah 21 from your Lord, and a residue of what the folk of Moses and Aaron's folk left behind, the angels bearing it. Surely there is a sign in this for you if you are believers.'

ALLAH is bounteous to all the words

250. And when Saul left with his soldiers, he said to them : 'ALLAH will try you with a river. Whoso drinks of it is not of me, and whoso tastes it not, he is of me (except him who scoops up with his hand).' But they drank of it, except a few of them. When the king and his believers crossed it, the others cried : 'Today we have no power against Goliath and his soldiers.' But those who reckoned they should meet ALLAH, said then : 'How often a little company has overcome a numerous company, by ALLAH's leave !' ALLAH is with the patient.'
251. So, on the moment they were going against Goliath and his soldiers, they cried : 'Our Lord, pour out patience upon us, and make our feet firm, and give us aid against the people of the unbelievers !'
252. And they put them to flight by the leave of ALLAH. David slew Goliath and ALLAH gave him the kingship and the wisdom, and He taught him what he willed. If ALLAH did not contain the nations one by the other, it is sure that the earth had been lost. But ALLAH is bounteous to all the worlds.
253. These are the teachings of ALLAH We recite to you in truth because you are of the number of the envoys.
254. We elevated the prophets one above the others. The most elevated in rank are those to whom ALLAH spoke. We gave to Jesus, son of Mary, the clear signs, and fortified him with the spirit of holiness. Had ALLAH willed, those who came after him, after the clear signs had come to them, would not have fought one against the other. But they fell into variance, and some of them believed, and some disbelieved. Had ALLAH willed, they would not have fought one against the other, but ALLAH does whatsoever He intends.

the throne of ALLAH and no compulsion in religion

255. O believers ! Give of what We have given you, before there comes a day wherein shall be neither bargaining, nor friendship, nor intercession. The unbelievers are the evildoers.
256. ALLAH is the only ALLAH. There is no other ALLAH than He, the Living, the Everlasting. Slumber seizes Him not, neither sleep. To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and on the earth. Who is there that shall intercede with Him save by His leave ? He knows what lies before them and what is after them, and they comprehend nothing of His knowledge, save such as He pleases. His Throne comprises the heavens and the earth and preserving them does not oppress Him. He is the Most-High, the Great.
257. There is no compulsion in religion. Rectitude is distinguished from error. So he who disbelieves the idols and believes in ALLAH, has laid hold of the most firm, unbreaking handle. ALLAH is Hearing, Knowing.
258. ALLAH is the protector of the believers. He makes them go from darkness into the light. 
259. As for the unbelievers, their protectors are idols. They will bring them from the light into the darkness. They are the inhabitants of the fire, dwelling there forever.

the power of ALLAH

260. Have you not heard about him who disputed with Abraham about his Lord, because ALLAH had given him the kingship ? When Abraham said : 'My Lord is He who gives life and causes to die', he answered : 'I give life and cause death.' Abraham said : 'ALLAH causes the sun to rise from the east, so you make it rise from the west.' Then the unbeliever was confounded. ALLAH guides not the people of the evildoers.
261. Or have you not heard about that traveller who, when one day he passed by a city that had fallen down upon its roofs, cried out : 'How shall ALLAH give life to this dead city ?' So ALLAH made him to die for a hundred years, then He raised him up, and asked him : 'How long have you tarried ?' He answered : 'I tarried a day, or part of a day.' 'No,' answered He : 'you have tarried a hundred years. Look at your food and drink, it has not been spoiled. Now, look at your ass, only bones are left. We wanted to make of you a sign for the people. See how We shall set the bones up, and then clothe them with flesh.' So, when all of this was made clear to him, he said : 'I know that ALLAH is powerful over everything.'
262. When Abraham said to ALLAH : 'My Lord, show me how You will give life to the dead.' He answered : 'Why, do you not believe ?' 'Yes,' he said, 'but do it so that my heart may be completely at rest.' Said He : 'Take four birds, and cut them into pieces, then set a part of them on every hill, then summon them, and they will come to you running, and know that ALLAH is Mighty, Wise.'

spending money in the
way of ALLAH

263. The likeness of those who spend their wealth in the way of ALLAH is as the likeness of a grain of corn that sprouts seven ears, in every ear a hundred grains. So ALLAH multiplies whom He pleases.  ALLAH is Embracing, Knowing.
264. Those who spend their wealth in the way of ALLAH and do not follow up what they have spent with reproach and injury, their wage is with their Lord, and no fear shall be on them, neither shall they sorrow.
265. Honourable words and forgiveness are better than charity followed by injury. ALLAH is Sufficient, Clement.
266. O believers ! Void not your charity by reproach and injury, as one who spends of his substance to show off to the people and does not believe in ALLAH and the last day. The likeness of him is as the likeness of a smooth rock on which is soil, and a torrent smites it, and leaves it barren. They will have no fruits of what they have earned, for ALLAH does not guide the people of the unbelievers. 
267. But the likeness of those who spend their wealth seeking ALLAH's good pleasure, and to confirm their souls, is as the likeness of a garden upon a hill, an abundant torrent smites it and so it brings forth its fruit twofold. If no torrent smites it, then light rain is sufficient. And ALLAH sees the things you do.
268. Would any of you wish to have a garden of palms and vines, with rivers flowing beneath it, and all species of fruit for him, then -when old age surprises him, and he has seed, but weaklings- a whirlwind with fire smites it, and it is consumed ? In this way ALLAH makes clear the signs to you, so that you may reflect.

spending money in the
way of ALLAH

269. O believers ! Spend of the good things you have earned, and of what We have produced for you from the earth. Do not spend the corrupt part of your goods.
270. For you would never take it yourselves, except if you closed an eye on it. Know that ALLAH is Sufficient, Laudable.
271. The devil menaces you with poverty and bids you to indecent acts. ALLAH promises you His pardon and His bounty, and surely ALLAH is Embracing, Knowing.
272. He gives wisdom to whom He pleases, and whoso is given wisdom has been given an immense good. Yet, nobody remembers, except those who possess minds.
273. The alms you give, the vow you make, surely ALLAH knows them. The evildoers have no helpers. Do you publish your alms ? It is excellent. But if you conceal them, and give them to the poor, it is better. This will acquit you of your evil deeds. ALLAH is aware of the things you do.
274. You are not responsible for guiding the unbelievers. It is ALLAH who guides whom He pleases. And whatever good you spend, it is to your own good. Whatever you are spending -being desirous only of ALLAH's face- shall be repaid to you in full, and you will not be wronged. 
275. Alms are for the poor who are confined in the way of ALLAH. 22 They are unable to establish themselves in the land. The ignorant man supposes that they are rich because of their abstinence, but you shall know them by their mark : they do not beg importunately. And whatever good you spend to them will surely be known to ALLAH.

usury prohibited

276. Those who give alms night and day, secretly and in public, their wage awaits them from their Lord. No fear shall descend on them, neither shall they sorrow.
277. Those who devour usury shall rise again as those whom the devil has touched. That is because they say : 'Trading is only like usury.' ALLAH has permitted trading, and forbidden usury. He who receives this admonition from his Lord and stops this iniquity shall have his past forgiven, and his affair is committed to ALLAH. But those who reverts to usury are the inhabitants of the fire, therein dwelling forever.
278. ALLAH does not bless usury and makes charity to prosper. ALLAH loves not any guilty ingrate.
279. Those who believe, do deeds of righteousness, perform the prayer, and pay the alms ; their wage awaits them with their Lord, and no fear shall be on them, neither shall they sorrow.
280. O believers ! Fear ALLAH and give up the usury that is outstanding, if you are  believers.
281. But if you do not, then take notice that ALLAH and His messenger shall wage war with you. Yet, if you repent, you shall have your principal capital. Unwrong nobody and you will not be wronged.
282. If your debtor is in difficulties, let him have respite untill things are easier for him. But it is better for you if you cancel his debt, did you but know.
283. Fear the day when you shall be returned to ALLAH and every soul shall be paid in full what it has earned. Nobody shall be wronged.

contracts and evidence

284. O believers ! When you contract a debt upon one another for a stated term, write it down, and let a writer write it down between you justly, and let not any writer refuse to write it down, as ALLAH has taught him. So let him write, and let the debtor dictate, and let him fear his Lord and not diminish anything of it. And if the debtor be a fool, or weak, or unable to dictate himself, then let his guardian dictate justly. And call in to witness two witnesses, men ; or if the two be not men, then one man and two women, such witnesses as you approve of, so that if one of the two women errs the other will remind her ; and let the witnesses not refuse, whenever they are summoned. And be not averse to write it down, whether it be small or great, with its term ; that is more equitable in ALLAH's sight, more upright for testimony, and likelier that you will not be in doubt. Unless it is merchandise present before your eyes, that you give and take among yourselves from hand to hand, then there shall be no fault in you if you do not write it down. And take witnesses when you barter one with another. And let no harm be done to either writer or witness, and if you do it, then it will be a transgression in you. And fear ALLAH. ALLAH teaches you, and ALLAH knows all things.
285. And if you are on a journey, and you do not find a writer, then a pledge in hand. But if one of you trusts another, let him who is trusted deliver his trust, and let him fear  ALLAH, his Lord. And do not conceal the testimony. He who conceals it has a corrupted heart.
ALLAH has knowledge of the things you do.

no division between the messengers

286. To ALLAH belongs all that is in the heavens and on the earth. Whether you publish what is in your hearts or hide it, ALLAH shall make reckoning with you for it. He forgives whom He pleases and chastises whom He pleases. ALLAH is powerful over everything.
287. The messenger believes in what was sent down to him from his Lord. The believers believe in ALLAH, His angels, in His books and His messengers : We make no division between any one of His messengers. They say : 'We hear and obey, our Lord ! Grant us forgiveness. To You is the homecoming.'
288. ALLAH charges no soul save to its capacity. Standing to its account is what it has earned and against it what it has merited. Lord, do not punish us for errors we forgot or did by mistake. Lord, do not charge us with the load You did lay upon those before us. Lord, do not charge us beyond what we have the strength to bear. Wipe out our sins, forgive us, and have mercy upon us. You are our Protector. Grant us victory over the people of the unbelievers ! 


Table of Contents

General Remarks :

The Cow - Al-Baqarah

This is the longest sûra of the Koran (40 signs & 288 verses). Being Medinian, it probably belongs to the first two or three years after the Hijra. Its name came from the incident in verses 63 - 66 regarding the slaughter of a cow. Cow-worship was a particular form of idolatry which took hold among the Jews. This sûra deals mainly with the Jews and their contentions against Islam. Most of their objections to the prophethood of Muhammad are dealt with. It contains legislation, details of which differ from the Jewish law.

Notes :

Alif Lâm Mîm : these abbreviations are considered to stand for words. These particular letters are also to be found in sûras 3, 29, 30, 31 & 32. Authorities have translated them as : "I am ALLAH, the best Knower." ("alif" for "ana", "lâm" for "ALLAH", and "mîm" for "a'lamu"). Historical testimony has it, that these letters were recited as parts of the sûras at the time of Muhammad himself. Hence, tradition refutes the notion (cherished by Western scholars) that they were private marks attached to the texts furnished to Zaid when effecting his rescension. No satisfactory explanation has been given. Hence, they are not considered to be a verse.

2 the book : the revelations given to Muhammad via Gabriel are called "al-kitâb", or "the book". The root-word "kataba" means "he wrote" and also "he brought together". A "kitâb" is also a writing which is complete in itself, like a letter (cf. sûra 27). The use of the word "book" implies that the Koran was meant to be a complete book. Does this internal evidence conflict with the fact that Muhammad never ordered a redaction of this book ? Perhaps the presence of this word that early in his prophetic life proved that a complete book was to follow ? But when would this revelation end ? During Muhammad's lifetime ? Very likely not. Hence, to order the book to be brought together would suggest that no further revelations would follow and this Muhammad could not decide by himself (for it belonged to ALLAH alone). Apparently, the end of the Muhammadan revelation came with the physical death of Muhammad himself. Hence, the physical form of the "book" of the "recital" was collected afterwards. The intention to do this was part of the revelation, as evidenced here.

3 the hereafter : belief in a life after our physical lives on Earth, makes us conscious of the responsibility of our actions. Belief in ALLAH and in the hereafter are called the first and the last of the fundamental principles of the Koran.

4 their Lord : in the Sufism of Ibn'Arabî, the Lord is always grasped by the believer as his or her "Lord", for the water of life (the Lord) always takes on the color of the glass (their Lord). This is the same as saying that the Face of ALLAH is exclusively for ALLAH. Each creature has its Lord, or eternal object in the all-comprehensive Oneness of Being of the Divine Being (or idea in the Divine Mind, encompassing all Divine Names in an all-comprehensive unity).

Surely the unbelievers ... will not believe" : this passage is parenthetical and not enunciative. Hence, the usual translation as : "Surely the unbelievers, it is alike to them whether you warn them or not warn them ; they will not believe." is evidently wrong, for this would mean that the one who once disbelived would never believe, making the preaching of the Koran meaningless. Moreover, it was among those who first disbelieved that the converts of Islam were continually gained.

"We said : 'Smite him with a part of it.'" : in this phrase, "hâ" is "it" and refers to the act of murder.

7 the spirit of holiness : the "rûh-ul-qudus" is not the Holy Spirit of the Christian Trinity, but rather the "ruach" in the Hebrew expression "Ruach Elohîm" ("ka" in Ancient Egyptian, "prânâ" in Sanskrit, "Chi" in Chinese and "entelechy" in Greek). This is the vital principle of life, the spirit of life which also signifies inspiration or Divine revelation itself. "Rûh" conveys three meanings : (a) the Mercy of ALLAH, (b) inspiration or Divine revelation & (c) a quickening spirit from ALLAH. 

In this context, the spirit of holiness is associated with Jesus. In the Koran (as in the New Testament), Jesus is the Messiah of Israel rejected by the Jews. Jesus is not the "son of God", but a mortal prophet, one of the "words" or "revelations" sent by ALLAH to guide humanity. In the Koran, Christ is one of the holy prophet of ALLAH, worthy of regard, and come to fulfill the prophecies given to Israel.

"Our hearts are covered." : "heart" is used here as a case ("ghulf", one of the plurals of "ghilâf"). "Heart" is therefore (as in the Christian monastic tradition) used to indicate the repository of knowledge and deposit of spiritual experience.

9 listen ... regard : the Muslims had been following the Jews in using "râ'inâ" ("listen to us") in prayers. The Jews however, deliberately mispronounced the Arabic word as "ra-ina", meaning "foolish, stupid, unsound of intellect". Moreover, in Hebrew "ra" is "bad", "evil". So the Koran suggests another word, namely "azurnâ", which means "wait for us, grant us a little delay", in this context rendered as "regard us".

10 unique
:  the word "badî" (unique) is applicable to the thing made as well as to the maker. Something is "badî" when it is not after the image or similitude of anything pre-existing it. A person is "unique" when the person makes or produces or brings into being something for the first time.

11 Abraham is "pure" : the word "hanîf" (pure) was used by the earliest followers of Muhammad, even before "Muslim" became a technical term. Before it was called "Islam", the religion of ALLAH and His prophet Muhammad was probably called the "Hanîfiyya" or "Hanifite" religion.

With Abraham, the ancestor common to the "people of the book" is found. The root of humanity (Adam) is complemented by the common ancestor of Judaism, Christianity & Islam, the revelatoric monotheisms. But other prophets and religions are mentioned in the Koran, evidencing that from the start, Islam was meant to be a universal religion of peace.

12 a balanced nation : in this phrase, "wasat" means "the middle part of any thing", applied as being removed from extremes, or : balanced, just & equitable.

Safá and Marwah : these are the two mountains near Mecca. They were the scene of Hagar's running to end and fro for water when left with Ishmael in the desert. The two mountains serve as monuments for the reward of her patience.

14 the Koran : the book revealed to Muhammad is known as "Al-Qur'ân", "the recital". The word is an infinitive noun from the root "qara-a", meaning "to collect together things" but also : "reading", "reciting". Both meanings are referred to : the book being a collection of Divine signs which should be read or recited. The Koran speaks of itself under 31 different names, of which "the book" & "the reminder" are the most important.

15 'Arafât : is a rocky hill in the midst of a valley some 22 km from Mecca. Standing at Arafât from midday to sunset on the ninth day of the Pilgrimage Month is the climax of the Pilgrimage.

16 all of you : a complete submission to peace is demanded.

17 wine and games of chance : "khamr" is wine, "maisir" (from "yasara") means "he divided anything into smaller parts or portions", as in the game of hazard of the Arabs. In arrow-shuffling ("maysir"), lots are drawn by arrows to decide who would have the best parts of a camel and also pay for it. I

In sûra 5, both wine & games of chance are said to cause enmity and hatred. The root of "khamr" refers to the covering of the intellect, and hence suggests all intoxicating materials. That alcohol is aimed at here but for example not tabacco or cafeine is beside the point. The "purity" of the Abrahamic faith demands utter sobriety & ascesis.

18 not go into one's wife : In the so-called "days of ignorance", the Arabs used to take such oaths frequently. By not limiting the period of this suspension, the wife was condemned to pass her life in humiliation & bondage, for she was neither a wife or a divorced woman free to marry again. Hence, the Koran stipulates that if the conjugal relations are not reasserted by the husband within four months, the wife is "de juris" divorced.

19 the best prayer : here "wasat" must be read as "excellent" or "best", for "most middle" is pointless. 

20 heart : here as "tâbût", which means "chest" or "box", but also denotes "qalb", the heart. The heart as a vessel filled up with knowledge (cf. "heart" as "mind" in Ancient Egyptian). 

21 sakîna : in this heart is tranquility ("sakînah"), a word that sounds very much like the Hebrew "shekinah", the Divine Presence. The coming of tranquility, in the recipient which is the heart, is a mercy which comes down upon a believer. It causes changes, as when Saul became king. The "other heart" given by God to Saul corresponds with this. This tranquility is also as the "spirit of God" mentioned in 1 Samuel 10:10.

22 confined in the way of ALLAH : the poor are confined in the way of ALLAH. Others are : those who fight in defence of Islam without livelihood, those who can not trade because of insecurity & those wounded in the fighting.


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initiated : 19 III 2001 - last update : 25 XI 2005 - version n°1