Articles

1- THE OPENING


1- THE OPENING [AL-FĀTIĤAH]


Revealed at Mecca, [7 verses]


Al-Fātiĥah, “The Opening” or Fatifatul-Kitab, “The


Opening of the Scripture” or Ummu’l-Qur’ân, “The Essence


of the Qur’ân,” as it is variously named, has been called the


Lord’s Prayer of the Muslims. It is an essential part of all


Muslim prayer, public and private, and no solemn contract


or transaction is complete unless it is recited. The date of


revelation is uncertain, but the fact that it has always, from


the very earliest times, formed a part of Muslim prayer, there


being no record or remembrance of its introduction, or of


public prayer without it, makes it clear that it was revealed


before the fourth year of the Prophet’s Mission (the tenth


year before the Hijrah); because we know for certain that by


that time regular congregational prayers were offered by the


little group of Muslims in Mecca. In that year, as the result of


insult and attack [1] by the idolaters, the Prophet arranged for


the services, which had till then been held out of doors, to


take place in a private house.


This sûrah is also often called Saba’an min al-Mathani, “Seven


of the Oft-repeated” (“verses” being understood), [Sûrah, 15:


87], words which are taken as referring to this sûrah.[2]


[1] Ibn Hishîm, Shah (Cairo ed.), Part I, p. 88.


[2] See Nöldeke, Gescliclte Acs Qorans, Zweite Auflage, bearbeitet von


Fr. Schwally, Part I, pp. no seq.


TRANSLATOR NOTE: I have retained the word Allah throughout,


because there is no corresponding word in English. The word Allah


(the stress is on the last syllable) has neither feminine nor plural,


and has never been applied to anything other than the unimaginable


Supreme Being. I use the word “God” only where the corresponding


word ilah is found in the Arabic. The words in brackets are interpolated


to explain the meaning.


1- THE OPENING PART I


36


Al-Fātiĥah


1. In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.


2. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds,


3. The Beneficent, the Merciful.


4. Sovereign of the Day of Recompense,


5. You [alone] we worship; You [alone] we ask for help.


6. Guide us to the straight path,


7. The path of those whom You have bestowed favour; not


[the path] of those who earn Your anger nor of those


who are astray.


PART I


37


2-THE COW


2- THE COW [AL-BAQARAH]


Revealed at Al-Madînah, [286 verses]


Al-Baqarah (The Cow) is so named from the story of the


yellow heifer (vv. 67-71). As is the case with many other sûrahs,


the title is taken from some word or incident which surprised


the listeners. All suggestions to the contrary notwithstanding,


it seems probable that the whole of this sûrah was revealed


during the first four years after the Hijrah, and that by far the


greater portion of it was revealed in the first eighteen months


of the Prophet’s reign at Al-Madînah that is to say, before the


battle of Badr. [1]


The Jewish tribes, once paramount in Yathrib had, not very


long before the coming of Al-Islâm, been reduced by the pagan


Arab tribes of Aus and Khazraj, each Jewish tribe becoming an


adherent of one or the other. But they had preserved a sort


of intellectual ascendancy owing to their possession of the


Scripture and their fame for occult science, the pagan Arabs


consulting their rabbis on occasions and paying heed to what


they said. Before the coming of Al-Islâm, [2] these Jewish rabbis


had often told their neighbours that a Prophet was about to


come, and had often threatened them that, when he came,


they (the Jews) would destroy the pagan Arabs as the tribes of


A’âd and Thamûd had been destroyed of old. [3] So plainly did


they describe the coming prophet that pilgrims from Yathrib


recognised the Prophet, when he addressed them in Mecca,


as the same whom the Jewish scholars had described to them.


[1] Th. Nöldeke, Gesclicfoe des Qorslns, Zweite Auflage, bearbeitet von Fr.


Schwally, Part I, pp. 173 seq.


[2] Al-Islâm means “The Surrender” i.e. man’s surrender to God’s will


and purpose.


[3] Ibn Hishâm (Cairo ed.), Part I, pp. 180 seq.


2-THE COW PART I


38


But the Jewish idea of a Prophet was one who would give


them dominion, not one who would make them brethren


of every pagan Arab who chose to accept Al-Islâm. When


they found that they could not make use of the newcomer,


they opposed him and tried to bewilder him with questions


from their theology, speaking to him as men who possessed


superior wisdom; failing to perceive that, from a Prophet’s


standpoint, theology is childish nonsense, the very opposite


of religion, and its enemy; religion, for the Prophet, being not


a matter of conjecture and speech, but of fact and conduct.


Ibn Ishâq[1] states definitely– that vv. 1-141 were revealed


concerning these Jewish rabbis and such of the new converts


to Al-Islâm as were half-hearted and inclined to them. There


follows the order to change the Qiblah (the place toward which


the Muslims turn their face in prayer) from Jerusalem to the


Ka’bah at Mecca, which was built by Abraham, the choice of


Jerusalem having led to a misunderstanding on the part of


the Jews that the Prophet was groping his way toward their


religion and stood in need of their guidance and instruction.


All through the sûrah runs the note of warning, which


sounds indeed throughout the whole Qur’ân, that it is not


the mere profession of a creed, but righteous conduct, which


is true religion. There is the repeated announcement that


the religion of Abraham, to which Judaism and Christianity


(which springs from Judaism) trace their origin, is the only


true religion, and that that religion consists in the surrender


of man’s will and purpose to the Will and Purpose of the


Lord of Creation as manifested in His creation and revealed


by way of guidance through successive Prophets. Of sincerity


in that religion the one test is conduct, and the standard of


that religion is for all alike.


[1] Apud Ibn Hishâm, Sîrah (Cairo ed.), pp. 189 seq.


PART I


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2-THE COW


At the time when this sûrah was revealed at Al-Madînah,


the Prophet’s own tribe, the pagan Qureysh at Mecca, were


preparing to attack the Muslims in their place of refuge.


Cruel persecution was the lot of Muslims who had stayed


in Meccan territory or who journeyed thither, and Muslims


were being prevented from performing the pilgrimage. The


possible necessity of fighting had been foreseen in the terms


of the oath, taken at Al-’Aqabah by the Muslims of Yathrib


before the Flight, to defend the Prophet as they would their


own wives and children, and the first commandment to fight


was revealed to the Prophet before his flight from Mecca;


but there was no actual fighting by the Muslims until the


battle of Badr.


Many of them were reluctant, having before been subject


to a rule of strict non-violence. It was with difficulty that they


could accept the idea of fighting even in self-defence, as can


be seen from several verses in this sûrah; which contains also


rules for fasting and the pilgrimage, bequests, almsgiving,


divorce and contracts, and verses which discountenance usury,


strong drink and gambling. It concludes with a statement of


the universal character of Al-Islâm, the religion of Allah’s


sovereignty, and a prayer for the forgiveness of shortcomings.


This sûrah might be described as the Qur’ân in little. It contains


mention of all the essential points of the Revelation, which are


elaborated elsewhere. This accounts for the precedence given to


it in the arrangement of the Book.


The period of revelation is the years 1 and 2 A.H. for the


most part, certain verses of legislation being considered as


of later date.


2-THE COW PART I


40


In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.


1. Alif. Lâm. Mîm. [1]


2. This is the Book whereof there is no doubt, a guidance to


those who fear Allah.


3. Who believe in the unseen, and establish prayer, and spend


of that We have provided for them;


4. And who believe in that which is revealed to you [Muhammad]


and that which was revealed before you, and are certain of


the Hereafter.


5. Those are upon [true] guidance from their Lord. And those


who are the successful.


6. Verily, those who disbelieve, whether you warn them or you


warn them not it is all one for them; they believe not.


7. Allah has sealed their hearts and their hearing and on their


eyes there is a covering. Theirs will be a great doom.


8. And of mankind, there are some [hypocrites] who say: We


believe in Allah and the Last Day, when they believe not.


9. They think to beguile Allah and those who believe, and


they beguile none save themselves; but they perceive not.


10. In their hearts is a disease, and Allah has increased their


disease. A painful doom is theirs because they used to lie.


11. And when it is said to them: Make not mischief in the


earth, they say: We are but reformers.


12. Are not they indeed the corrupters? But they perceive not.


[1] Three letters of the Arabic alphabet. Many Sûrahs begin thus with


letters of the alphabet. Opinions differ as to their significance, the


prevalent view being that they indicate some mystic words. Some


have opined that they are merely the initials of the scribe. They are


always included in the text and recited as part of it.


PART I


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2-THE COW


13. And when it is said to them: Believe as the people[1] have


believed, they say: Shall we believe as the foolish have


believed? Are not they indeed the foolish? But they know


not.


14. And when they meet those who believe, they say: We


believe; but when they go apart to their devils they declare:


Lo! we are with you; verily we were only mockers.


15. Allah [Himself] does mock them, and prolongs them to


wander blindly on in their contumacy.


16. These are they who have purchased error at the price of


guidance, so their commerce has not prospered, neither


were they guided.


17. Their likeness is as the likeness of one who kindled fire,


and when it shed its light around him Allah took away


their light and left them in darkness, where they cannot


see.


18. Deaf, dumb and blind; and they return not.


19. Or like a rainstorm from the sky, wherein is darkness,


thunder and the flash of lightning. They thrust their


fingers in their ears by reason of the thunder-claps, for


fear of death, Allah encompasses the disbelievers [in His


guidance, His Omniscience and His Omnipotence].


20. The lightning almost snatches away their sight. As often


as it flashes forth for them they walk therein, and when


it darkens against them they stand still. If Allah willed,


He could destroy their hearing and their sight lo! Allah is


Able to do all things.


[1] i.e. the people of Al-Madînah, most of whom were Muslims, w. 8 to


19 refer to the “Hypocrites,” or lukewarm Muslims of Al-Madînah,


whose leader was Abdullah ibn Ubeyy. They pretended that their aim


was to make peace between the Muslims and the Jewish rabbis, but


they only embittered the controversy.


2-THE COW PART I


42


21. O mankind! Worship your Lord, Who has created you and


those before you, so that you may become righteous.


22. Who has made the earth a resting-place for you, and the


sky a canopy; and causes water to pour down from the


sky, thereby producing fruits as provision for you. And do


not set up rivals to Allah when you know [better].


23. And if you are in doubt concerning that which We have


sent down upon Our slave[1] [Muhammad], then produce


a sûrah or the like thereof, and call your witnesses other


than Allah if you are truthful.


24. And if you do it not - and you can never do it - then guard


yourselves against the Fire prepared for disbelievers,


whose fuel is of men and stones.


25. And give glad tidings [O Muhammad] to those who believe


and do good deeds; that theirs are Gardens underneath


which rivers flow; as often as they are provided with


a provision of the fruit thereof, they say: This is what


was given us previously;[2] and it is given to them in


resemblance. There for them are pure companions; and


they will abide therein forever.


26. Lo! Allah disdains not to coin the similitude even of


a mosquito or what is smaller than it. And those who


believe know that it is the truth from their Lord; but


those who disbelieve say: What does Allah want [to


teach] by such a similitude? He misleads many thereby,


and He guides many thereby; and He misleads thereby


only miscreants;


[1] To be the slave of Allah is the proudest boast of the Muslim,


bondage to Allah liberating from all other servitudes. In the Qur’an


mankind are often called God’s slaves or bondmen, a stronger and


more just expression than the word “servants” generally substituted


in translations.


[2] The joys of Paradise will recall, in a rapturous degree, the joys the


righteous tasted in their life on earth.


PART I


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2-THE COW


27. Those who break the covenant of Allah after ratifying


it, and sever that which Allah ordered to be joined, and


[who] make mischief in the earth: Those are they who are


the losers.


28. How disbelieve you in Allah when you were dead and He


gave life to you! Then he will give you death, then life


again, and then to Him you will return.


29. He it is Who created for you all that is in the earth. Then He


turned to the heaven, and fashioned it as seven heavens.


And He is Knower of all things.


30. And when your Lord said to the angels: Lo! I am about


to place a viceroy in the earth, they said: Will You place


therein one who causes corruption therein and will shed


blood, while we, we celebrate Your praise and sanctify


You? He said: Surely I know that which you know not.


31. And He taught Adam the names,[1] all of them, then


showed them to the angels, saying: Inform me of the


names of these, if you are truthful.


32. They said: Be glorified! We have no knowledge saving that


which You have taught us. Lo! You, only You, are the


Knower, the Wise.


33. He said: O Adam! Inform them of their names, and when


he had informed them of their names, He said: Did I not


tell you that I know the unseen of the heavens and the


earth? And I know that which you disclose and which you


conceal.


34. And when We said to the angels: Prostrate yourselves


before Adam, they fell prostrate, all save Iblîs He demurred


through pride, and so became a disbeliever.


35. And We said: O Adam! Dwell you and your wife in


[1] Some, especially Sûfîs, hold “the names” to be the attributes of Allah;


others, the names of animals and plants.


2-THE COW PART I


44


the Paradise, and you[1] eat [of the fruits] in abundance


thereof where you will; but come not near this tree lest


you become wrong-doers.


36. But Satan caused them to deflect therefrom [the Paradise]


and expelled them from the [happy] state in which they


were; and We said: Fall down,[2] one of you a foe to the


other! There shall be for you on earth a habitation and


provision for a time.


37. Then Adam received from his Lord words [of revelation],


and He accepted his repentance. Lo! He is the Accepting


of repentance the Merciful.


38. We said: Go down, all of you, from hence; but verily there


comes to you from Me a guidance; and whoso follows


My guidance, there shall no fear come upon them neither


shall they grieve.


39. But they who disbelieve, and deny Our Signs, such are the


owners of the Fire. They will abide therein eternally.


40. O Children of Israel! Remember My favour wherewith


I favoured you, and fulfil your [part of the] covenant, I


shall fulfil My [part of the] covenant and fear Me.


41. And believe in what I have sent down, confirming that


which you possess already [of the Scripture], and be not


first to disbelieve therein, and do not exchange My verses


for a trifling price, and fear [only] Me.


42. Confound not truth with falsehood, nor knowingly


conceal the truth.


43. Establish prayer, pay the poor-due,[3] and bow your heads


with those who bow [in worship].


[1] Here the command is in the dual, as addressed to Adam and his wife.


[2] Here the command is in the plural, as addressed to Adam’s race.


[3] Az-Zakâh a tax at a fixed rate in proportion to the worth of


property, collected from the well-to-do and distributed among the


poor Muslims.


PART I


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2-THE COW


44. Enjoin you righteousness upon people while you


yourselves forget [to practise it]? And while you recite the


Scripture! Have you then no sense?


45. Seek help in patience and prayer; and truly it is hard save


for the humbly submissive [to Allah],


46. Those who are certain that they will meet their Lord, and


that to Him they are returning.


47. O Children of Israel! Remember My favour wherewith I


favoured you and how I preferred you to [all] the worlds.


48. And fear a Day when no soul will in nothing avail


another, nor will intercession be accepted from it, nor will


compensation be received from it, nor will they be helped.


49. And [remember] when We delivered you from Pharaoh’s


folk, who were afflicting you with dreadful doom,


slaying your sons and sparing your women: That was a


tremendous trial from your Lord.


50. And [recall] when We parted the sea for you and rescued


you, and drowned the folk of Pharaoh in your sight.


51. And when We did appoint for Moses forty nights [of


solitude], and then you took [for worship] the calf after


him and were wrong-doers.


52. Then, even after that, We pardoned you in order that you


might give thanks.


53. And when We gave to Moses the Scripture and the


Criterion [of right and wrong], that you might be guided.


54. And when Moses said to his people: O my people! You


have wronged yourselves by your taking of the calf [for


worship] so turn in repentance to your Creator, and kill


[the guilty] yourselves. That will be best for you with your


Creator and then He accepted your repentance. Lo! He is


the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful.


2-THE COW PART I


46


55. And when you said: O Moses! We will not believe in you


till we see Allah plainly; and even while you were looking


on the thunderbolt took you.


56. Then We revived you after your death, that you might give


thanks.


57. And We caused the white cloud to overshadow you and


sent down on you the manna and the quails, [saying]: Eat


of the good things wherewith We have provided you–


They wronged Us not, but they did wrong themselves.


58. And when We said: Go into this township [Jerusalem]


and eat of that which is therein wherever you will in [ease


and] abundance, and enter the gate in prostration [bowing


humbly] and say: “Repentance.”[1] We will forgive you


your sins and increase [reward] for the right-doers.


59. But those who did wrong changed the word which had


been told them for another saying, and We sent down


upon the wrong-doers a punishment from heaven for


their wrong-doing.


60. And when Moses asked for water for his people, We


said: Smite with your staff the rock. And there gushed


out therefrom twelve springs [so that] each tribe knew


their drinking-place. Eat and drink of that which Allah


has provided, and do not act corruptly, making mischief


in the earth.


61. And when you said: O Moses! We are weary of one kind


of food; so call upon your Lord for us that He brings forth


for us of that which the earth grows – of its herbs and


its cucumbers and its corn and its lentils and its onions.


He said: Would you exchange that which is better for


that which is lower? Go down to settled town, thus you


[1] According to a tradition of the Prophet, Hittatun is a word implying


submission to Allah and repentance. The wrong-doers changed it for


a word of rebellion i.e. they were disobedient.


PART I


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2-THE COW


shall get that which you demand. And humiliation and


poverty were stamped upon them and they were visited


with wrath from Allah. That was because they disbelieved


in Allah’s signs and killed the prophets wrongfully. That


was for their disobedience and transgression.


62. Lo! those who believe [in that which is revealed to you,


Muhammad], and those who are Jews, and Christians, and


Sabaeans whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day and


does righteousness surely their reward is with their Lord, and


there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve.


63. And [remember, O children of Israel] when We made a


covenant with you and caused the Mount to tower above


you, [saying]: Hold fast that which We have given you, and


remember that which is therein, that you may become


righteous.


64. Then, even after that, you turned away, and if it had not


been for the grace of Allah and His mercy you had been


among the losers.


65. And you know of those of you who transgressed concerning


the Sabbath, how We said to them: Be you apes, despised


and hated!


66. And We made it an example to their own and to succeeding


generations, and an admonition for those who fear Allah.


67. And when Moses said to his people: Lo! Allah commands


you that you sacrifice a cow, they said: Do you take us


in ridicule? He answered: Allah forbids that I should be


among the ignorant!


68. They said: Pray for us to your Lord that He makes clear


to us what [cow] she is. [Moses] answered: Lo! He says,


Verily she is a cow neither with calf nor immature; [she


is] between the two conditions; so do that which you are


commanded.


2-THE COW PART I


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69. They said: Pray for us to your Lord that He makes clear to


us of what colour she is. [Moses] answered: Lo! He says:


Verily she is a yellow cow. Bright is her colour, gladdening


beholders.


70. They said: Pray for us to your Lord that He makes clear to


us what [cow] she is. Lo! cows are much alike to us; and


Lo! if Allah wills, we will be guided.


71. [Moses] answered: Lo! He says: Verily she is a cow unyoked;


she ploughs not the soil nor waters the tilth; whole and


without mark. They said: Now you brought the truth. So


they sacrificed her, though almost they did not.


72. And [remember] when you killed a man and disagreed


concerning it and Allah brought forth that which you


were hiding.


73. And We said: Smite him with some of it. Thus Allah


brings the dead to life and shows you His signs so that


you may understand.


74. Then, even after that, your hearts were hardened and


became as rocks, or worse than rocks, for hardness. For


indeed there are rocks from out which rivers gush, and


indeed there are rocks which split asunder so that water


flows from them. And indeed there are rocks which fall


down for the fear of Allah. Allah is not unaware of what


you do.


75. Have you any hope that they will believe in your religion


when a party of them used to listen to the Word of


Allah, then used to change it, after they had understood


it knowingly?


76. And when they [Jews] meet those who believe, they say:


We believe. But when they go apart one with another they


say: Do you talk to them of that which Allah has revealed


to you that they may contend with you before your Lord


concerning it? Have you then no sense?


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2-THE COW


77. Are they [Jews] then unaware that Allah knows that which


they keep hidden and that which they proclaim?


78. And among them are unlettered ones who know the


Scripture not except in wishful thinking. They but guess.


79. Therefore woe be to those who write the Scripture with


their hands and then say, “This is from Allah,” that they


may purchase a small gain therewith. Woe to them for


that their hands have written, and woe to them for that


they earn thereby.


80. And they say: The fire [of punishment] will not touch us


save for a certain number of days. Say: Have you taken


a covenant with Allah – truly Allah will not break His


covenant or tell you concerning Allah that which you


know not?


81. Nay, but whoever has done evil and his sin surrounds


him; such are rightful owners of the Fire; they will abide


therein eternally.


82. And those who believe and do good deeds: such are


rightful owners of the Garden. They will abide therein


eternally.


83. And [remember] when We made a covenant with the


Children of Israel, [saying]: Worship none save Allah


[only], and be good to parents and to kindred and to


orphans and the needy, and speak kindly to mankind; and


establish prayer and pay the poor-due. Then, after that,


you turned away, save a few of you, being averse.


84. And when We made with you a covenant [saying]: Shed


not the blood of your people nor turn [a party of] your


people out of your dwellings. Then you ratified [Our


covenant] while you were witnessing [thereto].[1]


[1] v. 83 is generally taken as referring to the Biblical covenant and v. 84


as, referring to the solemn treaty which the Jews of Al-Madînah made


with the Prophet in the year 1 A.H.


2-THE COW PART I


50


85. Yet you it is who kill one another and drive out a party of


your people from their homes, supporting one another


against them by sin and transgression,[1] and if they came


to you as captives you would ransom them, whereas their


expulsion was itself unlawful for you. Believe you in part


of the Scripture and disbelieve you in part thereof? And


what is the reward of those who do so save ignominy in


the life of the world, and on the Day of Resurrection they


will be consigned to the most grievous doom. For Allah is


not unaware of what you do.


86. Such are those who buy the life of the world at the price


of the Hereafter: Their punishment will not be lightened,


neither will they have support.


87. And verily We gave to Moses the Book and We caused a


train of messengers to follow after him, and We gave to


Jesus, son of Mary, clear proofs [of Allah’s sovereignty],


and We supported him with the pure Spirit[2] is it ever so,


that, when there comes to you a messenger [from Allah]


with that which you yourselves desire not, you grow


arrogant, and some you disbelieve and some you kill?


88. And they say: Our hearts are hardened. Nay, but Allah has


cursed them for their unbelief. Little is that which they


believe.


89. And when there comes to them [the Jews] a Book [this


Qur’ân] from Allah, confirming that in their possession -


though before that they were praying for a signal triumph


over those who disbelieved and when there comes to them


that which they know [to be the Truth] they disbelieve


therein. The curse of Allah is on disbelievers.


[1] The reference is to the wars between the Arab tribes of Al-Madînah


in which the Jews used to take part as allies of one and the other, Jew


waging war upon Jew.


[2] “The pure Spirit” is a term for the angel of Revelation, Gabriel (on


whom be peace).


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90. Evil is that for which they sell their souls: that they should


disbelieve in that which Allah has revealed, grudging that


Allah should reveal of His bounty to whom He wills of


His bondmen.[1] They have incurred anger upon anger.


For disbelievers is a shameful doom.


91. And when it is said to them. Believe in that which Allah has


revealed, they say: We believe in that which was revealed


to us. And they disbelieve in that which comes after it,


though it is the truth confirming that which they possess.


Say [to them, O Muhammad]: Why then you killed the


Prophets of Allah previously, if you are [indeed] believers?


92. And Moses came to you with clear proofs [of Allah’s


sovereignty], yet, while he was away, you took the calf [in


worship] and you were wrong-doers.


93. And when We took your covenant and caused the Mount


to tower above you, [saying]: Hold fast by that which We


have given you, and hear [Our Word], they said: We hear


and we disobey. And [worship of] the calf was made to


sink into their hearts because of their disbelief. Say [to


them]: Evil is that which your belief enjoins on you, if


you are believers.


94. Say [to them]: If the abode of the Hereafter with Allah is


indeed for you alone and not for others of mankind [as


you pretend], then long for death [for you must long for


death] if you are truthful.


95. But they will never long for it, because of that which their


own hands have sent before them. Allah is Aware of


wrong-doers.


96. And you will find them greediest of mankind for life and


[greedier] than the polytheists. [Each] one of them would


like to be allowed to live a thousand years. And to live [a


thousand years] would by no means remove him from the


doom. Allah is Seer of what they do.


[1] See v. 2,3, footnote.


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97. Say [O Muhammad, to mankind]: Who is an enemy to


Gabriel! For he it is who brought down [this Qur’ân] to your


heart by Allah’s leave, confirming that which was [revealed]


before it, and a guidance and glad tidings to believers;


98. Who is an enemy to Allah, and His angels and His


messengers, and Gabriel and Michael! Then, lo! Allah


[Himself] is an enemy to the disbelievers.


99. Verily We have revealed to you clear verses, and only the


miscreants will disbelieve in them.


100. Is it ever so that when you took a covenant a party of


them set it aside? The truth is, most of them believe not.


101. And when there comes to them a messenger from Allah,


confirming that which they possess, a party of those


who have received the Scripture fling the Book of Allah


behind their backs as if they knew not,


102. And they follow that which the devils falsely related


against the kingdom of Solomon. Solomon disbelieved


not; but the devils disbelieved, teaching mankind magic


and that which was revealed to the two angels in Babel,


Harut and Marut. Nor did they [the two angels] teach


it to anyone till they had said: We are only a temptation,


therefore disbelieve not [in the guidance of Allah].


And from these two [angels] people learn that by which


they cause division between a man and his wife; but


they injure thereby no-one save by Allah’s leave. And


they learn that which harms them and benefits them


not. And surely they do know that he who purchases


therein will have no [happy] portion in the Hereafter;


and surely evil is the price for which they sell their


souls, if they but knew.[1]


[1] The reference is to the occult science practised by the Jews, the origin


of which was ascribed to Solomon.


PART I


53


2-THE COW


103. And if they had believed and feared Allah, a recompense


from Allah would be better, if they only knew.


104. O you who believe, say not [to the Prophet]: “Listen to


us” but say “Look upon us,”[1] and be you listeners. For


disbelievers is a painful doom.


105. Neither those who disbelieve among the People of the


Scripture[2] nor the polytheists love that there should be


sent down to you any good thing from your Lord. But


Allah chooses for His mercy whom He wills, and Allah


is the possessor of infinite bounty.


106. Nothing of Our revelation [even a single verse] do We


abrogate or cause to be forgotten, but We bring [in place]


one better or the like thereof. Know you not that Allah is


Able to do all things.


107. Know you not that it is Allah to Whom belongs the


Sovereignty of the heavens and earth; and you have not,


beside Allah, any guardian or helper?


108. Or would you question your messenger as Moses was


questioned previously? He whoever exchanges disbelief


for faith, verily he has gone astray from a plain way.


109. Many of the People of the Scripture long to make you


disbelievers after your belief, through envy on their own


account, after the truth has become manifest to them.


Forgive and be indulgent [toward them] until Allah gives


His command. Lo! Allah is Able to do all things.


110. And establish prayer and pay the poor-due; and whatever


of good you send before [you] for your souls, you will


find it with Allah. Lo! Allah is Seer of what you do.


[1] The first word which the Muslims used to call the Prophet’s attention


respectfully, Râ’ina, the Jews could change into an insult by a slight


mispronunciation.


[2] i.e. Jews and Christians.


2-THE COW PART I


54


111. And they say: None enters Paradise unless he be a Jew or


a Christian. These are their own desires. Say: Bring your


proof [of what you state] if you are truthful.


112. Nay, but whoever submits his face [himself] to Allah


while doing good, his reward is with his Lord; and there


shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve.


113. And the Jews say the Christians follow nothing [true], and


the Christians say the Jews follow nothing [true]; yet both


recite the Scripture. Even thus speak those who know not.


Allah will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection


concerning that wherein they used to differ.


114. And who does greater wrong than he who forbids the


approach to the mosques of Allah lest His name should


be mentioned therein, and strives for their ruin? As for


such, it was never meant that they should enter them


except in fear. Theirs in the world is disgrace and theirs


in the Hereafter is an awful doom.


115. To Allah belong the East and the West, and to whithersoever


you turn, there is Allah’s Face. Lo! Allah is All-Embracing,


All-Knowing.


116. And they say: Allah has taken to Himself a Son. Be He


glorified! Nay, but whatsoever is in the heaven and the


earth is His. All are subservient to Him.


117. The Originator of the heavens and the earth! When He


decrees a matter, He says to it only: Be! and it is.


118. And those who do not know say: Why does not Allah


speak to us, or some sign come to us? Even thus, as they


now speak, spoke those [who were] before them. Their


hearts are all alike. We have made clear the Signs for


people who are certain.


PART I


55


2-THE COW


119. Lo! We have sent you [O Muhammad] with the truth, a


bringer of glad tidings and a warner. And you will not be


asked about the owners of Hellfire.


120. And the Jews will not be pleased with you, nor will the


Christians, till you follow their religion. Say: Lo! the


guidance of Allah [Himself] is the [only] Guidance. And


if you should follow their desires after the knowledge


which has come to you, then would you have from Allah


no protecting guardian nor helper.


121.Those to whom We have given the Book, who recite


it with its true recital, those believe in it. And whoso


disbelieves in it, those are they who are the losers.


122. O Children of Israel! Remember My favour wherewith I


favoured you and how I preferred you to [all] the worlds.


123. And guard [yourselves] against a day when no soul will


in anything avail another, nor will compensation be


accepted from it, nor will intercession be of use to it;


nor will they be helped.


124.And [remember] when his Lord tried Abraham with [His]


commands, and he fulfilled them, He said: Lo! I have


appointed you a leader for mankind. [Abraham] said:


And of my offspring [will there be leaders]? He said: My


covenant includes not wrong-doers.


125. And when We made the House [at Mecca] a resort for


mankind and a sanctuary, [saying]: Take as your place of


prayer the place where Abraham stood. And We imposed


a duty upon Abraham and Ishmael, [saying]: Purify My


house for those who perform Tawaf and those who


stay therein for worship and those who bow down and


prostrate themselves [in prayer].


126. And when Abraham said: My Lord! Make this a city of



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