Part 2

A View

Chapter 2: The Heifer

 

Section 17: The Ka’bah as the Spiritual Centre

 

142. The fools among the people will say: "What has turned them from the Direction to which they were used to?" Say: To God belong both east and west: He guides whom He will to a way that is straight. 143. Thus, have We made of you a people justly balanced, that you might be witnesses over the nations, and the Messenger a witness over yourselves; and We appointed the Direction to which you were used, only to test those who followed the Messenger from those who would turn on their heels (from the Faith). Indeed, it was (a change) momentous, except to those guided by God. And never would God make your faith of no effect. For God is to all people most surely full of kindness, Most Merciful. 144. We see the turning of your face (for guidance to the heavens: now shall We turn you to a Direction that shall please you. Turn then your face in the direction of the sacred Mosque: Wherever you are, turn your faces in that direction. The people of the Book know well that that is the truth from their Lord. Nor is God unmindful of what they do. 145. Even if you were to bring to the people of the Book all the Signs (together), they would not follow your Direction; nor are you going to follow their Direction; nor indeed will they follow each other's Direction. If you after the knowledge has reached You, were to follow their (vain) desires, - then were you indeed (clearly) in the wrong. 146. The people of the Book know this as they know their own sons; but some of them conceal the truth which they themselves know. 147. The Truth is from Your Lord; so be not at all in doubt.

 

Section 18: The Ka’bah as the Spiritual Centre

 

148. To each is a goal to which God turns him; then strive together (as in a race) towards all that is good. Wherever you are, God will bring you together. For God has power over all things. 149. From wherever you start forth, turn your face in the direction of the sacred Mosque; that is indeed the truth from the Lord. And God is not unmindful of what you do. 150. So from wherever you start forth, turn your face in the direction of the sacred Mosque; and wherever you are, turn your face thither: that there be no ground of dispute against you among the people, except those of them that are bent on wickedness; so, fear them not, but fear Me; and that I may complete My favors on you, and you may (consent to) be guided; 151. A similar (favor have you already received) in that We have sent among you a Messenger of your own, rehearsing to you Our Signs, and sanctifying you, and instructing you in Scripture and Wisdom, and in new knowledge. 152. Then do you remember Me; I will remember you. Be grateful to Me, and reject not Faith.

 

Section 19: Hard Trials Necessary to Establish Truth

 

153. O you who believe! Seek help with patient perseverance and prayer; for God is with those who patiently persevere. 154. And say not of those who are slain in the way of God. "They are dead." No, they are living, though you perceive (it) not. 155. Be sure we shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives or the fruits (of your toil), but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere. 156. Who say, when afflicted with calamity: "To God We belong, and to Him is our return": - 157. They are those on whom (descend) blessings from God, and Mercy, and they are the ones that receive guidance.

 

158. Behold! Safa and Marwa are among the Symbols of God. So, if those who visit the House in the Season or at other times, should compass them round, it is no sin in them. And if anyone obeys his own impulse to do good, - be sure that God is He Who recognizes and knows. 159. Those who conceal the clear (Signs) We have sent down, and the Guidance, after We have made it clear for the people in the Book, - on them shall be God’s curse, and the curse of those entitled to curse, - 160. Except those who repent and make amends and openly declare (the Truth): To them I turn; for I am Oft-returning, Most Merciful. 161. Those who reject Faith, and die rejecting, - on them is God’s curse, and the curse of angels, and of all mankind; 162. They will abide therein: Their penalty will not be lightened, nor will respite be their (lot). 163. And your God is One God. There is no god but He, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

 

Section 20: Unity Must Prevail

 

164. Behold! in the creation of the heavens and the earth; in the alternation of the night and the day; in the sailing of the ships through the ocean for the profit of mankind; in the rain which God sends down from the skies, and the life which He gives therewith to an earth that is dead; in the beasts of all kinds that He scatters through the earth; in the change of the winds, and the clouds which they trail like their slaves between the sky and the earth; - (Here) indeed are Signs for a people that are wise. 165. Yet there are men who take (for worship) others besides God, as equal (with God): They love them as they should love God. But those of Faith are overflowing in their love for God. If only the unrighteous could see, behold, they would see the penalty: that to God belongs all power, and God will strongly enforce the penalty. 166. Then would those who are followed clear themselves of those who follow (them): They would see the penalty, and all relations between them would be cut off. 167. And those who followed would say: "If only we had one more chance, we would clear ourselves of them, as they have cleared themselves of us." Thus, will God show them (the fruits of) their deeds as (nothing but) regrets. Nor will there be a way for them out of the Fire.

 

Section 21: Prohibited Foods

 

168. O you people! Eat of what is on earth, lawful and good; and do not follow the footsteps of the evil one, for he is to you an avowed enemy. 169. For he commands you what is evil and shameful, and that you should say of God that of which you have no knowledge. 170. When it is said to them: "Follow what God has revealed:" They say: "No! we shall follow the ways of our fathers." What! Even though their fathers were void of wisdom and guidance? 171. The parable of those who reject Faith is as if one were to shout like a goat-herd, to things that listen to nothing but calls and cries: Deaf, dumb, and blind, they are void of wisdom. 172. O you who believe! Eat of the good things that We have provided for you, and be grateful to God, if it is Him you worship. 173. He has only forbidden you dead meat, and blood, and the flesh of swine, and that on which any other name has been invoked besides that of God. But if one is forced by necessity, without willful disobedience, nor transgressing due limits, - then is he guiltless. For God is Oft-forgiving Most Merciful.

 

174. Those who conceal God’s revelations in the Book, and purchase for them a miserable profit, - they swallow into themselves naught but Fire; God will not address them on the Day of Resurrection. Nor purify them: Grievous will be their penalty. 175. They are the ones who buy error in place of guidance and torment in place of forgiveness. Ah! What boldness (they show) for the Fire! 176. (Their doom is) because God sent down the Book in truth but those who seek causes of dispute in the Book are in a schism far (from the purpose).

 

Section 22: Retaliation and Bequests

 

177. It is not righteousness that you turn your faces towards east or west; but it is righteousness - to believe in God and the Last Day, and the Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; to spend of your substance, out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves; to be steadfast in prayer, and practice regular charity; to fulfil the contracts which you have made; and to be firm and patient, in pain (or suffering) and adversity, and throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, the God fearing.

 

178. O you who believe! The law of equality is prescribed to you in cases of murder: the free for the free, the slave for the slave, the woman for the woman. But if any remission is made by the brother of the slain, then grant any reasonable demand, and compensate him with handsome gratitude, this is a concession and a Mercy from your Lord. After this whoever exceeds the limits shall be in grave penalty. 179. In the Law of Equality there is (saving of) life to you, o you men of understanding; that you may restrain yourselves.

 

180. It is prescribed, when death approaches any of you, if he leaves any goods that he makes a bequest to parents and next of kin, according to reasonable usage; this is due from the God fearing. 181. If anyone changes the bequest after hearing it, the guilt shall be on those who make the change. For God hears and knows (all things). 182. But if anyone fears partiality or wrong-doing on the part of the testator, and makes peace between (the parties concerned), there is no wrong in him: For God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.

 

Section 23: Fasting

 

183. O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you may (learn) self-restraint, - 184. (Fasting) for a fixed number of days; but if any of you is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed number (should be made up) from days later. For those who can do it (with hardship), is a ransom, the feeding of one that is indigent. But he that will give more, of his own free will, - it is better for him. And it is better for you that you fast, if you only knew. 185. Ramadan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur'an, as a guide to mankind, also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (between right and wrong). So, every one of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend it in fasting, but if anyone is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed period (should be made up) by days later. God intends every facility for you; He does not want to put to difficulties. (He wants you) to complete the prescribed period, and to glorify Him in that He has guided you; and perchance you shall be grateful. 186. When My servants ask You concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them): I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calls on Me: Let them also, with a will, listen to My call, and believe in Me: That they may walk in the right way. 187. Permitted to you, on the night of the fasts, is the approach to your wives. They are your garments and you are their garments. God knows what you used to do secretly among yourselves; but He turned to you and forgave you; so now associate with them, and seek what God Has ordained for you, and eat and drink, until the white thread of dawn appear to you distinct from its black thread; then complete your fast till the night appears; but do not associate with your wives while you are in retreat in the mosques. Those are limits (set by) God. Approach not near thereto. Thus, does God make clear His Signs to men: that they may learn self-restraint. 188. And do not eat up your property among yourselves for vanities, nor use it as bait for the judges, with intent that you may eat up wrongfully and knowingly a little of (other) people's property.

 

Section 24: Fighting in Defense

 

189. They ask you concerning the New Moons. Say: They are but signs to mark fixed periods of time in (the affairs of) men, and for Pilgrimage. It is no virtue if you enter your houses from the back: It is virtue if you fear God. Enter houses through the proper doors: And fear God, that you may prosper.

 

190. Fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for God loves not transgressors. 191. And slay them wherever you catch them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter; but fight them not at the Sacred Mosque, unless they (first) fight you there; but if they fight you, slay them. Such is the reward of those who suppress faith. 192. But if they cease, God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. 193. And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in God. But if they cease, let there be no hostility except to those who practice oppression.

 

194. The prohibited month for the prohibited month, - and so for all things prohibited, - there is the law of equality. If then any one transgresses the prohibition against you, transgress you likewise against him. But fear God, and know that God is with those who restrain themselves. 195. And spend of your substance in the cause of God, and make not your own hands contribute to (your) destruction; but do good; for God loves those who do good.

 

196. And complete the Pilgrimage or 'Umra in the service of God. But if you are prevented (from completing it), send an offering for sacrifice, such as you may find, and do not shave your heads until the offering reaches the place of sacrifice. And if any of you is ill, or has an ailment in his scalp, (necessitating shaving), (he should) in compensation either fast, or feed the poor, or offer sacrifice; and when you are in peaceful conditions (again), if any one wishes to continue the 'umra on to the pilgrimage, he must make an offering, such as he can afford, but if he cannot afford it, he should fast three days during the pilgrimage and seven days on his return, making ten days in all. This is for those whose household is not in (the precincts of) the Sacred Mosque. And fear God, and know that God is strict in punishment.

 

Section 25: The Pilgrimage

 

197. For Pilgrimage are the months well known. If anyone undertakes that duty therein, let there be no obscenity, nor wickedness, nor wrangling in the Pilgrimage. And whatever good you do, (be sure) God knows it. And take a provision (with you) for the journey, but the best of provisions is right conduct. So, fear Me, o you that are wise. 198. It is no crime in you if you seek of the bounty of your Lord (during pilgrimage). Then, when you pour down from (mount) Arafat, celebrate the praises of God at the Sacred Monument, and celebrate His praises as He has directed you, even though, before this, you went astray. 199. Then pass on at a quick pace from the place whence it is usual for the multitude so to do, and ask for God’s forgiveness. For God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. 200. So when you have accomplished your holy rites, celebrate the praises of God, as you used to celebrate the praises of your fathers, - yea, with far more heart and soul. There are men who say: "Our Lord! Give us (Your bounties) in this world!" but they will have no portion in the Hereafter. 201. And there are men who say: "Our Lord! Give us good in this world and good in the Hereafter, and defend us from the torment of the Fire!" 202. To these will be allotted what they have earned; and God is quick in account. 203. Celebrate the praises of God during the Appointed Days. But if any one hastens to leave in two days, there is no blame on him, and if anyone stays on, there is no blame on him, if his aim is to do right. Then fear God, and know that you will surely be gathered unto Him.

 

204. There is the type of man whose speech about this world's life may dazzle you, and he calls God to witness about what is in his heart; yet is he the most contentious of enemies. 205. When he turns his back, his aim everywhere is to spread mischief through the earth and destroy crops and cattle. But God loves not mischief. 206. When it is said to him, “Fear God”, he is led by arrogance to (more) crime. Enough for him is Hell; - An evil bed indeed (to lie on)! 207. And there is the type of man who gives his life to earn the pleasure of God. And God is full of kindness to (His) devotees.

 

208. O you who believe! Enter into Islam whole-heartedly; and follow not the footsteps of the evil one; for he is to you an avowed enemy. 209. If you backslide after the clear (Signs) have come to you, then know that God is Exalted in Power, Wise. 210. Will they wait until God comes to them in canopies of clouds, with angels (in His train) and the question is (thus) settled? But to God do all questions go back (for decision).

 

Section 26: Trials and Tribulations

 

211. Ask the Children of Israel how many clear (Signs) We have sent them. But if anyone, after God’s favor has come to him, substitutes (something else), God is strict in punishment. 212. The life of this world is alluring to those who reject faith, and they scoff at those who believe. But the righteous will be above them on the Day of Resurrection; for God bestows His abundance without measure on whom He will. 213. Mankind was one single nation, and God sent Messengers with glad tidings and warnings; and with them He sent the Book in truth, to judge between people in matters wherein they differed; but the People of the Book, after the clear Signs came to them, did not differ among themselves, except through selfish contumacy. God by His Grace guided the believers to the Truth, concerning that wherein they differed. For God guided whom He will to a path that is straight. 214. Or do you think that you shall enter the Garden (of bliss) without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They encountered suffering and adversity, and were so shaken in spirit that even the Messenger and those of faith who were with him cried: "When (will come) the help of God." Ah! Verily, the help of God is (always) near!

 

215. They ask you what they should spend (in charity). Say: Whatever you spend that is good, is for parents and kindred and orphans and those in want and for wayfarers. And whatever you do that is good, - (God) knows it well.

 

216. Fighting is prescribed for you, and you dislike it. But it is possible that you dislike a thing which is good for you, and that you love a thing which is bad for you. But God knows, and you know not.

 

Section 27: Miscellaneous Questions

 

217. They ask you concerning fighting in the Prohibited Month. Say: "Fighting therein is a grave (offence); but graver is it in the sight of God to prevent access to the path of God, to deny Him, to prevent access to the Sacred Mosque, and drive out its members." Tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter. Nor will they cease fighting you until they turn you back from your faith if they can. And if any of you turn back from their faith and die in unbelief, their works will bear no fruit in this life and in the Hereafter; they will be companions of the Fire and will abide therein. 218. Those who believed, and those who suffered exile, and fought (and strove and struggled) in the path of God, - they have the hope of the Mercy of God. And God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.

 

219. They ask you concerning wine and gambling. Say: "In them is great sin, and some profit, for men; but the sin is greater than the profit." They ask you how much they are to spend; say: "What is beyond your needs." Thus, does God Make clear to you His Signs: In order that you may consider - 220. (Their bearings) on this life and the Hereafter. They ask you concerning orphans. Say: "The best thing to do is what is for their good; if you mix their affairs with yours, they are your brethren; but God knows the man who means mischief from the man who means good. And if God had wished, He could have put you into difficulties: He is indeed Exalted in Power, Wise."

 

221. Do not marry unbelieving women (idolaters), until they believe: A slave woman who believes is better than an unbelieving woman, even though she allures you. Nor marry (your girls) to unbelievers until they believe: A man slave who believes is better than an unbeliever, even though he allures you. Unbelievers do (but) beckon you to the Fire. But God beckons by His Grace to the Garden (of bliss) and forgiveness, and makes His Signs clear to mankind: That they may celebrate His praise.

 

Section 28: Divorce

 

222. They ask you concerning women's courses. Say: They are a hurt and a pollution: So, keep away from women in their courses, and do not approach them until they are clean. But when they have purified themselves, you may approach them in any manner, time, or place ordained for you by God. For God loves those who turn to Him constantly and He loves those who keep themselves pure and clean. 223. Your wives are as a tilth unto you; so, approach your tilth when or how you will; but do some good act for your souls beforehand; and fear God. And know that you are to meet Him (in the Hereafter), and give (these) good tidings to those who believe.

 

224. And make not God’s (name) an excuse in your oaths against doing good, or acting rightly, or making peace between persons; for God is one who hears and knows all things. 225. God will not call you to account for thoughtlessness in your oaths, but for the intention in your hearts; and He is Oft-forgiving, Most Forbearing. 226. For those who take an oath for abstention from their wives, a waiting for four months is ordained; if then they return, God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. 227. But if their intention is firm for divorce, God hears and knows all things.

 

228. Divorced women shall wait concerning themselves for three monthly periods. Nor is it lawful for them to hide what God Has created in their wombs, if they have faith in God and the Last Day. And their husbands have the better right to take them back in that period, if they wish for reconciliation. And women shall have rights similar to the rights against them, according to what is equitable; but men have a degree (of advantage) over them. And God is Exalted in Power, Wise.

 

Section 29: Divorce

 

229. A divorce is only permissible twice: after that, the parties should either hold together on equitable terms, or separate with kindness. It is not lawful for you, (men), to take back any of your gifts (from your wives), except when both parties fear that they would be unable to keep the limits ordained by God. If you (judges) do indeed fear that they would be unable to keep the limits ordained by God, there is no blame on either of them if she give something for her freedom. These are the limits ordained by God. So, do not transgress them. If any do transgress the limits ordained by God, such persons wrong (themselves as well as others). 230. So if a husband divorces his wife (irrevocably), he cannot, after that, re-marry her until after she has married another husband and he has divorced her. In that case, there is no blame on either of them if they reunite, provided they feel that they can keep the limits ordained by God. Such are the limits ordained by God, which He makes plain to those who understand. 231. When you divorce women, and they fulfil the term of their ('Iddat), either take them back on equitable terms or set them free on equitable terms; but do not take them back to injure them, (or) to take undue advantage; if any one does that; he wrongs his own soul. Do not treat God’s Signs as a jest, but solemnly rehearse God’s favors on you, and the fact that He sent down to you the Book and Wisdom, for your instruction. And fear God, and know that God is well acquainted with all things.

 

Section 30: Remarriage of Divorced Women and Widows

 

232. When you divorce women, and they fulfil the term of their ('Iddat), do not prevent them from marrying their (former) husbands, if they mutually agree on equitable terms. This instruction is for all amongst you, who believe in God and the Last Day. That is (the course making for) most virtue and purity amongst you - and God knows, and you know not.

 

233. The mothers shall give such to their offspring for two whole years, if the father desires to complete the term. But he shall bear the cost of their food and clothing on equitable terms. No soul shall have a burden laid on it greater than it can bear. No mother shall be treated unfairly on account of her child. Nor father on account of his child, an heir shall be chargeable in the same way. If they both decide on weaning, by mutual consent, and after due consultation, there is no blame on them. If you decide on a foster-mother for your offspring, there is no blame on you, provided you pay (the mother) what you offered, on equitable terms. But fear God and know that God sees well what you do.

 

234. If any of you die and leave widows behind, they shall wait concerning themselves four months and ten days: When they have fulfilled their term, there is no blame on you if they dispose of themselves in a just and reasonable manner. And God is well acquainted with what you do. 235. There is no blame on you if you make an offer of betrothal or hold it in your hearts. God knows that you cherish them in your hearts: But do not make a secret contract with them except in terms honorable, nor resolve on the tie of marriage till the term prescribed is fulfilled. And know that God knows what is in your hearts, and take heed of Him; and know that God is Oft-forgiving, Most Forbearing.

 

Section 31: Provision for Divorced Women and Widows

 

236. There is no blame on you if you divorce women before consummation or the fixation of their dower; but bestow on them (a suitable gift), the wealthy according to his means, and the poor according to his means; - A gift of a reasonable amount is due from those who wish to do the right thing. 237. And if you divorce them before consummation, but after the fixation of a dower for them, then the half of the dower (is due to them), unless they remit it or (the man's half) is remitted by him in whose hands is the marriage tie; and the remission (of the man's half) is the nearest to righteousness. And do not forget liberality between yourselves. For God sees well all that you do.

 

238. Guard strictly your (habit of) prayers, especially the middle prayer; and stand before God in a devout (frame of mind). 239. If you fear (an enemy), pray on foot, or riding, (as may be most convenient), but when you are in security, celebrate God’s praises in the manner He has taught you, which you knew not (before).

 

240. Those of you who die and leave widows should bequeath for their widows a year's maintenance and residence; but if they leave (the residence), there is no blame on you for what they do with themselves, provided it is reasonable. And God is Exalted in Power, Wise. 241. For divorced women, maintenance (should be provided) on a reasonable (scale). This is a duty on the righteous. 242. Thus does God make clear His Signs to you: In order that you may understand.

 

Section 32: Fighting in the Cause of Truth

 

243. Did you not turn your vision to those who abandoned their homes, though they were thousands (in number), for fear of death? God said to them: "Die": Then He restored them to life. For God is full of bounty to mankind, but most of them are ungrateful. 244. Then fight in the cause of God, and know that God hears and knows all things. 245. Who is he that will loan to God a beautiful loan, which God will double unto his credit and multiply many times? It is God that gives (you) want or plenty, and to Him shall be your return.

 

246. Have you not turned your vision to the Chiefs of the Children of Israel after (the time of) Moses? They said to a prophet (that was) among them: "Appoint for us a king, that we may fight in the cause of God." He said: "Is it not possible, if you were commanded to fight, that that you will not fight?" They said: "How could we refuse to fight in the cause of God, seeing that we were turned out of our homes and our families?" but when they were commanded to fight, they turned back, except a small band among them. But God has full knowledge of those who do wrong. 247. Their Prophet said to them: "(God) has appointed Saul the King over you." They said: "How can he exercise authority over us when we are better fitted than he to exercise authority, and he is not even gifted with wealth in abundance?" He said: "(God) has chosen him above you, and has gifted him abundantly with knowledge and bodily prowess: God grants His authority to whom He pleases. God cares for all, and He knows all things." 248. And (further) their Prophet said to them: "A Sign of his authority is that there shall come to you the Ark of the covenant, with (an assurance) therein of security from your Lord, and the relics left by the family of Moses and the family of Aaron, carried by angels. In this is a symbol for you if you indeed have faith."

 

Section 33: Fighting in the Cause of Truth

249. When Saul the King set forth with the armies, he said: "(God) will test you at the stream: if any drinks of its water, he goes not with my army: Only those who taste not of it go with me: A mere sip out of the hand is excused." but they all drank of it, except a few. When they crossed the river, - He and the faithful ones with him, - they said: "This day we cannot cope with Goliath and his forces." But those who were convinced that they must meet God, said: "How often, by God’s will, has a small force vanquished a big one? God is with those who steadfastly persevere." 250. When they advanced to meet Goliath and his forces, they prayed: "Our Lord! Pour out constancy on us and make our steps firm: Help us against those that reject faith." 251. By God’s will they routed them; and David slew Goliath; and God gave him power and wisdom and taught him whatever (else) He willed. And did not God check one set of people by means of another, the earth would indeed be full of mischief: But God is full of bounty to all the worlds. 252. These are the Signs of God. We rehearse them to you in truth: verily you are one of the messengers.