Part 4

Wild Berries

IV

Section 10: Ever-living Testimony to the Truth of Islam

 

92. By no means shall you attain righteousness unless you give (freely) of that which you love; and whatever you give, of a truth God knows it well.

 

93. All food was lawful to the Children of Israel, except what Israel made unlawful for itself, before the Law (of Moses) was revealed. Say: "Bring you the Law and study it, if you be men of truth." 94. If any, after this, invent a lie and attribute it to God, they are indeed unjust wrongdoers. 95. Say: "(God) speaks the Truth: follow the religion of Abraham, the sane in faith; he was not of the Pagans."

 

96. The first house (of worship) appointed for men was that at Bakka: Full of blessing and of guidance for all kinds of beings: 97. In it are Signs Manifest; (for example), the Station of Abraham; whoever enters it attains security; Pilgrimage thereto is a duty men owe to God, - those who can afford the journey; but if any deny faith, God stands not in need of any of His creatures.

 

98. Say: "O People of the Book! Why reject you the Signs of God, when God is Himself witness to all you do?" 99. Say: "O you People of the Book! Why obstruct you those who believe, from the path of God, seeking to make it crooked, while you were yourselves witnesses (to God’s Covenant)? But God is not unmindful of all that you do." 100. O you who believe! If you listen to a faction among the People of the Book, they would (indeed) render you apostates after you have believed! 101. And how would you deny Faith while unto you are rehearsed the Signs of God, and among you lives the Messenger. Whoever holds firmly to God will be shown a way that is straight.

 

Section 11: Muslims Exhorted to Remain United

 

102. O you who believe! Fear God as He should be feared, and die not except in a state of submission to God. 103. And hold fast, all together, by the rope which God (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves; And remember with gratitude, God’s favor on you; for you were enemies and He joined your hearts in love, so that by His Grace, you became brethren; and you were on the brink of the pit of Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus, does God make His Signs clear to you: that you may be guided. 104. Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong: They are the ones to attain felicity. 105. Be not like those who are divided amongst themselves and fall into disputations after receiving Clear Signs: For them is a dreadful penalty, - 106. On the Day when some faces will be (lit up with) white, and some faces will be (in the gloom of) black: To those whose faces will be black, (will be said): "Did you reject Faith after accepting it? Taste then the penalty for rejecting Faith." 107. But those whose faces will be (lit with) white, - they will be in (the light of) God’s mercy: therein to dwell (forever).

 

108. These are the Signs of God. We rehearse them to you in Truth: And God means no injustice to any of His creatures. 109. To God belongs all that is in the heavens and on earth: To Him do all questions go back (for decision).

 

Section 12: Relations of Jews with Muslims

 

110. You are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing in God. If only the People of the Book had faith, it would be best for them: among them are some who have faith, but most of them are perverted transgressors. 111. They will do you no harm, barring a trifling annoyance; if they come out to fight you, they will show you their backs, and no help shall they get. 112. Shame is pitched over them (like a tent) wherever they are found, except when under a covenant (of protection) from God and from men; they draw on themselves wrath from God, and pitched over them is (the tent of) destitution. This because they rejected the Signs of God, and slew the prophets in defiance of right; this because they rebelled and transgressed beyond bounds. 113. Not all of them are alike: Of the People of the Book are a portion that stand (for the right): They rehearse the Signs of God all night long, and they prostrate themselves in adoration. 114. They believe in God and the Last Day; they enjoin what is right, and forbid what is wrong; and they hasten (in emulation) in (all) good works: They are in the ranks of the righteous. 115. Of the good that they do, nothing will be rejected of them; for God knows well those that do right. 116. Those who reject Faith, - neither their possessions nor their (numerous) progeny will avail them aught against God. They will be companions of the Fire, - dwelling therein (forever). 117. What they spend in the life of this (material) world may be likened to a wind which brings a nipping frost: It strikes and destroys the harvest of men who have wronged their own souls: it is not God that has wronged them, but they wrong themselves.

 

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Not all of them are alike: Of the People of the Book are a portion that stand (for the right): They rehearse the Signs of God all night long, and they prostrate themselves in adoration. (3:113).

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118. O you who believe! Take not into your intimacy those outside your ranks: They will not fail to corrupt you. They only desire your ruin: Rank hatred has already appeared from their mouths: What their hearts conceal is far worse. We have made plain to you the Signs, if you have wisdom. 119. Ah! You are those who love them, but they love you not, - though you believe in the whole of the Book. When they meet you, they say, "We believe": But when they are alone, they bite off the very tips of their fingers at you in their rage. Say: "Perish in you rage; God knows well all the secrets of the heart." 120. If aught that is good befalls you, it grieves them; but if some misfortune overtakes you, they rejoice at it. But if you are constant and do right, not the least harm will their cunning do to you; for God compasses around about all that they do.

 

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But if you are constant and do right, not the least harm will their cunning do to you. (3:120).

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Section 13: The Battle of Uhud

 

121. Remember that morning you did leave your household (early) to post the faithful at their stations for battle: And God hears and knows all things: 122. Remember two of your parties meditated cowardice; but God was their protector, and in God should the faithful (ever) put their trust. 123. God had helped you at Badr, when you were a contemptible little force; then fear God: thus may you show your gratitude. 124. Remember you said to the Faithful: "Is it not enough for you that God should help you with three thousand angels (specially) sent down? 125. "Yea, - if you remain firm, and act aright, even if the enemy should rush here on you in hot haste, your Lord would help you with five thousand angels making a terrific onslaught. 126. God made it but a message of hope for you, and an assurance to your hearts: (in any case) there is no help except from God. The Exalted, the Wise: 127. That He might cut off a fringe of the Unbelievers or expose them to infamy, and they should then be turned back, frustrated of their purpose. 128. Not for you, (but for God), is the decision: Whether He turn in mercy to them, or punish them; for they are indeed wrongdoers. 129. To God belongs all that is in the heavens and on earth. He forgives whom He pleases and punishes whom He pleases; but God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

 

Section 14: What Success Meant for the Muslims

 

130. O you who believe! Devour not usury, doubled and multiplied; but fear God - that you may (really) prosper. 131. Fear the Fire, which is prepared for those who reject Faith: 132. And obey God and the Messenger - that you may obtain mercy. 133. Be quick in the race for forgiveness from your Lord, and for a Garden whose width is that (of the whole) of the heavens and of the earth, prepared for the righteous, - 134. Those who spend (freely), whether in prosperity, or in adversity; who restrain anger, and pardon (all) men; - for God loves those who do good; - 135. And those who, having done something to be ashamed of, or wronged their own souls, earnestly bring God to mind, and ask for forgiveness for their sins, - and who can forgive sins except God? - and are never obstinate in persisting knowingly in (the wrong) they have done. 136. For such the reward is forgiveness from their Lord, and Gardens with rivers flowing underneath, - an eternal dwelling: How excellent a recompense for those who work (and strive)!

 

137. Many were the Ways of Life that have passed away before you: travel through the earth, and see what was the end of those who rejected Truth. 138. Here is a plain statement to men, a guidance and instruction to those who fear God. 139. So lose not heart, nor fall into despair: For you must gain mastery if you are true in Faith. 140. If a wound has touched you, be sure a similar wound has touched the others. Such days (of varying fortunes) We give to men and men by turns: that God may know those that believe, and that He may take to Himself from your ranks martyr-witnesses (to Truth). And God loves not those that do wrong. 141. God’s object also is to purge those that are true in Faith and to deprive of blessing those that resist Faith. 142. Did you think that you would enter Heaven without God testing those of you who fought hard (in His cause) and remained steadfast? 143. You did indeed wish for death before you met him: Now you have seen him with your own eyes (and you flinch!)

 

Section 15: Suffering to be Met with Perseverance

 

144. Muhammad is no more than a messenger: many were the messengers that passed away before him. If he died or were slain, will you then turn back on your heels? If any did turn back on his heels, not the least harm will he do to God; but God (on the other hand) will swiftly reward those who (serve Him) with gratitude. 145. Nor can a soul die except by God’s leave, the term being fixed as by writing. If any do desire a reward in this life - We shall give it to him; and if any do desire a reward in the Hereafter - We shall give it to him. And swiftly shall We reward those that (serve Us with) gratitude. 146. How many of the prophets fought (in God’s way), and with them (fought) large bands of godly men? But they never lost heart if they met with disaster in God’s way, nor did they weaken (in will), nor give in. And God loves those who are firm and steadfast. 147. All that they said was: "Our Lord! Forgive us our sins and anything we may have done that transgressed our duty: Establish our feet firmly, and help us against those that resist Faith." 148. And God gave them a reward in this world, and the excellent reward of the Hereafter. For God loves those who do good.

 

Section 16: Causes of Misfortune in Uhud Battle

 

149. O you who believe! If you obey the Unbelievers, they will drive you back on your heels, and you will turn back (from Faith) to your own loss. 150. No, God is your protector, and He is the best of helpers. 151. Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with God, for which He had sent no authority: their abode will be the Fire: And evil is the home of the wrongdoers! 152. God did indeed fulfil His promise to you when you, with His permission, were about to annihilate your enemy, - until you flinched and fell to disputing about the order, and disobeyed it after He brought you in sight (of the booty) which you covet. Among you are some that hanker after this world and some that desire the Hereafter. Then did He divert you from your foes in order to test you, but He forgave you: For God is full of grace to those who believe. 153. Behold! You were climbing up the high ground, without even casting a side glance at anyone, and the Messenger in your rear was calling you back. There did God give you one distress after another by way of requital, to teach you not to grieve for (the booty) that had escaped you and for (the ill) that had befallen you. For God is well aware of all that you do. 154. After (the excitement) of the distress, He sent down calm on a band of you overcome with slumber, while another band was stirred to anxiety by their own feelings, moved by wrong suspicions of God – suspicions due to ignorance. They said: "What affair is this of ours?" Say you: "Indeed, this affair is wholly God’s." They hide in their minds what they dare not reveal to you. They say (to themselves): "If we had had anything to do with this affair, we should not have been in the slaughter here." Say: "Even if you had remained in your homes, those for whom death was decreed would certainly have gone forth to the place of their death"; but (all this was) that God might test what is in your breasts and purge what is in your hearts. For God knows well the secrets of your hearts. 155. Those of you who turned back on the day the two hosts met, - it was Satan who caused them to fail, because of some (evil) they had done. But God has blotted out (their fault): For God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Forbearing.

 

Section 17: Battle of Uhud Afforded a Distinction

 

156. O you who believe! Be not like the Unbelievers, who say of their brethren, when they are travelling through the Earth or engaged in fighting: "If they had stayed with us, they would not have died, or been slain." This that God may make it a cause of sighs and regrets in their hearts. It is God that gives Life and Death, and God sees well all that you do. 157. And if you are slain, or die, in the way of God, forgiveness and mercy from God are far better than all they could amass. 158. And if you die, or are slain, lo! It is unto God that you are brought together.

 

159. It is part of the Mercy of God that you do deal gently with them. Were you severe or harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about you: so, pass over (their faults), and ask for (God's) forgiveness for them; and consult them in affairs (of moment). Then, when you have taken a decision, put your trust in God. For God loves those who put their trust (in Him). 160. If God helps you, none can overcome you: If He forsakes you, who is there, after that, that can help you? In God, then, let believers put their trust.

 

161. No prophet could (ever) be false to his trust. If any person is so false, He shall, on the Day of Judgment, restore what he misappropriated; then shall every soul receive its due, - whatever it earned, - and none shall be dealt with unjustly. 162. Is the man who follows the good pleasure of God like the man who draws on himself the wrath of God, and whose abode is in Hell? - A woeful refuge! 163. They are in varying gardens in the sight of God, and God sees well all that they do. 164. God did confer a great favor on the believers when He sent among them a  messenger from among themselves, rehearsing unto them the Signs of God, sanctifying them, and instructing them in Scripture and Wisdom, while, before that, they had been in manifest error.

 

165. What! When a single disaster smites you, although you smote (your enemies) with one twice as great, do you say? - "When is this?" Say (to them): "It is from yourselves: For God has power over all things." 166. What you suffered on the day the two armies met, was with the leave of God, in order that He might test the believers, - 167. And the Hypocrites also. These were told: "Come, fight in the way of God, or (at least) drive (the foe from your city)." They said: "Had we known how to fight, we should certainly have followed you." They were that day nearer to Unbelief than to Faith, saying with their lips what was not in their hearts; but God has full knowledge of all they conceal. 168. (They are) the ones that say, (of their brethren slain), while they themselves sit (at ease): "If only they had listened to us, they would not have been slain." Say: "Avert death from your own selves, if you speak the truth."

169. Think not of those who are slain in God’s way as dead. No, they live, finding their sustenance in the presence of their Lord; 170. They rejoice in the bounty provided by God. And with regard to those left behind, who have not yet joined them (in their bliss), the (martyrs) glory in the fact that on them is no fear, nor have they (cause to) grieve. 171. They glory in the grace and the bounty from God, and in the fact that God suffers not the reward of the Faithful to be lost (in the least).

 

Section 18: Uhud no Gain to the Enemy

 

172. Of those who answered the call of God and the Messenger, even after being wounded, those who do right and refrain from wrong have a great reward; - 173. Men said to them: "A great army is gathering against you, and so fear them”: But it (only) increased their Faith: They said: "For us God suffices, and He is the best disposer of affairs." 174. And they returned with grace and bounty from God; no harm ever touched them: For they followed the good pleasure of God. And God is the Lord of bounties unbounded.

 

175. It is only the Evil One that suggests to you the fear of his votaries: Be you not afraid of them, but fear Me, if you have Faith. 176. Let not those grieve you who rush headlong into Unbelief: Not the least harm will they do to God. God’s plan is that He will give them no portion in the Hereafter, but a severe punishment. 177. Those who purchase Unbelief at the price of faith, - not the least harm will they do to God, but they will have a grievous punishment. 178. Let not the Unbelievers think that our respite to them is good for themselves: We grant them respite that they may grow in their iniquity: But they will have a shameful punishment.

 

179. God will not leave the believers in the state in which you are now, until He separates what is evil from what is good, nor will He disclose to you the secrets of the Unseen. But He chooses of His Messenger; (for the purpose) whom He pleases. So, believe in God and His messengers: And if you believe and do right, you have a reward without measure. 180. And let not those who covetously withhold of the gifts which God has given them of His Grace, think that it is good for them: No, it will be the worse for them: soon shall the things which they covetously withheld be tied to their necks like a twisted collar, on the Day of Judgment. To God belongs the heritage of the heavens and the earth; and God is well-acquainted with all that you do.

 

Section 19: Carping of the People of the Book

 

181. God has heard the taunt of those who say: "Truly, God is indigent and we are rich!"- We shall certainly record their word and (their act) of slaying the prophets in defiance of right, and We shall say: "Taste you the penalty of the Scorching Fire! 182. "This is because of the (unrighteous deeds) which your hands sent on before you: For God never harms those who serve Him." 183. They (also) said: "(God) took our promise not to believe in a messenger unless he showed us a sacrifice consumed by fire (from heaven)." Say: "There came to you messengers before me, with clear Signs and even with what you ask for: why then did you slay them, if you speak the truth?" 184. Then if they reject you, so were rejected messengers before you, who came with Clear Signs, Books of dark prophecies, and the Book of Enlightenment.

 

185. Every soul shall have a taste of death: And only on the Day of Judgment shall you be paid your full recompense. Only he who is saved far from the Fire and admitted to the Garden will have attained the object (of Life): For the life of this world is but goods and chattels of deception. 186. You shall certainly be tried and tested in your possessions and in your personal selves; and you shall certainly hear much that will grieve you, from those who received the Book before you and from those who worship many gods. But if you persevere patiently, and guard against evil, - then that will be a determining factor in all affairs. 187. And remember, God took a covenant from the People of the Book, to make it known and clear to mankind, and not to hide it; but they threw it away behind their backs, and purchased with it some miserable gain! And vile was the bargain they made! 188. Think not that those who exult in what they have brought about, and love to be praised for what they have not done, - think not that they escape the penalty. For them is a penalty grievous indeed. 189. To God belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth; and God has power over all things.

 

Section 20: Ultimate Triumph of the Faithful

 

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Never will I suffer to be lost the work of any of you, be he male or female: You are members, one of another.. (3:195).

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190. Behold! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alternation of night and day, - there are indeed Signs for men of understanding, - 191. Men who celebrate the praises of God, standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and contemplate the (wonders of) creation in the heavens and the earth, (with the thought): "Our Lord! not for nothing have you created (all) this! Glory to You! Give us salvation from the penalty of the Fire. 192. "Our Lord! Any whom You do admit to the Fire, truly You cover with shame, and never will wrongdoers find any helpers! 193. "Our Lord! We have heard the call of one calling (us) to Faith, 'Believe you in the Lord,' and we have believed. Our Lord! Forgive us our sins, blot out from us our iniquities, and take to Yourself our souls in the company of the righteous. 194. "Our Lord! Grant us what You did promise unto us through Your messengers, and save us from shame on the Day of Judgment: For You never break Your promise." 195. And their Lord has accepted of them, and answered them: "Never will I suffer to be lost the work of any of you, be he male or female: You are members, one of another: Those who have left their homes, or been driven out therefrom, or suffered harm in My Cause, or fought or been slain, - verily, I will blot out from them their iniquities, and admit them into Gardens with rivers flowing beneath; - A reward from the presence of God, and from His presence is the best of rewards."

 

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And there are, certainly, among the People of the Book, those who believe in God, in the revelation sent to you, and in the revelation sent to them, bowing in humility to God. They will not sell the Signs of God for a miserable gain! For them is a reward with their Lord, and God is swift in account. (3:199)

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196. Let not the strutting about of the Unbelievers through the land deceive you: 197. Little is it for enjoyment: Their ultimate abode is Hell: what an evil bed (to lie on)! 198. On the other hand, for those who fear their Lord, are Gardens, with rivers flowing beneath; therein are they to dwell (forever), - a gift from the presence of God; and that which is in the presence of God is the best (bliss) for the righteous. 199. And there are, certainly, among the People of the Book, those who believe in God, in the revelation sent to you, and in the revelation sent to them, bowing in humility to God. They will not sell the Signs of God for a miserable gain! For them is a reward with their Lord, and God is swift in account. 200. O you who believe! Persevere in patience and constancy; vie in such perseverance; strengthen each other; and fear God; that you may prosper.

 

Chapter 4: Women

 

Section 1: Duties of Guardians to Orphan Wards

 

In the name of God,

Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

 

1. O mankind! Reverence your Guardian-Lord, who created you from a single person, created, of like nature, his mate, and from them twain scattered (like seeds) countless men and women; - reverence God, through whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (reverence) the wombs (that bore you): for God ever watches over you.

 

2. To orphans restore their property (when they reach their age), nor substitute (your) worthless things for (their) good ones; and devour not their substance (by mixing it up) with your own. For this is indeed a great sin.

 

3. If you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, marry women of your choice, two or three or four; but if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or (a captive) that your right hands possess, that will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice. 4. And give the women (on marriage) their dower as a free gift; but if they, of their own good pleasure, remit any part of it to you, take it and enjoy it with right good cheer.

 

5. To those weak of understanding make not over your property, which God has made a means of support for you, but feed and clothe them therewith, and speak to them words of kindness and justice.

 

6. Make trial of orphans until they reach the age of marriage; if then you find sound judgment in them, release their property to them; but consume it not wastefully, nor in haste against their growing up. If the guardian is well-off, let him claim no remuneration, but if he is poor, let him have for himself what is just and reasonable. When you release their property to them, take witnesses in their presence: But all-sufficient is God in taking account.

 

7. From what is left by parents and those nearest related there is a share for men and a share for women, whether the property be small or large, - a determinate share. 8. But if at the time of division other relatives, or orphans or poor, are present, feed them out of the (property), and speak to them words of kindness and justice. 9. Let those (disposing of an estate) have the same fear in their minds as they would have for their own if they had left a helpless family behind: Let them fear God, and speak words of appropriate (comfort). 10. Those who unjustly eat up the property of orphans, eat up a Fire into their own bodies: They will soon be enduring a Blazing Fire!

 

Section 2: Law of Inheritance

 

11. God (thus) directs you as regards your children's (inheritance): to the male, a portion equal to that of two females: if only daughters, two or more, their share is two-thirds of the inheritance; if only one, her share is a half. For parents, a sixth share of the inheritance to each, if the deceased left children; if no children, and the parents are the (only) heirs, the mother has a third; if the deceased left brothers (or sisters) the mother has a sixth. (The distribution in all cases is) after the payment of legacies and debts. You know not whether your parents or your children are nearest to you in benefit. These are settled portions ordained by God; and God is All-knowing, All-wise.

 

12. In what your wives leave, your share is a half, if they leave no child; but if they leave a child, you get a fourth; after payment of legacies and debts. In what you leave, their share is a fourth, if you leave no child; but if you leave a child, they get an eighth; after payment of legacies and debts. If the man or woman whose inheritance is in question, has left neither ascendants nor descendants, but has left a brother or a sister, each one of the two gets a sixth; but if more than two, they share in a third; after payment of legacies and debts; so that no loss is caused (to anyone). Thus, is it ordained by God; and God is All-knowing, Most Forbearing.

 

13. Those are limits set by God; those who obey God and His Messenger will be admitted to Gardens with rivers flowing beneath, to abide therein (forever) and that will be the supreme achievement. 14. But those who disobey God and His Messenger and transgress His limits will be admitted to a Fire, to abide therein: And they shall have a humiliating punishment.

 

Section 3: Treatment of Women

 

15. If any of your women are guilty of lewdness, take the evidence of four (reliable) witnesses from amongst you against them; and if they testify, confine them to houses until death do claim them, or God ordain for them some (other) way. 16. If two men among you are guilty of lewdness, punish them both. If they repent and amend, leave them alone; for God is Oft-returning, Most Merciful. 17. God accept the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance and repent soon afterwards; to them will God turn in mercy: For God is full of knowledge and wisdom. 18. Of no effect is the repentance of those who continue to do evil, until death faces one of them, and he says, "Now have I repented indeed;" nor of those who die rejecting Faith: for them have We prepared a punishment most grievous.

 

19. O you who believe! You are forbidden to inherit women against their will. Nor should you treat them with harshness, that you may take away part of the dower you have given them, - except where they have been guilty of open lewdness; on the contrary live with them on a footing of kindness and equity. If you take a dislike to them it may be that you dislike a thing, and God brings about through it a great deal of good. 20. But if you decide to take one wife in place of another, even if you had given the latter a whole treasure for dower, take not the least bit of it back: Would you take it by slander and manifest wrong? 21. And how could you take it when you have gone in unto each other, and they have taken from you a solemn covenant?

 

22. And marry not women whom your fathers married, - except what is past: It was shameful and odious, - an abominable custom indeed.

 

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You are forbidden to inherit women against their will. Nor should you treat them with harshness, that you may take away part of the dower you have given them, - except where they have been guilty of open lewdness; on the contrary live with them on a footing of kindness and equity. (4:19)

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Section 4: What Women May be Taken in Marriage

 

23. Prohibited to you (for marriage) are: - your mothers, daughters, sisters; father's sisters, mother's sisters; brother's daughters, sister's daughters; foster-mothers (who gave you suck), foster-sisters; your wives' mothers; your step-daughters under your guardianship, born of your wives to whom you have gone in, - no prohibition if you have not gone in; - (those who have been) wives of your sons proceeding from your loins; and two sisters in wedlock at one and the same time, except for what is past; for God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful; -