Part 5

Wild Berries

 

24. Also (prohibited are) women already married, except those whom your right hands possess: Thus has God ordained (prohibitions) against you: Except for these, all others are lawful, provided you seek (them in marriage) with gifts from your property, - desiring chastity, not lust, seeing that you derive benefit from them, give them their dowers (at least) as prescribed; but if, after a dower is prescribed, agree mutually (to vary it), there is no blame on you, and God is All-knowing, All-wise. 25. If any of you have not the means wherewith to wed free believing women, they may wed believing girls from among those whom your right hands possess: and God has full knowledge about your faith. You are one from another: Wed them with the leave of their owners, and give them their dowers, according to what is reasonable: They should be chaste, not lustful, nor taking paramours: when they are taken in wedlock, if they fall into shame, their punishment is half that for free women. This (permission) is for those among you who fear sin; but it is better for you that you practice self-restraint. And God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.

 

Section 5: Women’s Rights Over Their Earnings

 

26. God does wish to make clear to you and to show you the ordinances of those before you; and (He does wish to) turn to you (in Mercy): And God is All-knowing, All-wise. 27. God does wish to turn to you, but the wish of those who follow their lusts is that you should turn away (from Him), - far, far away. 28. God does wish to lighten your (difficulties): for man was created weak (in flesh). 29. O you who believe! Eat not up your property among yourselves in vanities: But let there be amongst you traffic and trade by mutual good-will: nor kill (or destroy) yourselves: for verily God has been to you Most Merciful! 30. If any do that in rancor and injustice, - soon shall We cast them into the Fire: and easy it is for God. 31. If you (but) eschew the most heinous of the things which you are forbidden to do, We shall expel out of you all the evil in you, and admit you to a gate of great honor. 32. And in no wise covet those things in which God has bestowed His gifts more freely on some of you than on others: to men is allotted what they earn, and to women what they earn: but ask God of His bounty; for God has full knowledge of all things. 33. To (benefit) every one, We have appointed shares and heirs to property left by parents and relatives. To those, also, to whom your right hand was pledged, give their due portion. For truly God is witness to all things.

 

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God does wish to lighten your (difficulties): for man was created weak (in flesh). (4:28)

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Section 6: Disagreement Between Husband and Wife

 

34. Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because God has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore, the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband's) absence what God would have them guard. As to those women on whose part you fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (next), refuse to share their beds, (and last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoyance): for God is Most High, great (above you all). 35. If you fear a breach between them twain, appoint (two) arbiters, one from his family, and the other from hers; if they wish for peace, God will cause their reconciliation: for God has full knowledge, and is acquainted with all things.

 

36. Serve God, and join not any partners with Him; and do good - to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, those in need, neighbors who are near, neighbors who are strangers, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (you meet), and what your right hands possess: for God loves not the arrogant, the vainglorious; - 37. (Nor) those who are niggardly or enjoin niggardliness on others, or hide the bounties which God has bestowed on them; for We have prepared, for those who resist Faith, a punishment that steeps them in contempt; - 38. Not those who spend of their substance, to be seen of men, but have no faith in God and the Last Day: If any take the Evil One for their intimate, what a dreadful intimate he is! 39. And what burden were it on them if they had faith in God and in the Last Day, and they spent out of what God has given them for sustenance? For God has full knowledge of them. 40. God is never unjust in the least degree: if there is any good (done), He doubles it, and gives from His own presence a great reward. 41. How then if We brought from each people a witness, and We brought you as a witness against these people! 42. On that day those who reject Faith and disobey the Messenger will wish that the earth were made one with them: but never will they hide a single fact from God.

 

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God is never unjust in the least degree: if there is any good (done), He doubles it, and gives from His own presence a great reward. (4:40)

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Section 7: Purification of the Soul

 

43. O you who believe! Approach not prayers with a mind befogged, until you can understand all that you say, - nor in a state of ceremonial impurity (except when travelling on the road), until after washing your whole body. If you are ill, or on a journey, or one of you comes from offices of nature, or you have been in contact with women, and you find no water, then take for yourselves clean sand or earth, and rub therewith your faces and hands. For God does blot out sins and forgive again and again.

 

44. Have you not turned your vision to those who were given a portion of the Book? they traffic in error, and wish that you should lose the right path. 45. But God has full knowledge of your enemies: God is enough for a protector, and God is enough for a helper. 46. Of the Jews there are those who displace words from their (right) places, and say: "We hear and we disobey"; and "Hear what is not heard"; and "Ra'ina"; with a twist of their tongues and a slander to Faith. If only they had said: "We hear and we obey"; and "Do hear"; and "Do look at us"; it would have been better for them, and more proper; but God has cursed them for their Unbelief; and but few of them will believe.

 

47. O you People of the Book! Believe in what We have (now) revealed, confirming what was (already) with you, before We change the face and fame of some (of you) beyond all recognition, and turn them hindwards, or curse them as We cursed the Sabbath-breakers, for the decision of God must be carried out. 48. God forgives not that partners should be set up with Him; but He forgives anything else, to whom He pleases; to set up partners with God is to devise a sin most heinous indeed.

 

49. Have you not turned your vision to those who claim sanctity for themselves? No - but God does sanctify whom He pleases. But never will they fail to receive justice in the least little thing. 50. Behold! How they invent a lie against God; but that by itself is a manifest sin!

 

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But God has full knowledge of your enemies: God is enough for a protector, and God is enough for a helper. (4:45)

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Section 8: Kingdom Granted to Abraham’s Descendants

 

51. Have you not turned your vision to those who were given a portion of the Book? They believe in sorcery and evil, and say to the Unbelievers that they are better guided in the (right) way than the believers! 52. They are (men) whom God has cursed: and those whom God has cursed, you will find, have no one to help. 53. Have they a share in dominion or power? Behold, they give not a farthing to their fellow-men? 54. Or do they envy mankind for what God has given them of His bounty? But We had already given the people of Abraham the Book and Wisdom, and conferred upon them a great kingdom. 55. Some of them believed, and some of them averted their faces from him: and enough is Hell for a burning fire. 56. Those who reject our Signs, We shall soon cast into the Fire: as often as their skins are roasted through, We shall change them for fresh skins, that they may taste the penalty: for God is Exalted in Power, Wise. 57. But those who believe and do deeds of righteousness, We shall soon admit to Gardens, with rivers flowing beneath, - their eternal home: therein shall they have companions pure and holy: We shall admit them to shades, cool and ever deepening. 58. God does command you to render back your trusts to those to whom they are due; and when you judge between man and man, that you judge with justice: verily how excellent is the teaching which He gives you! For God is He who hears and sees all things. 59. O you who believe! Obey God, and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you. If you differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to God and His Messenger, if you do believe in God and the Last Day: that is best, and most suitable for final determination.

 

Section 9: The Prophet Must be obeyed

 

60. Have you not turned your vision to those who declare that they believe in the revelations that have come to you and to those before you? Their (real) wish is to resort together for judgment (in their disputes) to the Evil One, though they were ordered to reject him. But Satan's wish is to lead them astray far away (from the right). 61. When it is said to them: “Come to what God has revealed, and to the Messenger”: You see the Hypocrites avert their faces from you in disgust. 62. How then, when they are seized by misfortune, because of the deeds which their hand has sent forth? Then they come to you, swearing by God; "We meant no more than good-will and conciliation!" 63. Those men, - (God) knows what is in their hearts; so, keep clear of them, but admonish them, and speak to them a word to reach their very souls. 64. We sent not a Messenger, but to be obeyed, in accordance with the will of God. If they had only, when they were unjust to themselves, come unto you and asked God’s forgiveness, and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found God indeed Oft-returning, Most Merciful. 65. But no, by the Lord, they can have no (real) Faith, until they make you judge in all disputes between them, and find in their souls no resistance against your decisions, but accept them with the fullest conviction. 66. If We had ordered them to sacrifice their lives or to leave their homes, very few of them would have done it: But if they had done what they were (actually) told, it would have been best for them, and would have gone farthest to strengthen their (faith); 67. And We should then have given them from Our presence a great reward; 68. And We should have shown them the Straight Way.

 

69. All who obey God and the Messenger are in the company of those on whom is the grace of God, - of the prophets (who teach), the sincere (lovers of Truth), the witnesses (who testify), and the righteous (who do good): Ah! What a beautiful fellowship! 70. Such is the bounty from God; and sufficient is it that God knows all.

 

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 All who obey God and the Messenger are in the company of those on whom is the grace of God, - of the prophets (who teach), the sincere (lovers of Truth), the witnesses (who testify), and the righteous (who do good): Ah! What a beautiful fellowship! (4:69)

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Section 10: Believers Must Defend Themselves

 

71. O you who believe! Take your precautions, and either go forth in parties or go forth all together. 72. There are certainly among you men who would tarry behind: If a misfortune befalls you, they say: "(God) did favor us in that we were not present among them." 73. But if good fortune comes to you from God, they would be sure to say - as if there had never been ties of affection between you and them - "Oh! I wish I had been with them; a fine thing should I then have made of it!"

 

74. Let those who fight in the cause of God who sell the life of this world for the Hereafter. To him who fight in the cause of God, - whether he is slain or gets victory - soon shall We give him a reward of great (value). 75. And why should you not fight in the cause of God and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated (and oppressed)? - men, women, and children, whose cry is: "Our Lord! Rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from You one who will protect; and raise for us from You one who will help!" 76. Those who believe fight in the cause of God, and those who reject Faith fight in the cause of Evil: So, fight you against the friends of Satan: feeble indeed is the cunning of Satan.

 

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And why should you not fight in the cause of God and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated (and oppressed)? - men, women, and children, whose cry is: "Our Lord! Rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from You one who will protect; and raise for us from You one who will help!" (4:75)

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Section 11: Attitude of the Hypocrites

 

77. Have you not turned your vision to those who were told to hold back their hands (from fight) but establish regular prayers and spend in regular charity? When (at length) the order for fighting was issued to them, behold! A section of them feared men as - or even more than – as they should have feared God. They said: "Our Lord! Why have you ordered us to fight? Would You not grant us respite to our (natural) term, near (enough)?" Say: "Short is the enjoyment of this world: The Hereafter is the best for those who do right: Never will you be dealt with unjustly in the very least! 78. "Wherever you are, death will find you out, even if you are in towers built up strong and high!" If some good befalls them, they say, "This is from God"; but if evil, they say, "This is from you". (O Prophet) say: "All things are from God." But what has come to these people, that they fail to understand a single fact? 79. Whatever good, (o man!) happens to you, is from God; but whatever evil happens to you, is from your (own) soul; and We have sent you as a Messenger to (instruct) mankind. And enough is God for a witness. 80. He who obeys the Messenger, obeys God. But if any turn away, We have not sent you to watch over their (evil deeds). 81. They have "obedience" on their lips; but when they leave you, a section of them meditate all night on things very different from what you tell them. But God records their nightly (plots): So, keep clear of them, and put your trust in God, and enough is God as a disposer of affairs. 82. Do they not consider the Qur'an (with care)? Had it been from other than God, they would surely have found therein much discrepancy. 83. When there comes to them some matter touching (public) safety or fear, they divulge it. If they had only referred it to the Messenger, or to those charged with authority among them, the proper investigators would have tested it from them (direct). Were it not for the Grace and Mercy of God unto you, all but a few of you would have fallen into the clutches of Satan.

 

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Whatever good, (o man!) happens to you, is from God; but whatever evil happens to you, is from your (own) soul; and We have sent you as a Messenger to (instruct) mankind. And enough is God for a witness. (4:79)

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84. Then fight in God’s cause - you are held responsible only for yourself - and rouse the believers. It may be that God will restrain the fury of the Unbelievers; for God is the strongest in might and in punishment. 85. Whoever recommends and helps a good cause becomes a partner therein: And whoever recommends and helps an evil cause, shares in its burden: And God has power over all things.

 

86. When a (courteous) greeting is offered you, meet it with a greeting still more courteous, or (at least) of equal courtesy. God takes careful account of all things. 87. God. There is no god but He: of a surety, He will gather you together against the Day of Judgment, about which there is no doubt. And whose word can be truer than God’s?

 

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When a (courteous) greeting is offered you, meet it with a greeting still more courteous, or (at least) of equal courtesy. God takes careful account of all things. (4:86)

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Section 12: How to Deal with the Hypocrites

 

88. Why should you be divided into two parties about the Hypocrites? God has upset them for their (evil) deeds. Would you guide those whom God has thrown out of the way? For those whom God has thrown out of the way, never shall you find the way. 89. They but wish that you should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they): But take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of God (from what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever you find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks; - 90. Except those who join a group between whom and you there is a treaty (of peace), or those who approach you with hearts restraining them from fighting you as well as fighting their own people. If God had pleased, He could have given them power over you, and they would have fought you: Therefore, if they withdraw from you but fight you not, and (instead) send you (guarantees of) peace, then God has opened no way for you (to war against them). 91. Others you will find that wish to gain your confidence as well as that of their people: Every time they are sent back to temptation, they succumb thereto: if they withdraw not from you nor give you (guarantees) of peace besides restraining their hands, seize them and slay them wherever you get them: In their case, We have provided you with a clear argument against them.

 

Section 13: Murderer of a Muslim

 

92. Never should a believer kill a believer; but (if it so happens) by mistake, (compensation is due): If one (so) kills a believer, it is ordained that he should free a believing slave, and pay compensation to the deceased's family, unless they remit it freely. If the deceased belonged to a people at war with you, and he was a believer, the freeing of a believing slave (is enough). If he belonged to a people with whom you have treaty of mutual alliance, compensation should be paid to his family, and a believing slave be freed. For those who find this beyond their means, (is prescribed) a fast for two months running: by way of repentance to God; for God has all knowledge and all wisdom. 93. If a man kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell, to abide therein (forever): And the wrath and the curse of God are upon him, and a dreadful penalty is prepared for him.

 

94. O you who believe! When you go abroad in the cause of God, investigate carefully, and say not to anyone who offers you a salutation: "You are none of a believer!" Coveting the perishable goods of this life: with God are profits and spoils abundant. Even thus were you yourselves before, till God conferred on you His favors: Therefore, carefully investigate. For God is well aware of all that you do.

 

95. Not equal are those believers who sit (at home) and receive no hurt, and those who strive and fight in the cause of God with their goods and their persons. God has granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and persons than to those who sit (at home). Unto all (in Faith) has God promised good: But those who strive and fight has He distinguished above those who sit (at home) by a special reward, - 96. Ranks specially bestowed by Him, and Forgiveness and Mercy. For God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.

 

Section 14: Muslims who Remained with the Enemy

 

97. When angels take the souls of those who die in sin against their souls, they say: "In what (plight) were you?" They reply: "Weak and oppressed were we in the earth." They say: "Was not the earth of God spacious enough for you to move yourselves away (from evil)?" Such men will find their abode in Hell, - what an evil refuge! - 98. Except those who are (really) weak and oppressed - men, women, and children - who have no means in their power, nor (a guide-post) to their way. 99. For these, there is hope that God will forgive: for God does blot out (sins) and forgive again and again. 100. He who forsakes his home in the cause of God, finds in the earth many a refuge, wide and spacious: should he die as a refugee from home for God and His Messenger, his reward becomes due and sure with God. And God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.

 

Section 15: Prayer when Fighting

 

101. When you travel through the earth, there is no blame on you if you shorten your prayers, for fear the Unbelievers may attack you: for the Unbelievers are unto you open enemies. 102. When you (O Messenger) are with them, and stand to lead them in prayer, let one party of them stand up (in prayer) with you, taking their arms with them: When they finish their prostrations, let them take their position in the rear. And let the other party come up which has not yet prayed - and let them pray with you, taking all precaution, and bearing arms: the Unbelievers wish, if you were negligent of your arms and your baggage, to assault you in a single rush. But there is no blame on you if you put away your arms because of the inconvenience of rain or because you are ill; but take (every) precaution for yourselves. For the Unbelievers, God has prepared a humiliating punishment. 103. When you pass (congregational) prayers, celebrate God’s praises, standing, sitting down, or lying down on your sides; but when you are free from danger, set up regular prayers: for such prayers are enjoined on believers at stated times. 104. And slacken not in following up the enemy: if you are suffering hardships, they are suffering similar hardships; but you have hope from God, while they have none. And God is full of knowledge and wisdom.

 

Section 16: Hypocrites are Dishonest

 

105. We have sent down to you the Book in truth, that you might judge between men, as guided by God; so be not (used) as an advocate by those who betray their trust; 106. But seek the forgiveness of God; for God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. 107. Contend not on behalf of such as betray their own souls; for God loves not one given to perfidy and crime: 108. They may hide (their crimes) from men, but they cannot hide (them) from God, seeing that He is in their midst when they plot by night, in words that He cannot approve: And God does compass around all that they do. 109. Ah! These are the sort of men on whose behalf you may contend in this world; but who will contend with God on their behalf on the Day of Judgment, or who will carry their affairs through? 110. If any one does evil or wrongs his own soul but afterwards seeks God’s forgiveness, he will find God Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. 111. And if anyone earns sin, he earns it against his own soul: for God is full of knowledge and wisdom. 112. But if anyone earns a fault or a sin and throws it on to one that is innocent, he carries (on himself) (both) a falsehood and a flagrant sin.

 

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 If any one does evil or wrongs his own soul but afterwards seeks God’s forgiveness, he will find God Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. (4:110)

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Section 17: Secret Counsels of the Hypocrites

 

113. But for the grace of God to you and His mercy, a party of them would certainly have plotted to lead you astray. But (in fact) they will only lead their own souls astray, and to you they can do no harm in the least. For God has sent down to you the Book and wisdom and taught you what you knew not (before): And great is the grace of God unto you. 114. In most of their secret talks there is no good: But if one exhorts to a deed of charity or justice or conciliation between men, (secrecy is permissible): To him who does this, seeking the good pleasure of God, We shall soon give a reward of the highest (value). 115. If anyone contends with the Messenger even after guidance has been plainly conveyed to him, and follows a path other than that becoming to men of Faith, We shall leave him in the path he has chosen, and land him in Hell, - what an evil refuge!

 

Section 18: Idolatry Condemned

 

116. God forgives not (the sin of) joining other gods with Him; but He forgives whom He pleases other sins than this: one who joins other gods with God, has strayed far, far away (from the right). 117. (The pagans), leaving Him, call but upon female deities: they call but upon Satan the persistent rebel! 118. God did curse him, but he said: "I will take of Your servants a portion marked off; 119. "I will mislead them, and I will create in them false desires; I will order them to slit the ears of cattle, and to deface the (fair) nature created by God." Whoever, forsaking God, takes Satan for a friend, has of a surety suffered a loss that is manifest. 120. Satan makes them promises, and creates in them false desires; but Satan's promises are nothing but deception. 121. They (his dupes) will have their dwelling in Hell, and from it they will find no way of escape. 122. But those who believe and do deeds of righteousness, - We shall soon admit them to gardens, with rivers flowing beneath, - to dwell therein forever. God’s promise is the truth, and whose word can be truer than God’s?

 

123. Not your desires, nor those of the People of the Book (can prevail): whoever works evil, will be requited accordingly. Nor will he find, besides God, any protector or helper. 124. If any do deeds of righteousness, - be they male or female - and have faith, they will enter Heaven, and not the least injustice will be done to them. 125. Who can be better in religion than one who submits his whole self to God, does good, and follows the way of Abraham - the true in Faith? For God did take Abraham for a friend. 126. But to God belong all things in the heavens and on earth: and He it is that encompasses all things.

 

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If any do deeds of righteousness, - be they male or female - and have faith, they will enter Heaven, and not the least injustice will be done to them. (4:124)

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Section 19: Equitable Dealing with Orphans and Women

 

127. They ask your instruction concerning the women say: God does instruct you about them: and (remember) what has been rehearsed unto you in the Book, concerning the orphans of women to whom you give not the portions prescribed, and yet whom you desire to marry, as also concerning the children who are weak and oppressed: that you stand firm for justice to orphans. There is not a good deed which you do, but God is well-acquainted therewith.

 

128. If a wife fears cruelty or desertion on her husband's part, there is no blame on them if they arrange an amicable settlement between themselves; and such settlement is best; even though men's souls are swayed by greed. But if you do good and practice self-restraint, God is well-acquainted with all that you do. 129. You are never able to be fair and just as between women, even if it is your ardent desire: but turn not away (from a woman) altogether, so as to leave her (as it were) hanging (in the air). If you come to a friendly understanding, and practice self- restraint, God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. 130. But if they disagree (and must part), God will provide abundance for all from His all-reaching bounty: for God is He that cares for all and is Wise.

 

131. To God belong all things in the heavens and on earth. Verily we have directed the People of the Book before you, and you (o those who submit themselves to God) to fear God. But if you deny Him, lo! unto God belong all things in the heavens and on earth, and God is free of all wants, worthy of all praise. 132. Yea, unto God belong all things in the heavens and on earth, and enough is God to carry through all affairs. 133. If it were His will, He could destroy you, o mankind, and create another race; for He has power this to do. 134. If anyone desires a reward in this life, in God’s (gift) is the reward (both) of this life and of the hereafter: for God is He that hears and sees (all things).

 

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If anyone desires a reward in this life, in God’s (gift) is the reward (both) of this life and of the hereafter: for God is He that hears and sees (all things). (4:134)

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Section 20: Hypocrisy Condemned

 

135. O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to God, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for God can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest you swerve, and if you distort (justice) or decline to do justice, verily God is well- acquainted with all that you do. 136. O you who believe! Believe in God and His Messenger, and the scripture which He has sent to His Messenger and the scripture which He sent to those before (him). Any who denies God, His angels, His Books, His Messenger, and the Day of Judgment, has gone far, far astray.

 

137. Those who believe, then reject faith, then believe (again) and (again) reject faith, and go on increasing in unbelief, - God will not forgive them nor guide them nor guide them on the Way. 138. To the Hypocrites give the glad tidings that there is for them (but) a grievous penalty; - 139. Yea, to those who take for friends’ unbelievers rather than believers: is it honor they seek among them? No, - all honor is with God. 140. Already has He sent you Word in the Book, that when you hear the signs of God held in defiance and ridicule, you are not to sit with them unless they turn to a different theme: if you did, you would be like them. For God will collect the hypocrites and those who defy faith - all in Hell: - 141. (These are) the ones who wait and watch about you: if you do gain a victory from God, they say: "Were we not with you?" - but if the unbelievers gain a success, they say (to them): "Did we not gain an advantage over you, and did we not guard you from the believers?" But God will judge between you on the Day of Judgment. And never will God grant to the unbelievers a way (to triumph) over the believers.

 

Section 21: End of the Hypocrites

 

142. The Hypocrites - they think they are over-reaching God, but He will over-reach them: When they stand up to prayer, they stand without earnestness, to be seen of men, but little do they hold God in remembrance; 143. (They are) distracted in mind even in the midst of it, - being (sincerely) for neither one group nor for another; whoever God leaves straying, - never will you find for him the Way. 144. O you who believe! Take not for friends’ unbelievers rather than believers: Do you wish to offer God an open proof against yourselves? 145. The Hypocrites will be in the lowest depths of the Fire: no helper will you find for them; - 146. Except for those who repent, mend (their lives), hold fast to God, and purify their religion as in God’s sight: if so, they will be (numbered) with the believers. And soon will God grant to the believers a reward of immense value. 147. What can God gain by your punishment, if you are grateful and you believe? No, it is God that recognizes (all good), and knows all things.