SURA II.THE COW1 [XCI.]
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
ELIF. LAM. MIM.2 No doubt is there about this Book: It is a guidance to the God-fearing,
Who believe in the unseen,3 who observe prayer, and out of what we have bestowed on them, expend for God;
And who believe in what hath been sent down to thee, and in what hath been sent down before thee, and full faith have they in the life to come:
These are guided by their Lord; and with these it shall be well.
As to the infidels, alike is it to them whether thou warn them or warn them not they will not believe:
Their hearts and their ears hath God sealed up; and over their eyes is a covering. For them, a severe chastisement!
And some4 there are who say, "We believe in God, and in the latter day:" Yet are they not believers!
Fain would they deceive God and those who have believed; but they deceive themselves only, and know it not.
Diseased are their hearts! And that disease hath God increased creased to them. Their's a sore chastisement, for that they treated their prophet as a liar!
And when it is said to them, "Cause not disorders in the earth:" they say, "Nay, rather do we set them right."
Is it not that they are themselves the authors of disorder? But they perceive it not!
And when it is said to them, "Believe as other men have believed;" they say, "Shall we believe as the fools have believed?" Is it not that they are themselves the fools? But they know it not!
And when they meet the faithful they say, "We believe;" but when they are apart with their Satans5 they say, "Verily we hold with you, and at them we only mock."
God shall mock at them, and keep them long in their rebellion, wandering in perplexity.
These are they who have purchased error at the price of guidance: but their traffic hath not been gainful, neither are they guided at all.
They are like one6 who kindleth a fire, and when it hath thrown its light on all around him. . . . God taketh away their light and leaveth them in darkness they cannot see!
Deaf, dumb, blind: therefore they shall not retrace their steps from error!
Or like those who, when there cometh a storm-cloud out of the Heaven, big with darkness thunder and lightning, thrust their fingers into their ears because of the thunder-clap, for fear of death! God is round about the infidels.
The lightning almost snatcheth away their eyes! So oft as it gleameth on them they walk on in it, but when darkness closeth upon them, they stop! And if God pleased, of their ears and of their eyes would he surely deprive them: verily God is Almighty! O men of Mecca7 adore your Lord, who hath created you and those who were before you: haply ye will fear Him
Who hath made the earth a bed for you, and the heaven a covering, and hath caused water to come down from heaven, and by it hath brought forth fruits for your sustenance! Do not then wittingly give peers to God.
And if ye be in doubt as to that which we have sent down to our servant, then produce a Sura like it, and summon your witnesses, beside God, if ye are men of truth:
But if ye do it not, and never shall ye do it, then fear the fire prepared for the infidels, whose fuel is men and stones:8
But announce to those who believe and do the things that are right, that for them are gardens 'neath which the rivers flow! So oft as they are fed therefrom with fruit for sustenance, they shall say, "This same was our sustenance of old:" And they shall have its like given to them.9 Therein shall they have wives of perfect purity, and therein shall they abide for ever.
Verily God is not ashamed to set forth as well the instance of a gnat10 as of any nobler object: for as to those who have believed, they know it to be the truth from their Lord; but as to the unbelievers, they will say, "What meaneth God by this comparison?" Many will He mislead by such parables and many guide: but none will He mislead thereby except the wicked,
Who, after its establishment, violate the covenant of God,11 and cut in sunder what God hath bidden to be joined, and act disorderly on the Earth. These are they who shall suffer loss!
How can ye withhold faith from God? Ye were dead and He gave you life; next He will cause you to die; next He will restore you to life: next shall ye return to Him!
He it is who created for you all that is on Earth, then proceeded to the Heaven, and into seven12 Heavens did He fashion it: and He knoweth all things.
When thy Lord said to the angels, "Verily, I am about to place one in my stead on earth,"13 they said, "Wilt thou place there one who will do ill therein and shed blood, when we celebrate thy praise and extol thy holiness?" God said, "Verily, I know what ye know not."
And he taught Adam the names of all things, and then set them before the angels,14 and said, "Tell me the names of these, if ye are endued with wisdom."15
They said, "Praise be to Thee! We have no knowledge but what Thou hast given us to know. Thou! Thou art the Knowing, the Wise."
He said, "O Adam, inform them of their names." And when he had informed them of their names, He said, "Did I not say to you that I know the hidden things of the Heavens and of the Earth, and that I know what ye bring to light, and what ye hide?"
And when we said to the angels, "Bow down and worship Adam," then worshipped they all, save Eblis.16 He refused and swelled with pride, and became one of the unbelievers.
And we said, "O Adam! dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden, and eat ye plentifully therefrom wherever ye list; but to this tree come not nigh, lest ye become of the transgressors."
But Satan17 made them slip from it, and caused their banishment from the place in which they were. And we said, "Get ye down, the one of you an enemy to the other: and there shall be for you in the earth a dwelling-place, and a provision for a time."
And words of prayer learned Adam from his Lord: and God turned to him; for He loveth to turn, the Merciful.
We said, "Get ye down from it, all together: and if
Guidance shall come to you from me, whoso shall follow my guidance, on them shall come no fear, neither shall they be grieved:
But they who shall not believe, and treat our signs as false-hoods, these shall be inmates of the fire; in it shall they remain for ever."
O children of Israel! remember my favour wherewith I shewed favour upon you, and be true to your covenant with me; I will be true to my covenant with you; me therefore, revere me! and believe in what I have sent down confirming your Scriptures, and be not the first to disbelieve it, neither for a mean price barter my signs: me therefore, fear ye me!
And clothe not the truth with falsehood, and hide not the truth when ye know it:18
And observe prayer and pay the legal impost, and bow down with those who bow.
Will ye enjoin what is right upon others, and forget yourselves? Yet ye read the Book: will ye not understand?
And seek help with patience and prayer: a hard duty indeed is this, but not to the humble,
Who bear in mind that they shall meet their Lord, and that unto Him shall they return.
O children of Israel! remember my favour wherewith I shewed favour upon you; for verily to you above all human beings have I been bounteous.
And fear ye the day when soul shall not satisfy for soul at all, nor shall any intercession be accepted from them, nor shall any ransom be taken, neither shall they be helped.
And remember when we rescued you from the people of Pharaoh, who had laid on you a cruel chastisement. They slew your male children, and let only your females live: and in this was a great trial from your Lord:
And when we parted the sea for you, and saved you, and drowned the people of Pharaoh, while ye were looking on:
And when we were in treaty with Moses forty nights: then during his absence took ye the calf and acted wickedly:
Yet after this we forgave you, that ye might be grateful:
And when we gave Moses the Book and the Illumination19 in order to your guidance:
And remember when Moses said to his people, "O my people! verily ye - have sinned to your own hurt, by your taking the calf to worship it: Be turned then to your creator, and slay the guilty among you;20 this will be best for you with your creator:" Then turned He unto you, for He is the one who turneth, the Merciful:
And when ye said, "O Moses! we will not believe thee until we see God plainly;" the thunderbolt fell upon you while ye were looking on:
Then we raised you to life after ye had been dead,21 that haply ye might give thanks:
And we caused the clouds to overshadow you, and we sent down manna and quails upon you;"Eat of the good things we have give you for sustenance;"and they injured not us but they injured themselves.22
And when we said, "Enter this city,23 and eat therefrom plentifully, at your will, and enter the gate with prostrations, and say, 'Forgiveness;' and we will pardon you your sins, and give an increase to the doers of good:"
But the evil-doers changed that word into another than that spoken to them,24 and we sent down upon those evil-doers wrath from heaven, for that they had done amiss:
And when Moses asked drink for his people, we said, "Strike the rock with thy rod;" and from it there gushed twelve fountains: each tribe25 knew their drinking-place:"Eat and drink," said we, "of what God hath supplied, and do no wrong on the earth by licentious deeds:"
And when ye said, "O Moses! we will not put up with one sort of food: pray, therefore, thy Lord for us, that He would bring forth for us of that which the earth groweth, its herbs and its cucumbers and its garlic and its lentils and its onions:" He said, "What! will ye exchange that which is worse for what is better? Get ye down into Egypt;for ye shall have what ye have asked:" Vileness and poverty were stamped upon them, and they returned with wrath from God: This, for that they disbelieved the signs of God, and slew the Prophets26 unjustly: this, for that they rebelled and transgressed!
Verily, they who believe (Muslims), and they who follow the Jewish religion, and the Christians, and the Sabeites27whoever of these believeth in God and the last day, and doeth that which is right, shall have their reward with their Lord: fear shall not come upon them, neither shall they be grieved.
Call to mind also when we entered into a covenant with you, and lifted up the mountain28 over you:"Take hold," said we, "on what we have revealed to you, with resolution, and remember what is therein, that ye may fear:"
But after this ye turned back, and but for God's grace and mercy toward you, ye had surely been of the lost! Ye know too those of you who transgressed on the Sabbath, and to whom we said, "Be changed into scouted apes:"29
And we made them a warning to those of their day, and to those who came after them, and a caution to the God-fearing:
And when Moses said to his people, "Verily, God bids you sacrifice a COW;"30 they said, "Makest thou a jest of us?" He said, "God keep me from being one of the foolish." They said, "Call on thy Lord for us that He would make plain to us what she is." He said, "God saith, 'She is a cow neither old nor young, but of the middle age between the two:' do therefore what ye are bidden."
They said, "Call on your Lord for us, that he would make plain to us what is her colour." He said, "God saith, 'She is a fawn-coloured cow; her colour is very bright; she rejoiceth the beholders.' "
They said, "Call on they Lord for us that He would make plain to us what cow it isfor to us are cows alike,and verily, if God please, we shall be guided rightly:"
He said, "God saith, 'She is a cow not worn by ploughing the earth or watering the field, sound, no blemish in her.' " They said, "Now hast thou brought the truth:" Then they sacrificed her; Yet nearly had they done it not:
And when ye slew a man, and strove among yourselves about him, God brought to light what he had hidden:
For we said, "Strike the corpse with part of her." So God giveth life to the dead, and sheweth you his signs, that haply ye may understand.
Then after that your hearts became hard like rocks, or harder still: for verily, from rocks have rivers gushed; others, verily, have been cleft, and water hath issued from them; and others, verily, have sunk down through fear of God: And God is not regardless of your actions.
Desire ye then that for your sakes31 the Jews should believe? Yet a part of them heard the word of God, and then, after they had understood it, perverted it, and knew that they did so.
And when they fall in with the faithful, they say, "We believe;" but when they are apart32 one with another, they say, "Will ye acquaint them with what God hath revealed to you, that they may dispute with you about it in the presence of your Lord?" Understand ye their aim?
Know they not that God knoweth what they hide, as well as what they bring to light?
But there are illiterates among them who are unacquainted with the Book,33 but with lies only, and have but vague fancies. Woe to those who with their own hands transcribe the Book corruptly, and then say, "This is from God," that they may sell it for some mean price! Woe then to them for that which their hands have written! and, Woe to them for the gains which they have made!
And they say, "Hell fire shall not touch us, but for a few days:"34 SAY: Have ye received such a promise from God? for God will not revoke his promise: or, Speak ye of God that which ye know not?
But they whose only gains are evil works, and who are environed by their sins,they shall be inmates of the fire, therein to abide for ever:
But they who have believed and done the things that be right, they shall be the inmates of Paradise,therein to abide for ever.
And when we entered into covenant with the children of Israel, we said, "Worship none but God, and be good to your parents and kindred, and to orphans, and to the poor, and speak with men what is right, and observe prayer, and pay the stated alms." Then turned ye away, except a few of you, and withdrew afar off.
And when we made a covenant with you that ye should not shed your own blood,35 nor expel one another from your abodes, then ye ratified it and yourselves were witnesses.
Then were ye the very persons who slew one another; and ye drove out a part of your own people from their abodes; ye lent help against them with wrong and hatred; but if they come captives to you, ye redeem them!Yet it was forbidden you to drive them out.36 Believe ye then part of the Book, and deny part? But what shall be the meed of him among you who doth this, but shame in this life? And on the day of the Resurrection they shall be sent to the most cruel of torments, for God is not regardless of what ye do.
These are they who purchase this present life at the price of that which is to come: their torment shall not be lightened, neither shall they be helped.
Moreover, to Moses gave we "the Book," and we raised up apostles after him; and to Jesus, son of Mary, gave we clear proofs of his mission, and strengthened him by the Holy Spirit.37 So oft then as an apostle cometh to you with that which your souls desire not, swell ye with pride, and treat some as impostors, and slay others?
And they say, "Uncircumcised are our hearts." Nay! God hath cursed them in their infidelity: few are they who believe!
And when a Book had come to them from God, confirming that which they had received already although they had before prayed for victory over those who believed notyet when that Koran come to them, of which they had knowledge, they did not recognise it. The curse of God on the infidels!
For a vile price have they sold themselves, by not believing what God hath sent down, envious of God's sending down his grace on such of his servants as he pleaseth:38 and they have brought on themselves wrath upon wrath. And for the unbelievers is a disgraceful chastisement.
And when it is said to them, "Believe in what God hath sent down," they say, "In that which hath been sent down to us we believe:" but what hath since been sent down they disbelieve, although it be the truth confirmatory of their own Scriptures. SAY: Why then have ye of old slain God's prophets,39 if ye are indeed believers?
Moreover, Moses came unto you with proofs of his mission. Then in his absence ye took the calf for your God, and did wickedly.
And when we accepted your covenant, and uplifted40 the mountain over you, we said, "Take firm hold on what we have given you, and hearken." They said, "We have hearkened and have rebelled:" then were they made to drink down the calf into their hearts for their ingratitude. SAY: A bad thing hath your faith commanded you, if ye be indeed believers.
SAY: If the future dwelling place with God be specially for you, but not for the rest of mankind, then wish for death, if ye are sincere:
But never can they wish for it, because of that which their own hands have sent on before them!41 And God knoweth the offenders.
And thou wilt surely find them of all men most covetous of life, beyond even the polytheists. To be kept alive a thousand years might one of them desire: but that he may be preserved alive, shall no one reprieve himself from the punishment! And God seeth what they do.
SAY: Whoso is the enemy of GabrielFor he it is who by God's leave hath caused the Koran to descend on thy heart, the confirmation of previous revelations, and guidance, and good tidings to the faithful
Whoso is an enemy to God or his angels, or to Gabriel, or to Michael, shall have God as his enemy: for verily God is an enemy to the Infidels.
Moreover, clear signs have we sent down to thee, and none will disbelieve them but the perverse.
Oft as they have formed an engagement with thee, will some of them set it aside? But most of them believe not.
And when there came to them an apostle from God, affirming the previous revelations made to them, some of those to whom the Scriptures were given, threw the Book of God behind their backs as if they knew it not:
And they followed what the Satans read42 in the reign of Solomon: not that Solomon was unbelieving, but the Satans were unbelieving. Sorcery did they teach to men, and what had been revealed to the two angels, Harut and Marut, at Babel. Yet no man did these two teach until they had said, "We are only a temptation. Be not then an unbeliever." From these two did men learn how to cause division between man and wife: but unless by leave of God, no man did they harm thereby. They learned, indeed, what would harm and not profit them; and yet they knew that he who bought that art should have no part in the life to come! And vile the price for which they have sold themselves,if they had but known it!
But had they believed and feared God, better surely would have been the reward from God,if they had but known it!
O ye who believe! say not to our apostle, "Raina"43 (Look at us); but say, "Ondhorna" (Regard us). And attend to this; for, the Infidels shall suffer a grievous chastisement.
The unbelievers among the people of the Book, and among the idolaters, desire not that any good should be sent down to you from your Lord: but God will shew His special mercy to whom He will, for He is of great bounty.
Whatever verses we cancel,44 or cause thee to forget, we bring a better or its like. Knowest thou not that God hath power over all things?
Knowest thou not that the dominion of the Heavens and of the Earth is God's? and that ye have neither patron nor helper, save God?
Would ye ask of your apostle what of old was asked of Moses? But he who exchangeth faith for unbelief,45 hath already erred from the even way.
Many of the people of the Book desire to bring you back to unbelief after ye have believed, out of selfish envy, even after the truth hath been clearly shewn them. But forgive them, and shun them till God shall come in with His working. Truly God hath power over all things.
And observe prayer and pay the legal impost:46 and whatever good thing ye have sent on before for your soul's sake, ye shall find it with God. Verily God seeth what ye do.
And they say, "None but Jews or Christians shall enter Paradise:" This is their wish. SAY: Give your proofs if ye speak the truth.
But they who set their face with resignation Godward, and do what is right, their reward is with their Lord; no fear shall come on them, neither shall they be grieved.
Moreover, the Jews say, "The Christians lean on nought:" "On nought lean the Jews," say the Christians: Yet both are readers of the Book. So with like words say they who have no knowledge.47 But on the resurrection day, God shall judge between them as to that in which they differ.
And who committeth a greater wrong than he who hindereth God's name from being remembered in his temples, and who hasteth to ruin them?48 Such men cannot enter them but with fear. Their's is shame in this world, and a severe torment in the next.
The East and the West is God's: therefore, whichever way ye turn, there is the face of God:49 Truly God is immense and knoweth all.
And they say, "God hath a son:" No! Praise be to Him! ButHis, whatever is in the Heavens and the Earth! All obeyeth Him,
Sole maker of the Heavens and of the Earth! And when He decreeth a thing, He only saith to it, "Be," and it is.
And they who have no knowledge say, "Unless God speak to us, or thou shew us a sign . . . !" So, with like words, said those who were before them: their hearts are alike: Clear signs have we already shewn for those who have firm faith:
Verily, with the Truth have we sent thee, a bearer of good tidings and a warner: and of the people of Hell thou shalt not be questioned.
But until thou follow their religion, neither Jews nor Christians will be satisfied with thee. SAY: Verily, guidance of God,that is the guidance! And if, after "the Knowledge" which hath reached thee, thou follow their desires, thou shalt find neither helper nor protector against God.
They to whom we have given the Book, and who read it as it ought to be read, these believe therein: but whoso believeth not therein, shall meet with perdition.
O children of Israel! remember my favour wherewith I have favoured you, and that high above all mankind have I raised you:
And dread the day when not in aught shall soul satisfy for soul, nor shall any ransom be taken from it, nor shall any intercession avail, and they shall not be helped.
When his Lord made trial of Abraham by commands which he fulfilled, He said, "I am about to make thee an Im
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