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Select Translation What is This? Selections include: The Koran Interpreted, a translation by A.J. Arberry, first published 1955; The Qur'an, translated by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem, published 2004; or side-by-side comparison view
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The Qurʾan What is This? A current English-language version of the Qur'an, published in 2004
Translation by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem

4. Women (36 – 57)

36Worship God; join nothing with Him. Be good to your parents, to relatives, to orphans, to the needy, to neighbours near and far, to travellers in need, and to your slaves. God does not like arrogant, boastful people, 37who are miserly and order other people to be the same, hiding the bounty God has given them. We have prepared a humiliating torment for such ungrateful people. 38[Nor does He like those] who spend their wealth to show off, who do not believe in Him or the Last Day. Whoever has Satan as his companion has an evil companion! 39What harm would it do them to believe in God and the Last Day, and give charitably from the sustenance God has given them? God knows them well. 40He does not wrong anyone by as much as the weight of a speck of dust: He doubles any good deed and gives a tremendous reward of His own. 41What will they do when We bring a witness from each community, with you [Muhammad] as a witness against these people? 42On that day, those who disbelieved and disobeyed the Prophet will wish that the earth could swallow them up: they will not be able to hide anything from God.

43You who believe, do not come anywhere near the prayer if you are intoxicated,a The prohibition of intoxicants was introduced by stages, and they were eventually made completely unlawful. Cf. 2: 219; 5: 90–1. not until you know what you are saying; nor if you are in a state of major ritual impurity—though you may pass through the mosqueb or ‘unless you are on a journey’. —not until you have bathed; if you are ill, on a journey, have relieved yourselves, or had intercourse, and cannot find any water, then find some clean sandc The term sa‘id means dust or earth or soil or sand. and wipe your faces and hands with it. God is always ready to pardon and forgive.

44[Prophet], have you not considered how those who were given a share of the Scripture purchase misguidance and want you [believers], too, to lose the right path? 45God knows your enemies best: God is enough to protect and to help you. 46Some Jews distort the meaning of [revealed] words: they say, ‘We hear and disobey,’ and ‘Listen,’ [adding the insult] ‘May you not hear,’ and ‘Ra'ina [Look at us],’d Cf. note to 2: 104. twisting it abusively with their tongues so as to disparage religion. If they had said, ‘We hear and obey,’ ‘Listen,’ and ‘Unzurna[Look at us],’ that would have been better and more proper for them. But God has spurned them for their defiance; they believe very little.

47People of the Book, believe in what We have sent down to confirm what you already have before We wipe out [your sense of] direction,e Literally ‘obliterate faces’. Another meaning of wujuh (faces) is ‘directions’ (Razi). turning you back, or reject you, as We rejected those who broke the Sabbath: God's will is always done. 48God does not forgive the joining of partners with Him: anything less than that He forgives to whoever He will, but anyone who joins partners with God has concocted a tremendous sin. 49[Prophet], have you considered those who claim purity for themselves? No! God purifies whoever He will: no one will be wronged by as much as the husk of a date stone. 50See how they invent lies about God, this in itself is a flagrant sin! 51Do you not see how those given a share of the Scripture, [evidently] now believe in idols and evil powers? They say of the disbelievers, ‘They are more rightly guided than the believers.’f This is taken to refer to an actual event in which a group of disbelieving Meccans went to two eminent Jewish figures for counsel on the truth of Muhammad's teachings and were told that the pagans were more rightly guided than the Muslims. 52Those are the ones God has rejected: you [Prophet] will not find anyone to help those God has rejected. 53Do they have any share of what He possesses? If they did they would not give away so much as the groove of a date stone. 54Do they envy [other] people for the bountya i.e. the Prophethood given to Muhammad. God has granted them? We gave the descendants of Abraham the Scripture and wisdom—and We gave them a great kingdom—55but some of them believed in itb The pronoun hi here refers to either (i) the Scripture or (ii) Abraham. and some turned away from it. Hell blazes fiercely enough. 56We shall send those who reject Our revelations to the Fire. When their skins have been burned away, We shall replace them with new ones so that they may continue to feel the pain: God is mighty and wise. 57As for those who believe and do good deeds, We shall admit them into Gardens graced with flowing streams and there they will remain forever. They will have pure spouses there, and We shall admit them into cool refreshing shade.

Notes:

a The prohibition of intoxicants was introduced by stages, and they were eventually made completely unlawful. Cf. 2: 219; 5: 90–1.

b or ‘unless you are on a journey’.

c The term sa‘id means dust or earth or soil or sand.

d Cf. note to 2: 104.

e Literally ‘obliterate faces’. Another meaning of wujuh (faces) is ‘directions’ (Razi).

f This is taken to refer to an actual event in which a group of disbelieving Meccans went to two eminent Jewish figures for counsel on the truth of Muhammad's teachings and were told that the pagans were more rightly guided than the Muslims.

a i.e. the Prophethood given to Muhammad.

b The pronoun hi here refers to either (i) the Scripture or (ii) Abraham.

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