We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more The Qurʾan - The Cow - The Cow - Oxford Islamic Studies Online
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
Chapter: verse lookup What is This? Select one or both translations, then enter a chapter and verse number in the boxes, and click "Go."
:
  • Previous Result
  • Results
  • Highlight On / Off
  • Look It Up What is This? Highlight any word or phrase, then click the button to begin a new search.
  • Next Result
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
Chapter : Verse Lookup What is This? Select one or both translations, then enter a chapter and verse number in the boxes, and click "Go."
:

The Qurʾan What is This? A current English-language version of the Qur'an, published in 2004
Translation by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem

2. The Cow (135 – 157)

135They say, ‘Become Jews or Christians, and you will be rightly guided.’ Say [Prophet], ‘No, [ours is] the religion of Abraham, the upright, who did not worship any god besides God.’ 136So [you believers], say, ‘We believe in God and in what was sent down to us and what was sent down to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and what was given to Moses, Jesus, and all the prophets by their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and we devote ourselves to Him.’ 137So if they believe like you do, they will be rightly guided. But if they turn their backs, then they will be entrenched in opposition. God will protect you from them: He is the All Hearing, the All Knowing. And say [believers], 138‘[Our life] takes its colour from God, and who gives a better colour than God? It is Him we worship.’

139Say [Prophet] [to the Jews and Christians], ‘How can you argue with us about God when He is our Lord and your Lord? Our deeds belong to us, and yours to you. We devote ourselves entirely to Him. 140Or are you saying that Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes were Jews or Christians?’ [Prophet], ask them, ‘Who knows better: you or God? Who could be more wicked than those who hide a testimony [they received] from God? God is not unmindful of what you do.’ 141That community passed away: what they earned belongs to them, and what you earn belongs to you. You will not be answerable for their deeds.

142The foolish people will say, ‘What has turned them away from the prayer direction they used to face?’a This refers to the change in the Muslims’ prayer direction from Jerusalem to Mecca in the second year of the Hijra. Say, ‘East and West belong to God. He guides whoever He will to the right way.’ 143We have made you [believers] into a just community,b Literally ‘a middle nation’. so that you may bear witness [to the truth] before others and so that the Messenger may bear witness [to it] before you. We only made the direction the one you used to face [Prophet] in order to distinguish those who follow the Messenger from those who turn on their heels: that test was hard, except for those God has guided. God would never let your faith go to waste [believers],c This reassured those who asked whether the prayers said towards Jerusalem had been wasted. for God is most compassionate and most merciful towards people. 144Many a time We have seen you [Prophet] turn your face towards Heaven, so We are turning you towards a prayer direction that pleases you.a The Prophet secretly hoped to be allowed to face the Mosque in Mecca in prayer, as it was so dear to him, being built by Abraham and Ishmael, as seen from verse 127 onwards. Turn your face in the direction of the Sacred Mosque: wherever you [believers] may be, turn your faces to it. Those who were given the Scripture know with certainty that this is the Truth from their Lord: God is not unaware of what they do. 145Yet even if you brought every proof to those who were given the Scripture, they would not follow your prayer direction, nor will you follow theirs, nor indeed will any of them follow one another's direction. If you [Prophet] were to follow their desires, after the knowledge brought to you, you would be doing wrong. 146Those We gave Scripture know it as well as they know their own sons, but some of them hide the truth that they know. 147The truth is from your Lord, so do not be one of those who doubt. 148Each community has its own direction to which it turns: race to do good deeds and wherever you are, God will bring you together.b On the Day of Judgement, cf. 5: 48. God has power to do everything.

149[Prophet], wherever you may have started out, turn your face in the direction of the Sacred Mosque—this is the truth from your Lord: He is not unaware of what you do—150wherever you may have started out, turn your face in the direction of the Sacred Mosque; wherever any of you may be, turn your faces towards it, so that people may have no argument against youc Both Jews and polytheists questioned the choice of qibla (prayer direction) for their own reasons.—except for the wrongdoers among them: do not fear them; fear Me—and so that I may perfect My favour on you and you may be guided, 151just as Wed Note the shift in pronoun from singular to plural of majesty (see Introduction, p. xx). have sent among you a Messenger of your own to recite Our revelations to you, purify you and teach you the Scripture, wisdom, and [other] things you did not know. 152So remember Me; I will remember you. Be thankful to Me, and never ungrateful.

153You who believe, seek help through steadfastness and prayer, for God is with the steadfast. 154Do not say that those who are killed in God's cause are dead; they are alive, though you do not realize it. 155We shall certainly test you with fear and hunger, and loss of property, lives, and crops. But [Prophet], give good news to those who are steadfast, 156those who say, when afflicted with a calamity, ‘We belong to God and to Him we shall return.’ 157These will be given blessings and mercy from their Lord, and it is they who are rightly guided.

Notes:

a This refers to the change in the Muslims’ prayer direction from Jerusalem to Mecca in the second year of the Hijra.

b Literally ‘a middle nation’.

c This reassured those who asked whether the prayers said towards Jerusalem had been wasted.

a The Prophet secretly hoped to be allowed to face the Mosque in Mecca in prayer, as it was so dear to him, being built by Abraham and Ishmael, as seen from verse 127 onwards.

b On the Day of Judgement, cf. 5: 48.

c Both Jews and polytheists questioned the choice of qibla (prayer direction) for their own reasons.

d Note the shift in pronoun from singular to plural of majesty (see Introduction, p. xx).

  • Previous Result
  • Results
  • Highlight On / Off
  • Look It Up What is This? Highlight any word or phrase, then click the button to begin a new search.
  • Next Result
Oxford University Press

© 2019. All Rights Reserved. Cookie Policy | Privacy Policy | Legal Notice