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 (189 – 209)

189They ask you [Prophet] about crescent moons. Say, ‘They show the times appointed for people, and for the pilgrimage.’ Goodness does not consist of entering houses by the back [door];b It was the custom of some Arabs on returning from the pilgrimage to enter their houses by the back door, considering this to be an act of piety. the truly good person is the one who is mindful of God. So enter your houses by their [main] doors and be mindful of God so that you may prosper. 190Fight in God's cause against those who fight you, but do not overstep the limits:c The Arabic command la ta‘tadu is so general that commentators have agreed that it includes prohibition of starting hostilities, fighting non-combatants, disproportionate response to aggression, etc. God does not love those who overstep the limits. 191Kill them wherever you encounter them,d The Muslims were concerned as to whether it was permitted to retaliate when attacked within the sacred precincts in Mecca when on pilgrimage (see 2: 196 and Razi's Tafsir). They are here given permission to fight back wherever they encounter their attackers, in the precinct or outside it. and drive them out from where they drove you out, for persecution is more serious than killing.e ‘Persecuting you unlawfully is worse than you killing them in the precincts in self-defence.’ The article al- in Arabic sometimes takes the place of a pronoun, as here ‘their persecution’ and ‘your killing them’ (Tammam Hassan, al-Bayan, Cairo, 1993, 118–45); it is not the generic al-, cf. 2: 217. See also 2: 217. Do not fight them at the Sacred Mosque unless they fight you there. If they do fight you, kill them—this is what such disbelievers deserve—192but if they stop, then God is most forgiving and merciful. 193Fight them until there is no more persecution, and worshipa Worship at the sacred mosque. b Cf. 8: 39 and note e to 2: 191 above. is devoted to God. If they cease hostilities, there can be no [further] hostility, except towards aggressors. 194A sacred month for a sacred month: violation of sanctity [calls for] fair retribution. So if anyone commits aggression against you, attack him as he attacked you, but be mindful of God, and know that He is with those who are mindful of Him. 195Spend in God's cause: do not contribute to your destruction with your own hands,c If they are not prepared to pay for what it takes to defend themselves, then they will bring ruin on themselves. The verse is also understood generally to outlaw suicide and other forms of self-harm. but do good, for God loves those who do good.

196Complete the pilgrimages, major and minor, for the sake of God. If you are prevented [from doing so], then [send] whatever offering for sacrifice you can afford, and do not shave your headsd Shaving the head or cutting the hair is one of the rites performed by male pilgrims after most of the other rites have been completed. until the offering has reached the place of sacrifice. If any of you is ill, or has an ailment of the scalp, he should compensate by fasting, or feeding the poor, or offering sacrifice. When you are in safety, anyone wishing to take a breake This means breaking the restrictions of ihram (consecration) termed tamattu‘. between the minor pilgrimage and the major one must make whatever offering he can afford. If he lacks the means, he should fast for three days during the pilgrimage, and seven days on his return, making ten days in all. This applies to those whose household is not near the Sacred Mosque. Always be mindful of God, and be aware that He is stern in His retribution.

197The pilgrimage takes place during the prescribed months. There should be no indecent speech, misbehaviour, or quarrelling for anyone undertaking the pilgrimage—whatever good you do, God is well aware of it. Provide well for yourselves: the best provision is to be mindful of God—always be mindful of Me, you who have understanding—198but it is no offence to seek some bounty from your Lord.f It is lawful to trade while on pilgrimage. When you surge down from Arafat remember God at the sacred place.g This is one of the sites of the pilgrimage between Arafat and Mina—a plain called Muzdalifa. Remember Him: He has guided you. Before that you were astray. 199Surge down where the rest of the people do,a Some arrogant tribes used to take a different route from the masses. and ask forgiveness of God: He is most forgiving and merciful. 200When you have completed your rites, remember God as much as you remember your own fathers, or even more. There are some who pray, ‘Our Lord, give us good in this world,’ and they will have no share in the Hereafter; 201others pray, ‘Our Lord, give us good in this world and in the Hereafter, and protect us from the torment of the Fire.’ 202They will have the share they have worked for: God is swift in reckoning.

203Remember God on the appointed days.b These come after the day of sacrifice, when two or three days are spent in Mina to perform the rite of stoning the Devil. If anyone is in a hurry to leave after two days, there is no blame on him, nor is there any blame on anyone who stays on, so long as they are mindful of God. Be mindful of God, and remember that you will be gathered to Him. 204There is [a kind of] man whose views on the life of this world may please you [Prophet], he even calls on God to witness what is in his heart, yet he is the bitterest of opponents. 205When he leaves, he sets out to spread corruption in the land, destroying crops and livestock—God does not like corruption. 206When he is told, ‘Beware of God,’ his arrogance leads him to sin. Hell is enough for him: a dreadful resting place. 207But there is also a kind of man who gives his life away to please God, and God is most compassionate to His servants. 208You who believe, enter wholeheartedly into submission to Godc Silm, which also means ‘peace’. and do not follow in Satan's footsteps, for he is your sworn enemy. 209If you slip back after clear proof has come to you, then be aware that God is almighty and wise.

Notes:

b It was the custom of some Arabs on returning from the pilgrimage to enter their houses by the back door, considering this to be an act of piety.

c The Arabic command la ta‘tadu is so general that commentators have agreed that it includes prohibition of starting hostilities, fighting non-combatants, disproportionate response to aggression, etc.

d The Muslims were concerned as to whether it was permitted to retaliate when attacked within the sacred precincts in Mecca when on pilgrimage (see 2: 196 and Razi's Tafsir). They are here given permission to fight back wherever they encounter their attackers, in the precinct or outside it.

e ‘Persecuting you unlawfully is worse than you killing them in the precincts in self-defence.’ The article al- in Arabic sometimes takes the place of a pronoun, as here ‘their persecution’ and ‘your killing them’ (Tammam Hassan, al-Bayan, Cairo, 1993, 118–45); it is not the generic al-, cf. 2: 217. See also 2: 217.

a Worship at the sacred mosque.

b Cf. 8: 39 and note e to 2: 191 above.

c If they are not prepared to pay for what it takes to defend themselves, then they will bring ruin on themselves. The verse is also understood generally to outlaw suicide and other forms of self-harm.

d Shaving the head or cutting the hair is one of the rites performed by male pilgrims after most of the other rites have been completed.

e This means breaking the restrictions of ihram (consecration) termed tamattu‘.

f It is lawful to trade while on pilgrimage.

g This is one of the sites of the pilgrimage between Arafat and Mina—a plain called Muzdalifa.

a Some arrogant tribes used to take a different route from the masses.

b These come after the day of sacrifice, when two or three days are spent in Mina to perform the rite of stoning the Devil.

c Silm, which also means ‘peace’.

  • 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