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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 (58 – 81)

58God commands you [people] to return things entrusted to you to their rightful owners, and, if you judge between people, to do so with justice: God's instructions to you are excellent, for He hears and sees everything. 59You who believe, obey God and the Messenger, and those in authority among you. If you are in dispute over any matter, refer it to God and the Messenger, if you truly believe in God and the Last Day: that is better and fairer in the end. 60Do you [Prophet] not see those who claim to believe in what has been sent down to you, and in what was sent down before you, yet still want to turn to unjust tyrantsc The Arabic taghut is variously interpreted to refer to idols, a specific tyrant, an oracle, or an opponent of the Prophet. for judgement, although they have been ordered to reject them? Satan wants to lead them far astray. 61When they are told, ‘Turn to God's revelations and the Messenger [for judgement],’ you see the hypocrites turn right away from you [Prophet]. 62If disaster strikes them because of what they themselves have done, then they will come to you, swearing by God, ‘We only wanted to do good and achieve harmony.’ 63God knows well what is in the hearts of these people, so ignore what they say, instruct them, and speak to them about themselves using penetrating words.

64All the messengers We sent were meant to be obeyed, by God's leave. If only [the hypocrites] had come to you [Prophet] when they wronged themselves, and begged God's forgiveness, and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found that God accepts repentance and is most merciful. 65By your Lord, they will not be true believers until they let you decide between them in all matters of dispute, and find no resistance in their souls to your decisions, accepting them totally—66if We had ordered, ‘Lay down your lives’ or ‘Leave your homes,’ they would not have done so, except for a few—it would have been far better for them and stronger confirmation of their faith, if they had done as they were told, 67and We would have given them a rich reward of Our own 68and guided them to a straight path. 69Whoever obeys God and the Messenger will be among those He has blessed: the messengers, the truthful, those who bear witness to the truth,a Martyrs bear witness to the truth with their lives (Razi). and the righteous— what excellent companions these are! 70That is God's favour. No one knows better than Him.

71You who believe, be on your guard. March [to battle] in small groups or as one body. 72Among you there is the sort of person who is sure to lag behind: if a calamity befalls you, he says, ‘God has been gracious to me that I was not there with them,’ 73yet he is sure to say, if you are favoured by God, ‘If only I had been with them, I could have made great gains,’ as if there had been no ties of affection between you and him. 74Let those of you who are willing to trade the life of this world for the life to come, fight in God's way. To anyone who fights in God's way, whether killed or victorious, We shall give a great reward. 75Why should you not fight in God's cause and for those oppressed men, women, and children who cry out, ‘Lord, rescue us from this town whose people are oppressors! By Your grace, give us a protector and give us a helper!’? 76The believers fight for God's cause, while those who reject faith fight for an unjust cause.b Again this is the term taghut, which has a multitude of meanings. See note to verse 60. Fight the allies of Satan: Satan's strategies are truly weak.

77[Prophet], do you not see those who were told, ‘Restrain yourselves from fighting, perform the prayer, and pay the prescribed alms’? When fighting was ordained for them, some of them feared men as much as, or even more than, they feared God, saying, ‘Lord, why have You ordained fighting for us? If only You would give us just a little more time.’ Say to them, ‘Little is the enjoyment in this world, the Hereafter is far better for those who are mindful of God: you will not be wronged by as much as the fibre in a date stone. 78Death will overtake you no matter where you may be, even inside high towers.’ When good fortune comes their way, they say, ‘This is from God,’ but when harm befalls them, they say, ‘This is from you [Prophet].’ Say to them, ‘Both come from God.’ What is the matter with these people that they can barely understand what they are told? 79Anything good that happens to you [Prophet] is from God; anything bad is [ultimately] from yourself. We have sent you as a messenger to people; God is sufficient witness. 80Whoever obeys the Messenger obeys God. If some pay no heed, We have not sent you to be their keeper. 81They say, ‘We obey you,’ but as soon as they leave your presence, some of them scheme by night to do other than what you said. God records what they scheme, so leave them alone, and put your trust in God: He is sufficient protector.

Notes:

c The Arabic taghut is variously interpreted to refer to idols, a specific tyrant, an oracle, or an opponent of the Prophet.

a Martyrs bear witness to the truth with their lives (Razi).

b Again this is the term taghut, which has a multitude of meanings. See note to verse 60.

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