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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 (64 – 87)

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.

82Will they not think about this Qurʾan? If it had been from anyone other than God, they would have found much inconsistency in it. 83Whenever news of any matter comes to them, whether concerning peace or war, they spread it about; if they referred it to the Messenger and those in authority among them, those seeking its meaning would have found it out from them. If it were not for God's bounty and mercy towards you, you would almost all have followed Satan.

84So [Prophet] fight in God's way. You are accountable only for yourself. Urge the believers on. God may well curb the power of the disbelievers, for He is stronger in might and more terrible in punishment. 85Whoever speaks fora It is reported that an individual asked the Prophet to exempt another from going into battle. ‘Speaks for’ is one of the meanings of shafa'a as explained by Razi, and it is more fitting for the context of urging the believer to fight in God's cause here. The other meaning, ‘intercedes’, adopted by most translators does not fit with the context. a good cause will share in its benefits and whoever speaks for a bad cause will share in its burden: God controls everything. 86But [even in battle] when you [believers] are offered a greeting, respond with a better one, or at least return it:b See 4: 94 and Razi's comment. God keeps account of everything. 87He is God: there is no god but Him. He will gather you all together on the Day of Resurrection, about which there is no doubt. Whose word can be truer than God's?

Notes:

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.

a It is reported that an individual asked the Prophet to exempt another from going into battle. ‘Speaks for’ is one of the meanings of shafa'a as explained by Razi, and it is more fitting for the context of urging the believer to fight in God's cause here. The other meaning, ‘intercedes’, adopted by most translators does not fit with the context.

b See 4: 94 and Razi's comment.

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