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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

5. The Feast (82 – 105)

82You [Prophet] are sure to find that the most hostile to the believers are the Jews and those who associate other deities with God; you are sure to find that the closest in affection towards the believers are those who say, ‘We are Christians,’ for there are among them people devoted to learning and ascetics.a Most translators render these as ‘priests and monks’, which are their modern meanings, not the etymological senses of the words (al-Raghib, Mufradat). These people are not given to arrogance, 83and when they listen to what has been sent down to the Messenger, you will see their eyes overflowing with tears because they recognize the Truth [in it]. They say, ‘Our Lord, we believe, so count us amongst the witnesses. 84Why should we not believe in God and in the Truth that has come down to us, when we long for our Lord to include us in the company of the righteous?’ 85For saying this, God has rewarded them with Gardens graced with flowing streams, and there they will stay: that is the reward of those who do good. 86Those who reject the truth and deny Our messages will be the inhabitants of Hellfire.

87You who believe, do not forbid the good things God has made lawful to you—do not exceed the limits: God does not love those who exceed the limits—88but eat the lawful and good things that God provides for you. Be mindful of God, in whom you believe. 89God does not take you [to task] for what is thoughtless in your oaths,b Some Muslims swore to renounce the world and not to eat certain good foods or wear fine clothes, and when told this was wrong, they asked the Prophet what they could do about their oaths. only for your binding oaths: the atonement for breaking an oath is to feed ten poor people with food equivalent to what you would normally give your own families, or to clothe them, or to set free a slave—if a person cannot find the means, he should fast for three days. This is the atonement for breaking your oaths—keep your oaths. In this way God makes clear His revelations to you, so that you may be thankful.

90You who believe, intoxicants and gambling, idolatrous practices, and [divining with]c See note to verse 3 above. arrows are repugnant acts—Satan's doing— shun them so that you may prosper. 91With intoxicants and gambling, Satan seeks only to incite enmity and hatred among you, and to stop you remembering God and prayer. Will you not give them up? 92Obey God, obey the Messenger, and always be on your guard: if you pay no heed, bear in mind that the sole duty of Our Messenger is to deliver the message clearly. 93Those who believe and do good deeds will not be blamed for what they may have consumed [in the past]d It was reported that when wine was forbidden, some companions asked the Prophet, ‘What about those believers who used to drink and have already died? What state would they be in?’ This is the reply to that question, and it also applies to the living. as long as they are mindful of God, believe and do good deeds, then are mindful of God and believe, then are mindful of God and do good deeds: God loves those who do good deeds.

94You who believe, God is sure to test you with game within reach of your hands and spears, to find out who fears Him even though they cannot see Him: from now on, anyone who transgresses will have a painful punishment.a In the world to come. 95You who believe, do not kill game while you are in the state of consecration [for pilgrimage]. If someone does so intentionally the penalty is an offering of a domestic animal brought to the Ka‘ba, equivalent—as judged by two just men among you—to the one he has killed; alternatively, he may atone by feeding the needy or by fasting an equivalent number of days, so that he may taste the full gravity of his deed. God forgives what is past, but if anyone re-offends, God will exact the penalty from him: God is mighty, and capable of exacting the penalty. 96It is permitted for you to catch and eat seafood—an enjoyment for you and the traveller—but hunting game is forbidden while you are in the state of consecration [for pilgrimage]. Be mindful of God to whom you will be gathered.

97God has made the Ka‘ba—the Sacred House—a means of support for people,b The Ka‘ba is the centre of the pilgrimage, bringing in people from all over the world, where Muslims are allowed to trade—the Sacred Months ensured their safety. The offerings provide a means of livelihood to the poor and needy, and the custom of garlanding an animal gives it special protection. In addition to all these material benefits, there are the spiritual benefits of worshipping God. This is an example of bringing people together in peace (Razi). and the Sacred Months, the animals for sacrifice and their garlands: all this. Know that God has knowledge of all that is in the heavens and earth and that He is fully aware of all things. 98Know too that God is severe in punishment yet most forgiving and merciful.c This is a warning for those who violate these rites and refers back to verse 2 of this sura. 99The Messenger's duty is only to deliver the message: God knows what you reveal and what you conceal.

100Say [Prophet], ‘Bad cannot be likened to good, though you may be dazzled by how abundant the bad is. Be mindful of God, people of understanding, so that you may prosper.’ 101You who believe, do not ask about matters which, if made known to you, might make things difficult for you—if you ask about them while the Qurʾan is being revealed, they will be made known to you—for God has kept silent about them: God is most forgiving and forbearing. 102Before you, some people asked about things, then ignored [the answers]. 103God did not institute the dedication of such things as bahira, sa'iba, wasila, or hama Different classes of animals liberated from work or use as food, in honour of idols, and venerated by the pagan Arabs. to idols; but the disbelievers invent lies about God. Most of them do not use reason: 104when it is said to them, ‘Come to what God has sent down, and to the Messenger,’ they say, ‘What we inherited from our forefathers is good enough for us,’ even though their forefathers knew nothing and were not guided. 105You who believe, you are responsible for your own souls; if anyone else goes astray it will not harm you so long as you follow the guidance; you will all return to God, and He will make you realize what you have done.

Notes:

a Most translators render these as ‘priests and monks’, which are their modern meanings, not the etymological senses of the words (al-Raghib, Mufradat).

b Some Muslims swore to renounce the world and not to eat certain good foods or wear fine clothes, and when told this was wrong, they asked the Prophet what they could do about their oaths.

c See note to verse 3 above.

d It was reported that when wine was forbidden, some companions asked the Prophet, ‘What about those believers who used to drink and have already died? What state would they be in?’ This is the reply to that question, and it also applies to the living.

a In the world to come.

b The Ka‘ba is the centre of the pilgrimage, bringing in people from all over the world, where Muslims are allowed to trade—the Sacred Months ensured their safety. The offerings provide a means of livelihood to the poor and needy, and the custom of garlanding an animal gives it special protection. In addition to all these material benefits, there are the spiritual benefits of worshipping God. This is an example of bringing people together in peace (Razi).

c This is a warning for those who violate these rites and refers back to verse 2 of this sura.

a Different classes of animals liberated from work or use as food, in honour of idols, and venerated by the pagan Arabs.

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