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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

9. Repentance (38 – 60)

38Believers, why, when it is said to you, ‘Go and fight in God's way,’ do you feel weighed down to the ground? Do you prefer this world to the life to come? How small the enjoyment of this world is, compared with the life to come! 39If you do not go out and fight, God will punish you severely and put others in your place, but you cannot harm Him in any way: God has power over all things. 40Even if you do not help the Prophet, God helped him when the disbelievers drove him out: when the two of thema The Prophet and his companion Abu Bakr. were in the cave, he [Muhammad] said to his companion, ‘Do not worry, God is with us,’ and God sent His calm down to him, aided him with forces invisible to you, and brought down the disbelievers’ plan. God's plan is higher: God is almighty and wise. 41So go out, no matter whether you are lightly or heavily armed, and struggle in God's way with your possessions and your persons: this is better for you, if you only knew. 42They would certainly have followed you [Prophet] if the benefit was within sight and the journey short, but the distance seemed too great for them. They will swear by God, ‘If we could, we certainly would go out [to battle] with you,’ but they ruin themselves, for God knows that they are lying.

43God forgive you [Prophet]! Why did you give them permission to stay at home before it had become clear to you which of them spoke the truth and which were liars? 44Those who have faith in God and the Last Day do not ask you for exemption from struggle with their possessions and their persons—God knows exactly who is mindful of Him—45only those who do not have faith in God and the Last Day ask your permission to stay at home: they have doubt in their hearts and so they waver. 46If they had really wanted to go out [to battle] with you, they would have made preparations, but God was loath to let them rise up and made them hold back. It was said, ‘Stay with those who stay behind.’ 47They would only have given you trouble if they had gone out [to battle] with you: they would have scurried around, trying to sow discord among you, and some of you would willingly have listened to them—God knows exactly who does evil. 48Indeed, they had tried before that to stir up discord: they devised plots against you [Prophet] until the truth was exposed and God's will triumphed, much to their disgust. 49Some of them said, ‘Give me permission to stay at home: do not trouble me.’ They are already in trouble: Hell will engulf the disbelievers. 50If you [Prophet] have good fortune, it will grieve them, but if misfortune comes your way, they will say to themselves, ‘We took precautions for this,’ and go away rejoicing. 51Say, ‘Only what God has decreed will happen to us. He is our Master: let the believers put their trust in God.’ 52Say, ‘Do you expect something other than one of the two best things to happen to us?a Victory or reward in the next world. Well, we expect God to inflict punishment on you, either from Himself or at our hands. So wait; we too are waiting.’ 53Say, ‘Whether you give willingly or unwillingly, what you give will not be accepted, for you are disobedient people.’ 54The only thing that prevents what they give from being accepted is the fact that they defy God and His Messenger, perform the prayer only lazily, and give only grudgingly. 55So [Prophet] do not let their possessions or their children impress you: through these God intends to punish them in this world and for their souls to depart while they disbelieve.

56They swear by God that they belong with you [believers], but they do not. They are cowardly: 57if they could find a place of refuge, or a cave, or somewhere to crawl into, they would run there with great haste. 58Some of them find fault with you [Prophet] regarding the distribution of alms: they are content if they are given a share, but angry if not. 59If only they would be content with what God and His Messenger have given them, and say, ‘God is enough for us—He will give us some of His bounty and so will His Messenger—to God alone we turn in hope.’ 60Alms are meant only for the poor, the needy, those who administer them, those whose hearts need winning over, to free slaves and help those in debt, for God's cause, and for travellers in need. This is ordained by God; God is all knowing and wise.

Notes:

a The Prophet and his companion Abu Bakr.

a Victory or reward in the next world.

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