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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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2 THE COW (60 – 81)

60And when We took compact with you, and raised above you the Mount: ‘Take forcefully what We have given you, and remember what is in it; haply you shall be godfearing.’ Then you turned away thereafter, and but for the bounty and mercy of God towards you, you had been of the losers. And well you know there were those among you that transgressed the Sabbath, and We said to them, ‘Be you apes, miserably slinking!’ And We made it a punishment exemplary for all the former times and for the latter, and an admonition to such as are godfearing. And when Moses said to his people, ‘God commands you to sacrifice a cow.’ They said, ‘Dost thou take us in mockery?’ He said, ‘ I take refuge with God, lest I should be one of the ignorant.’ They said, ‘Pray to thy Lord for us, that He may make clear to us what she may be.’ He said, ‘He says she is a cow neither old, nor virgin, middling between the two; so do that you are bidden.’ 65They said, ‘Pray to thy Lord for us, that He make clear to us what her colour may be.’ He said, ‘He says she shall be a golden cow, bright her colour, gladdening the beholders.’ They said, ‘Pray to thy Lord for us, that He make clear to us what she may be; cows are much alike to us; and, if God will, we shall then be guided.’ He said, ‘He says she shall be a cow not broken to plough the earth or to water the tillage, one kept secure, with no blemish on her.’ They said, ‘Now thou hast brought the truth’; and therefore they sacrificed her, a thing they had scarcely done. And when you killed a living soul, and disputed thereon—and God disclosed what you were hiding— so We said, ‘Smite him with part of it’; even so God brings to life the dead, and He shows you His signs, that haply you may have understanding. Then your hearts became hardened thereafter and are like stones, or even yet harder; for there are stones from which rivers come gushing, and others split, so that water issues from them, and others crash down in the fear of God. And God is not heedless of the things you do.

70Are you then so eager that they should believe you, seeing there is a party of them that heard God's word, and then tampered with it, and that after they had comprehended it, wittingly? And when they meet those who believe, they say ‘We believe’; and when they go privily one to another, they say, ‘Do you speak to them of what God has revealed to you, that they may thereby dispute with you before your Lord? Have you no understanding?’ Know they not that God knows what they keep secret and what they publish? And some there are of them that are common folk not knowing the Book, but only fancies and mere conjectures. So woe to those who write the Book with their hands, then say, ‘This is from God,’ that they may sell it for a little price; so woe to them for what their hands have written, and woe to them for their earnings. And they say, ‘The Fire shall not touch us save a number of days.’ Say: ‘Have you taken with God a covenant? God will not fail in His covenant; or say you things against God of which you know nothing? 75Not so; whoso earns evil, and is encompassed by his transgression—those are the inhabitants of the Fire; there they shall dwell forever. And those that believe, and do deeds of righteousness—those are the inhabitants of Paradise; there they shall dwell forever.’ And when We took compact with the Children of Israel: ‘You shall not serve any save God; and to be good to parents, and the near kinsman, and to orphans, and to the needy; and speak good to men, and perform the prayer, and pay the alms.’ Then you turned away, all but a few of you, swerving aside. And when We took compact with you: ‘You shall not shed your own blood, neither expel your own from your habitations’; then you confirmed it and yourselves bore witness. Then there you are killing one another, and expelling a party of you from their habitations, conspiring against them in sin and enmity; and if they come to you as captives, you ransom them; yet their expulsion was forbidden you. What, do you believe in part of the Book, and disbelieve in part? What shall be the recompense of those of you who do that, but degradation in the present life, and on the Day of Resurrection to be returned unto the most terrible of chastisement? And God is not heedless of the things you do. 80Those who have purchased the present life at the price of the world to come—for them the chastisement shall not be lightened, neither shall they be helped.

And We gave to Moses the Book, and after him sent succeeding Messengers; and We gave Jesus son of Mary the clear signs, and confirmed him with the Holy Spirit; and whensoever there came to you a Messenger with that your souls had not desire for, did you become arrogant, and some cry lies to, and some slay?

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