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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 Koran Interpreted Translation by A.J. Arberry

5 THE TABLE (105 – 120)

The Qurʾan Translation by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem

5. The Feast (106 – 120)

105O believers, the testimony between you when any of you is visited by death, at the bequeathing, shall be two men of equity among you; or two others from another folk, if you are journeying in the land and the affliction of death befalls you. Them you shall detain after the prayer, and they shall swear by God, if you are doubtful, ‘We will not sell it for a price, even though it were a near kinsman, nor will we hide the testimony of God, for then we would surely be among the sinful.’ But if it be discovered that both of them have merited the accusation of any sin, then two others shall stand in their place, these being the nearest of those most concerned, and they shall swear by God, ‘Our testimony is truer than their testimony, and we have not transgressed, for then we would assuredly be among the evildoers.’ So it is likelier that they will bear testimony in proper form, or else they will be afraid that after their oaths oaths may be rebutted. Fear God, and hearken; God guides not the people of the ungodly.

The day when God shall gather the Messengers, and say, ‘What answer were you given?’ They shall say, ‘We have no knowledge; Thou art the Knower of the things unseen.’

When God said, ‘Jesus Son of Mary, remember My blessing upon thee and upon thy mother, when I confirmed thee with the Holy Spirit, to speak to men in the cradle, and of age; 110and when I taught thee the Book, the Wisdom, the Torah, the Gospel; and when thou createst out of clay, by My leave, as the likeness of a bird, and thou breathest into it, and it is a bird, by My leave; and thou healest the blind and the leper by My leave, and thou bringest the dead forth by My leave; and when I restrained from thee the Children of Israel when thou camest unto them with the clear signs, and the unbelievers among them said, “This is nothing but sorcery manifest.” And when I inspired the Apostles: “Believe in Me and My Messenger”; they said, “We believe; witness Thou our submission.” And when the Apostles said, ‘O Jesus son of Mary, is thy Lord able to send down on us a Table out of heaven?’ He said, ‘Fear you God, if you are believers.’ They said, ‘We desire that we should eat of it and our hearts be at rest; and that we may know that thou hast spoken true to us, and that we may be among its witnesses.’ Said Jesus son of Mary, ‘O God, our Lord, send down upon us a Table out of heaven, that shall be for us a festival, the first and last of us, and a sign from Thee. And provide for us; Thou art the best of providers.’ 115God said, ‘Verily I do send it down on you; whoso of you hereafter disbelieves, verily I shall chastise him with a chastisement wherewith I chastise no other being.’ And when God said, ‘O Jesus son of Mary, didst thou say unto men, “Take me and my mother as gods, apart from God”?’ He said, ‘To Thee be glory! It is not mine to say what I have no right to. If I indeed said it, Thou knowest it, knowing what is within my soul, and I know not what is within Thy soul; Thou knowest the things unseen I only said to them what Thou didst command me: “Serve God, my Lord and your Lord.” And I was a witness over them, while I remained among them; but when Thou didst take me to Thyself, Thou wast Thyself the watcher over them; Thou Thyself art witness of everything. If Thou chastisest them, they are Thy servants; if Thou forgivest them, Thou art the All-mighty, the All-wise.’ God said, ‘This is the day the truthful shall be profited by their truthfulness. For them await gardens underneath which rivers flow, therein dwelling forever and ever, God being well-pleased with them and they well-pleased with Him; that is the mighty triumph.’

To God belongs the kingdom of the heavens and of the earth, and all that is in them, and He is powerful over everything.

106You who believe, when death approaches any of you, let two just men from among you act as witnesses to the making of a bequest, or two men from another people if you are journeying in the land when death approaches. Keep the two witnesses back after prayer, if you have any doubts, and make them both swear by God, ‘We will not sell our testimony for any price, even if a close relative is involved. We will not hide God's testimony, for then we should be doing wrong.’ 107If it is discovered that these two are guilty [of perjury], two of those whose rights have been usurped have a better right to bear witness in their place. Let them swear by God, ‘Our testimony is truer than theirs. We have said nothing but the truth, for that would make us wrongdoers’: 108that will make it more likely they will give true and proper testimony, or fear that their oaths might be refuted by others afterwards. Be mindful of God and listen; God does not guide those who break His laws.

109On the Day when God assembles all the messengersb As Razi rightly stated, it is the habit of the Qurʾan, having talked at length on legislation, to follow it with reminders of God's power, stories of earlier prophets, or what happens on the Day of Judgement, in order to motivate people to adhere to the legislation. In this sura, having earlier mentioned the claims of Christians, it seeks further to refute them by showing that Jesus will disown their claims on the Day of Judgement. and asks, ‘What response did you receive?’ they will say, ‘We do not have that knowledge: You alone know things that cannot be seen.’ 110Then God will say, ‘Jesus, son of Mary! Remember My favour to you and to your mother: how I strengthened you with the holy spirit, so that you spoke to people in your infancy and as a grown man; how I taught you the Scripture and wisdom, the Torah and the Gospel; how, by My leave, you fashioned the shape of a bird out of clay, breathed into it, and it became, by My leave, a bird; how, by My leave, you healed the blind person and the leper; how, by My leave, you brought the dead back to life; how I restrained the Children of Israel from [harming] you when you brought them clear signs, and those of them who disbelieved said, “This is clearly nothing but sorcery”; 111and how I inspired the disciples to believe in Me and My messengers—they said, “We believe and bear witness that we devote ourselves [to God].” ‘a Cf. 2: 131–3.

112When the disciples said, ‘Jesus, son of Mary, can your Lord send down a feast to us from heaven?’ he said, ‘Beware of God if you are true believers.’ 113They said, ‘We wish to eat from it; to have our hearts reassured; to know that you have told us the truth; and to be witnesses of it.’ 114Jesus, son of Mary, said, ‘Lord, send down to us a feast from heaven so that we can have a festival—the first and last of us—and a sign from You. Provide for us: You are the best provider.’ 115God said, ‘I will send it down to you, but anyone who disbelieves after this will be punished with a punishment that I will not inflict on anyone else in the world.’

116When God says, ‘Jesus, son of Mary, did you say to people, “Take me and my mother as two gods alongside God”?’ he will say, ‘May You be exalted! I would never say what I had no right to say— if I had said such a thing You would have known it: You know all that is within me, though I do not know what is within You, You alone have full knowledge of things unseen—117I told them only what You commanded me to: “Worship God, my Lord and your Lord.” I was a witness over them during my time among them. Ever since You took my soul, You alone have been the watcher over them: You are witness to all things 118and if You punish them, they are Your servants; if You forgive them, You are the Almighty, the Wise.’ 119God will say, ‘This is a Day when the truthful will benefit from their truthfulness. They will have Gardens graced with flowing streams, there to remain for ever. God is pleased with them and they with Him: that is the supreme triumph.’ 120Control of the heavens and earth and everything in them belongs to God: He has power over all things.

Notes:

b As Razi rightly stated, it is the habit of the Qurʾan, having talked at length on legislation, to follow it with reminders of God's power, stories of earlier prophets, or what happens on the Day of Judgement, in order to motivate people to adhere to the legislation. In this sura, having earlier mentioned the claims of Christians, it seeks further to refute them by showing that Jesus will disown their claims on the Day of Judgement.

a Cf. 2: 131–3.

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