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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

9 REPENTANCE (63 – 90)

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

9. Repentance (64 – 89)

They swear to you by God, to please you; but God and His Messenger—more right is it they should please Him, if they are believers. Do they not know that whosoever opposes God and His Messenger—for him awaits the fire of Gehenna, therein to dwell forever? That is the mighty degradation. 65The hypocrites are afraid, lest a sura should be sent down against them, telling thee what is in their hearts. Say: ‘Mock on; God will bring forth what you fear.’ And if thou questionest them, then assuredly they will say, ‘We were only plunging and playing.’ Say: ‘What, then were you mocking God, and His signs, and His Messenger? Make no excuses. You have disbelieved after your believing. If We forgive one party of you, We will chastise another party for that they were sinners.’ The hypocrites, the men and the women, are as one another; they bid to dishonour, and forbid honour; they keep their hands shut; they have forgotten God, and He has forgotten them. The hypocrites— they are the ungodly. God has promised the hypocrites, men and women, and the unbelievers, the fire of Gehenna, therein to dwell forever. That is enough for them; God has cursed them; and there awaits them a lasting chastisement. 70Like those before you, who were stronger than you in might, and more abundant in wealth and children; they took enjoyment in their share; so do you take enjoyment in your share, as those before you took enjoyment in their share. You have plunged as they plunged. Those—their works have failed in this world and in the world to come; those— they are the losers. Has there not come to you the tidings of those who were before you—the people of Noah, Ad, Thamood, the people of Abraham, the men of Midian and the subverted cities? Their Messengers came to them with the clear signs; God would not wrong them, but themselves they wronged.

And the believers, the men and the women, are friends one of the other; they bid to honour, and forbid dishonour; they perform the prayer, and pay the alms, and they obey God and His Messenger. Those—upon them God will have mercy; God is All-mighty, All-wise. God has promised the believers, men and women, gardens underneath which rivers flow, forever therein to dwell, and goodly dwelling-places in the Gardens of Eden; and greater, God's good pleasure; that is the mighty triumph. O Prophet, struggle with the unbelievers and hypocrites, and be thou harsh with them; their refuge is Gehenna— an evil homecoming! 75They swear by God that they said nothing, but they indeed said the word of unbelief and disbelieved, after they had surrendered. They purposed what they never attained to, and they took revenge only that God enriched them, and His Messenger, of His bounty. So if they repent it will be better for them; if they turn away God will chastise them with a painful chastisement in this world and the next; on the earth they have no protector or helper. And some of them have made covenant with God: ‘If He gives us of His bounty, we will make offerings and be of the righteous.’ Nevertheless, when He gave them of His bounty they were niggardly of it, and turned away, swerving aside. So as a consequence He put hypocrisy into their hearts, until the day they meet Him, for that they failed God in that they promised Him and they were liars. Did they not know that God knows their secret and what they conspire together, and that God knows the things unseen?

80Those who find fault with the believers who volunteer their freewill offerings, and those who find nothing but their endeavour they deride—God derides them; for them awaits a painful chastisement. Ask pardon for them, or ask not pardon for them; if thou askest pardon for them seventy times, God will not pardon them; that, because they disbelieved in God and His Messenger; God guides not the people of the ungodly.

Those who were left behind rejoiced in tarrying behind the Messenger of God, and were averse to struggle with their possessions and their selves in the way of God. They said, ‘Go not forth in the heat.’ Say: ‘Gehenna's fire is hotter, did they but understand.’ Therefore let them laugh little, and weep much, in recompense for what they have been earning. So, if God returns thee to a party of them and they ask leave of thee to go forth, say: ‘You shall not go forth with me ever, and you shall not fight with me any enemy. You were well-pleased to tarry the first time, so now tarry with those behind.’ 85And pray thou never over any one of them when he is dead, nor stand over his grave; they disbelieved in God and His Messenger, and died while they were ungodly. And let not their possessions and their children please thee; God only desires thereby to chastise them in this present world, and that their souls should depart while they are unbelievers. And when a sura is sent down, saying, ‘Believe in God, and struggle with His Messenger,’ the affluent among them ask leave of thee, saying, ‘Let us be with the tarriers.’ They are well-pleased to be with those behind, and a seal has been set upon their hearts, so they understand not. But the Messenger, and the believers with him, have struggled with their possessions and their selves, and those—for them await the good things; those— they are the prosperers. 90God has prepared for them gardens underneath which rivers flow, therein to dwell forever; that is the mighty triumph.

64The hypocrites fear that a sura will be revealed exposing what is in their hearts—say, ‘Carry on with your jokes: God will bring about what you fear!’—65yet if you were to question them, they would be sure to say, ‘We were just chatting, just amusing ourselves.’ Say, ‘Were you making jokes about God, His Revelations, and His Messenger? 66Do not try to justify yourselves; you have gone from belief to disbelief.’ We may forgive some of you, but We will punish others: they are evildoers. 67The hypocrites, both men and women, are all the same: they order what is wrong and forbid what is right; they are tight-fisted. They have ignored God, so He has ignored them.a See note to 7: 51. The hypocrites are the disobedient ones. 68God promises the Fire of Hell as a permanent home for the hypocrites, both men and women, and the disbelievers: this is enough for them. God rejects them and a lasting punishment awaits them. 69’Youb Another example of iltifat: God turns to address them. are like those who lived before you: they were even stronger than you, with more wealth and children; they enjoyed their share in this life as you have enjoyed yours; like them, you have indulged in idle talk.’ Their deeds go to waste in this world and the next; it is they who will lose all in the life to come. 70Have they never heard the stories about their predecessors, the peoples of Noah, ‘Ad, Thamud, Abraham, Midian, and the ruined cities? Their messengers came to them with clear evidence of the truth: God would not deceive them; they deceived themselves.

71The believers, both men and women, support each other; they order what is right and forbid what is wrong; they keep up the prayer and pay the prescribed alms; they obey God and His Messenger. God will give His mercy to such people: God is almighty and wise. 72God has promised the believers, both men and women, Gardens graced with flowing streams where they will remain; good, peaceful homes in Gardens of lasting bliss; and—greatest of all— God's good pleasure. That is the supreme triumph.

73Prophet, strive against the disbelievers and the hypocrites, and be tough with them. Hell is their final home—an evil destination! 74They swear by God that they did not, but they certainly did speak words of defiance and became defiant after having submitted; they tried to do something,c To harm the Prophet. though they did not achieve it, —being spiteful was their only response to God and His Messenger enriching them out of His bounty. They would be better off turning back [to God]: if they turn away, God will punish them in this world and the Hereafter, and there will be no one on earth to protect or help them.

75There are some among them who pledged themselves to God, saying, ‘If God gives us some of His bounty, we shall certainly give alms and be righteous,’ 76yet when He did give them some of His bounty, they became mean and turned obstinately away. 77Because they broke their promise to God, because of all the lies they told, He made hypocrisy settle in their hearts until the Day they meet Him. 78Do they not realize that God knows their secrets and their private discussions? That God knows all that is hidden? 79It is they who criticize the believers who give freely and those who can only give a little with great effort: they scoff at such people, but it is God who scoffs at them—a painful punishment awaits them. 80It makes no difference [Prophet] whether you ask forgiveness for them or not: God will not forgive them even if you ask seventy times, because they reject God and His Messenger. God does not guide those who rebel against Him.

81Those who were left behind were happy to stay behind when God's Messenger set out; they hated the thought of striving in God's way with their possessions and their persons. They said to one another, ‘Do not go [to war] in this heat.’ Say, ‘Hellfire is hotter.’ If only they understood! 82Let them laugh a little; they will weep a lot in return for what they have done. 83So [Prophet], if God brings you back to a group of them, who ask you for permission to go out [to battle], say, ‘You will never go out and fight an enemy with me: you chose to sit at home the first time, so remain with those who stay behind now.’

84Do not hold prayers for any of them if they die, and do not stand by their graves: they disbelieved in God and His Messenger and died rebellious. 85Do not let their possessions and their children impress you: God means to punish them through these in this world, and that their souls should depart while they disbelieve.86When a sura is revealed [saying], ‘Believe in God and strive hard alongside His Messenger,’ their wealthy ask your permission [to be exempt], saying, ‘Allow us to stay behind with the others’: 87they prefer to be with those who stay behind. Their hearts have been sealed: they do not comprehend. 88But the Messenger and those who believe with him strive hard with their possessions and their persons. The best things belong to them; it is they who will prosper. 89God has prepared Gardens graced with flowing streams for them and there they will stay. That is the supreme triumph.

Notes:

a See note to 7: 51.

b Another example of iltifat: God turns to address them.

c To harm the Prophet.

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