THE CHAPTER OF CATTLE
THE CHAPTER OF CATTLE
IN the name of the merciful and compassionate, God!
Praise belongs to God who created the heavens and the earth, and brought into being the darkness and the light. Yet do those who misbelieve hold Him to have peers.
He it is who created you from clay; then He decreed a term,- a term ordained with Him. And yet ye doubt thereof.
He is God in the heavens and the earth. He knows your secret conduct and your plain, and He knows what ye earn.
There came not to them any sign of the signs of their Lord, but they turned away; and they have called the truth a lie now that it has come to them, but there shall come to them the message of that at which they mocked.
Do not they see how many a generation we have destroyed before them, whom we had settled in the earth as we have not settled for you, and sent the rain of heaven upon them in copious showers, and made the waters flow beneath them? Then we destroyed them in their sins, and raised up other generations after them.
Had we sent down to thee a book on paper, and they had touched it with their hands, still those who misbelieve would have said, ‘This is naught but obvious magic.’ They say, ‘Why has not an angel been sent down to him?’ but if we had sent down an angel, the affair would have been decided, and then they would have had no respite.
And had we made him an angel, we should have made him as a man too; and we would have made perplexing for them that which they deem perplexing now.
There have been prophets before thee mocked at, but that encompassed them which the scoffers among them mocked at.
Say, ‘Go about in the earth, then wilt thou see how has been the end of those who called them liars.’
Say, ‘Whose is what is in the heavens and the earth?
Say, ‘God’s, who has imposed mercy on himself.’ He will surely gather you together for the resurrection day. There is no doubt in that, but those who waste their souls will not believe.
His is whatsoever dwells in the night or in the day, He both hears and knows.
Say, ‘Other than God shall I take for a patron, the Originator of the heavens and the earth? He feedeth men, but is not fed.’ Say, ‘I am bidden to be the first of those resigned;’ and it was said to me, ‘Be not thou of the idolaters.’ Say, ‘I fear, if I rebel against my Lord, the torment of the mighty day.’
Whomsoever it is averted from on that day, God will have had mercy on; and that is obvious happiness.
And if God touch thee with harm, there is none to take it off but He; and if He touch thee with good, He is mighty over all. He is sovereign over His servants, He is the wise, the aware!
Say, ‘What is the greatest witness?’ Say, ‘God is witness between you and me.’ This Koran was inspired to me to warn you and those it reaches. Do ye really bear witness that with God are other gods? Say, ‘I bear not witness thereto:’ say, ‘He is but one God, and I am clear of your associating (gods with him).’
Those to whom we have brought the Book know him as they know their sons;- those who lose their souls do not believe.
Who is more unjust than he who forges against God a lie, or says His signs are lies? verily, the unjust shall not prosper.
On the day when we shall gather them all together, then shall we say to those who have associated others with ourself, ‘Where are your associates whom ye did pretend?’ Then they will have no excuse but to say, ‘By God our Lord, we did not associate (others with thee)!’ See how they lie against themselves, and how what they did forge deserts them! And they are some who listen unto thee, but we have placed a veil upon their hearts lest they should understand it, and in their ears is dulness of hearing; and though they saw each sign they would not believe therein; until when they come to thee to wrangle with thee, the unbelievers say, ‘These are but old folks’ tales.’
They forbid it and they avoid it;- but they destroy none but themselves; yet they do not perceive.
But couldst thou see when they are set over the fire and say, ‘Would that we were sent back! we would not call our Lord’s signs lies, but we would be of the believers?’ Nay! now is shown to them what they did hide before; and could they be sent back, they would return to that they were forbidden, for they are very liars.
They say there is naught but this life of ours in the world and we shall not be raised. But couldst thou see when they are set before their Lord; he says, ‘Is not this the truth?’ They say, Yea, by our Lord!’ he says, ‘Then taste the torment, for that ye did misbelieve!’
Losers are they who disbelieved in meeting God, until when the hour comes suddenly upon them they say, ‘Woe is us for our neglect thereof!’ for they shall bear their burdens on their backs, evil is what they bear.
The life of this world is nothing but a game and a sport, and surely the next abode were better for those who fear. What! do they not understand?
Full well we know that verily that which they say grieves thee; but they do not call thee only a liar, for the unjust gainsay the signs of God. Called liars too were apostles before thee; but they were patient of being called liars and of being hurt until our help came to them; for there is none to change the words of God- now has there come to thee the story of those He sent.
And if their turning from thee be hard for thee, and if thou canst seek for a shaft down into the earth, or a ladder up into the sky, to bring them a sign- but if God pleased He would bring them all to guidance, be thou not then of the ignorant.
He only answers the prayer of those who listen; but the dead will God raise up, then unto Him shall they return. They say, ‘Unless there be sent down some sign from his Lord’- say, ‘Verily, God is able to send down a sign, but most of them do not know.’
There is not a beast upon the earth nor a bird that flies with both its wings, but is a nation like to you; we have omitted nothing from the Book; then to their Lord shall they be gathered. Those who say our signs are lies- deafness, dumbness, in the dark! whom He pleases does God lead astray, and whom He pleases He places on the right way.
Say, ‘Look you now! if there should come God’s torment, or there should come to you the hour, on other than God would ye call, if ye do tell the truth?’ Nay, it is on Him that ye would call, and He will avert that which ye call upon Him for if He but please; and ye shall forget that which ye did associate with Him.
Ere this we sent unto nations before thee, and we caught them in distress and trouble that haply they might humble themselves. And do they not, when our violence falls upon them, humble themselves?- but their hearts were hard, and Satan made seemly to them that which they had done.
And when they forgot what they were reminded of, we opened for them the gates of everything, until when they rejoiced at what they had, we caught them up suddenly, and lo! they were in despair.
And the uttermost part of the people who did wrong were cut off; praise be to God, Lord of the worlds!
Say, ‘Look you now! if God should catch your hearing and your sight, and should set a seal upon your hearts- who is god but God to bring you it again?’
Say, ‘Look you now! if God’s torment should come you suddenly or openly, would any perish save the people who do wrong?’
We do not send our messengers save as heralds of glad tidings and of warning, and whoso believes and acts aright, there is no fear for them, and they shall not be grieved, but those who say our signs are lies, torment shall touch them, for that they have done so wrong.
Say, ‘I do not say to you, mine are the treasuries of God, nor that I know the unseen; I do not say to you, I am an angel-if I follow aught but what I am inspired with-:’ say, ‘Is the blind equal to him who sees-?’ what! do ye not reflect?
Admonish therewith those who fear that they shall be gathered unto their Lord; there is no patron for them but Him, and no intercessor; haply they may fear.
Repulse not those who call upon their Lord in the morning and in the evening, desiring His face; they have no reckoning against thee at all, and thou hast no reckoning against them at all;- repulse them and thou wilt be of the unjust.
So have we tried some of them by others, that they may say, ‘Are these those unto whom God has been gracious amongst ourselves?’ Does not God know those who give thanks?
And when those who believe in our signs come to thee, say, ‘Peace be on you! God hath prescribed for Himself mercy; verily, he of you who does evil in ignorance, and then turns again and does right,- verily, He is forgiving and merciful.’
Thus do we detail our signs, that the way of the sinners may be made plain.
Say, ‘I am forbidden to worship those ye call upon beside God;’ say, ‘I will not follow your lusts, for then should I err and not be of the guided.’
Say, ‘I stand on a manifestation from my Lord, which ye call a lie. I have not with me what ye fain would hasten on, that the matter might be settled between me and you; but God knows best who are the unjust.’
With Him are the keys of the unseen. None knows them save He; He knows what is in the land and in the sea; and there falls not a leaf save that He knows it; nor a grain in the darkness of the earth, nor aught that is moist, nor aught that is dry, save that is in His perspicuous Book.
He it is who takes you to Himself at night, and knows what ye have gained in the day; then He raises you up again, that your appointed time may be fulfilled; then unto Him is your return, and then will He inform you of what ye have done.
He triumphs over His servants; He sends to them guardian angels, until, when death comes to any one of you, our messengers take him away; they pass not over any one, and then are they returned to God, their true sovereign.
Is not His the rule? but He is very quick at reckoning up.
Say, ‘Who rescues you from the darkness of the land and of the sea?’ ye call upon Him in humility and in secret, ‘Indeed, if He would rescue us from this, we will surely be of those who give Him thanks.’ Say, ‘God rescues from the darkness thereof, and from every trouble, yet ye associate others with Him.’
Say, ‘He is able to send torment on you from above you and from beneath your feet, and to confuse you in sects, and to make some of you taste the violence of others.’
See how we turn about the signs, that haply they may discriminate. Thy people called it a lie, and yet it is the truth. Say, ‘I have not charge over you; to every prophecy is a set time, and in the end ye shall know.’
When thou dost see those who plunge deeply into the discussion of our signs, turn from them until they plunge deeply into some other discourse; for it may be that Satan may make thee forget; but sit not, after thou hast remembered, with the unjust people.
Those who fear are not bound to take account of them at all, but mind!- haply they may fear.
Leave those who have taken their religion for a play and a sport, whom this world’s life hath deceived, and remind them thereby that a soul shall be given up for what it has earned; nor has it, beside God, patron or intercessor; and though it should compensate with the fullest compensation, it would not be accepted. Those who are given up for what they have gained, for them is a drink of boiling water, and grievous woe for that they have misbelieved.
Say, ‘Shall we call on what neither profits us nor harms us, and be thrown back upon our heels after God has guided us, like him whom Satan hath led away bewildered in the earth, who has companions who call him to guidance, “Come to us? “‘ Say, ‘Verily, God’s guidance is the guidance, and we are bidden to resign ourselves unto the Lord of the worlds, and be ye steadfast in prayer and fear Him, for He it is to whom we shall be gathered.’
He it is who has created the heavens and the earth in truth; and on the day when He says, ‘BE,’ then it is. His word is truth; to Him is the kingdom on the day when the trumpets shall be blown; the knower of the unseen and of the evident; He is wise and well aware.
When Abraham said to his father Azar, ‘Dost thou take idols for gods? verily, I see thee and thy people in obvious error.’ Thus did we show Abraham the kingdom of heaven and of the earth, that he should be of those who are sure. And when the night overshadowed him he saw a star and said, ‘This is my Lord;’ but when it set he said, ‘I love not those that set.’ And when he saw the moon beginning to rise he said, ‘This is my Lord;’ but when it set he said, ‘If God my Lord guides me not I shall surely be of the people who err.’ And when he saw the sun beginning to rise he said, ‘This is my Lord, this is greatest of all;’ but when it set he said, ‘O my people! verily, I am clear of what ye associate with God; verily, I have turned my face to him who originated the heaven and the earth, as a ‘Hanif, and I am not of the idolaters.’ And his people disputed with him;- he said, ‘Do ye dispute with me concerning God, when He has guided me? but I fear not what ye associate with Him unless my Lord should wish for anything. My Lord doth comprehend all things in His knowledge, will ye not then remember? How should I fear what ye associate with Him, when ye yourselves fear not to associate with God what He has sent down to you no power to do? Which then of the two sects is worthier of belief, if indeed ye know?’
Those who believe and do not obscure their faith with wrong, they are those who shall have security, and they are guided.
These are our arguments which we gave to Abraham against his people;- we raise the rank of whom we will; verily, thy Lord is wise and knowing. And we gave to him Isaac and Jacob, each did we guide. And Noah we guided before and all his seed,- David and Solomon and Job and Joseph and Moses and Aaron,- for thus do we reward those who do good. And Zachariah and John and Jesus and Elias, all righteous ones; and Ishmael and Elisha and Jonas and Lot, each one have we preferred above the worlds; and of their fathers and their seed and brethren; we have chosen them and guided them into a right way.
That is God’s guidance; He guides those whom He will of His servants; and if they associate aught with Him,- vain is that which they have worked.
It is to these we give the Book and judgment and prophecy; and if these disbelieve therein we have given them in charge to a people who shall not disbelieve.
It is these that God hath guided, and by their guidance be thou led.
Say, ‘I will not ask you for it a hire: it is naught save a reminder to the worlds.’
They do not prize God at His true worth when they say, ‘God has never revealed to mortal anything.’ Say, ‘Who revealed the Book wherewith Moses came, a light and a guidance unto men? Ye put it on papers which ye show, though ye hide much; and ye are taught what ye knew not, neither you nor your fathers.’ Say, ‘God,’ then leave them in their discussion to play.
This is the Book which we have revealed, a blessing and a confirmation to those which were before it, and that the mother of cities may be warned, with those who are round about her. Those who believe in the last day believe therein, and they unto their prayers will keep.
Who is more unjust than he who devises against God a lie, or says, ‘I am inspired,’ when he was not inspired at all? and who says, ‘I will bring down the like of what God has sent down;’ but didst thou see when the unjust are in the floods of death, and the angels stretch forth their hands, ‘Give ye forth your souls; to-day shall ye be recompensed with the torment of disgrace, for that ye did say against God what was not true, and were too proud to hear His signs And ye come now single-handed as we created you at first, and ye have left behind your backs that which we granted you; and we see not with you your intercessors whom ye pretended were partners amongst you; betwixt you have the ties been cut asunder; and strayed away from you is what ye did pretend.’
Verily, God it is who cleaves out the grain and the date-stone; He brings forth the living from the dead, and it is He who brings the dead from the living. There is God! how then can ye be beguiled?
He it is who cleaves out the morning, and makes night a repose, and the sun and the moon two reckonings- that is the decree of the mighty, the wise!
He it is who made for you stars that ye might be guided thereby in the darkness of the land and of the sea. Now have we detailed the signs unto a people who do know.
He it is who made you spring from one soul, and gave you a settlement and a depository. Now have we detailed the signs unto a people who discern.
He it is who sends down from the heavens water; and we bring forth therewith growths of everything; and we bring forth therefrom green things, wherefrom we bring forth grain in full ear; and the palm, from its spathe come clusters within reach; and gardens of grapes and olives and pomegranates, alike and unlike;- behold its fruit when it fruits and ripens! verily, in that ye have a sign for the people who believe.
Yet they made the ginn partners with God, though He created them! and they ascribed to Him sons and daughters, though they have no knowledge; celebrated be His praise! and exalted be He above what they attribute to Him! The inventor of the heavens and the earth! how can He have a son, when He has no female companion, and when He has created everything, and everything He knows?
There is God for you,- your Lord! There is no god but He, the Creator of everything; then worship Him, for He o’er everything keeps guard!
Sight perceives Him not, but He perceives men’s sights; for He is the subtle, the aware.
Now has an insight from your Lord come unto you, and he who looks therewith it is for himself; but he who is blind thereto, it is against his soul and I am not your keeper.
Thus do we turn about the signs, that they may say, ‘Thou hast studied,’ and that we may explain to those who know.
Follow what is revealed to thee from thy Lord; there is no god but He, and shun the idolaters.
But had God pleased, they would not have associated aught with Him; but we have not made thee a keeper over them, nor art thou for them a warder.
Do not abuse those who call on other than God, for then they may abuse God openly in their ignorance. So do we make seemly to every nation their work, then unto their Lord is their return, and He will inform them of what they have done.
They swore by God with their most strenuous oath, that if there come to them a sign they will indeed believe therein. Say, ‘Signs are only in God’s hands;- but what will make you understand that even when one has come, they will not believe?’
We will overturn their hearts and their eyesights, even as they believed not at first; and we will leave them, in their rebellion, blindly wandering on.
And had we sent down unto them the angels, or the dead had spoken to them, or we had gathered everything unto them in hosts, they would not have believed unless that God pleased- but most of them are ignorant.
So have we made for every prophet an enemy,- devils of men and ginns; some of them inspire others with specious speech to lead astray; but had thy Lord pleased they would not have done it; so leave them with what they do devise.
And let the hearts of those who believe not in the hereafter listen to it; and let them be well pleased with it; and let them gain what they may gain!
Of other than God shall I crave a decree, when it is He who has sent down to you the Book in detail, and those to whom we gave the Book know that it is sent down from thy Lord, in truth? be thou not then of those who doubt.
The words of thy Lord are fulfilled in truth and justice; there is none to change His words, for He both hears and knows.
But if thou followest most of those who are in the land, they will lead thee astray from the path of God; they only follow suspicion and they only (rest on) conjecture.
Thy Lord, He knows best who errs from His path, and He knows best the guided.
Eat then of what God’s name has been pronounced over, if ye believe in His signs. What ails you that ye do not eat from what God’s name is pronounced over, when He has detailed to you what is unlawful for you? Save what ye are forced to; but, verily, many will lead you astray by their fancies, without knowledge. Verily, thy Lord knows best the transgressors.
Leave alone the outside of sin and the inside thereof; verily, those who earn sin shall be recompensed for what they have gained.
But eat not of what the name of God has not been pronounced over, for, verily, it is an abomination. Verily, the devils inspire their friends that they may wrangle with you; but if ye obey them, verily, ye are idolaters.
Is he who was dead and we have quickened him, and made for him a light, that he might walk therein amongst men, like him whose likeness is in the darkness whence he cannot come forth? Thus is made seemly to the misbelievers what they have done.
And thus have we placed in every town the great sinners thereof, that they may use craft therein; but they use not craft except against themselves, although they do not understand.
And when there comes to them a sign, they say, ‘We will not believe until we are brought like what the apostles were brought;’ God knows best where to put His message. There shall befall those who sin, meanness in God’s eyes, and grievous torment for the craft they used.
Whomsoever God wishes to guide, He expands His breast to Islam; but whomsoever wishes to lead astray, He makes his breast tight and straight, as though he would mount up into heaven; thus does God set His horror on those who do not believe.
This is the way of thy Lord- straight. We have detailed the signs unto a mindful people; for them is an abode of peace; and their Lord, He is their patron for what they have done.
And on the day when He shall gather them all together, ‘O assembly of the ginns! ye have got much out of mankind.’ And their clients from among mankind shall say, ‘O our Lord! much advantage had we one from another;’ but we reached our appointed time which thou hadst appointed for us. Says He, ‘The fire is your resort, to dwell therein for aye! save what God pleases; verily, thy Lord is wise and knowing.’
Thus do we make some of the unjust patrons of the others, for that which they have earned.
O assembly of ginns and men! did there not come to you apostles from among yourselves, relating to you our signs, and warning you of the meeting of this very day of yours? They say, ‘We bear witness against ourselves.’ The life of this world deceived them, and they bear witness against themselves that they were unbelievers.
That is because thy Lord would never destroy towns unjustly while their people are careless; but for every one are degrees of what they have done; and thy Lord is not careless of that which they do.
Thy Lord is rich, merciful; if He pleases He will take you off, and will cause what He pleases to succeed you; even as He raised you up from the seed of other people.
Verily, what ye are promised will surely come, nor can ye frustrate it.
Say, ‘O my people! act according to your power, verily, I am acting too; and soon shall ye know whose is the future of the abode!’ verily, the unjust shall not prosper.
They set apart for God, from what He raises of tilth and of cattle, a portion, and they say, ‘This is God’s;’- as they pretend- ‘and this is for our associates;’ but that which is for their associates reaches not to God, and that which was for God does reach to their associates;- evil is it what they judge.
Thus too have their associates made seemly to many of the idolaters the killing of their children, to destroy them, and to obscure for them their religion; but had God pleased they would not have done it, leave them alone and that which they have forged.
And they say, ‘These cattle and tilth are inviolable; none shall taste thereof, save such as we please’- as they pretend- and there are cattle whose backs are prohibited, and cattle over whom God’s name is not pronounced,- forging a lie against Him! He shall reward them for what they have forged.
And they say, ‘What is in the wombs of these cattle is unlawful for our wives, but if it be (born) dead, then are they partners therein.’ He will reward them for their attribution; verily, He is wise and knowing.
Losers are they who kill their children foolishly, without knowledge, and who prohibit what God has bestowed upon them, forging a lie against God; they have erred and are not guided.
He it is who brought forth gardens with trailed and untrailed vines, and the palms and corn land, with various food, and olives, and pomegranates, alike and unlike. Eat from the fruit thereof whene’er it fruits, and bring the dues thereof on the day of harvest, and be not extravagant; verily, He loves not the extravagant.
Of cattle are there some to ride on and to spread. Eat of what God has bestowed upon you, and follow not the footsteps of Satan; verily, he is to you an open foe.
Eight pairs,- of sheep two, and of goats two; say, ‘Are the two males unlawful, or the two females, or what the wombs of the two females contain? inform me with knowledge if ye tell the truth.’ And of camels two, and cows two; say, ‘Are the two males unlawful, or the two females, or what the wombs of the two females contain? Were ye witnesses when God ordained for you these?- Then who is more unjust than he who devises a lie against God, to lead men astray without knowledge? verily, God guides not the unjust people.’
Say, ‘I cannot find in what I am inspired with anything unlawful for the taster to taste; unless it be dead (of itself), or blood that has been shed, or the flesh of swine,- for that is a horror- or an abomination that is consecrated to other than God. But he who is forced, not wilfully nor transgressing,- then, verily, thy Lord is forgiving and merciful.’
To those who were Jews did we prohibit everything that hath a solid hoof; and of oxen and sheep did we prohibit to them the fat, save what the backs of both do bear, or the inwards, or what is mixed with bone; with that did we recompense them for their rebellion, for, verily, we are true.
And if they give thee the lie, say, ‘Your Lord is of ample mercy, nor shall His violence be turned back from the sinful people.’
Those who associate others with God will say, ‘Had God pleased, we had not so associated, nor our fathers; nor should we have forbidden aught.’ Thus did they give the lie to those who came before them, until they tasted of our violence! Say, ‘Have ye any knowledge? if so, bring it forth to us: ye only follow suspicion, and ye do but conjecture.’
Say, ‘God’s is the searching argument; and had He pleased He would have guided you all.’
Say, ‘Come on then with your witnesses, who bear witness that God has prohibited these!’ but if they do bear witness, bear thou not witness with them; nor follow the lust of those who say our signs are lies, and those who do not believe in the last day, or those who for their Lord make peers.
Say, ‘Come! I will recite what your Lord has forbidden you, that ye may not associate aught with Him, and (may show) kindness to your parents, and not kill your children through poverty;- we will provide for you and them;- and draw not nigh to flagrant sins, either apparent or concealed, and kill not the soul, which God hath forbidden save by right; that is what God ordains you, haply ye may understand.’
And draw not nigh unto the wealth of the orphan, save so as to better it, until he reaches full age; and give weight and measure with justice. We do not compel the soul save what it can compass; and when ye pronounce, then be just, though it be in the case of a relative.
And God’s compact fulfil ye; that is what He ordained you, haply ye may be mindful. Verily, this is my right way; follow it then, and follow not various paths, to separate yourselves from His way; that is what He has ordained you, haply ye may fear!
Then we gave Moses the Book, complete for him who acts aright, and a decision and a guidance and a mercy; haply in the meeting of their Lord they will believe.
This is the Book which we have sent down; it is a blessing; follow it then and fear; haply ye may obtain mercy. Lest ye say, ‘The Book was only sent down to two sects before us; verily, we, for what they read, care naught.’ Or, lest ye should say, ‘Had we had a book revealed to us we should surely have been more guided than they;’ but there is come to them a manifest sign from their Lord, and a guidance and a mercy; who then is more unjust than he who calls God’s signs lies, and turns from them? we will reward those who turn from our signs with an evil punishment for that they turned away.
What do they expect but that the angels should come for them, or that thy Lord should come, or that some signs of thy Lord should come? On the day when some signs do come, its faith shall profit no soul which did not believe before, unless it has earned some good by its faith. Say, ‘Wait ye expectant, then we wait expectant too.’
Verily, those who divided their religion and became sects, thou hast not to do with them, their matter is in God’s hands, He will yet inform them of that which they have done.
He who brings a good work shall have ten like it; but he who brings a bad work shall be recompensed only with the like thereof, for they shall not be wronged.
Say, ‘As for me, my Lord has guided me to the right way, a right religion,- the faith of Abraham the ‘Hanif, for he was not of the idolaters.’
Say, ‘Verily, my prayers and my devotion and my life and my death belong to God, the Lord of the worlds. He has no partner; that is what I am bidden; for I am first of those who are resigned.’
Say, Other than God shall I crave for a Lord when He is Lord of all?’ but no soul shall earn aught save against itself; nor shall one bearing a burden bear the burden of another; and then unto your Lord is your return, and He will inform you concerning that whereon ye do dispute.
He it is who made you vicegerents, and raised some of you above others in degree, to try you by that which he has brought you;- verily, thy Lord is swift to punish, but, verily, He is forgiving and merciful.