Sacred Texts  Islam  Index  Previous  Next 

4. He Commands

It is in the Revelation that God makes known His sovereign will; what He has chosen for men and what He has forbidden.

O believers, eat of the good things
wherewith We have provided you, and give thanks
to God, if it be Him that you serve.
These things only has He forbidden you:
carrion, blood, the flesh of swine,
what has been hallowed to other than God.
Yet whoso is constrained, not desiring
nor transgressing, no sin shall be on him;
God is All-forgiving, All-compassionate.

Those who conceal what of the Book God has sent down
on them, and sell it for a little price--they shall eat
naught but the Fire in their bellies; God shall not
speak to them on the Day of Resurrection
neither purify them; there awaits them
  a painful chastisement.
Those are they that have bought error at
the price of guidance, and chastisement at
the price of pardon; how patiently they
  shall endure the Fire!

p. 44

That, because God has sent down the Book
with the truth; and those that are
at variance regarding the Book
  are in wide schism.

It is not piety, that you turn your faces
  to the East and to the West.
  True piety is this:
to believe in God, and the Last Day,
the angels, the Book, and the Prophets,
to give of one's substance, however cherished,
  to kinsmen, and orphans,
the needy, the traveller, beggars,
  and to ransom the slave,
to perform the prayer, to pay the alms.
And they who fulfill their covenant
when they have engaged in a covenant,
  and endure with fortitude
  misfortune, hardship and peril,
these are they who are true in their faith,
  these are the truly godfearing.

O believers, prescribed for you is
retaliation, touching the slain;
freeman for freeman, slave for slave,
female for female. But if aught is pardoned
a man by his brother, let the pursuing
be honourable, and let the payment be
with kindliness. That is a lightening
granted you by your Lord, and a mercy;
and for him who commits aggression
after that--for him there awaits
  a painful chastisement.
In retaliation there is life for you,
men possessed of minds; haply you
  will be godfearing. (2:172-179)

O believers, prescribed for you is
the Fast, even as it was prescribed for

p. 45

those that were before you--haply you
  will be godfearing--
for days numbered; and if any of you
be sick, or if he be on a journey,
then a number of other days; and for those
who are able to fast, a redemption
by feeding a poor man. Yet better
it is for him who volunteers good,
and that you should fast is better for you,
  if you but know;
the month of Ramadan, wherein the Koran
was sent down to be a guidance
to the people, and as clear signs
of the Guidance and the Salvation.
So let those of you, who are present
at the month, fast it; and if any of you
be sick, or if he be on a journey,
then a number of other days; God desires
ease for you, and desires not hardship
for you; and that you fulfil the number, and
magnify God that He has guided you, and haply
  you will be thankful. (2:183-185)

Permitted to you, upon the night of
the Fast, is to go in to your wives;
they are a vestment for you, and you are
a vestment for them. God knows that you have been
betraying yourselves, and has turned to you
and pardoned you. So now lie with them,
and seek what God has prescribed for you.
And eat and drink, until the white thread
shows clearly to you from the black thread
at the dawn; then complete the Fast
unto the night, and do not lie with them
while you cleave to the mosques. Those are
God's bounds; keep well within them. So God
makes clear His signs to men; haply they
  will be godfearing.

p. 46

Consume not your goods between you
in vanity; neither proffer it
to the judges, that you may sinfully
consume a portion of other men's goods,
  and that wittingly. (2:187-188)

And fight in the way of God with those
who fight with you, but aggress not: God loves
  not the aggressors.
And slay them wherever you come upon them,
and expel them from where they expelled you;
persecution is more grievous than slaying.
But fight them not by the Holy Mosque
until they should fight you there;
then, if they fight you, slay them--
such is the recompense of unbelievers--
but if they give over, surely God is
All-forgiving, All-compassionate.
Fight them, till there is no persecution
and the religion is God's; then if they
give over, there shall be no enmity
  save for evildoers.
The holy month for the holy month;
holy things demand retaliation.
Whoso commits aggression against you,
do you commit aggression against him
like as he has committed against you;
and fear you God, and know that God is
  with the godfearing.

And expend in the way of God;
and cast not yourselves by your own hands
into destruction, but be good-doers; God
  loves the good-doers.

Fulfil the Pilgrimage and the Visitation
unto God; but if you are prevented,
then such offering as may be feasible.
And shave not your heads, till the offering

p. 47

reaches its place of sacrifice. If any
of you is sick, or injured in his head,
then redemption by fast, or freewill offering,
or ritual sacrifice. When you are secure,
then whosoever enjoys the Visitation
until the Pilgrimage, let his offering
be such as may be feasible; or if he
finds none, then a fast of three days
in the Pilgrimage, and of seven when
you return, that is ten completely;
that is for him whose family are not
present at the Holy Mosque. And fear
God, and know that God is terrible
  in retribution. (2:190-196)

Prescribed for you is fighting, though it be
  hateful to you.
Yet it may happen that you will hate a thing
which is better for you; and it may happen that you
will love a thing which is worse for you; God knows,
  and you know not.

They will question thee concerning
the holy month, and fighting in it.
Say: "Fighting in it is a heinous thing,
but to bar from God's way, and disbelief in Him,
and the Holy Mosque, and to expel its people
from it--that is more heinous in God's sight;
and persecution is more heinous than slaying."
They will not cease to fight with you,
till they turn you from your religion,
if they are able; and whosoever of you
turns from his religion, and dies disbelieving--
their works have failed in this world and the next;
those are the inhabitants of the Fire; therein
  they shall dwell forever.
But the believers, and those who emigrate
and struggle in God's way--those have hopes of

p. 48

God's compassion; and God is All-forgiving,

They will question thee concerning
wine, and arrow-shuffling. Say: "In both
is heinous sin, and uses for men,
but the sin in them is more heinous
  than the usefulness."

They will question thee concerning
what they should expend. Say: "The abundance."
So God makes clear His signs to you; haply
  you will reflect;
in this world, and the world to come.

They will question thee concerning
the orphans. Say: "To set their affairs
  aright is good.
And if you intermix with them, they are
your brothers. God knows well
him who works corruption from him
who sets aright; and had He willed
He would have harassed you. Surely God is
  All-mighty, All-wise."

Do not marry idolatresses, until
they believe; a believing slavegirl
is better than an idolatress, though
you may admire her. And do not marry
idolaters, until they believe. A believing
slave is better than an idolater, though
  you may admire him.
Those call unto the Fire; and God calls unto
Paradise, and pardon, by His leave, and He
makes clear His signs to the people; haply
  they will remember.

They will question thee concerning
the monthly course. Say: "It is hurt;
so go apart from women during
the monthly course, and do not approach them

p. 49

till they are clean. When they have cleansed
themselves, then come unto them as God
has commanded you." Truly, God loves
those who repent, and He loves those
  who cleanse themselves.
Your women are a tillage for you; so come
unto your tillage as you wish, and forward
for your souls; and fear God, and know that
you shall meet Him. Give thou good tidings
  to the believers.

Do not make God a hindrance, through your oaths,
to being pious and godfearing, and putting
things right between men. Surely God is
  All-hearing, All-knowing.
God will not take you to task for a slip
in your oaths; but He will take you to task
for what your hearts have earned; and God is
  All-forgiving, all-clement. (2:216-225)

Such of your women as commit indecency,
call four of you to witness against them;
and if they witness, then detain them
in their houses until death takes them
or God appoints for them a way.
And when two of you commit indecency,
punish them both; but if they repent
and make amends, then suffer them to be;
God turns, and is All-compassionate. 5 (4:15-16)

O believers, draw not near to prayer
when you are drunken until you know
what you are saying, or defiled--unless
you are traversing a way--until you
have washed yourselves; but if you are
sick, or on a journey, or if any of you
comes from the privy, or you have touched
women, and you can find no water,

p. 50

then have recourse to wholesome dust
and wipe your faces and your hands; God is
  All-pardoning, All-forgiving. (4:43)

This is the recompense of those who fight
against God and His Messenger, 6 and hasten
about the earth, to do corruption there:
they shall be slaughtered, or crucified,
or their hands and feet shall alternately
be struck off, or they shall be banished
from the land. That is a degradation for them
in this world; and in the world to come awaits them
  a mighty chastisement,
except for such as repent, before you
have power over them. So know you that
God is All-forgiving, All-compassionate.

O believers, fear God, and seek the means
to come to Him, and struggle in His way;
  haply you will prosper. (6:33-35)

The fornicatress and the fornicator--
scourge each one of them a hundred stripes,
and in the matter of God's religion
let no tenderness for them seize you
if you believe in God and the Last Day;
and let a party of the believers
  witness their chastisement.
The fornicator shall marry none but
a fornicatress or an idolatress,
and the fornicatress--none shall marry her
but a fornicator or an idolator;
that is forbidden to the believers.

And those who cast it up on women in
wedlock, and then bring not four witnesses,
scourge them with eighty stripes, and do not
accept any testimony of theirs ever; those--
  they are the ungodly,

p. 51

save such as repent thereafter and
make amends; surely God is All-forgiving,
  All compassionate.
And those who cast it up on their wives
having no witnesses except themselves,
the testimony of one of them shall be
to testify by God four times that he
  is of the truthful.
and a fifth time, that the curse of
God shall be upon him, if he should
  be of the liars.
It shall avert from her the chastisement
if she testify by God four times that he
  is of the liars.
and a fifth time, that the wrath of
God shall be upon her, if he should
  be of the truthful. (23:2-9)

And be thou not loud in thy prayer,
  nor hushed therein,
but seek thou for a way between that.
  And say:
"Praise belongs to God, who has not
  taken to Him a son,
and who has not any associate in the
nor any protector out of humbleness."
  And magnify Him
With repeated magnificats. (17:110-111)



51:5 These verses are usually held to apply to female and male deviates.

51:6 In later times, this has been held to apply to heretics and social revolutionaries, as well as to brigands.

Next: 5. He Rewards and Punishes