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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 Qurʾan What is This? A current English-language version of the Qur'an, published in 2004
Translation by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem

6. Livestock (1 – 24)

A Meccan sura which takes its title from verses 136–9. The false claims the polytheists made about livestock are thoroughly addressed: the sura in its entirety makes plain that it is God who creates, controls, and sees everything, and that it is to Him that we turn in times of need. Thus it gives a lengthy refutation of the idolaters’ claims.

In the name of God, the Lord of Mercy, the Giver of Mercy

1Praise belongs to God who created the heavens and the earth and made darkness and light; yet the disbelievers set up equals to their Lord! 2He is the one who created you from clay and specified a term [for you] and another fixed time,a These refer to the specified lifetime of individuals and the Day of Judgement. known only to Him; yet still you doubt! 3He is God in the heavens and on earth, He knows your secrets and what you reveal, and He knows what you do; 4but every time revelation comes to them from their Lord, they turn their backs on it. 5So they denied the truth when it came to them, but the very thing they laughed at will be brought home to them.

6Do they not realize how many generations We destroyed before them? We established them in the earth more firmly than you, sent down abundant rain on them from the sky and made running rivers flow at their feet, yet We destroyed them for their misdeeds and raised other generations after them. 7Even if We had sent down to you [Prophet] a book inscribed on parchment, and they had touched it with their own hands, the disbelievers would still say, ‘This is nothing but blatant sorcery.’ 8They say, ‘Why was no angel sent down to [support] him?’b They always argued against the Prophet that he was only a man, and asked him to produce an angel to support him. Cf. 25: 7. But had We sent down an angel, their judgement would have come at once with no respite given. 9Indeed, if We had sent an angel as messenger, We would still have sent him in the form of a man, so increasing their confusion.

10Messengers have been mocked before you [Muhammad], and those who mocked them were engulfed by the very punishment they had mocked. 11Say, ‘Travel throughout the earth and see what fate befell those who rejected the truth.’ 12Say, ‘To whom belongs all that is in the heavens and earth?’ Say, ‘To God. He has taken it upon Himself to be merciful. He will certainly gather you on the Day of Resurrection, which is beyond all doubt. Those who deceive themselves will not believe. 13All that rests by night or by day belongs to Him. He is the All Hearing, the All Knowing.’ 14Say, ‘Shall I take for myself a protector other than God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, who feeds but is not fed?’ Say, ‘I am commanded to be the first [of you] to devote myself [to Him].’ Do not be one of the idolaters. 15Say, ‘I fear the punishment of a dreadful Day if I disobey my Lord. 16God will have been truly merciful to whoever is spared on that Day: that is the clearest triumph.’

17If God touches you [Prophet] with affliction, no one can remove it except Him, and if He touches you with good, He has power over all things: 18He is the Supreme Master over His creatures, the All Wise, the All Aware. 19Say, ‘What counts most as a witness?’ Say, ‘God is witness between you and me. This Qurʾan was revealed for me to warn you [people] and everyone it reaches. Do you really bear witness that there are other gods beside God?’ Say, ‘I myself do not bear witness [to any such thing].’ Say, ‘He is only one God, and I disown whatever you join with Him.’ 20Those to whom We have given the Scripture know this as well as they know their own sons. Those who have lost their souls will not believe. 21Who does greater wrong than someone who fabricates a lie against God or denies His revelation? Those who do such wrong will not prosper. 22When We gather them all together and say to the polytheists, ‘Where are those you claimed were partners with God?’ in their utter dismay 23they will only say, ‘By God, our Lord, we have not set up partners beside Him!’ 24See how they lie against themselves and how those they invented have deserted them.

Notes:

a These refer to the specified lifetime of individuals and the Day of Judgement.

b They always argued against the Prophet that he was only a man, and asked him to produce an angel to support him. Cf. 25: 7.

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