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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

60. Women Tested (1 – 13)

A Medinan sura, revealed between the Treaty of Hudaybiyya and the conquest of Mecca, which takes its title from verse 10: instructions are given on how to deal with women who leave Mecca and join the Muslims, and the procedure for wives who leave Medina for Mecca (verses 10–11). The Muslims are instructed on the appropriate allocation of their loyalties (verses 1–3, 7–9, 13) and Abraham is cited for them as an example to learn from (verses 4–6).

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

1You who believe, do not take My enemies and yours as your allies, showing them friendship when they have rejected the truth you have received, and have driven you and the Messenger out simply because you believe in God, your Lorda A Muslim in Medina, Hatib bin Abi Balta'a, who had family and property in Mecca, sent a secret letter to the Meccan leaders telling them that the Prophet was preparing to march on their town, and warning them to take precautions. The letter was intercepted, and when the Prophet asked him to explain his action, he said that he only wanted the Meccans to protect his family and property.—not if you truly emigrated in order to strive for My cause and seek My good pleasure. You secretly show them friendship —I know all you conceal and all you reveal — but any of you who do this are straying from the right path.2If they gain the upper hand over you, they will revert to being your enemies and stretch out their hands and tongues to harm you; it is their dearest wish that you may renounce your faith.

3Neither your kinsfolk nor your children will be any use to you on the Day of Resurrection: He will separate you out. God sees everything you do. 4You have a good example in Abraham and his companions, when they said to their people, ‘We disown you and what you worship besides God! We renounce you! Until you believe in God alone, the enmity and hatred that has arisen between us will endure!’—except when Abraham said to his father, ‘I will pray for forgiveness for you though I cannot protect you from God’—[they prayed] 5‘Lord, we have put our trust in You; we turn to You; You are our final destination. Lord, do not expose us to mistreatment [at the hands of] the disbelievers. Forgive us, Lord, for You are the Almighty, the All Wise.’ 6Truly, they are a good example for you [believers] to follow, a good example for those who fear God and the Last Day. If anyone turns away, [remember] God is self-sufficing and worthy of all praise.

7God may still bring about affection between you and your present enemies—God is all powerful, God is most forgiving and merciful—8and He does not forbid you to deal kindly and justly with anyone who has not fought you for your faith or driven you out of your homes: God loves the just. 9But God forbids you to take as allies those who have fought against you for your faith, driven you out of your homes, and helped others to drive you out: any of you who take them as allies will truly be wrongdoers.

10You who believe, test the believing women when they come to you as emigrants —God knows best about their faith—and if you are sure of their belief, do not send them back to the disbelievers: they are not lawful wives for them, nor are the disbelievers their lawful husbands. Give the disbelievers whatever bride-gifts they have paid —if you choose to marry them, there is no blame on you once you have paid their bride-gifts —and do not yourselves hold on to marriage ties with disbelieving women. Ask for repayment of the bride-gifts you have paid, and let the disbelievers do the same. This is God's judgement: He judges between you, God is all knowing and wise. 11If any of you have wives who leave you for the disbelievers, and if your community subsequently acquires [gains] from them, then pay those whose wives have deserted them the equivalent of whatever bride-gift they paid. Be mindful of God, in whom you believe.

12prophet, when believing women come and pledge to you that they will not ascribe any partner to God, nor steal, nor commit adultery, nor kill their children, nor lie about who has fathered their children,a This is a common interpretation of the idiom ‘what is between their hands and their feet’ (Razi). nor disobey you in any righteous thing, then you should accept their pledge of allegiance and pray to God to forgive them: God is most forgiving and merciful.

13You who believe, do not take as allies those with whom God is angry: they despair of the life to come as the disbelievers despair of those buried in their graves.

Notes:

a A Muslim in Medina, Hatib bin Abi Balta'a, who had family and property in Mecca, sent a secret letter to the Meccan leaders telling them that the Prophet was preparing to march on their town, and warning them to take precautions. The letter was intercepted, and when the Prophet asked him to explain his action, he said that he only wanted the Meccans to protect his family and property.

a This is a common interpretation of the idiom ‘what is between their hands and their feet’ (Razi).

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