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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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5 THE TABLE (79 – 98)

The Messiah, son of Mary, was only a Messenger; Messengers before him passed away; his mother was a just woman; they both ate food. Behold, how We make clear the signs to them; then behold, how they perverted are!

80Say: ‘Do you serve, apart from God, that which cannot hurt or profit you? God is the All-hearing, the All-knowing.’ Say: ‘People of the Book, go not beyond the bounds in your religion, other than the truth, and follow not the caprices of a people who went astray before, and led astray many, and now again have gone astray from the right way.’ Cursed were the unbelievers of the Children of Israel by the tongue of David, and Jesus, Mary's son; that, for their rebelling and their transgression. They forbade not one another any dishonour that they committed; surely evil were the things they did. Thou seest many of them making unbelievers their friends. Evil is that they have forwarded to their account, that God is angered against them, and in the chastisement they shall dwell forever. Yet had they believed in God and the Prophet and what has been sent down to him, they would not have taken them as friends; but many of them are ungodly. 85Thou wilt surely find the most hostile of men to the believers are the Jews and the idolaters; and thou wilt surely find the nearest of them in love to the believers are those who say ‘We are Christians’; that, because some of them are priests and monks, and they wax not proud, and when they hear what has been sent down to the Messenger, thou seest their eyes overflow with tears because of the truth they recognize. They say, ‘Our Lord, we believe; so do Thou write us down among the witnesses. Why should we not believe in God and the truth that has come to us, and be eager that our Lord should admit us with the righteous people?’ And God rewards them for what they say with gardens underneath which rivers flow, therein dwelling forever; that is the recompense of the good-doers. But those who disbelieve, and cry lies to Our signs—they are the inhabitants of Hell.

O believers, forbid not such good things as God has permitted you; and transgress not; God loves not transgressors. 90Eat of what God has provided you lawful and good; and fear God, in whom you are believers.

God will not take you to task for a slip in your oaths; but He will take you to task for such bonds as you have made by oaths, whereof the expiation is to feed ten poor persons with the average of the food you serve to your families, or to clothe them, or to set free a slave; or if any finds not the means, let him fast for three days. That is the expiation of your oaths when you have sworn; but keep your oaths. So God makes clear to you His signs; haply you will be thankful.

O believers, wine and arrow-shuffling, idols and divining-arrows are an abomination, some of Satan's work; so avoid it; haply so you will prosper. Satan only desires to precipitate enmity and hatred between you in regard to wine and arrow-shuffling, and to bar you from the remembrance of God, and from prayer. Will you then desist? And obey God and obey the Messenger, and beware; but if you turn your backs, then know that it is only for Our Messenger to deliver the Message Manifest.

There is no fault in those who believe and do deeds of righteousness what they may eat, if they are godfearing, and believe, and do deeds of righteousness, and then are godfearing and believe, and then are godfearing and do good; God loves the good-doers. 95O believers, God will surely try you with something of the game that your hands and lances attain, that God may know who fears Him in the Unseen. Whoso thereafter commits transgression, there awaits him a painful chastisement. O believers, slay not the game while you are in pilgrim sanctity; whosoever of you slays it wilfully, there shall be recompense— the like of what he has slain, in flocks as shall be judged by two men of equity among you, an offering to reach the Kaaba; or expiation—food for poor persons or the equivalent of that in fasting, so that he may taste the mischief of his action. God has pardoned what is past; but whoever offends again, God will take vengeance on him; God is All-mighty, Vengeful. Permitted to you is the game of the sea and the food of it, as a provision for you and for the journeyers; but forbidden to you is the game of the land, so long as you remain in pilgrim sanctity; and fear God, unto whom you shall be mustered. God has appointed the Kaaba, the Holy House, as an establishment for men, and the holy month, the offering, and the necklaces—that, that you may know that God knows all that is in the heavens and in the earth, and that God has knowledge of everything. Know God is terrible in retribution, and God is All-forgiving, All-compassionate.

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