Islam
The Qur'an



God

From Surah 2, "The Heifer"

   Your God is one God; there is no God but He, the merciful, the compassionate.

From Surah 3, "The Im'rans"

   What belongs to God is in the heavens and in the earth, and unto God all affairs return.

From Surah 16, "The Bee"

   He sends down the angels with the Spirit at His bidding to one of His servants in order to say, 'Give warning that there is no god but Me; therefore, fear only Me.'

   He created the heavens and the earth. May God be exalted above all that which they join with Him!

   He created man from a clot; and yet, behold, he is an open opponent to God!

   The cattle, too, we have created for you; in them is warmth and profit, and from them do you eat. In them is there beauty for you when you drive them home to rest, and when you drive them forth to graze. And they bear your heavy burdens to towns which you could not otherwise reach, except with great wretchedness of soul. Truly, your God is kind and merciful. . . .

   He it is who sends down water from the sky, which you drink, and from which the trees grow and with which you feed your flocks.

   He makes the corn to grow, and the olives, and the palms, and the grapes, and some of every fruit. Truly, in that is a sign to people who reflect.

   And He subjected to you the night and the day, and the sun, and the moon, and the stars are subjected to His bidding. Truly, in that are signs to a people that have sense.

   And what He has produced for you in the earth varying in hue, truly, that is a sign for people who are mindful.

   He it is who has subjected the sea, that you may eat fresh flesh therefrom, and bring forth the pearls which you wear, and may see ships sailing on it . . .

   And He has cast firm mountains on the earth lest it move with you; and rivers and roads; so may you be guided.

   And by landmarks and stars, too, are they guided. . . .

   But if you would number the favors of God, you cannot count them. Truly, God is forgiving and merciful.

   God knows what you keep secret, and what you disclose.

From Surah 58, "The Wrangler"

   No three men meet together but God is their fourth; nor five men but He is their sixth; nor of many more or less but that God is with them wherever they may be, knowing of everything they do and revealing it to them on the Judgement Day.

The Worship of God

Surah 1, "Opening"

   In the name of the merciful and compassionate God.

   All praise belongs to God, the Lord of the worlds, the merciful, the compassionate, the ruler on the day of judgement. You alone we serve and You alone we ask for aid. Guide us in the right path, that path reserved for the blessed, not those you are angry with, not those who err.

From Surah 2, "The Heifer"

   The Apostle 1 believes in what is sent down to him from his Lord, and the believers all believe in God, and His angels, and His Books, and His apostles. We make no difference between any of His apostles. They say: 'We hear and obey. We ask your forgiveness, O Lord, for to you our journey tends.' God will not require anything of the soul beyond its capacity. Each soul shall have what it has earned; each soul shall owe what it has earned to itself. 'Lord! Forgive us our forgetfulness; do not burden us beyond our capacity as You have burdened those who have come before us. Lord, make us not to carry what we have not the strength for, but forgive us, and pardon us, and have mercy on us. You are our Sovereign; help us against the people who do not believe.   

Human Purpose

From Surah 2, "The Heifer"

   For every man there is a purpose which he sets up for his life and which he pursues. Let yours be the doing of all good deeds.

Muhammed's Purpose

From Surah 2, "The Heifer"

   Thus have we sent amongst you an apostle of yourselves, to recite to you our signs, to purify you and teach you the Book and wisdom, and to teach you what you did not know; remember me (God), then, and I will remember you; thank me, and do not disbelieve.

The Qur'an

From Surah 26, "The Poets"

   It is a revelation from the Lord of the universe, brought down by the faithful spirit (the angel Gabriel) upon your heart, so that you may warn mankind.

From Surah 17, "The Night Journey"

   This Qur'an guides to that which is more right and better. It reassures the believers who do the good that their reward will be great.

From Surah 43, "The Gilding"

   It is a Book whose verses are spoken in Arabic, for a people who have reason.

The Word of God, Belief, and Disbelief

From Surah 11, "Hud"

   ALIF LAM RA. 2 A book whose signs are confirmed and then made plain, from the wise one, the all-knowing: that you worship and serve no other than Allah, 3, truly, I have come to you from Him a warner and a herald of glad tidings; warning that you should seek forgiveness from your Lord, then turn again to Him! He will cause you to enjoy a goodly provision at a named and appointed time, and will give His grace to every one deserving grace; but if you turn your backs, I fear for you the torment of a great day.

   Unto Allah is your return, and He is mighty over all.

   Do they not, indeed, fold up their breasts, that they may hide from Him? But when they cover themselves with their garments, does He not know what they conceal and what they display? Indeed, He knows the nature of men's hearts!

   There is no beast that walks upon the earth but its provision is from Allah. He knows its settlement and its resting place; all is recorded in the glorious Book.

   He it is who created the heavens and the earth in six days, and His throne was upon the water 4 that He might test you to determine which of you did best.

   But should you say, 'You will be raised up after death,' those who disbelieve will surely say, 'This is nothing but obvious sorcery;' and if we keep back from them the torment to a stated generation, they will surely say, 'What delays it ?', Behold! on the day it comes to them there is no turning it away from them, but that torment shall close in on them which they mocked when they were alive.

   And if we make man taste of mercy from us and then strip it off from him, indeed, he is despairing and ungrateful; and if we make him taste of comfort after distress has touched him, he will surely say, 'The evils have gone away from me;' indeed, then he is joyful and boasting. Not so those who are steadfast and do good works; for these is reserved forgiveness and a rich reward!   By chance you may omit part of what is revealed to you and your breast is distressed thereby, because they might say about you, 'Why is not a treasure sent down to him? or why did not an angel come with him?', you are only a warner, and Allah is guardian over all.

   Or they will say, 'He has invented it all by himself;' say, 'Bring ten surahs invented like it; and call upon whom you can beside Allah, if you do tell the truth!' And if they do not answer, then know that it is revealed by the knowledge of Allah, and that there is no God but He, will you then submit to Islam?

   Whosoever shall wish for the life of this world and its ornaments, we will pay them their works therein, and they shall not be cheated. These are those for whom there is nothing in the hereafter save the Fire; and void is what they made therein, and vain what they were doing!

   What about the man who stands upon a manifest sign from their God, who is a witness from Him, and recites it, with the book of Moses for a model and a mercy? These believe in it; and whatever group of people disbelieves in him, the Fire is their promise. Be not in doubt about it; indeed, it is truth from your God, though most men do not believe.

   Who is more unjust than he who forges against Allah a lie? They shall be set before their Lord, and the witnesses shall say, 'These it is who lied against their Lord. 'Behold! Allah's curse is on the unjust who turn men away from the path, and crave to make it crooked, and disbelieve in the hereafter! They cannot make Him helpless in the earth, nor have they any other protection than Allah. Doubled for them is the torment. They could not hear, nor did they see! Those it is who lose themselves; and that which they did devise has strayed away from them. No doubt but that in the hereafter these are those who lose!

   Verily, those who believe and do what is right, and humble themselves to their Lord, they are the fellows of Paradise; they shall dwell therein forever. The difference between the two parties is like the difference between those blind and the deaf, and those who see and hear; shall they two be equal in likeness? will you not take heed?

   We sent Noah unto his people, 'Indeed, I am to you an obvious warner; that you should not worship any save Allah. Indeed, I fear for you the torment of the grievous day.' But the chiefs of the unbelievers amongst his people said, 'We only see in you a mortal like ourselves; nor do we see that any follow you except the villains amongst us with their rash judgment; nor do we see that you have any preference over us; we think you are all liars!' He said, 'O my people! let us see! if I stand upon a manifest sign from my Lord, and there come to me mercy from him, and you are blinded to it; shall we coerce you to believe even though you are resistant to it?'

   'O my people! I do not ask you for wealth in return for my warning; my reward is only from Allah; nor do I reject those who believe; indeed, they shall meet their Lord. But I see you, a people who are ignorant. O my people! who will protect me from Allah, were I to reject you? do you not then take heed? I do not say that I have the treasures of Allah; nor do I know the unseen; nor do I claim to be an angel; nor do I say of those whom your eyes despise, "Allah will never give them any good!", Allah knows best what is in their souls, indeed, then should I be of the unjust.'

   They said, 'O Noah! you have argued with us, and have multiplied arguments with us; bring us this flood you have threatened us with, if you are one of those who tell the truth.' Said he, 'Allah alone will bring it on you if He pleases, nor can you make Him helpless; nor will my advice profit you, should I wish to advise you, if Allah wishes to lead you into error. He is your Lord, and unto Him shall you be returned.'

   Do they say, 'He has made all this up?' Say, 'If I have made this up, then on me be my sin. But I am clear of that wherein you sin.'

   And God's will was revealed to Noah: 'None shall surely believe amongst your people but those who have believed already; take not then ill that which they do. And make the ark under our eyes, and at our inspiration; and plead not with me for those who have done wrong; indeed, they shall be drowned.'

   So he made the ark, and every time the chiefs of his people passed by him they laughed at him. Said he, 'If you laugh at us, indeed, we shall laugh at you even as you are laughing, and you shall surely know. He to whom a torment comes, it shall shame him, and there shall light upon him lasting torment.'

   Until at length when our 5 order came, and the Oven 6 boiled over, we said, 'Load therein two of every kind of animal, and likewise your family, save those on whom the sentence has already been passed, likewise load those who believe.' But few believed with him. And he said, 'Ride you therein; in the name of Allah is its course, and its anchor. Indeed, my Lord is forgiving and merciful.'

   And it floated on with them amid waves like mountains; and Noah cried to his son 7 who had gone aside, 'O my boy! ride with us and be not with the unbelievers.' Said his son, 'I will betake me to a mountain that shall save me from the water.' Said Noah, 'There is none today to save from the command of Allah, except for him on whom He may have mercy.' And the wave came between them, and he was amongst the drowned.

   And it was said, 'O earth! swallow down your water!' and, 'O heaven! hold! 'and the water abated; and the affair was decided, and it settled on al-Judi, and it was said, 'Away with the people who are evildoers!'

   And Noah went unto his Lord and said, 'My Lord, my son is of my people, and, indeed, your promise is true, and You are the most just of judges.' Allah said, 'O Noah! he is not of your people; it is a work that is not right. Therefore, ask me not for that of which you know nothing. I admonish you that you should not be of the ignorant.' He said, 'My Lord, truly I seek refuge in You from asking You for anything of which I know nothing; and, unless You forgive me and have mercy on me, I shall be among those who lose.'

   It was said, 'O Noah, descend in safety from us, and blessings upon you and upon the nations of those who are with you; but some nations we will allow to enjoy prosperity and then there shall touch them from us grievous woe.' These are stories of the unseen which we reveal to you; you did not know them, you nor your people before this. Be steadfast, then; verily, the issue is for those who fear.

   And unto 'Ad (we sent) their brother Hud; he said, "O my people! serve Allah; you have no God but Him. You do but devise a lie. O my people! I do not ask you for reward in return; my reward is only from Him who created me: have you then no sense? O my people! ask pardon of your Lord; then turn to Him; He will send the skies down on you in torrents; and He will add strength to your strength: do not then turn back sinners.'

   They said, 'O Hud! you have not come to us with a manifest or clear sign; nor will we leave our gods at your word alone. We will not believe in you. We can only say that some of our gods must have attacked you with some evil.' Said he, 'Indeed, I call Allah to witness, and do you bear witness, too, that I am free from that which you associate beside Him.

   'Plot then against me altogether, and give me no delay: I rely upon Allah, my Lord and your Lord. There is no beast that walks, but He takes it by its forelock. Indeed, my Lord is on the right way! But if you turn your backs, then I have at least conveyed to you what I was sent to you with; and my Lord will make another people your successors. You cannot harm Him at all: my Lord is guardian over all!'

   And when our order came we saved Hud, and those who believed with him, on account of our mercy, and we saved them from harsh torment. That tribe of 'Ad denied the signs of their Lord, and rebelled against His apostles, and followed the bidding of every headstrong villain. They were followed in this world by a curse, and on the resurrection day: ' Did not 'Ad disbelieve their Lord? Aye! away with 'Ad, the people of Hud!'"

From Surah 6, "Cattle"

   And when those who believe in our signs come to you, say to them, "Peace be on you! God has prescribed for himself mercy; indeed, he of you who does evil in ignorance, and then turns again and does right, truly God will be forgiving and merciful."

   Thus do we show our signs so that the way of the sinners may be made plain.

   Say: "I am forbidden to worship those you call upon beside God;" say: "I will not follow your lusts, for then I should err and not be among those guided by God."

   Say: "I stand on a manifest sign from my Lord, which you call a lie. I am not able to convince you; but God knows best who are among the unjust.

   With Allah are the keys of the unseen. None knows them save He; He knows what is in the land and the sea; and there falls not a leaf save that He knows it; nor a grain in the darkness of the earth, nor anything that is moist, nor anything that is dry, save that it is in his all-knowing Book.

   He it is who takes you to Himself at night, and knows what you 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 you have done.

   He triumphs over His servants; He sends 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.

From Surah 2, "The Heifer"

   This is the book! There is no doubt contained within this book. It is a guide to the pious, who believe in the unseen, are steadfast in the prayer, and give in charity whatever we give them. These believe in what is revealed to you, and what was revealed before you, and they are certain about the hereafter. These are guided by their Lord and prosper. However, those who do not believe, it is the same to them if you warn them or if you don't for they will never believe. God has set a seal on their hearts and on their hearing; and on their eyes is dimness and their lot is grief. There are those who say, 'We believe in God and in the last day,' but in truth they do not believe. They want to deceive God and the believers; they deceive only themselves but they don't perceive this. In their hearts is a sickness, and God has made them even more sick; because of their lies their lot is torture and grief. And when it is said to them, 'Do not do evil on the earth,' they reply, 'We only do what is right.' They are the evildoers but do not perceive this. And when it is said to them, "Believe as other men believe,' they reply, 'Shall we believe as fools believe?' Are they not themselves fools? Yet they do not know this. And when they meet those who believe, they say, 'We do believe,' but when the go aside with their devils, they say, 'We are with you; we were but mocking!' God shall mock at them and let them go on in their rebellion, blindly wandering on.

   Those who buy error for guidance, their traffic profits not, and they are not guided.

From Surah 25, "The Discrimination"

   The servants of the Merciful God tread softly on this earth and, when the ignorant and unbelieving contend with them, they say, 'Peace,' and gently go their way.

Christianity

From Surah 3, "The Im'rans" 8

   The day that every soul shall find what it has done of good present before it and what it has done of evil, it would rather that there were a vast interval between itself and that day! God bids you to beware of Himself, but God is gentle with His servants.

   Say: 'If you would love God then follow me, and God will love you and forgive you your sins, for God is forgiving and merciful.'

   Say: 'Obey God and the Apostle; but if you turn your backs, remember that God does not love unbelievers.'

   Indeed, God has chosen Adam, and Noah, and Abraham's people, and Im'ran's people above all the world . . .

   When Im'ran's wife said, 'Lord! I have vowed to Thee what is within my womb, to be dedicated unto Thee, receive it then from me. . . .' And when she brought it forth she said, "Behold, I have brought forth a female,' but God knew best what she brought forth; and a male is not like a female. 'I have called her Mary, and I seek refuge in Thee for her and for her seed from Satan the pelted.' 9

   And her Lord received her with a good reception and made her grow up with a good growth, and Zachariah took care of her. Whenever Zachariah entered the chamber to her he found beside her a provision, and said, 'Mary, how have you come by this?' She said, 'It is from God, for God provides for whom He pleases without count.' Therefore Zachariah prayed to his Lord and said, 'Lord, grant me good offspring. Truly, you hear all prayers.' And an angel cried out to him as he was standing praying in the chamber and said that 'God gives you glad tidings of John, to confirm the Word from God, about a chief and chaste man, and a prophet from among the righteous.'

   He said, 'My Lord, how can there be to me a boy when old age has reached me, and my wife is barren?' Said he, 'Thus God does what He pleases.' Zachariah said, 'My Lord, make for me a sign.' The angel said, 'You sign is that you shall not speak to men for three days, save by gesture; but remember your Lord and celebrate His praises in the evening and the morning.'

   And when the angels said, 'O Mary! Truly, God has chosen you and has purified you, and has chosen you above the women of the world. O Mary! Be devout in the face of your Lord, and adore and bow down with those who bow. That is one of the declarations of the unseen world which we reveal to you . . .

   Then the angel said, 'O Mary! Truly, God gives you the glad tidings of a Word from Him; his name shall be the Messiah Jesus the son of Mary, regarded in this world and the next and of those whose place is near to God. And he shall speak to people in his cradle, and when grown up, he shall be among the righteous.'

   She said, 'Lord! How can I have a son, when no man has ever touched me?'

   The angel said, 'Thus God creates what He pleases. When He decrees a matter, He only says "BE" and it is. He will teach him the Book, and wisdom, and the law, and the gospel, and he shall be a prophet to the people of Israel, saying, 'I have come to you, with a sign from God, namely, that I will create for you out of clay as though it were the form of a bird, and I will blow thereon and it shall become a bird by God's permission; and I will heal the blind from birth, and lepers; and I will bring the dead to life by God's permission; and I will tell you what you eat and what you store up in your houses. Behold! In all this is a sign for you if you are believers! And I will confirm what is before you of the law, and will surely make lawful for you some of that which was prohibited from you. I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, so fear God and follow me, for God is my Lord, and your Lord, so worship Him: this alone is the right path.'

   And when Jesus perceived that they were unbelievers, he said, 'Who are my helpers for God?' The apostles said, 'We are God's helpers. We believe in God, so bear witness that we submit. 10 Lord, we have believed in what you have revealed, and we have followed you, so write us down with those which bear witness.' but they (the Israelites) were crafty, and God was crafty, for God is the best of the crafty ones!

   When God said, 'O Jesus! I will make you die and take you up again to me and will clear you away from the unbelievers, and will make those who follow you above those unbelievers at the day of judgement when you shall return. I will decide between you concerning that wherein you disagree. And for those unbelievers, I will punish them with grievous punishment in this world and the next, and they shall have none to help them.' But as for those who believe and do what is right, He will pay them their reward, for God loves not the unjust.

   That is why we recite to you all these signs and tell you of the wise reminder. 11 Indeed, the likeness of Jesus to God is as the likeness of Adam.

From Surah 4, "Women"

   (The Jews are to be blamed) for saying, 'Behold! We have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the Son of Mary, the apostle of God,' but in truth they did not kill him, and they did not crucify him, but a similitude was made for them. And in truth those who contend in this matter are in doubt concerning him, for they have no knowledge concerning him but only follow opinion. They certainly did not kill him; God raised him up unto Himself, for God is mighty and wise.

   And there shall not be one of the people of the Book but shall believe in him before his death. And on the day of judgement he shall be a witness against them.

From Surah 1, "The Heifer"

   Whoever believes, whether they are Jews or Christians or Sabaeans, whoever believes in God and the last day and acts righteously, they have their reward at their Lord's hand, and there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve.

The Afterlife

From Surah 3, "The Im'rans"

   Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the succession of night and day, are signs to those possessed of minds; who remember God while they are standing and sitting or lying on their sides, and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth:

   'O Lord! You have not created all this in vain! We celebrate your praise. Keep us, then, from the torment of the fire! Lord! Whomever You make to enter into the fire, You have disgraced him. The unjust shall have no-one to help them.

   'Lord! We heard one crying out, calling all people to the faith: "Believe in your Lord," and we believed. Lord! Forgive us our sins and cover our offenses, and let us die among the righteous. Lord! Give us what You have promised us through Your apostles, and disgrace us not upon the resurrection day, for behold! You do not break Your promises.'

   And the Lord shall answer them, 'I waste not the works of a worker among you, be it male or female, for one of you is from the other. Those who fled, and were turned out of their houses, and were harmed for my sake, who fought and were killed, I will cover their offenses and I will make them to enter into gardens beneath which rivers flow.' A reward from God; with God are the best rewards.

   Let it not deceive you that those who don't believe go to and fro in the earth. It is a slight possession, and then their resort is Hell; an evil couch shall it be. But those who fear their Lord, for them are gardens beneath which rivers flow, and they shall dwell therein forever: an entertainment from God. That which is with God is best for the righteous.

   Truly, among the people of the Book 12 are some who do believe in God, and in what has been revealed to you as well as what was revealed to them; they humble themselves before God; they do not sell the signs of God for a little price. These shall have their reward with their Lord. . . .


ENDNOTES

1 That is, "messenger of God."
2 Each Surah begins with Arabic letters; the significance of these letters has not yet been determined.
3 "Allah" is the Arabic word for "God."
4 See Genesis 1.2.
5 "Our" and "we" throughout the text refers specifically to Allah and in general to Allah and his angels.
6 The Arabic word, "Tannur " (oven) signifies a reservoir of water.
7 This account of Noah's son is suggested by Genesis 9.20-25.
8 The Im'rans are the family of Amram who, according to Muslim tradition, was the father of the Virgin Mary (Miriam).
9 Muhuammed believes that the devils hang around the gate of heaven to hear news about the future; when the angels discover them, they pelt them with shooting stars.
10 This word, "submission," is islam in Arabic.
11 The "wise reminder" (dhikr ) describes the recitation of the Qu'ran by the faithful.
12 "The people of the Book" refer to Jews and Christians; the "Book" is the Old and New Testaments.


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1997, Richard Hooker
Updated 2-20-97