This is the 2nd Surah of the Qur'an. It has 286 verses. The cow is merely one of the many quadrupeds made useful and subservient to mankind.
The title of a Chapter or Surah of the Qur'an is basically important for reference purposes. Only in the last and the 30th section of the Qur'an, which has very brief Surahs, the title becomes the subject of almost all the verses embraced by it.Proper understanding of this most detailed Surah Baqarah will facilitate for the reader to become familiar with the basic concepts and the true meanings of the Qur'anic terminology according to the language of its Revelation (the Quraish dialect). Therefore, my rendition of this Surah, while close to the literal translation, is also a free understanding. I have taken special care to explain every verse from within the Qur'an itself and provided references from TASREEF (the process whereby the Qur'an lets us look at the same concepts in various ways). As we move along to the later Surahs, we will come closer and closer to the linguistic translation rather than a wider explanation. About the use of parentheses: Whenever the reader finds a sentence that is not seen in the original Arabic verse, it will be representing another verse found elsewhere in the Qur'an and the proper reference will be given right there. Such a situation will involve the use of parentheses unless it interferes with the flow. Historical notes and linguistic explanations will also be given within parenthesis.
With the Glorious Name of Allah, the Instant and Sustaining Source of all Mercy and Kindness.
2:1 A.L.M. Alif. Laam. Mim. Allah, Aleem, the Knower, Hakim, the Wise, knows your prayer and understands your needs.
2:2 Allah's Guidance is right before you in the form of this noble Book, recorded by the most honorable scribes appointed by the Messenger (80:13-16). The Almighty Himself guarantees the Truth of this Revelation, its explanation and its preservation. And you will find it free of all contradiction ((4:82), (10:37), (15:9), (29:49), (32:2), (52:2-3), (75:17-19)). Therefore, there is absolutely no question or any doubt about the authority and authenticity of this Glorious Scripture. And, you will soon notice as you proceed, that this Book leaves no lingering doubts in a seeking mind. If you remember that this is a Book of guidance, and hence, treat it as such, the hard fact will dawn upon you that this is The Path-finding Guide for all those who wish to journey through life in blissful honor and security.
2:3 Those who wish to journey through life in blissful honor and security, are the ones who believe in the Law of Cause and Effect, though the stages of action and its reaction might be hidden from their senses.[The likeness of a seed that is beneath the soil hidden from a farmer's view. Yet the farmer believes that given proper environment and care the seed will sprout. They realize that if humans fail to comprehend certain phenomena in Nature, this lack of comprehension at a particular stage of human knowledge does not deny the existence of these phenomena. Such denial will be arrogance that is worse than ignorance.] Those who understand these simple Laws of Nature, look for ways to establish the Divine System, a noble society in which Divine Values rule the hearts and minds of men and women ((2:177), (22:41), (94:77)). Inhabitants of such a society will keep open their wealth that We have provided them, for the benefit of all (2:219). [This is because every individual in that society will be sure that the collective good of all will mean his own good and benefit. This is how a Benevolent Society is established that benefits each individual] 2:4 [They use their faculty of reasoning and understand that human intellect is a great blessing but it is not boundless. Science can tell humans what is, it cannot tell what ought to be. Furthermore, direct Revelation of knowledge from the Creator economizes human effort and saves them time on trial and error ((7:157-158), (21:10), (21:24))]Hence, such men and women of understanding consider the Divine Revelation through you (O Messenger) a great favor and believe in it wholeheartedly ((7:52), (2:185)). Similar were the blessed people who believed in and followed the previous Scriptures. [Of course, believers of all times understand that life is no vain sport ((6:72), (10:4), (40:11), (45:52)). Life keeps evolving like everything else in the Cosmos. Death of the human body is only a transition to a higher form of life for the human personality, the 'Self'. Thus, they have conviction in the Hereafter (67:2). Anyone denying the eternity of the "Self" fails to see life in its totality and is a walking cadaver on this earth]2:5 (You can see how easy and simple it is to reach the right conclusions by using the power of reasoning.) Those who approach the Book with an open mind are the ones who achieve Guidance from their Sustainer and walk on the right track ((23:1-11), (56:79)). To them belongs the Ultimate Success. (31:2-5).[But, those who approach the Qur'an without clearing their minds of pre-conceived dogmas and notions will not be able to touch the essence of this Book, since that frame of mind defies reason and logic. (4:88)]2:6 As for those who have chosen denial in advance (because of blind following, arrogance, peer pressure and self-interest), it does not matter whether you admonish them or not. [Even Divine Revelation will not make them attain belief. ((2:89-109), (6:26), (27:14), (35:42-43), (36:70), (41:26), (47:32)] 2:7 Allah has sealed their hearts and their hearing, and on their sight there is a veil. Theirs will be a tremendous suffering. [It is one of the Divine Laws that preconceived notions make people's perception and reasoning impermeable to the highest form of Knowledge and Wisdom ((17:46), (18:57), (45:23), (83:14)). It is easy to understand how painful this fall from the high stature of human dignity would be, a tremendous suffering that is built-in in this attitude] 2:8 (The line between belief and denial can be subtle in the sense that) among people are those who claim to believe in Allah and in the Last Day (or in the Law of Recompense, but their actions, which speak louder than words, contradict their claim). And they have indeed not attained belief. 2:9 (Men and women of this psyche fall prey to the misconception that they can bypass the rock solid Divine Laws and) they deceive Allah and the believers. (Since reason is a faculty that has to be exercised and they have forsaken it) such men and women have little awareness that by this attitude they deceive no one but themselves. 2:10 This negative attitude is a disease of the heart that reinforces itself according to the Divine Laws of human psyche. Deceiving one's own "Self" only ensures dire consequences for them since they used to belie the Realities of life. 2:11 (By declining to submit to the Divine Values, every individual will formulate his own set of values. The obvious result would be corruption and chaos in the earth). When they are told not to cause corruption and disorder in the land, they say, "We are but reformers." 2:12 Oh, verily, they are indeed corruptors, but they perceive it not. [They bring forth a common argument that they are acting in good faith according to their conscience. They do not realize that the conscience is nothing but an "internalized society" ((3:20), (5:79), (9:67), (24:21)). It is only a mental reflection of the values prevalent in a given society. Therefore, it cannot be considered authoritative in lieu of the Divine Revelation]2:13 (Their arrogance and blind following hamper their power of reasoning.) When they are told to see the Truth as other men and women have seen, they retort, "Shall we believe as the fools do?" Oh, verily, it is they, they who are fools! But they know it not. 2:14 Some of these people, when meeting those who have seen the Truth, say, "We have attained belief." But when they join their own rebellious folks, they say, "We are, of course, with you. We were only making mockery." 2:15 Allah (His Eternal Law of Requital) turns their mockery upon them. They keep wandering in their arrogance to the point of no return. 2:16 They have bought straying at the expense of guidance. Such trade has to go bankrupt because they have set their caravan in the wrong direction. 2:17 Their example is that of a person who lights up a fire in darkness (without adequate fuel). As soon as brightness surrounds them, Allah (the Divine Law) takes away their light leaving them in darkness where they cannot see. (The Lasting Light is nothing but the Divine guidance). 2:18 Deaf, dumb and blind of Reason! They will not return to begin their journey in the right direction (until they use their faculties of perception and reasoning ((8:22), (16:76), (17:36)). 2:19 Or ponder a rainstorm from the sky in all darkness with thunder and lightning. They plug their ears with their fingers for fear of death. (But this will not make the storm disappear since denial is never a solution to any problems). And Allah encompasses the deniers of His Laws (Rejection cannot counter the Universal Laws. ((7:183), (29:54), (79:36), (82:16)).2:20 (People who reject the Divine Revelation and rely solely on their intellect, do not realize that Revelation is to the intellect what sunlight is to the human eye. It takes them out of darkness into Light (2:257)). They walk a few steps, as if in flashes of lightning, in a stop and go fashion. And when darkness prevails, they stand still. It is the Law of Allah that those who defy Reason eventually have the proper use of their perceptual senses, hearing and vision, taken away. Behold, Allah is the All-Powerful Designer of His Laws and He has Supreme Control over all things. ((2:201), (7:183), (11:15), (17:18-21), (29:54), (30:24), (42:20), (79:36), (82:16)).2:21 O Mankind! Serve your Lord Who has created you and those before you so that you may journey through life in blissful honor and security. (7:172).2:22 He who has made the earth habitable for you and the sky over it like a canopy. And brought down rain from therein so that fruits of His Bounty may spring forth for you as abundant provision. When you understand this simple fact, (insult not your intelligence and) equate not others with Allah. 2:23 (For the real skeptic We have another reason-friendly offer.) If you are still in doubt concerning that which We have revealed unto Our servant (Muhammad), call and set up (a committee, commission, organization, association of the highest order) all your helpers besides Allah, and then produce just one Surah like this, if you are men of Truth. (Bring one Surah that would even come close to it in magnificence, eloquence, grandeur and wisdom ((10:38), (11:13)). [Allah uses for Himself the first person singular 'I' as well as the plural 'We'. The Qur'an being the most eloquent Book on earth has its own unique charisma and style. A slight reflection even on a translation strikes us with the tremendous variety of the modes of its semantics usage. 'We' in relation to God indicates His Supreme Royalty, whereas 'I' gives us some idea of how close the King of kings is to us] 2:24 And if you fail to do it - and fail you will, (yet remain haughty and scornful, it should be easy to think of the outcome. You will live a life unlived since that is the natural consequence of persistent denial of the Reality). Then guard yourselves against the Fire that has been readied for those who remain bent on denying the Truth, and its fuel is the masses and their stonehearted leaders alike. (This Fire is generated in and engulfs the hearts (9:110), (104:6-7)). 2:25 (Now, see the other side of the coin.) And convey happy news to those who have chosen to be graced with belief, and have done acts of service to humanity. (For them will be a most pleasant reward. Call it Paradise in both lives. Try to understand it in your current vocabulary). Plush Gardens with rivulets flowing underneath! When they are provided with the delicious fruit of their deeds therein, they will say, "This is the provision we were given before." They had tasted some of the reward in this world. For, they will be given sustenance that will recall that past. The men and women will have pure companions therein, an everlasting happy family life. (Remember, this Paradise is not given away as charity. It has to be built in this life and then inherited (14:25), (24:55), (39:74)) 2:26 Behold, Allah does not shy away from citing any kind of allegory, even of an insect. (Men and women of intellect know that abstract phenomena are frequently well defined and understood in that manner). Since the believers exercise reason, (they appreciate this beauty of the Divine Wisdom and) they know that it is the Truth from their Lord. On the other hand, those who have chosen to disbelieve, try to ridicule by saying, "What could Allah mean to teach by this similitude?" Thus His Law of guidance lets go astray many and shows the Way to many. (But note) He never lets go astray except those who drift away from Reason. 2:27 (There is One Creator and likewise mankind is but one Community. This is such an indisputable truth that all men and women will eventually embrace it. (83:6)). Those who break this ratified Covenant of Allah ((1:4-5), (9:111), (13:21-25)) that He has enjoined upon them, and thus create disorder and corruption in the earth, these it is who are the losers in the long run. ((2:213), (10:19), (31:28)).2:28 How can you disbelieve in Allah (knowing that) He it is Who gave you life when you were lifeless? Then He will cause you to die and bring you back to life again. And then, all of you will return unto Him. ((37:58), (40:11), (44:56), (76:1)). 2:29 He it is Who has created for you all that is in the earth. And He has applied His Design to the Sky and fashioned it as seven heavens. ((11:7), (53:31), (57:1-2)). And He alone is Knower of all things. 2:30 [Now is related to you the creation of Adam or mankind, in allegorical terms. When your Lord decided to create humans who would be given free will and supremacy in the earth], He announced His Plan to the angels (the Universal physical Laws), "Behold, I am about to place a creation in the earth that will inherit it." [The angels were not even remotely aware of a free will other than the Divine Will. But He had decided to provide humans with that precious gift. The free will may be likened to breathing of something into humans from the Divine Energy. The angels wondered if a clash of wills would not result in chaos and bloody disorder in the earth, while the angelic role had always been that of striving to manifest the Impeccable Glory of their Lord and total submission to His Commands]They exclaimed, "Will you place on it such creation as will cause disorder therein and shed blood! Whereas we strive to establish Your glory in the Universe and make it manifest that You Lord are Impeccable!" He answered, "Behold, I know that which you know not." ((15:27), (16:49-50)). Human evolution: ((6:2), (7:189), (22:5), (23:12-13), (25:54), (32:7-9), (35:11), (37:11), (71:17)).2:31 Then Allah endowed mankind with the capacity to attain knowledge (that the angels would never have). Then He showed the angels certain things and said to them, "Tell me if you have the capacity to learn about things in the Universe, in case what you say is true." (That this new creation is but vain). 2:32 They humbly said, "We only know the tasks assigned to us. Be Glorified! Verily, You alone are the Knower, the Wise." 2:33 (Then) He said, "O Adam! Tell them some of your knowledge." And when Adam informed them of his capacity to learn, He (Allah) said to the angels, "Did I not tell you that I know the secrets of the heavens and the earth? And I know that which your endeavors are making manifest and the potentials that are latent within you." 2:34 And when We said to the angels, "Humble yourselves and be subservient to Adam (the humankind) - They instantly humbled themselves except Iblis (Satan) who refused through pride, and so became a rejecter of the Divine Command. [Thus, Allah endowed mankind with the ability to master the Universal Physical Laws through science. There is, however, an internal domain He has designed within humans. Call it, 'Self' or 'ego'. This has been placed for the humans to exercise free will and achieve growth of their personality. This ego also has the capacity to rebel against the higher moral controls. Call this rebellious state of ego as Satan or Iblis. It was this Iblis that refused to humble itself to the human beings] 2:35 (With these propensities) We told (the early humans, male and female) Adam and his wife, "Reside in this land which is Paradise. Eat the fruit thereof as you please. But go not near this Tree (of discord)." If you branched off into parties, sects and groups, you shall replace your Paradise with Hell. ('Zulm' = To displace something from its rightful place. (2:213), (10:19), (20:117-118)).2:36 But Satan caused them both to stumble therein and impelled them out of the happy state they were in. And so We said, "Degraded you are - With wedges of discord among one another! On the earth for you there shall be your station and livelihood for a while." [Their egos and selfish desires had clashed and led them into dividing among themselves for the pursuit of self-interest. The humans fell from the height of felicity into mutual contention and rivalry. They have continued to live on earth until an appointed time as they toil and compete for sustenance] 2:37 (The solution to this catastrophe was beyond human intellect.) Then Adam received Words of guidance from his Lord and He accepted his repentance. Behold, He is the Acceptor, the Most Merciful. (Adam = Man. His wife = Woman. She also repented and Allah treated both of them equally (7:23-24)) 2:38 We said, "ALL OF YOU have degraded yourselves. But behold, when guidance comes to you from Me, those who will follow My guidance, there shall come upon them no fear, nor shall they grieve." (Note here the plural, 'All of you' confirming that Adam and his wife are allegorical terms for the humankind. Incidentally the word EVE is nowhere mentioned in the Qur'an, once again pointing to Adam as mankind).2:39 But those who reject Our Messages, such will be the rightful companions of the Fire. They will abide therein." 2:40 (One example is that of the Israelites.) O Children of Israel! Remember My Bliss that I bestowed upon you (when you were following My Commandments). Fulfill your promise unto Me and I will fulfill My promise unto you. And of Me - of Me you shall be heedful." 2:41 And believe in that which I reveal now. It confirms the Divine Origination of what you already have. Do not be the first ones to reject it. And trade not My Messages for petty gains. And, of Me, of Me, be mindful. 2:42 Confound not the Truth with falsehood, nor conceal the Truth while you are well aware of it. ((2:159). News of the Arabian Prophet in Deuteronomy: (18:15-18).)2:43 And help establish the Divinely guided System in the society, and help set up the equitable Economic Order. And bow to these Commands as others have bowed. 2:44 What! You preach righteousness to others and forget yourselves even though you read the Scripture! Don't you, then, use any sense? 2:45 Rather, help yourselves with steadfast patience and establish the Divine System. This is a hard way, but it is made easy for those who are committed. (The System of equity and human equality strikes at the vested interests of the elite, and hence, it is hard for them to support it). 2:46 But the committed ones know that they are going to meet their Lord and that every step of theirs is moving toward Him. 2:47 (Once again) O Children of Israel! Remember the Bliss I bestowed upon you and gave you distinction among the nations of your times (when you were faithful to My Commands). 2:48 And beware of the Day when all actions will encounter Absolute Justice (and contrary to your thinking) no person will avail another, and neither intercession, nor any compensation will be accepted. And no one will be helped (except by their own actions). 2:49 Also remember when We saved you from Pharaoh's people. They persecuted you to the extent that they killed your sons and spared your women. That was a great tribulation for you from your Lord's Law of Requital. 2:50 [(But when you faithfully followed Our Messenger, Moses, We rescued you through a safe passage in the sea. You crossed over through the Sea of Reeds at the low tide, as if it were parted. ((7:138), (10:90), (20:77), (26:63), (44:24))] Thus We parted the sea and rescued you and drowned the people of Pharaoh as you were watching. (This Exodus brought you to the safety of Sinai from the persecution in Egypt).2:51 (Instead of being grateful, you did a weird thing.) While We summoned Moses for forty nights to reveal Our Commandments, you chose the calf when he had gone from you. You were once again relegating the Truth. ('Zulm' = Displace something from its rightful place).[Wasn't the calf an object of worship of your recent masters, the Egyptians? You demonstrated that physical emancipation could not be equated with psychological emancipation] 2:52 Then, even after that, We pardoned you and gave you another chance to be practically thankful. (2:56).2:53 For this purpose We gave Moses a Code of Law, and the Criterion for you to clearly distinguish between right and wrong that you might be led aright. 2:54 When Moses returned, he said to his people, "My people! You have hurt your own 'Selves' (by worshiping the calf (7:152)). Turn in repentance to your Maker and kill your slavish mentality. That will be best for you in the Sight of your Maker." Thereupon He accepted your repentance. Verily, He is the Acceptor of repentance, the Merciful. 2:55 And recall when you told Moses, " We won't believe in you until we see Allah face to face." (This happened because you had programmed your minds into the primitive ways of the "age of worship" when humans could only appreciate the tangible. At that level of intellect, humans come to fear natural phenomena). Thus, when you saw the lightening thunder (and the challenges of life) you almost fell dead in fright. (Losing your reason (7:155)).2:56 Then We revived you, and raised you from a dead to a living nation so that you might be practically grateful (by setting up the Benevolent Order). 2:57 (When you mended your ways, and established the Divine System) you saw the cool shade of Our Mercy and We bestowed upon you Our Bounties in abundance, the heavenly sustenance. "Partake of the decent things We have provided you." And they had done no harm unto Us - But they certainly had harmed their own 'Selves'. 2:58 Then We commanded you, "Enter this town (the sacred land of Palestine (5:21)) and enjoy the provisions - partake as you desire. But enter the gate humbly saying, HITTATUN (Our Lord! Pardon our misdeeds since we mend our ways). Then do what you say and We shall forgive you your faults and amply reward the doers of good." 2:59 But, the transgressors altered the Word which had been instructed to them for another word and thought changing their attitude of humility. And so, We sent down upon the transgressors a heavenly Requital for their drifting away from the Commands. (You became shaky in your resolve losing courage and the Sacred Land became forbidden for you for forty years (2:61), (3:21), (5:22-26)). 2:60 (Remember the times when you were in the Sinai desert and there was shortage of water.) And Moses asked for water for his people, We said, "Smite the rock with your staff." (We guided him to rocks under which were hidden twelve springs of water ready to gush forth. Moses, with the strength of his conviction and with the help of his companions, unclogged those springs) And there gushed out twelve springs so that each of the twelve tribes found their respective source of fresh cool water. Moses said, "Eat and drink of what Allah has provided, and desist from creating inequity and disorder in the land." 2:61 (At one stage you demanded Moses to provide you with a great variety of edibles, although you were living in the desert Sinai.) You said, "O Moses! We are weary of the same kind of food, so ask your Lord that He brings forth for us plant food such as herbs, cucumbers, garlic, lentils and onions." He said, "Would you exchange superior for the inferior? (Preoccupy yourselves with petty desires instead of higher goals). Go back in shame to Egypt and you will get what you demand." So humiliation and misery were stamped upon them and they had to face the Divine Requital. That was because they kept denying the Messages of Allah. And in the past they had opposed and even killed some Prophets in their transgression. They did all this, because they chose to rebel against the Divine Commands, and crossed the moral bounds. 2:62 (That was a glimpse of the past). Behold, those who attain belief in this Divine Writ and call themselves Muslims, and those who are Jews, and Christians and the Agnostics - whoever truly believes in Allah and the Last Day and benefits humanity, surely their reward is with their Lord. For them shall be no fear from without, nor shall grief touch them from within. [Note: The author of this rendition is not aware of any instance in the Qur'an where the use of TASREEF, that is, looking at the Qur'an in its Big Picture, is more crucial than in the understanding of this verse. Some great commentators have misinterpreted this verse for missing out related verses such as these: - Those who attain belief and call themselves Muslims and those who are Jews, and the Agnostics, and Christians - whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, and benefits humanity, for them shall be no fear from without, nor shall grief touch them from within. (5:69). - It is inconceivable that those who deny the Truth, whether they are the People of the Book or the idolaters, could get out of error till the Clear Proof, Al-Qur'an, comes to them. (98:1-3). - The non-Israelite Prophet liberates the People of the Book from the shackles of their man-made dogmas and brings them from darkness to Light. (7:157). - They say, "Be Jews or Christians, then you will be rightly guided." Say, "Nay, we follow the religion of Abraham, the upright. He associated no one with the One True God." (2:135). - O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Say, "We believe in Allah and the Revelation that has been conveyed to us, and in what was sent down to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob as well as the tribal Israelite Prophets - and in what was given to Moses and Jesus and to other Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction among them since all of them were one in Purpose and they got their Guidance from the One True God. And for Him, we are Muslims." (2:136). - So, if they come to believe in the way you believe, they will be rightly guided. But if they turn away, they will be falling into opposition and Allah will be Sufficient for you against them. He is the Hearer, the Knower. (2:137). ('You believe' = You who acknowledge the Qur'an). Reflecting on the above verses makes it clear that the belief in Allah and the Last Day must be in accordance and conformity with the Qur'an. Verses (2:62) and (5:69) emphasize that mere giving of a name to one's religion or creed carries no importance. Now the SABIANS. Historically, Sabians have been small groups of people who used to merge with their respective locales and environment. When residing along with idolaters they called themselves 'Nature-worshipers' or 'Star-worshipers'. Among Judeo-Christian milieu they preferred to announce themselves as 'Followers of John the Baptist'. In the ancient Persian Empire they identified themselves as 'Sun-worshipers'. This brief analysis reveals that the term SABIANS can be best understood as the 'Agnostics' of all times.] 2:63 O Children of Israel! Recall the times when We made a firm Covenant with you in the Valley of Mount Sinai, letting the lofty mountain bear witness and commanded you to hold fast the Commandments We had given you, so that you may walk aright. 2:64 Even then you turned away and were it not for the Grace of Allah and His Mercy, you would have been among the losers. 2:65 And you are well aware of those of you who broke the Sabbath, whereupon We said unto them, "Be as apes despicable!" [Then some of you transgressed again. For ecological reasons and to inculcate in your hearts the sanctity of Law We had ordained that you refrain from fishing on Saturdays and strengthen social ties rather than going after business on that day ((4:154), (7:163-167), (16:124)). Persistent indiscipline hurts humanity and inculcates the apish mentality. ((4:47), (4:154), (5:60))]2:66 And We made it a lesson to their times and for the future generations who would (learn from history and) choose to walk aright. 2:67 And when Moses said unto his people, "Behold, Allah Commands you to sacrifice a cow" - (So that the belief in it as a deity could be dispelled (2:54), (7:152)) - They said, "Are you mocking us?" Moses said, "I seek refuge in Allah from being so ignorant." 2:68 (Now, they started making excuses.) They said, "Ask your Sustainer on our behalf what kind of a cow it should be." Moses answered, "Allah says that she is a cow neither too old nor too young. She is between the two conditions - so do as you are commanded." 2:69 They said, "Call for us unto your Lord that He make it clear to us of what color she is." Moses answered, "Well, she is a yellow cow. Bright is her color, pleasing to beholders." 2:70 They said, "Pray for us unto your Lord that He make it clear to us what exactly she is. For cows are much alike to us; and if Allah wills, we may be led aright." 2:71 Moses answered, "He says that the cow is such that has not toiled in plowing the land nor in watering the crops and it is sound without blemish." They said, "Now you bring the Truth." So they sacrificed her with great reluctance. Their hearts had been drenched in cow worship ((2:93), (5:101)). 2:72 And remember, when you killed a man and blamed one another for this although Allah will expose what you would conceal. 2:73 And We said, "Apply this *Law to relevant cases of unsolved murder. This is how Allah gives life to the dead. (The Law that saves lives indeed gives you life (2:179). And He expounds His Messages for you to use your sense. (13:11).[The *Mosaic Law ordains the sacrifice of a cow in some cases of murder. The elders of the town wash their hands and say: "Our hands have not shed this blood, nor have our eyes seen it." The community is then absolved of the collective responsibility (Deuteronomy 21:1-9). In this particular instance the mystery was solved and the murderer was identified] 2:74 Then, even after that, you persisted in a state of defiance that hardened your hearts like rocks, impermeable to reason. Or even worse, for behold, there are rocks from which springs gush forth, or which split asunder releasing moisture, or fall to softness according to the Divine Laws. They are more compliant to Allah's Laws than the hearts that defy reason. Allah is not unaware of what you do. 2:75 Even now, believers hope in all sincerity, that their compatriots (the Jewish people in town) might join their ranks. But some of them, despite hearing and comprehending the Word of Allah (in Torah) have been distorting it knowingly. 2:76 And when they meet with those who have attained belief, say, "We believe as you believe." But when they get together with one another, they say, "Do you inform them of that which Allah has disclosed to you, so that they might use it in argument against you? And all this before your Lord! Will you then not use your intellect?" [The information concerning the coming of a Prophet from among your brethren. (Deuteronomy 18:15-18)] 2:77 Do they not know that Allah is aware of what they conceal and what they reveal? 2:78 Among them are the illiterate who do not know their Scripture except by hearsay and, therefore, depend on conjecture. 2:79 Then, woe unto those (their scholars) who write the Scripture with their own hands and claim, "This is from Allah." They traffic with it for petty gains. (They distort the Scripture tampering with its verses to suit their designs and exploit those who are illiterate). Woe unto them for what their hands do write, and for the earning they make thereby." 2:80 And, yet they say, "The Fire shall not touch us but for a few numbered days." (Because of their wishful thinking that they are the chosen ones). Say, "Have you taken any special pledge from Allah, which of course, He never breaks, or is it that you say things about Allah contrary to the august realm of knowledge?"2:81 Nay, but whoever keeps disrupting the lives of others, and his faults upon faults surround him - such are destined for the Fire, therein to abide. 2:82 And those who choose to be graced with belief, and help others - they are destined for the Paradise, therein to abide. 2:83 (The Covenant We made with the Children of Israel was not of unconditional favors.) When We made a promise with the Children of Israel, (We said), "Serve none save Allah, and be kind to your parents, and to relatives, and to orphans, widows, and to the needy - those left alone in the society, and those whose income has stalled for any reason. And speak to people and treat them nicely, and establish the Divine System in the society, and set up the Just Economic Order (keeping your wealth open for the benefit of all)." Then, after that, you slid back, except a few of you, and you backslide even now. 2:84 And, We made a Covenant with you saying, "Desist from feuds and mutual bloodshed, and do not expel your own people from your towns and dwellings. Then you agreed and you were witnesses thereof. 2:85 Yet you it is who subdue and slay your own folk, and evict a weak faction among you from their homes. And you support one another in hurting the community and sowing the seeds of discord. And when these homeless people get enslaved by others and are brought to you, you ransom them, whereas it was unlawful for you to evict them in the first place. What! Do you wish to accept one part of the Scripture and reject the other? Think then, what the reward of such wrongdoing must be, nothing but disgrace in the life of this world - and on the Day of Resurrection the most grievous chastisement! For Allah is not unaware of what you do. (The verse is referring to the Jewish community of Madinah, but as is always the case in the Qur'an, the Commands have a wide historical applicability - in this case, to oppressive societies anywhere anytime.)2:86 Such are those who fall for instant gratification, buying the life of this world at the price of long-term gains and the Hereafter. Their punishment will not be lightened neither will they receive any help. 2:87 And, verily, We had given the Scripture to Moses and We sent other Messengers in succession after him. And We gave Jesus, son of Mary, clear evidence of the Truth and We strengthened him with Sacred Revelation. Yet is it not so that Whenever a Messenger came to you with something that was not to your liking, you became stubbornly arrogant, and some of them you called impostors, and others you killed? (Also, you have attempted to strike a deal with the Messengers in order to alter the Messages (10:15), (11:113), (17:74), (68:9)).2:88 And they say, "Our hearts are bags of knowledge." Nay, but Allah has deprived them of His Grace for their persistent rejection of the Truth. Therefore, only a few of them will choose to be graced with belief. (2:6).2:89 And when there comes to them the Book of Allah, confirming the authentic in what they have, they flatly deny it although before that they had been praying for a signal victory over those who denied all Divine Revelation. And whenever there came unto them something that they recognized as the Truth, they would deny it. Then, deprivation of Allah's grace is the lot of all those who thanklessly reject His Guidance and choose to live in darkness. ('Kufr' includes all the meanings given in the last sentence). 2:90 Miserable indeed is for which they sell their 'Selves' - that they deny that which Allah has revealed. (Grudgingly, they cannot get over the fact that Allah has chosen a Messenger who is not an Israelite). And that Allah should reveal His bounty to whomever He chooses among His servants. And so (for their discriminatory attitude) they have invited Requital upon Requital. And for all those who thanklessly deny the Guidance and choose to live in darkness, is a logical consequence of suffering that brings them low. 2:91 And when it is said to them, "Be graced with belief in what Allah has revealed," they say, "We only accept that which has been handed over to us." And they deny that which comes after it, though it is the Truth confirming the authentic that is with them. Say, "Why then did you oppose and slay the Prophets of Allah, if you were indeed believers (in the earlier Revelations)?" 2:92 And indeed, Moses came to you with all evidence, yet you worshiped the calf in his absence, and you did behave wrongly. 2:93 Recall again the Covenant We made with you in the Valley of the Mount Sinai, with the mountain towering over you, saying, "Hold firmly to what We have given you, and listen with your hearts!" They said, "We hear and we disobey". The desire to worship a tangible deity was so strong in them that their hearts were infused with the love of the calf, because of their persistent failure to see the Truth. Say, "If your faith teaches you to go back to the primitive ways of worship, then you are in a pitiable state of mind - if you are at all believers." 2:94 Say, "If the Eternal Abode with Allah is reserved only for you (2:80) and not for others of mankind (2:111), as you claim, then long for death if you are truthful." (Why do you fear death rather than looking forward to it when you claim that you are the chosen ones of God? (5:18), (11:7), (67:2))?2:95 But they will never long for it, for (they know) what deeds their hands have sent forth. And Allah is Aware of those who wrong their own 'Selves' by relegating the Truth. 2:96 and you will find them greediest of mankind for life, even greedier than the idolaters. Each one of them would like to be allowed to live a thousand years. And to live long would by no means save him from the suffering. For, Allah is Seer of what they accomplish. 2:97 (They are displeased with Gabriel for he brought Revelation to a gentile Prophet (2:90).) Say, "Who is an enemy to Gabriel! He it is who reveals this (Qur'an) to your heart by Allah's leave - (and this Revelation) confirms the Divine Origin of the previous Scriptures. And it is a Guidance and glad tiding for those who accept it. 2:98 Who is an enemy to Allah, and His angels and His Messengers, and Gabriel and Michael! Then, behold, Allah's Law is an enemy to such rejecters. (There is a wedge between Success and those who close their eyes to Universal Realities). 2:99 Verily, We have revealed unto you clear verses, and only those will deny them who drift away from reason. 2:100 (This reflects in their daily lives.) Is it not so that whenever they make a pledge with others, a party among them breaks it (and others feel liberated from their collective responsibility)? Nay, indeed, most of them do not believe in the Permanent Values. 2:101 And now when a Messenger has come to them from Allah confirming the Truth in what they have, a party among those who were given the Scripture before, cast the Scripture (Torah) behind their backs as though unaware (of what it says about the advent of the Messenger in Arabia (Deuteronomy 18:15-18). 2:102 (They followed conjecture in the past as well.) Some rebellious people spread a rumor in the Kingdom of Solomon. Solomon never disbelieved in the Divine Laws, but the rebellious ones did. They fabricated a story that two angels Harut and Marut had descended in Babylon and taught magic to people. That they used to warn people, "We are only a temptation, therefore be not oblivious to the rational Divine Laws." The rumor further stated that people learned magic from these two angels how to create discord between a man and his wife. (This entire story is nothing but falsehood. Magic, amulets, ghoul, demon-possession, exorcism, witchcraft, evil eye, fortune telling, astrology, palm reading, clairvoyance, voodoo are nothing but conjecture). These things can neither harm nor benefit anyone since they are contrary to the Divine Laws in Nature ((3:123-127), (6:73), (7:54), (45:22)). (Superstitions can harm people by becoming self-fulfilling prophecies). And that which they try to learn only harms them and profits not. They are well aware that any person indulging in this trade (of the so-called "Occult sciences") will be a loser in the long run, and shall have no portion in the Hereafter. And surely, evil is the price for which they (magicians, diviners, clairvoyants, fortunetellers and claimants to witchcraft) sell their humanity, if they but knew better. 2:103 And if they had believed in the changeless Divine Laws and walked aright, the reward from Allah would be far better, if they brought their thoughts in the realm of knowledge. 2:104 O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Do not say (to the Prophet), "Listen to us." Instead, say, "Look upon us, or, grant us attention." And always be good listeners. There is a painful consequence for the rejecters of the Divine Commands. ('Ra'ina' also has another meaning to it, i.e. "Be our shepherd." Do not be vague and speak straight to the point (4:46), (33:70)).2:105 The rejecters among the People of the Book and the idolaters do not wish to see any good thing sent to you from your Lord. But Allah showers His Grace according to His Laws (and chooses for His Revelation whom He wills (3:71), (16:30)). And Allah is the Lord of Infinite Bounty. 2:106 [(Some People of the Book question why a new book was necessary. The evolution of human civilization has now come to a point where the Final Message for all mankind, can be given and preserved forever ((6:116), (15:9))]. We have not abrogated the old commands without replacing them with the everlasting Commands that are either similar or better than the previous ones ((5:48), (6:116), (15:9)). Do you not know that Allah is the Appointer of due measure for all things? 2:107 Do you not recognize that the Dominion of the heavens and the earth belongs to Allah? (He is fully Cognizant of your physical and mental needs, and knows the timing of His Revelation). And you have no Patron or helper besides Allah. (Systems of Life designed contrary to His Laws will keep collapsing). 2:108 Do you wish to demand of your Messenger that was demanded of Moses in the past? (People asked him vain questions in minor details and then disobeyed him (5:101)). But whoever changes his stand from the Light of conviction to the haziness of doubt, has already strayed away from the Even Way. ('Iman' and 'Kufr' translated according to the wider meanings and the context (5:101)).2:109 Many of the People of the Book wish to make you turn back to disbelief after you have attained belief. They do this because of their personal envy even though the Truth has become manifest to them. (Ethnic and nationalistic prejudices give rise to such feelings of envy (2:111), (5:18)). Pardon them and leave them with their ways until Allah issues His Command. ((5:13), (15:85), (73:10), (74:11)). Verily, Allah has Power over all things and all events take place within the framework of His Laws. 2:110 Go ahead and establish the Divine System, and set up the Just Economic Order in the society. And whatever good you send forth to strengthen your 'Selves' in this manner will be stamped on your personalities and you will find it with Allah. (2:3). Behold, Allah is Seer of what you do. 2:111 And they claim, "None will enter Paradise unless he be a Jew or a Christian." This is nothing but their wishful thinking. Say, "Bring your proof if you are truthful." (2:135).2:112 Nay, but whoever submits fully to Allah, and benefits people his reward is with his Sustainer. ((7:180-181), (41:40)). And there shall neither fear come upon them from without nor grief touch them from within. 2:113 And the Jews say that the Christians have no basis, and the Christians say that the Jews have no basis. Yet both read the Scripture! This is how people oblivious to true knowledge have always behaved. Allah will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection in what they differ ((3:104), (11:118-119)). ('Qaul' = Utterance = Thought = Tenet = Attitude).2:114 And who can be a greater transgressor than the one who forbids access to the Centers of the Divine System? - Lest His Name be Eminent in the earth (as it is in the rest of the Universe) - And strives to ruin them! It is not meet for their human dignity that they should enter them except in awe, respect and humility. ((9:17-19), (9:107)). Communities that fail to heed this warning will suffer humiliation in this world and a tremendous suffering in the Hereafter. (72:18). ('Masjid' = Mosque = Centers that administer the Divine System = Place of collective prostration with mind and body = Centers that the Islamic government will establish to implement the Qur'anic Commands in the society, and thus collectively submit to Allah). 2:115 And unto Allah belong the East and the West. (He transcends all boundaries and so is the Divine System that can be established anywhere on earth). Wherever you go, whichever way you turn, there is Allah's Countenance, and you remain in His Dominion. Behold, Allah is Transcendent, Knower of every site in the Universe. (3:95).2:116 And they say, "Allah has taken unto Himself a son." Never! He is High Above what they say. Nay, unto Him belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth. Everything is subservient to Him. 2:117 The Originator of the heavens and the earth! As soon as He decrees a thing, He says unto it, "Be" - and it is. (He originates and creates and does not procreate).2:118 Those who do not explore the realm of knowledge say, "Why does not Allah speak to us directly, or a miracle come to us?" Even thus spoke those before them, as these speak. Their minds are alike. We have made clear Our Signs in the Universe (67:3), and in these verses, for people who wish to attain conviction. 2:119 Certainly, We have sent you (O Messenger) with the Decisive Truth, a herald of glad tiding and a Warner. (You are not required to fulfill their demands of miracles. Your job is to convey the message with reason and sublime decency (13:40). For, you will not be questioned about those who lurk before the Insurmountable Barrier. ('Jahim' = The barrier to further development of the 'Self'). 2:120 And the Jews will not be pleased with you, nor will the Christians unless you follow their own creeds. Say, "Behold, Allah's Guidance is the only True Guidance." (This is the updated, unadulterated Message from the same Creator who revealed the previous Scriptures). And, indeed, if you followed their desires after the Knowledge that has come unto you, then no ally nor helper would you have from Allah. ((7:3), (10:109), (13:37)).2:121 Those unto whom We have given the Book, who read it with the right reading (carefully study it beyond mere recitation), and then follow it as it should be followed - it is they who truly believe in it. And whoever does not believe in it this way - it is they, they who are the losers. ('Tilawat' = Recitation with understanding and then following it).2:122 (The Children of Israel can easily relate to what has just been said.) O Children of Israel! Remember My Bliss with which I blessed you and how I gave you distinction over all other peoples of the time. 2:123 And guard against a Day when no person shall avail another, nor will compensation be accepted from him, nor will mediation profit anyone, nor will anyone receive outside help. (6:165).2:124 And remember when his Lord tried Abraham to uphold the Commands and he fulfilled them. (He took up the formidable challenge of a mighty priesthood, idolatry and a tyrannical autocracy in Mesopotamia). Then his Lord said, "Behold, I have appointed you an exemplary leader of mankind." He asked, "And of my generations as well?" He replied, "My Promise does not embrace those who harm others, and thus, harm themselves." (Being the offspring of a great man shall avail none). 2:125 And when We appointed the House (at Makkah) a focal point for mankind, and a safe sanctuary - We said, ["This House is for all mankind to rally around, to shed their disputes and to become one community ((3:96), (5:97), (14:35), (22:25)] If you wish to stand at the honored station of Abraham, follow his example." We commissioned Abraham and his son, Ishmael to build this House saying, "Keep it clean from man-made dogmas for those who come and go and those who are called upon extra duty in establishing the Divine System. And to make it a training center for those who bow down and humble themselves before the Divine Commands ((2:143), (3:96), (5:97), (14:35), (22:25)). [Ismail = Ishmael a.s. resided permanently in Makkah, while his father kept traveling between Hagar (Haajirah) in Makkah and Sarah in Canaan (Palestine). Ishmael married a woman from the Qahtani Tribe of Jurham and became the ancestor of MUSTA RIBAH (Arabianized Tribes or the Arabs). So the Arabs are, interestingly, descendants of a Hebrew father, Ishmael a.s. and a Qahtani Jurham mother. They had twelve sons in their long and happy married life. The Qahtanis are still abundantly found in the Arabian Peninsula. They were a wandering tribe in Southern Arabia who had settled in Makkah before Ishmael, because of the (contrary to popular legend) pre-existing Well of Zam-Zam. The "Wilderness of Beer-Sheba" of Genesis 21:14, embraces the Southern Palestine and Hijaz. Therefore there is no contradiction between the Bible and the Qur'an concerning where Ishmael and his mother Hagar had settled after moving from Canaan. Now, here is a glimpse of some interesting history about Hagar and Ishmael a.s. as found in the Bible. Genesis 17:20 - As for Ishmael, I have heard you (O Abraham); behold, I will bless him and make him fruitful and multiply him exceedingly; he shall be the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. Genesis 21:17 - And God heard the voice of the lad (Ishmael); and the angel of God called to Hagar from the heavens, and said to her, "What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not; for God has heard the voice of the lad where he is. Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him fast with your hand; for I will make him a great nation. Genesis 21:20 - And God was with the lad, and he grew up; he lived in the wilderness, and became an expert with the bow. He lived in the wilderness of Paran (Faran, Makkah). P.S. This history also explains why the Qur'an repeats that the Arabs had not received any Scripture before the Qur'an. The Arabs, of course, became a community long after Ishmael died] 2:126 Abraham prayed, "My Lord! Make this land peaceful and secure, and provide its people with fruits of Your Blessings. Provide for those who believe in Allah and in the Last Day." He answered, "I will also provide for him who thanklessly rejects the blessed guidance and let him enjoy life for a while. (But since he coveted instant gratification only and disregarded the long term), then, after that I will commit him to the suffering of Fire." And what a miserable destination it is after wandering through the journey of life! ((14:37), (17:18-20), (22:25), (95:3)).2:127 As Abraham and Ishmael were raising the foundations of the House (in Makkah) they were praying earnestly, "Our Lord! Accept from us our service. For, verily, You are the Hearer, the Knower." 2:128 "Our Lord! Make us true Muslims, submissive unto You, and of our descendants a community true Muslims, submissive to You. And show us how we can serve You best and grant Your attention to us. Verily, You, only You, are the Acceptor, the Merciful." (2:186).2:129 "Our Lord! And raise among them a Messenger from among them who shall convey unto them Your Messages - and through these shall teach them the Permanent Code of Values and Wisdom, and thus, enable them to grow in goodness. You, only You, are Almighty, the Wise." ((2:231), (17:39), (33:34), (57:25)).2:130 And who forsakes the Creed of Abraham but he who befools himself? Indeed, We raised him high in this world. And, behold, in the Hereafter he will be among those who have perfected their personalities. (16:120-122).2:131 When his Lord said unto him, "Surrender!" He said without hesitation, "I have surrendered unto the Lord of the Worlds." 2:132 Abraham held fast to his pledge and enjoined upon his sons to do the same, and so did Jacob, saying, "O' My children! Behold, Allah has chosen for you the True System of Life. Therefore, do not let death overtake you except that you are truly Muslims." 2:133 Were you present when death came to Jacob, when he said unto his children, "Whom will You serve after me?" They replied, "We shall serve your God, the God of your fathers, Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac - the One God - And unto Him we have surrendered, and for Him we are Muslims." 2:134 They were a community who have passed on. Theirs is that which they earned, and yours is that which you earn. And you will not be answerable for what they used to do. 2:135 And they say, "Be Jews or Christians, then you will be rightly guided." Say, "Nay, we follow the Creed of Abraham, the upright. He turned away from all that is false, and ascribed divinity to none but the One True God." (And he was neither a Jew nor a Christian (3:67)). 2:136 (O Believers!) say, "We believe in Allah and the Revelation that has been conveyed to us, and in that which was revealed to Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob as well as their descendant Prophets (the tribal Israelite Prophets, known as the Patriarchs), and in that which was given to Moses and Jesus and to the other prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them (in that all of them were one in Purpose and they got their guidance from the One True God). And for Him, we are Muslims." 2:137 So, if they come to believe like you believe, then they are rightly guided. But if they turn away, then they are in schism and opposition and Allah will suffice you against them. For, He is the Hearer, the Knower. 2:138 The Hue of Allah! (Say that our life takes it color from Allah). And who can give a better hue to life than Allah? (We do our best to adopt the Divine Attributes in our human capacity such as: mercy, forgiveness, creativity, peace, care, truthfulness, justice, clemency, appreciation, trustworthiness, responsibility, kindness, compassion, independence, guidance, patience, giving, unity, strength, affection, courage, patience etc). "And He it is Whom we serve." [People can assess their level of personal growth or self-actualization by this criterion, seeing to what extent they have been able to adopt these attributes. (83:28)] 2:139 Say (to the Jews and the Christians), "Do you argue with us about God, when He is our Lord and your Lord? We are responsible for our deeds and you are responsible for your deeds. And we are sincere in our Faith in Him. [Our attitudes are, however, different. For example, some of you think that God is only interested in the Children of Israel, while we believe that He is the Lord of all humanity ((1:1-2), (114:1)). And some of you think that God begot a son and sacrificed him to absolve you of your sins. We believe in the Law of Requital, that is, "As you sow, so shall you reap". And there is no such thing as the Original sin. Every human being is accountable for his own doings (2:123)] 2:140 Do you still insist that Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob as well as the Tribal Israelite Prophets were Jews or Christians? Say, "Do you know better than Allah? And who could be more unjust than he who conceals a testimony that he has received from Allah? (You have received the testimony in your Scriptures). And Allah is not unaware of what you do, reveal or conceal. 2:141 Nevertheless, these are a people who have passed on. They are responsible for their doings and you are responsible for your doings. (Keep this Law in mind). You will not even be asked of what they used to do. 2:142 The people of little understanding will say, "What has turned them from the Center of Devotion (Jerusalem) which people formerly observed? Say, "The East and the West belong to Allah." He shows the Straight Path to him who wills to be shown it." [Why have the Muslims chosen Makkah as their Center of Devotion?" They know that Jerusalem has been specific to the Children of Israel. Allah is the Sustainer of all Humanity (114:1) and the Qur'an invites all Humanity to become One Community ((2:213), (10:19), (57:25)). And Allah is not a tribal God; He transcends all temporal and spatial boundaries. His Message is not confined to a group of people ((4:170), (6:91), (7:158), (12:104), (21:107), (22:49), (34:28), (38:87)). Say, "The East and the West belong to Allah." He guides people to the Straight Path as He Wills.]2:143 And, thus it is: We have appointed you a middle and just Community that you would be watchers over all mankind and that the Messenger be a witness against you. (It will be your sacred duty to ensure that no people on earth will oppress others). So far as the transformation of the Center of devotion is concerned, it has distinguished between those who succumb to traditional and nationalistic preferences from those who see all mankind as one nation and follow the Messenger. And the Messenger is fulfilling Allah's Command for the Unity of Mankind. In fact it was a hard test except for those who have attained Allah's Guidance. Allah never lets your Faith go in vain. Verily, Allah is Compassionate and Merciful to all mankind. 2:144 We know your eagerness O Messenger, to fulfill Our Command and to establish Ka'bah as the Center of Devotion for all humanity. Soon, you will happily administer the Sacred Masjid that is dear to you for its Sublime objective. Wherever each of you is, keep your focus on it as a symbol of pure Monotheism, and of your Ideological uniformity. Behold, those who have been given the Scripture know that your call is the Truth from their Lord. (They remain bent upon denial for blind following, prejudice and arrogance). Allah is not unaware of what they do. 2:145 And even if you were to place all evidence before those who previously received the Scripture, they will not accept your Center of Devotion. Nor can you be a follower of their Center, and they do not follow the centers of others. [Each faction of people holds sacred places and temples of their choice. They would not accept the Divinely ordained Center of Devotion until the evolution of human civilization brings them to the right conclusion by the process of elimination ((4:170), (6:84-91))] Your job, in the meantime, is to remain sincerely committed to the Divine Plan and not be swayed by people's desires. If you heeded them after the right knowledge has come to you, you will be of those who deviate from justice. 2:146 Those to whom We gave the Scripture before, recognize this Revelation as they recognize their own children but a group among them knowingly conceals the Truth. 2:147 It is the Truth from your Lord, so be not you of those who waver. 2:148 Each person pursues his goal of interest. But you shall race toward doing good to the community. (2:177). Every "Self" has the innate capability of self-actualization (83:26). Regardless of the directions you humans choose, Allah will ultimately bring you all together under One Ideology, and all of you together again on the Day of Resurrection. This Proclamation comes from Allah who has Power and Control over all things in Time and Space. ((57:20), (83:26), (102:1-2)). 2:149 And wherever you proceed, whatever you are occupied with, remain attentive to the Divine Ideology symbolized by the Sacred Masjid. Behold, it is the Truth from your Lord. And Allah is not unaware of what you do with your life. 2:150 Again, regardless of where you are geographically and whichever way you are proceeding, you must keep in mind the Sacred Masjid as a symbol of the Divine Ideology, that is, unity of mankind. This will help the communities of believers around the world to coordinate their affairs. The opponents will, then, have no argument against you that you are not one in Purpose, except those who are bent on relegating the Ideals. Then, fear them not, but fear Me! So that I may perfect My Bliss upon you and that you may be guided to the Ultimate Success (5:3). 2:151 Hence, We have sent unto you a Messenger from among your own who conveys to you Our Revelations and teaches you how to grow in goodness by helping people. And he empowers you with the Book of Allah, and the Wisdom therein, the knowledge you did not have before. 2:152 Therefore, raise My Name and I shall raise your name! And be grateful to Me, and deny Me not by being practically ungrateful. ((2:186), (2:220), (2:177), (15:49), (21:10), (21:24), (23:70), (38:24), (43:44)). 2:153 O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Seek help in steadfastness and in diligent following of the Divine Commands. Surely, Allah is with those who are steadfast in ease as well as in adversity. 2:154 (Establishment of the Divine Value System will meet with harsh opposition from people and nations with vested interests.) Say not of those who are slain in the Cause of Allah, "They are dead." Nay, they are alive, but you perceive it not. (While death is a prolonged state of sleep until the Resurrection Day, in their case emergent evolution of the "Self" takes place and they are instantly in a state of Bliss of the Hereafter, and they get honorable provision for mind and body from their Sustainer (3:169)). 2:155 (Adversity is a great barometer of the strength of personality.) Fear, hunger, loss of wealth, loss of life and devastation of crops are examples of adversities that let you test your mettle. Our Law will let you try yourselves with such tribulations. Hence, give glad tidings to those who remain proactively steadfast. 2:156 When a calamity befalls them, they do not waver. Rather, they say, "We are for Allah, dedicated to His Cause and every step of ours will advance in the Direction shown by Him." (9:159).2:157 It is they whom their Lord supports and blesses with His Grace. And it is they, they who are guided to the most desirable destination. ((33:43), (33:56)).2:158 [Allah has appointed the Sacred Masjid as the Center of Devotion for all humanity. The establishment of a Universal Divine Order will mandate extensive consultation among nations. Therefore, annual Hajj meetings and ad hoc Umrah conferences have been prescribed for humanity ((2:148), (2:196), (3:96), (22:27-28), (40:19))]There is no blame for a pilgrim of the House or a visitor in walking between the Mount Safa and the Mount Marwa. (They are historical relics of Allah since Abraham and Ishmael worked there to build the Ka'bah. Rites and rituals in themselves are not the end. They must be treated only as devotional means to a higher goal (22:28)). Therefore, do every good deed possible that will benefit the community. Allah is Appreciative and fully rewards such people. He is all Knowing. 2:159 (Allah has defined the objectives of the Pilgrimage to the Sacred Masjid in this Book (22:28).) Those who conceal the evidence and the Guidance which We have revealed and made clear for people in the Book - such are rejected by Allah and His righteous servants. (They conceal the sublime Purpose by making these assemblies mere rituals and thus deprive humanity of the blessings of the Divine System). 2:160 Except such of them as repent, and amend, and declare the Truth they had been hiding. They are the ones whose repentance I accept. And I am the Acceptor, the Merciful. 2:161 Behold, those who reject the Truth and die as rejecters, for them is the rejection of Allah and the Universal Laws and of the human society combined. (Allah's Rule in the Universe is the Rule of Law. Hence, anyone who lives contrary to the changeless Divine Laws only harms himself). 2:162 Since the 'Self' survives after physical death, such men and women logically keep suffering relentlessly. 2:163 And (remember that) your God is One God. There is no god but He, the Instant and Sustaining Source of all Mercy and Kindness. (And it is His Law alone that is operative in the entire Universe).2:164 (Allah does not propose blind faith at all.) Behold, there are ample Signs for you in the Universe. In the creation of the heavens and the earth, the alternation of night and day, the ships that roam the ocean for the benefit of mankind, the water that Allah sends down from the heights, thereby giving life to the land after it had been lifeless - and the variety of creatures that are dispersed on the earth, the currents of winds and the clouds they carry at various heights, are clear Signs for those who exercise their intellect. (The Universe is too organized to be the result of an accident (6:73)). 2:165 Yet, among mankind are those who consider idols and saints to possess the Attributes of Power and Control like Allah does, and revere them as only God should be revered. But the true believers revere Allah more than all else. (7:3). Oh, that those who relegate the Truth could but see, as see they will when they are made to suffer! They will realize that all Power belongs to Allah alone and that Allah is Awesome in punishing. (Reverence or love of Allah, in the Qur'an, invariably denotes obeying His Commands).2:166 (On the Day) those who were followed will disown those who followed them. And as soon as they see the doom, their mutual relations will collapse with them. 2:167 Those who followed will say, "If a return were possible for us, we would disown them as they have disowned us." Thus it is: Allah will show their own doings as remorse for them, and they will not emerge from this Fire of Regret. 2:168 O' Mankind! (In matters of eating and drinking, follow that the Qur'an is telling you, and not what people say). Eat of what is on earth, Lawful, clean, wholesome, decent and pleasing, and of your liking, and let not your selfish desire lead your reason and judgment, step by step into error. Behold, your rebellious desire (Satan) is an enemy that lays bare even your hidden imperfections. ('Tayyab' = Clean, decent, wholesome, pleasing, aesthetically good, of your choice). 2:169 This Satan teaches you to disrupt the lives of others - lewd behavior and stinginess - and that you say about Allah that which is outside the realm of your knowledge. [('Fahasha' = Lewdness = Niggardliness to the point of shame). And the Satans in the society teach people that accumulation of wealth is perfectly permissible. Nay, spend on Allah's servants all that is beyond your needs ((2:21-22), (2:219), (41:10))] 2:170 And when it is said unto them, "Follow that which Allah has revealed", they say, " Nay, we follow that wherein we found our fathers." "What! Even though their fathers used no reason at all and journeyed through life without any light?" ((5:104), (10:78), (11:62), (11:87), (21:53), (34:43), (38:7), (43:23). 'Hudan' = Prominent and bright = Lighted = Visibly ahead = Leading = Guidance). 2:171 [The attitude of blind following drags people to subhuman levels (Like a herd of sheep) they understand nothing but only hear calls that are meaningless. (7:179)] The likeness of calling on those who reject the evident Truth is as the likeness of one who calls unto that which hears nothing but a shout and cry. Deaf, dumb, blind of reason -Hence, they fail to attain sense. 2:172 O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Partake of the clean, decent and aesthetically good things of your liking that We have provided for all of you. (2:168). And render thanks unto Allah if it is indeed He whom you obey. 2:173 He has forbidden you only carrion (any animal that dies by itself), and blood, and swine flesh, and anything --- (not just meat) --- that has been dedicated to any other than Allah (be it any person, an ancestor, a saint, an idol or a tomb (5:3)). But, he who is compelled out of necessity, neither craving nor indulging in excess, it is not a dragging violation for him. Behold, Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. 2:174 Verily, those who (start making their own lists of the lawful and the unlawful try to) conceal the Book of Allah - They purchase a small gain with it. They eat into their bellies nothing but Fire. Allah will not even address them on the Day of Resurrection, nor will make them grow to further evolution of the 'Self'. For them will be a painful doom (since they infringed upon the Divine Authority of Law-giving). 2:175 They are the ones who are buying error in exchange for Guidance, and buying torment in exchange for security. How constant are they in their strife to reach the Fire! 2:176 This is so, because (they 'disable' the Qur'an although) Allah has revealed the Book in Absolute Truth. Behold, those who find excuses for disagreement in the Book, do so for their sectarian affiliations and thus create discord. ((4:82), (25:30)). 2:177 (One obvious result of sectarianism is their pre-occupation with rituals. This is because each sect leaves the Book aside and makes its own set of dogmas they call religion). No wonder, they forget that) Righteousness and exponential development of personality is not in that you turn your faces to the East and the West. But righteous is he who has conviction in Allah and the Last Day and the Angels and the Book and the Prophets. And he gives his wealth that he loves in reverence of Him, to: - Family and relatives - Orphans - Widows - Those left helpless in the society - Those whose hard-earned income fails to meet their basic needs - Those whose running businesses have stalled - The ones who have lost their jobs - Whose life has stalled for any reason - The disabled - The needy wayfarer, son of the street, the homeless, the one who travels to you for assistance - Those who ask for help, and - Those whose necks are burdened with any kind of bondage, oppression, crushing debts and extreme hardship of labor. ('Yatim', 'Miskin', 'Ibnis Sabeel', 'Fir-Riqab' carry all the meanings given above).They (the truly righteous) strive to establish the Divine System, and set up the Just Economic Order. They are true to their promises whenever they make a promise. They remain steadfast in physical or emotional distress and in times of peril. It is they that have proved to be practically true, and it is they, they that indeed journey through life in Blissful honor and security. ((2:4), (3:91)). 2:178 (Security of life is the cornerstone of a civilized society.) O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! QISAAS (The Law of Just Recompense) has been prescribed for you in dealing with murder. If a free person has committed murder, that free person will face the Law. If a slave has committed murder, that slave will face the Law. And if a woman has committed murder, that woman will face the Law. (The status of the victim or that of the offender, whether they are free men and women or those in bondage, will have no bearing before the Justice System). If the victim's kin pardons the guilty, he must be appreciative and pay an equitable compensation to the kin in handsome gratitude. This pardon is a concession from your Lord and Mercy. Whoever, after this, trespasses this Law will have a painful doom (through the court of law and in the Court of Allah). (For full aspects please see (4:92-93), (5:32), (17:33), (42:40)). 2:179 And there is life for you in the Law of Just Recompense, O People of understanding, that you may journey through life in security! (Hence, Qisaas is a deterring safeguard for the community and not revenge). 2:180 (Regarding proper dispensation of property) it is ordained for you that before death approaches any of you, and he is leaving behind much wealth - that he prepares a will for parents and family in a decent manner. This is a binding duty on all those who wish to walk aright. (Any oversight or leftover from the will shall be distributed according to portions described in (4:11)). 2:181 If anyone tampers with a will after hearing it, the guilt of altering befalls those responsible for such altering. (A will shall be heard and prepared in the presence of two trustworthy witnesses (5:106)). Behold, Allah is Hearer, Knower. 2:182 (The one who makes a will, the testator, is likely to make errors of omission or commission.) So, if anyone, who has heard the will, fears from a testator some bias or diminishing of a due right, and then makes proper adjustments to bring about an amicable and acceptable settlement between the concerned parties, he will not be harming his own character. Verily, Allah is Absolver of imperfections, Merciful. ('Ithm' = A dragging violation that harms the human personality or potential).2:183 (Creating an ideal civilized society requires self-discipline, self-control and restraint among the individuals.) O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Abstinence is prescribed for you as it was prescribed to nations before you so that you benefit from this training, and get empowered to walk aright. (I have translated "Saum" as 'Abstinence' since it involves more than 'fasting', such as abstaining from anger, backbiting, lying and intimate husband-wife relationship. Moreover, 'Saum' literally means self-restraint). 2:184 Just a certain number of days. But, if any of you is sick or is traveling, the number of days should be made up later. For those who can go through Abstinence only with hardship, there is compensation, the feeding of an indigent. Any additional charity will mean additional reward. However, if you knew better, the training course of Abstinence is good for you. 2:185 The month of Ramadhan has been chosen for your collective training because this is the month in which Revelation of the Qur'an began (with the most revolutionary and Benevolent Message ever). It is Guidance for mankind, and it clearly explains the 'why' of every Rule. And it is the Criterion of right and wrong. [The concepts therein are not defunct theories and empty hypotheses. It has a Permanent Universal Code of Values, Laws, Rules and Principles. The yearly training of Abstinence in this month connects the Message with action] So, whoever is at home during this month should participate in the program. Whoever of you is sick or on a journey, let him do Abstinence later. Allah desires for you ease. He desires not hardship for you - and that you should complete the period. (Do not treat this program as just a ritual). The objective of this training is to establish the Greatness of Allah on earth for having placed you on a well-lighted road, and then being practically grateful by sharing His Bounties with others. [The Qur'an does not forbid menstruating women from rituals of worship. However, a menstruating or a pregnant woman would come under the category of the sick, if she feels unwell. The only thing forbidden by the Qur'an during the periods is intimate relationship of the husband and wife (2:222). 'Shukr' does not mean just verbal thanks. It involves showing gratitude in action] 2:186 (This training program has nothing to do with asceticism or self-denial in any way. The mystics think that enduring hardships and denying themselves the basic needs will bring them close to God). And if My servants ask you concerning Me, behold, I am indeed near. I respond to the call of whoever calls, whenever he calls unto Me. So let them hear My Call and let them trust in Me, that they may be led aright. [The verses of My Book have answers to all their questions, and that is the way to approach Me. (3:194), (7:56), (8:24), (32:15-16), (40:60), (42:26)] 2:187 (The Abstinence is only for the daytime. Eating, drinking, and going to your wives is not forbidden during the night). It is Lawful to go to your wives on the night of the Abstinence. They are your garments and you are their garments - close to each other, source of mutual comfort, complementing each other, trustworthy and keepers of privacy, reason for décor, and redressers of faults. ('Libas' embraces all the meanings given). Allah turns to you in Kindness and dispels and pardons your unworthy fears of disobedience at night. Freeing yourselves of misconceptions, keep seeking in life that Allah has decreed to be available for you. So, eat and drink until the white line of dawn becomes distinct for you from the black line of night. Then you shall be in Abstinence until night begins to fall. During this training program, some of you will be called on deputation in local Centers of the Divine Order. (This will be an assignment from the State. During that special duty you will learn, consult and plan the governmental and social affairs). So you will have to divert your attention from personal matters, even from intimately touching your wives. These are the limits imposed by Allah, so overstep them not. Thus it is that Allah explains His Messages to mankind that they may walk aright. 2:188 (When you abstain from the Permissible during the annual training period, you empower yourselves to easily refrain from the forbidden.) So, devour not the wealth and property of one another unjustly, nor bribe the officials or the judges to deprive others of their possessions. Know that this kind of behavior drags down the individual and collective potential of the society. 2:189 (The exhortation of righteousness must not be considered confined to the Month of Ramadan.) They ask you (O the Messenger) about the phases of the Moon. Say, "They should serve as signs to mark certain timings for people. And for Hajj." (Misconceptions and superstitions about the sun and the moon have nothing to do with righteousness). You attain righteousness by upholding the Commands in a straightforward manner. Exponential development of humanity cannot be achieved by entering the System through the back door of ritualism - just as you must not enter houses through the back doors (2:177). (Since there is no such thing as a part-time Muslim) you shall be mindful of Allah all the time in order to reap a rich harvest. ((2:138), (2:208)). 2:190 [When you are a full-time Muslim, you will be trying to establish the Qur'anic Order in the society that ensures human equality and the unity of mankind. The obvious consequence will be bitter opposition from the elite, the powerful, the oppressors, the priesthood and the exploiters of the masses] Fight in the Cause of Allah those who wage war against you, but do not commit aggression. Behold, Allah loves not aggressors. (22:39). 2:191 (But if they keep on fighting), subdue them wherever you find them. And drive them out from where they have driven you out. For, oppression, cruelty and persecution are even more severely destructive than the killing in battle. And fight not against them near the Sacred House that is a Symbol of unified submission of all mankind to their Creator, unless they attack you therein. But if they attack you there, then fight against them. Such is the reward of those who refuse to acknowledge and then violate the sanctity of the Sanctuary of Peace for all humanity. (The Sacred Masjid in Makkah must be a safe Sanctuary and a source of peace and security for all mankind (2:144-148), (3:96), (5:2), (5:97), (9:18), (22:25-28), (40:19), (48:25). 'Qatl' = Kill = Bring low = Subdue = Fight = Attack = Slay).2:192 But if they stop, then, behold! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.2:193 And fight the aggressors until persecution is eliminated and there remains no compulsion or coercion in religion, the freedom that Allah has ordained (2:256). Anyone accepting the DEEN of Allah must do so freely and for His sake alone. ('Lillah' = For Allah's sake alone). And if the aggressors desist, then let there be no hostility except against those who displace peace with warfare. ('Zulm' = Displace something from its rightful place = Replace good with evil = Oppression = Relegation of the Truth = Violation of human rights = Doing wrong to oneself or others).2:194 [Temporary cessation of hostilities provides a cooling off period and it can avert war. There should be at least four months upon which mankind should agree as peacetime (9:36)]A violation of sanctity will activate the Law of Just Recompense. So, one who attacks you (during the Sacred Months), attack him to an extent no more that he has aggressed against you. And be mindful of Allah and know that Allah is on the side of those who walk aright.[History and Tafsirs report the four Sacred Months as the first, the seventh, the eleventh and the twelfth month of the Lunar Calendar. However, the Qur'an being the Ultimate Authority specifies them differently. The four Sacred Months are consecutive, beginning with Zil-Hajjah, the 12th Lunar Month (9:1-6)]2:195 (It is impossible for a greedy, stingy, niggardly person to grow in goodness. Greed, stinginess and hoarding harm the individual and the society). Spend your wealth in the Cause of Allah, and let not your own hands throw you into destruction. Rather, be consistent in benefiting your fellow human beings. Behold, Allah loves the benefactors of humanity.2:196 And complete the Hajj or Umrah for Allah. If it so happens that you planned but could not execute your plan to visit, send in gifts that the congregation would utilize. Do not consider that by doing so you have relieved yourself of the burden of the duty from your head. Be with them at heart until all reach the destination. If someone is sick or has other compelling burdens on the head denying him sending the gifts, then Abstinence for a few days at convenience, or an act of charity or fulfilling someone's need shall be in order. If a person is present in the congregation but cannot afford gift sharing, one should exercise Abstinence for a total number of ten days, three days there and seven days after coming home. This is for him whose folk are not present in the Sacred Masjid (Makkah in the wider sense). This will help him feel no less devoted than others. Follow the Guidance of Allah. Remember the higher goal and be mindful of Allah. And know that Allah's Law of Requital is strict in pursuing and grasping. [Hajj is the annual Pilgrimage in a specified time while Umrah is a visit to the Sacred Masjid of Makkah any time during the year. Both have sublime objectives as the Qur'an explains, although Muslims have converted them into mere rituals like in the Days of Ignorance. The idea is to arrange regular and intermittent international conferences in Makkah. Delegates from all over the world would get together there and devise ways to make the world a better place to live] 2:197 The Pilgrimage shall take place in the months made well known to mankind. Arrange it in a manner that people may get together from around the world and confer. Whoever participates in Pilgrimage shall refrain from intimate husband-wife relationship, misconduct and arguments throughout Hajj so that mutual consultation could take place in an amicable environment. Allah will acknowledge what you accomplish for the good of mankind. And do make provision for the entire number of days so that you don't have to ask people for help, rather be able to help them. But remember that the most important and best provision is your good conduct. Be mindful of Me, O Men and women of understanding! [The Central Authority, any time in the four Sacred Months shall decide upon and announce the exact timing of Hajj. ((2:194), (9:1-6)). The current practice of "performing" the ritualistic pilgrimage only in Zilhajjah, the 12th lunar month, finds no authority in the Qur'an]2:198 Allah is fully Cognizant of your economic needs. And the Pilgrimage is not a gathering of people who have renounced the world. Therefore, there is nothing wrong in seeking Allah's bounty by conducting business. Returning from the field of Arafat, remember Allah at the sacred relic of Muzdalifa. Remember Him as He has guided you, before you were of the straying. 2:199. You have seen that Pilgrimage is not a ritual. It is intended to be a platform for achieving harmony among mankind through interactive dialogue and consultation. When the pilgrimage is over, return to your homes as simple ordinary people without pomp and pride, and stick to the program agreed upon there. Allah, through His Infinite Mercy, will make your efforts fruitful and procure security and protection for mankind through this program, like a helmet protects the head. Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. 2:200. When you have returned to your homes after completing the acts of devotion, the greatest change that should come in you is that you live your life according to the Commands of Allah rather than what you were doing before, i.e., following the ways of your forefathers. People, who look for short-term gains in blind following, forfeit the long term Eternal success. 2:201 And among men and women are those who forsake not the Hereafter for this world, and forsake not this life for the Hereafter. They are the ones who insure themselves against Fire. They say, "Our Lord! Give to us in this world what is good, and in the Hereafter what is good, and guard us from the doom of fire." 2:202 For those who seek good in both lives, is a decent portion they have earned. Allah's Law is swift at reckoning. 2:203 The appointed days of Pilgrimage and Umrah are meant to remind one another of Allah's Commands. If a participant hastens his departure by a couple of days or delays it, there is no detriment in either case for those who walk aright. Walk aright and remember that all of you will be gathered before Him. 2:204 Now there is a kind of man whose views on the life of the world dazzle you, and he even swears by God to what is in his heart. Moreover, he is exceedingly skillful in argument. (But he disregards the Eternal Values and the Hereafter). 2:205 If such people attain political power they create corruption in the earth. Their rule results in destruction of the produce of land and labor and the damage done by them affects generations. Allah loves not corruption and mischief. 2:206 When he is advised to be mindful of Allah's Laws, his false pride plunges him further down in inhumanity. Hell will settle his account, a miserable abode. 2:207 But there is also a kind of man who would willingly sell his "Self" for Allah's Approval. (He dedicates his whole life, and even is ready to sacrifice it in the Cause of Allah). And Allah is Compassionate to His servants. 2:208 O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Come, all of you, into submission to Him. Enter the System of Islam fully and collectively. Do not follow the footsteps of the Satan, your rebellious desire. Selfish desire that rebels against the Divine Values is your most ardent enemy. (Desire or emotion leads our actions while the intellect rationalizes them. Only the Divine Values given in the Qur'an can empower our higher control of the intellect). 2:209 (There will be attempts at beclouding the Profound Message of the Qur'an as happened in the case of earlier Scriptures. Certain man-made books will be created and promoted as if they were equivalent to or superseded the Qur'an). If you falter or backslide after these Clear Verses have been conveyed to you, know that Allah is Almighty, Wise. (You will then suffer the consequences in both lives for disregarding His Wisdom). 2:210 The opponents of the Clear Verses will make up weird stories, such that Allah would descend from one heaven to the other heaven and then into dark dense clouds, accompanied by winged angels. And then He would decree all matters. Nay! All matters of guidance have been expounded in this Book. Allah is Omnipresent and all actions return to Allah for judgment. 2:211 O Messenger! Ask the Children of Israel how many clear Revelations We gave them. Whoever alters the blessed Message of Allah after it has come to him must know that Allah's Requital is Strong in grasping. 2:212 Beautified seems the life of this world to the rejecters, and they ridicule the believers who uphold Permanent Values and look beyond instant gains. Those who live an upright life will be higher in degrees on the Day of Resurrection. Allah provides without stint to His creation according to His Law that does not discriminate between people. He is the Sustainer of all humanity (114:1). 2:213 Mankind were one community. (Nature's provision was abundant and open for all (2:36). Then Satan, their selfish desire, divided them (10:19)) Allah sent Prophets as heralds of good news and as Warners. He sent down with them the Scripture with the Truth to judge among people in their differences. After the Prophet passed on, people started differing in the Scripture that was given to them with clear verses. And they did so in stubborn rivalry. Allah by His Will keeps the sincere believers guided in Truth concerning whatever differences arise among them. Allah guides people according to His Laws. (Using your faculties of listening, observing and reasoning will help you achieve guidance, while selfishness, arrogance and blind following will lead people astray (2:170), (6:56), (40:35), (41:17)). 2:214 Do you expect to achieve Paradise here and there without being tested as the previous generations were tested? They had to go through hardship and adversity such that they were shaken up. (Unity of mankind will not be easy to attain. The differences of race, ethnicity, creed, color, lineage, wealth and nationalism would be the barriers to surmount). The hardships in the way of this Benevolent Revolution have tasked the hearts and minds of Messengers and their believing companions till they said, "When will come Allah's help?" But, once this Revolution gets going, Allah's help is near. 2:215 A crucial step toward the establishment of this Unified Order will be the equitable distribution of wealth. People ask you, O Messenger! "What should we spend in the Cause of Allah?" Say, "Although welfare of the entire society would remain the ultimate objective, begin this goodness with your parents, family and relatives, orphans, widows, and those who are left helpless, those whose hard earned income is insufficient to meet their basic needs, those whose businesses have stalled, and those who have lost their jobs, also the needy wayfarer, the homeless son of the street, and the one who has come to your town in a destitute condition." And whatever good you do, Allah is Aware of it. 2:216 When establishing the Divine Order, you will meet aggression from those who wish to maintain the status quo for their vested interests. Therefore, fighting in the Cause of Allah is ordained for you, even though you dislike it. It may happen that you hate a thing that is good for you, and it may happen that you love a thing that is bad for you. Allah knows and you know not. 2:217 During active warfare, mankind should agree upon one month of peacetime. This would serve as a cooling off period. They ask you about the Sacred Months and fighting therein. Say, "Fighting in the Sacred Months is a grave offense (2:194). However, repelling from the Path of Allah, rejecting His Command and the sanctity of the Sacred Masjid, and evicting its people, are greater offenses in the Sight of Allah. Persecution is a greater crime than killing." They will not cease from fighting against you till they revert you from your religion, if they can. Those among you who revert from their religion, and die as disbelievers, have nullified their works in this life and their rewards in the Hereafter. These are the companions of Fire; they will abide therein. 2:218 Those who attain belief and those who emigrate in the Cause of Allah and struggle to establish the Divine Value System, can rightfully hope for the Grace of Allah. Indeed, Allah is Absolver of imperfections, Merciful. 2:219 They ask you (O Messenger), concerning alcohol, intoxicants, gambling, and easy money. Say, "There is great loss for men and women in these things and a little momentary gain. Their damage far outweighs their benefit. They drag down individual and collective potentials of people." And they ask you what they should spend on others. Tell them, "All that is beyond your needs." Thus Allah makes plain to you His Revelations, that you may reflect and understand the Wisdom behind each Command. 2:220 Reflect that Allah's Commands can help you here and in the Hereafter. And they ask you about orphans, and those left helpless. Say, "Taking care of the development of their human potential, fulfilling their needs, and rearing them with good training and education is best. If they live with you, they are your brothers and sisters." Allah knows the person who is corrupt from the person who is equitable. Allah has bestowed upon you Guidance without which you would have carried the burdens of Ignorance. He wishes for you ease and not hardship (2:185). The Almighty, Wise Allah uses His Authority in Infinite Wisdom. 2:221 (Family is the unit of any good society. Uniformity of Ideology between the husband and the wife is important to ensure a wholesome family life). Do not marry women who associate others with Allah, till they believe. Even if such women seem attractive to you, marrying a believing woman who toils in labor and might not seem as attractive, is better for you. Nor shall you give your daughters in marriage to men who associate others with Allah, till they believe. A believing man is better than an idolater, even if you like him. Clash of basic value systems creates a fiery atmosphere in the family and it carries on to the Lasting Abode. Allah, by His Leave, invites you to Paradise and protection against your imperfections. (A happy family life is a life of paradise). He expounds His Revelations for all humanity to ponder. 2:222 They ask you about women's courses. Say, "It is an inconvenient condition. So keep away from intimacy with them during their courses. Once they are clear past it, you may approach your wives for intimate relations in the manner designed by Allah. Allah loves those who make mends and keep their minds and conduct clean." 2:223 Remember, that women in the society are the guardians of your future generations, just as a garden keeps the seeds and turns them into flowering plants. So, whenever you meet with women socially, treat them with respect, keeping the aforementioned principle in mind. This conduct will go a along way to insure the betterment of the future generations. Send forth good today for tomorrow. Be mindful of Allah's Laws and know that you will, one day face Him. O Messenger! Give good news to the believers. 2:224 Let not your senseless oaths in the name of Allah deter you from doing good to others, from being mindful of Divine Laws, and from making peace between people. Allah is Hearer, Knower. 2:225 Allah will not task you for your senseless swearing. He holds you responsible for your intentional doings. Allah is Forgiving, Clement. (Therefore, a marriage will not be dissolved for senseless utterances of the husband or the wife). 2:226 Men who take an oath that they will not approach their wives shall have four months of grace. And if they go back on their oath during these four months, behold, Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. (They must rethink their decision during this grace period and circumstances might change. Similar rules apply for women, since they have rights and obligations as men have, and since no man is permitted to forcibly keep his wife in wedlock against her will as stated later in the Book ((2:228), (4:19), (4:21), (4:34), (7:189)). 2:227 If they decide upon divorce let them remember that Allah is Hearer, Knower. (They must bear in mind that since marriage is a Solemn Covenant (4:21), divorce can take place only in accordance with this Book of Law). 2:228 After divorce, women shall wait three menstruations before remarriage. There is no waiting period for a woman who is divorced before intimate relations with her husband (33:49). And it is three months if they do not habitually menstruate (65:4). They shall not conceal pregnancy if they believe in Allah and in the Hereafter. In case of pregnancy, their waiting period shall be until delivery (65:4). And during this period their husbands would do better to take them back if both of them desire reconciliation. The husband and the wife have the right to reconcile during this waiting period of the wife. Women have rights similar to those of men in mutual kindness. Men, however, do not have a waiting period for remarriage for obvious physiological reasons. That is where men are on a platform different from them. ((2:228-234), (4:3), (4:19), (4:35), (4:128), (33:49), (58:1), (65:1-4)). 2:229 In a given couple's lifetime, a divorce is permissible twice. (The whole period of divorce i.e. three menstruations / three months, or until delivery can be taken back twice). Then the divorced woman must be retained in honor or released in kindness. She shall be allowed to live in the same home amicably, or leave it amicably. At or after divorce, it is not lawful for you to take back anything of what you have ever given to her. However, if both of you fear that you might (in waves of emotion) transgress the bounds set by Allah, there shall be no blame on either of you if the wife willingly gives back whatever she chooses. These are the Limits set by Allah; transgress them not. Whoever transgresses the bounds set by Allah, such are the wrongdoers. 2:230 If a man divorces his wife on a third different time during their marital life, it shall be unlawful for him to remarry her. It may so happen that the woman marries another man, and those two do not get along, and the other husband divorces her. In that case, there is nothing wrong if both (the previous couple) decide to come together again, if they consider that they will be able to observe the Limits set by Allah. These Limits have been made clear to enable people to make use of the Divine gift of knowledge. 2:231 When you have divorced women, and they have completed their waiting period, then retain them in kindness or release them in kindness. You shall allow them to live in the same home amicably, or let them leave amicably. Do not force them to stay against their will, as revenge. Anyone who does this wrongs his own "Self". Do not make the Revelations of Allah a laughing stock. Remember Allah's Blessings upon you and the Book and Wisdom He has sent down to you in order to enlighten you. Be mindful of Allah's Commands and know that Allah is Aware of all things. 2:232 And when you have divorced women, and they have completed their waiting period, people in the society shall not place difficulties if both of them wish to remarry each other in kindness. And they shall not place difficulties if the woman decides to marry a different husband with their mutual agreement. This instruction is for all among you who believe in Allah and the Last Day. Following the Commands helps you develop your personality and stay clear of vice. Allah knows, you know not. 2:233 If the (divorced) mothers wish to nurse their infants, the father shall provide for the mother's sustenance and clothing equitably up to two years of nursing. No human being shall be burdened with more than he or she is well able to bear. No mother shall be made to suffer because of her child, nor shall a father be made to suffer because of his child. If the father dies, his heir will assume these responsibilities. If both parents decide with mutual consent, there shall be nothing wrong in entrusting your children to foster-mothers. You shall mutually ensure, in a fair manner, the safety of the child you are handing over. Be mindful of Allah's Laws and know that Allah is Seer of all that you do. 2:234 Those among you who die and leave wives behind, they shall wait four months and ten days before they remarry. Once they fulfill their interim, the society commits nothing wrong by letting them make amicable decisions about their future including remarriage. And Allah is fully Cognizant of all your actions. 2:235 You do nothing wrong in announcing your engagement to women or keep it to yourselves. Allah knows that the community will think about getting them married. But, never make a secret pledge or contract with them. Speak with them honorably and in recognized words. Do not tie the wedding knot nor sign the martial contract until the waiting period has ended. Know that Allah understands human psyche, and that which is in your hearts. Take heed of Him and know that Allah is Forgiving, Clement. He does not wish to impose hardship on you. His Laws protect your society from harm by absolving your imperfections. (Allah, the Clement never gets enraged and His Rule is the Rule of Law). 2:236 And, there is no blame on you if you nullify the marriage before you have touched the women with whom you have signed the marital contract, and before you have appointed the marital gift. This would be an unexpected situation involving emotional trauma. Therefore, show compassion by giving her as generous a gift as you can afford. This would be an act of equity and it is a binding duty on all those who wish to be counted among the benefactors of humanity. 2:237 And if unexpected circumstances lead you to divorce women before you have touched them, but after the marital gift has been fixed, give them half the amount unless they volunteer to forgo it. If the move for divorce originates purely from you, let her have the whole portion. If you men forgo it, it is closer to righteousness. O People! Never forget kindness among yourselves. This Command is from Allah Whose Law of Requital ever monitors your actions and the motives behind them. 2:238 While describing some important marital Laws, it is reiterated that, your Central Duty remains the guarding of the System in which individuals and families can develop their potentials to the maximum. Stay alert in the obedience to Allah. 2:239 Whether fear threatens you from without, or you are strolling, riding, relaxing in peace, rising, sitting, or recumbent ((3:190), (4:103)), keep in mind the Laws of Allah as He has taught you the Right and Wrong which you knew not (3:3). 2:240 Men must testify in a written, legal will that, after their death, their widows will receive one year's maintenance without their being obliged to leave the house. But, if they leave on their own accord, there is nothing wrong in letting them do whatever they wish to do with themselves in a lawful manner. Allah, the Almighty, the Wise grants this permission. 2:241 The widowed and divorced women must be provided for in kindness and equity. (65:6-7). This is a duty for those who wish to walk aright. 2:242 Thus, Allah makes His Revelations clear for you. Now, it is up to you to use your intellect. 2:243 The Ideal Society that you establish shall have sound socio-economic fabric and Rule of Law. That would enable you to thwart aggression from any quarters. You won't then, behave cowardly like those who were thousands in numbers, but when challenged by the enemy, they ran in droves leaving their homes behind. They feared death. Then they realized that the Divine Law of mortality is inescapable, hence the fear of death is vain. Soon, they stood up on their feet and defeated the enemy. They lived again. Allah's Guidance is a Bounty to mankind but the majority of the people do not realize and appreciate this fact. 2:244 We had told them, "Fight in the Cause of Allah, and know that Allah is Hearer, Knower." Fight in self-defense, and against oppression and aggression (2:190-194). 2:245 Who comes forward and gives a beautiful loan to Allah that He shall multiply it many times? The Divine Order in the society pays you handsome dividends. Add to this, the tremendous Reward in the Hereafter. The wealth of nations and individuals is not exempt from the Laws of Allah. Every step of the way you are returning to Him. 2:246 Sustained commitment to the Divine Order with your lives and wealth is no easy undertaking. After the times of Moses, some leaders of the Israelites promised their Prophet (Samuel), "If you appoint a king for us, we will fight in the Cause of Allah." The Prophet said, "Is it your intention to refrain from fighting if it was decreed to you?" They said' "Why should we not fight in the Cause of Allah when we have been driven out of our homes with our children?" Yet when fighting was ordained for them, they turned away all but a few. Allah is Aware of the wrongdoers. 2:247 Their Prophet said, "Allah has appointed Talut (Saul) as your king." They objected, "How can he have kingship over us when we are more worthy of kingship than he; he is not even rich?" The Prophet said, "Allah has chosen him over you, and has blessed him with wisdom and stature. Allah bestows His kingship according to His Laws. He is Infinite, Knowing." 2:248 Their Prophet (Samuel) said, "The sign of his kingdom is that the Ark of the Covenant will be restored to you, reassuring you from your Lord, and the relics left by the house of Moses and the house of Aaron and preserved by natural laws of archaeology. This will be a convincing sign for the believers among you." 2:249 The Commander Saul then marched along with his soldiers to face the armies of Jaloot (Goliath). They came upon a rivulet on their way. Saul, in order to create discipline among his soldiers and to test their resolve commanded them to refrain from drinking that water, save a sip out of the hand. But except for a few they drank it. Their behavior was hardly strange when they crossed the rivulet. They complained, "This day we cannot cope with Goliath and his armies." But those who were resolute and were convinced that they were marching forward in the Cause of Allah, said, "How often a small force has overwhelmed a big army since it is the Law of Allah that He is with those who are proactively steadfast." 2:250 Thus praying to their Lord in full conviction in the Law of proactive steadfastness, they advanced toward the invading armies of Goliath. 2:251 And, they routed the much bigger force by the Law of Allah, as David, who was one of the officers of Saul, slew the mighty commander, Goliath. Then Allah honored David with a powerful kingdom, along with wisdom and sound judgment, and commissioned him for the special Office of Knowledge. We have decreed that those who spend their youth in righteousness, i.e., benefiting humanity, shall be granted knowledge and wisdom ((12:22), (28:14)). The annihilation of the mighty armies of Goliath bears a historical lesson for mankind that if Balance in Nature were not one of the Laws, tyrants would ransack the earth and its inhabitants unopposed. But, oppression brings revolution and eventually, the oppressed overthrow the oppressors (22:39). Allah is Limitless in His Bounties to the Worlds. 2:252 These are the Verses of Allah that We recite to you in Absolute, Guarded Truth. And (O Muhammad!) You are among Our Messengers. 2:253 (All Messengers were one in Purpose). We have caused some of them to excel others. (They were assigned different strategies suitable to their times, locations and people. So they worked at diverse platforms and) Allah communicated to all of them in various ways. Jesus son of Mary was one of those Messengers to whom We gave clear signs of the Truth and We helped him with the Sacred Revelation. If Allah had created human beings like programmed robots, lacking free will, they wouldn't have differed and wouldn't fight among themselves in matters of belief. But, Allah planned that men and women be endowed with the ability to make choices, and that compulsion in matters of faith would never been ordained (2:256). Allah makes His Laws in the World of Command as He Wills, and then He implements them in the World of Creation (the Universe) and never changes His Laws ((7:54), (17:77), (33:62)). 2:254 O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Spend of Our Provision on fellow human beings, and for the betterment of the society. Do that before the day comes when no bargaining, friendship or intercession shall be of any avail. Those who reject such sensible admonition, do grave injustice to themselves. 2:255 These directions, tidings and warnings come from Allah, the One True God. There is no god but He, the Living, the Originator of life, the Self-Subsisting Sustainer of all creation. Neither slumber, nor sleep overtakes Him. All that exists in the Highs and the Lows, in the Heavens and the Earth, belongs to Him alone. Who can intercede in His Court, except as a witness of Law? His Knowledge transcends time and space. No one can encompass a trace of His Knowledge but through His Laws. The Throne of His Supreme Control extends over the Highs and the Lows. No fatigue touches Him as He benevolently guards His Dominion and creation. He is the Glorious, the Supreme. 2:256 (Although this Message has been sent down by the Almighty), there is absolutely no compulsion or coercion in religion. This Rule shall have no exception because Right has been made distinct from Wrong (3:4). Whoever rejects false gods such as the priesthood, and attains conviction in the Word of Allah, has grasped the Unbreakable Support. This assurance comes from Allah, the Hearer the Knower. 2:257 Allah becomes the Guarding Friend of those who, after due reflection, have chosen to believe in His Word (12:108). He brings them out of darkness into Light (through the Qur'an). Those who deny the Divine System of Life, have devilish human "authorities" as patrons to lead them from Light into darkness. Such people have chosen Fire to be their eternal companion. 2:258 Think of the one who adamantly argued with Abraham about his Lord because Allah had given him power (Nimrod Shaddad, the King of Babylon who used to proclaim divinity). Abraham said to him, "My Lord is He Who gives life and causes death." He answered, "I give life and cause death." (Being a tyrant king he could reverse or impose death penalty upon his subjects). Abraham said, "Allah makes the sun rise from the East; make it rise from the West." Thereupon the rejecter of the Truth remained dumbfounded. And Allah does not guide people who displace reality with falsehood. 2:259 [Later on in history, came up another king in the dynasty of Nimrods, his name, Nebuchadnezzar (630-562 B.C.]. He invaded Jerusalem, oppressed Israelites and enslaved them. One hundred years of tribulation passed before King Cyrus of Persia liberated them and reinstated them back in Jerusalem. This history bears a lesson (630-562 B.C.)for posterity]. The similitude of this history is that someone passes by the ruins of a town and wonders if that town could ever come back to life again, and Allah causes him to die for a hundred years and then revives him. He thinks it was only a matter of a day or a part of it. He even finds his food, drink, and donkey standing beside him. Allah creates you in the wombs of your mothers, in bone and flesh. And when the matter became clear to him, he said, "I know now that Allah is Able to do all things." 2:260 Abraham wanted to understand the Law of Revival of nations. Allah asked him if he believed that it were possible. Abraham said he believed but that he wanted a practical example to educate his heart and mind. Allah told him to take four birds and train them in a kind manner, and then to leave them far apart on each hilltop. And then call them; they will come in haste. (At one call of Abraham, those birds came flying back to him. This is how mankind can be brought to the Word of Allah with decent training, giving them a new life). Know that this Wisdom comes to you from Allah, the Almighty, the Wise. 2:261 (In training their peoples, all Messengers of Allah advised them that) spending their wealth in the Cause of Allah is like sowing a seed that brings numerous shoots; each shoot with a hundred grains. This is how Allah's Law of Requital rewards men and women. Allah is Infinite, All-Knowing. 2:262 Those who spend their wealth in the Cause of Allah, must remember that they have not obliged any persons. Therefore they do not afflict them with reminders of their generosity ((17:26), (30:38)). Their reward is with their Lord. (The society will return their generosity in this life as well). There will be no fear for them from without, nor grief will touch them from within. 2:263 Kind words and respecting people's honor is better than charity coupled with injury. Allah, the Rich, the Clement, provides everyone without return or obligation. 2:264 O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Cancel not your charity by reminders of your generosity or by injuring the self-respect of the recipients; like those who spend their wealth for show-off. This kind of behavior contradicts the true belief in Allah and His Law of Recompense. Charity has been ordained to help individuals and not to hurt them (93:10), and Allah has promised you manifold reward. But, a seed won't grow on a dusty rock, upon which rain falls and washes it clean. Even Allah won't guide those who deny such simple realities. 2:265 On the other hand, there are people who keep their wealth open for the society in sincere submission to Allah, not for show off, and not for putting anyone under obligation. They have joined hands with Allah in Purpose and have strengthened their "Self" (13:33). They have achieved self-actualization and made themselves truly worthy of immortality (20:76). Remember, that a "Self" that has not been developed by giving to community in wealth or labor, merely survives ((14:17), (43:77), (69:27)). Immortality is not a spontaneous gift from Allah; men and women are candidates for it (91:9-10). Such people are creating the Paradise of their own making that is ever-blooming; rain or shine. This glad tiding is relayed to you from Allah. Who can be a better Watcher and Guarantor of explaining the intricacies of your psyche and actions than the One Who created you? 2:266 Would any of you wish that he had a beautiful, bountiful garden of dates and vineyards with rivulets flowing underneath it, but while age catches up on him and he has feeble offspring, a fiery tornado suddenly strikes and consumes it? This is how Allah wants you to reflect upon the Long Term. Your contribution to the society ensures you the Garden which neither a tornado, nor a hurricane dare take away from you (15:48). 2:267 O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Spend on others the good things you have honorably earned with hard work, whether it is from the product of industry or from the produce of the earth. Do not give away something that you won't like to receive except with closed eyes. Know that Allah, the Rich, Owner of Praise, provides you indiscriminately and without return. 2:268 Satan, your selfish desire, scares you with poverty; that if you spent on others, you might become destitute. It teaches you stinginess to the extent of shame. Allah, the All-Embracing, All-Knowing promises you the protection of Forgiveness from Himself, and abundant Bounty. (And, In the Divine Order, the society would return to you more than you spend on it). 2:269 He bestows wisdom according to His Laws ((12:22), (28:14)). And whoever is granted wisdom has indeed been granted a great wealth. And only people of understanding remain mindful of what they learn. (Using their perceptual and conceptual faculties can help the humans attain wisdom (17:36)). 2:270 Whatever you spend on others or whatever pledge you make, Allah knows it. Those who do wrong by withholding charity shall have none to help them. 2:271 If you disclose your charities, it is well, but if you give in secret to the needy, it will be better for you. This kind of giving has the power of erasing the imprints of your ill deeds on your "Self". This Law has been decreed by Allah Who knows the interrelations of all your actions within and without your personality. 2:272 Your responsibility (O Messenger!) is only to show them the Right Way (and not to make them walk it). He has established Rules for attaining Guidance.(4:88). (O People!) Whatever good you give benefits your own "Self" when you spend for the sake of Allah. Any charity you give will be repaid to you, without the least injustice. 2:273 And give to the needy who are suffering in the Cause of Allah and cannot emigrate and those who are unable to go about the earth in search of livelihood. One, who is unaware of their condition, might think they are free from want, because they abstain from begging. But you can recognize them by the marks on their faces because they do not ask people insistently. Whatever good thing you spend on them, Allah is Aware of it. 2:274 Those who spend their wealth on the needy, by night and by day, secretly or publicly, have their reward with their Sustainer. They shall have nothing to fear or regret. 2:275 On the other hand are those who eat usury. In greed of money, they run around like someone who has been bitten by a snake. They claim that trade is like usury. This is not so. Trade is the return on labor that is permissible (53:39), while usury is the return on money. That is why Allah, in His Infinite Wisdom, has permitted trade and forbidden usury. One to whom the clear Admonition has come from his Sustainer, must abstain from taking usury forthwith. What he has taken in the past, he may keep and his judgment rests with Allah. (It is better for him to return the interest he has earned if possible, but the law shall not force him to do so). As for him who returns to usury, such are the rightful companions of the Fire to abide therein. (Satan=Serpent).2:276 Allah blights usury and blesses charitable deeds with prosperity. Allah does not love those who defy His Laws and drag down the potential of the human society. (Mankind will eventually realize that the interest based economic system will have to be replaced with an equitable System. Allah's Laws of Economic Dynamics erase usury and nurture welfare). 2:277 Those who believe in Allah's Laws, do works beneficial to the society, strive to establish the Divine Order and the Equitable Economic System of Zakat, have their reward with their Lord. They will have nothing to fear and no reason to be despondent. (Zakat, where everyone spends on others more than he needs (2:219), and the government is responsible for setting up this System). 2:278 O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Be mindful of the Divine Laws and give up what remains of your demand for usury, if you are really believers. 2:279 And if you do it not, then know that you are at war with Allah and His Messenger. But, if you mend your ways, simply take back your capital sums. Inflict not injustice and you will not incur injustice. 2:280 If a debtor is in difficult circumstances, let there be postponement to a time of ease. And if you give up the loan entirely as charity, it is better for you if you did but know. 2:281 And be mindful of the Day when you will be returned to Allah and every "Self" will be paid what it has earned, and they will not be wronged. 2:282 O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! When you transact a loan for any period, you shall write it down. An impartial scribe shall do the writing. No scribe shall decline to perform this duty, and write as Allah has taught him. The debtor, or in case he or she is incompetent, his representative shall dictate the document honestly and be mindful of his Lord, and diminish not the amount. There shall be two men among you to witness the transaction. If two men are not available, let there be one man and two women as witnesses. All witnesses should be such that their testimony is acceptable to all. The second woman will not be a witness in the court of law. She is there only to remind the first woman if she forgets. It is the obligation of the witnesses to testify when called upon to do so. Do not tire of writing the details, no matter how long, including the time of repayment. This is equitable in the Sight of Allah, assures better witnessing, and eliminates any doubts you may have. When it is actual merchandise that you transfer among yourselves from hand to hand, there is nothing wrong for you if you write it not, but have it witnessed. The scribe and the witnesses must be held harmless for their services. If you harm them, it would be wickedness on your part. If you follow Allah's Commands He will increase you in knowledge. These are the Injunctions of Allah Who is the Knower of all things; intentions, events and actions. 2:283 If you are traveling and a scribe is not available, a collateral of some value may serve the purpose, or a bond shall be posted to guarantee repayment. If one is trusted in this manner, he shall return the collateral or the bond when due, and be mindful of Allah, his Lord. Do not withhold any testimony by concealing what you have witnessed. Anyone who withholds a testimony is noxious to his own sensitivity. Allah is Aware of all your actions. 2:284 To Allah belong all things in the heavens and all things in the earth. Whether you reveal or conceal your intentions and actions, Allah will bring you to account for them. He has appointed Laws of forgiveness and retribution. Allah has Power over all things and events and He has appointed due measure for everything. 2:285 The Messenger has full Conviction in what is revealed unto him from his Lord and so do the believers. Each one has full conviction in Allah, His angels, His Scriptures and His Messengers. They say, "We make no distinction between any of His Messengers" (since they were one in Purpose). And they say, "We hear and we obey, so grant us the protection of forgiveness, our Lord. We journey through life on Your Way." 2:286 Allah tasks not and expects not from anyone more than his capacity. Any challenges that come your way, afford you a chance to expand your "Self". For the "Self" is what it earns and against it is only what it deserves. Pray, "Our Lord! Take us not to task if we forget or miss the mark! Our Lord! Do not place a burden on us as you did place on those before us. Our Lord! Impose not on us what we have not the strength to bear! Pardon us, absolve us, and bestow Grace on us, You are our Supreme Master, so help us prevail over those who reject the Truth."