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al-Baqarah (The Cow)
as rendered by Sayyid Qutb (transcription in progress)
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Sayyid Qutb rendition of Surah The Cow(al-Baqarah)
2:1 Alif, lā, mÄ«m.
2:2 This is the Book; there is no doubt about it, a guidance For the God-fearing.
2:3 Those who believe in what lies beyond the reach of human perception, observe Prayer and give of what We bestow upon them.
2:4 Those who believe in what has been revealed to you and what was revealed before you, and are certain of the Hereafter.
2:5 Those follow their Lord's guidance, and they shall surely prosper.
2:6 For the unbelievers, it is alike whether you forewarn them or not, they will not accept the faith.
2:7 God has sealed their hearts and ears; their eyes are covered; and a grievous punishment awaits them.
2:8 There are some who say: “We believe in God and the Last Day', yet, in truth, they do not believe.
2:9 They seek to deceive God and the believers, but they are only deceiving themselves, though they may not realize it.
2:10 There is sickness in their hearts, and God has aggravated their sickness. Painful suffering awaits them for the lies they keep telling.
2:11 When it is said to them: “Do not spread corruption in the land', they say: “We are but doers of good.'
2:12 But, they indeed are the ones who do spread corruption, though they do not realize it.
2:13 When it is said to them, 'Believe as other people have believed', they say, 'Are we to believe as the fools believe?' It is indeed they who are fools, though they do not know it.
2:14 When they meet the believers, they say, 'We believe', but when they are alone with their devilish allies, they say, 'We are with you, we are only mocking.'
2:15 God will put them to derision and let them continue their transgression, blundering blindly along.
2:16 These are the ones who barter away guidance for error. Their transaction is profitless and they will receive no guidance.
2:17 They are like one who sought to kindle a fire, and as it lit up all around him God took away their light and left them in darkness, unable to see anything.
2:18 Deaf, dumb and blind, they can never return to the right path.
2:19 Or, when there is a storm-cloud, dark, charged with thunder and lightning, they thrust their fingers in their ears at every thunder-clap, for fear of death; but God encompasses the unbelievers.
2:20 The lightning all but snatches away their sight; whenever it flashes over them they walk on, but when darkness overtakes them they stand still. Should God will it, He would take away their hearing and their sight, for God has power over all things.
2:21 Mankind, worship your Lord who has created you and those who lived before you, so that you may become God-fearing.
2:22 He made the earth a couch for you, and the heavens a ceiling. He sent down water from the sky to bring forth fruits for your sustenance. Do not, then, knowingly set up equals to God.
2:23 If you are in doubt as to what We have revealed to Our servant, then produce one sÅ«rah comparable to it and call upon all your witnesses, other than God, if what you say is true.
2:24 But if you fail, as you will certainly do, then guard yourselves against the fire, fueled by men and stones, prepared for the unbelievers.
2:25 To those who believe and do good deeds give the good tidings that they shall reside in gardens through which running waters flow. Whenever they are offered fruits therefrom, they say, 'We have been given the same before', for they shall be provided with what looks similar. They shall also have pure spouses and they shall reside there for ever.
2:26 God does not disdain to give a parable of a gnat, or a higher creature. Those who believe know that it is the truth from their Lord, while the unbelievers ask, 'What could God mean by such a parable?' In this way, God lets many go astray and gives guidance to many others, but none does He leave to go astray except the evildoers.
2:27 Who violate God's covenant after having accepted it, and cut asunder what He has ordered to be joined, and spread corruption in the land. They are the losers.
2:28 How can you reject God who has given you life after you were dead? He will cause you to die again then He will bring you back to life. To Him you shall return.
2:29 It is He who created for you all that is on earth. He then turned to heaven and fashioned it into seven heavens. He has knowledge of all things.
2:30 Your Lord said to the angels, 'I am appointing a vicegerent on earth.' They said, 'Will You appoint on it someone who would spread corruption and shed blood, whereas we celebrate Your praises and extol Your holiness?' He said, 'I surely know that of which you have no knowledge.'
2:31 And He taught Adam the names of all things and then turned to the angels and said, 'Tell Me the names of these things, if what you say is true.'
2:32 They said, 'Limitless are You in Your glory! We only know what You have taught us. Indeed, You alone are All- Knowing, Wise.'
2:33 He said, 'Adam! Tell them their names.' When he had told them all their names, He said, 'Have I not said to you that I know the secrets of what is in the heavens and the earth, and I know all that you reveal and conceal?'
2:34 When We said to the angels, 'Prostrate yourselves before Adam', they did so except for IblÄ«s who refused, swelled in insolence, and was thus an unbeliever.
2:35 And We said to Adam, 'Dwell you with your spouse in Paradise and eat freely whatever you wish of its fruit, but do not come near this one tree, lest you would be wrongdoers.'
2:36 But Satan lured them away from it [Paradise] and thus caused them to be ousted from where they had been. We said, 'Get you down. You shall be enemies to one another. On earth you shall have an abode and sustenance, for a while.'
2:37 Thereupon Adam received from his Lord certain words, and He accepted his repentance; for He alone is the One who accepts repentance, the Merciful.
2:38 We said, 'You shall all descend from it [Paradise]. Guidance shall reach you from Me. Those who follow My guidance shall have nothing to fear nor shall they grieve,
2:39 but those who deny and gainsay Our revelations shall have the fire, wherein they shall abide.'
2:40 Children of Israel! Remember My favour which I have bestowed on you. Fulfil your covenant with Me and I will fulfil Mine with you; and of Me alone stand in awe.
2:41 Believe in what I have revealed, confirming that which you already have, and be not the first to reject it. Do not barter away My revelations for a paltry price, and fear Me alone.
2:42 Do not overlay the truth with falsehood, nor knowingly suppress the truth.
2:43 Attend regularly to your prayers, pay your zakāt, and bow down in prayer with those who bow down.
2:44 How can you bid others to be righteous and forget yourselves, even when you read the Scriptures? Do you not understand?
2:45 Seek strength in patient perseverance and in prayer, which is indeed a demanding task except for the devout.
2:46 who know that they shall meet their Lord and to Him they shall ultimately return.
2:47 Children of Israel! Remember My favour which I bestowed on you, and that I have preferred you over all people.
2:48 Fear the day when no soul shall avail another in any way, nor shall intercession be accepted from any of them, nor ransom taken from them, and none shall receive help.
2:49 And remember how We delivered you from Pharaoh's people, who afflicted you with cruel suffering, killing your sons and sparing only your women. That was a grievous trial from your Lord.
2:50 We parted the sea for you, led you to safety and drowned Pharaoh's people before your very eyes.
2:51 And [remember, too], when We appointed for Moses forty nights, and in his absence you took to worshipping the calf, and thus became wrongdoers.
2:52 Yet even after that We pardoned you, so that you might be thankful.
2:53 We gave Moses the Scriptures and the Standard [by which to distinguish right from wrong], so that you might be rightly guided.
2:54 Moses said to his people, 'You, my people, have wronged yourselves by worshipping the calf. Turn, then, in repentance to your Maker and slay one another. That will be better for you in your Maker's sight.' Thus, He accepted your repentance; for He is the One to accept repentance, the Merciful.
2:55 And [remember] when you said, 'Moses, we will not believe in you until we see God in person.' You were then struck by a thunderbolt while you were looking on.
2:56 But We raised you again after you had been as dead, so that you might be thankful.
2:57 We caused the clouds to provide shade for you, and sent down for you manna and quails. 'Eat of the good things We have provided for you.' Indeed, to Us they did no harm, but themselves did they wrong.
2:58 And [remember] when We said, 'Enter this city, eat of its abundant food as you may desire, prostrate yourselves as you enter the gates and say: “Lord, relieve us of our burden.” We will then forgive your sins and We will richly reward those who do good.'
2:59 But the wrongdoers among them substituted other words for those which they had been given. Therefore, We let loose against them a scourge from heaven in requital for their transgression.
2:60 And [remember] when Moses prayed for water for his people We said to him, 'Strike the rock with your staff.' Twelve springs gushed forth from it. Each tribe knew their drinking place. Eat and drink of what God has provided and do not persistently spread corruption in the land.
2:61 And [remember] when you said, 'Moses! We can no longer put up with one kind of food. Pray to your Lord, then, to bring forth for us some of what the earth produces of green herbs, cucumber, garlic, lentils and onions.' He said, 'Would you take a lesser thing in exchange for what is much better? Go down to any land and you shall have what you asked for.' Ignominy and humiliation were stamped upon them and they incurred the wrath of God, because they denied His revelations and slew prophets against all right, and because they persisted in their disobedience and transgression.
2:62 Those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Christians and the Sabaeans — anyone who believes in God and the Last Day, and does what is right, shall have their reward with their Lord. They have nothing to fear nor shall they grieve.
2:63 We accepted your solemn pledge and raised Mount Sinai above you, saying, 'Take with firmness and strength what We have given you, and bear in mind all its contents, so that you may remain God- fearing.'
2:64 Yet after that you turned away, and but for God's grace and mercy you would have surely been among the losers.
2:65 You are well aware of those of you who broke the Sabbath. To them We said, 'Be as despicable apes.'
2:66 Through that [punishment] We set an example to their own time and for all times to come, and an admonition to the God- fearing.
2:67 When Moses said to his people, 'God commands you to sacrifice a cow,' they said, 'Are you mocking at us?' He said, 'God forbid that I should be so ignorant.'
2:68 They said, 'Pray on our behalf to your Lord to make plain to us what kind of cow she should be.' He said, 'He says let her be neither an old cow nor a young heifer, but of an age in between. Do, then, as you are commanded.'
2:69 They said, 'Pray on our behalf to your Lord to make clear to us of what colour she should be.' [Moses] replied, 'He says let her be a yellow cow, bright of hue, pleasing to the beholder.'
2:70 They said, 'Pray on our behalf to your Lord to make plain to us of what exact type she should be, for to us cows are much alike. We shall, God willing, be guided aright.'
2:71 [Moses] answered, 'He says let her be a cow, not broken-in to plough the earth or water the tillage, free of all fault, without markings of any other colour.' Said they, 'Now you have given the right description.' They sacrificed her, although they had almost left it undone.
2:72 Having slain a human being, you cast the blame on one another for this [murder]. God would definitely reveal what you have concealed.
2:73 We said, 'Strike him with a piece of it. Thus God brings the dead back to life and shows you His signs, so that you may use your reason.'
2:74 Yet after all this, your hearts hardened until they were as hard as rocks or even harder; for there are rocks from which rivers gush forth; others split so that water flows through them, and some other rocks fall down for fear of God. Indeed, God is not unaware of what you do.
2:75 Do you hope that they will accept your message when some of them would listen to the word of God then, having understood them, knowingly distort it?
2:76 When they meet the believers, they say, 'We believe,' but when they find themselves alone, they say to one another, 'Need you inform them that which God has disclosed to you? They will only use it in argument against you before your Lord? Will you not use your reason?'
2:77 Do they not know that God is well aware of all that they conceal and all that they reveal?
2:78 There are among them illiterate people who have no real knowledge of the Scriptures, entertaining only wishful beliefs and conjecture.
2:79 Woe, then, to those who write down, with their own hands, [something which they claim to be of] the Scriptures, and then say, 'This is from God', in order to get for it a trifling price. Woe to them for what their hands have written and woe to them for what they earn.
2:80 They declare, 'The fire will not touch us except for a few days.' Say, 'Have you received such a promise from God — for God never breaks His promise — or do you attribute to God something of which you have no knowledge?'
2:81 Indeed, those who earn evil and become engulfed by their sin are destined for the fire where they shall abide,
2:82 but those who believe and do righteous deeds are destined for Paradise where they shall abide.
2:83 We made this covenant with the Children of Israel: “Worship none but God; show kindness to parents and kinsfolk and to the orphans and the poor; speak kindly to all people; attend regularly to your prayers and pay the obligatory alms.' But, except for a few, you turned away and paid no heed.
2:84 We made a covenant with you that you shall not shed your own blood or drive yourselves out of your own homeland. You acknowledged all that and bore witness to it.
2:85 Yet there you are, slaying yourselves, and driving some of your own people out of their homes, collaborating against them in sin and injustice. Had they come to you as captives you would have ransomed them. Their expulsion is indeed forbidden to you. Do you, then, believe in some parts of the Scriptures and deny others? Those of you who do this will have nothing for their reward other than ignominy in this life and, on the Day of Resurrection, they shall be committed to a most grievous suffering. For God is not unaware of what you do.
2:86 Such are the ones who buy the life of this world at the price of the life to come. Their suffering shall not be alleviated, nor shall they receive any succour.
2:87 We gave Moses the Book and caused a succession of messengers to follow him. To Jesus, son of Mary, We gave clear proofs and supported him with the Holy Spirit. Why is it that every time a messenger comes to you with a message that does not suit your fancies, you glory in your arrogance, charging some (messengers) with lying and slaying others?
2:88 They say, 'Our hearts are sealed.' No! God has cursed them for their disbelief. They have but little faith.
2:89 And now that a Book confirming their own has come to them from God, and they had repeatedly forecast its coming to the unbelievers, they have denied what they know to be the truth. God's curse be upon the unbelievers!
2:90 Vile is that for which they have bartered their souls, because they have denied what God has revealed, grudging that He should, by His grace, send down His revelations to whom He chooses from among His servants. Thus they have incurred God's wrath over and over again. Ignominious suffering is in store for the unbelievers.
2:91 When it is said to them, 'Believe in what God has revealed,' they say, 'We believe in what has been revealed to us.' They deny everything else, although it is the truth, corroborating the revelations they have. Say, 'Why, then, did you in the past kill God's prophets, if you were true believers?'
2:92 Moses came to you with clear proofs, but in his absence you transgressed, worshipping the calf.
2:93 We accepted your solemn pledge, and We raised Mount Sinai above you, saying, 'Take with firmness and strength what We have given you and hearken to it.' They said, 'We hear but we disobey.' For their unbelief they were made to drink the calf into their hearts. Say, 'Vile is that which your faith enjoins upon you, if indeed you are believers.'
2:94 Say, 'If the ultimate abode with God is yours alone, to the exclusion of all others, then wish for death, if your claim is true.'
2:95 But they will never wish for it because of what their hands have wrought in this life. God is well aware of the wrongdoers.
2:96 Indeed, you shall find that they cling to life more eagerly than any other people, even more than the idolaters. Each one of them would love to live a thousand years, although the grant of a long life could not save him from punishment. God sees all that they do.
2:97 Say, 'Whoever is an enemy of Gabriel should know that he revealed it [the Qur'ān] to your heart by God's leave.' It confirms the Scriptures revealed before it, and is a guidance and joyful tidings for the believers.
2:98 Whoever is an enemy of God, His angels, His messengers, and to Gabriel and Michael will surely find that God is indeed the enemy of the unbelievers.
2:99 We have sent down to you clear revelations: none will deny them except the evildoers.
2:100 Is it always to be the case that every time they make a solemn pledge some of them will violate it? The truth is that most of them do not believe.
2:101 And now that a Messenger from God has come to them, confirming what is already in their possession, some of those who had been given the Scriptures cast God's Book behind their backs as though they know nothing.
2:102 They follow what the devils relate of Solomon's kingdom. Solomon never disbelieved, but the devils did. They instruct people in witchcraft which was certainly not revealed to the two angels, HārÅ«t and MārÅ«t, at Babylon. Yet these two [angels] never taught anyone without first declaring, 'We are but a temptation to evil, so do not renounce your faith.' From these two, people learned what they would use to cause discord between a man and his wife. However, with that knowledge they can harm no one except by God's leave. Indeed, they learn what harms them and brings them no profit. They knew full well that whoever contracted such a deal would have no share in the life to come. Vile indeed is what they had sold their souls for, if they but knew id
2:103 Had they embraced the faith and been God-fearing, God's reward would have been far better for them, if they but knew it.


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