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Quran Chapter 2 [part 5] - The Cow - Faithlessness

94 Say, ‘How evil are the things your belief commands you to do, if you really are believers!’ Say, ‘If the last home with God is to be for you alone and no one else, then you should long for death, if your claim is true.’ 95 But they will never long for death, because of what they have stored up with their own hands: God is fully aware of the evildoers. 96 [Prophet], you are sure to find them clinging to life more eagerly than any other people, even the polytheists. Any of them would wish to be given a life of a thousand years, though even such a long life would not save them from the torment: God sees everything they do.

97 Say [Prophet], ‘If anyone is an enemy of Gabriel– who by God’s leave brought down the Quran to your heart confirming previous scriptures as a guide and good news for the faithful– 98 if anyone is an enemy of God, His angels and His messengers, of Gabriel and Michael, then God is certainly the enemy of such disbelievers.’ 99 For We have sent down clear messages to you and only those who defy [God] would refuse to believe them. 100 How is it that whenever they make a covenant or a pledge, some of them throw it away? In fact, most of them do not believe.

101 When God sent them a messenger confirming the Scriptures they already had, some of those who had received the Scripture before threw the Book of God over their shoulders as if they had no knowledge, 102 and followed what the evil ones had fabricated about the Kingdom of Solomon instead. Not that Solomon himself was a disbeliever; it was the evil ones who were disbelievers. They taught people witchcraft and what was revealed in Babylon to the two angels Harut and Marut. Yet these two never taught anyone without first warning him, ‘We are sent only to tempt– do not disbelieve.’ From these two, they learned what can cause discord between man and wife, although they harm no one with it except by God’s leave. They learned what harmed them, not what benefited them, knowing full well that whoever gained [this knowledge] would lose any share in the Hereafter. Evil indeed is the [price] for which they sold their souls, if only they knew. 103 If they had believed and been mindful of God, their reward from Him would have been far better, if only they knew.

104 Believers, do not say [to the Prophet], ‘Ra'ina,’ but say, ‘Unzurna,’ [a] and listen [to him]: an agonizing torment awaits those who ignore [God’s words]. 105 Neither those People of the Book who disbelieve nor the idolaters would like anything good to be sent down to you from your Lord, but God chooses for His grace whoever He will: His bounty has no limits. 106 Any revelation We cause to be superseded or forgotten, We replace with something better or similar. Do you [Prophet] not know that God has power over everything? 107 Do you not know that control of the heavens and the earth belongs to Him? You [believers] have no protector or helper but God. 108 Do you wish to demand of your messenger something similar to what was demanded of Moses? [b] Whoever exchanges faith for disbelief has strayed far from the right path. 109 Even after the truth has become clear to them, many of the People of the Book wish they could turn you back to disbelief after you have believed, out of their selfish envy. Forgive and forbear until God gives his command: He has power over all things. 110 Keep up the prayer and pay the prescribed alms. Whatever good you store up for yourselves, you will find it with God: He sees everything you do.


a. The word ra'ina can be used politely as an expression for ‘look at us’. However, a group of Jews in Medina hostile to Muhammad subtly changed its pronunciation to imply ‘you are foolish’ or ‘you herd our sheep’ in order to abuse the Prophet. So the believers are advised to avoid the word and use unzurna, also meaning ‘look at us’, instead. See 4: 46.

b. See 2: 55 and 4: 153.

The Qur'an (Oxford World's Classics)

The Qur'an / a new translation by M. A. S. Abdel Haleem, copyright © 2004 Oxford World's Classics (Oxford University Press). Used by permission. All rights reserved.