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Quran Chapter 2 [part 6] - The Cow - Religious Prejudices, Abraham the Leader

111 They also say, ‘No one will enter Paradise unless he is a Jew or a Christian.’ This is their own wishful thinking. [Prophet], say, ‘Produce your evidence, if you are telling the truth.’ 112 In fact, any who direct themselves [a] wholly to God and do good will have their reward with their Lord: no fear for them, nor will they grieve. 113 The Jews say, ‘The Christians have no ground whatsoever to stand on,’ and the Christians say, ‘The Jews have no ground whatsoever to stand on,’ though they both read the Scripture, and those who have no knowledge say the same; God will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection concerning their differences.

114 Who could be more wicked than those who prohibit the mention of God’s name in His places of worship [b] and strive to have them deserted? Such people should not enter them without fear: there is disgrace for them in this world and painful punishment in the Hereafter. 115 The East and the West belong to God: wherever you turn, there is His Face. God is all pervading and all knowing.

116 They [c] have asserted, ‘God has a child.’ May He be exalted! No! Everything in the heavens and earth belongs to Him, everything devoutly obeys His will. 117 He is the Originator of the heavens and the earth, and when He decrees something, He says only, ‘Be,’ and it is. 118 Those who have no knowledge also say, ‘If only God would speak to us!’ or ‘If only a miraculous sign would come to us!’ People before them said the same things: their hearts are all alike. We have made Our signs clear enough to those who have solid faith. 119 We have sent you [Prophet] with the truth, bearing good news and warning. You will not be responsible for the inhabitants of the Blaze. 120 The Jews and the Christians will never be pleased with you unless you follow their ways. Say, ‘God’s guidance is the only true guidance.’ If you were to follow their desires after the knowledge that has come to you, you would find no one to protect you from God or help you. 121 Those to whom We have given the Scripture, who follow it as it deserves, d are the ones who truly believe in it. Those who deny its truth will be the losers.

Abraham the Leader

122 Children of Israel, remember how I blessed you and favored you over other people, 123 and beware of a Day when no soul can stand in for another. No compensation will be accepted from it, nor intercession be of use to it, nor will anyone be helped. 124 When Abraham’s Lord tested him with certain commandments, which he fulfilled, He said, ‘I will make you a leader of people.’ Abraham asked, ‘And will You make leaders from my descendants too?’ God answered, ‘My pledge does not hold for those who do evil.’

125 We made the House a a resort and a sanctuary for people, saying, ‘Take the spot where Abraham stood as your place of prayer.’ We commanded Abraham and Ishmael: ‘Purify My House for those who walk round it, those who stay there, and those who bow and prostrate themselves in worship.’ 126 Abraham said, ‘My Lord, make this land secure and provide with produce those of its people who believe in God and the Last Day.’ God said, ‘As for those who disbelieve, I will grant them enjoyment for a short while and then subject them to the torment of the Fire– an evil destination.’

127 As Abraham and Ishmael built up the foundations of the House [they prayed], ‘Our Lord, accept [this] from us. You are the All Hearing, the All Knowing. 128 Our Lord, make us devotedb to You; make our descendants into a community devoted to You. Show us how to worship and accept our repentance, for You are the Ever Relenting, the Most Merciful. 129 Our Lord, make a messenger of their own rise up from among them, to recite Your revelations to them, teach them the Scripture and wisdom, and purify them: You are the Mighty, the Wise.’

130 Who but a fool would forsake the religion of Abraham? We have chosen him in this world and he will rank among the righteous in the Hereafter. 131 His Lord said to him, ‘Devote yourself to Me.’ Abraham replied, ‘I devote myself to the Lord of the Universe,’ 132 and commanded his sons to do the same, as did Jacob: ‘My sons, God has chosen [your] religion for you, so make sure you devote yourselves to Him, to your dying moment.’


a. Literally ‘their faces’. One meaning of wajh (face) is ‘direction’ and the basic meaning of aslama is ‘devote’. See note to 2: 128.

b. The Ka'ba at Mecca.

c. Aslama here means to devote oneself to the one God alone, so that Abraham will come to his Lord with his heart totally devoted to Him: 3: 64; 26: 89; 37: 84.

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.



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