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Quran Chapter 24 [part 2] - The Light - Manners, The Verse of Light, God’s Radiant Light…

27 Believers, do not enter other people’s houses until you have asked permission to do so and greeted those inside– that is best for you: perhaps you will bear this in mind. 28 If you find no one in, do not enter unless you have been given permission to do so. If you are told, ‘Go away’, then do so– that is more proper for you. God knows well what you do. 29 You will not be blamed for entering houses where no one lives, and which could provide you with some useful service. God knows everything you do openly and everything you conceal. 30 [Prophet], tell believing men to lower their glances and guard their private parts: that is purer for them. God is well aware of everything they do. 31 And tell believing women that they should lower their glances, guard their private parts, and not display their charms beyond what [it is acceptable] to reveal; [a] they should let their headscarves fall to cover their necklines and not reveal their charms except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers, their brothers’ sons, their sisters’ sons, their womenfolk, their slaves, such men as attend them who have no sexual desire, or children who are not yet aware of women’s nakedness; they should not stamp their feet so as to draw attention to any hidden charms. Believers, all of you, turn to God so that you may prosper.

32 Marry off [b] the single among you and those of your male and female slaves who are fit [for marriage]. [c] If they are poor, God will provide for them from His bounty: God’s bounty is infinite and He is all knowing. 33 Those who are unable to marry should keep chaste until God gives them enough out of His bounty. If any of your slaves wish to pay for their freedom, make a contract with them accordingly, if you know they have good in them, and give them some of the wealth God has given you. Do not force your slave-girls into prostitution, when they themselves wish to remain honorable, in your quest for the short-term gains of this world, although, if they are forced, God will be forgiving and merciful to them.

34 We have sent verses down to you [people] clarifying the right path, examples of those who passed away before you, and advice for those who are mindful of God.

The Verse of Light

35 God is the Light of the heavens and earth. His Light is like this: there is a niche, and in it a lamp, the lamp inside a glass, a glass like a glittering star, fueled from a blessed olive tree from neither east nor west, whose oil almost gives light even when no fire touches it– light upon light– God guides whoever He will to his Light; God draws such comparisons for people; God has full knowledge of everything– 36 shining out in houses of worship. God has ordained that they be raised high and that His name be remembered in them, with men in them celebrating His glory morning and evening: 37 men who are not distracted, [d] either by commerce or profit, from remembering God, keeping up the prayer, and paying the prescribed alms, fearing a day when hearts and eyes will turn over. 38 God will reward such people according to the best of their actions, and He will give them more of His bounty: God provides limitlessly for anyone He will.

God’s Radiant Light…

39 But the deeds of those who disbelieve are like a mirage in a desert: the thirsty person thinks there will be water but, when he gets there, he finds only God, who pays him his account in full– God is swift in reckoning. 40 Or like shadows in a deep sea covered by wave upon wave, with clouds above– layer upon layer of darkness– if he holds out his hand, he is scarcely able to see it. The one to whom God gives no light has no light at all.

41 [Prophet], do you not see that all those who are in the heavens and earth praise God, as do the birds with wings outstretched? Each knows its [own way] of prayer and glorification: God has full knowledge of what they do. 42 Control of the heavens and earth belongs to God: and to God is the final return. 43 Do you not see that God drives the clouds, then gathers them together and piles them up until you see rain pour from their midst? He sends hail down from [such] mountains in the sky, pouring it on whoever He wishes and diverting it from whoever He wishes– the flash of its lightning almost snatches sight away. 44 God alternates night and day– there truly is a lesson in [all] this for those who have eyes to see– 45 and God created each animal out of [its own] fluid: [f] some of them crawl on their bellies, some walk on two legs, and some on four. God creates whatever He will; God has power over everything.


a. Literally ‘beyond what [ordinarily] shows’. This phrase is ambiguous in Arabic. Recourse is commonly made to the hadith (prophetic tradition), which uses the same verb dhahara in the sense of its being permissible for a woman to show only her face and her hands in front of strangers.

b. There is another reading that translates as ‘marry’.

c. Or ‘righteous’.

d. Cf. 62: 11, which makes reference to worshippers who are distracted by trade.

e. This ma' is not ‘water’, which would have the generic al- (cf. 21: 30), but is for each animal f. special, essential fluid, and so each creature is different, as is clear from what follows.

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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