31 Say, ‘If you love God, follow me, and God will love you and forgive you your sins; God is most forgiving, most merciful.’ 32 Say, ‘Obey God and the Messenger,’ but if they turn away, [know that] God does not love those who ignore [His commands].
33 God chose Adam, Noah, Abraham’s family, [a] and the family of Imran, over all other people, 34 in one line of descent– God hears and knows all. 35 Imran’s wife said, ‘Lord, I have dedicated what is growing in my womb entirely to You; so accept this from me. You are the One who hears and knows all,’ 36 but when she gave birth, she said, ‘My Lord! I have given birth to a girl’– God knew best what she had given birth to: the male is not like the female–‘ I name her Mary and I commend her and her offspring to Your protection from the rejected Satan.’ 37 Her Lord graciously accepted her and made her grow in goodness, and entrusted her to the charge of Zachariah.
Whenever Zachariah went in to see her in her sanctuary, he found her supplied with provisions. He said, ‘Mary, how is it you have these provisions?’ and she said, ‘They are from God: God provides limitlessly for whoever He will.’ 38 There and then Zachariah prayed to his Lord, saying, ‘Lord, from Your grace grant me virtuous offspring: You hear every prayer.’ 39 The angels called out to him, while he stood praying in the sanctuary, ‘God gives you news of John, confirming a Word from God. [b] He will be noble and chaste, a prophet, one of the righteous.’ 40 He said, ‘My Lord, how can I have a son when I am so old and my wife is barren?’ [An angel] said, ‘It will be so: God does whatever He will.’ 41 He said, ‘My Lord, give me a sign.’ ‘Your sign,’ [the angel] said, ‘is that you will not communicate with anyone for three days, except by gestures. Remember your Lord often; celebrate His glory in the evening and at dawn.’
The Story of Jesus
42 The angels said to Mary: ‘Mary, God has chosen you and made you pure: He has truly chosen you above all women. 43 Mary, be devout to your Lord, prostrate yourself in worship, bow down with those who pray.’ 44 This is an account of things beyond your knowledge that We reveal to you [Muhammad]: you were not present among them when they [c] cast lots to see which of them should take charge of Mary, you were not present with them when they argued [about her].
45 The angels said, ‘Mary, God gives you news of a Word from Him, whose name will be the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, who will be held in honor in this world and the next, who will be one of those brought near to God. 46 He will speak to people in his infancy [c] and in his adulthood. He will be one of the righteous.’ 47 She said, ‘My Lord, how can I have a son when no man has touched me?’ [The angel] said, ‘This is how God creates what He will: when He has ordained something, He only says, “Be”, and it is. 48 He will teach him the Scripture and wisdom, the Torah and the Gospel, 49 He will send him as a messenger to the Children of Israel: “I have come to you with a sign from your Lord: I will make the shape of a bird for you out of clay, then breathe into it and, with God’s permission, it will become a real bird; I will heal the blind and the leper, and bring the dead back to life with God’s permission; I will tell you what you may eat and what you may store up in your houses. [d] There truly is a sign for you in this, if you are believers. 50 I have come to confirm the truth of the Torah which preceded me, and to make some things lawful to you which used to be forbidden. I have come to you with a sign from your Lord. Be mindful of God, obey me: 51 God is my Lord and your Lord, so serve Him– that is a straight path.”’
52 When Jesus realized they [still] did not believe, he said, ‘Who will help me in God’s cause?’ The disciples said, ‘We will be God’s helpers; we believe in God– witness our devotion to Him.
A True Explanation
53 Lord, we believe in what You have revealed and we follow the messenger: record us among those who bear witness [to the Truth].’ 54 The [disbelievers] schemed but God also schemed; God is the Best of Schemers.
55 God said, ‘Jesus, I will take you back and raise you up to Me: I will purify you of the disbelievers. To the Day of Resurrection I will make those who follow you superior to those who disbelieved. Then you will all return to Me and I will judge between you regarding your differences. 56 I will make the disbelievers suffer severely in this world and the next; no one will help them.’ 57 God will pay those who believe and do good deeds their reward in full; God does not love evildoers.
58 We relate to you [Muhammad] this revelation, a decisive statement. 59 In God’s eyes Jesus is just like Adam: He created him from dust, said to him, ‘Be’, and he was. 60 This is the truth from your Lord, so do not be one of those who doubt. 61 If anyone disputes this with you now that you have been given this knowledge, say, ‘Come, let us gather our sons and your sons, our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves, and let us pray earnestly and invoke God’s rejection on those of us who are lying. 62 This is the truth of the matter: there is no god but God; God is the Exalted, the Decider.’ [e] 63 If they turn away, [know that] God is well aware of anyone who causes corruption. [f] 64 Say, ‘People of the Book, let us arrive at a statement that is common to us all: we worship God alone, we ascribe no partner to Him, and none of us takes others beside God as lords.’ If they turn away, say, ‘Witness our devotion to Him.’
65 People of the Book, why do you argue about Abraham when the Torah and the Gospels were not revealed until after his time? Do you not understand? 66 You argue about some things of which you have some knowledge, but why do you argue about things of which you know nothing? God knows and you do not. 67 Abraham was neither a Jew nor a Christian. He was upright and devoted to God, never an idolater, 68 and the people who are closest to him are those who truly follow his ways, this Prophet, and [true] believers– God is close to [true] believers.
69 Some of the People of the Book would dearly love to lead you [believers] astray, but they only lead themselves astray, though they do not realize it.
a. This means family in the widest sense of the term.
b. Verse 45 below: Jesus was given the epithet ‘a Word from God’. One explanation is that this was because it was God’s command that brought him into being, rather than the intervention of a human father (Razi).
c. The priests.
d. Cf. 19: 29–30. The word mahd means a place smoothed out for a small child to sleep in. It is not a piece of furniture like a cradle.
e. Another possible translation is ‘to tell you what you eat and what you store . . .’.
f. This translation of the term hakim is suggested by Razi.
g. Corruption of beliefs and all that follows from that.
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.