top of page

Quran Chapter 5 [part 2] - The Feast - God’s Covenant, Ordained Punishments

7 Remember God’s blessing on you and the pledge with which you were bound when you said, ‘We hear and we obey.’ Be mindful of God: God has full knowledge of the secrets of the heart.

8 You who believe, be steadfast in your devotion to God and bear witness impartially: do not let hatred of others [a] lead you away from justice, but adhere to justice, for that is closer to awareness of God. Be mindful of God: God is well aware of all that you do. 9 God has promised forgiveness and a rich reward to those who have faith and do good works; 10 those who reject faith and deny Our revelations will inhabit the blazing Fire.

11 You who believe, remember God’s blessing on you when a certain people were about to raise their hands against you and He restrained them. Be mindful of God: let the believers put their trust in Him.

12 God took a pledge from the Children of Israel. We made twelve leaders arise among them, and God said, ‘I am with you: if you keep up the prayer, pay the prescribed alms, believe in My messengers and support them, and lend God a good loan, [b] I will wipe out your sins and admit you into Gardens graced with flowing streams. Any of you who now ignore this [pledge] will be far from the right path.’ 13 But they broke their pledge, so We distanced them [from Us] and hardened their hearts. They distort the meaning of [revealed] words and have forgotten some of what they were told to remember: you [Prophet] will always find treachery in all but a few of them. Overlook this and pardon them: God loves those who do good. 14 We also took a pledge from those who say, ‘We are Christians,’ but they too forgot some of what they were told to remember, so We stirred up enmity and hatred among them until the Day of Resurrection, when God will tell them what they have done.

15 People of the Book, Our Messenger has come to make clear to you much of what you have kept hidden of the Scripture, and to overlook much [you have done]. A light has now come to you from God, and a Scripture making things clear, 16 with which God guides to the ways of peace those who follow what pleases Him, bringing them from darkness out into light, by His will, and guiding them to a straight path. 17 Those who say, ‘God is the Messiah, the son of Mary,’ are defying the truth. Say, ‘If it had been God’s will, could anyone have prevented Him from destroying the Messiah, son of Mary, together with his mother and everyone else on earth? Control of the heavens and earth and all that is between them belongs to God: He creates whatever He will. [c] God has power over everything.’

18 The Jews and the Christians say, ‘We are the children of God and His beloved ones.’ Say, ‘Then why does He punish you for your sins? You are merely human beings, part of His creation: He forgives whoever He will and punishes whoever He will. Control of the heavens and earth and all that is between them belongs to Him: all journeys lead to Him.’ 19 People of the Book, Our Messenger comes to you now, after a break in the sequence of messengers, to make things clear for you in case you should say, ‘No one has come to give us good news or to warn us.’ So someone has come to you, to give you good news and warn you: God has the power to do all things.

20 Moses said to his people, ‘My people, remember God’s blessing on you: how He raised prophets among you and appointed kings for you and gave you what he had not given to any other people. 21 My people, go into the holy land which God has ordained for you– do not turn back or you will be the losers.’ 22 They said, ‘Moses, there is a fearsome people in this land. We will not go there until they leave. If they leave, then we will enter.’ 23 Yet two men whom God had blessed among those who were afraid said, ‘Go in to them through the gate and when you go in you will overcome them. If you are true believers, put your trust in God.’ 24 They said, ‘Moses, we will never enter while they are still there, so you and your Lord go in and fight, and we will stay here.’ 25 He said, ‘Lord, I have authority over no one except myself and my brother: judge between the two of us and these disobedient people.’ 26 God said, ‘The land is forbidden to them for forty years: they will wander the earth aimlessly. Do not grieve over those who disobey.’

27 [Prophet], tell them the truth about the story of Adam’s two sons: each of them offered a sacrifice, and it was accepted from one and not the other. One said, ‘I will kill you,’ but the other said, ‘God only accepts the sacrifice of those who are mindful of Him. 28 If you raise your hand to kill me, I will not raise mine to kill you. I fear God, the Lord of all worlds, 29 and I would rather you were burdened with my sins as well as yours and became an inhabitant of the Fire: such is the evildoers’ reward.’ 30 But his soul prompted him to kill his brother: he killed him and became one of the losers. 31 God sent a raven to scratch up the ground and show him how to cover his brother’s corpse and he said, ‘Woe is me! Could I not have been like this raven and covered up my brother’s body?’ He became remorseful. 32 On account of [his deed], We decreed to the Children of Israel that if anyone kills a person– unless in retribution for murder or spreading corruption in the land– it is as if he kills all mankind, while if any saves a life it is as if he saves the lives of all mankind. Our messengers came to them with clear signs, but many of them continued to commit excesses in the land.

Ordained Punishments

33 Those who wage war against God and His Messenger and strive to spread corruption in the land should be punished by death, crucifixion, the amputation of an alternate hand and foot, [d] or banishment from the land: a disgrace for them in this world, and then a terrible punishment in the Hereafter, 34 unless they repent before you overpower them– in that case bear in mind that God is forgiving and merciful.

35 You who believe, be mindful of God, seek ways to come closer to Him and strive for His cause, so that you may prosper. 36 If the disbelievers possessed all that is in the earth and twice as much again and offered it to ransom themselves from torment on the Day of Resurrection, it would not be accepted from them– they will have a painful torment. 37 They will wish to come out of the Fire but they will be unable to do so: theirs will be a lasting torment.

38 Cut off the hands of thieves, whether they are man or woman, as punishment for what they have done– a deterrent from God: God is almighty and wise. 39 But if anyone repents after his wrongdoing and makes amends, God will accept his repentance: God is most forgiving, most merciful. 40 Do you [Prophet] not know that control of the heavens and earth belongs solely to God? He punishes whoever He will and forgives whoever He will: God has power over everything.


a. This resumes the instruction in vv. 1–2.

b. God repays what is given for His sake, many times over. The Quran uses this figure of speech in many instances. See, for example, 57: 18; 64: 17.

c. Including his creation of Jesus without a father (3: 47 and 59).

d. Left hand and right foot or vice versa.

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.



bottom of page