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Quran Chapter 6 [part 1] - Livestock - Humankind's Disbelief, Only God Has Power, Warning to Liars

A Meccan sura which takes its title from verses 136–9. The false claims the polytheists made about livestock are thoroughly addressed: the sura in its entirety makes plain that it is God who creates, controls, and sees everything, and that it is to Him that we turn in times of need. Thus it gives a lengthy refutation of the idolaters’ claims.

In the name of God, the Lord of Mercy, the Giver of Mercy

1 Praise belongs to God who created the heavens and the earth and made darkness and light; yet the disbelievers set up equals to their Lord! 2 He is the one who created you from clay and specified a term [for you] and another fixed time, [a] known only to Him; yet still you doubt! 3 He is God in the heavens and on earth, He knows your secrets and what you reveal, and He knows what you do; 4 but every time revelation comes to them from their Lord, they turn their backs on it. 5 So they denied the truth when it came to them, but the very thing they laughed at will be brought home to them.

6 Do they not realize how many generations We destroyed before them? We established them in the earth more firmly than you, sent down abundant rain on them from the sky and made running rivers flow at their feet, yet We destroyed them for their misdeeds and raised other generations after them. 7 Even if We had sent down to you [Prophet] a book inscribed on parchment, and they had touched it with their own hands, the disbelievers would still say, ‘This is nothing but blatant sorcery.’ 8 They say, ‘Why was no angel sent down to [support] him?’ [b] But had We sent down an angel, their judgement would have come at once with no respite given. 9 Indeed, if We had sent an angel as messenger, We would still have sent him in the form of a man, so increasing their confusion.

10 Messengers have been mocked before you [Muhammad], and those who mocked them were engulfed by the very punishment they had mocked.

God Has the Ultimate Power

11 Say, ‘Travel throughout the earth and see what fate befell those who rejected the truth.’ 12 Say, ‘To whom belongs all that is in the heavens and earth?’ Say, ‘To God. He has taken it upon Himself to be merciful. He will certainly gather you on the Day of Resurrection, which is beyond all doubt. Those who deceive themselves will not believe. 13 All that rests by night or by day belongs to Him. He is the All Hearing, the All Knowing.’ 14 Say, ‘Shall I take for myself a protector other than God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, who feeds but is not fed?’ Say, ‘I am commanded to be the first [of you] to devote myself [to Him].’ Do not be one of the idolaters. 15 Say, ‘I fear the punishment of a dreadful Day if I disobey my Lord. 16 God will have been truly merciful to whoever is spared on that Day: that is the clearest triumph.’

17 If God touches you [Prophet] with affliction, no one can remove it except Him, and if He touches you with good, He has power over all things: 18 He is the Supreme Master over His creatures, the All Wise, the All Aware.

A Warning to Liars and Hypocrites

19 Say, ‘What counts most as a witness?’ Say, ‘God is witness between you and me. This Quran was revealed for me to warn you [people] and everyone it reaches. Do you really bear witness that there are other gods beside God?’ Say, ‘I myself do not bear witness [to any such thing].’ Say, ‘He is only one God, and I disown whatever you join with Him.’ 20 Those to whom We have given the Scripture know this as well as they know their own sons. Those who have lost their souls will not believe. 21 Who does greater wrong than someone who fabricates a lie against God or denies His revelation? Those who do such wrong will not prosper. 22 When We gather them all together and say to the polytheists, ‘Where are those you claimed were partners with God?’ in their utter dismay 23 they will only say, ‘By God, our Lord, we have not set up partners beside Him!’ 24 See how they lie against themselves and how those they invented have deserted them.

25 Among them are some who [appear to] listen to you, but we have placed covers over their hearts– so they do not understand the Quran– and deafness in their ears. Even if they saw every sign they would not believe in them. So, when they come to you, they argue with you: the disbelievers say, ‘These are nothing but ancient fables,’ 26 and tell others not to listen [to the Quran], while they themselves keep away from it. But they ruin no one but themselves, though they fail to realize this. 27 If you could only see, when they are made to stand before the Fire, how they will say, ‘If only we could be sent back, we would not reject the revelations of our Lord, but be among the believers.’ 28 No! The truth they used to hide will become all too clear to them. Even if they were brought back, they would only return to the very thing that was forbidden to them– they are such liars! 29 They say, ‘There is nothing beyond our life in this world: we shall not be raised from the dead.’ 30 If you could only see, when they are made to stand before their Lord, how He will say, ‘Is this not real?’ They will say, ‘Yes indeed, by our Lord.’ He will say, ‘Then taste the torment for having disbelieved.’

God advises Prophet Muhammad

31 Lost indeed are those who deny the meeting with their Lord until, when the Hour suddenly arrives, they say, ‘Alas for us that we disregarded this!’ They will bear their burdens on their backs. How terrible those burdens will be! 32 The life of this world is nothing but a game and a distraction; the Home in the Hereafter is best for those who are aware of God. Why will you [people] not understand?

33 We know well that what they say grieves you [Prophet]. It is not you they disbelieve: the evildoers reject God’s revelation. 34 Other messengers were disbelieved before you, and they bore their rejection and persecution steadfastly until Our aid arrived– no one can alter God’s promises. You have already received accounts of these messengers. 35 If you find rejection by the disbelievers so hard to bear, then seek a tunnel into the ground or a ladder into the sky, if you can, and bring them a sign: God could bring them all to guidance if it were His will, so do not join the ignorant.

See the Signs

36 Only those who can hear will respond; as for the dead, God will raise them up, and to Him they will all be returned.

37 They also say, ‘Why has no sign been sent down to him from his Lord?’ Say, ‘God certainly has the power to send down a sign,’ though most of them do not know: 38 all the creatures that crawl on the earth and those that fly with their wings are communities like yourselves. We have missed nothing out of the Record– in the end they will be gathered to their Lord. 39 Those who reject Our signs are deaf, dumb, and in total darkness. God leaves whoever He will to stray, and sets whoever He will on a straight path. 40 Say, ‘Think: if the punishment of God or the Hour should come to you, would you call on anyone other than God, if you are being truthful?’ 41 No indeed, it is on Him that you would call. If it were His will, He could remove whatever harm made you call on Him, and then you would forget what you now associate with Him.


a. These refer to the specified lifetime of individuals and the Day of Judgement.

b. They always argued against the Prophet that he was only a man, and asked him to produce an angel to support him. Cf. 25: 7.

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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