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Quran Chapter 6 [part 5] - Livestock - God’s Bounty, God's Commands and His Mercy

141 It is He who produces both trellised and unrelished gardens, date palms, crops of diverse flavors, the olive, the pomegranate, alike yet different. So when they bear fruit, eat some of it, paying what is due on the day of harvest, but do not be wasteful: God does not like wasteful people. 142 [He gave you] livestock, as beasts of burden and as food. So eat what God has provided for you and do not follow in Satan’s footsteps: he is your sworn enemy. 143 [God gave you] eight animals, in [four] pairs: a pair of sheep and a pair of goats– ask them [Prophet], ‘Has He forbidden the two males, the two females, or the young in the wombs of the two females? Tell me based on knowledge if you are telling the truth.’ 144 And a pair of camels and a pair of cattle– ask them [Prophet], ‘Has He forbidden the two males, the two females, or the young in the wombs of the two females? Were you present when God gave you these commands?’ So who is more wicked than he who fabricates lies against God with no basis in knowledge in order to lead people astray? God does not guide the evildoers.

145 [Prophet], say, ‘In all that has been revealed to me, I find nothing forbidden for people to eat, except for carrion, flowing blood, pig’s meat– it is loathsome– or a sinful offering over which any name other than God’s has been invoked.’ But if someone is forced by hunger, rather than desire or excess, then God is most forgiving and most merciful. 146 We forbade for the Jews every animal with claws, and the fat of cattle and sheep, except what is on their backs and in their intestines, or that which sticks to their bones. This is how We penalized them for their disobedience: We are true to Our word. 147 If they [the disbelievers] accuse you [Prophet] of lying, say, ‘Your Lord has all-encompassing mercy, but His punishment cannot be diverted from the evildoers.’ 148 The idolaters will say, ‘If God had willed, we would not have ascribed partners to Him– nor would our fathers– or have declared anything forbidden.’ In the same way, those before them continually denied [the truth] until they tasted Our punishment. Say, ‘Have you any knowledge that you can show us? You follow only supposition and tell only lies.’ 149 Say, ‘The conclusive argument belongs to God alone. Had He so willed He would have guided you all.’ 150 Say, ‘Bring your witnesses to testify that God has forbidden all this.’ If they do testify, do not bear witness with them. Do not follow the whims of those who have denied Our revelation, who do not believe in the Hereafter, and who set up equals with their Lord.

God’s Commands and His Mercy

151 Say, ‘Come! I will tell you what your Lord has really forbidden you. Do not ascribe anything as a partner to Him; be good to your parents; do not kill your children in fear of poverty’– We will provide for you and for them–‘ stay well away from committing obscenities, whether openly or in secret; do not take the life God has made sacred, except by right. This is what He commands you to do: perhaps you will use your reason. 152 Stay well away from the property of orphans, except with the best [intentions], until they come of age; give full measure and weight, according to justice’– We do not burden any soul with more than it can bear–‘ when you speak, be just, even if it concerns a relative; keep any promises you make in God’s name. This is what He commands you to do, so that you may take heed’– 153 this is My path, leading straight, so follow it, and do not follow other ways: they will lead you away from it–‘ This is what He commands you to do, so that you may refrain from wrongdoing.’

154 Once again, [a] We gave Moses the Scripture, perfecting [Our favor] for those who do good, explaining everything clearly, as guidance and mercy, so that they might believe in the meeting with their Lord. 155 This, too, is a blessed Scripture which We have sent down– follow it and be conscious of your Lord, so that you may receive mercy– 156 lest you say, ‘Scriptures were only sent down to two communities before us: we were not aware of what they studied,’ 157 or ‘If only the Scripture had been sent down to us, we would have been better guided than them.’ Now clear evidence, guidance, and mercy have come to you from your Lord. Who could be more wrong than someone who rejects God’s revelations and turns away from them? We shall repay those who turn away with a painful punishment. 158 Are they waiting for the very angels to come to them, or your Lord Himself, or maybe some of His signs? But on the Day some of your Lord’s signs [b] come, no soul will profit from faith if it had none before, or has not already earned some good through its faith. Say, ‘Wait if you wish: we too are waiting.’

159 As for those who have divided their religion and broken up into factions, have nothing to do with them [Prophet]. Their case rests with God: in time He will tell them about their deeds. 160 Whoever has done [c] a good deed will have it ten times to his credit, but whoever has done a bad deed will be repaid only with its equivalent– they will not be wronged. 161 Say, ‘My Lord has guided me to a straight path, an upright religion, the faith of Abraham, a man of pure faith. He was not a polytheist.’ 162 Say, ‘My prayers and sacrifice, my life and death, are all for God, Lord of all the Worlds; 163 He has no partner. This is what I am commanded, and I am the first [d] to devote myself to Him.’ 164 Say, ‘Should I seek a Lord other than God, when He is the Lord of all things?’ Each soul is responsible for its own actions; no soul will bear the burden of another. You will all return to your Lord in the end, and He will tell you the truth about your differences. 165 It is He who made you successors [e] on the earth and raises some of you above others in rank, to test you through what He gives you. [Prophet], your Lord is swift in punishment, yet He is most forgiving and merciful.


a. This reiterates the statement in verses 91–3 in response to their denial that God has ever sent down any revelation.

b. Signs of the Day of Judgement.

c. Lit. Whoever brings, i.e. to the Judgement.

d. The first ‘of you’: cf. verse 14 and many others.

e. See note a to 2: 30.

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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