Chapter

Repentance

in The Koran

Published in print January 1964 | ISBN: 9780192835017
Published online November 2009 |

Series: Oxford World's Classics

 Repentance

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An acquittal, from God and His Messenger,unto the idolaters with whom you made covenant:Journey freely in the land for four months;and know that you cannot frustrate the willof God, and that God degrades the unbelievers.A proclamation, from God and His Messenger,unto mankind on the day of the Greater Pilgrimage:God is quit, and His Messenger, of the idolaters.So if you repent, that will be better for you; butif you turn your backs, know that you cannot frustratethe will of God.And give thou good tidings to the unbelievers ofa painful chastisement;excepting those of the idolaters with whomyou made covenant, then they failed you naughtneither lent support to any man against you.With them fulfil your covenant till their term; surelyGod loves the godfearing.Then, when the sacred months are drawn away,slay the idolaters wherever you find them,and take them, and confine them, and lie in waitfor them at every place of ambush. But if theyrepent, and perform the prayer, and pay the alms, thenlet them go their way;God is All-forgiving, All-compassionate.And if any of the idolaters seeks of theeprotection, grant him protection till he hearsthe words of God; then do thou convey him to hisplace of securitythat, because they are a peoplewho do not know.How should the idolaters have a covenant with Godand His Messenger?excepting those with whom you made covenantat the Holy Mosque; so long as they go straightwith you, do you go straight with them; surelyGod loves the godfearing.How? If they get the better of you, they will notobserve towards you any bond or treaty,giving you satisfaction with their mouthsbut in their hearts refusing; and the mostof them are ungodly.They have sold the signs of God for a small price,and have barred from His way; truly evil is thatthey have been doing,observing neither bond nor treaty towards a believer;they are the transgressors.Yet if they repent, and perform the prayer,and pay the alms, then they are your brothersin religion; and We distinguish the signs fora people who know.But if they break their oaths after their covenantand thrust at your religion, then fight the leadersof unbelief; they have no sacred oaths; haplythey will give over.Will you not fight a people who broke their oathsand purposed to expel the Messenger, beginningthe first time against you? Are you afraid of them?You would do better to be afraid of God,if you are believers.Fight them, and God will chastise them at your handsand degrade them, and He will help youagainst them, and bring healing to the breasts ofa people who believe,and He will remove the rage within their hearts;and God turns towards whomsoever He will; God isAll-knowing, All-wiseOr did you suppose you would be left in peace,and God knows not as yet those of you who havestruggled, and taken notapart from God and HisMessenger and the believersany intimate? God isaware of what you do.It is not for the idolaters to inhabit God's places ofworship, witnessing against themselves unbelief;thosetheir works have failed them, and in the Firethey shall dwell forever.Only he shall inhabit God's places of worshipwho believes in God and the Last Day, andperforms the prayer, and pays the alms, and fearsnone but God alone; it may be that those willbe among the guided.Do you reckon the giving of water to pilgrimsand the inhabiting of the Holy Mosque as the sameas one who believes in God and the Last Dayand struggles in the way of God? Not equal are theyin God's sight; and God guides not the peopleof the evildoers.Those who believe, and have emigrated, and have struggledin the way of God with their possessions and their selvesare mightier in rank with God; and thosethey are the triumphant;their Lord gives them good tidings of mercy from Himand good pleasure; for them await gardens whereinis lasting bliss,therein to dwell forever and ever; surely with Godis a mighty wage.O believers, take not your fathers and brothersto be your friends, if they prefer unbelief to belief;whosoever of you takes them for friends, thosethey are the evildoers.Say: If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives,your clan, your possessions that you have gained,commerce you fear may slacken, dwellings you loveif these are dearer to you than God and His Messenger,and to struggle in His way, then wait till Godbrings His command; God guides not the peopleof the ungodly.God has already helped you on many fields, and onthe day of Hunain, when your multitude was pleasingto you, but it availed you naught, and the landfor all its breadth was strait for you, and youturned about, retreating.Then God sent down upon His Messenger His Shechina,and upon the believers, and He sent downlegions you did not see, and He chastisedthe unbelievers; and that is the recompenseof the unbelievers;then God thereafter turns towards whom He will;God is All-forgiving, All-compassionate.O believers, the idolaters are indeed unclean; solet them not come near the Holy Mosque after thisyear of theirs. If you fear poverty, God shall surelyenrich you of His bounty, if He will; God isAll-knowing, All-wise.Fight those who believe not in God and the Last Dayand do not forbid what God and His Messengerhave forbiddensuch men as practise not thereligion of truth, being of those who have been giventhe Bookuntil they pay the tribute out of handand have been humbled.The Jews say, Ezra is the Son of God;the Christians say, The Messiah is the Son of God.That is the utterance of their mouths, conformingwith the unbelievers before them. God assail them!How they are perverted!They have taken their rabbis and their monks as lordsapart from God, and the Messiah, Mary's sonand they were commanded to serve but One God;there is no god but He; glory be to Him, abovethat they associatedesiring to extinguish with their mouths God's light;and God refuses but to perfect His light, thoughthe unbelievers be averse.It is He who has sent His Messenger withthe guidance and the religion of truth, thatHe may uplift it above every religion, thoughthe unbelievers be averse.O believers, many of the rabbis and monks indeedconsume the goods of the people in vanityand bar from God's way. Those who treasure upgold and silver, and do not expend them inthe way of Godgive them the good tidings ofa painful chastisement,the day they shall be heated in the fire of Gehennaand therewith their foreheads and their sides and theirbacks shall be branded: This is the thing you havetreasured up for yourselves; therefore taste you nowwhat you were treasuring!The number of the months, with God, is twelvein the Book of God, the day that He createdthe heavens and the earth; four of them are sacred.That is the right religion. So wrong not each otherduring them. And fight the unbelievers totallyeven as they fight you totally; and know that Godis with the godfearing.The month postponed is an increase of unbeliefwhereby the unbelievers go astray; one year they make itprofane, and hallow it another, to agree withthe number that God has hallowed, and so profanewhat God has hallowed. Decked out fair to themare their evil deeds; and God guides not the peopleof the unbelievers.O believers, what is amiss with you, that whenit is said to you, Go forth in the way of God,you sink down heavily to the ground? Are youso content with this present life, rather thanthe world to come? Yet the enjoyment of thispresent life, compared with the world to come,is a little thing.If you go not forth, He will chastise youwith a painful chastisement, and instead of youHe will substitute another people; and youwill not hurt Him anything, for God is powerfulover everything.If you do not help him, yet God has helped himalready, when the unbelievers drove him forththe second of two, when the two were in the Cave,when he said to his companion, Sorrow not; surelyGod is with us. Then God sent down on him His Shechina,and confirmed him with legions you did not see;and He made the word of the unbelievers the lowest;and God's word is the uppermost; God isAll-mighty, All-wise.Go forth, light and heavy! Struggle in God's waywith your possessions and your selves; that is betterfor you, did you know.Were it a gain near at hand, and an easy journey,they would have followed thee; but the distancewas too far for them. Still they will swear by God,Had we been able, we would have gone out with you,so destroying their souls; and God knows thatthey are truly liars.God pardon thee! Why gavest thou them leave, till itwas clear to thee which of them spoke the truth, andthou knewest the liars?Those who believe in God and the Last Dayask not leave of thee, that they may strugglewith their possessions and their selves; and Godknows the godfearing.They only ask leave of thee who believe not inGod and the Last Day, those whose hearts are filledwith doubt, so that in their doubt they gothis way and that.If they had desired to go forth, they would havemade some preparation for it; but God wasaverse that they should be aroused, so He made thempause, and it was said to them, Tarry youwith the tarriers.Had they gone forth among you, they would only haveincreased you in trouble, and run to and fro in yourmidst, seeking to stir up sedition between you;and some of you would listen to them; and Godknows the evildoers.They sought to stir up sedition alreadybefore, and turned things upside down for thee,until the truth came, and God's command appeared,though they were averse.Some of them there are that say, Give me leaveand do not tempt me. Have not such men falleninto temptation? And surely Gehenna encompassesthe unbelievers.If good fortune befalls thee, it vexes them;but if thou art visited by an affliction,they say, We took our dispositions before, andturn away, rejoicing.Say: Naught shall visit us but what God has prescribedfor us; He is our Protector; in God let the believersput all their trust.Say: Are you awaiting for aught to come to us butone of the two rewards most fair? We are awaitingin your case too, for God to visit you with chastisementfrom Him, or at our hands; so await; we areawaiting with you.Say: Expend willingly, or unwillingly, it shallnot be accepted from you; you are surelya people ungodly.And naught prevents that their expendings shouldbe accepted from them, but that they believe notin God and His Messenger, and perform not the prayersave lazily, and that they expend not withoutthey are averse.So let not their possessions or their childrenplease thee; God only desires thereby to chastise themin this present life, and that their souls should departwhile they are unbelievers.They swear by God that they belong with you,but they are not of you; they are a peoplethat are afraid.If they could find a shelter, or some caverns, orany place to creep into, they would turn about andbolt away to it.Some of them find fault with thee touching thefreewill offerings; if they are given a share of themthey are well-pleased, but if they are given nonethen they are angry.O were they well-pleased with what God and His Messengerhave brought them, saying, Enough for us is God; Godwill bring us of His bounty, and His Messenger; toGod we humbly turn.The freewill offerings are for the poor and needy,those who work to collect them, those whose hearts arebrought together, the ransoming of slaves, debtors, inGod's way, and the traveller; so God ordains; God isAll-knowing, All-wise.And some of them hurt the Prophet, saying,He is an ear! Say: An ear of good for you;he believes in God, and believes the believers,and he is a mercy to the believers among you.Those who hurt God's Messengerfor them awaitsa painful chastisement.They swear to you by God, to please you; but God and HisMessengermore right is it they should please Him,if they are believers.Do they not know that whosoever opposes Godand His Messengerfor him awaits the fireof Gehenna, therein to dwell forever? That isthe mighty degradation.The hypocrites are afraid, lest a sura should besent down against them, telling thee what is intheir hearts. Say: Mock on; God will bring forthwhat you fear.And if thou questionest them, then assuredlythey will say, We were only plunging and playing.Say: What, then were you mocking God, and His signs,and His Messenger?Make no excuses. You have disbelievedafter your believing. If We forgive one partyof you, We will chastise another party for thatthey were sinners.The hypocrites, the men and the women, are asone another; they bid to dishonour, and forbidhonour; they keep their hands shut; they have forgottenGod, and He has forgotten them. The hypocritesthey are the ungodly.God has promised the hypocrites, men and women,and the unbelievers, the fire of Gehenna,therein to dwell forever. That is enough for them;God has cursed them; and there awaits thema lasting chastisement.Like those before you, who were stronger than youin might, and more abundant in wealth and children;they took enjoyment in their share; so do youtake enjoyment in your share, as those before youtook enjoyment in their share. You have plungedas they plunged. Thosetheir works have failedin this world and in the world to come; thosethey are the losers.Has there not come to you the tidings of thosewho were before youthe people of Noah, Ad,Thamood, the people of Abraham, the men of Midianand the subverted cities? Their Messengers came tothem with the clear signs; God would not wrong them, butthemselves they wronged.And the believers, the men and the women, are friendsone of the other; they bid to honour, and forbiddishonour; they perform the prayer, and pay the alms,and they obey God and His Messenger.Thoseupon them God will have mercy; God isAll-mighty, All-wise.God has promised the believers, men and women,gardens underneath which rivers flow, forevertherein to dwell, and goodly dwelling-places in theGardens of Eden; and greater, God's good pleasure;that is the mighty triumph.O Prophet, struggle with the unbelievers and hypocrites,and be thou harsh with them; their refuge is Gehennaan evil homecoming!They swear by God that they said nothing,but they indeed said the word of unbeliefand disbelieved, after they had surrendered.They purposed what they never attained to, andthey took revenge only that God enriched them,and His Messenger, of His bounty. So if theyrepent it will be better for them; if they turn awayGod will chastise them with a painful chastisementin this world and the next; on the earth they haveno protector or helper.And some of them have made covenant with God: IfHe gives us of His bounty, we will make offeringsand be of the righteous.Nevertheless, when He gave them of His bountythey were niggardly of it, and turned away,swerving aside.So as a consequence He put hypocrisyinto their hearts, until the day they meet Him,for that they failed God in that they promised Himand they were liars.Did they not know that God knows their secret andwhat they conspire together, and that God knowsthe things unseen?Those who find fault with the believerswho volunteer their freewill offerings, andthose who find nothing but their endeavour theyderideGod derides them; for them awaitsa painful chastisement.Ask pardon for them, or ask not pardon for them;if thou askest pardon for them seventy times, Godwill not pardon them; that, because they disbelievedin God and His Messenger; God guides not the peopleof the ungodly.Those who were left behind rejoiced in tarryingbehind the Messenger of God, and were averseto struggle with their possessions and their selvesin the way of God. They said, Go not forth inthe heat. Say: Gehenna's fire is hotter, didthey but understand.Therefore let them laugh little, and weep much,in recompense for what they have been earning.So, if God returns thee to a party of themand they ask leave of thee to go forth, say:You shall not go forth with me ever, andyou shall not fight with me any enemy. You werewell-pleased to tarry the first time, so nowtarry with those behind.And pray thou never over any one of themwhen he is dead, nor stand over his grave; theydisbelieved in God and His Messenger, and diedwhile they were ungodly.And let not their possessions and their childrenplease thee; God only desires thereby to chastise themin this present world, and that their souls should departwhile they are unbelievers.And when a sura is sent down, saying, Believe in God,and struggle with His Messenger, the affluentamong them ask leave of thee, saying, Let us bewith the tarriers.They are well-pleased to be with those behind,and a seal has been set upon their hearts, sothey understand not.But the Messenger, and the believers with him,have struggled with their possessions and their selves,and thosefor them await the good things; thosethey are the prosperers.God has prepared for them gardens underneathwhich rivers flow, therein to dwell forever;that is the mighty triumph.And the Bedouins came with their excuses, askingfor leave; those who lied to God and His Messengertarried; there shall befall the unbelievers of thema painful chastisement.There is no fault in the weak and the sickand those who find nothing to expend, if theyare true to God and to His Messenger.There is no way against the good-doersGod is All-forgiving, All-compassionateneither against those who, when they came to thee, forthee to mount them, thou saidst to them, I find notwhereon to mount you; they turned away, their eyesoverflowing with tears of sorrow, because they foundnothing to expend.The way is open only against those who ask leave ofthee, being rich; they are well-pleased to be withthose behind; God has set a seal on their hearts,so they know not.They will excuse themselves to you, when you returnto them. Say: Do not excuse yourselves; we will notbelieve you. God has already told us tidings of you.God will surely see your work, and His Messenger,then you will be returned to Him who knowsthe unseen and the visible, and He will tell youwhat you were doing.They will swear to you by God, when you turn back tothem, that you may turn aside from them. So turnaside from them, for they are an abomination, andtheir refuge is Gehennaa recompense for whatthey have been earning.They will swear to you, that you may be well-pleasedwith them; but if you are well-pleased with them,God will surely not be well-pleased with the peopleof the ungodly.The Bedouins are more stubborn in unbeliefand hypocrisy, and apter not to know the bounds ofwhat God has sent down on His Messenger; and God isAll-knowing, All-wise.Some of the Bedouins take what they expend for afine, and await the turns of fortune to go againstyou. Theirs shall be the evil turn; God isAll-hearing, All-knowing.And some of the Bedouins believe in God and theLast Day, and take what they expend for offeringsbringing them near to God, and the prayers of theMessenger. Surely they are an offering for them,and God will admit them into His mercy;God is All-forgiving, All-compassionate.And the Outstrippers, the first of the Emigrantsand the Helpers, and those who followed themin doing-goodGod will be well-pleased with themand they are well-pleased with Him; and He hasprepared for them gardens underneath whichrivers flow, therein to dwell forever and ever;that is the mighty triumph.And some of the Bedouins who dwell around youare hypocrites; and some of the peopleof the City are grown bold in hypocrisy. Thouknowest them not; but We know them, and We shallchastise them twice, then they will be returned toa mighty chastisement.And others have confessed their sins; they havemixed a righteous deed with another evil.It may be that God will turn towards them;God is All-forgiving, All-compassionate.Take of their wealth a freewill offering, to purifythem and to cleanse them thereby, and pray for them;thy prayers are a comfort for them; God isAll-hearing, All-knowing.Do they not know that God is He who acceptsrepentance from His servants, and takes the freewillofferings, and that GodHe turns, and isAll-compassionate?Say: Work; and God will surely see your work,and His Messenger, and the believers,and you will be returned to Him who knowsthe unseen and the visible, and He will tell youwhat you were doing.And others are deferred to God's commandment, whetherHe chastises them, or turns towards them; God isAll-knowing, All-wise.And those who have taken a mosque in oppositionand unbelief, and to divide the believers,and as a place of ambush for those who foughtGod and His Messenger aforetimethey will swearWe desired nothing but good; and God testifiesthey are truly liars.Stand there never. A mosque that was foundedupon godfearing from the first day is worthierfor thee to stand in; therein are men who loveto cleanse themselves; and God loves thosewho cleanse themselves.Why, is he better who founded his building uponthe fear of God and His good pleasure, or hewho founded his building upon the brink of acrumbling bank that has tumbled with him into thefire of Gehenna? And God guides not the peopleof the evildoers.The buildings they have built will not cease to bea point of doubt within their hearts, unless itbe that their hearts are cut into pieces; God isAll-knowing, All-wise.God has bought from the believers their selvesand their possessions against the gift of Paradise;they fight in the way of God; they kill, and arekilled; that is a promise binding upon Godin the Torah, and the Gospel, and the Koran;and who fulfils his covenant truer than God?So rejoice in the bargain you have made with Him;that is the mighty triumph.Those who repent, those who serve, those who pray, thosewho journey, those who bow, those who prostrate themselves,those who bid to honour and forbid dishonour, thosewho keep God's boundsand give thou good tidingsto the believers.It is not for the Prophet and the believersto ask pardon for the idolaters, eventhough they be near kinsmen, after that ithas become clear to them that they will be theinhabitants of Hell.Abraham asked not pardon for his father exceptbecause of a promise he had made to him; and whenit became clear to him that he was an enemy of God,he declared himself quit of him; Abraham wascompassionate, clement.God would never lead a people astray after thatHe has guided them, until He makes clear to themas to what they should be godfearing; surely Godknows everything.Surely to God belongs the kingdom of the heavensand of the earth; He gives life, and makes to die;and you have not, apart from God, eitherprotector or helper.God has turned towards the Prophet and the Emigrantsand the Helpers who followed him in the hour ofdifficulty, after the hearts of a part of themwellnigh swerved aside; then He turned towards them;surely He is Gentle to them, and All-compassionate.And to the three who were left behind, until,when the earth became strait for them, for all itsbreadth, and their souls became strait for them, andthey thought that there was no shelter from Godexcept in Him, then He turned towards them, thatthey might also turn; surely God turns, and isAll-compassionate.O believers, fear God, and be with the truthful ones.It is not for the people of the Cityand for the Bedouins who dwell around themto stay behind God's Messenger, and to prefertheir lives to his; that is because they are smittenneither by thirst, nor fatigue, nor emptinessin the way of God, neither tread they any treadenraging the unbelievers, nor gain any gain from anyenemy, but a righteous deed is thereby writtento their account; God leaves not to waste the wageof the good.doersNor do they expend any sum, small or great, nor do theytraverse any valley, but it is written to theiraccount, that God may recompense them the best ofwhat they were doing.It is not for the believers to go forth totally;but why should not a party of every section of themgo forth, to become learned in religion, and towarn their people when they return to them, thathaply they may beware?O believers, fight the unbelievers who are near to you,and let them find in you a harshness; and know that Godis with the godfearing.Whenever a sura is sent down to thee, some of themsay, Which of you has this increased in belief?As for the believers, them it has increased in belief,and they are joyful.But as for those in whose heart is sickness,them it has increased in abomination addedto their abomination, and they have diedwhile they were unbelievers.Do they not see that they are tried every yearonce or twice? Yet still they do not repent,nor do they remember.And whenever a sura is sent down, they lookone at another: Does anyone see you?Then they turn away. God has turned awaytheir hearts, for that they are a people whodo not understand.Now there has come to you a Messenger from amongyourselves; grievous to him is your suffering;anxious is he over you, gentle to the believers,compassionate.So if they turn their backs, say: God is enough for me.There is no god but He. In Him I have put my trust.He is the Lord of the Mighty Throne.

Chapter.  4632 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture ; Islam

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