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The Koran or Qur'an is the holy book of Islam. Muslims believe that the Koran was revealed to the Prophet Mohammad beginning around 610. Originally presented orally, the Koran was compiled shortly after Mohammad's death in 632.  

Chronologies

Islam

Surah I: The Opening

In the name of the merciful and compassionate God.

Praise belongs to God, the Lord of the worlds, the merciful, the compassionate, the ruler of the day of judgment! Thee we serve and Thee we ask for aid. Guide us in the right path, the path of those Thou art gracious to; not of those Thou art wroth with; nor of those who err.

From Surah II: The Cow

And when we took from the children of Israel a covenant, saying, 'Serve ye none but God, and to your two parents show kindness, and to your kindred and the orphans and the poor, and speak to men kindly, and be steadfast in prayer, and give alms; and then ye turned back, save a few of you, and swerved aside.

And when we took covenant from you, 'shed ye not your kinsman's blood, nor turn your kinsmen out of their homes: then did ye confirm it and were witnesses thereto. Yet ye were those who slay your kinsmen and turn a party out of their homes, and back each other up against them with sin and enmity. But if they come to you as captives ye ransom them!--and yet it is as unlawful for you to turn them out. Do ye then believe in part of the Book and disbelieve in part? But the reward of such among you as do that shall be naught else but disgrace in this worldly life, and on the day of the resurrection shall they be driven to the most grievous torment, for God is not unmindful of what ye do.

Those who have bought this worldly life with the Future, the torment shall not be lightened from them nor shall they be helped.

We gave Moses the Book and we followed him up with other apostles, and we gave Jesus the son of Mary manifest signs and aided him with the Holy Spirit. Do ye then, every time an apostle comes to you with what your souls love not, proudly scorn him, and charge a part with lying and slay a part?

They say, 'Our hearts are uncircumcised'; nay, God has cursed them in their unbelief, and few it is who do believe. And when a book came down from God confirming what they had with them, though they had before prayed for victory over those who misbelieve, yet when that came to them which they knew, then they disbelieved it--God's curse be on the misbelievers.

For a bad bargain have they sold their souls, not to believe in what God has revealed, grudging because God sends down of His grace on whomsoever of His servants He will; and they have brought on themselves wrath after wrath, and for the misbelievers is there shameful woe.

And when they are told to believe in what God has revealed, they say, 'We believe in what has been revealed to us'; but they disbelieve in all beside, although it is the Verily, those who believe, and those who flee, and those who wage war in God's way; these may hope for God's mercy, for God is forgiving and merciful.

***
They will ask thee about wine and el maisar, say, 'In them both is sin and profit to men; but the sin of both is greater than the profit of the same.'

They will ask thee what they shall expend in alms, say, 'The surplus.' Thus does God manifest to you His signs; haply ye may reflect on this world and the next! They will ask thee about orphans, say, 'To do good to them is best.' But if ye interfere with them--they are your brethren, and God knows the evildoer from the well doer, and if God will, He will surely trouble you. Verily, God is mighty, wise.

Wed not with idolatrous women until they believe, for surely a believing handmaid is better than an idolatrous woman, even though she please you. And wed not to idolatrous men until they believe, for a believing slave is better than an idolater, even though he please you.

Those invite you to the fire, but God invites you to paradise and pardon by His permission and makes clear His signs to men; haply they may remember.

They will ask thee about menstruation, say, 'It is a hurt.' So keep apart from women in their menstruation, and go not near them till they be cleansed; but when they are cleansed come in to them by where God has ordered you verily, God loves those who turn to Him, and those who keep themselves clean.

Your women are your tilth, so come into your tillage how you choose, but do a previous good act for yourselves, and fear God, and know that ye are going to meet Him; and give good tidings unto those who do believe.

Make not God the butt of your oaths, that ye will keep clear and fear and make peace amongst men, for God both hears and knows.

He will not catch you up for a casual word in your oaths, but He will catch you up for what your hearts have earned; but God is forgiving and clement.

Those who swear off from their women, they must wait four months; but if they break their vow God is forgiving and merciful.

And if they intend to divorce them, verily, God hears and knows.

Divorced women must wait for themselves three courses, and it is not lawful to them that they hide what God has created in their wombs, if they believe in God and in the last day. Their husbands will do better to take them back in that (case) if they wish for reconciliation; for, the same is due to them as from them; but the men should have precedence over them. God is mighty and wise.

Confirming what they have, say, 'Wherefore did ye kill God's prophets of yore if ye were true believers?

Moses came to you with manifest signs, then ye took up with the calf when he had gone and did so wrong. And when we took a covenant with you and raised the mountain over you, 'Take what we have given you with resolution and hear'; they said, 'We hear but disobey'; and they were made to drink the calf down into their hearts for their unbelief. Say, 'An evil thing is it which your belief bids you do, if ye be true believers.' Say, 'If the abode of the future with God is yours alone and not mankind's, long for death then if ye speak the truth.' But they will never long for it because of what their hands have sent on before, but God is knowing as to the wrong doers.

Why, thou wilt find them the greediest of men for life, and of those who associate others with God one would fain live for a thousand years, but he will not be reprieved from punishment by being let live, for God seeth what they do.

Say, 'Who is an enemy to Gabriel? For he hath revealed to thy heart, with God's permission, confirmation of what had been before, and a guidance and glad tidings to believers. Who is an enemy to God and His angels and His apostles and Gabriel and Michael? Verily, God is an enemy to the unbelievers. We have sent down to thee conspicuous signs, and none will disbelieve therein except the evildoers.' Or every time they make a covenant, will a part of them repudiate it? Nay, most of them do not believe.

And when there comes to them an apostle confirming what they have, a part of those who have received the Book repudiate God's book, casting it behind their backs as though they did not know. And they follow that which the devils recited against Solomon's kingdom--it was not Solomon who misbelieved, but the devils who misbelieved, teaching men sorcery--and what has been revealed to the two angels at Babylon, Harut and Marut; yet these taught no one until they said, 'We are but a temptation, so do not misbelieve.' Men learn from them only that by which they may part man and wife, but they can harm no one therewith, unless with the permission of God, and they learn what hurts them and profits them not. And yet they knew that he who purchased it would have no portion in the future, but sad is the price at which they have sold their souls, had they but known. But had they believed and feared, a reward from God were better, had they but known.

From Surah IV: Women

O ye people of the Book! Do not exceed in your religion, nor say against God aught save the truth. The Messiah, Jesus the son of Mary, is but the apostle of God and His Word, which He cast into Mary and a spirit from Him; believe then in God and His apostles, and say not 'Three.' Have done! It were better for you. God is only one God, celebrated be His praise that He should beget a Son! His is what is in the heavens and what is in the earth and God sufficeth for a guardian.

The Messiah doth surely not disdain to be a servant of God, nor do the angels who are nigh to Him, and whosoever disdains His service and is too proud, He will gather them altogether to Himself.

But as for those who believe and do what is right, He will pay their hire and will give increase to them of His grace. But as for those who disdain and are too proud, He will punish them with a grievous woe, and they shall not find for them other than God a patron or a help.


***

But whosoever rebels against God and His Apostle, and transgresses His bounds, He will make him enter into fire, and dwell therein for aye; and for him is shameful woe.

Against those of your women who commit adultery, call witnesses four in number from among yourselves, and if these bear witness, then keep the women in houses until death release them, or God shall make for them a way.

And if two of you commit it, then hurt them both, but if they turn again and amend, leave them alone, verily, God is easily turned, compassionate.

God is only bound to turn again towards those who do evil through ignorance and then turn again. Surely, these will God turn again to, for God is knowing, wise. His turning again is not for those who do evil, until, when death comes before one of them, he says, 'Now I turn again'; nor yet for those who die in misbelief. For such as these have we prepared a grievous woe.

O ye who believe! It is not lawful for you to inherit women's estates against their will, nor to hinder them, that ye may go off with part of what ye brought them, unless they commit fornication manifestly; but associate with them in reason, for if ye are averse from them, it may be that ye are averse from something wherein God has put much good for you.

But if ye wish to exchange one wife for another, and have given one of them a talent, then take not from it anything. What! would you take it for a calumny and a manifest crime?

***

And do not marry women your fathers married, except bygones, for it is abominable and hateful, and an evil way--unlawful for you are your mothers, and your daughters, and your sisters, and your paternal aunts and maternal aunts, and your brother's daughters, and your sister's daughters, and your foster mothers, and your foster sisters, and your wives' mothers, and your step daughters who are your wards, born of your wives to whom ye have gone in, but if ye have not gone in unto them, then it is no crime in you, and the lawful spouses of your sons from your own loins, and that ye form a connection between two sisters, except bygones, verily, God is forgiving, merciful, and married women, save such as your right hands possess, God's Book against you! But lawful for you is all besides this, for you to seek them with your wealth, marrying them and not fornicating, but such of them as ye have enjoyed, give them their hire as a lawful due, for there is no crime in you about what ye agree between you after such lawful due, verily, God is knowing and wise.

But whosoever of you cannot go the length of marrying marriageable women who believe, then take of what your right hands possess, of your maidens who believe; though God knows best about your faith. Ye come one from the other; then marry them with the permission of their people, and give them their hire in reason, they being chaste and not fornicating, and not receivers of paramours.

But when they are married, if they commit fornication, then inflict upon them half the penalty for married women-- that is for whomsoever of you fears wrong, but that ye should have patience is better for you, and God is forgiving and merciful.

God wishes to explain to you and to guide you into the ordinances of those who were before you, and to turn towards you, for God is knowing, wise. God wishes to turn towards you, but those who follow their lusts wish that ye should swerve with a mighty swerving! God wishes to make it light for you, for man was created weak.

From Surah XVII: The Night Journey

In the name of the merciful and compassionate God.

Celebrated be the praises of Him who took His servant a journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the Remote Mosque, the precinct of which we have blessed, to show him of our signs! Verily, He both hears and looks.

And we gave Moses the Book and made it a guidance to the children of Israel: 'Take ye to no guardian but me.'

Seed of those we bore with Noah (in the ark)! verily, he was a thankful servant!

And we decreed to the children of Israel in the Book, 'Ye shall verily do evil in the earth twice, and ye shall rise to a great height (of pride).'

And when the threat for the first (sin) of the two came, we sent over them servants of ours, endued with violence, and they searched inside your houses; and it was an accomplished threat.

Then we rallied you once more against them, and aided you with wealth and sons, and made you a numerous band.

'If ye do well, ye will do well to your own souls; and if ye do ill, it is against them!

'And when the threat for the last came--to harm your faces and to enter the mosque as they entered it the first time, and to destroy what they had got the upper-hand over with utter destruction.'

It may be that thy Lord will have mercy on you, if ye return we will return, and we have made hell a prison for the misbelievers.

Verily, this Koran guides to the straightest path and gives the glad tidings to the believers who do aright that for them is a great hire, and that for those who believe not in the hereafter, we have prepared a mighty woe.



From the translation by M. H. Shakir.

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