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Day Sixty Four (A Journey with Quran)

Surah Al Maidah: Ayats 81–90

If only they would’ve put their faith in Allah and in the Prophet and in what was revealed to him, then they would’ve never taken (idol-worshippers) for allies. However, most of them are disobedient. [81]

(Muhammad,) you’re going to find that out of all the people who hate the believers, the Jews (of Medina) and the idol-worshippers (of Mecca) are the strongest (in their hostility). However, those whom you’ll find to be nearest to the believers in love are those who say, “We are Christians,” for among them are priests devoted to learning and monks who have renounced the world, and they’re not arrogant. [82]

When they hear what was revealed to the Messenger, you see their eyes overflow with tears for they recognize the truth of it. Then they pray, “Our Lord! We believe! Record us among the witnesses. [83]

What can hold us back from believing in Allah and in the truth that has come to us, since we’ve been constantly yearning for our Lord to admit us to the company of the righteous?” [84]

Allah will reward them for what they’ve said with gardens beneath which rivers flow – and there they shall remain – and that’s how Allah rewards (those who do) good! [85]

However, those who reject (the truth) and call Our (revealed) verses nothing more than lies will be companions of the raging blaze. [86]

All you who believe! Don’t forbid the good things that Allah has allowed for you. Just don’t overindulge (in lawful things), for Allah has no love for the overindulgent. [87]

Eat from the resources that have been provided for you by Allah, and be mindful of Allah – the One in Whom you believe. [88]

Allah won’t hold you to any unreasonable things that you (foolishly) swear (to do), but He will hold you to account for your serious pledges (that you make and then fail to fulfill). So to atone for breaking (an unreasonable or foolish) pledge, you must feed ten poor people with what you would normally feed your family, or you may clothe them, instead, or free a bonded servant. If all of these options are too difficult for you, then fast for three days. That will make up for the (foolish) promises (you made but cannot keep) – but safeguard (all) your (solemn) promises! This is how Allah explains His verses clearly for you so you can be thankful. [89]

All you who believe! Truly, liquor and gambling, stone altars (dedicated to idols) and (making random choices to decide distributions of goods by blindly picking marked) arrowheads (from a bag) are all the disgraceful works of Satan, so forsake them so you can be successful! [90]

Translation: Yahiya Emerick

Explanation for Ayat 82:

Ayat 82 when revealed was the reality of the Prophet Mohammad’s time. Peace be upon him.

It doesn’t mean that all Jews are bad people, or others like Christians, Muslims are the same. Good, and bad exists among all sects. It’s up to an individual as to how he lives his life.

Ayat 82 which addresses the Prophet directly doesn’t imply that all Jews will hate Muslims for all times, or that all Christians will love Muslims for all time. It’s a reflection of certain realities in the Prophet’s time. This verse is incorrectly applied to contemporary realities. The truth is interfaith relations between Muslims, Christians and Jews have risen, and fallen through the centuries.

Day Sixty Three (A Journey with Quran)

Surah Al Maidah: Ayats 71–80

They didn’t think there would be any dangerous repercussions from it, so they became blind and deaf (to faith). Yet, even then, Allah kept turning towards them (to give them more chances), though many of them remained blind and deaf (to faith). Allah was watching what they were doing. [71]

Those who say that Allah is the Messiah, the son of Mary – they’re covering over (the truth)! The Messiah, himself, said, “Children of Israel! Serve Allah, the One Who is my Lord and your Lord.” Whoever makes partners with Allah, well, Allah will forbid him entry into the Garden, and instead the Fire will be his home – and the corrupt will have no one to help them. [72]

Those who say that Allah is one of three (in a trinity) are covering over (the truth, as well), for there is no god but the One God. If they don’t stop what they’re saying, then a painful punishment will overtake those among them who suppress (their awareness of the truth). [73]

So why don’t they turn to Allah and ask for His forgiveness? Allah is forgiving and merciful! [74]

The Messiah, the son of Mary, was no more than a messenger, and many messengers passed away before him. His mother was an honest woman – they both had to eat food (like any other mortal human being). Do you see how Allah is making His proofs clear for them? Yet, look how they’re deceived away (from the truth)! [75]

Ask them, “Are you going to serve something besides Allah – something that has no power to bring you any harm or benefit? (Well, then remember that) Allah is the Hearing and the Knowing.” [76]

Then say to them, “Followers of Earlier Revelation! Don’t go beyond the boundaries in your way of life without any justification, nor should you follow the fickle whims of the peoples who went astray before you, for they’ve misled many from the even way.” [77]

Those who suppressed (Allah’s truth) from among the Children of Israel were cursed by David’s own tongue and also by Jesus, the son of Mary, for their disobedience and constant violation (of Allah’s law). [78]

They rarely discouraged each other from the immorality in which they themselves used to indulge, and their actions were quite evil! [79]

Now you see many of (the Jews of Medina) turning towards the faithless (idol-worshippers for alliances), and the deeds that they’re sending ahead for themselves are quite evil, indeed! Allah’s wrath is upon them, and they will linger in eternal damnation. [80]

Translation: Yahiya Emerick

Footnote:

The Quran is pointing out that both Mary, and Jesus had to eat to live. They were both dependent upon God for their daily bread. So how can anyone claim that one, or both of them were of divine origin. The fact is that Jesus was a mortal, and not a god in the flesh.

Jesus taught monotheism. However Apostle Paul introduced Greco-Roman trinitarian-ism without any authority into the Christian world. There were many pagan customs incorporated into Christian culture. The Roman holiday celebrating the god of sun into Christmas. The theology of god born on earth was lifted from Greek, and Roman mythology. Greek mysticism was melded into the early Gnostic sect which had influence on the Book of John.

The idea of redemption by the suffering, or death of a god goes back to the stories of Heracles, who suffered madness after killing his children before salvation was allowed. Cultural trappings such as festive mistletoe, Easter eggs, decorated Christmas trees are actually forbidden in Jeremiah 10:1-5. Halloween, the significance of the number twelve, choosing Sunday over Saturday for a Sabbath, the celebration of Christmas have their roots in the paganism of Babylonians, Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Vikings, and Egyptians.

Day Sixty Two (A Journey with Quran)

Surah Al Maidah: Ayats 61–70

When they come to you, they say, “We believe (in Allah), too,” but they’re really coming with rejection (of your teachings) on their mind, and when they leave you, they go out with the same (sentiment), and Allah knows all about what they’re hiding. [61]

You see most of them rushing into sin and misbehavior and eating whatever they’ve been prohibited to eat. What they’re doing is pure evil! [62]

Why aren’t their rabbis and legal scholars admonishing them against using sinful language and eating what they’ve been prohibited to eat? (The lies) they’re promoting are pure evil! [63]

The Jews (of Medina) have said, “Allah’s hand is tied up.” Well, let their hands be tied up, and let them be cursed for what they’ve said. No way! Both of His hands are stretched out wide, and He expends as He wills. The revelation that’s coming to you from your Lord causes belligerency and rejection to grow in most of them! As it is, We’ve instilled antagonism and hatred among them that will last even until the Day of Assembly. Every time they stoke the fires of war, Allah extinguishes them, though they persist in trying to cause chaos in the land. Allah has no love for those who cause chaos. [64]

If only the Followers of Earlier Revelation would’ve believed and been mindful (of their duty to Allah), then We would’ve glossed over their shortcomings and admitted them into gardens of delight. [65]

If only they would’ve held firmly to the Torah, the Gospel and all the revelation that was sent to them from their Lord, then they would’ve enjoyed themselves from every side. Although there are men from among them who are on the right track, most of them participate in sinful conduct. [66]

Messenger! Proclaim what’s been revealed to you from your Lord, for if you don’t, then you will have failed to deliver the message. Allah will defend you from the people (who seek to harm you), for Allah doesn’t guide those who reject (His message.) [67]

Say to them, “Followers of Earlier Revelation! You have no (legitimacy) unless you hold firmly by the Torah, the Gospel and all the revelation that has come to you from your Lord.” (Sadly), it’s the very revelation itself that you’ve been receiving from your Lord that’s making most of them increase in belligerency and rejection, but don’t be worried over people who reject (Allah). [68]

Those (Muslims) who believe, along with the Jews, the Sabians and the Christians, anyone who believes in Allah and the Last Day and who does what’s morally right, they’ll have no cause for sorrow or regret. [69]

And so it was that We made a covenant with the Children of Israel and sent them messengers. However, every time a messenger came to them with what they didn’t want (to hear) – they called some of them imposters, and others they killed! [70]

Translation: Yahiya Emerick

Day Sixty One (A Journey with Quran)

I don’t really know the Arabic language, except for repetitive words, duas, prayers, or those Surahs (I have learnt by heart). Like those people who read the Quran with translation, and whose mother language is not Arabic, I daily read my copy of the Quran in Urdu language, though my mother tongue is Pushto.

A reader pointed out that that I’m not giving my own words (or thoughts) on the translation. Whereas the translation is explicit, what can I write beside it. The name of the translator is always at the end of the ten verses I copy.

My aim was (and is) to bring the Message of the Quran to those who have not read it. After all it’s addressed to all the people of the world.

Surah Al Maidah continues: Ayats 51–60.

All you who believe! Don’t take Jews and Christians as your closest allies, for they’re only the close allies of each other. Whoever among you turns to them (for alliances, in place of a believer,) is one of them, for Allah doesn’t guide corrupt people. [51]

Do you see those who have a sickness in their hearts? They run eagerly to them after exclaiming, “We’re afraid that changing times might bring disaster down upon us!” Allah will grant a victory or a decisive result, as He wills, and then they’ll be sorry for what they’ve been hiding within themselves. [52]

Then the believers will be the ones to say, “Are these (hypocrites) the same ones who swore their strongest oaths by Allah that they were on your side?” Whatever they do is of no use, and they’re going to be the ones who will lose. [53]

All you who believe! Whoever among you falls away (from following) his (Islamic) way of life should know that Allah will soon produce a people whom He will love – and who will love Him back! They’ll be easygoing with other believers, yet stern against the faithless, striving in Allah’s way and paying no mind to all the blame that accusers may heap upon them. That’s Allah’s favor, which He grants to whomsoever He wills, and Allah embraces all things and is full of knowledge. [54]

Your (true) closest allies are Allah, His Messenger and those who believe. They’re the ones who establish prayer, give in charity and who bow down (in sincere worship). [55]

Whoever turns towards Allah, His Messenger and the believers – that’s the fellowship of Allah – and they shall be victorious! [56]

All you who believe! Don’t take those who mock and belittle your way of life as best friends, whether from among those who received a scripture before you or from among those who reject (the truth). Be mindful of Allah if you’re true believers. [57]

When you announce your call to prayer, they mock and belittle it, for they’re a people who have no understanding. [58]

Say to them, “You Followers of Earlier Revelation, are you ridiculing us for no other reason than that we believe in Allah and in the revelation that came down to us, as well as in the revelations that came before us? (It may just be) that most of you are rebellious (against Allah).” [59]

Say to them, “Should I tell you about something worse than this (religion that you’re ridiculing), and for which Allah took (your ancestors) to task? Those who had Allah’s curse and wrath drawn over them, some of whom were like apes and pigs, and they were the servants of falsehood. They’re much worse in status and that much farther astray from the even path!” [60]

Translation: Yahiya Emerick

Background on Ayats 51–53

In his first days in Medina, the Prophet had concluded treaties of mutual security with the three Jewish tribes of the city. After some months it was learned that the Banu Qurayzah Jews were playing both sides of the fence, so to speak. While publicly appearing to be friendly with the Muslims, they had also invited a delegation of Meccan leaders to a secret summit in their fortress just outside Medina proper. A group of Muslim riders was sent out to turn the Meccan delegation back, while the senior companions debated what to do about this obvious betrayal. The Muslim patrol was unable to intercept the Meccans, and thus they got through. This particular passage concerns the case of two men who were present among the Muslims as they debated what to do, and it concerns their alliances with the Jews of Medina. The first man, ‘Ubadah ibn as-Samat, said, “Messenger of Allah, I have many Jewish allies. They appear to be ascendant, but I will turn to Allah and His Messenger and abandon the protection of the Jews. I will look for refuge in Allah and in His Messenger.” Then the hypocrite, ‘Abdullah ibn Ubayy, told Muhammad, “I’m a man who’s afraid that changing times might bring disaster down upon us. I will keep the Jews as my allies.” Muhammad replied, “O Father of Hibab, whatever protection you get from the Jews that exceeds what ‘Ubadah ibn as-Samat had is only for your own sake.” ‘Abdullah ibn Ubayy answered, “Then I accept that.” Then these three verses were revealed. No action was taken against the Banu Qurayzah other than to warn Muslims not to get too close with them, as verse 51 suggests. (Asbab ul-Nuzul, Ma’ariful Qur’an)

Background on Ayat 55

‘Abdullah ibn Salam, the Jewish rabbi who converted to Islam, along with his family, went to the Prophet one day and said, “Messenger of Allah. Our house is far from here. We have no place to sit and talk, for our people, having seen us believing in Allah and His Messenger, have disowned us and pledged not to talk to us or marry with us, and we’re finding it hard on us.” This verse was revealed in response. (Asbab ul-Nuzul)

Background on Ayats 58–59

For a time, whenever the Muslim call to prayer was announced in Medina, some Jews made it a point to tease the Muslims on their way to the mosque by mocking the prayer positions and laughing. This passage was revealed in response. (Asbab ul-Nuzul)

Background on Ayat 60

A number of Jews went to Muhammad (Peace be upon him), and asked him in which prophets he believed. He began his reply by reciting verse 2:285, which mentions that Muslims must accept all true prophets from Allah When Muhammad (Peace be upon him) then mentioned that he believed in Jesus, the Jews rejected his answer saying, “We swear to Allah that we’ve never heard of a more unfortunate religion both in this life and in the afterlife than yours, and we don’t know any religion more evil than yours.” This verse was revealed in response. (Asbab ul-Nuzul)

Day Sixty (A Journey with Quran)

Surah Al Maidah: Ayats 41–50

Messenger! Don’t lose yourself in grief over those who race each other into rejection, (whether it be from) among those (Arab hypocrites) who say, ‘We believe’ with their lips, but whose hearts are devoid of faith, or it be among the Jews (of Medina), who will listen to any lie and accept (any slander) told to them by people who never even met you! They switch words from their proper sequence, and they say, “If (Muhammad) gives you (what you like to hear,) then take it, but if not, then beware.” If Allah wants to put someone into utter turmoil, you can do nothing for them against Allah (and His plan). (The ones to whom He does that) are those whose hearts Allah has no desire to purify. They’ll have nothing but disgrace in this world, and in the next life they’ll have a severe penalty to pay. [41]

The (Jews of Medina) listen to lies and devour anything that’s been prohibited to them. If they do happen to come to you and ask you to solve their internal disputes, you can either render a verdict or decline to hear the case altogether. If you decline (to get involved), they can’t do any harm to you at all (in their spite). If you choose to adjudicate, then judge fairly between them, for Allah loves fair judges. [42]

However, why are they coming to you for decisions at all when they have their own Torah right there with them? It already contains Allah’s commandments. Yet, they turn away from it even still, for they’re not really all that faithful. [43]

We revealed the Torah, and it contained both guidance and enlightenment (within its pages). The prophets (of old), who surrendered (themselves to Allah’s command), used it to judge among the Jews, and the rabbis and legal scholars (also used it to render their judgments, as well). (They were charged with safeguarding and living by) the portion of Allah’s Book that was entrusted to them, and they witnessed to their duty. Therefore, (you Jews of Medina), don’t be afraid of (disappointing mere) people. Rather, be afraid of (disappointing) Me, and don’t sell My (revealed) verses for a petty price. If anyone judges by any other standard than what Allah has revealed, then they’re truly covering over (the truth). [44]

We decreed for them in (the Torah): “A life for a life, an eye for an eye, a nose for a nose, an ear for an ear, a tooth for a tooth, and a wound in exchange for a wound.” Now (this principle has been amended,) so if anyone chooses to refrain from retaliating, for (the sake of) charity, then it’s an act of atonement for himself. If anyone judges by any standard other than what Allah has revealed, then they’re truly wrongdoers. [45]

We sent Jesus, the son of Mary, following in their footsteps, to affirm the (truth of the) Torah that had come before him, and We gave him the Gospel, in which there was both guidance and enlightenment, as an affirmation of the Torah that had come before him. (The Gospel) was a source of guidance and also admonition for those who were mindful (of Allah). [46]

Therefore, let the people of the Gospel judge by what Allah revealed in it. If anyone judges by any standard other than what Allah has revealed, then they’re truly rebellious. [47]

Now We’ve sent the Book to you, (Muhammad), in all truthfulness, affirming the scriptures that came before you and safeguarding within it (the truth of the previous revelations), so judge between (the Jews and Christians) according to what Allah has revealed (to you). Don’t follow their petty whims and thus swerve away from the truth that’s come to you. We’ve given to each one of you (differing religious groups) a legal tradition and a clear method (for dealing with legal issues). If Allah had wanted, He could’ve made you all into one community, but He tests you in what He’s given you, so forge ahead as if you were racing towards everything virtuous. Your ultimate return is back to Allah, and He’s going to show you (the truth) of those things about which you argued. [48]

Therefore, judge between them according to what Allah has revealed, and don’t follow their petty whims. Be wary of them so they won’t seduce you away from what Allah has sent down to you. If they turn away (and ignore your rulings), then know that Allah wants to punish them for some of their sins. As it is, most people are disobedient! [49]

Are they looking for a (flawed) ruling (that’s similar to how people used to judge) in the ignorant (days before Islam?) For those who are convinced (of the truth in their hearts), who can be a better judge than Allah? [50]

Translation: Yahiya Emerick

Background to Ayat 41:

Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him)could not read or write Arabic, and he certainly did not know how to read or understand Hebrew. When the rabbis of Medina would quote from the Torah in their discussions with Muhammad, some of them would purposely leave out some lines as they translated from Hebrew into Arabic in order to keep some information secret. Jewish converts to Islam would often point this out to the Prophet. (See 2:100-103.) A Jewish man of Khaybar committed adultery, and based upon his high status his fellow Jews were reluctant to apply any harsh punishment to him. They resolved to send him to Muhammad for judgment on the pretence that if he ruled in favor of the flogging that the Qur’an called for [24:2], then he would be a secular leader in their eyes, and they could follow him. However, if he ruled in favor of stoning, as the Torah prescribed, then he was an actual force to be reckoned with, and the Jews must be on their guard against him. They then went to the Prophet who was sitting with some companions in the mosque and asked what they should do about this adulterer. Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) remained silent and either called for some rabbinical students to be brought to him or he himself accompanied them to one of their small yeshivas, or religious schools (the reports do not specify). The Prophet said to the Jewish scholars, “I appeal to you by God who revealed the Torah to Moses. What punishment does the Torah prescribe for an adulterer?” One of the rabbis answered, “They are rubbed with ash, defamed and whipped, and the defamation comes by placing both guilty parties back to back on a donkey that is led around the streets.” The others present affirmed their agreement, but the Prophet noticed that one man among them was keeping silent. The Prophet was told that his name was Ibn Surya, and then he appealed to him for his answer to the question, making him swear an oath to God to be truthful. When Ibn Surya replied that the actual punishment was death, the Prophet further questioned him, saying, “When is the first time in which you disobeyed the order of Almighty God?” Ibn Surya replied, “One of our ancient king’s relatives committed adultery, and the stoning was put off. Then a lesser noble also was found to have been adulterous, and the king wanted him stoned. However, his family objected, saying that they wouldn’t let their relative be stoned unless the king’s relative was stoned first. It was then that they compromised on the punishment among themselves (and lessened it).” The Prophet then asked a rabbi to read from the Torah about adultery, and the man began to read the appropriate section from a scroll, but he kept his finger over the verse calling for stoning and read the verses before and after it. The Jewish convert to Islam, ‘Abdullah ibn Salam, (also a former rabbi) informed the Prophet that the first rabbi had skipped a line, and he asked the man to remove his finger and read the verse. When he did, the Prophet then answered, “I judge by what is in the Torah.” Then he ruled that the adulterers were to be stoned. The adulterous couple was then taken out and stoned, but the Prophet did not take part in it. This verse was revealed concerning this and other similar affairs in which the Jews asked for the Prophet’s rulings on various issues. (Asbab ul-Nuzul)

Background to Ayat 48:

Four leading Jewish men of Medina, including K’ab ibn Asad and Shas ibn Qays, wanted to see if they could corrupt the Prophet away from being sincere in his religion. They went to him and told him that they were the leaders of the Jews, and if they converted then all the Jews would follow them. Their only requirement was that he render a biased judgment in favor of them in a dispute they had with some men of their community. This verse was revealed concerning this incident. (Asbab ul-Nuzul)

Day Fifty Nine (A Journey with Quran)

Surah Al Maidah: Ayats 31–40

Then Allah sent a raven, scratching on the ground, to show him a way to hide the body of his brother. “I’m ruined!” he cried out. “Couldn’t I (at least have been) like that raven over there and buried my brother’sbody?” Then sorrowful regret began to well up within him. [31]

It was for the sake (of that crime) that We made it a principle for the Children of Israel that if anyone took a life, unless it be (to punish) a murder or to prevent the spread of chaos in the land, that it would be as if he had murdered the whole of humanity. Conversely, if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he had saved the life of the whole of humanity. However, even though Our messengers came to them with clear evidence (of the truth) – even after that many of them continued to commit abuses in the land. [32]

The punishment for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and who strive hard to cause chaos and murder throughout the land, is execution or crucifixion or the cutting off of their hands and feet from opposite sides or (at the very least) exile from the land. That’s the humiliation that they’ll receive in this world, but an even more painful punishment awaits them in the next, [33] except for those who repent before they fall into your power, for in that case know that Allah is forgiving and merciful. [34]

All you who believe! Be mindful of Allah. Aspire to get closer to Him, and exert your utmost in His cause so you can be successful. [35]

As for those who cover over (their inner knowledge of the truth), even if they had everything in the whole wide world, and even double that, and offered it as a ransom on the Day of Assembly, no offers to avoid punishment will be accepted – and their punishment will be painful! [36]

Their only wish will be to get out of the Fire, but they’ll never be able to escape from it, for their punishment will endure. [37]

As for the thief, male or female, cut off the hand of both by way of payback, for this is a fitting (example of poetic justice) from Allah as a consequence for (the sin) they earned, and Allah is powerful and wise. [38]

Though, if (the thief) repents after his crime and reforms himself, then Allah will turn to him (in forgiveness), for Allah is forgiving and merciful. [39]

Don’t you know that the control of the heavens and the earth belongs to Allah? He punishes whomever He wants, and He forgives whomever He wants, for Allah has power over all things. [40]

Translation: Yahiya Emerick

Day Fifty Eight (A Journey with Quran)

Surah Al Maidah: Ayats 21–30

My people! Enter the holy land, which Allah has assigned to you, and don’t turn back, for then you’ll be among the losers.” [21]

“But Moses!” they cried. “There’s a powerful nation already here in this land, and We’ll never be able to enter it unless they leave. If they go away, then, and only then, can we go in!” [22]

However, two God-fearing men – upon whom Allah had granted His favor – came forward and (boldly) suggested, “Enter (their main stronghold) through a certain entrance (that we discovered on our scouting mission). When you’re inside (the walls of the city), victory will be yours, so trust in Allah if you really have faith.” [23]

Yet, many of the people persisted in their cowardice) and said, “Moses! As long as they’re present we’ll never be able to enter this land – even until the end of time! You and your Lord can go and fight while we sit here (and watch).” [24]

(Moses) called out, “My Lord! I only have power over myself and my brother, so separate us from these rebellious people!” [25]

(Allah) answered, “So indeed it shall be. This land will be forbidden for them for forty years. Until then, they’ll wander aimlessly in the wilderness, but don’t feel depressed on account of these rebellious people.” [26]

Relate to them the story of the two sons of Adam in all accuracy. They both presented an offering (to Allah), but it was accepted from one, though not from the other. (In a jealous rage, Cain) said to his brother, “I’m going to kill you!” “Allah (only) accepts offerings,” (Abel) replied, “from those who are mindful (and sincere to Him).” [27]

(Then he tried to reason with his angry brother), saying, “If you raise your hand against me to kill me, I won’t raise my hand against you to kill you, for I fear Allah, the Lord of All the Worlds. [28]

As for me, I want you take my sins upon yourself to add them with yours, for then you’ll become a companion of the Fire, and that’s the payback of all those who do wrong.” [29]

(Cain’s jealous) soul incited him to murder his brother, and so he killed him and became hopelessly lost. [30]

Translation: Yahiya Emerick

Footnote: A short time after freeing the believers from Egypt, Moses was given the mission to settle them in a new land where they could become a nation. He sent 12 scouts to reconnoiter the area. They returned with glowing reports of a bountiful region. In the land of Canaan there were many areas in which the weary refugees could settle. All that stood in the way were several war-like peoples, chief among them were fearsome natives called the Canaanites, who would never let the people of Moses settle in their territory without a fight.

Footnote to verse 29-30: Islam teaches that if one person harms another, then on Judgement Day the wrongdoer will have to give up some of his, or her good deeds to pay back the victim. The villain also runs the risk of having some of the victim’s sins assigned to him.

Day Fifty Seven (A Journey with Quran)

Surah Al Maidah: Ayats 11–20

All you who believe! Remember the favor of Allah that He bestowed upon you when certain people made plans to move their hands against you, but He restrained their hands from ever reaching you. Therefore, be mindful of Allah, and the believers should trust in Allah. [11]

And so it was that Allah made a covenant with the Children of Israel. We appointed twelve scouts from among them (to go into the land of Canaan to gather intelligence in preparation for their entry). Allah had already told (the Children of Israel), “I’ll be with you as long as you establish regular prayer, give in charity, believe in My messengers, respect them, and loan to Allah a beautiful loan. Indeed, I‘ll erase your shortcomings and admit you into gardens beneath which rivers flow. If any of you cover over (your ability to have faith) after this, then he’s truly wandered far from the even path.” [12]

However, because (the Children of Israel) broke their agreement, We cursed them and allowed their hearts to grow hard. (They manipulated the words of revelation) by rearranging them from their (proper) places, and they forgot a good part of the message that was sent to them. Even still you’ll find many of them engaged in new trickery, but forgive them and try to overlook (their shortcomings), for Allah loves those who are good. [13]

We also took a covenant from those who call themselves Christians, but they forgot most of the message that was sent to them. That’s why We’ve let them become disunited in mutual envy and hatred of each other, even until the Day of Assembly. Allah will soon inform them (of the true meaning) of that in which they were engaged. [14]

Followers of Earlier Revelation! Our Messenger has come to you revealing many things that you used to hide in (your religious) scriptures and passing over many (practices of the past that are now unnecessary). A (new) light and a clear scripture have come to you from Allah. [15]

With these Allah will guide any who seek His good pleasure towards the pathways of peace and safety. Furthermore, He’ll lead them out of darkness and into a light, by His will, and lead them to a straight path. [16]

Those who say that God is Jesus, the Messiah, the son of Mary, are covering over (the real truth). Say to them, “Who has the power to hold back Allah if He wanted to destroy the Messiah, the son of Mary, his mother and everyone else on earth? To Allah belongs the control of the heavens and the earth and everything in between. He creates whatever He wants, for Allah has power over all things.” [17]

The Jews and the Christians say, “We’re the sons of God, and He loves us (above all others).” Then ask them, “So, why will He punish you for your sins (if you don’t repent of them)? By no means! You’re only mortals from among the (many peoples) that He’s created. He forgives whomever He wants, and He punishes whomever He wants. The control of the heavens and the earth and all that’s in between them belongs to Allah, and back to Him is the final destination.” [18]

Followers of Earlier Revelation! Now Our Messenger has come to you making (things) clear for you after a pause in (the chain of) Our messengers. That way you won’t be able to say, “No bearer (of good news) or warner ever came to us!” Now a bearer (of good news) and a warner has come to you, and Allah has power over all things. [19]

Recall when Moses said to his people, “My people! Remember Allah’s favor towards you when He placed prophets within your midst, and when He placed you in charge (of your own destiny after you were enslaved in Egypt) and how He gave you what He hadn’t given to any other nation. [20]

Translation: Yahiya Emerick

Background on verse 11: A man named Ghawrath met with the leaders of the hostile tribes of the desert, namely the Muhareb and Ghatafan tribes, and asked if they wanted him to kill Prophet Muhammad, (Peace be upon him). They agreed and asked him how he could possibly accomplish that. He replied that he would take him by surprise. Ghawrath bided his time and kept an eye out for an opportunity to approach his prey. One day, he saw the Prophet sitting alone under the shade of a tree with his sword on his lap. He approached him and casually asked if he could have a look at the blade. The Prophet handed it to him, and Ghawrath drew it and immediately pointed it at the Prophet menacingly, though he couldn’t bring himself to thrust it in for the kill. Finally, he asked him, “Muhammad, aren’t you afraid?” He replied that he was not. Then Ghawrath said two or three times, “Who will protect you from me now?” The Prophet answered, “Allah will.” Ghawrath hesitated and then suddenly dropped the sword. The Prophet picked it up and called to his nearby companions. While the assailant was still sitting there, he narrated the incident and then Ghawrath was allowed to go free.

Some time later, Muhammad (Peace be upon him) was visiting the Jewish neighborhood of the Banu Nadir, seeking their assistance in settling a blood-money suit brought by a desert tribe against one of the companions who had killed two of their men. Ka’b ibn Ashraf, the Jewish leader, invited the Prophet into his courtyard and bade him and his companions to sit under the shade of a wall while he ostensibly went to order food to be made. Ka’b then retreated into another room and told a man named ‘Amr ibn Jahsh ibn Ka’b to drop a heavy stone from the roof down upon Muhammad (Peace be upon him)to kill him. Just before the man could do the deed, however, Angel Gabriel came and warned the Prophet, who promptly got up and left. This verse was revealed soon afterwards, referencing both incidents, and was meant to emphasize that Allah would protect this prophet until the end of his mission. (Asbab ul-Nuzul, Ibn Kathir)

Footnote:

Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) once said that in the intervening years between Jesus, and himself there were no prophets sent by God. (Bukhari, Muslim)

He said on another occasion that there would be no more prophets after me. Therefore any religions founded between the time of Jesus, and Muhammad, and then after the time of Muhammad (Peace be upon him) are not accepted as authentic expressions of divine revelation by Muslims.

DY Fifty Six (A Journey with Quran)

Today the fifth chapter of the Quran starts: Al Maidah which means The Banquet Table. This chapter was revealed over many months in Medina near the later days of the Prophet’s mission. Thus, it addresses a wide variety of issues, many of them reflecting the intense interfaith dialogues going on within the city. The memorable lines contained in the middle of verse three, which speak of the completing of Islam as a way of life, were revealed during the Prophet’s last pilgrimage in the year 632. Some believe that that passage may have been the last Qur’anic revelation the Prophet received. It was this passage that led many of Muhammad’s closest followers to conclude that the ministry of their beloved guide was coming to a close. The Prophet reportedly said of this chapter: “The chapter of the Banquet Table has been revealed as the last stage in the revelation of the Qur’an. Therefore, take what has been pronounced as lawful within it as lawful forever, and take what has been pronounced unlawful in it as unlawful forever.” (Ma’ariful Qur’an)

Surah Al Maidah: Ayats 1–10

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

All you who believe! Fulfill your obligations! You’re allowed (to eat) all domestic livestock, except for (the animals) that have been forbidden to you by mention (of their names or categories). You’re also forbidden to hunt (wild animals) while you’re under (pilgrimage) restrictions, and Allah certainly makes rules that He wants. [1]

All you who believe! Don’t violate (the holiness) of the symbols of Allah, nor violate the holy month (of Hajj) nor (the animals) brought for sacrifice nor the garlands that identify them, nor the safety (of those who visit) the Sacred House looking for the bounty and approval of their Lord. However, when you’re freed from the restrictions of the holy places and pilgrim’s clothes, you may go hunting (animals for food) once more. Don’t let (your) hatred for some people, who once kept you out of the Sacred Mosque, lead you into being spitefully wrong in return. Help each other in righteousness and mindfulness (of Allah), but don’t help each other in sinfulness or aggression. Be mindful of Allah, for Allah is strict in the final outcome. [2]

You’re forbidden to (eat the following things): meat from animals that died by themselves; blood; pork; anything that was dedicated to any other name besides Allah’s name; anything that was killed by strangling, a blunt strike, falling or by being slashed to death, as well as anything that’s been (partly) eaten by a wild animal – unless you’re able to slaughter it (properly); and anything that was sacrificed on stone (altars). You’re also (forbidden) to divide (up meat portions among people) by drawing marked (arrowheads) to make random selections, for that method is immoral. This day, those who cover over (the truth of Allah) have given up all hope of (destroying) your way of life. So don’t be afraid of them; rather, fear only Me. This day, I have perfected your way of life for you, completed My favor upon you and have chosen for you Islam as your way of life. If anyone is forced by desperate hunger (to eat the forbidden things that were mentioned before), with no desire to do wrong, (then they may eat the forbidden foods for survival purposes only), for Allah is forgiving and merciful. [3]

Now they’re asking you what else is allowed for them (to eat), so tell them, “You’re allowed to (eat) anything that’s healthy and pure, and also what you’ve taught your trained hunting animals (to catch), as you were already directed by Allah. (You may) eat what they capture for you, but be sure to declare the name of Allah over it. Be mindful of Allah, for Allah is quick in taking account.” [4]

This day, everything healthy and pure has been made lawful for you. The (ritually slaughtered) food of those who received scripture in the past is also lawful for you, and your food is lawful for them. (With regards to marriage, you’re allowed to marry) virtuous believing women, and (you may also marry) virtuous women from among those who received scripture before your time, but only if you give them their required marriage gifts and only if you desire decency and not lustful behavior or secret affairs. If someone rejects (faith in Allah), then his deeds will be rendered useless, and in the next life he’ll be among the losers. [5]

All you who believe! When you prepare yourselves for prayer, wash your faces and your hands up to the elbows. Wipe the top of your heads (with water), and (wash) your feet to the ankles. If you’re in a state of greater impurity, then bathe your whole body. However, if you’re sick, on a journey, answered the call of nature or were intimate with the opposite sex and you can’t find any water (to wash yourselves), then you can take either clean sand or earth and use it to wipe your faces and hands. Allah doesn’t want to put you into any hardship; rather, (He wants to) purify you and complete His favor towards you, so you can be thankful. [6]

Remember the favors of Allah that have been bestowed upon you, and remember His covenant that He concluded with you when you said, “We hear, and we obey.” Be mindful (of Allah) for Allah knows what you’re thinking. [7]

All you who believe! Stand forth firmly for Allah as witnesses to fair dealing. Don’t let the hatred of others towards you make you swerve towards injustice or towards being unfair (to them in return). Be fair, for that’s the closest to being mindful (of Allah). So be mindful then, for Allah is well-informed of everything you do. [8]

Allah made a promise to those who believed and who did what was morally right that they’ll receive forgiveness and a great reward. [9]

Whoever rejects (their natural faith in Allah) and denies Our (revealed) verses will be among the companions of the raging blaze. [10]

Translation: Yahiya Emerick

Footnote to the middle lines in Ayat 3:

This was one of the last passages revealed to Prophet Mohammad, (Peace be upon him) indicating that his ministry was coming to an end. The name of the religion Islam, or surrender to Allah’s will is given in this verse.

It was revealed on a Friday during the Prophet’s Farewell Pilgrimage in the year 632, and recited to the gathering throng of 100,000 people on what is known as the Day of Arafat. While many Muslims were elated at this confident statement of Allah, Umer bin al Khattak began to weep openly. When the Prophet asked him why he was weeping, Umer replied, “This verse signals that your time in this world is drawing to a close“. The Prophet replied in the affirmative. Eighty days later, the Prophet passed away.

Footnote to Ayat four:

All permitted, or halal meats, as well as produce such as fruits, legumes, nuts, vegetables, and grains are considered good, and pure. The Prophet specifically forbade the eating of animals that hunt, and kill other animals with their teeth, such as lions, wolves, snakes, or lizards. He also prohibited eating birds that hunt, and kill others with their claws, such as falcons, and hawks.

Footnote to Ayat 5:

In the Prophet’s time, most Jews, and Christians in Arabia observed some basic slaughtering standards that included mentioning Allah’s name before felling the animal, cutting the jugular vein swiftly, thus minimizing the pain felt by the animals, and then draining the excess blood from the animal. (See Acts 15:29, 21:25, and 1 Corinthians 10:20-21)

While Orthodox Judaism retained this practice, as the centuries progressed, Christian culture has largely abandoned such methods. Meat prepared today by Christians, and others does not meet the requirement of halal meat, and therefore forbidden.