Chapter 2: Al-Baqarah pt 2

THE COW (contd.)
This is directed at the pagan Quraysh and Jews among the audience, who already know the story of Adam’s descent from heaven, in a bid to remind them what happens when man challenges or disobeys the Lord

26.  Allah is not afraid to give an example of his power. Even something as seemingly insignificant as a gnat becomes a miracle of creation when you look at is closely. Believers get this straight away, but non-believers will say, “so what?” It is their blindness that Allah uses to guide those who are willing to see the light.

27.   But the real losers are not the non-believers, but those who once embraced the righteous ways of Allah, but then broke away from the faith just to cause mischief on earth.

28.  Consider this: you were once nothing. Then you came to being. Then you will die. Yet once again you will have life breathed into you. How can you know this to be true yet disbelieve in Allah?

29.  It is he who created everything on Earth, he who fashioned seven heavens in the sky, he who knows everything.

30.  And when your lord said to the angels, “I will place a representative on Earth,” they wondered: “Will he not create havoc there and shed blood? Are our hymns and praises not harmonious enough for you?” Allah hushed them, saying: “I know things you could not possibly imagine.”

31.  And so Allah gave his representative Adam the ability to recognise everything on heaven and earth. He then showed the angels many things on heaven and earth and challenged them to name them all.

32.  They conceded: “Glory to you. We don’t know what these are. We don’t know anything beyond what you taught us. You are all-knowing and wise.”

33.  Then Allah said to Adam, “Tell them”, and Adam told the angels what all those things were. And Allah said: “There is more to heaven and earth than what you can see. I know its secrets as well as those that you hide from me.”

34.  And when the angels were told, “Bow before Adam”, they did so readily. All except Iblis. Too proud to kneel before a mere mortal, Iblis became the first non-believer.

35.  Then Adam was shown to the Gardens of Heaven and told: “You and your wife can dwell here freely and eat anything that takes your fancy, but here’s a test of your willpower. Do not go near that tree over there. If you do, it will show us wrongdoing is in your nature.”

36.  But Satan tempted them to take from the tree and their disobedience gained them immediate expulsion. They were told: “You are the fallen. You are your own worst enemies. You must now fend for yourself on Earth and stay there until you can prove you’ve learned right from wrong.”

37.  Adam was beside himself with remorse and Allah, being merciful, accepted his repentance.

38.  He said: “Now all of you. Go down to Earth and wait for further instructions. Anyone who follows my guidance will never know fear or sorrow.”

39.  “But anyone who disbelieves, or denies my revelations can expect to be doomed to burn in hellfire for all eternity.”

Chapter 2: Al-Baqarah pt 1

As is the case with many surahs, the chapter is named after one aspect of the story that  had its listeners captivated, in this instance, the tale of the yellow heifer (verses 67-71) 

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 In the name of Allah, the compassionate, the forgiving.

1. Alif. Lam. Mim. (Roughly translated as: a one, a two, a one, two, three…)

2. This is the definitive guidebook for those who want to ward off evil.

3. For those who believe in the unseen, unite in worship and share with others what you have been given.

4. Who accept these words to be sent down by Allah and revealed to you by Muhammad, just as they were revealed by other prophets before him in the Torah and the Gospel, united in their mission to show you the way to find salvation in the hereafter.

5. They succeed in that mission because the guidance comes from Allah himself.

6. As for those who don’t believe a word of what’s written here, whether you warn them or don’t warn them, it’s all the same to them – they won’t buy it.

7. Their ears and hearts are shut, their eyes covered. Bad things are going to happen to them.

8. As will to the hypocrites who say they believe in Allah and the Day of Judgement, when actually they don’t believe in any of it.

9. These fake believers think they can fool Allah and those who truly believe, but they fool no one but themselves… and they can’t even see that!

10. Their hearts are diseased. Allah will punish their hypocrisy by making the disease worse. It’s all going to end horribly for them.

11. When it’s said to them: “Don’t cause trouble on earth,” they lie and say, “don’t worry, we’re here to make peace”.

12. But anyone can see they just cause mischief wherever they go… anyone except them, that is.

13. And when the hypocrite is told, “Believe in Allah the right way and not just to further your own gains”, he’ll scoff, “Believe the way fools believe?” Again, without realising saying so makes them the fools.

14. When they meet true believers, they announce, “we believe, we’re with you”, yet when they’re with devils, they’ll say: “nah, we’re with you. We were just taking the mick out of them.”

15. But Allah takes the mick right back, leaving them to wander pointlessly like rebels without a clue.

16. These are people who paid the same price for guidance but bought into a lie. They wanted to cheat their way to prosperity. How misguided can they get?

17. He’s like a man who starts a fire, and basks in the light all around him, until Allah takes away that light, leaving him to burn in the dark.

18. Men like him are left deaf, dumb and blind. They’ll never find the right path.

19. Theirs is a tormented life, like a rainstorm from the sky, full of darkness, thunder and lightning. Sometimes the rumblings are so intense they thrust their fingers in their ears to drown out the sound, fearing they might die. Allah has them hemmed in. They’re going nowhere.

20. They have to stand still in the darkness, only moving when there are flashes of lightning, even though the lightning almost turns them blind. If Allah wanted, he could destroy their hearing and their sight altogether. He is able to do all things.

21. Listen up, people! Worship your Lord, who created you and everyone before you, so that you can live a life free of evil.

22. Allah has created this earth as a resting place for you. The sky is your canopy, and the water that pours from it helps to grow fruit for you to eat. You know all this comes from Allah, so do yourselves a favour – do not set up rivals to him.

23. If you doubt the words of Allah as revealed to our slave Muhammad, then by all means, produce a chapter truthful or convincing enough to match the word of Allah. Call upon your witnesses to prove you speak the truth.

24. If you can’t produce such evidence (don’t kid yourself – you’ll never be able to), get ready. You’re going to a special kind of hell, made of a fire fuelled by flesh and stones.

25. But there’s good news for those who have faith and do good on earth. Their world will be like a garden beneath which a river flows, bringing them fruits that taste in paradise as sweet as their deeds on earth. And they shall have companions pure in body and mind by their side for all eternity.

Chapter 1: Al-Fatihah

This is the Lord’s Prayer. Muslims recite this before every form of worship or solemn undertaking, and pretty much sums up the essence of the Qu’ran

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1. In the name of Allah, the compassionate, the forgiving.

2. Praise to Allah, the Lord of all the worlds.

3. The kind, the merciful.

4. Master of the Day of Judgement.

5. We only worship you. We only ask you for help.

6. Show us the straight path.

7. The blessed path, not one followed by those who anger you, or that led by those who have lost their way.