2-The Cow / Baqarah -Part 5:

(2:172) Oh believers, if you truly submit to Me sincerely, then eat, use, and earn your living from what I have blessed you that is good and healthy, and be thankful for my generosity.   

(2:173) I only forbid for you land animals that die without being slaughtered, to drink blood, pig’s meat, and animals that are sacrificed to false gods and idols. But whoever is forced to do so out of necessity, so long as there is no other option and they don’t eat excessively, there is no sin against them because of my forgiveness and continuous mercy.

(2:174) Those who conceal what I revealed to earn some personal gain, they are filling their stomachs with fire and pain. They will have a painful punishment, and I will not speak or purify them from their sin on the Day of Judgment.

(2:175) They trade guidance for misguidance, and forgiveness for punishment. Isn’t it remarkable how they dare do what leads to a fiery torment?

(2:176) They do this because the truth came with my revelation, and those who dispute what I revealed have taken the side that is far from reason.

(2:177) Being good is not about turning to the East or West performing rituals. Being a good person is to believe in God, the Day of Judgment, and my Angels, revelation, and messengers. It is to believe and overcome your love for things to give out of love for Me: To your family, to orphans, and to the poor and needy, to travelers, those who ask for help, and to free those bound by the chains of slavery, and to pray regularly, give the required charity, fulfill promises made completely, and though financial and physical hardship, illness, and the heat of battle to struggle patiently. They are the ones whose belief is true, and they are the ones who are saved from my penalty.  

(2:178) Oh believers, your government is ordered to impose the death penalty on the person who commits murder deliberately. But if the victim’s family forgives the murderer, then he is to pay them a fixed amount of money and treat them nicely. I have made the law easy out of my mercy, but whoever harms another beyond this will have a severe penalty.

(2:179) Those who think will understand that this law is intended to save lives. They will implement it accordingly, and be afraid of disobeying Me.

(2:180) Oh believers, if your death approaches and you have some wealth or money, write a Will consistent with the rules of inheritance for your parents and family, and give them what is fair and customary. This is their right to be given by those who fear disobeying Me.

(2:181) If the person who takes the will changes it then it is their sin, and remember that I hear and know everything.

(2:182) But if the person’s will is lopsided or sinful, then there is no sin in making peace between the inheritors, and remember that I am forgiving and merciful.

(2:183) Oh believers, you are ordered to fast just as fasting was, for those before you, an obligation. I order it to strengthen you in overcoming temptation.

(2:184) Fasting is just for a few days, but you can make up the days later if you are sick or traveling. And for each required day, those who cannot fast must feed a poor person. Whoever does more of something good, will find that it is good for them, and to fast extra is better for you if you knew how much reward you get for it in Heaven.

(2:185) The required fast is for the month of Ramadan. It is the blessed month in which I began revealing the Quran; the Quran, which is guidance for mankind. In it you will find: Clear guidance, and it teaches you how to separate right from wrong. So take time to read the Quran, and do the month of fasting, but you can make up the days later if you are sick or traveling. I want things to be easy for you. This is not meant to be a hardship, and I want you to complete the required days, declare my greatness, and be thankful for the guidance I have given you.   

(2:186) If my people ask you about Me, tell them I am near, and I respond to those who ask and call to Me with a prayer that is severe. So as I respond to them, they should respond to Me with humble submission, and believe that I will reward and answer their prayers with what is best for them. And they should know that doing so, particularly in Ramadan, is the path to my reward in Heaven.

(2:187) And when your fasting day is done, you are allowed to be with your spouse intimately. Like clothing, you protect and comfort them, and they protect and comfort you beautifully. I knew that some of the early companions experienced difficulty. So I accepted their repentance and reduced the burden to make things easy. So now you can be intimate, and seek the good that I have written for you including children, and you can eat, and drink until the morning light first spreads across the horizon. Then complete your fast until sunset. But when spending the night at a mosque you are not allowed to be intimate, and stay away from breaking these rules which set your limits. In this way, I make my guidance clear for people to make it easy for them to avoid my punishment.

(2:188) Then when you do eat, make sure your food is purchased with clean money. So do not unlawfully take one another’s property, or deliberately pay rulers and judges for you to take what belongs to others sinfully.

(2:189) Oh Muhammad, you were asked about the crescent moon which comes periodically. Say: “It is for people to tell the beginning of the lunar months, including Ramadan and Hajj, accurately. And tell them that to be virtuous is to be afraid of disobeying God ignorantly. So when making the Hajj pilgrimage, when you are in Ihram and ready, you can still enter your homes from the front door because there is no virtue in climbing over the walls as you thought previously. Then to be successful, be afraid of disobeying God and perform the Hajj rituals which are ordered completely.”

(2:190) And order your followers to fight for the right to perform the Hajj pilgrimage, and the liberty to worship Me freely. So fight those who are fighting you only. Do not go beyond this and hurt civilians intentionally. I do not love those who are unjust and break my commands deliberately.

(2:191) Fight them wherever you find them, and expel them from the areas they drove you out from. When they tortured people to renounce their faith in Me, it was worse than murder, so fight them forcefully. And do not fight them at the sacred Mosque until they begin, but if they do, then kill them. That is what they deserve for knowingly violating the Kabbah’s sanctity.  

(2:192) But if they stop and repent, then they should know that I am forgiving and will treat them with mercy.

(2:193) And fight them until there is no religious persecution, and people can worship Me freely, but if they stop then there shall be no fighting except against those who are unjust and break the treaty.

(2:194) If they fight you in the sacred month, then fight them in the sacred month in retaliation. Those who violate the sacred should be treated with equal retribution. Those who harm you can be harmed back equally. But be afraid of responding beyond your right, and remember that I am with those who are afraid of disobeying Me.   

(2:195) Do the best you can, and remember that I love those who do their best for Me. So give from your time, wealth, and lives to serve my religion, and do not throw yourselves to self destruction.

(2:196) And perform the requirements of Hajj and Umrah for Me till completion. But if you are prevented from doing so, give at least a sheep as your easy sacrifice, and do not shave your head until the animal has reached its destination. Whoever shaves their head early because of sickness of head injury, they must fast three days, sacrifice an extra sheep, or feed six poor people as compensation. If you are not a resident of Makkah, and you can travel to Hajj safely, and you comfortably do both Umrah and Hajj on the same trip separately, then you should slaughter a sacrifice that is easy. If you cannot, then you must fast three days during Hajj and seven when you return to your home town or country, and remember my punishment is severe, so be fearful of disobeying Me.

(2:197) Enter the ritual state of Ihram for Hajj within the two months prior, then you cannot have intimacy, or sin, or fight during Hajj or as you travel. Remember that I know any and all good deeds you do, and take what you need of provision. It is not virtuous to go begging. The best virtue is found in being fearful of disobeying the commands I have given. So avoid my punishment by learning what you need to do for Hajj and thinking.  

(2:198) And there is nothing wrong with taking goods for business to seek my blessings. Then when you leave the area of Arafa, make prayers and remember Me in the sacred land of Muzdalifa. And remember Me in the manner I taught you, because you were in misguided ignorance before this revelation reached you.

(2:199) And all should go where the people go, and ask Me for forgiveness as I am forgiving and merciful.

(2:200) Then when you complete the requirements of Hajj, including offering the sacrificial animal, remember and call upon Me as much or more than your remembering of your parents and be thankful. There are those who focus their prayers on asking for good things in this life exclusively, but their prayers give them nothing for the hereafter where they will spend eternity.

(2:201) And there are those who pray sincerely, “Oh Lord, give us good in this world, good in the next, and protect us from the punishment of the fire.”

(2:202) They will have part of their reward in this life, and my reward for their good deeds in the afterlife is coming quickly.

(2:203) So pray and make remembrance of Me in Mina for the few days that remain. Whether you stay for two days, or three, those who didn’t disobey Me will have all their past sins forgiven. Then fear disobeying Me as you go home, and remember that I will gather everyone together on the Day of Resurrection.

(2:204) There are people who talk impressively. They swear their intentions are pure and argue convincingly.

(2:205) But when they turn away they work hard to spread sin, death and destruction. I do not like or accept any form of evil, or harmful actions.

(2:206) If it is said to them to fear God’s punishment, their pride causes them to persist with their sin. Hell will be their home and enough of a punishment for them.

(2:207) And there are people who give their lives fighting evil and corruption for Me to be happy with them. They will have my loving mercy in life and in Heaven.

(2:208) Oh you who believe in Me, adopt the path of submission to my commands completely. Do not follow the path of the devil as he is, to you, a clear enemy.

(2:209) If you fall from the path of truth after receiving clear evidence, then you should know that I have full power and authority and will punish you accordingly.

(2:210) Are those who are hesitating waiting, in the shadow of clouds and angels, for My punishment to come, and the matter is done, and everything is decided by Me on the Day of Resurrection?

(2:211) Ask the Children of Israel, how much clear evidence and guidance did I give them? Whoever rejects or trades away a blessing from Me after receiving it will discover that I punish severely.

(2:212) Those who reject my guidance fall for the temptation of this worldly life and its beauty. They make fun of those who believe, but on the Day of Judgment, those who are afraid of disobeying Me will be above them in Heaven for eternity. It is those whom I choose who will have their mistakes overlooked and be rewarded continuously.

(2:213) You should know that all of mankind followed the same religion originally. Then they disputed, so I sent messengers to deliver my good news and warning clearly. I sent with them revelation with the truth to judge for people what they were disputing ignorantly. After receiving clear evidence and my revelation, the only ones who continue to dispute and reject the truth do so out of bad faith and jealous animosity. I guide those whom I choose to the straight path, and I chose those who obey, study, and believe in my revelation sincerely to find the truth that is being disputed unjustly.

(2:214) Do you think you will enter Heaven without patiently going through adversity like generations who came previously? They were touched by financial and physical hardship, sickness, and injury, and they were shaken by their enemies until the Messenger and his followers called out desperately, “Oh God, when is your support coming?” It was then that my support was close to arriving.

(2:215) Oh Muhammad, your followers ask what they should be giving? Tell them, “Whatever good you give should go to parents, family, orphans, the poor, and those who are traveling. Remember, that God knows all the good you do. So give no matter how small the good that you are sharing.”

(2:216) And tell them, “You are ordered to fight for what is right even though you find it hard to do. It may be that you hate something that is good for you, or love something that is bad for you. You don’t know. So trust that God knows what is best for you.”

(2:217) Oh Muhammad, respond to those who question fighting in the sacred months saying, “To fight in the sacred months is normally a major sin, but to God, rejecting Him and blocking others from his religion, and from the sacred mosque, and forcing those who believed in Makkah to leave is a much worse sin. With God, religious persecution is worse that the harm of war. So regarding fighting in the sacred months, we have permission. And if they had the power to do so, they would fight you continuously until they turn you away from your religion. But if any of you abandons God’s religion, and dies in the state of rejection, they will lose the reward for their good deeds in this world and the next, and they will go to Hell forever on the Day of Resurrection.

(2:218) But, those who believe sincerely, and those who left their homes and fought to practice God’s religion freely, they hope for God’s mercy, and they will find that God is forgiving, and His mercy will take care of them for eternity.”

(2:219) Oh Muhammad, they ask you regarding alcohol and gambling. Say, “In them is some benefit for people, and a lot of sin. The harm outweighs the benefit so stay away from them.” And they ask you how much to give in charity, say, “Give from what you don’t need that is easy.” In this way, I make the rules clear so that you will think and plan for this

(2:220) life and your eternity. Oh Muhammad, they ask you regarding the orphan’s money. Say, “It is better to take care of their property separately, but they are your brothers and sisters, so you can mix with them your business and property. I know who has good intentions and who wants to take from orphans intentionally. So remember, I could have made this a hardship, and I have full power over you, and I know everything you do. So be afraid of being unjust to the orphans with their money.

(2:221) And tell them: No woman or man may marry a spouse who worships idols until they believe in God sincerely. It is better for you to marry a spouse you look down upon who believes, than to marry an idol worshiper you find attractive or pretty. They and people like them call you to temptation, and Hell for eternity, and I am calling you to forgiveness and Heaven by teaching you to marry the spouse who protects you with your life’s journey to Me. I make the reasoning for my rules clear so you can remember and think about how to apply them correctly. 

(2:222) Oh Muhammad, and they ask you regarding the menstrual cycle. Tell them that Menstrual blood is dirty. So do not have intercourse with your wife until she is clean and washes, and then I permit you to do so freely. Remember, I love those who repent from past mistakes, and I love those who clean themselves regularly.

(2:223) Prepare for the afterlife by selecting a good spouse, taking care of them, and raising good children who believe in Me. So come together with your spouse in any way you like to plant the seed of your family. Be afraid of my punishment, if you mistreat your spouse or children, and remember that you will stand in front of Me on the Day of Resurrection. And deliver the good news to those who believe and follow my religion that they will go to Heaven.

(2:224) Don’t let an oath made to Me prevent you from doing good, putting an end to something bad, or making peace between people or family. Remember, I hear everything you say, and I know what you do entirely.

(2:225) I will not hold you accountable for misspoken oaths, but I will hold you accountable for the oaths your hearts’ make deliberately. So repent from oaths that prevent you from doing something good, and remember that I will forgive and treat you with mercy.

(2:226) Those who swear not to touch their wives can do so for up to four months. If they abandon the oath, then I am forgiving and will treat them with mercy.

(2:227) If he persists then she is divorced. Remember, I hear everything and know everything, and I will hold you accountable for how you treat your family.

(2:228) Divorced women must wait three menstrual cycles, and if they believe in Me and the Day of Judgment, then they will not conceal a pregnancy. If their husbands desire reconciliation, then they have the right during that time to undo the divorce and repair their family. Your wife has the same rights that you have as is normal, good, and customary, but in the relationship the man has an additional leadership responsibility. So remember that I know what is best for you, and no one can save you from Me if you treat each other unfairly.  

(2:229) A man may divorce and reconcile with his wife twice within the waiting period, then he must commit to a good normal marriage or let her go nicely. He may not take back anything he gave her as dowry. If she believes she cannot fulfill her minimal obligations, and a judge determines that she cannot fulfill her obligations due to no fault from her husband, then it is acceptable for her to be divorced with the return of the dowry. These are my limits, and whoever violates these limits has behaved unjustly.

(2:230) With the third divorce, they cannot reconcile or remarry. The exception is if she has married another and is divorced again, then they can remarry if they believe they can treat each other appropriately. These are my rules and limits which I make clear to those who know and understand that they are from Me.

(2:231) If a man declares that he is divorcing his wife and she have reached the end of the waiting period, he may reconcile with her as is good and customary or let her go nicely. He may not cancel the divorce to hurt and harm her, whoever does so has treated their soul unjustly. Think of all the blessings I gave you through your spouse, and take my rules for marriage and divorce seriously. Remember the laws I sent you with this revelation along with how to apply them correctly, and remember the warning I have given you if you disobeying Me. So protect yourself from my punishment, and remember that I know everything completely.

(2:232) Once the waiting period is over, do not burden or prevent her from marrying a new husband or her ex-husband if they reconcile and agree on a dowry that is customary. I am warning those of you who believe in Me and the Day of Judgment. These rules are better and cleaner for you spiritually and physically. Remember that you don’t know what is best for you and I do. So submit to my laws because it is good for you.   

(2:233) Mothers can breastfeed their children for up to two years, if the parents want to take it till completion. During this time, the child’s father owes the mother the customary food, clothing, and provision, and you can wean the child at any time when both parents agree after mutual consultation. If the father dies, then to the child or nearest male heir goes this financial responsibility. No one can be asked for more than what they can do without difficulty. The mother may not be harmed through her child nor may the father be harmed through his child deliberately. If you want to hire someone to do the feeding, you can, if you pay them what is customary. Remember that I see everything you do, so be afraid of disobeying Me.

(2:234) If a woman’s husband dies, her grieving period is four months and ten days. When it is over, let her do as she likes as is good and customary. Remember, I know everything about you, so I give you laws that are good and healthy.

(2:235) During the grieving period, there is no sin for men to imply an interest in marriage indirectly, or consider the matter internally. I know that some of you will think of them, but don’t marry or have relations secretly. Just speak to them as is normal and customary. Do not get engaged or married until the period is over completely. Remember that I know what is in your hearts, so be afraid of disobeying Me. I am not quick to punish those who sin or make a mistake to give them time to repent, but time will run out eventually. Those who do repent, I cover their faults and forgive their sins out of my mercy.

(2:236) If a man divorces his wife before a dowry is fixed and the marriage is consummated, then give her a gift instead of the dowry. The rich man gives according to his level, and the poor man gives according to his as is good and customary, and for good men, this is a duty.

(2:237) But if a man divorces his wife after the dowry is fixed and before the marriage is consummated, then she is owed half the promised dowry. So give it to her unless she forgives her right or the man is generous and gives it entirely. Remember, forgiveness and generosity is better to avoid disobeying Me. Don’t forget the good between you, and treat each other kindly. Remember, I don’t miss anything you do, and I will reward or punish you accordingly.

(2:238) At all times take care of your prayers, particularly the blessed afternoon prayer, and stand praying to Me calmly, quietly and with complete sincerity.

(2:239) If you are fearful, you can pray walking or riding. Then when you are safe go back to worshiping Me as I instructed you. Remember, you did not know how to worship Me before I taught you. So pray to Me thankfully for guiding you.

(2:240) Those who die owe their wife housing and provision for a year, but if she leaves on her own, let her do as she likes that is good and customary. Remember that I know what is best for you, and no one can save you from Me, if you treat people unfairly.

(2:241) Divorced women are owed alimony as is customary, this is a debt owed by those who fear disobeying Me.

(2:242) In this way, I make my commands clear, so you will understand and implement them properly.

 

Chapter Notes:

Verse 178: This verse, and others like it, can be misunderstood unless they are interpreted through the lens of how it was implemented by Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. For example, the verse is directed at “those who believe.” However, the penalty for murder is under the jurisdiction of the state after a fair and impartial trial. In addition, the verse also literally states, “the free person for the free person, the slave for the slave, and the woman for the woman.” Taken literally, these words could be understood to mean that a man would not face the death penalty for killing a woman, for example, and that is contrary to the general practice of the early Muslims. Therefore, the best understanding of these words is that they reject an ancient Arab practice that strong tribes would demand to kill one or several people from weaker tribes when they didn’t feel that killing the murderer was sufficient.

Verse 179: Notice that the purpose of the death penalty is to save lives by acting as a deterrent so people will think twice before committing murder. There are many circumstances in which implementing the death penalty would not act as a deterrent or would even be counter-productive. The Quran does not go into this level of detail, but rather sketches the general principles that people should work within to implement laws that are fair and just for their particular circumstances. At the time of its revelation, the Arab tribes were constantly fighting and killing each other in revenge killings. So if a person form a tribe committed murder, a stronger tribe might demand several people to be killed. If the murderer was a woman, they might demand that a male be killed in her place etc. The Quranic verse put an end to those practices and limited the death penalty to intentional murders when the victim’s family did not forgive. Then the Quran calls on people to think about how to implement the law in the circumstances of their society because the law is there to be just and save lives in the aggregate. This requires careful balancing of the legal system. A system that is tilted in favor of reducing the chance of an innocent person being found guilty, necessarily results in more guilty people being let go to kill again because there wasn’t enough evidence to convict them. A system that is quick and harsh against criminals necessarily will result in more innocent people being swept up and punished in the system. A society can spend a million dollars imprisoning a serial killer for life, or it can kill the serial killer quickly and used that money to revitalize neighborhoods

Verse 180: Muslim parents and children by blood have percentages that are fixed by the Quran as their share of inheritance. However, according to narrations from the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, a person can write a Will for up to a third of his or her wealth and the fixed percentages apply to the remainder. In addition, the Will cannot give anything to anyone who is going to get under the fixed percentages. When read consistent with the Prophetic tradition, this verse is encouraging the inclusion of parents and family in the Will who do not receive something under the fixed percentages.

Verse 190: Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and his companions spent about 12 years under the terrible religious persecution of the people of Makkah. Then they were forced to go to the city of Madina to avoid being killed or tortured. The people of Makkah continued to fight them and prevent them from performing the religious pilgrimage to the Kabbah, so these verses were revealed in response.

Verse 197: The main day for the Hajj pilgrimage is the day people stand at Arafa on the ninth day of the lunar month of Thul-Hijjah. A person who enters into the ritual state of Ihram for Hajj should do so within the first few days of the month of Thul-Hijjah or within the two lunar months prior to it.

Verse 200: In the time before the Quran, the Quraish would perform the Hajj pilgrimage with their idols and then sit around boasting of the accomplishments of their forefathers. The primary understanding of this verse was to forbid that practice and replace it with remembrance of God.  The verse was written above from the perspective of what the verse may mean to a modern person reading what God said to the people of Quraish.

Verse 233: This verse should be read in conjunction with verse (15:46) which states that the term for pregnancy and breastfeeding together is usually 30 months. This implies an encouraged norm of about 20 months of breastfeeding which can be extended to a maximum of 24 months.

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1- The Opening / Al-Fatihah

2-The Cow - Part 1
2-The Cow - Part 2
2-The Cow - Part 3
2-The Cow - Part 4
2-The Cow - Part 5
2-The Cow - Part 6
2-The Cow - Part 7
12-Yusuf
18-The Cave / Al-Kahf
19-Mary Mother of Jesus / Maryam
24-The Light 35-40
29-The Spider
67-God's Kingdom / Al-Mulk
68-The Pen / Al-Qalam

69-Day of Accountability / Al-Haqqah
70-The Levels / Al-Ma'arij:
71- Noah / Nuh
72- The Jinn / Al-Jinn
73-Wrapped with Responsibility / Al-Muzzammil

74-Get out of Bed / Al-Muddaththir

75-Day of Resurrection / Al-Qiyamah

76-Humanity / Al-Insan

77-What I send / Mursalat

78-The News / An-Naba

79-The Angels Who Pull Out Your Souls / An-Naziat

80-He Frowned / Abasa

81-When the Sun Collapses and Dies / At-Takwir

82-The Tearing / Al-Infitar

83-The Cheaters / Al-Mutaffifin

84-Ripped Open / Al-Inshiqaq
85-The Constellations / Al-Buruj

86-The Brilliant Stars / At-Tariq
87-The Most High / Al-A'la
88-The Overhelming Day / Al-Ghashiyah
89-The Dawn / Al-Fajr
90-The Sacred Land of Makkah / Al-Balad
91-The Sun / Ash-Shams
92-The Night / Al-Lail
93-Morning / Ad-Duha
94-Insight and Understanding / Ash-Sharh
95-The Fig / At-Teen
96-The Clot / Al-Alaq
97-The Night of Destiny / Al-Qadr
98-Clear Evidence / Al-Bayyinah

99-The Earthquake / Al-Zalzalah
100-Running Horses /Al-Adiyat
101-Terrifying / Al-Qariah
102-Collecting Things / Al-Takathur
103-Time / Asr
104-Backbiting / Al-Humazah
105-The Elephant / Al-Feel
106-The Tribe of Quraish / Quraish
107-Small Assistance / Al-Ma'un
108-A River in Paradise Called Kauthar / Al-Kauthar
109-Those Who Reject the Truth
110-My Support / Al-Nasr
111-Twisted Braided Rope / Al-Masad
112-Pure Intention / Al-Ikhlas
113-Daybreak / Al-Falaq
114-People / Al-Nas