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Monthly Qur'an Readings

Session 6

Chapter 4

Verses 148–152

ALLAH does not like that evils or hurtful speeches be mentioned in public, except by whoever has been wronged. God hears, and He is Aware (of all that we do, say, or aspire to). When you do good openly or in secret and forgive an evil (done to you), then you find God Who is Forgiving and Powerful!

Those who deny the truth in God and in His Messengers and endeavor to make a distinction between God and His messengers by saying, “We believe in some and deny the others,” are the true deniers of God and truth. God has prepared shame and suffering for such deniers. But for those who believe in God and in His Messengers and make no distinction between them, God will reward them in due course. God is Forgiving and Merciful (to His creation)!

Verses 153–162

The followers of previous revelations demanded of you (Prophet) that a book from Heaven be brought to them. As a matter of fact, they placed an even more grave demand on Moses earlier: “Show us ALLAH in person.” Punishment from Heaven descended on them as a consequence of their own evils (and unreasonable demands). They then took the calf as an object of worship after all the evidence of truth came to them. God, nonetheless, forgave them and provided Moses with clear authority (and evident truth). We (God and His prophet) took a covenant from them by the side of rising Mt. Sinai and asked them to enter the gate humbly with due submission to God. We also told them, “Do not violate the Sabbath laws.” This was a solemn pledge taken from them. (After all of these) they broke the covenant, disbelieved in God’s messages, killed prophets wrongfully, and claimed, “Our hearts are filled with belief.” No, their hearts have been sealed by God due to their disbelief—they believe but very little.

They disbelieved when they lodged against Mary the serious allegation (of being unchaste) and said, “We have killed the Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, Messenger of God.” But they killed him not, and he did not die on the cross,

though they conceived as such. Those of them who held differing opinions on this were in doubt — they had no real knowledge, and they made only conjectures. They did not kill him for certain, and God exalted him in His presence—God is infinitely Mighty and Wise!

And there are none among the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) who will but come to realize this (the true nature of Jesus Christ) before his death, and on the Day of Resurrection, and he [Jesus] will be a witness against them.

As for the injustice committed by those from among the Jews and their turning away repeatedly from God’s guidance, We (God) deprived them of the good things that were available to them. (This was also due to) their persistent usurious practices, though forbidden, and their wrongful displacement of rightful owners from their properties under false pretext. For the repeated deniers of truth from among them, We (God) prepared a seriously adverse consequence (punishment). But those who are deeply rooted in knowledge from among them and are truly faithful (1) firmly believe in what has been revealed to you (the Qur’an) and what was revealed before you (the Bible and the Torah), (2) are devoted to consistent worship of God, (3) take care of the vulnerable and deprived (e.g., through Zakat), and (4) firmly believe in God and The Last Day. It is for these that We (God) shall grant a grand reward.

Verses 163–170

Surely We (God) had inspired you (Mohammad) as We had inspired Noah and the prophets after him; We inspired Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and their descendants; (We inspired) Jesus, Job, Jonah, Aaron, and Solomon, and We gave David a scripture. (We sent) Messengers that We have mentioned to you before and others that We have not mentioned to you. And ALLAH spoke His words to Moses. (These are) Messengers, bearing good news and dispensing caution, so that people may have no excuse before God after the Messengers. God is infinitely Mighty and Wise!

Notwithstanding, God Himself testifies what He had revealed to you - that He has revealed it with His knowledge, and Angels bear witness as well, though none can bear witness as God does. Those who deny God’s grace and obstruct people from true guidance have erred and moved far (from truth). Such as these who deny the truth and act wrongfully; God will never forgive them, nor guide them to the (straight) path, but

(they move on) a path to Hell where they will be bound for a long time—a consequence that is easy for God to enforce.

O mankind, this Messenger has come to you with truth from your Sustainer God; it is in your best interest to believe. If you deny and disbelieve, (know that) God owns all that is in the universe and on earth; He is All knowing and Wise!

Verses 171–176

Followers of the Bible should not overstep the bounds of their faith, nor attribute to ALLAH other than the truth—Jesus Christ, the son of Mary, is only a Messenger from God and a Word that He conveyed to her [through angels; see 3:45] and a soul created from Him. So believe in God and His Messengers and do not say, “(God is one of) three.” Restrain, as it is better for you. Indeed, God is but One God, and His glory does not include a son but all that are in the universe and all that are on earth. No one is as worthy of trust as God Himself.

Christ was never too proud to be God’s servant, nor are the Angels who are near to God. Whoever is too proud to serve God and acts with arrogance, God will gather them all to Himself. He will then reward fully those who believe and perform goodness; perhaps more out of His grace, whereas those who are proud and arrogant, He will chastise because of their deeds. They will not find a protector or a helper against God. O People, expressed proof of truth and reality has come to you from your Sustainer God, and a clear light He did bring forth. Therefore, if you believe in God and follow His guidance, He will admit you to His mercy and grace, and He will guide you to His Straight Path.

They ask you to enlighten them (regarding inheritance law). Say, “God gives guidance regarding the person who leaves behind no direct heir (i.e. children, parents, or spouse). If he dies childless and has a sister, she will have one-half of what he left behind; similarly, he will be her heir if she dies childless. But if there are two sisters, they will have two-thirds of what he left behind, but if there are brothers and sisters, then the male will have the shares of two females.” God clarifies things so that you can stay the course. God knows all things.

Chapter 5: Al-Maidah (The Repast)

Verses 1–3

In the name of ALLAH, the God of Mercy and the Endower of Mercy!

O People of Faith, be faithful to your covenants. Lawful to you are all beasts similar to cattle, except any specific mentions (of other deities), and do not hunt when you are in the state of pilgrimage. God prescribes according to His will. Do not violate the symbols set up by God, or the Sacred Month, or the offerings for sacrifice marked as such, or those who flocks to the Sacred Mosque seeking God’s pleasure and grace. Only after your pilgrimage, you can hunt.

Never let your hatred of a people who may hinder you from the Inviolable House of Worship lead you to act of aggression. Rather, help one another to advance virtue and increase your (collective) sense of responsibility (Taqwa). And do not help one another to further evil and enmity. Be conscious of God and know that God is severe in retribution (of evils)!

Forbidden to you is carrion, blood, flesh of swine, one on which any name other than God’s has been invoked, a strangled animal, an animal beaten to death, one killed due to a fall, one gored to death or savaged by beast of prey but not what you have slaughtered. Forbidden also is anything sacrificed on altars for idols. (You are also forbidden to) seek to learn by divination about the future—this is sinful.

On this day, those who have persisted in denying the truth have lost all hope (of destroying) your way of life. So fear them no longer, but continue to be conscious of Me (God). On this day, I have perfected your Guidance (Way of Life) and completed My blessings on you and willed wholesome submission to Me (Islam) as your way of life. Now, if anyone is driven by dire necessity (to what is forbidden) and not inclined to sin, then he will find God to be much Forgiving and a Dispenser of Grace.

Verses 4–6

They ask you about what is lawful. Say: “All things good and pure are lawful.” With respect to hunting animals that you teach how to hunt with knowledge that ALLAH has imparted on you, eat what they hunt for you, but do mention God’s name over them and be mindful of your responsibility and remain conscious of God (taqwa). Surely God is swift in taking accounts. Today all things pure and good are made lawful for you. The food of those who have received revelations before (e.g., Jews, Christians, and others) are lawful to you, and so is your food to them. (It is lawful also) to marry women who are faithful and women from faiths that have received revelations before, provided you offer mahr, intending to marry them and not fornicate or engage in secret love. Whoever denies faith (after such broad guidance) will render his work vain, and he will be among the losers in the Afterlife.

O People of Faith: When you get ready to pray, wash your face and your hands and arms up to the elbows, wipe your head, and wash your feet up to the ankles. If you have an obligation for shower, then do so. But if you are sick, or on a journey, or have satisfied a call of nature, or have sexual intimacy but cannot find water, then take advantage of pure dust, lightly passing over your hands and face. God intends no hardship on you but wishes to purify you and to bestow His full grace on you so that you have reasons to be grateful.

Verses 7–11

Remind yourself of ALLAH’s (constant) favors and blessings on you and of the pledge with which He commits you when you said: “We hear and we commit.” (Therefore) Keep your duty to God (taqwa). God is ever aware of what you intend to do and what you keep in your heart. O People of Faith: Be constant in your devotion to God, and bear witness with justice and truth; Do not let hatred of a people incite you to acts of injustice and inequity. Be just—this is the closest to the observance of your responsibility (taqwa). Remain God Conscious and be true to your sense of duty (taqwa)—surely God is fully Aware of all that you do.

God has promised to those who believe and do good work that they will have forgiveness and a reward from Him that is grand, whereas, those who persistently deny, disbelieve, and reject God’s messages are destined for Hellfire. O People of Faith: Remind yourself of God’s favor when a group of people have tried to displace you, but God restrained their hands (and helped you establish yourself as a community). Therefore, be conscious of God (taqwa), and on God every person of faith should establish true reliance.

Verses 12–16

God made a similar covenant with the Children of Israel, and He caused twelve of their leaders to be sent (to search the land of Canaan). God said to them: “I am with you. If you sustain your worship (of Me), share your wealth with the poor, believe in My Messengers and assist them, and offer up to God a loan of goodwill; then God will efface your evil deeds and let you enter Paradise (of peace and plenty) wherein rivers flow. But whoever denies the grace of God after this, he will have moved far from the right path.” It is on account of their failure to stay true to the covenant that We rejected them and made their hearts to harden. (As a result) they distort the meaning of God’s revelations by taking them out of context and became unmindful of a certain portion of their reminders (revelations). You will experience treachery from them all except a few; yet pardon them and forbear since God loves those who do good (to others).

As for those who say: “We are Christians,” We (God) also took a solemn pledge (covenant), but they became similarly unmindful of a certain portion of the reminders (revelations); As a result, We let enmity and hatred to stir up among them, until the Day of Resurrection. God will soon make them understand what they contrived (against one another).

O People of the Previous Revelations: Surely Our Messenger has come to you who makes it clear much of which you had concealed from the book (Bible and Torah) and forgives much. Now indeed, a Light and a Clear Book has come to you from God, Who by His will brings those who is so inclined to the path of peace and brings them out of darkness to light, thereby guiding them to the Straight Path.

Verses 17–19

Those who say God is the Christ, Son of Mary are indeed deniers of God. Say (to them): “Who will prevail against God in any matter if He wishes to destroy Christ, Son of Mary, his mother, and all who live on this earth?” Remember that ALLAH’s dominion covers the earth, the heavens, and all in between. He creates what He wills, and God has power over all things. The Jews and the Christians say: “We are sons of God and His beloved.” Say (to them): “Why does He then make you suffer for your sins? You are nothing but mortals from His creations. He forgives whom He wills, and He causes to suffer whom He wills. God’s dominion extends over heavens, earth, and

all in between. (Your) journeys (and pursuits) are destined to come to Him (for resolution).”

O People of the Previous Revelations: Surely a Messenger has come, after a long cessation when no prophets came, to explain the truths; lest you say: “No bearer of good news or warning came to us. Now a bearer of good news and a warner came to you (as God willed); God is ever powerful to will anything.”

Verses 20–32

(Remember when) Moses said to His people: “O my people, remind yourself of the favors of God Who raised prophets from among you and who gave you control over yourselves and (blessings) that were not given to any other nation. O my people, enter this Holy Land which God has promised you, and do not turn your backs—if you do, then you will be lost.” The people replied: “O Moses, there are powerful people in this Land, and we shall not go in until they depart, and if they do, we will surely enter in it.” Two people (Joshua and Caleb, according to the Old Testament) who were God-conscious and who were blessed by God said: “We should enter through the front gate, and if we (have the courage to) do that, we will surely be victorious. As people of faith, we should put our trust in ALLAH.” But the people refused: “O Moses, we will not make such an attempt as long as these powerful people are there. (Perhaps) you and your God should go and fight while we sit (and wait).” He (Moses) prayed (to God): “My Sustainer, I have no control over these people except me and my brother (Aaron). Separate us from these people who transgress (often).” He (God) replied: “This Land is forbidden for them for forty years (a lifetime); they will wander about on this earth without aim. Do not grieve for people who transgress as such.”

Now relate to them with truth the story of the two sons (Abel and Cain) of Adam—they both made offers to God, but God accepted only from one of them (whose offer was genuine). So the one (whose offer was not accepted) said to the other: “I will kill you.” Said the one (whose offer was accepted): “God only accepts from those who are mindful and responsible (muttaquin). If you attempt to kill me, I will not do the same. I am afraid of (the consequence of my action) from God, who is the Cherisher of the Universe. I would rather that you bear the burden of my sins and your sins and such of your action will put you into the Hellfire, which is the suffering for those who are unjust.” At last his blind envy and disregard of his own soul drove him to kill his brother, and he became one of the lost. Then God sent a raven, which scratched the

ground to show how he could cover the body of his dead brother. This put him into deep remorse, and he cried out: “Am I not able to do what this raven did and cover my brother’s dead body?”

In light of this did We (God) prescribe to the Children of Israel (and by implication to all): Whoever kills a person, unless for committing murder or for spreading corruption in the land, it is as if he has killed all of humanity; and whoever saves a life, it is as if he has saved all of humanity. Surely our Messengers came with clear teachings and arguments; yet, after this many people go on committing all sorts of (evil) excess on earth.

Verses 33–37

The only punishment befitting those who engage in war against ALLAH and His apostles (against truth and justice) and make mischief and widespread corruption on earth is that they be murdered, crucified, hands and feet cut off, or vanished from earth. This is their disgrace on this earth and in their Afterlife, (God will bring just and) grievous punishment to them. But if any of them repent before they are overpowered, then God is Ever Forgiving and Merciful.

O People of Faith: Be mindful of your responsibility (taqwa) to God (and to fellow humans) and always seeks ways to get close to God (and fellow humans) and strive diligently on the path toward God (and goodness to others), that you may find and achieve success.

Those who deny the grace of God (and oppose goodness), they will be willing to offer all that they had on earth and more than that on the Day of Resurrection, to avoid the consequence of their evil deeds; but such bargain will not be accepted, and they will face an awful chastisement. They will desire to come out of the Fire but will not (be able to) come out of it; their chastisement will be long lasting.

Verses 38–43

As for those men and women who persist in theft, cut off their hands as a punishment and as an exemplary punishment from ALLAH. God is Mighty and Wise. But if they repent their wrongdoing and make correction in their conduct, then God will accept such repentance (so should you). God is Forgiving and Merciful! Do you

not comprehend Who God is—His dominion is over all of heavens and the earth. He chastises whom He will, and He forgives whom He will. He is ever powerful over all things.

O Messenger: Do not grieve for those who persist in denial of the truth, those who say outwardly “We believe” but in their hearts believe not; and some among Jews who eagerly listen for a lie or listen to people instead of coming to you (the source). They alter the meanings of words, take them out of context, and presuppose the outcome by advising others, “If you are told such, then accept, and if you are told something other than this, then be cautious.”

You cannot save someone who is tempted to do evil. For such as these, God intends not to purify their souls. For such is a disgrace in this world, and in the Afterlife they will face awful consequence. They eagerly listen for lies and devour forbidden things; yet if they come to you to seek judgment, you can offer judgment or stay aloof, as they can do you no harm; but if you do render judgment, then do so with justice and equity because God loves those who deal with justice and equity. How is it that they seek judgment from you while they have such judgment (guidance) already from God in the Torah, which they refuse after all of these? They have no faith!

Verses 44–50

We (God) indeed revealed the Torah containing guidance and light (knowledge), by which prophets, who submitted (to God), rendered judgment for the followers of Jewish faith; as did the rabbis and the scholars—(they were all) entrusted to preserve what ALLAH had revealed of the Book and they were to bear witness over it. Therefore, do not fear people but fear Me (God), and do not misinterpret the message for earthly gains. Deniers of truth are those who fail to judge (act) according to what God had revealed. We (God) prescribed for them: life for life, eye for eye, nose for nose, ear for ear, tooth for tooth, and similar to the wound inflicted (Exodus 21:23, Jewish law of retaliation). But for anyone who forgives and forgoes, such act will atone his sins. And whoever does not judge (act) according to God’s revelations, he is deemed an unbeliever.

We made Jesus, the son of Mary, to come after them, confirming that which was in the Torah, and revealed to him the Gospel (Bible), which also contained guidance and light (knowledge). It verified what remained of the Torah and served as a guidance and as an admonition for those who were mindful and responsible (muttaquin). So let the people of the Gospel judge (and act) according to what God had revealed in it. Those who do not do so are deemed oppressors.

We have revealed to you (Prophet) the book (the Qur’an) establishing the truth, verifying all books that came before it, and making it a guardian (preserving and encompassing this truth). So, (as we commanded other prophets before), judge (and act) between and among these people based on what God has revealed, not deviating from it, which is their desire.

For every group (of people) We (God) have allowed different rules and different ways of life (as they opted for). If God had willed, He could have made all into a single community, but He wanted to test each group in what they find themselves. Therefore, compete for goodness. To God all of you will return, and He will then inform you in all that you were differing.

It is imperative that you judge among people based on what God has conveyed in revelation and not be swayed by the errant views of some of them. Be cautious, lest some of them tempt you to deviate from parts of what God has conveyed in revelations. If (at the end) they do move away from the truth, then it is because God desires to afflict them with their own sins, since many of them have already transgressed. What is it they want—judgment of ignorance? Who is better than God as a judge for those who have firm faith and conviction in truth?

Verses 51–58

O People of Faith: Do not take Jews and Christians into your confidence; they are friends of each other. If you do that, then you become like them, and ALLAH does not guide people who are unjust. You can see people who have doubts (about faith) incline toward them and say: “We fear that a misfortune will fall on us.” Perhaps God will bring victory (for the faithful) or any other outcome that will become a source of regrets for those who harbor such thoughts in their souls. Those who are firm in their faith (will reflect on the outcome) and wonder: “Are these the same people who took a strong oath to align themselves with the adversaries?” Their action bore no positive results, and they suffered losses.

O People of Faith: If you abandon your Way of Life, God will bring another generation who will love Him, and He will love them. These people will be humble with the faithful and resolute against those who deny faith, they will strive their utmost to follow God’s guidance and persist in the face of all obstacles. This (disposition and resolve) is a grace from God, who is Infinite and All Knowing. Your friends are God, His Messenger, and those who have firm faith—those who maintain their worship of God, take care of the needy, and humble themselves. If you nurture such fellowships with God, with His Messenger, and with those who are firm in their faith, then you are aligned with God, who will ensure your eventual triumph (in life).

O People of Faith: Do not align yourself with those who mock your faith and take it as a sport, be they from the people who received revelations before or people who deny God and the truth. Be mindful of your responsibility (develop taqwa) if you claim to have faith. When people are called to prayer, they mock and take it as a sport because they fail to comprehend (its true significance).

Verses 59–66

O People of the Book: What fault do you find with us other than that we believe in ALLAH, in what has been revealed to us, and in what has been revealed before (to you all), while most of you are transgressing. Say (to them, O Prophet): “Shall I inform you who is in worse shape before God to face His retribution? It is those whom God has rejected and condemned, and who have earned attributes of apes and swine as they follow the evil ways. These people are in worse position and farther away from the right path.” When these people come to you (Prophet), they say they believe, but they come in a state of denial and go away in the same state. God knows best what they hide (from you). You can see many of them competing with one another for sinfulness and transgression and amassing illegal gains (to themselves, depriving others). Certainly, it is evil what they practice. Why do not their men of God (rabbis) and their scholars (legal experts) discourage them from sinful conduct and amassing wealth with unlawful means? Certainly, it is evil what they strive for.

The Jews say: “God’s hands are tied.” In reality, it is their hands that are shackled, and they are condemned for what they say. The truth is that God’s hand is ever spread out, and He dispenses what He will. What God has revealed to you will cause many of

them to increase in their rebellion and denial of truth. Therefore, we ordained enmity and hatred among them to continue till Resurrection Day. Every time they light up the fire of conflict, God puts it out. They strive continuously to make mischief on earth, and God has no love for mischief makers.

Only if the People of the Book have confirmed their faith and become mindful of their responsibility to God and to people, We (God) would remove them from their sins and welcome them to the paradise of bliss. Only if they have been faithful to the Torah and the Bible and acted according to what has been revealed from God to them, they will be blessed with the gifts from heavens and earth. There is a group among them that pursues the right course, but most others are engaged in evil.

Verses 67–71

O Apostle: Convey the message that has been revealed to you by your Sustainer. If you do not do so (in its totality), then you have not delivered the message. (Rest assured that) ALLAH will protect you from people; God does not guide people who deny the truth.

Say to the People of the Book: “You cannot claim to faith until you accept what is in the Torah and in the Gospel and what is being revealed from your Sustainer.” Surely what is being revealed to you (Prophet) will make many of them (People of the Book) grow in arrogance and denial of truth; therefore, do not grieve for them. Indeed, anyone who has faith, and those from the Jews, the Sabians, and the Christians—whoever establishes (and demonstrates) faith in God, the Day of Judgment and does good (to others)—they will have no reason to grieve or fear (see also 2:64).

We (God) took a solemn pledge from the Children of Israel, and We (God) sent Messengers to them. But whenever a Messenger came to them whose message did not fit their earthly desires, they would call some of the Messengers liars, and some they would seek to kill, thinking that there would be harm in it. As a result they became blind and deaf . But God turned to them (with mercy and forgiveness), but they again acted as blind and deaf. God sees all that they (we) do.

Verses 72–82

It is a confirmation of disbelief for those who say: “God is the Christ, Son of Mary,” whereas Christ himself said: “O Children of Israel, Serve ALLAH, who is my Sustainer and your Sustainer.” Whoever associates anybody (or anything) with God, he is forbidden entry to Paradise, and his residence will be in Hellfire. Those who propagate evil (false beliefs), there are no helpers for them. It is also a confirmation of disbelief (in God) for those who say: “God is one of the three, whereas there is no god but One God.” If they do not desist from such false assertions, grievous consequences will fall on them due to their persistent denial (of truth). Why do they not then turn to God and ask for forgiveness? God is Ever Forgiving and Merciful!

Christ, son of Mary, was an Apostle (of God), and many apostles have passed away before him. His mother was a woman of great virtue and truthfulness. They both ate food (like other creatures of God). See how We make the matters clear to them; yet see how they continue to deny (the truth). Say (to them): “Do you worship besides God such an entity that cannot control any good or harm for you? God is All Hearing and All Knowing.” Say: “O People of the Book, do not extend the boundary of your faith without justification, and refrain from the errant views of people who have themselves gone astray, led many people astray, and continue to stray from the right path.”

Those who disbelieve from among the Children of Israel, they have already been chastised by David and Jesus, Son of Mary (Psalms 78:21–22, 31–33 and Matthew 12:34, 23:33–35, for example), for their rebellion and persistent transgressions against God’s guidance. They did not discourage and prohibit one another against evil. Evil was indeed what they did. You see many of them more aligned with those who disbelieve, and their minds (and earthly desires) push them toward evil so that God is displeased with them, and they earn chastisement as a result. If they truly believed in God and abided by the revelations, then they would not befriend those (who deny the truth), and many of them do transgress. You will find the people most hostile to those who have faith are the Jews and those who worship idols, whereas nearest to the faithful are those who say: “We are Christians.” They have priests and monks among them and they are not arrogant.

***Excerpt from Volume 3: Social Consciousness – Removing the Middleman Series, by Rashed Hasan. Copyright by Author***

July 2024

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