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Sura 24

Surah 24. Light

24:1. A Sura which We have sent down and which We have ordained: in it have We sent down Clear Signs, in order that ye may receive warning.
24:2. The woman and the man guilty of adultery or fornication,- flog each of them with a hundred stripes: let not compassion move you in their case, in a matter prescribed by "I AM", if ye believe "I AM" and in the Last Day: and let a party of the Believers witness their punishment.
24:3. Let no man guilty of adultery or fornication marry any but a woman similarly guilty, or an Unbeliever: nor let any but such a man or an Unbeliever marry such a woman: to the Believers such a thing is forbidden.
24:4. And those who launch a charge against chaste women, and produce not four witnesses (to support their allegations),- flog them with eighty stripes and reject their evidence ever after: for such men are wicked transgressors;-
24:5. Unless they repent thereafter and mend (their conduct); for "I AM" is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
24:6. And for those who launch a charge against their spouses, and have (in support) no evidence but their own,- their solitary evidence (can be received) if they bear witness four times (with an oath) by "I AM" that they are solemnly telling the truth;
24:7. And the fifth (oath) (should be) that they solemnly invoke the curse of "I AM" on themselves if they tell a lie.
24:8. But it would avert the punishment from the wife, if she bears witness four times (with an oath) by "I AM", that (her husband) is telling a lie;
24:9. And the fifth (oath) should be that she solemnly invokes the wrath of "I AM" on herself if (her accuser) is telling the truth.
24:10. If it were not for "I AM"'s grace and mercy on you, and that "I AM" is Oft-Returning, full of Wisdom,- (Ye would be ruined indeed).
24:11. Those who brought forward the lie are a body among yourselves. Think it not to be an evil to you; on the contrary it is good for you: to every man among them (will come the punishment) of the sin that he earned, and to him who took on himself the lead among them, will be a Penalty grievous.
24:12. Why did not the Believers - men and women - when ye heard of the affair,- put the best construction on it in their own minds and say, "This (charge) is an obvious lie"?
24:13. Why did they not bring four witnesses to prove it? When they have not brought the witnesses, such men, in the sight of "I AM", (stand forth) themselves as liars!
24:14. Were it not for the grace and mercy of "I AM" on you, in this world and the Hereafter, a grievous penalty would have seized you in that ye rushed glibly into this matter.
24:15. Behold, ye received it on your tongues, and said out of your mouths things of which ye had no knowledge; and ye thought it to be a light matter, while it was most serious in the sight of "I AM".
24:16. And why did ye not, when ye heard it, say? - "It is not right of us to speak of this: Glory to "I AM"! This is a most serious slander!"
24:17. "I AM" doth warn you, that ye may never repeat such (conduct), if ye are (true) Believers.
24:18. And "I AM" makes the Signs plain to you: for "I AM" is full of Knowledge and Wisdom.
24:19. Those who love (to see) scandal published abroad among the Believers, will have a grievous Penalty in this life and in the Hereafter: "I AM" knows, and ye know not.
24:20. Were it not for the Grace and Mercy of "I AM" on you, and that "I AM" is full of kindness and mercy, (ye would be ruined indeed).
24:21. O ye who believe! Follow not Satan's footsteps: if any will follow the footsteps of Satan, he will (only) command what is shameful and wrong: and were it not for the Grace and Mercy of "I AM" on you, not one of you would ever have been pure: but "I AM" doth purify whom He pleases: and "I AM" is One Who hears and knows (all things).
24:22. Let not those among you who are endued with grace and amplitude of means resolve by oath against helping their kinsmen, those in want, and those who have left their homes in "I AM"'s Cause: let them forgive and overlook, do you not wish that "I AM" should forgive you? For "I AM" is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
24:23. Those who slander chaste women, indiscreet but believing, are cursed in this life and in the Hereafter: for them is a grievous Penalty,-
24:24. On the Day when their tongues, their hands, and their feet will bear witness against them as to their actions.
24:25. On that Day "I AM" will pay them back (all) their just dues, and they will realise that "I AM" is the (very) Truth, that makes all things clear.
24:26. Women impure are for men impure, and men impure for women impure and women of purity are for men of purity, and men of purity are for women of purity: these are not affected by what people say: for them there is forgiveness, and a provision honourable.
24:27. O ye who believe! Enter not houses other than your own, until ye have asked permission and saluted those in them: that is best for you, in order that ye may heed (what is seemly).
24:28. If ye find no one in the house, enter not until permission is given to you: if ye are asked to go back, go back: that makes for greater purity for yourselves: and "I AM" knows well all that ye do.
24:29. It is no fault on your part to enter houses not used for living in, which serve some (other) use for you: and "I AM" has knowledge of what ye reveal and what ye conceal.
24:30. Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: and "I AM" is well acquainted with all that they do.
24:31. And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and charms except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their dads, their husband's dads, their sons, their husbands' sons, their brothers or their brothers' sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or the slaves whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not stamp their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden charms. And O ye Believers! Turn ye all together towards "I AM", that ye may attain Bliss.
24:32. Marry those among you who are single, or the virtuous ones among your slaves, male or female: if they are in poverty, "I AM" will give them means out of His grace: for "I AM" encompasseth all, and He knoweth all things.
24:33. Let those who find not the wherewithal for marriage keep themselves chaste, until "I AM" gives them means out of His grace. And if any of your slaves ask for a deed in writing (to enable them to earn their freedom for a certain sum), give them such a deed if ye know any good in them: yea, give them something yourselves out of the means which "I AM" has given to you. But force not your maids to prostitution when they desire chastity, in order that ye may make a gain in the goods of this life. But if anyone compels them, yet, after such compulsion, is "I AM", Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful (to them),
24:34. We have already sent down to you verses making things clear, an illustration from (the story of) people who passed away before you, and a warning for those who fear ("I AM").
24:35. "I AM" is the Light of the heavens and the Earth. The Parable of His Light is as if there were a Niche and within it a Lamp: the Lamp enclosed in Glass: the Glass as it were a Brilliant Star*: Lighted from a blessed Tree, an "Olive" (symbol of Israel), neither of the East nor of the West, whose "Oil" (of enlightenment) is well-nigh "Luminous" (the Bible Scriptures), though fire scarce touched it: Light upon Light! "I AM" doth guide whom He will to His Light: "I AM" doth set forth Parables (like this one) for men: and "I AM" doth know all things. * (Sura 86; Revelation 30:16).
24:36. (Lighted is such a Light) in houses, which "I AM" hath permitted to be raised to honour; for the celebration, in them, of His name: in them is He glorified in the mornings and in the evenings, (again and again),-
24:37. By men whom neither traffic nor merchandise can divert from the Remembrance of "I AM", nor from constant Prayer, nor from the practice of regular Charity: their (only) fear is for the Day when hearts and eyes will be transformed (in a world wholly new),-
24:38. That "I AM" may reward them according to the best of their deeds, and add even more for them out of His Grace: for "I AM" doth provide for those whom He will, without measure.
24:39. But the Unbelievers,- their deeds are like a mirage in sandy deserts, which the man parched with thirst mistakes for water; until when he comes up to it, he finds it to be nothing: but he finds "I AM" (ever) with him, and "I AM" will pay him his account: and "I AM" is swift in taking account.
24:40. Or (the Unbelievers' state) is like the depths of darkness in a vast deep ocean, overwhelmed with billow topped by billow, topped by (dark) clouds: depths of darkness, one above another: if a man stretches out his hand, he can hardly see it! For any to whom "I AM" giveth not Light, there is no light!
24:41. Seest thou not that it is "I AM" Whose praises all Beings in the heavens and on Earth do celebrate, and the birds (of the air) with wings outspread? Each one knows its own (mode of) prayer and praise. And "I AM" knows well all that they do.
24:42. Yea, to "I AM" belongs the Dominion of the heavens and the Earth; and to "I AM" is the final goal (of all).
24:43. Seest thou not that "I AM" makes the clouds move gently, then joins them together, then makes them into a heap? - Then wilt thou see rain issue forth from their midst. And He sends down from the sky mountain masses (of clouds) wherein is hail: He strikes therewith whom He pleases and He turns it away from whom He pleases, the vivid flash of His lightning well-nigh blinds the sight.
24:44. It is "I AM" Who alternates the Night and the Day: verily in these things is an instructive example for those who have vision!
24:45. And "I AM" has created every animal from water (Genesis 1:20): of them there are some that creep on their bellies; some that walk on two legs; and some that walk on four. "I AM" creates what He wills for verily "I AM" has power over all things.
24:46. We have indeed sent down Signs that make things clear: and "I AM" guides whom He wills to The Way that is straight.
24:47. They say, "We believe in "I AM" and in the Apostle, and we obey": but even after that, some of them turn away: they are not (really) Believers (they only believe "in" God; they do not believe God).
24:48. When they are summoned to "I AM" and His Apostle, in order that He may judge between them, behold some of them decline (to come).
24:49. But if the right is on their side, they come to him with all submission.
24:50. Is it that there is a disease in their hearts? Or do they doubt, or are they in fear, that "I AM" and His Messenger will deal unjustly with them? Nay, it is they themselves who do wrong.
24:51. The answer of the Believers, when summoned to "I AM" and His Messenger, in order that He may judge between them, is no other than this: they say, "We hear and we obey": it is such as these that will attain joy.
24:52. It is such as obey "I AM" and His Messenger, and fear "I AM" and DO right, that will win (in the end).
24:53. They swear their strongest oaths by "I AM" that, if only thou wouldst command them, they would leave (their homes). Say: "Swear ye not; obedience is (more) reasonable; verily, "I AM" is well acquainted with all that ye do."
24:54. Say: "Obey "I AM", and obey the Messenger: but if ye turn away, he is only responsible for the duty placed on him and ye for that placed on you. If ye obey him, ye shall be on right guidance. The Messenger's duty is only to preach the clear (Message).
24:55. "I AM" has promised, to those among you who believe and work righteous deeds, that He will, of a surety, grant them in the land, inheritance (of power), as He granted it to those before them; that He will establish in authority their religion - the one which He has chosen for them; and that He will change (their state), after the fear in which they (lived), to one of security and peace: 'They will worship Me (alone) and not associate anything with Me. 'If any do reject Faith after this, they are rebellious and wicked.
24:56. So establish constant Prayer and give regular Charity; and obey the Messenger; that ye may receive mercy.
24:57. Never think thou that the Unbelievers are going to frustrate ("I AM"'s Plan) on Earth: their abode is the Fire,- and it is indeed an evil refuge!
24:58. O ye who believe! Let those whom your right hands possess, and the (children) among you who have not come of age ask your permission (before they come to your presence), on three occasions: before morning prayer; the while ye doff your clothes for the noonday heat; and after the late-night prayer: these are your three times of undress: outside those times it is not wrong for you or for them to move about attending to each other: thus does "I AM" make clear the Signs to you: for "I AM" is full of Knowledge and Wisdom.
24:59. But when the children among you come of age, let them (also) ask for permission, as do those senior to them (in age): thus does "I AM" make clear His Signs to you: for "I AM" is full of Knowledge and Wisdom.
24:60. Such elderly women as are past the prospect of marriage,- there is no blame on them if they lay aside their (outer) garments, provided they make not a wanton display of their beauty: but it is best for them to be modest: and "I AM" is One Who sees and knows all things.
24:61. It is no fault in the blind nor in one born lame, nor in one afflicted with illness, nor in yourselves, that ye should eat in your own houses, or those of your dads, or your mothers, or your brothers, or your sisters, or your dad's brothers or your dad's sisters, or your mother's brothers, or your mother's sisters, or in houses of which the keys are in your possession, or in the house of a sincere friend of yours: there is no blame on you, whether ye eat in company or separately. But if ye enter houses, salute each other - a greeting of blessing and purity as from "I AM". Thus does "I AM" make clear the Signs to you: that ye may understand.
24:62. Only those are Believers, who believe "I AM" and His Messenger: when they are with him on a matter requiring collective action, they do not depart until they have asked for his leave; those who ask for thy leave are those who believe "I AM" and His Messenger; so when they ask for thy leave, for some business of theirs. Give leave to those of them whom thou wilt, and ask "I AM" for their forgiveness: for "I AM" is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
24:63. Deem not the summons of the Messenger among yourselves like the summons of one of you to another: "I AM" doth know those of you who slip away under shelter of some excuse: then let those beware who withstand the Messenger's order, lest some trial befall them, or a grievous Penalty be inflicted on them.
24:64. Be quite sure that to "I AM" doth belong whatever is in the heavens and on Earth. Well doth He know what ye are intent upon: and one day they will be brought back to Him, and He will tell them the Truth of what they did: for "I AM" doth know all things.

JAH

 

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