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al-Ma`idah (The Table, The Table Spread)
as rendered by N J Dawood (draft)

N J Dawood (draft) rendition of Surah The Table, The Table Spread(al-Ma`idah)
5:1 Believers, be true to your obligations. It is lawful for you to eat the flesh of all beasts other than that which is hereby announced to you. Game is forbidden while you are on pilgrimage. God decrees what He will.
5:2 Believers, do not violate the rites of God, or the sacred month, or the offerings or their ornaments, or those that repair to the Sacred House seeking God's grace and pleasure. Once your pilgrimage is ended, you shall be free to go hunting. Do not allow your hatred for those who would debar you from the Holy Mosque to lead you into sin. Help one another in what is good and pious, not in what is wicked and sinful. Have fear of God; God is stern in retribution.
5:3 You are forbidden carrion, blood, and the flesh of swine; also any flesh dedicated to any other than God. You are forbidden the flesh of strangled animals and of those beaten or gored to death; of those killed by a fall or mangled by beasts of prey (unless you make it clean by giving the death–stroke yourselves); also of animals sacrificed to idols. You are forbidden to settle disputes by consulting the 'arrows'. That is a pernicious practice. The unbelievers have this day abandoned all hope of vanquishing your religion. Have no fear of them: fear Me. This day I have perfected your religion for you and completed My favour to you. I have chosen Islam to be your faith. He that is constrained by hunger to eat of what is forbidden, not intending to commit sin, will find God forgiving and merciful.
5:4 They ask you what is lawful for them. Say: 'All wholesome things are lawful for you, as well as that which you have taught the birds and beasts of prey to catch, training them as God has taught you. Eat of what they catch for you, pronouncing upon it the name of God. And have fear of God: swift is God's reckoning.'
5:5 All wholesome things have this day been made lawful for you. The food of those to whom the Book was given is lawful for you, and yours for them. Lawful for you are the believing women and the free women from among those who were given the Book before you, provided that you give them their dowries and live in honour with them, neither committing fornication nor taking them as mistresses. He that denies the Faith shall gain nothing from his labours. In the world to come he will surely be among the losers.
5:6 Believers, when you rise to pray wash your faces and your hands as far as the elbow, and wipe your heads and your feet to the ankle. If you are unclean, cleanse yourselves. But if you are sick or on a journey, or if, when you have just relieved yourselves or had intercourse with women, you can find no water, take some clean sand and rub your faces and your hands with it. God does not wish to burden you He seeks only to purify you and to perfect His favour to you, so that you may give thanks.
5:7 Remember God's favour to you, and the covenant with which He bound you when you said: 'We hear and obey.' Have fear of God. God knows the innermost thoughts of men.
5:8 Believers, fulfil your duties to God and bear true witness. Do not allow your hatred for other men to turn you away from justice. Deal justly; that is nearer to true piety. Have fear of God; God is cognizant of all your actions.
5:9 God has promised those that have faith and do good works forgiveness and a rich reward.
5:10 As for those who disbelieve and deny Our revelations, they are the heirs of Hell.
5:11 Believers, remember the favour which God bestowed upon you when He restrained the hands of those who sought to harm you. Have fear of God. In God let the faithful put their trust.
5:12 God made a covenant with the Israelites and raised among them twelve chieftains. God said: 'I shall be with you. If you attend to your prayers and render the alms levy; if you believe in My apostles and assist them and give God a generous loan, I shall forgive you your sins and admit you to gardens watered by running streams. But he that hereafter denies Me shall stray from the right path.'
5:13 But because they broke their covenant We laid on them Our curse and hardened their hearts. They have tampered with words out of their context and forgotten much of what they were enjoined. You will ever find them deceitful, except for a few of them. But pardon them and bear with them. God loves those who do good.
5:14 With those who said they were Christians We made a covenant also, but they too have forgotten much of what they were exhorted to do. Therefore We stirred among them enmity and hatred, which shall endure till the Day of Resurrection, when God will declare to them all that they have done.
5:15 People of the Book! Our apostle has come to reveal to you much of what you have hidden of the Scriptures, and to forgive you much. A light has come to you from God and a glorious Book,
5:16 with which God will guide to the paths of peace those that seek to please Him; He will lead them by His will from darkness to the light; He will guide them to a straight path.
5:17 Unbelievers are those who declare: 'God is the Messiah, the son of Mary.' Say: 'Who could prevent God, if He so willed, from destroying the Messiah, the son of Mary, his mother, and all the people of the earth? God has sovereignty over the heavens and the earth and all that lies between them. He creates what He will; and God has power over all things.'
5:18 The Jews and the Christians say: 'We are the children of God and His loved ones.' Say: 'Why then does He punish you for your sins? Surely you are mortals of His own creation. He forgives whom He will and punishes whom He pleases. God has sovereignty over the heavens and the earth and all that lies between them. All shall return to Him.'
5:19 People of the Book! Our apostle has come to you with revelations after an interval which saw no apostles, lest you say: 'No one has come to give us good news or to warn us. Now someone has come to give you good news and to warn you. God has power over all things.
5:20 Bear in mind the words of Moses to his people. He said: 'Remember, my people, the favour which God has bestowed upon you. He has raised up prophets among you, made you kings, and given you that which He has given to no other nation.
5:21 Enter, my people, the holy land which God has assigned for you. Do not turn back, and thus lose all.'
5:22 'Moses,' they replied, 'a race of giants dwells in this land. We will not set foot in it till they are gone. As soon as they are gone we will enter.'
5:23 Thereupon two God–fearing men whom God had favoured said: 'Go in to them through the gates, and when you have entered you shall surely be victorious. In God put your trust, if you are true believers.'
5:24 But they replied: 'Moses, we will not go in so long as they are in it. Go, you and your Lord, and fight. Here we will stay.'
5:25 Lord,' cried Moses, 'I have none but myself and my brother. Keep us apart from these wicked people.'
5:26 He replied: 'They shall be forbidden this land for forty years, during which time they shall wander homeless on the earth. Do not grieve for these wicked people.'
5:27 Recount to them in all truth the story of Adam's two sons: how they each made an offering, and how the offering of the one was accepted while that of the other was not. One said: 'I will surely kill you.' The other replied: 'God accepts offerings only from the righteous.
5:28 If you stretch your hand to kill me, I shall not stretch mine to slay you; for I fear God, Lord of the Worlds.
5:29 I would rather you should add your sin against me to your other sins and thus become an inmate of the Fire. Such is the recompense of the unjust.'
5:30 His soul prompted him to slay his brother; he slew him and thus became one of the lost.
5:31 Then God sent down a raven, which clawed the earth to show him how to bury the naked corpse of his brother. 'Alas!' he cried. 'Have I not strength enough to do as this raven has done and so bury my brother's naked corpse?' And he repented.
5:32 That was why We laid it down for the Israelites that whoever killed a human being, except as punishment for murder or other villainy in the land, shall be regarded as having killed all mankind; and that whoever saved a human life shall be regarded as having saved all mankind. Our apostles brought them veritable proofs: yet many among them, even after that, did prodigious evil in the land.
5:33 Those that make war against God and His Apostle and spread disorder in the land shall be slain or crucified or have their hands and feet cut off on alternate sides, or be banished from the land. They shall be held up to shame in this world and sternly punished in the hereafter:
5:34 except those that repent before you reduce them. For you must know that God is forgiving and merciful.
5:35 Believers, have fear of God and seek the right path to Him. Fight valiantly for His cause, so that you may triumph.
5:36 As for the unbelievers, if they offered all that the earth contains and as much besides to redeem themselves from the torment of the Day of Resurrection, it shall not be accepted from them. Woeful punishment awaits them.
5:37 They will strive to get out of the Fire, but get out of it they shall not. Lasting punishment awaits them.
5:38 As for the man or woman who is guilty of theft, cut off their hands to punish them for their crimes. That is the punishment enjoined by God. God is mighty and wise.
5:39 But whoever repents after committing evil, and mends his ways, shall be pardoned by God. God is forgiving and merciful.
5:40 Did you not know that God has sovereignty over the heavens and the earth? He punishes whom He will and forgives whom He pleases. God has power over all things.
5:41 Apostle, do not grieve for those who plunge headlong into unbelief; those who say with their tongues: 'We believe,' but have no faith in their hearts, and those Jews who listen to lies and listen to others who have not come to you. They tamper with words out of their context and say: 'If this be given you, accept it; if not, then beware!' You cannot help a man if God intends to try him. Those whose hearts God does not intend to purify shall be held up to shame in this world, and in the world to come grievous punishment awaits them.
5:42 They listen to falsehoods and practise what is unlawful. If they come to you, give them your judgement or avoid them. If you avoid them, they can in no way harm you; but if you do act as their judge, judge them with fairness. God loves those that deal justly.
5:43 But how will they come to you for judgement when they already have the Torah which enshrines God's own judgement? Soon after, they will turn their backs: they are no true believers.
5:44 We have revealed the Torah, in which there is guidance and light. By it the prophets who submitted to God judged the Jews, and so did the rabbis and the divines, according to God's Book which had been committed to their keeping and to which they themselves were witnesses. Have no fear of man; fear Me, and do not sell My revelations for a paltry sum. Unbelievers are those who do not judge according to God's revelations.
5:45 We decreed for them 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 for a wound. But if a man charitably forbears from retaliation, his remission shall atone for him. Transgressors are those that do not judge according to God's revelations.
5:46 After them We sent forth Jesus, son of Mary, confirming the Torah already revealed, and gave him the Gospel, in which there is guidance and light, corroborating what was revealed before it in the Torah: a guide and an admonition to the righteous.
5:47 Therefore let those who follow the Gospel judge according to what God has revealed therein. Evil–doers are those that do not judge according to God's revelations.
5:48 And to you We have revealed the Book with the truth. It confirms the Scriptures which came before it and stands as a guardian over them. Therefore give judgement among men according to God's revelations, and do not yield to their whims or swerve from the truth made known to you. We have ordained a law and assigned a path for each of you. Had God pleased, He could have made of you one community: but it is His wish to prove you by that which He has bestowed upon you. Vie with each other in good works, for to God shall you all return and He will resolve your differences for you.
5:49 Pronounce judgement among them according to God's revelations and do not be led by their desires. Take heed lest they turn you away from a part of that which God has revealed to you. If they reject your judgement, know that it is God's wish to scourge them for their sins. A great many of mankind are evil–doers.
5:50 Is it pagan laws that they wish to be judged by? Who is a better judge than God for men whose faith is firm?
5:51 Believers, take neither the Jews nor the Christians for your friends. They are friends with one another. Whoever of you seeks their friendship shall become one of their number. God does not guide the wrongdoers.
5:52 You see the faint–hearted hastening to woo them. They say: 'We fear lest a change of fortune should befall us.' But it may well be that when God grants you victory or makes known His will, they will regret their secret plans.
5:53 Then will the faithful say: 'Are these the men who solemnly swore by God that they would stand by you?' Their works will come to nothing and they will lose all.
5:54 Believers, if any among you renounce the Faith, God will replace them by others who love Him and are loved by Him, who are humble towards the faithful and stern towards the unbelievers, zealous for God's cause and fearless of man's censure. Such is the grace of God: He bestows it on whom He will. God is munificent and all–knowing.
5:55 Your only protectors are God, His Apostle, and the faithful: those who attend to their prayers, render the alms levy, and kneel down in worship.
5:56 Those who seek the protection of God, His Apostle, and the faithful must know that God's followers are sure to triumph.
5:57 Believers, do not seek the friendship of the infidels and those who were given the Book before you, who have made of your religion a jest and a diversion. Have fear of God, if you are true believers.
5:58 When you call them to pray, they treat their prayers as a jest and a diversion. This is because they are devoid of understanding.
5:59 Say: 'People of the Book, is it not that you hate us only because we believe in God and in what has been revealed to us and to others before, and because most of you are evil–doers?'
5:60 Say: 'Shall I tell you who will receive a worse reward from God? Those whom God has cursed and with whom He has been angry, transforming them into apes and swine, and those who serve the devil. Worse is the plight of these, and they have strayed farther from the right path.'
5:61 When they came to you they said: 'We are believers.' Indeed, infidels they came and infidels they departed. God knew best what they concealed.
5:62 You see many among them vie with one another in sin and wickedness and; practise what is unlawful. Evil is what they do.
5:63 Why do their rabbis and divines not forbid them to blaspheme or to practise what is unlawful? Evil indeed are their doings.
5:64 The Jews say: 'God's hand is chained.' May their own hands be chained! May they be cursed for what they say! By no means. His hands are both outstretched: He bestows as He will. That which is revealed to you from your Lord will surely increase the wickedness and unbelief of many of them. We have stirred among them enmity and hatred, which will endure till the Day of Resurrection. Whenever they kindle the fire of war, God puts it out. They spread evil in the land, but God does not love the evil–doers.
5:65 If the People of the Book accept the true faith and keep from evil, We will pardon them their sins and admit them to the gardens of delight.
5:66 If they observe the Torah and the Gospel and what has been revealed to them from their Lord, they shall enjoy abundance from above and from beneath. There are some among them who are righteous men; but there are many among them who do nothing but evil.
5:67 Apostle, proclaim what has been revealed to you from your Lord; if you do not, you will surely fail to convey His message. God will protect you from all men. God does not guide the unbelievers.
5:68 Say: 'People of the Book, you will attain nothing until you observe the Torah and the Gospel and that which has been revealed to you from your Lord.' That which has been revealed to you from your Lord will surely increase the wickedness and unbelief of many of them. But do not grieve for the unbelievers.
5:69 Believers, Jews, Sabaeans and Christians –– whoever believes in God and the Last Day and does what is right shall have nothing to fear or to regret.
5:70 We made a covenant with the Israelites and sent forth apostles among them. But whenever an apostle came to them with a message that did not suit their inclinations, some they accused of lying and others they put to death.
5:71 They thought no punishment would follow: they were blind and deaf. Then God turned to them in mercy, but many again were blind and deaf. God is ever watching their actions.
5:72 Unbelievers are those that say: 'God is the Messiah, the son of Mary.' For the Messiah himself said: 'Children of Israel, serve God, my Lord and your Lord.' He that worships other deities besides God, God will deny him Paradise, and the Fire shall be his home. None shall help the evil–doers.
5:73 Unbelievers are those that say: 'God is one of three.' There is but one God. If they do not desist from so saying, those of them that disbelieve shall be sternly punished.
5:74 Will they not turn to God in penitence and seek forgiveness of Him? God is forgiving and merciful.
5:75 The Messiah, the son of Mary, was no more than an apostle: other apostles passed away before him. His mother was a saintly woman. They both ate earthly food. See how We make plain to them Our revelations. See how they ignore the truth.
5:76 Say: 'Will you serve instead of God that which can neither harm nor help you? God is He who hears all and knows all.'
5:77 Say: 'People of the Book! Do not transgress the bounds of truth in your religion. Do not yield to the desires of those who have erred before; who have led many astray and have themselves strayed from the even path.'
5:78 Those of the Israelites who disbelieved were cursed by David and Jesus son of Mary, because they rebelled and committed evil.
5:79 Nor did they censure themselves for any wrong they did. Evil were their deeds.
5:80 You see many among them making friends with unbelievers. Evil is that to which their souls prompt them. They have incurred the wrath of God and shall endure eternal torment.
5:81 Had they believed in God and the Prophet and that which has been revealed to him, they would not have befriended them. But many of them are evil–doers.
5:82 You will find that the most implacable of men in their enmity to the faithful are the Jews and the pagans, and that the nearest in affection to them are those who say: 'We are Christians.' That is because there are priests and monks among them; and because they are free from pride.
5:83 When they listen to that which was revealed to the Apostle, you see their eyes fill with tears as they recognize its truth. They say: 'Lord, we believe. Count us among the witnesses.
5:84 Why should we not believe in God and in the truth that has come down to us? Why should we not hope our Lord will admit us among the righteous?'
5:85 And for their words God has rewarded them with gardens watered by running streams, where they shall dwell for ever. Such is the recompense of the righteous.
5:86 But those that disbelieve and deny Our revelations shall become the inmates of Hell.
5:87 Believers, do not forbid the wholesome things which God made lawful for you. Do not transgress; God does not love the transgressors.
5:88 Eat of the lawful and wholesome things which God has given you. Have fear of God, in whom you do believe.
5:89 God will not punish you for that which is inadvertent in your oaths. But He will take you to task over the oaths which you solemnly swear. The penalty for a broken oath is the feeding of ten needy men with such food as you normally offer to your own people; or the clothing of ten needy men; or the freeing of a slave. He that cannot afford any of these must fast three days. In this way you shall expiate your broken oaths. Therefore be true to that which you have sworn. Thus God makes plain to you His revelations, so that you may give thanks.
5:90 Believers, wine and games of chance, idols and divining arrows, are abominations devised by Satan. Avoid them, so that you may prosper.
5:91 Satan seeks to stir up enmity and hatred among you by means of wine and gambling, and to keep you from the remembrance of God and from your prayers. Will you not abstain from them?
5:92 Obey God, and obey the Apostle. Beware; if you pay no heed, know that Our apostle's duty is only to give clear warning.
5:93 In regard to any food they may have eaten, no blame shall be attached to those that have embraced the Faith and done good works so long as they fear God and believe in Him and do good works; so long as they fear God and believe in Him; so long as they fear God and do good works. God loves the charitable.
5:94 Believers, God will put you to the proof by means of the game which you can catch with your hands or with your spears, so that He may know those who fear Him in their hearts. He that transgresses hereafter shall be sternly punished.
5:95 Believers, kill no game while on pilgrimage. He that kills game by design shall present, as an offering to the Ka'bah, an animal equivalent to the one he killed, to be determined by two just men among you; or he shall, in expiation, either feed the poor or fast, so that he may taste the evil consequences of his deed. God has forgiven what is past; but if anyone relapses into wrongdoing God will avenge Himself on him: God is mighty and capable of revenge.
5:96 Lawful for you is what you catch from the sea and the sustenance it provides; a wholesome food, for you and for the seafarer. But you are forbidden the game of the land while you are on pilgrimage. Have fear of God, before whom you shall all be assembled.
5:97 God has made the Ka'bah, the Sacred House, the sacred month, and the sacrificial offerings with their ornaments, eternal values for mankind; so that you may know God has knowledge of all that the heavens and the earth contain; that God has knowledge of all things.
5:98 Know that God is stern in retribution, and that God is forgiving and merciful.
5:99 The Apostle's duty is but to give warning. God knows all that you conceal and all that you reveal.
5:100 Say: 'Good and evil are not alike, even though the abundance of evil may tempt you. Have fear of God, you men of understanding, so that you may triumph.'
5:101 Believers, do not ask questions about things which, if made known to you, would only pain you; but if you ask them when the Koran is being revealed, they shall be made plain to you. God will pardon you for this; God is forgiving and gracious.
5:102 Other men inquired about them before you, only to disbelieve them afterwards.
5:103 God demands neither a 'bahirah', nor a 'sa'ibah', nor a 'wasilah', nor a 'hami'.[1] The unbelievers invent falsehoods about God. Most of them are lacking in judgement.
5:104 When they are told: 'Come to that which God has revealed, and to the Apostle,' they reply: 'Sufficient for us is the faith we inherited from our fathers,' even though their fathers knew nothing and were not rightly guided.
5:105 Believers, you are accountable for none but yourselves; he that strays cannot harm you if you are on the tight path. To God shall you all return, and He will declare to you what you have done.
5:106 Believers, when death approaches you, let two just men from among you act as witnesses when you make your testament; or two men from another tribe if the calamity of death overtakes you while you are travelling the land. Detain them after prayers, and if you doubt their honesty, let them swear by God: 'We will not sell our testimony for any price even to a kinsman. We will not hide the testimony of God; for we should then be evil–doers.'
5:107 If both prove dishonest, replace them by another pair from among those immediately concerned, and let them both swear by God, saying: 'Our testimony is truer than theirs. We have told no lies, for we should then be wrongdoers.'
5:108 Thus will they be more likely to bear true witness or to fear that the oaths of others may contradict theirs. Have fear of God and be obedient. God does not guide the evil–doers.
5:109 One day God will gather all the apostles and ask them: 'How were you received?' They will reply: 'We have no knowledge. You alone know what is hidden.'
5:110 God will say: 'Jesus son of Mary, remember the favour I bestowed on you and on your mother: how I strengthened you with the Holy Spirit, so that you preached to men in your cradle and in the prime of manhood; 'How I instructed you in the Book and in wisdom, in the Torah and in the Gospel; how by My leave you fashioned from clay the likeness of a bird and breathed into it so that, by My leave, it became a living bird; how, by My leave, you healed the blind man and the leper, and by My leave restored the dead to life; how I protected you from the Israelites when you had come to them with clear signs: when those of them who disbelieved declared: '"This is but plain sorcery";
5:111 how, when I enjoined the disciples to believe in Me and in My apostle, they replied: "We believe; bear witness that we submit."'
5:112 Jesus son of Mary,' said the disciples, 'can your Lord send down to us from heaven a table spread with food?' He replied: 'Have fear of God, if you are true believers.'
5:113 We wish to eat of it,' they said, 'so that we may reassure our hearts and know that what you said to us is true, and that we may be witnesses of it.'
5:114 Lord,' said Jesus son of Mary, 'send down to us from heaven a table spread with food, that it may mark a feast for the first of us and the last of us: a sign from You. Give us our sustenance; You are the best provider.'
5:115 God replied: 'I am sending one to you. But whoever of you disbelieves hereafter shall be punished as no man will ever be punished.'
5:116 Then God will say: 'Jesus son of Mary, did you ever say to mankind: "Worship me and my mother as gods besides God?"' 'Glory be to You,' he will answer, 'I could never have claimed what I have no right to. If I had ever said so, You would have surely known it. You know what is in my mind, but I know not what is in Yours. You alone know what is hidden.
5:117 I told them only what You bade me. I said: "Serve God, my Lord and your Lord." I watched over them while living in their midst, and ever since You took me to Yourself, You have been watching them. You are the witness of all things.
5:118 If You punish them, they surely are Your servants; and if You forgive them, surely You are mighty and wise.
5:119 God will say: 'This is the day when their truthfulness will benefit the truthful. They shall for ever dwell in gardens watered by running streams. God is pleased with them, and they are pleased with Him. That is the supreme triumph.'
5:120 God has sovereignty over the heavens and the earth and all that they contain. He has power over all things.


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