Chapter six of the Quran is called The Cattle; some translations use the more encompassing word livestock. The title comes from the discussion about livestock in verses 136- 39. This chapter of 165 verses was revealed in Mecca. In a similar way to other chapters revealed in Mecca we find the emphasis on monotheism or the Oneness of God. The name of God, Allah, is mentioned seventy times in this chapter, whilst idolatry and polytheism are strongly condemned.
All praise belongs to God, yet disbelievers set up partners or equals to God. It was He who created the heavens and the earth, the darkness and the light. God created humankind from clay and appointed a time for death and a time for resurrection. You know this to be true but still you doubt and disbelieve. God is the only deity to be worshipped in the heavens and on the earth and He knows what secrets you keep, what you reveal about yourself and what you do. The revelation comes but humankind rejects it. Soon the things that were ridiculed will become the reality.
Many previous generations were destroyed. They were firmly established and powerful yet they were destroyed because of their sins and replaced by others. If Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, had been sent with a scripture written on a page that the disbelievers could touch with their own hands they would still have called it magic. They ask for an angel but if an angel had come into their midst he would have been in the form of a human bringing a judgment from which there would have been no respite. Many messengers were ridiculed before Prophet Muhammad but in every case the scoffers themselves were surrounded and overcome by the things they mocked.
Look at the history of humankind and see what happened to those who denied the truth when it was revealed to them. Everything in the heavens and the earth belongs to God the Merciful. He does not punish you for your misdeeds right away, but you will be called to account; the Day of Judgment will arrive. God tells Prophet Muhammad to let the people know that he has been commanded to be the first amongst them to submit to God and to not be one of the polytheists.
If God afflicts you with harm there is none that can remove it other than Him; if He blesses you with good, know that He has power over all things. He is the Supreme Master, All-Wise and All-Aware.
Prophet Muhammad calls on God to be the witness between himself and the disbelievers that he is a messenger from God and that the Quran has been revealed as a warning to whoever it reaches. There are no gods apart from God and Prophet Muhammad tells the disbelievers he would never associate anything with God. Those who have been given the Quran know this. Whoever lies about God will never succeed. When they are gathered before God and are asked about the ones they associated with Him they will continue to lie.
There are also some people who pretend to listen when Prophet Muhammad recites the Quran but God has veiled their hearts and blocked their ears. They argue and call the Quran an ancient fairy tale; they turn away and encourage others to do so but they only harm their own souls. If they could see what it will be like when they stand before the fires of Hell, they would beg to return to life and be amongst the believers. The truth is, if they were sent back they would repeat the same mistakes and have the same end. They are liars who deny the Resurrection. When they stand before God they will see the reality of what they denied. God will order them to taste the punishment for denying the reality.
The ones who deny the meeting with God are completely lost. The Day of Judgement will arrive suddenly and they will carry a heavy burden on their backs. The life of this world is nothing more than a brief interlude; games and distraction. What will make you realise that it is the everlasting home in the Hereafter that is important? God knows Prophet Muhammad is grieved by the constant denial of the disbelievers. They are not calling you untruthful, He tells Prophet Muhammad, they are denying the revelations from God. Many previous prophets bore the rejection and persecution patiently, you know this God says, and you know that My help eventually arrived. If it is too hard for you to bear then seek a way to bring them a better sign. God could have made them all believers if it was His desire to do so. Don’t be among the ignorant, think about this.
Only those who listen can hear the truth. As for those with closed minds, even when they are brought back to life on the Day of Judgment they will be asking why they did not see a sign. They do not understand the signs around them. Look at the communities of birds and animals, they are signs. Everything has been determined beforetime; nothing has been left out. Those who reject the signs around them are deaf and dumb some even in total darkness. God guides some and lets others go astray. Have you considered who you will invoke when disaster or the fateful Hour descends upon you? It is only God that you will call; anything else you associated with Him will be forgotten.
Many previous nations were afflicted with suffering and adversaries in order that they may learn humility. Prophets were sent to them, but they did not learn humility. Instead they followed the tricks of Satan and ignored the warnings. Good fortune followed and just as they were enjoying its fruits, God’s wrath descended and they were wiped out!
If God took away your hearing, your sight, or put seals upon your heart, who could give them back to you? God repeats His revelations in various ways for emphasis and clarification but still there are those who just turn away and refuse to see. Have you considered who will be destroyed when the punishment from God comes? The prophets were sent to bring good tidings and strong warnings; anyone who listened to them has nothing to fear. Those who persist in denial will be destroyed. Prophet Muhammad does not possess the treasures of God, nor does he know what is hidden from humankind, he does however follow what has been revealed to him. One who is blind is not the same as one who can see. Ponder this.
God tells Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, to use the Quran to warn people that on the Day of Judgment nothing will stand between them and punishment, except God. God further emphasises that the poor people who are true believers should not be ignored because of the rich influential people of Mecca the Prophet is trying to invite to Islam. It would be very wrong to drive them away; remember that God has made some people as a means to test the resolve of others. God knows those who seek to please Him and those who are grateful. He is merciful and forgiving to those who repent from their bad deeds or mistakes and correct themselves. The path forward should be made clear.
Prophet Muhammad must tell them that he is forbidden to call upon anything other than God and that by doing so he would be lost and one of the wrongdoers. To the challenge of the disbelievers to bring on a punishment, God asks Prophet Muhammad to tell them that he (Prophet Muhammad) does not have authority to decide on that. It is only God who decides this.
Only God knows the unseen, He knows everything that happens in the universe. When the smallest leaf falls God knows about it. There is not even a grain deep in the darkness of the earth that God does not know about and has recorded it in a Clear Record. It is God who takes your souls at night when you sleep and returns them to you each morning to go on with your life. In the end you will return to God and He will tell you everything about your life.
God reigns supreme. He sends angels guarding and writing all of one's good and bad until death approaches. At the time of death, the Angel of Death and his assistants - who never fail to do their duty - take the soul. The souls are returned to God, who is swift in taking account and passing judgment. In the midst of calamities and confusion people turn to God in silent terror asking for help or safety and promising to be thankful and grateful. But when rescue comes they persist in worshiping something other than God.
It is God who has the power to send calamities from above or below or to surround you in confusion or violence. This is explained in the revelations in various ways in order to make you understand, but still you reject the truth of the Quran. When the end approaches you will understand. Walk away from those who argue about the Quran; if Satan makes you forget then stop as soon as you realise and walk away. The righteous are not held accountable for the wrongdoers but your actions might be a reminder to them. Leave the company of those who take their religion as a game and those who are deceived by the life of this world. However use the Quran to remind them that a damned soul will have a painful punishment.
The believers should ask the polytheists if they would benefit from calling on something other than God that can neither harm nor benefit them! Why would they turn their backs on God when they have been guided to the correct path? Should they be like a person Satan has misled and left wandering in the desert while his friends call out to him from the correct path? No! God’s guidance is the only guidance. The believers have been commanded to submit and to establish the prayer and to be mindful of God for they will be facing Him on the Day of Judgment. God created the universe for a true purpose. On the day that He says "Be", it will be (the Day of Judgment). When the trumpet is blown He will have all control and can see what is visible and what is invisible.
Prophet Abraham confronted his father about worshipping idols. God showed Abraham the realms of the heavens and the earth in order to make him one of the true believers. At night he saw a star and wondered if that was God but the star faded and he knew it was not God. When the moon rose he looked at it and wondered if that could be God but it set and He cried out that if God did not guide him He would be one of the losers. Then he pondered the sun and thought that it must be God because it was bigger and brighter, but it set. Abraham knew at once that these heavenly bodies were creations from God and he turned his face away from idols and vowed to worship only the One God.
Prophet Abraham’s people argued with him but he knew that they could cause him no harm unless God willed it. He asked them, "How can I fear what you have associated with God when you do not fear that you have associating partners with Him without any evidence?" Who should feel more secure? Of course it is those who fear God and associate nothing with Him. This was the argument God gave Prophet Abraham to use against his people. God raises the rank of whomever he pleases.
Abraham was given Isaac and Jacob and God guided them just as he had guided Noah. Prophet Abraham’s descendants include many prophets; Moses, Aaron, Joseph, Job, David, Solomon, Zachariah, John, Jesus, and Elias, Elisha, Ishmael, Jonah and Lot. All of them were righteous. They were also all chosen and guided to the straight path. If any of them had worshipped other than God their deeds would have become null and void. Among them were those who were entrusted with a Scripture. God tells Prophet Muhammad that these were the people who followed the guidance, so follow their guidance and tell your people that you are not asking for payment, only giving a reminder to the world.
These people do not value God; they say He never revealed anything to a human being. Ask them who sent the Torah to Moses? It was a light and guidance but they made it into separate pages and kept some hidden. It contained knowledge that they did not know about. If they give no answer to your question leave them engrossed in their vain arguments.
God sent down the blessed Quran as a warning to the people of Mecca and to the rest of the children of Adam, Arabs and non-Arabs alike. Those who already believe in the Hereafter know it is the truth and will be steadfast in performing their prayers. Telling lies about God and pretending to have received a revelation is wicked. Anyone doing this will face extreme punishment and humiliation, not the intercession they had hoped for. Their intercessors whom they associated with God will be of no help.
It is God who causes the seed to split and sprout, and brings out the living from the dead and the dead from the living. He is responsible for the dawn and the night time, He made the sun and the moon so that humankind could measure time. He made the stars as a light and a way to navigate the land and the sea. The signs are clear for those who think.
God produced all of humankind from one soul. He sends down rain to make the planet green; dates, vines, olives and pomegranates. All vegetation is a sign. However, even surrounded by the wonders and signs of God some people have made the jinn partners with God, others have fabricated sons and daughters. How is this possible when He has no consort and is the Creator of everything? There is clear proof so believe it and have the advantage over those who refuse to see. Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, is not a guardian over those who refuse; he must merely turn away from them.
The believers must not to insult the gods of other religions because it might cause the polytheists to insult God. In the end they will understand the error of their ways. Sometimes the unbelievers swear that they would believe if they saw a sign, but the signs are all around them yet they refuse to see them. Even if angels appeared before them or the dead spoke to them they would not believe. God will abandon them to wander blindly in their wrongdoing. Every prophet had enemies, so turn away from the disbelievers and what they have invented.
God is the Judge! Not the others that are worshipped instead of or besides Him. He sent this Book (the Quran), and those who received scriptures before know very well that the Quran is the truth. It cannot be altered. Be mindful that most of the people are trying to turn you away from God however God knows who goes astray and who remains faithful.
Eat of that meat over which God’s name has been pronounced at the time of slaughtering of the animal. The rules have been made clear and you know what is forbidden (except in times of dire emergency). Remember you will be held accountable. Do not eat meat upon which God’s name has not been pronounced, and be wary because many people and devils will cause arguments and disputes over this.
A person who is ignorant or obstinate and trapped in the darkness is not the same as one who is guided and walking in the light. There are evil doers everywhere, they conspire and scheme but they are unaware that they conspire only against themselves. They think they should be messengers but God knows best who to give His message to. He guides whom he wills, he expands their chest so that they are filled with Islam but those who are abandoned (because they themselves did not wish for guidance) feel their chest constrict as if they were climbing into the sky. The path to the home of peace is straight.
On the Day of Judgment the jinn and humankind who thought themselves allies in evil will be allies in punishment. Their home is the Fire. They will testify against themselves when asked whether they had received a warning. God did not destroy civilisations without just cause and only did so after fair warning. God can and will destroy people and replace them with others. If people do not listen to God and instead do whatever they want God will respond.
Some of the polytheists give God’s share of their crops and livestock to those they wrongly associate with God. This is an evil and bad decision. Some people are so confused that they will murder their own children because of their strange beliefs. They have many self-imposed restrictions that they wrongly attribute to God. These lies and inventions will result in severe punishment. The ones who kill their children or restrict food from them because of lies about God have gone completely astray.
It is God who causes vegetation to grow, so eat from its yield and pay the obligatory charity on its harvest. He has provided animals too, some for transportation and some for slaughter. Use them and eat from them. There are strange superstitions surrounding the animals, they are more lies against God. The things forbidden to eat are dead animals, blood spilled out, the meat from pigs (swine) and animals that were slaughtered in the name of something other than God. The only exception is if someone is forced to eat this meat out of necessity.
The Jews had certain dietary laws concerning meat imposed upon them due to their disobedience. Prophet Muhammad was told that if he was accused of lying about this then he should say that God is merciful and His argument conclusive.
This is what God commands. Do not associate anything with Him. Be good to your parents. Do not kill your children because you fear poverty; God will provide for you and them. Do not be immoral, openly or secretly. Do not take a life except in certain justifiable situations. Treat orphans fairly and give full measure and weight. God never makes a person bear more than he is capable of bearing. Speak justly and keep any promises you make in God’s name.
Moses was given a blessed Book and this Quran is also blessed. If you follow it you will receive His mercy. Those who turn away will face a dreadful punishment. Leaving it until the Day of Judgment will be too late. Those who fail to do any good deeds and those who divide the religion into sects will be called to account. A person who does one good deed will be given credit for ten good deeds. A person who does a bad deed will be recompensed for that one deed.
Prophet Muhammad declares that he is following the straight path of Abraham. His life, his worship and his death are for God Alone. God has no associates or equals. And he (Prophet Muhammad) is the first among those who submit to God. God is the Lord of all that exists and each soul will bear the burden of its own actions and never the burden of another. In the end God will resolve all your disputes. He has given you the earth and all its wonders. Some have more than others; it is a test. He is swift in punishment but is also forgiving and merciful.
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