Page:Sacred Books of the East - Volume 6.djvu/260

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134 the qur′ân. Ⅵ, 143-148.

not the footsteps of Satan ; verily, he is to you an open foe.

Eight pairs, — of sheep two, and of goats two ; say, ‘ Are the two males unlawful, or the two females, or what the wombs of the two females contain ? inform me with knowledge if ye tell the truth.’ 145 And of camels two, and cows two ; say, ‘ Are the two males unlawful, or the two females, or what the wombs of the two females contain ? Were ye witnesses when God ordained for you these ? — Then who is more unjust than he who devises a lie against God, to lead men astray without knowledge? verily, God guides not the unjust people[1].’

Say, ‘ I cannot find in what I am inspired with anything unlawful for the taster to taste ; unless it be dead (of itself), or blood that has been shed, or the flesh of swine, — for that is a horror — or an abomination that is consecrated to other than God. But he who is forced, not wilfully nor transgressing, — then, verily, thy Lord is forgiving and merciful.’

To those who were Jews did we prohibit everything that hath a solid hoof; and of oxen and sheep did we prohibit to them the fat, save what the backs of both do bear, or the inwards, or what is mixed with bone ; with that did we recompense them for their rebellion, for, verily, we are true.

And if they give thee the lie, say, ‘ Your Lord is of ample mercy, nor shall His violence be turned back from the sinful people.’


  1. The Arabs alternately made it unlawful to eat the males, and then the young of these four kinds of cattle. Mohammed in this passage shows the absurdity of their custom by pointing out the difficulty of deciding which is lawful and unlawful in the case of eight pairs.