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They will ask thee about fighting in the sacred month. Say: "Fighting in it is an awesome thing (grave transgression); but turning men away from the path of God and denying Him, and [turning them away from] the Inviolable House of Worship and expelling its people therefrom - [all this] is yet more awesome (greater transgression) in the sight of God, since oppression is more awesome (greater transgression) than killing." [Your enemies] will not cease to fight against you till they have turned you away from your faith, if they can. But if any of you should turn away from his faith and die as a denier of the truth - these it is whose works will go for nought in this world and in the life to come; and these it is who are destined for the fire, therein to abide. 217 Those who believed and those who suffered exile and fought (and strove and struggled) in the path of Allah,- they have the hope of the Mercy of Allah: And Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. 218 ۞ They ask you about intoxicants and games of chance. Say: In both of them there is a great sin and means of profit for men, and their sin is greater than their profit. And they ask you as to what they should spend. Say: What you can spare. Thus does Allah make clear to you the communications, that you may ponder, 219 And they ask "What ought we to spend (in the way of Allah)"? Say "Spend whatever you can spare." Thus Allah makes His commands clear to you so that you may think about the good of both this world and the Hereafter. They ask you about the right way of dealing with orphans. Say "The right way is that which is for their good." Then there is no harm if you live a common life with them for they are after all your own brethren. Allah knows well the one who means harm and also the one who means good. If Allah had willed He would have been hard upon you in this matter for He is All-Powerful but He is at the same time AlI-Wise. 220 Do not marry women who associate partners with God until they believe. A believing bondwoman is better than a woman who associates partners with God, however pleasing she may appear to you. Nor give believing women in marriage to men who associate partners with God, till they have believed; a believing bondman is certainly better than a man who associates partners with God, even though he may please you. Such people call you to Hell-fire; but God calls you to Paradise and to forgiveness. He makes His messages clear to people, so that they might bear them in mind. 221
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