سورة البقرة   

Surah Name: Al-Baqarah Meaning:The Cow

  • Revealed at Madinah
  • The Longest Surah of the Quran.
  • This Surah, with reference to its revelation, is Madni and some of its Aayat and injunctions pertain to the very last period of Quranic revelation, but in order of placement it is in the very beginning. The Quran, an answer to the prayer contained in al-Fatihah, begins with this Surah. There was a basic difference in the life patterns of Makkah and Madinah. The addressees of Divine Revelation at Makkah in general, were the pagans and the idolaters; but at Madinah there were also people who considered themselves to be the nearest to Allah-SWT and the true followers of Prophet Musa--AS (Moses). Whereas, in reality, over the passage of time, they had not only forgotten his teachings, but had also distorted the Divine Scriptures. They had replaced worship with rituals, and true faith with absurd beliefs. Despite this they claimed to be on the right path. The Quran in the first place, highlighted the difference between belief and disbelief. Thus the very first Aayat of this Surah also spells out the fundamentals of Islam
  • Total Number of Rukū / Sections 40
  • Total Number of Āyāt / Parts 286
  • Sūrah / Chapter number 2
  • Rukū / Section 13 contains Āyāt / Parts 9
  • Siparah/ Volume 1 & 2


يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تَقُولُواْ رَاعِنَا وَقُولُواْ انظُرْنَا وَاسْمَعُوا ْوَلِلكَافِرِينَ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ

Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo la taqooloo raAAina waqooloo onthurnawaismaAAoo walilkafireena AAathabun aleem(un)

O you who believe! Do not say, (to the Prophet-SW) Ra'ina (Listen to us) but say, Unzurna (Look upon us), and listen carefully; and for the non-believers is a painful punishment.


مَّا يَوَدُّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ وَلاَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ أَن يُنَزَّلَ عَلَيْكُم مِّنْ خَيْرٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَاللّهُ يَخْتَصُّ بِرَحْمَتِهِ مَن يَشَاء وَاللّهُ ذُو الْفَضْلِ الْعَظِيمِ

Ma yawaddu allatheena kafaroo min ahli alkitabi wala almushrikeena an yunazzala AAalaykum min khayrin min rabbikum wa(A)llahu yakhtassu birahmatihi man yashao wa(A)llahu thoo alfadli alAAatheem(i)

Neither the non-believers among the People of the Book, nor the polytheists want that anything good may come to you from your Rabb-SWT . But Allah-SWT favours with His-SWT Mercy whom He-SWT pleases and Allah-SWT's Grace is Infinite.


مَا نَنسَخْ مِنْ آيَةٍ أَوْ نُنسِهَا نَأْتِ بِخَيْرٍ مِّنْهَا أَوْ مِثْلِهَا أَلَمْ تَعْلَمْ أَنَّ اللّهَ عَلَىَ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

Ma nansakh min ayatin aw nunsiha nati bikhayrin minha aw mithliha alam taAAlam anna Allaha AAala kulli shayin qadeer(un)

Such of Our-SWT Revelations that We-SWT abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We-SWT substitute with better or similar ones. Do you not know that Allah-SWT has power over everything?


أَلَمْ تَعْلَمْ أَنَّ اللّهَ لَهُ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَمَا لَكُم مِّن دُونِ اللّهِ مِن وَلِيٍّ وَلاَ نَصِيرٍ 

Alam taAAlam anna Allaha lahu mulku a(l)ssamawati wa(a)lardi wama lakum min dooni Allahi min waliyyin wala naseer(in)

Do you not know that, to Allah-SWT belongs the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth? And for you there is no friend or helper besides Allah-SWT .


أَمْ تُرِيدُونَ أَن تَسْأَلُواْ رَسُولَكُمْ كَمَا سُئِلَ مُوسَى مِن قَبْلُ وَمَن يَتَبَدَّلِ الْكُفْرَ بِالإِيمَانِ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ سَوَاء السَّبِيلِ 

Am tureedoona an tasaloo rasoolakum kama suila moosa min qablu waman yatabaddali alkufra bi(a)leemani faqad dalla sawaa alssabeel(i)

Do you want to question your Messenger-SW, as Musa-AS was questioned afore time? And whosoever trades disbelief for faith, has in­deed strayed from the right path.


وَدَّ كَثِيرٌ مِّنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ لَوْ يَرُدُّونَكُم مِّن بَعْدِ إِيمَانِكُمْ كُفَّاراً حَسَدًا مِّنْ عِندِ أَنفُسِهِم مِّن بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُمُ الْحَقُّ فَاعْفُواْ وَاصْفَحُواْ حَتَّى يَأْتِيَ اللّهُ بِأَمْرِهِ إِنَّ اللّهَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

Wadda katheerun min ahli alkitabi law yaruddoonakum min baAAdi eemanikum kuffaran hasadan min AAindi anfusihim min baAAdi ma tabayyana lahumu alhaqqu fa(o)AAfoo waisfahoo hatta yatiya Allahu biamrihi inna Allaha AAala kulli shayin qadeer(un)

Many of the People of the Book wish, that they turn you back to disbelief after your faith, even after the truth has become manifest to them. So forgive and overlook, till Allah-SWT brings about His-SWT Command. Indeed Allah-SWT has power over all things.


وَأَقِيمُواْ الصَّلاَةَ وَآتُواْ الزَّكَاةَ وَمَا تُقَدِّمُواْ لأَنفُسِكُم مِّنْ خَيْرٍ تَجِدُوهُ عِندَ اللّهِ إِنَّ اللّهَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ

Waaqeemoo alssalata waatoo a(l)zzakata wama tuqaddimoo lianfusikum min khayrin tajidoohu AAinda Allahi inna Allaha bima taAAmaloona baser(un)

And establish Salat and give Zakat; And whatever good you send forth for your souls, you will find it with Allah-SWT . For Allah-SWT observes all that you do.


وَقَالُواْ لَن يَدْخُلَ الْجَنَّةَ إِلاَّ مَن كَانَ هُوداً أَوْ نَصَارَى تِلْكَ أَمَانِيُّهُمْ قُلْ هَاتُواْ بُرْهَانَكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ

Waqaloo lan yadkhula aljannata illa man kana hoodan aw nasara tilka amaniyyuhum qul hatoo burhanakum in kuntum sadiqeen(a)

And they say, "None except the Jews and the Christians shall enter Paradise", this is their wishful thinking, Say, "Produce your proof if you are truthful".


بَلَى مَنْ أَسْلَمَ وَجْهَهُ لِلّهِ وَهُوَ مُحْسِنٌ فَلَهُ أَجْرُهُ عِندَ رَبِّهِ وَلاَ خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ

Bala man aslama wajhahu lillahi wahuwa muhsinun falahu ajruhu AAinda rabbihi wala khawfun AAalayhim wala hum yahzanoon(a)

Yes, any one who surrenders his will and purpose to Allah-SWT and does good, his reward is with his Rabb-SWT . Such shall neither fear, nor grieve.


In The Name of Allah-SWT the Most Gracious, The Most Merciful

O you who believe!... and for the non-believers is a painful punishment.

How can the Bani Israil be expected to believe when they are so vicious as to display impudence before the Holy Prophet-SW on purpose? Ra'ina was considered to be a word pertaining to reverence and respect in Arabic. When the Holy Prophet-SW addressed the audience and if any one missed out something, he would say Ra'ina, meaning, "please be kind or considerate to us." But the Jews would twist their tongue sarcastically to utter it as Ra'eena meaning "shepherd"; as if they were the intellectuals and the Holy Prophet-SW was a shepherd. The believers also spoke the same word, certainly not with the same intention, but only figuratively. And because of the Jews' malevolence Allah-SWT omitted it from the dictionary of the believers altogether.


Probably, this is why Syed Anwar Shah Kashmiri-RAU writes in his Akfar al-Mulhidln that any word uttered about Holy Prophet-SW, which the listener un­derstands as blasphemous, will render the speaker a non-believer. Allah-SWT protected the Companions-RAU from such a situation, by forbidding the use of the said word and replaced it with Unzurna meaning," look upon us". It meant the same but could not be twisted for ulterior motives. Allaah-SWT directs Wasma'u (listen to him very carefully) because it was one of the miracles of the Holy Prophet-SW that whenever he addressed a gathering, he could be heard equally well by everyone without him having to raise his voice. Now if anything was missed out, it was a failure on the part of the listener. Therefore, Allaah-SWT directed them to listen very carefully, while the non-believers, who indulge in such talk, a painful doom awaits them in the eternal life. But even in this world the Jews who irked the Holy Prophet-SW met an evil fate.

Neither the non-believers ... and Allah's Grace is Infinite,

The non-believers, whether from the People of the Book or from the idolaters, do not like in their hearts the fact that Allaah-SWT has blessed the Holy Prophet-SW with so many favours. They are well aware of the truth of his-SW prophethood and are convinced of the fact that Allaah-SWT is the Creator and rest, a creation. Of the grace, the knowledge and the honour bestowed upon the entire creation, the major share went to the Holy Prophet-SW. There is no room for argument over this, may Allaah-SWT bless everyone with the sense to understand!


These non-believers plan to deprive the believers of Allah-SWT's Blessings but Allaah-SWT chooses whosoever He-SWT pleases for His-SWT Favours, and He-SWT had chosen the Companions-RAU for it. They are the very first addressees of the Quran and are the first to be informed of the etiquettes of the Holy Prophet's-SW court. This Ayah also provides evidence on the righteousness of the Companions-RAU and Allah-SWT, out of His-SWT Generosity, also informs them of the tricks of the Jews and the idolaters.

Such of Our revelations ... Allah-SWT has power over everything?

Similarly they object to the change of direction of the Qiblah. They argue that the claimants of the true religion have suddenly turned to Ka'abah from the direction of Bait al Maqdas, in which they used to pray earlier; now which one of the two is correct? Allaah-SWT declares that these are the tactics to mislead the Muslims; otherwise the objection could only have been valid if any news or information provided by the Quran had ever proved to be wrong. There had been no abrogation in the Commandments-beliefs, articles of faith, principles of law, moral precepts etc-but as far as the Divine Laws are concerned, these may be changed by the Lawgiver. It is man who has to obey Him-SWT; He-SWT is not bound to seek advice from anyone. For some, He-SWT had enjoined two obligatory Salat, while for others five. For some, the Qiblah was Bait al-Maqdas, for others it is Ka'abah. He-SWT honoured the Muslims with both, one after the other. The non-believers try to entangle the believers in twisted words, knowing that even an unwitting disrespect towards the Holy Prophet-SW not only results in cessation of Divine Blessings, but also vitiates faith itself.


This is a very delicate affair, but today the people are so daring that they make the Holy Prophet-SW the topic of every discussion. May it be the Knowledge of the Unseen, or the Omnipresence, Hearing by the Dead or the concept of Punishments and Rewards in Barzakh, they commence their discussions and arguments with reference to him-SW, little realising that even an iota of implied disrespect invalidates the faith. Is it not enough to believe that, "After Allah-SWT , the Holy Prophet-SW is the most exalted"?


When a Divine Law is superseded, it is washed away from the memories, and a similar or an improved version takes its place. The methods of abrogation were two. Sometimes it would be directed that a certain Ayah would not be acted upon any longer, but its recitation would continue. In other situations both will cease. Sometimes the recital would be abolished, leaving the law intact just as the Ayah pertaining to Rajam (stoning of adulterers to death). In the other method the Ayah would be simply washed away from the memory of the Holy Prophet-SW as well as of the Companions-RAU. Whatever be the mode, the amendment was always better suited to the people and brought more blessings for the believers.

Do you not know that... there is no friend or helper besides Allah-SWT .

O you, the addressed! Don't you know that Allaah-SWT is the Arbiter and the Law giver? He-SWT is to be obeyed rather than being advised by the mortals. He-SWT Alone is the Sovereign in the heavens and the earth. He-SWT can enact or revoke at will. None of His-SWT subjects can hamper or obstruct His-SWT prerogative. Beware! A time is surely approaching, when the facts will be laid bare and you will find no help and assistance from anywhere save Him-SWT .


Do you want to question ... has indeed strayed from the right path.

And those who say that the Divine Book was revealed to Prophet Musa-AS in one go indeed want the believers to demand the same from the Holy Prophet-SW. But did they believe in it at once, or did they invoke upon themselves Allah-SWT's Wrath by putting forth frivolous questions to Prophet Musa-AS They are trying to persuade the believers to adopt the same attitude to vex the Holy Prophet-SW like they had done to their Prophet-AS. Such an attitude amounts to disbelief, and whosoever deviates from faith to follow disbelief, indeed goes astray.


Many of the People of the Book... Allah-SWT observes all that you do.

All this effort by the People of the Book is out of sheer jealousy, as they can­not tolerate the Divine Blessings being showered upon the believers. Although they know very well that the truth is what the believers are practising, yet they are sparing no pains to beguile them from the right path. Just as in today's world the Jews have established such an interest-based economy that no one can escape the trap; the faith of those who devour interest cannot be saved. And the products from the Western countries are deliberately adulterated with some by-product of swine to vitiate the faith of the Muslim consumers. It is heartbreaking to see the Muslims import from the West, products ranging from baby food to cloth for the coffin.


All these deceits of the People of the Book are to misguide the believers; but Allah-SWT, in His-SWT Infinite Mercy, has forewarned them. So the Holy Prophet-SW is informed to ignore, to forbear and to wait for Allaah-SWT ’s Command. He-SWT may command Jihad, as He-SWT is All-Powerful, and may reduce to dust their pride in their military might and manpower. And this is exactly what happened. Or Allaah-SWT may choose to disgrace them at the time of death, and on the Day of Judgement before the entire mankind. The Muslims are advised to hold fast onto Salat and pay Zakat; and instead of engaging in useless altercations with the non-believers, concentrate on obedience of Allah-SWT .


The Disputation

It is generally prohibited. However, it is fair if a person asks questions to seek knowledge. To hold a dialogue with a person who is misleading the people in beliefs is permissible only for a competent scholar who can counter the disputant effectively and thus safeguard peoples' faith. It is not something to be done merely as a pastime. Time can be better utilised in remembering and obeying Allah-SWT as every good deed done today will be deposited in the account for Akhirah. And the foremost point to remember is that He-SWT is Personally overlooking each and every activity, as it is being carried out in His-SWT Presence.

And they say, ... Such shall neither fear, nor grieve.

And the People of the Book say that no one shall enter Paradise except them; in other words they have based admission to it on nationality whereby a mere enrolment as People of the Book would make them heirs to Paradise. Similarly today's Muslims think that they would enter Paradise just by taking up Muslim names and becoming part of the Muslim nation, without sound beliefs and practice. It is wishful thinking and is of no consequence whatsoever.


The People of the Book may be asked to produce the evidence in support of their tall claim, which they certainly cannot. The feet is that entry into Paradise will not be subject to any nationality or race, but whosoever holds the correct beliefs and acts upon them with sincerity a: heart, shall qualify for it. Ihsan, according to Hadith is a spiritual state, whereby a person worships Allah-SWT as if he is beholding Him-SWT and experiences tranquillity and a deep-hearted connection with Him-SWT . Or at least he should feel that Allah-SWT is seeing him and there is no room for any level below this. Such a connection of the heart has been termed as Nisbat in Sufi terminology.


Whosoever strives with a determined heart for sound beliefs and practices shall be rewarded and blessed by Allah-SWT . He will nether be afraid of the future, nor aggrieved over the past, because he has opted for the safest code of conduct. It is, however imperative that his heart should accompany him in his actions, which are not merely a formality. Sincerity alone is valued in the Divine Court and not a mere claim of being a member of the Muslims community or nation. This basic requirement impels a person to acquire Zikr-e-Qalbi, because unless the heart itself is not alive and aware, it can neither accept guidance nor is with him in his actions. These are the Barakah of the Prophethood. The teachings of the Holy Prophet-SW highlighted the tenets and the practices while his blessed company warmed up the hearts and elevated the fortunate ones to the enviable status of Companionship.

Even today, the company of an accomplished person can magnetise the hearts, while the routine propagation of religion has a very fleeting impact. As soon the sermon is over, its effects fizzle out, leaving no impression on one's practical life. In fact we experience a dilemma. People stand divided in two groups. One group comprises Muslims who adhere to the religious teachings and worship without paying any attention to their hearts, and simply ignore the need for inner purification. The results are obvious; the tongue recites Quran and Hadith, the body performs the Salat rituals but the heart is completely absorbed in the world. At the slightest fear or temptation they quickly opt for hypocrisy. The second group takes for granted that their hearts are brimming with Allah-SWT's love and take up innovations and activities against the Sunnah, giving these rituals the status of Din. Both of these attitudes are incorrect; they should have adopted the beliefs and practices and the ways of obeying Allah-SWT , revealed by Him-SWT to the Holy Prophet-SW.


How is Ihsan Attained?

Along with the obedience to Allah-SWT , a believer must seek the Barakah, available only in a sacred company. The Companions-RAU acquired knowledge from the teachings of the Holy Prophet-SW, and the inner purification from his august company. It was this inner purification, and not the teachings alone, that elevated them to the status of Companionship. The teachings, thanks to Allah-SWT , have reached us too and because of them we are Muslims. But it was the noble company that blessed the Companions-RAU with Ihsan, enlivened their hearts, drove out all fears and entitled them to great Divine Rewards. The mere claim to Islam should not beguile anyone to believe that no worldly harm shall come to him. Our real problem is that we blame Islam for all our ills whereas the sole reason for our plight is our failure to own Islam. We have nothing but the hollow claims of being Muslims.


It is an historical fact that Muslims, despite scant material resources and fewer numbers, compelled the great powers of the world to bow before Allah-SWT . They were the real Muslims, not mere claimants. When the Muslims ceased to practise Islam, they lost the Divine Patronage. Now when only the material resources have become the deciding factor, the non-believer will certainly be a nuisance if he is more resourceful. The same applies to the worlds trade and commercial activity. The non-believers worked hard in this field and captured the world markets. Had they settled on precepts and given up effort, they would have met the same fate as ours. If the Muslims re-exert themselves according to Islamic principles, there is no reason why they should fail. Our problem is that we have abandoned Islam to follow the West, but have not even learnt from them how to work hard. We imported nothing but obscenity, neglect to Akhirah and disbelief. In nutshell, only name and nationality are of no avail unless backed by sincere devotion of the heart and accompanied by practices bearing the seal of the Holy Prophet-SW.