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 18 contains Āyāt / Parts 5
  • Siparah/ Volume 1 & 2


وَلِكُلٍّ وِجْهَةٌ هُوَ مُوَلِّيهَا فَاسْتَبِقُواْ الْخَيْرَاتِ أَيْنَ مَا تَكُونُواْ يَأْتِ بِكُمُ اللّهُ جَمِيعًا إِنَّ اللّهَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

Walikullin wijhatun huwa muwalleeha fa(i)stabiqoo alkhayrati ayna ma takoonoo yati bikumu Allahu jameeAAan inna Allaha AAala kulli shayin qadeer(un)

Every community faces a direction of its own. So compete with each other in virtue. Wherever you may be, Allah-SWT will bring you all together, for Allah-SWT has power over all things.


وَمِنْ حَيْثُ خَرَجْتَ فَوَلِّ وَجْهَكَ شَطْرَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ وَإِنَّهُ لَلْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكَ وَمَا اللّهُ بِغَافِلٍ عَمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ

Wamin haythu kharajta fawalli wajhaka shatra almasjidi alharami wainnahu lalhaqqu min rabbika wama Allahu bighafilin AAamma taAAmaloon(a)

And from wherever you come forth, turn your face towards the Sacred Masjid. No doubt it is the truth from your Rabb-SWT , and Allah-SWT is not unaware of what you do.


وَمِنْ حَيْثُ خَرَجْتَ فَوَلِّ وَجْهَكَ شَطْرَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ وَحَيْثُ مَا كُنتُمْ فَوَلُّواْ وُجُوهَكُمْ شَطْرَهُ لِئَلاَّ يَكُونَ لِلنَّاسِ عَلَيْكُمْ حُجَّةٌ إِلاَّ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ مِنْهُمْ فَلاَ تَخْشَوْهُمْ وَاخْشَوْنِي وَلأُتِمَّ نِعْمَتِي عَلَيْكُمْ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَهْتَدُونَ

Wamin haythu kharajta fawalli wajhaka shatra almasjidi alharami wahaythu makuntum fawalloo wujoohakum shatrahu lialla yakoona li(l)nnasi AAalaykum hujjatun illa allatheena thalamoo minhum fala takhshawhum waikhshawnee waliotimma niAAmatee AAalaykum walaAAallakum tahtadoon(a)

And from wherever you come forth, turn your face towards the Sacred Masjid; and wherever you may be turn your face towards it, lest there should be with people an argument against you except those of them who transgress; so do not fear them, but fear Me-SWT , so that I-SWT may perfect My-SWT favour upon you and that you may remain rightly guided.


كَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا فِيكُمْ رَسُولاً مِّنكُمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْكُمْ آيَاتِنَا وَيُزَكِّيكُمْ وَيُعَلِّمُكُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَيُعَلِّمُكُم مَّا لَمْ تَكُونُواْ تَعْلَمُونَ

Kama arsalna feekum rasoolan minkum yatloo AAalaykum ayatinawayuzakkeekum wayuAAallimukumu alkitaba wa(a)lhikmata wayuAAallimukum ma lam takoonoo taAAlamoon(a)

Even as We-SWT have sent unto you a Messenger-SW, who recites Our-SWT Ayat to you, purifies you, and teaches you the Book and wisdom, and teaches you that which you did not know.


فَاذْكُرُونِي أَذْكُرْكُمْ وَاشْكُرُواْ لِي وَلاَ تَكْفُرُونِ

Fa(o)thkuroonee athkurkum wa(o)shkuroo lee wala takfuroon(i)

So remember Me-SWT , I-SWT shall remember you. Give thanks to Me-SWT and do not be ungrateful to Me-SWT .


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

Every community faces a direction ... Allah-SWT has power over all things.

For every nation and religion there is some unifying point, ideologically as well as in matters of worship and practices. Some nations displayed this by discriminating between colour and caste, whereas others began to worship power. Like in the Western world today, to be a white man is the point of prestige in the society. A black man cannot find room in their hearts even after embracing their religion. Or in the case of Hinduism, any thing more powerful or gigantic is worshipped; whether it is a mountain, a river, a tree or an animal. It has been rightfully said: “Every nation has a goal, a religion and a Qiblah.”


For some geographical boundaries, while for others merely being born in a certain family, became a point of unity. All these factors, which are beyond one’s control, instead of uniting the mankind on any single principle, became the cause of splitting it up into numerous groups. But the true Din always and through all ages, directed the opinion and thought to the common platform of Unity of Allah-SWT and Prophethood, while the outward point of unity became the Qiblah, where without any discrimination of colour, caste or nationality, all human beings can congregate. They may be in any part of the world, but when it is time for Salat, they can all turn to the same direction as their hearts have been threaded into one cord so must their faces be in one direction. This Din is a matter of choice and can be adopted by any male or female, educated or unlettered, white or black. It provides such a concrete central point of inward and outward unity of thought and action, for which every School of Thought has endeavoured. In the same way if Islam has given a direction, a Qiblah there is nothing new about it. To get into arguments over it is a sheer waste of time, which is passing on. It would be more sensible for people to compete in obeying Allah-SWT and seeking His-SWT Pleasure. If someone sincerely wishes to understand, he must be attended to, otherwise an argument for the sake of it should be avoided. However, if a person is likely to misguide others by his false claims and absurd reasoning it is imperative to challenge him and to expose him publicly. But for this task one has to be competent, otherwise an unqualified person shall bring a bad name to the religious community.


So merely to prove oneself as a great orator it is not advisable to get into heated arguments. Rather this energy should be spent in Allah-SWT’s obedience and to excel over one another in it. Eventually everyone has to gather before Allah-SWT ; wherever and however he maybe, Allah-SWT will reassemble him. Whether a person is cremated after death, or devoured by beasts of prey, or the corpse is scattered by any other means, it is not difficult for Him-SWT to put it together. And no matter how scattered its parts may be, these can never be as scattered as they were before birth. In every fruit and grain are the components of some human body all over the globe; which moving from one country to another become part of that particular body in the form of diet. This process of building up the human body continues right from the sperm till the day of demise. Therefore a person does not disintegrate so much after his death, as he was scattered before his birth! So Allah-SWT is All-Powerful and will reunite you all. Therefore, instead of seeking mundane power, one must seek the eternal bliss.


And from wherever you come forth... and Allah-SWT is not unaware of what you do.

Wherever the Muslims might be, even when in a journey they must turn their faces in the direction of Masjid al-Haram at the time of Salat, which is the Qiblah for them under all circumstances. The Din of Islam and all its tenets are based on truth enforced by the Almighty Allah-SWT.Here, worship is not merely a ritual as in all false religions, but a manifestation of His-SWT Blessings. Just as He-SWT blessed mankind with a variety of foods for nourishment of the physical body, He-SWT prescribed worships as food for the Spirit. Just as grain and water form the basis of all types of food, the obligatory worships constitute the basic spiritual food, without which the Spirit cannot survive, while the voluntary and Sunnah worships are a source of its beautification. Just as people do not merely ingest grain but improvise delicious recipes so does the obligatory worship complimented by voluntary and Sunnah form a delicious diet for the Spirit.


Obviously, even the poorest person does not eat plain grain, but cooks it into some kind of bread and complement it with sauce or pickles. If this end can receive so much attention, how can the other, which is the manifestation of Divine Blessings, be totally ignored? It must, however, be remembered that only those worships are a Divine Blessing that have been approved by Him-SWT and His-SWT Prophet-SW. Nothing can be invented and added, as this true Din is wholly from Allah-SWT .


Now there is no need to complain that other people sleep late in the morning while we, the Muslims have to rise early, or that others enjoy freely while there are strict moral codes for us. Or that others eat and drink while we have to fast. Remember, all this is not done for people, but for Allah-SWT , Who-SWT is always protecting you and is personally watching your performance. And those who disobey Him-SWT , are also well within His-SWT sight, and He-SWT is well aware of them. He-SWT blesses the obedient with a tenderness of the heart, and those who ignore their obligations are marching to a spiritual death. Invention of a new religion, every other day, is an evidence of this spiritual demise.


And from wherever you come fourth... that you may remain rightly guided.

So wherever (O Prophet-SW) you go, Masjid al-Haram is the point of unity for the physical body, whether individually or collectively. No matter in which country or condition the Muslims are, they must turn their faces towards it for Salat. And no matter in what condition a Muslim is, he must not neglect his obligatory worship nor should he indulge in Bid’ah but should completely adhere to Allah-SWT’s Commands and the teachings of the Holy Prophet-SW. He should neither change his direction nor should there be any division in the thinking. The Muslims should not neglect their obligatory worships and give the non-believers a chance to be sarcastic and critical of Islam. The non-believers must not be given a chance to say that if it is a Divine Din and if the Holy Prophet-SW is His-SWT Prophet-SW, why don’t the Muslims follow this Din themselves? Why are they ignoring their obligations? or that Islam too, is just another sect? If the basic tenets of Islam are ignored in matters of daily life to avoid being called a fundamentalist, and un-Islamic customs are adopted, it would mean losing direction, like a person whose destination is Makah, but he takes the road leading to Turkey.


In the first place, Islamic values are the most superior over which even a non-believer cannot be sarcastic; for example, telling the truth, earning by lawful means, abstaining from lewdness and slander and worshiping Allah-SWT.All these matters are such that only the extremely malicious and unjust will be critical. Now, a certain class which violates even the basic human values, and takes mendacity as worship, and slander as a means of attaining Allah-SWT’s nearness, or perfidy and lewdness as Divine obedience and then raises objections over Islam, it should be completely ignored as they have totally opposite standards. And for worships there is only one standard, that the heart be full of Divine awe. The only consideration should be that negligence in worship would invoke Allah-SWT’s Wrath. Therefore, one should worship with full awareness of Allah-SWT’s Greatness and a sincerely devoted heart.


The term, Wakhshauni means fear Me and My Annoyance; why then be afraid of anyone else? If you acquire this blessed understanding, then gateway to Allah-SWT’s bounties shall open unto you. And inculcate this Divine awe, so that He-SWT may bestow upon you His-SWT optimum blessings, and you may be amongst the guided, who recognize as well as speak the truth and enjoy a blissful life in both the worlds. And see what a great blessing He-SWT has sent unto you.


Even as We-SWT have ... and teaches you that which you did not tow.

Firstly, raising of the Holy Prophet-SW is itself a blessing and secondly his-SW being from the mankind is yet another Divine Favour. Had Prophethood been conferred upon any other creation but mankind, then that would have been termed as ‘the most superior creation’, because Prophethood is the most exalted status and all other forms of superiority fall below it. Thus, for mankind it is a great honour and a matter of pride that the Messengers-AS of Allah-SWT were human beings.


Some fools altogether deny the human aspect of the Prophets-AS, which is one form of denying the Institution of Prophethood. However, it must be clearly remembered that Prophets-AS too are human beings, but not like any ordinary human being. They are at the apex of humanity and a model for the mankind. Especially their leader Prophet Muhammad-SW, holds the highest station of Allah-SWT’s nearness, only meant for him-SW. His-SW obedience is obligatory for the entire universe, so much so, that a Messenger-AS with a revealed Book if re-deputed to this world, will follow the teachings of the Holy Prophet-SW, through whom, mankind has received so many blessings. He-SW recites Allah-SWT’s Ayaat to the believers, which are His-SWT own words.


How fortunate are the believers that they ask a question from the Holy Prophet-SW and the answer is given by Allah-SWT ! The entire code of life is revealed by Allah-SWT to His-SWT Prophet-SW and whoever accepts his-SW teachings, is purified by him-SW. The thoughts and imagination, beliefs and practices, inner and outer self, are sanctified in such a way, that this purification is pronounced as a great blessing by Almighty Allah-SWT.This phenomenon is so remarkable that even an onlooker of average intelligence can understand it and notice the effects of this Companionship on those who received it. The Holy Prophet-SW teaches the Divine Book and wisdom. In other words, the attainment of the knowledge of the Book and wisdom depends on Tazkiyah without which the real or the beneficial knowledge cannot be acquired.


Attainment Of Tazkiyah

This Tazkiyah was acquired in the company of the Holy Prophet-SW, even if it was only for a very short while. It led to a special status of Wilayah, and all the Aulia of the world put together cannot match a Companion-RAU, not even the dust under his-RAU feet. The excellence of the company of the Holy Prophet-SW was such that it instantaneously elevated a Muslim to the status of a Companion-RAU


The beneficence received from the Holy Prophet-SW is twofold; firstly the outward knowledge, comprising his-SW sayings and his-SW practices. Quran, Hadith and Fiqh are in this category. Secondly, the beneficence of his-SW’s company was reflected unto those attending his-SW’s court. It turned raw copper into gold. It enlightened the hearts and illuminated the bosoms, generating a capacity to be steadfast on truth. The beneficence of his-SW company also provides the basis for the attainment of the outwardly knowledge, otherwise the knowledge attained would be nothing more than the memorisation of phrases and an exercise of grammar, without real benefit.


Don’t we witness today how the religious scholars are busy quarrelling amongst themselves, and the worst part is that the followers of one School of Thought accuse the other of disbelief, through the loudspeakers of the masaajid. In the past scholars used to invite the non-believers to Islam, whereas today they are busy labelling the Muslims as non-believers. The basic reason is that, they have not attained the purification of the hearts and are thus deprived of Din. They are at war merely to maintain their own supremacy over others, exceptions apart.


Only those, also striving for Tazkiyah of inner self, are protected against this evil of self-projection, because inner purification is the foundation of faith. The argument that Tazkiyah is difficult to attain today is incorrect, as the spiritual beneficence of the Holy Prophet-SW is for the entire mankind till the end of time. The teachings of the Holy Prophet-SW, the Quran and Hadith have been available in every country and age. Although there was a possibility that those could have been tampered with, yet Allah-SWT made such an arrangement for their protection that He-SWT secured the Quran in the hearts of Muslims. He-SWT chose men to protect Hadith, and they diligently sifted the truth from falsehood. Despite all efforts by the non-believers, the teachings of the Holy Prophet-SW remained intact; so how can Tazkiyah, which comprises spiritual states that can, neither be interpolated nor adulterated be lost? And if Allah-SWT forbid, it is so then the very Din will be lost. It is, however, true that the bearer of these inner lights are rare. It has always been so, and according to the Quran such noble people can be few in number, but do exist, because they are under Divine Protection, and are the reason of sustaining this world. When they are gone, the world would crumble to an end and the Day of Judgment will commence.


The process of Tazkiyah involves emission, absorption and inspiration. The Companions-RAU received this cleansing directly from the Holy Prophet-SW. From them it was reflected unto the Taba’in, and in turn unto Taba’ Taba’in, from whom it was acquired by the Aulia of the Ummah. It is a heritage, a trust for all the Muslims, and every male or female must try to attain this highly valuable blessing, because in the Quranic order of priority, it has been placed prior to the teachings of the Book and the wisdom. And since teaching of the Book is a duty of the Holy Prophet-SW, only that interpretation of the Quran will be deemed authentic, which has been given by him-SW and practically adopted in his-SW presence.


When any Ayah was revealed, the Companions-RAU, who were Arabs and experts in Arabic language got the interpretation from the Holy Prophet-SW, practised in his-SW presence and thus, obtained a certificate of approval from him-SW. Today interpretation against it will not be acceptable. Wisdom is but another name for the sayings of the Holy Prophet-SW. Anything conflicting or outside their pale can be ignorance, but certainly not wisdom. He-SW unveiled those facts to mankind, an access to which was impossible without his-SW teachings. All the physical sciences discuss human life only from birth to death and dare not go beyond. It was the Holy Prophet-SW who conveyed to mankind the knowledge of the realities pertaining to the ‘Alam-e-Amr, the conditions in Barzakh, the details about Paradise and Hell, and the Day of Reckoning. He-SW acquainted dwellers of the soil with realities of the ‘Arsh, Thus mankind must constantly remember their Real Benefactor.


Barakah Of Zikr

Zikr means remembrance and it is a function of Qalb. Oral remembrance is termed as Zikr merely because the tongue is an interpreter of the heart. But at times it betrays and utters what is not in the heart, which is hypocrisy. Similarly, all those activities carried on within the limits of Shari’ah will be deemed as Zikr, because there was Allah-SWT’s Zikr in the heart that led to obedience. However, if this too is marred by pretence, and the heart does not corroborate, the curse of hypocrisy will set in. If the heart does participate, it can be termed as a practical Zikr. But the real Zikr is the one enjoyed by the Qalb, and can be attained in the company of an accomplished Shaikh through the process of reflection and inspiration.


Zikr is a need of every Muslim male or female without exception. It is a source of elevating levels of the righteous and a means of atonement for the malefactors. It is neither inherited nor brooks any considerations of colour or caste, but is a right of every Muslim. It is in fact incumbent on all Muslims to strive for it and to illuminate their hearts with Allah-SWT’s Glorious Name. They must search for such accomplished saints, who are custodians of this treasure being the rightful descendants of the Holy Prophet-SW, and cherish their company.


Until recently, the Muslim scholars, after completing their education sought the company of accomplished saints and strived hard to attain this blessing. But the tragedy of the present era is that, in the first place even the scholars of Quran and Sunnah are becoming a rare commodity, the substitute of the one Passing away is difficult to find. The pseudo-scholars memorise a few lines and set out to deliver sermons, and denounce Zikr-e-Qalbi and its attainment out of sheer ignorance.


So remember Me, I shall remember you. Give thanks to Me and do not be ungrateful to Me.

Remember Me-SWT because you are all dependant upon Me-SWT and I-SWT am above any need, and the Greatest Bestower. I-SWT shall remember you by My-SWT blessing and shower upon you eternal and everlasting rewards. It must be remembered that the entire creation is totally dependent upon Allah-SWT , and the reason of its sustenance is His-SWT Zikr. That is why all Prophets-AS have been instructed to practise Allah-SWT’s Zikr. Even the Holy Prophet-SW was commanded: “And remember the Name of your Rabb-SWT (73:8), which means to let the Name of Allah-SWT get embedded in the heart, so that every heart beat hymns Allah Allah! It also expresses the Divine Attribute of Providence, by indicating to the Holy Prophet-SW that for his-SW perpetual progress a constant remembrance of his-SW Rabb-SWT ’s Name is a must. It is amazing how some people are oblivious of this need. May Allah-SWT grant everyone a clear understanding!


Remembrance by the heart is in fact the real gratitude. Placing the Benefactor in ones heart is the true display of thankfulness for His-SWT Blessings. The dependants must not be thankless to the One free of any want. Since disbelief has been mentioned here in contrast with gratitude, it has thus been translated as ‘ingratitude’. But when carefully examined, ingratitude, does culminate into disbelief as Zikr is the remembrance by the heart. Where an oral expression of Shahadah is necessary for being a Muslim, an endorsement by the heart is also a must, which by itself is a Zikr of some level. If Zikr is totally lost, the endorsement of the heart is also blown away, leaving behind disbelief. Thus Allah-SWT bids Muslims not to let His-SWT Name be erased from their hearts, lest they are caught by disbelief.