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 21 contains Āyāt / Parts 9
  • Siparah/ Volume 1 & 2


يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ كُلُواْ مِمَّا فِي الأَرْضِ حَلاَلاً طَيِّباً وَلاَ تَتَّبِعُواْ خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ إِنَّهُ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ مُّبِينٌ

Ya ayyuha a(l)nnasu kuloo mimma fee alardhalalan tayyiban wala tattabiAAoo khutuwati a(l)shshaytani innahu lakum AAaduwwun mubeen(un)

O Mankind! Eat of that which is permissible and pure on the earth, and do not follow the footsteps of the Satan. Indeed he is your open enemy.


إِنَّمَا يَأْمُرُكُمْ بِالسُّوءِ وَالْفَحْشَاء وَأَن تَقُولُواْ عَلَى اللّهِ مَا لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ

Innama yamurukum bi(al)ssooi wa(a)lfahshai waan taqooloo AAala Allahi ma lataAAlamoon(a)

He only commands you to do what is evil and obscene and to say about Allah-SWT what you do not know.


وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمُ اتَّبِعُوا مَا أَنزَلَ اللّهُ قَالُواْ بَلْ نَتَّبِعُ مَا أَلْفَيْنَا عَلَيْهِ آبَاءنَا أَوَلَوْ كَانَ آبَاؤُهُمْ لاَ يَعْقِلُونَ شَيْئاً وَلاَ يَهْتَدُونَ

Waitha qeela lahumu ittabiAAoo ma anzala Allahu qaloo bal nattabiAAu maalfayna AAalayhi abaana awalaw kana abaohum la yaAAqiloona shayan walayahtadoon(a)

And when they are told, “Follow that which Allah-SWT has revealed,” they say, “Nay, we shall follow that on which we found our fathers”, even though their fathers were void of wisdom and guidance?


وَمَثَلُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ كَمَثَلِ الَّذِي يَنْعِقُ بِمَا لاَ يَسْمَعُ إِلاَّ دُعَاء وَنِدَاء صُمٌّ بُكْمٌ عُمْيٌ فَهُمْ لاَ يَعْقِلُونَ

Wamathalu allatheena kafaroo kamathali allathee yanAAiqu bima la yasmaAAu illa duAAaan wanidaan summun bukmun AAumyun fahum la yaAAqiloon(a)

The example of the non-believers is like the one who calls out to something which hears nothing except a shout and a cry. Deaf, dumb and blind, so they have no sense.


يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ كُلُواْ مِن طَيِّبَاتِ مَا رَزَقْنَاكُمْ وَاشْكُرُواْ لِلّهِ إِن كُنتُمْ إِيَّاهُ تَعْبُدُونَ

Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo kuloo min tayyibati ma razaqnakum wa(o)shkuroo lillahi in kuntum iyyahu taAAbudoon(a)

You who believe! Eat of the pure things that We-SWT have provided you. And be grateful to Allah-SWT , if it is Him-SWT indeed that you worship.


إِنَّمَا حَرَّمَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْمَيْتَةَ وَالدَّمَ وَلَحْمَ الْخِنزِيرِ وَمَا أُهِلَّ بِهِ لِغَيْرِ اللّهِ فَمَنِ اضْطُرَّ غَيْرَ بَاغٍ وَلاَ عَادٍ فَلا إِثْمَ عَلَيْهِ إِنَّ اللّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

Innama harrama AAalaykumu almaytata wa(al)ddama walahma alkhinzeeri wamaohilla bihi lighayri Allahi famani idturra ghayra baghin wala AAadin fala ithma AAalayhi inna Allaha ghafoorun raheem(un)

He-SWT has only declared prohibited on you dead animals and blood and pork, and that on which any other name besides Allah-SWT’s is invoked. However, there is no sin upon the one driven by necessity, neither being deliberately disobedient nor transgressing. Surely, Allah-SWT is Forgiving, Merciful.


إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَكْتُمُونَ مَا أَنزَلَ اللّهُ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَيَشْتَرُونَ بِهِ ثَمَنًا قَلِيلاً أُولَـئِكَ مَا يَأْكُلُونَ فِي بُطُونِهِمْ إِلاَّ النَّارَ وَلاَ يُكَلِّمُهُمُ اللّهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَلاَ يُزَكِّيهِمْ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ

Inna allatheena yaktumoona ma anzala Allahu mina alkitabi wayashtaroona bihi thamanan qaleelan olaika ma yakuloona fee butoonihim illa a(l)nnara walayukallimuhumu Allahu yawma alqiyamati wala yuzakkeehim walahum AAathabun aleem(un)

As for those who conceal what Allah-SWT has revealed in the Book, and purchase a petty gain, they fill their bellies with nothing but fire. Allah-SWT shall neither speak to them on Yaum-al-Qiyamah, nor purify them, and for them shall be a painful punishment.


أُولَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ اشْتَرَوُاْ الضَّلاَلَةَ بِالْهُدَى وَالْعَذَابَ بِالْمَغْفِرَةِ فَمَآ أَصْبَرَهُمْ عَلَى النَّارِ

Olaika allatheena ishtarawoo a(l)ddalalata bi(a)lhuda wa(a)lAAathaba bi(a)lmaghfirati fama asbarahum AAala a(l)nnar(i)

They are the ones who trade error for guidance, and torment for forgiveness. What boldness in facing the Fire!


ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّ اللّهَ نَزَّلَ الْكِتَابَ بِالْحَقِّ وَإِنَّ الَّذِينَ اخْتَلَفُواْ فِي الْكِتَابِ لَفِي شِقَاقٍ بَعِيدٍ

Thalika bianna Allaha nazzala alkitaba bi(a)lhaqqi wainna allatheena ikhtalafoo fee alkitabi lafee shiqaqin baAAeed(in)

That shall be because Allah-SWT has surely revealed the Book with truth, and those who dispute the Book are in wide schism.


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

O mankind!...and to say about Allah-SWT what you do not know.

O People! The only reason for this ill fate is Allah-SWT’s disobedience. The entire activity of every living being is motivated by the sole aim of attaining food. Remember that all the nourishment available on this earth is for mankind, but Allah-SWT has classified some of it as prohibited and some as permissible. So if you wish to avert eternal doom, you must consume what is permissible and pure so that you may be spared the influences of the Satan, who is your avowed enemy. Even if you follow him, he will never tell you the right path, but would always instigate you to indulge in lewdness and evil. He would make you utter fabrications about Allah-SWT , making you attribute to Him-SWT what He-SWT has not ordered. Or else he will make you raise objections against Allah-SWT , but remember that the Divine classification of the permissible and the prohibited is final. You must not fall in his trap to reverse this consuming what is prohibited and refraining from the permissible. In pre-Islamic days people used to dedicate animals to their idols and let them go free, and considered it forbidden to consume them. Somewhat similar is the practice of some Muslims today, who dedicate animals to the names of Saints and consider them prohibited for themselves. This is totally illegitimate and a grave sin. The animal so dedicated will fall in the category of carrion, unless the dedicator rectifies his intention and repents.


And when they are told,...so they have no sense.

When the non-believers are told to follow the Commands of Allah-SWT , they ask why should they abandon the customs of their forefathers and not follow them? It would have been good to obey the ancestors provided they had been prudent and rightly guided. In that case, it would have actually been Allah-SWT’s obedience. But the forefathers of the non-believers were neither on the right path nor had the sense to discriminate between truth and evil.



Some people interpret these Ayat against conformity to the great Jurists of Islam, which is very wrong, and is a pretext for escaping from the real meaning. In fact herein have been put forth two conditions for conformity: firstly, wisdom and capability of deducing Islamic laws and secondly, knowledge of the Quran and the Sunnah, i.e. guidance. If these two qualities are not present in the scholar then following him is blind conformity, which is wrong, while conformity in truth is incumbent. The statement of Prophet Yusuf-AS in the Quran, bears witness to it wherein he-AS said that he-AS followed the guidance of his-AS forefathers, Prophets Ibrahim-AS, Ishaq-AS and Ya’qub-AS. But to conform to one’s ignorant ancestors against the clear injunctions of the Quran and the Sunnah is a grave transgression. And on top of that if such a person believes that the established rituals are the correct ways and, Allah-SWT forbid, the Divine Injunctions are worthless, he would indeed be a non-believer. People often make such statements now a days that, if they conducted a particular matter in conformity to Shari’ah it would cause them embarrassment. Such utterances vitiate faith. If one does act against the Sunnah, realizing that his action is wrong and Sunnah is the correct way, he will at least protect his faith.


This is the state of affairs of the Muslims, while the non-believers stand sternly on sheer falsehood. They prefer to follow their infidel ancestors over Divine Commandments. They are hopeless beyond the point of being influenced by any advice. Advising them is like calling an inert object. Rather, they are deaf, dumb and blind, and above all extremely foolish, for to use the faculties of seeing and hearing only for the satiation of hunger is not humanity, but bestiality.  The real purpose of these faculties was the attainment of Divine cognition, which they failed to acquire. Hence inspite of having eyes and ears , they remained deaf, dumb and blind and directed all their mental capabilities only to earn  livelihood, whereas these powers were the very source getting to the truth, thus they wasted their intellect too.


O you who believe!....if it is Him-SWT indeed that you worship.

The Effects Of Food

Allah-SWT has made available a variety of provisions to mankind, but the believers must remember to eat only that which is permissible and pure. The diet should not only be permissible, but also pure and clean. In fact, a person’s character is built by what he consumes. There is a special effect and inauspiciousness in the prohibited food, which takes its consumer away from Allah-SWT and makes him more receptive to the whispers of Satan. According to Hadith, many desperate travellers, weary after tedious and long journeys, cry for Allah-SWT’s help, but their food and dress is unlawful, so how can their prayers be answered? The strength gained from prohibited food incapacitates the tongue to speak and the ears to hear the truth. It deprives the eyes of modesty and strips the heart of illumination. The effects of Satan over such people become stronger and they begin to follow in his footsteps.


The intake of permissible food kindles a light in the Qalb, and provides the power to speak the truth and to cherish it. It develops a taste for worship, and takes the sigh of the heart to the ‘Urush. It makes a person repellent to sin and grants him the capability to be grateful to Allah-SWT . Therefore, those who worship Allah-SWT must eat what is permissible and be thankful to Him-SWT . No one is allowed to declare anything unlawful on personal discretion. Only those things are prohibited, which Allah-SWT has declared such.


Permissible And Prohibited

He-SWT has only prohibited for you dead…..Surely, Allah-SWT is forgiving, Merciful.

Allah-SWT has declared the consumption of carrion, blood, pork and the meat of those animals, which are slaughtered in the name of others besides Allah-SWT , are prohibited.   Basically any animal falling into anyone of these four categories shall be prohibited, otherwise permissible. The first category is carrion. It includes those animals, which are permissible only when slaughtered and not if they die before that, or are killed, either by strangulation or by striking with a stone etc. then those animals, which cannot be declared as permissible even after slaughter in the Islamic way. It does not matter how they get killed, because they will be carrion any way; and benefiting from them in any form is not allowed. According to Hadith, fish and locust are permissible even without slaughtering. Quote: “For us two carrion have been permitted and the fish and locust, and two blood i.e. liver and spleen.” (Ibn Kathir-RUA) However fish, which surfaces after death is prohibited. Among the animals that are to be  slaughtered, those that cannot be caught can be hunted down with a sharp edged instrument after reciting the Takbir (Bismillah Allah-o-Akbar) and will be permissible even without formal slaughter. In fact, this act of striking would tantamount to slaughter. But the condition is that the instrument must be very sharp edged which would cut the flesh not rupture it; for example, an arrow, or a dagger. If an animal is shot, or stoned or clubbed, it has to be slaughtered before it dies. Mark that a bullet has a sharp pointed end, not an edge, and it pointed end cannot cut the flesh. Its ballistic power ruptures the flesh and breaks the bones.


It is obvious that just as it is prohibited to consume carrion, so is it to make profit out of it in any form, or to offer it to others. So much so that even the animals must not be fed on carrion, rather it should be kept at a spot from where a dog or a cat would take it away on its own. Yet the bones, skin and fur of carrion that are not edible, can be benefited from as is clear in this Ayah: And from their wool, fur and hair He-SWT has given you comfort and domestic goods for a time. (16:80)


It is absolutely allowed, without the condition of slaughtering. Yet the bones must be completely dry without any effects of flesh or fat; and the skin must be tanned to remove these effects. Like the flesh of carrion, its fat is also prohibited. The manufacture of soaps etc. with its fat is not permitted either. The soaps imported from Europe are more likely to contain forbidden fats, even lard. It is imperative to be careful, but if one does not know for sure, then he may use such items. But those items, which clearly state on their wrappers or boxes that the contents contain a trace of any ingredient pertaining to swine, are totally prohibited.


The second amongst prohibited is the blood. Here, although the word Dumm is used meaning blood yet in Surah al-An’am the word Masfuh is also added, which means flowing. Thus the blood that flows at the time of slaughter or from the wound of a wounded animal is prohibited. The blood that remains with the flesh even after slaughter is not prohibited.


While slaughtering, the throat must be cut and the two veins must be severed very carefully, without missing either. Besides, the neck must not be broken and twisted to cut the spinal cord, as this instantly arrests the heart and there is a possibility of blood retention in the flesh. Often the butchers cut off the spinal cord to hasten the process. And the trading of blood is also prohibited.


Blood Donation

Blood transfusion is a contemporary issue. It is done in an emergency without which the patient cannot survive. Since it is taken by a needle and then injected in the veins of the patient, it does not fall in the category of oral consumption and is not unlawful. Yet the donation of blood should be made only on humanitarian grounds and its trade is incorrect.


The third category of prohibited food is the pork, which is not allowed under any circumstances. According to the consensus of the Ummah all the components of a swine are forbidden, as it is inherently unclean. Even taking remuneration on a job pertaining to swine trade in any form is forbidden; for instance dealing in lard, or herding or transportation of swine from one place to another. The same rules apply to alcoholic drinks and interest; the wages pertaining to the former and even the testimony regarding the latter are prohibited.


The fourth category includes animals slaughtered in the name of others than Allah-SWT.This has three aspects. Firstly, if an animal is slaughtered in the name of someone other than Allah-SWT to attain his nearness, the animal will be rendered carrion and cannot be put to any use in any way. Secondly, when an animal is slaughtered to acquire the nearness of someone save Allah-SWT , and at the time of slaughter Allah-SWT’s Name is recited on it yet it will be carrion and as such prohibited, as unanimously declared by all the Muslim jurists. Whether Hindus or followers of other religions do so to please their idols or Muslims sacrifice animals to please their saints, both are in the same category as they aim at pleasing someone other than Allah-SWT.Such cases will fall under the category of Nasab. Nasab encompasses all such phenomena where a thing or a person is worshipped as God, or is esteemed in a manner that is only deserved by Allah-SWT , or if such humility is displayed before them as should only be shown to Allah-SWT , be it an angel or a Prophets-AS. Just as the Christians believe Prophet ‘Isa-AS to be the son of God, then in spite of him being truly Allah-SWT’s Prophet-AS yet the Christians will be deemed as idolaters. So if they slaughter animals seeking his-AS nearness even though reciting Allah-SWT’s Name, the animal so slaughtered would be rendered prohibited. This will also apply to the goats and chicken reserved by Muslims to attain the pleasure of their saints.


The third situation is whereby an animal is dedicated to someone other than Allah-SWT , and is deemed as sacred, not to be put to any labour, sold or slaughtered. The first and second aspects equally apply to it. Such animals have been called as Bahira and Sai’bah etc. However, an animal does not become prohibited by mere presumptions. If such people repent and mend their beliefs, then they may slaughter it. Someone who does not practice this ignorance can also slaughter it. For example, if a father dedicated a goat in the name of a saint, but the son does not agree with this concept and slaughters it in Allah-SWT’s Name, it will be permissible. If someone wishes to sacrifice such an animal in charity and wish its reward to any deceased saint, it is permitted, provided the animal is sacrificed in Allah-SWT’s Name. According to Shari’ah it is his property and has the authority to sell or gift it. Similar is the case of those animals which the Hindus dedicate to their temples as oblation, or ignorant Muslims dedicate to the tombs and give respective attendants the option to retain or sell. The trading of these animals is permissible because of the given choice. But anything just placed at the tombs or left at the shrines does not become the property of the entombed. It remains the property of the person who kept it there. Therefore, its disposal shall require his permission. The same applies to the animals and sweets sent to shrines as offerings, whether Hindus send them to their temples or Muslim to the tombs. They are forbidden on the pretext of ascribing partners to Allah-SWT and desiring to attain the nearness of others besides Him-SWT . The trading, feeding or eating of these offerings is prohibited. For further details books on Fiqh may be consulted.


After the description of all aspects of prohibited, a rule of exemption is also laid down. If a person is dying of starvation and is neither seeking delight nor will eat more than his basic requirement then he may eat from the prohibited without being a sinner. But these two conditions must be present. Firstly, nothing else is available, and the life is threatened because of hunger, secondly, the aim is not to enjoy the food and he barely takes what is enough to save him rather than eating to his fill. In these circumstances the prohibited will not become permissible, but only the user will not be a sinner. The same applies to the medicines with prohibited ingredients, if there is no option, and a person’s life is threatened then these are allowed. Otherwise, just for minor ailments and with the availability of permissible medicines, there is no reason for using them.


This rule is for those Western and European medicines that are definite to have the ingredients of alcohol and other impure things. Where the presence of such contents is doubtful, there is more flexibility in the rules. But either way one has to be extremely careful.


As for those who conceal what Allah-SWT has revealed ...are in wide schism.

Since these injunctions are directly in clash with the customs and it has been a human weakness through time that he holds on to something as a support, and draws satisfaction out of paying homage to it. This is what prevents the priests, monks and the peers; from accepting and propagating the truth because on one hand it is difficult to confront the customs and on the other it is not easy to give up a handsome source of income.


Before raising of the Holy Prophet-SW, people of various religions suffered this ailment. Their priests and vicious scholars had made business out of ignorant practices. The false religions had their very foundations on these rituals. Even the believers in the Divine Religions were smothered by the darkness. Unfortunately, the vicissitudes of time have plunged the Muslims, the only descendants of the true religion, into the same quagmire. Today offerings are made and sweets distributed on shrines. A poor man, already crushed by debts, borrows more money to buy a goat to offer it on a shrine, so that he may be delivered of his financial troubles. But the fool gets deeper into difficulties and the bellied caretakers fill their coffers by selling the sanctity of the graves! They teach others to eat less and be patient, while they have continental food served at their tables and preach others to go to the masaajid and themselves sit at home watching obscene movies. How can they dare reveal the true facts of Islam?


Allah-SWT declares that those who try to conceal the Divine Injunctions revealed in the Divine Scriptures to earn a livelihood out of it, or alter them for worldly gains are flagrant sinners. Anyone who receives offerings in the names of others than Allah-SWT and reassures the devotees that this act of theirs is not only permissible but also a source of charity, or accepts money to alter the interpretation altogether, eats nothing but the fire of Hell. Outwardly this wealth may appear as subsistence but its reality is fire, though invisible to the commoner.


The second aspect of this punishment is that “Allah-SWT will not speak to them on the Day of Resurrection”. Even though some non-believers will be allowed to present their cases and after a few questions will be dismissed as unworthy of further conversation. After entering Hell they will call out for Allah-SWT , but will be scolded and told to remain silent and never again dare call Him-SWT . Though rebuked, they will at least be answered by Allah-SWT.The agony of those who are amassing wealth by declaring the prohibited as permissible and a source of charity will commence right at the time of Resurrection. They will be deprived of being addressed by Allah-SWT and will not be purified. According to Hadith, if a Muslim eats the prohibited, the flesh built thereof will be put into Hell. Allah-SWT shall then give him new flesh and admit him into Paradise, because not an iota of the prohibited can enter Paradise.


But the category of people under discussion will not be purified. For them will be a painful doom, much severer than that inflicted on the other dwellers of Hell. The people who forsake guidance for falsehood in fact reject Allah-SWT’s cognition in favour of His-SWT wrath. How content they are with Fire!


The ignorant, in their own view, are having a good time. They do not realize that by ingesting fire how much can they possibly enjoy? The punishment awarded is no doubt very severe, but their crime too is very grave. Allah-SWT sent His-SWT Message as a source of life for mankind, but these greedy scoundrels made shrines and tombs to thrive on and inflicted a spiritual death on humanity. They sold poison under the label of sweets and stood guilty of concealing the truth rather than expounding it. It was indeed a grievous sin. It is a solid fact that whoever bends and distorts Allah-SWT’s Book commits blatant transgression and will qualify for the severest punishment.