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 31 contains Āyāt / Parts 7
  • Siparah/ Volume 1 & 2


لاَّ جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ إِن طَلَّقْتُمُ النِّسَاء مَا لَمْ تَمَسُّوهُنُّ أَوْ تَفْرِضُواْ لَهُنَّ فَرِيضَةً وَمَتِّعُوهُنَّ عَلَى الْمُوسِعِ قَدَرُهُ وَعَلَى الْمُقْتِرِ قَدْرُهُ مَتَاعًا بِالْمَعْرُوفِ حَقًّا عَلَى الْمُحْسِنِينَ

La junaha AAalaykum in tallaqtumu a(l)nnisaa ma lam tamassoohunna aw tafridoo lahunna fareedatan wamattiAAoohunna AAala almoosiAAi qadaruhu waAAalaalmuqtiri qadaruhu mataAAan bi(a)lmaAAroofi haqqan AAala almuhsineen(a)

There is no blame on you if you divorce women whom you have not yet touched, nor fixed their dower. But give them a suitable gift, the wealthy according to his means and the poor according to his means, an honourable gift due from those who do good,


وَإِن طَلَّقْتُمُوهُنَّ مِن قَبْلِ أَن تَمَسُّوهُنَّ وَقَدْ فَرَضْتُمْ لَهُنَّ فَرِيضَةً فَنِصْفُ مَا فَرَضْتُمْ إَلاَّ أَن يَعْفُونَ أَوْ يَعْفُوَ الَّذِي بِيَدِهِ عُقْدَةُ النِّكَاحِ وَأَن تَعْفُواْ أَقْرَبُ لِلتَّقْوَى وَلاَ تَنسَوُاْ الْفَضْلَ بَيْنَكُمْ إِنَّ اللّهَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ

Wain tallaqtumoohunna min qabli an tamassoohunna waqad faradtum lahunna fareedatan fanisfu ma faradtum illa an yaAAfoona aw yaAAfuwa allathee biyadihi AAuqdatu a(l)nnikahi waan taAAfoo aqrabu li(l)ttaqwa wala tansawoo alfadla baynakum inna Allaha bima taAAmaloona baser(un)

And if you divorce them before touching them but after having fixed their dower, give them half of it, unless they forego it or he in whose hand is the wedding-knot forgoes: and that you should forego is higher in piety. And do not forget kindness among yourselves. Indeed Allaah-SWT sees all that you do.


حَافِظُواْ عَلَى الصَّلَوَاتِ والصَّلاَةِ الْوُسْطَى وَقُومُواْ لِلّهِ قَانِتِينَ

Hafithoo AAala a(l)ssalawati wa(al)ssalati alwusta waqoomoo lillahi qaniteen(a)

Be watchful over Salat, especially the middle Salat. And stand before Allaah-SWT truly devout.


فَإنْ خِفْتُمْ فَرِجَالاً أَوْ رُكْبَانًا فَإِذَا أَمِنتُمْ فَاذْكُرُواْ اللّهَ كَمَا عَلَّمَكُم مَّا لَمْ تَكُونُواْ تَعْلَمُونَ

Fain khiftum farijalan aw rukbanan faitha amintum fa(o)thkuroo Allaha kamaAAallamakum ma lam takoonoo taAAlamoon(a)

And if you fear, then pray on foot or mounted, but when you are secure, remember Allaah-SWT in the manner He-SWT has taught you, which you did not know.


وَالَّذِينَ يُتَوَفَّوْنَ مِنكُمْ وَيَذَرُونَ أَزْوَاجًا وَصِيَّةً لِّأَزْوَاجِهِم مَّتَاعًا إِلَى الْحَوْلِ غَيْرَ إِخْرَاجٍ فَإِنْ خَرَجْنَ فَلاَ جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِي مَا فَعَلْنَ فِيَ أَنفُسِهِنَّ مِن مَّعْرُوفٍ وَاللّهُ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ

Wa(a)llatheena yutawaffawna minkum wayatharoona azwajan wasiyyatan liazwajihim mataAAan ila alhawli ghayra ikhrajin fain kharajna fala junaha AAalaykum fee ma faAAalna fee anfusihinna min maAAroofin wa(A)llahu AAazeezun hakeem(un)

And those of you, who die and leave behind widows, shall bequeath for them a year's maintenance without expulsion. If, however, they leave (of their own accord), then there is no blame on you in what they may do with themselves honourably. And Allaah-SWT is Almighty, Wise.


وَلِلْمُطَلَّقَاتِ مَتَاعٌ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ حَقًّا عَلَى الْمُتَّقِينَ

Walilmutallaqati mataAAun bi(a)lmaAAroofi haqqan AAala almuttaqeen(a)

And for the divorced women an honourable gift, incumbent upon the righteous.


كَذَلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللّهُ لَكُمْ آيَاتِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ

Kathalika yubayyinu Allahu lakum ayatihi laAAallakum taAAqiloon(a)

Thus Allah-SWT makes His-SWT commands clear to you so that you may reflect.


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

Another aspect of divorce is discussed here, i.e. when a man divorces his wife before the consummation of marriage. Now either the dower has been already fixed or it is yet to be decided. In latter case, he must give her something in accordance with his status. Hadhrat Hassan-RUA is reported to have paid twenty thousand ‘Dirhams’ in a similar situation. According to Hadhrat Ibn ' Abbas-RUA, the minimum amount of this is a pair of clothes.


The Meaning of Mut’a

The word Mut'a here clearly means some provisions to the lady where the marriage ended up in a divorce before consummation of the marriage. But it is a pity that the Shi'ite clerics gave it a wrong meaning altogether, defining it as wages to a woman for lewdness and debauchery, a custom of the polytheists of Arabia, revoked by Islam. They did not even fear Allaah-SWT while blaspheming Islam. ‘Lughat ul-Quran’ (vol. 5 p. 296) clearly defines the word Mut'a as the amount paid to a woman divorced before the consummation of marriage for subsistence or as a gift where dower has not been fixed, and not as something given o a woman for fornication. What an enormity on Allah-SWT's Book? May Allah-SWT protect us all!


This giving must be done honourably, neither for any vested interests nor fame, but only for the attainment of Allah-SWT's Pleasure, being incumbent on noble and sincere people i.e. the Muslims. Here it is expected from every Muslim that he possesses ‘Ihsan’. In other words, ‘Ihsan’ is indeed the essence of faith, which simply means that a person recognises the Majesty of Allaah-SWT with his heart and soul, according to his capacity. With reference to Hadlth Jibril-AS, the Holy Prophet-SW is reported to have said that ‘Ihsan’ means that you worship Allah-SWT as if you behold Him-SWT , or else be sure that He-SWT is seeing you".


To handle all such matters gracefully one needs that intense inner strength which Islam desires to see in every Muslim. And this is attained by Allah-SWT's zikr in the company of accomplished saints. The illumination of ‘Qulub’ is a blessing attained through the company of saints, while mere words remain confined to logic and intellect. The ‘Qulb’is the seat of emotions and feelings and is not dependent on words. Don't ‘Qulub’ of the deaf and the dumb experience happiness and sorrow? They certainly do, despite the fact that they have no understanding of the words and meanings. When the ‘Qalb’ absorbs the feelings, meanings of the words are automatically understood and the execution becomes easy.


 That is why the foremost amongst the duties of the Holy Prophet-SW ‘Tazkiyah’ followed by the teaching of the Book and the wisdom. The blessing of his-SW company honoured the recipients with Companionship and when it snapped no one could become a Companion-RAU, though the Book and the wisdom were still there. However, the company of the Companions-RAU transmitted the blessing to the ‘Taba'in’ and they, in turn transferred them to ‘Taba' Taba'in’. This chain of transmission continues from ‘Qalb’ to ‘Qalb’ till the present times. The present custodians of those blesssings are the accomplished saints whose company is a prerequisite for perfection of Islam, both in precept and practice.


Now, the other aspect of divorce, before consummation of marriage, where the dower money was predetermined, in this case, the payment of half the amount will be incumbent while the other half will be exempted. However, if the woman voluntarily forgoes the entire amount, the obligation is liquidated. But if the husband, who has the authority to continue the marriage, decides to forgo the exemption given to him and out of goodwill pays the whole amount, it is indeed commendable. The best course of action is a cheerful renunciation of one's right and whosoever does this, whether man or woman shall attain virtue, which is nearest to ‘Taqwa’.


To do good unto others to please Allaah-SWT strengthens the bond with Him-SWT and must never be ignored. Whether the marriage stands or is annulled, both husband and wife must remember that they are Muslims and have rights over one another. They must show mutual consideration and remember that Allaah-SWT is well aware of all their actions. Every action is either an act of His-SWT obedience or disobedience; and the latter certainly does not benefit a Muslim. Allaah-SWT must always be obeyed, as obedience is the essence of worship. To maintain this state of inner strength, a careful execution of duties is imperative.


To fulfill the duties towards human beings, the fear of Allaah-SWT is a prerequisite. And how can anyone, delinquent in his duties towards Allah-SWT , be God-fearing? To build a relationship with Him-SWT , one must guard his Salat and offer it with devotion. The 'guarding of the ‘Salat' means that-not even the minutest of its constituents are ignored. It involves observation of time schedule, proper raiment, careful ablution and efforts to join the congregation. The middle i.e. ‘Asr’ prayer must be well guarded as it is preceded by the beginning and followed by the end of the day, and has two ‘Salat’, before and after it. And it is a time of great activity. From offices to meadows; the officers as well as the shepherds are reverting to their homes. Shopkeepers are occupied with their merchandise, while women are busy preparing dinner. Amidst this humming activity if 'Asr’ is offered properly the rest of the ‘Salat’ will In-sha-Allahbecome easier to offer. Offering the ‘Salat\ with full devotion is not only to fulfill a duty but also to attain those feelings, which help build a relationship with Allah-SWT .


‘Salat’ is not only an act of worship but is a food for the Spirit, as well as its medication. It is indeed necessary that both the diet as well as the medicine are pure and well guarded. And if there is a danger or you are in a battlefield, you offer the ‘Salat’ either standing or even on a mount, but do not miss it and

punctual. The scholars opine that if it is not possible to offer ‘Salat’ while standing at one place it may be postponed. If it is offered while standing, the gesture to show ‘Sajdah’ must be lower than the gesture for bowing down. The aim is to offer the ‘Salat’ on time fulfilling the conditions as far as possible. This will pave the way to Allah-SWT‘s obedience.


The Order to Bequeath

This order was valid in the earlier period of Islam, prior to the revelation of the law of inheritance. But once the latter was revealed and a definite share of the widows determined, it was revoked. At that time the right to inherit was primarily based on the whims of the dying. Therefore, it was ordained that the wife must not be ignored while making a will. If she desires to stay on in her husband's house, he must bequeath in her favour one year's maintenance expenses from his estate. But if she decides, of her own accord, to marry again after the prescribed waiting period is over in accordance with Shari'ah, or leaves the house of her deceased husband honourably, there is no blame on the heirs as it was her right. If, however, she plans to do something contrary to Shari'ah such as to get married during the obligatory waiting period, she must be prevented from doing so, failing which, those in authority will be wrongdoers and certainly accountable.


"For divorced woman a provision in honour" i.e. all the aforementioned injunctions aim at providing a reasonable sustenance for the divorced woman and to a great extent at their consolation and preservation of self-respect. This is derived from Mut'a that the women have their rights as human beings which ought to be safeguarded and that a divorced woman must not be looked down upon, as is customary in our society, because of Hindu influence. This word "Mut'a is used for giving something to those women who were married with the intention of a permanent association, but due to some unavoidable circumstances, the separation became inevitable; and not that a woman is married for a predetermined period of time after which the marriage stands revoked automatically, and on top of it there is no need of witnesses. This practice is forbidden in Shari'ah and to derive such meaning from the term Mut'a tantamounts to misinterpretation of the Quran. Obeying all the laws pertaining to marriage and divorce is obligatory for all those who fear Allah-SWT, who believe in Him-SWT and are virtuous. Allaah-SWT revealed His-SWT Commandments so that the righteous may learn the etiquettes for an honourable life in this world. So that people may acquire wisdom and their society may become an ideal society.