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


فَلَمَّا فَصَلَ طَالُوتُ بِالْجُنُودِ قَالَ إِنَّ اللّهَ مُبْتَلِيكُم بِنَهَرٍ فَمَن شَرِبَ مِنْهُ فَلَيْسَ مِنِّي وَمَن لَّمْ يَطْعَمْهُ فَإِنَّهُ مِنِّي إِلاَّ مَنِ اغْتَرَفَ غُرْفَةً بِيَدِهِ فَشَرِبُواْ مِنْهُ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً مِّنْهُمْ فَلَمَّا جَاوَزَهُ هُوَ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ مَعَهُ قَالُواْ لاَ طَاقَةَ لَنَا الْيَوْمَ بِجَالُوتَ وَجُنودِهِ قَالَ الَّذِينَ يَظُنُّونَ أَنَّهُم مُّلاَقُو اللّهِ كَم مِّن فِئَةٍ قَلِيلَةٍ غَلَبَتْ فِئَةً كَثِيرَةً بِإِذْنِ اللّهِ وَاللّهُ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ 

Falamma fasala talootu bi(a)ljunoodi qala inna Allaha mubtaleekum binaharin faman shariba minhu falaysa minnee waman lam yatAAamhu fainnahu minnee illa mani ightarafa ghurfatan biyadihi fashariboo minhu illa qaleelan minhum falammajawazahu huwa wa(a)llatheena amanoo maAAahu qaloo la taqata lana alyawma bijaloota wajunoodihi qala allatheena yathunnoona annahum mulaqoo Allahi kam min fiatin qaleelatin ghalabat fiatan katheeratan biithni Allahi wa(A)llahu maAAa a(l)ssabireen(a)

So when Talut set forth with his army, he said, "Surely Allaah-SWT will test you at a river, then whoever drinks of it shall not be mine. And whoever does not taste it, except him who takes a sip with his hand will be mine." Yet they drank except a few of them. When he and those who believed with him crossed the river, the others said, "Today we have no strength against Jalut and his forces." But those who were convinced that they would meet Allah-SWT, replied, "How often has a small force defeated a large force by Allah-SWT's Command. And Allaah-SWT is with the patient."


وَلَمَّا بَرَزُواْ لِجَالُوتَ وَجُنُودِهِ قَالُواْ رَبَّنَا أَفْرِغْ عَلَيْنَا صَبْرًا وَثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَنَا وَانصُرْنَا عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَافِرِين

Walamma barazoo lijaloota wajunoodihi qaloo rabbana afrigh AAalayna sabran wathabbit aqdamana wa(o)nsurna AAala alqawmi alkafireen(a)

And when they came face to face against Jalut and his army, they said, "Our Rabb-SWT ! Bless us with patience, and make our feet firm and give us victory over the non-believers."


فَهَزَمُوهُم بِإِذْنِ اللّهِ وَقَتَلَ دَاوُدُ جَالُوتَ وَآتَاهُ اللّهُ الْمُلْكَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَعَلَّمَهُ مِمَّا يَشَاء وَلَوْلاَ دَفْعُ اللّهِ النَّاسَ بَعْضَهُمْ بِبَعْضٍ لَّفَسَدَتِ الأَرْضُ وَلَـكِنَّ اللّهَ ذُو فَضْلٍ عَلَى الْعَالَمِينَ

Fahazamoohum biithni Allahi waqatala dawoodu jaloota waatahu Allahu almulka wa(a)lhikmata waAAallamahu mimma yashao walawla dafAAu Allahi a(l)nnasa baAAdahum bibaAAdin lafasadati alardu walakinna Allaha thoo fadlin AAalaalAAalameen(a)

Then, by Allah-SWT's Command, they routed them and Dawud-AS killed Jalut. And Allaah-SWT gave him kingdom and wisdom, and taught him of what He-SWT willed. And had it not been for Allah-SWT's repelling some people by means of others, the earth would surely be filled with corruption. But Allaah-SWT is full of bounty for all the worlds.


تِلْكَ آيَاتُ اللّهِ نَتْلُوهَا عَلَيْكَ بِالْحَقِّ وَإِنَّكَ لَمِنَ الْمُرْسَلِينَ

Tilka ayatu Allahi natlooha AAalayka bi(a)lhaqqi wainnaka lamina almursaleen(a)

These are the Ayat of Allaah-SWT that We-SWT recite to you with truth, and surely, you are one of the Messengers-AS.


تِلْكَ الرُّسُلُ فَضَّلْنَا بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ مِّنْهُم مَّن كَلَّمَ اللّهُ وَرَفَعَ بَعْضَهُمْ دَرَجَاتٍ وَآتَيْنَا عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ الْبَيِّنَاتِ وَأَيَّدْنَاهُ بِرُوحِ الْقُدُسِ وَلَوْ شَاء اللّهُ مَا اقْتَتَلَ الَّذِينَ مِن بَعْدِهِم مِّن بَعْدِ مَا جَاءتْهُمُ الْبَيِّنَاتُ وَلَـكِنِ اخْتَلَفُواْ فَمِنْهُم مَّنْ آمَنَ وَمِنْهُم مَّن كَفَرَ وَلَوْ شَاء اللّهُ مَا اقْتَتَلُواْ وَلَـكِنَّ اللّهَ يَفْعَلُ مَا يُرِيدُ

Tilka a(l)rrusulu faddalna baAAdahum AAala baAAdin minhum man kallama Allahu warafaAAa baAAdahum darajatin waatayna AAeesa ibna maryama albayyinati waayyadnahu biroohi alqudusi walaw shaa Allahu ma iqtatala allatheena min baAAdihim min baAAdi ma jaathumu albayyinatu walakini ikhtalafoo faminhum man amana waminhum man kafara walaw shaa Allahu ma iqtataloo walakinna Allaha yafAAalu ma yureed(u)

We-SWT exalted some of these Messengers-AS more than others. To some Allaah-SWT spoke directly, and some He-SWT raised in rank. And We-SWT gave clear signs to 'Isa son of Maryam and aided him with the Holy Spirit. And had Allah-SWT so willed, the succeeding generations would not have contended one against the other after the clear signs had come to them, but they differed. Some of them believed while others rejected. And had Allah-SWT so willed, they would not have contended one against the other; but Allah-SWT does whatever He-SWT wills.



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

So when Talut set forth with his army... surely, you are one of the Messengers.

Now Talut (Saul) prepared for Jihad and marched on with his troops. He told them that Allah-SWT would try them by the ordeal of a river en-route. They shall not be allowed to drink water from it except only a handful.


The troops, fatigued by journey and violent hot weather could not resist except those who had a strong faith. All those who drank to their fill lost the strength to continue the march and their thirst remained unquenched too. Those who were content with only a handful as permitted were no longer thirsty and were honoured with participation in Jihad. But when they came face to face with the army of Jalut (Goliath), which overwhelmingly outnumbered them, some of them were terrified. Jalut the ruler of the' Amaliqah’ was extremely arrogant and a tyrant, who had a large army. Those gifted with strong faith and perseverance amongst the Bani Israil, however, said that victory and defeat rests with Allah-SWT as the history nations bears witness to the fact that often groups smaller in number vanquished group much larger in size.


People can be classified into three categories. Firstly the flawed, who could not even resist water and were left behind, secondly, the accomplished who marched on resisting worldly temptations; and thirdly the perfected who became a source of inspiration for others to remain steadfast. When they faced the troops of Jalut they prayed to Allah-SWT for steadfastness and for inspiring in their hearts patience and perseverance and also for victory over the infidels. This indeed is the true essence of truth, that Allah-SWT be requested to help and simultaneously all possible means must be pressed into service and maximum efforts exerted, leaving the results to Allah-SWT , which then must be accepted wholeheartedly.


Hadhrat Dawud-AS who at that time was very young, pale and weak, by Allah-SWT's Will, killed Jalut reducing his arrogance to dust. Talut gave his daughter's hand in marriage and also transferred the power of the State to him. Allah-SWT blessed Hadhrat Dawud-AS with Prophethood and with many an excellence. The iron in his hands would soften as wax; he was taught the art of making armour, which became a source of livelihood for him and he ruled in accordance with the will and purpose of Allah-SWT . He could understand the language of all the animals and was blessed with a moving voice. The mountains and the trees deliberately joined him in zikr Allah-SWT , as distinct from routine zikr practiced by everything continuously. Allah-SWT always repels evil by the force of piety and the wicked by virtue of the righteous. It is indeed a great favor of Allah-SWT , as He-SWT is Merciful towards His-SWT creations.


All these accounts of past events are revealed by Allah-SWT with unchangeable accuracy to you O' Prophet-SW, which you-SW neither read nor heard. It is a strong evidence of your-SW Prophet-hood. These revelations not only contain motivation and warning for mankind, but coming from you-SW constitute your-SW great miracle. After your raising as a Messenger-SW, mankind would have to choose between your-SW obedience or else, Allaah-SWT ’s Wrath.


We exalted some of these Messengers... Allah-SWT does whatever He-SWT wills.

The second Part of the Quran is concluded on the authenticity of the Holy Prophet-SW Prophet-hood. The Divine accounts of the nations and their Prophets-AS prior to Islam given with such accuracy provide substantial evidence of his-SW Prophet-hood. The Holy Prophet-SW had never been to any school or a scholar or a recluse for education. Neither did he ever visit the public fairs nor availed the company of any storyteller. In fact, he-SW was raised as an orphan in a society, which offered no scope of education whatsoever and his-SW childhood is marked with simplicity, truthfulness, modesty and lonely moments. An announcement by such a person in his forties, with each year of his-SW life a milestone of veracity, that he receives the Divine Message has to be nothing but the truth. A person who, for forty long years, never told a lie about any fellow being, how could he possibly lie about Allah-SWT ? And then his reporting of events of the previous nations with such precision, not even possible for their own scholars, amply testifies his Prophet-hood.


This Part commences with the Order of Precedence of some of the Prophets-AS and the Messengers-AS. Basically all of them enjoy a very high status, some have singular honours while the Holy Prophet-SW of Islam is the most exalted of all, the Prophets-AS par excellence.


Allah-SWT's Messengers-AS are a sacred group. The Prophet-hood itself is an exalted status, because it is only a Prophet-AS or a Messenger-AS who can communicate with Allah-SWT directly. None else in mankind is given this capability. For people the acme of excellence is they establish a relationship with their Prophet-AS or Messenger-AS so as to draw Allah-SWT's Favours and blessings through them.     


The Prophets-AS and the Messengers-AS are as a rule innocent of sins, an indispensable quality for deriving Divine Beneficence directly. If a person believes that someone else born after the Final Prophet-SW is also innocent, it amounts to believing in the continuation of Prophet-hood. This is infidelity as the Institution of Prophet-hood ends with the Holy Prophet-SW. Now until the Day of Judgment, this Muslim Ummah, this Quran and this very Deen will prevail. Even Prophet ‘Isa-AS, on return to this world, will not follow his own Book or Shari'ah but will adhere to the Shari'ah of Prophet Muhammad-SW and also propagate it amongst the people of that time.


The Prophets-AS and the Messengers-AS share the same exalted chain of Prophet-hood. Yet in matters of Divine nearness, rewards of the ‘Akhirah’ and precedence, some excel the others. ‘Hadith’ forbidding fixation of precedence between them has been given different explanations. One, no human being can possibly judge them on his own. However, if it is established in the Quran or ‘Hadlth’, it ought to be believed in. Secondly, in the essence of Prophet-hood all are equal. The only difference is in their levels of Allah-SWT's nearness, which can only be revealed by Allah-SWT or expressed by His-SWT Prophet-SW, by His-SWT Command.


The Mutual Superiority of the Aulia

In fact all Prophets-AS are exalted human beings and none should be extolled at the cost of the other. Amongst them some are more while others most exalted. The Aulia should be treated in the like manner because Wilayah is a relationship between Allah-SWT and man. Only Allah-SWT knows who is nearer to Him-SWT . There is nothing wrong in eulogizing someone out of them provided it is done with caution and that others are not dishonored in the process.


Some distinctions of the Messengers-AS are mentioned here. To some Allah-SWT spoke directly and some others were blessed with even higher ranks. Like Prophet Musa-AS was blessed with the honour of Divine Address without the media of Revelation and angel. Innocence is bestowed unto those chosen by Allah-SWT as Messengers-AS simultaneously with the Office. To be a human being possessing all the appetite of the flesh, to live in a society full of trials and temptations, and yet to conduct oneself with honesty, dignity, truthfulness and nobility without indulging in sin or wrong whatsoever, is the innocence identified with Allah-SWT's Messengers-AS only. Those upon whom Revelation was sent possess this elevation. One can only imagine the status of that person to whom Allaah-SWT spoke directly, and the level of purity and elegance. Praise be to Him-SWT !


Allah-SWT says that some of the Prophets have much higher status. The commentators agree that this Ayah points to the noble Personality of the Prophet-SW of Islam. Prophet Musa-AS had the honor of a dialogue with Allah-SWT, though not unveiled, on a part of this earth while the Holy Prophet-SW ascended beyond the heavens, across trillions of veils and conversed  with the Supreme Being-SWT face to face. According to Al  Najam Ayah 10: "so did Allah-SWT convey the inspiration to His-SWT servant what He-SWT meant to convey". When this conversation was going on, Angel Jibril-AS stood waiting at ‘Sidrat ul Muntaha’, a station way below, at the boundary of the seventh heaven, while the Holy Prophet-SW was far away up where Allah-SWT willed, being satiated with His-SWT refulgence. The request at Mount-Tur by Prophet Musa-AS   "show Thyself-SWT to me," was answered "you-AS cannot see Me-SWT ." (7: 143) i.e. you will not be able to bear the sight. So did it happen, that when a ray of His-SWT Refulgence was released neither the Mount nor the Prophet-AS of Allah-SWT could bear it. The mount was reduced to ashes whilehe fell unconscious.


At this point the scholars have two opinions. Some believe that Holy Prophet-SW did not see Allah-SWT whereas others believe that he-SW did, because the incapacity to see Him-SWT is a condition within this world whereas the Holy Prophet-SW was located way above the ‘Arsh! in the Akhirah both the eyesight and the Qalb will be empowered to an extent that believers will be able to behold their Rabb-SWT .


The Beholding of Allah-SWT

When a physical body composed of matter, yet so transparent, so pure, so subtle that it can go beyond  ‘Arsh’, the access to which is yearned by the Spirit, can inspect Paradise and Hell and can converse with Him-SWT , the possibility of beholding Him-SWT cannot be ruled out. This, indeed, is supported by the Quran. "His-SW sight never swerved, nor did it go wrong" (53:17) If it was not the Divine Refulgence, what did the eye not swerve from? I humbly feel Allah-SWT's closest Personal Refulgence was witnessed only by The Holy Prophet-SW. The term, "beholding Allah-SWT ", in reality, means seeing His-SWT Radiant Glory or Refulgence as He-SWT Himself is beyond human access. If any eye can behold Him-SWT it would tantamount to limiting the Supreme Being, which is a false notion because He-SWT is Limitless, above any bounds.


For the Holy Prophet-SW, "beholding Him-SWT " would denote witnessing His-SWT Personal nearest glory to which any of His-SWT creation could possibly have an access. This radiance was neither the Supreme Being Himself-SWT , nor was it separated from Him-SWT , and its excellence would, of course, increase continuously, making it possible to witness His-SWT Refulgence more and more closely. There are different stages of beholding Him-SWT , varying from person to person, their status and the timings.

Whereas all dwellers of Paradise shall have the honour to behold Him-SWT according to their own status, the Holy Prophet-SW excels everyone by all standards.


Prophet '!sa-AS was blessed with miracles such as healing the sick curing the congenitally blind and lepers, fashioning birds in clay, blowing on and them. Restoring the dead to life was also amongst his miracles; food descended for him from the heavens and Angel Jibril-AS was always in his attendance. All thesewere the Divine Rewards and a clear evidence of his Prophet-hood. Yet the Jews believed in Prophet Musa-AS and insulted Prophet 'Isa-AS. The Christians declared him-AS as son of God. Both these ideologies stand rejected, because only an adherence to the precepts and practices of these exalted Prophets-AS would mean a relationship with them-AS.


Along with the idolaters of Arabia, the Jews and Christians were the two other nations who insisted on their religious standing and declared that they were on the right path. From the Order of Precedence of the Divine Messengers-AS discussed above and the teaching of the preceding Prophets-AS, it became clear that after the advent of Prophet Muhammad-SW it would be obligatory to follow only him-SW.


Every person has a personal relationship with Allah-SWT and the results will be commensurate to the kind of relationship enjoyed by him. Allah-SWT is Omnipotent. Had it been His-SWT Will to save everyone, people would not have gone astray after the raising of such exalted personalities and absolutely clear signs, nor would have they killed each other and created mischief. But all this happened, as Allah-SWT in His-SWT Wisdom allowed them to exercise their choice. People kicked up disputes in their opinions and conflicts in their actions, which led to bloodshed. Some failed to persevere on faith while others disbelieved. This indeed is the history of the Prophets-AS and their people. Allah-SWT is all-Powerful and could have certainly prevented them from bloodshed but He-SWT is Wise and Sagacious and also the Owner, and does what pleases Him-SWT . This was indeed a great consolation for the Holy Prophet-SW. Some people indulge habitually in disagreement and they would certainly do the same with him-SW. It is indeed unlikely for all the people to agree on the same stance.