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 40 contains Āyāt / Parts 3
  • Siparah/ Volume 1 & 2


لِّلَّهِ ما فِي السَّمَاواتِ وَمَا فِي الأَرْضِ وَإِن تُبْدُواْ مَا فِي أَنفُسِكُمْ أَوْ تُخْفُوهُ يُحَاسِبْكُم بِهِ اللّهُ فَيَغْفِرُ لِمَن يَشَاء وَيُعَذِّبُ مَن يَشَاء وَاللّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

Lillahi ma fee a(l)ssamawati wama fee alardi wain tubdoo ma fee anfusikum aw tukhfoohu yuhasibkum bihi Allahu fayaghfiru liman yashao wayuAAaththibu man yashao wa(A)llahu AAala kulli shayin qadeer(un)

To Allaah-SWT belongs all that is in the heavens and in the earth and whether you reveal what is in your souls or conceal it, Allaah-SWT will call you to account for it; and then He-SWT will forgive whom He-SWT pleases and punish whom He-SWT wills; and Allaah-SWT has power over everything.


آمَنَ الرَّسُولُ بِمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْهِ مِن رَّبِّهِ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ كُلٌّ آمَنَ بِاللّهِ وَمَلآئِكَتِهِ وَكُتُبِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ لاَ نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّن رُّسُلِهِ وَقَالُواْ سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا غُفْرَانَكَ رَبَّنَا وَإِلَيْكَ الْمَصِيرُ

Amana a(l)rrasoolu bima onzila ilayhi min rabbihi wa(a)lmuminoona kullun amana bi(A)llahi wamalaikatihi wakutubihi warusulihi la nufarriqu bayna ahadin min rusulihi waqaloo samiAAna waataAAna ghufranaka rabbana wailayka almaseer(u)

The Messenger believes in what is revealed to him from his Rabb-SWT , and so do the believers. They all believe in Allah-SWT, and His-SWT Angels, and His-SWT Books, and His-SWT Messengers-AS, making no discrimination among His-SWT Messengers-AS. And they say, "We hear and we obey. O our Rabb-SWT ! Grant us Your-SWT Forgiveness, and to You-SWT is the return."


لاَ يُكَلِّفُ اللّهُ نَفْسًا إِلاَّ وُسْعَهَا لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَعَلَيْهَا مَا اكْتَسَبَتْ رَبَّنَا لاَ تُؤَاخِذْنَا إِن نَّسِينَا أَوْ أَخْطَأْنَا رَبَّنَا وَلاَ تَحْمِلْ عَلَيْنَا إِصْرًا كَمَا حَمَلْتَهُ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِنَا رَبَّنَا وَلاَ تُحَمِّلْنَا مَا لاَ طَاقَةَ لَنَا بِهِ وَاعْفُ عَنَّا وَاغْفِرْ لَنَا وَارْحَمْنَآ أَنتَ مَوْلاَنَا فَانصُرْنَا عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَافِرِينَ

La yukallifu Allahu nafsan illa wusAAaha laha ma kasabat waAAalayha maiktasabat rabbana la tuakhithna in naseena aw akhtana rabbana wala tahmil AAalayna isran kama hamaltahu AAala allatheena min qablina rabbana walatuhammilna ma la taqata lana bihi wa(o)AAfu AAanna wa(i)ghfir lana wa(i)rhamna anta mawlana fa(o)nsurna AAala alqawmi alkafireen(a)

Allah-SWT does not burden a soul more than its capacity. It gets every good that it acquires and it suffers every ill that it earns. "Our Rabb-SWT ! Do not take us to task if we forget or err. Our Rabb-SWT ! Do not burden us, like those You-SWT burdened before us. Our Rabb-SWT ! Do not impose upon us that for which we have no strength. And pardon us; and grant us forgiveness; and have Mercy on us, You-SWT are our Protector-SWT; grant us victory over the non-believers".


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

To Allah-SWT belongs all that is in the heavens ... Allah-SWT has power over everything.

Verily to Allaah-SWT belongs all that lies in the heavens and the earth. He-SWT is the real Owner-SWT . Man comes to this world for a limited period, and as a caliph and a trustee he has temporary authority over its resources. At last he departs and leaves behind the wealth and the property for succeeding generations. The expression "all that lies within the heavens and the earth" refers to the entire creation. Although the 'Urush and the Divine Throne are independent entities, and Qalb, Spirit, Sirri, Khaffi, Akhfa, the vital organs of Spirit, all belong to Allah-SWT , but the manner of expression here is such that it only mentions things in general knowledge of common man while referring to the entire universe including the Realm of Creation and the Realm of Command. However, some of the things about which the accomplished men also rarely know have not been mentioned. Now whether people conceal something in their hearts or display it, they will be accountable before Allaah-SWT.He is the Owner and may forgive whomever He-SWT pleases, even a sinner, no matter how grave his sins are, except disbelief or polytheism that He-SWT has Himself-SWT vowed not to pardon. Since believers are being addressed here, the discussion shall be confined only to cardinal and minor sins. Allaah-SWT may punish anyone he wills. He-SWT , the Predominant-SWT , may grip someone for even a minor offence. Scholars have discussed this topic at great length, but almost all arguments converge on the ‘Hadith’, which means that the Ummah has been absolved of private evil thoughts. These private designs are furtive intentions about committing an offence. Whether or not the act is actually committed is a separate issue.


The thoughts about beliefs, worships and dealings, all originate from the heart and become evident when acted upon. These thoughts will be accounted for even if they remain dormant. In fact the actions defined by Allaah-SWT are of two types. Firstly, the ones performed physically by the limbs such as Salat, Fasting, Hajj, and Zakat or mutual dealings. And secondly those related to the heart such as faith, disbelief or the moral virtues like patience, contentment, generosity etc., or the abject morals such as arrogance, avarice, malice, jealously, mundane love etc. All will have to be answered for.


Purification of Qalb (subtle heart)

How fortunate are those who attain the sanctification of the Qalb initiated by the Holy Prophet-SW and carried from heart to heart to the present day! The status of Companionship was reached only due to his company. A unique fire was sparked in their hearts, which they transferred to the Taba'in, who in turn passed this on to Taba’ Taba'in. From that time onwards many a fortunate persons devoted their lives to the pursuit of this blessing and attained it. It elevated them to the spiritual heights where they not only considered wealth and riches to be worthless, but also became conscious of the fact that even their own beings and achievements in fact belonged to Allaah-SWT.If ever they erred, which is quite possible even for people with enlightened hearts by virtue of being human, it grieved them so much and they cried with such humility that Allaah-SWT turned their sins into virtues.


According to a saying of the Holy Prophet-SW, Allaah-SWT will draw the believer close to Him-SWT and will cover him with His-SWT Mercy. He will then be told about his actions pertaining to various aspects of his worldly life, until he will begin to fear that he is doomed. Allaah-SWT will then confide in him that just as He-SWT covered his faults in the world, He-SWT will do the same on that Day and he will be forgiven. And the non-believers will be denounced openly so as to disgrace them publicly. It will then be announced that from the followers of the Holy Prophet-SW, seventy thousand souls will be admitted to Paradise without accountability and each one of them will take along seventy thousand more. Allaah-SWT will further put three handfuls of believers into Paradise without reckoning. Tafsir-e-Mazhari explains that these seventy thousand would be those who were not only accomplished themselves, but had the capacity to train and raise a class of accomplished believers. They will be the ones who sincerely believed that everything belongs to Allaah-SWT and that their own virtues were merely Allah-SWT's Favour, and were never arrogant.


The other groups will consist of those devotees who attained excellence from the Companions-RAU and continued to seek inner purification throughout their lives. The first group will consist of those who raise accomplished saints and the second one will comprise accomplished believers. The number in the 'handful' of the Almighty is only known to Him-SWT and may well include the whole of the two Worlds. The author of TafsIr-e-Mazhari says that the last three groups in fact denote three types of believers, who truly derived spiritual beneficence from the accomplished Aulia; and then some of them excelled in worship, others laid down their lives fighting in the Cause of Allah-SWT and yet others who spent their wealth in His-SWT Way. Because of the accomplished Aulia these three categories of sincere believers will also be taken to Paradise without reckoning. Thereafter, the rest of mankind would be put to accountability.


The author of TafsIr-e-Mazhari explains further that to follow the footsteps of Sufi saints and to strive for inner purification through them is as important an obligation as reciting the Quran and understanding it. The Holy Prophet-SW said that he was leaving behind two blessings; one is the Quran and the other Al-e Rasul or his descendants. They are the noble souls whose hearts are shining with the Prophetic lights, as ‘Al-e’ means true followers.


The Messenger-SW believes in what ... victory over the non-believers. "

These last two Ayat of Al-Baqarah are extremely auspicious. The Holy Prophet-SW is reported to have said that these were awarded to him-SW from a Special Divine Treasure located beneath the 'Arsh. Therefore, every believer must learn and teach these to his family. Caliphs 'Umar Faruq-RAU and 'Ali-RAU said that, whoever had the slightest wisdom would never sleep without reciting these Ayat. Besides, Al-Baqarah contains Divine Commandments pertaining to beliefs, mutual dealings, social systems, morals and worships, some in brief, others in detail. It concludes by persuading believers to believe in Allaah-SWT and the Akhirah and to seek His-SWT Mercy and steadfastness in Deen.


Allah-SWT reveals that His-SWT Messenger-SW believes in what has been revealed to him-SW. This expression has a specific style. Instead of naming him-SW, the word Messenger is used, in deference to his sublime status. The Quran does not address the Holy Prophet-SW by name, but by his attributes such as 'O Prophet-SW! O the Mantled one-SW! And so on. And wherever his-SW name is mentioned, it is not used for the purpose of addressing him but to identify his exalted personality, for example: "Muhammad is Allah-SWT's Messenger-SW, or "Muhammad-SW is not the father of any of your men."


Quran does not use the Expression 'O Muhammad-SW '!

To say 'O Muhammad-SW is in fact impudent. When the Quran shows regard and avoids using this expression, why should an ordinary Muslim not do so? To address the Holy Prophet-SW by name in high tone on a loudspeaker is a blatant violation of the Quranic warning: "Raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet-SW nor speak aloud to him-SW " (49:2). The best thing is to recite the Darud Sharif about which the Holy Prophet-SW said that, it was the best in terms of reward. But even if any other is recited at one's own choice, it must be recited with an attentive heart and devotion while sitting. Darud Sharif can also be recited while on the move, observing the etiquette. It must be recited while being mindful that the angels assigned by Allaah-SWT will present it to the Holy Prophet-SW. I reiterate that the best salutations are the ones proved by Sunnah.


Just as the Holy Prophet-SW believes in the revelations so do all the Muslims, but here the Holy Prophet-SW has been mentioned separately. This is because although all Muslims commonly share beliefs, yet the status varies from individual to individual.


Levels of Faith

The faith of the Holy Prophet-SW is based on direct observation and hearing, whereas the rest of the Muslims believe in the unseen, and in that told by the Holy Prophet-SW. Likewise the faith of the Aulia who acquired ‘Fana-fi-Rasul’ and the power to observe the Holy Prophet-SW's court is stronger and superior than that of those who merely believe in narratives. Next, a general definition of faith is given. It consists of belief in the Revelation, Unity in Being and in Attributes; the Angels, the Divine Scriptures and the realities revealed therein and all the Prophets-AS of Allah-SWT without any reservations; although obedience will be confined only to the Final Prophet-SW and the Last Book.


The Status of Companions-RAU

The devotion and sincerity of the Companions-RAU has been applauded. They heard and readily submitted to His-SWT Will and Purpose, seeking His-SWT Forgiveness and firmly believing in returning to Him-SWT . Praise be to Allah-SWT ! His-SWT Pleasure had become the sole purpose of their lives and nothing else mattered to them. Qadhi Thana Ullah Pani Pattf-RUA writes that this Ayah directly eulogises the Companions-RAU. Though all the believers till the end of time will share in this praise, but only by virtue of following in their footsteps. Whoever fails to obey them cannot be accepted even as a true believer, let alone a seeker of Divine Pleasure.


Then the Ayah explains that Islam is the natural Deen and a great Favour of Allah-SWT . It teaches the best method of doing things, which a human being had to do anyway for his earthly existence, and then gives these activities the status of worship.


Man is Responsible for Voluntary Actions

Another great Divine Favour is that a person will not be held accountable for what is beyond his control. Praise be to Allah-SWT ! In other words there will be no reckoning for such thoughts and feelings that intrude on one's mind, and also forgiven are the actions taken unintentionally. For example, if the tremulous hand of a person accidentally harms someone, he will not be held accountable. However, each person is responsible for his voluntary actions, whether overt or covert. He will reap whatever he sows and will be rewarded for virtue and punished for evil. Indeed every action is based on intentions and will.


The Surah concludes with a comprehensive supplication: 'O' Allah-SWT ! Do not call us to account for the mistakes we make as human beings,' for innocence is only the realm of Prophets-AS 'and bless us with the capability to repent. And spare us the burdens, the trials and the tribulations of our predecessors,' whereby punishment was awarded immediately on a mistake and faces were disfigured; or the condition of self-slaughter for atonement was laid as in case of Bani Israil. To seek Allah-SWT's refuge against such misfortunes, the prayer continues: 'O Allah-SWT ! Also spare us the burdens, which we have no strength to bear; forgive us; ignore our misdeeds; redeem us and have Mercy on us. You-SWT are the Saviour, so grant us victory over the non-believers!


This is a point to ponder for those Muslims who seek friendship with the non-believers and are so impressed by them that they adopt their lifestyle, appearance attire and eating habits, and consider themselves to be progressive by behaving like them. At the same time, these impostors are sarcastic about the exalted appearance of the Holy Prophet-SW and disdainfully brand his-SW followers as primitive.