Al-Baqara

The Cow or al-Baqarah (Arabic: البقرة‎) is the second and longest chapter (sūrah) of the Qur'an.[1] It consists of 286 verses (āyāt), 6,201 words and 25,500 letters.[2] It is a Medinan surah, that is to say that it was revealed at Medina after the Hijrah, with the exception of a few verses which Muslims believe was revealed during the Farewell Pilgrimage, the last Hajj of Muhammad.[3]

This is the longest Surah in the Quran. It was the first Surah to be revealed at Medina, but different verses were revealed at different times, covering quite a long period so much so that the verses with regard to riba (interest or usury) were revealed in the final days of Muhammad, after the conquest of Makkah (Maariful Quran).

Verse 281 in this chapter was the last verse of the Quran to be revealed, on the 10th of Dhul al Hijjah 10 A.H., when Muhammad was in the course of performing his last Hajj, and only 80 or 90 days later he died (Qurtubi).

Surah al-Baqarah enjoins fasting on the believer during the month of Ramadan.[4]

Sura 2 of the Quran
البقرة
Al-Baqarah
The Heifer
ClassificationMedinan
PositionJuzʼ 1–3
No. of Rukus40
No. of verses286
Opening muqaṭṭaʻātAlif Lam Mim
Qur'anic Verses WDL6811.pdf
First verses of al-Baqarah

Background

It is the longest Surah in the Qur’an and was revealed over a long period. It is a Mediniite Surah dealing with the Hypocrite (Munaafiqeen) and injunctions pertaining to various matters.

It includes many verses which have virtues like the first four and last three verses and the special Verse of the Throne (Aayatul Kursi). Muhammad is reported to have said,

“Do not turn your houses into graves. Verily, Satan does not enter the house where Surat Al-Baqarah is recited.” [Muslim, Tirmidhi, Musnad Ahmed]

Ad-Darimi also recorded that Ash-Sha`bi said that `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said, "Whoever recites ten Ayat from Surat Al-Baqarah in a night, then Satan will not enter his house that night. (These ten Ayat are) four from the beginning, Ayat Al-Kursi (255), the following two Ayat (256-257) and the last three Ayat.

Theme and subject matter

The surah addresses a wide variety of topics, including substantial amounts of law, and retells stories of Adam, Ibrahim and Musa. A major theme is guidance: urging the pagans (Al-Mushrikeen) and the Jews of Medina to embrace Islam, and warning them and the hypocrites (Munafiqun) of the fate God had visited in the past on those who failed to heed his call.[5]

The stories in this chapter are told to help the reader understand the theological conception of truth in Islam.[6]

Surah Baqarah also mentions three qualities of the God-fearing (Al-Muttaqin), that is those who possess Taqwa: 1) They believe in the unseen. Faith (Imaan) is believing and accepting something one cannot see i.e. trusting in Muhammad and the Qur’an. It is believing everything which is part of Imaan, the Angels, destiny etc. 2) They establish Prayer (Salah). The major sign of a person with Taqwa is they perform Prayer/Salaah. “Establishing” Salaah is fulfilling its requirements, internally with feelings in the heart, and externally fulfilling its requirements (Wudu, compulsory elements (Fard), Sunnahs, reciting with tajwid etc.) and feeling a connection with Allah. In a tradition or hadith, Muhammad said, “Prayer is the Mi’raaj of a Mu’min” and in Mi’raaj he spoke to Allah. (In the Surah preceding Surah Al Baqarah, i.e. Surah Fatiha Muslims are believed to have a dialogue with Allah). 3) They spend from what Allah has given them, as this is a form of worship too- namely, considered a financial worship. Spending in the way of God (i.e. giving Sadaqah), is to spend from what Muslims believe that Allah Himself gave them. Sadaqah comes from “Sidq” which means “True” as it shows the truth of a Muslim's Imaan (faith).

Verses 8-20 in Surah Al Baqarah refer to the hypocrites (Munafiqun). In the Meccan phase of Muhammad, there existed two groups, the Believers and the Mushrikeen (non-believers). However, after Hijrah (Emigration to Medina) Muhammad had to deal with the opposition of those who openly accepted Islam while secretly plotting against Muslims. Their leader was Abd-Allah ibn Ubayy who was about to be crowned king before the arrival of Muhammad in Medina. The hypocrites benefitted from the Muslims while not losing their association with the disbelievers. They were considered disloyal to either parties and inclined towards those who benefited them the most in the worldly sense.

The surah also sheds light on the concept of Nifaq, which is opposite of sincerity. It is of two types:

1) Nifaq in belief: outwardly showing belief however in reality there is no belief 2) Nifaq in practice: where people believe however they act like hypocrites. The signs of a hypocrite are lying, breaking promises, not keeping an amaanah or trust and when they argue they curse or use bad language.

According to a prominent scholar, Kamaluddin Ahmed, Nifaq is something that is within the heart, hence no one knows of its existence except Allah. Therefore, no one can be called a hypocrite or Munaafiq through one's own self-assessment. This would amount to making Takfeer i.e. calling someone a Kafir (non-believer) since Nifaq (hypocrisy) in belief is kufr.

Condemnation of alcoholic beverages and gambling is also first found in the chapter,[7] and it is one of only four chapters in the Qur'an to refer to Christians as Nazarenes instead of the more frequent terms People of the Book or "Helpers of Christ."[8]

Al-Baqarah contains several verses dealing with the subject of warfare. Verses 2:190-194 are quoted on the nature of battle in Islam.

The surah includes a few Islamic rules related to varying subjects, such as: prayers, fasting, striving on the path of God, the pilgrimage to Mecca, the change of the direction of prayer (Qiblah) from Jerusalem to Mecca, marriage and divorce, commerce, debt, and a great many of the ordinances concerning interest or usury.[5]

Notable verses

Ayatul Kursi
The Throne Verse (Ayat Al-Kursi) in the form of a calligraphic horse, India, Deccan, Bijapur - 16th century

Verse 216 "The Jihad verse"

Verse 255 is "The Throne Verse" (آية الكرسي ʾāyatu-l-kursī). It is the most famous verse of the Qur'an and is widely memorized and displayed in the Islamic world due to its emphatic description of God's omnipotence in Islam.

Verse 256 is one of the most quoted verses in the Qur'an. It famously notes that "there is no compulsion in religion". Two other verses, 285 and 286, are sometimes considered part of "The Throne Verse".[9]

Exegesis

Concerning the verse, "They are deaf, dumb, and blind, so they return not "(2:18), Ja'far al-Sadiq has narrated that there is destruction for the servants of falsehood and there will be deafness, blindness, and muteness which Allah will make them inherit of the Day of Judgement. They will not be speaking and will not have permission to present their excuses.[10]

It is mentioned in Kitab al-Kafi that Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq narrates that on the Day of Judgment, one dirham will weigh as much as the mountain of ’Uhud, because "One who generously lends to God will be paid back in many multiples of the loan. . . ." (2:245) and this was a special reference to the payment made to an Imam.[10]

Structure

Surat al-Baqarah is arranged in ring composition structure. The structure of the surah has been commented on by Dr. Raymond Farrin, Arabic professor at the American University of Kuwait. He notes in his book Structure and Qur'anic Interpretation[11] that the themes of the surah form a ring, where the first themes resemble the last themes, the second themes resemble the second last themes, and so on. The middle theme group includes verse 143 of the surah, that talks about the change in prayer direction.

A more detailed description of the ring composition of this surah is demonstrated here.

It is also worth noting that the 143rd verse of surat al-Baqarah, which is composed of 286 verses, contains the word "middle" (143 is half of 286)[12]

See also

References

  1. ^ Salwa M. S. El - Awa, Introduction to Textual Relations in Qur'an, pg. 1. Part of the Routledge Studies in the Qur'an series. London: Routledge, 2005. ISBN 9781134227471
  2. ^ Ibn Kathir
  3. ^ Mahmoud Ayoub, The Qurʾan and its interpreters, pg. 55. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1984. ISBN 9780791495469
  4. ^ Michael Binyon, Fighting is 'allowed' during the holy month of fasting The Times, 18 December 1998
  5. ^ a b Sadr-'ameli Sayyid Abbas. "Surah Al-Baqarah, Chapter 2, Introduction". Al-islam. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  6. ^ R. G. Ghattas and Carol B. Ghattas, A Christian Guide to the Qur'an: Building Bridges in Muslim Evangelism, pg. 40. Kregel Academic, 2009. ISBN 9780825493423
  7. ^ Kathryn Kueny, The Rhetoric of Sobriety: Wine in Early Islam, pg. 66. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2001. ISBN 9780791450536
  8. ^ Karen Steenbrink, "Muslims and the Christian Other: Nasara in Qur'anic Readings." Taken from Mission is a Must: Intercultural Theology and the Mission of the Church, pg. 200. Eds. Frans Jozef Servaas Wijsen and Peter J. A. Nissen. Volume 40 of Church and Theology in Context Series. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2002. ISBN 9789042010819
  9. ^ Prana Dev (2010). Spiritual Quest of a Baby Yogi: Journey Through Islam, Christianity, and Beyond. ISBN 978-1-4502-6904-9.
  10. ^ a b Al-Kulayni, Abu Ja’far Muhammad ibn Ya’qub (2015). Kitab al-Kafi. South Huntington, NY: The Islamic Seminary Inc. ISBN 9780991430864. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  11. ^ Raymond,, Farrin,. Structure and Qur'anic interpretation : a study of symmetry and coherence in Islam's holy text (First ed.). Ashland, Oregon. ISBN 9781935952985. OCLC 860756355.
  12. ^ "Surah Al-Baqarah [2:143]". Surah Al-Baqarah [2:143]. Retrieved 2019-02-12.

External links

Al-Baqara 255

The Throne Verse (Arabic: آية الكرسي‎, translit. ʾĀyat al-Kursī) is the 255th verse of the 2nd surah of the Qur'an, Al-Baqara. The verse speaks about how nothing and nobody is regarded to be comparable to God.It is one of the most well-known verses of the Quran and is widely memorised and displayed in the Islamic world.

Al-Baqara 256

Verse (ayah) 256 of Al-Baqara is a well-known verse in the Islamic scripture, the Qur'an. The verse includes the phrase that "there is no compulsion in religion". Immediately after making this statement, the Qur'an offers a rationale for it: Since the revelation has, through explanation, clarification, and repetition, clearly distinguished the path of guidance from the path of misguidance, it is now up to people to choose the one or the other path. This verse comes right after the Throne Verse.The overwhelming majority of Muslim scholars consider that verse to be a Medinan one, when Muslims lived in their period of political ascendance, and to be non abrogated, including Ibn Taymiyya, Ibn Qayyim, Al-Tabari, Abi ʿUbayd, Al-Jaṣṣās, Makki bin Abi Talib, Al-Nahhas, Ibn Jizziy, Al-Suyuti, Ibn Ashur, Mustafa Zayd, and many others. According to all the theories of language elaborated by Muslim legal scholars, the Qur'anic proclamation that 'There is no compulsion in religion. The right path has been distinguished from error' is as absolute and universal a statement as one finds, and so under no condition should an individual be forced to accept a religion or belief against his or her will according to the Quran.The meaning of the principle that there is no compulsion in religion was not limited to freedom of individuals to choose their own religion. Islam also provided non-Muslims with considerable economic, cultural, and administrative rights.

Asr prayer

The Asr prayer (Arabic: صلاة العصر‎ ṣalāt al-ʿaṣr, "afternoon prayer") is the afternoon daily prayer recited by practicing Muslims. It is the third of the five daily prayers. The Asr prayer consist of four rakats. The five daily prayers collectively are one pillar of the Five Pillars of Islam, in Sunni Islam, and one of the ten Practices of the Religion (Furū al-Dīn) according to Shia Islam. When travelling, according to some madh'habs, it may be reduced to two rakaʿāt. The Asr daily prayer may be mentioned as the middle prayer in the Qur'an at sura 2 (Al-Baqara), ayat 238, and also the name of a short sura (surat al-Asr).

Fasad

Fasad (Arabic: فساد‎ /fasād/) is an Arabic word meaning rottenness, corruption, or depravity. In an Islamic context it can refer to spreading mischief in a Muslim land, moral corruption against God, or disturbance of the public peace.The spread of fasad is a major theme in the Quran, and the notion is often contrasted with islah (setting things aright). Classical Quranic commentators commonly interpreted "corruption in the land" as open disobedience against God or its result. In certain contexts, classical jurists took it to refer to the legal category of Hirabah, comprising armed assault, rape and murder. Some contemporary Muslims view destruction of the natural environment to be among the central meanings of verses referring to fasad.In recent decades, the term has been used in the legal codes of the Islamic Republics of Pakistan and Iran. In Iran, laws referencing it have been used to prosecute or threaten political opposition figures.

Hadith of Mut'ah and Imran ibn Husain

A famous recorded oral tradition among Muslims (Arabic: Hadith) is about comment made by Imran ibn Husain, one of the companions of Muhammad and a Narrator of hadith. The comment was regarding the prohibition of Mut'ah, a word with several meanings.

Although the narration is prominently quoted and referred to, it is not given any formal name, in contrast to other hadith such as the Hadith of the pond of Khumm or the Hadith of Qur'an and Sunnah

Islamic attitudes towards science

Muslim scholars have developed a spectrum of viewpoints on science within the context of Islam. The Quran exhorts Muslims to study nature and investigate the truth. Muslims often cite verse 239 from Surah Al-Baqara – He has taught you what you did not know – in support of their view that the Quran promotes the acquisition of new knowledge. For some Muslim writers, the study of science stems from Tawhid.Scientists of medieval Muslim civilization (e.g. Ibn al-Haytham) made many contributions to modern science. This fact is celebrated in the Muslim world today. At the same time, concerns have been raised about the lack of scientific literacy in parts of the modern Muslim world.Some Muslim writers have claimed that the Quran made prescient statements about scientific phenomena that were later confirmed by scientific research for instance as regards to the structure of the embryo, our solar system, and the creation of the universe.

Maisir

In Islam, gambling (Arabic: ميسر‎, translit. maisîr, maysir, maisira or قمار qimâr), is forbidden (Arabic: harām).

Maisir is prohibited by Islamic law (shari'a) on the grounds that "the agreement between participants is based on immoral inducement provided by entirely wishful hopes in the participants' minds that they will gain by mere chance, with no consideration for the possibility of loss".

DefinitionsBoth qimar and maisir refer to games of chance, but qimar is a kind (or subset) of maisir.

Author Muhammad Ayub defines maisir as "wishing something valuable with ease and without paying an equivalent compensation for it or without working for it, or without undertaking any liability against it by way of a game of chance", Another source, Faleel Jamaldeen, defines it as "the acquisition of wealth by chance (not by effort)". Ayub defines qimar as "also mean[ing] receipt of money, benefit or usufruct at the cost of others, having entitlement to that money or benefit by resorting to chance"; Jamaldeen as "any game of chance".

In scriptureIt is stated in the Quran that games of chance, including maisir, are a "grave sin" and "abominations of Satan's handiwork". It is also mentioned in ahadith.

They ask you about wine and gambling. Say: 'In them both lies grave sin, though some benefit, to mankind. But their sin is more grave than their benefit.'

O believers, wine and gambling, idols and divining arrows are an abhorrence, the work of Satan. So keep away from it, that you may prevail. Satan only desires to arouse discord and hatred among you with wine and gambling, and to deter you from the mention of God and from prayer. Will you desist?

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, "Whoever swears saying in his oath. 'By Al-lāt and al-‘Uzzá,' should say, 'None has the right to be worshipped but God; and whoever says to his friend, 'Come, let me gamble with you,' should give something in charity."

Medinan surah

The Madaniy Surahs (Surah Madaniyyah) or Madaniy chapters of the Quran are the latest 24 Surahs that, according to Islamic tradition, were revealed at Medina after Muhammad's hijra from Mecca. These surahs were revealed by Allah when the Muslim community was larger and more developed, as opposed to their minority position in Mecca.The Medinan Surahs occur mostly at the beginning and in the middle of the Qur'an (but are said to be the last revealed suras chronologically), and typically have more and longer ayat (verses). Due to the new circumstances of the early Muslim community in Medina, these surahs more often deal with details of moral principles, legislation, warfare (as in Surah 2, al-Baqara), and principles for constituting and ordering the community. They also refer more often to the community with "O people!" and at times directly address Muhammad or speak of him as "an agent acting in combination with the divine persona: 'God and his messenger' (Q 33:22)."The division of surahs into 'Meccan surahs' and 'Medinan surahs' is primarily a consequence of stylistic and thematic considerations, which Theodor Noldeke used to develop his famous chronology of the Qur'anic suras. Classification of the surahs into these periods is based upon factors such as the length of the verse and the presence or absence of certain key concepts or word (e.g. al-Rahman as name of God).The 30 Surahs of the Medinan period, according to Noldeke (chronologically 91-114):

2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 22, 24, 33, 47, 48, 49, 55, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 76, 98, 110

Characteristics of Medinan surahsFollowing are some of the stylistic and subject characteristics of Medinan Surahs:

Mention of 'Jihad' and detailing on its rulings.

Details of Islamic jurisprudence and legal system as well as laws governing family, money transaction, international law and acts of worship

Mention of 'hypocrisy' and dealing with hypocrites.

Any verse that starts with يا أيها للذين آمنوا O you who believe

Long verses

Easy vocabulary

Discussion in regards to the People of the Book

Mosque of the Martyrs

The Mosque of the Martyrs (Azerbaijani: Şəhidlər məscidi), also popularly known as the Turkish Mosque, is a mosque in Baku, Azerbaijan, near the Martyrs' Lane. The mosque was built in the beginning of the 1990s with assistance of the Turkish government. The mosque currently is used as an official residence of religious attaché of the Turkish embassy. The mosque has been under construction since 2009.The 154th ayah from Al-Baqara chapter of Quran is written on the façade of the mosque in Arabic and Turkish:

“Do not say “Dead!” about those, who died for the sake of Allah. No, they are alive! But you do not feel.”

Qibla

The Qibla (Arabic: قِـبْـلَـة‬‎, "Direction", also transliterated as Qiblah, Qibleh, Kiblah, Kıble or Kibla), is the direction that should be faced when a Muslim prays during Ṣalāṫ (Arabic: صَـلَاة‎). It is fixed as the direction of the Kaaba in the Hejazi city of Mecca. Most mosques contain a wall niche that indicates the Qiblah, which is known as a miḥrâb (Arabic: مِـحْـرَاب‎). Most multifaith prayer rooms will also contain a Qibla, although usually less standardized in appearance than one would find within a mosque.Muslims all praying towards the same point is traditionally considered to symbolize the unity of the Ummah (Arabic: اُمَّـة‎, the community Muslims worldwide), under the Sharī‘ah (Arabic: شَـرِيْـعَـة‎, Law of God). The Qiblah also has importance beyond Salah, and plays a part in various ceremonies. The head of an animal that is slaughtered using Ḥalāl (Arabic: حَـلَال‎, 'Allowed') methods is usually aligned with the Qiblah. After death, Muslims are usually buried with the body at right angles to the Qibla and the face turned right towards the direction of the Qiblah.

Religious restrictions on the consumption of pork

Religious restrictions on the consumption of pork are common particularly in the Middle East amongst Jews and Muslims. Swine were prohibited in ancient Syria and Phoenicia, and the pig and its flesh represented a taboo observed, Strabo noted, at Comana in Pontus. A lost poem of Hermesianax, reported centuries later by the traveller Pausanias, reported an etiological myth of Attis destroyed by a supernatural boar to account for the fact that "in consequence of these events the Galatians who inhabit Pessinous do not touch pork". Concerning Abrahamic religions, clear restrictions exist in Jewish dietary laws (Kashrut) and in Islamic dietary laws (Halal).

Although Christianity is also an Abrahamic religion, most of its adherents are permitted to consume pork – justified by Peter's vision of a sheet with animals and several verses of the New Testament which guides Christians with the Good News of the Gospels. Since Christianity lost most of its roots from Judaism, Christians are not bound to some restrictions of Mosaic Law. However, Seventh-day Adventists consider pork taboo, along with other foods forbidden by Jewish law. The Eritrean Orthodox Church and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church do not permit pork consumption.

Shtriga

A shtriga (Latin: strix, Italian: strega; compare also Romanian: strigă and Polish: strzyga) is a vampiric witch in traditional Albanian folklore that sucks the blood of infants at night while they sleep, and then turns into a flying insect (traditionally a moth, fly or bee). Only the shtriga herself could cure those she had drained. The shtriga is often pictured as a woman with a hateful stare (sometimes wearing a cape) and a horribly disfigured face. The male noun for shtriga is shtrigu or shtrigan.

Sleeper Cell (TV series)

Sleeper Cell is an American one-hour drama on the Showtime network that began airing on December 4, 2005. The tagline for the first season was "Friends. Neighbors. Husbands. Terrorists." and the tagline for the second season was "Cities. Suburbs. Airports. Targets." The series was nominated for an Emmy award for Outstanding Miniseries. The eight-episode second season of the series, titled Sleeper Cell: American Terror, premiered on December 10, 2006. Both seasons of Sleeper Cell were originally aired in an unusual fashion, by filming the entire season ahead of time and then airing the episodes on consecutive nights, such that each brand new season was aired for the first time over a period of less than two weeks. In Australia, both seasons originally aired on the Showtime Australia channel in 2006/2007. Re-runs as of 2008 have screened on the showcase channel (part of the Showtime Australia group of channels).

As extra material on the first season DVDs reveal, the show was originally named The Cell.

Sunan Kudus

Sunan Kudus (or Ja'far Shadiq, died 1550), founder of Kudus, is considered to be one of the Wali Sanga of Java, Indonesia

He is said to have originated the wayang golek, and founded the masjid at Kudus using (it is said) the doors from the palace of Majapahit.

Sūrah

A Surah (; Arabic: سورة‎ sūrah, plural سور suwar) is the term for a chapter of the Quran. There are 114 surahs in the Quran, each divided into verses (āyāt). The chapters or surahs are of unequal length; the shortest chapter (Al-Kawthar) has only three verses while the longest (Al-Baqara) contains 286 verses. Of the 114 chapters in the Quran, 86 are classified as Meccan, while 28 are Medinan . This classification is only approximate in regard to location of revelation; any chapter revealed after migration of Muhammad to Medina (Hijrah) is termed Medinan and any revealed before that event is termed Meccan. The Meccan chapters generally deal with faith and scenes of the Hereafter while the Medinan chapters are more concerned with organizing the social life of the nascent Muslim community and leading Muslims to the goal of Dar al-Islam by showing strength. Except for sura At-Tawba, all chapters or suras commence with 'In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate'. This formula is known as the Bismillah and denotes the boundaries between chapters. The chapters are arranged roughly in order of descending size; therefore the arrangement of the Quran is neither chronological nor thematic. Suras (chapters) are recited during the standing portions (Qiyam) of Muslim prayers. Sura Al-Fatiha, the first chapter of the Quran, is recited in every unit of prayer and some units of prayer also involve recitation of all or part of any other sura.

The Jihad verse (Al-Baqara 216)

Certain ayahs (verses) from the Qur'an have been a subject of controversy by many critics.

The 216th verse of the Surah, Al-Baqara (The Cow) is about Jihad in the way of God.

كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ ٱلْقِتَالُ وَهُوَ كُرْهٌ لَّكُمْۖ وَعَسَىٰٓ أَن تَكْرَهُوا۟ شَيْـًٔا وَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْۖ وَعَسَىٰٓ أَن تُحِبُّوا۟ شَيْـًٔا وَهُوَ شَرٌّ لَّكُمْۗ وَٱللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ وَأَنتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ

Transliteration (DIN 31635)Kutiba ʿalaykumu l-qitālu wahuwa kurhun lakum waʿasā ʾan takrahū šayʾan wahuwa ḫayrun lakum waʿasā ʾan tuḥibbū šayʾan wahuwa šarrun llakum w-Allāhu yaʿlamu wāʾantum lā taʿlāmūna.

The verse of loan

The verse of loan (Arabic: آية المداينة‎) is verse 282 in chapter Al-Baqara. This verse is the longest verse at the longest chapter in Quran. The concept of borrowing was explained in the verse.

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