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Surah Al Baqra Verses 1-10

1 A.L.M. 25

2 This is the Book; in it is guidance sure without doubt to those who fear Allah. 26

3 Who believe in the Unseen are steadfast in prayer and spend out of what We have provided for them. 27

4 And who believe in the Revelation sent to thee and sent before thy time and (in their hearts) have the assurance of the Hereafter. 28

5 They are on (true) guidance from their Lord and it is these who will prosper. 29

6 As to those who reject Faith it is the same to them whether thou warn them or do not warn them; they will not believe. 30

7 Allah hath set a seal on their hearts and on their hearing and on their eyes is a veil; great is the penalty they (incur). 31 32

8 Of the people there are some who say: "We believe in Allah and the Last Day" but they do not (really) believe. 33

9 Fain would they deceive Allah and those who believe but they only deceive themselves and realize (it) not!

10 In their hearts is a disease; and Allah has increased their disease and grievous is the penalty they (incur) because they are false (to themselves). 34


Commentry:

25 These are abbreviated letters, the Muqattaat, on which a general discussion will be found in Appendix I (to be printed at the end of this Sura). (2.1)

26 Taqwa and the verbs and nouns connected with the root, signify: (1) the fear of God which according to the writer of Proverbs (i.7) in the Old Testament is the beginning of Wisdom; (2) restraint, or guarding one's tongue, hand, and heart from evil; (3) hence righteousness, piety good conduct. All these ideas are implied; in the translation, only one or other of these ideas can be indicated according to the context. See also xivii 17; and ixxiv 56, n.5808. (2.2)

27 All bounties proceed from God. They may be physical gifts, e.g., food, clothing, houses, gardens, wealth, etc. or intangible gifts, e.g., influence, power, birth and the opportunities flowing from it, health, talents, etc. or spiritual gifts, e.g, insight into good and evil, understanding of men, the capacity for love, etc. We are to use all in humility and moderation. But we are also to give out of every one of them something that contributes to the well-being of others. We are to be neither ascetics nor luxurious sybarites, neither selfish misers nor thoughless prodigals. (2.3)

28 Righteousness comes from a secure faith, from sincere devotion to God, and from unselfish service to Man. (2.4)

29 Prosperity must be taken as referring to all the kinds of bounty which we discussed in the note to ii. 3 above. The right use of one kind leads to an increase in that and other kinds, and that is prosperity. (2.5)

30 Kafara kufr, kafr, and derivative forms of the word, imply a deliberate rejection of Faith as opposed to a mistaken idea of God or faith, which is not inconsistent with an earnest desire to see the truth. Where there is such desire, the grace and mercy of God gives guidance. But that guidance is not efficacious when it is deliberately rejected and the possibility of rejection follows from the grant of free will. The consequence of the rejection is that the spiritual faculties become dead or impervious to better influences. See also n. 93 to ii.88. (2.6)

31 All actions are referred to God. Therefore, when we get the penalty of our deliberate sin, and our senses become impervious to good, the penalty is referred to the justice of God. (2.7)

32 The penalty here is the opposite of the prosperity referred to in n 5. As we go down the path of sin, our penalty gathers momentum, just as goodness brings its own capacity for greater goodness. (2.7)

33 We now come to a third class of people, the hypocrites. They are untrue to themselves, and therefore their hearts are diseased (ii. 10). The disease tends to spread, like all evil. They are curable but if they harden their hearts, they soon pass into the category of those who deliberately reject light. (2.8)

34 The insincere man who thinks he can get the best of both worlds by compromising with good and evil only increased the disease of his heart, because he is not true to himself. Even the good which comes to him he can pervert to evil. So the rain which fills out the ear of corn or lends fragrance to the rose also lends strength to the thorn or adds strength to the poison of the deadly night-shade. (2.10)

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