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Surah Al Baqra Verses 11-20

11 When it is said to them: "Make not mischief on the earth" they say: "Why we only want to make peace!"

12 Of a surety they are the ones who make mischief but they realize (it) not. 35

13 When it is said to them: "Believe as the others believe" they say: "Shall we believe as the fools believe?" nay of a surety they are the fools buy they do not know. 36

14 When they meet those who believe they say: "We believe" but when they are alone with their evil ones they say: "We are really with you we (were) only jesting." 37

15 Allah will throw back their mockery on them and give them rope in their trespasses; so they will wander like blind ones (to and fro).

16 These are they who have bartered guidance for error: but their traffic is profitless and they have lost true direction.

17 Their similitude is that of a man who kindled a fire; when it lighted all around him Allah took away their light and left them in utter darkness so they could not see. 38

18 Deaf dumb and blind they will not return (to the path).

19 Or (another similitude) is that of a rain-laden cloud from the sky; in it are zones of darkness and thunder and lightning they press their fingers in their ears to keep out the stunning thunder-clap the while they are in terror of death. But Allah is ever round the rejecters of Faith! 39

20 The lightning all but snatches away their sight; every time the light (helps) them they walk therein and when the darkness grows on them they stand still. And if Allah willed He could take away their faculty of hearing and seeing; for Allah hath power over all things.


Commentry:

35 Much mischief is caused (sometimes unwittingly) by people who think that they have a mission of peace, when they have not even a true perception of right and wrong. By their blind arrogance they depress the good and encourage the evil. (2.12)

36 This is another phase of the hypocrite and the cynic. "Faith" he says, "is good enough to fools." But his cynicism may be the greatest folly in the eyes of God. (2.13)

37 A deeper phase of insincerity is actual duplicity. But it never pays in the end. If we compare such a man to a trader, he loses in the bargain. (2.14)

38 The man wanted light; he only kindled a fire. It produced a blaze, and won the applause of all around. But it did not last long. When the flame when out as was inevitable, the darkness was worse than before. And they all lost their way. So hypocrisy, deception, arrogant compromise with evil, cynicism, or duplicity may win temporary applause. But the true light of faith and sincerity is wanting, and therefore it must mislead and ruin all concerned. In the consternation they cannot speak or hear each other, and of course they cannot see; so they end like the deliberate rejecters of Faith (ii. 7), wildly groping about, dumb, deaf and blind. (2.17)

39 A wonderfully graphic and powerful simile applying to those who reject Faith. In their self-sufficiency they are undisturbed normally. But what happens when a great storm breaks over them? They cover their ears against thunder-claps and the lightning nearly blinds them. They are in mortal fear, but God encompasses them around - even them, for He at all times encompasses all. He gives them rope. In the intervals of deafening noise and blinding flashes, there are moments of steady light and these creatures take advantage of them, but again they are plunged into darkness. Perhaps they curse; perhaps they think that the few moments of effective light are due to their own intelligence! How much wiser would they be if they humbled themselves and sought the light of God! (2.19)

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