Meanings of Surah Al Baqarah Surah 1 till 28
بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
[Al Baqarah 2:1] Alif Lam Mim
An Nasafiyy reported that most of the scholars (al Jumhur) said that Alif Lam Mim are the names of the three letters of the Arabic alphabet corresponding to (أ، ل،م). To substantiate that Alif Lam Mim are the names of the three letters, the grammarians determined its inflection as follows: (هذه ألم : this is Alif Lam Mim) the opening noun is ( هذه :this is ) and its predicate is (Alif Lam Mim).
Although the Arabs at the time of the prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, were poets and highly articulate with the language, still they could not read or write; the names of the alphabet were only known to people who have special training such as the calligraphists and those who could actually read and write.
Also it was unexpected for the prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, to know these names because it was known he was illiterate which was a sign of his prophet hood. Hence the scholars concluded that receiving the revelation about the names of the three letters is another sign testifying to that the prophet is truly a messenger from Allah.
Moreover, this revelation contained a challenge to the linguists of the era in several ways. The main challenge reiterates that despite of their natural disposition and skill with the Arabic language they cannot produce what is similar to the Qur’an and therefore they are compelled to acknowledge that the Qur’an is truly the Kalam-Speech of Allah and that Mohammad is truly His Messenger.
This ayah enforces the main challenge as follows:
- Learning about the names of the letters which were unknown to them and unexpected for the prophet to know from before testifies that the Qur’an is a revelation from Allah and Mohammad is truthful in his claim of prophet hood.
- Other names of letters such as طه, الر,المص, كهيعص ص, were revealed in subsequent surahs to repeatedly remind them of the challenge that they cannot imitate al Qur’an and that indeed it is the Kalam-Speech of Allah.
- These letters constitute half of the 28 letters of the alphabet gathered in the statements نقص عسلكم and حي طاهر or the statement من قطعك صله سحيرا
- These letters include half of the kinds of letters known as الهمس والاستعلاء والخفض والجهر والشديدة والرخوة والمطبقة والمنفتحة والقلقلة. As to الهمس its letters are ف, ح,ث,ه, ش, خ, ص, س, ك, ت and the half that is included in the revealed letters are ص, ك, س, ه, ح and so on and so forth with the rest of the aforementioned kinds of letters.
- The structure of the 14 letters came in one, or two, or three, or four, or five compositions as in طه, الر,المص, كهيعص ص, in tally with the structure of the Arabic words which are structured of one, or two, or three, or four or five compositions
ذَٰلِكَ الْكِتَابُ لَا رَيْبَ ۛ فِيهِ ۛ هُدًى لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ ﴿٢﴾
[Al Baqarah 2:2] This is the revealed Book which is complete; in it is crystal clear indications and striking proof; none should have doubt about it; in it is guidance to those who fear Allah.
The Ayah establishes four matters presented in an elegant order:
- This is a continuation of the challenge by reinforcing that indeed this is the revealed Book which is the subject of the challenge.
- And that it is a complete Book that was revealed to prophet Mohammad from Allah, the exalted, and cannot be imitated by others.
- And that those who doubt about it have no grounds because of its crystal clear indications and striking proofs.
- And that it provides guidance to those who fear Allah so they may excel further in status. The meaning also contains that it provides guidance to those blasphemers whom Allah knew eternally that they will embrace Islam.
الَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْغَيْبِ وَيُقِيمُونَ الصَّلَاةَ وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ ﴿٣﴾
[Al Baqarah 2:3] Those Who believe in the Unforeseen, are steadfast in prayer, and spend out of what We (Allah) have provided for them;
Those who fear Allah are those who believe in what is unpredictable by them of the matters of the future that the prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, told them about such as the Resurrection, the Assembly and the Day of Judgment among other.
The trait of those believers is that they perform the acts of worship to Allah; That was denoted by mentioning the two most important elements of worship, the bodily act of prayers and the monetary spending that Allah has provided for them so they may spend in form of zakat and charity and obligatory spending.
وَالَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ وَمَا أُنزِلَ مِن قَبْلِكَ وَبِالْآخِرَةِ هُمْ يُوقِنُونَ ﴿٤﴾
[Al Baqarah 2:4] And who believe in the Revelation sent to you, and sent before your time, and master knowledge with which their hearts are assured of the Hereafter.
The Ayah refers to those who believed among the people of the book such as ^Abdullah Ibn Salam and his likes who believed in every revelation from Allah and were certain about the Day of Judgment in a manner that revoked their previous belief; they used to believe that only Jews and Christians will enter paradise and that the fire of hell will not touch them except for a known number of days.
They believed in the Qur’an and in the rest of the books that were received by the previous messengers of Allah and had in their hearts certainty about the advent of the Hereafter and the correct knowledge about it.
أُولَـٰئِكَ عَلَىٰ هُدًى مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ ۖ وَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ ﴿٥﴾
[Al Baqarah 2:5] They are on vast guidance bestowed upon them by their Lord, and indeed these who will attain what they aspire.
These believers who are pious are equipped with open ended guidance from Allah that direct them toward achieving the rewards that Allah has prepared for them in the hereafter. Hence the Ayah enthuses us to deliver similar to what the pious believers have delivered and insinuates that the people of the book who disbelieved in prophet Mohammad, Sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, think they are correctly guided when truly they are not.
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا سَوَاءٌ عَلَيْهِمْ أَأَنذَرْتَهُمْ أَمْ لَمْ تُنذِرْهُمْ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ ﴿٦﴾
[Al Baqarah 2:6] As to those who blaspheme, it is the same to them whether you warn them or do not warn them; they will not believe.
After Allah mentioned the pious believers and their attributes of righteousness Allah mentioned their opposite those who disbelieved and were not influenced by the warning. Allah informed us that the blasphemers such as Abu Jahl and Abu Lahab and their likes, whether or not they were warned by the prophet, Sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, they will not believe; The wisdom of warning them despite their persistence to disbelieve is to establish the refutation against them and to publicize the warning and for the prophet, Sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, to earn the reward.
خَتَمَ اللَّـهُ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِمْ وَعَلَىٰ سَمْعِهِمْ ۖ وَعَلَىٰ أَبْصَارِهِمْ غِشَاوَةٌ ۖ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ ﴿٧﴾
[Al Baqarah 2:7] Allah has set a seal on their hearts and on their hearing, and on their eyes is a veil; great is the punishment they will incur.
Ibn ^Abbas said: ختم الله على قلوبهم أي طبع الله على قلوبهم فلا يعقلون الخير and what he meant was thast Allah has sealed their hearts so the blasphemy that they harbor does not leave and the belief does not enter.
Allah creates darkness in their hearts and so long it is there they do not believe; May Allah protect us from blasphemy.
Likewise Allah has sealed their hearing so they do not listen to the true sayings. The scholars of recitation have paused at سمعهم( their hearing) which indicates that their hearing is also sealed.
Allah made on their eyes a veil so they do not see the truth in the presented evidences.
Abu Mansur al Maturidi said: “when the blasphemer did not listen to the true saying and did not look within himself and within others among the creations to realize that they are creations and that there must be a creator who created them, it is as if he has a veil on his hearing and eyes although not in the literal sense”. Hence, according to him their hearing is included in that it also has a veil on it just like their eyes.
The Ayah contains a refutation of the false statement of al Mu^tazilah who said Allah is obligated to do what is best for the slave; It is obvious that had not Allah sealed their hearts, it would have been better for them. This statement of al Mu^tazilah is false and contrary to the creed of Ahl Assunnah wa al Jama^ah.
وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَقُولُ آمَنَّا بِاللَّـهِ وَبِالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ وَمَا هُم بِمُؤْمِنِينَ ﴿٨﴾
[Al Baqarah 2:8] Of the people there are some who say: “We believe in Allah and the Last Day;” but surely they do not believe.
Allah started mentioning about the hypocrites in this Ayah. They are the ones who say that they believe when their hearts truly harbor blasphemy; they are the most devious among the blasphemers. With their tongues they say two basic elements of belief; believing in Allah and His attributes and names which is a starting point, and believing in the Last Day and the Resurrection and the Assembly until the occupants of paradise are everlastingly there and the people of hell fire dwell therein everlastingly. Their saying claims that they believed in all of that masterly, however, their hearts truly disbelieve and harbor blasphemy.
The Ayah negates the false saying of al Karramiyyah who say the belief is established by utterance, and it supports the saying of Ahl Assunnah wa al Jama^ah that the belief is admitting by the tongue and believing in the heart.
يُخَادِعُونَ اللَّـهَ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَمَا يَخْدَعُونَ إِلَّا أَنفُسَهُمْ وَمَا يَشْعُرُونَ ﴿٩﴾
[Al Baqarah 2:9] They are pleased with their own attempt to deceive Allah and those who believe, but they only deceive themselves, and realize (it) not!
Abu ^Aliyy Isma^il Ibn Shu^aib, a famous scholar of recitation, said what is meant is that they attempt to deceive the messenger of Allah, Sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, by showing the opposite of what they harbor in their hearts. The word “messenger of” was left out which is a known technique used in the Qur’an as it was used when the term” people” was left out in the saying of Allah in Surah Yusuf, 82) (واسأل القرية which literally means ask the village when the meaning is ask the people of the village.
It was said that it means they claim to deceive Allah; if one should ask why do they falsely claim to be believers and what is their benefit? It might be answered they attempt to deceive Allah so that they would not be fought by the believers as the case with the believers fighting the other blasphemers. Also they would aim at having the rules of the believers apply to them, and would reap some of the spoils of war and other than that.
The endorsed saying is that in reciting the previous Ayah there is a وقف لازم (an obligatory pause) at the word بمؤمنين to avoid distorting the meaning of Ayah ﴿٩﴾.
They attempt to deceive the prophet and the believers with him by showing belief and harboring blasphemy. However, they only deceive themselves for they will eventually receive the everlasting torture in the hereafter as a result of their blasphemy; they do not realize that and do not feel it despite that the feel of it is as apparent as how one feels the garment he is wearing on his skin.
فِي قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٌ فَزَادَهُمُ اللَّـهُ مَرَضًا ۖ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ بِمَا كَانُوا يَكْذِبُونَ ﴿١٠﴾
[Al Baqarah 2:10] In their hearts is a disease; and Allah has made their disease get worse: And severe is the punishment they will encounter, because they showed what is contrary to what is in their hearts.
These blasphemers have in their hearts hypocrisy and doubt. As a result Allah will make them weak and powerless. It was said that each time they spend in hypocrisy Allah will make them spend a similar time in hypocrisy and doubt so on and so forth.
Indeed they shall receive a painful torture in the hereafter as a result of their lying about believing in Allah and in the Day of Judgment.
وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ لَا تُفْسِدُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ قَالُوا إِنَّمَا نَحْنُ مُصْلِحُونَ ﴿١١﴾
[Al Baqarah 2:11] When it is said to them: “Do not make mischief on the earth,” they say: “Solely, we are peace-makers!”
When it is said to these who show belief and harbor blasphemy in their hearts do not make mischief and mayhem on earth, they say we are but peace makers and nothing else.
This is so since they used to be close to the blasphemers and revealed to them the secrets of the Muslims and agitated them against the Muslims thereby causing sedition among them. By doing so the hypocrites claim that they were only maintaining good relations with the blasphemers in order to bridge a sound relationship for them with the Muslims! By that they claim that they tried to rule out completely the mischief making and scheming and falsely establish for themselves the role of solely making peace; this meaning is reflected through the use of the term إنما in the Ayah.
أَلَا إِنَّهُمْ هُمُ الْمُفْسِدُونَ وَلَـٰكِن لَّا يَشْعُرُونَ ﴿١٢﴾
[Al Baqarah 2:12] Of a surety, they are the ones who make mischief, but they realize it not.
Allah the exalted rejected their claim of peace making and established that it is a matter of certitude that they are makers of mischief; this meaning is reflected through the usage of ألا in the Ayah.
Moreover, Allah the exalted informed us that they do not realize the consequence of their ill doing even though it can be felt as one can feel on his skin the garment one is wearing; the consequence being the aforementioned resultant chaos and sedition and the surely severe punishment that will befall them in the hereafter.
وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ آمِنُوا كَمَا آمَنَ النَّاسُ قَالُوا أَنُؤْمِنُ كَمَا آمَنَ السُّفَهَاءُ ۗ أَلَا إِنَّهُمْ هُمُ السُّفَهَاءُ وَلَـٰكِن لَّا يَعْلَمُونَ ﴿١٣﴾
[Al Baqarah 2:13] 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, but they do not know.
When the advice is given to these who show belief and harbor blasphemy in their hearts that do believe the same as the prophet, Sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, and those with him believed, the same as ^^Abdullah Ibn Salam and his peers believed, or the same as your friends and companions believed, or the same as the mindful among the people believed, they stubbornly reject. Their rejection is reflected in the negative interrogative usage of أنؤمن in the Ayah; their reply was we shall not believe as the fools did!
Allah the exalted refuted them and established that surely they themselves are the fools yet they do not know it. Since the advice was about believing which require knowledge and deduction, Allah said they do not know it, whereas in Ayahs 9 and 12 Allah said they do not feel it, since the matter was about mischief which is based on habits and behavior and is closer to being felt.
وَإِذَا لَقُوا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا قَالُوا آمَنَّا وَإِذَا خَلَوْا إِلَىٰ شَيَاطِينِهِمْ قَالُوا إِنَّا مَعَكُمْ إِنَّمَا نَحْنُ مُسْتَهْزِئُونَ ﴿١٤﴾
[Al Baqarah 2:14] When they meet those who believe, they say: “We believe;” but when they are alone with their devil-like ones, they say: “We are really with you: We were only disdainful.”
When the hypocrites meet with the believers they show friendliness and delude them that they are with them, but when they are alone with the rebellious Jews they say we accompany you and accept your religion. An Nasafiyy explained that their address to the believers in the Ayah was with a verb opening sentence whereas their address to the Jews was with a name opening sentence; the significance reflect on that their address to the believers contains a false claim of belief whereas their address to their companions is based on conviction and desire. This meaning is substantiated by their address to the Jews that they are truly with them accepting their faith and that they are only disdainful to the believers and do discard Islam.
اللَّـهُ يَسْتَهْزِئُ بِهِمْ وَيَمُدُّهُمْ فِي طُغْيَانِهِمْ يَعْمَهُونَ ﴿١٥﴾
[Al Baqarah 2:15] Allah will punish them for their mockery, and will allow them more time in their trespasses and blasphemy; so they will wander about in confusion and hesitancy. Allah, the exalted, named the act of punishing them for their mockery(اللَّـهُ يَسْتَهْزِئُ بِهِمْ) by the same name as their act(نَحْنُ مُسْتَهْزِئُونَ) but with a different meaning; when they said in Ayah 14 إِنَّمَا نَحْنُ مُسْتَهْزِئُونَ Allah said اللَّـهُ يَسْتَهْزِئُ بِهِمْ; this is a well-known technique used in Qur’an and Hadith called المقابلة (almuqabalah). Mockery is impossible to be an attribute of Allah.
This Ayah is a proof that refutes the false saying of the Mu^tazilah that Allah is obligated to choose the best for His creations.
أُولَـٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ اشْتَرَوُا الضَّلَالَةَ بِالْهُدَىٰ فَمَا رَبِحَت تِّجَارَتُهُمْ وَمَا كَانُوا مُهْتَدِينَ ﴿١٦﴾
[Al Baqarah 2:16] These are they who have bartered Guidance for Blasphemy: But their trading is profitless, and they have lost true direction,
This Ayah is in reference to the people who believed and blasphemed afterwards, or about the Jews who used to believe in Mohammad, Sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, and disbelieved in him when he was revealed as a prophet. An Nasafiyy, who is a Hanafiyy scholar, said the Ayah is a proof that a selling-buying transaction is valid without a verbal contract; since the exchange of Guidance for Blasphemy was done without utterance and it was called a selling-buying transaction. Their trading did not even maintain for them their initial capital which is the Guidance because it was lost and they ended up with misguidance and blasphemy; such a trading is not called profitable. Those are misguided people and do not know the profitable practices of the knowledgeable traders.
مَثَلُهُمْ كَمَثَلِ الَّذِي اسْتَوْقَدَ نَارًا فَلَمَّا أَضَاءَتْ مَا حَوْلَهُ ذَهَبَ اللَّـهُ بِنُورِهِمْ وَتَرَكَهُمْ فِي ظُلُمَاتٍ لَّا يُبْصِرُونَ ﴿١٧﴾
[Al Baqarah 2:17] Their similitude is that of a man who kindled a fire; when it lighted around him, Allah took away their illumination and left them in utter darkness. So they could not see.
The similitude is used to further highlight the intrinsic subtle meanings that might be missed. Their situation was likened to the situation of the one who lit a fire, which lighted around him, to reflect that the hypocrite might benefit from the deluding words he uses for some duration, but thereafter the darkness of hypocrisy that lead to the everlasting torture in the hereafter overcomes. Or the meaning could be a simile of the Guidance that they sold as the fire that lit around them and a simile of the Blasphemy that they bought as the pitch darkness when Allah took their illumination away.
صُمٌّ بُكْمٌ عُمْيٌ فَهُمْ لَا يَرْجِعُونَ ﴿١٨﴾
[Al Baqarah 2:18] Deaf, dumb, and blind, they will not return to the guidance they traded away.
Their senses were sound, but when they turned their ears off from listening to the truth and rejected to utter accordingly and refused to see and be mindful, their senses became as if dysfunctional and thus similar to being deaf, dumb and blind.
They will not return to the guidance which they traded off for blasphemy, or the meaning is that they remain hesitant and frozen not knowing whether to proceed or go back.
أَوْ كَصَيِّبٍ مِّنَ السَّمَاءِ فِيهِ ظُلُمَاتٌ وَرَعْدٌ وَبَرْقٌ يَجْعَلُونَ أَصَابِعَهُمْ فِي آذَانِهِم مِّنَ الصَّوَاعِقِ حَذَرَ الْمَوْتِ ۚ وَاللَّـهُ مُحِيطٌ بِالْكَافِرِينَ ﴿١٩﴾
[Al Baqarah 2:19] Or (another similitude) is that Islam is like a rain- laden cloud from the sky: It encounters zones of darkness (blasphemy), and thunder (reward) and lightning (punishment): The blasphemers press their fingers in their ears to keep out the stunning thunder- boom fire, the while they are in terror of death. But Allah is always un-escaped by the rejecters of Faith!
There is another similitude in this Ayah where Islam is symbolized by the massive cloud that is loaded with rain; Islam quickens the hearts as the earth thrives by the rain. The blasphemies of the rejecters of faith are zones of darkness in the midst of the brilliance of Islam. The blasphemers hear the believers speak of promises of reward for the believing ones and threats of punishment for the misguided ones; they place their fingertips in their ears out of fear of death due to the speech of the believers that befall on them like the الصواعق) – thunder-boom) fires capable of killing them; (الصواعق) is the thunder accompanied by a spark of fire shooting from the clouds.
The promises of reward are symbolized by رعد)- thunder), and (رعد) is the sound of the bombardment of the clouds or the name of an angel who sounds the thunder. The threat of punishment is symbolized by برق-lightning; برق is the glow that is produced by the clouds.
The image symbolizes the intensity and horrors of the Day of Judgment.
The Ayah began by (أو) which determines that either of the two similitudes equally apply; This one and the previous one in Ayah 17.
However, the blasphemers cannot escape Allah no matter what they do.
يَكَادُ الْبَرْقُ يَخْطَفُ أَبْصَارَهُمْ ۖ كُلَّمَا أَضَاءَ لَهُم مَّشَوْا فِيهِ وَإِذَا أَظْلَمَ عَلَيْهِمْ قَامُوا ۚ وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّـهُ لَذَهَبَ بِسَمْعِهِمْ وَأَبْصَارِهِمْ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ ﴿٢٠﴾
[Al Baqarah 2:20] The lightning all but snatches away their sight; every time the light illuminates the way for them, they walk therein, and when the darkness over shadows them, they stand still. And if Allah willed, He could take away their faculty of hearing and seeing; for Allah has power over all things.
Very soon Allah will rapidly take away their sight; every time the blasphemers come to grips with a whim of a path they follow therein walking and hurrying. And when their confusion overshadows them and their path becomes dark they freeze in place. If Allah willed He could take away their faculty of hearing by the) رعد- thunder)r and their faculty of seeing by the (برق-lightning). Indeed Allah has power over all created things.
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اعْبُدُوا رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ ﴿٢١﴾
[Al Baqarah 2:21] O ye people! Adore your Guardian-Lord, who created you and those who came before you, that you may have the chance to learn righteousness;
^Alqamah said: Allah addressed the Mushriks (those who associate partners with Allah) of Makkah. That is Allah addressed them after He the exalted named the various groups of believers and blasphemers and hypocrites and their attributes and situations and what is specific to each among what makes them winners or losers in the hereafter and what makes them accepted or unaccepted by Him; the technique of (إلتفات Iltifat) is evident in the Ayah, that is moving from addressing the third person to the second person. Using the instrument (أيها) reflect the importance of the matter and the danger of defaulting.
Allah ordered those Mushriks to surely worship Allah their Lord alone and clear Him from all non-befitting attributes. Ibn ^Abbas said every worship mentioned in Qur’an is an order to perform Tawhid. Allah mentioned in the Ayah that He is the one who created them and those before them because the Mushriks used to admit that. Allah also mentioned that should they do so they may have the chance of being guided to piety and righteousness. The term to create is defined by the school of Ahl Assunnah wa Al Jama^ah as bringing into existence what was non-existent. Al Mu^tazilah falsely claim that all things existed in eternity and despite of that they say Allah created them. Indeed this is enough to conclude the invalidity of the school of Al Mu^tazilah.
الَّذِي جَعَلَ لَكُمُ الْأَرْضَ فِرَاشًا وَالسَّمَاءَ بِنَاءً وَأَنزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً فَأَخْرَجَ بِهِ مِنَ الثَّمَرَاتِ رِزْقًا لَّكُمْ ۖ فَلَا تَجْعَلُوا لِلَّـهِ أَندَادًا وَأَنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ ﴿٢٢﴾
[Al Baqarah 2:22] Who has made the earth your couch, and the heavens your canopy; and sent down rain from the heavens; and brought forth therewith Fruits for your sustenance; then set not up rivals unto Allah when you know (the truth).
Allah has made the earth like a carpet upon which you sit and sleep and turn from one side to another and has made the sky as a ceiling that He held with His power lest it falls down and demolishes the earth. From the sky Allah sends water to irrigate the earth to produce various fruits for your sustenance; there is a similitude of marriage between the sky and earth and the water being a reason for the fruits to emerge and grow similar to how the semen of the man is a reason for the conception of the child. Indeed Allah has the power to make the child exist without semen as in the birth of Adam and Jesus and has the power to make the fruits exist without water, however, Allah makes the happening of such things gradual and one stage after another to reflect the wisdom so those with a sound mind may take heed.
Hence do not set up competitors and opponents to Allah who bestowed upon you such endowments which only speak of His being the only creator and the only one who deserves to be worshipped. Indeed you do know that the competitors and opponents you claim, whether idols or otherwise, are not capable of creating any of that. Allah is the only creator who is attributed with the perfect attributes and does not resemble the creation in any way.
وَإِن كُنتُمْ فِي رَيْبٍ مِّمَّا نَزَّلْنَا عَلَىٰ عَبْدِنَا فَأْتُوا بِسُورَةٍ مِّن مِّثْلِهِ وَادْعُوا شُهَدَاءَكُم مِّن دُونِ اللَّـهِ إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ ﴿٢٣﴾
[Al Baqarah 2:23] And if you are in doubt as to what We (Allah) have revealed from time to time to Our servant Muhammad, then produce a Surah like thereunto; and call your witnesses or helpers (If there are any) besides Allah, if you(r)(doubts) are true.
When Allah established the proof of His Godhood in the previous Ayah He established in this Ayah the proof of the truth about the message of Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam. Allah challenged the Mushriks that if you are in doubt about what Prophet Muhammad brought from Allah then produce a Surah similar to the shortest Surah of the Qur’an that he brought. Allah called Prophet Muhammad “ عبدنا- our slave” the name most beloved to the Prophet, Sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam. The term slave is the one who is owned and subjugated by Allah; this term applies to the humans, jinns, angels and the likes such as Hur il ^in and al Wildan al Mukhalladun; however, the animals are called creations of Allah and not slaves of Allah. The Surah is a reflection of part of the Qur’an composed of at least three Ayahs or a reflection of that it contains a part of the Qur’an like a fence that contains within its boundaries valuable things or a reflection of ascending levels that the reciter attains or a reflection of that it is a part of the Qur’an.
The basis of the challenge is: produce a Surah similar to the shortest Surah of the Qur’an if your claim is correct; the Mushriks said the Qur’an was revealed to Muhammad in segments and not at once and had he truly been a Prophet of Allah then he would have received the Qur’an all at once similar to how the Torah and Injil were revealed.
Or the basis of the challenge is: bring about someone like Muhammad who was illiterate and cannot read a book yet has produced such a miraculous book. The first basis of the challenge is more conforming to the flowing meaning.
Hence do that if you are correct and invite your witnesses or helpers whom you have taken as Gods (If there are any) besides Allah, and claimed they will testify for you on the Day of Judgment that you are correct.
فَإِن لَّمْ تَفْعَلُوا وَلَن تَفْعَلُوا فَاتَّقُوا النَّارَ الَّتِي وَقُودُهَا النَّاسُ وَالْحِجَارَةُ ۖ أُعِدَّتْ لِلْكَافِرِينَ ﴿٢٤﴾
[Al Baqarah 2:24] But if you cannot- and of a surety you cannot- then fear the Fire whose fuel is men and stones,- which is prepared for those who reject the Faith.
When Allah directed them how to learn about the truthfulness of the Prophet, Sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, Allah told the Mushriks if you cannot meet the challenge, and for sure you will not, and you are compelled to believe him, then do believe and fear the torture that is prepared for those who are stubborn and disbelieve in Allah and His messenger and the Day of Judgment. This contains two elements of proving the prophet hood of Muhammad, Sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam. The first being that the challenge is unattainable and the second is telling about the unforeseen in that they will not meet the challenge. The torture for them in the hereafter is the Fire of Hell that is fueled by people and stones. The people are attached to stones because the Mushrik people in this life worshiped idols made out of stones. The stones are sulfuric in nature and burn more intensively and smell rotten. This Fire of Hell is already prepared and created contrary to the claim of Jahm Ibn Safwan the head of the misguided Jahmiyyah faction. Jahm was killed during the Omayyad era for his blasphemy; he was asked about whom he worshiped so he went into seclusion for several days and then appeared claiming that the creator occupies all places like thin air and he has other blasphemous sayings.
وَبَشِّرِ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ أَنَّ لَهُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ ۖ كُلَّمَا رُزِقُوا مِنْهَا مِن ثَمَرَةٍ رِّزْقًا ۙ قَالُوا هَـٰذَا الَّذِي رُزِقْنَا مِن قَبْلُ ۖ وَأُتُوا بِهِ مُتَشَابِهًا ۖ وَلَهُمْ فِيهَا أَزْوَاجٌ مُّطَهَّرَةٌ ۖ وَهُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ ﴿٢٥﴾
[Al Baqarah 2:25] But give glad tidings to those who believe and work righteousness, that their reward is Gardens, beneath which rivers flow. Every time they are fed with fruits therefrom, they say: “Why, this is what we were fed with before,” for they are given things in similitude; and they have therein companions pure (and holy); and they abide therein (for ever).
It is the chosen methodology in the Book of Allah that He mentions the threats alongside the good tidings so the practices that lead to success may be adopted and enhanced and the abhorrent practices that lead to destruction may be avoided and discarded.
Since Allah mentioned the blasphemers and their ill doings Allah in this Ayah mentions the believers and their doings and informs them about the good tidings.
In this Ayah Allah orders the Prophet, Sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, or everyone to convey the good tidings to the believers; ordering everyone is to reflect the magnificence of the outcome.
The believers are those who did righteousness which is every good deed by virtue of the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet and supported as such by the sound judgment; This Ayah stands proof to those who say the good deeds are part of belief because of the conjunction letter(و)used in the Ayah between (ءامنوا) and (عملوا). Those who say the deeds are not part of the belief mean the essence of the belief in the heart which does not increase or decrease; it is either present in the heart and one is a believer or not present in the heart thus one is a blasphemer. The scholars say about the good deeds that they are part of the belief and as such the belief does increase and decrease.
The good tidings is that their reward is gardens of paradise, beneath which rivers without banks flow.
Every time they are fed with fruits in paradise, some of which they acknowledge as similar in kind to what they were fed with before, they will express what they come to realize that they are given things in similitude but yet extremely different in quality to extents only Allah knows.
They have therein spouses pure from ill manners or menstruation and urine and feces and the rest of filthy matters; and they abide therein everlastingly. The misguided faction Jahmiyyah falsely claims that Paradise and its occupants come to an end. The existence of Allah is without beginning and without ending and it is an attribute of the self of Allah; no one has given Allah any of His Attributes. Paradise is a creation of Allah and has a beginning. However, Allah willed for Paradise to exist forever and never annihilate; hence its perpetuity is not an attribute of its self rather it is given to it by Allah.
Paradise, the abode of reward, is already created, however, some of the misguided faction Mu^tazilah say it is not.
إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يَسْتَحْيِي أَن يَضْرِبَ مَثَلًا مَّا بَعُوضَةً فَمَا فَوْقَهَا ۚ فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا فَيَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّهِمْ ۖ وَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا فَيَقُولُونَ مَاذَا أَرَادَ اللَّـهُ بِهَـٰذَا مَثَلًا ۘ يُضِلُّ بِهِ كَثِيرًا وَيَهْدِي بِهِ كَثِيرًا ۚ وَمَا يُضِلُّ بِهِ إِلَّا الْفَاسِقِينَ ﴿٢٦﴾
[Al Baqarah 2:26] Allah has no shame to use the similitude of things, as tiny as a mosquito or higher. Those who believe know that it is truth from their Lord; but those who blaspheme say: “What does Allah mean by this similitude?” By it He causes many to stray, and many He leads into the right path; but He causes not to stray, except those who forsake the correct path,-
Since Allah mentioned in His book the flies and the spider the Jews mocked and said does not the Lord of Muhammad have shame to use the similitude of flies and spiders?!
To discredit them, Allah used the technique of (مقابلة- Muqabalah) using their same word but with a different meaning and said Allah has no shame to use the similitude of what is lesser than flies and mosquitos or higher. Allah is clear from being attributed with shame and fear because both reflect change from one state to another and Allah is clear from that.
The believers know that it is the truth from their Lord that is not rejected by those who have sound minds and is incumbent upon them; but those who blaspheme say out of disdain: “What did Allah will by this similitude?”
Allah is attributed by Will which is an eternal and everlasting attribute with which Allah specifies the created things with some attributes instead of others and at a particular time instead of another.
By this similitude Allah causes many to be misguided, and many He leads into the path of guidance. Ahl Assunnah Wal Jama^ah hold the conviction that misguidance means creating the action of misguidance in the slave and guidance means creating the action of guidance in the slave. Both the misguided ones who mock Allah and the guided ones who know it is the truth from Allah are numerous.
The Ayah stipulates that the mockery of the blasphemers about using the similitude of what is degraded is rejected. If what is addressed is great in nature then the similitude used about it is great and if degraded then the similitude used about it is degraded. Do we not observe that when guidance and belief is the subject addressed then the similitude about it is light and illumination and when the subject addressed is misguidance and blasphemy the similitude used about it is darkness? When the blasphemers claimed gods other than Allah to support them Allah used the similitude of the weakness of the spider’s web and flies to describe their claim; using the similitude of even what is less than that such as the mosquito or a wing of it to reflect such truth is a matter that the believers see as rightful and the truth from Allah and are guided to this meaning and the blasphemers are misguided and fall in disdain and mockery and rejection. Belief and blasphemy, guidance and misguidance all are created by Allah and according to His eternal Will. Those who forsake the correct path by committing enormous sins or blasphemy are the ones who are misguided by such similitude.
الَّذِينَ يَنقُضُونَ عَهْدَ اللَّـهِ مِن بَعْدِ مِيثَاقِهِ وَيَقْطَعُونَ مَا أَمَرَ اللَّـهُ بِهِ أَن يُوصَلَ وَيُفْسِدُونَ فِي الْأَرْضِ ۚ أُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْخَاسِرُونَ ﴿٢٧﴾
[Al Baqarah 2:27] Those who break Allah ‘s Covenant after it is substantiated, and who break what Allah Has ordered to be joined, and do mischief on earth: These cause loss only to themselves.
What is meant by ”those who breach Allah’s Covenant” are the stubborn religious leaders of the Jews or the hypocrites or the blasphemers at large. The Covenant is the intellectual proofs that Allah established in their minds that He is the only creator and the only one who deserves to be worshipped, or the promise to follow the Prophet whom Allah sent and supported by miracles and not to escape from announcing his advent; or not to shed the blood of one another and sever their kins and do injustice to one another. It was said that the Covenant of Allah to his creation is of three folds: The first to the children of Adam to admit the Lordship of Allah, the second to the Prophets to convey the message and establish the matters of the religion, the third to the scholars to explain the book of Allah and spread the knowledge of the religion.
What is meant by the substantiation is the commitment to which they consented. The meaning can also be that Allah bound them to it.
Those sever kind relations with their immediate relatives and reject to follow the believers in their path; both Allah ordered that they meet and fulfill. The meaning could be that those have severed bridging the messages of the various Prophets by believing in some and disbelieving in some. Those block the path to belief and guidance. Indeed they are the only losers for trading off fulfilling the Covenant with breach, and mending relations with severance, and virtue with mischief-making, and reward with punishment.
كَيْفَ تَكْفُرُونَ بِاللَّـهِ وَكُنتُمْ أَمْوَاتًا فَأَحْيَاكُمْ ۖ ثُمَّ يُمِيتُكُمْ ثُمَّ يُحْيِيكُمْ ثُمَّ إِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ ﴿٢٨﴾
[Al Baqarah 2:28] How can you commit blasphemy in Allah?- seeing that you were without life, and He gave you your life; then will He cause you to die, and will again bring you to life; and again to Him will you return.
It is surprising to those who have sound minds that you should commit blasphemy when you have the reasons that drive away from it and invite to the true path of belief! You were dead as fertilized eggs in the wombs of your mothers then Allah gave you therein your life. Thereafter when you meet the death time set for you by Allah He causes you to die and then He quickens you with life so you are resurrected. Or the meaning could be He makes you alive in your graves. Thereafter you shall return to Allah for settlement of account and facing the consequences. Or the meaning could be you shall return to Allah for resurrection and assembly. The blasphemers have no grounds for their blasphemy in light of the signs mentioned in the Ayah and the numerous endowments of Allah for which one ought to thank Him.