2. Surah Al Baqarah (The Cow)

1. The names of letters of the Arabic alphabet, called huruf mugatta’at, occur at the beginning of several surahs of the Qur’an. At the time of the Qur’anic revelation, the use of

such letters was a well-known literary device, used by both poets and orators, and we find

several instances in the pre-Islamic Arabic literature that has come down to us.

Since the muqatta’at were commonly used the Arabs of that period generally knew what they meant and so they did not present a puzzle.

(2:1) Alif, Lam, Mim.1

raries of the Prophet (peace be on him) raising objections against the Qur’an on the

ground that the letters at the beginning of some of its surahs were absurd. For the same

reason no Tradition has come down to us of any Companion asking the Prophet about the

significance of the muqatta’at. Later on, this literary device gradually fell into disuse and

hence it became difficult for commentators to determine their precise meanings. It is obvious,

however, that deriving the right guidance from the Qur’an does not depend on grasping the

meaning of these vocables, and that anyone who fails to understand them may still live a

righteous life and attain salvation. The ordinary reader, therefore, need not delve too deeply

into this matter.

(2:2) This is the Book of Allah, there is no doubt in it;? it is a guidance for the pious,

2. One obvious meaning of this verse is that this Book, the Qur’an, is undoubtedly from God.

Another possible meaning is that nothing contained in it can be subject to doubt. Books

which deal with supernatural questions, with matters that lie beyond the range of sense

perception, are invariably based on conjecture and their authors, despite their brave show of

competence, are therefore not immune from a degree of skepticism regarding their

statements. This Book, which is based wholly on Truth, a Book which is the work of none

other than the All-Knowing God Himself is distinguishable from all other books. Hence,

there is no room for doubt about its contents despite the hesitation some people might

express either through ignorance or folly.

3. This means that while the Book is potentially for all, only those who possess certain

qualities can benefit from it. The first such quality is piety: those who want to benefit should

be disposed to distinguish between good and evil and to shun evil and do good. Those who

lead an animal existence, who never to consider whether their actions are either good or bad,

whose cynically follow the prevailing winds, who are helplessly tossed about by the animal

desires that dominate their minds, such persons are altogether incapable of deriving any

benefit from the guidance embodied in the Qur’an.

(2:3) for those who believe in the existence of that which is beyond the reach of

perception, who establish Prayers and spend out of what We have provided them,’

4. This is the second prerequisite for deriving benefit from the Qur’an. Ghayb signifies the

verities which are hidden from man’s senses and which are beyond the scope of man’s

ordinary observation and experience, for example, the existence and attributes of God, the

angels. the process of revelation, Paradise, Hell, and so on. ‘Belief in the ghaib’ means having

faith in such matters, based on absolute confidence in the Messengers of God and despite

the fact that it is impossible to experience them.

According to this verse, Qur’anic guidance can prove helpful only to those prepared to

affirm the truths of the supra sensory realm. People who make their belief in these questions

conditional upon sensory perception of the object of belief, and who are not prepared even

to consider the possibility of the existence of things that cannot be weighed or measured,

cannot profit from this Book.

5. This is the third requirement. It is pointed out that those to whom belief means merely the

pronouncement of a formula, who think that a mere verbal confession of faith is enough and

that it makes no practical demands on them, can derive no guidance from the Qur’an. To

benefit from the Qur’an it is essential that a man’s decision to believe should be followed

immediately by practical obedience to God.

Prayer is the first and continuing sign of practical obedience. No more than a few hours can

pass after a man has embraced Islam than the mu’adhin calls to Prayer and it becomes

evident whether or not the profession of faith has been genuine. Moreover, the mu’adhin

calls to Prayer five times every day, and whenever a man fails to respond to his call it

becomes clear that he has transgressed the bounds of practical obedience. An abandonment

of Prayer amounts to an abandonment of obedience. of man is not prepared too

follow the directives of his guide, it is immaterial whether or not true guidance is available

to him.

It should also be noted that the expression ‘establishment of Prayer’ has a wider meaning

The han mere performance of Prayer. It means that the system of Prayer should be organized on

a collective basis. If there is a person in a locality who prays individually but no

arrangements are made for congregational Prayer, it cannot be claimed that Prayer is

established in that locality.

6. This, the fourth prerequisite for a person to benefit from the Qur’an, demands that the

person concerned should neither be niggardly nor a worshipper of money. On the contrary,

he should be willing to pay the claims on his property of both God and man, and should not

flinch from making financial sacrifices for the sake of his convictions.

(2:4) who believe in what has been revealed to you and what was revealed before

you, and have firm faith in the Hereafter.’

7. The fifth requirement is that one should believe in the Books revealed by God to His

Prophets in the various ages and regions of the world, in the Book, revealed to Muhammad

(peace be on him) as well as in those revealed to the other Prophets who preceded him. The

Do the or of the Qur’an is closed to all those who do not consider it necessary for man to receive

guidance from God. It is also closed to those who, even if they believe in the need for such

guidance, do not consider it necessary to seek it through the channel of revelation and

prophethood, but would rather weave their own set of ideas and concepts and regard them

as equivalent to Divine Guidance.

This door is also closed to those who believe in Divine books as such but confine this belief

to those books accepted by their forefathers, and spurn Divine Guidance revealed to anyone

born beyond their own racial and national boundaries. The Qur’an excludes all such people

and is prepared to open the source of its grace only to those who believe that mankind does

require Divine Guidance, who acknowledge that this guidance does not come to people

individually but reaches them through Prophets and Divine Books and who are not given to

racial or national chauvinism but are devotees of Truth alone and are therefore prepared to

submit to Divine Guidance wherever it is found.

8. Belief in the Afterlife is the sixth and last requirement. The term al-Akhirah embraces a

The whole set of ideas: (i) that man is not an irresponsible being, but is answerable to God for all

his conduct in this world; (ii) that the present order of the world is not timeless, but will

come to an end at an appointed hour known only to God; (iii) that when this world comes to

an end God will bring into being another world in which He will resurrect, at one and the

same moment, all the human beings ever born on earth. He will gather them together,

examine their conduct and grant each one just reward for his actions; (iv) that those who are

accounted good in God’s judgment will be sent to Heaven, and those judged by Him as

evil-doers will be consigned to Hell; (v) that the real measure of success and failure is not

one’s prosperity in the present life, but one’s success or failure according to God’s judgment

in the Next. Those who do not accept this set of beliefs can derive no benefit from the Qur’an.

For if a man is merely in a state of doubt and hesitation about these matters – let

alone disbelieving them – he cannot advance even one step forward along the path charted

out by the Qur’an.

(2:5) Such are on true guidance from their Lord; such are truly successful.

(2:6) As for those who have rejected (these truths),2 it is all the same whether or not

you warn them, for they will not believe.

9. That is, those people who do not meet these six requirements, or reject all or any one of

the fundamentals set out above.

(2:7) Allah has sealed their hearts! 2 and their hearing, and a covering has fallen over

their eyes. They deserve severe chastisement.

10. This does not mean that their rejection of the Truth is a consequence of God sealing their

hearts. What is meant is that God sealed their hearts and ears as a consequence of their

decision to reject the fundamentals of faith, of their deliberate choice of a path divergent

from that charted out by the Qur’an. Anyone who has worked for the dissemination of the

Truth often finds that if, after full consideration, a person decides against a doctrine, his

mind begins to move in an opposite direction so that he fails to appreciate

anything that is explained to him. His ears become deaf, his eyes are blinded to the merits of

that doctrine, and one gets a distinct impression that the person’s heart has indeed been


(2:8) Thsome “We believe in Allah and the Last Day,” while in fact

they do not believe.

(2:9) They are trying to deceive Allah and those who believe, but they do not realize

that in truth they are only deceiving themselves.

11. These people delude themselves that their hypocritical behavior will profit them when

in fact it will prove harmful both in this world and the Next. A hypocrite may be able to fool

people for a while, but it does not last long; his hypocrisy is ultimately seen through. As for

Next Life, it is obvious that his claim to be a true believer is contradicted by his

actions and is thus quite worthless.

(2:10) There is a disease in their hearts and Allah has intensified this disease.2 A

painful chastisement awaits them for their lying.

12. ‘ Disease’ here refers to the disease of hypocrisy. The statement that ‘Allah has intensified

this disease’ means that He does not punish the hypocrites immediately but allows them too

indulge in their hypocrisy and exult in the success of their ruses. This feeling of success

intensifies their hypocrisy.

Credit to My mentor Syed Nowdudi

By Tariq Saleem

I am a student of Quran and keen to make dawah for inviting peoples to save there selves from hellfire. This life is very short then the eternal life after death every body has to think about it and do some research to walk on a true path.


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