AYAH 11 to 25
ALBAQARA AYAH NO 11-20
(2:11) Whenever they are told: “Do not spread mischief on earth,” they say: “Why! We
indeed are the ones who set things right.”
(2:12) They are the mischief-makers, but they do not realize it.
(2:13) Whenever they are told: “Believe as others believe,”13 they answer: “Shall we
believe as the fools have believed?” Indeed it is they who are the fools, but they are
not aware of it.
13. They are being asked to become Muslims in the same manner as others of their
community became Muslims
14. They think that those people who sincerely embraced Islam and thereby exposed
themselves to all kinds of trials and persecutions, and confronted risks and dangers, were
merely fools. To them, it seems sheer folly to invite the hostility of the entire land merely for
the sake of Truth and righteousness. In their view, wisdom consists not in bothering oneself
with the distinction between truth and falsehood, but in remaining concerned only with
one’s own interests.
2:14) When they meet the believers, they say: “We believe,” but when they meet their
evil companions (in privacy), they say: “Surely we are with you; we were merely
15. ‘Satan’ in Arabic means refractory, rebellious and headstrong, and is used for both
human beings and jinn. Although this word is generally used in the Qur’an for the Satan’s
amongst the jinn, it is also used occasionally for human beings possessing satanic
characteristics. The context generally explains whether the word ‘Satan’ refers to jinn or to
human beings. In this particular case the word ‘Satan’s’ refers to those influential leaders of
the time who were in the vanguard of opposition and hostility to Islam
(2:15) Allah jests with them, leaving them to wander blindly on in their rebellion.
(2:16) These are the ones who have purchased errors in exchange for guidance. This
bargain brought them no profit and certainly, they are not on the Right Way.1
16. This means that two opposite effects emerged when a true servant of God radiated the
light which made it possible to distinguish true from false and right from wrong and made
the straightway distinct from the ways of error. To those endowed with true perception, all
truths became evident. But those who were almost blinded by the worship of their animal
desires perceived nothing.
The expression, ‘Allah took away the light of their perception’ should not create the
impression that these people were not responsible for their stumbling into darkness. Only
those who do not seek the Truth, who prefer error to guidance and who are adamantly
disinclined to pursue the Truth despite its luminosity, are deprived, by God, of the light of
their perception. God simply enables such people to do what they wish.
(2:17) They are like him who kindled a fire, and when it lit up all around him, Allah
took away the light (of their perception) and left them in utter darkness where they
can see nothing.
(2:18) They are deaf, they are dumb, they are blind; they will never return (to the
17. They have become deaf to hear, dumb to utter and blind to perceive the truth.
(2:19) Or they are like those who encounter a violent rainstorm from the sky,
Accompanied by pitch-dark clouds, thunder-claps, and flashes of lightning: on hearing
Thunder-claps they thrust their fingers into their ears in fear of death. Allah
encompasses these deniers of the Truth.18
18. By thrusting their fingers into their ears they temporarily deceive themselves into
believing that they can escape the catastrophic end that awaits them. However, they cannot
escape that end since God with all His might, encompasses them.
(2:20) It is as if the lightning would snatch their sight; whenever it gleams a while for
them they walk a little, and when darkness covers them they halt.12.If Allah so willed,
He could indeed take away their hearing and their sight.2Surely Allah is All-Powerful.
19. The first parable refers to those hypocrites who disbelieved completely but had become
Muslims merely, to further their worldly interests. The second parable refers to those who
were prone to doubt and hesitation or whose faith was weak; who believed in the Truth but
not to the extent of exposing themselves to hardships for its sake. The ‘violent rainstorm!
here alludes to Islam, which came to the world as a blessing. ‘Pitch-dark clouds, thunder
and lightning’ refer to trials, tribulations, and difficulties that confronted the Islamic
movement, owing to the violent opposition and resistance of those committed to Ignorance.
The last part of the parable portrays the state of mind of the hypocrites. They move a little
ahead when circumstances seem favorable, but when difficulties cloud the horizon,
or when they are given directives which that counter to their desires or inherited prejudices,
they are seized with alarm and come to a halt.
20. Just as God has completely deprived the first category of hypocrites of their ‘light of
perception’, He could have rendered these other hypocrites totally blind and deaf. But it is
not God’s way to deprive anyone of sight and hearing while he is willing to see and hear.
Hence, God allowed them to retain their sight and hearing to the extent they were prepared
to see and hear the Truth.
(2:21) O mankind,21 serve your Lord Who has created you as well as those before you;
do so that you are saved.
21. Even though the message of the Qur’an is addressed to all, benefiting from it depends on
One’s willingness and on God’s succor in relation to that willingness. This is why the Qur’an
first explained which kind of people can and which kind of people cannot benefit from the
Qur’an. As this has been explained in the foregoing verses, the quintessence of the message
to which the Qur’an invites all mankind is now put forth.
22. So that you are saved from false beliefs and unrighteous conduct in this life, and from
the punishment of God in the Next.
(2:22) It is He Who has made the earth a resting place for you, and the sky a canopy,
and sent down water from above wherewith He brought forth fruits for your
sustenance. Do not, then, set up rivals to Allah when you know (the Truth).
23. That is, when man recognizes that all those things were done by none but God, then
worship, devotion, and service must be exclusively for Him. For who besides the Creator can
legitimately claim these things from man?
Not to set up others as rivals to Allah means not to make anyone other than God the object
of worship, service and obedience that one owes to God alone. Later on we shall see, in
some detail, how the Qur’an itself specifies the forms of worship and service which we owe
exclusively to God, and wherein associating anyone else amounts to shirk (associating
others with God in His divinity). This, the Qur’an seeks to eradicate.
(2:23) If you are in any doubt whether it is We Who have revealed this Book to Our
servant, then produce just a surah like it, and call all your supporters and seek in it
the support of all others save Allah. Accomplish this if you are truthful.
24. Before this, in Makka, opponents had often been challenged to produce anything of
comparable merit if they believed the Qur’an to be the work of a human being. In Madina
the same challenge was reiterated. (For similar challenges made elsewhere in the Qur’an, see
(2:24) But if you fail to do this – and you will most certainly fail – then have fear of the
Fire whose fuel is men and stones and which has been prepared for those who deny
25. This suggests, in a subtle manner that in the Next Life not only will the unbelievers
become the fuel of hell-fire, but that the same fate will befall the idol-stones they
worshipped and before which they had prostrated themselves. They will then know, for
sure, how far their idols had any share in the godhead.
(2:25) (O Prophet), announce glad tidings to those who believe in this Book and do
righteous deeds (in accordance with its teachings), that for them are gardens beneath
which rivers flow. Their fruits would have such resemblance to those seen on the earth that whenever they will be provided with those fruits they will say: “It was this which was granted to us on earth before.” 2° For them there shall be pure spouses,” and there they shall abide forever.
26. The fruits of Paradise will not be so exotic in appearance as to be unfamiliar to people.
They will resemble the fruits to which human beings are accustomed in this world, though
infinitely excelling them in delicacy of taste. In appearance the,y may resemble, say mangoes,
pomegranates, and oranges, and the people of Paradise will be able to identify them as such.
In taste, however, there will be no comparison between the terrestrial and heavenly fruits.
27. The Qur’anic text has the Arabic word azwaj which means ‘spouses’ or ‘couples’, and
embraces both husband and wife. The husband is the zawj of his wife and vice versa. In the
Next World, however, this relationship of spouses will be qualified by purity. If a man has
been virtuous in this world while his wife has not, their relationship in the Next World will
be sundered and the man will receive another spouse who will be pure and virtuous. On the
other hand, if a virtuous woman has had an evil husband she will be tied in companionship
with a virtuous man. Where husband and wife have both been virtuous their relationship
will become everlasting. or, disobedient.