AL-BAQARAH

AYYAH 26TO 35

(2:26) Behold! Allah is not ashamed to propound the parable of a gnat, or even of

something even much lower. On hearing these parables the believers know that it is the

truth from their Lord, while those bent on denying the Truth say: “What does Allah

mean by these parables?” Thus He causes many to go astray just as He directs many

to the Right Way.22 And He thereby causes to go astray only the transgressors,22

28. Here an objection is indirectly refuted. At several places in the Qur’an, spiders, flies,

,gnats and so on are mentioned in order to elucidate certain points. Opponents objected to

this on the grounds that such objects were too lowly to find a place in the Book of God. They

indicated that had the Qur’an indeed been a revelation from God it would not have

mentioned such trivial objects.

29. Those who do not wish to understand things and are not motivated by the urge to seek

the truth become enmeshed in superficial questions relating to the Book of God, draw

altogether erroneous conclusions when they encounter references to apparently insignificant

things such as gnats, and are thereby thrown further and further away from the Truth.

Those who seek the Truth and possess true perception, on the other hand, penetrate through

these superficialities and perceive the gems of wisdom that they embody. This appreciation

makes their hearts attest that such wisdom could have no other source than God Himself.

30. Fasiq means transgressor, disobedient. See also (n.33 below )

(2:27) who break the covenant of Allah after its firm binding, and cut asunder what

Allah has commanded to be joined,22 and spread mischief on earth. They are the

utter losers.

31. The injunctions or ordinances issued by a sovereign to his servants and subjects are

termed ‘ahd in Arabic since compliance with them becomes obligatory for the latter. ‘Ahd

has been used here in this sense. The ‘ahd referred to signifies God’s eternal command that

all human beings are obliged to render their service, obedience and worship to Him alone.

‘After its binding’ refers to the promise made by mankind to remain faithful to the

injunctions of God at the time of Adam’s creation. (For details see (_verse 7: 172)

32. That is, the transgressors strike their blows at those very relationships upon which the

individual and collective well-being of mankind depends, and which God wants maintained

on a sound basis. This small sentence is of great import as it embraces the whole of human

morality and social life, and extends from relationships between individuals to those

between nations. ‘To cut asunder what Allah has commanded should he joined’ does not

merely signify the disruption of relationships between man and man; it forbids the

establishment of all forms of human relationship except the right and permissible ones. For

wrong and prohibited bonds between people have the same consequences as the disruption

of the bonds of human relationship as such

33. In these three sentences the nature of transgression and the attitude of transgressors is

fully defined. To debase the relationship between man and God, and between man and man

necessarily leads to ‘mischief’. Those who spread this ‘mischief’ on earth are transgressors.

(2:28) How can you be ungrateful to Allah Who bestowed life upon you when you

were lifeless, then He will cause you to die and will again bring you back to life so

that you will be returned to Him.

2

(2:29) It is He Who created for you all that is on earth and then turned above and

fashioned it into seven heavens.*“He knows all the things.

34. It is difficult to explain precisely what is meant by the ‘seveheavenss’. In all ages man

has tried, with the help of observation and speculation, to conceptualize the ‘heavens’, i.e.

that which lies beyond and above the earth. As we well know, the concepts that have thus

developed have constantly changed. Hence it would be improper to tie the meaning of these

words of the Qur’an to any one of these numerous concepts. What might be broadly inferred

from this statement is that either God has divided the universe beyond the earth into seven

distinct spheres, or that this earth is located in that part of the universe which consists of

seven different spheres.

35. In this sentence attention is drawn to two important facts. First, man is warned against

disbelief and rebellion against God, for God knows all that man does and none of his actions

are hidden from Him. Second, it is suggested to the man that if he turns away from the All-

Knowing God, from the One Who is the source of all knowledge can only leave him

grouping in the darkness of ignorance and error. When there is no source of true

knowledge except God, and when that very light which alone can illuminate man’s life can

be obtained from none else but Him, what good can come out of deviation from the Truth?

(2:30) Just think3e when your Lord said to the angels:32 “Lo! I am about to place a

vicegerent% on earth,” they said: “Will You place on it one who will spread mischief

and shed blood? while we celebrate Your glory and extol Your holiness?” “° He said:

“Surely I know what you do not know.” #1

36. Thus far man has been summoned to serve and obey God on the grounds that God is his

creator and sustainer, that in His grasp lies man’s life and death, that He alone is the Lord

Who rules over the entire universe in which he lives. In view of this, the only attitude which

can be deemed appropriate for man is one of service and subjection to God.

The same idea is presented in the following section but supported on slightly different

grounds

In this connection, the Qur’an defines precisely the true nature of man and his correct

position in the universe. It also enlightens us to a period of man’s past which is otherwise

inaccessible. What the Qur’an tells us here, with its practical consequences, is of far greater

value than knowledge derived by unearthing bones and pottery, and piecing together

scattered fragments of information with the help of conjecture.

37. The word Malak in Arabic means ‘message’

38. ‘Khalifah’ or vicegerent is one who exercises the authority delegated to him by his

principal, and does so in the capacity of his deputy and agent. Hence, whatever authority he

possesses is not inherently his own, but is derived from, and circumscribed by, the limits set

by his principal. A vicegerent is not entitled to do what he pleases but is obliged to carry

out the will of his master. If the vicegerent were either to begin thinking himself the real

owner and to use the authority delegated to him in whatever manner he pleased or if he

were to acknowledge someone other than the real owner as his lord and master and to

follow his directions, these would be deemed acts of infidelity and rebellion.

39. This was not said by way of objection or protest. It was said rather by way of inquiry and

in order to satisfy their curiosity; it is inconceivable that the angels could object to any of

God’s decisions. The word ‘vicegerent’ suggested to them that the proposed species of

creation would be placed on earth with some authority. It was incomprehensible to them

how a species of being which had been invested with discretionary power and authority

could conform with the overall order of the universe, which is based on absolute and

involuntary subservience to the Will of God. They thought that investing anyone with

authority in any part of the universe would lead to mischief and disorder. It is this aspect

which the angels were curious about.

40. This does not mean that the angels considered themselves suitable for ‘vicegerency’.

They merely wanted to point out that God’s orders were already being carried out fully, that

they – the angels – were engaged in doing His will and that according to His Divine will the

entire universe was kept in a state of absolute purity; moreover, God’s glory was constantly

being extolled and His holiness celebrated. Since all these things were being done, they

wanted to ask what gap was still considered to exist that called for the creation of a new

species of being to fill it.

The word tasbih has two meanings: (i) to proclaim the glory and (ii) to exert oneself earnestly

and energetically. In the same way, taqdis has two meanings: (i) to celebrate or proclaim

holiness and (ii) to purify.

41. This was an answer to the latter doubt expressed by the angels. The angels were told that

the reason for the appointment of a vicegerent was best known to God alone and could not

be understood by them. Despite the services rendered by the angels, something over and

above their work was still required. God decided, therefore, to create a new species of being

in the world and to invest it with some authority.

(2:31) Then Allah taught Adam the names of all things and presented them to the

angels and said: “If you are right (that the appointment of a vicegerent will cause

mischief) then tell Me the names of these things.”

42. The nature of man’s knowledge is such that he acquires information of different things

through their names. Hence it might be said that the sum total of man’s knowledge consists

of the names of things. To teach Adam the names of all things means, therefore, imparting

the knowledge of those things. us.43 you, only You, are All-Knowing, All Wise.’

(2:32)They said. “Glory to You! We have no knowledge except what you taught us.

.“2 You, only You, are All-Knowing, All-Wise.”

43. It seems that the knowledge of each angel and each genre of an angel is confined to its own

sphere of competence. The angels appointed to administer, let us say, things relating to air

have full knowledge about this subject but have no knowledge, say, about water, and so on

and so forth. Man’s range of knowledge, however, is comprehensive. Even if man’s

information in a particular area may be narrower than that of the angel directly concerned

with it, the total range of his knowledge has a comprehensiveness which has not been

granted to the angels.

(2:33) Then Allah said to Adam: “Tell them the names of these things.”44 And when he

had told them the names of all things, Allah said: “Did I not say to you that I know

everything about the heavens and the earth which are beyond your range of knowledge

and I know all that you disclose and also all that you hide?”

44. This demonstration of Adam’s capacity was an answer to the first of the doubts the

angels had expressed. In this manner, they were made to realize that God had not only

bestowed some authority upon man but had also endowed him with knowledge. Fear of

mischief and disorder through man’s appointment as vicegerent is only one aspect of the

matter. The other aspect is constructive and offsets man’s potentiality for spreading mischief.

For the wise will not sacrifice a major good for fear of minor harm.

(2:34) And when We ordered the angels: “Prostrate yourselves before Adam,” all of

them fell prostrate,42 except Iblis.4¢ He refused, and gloried in his arrogance and

became one of the defiers.”2

45. This signifies that all the angels whose jurisdiction embraces the earth and that part of

the universe in which the earth is situated were ordered to devote themselves to man’s

service. Since the man had been invested with authority on earth the angels were told that

whenever man wanted to make use of the powers with which he had been invested by God,

and which God of His own will had allowed him to use, they should co-operate with him

and enable him to do whatever to do, irrespective of right and wrong.

This can be understood with reference to the manner in which government employees are

required to work. When a sovereign appoints a governor or a magistrate, all government

employees under his jurisdiction are duty not. But as soon as the sovereign indicates to

those employees that the governor or magistrate should be barred from doing something,

the effective authority of the governor or the magistrate comes to an abrupt end. In fact,

were the sovereign to issue the order that the governor is dismissed, or imprisoned, the

same employees who until then had been moving to and fro at his bidding would not feel

hesitant in putting a hand on him and taking him to prison.

God’s order to the angels to prostrate themselves before Adam was of a similar nature. It is

possible that prostration signifies the fact of their becoming yoked to man’s service. At the

same time, it is also possible that they were ordered to perform the act of prostration itself as

a sign of the envisaged relationship between angels and man. In my view the latter seems

more plausible.

46. Iblis literally means ‘thoroughly disappointed; utterly in despair’. In Islamic terminology

the word denotes the jinn who, in defiance of God’s command, refused to obey and to yoke

himself to the service of Adam and his progeny and asked God to allow him a term when he

might mislead and tempt mankind to evil and error. He is also called al-Shaytan (Satan)

In fact Satan (or Iblis) is not an abstract, impersonal force. Like human beings he is

possessed of a specific personality. Moreover, one should not make the mistake of

considering Satan an angel. Elsewhere the Qur’an itself clearly states that he was a jinn and

jinn, as we know, are an independent species, distinct from the angels. See( Qur’an 18: 50.)

47. These words seem to indicate that in committing disobedience Iblis (Satan) was probably not

alone. What seems to have been the case is that a section of the jinn was bent upon rebellion

and the name of Iblis is mentioned only because he was their leader and the most noted

among them for his rebellion. Another translation of this sentence could be: ‘? and he was of

the defiers (kafirin)’. If this sense is correct, these words would signify that there was

already a party of rebellious and recalcitrant jinn and that Iblis belonged to that party. In the

Qur’an the word shayatin (satans) denotes these jinns and their offspring. Hence, whenever

the context itself does not indicate that the term has been used for human beings who

possess satanic attributes, the word ‘ Satans’ should be understood to signify these satanic

jinn.

(2:35) And We said: “O Adam, live in the Garden, you and your wife, and eat

abundantly of whatever you wish but do not approach this tree or else you will be

counted among the wrong-doers.” 42

48. This indicates that before man was sent to earth Moreover, for this kind of test Paradise

was the best possible place. What God wanted to impress on man was that the only place

that befits man’s station is Paradise, and that if man turns from the course of obedience to

God as a result of Satanic allurements, he will remain deprived of it in the Next Life even as

he was deprived of it once before. The only way he can recover his true status and reclaim

the lost Paradise is by resisting effectively the enemy who is always trying to drive him off

the course of obedience to God.

49. The use of the word ‘wrong-doer’ is highly significant. ‘Wrong-doing’ consists in

withholding someone’s rights and the wrong-doer is one who withholds those rights from

their legitimate claimants. Anyone who disobeys God withholds three major rights. The first

is what is due to God, for He has the right to be obeyed. Second, there are the rights of all

those things which a man employs in disobeying God. The parts of his body, his mental

energy, his fellow beings, those angels who, under Divine dispensation, have been

appointed to enable him to achieve his aims. both righteous and unrighteous, the material

objects which he employs in his acts of disobedience – all these have a rightful claim upon

him to be used in ways that please God. But when he uses them in ways which displease

God he commits wrong against them all. Third, he wrongs his own self which has the right

to be saved from perdition. By inviting punishment from God because of his disobedience

he wrongs his own self as well. It is for these reasons that the word ‘wrong’ is often used in

the Qur’an for sin, and the word ‘wrong-doer’ for sinner

(Credit to my Ustaz Syed Mowdooddi)

Published
Categorized as quran

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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