Main Page
Select Surah
Ayat
Latest Edits
Mushaf View
Qur'an Dictionary
Dashboard
News/Updates
About Us
Guidelines
Contact Us
Share Qur'an Wiki
Most Visited Ayat
al-Baqarah: 33
al-Fatihah: 1
at-Taubah: 5
al-Fatihah: 2
al-A`raf: 31
Most Visited Surah
al-Fatihah
al-Baqarah
Ale-Imran
Al-Isra
an-Nas
 
 
Create account | Login
ArticleDisplay All Mushaf View Qur'an Dictionary Dashboard  
Overview - Surah 2: al-Baqarah (The Cow) Views: 12886
Overview - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 16 - 17 - 18 - 19 - 20 - 21 - 22 - 23 - 24 - 25 - 26 - 27 - 28 - 29 - 30 - 31 - 32 - 33 - 34 - 35 - 36 - 37 - 38 - 39 - 40 - 41 - 42 - 43 - 44 - 45 - 46 - 47 - 48 - 49 - 50 - 51 - 52 - 53 - 54 - 55 - 56 - 57 - 58 - 59 - 60 - 61 - 62 - 63 - 64 - 65 - 66 - 67 - 68 - 69 - 70 - 71 - 72 - 73 - 74 - 75 - 76 - 77 - 78 - 79 - 80 - 81 - 82 - 83 - 84 - 85 - 86 - 87 - 88 - 89 - 90 - 91 - 92 - 93 - 94 - 95 - 96 - 97 - 98 - 99 - 100 - 101 - 102 - 103 - 104 - 105 - 106 - 107 - 108 - 109 - 110 - 111 - 112 - 113 - 114 - 115 - 116 - 117 - 118 - 119 - 120 - 121 - 122 - 123 - 124 - 125 - 126 - 127 - 128 - 129 - 130 - 131 - 132 - 133 - 134 - 135 - 136 - 137 - 138 - 139 - 140 - 141 - 142 - 143 - 144 - 145 - 146 - 147 - 148 - 149 - 150 - 151 - 152 - 153 - 154 - 155 - 156 - 157 - 158 - 159 - 160 - 161 - 162 - 163 - 164 - 165 - 166 - 167 - 168 - 169 - 170 - 171 - 172 - 173 - 174 - 175 - 176 - 177 - 178 - 179 - 180 - 181 - 182 - 183 - 184 - 185 - 186 - 187 - 188 - 189 - 190 - 191 - 192 - 193 - 194 - 195 - 196 - 197 - 198 - 199 - 200 - 201 - 202 - 203 - 204 - 205 - 206 - 207 - 208 - 209 - 210 - 211 - 212 - 213 - 214 - 215 - 216 - 217 - 218 - 219 - 220 - 221 - 222 - 223 - 224 - 225 - 226 - 227 - 228 - 229 - 230 - 231 - 232 - 233 - 234 - 235 - 236 - 237 - 238 - 239 - 240 - 241 - 242 - 243 - 244 - 245 - 246 - 247 - 248 - 249 - 250 - 251 - 252 - 253 - 254 - 255 - 256 - 257 - 258 - 259 - 260 - 261 - 262 - 263 - 264 - 265 - 266 - 267 - 268 - 269 - 270 - 271 - 272 - 273 - 274 - 275 - 276 - 277 - 278 - 279 - 280 - 281 - 282 - 283 - 284 - 285 - 286 - DISPLAY ALL
<< Prev Next >>
 Total Ayat 286
 
 Total Words 6111
 
  Root Words 600
 
Unique Root Words 18
Naming Convention of the Surah [ edit ] Last edited: 27/04/2017

The name of the Surah has been mentioned in many authentic hadeeth as ‘al-Baqarah’ as is mentioned by the Prophet, ‘the last two Ayaat from the end of Surah al-Baqarah – whoever reads them at night it will suffice him.’ [Bukhari no. 4753]

There are 286 Ayat of Surah al-Baqarah.

 
 
Top 10 Most Frequent Root Words used in this Surah
Central Theme [ edit ] Last edited: 02/05/2017
  • Guidance. The Surah makes it clear what the Straight Path is – who are upon it, who are not, what are their attributes
    Allah’s Governance on Earth. The Surah was aptly revealed shortly after the establishment of the Islamic state in Madinah. Indeed, the first story of this Surah is about Adam, the very first Caliph of Allah on Earth. Various facets of the Shariah are explained and expounded for the newly established state, which will in turn only rule by the rulings and commands of Allah. Hence we find rulings/regulations on divorce, Hajj, Zakat, Ramadhan, Jihad, Financial transactions etc  
  • The Surah revolves around the theme of the methodology in application of the Khilafah of Allah on Earth
    As a lesson to the new Muslim Ummah, Surah al-Baqarah deals with the previous ‘Muslim Ummah’ the Children of Israel [and their remnants in Madinah] – the promise of Allah to them, their attributes, how they dealt with the Laws of Allah, and how they were punished. All this providing as a warning to the new Muslim ummah [nation] not to repeat these and the failure to do so will result in similar punishments  
  • The significance of ayat 143 as the Muslims being the middle nation  
  • In essence, the themes of the whole Qur'an can be linked back to Surah al-Baqarah.  
  • Surah al-Baqarah is about the building of a society. Makki Ayat are primary focused on the Individual and Madani Ayat address the Muslims as a community Just like the changing of the Qiblah from praying towards Jerusalem to praying towards Makkah, the transformation from the previous Muslim ummah, the Children of Israel to the final Muslim ummah now in Madinah  
  • "This Surah is an invitation to the Divine Guidance and all the stories, incidents etc., revolve around this central theme. As this Surah has particularly been addressed to the Jews, many historical events have been cited from their own traditions to admonish and advise them that their own good lies in accepting the Guidance revealed to the Prophet. They should, therefore, be the first to accept it because it was basically the same that was revealed to Prophet Moses." [Mawdudi, Tafhim]
Back to Top   
Connection of the name of the Surah and its Ayaat [ edit ] Last edited: 02/05/2017

There a number of names used for this Surah listed by the scholars:

al-Baqarah: This is in reference to the story of the Cow in the incident involving the murder amongst the Children of Israel. The story of the Cow contains the most important lessons for the Believer in relation to the commands of Allah. We learn how we should and how we should not behave with respect to the Shariah and urgency of acting upon the commands and not indulging in excessive questioning. In their implementation of the Law, their excessive questioning and hesitation in implementing the commands of Allah led to their situation only becoming more difficult upon themselves.

Sanaam: Linguistically means the peak or highest point on something or place, for example the sanaam of a camel is in reference to the hump being its highest point. The sanaam of a people are its leaders. Hence, Surah al-Baqarah is the peak with respect to the Qur'an as it contains the most important guidelines in establishing Islam as a system of life. The Prophet [saw] said, ‘Everything has a peak and the peak of the Qur’an is al-Baqarah.’ [Tirmidhee no. 2878].

Fustaat: Ibn Katheer mentions that Khalid bin Ma'dan would refer to this Surah as the fustat of the Qur'an. Fustat can be translated as tent' and just as the tent in the battlefield is the head quarters from which all the orders are issued, the Surah is the source/head of the remainder of the Qur'an

Zahra:  Translated as light, this Surah is a light on the path of guidance in this world and the after-life. 

Back to Top   
Connection between the beginning and the ending of the Surah [ edit ] Last edited: 04/09/2016
  • The beginning of the Surah mentions the attributes of Iman [faith] that the Believer has – Ayah (2:3) and (2:4) mention Iman in:

                 a) al-Ghayb [unseen]
                 b) Belief in the Revelation sent upon Prophet Muhammad
                 c) Belief in the Revelations sent upon all the previous Messengers
                 d) Yaqeen [complete faith] in the Akhirah [afterlife]

  • The end of the Surah (2:285) the following aspects of Iman [faith] are mentioned:

                a) Belief in Allah
                b) Belief in the Angels
                c) Belief in the Books [of revelation]
                d) Belief in the Messengers – not differientating between any of them [their message was the same]

Combined together they form the first 5 aspects of Iman as mentioned in the Hadith of Jibril [Sahih Muslim – the only aspect of Iman not mentioned in these Ayat but said in the Hadith is Qadr [pre-destination]

Back to Top   
Connection of the Surah to the Surah before/after it [ edit ] Last edited: 12/03/2017
  • Both Surahs begin with Alif Lam Mim
  • Both end with profound Duas.
  • Both revealed in Madinah.
  • Though it is a Madani Surah, it follows naturally a Makkan Surah, Surah 1: al-Fatihah (The Opening), which ended with the prayer: “Show us the straight way.” It begins with the answer to that prayer, “This is the Book (that) . . . is guidance.”
  • In Surah al-Fatihah, one asks to be guided on the way/path of those who have been favoured by Allah and not those who have earnt the anger of Allah nor those who are misguided. Hence, Surah al-Baqarah begins with describing the first category of people and then the second category of people. 
  • Based on the Hadith of the Prophet, the Maghdub [those whom have the anger of Allah] are the Jews and the Dhal [astray] are the Christians. Hence in the following two Surah’s both communities are addressed in same sequence, with al-Baqarah addressing the Jews and Al-Imran addressing the Christians.
  • The first mention of Jannah in both Surah al-Baqarah  and Al-Imran mention Azwaj un Mutaharah 'Purified Spouses.' In (2:25) and (3:15).
  • Surah al-Baqarah and Ale-Imran are the only Surahs of the Qur'an (2:96) (3:185) which have the root word زُحْزِحَ
  • Al-Baqarah declares the Muslims as the ‘Middle Nation’ (2:143) and Ale-Imran declares the Muslims as the ‘Best nation’ (3:110) brought forth for the service of Mankind.
  • They both contain Ayaat on usury/interest. 
  • Both contain Ayaat which state the the Martyrs are alive.
Back to Top   
The Virtues of the Surah [ edit ] Last edited: 02/05/2017
  • The Prophet described the Surah al-Baqarah as the Sanaam [peak] of the Qur’an. He said, ‘Everything has a peak and the peak of the Qur’an is al-Baqarah.’ [Tirmidhee no. 2878 – Hasan Ghareeb].
  • The Prophet’s Companions had a slogan when they fought Musaylimah [the false prophet], ‘O companions of Surah al-Baqarah’ [Ibn Abi Shaybah no. 33572 and Abdur Razzaq in his Musanaf no. 9465].
  • The Shayateen [jinn] flee from a house that it is recited in.
  • The Prophet said, ‘Do not turn your households into graveyards. Indeed, the shayateen flee from a household that has Surah al-Baqarah read in it.’ [Sahih Muslim no. 780.]
  • The Prophet said, ‘....Surah al-Baqarah...whoever recites it in their home in the day the shayateen [devils] will not enter it for 3 nights.’ [Ibn Hibban no. 109/2 – Hasan].
  • Leadership chosen based on relationship to this Surah.
  • The Messenger of Allah sent an expedition force [comprised] of many, and he asked each what he could recite, so each one of them mentioned what he could recite - meaning what he had memorised of the Qur'an. He came to one of the youngest men among them and said: 'What have you memorised O so-and-so?' He said: 'I memorised this and that and Surat Al-Baqarah.' He said: 'You memorised Surat Al-Baqarah?' He said: "Yes.' He said: "Then go, for you are their commander.' [Tirmidhee no. 2876 – Hasan].
  • It contains the Greatest Name of Allah.
  • On the authority of Abu Ummamah that the Messenger of Allah said, ‘The Greatest Name of Allah by which if He is supplicated will be answered is in three Surahs, al-Baqarah, Al-Imran and Taha.....i.e. al-Hayyu al-Qayyum.’ [Mustradak al-Hakim no. 1867].
  • A Scholar is one who has understood the first seven Surahs of the Qur’an. The Prophet said, ‘Whoever takes from the first seven Surahs of the Qur’an is a Hibr [scholar]’ [Mustradak al-Hakim no. 2070].
  • The Prophet is reported to have said, "Whoever recites the last two Ayat of Surah al-Baqarah it would be sufficient for him." [Bukhari] 
Back to Top   
Special Features of the Surah [ edit ] Last edited: 16/05/2016
  • It is the longest Surah of the Qur'an with 286 Ayat.
  • It has the longest Ayat of the Qur'an (2:282).
  • It has the greatest Ayat of the Qur'an (2:255).
  • It has the last Ayat of the Qur'an revealed (2:281), according to some narrations.
  • Although Nifaq (Hypocrisy) is alluded to, the word Nifaq and Munafiqeen are not mentioned in this Surah by name. 
Back to Top   
Important key and unique words of the Surah [ edit ] Last edited: 04/09/2016
  • Taqwa - words derived from و ق ي occur with the frequency of 258 times in 237 ayat. Interestingly, the highest frequency of these words appear in Surah al-Baqarah compared to any other Surah. The Muslim nation's character is built upon Taqwa.
  • شطر - Shatr - direction/half etc - is a word only used in Surah al-Baqarah. It appears 5 times.
  • The word رَفَثَ [acts leading and including sexual intercouse] appears only in Surah al-Baqarah. Occuring twice in (2:187) and (2:197)
  • يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا​ "O you who Believe" - This is first time this phrase appears in the Qur’an,  and it does not appear in any Makki Surah. It is mentioned 11 Times  in Surah al-Baqarah. The phrase  'O you who Believe'  are the the opening words of  Surah al-Maidah and it appears more times in Surah al-Maidah than any other Surah, occuring 16 times  [confimation needed
  • 'Baqar' - 'adult cow' occurs 5 times in Surah al-Baqarah, which is the most amount compared to all other Surahs. In total, it occurs 9 times in the Qur'an. In Surah Yusuf (12) and Surah al-An'am (6) it occurs twice respectively. 7 out of the 9 times it occurs with respect to Children of Israel. 
  • ٱلْعِجْلَ - calf -  is the word used to describe the child of the Cow, usually from birth to 2 years old. This word occurs the most frequent in this Surah appearing 4 times. It occurs 10 times in the whole Qur'an.
  • Words derived from قتل  Q-T-L [to fight] occur 170 times in 122 Ayat in the Qur'an. It occurs 30 times in Surah al-Baqarah, which is the highest frequency compared to any other Surah. 
  • The word, رمضان Ramadhan only appears once in the Qur'an, appearing in this Surah. (2:185)
  • The word الْأَهِلَّةِ  - crescent moon - in the (2:189) the only mention of  this word in the Qur’an.
  • الْحَجِّ  The word 'Hajj' appears in the Qur’an 12 times – 8 times in Surah al-Baqarah – the most in the Qur’an.
  • رَفَثَ  - a word only used in Surah al-Baqarah - used twice (2:187) and (2:197). It is defined as to whatever might lead to sexual intercourse, such as embracing, kissing and talking to women about similar subjects.
  • The word يَسْأَلُونَكَ - 'They ask you [O Prophet]' appears in the Qur'an 15 times. It occurs in Surah al-Baqarah 7 times - this highest in any Surah.
  • إِلْحَافًا  - The triliteral root lām ḥā fā (ل ح ف) occurs only once in the Qur'an (2:273).
 
Total Word Count per Ayat (shows how many words per Ayat)
Back to Top   
Period of Revelation [ edit ] Last edited: 04/03/2016

The scholars are unanimous that Surah al-Baqarah is Madani and that it was the first Surah revealed in Madinah. [Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani in Fath al-Bari no. 160/8].

Despite it being the first Surah to be revealed in Madinah, it contains Ayaat from a later period also. In fact, according to Ibn Abbas [as mentioned in Ibn Kathir] the last Ayat revealed to the Prophet was Ayat no. 281 from Surah al-Baqarah and this occurred 8 days or so before his death [which corresponds to the year 11 Hijri].

Back to Top   
Background Reasons for Revelation [ edit ] Last edited: 11/05/2017

In order to understand the meaning of this Surah, we should know its historical background:

1. At Makkah, the Quran generally addressed the polytheist Quraysh who were ignorant of Islam, but at Madinah it was also concerned with the Jews who were acquainted with the creed of Monotheism, Prophethood, Revelation, the Hereafter and Angels. They also professed to believe in the law which was revealed by God to their Prophet Moses, and in principle, their way was the same (Islam) that was being taught by Prophet Muhammad. But they had strayed away from it during the centuries of degeneration and had adopted many un-Islamic creeds, rites and customs of which there was no mention and for which there was no sanction in the Torah. Not only this: they had tampered with the Torah by inserting their own explanations and interpretations into its text. They had distorted even that part of the Word of God which had remained intact in their Scriptures and taken out of it the real spirit of true religion and were now clinging to a lifeless frame of rituals. Consequently their beliefs, their morals and their conduct had gone to the lowest depths of degeneration. The pity is that they were not only satisfied with their condition but loved to cling to it. Besides this, they had no intention or inclination to accept any kind of reform. So they became bitter enemies of those who came to teach them the Right Way and did their utmost to defeat every such effort. Though they were originally Muslims, they had swerved from the real Islam and made innovations and alterations in it and had fallen victims to hair splitting and sectarianism. They had forgotten and forsaken God and begun to serve material wealth. So much so that they had even given up their original name “Muslim” and adopted the name “Jew” instead, and made religion the sole monopoly of the children of Israel. This was their religious condition when the Prophet went to Madinah and invited the Jews to the true religion. That is why more than one third of this Surah has been addressed to the children of Israel. A critical review of their history, their moral degeneration and their religious perversions has been made. Side by side with this, the high standard of morality and the fundamental principles of the pure religion have been put forward in order to bring out clearly the nature of the degeneration of the community of a prophet when it goes astray and to draw clear lines of demarcation between real piety and formalism, and the essentials and non-essentials of the true religion.

2. At Makkah, Islam was mainly concerned with the propagation of its fundamental principles and the moral training of its followers. But after the migration of the Prophet to Madinah, where Muslims had come to settle from all over Arabia and where a tiny Islamic State had been set up with the help of the ‘local supporters’ (Ansar), naturally the Quran had to turn its attention to the social, cultural, economic, political and legal problems as well. This accounts for the difference between the themes of the Surahs revealed at Makkah and those at Madinah. Accordingly about half of this Surah deals with those principles and regulations which are essential for the integration and solidarity of a community and for the solution of its problems.

After the migration to Madinah, the struggle between Islam and disbelief (Kufr) had also entered a new phase. Before this the Believers, who propagated Islam among their own clans and tribes, had to face its opponents at their own risk. But the conditions had changed at Madinah, where Muslims from all parts of Arabia had come and settled as one community, and had established an independent city state. Here it became a struggle for the survival of the Community itself, for the whole of non-Muslim Arabia was bent upon and united in crushing it totally. Hence the following instructions, upon which depended not only its success but its very survival, were revealed in this Surah:

a. The Community should work with the utmost zeal to propagate its ideology and win over to its side the greatest possible number of people.

b. It should so expose its opponents as to leave no room for doubt in the mind of any sensible person that they were adhering to an absolutely wrong position.

c. It should infuse in its members (the majority of whom were homeless and indigent and surrounded on all sides by enemies) that courage and fortitude which is so indispensable to their very existence in the adverse circumstances in which they were struggling and to prepare them to face these boldly.

d. It should also keep them ready and prepared to meet any armed menace, which might come from any side to suppress and crush their ideology, and to oppose it tooth and nail without minding the overwhelming numerical strength and the material resources of its enemies.

e. It should also create in them that courage which is needed for the eradication of evil ways and for the establishment of the Islamic Way instead. That is why God has revealed in this Surah such instructions as may help achieve all the above mentioned objects.

At the time of the revelation of Al-Baqarah, all sorts of hypocrites had begun to appear. God has, therefore, briefly pointed out their characteristics here. Afterwards when their evil characteristics and mischievous deeds became manifest, God sent detailed instructions about them. [REF: Mawdudi]

.....read more
Back to Top   
Relevant Hadith [ edit ] Last edited: 04/04/2016
  • The Prophet described the Surah al-Baqarah as the Sanaam [peak] of the Qur’an. He said, ‘Everything has a peak and the peak of the Qur’an is al-Baqarah.’ [Tirmidhee no. 2878 – Hasan Ghareeb].

  • The Prophet said, ‘Whoever takes from the first seven Surahs of the Qur’an is a Hibr [scholar]’ [Mustradak al-Hakim no. 2070].

  • The Messenger of Allah sent an expedition force [comprised] of many, and he asked each what he could recite, so each one of them mentioned what he could recite - meaning what he had memorised of the Qur'an. He came to one of the youngest men among them and said: 'What have you memorised O so-and-so?' He said: 'I memorised this and that and Surat Al-Baqarah.' He said: 'You memorised Surat Al-Baqarah?' He said: "Yes.' He said: "Then go, for you are their commander.' [Tirmidhee no. 2876 – Hasan].

  • The Prophet said, ‘Do not turn your households into graveyards. Indeed, the shayateen flee from a household that has Surah al-Baqarah read in it.’ [Sahih Muslim no. 780.]

  • The Prophet said, ‘....Surah al-Baqarah...whoever recites it in their home in the day the shayateen [devils] will not enter it for 3 nights.’ [Ibn Hibban no. 109/2 – Hasan].

Back to Top   
Lessons/Guidance/Major-Issues/Reflections [ edit ] Last edited: 03/03/2016
  • Claim of the Qur'an: "This is the Book which contains no doubt."
  • Creation of Adam, man's nature, and his destiny.
  • The Children of Israel and the People of the Book (Jews and Christians).
  • Israelites' sin of worshipping the statue of a calf.
  • Punishment of Israelites violation of Sabbath.
  • Nature of Jews' belief.
  • Allah orders not to prevent the people from coming to Masajid.
  • Ibrahim and his sons were neither Jews nor Christians but were Muslims.
  • Abraham (Ibrahim), Ishmael (Isma`il), and their building of Ka'bah.
  • Change of Qiblah (direction in prayers) towards Ka'bah in Makkah.
  • Allah orders not to profess any faith blindly.
  • The moon is created to determine the time periods i.e. months and years.
  • Hypocrisy vs. True faith.
  • Ayat-ul-Kursi (Verse of the Throne of Allah).
  • Allah orders the believers to enter into Islam completely.
  • Punishment of a murtad (a Muslim who becomes a Non-Muslim).
  • It is unlawful to marry a mushrik.
  • Victory is not by numbers but by Allah's help.
  • Confrontation of Ibrahim and Namrud (the king of his time).
  • What makes charity worthless.
  • Taking usury is like declaring war against Allah and his Rasool.
  • All business dealings relating to deferred payments must be in writing.
  • Retaliation against oppression.
  • Non compulsion in religion.
  • Divine Laws are promulgated about the following categories:
    • Food
    • Retribution
    • Wills
    • Fasting
    • Bribery
    • Jihad
    • Self-defense
    • Evidence
    • Pilgrimage
    • Charity
    • Drinking
    • Bloodwit
    • Gambling
    • Marriage
    • Orphans
    • Menstruation
    • Oaths
    • Divorce
    • Alimony
    • Nursing
    • Widows
    • Usury
    • Buying on Credit
    • Debts
    • Loans
    • Pledge/Mortgage
    • Believers supplication to Allah.
Back to Top   
Wiki Forum Last edited: 04/03/2016
Comments in this section are statements made by general users – these are not necessarily explanations of the Ayah – rather a place to share personal thoughts and stories… Login to enter your comments
Back to Top   
Miscellaneous Issues Last edited: 04/03/2016
Back to Top   
External Links [ edit ] Last edited: 26/04/2016
Back to Top   
 
     © 2016 - 2017 Qur'an Wiki - Studying Divine Speech. | Disclaimer