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Sura al-Baqara

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Sura al-Baqara
al-Baqara← →Al Imran
سوره بقره.jpg
Sura Number 2
Juz' 1,2,3
Revelation
Revelation Number 87
Makki/Madani Madani
Information
Verse Count 286
Word Count 6156
Letter Count 26256
This article is an introduction to the Sura al-Baqara; to read its text see text:Sura al-Baqara.

Sūra al-Baqara (Arabic: سورة البقرة) is the largest sura of the Qur'an. It is the second sura, and it is a Madani sura located in first, second, and third juz's. It is called "al-Baqara" (cow) because it involves a reference to the story of the cow of the Children of Israel.

The main theme of Sura al-Baqara is said to be the guidance of human beings; that people should come to believe what God has revealed to His messengers, without differentiating among the messengers. Sura al-Baqara is believed to have a comprehensive content because it touches principles of beliefs and rulings of worships, as well as social, political, and economic matters. Stories and historical narrations in Sura al-Baqara include those of the Children of Israel, Abraham (a), the revival of the dead, and Saul and Goliath.

Sura al-Baqara includes al-Kursi Verse, Aman al-Rasul Verse, al-Qibla Verse, and the longest verse of the Qur'an (verse 282). According to a hadith from the Prophet (s), Sura al-Baqara is the most virtuous sura of the Qur'an, and al-Kursi Verse is the most virtuous verse in the Qur'an.

Introduction

  • Naming

The sura is called "al-Baqara" (female cow) because it narrates the story of the cow of the Children of Israel (verses 67-73) in which their excuse-makings are recounted. The sura is also variously called "Qustat al-Qur'an," "Sanam al-Qur'an," "Sayyid al-Qur'an," and "Zahra'." Sura al-Baqara and Sura Al 'Imran are jointly called "Zahrawan."

  • Place and Order of Revelation

Sura al-Baqara is a Madani sura of the Qur'an. In the order of revelation, it is the 86th sura revealed to the Prophet (s). In the present order of compilation, it is the second sura, located in first, second, and third juz's of the Qur'an. It is the first sura revealed to the Prophet (s) in Medina after Sura al-Mutaffifin and before Sura Al 'Imran.

  • Number of Verses and Other Features

Sura al-Baqara has 286 verses and 6156 words. It is the largest sura of the Qur'an, occupying about two and a half juz's thereof. It is the first of the seven Tiwal (long) suras, and the first of the 29 suras opening with disjoined letters. The longest word, "fa-sayakfikahumullah" (and Allah will be sufficient for you against them), and the longest verse (verse 282), occur in this sura.

Content

'Allama Tabataba'i takes the main theme of the sura to be that people should believe what God revealed to His messengers, without differentiating among the messengers. Other themes of the sura, according to him, include reprehension of disbelievers and hypocrites as well as the People of the Book because of their heresies.

Content of Sura al-Baghara, Part 1[1]
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Islam as the only way for the happiness of the human community
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
First part: verses 1-39
Importance of faith in the religion
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Second part: verses 40-162
The calling of opponents to Islam
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
First speech: verses 1-20
Humans and faith in Islam
 
Second speech: verses 21-27
Call of humans to Islam
 
Third speech: verses 28-39
Reasons for the falsity of disbelief and polytheism
 
First speech: verses 40-48
Obligations of the Children of Israel towards Islam
 
Second speech: verses 49-74
Instances of the resistance of the Jews against the truth
 
Third speech: verses 75-90
Reasons why the Jews do not believe the Prophet of Islam
 
Fourth speech: verses 91-152
Response to excuses made by opponents of Islam
 
Fifth speech: verses 153-162
Obligations of believers and opponents towards Islam
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
First group: verses 3-5
Believers
 
First subject-matter: verses 21-22
Reasons for worshiping God
 
First reason: verses 28-29
The dependence of the human material life on God
 
First obligation: verse 40
Commitment to the divine pledge
 
Introduction: verses 49-50
The great test of the Children of Israel after their emancipation from oppressions of the Pharaoh
 
First reason: verse 75
Tendency to the distortion of the Book of God
 
First excuse: verse 91-93
We only believe what is revealed to the prophet of the Children of Israel
 
First subject-matter: verses 153-158
Obligations of believers: patience against troubles, revival of religious rituals
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Second group: verses 6-7
Disbelievers
 
Second subject-matter: verses 23-24
Punishment for fighting against the Qur'an
 
Second reason: verses 30-39
The human happiness lies in following God’s religion
 
Second obligation: verses 41-42
Belief in the Qur'an and the Prophet of Islam
 
First instance: verses 41-54
The worship of a calf by the Children of Israel
 
Second reason: verses 76-77
Attempt to conceal the rightfulness of the Prophet of Islam
 
Second excuse: verse 94-96
Afterlife happiness is exclusive to the Jews
 
Second subject-matter: verses 159-162
Obligations of opponents of Islam: not concealing religious truths, repentance
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Third group: verses 8-20
Hypocrites
 
Third subject-matter: verse 25
The reward for believers in the Qur'an
 
 
 
 
 
Third obligation: verse 43
Acting upon the Islamic sharia
 
Second instance: verses 55-56
Their request to see God
 
Third reason: verses 78-79
Ignoring the importance of the content of the Torah
 
Third excuse: verse 97-98
Since the revelation was brought by Gabriel, we do not believe it
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fourth subject-matter: verses 26-27
The role of wrongdoing and sins in opposing the Qur'an
 
 
 
 
 
Verses 44-48
Three recommendations to the Children of Israel for discharging their obligations
 
Third instance: verse 57
Their squander of, and ungratefulness about, divine blessings
 
Fourth reason: verses 80-82
Belief in the immunity of the Jews from divine punishment
 
Fourth excuse: verse 99-103
Quranic verses are not clear and intelligible
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fourth instance: verses 58-59
Mocking God’s command when arriving the Promised Land
 
Fifth reason: verses 83-86
Not being committed to divine covenants
 
Fifth excuse: verse 104-105
Muslims are illiterate and rude
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fifth instance: verse 60
Corruption on the Earth after enjoying the blessings
 
Sixth reason: verses 87-90
Constant opposition of jews against prophets
 
Sixth excuse: verse 106-107
Why did Islam abrogate the Jewish sharia?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sixth instance: verses 61-62
Ungratefulness and indolence
 
 
 
 
 
Seventh excuse: verse 108-110
Request of other miracles from the Prophet (s)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Seventh instance: verses 63-66
Ignoring the divine covenant
 
 
 
 
 
Eighth excuse: verse 111-117
Only Jews and Christians go to the Heaven
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Eighth instance: verses 67-74
Stubbornness against the performance of God’s commands
 
 
 
 
 
Ninth excuse: verse 118-123
Why does not God talk to us directly?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tenth excuse: verse 124-134
Abraham's recommendation to follow Judaism and Christianity
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Eleventh excuse: verse 135-139
The only way to guidance is to follow Judaism and Christianity
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Twelfth excuse: verse 140-141
Abraham and other prophets were either Jews or Christians
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Thirteenth excuse: verse 142-152
why did Muslims redirect their qibla?

Sura al-Baqara is said to be comprehensive with respect to contents, since it tackles with principles of beliefs, and rulings of worships, as well as social, political, and economic matters.

The contents of Sura al-Baqara are summarized in Tafsir-i nimuna as follows:

  • The miracle of the Qur'an and its importance,
  • Rulings of business and debts,
Content of Sura al-Baghara, Part 2[2]
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Islam is the only way for the happiness of the human community
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Third part: verses 163-242
Superiority of Islamic laws and rulings
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fourth part: verses 243-284
Factors contributing to the preservation and spread of religious rulings in the society
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Conclusion: verses 285-286
Characteristics of believers in Islam
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
First factor: verses 243-254
Jihad against enemies of the religion
 
Second factor: verses 255-260
The spread of the monotheistic culture in the society
 
 
 
 
 
Third factor: verses 261-284
Healthy economic relations
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Introduction: verses 163-167
Reasons for following God’s laws in one’s life
 
First law: verses 168-177
Rulings of foods
 
First subject-matter: verses 243-245
Escape from the jihad leads to the humiliation of a powerful nation
 
First subject-matter: verse 255
God's attributes
 
First principle: verses 261-274
Spread of donations in the society
 
Second principle: verses 275-281
Fight against usury
 
Third principle: verses 282-284
Securing the safety of economic investments
 
First subject-matter: verse 285
Beliefs of believers
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Third law: verses 183-187
Rulings of the will
 
Second law: verses 178-179
Rulings of qisas
 
Second subject-matter: verses 246-252
Jihad as a factor in the power of a group of displaced Jews
 
Second subject-matter: verses 256-257
Effects of a true belief in monotheism
 
First subject-matter: verse 261
Effects of donations
 
First subject-matter: verse 275
The unbalanced character of usurers
 
First subject-matter: verse 282
Precise recording of transactions
 
Second subject-matter: verse 286
Believer's requests from God
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fourth law: verses 183-187
Rulings of obligatory fasting
 
Fifth law: verse 188
Prohibition of earning haram money
 
Third subject-matter: verses 253-254
Factors of victory in a jihad
 
Third subject-matter: verses 258-260
Stages of a human guidance to monotheistic doctrines
 
Second subject-matter: verses 262-263
Conditions of donations
 
Second subject-matter: verse 275
Falsity of economic justification for usury
 
Second subject-matter: verse 282
Having a witness when recording a transaction
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Seventh law: verses 190-195
Jihad against enemies of the religion
 
Sixth law: verse 189
Prohibition of changing the style of performing worships
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Third subject-matter: verses 264-266
Factors invalidating a donation
 
Third subject-matter: verse 275
Muslims who used to be usurers (before Islam)
 
Third subject-matter: verse 282
More serious recording of non-cash transactions
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Eighth law: verses 196-207
Rulings and manners of Hajj al-Tamattu'
 
Ninth law: verses 208-214
Avoiding disputes in the Islamic community
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fourth subject-matter: verse 267
Possessions that are worthy of donation
 
Fourth subject-matter: verses 276-277
Comparison of the consequences of usury with those of donation
 
Fourth subject-matter: verse 282
Observing the rights of witness and scribes of documents of a transaction
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Eighth law: verses 196-207
Rulings and manners of Hajj al-Tamattu'
 
Ninth law: verses 208-214
Avoiding disputes in the Islamic community
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fourth subject-matter: verse 267
Possessions that are worthy of donation
 
Fourth subject-matter: verses 276-277
Comparison of the consequences of usury with those of donation
 
Fourth subject-matter: verse 282
Observing the rights of witness and scribes of documents of a transaction
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Eleventh law: verses 216-218
The ruling of waging wars in haram months
 
Tenth law: verse 215
Things for which donations should be spent
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fifth subject-matter: verses 268-270
Reasons for abandoning donations and how to treat it
 
Fifth subject-matter: verses 278-281
Obligations of Muslims after the issuance of the ruling of usury
 
Fifth subject-matter: verse 283
Permission for not recording transactions in certain cases
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Twelfth law: verses 219-220
The ruling of wine and gambling
 
Thirteenth law: verse 220
How to treat orphans
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sixth subject-matter: verse 271
Ways of donating
 
 
 
 
 
Sixth subject-matter: verses 283-284
obligations of witnesses of a transaction
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fifteenth law: verses 222-223
Relationships with women during their monthly periods
 
Fourteenth law: verse 221
Prohibition of marriage with polytheists
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Seventh subject-matter: verse 272
How to expand the culture of donation
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sixteenth law: verses 224-227
Prohibition of taking an oath to abandon sexual intercourse with one’s wife
 
Seventeenth law: verses 228-231
Rulings of divorce
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Eighth subject-matter: verse 273
Who to donate to?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Eighteenth law: verses 232-242
Rights of widows
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ninth subject-matter: verse 274
Importance of persistence on donating

Historical Stories and Narrations

There are references, in Sura al-Baqara, to numerous historical events, including the creation of Adam (a), birds coming back to life at Abraham's will, and stories of Saul and Goliath.

  • Rescue from the Pharaoh
  • The Children of Israel worshiping calf
  • The Children of Israel asking to see God
  • Altering the words
  • The miracle of Twelve Springs
  • Request for numerous foods, and the impoverishment of the Children of Israel
  • The covenant of the Children of Israel
  • Transgression concerning the Sabbath
  • The story of the Cow of the Children of Israel (this story appears only in Sura al-Baqara)
  • The story of Harut and Marut in the verse 102: it concerns two angels called "Harut" and "Marut" who were commissioned by God to neutralize the spells of magicians.
  • The test of Abraham (a), and the reconstruction of the Ka'ba
  • The redirection of the qibla during the life of the Prophet (s)
  • The story of Saul and Goliath
  • Abraham's argument concerning death
  • Abraham and the observation of dead birds coming back to life

Occasions of Revelations of Certain Verses

There are occasions of revelations for about 80 verses of Sura al-Baqara. Below are references to some of these:

Muslims being Mocked by Hypocrites

According to Ibn 'Abbas, the verse 14 of Sura al-Baqara "When they meet the faithful, they say, ‘We believe,’ but when they are alone with their devils, they say, ‘We are with you; we were only deriding [them].’" is concerned with 'Abd Allah b. Ubayy and his hypocrite friends who praised some of the Prophet's companions in their face, and then mocked and showed disgust to them in their own circle.

Followers of Other Religions Can Go to the Heaven

According to Mujahid, when Salman recounted the story of his friends back home and how they worshiped God, the Prophet (s) said that they will then go to the Hell. Salman was saddened by this, until the verse 62 of Sura al-Baqara was revealed, according to which if followers of other religions believe in God and resurrection and do righteous actions, then they will be rewarded by God. Salman said: "this verse lifted a bulk of sadness from my breast."

The Story of the Cow of the Children of Israel

Verses 67 to 74 of Sura al-Baqara recount the well-known story of the cow of the Children of Israel. It points to excuses made by them and their hardheartedness. The story is narrated in Tafsir-i nimuna as follows: a person from the Children of Israel was killed, and then a dispute emerged within tribes as to who the murderer was. To settle the dispute, they went to Moses (a), and with the help of God, he hit the corpse with part of the body of a special cow, as a consequence of which the dead person miraculously came back to life, and introduced his murderer. According to Tafsir-i nimuna, the story teaches God's endless power, resurrection, and the necessity of avoiding strictness.

Permission of Some Actions on Nights of Ramadan

'Ali b. Ibrahim al-Qummi transmitted a hadith from Imam al-Sadiq (a) according to which early after Islam, sexual intercourse was forbidden throughout the whole Ramadan month, and if one fell asleep before the time of breaking the fast, then he was not allowed to eat anything until the next time of breaking the fast. According to 'Ali b. Ibrahim, during the Battle of Ahzab, a companion of the Prophet (s) who was a senile fell asleep at the time of breaking the fast, and the next day he fell unconscious while digging the trench. Moreover, some Muslims had sexual intercourses with their wives on nights of the Ramadan month. Thus, the verse 187 of Sura al-Baqara was revealed, abrogating the earlier ruling.

Forbiddance of Marriage with Polytheists

The verse 221 of Sura al-Baqara was revealed about a man called Marthad b. Marthad al-Ghanawi, who was courageous and strong. At the command of the Prophet (s), he went to Mecca to save some Muslims who were still there. When Marthad was in Mecca, a woman called 'Inaq expressed her love for him and asked him to marry her. However, since Marthad was committed to Islamic laws, he conditioned the marriage upon the Prophet's permission. When he met the Prophet (s) in Medina and told him about the story, the verse 221 was revealed, in which marriage with polytheists was banned.

How the Dead Are Revived

There are different hadiths about the occasion of the revelation of the verse 260 of Sura al-Baqara. According to one hadith, the Prophet Abraham (a) saw the corpse of a whale half of which was in the sea and the other half on the land, and it was eaten by marine and terrestrial animals. Iblis told Abraham (a) how God could reassemble all these parts from the stomachs of all these creatures. Abraham (a) asked God to show him how He would bring life back into the dead. A Heavenly voice said, "Have you not believed?" Abraham replied: "Yes, but only that my heart may be satisfied and be freed from the Satan's temptations."

Well-Known Verses

Well-known verses of Sura al-Baqara include the Verse of Human Khilafa, al-Kursi Verse, al-Shira' Verse, al-Istirja' Verse, the Verse of Trial of Ibrahim (a), and Aman al-Rasul Verse.

The Verse of Human Succession (30)

The verse 30 of Sura al-Baqara is about the human khilafa or succession of God on the Earth, and a conversation between God and angels concerning the succession. The verse is the first of ten verses concerning the human place in the system of creation, his features, dispositions, and capabilities, the nature and effects of his succession of God, and his fall to the Earth.

According to the verse 30 of Sura al-Baqara, when God informs angels that He is about to appoint a successor on the Earth, the angels immediately knew that this would lead to corruptions and blood-shedding on the face of the Earth. Many exegetes infer from their response that they were aware of previous creatures on the Earth who had caused corruptions thereon. In Majma' al-bayan, Ibn 'Abbas and Ibn Mas'ud are quoted as saying that the angels knew that Adam (a) himself was infallible, but they asked the question because God had told them that children of Adam (a) would cause corruptions on the Earth.

According to 'Allama Tabataba'i, the angels' response was grounded in their knowledge of the earthly nature of human beings, which is a combination of anger and lust.

The Verse of Magic (102)

Main article: Verse of Magic

The verse 102 is known as the Verse of Magic, since it refers to the popularity of magic among the Jews, and responds to the accusation that Solomon (a), Harut, and Marut were magicians.

The Abrogation Verse (106)

Main article: Abrogation Verse

The majority of exegetes interpret the verse as a response to Jews who insulted Muslims because Muhammad (s) commanded them to do something and the next day he changed the command, while if his words were revelations from God, there would be no such conflicts in his words. The verse is taken as evidence for God's sovereignty and for His power to determine the interests of His servants. Thus, believers should not listen to the words of partial people and doubt the abrogation of rulings.

The Verse of the Originator (117)

'Allama Tabataba'i appeals to a hadith from Imam al-Baqir (a) to interpret God's being the originator (badi') as the creation of everything with His knowledge and without a prior pattern. Thus, there is always a difference between every two creatures in the world, and so every creature has an "original" (badi') existence; that is, it exists without there being anything else similar to it. Therefore, God is the originator of the skies and the Earth.

The Verse of the Abraham’s Test (124)

The verse 124 of Sura al-Baqara is known as the Verse of the Abraham's Test. Debates about this verse go back to the period of Imams of the Shiites in which their companions sought to establish their infallibility via this verse. Shiite scholars believe that the verse implies the infallibility of Imams (a), and the word, "Imam," in the verse refers to a position other than prophethood or messengership of God. In contrast, Sunni scholars take "Imam" to refer to prophets or messengers of God.

===Al-Istirja' Verse=== (156)

Main article: Al-Istirja' Verse

The last part of the verse 156 of Sura al-Baqara pointing to the return of human beings to God is known as al-Istirja' Verse or the Verse of Return. According to the verse, the patient people are those “who, when disaster strikes them, say, "Indeed we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him we will return"." According to this verse as well as some hadiths, Muslims recite this verse when a disaster or loss strikes them. In Majma' al-bayan, the Prophet (s) is quoted as saying that a person who recites this verse in disasters will inhabit the Heaven.

The Verse of Responding to Supplications (186)

The verse is said to have features that highlight God's will to respond to invocations of supplications:

  • The verb form is singular first-person.
  • It talks about "My servants" rather than people.
  • It talks to people directly.
  • It emphasizes on God's closeness to His servants.
  • It ties God's response to people's supplications.

The Verse of Selling (207)

Main article: Al-Shira' Verse

The verse 207 of Sura al-Baqara is known as the Verse of Selling or al-Shira' Verse. The verse praises those who sell their lives for the sake of God. Muslim exegetes debated the occasion of the revelation of the verse. Shiite as well as some Sunni scholars believe that the verse was revealed about Imam 'Ali (a) and the story of Laylat al-Mabit.

Al-Kursi Verse (255)

Main article: Al-Kursi Verse

Al-Kursi Verse is very well-known among, and honored and respected by, Muslims. It was already known as "Ayat al-Kursi" during the lifetime of the Prophet (s). The Prophet (s) is quoted as saying: "al-Kursi Verse is the greatest verse of the Qur'an."

There are many hadiths from Ahl al-Bayt (a) about the importance and interpretation of al-Kursi Verse. 'Allama Tabataba'i attributes the greatness of al-Kursi Verse to the fact that it contains precise information about pure monotheism and God's absolute sovereignty, believing that all God's great names, except the names of His essence, go back to His sovereignty.

According to a hadith from Imam al-Sadiq (a), "al-Kursi" is God's exclusive knowledge of which He has never informed any of His prophets and messengers and other authorities.

The Verse of No Compulsion in the Religion (256)

The verse 256 of Sura al-Baqara is taken to refer to non-compulsory acceptance of the religion. In particular, Islam cannot be forced upon disbelievers, polytheists, and others, because "the right course has become clear from the wrong." According to this verse, coerced words and actions have no this-worldly or afterlife value from the viewpoint of the sharia.

About the occasion of the revelation of the verse, it is said that a companion of the Prophet (s) asked him to make his two sons return to Islam after they had converted to Christianity. In response, the verse 256 of Sura al-Baqara was revealed according to which there is no compulsory belief. According to Makarim Shirazi in Tafsir-i nimuna, the verse shows that Islam never advanced through coercions or the force of swords or military power. In his view, since the preceding verse talks about fundamental religious beliefs, such as monotheism and divine attributes, and these beliefs can be proved via reason, this verse implies that there is no need for compulsion in the acceptance of the religion.

'Allama Tabataba'i speculates that the "compulsion" in the verse might refer to existential compulsion, that is, since believing is an act of heart, it is ontologically impossible to coerce someone to believe something.

Aman al-Rasul Verse (285)

Main article: Aman al-Rasul Verse

The verses of Aman al-Rasul, known as the Verse of Aman al-Rasul consist of verses 285 and 286 of Sura al-Baqara. The themes of the two verses consist in the belief in God, endorsement of prophets, the belief in resurrection, observing God's right for worship, heartfelt faith and practical obedience by believers, God's forgiveness, people not being charged beyond their capacity, and Islam being easy to practice.

Other Well-Known Verses

Other well-known verses of Sura al-Baqara include the verse 23 concerning the Qur'an's challenge for opponents, the verse 112 concerning pure submission to God, the verse 115 concerning God's presence in east and west, the verse 155 concerning the trial and test of patient people, the verse 159 known as the Verse of Concealment, the verse 177 concerning the nature of goodness, the verse 201 concerning the dhikr of qunut, the verse 207 known as the Verse of Submission, the verse 213 concerning one nation, the verse 238 concerning the importance of observing the times of the prayer, and the verse 269 according to which God gives wisdom to whom He wills.

Jurisprudential Verses

There are verses in Sura al-Baqara to which Muslims jurists have appealed to glean jurisprudential rulings. Verses involving a jurisprudential ruling or verses from which such rulings can be inferred are called "Ayat al-Ahkam" or Jurisprudential Verses. Some Jurisprudential Verses of Sura al-Baqara are pointed out in the following table:

Verse Text Chapter Subject
3 -5 who believe in the Unseen, maintain the prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them; Worships Faith as a condition of the correctness of worships
21 O mankind! Worship your Lord, who created you and those who were before you, Worships Obligation of worship for all human persons
22 So do not set up equals to Allah, while you know... Worships Prohibition of polytheism in worships
27 —those who break the covenant made with Allah after having pledged it solemnly, Nadhr, Oath and Promise Prohibition and consequences of violating one's promises]]
29 It is He who created for you all that is in the earth, Foods and Drinks The principle of permissibility of everything that does not cause a corruption
43 And maintain the prayer, and give the zakat, and bow along with those who bow [in prayer]. Prayer and Zakat Obligation of performing one's prayer and paying one's zakat
114 Who is a greater wrongdoer than those who deny access to the mosques of Allah lest His Name be celebrated therein, and try to ruin them?... Prayer Prohibition of obstructing the performance of prayers in mosques
124 When his Lord tested Abraham with certain words and he fulfilled them, He said, ‘I am making you the Imam of mankind... Prayer Righteousness of the Imam of a congregational prayer, and...
125 And [remember] when We made the House a place of reward for mankind and a sanctuary, [declaring],... Hajj Legislation of hajj, the prayer of circumambulation, and...
140 And who is a greater wrongdoer than someone who conceals a testimony that is with him from Allah? And Allah is not oblivious of what you do... Testimony Prohibition of concealing one's testimony
‍144 We certainly see you turning your face about in the sky. We will surely turn you to a qiblah of your liking:‏... Prayer Qibla and its rulings
158 Indeed Safa and Marwah are among Allah’s sacraments... Hajj Sa'y al-Safa wa l-Marwa
168 O mankind! Eat of what is lawful and pure in the earth... Foods and Drinks The principle of the permissibility of everything that does not cause corruptions
170 What, even if their fathers neither exercised their reason nor were guided?!... Taqlid Impermissibility of following a non-mujtahid or a non-expert
172 O you who have faith! Eat of the good things We have provided you,... Foods and Drinks The principle of the permissibility of everything that does not cause corruptions
170 He has forbidden you only carrion, blood, the flesh of the swine, ... hunting and slaughtering Haram foods such as dead animals, blood, pork, non-slaughtered animals, and...
177 and those who fulfill their covenants, when they pledge themselves, Nadhr, Oath and Promise Obligation of keeping one's promise
178-179 Retribution is prescribed for you regarding the slain: freeman for freeman, slave for slave, and female for female... Hudud and Diyat Legislation of qisas, and its types
180 Prescribed for you, when death approaches any of you and he leaves behind any property, is that he make a bequest for his parents... Will Obligation of writing one’s will for one’s close relatives
182 But should someone, fearing deviance or sin on the testator’s behalf, set things right between them,... Will The goodness of peace between two hostile parties
183- 185 O you who have faith! Prescribed for you is fasting as it was prescribed for those who were before you,... Fasting Legislation of fasting for Muslims and some of its rulings
187 You are permitted on the night of the fast to go into your wives: ... Fasting Rulings of fasting
188 Do not eat up your wealth among yourselves wrongfully,... Tradings Prohibition of consuming another person's wealth unjustly
190- 191 Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress... Jihad Legislation of jihad and observing justice in jihad
194 So should anyone aggress against you, assail him in the manner he assailed you,... Hudud and Diyat Observing equality in qisas
196 Complete the hajj and the ‘umrah for Allah’s sake,... Hajj Some actions of Hajj and 'Umra
198 Then when you stream out of ‘Arafat remember Allah at the Holy Mash‘ar,... Hajj Sojourn in the land of Mash'ar al-Haram
203 Remember Allah in the appointed days... Hajj Actions of Tashriq days
217 They ask you concerning warfare in the holy month. Say, ‘It is an outrageous thing to fight in it,... Jihad Rulings of haram months
221 Do not marry idolatresses until they embrace faith... Marriage Prohibition of marriage with polytheists
222 They ask you concerning [intercourse during] menses. Say, ‘It is hurtful.’ So keep away from wives during the menses,... Tahara and Najasa Rulings of menopause
223 Your women are a tillage for you, so come to your tillage whenever you like,... Marriage Sexual relationships
‍224-225 Do not make Allah an obstacle, through your oaths,... Nadhr, Oath and Promise Prohibition of a false oath
226-227 For those who forswear their wives shall be a waiting [period]of four months... Divorce Ila' and its rulings
228 Divorced women shall wait by themselves for three periods of purity [after menses],... Divorce 'Idda for divorce
229- 232 [Revocable] divorce may be only twice; then [let there be] either an honourable retention, or a kindly release... Divorce Rulings of divorce
233 Mothers shall suckle their children for two full years... Marriage Rulings of suckling, obligation of breastfeeding the baby
234 As for those of you who die leaving wives, they shall wait by themselves four months and ten days,... Marriage 'Idda for death
235 There is no sin upon you in what you may hint in proposing to [recently widowed] women,... Marriage Marriage proposal
236-237 There is no sin upon you if you divorce women while you have not yet touched them or settled a dowry for them... Divorce Rulings of divorce without having had a sexual intercourse
‍238 Be watchful of your prayers, and [especially] the middle prayer, and stand in obedience to Allah Prayer Observing the times of prayers
240 Those of you who die leaving wives shall bequeath for their wives... Will Will for one's wife
245 Who is it that will lend Allah a good loan that He may multiply it for him severalfold?... lending money Importance and goodness of lending money
264 O you who have faith! Do not render your charities void by reproaches and affronts,... lending money Invalidation of divine rewards for lending
270 Allah indeed knows whatever charity you may give, or vows that you may vow Nadhr, Oath and Promise Obligation of complying with one's nadhr
275- 276 Those who exact usury will not stand but like one deranged by the Devil’s touch... Bay' Prohibition of Usury
278- 280 O you who have faith! Be wary of Allah and abandon [all claims to] what remains of usury, should you be faithful. Bay' Rulings of usury
282- 283 O you who have faith! When you contract a loan for a specified term, write it down... lending money Recording and witnesses for a lending contract
283 And if one of you entrusts [an asset] to another, let him who is trusted deliver his trust,... Trust Rendering the trusts

Merits and Benefits

According to a hadith cited in Majma' al-bayan, the Prophet (s) referred to Sura al-Baqara as the most virtuous sura in the Qur'an, and al-Kursi Verse as the most virtuous verse in Sura al-Baqara. Its virtue is said to be grounded in its comprehensiveness, and the virtue of al-Kursi Verse is said to be grounded in its monotheistic content.

As to the effects of the sura, Imam al-Sajjad (a) quoted the Prophet (s) as saying that if one recites the first four verses of Sura al-Baqara, al-Kursi Verses and its following two verses, and the last three verses of Sura al-Baqara, he will see no harm in his life and possessions, he will not be approached by the Satan, and he will never forget the Qur'an.

Notes

  1. Khamagar, Muhammad, Sakhtar-i suraha-yi Qur'an-i karim, Mu'assisa-yi Farhangi-yi Qur'an wa 'Itrat-i Nur al-Thaqalayn, Qom: Nashra, ed.1, 1392 Sh.
  2. Khamagar, Muhammad, Sakhtar-i suraha-yi Qur'an-i karim, Mu'assisa-yi Farhangi-yi Qur'an wa 'Itrat-i Nur al-Thaqalayn, Qom: Nashra, ed.1, 1392 Sh.

References

  • The material for this article is mainly taken from سوره بقره in Farsi WikiShia.