Al-Baqara

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  Sura 2 of the Quran  
البقرة
Al-Baqarah
The Cow

Arabic text · English translation


Classification Medinan
Position Juz' 1–3
Structure 40 rukus, 286 verses
Opening muqatta'āt Alif Lam Mim

Surat al-Baqarah (Arabic: سورة البقرة‎, Sūratu l-Baqarah, "The Cow") is the second and longest chapter of the Qur'an.[1] It is a Medinan sura, with the exception of verse 281 which was revealed during the The Farewell Pilgrimage.[2] It is also considered to be one of the first chapters revealed after the Hijra from Mecca to Medina.[3] The chapter comprises 286 verses according to the division of Ali, the most widely accepted count among all Muslim denominations,[2] and includes the single longest verse in the Qur'an (2:282).[4] The sura's name references verses 66–72 which recall the story of a heifer sacrificed by the Israelites.[2]

Other notable passages include the famous āyat al-kursī or "Throne Verse", as well as the closing two verses which outline the six articles of belief before forming a prayer for forgiveness, divine mercy, and help against the enemies of faith.[5]

Sura al-Baqara enjoins fasting on the believer during the month of Ramadan.[6]

Overview[edit]

The surah's name is in reference to the procrastinating of sacrificing a cow by the Israelites after the order of Allah (God). Thereafter, in order to know the murderer of a slain man, the flesh of the cow was used to hit the body that turned the man alive again, so he addressed the murderer. (see [Quran 2:67]). (Not to be confused with the popular biblical incident where Moses prohibited worshiping a Calf idol, referenced elsewhere in the chapter [Quran 2:51].)

The sura addresses a wide variety of topics, including substantial amounts of law, and retells stories of Adam, Abraham and Moses. A major theme is guidance: urging the pagans (Al-Mushrikeen) and the Jews of Medina to embrace Islam, and warning them and the hypocrites of the fate God had visited in the past on those who failed to heed His call.[citation needed] Many of the stories in this chapter are shared to help people understand theological truth.[7] Condemnation of alcoholic beverages and gambling is also first found in the chapter,[8] and it is one of only four chapters in the Qur'an to refer to Christians as Nazarenes instead of the more frequent terms People of the Book or "Helpers of Christ."[9]

Al-Baqarah contains several verses dealing with the subject of warfare. Verses [Quran 2:190] are often quoted on the nature of battle in Islam.[who?] This chapter also consists of five stories regarding Allah giving life to the dead, one story of Allah giving life to a dead animal (donkey) and one story regarding giving life to a bird.[citation needed]

As a part of Lutheran efforts at translating the Qur'an in the 17th century, itinerant German orientalist Christian Ravis translated al-Baqara along with Al-Fatiha and published bilingual versions in Amsterdam in 1646.[10]

Notable verses[edit]

Verse 216 is notable as ordaining Jihad.

Verse 255 is "The Throne Verse" ( آية الكرسي ʾāyatu-l-kursī) It is the most famous verse of the Qur'an and is widely memorized and displayed in the Islamic world due to its emphatic description of God's omnipotence.

Verse 256 is one of the most quoted verses in the Qur'an. It famously notes that "there is no compulsion in religion."

Hadiths mentioning Surah Al-Baqara[edit]

Also see: Ayatul Kursi, Al-Falaq, Al-Nas

An authentic Hadith, or statement of the Muslim prophet Muhammad, reports that first-generation Muslim Ubay ibn Ka'b was asked about the greatest verse in the Qur'an, to which he answered, "Allah and His Messenger know better." When Muhammad repeated his question several times, Ubay said, "Ayatul Kursi." Muhammad commented, "Congratulations for having knowledge, O Abu Al-Mundhir! By He in Whose Hand is my soul! This verse has a tongue and two lips with which she praises the King (Allah) next to the leg of the Throne.[11]

Another authentic Hadith reports that Muhammed said: “Whoever recites Ayatul Kursi immediately after each prescribed prayer, there will be nothing standing between him and his entering heaven except death.”[12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Salwa M. S. El - Awa, Introduction to Textual Relations in Qur'an, pg. 1. Part of the Routledge Studies in the Qur'an series. London: Routledge, 2005. ISBN 9781134227471
  2. ^ a b c Mahmoud Ayoub, The Qurʾan and its interpreters, pg. 55. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1984. ISBN 9780791495469
  3. ^ Felicitas Meta Maria Opwis, Maṣlaḥah and the Purpose of the Law: Islamic Discourse on Legal Change from the 4th/10th to 8th/14th Century, pg. 296. Volume 31 of Studies in Islamic Law and Society. Leiden: Brill Publishers, 2010. ISBN 9789004184169
  4. ^ "Physical Aspects of the Noble Qur'an". www.al-islam.org. Retrieved 2008-05-10. 
  5. ^ The last two verses of Surah al Baqarah
  6. ^ Michael Binyon, Fighting is 'allowed' during the holy month of fasting The Times, 18 December 1998
  7. ^ R. G. Ghattas and Carol B. Ghattas, A Christian Guide to the Qur'an: Building Bridges in Muslim Evangelism, pg. 40. Kregel Academic, 2009. ISBN 9780825493423
  8. ^ Kathryn Kueny, The Rhetoric of Sobriety: Wine in Early Islam, pg. 66. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2001. ISBN 9780791450536
  9. ^ Karen Steenbrink, "Muslims and the Christian Other: Nasara in Qur'anic Readings." Taken from Mission is a Must: Intercultural Theology and the Mission of the Church, pg. 200. Eds. Frans Jozef Servaas Wijsen and Peter J. A. Nissen. Volume 40 of Church and Theology in Context Series. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2002. ISBN 9789042010819
  10. ^ Alastair Hamilton, "A Lutheran Translator for the Qur'an: A Late Seventeenth-Century Quest." Taken from The Republic of Letters And the Levant, pg. 197. Eds. Alastair Hamilton, Maurits H. Van Den Boogert and Bart Westerweel. Volume 5 of Intersections. Leiden: Brill Publishers, 2005. ISBN 9789004147614
  11. ^ Quran Surah (Sura) Baqarah Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Arabic English
  12. ^ The Virtues of Some Surahs by Muhammad Nasiruddin al-Albani.

External links[edit]

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Al-Fatiha
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Al-i-Imran
Arabic text