||This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. (May 2009)|
|Structure||40 rukus, 286 verses|
|Opening muqatta'āt||Alif Lam Mim|
|Moments of sujūd||0|
|Part of a series on|
Sura al-Baqarah (Arabic: سورة البقرة, Sūratu l-Baqarah, "The Cow") is the second and longest chapter of the Qur'an. It is a Medinan sura and comprises 286 verses, including the single longest verse in the Qur'an (2:282). The sura's name references verses 67–73 which recall the story of a heifer sacrificed by the Israelites.
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.
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].)
It is a Medinan sura; most of it is believed to have been revealed during the first two years after the Hijra. Some sections (for instance, the verses prohibiting interest on loans) were revealed later, and the last three verses were revealed in Mecca. 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-Kuffar) 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.
It also contains a very important verse (255), Ayatul Kursi.
The major theme is guidance. The sura comprises more than one tenth of the Qur'an.
2:127 - Our Lord! Accept from us; surely You are the Hearing, the Knowing 2:129 - Dua of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) answered in 62:2 2:144 - Qibla 2:148 - Direction (Goal) 2:156 - Indeed we are from Allah and to Him we shall surely return 2:158 - Safa and Marwa 2:173 - Forbidden Meat 2:183 - Fasting (Sawm) 2:186 - Dua 2:201 - Our Lord! Grant us good in this world and good in the hereafter, and save us from the punishment of the fire. 2:207 - Ali (AS) in hijra 2:219 - Intoxicants and gambling 2:222 - Menstruation 2:255 - Ayatul Kursi 2:285 - Aamanar Rasul 2:264 - Charity
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This Surah consists of 5 stories regarding Allah giving life to the dead, 1 story of Allah giving life to a dead Animal (donkey) and one story regarding giving life to a bird.
The verses are: 55-56 73 243 259 258 260 259
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اعْبُدُوا رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ (21) الَّذِي جَعَلَ لَكُمُ الأَرْضَ فِرَاشًا وَالسَّمَاءَ بِنَاءً وَأَنْزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً فَأَخْرَجَ بِهِ مِنَ الثَّمَرَاتِ رِزْقًا لَكُمْ فَلا تَجْعَلُوا لِلَّهِ أَنْدَادًا وَأَنْتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ (22)
O you the Mankind, listen attentively;
You demonstrate subservience and allegiance to your Sustainer Lord.
He the Exalted has created you people, and those who existed before you.
This demonstrative allegiance might let you people adopt rational conduct avoiding unrestrained moves, in reverence and fear of your Creator and Sustainer Lord. [2:21]
Your Sustainer Lord had, for you people, spread out the Earth in the manner of a floor/carpet; and the Sky in the manner of a canopy.
Moreover, He the Exalted descended water from the Sky.
Thereat, with this Water, He the Exalted brought out a variety of fruits-shrubs, as means of subsistence for you people.
Therefore, you people should not ascribe equals for Allah the Exalted, while you people are in a state of logical understanding [knowing the multiple realities as a coherent unit]. [2:22]
This first direct address to humanity, comprising thirty eight words, perhaps encompasses the entire philosophical pursuit undertaken prior to its revelation till date, and answers simplistically. Philosophy deals among other things with these questions Knowledge and Religious Experience-Dr. Allama Muhammad Iqbal:
Character and general structure of the universe in which we live;
Is there a permanent element in the constitution of this universe?
How are we related to it? What place do we occupy in it?
What is the kind of conduct that befits the place we occupy?
A man on attaining reflection capability confronts physical and social world, and wants to enquire about it. These two unitary verbal passages address and answer above questions. The test of a Book, considered Guide in time and space coupled with lofty declaration as void of conjectural substance, is that a reader like me of ordinary prudence be not confused/perplexed in perceiving what is stated; otherwise he might loose interest in the Book. Moreover, if the Book makes a demand upon reader, it must give him a plausible reason to admit and obey that.
Character and general structure of the universe in which we live is depicted as is visible to naked eye. The Earth, the Sky, Water which is also the source of botanical produce that serves as sustenance for humans is what the universe is all about outwardly. The character and structure of universe is finite as captured by mere observation. This yields a logical understanding of a coherent universe. Everything is interrelated, they are just one unit. Earth and sky are interrelated, sky and water are interrelated; and water and the produce of earth have inter relationship.
The permanent element in the constitution of outwardly universe is vividly evident by our own observation since people before lived in the same universe. "He the Exalted has created you people, and those who existed before you". Men disappeared, universe is still there. We are not related to finite Universe enclave in a sky and earth. We are not meant for the universe. Universe is meant for us. It owes its existence because of us. It is visible to naked eye and to logical understanding of "the wise men", that the Universe is coherently structured to relate and serve us. This reflects what place do we occupy in it. We are not infinite but are not that sort of finite as the universe is.
The kind of conduct that befits the place we occupy in the Universe is mentioned first in the address to humanity. No philosophical puzzles. Just one verbal sentence اعْبُدُوا رَبَّكُمُ "demonstrate subservience and allegiance to your Sustainer Lord". اعْبُدُوا is an Imperative Verb; Second Person; Plural, originating from Root "ع ب د" denoting a relational signification that can be translated as "slavery-servitude-subject" in reference to his Master, Sustainer Lord which is the object of verb. This noun also is a relational word. Both signify nature and responsibilities of relational units. However, this relationship is unique since it is not merely Master/Lord-Slave/Subject equation but a relationship of the Creator and the Created.
The characteristic feature and responsibility of Sustainer Lord is to meet the physical and honour needs of subject. He the Exalted has done it by fashioning the universe we are in to serve our physical and honour needs. Now it is our turn to willfully and affectionately demonstrate as allegiants of the Sustainer Lord. Depending upon sincerity of thought its effect is تَتَّقُونَ, adopting a rational conduct avoiding unrestrained moves, in reverence and fear of Creator and Sustainer Lord. This is the sublime manifestation and effect of اعْبُدُوا, exercise of one's will and freedom of self governance aligned maximum to the desire and will of the Sustainer Lord. This will enable us perceive our invisible "Self" and align it with outer world. This alignment will eventually qualify us for ascension beyond the horizons of finite universe.
This willful surrender and obedience to the Sustainer Lord will not compromise our honour and self-respect. Where we can compromise our dignity and place we occupy in the Universe, we are cautioned "you people should not ascribe equals for Allah the Exalted while you people are in a state of logical understanding". It is observed reality that Man and multiple unities of universe are a singular coherent unit.
Hereafter each concept and unities, and visibly and invisibly present in Universe will be unfolded in such explicit manner that all might be observed short of the Creator Who is the only invisible to human observation, yet known more than visible reality since He the Exalted has manifestly exposed His Hidden Self. We know an object and Person in absolute sense not by Vision but by knowing the invisible characteristics and their relations with others. The existence of Allah the Exalted can be felt by observing the minutest particle of His Creation, no need of so-called "spiritual-mystic" exercises and experiences to "meet" Him the Exalted. Our guide Prophet Muhammad [صلى الله عليه وسلم] never did anything mysterious in his life before and after revelation of Qur'an, as portrayed therein, yet was taken beyond the horizons of our universe. Certainly we are finite but beyond the finiteness of universe. What he did before Qur'an, he was advised to suggest the humanity same advice:
قُلْ إِنَّمَا أَعِظُكُمْ بِوَاحِدَةٍ أَنْ تَقُومُوا لِلَّهِ مَثْنَى وَفُرَادَى ثُمَّ تَتَفَكَّرُوا
You, the Messenger [Muhammad Sal'lallaa'hoalaih'wa'salam] tell them, "I only advise you people with one advice,
that you people stand/find time for Allah the Exalted [Absolute Truth and Fact] in twos, and individually;
thereafter, reflect objectively keeping aside passions/emotions/prejudices/caprices/whims/ conjectural myths to know the purpose of creation of things". [Ref 34:46]
[for details see "Word by Word Analysis"]
Hadiths mentioning Surah Al-Baqara 
It is reported from ‘Uqbah Ibn ‘Amir Al-Juhani that he said that Muhammed said: “Recite the last two verses from Surat Al-Baqarah, for I was given them from a treasure trove beneath the Throne” (Ahmad)
It is reported on the authority of Ali that he said: “I do not consider it fitting for anyone who has understood Islam to sleep (at night) until he has recited Ayatul Kursi and the ending of Surat Al-Baqarah, for they are a gift to your Prophet from the treasure which lies beneath the Throne.” (Narrated by Ibn Mardawaih)
An authentic or Sahih Hadith says that Imam Ahmad recorded that Ubayy bin Ka`b said that; the Prophet asked him about the greatest Ayah in the Book of Allah, and Ubayy answered, "Allah and His Messenger know better. When the Prophet repeated his question several times, Ubayy said, "Ayat Al-Kursi. The Prophet commented, Congratulations for having knowledge, O Abu Al-Mundhir! By He in Whose Hand is my soul! This Ayah has a tongue and two lips with which she praises the King (Allah) next to the leg of the Throne. [Imam Ahmad, Muslim]  This Hadith was also collected by Muslim, but he did not include the part that starts with, "By He in Whose Hand...
Another authentic Hadith says that Muhammed said : “Whoever recites Aaayat ul-Kursi immediately after each prescribed Prayer, there will be nothing standing between him and his entering Paradise except death.” [Narrated by an-Nasaaee. Imaam Al-Albaanee authenticated it in Saheeh al Jam i as-Sagheer : 6464] 
Also see Why Dua gets rejected
See also 
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- "Physical Aspects of the Noble Qur'an". www.al-islam.org. Retrieved 2008-05-10.
- The last two verses of Surah al Baqarah
- Quran Surah (Sura) Baqarah Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Arabic English, HTMl, PDF, with Recitation By Said Al Ghamdi MP3, Free Download
- 2. Al-Baqarah at OpenQuran.info
- Al-Quran browser al-Baqarah (The Cow).
- Surah Al-Baqarah (Complete text in Arabic with English and French translations)
- 2. Al-Baqarah at radio-coran.orgfree.com
- Al-Baqarah at TheQuranRecitation.com
- Al-Baqara at Quran.com
- Surah Al- Baqara Listen Surah Al-Baqara in The voice of Best Reciters of World
- Quran Al-Baqara with English translation
- Al-Baqara Altafsir.com
- "The Cow" a manuscript, dating from the 13th-century, of the al-Baqarah via the World Digital Library