Translation of the meanings of surah Al-Baqara (2)
(101) And when a messenger from Allah came to them confirming that which was with them, a party of those who had been given the Scripture threw the Scripture of Allah [i.e., the Torah] behind their backs as if they did not know [what it contained].
(102) And they followed [instead] what the devils had recited during the reign of Solomon. It was not Solomon who disbelieved, but the devils disbelieved, teaching people magic and that which was revealed to the two angels at Babylon, Harout and Marout. But they [i.e., the two angels] do not teach anyone unless they say, "We are a trial, so do not disbelieve [by practicing magic]." And [yet] they learn from them that by which they cause separation between a man and his wife. But they do not harm anyone through it except by permission of Allah. And they [i.e., people] learn what harms them and does not benefit them. But they [i.e., the Children of Israel] certainly knew that whoever purchased it [i.e., magic] would not have in the Hereafter any share. And wretched is that for which they sold themselves, if they only knew.
- They warn people against the misuse of what they have learned.
(103) And if they had believed and feared Allah, then the reward from Allah would have been [far] better, if they only knew.
(104) O you who have believed, say not [to Allah's Messenger], "Ra’ina" but say, "Unzurna" and listen. And for the disbelievers is a painful punishment.
- The word "raÔina" in Arabic literally means "consider us," i.e., give us time to hear you and listen to us. The Jews used to use the same word with the meaning of an insult. Therefore, the believers were ordered to avoid this expression and use instead the word "unthurna," i.e., "wait for us [so that we may understand]."
(105) Neither those who disbelieve from the People of the Scripture [i.e., the Jews and Christians] nor the polytheists wish that any good should be sent down to you from your Lord. But Allah selects for His mercy whom He wills, and Allah is the possessor of great bounty.
(106) We do not abrogate a verse or cause it to be forgotten except that We bring forth [one] better than it or similar to it. Do you not know that Allah is over all things competent?
(107) Do you not know that to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and [that] you have not besides Allah any protector or any helper?
(108) Or do you intend to ask your Messenger as Moses was asked before? And whoever exchanges faith for disbelief has certainly strayed from the soundness of the way.
- i.e., persistently question or, as in the case of the disbelievers, demand a miracle of the Prophet (^) .
(109) Many of the People of the Scripture wish they could turn you back to disbelief after you have believed, out of envy from themselves [even] after the truth has become clear to them. So pardon and overlook until Allah delivers His command. Indeed, Allah is over all things competent.
(110) And establish prayer and give Zakah, and whatever good you put forward for yourselves – you will find it with Allah. Indeed Allah, of what you do, is Seeing.
(111) And they say, "None will enter Paradise except one who is a Jew or a Christian." That is [merely] their wishful thinking. Say, "Produce your proof, if you should be truthful."
(112) Yes, [on the contrary], whoever submits his face [i.e., self] in IsLam to Allah while being a doer of good will have his reward with his Lord. And no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve.
(113) The Jews say, "The Christians have nothing [true] to stand on," and the Christians say, "The Jews have nothing to stand on," although they [both] recite the Scripture. Thus do those who know not [i.e., the polytheists] speak the same as their words. But Allah will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection concerning that over which they used to differ.
(114) And who are more unjust than those who prevent the name of Allah from being mentioned [i.e., praised] in His mosques and strive toward their destruction. It is not for them to enter them except in fear. For them in this world is disgrace, and they will have in the Hereafter a great punishment.
(115) And to Allah belongs the east and the west. So wherever you [might] turn, there is the Face of Allah. Indeed, Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing.
- See footnote to 2:19.
(116) They say, "Allah has taken a son." Exalted is He! Rather, to Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and the earth. All are devoutly obedient to Him,
- Subhanahu means "far exalted is He above all they falsely attribute to Him."
(117) Originator of the heavens and the earth. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it, "Be," and it is.
(118) Those who do not know say, "Why does Allah not speak to us or there come to us a sign?" Thus spoke those before them like their words. Their hearts resemble each other. We have shown clearly the signs to a people who are certain [in faith].
(119) Indeed, We have sent you, [O Muhammad], with the truth as a bringer of good tidings and a warner, and you will not be asked about the companions of Hellfire.
(120) And never will the Jews and the Christians approve of you until you follow their religion. Say, "Indeed, the guidance of Allah is the [only] guidance." If you were to follow their desires after what has come to you of knowledge, you would have against Allah no protector or helper.
(121) Those to whom We have given the Book recite it with its true recital. They [are the ones who] believe in it. And whoever disbelieves in it – it is they who are the losers.
- i.e., applying its teachings to their lives.
(122) O Children of Israel, remember My favor which I have bestowed upon you and that I preferred you over the worlds.
(123) And fear a Day when no soul will suffice for another soul at all, and no compensation will be accepted from it, nor will any intercession benefit it, nor will they be aided.
- See footnote to 2:48.
(124) And [mention, O Muhammad], when Abraham was tried by his Lord with words [i.e., commands] and he fulfilled them. [Allah] said, "Indeed, I will make you a leader for the people." [Abraham] said, "And of my descendants?" [Allah] said, "My covenant does not include the wrongdoers."
(125) And [mention] when We made the House [i.e., the Ka’bah] a place of return for the people and [a place of] security. And take, [O believers], from the standing place of Abraham a place of prayer. And We charged Abraham and Ishmael, [saying], "Purify My House for those who perform ‹Tawaf and those who are staying [there] for worship and those who bow and prostrate [in prayer]."
- A form of worship particular to the KaÔbah consisting of going around it in circuits.
(126) And [mention] when Abraham said, "My Lord, make this a secure city and provide its people with fruits – whoever of them believes in Allah and the Last Day." [Allah] said, "And whoever disbelieves – I will grant him enjoyment for a little; then I will force him to the punishment of the Fire, and wretched is the destination."
(127) And [mention] when Abraham was raising the foundations of the House and [with him] Ishmael, [saying], "Our Lord, accept [this] from us. Indeed, You are the Hearing, the Knowing.
- Who hears every sound, distinguishes every voice, understands every word, and accepts and responds to supplications. - Refer to footnote in 2:32.
(128) Our Lord, and make us Muslims [in submission] to You and from our descendants a Muslim nation [in submission] to You. And show us our rites [of worship] and accept our repentance. Indeed, You are the Accepting of Repentance, the Merciful.
(129) Our Lord, and send among them a messenger from themselves who will recite to them Your verses and teach them the Book and wisdom and purify them. Indeed, You are the Exalted in Might, the Wise."
- Honored for absolute power associated with wisdom and justice.
(130) And who would be averse to the religion of Abraham except one who makes a fool of himself. And We had chosen him in this world, and indeed he, in the Hereafter, will be among the righteous.
(131) When his Lord said to him, "Submit," he said, "I have submitted [in IsLam] to the Lord of the worlds."
- The meaning of the word "Islam" is "submission to the will of Allah." This is the way of life ordained by Allah and taught by all of the prophets from Adam to Muhammad (^). A Muslim is one who submits himself to Allah.
(132) And Abraham instructed his sons [to do the same] and [so did] Jacob, [saying], "O my sons, indeed Allah has chosen for you this religion, so do not die except while you are Muslims."
(133) Or were you witnesses when death approached Jacob, when he said to his sons, "What will you worship after me?" They said, "We will worship your God and the God of your fathers, Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac – one God. And we are Muslims [in submission] to Him."
- Allah (subhanahu wa taÔala) alone.
(134) That was a nation which has passed on. It will have [the consequence of] what it earned, and you will have what you have earned. And you will not be asked about what they used to do.
(135) They say, "Be Jews or Christians [so] you will be guided." Say, "Rather, [we follow] the religion of Abraham, inclining toward truth, and he was not of the polytheists."
- Those who associate others with Allah in worship.
(136) Say, [O believers], "We have believed in Allah and what has been revealed to us and what has been revealed to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the Descendants [al-Asbat] and what was given to Moses and Jesus and what was given to the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and we are Muslims [in submission] to Him."
- The twelve tribes of Israel descended from Jacob.
(137) So if they believe in the same as you believe in, then they have been [rightly] guided; but if they turn away, they are only in dissension, and Allah will be sufficient for you against them. And He is the Hearing, the Knowing.
(138) [And say, "Ours is] the religion of Allah. And who is better than Allah in [ordaining] religion? And we are worshippers of Him."
(139) Say, [O Muhammad], "Do you argue with us about Allah while He is our Lord and your Lord? For us are our deeds, and for you are your deeds. And we are sincere [in deed and intention] to Him."
(140) Or do you say that Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the Descendants were Jews or Christians? Say, "Are you more knowing or is Allah?" And who is more unjust than one who conceals a testimony he has from Allah? And Allah is not unaware of what you do.
- Statements in previous scriptures attesting to the nature of Allah's religion (Islam) and the coming of Prophet Muhammad (^) .
(141) That is a nation which has passed on. It will have [the consequence of] what it earned, and you will have what you have earned. And you will not be asked about what they used to do.
(142) The foolish among the people will say, "What has turned them away from their qiblah, which they used to face?" Say, "To Allah belongs the east and the west. He guides whom He wills to a straight path."
- The direction faced in prayer. - Prior to the command (in verse 144) that the Prophet (^) and his followers turn toward the KaÔbah in Makkah for prayer, they had been facing Jerusalem to the north. The implications of this change are mentioned in succeeding verses.
(143) And thus We have made you a median [i.e., just] community that you will be witnesses over the people and the Messenger will be a witness over you. And We did not make the qiblah which you used to face except that We might make evident who would follow the Messenger from who would turn back on his heels. And indeed, it is difficult except for those whom Allah has guided. And never would Allah have caused you to lose your faith [i.e., your previous prayers]. Indeed Allah is, to the people, Kind and Merciful.
- i.e., refuse.
(144) We have certainly seen the turning of your face, [O Muhammad], toward the heaven, and We will surely turn you to a qiblah with which you will be pleased. So turn your face [i.e., yourself] toward al-Masjid al-Haram. And wherever you [believers] are, turn your faces [i.e., yourselves] toward it [in prayer]. Indeed, those who have been given the Scripture [i.e., the Jews and the Christians] well know that it is the truth from their Lord. And Allah is not unaware of what they do.
- The Sacred Mosque in Makkah containing the KaÔbah.
(145) And if you brought to those who were given the Scripture every sign, they would not follow your qiblah. Nor will you be a follower of their qiblah. Nor would they be followers of one another's qiblah. So if you were to follow their desires after what has come to you of knowledge, indeed, you would then be among the wrongdoers.
(146) Those to whom We gave the Scripture know him [i.e., Prophet Muhammad (^)] as they know their own sons. But indeed, a party of them conceal the truth while they know [it].
(147) The truth is from your Lord, so never be among the doubters.
(148) For each [religious following] is a [prayer] direction toward which it faces. So race to [all that is] good. Wherever you may be, Allah will bring you forth [for judgement] all together. Indeed, Allah is over all things competent.
(149) So from wherever you go out [for prayer, O Muhammad], turn your face toward al-Masjid al-Haram, and indeed, it is the truth from your Lord. And Allah is not unaware of what you do.
(150) And from wherever you go out [for prayer], turn your face toward al-Masjid al-Haram. And wherever you [believers] may be, turn your faces toward it in order that the people will not have any argument against you, except for those of them who commit wrong; so fear them not but fear Me. And [it is] so I may complete My favor upon you and that you may be guided,
(151) Just as We have sent among you a messenger from yourselves reciting to you Our verses and purifying you and teaching you the Book and wisdom and teaching you that which you did not know.
- The wisdom taught by the Prophet (^) is his sunnah.
(152) So remember Me; I will remember you. And be grateful to Me and do not deny Me.
(153) O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient.
(154) And do not say about those who are killed in the way of Allah, "They are dead." Rather, they are alive, but you perceive [it] not.
(155) And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient,
(156) Who, when disaster strikes them, say, "Indeed we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him we will return."
(157) Those are the ones upon whom are blessings from their Lord and mercy. And it is those who are the [rightly] guided.
(158) Indeed, as-Safa and al-Marwah are among the symbols of Allah. So whoever makes Hajj [pilgrimage] to the House or performs Umrah – there is no blame upon him for walking between them. And whoever volunteers good – then indeed, Allah is Appreciative and Knowing.
- Places designated for the rites of hajj and Ôumrah. - Some believers had previously feared that this might be a pagan practice, so Allah confirms that sa'i is among the rites of His religion. - i.e., He rewards generously.
(159) Indeed, those who conceal what We sent down of clear proofs and guidance after We made it clear for the people in the Scripture – those are cursed by Allah and cursed by those who curse,
- From among the angels and the believers.
(160) Except for those who repent and correct themselves and make evident [what they concealed]. Those – I will accept their repentance, and I am the Accepting of Repentance, the Merciful.
- Refer to footnote of 2:37
(161) Indeed, those who disbelieve and die while they are disbelievers – upon them will be the curse of Allah and of the angels and the people, all together,
(162) Abiding eternally therein. The punishment will not be lightened for them, nor will they be reprieved.
(163) And your god is one God. There is no deity [worthy of worship] except Him, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.
(164) Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alternation of the night and the day, and the [great] ships which sail through the sea with that which benefits people, and what Allah has sent down from the heavens of rain, giving life thereby to the earth after its lifelessness and dispersing therein every [kind of] moving creature, and [His] directing of the winds and the clouds controlled between the heaven and earth are signs for a people who use reason.
(165) And [yet], among the people are those who take other than Allah as equals [to Him]. They love them as they [should] love Allah. But those who believe are stronger in love for Allah. And if only they who have wronged would consider [that] when they see the punishment, [they will be certain] that all power belongs to Allah and that Allah is severe in punishment.
(166) [And they should consider that] when those who have been followed disassociate themselves from those who followed [them], and they [all] see the punishment, and cut off from them are the ties [of relationship],
(167) Those who followed will say, "If only we had another turn [at worldly life] so we could disassociate ourselves from them as they have disassociated themselves from us." Thus will Allah show them their deeds as regrets upon them. And they are never to emerge from the Fire.
(168) O mankind, eat from whatever is on earth [that is] lawful and good and do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy.
(169) He only orders you to evil and immorality and to say about Allah what you do not know.
(170) And when it is said to them, "Follow what Allah has revealed," they say, "Rather, we will follow that which we found our fathers doing." Even though their fathers understood nothing, nor were they guided?
(171) The example of those who disbelieve is like that of one who shouts at what hears nothing but calls and cries [i.e., cattle or sheep] – deaf, dumb and blind, so they do not understand.
(172) O you who have believed, eat from the good [i.e., lawful] things which We have provided for you and be grateful to Allah if it is [indeed] Him that you worship.
(173) He has only forbidden to you dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that which has been dedicated to other than Allah. But whoever is forced [by necessity], neither desiring [it] nor transgressing [its limit], there is no sin upon him. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.
- Those not slaughtered or hunted expressly for food.
(174) Indeed, they who conceal what Allah has sent down of the Book and exchange it for a small price – those consume not into their bellies except the Fire. And Allah will not speak to them on the Day of Resurrection, nor will He purify them. And they will have a painful punishment.
(175) Those are the ones who have exchanged guidance for error and forgiveness for punishment. How patient they are for [i.e., in pursuit of] the Fire!
(176) That is [deserved by them] because Allah has sent down the Book in truth. And indeed, those who differ over the Book are in extreme dissension.
(177) Righteousness is not that you turn your faces toward the east or the west, but [true] righteousness is [in] one who believes in Allah, the Last Day, the angels, the Book, and the prophets and gives wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveler, those who ask [for help], and for freeing slaves; [and who] establishes prayer and gives Zakah; [those who] fulfill their promise when they promise; and [those who] are patient in poverty and hardship and during battle. Those are the ones who have been true, and it is those who are the righteous.
(178) O you who have believed, prescribed for you is legal retribution for those murdered – the free for the free, the slave for the slave, and the female for the female. But whoever overlooks from his brother [i.e., the killer] anything, then there should be a suitable follow-up and payment to him [i.e., the deceased's heir or legal representative] with good conduct. This is an alleviation from your Lord and a mercy. But whoever transgresses after that will have a painful punishment.
- No one else should be executed in place of the killer. - By accepting compensation payment rather than execution. - After acceptance of compensation.
(179) And there is for you in legal retribution [saving of] life, O you [people] of understanding, that you may become righteous.
- Or, "that you may avoid [sin]."
(180) Prescribed for you when death approaches [any] one of you if he leaves wealth [is that he should make] a bequest for the parents and near relatives according to what is acceptable – a duty upon the righteous.
- This ruling was abrogated by the revelation in S´rah an-NisaÕ stipulating obligatory shares for parents and close relatives. Those who do not inherit by law may be remembered in a bequest. See 4:11-12.
(181) Then whoever alters it [i.e., the bequest] after he has heard it – the sin is only upon those who have altered it. Indeed, Allah is Hearing and Knowing.
(182) But if one fears from the bequeather [some] error or sin and corrects that which is between them [i.e., the concerned parties], there is no sin upon him. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.
(183) O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous –
(184) [Fasting for] a limited number of days. So whoever among you is ill or on a journey [during them] – then an equal number of other days [are to be made up]. And upon those who are able [to fast, but with hardship] – a ransom [as substitute] of feeding a poor person [each day]. And whoever volunteers good [i.e., excess] – it is better for him. But to fast is best for you, if you only knew.
(185) The month of Ramadan [is that] in which was revealed the Quran, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the crescent of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.
- Also, "whoever is present during the month."
(186) And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided.
(187) It has been made permissible for you the night preceding fasting to go to your wives [for sexual relations]. They are a clothing for you and you are a clothing for them. Allah knows that you used to deceive yourselves, so He accepted your repentance and forgave you. So now, have relations with them and seek that which Allah has decreed for you [i.e., offspring]. And eat and drink until the white thread of dawn becomes distinct to you from the black thread [of night]. Then complete the fast until the night [i.e., sunset]. And do not have relations with them as long as you are staying for worship in the mosques. These are the limits [set by] Allah, so do not approach them. Thus does Allah make clear His verses [i.e., ordinances] to the people that they may become righteous.
- Also a source of tranquility and rest. - Prior to this revelation, marital relations were unlawful during nights preceding fasting. Some were unable to refrain and secretly disobeyed, but they did not deceive Allah.
(188) And do not consume one another's wealth unjustly or send it [in bribery] to the rulers in order that [they might aid] you [to] consume a portion of the wealth of the people in sin, while you know [it is unlawful].
(189) They ask you, [O Muhammad], about the crescent moons. Say, "They are measurements of time for the people and for Hajj [pilgrimage]." And it is not righteousness to enter houses from the back, but righteousness is [in] one who fears Allah. And enter houses from their doors. And fear Allah that you may succeed.
(190) Fight in the way of Allah those who fight against you but do not transgress. Indeed, Allah does not like transgressors.
(191) And kill them [in battle] wherever you overtake them and expel them from wherever they have expelled you, and fitnah is worse than killing. And do not fight them at al-Masjid al-Haram until they fight you there. But if they fight you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers.
- Among the meanings of fitnah are disbelief and its imposition on others, discord, dissension, civil strife, persecution, oppression, injustice, seduction, terrorism, trial and torment.
(192) And if they cease, then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.
(193) Fight them until there is no [more] fitnah and [until] religion [i.e., worship] is [acknowledged to be] for Allah. But if they cease, then there is to be no aggression [i.e., assault] except against the oppressors.
(194) [Battle in] the sacred month is for [aggression committed in] the sacred month, and for [all] violations is legal retribution. So whoever has assaulted you, then assault him in the same way that he has assaulted you. And fear Allah and know that Allah is with those who fear Him.
- The sacred months are Dhul-QaÔdah, Dhul-îijjah, Muharram and Rajab.
(195) And spend in the way of Allah and do not throw [yourselves] with your [own] hands into destruction [by refraining]. And do good; indeed, Allah loves the doers of good.
(196) And complete the Hajj and Umrah for Allah. But if you are prevented, then [offer] what can be obtained with ease of sacrificial animals. And do not shave your heads until the sacrificial animal has reached its place of slaughter. And whoever among you is ill or has an ailment of the head [making shaving necessary must offer] a ransom of fasting [three days] or charity or sacrifice. And when you are secure, then whoever performs Umrah [during the Hajj months] followed by Hajj [offers] what can be obtained with ease of sacrificial animals. And whoever cannot find [or afford such an animal] – then a fast of three days during Hajj and of seven when you have returned [home]. Those are ten complete [days]. This is for those whose family is not in the area of al-Masjid al-Haram. And fear Allah and know that Allah is severe in penalty.
- Feeding six needy persons. - The slaughter of a sheep or goat. - Under normal conditions, i.e., are not prevented. - The months of Shawwal, Dhul-QaÔdah and Dhul-îijjah.
(197) Hajj is [during] well-known months, so whoever has made Hajj obligatory upon himself therein [by entering the state of ihram], there is [to be for him] no sexual relations and no disobedience and no disputing during Hajj. And whatever good you do – Allah knows it. And take provisions, but indeed, the best provision is fear of Allah. And fear Me, O you of understanding.
- See previous footnote.
(198) There is no blame upon you for seeking bounty from your Lord [during Hajj]. But when you depart from Arafat, remember Allah at al-Mash’ar al-Haram. And remember Him, as He has guided you, for indeed, you were before that among those astray.
- i.e., profit from trade or business. - Which is in Muzdalifah.
(199) Then depart from the place from where [all] the people depart and ask forgiveness of Allah. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.
(200) And when you have completed your rites, remember Allah like your [previous] remembrance of your fathers or with [much] greater remembrance. And among the people is he who says, "Our Lord, give us in this world," and he will have in the Hereafter no share.