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Commentary on Surat Al-Baqarah

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Chapter 2: Surat Al-Baqarah
The Cow
(Selected Verses)

By: Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri

  1. Surely God is not ashamed to set forth any parable, whether of a gnat or anything above that. As for those who believe, they know that it is the truth from their Lord. And as for those who disbelieve, they say: What is it that God means by this parable? He causes many to err by it and He guides aright many by it, but He does not cause any to err by it except the transgressors.

The parables and examples which echo the meaning of reality are given to us even in what appears to be small or insignificant. Those who seek the Truth will gain this deep knowledge from subtle observations, and those who are in a state of disbelief and denial will have no access to the deep knowledge of reality. 

  1. Those who break the covenant of Allah after its confirmation, cut asunder what God has commanded to be joined and act corruptly in the land, these are the losers.

The Qur`an reveals several shades of meaning. In its most outward interpretation this verse refers to breaking pledges or obligations (mīthāq, agreement, contract) to others. This eventually causes confusion and disharmony. In its inward significance this pledge or contract is the continued recognition of unity (tawhīd) and obligation to act in accordance with this recognition. 

  1. How can you deny Allah when you were dead and He gave you life? Then He will cause you to die and again bring you to life and to Him you will return.

Physically we are only inanimate matter vivified for a while by the spirit emanating from God. The drop of water in the ocean is not separate from the ocean itself, but in order for us to recognize the oceanic source of life we must surrender our self-identity via the door of death. New life will then be experienced beyond time and space. 

  1. It is He Who created for you all that is in the earth, then He directed Himself to the heaven, and fashioned it as seven heavens, and He knows all things.

He created the earth for the highest of creatures, humankind. The next step was to create the heavens, the many heavens above us. It is the lowest heaven that contains all the stars, galaxies and discernible entities of space.


Back Up Next

The Opening - A Commentary on Chapter 1: Surat Al-Fatiha ] The Cow - A Commentary on Chapter 2: Surat Al-Baqarah ] The Family of 'Imrān - A Commentary on Chapter 3: Surat Al-'Imrān ] The Spider - A Commentary on Chapter 29: Surat Al-'Ankabt ] The Heart of the Qur`an - A Commentary on Chapter 36: Surat Ya Sin ] The Beneficent - A Commentary on Chapter 55: Surat Al-Rahmn ] The Event - A Commentary on Chapter 56: Surat Al-Wqi'ah ] The Kingdom - A Commentary on Chapter 67: Surat Al-Mulk ] The Jinn - A Commentary on Chapter 72: Surat Al-Jinn ] The Unwrapped - A Commentary on Chapter 73: Surat Al-Muzzammil ] A Commentary on the Last Section of the Qur`an ]