Surah al-Baqarah (The Cow) 2 : 165

وَمِنَ ٱلنَّاسِ مَن يَتَّخِذُ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ أَندَادًا يُحِبُّونَهُمْ كَحُبِّ ٱللَّهِ ۖ وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓا۟ أَشَدُّ حُبًّا لِّلَّهِ ۗ وَلَوْ يَرَى ٱلَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوٓا۟ إِذْ يَرَوْنَ ٱلْعَذَابَ أَنَّ ٱلْقُوَّةَ لِلَّهِ جَمِيعًا وَأَنَّ ٱللَّهَ شَدِيدُ ٱلْعَذَابِ

Translations

 
 Muhsin Khan
 Pickthall
 Yusuf Ali
Quran Project
And [yet], among the people are those who take other than Allāh as equals [to Him]. They love them as they [should] love Allāh. But those who believe are stronger in love for Allāh. And if only they who have wronged would consider [that] when they see the punishment, [they will be certain] that all power belongs to Allāh and that Allāh is severe in punishment.

1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems

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Explanatory Note

In those days these were idols carved out of stone or wood, or they were stars and planets, or angels and devils. In every age these deities take on different forms and sizes. Their common feature is that they are all forms of associating partners with God, whether they are invoked together with God, or treated merely as objects of adoration or on a par with God. In the worst case, they replace God altogether.

But the case is different with true believers: “whereas the believers love God more than all else.” Their love for God supersedes their love for everything else in the world. The use of the term “love” here is both touching and appropriate, because the relationship between God and true believers is one of love and spiritual affection. It is an intimate and private relationship, continuously renewed with an undying adoration.

  • Love of Allah - Allah says....وَأَلْقَيْتُ عَلَيْكَ مَحَبَّةً مِنِّي وَلِتُصْنَعَ عَلَىٰ عَيْنِي ".....I showered you with My Love and planned that you should be reared under My watchful eye" [20:39].....These beautiful words said by Allah to the one whom He loves - in this case Musa.
  • Imam Shafi quotes a Divine rule about Allah Almighty - (this is not a hadith Qudsi) - ' أنا عند المنكسرة قلوبهم ﻷجلي ' 'I am with the one who has a broken heart for My sake.'
  • Love of Allah is dormant in every human being. The Ayat of khalq [creation] and the Qur'an awaken these dormant feelings.
  • The Prophet Muhammad [saw] was inspired by Allah to make this dua - [refer to the full narration here]

    اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ فِعْلَ الْخَيْرَاتِ، وَتَرْكَ الْمُنْكَرَاتِ، وَحُبَّ الْمَسَاكِينِ، وَأَنْ تَغْفِرَ لِي، وَتَرْحَمَنِي، وَإِذَا أَرَدْتَ فِتْنَةَ قَوْمٍ فَتَوَفَّنِي غَيْرَ مَفْتُونٍ، وَأَسْأَلُكَ حُبَّكَ، وَحُبَّ مَنْ يُحِبُّكَ، وَحُبَّ عَمَلٍ يُقَرِّبُنِي إِلَى حُبِّكَ

    "O God! I ask You for the ability to do good deeds and to avoid bad deeds, to love the poor (people) and that You forgive me and have mercy on me. And when You have decreed to put people into a Fitnah (trial) you allow me to die without being affected by the Fitnah...and I ask You for Your Love and the Love of those whom you Love and the love of those deeds which will bring me closer to Your Love." [Tirmidhee]

  • اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ حُبَّكَ، وَحُبَّ مَنْ يُحِبُّكَ، وَالعَمَلَ الَّذِي يُبَلِّغُنِي حُبَّكَ، اللَّهُمَّ اجْعَلْ حُبَّكَ أَحَبَّ إِلَيَّ  مِنْ نَفْسِي وَأَهْلِي، وَمِنَ المَاءِ البَارِدِ
    “O Allah, I ask You for Your love and the love of those who love You and love of the action which will make me reach Your love. O Allah make Your love more beloved to me than myself, my family and cold water”  Tirmidhi no. 3490

  • اللَّهُمَّ ارْزُقْنِي حُبَّكَ وَحُبَّ مَنْ يَنْفَعُنِي حُبُّهُ عِنْدَكَ، اللَّهُمَّ مَا رَزَقْتَنِي مِمَّا أُحِبُّ فَاجْعَلْهُ قُوَّةً لِي فِيمَا تُحِبُّ، اللَّهُمَّ وَمَا زَوَيْتَ عَنِّي مِمَّا أُحِبُّ فَاجْعَلْهُ فَرَاغًا لِي فِيمَا تُحِبُّ

    “O Allah, provide me with Your love and the love of those whose love will benefit me with You. O Allah, that which you have provided me of that which I love, then make it strength for me in that which you love. O Allah, that which you have removed of what I love, then make it a free space for me for that which you love.”  Tirmidhi no. 3491

  • اللهُمَّ اجْعَلْ حُبَّكَ أَحَبَّ الْأَشْيَاءِ إِلَيَّ وَاجْعَلْ خَوْفَكَ أَخْوَفَ الْأَشْيَاءِ إِلَيَّ وَاقْطَعْ عَنِّي حَاجَاتِ الدُّنْيَا بِالشَّوْقِ إِلَى لِقَائِكَ وَإِذَا أَقْرَرْتَ أَعْيُنَ أَهْلِ الدُّنْيَا مِنْ دُنْيَاهُمْ فَأَقِرَّ عَيْنِي مِنْ عِبَادَتِكَ

    “O Allah, make your love the most beloved of things to me, and your fear the most fearful of things to me and sever for me the needs of the dunya by longing for meeting You and when You give delight to the eyes of the people of the world in their dunya, then give my eye delight in your worship” [Abu Naym, Hilyat alAwliya]

  • "Had Allah lifted the veil for His slave and shown him how He handles his affairs for him, and how Allah is more keen for the benefit of the slave than his own self, his heart would have melted out of the love for Allah and would have been torn to pieces out of thankfulness to Allah. Therefore if the pains of this world tire you, do not grieve. For it may be that Allah wishes to hear your voice by way of Du’a. So pour out your desires in prostration and forget about it and know, that verily Allah does not forget." Ibn Qayyim 

  • The Ayat of Allah Almighty help the heart go through all the stages of Love to reach Tatayym,  from connection, longing, pain at seperation, Ishq, crazy feeling of love, to the end level of Tatayyum. Studying Ayat Khalq [creation] teaches the heart more more about it's Beloved which increases its love for Him.

  • واعلم أنّ محبة الله إذا تمكنت من القلب ظهرت آثارها على الجوارح من الجدّ في طاعته، والنشاط لخدمته، والحرص على مرضاته، والتلذذ بمناجاته، والرضا بقضائه، والشوق إلى لقائه، والأنس بذكره، والاستيحاش من غيره، والفرار من الناس، والانفراد في الخلوات، وخروج الدنيا من القلب، ومحبة كل من يحبه الله، وإيثاره على كل من سواه.ابن جزي:: 1/92 [Be the first to translate this...] 

  • محبة المخلوقين إن زادت عن حدها قد تصل إلى شرك المحبة؛ فلا تتجاوز الحد في محبتهم مهما كانت منزلتهم، ﴿ وَمِنَ ٱلنَّاسِ مَن يَتَّخِذُ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ أَندَادًا يُحِبُّونَهُمْ كَحُبِّ ٱللَّهِ ۖ [Be the first to translate this...] 

  •  كثرة ذكر المحبوب دليل على شدة حبه؛ فذكر العبد لربه كثيرا يدل على أن حبه لربه كبير، ﴿ وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓا۟ أَشَدُّ حُبًّا لِّلَّهِ ۗ [Be the first to translate this...] 

Ways to gain the Love of Allah

 

Bringing about the Love of Allah in the Heart

  1. Recitation of the Qur’an with reflection an understanding of it.
  2. Seeking closeness to Allah by performing voluntary deeds after performing obligatory ones. For that leads one to the highest levels of Love.
  3. Remembering Allah during every situation with one’s time, heart and deeds – the proportion of this Love is in proportion to the Dhikr.
  4. Preferring what He loves over what you Love when the desire is strongest.
  5. Allowing the Heart the time to reflect on His Names and Attributes.
  6. Reflecting on His many favours and blessings – both dhahir and batin ones – for that leads to His Love.
  7. Having your Heart soften as you worship Allah.
  8. Being Alone with Him in worship as He descends – during the last third of the night – in good manners and then to end that with Istighfar [seeking forgiveness].
  9. Sitting with those who are truthful in their love of Allah.
  10. Staying away from all things that leads to making barriers between the Heart and Allah.

2. Linguistic Analysis

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Frequency of Root words in this Ayat used in this Surah *


3. Surah Overview

4. Miscellaneous Information

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5. Connected/Related Ayat

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6. Frequency of the word

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7. Period of Revelation

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The scholars are unanimous that Surah al-Baqarah is Madani and that it was the first Surah revealed in Madinah. [Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani in Fath al-Bari no. 160/8].

Despite it being the first Surah to be revealed in Madinah, it contains Ayaat from a later period also. In fact, according to Ibn Abbas [as mentioned in Ibn Kathir] the last Ayat revealed to the Prophet was Ayat no. 281 from Surah al-Baqarah and this occurred 8 days or so before his death [which corresponds to the year 11 Hijri].

8. Reasons for Revelation

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In order to understand the meaning of this Surah, we should know its historical background:

1. At Makkah, the Quran generally addressed the polytheist Quraysh who were ignorant of Islam, but at Madinah it was also concerned with the Jews who were acquainted with the creed of Monotheism, Prophethood, Revelation, the Hereafter and Angels. They also professed to believe in the law which was revealed by God to their Prophet Moses, and in principle, their way was the same (Islam) that was being taught by Prophet Muhammad. But they had strayed away from it during the centuries of degeneration and had adopted many un-Islamic creeds, rites and customs of which there was no mention and for which there was no sanction in the Torah. Not only this: they had tampered with the Torah by inserting their own explanations and interpretations into its text. They had distorted even that part of the Word of God which had remained intact in their Scriptures and taken out of it the real spirit of true religion and were now clinging to a lifeless frame of rituals. Consequently their beliefs, their morals and their conduct had gone to the lowest depths of degeneration. The pity is that they were not only satisfied with their condition but loved to cling to it. Besides this, they had no intention or inclination to accept any kind of reform. So they became bitter enemies of those who came to teach them the Right Way and did their utmost to defeat every such effort. Though they were originally Muslims, they had swerved from the real Islam and made innovations and alterations in it and had fallen victims to hair splitting and sectarianism. They had forgotten and forsaken God and begun to serve material wealth. So much so that they had even given up their original name “Muslim” and adopted the name “Jew” instead, and made religion the sole monopoly of the children of Israel. This was their religious condition when the Prophet went to Madinah and invited the Jews to the true religion. That is why more than one third of this Surah has been addressed to the children of Israel. A critical review of their history, their moral degeneration and their religious perversions has been made. Side by side with this, the high standard of morality and the fundamental principles of the pure religion have been put forward in order to bring out clearly the nature of the degeneration of the community of a prophet when it goes astray and to draw clear lines of demarcation between real piety and formalism, and the essentials and non-essentials of the true religion.

2. At Makkah, Islam was mainly concerned with the propagation of its fundamental principles and the moral training of its followers. But after the migration of the Prophet to Madinah, where Muslims had come to settle from all over Arabia and where a tiny Islamic State had been set up with the help of the ‘local supporters’ (Ansar), naturally the Quran had to turn its attention to the social, cultural, economic, political and legal problems as well. This accounts for the difference between the themes of the Surahs revealed at Makkah and those at Madinah. Accordingly about half of this Surah deals with those principles and regulations which are essential for the integration and solidarity of a community and for the solution of its problems.

After the migration to Madinah, the struggle between Islam and disbelief (Kufr) had also entered a new phase. Before this the Believers, who propagated Islam among their own clans and tribes, had to face its opponents at their own risk. But the conditions had changed at Madinah, where Muslims from all parts of Arabia had come and settled as one community, and had established an independent city state. Here it became a struggle for the survival of the Community itself, for the whole of non-Muslim Arabia was bent upon and united in crushing it totally. Hence the following instructions, upon which depended not only its success but its very survival, were revealed in this Surah:

a. The Community should work with the utmost zeal to propagate its ideology and win over to its side the greatest possible number of people.

b. It should so expose its opponents as to leave no room for doubt in the mind of any sensible person that they were adhering to an absolutely wrong position.

c. It should infuse in its members (the majority of whom were homeless and indigent and surrounded on all sides by enemies) that courage and fortitude which is so indispensable to their very existence in the adverse circumstances in which they were struggling and to prepare them to face these boldly.

d. It should also keep them ready and prepared to meet any armed menace, which might come from any side to suppress and crush their ideology, and to oppose it tooth and nail without minding the overwhelming numerical strength and the material resources of its enemies.

e. It should also create in them that courage which is needed for the eradication of evil ways and for the establishment of the Islamic Way instead. That is why God has revealed in this Surah such instructions as may help achieve all the above mentioned objects.

At the time of the revelation of Al-Baqarah, all sorts of hypocrites had begun to appear. God has, therefore, briefly pointed out their characteristics here. Afterwards when their evil characteristics and mischievous deeds became manifest, God sent detailed instructions about them. [REF: Mawdudi]

9. Relevant Hadith

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  • Muadh narrates, "One morning, the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) was prevented from coming to us for Salat As-Subh, until we were just about to look for the eye of the sun (meaning sunrise). Then he came out quickly, had the Salat prepared for. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) performed the Salat, and he performed his Salat in a relatively quick manner. When he said the Salam, he called aloud with his voice saying to us: 'Stay in your rows as you are.' Then he turned coming near to us, then he said: 'I am going to narrate to you what kept me from you this morning: I got up during the night, I performed Wudu and prayed as much as I was able to, and I dozed off during my Salat, and fell deep asleep. Then I saw my Lord, Blessed and Most High, in the best of appearances. He said: 'O Muhammad!' I said: 'My Lord here I am my Lord!' He said: 'What is it that the most exalted group busy themselves with?' I said: 'I do not know Lord.' And He said it three times." He said: "So I saw Him place His Palm between my shoulders, and I sensed the coolness of His Fingertips between my breast. Then everything was disclosed for me, and I became aware. So He said: 'O Muhammad!' I said: 'Here I am my Lord!' He said: 'What is it that the most exalted group busy themselves with?' I said: 'In the acts that atone.' He said: 'And what are they?' I said: 'The footsteps to the congregation, the gatherings in the Masajid after the Salat, Isbagh Al-Wudu during difficulties.' He said: 'Then what else?' I said: 'Feeding others, being lenient in speech, and Salat during the night while the people are sleeping.' He said: 'Ask.' I said: 'O Allah! I ask of you the doing of the good deeds, avoiding the evil deeds, loving the poor, and that You forgive me, and have mercy upon me. And when You have willed Fitnah in the people, then take me without the Fitnah. And I ask You for Your love, the love of whomever You love, and the of the deeds that bring one nearer to Your love.'" The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: "Indeed it is true, so study it and learn it."  [Tirmidhee]

 

  • Abdullah bin Mas`ud said: I said, "O Messenger of Allah! What is the greatest sin'' He said, "To appoint a rival to Allah while He Alone has created you". [Bukhari and Muslim]

10. Wiki Forum

Comments in this section are statements made by general users – these are not necessarily explanations of the Ayah – rather a place to share personal thoughts and stories…

11. Tafsir Zone

 

12. External Links

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