Surah al-Baqarah (The Cow) 2 : 267
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(the) good things
you have earned
We brought forth
while you (would) not
(with) close(d) eyes
1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems[ edit ]
The sūrah goes on to outline the nature of charity, its methods, manners and outcome. Following the ethics and principles of charity outlined in the preceding verses, one should give of the best in one’s possession, rather than of the less worthy, which one would not accept if offered in trade, unless one could strike a bargain price. God has no need to accept charity out of people’s second-rate possessions.
This is a broad principle, valid for all time and all types of property, whether earned, cultivated, extracted or mined, whether known at the time of the Prophet Muĥammad or not. Not a single kind of earnings or capital, acquired at any time, is exempt from the obligation of charity, and zakāt accrues on it all, in accordance with the rates and proportions specified by the Prophet for the various types of capital known then. These form the standard by which percentages and proportions are determined for new types of wealth, capital or earnings.
By way of illustration, and to appreciate the realities the Qur’ān was dealing with at the time of its revelation, it would be instructive to recall the circumstances in which this verse was revealed to the Prophet.
God, after all, “is free of all want, ever to be praised” People donate for their own good, as their donations are of no benefit to God in any way. So they should give willingly and with a clear conscience. When they do, God will accept their generosity and reward them for it, although it is He who has bestowed the wealth on them in the first place.
2. Linguistic Analysis[ edit ]
4. Miscellaneous Information[ edit ]
5. Connected/Related Ayat[ edit ]
- لَن تَنَالُوا۟ ٱلْبِرَّ حَتَّىٰ تُنفِقُوا۟ مِمَّا تُحِبُّونَ ۚ وَمَا تُنفِقُوا۟ مِن شَىْءٍ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ بِهِۦ عَلِيمٌ "Never will you attain the good [reward] until you spend [in the way of Allah] from that which you love. And whatever you spend - indeed, Allah is Knowing of it." (3:92)
6. Frequency of the word[ edit ]
7. Period of Revelation[ edit ]
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[ edit ]
Ibn Jarīr al-Ţabarī reports on the authority of al-Barā’ ibn `Āzib that the verse was revealed with reference to the Anşār (the Muslims from Madinah). As the harvest season for dates approached, people would take bunches of dates that had just turned colour but had not fully ripened and tie them to posts in the Prophet’s Mosque, for the poor among the Muhājirūn (the Muslims from Makkah) to eat. Some, however, would take dates of the worst quality and mix them with good ones and think nothing of it. It was then that God revealed the verse, which said: “Do not choose for your spending the inferior things which you yourselves would not accept without turning your eyes away in disdain.”
Similar reports were related by al-Ĥākim and Ibn Abī Ĥātim, all of which go to show that, as well as having assiduous and exemplary members, a Muslim community may also have members who need to be educated and informed of their duties and obligations. The Anşār’s commendable record of tireless sacrifice and support for the cause of Islam did not preclude them from being criticised and censured when some of them failed to live up to the standards and obligations of Islam.