Surah al-Baqarah (The Cow) 2 : 98
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and His Angels
and His Messengers
(is) an enemy
to the disbelievers
1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems[ edit ]
The Qur’ān confirms and endorses in general terms all divine revelations received before it. The religion of God, as expounded and preached by all revealed Scriptures, is basically one and the same. All divine revelations have come as guidance to man and as a source of joyful tidings for all believing hearts that are receptive and willing to have faith in God.
There is an aspect of religious experience which is important to emphasise. The effect of divine revelations on the believing heart is uniquely uplifting. The simple recitation of the Qur’ān fills the heart with tranquillity and solace, and opens up new vistas of meaning and knowledge. The study of this revelation can also be very inspiring, uncovering wider horizons of understanding and, therefore, guidance and achievement. Many verses include descriptions of the Qur’ān as ‘guidance for the God- fearing’ (2: 2), or ‘guidance and grace for people who believe’ (12: 111), or ‘a cure... and mercy for all believers.’ (10: 57) These descriptions confirm that its guidance is the fruit of strong faith and trust in, and genuine fear of, God Almighty.
Such qualities were seen to be lacking among the Israelites. They have traditionally undermined the inherent unity of divine religion by discriminating between the prophets and between the angels themselves. The verse, therefore, insists that prophets and angels should be equally respected and revered, and that whoever opposes or is hostile to any of them shall have God’s power to contend with. “Whoever is an enemy of God, His angels, His messengers, and to Gabriel and Michael will surely find that God is indeed the enemy of the unbelievers.”
2. Linguistic Analysis[ edit ]
4. Miscellaneous Information[ edit ]
5. Connected/Related Ayat[ edit ]
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 ]
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, Islam 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 Quran 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[ edit ]
- Enmity to a Friend of Allah
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَة رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُول اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه و سلم إنَّ اللَّهَ تَعَالَى قَالَ: "مَنْ عَادَى لِي وَلِيًّا فَقْد آذَنْتهُ بِالْحَرْبِ، وَمَا تَقَرَّبَ إلَيَّ عَبْدِي بِشَيْءٍ أَحَبَّ إلَيَّ مِمَّا افْتَرَضْتُهُ عَلَيْهِ، وَلَا يَزَالُ عَبْدِي يَتَقَرَّبُ إلَيَّ بِالنَّوَافِلِ حَتَّى أُحِبَّهُ، فَإِذَا أَحْبَبْتُهُ كُنْت سَمْعَهُ الَّذِي يَسْمَعُ بِهِ، وَبَصَرَهُ الَّذِي يُبْصِرُ بِهِ، وَيَدَهُ الَّتِي يَبْطِشُ بِهَا، وَرِجْلَهُ الَّتِي يَمْشِي بِهَا، وَلَئِنْ سَأَلَنِي لَأُعْطِيَنَّهُ، وَلَئِنْ اسْتَعَاذَنِي لَأُعِيذَنَّهُ".
Abu Hurayrah who said: The Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “Verily Allah ta’ala has said: ‘Whosoever shows enmity to a wali (friend) of Mine, then I have declared war against him. And My servant does not draw near to Me with anything more loved to Me than the religious duties I have obligated upon him. And My servant continues to draw near to me with nafil (supererogatory) deeds until I Love him. When I Love him, I am his hearing with which he hears, and his sight with which he sees, and his hand with which he strikes, and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him; and were he to seek refuge with Me, I would surely grant him refuge.’ ” [Al-Bukhari]
The Angel Mika'il
حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو بَكْرِ بْنُ أَبِي شَيْبَةَ، حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ بِشْرٍ، وَأَبُو أُسَامَةَ عَنْ مِسْعَرٍ، عَنْ سَعْدِ بْنِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، عَنْ سَعْدٍ، قَالَ رَأَيْتُ عَنْ يَمِينِ، رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَعَنْ شِمَالِهِ يَوْمَ أُحُدٍ رَجُلَيْنِ عَلَيْهِمَا ثِيَابُ بَيَاضٍ مَا رَأَيْتُهُمَا قَبْلُ وَلاَ بَعْدُ . يَعْنِي جِبْرِيلَ وَمِيكَائِيلَ عَلَيْهِمَا السَّلاَمُ
Sa`d reported that on the Day of Uhud I saw on the right side of Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) and on his left side two persons dressed in white clothes and whom I did not see before nor after that, and they were Gabriel and Michael (Allah be pleased with both of them). [Sahih Muslim 2306 a]
حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ الْمُثَنَّى، وَمُحَمَّدُ بْنُ حَاتِمٍ، وَعَبْدُ بْنُ حُمَيْدٍ، وَأَبُو مَعْنٍ الرَّقَاشِيُّ قَالُوا حَدَّثَنَا عُمَرُ بْنُ يُونُسَ، حَدَّثَنَا عِكْرِمَةُ بْنُ عَمَّارٍ، حَدَّثَنَا يَحْيَى بْنُ أَبِي كَثِيرٍ، حَدَّثَنِي أَبُو سَلَمَةَ، بْنُ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنِ عَوْفٍ قَالَ سَأَلْتُ عَائِشَةَ أُمَّ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ بِأَىِّ شَىْءٍ كَانَ نَبِيُّ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَفْتَتِحُ صَلاَتَهُ إِذَا قَامَ مِنَ اللَّيْلِ قَالَتْ كَانَ إِذَا قَامَ مِنَ اللَّيْلِ افْتَتَحَ صَلاَتَهُ " اللَّهُمَّ رَبَّ جِبْرَائِيلَ وَمِيكَائِيلَ وَإِسْرَافِيلَ فَاطِرَ السَّمَوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ عَالِمَ الْغَيْبِ وَالشَّهَادَةِ أَنْتَ تَحْكُمُ بَيْنَ عِبَادِكَ فِيمَا كَانُوا فِيهِ يَخْتَلِفُونَ اهْدِنِي لِمَا اخْتُلِفَ فِيهِ مِنَ الْحَقِّ بِإِذْنِكَ إِنَّكَ تَهْدِي مَنْ تَشَاءُ إِلَى صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ "
'Abd al-Rahman b. 'Auf reported: I asked 'A'isha, the mother of the believers, (to tell me) the words with which the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) commenced the prayer when he got up at night. She said: When he got up at night he would commence his prayer with these words: O Allah, Lord of Gabriel, and Michael, and Israfil, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, Who knowest the unseen and the seen; Thou decidest amongst Thy servants concerning their differences. Guide me with Thy permission in the divergent views (which the people) hold about Truth, for it is Thou Who guidest whom Thou wilt to the Straight Path." [Sahih Muslim 770]