Surah al-Baqarah (The Cow) 2 : 125

وَإِذْ جَعَلْنَا ٱلْبَيْتَ مَثَابَةً لِّلنَّاسِ وَأَمْنًا وَٱتَّخِذُوا۟ مِن مَّقَامِ إِبْرَٰهِۦمَ مُصَلًّى ۖ وَعَهِدْنَآ إِلَىٰٓ إِبْرَٰهِۦمَ وَإِسْمَٰعِيلَ أَن طَهِّرَا بَيْتِىَ لِلطَّآئِفِينَ وَٱلْعَٰكِفِينَ وَٱلرُّكَّعِ ٱلسُّجُودِ


 Muhsin Khan
 Yusuf Ali
Quran Project
And [mention] when We made the House [i.e., the Ka’bāh] 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 tawāf and those who are staying [there] for worship and those who bow and prostrate [in prayer]."

1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems

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Explanatory Note

The Sacred House, the Ka`bah, was defiled by the Arabs of the Quraysh who were supposed to be its trusted caretakers and custodians. They harassed and persecuted the believers and drove them out of Makkah. Yet God wanted this House to be a sanctuary to which people of all races resort. In there people should find peace and security for all.

The Arabs had been directed to establish “the place where Abraham stood”, which is a reference to the whole area surrounding the Ka`bah, as a place for prayer, which makes its subsequent designation as a qiblah, a spot towards which Muslims turn in Prayer, a very natural progression raising no objections from anyone. After all, it had been the very first place to which Muslims, the legitimate heirs of Abraham’s monotheistic religion, had turned in their prayer, because it had been dedicated to God and to no one else. Abraham and Ishmael, two pious and sincere servants of God, had been charged with cleansing it and preparing it for pilgrims who would come to it for worship and meditation. They would make no claim to its ownership, nor did they have it in their power to pass such ownership to anyone else. They were mere servants of God Almighty and keepers of His sacred and revered House.

  • Ayat prior to this have been discussing the lineage of Ibrahim through his son Isaac. The attention is now drawn to the him and his other son Ishmael. 
  • مَثَابَةً – returning. Ibn Kathir writes, “This Ayah indicates that Allah honored the Sacred House, which Allah made as a safe refuge and safe haven. Therefore, the souls are eager, but never bored, to conduct short visits to the House, even every year. This is because Allah accepted the supplication of His Khalil, Ibrahim, when he asked Allah to make the hearts of people eager to visit the House.

  • (مثابة)؛ أي: مرجعاًً يرجعون إليه بكلياتهم؛ كلما تفرقوا عنه اشتاقوا إليه، هم أو غيرهم، آية على رجوعهم من الدنيا إلى ربهم. البقاعي: 1/239 [Be the first to translate this...]
  • (والركع السجود): لأنهما أقرب أحواله إليه تعالى، وهما الركنان الأعظمان، وكثيرا ما يكنى عن الصلاة بهما. الألوسي: 1/381 [Be the first to translate this...]

2. Linguistic Analysis

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