Surah al-Baqarah (The Cow) 2 : 152
1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems[ edit ]
Benefits of Dhikr [Remembrance] of Allah:
1) Dhikr drives away and breaks the Shaytan
2) It pleases ar-Rahman
3) It removes the cares and worries of the Heart
4) It brings joy and happiness to the Heart
5) It strengthens both body and Heart
6) It endows him with love which is the very spirit of Islam. For God has opened a way of access to everything, and the way to Love is constancy in remembrance.
7) It endows one with Muraqabah [vigilance] which opens to the door to Ihsan [[erfection]. Entering therein, the servant worships God as if he were seeing Him.
8) It predisposes the servant to turn back to God in every state.
9) It endows him with proximity to God. His proximity to God is in proportion to his remembrance; his distance in proportion to his heedlessness.
10) It endows him with God’s own remembrance of him, God says, ‘Remember Me, I shall remember you.”
11) It endow the heart with life. Ibn Taymiyah said, ‘Remembrance is to the hear what water is to fish. What happens to the fish that leaves
12) It polishes away the heart’s tarnish
13) It erases sins and repels them
14) It removes estrangement between the servant and his Lord.
15) Like the buzzing of bees around the Arsh of Allah Almighty
16) When he knows his Lord through dhikr in times of ease his Lord will know him in times of adversity.
17) Dhikr is most effective thing to repel any punishment of Allah Almighty
18) Tranquillity descends upon the heart
19) The dhikr of Allah Almighty and tears that are shed – give a person shade on the Day of Judgement
20) It is the easiest form of worship – tongue is easiest compared to legs and hands
21) Plants trees in Jannah
22) Constancy in Dhikr of Allah Almighty brings about security from forgetfulness of Him. This forgetfulness is the cause of the servant’s misery both in this worldly life and the Day of Judgement.
23) Ibn Taymiyah said, ‘Truly there is a Heaven in this world [and] whoever does not enter it, will not enter the Heaven of the next world.’
24) It enters Light [Nur] in to the heart – more dhikr = more light
25) Allah Almighty is with the one when he remembers Him. “I am with My slave when he remembers Me and when his lips move to mention Me.”
26) Dhikr is basis of Shukr [gratitude and thanks] – when you remember Him abundantly you thank Him abundantly.
27) Dhikr is both the Asl [source] and the basis of intimate friendship with Allah Almighty – A servant continues to remember his Lord until He loves him.
28) Nothing attracts Allah Almighty’s blessings and repels His wrath as does His remembrance. He repels harm from them and defends them in proportion to the strength and the completeness of their faith in Him. The very substance and power of this faith comes through [His] remembrance. The stronger one’s faith and more abundant the remembrance, the greater God’s defence of him. For the one who falls short, it falls short. i.e. STRONGER DHIKR = STRONGER IMAN = STRONGER DEFENCE
29) Allah’s remembrance of him precedes his remembrance of Him, for when God remembers His servant, it inspires the servant to remember Him. In prayer you remember God and He remembers you, and His remembrance of you is greater than your remembrance of Him.
30) The most excellent of those who perform any practice are people who do it with the greatest remembrance of God. The most excellent of those who fast are those who remember God the most in their fasting. The most excellent of those who do Hajj are those who remember God the most in [their Hajj] etc.
- Dhikr [rememberance] is of two types: habitual vs. conscious, and only one of these types will bring about Allah’s recognition. Ibn al-Jawzi illustrates this: "The heedless one says “Subhan Allah” [glory to Allah] out of habit. As for the conscious one, he is constantly thinking about the wonders of creation, or the awesome nature of the Creator, and this thinking drives him to say: 'subhan Allah.' So, this tasbih [glorification] is the fruit of these thoughts, and this is the tasbih of the conscious… Likewise, they think about the ugliness of past sins, and this leads them to ponder, to have anxiety, to have regret. The fruit of this thought is that they say: ‘astaghfirullah.’ [I seek Allah's For-giveness]. This is the true tasbih [glorification] and istighfar [seeking forgiveness]. As for the heedless, they merely utter these out of habit. And what a difference there is between the two types…”
- This Ayat shows the Generosity of Allah, in that He remembers and recognizes and rewards you for remembering Him, yet what drove you to remember Him in the first place was witnessing His blessing upon you! You remember Him when preparing to eat the food He provided you, when entering the home He provided you, when preparing to sleep in the bed He provided you, when waking up and using the eyesight He provided you, when viewing the wonders of nature He created, when you experience joy at the birth of the child He provided you – your very life is a gift and blessing, all from Him. So, this verse tells you that you are recognized by Allah for remembering Him in response to what are blessings from Him in the first place!
- One should feel honored by it, thinking to yourself: ‘Amazing… Allah would remember me?’ The human being naturally loves to be recognized for the good he or she has done. Whether it is graduating from school, feeding the poor, cleaning the masjid, - whatever the deed is, you feel good when another human being recognizes you for that and mentions you because of that. That’s why some hang their college degrees on their walls, awards, plaques, and so forth. It is that recognition by others that serves as a testament to something good that you’ve done and are proud of. Implicitly, this means that you place a certain level of value to the opinion of those whose recognition evokes that pride within you. It also reflects on the significance of your original deed that you are even recognized for it. So, the fact that, not a human being, but rather, the Creator and Master of all human beings and the Universe around them has recognized and mention YOU should shake you to the core, and should lead you back to that original deed that He is recognizing you for: ‘What is it about Dhikr [rememberance] that would lead Allah to recognize me – out of His millions and billions and trillions of other creatures – for engaging in this seemingly simple deed?’ So, you who feels honor and pride when other people mention you and your accomplishments cannot help but to feel exponentially magnified pride and honor when reading this brief verse. This is recognition that you cannot put value of any limit on.
This passage is concluded with yet another reminder of God’s favours to the Muslim community. God calls on Muslims to remember and praise Him, and in return He will remember them: “Remember Me, then, and I will remember you; give thanks to Me and never deny Me.’’ (Verse 152)
What honour, what benevolence and compassion! God Almighty, in all His greatness and glory, exchanges these sentiments on an equal level with His humble servants. What grace and generosity!
“Remember Me, then, and I will remember you” — it is the greatest privilege any human being can receive from God, whose generosity is limitless and whose benevolence knows no bounds. The Prophet Muĥammad is reported to have quoted God as saying: “Whoever remembers Me privately to himself I will remember him to Myself; and whoever remembers Me in the company of people I will remember him in a better company.”
The Prophet also quotes God as saying: “Son of Adam! When you remember Me to yourself, I will remember you to Myself. When you remember Me in the company of others I will remember you in a company of angels. When you draw closer to Me by a handspan, I will draw closer to you by an arm’s length; and when you draw closer to Me by an arm’s length, I will draw closer to you by a longer distance; and when you walk towards Me, I will run towards you.”
No words could possibly describe the effects and scope of this divine grace. Man can only reciprocate such feelings through prayer, meditation and total submission to God Almighty. This will eventually lead him to see and recognize no other power in this world but that of God.
The recognition of God’s power and the expression of one’s gratitude to Him come in several stages. The least of them is to acknowledge God’s grace and blessings and refrain from disobeying Him. The highest stage is that of total dedication of one’s thoughts, talents, energies and actions to the service of God.
The words “give thanks to Me and never deny Me” also carry a warning that negligence of, ingratitude to, and rebellion against God would lead to denying Him altogether, which is a most hopeless and dismal end.
All the instructions and warnings conveyed in the above passage are extremely pertinent to the issue of the direction of prayer, the focus of Muslims and the distinctive symbol of acknowledging God’s oneness. They are also pertinent to the confrontation with the Jews of Madinah, whose ultimate objective was to mislead the Muslims in the hope that they might revert to unbelief. Thus, they would deprive them of God’s favours and blessings, the greatest and foremost of which is that of faith.
The Jews were aware that the Arabs without Islam would go back to their aimless tribal existence, with no influence on the rest of the world or role in history. A people without sound principles or creed, or a philosophy of life, would have no reason to assume a position of leadership in the world.
To be remembered by God, Muslims have to remember that Islam is more than a religion concerned only with the spiritual or personal aspects of life. It is a complete way of life with teachings, laws and practices for the organization and development of all human affairs. History tells us that whenever Muslims showed awareness of God and dedication to His cause, they progressed and achieved prominence, and their standing in the world rose high above all others; but when they neglected Islam and forgot God, they declined and were crushed and left behind.
Yet, the door will always remain open. In His blessed book, the Qur’ān, God calls on Muslims: “Remember Me, then, and I will remember you; give thanks to Me and never deny Me.” (Verse 152)
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 ]
- The Messenger of Allah [saw] said, 'Allah the Exalted said,
«قَالَ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: يَا ابْنَ آدَمَ، إِنْ ذَكَرْتَنِي فِي نَفْسِكَ ذَكَرْتُك فِي نَفْسِي، إِنْ ذَكَرْتَنِي فِي مَلَإٍ ذكَرْتُكَ فِي مَلَإٍ مِنَ الْمَلَائِكَةِ أَوْ قَالَ: فِي مَلَإٍ خَيْرٍ مِنْهُ وَإِنْ دَنَوْتَ مِنِّي شِبْرًا دَنَوْتُ مِنْكَ ذِرَاعًا، وَإِنْ دَنَوْتَ مِنِّي ذِرَاعًا دَنَوْتُ مِنْكَ بَاعًا، وَإنْ أَتَيْتَنِي تَمْشِي أَتَيْتُكَ هَرْوَلَة»
Allah the Exalted said, `O son of Adam! If you mention Me to yourself, I will mention you to Myself. If you mention Me in a gathering, I will mention you in a gathering of the angels (or said in a better gathering). If you draw closer to Me by a hand span, I will draw closer to you by forearm's length. If you draw closer to Me by a forearm's length, I will draw closer to you by an arm's length. And if you come to Me walking, I will come to you running).