Learn Quran: Surat Al Bakarah
19 Jan 2020
Surat Al-Bakarah is the second and longest chapter or surah in the holy Quran. It has 286 verses, 6,201 words and 25,500 letters. Its name ‘Al-Bakarah’ means The Cow. The recitation of Surat Al Bakarah has many benefits for Muslims, the most important of which is that Surat Al Bakarah protects those who recite it from the devil and the evil eye. It is known to ward off the devil from the house in which it is recited for three days.
In the beginning of Surat Al Bakarah Allah speaks to Muslims of three kinds of people: those who benefit from the Quran (the believers), those who refuse to benefit from the Quran (the disbelievers) and those pretending to be people of the Quran (the hypocrites of Al Monafiqoon). Allah speaks about the attributes of each group, how to distinguish them, and what Allah has in store for them.
The Surah also speaks extensively to the people of the book (the Jews and Christians) and reminds them of their past and his bounty upon them and asks them to accept the truth of Islam. In a part of the Surah, Allah recounts a story regarding the prophet Moses (PBUH) with the Israelites from which the name of the Surah is derived.
Every chapter of the Quran has a name, which does not necessarily summarize the subject of the Surah. It does, however, indicate a main topic or theme in the Surah. Al Bakarah البقرةin Arabic means "The Cow". Surat Al Bakarah was such named because of the verses (67-73):
وَإِذْ قَالَ مُوسَىٰ لِقَوْمِهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْمُرُكُمْ أَن تَذْبَحُوا بَقَرَةً ۖ قَالُوا أَتَتَّخِذُنَا هُزُوًا ۖ قَالَ أَعُوذُ بِاللَّهِ أَنْ أَكُونَ مِنَ الْجَاهِلِينَ - 2:67
And [recall] when Moses said to his people, "Indeed, Allah commands you to slaughter a cow." They said, "Do you take us in ridicule?" He said, "I seek refuge in Allah from being among the ignorant."
قَالُوا ادْعُ لَنَا رَبَّكَ يُبَيِّن لَّنَا مَا هِيَ ۚ قَالَ إِنَّهُ يَقُولُ إِنَّهَا بَقَرَةٌ لَّا فَارِضٌ وَلَا بِكْرٌ عَوَانٌ بَيْنَ ذَٰلِكَ ۖ فَافْعَلُوا مَا تُؤْمَرُونَ - 2:68
They said, "Call upon your Lord to make clear to us what it is." [Moses] said, "[ Allah ] says, 'It is a cow which is neither old nor virgin, but median between that,' so do what you are commanded."
قَالُوا ادْعُ لَنَا رَبَّكَ يُبَيِّن لَّنَا مَا لَوْنُهَا ۚ قَالَ إِنَّهُ يَقُولُ إِنَّهَا بَقَرَةٌ صَفْرَاءُ فَاقِعٌ لَّوْنُهَا تَسُرُّ النَّاظِرِينَ - 2:69
They said, "Call upon your Lord to show us what is her color." He said, "He says, 'It is a yellow cow, bright in color - pleasing to the observers.' "
قَالُوا ادْعُ لَنَا رَبَّكَ يُبَيِّن لَّنَا مَا هِيَ إِنَّ الْبَقَرَ تَشَابَهَ عَلَيْنَا وَإِنَّا إِن شَاءَ اللَّهُ لَمُهْتَدُونَ - 2:70
They said, "Call upon your Lord to make clear to us what it is. Indeed, [all] cows look alike to us. And indeed we, if Allah wills, will be guided."
قَالَ إِنَّهُ يَقُولُ إِنَّهَا بَقَرَةٌ لَّا ذَلُولٌ تُثِيرُ الْأَرْضَ وَلَا تَسْقِي الْحَرْثَ مُسَلَّمَةٌ لَّا شِيَةَ فِيهَا ۚ قَالُوا الْآنَ جِئْتَ بِالْحَقِّ ۚ فَذَبَحُوهَا وَمَا كَادُوا يَفْعَلُونَ - 2:71
He said, "He says, 'It is a cow neither trained to plow the earth nor to irrigate the field, one free from fault with no spot upon her.' They said, "Now you have come with the truth." So they slaughtered her, but they could hardly do it.
وَإِذْ قَتَلْتُمْ نَفْسًا فَادَّارَأْتُمْ فِيهَا ۖ وَاللَّهُ مُخْرِجٌ مَّا كُنتُمْ تَكْتُمُونَ - 2:72
And [recall] when you slew a man and disputed over it, but Allah was to bring out that which you were concealing.
فَقُلْنَا اضْرِبُوهُ بِبَعْضِهَا ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ يُحْيِي اللَّهُ الْمَوْتَىٰ وَيُرِيكُمْ آيَاتِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ - 2:73
So, We said, "Strike the slain man with part of it." Thus, does Allah bring the dead to life, and He shows you His signs that you might reason.
In these verses the story of the cow and the people of Israel is recounted. In which the people of Israel resort to the prophet Moses to resolve the murder that has occurred in the village. The prophet Moses tells them to slaughter a cow and strike the murdered person bringing him back to life and revealing the murderer. These verses show the character of the people of Israel and how they dealt with the word of Allah. They also show the believers Allah’s power and ability so that they may stay strong in their faith. For more details on the Interpretation of these verses check this link: https://www.islamicstudies.info/tafheem.php?sura=2&verse=62
Another important verse (Aya) in Surat Al Bakarah is Verse 255 of Surat Al Bakarah is called Ayat Al Kursi also known as the “Throne of Allah”. The verse goes as follows
اللَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّومُ ۚ لَا تَأْخُذُهُ سِنَةٌ وَلَا نَوْمٌ ۚ لَّهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ ۗ مَن ذَا الَّذِي يَشْفَعُ عِندَهُ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِهِ ۚ يَعْلَمُ مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمَا خَلْفَهُمْ ۖ وَلَا يُحِيطُونَ بِشَيْءٍ مِّنْ عِلْمِهِ إِلَّا بِمَا شَاءَ ۚ وَسِعَ كُرْسِيُّهُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ ۖ وَلَا يَئُودُهُ حِفْظُهُمَا ۚ وَهُوَ الْعَلِيُّ الْعَظِيمُ - 2:255
Allah - there is no deity except Him, the Ever-Living, the Sustainer of [all] existence. Neither drowsiness overtakes Him nor sleep. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. Who is it that can intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows what is [presently] before them and what will be after them, and they encompass not a thing of His knowledge except for what He wills. His Kursi extends over the heavens and the earth, and their preservation tires Him not. And He is the Most High, the Most Great.
The importance of this verse lies in what the prophet Muhammad PBUH said about it in the following hadeeth:
“Whoever recites the last two Verses of Surat Al-Bakarah at night that will be sufficient for him.”
The virtues and benefits of Surat Al-Bakarah are invaluable, this is why, Surat Al Bakarah should be recited in every Muslim house.
Make sure to read our previous article in the series: Learn Quran – Surat Al Fatihah. Also check our Learn Quran Memorization and recitations classes at Nour Academy to be able to learn to read Surat Al Bakarah and the holy Quran correctly and for a more extensive experience in learning Quran.
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