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An Attempt to Live with Surat’l Baqarah

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Asalamolaykum warahmatullah,

Personal observation:

It seems the entire Surah is centered on the concept of Taqwa. Allah SWT describes Taqwa as being a pre-requisite for Hidaya in the very beginning. Then He SWT describes 3 categories of people which is a continuation from Surat’l Fatihah. After narrating the stories of Bani Israeel and how they disobeyed Allah SWT except a few of them, Allah SWT tells us what characteristics to avoid or what attitudes might become a barrier to attaining Taqwa and ultimately guidance. We are then told about Ibrahim AS and other Prophets’ attitude with carrying on the message of Taqwa to their generations. In addition the stories of Bani Israeel/Prophets also talks about the tests He SWT tried them with and how the former group failed except a few and the latter passed it and were granted leadership. It also highlights the attitude of the different groups of disbelievers in Madinah and the most important event that ever occured, i.e. the change of the Qiblah. Finally then begins a chain of Ahkaam, rulings and prohibitions. All of the above are beautifully described in the fabric of human history which provokes the interest of the reader. In summary Surat’l Baqarah concludes by telling us how to practically have Taqwa in one’s life (not in order here and is not limited to) in aspects of fasting, sacred months, Hajj  to marital relations, divorce, Mahr, breastfeeding, gambling, alcohol, Ribaa, expenditure,  Sadaqah, what nullifies it, etiquettes of lending/taking a loan, documenting loans and financial matters.

For my purpose of study and interest, I have made a document to organize the ayaat according to following groups:

  • those which talk about Muttaqun, Muttaqeen, and the reason for certain command/prohibition being : in order to achieve taqwa
  • matters in which Allah SWT explicitly asks us to have Taqwa
  • ayaat specifically addressing those who believe because not paying heed to such ayaat could make our Eeman weak/deficient
  • ayaat for Mo’mineen (those who have achieved this status) or those ayaat which threaten one’s status of being Mo’min (‘inn kuntum mo’mineen…’ which loosely can be translated as: ‘…if you truly are Mo’mineen’)
  • ayaat that describe what is done to or the attitude of ‘aladhina aamanu’, those who have believed — events that occurred in the past (and have the likelihood of being repeated to current day Mo’mins) and those which will occur in the future
  • ayaat that talk about certain things being a ‘duty’ on Muttaqeen/Mohsineen

I don’t like the feeling of being misguided. It’s a scary feeling. I can feel it in my heart when I’m desperately in need of guidance. Taqwa being the pre-req. for guidance,I thought I’ll collect ayaat talking about Taqwa in Surat’l Baqarah for now and go from there inshaa’Allah. This is a good study guide/outline for adults as well as children(although lots of creativity would be required with them). I have to study these ayat to confidently say whether there’s a recurring pattern of Allah SWT using specific words regarding Taqwa. I have a strong feeling that there is. It cannot be that there isn’t any hidden beauty in His Eloquence that needs to be discovered. I am interested in finding out if there are certain words which are like linguistic bookmarks that begin a new topic or lead onto the next. Because of the powerful emotions and imagery the Quraan provokes, the experience of appreciating the language of the Quraan is one of a kind, subhanAllah.  I cannot access Arabic tafaseer because of my current lack of proper competency of the Arabic language to read classical texts. Otherwise I’m quite sure they would be conducive to my learning style but khayr inshaa’Allah, I think this is a good start nonetheless. Perhaps this effort would help me become a Muslimah of Taqwa. One can try and Allah SWT is the Source of all Aid.

Please note this is not my personal interpretation in any shape or form. The above words are based on studying this Surah briefly with a teacher with personal observations (contemplations) within the boundaries of the basic Tafseer. However, the organization in the doc. below is based on my personal need to apply what I learned. There was no other motivation. I’ll be editing the document with time to add new things to it (maybe a preface/intro as well as English translation, reason for revelation of ayah and so on) inshaa’Allah.

This is by no means copyright. If you feel there are mistakes or you think you can share some interesting facts regarding the organization of Surat’l Baqarah then I’d be delighted to go through your comments. I was initially going to use it for my personal study but I thought I’ll share it just in case anyone is interested. I enjoyed doing this and I pray it is of benefit to me  in this Dunia and Akhira… And Allah SWT knows best.

You can download the document here.

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