Central Themes of Surah al-Baqarah: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool

In a discussion on the connections between different sections of individual surahs, Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool provided an example in this quick outline of the contents of surah al-Baqarah:

مثال آخر: الآيات من آية رقم ( ١)، إلى الآية رقم ( ٢٠ ) من سورة البقرة تعتبر المقدمة بالنسبة لمحتوى السورة، حيث وصف القرآن بما هو أهله، ووصف متبعيه ومخالفيه كلا بما يستحقه. ـ

Another example of the relationships between different groups of ayaat to one another within a surah comes in surah al-Baqarah[1].

Ayaat 1-20 can be considered as an introduction to the contents of this surah as it describes the Qur’an in the way that it deserves and characterizes the followers and violators of the Qur’an in ways appropriate for each of them.

ثم يأت المقصد الأول من آية رقم ( ٢١-٢٥ ) في دعوة الناس كافة إلى الإسلام. ـ

Then we come to the first section, from ayah 21-25, which is inviting all of mankind to Islam.

ثم يأت المقصد الثاني من آية رقم (٤٠ -١٦٢ ) في دعوة أهل الكتاب، دعوة خاصة إلى ترك باطلهم والدخول في هذا الدين الحق. ـ

Then we come to the second section, from ayah 40-162, which is inviting the Ahl al-Kitab. More specifically, it is inviting them to abandon their false beliefs and enter into this religion of truth.

ثم يأت المقصد الثالث من آية رقم (١٧٨ – ٢٨٣ ) في عرض شرائع هذا الدين تفصيلاً . ـ

Then we come to the third section, from ayah 178-283, which is presenting the divinely-revealed legislation of this religion in detail.

ثم يأت المقصد الرابع في آية واحدة وهي رقم ( ٢٨٤ )، في ذكر الوازع والنازع الديني الذي يبعث على ملازمة تلك الشرائع ويعصم عن مخالفتها. ـ

Then we come to the fourth section, which is just one ayahayah 284. This section mentions the moral conscience and motivation that impels one to hold fast to these religious rulings and safeguards him against contravening them.

ثم تأت الخاتمة في آيتين اثنتين هما رقم (٢٨٥ – ٢٨٦ ) في التعريف بالذين استجابوا لهذه الدعوة الشاملة لتلك المقاصد، وبيان ما يرجى لهم في عاجلهم وآجلهم. ـ

Then we reach the conclusion, which is two ayaat – 285-286. This section provides an outline of those who responded to this invitation that encompasses all of these section, and it also explains what lays in store for them both in this life and in the next.

أمّا الآيات من ( ٢٦ – ٣٩ ) الواقعة بين المقصد الأول والثاني، فقد كان الحديث فيها عوداً على بدء. ـ

As for ayaat 26-39 which sit between the first and second sections, here the discourse returns to some of the themes of the introduction.

والآيات من (١٦٣ – ١٧٧ ) كانت مدخلاً للمقصد الثالث. ـ

And ayaat 163-177 act as an introduction to the third section.

Central Themes of Surah al-Baqarah[2]

ها أنت ترى مدى التناسب بين مقاطع أطول سورة في القرآن العظيم فهنا مناسبة بين مجموعة آيات ومجموعة أخرى داخل سورة واحدة. ـ

Here you can see the extent of the links between the different sections of this longest surah in the Qur’an, for here there are connections between different groups of ayaat within a single surah[3].

وهذا النوع اعني مناسبة موضوع مقطع من الآيات في السورة لمقطع آخر، وترتيب ذلك في السورة، هو المعبر عنه اليوم ب(التناسق الموضوعي في السورة القرآنية). ـ

And this type of thing – i.e. relationships between the theme of one group of ayaat to another within a surah and the arrangement of the different sections within a surah – is referred to today by the term, “Thematic Arrangement of In the Qur’anic Surahs”[4].

[al-Tanaasaq al-Mawdhoo’ee pg. 18-19]

Translator’s Note 1: In a footnote, Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool mentions that he has taken this example from the book al-Naba’ al-‘Atheem by Muhammad Abdullah Draz, and it appears that he has taken the original author’s outline and added the numbers of the ayaat and a few additional comments.

Translator’s Note 2: The image here was produced by the translator, Khalil Klopfenstein, based on the text from sheikh Muhammad Bazmool.

Translator’s Note 3: Of course, other scholars have also provided their own outlines of the contents and themes of surah al-Baqarah. For those who can understand Arabic, compare this with sheikh al-Islam ibn Taymiyah’s longer and more detailed outline of the surah here.

Translator’s Note 4: As far I could find, the term al-Tanaasiq al-Mawdhoo’ee does not have one commonly agreed-upon translation in the English language. I found a number of masters and PhD theses from Umm al-Qura University (where sheikh Muhammad Bazmool teaches) on this topic, with differing translations such “thematic arrangement”, “thematic consistency” and “substantive consistency”. Elsewhere, I found terms such as “structural analysis” and “thematic structure” of the Qur’an. I felt that the term “thematic arrangement” conveyed the general idea in a fairly straightforward manner.

See also: Thematic Tafsir: Sheikh Saalih Aal al-Sheikh

See also: How to Contemplate the Qur’an: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool

See also: ‘Ilm al-Munasabat and its Proper Place: Sheikh Saalih Aal al-Sheikh

See also: The Themes and Contents of Surah Maryam: ibn Taymiyah

See also: Ibn Kathir’s brief remarks on the contents of Surah al-Fatihah

See also: Overview of Surah al-Insaan: Ibn Taymiyah

See also: Connections and Links between Surahs: al-Zarkashi

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5 thoughts on “Central Themes of Surah al-Baqarah: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool

  1. Pingback: Thematic Tafsir: Sheikh Saalih Aal al-Sheikh | Tulayhah

  2. Pingback: Ibn Kathir’s brief remarks on the contents of Surah al-Fatihah | Tulayhah

  3. Pingback: Overview of Surah al-Insaan: Ibn Taymiyah | Tulayhah

  4. Pingback: The Themes and Contents of Surah Maryam: ibn Taymiyah | Tulayhah

  5. Pingback: An Overview of Surah al-Dhariyat (51): Ibn Taymiyah | Tulayhah

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