Tafsir of Surah al-Baqarah 58-66: al-Tafsir al-Muyassar

This is the sixth installment of our translation of al-Tafsir al-Muyassar‘s explanation of surah al-Baqarah, covering ayaat 58-66. In this passage, Allah reminds the Children of Israa’eel of His many blessing on them and of their responses to these blessings. See the series guide here for more information about this series.

وَإِذْ قُلْنَا ادْخُلُوا هَـٰذِهِ الْقَرْيَةَ فَكُلُوا مِنْهَا حَيْثُ شِئْتُمْ رَغَدًا وَادْخُلُوا الْبَابَ سُجَّدًا وَقُولُوا حِطَّةٌ نَّغْفِرْ لَكُمْ خَطَايَاكُمْ ۚ وَسَنَزِيدُ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

And when We said, “Enter this city and eat whatever you want of it in abundance. And enter the gate in prostration, saying, ‘relieve us.’ We will forgive you of your sins and We will increase the good doers.” [2:58]

واذكروا نعمتنا عليكم حين قلنا: ادخلوا مدينة بيت المقدس فكلوا من طيباتها في أي مكان منها أكلا هنيئًا، وكونوا في دخولكم خاضعين لله، ذليلين له، وقولوا: ربَّنا ضَعْ عنَّا ذنوبنا، نستجب لكم ونعف ونسترها عليكم، وسنزيد المحسنين بأعمالهم خيرًا وثوابًا. ـ

58. And remember our blessing upon you when We said, “Enter the city of Jerusalem and eat its wholesome food from any part of the city in enjoyment. And when you enter, be humble and submissive towards Allah, saying, ‘O our Lord, remove our sins from us!’ We will respond to you, pardon you, and cover your faults. And We will increase the good doers in goodness and rewards due to their good deeds.”

فَبَدَّلَ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا قَوْلًا غَيْرَ الَّذِي قِيلَ لَهُمْ فَأَنزَلْنَا عَلَى الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا رِجْزًا مِّنَ السَّمَاءِ بِمَا كَانُوا يَفْسُقُونَ

But those who were unjust replaced that statement with something other than what had been said to them. So We then sent down a punishment from the sky on those who were unjust because of they crimes they used to commit. [2:59]

فبدَّل الجائرون الضالون من بني إسرائيل قول الله، وحرَّفوا القول والفعل جميعًا، إذ دخلوا يزحفون على أستاههم وقالوا: حبة في شعرة، واستهزءوا بدين الله. فأنزل الله عليهم عذابًا من السماء؛ بسبب تمردهم وخروجهم عن طاعة الله. ـ

59. But the unjust and misguided members of the Children of Israa’eel substituted Allah’s statement for another one, altering both what they had been commanded to say and what they had been commanded to do. When the entered, they crawled on their bottoms and said, “a grain of barley,” showing their contempt for Allah’s religion. So Allah sent down a punishment on them from the sky as a result of their rebellious behavior and their going outside the bounds of obeying Allah.

وَإِذِ اسْتَسْقَىٰ مُوسَىٰ لِقَوْمِهِ فَقُلْنَا اضْرِب بِّعَصَاكَ الْحَجَرَ ۖ فَانفَجَرَتْ مِنْهُ اثْنَتَا عَشْرَةَ عَيْنًا ۖ قَدْ عَلِمَ كُلُّ أُنَاسٍ مَّشْرَبَهُمْ ۖ كُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا مِن رِّزْقِ اللَّـهِ وَلَا تَعْثَوْا فِي الْأَرْضِ مُفْسِدِينَ

And when Moosaa prayed for water for his people and We said, “Use your staff to strike the rock.” Then twelve springs gushed out of it. Each group of people knew which one was theirs to drink from. Eat and drink of Allah’s provision, but do not behave wickedly on the earth, spreading corruption. [2:60]

واذكروا نعمتنا عليكم- وأنتم عطاش في التِّيْه- حين دعانا موسى- بضراعة- أن نسقي قومه، فقلنا: اضرب بعصاك الحجر، فضرب، فانفجرت منه اثنتا عشرة عينًا، بعدد القبائل، مع إعلام كل قبيلة بالعين الخاصة بها حتى لا يتنازعوا. وقلنا لهم: كلوا واشربوا من رزق الله، ولا تسعوا في الأرض مفسدين. ـ

60. And remember Our blessing upon you while you were thirsty in the desert when Moosaa called on Us and beseeched Us to provide water for his people. We then said, “Use your staff to strike the rock.” He struck it and then twelve springs gushed out of it, matching with the number of tribes, along with each tribe being informed of which spring was for it so that there would be no disputing. We told them, “Eat and drink of Allah’s provision, and do not go forth to ruin and corrupt the earth.”

وَإِذْ قُلْتُمْ يَا مُوسَىٰ لَن نَّصْبِرَ عَلَىٰ طَعَامٍ وَاحِدٍ فَادْعُ لَنَا رَبَّكَ يُخْرِجْ لَنَا مِمَّا تُنبِتُ الْأَرْضُ مِن بَقْلِهَا وَقِثَّائِهَا وَفُومِهَا وَعَدَسِهَا وَبَصَلِهَا ۖ قَالَ أَتَسْتَبْدِلُونَ الَّذِي هُوَ أَدْنَىٰ بِالَّذِي هُوَ خَيْرٌ ۚ اهْبِطُوا مِصْرًا فَإِنَّ لَكُم مَّا سَأَلْتُمْ ۗ وَضُرِبَتْ عَلَيْهِمُ الذِّلَّةُ وَالْمَسْكَنَةُ وَبَاءُوا بِغَضَبٍ مِّنَ اللَّـهِ ۗ ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ كَانُوا يَكْفُرُونَ بِآيَاتِ اللَّـهِ وَيَقْتُلُونَ النَّبِيِّينَ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ ۗ ذَٰلِكَ بِمَا عَصَوا وَّكَانُوا يَعْتَدُونَ

And when you said, “O Moosaa, we could never stand only one type of food, so call on your Lord on our behalf to bring forth for us some of what the earth grows such as green herbs, cucumbers, corn, lentils, onions.” He replied, “Do you want what is less to replace what is better? Go down to any city then, for there is what you want.” Then they were stricken with humiliation and poverty, and they drew Allah’s wrath on them. That was because they disbelieved in Allah’s ayaat and wrongfully killed the prophets. That was because they disobeyed and were transgressors. [2:61]

واذكروا حين أنزلنا عليكم الطعام الحلو، والطير الشهي، فبطِرتم النعمة كعادتكم، وأصابكم الضيق والملل، فقلتم: يا موسى لن نصبر على طعام ثابت لا يتغير مع الأيام، فادع لنا ربك يخرج لنا من نبات الأرض طعامًا من البقول والخُضَر، والقثاء والحبوب التي تؤكل، والعدس، والبصل. قال موسى- مستنكرًا عليهم-: أتطلبون هذه الأطعمة التي هي أقل قدرًا، وتتركون هذا الرزق النافع الذي اختاره الله لكم؟ اهبطوا من هذه البادية إلى أي مدينة، تجدوا ما اشتهيتم كثيرًا في الحقول والأسواق. ولما هبطوا تبيَّن لهم أنهم يُقَدِّمون اختيارهم- في كل موطن- على اختيار الله، ويُؤْثِرون شهواتهم على ما اختاره الله لهم؛ لذلك لزمتهم صِفَةُ الذل وفقر النفوس، وانصرفوا ورجعوا بغضب من الله؛ لإعراضهم عن دين الله، ولأنهم كانوا يكفرون بآيات الله ويقتلون النبيين ظلمًا وعدوانًا؛ وذلك بسبب عصيانهم وتجاوزهم حدود ربهم. ـ

61. And remember when We sent sweet food and delicious fowl down to you, but then you were ungrateful for this blessing, as is your way. So We placed restrictions and tedium on you as a punishment. Then you said, “O Moosaa, we will never be able to stand only one type of food all the time without any variation, so call on your Lord on our behalf to bring forth some food for us out of what grows from the earth such as herbs, vegetables, cucumbers, edible grains, lentils, and onions. Moosaa rebuked them by saying, “Do you crave these types of low-value foods, while abandoning the beneficial provisions which Allah has chosen for you? Do down from this desert to any city; you will find what you desire in abundance in its fields and market places.” Then when they went down, it became clear to them that they had given greater weight to their own preferences – as they had done in all the circumstances they had found themselves in – than Allah’s decisions and that they give greater priority to their own desires than to what Allah has chosen for them. That is why these qualities of humiliation and lack of character have been attached to them. They brought Allah’s wrath on them because they turned away from Allah’s religion and because they used to disbelieve in Allah’s ayaat and wrongfully and aggressively killed the prophets. That was a result of their disobedience and their transgressing the limits of their Lord.

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَالَّذِينَ هَادُوا وَالنَّصَارَىٰ وَالصَّابِئِينَ مَنْ آمَنَ بِاللَّـهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحًا فَلَهُمْ أَجْرُهُمْ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ وَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ

Those who believe and those who were Jews or Christians or Sabe’ans who believed in Allah and the Last Day and did righteous good deeds – they will have their reward with Allah, and they will not have any fear nor will they grieve. [2:62]

إن المؤمنين من هذه الأمة، الذين صدَّقوا بالله ورسله، وعملوا بشرعه، والذين كانوا قبل بعثة محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم من الأمم السالفة من اليهود، والنصارى، والصابئين- وهم قوم باقون على فطرتهم، ولا دين مقرر لهم يتبعونه- هؤلاء جميعًا إذا صدَّقوا بالله تصديقًا صحيحًا خالصًا، وبيوم البعث والجزاء، وعملوا عملا مرضيًا عند الله، فثوابهم ثابت لهم عند ربهم، ولا خوف عليهم فيما يستقبلونه من أمر الآخرة، ولا هم يحزنون على ما فاتهم من أمور الدنيا. وأما بعد بعثة محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم خاتمًا للنبيين والمرسلين إلى الناس كافة، فلا يقبل الله من أحد دينًا غير ما جاء به، وهو الإسلام. ـ

62. The believers of this nation who believe in Allah and His messengers and act in accordance with His divine legislation, and those from the previous nations such as the Jews and the Christians who lived before Muhammad (ﷺ) was sent, and the Sabe’ans (a people who remained on the inherent monotheistic disposition without having any specific religion that they followed) – all of these groups will have their rewards assuredly waiting for them with their Lord so long as they truly, correctly and sincerely believed in Allah, believed in the Day of Resurrection and Recompense, and carried out the deeds which are pleasing to Allah. They will not have any fear of what lies ahead of them in the hereafter, not will they grieve over what they missed in the worldly life.

But after Muhammad (ﷺ) was sent, he was the final seal of the Prophets and Messengers sent to all mankind. So Allah will not accept any religion other than the one that he brought, which is Islam, from anyone after that.

وَإِذْ أَخَذْنَا مِيثَاقَكُمْ وَرَفَعْنَا فَوْقَكُمُ الطُّورَ خُذُوا مَا آتَيْنَاكُم بِقُوَّةٍ وَاذْكُرُوا مَا فِيهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ

And when We took an oath from you and raised the mountain above you: “Take what We have given you firmly and remember what is in it so that you might be pious.” [2:63]

واذكروا- يا بني إسرائيل- حين أَخَذْنا العهد المؤكَّد منكم بالإيمان بالله وإفراده بالعبادة، ورفعنا جبل الطور فوقكم، وقلنا لكم: خذوا الكتاب الذي أعطيناكم بجدٍ واجتهاد واحفظوه، وإلا أطبقنا عليكم الجبل، ولا تنسوا التوراة قولا وعملا كي تتقوني وتخافوا عقابي. ـ

63. And remember, O Children of Israel, when We took a solemn oath from you to believe in Allah and to single Him out for worship. We raised mount Toor above you and told you, “Take the scripture which We have given to you with resolve and commitment, and hold to it! If you do not, We will bring this mountain down on you. And do not forget the Tawrah, neither its words nor its commands, so that you would have taqwa of Me and fear my punishment.

ثُمَّ تَوَلَّيْتُم مِّن بَعْدِ ذَٰلِكَ ۖ فَلَوْلَا فَضْلُ اللَّـهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَتُهُ لَكُنتُم مِّنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ

Then you turned away after that. Were it not for Allah’s grace and mercy towards you, you would have surely been among the losers. [2:64]

ثم خالفتم وعصيتم مرة أخرى، بعد أَخْذِ الميثاق ورَفْع الجبل كشأنكم دائمًا. فلولا فَضْلُ الله عليكم ورحمته بالتوبة، والتجاوز عن خطاياكم، لصرتم من الخاسرين في الدنيا والآخرة. ـ

64. Then you opposed My command and disobeyed once more after having taken the covenant and the raising of the mountain. This is your never-ending way. Were it not for Allah’s grace towards you and His mercy in forgiving you and overlooking your faults, you would have certainly become among the losers, both in this life and the next.

وَلَقَدْ عَلِمْتُمُ الَّذِينَ اعْتَدَوْا مِنكُمْ فِي السَّبْتِ فَقُلْنَا لَهُمْ كُونُوا قِرَدَةً خَاسِئِينَ

And you certainly know about those of you who transgressed the Sabbath, so We said to them, “Be apes, despised.” [2:65]

ولقد علمتم- يا معشر اليهود- ما حلَّ من البأس بأسلافكم من أهل القرية التي عصت الله، فيما أخذه عليهم من تعظيم السبت، فاحتالوا لاصطياد السمك في يوم السبت، بوضع الشِّباك وحفر البِرَك، ثم اصطادوا السمك يوم الأحد حيلة إلى المحرم، فلما فعلوا ذلك، مسخهم الله قردة منبوذين. ـ

65. And you certainly know, O Jewish people, the punishment that was unleashed upon your predecessors, the people of the town that disobeyed Allah regarding the agreement He had taken from them to honor the Sabbath. But they tried to work around this rule in order to catch fish on the Sabbath by setting out nets and digging trenches and then bringing in the nets on Sunday as a way to get around this prohibition. But after they did this, Allah transformed them into reviled pigs.

فَجَعَلْنَاهَا نَكَالًا لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهَا وَمَا خَلْفَهَا وَمَوْعِظَةً لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ

So We made that a deterring punishment for those that were present and for those who came later, and as an exhortation for the pious ones. [2:66]

فجعلنا هذه القرية عبرة لمن بحضرتها من القرى، يبلغهم خبرها وما حلَّ بها، وعبرة لمن يعمل بعدها مثل تلك الذُّنوب، وجعلناها تذكرة للصالحين؛ ليعلموا أنهم على الحق، فيثبتوا عليه. ـ

66. So We made this town a cautionary tale for those who were present in the surrounding towns, that the news of this town and what had happened to them reached them, as well as a cautionary tale for any people after them who might commit similar sins. And We also made it a reminder for the righteous people, so that they would know that they are upon the truth and they would find their convictions reinforced.

[al-Tafsir al-Muyassar pg. 9-10]

See also: al-Tafsir al-Muyassar Translation Index

See also: Meanings of the words Yahood, Nasaara and Saabi’oon: Tafsir al-Baghawi

See also: How the Qur’an Addresses Potential Doubts: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: The Story of the Town by the Sea: Tafsir al-Sa’di

2 thoughts on “Tafsir of Surah al-Baqarah 58-66: al-Tafsir al-Muyassar

  1. Pingback: Meanings of the words Yahood, Nasaara and Saabi’oon: Tafsir al-Baghawi | Tulayhah

  2. Pingback: How the Qur’an Addresses Potential Doubts: Tafsir al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.