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Get to Know Surah Al-Baqarah with Brother Nouman

Get to Know – Episode 2

Do you want to understand Surah Al-Baqarah at a deeper level?

Get to know the Surah that angels descend to the sky for when it is recited.

Holding on to Surah Al-Baqarah is blessing upon blessing.

Abandoning it is regret, as Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him said.

Get to Know a Surah of the Quran is a series of videos brother Nouman Ali Khan presented during the month of Ramadan.

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The following is a summary of some of the most important topics brother Nouman mentioned in this second episode:

–          It is the biggest Surah in the Quran (286 verses). You can divide the Surah into 9 logical parts.

–          In Part 1, Allah (SWT) divides the audience of the Quran into three groups: the people who have faith and engage with the Quran, the people who absolutely reject it (i.e. disbelievers) and people who claim to have faith but they don’t really have faith (i.e. hypocrites).

Sequence of Stories

–          In Part 2, Allah (SWT) informs us that these three groups (believers, disbelievers and hypocrites) have always existed, since the time of Adam himself. So the next story is of Adam, peace be upon him, and how he ended up on earth.

–          In Part 3, just as Adam was chosen for the responsibility of being God’s vicegerent on earth, as humanity spread out it was important not to have just one person to take over this responsibility, but an entire nation.

The Children of Israel were chosen to be a model nation under God’s guidance, so they can show how to follow divine guidance to all of humanity. That was their responsibility and there is a long discourse on how Allah gave them that responsibility, but they disappointed His expectations.

–          In Part 4, Allah (SWT) takes a step back and talks about Prophet Abraham, peace be upon him.

What is interesting to note is that Allah tells us the story of Adam, whom He tested, but Adam failed the test, then was redeemed. Then he tells us the story of the Children of Israel who were also tested, but they also failed the test, and they have a chance to be redeemed.

God then mentions the story of Prophet Abraham, peace be upon him, who passed all the tests he went through, then finally the Ummah of believers and the tests they will go through:

“And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient” (2:155)

So the sequence of the stories in this Surah is father, nation, father, nation.

Then when God speaks about Prophet Abraham, he then talks about his son Ishmael in half the passage, then his grandson Jacob in the other half. Why was that important?

Because Allah is saying that both of these are legitimate lineages of Prophet Abraham, peace be upon him, and both of them were Muslims.

The New Nation

–          In Part 5, Prophet Abraham, peace be upon him, left a legacy behind, as he left God’s house, the Ka’bah, which he built. As he built that house he prayed for a prophet to come, and Muhammad, peace be upon him, is the answer to the prayer of your own father Abraham.

–          Part 6 of this Surah is when Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, stopped praying towards Jerusalem, and changed his prayer direction towards the Qa’bah. The nation of believers are now a new nation, and they will be put to the test. “And thus we have made you a just community…” (2:143)

–          What will they be tested with? The Surah continues in Part 7 with new laws for the new nation, including fasting, Hajj, zakah, inheritance, divorce, … and all kinds of laws in an incredible systematic order, which is the test of the new Ummah.

–          Part 8 then describes greed and money matters in one of the longest parts of the Quran, like how should one make money and do business, and how one should spend money… So an exhaustive discourse on money matters, unlike any other Surah of the Quran.

–          Then in Part 9 is a prayer where we are basically asking Allah not to put a burden on us, like that placed on the people before us, because they were not able to carry that burden, and to forgive us if we forget or make mistakes.

For more details, and to watch the full episode, please click here.

Part 1

(From Discovering Islam archive)