Chapter 2 (al-Baqarah)
This chapter was revealed piecemeal; therefore, it does not have a single theme. However a major part of it shows a general objective:
- It emphasizes that a man cannot be a true servant of God unless he believes in all that was revealed to the messengers of God without making any difference between revelations, or between messengers.
- Accordingly, it admonishes and condemns the disbelievers, the hypocrites and the people of the book because they differed about the religion of God and differentiated between His messengers.
- Thereafter, it ordains various important laws, like change of the direction to which the Muslims were to turn for their prayers, regulations of hall, inheritance and fasting and so on.
The chapter gets its name – The Cow – from the following verse:
And when Moses said to his people: Surely Allah commands you that you should sacrifice a cow; they said: Do you ridicule us? He said: I seek the protection of Allah from being one of the ignorant. (2:67)
One of the gems of its verses is the verse of the Chair:
Allah is He besides Whom there is no god, the Ever-living, the Self-subsisting by Whom all subsist; slumber does not overtake Him nor sleep; whatever is the heavens and whatever is in the earth is His; who is he that can intercede with Him but by His Permission? He knows what is before them and what is behind them, and they cannot comprehend anything of His Knowledge except what He pleases; His Chair [Knowledge] extends over the heavens and the earth; and the preservation of them both tires Him not; and He is the Most High, the Great. (2:255)