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Researcher’s Companion to Ghamidi’s Surah al-Baqarah (252-260)
Qur'anic Exegesis
Dr. Shehzad Saleem


I Meaning & Morphology (الصرف و اللغة)

1. الطَّاغُوت

As pointed out by Ghamidi (note 12), this word is synonymous with ‘Satan’.

This synonymous usage is evident from the following verse:

الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ يُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ يُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ الطَّاغُوتِ فَقَاتِلُواْ أَوْلِيَاء الشَّيْطَانِ إِنَّ كَيْدَ الشَّيْطَانِ كَانَ ضَعِيفًا (٤: ٧٥-٧٦)

Those who believe fight for the cause of God, but those who disbelieve fight for al-Taghut. Fight then against the friends of Satan. Satan’s cunning is weak indeed. (4:75-76)

 The words فَقَاتِلُواْ أَوْلِيَاء الشَّيْطَانِ right after الطَّاغُوت shows that the latter implies Satan and his comrades.

II Eloquence & Style (الاساليب و البلاغة)

1. Ellipsis of a Preposition

Ghamidi (note 16) has pointed out an ellipsis of the preposition ب before أَنْ in the expression أَنْ آتَاهُ اللّهُ الْمُلْكَ. This ellipsis is very common in the Qur’an.

For example:

وَاللَّهُ أَحَقُّ أَنْ تَخْشَاهُ (٣٧:٣٣)

That is تَخْشَاهُ بِاَنْ

عَهِدْنَا إِلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ أَن طَهِّرَا بَيْتِيَ (٢: ١٢٥)

That is بِأَن طَهِّرَا بَيْتِيَ

إِنَّا نَطْمَعُ أَنْ يَغْفِرَ لَنَا رَبُّنَا خَطَايَانَا أَنْ كُنَّا أَوَّلَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ (٥١:٢٦)

That is بِأَنْ كُنَّا أَوَّلَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ

2. Ellipsis of Conjugal Clauses and Sentences

The ellipsis of the conjugal clauses and sentences is customary in Qur’anic Arabic. What has been ellipsed is readily evident from the context. Ghamidi has pointed out an instance of such an ellipses (note 25) in 2:259.

Other examples of such an ellipsis can be seen in the following verses:

Example I

وَكَذَلِكَ نُرِي إِبْرَاهِيمَ مَلَكُوتَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَلِيَكُونَ مِنْ الْمُوقِنِينَ (٦ :٧٥)

أي : ]لِيُقِيْمَ الـحُجَّة علي قومه [وَلِيَكُونَ مِنْ الْمُوقِنِينَ

The above verse is the prelude to the famous Abrahamic dialogue with his people in which he tries to convince them of the baselessness of their deities (6:75-83). The ellipsis which occurs in it is readily suggested by 6:83 where the discourse ends:

وَتِلْكَ حُجَّتُنَا آتَيْنَاهَا إِبْرَاهِيمَ عَلَى قَوْمِهِ نَرْفَعُ دَرَجَاتٍ مَنْ نَشَاءُ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ حَكِيمٌ عَلِيمٌ (٦: ٨٣)

Example II

وَكَذَلِكَ نُفَصِّلُ الْآيَاتِ وَلِتَسْتَبِينَ سَبِيلُ الْمُجْرِمِينَ (٥٥:٦)

Here the ellipsis is quite obvious as:

أي : [وَلِتَسْتَبِينَ سَبِيلُ المومنين] وَلِتَسْتَبِينَ سَبِيلُ الْمُجْرِمِينَ

VI Scriptures and Testaments (العهود  و الصحف)

The following verses from Isaiah are very similar to the Ayah al-Kursi (2:256):


I am the LORD, and there is no other;

apart from me there is no God.

I will strengthen you,

though you have not acknowledged me,


so that from the rising of the sun

to the place of its setting

men may know there is none besides me.

I am the LORD, and there is no other.


I form the light and create darkness,

I bring prosperity and create disaster;

I, the LORD, do all these things.


(Isaiah, 45:5-8)

Deuteronomy also has some similar phrases of the Ayah al-Kursi:

To the LORD your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it. (Deuteronomy, 10:14)

For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. (Deuteronomy, 10:17)

Indeed, he who watches over Israel

will neither slumber nor sleep. (Psalms 121:4)

According to Abraham Katsh, there are many legends between Nimrod and Abraham and are recorded in different versions of the Midrash as follows1:

Abraham then took a hatchet in his hand, and broke all his father’s gods, and when he had done breaking them he placed the hatchet in the hand of the biggest god among them all, and he went out. Terah (Abraham’s father), having heard the crash of the hatchet on the stone, ran to the room of the idols, and he reached it at the moment when Abraham was leaving it, and when he saw what had happened, he hastened after Ahraham, and he said to him: “What is this mischief thou hast done to my gods?” Abraham answered: “I set savory meat before them, and when I came nigh unto them, that they might eat, they all stretched out their hands to take of the meat, before the big one hand put forth his hand to eat. This one, enraged against them on account of their behaviour, took the hatchet and broke them all, and, behold, the hatchet is yet in his hands, as thou mayest see.”

Then Terah turned in wrath upon Abraham, and he said: “Thou speakest lies unto me! Is there spirit, soul, or power in these gods to do all thou hast told me? Are they not wood and stone? And have I not myself made them? It is thou that didst place the hatchet in the hand of the big god, and thou sayest he smote them all.” Abraham answered his father, and said: “How, then, canst thou serve these idols in whom there is no power to do anything? Can these idols in which thou trustest deliver thee? Can they hear thy prayers when thou callest upon them?” After having spoken these and similar words, admonishing his father to mend his ways and refrain from worshipping idols, he leapt up before Terah, took the hatchet from the big idol, broke it therewith, and ran away.

Terah hastened to Nimrod, bowed down before him, and besought him to hear his story, about his son who had been born to him fifty years back, and how he had done to his gods, and how he had spoken. “Now, therefore, my Lord and king”, he said, “send for him that he may come before thee, and do thou judge him according to the law, that we may be delivered from his evil.” When Abraham was brought before the king, he told him the same story as he had told Terah, about the big god who broke the smaller ones, but the king replied: “Idols do neither speak, nor eat, nor move.” Then Abraham reproached him for worshipping gods that can do nothing, and admonished him to serve the God of the universe. The King then replied: “Do you not know that I am the Lord of the Universe, the creation, the sun and the moon?”… God then endowed Abraham with wisdom and he spoke up: “Naturally the sun always rises in the East and sets in the West. If you are the creator of the universe, command the sun tomorrow to rise in the west and to set in the east; only then will I testify to your lordship….”





1. Abraham Katsh, Judaism in Islam (n.p. : n.d.), 175-176.

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