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Researcher’s Companion to Ghamidi’s Surah al-Baqarah (261-274)
Qur'anic Exegesis
Dr. Shehzad Saleem


The Researcher’s Companion

I Meaning & Morphology (الصرف و اللغة)

 1. أمر

As pointed out by Ghamidi, (note 13), in the Arabic language, the word أمر is not always used to connote a command or a directive. It also means “to suggest and to tempt someone about something”. Thus, in the expression (٢٦٨: ٢) الشَّيْطَانُ يَعِدُكُمُ الْفَقْرَ وَيَأْمُرُكُم بِالْفَحْشَاء it is used in this sense.

An example of this usage can be seen in the following couplet of Ibn Durayd:

 أمرتهم أمرى بمنعرج اللوى

فلم يستبينوا الرشد إلا ضحى الغد

(I had informed them of my suggestion at Mun‘araj al-Liwa; however, it was only by morning of the next day that they came to understand.)

A Jahili poet says:

 أطعت لآمريك بصرم حبلي

مريهم في أحبتهم بذاك

(You ultimately acceded to those who suggested you to break your ties with me; tell them to act on this suggestion regarding the ones they love.)


II Eloquence & Style (الاساليب و البلاغة)


1. Parallelism in فَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ

Ghamidi while quoting Islahi (note. 5) has expressed the view that the above words portray the life of Paradise.

At an earlier instance, in Surah Baqarah it can be conclusively proved that these words do in fact refer to the life of Paradise. Consider the verses:

فَإِمَّا يَأْتِيَنَّكُمْ مِنِّي هُدًى فَمَنْ تَبِعَ هُدَايَ فَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ  وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا وَكَذَّبُوا بِآيَاتِنَا أُوْلَئِكَ أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ (٢: ٣٨-٣٩)

So if ever comes to you any guidance from Me, then [remember] whosoever [among you] follow My guidance, will have no fear, nor shall they grieve. And those who reject faith and belie Our revelations, they shall be companions of the Fire. They shall abide therein forever. (2:38-39)

 The connotation of the sentence  فَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ  can be unfolded through the one mentioned in parallel to it in the next verse: أُوْلَئِكَ أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ. It is evident that the former should signify the life of Paradise since the parallel sentence explicitly mentions Hell.1

 1. Expression of Severity

As pointed out by Ghamidi (note 22), in لاَ يَسْأَلُونَ النَّاسَ إِلْحَافًا the word إِلْحَافًا is used to express the severity of a deed. It does not mean that though they do not ask annoyingly, yet they do ask.

This style is common in the Qur’an. Consider the following verse:

وَلَا تَشْتَرُوا بِآيَاتِي ثَمَنًا قَلِيلًا ( ٢ :٤١)

Do not sell My verses for a paltry price. (2:41)

The words ثَمَنًا قَلِيلًا (paltry price) do not refer to the fact that verses of the Qur’an can be sold for a high price. These qualifying words actually point to the intensity of the sin.

Similarly, consider the following verse:


وَلَا تُكْرِهُوا فَتَيَاتِكُمْ عَلَى الْبِغَاءِ إِنْ أَرَدْنَ تَحَصُّنًا لِتَبْتَغُوا عَرَضَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا (٣٣:٢٤)

Force not your slave-girls into prostitution that you may seek pleasures of the life of the world, if they would preserve their chastity. (24:33)


Obviously, this verse does not mean that if the slave-girls are willing, prostitution may be allowed. It merely points out the intensity of the sin of those who force such slave-girls to prostitution as wish to avoid the despicable crime.

Another example of this style can been seen in the following verse:

 وَلاَ تَقْتُلُواْ أَوْلادَكُمْ خَشْيَةَ إِمْلاقٍ (٣١:١٨)

You shall not kill your children for fear of poverty. (31:17)


Here again, the purport is not that children can be killed if there is no such fear.


III. Exegesis and Explanation (الشرح و التفسير)


1. Underground Rivers in Paradise (2:266)

The most scenic of gardens and orchards are those which are situated at some height above ground level on some mountain or hill such that rivers and streams flow around and beneath it at a lower altitude. The height not only adds to the beauty of the orchard, but also secures it from floods and similar calamities. Thus the words جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِنْ تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ do not mean that the gardens of Paradise would have underground rivers. The word تَحْتِهَا here signifies a relative lower altitude of the rivers and not their being underground. The words of verse 2:265 in the portion under discussion portray such a garden:

 وَمَثَلُ الَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ أَمْوَالَهُمْ ابْتِغَاءَ مَرْضَاةِ اللَّهِ وَتَثْبِيتًا مِنْ أَنْفُسِهِمْ كَمَثَلِ جَنَّةٍ بِرَبْوَةٍ أَصَابَهَا وَابِلٌ فَآتَتْ أُكُلَهَا ضِعْفَيْنِ فَإِنْ لَمْ يُصِبْهَا وَابِلٌ فَطَلٌّ (٢٦٥:٢)

Those who spend their wealth to please God and to firmly attach their own souls [to the truth] are like an orchard which is on a high and level ground: if a heavy shower falls upon it, it yields up twice its normal produce; and even if a heavy shower does not fall on it, a drizzle is enough [to produce fruit].. (2:265)

 At another place, the Qur’an has mentioned the various types of الْأَنْهَارُ (rivers) that will flow in Paradise:

 مَثَلُ الْجَنَّةِ الَّتِي وُعِدَ الْمُتَّقُونَ فِيهَا أَنْهَارٌ مِنْ مَاءٍ غَيْرِ آسِنٍ وَأَنْهَارٌ مِنْ لَبَنٍ لَمْ يَتَغَيَّرْ طَعْمُهُ وَأَنْهَارٌ مِنْ خَمْرٍ لَذَّةٍ لِلشَّارِبِينَ وَأَنْهَارٌ مِنْ عَسَلٍ مُصَفًّى (١٥:٤٧)

[Here is] a description of the Paradise which the righteous are promised: in it are rivers of water incorruptible; rivers of milk of which the taste never changes; rivers of wine, a joy to those who drink; and rivers of honey pure and clear. (47:15)






1. See also Farahi, Hamidu’l-Din, Tafsir Nizam al-Qur’an/ Surah Baqarah, 1st ed. (Azam Garh: Dai’rah Hamidiyyah, 2000), 211.

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