|Man praying in Aleppo Grand Mosque in Syria|
285. The messenger believes in that which has been revealed unto him from his Lord and (so do) the believers. Each one believes in Allah and His angels and His scriptures and His messengers - We make no distinction between any of His messengers - and they say: We hear, and we obey. (Grant us) Your forgiveness, our Lord. Unto You is the journeying.
The messenger believes:
Al Zajāj stated: After Allah the Exalted delineated in this Surah of the glorious rank and clear evidence the regulations/duties (Fard) regarding Salāt, Zakāt, divorce, menstruation, marital separation (Ila'), Jihad, stories of the Prophets (AS), the Din and Usury (Ribā), he closes the Sura by elevating the rank of the Prophet and his followers and stressing and detailing all that had been mentioned earlier.
Here Allah the Exalted testifies to those who were addressed in the text of the Sura perfection of belief and good obedience and attests that those attributes are indeed theirs.
Also Allah refers to the Prophet in the indirect address form (the messenger) although he has been referred to elsewhere in the form of direct address (Khitāb), for the rule is that the truth of a testimony intended to last to the end of time is that the one testified to is to be only indirectly addressed.
Here Allah-SubhānaHu- does not mention the details of the believers' attainment of their goals which will be referred to in the invocations that are to follow (in the next Aya/verse); this fact is to be taken as an indication that this attainment is a certainty without need to be elaborated on, in view of what has been detailed previously in the Sura and the address to the Messenger as the bearer of the Message without mentioning his noble name in order to elevate his rank (as messenger) and to introduce the subject matters that are to follow.
Al-Hakem and Al-Bayhaqi have reported through Anas who stated:"When the Aya was descended upon the Prophet (saws): "the messenger believed in that which.." the Prophet stated:" And right was he to believe".
in that which has been revealed unto him from his Lord ...
in the obligation/rulings mentioned in this Sura and in others- meaning his belief in them in details.
Allah- the Exalted- generalizes here (in the word "Bimā= that which") to glorify the station of the Prophet and to stress the idea that the belief of the Prophet is based on the details as revealed to him as well as his comprehension of all that has been revealed to him, with all that this comprehension entails that cannot be grasped nor attained by the intellects no matter how lofty.
"in that which" there is no necessity to detail the knowledge, it is sufficient to mention it.
The exaltation of the station of the Prophet is apparent also in the special grammatical construction wherein the words" to him" are made to precede the words "from his Lord", in addition to the use of the personal pronoun (referred to the prophet attached) to the word Lord (Rab-i-hi) denoting the relationship of Sovereignty (Rububia).
All of the above, to demonstrate the glorification of the value of the Prophet and to refer to his elevated station.
2:286: “Allah does not task a soul beyond its scope. For it (is only) that which it has earned, and against it (only) that which it has deserved. Our Lord! Condemn us not if we forget, or miss the mark! Our Lord! Lay not on us such a burden as You did lay on those before us! Our Lord! Impose not on us that which we have not the strength to bear! Pardon us, absolve us and have mercy on us, You, our Protector, so give us victory over the disbelieving folk“.
Allah does not task a soul beyond its scope.
Scope- What a person's ability allows or what is easy for him to follow from what has been proscribed. This scope is more limited than the full extent of his abilities. This means that the Law of Allah the Exalted (Sunnatullah) decrees that He does not burden a soul more than it can bear rather less than that in the various duties from Salāt (Obligatory Daily Prayers) to Fasting…
...For it (is only) that which it hath earned, and against it (only) that which it hath deserved.
This is a sentence stated in order to motivate/encourage the adherence to the proscribed duties and to warn against their negligence. The imposition of a charge/Task (Taklif) on each Self/Soul coupled with the previous elaboration on the gifts of lightening and easing the burden reveals yet an additional benefit which is received by the Self/Soul itself and by no other- consequently every negligence leads to loss/harm that affects the same Self/Soul and no other. This exclusivity of the benefits of an action for the doer is one of the strongest motivational factors that encourage the Self/Soul to seek to obtain the benefits; likewise, the restriction of harm due to negligence, to the doer, is one of the strongest warnings against its pursuit.
Grammatically we note the use of the word Iktisab (earned) in reference to the Bad Actions while the word Kasb (earned) is used for the good actions.
"Iktisab" is formulated along the Ifti'aal template with denotes an increase in intensity of the basic form (Kasb); this is to point to the fact that the bad is desired by the Self which is attracted to it and is more active in pursuing it. The use of this grammatical formulation shows the way in which the Selves/Souls have been fashioned.
...Our Lord! Condemn us not if we forget, or miss the mark (make a mistake)!
This is the beginning of the invocations after the secret of the imposition of Charges/Tasks has been elucidated.
It is related in Al-Bahr through Al-Hassan: “this is the way it has been decreed” meaning: “Say the following in your invocation”, it is then a teaching from Allah the Exalted to his worshipers in how to say the invocations and how to ask from Hu (IT)-an act of supreme generosity and infinite goodness (Ihsān), He teaches them the asking in order to give them and guides them to ask in order to bring them closer to Hu (ITself).
It has been said in this matter:
-Had You not wished me to obtain what I desire and aspire to of Your bounty, You would not have taught me how to ask.
-Condemnation is punishment. It has been said that, Allah the Exalted condemns the sinner by punishing him; while the sinner insists on requesting a pardon from His Sustainer for he cannot find any Other to release him from his torture, the sinner clings to Allah out of fear. This is clearly a faulty interpretation.
-The scholars are of different opinions as to the meaning of forgetting and missing the mark/making a mistake.
One opinion is that forgetting means negligence and making a mistake means disobedience as the disobediences are referred to usually with the word “wrong” which is the opposite of the word “right” even if the doer does wrong on purpose. It is as if it is being said: Our Sustainer do not punish us for leaving the duties and committing disobediences.
A second opinion is that both forgetting and missing the mark/making a mistake that lead to excesses and lack of consciousness (Ighfāl) rarely occur without being preceded by lack/inadequacy so that the meaning is : forgive us this lack/inadequacy.
...Our Lord! Lay not on us (such) a burden
Meaning a heavy burden (Isr) that imprisons/traps its subject in his place. This refers difficult tasks/duties. It has also been said that the word Isr refers to the sin for which there is no repentance and the meaning of the verse is : do not let us incur sins for which there is no repentance.
…such a burden as thou didst lay on those before us!
Meaning the difficult tasks/duties placed on those who preceded us like Banu Israel (Children of Israel) in matters of punishment and repentance for murder or details of purification of clothes etc.
...Our Lord! Impose not on us that which we have not the strength to bear!
A request to be spared from the punishments that are not bearable after having asked to be spared what leads to those punishments.
It may also be a request to be spared the imposition of Tasks/Duties (taklif) that the human abilities are unable to fulfill, this last proposition would be an indication that imposition (taklif) may include things that are unbearable otherwise there would not be such a request.
Wipe away the traces of our sins by dropping/easing the punishment.
By covering the negative and revealing the good.
…and have mercy on us
Be compassionate with us.
It has also been said that: (Pardon us) is one of the Acts, (Absolve us) is one of the Words (Have mercy on us) is the heaviness of the scale. It has also been said that: (Pardon us) in the throes of death (Absolve us) in the darkness of the grave (Have mercy on us) on Judgment Day.
Ibn Hayan sees a correspondence between the last 3 sentences and the 3 that preceded them.
(Condemn us not ) is said by Allah The Sublime (Pardon us) is a response from the worshiper.
(Our Lord! Lay not on us a burden) is in the voice of Allah The Sublime while (Absolve us) is the response of the worshiper
(Impose not on us that which we have not the strength to bear!) is stated by Allah The Sublime while the response of the worshiper is (Have mercy on us) .
For Pardon is the result of lack of condemnation and Absolution is the result of non-imposition of burden as Mercy is the result of non-imposition of what cannot be borne. Contemplate then the beauty of this arrangement!
...Thou, our Protector
Our Owner and Master or the Patron of our affairs.
…so give us victory over the disbelieving folk“.
Meaning the enemies who are fighting our religion or all disbelievers in general. The causal proposition (so) comes to show that since He is their Master, it is to Hu (IT) that they turn in the invocation to overcome their enemies.
Virtues of the last verses of Surat al Baqara (2)
1. The six Imams have transmitted this Hadith:
Related through Ibn Masood that the Prophet stated:” Whosoever recites the last 2 verses of Sura al-Baqara in one night needs to do nothing more”
2. Al-Tabarani transmitted with good documentation through Shaddad Ibn Aws that the Prophet said:” Allah, The Sublime, wrote a book two thousand years before He created the heavens and earth. He sent down two of this book’s verses to conclude Sura al-Baqara. If they are read in a house on 3 successive nights no Satan will approach the house.”
3. Ibn Adi transmitted through Ibn Masood al-Insari that the Prophet stated: “ Allah, The Sublime, sent 2 verses from the treasures of Paradise that the Rahman has written with His own hands 2 thousand years before he created creation. Whosoever reads them after the last ‘Ashā (early evening prayer) does not need to do Qiyām (Late night standing prayers) that night”.
4. Al-Hakem and Al-Bayhaqi transmitted through Abi Dhar that the Prophet stated: “ Allah, The Sublime, concluded Sura al-Baqara with two verses that He gave me from His treasure that lays beneath the Throne. Learn them and teach them to your wives and children for they are prayers, Qur’an and invocations”.
5. Mussaddad documented based on the report of Omar and the Darami reported based on the report of Ali that both said: “ No one sane would go to sleep until he read those verses at the end of Sura al-Baqara”.