Al-Baqarah · Juz 1 · Qur'an Tafseer

Tafseer Al-Baqarah Ayah 3

This ayah has defined characteristics of muttaqeen. It points towards three important qualities of momin.

الَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْغَيْبِ

Allatheena yu/minoona bilghaybi
“Who believe in the Unseen”

Abu Ja`far Ar-Razi said that Al-`Ala’ bin Al-Musayyib bin Rafi` narrated from Abu Ishaq that Abu Al-Ahwas said that `Abdullah said, “Emaan is to trust.” `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said,


(who have faith) means they trust. Also, Ma`mar said that Az-Zuhri said, “Emaan is the deeds.” In addition, Abu Ja`far Ar-Razi said that Ar-Rabi` bin Anas said that, “They have faith’, means, they fear (Allah).”

Ibn Jarir (At-Tabari) commented, “The preferred view is that they be described as having faith in the Unseen by the tongue, deed and creed. Our emaan is completed with believing in the following:

1) Oneness of Allah
2) Prophethood of Muhammad ﷺ and all other messengers (‘alayhi salaam)
3) His Angels
4) His Books
5) Last Day – Akhirah (life in the Hereafter)
6) Heaven and Hell
7) Sahabah radhiAllahu ‘anhu
8) Taqdeer (decree)
9) All good and bad is from Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala

Can we see any of them? No. We believe in them as a Muslim and all these are invisible. When Firoun (Pharaoh) at the time of his drowning saw the Angels of Death, he said, “I believe in the God of Moses.” When the veil of Unseen is lifted from eyes and a human can see angels then repentance is of no avail.

The things that are not mentioned by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala to believe does not relate with emaan for example if someone says this sea has an animal inside, if you say I do not believe, it will not affect your emaan. It merely means trust and its core is fear as was said in Surah Qaf,

“Who feared the Most Gracious (Allah) in the Ghayb (unseen) and brought a heart turned in repentance (to Him and absolutely free from every kind of polytheism).” (50: 33)

وَيُقِيمُونَ الصَّلٰوةَ

wayuqeemoona assalata
“…And they establish their prayers…”

Second important thing that is mentioned in this ayah is offering Salah and fulfilling obligations that accompany it, like all conditions and arqaan. What are these arqaans? They include Taharah (purification), niyah (intention), Wudu (ablution), punctuality of time, facing Ka`bah in Salah, method to pray according to the Sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ).

Bukhari and Muslim recorded that  Abu Huraira radiAllahu ‘anhu narrated that a man entered the Masjid and the Messenger of Allah ﷺ was sitting. The man prayed (2 raka’) and then came to the Prophet ﷺ and offered salaam. The Prophet ﷺ replied to the salaam and  said, “Go back and pray for you have not prayed.” So the man went back, prayed (2 raka’) like he did the first time and then came back and repeated the Salaam. The Prophet ﷺ replied to the salaam and  again said, “Go back and pray for you have not prayed.” So the man went back, prayed (2 raka’) like he did the first time and then came back and repeated the salaam. The Prophet ﷺ replied to the salaam and then said, “Go back and pray for you have not prayed.” He said it three times until – on the third time the man said, “By He who sent you with the truth O Messenger of Allah ﷺ, I do not know any better than this. Teach me.” The Prophet ﷺ then said, If you stand up for Salah say ‘Allahu Akbar.’ Then read what comes easy for you from the Qur’an. Then bow until you are comfortable in your ruku’. Then stand up until you are standing up straight. Then prostrate until you are comfortable in your Sujood. Then sit until you are comfortable in your Juloos. Then prostrate until you are comfortable in your Sujood. And do this in your entire Salah.”

Assalat means special way to worship Allah. Prophet ﷺ told us to pray with full humbleness and love, have faith that Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala is looking at us and we are looking at Him.

 وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ

wamimma razaqnahum yunfiqoon
“…And spend out of what We have provided for them.”

Rizq is any beneficial thing that Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala has blessed us. It is not limited to material wealth. Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala likes those who give to others from their rizq and  do not keep it all for themselves. It includes Zakat, Sadaqah, and Nafaqat. Zakat is Wjibha, fard.  Sadaqah is mustahiba means it’s your liking what and how much you give. Nafaqat is lazim, compulsory on a person; simple example is whatever you spend on your spouse and children according to your earning and pocket. In many instances, Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala mentioned prayer and spending wealth together. Prayer is a right of Allah as well as a form of worshipping Him. It includes singling Him out for one’s devotion, praising Him, glorifying Him, supplicating to Him, invoking Him, and it displays one’s dependence upon Him. Spending is form of kindness towards creatures by giving them what will benefit them, and those people most deserving of this charity are the relatives, the wife, the servants and then the rest of the people.

One of hadith shows:

Allah said, “O son of Adam! Spend, I will spend on you.” [Al-Bukhari]


So the characteristics of Muttaqeen as per this ayah are:

1) They have humble, accepting heart that realizes their limitations and submits to Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala by believing in the Unseen with full certainty.

2) Muttaqeen also establish Salah perfectly which means they perform Salah regularly, in prescribed times, fulfilling all its pre-requisites, according to the way described by Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, giving right to each pillar of Salah, with calmness and focus and in congregation (for men).

3) Muttaqeen spend in the way of Allah through wealth, knowledge, efforts, money, time, talents and skills.

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