Al-Baqarah · Juz 1 · Qur'an Tafseer

Tafseer Al-Baqarah Ayaat 93 -96

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Ayaat 93-95 the raising of Mount Tur

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala reminds the Jews of their errors, breaking His covenant, transgression and defiance. He raised the Mount Tur above them so that they would believe and agree to the terms of the covenant. Yet, they broke it soon afterward.


While giving the Torah, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala had instructed the Children of Israel to hold it firmly…and hear. They replied,

قَالُواْ سَمِعْنَا وَعَصَيْنَا

“We have heard and disobeyed.” The word asayna [عَصَيْنَا] is from the root ayn-saad-ya which means ‘to rebel, disobey, oppose, resist and transgress’.


By saying, hear, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala tells us that listening is the first step towards action. He who does not listen attentively cannot act or follow instructions. Therefore, people should be invited and encouraged to listen to the Qur’an and understand its meaning. Merely, reading it is not enough.

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says, “…their hearts absorbed [the worship of] the calf because of their disbelief.” The reason that they heard and disobeyed was that their hearts were filled with the love of the calf. They had lived many years under the slavery of the Egyptians who worshiped cows. Living with them, the Children of Israel too started revering the cow. Their hearts were now attached to other things that blocked them from submitting before Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. Therefore, they bluntly said: We hear and disobey.


When the heart is filled with the love of something other than Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, then such a heart does not receive guidance. This is how the heart has been created. It has to hook itself to something. If you do not hook it up with the Creator, it will get attached to anything of the world. We have to cleanse our heart from false attachments and open it up to guidance and understanding the message of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.

Before you fall for the dunya, fall for Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala in love and submission.

If one’s heart is not cleansed then the study of the Qur’an won’t change them either. Our way of looking at things should not remain the same after studying the Qur’an. The student of Qur’an transforms into a new person. He looks at the world from a new perspective. He works in the dunya, but his focus is the Hereafter – where he is going to stay forever. He does not indulge in what is temporary. But who experiences this? A person who has a pure heart and receives guidance; such a person shows by his actions that indeed the Qur’an is impacting him for the better. He is humble, kind-hearted, and compassionate, but not attached to this world.

When a person does not find interest in religious matters or in Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, then his heart is indulged in other things. When the love of other things reside in one’s heart, then it is difficult to obey Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.

There remains a constant need to check our hearts.

[Hook Up with Allah, Allah will Hook You Up]

“Worst indeed is that which your faith enjoins on you if you are believers,” the Children of Israel are being criticized that if you are true believers, as you claim, then it is strange that your faith call you to disobedience and evil deeds. They disobeyed Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and the prophets that were sent to them; they killed some of them and planned to kill some [‘Eesa (Jesus) and Muhammad ﷺ]. What kind of a faith is this that is teaching you to disobey Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and go against the teachings of the Torah?


One’s faith remains incomplete unless his actions conform to it. If one truly loves Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, as many of us claim, then we will never disobey Him.  How true are we in our claims of loving Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and His Messenger ﷺ the most? Do our actions conform to what we say? Many of us are doing things in the name of Islam that are only bringing us shame. There are those deluded from their purpose in this life and their identity as a Muslim. In the name of assimilation, they are adopting things that our religion clearly forbids us from doing. How are we going to stand before Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and give an account of our deeds?

May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala guide us and correct what is wrong within us, ameen.

Ayah 94 – Calling the Jews to invoke Allah to destroy the Unjust Party

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says if the abode of the Hereafter is really for the Children of Israel as they claim then what are they doing in this world? They should ask for death and go enjoy the pleasures (as they claim) that await them.

Note that it is not permissible for one to ask Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala for death because one’s life has been entrusted to them. It has been given to us so that we can get our scales raised in the Hereafter by doing righteous deeds. It should not be wasted in laghw, pursuing temporary pleasures while forgetting the accountability that awaits us in the Hereafter. When you are being tested in life ask for Allah’s help and do not indulge in what is forbidden. Remember, we are not here forever. Our real home is in the Hereafter in the company of the Prophets, the Siddiqeen, the Shuhada and the Sauleheen, in sha Allah.

The Prophet ﷺ used to say, “Remember, more often the destroyer of pleasures.” [at-Tirmidhi, an-Nasa’i, ibn Majah]

He also taught us a du’a that is to be said when one has given up on this world,

when tired of life

The Jews had corrupted their belief about the Hereafter. They believed they are the chosen people; they are the children of the prophets; they are the children of Allah (we seek refuge with Allah from uttering such a statement)…and because of this, they believed, they will definitely be entering Paradise.

Ayah 95

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala responds to their false claim: If the home of the Hereafter is especially for you then you should long for death. He adds, “But they will never wish for it ever, because of what their hands have put forth.” They will never ask for death because they know what their deeds were. They have defied and denied the prophets. They have altered the Torah according to their liking. They refused to accept Muhammad ﷺ while acknowledging his description matches with the Torah.

They were called to invoke Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala to destroy the lying group, be it them or the Muslims. When the Jews declined, everyone was sure of their wrong, for had they been sure of their claims, then they would have accepted the proposal. Their lies were thus exposed after they declined the offer to invoke the curse.

At this ayah, Ibn ‘Abbas radhiAllahu ‘anhu commented had they wished death that day, no Jew would have remained alive on the face of the earth.

This, invoking Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala for death, is called Mubahalah. And we are forbidden to do so as explained in the beginning.

Ibn Jarir said in his tafseer: We were told that the Prophet ﷺ said,

لَوْ أَنَّ الْيَهُودَ تَمَنَّوُا الْمَوْتَ لَمَاتُوا وَلَرَأَوْا مَقَاعِدَهُمْ مِنَ النَّارِ، وَلَوْ خَرَجَ الَّذِينَ يُبَاهِلُونَ رَسُولَ اللهِ صلى الله عليه وسلّم لَرَجَعُوا لَا يَجِدُونَ أَهْلًا وَلَا مَالًا

“Had the Jews wished for death, they would have died and seen their seats in the Fire. And, those who invoked such curse against Allah’s Messenger would have found no families or property had they returned to their homes.”

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala ends the ayah by saying He knows who the wrongdoers are.


We should watch our tongues and never claim our righteousness. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala knows how honest we are in our speech and how righteous we are. We should fear the Day when we will meet Him for accountability. We should strive to please Him.

O Allah! We ask You for an easy reckoning, and the company of the prophets, the truthful, the martyred and the righteous. Allahumma ameen.

Ayah 96 – Long Life won’t save One from Accountability

This world is a prison for the believer and Paradise for the disbeliever. He who longs to meet Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is not afraid of death. He knows death is a reality of life and it will occur no matter what we do. If however, one is not prepared for death or they are too immersed in dunya, they will wish that their death time is delayed. Talking about this Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says,


The word arasa [أَحْرَصَ] is from the root ha-ra-sad which means ‘to desire ardently, covet, hanker, exert oneself, take extraordinary pains to obtain,’ etc. The Jews are the greediest for the life of this world. They are fully-aware of their evil deeds and hence their evil end. Therefore, they wish to live a little longer. In fact, their desire to live long is greater than the desires of the polytheists (mushrikeen). Ibn ‘Abbas radhiAllahi ‘anhu commented that polytheists do not believe in resurrection after death, therefore, they would love to enjoy a long life in this world.

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says that they desire to live a thousand years. The word yawaddu [يَوَدُّ] is from the root wau-dal-dal which means ‘to love, wish for, desire and long’. The grant of a long life, however, will not save them even a little from the punishment that is due. The word bimuza-zi-hi [بِمُزَحْزِحِهِ] is from the root zay-ha-zay-ha which means ‘to remove, push or thrust away’. They cannot escape the punishment of the Hereafter for their wrongdoings.


This life is a gift of our Creator that has been entrusted to us so that we can do more and more righteous deeds seeking His pleasure alone, and not for some worldly gain. Our goal in this life is to please Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and to prepare ourselves for the greatest reckoning. No matter how many years we live, if we have reached puberty we will be answerable for our deeds. We should ask Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala to put barakah in our lives and time, so that we are able to do more and more righteous deeds (that are accepted), and move from this world of prison to the abode of bliss, in sha Allah.

[A Letter on Preparing for Death]

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala ends the ayah by saying that He knows what His servants are doing. The good and evil all is being noted down in our records and we will be compensated accordingly.

DOWNLOAD PDF: Tafseer Al-Baqarah Ayaat 93-96

رَبَّنَا تَقَبَّلْ مِنَّا ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيم
“Our Lord, accept [this] from us. Indeed You are the Hearing, the Knowing.” [Al-Baqarah 2: 127]

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