Based on the meanings explained by the Salaf, and the Ahlus Sunnah (Ash'ari & Maturidi) scholars.
2 – Surah Al-Baqarah – Verses 1 to 7
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بِسۡمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
الٓمٓ (1) ذَٰلِكَ الْكِتَابُ لَا رَيْبَ ۛ فِيهِ ۛ هُدًى لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ (2)
الَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْغَيْبِ وَيُقِيمُونَ الصَّلَاةَ وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ (3)
وَالَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ وَمَا أُنزِلَ مِن قَبْلِكَ وَبِالْآخِرَةِ هُمْ يُوقِنُونَ (4)
أُولَٰئِكَ عَلَىٰ هُدًى مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ ۖ وَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ (5)
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا سَوَاءٌ عَلَيْهِمْ أَأَنذَرْتَهُمْ أَمْ لَمْ تُنذِرْهُمْ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ (6)
خَتَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِمْ وَعَلَىٰ سَمْعِهِمْ ۖ وَعَلَىٰ أَبْصَارِهِمْ غِشَاوَةٌ ۖ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ (7)
Beginning with the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful 
- This is the exalted book (Quran) in which there is no room for doubt ; it contains guidance for those who fear. 
- Those who believe without seeing , and establish salah , and spend in Our cause from the provisions We provide. 
- And those who believe in that which has been revealed onto you o Beloved Prophet, and that which has been revealed before you , and are certain about the hereafter. 
- They alone are the ones upon guidance from their God; and they alone are the ones to attain success.
- Indeed those whose fates have been sealed on kufr , it is equal to them whether you warn them or do not warn them, they shall not declare belief.
- Allah has sealed their hearts and ears; and on their eyes falls a hat , and for them is a magnanimous penalty.
FOOTNOTES: Beginning with the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful
 – Surah Al-Baqarah: This surah is Madinan. Our master Ibn ‘Abbas radi Allahu ‘anhumaa has said that this is the first surah to be revealed in Madinah At-Tayyibah, except for the verse (… وَاتَّقُوا يَوْمًا تُرْجَعُونَ – 281) which was revealed in Makkah Al-Mukarramah during the Hajjet Al-Wida’. [Khazen].
This surah contains 286 verses, 40 rukoo’s, 6121 words, 25500 letters. [Khazen]
[Translator’s Note: Rukoo’ as we all know, means bowing in front of Allah and we do it only in salah. So what is the meaning of rukoo’ in a surah? Answer: During the times of our master ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab radi Allahu ‘anhu, he used to lead the tarawiih prayers in the month of Ramadan and complete a full recitation of the Quran during those tarawiih prayers. He used to pray 20 rak’ats of tarawiih. At every spot in a surah, where he stopped recitation and went into the rukoo’ position, that much section of the surah then came to be known as a ‘rukoo’’. Our master ‘Umar used to lead 20 rak’ats of tarawiih every night in Ramadan, and finish a full recitation of the Quran on the 27th eve of Ramadan. This has rendered (20 * 27 = 540) + 17 = 557 rukoo’s as a total in all the surah’s of the Quran. The number is more because on the last day, a few small surahs towards the ending, were read in the same rak’ah.
This passage for instance, from verses 1 – 7 of the Surah Al-Baqarah, constitutes Surah Al-Baqarah’s first rukoo’.
Is it obligatory for us to read one full rukoo’ after the Fatihah, during the salah? Answer: No. The minimum recitation required after the Fatihah during salah, is one long verse or three short verses, and there is no limit on the maximum.
Is it obligatory for us to use the rukoo’ sectioning when we recite outside of salah, study, or memorize the Quran? Answer: No. You can use your own sectioning according to your own convenience.
Will I still get thawab for it? Answer: Yes. Islam is a religion that is easy upon mankind. Any act of love, recitation, memorizing, studying or acting upon the Quran earns great thawab, as our Master Rasulullah ﷺ has taught in various ahadith.
Benefit: By observing this historically passed down and virtually mass transmitted fact, here we also learn that the correct number of tarawiih rak’ats to be prayed are 20 and not 8 as the misguided mubtadi’ wahabis would like us to believe. Anything that draws one close to Allah and His Messenger ﷺ pains these heretics intensely.]
Earlier on, the names of the surahs were not written in the Holy Quran. This method was started by Hajjaj. Ibn ‘Arabi says that Surah Al-Baqarah contains a 1000 commands, a 1000 prohibitions, a 1000 judgments, a 1000 news information; embracing it contains barakah (blessing) and abstinence from it contains grief. People of falsehood and magicians do not have the capacity to endure it. A household in which this surah is read, for three days recusant shaytan can’t enter that home. It states in Sahih Muslim that shaytan runs away from a house in which this surah is read. [Al-Jamal]
Bayhaqi and Sa’iid bin Mansuur narrate from our master Mughiira that whoever recites 10 verses of Surah Al-Baqarah before sleeping, he shall not forget the Holy Quran. Those 10 aayaat are as such: First 4 verses from the beginning (1-4), then the Ayat Al-Kursiy and its succeeding 2 verses (255-257), and the final 3 verses (284-286).
Mas-ala (Case): Tabarani narrates on account of our master ibn ‘Umar radi Allahu ‘anhumaa, that the Blessed Master ﷺ has recommended that after burying the deceased, read the first 3 verses of Surah Al-Baqarah on the side of the head, and then read the last 3 verses on the side of the feet.
Circumstances of revelation: Allah Ta’ala had promised to descend onto His Beloved Prophet ﷺ such a book that wouldn’t be erased by washing with water nor would it get old. When the Quran descended, He said (ذَٰلِكَ ٱلۡكِتَٰبُ) to say that THIS is that promised book. Another saying is that Allah Ta’ala had promised the children of Israel to send one book and to send one messenger from the children of Isma’eel. When the Blessed Master ﷺ migrated to Madinah At-Tayyibah, which had a large jewish population, then by revealing (الٓمٓ (١) ذَٰلِكَ ٱلۡكِتَٰبُ), He informed of the completion of this promise. [Khazen]
 – (الٓـمٓ) These terminal letters (al-huroof al-muqatta’aat) that are in the beginning of some surahs, the predominant saying regarding them is that they are from the secrets of the Almighty and from the allegories. Allah and His Messenger ﷺ know best their implications. We declare belief in them being the truth.
 – This is because a doubt is only expressed on that which has no evidence to support it. The Holy Quran contains such manifest and unyielding evidences that they force any unbiased, intelligent person to accept it as the truth. This book then is absolutely sovereign of being doubtful. Just as a blind man’s denial does not negate the existence of the sun, the doubts and denials of a darkened, rebellious heart, do NOT render this book doubtful.
[Translator’s Note: Please note that Islam ALONE is the religion that appeals to the sound mind. While the missionaries of the kuffaar work hard to cast doubt and aspersion onto Islam by trying to distract Muslims from questioning their filthy, idiotic, and laughable creeds, Muslims should NEVER lose sight of Islamic creed and Allah’s Tawhiid taught in Islam, the likeness and soundness of which is IMPOSSIBLE to be found in ANY other religion. How can it be so? Islam ALONE is the truthful religion.
Whenever one engages in da’wah to the kuffaar, one should NEVER lose focus by engaging overly with a kafir on his idiotic and bigoted arguments on history and legalisms like permission for 4 wives etc. Muslims should always show the kafir the beauty of the various concepts of Tawhiid point by point – starting right from the evidences that Allah exists, all the way until detailed creedal points like how everything coming from Him is either His Justice or His Mercy – and how they are THE ONLY creedal points that appeal to the sound mind.
Once Tawhiid becomes manifest, ANY unbiased and intelligent person will see that Islam ALONE is the religion that espouses such supremely refined and laser sharp creed based on extremely rugged evidences that appeal to the sound mind and that anything that does not rest on Tawhiid, is shear idiocy.
Islam rests on Tawhiid. Tawhiid is KEY to effective DA’WAH.
Familiarization with the creed of the Ahlus Sunnah, the Ash’aris and Maturidis, will exponentially ease this task of showing the kuffaar the irrefutable sound evidences for Islamic teachings of Allah’s Tawhiid.
NEVER lose focus of Tawhiid in your da’wah efforts and NEVER get bogged down with the distractions that the kafirs knowingly or subconsciously put up to subvert the propagation of Tawhiid and Islam.]
 – (هُدًى لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ) Even though the guidance of the Noble Quran is common to every observer, be he a believer (mumin) or a kafir, as has been stated in another verse (ھُدًی لِّلنَّا سِ) – BUT because the benefit from it is to the people of fear (ahl at-taqwa) – (هُدًى لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ) has been said; just as we say rain is for the grasslands, it means that it is the grasslands that benefit from the rain even though it falls equally on rocks and barren lands too. Taqwa has many meanings: safeguarding one’s carnal base self from that which it is afraid of; and in the language of the Shari’ah it refers to safeguarding one’s self from sinfulness by abstaining from prohibitions.
[Translator’s Note: Muttaqeen is the plural of muttaqi. A muttaqi is a person of taqwa.]
Our master Ibn ‘Abbas radi Allahu Ta’ala ‘anhumaa says that a muttaqi is a person who abstains from shirk (paganhood) and the kabaair (major sins like adultery, hurting parents and others) and fawaahish (lewdness). Some have said that a muttaqi is the one who does not consider himself as better than others. Some have said that taqwa is the disowning of prohibitions and acting upon the obligations (faraid). According to some, LEAVING the persistence on sinfulness and pride on adherence [to rules], is taqwa. Some have said that taqwa means that your Lord should NOT find you where He commanded you not to go. Another saying is that taqwa is the adherence to the ways of the Blessed Master ﷺ and his sahaba, radi Allahu Ta’ala ‘anhum. [Khazen]
All these meanings bear resonance and resemblance to each other and they do not contradict each other inasmuch as their substance is concerned. There are many levels of taqwa. The taqwa of common people is declaring belief and abstaining from kufr; for the mediocre people, it is adhering to the obligations and prohibitions; for the special people, it is the abstaining from any such thing that prevents them from [unceasingly] remembering Allah. [Al-Jamal]
His eminence, the translator, qaddasa sirrahu, has said that taqwa is of 7 types – 1)Abstinence from kufr and by The Almighty’s grace, this is available to every Muslim. 2) Abstinence from bid’ah and heresy and this is available to every Sunni. 3) Abstinence from every kabiirah (major sin). 4) Abstinence from the saghaayir (minor sins) as well. 5) Refraining from doubtfulness. 6) Refraining from lustful feelings. 7) Abstaining from bearing affinity to anyone other than The Almighty, this is the domain of the even further special ones of the special slaves – and the Quran is the guide to all 7 of these stages.
 – The verses from (اَلَّذِیْنَ یُؤْمِنُوْنَ بِالْغَیْبِ) until (مُفْلِحُوْنَ) are in favor of those who believe with sincerity, who are truthful outwardly and inwardly. After that, 2 verses are regarding open kafirs who are outwardly and inwardly kafirs. After that, from (وَمِنَ النَّاسِ) thirteen verses are in regards to the munaafiqiin (hypocrites) who are inwardly kafir but outwardly express themselves as Muslims. [Al-Jamal]
The meaning of ghayb (unseen) used in the verse [based on the rules of Arabic grammar] is taken either as a verbal noun (مصدر) OR agent noun (اسم فاعل).
In this discussion, ghayb (unseen) is that which cannot be manifestly known by the intellect and the senses. It is of 2 types. 1) That on which there is no evidence, this is knowledge of the intrinsically unknown, and this is what is implied in the ayah (عِنْدَہ مَفَاتِحُ الْغَیْبِ لَا یَعْلَمُھَآ اِلَّا ھُوَ) and in all those verses that negate knowledge of the ghayb for all other than Allah. This kind of knowledge of ghayb, that is, intrinsic, to which we have no indicators/evidences, it is exclusive to Allah Ta’ala. 2) The other type of ghayb is that on which there IS evidence, such as knowledge of the existence of the Creator of the universe, and His Attributes, and prophethoods and the commands and Shari’ahs connected to them; the day of judgment and its conditions, being raised from the dead, appearing [before Him], recompense for deeds, etc. – on which there are evidences and that which is obtained by the Almighty’s teaching. Here the implication is to this second type of ghuyub (matters of unseen) that are connected to belief [and] their knowledge and certitude is available to every believer, for if he did not possess it, he wouldn’t be a believer. And the doors of ghuyub that Allah Ta’ala opens up to His near and dear slaves, the prophets and awliyaa, that too is this type of ghayb.
Ghayb will EITHER will be kept under the implications of verbal noun and relegated to ‘believing’ OR the letter (ب) would be deemed a tense after being connected with the rest of the superimposed upon words. In the first case, the translation of the meaning of the ayah shall be (‘those who believe without seeing’) as his eminence, the translator, qaddasa sirrahu, has translated. In the second case, the implied meaning would be (‘those who believe being unseen by other believers’) meaning to say that their belief is NOT like the counterfeit belief of hypocrites just for the sake of exhibiting it around believers, rather that they are sincere believers and stay mumin (believer), whether they are seen by others or not.
[Translator’s Note: It is not necessary for the reader to try and make sense of a discussion on Arabic words, sentence and grammar in a translated English passage employing the closest possible English translations of the Arabic used, much less when one notes the linguistic magnificence of the Holy Quran!
To simplistically explain the above paragraph using all out English:
In the first interpretation, ghayb (unseen) is relegated to the action (believing) – Hence: Those who believe without seeing.
In the second interpretation, ghayb (unseen) is relegated to the agent of the action (the believers) – Hence: Those who believe being unseen…
Both interpretations are valid by the rules of Arabic linguistics and grammar.
It is sufficient that the reader just grasp the possible translations of the meaning of the phrase used in the verse, as shown in the underlined and bracketed sentences above, and also the other meaning as shown in the paragraph below.]
In the tafsiir (exegesis) of ghayb, another saying is that ghayb refers to the heart (qalb). In this case, the meaning would be (‘they believe by their heart’). [Al-Jamal]
Those matters that are known by guidance and certainty that they are from the religion given to Muhammad ﷺ – believing in ALL of them, AND ascertaining by the heart, AND acknowledging by the tongue – is called sound belief (iman sahih).
Deeds are NOT a part of iman (belief). That is why (and establish salah) (یُقِیْمُوْنَ الصَّلٰوۃَ) has been stated AFTER stating (those who believe without seeing) (یُؤمِنُوْنَ بِالْغَیْبِ).
[Translator’s Note: The superiority of the Arabic language and the absolutely brilliant magnificence of the Quran NECESSITATE that for understanding the Quran one understands Arabic, and prove to us that literal “translations” simply do NO JUSTICE to the meanings of the Quran. Due to its magnificence, it is not even possible to rephrase it in Arabic itself, let alone translate it to another language! The best we can arrive at in another language, is merely a ‘translation of the meaning’ and that too if one has done his due diligence in Arabic language and the Quranic scholarship that has been passed down from the Blessed Master ﷺ to his companions, and from them to the elders of the ummah and so forth down to us.]
 – ‘Establishing salah’ implies that they are persistent on it and they offer it diligently on the right times, ardently observing all of its pillars (the arkaan/pillars of salah) and they safeguard the faraid (obligations), Sunan (Sunnahs), and the praiseworthy actions (mustahibat) [of salah]; and do not let any void enter any of them. They safeguard it (salah) from its nullifiers (mufsidat) and its dislikeable actions (makruhat) and dutifully give it its due rights. There are 2 kinds of rights of salah – 1) The zdhaahiri (outwardly) and they are those that have just been mentioned; 2) The batini (inwardly) and they are khushu’ (submissiveness and humility) and hudur (presence of all of one’s faculties), that is cleansing the heart from everything and attentively diverting oneself in entirety to the court of Haqq Ta’ala, immersed in dedication, pleading and praying.
 – Spending in His cause either implies zakat, as has been stated elsewhere (یُقِیْمُوْنَ الصَّلٰوۃَ وَ یُؤْتُوْنَ الزَّکوٰۃَ) or it absolutely means any form of spending, whether it is fard or wajib like zakat, nadhr (charitable offerings), spending on oneself and one’s family’s provisions etc. – or it is mustahib (likable) like voluntary sadaqaat (charities) and charities on behalf of deceased [Muslims].
Mas-ala (Case): Giyarwhin (a day marked in India & Pakistan when people give charity or distribute food to pass the thawab to Shaykh ‘Abdul Qadir Jeylani and other awliyaa), Fatihah (a gathering of reciting the Quran and feeding the poor on the death of a person for his thawab), marking the third and/or fortieth day of death to recite the Quran and give charity on behalf of a deceased (as is the norm in some cultures), they are all VOLUNTARY charities (sadaqaat naafilah) and reading the Quran, saying the shahadah, adding one good deed to another good deed, increases the thawab and rewards.
[Translator’s Note: Do not listen to the wahabis who scream bid’ah at anything Muslims do. Any gathering of good deeds is permissible and IF there is any haram act committed, we criticize just the haram act and NOT the entire gathering. Hajj is fard and so many people do so many haram acts during the journey. We do not say that one need not go for Hajj. We condemn just the wrong acts.
If it is a cultural norm with some people and they wish to mark a certain day to give charity for the thawab of a deceased relative or an Islamic personality they love, they are welcome to it. We know that such gatherings are completely VOLUNTARY and no one makes an obligation out of them. When we issue judgments on an action, we see the core of the action if it is permitted by the Shari’ah or not. Feeding the poor, reading Quran, repeating the shahadah, etc. are not just permissible, they are acts of VIRTUES. If someone wishes to organize any such gathering, they are welcome to it and shall earn thawab for it too, in sha Allah. It is a voluntary worship they are doing of their own will.
The straw man arguments of the wahabis saying that people make these things obligatory are just that – straw man arguments. However, in any of these acts, one should adhere to the rules of the Shari’ah and the intention should always be to sincerely seek Allah’s rida, and not to boost pride and seek praise from people by stepping into extravagance or engage in any activity prohibited by the Shari’ah like wailing etc. See the below mas-ala.]
Mas-ala (Case): The (مِنْ) in (مِمَّا) points to the fact that extravagance (israaf) in spending is forbidden. It means that spending, be it on one’s own self, or one’s family, or on anyone else, must be judicious and no room be given to extravagance. Following that with (رَزَقْنَا ھُمْ) and relegating rizq (sustenance/provision) to Himself, He made manifest to deliver a message that implies ‘wealth is not something you generate, rather something We graced you with; if by Our command, you do not spend it in Our cause, then indeed you are extremely greedy and this greed is extremely ugly!’
 – In this verse those believers of the ahl al-kitab are implied who declared belief on – their own books and all preceding heavenly books and the revelations of all [preceding] prophets, ‘alaihimus salam – AS WELL AS on the Holy Quran; and (مَآ اُنْزِلَ اِلَیْکَ) implies the entirety of the Holy Quran and the Shari’ah. [Al-Jamal]
Mas-ala (Case): Just as declaring belief on the Holy Quran is fard on every mukallaf (adult of sound mind and body), likewise it is necessary to declare belief on preceding books that Allah Ta’ala sent unto the prophets ‘alaihimus salam, preceding our Master Rasulullah. However, acting upon those commands in them, which are abrogated in OUR Shari’ah – is wrong – but declaring belief on them [in their true form] is necessary. For example, in the previous Shari’ahs, the Bayt Al-Muqaddas (in Al-Quds) was the Qiblah. Declaring belief in this fact [as a commandment in previous Shari’ahs] is necessary – BUT action – that is, facing the Bayt Al-Muqaddas during salah – is NOT allowed; it is abrogated.
Mas-ala (Case): Before the Noble Quran, whatever had been descended unto His prophets by Allah Ta’ala, it is fard ‘ayn (individual obligation) to summarily declare belief in all of that – AND it is fard kifayah (communal obligation) to elaborately declare belief in the Holy Quran. Therefore, the seeking of the knowledge of its details is not individually obligatory on common folk as long as there are scholars who have done their due diligence in seeking its [detailed] knowledge.
[Translator’s Note: What the above means is that it is an individual obligation to summarily declare belief in all preceding heavenly books in their original forms, that is, to acknowledge that ALL preceding heavenly books in their original form, were sent by Allah to His prophets. This is also the case with the Quran that all Muslims MUST summarily declare their belief that they accept the Quran as the absolute truth from Allah and that they accept it in its entirety as their guide. ADDITIONALLY, it is ALSO fard kifayah (communal obligation) for Muslims to declare belief in the detailed and elaborate matters that the Quran talks about. Everyone in the community gets thawab if a section of the community fulfills a communal obligation, and everyone is equally guilty if no one fulfills the communal obligation. Seeking and disbursing the detailed and elaborate knowledge of the Quran is fard kifayah.]
 – It means that they believe in the life of the hereafter and whatever it entails. They are so certain and sure of recompense and accounting of deeds, etc. that they have no doubt or apprehension about it. In this there is an innuendo towards the ahl al-kitab and other kuffaar, whose beliefs regarding the hereafter are corrupt.
 – Mentioning the enemies after the awliyaa (friends) contains the wisdom of guidance that seeing this comparison, everyone is aware of the reality of his character and the fruits it shall bear.
Circumstances of revelation: This ayah (verse) was revealed in connection to abu jahl, abu lahb and other kuffaar who are void of belief in the knowledge of The Almighty. This is why, for them, scaring them or not scaring them from opposing Allah Ta’ala, are both equal. They shall not benefit. But the efforts of the Blessed Prophet ﷺ are not in vain because the aim of establishing the common message is guidance, establishment of evidence, and preaching with pinnacle perfection.
Mas-ala (Case): If the people do not take heed, even then the guide shall attain the thawab for guidance. In this verse, the Blessed Prophet ﷺ is being calmed with implications of ‘do not be saddened by the kuffaar’s non-acceptance of belief, your efforts are perfect and they shall be rewarded; it is these destitutes who did not follow you who are deprived’.
The meaning of kufr is denial of the existence of Allah, or His Oneness, or the prophethood of any prophet, or of any matter from the certified requirements of religion – or any such action which, in the light of the Shari’ah, is an evidence for rejection, it is kufr.
 – Summary: It means that the kuffaar are so drowned in depravity and misguidance that they are so incapacitated to see, listen, and understand the truth as if someone’s hearts and ears are sealed and the eyes are curtained!
Mas-ala (Case): From this verse we learn that even the deeds of the slaves are subject to the Power of The Almighty.