English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 2: Al-Baqarah — The Cow (Revealed at Madinah: 40 sections, 286 verses)

Section 11 (Verses 2:87–2:96): They Reject the Prophet



وَ لَقَدۡ اٰتَیۡنَا مُوۡسَی الۡکِتٰبَ وَ قَفَّیۡنَا مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِہٖ بِالرُّسُلِ ۫ وَ اٰتَیۡنَا عِیۡسَی ابۡنَ مَرۡیَمَ الۡبَیِّنٰتِ وَ اَیَّدۡنٰہُ بِرُوۡحِ الۡقُدُسِ ؕ اَفَکُلَّمَا جَآءَکُمۡ رَسُوۡلٌۢ بِمَا لَا تَہۡوٰۤی اَنۡفُسُکُمُ اسۡتَکۡبَرۡتُمۡ ۚ فَفَرِیۡقًا کَذَّبۡتُمۡ ۫ وَ فَرِیۡقًا تَقۡتُلُوۡنَ ﴿۸۷﴾

2:87 And We indeed gave Moses the Book and We sent messengers after him one after another; and We gave Jesus, son of Mary, clear arguments and strengthened him with the Holy Spirit.1 Is it then that whenever a messenger came to you with what your souls did not desire, you were arrogant? And some you rejected and others you would kill.

وَ قَالُوۡا قُلُوۡبُنَا غُلۡفٌ ؕ بَلۡ لَّعَنَہُمُ اللّٰہُ بِکُفۡرِہِمۡ فَقَلِیۡلًا مَّا یُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ ﴿۸۸﴾

2:88 And they say: Our hearts are securely covered.2 No, Allah has cursed them on account of their unbelief;3 so it is little that they believe.

وَ لَمَّا جَآءَہُمۡ کِتٰبٌ مِّنۡ عِنۡدِ اللّٰہِ مُصَدِّقٌ لِّمَا مَعَہُمۡ ۙ وَ کَانُوۡا مِنۡ قَبۡلُ یَسۡتَفۡتِحُوۡنَ عَلَی الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا ۚۖ فَلَمَّا جَآءَہُمۡ مَّا عَرَفُوۡا کَفَرُوۡا بِہٖ ۫ فَلَعۡنَۃُ اللّٰہِ عَلَی الۡکٰفِرِیۡنَ ﴿۸۹﴾

2:89 And when a Book from Allah came to them verifying what they (already) have, and before this they used to pray for victory against those who disbelieved4 — but when that which they recognized came to them, they disbelieved in it; so Allah’s curse is on the disbelievers.

بِئۡسَمَا اشۡتَرَوۡا بِہٖۤ اَنۡفُسَہُمۡ اَنۡ یَّکۡفُرُوۡا بِمَاۤ اَنۡزَلَ اللّٰہُ بَغۡیًا اَنۡ یُّنَزِّلَ اللّٰہُ مِنۡ فَضۡلِہٖ عَلٰی مَنۡ یَّشَآءُ مِنۡ عِبَادِہٖ ۚ فَبَآءُوۡ بِغَضَبٍ عَلٰی غَضَبٍ ؕ وَ لِلۡکٰفِرِیۡنَ عَذَابٌ مُّہِیۡنٌ ﴿۹۰﴾

2:90 Evil is what they sell their souls for — that they should deny what Allah has revealed, out of envy that Allah should send down of His grace on whomsoever of His servants He pleases; so they incur wrath upon wrath. And there is a humiliating punishment for the disbelievers.

وَ اِذَا قِیۡلَ لَہُمۡ اٰمِنُوۡا بِمَاۤ اَنۡزَلَ اللّٰہُ قَالُوۡا نُؤۡمِنُ بِمَاۤ اُنۡزِلَ عَلَیۡنَا وَ یَکۡفُرُوۡنَ بِمَا وَرَآءَہٗ ٭ وَ ہُوَ الۡحَقُّ مُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا مَعَہُمۡ ؕ قُلۡ فَلِمَ تَقۡتُلُوۡنَ اَنۡۢبِیَآءَ اللّٰہِ مِنۡ قَبۡلُ اِنۡ کُنۡتُمۡ مُّؤۡمِنِیۡنَ ﴿۹۱﴾

2:91 And when it is said to them, Believe in what Allah has revealed, they say: We believe in what was revealed to us. And they deny what is besides that, while it is the Truth verifying what they (already) have.5 Say: Why then did you kill Allah’s prophets before (this) if you were believers?6

وَ لَقَدۡ جَآءَکُمۡ مُّوۡسٰی بِالۡبَیِّنٰتِ ثُمَّ اتَّخَذۡتُمُ الۡعِجۡلَ مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِہٖ وَ اَنۡتُمۡ ظٰلِمُوۡنَ ﴿۹۲﴾

2:92 And Moses indeed came to you with clear arguments, then you took the calf (for a god) in his absence and you were wrongdoers.

وَ اِذۡ اَخَذۡنَا مِیۡثَاقَکُمۡ وَ رَفَعۡنَا فَوۡقَکُمُ الطُّوۡرَ ؕ خُذُوۡا مَاۤ اٰتَیۡنٰکُمۡ بِقُوَّۃٍ وَّ اسۡمَعُوۡا ؕ قَالُوۡا سَمِعۡنَا وَ عَصَیۡنَا ٭ وَ اُشۡرِبُوۡا فِیۡ قُلُوۡبِہِمُ الۡعِجۡلَ بِکُفۡرِہِمۡ ؕ قُلۡ بِئۡسَمَا یَاۡمُرُکُمۡ بِہٖۤ اِیۡمَانُکُمۡ اِنۡ کُنۡتُمۡ مُّؤۡمِنِیۡنَ ﴿۹۳﴾

2:93 And when We made a covenant with you and raised the mountain above you: Take hold of what We have given you with firmness and obey. They said: We hear and disobey.7 And they were made to imbibe (the love of) the calf into their hearts on account of their disbelief. Say: Evil is what your faith bids you if you are believers.

قُلۡ اِنۡ کَانَتۡ لَکُمُ الدَّارُ الۡاٰخِرَۃُ عِنۡدَ اللّٰہِ خَالِصَۃً مِّنۡ دُوۡنِ النَّاسِ فَتَمَنَّوُا الۡمَوۡتَ اِنۡ کُنۡتُمۡ صٰدِقِیۡنَ ﴿۹۴﴾

2:94 Say: If the abode of the Hereafter with Allah is specially for you to the exclusion of the (other) people, then invoke death if you are truthful.

وَ لَنۡ یَّتَمَنَّوۡہُ اَبَدًۢا بِمَا قَدَّمَتۡ اَیۡدِیۡہِمۡ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ عَلِیۡمٌۢ بِالظّٰلِمِیۡنَ ﴿۹۵﴾

2:95 And they will never invoke it on account of what their hands have already done, and Allah knows the wrongdoers.

وَ لَتَجِدَنَّہُمۡ اَحۡرَصَ النَّاسِ عَلٰی حَیٰوۃٍ ۚۛ وَ مِنَ الَّذِیۡنَ اَشۡرَکُوۡا ۚۛ یَوَدُّ اَحَدُہُمۡ لَوۡ یُعَمَّرُ اَلۡفَ سَنَۃٍ ۚ وَ مَا ہُوَ بِمُزَحۡزِحِہٖ مِنَ الۡعَذَابِ اَنۡ یُّعَمَّرَ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ بَصِیۡرٌۢ بِمَا یَعۡمَلُوۡنَ ﴿٪۹۶﴾

2:96 And you will certainly find them the greediest of people for life, (greedier) even than those who set up partners (with Allah). One of them loves to be granted a life of a thousand years, and his being granted a long life will in no way remove him further off from the punishment. And Allah is Seer of what they do.



  1. Generally the epithet “son of Mary” is added to Jesus’ name to show that he was a mortal like other prophets of God. The long chain of prophets that came after Moses ended in Jesus, Moses being the first and Jesus the last prophet of the Israelite dispensation. The idea of the Holy Ghost as met with in Christian religious literature is quite different from and opposed to the Jewish conception of the Holy Spirit which Islam accepts. The Holy Spirit is the angel which brought revelation: “The Holy Spirit has revealed it (i.e. the Quran) from your Lord” (16:102). Jesus’ being strengthened with the Holy Spirit only means that he was granted Divine revelation like other prophets before him.
  2. The meaning is either that they said that their hearts were so full of knowledge already that they stood in no need of any further knowledge, or that their hearts were covered from hearing and accepting what the Prophet said.
  3. The allegation of the Israelites was that, being descendants of pro­phets, their hearts were the repositories of knowledge, and being already, as it were, full of knowledge, they did not stand in need of more. They are told that it was really their disbelief which became the cause of their estrangement from the good which the Holy Prophet had brought.
  4. The Jews expected that when the Prophet spoken of in Deuteronomy 18:18 came, he would make them victorious over their disbelieving opponents.
  5. They asserted that they could accept only a revelation granted to an Israelite. The reply to this is that the revelation of the Holy Prophet is the truth verifying what is contained in their own scriptures.
  6. They tried to kill even Israelite prophets, which shows that it was their hard-heartedness which prevented them from accepting the truth, whether that truth was revealed through an Israelite or a non-Israelite prophet.
  7. They did not utter these words with their tongues, but it is an expression of their condition.