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 33 (Verses 2:249–2:253): Fighting in the Cause of Truth

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Translation:

2:249 So when Saul set out with the forces, he said: Surely Allah will try you with a river. Whoever drinks from it, he is not of me, and whoever does not taste it, he is surely of me, except he who takes a handful with his hand. But they drank of it except a few of them. So when he had crossed it, he and those who believed with him, they said: We have today no power against Goliath and his forces. Those who were sure that they would meet their Lord said: How often has a small group overcome a numerous army by Allah’s permission! And Allah is with the steadfast.
2:250 And when they went out against Goliath and his forces, they said: Our Lord, pour out patience on us and make our steps firm and help us against the disbelieving people.
2:251 So they put them to flight by Allah’s permission. And David killed Goliath, and Allah gave him kingdom and wisdom, and taught him of what He pleased. And if it were not for Allah’s repelling some people by others, the earth would certainly be in a state of disorder; but Allah is full of grace to the worlds.
2:252 These are the messages of Allah — We recite them to you with truth; and surely you are one of the messengers.
Part 32:253 We have made some of these messengers to excel others.1 Among them are they to whom Allah spoke, and some of them He exalted by (many) degrees of rank.2 And We gave clear arguments to Jesus son of Mary, and strengthened him with the Holy Spirit. And if Allah had pleased, those after them would not have fought with one another after clear arguments had come to them, but they disagreed; so some of them believed and some of them denied. And if Allah had pleased they would not have fought with one another, but Allah does what He intends.

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Commentary:

  1. This also refers to the excellence of the Prophet Muhammad over all other prophets.
  2. Allah spoke to all, but there were some who were exalted above others by many degrees.

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