Surah Baqarah Ayat 186 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 186
And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided.
“When My servants ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them): I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calleth on Me: Let them also, with a will, Listen to My call, and believe in Me: That they may walk in the right way.
And if My servants ask you, O Prophet. concerning Me, tell them that I am quite near to them. I hear and answer the prayer of the suppliant, when he calls to Me. So let them respond to My call and believe in Me. Convey this to them, O Prophet; perhaps they may be guided aright.
And when My slaves ask you (O Muhammad SAW) concerning Me, then (answer them), I am indeed near (to them by My Knowledge). I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me (without any mediator or intercessor). So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright.
And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright.
And when My bondmen ask you concerning Me, then, surely I am near; I answer the invocation of the invoker when he invokes Me; so let them respond (to) Me, and let them believe in Me, so that possibly they would respond right-mindedly.
[Prophet], if My servants ask you about Me, I am near. I respond to those who call Me, so let them respond to Me, and believe in Me, so that they may be guided.
Quran 2 Verse 186 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Baqarah ayat 186, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(2:186) (O Muhammad), when My servants ask you about Me, tell them I am quite near; I hear and answer the call of the caller whenever he calls Me. Let them listen to My call and believe in Me; perhaps they will be guided aright.
188. Even though people can neither see God nor subject Him to any other form of sense perception this should not make them feel that God is remote from them. On the contrary, He is so close to each and every person that whenever any person so wishes he can communicate with his Lord. So much so that God hears and responds even to the prayers which remain within the innermost recesses of the heart.
People exhaust themselves by approaching false and powerless beings whom they foolishly fancy to be their deities but who have neither the power to hear nor to grant their prayers. But God, the omnipotent Lord and the absolute Master of this vast universe, Who wields all power and authority, is so close to human beings that they can always approach Him without the intercession of any intermediaries, and can put to Him their prayers and requests.
189. This announcement of God’s closeness to man may open his eyes to the Truth, may turn him to the right way wherein lies his success and well-being.
185. The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong). So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadan, i.e., is present at his home), he must observe Sawm (fasting) that month, and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number ﴿of days which one did not observe Sawm (fasting) must be made up﴾ from other days. Allah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you. (He wants that you) must complete the same number (of days), and that you must magnify Allah ﴿i.e., to say Takbir (Allahu Akbar: Allah is the Most Great)﴾ for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him.
Allah praised the month of Ramadan out of the other months by choosing it to send down the Glorious Qur’an, just as He did for all of the Divine Books He revealed to the Prophets. Imam Ahmad reported Wathilah bin Al-Asqa` that Allah’s Messenger said:
(The Suhuf (Pages) of Ibrahim were revealed during the first night of Ramadan. The Torah was revealed during the sixth night of Ramadan. The Injil was revealed during the thirteenth night of Ramadan. Allah revealed the Qur’an on the twenty-fourth night of Ramadan.)
(…a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong).)
Here Allah praised the Qur’an, which He revealed as guidance for the hearts of those who believe in it and adhere to its commands. Allah said:
(and clear proofs) meaning, as clear and unambiguous signs and unequivocal proof for those who understand them. These proofs testify to the truth of the Qur’an, its guidance, the opposite of misguidance, and how it guides to the straight path, the opposite of the wrong path, and the distinction between the truth and falsehood, and the permissible and the prohibited.
(So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadan, i.e., is present at his home), he must observe Sawm (fasting) that month.)
This Ayah requires the healthy persons who witness the beginning of the month, while residing in their land, to fast the month. This Ayah abrogated the Ayah that allows a choice of fasting or paying the Fidyah. When Allah ordered fasting, He again mentioned the permission for the ill person and the traveler to break the fast and to fast other days instead as compensation. Allah said:
(…and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number ﴿of days which one did not observe Sawm (fasting) must be made up﴾ from other days.)
This Ayah indicates that ill persons who are unable to fast or fear harm by fasting, and the traveler, are all allowed to break the fast. When one does not fast in this case, he is obliged to fast other days instead. Allah said:
(Allah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you.)
This Ayah indicates that Allah allowed such persons, out of His mercy and to make matters easy for them, to break the fast when they are ill or traveling, while the fast is still obligatory on the healthy persons who are not traveling.
Question comes: “What are some rulings concerning fasting? For instance, while traveling or on a journey or while under extreme conditions?”
The authentic Sunnah states that Allah’s Messenger traveled during the month of Ramadan for the battle for Makkah. The Prophet marched until he reached the area of Kadid and then broke his fast and ordered those who were with him to do likewise. This was recorded in the Two Sahihs. Breaking the fast mentioned in this Hadith was not required, for the Companions used to go out with Allah’s Messenger during the month of Ramadan, then, some of them would fast while some of them would not fast and neither category would criticize the others. If the command mentioned in the Hadith required breaking the fast, the Prophet would have criticized those who fasted. Allah’s Messenger himself sometimes fasted while traveling. For instance, it is reported in the Two Sahihs that Abu Ad-Darda’ said, “We once went with Allah’s Messenger during Ramadan while the heat was intense. One of us would place his hand on his head because of the intense heat. Only Allah’s Messenger and `Abdullah bin Rawahah were fasting at that time.”
We should state that observing the permission to break the fast while traveling is better, as Allah’s Messenger said about fasting while traveling:
(Those who did not fast have done good, and there is no harm for those who fasted.)
In another Hadith, the Prophet said:
(Hold to Allah’s permission that He has granted you.)
Some scholars say that the two actions are the same, as `A’ishah narrated that Hamzah bin `Amr Al-Aslami said, “O Messenger of Allah! I fast a lot, should I fast while traveling” The Prophet said:
(Fast if you wish or do not fast if you wish.)
This Hadith is in the Two Sahihs. It was reported that if the fast becomes difficult (while traveling), then breaking the fast is better. Jabir said that Allah’s Messenger saw a man who was being shaded (by other people while traveling). The Prophet asked about him and he was told that man was fasting. The Prophet said:
(It is not a part of Birr (piety) to fast while traveling.) This was recorded by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.
As for those who ignore the Sunnah and believe in their hearts that breaking the fast while traveling is disliked, they are required to break the fast and are not allowed to fast.
As for making up for missed fasting days, it is not required to be consecutive. One may do so consecutively or not consecutively. There are ample proofs to this fact. We should mention that fasting consecutive days is only required exclusively during Ramadan. After the month of Ramadan, what is required then is to merely make up for missed days. This is why Allah said:
(. ..the same number (should be made up) from other days.)
Allah then said:
(Allah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you.)
Imam Ahmad recorded Anas bin Malik saying that Allah’s Messenger said:
(Treat the people with ease and don’t be hard on them; give them glad tidings and don’t fill them with aversion.)
This Hadith was also collected in the Two Sahihs. It is reported in the Sahihayn that Allah’s Messenger said to Mu`adh and Abu Musa when he sent them to Yemen:
(Treat the people with ease and don’t be hard on them; give them glad tidings and don’t fill them with aversion; and love each other, and don’t differ.)
The Sunan and the Musnad compilers recorded that Allah’s Messenger said:
(I was sent with the easy Hanifiyyah (Islamic Monotheism).)
(Allah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you. (He wants that you) must complete the same number (of days)) means: You were allowed to break the fast while ill, while traveling, and so forth, because Allah wanted to make matters easy for you. He only commanded you to make up for missed days so that you complete the days of one month.
(…and that you must magnify Allah ﴿i.e., to say Takbir (Allahu Akbar: Allah is the Most Great)﴾ for having guided you) means: So that you remember Allah upon finishing the act of worship. This is similar to Allah’s statement:
(So when you have accomplished your Manasik, (rituals) remember Allah as you remember your forefathers or with far more remembrance.) (2:200) and:
(…Then when the (Jumu`ah) Salah (prayer) is ended, you may disperse through the land, and seek the bounty of Allah (by working), and remember Allah much, that you may be successful.) (62:10) and:
(…and glorify the praises of your Lord, before the rising of the sun and before (its) setting. And during a part of the night, glorify His praises, and after the prayers.) (50:39, 40)
This is why the Sunnah encouraged Tasbih (saying Subhan Allah, i.e., all praise is due to Allah), Tahmid (saying Al-Hamdu Lillah, i.e., all the thanks are due to Allah) and Takbir (saying Allahu Akbar, i.e., Allah is the Most Great) after the compulsory prayers. Ibn `Abbas said, “We used to know that Allah’s Messenger has finished the prayer by the Takbir.” Similarly, several scholars have stated that reciting Takbir the during `Id-ul-Fitr was specified by the Ayah that states:
((He wants that you) must complete the same number (of days), and that you must magnify Allah ﴿i.e., to say Takbir (Allahu Akbar: Allah is the Most Great)﴾ for having guided you…) Allah’s statement:
(…so that you may be grateful to Him.) means: If you adhere to what Allah commanded you, obeying Him by performing the obligations, abandoning the prohibitions and abiding by the set limits, then perhaps you will be among the grateful.
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