Surah Baqarah Ayat 238 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 238
Maintain with care the [obligatory] prayers and [in particular] the middle prayer and stand before Allah, devoutly obedient.
“Guard strictly your (habit of) prayers, especially the Middle Prayer; and stand before Allah in a devout (frame of mind).
Take great care of your Prayers, especially of a Prayer that has excellent qualities of Salat and stand before Allah like devoted servants.
Guard strictly (five obligatory) As-Salawat (the prayers) especially the middle Salat (i.e. the best prayer – ‘Asr). And stand before Allah with obedience [and do not speak to others during the Salat (prayers)].
Be guardians of your prayers, and of the midmost prayer, and stand up with devotion to Allah.
Preserve (constantly) (i.e., observe strictly) the prayers, and the middle prayer, and rise up devoutly to Allah.
Take care to do your prayers, praying in the best way, and stand before God in devotion.
Quran 2 Verse 238 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Baqarah ayat 238, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(2:238) Be watchful over the Prayers, and over praying with the utmost excellence, and stand before Allah as would utterly obedient servants.
262. Having mentioned the laws for the guidance of human society, God rounds off this address by emphasizing Prayer, for it is Prayers which instil in man the fear of God. They inculcate the feelings of goodness and purity and the disposition to obey the ordinances of God, and foster adherence to righteousness. Without Prayer it would be impossible for men to persist in observing the laws of God, and they would likely be swept away by a current of defiance and disobedience, as happened in the case of the Jews.
263. ‘Re expression al-salat al-wusta has been variously interpreted to mean the Morning, Mid-Day, Sunset or Night Prayers. But no direct statement explaining this expression has come down from the Prophet himself. All the divergent opinions are deductions made by scholars. The opinion of the majority, seems to he inclined in favour of the Afternoon (‘Asr) Prayer. since it is claimed that on one occasion the Prophet alluded to this as al-salat al-wusta. The event cited in support of this inference is that during the Battle of the Ditch the Prophet once so preoccupied with the problems posed by the siege of Madina, by the polytheists, that he could not perform his ‘Asr Prayer within the scheduled time. and the time of sunset drew close. On that occasion the Prophet said: ‘God fill the graves and houses of these people with fire. They have caused us to our wusta (mid-most) Prayer.’ This statement led people to believe that the expression mid-most Prayer’ referred to the
Asr Prayer. It seems more likely, however, that the Prophet meant that the cares of the battle had prevented him and his followers from performing the Prayer in an excellent way; the delay in the Prayer meant that instead of praying with equanimity, concentration and total devotion, they were forced by circumstances to pray hurriedly.
The adjective wusta in addition to signifying the middle position of the subject that it qualifies, also signifies its excellence. Hence the expression could legitimately be interpreted both in the sense of the middle Prayer as well as in the sense of the Prayer which is performed at the right time and with full devotion and attention to God, a Prayer which contains all the attributes of excellence. The admonition which follows, ‘stand before Allah as utterly, obedient servants’, seems to indicate what was meant by the ‘mid-most Prayer’.
237. And if you divorce them before you have touched (had a sexual relation with) them, and you have appointed for them their due (dowry), then pay half of that, unless they (the women) agree to remit it, or he (the husband), in whose hands is the marriage tie, agrees to remit it. And to remit is nearer to At-Taqwa (piety, righteousness). And do not forget liberality between yourselves. Truly, Allah is All-Seer of what you do.
This honorable Ayah is not a continuation of the Mut`ah (gift) that was mentioned in the previous Ayah (i.e., divorce before the marriage is consummated). This Ayah (2:237) requires the husband to relinquish half of the appointed Mahr if he divorces his wife before the marriage is consummated. If it was discussing any other type of gift, then it would have been mentioned that way, especially when this Ayah follows the previous Ayah related to this subject. Allah knows best. Giving away half of the bridal-money in this case is the agreed practice according to the scholars. So, the husband pays half of the appointed Mahr if he divorces his wife before consummating the marriage.
Allah then said:
(unless they (the women) agree to remit it,) meaning, the wife forfeits the dowry and relieves the husband from further financial responsibility. As-Suddi said that Abu Salih mentioned that Ibn `Abbas commented on Allah’s statement:
(unless they (the women) agree to remit it,) “Unless the wife forfeits her right.”Furthermore, Imam Abu Muhammad bin Abu Hatim said that it was reported that Shurayh, Sa`id bin Musayyib, `Ikrimah, Mujahid, Ash-Sha`bi, Al-Hasan, Nafi`, Qatadah, Jabir bin Zayd, `Ata’ Al-Khurasani, Ad-Dahhak, Az-Zuhri, Muqatil bin Hayyan, Ibn Sirin, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas and As-Suddi said similarly.
Allah then said:
(…or he (the husband), in whose hands is the marriage tie, agrees to remit it.)
Ibn Abu Hatim reported that `Amr bin Shu`ayb said that his grandfather narrated that the Prophet said:
(The husband is he who has the marriage tie.)
Ibn Marduwyah also reported this Hadith, and it is the view chosen by Ibn Jarir. The Hadith states that the husband is the person who really holds the marriage tie in his hand, as it is up to him to go on with the marriage or end it. On the other hand, the Wali of the wife is not allowed to give away any of her rightful dues without her permission, especially the dowry.
Allah then stated:
(And to remit it is nearer to At-Taqwa (piety, righteousness).)
Ibn Jarir said, “Some scholars said that this statement is directed at both men and women.” Ibn `Abbas said:
(And to remit it is nearer to At-Taqwa (piety, righteousness).) indicates that the one who forgives, is nearer to At-Taqwa (piety).” A similar statement was made by Ash-Sha`bi and several other scholars.
Mujahid, An-Nakha`i, Ad-Dahhak, Muqatil bin Hayyan, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas and Thawri stated that `liberality’ mentioned in the Ayah refers to the woman giving away her half Mahr, or the man giving away the full Mahr. This is why Allah said here:
(And do not forget liberality between yourselves.) meaning, kindness (or generosity), as Sa`id has stated. Allah said:
(Truly, Allah is All-Seer of what you do.) meaning, none of your affairs ever escapes His perfect Watch, and He will reward each according to his deeds.
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