Surah Baqarah >> Currently viewing Surah Baqarah Ayat 26 (2:26)
Surah Baqarah 26th Ayah in Arabic:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَسْتَحْيِي أَنْ يَضْرِبَ مَثَلًا مَا بَعُوضَةً فَمَا فَوْقَهَا ۚ فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا فَيَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ مِنْ رَبِّهِمْ ۖ وَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا فَيَقُولُونَ مَاذَا أَرَادَ اللَّهُ بِهَٰذَا مَثَلًا ۘ يُضِلُّ بِهِ كَثِيرًا وَيَهْدِي بِهِ كَثِيرًا ۚ وَمَا يُضِلُّ بِهِ إِلَّا الْفَاسِقِينَ
Innal laaha laa yastahyeee ai yadriba masalam maa ba’oodatan famaa fawqahaa; faammal lazeena aamanoo faya’lamoona annahul haqqu mir rabbihim wa ammal lazeena kafaroo fayaqooloona maazaaa araadal laahu bihaazaa masalaa; yudillu bihee kaseeranw wa yahdee bihee kaseeraa; wa maa yudillu biheee illal faasiqeen
Surely Allah does not shy from striking a likeness even of a gnat, or anything above it. So for the ones who have believed, (then) they know that it is the Truth from their Lord, and as for the ones who have disbelieved, then they say, “What is it that Allah would (teach) by this for a similitude?”Thereby He leads many into error, and thereby He guides many; and thereby in no way does He lead into error anyone except the immoral. (The ungodly, the depraved).
Verily, Allah is not ashamed to set forth a parable even of a mosquito or so much more when it is bigger (or less when it is smaller) than it. And as for those who believe, they know that it is the Truth from their Lord, but as for those who disbelieve, they say: “What did Allah intend by this parable?” By it He misleads many, and many He guides thereby. And He misleads thereby only those who are Al-Fasiqun (the rebellious, disobedient to Allah).
Lo! Allah disdaineth not to coin the similitude even of a gnat. Those who believe know that it is the truth from their Lord; but those who disbelieve say: What doth Allah wish (to teach) by such a similitude? He misleadeth many thereby, and He guideth many thereby; and He misleadeth thereby only miscreants;
Indeed, Allah is not timid to present an example – that of a mosquito or what is smaller than it. And those who have believed know that it is the truth from their Lord. But as for those who disbelieve, they say, “What did Allah intend by this as an example?” He misleads many thereby and guides many thereby. And He misleads not except the defiantly disobedient,
Allah disdains not to use the similitude of things, lowest as well as highest. Those who believe know that it is truth from their Lord; but those who reject Faith say: “What means Allah by this similitude?” By it He causes many to stray, and many He leads into the right path; but He causes not to stray, except those who forsake (the path),-
MUFTI TAQI USMANI
Indeed, Allah does not feel shy in citing any parable, be it that of a gnat or of something above it (in meanness). Now, as for those who believe, they know it is the truth from their Lord; while those who disbelieve say, “What could Allah have meant by this parable?” By this He lets many go astray, and by this He makes many find guidance. But He does not let anyone go astray thereby except those who are sinful.
God does not shy from drawing comparisons even with something as small as a gnat, or larger: the believers know it is the truth from their Lord, but the disbelievers say, ‘What does God mean by such a comparison?’ Through it He makes many go astray and leads many to the right path. But it is only the rebels He makes go astray:
ABUL ALA MAUDUDI
Behold! Allah is not ashamed to propound the parable of a gnat, or even of something more lowly. On hearing these parables the believers know that it is the truth from their Lord, while those bent on denying the Truth say: “What does Allah mean by these parables?” Thus He causes many to go astray just as He directs many to the Right Way. And He thereby causes to go astray only the transgressors,
Surah Baqarah Ayat 26 Tafseer
In this section we provide verse by verse commentary. We’ve included different sources to help with learning and understanding of the 26th ayah of Surah Baqarah.
Tafsir by Ibn Kathir [2:26-27]
In his Tafsir, As-Suddi reported that Ibn `Abbas, Ibn Mas`ud, and some Companions said; “When Allah gave these two examples of the hypocrites” meaning Allah’s statements,
(Their likeness is as the likeness of one who kindled a fire), and,
(Or like a rainstorm from the sky), “The hypocrites said, `Allah’s far more exalted than for Him to make such examples.’ So Allah revealed these Ayat (2:26-27) up to:
(Who are the losers)”. Sa`id said that Qatadah said, “Allah does not shy away from the truth when He mentions a matter as a parable, whether this matter is significant or not. When Allah mentioned the flies and the spider in His Book, the people of misguidance said, `Why did Allah mention these things.’ So Allah revealed;
(Verily, Allah is not ashamed to set forth a parable even of a mosquito or so much more when it is bigger (or less when it is smaller) than it).”
Abu Ja`far Ar-Razi reported that Ar-Rabi` bin Anas commented on this Ayah (2:26); “This is an example that Allah has given for the life of this world. The mosquito lives as long as it needs food, but when it gets fat, it dies. This is also the example of people whom Allah mentioned in the Qur’an: when they acquire (and collect the delights of) the life of this world, Allah then takes them away.” Afterwards, he recited,
(So, when they forgot (the warning) with which they had been reminded, We opened for them the gates of every (pleasant) thing) (6:44)
In this Ayah (2:26) Allah stated that He does not shy away or hesitate in making an example or parable of anything, whether the example involves a significant or an insignificant matter.
(Or so much more when it is bigger than it) Fama fawqaha means, something bigger than the mosquito, which is one of the most insignificant and tiniest of creatures. Muslim narrated that Aishah said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(No Muslim is harmed by a thorn, Fama fawqaha (or something larger), but a good deed will be written for him and an evil deed will be erased from his record.)
So Allah has informed us that there is no matter that is too small that is exempt from being used as an example, even if it was as insignificant as a mosquito or a spider. Allah said,
(O mankind! A similitude has been coined, so listen to it (carefully): Verily, those on whom you call besides Allah, cannot create (even) a fly, even though they combine together for the purpose. And if the fly snatches away a thing from them, they will have no power to release it from the fly. So weak are (both) the seeker and the sought.) (22:73),
(The likeness of those who take (false deities as) Awliya’ (protectors, helpers) other than Allah is the likeness of a spider who builds (for itself) a house; but verily, the frailest (weakest) of houses is the spider’s house ـ if they but knew.) (29:41), and,
(See you not how Allah sets forth a parable A goodly word as a goodly tree, whose root is firmly fixed, and its branches (reach) to the sky (i.e. very high). Giving its fruit at all times, by the leave of its Lord, and Allah sets forth parables for mankind in order that they may remember. And the parable of an evil word is that of an evil tree uprooted from the surface of earth, having no stability. Allah will keep firm those who believe, with the word that stands firm in life of this world (i.e. they will keep on worshipping Allah alone and none else), and in the Hereafter. And Allah will cause the Zalimin (polytheists and wrongdoers) to go astray those and Allah does what He wills.) (14:24-27). Allah said,
(Allah puts forward the example of (two men ـ a believer and a disbeliever); a servant under the possession of another, he has no power of any sort) (16:75). He then said,
(And Allah puts forward (another) example of two men, one of them dumb, who has no power over anything, and he is a burden on his master; whichever way he directs him, he brings no good. Is such a man equal to one who commands justice) (16:76). Also, Allah said,
(He sets forth for you a parable from your own selves: Do you have partners among those whom your right hands possess (i.e. your servants) to share as equals in the wealth we have bestowed on you) (30:28).
Mujahid commented on Allah’s statement,
(Verily, Allah is not ashamed to set forth a parable even of a mosquito or so much more when it is bigger than it.) “The believers believe in these parables, whether they involve large matters or small, because they know that they are the truth from their Lord, and Allah guides the believers by these parables.”
In his Tafsir, As-Suddi reported that Ibn `Abbas, Ibn Mas`ud and other people among the Companions said,
(By it He misleads many), “Meaning the hypocrites. Allah guides the believers with these parables, and the straying of the hypocrites increases when they reject the parables that Allah mentioned for them which they know are true. This is how Allah misleads them.”
(And He guides thereby) meaning, with the parables,
(many) from among the people of faith and conviction. Allah adds guidance to their guidance, and faith to their faith, because they firmly believe in what they know to be true, that is, the parables that Allah has mentioned. This is guidance that Allah grants them;
(And He misleads thereby only the Fasiqin (the rebellious, disobedient to Allah)), meaning, the hypocrites. The Arabs say that the date has Fasaqat, when it comes out of its skin, and they call the mouse a Fuwaysiqah, because it leaves its den to cause mischief. The Two Sahihs recorded `A’ishah saying that the Messenger of Allah said,
(Five animals are Fawasiq, and they must be killed during Ihram and otherwise: the crow, the kite, the scorpion, the mouse and the rabid dog.) eFasiq, includes the disbeliever and the disobedient. However, the Fisq of the disbeliever is worse, and this is the type of Fasiq that the Ayah is describing here, because Allah described them as,
(Those who break Allah’s covenant after ratifying it, and sever what Allah has ordered to be joined and do mischief on earth, it is they who are the losers.)
These are the characteristics of the disbelievers and they contradict the qualities of the believers. Similarly, Allah said in Surat Ar-Ra`d,
(Shall he then, who knows that what has been revealed unto you (O Muhammad ) from your Lord is the truth, be like him who is blind But it is only the men of understanding that pay heed. Those who fulfill the covenant of Allah and break not the Mithaq (bond, treaty, covenant). And those who join that which Allah has commanded to be joined (i.e. they are good to their relatives and do not sever the bond of kinship), and fear their Lord, and dread the terrible reckoning.) (13:19-21)) until,
(And those who break the covenant of Allah, after its ratification, and sever that which Allah has commanded to be joined (i.e. they sever the bond of kinship and are not good to their relatives), and work mischief in the land, on them is the curse (i.e. they will be far away from Allah’s mercy), and for them is the unhappy (evil) home (i.e. Hell).) (13:25)
The covenant that these deviant people broke is Allah’s covenant with His creation, that is, to obey Him and avoid the sins that He prohibited. This covenant was reiterated in Allah’s Books and by the words of His Messengers. Ignoring this covenant constitutes breaking it. It was said that the Ayah (2:27) is about the disbelievers and the hypocrites among the People of the Book. In this case, the covenant that they broke is the pledge that Allah took from them in the Tawrah to follow Muhammad when he is sent as a Prophet, and to believe in him, and in what he was sent with. Breaking Allah’s covenant in this case occured when the People of the Book rejected the Prophet after they knew the truth about him, and they hid this truth from people, even though they swore to Allah that they would do otherwise. Allah informed us that they threw the covenant behind their backs and sold it for a miserable price.
It was also reported that the Ayah (2:27) refers to all disbelievers, idol worshippers and hypocrites. Allah took their pledge to believe in His Oneness, showing them the signs that testify to His Lordship. He also took a covenant from them to obey His commands and refrain from His prohibitions, knowing that His Messengers would bring proofs and miracles that none among the creation could ever produce. These miracles testified to the truth of Allah’s Messengers. The covenant was broken when the disbelievers denied what was proven to them to be authentic and rejected Allah’s Prophets and Books, although they knew that they were the truth. This Tafsir was reported from Muqatil bin Hayyan, and it is very good. It is also the view that Az-Zamakhshari held.
Allah’s statement next,
(And sever what Allah has ordered to be joined) is in reference to keeping the relations with the relatives, as Qatadah asserted. This Ayah is similar to Allah’s statement,
(Would you then, if you were given the authority, do mischief in the land, and sever your ties of kinship) (47:22)
Ibn Jarir At-Tabari preferred this opinion. However, it has been said that the meaning of the Ayah (2:27) here is more general. Hence, everything that Allah has commanded to nurture, and the people severed, is included in its meaning.
Muqatil bin Hayyan commented on Allah’s statement,
(It is they who are the losers) “In the Hereafter.” Similarly, Allah said,
(On them is the curse (i.e. they will be far away from Allah’s mercy), and for them is the unhappy (evil) home (i.e. Hell)) (13:25).
Also, Ad-Dahhak said that Ibn `Abbas said, “Every characteristic that Allah describes those other than the people of Islam – such as being losers – then it refers to disbelief. However, when they are attributed to the people of Islam, then these terms refer to sin.” Ibn Jarir commented on Allah’s statement,
(It is they who are the losers,) “`Losers is plural for loser, this word refers to whoever decreased his own share of Allah’s mercy by disobeying Him, just as the merchant loses in his trade by sustaining capital loss. Such is the case with the hypocrite and the disbeliever who lose their share of the mercy that Allah has in store for His servants on the Day of Resurrection. And that is when the disbeliever and the hypocrite most desperately need Allah’s mercy.”
28. Here an objection is indirectly refuted. At several places in the Qur’an, spiders, flies, gnats and so on are mentioned in order to elucidate certain points. Opponents objected to this on the grounds that such objects were too lowly to find a place in the Book of God. They indicated that had the Qur’an indeed been a revelation from God it would not have mentioned such trivial objects.
29. Those who do not wish to understand things and are not motivated by the urge to seek the truth become enmeshed in superficial questions relating to the Book of God, draw altogether erroneous conclusions when they encounter references to apparently insignificant things such as gnats, and are thereby thrown further and further away from the Truth. Those who seek the Truth and possess true perception, on the other hand, penetrate through these superficialities and perceive the gems of wisdom that they embody. This appreciation makes their hearts attest that such wisdom could have no other source than God Himself.
30. Fasiq means transgressor, disobedient. See also (n 33 below)