Surah Al-Baqarah >> Currently viewing Surah Baqarah Ayat 261 (2:261)

Surah Baqarah Ayat 261 in Arabic Text

مَّثَلُ ٱلَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ أَمْوَٰلَهُمْ فِى سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ كَمَثَلِ حَبَّةٍ أَنۢبَتَتْ سَبْعَ سَنَابِلَ فِى كُلِّ سُنۢبُلَةٍۢ مِّا۟ئَةُ حَبَّةٍۢ ۗ وَٱللَّهُ يُضَـٰعِفُ لِمَن يَشَآءُ ۗ وَٱللَّهُ وَٰسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ
Masalul lazeena yunfiqoona amwaalahum fee sabeelil laahi kamasali habbatin ambatat sab’a sanaabila fee kulli sumbulatim mi’atu habbah; wallaahu yudaa’ifu limai yashaaa; wallaahu Waasi’un ‘Aleem

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 261

Sahih International
The example of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is like a seed [of grain] which grows seven spikes; in each spike is a hundred grains. And Allah multiplies [His reward] for whom He wills. And Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing.

Yusuf Ali
“The parable of those who spend their substance in the way of Allah is that of a grain of corn: it groweth seven ears, and each ear Hath a hundred grains. Allah giveth manifold increase to whom He pleaseth: And Allah careth for all and He knoweth all things.

Abul Ala Maududi
The charity of those who expend their wealth in the way of Allah may be likened to a grain of corn, which produces seven ears and each ear yields a hundred grains. Likewise Allah develops manifold the charity of anyone He pleases, for He is All-Embracing, All-Wise.

Muhsin Khan
The likeness of those who spend their wealth in the Way of Allah, is as the likeness of a grain (of corn); it grows seven ears, and each ear has a hundred grains. Allah gives manifold increase to whom He pleases. And Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knower.

Pickthall
The likeness of those who spend their wealth in Allah’s way is as the likeness of a grain which groweth seven ears, in every ear a hundred grains. Allah giveth increase manifold to whom He will. Allah is All-Embracing, All-Knowing.

Dr. Ghali
The likeness of (the ones) who expend their riches in the way of Allah is as the likeness of a grain that grows seven ears, in every ear a hundred grains. And Allah gives manifoldly to whomever He decides; and Allah is Ever-Embracing, Ever-Knowing.

Abdel Haleem
Those who spend their wealth in God’s cause are like grains of corn that produce seven ears, each bearing a hundred grains. God gives multiple increase to whoever He wishes: He is limitless and all knowing.

Quran 2 Verse 261 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Baqarah ayat 261, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(2:261) The example of those[298] who spend their wealth in the Way of Allah[299] is like that of a grain of corn that sprouts seven ears, and in every ear there are a hundred grains. Thus Allah multiplies the action of whomsoever He wills. Allah is Munificent, All-Knowing.[300]


298. Here the discourse turns to the subject touched upon in verses 244 ff. above. Believers were urged to sacrifice life and property for the sake of the great cause in which they believed. It is difficult, however, to persuade those whose standard of judgement in respect of economic matters has not completely changed, to rise above either personal or narrow group interests and dispense their wealth wholeheartedly for the sake of a righteous cause. People who have a materialistic outlook and whose life constitutes an uninterrupted pursuit of money, who adore every single penny they have, and who can never stop thinking about their balance sheets can never have the capacity to do anything really effective for the sake of higher ideals. When such people apparently do spend money for the sake of higher moral ideals, it is merely an outward act which is performed after carefully calculating the material benefits which are likely to accrue either to them, to their group or to their nation. With this outlook a person cannot go one step forward along the path of that religion which requires man to become indifferent to considerations of worldly profit and loss, and constantly to spend time, energy and money to make the Word of God reign supreme.

To follow such a course requires a moral outlook of an altogether different kind; it requires breadth of vision and magnanimity and, above all, an exclusive devotion to God. At the same time it requires that man’s collective life should be so re-moulded as to become conducive to the growth of the moral qualities mentioned above rather than to the growth of a materialistic outlook and behaviour. Hence the three succeeding sections i.e. (verses 261-81 – Ed.)are devoted to enunciating instructions designed to foster such an outlook.

299. A great many expenditures fall under the category of spending ‘in the way of Allah’, as long as this is done according to the laws of God and with the intention of seeking His good pleasure. This includes spending one’s wealth to fulfil one’s legitimate needs, to provide for one’s family, to look after the needs of relatives, to help the needy and to contribute to the general welfare and to spread the true religion and so on.

300. The greater the sincerity and the more intense the feeling with which one spends for the sake of God, the greater will be God’s reward. It is not difficult at all for God, Who blesses a grain so that out of it seven hundred grains grow, to allow one’s charity to grow in like manner so that the unit of money one spends will return seven hundred fold. This statement is followed by a mention of two of God’s attributes. First is His munificence. His Hand is not clenched so as to restrain Him from recompensing man for his deeds to the fullest extent that he deserves. Second, God is All-Knowing. He is not unaware of what one spends and the spirit in which one spends. So there is no reason to fear that one will not receive one’s due reward.

Ibn-Kathir

260. And (remember) when Ibrahim said, “My Lord! Show me how You give life to the dead.” He (Allah) said: “Do you not believe” He (Ibrahim) said: “Yes (I believe), but to be stronger in faith.” He said: “Take four birds, then cause them to incline towards you (then slaughter them, cut them into pieces), and then put a portion of them on every hill, and call them, they will come to you in haste. And know that Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.”


The Khalil Supplicates to Allah to Show Him How He Resurrects the Dead

The scholars said that there are reasons behind this request by Ibrahim. For instance, when Ibrahim said to Nimrod,

﴿رَبِّيَ الَّذِى يُحْىِ وَيُمِيتُ﴾

e(My Lord (Allah) is He Who gives life and causes death,) he wanted to solidify his knowledge about resurrection by actually witnessing it with his eyes. Prophet Ibrahim said,

﴿رَبّ أَرِنِى كَيْفَ تُحْىِ الْمَوْتَى قَالَ أَوَلَمْ تُؤْمِن قَالَ بَلَى وَلَـكِن لِّيَطْمَئِنَّ قَلْبِى﴾

(“My Lord! Show me how You give life to the dead.” He (Allah) said: “Do you not believe” He (Ibrahim) said: “Yes (I believe), but to be stronger in faith.”)

Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

«نَحْنُ أَحَقُّ بِالشَّكِّ مِنْ إِبْرَاهِيمَ إِذْ قَالَ

﴿رَبِّ أَرِنِى كَيْفَ تُحْىِ الْمَوْتَى قَالَ أَوَلَمْ تُؤْمِن قَالَ بَلَى وَلَـكِن لِّيَطْمَئِنَّ قَلْبِى﴾

(We are more liable to be in doubt than Ibrahim when he said, “My Lord! Show me how You give life to the dead.” Allah said, “Don’t you believe” Ibrahim said, “Yes (I believe), but (I ask) in order to be stronger in faith.”)

The Prophet’s statement in the Hadith means, “We are more liable to seek certainty.”

The Answer to Al-Khalil’s Request

Allah said,

﴿قَالَ فَخُذْ أَرْبَعَةً مِّنَ الطَّيْرِ فَصُرْهُنَّ إِلَيْكَ﴾

(He said: “Take four birds, then cause them to incline towards you.”)

Scholars of Tafsir disagreed over the type of birds mentioned here, although this matter in not relevant due to the fact that the Qur’an did not mention it. Allah’s statement,

﴿فَصُرْهُنَّ إِلَيْكَ﴾

(cause them to incline towards you) means, cut them to pieces. This is the explanation of Ibn `Abbas, `Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Abu Malik, Abu Al-Aswad Ad-Dili, Wahb bin Munabbih, Al-Hasan and As-Suddi. Therefore, Ibrahim caught four birds, slaughtered them, removed the feathers, tore the birds to pieces and mixed the pieces together. He then placed parts of these mixed pieces on four or seven hills. Ibn `Abbas said, “Ibrahim kept the heads of these birds in his hand. Next, Allah commanded Ibrahim to call the birds to him, and he did as Allah commanded him. Ibrahim witnessed the feathers, blood and flesh of these birds fly to each other, and the parts flew each to their bodies, until every bird came back to life and came walking at a fast pace towards Ibrahim, so that the example that Ibrahim was witnessing would become more impressive. Each bird came to collect its head from Ibrahim’s hand, and if he gave the bird another head the bird refused to accept it. When Ibrahim gave each bird its own head, the head was placed on its body by Allah’s leave and power. ” This is why Allah said,

﴿وَاعْلَمْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ﴾

(And know that Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise) and no one can overwhelm or resist Him. Whatever Allah wills, occurs without hindrance, because He is the All-Mighty, Supreme above all things, and He is Wise in His statements, actions, legislation and decrees.

`Abdur-Razzaq recorded that Ma`mar said that Ayyub said that Ibn `Abbas commented on what Ibrahim said,

﴿وَلَـكِن لِّيَطْمَئِنَّ قَلْبِى﴾

(but to be stronger in Faith), “To me, there is no Ayah in the Qur’an that brings more hope than this Ayah.” Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Muhammad bin Al-Munkadir said that `Abdullah bin `Abbas met `Abdullah bin `Amr bin Al-`As and said to him, “Which Ayah in the Qur’an carries more hope for you” Ibn `Amr said,

﴿قُلْ يعِبَادِىَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُواْ عَلَى أَنفُسِهِمْ لاَ تَقْنَطُواْ﴾

(Say: “O `Ibadi (My servants) who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not.) ﴿39:53﴾.

Ibn `Abbas said, “But I say that it is Allah’s statement,

﴿وَإِذْ قَالَ إِبْرَهِيمُ رَبِّ أَرِنِى كَيْفَ تُحْىِ الْمَوْتَى قَالَ أَوَلَمْ تُؤْمِن قَالَ بَلَى﴾

(And (remember) when Ibrahim said, “My Lord! Show me how You give life to the dead.” He (Allah) said: “Do you not believe” He (Ibrahim) said: “Yes (I believe)…)

Allah accepted Ibrahim’s affirmation when he merely said, `Yes.’ This Ayah refers to the doubts that attack the heart and the thoughts that Shaytan inspires.” Al-Hakim also recorded this in Al-Mustadrak and said; “Its chain is Sahih but they did not record it.”

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