Surah Al-Baqarah >> Currently viewing Surah Baqarah Ayat 51 (2:51)

Surah Baqarah Ayat 51 in Arabic Text

وَإِذْ وَٰعَدْنَا مُوسَىٰٓ أَرْبَعِينَ لَيْلَةًۭ ثُمَّ ٱتَّخَذْتُمُ ٱلْعِجْلَ مِنۢ بَعْدِهِۦ وَأَنتُمْ ظَـٰلِمُونَ
Wa iz waa’adnaa Moosaaa arba’eena lailatan summattakhaztumul ‘ijla mim ba’dihee wa antum zaalimoon

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 51

Sahih International
And [recall] when We made an appointment with Moses for forty nights. Then you took [for worship] the calf after him, while you were wrongdoers.

Yusuf Ali
“And remember We appointed forty nights for Moses, and in his absence ye took the calf (for worship), and ye did grievous wrong.

Abul Ala Maududi
Call to mind that when We invited Moses for a fixed term of forty nights and days, you took to calf worship in his absence. Though you had committed a wicked transgression,

Muhsin Khan
And (remember) when We appointed for Musa (Moses) forty nights, and (in his absence) you took the calf (for worship), and you were Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers, etc.).

Pickthall
And when We did appoint for Moses forty nights (of solitude), and then ye chose the calf, when he had gone from you, and were wrong-doers.

Dr. Ghali
And (remember) as We appointed with M‍ûsa (Moses) forty nights; thereafter you took to yourselves the Calf even after him and you were unjust.

Abdel Haleem
We appointed forty nights for Moses [on Mount Sinai] and then, while he was away, you took to worshipping the calf- a terrible wrong.

Quran 2 Verse 51 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Baqarah ayat 51, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(2:51) And recall when We summoned Moses for a term of forty nights,[67] and then you set up the calf as your god in his absence.[68] You indeed committed a grave wrong.


67. When the Israelites reached the Sinai peninsula after their exodus from Egypt, God summoned Moses to the mountain for forty days and nights so that the nation which had now achieved independence could be taught law and morality. (See Exodus 24-3l.)

68. The cult of cow-worship was widespread among Israel’s neighbours. It was particularly common in Egypt and Canaan. After the time of Joseph, when the Israelites fell prey to degeneracy and became the slaves of the Copts, they were contaminated by many of the corrupt practices prevalent among their rulers. Cow-worship was one of them. (There is a detailed account of the episode of calf-worship in Exodus 32.)

Ibn-Kathir

51. And (remember) when We appointed for Musa (Moses) forty nights, and (in his absence) you took the calf (for worship), and you were Zalimun (polytheists and wrongdoers). 52. Then after that We forgave you so that you might be grateful. 53. And (remember) when We gave Musa the Scripture (the Tawrah)) and the criterion (of right and wrong) so that you may be guided aright.


The Children of Israel worshipped the Calf

Allah then said, “Remember My favor on you when I forgave you for worshipping the calf.” This happened after Musa went to the meeting place with his Lord at the end of that period which was forty days. These forty days were mentioned in Surat Al-A`raf, when Allah said,

﴿وَوَعَدْنَا مُوسَى ثَلَـثِينَ لَيْلَةً وَأَتْمَمْنَاهَا بِعَشْرٍ﴾

(And We appointed for Musa thirty nights and added (to the period) ten (more)) (7:142).

It was said that these days were during the month of Dhul-Qa`dah plus the first ten days in Dhul-Hijjah, after the Children of Israel were delivered from Fir`awn and they safely crossed the sea. Allah’s statement,

﴿وَإِذْ ءَاتَيْنَا مُوسَى الْكِتَـبَ﴾

(And (remember) when We gave Musa the Scripture) means, the Tawrah,

﴿وَالْفُرْقَانِ﴾

(And the criterion) that is that which differentiates between truth and falsehood, guidance and deviation.

﴿لَعَلَّكُمْ تَهْتَدُونَ﴾

(So that you may be guided aright), after escaping the sea, as another Ayah in Surat Al-A`raf clearly stated,

﴿وَلَقَدْ ءَاتَيْنَا مُوسَى الْكِتَـبَ مِن بَعْدِ مَآ أَهْلَكْنَا الْقُرُونَ الاٍّولَى بَصَآئِرَ لِلنَّاسِ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةً لَّعَلَّهُمْ يَتَذَكَّرُونَ ﴾

(And indeed We gave Musa ـ after We had destroyed the generations of old ـ the Scripture (the Tawrah) as an enlightenment for mankind, and a guidance and a mercy, that they might remember (or receive admonition)) (28:43).

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