Surah Al-Baqarah >> Currently viewing Surah Baqarah Ayat 54 (2:54)

Surah Baqarah Ayat 54 in Arabic Text

وَإِذْ قَالَ مُوسَىٰ لِقَوْمِهِۦ يَـٰقَوْمِ إِنَّكُمْ ظَلَمْتُمْ أَنفُسَكُم بِٱتِّخَاذِكُمُ ٱلْعِجْلَ فَتُوبُوٓا۟ إِلَىٰ بَارِئِكُمْ فَٱقْتُلُوٓا۟ أَنفُسَكُمْ ذَٰلِكُمْ خَيْرٌۭ لَّكُمْ عِندَ بَارِئِكُمْ فَتَابَ عَلَيْكُمْ ۚ إِنَّهُۥ هُوَ ٱلتَّوَّابُ ٱلرَّحِيمُ
Wa iz qaala Moosaa liqawmihee yaa qawmi innakum zalamtum anfusakum bittikhaa zikumul ‘ijla fatoobooo ilaa Baari’ikum faqtulooo anfusakum zaalikum khairul lakum ‘inda Baari’ikum fataaba ‘alaikum; innahoo Huwat Tawwaabur Raheem

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 54

Sahih International
And [recall] when Moses said to his people, “O my people, indeed you have wronged yourselves by your taking of the calf [for worship]. So repent to your Creator and kill yourselves. That is best for [all of] you in the sight of your Creator.” Then He accepted your repentance; indeed, He is the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful.

Yusuf Ali
“And remember Moses said to his people: “O my people! Ye have indeed wronged yourselves by your worship of the calf: So turn (in repentance) to your Maker, and slay yourselves (the wrong-doers); that will be better for you in the sight of your Maker.” Then He turned towards you (in forgiveness): For He is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.

Abul Ala Maududi
Remember that when Moses (returned with the Divine Gift, he) said to his people, “O my people, you have wronged yourselves grievously by taking the calf for worship. Therefore, turn to your Creator. in penitence and slay the guilty ones among you. This is best for you in the sight of your Creator.” At that time your Creator accepted your repentance because He is Relenting ‘and Merciful.

Muhsin Khan
And (remember) when Musa (Moses) said to his people: “O my people! Verily, you have wronged yourselves by worshipping the calf. So turn in repentance to your Creator and kill yourselves (the innocent kill the wrongdoers among you), that will be better for you with your Lord.” Then He accepted your repentance. Truly, He is the One Who accepts repentance, the Most Merciful.

Pickthall
And when Moses said unto his people: O my people! Ye have wronged yourselves by your choosing of the calf (for worship) so turn in penitence to your Creator, and kill (the guilty) yourselves. That will be best for you with your Creator and He will relent toward you. Lo! He is the Relenting, the Merciful.

Dr. Ghali
And (remember) as M‍ûsa (Moses) said to his people, “O my people, surely you have done injustice to yourselves by taking the Calf to yourselves. So repent to your Initiator (and) so kill yourselves. (i.e., the unburdening of their sins; forgiveness) That (Literally: these “killings”)is most charitable for you in the Providence of your Initiator; so He relented towards you. Surely He, Ever He, is The Superbly Relenting, The Ever-Merciful”.

Abdel Haleem
Moses said to his people, ‘My people, you have wronged yourselves by worshipping the calf, so repent to your Maker and kill [the guilty among] you. That is the best you can do in the eyes of your Maker.’ He accepted your repentance: He is the Ever Relenting and the Most Merciful.

Quran 2 Verse 54 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Baqarah ayat 54, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(2:54) And recall when (on returning with this favour) Moses said to his people: “My people! You have wronged yourselves by taking the calf for an object of worship, so turn in repentance to your Creator and kill yourselves.[70] This will be best for you in your Creator’s sight.” Thereupon He accepted your repentance. Indeed He is Much-Relenting, Most Compassionate.


70. That is, they should put to death those of their own number who made the calf an object of worship and actually worshipped it.

Ibn-Kathir

54. And (remember) when Musa said to his people: “O my people! Verily, you have wronged yourselves by worshipping the calf. So turn in repentance to your Creator and kill yourselves (the innocent kill the wrongdoers among you), that will be better for you with your Creator.” Then He accepted your repentance. Truly, He is the One Who accepts repentance, the Most Merciful.


The Children of Israel kill each other in Repentance

This was the repentance required from the Children of Israel for worshipping the calf. Commenting on Allah’s statement;

﴿وَإِذْ قَالَ مُوسَى لِقَوْمِهِ يَـقَوْمِ إِنَّكُمْ ظَلَمْتُمْ أَنفُسَكُمْ بِاتِّخَاذِكُمُ الْعِجْلَ﴾

(And (remember) when Musa said to his people: “O my people! Verily, you have wronged yourselves by worshipping the calf…), Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, “When their hearts thought of worshipping the calf,

﴿وَلَمَّا سُقِطَ فَى أَيْدِيهِمْ وَرَأَوْاْ أَنَّهُمْ قَدْ ضَلُّواْ قَالُواْ لَئِن لَّمْ يَرْحَمْنَا رَبُّنَا وَيَغْفِرْ لَنَا﴾

(And when they regretted and saw that they had gone astray, they (repented and) said: “If our Lord does not have mercy upon us and forgive us”) (7:149). This is when Musa said to them,

﴿يَـقَوْمِ إِنَّكُمْ ظَلَمْتُمْ أَنفُسَكُمْ بِاتِّخَاذِكُمُ الْعِجْلَ﴾

(O my people! Verily, you have wronged yourselves by worshipping the calf…).” Abu `Al-`Aliyah, Sa`id bin Jubayr and Ar-Rabi` bin Anas commented on,

﴿فَتُوبُواْ إِلَى بَارِئِكُمْ﴾

(So turn in repentance to your Bari’) that it means, “To your Creator.” Allah’s statement,

﴿إِلَى بَارِئِكُمْ﴾

(to your Bari’ (Creator)) alerts the Children of Israel to the enormity of their error and means, “Repent to He Who created you after you associated others with Him in worship.”

An-Nasa’i, Ibn Jarir and Ibn Abi Hatim recorded Ibn `Abbas saying, “Allah told the Children of Israel that their repentance would be to slay by the sword every person they meet, be he father or son. They should not care whom they kill. Those were guilty whom Musa and Harun were not aware of their guilt, they admitted their sin and did as they were ordered. So Allah forgave both the killer and the one killed.” This is part of the Hadith about the trials that we will mention in Surat Ta Ha, (20) Allah willing.

Ibn Jarir narrated that Ibn `Abbas said, “Musa said to his people,

﴿فَتُوبُواْ إِلَى بَارِئِكُمْ فَاقْتُلُواْ أَنفُسَكُمْ ذَلِكُمْ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ عِندَ بَارِئِكُمْ فَتَابَ عَلَيْكُمْ إِنَّهُ هُوَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ﴾

(“So turn in repentance to your Creator and kill each other (the innocent kill the wrongdoers among you), that will be better for you with your Creator.” Then He accepted your repentance. Truly, He is the One Who accepts repentance, the Most Merciful.)

Allah ordered Musa to command his people to kill each other. He ordered those who worshipped the calf to sit down and those who did not worship the calf to stand holding knives in their hands. When they started killing them, a great darkness suddenly overcame them. After the darkness lifted, they had killed seventy thousand of them. Those who were killed among them were forgiven, and those who remained alive were also forgiven.” p

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