Surah Al-Baqarah >> Currently viewing Surah Baqarah Ayat 68 (2:68)

Surah Baqarah Ayat 68 in Arabic Text

قَالُوا۟ ٱدْعُ لَنَا رَبَّكَ يُبَيِّن لَّنَا مَا هِىَ ۚ قَالَ إِنَّهُۥ يَقُولُ إِنَّهَا بَقَرَةٌۭ لَّا فَارِضٌۭ وَلَا بِكْرٌ عَوَانٌۢ بَيْنَ ذَٰلِكَ ۖ فَٱفْعَلُوا۟ مَا تُؤْمَرُونَ
Qaalud-‘u lanaa rabbaka yubaiyil lanaa maa hee; qaala innahoo yaqoolu innahaa baqaratul laa faaridunw wa laa bikrun ‘awaanum baina zaalika faf’aloo maa tu’maroon

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 68

Sahih International
They said, “Call upon your Lord to make clear to us what it is.” [Moses] said, “[Allah] says, ‘It is a cow which is neither old nor virgin, but median between that,’ so do what you are commanded.”

Yusuf Ali
“They said: “Beseech on our behalf Thy Lord to make plain to us what (heifer) it is!” He said; “He says: The heifer should be neither too old nor too young, but of middling age. Now do what ye are commanded!”

Abul Ala Maududi
Then they said, “Please make a request to your Lord to give us some details of the cow.” Moses answered, “Allah says that the cow should neither be old nor immature but of middle age. Do, therefore, as you are bidden.”

Muhsin Khan
They said, “Call upon your Lord for us that He may make plain to us what it is!” He said, “He says, ‘Verily, it is a cow neither too old nor too young, but (it is) between the two conditions’, so do what you are commanded.”

Pickthall
They said: Pray for us unto thy Lord that He make clear to us what (cow) she is. (Moses) answered: Lo! He saith, Verily she is a cow neither with calf nor immature; (she is) between the two conditions; so do that which ye are commanded.

Dr. Ghali
They said, “Invoke your Lord for us that He make evident to us what (cow) she is.” He said, “Surely He says that surely she is a cow neither too old, nor new, middling between the two. So, perform what you are commanded.”

Abdel Haleem
They said, ‘Call on your Lord for us, to show us what sort of cow it should be.’ He answered, ‘God says it should be neither too old nor too young, but in between, so do as you are commanded.’

Quran 2 Verse 68 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Baqarah ayat 68, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(2:68) They said: “Pray to your Lord that He make clear to us what she is like.” Moses answered: “He says, she is a cow, neither old nor immature, but of an age in between the two. Do, then, what you have been commanded.”


There is no commentary by Abul Maududi available for this verse.

Ibn-Kathir

72. And (remember) when you killed a man and disagreed among yourselves as to the crime. But Allah brought forth that which you were Taktumun. 73. So We said: “Strike him (the dead man) with a piece of it (the cow).” Thus Allah brings the dead to life and shows you His Ayat (proofs, evidences, etc.) so that you may understand.


Bringing the murdered Man back to Life

Al-Bukhari said that,

﴿فَادَرَأْتُمْ فِيهَا﴾

(And disagreed among yourselves as to the crime) means, “Disputed.”

This is also the Tafsir of Mujahid. `Ata’ Al-Khurasani and Ad-Dahhak said, “Disputed about this matter.” Also, Ibn Jurayj said that,

﴿وَإِذْ قَتَلْتُمْ نَفْسًا فَادَرَأْتُمْ فِيهَا﴾

(And (remember) when you killed a man and disagreed among yourselves as to the crime) means, some of them said, “You killed him,” while the others said, “No you killed him.” This is also the Tafsir of `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam. Mujahid said that,

﴿وَاللَّهُ مُخْرِجٌ مَّا كُنتُمْ تَكْتُمُونَ﴾

(But Allah brought forth that which you were Taktumun) means, “what you were hiding.”

Allah said,

﴿فَقُلْنَا اضْرِبُوهُ بِبَعْضِهَا﴾

(So We said: “Strike him (the dead man) with a piece of it (the cow)”) meaning, “any part of the cow will produce the miracle (if they struck the dead man with it).” We were not told which part of the cow they used, as this matter does not benefit us either in matters of life or religion. Otherwise, Allah would have made it clear for us. Instead, Allah made this matter vague, so this is why we should leave it vague. Allah’s statement,

﴿كَذَلِكَ يُحْىِ اللَّهُ الْمَوْتَى﴾

(Thus Allah brings the dead to life) means, “They struck him with it, and he came back to life.” This Ayah demonstrates Allah’s ability in bringing the dead back to life. Allah made this incident proof against the Jews that the Resurrection shall occur, and ended their disputing and stubbornness over the dead person.

Allah mentioned His bringing the dead back to life in five instances in Surat Al-Baqarah. First Allah said,

﴿ثُمَّ بَعَثْنَـكُم مِّن بَعْدِ مَوْتِكُمْ﴾

(Then We raised you up after your death). He then mentioned the story about the cow. Allah also mentioned the story of those who escaped death in their land, while they were numbering in the thousands. He also mentioned the story of the Prophet who passed by a village that was destroyed, the story of Abraham and the four birds, and the land that comes back to life after it has died. All these incidents and stories alert us to the fact that bodies shall again become whole, after they were rotten. The proof of Resurrection is also reiterated in Allah’s statement,

﴿وَءَايَةٌ لَّهُمُ الاٌّرْضُ الْمَيْتَةُ أَحْيَيْنَـهَا وَأَخْرَجْنَا مِنْهَا حَبّاً فَمِنْهُ يَأْكُلُونَ – وَجَعَلْنَا فِيهَا جَنَّـتٍ مِّن نَّخِيلٍ وَأَعْنَـبٍ وَفَجَّرْنَا فِيهَا مِنَ الْعُيُونِ – لِيَأْكُلُواْ مِن ثَمَرِهِ وَمَا عَمِلَتْهُ أَيْدِيهِمْ أَفَلاَ يَشْكُرُونَ ﴾

(And a sign for them is the dead land. We give it life, and We bring forth from it grains, so that they eat thereof. And We have made therein gardens of date palms and grapes, and We have caused springs of water to gush forth therein. So that they may eat of the fruit thereof ـ and their hands made it not. Will they not then give thanks) (36:33-35).

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