Surah Al-Baqarah >> Currently viewing Surah Baqarah Ayat 69 (2:69)

Surah Baqarah Ayat 69 in Arabic Text

قَالُوا۟ ٱدْعُ لَنَا رَبَّكَ يُبَيِّن لَّنَا مَا لَوْنُهَا ۚ قَالَ إِنَّهُۥ يَقُولُ إِنَّهَا بَقَرَةٌۭ صَفْرَآءُ فَاقِعٌۭ لَّوْنُهَا تَسُرُّ
Qaalud-‘u lanaa Rabbaka yubaiyil lanaa maa lawnuhaa; qaala innahoo yaqoolu innahaa baqaratun safraaa’u faaqi’ul lawnuhaa tasurrunnaazireen

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 69

Sahih International
They said, “Call upon your Lord to show us what is her color.” He said, “He says, ‘It is a yellow cow, bright in color – pleasing to the observers.’ “

Yusuf Ali
“They said: “Beseech on our behalf Thy Lord to make plain to us Her colour.” He said: “He says: A fawn-coloured heifer, pure and rich in tone, the admiration of beholders!”

Abul Ala Maududi
But they further asked, “Please request your Lord to make it clear to us of what colour she should be.” Moses answered, “He says that she should be of yellow colour, so deep and bright as to delight the beholders.”

Muhsin Khan
They said, “Call upon your Lord for us to make plain to us its colour.” He said, “He says, ‘It is a yellow cow, bright in its colour, pleasing to the beholders.’ “

Pickthall
They said: Pray for us unto thy Lord that He make clear to us of what colour she is. (Moses) answered: Lo! He saith: Verily she is a yellow cow. Bright is her colour, gladdening beholders.

Dr. Ghali
They said, “Invoke your Lord for us that He make evident to us what color she is.” He said, “Surely He says that surely she is a yellow cow, bright (is) her color, pleasing to the onlookers”.

Abdel Haleem
They said, ‘Call on your Lord for us, to show us what colour it should be.’ He answered, ‘God says it should be a bright yellow cow, pleasing to the eye.’

Quran 2 Verse 69 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Baqarah ayat 69, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(2:69) They said: “Pray to your Lord that He make clear to us of what colour she is.” Moses answered: “He says, she is a yellow cow, with a bright colour which is pleasing to those who see!”


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

Ibn-Kathir

74. Then after that your hearts were hardened and became as stones or even worse in hardness. And indeed, there are stones out of which rivers gush forth, and indeed, there are of them (stones) which split asunder so that water flows from them, and indeed, there are of them (stones) which fall down for fear of Allah. And Allah is not unaware of what you do.


The Harshness of the Jews

Allah criticized the Children of Israel because they witnessed the tremendous signs and the Ayat of Allah, including bringing the dead back to life, yet,

﴿ثُمَّ قَسَتْ قُلُوبُكُمْ مِّن بَعْدِ ذلِكَ﴾

(Then after that your hearts were hardened).

So their hearts were like stones that never become soft. This is why Allah forbade the believers from imitating the Jews when He said,

﴿أَلَمْ يَأْنِ لِلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ أَن تَخْشَعَ قُلُوبُهُمْ لِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ وَمَا نَزَلَ مِنَ الْحَقِّ وَلاَ يَكُونُواْ كَالَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَـبَ مِن قَبْلُ فَطَالَ عَلَيْهِمُ الاٌّمَدُ فَقَسَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَكَثِيرٌ مِّنْهُمْ فَـسِقُونَ ﴾

(Has not the time come for the hearts of those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah ـ Islamic Monotheism) to be affected by Allah’s Reminder (this Qur’an), and that which has been revealed of the truth, lest they become as those who received the Scripture (the Tawrah) and the Injil (Gospel)) before (i.e. Jews and Christians), and the term was prolonged for them and so their hearts were hardened And many of them were Fasiqun (the rebellious, the disobedient to Allah)) (57:16). v In his Tafsir, Al-`Awfi said that Ibn `Abbas said, “When the dead man was struck with a part of the cow, he stood up and became more alive than he ever was. He was asked, `Who killed you’ He said, `My nephews killed me.’ He then died again. His nephews said, after Allah took his life away, `By Allah! We did not kill him’ and denied the truth while they knew it. Allah said,

﴿فَهِىَ كَالْحِجَارَةِ أَوْ أَشَدُّ قَسْوَةً﴾

(And became as stones or even worse in hardness). ”

And by the passage of time, the hearts of the Children of Israel were unlikely to accept any admonishment, even after the miracles and signs they withnessed. Their hearts became harder than stones, with no hope of ever softening. Sometimes, springs and rivers burst out of stones, some stones split and water comes out of them, even if there are no springs or rivers around them, sometimes stones fall down from mountaintops out of their fear of Allah. Muhammad bin Ishaq narrated that Ibn `Abbas said that,

﴿وَإِنَّ مِنَ الْحِجَارَةِ لَمَا يَتَفَجَّرُ مِنْهُ الأَنْهَـرُ وَإِنَّ مِنْهَا لَمَا يَشَّقَّقُ فَيَخْرُجُ مِنْهُ الْمَآءُ وَإِنَّ مِنْهَا لَمَا يَهْبِطُ مِنْ خَشْيَةِ اللَّهِ﴾

(And indeed, there are stones out of which rivers gush forth, and indeed, there are of them (stones) which split asunder so that water flows from them, and indeed, there are of them (stones) which fall down for fear of Allah), means, “Some stones are softer than your hearts, they acknowledge the truth that you are being called to,

﴿وَمَا اللَّهُ بِغَـفِلٍ عَمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ﴾

(And Allah is not unaware of what you do).”

Solid Inanimate Objects possess a certain Degree of Awareness

Some claimed that the Ayat mentioned the stones being humble as a metaphor. However, Ar-Razi, Al-Qurtubi and other Imams said that there is no need for this explanation, because Allah creates this characteristic – humbleness – in stones. For instance, Allah said,

﴿إِنَّا عَرَضْنَا الاٌّمَانَةَ عَلَى السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ وَالْجِبَالِ فَأبَيْنَ أَن يَحْمِلْنَهَا وَأَشْفَقْنَ مِنْهَا﴾

(Truly, We did offer Al-Amanah (the trust) to the heavens and the earth, and the mountains, but they declined to bear it and were afraid of it (i.e. afraid of Allah’s torment)) (33:72),

﴿تُسَبِّحُ لَهُ السَّمَـوَتُ السَّبْعُ وَالاٌّرْضُ وَمَن فِيهِنَّ﴾

(The seven heavens and the earth and all that is therein, glorify Him) (17:44),

﴿وَالنَّجْمُ وَالشَّجَرُ يَسْجُدَانِ ﴾

(And the stars and the trees both prostrate themselves (to Allah)) (55:6),

﴿أَوَ لَمْيَرَوْاْ إِلَىخَلَقَ اللَّهُ مِن شَىْءٍ يَتَفَيَّأُ﴾

(Have they not observed things that Allah has created: (how) their shadows incline) (16:48),

﴿قَالَتَآ أَتَيْنَا طَآئِعِينَ﴾

(They both said: “We come willingly.”) (41:11),

﴿لَوْ أَنزَلْنَا هَـذَا الْقُرْءَانَ عَلَى جَبَلٍ﴾

(Had We sent down this Qur’an on a mountain) (59:21), and,

﴿وَقَالُواْ لِجُلُودِهِمْ لِمَ شَهِدتُّمْ عَلَيْنَا قَالُواْ أَنطَقَنَا اللَّهُ﴾

(And they will say to their skins, “Why do you testify against us” They will say: “Allah has caused us to speak.”) (41:21).

It is recorded in the Sahih that the Prophet said,

«هذَا جَبَلٌ يُحِبُّنَا وَنُحِبُّه»

(This (Mount Uhud) is a mount that loves us and that we love.)

Similarly, the compassion of the stump of the palm tree for the Prophet as confirmed in authentic narrations. In Sahih Muslim it is recorded that the Prophet said,

«إِنِّي لَأَعْرِفُ حَجَرًا بِمَكَّةَ كَانَ يُسَلِّمُ عَلَيَّ قَبْلَ أَنْ أُبْعَثَ إِنِّي لَأَعْرِفُهُ الْآن»

(I know a stone in Makkah that used to greet me with the Salam before I was sent. I recognize this stone now.)

He said about the Black Stone that,

«إِنَّهُ يَشْهَدُ لِمَنِ اسْتَلَمَ بِحَقَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَة»

(On the Day of Resurrection it will testifiy for those who kiss it.)

There are several other texts with this meaning. The scholars of the Arabic language disagreed over the meaning of Allah’s statement,

﴿فَهِىَ كَالْحِجَارَةِ أَوْ أَشَدُّ قَسْوَةً﴾

(And became as stones or even worse in hardness) after agreeing that `or’ here is not being used to reflect doubt. Some scholars said that `or’ here means, `and’. So the meaning becomes, “As hard as stones, and harder.” For instance, Allah said,

﴿وَلاَ تُطِعْ مِنْهُمْ ءَاثِماً أَوْ كَفُوراً﴾

(And obey not a sinner or a disbeliever among them) (76:24), and,

﴿عُذْراً أَوْ نُذْراً ﴾

(To cut off all excuses or to warn) (77:6).

Some other scholars said that `or’ here means, `rather’. Hence, the meaning becomes, `As hard as stones. Rather, harder.’ For instance, Allah said,

﴿إِذَا فَرِيقٌ مِّنْهُمْ يَخْشَوْنَ النَّاسَ كَخَشْيَةِ اللَّهِ أَوْ أَشَدَّ خَشْيَةً﴾

(A section of them fear men as they fear Allah or even more) (4:77),

﴿وَأَرْسَلْنَـهُ إِلَى مِاْئَةِ أَلْفٍ أَوْ يَزِيدُونَ ﴾

(And We sent him to a hundred thousand (people) or even more) (37:147), and,

﴿فَكَانَ قَابَ قَوْسَيْنِ أَوْ أَدْنَى ﴾

(And was at a distance of two bows’ length or (even) nearer) (53:9).

Some other scholars said that this Ayah means their hearts are only of two types, as hard as stone or harder than stone. Further, Ibn Jarir commented that this Tafsir means that some of their hearts are as hard as stone and some hearts are harder than stone. Ibn Jarir said that he favored this last Tafsir, although the others are plausible. I – Ibn Kathir – say that the last Tafsir is similar to Allah’s statement,

﴿مَثَلُهُمْ كَمَثَلِ الَّذِى اسْتَوْقَدَ نَاراً﴾

(Their likeness is as the likeness of one who kindled a fire) (2:17), and then His statement,

﴿أَوْ كَصَيِّبٍ مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ﴾

(Or like a rainstorm from the sky) (2:19).

It is also similar to Allah’s statement,

﴿وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ أَعْمَـلُهُمْ كَسَرَابٍ بِقِيعَةٍ﴾

(As for those who disbelieved, their deeds are like a mirage in a desert) (24:39), and then His statement,

﴿أَوْ كَظُلُمَـتٍ فِى بَحْرٍ لُّجِّىٍّ﴾

(Or (the state of a disbeliever) is like the darkness in a vast deep sea) (24:40).

This then means that some of them are like the first example, and some others are like the second example. Allah knows best.

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