Surah Baqarah >> Currently viewing Surah Baqarah Ayat 7 (2:7)

Surah Baqarah Ayah 7 in Arabic:

خَتَمَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِمْ وَعَلَىٰ سَمْعِهِمْ ۖ وَعَلَىٰٓ أَبْصَٰرِهِمْ غِشَٰوَةٌ ۖ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ

Transliteration: Khatamal laahu ‘alaa quloobihim wa ‘alaa sam’i-him wa ‘alaaa absaarihim ghishaa watunw wa lahum ‘azaabun ‘azeem (section 1)

English Translation:

DR. GHALI Allah has set a seal on their hearts and on their hearing; and on their be-holdings (i.e. eyesights) is an envelopment. And for them is a tremendous torment.

MUHSIN KHAN Allah has set a seal on their hearts and on their hearings, (i.e. they are closed from accepting Allah’s Guidance), and on their eyes there is a covering. Theirs will be a great torment.

PICKTHALL Allah hath sealed their hearing and their hearts, and on their eyes there is a covering. Theirs will be an awful doom.

SAHIH INTERNATIONAL Allah has set a seal upon their hearts and upon their hearing, and over their vision is a veil. And for them is a great punishment.

YUSUF ALI Allah hath set a seal on their hearts and on their hearing, and on their eyes is a veil; great is the penalty they (incur).

MUFTI TAQI USMANI Allah has set a seal on their hearts and on their hearing; and on their eyes there is a covering, and for them awaits a mighty punishment.

ABDUL HALEEM God has sealed their hearts and their ears, and their eyes are covered. They will have great torment.

ABUL ALA MAUDUDI Allah has sealed their hearts and their hearing, and a covering has fallen over their eyes. They deserve severe chastisement.

Surah Baqarah Ayat 7 Tafseer

Here you can expand your knowledge by reading a detailed explanation of Surah Baqarah verse 7 from various tafseer and Qur’an commentators.

Surah Baqarah Ayat 7 Tafseer by Ibn Kathir

Meaning of Khatama


As-Suddi said that,

﴿خَتَمَ اللَّهُ﴾


(Khatama Allah) means, “Allah has sealed.” Qatadah said that this Ayah means, “Shaytan controlled them when they obeyed him. Therefore, Allah sealed their hearts, hearing and sight, and they could neither see the guidance nor hear, comprehend or understand.” Ibn Jurayj said that Mujahid said,

﴿خَتَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَى قُلُوبِهِمْ﴾


(Allah has set a seal on their hearts), “A stamp. It occurs when sin resides in the heart and surrounds it from all sides, and this submersion of the heart in sin constitutes a stamp, meaning a seal.” Ibn Jurayj also said that the seal is placed on the heart and the hearing. In addition, Ibn Jurayj said, that `Abdullah bin Kathir narrated that Mujahid said, “The stain is not as bad as the stamp, the stamp is not as bad as the lock which is the worst type.” Al-A`mash said, “Mujahid demonstrated with his hand while saying, `They used to say that the heart is just like this – meaning the open palm. When the servant commits a sin, a part of the heart will be rolled up – and he rolled up his index finger. When the servant commits another sin, a part of the heart will be rolled up’ – and he rolled up another finger, until he rolled up all of his fingers. Then he said, `Then, the heart will be sealed.’ Mujahid also said that this is the description of the Ran (refer to 83:14).”

Al-Qurtubi said, “The Ummah has agreed that Allah has described Himself with sealing and closing the hearts of the disbelievers, as a punishment for their disbelief. Similarly, Allah said,

﴿بَلْ طَبَعَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهَا بِكُفْرِهِمْ﴾


(Nay, Allah has set a seal upon their hearts because of their disbelief) (4:155).”

He then mentioned the Hadith about changing the hearts, (in which the Prophet supplicated),

«يَا مُقَلِبَ الْقُلُوبِ ثَبِّتْ قُلُوبَنَا عَلى دِينِك»


(O You Who changes the hearts, make our hearts firm on Your religion.)

He also mentioned the Hadith by Hudhayfah recorded in the Sahih, in which the Messenger of Allah said,

«تُعْرَضُ الْفِتَنُ عَلَى الْقُلُوبِ كَالْحَصِيرِ عُودًا عُودًا، فَأَيُّ قَلْبٍ أُشْرِبَهَا نُكِتَ فِيه نُكْتَةٌ سَوْدَاءُ وَأَيُّ قَلْبٍ أَنْكَرَهَا نُكِتَ فِيهِ نُكْتَةٌ بَيْضَاءُ حَتى تَصِيرَ عَلَى قَلْبَيْنِ: عَلى أَبْيَضَ مِثْلِ الصَّفَا، فَلَا تَضُرُّهُ فِتْنَةٌ مَا دَامَتِ السَّمَوَاتُ وَالْأَرْضُ وَالْآخَرُ أَسْوَدُ مُرْبَادًّا كَالْكُوزِ مُجَخِّيًا لَا يَعْرِفُ مَعْرُوفًا وَلَا يُنْكِرُ مُنْكَرًا»


(The Fitan (trials, tests) are offered to the hearts, just as the straws that are sewn into a woven mat, one after another. Any heart that accepts the Fitan, then a black dot will be engraved on it. Any heart that rejects the Fitan, then a white dot will be engraved on it. The hearts will therefore become two categories: white, just like the barren rock; no Fitnah shall ever harm this category as long as the heavens and earth still exist. Another category is black, just as the cup that is turned upside down, for this heart does not recognize righteousness or renounce evil. )

Ibn Jarir said, “The truth regarding this subject is what the authentic Hadith from the Messenger of Allah stated. Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Messenger of Allah said,

«إِنَّ الْمُؤمِنَ إِذَا أَذْنَبَ ذَنْبًا كَانَتْ نُكْتَةً سَوْدَاءَ فِي قَلْبِهِ، فَإِنْ تَابَ وَنَزَعَ وَاسْتَعْتَبَ صَقِلَ قَلْبُهُ وَإِنْ زَادَ زَادَتْ حَتَّى تَعْلُوَ قَلْبَهُ، فَذلِكَ الرَّانُ الَّذِي قَالَ اللهُ تَعَالى:


﴿كَلاَّ بَلْ رَانَ عَلَى قُلُوبِهِمْ مَّا كَانُواْ يَكْسِبُونَ ﴾


(When the believer commits a sin, a black dot will be engraved on his heart. If he repents, refrains and regrets, his heart will be polished again. If he commits more errors, the dots will increase until they cover his heart. This is the Ran (stain) that Allah described,

﴿كَلاَّ بَلْ رَانَ عَلَى قُلُوبِهِمْ مَّا كَانُواْ يَكْسِبُونَ ﴾


(Nay! But on their hearts is the Ran (stain) which they used to earn)” (83:14).

At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa’i and Ibn Majah recorded this Hadith, and At-Tirmidhi said that it is Hasan Sahih.


The Meaning of Ghishawah


Reciting the Ayah,

﴿خَتَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَى قُلُوبِهِمْ وَعَلَى سَمْعِهِمْ﴾


(Allah has set a seal on their hearts and on their hearing), then pausing, then continuing with,

﴿وَعَلَى أَبْصَـرِهِمْ غِشَـوَةٌ﴾


(And on their eyes there is a Ghishawah (covering)) is accurate, for the stamp is placed on the heart and the hearing while the Ghishawah, the covering, is appropriately placed on the eyes. In his Tafsir, As-Suddi said that Ibn `Abbas and Ibn Mas`ud said about Allah’s statement,

﴿خَتَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَى قُلُوبِهِمْ وَعَلَى سَمْعِهِمْ﴾


(Allah has set a seal on their hearts and on their hearing), “So that they neither understand nor hear. Allah also said that He placed a covering on their sight, meaning eyes, and so, they do not see.”


The Hypocrites


We mentioned that four Ayat in the beginning of Surat Al-Baqarah described the believers. The two last Ayat (2:6-7) describe the disbelievers. Afterwards, Allah begins to describe the hypocrites who show belief and hide disbelief. Since the matter of the hypocrites is vague and many people do not realize their true reality, Allah mentioned their description in detail. Each of the characteristics that Allah used to described them with is a type of hypocrisy itself. Allah revealed Surat Bara’ah (chapter 9) and Surat Al-Munafiqun (chapter 63) about the hypocrites. He also mentioned the hypocrites in Surat An-Nur (24) and other Surahs, so that their description would be known and their ways and errors could be avoided. Allah said,

A Contrasting Picture

The next human model we are presented with is that of the unbelievers. “For the unbelievers, it is alike whether you forewarn them or not, they will not accept the faith. God has sealed their hearts and ears; their eyes are covered; and a grievous punishment awaits them.” (Verses 6-7)

The contrast with the previous group is total. While God’s Book in itself is a guide for the God-fearing, no warning to the unbelievers has any effect at all. The receptivity of the believer contrasts with the unbeliever’s total unreceptivity; here the ties that bind the believer to God and the world around, and link the seen with the unseen and the overt with the covert, are completely absent. Their hearts are firmly shut and their ears can hear nothing. They are utterly incapable of receiving guidance or discovering the truth. Moreover, “their eyes are covered.” (Verse 7) They are in total darkness, with no light to guide them anywhere. All this is their just reward for
ignoring God’s warnings.

The verses paint a grim and lifeless picture of these people on their way to “a grievous punishment”, which is a fitting and proper reward for obstinacy and disbelief.

Allah has set a seal on their hearts and on their hearing, and on their eyes there is a covering; and for them there lies a mighty punishment.

Favour withdrawn by Allah is a punishment
These two verses tell us that the other world is the place where one would receive the real punishment for one’s disbelief or for some of one’s sins. One may, however, receive some punishment for certain sins even in this world. Such a punishment sometimes takes a very grievous form – that is, the divine favour which helps one to reform oneself is withdrawn, so that, ignoring how one’s deeds are to be assessed on the Day of Judgment, one keeps growing in disobedience and sin, and finally comes to lose even the awareness of evil. In delineating such a situation certain elders have remarked that one punishment for an evil deed is another evil deed which comes after, and one reward for a good deed is another good deed which comes after. According to a Hadith, when a man commits a sin, a black dot appears on his heart; this first dot disturbs him just as a smudge on a white cloth is always displeasing to us; but if, instead of asking Allah’s pardon for the first sin, he proceeds to commit a second, another dot shows up, thus, with every new sin the black dots go on multiplying till the whole heart turns dark, and now he can no longer see good as good nor evil as evil, and grows quite incapable of making such distinctions. The Holy Prophet ﷺ added that The Holy Qur’an uses the term Ra’n or Rain (rust) for this darkness: as in Mishkat from the Musnad of Ahmad and Tirmidhi.

كَلَّا بَلْ ۫ رَانَ عَلٰي قُلُوْبِهِمْ مَّا كَانُوْا يَكْسِبُوْنَ
No. But what they did has rusted their hearts (83:14)

According to another authentic Hadith reported by Tirmidhi from the blessed Companion Abu Hurairah ؓ the Holy Prophet ﷺ has said, “When a man commits a sin, his heart grows dark, but if he seeks Allah’s pardon, it becomes clear again”. (See Qurtubi)

It should be carefully noted that in announcing that it is all one whether the Holy Prophet ﷺ ` warns the disbelievers or not, the Holy Qur’an adds the condition ` Alaihim علیھم (for them), which clearly indicates that it is all one for the disbelievers alone, and not for the Holy Prophet ﷺ for he would in any case get a reward for bringing the message of Allah to his fellow-men and for his efforts to teach and reform them. That is why there is not a single verse in the Holy Qur’an which should dissuade the Holy Prophet ﷺ from calling even such people to Islam. From this we may infer that the man who strives to spread the Word of Allah and to reform his fellow-men does always get a reward for his good deed, even if he has not been effective.

A doubt is removed
We may also answer a question which sometimes arises in connection with the second of these two verses that speaks of the hearts and the ears of the disbelievers having been sealed and of their eyes being covered. We find a similar statement in another verse of the Holy Qur’an:

كَلَّا بَلْ ۫ رَانَ عَلٰي قُلُوْبِهِمْ مَّا كَانُوْا يَكْسِبُوْنَ
No. But what they did has rusted their hearts (83:14)
which makes it plain that it is their arrogance and their evil deeds themselves that have settled do their hearts as a rust رَان . In the verse under discussion, it is this very rust which has been described as ‘a seal’ or ‘a covering’. So, there is no occasion here to raise the objection that if Allah Himself has sealed their hearts and blocked their senses, they are helpless and cannot be held responsible for being disbelievers, and hence they should not be punished for what they have not themselves chosen to do. If we consider the two verses (2:7 and 83:14) together, we can easily see why they should be punished in adopting the way of arrogance and pride they have, willfully and out of their own choice, destroyed their capacity for accepting the truth, and thus they themselves are the authors of their own ruin. But Allah, being Creator of all the actions of His creatures, has in verse 2:7 attributed to Himself the setting of a seal on the hearts and the ears of the disbelievers, and has thus pointed out that when these people insisted, as a matter of their own choice, on destroying their aptitude for receiving the truth, Allah produced, as is His way in such cases, the state of insensitivity in their hearts and senses.

(2:7) Allah has sealed their hearts10 and their hearing, and a covering has fallen over their eyes. They deserve severe chastisement.

10. This does not mean that their rejection of the Truth is a consequence of God sealing their hearts. What is meant is that God sealed their hearts and ears as a consequence of their decision to reject the fundamentals of faith, of their deliberate choice of a path divergent from that charted out by the Qur’an. Anyone who has worked for the dissemination of the Truth often finds that if, after full consideration, a person decides against a doctrine, his mind begins to move in a completely opposite direction so that he fails to appreciate anything that is explained to him. His ears become deaf, his eyes are blinded to the merits of that doctrine, and one gets the distinct impression that the person’s heart has indeed been sealed.