The Quran

Commentaries for 2.28

Al Baqara (The cow) - البقرة

2.28 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(How disbelieve you in Allah) how astonishing that you disbelieve in Allah (when you were dead) sperm drops in the loins of your fathers (and He gave life to you!) in the wombs of your mothers. (Then He will give you death) when your lifespan ends, (then life again) for the Resurrection, (and then unto Him ye will be returned) in the Hereafter whereupon He shall requite you for your works.
2.28 Asrar - Kashf Al-Asrar
How do you disbelieve in God, seeing that you were dead, and He brought you to life. Then He shall make you dead, then He shall bring you to life.
By way of allusion He is saying, " O you who have lost the end of your own thread! O you who have fallen into the well of your own mortal nature! If you want the road clearer than this, why do you not go forward? If you want the field wider than this, why do you not mount up? If you want the candle brighter than this, why are you falling off the path? O you over whom so many years have passed and you have still not caught a scent! O you who have sat at so many tables and are still hungry! O you who have worn a thousand clothes and are still naked! O Muslim! The playing field is open, where are the mounted riders? The tribunal is open, where are the plaintiffs? The physician is present, where are the ill? The beauty is unveiled, where are the passionate? "
You were dead, and He brought you to life. " You were dead, but I brought you to life. Why do you not look? You were ignorant, but I made you knowers. Why do you not perceive? I showed you the road, why do you not go? "
It wants a man to catch the scent-
otherwise, the world is full of the east wind's fragrance.
The Pir of the Tariqah said, " O God, how can the servant overcome the beginningless decree? When he does not have, what can he do? What is the servant's effort? The work is done by what You want. How can the servant save himself with his own effort? "
Then He shall make you dead, then He shall bring you to life. It is said that death is of three sorts: death by the curse, death by regret, and death by generous gift. Death by the curse belongs to the disbelievers, death by regret to the disobedient, and death by generous gift to the godwary.
Life also is of three sorts: first the life of fear, then the life of hope, then the life of love. The life of fear appears in kindness, the life of hope appears in service, and the life of love appears in remembrance.
Those who live in fear will be given security on the day of death: " Fear not and grieve not! " [41:30]. Those who live in hope will be caressed on the last day: " Rejoice in the Garden that you were promised! " [41:30]. Those who live in love will receive from the Friend this generous gift on the carpet of generosity in the session of intimacy: " Return to thy Lord, approving, approved! " [89:28].
The Pir of the Tariqah said, " O God, O worthy of generosity and caresser of the world! There
is no happiness with other than You, and no grief along with Your remembrance. You are the plaintiff and the interceder, the witness and the judge. As long as I breathe along with Your love, I will be free of the bonds of existence and nonexistence, released from the bother of Tablet and Pen-the cup of happiness in hand again and again in the sitting place of intimacy! "
May there be no king in my heart's kingdom but passion for You!
May no one be aware of the secret between me and You!
May passion for You never leave my wounded heart! May my hand never fall short of Your long tresses!
2.28 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
How do you, people of Mecca, disbelieve in God, when you were dead, semen inside loins, and He gave you life, in the womb and in this world by breathing Spirit into you (the interrogative here is either intended to provoke amazement at their [persistent] unbelief despite the evidence established, or intended as a rebuke); then He shall make you dead, after your terms of life are completed, then He shall give you life, at the Resurrection, then to Him you shall be returned!, after resurrection, whereupon He shall requite you according to your deeds; and He states, as proof of the Resurrection, when they denied it:
2.28 Kashani - Kashani
How do you disbelieve in God, that is, in which state are you veiled from Him, when your state is that of, when you were dead, drops of sperm in the loins of your forefathers, and He gave you life, in other words, why do you not see the proof of the Creator in [His] creation, then He shall make you dead, through natural death, then He shall give you life, through resurrection, for the former is known by means of the witnessing while the latter [is known] by deduction from the original creation, then to Him you shall be returned!, for requital, or [it means] that He makes you dead [separated] from your souls through voluntary death which is annihilation in the Oneness, whereafter He gives you life through true life which is subsistence after annihilation through that existence which is the bestowal of the Truth, after which you are returned to Him for the witnessing (mushāhada), if the unity is the unity of [His] attributes, or for the presential vision (shuhūd), if the unity is the unity of His Essence.
2.28 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
Allah testifies to the fact that He exists and that He is the Creator and the Sustainer Who has full authority over His servants,
كَيْفَ تَكْفُرُونَ بِاللَّهِ
(How can you disbelieve in Allah)
How can anyone deny Allah's existence or worship others with Him while;
وَكُنتُمْ أَمْوَتًا فَأَحْيَـكُمْ
(You were dead and He gave you life) meaning, He brought them from the state of non-existence to life. Similarly, Allah said,
أَمْ خُلِقُواْ مِنْ غَيْرِ شَىْءٍ أَمْ هُمُ الْخَـلِقُونَ - أَمْ خَلَقُواْ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضَ بَل لاَّ يُوقِنُونَ
(Were they created by nothing Or were they themselves the creators Or did they create the heavens and the earth Nay, but they have no firm belief) (52:35-36) and,
هَلْ أَتَى عَلَى الإِنسَـنِ حِينٌ مِّنَ الدَّهْرِ لَمْ يَكُن شَيْئاً مَّذْكُوراً
(Has there not been over man a period of time, when he was not a thing worth mentioning) (76:1).
There are many other Ayat on this subject. Ibn Jarir reported from `Ata' that Ibn `Abbas said that,
وَكُنتُمْ أَمْوَتًا فَأَحْيَـكُمْ
(Seeing that you were dead and He gave you life) means, "You did not exist beforehand. You were nothing until Allah created you; He will bring death to you and then bring you back to life during Resurrection.'' Ibn `Abbas then said, "This is similar to Allah's statement;
قَالُواْ رَبَّنَآ أَمَتَّنَا اثْنَتَيْنِ وَأَحْيَيْتَنَا اثْنَتَيْنِ
(They will say: "Our Lord! You have made us to die twice and You have given us life twice.'') (40:11)''
2.28-29 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
It is not easy to determine the significance of "seven heavens". In every age man has been formulating different theories about cite heaven and the expanse of space surrounding the earth and beyond it according to his observations and speculations, which have been always changing. Hence it will not be correct to link anyone of these with the "seven heavens" referred to in the Qur'an. It may either mean that God has divided the whole Universe beyond the earth into seven permanent spheres, or that the part of the Universe in which the earth lies consists of seven spheres.
Here, the people have been warned of two things: first, that they cannot, and should not, adopt an attitude of disbelief and rebellion against Allah, Who knows everything and from Whom nothing that one does remains hidden. Second, that the God Who knows everything is, in fact, the Source of true knowledge. Arty one who turns away from Him, will surely go astray into the darknesses of ignorance. When none beside Him is the source of knowledge, and none beside Him can provide the light by which one may walk one's way of life, what is then the good of turning away from Him?
2.28 Qushairi - Al-Qushairi
How do you disbelieve in God when you were dead and He gave you life; then He shall make you dead then He shall give you life then to Him you shall be returned! These are words to provoke astonishment and gravity in the servant-with the signs that have been made clear his heart should not incline to disbelief. It is said that He makes Himself known to creation by the glimmers of His proofs and the flashes of His signs. He said When you were dead meaning a drop of sperm its parts all the same and He gave you life as a human being with some of the parts of the sperm designated to be bone some parts flesh some parts hair and some parts skin etc. Then He shall make you dead in making you bones and fragments then He shall give you life in raising you up after you were dead then to Him you shall be returned meaning to whatever He previously determined [for you] in happiness or misery. You were dead through your ignorance of Us and He gave you life in your knowledge of Us then He shall make you dead to what you have witnessed then He shall give you life through Him in taking you from yourselves then to Him you shall be returned meaning [returned] to preserving the precepts of the law and carrying out what is due. It is said you were dead because your lower selves remained and He gave you life through the annihilation of your lower selves then He shall make you dead from witnessing [this annihilation] so that you will not pay heed to it and corrupt yourselves. Then He shall give you life by taking you from yourselves then to Him you shall be returned by your being turned about in His grasp سبحانه وتعالى. It is said that He holds their states in check so that there is no perpetual life and no complete annihilation. The more they say “this is life”-while they are thus-the more He turns them and annihilates them. Whenever they become annihilated He affirms them and gives them subsistence so they are forever between negation and affirmation between subsistence and annihilation and between wakefulness and erasure. His way is like this with them.