Chapter Two: The Cow (Al Baqara)
Verses 98 & 99
Verses 98 & 99
Whoever is an enemy to God and His angels and His messengers and Gabriel and Michael - then indeed, Allah is an enemy to the disbelievers. (Chapter 2:Verse 98)
In the previous session, we discussed how the Israelites used their hatred for the Archangel Gabriel as an excuse to reject the Quran and the message of Islam. In this verse, God Almighty informs us what hatred towards His angels truly means. Hatred of the Messengers is like hatred of the angels, and hatred for any of them means hatred of God. Thus, in this verse, Allah mentions the messengers and angels altogether first, then He specifies Gabriel and Michael.
In other words, Allah wants you to know that the truth is one, with no conflict or division. Whoever is an enemy to any of the angels, or of Gabriel, Michael, or of any of God’s Messengers, then he or she is in fact an enemy of God Himself. There is no difference between any of them, they all represent the truth. And when it comes to the truth, there is no room for picking and choosing. Conflicts stem from the whims and desires of people when they cherry pick what benefits them the most.
The Israelites who denied God's messengers were God’s enemies because they disbelieved in the truth. Similarly, the Israelites who detested God's angel were God’s enemies because they disbelieved in the truth. Allah wants to direct your attention towards the unity of truth in religion. The source of truth is God Himself. The messenger of truth from amongst his angels is Gabriel. And the messengers of truth from amongst humans are the messengers and prophets God had sent. Note that Allah does not say that enmity towards the angels and messengers is mere hatred, rather He calls it an act of disbelief. Thus, God instructed His messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him) to announce this fact to everyone so they become aware who are the disbelievers.
In contrast, listen to Allah's description of the believers in the following verse:
The Messenger believes in what has been sent down to him from his Lord, as do the faithful. They all believe in God, His angels, His scriptures, and His messengers. ‘We make no distinction between any of His messengers,’ they say, ‘We hear and obey. Grant us Your forgiveness, our Lord. To You we all return!’-(2:285)
Now, let's move to the next verse in 'The Cow'. God says:
And we indeed have revealed to you clear signs, and none disbelieve in them except the rebellious (Chapter 2:Verse 99)
In this verse, Allah guides us to the shining truth embodied in Muhammad’s mission and teachings. The truth God sent through the angel Gabriel and prophet Muhammad is supported with clear signs and verses that leave no room for doubt for any person who is seeking the truth. It is those who are wilfully ignorant, or intent on sin that do not believe in God's message.
What is meant by clear signs, you may ask? A sign is something clear and marvellous. These signs -translated from the Arabic word Ayat- are miracles of the prophet that prove the truthfulness of what he conveys from God. The same Arabic word (Ayat) also refers to the verses of the Nobel Quran. They are clear and evident for all to see and examine. Thus, God concludes the verse with the phrase ‘and none disbelieve in them except the rebellious.'
In order to understand the true meaning of the word 'rebellious,' we should look at the Arabic origin of the word. The word 'ÝóÇÓöÞöíäö' originated from the desert environment surrounding the Arabs at the time of the prophet. While a date ripens on a palm tree, its skin stays attached to the body of the fruit and acts as a protecting barrier from the elements. As the date ages, the skin separates from the fruit making it very easy to peel. The word ' ÝÓÞ' describes the detachment of the skin from its natural healthy place exposing the fruit to harm and causing it to spoil. Similarly, Allah used this word to describe a person who distances him or herself away from God’s teachings; A person who does not observe God's commandments or prohibitions, thus exposing him or herself to harm and ruin; In essence, an outlaw rebelling against faith.
The signs by which God supported Muhammad (peace be upon him) were clear even to the disbelievers. Let's look at a few examples. Muhammad was unlettered and did not have any formal education. Then, seemingly out of the blue, he -peace be upon him- brought this Quran which is miraculous both in its literature and content. Its verses were revered by the elites of the poets and the masters of the language of his time. This in by itself is a clear sign of the heavenly source of the book. Muhammad had many enemies in constant search of ways to attack and discredit the him. Yet, none of them had any issue with the Quran. To the contrary, they wished it was theirs as the following verse illustrates:
"They say, 'Why was this Qur'an not sent down to one of the great men of the two cities?” (43:31)
Moreover, the disbelievers tried their best to sway Muhammad away from the Quran by offering him wealth and status to no avail. This reflects that he was a principled man, not after material possessions, power, or social status, rather, he (peace be upon him) was following God's revelations to convey the heavenly teachings to humanity.
The Quran also delivered and is still revealing many secrets of creation. Muhammad, peace be upon him, informed the people of the result of a war that was to occur nine years later as the following verses foretold:
The Byzantines have been defeated, In the lands close-by, but they, after their defeat, will be victorious in a few years’ time. God is in command, first and last. On that day, the believers will rejoice. With God’s help. He helps whoever He pleases: He is the Mighty, the Merciful. (30:2-5)
The Quran also informed the disbelievers and the hypocrites of what their hearts hold, exposing their lies. It also informed us of events yet to occur. The miraculous Quran contains scientific, astronomic and cosmic knowledge that were not scientifically proven until centuries later. All of these signs present the disbelievers with clear proofs that can only be rejected by a person who is wilfully ignorant, or chasing his or her desires. Faith in God, the Quran, the angels and the Prophets does not require but a neutral open mind, and a desire to seek the creator.