Surah Al-Baqarah: Chapter 2 (line 180-190) The Cow

180. It is decreed for you: when death approaches one of you, and he leaves wealth, to make a testament in favor of the parents and the relatives, fairly and correctly-a duty upon the righteous.

181. But whoever changes it after he has heard it, the guilt is upon those who change it. God is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.

182. Should someone suspect bias or injustice on the part of a testator, and then reconciles between them, he commits no sin. God is Forgiving and Merciful.

183. O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become righteous.

184. For a specified number of days. But whoever among you is sick, or on a journey, then a number of other days. For those who are able: a ransom of feeding a needy person. But whoever volunteers goodness, it is better for him. But to fast is best for you, if you only knew.

185. Ramadan is the month in which the Quran was revealed. Guidance for humanity, and clear portents of guidance, and the Criterion. Whoever of you witnesses the month, shall fast it. But whoever is sick, or on a journey, then a number of other days. God desires ease for you, and does not desire hardship for you, that you may complete the number, and celebrate God for having guided you, so that you may be thankful.

186. And when My servants ask you about Me, I Am near; I answer the call of the caller when he calls on Me. So let them answer Me, and have faith in Me, that they may be rightly guided.

187. Permitted for you is intercourse with your wives on the night of the fast. They are a garment for you, and you are a garment for them. God knows that you used to betray yourselves, but He turned to you and pardoned you. So approach them now, and seek what God has ordained for you, and eat and drink until the white streak of dawn can be distinguished from the black streak. Then complete the fast until nightfall. But do not approach them while you are in retreat at the mosques. These are the limits of God, so do not come near them. God thus clarifies His revelations to the people, that they may attain piety.

188. And do not consume one another’s wealth by unjust means, nor offer it as bribes to the officials in order to consume part of other people’s wealth illicitly, while you know.

189. They ask you about the crescents. Say, “They are timetables for people, and for the Hajj.” It is not virtuous that you approach homes from their backs, but virtue is to be pious. So approach homes from their doors, and observe God, that you may succeed.

190. And fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not commit aggression; God does not love the aggressors.

My Interpretation:

Here is a set of rules or guidelines Gabriel is giving Muhammad to help bring civilization back on track. We see in this a few things that have possibly been a problem in other societies, as in Mecca. The written will is something to be treated seriously and to not lie about. The image I get is that after people died, much like today, the leaders confiscated their land and wealth leaving nothing behind to the family. So the testified will was brought forwards for the arabs of Arabia so that wealth is passed down justly.

Fasting is prescribed to the people and possibly for a few reasons:

 1. Scientifically- medical science studies have shown the benefits to fast every once in a while to reboot your system and speed of metabolism. 

2. Spiritually- it can give meaning to the gift of food we are given from God, and a means to learn appreciation. 

3. Socially- to help feed a whole village and share in the food that is grown or farmed with each other or learn what fellow mankind who are starving experience and to build empathy. 

As someone who fasts, I can tell you that the benefits are real. Many other religions and spiritual teachers did it as well. Buddha was known to have fasted for 40 days under the Bodhi tree in order to reach his point of enlightenment and understanding of things. Fasting has been done by Jesus, Moses, and possibly all messengers of God to reach that state of elevated understanding.

Notice that fasting is not a rigid concept, but a healthy teaching to humans at this point. If you miss your fasting days during the Ramadan then it is required to give to charity so that some form of personal sacrifice is made and felt in the spirit of altruism. But NOTHING should be a hardship and know that God is Merciful, knowing your heart and your intentions to do good.

Sex is allowed by God now, ever since the “fall” from the Garden, but it is ordained to be pious about it. A woman and a man have their freedom to enjoy sexual relations anytime, except for during observations at the mosques, which is really using common sense. Be private and enjoy each other, but have balance will all things. You may have sex on fasting nights, and then continue the fasting the next day.

The time of fasting is different according to where you live in the world, but generally it is from dawn of the first light of day to first break of night. Refer to Islam fasting time calculators to see what the times are in your area of the world. I will say, it is not so important to be exactly on the dot with this, as remember God does not wish to give hardship. Muslims should refrain from stressing so much for this. Do what feels natural during this time, and with your best effort.

Once again Muhammad is reminded that taking any properties, belongings, of each other that do not belong to each other is something that God reflects upon.

The moon has been something that has been worshiped as a deity by pagan tradition, so this is where Gabriel tells Muhammad to let the people know the moon is for to keep time through its phases only, not to worship as a god. The idea of back doors is something I can imagine being a problem in the past. Possibly people would go through each other’s homes and steal things as they saw fit. So asking people to go through a front door is two things, 1. more polite and adds to neighborly consideration. 2. a safety feature to make sure your house can not be entered without you present.

There is an esoteric way I can see this warning as, the idea of worshiping moon or sun gods, is the “back door” of worshiping God. It is not going about it in the right or direct way. Showing appreciation to the moon is not showing appreciation for all things in life since the moon or sun can be responsible for the whole universe.

And lastly is the most misunderstood line of all-this is speaking about the self defense of their own homes and people. As it says God does not like aggression or aggressors, and anyone using their common sense can understand the difference between direct self defense and aggressive war or murder. 

I also tell people today that terrorism is NOT something that Islam prescribes ever and they would be called “transggressors” for coming onto U.S soil and attacking. I do not feel in my heart these men were muslims in the very definition of the word, along with millions of other muslims today who are constantly speaking out. 

Terrorism is not part of any faith and would be more following the path of Satan to spread chaos and destruction, rather than God’s Will to spread peace.

forbidden

Advertisements