Surah Al-Baqarah: Chapter 2 (line 260-270) The Cow

260. And when Abraham said, “My Lord, show me how You give life to the dead.” He said, “Have you not believed?” He said, “Yes, but to put my heart at ease.” He said, “Take four birds, and incline them to yourself, then place a part on each hill, then call to them; and they will come rushing to you. And know that God is Powerful and Wise.”

261. The parable of those who spend their wealth in God’s way is that of a grain that produces seven spikes; in each spike is a hundred grains. God multiplies for whom He wills. God is Bounteous and Knowing.

262. Those who spend their wealth in the way of God, and then do not follow up what they spent with reminders of their generosity or with insults, will have their reward with their Lord-they have nothing to fear, nor shall they grieve.

263. Kind words and forgiveness are better than charity followed by insults. God is Rich and Clement.

264. O you who believe! Do not nullify your charitable deeds with reminders and hurtful words, like him who spends his wealth to be seen by the people, and does not believe in God and the Last Day. His likeness is that of a smooth rock covered with soil: a downpour strikes it, and leaves it bare-they gain nothing from their efforts. God does not guide the disbelieving people.

265. And the parable of those who spend their wealth seeking God’s approval, and to strengthen their souls, is that of a garden on a hillside. If heavy rain falls on it, its produce is doubled; and if no heavy rain falls, then dew is enough. God is seeing of everything you do.

266. Would anyone of you like to have a garden of palms and vines, under which rivers flow-with all kinds of fruit in it for him, and old age has stricken him, and he has weak children-then a tornado with fire batters it, and it burns down? Thus God makes clear the signs for you, so that you may reflect.

267. O you who believe! Give of the good things you have earned, and from what We have produced for you from the earth. And do not pick the inferior things to give away, when you yourselves would not accept it except with eyes closed. And know that God is Sufficient and Praiseworthy.

268. Satan promises you poverty, and urges you to immorality; but God promises you forgiveness from Himself, and grace. God is Embracing and Knowing.

269. He gives wisdom to whomever He wills. Whoever is given wisdom has been given much good. But none pays heed except those with insight.

270. Whatever charity you give, or a pledge you fulfill, God knows it. The wrongdoers have no helpers.

 

My Interpretation:

Gabriel begins to explain the essence of charity and how when you do one good deed, it multiplies rewards and blessings. There is an analogy given to Muhammad to understand that planting the seed of a good deed will bring even more good karma or good blessings into harvest in your life. This does not mean that you will not be tried and have challenges, but that you will have more good in your life happen than bad, when you are constant with charity. It is important to not brag or gloat about your charity or make others feel bad. This is not being a good person on top of this good deed, and God knows all intentions you may have. In a way your insult or unkind deed could dilute the previous good deeds. So as a reminder stay focused on doing good and not just want to please God. It is about the lifestyle of being kind always, not just to get into Heaven.

This is one of the major arguments that disbelievers may have, and here it clearly says to do things with full effort and good intent, or they don’t count at all. It is best to give and not make a big production of it or expect anything in return. The joy of giving should become the gift.

The parable of the garden is to show how  good deeds can be nullified when you do bad deeds towards others show the true essence of your heart.

Muhammad is then warned that Satan throughout all humanity’s time on earth will tempt people with money, fame, and power, and in response cause a downfall that will lead to poverty of the soul. But the BEST reward is Heaven where all you can ever imagine that is given to you that in non material fulfillment, and this comes to those who have not hoarded, but shared to others. I believe this speaks greatly about our interconnection and how we have the power to make other people’s experiences more joyful even when the leaders do not. Even through oppression, a piece of bread, a drink of water, a kind gesture is enough to uplift a soul, and in the end yours too.

There is an idea that wisdom is connected to being divinely inspired. Information that helps someone live better with more understanding or awareness is a true gift to someone. This is opposite of the idea of Tree of Knowledge in Christianity. Here, Muhammad is told that wisdom is not something to be afraid to seek and those who gain it are those who have earned it. Wisdom gives you control over base human emotions and desires. You are then able to live in this world, but not be part of it and your soul belongs to Heaven. If you have wisdom, it has been revealed to you by God to understand the world.

 

Those who do not give or have wisdom, are part of the people who have lost their way. They do not seek a spiritual life, and they do not seek to do good. God sees all and there is no where in death, where they can run from their own reality of whom they have decided to become. The way of Wisdom is not through magic, or rituals. It is through being kind, giving, and then sharing what has been given to you.

 

wayofwisdom

 

 

 

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