Surah Al-Baqarah: Chapter 2 (line 250-260) The Cow

250. And when they confronted Goliath and his troops, they said, “Our Lord, pour down patience on us, and strengthen our foothold, and support us against the faithless people.”

251. And they defeated them by God’s leave, and David killed Goliath, and God gave him sovereignty and wisdom, and taught him as He willed. Were it not for God restraining the people, some by means of others, the earth would have gone to ruin. But God is gracious towards mankind.

252. These are God’s revelations, which We recite to you in truth. You are one of the messengers.

253. These messengers: We gave some advantage over others. To some of them God spoke directly, and some He raised in rank. We gave Jesus son of Mary the clear miracles, and We strengthened him with the Holy Spirit. Had God willed, those who succeeded them would not have fought one another, after the clear signs had come to them; but they disputed; some of them believed, and some of them disbelieved. Had God willed, they would not have fought one another; but God does whatever He desires.

254. O you who believe! Spend from what We have given you, before a Day comes in which there is neither trading, nor friendship, nor intercession. The disbelievers are the wrongdoers.

255. God! There is no god except He, the Living, the Everlasting. Neither slumber overtakes Him, nor sleep. To Him belongs everything in the heavens and everything on earth. Who is he that can intercede with Him except with His permission? He knows what is before them, and what is behind them; and they cannot grasp any of His knowledge, except as He wills. His Throne extends over the heavens and the earth, and their preservation does not burden Him. He is the Most High, the Great.

256. There shall be no compulsion in religion; the right way has become distinct from the wrong way. Whoever renounces evil and believes in God has grasped the most trustworthy handle; which does not break. God is Hearing and Knowing.

257. God is the Lord of those who believe; He brings them out of darkness and into light. As for those who disbelieve, their lords are the evil ones; they bring them out of light and into darkness-these are the inmates of the Fire, in which they will abide forever.

258. Have you not considered him who argued with Abraham about his Lord, because God had given him sovereignty? Abraham said, “My Lord is He who gives life and causes death.” He said, “I give life and cause death.” Abraham said, “God brings the sun from the East, so bring it from the West,” so the blasphemer was confounded. God does not guide the wrongdoing people.

259. Or like him who passed by a town collapsed on its foundations. He said, “How can God revive this after its demise?” Thereupon God caused him to die for a hundred years, and then resurrected him. He said, “For how long have you tarried?” He said, “I have tarried for a day, or part of a day.” He said, “No. You have tarried for a hundred years. Now look at your food and your drink-it has not spoiled-and look at your donkey. We will make you a wonder for mankind. And look at the bones, how We arrange them, and then clothe them with flesh.” So when it became clear to him, he said, “I know that God has power over all things.”

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.”

My Interpretation:

This is Gabriel explaining to Muhammad what happened in the past with David and Goliath and how God will support those who fight against the evil. Goliath was a giant humanoid that could have destroyed the earth with his people, but God held them back by working through David. David became King to the people after he killed the giants and was divinely connected  to God throughout his kingship.

Line 252 is once again proof that Muhammad could not have written these himself since the conversation ABOUT Muhammad turns to center on him as a chosen messenger of God.

Gabriel here is saying that there have been different gifts given to messengers and God has spoke to them in different ways and through different Signs. Some like Abraham and Moses, God has spoken to directly. Jesus was actually divinely created to carry the power of God within him to do miracles, that is called the Holy Spirit. God brings these messengers to the leaders and people as a test to see who will listen and who will not. God allows them to have free choice to decide to fight one another, and kill one another, just as a parent must allow their own children to learn and grow. This is the essence of Free Will. It is not only loving to let good reign in heaven, it is loving to show mercy for those that deserve it and eventual justice who deserve it.

Muhammad is being told for the people to spend their wealth and detach from the material world, cause someday it will be gone. It is better to give than to hoard  your wealth since you can not take it with you when you are gone. Even though the Ancient Egyptians tried, along with several other cultures, material things in the end only can give temporary joy. There will come a day when money does not matter and this I believe is the End Times, Gabriel is referring about.

God is not speaking at this point and you can see this in how the Angel is talking descriptively about God. There is an explanation of WHAT God is, but it is something that even the Angels have a hard time describing in human terms. God is everything that is Good, Light and Right. Yes, there is evil in existence, but these things do not belong to God. They are allowed to exist in order to learn and grow from into Good souls when we choose Goodness and when we ultimately choose God. There is no beginning to this being, or consciousness. There is no family, He is ONE. All things in this universe extend from this ONE source. God is not in a material fabric of space or time. He exists above time and above space in a realm only our immaterial bodies can see.We can see glimmers of this power here in events such as receiving these detailed revelations, but we can not see God’s full glory yet.

Line256 is very important to me as a free spirit. There is NO conversion or force to Islam and shouldn’t be for any reason. God is not a forceful God. The right way to Him is apparent to those who seek the truth, and love of God. There is never a need to try to convert someone since God would rather have someone voluntarily come to Him. The Crusades, Spanish Inquisition, recent Terrorism in Africa and the Middle East are transgressing this boundary as they kill to convert and force people into this religion. But that is through fear, not through love and God can always KNOW the difference.

*Using Him pronoun to describe a fatherly approach to creation, but to me God is neither male or female. God is beyond gender.

Line 257 is a hard one to accept for many, but what it is ultimately saying is that when you do not faith in any of the messengers, Angels, books, or God, there is an easy replacement of God by darkness. Some atheists will say that they don’t believe in God, but believe in Goodness…well that to me is God and they just don’t like the way religion is attached to this ideal of Good in the universe. But if someone does not believe in even Goodness, they can sometimes welcome the darkness and void. So Gabriel is saying that those who don’t have faith in something fulfilling as God will find themselves empty and this is when the darkness can be worshipped instead. And if you choose to walk the path of darkness, you will stay in it lost forever unless you make a choice one day to not. This is how I see Hell. It is not physical fire or a place of flames it is a spiritual yearning or suffering not from God, from YOU. God only warns us by sending his messengers to carry the messages. 

Gabriel then tells Muhammad of a disbelieving man,  in what Abraham was trying to show his people, and this man must have argued with Abraham making life very difficult for him. The man never saw what Abraham saw, and because there was no willingness to change his mind, God left him to wander feeling isolated from God not receiving the answers that Abraham has.

Line 259 is a very powerful story that tells of another disbelieving man who did not accept the fact that God can make anything new and whole again once they are gone, so he was used as an example to others. He was put to sleep for 100 years (maybe this is where  the Rip Van Winkle story comes from in the 1800s) and when he awoke, he only felt a day older, but everything around him changed to reflect 100 years into the future. The way I interpret this is not that he went into the future physically, but God brought him the mature idea that all time and matter is controlled by God. So when he woke up, he realized looking at his dead donkey (which was bones), food (spoiled), wine or drink (spoiled), that all things were older. Then something next happened to make him believe as he then saw things rematerialized back to the age he was before he slept. When this became clear to him, he then believed that God can do all things. Somethings God will do, but others not, for a reason that can not be known to us. If I had to take a guess, it’s all about teaching us and letting us grow on our own.

Last verse in this is Gabriel giving Muhammad another example of how Abraham once called out to God to see proof that God can renew the dead, and he was given guidance to take birds and kill them and put one by one on each hill, and watch them come back to life and fly towards him. This is to show that God has control over death and can renew anything He chooses and wills to live again.



Rip Van Winkle