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Chapter 2: Surah Al-Baqarah (The Cow): Verses 118-123


Those who are ignorant ask, “Why does God not talk to us or send us a sign?” Their talk is similar to those of others before them. They think alike. God has made the message transparent to those who take it seriously. God has sent you (Prophet Mohammad) with the truth as the Messenger of good news and as a warner, and you (Mohammad) will not be questioned regarding the (actions) of those who will find themselves in Hell.

Neither Jews nor Christians will be happy with you unless you (Muslims) follow their religions. Say to them, “The guidance of God is the (true) guidance.” So if you follow their errant views after true knowledge has come to you, then you will have no friendship or help from God.

Those to whom God has given the Book and those who follow it as it should be followed, they truly believe in it. Those who disbelieve will be the ones without any real guidance at the end.”  

O children of Israel, remember My (God’s) blessings to you and how I favored you over other nations. You should guard yourself against the day when no soul can assist another in the least, no compensation will be accepted, no intervention will profit you, and no help will be extended.


The demand for miracles and the direct evidence of God have been made by people during the times of various prophets, yet the prophets themselves and their messages are evidence enough for those who take the message seriously and are conscious of their responsibilities and existence. Some miracles were given to the Prophets Moses and Jesus, for example, but this did not stop their followers from continuing to demand more evidence; in the end, their followers falsified their teachings.

Muslims are asked, just the way the followers of Jesus, Moses, and other prophets were asked, to follow the Book as revealed and not to destroy or distort the Book. True guidance needs reflection and follow-through with sincerity, wisdom, and logical understanding. God has blessed various nations at various times to test their resolve and their faith in Him, yet this should not be the excuse for discrimination against other nations or for false claim to salvation without accountability, as is claimed by some Jews and Christians. Some Muslims also harbor the notion that they are to be favored and given success just because they call themselves Muslims, but true success will belong to the group or nation that truly believes in God and serves all of humanity with the best of deeds.


The following are three important points to reflect on: (1) Evidence of God and the truth is everywhere, and miracles are not needed and should not be demanded, (2) True guidance is in the revealed Books, and we need to follow that guidance, and (3) God only favors those who believe in Him and do good deeds, irrespective of whether they are Jewish, Christian, or Muslim.


Too many Muslims are waiting for God’s favor to descend on them instead of striving to earn His favor through faith, knowledge, and social activism and are unwilling to look inside their communities and nations to see where they are falling short instead of blaming others for their failures. These verses should serve as eye-openers for all Muslims, and we need to strive very hard to create educational and governmental frameworks, financial institutions, and legal and social standards and norms to ensure equal rights and opportunities for all citizens and to nurture their full development from the cradle to the grave. There has been a serious failure among Muslim leaders, kings and queens, and average citizens to work and establish such societies in their lifetimes. In the absence of such dedication and commitment, no amount of ritual worship will provide success for us Muslims.