Thematic Structure of Sura 2

Asif Iqbal1

(I) ESTABLISHMENT OF THE AUTHORITY OF THE QUR’AN AND THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD (verses 2-39).

A– Declaration of Scriptural Authority (2-4).

B- Responses to the Divine Message (2-20).

(i) Faith (2-5)

(ii) Unbelief (6-20).

C- Universal Call to Worship (21-22).

D- Proof of Qur’anic Authenticity and Muhammadan Prophethood (23-25).

E- Exhortation to Believe (26-39).

(II) FAILURE OF THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL (40-118)

A- Exhortation to Believe and Do Good Works (40-46).

B- Admonition to Remember (47-73).

C- Leveling of the charge of unfaithfulness to the Message (74-86).

(i) Hardening of the heart (74).

(ii) Alteration of the Message (75-82).

(iii) Breaking of the Covenant (83-86).

(iv) Rejection of the Prophets (87-112).

(a) Prophetic succession established (87-88).

(b) Rejection of former Scriptures affirmed (89-90).

(c) Rejection of the Qur’an charged (91-112).

D- Recapitulation of the Charge (113-118)

(III) REAFFIRMATION OF THE AUTHORITY OF THE QUR’AN AND MUHAMMAD THROUGH THE APPROPRIATION OF THE ABRAHAMIC TRADITION (119-167).

A- Statement of Authority (119-121).

B- Abraham, Ishmael and the Ka`bah (122-126).

C- The Seed of Ishmael (127-128).

D- Abraham’s prophetic prayer (129).

E- Islam as the Religion of Abraham (130-141).

F- The Qibla (direction of prayer) as the test of loyalty (142-143).

G- Qur’anic confirmation of the test (144-150).

H- Muhammad as fulfillment of Abraham’s prophetic prayer (151).

I- All?h as the focus of worship (152-167).

(IV) BASIC ISLAMIC LEGISLATION (168-284).

A- Dietary Laws: A lesson in Scriptural restoration (168-177).

(i) Proper understanding of the dietary laws (168-173).

(ii) Dietary laws as example and metaphor (174-175).

(a) Example of the Scriptural Failure of the Children of Israel

(b) Metaphor of judgment: “eating” the fire.

(iii) Islamic “pillars” as the proper content of the Scripture (176-177).

B- Further Legislation: Laws of Retaliation, Last Will and Testament, Fast of Ramadan, Jih?d and Pilgrimage (178-210).

C- Failure of the Children of Israel Revisited (211-214).

D- Further Legislation: Laws of Giving, Jih?d, Drinking, Gambling, the Family, and Prayer (215-245).

E- Authority of Muhammad Revisited (246-252).

(i) Saul and David as Models (246-251).

(ii) Muhammad as God’s Elect (252).

F- Failure of the Children of Israel Revisited (253).

G- Further Legislation: Financial Matters (254-284).

H- Reaffirmation of Muhammad’s authority (285).

I- Concluding Prayer (286).

Footnotes

  1. David E. Smith, “The Structure of al-Baqarah” in: The Muslim World, vol. 91, no 1 & 2 (Spring 2001). []

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *