The Ayat illustrates that Allah is not timid to present an example, even if it’s as small as a mosquito. The believers understand the truth in these examples, while the disbelievers question them.
Ayat 26 surah al baqarah in Arabic:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَسْتَحْيِي أَن يَضْرِبَ مَثَلًا مَّا بَعُوضَةً فَمَا فَوْقَهَا ۚ فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا فَيَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّهِمْ ۖ وَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا فَيَقُولُونَ مَاذَا أَرَادَ اللَّهُ بِهَـٰذَا مَثَلًا ۘ يُضِلُّ بِهِ كَثِيرًا وَيَهْدِي بِهِ كَثِيرًا ۚ وَمَا يُضِلُّ بِهِ إِلَّا الْفَاسِقِينَ
Ayat 26 surah al baqarah in English:
Indeed, Allah is not timid to present an example – that of a mosquito or what is smaller than it. And those who have believed know that it is the truth from their Lord. But as for those who disbelieve, they say, “What did Allah intend by this as an example?” He misleads many thereby and guides many thereby. And He misleads not except the defiantly disobedient.
ayat 26 surah al baqarah transliteration:
“Inna Allaha la yastahyee an yadriba mathalan ma ba’oodatan fama fawqaha. Fa’amma allatheena amanoo faya’lamoon annahu alhaqqu min rabbihim. Wa’amma allatheena kafaroo fayaqooloona matha arada Allahu bihatha mathalan. Yudillu bihi katheeran wayahdee bihi katheeran. Wa ma yudillu bihi illa alfasiqeen.”
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Tafsir ayat 26 surah al baqarah – Tafsir Ibn Kathir:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَسْتَحْيِي أَن يَضْرِبَ مَثَلاً مَّا بَعُوضَةً فَمَا فَوْقَهَا …
Verily, Allah is not ashamed to set forth a parable even of a mosquito or so much more when it is bigger (or less when it is smaller) than it.
In his Tafsir, As-Suddi reported that Ibn Abbas, Ibn Mas`ud, and some Companions said;
“When Allah gave these two examples of the hypocrites” meaning Allah’s statements, مَثَلُهُمْ كَمَثَلِ الَّذِي اسْتَوْقَدَ نَاراً (Their likeness is as the likeness of one who kindled a fire), (2:17) and, أَوْ كَصَيِّبٍ مِّنَ السَّمَاء (Or like a rainstorm from the sky), (2:19) “The hypocrites said, `Allah’s far more exalted than for Him to make such examples.’ So Allah revealed these Ayat (2:26-27) up to: هُمُ الْخَاسِرُون (Who are the losers)”.
Sa`id said that Qatadah said,
“Allah does not shy away from the truth when He mentions a matter as a parable, whether this matter is significant or not. When Allah mentioned the flies and the spider in His Book, the people of misguidance said, `Why did Allah mention these things.’ So Allah revealed; إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَسْتَحْيِي أَن يَضْرِبَ مَثَلاً مَّا بَعُوضَةً فَمَا فَوْقَهَا (Verily, Allah is not ashamed to set forth a parable even of a mosquito or so much more when it is bigger (or less when it is smaller) than it).”
A Parable about the Life of This World
Abu Jafar Ar-Razi reported that Ar-Rabi bin Anas commented on this Ayah (2:26);
“This is an example that Allah has given for the life of this world. The mosquito lives as long as it needs food, but when it gets fat, it dies. This is also the example of people whom Allah mentioned in the Qur’an: when they acquire (and collect the delights of) the life of this world, Allah then takes them away.”
Afterwards, he recited,
فَلَمَّا نَسُواْ مَا ذُكِّرُواْ بِهِ فَتَحْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ أَبْوَابَ كُلِّ شَىْءٍ
So, when they forgot (the warning) with which they had been reminded, We opened for them the gates of every (pleasant) thing. (6:44)
In this Ayah (2:26) Allah stated that He does not shy away or hesitate in making an example or parable of anything, whether the example involves a significant or an insignificant matter. Allah’s statement, فَمَا فَوْقَهَا (Or so much more when it is bigger than it) Fama fawqaha means,
something bigger than the mosquito, which is one of the most insignificant and tiniest of creatures.
Muslim narrated that Aishah said that the Messenger of Allah said,
مَا مِنْ مُسْلِمٍ يُشَاكُ شَوكَةً فَمَا فَوْقَهَا إِلَّا كُتِبَتْ لَهُ بِهَا دَرَجَةٌ، وَمُحِيَتْ عَنْهُ بِهَا خَطِيئَة
No Muslim is harmed by a thorn, Fama fawqaha (or something larger), but a good deed will be written for him and an evil deed will be erased from his record.
So Allah has informed us that there is no matter that is too small that is exempt from being used as an example, even if it was as insignificant as a mosquito or a spider.
يأَيُّهَا النَّاسُ ضُرِبَ مَثَلٌ فَاسْتَمِعُواْ لَهُ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ تَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ لَن يَخْلُقُواْ ذُبَاباً وَلَوِ اجْتَمَعُواْ لَهُ وَإِن يَسْلُبْهُمُ الذُّبَابُ شَيْئاً لاَّ يَسْتَنقِذُوهُ مِنْهُ ضَعُفَ الطَّالِبُ وَالْمَطْلُوبُ
O mankind! A similitude has been coined, so listen to it (carefully): Verily, those on whom you call besides Allah, cannot create (even) a fly, even though they combine together for the purpose. And if the fly snatches away a thing from them, they will have no power to release it from the fly. So weak are (both) the seeker and the sought. (22:73)
مَثَلُ الَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُواْ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ أَوْلِيَآءَ كَمَثَلِ الْعَنكَبُوتِ اتَّخَذَتْ بَيْتاً وَإِنَّ أَوْهَنَ الْبُيُوتِ لَبَيْتُ الْعَنكَبُوتِ لَوْ كَانُواْ يَعْلَمُونَ
The likeness of those who take (false deities as) Awliya (protectors, helpers) other than Allah is the likeness of a spider who builds (for itself) a house; but verily, the frailest (weakest) of houses is the spider’s house ـ if they but knew. (29:41)
أَلَمْ تَرَ كَيْفَ ضَرَبَ اللَّهُ مَثَلاً كَلِمَةً طَيِّبَةً كَشَجَرةٍ طَيِّبَةٍ أَصْلُهَا ثَابِتٌ وَفَرْعُهَا فِى السَّمَآءِ
تُؤْتِى أُكُلَهَا كُلَّ حِينٍ بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهَا وَيَضْرِبُ اللَّهُ الأَمْثَالَ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَذَكَّرُونَ
وَمَثلُ كَلِمَةٍ خَبِيثَةٍ كَشَجَرَةٍ خَبِيثَةٍ اجْتُثَّتْ مِن فَوْقِ الاٌّرْضِ مَا لَهَا مِن قَرَارٍ
يُثَبِّتُ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ بِالْقَوْلِ الثَّابِتِ فِى الْحَيَوةِ الدُّنْيَا وَفِى الاٌّخِرَةِ وَيُضِلُّ اللَّهُ الظَّـلِمِينَ وَيَفْعَلُ اللَّهُ مَا يَشَآءُ
See you not how Allah sets forth a parable!
A goodly word as a goodly tree, whose root is firmly fixed, and its branches (reach) to the sky (i.e. very high). Giving its fruit at all times, by the leave of its Lord, and Allah sets forth parables for mankind in order that they may remember.
And the parable of an evil word is that of an evil tree uprooted from the surface of earth, having no stability.
Allah will keep firm those who believe, with the word that stands firm in life of this world (i.e. they will keep on worshipping Allah alone and none else), and in the Hereafter. And Allah will cause the Zalimin (polytheists and wrongdoers) to go astray those and Allah does what He wills. (14:24-27)
ضَرَبَ اللَّهُ مَثَلاً عَبْدًا مَّمْلُوكًا لاَّ يَقْدِرُ عَلَى شَىْءٍ
Allah puts forward the example of (two men ـ a believer and a disbeliever); a servant under the possession of another, he has no power of any sort. (16:75)
He then said,
وَضَرَبَ اللَّهُ مَثَلاً رَّجُلَيْنِ أَحَدُهُمَآ أَبْكَمُ لاَ يَقْدِرُ عَلَى شَىْءٍ وَهُوَ كَلٌّ عَلَى مَوْلاهُ أَيْنَمَا يُوَجِّههُّ لاَ يَأْتِ بِخَيْرٍ هَلْ يَسْتَوِى هُوَ وَمَن يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ
And Allah puts forward (another) example of two men, one of them dumb, who has no power over anything, and he is a burden on his master; whichever way he directs him, he brings no good. Is such a man equal to one who commands justice! (16:76)
Also, Allah said,
ضَرَبَ لَكُمْ مَّثَلاً مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ هَلْ لَّكُمْ مِّن مَّا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَـنُكُمْ مِّن شُرَكَآءَ فِى مَا رَزَقْنَـكُمْ
He sets forth for you a parable from your own selves: Do you have partners among those whom your right hands possess (i.e. your servants) to share as equals in the wealth we have bestowed on you! (30:28)
Mujahid commented on Allah’s statement, إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَسْتَحْيِي أَن يَضْرِبَ مَثَلاً مَّا بَعُوضَةً فَمَا فَوْقَهَا (Verily, Allah is not ashamed to set forth a parable even of a mosquito or so much more when it is bigger than it),
“The believers believe in these parables, whether they involve large matters or small, because they know that they are the truth from their Lord, and Allah guides the believers by these parables.”
Explore the universal message of faith in Tafsir Surah Al-Baqarah Ayat 62, emphasizing belief and righteousness.
… فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ فَيَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّهِمْ وَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ فَيَقُولُونَ مَاذَا أَرَادَ اللَّهُ بِهَـذَا مَثَلاً …
And as for those who believe, they know that it is the truth from their Lord, but as for those who disbelieve, they say: “What did Allah intend by this parable?”
… يُضِلُّ بِهِ كَثِيراً …
By it He misleads many,
In his Tafsir, As-Suddi reported that Ibn Abbas, Ibn Mas`ud and other people among the Companions said,
“Meaning the hypocrites. Allah guides the believers with these parables, and the straying of the hypocrites increases when they reject the parables that Allah mentioned for them which they know are true. This is how Allah misleads them.”
… وَيَهْدِي بِهِ …
And He guides thereby,
meaning, with the parables,
… كَثِيراً …
from among the people of faith and conviction. Allah adds guidance to their guidance, and faith to their faith, because they firmly believe in what they know to be true, that is, the parables that Allah has mentioned. This is guidance that Allah grants them;
… وَمَا يُضِلُّ بِهِ إِلاَّ الْفَاسِقِين ﴿٢٦﴾
And He misleads thereby only the Fasiqin (the rebellious, disobedient to Allah),
meaning, the hypocrites.
The Arabs say that the date has Fasaqat, when it comes out of its skin, and they call the mouse a Fuwaysiqah, because it leaves its den to cause mischief.
The Two Sahihs recorded Aishah saying that the Messenger of Allah said,
خَمْسٌ فَوَاسِقُ يُقْتَلْنَ فِي الْحِلِّ وَالْحَرَمِ: الغُرَابُ وَالْحِدَأَةُ وَالْعَقْرَبُ وَالْفَأْرَةُ وَالْكَلْبُ الْعَقُور
Five animals are Fawasiq, and they must be killed during Ihram and otherwise:
the mouse and
the rabid dog.
Here we conclude the interpretation of the verse by Ibn Kathir