In the last three exercises, we looked at comparing concepts between Ch 2 and 3. This is called the Bouncing Chapter exercise. In our post this month, we will look at the phrase ‘Or do you calculate that you will enter the garden’ (am hasibtum an tadkhulu al-jannah). This phrase only appears twice in Quran – in 2/214 and 3/142.
In 2/214, this phrase appears as follows:
Or do you think that you will enter the garden while such [trial] has not yet come to you as came to those who passed on before you? They were touched by poverty and hardship and were shaken until [even their] messenger and those who believed with him said,”When is the help of Allah ?” Unquestionably, the help of Allah is near.
And in 3/142, it appears as follows:
Or do you think that you will enter the garden while Allah has not yet known those of you who fight in His cause and made evident those who are steadfast?
As you can see, even the contents of each verse differs from the other. 2/214 mentions being afflicted by adversity and calling for Allah’s help while 3/142 is about making clear who fought in His cause and were steadfast.
Let us consider the following questions:
1. Why are the contents of each of these verses different? Is there anything in the surrounding verses to tell us the reason or reasons?
2. Is there anything in the state of the passages in which each of these verses are (2/214 starts from 2/208 and 3/142 starts from 3/130) to tell us why each of these verses are phrased in the way that they are?
3. Is there anything in the overall chapter themes themselves which can tell us the reason behind the contents of each verse? If Al-Baqarah is about utopia, then what does it have to do with 2/214’s wording?