Sūratu’l-Baqarah [The Cow] : (2:114)

Sūratu’l-Baqarah [The Cow] : (2:114)

وَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّن مَّنَعَ مَسَاجِدَ اللَّهِ أَن يُذْكَرَ فِيهَا اسْمُهُ

Who is more in the wrong than he who bars God’s places of worship, so that His Name be not mentioned and invoked in them. (Al-Baqarah 2:114)

Interpreting this verse only according to the reason it was revealed would limit the scope of the verse.

▪Even if it was revealed to denounce the Assyrian and Babylon kings and Romans who banned the Jews or Christians from worshipping in Baytu’l-Maqdīs in Jerusalem and the Makkan polytheists who prevented the Muslims in Makkah from worshipping in the Masjidu’l-Haram, further interpretation is appropriate.

▪According to the rule, “The revelation of a verse for a particular incident does not mean a restriction on its meaning and the scope of the ruling it contains,” this verse relates to anybody “who bars God’s places of worship,” so that His Name cannot be mentioned and invoked in them. The use of the “places of worship” in the plural also corroborates this interpretation of the verse.

▪Therefore, those who wanted and attempted to crucify Jesus are greater in wrongdoing than others no matter when they live. Similarly, those who have banned people from worshipping in Baytu’l-Maqdīs are greater in wrongdoing than others; those who prevented God’s Messenger and his Companions, from entering the Ka‘bah and worshipping in the Masjidu’l-Haram as well as those who follow them in barring people from mosques in all ages are greater in wrongdoing than others. Likewise, the ones who leave the mosques and masjids (places of worship) abandoned and those who prevent believers from their religious practices do the greatest wrong.

Here, we should keep in mind the fact that since the Qur’ān is a universal Book, its messages are also universal.

▪It is righteousness and justice to evaluate everything according to its own value; on the other hand, it is injustice and wrong to overvalue or undervalue something. In other words, it is wrong to the extent that something is devalued or overestimated.

For this reason, the denial of God or associating partners with Him is the greatest injustice or wrong.

▪The use of the places of worship, which are constructed in order to proclaim God’s Existence and Oneness and so that people may worship God in them, for other aims irreconcilable with the aim of their construction, or their destruction, or banning and preventing believers from worshipping in them, is such a great wrong and a monstrous crime that comes only after the denial of God or the association of partners with Him.

Among all places of worship, the Masjidu’l-Haram in Makkah is the holiest, followed by the Masjidu’n-Nabawī in Madīnah, and Baytu’l-Maqdīs in Jerusalem comes after it.

Therefore, barring these places of worship so that people cannot pray in them is a greater wrong—each according to the degree of holiness—than barring other places of worship.

▪As Nebuchadnezzar, Shapur, Titus, and Adrianus are included in those denounced by the verse, all those who attack the places of worship in any period of history, including the brutal forces that will demolish the Ka‘bah and the Masjidu’n-Nabawī at the end of time, are also subject to this denouncement.

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