Study notes for Word Analysis of Quran Lesson 5, Surah Baqarah Ayahs 17-20.  I hope you find them beneficial to your studies.

These Ayahs cover the examples of the hypocrite’s deeds 

مَثَلُهُمْ كَمَثَلِ الَّذِي اسْتَوْقَدَ نَارًا فَلَمَّا أَضَاءَتْ مَا حَوْلَهُ ذَهَبَ اللَّهُ بِنُورِهِمْ وَ تَرَكَهُمْ فِي ظُلُمَاتٍ لَّا يُبْصِرُونَ

17.  Their example is that of one who kindled a fire, but when it illuminated what was around him, Allah took away their light and left them in darkness [so] they could not see.

مَثَلُهُمْ – their example
مَثَلُهُمْم ث لmathaluhumtheir exampleto resemble something

مَثَلُ mathal – example; هُمْ hum – their. An example is to explain a concept that is abstract through something concrete, and the example is usually similar in nature.

كَمَثَلِ – kamathali – like example. The ka = like

الَّذِي – Allathi – the one who

اسْتَوْقَدَ – He kindled
اسْتَوْقَدَو ق دIstowqadahe kindled
to light fire, to kindle a fire

Also understood as telling someone else to light the fire.

نَارًا – a fire

فَلَمَّا – falamma – then when. fa = then. The ‘fa’ is used to give the order of events. lamma = when.

أَضَاءَتْ – it illuminated
أَضَاءَتْض و ء‘Adhaatit illuminated
to shine, to glow, radiate 

From the same root word that is used for light. A light that radiates heat. Such a light that is pale with three characteristics of:-

  • Light
  • Heat
  • Reddish or pale

مَا – what

حَوْلَهُ – his surroundings
حَوْلَهُح و لhowlahuhis surroundings
surround, to be changed

Howl – Used for the year because each year goes around; also means to change. Every year things are always changing. ‘hu’ (him) refers to the person who lit the fire or asked for the fire to be lit. He asked for the light to be turned on, so he could see things clearly. 

ذَهَبَ – He went
ذَهَبَذ ه بdhahabaHe wentto go away, Gold

Is also used for Gold. Gold and going away; People mostly have a fear of gold going away. If they travel somewhere, they want to ensure their Gold is in a safe place. Gold also has to go away in Zakat.

اللَّهُ – Allah

بِنُورِهِمْ – went with their light. Allah took the light away. بِنُورِهِمْ, ‘bi‘ at the beginning gives the meaning of ‘took away’. Allah took away their light. Nurihim, ‘him‘ refers to the one who asked the light to be lit. Nur refers to the light with no heat in it.  The light was taken away but the heat remained. This light is understood as an internal light. 

تَرَكَهُمْ – He left them
تَرَكَهُمْت ر كtarakahumHe left themto leave something or someone

Allah left these people, فِي – in

ظُلُمَاتٍ – darknesses
ظُلُمَاتٍظ ل مdhulumatindarknessesinjustice

Injustices will be darkness on the Last Day.

يُبْصِرُونَ – they see
يُبْصِرُونَب ص رyub’siroonthey seeto see, understand, comprehend

They don’t see at all and they are in complete confusion.

صُمٌّۢ بُكۡمٌ عُمۡىٌ فَهُمۡ لَا يَرۡجِعُوۡنَ ۙ

18. They are deaf, they are dumb, they are blind, they will never return to the Right Way

صُمٌّۢ – ones deaf
صُمٌّۢس م مsummunones who are deafto be deaf, cork

صُمٌّۢ is used for a cork, it covers, plugs and blocks. It gives the meaning to be blocked. You cannot put something in or take anything out.

بُكۡمٌ – ones dumb
بُكۡمٌب ك مbukmunones who are dumbunable to speak

This word is used for someone who has never spoken a word since birth. They are also unable to understand or reply.

عُمۡىٌ – ones blind
عُمۡىٌع م ىumyunones who are blindblind, dark, conceal

A person who is physically blind. It is also used for someone who is confused.

These people are deaf, dumb, and blind to the truth. They don’t hear the truth, don’t speak the truth, and they can’t see the truth. This is their spiritual state, not a physical state. فَهُمۡ لَ – so they not

يَرۡجِعُوۡنَ ۙ – they return
يَرۡجِعُوۡنَر ج عyarji’oon(they) returnto return, to go back

They will not return to the light. They will not return to guidance.

أَوْ كَصَيِّبٍ مِّنَ السَّمَاءِ فِيهِ ظُلُمَاتٌ وَرَعْدٌ وَبَرْقٌ يَجْعَلُونَ أَصَابِعَهُمْ فِي آذَانِهِم مِّنَ الصَّوَاعِقِ حَذَرَ الْمَوْتِ وَاللَّهُ مُحِيطٌ بِالْكَافِرِينَ

19. Or it is like a rainstorm from the sky within which is darkness, thunder and lightning. They put their fingers in their ears against the thunderclaps in dread of death. But Allah is encompassing of the disbelievers.

كَصَيِّبٍ ۙ – heavy rain
كَصَيِّبٍص و بka sayyibinheavy rainto reach again and again
to hit the mark

Heavy rain falls, again and again, it goes on for a long time. Sayyibin is a rainstorm with thunder and lightning it reaches and hits the ground and comes with a lot of force

السَّمَاءِ ۙ – the sky
السَّمَاءِس م وas samaa’ the skygives the meaning of height
a roof, a ceiling, clouds up high

As Samaa’ is not just used for the sky but also for height, a roof, a ceiling or clouds up high.

فِيهِ – in ظُلُمَاتٌ – :Darkness(es).  Many layers of darkness referring to the darkness of the heavy clouds. The darkness of the rain itself and the darkness of the night. They can’t see clearly.

وَرَعْدٌ ۙ – and thunder
رَعْدٌر ع د ra’ad thunderthunder, tremble,
وَبَرْقٌ ۙ – and lightning
بَرْقٌب ر ق barqlightningshining, gleaming, menacing

يَجْعَلُونَ – they put

أَصَابِعَهُمْ ۙ – their fingertips

أَصَابِعَهُمْ ص ع ب asaubi’ahumtheir fingertipsto point out with finger, to indicate

أَصَابِعَهُمْ is understood as in, (a) the whole finger or (b) the fingertip.

فِي – in آذَانِهِم – their ears مِّنَ – because of

الصَّوَاعِقِ ۙ – the thunderbolts
الصَّوَاعِقِص ع ق asawaiqithe thunderboltsto smite or strike, thunderclap

Thunderclap – thunder and lightening together

حَذَرَ – due to fear الْمَوْتِ – death – this ayah is saying, they put their fingers in their ears because of the thunderbolts due to fear of death. They are scared of the loud sound, they will die if they don’t put their fingers in their ears. وَاللهُ – and Allah

مُحِيطٌ ۙ – one who always encompasses
مُحِيطٌح و ط muhitunone who always encompassesto encompass, to encircle

Allah encircles them through His Knowledge and His Power. They cannot escape Him.

بِالْكَافِرِينَ – with the disbelievers.

يَكَادُ الْبَرْقُ يَخْطَفُ أَبْصَـرَهُمْ كُلَّمَآ أَضَآءَ لَهُم مَّشَوْاْ فِيهِ وَإِذَآ أَظْلَمَ عَلَيْهِمْ قَامُواْ وَلَوْ شَآءَ اللَّهُ لَذَهَبَ بِسَمْعِهِمْ وَأَبْصَـرِهِمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَىْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

20. The lightning almost snatches away their sight. Every time it lights [the way] for them, they walk therein; but when darkness comes over them, they stand [still]. And if Allah had willed, He could have taken away their hearing and their sight. Indeed, Allah is over all things competent.

يَكَادُ ۙ – it is near
يَكَادُك و د yakaduit is nearalmost, it is about to happen

الْبَرْقُ – the lightning

يَخْطَفُ ۙ – it takes away
يَخْطَفُخ ط ف yakhtafuIt takes awayto snatch something away quickly

أَبْصَـرَهُمْ – their sights كُلَّمَآ – whenever, giving the meaning, each and every time. أَضَآءَ – it illuminated. Each time the lightning illuminated the surrounding لَهُم – for them مَّشَوْاْ – they walked فِيهِ – in it (the light) وَإِذَآ – and when أَظْلَمَ – it darkened عَلَيْهِمْ – upon them

قَامُواْ ۙ – they stood
قَامُواْق و م qamuthey stoodstand still or firm

They just stood still. They walk only for some time, but for most of the time they are standing, they hardly move.

وَ لَوْ – and if شَآءَ – He willed اللهُ – Allah لَذَهَبَ – Surely, He went. (If Allah willed, He could have just taken away their hearing)

بِسَمْعِهِمْ ۙ – with their hearing
بِسَمْعِهِمْس م ع bisam’ihimwith their hearingthe ear, the ability to hear

Allah could have taken their ability to hear completely.

وَ أَبْصَـرِهِمْ – and their sights إِنَّ – indeed اللهَ – Allah عَلَى – upon كُلِّ – every شَىْءٍ – thing

قَدِيرٌ ۙ – always all able
ArabicRoot TransliterationEnglishMeaning
قَدِيرٌق د ر qadeerunAlways All Ableability, power, one who has the ability or power to do something, to plan something

He is able to do whatever He wants. It’s not difficult for Him and no one can stop Him. Allah does whatever He wants to do with planning and hikmah (wisdom).


  1. As salaamu aleykum,

    With love filled in my heart, I feel I would complete Qur’an with you if you had or would finish this initiative, subhaan Allah, and Allah is All-Knowing.

    Umm Talha
    1. Wa Salaam, Jazkallah Khair for your kind words and for expressing your interest in completing the Quran with me through the resources provided on Students of Quran. It’s always heartwarming to see how my efforts can inspire and motivate others to pursue their goals.

      Keep me in your duas and ask Allah to grant me the dedication and perseverance to complete this task.

  2. AOA! Excellent work done. May Allah(SWT) reward you with His great blessings. Madam when the remaining part of Surrah Baqrah will be ready for our learning? Please let me know at my email. Thanks for sharing this great service. Regards, Muhammad Feroze Khan from Islamabad Pakistan.

    Muhammad Feroze Khan
  3. MashaAllah, I love how each word is broken down. It’s a good way to learn vocabulary. Now grammar – that’s another thing. I find the grammar so hard to follow because there are so many rules. InshaAllah one day I will be able to understand it all.

  4. Jazak Allahu Khair.
    I wish there were such websites when I was studying tafsir. 🙂
    Insha Allah, I’ll refer this site to my friends. Currently, I refer to for detailed analysis of the verses.

    These two ayat’s refer to two stages/types of hypocrites.
    1. The one who kindled fire and then is left in darkness as blind deaf and dumb is the one who disbelieved after belief, He is left in his state of disbelief without any hope of return.
    2. the next case is of one who swings between belief and disbelief.

    These verses serve as a strong warning. May Allah save our hearts from hypocrisy. May Allah not seal our heart in the state of disbelief. May Allah help us perfect of our light and keep us in the state of Iman. ameen

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