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UNCOVERING the original message of the Arabic Qur'an by using Lexicons compiled more than 1,000 years ago.

ISOLATING Fact from Fiction.

RECOVERING Hope and regaining the perspective where Humanity is one, God's Message is one, and our Future CAN become one we all look forward to!


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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Day 260; Qur’an 53: 1-62, pages 526-528

Welcome Friends:  Ahlan wa sahlan!
Yusuf Ali’s Explanation of this Chapter.
Muhammad Asad’s Explanation of this Chapter.

Their commentaries can be read in ‘verse by verse’ view.

سورة النجم
The Star

From Introduction of Yusuf Ali:

‘This is an early Makkan Surah, and is the fourth of the series of seven which were described in the introduction to Surah 50.
The particular theme of this Surah is that Revelation is not an illusion: the illusion is in the minds of those who doubt and have false ideas of God: God is the source and goal of all things.

Summary- The impression received by the Prophet in revelation is neither error on his part nor deception by others, nor does he speak from selfish motives: it comes clearly from God, Who is not what the vain imagination of men conceive…
Those who turn away are petty and ignorant, not knowing that God is the source and goal of all things---in men, in nature, and in the events of history; therefore serve ye Him (53:33-62, and C. 230).’

From Introduction of Muhammad Asad:

‘IT IS generally assumed that this is a comparatively early Meccan surah, revealed shortly after surah 112. However, some parts of it undoubtedly belong to a later period - especially verses 13-l8, which allude to the Prophet's mystic experience of an ascension to heaven (mi'raj), about one year before his exodus to Medina…’


The title of this Chapter ‘Al Najm’ refers to what some have explained/ translated as ‘Star’ (see Ali).  Others have postulated that it refers to the verses of the Qur’an themselves, saying that the word ‘hawaa’ indicates their ‘falling’ or ‘unfolding’ from above (see Asad).  

I totally disagree with the second explanation:  Firstly, their calling the Qur’an ‘najm’ is not based on evidence, language, or context.  Secondly (as discussed earlier), the word ‘hawaa’ is about ‘plummeting desire leading to emptiness,’ and is always negative, and therefore cannot be related to the Qur’an. 

But ‘najm’ here may be related to the ‘najm’ mentioned in HQ 86:3… describing a natural phenomenon which marked, or shall mark, a pivotal change in this world.

 PAGE 526 Arabic Qur’an

1.     Verses 1-4: 
This Chapter begins with one oath:
‘By the ‘Star/Najm’ as it ‘plummets/hawaa’!’
As regular Readers know, Qur’anic ‘oaths’ precede matters of paramount importance; here this oath is made to endorse the Messenger. 
Speaking directly to Qureish, it tells them ‘your companion,’ (whom you’d known very well for 40 years of his life) is neither astray nor misled, and that what he is recounting does NOT come from (his own) ‘plummeting desire,’ but rather: It is no other than ‘exclusive information’ (wahiوحي - being conveyed to him).
Then, verses 5-18 assert that the Messenger has received such information, imprinted/ impressed upon him (allama) by one mighty in power, highlighting the fact that he saw the formidable deliverer of this information twice, the second time being at ‘sidratul muntahaa,’ the ‘final point’ beyond which lies the ‘Garden of Refuge.’ 
It is interesting to note that throughout this experience, his mental response (fou’aad[i]) did not belie or disbelieve what it was seeing, and his sight (baSsar) remained steady, neither drifting (away) nor transgressing (beyond).  We are not given details, but are made to understand that he did see phenomenal things, among which ‘… he indeed saw, of God’s Signs, the greatest.’  THE greatest.
THREE important points must be mentioned here:
·      FIRSTLY:
Difficulty in understanding these verses:
These verses, dear Reader are difficult to explain because the subject is repeatedly mentioned by the (existent or implied) masculine singular pronoun ‘huwa’ (he/it.. which could grammatically but NOT contextually apply to anyone/anything pertinent to these verses).  So ‘whoever/ whatever’ had descended into mid-air, right in front of the Messenger, and whatever the ‘sidratul muntaha’ actually was…. they were part of a magnificent ‘out of this world’ experience which people argued with the Messenger about then, and continued to argue about, with each other, for centuries to come. 
Dear Reader: Due to the difficulty in understanding these verses, much was added through the ages ‘to fill in the blanks.’  Unfortunately, all that was added later became part of ‘tradition,’ and it is such narratives which are used today by noxious ‘anti-Islamic’ websites to discredit the Qur’an and whoever believes in it.  
·      SECONDLY:
What the Qur’an indicates:
These details display the position of the Messenger, towering WAY above what any of us (and skeptic Qureish) can ever imagine; it is he who receives revelation from God, and he who witnesses His greatest Signs, and he who has arrived at a point of certainty, where Heaven itself is in his sight.
In Verse 12 their skepticism is under question, and also their constant dispute with him over ‘what he sees.’  In Verse 23 they are shown their folly in worshipping powerless idols of their making and naming). 
So these verses serve to prove his stature, the seriousness of their allegations against him, and their folly.
·      THIRDLY:
Commonly held beliefs:
Traditionally (NOT in the Qur’an), this incident is called ‘Mi’raaj.’ Also traditionally, it is always linked to another incident (which IS in the Qur’an) called ‘Israa.’  The linking of these two produces what ‘Islamic’ scholars have termed ‘the Israa and the Mi’raaj.’
Scholars differ with regard to the reported ‘sayings/ hadeeth’ of Prophet Muhammad on the subject of ‘Israa and Mi’raaj;’ some ‘consider the chain of transmitters ‘reliable/ saheeh,’ while others don’t.  The latter especially refute the narrative of Ibn Abbas.
New Readers read about the term ‘hadeeth’ below[ii].  To read more about the ‘Israa and Mi’raaj’ narrative see this post (scroll halfway down). Note the Etymology of ‘mirage,’ below[iii].

2.    In these verses we find mention of ‘sidratul muntahaa,’ or the ‘sidra of the extremity/ ultimate end.’ 
Seder’:  Our more than 1,000 year-old Lexicon (Mu’jam al maqayees fil lugha) tells us ONLY this:  That the root-verb ‘sadara سدر’ indicates ‘confusion and uncertainty.’
Three hundred years later, the Lexicon Lissaan al Arab gives us MANY definitions to the word, beginning with the ‘Lote tree’ (see footnote[iv]), and also mentioning the famous Hadeeth with this ‘tree’ marking the farthest limit of ‘man’s knowledge (see Muhammad Asad’s explanation).
Aside: It is interesting to see how the etymology of ‘seder’ and ‘cedar’[v] seem connected.
Muntaha’: Mentioned in the Qur’an 3 times, TWICE in this chapter (HQ 53:14, 42; 79:44), the ‘muntaha/ ultimate end/ culmination’ always is with our Lord.
This is why I think that ‘sidratul muntahaa’ is indicative of the ‘ultimate end of a journey of uncertainty,’ at the Garden of Refuge/ ‘jannatul ma’waa.’
Dear Reader:
God knows best, but it seems that (besides providing the Messenger with support for what lies ahead) this epic event in which he saw, of his Lord’s Signs, the greatest, marked his receiving of ‘certainty/ yaqeen.’
(Read HQ 15:99 and notice the state in which he was, only to be relieved by this fantastic experience!)

3.    Verses 19- 23 speak directly to Qureish, of idols which they and their forefathers had ‘named,’ mentioning three of the most prominent. They are accused of following such idols due to both presumption/‘thann’ and self-serving ‘plummeting desire.’
Here again, we must mention another falsehood which crept into certain traditional explanations, and came to be known as ‘the Satanic Verses.’  As we said earlier, this allegation is totally absurd not only in subject-matter, but the impossibility of it occurring to Muhammad in his capacity as Messenger, peace upon him.  Furthermore, the alleged verses do not fit at all into the context of these existing and well-known verses.  I’d rather not waste time repeating them since anyone can easily look them up (also put ‘satanic verses’ in ‘Search this Site’).
Note, dear Reader, that attaching such verses to the Qur’an in an attempt to discredit it (or its Messenger) is material for people of prejudice, and succeeds mostly with the ignorant.  Those who are ‘Believers’ would know the Qur’an well, while most discerning, non-prejudicial people, would recognize evidence when they see it. Furthermore, the Arabic Qur’an had always been reported ad verbatim and anyone could find out what it says, word for word.

4.     Verses 24-25 speak to the cognizant human/ ‘insaan,’ asking a rhetorical question, and asserting that Life -both the Last AND the First- belongs to God.
Then, Verses 26 informs listeners of the limits of a ‘Custodian/ Angel’s’ (malak) qualifications:  The intercession of many an ‘angel’ is of no avail, unless God wills and accepts it.

PAGE 527 Arabic Qur’an

5.  Verses 27- 28 answer the rhetorical question in Verse 21, regarding Qureish’s custom of attributing ‘female offspring’ to God (in their minds, ‘angels’ are females and they are ‘daughters of God’). Earlier, in HQ 6:100 they were also mentioned as attributing the ‘Unseen/ Jinn’ to God, as His ‘sons and daughters.’  Here they are accused of following ‘presumption/ conjecture/ thann,’ which is of no avail.
Verses 29-30 tell the Messenger to avoid those who turn away completely from ‘our Remembrance’ and pursue nothing but this immediate, lowly Life… and then the verses state that ‘this is their extent of knowledge,’ asserting that ‘your Lord’ knows best who strays from His way and He knows best who is guided.

6.     Verses 31- 32 contain a general rule which brings us comfort, for it is about the certainty of final Justice; everything on earth and in the exalted expanse is God’s, and it is He who shall recompense those who commit misdeeds by what they have done, and shall recompense those who have performed good deeds, by Goodness (and then there is more detail about them):
Those who ‘steer clear/ avoid/ leave aside’ (root-verb ‘janaba):
·      The great hindrances (ithm) and
·      The pervading atrocities (fawaaHhish)
·      EXCEPT what is approached but then halted, and not committed (illal lamam).

It is commonly understood that ‘lamam’ is about ‘small misdeeds’ (see Ali / Asad), which some say are ‘not counted,’ but that is NOT right because:
Firstly: Our more than 1,000 year old Lexicon tells us quite clearly[vi] that ‘lamam’ is about nearing/approaching the misdeed, then stopping yourself, and NOT committing it at all 
Secondly: Don’t you agree, dear Reader, that ‘size’ is relative? Who decides what is ‘small’ and what is not?  What seems small might actually have a HUGE effect.
The second half of Verse 32 tells us more about God Who knows us so well… urging us NOT to praise ourselves, for God knows best any among us who act in Awareness.

7.    Verses 33-37 draw attention to someone who ‘turns away,’ ‘gives so little, and is hardened…’ and then ask questions as to such a person’s knowledge of the unseen/ gheyb, and whether he was informed with regard to the scrolls of Moses, or to Abraham who fulfilled (his trust).. ?
Then we learn of another set of rules (Verses 38- 44): 
·     None shall bear the burden of another; each of us is responsible for his/her own deeds (put ‘original sin’ in ‘Search’), and:
·     Each of us shall have only what s/he has strived/ labored for, and:
·     That our strife/labor shall be beholden/ seen, then:
·     Each of us shall be recompensed in fullest for it, and:
·     That to ‘Your’ Lord is the  ultimate End/ ‘muntahaa,’ and..

Then the verses continue, with striking cadence, telling us that it is He Who gives us laughter and Tears, Death and Life (listen to them here, dear Reader!)…
PAGE 528 Arabic Qur’an

8.    The tempo continues in Verses 45- 49, mentioning His creation from the pair, male and female, the fertile seed of life, and His bringing about the emergence into another existence, granting wealth and possessions, and it is He Who is Lord of the ‘shi’raa’ star. 
And then in the same tempo, we find mention in Verses 50-56 of several previous Messengers and the warnings they brought to their people.

And then the discourse end with a warning, as Verses 57- 58 speak of the ‘Aazifah’ the IMPENDING Day, telling listeners that it is indeed upon them, and that none but God shall reveal it. 
The Chapter draws to a powerful close with Verses 59- 62, questioning them as to this ‘Hadeeth’ (this Qur’an; these verses revealed by God).  They are now wondering about it, and laughing recklessly.  If they had realized its truth, they would have been weeping! 

The final verse then directly commands listeners: 
‘Therefore prostrate to God, and worship!’

[i] Regular Readers will remember how, after throwing her infant into the water (HQ 28:10), the ‘fou’aad’ of the mother of Moses became ‘empty/ void/ blank’ so that she almost betrayed what she had just done… so we are talking here about the same sense, the ‘fou’aad’ (put the word in ‘Search this Site’).

[ii] The last part of HQ 87 asks:  “…and who is more truthful of ‘Hadeeth’ than God?
Although we mostly relate the word ‘Hadeeth’ to Prophet Muhammad’s Sayings, peace upon him, the word means something ‘that was not there before, and is the opposite of ‘old’ or قديم ‘qadeem.’  It also means something that is being announced in real time "خبر"
See the verses which mention the Qur’an as the ‘best’ of Hadeeth (HQ39:23) أحسن الحديث, or ‘this Hadeeth هذا الحديث (HQ18:6; 53:59; 56:81; 68:44).
[iii] Mirage:  Etymology, as usual, does NOT mention Arabic at all, although the pronunciation is identical, as is the prevalent belief of this narrative being an ‘illusion!’   Remember also, ‘mirror’ in Arabic is ‘mir’aa.’  Isn’t it time someone took an interest in this and looked into the European languages for hundreds of words which came from Arabic, at a time when Arabic was the language of science and innovation, just as English is today?
معجم المقاييس في اللغة:
معجم المقاييس في اللغة: شبه الحيرة واضطراب الرأي، يقولون السادر المتحير.
لسان العرب:(معان كثيرة منها): السدر: شجر النبق... والسادر المتحير.

[v] As usual, Etymology tells us that the word ‘cedar’ is of ‘unknown origin,’ but we now know better.  ‘Cedar/سدر’ is Arabic.  But what I found it interesting was that ‘cedar-oil’ was used by the Egyptians for embalming, and that the Romans used the word for ‘immortality.’

[vi]فأمَّا اللَّمَم فيقال: ليس بمواقَعَة الذّنْب، وإنَّما هو مقاربتُه ثم ينحَجِزُ عنه. قال الله تعالى: {الَّذِينَ يَجْتَنِبُونَ كَبَائِرَ الإثْمِ وَالفَوَاحِشَ إلا اللّمَمَ} [النجم 32].

Monday, November 29, 2010

Day 259; Qur’an 52: 1-49, pages 523-525

Welcome Friends:  Ahlan wa sahlan!
Yusuf Ali’s Explanation of this Chapter:
Muhammad Asad’s Explanation of this Chapter:

Their commentaries can be read in ‘verse by verse’ view.

سورة الطور
The Mount

From Introduction of Yusuf Ali:
This is the third of the group of seven Makkan Surahs described in the introduction to Surah 50.  It is, like its predecessor, an early Makkan Surah. The points here emphasized are: that Revelation is in accord with all God’s Signs, including previous Revelation, and that the Hereafter is inevitable, and we must prepare for it.

From Introduction of Muhammad Asad:
THIS SURAH, revealed most probably in the later half of the Mecca period (according to some authorities, immediately after surah 32), takes its designation from the mention of Mount Sinai (at-tur) in verse 1.


The title of this Chapter refers to the Mount where God first called unto Moses (HQ 28:46).  This important location is mentioned in the Qur’an as THE Mount 8 times, and as the Mount of ‘Seynaa/ Sineen,’ one time each.

Regular Readers might remember my opinion on ‘Biblical’ locations: 
To me, the ‘Mount Sinai’ mentioned in the Bible and the Qur’an has nothing to do with the geographic location called the ‘Sinai’ peninsula, or the ‘Mount of Moses’ today[i].

Aside:  Please copy & paste hyperlinks if they do not open on their own; I’m trying to fix this glitch.

However, an IMPORTANT topic we should discuss today, is the main difference between the later verses of Qur’an revealed in Medina (from 622-632), and the earlier verses revealed in Mecca (from 610-622):

The main difference is in those who were receiving the Message:

In Medina:

Most of the recipients of the later verses of the Message were a group of people who had already shed Tradition and were now worshipping God Alone.  They knew that they shall be held accountable in life and in the Hereafter, and needed to know the extent of their responsibilities and to uphold the most important concepts and behaviors which would ensure their continued success, growth and transcendence as Cognizant Beings whose Selves emanated from God Himself.  The ‘Medina’ Chapters deal mostly with such issues, mostly addressing ‘those who had attained Faith,’ and sometimes addressing ‘People of the Compilation’ (Jews and Christians[ii]), and last but not least, exposing the pretenses of ‘hypocrites/ munaafiqeen,’ those persons who were literally ‘in camouflage’ (put ‘nafaqa’ in ‘Search this Site’).
Dear Reader:  It is these ‘Medina’ chapters which ask you and me today to do the same: To realize the extent of our responsibilities and to uphold the most important concepts and behaviors which would ensure our continued success, growth and transcendence as Cognizant Beings.

In Mecca:

Most of the recipients of the early verses of the Message were a group of people who, for generations, had been heading THE major event in Arabia.  After gradually importing 360 idols which represented people’s fears and desires and placing them in their historically renowned sanctuary (originally built by their patriarch, Prophet Abraham, peace upon him, for the worship of God Alone) they had become wealthy businessmen and women, enjoying the fruits of a most lucrative trade.  Their aim was to keep pilgrim-caravans coming their way, and they made sure that whoever visited, did so on their terms and for their benefit.  Everyone knew that the months of Pilgrimage were months designated for peaceful travel, when the carrying of arms was not allowed and warfare was replaced with mandatory cease-fire, but Qureish manipulated that.  They issued ‘religious edicts’ every year keeping or changing the calendar-dates of ‘Hajj/ Pilgrimage’ according to suitability (they had skirmishes which sometimes needed time to resolve, plus they enjoyed exercising this power).  Furthermore, they made it mandatory for pilgrims to purchase everything from them, assuring them that whatever they brought with them into Mecca was still ‘impure’ due to past sin, and therefore required replacing.  This applied to everything including clothing, which is why it was common for some men and women to circumambulate the ‘ka’ba’ in the nude.  (Warring tribes with Qureish refused to buy anything from them, so some of their bashful yet wealthy persons would have servants/slaves walk at their sides holding up sheets.  Poor people had no choice but to go in the nude.)  
In short: Tradition ruled, sexual relations were not regulated, defeated tribes became slaves unless they could ransom themselves, few were certain who their actual fathers were, and newborn daughters were often killed to save their parents and themselves from later suffering.  Despite all that and more, Arabs of the time did have noble codes of conduct (which the Qur’an left intact).

So, early Revelation in Mecca was speaking mostly to a community of self-interested ‘idol-worshippers’ who were in reality worshipping their own Tradition, and who believed in nothing past this immediate life.  But what some people do not realize, is that these verses also spoke to the Jews and Christians who, despite believing in One God, had also become hostage to their Tradition, and needed to be reminded of their patriarch, Prophet Abraham, who had ‘come to his Lord with a sound heart/mind’ and forsaken the traditions of his father and people.  That is why we see the Meccan Chapters coming forward with strong arguments to convince skeptical listeners by dissuasion or persuasion, as well as to offer solace and strength to the Messenger and his companions in their time of struggle.   

The Meccan chapters brought to an end a period termed ‘Jaahiliyyah,’ from the root-verb ‘jahala’ which denotes ‘ignorance’ and ‘agitation’ جهل[iii] .  It is these early chapters of the Qur’an, in all their power, glory, persuasion and dissuasion, which were to uproot Tradition, strengthen resolve, and set the community on its path to enlightenment. 

And, dear Reader, these same Meccan chapters ask us today to:

Forsake our servility to Tradition, and rethink whatever preconceived notions we have inherited from our fathers, and then consciously seek God Himself.  They remind us all (no matter what we happen to call ourselves; ‘Muslims, Christians, Jews, etc..’) to beware of ‘religious’ institutions who would seek to retain power over us in the name of God, headed by those who would manipulate everything in their own interest.   

Such Meccan verses remind us all that God Is One, and that His Message is -and has always been- one throughout time, and that His Message can strengthen and enlighten us all.

 PAGE 523 Arabic Qur’an

1.    This Chapter begins with 5 oaths, in Verses 1-8:

·      By the Mount.
·      By the Aligned Compilation.
·      By the well-inhabited/ well-frequented House.
·      By the Elevated Ceiling/ Crest.
·      By the Flaming Sea/ Ocean.

This series of oaths features Revelation, its Recipients, the summit of Creation, and the End of this World as we know it.  From Moses upon the Mount, to the Compilation which God had sent him and was sending Muhammad (peace upon both), to the House built by Abraham which Muhammad was commanded to re-purify for God’s worship…all within the circle of Creation from beginning to end… the Qur’an vows by all these oaths that:

The Lord’s suffering shall indeed befall, and nothing can ward it off!
 Then Verses 9- 16 continue, telling listeners of the END of this world as they know it, of the sky heaving and churning, and the mountains running and rolling, when those who had belied God’s Message and taken it frivolously shall be pushed into the Fire with the words: ‘This is the Fire you had been lying about!’
This is the first time we hear the warning:  ‘Wail, on that day, to Those who Belie!’  We shall encounter it again 10 times in HQ 77, and once in HQ 83:10.  New Readers:  Put ‘wail’ in ‘Search this Site.’
Then their insight/ eyesight is challenged (obviously due to their having accused the Messenger of sorcery), as they are told that whether or not they can endure it, they are only being recompensed for what they had been doing.
Strong Dissuasion. 

PAGE 524 Arabic Qur’an

2. The next ten verses (Verses 18- 28) are of Persuasion: They describe the Gardens and Bliss in which the Aware are dwelling in the Hereafter (present continuous), granted to them by their Lord who had protected them from suffering (‘na’eem’ denotes utmost pleasure and well-being).  They are told to eat, drink and enjoy the fruits of their toil (they had been working in life!).

Oft-misinterpreted verses:

·   Verse 20 speaks of the Aware reclining on rows of couches (sururسرر- mentioned 6 times) paired with ‘Een’ most honored/ noble/ (companions who are also) ‘Hhoor’ pure/ returning to them/ conversant.  We have already discussed this topic in detail: These are NOT ‘fair, doe-eyed damsels’ as some might like to explain it (put ‘Hhoor’ in ‘Search this Site’).
Read ahead to get the full scene, from beginning to end:  It is not about the kind of ‘pairing’ we undergo in life to propagate our species, driven by instinct and desire.  It is about an existence unrestrained by physical limits or needs, a camaraderie of pure awareness, where those who had worked in life now share the ‘fruits of their toil’ in joy and gratefulness, while reminiscing of times past (yes, conversation is one of these joys, hence the ‘Hhoor-حور’ with whom one can have interesting conversation ‘Hhiwaar حوار’!). 

Am I certain of this interpretation?  No. 
Is it a likely interpretation?  Yes.  It may be unheard of so far, but it is more likely than the common interpretation.
Regular Readers will remember the renowned authority on Arabic language and poetry, ‘Abu Sa’eed al Assma’i  (740- 831 A.D./ 121- 216 A.H.), who was asked about the meaning of the words (Een and 'Hhoor'), and replied that he did not know.  That was more than 1000 years ago, so how do less qualified people allege that they know what these words mean?  Where did the sensual interpretations come from, other than wishful thinking?  If people hadn’t been for so long propagating the single titillating misconceived ‘interpretation’ of these words, we wouldn’t have had to go to such lengths today disproving it.

·      Verse 24 (Ali/ Asad) speaks of ‘ghilmaan/غلمان’ which is plural of both ‘ghulaam (m.) and ‘ghulaamah (f.), which refers literally to ‘stimulated youths[iv].’  Some have explained this as ‘slave/servants’ while others have gone farther in their imaginations.  But the verses clearly add the words ‘of theirs/ lahum,’ indicating that they are, in fact, ‘theirs.’  Other verses help us understand who they are (HQ 56:17; 76:19), referring to them coming and going in their midst as ‘wildaanun ولدان’ which literally means ‘(born) children,’ andmukhalladoonمخلدون perpetually inclined to them, homing-in to them’ (New Readers:  Put ‘khalada’ in ‘Search this Site’).  So Verse 24 is about the people of the Garden having their own children, youths who seem to take pleasure in being around and waiting on them (something which can only take place in Heaven, don’t you think?  But ‘one-track-minded’ people color such verses with their own desires, adding to this scene what is simply not there).

When we put this (Verse 24) in context we see even more clearly that a loving family atmosphere is what it is all about.  Any one of us would like to be with loved ones in the Hereafter, and a preceding verse (Verse 21) tells us that Those who had attained faith AND any of their offspring/progeny who had in faith pursued them, their progeny shall be made to follow them, none of their deeds going unrewarded.  This verse seems to take for granted that labors of LOVE are especially rewarded, and that people you had loved and cared for in the immediate life, shall be with you in the next.

At the end of Verse 24 is an important rule (similar to HQ 74:38):
Every person is ‘hostage to’ / held in pledge for’ what he has earned.

Isn’t that statement worthy of a lo-o-o-o-n-g pause for thought, dear Reader?

3.  In Verses 26- 28 we hear a discussion taking place between people in the Garden, as some speak of their SENSITIVITYشفق   in their past life, even among their family, and recall how they used to call upon God, The True/Forthcoming, The Unceasingly Compassionate!

Verse 29 then says to the Messenger ‘Therefore: Remind!....’ adding that, by his Lord’s Grace, he is neither a soothsayer nor a madman/ possessed. 

Then, the following verses address other allegations against him, such as his being ‘a poet’ (Verse 30), or ‘an inventor/ composer’ (Verse 33).  In Verses 30-31 they (the idolaters) scoff at the prospect of awaiting judgment, but the Messenger is told to announce to them that he shall indeed be awaiting it, with them!
PAGE 525 Arabic Qur’an

4.    Verse 34 addresses the last allegation of those who belied the Messenger (where the Messenger was accused of having made this all up) by challenging them to come up with a ‘hadeeth’ like this (the Qur’an), if they are indeed truthful.

New Readers: 
This is not to be confused with what people later came to call ‘Hadeeth’ referring to the reported ‘sayings of Prophet Muhammad,’ peace upon him.  Read what we said earlier about ‘hadeeth’ (by putting in search-words).
The term ‘hadeeth’ refers to something that was no there before, is the opposite of ‘old’ or ‘qadeem,’ AND INDICATES SOMETHING THAT IS BEING ANNOUNCED IN REAL TIME (HQ 53:59; 56:81; 68:44). As we saw in HQ 39:23, the Compilation, which God has sent us, is considered ‘the best of Hadeeth.’

5.    Indeed, the entire Chapter is an ongoing challenge.  Readers of Arabic would note the eloquence in Verses 30-43 where the challenge appears 12 times marked the question ‘Or/ أم…?’ and its response:
Those who belie the Messenger are challenged by their own powerlessness to create, grant livelihood, choose their offspring, compose the future, maneuver things to their benefit, or find a god other than God.  The response is that they shall be the ones upon whom their strategies backfire!

6.    Verse 44 describes their utter incredulousness: 
Even if they were to see the sky fall in pieces, they would say it was clouds piled-up!
Verses 45-47 tell the Messenger to ‘let them be/ leave them’ (ذرهم mentioned 8 times) until they encounter the ‘day in which they shall be ‘stricken,’ when their guile/ strategies shall not avail them, nor shall they be succored.  But the Wrongdoers are then warned of suffering BEFORE that day, which most of them do not know about.

 The last two verses encourage the Messenger to patiently persevere until God’s judgment comes to pass, and to be in constant motion/ praise of his Lord when he arises, and during part of the night, and at the setting of the stars.  
(The strengthening and reinforcing power of ‘tasbeeh’ (motion in devotion) is recommended, especially during times when one feels the need for support.  In the Qur’an, سبح  is demanded of the Messenger 17 times).

Within these verses, we find the comforting statement addressed to the Messenger: ‘You are in our ‘sight/ support’ أعيننا.. ….’ This word is mentioned 3 times with regard to Prophet Noah, and once regarding Prophet Moses who, as an infant, was to be ‘formed in our sight/ support على عيني’ ….

And so this Chapter ends, its reminders echoing the call to faith which has been one and the same, from since the time of Noah, to Moses, to Muhammad, peace upon all God’s Messengers

[i] There are differing opinions on where the original mount is; renowned historians such as Kamal Salibi and Ahmad Daoud have spoken of a location thousands of miles away.  I keep an open mind and do not dwell on this at all because to me, the incident itself is what matters.

[ii] Although the Qur’an often addressed them both, the contrast was clear between the Christians and Jews: While the former seemed humble in devotion to God and in affinity with Believers in the Qur’an, the Jews seemed arrogantly hostile, and were often questioned about this.  Read HQ 5:82 in Asad’s explanation (remember Asad was a born Jew who had been versed in Rabbinical knowledge, before becoming a Believer).

[iii] This 1,000 year old definition (which I just looked up) is VERY interesting!  ‘Ignorance/Jahl’ is first posited as the opposite of ‘knowledge/’ilm,’ and then as the opposite of stability.

[iv] While the masculine singular ‘ghulaam’ is still in common usage today, Arabs have long ceased to use the feminine singular ‘ghulaamah,’ which is why the plural ‘ghilmaan’ or ‘youth’ seems to refer to males only.  We spoke about something similar when we noted that the masculine singular ‘rajul’ is still in common usage today, while Arabs have long ceased to use the feminine singular ‘rajulah,’ which is why the plural ‘rijaal’ seems to refer to males only…. despite its existence in ANY dictionary (not just the old ones).
Strangely enough, it is unlikely that an Arab student would be asked to look-up any definition in a dictionary because approved definitions are pre-written in their text-books.  This deficiency should be addressed; it should be a priority for Arabic school systems from now on.

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