Welcome Friends: Ahlan wa sahlan!
Your comments show that the central issue of yesterday’s posting is a real concern. We must look upon the Qur’anic verses as living lessons for us all, and benefit from them, especially when we see around us the very actions that the Qur’an denounces, leading us to the exact consequences it warns of.
As Muslims, we cannot say that God did not warn us of the real life consequences. As Arabs, we cannot say we did not understand.
And now, back to our text:
1. “….Do you then believe in some parts of the Divine writ and deny the truth of others..?
Humiliation and contempt IN LIFE are the consequences to such action and inaction, while on the Day of Resurrection comes the suffering most grievous. In applying this to ourselves we might understand that our present state is simply a consequence.
2. “And yet it is you who slay one another and drive some of your own people from their homeland…” History tells us that there were 2 opposing idol-worshipping Arab tribes and 3 Jewish tribes living in Yathrib (Medina) prior to Prophet Muhammad’s emigration there, peace upon him. These verses are addressed to the 3 Jewish tribes who had taken opposite sides in battle (allying themselves to opposing Arab tribes), and were therefore flagrantly inconsistent in upholding their religious Laws, unlawfully killing each other at one point, then paying each other the blood-money due according to their Law.
To see several side by side translations (Asad’s included, as well as Arabic text; Commentary is by Yusuf Ali) go to: http://www.islamitexts.org/?noar=&t=9&k=2%3A84
3. Verse 86 gives us a perspective many of us may have never thought of:
Isn’t it a sorry exchange indeed, to buy the ‘life in proximity’ (literal translation of ‘al hayat aldunya - الحياة الدنيا’* the life closest to you at this point) at the price of The Ultimate? The Ultimate Life is our final, everlasting existence, while this life is paltry in comparison (also see HQ: 6:32, 9:38).
4. Jesus, son of Mary, is mentioned in verse 87, peace upon him. He was strengthened with ‘Roohul Quds’ translated as ‘Holy Inspiration (M. Asad), or ‘the Holy Spirit’ (Y. Ali). Most scholars believe this refers to Angel Gabriel.
5. We find these verses discussing transgressions such as worshipping the calf, arrogance, not following God’s Messengers due to pride in their own learning on one hand, while killing these Messengers- which is what their Holy Book forbids- on the other. Asad explains how they do that, “all their beliefs are centered on themselves and their alleged ‘exceptional status’ in the sight of God” (footnote 74).
6. Verse 93 is similar to verse 63, in that it is about the solemn pledge (‘meethaaq,’ which Yusuf Ali translates as Covenant), given to God as they were threatened with the mountain above their heads. The mountain is not specified here, but is mentioned simply as ‘the mountain.’ Ali keeps the word (Sinai) between brackets, while Asad puts it in the body of his translation. The word Sinai appears only once in HQ: 23:20, while a similar word (Seeneen) appearing in HQ: 95:2. To keep the translation as close to the original as possible, I would prefer not to mention ‘Sinai’ in this instance.
Our reading for tomorrow is from verse 94-105.
Peace unto all!
دني: المقارَبَة. ومن ذلك الدّنِيُّ، وهو القَريب، مِن دنا يدنُو. وسُمِّيت الدُّنيا لدنوّها.*