I hope you had a lovely weekend; I know I enjoyed mine, AND had time to add a few more tools:
• ‘SEARCH’ our entire site for a word or topic.
• Arabic LEXICON ‘Mu’jam Maqayeesil Lugha,’ compiled more than 1,000 years ago.
• REACTION at the end of each post so we know how many READERS we are.
• POLL at the very bottom of the page for quick multiple-choice opinions.
PLEASE use the ‘Reaction’ whenever you read something. Just click on: “I just read this post.” Encourage us and help make this a better page for everyone; it is YOUR project after all.
And now, we’re back on track, always remembering our M.O., Prophet Muhammad's saying, peace upon him:
'The Believers most ideal in their faith are those of the best demeanor."
أكمل المؤمنين إيماناً أحاسنهم أخلاقاً"”
1. These verses continue to be addressed to those ‘Who have attained to Faith’: H.Q. 2: 106:
"None of our Signs do We ‘nansakh’ or ‘nunsi’ but We bring forth one superior or equal to it.”
Nansakh is commonly taken to mean ‘abrogate or annul’ and ‘nunsi’ is taken to mean “cause to be forgotten- assign to oblivion” (Y. Ali & Asad, respectively). A most important matter in practiced Islam ensued from scholars’ reading of this verse, a system they proposed called, ‘Naasekh wa Mansookh,’ in which one Qur’anic verse appearing at a later date cancels or ‘abrogates’ another verse which appeared at an earlier date. According to them, the word ‘aya’ applies here to Qur’anic verses, and therefore it is the earlier Qur’anic verses which are rendered obsolete in practice- although still valid for recital- when another verse appears with directives on the same topic.
Both Yusuf Ali and Asad disagree, seeing that ‘Aya’ means ‘Sign,’ and that any real abrogation can only be related to a later Message (as in the entire Qur’an) abrogating an earlier Message (as in the Torah). Therefore, Revelation being progressive, each Message is an update to its predecessor. Asad explains his findings on abrogation, footnote 87:
“Apart from the fancifulness of such an assertion….. there does not exist a single reliable Tradition to the effect that the Prophet ever declared a verse of the Qur’an to be abrogated.”
This is not only an interesting topic (read Asad’s full note) but it deserves the attention of today’s scholars simply because it is at the root of many of our problems. So many verses advocating kindness and forgiveness of other peoples have been considered by some to be ‘abrogated- annulled-inapplicable,’ and have in effect been supplanted (in some Muslim AND non-Muslim minds) by other, narrowly explained verses which seem to sound a call to arms and aggression against others.
As for the meanings of these two words, Lexicons (see below) tell us that ‘nansakh’ from the root-verb ‘na sa kha’ could mean abrogate, but another meaning is ‘copy,’ or ‘record.’ Any Arab today would tell you that a ‘nuskha’ is a ‘copy’ of something. Actually, Arab children in some countries used to call their copybook ‘daftar nasekh.’ The Qur’anic verse 45:29 gives that facet of the word’s meaning:
“This Our record speaks of you in all truth: for, verily, We have caused to be recorded all that you ever did!” (29)
As for ‘nunsi,’ its root verb has two connotations: ‘to disregard’ (with intent or due to forgetfulness) AND ‘to postpone.’ See verses 32:14; 45:34 in which the Qur’an refers to God’s disregard -in the Hereafter- of people who disregarded that lasting stage in their own existence.
2. The latter part of verse 109 is one of the examples of verses considered ‘abrogated’ by some. What a pity it is that some people consider such beautiful concepts null and void! According to Asad:
‘..there is no unanimity whatsoever among upholders of the doctrine of abrogation as to which and how many Qur’an verses have been affected by it..” Read his full comment no. 87.
Anyway, regardless of people’s conflicting opinions, Forgiveness is ALWAYS highly commended in the Qur’an.
3. Asad interprets Zakat as ‘purifying dues’ in Verse 110, true to its linguistic definition.
4. Verse112 is explained, that by submitting one’s whole ‘Being’ or ‘Self’ (Asad, Ali respectively) WHILST doing good deeds, people shall have no fear nor shall they grieve.
Taking into consideration the fact that the word ‘wajh’ means ‘direction’ (not simply ‘face’) – and the word ‘Ihsaan’ is mentioned in the Qur’an as the topmost of one’s acts of voluntary goodness, I believe that:
People of Faith are given their BEARINGS in this verse: Whoever focuses direction purely towards God, while performing deeds of goodness that surpass the call of duty, their reward is with their Lord and no fear shall be brought upon them nor shall they grieve. What a beautiful and inclusive message!
It would be wonderful if we could emulate the spirit of Prophet Muhammad’s actions; one example is described in Asad’s footnote 95, when the Prophet, peace upon him, welcomed the Christians of Najran to celebrate their religious rites in his mosque. We are in dire need of such tolerance today.
5. In verse 116 we read of people who follow a certain revelation not believing in another, despite actually reciting the same Scripture. This reminds me of one thing I always felt that people of other faiths should know: The Qur’an mentions Moses by name -and with reverence- in no less than 136 verses, and mentions Jesus, son of the Virgin Mary, in 25 of its verses, discussing their lives and teachings in many more. How could a believing Jew or Christian -while knowing those facts- disrespect this Scripture?
6. Verse 118 asserts that people 'who have no knowledge' are of similar ‘qulub’- ie., they are ‘like-minded’ (remember when we said that Qalb means mind?)
7. “To Him is due the primal origin of the heavens and the earth” (Ali). “The Originator is He of the heavens and the earth…” verse 117. Beautiful translation; Glory to Him.
Our reading for tomorrow is from verse 120-134.
Peace unto all!
من لسان العرب:النَّسْخ: "اكتتابك كتاباً عن كتاب حرفاً بحرف، والأَصل نُسخةٌ، والمكتوب عنه نُسخة لأَنه قام مقامه، والكاتب ناسخ ومنتسخ.
• فالنسخ: نقل الشيء من مكان إِلى مكان وهو هو؛ قال أَبو عمرو: حضرت أَبا العباس يوماً فجاء رجل معه كتاب الصلاة في سطر حرّ والسطر الآخر بياض، فقال لثعلب: إِذا حولت هذا الكتاب إِلى الجانب الآخر أَيهما كتاب الصلاة؟ فقال ثعلب: كلاهما جميعاً كتاب الصلاة، لا هذا أَولى به من هذا ولا هذا أَولى به من هذا.
والاستنساخ: كتب كتاب من كتاب؛ وفي التنزيل: إِنا كنا نستنسخ ما كنتم تعملون.
• والنَّسْخ: إِبطال الشيء وإِقامة آخر مقامه؛ وفي التنزيل: ما نَنسخْ من آية أَو نُنسها نأْت بخير منها أَو مثلها..."
من معجم المقاييس في اللغة:
نسي: أصلان صحيحان: يدلُّ أحدهما على إغفال الشيء، والثاني على تَرْك شيء.