CLICK IMAGE: Tanzil Website

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!


Image: 14th C. Qur'an, Mamluk origin, Library of Congress; Rights obtained.

A BREAKTHROUGH project which helps understand the Qur'an AS REVEALED -not just 'as explained.'


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Day 13; HQ 2: 164-176; pages 25+26.

Welcome Friends:  Ahlan wa sahlan!
First, a Follow-up to yesterday's reading: 
In verse 150 we noticed two different explanations to an important concept: that of a person's 'khashyah’ خشية- towards God; translated by Yusuf Ali as 'fear' and by Muhammad Asad as 'stand in awe.'  The latter is correct- it is Awe, not Fear.  Although the word 'fear' (khawf- خوف) sometimes does appear in the Qur'an, it is in a different context.  It is important to realize the distinction because Fear  is urgent, threatening, and debilitating.  Fear (خوف) is unpleasant.  When in Awe, on the other hand, we exalt Whom we are in awe of; we seek His acceptance and desire closeness to Him.  We also Love Him.  There is pleasure in Awe (خشية).

With each day’s Reading we think even more deeply about ourselves and realize how far we have strayed from this beautiful Message to Humanity.  As Cognizant Humans, we should have recognized its value.  As Muslims, we should have made more of an effort to follow its guidance and values.  As Arabs, we should have understood it better and projected the correct set of priorities.
It is up to any Cognizant Human who truly cares about the well-being of Humanity to set the record straight.  Misunderstanding the Qur’an is a major cause of many of today’s troubles.

1.   Today’s Reading starts with a beautiful verse which tells us about creation, ending with the statement: .. “in this are ayaat, ‘Messages/Signs,’ for people who ya’qiloon ‘use their reason/that are wise’ (Asad & Ali respectively).
The argument is that people who use their intellect should recognize The Creator in all that is around them, for everything in creation is but an indicator to Him.  Indeed, it is He Whom the Faithful love above all else, whereas others would perhaps love other creatures or concepts they set up and consider equal to God.  This verse tells us indirectly that the Faithful are those who love God to such extent after having, in fact, recognized Him on many levels including the intellectual.

2.   Verses 166-167 offer a glimpse into a likely argument between two parties, each seeking to absolve itself of responsibility: the ‘followers’ and the ‘followed.’  But this scene takes place when it is too late to make amends, when the most bitter fruit of their deeds, is Regret.

3.   Verse 168 begins with a call: ‘O Cognizant Humans!’ (Naas: see post of Jan.2nd, Comment 5).  Here, God calls upon all of us, not just the Faithful, welcoming us to partake of what is on earth, unbound and wholesome, and not to get carried away, partaking of that which is harmful.   
Both Asad and Ali translate ‘Halal’ as Lawful, but in this instance I prefer the word ‘unbound’ with its wider connotation, seeing that ‘Halal’ comes from ‘halla’ a root verb which means ‘to undo, to unbind.*’ Their translation is correct too, for when something is ‘lawful’ it is indeed unbound by law, but I prefer the term ‘unbound’ because the call is for Humanity at large, preceding their laws, and furthermore, laws do differ from one community to another.

4.   Verses 168-169 refer to an important subject, discussed by M. Asad in footnote no. 137:
Even today, it is common for certain people (whom some call ‘scholars’) to use subjective self-serving arguments in disregard of the original meaning of words in their Holy Book, to put forward certain injunctions and call them ‘God’s ordinances.’  This has happened throughout history, wherever injustice and aggression paraded itself as a ‘Divine Law.’  It has happened wherever devotees serving a narrow ideology resorted to indiscriminate killing of innocents, saying it is 'in the name of ....".  It has happened in all faiths (less in Islam than others) with glaring examples committed by people who believe themselves ‘chosen’ for these ‘divine missions’.  But despite that, as Believers, we should be more discerning of what is truly in the Qur’an and bring that knowledge to areas of ignorance, and we should be vigilant and outspoken against all trespasses committed in God's Name. 

5.   Verses 170-171 reproach those who blindly follow their forefathers, and those who hear without actually listening or using reason.

6.   Verses 172-173, unlike Verse 168, call upon the Faithful, telling us to partake of the wholesome bounty He has provided for us, and then giving us a shortlist of prohibitions.  These prohibitions may be approached only in a Believer’s dire need, without a desire or an intention to consume more than a minimum requirement.

7.   Verses 174-176 discuss those who suppress what God has revealed in their Book.  Here the Qur’an tells us that they have taken error in exchange for guidance and suffering in exchange for forgiveness. 
The last part is a statement regarding this Kitaab, or Compilation. It is sent down in Truth, and those who are set against it are most deeply in the wrong.
Asad calls it “Divine Writ”- Ali calls it “Book,”  but I prefer to translate it as Compilation, from the root verb ‘ka ta ba’ to compile or put together to form a unit (kitaab).* 
This distinction is very important: The Revelation has always been a ‘Kitaab’ compiled in memory.  It was not made into a ‘Book,’ compiled on paper until much later.  The Revelation we read online today is NOT a book.  Neither is what we hear on the radio or what is on CD or DVD.  These are all ‘compilations.’ 

Enough said!

Our reading for tomorrow is from verse 177-186.

Peace unto all.

* حل: لـه فروع كثيرة ومسائلُ، وأصلها كلُّها عندي فَتْح الشيء، لا يشذُّ عنه شيء.  يقال حلَلْتُ العُقدةَ أحُلُّها حَلاًّ. والحلال: ضِدُّ الحرام، وهو من الأصل الذي ذكرناهُ، كأنه من حَلَلْتُ الشيء، إذا أبحْتَه وأوسعته لأمرٍ فيه."
 *كتب: يدلُّ على جمع شيءٍ إلى شيءٍ. من ذلك الكِتَابُ والكتابة... ومن الباب كتائب الخيل."

Unless otherwise specified, all definitions are from our 10th C. Lexicon by Ibn Fares.

Let's TWEET this!

Tweet me!