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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.

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


Friday, January 15, 2010

Day 14; HQ 2: 177-186; pages 27+28.

Welcome Friends:  Ahlan wa sahlan!

Some of our friends needed the Arabic keyboard!  It's a big help, and now you can type your search-words in the 'Tanzil' site to find any word in Qur'an, as well as the Lexicon.... and Google!
Don't forget to click that you've read the post.  I noticed the low numbers of readers as compared to the much higher traffic to the site. 


1.      In revisiting the topic of Qiblah, we understand in Verse 177 that the direction of prayer has nothing to do with sincerity (of faith Arabic: ‘Bir.’ Muhammad Asad calls it ‘Piety,’ while Yusuf Ali calls it ‘Righteousness’.  ‘Bir’ from the root-verb ‘barra’ means being genuine, forthcoming, true to oneself and others*). 

And then the verse continues, telling us EXACTLY what Sincerity or Genuineness entails; listing beliefs, acts of benevolence and worship, character traits such as trustworthiness and perseverance …ending with the statement that SUCH are the those who indeed proved themselves true, and such are the Aware.

It is important that we look closely at this list and try to make ‘Bir’ our way of life.

2.      M. Asad’s note 146 is important, discussing freeing a person of ‘bondage.’  The words ‘fil riqaab’ denotes a yoke around one’s neck, which means that we should help to free others of the yokes that impede their full functioning, including debts.

3.      Verses 178-179 call upon the Faithful to seek justice in retribution.  M. Asad’s explanation (foot-notes 147,148) are lengthy but worth reading as he offers a non-traditional explanation.  Since this is the first time we discuss ‘human bondage,’ it might be a good idea to stress the fact that slavery was a historical reality all over the world at the time.  The Old Testament discusses this in many verses, among which  are Leviticus 25:44, 46 (King James Version):

“Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids. And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever…” end quote from Old Testament.

At any rate, Faith means freedom, dignity, and the betterment of society which necessitates ensuring the well-being of all its members.  The Qur’anic Message as well as its Messenger, peace upon him, encouraged people to free, rather than to own ‘abeed,’ or ‘slaves,’ and several ways to do so were put forth even as cautionary measures were put in place to create a conflict between ownership and morality until this abhorrent practice gradually disappeared.  Nevertheless, it is important to always be vigilant about this issue; there still are other forms of human-trafficking taking place around the world.

4.      Verses 180-182 discuss Death, and the necessity, for those who are wealthy, to bequeath a Will to the next of kin.

5.      In Verse 183 the Faithful are called upon to fast ‘just as those before you were ordained to do, so that you might be Aware.’  This indicates that fasting has always been an act of worship, its purpose being to enhance a worshipper’s awareness.  The Qur’an mentions the fasting of Mary in HQ: 19:26, which God instructed her to do after the birth of Jesus, both as an act of worship and a defense-strategy.  When she indicated she was fasting and did not respond to her people’s questions regarding the newborn, it was the infant Jesus who announced himself, thus absolving his mother of blame, and ensuring people’s acceptance of his birth and future mission as Messenger of God:  

"So eat and drink and comfort yourself )cool your eye). And if you were to see any among mankind after that say, 'I have vowed a fast to The Creator and will not speak today with any Person."

Fasting is prescribed only for healthy, post-puberty individuals who are not travelling.  Travelers and anyone with a temporary health setback must not fast, but should make up for the days they’ve missed when possible.  There are several explanations to 185; read Muhammad Asad’s comments 156, 157.

6.     The month of Ramadan is to be fasted, in honor of it being the time when the Qur’an was sent for the benefit of Cognizant Humans, to provide them with Guidance and Evidence, and the Standard by which truth and falsehood are to be judged.

It is believed that the entire Qur’an was delivered into Being, from its Divine Source, its Pure Origin, in Ramadan.  This delivery into Being rendered it an ‘Arabic’ Qur’an, fit to be transported to, and understood by, Humanity HQ:43:1-3:

“Ha-Mim (1) By the Compilation that makes things clear,- (2) We have rendered it an Arabic Qur'an, that ye may be able to understand (secure comprehension). (3) And verily, it is in the Mother of the Book, in Our Presence, high (in dignity), full of wisdom.”

It is also believed that the first verses ‘Iqra’!’ were revealed to the Messenger Muhammad peace upon him, in Ramadan 610 A.D.  Thereafter, the Qur’an was revealed little by little, in verses and chapters, during a period of 23 years until the Message was complete. 

2.      Verse 186 is a beautiful statement in which God begins by telling His Messenger:  “And if my worshippers* (Ibaad) ask you about me:  I am indeed near…”  Commentators have pointed out that God’s nearness to us forgo His mentioning the words ‘tell them' I am near.., and in fact, He tells us Himself.  Let us ask of Him directly; He will respond.

Enough said!

May we all have a Blessed Weekend.

Our next reading is from verse 187-196.

Peace unto all.


*برّ: الصدق: صدَق فلانٌ وبَرَّ، وبَرَّتْ يمينُه صدَقت، وأَبَرَّها أمضاها على الصِّدق. وتقول: بَرَّ الله حَجَّك وأَبَرَّهُ، وحِجَّةٌ مَبْرُورة، أي قُبِلَتْ قَبولَ العملِ الصَّادق. ومن ذلك قولهم يَبَرُّ ربَّه أي يُطيِعه. وهو من الصِّدق.....ومنه قول الله تعالى: {لَيْسَ البِرَّ أَنْ تُوَلُّوا وُجُوهَكُمْ قِبَلَ المَشْرِقِ والمَغْرِبِ} [البقرة 177]. ومن هذا الباب قولهم: هو يَبَرُّ ذا قرَابته، وأصله الصِّدق في المحبّة. يقال رجل بَرٌّ وبارٌّ. وبرِرْت والدي وبرِرْتُ في يميني. وأبَرَّ الرّجُلُ ولَدَ أولاداً أبْرَاراً. قال ابنُ الأعرابيّ: سألتُ أعرابيّاً: هل تعرفُ الجوادَ المُبِرّ من البطيء .....؟

 *‘Ibaad’ is not the same as ‘abeed.’ The first means worshippers, the second means slave/servants.

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