Welcome Friends: Ahlan wa sahlan!
In yesterday’s Reading we dealt briefly with important Qur’anic concepts that DO deserve more scrutiny, most important among them is the difference between concept of ‘tahreem- تحريم’ or ‘prohibition,’ and other commands, so we’ll try to recap before we comment on today’s reading.
RECAP & COMMENTS:
1. We often hear people offering reasons for the ‘tahreem/prohibition’ of Pork and certain meats, but what many of us do not realize, is that obedience to ‘tahreem’ IS in itself an act of worship that enhances our Awareness and does NOT require any further explanation or ‘raison d’être’. You either believe and observe, or you don’t (as in the rites of Fasting, for example). Indeed the most important distinction between what is ‘Ithm’ and what is ‘muharram/forbidden’ is that, in the latter, there is no argument.
2. In comparison, we will notice that, in the case of ‘khamr/intoxicants/drugs’ and ‘meyssir/easy gain, the Qur’an gives us reasons. It tells us that, although there is some advantage to them, the disadvantages of their ‘Ithm’ outweigh the advantages. It tells us that these practices result in aggression and hatred (HQ 5:90), and prevent us from the remembrance of God and from maintaining proper relationships with each other, and with Him (the root-verb of ‘Salaat’ is ‘silah’ or connection/relationship). The Qur’an also tells us that we would be following the footsteps of ‘Satan,’ perhaps warning us that ‘khamr’ (which we should steer clear of) is not unlike the tree which Adam was told not to approach.
3. Finally, we must highlight a General Qur’anic Principle:
God, throughout this Message - delivered by His Messenger (S)- has indeed sanctioned for humanity all of that which is wholesome (الطيبات), and has forbidden us only from that which is foul.. (الخبائث) as stated in HQ 7:157. This is highlighted in the Qur'an as a general guideline, one which should ease the burden which followers of previous Revelations have incurred (especially the Jews: HQ 3:50; 3:93; 6:146). In fact, this 'sanctioning' of what was previously 'forbidden,' and the guiding-back to the Divine Message, were also the integral part of Jesus' mission, peace upon him! We have not forgotten what we read earlier (HQ 2:185): God intends for us ease, not hardship.
4. Verse 220 is about treatment of orphans. Kindness and generosity with them is often mentioned in the Qur’an (it’s been mentioned 3 times so far: 2:83; 2:177; 2:215).
5. It is more likely that verse (HQ 2:221), like so many others in the Qur’an, addresses the Muslim community of men and women, rather than men alone, as is commonly understood. Indeed, there is a valid reading of the words (تنكحوا المشركات) as ‘tunkihu’(تُنْكِحوا) -meaning to marry off these women, rather than to marry them yourselves- which supports this broader understanding of the verse (as explained by Zamakhshari).
6. The remaining verses are about the spousal relationship, well-explained by Yusuf Ali and Muhammad Asad, and the subject continues in tomorrow’s reading.
7. Verses 224-226 relate to oaths and means for atonement, while Verses 227-230 relate to divorce. The discussion continues tomorrow.
Tomorrow’s reading is from verse 231-237.