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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.

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.'


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Day 35; HQ 3:149-157; pages 69+70

Welcome Friends:  Ahlan wa sahlan!
It’s a good idea to read up on the history (see right side-bar addition about the Battle of Uhud).


1.     In verses 149-151, just as Those who attained Faith were previously warned against obeying the People of the (earlier) Compilation (HQ3:100), here they are warned against obeying the Deniers, and the verses are clear in that, if they did, they would in fact be transformed into Losers.  HOWEVER (‘bal’ meaning: but rather) God is your Protector and He is The Best of Supporters/Patrons.  The Qur’an clearly warns the Deniers that their denial of God and their associating of other deities with Him will bring much fear and alarm into their hearts/minds.

2.     In Verses 152-154 the Qur’an recounts how God fulfilled His promise to those who attained Faith (that they would gain the upper hand), right up to the point when 40 out of 50 archers changed the course of battle by failing their comrades, disputing about the matter, and violating their command.  Then the verses quite picturesquely describe the battle-ground as well as the deepest sentiments of those soldiers who had made an error in judgment; an error with monumental repercussions.
The regret they felt was but an outcome they had brought on themselves; their brothers who were killed defending their posts were yearning for the Hereafter whereas they (now shamefully defeated) had yearned after the spoils of war … but not anymore.  Having fully appraised what they had done, they had begun to seriously suffer the psychological and physical results. But then, Verse 152 ends on a note of Forgiveness!

3.     We have often heard of the dangers of stress, but perhaps we do not realize its seriousness.  In his book ‘Ageless Body, Timeless Mind,’ Dr. Deepak Chopra explains that, although humans can withstand extraordinary stress …

…” if we are pushed too far, our stress response turns on our own bodies and begins to create breakdowns both mentally and physically. In war, which is a state of extremely heightened, continual stress, every frontline soldier will eventually go into shell shock or battle fatigue if kept under fire too long; both syndromes are signs from the body that it is exceeding its own coping mechanisms. 
Whenever you experience a stress, there are three phases to your response: (I) the stressful event; (2) your inner appraisal of it; (3) your body's reaction.

What makes the stress response so difficult to handle is that once it begins, the mind has no control over it.

Most of the time, your cells are occupied with renewal- roughly 90 percent of a cell's energy normally goes to building new proteins and manufacturing new DNA and RNA.  When the brain perceives threat, however, the process of building is set aside.  Whatever you decide to do in fight-or-flight situations, your body needs a massive burst of energy to propel your muscles.
To allow this, the normal style of metabolism that builds the body, called anabolic metabolism, converts to its opposite, catabolic metabolism, which breaks down tissues.

…As a temporary expedient, the stress response is vital, but if it is not terminated in time, the effects of catabolic metabolism are disastrous.*”

4.     Perhaps we now understand why God, in His Mercy, let descend upon the best of them the soothing mantle of slumber (أمَنة نعاساً), to be their refuge from insurmountable guilt and sorrow.  Their well-being depended on it*- so he brought it down upon them.  Sleep is indeed a wonderful refuge for the weary and the worried!
As for those who had doubted God, they had no slumber induced upon them.  They naturally remained alert, wondering why they had put themselves in the path of danger to start with.

This should also help us understand better the Verse of Dominion/Knowledge 'Ayatul Kursi' with its statement: God, there is no deity save Him, The Ever-Living, Self-Subsistent Fount of All Being, neither slumber overtakes Him nor sleep..."
He IS as He Is, The Fount of all Being- and that is all we need to know!

5.     The beauty of these verses (as many others in the Qur’an) is that they publicize the inner feelings and thoughts of someone who would much rather have had them remain private.  Just think of finding the Qur’an expose our thoughts like that!  People sometimes say, “I wish I’d lived during the Prophet’s time …” without realizing what responsibility that entails, or whether or not they would have been among his best supporters, peace upon him.

We are extremely blessed to be where we are right now, healthy enough, comfortable enough, educated enough, technologically advanced enough, to be reading this explanation of God’s words at our leisure!  How many people can say that?

6.     Verse 155 tells the Faithful that indeed, it was the Deviant (Shaytan) who caused them to stumble because of something they had earned before that on their own, and assures them that God has erased their misdeed.  M. Asad’s note 117 summarizes the Qur’anic doctrine of ‘Satan’s influence,’ that it is NOT the cause of a misdeed but the first consequence of a person’s attitude of mind in a moral crisis; ie one is first guilty by commission or omission, and then trips into the wrongdoing.  They freely chose their course of action.

God-willing, we’ll try to discuss the many Arabic words(إثم -سيئة -ذنب -خطأ-خطيئة -معصية) which are usually translated as‘sin’ in English, as well as the different words (عفو-مغفرة -تكفير -تجاوز) which are usually translated as ‘forgiveness.’  Arabic is a RICH language, and it is amazing how different these words actually are!

7.     In Verses 156-157, the Faithful are told not to say the words ‘If only...’ as related to brethren who had died.  It is God Who gives Life and Death.  Yusuf Ali’s note 469 lays out his reading of the verse.

Enough said!

Our next Reading is from HQ 3:158-173.

Peace unto all!
* Excerpted from pages 150-153: Chapter: ‘The Invisible Threat.’
*Sleep renewal, or anabolism, is at its maximum during sleep when protein synthesis helps form new cells (such as skin cells) and replaces the constituents of others (such as brain cells).

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