Welcome Friends: Ahlan wa sahlan!
1. Although Verse 80 may seem like another call to support and obey the Messenger, it is much more than that. This verse is a statement, a warning, and a solace.
· It is a general statement of fact, that any who obey and support the Messenger of God will be doing so as part of the obedience they owe God, and also that they are free to turn away from him completely- if they so choose.
· It holds a grave warning to ALL those interacting with the Messenger, that it is God Himself they will be answering to in their hidden intentions and decisions, as well as in their outward actions.
· It is a Solace to the Messenger Muhammad, peace upon him:
People obeying the Messenger would be obeying God, but whatever they choose is their own responsibility, for you are not their keeper.
How troubling it must have been for the Messenger of God, and indeed any of His Messengers, to find some people simply turning their backs on God’s Message! But the Qur’an teaches us that this is only part of the amazing diversity that is Humanity.
Readers who remember our posting of Feb 4th will note that here too, obedience is owed Muhammad in his capacity as God’s Messenger (since the title ‘Messenger’ relates to the Message itself while the title ‘Prophet’ relates to the normal everyday issues of his life, peace upon him. See Feb 4th for details).
Verse 81 continues in its discussion of Hypocrites; here their lips voice the words of obedience while they hide their true sentiments and, furthermore, devise corruptive strategies by night (Asad’s note 96 explains the word ‘baata’ -"بات") BUT God is compiling ALL they devise and attempt to hide "يكتب ما يبيتون-. (Another warning for any who listen!)
Let them be, rely on God and He will suffice.
2. Verse 82 poses a question and presents a statement of fact. WE should be fully aware of the significance of the word ‘tadabbara’ تدبّر *, which means to ‘follow through to the end result,’ realizing the consequences and full implications of something.
Do they not then ‘recognize the full implications’ of the Qur’an? For had it been from any (source) other than God they would have found in it much discrepancy.
In HQ47:24 we find the same verb:
Do they not then ‘recognize the full implications’ of the Qur’an? Or are, upon certain hearts/minds, their locks (clamping them shut)?
3. Verse 83 is about the actions of hypocrites who spread false rumor. People should verify reports that are vital to a community’s well-being by asking responsible persons. Here we are introduced to the contrast of ‘amn’ - أمنversus ‘khawf’ خوف – the opposing concepts of ‘security, or feeling of safety’ and ‘fear, or sense of alarm.’ Our realization that these two are ‘opposites’ will help us understand other verses (Tanzil: امن خوف –Do not put the ‘hamza’ (ء) on the ‘alef’ (أ) for more results).
In verse 84, the encouragement to ‘Fight then in God’s cause; you are only responsible for yourself…and inspire/rouse the Belivers’ is not an ‘incitement’ to war, as explained by Asad’s notes 101-102. The final part of the verse makes it quite clear, that they are fighting to ‘curb the Deniers might’ (Asad); to ‘restrain the Unbelievers’ fury’ (Ali).
4. Verse 85 makes us ‘shareholders’ in any deeds we facilitate, whether good or bad! M. Asad:
“Whoever rallies to a good cause shall have a share in its blessings; and whoever rallies to an evil cause shall be answerable for his part in it: for, indeed, God watches over everything.”
Yusuf Ali considers the person a ‘partner’ in the first and a sharer of ‘burden’ in the second.
5. Verse 86 is oft-quoted to show a Believer’s etiquette regarding greetings of Peace/. We should always return in kind, or better than what we are offered. The final part of the verse is one we should pay close attention to: “….indeed God Is of everything, One Who Holds to Account حسيبا! According to Muhammad Asad:
“Lit., "greet with better than it, or return it". In the above context, this obviously refers to an offer of peace by people with whom the believers are at war as well as to individual persons who, while possibly belonging to the enemy, have, to all outward appearances, peaceful intentions. In accordance with the injunctions, "if they incline to peace, incline thou to it as well" (8:61), and "if they desist (from fighting), then all hostility shall cease" (2:193), the believers are obliged to make peace with an enemy who makes it clear that he wants to come to an equitable understanding; similarly, they must show every consideration to individual persons from among the enemies who do not actively participate in the hostilities (see also verse 94 of this surah).(Quran Ref: 4:86)”
6. Verse 87: “Allah, no god but He” is an affirmation we are already familiar with (HQ2:255; 3:2).
Copy-paste "الله لا إله إلا هو" (with quotes) if you wish to read them all in Tanzil (click topmost image).
Read Posting of Jan 2nd: “Allah is NOT an uncommon word for God.”
The latter part of verse 87 asks: “…and who is more truthful of ‘Hadeeth’ than God?
Although we mostly relate the word ‘Hadeeth’ to Prophet Muhammad’s Sayings, peace upon him, the word means something ‘that was not there before, *’ and is the opposite of ‘old’ or قديم ‘qadeem.’ It also means something that is being announced in real time "خبر" In this context it refers to the Qur’an as being the latest communication from God. In that context we can take the Prophet’s Hadeeth to be his communication.
See the verses which mention the Qur’an as the ‘best’ of Hadeeth (HQ39:23) أحسن الحديث, or ‘this Hadeeth هذا الحديث (HQ18:6; 53:59; 56:81; 68:44).
7. Verses 88-89-90 continue to discuss the Hypocrites: Beginning with, the Believers’ futile hopes that such persons would ultimately join their ranks, to the fact that such persons’ aim is to make the Believers deny God and His Messenger (just as they themselves have done), to the fact that such persons would never join the ranks of the Believers until they have made a decision of conscience to ‘forsake’ their old ideology and ways, which Asad calls ‘forsaking the domain of evil,’ to the result that IF they ultimately do revert to open enmity, Believers can put a firm stop to them, even if it entails the death penalty…unless: UNLESS they are attached to a community with whom the Believers have a covenant or peaceful agreement, or they are reluctant to fight … so if they abstain from fighting and offer Peace, God does NOT give Believers any way against them (does not allow them to harm them).
As we might remember, parts of these verses are also taken out of context (“..slay them wherever you may find them”..), to validate a mindset that goes against the ever-present thread of Justice that flows through the entire Qur’an!
Our next Reading is from HQ4:91-101.
(دبر) هو آخِر الشَّيء وخَلْفُه خلافُ قُبُلِه... والتدبير: أنْ يُدبِّر الإنسانُ أمرَه، وذلك أنَّه يَنظُر إلى ما تصير عاقبتُه وآخرُه، وهو دُبُره.
(حدث) معجم المقاييس: كونُ الشيء لم يكُنْ. يقال حدثَ أمرٌ بَعْد أن لم يكُن. والرجُل الحَدَثُ: الطريُّ السّن. والحديثُ مِنْ هذا؛ لأنّه كلامٌ يحْدُثُ منه الشيءُ بعدَ الشيء.
لسان العرب: الحَدِيثُ: نقيضُ القديم. والحُدُوث: نقيضُ القُدْمةِ. حَدَثَ الشيءُ يَحْدُثُ حُدُوثاً وحَداثةً،وأَحْدَثه هو، فهو مُحْدَثٌ وحَديث، وكذلك اسْتَحدثه. والحديثُ: الجديدُ من الأَشياء. والحديث: الخَبَرُ يأْتي على القليل والكثير، والجمع: أَحاديثُ.