Welcome Friends: Ahlan wa sahlan!
Today we can look back at the Chapter of ‘Nisaa’ and say, “We’ve done that!” Many who worked hard at it, will heave a loooong sigh of relief…Thank God! Although there still is a lot to go through, many of the basic concepts and subject matters that make up this compilation have already been dealt with. This makes our future studies so much easier.
I urge newcomers to put in the search-box (at top right) whatever word they would like to read about in past Postings.
I would also like to express my deep appreciation to all our wonderful Readers, and especially to those of you who comment, and provide us all with daily incentives.
So come on dear Readers, let’s wrap-up its final verses and embark on another journey together!
1. Today’s Reading continues its discussion of earlier Prophets, addressing the People of (earlier) Compilation, namely the Christians this time, asking them not to ‘commit excesses in their religion/overstep the bounds of truth in their religious beliefs’ (Ali/Asad) by making the Messenger of God, Jesus, into something that he is not.
As our Readers might know, we always translate the word ‘Deen’ into ‘Standard of Accountability,’ seeing that the term ‘religion’ actually relates to man-made indoctrination (each of us has one unique standard of ‘accountability’ to which we measure up (put ‘deen’ in search-box for definition and info).
2. It is important to note that belief in the ‘Trinity,’ or that Jesus is ‘Son of God’ was already part of certain Christians’ belief when these verses were revealed, yet the Qur’an called them all ‘People of the Compilation.’ When certain Muslims call Christians ‘heretics’ or ‘infidels,’ it is out of ignorance in their Qur'an, for the Qur’an does not make such a sweeping statement about them, nor does it list such persons under the title of ‘Deniers’ كفار. Qur’anic terminology is precise; it mentions the denial of such persons as a VERB, saying that those ‘who say God is Jesus have indeed denied’ كفروا (HQ5:17, 72).
Some might ask, “What’s the difference?” Try it on yourself: what is the difference between calling all your children ‘unintelligent, or stupid, or imbeciles’ or addressing one of them who has ‘done something stupid?’ Unwarranted labels are not only wrong, prejudicial, and incite general revulsion, they also hold the accused in a mental box of our own making, which renders their future growth and improvement worthless to us -and sometimes to them as well (in family relationships, we should NEVER use labels unless we want them to come true. Labeling is what psychologists call ‘self-fulfilling prophecies!’).
And so, verses 171-172 discuss Jesus, peace upon him, stating that he is God’s worshipper, as are the angels, and that God shall gather unto Himself all who are too arrogant to worship Him.
3. Verse 173 shows us the contrasting pictures of the recompense of those who have Faith and do good deeds, versus those who are too arrogant (to worship God). This also tells us that worshipping God is by means of Faith AND good deeds.
4. Verses 174-175 call upon Mankind in general, ‘Naas,’ drawing their attention to this Evidence from their Lord, the manifest Illumination that is this Qur’an. Those who attain Faith and hold fast onto God, He will enfold within His Grace and guide to a Straight Path.
5. The final verse in the Chapter of Nisaa is about inheritance when the deceased leaves behind no direct heir… and ends by saying that God makes these matters clear lest we go astray, for God is of all things Knowing.
Today we begin the fifth chapter of the Qur’an, The ‘Repast/Table-spread’ (Ali/Asad), so named after Jesus’ Last Supper.
6. Our new Chapter starts by calling all Believers “O you who have attained Faith,” telling them to fully comply with and honor their contracts. According to Yusuf Ali and Muhammad Asad: “fulfill (all) Obligations/be true to your covenants..”… and the verse continues by saying that all hoofed animals (cattle and similar herbivores) are lawful for them to eat of, except for what will be (later) mentioned. The verse seems to indicate that, due to the abundance of such lifestock, worshippers need not infringe upon their state of ‘Ihraam’ and resort to hunting.
Note: This is because, as soon as a worshipper has made the intention and begun the journey for (lesser or greater) Pilgrimage, (s)he is in a state of ‘Ihraam,’ a state of worship in which many common acts of daily life are not permitted, one of which is hunting.
(Muhammad Asad refers us to his notes and translations of verses 94-96 of this Chapter.)
The first verse ends with the statement: “Indeed God ordains يحكم what He wills.
7. The second verse again calls on all Believers, telling them more specifically this time NOT to infringe upon God’s ‘Pilgrimage-Symbols,’ nor the sacred month (of Pilgrimage) nor the garlanded-offerings (the cattle brought for slaughter, their meat distributed to the poor), nor the people who flock to the Inviolable House seeking the bounty and good pleasure of their Lord, and that when one has completed the pilgrimage, one can resort to hunting.
The last command in this verse is one we should be fully aware of, that believers should not let Resentment (felt against someone who has barred them from the Inviolable Mosque) lead to aggression on their part, and quite specifically, that Believers should be SUPPORTIVE of one another in the Hastening of goodness البر and in Awareness التقوى, and NON-SUPPORTIVE of one another in Hindrance الإثم and Aggression العدوان. Finally, Believers are called upon to be aware of God, for God is indeed severe in meting out retribution!
Dear Readers: I will not comment on the last few sentences nor will I post the definitions today. We’ll do so together next time, God-willing.
Meanwhile, please reread the last paragraph yourself, think of it, and SEND COMMENTS. I will tell you why I am asking you to do so later. You'll love my reasons!
Have a Blessed Weekend!
Our next Reading is from HQ5: 3-8.
Our next Reading is from HQ5: 3-8.