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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!


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


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Day 56; HQ5: 18-31, pages 111+112

Welcome Friends:  Ahlan wa sahlan!
1.  The first verse in today’s Reading starts out by responding to the allegation, “We are God’s children and His beloved!”  Made at the time by Jews and Christians, it is also applicable to anyone who might have the same inflated opinion of themselves.
The Qur’an tells Prophet Muhammad, peace upon him, to respond by asking: "Then why does He make you suffer for your misdeeds?  No, you are human beings of His creating.  He forgives whom He wills and causes to suffer for their wrongs whom He wills, and to God belongs the dominion of Heavens and Earth and all in between and to Him is the End."

2.   In Verse 19 comes the second of five calls in this Chapter, ‘The Repast’: 
“O People of the (earlier) Compilation!”
God calls upon them here saying that His Messenger has come to them -after an interval without messengers- to counter any argument they might have made to the effect that they received neither a Bearer of glad tidings nor a Warner.

3.  Verses 20-21 return us to Moses and his trials with his people, first introduced in this chapter (The Repast) in verses 12-13.   Here, Moses, peace upon him, reminds them of God’s favor in that he raised up from amongst them Prophets and independent Rulers, and granted them (at the time) what none other on earth had been granted.  He tells them to enter the Holy Land which God has ’kataba’ ‘brought together’ for them.  Understanding these words is very important, especially with all that is going on politically today, and which we shall do our best NOT to discuss.

In relation to the word ‘kataba’ in this verse, we remember that ‘Kataba’ means to bring parts together (to compile) to form a unit, or ‘Kitaab.’ 

However, it is important to know that, with regard to people, God either ‘compiles/puts together’ something ‘UPONعليكم - ’ them, OR ‘puts together’ ‘FOR- لكم’ them. 
·   When it is ‘upon’ someone, it usually is a unit of accountability/responsibility, as in fasting the month of Ramadan (see Tanzil: "كتب عليكم"). 
·   When it is ‘for’ someone, it is a unit of exemption/privilege, as in spouses being granted the privilege of enjoying marital relations in Ramadan solely during the night (see in Tanzil: "كتب الله لكم" which will show you that this expression appears only twice in the Qur’an, in HQ2:187, and here in 5:21).

As understood therefore, God had ‘put together’ FOR them everything leading up to their acquisition of the land, which would be theirs as a privilege should they do their part in following His direction and accessing it.  Y. Ali and M. Asad translate: God has ‘assigned for you/God has promised you,’ respectively.   Besides being laden with Biblical connotation to which the Qur’an does NOT concur, ‘Promised’ is an inaccurate translation!
'Promised' in Arabic is 'wa'ada'- وَعَدَ- as we saw in yesterday's Posting, verse 9.  Although Muhammad Asad translated it correctly then, in today's posting he mistranslated it.  I cannot repeat often enough:  Translation that is true to the original is CRUCIAL in correctly understanding Qur'anic intent!  
On a lighter note, let us keep in mind the meaning of the word 'kataba', and read the following from HQ9:50-51, in context.  Please note the beauty of what the second verse indicates.  Many of us traditionally take this verse negatively- notice how positive it really is!

“If Good befalls you (O Muhammad) it grieves them, but if Misfortune befalls you they say, we have already taken our precautions, and they turn away rejoicing. (50)
Say: Nothing will ever befall us except what God has compiled/brought together FOR us; He is our Protector, and on God should the Faithful rely” (51)
إِن تُصِبْكَ حَسَنَةٌ تَسُؤْهُمْ ۖ وَإِن تُصِبْكَ مُصِيبَةٌ يَقُولُوا قَدْ أَخَذْنَا أَمْرَنَا مِن قَبْلُ وَيَتَوَلَّوا وَّهُمْ فَرِحُونَ ﴿٥٠﴾
قُل لَّن يُصِيبَنَا إِلَّا مَا كَتَبَ اللَّـهُ لَنَا هُوَ مَوْلَانَا ۚ وَعَلَى اللَّـهِ فَلْيَتَوَكَّلِ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ ﴿٥١﴾

4.  Verses 22-26 discuss Moses’ trial with his people, their general reluctance to follow his command, despite being encouraged to rely on God by a few people of knowledge amongst them.  We then hear their famous exclamation:
“..Go forth, you and your Lord and fight (both of you).  We shall right here stay (put).”

Verse 25 tells us of Moses’ frustration, and his prayer to be relieved of his people.  Verse 26 tells us how their entry into that land, which could have been straightforward, was forbidden them as a result of their disobedience, and they wandered across the earth for 40 years.

5.  In Verses 27-29 God commands Prophet Muhammad, peace upon him, to tell the People of (earlier) Compilation the story of the two sons of Adam (who are unnamed in the Qur’an, but whom most call: Cain and Abel).  This is considered the first-ever murder among humans, brought about as a result of jealousy.  Both brothers had offered sacrifices, but only the sacrifice of one brother (Abel) was accepted. 
When ‘Cain’ threatened to kill ‘Abel,’ the latter explained that God only accepts the deeds/offerings of the Aware. 
This is, by the way, a valid statement we should all remember!  It also affirms the concept that our awareness is what validates our deeds/offerings in God’s Sight (HQ22:37):

Neither their meat nor their blood will reach God, but indeed what will reach Him is the Awareness on your part: He has thus made them subject to you, that ye may glorify God for His Guidance to you and proclaim the good news to all who do deeds of goodness. (37)
لن يَنَالَ اللَّـهَ لُحُومُهَا وَلَا دِمَاؤُهَا وَلَـٰكِن يَنَالُهُ التَّقْوَىٰ مِنكُمْ ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ سَخَّرَهَا لَكُمْ لِتُكَبِّرُوا اللَّـهَ عَلَىٰ مَا هَدَاكُمْ  وَبَشِّرِ الْمُحْسِنِينَ ﴿٣٧﴾

6.  The Aware says that, even in self-defense, he would not extend his arm towards his brother, the Aggressor, for he fears God, the Lord of the Worlds.  He also warns him of what his aggression would incur; the Aggressor would have to bear the failings of both, and become a companion of the Fire, for that is the reward of the Wrongdoers.
This verse seems to indicate that any Aggressor who kills someone else would thus be rewarded, bearing the failings, the sins, of both.  The victim on the other hand, having suffered the gravest injustice, would be absolved of all his.  See Yusuf Ali’s note 732, Muhammad Asad’s note 36.

7.  The final part of our Reading, verses 30-31 tell us that the Aggressor did, in fact, kill his brother, and became one of the Losers.  Only when God sent a raven, scraping the earth to show the Aggressor how to conceal the vulnerability 'saw'ah' سوءة of his brother, did he fully realize what he had done.  He cried out woefully, realizing how debilitated he had been (and possibly that his jealousy had blinded his better instincts), in comparison to the raven who had shown him what to do.  He became one of the Remorseful.
If, dear Readers, you are wondering why I am calling them ‘the Aggressor’ and ‘the Aware,’ think ‘definitions’- 'Taqwa' التقوى  IS, after all, the opposite of 'Udwaan' العدوان !

Enough said!
Our next Reading is from HQ5: 32-41

Peace unto all!

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