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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 17, 2010

Day 62; HQ5: 90-102, pages 123+124

Welcome Friends:  Ahlan wa sahlan!

How are you doing with your Readings? 
Some of you may have noticed the words ‘A Dynamic activated..’ added to the top of our page, and if you are newcomers, you might be wondering about this. 
Well, our endeavor is designed to activate the Dynamic of Iqra’ in Regular Readers.  Check the Posting of December 27th for what ‘IQRA’ means.  Some Readers already sense great positivity in themselves, while others have yet to make a Priority of their daily Qur’anic reading, with the rest of us.  All it takes is time set aside for this -even if only 15 minutes or so every day. 
In the IQRA Dynamic, Time is an integral component.  So, as we set our course on this Challenge, our daily gains measured in imperceptible increments, Time becomes our Friend rather than our Opponent!   
1.  Our Reading today begins with the verse we referred to when the topic of intoxicants first came up in our Reading of HQ2:219.  Readers will note that this, below, is my translation:
“O you who have attained Faith! Indeed the intoxicants, and easy-gains, and idols, and divination-tools, are but Turmoil of the work of the Deviant/Sheytaan, therefore steer clear of it, so that you might succeed (90)

It is but the the Deviant/ Sheytaan’s objective to strike between you hostility and hatred through the intoxicants and easy-gains, and to prevent you from the remembrance of God and from the prayer.  So, will you then not abstain/desist?' (91)
Some aspects of this translation might be new, such as the word ‘Turmoil’ for (Rijs- رجس).  ‘Rijs,’ in the Lexicon, is a kind of confusion (physical and mental) which is also expressed by the sound of thunder  (see footnote*).  Since we have already discussed intoxicants in our Postings of January 19th and 20th, Readers can refer them for clarity. 
As we saw, Verse 91 asked the Faithful to put an end (abstain/desistينتهوا-) to both their pastimes of gambling and drinking intoxicants –and history tells us that they did –pouring out all such beverages onto their streets saying, ‘We’ve abstained, our Lord!  We’ve abstained!- انتهينا! انتهينا يا ربّنا! ).
But this is a Timeless call for abstention, to be similarly received by each generation of the Faithful, at each public gathering where intoxicants might be served, a person Faithful to God would ABSTAIN.
Furthermore, when God asks you, whether you will or will NOT do something, this is no less than a direct question, a ‘One on one’ INTERACTION between The Creator AND yourself,  deserving an immediate RESPONSE on your part, and that response is: …………………………..!
(Note that whatever you do, you will in fact, be responding. 
Silence IS a most eloquent response!)

Then we read the next verse (92); coming right after the question it underlines the fact, that whoever does NOT abstain has in fact turned away from obedience to God and to His Messenger:

Furthermore, obey God, and obey the Messenger, and beware.  But if you were to turn away, then you must know that upon our Messenger is only (the obligation of) an explicit delivery.” (92)

(For persons believing wholeheartedly in God, but STILL unconvinced of the seriousness of His verses regarding abstention from intoxicants, please consider the similarity of this call (verses 90-92), to Posting of March 15th –namely, the word ‘desist’ –‘yantahu’ ينتهوا)) in verse 73:

“Indeed, they have denied, those who said that God is the third of a Trinity, while there is no God except One God, and if they do not desist…”

and the interrogation at the end of verse 74:
“Will they not turn to God in repentance and ask his forgiveness…?” 

Please note the similarity in both commands, the same word was used and the same INTERACTIVE sentence form, a question after which persons (who ‘placed’ God in a Trinity) will respond, either by silence, or by saying: “You Are One, Unlike any other: I turn to You O God, in repentance, and seek Your Forgiveness!”) 

2.  Verse 93 mentions three times the need for the Faithful to maintain Awareness while eating and drinking! Knowing now of the harm hidden in foodstuffs, we realize how amazing it is that these verses were revealed more than 1,400 years ago.    
Traditionally, this verse is thought to relate to those who died before the verses on the prohibition of certain meats and the abstention from intoxicants were revealed, but there are commentators who say that it is for all time (Yusuf Ali is of the first opinion while Muhammad Asad is of the second). 
The Faithful should enjoy of what God has put at their disposal (except the unwholesome substances mentioned in HQ5:3; HQ6:145), as long as they are THREEFOLD aware and doers of good deeds. 
Researching Readers will notice that HQ6:145 describes the forbidden Meats as ‘Rijs,’ just like today’s description of gambling and intoxicants (I translated ‘rijs’ as Turmoil, but let me know if there is a better word to illustrate its Arabic meanings).

3.  Verses 94-95 discuss the ban on hunting when Believers are ‘hurum,’ related to what Yusuf Ali calls ‘in the Sacred Precincts or in pilgrim garb,’ and Muhammad Asad considers the ‘state of Pilgrimage (see Posting March 4th).  Verse 95 offers a means for atonement, but severe suffering awaits the transgressors who hunt during those times or in that place (while in a Pilgrim’s garb, a Believer cannot hunt anywhere, and in the Sacred Precinct of Mecca, hunting is always prohibited).  Verse 96 allows the hunting of water-game.
On a different note: Just to get an idea of how modern usage of Arabic terms has changed, look at the word meaning ‘travelers,’ from the verb ‘saara’سار - ‘walk,’ go.  The meaning of this word, سيّارة ‘sayyaara,’ has evolved for many Arabs, from a traveling caravan to a car!’

4.  Verse 97 mentions the status of the Sacred House, the Ka’ba or Cube, described by Yusuf Ali as ‘an asylum of security,’ and by Muhammad Asad as the ‘Inviolable Temple, a symbol for Mankind.’  Read Asad’s note 117 in which he speaks of its simple form.
Verse 98 is a statement describing God, that BOTH stirs the heart, and stills it!

5.  Verse 99 is related to verse 92 in its description of the Messenger’s sole obligation, telling us here that, despite the Messenger's limitations, GOD KNOWS WHAT WE REVEAL AND WHAT WE HIDE.  

6.  Verse 100 is related to perception; when we see something widespread, or see it often, we get conditioned to its acceptance, even if it is bad.  ‘Ulul albaab’ (أولوا الأباب), or the 'Insightful and Dedicated' should be aware of that, and will reject such harmful matters as they continue on their path to success (see definition of Ulul-albaab Posting Feb 12th)

7.   Verses 101-102 call the Faithful, telling them NOT to rush (God’s Messenger) with questions, but rather, to wait for the Qur’an to be revealed and the answers to gradually appear.  Yusuf Ali, in note 807, speaks of ‘secrets wisely hidden from us,’ while Muhammad Asad, in note 120, connects it directly to verse 99 and says that we should not ‘deduce additional laws from the injunctions’ revealed, adding burdens to ourselves as earlier peoples had done.

Interestingly, ‘O you who have attained Faith!’ is a call we heard today 4 times, and is one which appears 16 times in this Chapter alone!

Enough said!
Our next Reading is from HQ5: 103-112
Peace unto all!

  (رجس)  الراء والجيم والسين أصلٌ يدلُّ* على اختلاطٍ. يقال هُمْ في مَرْجُوسَةٍ مِن أمرِهم، أي اختِلاط. والرَّجْس: صوت الرَّعد، وذلك أنه يتردَّد. وكذلك هَدِيرُ البعيرِ رَجْسٌ. وسَحابٌ رَجّاسٌ، وبعيرٌ رَجّاس. وحكى ابنُ الأعرابيِّ: هذا رَاجِسٌ حَسَنٌ، أي راعِدٌ حَسن. ومن الباب الرِّجْس: القَذَر؛ لأنّه لَطْخٌ وخَلْط.

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