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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Day 68; HQ6: 59-73, pages 135+136

Welcome Friends:  Ahlan wa sahlan!

In our last Reading the Qur’an clearly indicated that only God knows the Unseen ‘gheyb’ الغيب)).  Today’s Reading begins with a most beautiful illustration of that fact, mentioning what some understand as ‘keys’ to the Unseen  مفاتح الغيب)[i]), the singular ‘maftah, not miftaah’(مَفتح)  also explained by some scholars as the Reserves themselves )God’s ‘Resources’), which is why Yusuf Ali added the word ‘treasures.’  It is also interesting to note that -لا رطب ولا يابس   literally means neither hydrated nor dehydrated, and is taken to mean the living or the dead.  I have tried to offer a literal explanation of verses 59-60 below.

We must bear in mind that these Timeless Verses were also intended for the idol-worshippers of Qureish.
1.     Verses 59-60:

“And with Him are the Reserves of the Unperceivable, none knows them but He.  And He knows what is in the land and the sea. And not a single leaf falls but he knows it, nor a seed in the darkness-es of the earth, nor anything tender or stiff but is in an Evident Compilation.”
In this verse, we not only see a most beautiful illustration of His Knowledge, but also the Harmony in the Compilation of ‘Life and Death,’ presented in concepts we can easily relate to! 
Since the beginning of Creation till its end, He knows the landing-site of every dead leaf that blows off every tree… where it fertilizes the earth, and then coaxes, far below it, a tiny seed hidden from all but God….which at that moment is splitting open to release a tender shoot, which still must push through the depths of darkness to reach light.  
His are the Resources of all that is Imperceptible and, as their Creator WHO KNOWS their every flutter and murmur… their every need, He will grant them of these reserves!
Who, other than Our Creator, can sustain our tender shoots during the dry patches of life?  After all, it is HE who compiled Mercy as a responsibility upon Himself as Our Protector and Sustainer! 
Dear Reader:  Think of this verse whenever you are in distress or feeling abandoned; I find it works wonders! 
Before continuing onto Verse 60, please read Posting of March 19th which shows the important difference between the two words, ‘wafaat’ and ‘mawt’ (وفاة- موت), both usually translated as ‘Death.’  Muslim scholars have dubbed human sleep a ‘minor Death/waffaat sughraa,’ the ‘major Death الوفاة الكبرى’ being that in which the spirit/consciousness is fully delivered unto its Creator.
“And it is He Who delivers you (unto Him) by night and knows what you earn by day, then He rouses you  [ii](بعث)within it in fulfillment of a designated term, then to Him is your return when He will inform you as to what you had been doing. ”
2.     Verses 61-62 continue along the same lines, as the Qur’an declares 4 things, and we notice the full circle of Life, in which God Is Dominant Protector:

·That He is Dominant over His worshippers…
· ..and He sends upon them guardians…
·…until when Death (mawt) arrives to one of you, Our Messengers deliver (tawaffaa) the spirit/consciousness, without omission…
· ..after which they are returned to God, their Rightful Protector, to Whom belongs The Judgment, and Who Is the Swiftest of all reckoners.

It is interesting to note the differences in Yusuf Ali and Muhammad Asad’s explanations (ie. that God is ‘Irresistible/holds sway’, and that he sends ‘guardians/heavenly forces’ - Ali/Asad).  The guardians are understood to be angels (who are unlike what we see in old paintings or picture in our minds!  In fact, angels have other positive duties that relate to humans, and we'll find out about that as we go along.) 

3.  Verse 63 is related to prayers for deliverance from the dangers of land and sea, and to a promise of ‘working in gratitude’ while Verse 64 is related to deliverance from ALL distress (كل كرب), after which Those who Associate partners with God, return to their ways!

4.  In Verses 65-67 we find the idolaters being warned of suffering and splitting into groups that would fight each other.  We also find reference to them as ‘your people’ (قومك), in an address to the Prophet, peace upon him, indicating how they belied him.  What does this say about them, when they, as ‘his people’ already had a lifetime of evidence to his honesty, and had even called him ‘al Ameen’ before Revelation?

5. Verse 68 is somewhat similar to Verse HQ4:140, discussed in Posting of March 1st (Comment 7), while Verse 70 is somewhat similar to HQ5:57-58, discussed in Posting of March 13th   (Comment 5).

6. Verse 71 is about the misdirection of Reverence, illustrating the powerlessness of human senses under the influence of desire: Although such a person might be lost and bewildered, s/he will continue on the path which promises desire rather than heed the call of friends who lead to safety.  God’s Guidance is obtained when we have Pure Reverence (Islaam إسلام-) for the Lord of the diverse Worlds (رب العالمين).

"Say: "Would we call, besides God, what can neither benefit us, nor harm us, and turn on our heels after having received guidance from God, like one whom the deviant ones have enticed with desire, making him blunder bewildered through the earth? He has friends calling him to Guidance: “Come to us!” (But no avail.)  Say: "God’s guidance is The Guidance, and we have been commanded to be Pure in our Reverence to the Lord of the diverse worlds!”

7. Verse 72 gives a clear command to establish a relationship with God, as in prayer, and to be aware of Him, for unto Him shall all be gathered.
Verse 73, is somewhat similar to HQ2:117; it discusses the concept of God’s Word being Reality.  He 'pronounces': ‘Be!’ and it is.  Also that He is Knower of the Unseen and the Witnessed.

Important Note:
In this verse we find a term which relates to the Day of Resurrection: The Arabic term ‘nufikha fisSoor-(نفخ في الصور)  appears in ten verses of the Qur’an (copy paste Arabic in Tanzil).
Translated by both Ali and Asad as the day when ‘the trumpet shall be blown,  it reflects the common scholarly understanding and interpretation of this verse.  But such an interpretation was a result of ‘Biblical’ influences (see below) and is so far from the Linguistic interpretation, it will make us cry!

“1 Corinthians 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”
End Bible Quote.

But we've had a lot to reflect on today, so we’ll do these 2 words tomorrow, God-willing, as for now:

Enough said!

Our next Reading is from HQ6:74- HQ 6:90

Peace unto all!

  [i] الزمخشري: قيل مفاتح جمع مفتح بفتح الميم وهو المخزن.

[ii] (بعث)  وهو الإثارة. ويقال بعثْتُ النّاقةَ إذا أثَرْتَها.

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