Welcome Friends: Ahlan wa sahlan!
Before we start today, I must point out to our Readers who asked, that reading this Posting alone does NOT constitute a ‘Qur’anic’ Reading.
Please read the 2 pages we discuss daily from the Arabic original IF possible, AND from your chosen interpretation (we use both Yusuf Ali’s and Muhammad Asad’s).
This Blog is intended to highlight and clarify, and will never suffice on its own.
Although I will always try, God willing, to provide enough information, I will do so within a limited number of hours to be spent on each Posting. This means that I will have to be brief when the verses are well-explained or clear in themselves.
Please help make this a successful venture by committing to your part, and supporting the sustainability of mine: We all must spend a reasonable amount of time and effort daily, so as to be able to continue for the lo-oooong haul!
Today’s Reading is mostly about Prophet Abraham, peace upon him, and his Reasoning; first within himself, and then with his father and his people. He is, after all, whom the Qur’an praises in HQ37:84, saying “.. he came to His Lord with a sound heart/mind.”
1. In Verse 74 Prophet Abraham first speaks to his father, his immediate area of concern, as loved ones usually are. Notice that he first posed him a question, to which his father must have responded (even with silence!). Then Abraham continued, stating that his father, and his father’s people, were evidently astray.
Verse 75 shows us how God helped him observe the Dominions of the heavens and the earth, so as to become one of the ‘Inwardly Certain-من الموقنين’.
2. Verses 76-79 are the direct result of such observation and certainty! Most commentators tell us that these were not issues he was debating within himself at that point in time, but he was setting himself up as an example of a Searcher, debating his people indirectly in such a logical manner, to arrive at a conclusion that would be evident to all.
Verse 79 is a beautiful public affirmation made by Prophet Abraham, peace upon him, and is for us today, what we call ‘the Supplication of Direction’ to God (دعاء التوجّه - meaning by which we direct ourselves to Him). Muslims begin every single prayer by saying this verse, with full-knowledge that they are repeating Abraham’s words (just as we do our Pilgrimage rites in his footsteps- see Posting Jan. 13th)!
Isn’t that fact in itself, a most eloquent affirmation of the unity of people who are faithful to God? If others, who also have high esteem for Prophet Abraham, knew that, they’d realize that we are simply trying to maintain our course according God’s single Message to Mankind.
In verse 76 we encounter the word ‘janna- (جنّ) which means ‘to conceal/enclose,’ which in this instance describes the night enveloping him in its darkness. This is the root verb of ‘Jannah- جَنّة meaning an enclosed Garden, as well as Jinn- جِنّ- the Beings concealed or hidden )from our point of view, see Posting Feb 21st).
3. In Verses 80-82 we find more of Prophet Abraham’s eloquent argument with his people. We feel no imbalance here, despite the fact that we are told nothing of the other side of the argument; we can gain insight into what it is, by simply following his response! He says that he has absolutely no fear of the deities which they associate with God, and (in Verse 81) he questions their logic –that they could even ask him of that- yet they do not fear actually HAVING ascribed partners to God?! So who of the two parties (theirs or his) would have more right to feel secure, if they but knew?
Verse 82 is a statement informing us, as to whom Security truly belongs:
It indicates clearly that Security belongs to those who have attained Faith AND have not ‘confused/obscured’ their faith with any wrongdoing (Ali/Asad). Only such persons shall have Security and be rightly Guided. Let us attempt to live up to that!
Verse 83 concludes this narrative, showing Abraham’s compelling argument as a gift from God, and also portraying him as someone whom God has elevated in status.
4. Verses 84-87 mention 18 of God’s Prophets by name, beginning with Abraham and ending with Lot, peace upon them all, describing them with beautiful attributes and by the statement that they were chosen and guided to a ‘Straight Path- صراط مستقيم.
5. Verses 88-90 inform us that had any of these Prophets associated with God, he would have lost any benefit of his good deeds. They were ALL given the Compilation (singular!), and Wisdom and Prophethood, and should one community deny their Message, God will entrust it to another community who would not Deny it.
6. Verse 90 is addressed to Prophet Muhammad, peace upon him, telling him that these were (the Prophets) guided by God, and that he should follow their guidance, and inform his people that he was NOT asking them any personal reward, but that it was only a Reminder for all ‘the nations/mankind’ (Ali/Asad)!
7. Yesterday we came across the term ‘nufikha fis-Soor’ (نفخ في الصور)- which was translated Biblically as: ‘when the trumpet sounded.’
Because the Qur’an is in Arabic, when we speak Arabic, we will say the correct Qur'anic words and only think of the wrong concept. When we speak English however, our thinking will influence our translation, and OUR concepts and images will be delivered to the Reader INSTEAD of the original!
[i] ‘Nafakha’ means ‘to swell, to rise,’ as in the ‘rising day,’ and the ‘nafkha’ of spring, when the earth swells and grasses shoot up.
[ii]‘Ssoor’ is not a commonly used noun, which is why some think its roots are in ‘sayara’ صير denoting the ‘final destination, مصير’ while others think the roots are in ‘sawara ’ صور, denoting ‘physical manifestation,’ . صورة
Together, they describe the closing stage of Life on earth, when it is made to swell, or rise in a physical manifestation towards finality!
Our next Reading is from HQ6:91-101
Peace unto all!
[i] (نفخ) يدلُّ على انتفاخٍ وعلوّ. منه انتفَخَ الشّيءُ انتفاخاً. ويقال انتَفَخَ النَّهار: علا. ونَفْخَة الرَّبيع: إعْشابه؛ لأنَّ الأرضَ تربو فيه وتنتفِخ.
[ii] (صير) المآلُ والمرجِع. من ذلك صار يصير صَيْراً وصَيرورة. ويقال: أنا على صِيرِ أمرٍ، أي إشرافٍ من قضائه، وذلك هو الذي يُصار إليه. فإنّ صِير الأمر مَصِيرُهُ وعاقبتُهُ. وصَيُّور الأمرِ: آخِره، وسمِّيَ بذلك لأنّه يُصار إليه.
(صور) صوِرَ يَصْوَر، إذا مال. وصُرْت الشَّيءَ أُصُورُهُ، وأَصَرْتُه، إِذا أَمَلته إليك. ويجيء قياسُه تَصَوَّر، لِمَا ضُرِب، كأنًّه مال وسَقط. فهذا هو المنقاس، وسِوى ذلك فكلُّ كلمةٍ منفردةٌ بنفسها. من ذلك الصُّورة صُورة كلِّ مخلوق، والجمع صُوَر، وهي هيئةُ خِلْقته. والله تعالى البارئ المُصَوِّر.