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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.'


Friday, April 9, 2010

Day 80; Qur’an 7: 52-64, pages 157+158

Welcome Friends:  Ahlan wa sahlan!

We ended yesterday’s Reading with mention of those who ‘forgot’ or ignored the eternal Life of the Hereafter; having allowed themselves to be seduced by the ‘immediate’ Life, they made light of their Accountability and held it in jest.

Yusuf Ali’s Explanation.
Muhammad Asad’s Explanation.

 PAGE 157: Click for Arabic Qur’an
1.  The first thing we notice today in Verse 52 is that, after the preceding verses had described everyone in the Hereafter, and verse 51 had specified the ‘forgotten/ignored’ group, the Qur’an mentions that they all had received ONE COMPILATION ‘kitaab,’ a Guidance and Mercy for a People who Believe.  
The fact that there is only one Compilation, and that all Believers in the Compilation are considered one people shows as the unifying factor of faith: 

In the final analysis, not only the Messengers of God who delivered one Message, but all those who followed them while truly seeking God, are one brotherhood.  If only we could all realize that.

2.  Verse 53 asks whether they await the Compilation’s ‘ta’weelahu – تأويله’ translated by Ali as ‘the final fulfillment of the event,’ and by Asad as ‘the final meaning to unfold.’  Both are correct: 
‘Ta’weel –تأويل [i]’ from the root verb ‘awala’ denotes both the first and the last; the beginning and end.  It is the culmination of things in reference to their beginnings, which is why the verb ‘aala, ya’oolu - آل- يؤول’ denotes something or someone returning to the first point of reference, which could be one’s head-of-family (as in Aali Imraan- آل عمران - ‘the Family of Imraan), see footnote.

3.  Verse 54 describes the creation of our universe in six distinct EPOCHS. The word ‘yawm-يوم [ii]’ in Arabic originally meant ‘a period, an epoch, an event.’ The plural is ‘ayyaam,’ from which the English word ‘aeon’ seems to have originated (words which cross-over, often interchange the letters 'm' and 'n').  The origin of 'ayyaam' was 'أيوام-aewom' before it changed to ease its pronunciation. 
Etymology: 1640s, from L. aeon, from Gk. aion "age, eternity" (see eon). 

Some might ask,  "What has Greek got to do with Arabic?" 
The answer is: Wait,  and you'll find out! 
For now, dear Readers, let's just say that Muhammad Asad got it right.
Self-challengers:  ‘Day’ as opposed to ‘night’ in Arabic is نهار ‘nahaar.’  Copy + paste ليل نهار in Tanzil.

4.  In verse 54 we encounter the word ‘Arch – عرش[iii] ’ for the first time.  Yusuf Ali in note 1032 says it is ‘metaphorical; symbol of authority and power..’ and Muhammad Asad agrees in note 43, connecting the expression to God’s creation of the universe.
We should bear in mind that the word in Arabic (see below) expresses BUILDING, complete with raising and fortifying what is built.  The 'arch' which the Qur'an ALWAYS mentions with regard to God's Creation, is directly related to the form and function of this universe, as the receptacle of LIFE.  Verse HQ 2:255 tells us about God, that " slumber nor sleep overcomes Him..."  The concept of the 'Arch' seems to have been well-understood by early Muslims who manifested it into their architecture; see 'The Arch Which Never Sleeps' in sidebar.  
5.  Verses 55-56 give us both the form and intent of the best supplication:  The form is with ‘humility/humbly’ and in ‘private/secrecy’ (Ali/Asad) while the intent is fear and longing!

  PAGE 158: Click for Arabic Qur’an

6.  Verse 58 gives a parable, comparing people to land; wholesome land versus unwholesome land.  The fruits of each are PRODUCTS of the land in which they grew!
With that eloquent introduction we are taken to the story of the first of God’s Messengers Noah, peace upon him.
Prophet Noah’s Message was simply:  “…Worship God; you have no other god….!”

7.  When (in verse 64) they ‘rejected him/gave him the lie’ (Ali/Asad), God saved Noah and those who were with him in the ‘fulk’ while those who belied him were drowned.
‘Fulk’ فُلك[iv]- is a sphere, or ‘curved, rounded’ vessel, “..similar to the ‘felkeh’ of a spinning-wheel or the roundness of a woman’s breast..or so sea-vessels are called because they turn around in the water..” (see Lexicon below).  Both Ali and Asad called it the Ark.
Despite similarities, we should NOT be influenced by the Biblical story when we read the Qur’anic narrative; the Qur’an does not tell us that the entire earth was flooded (see Asad’s note 47)! 

As for ‘Ark,’ etymologically the word is said to be from Old English “O.E. earc, mainly meaning Noah's, from L. arca "large box, chest." 
In Arabic however, as we saw, ‘fulk’ seems to be a circular or rounded vessel without sharp corners.  Perhaps the word should be rewritten in English with a ‘c’ rather than a ‘k’!  ‘Arc’ is “..late 14c., from O.Fr. arc, from L. arcus "a bow, arch," from PIE base *arqu- "bowed, curved."

What do YOU think dear Readers? 

Enough said!

Our next Reading is from HQ 7:65-79

Peace unto all!

[i] (أول) ابتداء الأمر وانتهاؤه. فالأوّل، وهو مبتدأُ الشيء، والمؤنَّثة الأولى. وآلَ يَؤُول أَي رجع. قال يعقوب: يقال "أَوَّلَ الحُكْمَ إلى أَهْلِه" أي أرجَعه ورَدّه إليهم. وآلَ جِسمُ الرّجل إذا نَحُفَ. وهو من الباب، لأنّه يَحُورُ ويَحْرِي، أي يرجعُ إلى تلك الحال. والإيالة السِّياسةُ من هذا الباب، لأن مرجعَ الرّعيةِ إلى راعيها. قال الأصمعي: آلَ الرَّجلُ رعِيّتَه يَؤُولُها إذا أَحْسَنَ سياستَها. ورجل آيل مالٍ، مثال خائل مال، أي سائسه.  وآلُ الرّجلِ شخصهُ من هذا أيضاً. وكذلك آلُ كلِّ شيء. وذلك أنَّهم يعبِّرون عنه بآلِه، وهم عشيرته، يقولون آل أبي بكر، وهم يريدون أبا بكر. ومن هذا الباب تأويل الكلام، وهو عاقبتُهُ وما يؤُولُ إليه، وذلك قوله تعالى: {هَلْ يَنْظُرُونَ إلاَّ تَأْوِيلَهُ} [الأعراف 53]. يقول: ما يَؤُول إليه في وقت بعثهم ونشورهم.
[ii] (يوم) هي اليَوم: الواحدُ من الأيّام، ثم يستعيرونه في الأمر العظيم ويقولون نِعْمَ فلانٌ في اليَوم إذا نَزَل. والأصل في أيَّامٍ أيْوَام، لكنَّه أُدغِم.
[iii] (عرش) يدلُّ على ارتفاعٍ في شيء مبنيّ، ثم يستعارُ في غير ذلك. من ذلك العَرْش، قال الخليل: العرش: سرير الملِك. وهذا صحيحٌ، قال الله تعالى: {وَرَفَعَ أبَوَيْهِ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ}  [يوسف 100]، ثم استُعير ذلك فقيل لأمر الرّجُل وقِوامه: عرش. وإذا زال ذلك عنه قيل: ثُلَّ عَرشُه.  ومن الباب: تعريش الكَرْم، لأنّه رفعه والتوثُّق منه. والعريش: بناءٌ من قُضبانٍ يُرفَع ويوثَّق حتَّى يظلّل. ويقال لسَقْف البَيْت عَرْش. قال الله تعالى: {فَهي خَاوِيَةٌ عَلَى عُرُوشِها} [الحج 45]، والمعنى أنَّ السَّقف يسقُط ثم يتَهافت عليه الجُدرانُ ساقطةً. ومن الباب العَرِيش، وهو شِبْه الهَوْدَجِ يُتَّخَذ للمرأة تقعُد فيه على بعيرها. ومن الباب: عَرَشْتُ الكرم وعَرَّشْتُه. يقال: اعتَرش العنبُ، إذا علا على العَرش. ومن الباب: عَرْش البِئر: طيُّها بالخشَب. قال بعضهم: تكون البئرُ رِخوةَ الأسفل والأعلَى فلا تُمسِكُ الطَّيَّ لأنَّها رَملة، فيعرَّش أعلاها بالخشَب، يُوضَع بعضُه على بعض، ثمَّ يَقُوم السُّقاة عليه فيستقون.
[iv] (فلك) الفاء واللام والكاف أصلٌ صحيح يدلُّ على استدارةٍ في شيء. من ذلك فَلْكة المِغزل بفتح الفاء، سمِّيت لاستدارتها؛ ولذلك قيل: فَلَّك ثَدْيُ المرأة، إذا استدار. ومن هذا القياس فَلَك السماء. والفَلَك: قِطَعٌ من الأرض مستديرةٌ مرتفِعة عمَّا حولها. وأمَّا السفينة فتسمَّى فُلْكا. ويقال إنَّ الواحد والجمعَ في هذا الاسم سواء، ولعلَّها تسمَّى فُلْكاً لأنَّها تدار في الماء.

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