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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!


Image: 14th C. Qur'an, Mamluk origin, Library of Congress; Rights obtained.

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


Monday, April 12, 2010

Day 82; Qur’an 7: 80-95, pages 161+162

Welcome Friends:  Ahlan wa sahlan!

We ended yesterday’s Reading with a reflection made by one Warner, after his people did not heed his warnings: “…. and I gave you good ‘counsel/advice’ but you do not love ‘good counselors/those who give you good advice’ (Ali/Asad).

Our regular and discerning readers will notice that each one of the Prophets here mentioned, were dealing with a group of people who were –all together- committing one of the Inviolables المحرّمات which pave the ‘Straight Path’ (see April 5th for Straight Path, and April 6th for deviance from it). 
As Regular Readers know, the Straight Path is detailed in HQ 6:151-153, and holds as ‘sacred’ for humanity certain issues which relate to a wholesome life, covering spheres of worship, sex, and commerce.

Yusuf Ali’s Translation of this Chapter.
Muhammad Asad’s Translation of this Chapter.
Their commentaries can only be read in verse by verse view.

In today’s Reading we will encounter the brief narratives of two Prophets and their people:  Prophet Lot and Prophet Shu’ayb.
 PAGE 161: Click for Arabic Qur’an.
1.  Verses 80-81 (from page 159) introduce us to the narrative of Prophet Lot, peace upon him.  The ‘people of Lot- قوم لوط’ were violating one of the Inviolables of the Straight path (commandment number 4), and seem to have been the first group ever to regularly and openly practice homosexual acts ‘in open assemblies’ (HQ 29:29).  Prophet Lot calls the men who (continuous tense) were approaching men in lust/desire rather than women: ‘Musrifoon, or excessive مسرفون.’ 
It is VERY interesting that the Qur’an calls them ‘Excessive.’ This indicates that- in their case- they had intentionally ‘exceeded’ in sexual practices beyond the natural model.  Look at other verses which mention ‘sarafa’- or being excessive, usually related to insatiable appetites (for food, drink, and now: sex!).  We’ve already dealt with a few such verses in HQ 6:141; 7:31.
Self Challengers: Copy + paste سرف - also لوط in Tanzil.

2.  Verses 82-84 continue the brief introductory narrative of Lot’s story, his people’s ironic response to him, as well as a summary of what happened to them.  Later, other chapters will tell us more. 
There is some similarity to, as well as departure from, the Biblical narrative; see Ali’s and Asad’s commentaries.

3.  Verse 85 takes us to Prophet Shu’ayb, peace upon him, and the tribe of Madyan.  Similar to what Prophets Noah, Hud, and Saleh had said, he too tells his people:
“…Worship God; you have no other god….!”
Copy + paste اعبدوا الله ما لكم إله غيره in Tanzil.
4.  The tribe of Madyan were violating one of the Inviolables of the Straight path (see related posting and commandment), cheating in weight and measure, defrauding, and robbing people of their just dues.  See Ali’s note 1055.
They were ‘laying ambush’ in every path (siraat- صراط) threatening and preventing those who believed from God’s way (sabeel سبيل), while seeking it crooked.
We learn of their actions from Prophet Shu’ayb’s most eloquent address to them in these three verses (85-87).  He tells those who believed in his message, as well as those who disbelieved, to await God’s judgment of their differences.
It is no wonder that he is traditionally considered the ‘Orator among Prophets’ or ‘khateeb el Anbiyaa’ خطيب الأنباء- peace upon him.

  PAGE 162: Click for Arabic Qur’an.

5.  Countering the eloquent address of Prophet Shu’ayb are the threats of the Arrogant chieftains (see Alis’ explanation of verse 88, including note 1058).

6.  Verse 89 is the response of the Faithful to the threats of the Arrogant, together with a supplication to their Lord. 
Verses 91-92 narrate what happened after that, and in Verse 93 Prophet Shu’ayb reflects about his good counsel that went unheeded (translated by Asad):
“And he turned away from them, and said: "O my people! Indeed, I delivered unto you my Sustainer’s message and gave you good advice: how, then, could I mourn for people who have denied the truth?"

If Readers wonder why there seems to be some inconsistency in Yusuf Ali’s  mention of the two terms ‘God’ and‘Allah’ (online explanation), the answer is: 
Yusuf Ali's choice was clear.  He consistently used the word ‘God,’ and his explanation did NOT include the name ‘Allah.’
What is now reflected in reprints are publishers' choices. 
See Posting of Jan.2nd and the comment: ‘Allah’ is not an uncommon word for ‘God.’   

7.  Verse 94 holds a statement related to the Prophets -prior to Prophet Muhammad- peace upon them all, and their people (translated by Asad):
“AND NEVER YET have We sent a prophet unto any community without trying its people with misfortune and hardship, so that they might humble themselves.”

Enough said!

Our next Reading is from HQ 7:95-116

Peace unto all!

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