Welcome Friends: Ahlan wa sahlan!
Yesterday’s Posting was thought-provoking!
Wouldn't the Qur’an’s WISDOM truly help us IF we made it an integral part of our lives, and realized, for example, that when reluctant people do NOT join us… it IS actually a blessing? Yesterday’s Verse 47 showed us the damage their negativity would have upon the most enthusiastic of us.
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.
PAGE 195 Arabic Qur’an.
1. Verses 48-49 continue to discuss the ‘reluctant’ persons who, in this instance, are the Hypocrites who lagged behind (as we saw in Verses 41-42). Even before the Battle of Tabuk, they were plotting ‘fitnah’ فتنة . See Ali/Asad and their definitions of this word as ‘sedition/discord.’ One of the characteristics of the Hypocrites was that they would be grieved by any good fortune which the Prophet enjoyed, while any misfortune which he received would make them gloat!
2. Verses 50-51: Note the beauty of what the second verse indicates. Many of us tend to quote this verse when touched by misfortune – not realizing that its connotation is positive- and indicates good fortune!
“If good befalls you, it grieves them, but if Misfortune befalls you they say, we have already taken our precautions, and they turn away rejoicing. (50)
Say: Nothing will ever befall us except what God has compiled/brought together FOR us; He is our Protector, and on God should the Faithful rely” (51)
From Posting of March 21st:
“Our Readers will recall our discussion of March 10th regarding the meaning of the term ‘kataba’ – ‘to put together,’ when we said that God either ‘compiles/puts together’ something ‘UPONعلى - ’ someone, which becomes a unit of accountability/responsibility, OR ‘puts together’ ‘FOR- ‘لــ someone, as a unit of exemption/privilege.”
3. Verses 52-53 also start with the command ‘Say!’ directed at the Hypocrites. The first verse shows them that, contrary to all their hopes, only Good can befall the Faithful (even if it seems to be a negative occurrence, which further confirms the statement in Verse 51).
The second verse tells them that their spending will never redeem them BECAUSE they are ‘Faasiqs فاسقين-’ (Remember the definition of ‘fisq-فسقmentioned in Posting of April 1st?) Such persons have already committed the Breach of Faith which placed them at the point of no return. We already know that neither outward deeds, nor intention, can be redeeming factors, each on its own. It is the combination: deeds PLUS intention; our inner motivation AND our actions, which validate each other and combine to redeem us!
After that, Verse 54 highlights what constitutes a ‘Breach of Faith.’
PAGE 196 Arabic Qur’an.
4. Verse 55 addresses Prophet Muhammad, peace upon him, directly, and the rest of us, indirectly.
I do not agree with Yusuf Ali’s explanation because he translated the word ‘awlaad-أولاد’ as ‘sons,’ although it means ‘children.’ As for the word ‘tu’jibka-تعجبك ‘ from the root-verb ‘ajaba عجب [i]’ which means ‘to esteem, or hold a high opinion of,’ he translated it as ‘dazzle.’ Asad said, ‘excite your admiration.’
This verse tells the Prophet (and us) not to over-estimate the worth of any children or wealth the Hypocrites may possess. Such shall be TO them agents of suffering in this life, causing them to overstep their own selves (زهق [ii]) and debasing themselves even as they continue to Deny. What a picture! This should be a wake-up call to all who are ‘ruled’ –going against their better selves- to serve their children or their wealth! This issue must be of great importance as it is mentioned again in HQ 9: 85.
5. Verses 56-59 continue the description of such persons, ending by presenting a beautiful sentiment and statement; the first is what they should have felt, and the second is what they should have said!
It is therefore advisable for us to say, as proof of OUR feelings of contentment in what God has given us: “God is enough for us. God will grant us of His Bounty; unto God Alone do we turn with hope!”(حسبنا الله، سيؤتينا الله من فضله... إنا إلى الله راغبون)
6. Verse 60 presents us with a list of persons who are deserving of our regular ‘taxes,’ well-explained by both Ali and Asad. It is interesting to note that, during the rule of Omar Ibn Abdel-Aziz (717-720 AD) of the Ummayad Dynasty, the distributors of the ‘Zakaat’ could not find anyone needy enough to deserve it! That was a testimony, not only to the years of dedicated giving and the competence of the distributors, but also to the fact that the concept of the ‘Zakaat-tax’ WHEN well-implemented, can render entire communities ‘Need-free’!
7. Verse 61 shows us that there are indeed those who have ‘molested/maligned’ (Ali/Asad) the Prophet, peace upon him, by what they have said against him, and it then responds to their allegations. After that, the verse takes the issue to a higher level, raising the bar by mentioning his superior title of ‘Messenger of God’ so as to impress upon such persons the seriousness of their offense. The verse makes the distinction that, any who ‘molest/malign’ the Messenger of God, will suffer grievous penalty (Ali/Asad).
Our next Reading is from HQ 9: 62-72
[i] (عجب) ، يدلُّ على كِبْر واستكبارٍ للشَّيء.
[ii] (زهق) يدلُّ على تقدّم ومضيّ وتجاوز. من ذلك زَهَقَتْ نفسه. ومن ذلك: [زَهَقَ] الباطل، أي مضى. ويقال زَهَقَ الفرسُ أمامَ الخيل، وذلك إذا سَبَقَها وتقدَّمها. ويقال زَهَقَ السّهم، إذا جَاوَزَ الهَدَف. ويقال فرسٌ ذات أَزَاهيقَ، أي ذات جَرْيٍ وسَبْقٍ وتقدم. ومن الباب الزَّهْق، وهو قَعْرُ الشيء؛ لأن الشيء يزهق فيه إذا سقط.