Welcome Friends: Ahlan wa sahlan!
How wonderful it is when linguistic research corrects our perspective and helps us discover that:
A verse we had always thought of as negative, or ‘against us,’ is indeed positive, and ‘in our favor’!
That is why the ‘AHA moment’ of realization we had in our last Posting (regarding HQ 9:5), is similar to the moment we realized the linguistic fact that, in verse HQ 3:36, (Posting Jan. 31st) the Qur’an was favoring the female above the male. We ended up reversing a misconception Muslims had been holding for the past one thousand years. The beauty of both these findings is that they are irrefutable, meaning that they cannot be understood differently according to the linguistics.
But now the difficult part begins: We must tell everyone what the Qur’an TRULY says!
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 197 Arabic Qur’an.
1. Verses 62-63 continue to describe the inner traits of the Hypocrites who are seeking to gain the pleasure of the Believers, while they should be seeking the pleasure of God and His messenger, IF indeed they were faithful.
2. Verses 64-65 describe their apprehension (Asad: ‘dread’) at what the Prophet might receive of Revelation to disclose what is in their minds/hearts, and the silly excuses they offer which are in fact, a mockery. Asad refers this ‘mockery’ to what they had said against the Prophet, peace upon him, in Verse 61.
3. In Verse 66 God addresses the Hypocrites directly telling them not to extend their excuses; they have denied after receiving faith, and that even if a portion among them were to be forgiven, the rest (the ‘Mujrims’) shall be made to suffer. I like Yusuf Ali’s definition of Hypocrisy as a half-way house; a state of indecision.
Mujrims are those who have literally ‘extracted themselves’ from faith; for the definition of ‘jarama’ see Posting of March 30th.
4. Verse 67 states WHO the Hypocrites are, to each other and to the rest of the community. Just as they have disregarded God, so shall He disregard them. Hypocrites are ‘Deserters’ -‘faasiq فاسق’ (those who have committed a ‘Breach of Faith’ and brought themselves to the point of no return, as defined in Posting of April 1st).
Verse 68 delivers to them EXACTLY what they had been dreading, and tells them of the consequence to their indecision: they shall be with the Deniers in eternal Hellfire, rejected by God…. unless…
PAGE 198 Arabic Qur’an.
5. …Unless they learnt from the past (Verse 69), from people just like them who had heedlessly enjoyed their assets and ended up being losers!
Verse 70 concludes this section on the Hypocrites, warning them of what happens to those who choose to ignore the guidance of their Messengers.
6. Verse 71 presents the contrast (to verse 67):
And (as for) the Men of Faith and the Women of Faith, some of them are Protectors of others, they enjoin what is mutually acceptable, and they forbid what is mutually objectionable, and they establish prayer, and they give the (zakaat) dues, and they obey God and His Messenger; THESE shall God be Merciful to, indeed God is Almighty, Wise.
The Zakaat dues actually purify AND multiply one’s assets. For the definition of Zakaat see Posting of Feb 21st)
7. Verse 72 presents the contrast (to verse 68); a beautiful scene in the Everlasting Gardens. Both explanations of Ali and Asad are acceptable, except that Asad translates ‘aden- Eden’ in a similar way to the Hebrew, saying it means ‘Bliss.’ But this is not so. ‘Bliss,’ which means ecstasy or happiness has nothing to do with ‘aden.’.
The word عدن [i] ‘Aden,’ is found in our 1,000 year old Arabic lexicon, and it denotes something which is ‘resident’ or ‘abiding,’ explained below by two examples:
-Camels attached to a favorite grazing-spot.
- The ‘permanent qualities’ residing in a person or thing; its ma’dan- معدن.
And yes, to our men who are named Adnan or Adnaan, - عدنان, this is about you too! Adnaan is considered the grandfather of the Arab tribe of which Prophet Muhammad descended, from the line of Prophet Ishmael, peace upon them both.
He was ‘adnaan,’ perhaps because he made a permanent residence there, or was permanent in his inherent qualities, since the word relates to that as well.
Ma’dan means ‘mineral,’ related to the substance being resident in the earth, or to the permanent qualities of that substance. The word also relates to the inherent characteristics of a person, which is obvious in a Saying of the Prophet, peace upon him, narrated by both Bukhari and Muslim to this effect:
“You will find that people are minerals. The best among them in the Age of Ignorance are the best among them in Islam, if they learn and comprehend.”
تجدون الناس معادن، خيارهم في الجاهلية خيارهم في الإسلام إذا فقهوا
Therefore I would translate جنات عدن as ‘Everlasting Gardens.’
Our next Reading is from HQ 9: 73-86
[i] (عدن) يدلُّ على الإقامة. قال الخليل: العَدْن: إقامة الإبل في الحَمْض خاصّة. تقول: عَدَنَت الإبل تَعْدِن عَدْناً. والأصل الذي ذكره الخليل هو أصلُ الباب، ثمَّ قيس به كلُّ مُقام، فقيل جنةُ عَدْنٍ، أي إقامة. ومن الباب المعدِنُ: مَعدن الجواهر. ويقيسون على ذلك فيقولون: هو مَعدن الخَير والكَرَم.