Welcome Friends: Ahlan wa sahlan!
Congratulations are in order! Our page-count tells us that we’ve just covered ONE THIRD of the entire Qur’an.
AlHamdulil-Lah; all Praise to God!
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 201 Arabic Qur’an.
1. The Hypocrites continue to be our topic:
In yesterday’s Reading we studied the Arabic definition of ‘nifaaq,’ and uncovered many of the Hypocrites’ characteristics, one of which is being escape-artists!
Verse 86 refers to their attitude and behavior: When faced by Qur’anic commands to believe in God and to exert themselves with His Messenger, even those who were fully capable among them would ask to be exempted, and left to be with those who are inactive.
Verse 87 tells us that, what keeps their hearts/minds content, is being among those who are left behind! Their incomprehension has sealed their hearts/minds.
2. The next two verses 88-89 provide contrast by showing us the characteristics of the Messenger and ‘those who Believed WITH him,' as well as the gardens prepared for them. I absolutely love the togetherness of the word ‘with’ him in this instance! (May WE be with him!)
Put "والذين آمنوا معه" in Tanzil; you’ll note three things:
· The phrase ‘believed with him’ appears in 7 instances.
· In 5 instances it refers to previous Prophets/Messengers and their followers.
· In 2 instances it refers to Muhammad, peace upon him:
-Once –related to this life- referring to him under his title as ‘Messenger.’
-Once –related to the Hereafter- referring to him under his title as ‘Prophet.’
Why the different titles for the same person, Muhammad, peace upon him?
Because the Qur’an is precise, and in the Hereafter, there will be no humans bearing messages, hence none of them is ‘Messenger.’ As for those who had been God’s Messengers in life, they will be referred to by the title which differentiates them from ordinary humans, and that title is ‘Prophet.’ This further strengthens the evidence already presented on February 4th, which proved that all Messengers were Prophets (although not all Prophets were Messengers), and that ‘Prophet’ is the title by which they are all mentioned in the Hereafter. An excerpt from that Posting:
"And whoever obeys God and the Messenger, such people shall be with those upon whom God has bestowed His Blessings: of the Prophets, the Truthful, the Witnesses, and the Righteous, and how goodly are such for company!"
Where are the 'Messengers' in this Blessed company? They are either missing completely, or are among the 'Prophets.' Of course the latter is more likely, which proves that Messengers of God indeed, ARE Prophets to their people.”…
(Read it all; it’s interesting!)
As you know, dear Reader, I strongly disagree with Ali and Asad’s usage of the non-descriptive term ‘Apostle.’ Although both our translators have done a wonderful job, it is because of generations of loose translation/explanation that so much of the Qur’anic precision has been lost on us!
In verses 91-92 we find the criteria for exemption, encouragement to supporters, and compassion for those who could not join simply because they had no transportation, and had to turn away, shedding tears of sorrow.
Verse 93 again reproaches those who purposefully lagged behind, however, while verse 87 ended by stating that their hearts/minds were sealed by Incomprehension, this verse adds that they were sealed by Ignorance.
PAGE 202 Arabic Qur’an.
4. Verse 94 is well-explained by Asad. Here the Prophet, peace upon him, is commanded to announce to those who stayed behind, that he will not listen to their excuses, that he and the Faithful have already been informed by God about them, and that neither he nor the Faithful will ever believe/trust them again!
The term (nu’min lakum – نؤمن لكم) meaning ‘believe/trust’ was explained in detail in Posting of February 24th where it impacted another very important verse.
5. Verse 95 calls such hypocritical persons ‘rijs-رجس’ which, as we know, denotes ‘turmoil.’ Put the word ‘turmoil’ in ‘search this site,’ and check Posting of April 1st for the rest of the following excerpt:
“Rijs: Taking the word 'rijs' in context - and cross-referencing it –by copy + paste رجس in Tanzil- we find it appears 9 times, and indicates an opposition to, or a Disconnect in, Faith/Belief, as in HQ10:100 and in our ‘scientific marvel’ 6:125 …That is how God brings about Turmoil upon those who do not believe.”….
In verse 95 the Qur’an does not simply accuse them of committing an act of ‘rijs,’ but actually states that they ARE ‘rijs.’ Wow. They are the embodiment of Turmoil. Rereading HQ2: 8-20 helps us understand this stormy connotation, especially since ‘rijs [i]’ is related to the sound of thunder, as we see in the definition which I have reattached below. The Qur’an's eloquence AND precision are truly astounding!
6. After Verse 95 told us that they had sworn with the intention of being left alone, verse 96 tells us that they also swore in the hope that the Prophet and the Believers would not be displeased with them. But here God delivers a severe statement to the effect that, regardless of whether the Believers are pleased with them or not, indeed God is not pleased with the pledge-breakers/deserters فاسقين! (By now we have grown accustomed to Asad’s use of the word ‘iniquitous.’)
7. Verses 97-98-99 are about the A’raab-الأعراب , the ‘Bedouin Arabs, during the time of revelation. I find these verses are well-explained by Muhammad Asad (who travelled Arabia with the Bedouins until he became one of them) except for the term ‘salawaat il Rasool’).
(If you haven’t yet read his masterpiece ‘The Road to Mecca’ please do so; it is a must for anyone who wishes to understand Middle East history, Arab culture, and Islam. It is also a highly entertaining adventure story for anyone who loves a good book, and makes a great gift.)
The A’raab got their name from the verb ‘araba-عرب’ which denotes eloquent self-expression (yu’rib-يعرب means to express, and arabi-عربي means eloquently self-expressive). Desert Arabs were the most eloquent in the Arabic language, and city-folk used to send their children out to the desert in their early years to learn proper uncorrupted Arabic from them. But Desert Arabs were also less likely to be versed in the knowledge of limits set by God in His Revelation.
In their relationship to the Qur’an, Desert Arabs were of three groups, just like everyone else: Those who were openly hostile, those who were hypocritical, and those who were faithful.
It is interesting to note the term ‘salawaatil Rasool-صلوات الرسول’ in verse 99. Although it is usually explained to show that ‘they sought the Messenger’s prayers’ (salawaat being plural of salaat), Regular Readers will recognize that the word ‘salaat’ from ‘silah’ or connection, also denotes relationships.
The Desert Arabs, and indeed everyone at this point, even the open Hypocrites, were seeking a good relationship with the Prophet, as the preceding verses had so clearly shown! Remember, the hypocrites had sworn in their own defense, and sought to regain his pleasure.
This is why the term ‘salawaatil Rasool-صلوات الرسول’ should be explained differently:
As I understand it, the verse says:
“And of the A’raab are those who believe in God and the Last Day and take what they spend as means of closeness/communion to God and connection/relationship to the Messenger. Indeed it is a means of closeness for them, God will admit them into His Mercy, God is The Oft-Forgiving The Unceasingly Compassionate.”
Our next Reading is from HQ 9: 100-111.
[i] (رجس) يدل على اختلاطٍ. يقال هُمْ في مَرْجُوسَةٍ مِن أمرِهم، أي اختِلاط. والرَّجْس: صوت الرَّعد، وذلك أنه يتردَّد. ومن الباب الرِّجْس: القَذَر؛ لأنّه لَطْخٌ وخَلْط.