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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.'


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Day 103; Qur’an 9:100-111; Page 203- 204

Welcome Friends:  Ahlan wa sahlan!
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 203 Arabic Qur’an.
1. Today’s Reading begins with the words: ‘Those First and Foremost..’  We prick up our ears to hear who these people are; everybody loves a winner! 
Then we find out that they are the Emigrants and the Helpers, the Meccan and Madanite companions of the Prophet, peace upon him.  But then we read the words: ‘… and those who followed them in Goodness/Righteousness..’ and we think, tentatively: “That could be us, can’t it?”
Asad’s translation is presented below, but do go back to read his comments:

“And as for the first and foremost of those who have forsaken the domain of evil and of those who have sheltered and succoured the Faith, as well as those who follow them in [the way of] righteousness – God is well-pleased with them, and well-pleased are they with Him. And for them has He readied gardens through which running waters flow, therein to abide beyond the count of time: this is the triumph supreme!”

2. Verse 101 returns to the subject of A’raab, and the Hypocrisy of some amongst them as well as certain hypocrites among the dwellers of Medina.  The Prophet is told that he does not know them, while God knows them and He will take them to account.

3. When we begin reading Verse 102 we hold our breath.  Here too we can’t help thinking: “Is that us?”  Those who acknowledge that their actions are a blend of good and bad deeds?  But then we realize that acknowledgment (which entails feelings of regret and desire for forgiveness) is, in and of itself, THE FIRST STEP in a complete change of course, and that with this step comes Forgiveness, for God is The Oft-Forgiving, The Unceasingly Compassionate.  We can let our breath out.  The doors to God’s forgiveness are open wide.  Always.  

And He has given us treading-stones, on the path to Him.

One of these treading-stones is the remedial value of a genuine, heart-felt, Charitable-gift, or sadaqa [i], as we see in Verse 103.  Readers who know Arabic would notice its root-verb صدق, which denotes honesty and genuineness.  I was amazed to find that it also denotes strength!  Nothing is as powerful a Spiritual-Purifier, as Repentance followed by a genuinely-given Charitable-gift extended to those less fortunate than ourselves.
Actually, when the wealthy support the needy from their side, then the needy, from their side, see the wealth in other people’s hands as a personal blessing to them as well, this impacts positively upon everyone, opening the channels of Purification(تطهرهم)  and Growth(تزكيهم) , not only in the physical, mental, or spiritual sense… but also in the socio-economic sense.
That is why the Prophet is told:

“Take, of their wealth, a ‘genuinely-given gift’ by which you purify them and help them grow, and involve yourself with/pray for them; your involvement/prayer is comfort to them, and God is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.”
You might ask yourself, dear Reader, :
“Doesn’t ‘صلِّ- salli’ mean ‘pray’?” 

Actually, it does…. but that is NOT ALL it means. 
Limiting ourselves to this single understanding has served to ‘minimize’ our responsibility:  As ‘practicing’ Muslims we might do our prayers and think that this is all that ‘salaat’ is about.  We tend to forget the original meaning of the word, which denotes connection and commitment.  In other words, being involved and engaged (AND praying) which brings us closer to God and to each other.

As the Qur’an quite clearly shows us, ‘salla’ is the opposite of ‘tawalla,’ which means to ‘turn away.’ 
The Qur’an presents the two opposites in HQ 75:31 and 32:

فَلَا صَدَّقَ وَلَا صَلَّىٰ ﴿٣١﴾ وَلَـٰكِن كَذَّبَ وَتَوَلَّىٰ ﴿٣٢﴾

Truth versus Falsehood, and Involvement versus Detachment. 
Proper involvement includes prayer, but is not limited to it.  We'll have a chance to go into this in more detail later.

This verse, therefore, is informing Prophet Muhammad, peace upon him, of the comforting effect which his hands-on involvement and prayers would have upon the people, especially those who are now repenting after have blended good deeds with bad!

4. Verse 104 is absolutely heart-melting!  Notice the questioning, conversational-style statement listing FOUR of God’s beautiful attributes, all of which are of such great favor to His worshippers.  He accepts from them the combination of Repentance with Heart-felt Charitable-giving.  Note the ending “…God Is indeed The ‘Oft-Returning/Acceptor of Repentance’ (Ali/Asad), The Unceasingly Compassionate.” 
We should always notice the ‘attribute’ of God mentioned in a verse; it helps us understand His relationship to that specific issue (compare with 102).
Verse 105 is a call to all the Believers to WORK, Work, work!
Verse 106 refers to other wavering persons upon whom judgment is deferred for the time being.  It could go either way for them, depending on whether they choose repentance or not.

Verse PAGE 204 Arabic Qur’an.

5. Verses 107-108-109-110 relate to a mosque the Hypocrites had built and hoped the Prophet, peace upon him, would inaugurate by praying in.  For further information, you could also read Yusuf Ali’s explanation.
Although these verses discuss a specific incident, the instructions and advice presented here are timeless, showing us the importance of always building our foundations, from Day One, on Awareness!  Everything else will inevitably crumble.

By the way, dear Reader: 
Verse 108 is what opened my eyes to the full meaning of the word ‘rijaal’ since, having studied Seerah (Prophet’s life), I knew all about the women who frequented his mosque, and I found this verse (as traditionally explained) ‘lacking’ in that it ‘only mentioned men,’ as I had mistakenly thought at the time! 
Little did I know then, that ‘rijaal’ is plural of ‘rajla’ (female) just as much as it is plural of ‘rajul’ (male), and that it denotes active persons on their (arjul) feet!

6.  It is interesting to relate historical narrative to our daily lives, so here is an excerpt from what Imam Zaid Shaker of Zaytuna Institute has written. 
Read it all; it is very interesting:

“One of the functions of the Masjid is the unification of the believers. This unifying function can be gathered from reflecting on the description Allah gives of Masjid al-Dirar, a Masjid the believers have been commanded to never stand in:

“There are those who build a Masjid by way of mischief and unbelief, in order to disunite the believers…” [7]

One of the liguistic implications of this verse is that an acceptable Masjid is one that unifies the believers. That unity is based on a communion fostered by the shared devotion of the believers in the Masjid. Conflicting political agendas tear at the very heart of that unity. In many instances, those conflicting agendas become associated with particular Masjids. We frequently hear terms such as a Salafi Masjid, an Ikhwani Masjid, a Sufi Masjid, and other such aberrations. Although the orientations that form the basis of these appellations may have great benefit for their individual adherents, when they become exclusionary appendages affixed to the Masjid, they can be extremely alienating.”
7. Read Verse 111 in both Ali and Asad’s translations.   
It presents us with THE Most Beautiful and Most Rewarding transaction that can ever take place!
A very interesting point to be made here, is that God has taken this promise upon Himself in the Torah, the Evangel and the Qur'an.  This serves to show us the accord in what God has revealed to Humanity. 

As for Humanity:
The First Recipients of His Revelations, as seen in HQ 48:29, WERE ALSO IN ACCORD! 

By understanding that parable, dear Reader, we realize how unfortunate it is that so many later believers in the Qur'an, the Evangel and the Torah made enemies of each other.  Perhaps there is no better time than NOW for People of Faith to refocus on their common goal.

Enough said!
Our next Reading is from HQ 9: 112-117.

Peace unto all!

[i]  من معجم المقاييس: (صدق) يدلُّ على قوّةٍ في الشيء قولاً وغيرَه. من ذلك الصِّدْق: خلاف الكَذِبَ، سمِّيَ لقوّته في نفسه، ولأنَّ الكذِبَ لا قُوَّة له، هو باطلٌ. وأصل هذا من قولهم شيءٌ صَدْقٌ، أي صُلْب.  ورُمْح صَدْقٌ.. والصِّدِّيق: الملازم للصِّدْق. والصَّدَاق: صَدَاقَ المرأة، سُمِّيَ بذلك لقوّته وأنَّه حقٌّ يَلزمُ. ويقال صَدَاقٌ وصُدْقة وصَدُقة. قال الله تعالى: {وَآتُوا النِّسَاءَ صَدُقَاتهنَّ نِحْلَةً} [النساء 4]. و[من] الباب الصَّدَقة: ما يتصدَّق به المرءُ عن نفسه وماله.
عن الراغب الأصفهاني: والصدق: مطابقة القول الضمير والمخبر عنه معا، والصدقة: ما يخرجه الإنسان من ماله على وجه القربة كالزكاة، لكن الصدقة في الأصل تقال للمتطوع به، والزكاة للواجب، وقد يسمى الواجب صدقة إذا تحرى صاحبها الصدق في فعله. قال: }خذ من أموالهم صدقة{ [التوبة/103]، وقال: }إنما الصدقات للفقراء{ [التوبة/60].

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