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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, May 24, 2010

Day 117; Qur’an 11:84-95, page 231 + 232

Welcome Friends:  Ahlan wa sahlan!
Please note that there are a few additions to yesterday’s Post!
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 231 Arabic Qur’an.

1.  Our Reading today tells us more about Prophet Shu’ayb’s mission to the tribe of Madyan, discussed earlier on April 12th.  In Verse 84, he asks his people to worship God Alone and forbids them from fraudulent dealings, such as giving short measure and weight.
In Verse 85 are three demands he made of his people. 
I liked Plato and Aristotle’s definition of ‘Justice’ in Yusuf Ali’s comment:

Justice is the Virtue which gives every one his due.

In Verse 86 Prophet Shu’ayb limits his responsibility, advising them to satisfy themselves, or actually TO ASPIRE to ‘that which rests with God,’ IF they are indeed Believers.  This ‘baqiyyatul-Lahبقيّة الله- ’ and (in plural) ‘al-baaqiyaatul saalihaatالباقيات الصالحات- ’ is mentioned in HQ 18:46; 19:76. 

We must realize how serious it is to cheat people out of what is rightfully theirs.  Such an act is considered one of the Inviolables in our Standard of Accountability; the 7th ‘commandment’ on the Straight Path! 

It is only fitting, that we, as Believers, also aspire to what rests with God, rather than lower our sights to the fleeting material possessions of this earth!  

2.  In Verse 87 they ask him whether it is his prayer or ‘Attachment’ (what he is attached to) which commands that they should forsake the deities worshipped by their forefathers, and also commands that they forego their freedom to do what they pleased with their wealth?  These questions show that their final comment was indeed sarcastic.

3.  Verse 88 shows us the gracious, gentle and persuasive response of Prophet Shu’ayb, peace upon him, traditionally called: the ‘Orator among Prophets’ or ‘khateeb el Anbiyaa’ خطيب الأنباء !

PAGE 232 Arabic Qur’an.
4.   In Verse 89 he appeals to them as ‘man to man,’ reminding them of what happened to the peoples of Hud, Saleh, and Lot, peace upon all Prophets. 
Then he asks them (Verse 90) to seek their Lord’s forgiveness, for his Lord is Unceasingly Compassionate and Loving.  

People should know that the Qur’an mentions ‘wadoodودود-’ as one of our Creator’s most beautiful names and attributes!  It is amazing that we have not emphasized this aspect in our conduct or dialogue, a failure which has allowed others to say that the ‘God we worship’ is not a ‘God of Love.’ 
Although some of us may deserve to be discredited due to our actions or inaction, the rest of us must make up for their mistakes and NOT allow their example to be at the forefront, which leads to generalization and sweeping judgment against the Qur’an, and against Him Who is perceived as ‘our’ God.
God is indeed Loving, as mentioned again in 85:14. 

As for us, IF we attained Faith AND did Good deeds, then we would have the right to expect what He grants us in HQ 19:96.  Do we deserve it?

5.  In Verse 91, we notice how Shu’ayb’s people tried to distance themselves, by claiming that he was speaking above their heads.  It also shows the lack of esteem they had for him, simply because he had few supporters.  But thanks to these supporters, he was immune to their banishing or killing him.  (The verb ‘rajama [i] رجم-’ besides literal ‘stoning,’ denotes killing at the worst, and verbal abuse at the least.  It also denotes ‘banishment,’ which seems probable here, as in the ‘Banished Deviant/Sheytaan rajeem الشيطان الرجيم-).

Note: We must bear in mind that when this Chapter was revealed, Prophet Muhammad, peace upon him, had few supporters!
6.  Prophet Shu’ayb responds to them beautifully in 92- 93  with words we know (HQ 6:135) God had also commanded Prophet Muhammad to say to his people. 

I like Arberry’s interpretation of ‘makaanatikumمكانتكم-’ as ‘station.’  Each of us works according to his/her STATION- meaning that we translate into action what we already think, believe and desire: the Faithful will work in Faith, and the Deniers in Denial.
This helps us understand the second part of this verse, which is a WARNING, earned after putting one’s feelings into action, bringing into existence what was only present in our hearts and minds.

7.  Verses 94-95 bring to an end the narrative on Prophet Shu’ayb’s people.  He was saved, together with those who believed with him, while those who denied became… as if they’d never been.
Enough said! 
Our next Reading is from HQ 11:96-117.
     Peace unto all!

[i] الراغب الأصفهاني:
الرجام: الحجارة، والرجم: الرمي بالرجام. يقال: رجم فهو مرجوم، قال تعالى: }لئن لم تنته يا نوح لتكونن من المرجومين{ [الشعراء/116]، أي: المقتولين أقبح قتلة، وقال: }ولولا رهطك لرجمناك{ [هود/91]، }إنهم إن يظهروا عليكم يرجموكم{ [الكهف/20]، ويستعار الرجم للرمي بالظن، والتوهم، وللشتم والطرد، نحو قوله تعالى: }رجما بالغيب{ (سورة الكهف: آية 22، قال قتادة: قذفا بالظن)

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