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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 31, 2010

Day 123; Qur’an 12: 44-62, page 241 + 242

Welcome Friends:  Ahlan wa sahlan!
Although late, I will try to put in what was missed due to travel.  I do hope that you were reading on!  We're together in this project, dear Readers. 
We ended our last Reading with news of Prophet Joseph, peace upon him, languishing in jail for a few more years, having been forgotten by his erstwhile comrade-in-prison. 

Despite Forgetfulness being the extent of ‘the Deviant/Satan’s’ influence over us, it still is a serious matter indeed.  Unfortunately, we ALL suffer from it: How often do we aim for our higher potential, and then find our efforts undermined by our own negativity or someone else’s?  It is either that we got distracted and lost focus, or someone else impeded our efforts, having themselves lost sight of what is most important in the life of social beings:
That we all boost one another towards self-fulfillment.

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 241 Arabic Qur’an.
1.  In our last Reading, the King was disturbed by a dream/vision, and sought its interpretation from his council.  The response he got (Verse 44) was that his dreams seemed like a cluttered ‘medley of visions’ (adgaath -[i]), a confused ‘cluster,’ which they lacked the knowledge to interpret.
That was when the former prison-comrade finally remembered Joseph, peace upon him (Verse 45) after ‘a lengthy period of time,’ an ‘ummah’[ii].

2.  Verses 46- 47- 48- 49 describe the former prison-comrade’s conversation with Joseph, his question about the dream and Joseph’s response.  We notice his wisdom as he translates the dream into application, providing the king with measures to contain impending disaster, projecting that all will be well… 15 years ahead!

3.  Joseph’s story so far has been full of life’s lessons:  Parental favoritism and Sibling-rivalry, Sexual temptation and Forbearance, Strength of character, Loyalty, Wisdom, Forgiveness, and now: Economic well-being. 
How ironic it is to us in OUR economic strains, to find that we have learnt nothing from Biblical and Qur’anic lessons (not to mention common sense), and that our generation has been doing the opposite of what would have guaranteed our wellbeing! 
Joseph’s 15-year ‘economic strategy’ came at a time of abundance, prior to seven years of plenty.  It was the community’s ‘saving,’ not ‘spending’ which was encouraged. 
Muslim writers have written about this [iii], drawing comparisons between this important story and what brought on today’s Economic Crisis.  Christian writers have also drawn comparison with the Biblical story, some suggesting ‘Why Joseph should be in charge of the Economy.’  But we’d all be naïve to expect authority to change its self-serving ways.  It is up to us, the People, to make our wishes known to our authorities, even as we follow through with our own behavior, and the values we instill in our children.

I would ignore both Yusuf Ali and Muhammad Asad’s Biblically-related connections to time and place, shown in their commentary on these verses.  As we already know, in order to discover Qur’anic intent, we should maintain its independence from everything except its own Language and Context.

4.  In Verses 50- 51- 52 Joseph sets his condition for re-entering society:  Exoneration!  Summoned by the king himself, the women dismiss the allegations against Joseph, and the wife of the Aziz places full blame upon herself, in that she was the one who pursued him.  She also says that she would like him to know that she is telling the truth so as not to ‘betray him in his absence -gheyb’ and that God does not guide Betrayers. 
What a shift of position!  Is it related to their heartfelt repentance and humility in face of his dedication to his Lord and his morals, or to their knowledge of the high office offered to him by the king?  Perhaps a mixture of both.  Let us see what the next verse indicates.

PAGE 242 Arabic Qur’an.
5.   In Verse 53, someone speaks in the first person ‘I.’ Because of its humble attitude and wisdom, some commentators have taken the speaker to be Joseph.  Others see it as the continuation of Verse 52, where Joseph's erstwhile ‘seductress’ says that she will not absolve herself of blame, asking God, her Lord, for forgiveness and mercy.
In the center of the verse is the beautiful statement:

“…the (human) Self does indeed prod towards wrongdoing, except that which has received my Lord’s Mercy…”

Verses 54-55 -56 tell us of Prophet Joseph’s appointment, peace upon him, overseeing the entire kingdom’s economy. 
Verse 57 stands alone, a statement to the reward of the Hereafter being ‘better’ for those who attain Faith and are Aware.  In HQ 16:41 we are told that the reward of the Hereafter is ‘greater.’

6.  In Verses 58- 59- 60 Joseph recognizes his brothers, and is generous to them (they hadn’t recognized him).  He tells them that, if they indeed desire future business with him, they are to make sure to bring back their youngest brother with them. 

7.  Verse 61 shows us how attached Jacob must have been to the son they were discussing.  In Verse 62, Joseph commands his servants to put back in his brothers’ caravan all the supplies they had already given him as barter.  This generosity – to be discovered only when they unpacked at home- was intended as an added incentive by which they would return to him -with his brother!

Enough said!
Our next Reading is from HQ 12: 63-78.
Peace unto all!

[i] (ضغث) يدلُّ على التباسِ الشَّيءِ بعضه ببعض. يقال للحالم: أَضْغَثْتَ الرُّؤيا. والأضغاث: الأحلام الملتبِسة.
والضِّغْث: قُبضة من قُضْبان أو حشيش، قال الخليل: أصلٌ واحدٌ.
الراغب الأصفهاني: - الضغث: قبضة ريحان، أو حشيش أو قضبان، وجمعه: أضغاث. قال تعالى: }وخذ بيدك ضغثا{ [ص/44]، وبه شبه الأحلام المختلطة التي لا يتبين حقائقها، }قالوا أضغاث أحلام{ [يوسف/44] : حزم أخلاط من الأحلام.

The word ‘digth’ -its plural here, ‘adgaath ضغث/ أضغاث’ appears in another verse (HQ 38:44) where, although the word has been correctly interpreted, the entire verse has not.

[ii] This word-‘Ummahأمّة- is explained by Zamakhshari as a long period of time, and he gives other valid readings of the word as ‘amah’ –أمه- or forgetfulness, and ‘immah’—إمّة which denotes ‘ease,’  in which case this person’s forgetfulness relates to the life of ease he had been leading.
الزمخشري:{ بَعْدَ أُمَّةٍ } بعد مدّة طويلة،
«بعد إمّة» بكسر الهمزة، والإمّة النعمة.

[iii]  "لقد رسم يوسف خطة اقتصادية محكمة أنقذ فيها البلاد والعباد من مرارة أصعب الظروف وأحلك الأيام، فهو أول من أصل مفهوم الدورة الاقتصادية في مرحلتيها الرواج والكساد، النمو والانحسار، آلية الطلب والعرض، والتوازن بين الاستهلاك والإنتاج، وقدم نماذج من الإجراءات الاستباقية لتحصين الاقتصاد من سلبيات وتداعيات الانكماش والتضخم، بالحد من النزعة الاستهلاكية والعادات الاتكالية وتعزيز النزعة الادخارية وتطوير الأنماط الاستثمارية وتنويع مصادر الدخل وتعظيم عوائد الإيرادات.
لقد أسس الصديق مبادئ التوظيف الأمثل للإمكانات، لجني العوائد بأقل التكاليف ورفع كفاءة الأداء وتفعيل دينامكية الأسواق وأدوات السياسات النقدية والمالية."

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