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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.'


Friday, June 4, 2010

Day 127; Qur’an 13: 1-11, page 249 + 250

Welcome Friends:  Ahlan wa sahlan!
In our last Reading we noticed the Qur’an giving Prophet Muhammad, peace upon him, realistic expectations, telling him that most people will not believe in his Message.  Perhaps another important reason for telling him this, is so that he would NOT measure his success by the numbers at hand, but rather, simply do his best… and leave the matter to God.  And more importantly, perhaps the Qur’an is ultimately speaking to US, telling US to do OUR best, and leave the matter of who does, or who does not believe…. 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.

سورة الرعد
This Chapter of ‘Thunder’ is considered to be of the late Meccan era by most, including Yusuf Ali.  Muhammad Asad tells us:

“THERE ARE considerable differences of opinion regarding the period in which this surah was revealed. According to one statement attributed to Ibn 'Abbas, it is a Meccan surah (Suyuti), while according to other authorities, mentioned by Tabarani, Ibn 'Abbas is reported to have described it as belonging to the Medina period (ibid.). .. Zamakhshari, on the other hand, confines himself to the statement that the time of its revelation is uncertain.
Like so many other surahs, this one, too, takes it's title from the incidental mention of a word which caught the imagination of the earliest generation of Muslims: in this case, the word "thunder" occurring in verse 13, which relates to the evidence of God's creative powers forthcoming from the observable manifestations of nature.”

PAGE 249 Arabic Qur’an.

1.  Verse 1 begins with ‘disjointed letters (A-L-M-R).  We had already discussed similar beginnings on April 6th, where we indicated that such letters usually introduce the ‘Compilation -كتاب’ – and we noted that they are in reality ‘sounds’ not letters. 
Notice that this verse points to the Truth of this Revelation stating that, despite this Truth, most people will not believe in it.
Also notice (in Asad’s commentary) that scholars had NOT seen the distinction we have uncovered between the two terms ‘Kitaab’ and ‘Qur’an,’ and they believed them to be synonymous.  We now know something VERY important about these two terms; they are neither synonymous nor alike:  The Kitaab is static, while the Qur’an is interactive!

2.  Verse 2 invites Humanity to look around and observe the wonders of Creation, well-explained by both Ali and Asad, except for the word ‘Archعرش -’ (see discussion of April 9th from which comes the following excerpt):
“We should bear in mind that the word in Arabic expresses BUILDING, complete with raising and fortifying what is built.  The 'arch' which the Qur'an ALWAYS mentions with regard to God's Creation, is directly related to the form and function of this universe, as the receptacle of LIFE.  Verse HQ 2:255 tells us about God, that " slumber nor sleep overcomes Him..."  The concept of the 'Arch' seems to have been well-understood by early Muslims who manifested it into their architecture; see 'The Arch Which Never Sleeps' in sidebar.”  

3.  After observing the skies, where sun and moon are delegated -each for its own purpose- we are invited in Verse 3 to look to the earth, with its firmaments, rivers, abundance of paired fruits... to the night as it encloses the day… all of which are Signs for قوم يتفكرون 'Those who Reflect'.. and then we are given more detail in Verse 4, where the Signs are for قوم يعقلون 'Those who use their Intellect to secure knowledge.'

Notice that the Qur’an calls the mountains ‘rawaassiرواسي- ’ firmaments or ‘anchors’ 9 times (copy and paste رواسي in Tanzil), and at other times it likens them to ‘pegs’ (HQ 78:7), or says that they ‘prevent the earth from shaking’ (HQ 16:15; 31:10), all of which is related to the FUNCTION of mountains and their geological formation- information that was not discovered until recent generations.  Read this scientific paper, which tells us about the roots that extend (5.6 times deep) into the mantle beneath mountain ranges, and note its illustrations.

Verse 5 shows us that despite the wonders of earth and skies… some will continue to deny their Lord!  The argument here, regarding being brought back to life from dust, seems to indicate that it is indeed a Meccan Chapter.

PAGE 250 Arabic Qur’an.
4.   In Verse 6 we find 'Those who Deny' challenging Muhammad, peace upon him, to deliver the consequence he is warning them of.  Here we note that they have not looked at past examples from history, and therefore do not fully comprehend the severity of what they are asking for. 
Perhaps that is one reason why they ask for a ‘classic’ miracle, in Verse 7, although even that, would not convince them.  The Messenger is reminded that he is only a Warner (and responsible for delivery of the Message, whether or not they believe), and every People have a Guide.  Muhammad Asad considers this Guide to be God, while Yusuf Ali considered the Guide to be the Qur’an/ Muhammad, peace upon him.

5.  The beginning of the verse mentions both the ‘good deed’ and the ‘bad.’  A Reader recently asked, how we might define them, since all things are relative.  I think it is safe to say that:
·     A Good deed /hassana حسنة:
‘What is Beneficial to Society AND is sought/appreciated/commended.’
·     A Bad deed /sayyi’ahسيئة :
‘What is Harmful to Society AND is avoided/disparaged/denounced.’
Some of these acts are universally condemned, mentioned in Holy Scriptures or in Legal Systems, and will never change, while others ARE indeed relative, but relative to what?  To knowledge.  The more we know, the more discerning we become as to the benefit or harm of our acts, and if we seek to uphold the well-being of our societies, or to 'mend,' we should spread the information to others!
6.  Verses 8- 9 are absolutely beautiful- please read them carefully.  Also listen to this entire section on Tanzil (I like al-Ghamadi’s voice). 
The more you know about God the more you adore Him…all Praise and Glory is His.
(Indeed my prayer, my service, my life, my death, are all for God, The Lord of all Existence.  No partner in Divinity has He, such have I been commanded, and I am of those Pure in Reverence to Him! From: HQ 6:162-163)
7.  After beginning with the Compilation, then mentioning the Creation of the skies, the earth and its bounties, and the awe-inspiring attributes of God Himself, and the fact that He Is '...Knower of the Unseen and the Witnessed..." we are told about ourselves in Verses 10- 11:

We learn that -to Him- it is of no difference, whether we declare or divulge our discourse, or whether we stir by night or by day, furthermore:  THERE ARE THOSE WHOSE SOLE FUNCTION IT IS TO FOLLOW US, protecting us, at all times, as part of God’s command.
(Any questions as to 'Who?' 'Where?' 'What?' are futile.  All we know is that they are God's agents, so designated for our benefit, fulfilling their purpose in the 'gheyb' which is beyond our perception.)

And then we are told that God will not change any state we are in, until we change what is in our own Selves.  This works both ways, whether we move towards positivity or negativity; either way God will not stop us, but will allow events to naturally unfold as results of our actions.  And if He then brings upon a certain population the consequence of its actions, none can prevent that!

See Asad’s interesting commentary on these verses.

Our next Reading is from HQ 13: 12-28.

Peace unto all!

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