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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.'


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Day 129; Qur’an 13: 28-36, page 253 + 254

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.

I hope, dear Readers, that you are reading the Qur’anic verses (clicking on the hyperlinks), because there always IS more to see in the actual explanation/translation than in my highlights. 

PAGE 253  Arabic Qur’an.
1. In our last Reading, after the Deniers had asked (Verse 27) for a Sign to descend upon Muhammad, he was told to reply, peace upon him, that God allows to stray anyone who wills it, ‘….and guides unto Him any who returns to him in penitence من يُنيب- [i].” 

Today’s Reading continues with Verse 28, saying:
“Those who have attained Faith, and whose hearts/minds are Calmed and Reassured by the Remembrance of God; indeed, in the Remembrance of God are hearts/minds calmed and reassured!” 
What an important piece of information given to us! 

This is an oft-quoted verse, mentioned whenever we feel replenished, calmed and reassured AFTER the Remembrance of God- or whenever we NEED to replenish ourselves.  It is simple.  No introduction is required for us to enter God’s Presence, nor are we demanded to prepare ourselves.  When we have Sincerity, we need nothing else.  This is the beauty of Pure Reverence to God.  No formal place of worship is required, as the entire earth is our Place of Worship.  Anytime, anywhere.  No intermediary do we need.  From the most intimate and personal depth of our being, each of us can say: 
“Dear God: You created me.  You know me best.  Help me mend my flaws and strengthen my resolve.  Support me in my efforts.  Grant me Fulfillment both in the immediate Life and in the everlasting Hereafter… You Alone Are my Lord Provider.”

Remember HQ 7:29 ..?  We were told to direct ourselves to Him at every place of worship, and to call unto Him sincere in our Accountability, for, even as He initiated our existence, so shall we return unto Him!
2. Verse 29, as I understand it, says:

‘Those who have attained Faith and worked good deeds:  طوبى لهمThe Satisfaction of Achievement is theirs (in life), and an excellent Destination (in the Hereafter).”

My explanation for ‘Ttooba’ طوبى as ‘achievement’ is supported by HQ 39:73 [ii] and is somewhat similar to both Yusuf Ali and Muhammad Asad’s ‘well-doing’ and Arberry’s ‘well-faring,’ BUT I have added the feeling of satisfaction, because of the Qur’anic use of this derivative instead of any other, which might be related to resonance, as well as meaning.

Noticing a word such as this, ‘Ttooba- طوبى’ might offer English-speakers a glimpse into the beautiful sound and meaning of the Arabic Qur’an.  The linguistic analysis of our early 12th century commentator, Zamakhshari, [iii] tells us that this word is a derivative of ‘Ttaabaطاب- ’- similar in meaning to ‘Tteeba lakum’ or ‘Ttibtum.’
But there is a difference in resonance here, since ‘Ttooba’ ends with the highly expressive ‘Aa’ SOUND, which has a meaning related to earliest human communication, affecting us intuitively at a deeper level.  Indeed, the original Arabic Qur’an elicits FEELINGS which we cannot carry into any other language (see footnote [iv])!

Now back to today’s Reading:

Let us read these two beautiful verses together, and notice how Faith -which is sustained by the Remembrance of God- and Working good deeds –which is a confirmation of faith- are related to Achievement AND Happiness in both phases of our Existence!

“Those who have attained Faith, and whose hearts/minds are Calmed and Reassured by the Remembrance of God; indeed, in the Remembrance of God are hearts/minds calmed and reassured! (28)
Those who have attained Faith and worked good deeds: The satisfaction of Achievement is theirs (in life), and an excellent Destination (in the Hereafter).” (29)

3.  We notice in Verse 30 that Prophet Muhammad’s tribe, Qureish, had denied ‘Al Rahmaanالرحمن- .’ This is quite clear in another verse, HQ 25:60, where the unfamiliar word ‘Al Rahmaan,’ which was introduced to them for the first time, only increased their aversion.
The Qur’an announces in Chapter 55 that Al ‘Rahmaan’ is The Unique Creator.  Our Research (endorsed by linguists and scholars) has also proven that and more, which Readers will come to know in time. 

The term ‘Rahmaan’ in the Qur’an does NOT occupy the place of an attribute (such as ‘Raheem’).  In fact:
‘Al Rahmaan’ carries the same weight as ‘Allah (HQ 17:110).

After they voice their denial of ‘Al Rahmaan,’ Prophet Muhammad, peace upon him, tells them of his relationship to Him, his Lord, in Whom he trusts and to Whom he turns in repentance.

4.  Verse 31 responds to both, Those who have Denied, and Those who have attained Faith; the first are asking for physical ‘miracles’ to convince them, while the latter want everyone else to believe! 
The verse ends on the note that His promise will ‘come to pass/ be fulfilled’ (Ali/Asad).
5.  Verse 32 offers the Messenger consolation (I disagree with translating ‘Rasool’ as ‘Apostle’), while Verse 33 gives him a strong argument to make with the Deniers.  Verse 34  warns of the consequences to the denial of God.

PAGE 254 Arabic Qur’an.

6.  Verse 35 summarizes Persuasion and Dissuasion.  We first see the Garden and its delights promised to the Aware, and then find it contrasted to Hell.  Note that the word ‘uqbaaعُقبى- ’ is from the root verb ‘aqabaعقب- ’ – related to ‘consequence,’ as discussed in detail on May 25th.

7.  Verse 36  is VERY interesting in that it starts out by saying that ‘the People Who have Received the Compilation’ ‘yafrahoonaيفرحون- ’ in what is being revealed to the Messenger Muhammad, peace upon him. 

Our 1000 year-old Lexicon tells us that ‘Farahفرح- ’ has two connotations:  to ‘rejoice,’ and to ‘be burdened  [v].’

‘The People Who have Received the Compilation’ usually refers to those who had received the Torah and the Evangel, and taking the word to mean ‘rejoice,’ Zamakhshari explained that it referred to those who had accepted the Qur’an (as a continuation of the same Compilation) among whom were the 80 Christians of Najraan, Ethiopia, and Yemen, as well as Abdul-Lah Ibn Salaam and Ka’b aul Ahbaar (both of Jewish tribes).  Taken in that sense, it would mean that People who had received (earlier) Compilation were rejoicing in what the Messenger was receiving of Qur’an, seeing that they believed in him.   

Asad explains this verse differently, saying that the 'Compilation' in this verse is the Qur’an, and therefore the followers of Prophet Muhammand were 'Those who had received the Compilation' and were rejoicing in it.  I do not agree with him; the followers of Prophet Muhammad were never addressed as 'Those of the Compilation.' 

You see, dear Reader:  No commentator is able to entertain the concept that the People of Earlier Compilation would 'rejoice' in the revelation of the Qur'an-unless they became Followers of Prophet Muhammad, peace upon him.  But the BEAUTY of this word is that it carrries either of TWO meanings (feeling joy or feeling burdened)! 

I am inclined to consider BOTH connotations applicable here.

Some of the Jews and Christians would -and indeed DID rejoice, having recognized its source, and felt honored to be readdressed by their Lord, who even described them in the Qur'an, bowing to their chins, in tears of humbleness (HQ17: 107-109).  And we already read many verses which acknowledged their faith, when characterized by Pure Reverence to God (see HQ 2:62).  Why do we have to suppose that every single one of those who rejoiced was a follower of Prophet Muhammad, peace upon him, when the Qur'an does not indicate that?  Can't any person of Pure Reverence to God, read the Qur'an... and feel joy? 

Furthermore:  Since ‘farahفرح- ’ also denotes 'burden:'

Many among the People of (earlier) Compilation DID feel burdened by the Qur’an as it was being revealed to the Messenger, especially since many verses were directed to them, urging them to take a second look at how far they might have strayed from the original path.  Theirs was quite a burden; a burden of Responsibility! 

Let me know what you think, dear Readers, especially if you are not 'Muslims.'
Enough said!
In our next Reading we’ll complete Chapter 13, and do HQ 14: 1-10;
a new Chapter!

Peace unto all!

[i] We first encountered the word ‘uneebينيب- أنيب- ’ when the ‘Orator’ among Prophets, Prophet Shu’ayb, spoke to his people announcing his trust in God, in HQ 11:88.

[ii] Their wonderful ‘Achievement,’ seems to be what the Aware are congratulated for, upon their arrival at the gates of the Garden (of Heaven) in HQ 39:73.  The Angels (Keepers) tell them, ‘Tibtum طبتم-’ in the past tense, ‘therefore enter here to abide eternally.’

[iii] الزمخشري:وطوبى مصدر من طاب، كبشرى وزلفى، ومعنى «طوبى لك» أصبت خيراً وطيباً، ومحلها النصب أو الرفع، كقولك: طيباً لك، وطيب لك،"

[iv] In fact, when we call upon someone in Arabic, our most ‘desperate-for-attention’ cry invariably ends with the ‘Aaaah’ sound, so that if we called upon ‘Maryam’ we’d say: “Maryamaah!”  Upon our father: “Abataah!” or Mother: “Ummaah!” Upon our Lord: “Rabbaah!”…etc..

The most famous Historic cry ever made, is that of an Arab woman, who cried out in desperation when the Romans invaded Malatia (in present day-Turkey), and set about to commit the worst of war-crimes.  As she was being seized by the Roman soldiers, she called out to the Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad, al Mu’tassim (833-842).  The 4 syllables she uttered, “Waa Mu’tassimaah!” reverberated throughout the nation, and were carried from town to town, until they arrived at his court.  Upon hearing them he immediately responded “Labbeyki, Labbeyki” (I am committed to respond to you, I am committed to you!), and he mustered an army to fight for her sake.  The Historic Cry that woman made 12 centuries ago still reverberates wherever there is Occupation, and is well-known to most Arabs even today (see  Wikipedia).    
Perhaps now, dear Reader, you will be able to discern by SOUND, how ‘Ttoobaa’ with its reverberating ‘aaa’ sound, elicits a far stronger intuitive response than ‘Ttibtum!’

[v] (فرح) أصلانِ، يدلُّ أحدهما على خلاف الحُزْن، والآخر الإثْقال.
فالأوَّل الفَرَح، يقال فَرِحَ يَفرَح فَرَحا، فهو فَرِح. وأمَّا الأصل الآخر فالإفراح، وهو الإثقال. وقولُه عليه الصلاة والسَّلام: "لا يُتْرَك في الإسلام مُفْرَحٌ" قالوا: هذا الذي أثْقَلَه الدَّين. قال: إذا أنت لم تَبْرحْ تؤدِّي أمانةً  *** وتَحمِلُ أخرى أفرحتكَ الودائعُ.

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