Welcome Friends: Ahlan wa sahlan!
As you noticed, we had to keep Page 254 for today.
This is due to the all-important final concepts that bring the Chapter of Thunder to a close.
1. We notice four things in Verse 37:
“Indeed We have bestowed this an ‘Arabic’- Self-Expressive Ordinance, and if you were to follow their desires after the knowledge that has come to you, you will have none to protect you from God, or to shield you!”
· This is revealed: an ‘Arabiعربي- ’ Self-expressive Ordinance.
· Quite clearly here, God is addressing His Messenger.
Indeed, the entire conclusion to this Chapter is taken up by this address, but in Verse 37 the ‘Voice of God’ is easily identifiable as it is dutifully received by His Messenger and then transmitted to the world:
‘…and if thou dost follow their caprices, after the knowledge that has come to thee, thou shalt have no protector against God, and no defender” (Arberry).
· Being a Revelation of clearly expressed Ordinances, the Messenger can, and indeed MUST, apply it to himself on one hand, and guide others to it as well, regardless of people’s desires.
· As for the people: Since it is ‘Arabi’ and clearly expressed, they have absolutely no excuse in not understanding its wisdom; in other words, when they refuse to follow the Messenger or his Message, the reason will NOT be that the Revelation was incomprehensible, but that they themselves were lacking.
This is serious business! You might ask: How about us, today, when WE do not truly comprehend God’s Message, yet do NOT want to be in a position where we have none to protect or defend us from God..?
The answer is that, as long as we are truly TRYING to comprehend it, we cannot be blamed.
We must use EVERYTHING in our power to try and understand what God is telling us; we must seek original Qur’anic intent, with the help of the references at hand.
It frightens me to think, dear Reader that our responsibility in this Information Age surpasses the responsibility of all the past generations combined. But then I think: What an opportunity to be alive today, opening with our fingertips entire libraries, any book of which our predecessors would have spent years searching for!
2. Verse 38 continues to address the Messenger, giving him responses to Qureish’s unreasonable demands, related to his being ‘just one of them’ rather than an angel, and to ‘miracles.’
Then, at the end of verse 38, and beginning of verse 39 we find two VERY important statements (in my translation):
‘… to each Term a Compilation.’ (38)
“God dissolves what He wills, and affirms, and in His tenure is the Source of the Compilation.” (39)
Wow. All in a nutshell.
At first, we find mention of A ‘Compilation,’ any compilation sent by God according to the ‘Term’ to which it belonged. Then we find that the dissolution of certain parts, and the affirmation of others, is all according to His Will; the Source itself being in His Tenure! Indeed, what an eloquent, self-expressive (Arabi) Ordinance!
For ‘Compilation,’ Ali said ‘Book’ and Asad’ said ‘Revelation.’ Zamakhshari explained that to each generation is an Ordinance which best fits the life requirements. See Verses 38- 39 in Arberry’s explanation, and notice, dear Reader, that LESS IS MORE. This is why I advise Readers to always read at least two or three explanations of the Qur’an to get to the correct meaning, one of which should be a concise, literal explanation.
3. AGAIN, in Verse 40 we distinctly hear ‘God’s Voice’ discussing the Prophet’s death, and his responsibility as Messenger, which is solely to convey the Message, NOT TO HOLD PEOPLE ACCOUNTABLE! Isn’t that something WE should learn from?
4. Both Yusuf Ali and Muhammad Asad’s explanations of Verse 41 are interesting, although I prefer Arberry’s, because it remained literal. Some persons have explained the verse differently, relating it to a ‘Scientific Marvel’ rather than to people and life. (A ‘Scientific Marvel’ is related to the Qur’an mentioning a scientific fact unknown at the time of Revelation).
Dr. Zaghloul Al Najjar has deduced such a ‘marvel’ from this verse; check it out at YouTube.
But we must always bear in mind that, not only do the linguistic marvels of the Qur’an surpass the scientific, but ‘Arabi’ IS, in fact,the Qur’an’s DEFINING characteristic. This means that, even when we do end up finding ‘scientific’ marvels, we can only do so based on the correct linguistic definitions. Without the original language we cannot obtain correct references to anything!
The last part of the verse, returns all judgment to God, and tells us that no one can follow-up on (or amend) His judgment, and that He is swift in holding Account.
5. Verse 42 tells us of the devising of those who Deny, and announces that, ‘….. to God
Belongs all Devise, and that Those who Denied will come to know to whom shall be ‘the final outcome, or end عقبى الدار. ‘The final outcome/ end’ is explained as ‘who gets home in the end/ to whom the future belongs’ (Yusuf Ali/ Muhammad Asad).
6. The Chapter of Thunder concludes by responding to Qureish, who alleged that Muhammad is not a Messenger. He is told to respond by saying that God suffices as witness between him and his people, as also suffices the witness of ‘he who has knowledge of the Compilation.’
A most eloquent conclusion to this Chapter!
Our next Reading is from HQ 14: 1-10.
Peace unto all!
P.S. Did you notice, in the right side-bar: “What is Taught in Schools Today, versus What Should be Taught”?
When there is Truth in our narration of the Past, we will come closer to Agreement in our Present, and to Fellowship in our Future!