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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.'


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Day 133; Qur’an 14: 24- 41, page 259 + 260

Welcome Friends:  Ahlan wa sahlan!
The first part of today’s Reading uncovers the foundation of any successful relationship, a concept we should direct our children towards, as soon as they learn how to express themselves and choose their words!

And then, the last part of today’s Reading brings us the beautiful supplication of Prophet Abraham, peace upon him, which is the reason for the Title of this Chapter. 

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 259 Arabic Qur’an.
1. To understand the importance of the first four verses in today’s Reading, we look back to HQ 7:157 (see April 16th for its relevance to followers of Moses and Jesus, peace upon both). 
“Those who follow the Messenger, the Uninstructed Prophet, whom they find (reports of) compiled in the Torah and the Evangel: who commands them to what is mutually acceptable and forbids them of what is objectionable, and makes lawful to them all that is Wholesome and forbids them of the Unwholesome, and relieves them of them their burden and the shackles that were upon them. Those, therefore, who believe in him, and honor him, and support him, and follow the Light that was sent down with him– they are indeed the Successful!"

Remember this Timeless Verse?  But what interests us today are 3 words in this verse:  ‘Wholesome,’ ‘Unwholesome,’ and ‘Successful.’

The Qur’an ALWAYS directs us towards what is best for us, but it is our CHOICE of what is ‘wholesome/ good’ that leads us to Success.

When we put the two Arabic words طيب خبيث – (‘wholesome/ good versus unwholesome/corrupt’) in Tanzil, we discover that in this Life, WE have a choice between the two in:

·  Everything in general HQ 5:100.
·  Choice of companions HQ 24:26.
·  Spending HQ 2:267.
·  Managing finances of orphans HQ 4:2.

And we also discover that the choices we make distinguish us in Life, so that we actually EMBODY the category we constantly choose HQ 3:179, and suffer the consequence for having made the wrong choice in the Hereafter HQ 8:37.

2.  Now let us read Verses 24- 25- 26, and better grasp the importance of the choices we make WHEN WE SPEAK, both in manner and content. 
One is positive and elicits benefit, and the other is negative and elicits harm; ‘wholesomeطيِّب- ’ versus ‘unwholesomeخبيث- ’.
The ‘wholesome’ word is likened to a wholesome tree: Roots firm and steady, branches high IN the sky… (what a beautiful image)… ever-bearing fruit by its Lord’s leave. 
The contrasting image is that of an ‘unwholesome’ word, likened to an unwholesome tree, torn out of the earth, with no base.

An entire book can be written about this.  Many of us are already familiar with the concept of positivity generating positivity and vice versa, about positive psychology and its effect on life, well-being and happiness. 
Positive interaction in ANY relationship is crucial to its success, from siblings, to friends, to spouses, to teams, to governments and international relations.
And yes.  Our relationship with our Creator, which when nursed back to health, can generate the well-being necessary to repair other broken relationships or neutralize their damage.  

Verse 27 should make us stop in our tracks, especially if we consider ourselves among ‘Those who have attained Faith’!  Why?
Because the Qur’an says that God steadies them, by firm, steady words in this Life and in the Hereafter.  Therefore, it is The Faithful who are similar to the wholesome tree, firm in their faith, their positive words and deeds reaching the skies and bearing fruit at all times.  But what are these fruits?
By cross-referencing, putting the phrase ‘in the sky’ في السماء in Tanzil, we discover these fruits: 
They are the direct result of our Positivity, and are of two kinds (HQ 51:22):

·    Our earthly Provision, or ‘Rizq’ (رزقكم).
·    The fulfillment of God’s Promise to us.(ما توعدون)   

This is what I mean when I tell you, dear Readers, that adhering to Qur’anic Context is CRUCIAL to understanding the Qur’an!

Now, the remaining question each of us should ask ourselves is : Judging by what other people observe of my words and deeds- could I truly be considered of Those who attained Faith?

3.  Verses 28- 29- 30 discuss those who ‘exchanged God’s Blessing for Denial,’ and took their people into perdition by instituting the worship of ‘partners’ besides God.

In Verse 31 (also see Asad) God is telling the Messenger Muhammad, peace upon him, to tell His worshippers who have attained Faith, to do two important things, before it is too late:
·   To establish regular Prayer.
·   To spend in Charity, both privately and publicly.

It is beautiful in Arabic, when God calls us ‘Ibaadi.’
Dear Reader: I think this verse is laying the positive ground where ‘we’ -or our ‘tree’ of faith- can be cultivated and grow, generating ‘wholesome’ words and deeds!  Let me know what YOU think.

4. Verses 32- 33- 34 mention God’s Bounty, and recount a few of the Blessings He has put ‘in our service,’ beginning with sea-vessels and rivers, then on to the sun and moon, the night and day.

PAGE 260 Arabic Qur’an.

5.  Verse 34 is a statement, telling us that God delivers to us ‘something’ (not all) of whatever we ask of Him, and that if we were to count God’s Favor we would not calculate/ enumerate it (we would never be able to know its depth or breadth or details, no matter how hard we tried, similar to HQ 16:18):

‘…But if ye count the favours of God, never will ye be able to number them…. (Ali)
‘…and should you try to count God’s blessings, you could never compute them… (Asad)

The verse ends by telling us that the Human is persistent in wrongdoing, a constant Denier (of favor).

6.  And now we arrive at the beautiful supplication of Prophet Abraham, peace upon him. Please read Verses 35-36-37-38-39-40-41 carefully.

We notice Abraham’s love for his family in Verse 36 since, although he disassociates himself from any descendents who disobey his command to worship God Alone and forsake idols, yet he indirectly pleads (on their behalf) to God’s Mercy and Unceasing Compassion.

In Verse 37 we hear his heartfelt prayer for the progeny he left in Mecca (Ishmael and his descendants), asking God to send them his bounty and to instill in people’s hearts/minds (أفئدة-Af'idah) a yearning for them and for the Inviolable House built for God’s worship in this barren valley… a prayer we feel… we know IN OUR PALPITATING HEARTS, was answered.
(أفئدة-Af'idah, plural of Fou'aad- said to denote a heart/mind when aflame- but I am researching the word for a better explanation.)  

We notice how he expresses his gratitude to God, and asks for nothing on earth for himself and his progeny, except to be observant of Prayer, and that his supplications be answered.

He ends his prayer by seeking God’s Mercy for himself, his parents, and all the Faithful on the Day of Account.  Indeed, dear Reader, many parts of this supplication deserve to be memorized.

The following notes are also important:
Yusuf Ali:

“Notice the four divisions into which it falls: (1) verses 35-36 are spoken by Abraham as on his own behalf ("O my Lord!"); (2) verses 37-38 are spoken on behalf of his progeny ("O our Lord!") but with special reference to the elder branch, the children of Isma’il; (3) verses 39-40 are again a personal appeal, but both branches of his family, viz., the sons of Isma’il and Isaac, are expressly mentioned; (4) verse 41 is a Prayer for himself, his parents, and all Believers, typifying that in the universality of Islam all nations are to be blessed. Jerusalem, for the Mosaic Law and the Gospel of Jesus, was the centre and symbol for the Jewish race, though of course all Allah’s Truth is universal; Makkah, the centre of the Arab race, was to throw off its tribal character and become universal, in spite of the Makkans themselves.”

Muhammad Asad:
The whole of this passage (verses 35-41) – from which the title of this sūrah is derived – represents a parenthetic reminder, in the form of Abraham’s prayer, of the only way to righteousness, in the deepest sense of the word, open to man: namely, a recognition of God’s existence, oneness, and uniqueness and, hence, a rejection of all belief in “other powers” supposedly co-existent with Him (cf. verse 30 above). Inasmuch as this prayer implies a realization of, and gratitude for, God’s infinite bounty, it connects directly with the preceding verse 34 and the subsequent verse 42.x
The particle min (“[some] of”) preceding the word dhurriyatī (“my offspring”) is obviously an allusion to 2:124, where God says in answer to Abraham’s question about his descendants: “My covenant does not embrace the evildoers.” Thus, Abraham has been given to understand that not all of his posterity would be righteous and that none can claim to belong to a “chosen people” by virtue of his or her descent from an apostle of God: a statement which relates not only to the Israelites, who descended from Abraham through Isaac, but also to the Arabian (Ishmaelite) branch of the Abrahamic peoples, from whom the Quraysh were to spring: hence, by implication, even to the unrighteous among the descendants of the Last Prophet, Muhammad, who belonged to the tribe of Quraysh.

Enough said!
Our next Reading is from HQ 14: 42-52; 15: 1-15.
A New Chapter!

Peace unto all!

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