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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, June 14, 2010

Day 134; Qur’an 14: 25- 52; 15: 1-15, page 261 + 262

Welcome Friends:  Ahlan wa sahlan!
Yusuf Ali’s Translation of our new Chapter.
Muhammad Asad’s Translation of our new Chapter.
Their commentaries can only be read in verse by verse view.

PAGE 261 Arabic Qur’an.
1. We begin our Reading today with Verse 42; a statement addressed to the Prophet, peace upon him, and to Those of Faith, telling them not to think that the wrong-doers will get away with their deeds.  The verse indicates that God knows exactly what they are doing, but has chosen to postpone their full dues till the time of Judgment, when theirs shall be the fearful image described in Verse 43.

It is interesting to note the description of their FOU’AAD being ‘hawaa’ –  هواءHawaa is well-explained by Asad as ‘abysmal void[i].  For the definition of ‘fou’aad’ however, we go to our Reading of March 29, where we said that we might refer to ‘fou-aad’ as a ‘mental-response,’ and that al Asfahani had said that:
‘Fou-aad’ is the ‘heart/mind’
in a condition of being aflame/ignited.”

What a description:  Hearts/minds ‘Aflame… falling into an abyss…. yet empty at the same time.’

2.  Then, the Messenger is asked to warn People (in general) of Judgment (Verse 44), and we hear the argument expected from the wrongdoers in general, and its response, drawing attention to earlier communities who disobeyed their Messengers, and ‘whose homes they now occupied’…  (45) and whose fates should provide  a lesson.
(46) Of no avail were their cleverly contrived plots.

3.  The following four verses tell of the suffering of the Wrongdoers after this earth is changed into another (and the heavens 47), and all appear before God The Unique, The Almighty (48).
“This is an allusion to the total, cataclysmic change, on the Last Day, of all natural phenomena, and thus of the universe as known to man –“

Verses 49- 50 describe their appearance, were we to see them.  Note Asad’s interesting comment on ‘chain reaction.’
Verse 51 states that every Self shall be rewarded according to its earnings, indeed God is swift in holding account.
Verse 52 brings this beautiful Chapter to an end.  See it in both explanations below:

Here is a Message for mankind: Let them take warning therefrom, and let them know that He is (no other than) One God: let men of understanding take heed.” (Ali)

“THIS IS A MESSAGE unto all mankind. Hence, let them be warned thereby, and let them know that He is the One and Only God; and let those who are endowed with insight take this to heart!” (Asad)

What a powerful ending to this Chapter! Remember that its FIRST verse:

·  Addressed the Messenger Muhammad, peace upon him.
·  Mentioned the Compilation revealed to him.
·  Tied it to our Lord’s PURPOSE for Humanity and its guidance to His Path.

And now its LAST verse asserts that this (Qur’an) is A NOTIFICATION to Humanity.

·   By which we are all warned.
·   By which we all gain Knowledge
·   By which we KNOW that He is indeed: One God.
·   By which Those of Insight maintain Remembrance.
May we be among them!

This wonderful conclusion ties the first and last verses together in an embrace which includes highlights from History and from Faith, the fruits of the Tree of Human Life with its God-seeking branches of Words and Deeds, and Prophet Abraham’s beautiful supplication, peace upon him!
PAGE 262 Arabic Qur’an.
سورة الحِجر

Al Hijr
Yusuf Ali: 
“This is the last of the six Suras of the A.L.M. series.  Its place in chronology is the late Meccan period.”

Muhammad Asad:
“As in most surahs of this period, the main theme of Al-Hijr is the evidence of God's creative activity and of the guidance vouchsafed by Him to man through revelation - especially the revelation of the Qur'an, which, as verse 9 predicts, will for all times remain impervious to corruption.
“The title, derived from the mention in verse 80 of the Arabian region known as Al-Hijr, obviously suggested itself to the Prophet's Companions because of the many legends attached to that place-name since time immemorial. That it is a place-name and not a description … Consequently, I have left this title untranslated.”

4.  Verse 1 begins with ‘disjointed letters (A-L-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. 
We find this verse, however, introducing both the Compilation AND the Qur’an, a clear indication that these two are distinct (meaning that the two nouns separated by the preposition ‘and’ cannot be one and the same thing).

For the benefit of our English Readers, who often miss the interesting intellectual discussions that go on in the Arab world:

Traditionally, Scholars have believed the two words (Kitab and Qur’an) to be synonymous; not indicative of any distinction.  To them, both words are alike, so whichever is used makes no difference. 
Recently however, Scholars have been paying attention to the distinction, mainly due to controversial books published on this subject, such as ‘The Kitaab and the Qur’an, a Contemporary Reading,’ by Dr. Muhammad Shahrour, the premise of which was the that the Qu’ran is NOT the entire Kitaab, but only the parts of it which ‘deal with prophecy.’  In his opinion therefore, Kitaab and Qur’an are not only distinct, but they are entirely separate entities, so that what we recite and consider ‘God’s Word’ is partially, but not all, ‘Qur’an.’ 

Now, the huge problem is that, although mainstream Muslim Scholars have rejected such an argument, no other convincing arguments have been put forward.
What have we been missing, for the past 1000 years and more?
We have lost the important distinction between ‘Kitaab’ and ‘Qur’an.’

Until now.  Our Qur’anic and linguistic research has uncovered a breakthrough regarding these two terms, which are neither synonymous nor alike:
·   The Kitaab, in general, includes All God’s Messages to mankind, the last of which is the Qur’an, May 19, which is why only ONE Kitaab/Compilation is mentioned in the Hereafter April 9.
·   However, when we find mention of ‘THIS’ Kitaab/Compilation specifically, it is referring to the Qur’anic Revelation in its compiled form.
·   The difference between the two terms is not in subject-matter, but is related to whether or not the static Kitaab/Compilation is approached by a Qaari’/Reader (see 6 components to IQRA).  
When so approached, the static becomes dynamic: ‘Kitaab’ becomes ‘Qur’an.

Dear Reader: 
We shall be finding more evidence of this as we proceed, but I must tell you that the benefit you get from this project is totally dependent upon your level of interaction.  Your lives will change for the better if you employ the intellectual and spiritual tools offered here.

5. Perhaps we can better understand Verses 2-3 when we compare those who are in spiritual well-being to those who are in denial, as the verses seem to indicate that the Deniers might be today (and shall be in the Hereafter) wishing that they had been Purely Reverent to God!  Muhammad, peace upon him, is told to leave them to their false hopes, until the time comes for them to know.
Then verses 4-5 forewarn of the fate which inevitably befell past communities, each of which possessed a known compilation.
Similar to previously mentioned arguments made by the Deniers, in Verses 6- 7  we hear them challenging the Messenger and asking for angels, even calling him ‘a mad-man.’  The response is (Verse 8) that when angels do descend upon them, it will only be to bring about their end!

6.  Read Verse 9 in Asad’s explanation (also see Ali’s).  This is the FAMOUS verse which says that this Reminder or Remembrance (Thikr) is preserved, understood to mean that this Revelation will not be ‘contaminated,’ as was the case in previous Revelations which were translated and explained, so that much of the original does not exist anymore.

Now, the sad thing is that, despite the Compilation ITSELF being preserved, our UNDERSTANDING has been ‘contaminated’ because many original words and verses are understood differently, while others are abrogated and considered no longer applicable. Furthermore, we have not seen the distinction between ‘preservation’ and ‘maintaining a static state.’  By rendering the preserved Revelation’ static,’ we have neutralized its Qur’anic potential.  This is the 'Iqra' Challenge we are addressing here!

‘Thikr’ is explained as ‘Message’ and ‘Reminder’ by Ali and Asad, respectively.

7. The final verses in today’s Reading (Verses 10- 11- 12- 13- 14- 15) tell the Messenger Muhammad, peace upon him, that what is happening between him and his tribe is similar to the experiences of previous Messengers.
The confusing of revealed truths with illusory “enchantment” or “sorcery” is often pointed out in the Qur’ān as characteristic of the attitude of people who a priori refuse to accept the idea of revelation and, thus, of prophethood. The above two verses, implying that not even a direct insight into the wonders of heaven could convince “those who are bent on denying the truth,” are a prelude to the subsequent passage, which once again draws our attention to the wonders of nature as an evidence of God’s creative activity.”

Enough said!
Our next Reading is from HQ 15: 16-50.

Peace unto all!

[i] (هوي) يدلُّ على خُلُوٍّ وسقوط. أصله الهواء بين الأرض والسماء، سمِّي لخلوِّه. قالوا: وكلُّ خالٍ هواء. قال الله تعالى: {وأفْئِدَتُهُمْ هَوَاءٌ} [إبراهيم 43]، أي خاليةٌ لا تَعِي شيئاً

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