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Sunday, July 4, 2010

Day 147; Qur’an 17:39-58, page 286 + 287

Welcome Friends:  Ahlan wa sahlan!
Our last Reading took us past ‘landmarks’ on the Straight Path, so as to advance with Awareness and Self-accountability: 
Accountability to God AND Parents, to close Relations, to the Destitute [i], to Wayfarers/ Refugees, to the Environment, to our unborn children, to preserving Family (by steering away from extra-marital relations), to preserving Human Life in general, to caring for orphans, to giving due measure and weight, to minding our own business, to treading the Earth gently. (Wow.)
Yes, dear Reader I have added the word ‘Refugee’ to my explanation!  After thinking of it, it seems to me that this is who ‘wayfarers’ are today.  In Arabic, ‘ibnil Sabeelابن السبيل- ’ literally means ‘the son of the (open) road.’ 
Although commonly understood to relate to a stranded traveler (someone separated from his wealth[ii], this general term includes anyone who is suddenly stranded, having neither been ‘poor’ where he came from, nor from our neighborhood (otherwise he’d be in those classifications).  Doesn’t this description today fit a Refugee? 
Sadly though, the catastrophes that have created most of today’s refugees, are man-made.  The office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reports a total of 21,018,589 individuals falling under its mandate in 2007.  Many refugees remain undocumented (and many more have been added to the mandate since). 
What do YOU think, dear Reader?

PAGE 286 Arabic Qur’an.

1.  Verse 39 tells the Messenger (and us), that the aforementioned directives (Verses 23-38) are of the wisdom which God has imparted to him.  Then the verse continues, telling him (and us) not to take another, besides God, for worship, and warns of the dire consequences if he (we) were to do so.  Here again, we notice the ‘voice of God’ as He ‘conveys exclusive information’ (wahiوحي- ) to His Messenger, who dutifully conveys it to the public, may God’s peace and blessings be upon him.
There are many such verses, where God seems to be addressing the Messenger in the masculine singular, but He is actually addressing the ‘Cognizant Human’ as an individual (male/female).  How do we know that? 
Take a look at the verses we just passed though, HQ17:21-24:  They all speak, as if to the Messenger.  Verse 22 is similar in substance and warning to Verse 39, a directive and warning which God’s Messenger dutifully conveyed.  Furthermore, as we know, Prophet Muhammad had no living parents, let alone any who would grow to old-age by his side!  It is WE who are addressed here.

2. Verse 40 mentions the beliefs of Qureish, who coveted ‘male’ offspring for themselves, yet attributed to God, ‘angels’ as His ‘daughters.’  We discussed this earlier, showing that a similar concept appeared in (HQ 43:19), and again in (HQ 6:100), where the alleged ‘daughters’ were also called ‘Unseen Beings’ (Jinn)[iii].
Verse 41 mentions the purpose of ‘repetition’ in the Qur’an, which is to remind listeners.  Then, verse 42 shows that, HAD there been other deities as Qureish alleges, these ‘deities’ would have all vied to the possessor of the (archعرش- ) of Creation, and verse 43 ends by glorifying God above all their allegations.

3.  Verse 44 is beautiful!  We discussed the meaning of (sabahaسبح- ) on June 7th , when we said that ‘Tasbeeh’ relates to MOTION, and is what ALL of creation is doing, at all times, and on all levels of its existence in ‘celebration of God’s Praise.’  This pertains to everything, from the smallest particle of matter to the largest.  Everything is in a state of constant motion towards its end, as designed by The Creator.  It comes as no surprise therefore, that we do not ‘understand’ the ‘tasbeeh’ of Creation (although we are an integral part of it).

4.  Verses 45- 46- 47- 48 mention that, when the Messenger ‘qara’a’ قرأ the Qur’an (which is not only his ‘reciting’ it, but also his employing the six components of IQRA), the hearts/minds of people who do not believe in the Hereafter are barred (by their disbelief) from seeing the truth.  They’d rather dismiss him, calling him a ‘sorcerer,’ than entertain the possibility of being judged by God in the Hereafter! 
Unfortunately, this still applies today and always will, as some people, with their justifications and arguments, put even greater distance between themselves and the truth.
PAGE 287 Arabic Qur’an.
5.  In Verse 49 we see their disbelief in their own Resurrection, once they’ve become bones and dust.  Verse 50 informs them that their ‘composition’ is immaterial on that Day!  In Verse 51 they ask two questions, “Who?” and “When?” 
Both their questions are answered, before Verse 52 gives them a glimpse into their ‘thoughts’ on that day.

6.   Verse 53 reminds us of a concept we mentioned earlier, that of always saying ‘what IS BEST’: التي هي أحسن- not merely good, but THAT WHICH IS BEST ‘ahsan’.
Here, the Messenger is asked to tell God’s Worshippers (not servants) to always convey ‘that which is best’ and to realize that the Deviant/ Sheytaan would seek to sow discord amongst them, being the Cognizant Human’s avowed enemy. 
Verse 54 leaves all OUR matters to our Lord, Who knows us best, as it shows the Messenger the limits of his responsibility.
Verse 55 informs us that our Lord knows best ALL who are in the Heavens and the Earth, and that certain Prophets were granted more of some things than others, among whom was David, to whom was given the ‘Zaboor,’ which we call ‘Psalms.’ 
(HQ 2:253 begins with a similar concept, but it is about ‘Messengers.’)

7.  In Verses 56- 57  the Messenger is told to tell (his people) to call on whomever they allege, other than God, and see whether they can help them.  Actually, such creatures all revere their Lord, seeking His Mercy and fearing the suffering He might impose!

Verse 58 informs us that every township will (simply) expire (verb: ‘halakaهلك- ) before the Time of Resurrection, or will suffer severely (as it expires).  Such is laid down in the Compilation (of God’s Laws of Creation).   
See HQ 28:88 where we learn that EVERYTHING expires except His Direction.

Enough said!
Our next Reading is from HQ 17: 59-75.

Peace unto all!

[i] There are two words in Arabic, ‘faqir’ and ‘miskeen,’ both of which we translate interchangeably as ‘poor’ or ‘needy,’ although there is a difference.  I am trying to pinpoint the differences, and so far it seems that while ‘faqir’ simply means ‘needy,’ which denotes a lack of material possession and funds (opposite of ‘ghani’), ‘miskeen’ is also lacking in mobility to make money.  We’ll be discussing this again later, God-willing.

الفقير معناه في كلام العرب المفقور الذي نُزِعَتِ فِقَره من ظهره فانقطع صُلْبُهُ من شِدَّة الفَقْر.
المسكين معناه في كلام العرب الذي سكَّنه الفقر أي قلل حركته واشتقاقه من السكون.

[ii]  الزمخشري: { وَٱبْنِ ٱلسَّبِيلِ } المسافر المنقطع عن ماله فهو فقير حيث هو، غنيّ حيث ماله."

[iii]  Which we said, explained March 28th footnote where our 1,000 year-old Lexicon told us that ‘all Angels are Jinn, but not all Jinn are Angels.”  Also see March 30th .

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