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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!


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A BREAKTHROUGH project which helps understand the Qur'an AS REVEALED -not just 'as explained.'


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Day 149; Qur’an 17:78-100, page 290 + 291 + 292

Welcome Friends:  Ahlan wa sahlan!
We encountered powerful verses last time, which pointed to the tremendous pressure under which the Messenger had to operate in Mecca.  The pressure was so great, as the verses clearly indicate, that anyone else would have been induced to modify their course!  Twice (in verses 73, 76) the verses began by saying, ‘And they almost..’/ ‘And they endeavored..’ (وإن كادوا...)… but they were unsuccessful in all their efforts to sidetrack him.   May God’s peace and blessings be upon him, and all God’s Messengers!

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 290 Arabic Qur’an.

1. Today’s verses 78- 79- 80- 81 continue to address Prophet Muhamad, but having already described his situation in earlier verses, these verses offer him strength.  He is strengthened by the daytime prayers, and by the Qur’an of ‘Fajr,’ which ‘was witnessed.’  Then, by his nightly worship, and by his Lord’s promise of a station of high praise… by his quest for Truth to accompany his every entry and exit, aided by God’s authority.  And finally by his conviction that Truth ultimately prevails, as falsehood is self-defeated.

Notice that ‘the Qur’an of Fajr’ is mentioned twice, first on its own, and then with additional information about it, that it ‘was witnessed’. 
‘Fajr,’ فجر in our 1,000 year old Lexicon,[i] indicates something which ‘opens’ to let something burst out of it, as in morning light ‘bursting out of darkness,’ and water ‘bursting out.’  Today, we use a variation of this word (infijaarانفجار- ) to denote ‘explosion.’
There have been several explanations of what this verse indicates. 
Most commentators understand ‘fajr’ to mean ‘the break of dawn,’ and that this Qur’an, is best ‘read/ perused’ at that time when it can be witnessed (by one’s own heart/mind and senses, since daybreak is the best time for contemplation and retaining information.  Also, ‘witnesses’ are said to be the ‘angels of Day and the angels of Night). 
Others explain the word ‘Fajr’ as ‘blast/ explosion;’ and they understand this verse differently.  They see reference here (also in HQ 89:1, 97:5) to Creation, and to the ‘Big Bang.’  In which case, to them, the ‘Qur’an’ of the ‘First great Explosion’ (not the event itself, but its ‘Qur’an’- ie. its ‘Reading’ and appreciation), was made to be witnessed (by any who apply themselves to such knowledge).
This matter deserves more thought especially since, as we are told, the Qur’an was defined/ demarcated (allama-علّم ) for our benefit, even before God created us (HQ 55:2).
Verse 82 makes us think that, perhaps, both explanations should come together, enriching our understanding of the Qur’an –as well as ourselves and Creation -at the break of dawn!  May it be Healing and Mercy to us all.

2. Verses 83- 84 tell us of undeveloped Human Nature, and the fact that each of us 'works according to our composition,’ and Our Lord knows who is most–guided.

3.  In Verse 85, the Messenger, peace upon him, is asked about ‘The Rooh’ or ‘Spirit,’ referred to by Asad as ‘divine inspiration,’ which is correct.  Nevertheless, I do prefer Ali’s explanation here. 
Some people mistakenly think that Rooh- الروح indicates the ‘human soul,’ but that is wrong.  The Qur’an only speaks of the human ‘nafs,’ which corresponds to what we might call ‘self/ soul/ consciousness’… whatever makes each of us WHO we are.       

PAGE 291 Arabic Qur’an.

4. Verses 86- 87 first indicate that the information which God conveys (to His Messenger), is His to give or take.  Then, the Messenger is reminded of his Lord’s favor upon him.

Verses 88- 89 challenge everyone (literally, those ‘seen’ and those ‘unseen’) to come up with something similar to this Qur’an, a matter which is ascertained as an impossibility.  Yet, despite the Qur’an’s examples/ parables, most people continue to be intent on Denial!

5. Verses 90- 91- 92 93 inform us of 6 irrational demands, put forward by those in Denial.  The Messenger is told to respond to such persons, by stating that he is only a HUMAN Messenger. 
Verse 94 informs us of certain people, who require the presence of Angels and other ‘supernatural’ phenomena, so as to ‘believe.’
Verse 95 responds to such persons (in what seems to indicate), that it is NOT angels who roam the earth; this is the domain of humans.  Had earth been the domain of Angels, then their argument might have been valid.
In Verse 96 the Messenger is told to announce, that God – who knows all- suffices as witness between them both.

There is an important message in this, since there are among us those who have sought to attach supernatural ‘powers’ to Prophet Muhammad, peace upon him, and to persons of spiritual ‘eminence,’ dead and alive, as proof of the Truth of this Message.  Their reasons for doing so are varied, but perhaps one reason is that most people do not grasp the full value of what is in the Qur’an.  Those who do, would be more likely to find that the Qur’an is, in and of itself, sufficient as the Ultimate Proof.

This however, is not to be understood as diminishing the Messenger’s role in any way.  Although there are certain Muslim groups and persons who seem fixated on two extremes with regard to the Prophet (those who pay him and his Traditions homage equivalent to the Divine, versus others who make it a point to remain ‘unaffected’ by him and his Tradition), we must not be influenced by either.  We must bear in mind that the Qur’an DOES differentiate between his personal life as Prophet, and his mission as Messenger.  From our side, we bear him tremendous love, and hold the highest respect for BOTH facets of his life, but the Qur’an only asks us to OBEY him as Messenger. 
See important Posting of February 23rd, discussing HQ 4:80.  Also, put أطيعوا رسول and then again أطيعوا نبي in Tanzil- and NOTE the difference (12 to…. NIL)!

PAGE 292 Arabic Qur’an.

6.  Verses 97- 98 show us the attitudes displayed by certain people when offered Guidance, and the fitting Consequence that befalls them:  they became eternally ‘bonded’ to their attitudes and direction!  They are gathered together (not prone on their ‘faces,’ but rather) according to their ‘direction;’ blind, dumb, and deaf… just as they had been in life, so shall they be gathered to their final accommodations in Hell.  They had been denying Resurrection, but when they finally experienced it, it was too late to make amends.

This is something we should think about:  When we decide what direction to take in life, we should realize that we are making a potentially ‘Eternal’ decision!
7. Verses 99- 100 remind listeners to look around them at Creation and think of the powers of The Creator… also His Bounty and Mercy granted to all in life.  Had it been theirs to give, they would have withheld from fear of spending: 
Undeveloped Human nature is tight-fisted. 

Here we encounter a word we talked about on July 2nd, when we said that ‘qatr’ means ‘scant’- (denoting someone who holds-back from spending).  Some commentators, who had mistaken ‘qadr’ for ‘qatr,’ had mis-explained that verse. We showed however, that God’s ‘manner of giving,’ is in ‘qadr,’ NOT ‘qatr.’

Now, in Verse 100, a derivation of the word ‘qatr’ (qatoor) IS used here to describe humanity with regard to OUR manner of giving (قتورا/ قتر) [ii].

Enough said!
Our next Reading is from HQ 17:101-111, 18:1-15 .. a new Chapter!

Peace unto all!

[i] (فجر) هو التفتح في الشَّيء. من ذلك الفَجْر: انفِجار الظُّلمة عن الصُّبح. ومنه: انفجَرَ الماء انفجاراً: تفتَّحَ. ثمَّ كثُر هذا حتَّى صار الانبعاثُ والتفتُّح في المعاصي فُجوراً. ولذلك سمِّي الكَذِب فجوراً. ثم كثُر هذا حتَّى سمِّي كلُّ مائلٍ عن الحقِّ فاجراً.

[ii] (قتر)  يدلُّ على تجميعٍ وتضييقٍ. والإقْتار: التَّضييق. يقال: قَتَرَ الرجلُ على أهله يَقتُر، وأقْتَر وقَتَّر. قال الله تعالى: {والذَّينَ إذَا أَنْفَقُوا لَمْ يُسْرِفُوا وَلَمْ يَقْتُرُوا} [الفرقان 67]. ومن الباب: القَتَر: ما يَغْشى الوجهَ من كَرْب. قال الله تعالى: {وَلاَ يَرْهَقُ وُجُوهَهُمْ قَتَرٌ وَلا ذِلَّة[ [يونس 26].والقَتَر: الغُبار.

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