CLICK IMAGE: Tanzil Website

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.'


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Day 151; Qur’an 18:16-29, page 295 + 296

Welcome Friends:  Ahlan wa sahlan!
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 295 Arabic Qur’an.

1. At the end of our last Reading, the story of ‘the Youths of the Cave’ had begun to unfold.  After Verse 12 had mentioned an integral issue in their story, ie the dispute  regarding the length of their SOJOURN in the Cave-  we heard them describe, in their own words, how their people were worshipping other deities rather than God, and we inferred from the rest of the chapter that they were suffering severe persecution.
For future reference, just bear in mind that this is the first time the word ‘labithu’-(لبثوا)   is mentioned, denoting their ‘sojourn.’

Today’s Reading continues, where we find Verse 16 quite touching: 
We are suddenly listening-in, on God speaking to them directly after they had withdrawn from their people!  He is telling them to seek refuge in the Cave where their Lord would ‘shower His mercies on you/ spread His Grace over you’ and ‘dispose of your affairs towards comfort and ease/ endow you with all that your souls may need’ (Ali/Asad).

2.  Verses 17- 18 describe their ‘awake-like’ state (while actually being asleep), their dog at the entrance; had anyone come upon them, they would have been a terrifying sight indeed!
That (entire event) is of God’s Signs من آيات الله.

Verses 19- 20 describe what happened after they were ‘raised up; ‘resurrected’ (ba’thبعث- )….  hungry, yet still fearful of persecution, thinking that they’d only been asleep for a day, or a part thereof!
PAGE 296 Arabic Qur’an.

3. We are taken Fast-forward in Verse 21, to the people who later found them.  They set about to dispute amongst themselves, not on the lessons to be learnt from this phenomenon, but on what type of monument to erect in their honor!  Isn’t that typical of us, when we lose our sense of priority and our vision?
4. Verse 22 summarizes another dispute; that of the number of youths (which also is of no relevance to the lesson, however, context in this verse does indicate that they were seven youths, and their dog, but God knows best -and it is not important!)
Readers today, might not realize that volumes have been written on this subject throughout history, where Muslim ‘scholars’ have argued about the silliest of matters (such as dog’s name and color- etc..)! 
When the Qur’an is brief in its narration of past events, IT IS NOT OUR PLACE TO ELABORATE, and any further information on the subject is to be primarily sought within the context of other Qur’anic verses, AND the Arabic language as spoken 1,000 years ago.

Even Prophet Muhammad was commanded in this regard: .. “..Say: My Lord knows best their number…”  Even he would not elaborate, peace upon him.  Why?

Because Elaboration is Deviance. 

Remember our Post of June 25 when we discussed the fact that the Qur’an commanded Prophet Muhammad/ us to seek refuge in God from possible Deviance in misreading and misrepresenting the Qur’an?  Also, see Posting of April 20th  where we explained that this is ONLY time we are commanded to seek refuge in God, without it relating to the challenge of dealing with people's negativity!

Elaboration is Deviance. 

The Messenger is told to say, ‘My Lord knows best their number, very few would know of them..’ AND then, he is told NOT to ask anyone about them.  Why not?

God is The Only Living Witness to such events, and this is what He said.
 Shouldn’t His narrative suffice?

It should.  Nevertheless, people who have seen His narrative as ‘insufficient’ have gone on to corrupt His Messages throughout time, and perhaps now, in this information age, no matter what ‘faith’ we subscribe to, all of us with Faith in God should be seeking HIS narrative, and viewing everything else with critical, investigative eyes.

5. Verses 23- 24 continue to address the Messenger, but here it is a directive never to indicate that he would do something ‘tomorrow,’ without adding the condition of ‘insha Allah,’ (by God’s leave), and to remember his Lord and pray for His Guidance.
This is a directive which, unfortunately, some of us have abused by saying ‘insha Allah’ when we, in fact, intend NOT to do something!

6.  Verses 25- 26  return to the subject of the Youths of the Cave, and we learn that their sojourn was for a period of three hundred years, and nine additional= 309, and that God Alone knows of what their sojourn was.
Here we notice that the word ‘labithu’-(لبثوا)   denoting their ‘sojourn,’ is mentioned in Verse 25, and then again in Verse 26- for the last time.

Since our Reading today is relatively brief, we have time for an interesting exercise! 

Let’s see:
In Verse 26, from the word ‘sojourn’ onto the word ‘nine’ we count 9 words;
this is just my own ‘experimenting':

And (they) sojourned in cave three hundred years and additional nine =9

وَ*لَبِثُوا*فِي*كَهْفِهِمْ*ثَلاثَ*مِئَةٍ*سنينَ*وَ*ازْدَادُوا*تِسْعاً  =9

But there DOES seem to be something quite interesting here, which some have gone so far as to call a numeric marvel.  They show us, from the first time ‘sojourn’ was mentioned (in Verse 12), to the words ‘three hundred’ … they show us that these make three hundred words exactly, and from that point, to the final time ‘sojourn’ was mentioned, they count another nine words, even as the Qur’an is saying that these added nine years make up for the total duration of their sojourn -309 years (check it out at link above[i]).
7. Verses 27- 28- 29 speak to the Messenger Muhammad, peace upon him, telling him to ‘rehearse in sequence’ or ‘yatlu’ (اتل) (Ali/Asad: ‘recite and teach/ convey to the world’) what was revealed to him OF his Lord’s COMPILATION [ii] (whose ‘words’ cannot be altered, nor can refuge be found other than with Him.  Asad’s note on this verse negating ‘abrogation’ is interesting).

He is also told to:

· Join in Forbearance with those who call upon their Lord, morning and night, seeking His Direction…
· without looking past them to the embellishment of this world..
· And never to comply with anyone whose heart/mind is heedless of God’s remembrance..
· And to announce to all the advent of Truth from their Lord ..
· giving them the Freedom to Believe or Deny ..
· warning them of the consequences!

Enough said!
Our next Reading is from HQ 18:30-53

Peace unto all!

[i] أنظر الموقع حيث الدلالة المذكورة والتي يقول عنها صاحب الموقع:
"تأملوا معي كيف جاء عدد الكلمات من (لبثوا) الأولى وحتى (لبثوا) الأخيرة مساوياً 209 كلمات!! إنها مفاجأة بالفعل، بل معجزة لأنه لا يمكن أن تكون مصادفة! إذن البعد الزمني للكلمات القرآنية بدأ بكلمة (لبثوا) وانتهى بكلمة (لبثوا)، وجاء عدد الكلمات من الكلمة الأولى وحتى الأخيرة مساوياً للزمن الذي لبثه أصحاب الكهف. والذي يؤكد صدق هذه المعجزة وأنها ليست مصادفة هو أن عبارة (ثلاث مئة) في هذه القصة جاء رقمها 300 ، وهذا يدلّ على التوافق والتطابق بين المعنى اللغوي والبياني للكلمة وبين الأرقام التي تعبر عن هذه الكلمة."... انتهى

[ii]Note that this is not a command to ‘yaqra’ اقرأ)) –which as we said earlier, is reserved for the Qur’an (see Post July 7th, and put ‘static’ in \Search this Site’).

Let's TWEET this!

Tweet me!