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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.'


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Day 176; Qur’an 24:11-27, page 351 + 352

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.

In our Reading today, the ‘Chapter of Light’ continues to illuminate the innermost recesses of our hearts/ minds:

PAGE 351Arabic Qur’an.

1. Verses 11- 20 discuss what seems to have started out as an insignificant incident during the Prophet’s time, peace upon him, but when it was LIED about, and gossiped about , it blew out of proportion… right until these Qur’anic verses put a lid on it.

I will not go into the narrative of what has been termed ‘the Incident of Ifk حادثة الإفك-’ because, since the Qur’an did not name names, I think we should not either.
Today, none other than God witnessed it, and He did not name its participants.
Furthermore, when we get into the supposed ‘details’ of any narrative outside the Qur’an, we get sidetracked from the intent of the verses right in front of us.

2. So, what do we notice as the INTENT of these verses?

·  To define, and present us with an ASSESSMENT of slander, which to us might seem like a trifle thing, but to God, it is of utmost gravity.
Nothing like this should ever take place again IF one is indeed a Believer!

· Warning us from spreading news about something we have no knowledge of.
 Lying is NOT a Believer’s character trait.  A Believer might commit a variety of misdeeds, but lying is not one of them:
Lying, in itself, hinders all that is good, and is said ‘to suffice as an apparent Hindrance/ Impediment (HQ 4:50).  إثما مبينا
Furthermore, God does not guide anyone who is a Denying Liar (HQ 39:3); to the contrary, He will take such persons on Judgment day BY their lying, wrongdoing forelock (HQ 96:16)!

·  To show us how Slander (especially when related to sex) travels like wildfire and burns all in its path, UNLESS someone shouts out:  ‘This is an obvious Lie! (هذا إفك مبين!) and thinks, ‘it is not for me to discuss something like this, glory to God, this is grave slander/ calumny..’ (Ali/ Asad)
Few people have emerged unscathed from sexual slander, as it is very difficult to disprove.
·  To provide the Believers with the method for disproving sexual slander: 
Accusers must prove their allegations with four witnesses- or face 80 lashes for merely opening their mouths, and be considered, in God’s sight ‘Liars!’ (This last point is VERY interesting, as sometimes a person might not be lying:  What if someone has indeed observed a sexual encounter, but is unable to prove it?  In that case, there should be complete and total Silence... or else!).

·  To inform us that there are persons whose desire is that the ‘pervasive atrocity’ of unmarried sex (faahisha) would spread* among Believers, and that they shall face painful suffering in both this life and the Hereafter.  The ending to this verse is interesting!

Verse 20 is similar to Verse 10, reminding Believers of God’s Favor upon them, and His Forgiveness… but ending with the two different Attributes.

PAGE 352 Arabic Qur’an.

3.  Verse 21, as we understood it earlier (on Jan 18th), warned us not to follow the Deviant/ Sheytaan’s footsteps.’  Let us read this verse:


“O YOU who have attained Faith! Do not trace/follow the MIS-steps of the Deviant/Sheytaan: for whoever follows the MIS-steps of the Deviant/Sheytaan, he indeed commands to Pervasive Atrocity and the Mutually Objectionable. And if not for God’s favor upon you and His Mercy, not one of you would have ever grown/ been pure*. For it is God who causes whomever He wills/ whomever wills to grow in purity: for God is All-hearing, All-knowing.

This verse is very important, because it highlights for us and presents to us IN A NUTSHELL all the lessons that can be learnt from Humanity’s experience with the Deviant/ Sheytaan.
Today however, we shall dig deeper into certain words, simply because we have never really understood what the Deviant’s ‘footsteps’ are.  How can we make sure we are not following something, if we do not understand what it really is?  We should have looked up the word خطوات earlier, but because of our current usage of the term, we took it for granted that it only meant ‘footsteps.’
Well, it turned out to mean much more than that[i]:

If you know Arabic, you’d be just as amazed as I was that the two words (khata’- khatu) خطأ- خطو are one and the same root-verb!  Not knowing that, most of us have translated the first as ‘wrongdoing/ mistake’ and the other as ‘footstep’ (خطوات - خطو).

But these two words denote ONE concept, which is going over and beyond something, indicating EXCEEDING the BOUNDARIES of what is Right (a concept which denotes both a serious MIS-take and a dangerous MIS-step)!
In everyday language: ‘Crossing the line/ Trespassing.’
An important question arises here:

What exactly are these Trespasses (of the Deviant/ Sheytaan) that are CRUCIAL for us to REFRAIN from following?

When we put خطوات شيطان in Tanzil we that these Trespasses are mentioned 4 times in the Qur’an (HQ 2:168; 2:208; 6:142; 24:21):

¨   [2:168] [2:169]
O Cognizant Humans! Partake of what is in the earth, Unbound[ii] and Wholesome, and do not follow the Trespasses of the Deviant/ Sheytaan: indeed, he is to you an open enemy.
What he does, in fact, , is command you to Harm and Pervasive (sexual) atrocity, and to say about God what you do not know.

¨   [2:208]O you who have attained Faith! Enter altogether into Pure Reverence/ Peace, and do not follow the Trespasses of the Deviant/ Sheytaan: indeed, he is to you an open enemy.
¨   [6:142]
“And of the livestock (reared) for  burden or for their meat, eat whatever God has provided for you as sustenance, and do not follow the Trespasses of the Deviant/ Sheytaan: indeed, he is to you an open enemy.”
Then, after repudiating the different ‘meats’ which Qureish had made ‘inviolable’ for itself in Verse 143, and telling them to prove the Truth of their allegations, we find the following question at the end of Verse 144:

“…. Who could be more wrong-doing than someone who fabricates a lie against God (attributing it to God), so as to misguide people without knowledge. Indeed, God does not guide Wrong-doing People!”

¨   [24:21]
“O you who have attained Faith, do not follow the Trespasses of the Deviant/ Sheytaan.  Anyone who follows the Trespasses of the Deviant/ Sheytaan (shall find that) he commands (them) to (commit) pervasive (sexual) atrocity, and mutually objectionable deeds; And were it not for God’s favor upon you and His Mercy, none of you could ever have grown in Purity and flourished -zaka[iii], but God increases in Purity whom He wills/ whoever wills, and God is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.” 

As we can clearly see when we put all these verses in a Column/ Qalam, our GOAL in life is to enter fully into Peace/ Pure Reverence ‘Silm,’ growing in Purity and productivity, enjoying God’s Unbound, Wholesome provisions.  
But we cannot do so unless we have set out on our path with Awareness, زكّاها بالتقوى.... and known which divergent paths/ Trespasses to avoid.  This knowledge is CRUCIAL for our success. 

The Deviant seeks to DEVIATE us from success/ FALAAH:
Falaah is dependent upon Tazkiyyah:

قَدْ أَفْلَحَ مَن تَزَكَّىٰ ﴿الأعلى: ١٤﴾
وَذَكَرَ‌ اسْمَ رَ‌بِّهِ فَصَلَّىٰ ﴿١٥

قَدْ أَفْلَحَ مَن زَكَّاهَا ﴿الشمس: ٩﴾
وَقَدْ خَابَ مَن دَسَّاهَا ﴿١٠

These divergent paths/ Trespasses seem to fall into general types as follows:

·  Harm in general.
·  Sexually related ills.
·  Socially objectionable deeds.
· Partaking of the Inviolable meats (as well as the ‘Rijs’ of Intoxicants and Gambling mentioned in HQ 5:90-91.)
· Falsehood/ Lying, against God and against others.

Note the importance of ‘mutually objectionable’ deeds.  A Faithful person would avoid what is considered mutually objectionable in any society, even if it seems acceptable to him/her!  Why? 
Because a Faithful person ALWAYS maintains people’s respect, being an asset wherever s/he might be, taking active part in the social fabric.

Isn’t that something which would take us deep into discussions about assimilation, especially into ‘western’ societies?  But that is why early Muslims were so successful at spreading Islam wherever they travelled, as they followed the Prophet’s directive, peace upon him:

“Facilitate and do not complicate! Advocate and do not intimidate! Cooperate and do not separate!”


Dear Reader,
Reread this AND our last Reading, and start working up to YOUR own discovery of what Verse 35 is all about (the clues are all there). 
It took me a while, but I think that I know what God’s ‘Light’ refers to, when He says: ‘…God guides to His Light whom He wills/ whoever wills..’

4. Verse 22 warns us not to let our negative feelings for persons (who may have committed certain actions against us) whether relatives, poor persons, or emigrants, cause us to retract any generous offerings or gifts we had earlier planned for them, but rather to forgive and forget, IF we indeed would like God to do the same for us!
(What a convincing argument…. showing Divine Love, which continues to give, despite a recipient’s failings.)
5. Verses 23- 24- 25 follow up on Verses 4-6, showing the gravity of slandering Believing women who are ‘Muhsanaat’ (chaste/ married) and unaware.  Such slanderers shall be banished from God’s Mercy in life and in the Hereafter, and would incur upon themselves painful suffering as their limbs bear witness against them, and they get their recompense in rightful Accountability (Deenدين- ) of what they had done.

6. Verse 26 is SO MISunderstood! It is NOT about ‘couples’ at all.  The last part of the verse is obvious, as it says:
‘… these (the Decent/ wholesome persons) are above reproach with regard to what they (others) say, for them is Forgiveness and a Plentiful Sustenance.” 

It is about Immoral people with offensive, wagging tongues- and those who seek their company, VERSUS Moral people who weigh their words –and those who seek their company! It is about wholesome versus unwholesome words AND the people they belong to!
طيبات # خبيثات (كلمة طيبة # كلم خبيثة)

Take a look at the following verses, leading up to the very important Verses 26 and 27 (first three are partially quoted):

And all [mankind] will appear before God [on the Day of Judgment]; and then the weak will say unto those who had gloried in their arrogance: "Behold, we were but your followers: can you, then, relieve us of something of God’s chastisement? …….”
And when everything will have been decided, Satan will say: "Behold, God promised you something that was bound to come true! I, too, held out [all manner of] promises to you – but I deceived you.…..”
But those who shall have attained to faith and done righteous deeds will be brought into gardens through which running waters flow….”
ART THOU NOT aware how God sets forth the parable of a good word? [It is] like a good tree, firmly rooted, [reaching out] with its branches towards the sky,
yielding its fruit at all times by its Sustainer’s leave.
And [thus it is that] God propounds parables unto men, so that they might bethink themselves [of the truth].
And the parable of a corrupt word is that of a corrupt tree, torn up [from its roots] onto the face of the earth, wholly unable to endure.
[Thus,] God grants firmness unto those who have attained to faith through the word that is unshakably true in the life of this world as well as in the life to come; but the wrongdoers He lets go astray: for God does whatever He wills.

Wholesome words are like wholesome trees, and Unwholesome words are like unwholesome trees….
These trees make up the FORESTS we choose to live in.

Which forest is yours, dear Reader?                      

Enough said!

Our next Reading is from HQ 24:27-38.

Peace unto all!


The term ‘zaka’ زكا- زكي bears two connotations, Growth and Purity: literally ‘cultivating something which is by nature uncontaminated, and making it grow.  Its proceeds will also be pure, and will continue to yield benefit.
شع: التفرق والنتشار ومنه شعاع الشمس.

It is interesting to note that the word "تشيع"  is about dispersing and spreading out, much like the rays of the sun (shu'a'-شعاع )...  The image is so expressive; there are those who want 'sexuality' to pervade our lives in such manner. 

[i]   (خطو/أ) يدلُّ على تعدّي الشيء، والذَّهاب عنه. يقال خَطوتُ أخطو خَطوة. والخُطْوة: ما بين الرِّجْلين.
  والخَطَاءُ من هذا؛ لأنّه مجاوزة حدِّ الصواب. يقال أخطأ إذا تعدّى الصَّواب. وخَطِئ يخطأُ، إذا أذْنب، وهو قياسُ الباب؛ لأنه يترك الوجه الخَيْرَ.

[ii] حل: لـه فروع كثيرة ومسائلُ، وأصلها كلُّها عندي فَتْح الشيء، لا يشذُّ عنه شيء.  يقال حلَلْتُ العُقدةَ أحُلُّها حَلاًّ. والحلال: ضِدُّ الحرام، وهو من الأصل الذي ذكرناهُ، كأنه من حَلَلْتُ الشيء، إذا أبحْتَه وأوسعته لأمرٍ فيه."

[iii] The term ‘zaka’ زكا- زكي bears two connotations, Growth and Purity.  To elaborate, the term ‘zaka’ carries the connotation of ‘cultivating something which is by nature uncontaminated, and making it grow.  Its proceeds will also be pure, and will continue to provide new growth.’  For more detail and Arabic definition see Posting February 21st.

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