Welcome Friends: Ahlan wa sahlan!
Our Reading today begins by mentioning two Prophets/ Messengers, Saleh and Lut/ Lot, peace upon them both. Then it shows us God’s Bounties, addressing Qureish at times, and its Messenger Muhammad at other times, peace upon him … with verses of Persuasion and Dissuasion, ending by giving us information on the ‘Qur’an.’
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 381 Arabic Qur’an.
1. In Verses 45- 53, we hear of Prophet Saleh, peace upon him, who was sent to the tribe of Thamood/ Thamud.
The end result is clear in the last two verses, as the Plotters get destroyed, while those who were Faithful and Aware… are saved.
2. Verses 54- 58 tell us about Prophet Lot, peace upon him, and his people. They are described as approaching men, in Desire, rather than women….and committing their ‘pervasive atrocity’ (faahisha) ‘while they were observing,’ which seems to indicate their PUBLIC indulgence in homosexual acts. See HQ 29:29 which mentions these acts taking place ‘in councils/ open assemblies’ (Ali/ Asad).
PAGE 382 Arabic Qur’an.
Ironically, they faulted Prophet Lot and his people for ‘purifying themselves.’
Human nature is SO consistent (whom do they call ‘uptight’ today?).
And with that, we arrive at the end of their stories, and learn more about Prophet Muhammad’s mission, peace upon him.
3. In Verse 59 the Messenger is commanded to praise God and salute the Worshippers He has chosen, asking who is worthier of being worshipped: God, or whatever they associate with Him?
Then, as Creation is mentioned together with the rain and the greenery, we encounter a question (أإله مع الله)- ‘Could there be another deity beside God?’
This question recurs in 5 consecutive verses (60- 64), each time after presenting a few of God’s Bounties, and dear Reader: It is absolutely beautiful to listen to!
I also find Verse 62 especially heart-warming, as God answers the call of ANYONE in distress, even as he calls out to Him[i].
Also, in Verse 62, there is mention of us being ‘rendered successors of the earth.’ This expression was discussed earlier; please refer to Posting of April 5th where we said:
“..we were created as Beings that ‘take over from one another,’ or ‘succeed each other,’ خلفاء-Khulafaa’.
Here, however, it specifies ‘Successors of the Earth’ ‘Khalaa-ef’ – خلائف الأرض’ which indicates our ‘inheritance’ of this earth, or perhaps that humans will NOT become extinct, remaining on this earth until the end, and being resurrected after the destruction of earth as we know it….”
PAGE 383 Arabic Qur’an.
4. Verse 65 is AN IMPORTANT STATEMENT which refers to ‘Gheyb,’ the ‘unseen’ past, present, or future which is not personally witnessed by us.
And no one knows ‘Gheyb’… except God.
No psychic, no Prophet, no Messenger, no angel … no one!
Actually, Verses 65- 68 describe the limited knowledge of the Deniers and narrate their futile arguments, to which they receive a response in Verse 69.
Verse 70 addresses Muhammad, peace upon him, telling him not to grieve over the Deniers, and not to be distressed by their plots.
Perhaps this is something we should be telling ourselves today, in this dawn of renewed Islamophobia:
As People ‘Pure in Reverence to God’ (Muslims), WE know our worth, our integrity, our love for Humanity, and our struggle for Peace… yet there are those who attack us any way they can, just because of our identities. Let us neither grieve over them nor be saddened and distressed by them, but rather:
Let us go on, proving ourselves to our Creator Alone, and if, one day, they happen to see the light of Truth, it would be to their own advantage before it is to ours.
Remember: people who burn what is sacred to others ‘burn the effigy of their own Humanity.’
5. In Verses 71- 75 we find messages to be relayed to the idol-worshippers, while Verse 76 is a warning to Bani-Isra’eel, telling them that THE QUR’AN narrates to them most of what they are disputing about[ii].
This verse is important, because it pinpoints THE QUR’AN as simply ‘narrating’ to Bani Isra’eel… (most of whom did NOT embrace it), and then stating precisely in Verse 77:
‘And indeed, it is certainly a Guidance and Mercy to the Faithful/ the Believers.’
PAGE 384 Arabic Qur’an.
What a difference:
The Qur’an delivers Guidance and Mercy ONLY to people who have earned the label of ‘The Faithful,’ excluding all others. How? Because the mentally ‘dead,’ those who neither hear nor see, simply cannot be guided out of their error.
The FAITHFUL, ON THE OTHER HAND (Verses 80- 81), had started out in a receptive mode, being mentally ALIVE, listening, and observing, AND Purely Reverent to God (Muslimeen)!
Verses 82- 85 discuss the future ‘gheyb,’ and Verse 82 seems difficult to understand literally (Ali/ Asad). It seems related to Resurrection, when everyone shall ‘come out of the earth,’ as in HQ 30:25. But what the ‘daabbaدابّة- ’ actually is (which ‘speaks to them,’ or ‘wounds/ bruises’ them -depending on which Reading of تكلمهم we endorse, as Ali points out)… what the ‘daabba’ actually is, seems uncertain.
Verse 86 is a reminder of God’s Bounty, mentioning Night, rendered specifically for ‘sakeena.’
Then, Verses 87- 88 continue discussing the final days of life on earth, well-explained by both Ali and Asad except for what they translate as ‘sounding the trumpet,’ which is a Biblical connotation. We already know that نفخ في الصور is related to the ‘quickening of events’ in the final stages of life on earth (put phrase in ‘Search this Site). Much Dissuasion there!
6. Verses 89- 90 first offer us Persuasion, in a beautiful statement assuring safety to those who brought good deeds… and then Dissuasion to those who brought bad deeds to life.
7. Our Reading ends as the Chapter ends, with Verses 91- 93, as the Messenger announces that he was commanded to:
· Worship the Lord of this town -which He had made inviolable- and to whom everything belongs.
· Be of those Purely Reverent (Muslim),
· Recite THE QUR’AN (to others in sequenceاتل- ).
· To indicate their freedom of choice to be guided or not, for he was only an evident Warner.
· To offer Praise to God.
· To announce that God shall show them His Signs, and they shall recognize them… for his Lord is not unaware of what they were doing.
Here again, we note that (similar to HQ10:61), it is THE QUR’AN which the Faithful ‘yatlu/ recite in sequence.’
The Messenger/ Believers also ‘recite in sequence’ the Signs of Godآيات- , and recite (a part) OF the Kitaaab, or he TEACHES the Kitaab (put تلو ويعلم كتاب in Tanzil)… HOWEVER a search in Tanzil shows us that others recite the Compilation/Kitaab!
Doesn’t this seem to echo our previous finding of ‘iqra’ -with its six components- being commanded, in life, only for the Faithful in their approach to the Qur’an?
(Taking all that into consideration, we understand certain verses such as HQ 35:29 differently: Since it is about the Compilation being recited, not the Qur’an, does it refer to others who received guidance before now, such as those of faith among the People of the Book? I think it does, as we can see quite clearly when we read the verse in context, continuing until we reach HQ 35:32. THAT is an eye-opener! Let me know what you think, dear Reader.)
Our next Reading is from HQ 28:1- 28- a new Chapter!
Peace unto all!
[i] It is important to know that God DOES answer our call (HQ 40:60, 65), although we might not realize that immediately. Every call gets answered, in a manner which serves our best interests....but since no one but God knows what our best interests are, we don’t realize until much later that our call was answered.
[ii] I find it inaccurate for the title ‘Bani Isra’eel’ to be understood as referring in this verse to BOTH the Jews and the Christians, as Asad indicates.