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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!


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.'


Monday, September 6, 2010

Day 190; Qur’an 28:1-28; Page 385- 388

Welcome Friends:  Ahlan wa sahlan!
As we start a new chapter today, we also celebrate the fact that –by God’s Grace- we are well into the 20th section of 30 sections of the Qur’an.  As our dear Readers know, we were unavoidably delayed this summer.  Although God Alone knows what delays are still ahead… we fervently hope and pray to be able to complete our endeavor not too far off schedule!

Yusuf Ali’s Translation of our new Chapter.
Muhammad Asad’s Translation of our new Chapter.
Their commentaries can only be read in verse by verse view.

سورة القصص
The (Accurate) Accounts

From the Introduction of Yusuf Ali:
“This Surah continues the subject of Revelation and its reception by those to whom it is sent. But it emphasises new points: how the recipient of inspiration is prepared for his high destiny, even in the growth of his ordinary life, and how the rejection of God’s Message by groups of men or by individuals is caused by overweening arrogance or avarice. The plight of those who reject the Truth is contrasted with the reward of the righteous.
With the possible exception of a few verses, it belongs to the late Makkan period, just preceding the Hijrah.”

From the Introduction of Muhammad Asad:
“The conventional "title" appears to have been taken at random from the word al-qasas occurring in the second part of verse 25 - a choice that may have been influenced by the fact that about one-half of the surah is devoted to the story of Moses. It is noteworthy that most of this story depicts the purely human aspects of his life - that is to say, the impulses, perplexities and errors which are part of the human condition as such: aspects which the Qur'an stresses in order to counteract any possible tendency on the part of the pious to attribute "superhuman" or, in the last resort, semi-divine qualities to God's apostles. Appropriately; the surah ends with a sonorous evocation of the truth that "there is no deity save God", and that "everything is bound to perish, save His [eternal] Self.”

This chapter is called ‘al Qassass,’ or the ‘Accurate Accounts,’ in reference to Moses’ retelling (to a wise man) his accurate account of what brought him to his town.
The root-verb [i] قص indicates keeping an accurate track/ record/ account of something, and has also come to denote keeping things ‘uniform,’ one ‘tracking the next,’ as in cutting our hair (to one length)… and even the word ‘qissaass’ or ‘eye for an eye’ type of retribution.  
If we put the word القصص in Tanzil we’ll find that the Qur’an only calls what God and his Messengers narrate as ‘qassass,’ or ‘The Accounts/ Records, because they have to be accurate accounts narrated ‘in Truth’ (HQ 3:62) by a knowledgeable witness (HQ 7:7).
PAGE 385 Arabic Qur’an.

1.  The Reading of our new chapter starts with Verse 1, and the 'disjointed letters (Tt-S-M), which are in reality 'sounds' not letters (see September 1st).  These introductive ‘letters/ sounds’ usually introduce the 'Compilation -كتاب' as we can see in Verse 2.

Verse 3 states that this is what we narrate, in sequenceنتلوا- , of the news (new information) on Moses and Pharaoh, in Truth, for a People who Believe.
Then, Verses 4- 6  describe the conditions of Bani Isra’eel under Pharaoh’s iron hand, as well as God’s plans for them.
Today’s Reading is all about Moses, peace upon him.  

PAGE 386 Arabic Qur’an.

2.  Verse 7 tells us how God conveyed to the Mother of Moses what to do to save her infant, assuring her that he will be returned to her, AND he will be rendered of the Messengers.
Verses 8- 9 tell us how the infant landed in the arms of Pharaoh’s wife, and what he was to become:
·   To Pharaoh’s wife:  Moses would become both a comfort to ‘her eye’ and a son (she believes in him, and is cited in HQ 66:11as a ‘paragon’ of faith).
·   To Pharaoh and his people:  Moses would become both an enemy and the cause of their Misery. 

3.  Verses 10- 13 describe how Moses’ mother almost lost her composure as she threw her infant into the water.  
Take a look at our earlier Post explaining this verse where we began by saying that:

“…the fou’aad of the mother of Moses became ‘empty/ void/ blank,’ and she almost disclosed him (her infant Moses, floating away) had We not strengthened her qalb- heart/mind so that she’d be of Those with Inner Certainty من الموقنين-.”

In a later Post (Aug 29th), we translated ‘fou’aad’ as ‘Temperance/ Composure.

In Verse 11 she tells Moses’ sister to ‘keep track of himقصيه-‘ (same root-verb as ‘qassas’).
It is interesting to note how the infant was returned to her; he would not suckle from anyone else!
This section ends by stating that the Promise of God is True, but most do not know that.

PAGE 387 Arabic Qur’an.

4.  Verse 14 brings Moses of age, introducing us to his qualities.
Verses 15- 20 narrate a fight into which Moses was drawn, and its consequences. Moses summarizes his misdeed as ‘the work of the Deviant/ Sheytaan’ (Verse 15.

Verse 19 is very IMPORTANT because it states the timeless BOND which exists between such deeds and the intention behind them:
As Moses’ opponent was about to be attacked by Moses, he pointed out to him this bond.  What happened?  Moses, peace upon him, stopped in his tracks. 
The act he stopped himself from committing is called ‘battsh.’ 

‘Battsh[ii]’ refers to ‘forceful seizure.’
It tells us that any human who ‘forcefully seizes another’ has ONE intention which is:
·   Becoming Domineering (‘Jabbaar[iii]’) on this Earth(..إن تريد إلا أن تكون جباراً في الأرض...), bending everyone to one's firm will, like a cast over broken bones, MEANWHILE: Disregarding anything which might lead to this Earth’s benefit and well-being(.. وما تريد أن تكون من المصلحين...) .

The BOND then, is between forceful Seizure AND egocentric Will-bending AT the expense of the rest of the world.

We can see this tking place wherever we look. 
‘Battshبطش- ’ has become such a part of our lives that almost everything we observe falls into the category of being a Will-bending fight over ‘Dominance.’ 
Starting with the obvious, such as displacing indigenous peoples, to the subtle, such as hindering laws which benefit Humanity, to a masquerade of ‘economic and marketing’ strategies including, the misused word ‘self-defense’:  ALL Domineering, all Self-serving, all Disregarding the negative repercussions upon Humanity, ALL disregarding whatever serves our earth and all its  inhabitants.

Knowing that, dear Readers, we can now appreciate, even more, the value of an injunction which appears no less than NINE times in the Qur’an:
This injunction states that we should demand and encourage each other towards the ‘Mutually Acceptable Deeds المعروف,’ whilst restraining ourselves and deterring others from ‘Mutually Objectionable deeds المنكر-!’ 
‘Mutual’ is never one-sided; mutual means ‘common’ and ‘reciprocal.’
And whom do you think should be most Aware of following this injunction? Someone who can easily bend others to their will; someone who is considered by others to be Powerful. 

It is such values of Justice and Equality which are the tenets of Islam/‘Pure Reverence’ to God… of which Prophet Moses in this instance was an example, and NOT what inundates the media. 

Put المعروف المنكر in Tanzil to see the importance of this, or take a look at HQ 3:104, 110, 114; 7:157; 9:67, 71, 112; 22:41; 31:17.)  Interestingly, persons who would do the opposite of what is commanded here, are the ‘Hypocrites’ (HQ 9:67).
It is therefore not at all surprising that he stopped in his tracks. 
May God guide all of us (who call ourselves ‘followers’ of Moses, Jesus or Muhammad) to what is in this Earth’s ‘Mutual Benefit;’ may God’s peace and blessings be upon all His Messengers.

In Verse 21 Moses flees the city, as advised by a friend (Verse 20).

PAGE 388 Arabic Qur’an.

5.  In Verses 22- 24 we hear Prophet Moses’ supplications by a water-well in the town of Madyan, where he meets the two daughters of an old man.
(I’ve hyperlinked Arberry’s explanation.  Both Ali and Asad have framed these verses geographically, a practice I disagree with, especially when explaining the Qur’an.  In order to gain an objective Reading the verses should remain unframed when possible).

6.  Verses 25- 28 narrate the developments which led up to Moses’ betrothal to of one of these girls.

The word ‘al qassassالقصص- ’ in Verse 25 is reason for the title of this Chapter.  Here we note that Moses was briefing his future father-in-law, giving him an accurate account of what had happened to him.
This wise man is unnamed, so we’d better leave it at that, leaning neither towards calling him ‘Jethro’ (the Biblical opinion) nor Shu’ayb (the  'Islamic' opinion).

Enough said!
Our next Reading is from HQ 28:28-59.

Peace unto all!

[i] قص:  يدلُّ على تتبُّع الشَّيء. من ذلك قولهم: اقتصَصْتُ الأثَر، إذا تتبَّعتَه. ومن ذلك اشتقاقُ القِصاص في الجِراح، وذلك أنَّه يُفعَل بهِ مثلُ فِعلهِ بالأوّل، فكأنَّه اقتصَّ أثره. ومن الباب القِصَّة والقَصَص، كلُّ ذلك يُتَتَبَّع فيذكر.
ومن الباب: قَصَصت الشّعر، وذلك أنَّك إذا قَصَصْتَه فقد سوَّيتَ بينَ كلِّ شعرةٍ وأُخْتِها.

[ii] بطش: وهو أخذ الشيء بقَهْر وغَلبةٍ وقُوّة.

[iii]  جبر: هو جِنْسٌ من العظَمة والعُلوّ والاستقامة.
ويقال للخَشَب الذي يُضَمُّ به العَظْمُ الكسيرُ جِبارة، والجمع جبائِر.
ويقال أجبرتُ فلاناً على الأمر، ولا يكون ذلك إلاّ بالقَهْر وجنسٍ من التعظم عليه.

Day 210; Qur’an 35:1-11; Page 434- 435

Welcome Friends:  Ahlan wa sahlan!

Yusuf Ali’s Translation of our new Chapter.
Muhammad Asad’s Translation of our new Chapter.
Their commentaries can only be read in verse by verse view.

سورة فاطر
The Originator of Creation

From the Introduction of Yusuf Ali:

‘This Surah deals with the mystery of Creation and its maintenance, with various forces typified by the wings of Angels. Whether we look to outer nature or to man. God’s Grace proclaims His Glory, and protects His votaries from Evil.
It is an early Makkan Surah, but its chronology has no significance.’

Also, from his Introduction to the previous Chapter:

Now we begin a series of Surahs: Surah 34 to Surah 39 which recapitulate some of the features of the spiritual world….in Surah 35 we are told how angels manifest the Power of God, and how different is Good from Evil and Truth from Falsehood.’

From the Introduction of Muhammad Asad:

‘MOST of the authorities place this surah - which derives its title from God's attribute of "Originator of the heavens and the earth" in its first verse - chronologically between surahs 25 (Al-Furqan) and 19 (Maryam): that is, about seven or eight years before the Prophet's exodus from Mecca to Medina. Another title given to it by some of the Companions and several classical commentators is Al-Mala'ikah ("The Angels"), also based on verse 1.

Almost the whole of Al-Fatir deals with God's unique power to create and to resurrect, as well as with His having revealed His will through the medium of His prophets - but "only such as are endowed with [innate] knowledge stand [truly] in awe of God: [for they alone comprehend that,] verily, God is almighty, much-forgiving" (second paragraph of verse 28).


PAGE 434 Arabic Qur’an.

1.  This is the last of five Chapters which begin with the beautiful words ‘al Hamdulil-Lah الحمد لله(Chapters 1, 6, 18, 34, 35).
These words assign All Praise to God, not necessarily for His countless Bounties but rather because, regardless of anything, He is, in Himself, Worthy of ALL Praise. 

From our Posting of Oct.1st:

“Al Hamdu’ is a noun meaning THE praise, or ‘All Praise,’ from the root-verb ‘hamadaحمد- :’ to ‘praise.’  It is not related to bounties that might be given, but rather, to the inherent characteristics in someone… characteristics that are all deserving of acknowledgement on their own.”
(Read more, for the meaning of ‘Muhammad’ and ‘Ahmad.’)

2.  Similar to our previous Chapter, our first verse also starts on a note of exaltation, -الحمد لله - All Praise to God! 
Here however, similar to ‘The Opener/ Al Faatiha,’ these words are immediately followed by God’s Attributes:
‘All Praise is due to God, Originator of the Heavens and the Earth, Renderer  of the Custodians/Angels into Messengers of ‘inclines/ leanings/ wings,’ in twos, and threes, and fours; He increases in Creation what He wills; indeed God Is over all things Capable.’
Q. How should we understand the plural word ‘ajnihah’ (أجنحة), which appears only this once in the Qur’an?
·  Literally, similar to when it appears in dual form (HQ6:38)–جناحيه- describing a bird with two wings?
·  Figuratively, as when it describes us LEANING  (towards peace)?

A.   Let us check out its singular form ‘janaah’ (جناح).

When we put the following sequence in Tanzil: جناح -ليس -علي –جناحيه –we notice that this word is mentioned four times in singular (HQ17:24, 20:22, 26:215, 28:32):

·  Twice referring to one of Prophet Moses’ Signs, to be presented by him as evidence to Pharaoh.
·  Twice addressed to Prophet Muhammad directly and to Believers indirectly, telling him to ‘lean with tenderness/ lower his wing’ to the Believers, and also to ‘lower, in Mercy, the wing of humilityto elderly parents.  We spoke of that in ‘The Marriage Union,’ explaining how our mercy for each other has ‘many wings’ facets/ aspects to it, one of which is humility which must be shown to elderly parents.

Therefore this word here, describing Custodian ‘Angel’ Messengers is less likely to be referring to their ‘shape’ (having literal ‘wings’) and is most likely to be referring to their function as Messengers, especially when taken in context.


After the first verse said that All Praise was due to God, Originator of the Heavens and the Earth, Renderer of the Custodians/Angels into Messengers of ‘leanings/ wings,’ in twos, and threes, and fours…. We note that the second verse is about His Mercy to Mankind/ Cognizant Humans, and that the third verse calls upon us, Cognizant Humans/ ‘Naas,’ to remember God’s Bounty granted to us from the Heaven and the Earth.  The description of the Angels/ Custodians MUST therefore be related to their MINISTERING roles in delivering God’s Mercy to His Creation in general, and to us specifically. 

Remember HQ33:43 which told us that it is God Himself Who is ‘connecting’ to us, and supporting of usيصلي عليكم- AND His Angels! 

‘It is God Himself and His Angels Who are in constant ‘connection/ relationship to you / supporting you (all)’ so that He may take you (all) out of the Darkness-es into the Light, and He is, to the Believers, Unceasingly Compassionate.’

See HQ40:7:  Even those ‘Angels’ whose role it is to maintain/carry the ‘structure’ of Creation…even such ‘angels’ are constantly praying to Their Lord, asking Him to forgive the Believers.

Don’t you agree, dear Reader, that whether angels have wings or not is ‘gheyb’ AND immaterial?  Reread our Posting of March 24th to find out more about angels and Biblical Influences on our explanation of Qur’an.

The description of the 'Angelic' Messengers therefore most probably relates to their roles. It is about Function, rather than form.

PAGE 435 Arabic Qur’an.
3. The next verses are self-explanatory:
Verse 4 is addressed to Prophet Muhammad, Peace upon him, while Verses 5- 6 are addressed to Cognizant Humans ‘Naas.’
Verse 7 contrasts the recompense of Deniers with that of Believers.

4. Verse 8 speaks of those whose bad deeds ‘were embellished’ for them so that they saw such deeds as good ones (put ‘embellished’ in ‘Search this Site’).
It also consoles the Messenger, peace upon him, who felt sorrowed by such persons’ misguidance, and could do nothing to show them that they were wrong. 
The verse ends by saying that ‘God is Knowing of what they fabricate/devise,’ a VERY important expression (put it in ‘Search this Site’).

 Actually, dear Reader, this verse deserves much thought: 

How many truly bad/harmful/spirit-defeating deeds have become so ‘embellished’ today that they are believed by many people to be ‘good’ ones? 

There are many good people out there doing truly good deeds, but because people with disruptive intentions are more likely to speak out and amplify the voices of their similarly disruptive opponents so they can validate themselves, it is because of such disruptive voices on all sides that no one else gets heard!

Read this verse in Asad’s interpretation, where he refers the hidden pronoun (in ‘he’ willsيشاء-) to the person, and not to God, as is common.  Actually, context agrees with his interpretation:  This verse IS telling the Messenger that God lets stray whomever wills (to stray) and guides whomever wills (to be guided), so that he wouldn’t sorrow over a fate people chose freely.  This is quite obvious in HQ13:27 and 42:13, where (من يشاء-man yashaa’) is opposed to (من أناب/ من ينيب- man yuneeb/ anaab), clearly showing the choice of either remaining without direction, or ‘returning home’ to God!

And in the final analysis, one thing is clear:  God Knows what they devise. 
This ending is in sync with their freedom of choice! 

5. Verse 9 speaks of Revival after death.

Verse 10 is well explained by both (Ali/Asad), except for the word ‘glory’ ‘izza’ (عزَّة)- which is really more about Invincibility (see definition March 1st). 
It is interesting to note what happens to our WORDS and DEEDS after we bring them into effect:  whatever is GOOD …. RISES!
Let us recall our Posting of June 12th where we discussed HQ14:24 and said:

“Let us read Verses 24- 25- 26, and better grasp the importance of the choices we make WHEN WE SPEAK, both in manner and content. 
One is positive and elicits benefit, and the other is negative and elicits harm; ‘wholesomeطيِّب- ’ versus ‘unwholesomeخبيث- ’.
The ‘wholesome’ word is likened to a wholesome tree: Roots firm and steady, branches high IN the sky… (what a beautiful image)… ever-bearing fruit by its Lord’s leave. 
The contrasting image is that of an ‘unwholesome’ word, likened to an unwholesome tree, torn out of the earth, with no base.

An entire book can be written about this.  Many of us are already familiar with the concept of positivity generating positivity and vice versa, about positive psychology and its effect on life, well-being and happiness. 
Positive interaction in ANY relationship is crucial to its success, from siblings, to friends, to spouses, to teams, to governments and international relations.
And yes.  Our relationship with our Creator, which when nursed back to health, can generate the well-being necessary to repair other broken relationships or neutralize their damage.” 

6. Verse 11 is more accurately explained by Ali, except for two words:

-Kitaab:  Compilation (put ‘kitaab’ in ‘Search this Site’).

-NuTtfah: Both Ali and Asad explained نطفة as ‘sperm’ but in doing so, they limited its broad meaning!  ‘NuTtfah,’ from the root-verb ‘naTtafa,’ bears two connotations:
·  A ‘pearl:’ I found this VERY interesting!
·  Clear water; also rain and sweat- and any moisture.

So, when we look to the meaning of ‘nutfah’ we realize that sperm is but one of its MANY moistures, combined... and might be so understood when referring to such 'stages.'  I leave my mind open to considering 'nuTtfah' a second stage of creation after earth-matter and taking place in water  (long before 'pregnancy,' since pregnancy is still to come after two stages, as clearly mentioned in this verse)!

Enough said!

Our next Reading is from HQ 35:12-30.

Peace unto all!

For Fun:
‘Contrary to popular belief, pearls hardly ever result from the intrusion of a grain of sand into an oyster's shell. Instead, a pearl forms when an irritant such as a wayward food particle becomes trapped in the mollusk. The animal senses the object and coats it with layers of aragonite ("ah-RAG-uh-nite") and conchiolin ( "KON-kee-uh-lin"). These two materials are the same substances the animal uses to build its shell.
Any mollusk that produces a shell can produce a pearl. Nevertheless, naturally occurring pearls are rare, found in perhaps one of every 10,000 animals.’

[i] (نطف)  أصلان* أحدهما جنسٌ من الحَلْي، والآخَر نُدُوَّة وبَلَل، ثم يستعار ويُتوسَّع فيه.
فالأوَّل: النَّطَف. يقال هو اللُّؤلؤ، الواحدة نَطَفة.
والأصل الآخر النُّطْفة: الماء الصافي. وليلةٌ نَطوفٌ: مَطَرَتْ حتَّى الصَّباح. والنِّطَاف: العرَق. ثم يستعار هذا فيقال النَّطَف: التّلطُّخ.

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