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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.'


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Day 197; Qur’an 30:28-41; Page 407- 408

Welcome Friends:  Ahlan wa sahlan!

As we begin the last third of the Qur’anic Compilation, we find the Surahs/ Chapters getting shorter.  However, they are not getting any easier-  I spent the last 2 days working full-time on this one Post!

Regular Readers will note that our Posts are 6 weeks behind, but I prefer to keep the Blog virtually ‘on schedule’ (despite my own real-time delay in putting it together).  This will remain, God-willing, a full-year endeavor for any dedicated reader.

And dear Readers, do keep your comments coming in; you help this writer gain perspective!

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.


We ended our last Reading with the statement that to God is the Highest example in the Heavens and the Earth, and He is The Omnipotent, The Wise…. which we find today to be a most fitting introduction to our next verse!

PAGE 407 Arabic Qur’an.

1. To further illustrate the lack of logic in ascribing partners to God, Verse 28 strikes an example from our own Selves: 
In our own perspective as humans, there is no way that the person with the upper-hand amongst us (freeman versus bondsman; employer versus employee) would consider the other person of equal rights to ourselves in sharing what we possess.  In other words, although equally human- we would never grant them equal shares in whatever Bounty God has provided us with (health, wealth, family, power), and THEN also fear (for) them what we fear (for) our own selves!  So how could any one of us, knowing this, ascribe ‘partners’ to God?   There is NONE like unto God  (see this verse in both explanations of Ali and Asad)!
Verse 29 answers that question:  Wrongdoers, who follow their Plummeting Desires (أهواء) without Knowledge! 

2.  Verses 30- 31- 32 are VERY IMPORTANT!

Firstly, Verse 30 commands the Messenger/ us to:
· Establish your direction to The Standard of Accountability أقم وجهك للدين -
· While Self-correcting your course at every turnحنيفاً . 

Secondly, this verse tells us that being ‘Haneef’ is but God’s manifestation of the natural disposition He has created in Cognizant Humans[i]- and to which there is no replacement.  Note that the verse is about Cognizant Humans:  ‘Naas,’ NOT ‘Bashar’ (the species).  Put either word in ‘Search this Site.’
Thirdly, this verse tell us that what was mentioned is indeed THE upright/ straight Standard of Accountability, but that most people do not know this fact.

(Put the following sequence altogether in Tanzil (دين قيم -هدينا -والدين -أقيموا –خالدين) to see the 6 verses where the expression دين قيم is mentioned.

‘Haneef’ is what the Cognizant Human's Life-course is all about; there is no rigidity in our nature, for that would be tantamount to death.  We continuously search and question, improvise and adapt, ... seeking to better ourselves. 
The best example of a ‘Haneef’ is Prophet Abraham, peace upon him (put ‘haneef’ in ‘Search this Site.’  Also note that, of the 12 occurrences of this word in the Qur’an, 6 are directly related to Abraham, as in HQ 3:67; 3:95; 4:125; 6:161; 16:120; 16:123).  We defined this word on Jan 12th where we said:

“..anyone who makes a conscious effort to keep curving towards Righteousness is Haneef; there is no room for rigidity or threat of stagnation in such a person's life.  This underscores the process of growth and purification we spoke of above. By definition, persons who keep 'curving' towards righteousness at every juncture can only do so if they are aware AND supple.  To maintain direction towards God, they have to lean towards Him whilst dealing with the ever-changing demands of their times, maintaining focus while adapting new strategies in an existence where everything is circular, including our interactions and relationships etc, in the circle of Creation.  We are God’s, and unto Him we shall return.  Our journey is indeed, full circle, and Abraham's story, from beginning to end, sets us the perfect example.”

3.  After Verse 30 instructs the Messenger/ us to establish our direction to the Standard of Accountability while Self-correcting our course (being 'Haneef') at every turn, Verse 31 speaks to us collectively (plural), telling us to do so while being ‘muneeb[ii]’ to Him منيبين إليه-, Aware of Him, establishing Prayer/ Relationship, and making sure we are not of Those who Associate (partners to Him).

Dear Reader:  It is so exciting to recover the meanings of words!  As we can see from the Arabic definition of ‘muneeb,’ its root-verb ‘nawaba’ does not denote mere ‘returning,’ but rather, ‘returning to a place one was accustomed to.  Although the Qur'an does state that '..we are God's, and unto Him we shall return' (HQ 2:156) and there are countless verses which show us 'returning' to Him... the word 'muneeb' clearly indicates that WE RECOGNIZE IT AS A RETURN 'HOME' ...TO THE PLACE WE ARE ACCUSTOMED TO. I find this absolutely beautiful!

Do you wish to see more Qur’anic precision?
The only time we see the characteristic of ‘muneeb’ defining a specific person is in HQ 11: 75…. Where it defines Prophet Abraham, peace upon him!

But any of us can be ‘muneeb,’ and many of us become such when we are in desperate need of God (as Verse 33 shows).  Also, we should be ‘muneeb’ to Him if we do seek guidance, for God guides to Himself whoever ‘anaabأناب- –(HQ 13:27).

See all the verses which contain this word (click on E for English).

Today, there are other exciting definitions to uncover.

4.  In Verse 32, we read of others who (in stark contrast to the ‘Muneeb’) actually ‘split apart/ disassemble’ their Accountability/ Deen فرقوا دينهم -breaking-up what is a single, inseparable unit, into ‘parts.’ 
Remember, each of us can only have ONE accountability standard, which is why there is no plural to the word ‘Deen.’  However, this verse tells us that there are those who:

·‘Split apart/ disassemble’ their accountability-standard فرقوا دينهم.
· Becoming ‘splinter’ groups ‘shia’an’ [iii]  كانوا شيعاً which literally extend away from their origin.

Q. What does this mean in plain English?  Any examples in the Qur’an?

A. In plain English, this is about people who create and then justify a system of ‘double standards.’ 

· In HQ 6:159, Prophet Muhammad, peace upon him, is commanded to have NOTHING to do with such people (see April 5th)!
· Such people treat others with prejudice, making of themselves a superior entity, and divide the rest of humanity into lower ‘castes,’ as did Pharaoh.  Read HQ 28:4, and note how he “..exalted himself in the earth/ land and rendered its people castes ‘shia’an…”    

In their standard people are NOT on a single plain.  But Verse 32 tells us that it is they who, in effect, end up ‘cutting themselves off’ from the rest.
And the verse tells us more:

It tells us that they end up as weak extensions of humanity, meanwhile (ironically) rejoicing in the burden which they incurred by splitting apart! (Put فرح in ‘Search this Site’).   
I believe this verse has just pinpointed for us the most important factor causing the downfall of civilizations, including our own.  Perhaps all prejudiced groups/ governments/ nations/ ‘Faiths’ should be told that:

A ‘Double-standard’ in Accountability eventually brings Destruction!

Dear Reader:  Now read Verses 30- 32 together and allow the meanings we have just uncovered to sink in.  What a valuable lesson to Humanity in general, and to people of Faith in particular.

PAGE 408 Arabic Qur’an.

5. Verses 33- 36 describe human tendencies, both in times of affliction and when the affliction has passed.
In Verse 37 we read about one of God’s Signs, which is His extending Provision to whomever He wills/ to whomever wills, and PROJECTING ITS UTMOST.  In this is a Sign to people who Believe. 
Put ‘qadr’ in ‘Search this Site’ to read more about this. 
Also note that both Ali and Asad follow the traditional interpretation which does not differentiate between ‘qadr’ and ‘qatr.’  ‘Qatr,’ which means ‘restriction,’ is something humans might do, and is NEVER attributed to God.  The word used here is ‘qadr,’ which does NOT mean ‘Divine Decree,’ as some might think. 
We already discussed that on July 2nd where we said:
“Qadr means the ‘projected end or result’ of something.  This would mean that God extends, or lays some things out  يبسط for us, and ‘projects’ other things, which we would then need to seek actively- making an effort- before we can obtain them. 
His Bounty either already is, or CAN, become OURS.
Do you see the difference an accurate interpretation makes? 
In mis-interpretation, we’d think that things are as they are, by God’s ‘decree,’ and that we could do nothing to change that.  We might even think that God applies ‘favoritism.’  In the linguistically accurate interpretation, everything is within our reach, and all we have to do… is reach for it.”

6. Verse 38 follows up on God’s extending Provision to all of us, by instructing us to do our part by extending to our relatives their rights, a well as to the needy and the ‘son of the open road’ (who could include a stranded traveler, a homeless person, or a refugee).  The rest of the verse informs us of the benefit of doing so for those who seek God’s Direction; such are the Successful.

Verse 39 (Ali/ Asad) seems to show us the difference between two kinds of financial ‘giving’:

· When we give others something so that it could grow by feeding upon their wealth, and we seek its increased return.  Its proceeds are impure, and therefore will not grow ‘with’ God.
· When we give others something seeking only God’s Direction.  That gift is by nature uncontaminated; it will be well-cultivated and will continue to provide new growth, multiplying manifold.  

This is about Ribaa versus Zakaat (see Jan 27th for Riba, and put ‘Zakaat’ in ‘Search this Site.’)  A similar verse is HQ 2:276.

7. Verse 40 takes listeners back to the subject of setting up ‘partners’ to God, showing them it is He who creates them, sustains them, brings them death, and then brings them back to life… do any of their partners do any of this? 
Exalted is He above their associations!

Enough said!

Our next Reading is from HQ 30:41-60.

Peace unto all!

[i] فطر: يدلُّ على فَتْح شيء وإبرازهِ. من ذلك الفِطْرُ من الصَّوم. يقال: أفْطَرَ إفطاراً. وقومٌ فِطْرٌ أي مُفْطِرُون. والفِطْرَة: الخِلْقة.‏

[ii] نوب:  تدلُّ على اعتياد مكان ورجوعٍ إليه. وناب يَنُوبُ، وانتاب ينتاب.

The Qur'anic reference is NOT related to today's term 'Shia/ Shiite,' indicating the 'Islamic Sect.'  The word has TWO connotations: 'Supporting' on one hand, or 'spreading and extending. '  'Shiites' got their name from being 'Supporters of Ali.'  See all occurrences of this term in the Qur'an; click E for English. [iii]
شيع: أصلان، يدلُّ أحدُهما على معاضدة ومساعفة، والآخر على بَثٍّ وإشادة.
فالأوّل: قولُهم شَيَّعَ فلانٌ فلاناً عند شُخوصه. وقال للشجاع : المشيَّع؛ كأنَّه لقُوَّته قد قَوِي وشُيِّع بغيره، أو شُيِّع بقُوّة. المشيِّع هو الذي يُساعِد الآخَر ويقارنه. والشِّيعة: الأعوان والأنصار.
وأما الآخر [فقولهم] : شاع الحديث، إِذا ذاع وانتشر. ويقال شَيَّع الراعي إِبلَه، إِذا صاح فيها. والاسم الشِّيَاع: القصبة التي ينفُخُ فيها الراعي.
ومن الباب قولهم في ذلك: له سهم شائع، إذا كان غير مقسومٍ. وكأنَّ من لـه سهمٌ ونَصِيب انتشرَ في السَّهم حتَّى أخذه، كما يَشِيعُ الحديثُ في الناس فيأخذ سَمع كلِّ أحد.
ومن هذا الباب: شيَّعت النّارَ في الحطب، إِذا ألهَبْتَها.

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