Welcome Friends: Ahlan wa sahlan!
I hope you enjoyed our last Post (I have since added a few extra bits of information).
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 409 Arabic Qur’an.
1. The Qur’an warns us in Verse 41 of the Reality we create for ourselves and our children:
“Corruption has appeared in the land and in the sea by what Human hands have earned, so that He would let them taste a part of what they have done, perchance they would revert.”
In Verse 42, the Messenger Muhammad, peace upon him, is instructed to tell everyone to ‘walk through the land’ and direct their attention towards the consequences suffered by their predecessors – most of whom were ‘Associatersمشركين-’.
We should learn from our past, as the Qur’an tells us: Whatever ‘corruption’ appears on this earth is a direct result of our own deeds. Nature, as per God’s creation, neutralizes much of our corruption, but there remains some harm that comes back to strike at us, reminding us to go back on our tracks and mend our harmful ways.
2. Then, Verse 43 tells him/ us to ‘establish/ set your Direction’ to the Standard of Accountability which is ‘al qayyim,’ or THE Upright[i].
Here, at iqrathechallenge, we have found that translating ‘Deen’ as ‘Religion/ Faith’ is inaccurate. For an accurate linguistic and contextual definition put ‘Deen’ in ‘Search this Site.’
Verses 44- 45 dissuade and persuade, as they tell us of Denial versus Faith, and the Consequence of each.
Verse 46 holds the seventh recurrence (in this Chapter) of the expression ‘And of His Signs..ومن آياته-’ (see verses 20- 26).
Here, ‘the Signs’ are the Winds, as heralds which bring us a taste of His Mercy, by which the vessels travel (through air/ sea/ land) at His bidding, for us to seek of His Bounty, perchance we would be PRODUCTIVE- تشكرون.
Shukr, as our Regular Readers know, is much more than mere thanks or gratitude, it is making the most of something, until it achieves abundance. I prefer Ali’s explanation here to Asad’s, who translates ‘signs’ as ‘wonders,’ and also adds a ‘symbolic’ interpolation.
3. Now, we arrive at the final stage, the last verses to this Chapter, where we encounter a recurrent theme to convince those who do not believe in Resurrection, including Qureish:
Verse 47 addresses the Messenger as it reinforces him, sending an indirect warning to Qureish, and delivering, to the Faithful, a Promise from God ‘rightfully due UPON Us’ meaning upon Himself (حقاً علينا)- !
After Verses 48- 49 describe the Winds which God sends, causing both Hope and Despair among His Worshippers… Verse 50 instructs listeners to look carefully at how God revives the Earth after its death, and see in such visible marks/ evidence of His Mercy what would help us comprehend that He is Reviver of the dead, and of all things Capable.
PAGE 410 Arabic Qur’an.
4. In Verse 51, we notice the instability of some people’s faith, as it increases and decreases with the wind.
Verses 52- 53 inform the Messenger that he cannot bring the Dead to hear, nor can he bring the Deaf to hear the call as they turn back on their heels (similar to HQ 27:80). Nor can he guide the Blind who are astray … ‘..you can only bring to hear those Who Believe in Our Signs and hence are Purely Reverent مسلمون-’.
These verse show us that all these persons/ groups deny God’s Signs and therefore insist on remaining oblivious to His Messenger’s call, turning to him a blind eye and a deaf ear.
What this shows us clearly, is that the Dead do not ‘hear’ the Messenger.
Furthermore, as HQ 6:36 seems to indicate, some of us Cognizant Humans might be physically alive, yet virtually ‘dead’ having lost touch with the most important everlasting part of their Selves, and having failed to learn from life’s lessons. Such persons are beyond earshot and eye-range!
What an ending to this verse: ‘...you can only bring to hear those Who Believe in Our Signs and hence are Purely Reverent مسلمون-’.
5. Verse 54 tells us of God’s knowledge and power, summarizing our life in three stages;
· He created us of Weakness… then in time -‘thumma’ (ثم):
· He rendered Strength after weakness….then in time -‘thumma’ (ثم):
· He rendered, after strength, Weakness and a Mixing-up (‘sheyba [ii]’ is a mix or blend of two things.
Although this word is mostly used to describe the graying of hair, it denotes ALL physical or mental ‘mixes’ related to aging!
This word is VERY interesting, showing us both the beauty of the Arabic language and the precision of the Qur’an. As we age, not only do the pigment cells in our hair follicles die off, but we lose muscle cells, we lose connections between brain cells, and generally speaking, our entire DNA repair-activity declines. So what the Qur’an is telling us, is that after a period of full strength, we undergo a stage of ‘weakness:’ whatever is alive and ‘well’ in us ‘merges’ with what is dying or dead… and we have to deal with the outcome: an ever-changing, ever-weakening ‘blend’ which is our new, day by day, state.
Our younger Readers will understand this better by studying the gradual changes taking place with their parents or grandparents.
If ‘sheybaشيبة-’ is not simply the loss of ‘melanin production in our hair,’ but is actually related to all the other ‘strengths’ which we gradually lose: Which of them is MOST important?
Let us think back to HQ 16:70:
Our most important Loss is that of ‘Knowledge!’
The next three verses (55 -56 - 57) tell us about the emergence of the ‘Hour.’ It is interesting to note the response which ‘Those who were granted Knowledge and Faith’ gave to the Evil-earners/ Those who had extracted themselves from Faith (Mujrim).
Note that they tell them that they had ‘remained in God’s Compilation until the Day of ‘Rising /Resurrection’ (Ba’thبعث-). Here, similar to HQ 9:36, God’s ‘Compilation’ is that of ‘Creation.’ (I have shown you Arberry’s translation which is consistent, although he used the word ‘book.’ Asad and Ali’s interpretations have not been consistent as they’ve used different words for ‘kitaab’ in these two verses.)
6. Verse 58 begins by telling us about God ‘striking examples’ in the Qur’an (dharabaضرب- ) for Cognizant Humans, and ends by showing how the Deniers received its Signs (similar to HQ 17:89; 18:54).
Verse 59 tells us that ‘those who do not know’ are ALSO impervious to these signs. People who are ‘ignorant’ will not be open to logic/ evidence. Their faculties are blocked (see all examples in the Qur’an).
7. Verse 60 ends this beautiful chapter with a Promise of God, which is True, and encouragement to the Messenger who, by patient perseverance and Forbearance, can strengthen himself against those who doubt him.
Our next Reading is from HQ 31:1-34; a new Chapter!
Peace unto all!
[i] قوم: أصلانِ، يدلُّ أحدهما على جماعةِ ناسٍ،. والآخَر على انتصابٍ أو عَزْم. وأمّا الآخر فقولُهم: قامَ قياماً، والقَوْمة المَرَّةُ الواحدة، إذا انتصب. ويكون قامَ بمعنى العَزيمة، كما يقال: قامَ بهذا الأمر، إذا اعتنَقَه. وهم يقولون في الأوَّل: قيامٌ حتم، وفي الآخر: قيامٌ عَزْم..
ومن الباب: قوَّمْتُ الشَّيء تقويماً. وأصل القِيمة الواو، وأصلُه أنَّك تُقيم هذا مكانَ ذاك.
وبلَغَنا أنَّ أهلَ مكّةَ يقولون: استَقَمْتُ المَتاعَ، أي قوَّمْتُه.
ومن الباب: هذا قِوام الدين والحقّ، أي به يقوم. وأمَّا القَوَام فالطُّول الحَسَن.
[ii] شيب: هذا يقرب من (شوب)، وهما يتقاربان في اختلاط الشّيء بالشيء.
من ذلك الشَّيب: شَيب الرأس؛ يقال شاب يَشيب.
أي بَيَّضَ مسوَدَّه.