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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.'


Monday, September 20, 2010

Day 200; Qur’an 31:20-34; Page 413- 414

Welcome Friends:  Ahlan wa sahlan!
Congratulations, dear Readers on having spent 200 wonderful days together studying 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 413 Arabic Qur’an.

1.    Before we read Verse 20, let us reflect:
From previous verses we’ve read, we can almost ‘list’ what God has made subject to our needs: From sea-vessels, to rivers, to the sun and moon, to the night and day… all required by us, therefore all presented to us.…(see سخر لكم - click E for English).
And now, Verse 20 begins by summing it all up by saying that God has made WHATEVER is in the Heavens and on Earth subject to our needs, and has bestowed upon us His Bounties IN FULL (أسبغ[i])- both the discernible and the indiscernible bounties!
The rest of this verse, as well as Verse 21, seem to explain the preceding verse (about ‘the voice of Asses’) as it tells us of a certain category of Cognizant Humans who:
·    Argue/ dispute with regard to God while:
·    Lacking Knowledge,
·    Lacking Guidance,
·    And lacking an enlightening Compilation.
·    And when told to follow what God has sent (to them), they say that they shall only follow their forefathers.

The verse ends on a note of Dissuasion.  

Dear Reader:
I think that this, and consecutive verses, help us better understand Verse 19, where Luqmaan advises his son on how to behave, stating that the ‘voice of Asses/ donkeys’ are the most mutually objectionable.
Firstly, Luqmaan advises his son not to raise his voice.  Although he doesn’t say ‘LIKE an ass/ donkey,’ that connotation is implied in the sentence.  Secondly, we find the subsequent verse mentioning five points which tell us of persons who follow their forefathers without thought, but with voices delivering ignorant, baseless argument.  I believe this further reinforces Luqmaan’s warning, especially since donkeys are the oldest-known pack animals:  People do love the sound of their own voices, but Luqmaan wanted his son not to raise his voice unless supported by knowledge… and God knows best الله أعلم!
2.    Verses 22 and 23 tell the Messenger/ listeners about two kinds of persons; the first is a person who ‘directs himself to God in pure Reverence,’ whilst being a Performer of Good (محسن).  This person is holding onto The Secure Grip ([ii]العروة الوثقى)- which Asad calls ‘a support most unfailing.’ 
The second has Denied, and the Messenger, peace upon him, is told not to be saddened by such Denial. 
Note how both verses end, as the Outcome and the Return rest with God, who shall inform everyone as to their work, for He is Knowing of what the ‘heads and chests’ hold[iii].
Verse 24 is Dissuasive, showing us the short-lived ‘pleasures’ of such persons.  

Verse 25 (Ali/ Asad) tells the Messenger that, were he to pose them the question: “WHO created the heavens and the earth?”  They would say: “God.” 
Check out the 5 times this appears in the Qur’an (click E for English). 
I prefer Asad’s explanation of this verse.

Note the Messenger’s response to their admission:  “All Praise to God/ Alhamdu lil-Lah!”  The verse ends by stating that ‘most of them do not know.’ (So it is all about knowledge.) 

3.    Verses 26- 27 are well-explained by Asad. 
God’s ‘words’ are the actual manifestation of Truths (see 10:82), and He has told us, and shown us, only a miniscule portion of what IS!’

Verse 28 ascertains that the Creation and Resurrection of Humankind is as the Creation and Resurrection of one single Self.
Note how these three verses end with God’s attributes, numbering six altogether.

PAGE 414 Arabic Qur’an.

4.   Verse 29 is about a recurrent theme, asking:  Do you not observe God’s Signs around you?’  Here we find mention of the night and day, the sun and moon, each ‘FLOWING[iv] along its course towards an appointed term…’ and also God’s knowledge of all that we do.
It is interesting to note that the masculine present tense verb ‘yajree"يجري-  is ALWAYS about the night and day, the sun and moon; the feminine ‘tajree’ is mostly about rivers, and sometimes vessels as we shall see in Verse 31.

After pointing to God’s Signs, Verse 30 presents a VERY IMPORTANT statement:

“That is because God is the (only) Reality/the Ultimate Truth, and because whatever else they invoke instead of Him is Falsehood; and because God,- He is the Most High/ Exalted, Most Great.” (Ali/ Asad)

Verse 31 reminds us of one of God’s bounties: Our travel by sea, in which is a Sign for every steadfastly Forbearing, consistently Productive person (صبار شكور).
This verse also seem to tell us that by travelling we encounter even more of God’s Signs!  As a seasoned traveller, I can vouch for this being very true.

Verse 32 shows us how people at the verge of being drowned would pray to God with an urgency: ‘pure in accountability to Him.’  
What happens to them when back on dry land? 
Some of them follow a ‘median’ route (مقتصد), which seems to denote a ‘mid-way’ course where one neither Denies God, nor is Pure in accountability to him.  
This word (muqtassid) also appears in HQ 5:66; 35:32; the latter seems clear in its indication that ‘muqtassid’ persons DO NOT ACTIVELY pursue Goodness, and can therefore be ‘outrun’ by others who deserve the title (سابق بالخيرات) ‘Foremost in Goodness.’ 
The last part of the verse defines one who is in consistent Denial.

5.     Verse 33 begins by calling upon Cognizant Humans to be Aware of their Lord and fear the Time (the Day) when no father or child can avail each other (I find it interesting that father and child are mentioned here, in a Chapter which is about Luqmaan’s advice to his son).  Read the complete verse and note how it assures us on the fulfillment of God’s Promise, and warns us of falling for Deception!

6.     Verse 34 is an oft-quoted verse which describes God’s Infinite Knowledge, compared to what little we know.

Dear Reader:  It won’t be easy for most of us who are used to being where we are.. but we MUST TRY to get out of the ‘muqtassid/ median’ category, into that of ‘saabiq bil Keyraat/ Forerunner in Goodness.’ 
God-willing, our understanding of the Qur’an will help us do that, especially if we attempt to be of those who ‘steadfastly persevere in consistent productivity’  (صبار شكور) towards that wonderful goal! Say inshaa’Allah!

Enough said!
Our next Reading is from HQ 32:1-20.

Peace unto all!

[i] سبغ: يدلُّ على تمامِ الشيء وكماله. يقال أَسْبَغْتُ الأمر، وأسْبَغَ فلان وضوءَه. ويقال أسبغ الله عليه نِعَمَه. ورجل مُسْبِغ، أي عليه درعٌ سابغة. وفحل سابغٌ: طويل الجُرْدَان، وضدُّه الكَمْش.
Variations of the root-verb ‘sabagha’ appear only twice in the Qur’an (click E for English).  Notice that in HQ 34:11 –as a noun- ‘saabighaat’ are the coats of mail which Prophet David manufactured, peace upon him; this single word indicating both their shape and function:  They offered ‘full body cover (and protection)!’  Isn’t the Arabic language amazing?  

[ii] عرو/ي: أصلانِ صحيحان متباينان يدلُّ أحدُهما على ثباتٍ ومُلازمةٍ وغِشيان، والآخر يدلُّ على خلوٍّ ومفارقة.
فالأوّل قولُهم: عَرَاه أمرٌ، إذا غَشِيه وأصابَه؛ وعَرَاه الهمُّ واعتراه. ومن الباب العُروة عُروَة الكُوزِ ونحوِه، والجمع عُرىًوإنَّما سمِّيت عُروَة لأنّها تُمسَك وتَلزَمها الإصبع.
وقال بعضهم: العُرْوة: الشَّجر الملتف.
وأمّا الأصل الآخَر فخُلوُّ الشَّيء من الشَّيء. من ذلك العُرْيان، يقال منه: قد عَرِيَ من الشَّيءِ يعرَى، وجمع عارٍ عُراة.

[iii] صدر: أصلان صحيحان، أحدُهما يدلُّ على خلاف الوِرْد، والآخر صَدْر الإنسان وغيره.
فالأوّلُ قولُهم: صَدَرَ عن الماءِ، وصَدَرَ عن البِلاد، إذا كان وَرَدَها ثمَّ شَخَصَ عنها.
وأمَّا الآخر فالصَّدر للإنسان، والجمع صُدور، قال الله تعالى: {ولَكِنْ تَعْمَى القُلُوبُ الَّتِي في الصُّدور} [الحج 46]، ثم يشتقُّ منه.
فالصِّدار: ثوبٌ يُغطِّي الرَّأس والصَّدْر. والتَّصدير: حبل يُصدَّر به البعير لئلاَّ يُرَدَّ حِمْلُهُ إلى خَلْفه.

[iv] جري: هو انسياحُ الشيء. يقال جَرَى الماء يَجْري جَرْيَةً وجَرْياً وجَرَياناً.
فأمّا السفينة فهي الجارية، وكذلك الشَّمس، وهو القياس. والجارية من النِّساء من ذلك أيضاً، لأنَّها تُسْتَجْرَى في الخِدمة، وهي بيِّنة الجِراء.

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