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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.'


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Day 201; Qur’an 32:1-30; Page 415- 417

Welcome Friends:  Ahlan wa sahlan!

This Chapter is INSPIRING!

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 السجدة

From the Introduction of Yusuf Ali:

“This short Sura closes the series of the four A. L. M. Suras, which began with the 29th.  Its theme is the mystery of Creation, the mystery of Time, and the mystery of the Ma’ad (the Final End)..”

From the Introduction of Muhammad Asad:

“ALMOST all the authorities agree in that this surah belongs to the late Mecca period and that it was revealed immediately after surah 23 (“The Believers”). The view advanced by some commentators that verses16-20 were revealed at Medina is purely speculative and does not deserve serious consideration. The key-word which came to be accepted as the “title” of this surah is found in verse 15.”

PAGE 415 Arabic Qur’an.
1.  In Verses 1-2 we notice that this Chapter starts with the disjointed 'letters'  A L M مقطّعات or sounds (also called 'Chapter Openers' فواتح السور), which are followed by mention of the Compilation (discussed on April 6th and Sept 1st).
We also notice Verse 3 speaking to the Messenger, peace upon him, asserting that the Compilation IS THE TRUTH from ‘your Lord,’ sent as a warning to people who had no Warner before ‘you.’  This statement answers the allegation of those who say that he (Muhammad) has forged/ invented it (Ali/ Asad).  

In Verse 4 we are told that He is God, ‘Allah’, Who created the Heavens and the Earth and what is between them in six terms/ Aeons, after which He secured Creation and sustained it, taking it into His full command (استوى على العرش)…see April 9th.’  
The latter part of the verse reminds us that we have NONE other than Him to protect us or intercede on our behalf.

2.  Verses 5- 6 tell us more about The Creator’s Command, which in time/ eventually (thummaثم- ) ascends to Him within a Term ‘estimable’ by us as great numbers of years combined[i].  We already spoke of the word ‘alf’ on Aug 6th, from which is this excerpt:

“The word ‘alfألف-  ’ in Arabic means to ‘combine/ compose/ compound’ one thing to another (as in HQ 8:63), and has also been taken to denote ‘hundreds combined together,’ which would point to something in its ‘thousands.’ 

We are also given a few of His attributes, including that He is Knower of the Unseen and the Witnessed عالم الغيب والشهادة (see all 10 occurrences of this Attribute), and in Verse 7 that He has ‘made excellent’ everything He created, and He BEGAN creating the Cognizant Human out of wet earth-matter.

3.  It is very interesting to note the Stages of Creation mentioned in Verses 8- 9, from the very first ‘building-blocks’ of Life, to the Cognizant Human:
·  God began our creation from wet earth-matter, then (-‘thummaثم- ’) after a passage of Time:
·  He rendered in this creation (a capacity for) Reproduction (سلالة) in STILL water[ii], then (–‘thummaثم- ’) after a passage of Time:
·  He duly proportioned this creation/ balanced it in a process (as one would ‘stew’ a compound until perfected.  See Etymology in footnote[iii]) and He:
·  Quickened[iv] in it of His Spirit (NOT 'breathed') and:
·  Rendered for YOU Hearing, and Sight, and ‘Fou’aad,’ rarely are you Productive.
The order of these three is important: Hearing is our first sense to become fully developed at around 6 months inside the womb, while Sight becomes fully developed at around 6 years of age!
I am not yet sure how to translate ‘Fou’aad,’ see Aug 29th.  It is definitely about our energy -being literally 'fired up'-فأد- and seems related to our 'mental' energy (such as Intention) and how we translate it into 'physical' energy (such as Attitude and Conduct).

We can spend hours on these verses, but time is scarce.  Do check the footnotes, dear Reader, and note that I am attempting to recover the original connotations of the words from old lexicons, after which I try to choose English equivalents.  It is only natural that my interpretation would reflect my own understanding.
In fact, any explanation of the Qur’an has to reflect the knowledge and mindset of the Commentator, while:

The Qur’an can only be considered most Accurate and Timeless in its original Arabic.

The Lexicon gives TWO meanings to ‘maheen مهين-’- ‘Still’ and ‘Despised.’  I chose ‘still’ as an adjective describing the water, rather than ‘despised’ because I was thinking of the process of creation, and that it was from ACTUAL liquid water.  On the other hand, earlier Commentators were thinking of ‘semen,’ which is why they explained it as ‘despised/ humble fluid.’

As for ‘estawaاستوى- ’ – it denotes A PROCESS whereby someone or something ‘achieves balance,’ arriving at establishing due proportion.  It denotes eventual ‘maturity;’ when something arrives at its ‘peak.’  Note the unmentioned Etymological link between it and the common English word ‘stew.’  Nobody noticed that our common understanding of the Arabic word is related to food when cooked and ready to eat, and to fruit/ vegetables also when ripened and ready to eat (see Google translate)!
New Readers MUST read about Classical Arabic.

4.  In Verse 10 we find certain persons asking incredulously about resurrection- they are Those who Deny meeting their Lord.  They get quite a specific response in Verse 11, not only as to their destination at that point in time, but also regarding the Custodian/ Angel of Death who is assigned to them, and shall take them in their entirety!

-Although we commonly translate ‘malakمَلَك- ’ as angel, it is akin to the word ‘malekمَلِك- ’ and denotes someone who owns, or is ‘in charge.’  Perhaps we’d understand the concept of ‘angels’ better if we used the word ‘Custodians’ instead.
-Regular Readers will remember the difference between ‘wafaat’ and ‘mawt,’ 

PAGE 416 Arabic Qur’an.

5.  Verse 12 describes the ‘Mujrims,’ the Evil-Earners, as they stand to Judgment before their Lord.  On that Day they will speak to their Lord, admitting that they saw and they heard, and they will ask to be returned, so as to perform Goodness.  They also announce that they are indeed ‘Certain’ (after it is too late)! 

‘Mujrim’ is a noun which stands in opposition to ‘Muslim,’ as we see in HQ 68:35.  As we know from earlier Readings, the root-verb ‘salama’ denotes ‘Pureness from fault or defect,’ whereas ‘Jarama[v]’ denotes something which is cut, or has dropped like flawed fruit off the tree (see also Etymology of ‘gramme’).

Such persons are severely rebuked in Verses 13- 14.

6.  Verses 15- 19 are beautiful, and contain the ‘sajda’ or Prostration by which this Chapter is known. 
First, Verses 15- 16 describe Those who have indeed Attained Faith in two conditions:  Upon being reminded of God’s Signs, as well as in their ‘usual’ state:

Upon being reminded of God’s Signs:
· They fall in Prostration and
· Celebrate His Praise (by word and by deed) and
· Are not arrogant (literally: do not exalt themselves).
· Their usual state is that their sides forsake their resting-places as
· They call out to their Lord in Anxiety and in Longing and
· Spend out of what He has granted them of His Bounty.

What a level of Love and Commitment!

Recipients of these verses (such as ourselves) join in showing their love and commitment by performing a Prostration here.  Called a 'Prostration of Recital,' it is not related to our daily prayers (therefore most Scholars tell us that it does not require purification 'tahaara,' no sitting for recital, and no 'salaam' upon completing it, and women need no head-cover).  It only becomes part of prayer (added to it voluntarily) whenever these verses are recited DURING prayer.

The Qur'an is interactive; WE are its present Recipients, and would do well to prove our worth (put 'interactive' in 'Search this Site).

Verse 17 announces the rewards reserved for each Self, as recompense for its deeds.  
Verse 18 poses a question, on whether a Faithful person is similar to a Deserter, and responds saying: They are NOT proportionate/ equal (‘la yastawoon- from the verb in footnote ‘estawaa’).
Remember, dear Reader, that every question in the Qur'an is asked OF US, and will indeed be responded to...even by our silence!  So, if we were fully aware, we would have said 'No!' even as the verse continued to say so!

Although the word ‘Mu’min’ (Believer) usually stands in opposition to ‘Kaafer’ (Denier), here and in HQ 3:110 it stands in opposition to ‘Faasiq’ (Deserter).

Verse 19 mentions the Believers’ reward for their deeds, while Verses 20- 21 mention the Deserters’ consequence for theirs, indicating that a lesser suffering is meted upon them  in life, as a reminder to mend their ways.

PAGE 417 Arabic Qur’an.

Verse 22 informs/ asks us, ‘Who could be of more wrongdoing than someone who was reminded of God’s Signs, and thereupon turned away from them?
Such persons are considered ‘Mujrims.’

Interestingly, by researching ‘Who is of more wrongdoing than…ومن أظلم ممن...’ we find 15 verses which warn us of 4 kinds of deeds which are considered of MOST wrongdoing:
·  Mostly, with regard to attributing lies to God, or lying about God (11 verses are about this!).
·  Twice, with regard to turning away from God’s Signs after being reminded of them (here and in HQ 18:57).
·  Once, regarding blocking places of worship from any who would mention God’s name therein, and also seeking the demolishment of such houses of worship.
·  Once, regarding suppressing testimony (any part of the Compilation) received from God.

It would do us good to pay attention to these deeds, as these are the deeds of UTMOST wrongdoing!

7. Verses 23- 24 are about Prophet Moses, peace upon him, the Compilation, and Bani Isra’eel, mentioning the leadership that God rendered among them during times when they were Forbearing and certain of God’s Signs. Verse 25 informs us that God decides between them, on Resurrection Day, as to what they differed.
Verse 26 mentions that God’s replacement of one generation with another should be taken as a Sign, while Verse 27 cites a lesson from the parched earth as the rain is driven to it, replenishing vegetation, animals and Human Selves.

In Verse 28 we learn that the Deniers were hastening the final decision (as proof of the truth of this message), while the Messenger, peace upon him, is told to inform them in Verse 29 that when it does take place, it would be too late for them.
The last Verse tells the Messenger to turn away from them, and to wait… for they are waiting.

Enough said!

Our next Reading is from HQ 33:1-15.

Peace unto all!

[i] ألف: يدلُّ على انضمام الشيء إلى الشيء، والأشياء الكثيرة أيضاً. قال الخليل: الأَلْفُ معروفٌ، والجمع الآلاف. وقد آلَفتِ الإبلُ، ممدودة، أي صارت ألفاً.
قال الخليل: ألِفْتُ الشيءَ آلَفُه. والأُلْفَة مصدر الائتلاف . وإلْفُكَ وأليفك: الذي تألفه. [و] كلُّ شيءٍ ضممتَ* بعضَه إلى بعضٍ فقد ألّفته تأليفاً. الأصمعيّ: يقال ألِفْتُ الشيء آلَفُه إلْفاً وأنا آلِفٌ، وآلَفْتُه وأنا مُؤْلفٌ.
قال أبو زيد: أهل الحجاز يقولون آلَفْتُ المكانَ والقومَ. وآلَفْتُ غيري أيضاً حملته على أن يألَفَ.
فأما قولـه تعالى: {لإيلاَفِ قُرَيْشٍ [قريش 1]. قال أبو زيد: المألف: الشجر المُودِق الذي يدنو إليه الصّيد لإلْفِه إيّاهُ، فيَدِقُ إليه.

[ii] هون: يدلُّ على سكون أو سكينة أو ذلّ. من ذلك الهَوْن: السَّكينة والوَقار. قال الله سبحانه:{يَمْشُونَ عَلَى الأَرْضِ هَوْناً}[الفرقان 63]. والهُون: الهَوان. قال عزّ وجلّ: {أَيُمْسِكُهُ عَلَى هُونٍ}[النحل 59]. والهَاوُون لِلذي يُدقُّ به عربيٌّ صحيح، كأنّه فاعول من الهَوْن.

[iii] سوي: يدلُّ على استقامةٍ واعتدالٍ بين شيئين. يقال هذا لا يساوي كذا، أي لا يعادله. وفلانٌ وفلانٌ على سَوِيّةٍ من هذا الأمر، أي سواءٍ. ..ومن ذلك قولهم:  لا سيّما، أي لا مثلَ ما.
ومن الباب السَّواء: وسَط الدَّارِ وغَيرِها، وسمِّي بذلك لاستوائه. قال الله جلَّ ثناؤه: {فاطَّلَعَ فَرَآهُ فِي سَوَاءِ الْجَحِيمِ}  [الصافات 55].
لسان العرب:
وتَساوَتِ الأُمورُ واسْتَوَتْ وساوَيْتُ بينهما أَي سَوَّيْتُ. وساوَيْتُ بينَ الشَّيْئَيْنِ إذا عَدَّلْتَ بينَهما وسَوَّيْت.
واستَوى الشيءُ: اعْتَدَلَ... واسْتَوَى الرجلُ: بلغ أَشُدَّه...ولما بلغ أَشُدَّه واسْتَوى؛ قيل: إن معنى استَوى ههنا بلغ الأَربعين ...ويحتمل أَن يكون بلوغُ الأَربعين غايةَ الاستِواء وكمالِ العقل. وسَوَّى الشيءَ وأَسْواهُ: جعلَه سَوِيّاً، والمُستَوي التامُّ في كلام العرب الذي قد بلغ الغاية في شبابِه وتمامِ خَلْقِه وعقلِه

STEW: c.1400, "to bathe in a steam bath," from O.Fr. estuver (Fr. étuver) "bathe, stew," of uncertain origin. Common Romanic (cf. Sp. estufar, It. stufare), possibly from V.L. *extufare.

[iv] ‘Quickened’ NOT breathed!  ‘Quicken’ is EXACTLY what this word means, To ‘vivify, make alive, hasten, accelerate, etc..  and this meaning in English has also been preserved in Biblical Dictionary Definitions. 

[v] (جرم) الجرْمُ القطْع. ويقال لِصَرام النَّخل الجِرَام. وقد جاءَ زمن الجَرَامِ. وجَرَمْتُ صُوف الشَّاةِ وأخذته. والجُرَامةُ: ما سقطَ من التّمْرِ إذا جُرِم. ويقال الجُرامة ما التُقِط من كَرَبِهِ بعد ما يُصْرَمُ.. والجَرَام والجَريم: التَّمْر اليابس. فهذا كلُّه متّفقٌ لفظاً ومعنىً وقياساً. ومما يُردّ إليه قولهم جَرَم، أي كَسَب؛ لأن الذي يَحُوزُه فكأنه اقتطَعَه. وفلانٌ جَرِيمةُ أهله، أي كاسِبُهم.
وقال الراغب الأصفهاني: أصل الجرم: قطع الثمرة عن الشجر، وأجرم: صار ذا جرم ، واستعير ذلك لكل اكتساب مكروه، ولا يكاد يقال في عامة كلامهم للكيس المحمود.

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