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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 28, 2010

Day 206; Qur’an 33:56-73; Page 426- 427

Welcome Friends:  Ahlan wa sahlan!

Get ready dear Reader:
Today’s Reading will see many raised eyebrows! 
·   Keep an open mind.
·   Activate the ‘Dynamic of Iqra.’
·   Remember that we have been doing things by rote for a thousand years, and it is high time that we understood 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 426 Arabic Qur’an.
1.  Before we explain Verse 56, dear Reader, please make sure you understand the meaning of ‘sallaصلى- -’ explained on May 6th and Sept 24th.

Let’s go:

People who don’t know much about ‘Islam’ usually wonder why ‘Muslims’ cannot mention Prophet Muhammad’s name without saying ‘sallal-Lahu aleyhi wa sallam,’ understood as ‘may God’s peace and blessings be upon him.’

This is because Muslim Scholars cite certain Sayings of the Prophet (Hadeeth) which seem to encourage Believers to do so.  They also cite our next verse which is also believed to urge Believers to SAY ‘sallal-Lahu aleyhi wa sallam. 

Few of us realize that this verse commands Believers to DO ‘salaat and to do tasleem’ themselves, meaning a Believer’s OWN EFFORTS towards those ends. 
·   It does not command Believers to ASK GOD to do ‘salaat’ to the Prophet (which He and His angels already do).
·   It certainly does not command Believers to ASK GOD to do ‘Tasleem’ (to comply with or yield to (!) the Prophet).
Did you get that last point, dear Reader?  Tasleem’ is NOT THE SAME as ‘salaam,’ despite the past 1,000 years where most people thought the two words were the same.
‘Tasleem’ is about compliance with, and yielding, to him. 
This is why after the command ‘sallimu’ (which is a verb) the word was mentioned again as a noun ‘tasleem, to distinguish it from ‘salaam:’

“…and Sallimu, by Tasleem ...وسلموا تسليما-

See the only two instances where this word appears in the Qur’an (HQ 4:65, 33:56), and notice how differently each is explained!

Q. Could you elaborate?
A. Extending peaceful greetings or ‘salaams’ is not what this verse is about. Had it been so, it would have read “…and Sallimu, by Salaam ...وسلموا سلاما-”.
This verse is a continuation of the preceding verses and a part of the following:  This verse is about how Believers should interact with the Prophet:

Since the word ‘nabi/prophet’ is mentioned here rather than ‘rasool/ messenger,’ this is about his station among his community, telling Believers to support, comply with, and yield to him (especially in matters related to his private life, and his household as indicated by context).

Q. Where does that leave us today?
A. It leaves us exactly where we are, except that now we know what this verse says.

Q. What do we do? 
A. We can continue to ask God to shower His Peace and Blessings upon His Messengers with all the love in our Hearts.  The difference is that now we know that this is not an obligation whenever he is mentioned.

Q. Any other evidence?
A. In our ritual prayer (when seated for the Abrahamic Salat), after we ask God to do ‘salaat’ upon Muhammad as He did upon Abraham, we continue by asking for ‘baraka,’ and that’s it:

 We neither mention ‘salaam’ nor ‘tasleem’…. and that is the correct thing to do!

Q. What about our talks or writings?
A. I think we should advise those who feel obligated to add ‘puh, pbuh, saw, or saawa’ after every mention of the Prophet’s name, that they do not have to do so, and that it can be quite distracting.  We can also offer the same advice to those feel obligated to add ‘swt’ after God’s name.
It is my personal opinion that all these additions detract from what we are trying to say, especially to listeners who are unfamiliar with this practice. 
Q. If ‘salaat’ means maintaining a connection, a relationship… Who maintains (or is asked to maintain) a relationship with whom?
A. See the following: 

·   God and His Angels maintain ‘salaat’ with the Prophet (HQ 33:56- today’s verse).
·   God and His Angels maintain ‘salaat’ with us (HQ 3:43, 2:157).
·   The Prophet was commanded do maintain ‘salaat’ with the Believers (HQ 9:103, 9:99).
·  The Believers were commanded to maintain ‘salaat’ with the Prophet (HQ 33:56- today’s verse).

Q. Besides support and 'deliverance from the Darknesses into Light....' what other purposes are there in ‘salaat’?
A. Interestingly, the Qur’an tells us that the Prophet’s ‘salaat’ upon the Believers was to bring them ‘sakan.’  Perhaps it is ‘Sakan’ within the Prophet’s household which is intended by the Believers ‘salaat’ upon him, PLUS all God’s other commands to them, in this Chapter. 

Readers will agree that in a continuous ‘open house,’ unwary visitors can easily disrupt a household! 
And God knows best.

So, Verse 56 is all about how Believers should interact with the Prophet, and this is obvious from CONTEXT, which will be even clearer when we continue to the following verses (I find Asad’s interpretation of Verse 56 closer to the Arabic than Ali’s).
2.  After showing how people should behave around the prophet, Verse 57 warns everyone who dares to challenge or speak ill of God or His Messenger. 
The word ‘athaa’أذى- is usually translated as ‘to harm or injure,’ but here, Asad’s interpretation of ‘affront’ is good, since God cannot be ‘harmed’ in any way (I disagree with Ali’s ‘annoy’).  It is the CONCEPT of ‘God’ in our minds which can be damaged, and this too is what these verses refer to. 

What about God’s Messenger Muhammad, peace upon him? 
Compare today’s verses with HQ 9:51, which clearly shows us that, during his lifetime, he was harmed and injured as ‘Prophet,’ and people were warned about ‘harming’ him as ‘Messenger.’ 
(To explain: ‘Prophet’ relates to his physical presence among people, and he was injured physically.  ‘Messenger’ relates to his spiritual role; his reputation as Messenger, and that is the timeless warning which is as important today as it ever was.)

Notice that Verse 58 repeats the warning as it includes others who should never be maligned: 

‘Believers (masculine AND feminine), who have committed no wrong!

3.  After the Qur’an warns people emphatically from ‘athaa,’ or ‘affront’ to God, His Messenger, AND ‘injuring’ Believers, Verse 59 (Ali/ Asad) commands the PROPHET to tell the women of his household, as well as the women of all Believers’ households, to cover themselves appropriately SO AS TO BE RECOGNIZED, AND THEREFORE NOT INJURED/ accosted/ affronted/ maligned.
P.S. We shall not discuss the face-veil / niqaab/ burqa, which is not mentioned in the Qur’an.

Because the address here is to the ‘Prophet’ (يا أيها النبي), and not to the ‘Messenger,’ there are some who consider women’s ‘concealing-clothing’ a 'transitional measure,' possibly related to the Prophet’s times, and some women did begin to wear less-concealing clothing when this verse was so explained by certain Muslim thinkers.  There also were women who removed their head-covers after 9/11, when they felt that covering had become a cause of injury to them.  On the other hand, countless women have felt the need to don the ‘head-cover,’ many doing so after 9/11.

Dear Reader: Regardless of how this verse is seen, there is another verse which is VERY IMPORTANT:  HQ 24:60 is clear in its indication that NOT baring a woman’s body is BETTER FOR HER (see Aug 24th).

I believe that God guides to what is best:
I also believe that when He says something is better for us, then it is.

4.   Verse 60 is better explained by Ali who recognized the issue of ‘molestation.’  Actually, SEXUAL MOLESTORS seem to be one of the three categories which this verse mentions, as is clear from the preceding verse which tells women to cover lest they be ‘harmed, injured, molested.’ 
The verse first mentions Hypocrites, then it mentions ‘Those in whose hearts/minds is a disease,’ then ‘Those who cause shudders in a town where all are accountable المرجفون في المدينة 
In fact, PREDATORS are those who bring fear to the streets, ‘shaking’ a community (root verb ‘rajafaرجف- [i]’).  This category is the one to be confronted since, as most of us know, Hypocrites were to be left alone; only God knows their inner intentions.

The next two verses (61- 62) warn of such persons ‘sentences,’ the consequences of their having terrorized innocent citizens: 

Banishment from God’s Favor, while also being killed for their actions- wherever they might be.  

The retribution is featured as a ‘sunnatul-Lah’ or ‘God’s Way / His Modus Operandi’ upheld in the previous communities of this earth.
Isn’t this interesting, dear Reader? 
But perhaps even more interesting is the following question:

Why is Sexual Molestation –and the severe retribution mentioned in this verse- ABSENT in many explanations of it?

PAGE 427 Arabic Qur’an.

5.  Verse 63 asks about The (Final) Hour, the knowledge of which rests solely with God (see also HQ 7:187).

Verses 64- 68 are about the Deniers, and their Regret as they taste the Suffering.

6. Verses 69- 71 are directed to the Believers, with two verses starting with ‘O you who have attained Faith!......’
Here, those who have attained Faith are told NOT to be like those who harmed/ injured/ maligned’ Moses, whom God absolved of such persons’ accusations. 
In Verse 70 they (we) hear the command to be Aware of God and mindful of what they (we) say.
In Verse 71, we note the beautiful rewards for such mindfulness, beginning with ‘Righting their Deeds’ for them, and ‘Forgiving their ‘sins’/shortcomingsذنوب- ’… may we be among them!
(See Aug 9th for a similar verse.)

Unfortunately, we haven’t yet had time to explain the many words which are commonly explained as ‘sin’ in English!
(إثم -سيئة -ذنب -خطأ-خطيئة -معصية)

7. Verses 72- 73 are very important because they relate to our major responsibility as Cognizant Humans[ii].
It is not easy to grasp what ‘THE TRUST’ –al Amaana- refers to!
Read about it in both Ali and Asad’s explanations.
We’ll also attempt to understand it together.
Let’s see:

As Cognizant Humans:

Our species has been given bounties above all His other creatures (HQ 17:70).
Upon us, Cognizant Humans, was imprinted the knowledge of our surroundings AND attributes; knowledge which even the Angels lacked HQ 2:31).
Upon us, Cognizant Humans, was imprinted the ability to convey this new-found knowledge; an ability called 'al bayaan' (HQ 55:3-4).

But since ‘mountains’ are specifically mentioned in this verse, we must treat this as a cause for reference.  When we research it, we find another verse mentioning mountains... and we realize that:

As Believers, we should[iii]:

·   Be aware of God.
·   Work for our Future.
·   Remain aware of God, Who knows our every deed.
·   Realize that Success is in the final Outcome.
A Compilation would do no such thing. 
·   Come to know God through His magnificent attributes.
·   Realize that everything that exists in the Heavens and on Earth is in constant motion towards Him.

I think that the ‘Amaana’ TRUST which the Cognizant Human accepted responsibility for, is 'the Qur’an.'

('The Trust' is not the Compilation or the words themselves, but the RENDITION of the 'Compilation' into 'Qur'an' by employing our devices of 'reason,' 'intellect,' and 'volition.'  Therefore, Commentators who postulated that 'the Trust' is our intellect, reason, or free will are not far off the mark. )

The Qur’an would make the mountains crumble in awe, were it to descend upon them.  But it did not. 
It descended first and foremost upon the Messenger (HQ 20:2-3), and was conveyed as a REMINDER to us.  
It descended FOR US to secure knowledge, making us Aware, and awakening in us the Remembrance of our Divine Origins.

And similar to the mountain, our hearts/minds would be 'khaashi'ah' خاشعة(HQ 57:16) to the Remembrance of God.... we would be consumed in the awe of Remembrance IF we became such worthy Recipients of the Qur’an*!

Dear Reader:  Again, we are NOT talking about the 'Kitaab'/Compilation here; the Kitaab/ Compilation would not affect any mountain it might descend upon. 
The only two causes of such impact 'so that firm mountains would crumble'.... are God's Living Glory  (HQ 7:143) and the Living Qur'an (HQ 59:21).

In other words:
As Cognizant Humans, we are ENTRUSTED TO 'THINK' so as to activate the components of IQRA which bring our static Compilation to Life:  اقرأ 
As Cognizant Humans, we are ENTRUSTED TO 'THINK' as we approach the Qur'an (with a combination of Realization-تحقيق, Identification/ Clarification-تبيين, AND Confirmation تمكين)  which is the definition of 'Tarteel:'.... رَتِّل القرآن ترتيلا.....

TO THINK FOR OURSELVES.  It is that simple.

Let us know what YOU think, dear Reader!
Enough said!

Our next Reading is from HQ 34:1-14; a new chapter!

Peace unto all!

The second COMPONENT in the Dynamic of Iqra is to CARRY/ bear the information we've gathered, and the fact that the Cognizant Human (in the singular) carried/ bore the Trust is indicative of it being a PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY upon each of us, and not a 'collective' one.

[i]   (رجف)  يدلُّ على اضطرابٍ. يقال رجَفَتِ الأرْضُ والقَلبُ. والبَحْرُ رَجّافٌ لاضطرابه. وأَرْجَفَ الناسُ في الشيءِ، إذا خاضوا فيه واضطَرَبُوا.

[ii] See all incidents where the Qur’an addresses us: ‘O Cognizant Human!’ and ‘O Cognizant Humans!’ in plural.

See HQ 59:21
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَلْتَنظُرْ نَفْسٌ مَّا قَدَّمَتْ لِغَدٍ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ
وَلا تَكُونُوا كَالَّذِينَ نَسُوا اللَّهَ فَأَنسَاهُمْ أَنفُسَهُمْ أُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ
لا يَسْتَوِي أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ وَأَصْحَابُ الْجَنَّةِ أَصْحَابُ الْجَنَّةِ هُمُ الْفَائِزُونَ
لَوْ أَنزَلْنَا هَذَا الْقُرْآنَ عَلَى جَبَلٍ لَّرَأَيْتَهُ خَاشِعًا مُّتَصَدِّعًا مِّنْ خَشْيَةِ اللَّهِ وَتِلْكَ الأَمْثَالُ نَضْرِبُهَا لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ  
هُوَ اللَّهُ الَّذِي لا إِلَهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ عَالِمُ الْغَيْبِ وَالشَّهَادَةِ هُوَ الرَّحْمَنُ الرَّحِيمُ
هُوَ اللَّهُ الَّذِي لا إِلَهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ الْمَلِكُ الْقُدُّوسُ السَّلامُ الْمُؤْمِنُ الْمُهَيْمِنُ الْعَزِيزُ الْجَبَّارُ الْمُتَكَبِّرُ سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ
هُوَ اللَّهُ الْخَالِقُ الْبَارِئُ الْمُصَوِّرُ لَهُ الأَسْمَاء الْحُسْنَى يُسَبِّحُ لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ

*  Dear Reader:  This study has just helped us better understand the meaning of 'Thikr!'

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