Welcome Friends: Ahlan wa sahlan!
Today we complete the Chapter of ‘Yaasseen.’
We’d have to see it as one unit to understand why it is such an oft-read Chapter (see Days 213 & 214).
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.
Our last Reading ended by informing us that no Self shall be wronged in the least, and that Recompense is related to Deeds performed.
PAGE 444 Arabic Qur’an.
1. In Verses 55- 58, the ‘Companions of the Garden/ Those who are destined for paradise’ (Ali/ Asad) are mentioned, enjoying their ‘recompense’ together with their ‘azwaaj,’ or comrades/ counterparts. The word ‘azwaaj’ in the Afterlife seems more about a companionship of pure ‘equals;’ people of similar and equal merit, matched or ‘paired’ together:
There is strong indication to the meaning of the word in HQ 38:58:
وآخر من شكله أزواج))
‘And further of what is similar, matched to it.’
And to its use in the Hereafter in 56:7:
(وكنتم أزواجاً ثلاثة)
‘And you were (grouped in) three matched /equally meritorious categories.
However, what proves to us that the Hereafter is not necessarily about male and female ‘mates,’ is HQ37:22, where similarly performing people are grouped together to face the consequence of their deeds. It makes absolutely no sense in this verse that some people’s ‘punishment’ would automatically extend to their ‘wives,’ yet despite that, we note 5 out of 10 translations seemingly allowing it! (Open ‘translations’ tab to the right. Here, Yusuf Ali got it wrong, and Muhammad Asad got it right.)
Back to today’s verses:
Isn’t it wonderful to know that one would get EVERYTHING one asked for in the Garden, together with the gift of ‘Salaam’ from an Unceasingly Compassionate Sustainer?
(As defined earlier, the root verb ‘salama’ denotes everything ‘pure of any defect,’ such as… Peace .. Security…Safety… Health… etc.)
2. In contrast, Verses 59- 64 describe the recompense of the ‘Mujrims;’ those who ‘had extracted themselves from faith’ (put ‘mujrim’ in ‘Search this Site’).
As they are commanded to get into their rightfully deserved station, literally ‘to differentiate’ from the others, they are reminded of God’s warning to all the Children of Adam not to worship the Deviant/ Sheytaan, who is their obvious enemy, but rather to worship God on the Straight Path. Did they not use their intellect to observe how the Deviant misguided so many of them?
Yusuf Ali, in his footnotes lists five ‘features’ of the Day of Judgment:
“Notice how this finely balanced passage, after reaching the summit of sublimity in describing the state of the Blessed, in the word Salam, gradually takes us down to contemplate the state of the Sinners in a graduated descent…..to their negative state, their state of isolation. …
The first feature of the Day of Judgment is that it is a Day of Separation-of sorting out. Each soul now finds its own true level, as the period of probation is over.”
“Secondly, there is a gentle reproach to the wrong-doers, more in sorrow than in anger. They are addressed as "children of Adam", to emphasise two facts, (1) that they have disgraced their ancestry, for Adam after his Fall repented and was forgiven, and the high Destiny of mankind has been the prize open to all his descendants, and (2) that God Most Merciful has throughout the ages continued to warn mankind against the snares laid by Satan, the avowed enemy of man, and that God’s Grace was ever on the watch to help all to freedom from those snares.”
“Thirdly, besides the negative warning, a positive Way was shown to them-the Straight Way, the Way of those who receive God’s Grace and attain to Bliss, the Rope which would save them from shipwreck, the Shield which would save them from assault, the key to the door of proximity to God.”
“Fourthly, it is pointed out that they were given Understanding (’aql), so that by their own faculties they could have judged their own best interests, and yet they betrayed or misused those faculties, and deliberately threw away their chance! And not only a few, but so many! They went gregariously to ruin in spite of the individual care which their Lord and Cherisher bestowed on them!”
“Fifthly, the naked fact is now placed before them,-the Hell,-the state of damnation, which they could so easily have avoided!”
3. Verse 65 describes how each of our faculties/limbs shall ‘speak for itself’ telling of what IT had earned, ‘bearing witness’ against us. It is scary to imagine our lack of control, when our own body speaks up against us as mentioned in HQ 24:24, 41:20.
Muhammad Asad sees this as a “metaphor for their being unable really to excuse or defend their past actions and attitudes.”
Nevertheless, in life, WE own our actions. Verses 66- 67 show us that, had God willed, we could have had no freedom of choice or mobility.
From Asad’s footnotes:
“If it had been God’s will that men should have no freedom of will or moral choice, He would have endowed them from the very beginning with a spiritually and morally stationary nature, entirely rooted in their instincts (“in their places”), devoid of all urge to advance, and incapable either of positive development or of retreat from a wrong course.”
Verse 68 seems to tell us that the time is NOW for the performance of Goodness. Postponing only causes loss since, the longer we live, the more of a REVERSE we incur in mental and physical capabilities (and the less time we have to build upon our work or enjoy its fruits). This is food for thought and material to ponder upon!
Other verses which mention ‘the most degrading (part) of the life-spanأرذل العمر- ’ are HQ16:70 (see June 23rd) and 22:5.
Verses 69- 70 assure us that the Messenger Muhammad knew no poetry, and that the Message he relayed is solely a Reminder and a clarifying Qur’an to guide those who are ALIVE!!!
This is very important, dear Reader:
It is both a Reminder and a Qur’an to the Living, who should take the guidance directly from it, in person. Yet most of us read the Compilation through the eyes of those who were living at one point, and are now gone! We can benefit from their research and the compilations they left us, and we can build upon their knowledge, but we MUST NOT deny ourselves our own living interaction with the Qur’an!
Put both words together ‘kitaab quraan’ in ‘Search this Site’ to understand the difference between a Static Compilation and the Dynamic Qur’an.
Indeed, among the ‘Deniers’ mentioned in this verse, seem to be those of us who happen to be literally alive, yet fail to avail of the Reminder, or to interact with the Qur’an! Asad sees such persons as not being ‘alive of heart,’ which is also true.
Think of that: We might as well be dead if our hearts/minds are in denial!
PAGE 445 Arabic Qur’an.
4. Verses 71- 73 begin by questioning whether such persons have observed (Blessing in) the livestock which they own, especially domesticated by God for their use?
Similar verses on “an’aam” (أنعام) are: HQ6:142; 16:5, 66, 80; 23:21; 40:79; 43:12.
It is interesting to reflect on the root verb “na’ama,” which we discussed on March 26th when we read the Chapter by that name, and said:
“This chapter is titled, al An’aam, and those of us who know Arabic would have noticed the root verb ‘na’ama’ نعم which is related to 132 Qur’anic verses, as well as to the Opener, the Faatiha, when we ask God to guide us to the Path of those upon whom He has bestowed His Grace/ His Blessings (Ali/Asad) أنعمت عليهم.
Commentators have traditionally understood this title to refer to the livestock mentioned in this Chapter, because these are called ‘an’aam’ in Arabic, and were for Qureish the greatest and finest of ‘blessings.’
The Lexicon tells us that the root-word’s variations are too plentiful to even mention, but that their connotation relates to only ONE thing: a comfortable, advantageous living in a state of well-being. “
5. Verses 74- 75 discuss those who worship impotent deities, rather than God.
Verse 76 is a direct address to the Messenger Muhammad, peace upon him, telling him not to be saddened by what such persons express, assuring him that God knows all that they hide and reveal. We discussed similar verses on March 22nd, which also provided solace and encouragement with descriptions of what previous Messengers had similarly gone through. There, God told him that He knew that the words of Qureish (his own tribe and family) were causing him grief, but that it was not him they were actually rejecting: They were rejecting God’s Signs.
6. In Verses 77- 79 God addresses the Cognizant Human, who naively ‘strikes an example for His (God’s) ‘benefit’لنا- questioning how dead bones can be revived, even as such a human forgets how he was created in the first place.
(Remember that ‘nuTtfah’ does NOT necessarily mean ‘sperm,’ as discussed on Oct. 6th, especially since it lacks the female contribution. It simply is a FRAGILE stage of creation taking place in clear water.)
In Verse 77 we also find the third and final question regarding ‘observation’ (the first two were in Verses 31, 71).
Remember, dear Reader, that every question asked DOES get its answer, even in our silence.
Verse 80 is about another of God’s Blessings: Energy from green trees, which people can ‘light.’
Originally, people thought that this verse was referring to ‘dry wood.’ Then some said it was about ‘coal,’ and more recently, ‘petroleum,’- both fossil fuels which, at one distant point in time, did have ‘green trees’ as part of their origin.
As Asad says in his footnote:
“..the ancient Arabian proverb, “In every tree there is a fire” (Zamakhsharī): evidently an allusion to the metamorphosis of green – i e., water-containing – plants into fuel, be it through desiccation or man-made carbonization (charcoal), or by a millennial, subterranean process of decomposition into oil or coal. In a spiritual sense, this “fire” seems also to symbolize the God-given warmth and light of human reason spoken of in verse 77 above.”
Today we might have yet another Reading, seeing that the verse does specify green, living trees! In a recent study from MIT, green trees were discovered to be veritable giant batteries, representing an extraordinary leap in renewable energy research, ‘generators’ we might yet tap into!
7. Verse 81 poses the final question in this Chapter (as explained by Arberry):
[36:81]“Is not He, who created the heavens and earth, able to create the like of them? Yes indeed; He is the All-creator, the All-knowing.”
Verses 82- 83 show us that anything which God commands…inevitably takes place, as the Chapter ends on a note of glorification:
Everything is in His Power ((بيده ملكوت كل شيء…. and to Him we do return
Our next Reading is from HQ 37:1-74; a new Chapter!
Peace unto all!