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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.'


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Day 218; Qur’an 37:50-113; Page 448-450

Welcome Friends:  Ahlan wa sahlan!

Today we talk about ‘Pure Reverence!'
I have added a few lines- BOOKS could be written about Prophet Abraham's intended sacrifice of his son, peace upon them both!

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 448 Arabic Qur’an.

1.  In Verses 50- 53 we find the Purified Worshippers of God asking each other about their earlier life on earth.  One of them mentions a close contact he had, a ‘qareen,’ one of his generation, peers, or comrades (see ‘qarn قرن-[i]-’) This ‘comrade’ had argued about the ‘unlikelihood’ of being resurrected to face accountability after having died and become dry bone and dust (which shows us that he was obviously human).
Yusuf Ali calls them the ‘Devout’ and the ‘Skeptic.’
(Interestingly  a ‘qareenah’ (feminine) is taken to mean one’s ‘Self’ or ‘Nafs,’ and can also be used to denote one’s wife.)

Notice the word ‘madeenoon مدينون-’ from DEEN: Accountability (remember when we said that 'Medina' means 'she to whom all are liable and accountable').

2.  In Verses 54- 59 the ‘Mukhlass’ Worshipper is shown the whereabouts of his erstwhile comrade and upon seeing him in the Blaze, he can’t help but rejoice in his own narrow escape, and the realization that, were it not for God’s Grace, this person would have destroyed him! 
He then repeats the important questions that brought them both to this point: Death and Retribution, as Verse 60 defines his position as one of:
Supreme Achievement / Triumph (Ali/ Asad).
We must remember that this is a Meccan Chapter, which is why these topics reappear. 

Verse 61 is VERY IMPORTANT, as it tells us that, for something such as THIS, the LABOR of laborers is worthwhile: 

Dear Reader:
Isn’t it obvious that the primary feature of those ‘Mukhlass’ Worshippers of God was not simply sincerity of ‘sentiment?’

It was sincerity of motivation, realized through hard work….through:

See the three times where the statement appears:
(HQ3:136; 29:58; 39:74)

3.  To compare their beautiful recompense to that of those who deny Resurrection, the Qur’an returns to Dissuasion, as Verses 62- 68 describe the horrendous ‘fruit’ which those in the Blazing Fire will find to eat ‘from a tree of Zaqqoom’ (mentioned 3 times in the Qur’an).

Verses 69-74 serve to remind listeners (and Qureish) that such persons also found their forefathers misguided/ lost… yet what they did was ‘hurry- harra’هرع- in their footsteps, losing their way too.

Yes, dear Reader.  ‘Hurry’ is also of Arabic origin: 
It is very similar in pronunciation, and identical in meaning.
As usual, Etymology fails to mention any connection to Arabic, which had been the language of information and innovation in Europe for many centuries during Islam’s ‘Golden Age, much earlier than the word’s FIRST appearance in English, in Shakespeare’s work-1590! 

So if ‘hurry’ (the English word) has a 5 century history… in Arabic it has been present in the Qur’an for 15 centuries, and prior to that in the language of the Arabs since …God knows how long.

So, why are so-called ‘reference books’ providing tentative reference to a very dissimilar Proto Germanic word (‘khurza’) with a total disregard of Arabic?  Is it due to ignorance, or perhaps 'historic' prejudice... which we might find inexcusable of any who call themselves 'scholars' ?  But history is ALWAYS biased in favor of its narrator, which is why it is virtually impossible to arrive at the Truth from a single source.  To see other such words, put ‘etymology’ in ‘Search this Site.’

I believe that it would do the World a favor and give Peace a chance, to bring new research into all our schools THAT SHOW HUMAN PROGRESS AS ONE UNIT, without dismissing anyone’s contribution (see ‘What is taught in Schools today, versus what SHOULD be taught).
There should be no ‘us’ versus ‘them,’ and no demeaning of people’s history or culture.  This includes acknowledging certain Native American tribes with their notable ‘Islamic’ culture.
I also urge Arabs to acknowledge what non-Arabs have contributed to what they/ we hold proudly onto, even as we paint it broadly ‘Islamic-Arab,’ including the contributions of non-Arab Jews, and other ethnicities from the East and Far-East. 

Now, back to our verses about people hurrying in the misguided footsteps of their forefathers: 
Here we learn that, while God DID send Warners, it seems that they were disregarded by most except the ‘MukhlaSs’ Self-Purifying Sincere Worshippers of God!

We defined these Worshippers in our last Reading when we said that they were “those who had undergone a process whereby they’d refined their Faith in Him and purified their accountability to Him so that it was constantly His Alone.”  We just saw in Verse 61 that these persons’ achievements and their recompense are the EPITOME of Labor and its Rewards.

And now, with Verse 75 begins the section which discusses the stories of previous Prophets, peace upon them all, beginning with Prophet Noah.

PAGE 449 Arabic Qur’an.

4.  Verses 75- 82 present a few highlights from Prophet Noah’s story, and we encounter three consecutive verses which seem to occur as a REFRAIN (all three verses appear four times in this Chapter, while the last two verses appear five times together) each time referring to a different Prophet after his story is told. 

 ‘Peace upon Noah, among all nations/ worlds
In such manner do we recompense the Doers of Good
He is indeed of our Faithful Worshippers.’
سَلَامٌ عَلَىٰ نُوحٍ فِي الْعَالَمِينَ ﴿٧٩﴾
إِنَّا كَذَٰلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُحْسِنِينَ ﴿٨٠﴾
إِنَّهُ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا الْمُؤْمِنِينَ ﴿٨١﴾-

I invite you, dear Reader, to listen to these beautiful verses and enjoy them with me: 
On left side-bar find ‘Recitation.’ 
Choose ‘Mishari Al-Afasy’q
Press start u

4. Verses 83- 113 present us with Prophet Abraham’s story.  Near the end of it, we notice the beautiful refrain:

‘Peace upon Abraham!
In such manner do we recompense the Doers of Good
He is indeed of our Faithful Worshippers.’

In these verses Abraham was twice given glad tidings regarding a son: Verse 100 and Verse 112. 

The Qur’an seems to indicate in several places (without saying it outright) that the son who was almost sacrificed was Ishmael.  Perhaps to ‘claim ‘superiority’ by being descended of THAT son, we find ‘Judeo-Christian’ and ‘Islamic’ versions conflicting on this issue. 

This narration of Prophet Abraham’s story is important for many reasons (and here are just two):
·   It begins by stating that Abraham- from the very beginning- had approached his Lord with a sound heart/ mind (Verse 84).  This statement helps us define the characteristics of such a heart/mind, and we note that the root-verb ‘salama,’ denoting ‘purity from defect,’ accompanies the ‘heart/mind’ as it goes through Life, up to the point of Death, where it becomes ‘muneeb,’ actually ‘returning to a place it loves and is accustomed to!  (See Sept 15th.)
Put ‘yaqeen’ in ‘Search this Site’ to find out more.

And here we get an Important Question:
Q. What is it that motivates a ‘sound’ heart/mind?
 (What does it seek?)

It is motivated by a need for Certitude (yaqeenيقين- ).
This story presents us with our MODEL: Prophet Abraham and his ‘heart/mind.’  Notice how he was helped, step by step, to become ‘of the Certain’ (HQ6:75).  

·   The Second reason why this story is important, pertains to the PERSONAL DETAILS of the sacrificial scene, including the dialogue which took place between father and first-born son.  The youngster’s response is unbelievable; read it in several translations to see its beauty!

PAGE 450 Arabic Qur’an.

And among these details, we learn that they: asslamaaأسلما- : 

The important word ‘aslamaaأسلما- ’ appears in Verse 103.  As Regular Readers know, according to our 1000 year old Lexicon[ii], the three letter root-verb ‘s-l-m’ literally denotes ‘purification; becoming free of deficiency.’  
In the case of Prophet Abraham and his young son, some might say that the word indicated their ‘purifying themselves’ from the natural resistance they were both feeling to this dreaded deed, while others might argue that they were purifying themselves so as to be able to submit to God’s command… BUT:
Listening to their dialogue and noting the directness of the next words (‘tallahu liljabeen/ he flung him on his brow’) we realize that their interchange was NOT one of resistance and their deed was certainly not a result of ‘passive submission:’  
Their dialogue was their 'final exchange,' as the father sought his son's support, and the son gave it with all his heart, PLUS a promise, with God's help, that his father would find him well-enduring.  What they both showed was Purity of Faith in God and Complete  Reverence to Him.  'Submission' was but a natural part of a perfect, committed whole which cannot be manifested by acceptance alone.
Doesn't the root verb 'salama' appear here as 'asslamaa' (dual)?

We have TWO subjects showing us two distinct manifestations of this word: While one showed acceptance and endurance, (performing his role with perfection), the other showed commitment and action (also performing his role with perfection)!
Isn't that something to think about?
Dear Reader:
The word ‘s-l-m,’ is about 'purity from defect' and clarity of action, while ‘submission’ is taken to denote meekness and passiveness; concepts which people are usually resigned to when impotent and hopeless.  This interpretation of ‘Islam’ is often unappealing to youth, and to many who seek betterment.  Plus, because of the ambiguity in these words, we ALWAYS seem to need to explain further, and we tend to add:  “Islam means Submission to God”!

This definition is inadequate: ‘Islam’ is so much more than we make it out to be.

‘Islam’ is a multi-faceted, POSITIVE WORD which highlights the central WILL to purify oneself.  The initial part of that ‘self-purification’ entails ‘worshipping God Alone/ being Purely Reverent to Him,’ and ‘yielding/ surrendering/ submitting’  is part of that worship.  But ‘Islam’ -in its entirety- is not about ‘surrender or submission:’ 

Islam entails Pure Reverence to God, which we then translate into active performance and implementation of what we believe is right, exercising our freedom of choice and free will, taking a clear initial stance which leads us to grow in His Direction. 

The more we think about this the more obvious it becomes:

Q. Why would the Qur’an (HQ49:14) tell the Desert Arabs that they should not declare that they have ‘aamanna’ attained Faith, but rather declare ‘we have asslamna’ although ‘Iman/ Faith/ Belief’ had not yet entered their hearts/minds?

A. Because theirs was an incorrect assessment of themselves.  The correct assessment was that they had ‘purified themselves’ from Idolatry- and just become Reverent to God Alone, but still had a long way to go before they could be considered ‘Faithful/ Believers.’

Q.  What did early Believers (in the Messenger, peace upon him, and in the Qur’an) consider themselves or call themselves: ‘Muslims’ or ‘Mu’mins’? 

A.  They considered, and called themselves, ‘Mu’mins’ (Muslim being the initial stage on the route to Faith).  

We have historic and practical EVIDENCE that they knew the distinction, as seen in these two expressions:

·    Their leader was called ‘Ameer al Mu’mineen’ (‘Leader of the Faithful أمير المؤمنين-’).
·    The Treasury ‘Beyt al Maal’ (which held the taxes levied and the funds to be spent on infrastructure etc..) was called The Treasury of ‘al Muslimeen بيت مال المسلمين-.’

Therefore, the general community was all together considered ‘Muslimeen,’ whereas those who believed in and followed the Qur’an were called ‘Mu’mineen.’

New Readers:  For more on the meaning of ‘Islam,’ please put ‘muslimeen’ in ‘Search this Site’ and check out our Postings of Jan 11th, Aug 10th, and Sept 2nd, where we said:

“Islaam is the sturdy foundation upon which Imaan is built, and that basis is ‘Pure Reverence to God,’ in NOT associating Him with anything or anyone.  That ‘pureness’ either is, or it isn’t:  Islaam can be present, or Islaam can be absent, but it neither fluctuates nor grows
Imaan/Faith, on the other hand, DOES grow, as we consciously observe the measures God has set for us (to the benefit of all Creation), and we hearken to His guidance.”

Those who believe in One God AND in the Qur’an delivered to Muhammad (and are therefore ready to heed its words) are more than mere ‘Muslims;’ they are “Mu’mins.”  This is why the Qur’an NEVER calls out to ‘Muslims,’ but rather: “Ya ayyuhallatheena Aamanu يا أيها الذين آمنوا-  it calls out: ‘O you who have attained Faith!’

Islam in an INCLUSIVE concept:

Islam is the pure and solid foundation upon which Faith is built, any who is Purely Reverent to God is ‘Muslim.’  Any who ‘perfects’ Accountability (so it is God’s Alone), is ‘Muslim.’ 
Adam was ‘Muslim,’ as were all the Messengers of God, and ‘Islam’ predates each of them.  Even this Jewish Rabbi agrees, and mentions linguistic and historic evidence. 
Check out the Aramaic words of Jesus, peace upon him, in Luke 6:40, seen here in many languages including several English versions AND Hebrew:

“The disciple is not above his master, but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.”
And in the American Standard Version:
The disciple is not above his teacher: but every one when he is perfected shall be as his teacher.”

Readers who know Hebrew, will note that the word which is translated as ‘perfect’ or ‘perfected’  has, as its root, the three letters ‘sh-l-m’ similar to the Arabic ‘s-l-m’ (the Hebrew ‘sh’ corresponds to the Arabic ‘s’ as in ‘Salam’ and ‘shalom,’ and Hebrew is also read from right to left).
אין תלמיד נעלה על רבו ודי לכל תלמיד שלם להיות כרבו׃
So this saying could be understood as:

The disciple is not above his teacher: but every one when he is ‘ free of defect/ Muslim’ shall be as his teacher.”

For further evidence of the original connotation of the words ‘Muslim/ Islam’ see Aug 9th where the Arabic connotation is preserved in the Chinese language.

So, all such persons are Muslims.
Unfortunately however, this assertion today would make most people on earth shake their heads in disbelief or even cringe at the very thought, because:

·   They think that a ‘Muslim’ is a ‘follower of Muhammad’ which means that the title cannot apply to anyone before him.
·   Many see no honor in being associated with ‘Muslims.’ 

Dear Reader:
Let us STOP for a moment and see the effects of restricting 'Islam' to ‘submission.’ Instead of Humanity finding unity in being ‘Purely Reverent to God:’
·   The word ‘Muslim’ transformed to become exclusive.
·   The word ‘Muslim’ came to be understood as ‘submission/ surrender.’
·   Since ‘Submission’ to God entails ‘submitting’ to His Words, and since it is the Clergymen/ Scholars who compiled and interpreted (and sometimes enforced) what was perceived as His ‘Words,’ many ‘Muslims’ ended up submitting exclusively to their own branch of scholars. 
·   The young and disenchanted naturally sought change BUT, after dogma had become ‘irrefutable’ and the peaceful channels for change blocked, some saw no way out except through violence.
·  To escape the misconception associated with this violence, some ‘Muslims’ began to call themselves ‘Peace-loving Muslims,’ ‘Moderate Muslims,’ ‘non-practicing Muslims’…etc... not realizing that this does not help at all.
·  Most people remain unimpressed by ‘Muslim’ efforts, no matter how they/ we express themselves/ ourselves.

What a skewed perception.
And we can rely on no one but ourselves to change it.
We must educate ourselves first, and then show the world that we never had a monopoly on ‘Islam,’ but rather, that we –who called ourselves ‘Muslim’- share the blame for its tainted image (whether by our action or inaction).  We must work to rectify all misconception and misapplication of our Faith.
Dear Reader:
Instead of Humanity finding unity in being ‘Purely Reverent to God,’ that inclusive category of Cognizant Humans has totally vanished off the radar.  Many of them are amongst us and around us, and are probably aware of what is going on (and perhaps even agree with much of what we are saying)… but they find peace of mind… in remaining incognito.

To all people who are ‘Purely Reverent to God’ we plead:
Please speak up:  Enlighten us. 
Humanity NEEDS you!

Enough said!

Our next Reading is from HQ 37:114-182.

Peace unto all!

[i] معجم المقاييس:
قرن:  أصلانِ صحيحان، أحدهما يدلُّ على جَمعِ شيءٍ إلى شيء، والآخَر شيءٌ ينْتَأ بقُوّة وشِدّة.
فالأوّل: قارنتُ بين الشَّيئين. والقِران: الحبلُ يُقرَن به شيئانِ.
والقَرَن في الحاجبين، إذا التقَيا. وهو مقرونُ الحاجِبين بيِّنُ القَرَن. والقِرْن: قِرنُك في الشَّجاعة. والقَرْن: مثلُك في السِّنِّ. وقياسُهما واحد، وإنَّما فُرِق بينهما بالكسر والفتح لاختلاف الصِّفتين. والقِرَان: أن تقرن بين تَمرتين تأكلهما. والقِرانُ: أن تَقْرِن حَجَّةً بعُمرة. والقَرُون من النُّوق: المُقرَّنة القادِمَين والآخِرَين من أخلافها. والقَرون: التي إذا جَرَتْ وضعت يديها ورجليها معاً. وقولهم: فلان مُقْرِنٌ لكذا، أي مطيقٌ لـه. قال الله تعالى: ]سُبْحَانَ الَّذي سَخَّرَ لنا هذا وما كُنَّا لَهُ مُقْرِنِينَ[ [الزخرف 13]؛ وهو القياس، لأنَّ معناه أنَّه يجوز أن يكون قِرناً له. والقَرِينة: نَفْس الإنسان، كأنهما قد تقارَنَا. ومن كلامهم: فلانٌ إذا جاذبَتْه قَرينةٌ بَهَرَها، أي إذا قُرِنت به الشَّديدة أطاقَها. وقَرِينةُ الرَّجُلِ: امرأتُه. ويقولون: سامحته قَرِينته وقَرُونته وقَرُونه، أي نفسه. والقارِنُ: الذي معه سَيفٌ ونَبْل.
والأصلُ الآخر: القَرْن للشّاةِ وغيرها، وهو ناتئ قويّ، وبه يسمَّى على معنى التشبيه الذَّوائبُ قروناً. ومن هذا الباب: القَرْن: عَفَلة الشَّاة تخرج من ثَفْرها. والقَرْن: جُبَيْلٌ صغيرٌ منفرد. ويقولون: قد أقرَنَ رُمحَهُ، إذا رفَعَه. ومما شذَّ عن هذين البابين: القَرْن: الأمَّة من الناس، والجمع قُرون. قال الله سبحانه: ]وَقُرُوناً بَيْنَ ذلكَ كَثِيراً  [الفرقان 38].
والقَرْن: الدُّفعة من العَرَق، والجمع قُرون.

ألراغب الأصفهاني:
قرن- الاقتران كالازدواج في كونه اجتماع شيئين، أو أشياء في معنى من المعاني. قال تعالى: }أو جاء معه الملائكة مقترنين{ [الزخرف/53]. يقال: قرنت البعير بالبعير:جمعت بينهما، ويسمى الحبل الذي يشد به قرنا، وقرنته على التكثير قال: }وآخرين مقرنين في الأصفاد{ [ص/38] وفلان قرن فلان في الولادة، وقرينه وقرنه في الجلادة (قال الأصمعي: هو قرنه في السن، بالفتح، وهو قرنه، بالكسر، إذا كان مثله في الشجاعة والشدة. اللسان (قرن)، وفي القوة، وفي غيرها من الأحوال.
قال تعالى: }إني كان لي قرين{ [الصافات/51]، }وقال قرينه هذا ما لدي{ [ق/23] إشارة إلى شهيده. }قال قرينه ربنا ما أطغيته{ [ق/27]، }فهو له قرين{ [الزخرف/36] وجمعه: قرناء. قال: }وقيضنا لهم قرناء{ [فصلت/25].
والقرن: القوم المقتربون في زمن واحد، وجمعه قرون. قال تعالى: }ولقد أهلكنا القرون من قبلكم{ [يونس/ 13]، }وكم أهلكنا من القرون{ [الإسراء/17]، }وكم أهلكنا قبلهم من قرن{ [مريم/98]، وقال: }وقرونا بين ذلك كثيرا{ [الفرقان/38]، }ثم أنشأنا من بعدهم قرنا آخرين{ [المؤمنون/31]، }قرونا آخرين{ [المؤمنون/42].

[ii]سلم: معظم بابه من الصّحّة والعافية؛ فالسّلامة: أن يسلم الإنسان من العاهة والأذَى. قال أهلُ العلم: الله جلَّ ثناؤُه هو السلام؛ لسلامته مما يلحق المخلوقين من العيب والنقص والفناء.
ومن الباب أيضاً الإسلام، وهو الانقياد؛ لأنَّه يَسْلم من الإباء والامتناع. والسِّلام: المسالمة. وممكن أن تكون الحجارة سمِّيت سِلاماً لأنّها أبعدُ شيء  في الأرض من الفَناء والذَّهابِ؛ لشدّتها وصلابتها.
ومن الباب الأول السَّلْم وهو الصُّلح، وقد يؤنَّث ويذكَّر.

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