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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.'


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Day 222; Qur’an 38:45-88, page 456-457

Welcome Friends:  Ahlan wa sahlan!
Our last Reading was tough.
As our Regular Readers know, such verses are among the Analogous or Allegorical- ‘mutashaabihaat’ آيات متشابهات. … and today’s Reading has a few more of the same, with descriptions quite difficult to ascertain.
New Readers:
We will talk more about this today, but for now it is important to know that the Analogous verses are usually descriptive verses, narrating matters of the unseen/ Gheyb (as in past or future events).  We already read HQ3:7, which is considered the guideline on understanding the Qur’an on Jan 28th:

“Verse 7 is considered a guideline on how to understand the Qur’an.  Muhammad Asad calls it ‘a key to the understanding of the Qur’an’ (note 5), while Yusuf Ali says it gives us ‘an important clue’ (note 347).
The subject here is in showing us the difference between verses that are ordinances that are self-evident; clear in, and by themselves ‘muhkamaat,’ and others that present a figurative, allegorical formulation ‘mutashaabihaat.’  The former are considered the ‘essence’ of this Compilation ‘ummul Kitaab,’ and therefore would NOT be open to varying interpretations, unlike allegorical verses.  This is very important because the various interpretations of allegorical verses MUST be understood within the boundaries of the self-evident ordinances.  Read both M. Asad and Y. Ali’s notes.”

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 456 Arabic Qur’an.

1. Verses 45- 47 address Prophet Muhammad, telling him to remember ‘Our Worshippers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,’ describing all three as ‘..those of Power (‘aid- أيد’) and Vision.’

Regular Readers will remember the meaning of ‘aid- أيد’..see definition below[i] as well as Etymology of ‘aid.’
Also, God ‘aids/ assists/ supports’ with His victory whomever He wills (HQ 3:13). "...والله يؤيد بنصره من يشاء 

Notice that, depending on context, the connotation of ‘aid’ rather than relating to the limb, or literal hand, could be related to:

§ Power, ‘tenure/ possession/ taking hold’ of something, "...لمن في أيديكم من الأسرى...
§ And when the ‘aid’ falls, it denotes powerlessness ‘...سُقِطَ في أيديهم...
Ali/ Asad took it to mean: ‘repented/ smite their hands in remorse.’
2.  It is also important for us to recognize that God ‘purified them by the Pure Virtue of the Remembrance of the Abode/ Home.’  Note how the root-verb ‘khalaSsa خلص-’ appears twice in this verse; may God’s Peace and Blessings be upon all His Messengers.

This verse validates our earlier finding, that a ‘mukhlaSs’ person is someone who did not necessarily start out that way, but rather, underwent a process by which s/he was ‘purified and refined’ (in faith and accountability). 
Put ‘mukhlaSs’ in ‘Search this Site.’

And here, dear Reader, we have a way to become ‘MukhlaSs,’ through pure Remembrance of the Abode/ Home, where we once began and to where we shall eventually return! 

These Prophets are mentioned as being of ‘best’ standing in God’s favor.

Verse 48 mentions Prophet Ishmael and two other less-known prophets, all of whom are among the ‘akhyaar.’

3.  And now we arrive at six verses of PERSUASION (49- 54), describing the ‘heavenly’ rewards of the Aware المتقين. 
Among these rewards are ‘QaaSsiraatul Ttarf.’  See Oct. 16th where we had a very important discussion on these words which are traditionally explained quite ‘sensually,’ in what some call an ‘androcentric’ viewpoint (which emphasizes masculine interests). 
In today’s verse however, we have the word ‘atraab’ which denotes equal things, or ‘companions’[ii]..

(We might feel uncertain what/who this alludes to, but that’s okay.  It’s far better to accept the fact that our knowledge and understanding of analogous/allegorical verses is limited, than to allege knowing.  I’d also like to seek linguistic consultation).

Perhaps the toughest thing for us, as we attempt to understand such analogous ‘mutashaabihaat’ verses, is to restrain our imaginations so as to stay within the parameters offered.  And although we cannot help but wonder, we must make sure that our voices and our pens DO NOT WANDER, which is why we are told to seek refuge in God.

·  When reading/ reciting/ perusing the Qur’an -‘IQRA,’ we are absolutely required without exception, to ‘seek refuge in God’ استعذ بالله (as the Messenger did).  For the Messenger, peace upon him, this seems related to his perfect delivery of it.  As for us, it is to remind us to be careful NOT to misunderstand and misrepresent its verses, while activating the six components of IQRA.

·  We are also required to seek refuge in God, neither reacting nor over-reacting to those who are:
§  Ignorant (HQ 7:199-200).
§  Arrogant and Argumentative (HQ 40:56).
§  Hostile (HQ 41:36).

Dear Reader:
Isn’t this amazing?  Self-restraint is THE purpose for our seeking refuge in God, and seeking refuge in Him strengthens our ability for self-restraint.  But practicing self-restraint is not to be mistaken for passivity; to the contrary.  Persons with self-restraint are those who, having full possession of their faculties, do not get carried away.  They decide and do what is best for them in any situation, and it is their decisions and actions which are the most effective.
4. The next ten verses (55- 64) offer DISSUASSION, as ‘The Overbearing,’ tyrannical people get the WORST of final Returns.
These persons are domineering, they overwhelm and crush others without any concern.  Such a person was Pharaoh.

(I think the verb ‘Ttaghaa’ can be translated as to ‘overbear’ because it has to do with literal overpowering, overwhelming, and breaching boundaries.  See the 39 times this word and its derivatives appear in the Qur’an, 6 times as a plural noun /طاغون  طاغين; 8 times as ‘Ttaghoot’ طاغوت- ; 6 times as the root-verb Ttaghaa طغى-.)

Once again, we notice the word ‘azwaaj’ (Verse 58) which is about ‘pairing,’ or a ‘doubling’ of the ‘worst returns’ which are coming to them, and has nothing to do whatsoever with ‘mates’!
In Verses 60- 62 the erstwhile Tyrants wonder why they do not see, with them, the persons whom they had belittled and ridiculed in life?!

PAGE 457 Arabic Qur’an.
5.  In Verses 65- 70 the Messenger Muhammad is twice commanded to ‘Say…!’  
The most important aspects of his message are summarized here, peace upon him:
§ That he (Muhammad) is a Warner.
§ That there is no deity but The One God (The Overpowering القهّار, The Lord-Sustainer of the Heavens and Earth and all in between, The Prevailing, The Oft-Forgiving).
§ That THIS News is Tremendous, which they ignore!
§ That he (Muhammad) would not have known about the argument which took place among the ‘Higher Hosts.’
§ That he is indeed being given exclusive information ‘wahi وحي-’ that he is an explicit Warner.

6. Verses 71- 81 are about the creation of Cognitive Humans (which listeners/we are being informed about, by way of the Messenger).  In these verses God informs the ‘Custodians/Angels’ that:

§ He is creating a BASHAR (...إني خالقٌ بشرا...); A BEING in which goodness and beauty shall be projected:
In the initial stages, and to denote specie, the term used to denote the pre-cognizant human is ‘Bashar.’ 
From the root verb, ‘Ba-sha-ra’ the word indicates ‘projecting something of goodness & beauty ظهور الشيء مع حسن وجمال….
We can easily recognize this root in ‘Bishr’: gladness, joy; ‘Bisharah’: glad tidings.

Dear Reader:
It is very important to realize who and what we are! 
Our original make-up assures us that there will always be Hope for humanity: No matter how low some people might sink, there will always be those who make us proud to be Human.  Even before we were given the gift of Cognizance, Goodness and Beauty were our original, standard settings (our ‘default’), which, dear Reader, should help us see Humanity on a single plain.

§ That, AFTER God had ‘sawwaa’ سوّى this Being, or duly proportioned it.. in a process:
The root-verb denotes eventual ‘maturity;’ when something, after a process, arrives at its ‘peak.’ 

Note the Etymological link between our Arabic ‘estawaa’ and the common English word ‘stew,’ commonly related to food when cooked and ready to eat, and to fruit/ vegetables also when ripened and ready to eat (see Google translate).

And quickened in it of His Spirit, (delivering this Being into its final stage of development):  
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. 

§ The Custodians/ Angels should acknowledge the status which this completed Being has attained in the hierarchy of God’s Creation, and show their deference to it. 
Doing ‘sujood’ does not necessarily mean literal prostration as we know it[iii]- Some Readers might not know that a ‘sujood’ is still technically correct when we do it by bowing our heads while seated, especially when infirm or riding a vehicle or mount.
But, as we know, Iblees did not show deference because he did not acknowledge the superiority of this Being.
To gain a better understanding of these issues, put the word of your choice in ‘Search this Site.’

7.  NOTE:
§ Notice (in Verse 75) the word ‘yadeyy’ (يديّ)-  a word which refers to ‘God’s powers/ ability,’ as we mentioned above, and certainly does not refer to ‘hand/s’ (put ‘yad’ in ‘Search this Site’).

§ We also noticed at the beginning of this Post, that a ‘mukhlaSs’ person is someone who has already undergone a process by which s/he was ‘purified and refined’ in faith and accountability.  Such a person now stands unaffected by Iblees’ insinuations; he realizes their immunity, and acknowledges that fact from the very beginning (Verse 83)!

§  We also remember the meaning of the root-verb ‘allama’ which indicates something ‘defined/ demarcated,’ rather than ‘known (only to Me)’ as Asad translates Verse 81.

The Chapter ends with Verses 86- 88, as the Messenger is told to address Qureish yet again, assuring them that he seeks no reward for it (this Reminder), nor is he being pretentious…. but that this is a Reminder TO the Worlds/ Peoples, and that they shall come to know (the truth of) its news/ reports after a time.

Enough said!
Our next Reading is from HQ 39:1-15; a New Chapter!

Peace unto all!

[i] أيد: القوة والحِفْظ. يقال أيّدَه الله أي قوّاه الله. قال تعالى: {والسَّماءَ بَنَيْنَاهَا بِأَيْدٍ} [الذاريات 47]. فهذا معنى القوّة. وأمّا الحفظ فالإياد كلُّ حاجزٍ الشيءَ يَحفَظه

[ii] ترب: أصلان: أحدهما التّراب وما يشتقّ منه، والآخر تساوي الشّيئين. فالأول التُّراب، وهو التَّيْربُ والتَّوْرَاب. ويقال تَرِبَ الرجل إذا افتقَرَ كأنّه لصِق بالتُّراب، وأتْربَ إذا استَغْنى، كأنّه صار لـه من المال بقَدْرِ التُّراب، والتَّرباء الأرضُ نفسها. ويقال ريحٌ تَرِبَةٌ إذا جاءَت بالتُّراب
وأمّا الآخر فالتِّرب الخِدْن، والجمع أترابٌ. ومنه التَّرِيب، وهو الصَّدر عند تساوي رؤوس العظام
فالخِدْن: الصّاحب. يقال: خادنْتُ الرّجُلَ مخادنَةً. وخِدْنُ الجارية محدِّثُها.
  قال أبو زيد: خادنت الرّجلَ صادقته. ورجل خُدَنةٌ: كثير الأخْدان.

[iii] سجد: يدلّ على تطامُن وذلّ.
يقال سجد، إذا تطَامَنَ. وكلُّ ما ذلَّ فقد سجد. قال أبو عمرو: أسْجَدَ الرَّجُل، إذا طأطأَ رأسَهُ وانحنى.
يعني البعيرَ إذا طأطأَ رأسه. وأما قولهم: أسجَدَ إِسجاداً، إذا أدام النَّظر، فهذا صحيحٌ، إلاَّ أن القياسَ يقتضي ذلك في خَفض، ولا يكون *النّظرَ الشّاخصَ ولا الشزْر.

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