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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 24, 2010

Day 223; Qur’an 39:1-14, page 458-459

Welcome Friends:  Ahlan wa sahlan!

In our last Reading we learnt that we were created, from the very beginning, to project goodness and beauty.  I find it remarkable that there are so many people today who seek ‘inner beauty,’ having intuitively known to make it their goal!

Such persons are in luck because inner beauty is universally appreciated, and more importantly: Inner beauty grows with age!

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 الزمر
The Crowds/ Throngs

From the Introduction of Yusuf Ali:
“This is the last of the series of Six Surahs beginning with Surah 34, which deals with the mysteries of the spiritual world, as leading up to the Maad, or Hereafter. See Introduction to Surah 34.
Its subject matter is how Creation in its great variety is yet sorted out in Groups or Classes, all governed by one Plan, and created and sustained by One God, Who will separate Good from Evil at the last day. The word zumar occurs in verses 71 and 73.
Its chronology has no significance. It belongs to the later Makkan period.”

From the Introduction of Muhammad Asad:
“REVEALED in the middle of the Mecca period, this surah derives its title from the incidental mention of the word zumaran ("in throngs") in verses 71 and 73. Its central theme is the evidence, in all manifestations of nature, of God's existence and oneness - from which it follows that He alone can determine man's fate, and that it is to Him that man is ultimately responsible. A pivotal idea is expressed in verse 53 - "O you servants of Mine who have transgressed against your own selves! Despair not of God's mercy: behold, God forgives all sins", i.e., to him who repents before his death. Hence, a large part of the surah consists of allegories of the Last Hour and the Day of Judgment - for "in this way does God imbue His servants with fear" (verse 16), just as He promises the righteous that "all that they have ever yearned for awaits them with their Sustainer" (verse 34).”

Another magnificent chapter which covers important issues we need to know about, focusing on the refinement and purification of our Standard of Accountability (so that it remains God’s Alone), placing the Messenger, peace upon him, as THE Example to be followed.

PAGE 458 Arabic Qur’an.

1.   ‘The Throngs’ begins by stating the Divine Source of the Compilation, sent down by God (Verse 1).

Actually, this statement announcing the Divine Source of the Compilation- ‘tanzeelul kitaab’  تنزيل الكتاب –appears 5 times in the Qur’an. 
Notice that, here only does this phrase appear as a first verse, and here only is it so personal:  In the other four chapters, this phrase appears as a second verse following a verse of disjointed letters (حم#3/ الم#1), and it leads on to more general matters.

In Verse 2 we read: “We have indeed sent down to you the Compilation in (which is) Truth…”… أنزلنا إليك الكتاب بالحق after which comes the command for him to worship God in a certain way: ‘mukhliSsan lahul Deen’.

Why the distinctive personal address and command, here, in the first two verses? 
Note that, chronologically, this chapter was revealed before all the others, so, from the very beginning, the Messenger was commanded to establish himself as a worshiper who is ‘MukhliSs’  in Accountability to Him/ ‘Deen.’ 
Remember what we said on Oct 21st, that ‘mukhlaSs’ denotes a process of continued refinement and purification.  

However:  The difference between 'mukhlaSs' and 'mukhliSs' is that, while the first denotes being an object, (as in 'Purified') the second denotes being the subject (Purifier).  It is therefore VERY IMPORTANT to note (see Tanzil) that worshipers who are 'mukhlaSs' in everything else, are 'mukhliSs'  in their Accountability/ Deen!

New Readers: 
Please put ‘mukhlaSs’ in ‘Search this Site.’
Also, go back to May 17th to understand the concept of the Standard of Accountability, or ‘Deen,’ where we explained HQ 10:104- 106:

“Say: O People, if you are in doubt regarding my Standard of Accountability, then (know that) I do not worship those whom you worship other than (and beneath) God, but I worship God who takes you (in death) unto Him, and I have been commanded to be of the Believers.

And set your direction to the Self-correcting Standard of Accountability, and be not of those who Associate (partners to God).

And, do not call unto (any) other than God, what can neither benefit you nor harm you: for if you do, you will indeed be among the Wrongdoers!”

The beauty of our Standard of Accountability is that it is not rigid!
We are given the chance to refocus and reposition ourselves with every step we take; indeed, this is the only way that free and vibrant creatures, such as ourselves, can function!
For the Arabic definition of Haneef حنيف see footnote of Jan 12th.” 

Indeed, when we do some research and put this phrase in Tanzil اعبد الله مخلصاً له الدين  we come across an amazing piece of information related to the Messenger Muhammad, peace upon him:

·        God commands His Messenger to worship Him, Pure in Accountability to Him (HQ 39:2).
·        The Messenger is told to repeat this command out loud and in public, indicating to his listeners that he would be the first to implement such worship upon himself (HQ39:11), and that he is also commanded to be the first among ‘the Purely Reverent’/‘Muslims.
·        The Messenger is told to announce (HQ39:14) that God Is, in fact, Whom he already is worshipping, pure in his Accountability (exactly as he was commanded).

This clearly positions the Messenger foremost as the best example of someone who is 'Pure in Accountability to God' (MukhliSs) as well as someone 'Purely Reverent' (Muslim).

And all the above is COVERED IN THIS CHAPTER.

Dear Reader:
The fact that God Himself commanded him to make these announcements reveals the Messenger’s unimaginable burden of responsibility on one hand, and the excellence of his accomplishment…. attested to, right here, by God Himself!

Note:  This is one of the many instances where we clearly hear the ‘voice’ of God commanding His Messenger, as the latter duly obeys. 
Indeed, those who allege that the source of this Compilation is ‘Muhammad himself and not God,’ have probably never even read it.  Had they read it, they would have realized that Muhammad is no more than its bearer and deliverer; the ‘Messenger’ to whom this glorious Message is entrusted.   

2. Verse 3 continues, drawing attention to something very important as it announces and ascertains: 

Surely[i], Pure Accountability is God’s Alone…..! ألا لله الدين الخالص”…

Here is indeed the most CRUCIAL part of the entire journey of Cognizance… of Faith.. it is no less than the kernel, the heart, the core of our Awareness:

To Whom are we truly Accountable?  If our response is ‘to God,’ then we’d better make sure our standard of Accountability remains uncontaminated.  He accepts nothing less.

‘Deen’ is all about our standard of ‘Accountability.’ 
If you have time, take a look at ALL occurrences of this word in the Qur’an.

What does the Qur’an call those who would drive an orphan away, discourage the feeding of a poor person, and remain oblivious to their relationships with others and with God? 
The Qur’an calls such a person: الذي يكذّب بالدين ‘He who belies/denies THE Accountability’..! (HQ107:1)  And what is worse, such people remain oblivious to the fact that there are ‘guardians/ angels’ in constant watch upon them, compiling their every deed (82:9-12)!

When do they realize the full extent of their wrongdoing?  When the Accountability indeed befalls/ is implemented/ takes place (HQ 51:6)!

3.    After announcing that Pure Accountability is God’s Alone, Verse 3 tells us of those who take protectors -other than Him- alleging that they do so for one reason only, which is to come closer to Him!

Before our minds dwell on the Idol-worshippers of Mecca or on people of ‘other faiths’ we might see today as committing ‘shirk…’ let us, dear Reader, look at ourselves.  Let us study ‘Muslims,’ especially in places where education is lacking and people rely on others to explain- without reading the Arabic Qur’an firsthand: 

How many ‘Muslims’ take ‘teachers’ or ‘imaams,’ both living and deceased, as ‘protectors’ ‘awliyaa أولياء’- considering their words ‘gospel,’ and perceiving them as holy?  
Many, unfortunately…. of all ‘Islamic sects.’ 
Often, we find these ‘awliyaa’s graves’ consecrated, with throngs of people converging upon them, stroking the tombstones or surrounding walls and fences, calling out to them, especially in times of need!

When Verse 4 mentions the allegation of a ‘child,’ which some have attributed to God, our attention is then drawn back to that type of ‘shirk/ association.’ 
Notice the powerful ending to this verse.

Verse 5 is what we call a ‘Scientific Marvel’ as it describes what we now know to be the winding ‘curve’ with which night and day overlap each other
(Note the similarity between the English ‘curve’ and Arabic "كَور"[ii])
It is interesting to note how Ibn Fares, the compiler of our 1,000 year old Lexicon, indicated that ‘kawara’ meant ‘to wind in a circle, as in winding a turban!
Despite that, because he was naturally influenced by the knowledge of his time, he understood differently a verse which mentions the solar system. 
How can we expect otherwise? 

We are the children of our specific circumstances, and this is reflected in everything we produce.  This is why every generation should adhere strictly to the language and context of the Arabic Qur’an, and then study it with the knowledge it possesses.

PAGE 459 Arabic Qur’an.

4.     Verse 6 is about God’s creating us all from a single Self, of which its ‘zawj’ or ‘mate/ companion/ likeness’ was rendered.  What is very interesting in this statement, is that ‘nafs/ self’ is a feminine word, while ‘zawj/ mate/ companion/ likeness’ is a masculine word, and neither denotes gender

It is amazing that the Qur’an constantly puts it this way.  Despite that, Muslims keep echoing that ‘Eve’ (who is unnamed in the Qur’an) was created out of Adam’s rib, which is a Biblical concept.  Read Genesis 2: 20-23:

“So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.”

Again, we stress, that the Qur’an’s feminine ‘Self,’ and masculine ‘Companion,’ does NOT denote gender.
Some might ask:    Q. ‘What if it did?’ 
A.   Then, the Qur’an would be indicating the exact opposite of popular belief. 

The Qur’an would then be telling us that the ancestor of all living humans was a female (perhaps along the lines of the ‘Mitochondrial Eve’ theory).

I believe that these words do not denote gender.  This is ‘gheyb’ which might be proven one day, but has so far been theoretical.
We must also note that, if we were we to see gender reflected by these words, we’d have to accept the indication that verses such as HQ 7: 189 tell of the ‘female’ being created first.

Verse 6 also asserts that God is our Lord, to Whom belongs all Dominion, and there is no God but He.  The verse also presents information and a ‘Scientific Marvel’ about fetuses in the wombs of their mothers, positioned within three ‘darknesses,’ each ‘above’ the other (English/ Arabic).

5.    Verse 7 clearly shows us our freedom of choice:  If we were to deny (God and His gifts to us), He has no need of us, yet He of would disapprove of our denial, and that would be for our own benefit (lakum).  On the other hand, He approves of us making the most of what we have, also for our own benefit.

Notice that He neither enforces what He approves of, nor does he prevent what He disapproves of! It is all for our own benefit.

It is therefore unreasonable to ask ‘Where is God?’ when people behave atrociously against each other.  Crime must necessarily catch up with the criminal:  It is, after all the criminal’s burden alone, as we notice in this oft-repeated concept of each person being self-responsible for their deeds; each bearing their own burden لا تزر وازرة وزر أخرى

The verse ends by telling us that He knows whatever is in our heads and chests (put ‘sadr’ in Search this Site’); that our ultimate return is to Him, and He shall inform us of all that we did.

6.    Verses 8- 9 describe two Cognizant Humans: 
The first calls out to his Lord to relieve his affliction, then, when relieved, he promptly 'forgets' what had happened, and ‘enjoys’ himself, in a state of denial. 
The second, is ‘QAANIT’ قانت throughout the night compliant in his Faith and Accountability to God, wary of the Hereafter and seeking his Lord’s Mercy… (what a difference!).  After describing both, the Messenger is told to pose the question:  

“…Are they of the same level, those who are Knowing and those who are Unknowing? 
Indeed, only those of Insight and Commitment do Remember!’  ..

Put ‘qaanit’ in ‘Search this Site.’ 
Put ‘Ulul albaab in ‘Search this Site.'

In Verse 10 he follows up with a call, specifically addressed to God’s Worshippers who have attained Faith, to be Aware of their Lord, assuring them that there will be Good in this world, for those who do Good.  They are reminded of the wide expanse of God’s earth (in which they could travel; a precursor to eventual Emigration), and assured that indeed, the Forbearing shall be granted immeasurable reward.

7.    Our Reading today ends with Verses 11- 14
Here we remember, that after God had commanded His Messenger in Verse 2, to worship Him, Pure in Accountability to Him, the Messenger is told to repeat this command out loud and in public, indicating to his listeners that he would be the first to implement such worship upon himself, and that he is also commanded to be the first among ‘the Purely Reverent’/‘Muslims.’  Then, the Messenger is told to announce that God Is, in fact, Whom he already is worshipping, pure in his Accountability

Peace and Blessings upon the Messenger, the best example to those who seek God and the Hereafter!

Enough said!
Our next Reading is from HQ 39:15-40.

Peace unto all!

[i] I disagree with both Yusuf Ali and Muhammad Asad’s interpretations which make ‘ala-ألا ’ here into an interrogative: ‘Is it not…?’).
‘Alaaألا-’ when followed by a verb, as in HQ 67:14, could be interrogative.  However, here this word is assertive, drawing attention to something of great importance (حرف للتنبيه), as in HQ 2:12:  ‘Surely..!’

[ii] (كور) أصلٌ صحيحٌ يدلّ على دُوْرٍ وتجمُّع. من ذلك الكوْر: الدَّور. يقال كار يَكُورُ، إذا دار. وكَوْرُ العمامة: دَوْرُها. والكُورَةُ: الصُّقْع، لأنَّه يدُور على ما فيه من قُرىً. ويقال طعَنَه فكَوَّرَه، إذا ألقاه مجتمِعاً. ومنه قولُه تعالى: {إذا الشَّمْسُ كُوِّرَتْ} [التكوير 1]، كأنَّها جُمِعَت جَمْعاً،

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