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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.'


Monday, October 25, 2010

Day 224; Qur’an 39:15-23, page 460-461

Welcome Friends:  Ahlan wa sahlan!

We stopped last time at the section where the Messenger Muhammad, peace upon him, was told to announce that he was commanded to worship God, pure to Him in Accountability, AND that he was commanded to be the first among ‘the Purely Reverent’/‘Muslims,’ AND to announce that God is, in fact, Whom he already is worshipping, pure in his Accountability.

As we mentioned earlier, this chapter focuses on the refinement and purification of our Standard of Accountability to ensure that it remains God’s Alone, setting up the Messenger himself as the example.

However, we entirely forgot[i] to draw attention last time to the important statement in Verse 13:

“Say: I do fear, if I disobeyed my Lord, the suffering of a mighty Day!”  
This statement appears 3 times in the Qur’an (HQ 6:15; 10:15; 39:13).  Do read each in context; they are beautiful.

Besides showing us quite clearly the distinct voice of God directing His Messenger here, this statement leads us to acknowledge the latter’s vulnerability as a human, who although like us in many ways, was in fact bearing a much graver responsibility and higher accountability than we could ever imagine… (may God’s Peace and Blessings be upon him!). 

This leads us to ask ourselves the CRUCIAL question which impacts our everlasting existence …even as God Himself Witnesses our response: 

Do I worship God with Pure accountability to Him?

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 460 Arabic Qur’an.

1.    After the powerful announcement made by the Messenger in Verse 14, stating that he worships God, pure in his accountability to Him, he is given a message to convey to his listeners in Verse 15: “So worship whatever you wish, beneath Him….” 

Notice the choice of ‘what – ما-’ rather than ‘who- من-.’
Not only that, but the Messenger is also told to define to them who the LOSERS are: 

“So worship whatever you wish, beneath Him!  Say, truly The Losers are those who have lost their own selves and their families at the time of Resurrection; that is indeed the Manifest Loss!”

Let us STOP for a moment right here, and think about this manifest loss  الخسران المبين that engulfs us in our Eternal Life, which we realize -too late- that we could have avoided. 

How did it happen?
In HQ 4:119-120 we were told that a ‘manifest loss’ takes place when one renounces God as his Protector, and takes the Deviant/Sheytaan instead, who promises us and deludes us, following our ‘wishful thinking.’
So, it happened when, having lost Awareness, we made the wrong choice.
Or perhaps we made no conscious choice at all.  Perhaps we simply did NOT put any effort, and lay back.
In response to a comment made earlier I wrote:

“Thank you, dear Reader, for drawing attention to a characteristic few people realize about Iblees: Iblees IS the 'status quo!'
Stagnation, Immobility, Apathy, Inertia...whatever PREVENTS us from realizing our Potential as Cognizant Humans IS partly due to the negativity of Iblees/the Deviant working against us!
God's Messages, on the other hand, motivate us, and when they help us become all that we possibly can, they would have achieved their main goal.”
THE Manifest Loss’ (‘al khusraan al mubeen’(الخسران المبين-  is mentioned twice in the Qur’an.  See HQ 22:11 where this loss is described as including both the Lower, Existence –‘Dunya’- as well as the Final Existence –‘Aakhira’… a manifest loss indeed!

2.    Q. What can we do to save ourselves from such a loss?
A. Let us just be AWARE of every choice we make.  Remember, inaction also happens to be a choice!

Everything relies on Awareness- Taqwa. 
Our Intentions are guided by Awareness.

Remember the two sons of Adam, the Aware and the Aggressor (put ‘sons of Adam’ in ‘Search this Site’)?
Awareness is the root of our existence, the Primal Existence (when we acknowledged God before arriving to this world), then in this, the Lesser Existence –Dunya, and then the Final Existence -Aakhira.

But there is more:

Most amazing is the recent scientific discovery that our awareness and intentions literally change us, and we are not only talking about spirituality or behavior here: 

Our INTENTION and AWARENESS change us ON THE GENETIC LEVEL…. they change our DNA!

Take a look at Islands in the Clickstream:  Booting Up” by Richard Thieme, where he writes about Sharon Begley’s science column in the Wall Street Journal, mentioning her studies on living organisms and their genetic response to external stimuli:

“….indicating that the effect of a gene depends on the environment in which it is expressed.  Tanks with and without fish elicit different traits in water fleas with the same DNA. Tanks with fish elicit the growth of armor in the form of helmets; tanks without fish do not.”

And then he goes on to speak of studies conducted on humans:

“Much of what we choose to express in our lives is a function of our deepest intentions. The intentions have to be deep, however.  This is not magic or wishful thinking.  This is the exercise of freedom and power intrinsic to our humanity at the deepest possible level.

One of Begley's earlier columns discussed how the intentional focus of a human being affects the brain, its neuroplastic ability to grow particular neurons in support of skills we choose to learn.  Fingertips become more sensitive, for example, when we learn Braille.

But we have to pay attention. Monkeys stimulated on their arms grew neurons that made the area more sensitive unless they were distracted while being stimulated. Then, despite the stimulus, neurons did not grow.
Focusing awareness by a conscious act of intention makes things happen.”

Focusing awareness by a conscious act of intention makes genetic changes in our makeup.
The implications of these finding are tremendous! 

God Alone knows what dramatic changes we would undergo upon being Resurrected.  Suffering ‘Hell’ or enjoying ‘Heaven’ would probably not be ‘universally comparable,’ but might rather be as personal to each of us as the reality of each existence, due in part to our deeper Awareness:  Awareness of Reality, awareness of God, and awareness of ourselves, including all the deeds we committed in life and our full knowledge of every intention we ever made:

To each his/her own Consequence!  

3.    After that, we come to Verses 16- 20 where, after Dissuasion and God’s call to His Worshippers to be aware of Him, we find Persuasion, then Dissuasion and Persuasion again!
Notice Verses 17- 18 which bring glad tidings to a certain category of God’s Worshippers who:
·        Shun the worship of what is Unjust (Overbearing/‘Ttaaghoot’ (الطاغوت.
·        Return to God, to a ‘place’ they love and are accustomed to (anaaba).
·        Listen to all that is said.
·        But follow only THE BEST OF what was said! 
·        Such persons are those whom God has guided.
·        Such persons Those of Insight and Commitment (albaab).

Dear Reader:
‘Ulul Albaab’ is THE category we should seek to join.

 Notice how much richer our definition is, after we were able to define ‘albaab’ according to its original Arabic connotation. 
Ali’s: ‘men of understanding’ served his generation well, and was later followed by Asad’s ‘those endowed with insight’ which served his generation better.  These were excellent explanations for their times, may God reward them both. 

OUR times offer us endless research possibilities and therefore demand far more of us:
The least we can offer this generation is PRECISE INFORMATION.

Verse 21 describes this earth with the rain and life-cycle of vegetation, as a reminder to….. whom? 
To none other than: Those of Insight and Commitment (أولوا الألباب)!!

May we, dear Lord, may we be among them!

PAGE 461 Arabic Qur’an.

4.    In Verse 22 (Ali/ Asad) we find the words ‘sharaHha Ssadr  شرح صدر-’ which literally mean to expand/open one’s chest/ head in receptiveness and expressiveness.

This verse shows us that when God ‘expands/opens[ii]’ our chest/ head ‘sadr’ [iii] so we become both receptive to AND expressive of Pure Reverence, we in fact proceed upon ‘Light’ from our Lord; we are literally enlightened.

This expression appears 5 times in the Qur’an, and we find Prophet Moses in HQ 20:25 asking his Lord to grant it to him, while Prophet Muhammad is told in HQ 94:1 that God had indeed granted him that, peace upon all God’s Messengers.

Its opposite would be ضاق صدر – and that too appears in the Qur’an in Prophet Moses’ prayer (HQ 26:13), and in a direct address from God to His Messenger Muhammad, telling him that He knew of his feelings (HQ 11:12; 15:97).
BUT pay special attention to HQ 6:125, (see March 30th):

“So, whomever God wills to guide, He expands/opens his chest/head ‘sadr’ to The Pure Reverence, and whomever He wills to let stray, He renders his chest/head ‘sadr’ constricted in distress as if he were laboriously scaling into the sky.  That is how God brings about Turmoil upon those who do not believe.”

We referred then to the scientific fact which was unknown during the time of Revelation (the higher the altitude, the lower the barometric pressure, the less oxygen we can obtain per breath) and commented that the verse was not about that, but rather it was about people with open hearts/minds, versus people with closed hearts/minds.  We said that it was God’s ‘intent,’ His ‘design’ when He created us, that those of us who open our hearts/minds will feel elated when introduced to Pure Reverence, while those of us who have closed our hearts/minds, will only feel uneasy, or even distressed.  We also said that people who feel uneasy about Islam today, are not as much to blame for ‘being close-minded’ as WE are for failing to show them a favorable picture!

Today, we still use the words شرح صدر in an expression which indicates ‘acceptance,’ or even ‘elation.’

5.    Opposite to such persons, we find those whose hearts/minds are ‘hardened’ to the Remembrance of God; they are in manifest error and misguidance and shall bewail their lot.  Put ‘etymology wail’ in ‘Search this Site.’(ويل)
Mentioning the ‘sadr’ and the ‘qalb’ together this way indicates that there is a definite link between the two, although they are quite different, as we can see when we look in Tanzil:

·      ‘Qalb’ is complex, while ‘Sadr’ is simple. 
·      While ‘Qalb’ has purpose and earnings (عمد 33:5 وكسب 2:225), ‘Sadr’ has none.
·      ‘Qalb’ could soften or harden, it could be calm and serene (تطمئن), sighted or blinded, comforted or fearful.  It could be attentive and aware, it could discern and comprehend[iv] and can even secure knowledge.
·      ‘Sadr’ is none of the above.  ‘Sadr’ seems to HOUSE the ‘qalb’ and ‘conceal’ its reality.  ‘Sadr’ only ‘expands/opens’ or ‘constricts/closes’ (perhaps in involuntary reaction to the Qalb’s state).
·      So, ‘Qalb’ seems more related to ‘sense,’ while ‘Sadr’ seems more related to ‘sensation.’  As we proceed we might arrive at a better explanation; do let me know what you think, dear Readers.

6.    Verse 23 begins by telling us quite clearly that, what God has sent down, is THE BEST OF HADEETH, a Compilation.. (it’s a compilation, and not a ‘Book’ Ali or a ‘divine writ’ Asad.)  But do read their beautiful explanations to this verse!

We’ll elaborate in our next Reading, God-willing, as I have to post this asap for the dear Readers who were worried at my delay in posting (due to internet problems).

(Not) enough said, this time!

Our next Reading is from HQ 39:23-59.

Peace unto all!

[i] Which is why YOUR input, dear Reader, is so important.  Please get on board, and help out!  This IS WORTH all our time and effort.

[ii] شرح: يدلُّ على الفتح والبيان. من ذلك شرحت الكلام وغيرَهُ شَرْحاً، إِذا بيَّنتَه. واشتقاقهُ من تشريح اللحم.

[iii] Usually taken to mean chest/breast but originally had a broader connotation related to both the head and chest – a Siddaar is a coat which covered both.

[iv] فقه: يدلُّ على إدراكِ الشَّيء والعِلْمِ به. تقول: فَقِهْتُ الحديث أفْقَهُه. وكلُّ عِلْمٍ بشيءٍ فهو فِقْه. يقولون: لا يَفْقَه ولا يَنْقَه. ثم اختُصَّ بذلك علمُ الشّريعة، فقيل لكلِّ عالم بالحلال والحرام: فقيه. وأَفْقَهْتُك الشَّيءَ، إذا بَيّنْتُه لك.

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