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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.'


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Day 228; Qur’an 39:67-75, page 465-466

Welcome Friends:  Ahlan wa sahlan!
I noticed something today I wanted to share with you:
It seems that this Qur’anic chapter has the most calls, from God, unto His Worshippers:
يا عبادِ/ يا عبادي…!
Check out verses 10, 16, 17, 53.

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 465 Arabic Qur’an.

1.    Before we begin today, let us discuss one word: ‘alaq’ (to help us get a better Reading):

Traditionally, ‘alaq’ is explained as a ‘clot of blood,’ which would cause HQ 96:2 to be understood as giving no distinction to Cognizant Humans as compared to other mammals.  By focusing on ‘form’ rather than ‘substance,’ we lost the true meaning! 
See ten side-by-side explanations at ‘islamitexts’ 96:2- click on RED ‘Translations’ Tab.

Actually, this verse is an excellent example of how interpretation can change with time, dependent on one’s knowledge:

·        When revealed, the first Recipients of the Qur’an understood what this verse meant.
·        Later, people explained the word ‘alaq’ according to what they perceived of visible early human ‘form’ (after a miscarriage) and interpreted it as a ‘clot of congealed, or clinging, blood.’
·        Later, when microscopes were invented, the interpretation of these verses was amended by some commentators who perceived the fetus being ‘leech-like’ (كالعلقة) in its early formation.
·        Later, when laparoscopes were invented, the interpretation of these verses was amended by some commentators who highlighted that the fetus ‘clings’ onto the womb.
·        Later, when the importance of DNA was discovered, the interpretation of these verses was amended by commentators who realized the importance of DNA in everything related to creation…including personality traits, tendencies and habits.
·        And now, dear Reader, take it from someone who has been ‘commenting’ on the Qur’an for 30 years and has often followed and (mistakenly) echoed these interpretations:  They are all contextually and linguistically inaccurate.  Not only that, but by continuing to repeat our predecessor’s perceptions, we cripple our own abilities and perceive the Live Qur’an as a Static Compilation:

On the other hand, we can come close to how the Qur’an’s earliest Recipients understood this verse by going back to their Language and its Context.

Language tells us that the Arabic root-word, ‘a-la-qa’ denotes Relationship, and Context tells us that Cognizant Human alone was created from ‘alaq’ (NOT the ‘human specie’ or ‘Bashar,’ but the cognizant individual).  So, if it is specific to Cognizance, it can be none other than the ‘quickening’ of God’s ‘spirit’ (نفخ فيه من روحه...) which rendered the ‘bashar’ into ‘insaan.’  Put ‘insaan bashar’ in ‘Search this Site.’

2.    Let us now continue with our Reading.

Verse 67 begins by informing any persons unaware of God’s attributes (including the ‘Ignorants’ mentioned in Verse 64) that they underestimate God, telling them quite clearly that their esteem of Him is lacking, and does not rise to its rightful ‘projection’ (qadr):

"وما قدروا الله حق قدره...."
Put ‘qadr’ in ‘Search this Site.’

This assessment of a ‘deficit’ in people’s esteem of God, appears three times in the Qur’an, and in each we find mention of His magnificent attributes (read HQ 6:91, 22:74 within context).

Although we might be ‘cognizant,’ we Humans do lack observation when we focus on one thing, and let everything else blur into the background.

The way I understand this issue now is: 

What has been in the foreground from the moment we were created, whether we notice it or not, is our relationship with God (‘alaq’ علق), FROM WHICH HE CREATED US COGNIZANT HUMANS!

This Relationship is an open channel from His ‘side’ جنب – it spans directly to Him, allowing us to proceed in His direction وجه. 

Our awareness of the ‘Alaq’ from which we were created, would bring everything else into focus, if- If -IF we did not get side-tracked into concentrating on lesser goals.

So, although there is a huge deficit in our ‘esteem’ of God, we CAN begin to breach that gap as we come to know more about Him.  And what is THE Source for such knowledge?  The self-explanatory ‘Arabi’ Qur’an!

Note the definitions of the root-verbs ‘qabaDda[i]’ and ‘yamana’ (قبض....يمن).

QabaDda’ indicates ‘something taken or held’/ a ‘clutch, gathered together.’  Note the seven times this word (its variations) appear in the Qur’an; 3 times related to people taking hold of something; once to birds ‘gathering;’ and 3 times to God ‘assembling’ or bringing together and ‘holding’ control over.  A ‘miqbaDd’ is the ‘grasp/grip/ hilt/ handle’ of a tool, such as a knife, a sword, a doorknob.

Yameen’ means ‘right’ (as in ‘right’ hand), or ‘rightful’ pledge, and it can also mean ‘Power.’  The noun ‘Yumn’ indicates ‘abiding benefit’ or ‘barakah.’ 

So when the Qur’an announces that we underestimate God, and then it goes on to describe the entire Earth being His ‘clutch/ grasp’ on the Day of Resurrection, and the Heavens folded in His ‘Power….’ isn’t it ironic that we immediately demote that magnificent report.. by narrowing it down (in our understanding).. to a ‘handful’ or a ‘right hand?’

Now, although traditional commentators have mentioned such interpretations, they made sure to tell us that such descriptions were ‘figurative’ (as did Ali/ Asad)… but I believe that the entire concept of God’s figurative ‘organs or limbs’ would NOT have evolved had commentators adhered to Arabic Language definitions and NOT repeated each other’s opinions.  THAT in itself, dear Reader, constitutes a large part of the ‘deficit’ we have in our esteem of God.

Every Qur’anic word is Truth.  We might not understand a Truth and it might seem figurative to us, but it remains nevertheless a Reality. 

PAGE 466 Arabic Qur’an.
Now, at the end of this Chapter, we arrive at a scene of magnitude. 
We were being led here, from the very beginning… gradually… just as this lesser Life leads to the Afterlife!

3.   Verse 68 seems to mention the نفخ ‘quickening of events /the swelling and rising’ of صور – the physical manifestations of changing Earth, as it fulfills its final stage of life (as we know it).
There will be two such major ‘events:’

·       The first seems to be like a thunder/lightning/ BOLT OF ENERGY which ‘stuns’ or ‘kills’ living creatures -صعق [ii]
·        The second one….causes us all to RISE IN ANTICIPATION قيام ينظرون .

Put ‘quickening’ and then ‘Ssoor’ in ‘Search this Site.’  Please note that this is NOT about ‘trumpets’ (Ali/ Asad): 
Not only is the explanation of ‘trumpet’ unfounded because there is nothing in the Arabic language to support it, but it is ‘gheyb’ (which we might attempt to understand but will not know for sure until we’ve experienced it)…PLUS there were scholars who were comfortable enough to admit that they did not know what it meant[iii]!  
But perhaps the saddest part is that it is an adopted Biblical Interpretation- or misinterpretation of their original Compilation… which ‘Muslims’ have made their own, only to help render the Qur’an, in the perception of so many generations, into a ‘static’ Compilation (put ‘static compilation’ in ‘Search this Site).

4.    Verse 69 tells us of the entire Earth becoming ‘openly’ radiant and resplendent- [iv]شرق-  in her Lord’s Light, and of the Compilation being ‘set down,’ and of the Prophets and Witnesses being brought forth where justice shall prevail between them all and none shall be wronged. 
I find Asad’s explanation of ‘witnesses’ interesting: ‘man’s newly awakened consciousness.’  Regular Readers already know that ‘shaheed’ does not mean ‘martyr.’

5.     And after these magnificent scenes unfold, we read Verse 70 which makes our hearts tremble:

“And to each Self will be delivered the sum total وفى of its work عمل, and He Knows best what they were doing/committing فعل (the COMPONENT actions which constitute each deed).”

Remember the meaning of ‘waffaa’ and also the difference betweenعمل (‘amala) andفعل  (fa’ala) which all helped us understand this verse.

Note that this verse does not mention the ‘recompense’ being delivered to each Self, but rather, that each Self is presented with the actual sum-total of its WORK…. its actual work, in entirety.  That is a staggering concept which I cannot even imagine.   

6.   But that staggering concept is what distinguishes two contrasting groups of people, the Deniers on one hand, and the Aware on the other (Verses71-75). 

Both shall be ‘led in troops/ throngs’ to their destination, and when they approach it, its doors shall be opened for them, and its keepers shall talk to them:

·        The Deniers shall be asked whether or not they’d received Messengers from amongst themselves presenting to them God’s Signs and warning of this which they shall admit that yes, indeed, they have, but that the word/ sentence of Suffering shall be effectuated against the Deniers… 
They will be told to enter the doors of Hell to rest securely in it خلد – bad indeed is the abode of the Arrogant.

·        The Aware shall be told:  ‘Peace upon you!  How ‘wholesome/ well/ good’ you are, so enter, secure therein.  And they shall respond with ‘Al Hamdulil-Lah!’ and shall give praise to God Who has fulfilled/ made true to them His Promise, and has given them the Earth as their heritage, to [v]بوأ return equally to any part of the garden they wish.. and Good, indeed, is the recompense of the Doers of ultimate Goodness (Muhsin).

Here we noticed that the Deniers were labeled ‘Arrogant’ at the end, while the ‘Aware’ were labeled ‘Doers of utmost Goodness.’  So, although a state of mind might be where we start out, Life inevitably translates our silent state into eloquent deeds, and the Afterlife enables each Self to be presented with the actual sum-total of its WORK before Justice is passed upon us.  Haunting is the statement which seems to be passed by the Deniers upon themselves: Yes, indeed, but the word/ sentence of Suffering shall be effectuated against the Deniers!

7. The final verse describes the Angels/Custodians who, [vi]حف from the periphery of the Structure which upholds this universe (put ‘arch’ in ‘Search this Site’), are in continuous motion and in praise of God’s Glory (‘tasbeeh’).  It seems that they too shall find ‘justice established between them’ depending on their various stations and duties.

The concluding statement to be made in this glorious Afterlife scene, and made in this magnificent chapter is ‘Al Hamdulil-Lahi Rabbil ‘Aalameen!’

Enough said!
Our next Reading is from HQ 40:1-22.  A new Chapter!

Peace unto all!

[i]  قبض: يدلُّ على شيء مأخوذٍ، وتجمُّع في شيء.
تقول: قَبَضْتُ الشَّيءَ من المال وغيرهِ قَبْضاً. ومَقْبِض السَّيف ومَقْبَضُه: حيث تَقبِضُ* عليه. والقَبَض، بفتح الباء: ما جُمِعَ من الغنائم وحُصِّل. وأمَّا القَبْض الذي هو الإسراع، فمن هذا أيضاً، لأنَّه إذا أسرَع جَمَع نَفْسَهُ وأطرافَه. قال الله تعالى: {أوَلَمْ يَرَوْا إلَى الطَّيْرِ فَوْقَهُمْ صَافَّاتٍ وَيَقْبِضْنَ مَا يُمسِكُهُنَّ} [الملك 19]، قالوا: يُسْرِعْن في الطَّيَران. من الباب: انقبَضَ عن الأمر وتقبّض، إذا اشمأَزَّ.

يمن: كلماتٌ من قياسٍ واحد. فاليَمين: يَمين اليَدِ. [و] يقال: اليَمِين: القُوَّة. واليُمْن: البَرَكة، وهو ميمونٌ. واليمين: الحَلِف، وكلُّ ذلك من اليد اليُمْنى. وكذلك اليَمَنُ، وهو بلدٌ. يقال: رجلٌ يَمانٍ، وسيفٌ يَمانٍ. وسمِّي الحَلِف يميناً لأنَّ المتحالِفَينِ كأنَّ أحدَهما يَصْفِقُ بيمينه على يمينِ صاحبه.

[ii]  صعق: يدلُّ على صَلْقَةٍ وشِدَّة صَوت. من ذلك الصَّعْق، وهو الصَّوت الشَّديد. ومنه الصَّاعقة، وهي الوقع الشّديدُ من الرَّعْدِ. ويقال إنَّ الصُّعاق الصَّوت الشديد. ومنه قولهم: صَعِق، إِذا ماتَ، كأنَّه أصابته صاعقةٌ.
[iv]  شرق: يدلُّ على إضاءةٍ وفتحٍ. من ذلك شَرَقَت الشّمسُ، إذا طلعت. وأشرقت، إذا أضاءت. وأيّام التَّشْريق سمِّيت بذلك لأنَّ لحوم الأضاحِي تُشرَّق فيها للشَّمس. وناسٌ يقولون: سمِّيت بذلك لقولهم: "أشرِقْ ثَبِير، لكيما نُغير". والمَشْرِقَانِ: مَشْرِقَا الصَّيفِ والشِّتاء. والشَّرْق: المَشْرِق. وقال قوم: إنَّ اللحمَ الأحمرَ يُسمَّى شَرْقاً.  فإنْ كان صحيحاً فلأنَّه من حُمرته كأنه مُشْرِق. ومن قياس هذا الباب: الشّاةُ الشّرقاء: المشقوقة الأُذُن، وهو من الفَتح الذي وصفناه.

[v]  بوأ: أصلان: أحدُهما الرُّجوع إلى الشيءِ، والآخر تساوِي الشّيئين.
فالأوّل الباءَة والمباءَة، وهي مَنزلة القوم، حيثُ يتبوّؤُون في قُبُلِ وادٍ أو سَنَدِ جبل. ويقال قد تبوَّؤوا، وبوّأهم اللهُ تعالى مَنْزِلَ صِدْق.
والمَبَاءة أيضاً: منْزِل الإبل حيثُ تُناخُ في الموارد. يقال أبَأْنَا الإبِلَ نُبِيئُهَا إباءةً -ممدودة- إذا أنختَ بعضها إلى بعض
قال الأصمعيّ: يقال قد أباءَها الرَّاعِي إلى مَبَائِها فتبوَّأَتْه، وبوَّأَها إيَّاهُ تَبْوِيئاً. أبو عُبيد: يقال فلانٌ حسن البِيئَةِ على فِعْلة، من قولك تبوَّأْتُ منْزِلاً. وبات فلانٌ ببيئة سَوء ويقال هو ببيئة سَوْءٍ بمعناه... ومن هذا الباب قولُهم باءَ فلان بذَنْبِه، كأنّه عاد إلى مَبَاءته محتملاً لذنْبه. وقد بُؤْت بالذَّنْبِ.
والأصل الآخَر قولُ العرب: إنّ فلاناً لَبَوَاءٌ بفلانٍ، أي إنْ قُتِل به كان كُفْواً. ويقال أَبَأْتُ بفلانٍ قاتِلَه، أي قتَلْتُه. واستَبَأْتُهُمْ قاتِلَ أخِي، أي طلبْتُ إليهم أنْ يُقِيدُوه. واستبَأْتُ به مثلُ استقَدْت.
ومن هذا الباب قولُ العرب: كلَّمْناهُمْ فأجابُونا عن بَوَاءٍ واحدٍ: [أجابوا] كلُّهُمْ جواباً واحدا. وهم في هذا الأمْرِ بَوَاءٌ أي سواءٌ ونُظَراءُ. وفي الحديث: "أنّه أمَرَهُمْ أَنْ يَتَبَاءَوْا"، أي يتباءَوْن في القِصاص.

[vi]  حف:  ثلاثة أصول: الأول ضربٌ من الصَّوت، والثاني أن يُطيفَ الشيءُ بالشيء، والثالث شِدَّةٌ في العيش.
  تفسير ذلك: الأول الحفيف حفيفُ الشجرِ ونحوِه، وكذلك حفيفُ جَناح الطائر.
 والثاني: قولهم حفّ القوم بفلانٍ إذا أطافُوا به. قال الله تعالى:{وَتَرَى المَلاَئِكَةَ حَافِّينَ مِنْ حَوْلِ العَرْشِ} [الزمر 75]. ومن ذلك حِفافا كلِّ شيءٍ: جانباه.
 ومن هذا الباب: هو على حَفَفِ أمْرٍ أي ناحيةٍ منه، وكلُّ ناحيةِ شيءٍ فإنها تُطِيف به. ومن هذا الباب قولهم: "فلان يَحُفُّنا ويَرُفُّنا" كأنّه يشتمل علينا فيُعْطينا ويَمِيرُنا.
 والثالث: الحُفُوف والحَفَف، وهو شدّة العيش ويُبْسُه. قال أبو زيد: حَفَّتْ أرضُنا وقَفَّتْ، إذا يبسَ بَقْلُها. وهو كالشَّظَف. ويقال: هم في حَفَفٍ من العَيش، أي ضيق ومحْلٍ، ثم يُجْرَى هذا حتى يقال رأسُ فلانٍ محفوفٌ وحافٌّ، إذا بَعُد عهدُه بالدُّهن، ثم يقال حَفَّت المرأةُ وجْهها من الشّعر. واحتفَفْتُ النبتَ إذا جَزَزْتَه.

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