Welcome Friends: Ahlan wa sahlan!
In real time, we are already in May 2011… and so much is going on.
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 473 Arabic Qur’an.
1. In our last Reading we had a ‘peek’ into the Hereafter: We found those who had been ‘Deniers’ in life admitting with great regret that they had indeed received Messengers (which they repudiated!).
After that, we heard the statement that God grants victory to His Messengers.
Today’s Reading continues with a shining example of such Messengers, as Verses 53- 54 mention Prophet Moses, peace upon him, to whom God gave Guidance, and through whom the Compilation was given as ‘heritage’ to Bani Isra’eel…’ a Guidance and a Reminder to ‘Those of Insight and Commitment’ (أولوا الألباب).
See HQ 13: 19-24, which helps us understand the distinction of such persons, and also the contrast we shall encounter in Verse 58 (between ‘the Blind’ and ‘the Sighted’).
(Put ‘ulul albaab’ in ‘Search this Site,’ and see the Compilation as ‘Heritage’ in HQ 7:169, 35:32, 40:53, 42:14.)
Regular Readers will remember (from April 17th) the uniqueness of the word ‘to inherit/ heritage.’ Also the difference between ‘Kitaab/Compilation’ on one hand, and ‘Quraan,’ on the other (‘kitaab’ is static and might be taken as ‘heritage,’ whereas ‘Quraan’ is dynamic and requires a Reader ‘Qaare/قارئ’ to be activated by way of ‘IQRA’ and ‘Tarteel’ (Realization, Identification, and Confirmation) Put ‘kitaab quraan’ together in ‘Search this Site’).
Please make sure you understand this distinction: Static information CAN be ‘inherited,’ while the dynamic can’t. If you wish to make the most of your Reading, please make sure you understand these concepts.
After that, Verses 55-56 tell the ‘Recipient’/ listener to therefore forbear with patient perseverance ….. "فاصبر"…as if to remind him of Moses’ trials with his people. These verses speak of the Truth of God’s promise, and tell him to ask God’s pardon for any failing/ misdeed he committed (‘thanb:’ in between himself and God), and to celebrate His Praises in the Evenings and early Morn.
(Put ‘thanb’ in ‘Search this Site’).
2. Verse 56 is the THIRD time in this Chapter that we find mention of Those who argue ‘in’ or ‘about’ God’s Signs without manifest proof. The reason behind their so doing, is mentioned here:
Their chests/ heads contain a ‘grandiosity’ they shall never reach!
‘Grandiosity/ Arrogance,’ as Regular Readers know, is THE ‘fatal flaw.’ It is behind the futile arguments of such persons, and was behind the first misdeed ever committed (Satan’s: see (استكبر.
And if we ask: What should Believers say or do, in response to Deniers’ arrogance and unceasing arguments?
The answer is in this verse as well: Seek refuge in God, The All-Hearing, The All-Seeing…. probably because NOTHING Believers can say (of their own) will ever convince the Arrogant.
Verses 57- 59 assert that the Creation of the Heavens and the Earth is a grander feat than the Creation of Humans, but that most Humans do not know.
And then two contrasts are drawn:
· Between ‘the Blind,’ and ‘the Sighted’…
· Between ‘Those Who have attained Faith and performed good deeds,’ and ‘Those who wrong others’…
The verse ends by stating that ‘it is but little that you remember.’
Then comes another assertion, in that ‘The Hour’ is approaching without doubt, but that most humans do not believe.
Note the connection between ‘Knowing,’ and ‘Remembering or Reflecting’ (we can see that clearly in (علم ذكر. Also, note that ‘Remembering or Reflecting’ and ‘Believing/ Having Faith’ are similarly connected (ذكر مؤمن).
For ‘Cognizant Humans,’ every conscious act is indeed connected!
PAGE 474 Arabic Qur’an.
3. Verse 60 begins with ‘And your Lord said…’ Then He speaks in the first person: ‘Call unto Me, I respond to you…’ reminding us that whenever we seek Him, He answers (as in HQ 2:186).
Aside: Some may feel they are ‘above’ the worship of God, while some may feel they are not above such worship; there are four verses which discuss this.
Verse 60 also warns those who refuse to worship him out of arrogance, that they shall enter the Fire in total compliance[i] (دخر).
The verb ‘dakhara’ is about deference and total compliance to God (as in HQ 16:48). That compliance is the natural physical state of all God’s creatures, whether some of us care to acknowledge it (mentally) in our lives or not… and it is the state in which all shall finally approach Him, both physically AND mentally.
4. Important Research:
‘Dakhara’ دخر versus ‘Ssaghara’ صغر:
In contrast to that ‘natural state’ (of dakhara) which we just mentioned, we find another state called ‘Ssaghara.’
When Iblees ‘exalted’ himself in arrogance, he was demoted and abased; he was told to get out of the Garden in ‘degradation’ (صغر)… As we see, the use of this word here is significant, showing us that he was literally belittled and ‘cut down to size,’ as in HQ 7:13:
The root verbs ‘kabara’ and ‘Ssaghara’ are opposites!
Indeed, the word (صاغر) is about ‘demoting’ any who ‘promote’ themselves above others. Their recompense is to be ‘downsized,’ as we see in the belittlement of Pharaoh and his hosts, by the true miracles of Moses (HQ 7:119).
This new finding affects my understanding of a previous verse (HQ 9:29 ) which we discussed on April 29th; a verse which has historically affected the all-important relationship ‘Muslims’ have with ‘People of Earlier Compilation’ in, unfortunately, a most negative way:
قَاتِلُوا الَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّـهِ وَلَا بِالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ وَلَا يُحَرِّمُونَ مَا حَرَّمَ اللَّـهُ وَرَسُولُهُ وَلَا يَدِينُونَ دِينَ الْحَقِّ مِنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ حَتَّىٰ يُعْطُوا الْجِزْيَةَ عَن يَدٍ وَهُمْ صَاغِرُونَ ﴿٢٩﴾
When we read HQ 9:29 in context, we first note that it follows a verse forbidding idol-worshippers from venturing near the Inviolable Mosque.
Secondly, it specifies a segment of people who, in spite of having received the Compilation:
· Do not believe in God.
· Do not believe in the Hereafter.
· Violate the Inviolables (including the Ten Commandments; see April 5th).
· Do not feel accountable to Standards of Truth or Justice.
Thirdly, we learn that it is such people who must NEVER be allowed to prevail in society, and must be fought back or fought against until they are downsized and ‘belittled..’ and that they could technically ‘belong’ to any ‘faith;’ the title they bear is irrelevant as they are in fact, doing their worst, including thievery and murder etc.., without the slightest sense of guilt or accountability.
Fourthly, we note that the word ‘qaatala’ قاتل (unlike ‘qatala’قتل) denotes mutual fighting, and cannot be one-sided, which is why I put the words ‘back/ against’ in brackets.
“Fight (back/ against) those who do not believe in God or the Hereafter, and do not hold inviolable what God and His Messenger have made inviolable, and do not hold themselves accountable to the Standard of Truth and Justice, from the People of Earlier Compilation, until they hand in the obligation (divested of power), and are belittled/ downsized.”
Depending on traditional explanations, many have said that this verse enforces a ‘jizyah’ or ‘tax’ levied upon all People of Earlier Compilation (Jews and Christians) who live in a society of ‘Believers,’ while others have gone further to say that the goal of this verse is to ‘belittle’ or ‘humble’ them all, with the choice of either taxation or battle: Neither is true as we can see:
Whom is this verse about?
This verse specifies individuals who happen to be numbered among the ‘People of Compilation’ yet do not treat others with the Truth, Justice and Accountability to God which are required by the tenets of their own faith. Note their four characteristics, which help us realize that their deficiency in faith is related to NOT believing in God or the Hereafter; in other words, whether or not they believed in Muhammad as God's Messenger (or in the Qur'an as God's Message) is not an issue here. The core of the issue is their readiness to violate the Inviolables which are upheld by all God's Messengers, peace upon them, and held sacred by good citizens in any community. Indeed, this verse seems to ABSOLVE the ‘People of Compilation’ from the injustices committed by such persons who happen to be in their midst and would otherwise be counted among them!
Therefore, it seems that:
The general goal of this verse is to EXTRACT such persons from the respected status of ‘Ahl al Kitaab’ so as to deal with them according to their deeds rather than their professed ‘faith.’
The specific goal of this verse is to NEUTRALIZE their ability to wreak havoc in society, and forcing them to oblige; 'an yaddin -عن بيد- indicates a separation from or being divested of 'yad' or power (literally: strength and security; put 'yad' in 'Search this Site').
Therefore the allegation that HQ 9:29 ‘calls for a one-sided, unprovoked assault’ against anyone is totally unfounded (see HQ 2:190).
Furthermore, Regular Readers of iqrathechallenge might note that such persons would include any who belong by name to a compilation yet do not believe in its tenets and commandments, and feel no accountability in committing injury against others.
The circle of ‘ahl al kitaab’ has grown today.
Isn’t that food for thought?
Back to our Reading of Verse 60:
The invitation here ‘Call on Me..!’ is unique and beautiful (in the first person singular). A similar invitation to call upon Him appears 4 times (in the second person singular; all instances are in both this chapter and Chapter 7).
5. Verse 61 tells of God’s Bounty, rendering the night and day for our comfort and livelihood (see seven similar verses).
The verse ends by informing us that most people do not make the best (of what they’ve been given)!
Ali’s interpretation of ‘give no thanks’ and Asad’s ‘ungrateful’ do not present the full meaning of ‘shukr.’ New Readers: Put ‘shukr’ in ‘Search this Site.’
Verses 62- 63 show us how people end up deluding themselves when they discredit God’s Signs after having understood their value.
Notice that the phrase ‘there is no God but He’ لا إله إلا هو)) appears three times in this Chapter (verses 3, 62, 65).
Verse 64 speaks of God rendering the earth firm and the ‘heaven/ sky/ space’ an edifice, and fashioning us in the best of forms, and providing us with wholesome sustenance… Glory to The Lord of the Worlds.
6. Then, in Verse 65, we encounter God’s attribute ‘The Ever-Living’ الحي – as He tells us to call upon Him, pure in Accountability to Him, praising Him, Lord of the Worlds! Read or listen to these verses together to grasp their effect.
The attribute ‘The Ever-Living’ appears four times in the Qur’an; beautiful!
(I hope, dear Reader, that you don’t find my links too cumbersome. You can always ignore them, but I feel the need to place them here for any who might need more information. This is an opportunity for us to research the Qur’an together, and we gain insight with every comparison we make of its verses. This endeavor has turned out to be a most valuable project, on a grand, un-attempted scale. We are blessed to be able to undertake it together. Please pray that it helps change the world for the better, one person at a time. And don’t forget to distribute this knowledge!)
7. In the final verse of today’s Reading (Verse 66), the Messenger Muhammad is told to announce to his people that He was forbidden to worship what they worship other than God upon receiving Evidence from His Lord, and that he was commanded to be pure in his reverence to the Lord of the Worlds.
(New Readers: Put ‘salama’ in ‘Search this Site.’)
Our next Reading is from HQ 40:67-85.
[i] دخر: يدلُّ على الذُّل. يقال دَخَرَ الرّجُلُ، وهو داخِر، إذا ذَلَّ. وأَدْخَرَه غيرُه: أَذَلَّه.
ذل: يدلُّ على الخُضوع، والاستكانة، واللِّين. فالذُّل: ضِدّ العِزّ. وهذه مقابلةٌ في التضادِّ صحيحة، تدلُّ على الحكمة التي خُصَّتْ بها العرب دون سائر الأمم؛ لأنّ العزّ من العَزَازِ، وهي الأرض الصُّلْبة الشديدة. والذِّلُّ خلاف الصُّعوبة. ومن الأوّل: رجلٌ ذليل بين الذُّلّ والمَذَلّة والذِّلّةِ. ويقال لما وُطِئَ من الطَّريق ذِلٌّ. وذُلِّل القِطْفُ تذليلاً، إذا لانَ وتَدَلّى. ويقال: أجْرِ الأمورَ على أذلالها، أي استقامتها، أي على الأمر الذي تَطُوع فيه وتَنْقاد.