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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, November 8, 2010

Day 237; Qur’an 41:37-54, page 481-482

Welcome Friends:  Ahlan wa sahlan!
Congratulations are in order!
Today– by God’s Grace- we complete 4/5th of the Qur’an… with 1/5th left to go!
I was hoping we wouldn’t need to go into 2011with this project, but as you’ve seen: 
Our delay was unavoidable. 
I am grateful to be able to continue, and we are working at a more reasonable pace.

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 481 Arabic Qur’an.

1.   Verses 37- 38 alert listeners to the Night and Day, to the Sun and the Moon as readily observable ‘Signs’ of God to which none should pay homage.  They are told that Homage is owed to God Who Created them, if they truly worshipped Him.  However, if they exalted themselves (in Arrogance, deeming themselves above such worship), then there are others who celebrate His Praises ‘in the presence  of thy Lord’/ ‘who (in their hearts) are with thy Sustainer’ (Ali/ Asad), continuously, by night and by day and they do not weary.

Notice that Ali’s explanation indicates that they are Custodians/Angels, while Asad sees them as the reverent human hearts.  There also is another similar verse, HQ 7:206.
But today’s verse bears the super-human concept of doing something continuously, night and day, without wearying or tiring of it!  The word ‘sa’ama سأم- [i]  denotes the human trait of ‘being weary with repetition’ or with the tediousness of a certain act; the contrast here makes me inclined towards Ali’s explanation.
(See all three times where ‘sa’ama’ is mentioned in the Qur’an.)

Another of God’s Signs (Verse 39) is the Earth itself, and how it might seem still and subdued  خشع[ii] to onlookers, until the rain is sent down upon it:  Then it stirs, and nurtures its crops to maturity (ربت see ‘Rabb’), revived by God Who revives the Dead, and Is indeed of all things capable.

2.  Verse 40 shows that nothing can escape God, mentioning one way in which people might negatively address God’s Signs, and that is by subtly and purposefully steering these signs away (towards a more comfortable understanding- see definition of لحد[iii]).  The verse also asks a serious question to which the answer is obvious!

See the six instances where the word ‘LaHhd’ is mentioned in the Qur’an.  Notice how well this explanation fits HQ 16:103, 22:25.  In fact, HQ 18:27 and 72:22 clearly indicate to the Messenger, peace upon him, (and to us) that there can be no Place of Comfort to steer to, unless it be with God!

(Interestingly, today we use the word ‘laHhd’ to describe the crevice/recess which is made in a grave to place the body in its final earthly position, facing Mecca,
and we call an ‘atheist’ a ‘mulHhid.’)

Verse 41 then mentions how some people greet The Remembrance as it reaches them:  They greet The Remembrance with Denial, asserting that it is indeed an invulnerable Compilation (- عزيز ‘azeez).  The following verse (42) explains that it does not expire (literally:  ‘Expiration’ -baaTtil[iv]- does not approach it, whether from its forefront or from behind it), a ‘transmission’ from (One Who Is) Wise, Praise-Worthy.  

Asad explains the word ‘baaTtil’ in relation to the controversial issue of ‘abrogation,’ saying:    

Lit., “neither from between its hands, nor from behind it,” i.e., it cannot be openly changed by means of additions or omissions (Rāzī), and neither surreptitiously, by hostile or deliberately confusing interpretations. The above is one of the Qur’anic passages on which the great commentator Abū Muslim al-Isfahānī (as quoted by Rāzī) bases his absolute rejection of the theory of “abrogation” (for which see note 87 on 2:106). Since the “abrogation” of any Qur’ān verse would have amounted to its ibtāl – that is, to an open or implied declaration that it was henceforth to be regarded as null and void – the verse in question would have to be considered “false” (bātil) in the context of the Qur’ān as it is before us: and this, as Abū Muslim points out, would clearly contradict the above statement that “no falsehood (bātil) can ever attain to it.”

Verse 43 informs the Messenger that what he is being now told (by way of Divine Revelation) is no more than what had already been told to Messengers before him, and that indeed, his Lord is (One) of Forgiveness, and of grievous consequence.
Dear Reader:
There are countless instances where the Qur’an informs us that God’s Message to Humanity has been one throughout the ages, delivered at different times and by different Messengers ( ‘rusul’ is mentioned 126 times in the Qur’an).  Muhammad, peace upon him, was told of their experiences so as to learn, find comfort, and gain encouragement; his experience with his own people was not unique:  see ‘before youمن قبلك -.  
3. In Verse 44 we learn WHY the Qur’an was ‘rendered ‘Arabi/ articulate/ coherent eloquently self-expressive,’ rather than ‘Ajami/ inarticulate/ incoherent: 
Had it been rendered ‘Ajami, they (Qureish, and others of future generations) would have wondered why its Signs were not ‘exposed’ and made ‘distinguishable/ identifiable!’
This ties-in to the first verses of this Chapter:
“Hhaa- meem.
A Transmission sent down from The Rahmaan (The Generator and Protective Source of existence), The Raheem (The Unceasingly Compassionate).
A Compilation/, whereof the Signs were distinguished and exposed, (as) an ‘Arabi/articulate Qur’an,
for People who know.
A Herald of glad tidings and a Warner, yet most of them turn away and therefore they hear (it) not.”

حم ﴿١﴾
 تَنزِيلٌ مِّنَ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ ﴿٢﴾
 كِتَابٌ فُصِّلَتْ آيَاتُهُ قُرْآنًا عَرَبِيًّا لِّقَوْمٍ يَعْلَمُونَ ﴿٣﴾
 بَشِيرًا وَنَذِيرًا فَأَعْرَضَ أَكْثَرُهُمْ فَهُمْ لَا يَسْمَعُونَ ﴿٤﴾

Indeed, Verse 44 ties-in so well to these introductory verses as we can see:
·        It gives us the reason why the Qur’an was rendered ‘Arabi.
·   It links ‘People who know’ to the prospect of becoming ‘those who listen to it and believe in it,’ in which case the Qur’an, to them, will be ‘Guidance and Healing.’
·       It links ‘those who turn away, and therefore hear it not’ to the prospect of being ‘those who do not believe in it are deafened and blinded to it,’ and asserts that it is they ‘who are indeed called from a distant place.’
New Readers:  Please put ‘arabi’ and ‘ajami’ in ‘Search this Site.’
4.  The next two verses remind us that God is One, and that His Compilation sent to Humanity, is also one… and that Humanity is FREE to make use of these Messages or not:
Verse 45 tells us of ‘the Compilation’ delivered to Moses stating that, after its delivery, there was dispute in its regard (same as HQ 11:110).  The verse ends by asserting that ‘they’ are indeed (still) in doubtful mistrust of it.
But let us stop for a moment to look at the middle-part of the verse to grasp a most important concept:


This is about God’s ‘word’ which preceded His sending of Messages.  That preceding ‘word’ is that we should have the FREEDOM of choice; it is about our freedom to doubt God’s Message and to dispute it, if we so choose!
See all 5 instances in context.

Here, we think back to HQ 17:105- 107 which instructed the Messenger to tell his people with regard to the Qur’an:

“Say: Believe in it, or do not believe.  Those who were given the knowledge before it, when it is recited to them, they fall to their chins in prostration.”

قُلْ آمِنُوا بِهِ أَوْ لَا تُؤْمِنُوا إِنَّ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْعِلْمَ مِن قَبْلِهِ إِذَا يُتْلَىٰ عَلَيْهِمْ يَخِرُّونَ لِلْأَذْقَانِ سُجَّدًا ﴿١٠٧﴾

Our ‘freedom of choice’ is made very clear in Verse 46, in that each of us works for (liل- ) or against (‘alaعلى- ) our own person, while our Lord wrongs no one.

(Put ‘freedom’ in ‘Search this Site.’)

PAGE 482 Arabic Qur’an.
5.     Verse 47 tells us more about our Lord, to Whom refers/ returns Knowledge:

·        Of the ‘the coming to pass’ of what we call the ‘Final Hour’ (from 'sawa'a سوع- which denotes continuity and passing)…
·        Of whatever fruits issue from their encasements…
·        Of what every female carries/ bears..
·        Of what every female delivers… and that she does neither except within His Knowledge….

Verse 47 ends by reminding that, when that time comes, He shall ask them where His alleged ‘partners’ were, to which they shall respond that none of them were witness (to the existence of such ‘partners’); Verse 48 shows their predicament in that whatever/ whomever they used to call upon… have now ‘forsaken them,’ and how they presume (‘thannظن- ’) that they have no escape.

6. Verses 49- 51 illustrate the natural reaction Cognizant Humans have to any advantage (kheyr) or disadvantage (sharr) which touches them.  See all 4 verses which discuss this, and note how people who have advantages come their way are more likely to disbelieve in the Hereafter, and to feel ‘privileged’ in and of themselves (as if they are special and ‘preferred’ above all others).  We need to be reminded of our own equality!   

Dear Reader:
When the Qur’an was revealed, this ‘feeling of supremacy’ was a trait typical of many ‘Jews’ and ‘Christians,’ as we see in HQ 5:18.
(See footnote for the common mistake of translating ‘faDdala’ as ‘chosen’[v]). 

Today it has also become a trait typical of many ‘Muslims.’

We should all know better:
No one is ‘privileged’ or ‘preferred.’  We are all ‘human-beings’ of God’s Creation, and remain equal in merit until we raise or debase ourselves by our deeds. 

7. Verse 53 draws this Chapter to a most beautiful conclusion (with an oft-quoted verse), assuring doubters that they shall be shown God’s Signs both in the Horizons and in themselves until it becomes evident to them that this is the Truth, ending with: ‘...does it not suffice (them) that your Lord is Witness over everything?’ 
Verse 54 shows us that (while) they are indeed in doubt as to their meeting their Lord, He Is indeed, of everything, encompassing!

Enough said!

Our next Reading is from HQ 42: 1- 16; a New chapter!

Peace unto all!

[i] - الراغب الأصفهاني:
 السآمة: الملالة مما يكثر لبثه، فعلا كان أو انفعالا قال: }وهم لا يسأمون{ [فصلت/38]، وقال: }لا يسأم الإنسان من دعاء الخير{ [فصلت/49]

(خشع: يدلُّ على التَّطامُن. يقال خَشَع، إذا تطامَنَ وطأْطأَ رأسَه، يخشَع خُشوعاً. وهو قريبُ المعنى من الخضوع، إلاّ أنّ الخُضوع في البدَن والإقرارُ بالاستخذاء، والخشوعَ في الصَّوتِ والبصر. قال الله تعالى: {خَاشِعَةً أبْصَارُهُمْ} [القلم 43، المعارج 44].

الخشوع: الضراعة، وأكثر ما يستعمل الخشوع فيما يوجد على الجوارح. والضراعة أكثر ما تستعمل فيما يوجد في القلب ولذلك قيل فيما روي: روي: (إذا ضرع القلب خشعت الجوارح) (الحديث عن أبي هريرة عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أنه رأى رجلا يعبث بلحيته في صلاته، فقال: (لو خضع قلبه لخشعت جوارحه) أخرجه الحكيم الترمذي في نوادر الأصول 1/317، قال العراقي: بسند ضعيف.].

[iii] لحد: يدلُّ على ميلٍ عن استقامةٍ. يقال: ألْحَدَ الرّجلُ، إذ مال عن طريقةِ الحقِّ والإيمان. وسمِّي اللَّحدُ لأنّه مائلٌ في أحد جانِبَيِ الجَدَث. يقال: لحَدْت الميِّتَ وألحدت. والمُلْتَحَد: الملجأ، سمِّي بذلك لأنَّ اللاجئ يميل إليه.

[iv] بطل:  هو ذَهاب الشيء وقِلَّة مُكثه ولُبْثه. يقال بَطَلَ الشيءُ يَبطُل بُطْلاً وبُطُولاً. وسُمِّي الشيطانُ الباطلَ لأنه لا حقيقةَ لأفعاله، وكلُّ شيءٍ منه فلا مَرْجُوعَ لـه ولا مُعَوَّلَ عليه. والبَطَل الشُّجاع.

[v] On April 15th we discussed the meaning of ‘faDdalakum ‘ala ’ فضلكم على- which meant to give you (Bani Isra-eel) bounty (faDdl) above others, and said:

“To understand this verb as ‘prefer’ is wrong as it is a modern usage of Arabic.  Bani Isra-eel are believed by some to be ‘the chosen people,’ which is neither true of them nor of any other groups in the Qur’an; see HQ 3:73-74.  God did not ‘choose’ any nation or race above others, although he did choose persons and their families for certain responsibilities, such as Mary, Abraham and his family, Imraan and his family –(see اصطفى.)”

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