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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!


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A BREAKTHROUGH project which helps understand the Qur'an AS REVEALED -not just 'as explained.'


Monday, November 22, 2010

Day 252; Qur’an 47: 20-28; page 509-510

Welcome Friends:  Ahlan wa sahlan
Today’s Reading was tough!
In our last Reading, I explained the final verses saying: “….for God Alone -knows your movement and your repose..” … without looking into the definition of the word ‘taqallubتقلّب- ’ (see footnote [i]).  As it turns out, ‘taqallub’ is not simply about the physical, but also about all our mental shifts of position! Think, dear Reader, how much more this verse now tells us about God:  He knows all the workings of our minds, each subtle ‘change of mind/heart’ we feel… and where we, AND our minds/hearts eventually find ‘lodging مثوى…!
The more we interact with the Qur’an, the more we get out of it!
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 509 Arabic Qur’an.

1.  We already discussed Verse 19 in our last Reading; see Verses 19- 22 in Asad’s explanation.  I will just add  a few comments.

Verse 19 then, is about God knowing ALL our shifts of position, including the ‘mental.’  We notice that in Verses 20-30 which speak to ‘Those who had attained Faith,’  telling them/us about ‘Those in whose hearts/minds is an Affliction/Impairment- الذين في قلوبهم مرض’ 

This group is so labeled eleven times in the Qur’an, and is traditionally considered to be the same as ‘Munaafiq/[ii] Hypocrites,’ but as we can see in these three verses, they were mentioned separately and certified as ‘impaired.’ 
Why the distinction between the two?  It seems that although the characteristics of the ‘Hypocrites’ and ‘Those of Impaired Hearts/ minds’ do meet, and the individuals who belong to these two groups do overlap, they are not identical.  The Qur’an is true and precise, hence the distinction.

The three most apparent characteristics of ‘Those in Whose heart/mind is an Impairment,’ are that they are ‘fearful’ (HQ 5:52), and are in ever-increasing ‘confusion/turmoil/rijs’ (HQ 9: 125) probably due to their inner ‘Ddagheenah’ or Prejudice /[iii] (HQ 47: 29).  (‘Ddagheenah’ is NOT ‘hatred/vengefulness,’ as is traditionally explained- see footnote-[iv].)

In other words, their ‘Impaired Judgment’ is caused by Prejudice.
The Qur’an condemns prejudice, and calls it an ‘impairment/ maraDd’ of the hearts/minds. 

In Verse 21 we find that, when Decisiveness in the matter’ is called for (عزم الأمر), these ‘Prejudicial’ persons are not ‘True to God,’ and therefore not empowered
Remember: Being ‘true/ truthful’ means being ‘empowered.’  There is nothing more powerful than Truth.  That is the full meaning of ‘Ssadaqa’ صدق!!  See definition ([v]).

Dear Reader:
The Qur’an shows us that ending up in a state of ‘wailing’ ‘wailالويل- is reserved for Those Who FALSELY represent Truths… those who lie to others, belie God’s Words, and defraud each other.
And if Prejudicial people are in a state of IMPAIRMENT, caused mainly by being false to God and themselves, what does that say about many of us who use our so-called ‘religions’ and ‘scriptures’ to justify prejudice against one another?
May Our Lord forgive us, enlighten us, and help us fulfill our best potential on this earth.

2.    In Verse 23, New Readers should note that, although it may seem that God has ‘enforced’ a state of ‘deafness’ and ‘blindness’ upon such persons, it is actually far from it.  We do have a freedom of choice, and ample chance to exercise our free will.  Put ‘free choice will’ in ‘Search this Site.’ 
See our earlier post where we read HQ 6:39 in Ali’s interpretation- with his commentary regarding man’s stubborn refusal to listen:

‘Those who reject our signs are deaf and dumb,- in the midst of darkness profound: whom God willeth, He leaveth to wander: whom He willeth, He placeth on the way that is straight (HQ 6:39).

We commented at the time:

“It is interesting to note that, as humans we are free, both to listen to sound advice, and to follow through.  Following through IS the crucial part.  Following through is proof that we have fully understood what is best for us.  HQ 8:23 tells us that, if God had forced such persons to listen, they would still NOT have followed through!  On that basis, the basis of human FREEDOM to listen to advice and to follow through, HQ; 8:24 calls on the Faithful once again, telling them/us very clearly (all in plural), to respond to God and the Messenger when invited to THAT WHICH GIVES US LIFE.
‘That which gives us life’ is this Qur’an, the Message of the Creator and Sustainer of Life.”

3.   Verse 24 poses a question and presents a statement of fact:

Do they not then ‘recognize the full implications’ of the Qur’an?  Or are, upon certain hearts/minds, their locks (clamping them shut)?

 This is similar to HQ 4:82 (see both):

                                                                                      Do they not then ‘recognize the full implications’ of the Qur’an?  For had it been from any (source) other than God they would have found in it much discrepancy.

New Readers:  Put ‘Qur’aan kitaab’ in ‘Search this Site.’
We discussed the word ‘tadabbaara’ earlier and said:

“We should be fully aware of the significance of the word ‘tadabbara’ تدبّر, which means to ‘follow through to the end result,’ realizing the consequences and full implications of something.”

4.   Verses 25 – 28 are about those who literally ‘reverse direction, turning on their heels’ after Guidance is made clear to them; well-explained by both Yusuf Ali and Muhammad Asad, except for the explanation of the word ‘SsakhaTta.’ 
I prefer Asad’s ‘condemn’ to Ali’s ‘wrath;’  God is NEVER angry/ wrathful (see footnote [vi])!
Refer to our earlier post which discussed Death as it approaches Wrong-doers:  Being reluctant to depart this earth, their consciousness/ spirit clings tight to their bodies as they literally sink into the depths of ‘mawt,’ their physical death, and need to be taken forcefully.

We find reference again -in Verse 29-30 to ‘Those Whose hearts/minds are Impaired.’ They do not realize that God shall ‘bring out and expose’ their Prejudice.  In fact (no matter how they try to hide it), their impairment is betrayed by their ‘slant’ of speech and warped behavior!

PAGE 510 Arabic Qur’an.

5.  In Verse 31 (as I understand it), God assures listeners/us (in the first person plural ‘you’) that ‘We’ shall indeed try ‘you’ until We ‘mark out’ the  ‘high strivers/ mujaahideen’ amongst ‘you,’ and the ‘Ssabireen/ patiently persevering,’ and We shall (also) try/test your mettle/your records. 
How aptly it connects to Verse 30 which ends with ‘…and God knows your works!’

‘Exerting oneself’ so as to accomplish something is ‘jihaad,’ a word which has -for too long- been wrongly explained as ‘Holy War’ (the Arabic equivalent to ‘Holy War’ would be ‘Hharb muqaddassahحرب مقدسة’ which is unknown). 
The command ‘Jaahidu,’ as we can see in the 17 instances where this word is mentioned in Qur’an, is mostly about exerting oneself financially and physically, which could be in an ‘armed struggle,’ but that would be only one manner of ‘jihaad.’

‘Khabar’ has two connotations, related to having knowledge or ‘record’ of something, OR to one’s ‘mettle’ (literally, land or vegetation that is made supple -see definition [vii]).      

Verse 32 tells us that ‘Those who had Denied and Barred from the path of God, and broken apart from the Messenger "شق" after Guidance had become clear to them, will not ‘afflict/disadvantage’ God in the least, and their works will be voided.

Verse 33 speaks directly to Those who had attained Faith, calling upon them/us to obey God, obey His Messenger, and not to invalidate, or void, their deeds/ works.

Verse 34 informs them that ‘Those who Denied and Barred from the path of God’ then (eventually) died as Deniers, God shall never absolve them.  This ties in with verse 32, and shows us that, as long as such persons are alive, they have a chance to seek forgiveness!

Verse 35 instructs the Faithful (while at war) not to be humbled (‘هون) and call for a truce/ peace when they are ‘prevailing,’ and God is with them, and He won’t separate them from their deeds.
(الأعلون-: the superior/ the uppermost)

6.   Then Verses 36-38 speak of this lesser, immediate life and show us how biased we are towards our worldly assets, and how our ‘prejudice’ becomes obvious when we are asked to give any of it away!  This proves once again that our perpetual ‘jihaad’ is in extending ourselves physically and financially, spending on others and on rightful causes.

The chapter actually ends on a note of warning to Those Who had attained Faith…. and we understand that Truth will prevail, with or without us. 

If we were to turn back, we automatically become dispensable: Other people shall take our place and they will not be the likes of us!

Read these beautiful verses in Ali or Asad’s explanations.
Here are Yusuf Ali’s beautiful comments:

“Complete self-sacrifice, if voluntarily offered, has a meaning: it means that the persons devotion is exclusively and completely for the Cause. But no law or rule can demand it. And a mere offer to kill yourself has no meaning. You should be ready to take risks to your life in fighting for the Cause, but you should aim at life, not death. If you live, you should be ready to place your substance and your acquisitions at the disposal of the Cause.”

“Here the case of the special devotee and of the average man with his human foibles are distinguished. Stinginess is not a virtue: it hurts more the finer-nature of the individual practising it that it hurts the Cause. God is free of all wants and independent of any need that we can meet. His Cause is similarly independent of human aid. But it uses human agency for our own human advancement. The need to be able to serve God’s cause is ours. We are the needy beggars who should claim the privilege before the Lord of Bounties unbounded.

If we desert the Cause, the Cause will not fail. Better men than we will uphold the flag. But we should fall, and others will take our place, who are not so timid, half- hearted, or stingy.”

Enough said!
Our next Reading is from HQ 48: 1-15; a new Chapter!

Peace unto all!

[i]‘Taqallub’ comes from the root-verb ‘qalaba’  قلب
 ‘Qalaba’قلب ([i]), as defined earlier, bears two connotations:

·          The purest, most esteemed part of a Cognizant Human (or of anything).
·          A turnover (from one side to another, or inside-out).

But different verb-forms express different meanings:
·          فعل faعala: To ‘do or act.’
·          انفعل infaعala: To ‘react’ in response to something ([i]).
·          تفعّل -tafaع عala: To ‘repetitively/insistently do or act.’

Taqallaba follows the third verb-pattern, and is mentioned 9 times in the Qur’an.

Any act involving ‘taqallub’ usually means a change, usually from one side to the other or back and forth. We use this word when the weather is ‘variable’ (طقس متقلّب) and when we find ourselves ‘tossing and turning’ in bed. We also use it for changes of mood, and say that some people are ‘mutaqallib’ by nature; ‘moody,’ or often changing their minds.

[ii] We defined ‘munaafiq’ from ‘nafaqa[ii]’ in an earlier post where we said;

The verb ‘anfaqa-أنفق’ means to spend, while ‘nafaqa-نفق’ means to die.
The noun ‘nafaq’ is an outlet or tunnel, while ‘nafqaa-نفقاء ’ is the hidden exit to a rodent’s burrow, camouflaged from the outside.  When escaping, the rodent hits against it with its head, and exits. 

All these connotations combine to describe the Hypocrites.  They have exited the state of Faith and Reverence to God.  Their true beliefs burrow deep inside them, where no one can hold them accountable.  They are masters of quick escape from duty and responsibility, having camouflaged ‘exits’ everywhere.

[iii]  ضغن: يدلُّ على تغطية شيءٍ في ميل واعوِجاج، ولا يدلُّ على خَير. من ذلك الضِّغْن والضَّغْن: الحِقْد. وفرسٌ ضاغن، إِذا كان لا يُعطِي ما عندهُ من الجري إلاّ بالضَّرب. ويقال ضَغِنَ صَدرُ فلانٍ ضِغْنَاً وضَغَناً. وقناةٌ ضَغِنةٌ: عَوجاء.
ويقال ضَغَنَ فلانٌ إلى الدُّنيا: ركَنَ ومالَ. وضِغْنِي إلى فلانٍ، أي ميلي إِليه. والذي دلَّ على ما ذكرناهُ من تغطية الشيء قولُهم إنَّ الاضطغانَ الاشتمالُ بالثَّوب.

[iv] ‘Ddagheenah,’ as we can see in our more than 1,000 year old Lexicon, is always a detrimental biased state which a person privately ‘leans to,’ best translated in English as ‘Prejudice.’

[v] We encountered the definition of ‘Ssidq’ earlier, where were amazed to find that it was about the POWER of Truth.
من معجم المقاييس: (صدق) يدلُّ على قوّةٍ في الشيء قولاً وغيرَه. من ذلك الصِّدْق: خلاف الكَذِبَ، سمِّيَ لقوّته في نفسه، ولأنَّ الكذِبَ لا قُوَّة له، هو باطلٌ. وأصل هذا من قولهم شيءٌ صَدْقٌ، أي صُلْب.  ورُمْح صَدْقٌ.. والصِّدِّيق: الملازم للصِّدْق. والصَّدَاق: صَدَاقَ المرأة، سُمِّيَ بذلك لقوّته وأنَّه حقٌّ يَلزمُ. ويقال صَدَاقٌ وصُدْقة وصَدُقة. قال الله تعالى: {وَآتُوا النِّسَاءَ صَدُقَاتهنَّ نِحْلَةً} [النساء 4]. و[من] الباب الصَّدَقة: ما يتصدَّق به المرءُ عن نفسه وماله.
عن الراغب الأصفهاني: والصدق: مطابقة القول الضمير والمخبر عنه معا، والصدقة: ما يخرجه الإنسان من ماله على وجه القربة كالزكاة، لكن الصدقة في الأصل تقال للمتطوع به، والزكاة للواجب، وقد يسمى الواجب صدقة إذا تحرى صاحبها الصدق في فعله. قال: }خذ من أموالهم صدقة{ [التوبة/103]، وقال: }إنما الصدقات للفقراء{ [التوبة/60].

[vi] ‘SsakhaTt-  سخط/ is the opposite of ‘riDdwaanرضى- / …as we can see in Tanzil.  I found the concept difficult to explain because it is about God, and should not denote ‘sentiment.’  The closest words to explain the concept are ‘disapproval of and displeasure in someone,’ versus ‘approval of and pleasure in someone.’  Let me know if you find something better, dear Reader.

[vii]  خبر:  أصلان: فالأول العِلم، والثاني يدل على لينٍ ورَخاوة وغُزْرٍ.
  فالأول الخُبْر: العِلْم بالشَّيءِ. تقول: لي بفلان خِبْرَةٌ وخُبْرٌ. والله تعالى الخَبير، أي العالِم بكلِّ شيء. وقال اللهُ تعالى: {وَلاَ يُنَبِّئكَ مِثْلُ خبِيرٍ} [فاطر 14].
  والأصل الثاني: الخَبْراء، وهي الأرض الليِّنة.  والخَبِير: الأكّار، وهو مِن هذا، لأنّه يُصْلِح الأرضَ ويُدَمِّثُها ويلَيِّنها. وعلى هذا يجري هذا البابُ كلُّه؛ فإنهم يقولون: الخبير الأكّار، لأنه يخابر الأرض، أي يؤاكِرُها.  و[من] الذي ذكرناه من اللِّين تسميتُهم الزَّبَدَ خبِيراً. والخَبير: النَّبات الليِّن.

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