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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.'


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day 254; Qur’an 48: 3-15; page 511-512

Welcome Friends:  Ahlan wa sahlan
With the CRUCIAL first two verses of this chapter explained, it is now possible for us to continue… but be ready for a few surprises!

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 511 Arabic Qur’an.

1. Our last Reading on the first two verses of this Chapter, was about God informing the Messenger of the great importance of the ‘Opening’ which had just taken place, comforting him by absolving him of any entailment (from shortcoming which may have taken place between him and God), and assuring him of fulfilling His Favor upon him and guiding him to a Straightened Path. 

We also spoke about Peace, and recognized it as the perfect setting which opens the way for positive dialogue and interaction.

Today, Verse 3 continues, assuring the Messenger of what is to come: 

God shall grant him an Achievement/نصراً  which is ‘secure, solid/ invincible’ عزيزا/ [i]

Yes, dear Reader!  I am as surprised as you are.  Because of our current usage of the word, I had always thought that ‘NaSsr’ meant ‘triumph’ or ‘victory,’ but as our Lexicon shows us, the word borrows that meaning when it has an object, as in someone having ‘naSsr’ over (‘alaa-على) someone  else.  Without an object, it is not about ‘triumph’ at all. 
As you can see in below definition, the word simply means ‘begetting or dispersing goodness,’ which is why rain used to be called ‘naSsr’ at the time of Revelation!  Amazing. This shows us yet again how important it is to try to understand the Qur’an as revealed.

2. After these assurances to the Messenger, Verse 4 begins to reassure the Faithful!
Here we learn of the the ‘calmness/tranquility/ sakeena’ which God had sent down upon the hearts/ minds of the Faithful, so that they would increase in Faith unto their own Faith, and the verse ends by stating that to God belong the gathered ‘agents/ forces’ (junood) of the Exalted Expanses and the Earth, and He is the Knowing, the Wise. 

Notice the honor of being labeled ‘the Faithful’ by God!  Also, this verse shows us that Faith DOES increase, and that ‘sakeena’ is its perfect setting.

Plural noun ‘Junood,’ from Verb ‘janada’:
As we can see below ([ii]) in our more than 1,000 year old Arabic Lexicon the verb ‘janada’ is about gathering/ meeting and helping to serve a purpose. 

(It is also related to ‘land’ -as in the five ‘ajnaad’ of  ‘Shaam/ Greater Syria’ which are Damascus, Emesa/Homs, Qinsireen near Aleppo, Jordan, and Palestine). 


If you are interested in the Etymology of English words, check this out.  See for yourself two words on this listAgenda,’ which is explained as ‘things to be done in a meeting,’ and ‘Hacienda,’ which is about a ‘landed estate, plantation,’  AND originated from ‘agenda’ /things to be done!  

When we reread the Arabic definition above we realize that it is almost identical in meaning and pronunciation.  In Arabic the verbs are pronounced ‘janada’ and ‘ajnada,’ while the nouns are ‘jund,’ ‘junood,’ ‘ajnaad,’ and could also have the ‘al’ definite article as a prefix. 

English Etymology tells us that both ‘agenda’ and ‘hacienda’ are less than 400 years old, and that they have one origin.  What we are NOT told, is that they originated in an Arabic word, still found in a Lexicon which is more than 1,000 years old!    
Put ‘Etymology’ in ‘Search this Site’ for more Arabic words which migrated into Europe during the period when Arabic was the language of information, innovation, architecture, science, and art… when Arabic was the 'Lingua Franca,’ much as English is today. 
3.   Then, Verse 5 presents Persuasion, stating that this is ‘so that /li/ ل’ He would enter the Faithful (masc. pl. AND fem. pl.) gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they shall be completely ‘inclined/ nestled’ AND He would cover their misdeeds which, according to God, is a great Deliverance/Salvation (fawz).

Note the difference between the assurance given to the Messenger and that given to the Faithful: 

Remember that the former was a private issue, while this relates to people doing wrong against others, and is not a private matter between them and God. 
That is why, in the first case, God absolves the ‘thanb’ whereas here He ‘covers /kafara’ the ‘sayyi’aat.’  (TWO completely different situations, which should have been reflected in translation -[iii]).  Here, absolution is granted AFTER the wronged person accepts reparation from God, who ‘covers’ for the repentant Faithful person.  This shows us that when a person earns the title of ‘Faithful,’  God Himself acts on his/her behalf!  That is, indeed, a great Deliverance/Salvation.

New Readers:
Put ‘label’ in ‘Search this Site.’
Put ‘khaalid’ in ‘Search this Site.’
Put ‘fawz’ in ‘Search this Site.’
Put ‘sakeena’ in ‘Search this Site.’
Put ‘Imaan Islaam’ in ‘Search this Site’ to see the important difference between ‘Faith/ Imaan’ and ‘Islaam.’
Put ‘cover kafar' in ‘Search this Site’ to see the etymological connection.

Verse 6 indicates (with the conjunction ‘and’) that this verse, as well as verse 5 are both linked to Verse 4.  Here however we have ‘Dissuasion,’ in contrast to  the beautiful ‘Persuasion’ of Verse 5, and we see what suffering awaits the ‘Hypocrites/ Munaafiqeen’ and the ‘Associat-ers/ Mushrikeen,’ THE PRESUMERS of adverse/ ‘bad’ presumptions about God: Upon them shall be (shall revolve) the ‘Circle of Adversityدائرة السوء-’ ([iv]), as well as God’s ‘Severity and Strength,’ and He has banished them (from His Favor) and prepared Hell for them, an adverse destination indeed.

Note, dear Reader, that any adverse, ill-feeling and negative presumption we might have with regard to God is, IN ITSELF, what hems us in and suppresses us upon this earth, and what literally encircles us in the end.  When we are the source of adversity, broadcasting bad thoughts and ill-feeling, it is only natural and rightful that the culmination of it all shall be upon us.  Think how bad things can become for us when our bad thoughts and wrongful presumptions are focused on the SOURCE of all Goodness, and we end up VOIDING it, in our minds? 
Regular Readers will recall that we are told to avoid presumption in HQ 49: 12, and that often, presumptions are Hindrance.

Let us all take a good look at our ‘presumptions’ regarding God, and make it a point from now on to replace any negativity by thinking the BEST about God, no matter what might occur in our lives.  I think this should become our priority today. 

Mistranslations have not helped us form positive presumptions about God!
Regular Readers will remember that God does NOT ‘get angry/ wrathful,’ and certainly does NOT ‘curse’ anyone.

New Readers:
Put ‘la'ana’ in ‘Search this Site.’
Put ‘ghaDdab' in ‘Search this Site.’

Verse 7 reiterates that to God belong the gathered ‘agents/ forces’ (junood) of the Exalted Expanses and the Earth, ending by saying that He is Invincible, Wise. 

4.  Verse 8 addresses Muhammad, peace upon him (‘you’ masculine singular), announcing that he was sent as Witness, Bearer of Glad Tidings, and  Warner (similar to HQ 33:45).
Then Verse 9 continues (see Ali/ Asad), but here it is addressing the general population: so that YOU (plural) would have faith in God and His Messenger, and (عزر[v]) revere Him/ assist him, exalt Him, and be in constant ‘tasbeeh/ motion/ motivation’ in celebration of His Praise.  We mentioned earlier that, according to our Lexicon, ‘tasbeeh’ is related to motion, most similar to ‘swimming in water.’  Arabs have traditionally used this word to describe the fluidity of camels upon the mirage of desert sands, the galloping of horses, the churning of ships through the waves, and people going about their different chores. 

So, dear Reader, while we do everything we do throughout the day, we celebrate God’s praise, starting at the earliest part of the day (bukra) until after dark (aSseel -[vi]). 

Q. How? 

A. Before we go about our daily chores, we wash, then meditate in our ‘pre-sunrise’ prayer to God.  After that, throughout the day, we fulfill our duties and do whatever else we do, while feeling that God is our Witness (not simply remembering Him on and off), and trying to do our best, for the love of Him.  And as we help lift spirits and try to make this world a better place, we pause three more times (at intervals related to the earth’s motion) to wash and meditate in prayer.  Finally, when our day is done, we wash and face God in ritual prayer for the last time in that one day, addressing Him Who was WITH us every moment, hoping that our worship was good enough to offer. 

Q. And which part of all that is considered ‘worship?’

A.  All of it, even the details, such as the bite we ate or the nap we took.  The washing and prayers at minimum would take up altogether around half an hour out of 24.  They are what keeps us in focus, and are the bare minimum of our daily acts of worship.  Indeed, EVERYTHING we do is an act of worship when we intend it in God’s Direction (wajh Allah وجه الله-). 

Q. And to whose benefit is all that ‘worship?’…

A. All I can say is, try it and you’ll find out…

PAGE 512 Arabic Qur’an.

5.    Verse 10 speaks of the pledge of allegiance which took place at Hudaybiyyah.  Muhammad Asad’s explanation is good, except for the words ‘the hand of God.’  Put ‘yad’ in ‘Search this Site,’ and note that the Arabic word ‘aid’ is about ‘assistance,’ power and ability, and certainly NOT about a limb!

Dear Reader:
If you don’t know much about the history, please check the online PDF version of Martin Lings’ book “Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources.”  You can also read the comments of Yusuf Ali and Muhammad Asad, as they explain the background to such verses.

Verse 11 (Ali/ Asad) anticipates what ‘Those who had lagged behind’ of the Bedouin-Arabs would say to the Prophet upon his return to Medina (put  ‘lagged behind’ in ‘Search this Site’).  Notice that they would allege that it was their businesses and their families which kept them too busy to join him, and then they’d ask him to pray for their forgiveness! 

Aren’t these the very same double excuses we still present today when we don’t feel like doing something? 
‘Mukhallaf’ مخلّف is not a title any of us would like to earn!

In Verse 12, God Himself responds to them, presenting the REAL reason behind their inaction.  Here we hear the ‘voice of God’ clearly, as He reveals their thoughts!

The real reason was that they presumed that the Messenger and the Faithful would never return back to their families!  They presumed the adverse presumption (we spoke about that above) and were a ‘purposeless/ unproductive/ barren’ people (بورا).

Dear Reader: 
English Etymology tells us that the word ‘barren’ is ‘of obscure derivation.’
Not any more: ‘Barren’ is of Arabic origin; ‘booran’ is not only very similar in pronunciation, but it is also IDENTICAL in meaning. 
Put ‘etymology’ in ‘Search this Site.’

6.  Then, after revealing their true intentions, Verse 13 follows with dissuasion regarding ‘Those who had no faith’ in God or His Messenger, while Verse 14 states that everything is God’s and it is He Who absolves/ forgives or gives suffering, and He is the Absolver/ Forgiver, the Unceasingly Compassionate.

7.  Verse 15 (Ali/ Asad) further exposes the words and intentions of ‘Those who Lagged behind:’ They would actually beg to follow when the Faithful are out to gain something (literally: ‘…when you set out to take procurement..[vii]-غنم).  They are then informed that, having lagged behind, they are from then on, forbidden to go out with the Faithful, to which their response shows once again how far they truly are from understanding.

Enough said!
Our next Reading is from HQ 48:16-28

Peace unto all!

[i]  نصر: يدلُّ على إتيان خَيرٍ وإيتائه. ونَصَر اللهُ المسلمين: آتاهمُ الظّفرَ على عدوِّهم، ينصرهم نَصْراً.
وأمَّا الإتيانُ فالعرب تقول: نصرت بَلَدَ كذا، إذا أتيتَه.
ولذلك يسمَّى المطرُ نَصْراً. ونُصِرت الأرضُ، فهي منصورة. والنَّصْر: العَطاء.

 [ii]جند: يدلُّ على التجمّع والنُّصرة. يقال هم جُنده، أي أعوانه ونُصّاره.
والأجناد: أجناد الشّام وهي خمسة: دمشق، وحِمْصٌ، وقِنَّسْرِينُ، والأُردُنّ، وفِلَسطين. يقال لكلِّ واحدةٍ من هذه جُنْدٌ. وجَنَدٌ: بلدٌ.

[iii] Unfortunately, commentators usually translate ALL these Arabic words(إثم -سيئة -ذنب -خطأ-خطيئة -معصية)  as ‘sin,’ and also ALL these words  (عفو-مغفرة -تكفير -تجاوز)  as ‘forgiveness.’  Each of these words is different!

[iv] (دائرة )  
The word  appears three times in the Qur’an.

دور: يدلُّ على إحداق الشيء بالشيء من حوالَيه. يقال دارَ يدُور دَوَراناً. والدّوَّارِيُّ: الدَّهر؛ لأنَّه يَدُور بالنَّاس أحوالاً.
  والدُّوَار، مثقَّل ومخفّف: حَجَرٌ كان يُؤخذ من الحرم إلى ناحيةٍ ويُطافُ به،ويقولون: هو من جِوار الكعبة التي يُطافُ بها.
  والدُّوَار في الرأس هو من الباب، يقال دِير به وأُدِير به، فهو مَدُورٌ به ومُدَار به. والدَّائرة في حَلْق الفرس: شُعَيرات تدور؛ وهي معروفة. ويقال دارت بهم الدوائر، أي الحالات المكروهة أحدقت بهم. والدار أصلها الواو. والدار: القبيلة. قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم: "ألاَ أُنَبِّئكم بخَيْر دُورِ الأنصار؟". أراد بذلك القبائلَ. ومن ذلك الحديث الآخَر: "فلم تَبْقَ دارٌ إلاّ بُنِي فيها مَسجد". أي لم تَبق قبيلةٌ. والدّارِيُّ: العطّار. قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم: "مَثَلُ الجليسِ الصَّالحِ كَمثل الدّارِيّ إِنْ لم يُحْذِك مِن عِطره عَلِقَكَ مِن ريحه".أراد العَطَّار.  وإنَّما سُمِّي داريّاً من الدّار، أي هو يسكن الدّار. والدّارِيّ: الرجُل المقيم في داره لا يَكاد يَبْرَح.
  والدَّارة: أرضٌ سَهلٌة تدور بها جِبال، وفي بِلاد العرب منها داراتٌ كثيرة. وأصل الدار دَارةٌ.

[v]  عزر: كلمتان: إحداهما التَّعظيم والنَّصر، والكلمة الأخرى جنسٌ من الضَّرب.
فالأولى النَّصر والتوقير، كقوله تعالى: {وَتُعَزِّرُوهُ وَتُوَقِّرُوهُ}  [الفتح 9].

[vi] ‘ASseel’ stands in opposition to ‘bukraبكرة- ’- at the two points of our ‘day:’  At the very earliest, when we wake up and before we go about our chores… and then after dark, when we get ready to settle at home to rest. 
The verb ‘sabaha’ as we discussed earlier, is related to motion.  
The plural noun (‘aaSsaal’) stands in opposition to ‘ghuduwغدوّ- ’ in the Qur’an… interesting.

[vii] The verb ‘ghanama’ is about ‘procuring’ something, as seen below in our 1,000 year old Lexicon, but has been narrowly translated as ‘war-booty.’

(غنم) الغين والنون والميم أصلٌ صحيح واحد يدلُّ على إفادة شيء لم يُملَك من قبل، ثم يختصّ به ما أُخِذ من مال المشركين بقَهْرٍ وغَلَبة. قال الله تعالى: {وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّما غَنِمْتُمْ مِنْ شَيءٍ فَأَنَّ للهِ خُمُسَهُ وَلِلرَّسُولِ} [الأنفال 41]. ويقولون: غُنَامَاكَ أنْ تفعل كذا، أي غايتُك والأمر الذي تتغنَّمه. وغَنْمٌ: قبيلة. ولعلَّ اشتقاقَ الغَنَم من هذا، وليس ببعيد.

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