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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Day 262; Qur’an 55: 1-78, pages 531-534

Welcome Friends:  Ahlan wa sahlan!  So sorry for the delay; so much is going on these days.  Please COMMENT, as that will perk me up!
I have been working hard on this chapter though, as you shall see.  I’ve pondered every verse.  I hope that you can take the time to go through it carefully; it is most crucial to our understanding of the Qur’an.
Yusuf Ali’s Explanation of this Chapter.
Muhammad Asad’s Explanation of this Chapter.

Their commentaries can be read in ‘verse by verse’ view.

سورة الرحمن
Al Rahmaan
From Introduction of Yusuf Ali:

‘The majority of Commentators consider this an early Makkan Surah, though some consider at least a part of it as dating from Madinah.’
‘It is highly poetical and most sublime, and the refrain "Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?" is interspersed 31 times among its 78 verses.’

From Introduction of Muhammad Asad:

‘ALTHOUGH most of the commentators regard this surah as a Meccan revelation, Zamakhshari and (among the later scholars) Suyuti ascribe it to the Medina period. Baydawi leaves the question open, and adds that parts of it may have been revealed before and parts after the Prophet's hijrah to Medina.’


This chapter is remarkable for its REFRAIN; a question repeated 31 times, comprising almost half of its 78 verses: 

Febi ayyi alaa’i rabbikuma tukathibaan’
‘Therefore which of your Lord’s ‘alaa’ (evident favors/ powers[i]) do you both deny?’

Each repetition serves to highlight a few preceding verses, all of which come together to paint an awesome picture.

Indeed, this Chapter, ‘Al Rahmaan,’ is CRUCIAL to our understanding of what is most important:  

WHO God is to us, WHAT the Qur’an is, and WHO we are:

This chapter DEFINES all three:

·       Firstly, it shows us the BOND which the ‘Insaan /Cognizant Human has with ‘Al Rahmaan:’
‘Al Rahmaan’ is not only our ‘Source,’ but He is ‘Our Sustainer (Rabb) who created/ ربنا الذي خلق[ii]’… who brings everything together FOR US, from inception to completion…. preparing, then rearing and fostering, and finally giving each of us our due. It is He who created us (and no one else) from ‘alaq/ relationship’ WITH HIM; no one else has this distinction! 
·       Secondly, it shows us that this bond is always superlative, current and active:
Regular Readers will recall the grammatical uniqueness of words in accordance with ‘fa’laan’ (put it in ‘Search’). 
·       Thirdly, it shows us that the Qur’an has a dynamic role in this relationship between us AND Our Creator. 
Take another look:
1.     The Rahmaan (our Unique Creator), and
2.     the Qur’aan, and
3.     the insaan; Cognizant Human
Each of these three terms has its own features, yet shares the ‘fa’laan’ dynamic.
Each is superlative, current and active in its own, unique attributes.

As Regular Readers will recall:

·      The term ‘Rahmaan,’ with its root-verb ‘rahama’ (commonly emphasized as bearing the connotation of Mercy), ALSO bears the connotation of being the Protective Source of life from which comes the term ‘rahimرحم- or ‘womb.’
·       The Rahmaan is the Source (the superlative, eternal) Generator of Life.
The Qur’an tells us that He is ‘super-active’ فعّال- with regard to Creation and to Cognizant Humans, who were brought into being, or ‘quickened’نفخ-  by His Spirit.
Please refer to occurrences of  الرحمنin the Qur’an. 
New Readers:  See footnote below[iii].
·      The term ‘Insaanإنسان-’ which refers to the Cognizant Human, has the root-verb ‘anasaأنس- which denotes to see, hear, find comfort, companionship and homogeneity.  Of all God’s living creatures, only Cognizant Humans have those specific superlative features that are ALWAYS current and active.
Important Reminder:
Only with reference to our existence/ universe/ life did God call Himself Al Rahmaan (see HQ 20: 1-6), and only in reference to Cognizant Humans did ‘Iblees’ disobey Him, earning the name ‘the Deviant/ Sheytaan’ (also superlative in deviancy, and active in real time!).  This is why certain verses (such as HQ 19:44) tell us that ‘the Deviant/ Sheytaan’ was ‘disobedient of Al Rahmaan’ (he did not disobey God until the Cognizant Human was created, and he was told to honor him).

·      The term ‘Qur’aanقرآن- ’- the root-verb of which is (qara’a قرأ )- is a verb which denotes 6 features/ components that may be activated by a ‘Qari’ or ‘Reader’ at any point in time… and only when that happens, does the static ‘Compilationكتاب- ’ BECOME the interactive ‘Qur’an’  bearing the FULL potential of benefit to its Cognizant Human Reader (put ‘6 components’ in ‘Search’).

Therefore, the Qur’an is a living, life-giving entity, sent to living people by the Living God, their Creator and Sustainer, awaiting their interaction in real time. 

On the other hand, when people ‘read’ the Qur’an without knowing what each word means, and they rely on the interaction/ explanation of others before them, the Qur’an becomes a ‘compilation,’ a ‘book of wisdom,’ its teachings rightfully as well as wrongfully delivered.
And how does God seem to such persons? He seems to them exactly as He seemed to those who had first described Him, justly or unjustly ‘bearing’ all their connotations.
As Regular Readers know, this is what happened to God’s Message prior to the Qur’an (put ‘static compilation qur’an’ in ‘Search’).  It is no wonder that such interpreted compilations have led many enlightened ‘Jewish’ and ‘Christian’ thinkers to either ‘reinterpret’ them, or to become ‘agnostic’ … simply because what IS does not fit with their knowledge of what MUST BE. 
‘Muslims’ are now doing the same.  

 PAGE 531 Arabic Qur’an

1.     From its very first verses, this chapter is magnificent!

Verses 1-4 inform tell us that our Creator demarcated/ distinguished/ manifested the Qur’an FOR OUR BENEFIT, created us Cognizant Humans, and also distinguished us (above other creatures) by making us capable of expressive articulation.

“The Rahmaan! 
‘Distinguished/ demarcated/ manifested’ the Qur’an. 
Created the Insaan.
Distinguished him in articulation/ eloquent self-expression.”

الرَّحْمَـٰنُ ﴿1﴾
عَلَّمَ الْقُرْآنَ ﴿2﴾
خَلَقَ الْإِنسَانَ ﴿3﴾
عَلَّمَهُ الْبَيَانَ (4) 
Note, dear Reader, that the Qur’an is specific to us, and no other creature.  Indeed, our entire universe seems specific to us, and that is food for thought.
2.     Verses 5- 7 speak of the perfect Balance of Creation: The sun and moon in ‘calculation,’ the shrubs and the trees in submission, and the exalted expanse which He has raised, and He set down/ founded the Balance. 
Then, Verses 8 -9 surprise us in their direct command to us, NOT to transgress in the Balance, but rather, to uphold due measure in all fairness/ justice, and NOT cause any deficiency in the Balance! 
So, it is the balance of creation itself, which we threaten by our misdeeds!

I don’t think, dear Reader, that we need to be informed of the damage we have inflicted upon this earth, and the imbalance caused by our selfishness.  Only now, after realizing that our quest to ‘subjugate’ Mother Nature has backfired upon us, do we seek its healing!

Then, Verses 10- 12 describe the earth’s fruits… its palms, seeds, husks, and herbs, as Verse 13 asks this question, for the first of 31 times:

‘Therefore which of your Lord’s ‘alaa’ (favors/ forces) do you both belie/ deny?’

Upon hearing that, we realize that this chapter speaks to TWO ‘listeners.’ 

Then the verses continue (Verses 14-16), and we learn that God had created two distinct entities, the ‘insaan’ and the ‘jaan,’ the first from matter that is earthly, and the second from the fiery… and then the question is repeated for the second time:

‘Therefore which of your Lord’s ‘alaa’ (favors/ forces) do you both belie/ deny?’

Although it seems that these verses are speaking to the ‘Ins’ and the ‘Jaan,’ there is no direct address here to make us certain.  ‘Ins’ and Jaan’ are spoken OF and not TO, after which the direct question, the refrain, is repeated.

Some scholars have also postulated that the Qur’an is speaking here to both (groups of) Believers and Deniers.

We see something similar in HQ 53:55, but there, the ‘Insaan/ Cognizant human’ is being addressed in the singular.

(فَبِأَيِّ آلَاءِ رَبِّكَ تَتَمَارَىٰ)

  ‘Therefore which of your Lord’s ‘alaa’ (favors/ forces) do you doubt/ question?’
PAGE 532 Arabic Qur’an

3.     Verses 17- 25 begin by speaking of God:
-Lord Sustainer of of the two ‘appearing Lights/ the two points of rising Light,’ and
-Lord Sustainer of the two ‘limits/ edges’ (see definition of ‘gharaba’[iv]). 

This is ‘gheyb,’ beyond our perception, and we cannot be certain, but:
Both events are not necessarily related to sunrise and sunset, and may refer to events taking place during the first and second creation. 

Then the direct question, the refrain, is repeated.
After that, the verses go on describing the waters of the two ‘seas’ (explained in verse HQ 25:53 as rivers and oceans)… mentioning how, at the point of their MERGING, where they converge, they create a ‘barrier’ (see Qur’anic ‘marvel’), out of which emerge pearls and other coveted ‘stones.’
New Readers:  See Etymology of 'merge.'
I am not convinced that ‘marjaan’ should be translated as ‘coral.’ Firstly, I think that this is not a 1,000 year old understanding of the word, and secondly, we have to find out what other ‘treasures’ emerge from rivers (what we call ‘coral’ today is probably not one of them!).

‘His’ (God’s) are the towering vessels that plough the oceans, therefore ‘which of your Lord’s favors/ forces do you both belie/ deny?’

Then we have Verses 26- 27, which present two striking statements.
First, Verse 26 tells us that: 
  ‘Everyone upon it dissipates (26)

Note, dear Reader:  This verse tells us that every-ONE upon it (this earth) ‘dissipates/ faan.’
(Earlier, in HQ 28:88, we learnt that every-THING ‘perishes/ haalik’ except His direction.  We understood that whatever we aim in His direction ‘wajh’… shall indeed live on, while all else shall perish.)
Here, Verse 27 continues with another striking statement, after the first:

‘Everyone upon it dissipates (26)
while remains the Direction of your Lord Sustainer,
of ‘Jalaal and Ikraam’ (27)

Notice this last ‘attribute’ of God, that He is of ‘Jalaali wal Ikraam.’  This attribute appears nowhere else, but in this chapter, twice (Verses 27, 78).
This attribute, therefore, could be directly related to this chapter, al Rahmaan!
So let us think: 
God is of ‘Jalaali wal Ikraam.’  What does that mean? 
We shall focus on the word ‘Jalaal’ today, since we already know that ‘ikraam’ is related to ‘Eminence’ in bounty and forgiveness (put ‘karam’ in ‘Search’).
When we look in our more than 1,000 year old Lexicon, we find the definition of ‘jalaal,’ from the root-verb ‘jalla[v].’ Its first connotation is related to what we already know, ‘greatness, grandness’العظيمة... والجَليلة: خلافُ الدَّقيقة)  (, while its second connotation is related to being ‘all-inclusive/ all-encompassing,’ like the rain which ‘encompasses/ engulfs the earth with water and vegetation.’ Wow.

  الثاني شيءٌ يشمل[vi] شيئاً، مثل جُلِّ الفَرَس، ومثل المجَلِّل الغَيْث الذي يجلِّل الأرض بالماء والنَّبات .
So here we are, finding out another facet to this beautiful attribute of God:

Everyone upon it dissipates (26)
while remains the Direction of your Lord Sustainer,
(He Who is) of Greatness, All- Encompassiveness,
and Eminence in bounty and forgiveness(27)

Then the direct question, the refrain, is repeated…. addressing two listeners. 

4.     Who are the two ‘entities’ directly addressed in this Chapter? 
After the refrain in Verse 28, we find Verses 29-30 informing us about those cognizant on earth AND in the exalted expanse, (‘mannمن -ـ’ not ‘maaما-ـ’) as they make daily ‘requests/ demands’ to their Sustainer who is discharging various affairs/ matters. 

And then, Verse 31 calls out to these two ‘cognizant’ entities, in what most scholars see as a dire warning, with the verb ‘faragha’ (in their opinion) relating to the expression of becoming ‘free’ to deal fully with someone:

‘(When we are free from all else), we shall attend at leisure to both of you
(communities) heavyweight (with sin)!’ 

But the verb ‘faragha’ (see below) denotes ‘pouring out’ as well as ‘being free;’ the former more suitable than the latter.  The verse would then read something like this:

We shall pour out[vii] for both of you thaqalaan[viii]/ ‘heavy-weights’!”

Language and CONTEXT make me think that it is addressing the two ‘heavy-weights’ among creatures (the most prominent) telling them that God shall pour out for them of what they had asked for, in their daily requests to their Sustainer. 
This seems more likely because, after the refrain, Verse 22 continues, showing us that once they/we have obtained what was asked for, they/we seek farther horizons!

When we remember that God created everything in pairs ‘zawjein’ (HQ 51:49)، then the ‘Ins’ and ‘Jinn’, we begin to understand why God addresses two entities in these verses.
Everything and everyone is in TWOS!
Believers versus Deniers; People leading in the forefront versus those following in the background/ Ins and Jinn (HQ 53:45); the ‘male’ and ‘female’ (HQ 75:39), Those who fear standing before their Lord in accountability, versus the ‘Mujrims’ who had ‘extracted themselves from Faith (read on).   
You see, Verses 32-35 speak directly to A SINGLE community made up of the two, the ‘ins’ and ‘jinn.’  We spoke of this earlier (HQ 6:130) يا معشر الجن والإنس so I’ll just put a reminder in the footnote below[ix].
New Readers please note that we are NOT negating the existence of ‘jinn/ jaan’ … we are only showing the Qur’anic distinction between these terms:  While the first simply means ‘hidden/ unseen’ and could refer to anything or anyone unobserved/ hidden/ incognito, the second is a name that stands for a distinct entity; creatures separate from us, and unlike us in nature and energy.
These verses tell us of FIVE things: 
-Firstly, they speak to one ‘community’ –one interacting specie- made up of both ‘ins’ and ‘jinn’ (which supports our understanding that, in this instance, the term ‘jinn’ is descriptive of certain humans).  
-Secondly, they hint at our inborn quest to seek the unknown (to boldly go where no one has gone before).  
-Thirdly, they draw for us the limits of such a quest, which are the perimeters ‘aqTtaar’of the exalted expanses and the earth.
-Fourthly, they show us what would befall us, were we to attempt to go beyond these perimeters.
-Fifthly, they tell us that we shall penetrate (these perimeters) except with Manifest Authority, which seems to indicate that there is a time when we shall indeed penetrate, with God’s authority (perhaps with scientific advancement OR after leaving our earthly bodies).

5.     After the refrain, Verses 37- 39 speak of an event which shall take place when the world -as we know it- comes to an end, and the exalted expanse is ‘rent asunder, becoming red like ointment’ (Yusuf Ali). 
(The ‘renting asunder’ of the exalted expanse is mentioned 3 times in the Qur’an.)
Verse 39 then mentions the ‘Jaan’ (not ‘jinn’) created out of ‘fiery’ matter; see Verses 14-16.
 When the exalted expanse/ sky is rent asunder, no individual of the ‘Ins’ or the ‘Jaan,’ the two DIFFERENT ‘species,’ shall be questioned about his ‘self-wronging.’ 
 ‘Not being questioned’ in Verse 39 may indicate the following:
That those referred to here, are the very same ‘Mujrim’ of Verse 41 and Verse 42.  As regular Readers know, ‘Mujrim’ are ‘Those who had extracted themselves from faith.’  For them specifically, at this time, there shall be neither questions nor answers: 
·      In HQ 2:174; 3:77 we read about certain individuals who, due to their misdeeds, shall suffer their penalty WITHOUT being addressed/ spoken to on the day of judgment.
·      In HQ 28:78 we read that ‘Those who had extracted themselves from faith /Mujrim’ shall NOT be ‘questioned’ as to their ‘self-wronging.’
That THIS specific category of misdeeds (‘thanb’) is what everyone shall NOT be questioned about, although they SHALL have to answer for all the injuries ‘sayyi’aat’ committed against others:
·      See HQ 16:34; 39:48; 45:33.
·      Put  ‘thanb’ and ‘sayyi’aat’ in ‘Search.’
(Remember: The definition of ‘thanb’ is a wrong or failing committed between us and God, where no one is harmed but ourselves, whereas ‘sayyi’ah’ is when we have wronged others.)

Either way, every single person bears the consequence of his/ her own deeds.
PAGE 533 Arabic Qur’an

6.     Verses 41- 44 tell us that the ‘Mujrims’ shall be known by their defining/ identifying ‘characteristics’ (seeسيماهم (, and shall be ‘taken by forelocks and feet.’ What is translated as ‘forelock’ refers to the ‘frontal lobe’ which is responsible for human behavior, especially to lying and denying something known to be true (نواصي/ ناصية  Qur'an).

‘Therefore which of your Lord’s ‘alaa’ (favors/ forces) do you both deny?’

Listeners are driven to pause for thought, AND to respond, as the Qur’an asks each of us a direct question!  Silence is a response.

Then the ‘Mujrims/ Those who had extracted themselves from Faith’ are shown ‘Jahannam/ Hell’ which they had belied.
 As we said earlier, ‘jahannam’ in Arabic is literally the ‘bottom of the abyss,’ and such persons shall be going in circles, from the bottom of the abyss to the liquid fire. 
Dear Reader:
I looked up ‘Hell’ today in the Bible dictionary.  I find it amazing that ‘different’ faiths all envisage ‘Hell’ as ‘fire,’ ignoring the part which tells us that:

Hell is a self-imposed decline into a place of no return!
Then the refrain, and its direct question, which forces Deniers to think.

7.     Then, Verse 46 tells us that there shall be two gardens for whoever fears the standing (for judgment in front of) his Lord-Sustainer (it seems that each person gets TWO gardens here).  When I marveled at the ‘VIP treatment’ and cross-referenced in the Qur’an, I found such a person in HQ 79:40:
(40) وَأَمَّا مَنْ خَافَ مَقَامَ رَبِّهِ وَنَهَى النَّفْسَ عَنِ الْهَوَىٰ
(41) فَإِنَّ الْجَنَّةَ هِيَ الْمَأْوَىٰ

No wonder they are special!  Such persons were actually forbidding their own Selves from falling to temptation (see ‘hawaa’ which is defined as plummeting desire leading to emptiness).  Not an easy task.  Desire is difficult to combat, especially at first.  Then one becomes a pro… and destructive desire seems to fade.
In Verse 47 we find the refrain, after which Verses 48- 60 describe these two gardens: Here we see hanging branches and springs, among which are the blissful inhabitants (those who, in life, had feared standing for judgment), reclining in luxury, picking the low-hanging fruits.
In these gardens such persons shall also find highly prized, untouched objects or creatures  (‘qaaSsiratul Ttarf’) created specifically for them.  

‘QaaSsiratul Ttarf;’ a ‘loaded’ expression:

The subject ‘qaaSsirat’ is feminine plural, and since ALL Arabic nouns are either masculine or feminine, ‘femininity’ does NOT denote ‘females’ unless specifically mentioned or indicated.  That is why ‘al Ssaafinaatul Jiyaad’ الصافنات الجياد in HQ 38:31 is universally understood to be a description of horses.

These ‘qaaSsiraat’ are described as not having been ‘touched’ by anyone before the persons to whom these gardens belong.  The word ‘Ttamatha- طمث  ’ simply means ‘to touch something’ as our Lexicon tells us (see footnote [x]).  In the negative, the word ‘untouched’ describes pristine land, or unbridled horses!  So these ‘qaaSsiraat’ are received by the inhabitants of these gardens, pristine….unbridled…. untouched by anyone before them.

Following the dynamic of ‘Iqra,’ based on language and context rather than preconception, I lean towards the understanding that this is about prized steeds.   Yet dear Reader, God knows best.

Readers may judge for themselves what this seems to be about[xi] (see footnote), but bear in mind that those who do not know Arabic might find it difficult to see a clear picture, and those who do know Arabic might find it difficult to look past the common, prevalent interpretation[xii].
How did the Arabs of the Prophet’s time understand this verse?
We don’t know for sure because, whether in literature or cognition:
 Evolving concepts have long replaced original understanding.

Verse 60 concludes with a beautiful rhetorical question:
هَلْ جَزَاءُ الْإِحْسَانِ إِلَّا الْإِحْسَانُ

‘Is there any reward for graciousness but Graciousness?’

But what a difference between the two (hence the capital letter): the first human, the second Divine! 
The word ‘Ihsaan’ is related to deeds of exceptional ‘goodness,’ which include forgiveness, kindness, and generosity.  THAT IS WHY IT SEEMS MORE LIKELY that Verse 31 is about an outpouring of Bounty (rather than a warning threat!).
After that, we find the refrain, and then Verses 62- 67 take us to another pair of gardens, beneath the first two.  In this Chapter, most things seem to be in pairs!

PAGE 534 Arabic Qur’an

8.     Verses 68 -77 describe the second pair of gardens with their dense foliage, a pair of gushing springs, abundant fruits, palms, and pomegranates.
Here there is what is both ‘good’ and ‘beautiful’ (‘kheyraat’ mentioned 10 times in Qur’an, plural of ‘kheyr’, and ‘Hhisaan’ -from ‘Hhasana’). 

فِيهِنَّ خَيْرَاتٌ حِسَانٌ

Both these words are feminine plural, hence the common understanding (again) that it is about ‘females.’

It is interesting to see the difference in this verse between Yusuf Ali and Muhammad Asad’s interpretations; Ali seems to understand that this refers to female companions, putting the word ‘companions’ within brackets; I appreciate how he always tries not to add his own words to Qur’anic text.  On the other hand, Asad sees this verse as describing general goodness and beauty, BUT, being less precise than Ali (remember, he was a journalist, while Ali was a lawyer), he adds the word ‘companions’ WITHOUT brackets in a later verse, which leads us back to the traditional picture.  However, as you can see, he does make it a point that linguistically, these ‘pure companions’ (Hhoor) could be male or female. 

Verse 72 seems to elaborate on Verse 70, in that they (the good and beautiful) are ‘Hhoor’ that are ‘bound to the place of residence [xiii]’ (the original meaning of ‘khayama’), untouched by any before them.
 Verse 76 then shows them reclining on exquisite cushions and carpets.

We did speak of ‘Hhoor’[xiv] earlier (put word in ‘Search’).  Its root verb has three connotations related to color, return, and rotation, and we saw that many other words were extracted from this root-verb, including ‘conversation’ (Hhiwaar-حوار ) which is an exchange/ return/ rotation of dialogue.
The definition below also tells us that renowned authority on Arabic language and poetry, ‘Abu Sa’eed al Assma’i الأصمعي (740- 831 AD/ 121- 216 A.H.) had said that he had no knowledge of ‘Hhawar’ of the eye (whiteness surrounding the black iris), which was everyone else’s impression of what this word meant, in their fantasy of ‘doe-eyed’ maidens.  Obviously, he was arguing with them on this point (and perhaps others as well), but no one would listen.
Looking at the definition again today, we find that ‘Hhawar’ is the finest-tanned, supple animal-hide.  الحَوَرُ، وهو ما دُبِغ من الجلود بغير القَرَظ ويكون ليِّنا،
Could this verse be about a vision of utter luxury, describing the finery they shall be indulging in, untouched by anyone else… or does this relate to the charming, conversant ‘Hhoor Een’ with which the inhabitants of the Garden shall be ‘paired’ (as in HQ 44:54 and 52:20)? 

You see, dear Reader, the second pair of gardens does NOT seem to be for another person/ group, but rather, for the very same mentioned as ‘fearing the standing (for judgment in front of) his Lord-Sustainer.  In another verse such persons were described as forbidding their Selves from plummeting desire.  So it is a pair of gardens above another pair, replete with unimaginable delights. 

Q. What are these delights, exactly?
A.  All any of us can say honestly is:  ‘I don’t know.’

God Alone knows what they are, and He has drawn for us settings and images that we might begin to comprehend, of a Reality which we cannot possibly yet comprehend.

Finally, the chapter of ‘Al Rahmaan’ ends with a highly significant verse, which many commentators seem not to have explained!

After mentioning creation in all its wonder (both the wonders of this life and the next), this final verse closes with a beautiful attribute of God, which emphasizes His relationship with Creation:

‘Abiding in exaltation is the name/ attribute of your Lord Sustainer:
Close and Evident Possessor[xv] of Greatness/ All- Encompassiveness,
and (supreme) Eminence in bounty and forgiveness’ (27)

What a beautiful conclusion to this chapter, which tells us of God’s relationship with Creation! 
·      This relationship is one of proximity; God is close.
·      Everything in Creation bears witness to Him.
·      His Alone is ‘Greatness.’
·      His Alone is ‘All-Encompassivenes.’
·      His Alone is supreme Eminence in bounty to Creation AND forgiveness to Cognizant Creatures!



THE ATTRIBUTE OF OUR LORD/ SUSTAINER referred to here as being of Supreme Eminence and Bounty IS NO OTHER THAN: 'AL RAHMAAN.'

I find it tragic that most seem to have been oblivious to the IMPORTANCE of this Chapter in knowing about God Himself, THE RaHhmaan, His close relationship to us, and the distinctive Qur’an which He has sent us, Cognizant Humans:
It is only in acknowledging Him as Al-Rahmaan that we can understand the value of Qur’aan, and recognize then realize our worth as Insaan.
I find it tragic that our ‘cognizance’ seems to have digressed into stifling the magnitude of this chapter… with our fear and desire.

Peace unto all!

(ألّ) الهمزة واللام في المضاعف ثلاثة أصول: اللّمعان في اهتزاز، والصّوت، والسّبَب يحافَظ عليه.

قال الخليل وابن دريد: ألّ الشيءُ، إذا لمع. قال ابن دريد: وسمِّيت الحربة ألّة.
ويقال يومٌ أليلٌ لليومِ الشديد.
قال ابن الأعرابيّ: في جوفِه أليلٌ وصليل. وسمعت أليل الماء أي صوته.
قال الفرَّاءُ: الألُّ رفع الصوت بالدُّعاء والبكاء، يقال منه ألّ يئِلُّ أليلا. وفي الحديث: "عجِبَ ربُّكم من أَلِّكم وقُنوطكم وسرعةِ إجابته إيّاكم".
والمعنى الثالث الإلُّ الرُّبوبية.
"ما خرج هذا من إلٍّ" وقال الله تعالى: {لا يَرْقُبُونَ في مُؤْمِنٍ إلاًّ ولاَ ذِمَّةً} [التوبة 10]. قال المفسرون: الإلُّ الله جلّ ثناؤه. وقال قوم: هي قُرْبى الرّحِم.
والإلّ: العهد.

Most Believers can recite Chapter 92 by heart: ‘Iqra bissmi Rabbilkallathee khalaq..’ which begins with a direct command to the Messenger to: ‘IQRA ‘read/ recite/ peruse,’ invoking the attribute/ name of your Lord who created.’  Although we might feel confident that the Messenger, peace upon him, had done just that, HE WAS NEVER REPORTED to have begun his reading of Qur’an with the words: ‘In the name of my Lord/Sustainer who created.’ 
What does this mean? 
Does it mean that HE had not obeyed the direct command regarding every Qur’anic reading, or does it mean that OUR information today, is lacking?
Of course, it is OUR information today, which is lacking!
The Messenger HAD indeed obeyed this command, and had also relayed it to the Believers.  We too, continue to obey it, doing so continuously, without realizing it.  Don’t we begin reading/ perusing Qur’an with the words: ‘Bismil-Lah al-Rahmaan al-Raheem’?
Yes, dear Reader. ‘Al Rahmaan’ IS: Our Lord/Sustainer who created’ !! 

The idol-worshippers of Qureish did not recognize the term ‘Al Rahmaan’ as pertaining to God, which is why they were averse to it (see HQ 25:60).
Again and again, Qur’anic context shows us that ‘Al Rahmaan’ denotes ‘The Creator,’ as we saw in the Chapter of Mary (Chapter 19) and as we shall see here, in Chapter 55, titled:  ‘Al Rahmaan.’  Indeed, Chapter 55 is all about Creation.  Not only that, but its introductory verses tie three concepts together:  ‘Al Rahmaan’ Himself (Verse 1), His demarcation of the ‘Qur’aan’ (Verse 2), His CREATION of the ‘Insaan’ (Verse 3), and His distinguishing us with ‘bayaan/ self-expression (Verse 4).

Al Rahmaan is therefore not an attribute, but rather: 
It is of the same weight as ‘Allah’ (see HQ17:110), to which all other attributes refer.’
Therefore, when the Qur’an mentions God as ‘Al Rahmaan,’ this indicates Him being ‘Our Lord/Sustainer Who Created,’ and not simply ‘God Most Gracious’ - as translated by Ali and Asad.

In our study of HQ 17:110 we noticed that the ‘words’ Allah and ‘al Rahmaan’ are of equal merit, and that whichever of these two ‘words’ we use to call upon God, to Him belong the most beautiful Attributes. 
‘Allah’ and ‘al Rahmaan’ are NOT attributes (ism/ simah).  ‘Allah’ is considered an utterance denoting ‘The Magnificence’(لفظ الجلالة) -  This verse indicates that ‘Al Rahmaan’ is akin to ‘Allah,’ and is not a ‘descriptive name/ attribute’ similar to ‘Raheem,’ or ‘Aleem.’

 فالغرب حد الشيء، يقال هذا غرب الشيء... ويقولون كففت عن غربه أي أكللت حده. [iv]

v. (جل) أصولٌ ثلاثة: جَلَّ الشّيءُ: عَظُمَ، وجُلُّ الشيء مُعْظَمُه. وجلال الله: عَظَمته. وهو ذُو الجلالِ والإكرام.
والجَلَلُ الأمر العظيم.
والجَليلة: خلافُ الدَّقيقة.
والأصل الثاني شيءٌ يشمل شيئاً، مثل جُلِّ الفَرَس، ومثل المجَلِّل الغَيْث الذي يجلِّل الأرض بالماء والنَّبات. ومنه الجُلُول، وهي شُرُعُ السُّفُن.
والأصل الثَّالث من الصّوت؛ يقال سحاب مُجَلْجِلٌ إذا صوَّت. والجُلْجُل مشتقٌّ منه. ومن الباب جَلجلْتُ الشّيءَ في يدي، إذا خلطْتَه ثم ضربتَه.
وأما المَجَلَّة فالصَّحيفة، وهي شاذّة عن الباب، إلاّ أنْ تُلحَق بالأوّل؛ لعِظَم خَطَرِ العِلْم وجلالته.
قال أبو عبيد: كلُّ كتابٍ عند العرب فهو مَجَلَّة.

[vi] ‘Shamala’ means ‘all-encompassing.’

(فرغ) أصلٌ صحيح يدل على خلو وسعة ذرع. من ذلك الفراغ خلاف الشغل. ومن الباب مفرغ الدلو الي ينصب منه الماء وأفرغت الماء صببته. و أما قوله تعالى "سنفرغ لكم أيها الثقلان" فهو مجاز والله تعالى لا يشغله شأن عن شأن. قال أهل التفسير: سنفرغ أي نعمد، يقال فرغت إلى أمر كذا أي عمدت له.

Varying forms of the root-verb ‘thaqala’ثقل- (laden/ heavy) appear in the Qur’an, in verses which describe situations which are either negative, neutral, or positive… therefore we find the word describing those who are tied to unshakable obligations/ bonds/ debts (‘maghram[viii]’ HQ 52:40, 68:46), or those who are said to be ‘weighted down to the earth’ seeking satisfaction in this immediate/lowly life (HQ 9:38), or a person ‘bearing a burden’ (HQ 35:18), or a woman ‘heavy’ (with child, HQ 7:189), as well as those whose scales are ‘laden with good deeds’ (HQ 7:8, 23:102, 101:6)!
“In HQ 6:130 ‘Ins’ إنس  and ‘Jinn’ جن are spoken to as a (single) community and asked, were not Messengers from themselves, sent to them to warn of this day?...

We have seen how the question was posed to them as one community, in the plural- NOT in the dual- مثنّى . 
This may indicate what some commentators have said, that ‘jinn’ is descriptive of anyone or anything hidden, and as such, could indicate humans as well: Humans who were ‘incognito’ in life, living in the shadow of others and had not, in fact, sought to be seen or heard. 
Others say that we should forget about today’s connotations and go to the time of Revelation, where the root-verb stood for many human things such as ‘the human heart/mind-‘qalb’ -janaan,’ ‘the human fetus -janeen,’ what goes on in the ‘human mind -junoon,’ also the person ‘buried in the grave- janeen,’ AND as seen below in our 1000 year-old lexicon, a term that stood for the ‘vast majority’ of persons!
وجَنَان النّاس مُعْظمُهم ويسمَّى السَّوَاد!!!!!

Dear Reader:
We are NOT negating the existence of ‘Jinn,’ or that God created 'Jaan'  from fire.  Copy + paste   الجان ، الجنin 'Tanzil': you'll find that we are NOT given any description of 'Jinn' -being created; only of Jaan. ie.. these two words are different and NOT synonymous. 
Where 'Jaan' are creatures distinct from us, 'jinn' is merely a description of anything or anyone hitherto hidden or indiscernible, such as HQ6:76 which was describing Abraham being concealed by the 'blanket of night,' as well as other examples we'll see below.  This also validates the argument in our Posting of March 28, in which we quoted an early 12th century lexicon, which said quite clearly: "Therefore all Angels are jinn (indiscernible), but not all the jinn (the indiscernible) are Angels…”   
Whatever the Qur’an mentions of Gheyb (Unseen), IS a Reality, which we can only attempt to understand, and can never prove or disprove.  But if we had a true will to understand Qur’anic intent, we should peel off all the preconceptions we have of this, and any other issue, and take each word back to its origin.  Isn't it time?

Back to our research:  See definitions below of ‘janna [ix][iv] جنَّ ’ which simply denotes being ‘hidden,’ and ‘Ins’; from ‘anasa [ix][v]’ to see, hear, find comfort, companionship and homogeneity. 
But ‘Jinn,’ is only ONE opposite to ‘Ins!’  Many do not realize that the SECOND opposite to ‘Ins’ is ‘Wahsh.’  Whereas the verb ‘anasa’ denotes finding comfort in someone, the verb ‘wahasha وَحَشَ’ denotes the opposite: Apprehension.
(We still use the word to mean ‘beast.’  Its plural ‘wuhoosh’ is mentioned once in HQ81:5). 

Let us take our time to reread the above verses, using what we now KNOW of the origin of these Arabic words.  If we think ‘Hidden’ from now on, whenever we come across any word with the root verb ’janna,’ we would be drawing closer to the original, and putting a distance between us and all inherited misconceptions.”

(طمث) أصلٌ صحيح يدلُّ على مسِّ الشيء. قال الشَّيباني: الطَّمْث في كلام العرب المسُّ، وذلك في كلِّ شيء. يقال: ما طَمَث ذا المرتعَ قبلنا أحد. قال: وكلُّ شيء يُطمث....  قال الخليل: طمثْتُ  البعير طَمْثاً، إذا عقلتهُ. ويقال: ما طمث هذه الناقةَ حَبْلٌ قط. أي ما مسَّها.

Sticking to Qur’anic CONTEXT we research original definitions, using our more than 1,000 year old Lexicons, to reach as close an understanding to original intent as possible:

·       ‘Qaasiraat:’ Regular Readers know that the root-verb ‘qasaraقصر- ’ is related to ‘limiting, shortening, falling short, enclosing,’ or something within enclosures (remember the Etymology of ‘castle’).

·       Ttarf’’ [xi]طرف from root-verb ‘Ttarafa’ has three connotations:

-Firstly, the side or edge of something.
As we see in our Lexicon, when the desert Arabs raised the flaps of their tents خباء- ‘khibaa’ to reveal the interior, they called these tents ‘Ttawaarif’ which is plural of ‘Ttarf.’
الطَّوَارِف من الخِباء، وهي ما رفعتَ من جوانبه لتنظُر

-Secondly, the movement of the eye, as in blinking.

-Thirdly, a dwelling (made of animal skins- similar to the first connotation).

HOWEVER, if we believe that it describes the movement of ‘eyes,’ it is important to know whose eyes we are talking about: 
When the 4th century Commentator Ali Ibn Ibraheem al Qummi explained this, he indicated that the ‘qaaSsiratul Ttarf’ were of such radiance that the onlookers’ eyes were limited only to them. 

The ‘qaaSsirat’ (feminine plural), ‘confining, limiting, suppressing’ the ‘Ttarf’ (masculine singular) ‘blink’ or movement of an eye… commonly understood as ‘females’ suppressing or limiting their gaze.  And although the verses do not elaborate, patriarchal EXPLANATIONS do, which is where we find descriptions of ‘virginal bashfulness,’ with these virgins’ gazes being limited to the men who have earned these gardens.  To complete the picture, their being ‘untouched by anyone before them’ is explained as ‘deflowering.’

 (خيم)أصلٌ واحد يدلُّ على الإقامة والثَّبات. فالخَيْمة معروفة؛ والخَيْم: عيدانٌ تُبنَى عليها الخَيْمة.

 (حور) ثلاثة أصول: أحدها لون، والآخَر الرُّجوع، والثالث أن يدور الشيء دَوْراً.
  فأما الأول فالحَوَر: شدّةُ بياض العينِ في شدّةِ سوادِها. قال أبو عمرو: الحَوَر أن تسودَّ العين كُلُّها مثلَ الظباء والبقر. وليس في بني آدمَ حَوَرٌ. قال وإنما قيل للنساء حُورُ العُيون، لأنهن شُبِّهن بالظِّباء والبقر قال الأصمعيّ: ما أدري ما الحَوَر في العين.
ويقال حوّرت الثيابَ، أي بيّضْتُها، ويقال لأصحاب عيسى عليه السلامُ الحواريُّون؛ لأنهم كانوا يحوِّرون الثِّياب، أي يبيّضونها. هذا هو الأصل، ثم قيل لكلِّ ناصر حَوَاريٌّ.
  ويمكن أن يحمل على هذا الأصل الحَوَرُ، وهو ما دُبِغ من الجلود بغير القَرَظ ويكون ليِّنا، ولعل ثَمَّ أيضاً لوناً.

وأمّا الرجوع، فيقال حارَ، إذا رجَع. قال الله تعالى: {إنَّهُ ظَنَّ أَنْ لَنْ يَحُورَ. بَلَى} [الانشقاق 14- 15]. والعرب تقول: "الباطلُ في حُورٍ" أيْ رَجْعٍ ونَقْصٍ، وكلُّ نقص ورجوع حُورٌ. الحَوْر: مصدر حار حَوْراً رَجَع.
وتقول: كلَّمتُه فما رجَعَ إليّ حَوَاراً وحِوَاراً ومَحُورَةً وحَوِيراً.

والأصل الثالث المِحْور: الخشبةُ التي تدور فيها المَحَالة. ويقال حَوّرْتُ الخُبْزَةَ تحويراً، إذا هيّأتها وأدَرْتَها لتضعَها في المَلَّة.

(جل)أصولٌ ثلاثة: جَلَّ الشّيءُ: عَظُمَ، وجُلُّ الشيء مُعْظَمُه. وجلال الله: عَظَمته. وهو ذُو الجلالِ والإكرام. والجَلَلُ الأمر العظيم.

لسان العرب:
 أَبو العباس أَحمد بن يحيى ومحمد بن زيد: ذا يكون بمعنى هذا، ومنه قول الله عز وجل: مَنْ ذا الذي يَشْفَع عِنده إلا بإذنه؛ أَي مَنْ هذا
الذي يَشْفَع عِنده؛ قالا: ويكون ذا بمعنى الذي ، قالا: ويقال هذا دو صَلاحٍ ورأَيتُ هذا ذا صَلاحٍ ومررت بهذا ذي صَلاحٍ، ومعناه كله صاحِب صَلاح. وقال أَبو الهيثم: ذا اسمُ كلِّ مُشارٍ إليه مُعايَنٍ يراه المتكلم والمخاطب.... وقيل ذا إِشارة إِلى ما يقرب

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