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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.'


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Day 269; Qur’an 62: 1-11, pages 553-554

Welcome Friends:  Ahlan wa sahlan! 
I am amazed at how many important concepts we are uncovering, dear Friends!  
This chapter shows us how LACKING we have been as ‘Believers!’
Don’t you think it’s time for a renewal of our Faith?

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 الجمعة
‘The Gathering’
‘The Congregation’

From Introduction of Yusuf Ali:
“The special theme here is the need for mutual contact in the Community for worship and understanding; for the spirit of the Message is for all, ignorant and learned, in order that they may be purified and may learn wisdom."

From Introduction of Muhammad Asad:

“REVEALED in the early part of the Medina period, this surah takes its name from verses 9-10, which ordain the obligatory congregational prayer on Friday.”


This Chapter’s introductory verse is similar to others in the Qur’an (see previous chapter for details).[i]
It begins with the statement:

‘Motivated/ Moving to God is everything in the Exalted Expanses and on Earth,
The Sovereign, The Divine, The Invincible, The Wise.’

Note the unique combination الملك القدوس    / The SovereignThe Divine, which appears twice in the Qur’an.

 PAGE 553 Arabic Qur’an

1.    After the statement that everything in the Exalted Expanses and on Earth is ‘motivated to God,’ Verse 2 asserts that:

‘It is He who raised within the ‘Uninstructed/ Ummiyyeen’[ii] a Messenger from amongst themselves, reciting (in sequence) His Signs to them and causing them to grow in Purity, and teaching them the Compilation and Wisdom, although they were, before that, in manifest error/ loss.’
Verses 3-4 then state that:

 ‘And others of them, who have not yet caught up with them,
and He is the Invincible, The Wise.
That is Bounty from God extended to whomever He wills/ wills it,
And God is The One Who possesses The Great Bounty/ Munificence’

This verse is traditionally explained to mean that people, other than the Uninstructed, from different times or places, shall eventually catch up with them and be considered of them.  This heartwarming explanation intends to show all Believers -past and present- coming together. 
God knows best, but it seems to me that this verse is about ‘others OF them’ (The Uninstructed) who have not yet caught up with them, referring to individuals who, when these verses were revealed, had not yet joined the new faith.  I think that Context, and the verses to follow, make this even more likely. 
Think about it, dear Reader:
The context is about cautioning listeners not to lose their chance to catch up! 

2.     A powerful example is drawn here in Verse 5, regarding certain Jews who were given the Torah to uphold, and then carried it without upholding its tenets, indeed like a ‘beast of burden,’ like an ass hauling manuscripts, bearing its weight but ignorant of its content… ‘a dire example indeed for People who belie God’s Signs, and  God does NOT guide the People who are Wrongdoers.’ 
Q. Was this reproach directed to the Jews who were contemporaries of the Prophet, yet denied the Divine source of his Message?
A. Of course, BUT:
o   ALSO to any other Jews and Christians who might be listening/ reading.  Why? 
Because: Had they known and believed their own original Revelations, they would realize the Divine origin of the Qur’an.  It’s as simple as that.  There is a unity in God’s Divine Messages which can be readily seen in the original.  See Muhammad Asad.[iii]
o   ALSO to any ‘Muslims’ who might be listening/ reading. 
Because the relationship between us and OUR Divinely inspired Revelation is becoming similar to this example.  Indeed, whatever deeds and failings the Qur’an admonishes the People of (earlier) Compilation for, are now deeds and failings of our own.  Today, many of us struggle in carrying the Qur’anic Compilation on our backs, while remaining ignorant of its content.   

Dear Reader:
Now we can better understand HQ 31:19, and realize why the ‘voice of asses was mentioned as the most ‘mutually objectionable.’  Remember, the verses then were directed to Qureish, describing people who argue/ dispute with regard to God while lacking Knowledge, Guidance, and an enlightening Compilation… and when told to follow what God has sent to them, they say that they shall follow their forefathers! Pack animals indeed.
We cannot feel smug about this, because we know that much of what WE do, say, and believe in… is a reflection of what people around us do, say, and believe. 
Most of us are ‘pack animals’ too!

Verses 6 -8 tell the Messenger to challenge the Jews who refused to believe in the Qur’an:
IF they were indeed Truthful in their allegation that they were close to God (God’s allies/ awliyaa), then let them wish Death upon themselves… something they would never do because of the misdeeds which they have committed (literally: ‘what their hands have sent forth..’) and God is Knowing of the Wrongdoers. 
The Messenger is then told to assure them, that the Death which they seek to escape shall indeed meet them, after which they shall be sent back to the Knower of the Un-witnessed and the Witnessed, who shall inform them of all what they had been doing!   

 PAGE 554 Arabic Qur’an

3.   Verse 9 calls upon Those who had Attained Faith, telling them/ us that WHEN the call to Prayer/ Connection/ Relationship[iv] is sounded during/ within (‘min’) the ‘Time/ Event/ Day (‘yawm’) of the Gathering[v], then hurry to the Remembrance of God and ‘strew/scatter aside’[vi] all business, that is better for you if you but knew. 
Oh… what a HEARTBREAK this verse is!
Most of us ‘Muslims’ fail to realize the importance of the gathering to Prayer/ Connection/ Relationship.  We are oblivious to the opportunities we have lost, generation after generation, by not doing what we were commanded to do!  What vitality we have wasted… what revival, what youth, what interaction, what wisdom, what social service, what respect and what achievement we have thrown to the winds… all of which such gatherings could have channeled to serve our communities!


- It is each of us who is told to hurry to pray on our own.  NO ONE SHOULD BE HERDING US, as that defeats the purpose and backfires upon society.  It is our intention and our action helping us to the Remembrance of God, favoring spiritual over financial gain.

- If the Faithful in Europe and America for example, had known that 'Jumu'ah' is not simply the name of a 'day 'of but is more about the EVENT of GATHERING which takes place on that day... if they had known that, they might have adjusted the timing to suit everyone, and had 100% attendance in their mosques.  They would probably be having their 'Jumu'ah' prayer on a Sunday, when everyone can come, rather than on a Friday when very few can attend... and the 'Jumu'ah' would have literally taken place.  
Isn't that food for thought?

And then, there is more heartbreak, especially for Muslim women. 
THIS VERSE SPEAKS TO THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY, while in most Muslim countries FEMALES ARE NOT ENCOURAGED TO ATTEND CONGREGATIONAL PRAYERS AT ALL (and often not welcomed or allowed), and when they can attend, they are made to enter through a side-door (not the main entrance) into an inferior section (either adjacent to, above or below the main prayer-hall), where they can neither be seen nor heard, and can only follow the congregational prayer by ear, usually through loudspeakers.  Not only does the ‘Imam’ NOT interact with the females of the congregation, but there is no way for a family to communicate once the females have gone into their separate section.  In other words, the females can never become full-fledged members of such a congregation, even if they attended every prayer. 
Compare this with the well-known fact that the ENTIRE community prayed together during the Prophet’s lifetime, and women could -and did- speak out, and were heard by the entire congregation.  HQ 58 is about such a woman, and there are many other examples.  Indeed, the Prophet’s congregation was made up of the same percentage of females as his community.  I remember a ‘Prophetic Hadeeth’ I’d read a while back (let me know if you have the reference, dear Reader).  It’s about a man who was asked by the Prophet, peace upon him, as to his ‘on and off’ attendance of the daily congregational prayers, to which he answered that he had no choice since he and his wife had only one garment, which they had to take turns wearing to the mosque!  Think about that.
Then think about the sorry fact that today, there are hardly any families that go ALL together to ‘pray/ connect,’ even on weekends…. and that when they do, there cannot be any ‘togetherness.’
The fact of the matter is that the entire definition of ‘Gathering/ Jumu’ah’ has been voided!
We should, if we’d like to be among ‘Those who Attained Faith,’ when the call to Prayer is sounded at the ‘Time of Gathering,’ we SHOULD throw aside any business and whatever we perceive as bringing us worldly gain, and rush to the Remembrance of God, ALTOGETHER, connecting on every level!
Think also, dear Reader, of HQ 24: 36-38 which told us about the ‘rijaal/ active persons (of both genders) who glorify God, motivated towards Him…
(New Readers: Put ‘rijaal’ in ‘Search.’
A. In Houses of Worship (mosques)!
A. Mornings and evenings of every day!
A. Without being distracted by Transactions or Trade!
What do you see here, dear Reader?
That the first and the last ‘communal’ act used to be a Congregational Remembrance of God, WITH THE REST OF THE DAY OPEN FOR ‘OTHER’ AFFAIRS (while people continued to ‘remember’ God in how they dealt with each other).
We can see that below, as we continue:
After directing ‘Those Who had Attained Faith’ to gather altogether for prayer after putting aside all worldly gain, Verse 10 tells them/us that:
‘Once the Prayer/ Connection has been ACHIEVED/ COMPLETED, [vii] then go out (emerge openly) through the earth and seek/ solicit of God’s Bounty, and remember God often, so that you may be successful.’
‘Falaha’ (فلح) literally means to prevail, AND win or succeed.  We spoke of this earlier, when we explained HQ 3:102-105.  Regular Readers will remember that these verses were addressing Those who had Attained Faith, telling them to secure themselves onto what God had extended for them COLLECTIVELY/ ‘jamee’an’ (same root-verb as ‘Jumu’ah!) and NOT to drift apart. 
The verses had then reminded the Faithful of how God had brought their hearts/ minds together, and how they had become brethren by His Grace, after being enemies, and had called upon them to nourish from among themselves a community which invites Goodness, enjoins that which is mutually acceptable, and forbids that which is mutually objectionable…. And then concluded with the important statement:  And such indeed are the Successful!
Do you see, dear Reader, the extent of what we have missed? 
All of that, and more, by continuing to ‘carry’ the Compilation without -without -without activating the Qur’an in our lives.
We ignore the fact that our Call to Prayer calls us to ‘Salaah’ and to ‘Falaah/ Success, which should be our CONSTANT goal, sought as often as we seek the direction of Mecca.
Only ten days ago, criminals who call themselves ‘Muslim,’ shot teenager Malala Yousufzai inside her school-bus in Pakistan for no reason other than her belief in her right to education.  They committed their act in the name of ‘Islam’ 1400 years after the Prophet’s shining example, challenging worldwide standards of education for both genders, making a mockery their own chosen title of ‘Taliban/ Students,’ and more importantly, in total disregard of the 5 daily calls to prayer and success, and in contradiction of all the directives of the Qur’anic Compilations they ‘cherish’ in their homes and mosques.. compilations which they fervently allege that they uphold!  
Such persons provide a MONSTROUS example of TODAY’S BEASTS OF BURDEN!
Dear God: 
Help us understand these important directives and change our ways! 

4.   Verse 11 ends this Chapter by telling the Messenger that when ‘they’ (meaning some of the congregation) see a Transaction or Distraction (taking place), they break away towards it and leave you ‘standing/ to your purpose’[viii] (!) Say, what God has (for you) is better than (any) distraction or transaction, and God is the Best of Providers.

This verse, dear Reader, shows us that some people used to leave the mosque BEFORE the conclusion to the entire ‘Jumu’ah’ experience, which proves to us that the verse is not referring to the ‘units/ rek’as’ of prayer (because, as any Muslim knows, the entire congregation is bound to follow the prayer-leader’s exact actions, and no one can cut off their congregational prayer until the leader/ Imam has completed it, and said his ‘salaam’ out loud).  What this proves is that the Messenger used to pray first in congregation, and THEN relay QUR’AN to them, hence the description ‘what God HAS is better than distraction or trade…’  It is when he was reciting Qur’an AFTER the actual prayer that some would leave him standing and go about their business.
Who would leave the Messenger in the midst of what he was offering of ‘God’s Provision’?
Anyone who hadn’t thought deeply about this. 
Probably many Hypocrites as well, whom we shall hear about in the next chapter.

Why does the Qur’an just state their deed, and not admonish them for their actions?

People are people, and Human Nature is what it is!
Entertainment… socializing… business deals… whatever is not unlawful and makes us feel better… all of these things are part of WHY we get together in the first place, and they are all natural enough BUT WE WILL NOT BE SUCCESSFUL UNTIL:



Will there come a day when we shall listen to God, and obey?

Peace unto all!

[i] Chapters 57, 59, 61 past tense; 62, 64 present tense.

  (أمّ) ، وهي الأصل، والمرجِع، والجماعة، والدِّين وفلانةُ تؤمُّ فلاناً أي تغذوه، أي تكون لـهُ أمّاً*  تغذوه وتربيّه ومن ذلك أُمُّ الرأس وهو الدّماغ. وأُمُّ القرى: مكّة؛ وكلُّ مدينةٍ هي أمُّ ما حولها من القُرى. قال الخليل: الأمَّة: الدِّين .قال أبو عُبيد: الأمّيّ في اللغة المنسوبُ إلى ما عليه جبلة الناس لا يكتُبوالإمام: كلُّ من اقتُدِي به وقُدِّم في الأمور. قال الخليل: الأمَم: القصد. قال يونس: هذا أمْرٌ مأمُومٌ يأخذ* به الناس.قال الخليل: التيمُّم يجري مجرى التوخّي، يقال له تيمّمْ أمراً حسَناً وتيمّموا أطيب ما عندكم تَصدّقُوا به([82]). والتيمُّم بالصَّعيد من هذا المعنى، أي توخَّوْا أَطيبَه وأَنظَفَه وتعمّدوه. فصار التيمُّم في أفواه العامة فعلاً للتمسُّح بالصعيد، حتى يقولوا قد تَيمَّم فلان بالتُّراب. وقال الله تعالى: {فَتيَمَّمُوا صَعِيداً طَيِّباً والأمّ: الرئيس، يقال هو أُمُّهم.

Umm, Ummi, Ummah, tayammum (!)… yes, all these words are related to the root-verb ‘amma,’ which denotes foundation, origin, as well as multitude and direction (‘tayammam’ comes from the verse which says ‘seek direction of’ pure earth- as in HQ4:43). 
Because the Arabs of the time were said to be ’ummiyyeen’(as in HQ3: 20), in contrast to ‘People of the Scripture/ Compilation,’ commentators have traditionally explained ‘Ummi’ as illiterate (perhaps relating literacy to the state of a new-born, just out of  the womb of his mother, ‘Umm’).  English commentators have explained this as ‘unlettered.’
Actually, I think the word has nothing to do with ‘reading or writing.’  The Qur’an is precise and would not have called a whole community ‘illiterate’ unless every single one of them indeed was.  Since the term stands in contrast to the People of the earlier Compilation, its meaning here seems to relate to NOT HAVING RECEIVED ANY DOCTRINE or INSTRUCTION hence my translation as ‘non-indoctrinated/ uninstructed.’

“Connecting with the idea – implied in the preceding passage – that God’s revelation is a sacred trust as well as a bounty, the discourse turns now to the problem of man’s betrayal of this trust, exemplified by the Jews of post-Biblical times. They had been entrusted by God with the task of carrying the message of His oneness and uniqueness to all the world: but they failed in this task inasmuch as they came to believe that they were “God’s chosen people” because of their descent from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and that, therefore, the divine message was meant for them alone and not for people of other nations. Hence, too, they came to deny the possibility of prophethood being bestowed on anyone who did not belong to the children of Israel (cf. 2:90 and 94, and the corresponding notes 75 and 79), and so they summarily rejected the idea of Muhammad’s prophethood despite the clear predictions of his advent in the Torah itself (see note 33 on 2:42). By thus corrupting the innermost purport of the divine writ bestowed on Moses, they themselves became unable to derive any real spiritual benefit from it, and to live up to its teachings.”

[iv] Remember that the root verb of ‘Salaah’ denotes ‘connection/ relationship.

[v] The days of the week had different names before Islam.  Friday used to be known as ‘Urooba- عروبة  ’ before it was renamed the ‘Day of Gathering’ or ‘Jumu’ah.’

[vi] الشَّيء يتساقط متفرّقاً.

 فالذُّروة: أعْلَى السَّنامِ وغيره، والجمع ذُرىً.
 ومن الباب ذَرَت الرِّيحُ الشَّيءَ تَذْرُوه. والذَّرَا: اسمٌ لما ذَرَتْهُ ويقال إنَّ الذَّرَى اسمٌ لما صُبّ من الدّمع.

I don’t agree with Ali/Asad’s translations: ‘finished/ ended.’  There is a big difference between something simply finishing or ending, and something being achieved, as our 1000 year old Lexicon tells us.

(قضي) يدلُّ على إحكام أمرٍ وإتقانهِ وإنفاذه لجهته، قال الله تعالى: {فقَضَاهُنَّ سَبْعَ سَمَوَاتٍ في يَوْمَيْنِ} [فصلت 12] أي أحكَمَ
والقضاء: الحُكم. ولذلك سمِّي القاضي قاضياً، لأنَّه يحكم الأحكامَ ويُنْفِذُها. وسمِّيت المنيَّةُ قضاءً لأنَّه أمر يُنْفَذُ في ابن آدم وغيرهِ من
وكلُّ كلمةٍ في الباب فإنَّها تجري على القياس الذي ذكرناه.

(قوم)أصلانِ صحيحان، يدلُّ أحدهما على جماعةِ ناسٍ، وربِّما استعير في غيرهمْ. والآخَر على انتصابٍ أو عَزْم.
فالأوّل: القوم، يقولون: جمع امرئٍ.
وأمّا الآخر فقولُهم: قامَ قياماً، والقَوْمة المَرَّةُ الواحدة، إذا انتصب. ويكون قامَ بمعنى العَزيمة، كما يقال: قامَ بهذا الأمر، إذا اعتنَقَه. وهم يقولون في الأوَّل: قيامٌ حتم، وفي الآخر: قيامٌ عَزْم.
ومن الباب: قوَّمْتُ الشَّيء تقويماً. وأصل القِيمة الواو، وأصلُه أنَّك تُقيم هذا مكانَ ذاك.
وبلَغَنا أنَّ أهلَ مكّةَ يقولون: استَقَمْتُ المَتاعَ، أي قوَّمْتُه.
ومن الباب: هذا قِوام الدين والحقّ، أي به يقوم. وأمَّا القَوَام فالطُّول الحَسَن. والقُومِيَّة: القَوام والقامة.

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