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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.'


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Day 274; Qur’an 67: 1-30, pages 562-564

Welcome Friends:  Ahlan wa sahlan!
Yusuf Ali’s explanation of this Chapter.
Muhammad Asad’s explanation of this Chapter.
NEW: Laleh Bakhtiar’s explanation of this Chapter.

سورة الملك

From Introduction of Yusuf Ali:
“But these short Quranic Surahs have a grandeur, a beauty, a mystic meaning, and a force of earnestness under persecution, all their own.  With their sources in the sublimest regions of heaven, their light penetrates into the darkness recess of Life, into the concrete facts which are often mistaken for the whole of Reality, though they are but an insignificance portion and on the surface and fleeting.”

From Introduction of Muhammad Asad:

THE FUNDAMENTAL idea running through the whole of this surah is man's inability ever to encompass the mysteries of the universe with his earthbound knowledge, and, hence, his utter dependence on guidance through divine revelation.”


Congratulations are in order:  With God’s Grace, we’re now starting on the final two Parts (Juze’/ جزء) of the Qur’an!  Here we find the shortest chapters which are quite familiar to most Muslims, oft-recited and treasured in memory.

Since most of them were revealed in Mecca, we’ll find them discussing the ‘Who’s Who’ of faith:
·    God/ Allah.  He is The One and Only God, Creator and Sustainer of all.
·    Us:  We Cognizant Humans are the only Beings ‘quickened’ from His Divine Spirit and therefore transcendental; we had a primal existence and shall be resurrected after this life into the next, each according to accomplishment.  In this life we seem to be closeted within time and space for the purpose of learning and growing towards potential.
·   Messengers: Two ‘species,’ whether Human or Spirit, their role is to accurately deliver us information from God.

For more on the difference between Mecca and Medina Chapters, put ‘difference revealed Mecca’ in ‘Search.’ As mentioned earlier, scholars have sometimes disputed as to what was revealed where and on what occasion but: 

The Qur’an is one unit, revealed by the Living God for Cognizant Humans who are living at any given time and in any given place!

Upon that note, we feel truly blessed to find that this chapter in particular REINFORCES our understanding of the term ‘Al RaHmaan’ being about God, the ‘Source’ of Life, ‘The Creator/ Generator’ of all existence, who is ‘superlative and active’ with it (a linguistic REcovery made through linguistic and contextual research at this site).  Indeed, this chapter is as important as the chapter of Al RaHmaan (HQ 55) in DEFINING this term for us.

See HQ 25:59 and 67:3.

New Readers: Please put ‘al Rahmaan’ in ‘Search.’

This Chapter is magnificent in what it tells us about God as it encourages our observation of what is around us of His Dominion: 
Creation (the part we are told of) seems to be represented in a timeless continuum which, emanating from its Divine Source, is intended just for us.
WE, Cognizant Humans, are the ‘raison d’etre’ for ALL that we observe of His Creation!

PAGE 562 Arabic Qur’an

1.     The Chapter begins by asserting that:
‘Abiding in Exaltation is He in Whose Power is The Dominion, and He is over all things Omnipotent Creator and Projector.’
(New Readers: Put ‘Qadeer’ in ‘Search.’)
Note that the two words تبارك الذي’, appear together four times in the Qur’an, 3 of which are in Chapter 25, al Furqaan.
Indeed, subject-wise, this chapter on God’s Dominion in general -as observable by us- seems like an introduction to that chapter, which speaks more specifically about the role of the ‘Furqaan’ as beneficial to us!
(Reminder: Furqaan = the Inviolables on the Straightened Path, similar to the ‘Ten Commandments.’  Put words in ‘Search.’)
Then Verse 2 continues: 
(He) Who created Death and Life to try you (pl.), which of you is better in deeds, and He is the Invincible, The Forgiving.’
The word بلو/ى here is literally about being under a certain degree of ‘wear and tear/ exertion/ strain,’ which drives us to action.  When both our character and performance are brought to light, we begin to change for better or for worse, (shrinking or growing)!
So, THAT is one reason (‘li’) for ‘Death’ and for ‘Life!’
It is interesting to note that ‘death’ is ALWAYS mentioned first, which might be because every ‘Self/ Nafs’ has emanated from God, our Living Source, so our origin in the Ever-Living is what ‘our Selves’ began with, ‘quickened from His Spirit.’  After that, we shall die, then we shall be brought to life in the Hereafter.
There is however another verse (HQ 2:28) which tells Deniers that they were dead, then brought to life.  That might be pointing to their physical existence, because they believed in nothing else.  Anyway, this is a matter of ‘Gheyb,’ un-witnessed by us, and therefore never fully conceivable.

2. Verse 3 continues telling us ABOUT the Creator, still indirectly (by looking at Creation, without naming Him) encouraging and challenging EACH of us (singular) to look again and again to the ‘mantled/ layered/ طبق[i]’ Creation of the Seven Exalted Expanses. 
Then He is ‘named’:
‘Do you see in Al RaHmaan’s creation any imperfection…?’
So it is The RaHmaan’s Creation!  The RaHmaan is THE Creator.
Other verses of the Qur’an mention that the Creator had adorned the lowest ‘exalted expanse’ (our sky) with ‘lanterns’ (light-giving stars), for 2 reasons:  
‘Beauty’ to be beheld by us, AND for our protection (HQ 41:12).
Here, in Verse 5 we are told more about this ‘protection.’  These celestial bodies function as ‘rujoom’ or DETERRENTS to Transgressors/ ShayaTeen. 
·     ‘SheyTaan (sing) ShayaaTeen (pl.)’ is about ANY transgressor, human or non-human (see HQ 2: 14 where the word ShayaaTeen is understood by all traditional commentators and linguists as the chieftains/ leaders of HUMAN transgressors.  New Readers: Put ‘Deviant’ in search).
·     The root-verb ‘rajama’ is about throwing something at someone (stones, words), or throwing them off or away, as in ‘to banish’ someone (‘sheyTaan rajeem,’ ‘banished’). 
So the function of these celestial bodies is to keep transgressors at bay with the ‘suffering by fire’ awaiting them.  I will leave the scientific explanation of this to someone who knows more about the cosmos.
Verses 6- 11 are strongly Dissuasive as they SHOW us how the ‘lot’ of those Who Had Denied shall be ‘suffering in Hell/ Jahannam, and a dire destination. 
(Regular Readers will remember that ‘Jahannam’ means the bottom of the Abyss. Put word in ‘Search.’) 
Listeners can almost see and ‘hear’ Hell, as it boils over in fury, sucking-in those who are thrown into it.  And when the Custodians of Hell ask these people whether or not they had received a Warner, they admit that they had… but had BELIED, alleging that God had sent nothing.  Then, besides admitting to their guilt, they acknowledge the fact that they had not been listening, and had not used their intellect to secure knowledge (‘aqala).       

3.  Verse 12 shows us, in brief, a CONTRASTING situation, telling us of ‘Those Who are in Awe of their Lord beyond perception/ in the Unseen’…. for whom there is forgiveness and great reward!
Although briefly described, we know about such persons and what awaits them of God’s Bounty from other verses which mention people who are in awe / ‘khashyah’ of their ‘Lord/ The Creator.’  See HQ 50: 33-35 and note that these verses also come after verses of dire Dissuasion.

PAGE 563 Arabic Qur’an
4.    Verses 13- 17 again address us all directly (‘you’ plural), telling us in Verse 13 that whether we keep our communication/ ‘qawl’([ii]) secret, or broadcast it, He indeed is Knowing of What is in the Hearts/ minds! 
Let us allow this to sink in for a moment, as we realize that being told of His intimate knowledge of us is a powerful reminder of WHO HE IS, punctuated by the question in Verse 14:
‘Does He not know WHOM He created, and He is ‘The LaTeef / Subtle’ ([iii]), ‘The Khabeer / Fully acquainted?’
Note that WHO/ ‘mann/مَن’ is for Cognizant Beings (while ‘maa’ما / ‘what’ is for incognizant entities). 
And as we mentioned earlier, every question gets it response from listeners, even in silence.
Although Verse 15 may seem similar to other verses which mention God’s earthly Provision (rizq) given to us in life, we should note that other verses have a different context.  There, they may have called upon people to have ‘taqwa’ and ‘shukr’ in their lives and livelihoods (to be aware and to make the most out of their provision so it achieves abundance), while here our relationship with God and this earth is summed up in a few words: 
‘It is He Who has rendered the Earth subject to you (pl.), so walk in its winding trails (‘manaakib/ bends’ -[iv]) and consume of His Provision, and TO HIM IS THE OPEN EMERGENCE (from the graves upon resurrection)!’
What a nutshell to ponder upon!
Verses 16- 18 ([v]) are directed to those who might have a false sense of security regarding the stable earth beneath them, or the clear expanse above them, asking them whether they are secure/ safe from Him Who is GOD in this Earth AND in the Exalted Expanse, and can overwhelm them with quakes from below and storms from above…? ‘…so you  shall know how was my warning!’
Verse 18 indirectly alerts listeners to benefit from the experience of others:  ‘Indeed, others before them have belied, so how was my rejection?
Verse 19 makes a beautiful observation regarding birds flying above in formation, their wings outspread and then drawn in:
‘Nothing retains them (in midair) except The Rahmaan/ Lord Creator,’ He is, of everything, Seeing.’ (Also see HQ 24:41).

5.    Then we find Verses 20- 22, each asking a question, each getting its response, even in our silence!
·     Who, other than The RaHmaan, begets and disperses Goodness to you? 
The Deniers are in no (state) other than Deception.
·     Who would provide for you, if He withheld His Provision?
Yet they persist in conceited contempt, and aversion.
·     Who is better guided? 
--Someone who walks, stumbling onto his face, or
--Someone who walks evenly/ upright on a Straightened Path?
REMEMBER, DEAR READER, THAT THE WHOLE PURPOSE OF RECITING THE ‘OPENER/ FAATIHA’ 17 times in our prayers throughout the day, is to seek ‘guidance to/ the gift’ of the Straightened path, a path delineated for us in the Qur’an (see HQ 6: 151- 153 and 17: 23- 39).
Also remember this (HQ 55):
“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) 
(New Readers: Put words in ‘Search.’)
Verses 23- 24 continue, informing listeners WHO God is, telling the Messenger to:
‘Say: It is He Who raised you (pl.), and rendered for you hearing, sight, and Fou’ad/ mental capacities, little do you bring to abundance what you have been given.’ 
‘Say: It is He Who propagated you in the earth, and to Him shall you all be converged.’
Since the first time we encountered the word ‘Fou’ad, we’ve been trying to understand what it means both linguistically (from lexicons) and contextually (from Qur’an), and how to best translate it.  We said earlier, that it seemed to point to our ‘mental response’ to any given situation.  Does that sound like ‘intention,’ dear Reader, seeing that we are responsible for it and shall be questioned in its regard?  (See HQ 17:36)  Let me know what you think.
In Verse 25 the Deniers ask about the timing of that promise, while Verse 26 tells the Messenger to respond by saying that the knowledge (of that) is with God, and ‘….. I am indeed an evident Warner.’
Here we actually have SIX verses with the command ‘Say,’ as an introduction to important Qur’anic statements.

PAGE 564 Arabic Qur’an
6.    Verse 27 continues to respond to the Deniers about the promise of Judgment, giving them a glimpse of how things will look and feel on that day, when they finally come face to face with it after having denied it throughout their lives!  Here we see their faces, distressed by utter vulnerability and helplessness at that time, and we hear what shall be said to them, about the promise which they had been denying in life!
Verse 29- 30 all begin with the command, ‘Say..’   First, the verses inform the Deniers that it is up to God whom He will ‘terminate/ cause to expire’ ([vi]) and whom He will have mercy upon, asking them:
‘….Then who is it, who will save the Deniers from a painful suffering?’

Then, the Messenger is told to tell them:
‘Say, ‘He is Al RaHmaan!  We have faith in Him and upon Him do we depend, and you (pl.) shall come to know who is in evident misguidance!
Say, ‘Consider/ See,’ what if your water becomes sunken (underground), who would then bring you attainable water?’

A question which listeners respond to, even in silence!
Peace unto all!

طبق: يدلُّ على وضع شيء مبسوط على مِثله حتى يُغطِّيَه. من ذلك الطَّبَق. تقول: أطبقْت الشيءَ على الشيء، فالأول طَبَق للثاني؛ وقد تطابَقَا.
وقولهم: طَبَّق الحقَّ، إذا أصابه، من هذا، ومعناه وافقه حتى صار ما أراده وَفْقاً للحقّ مطابِقاً لـه. ثم يُحمَل على هذا...
وطابقت بين الشيئين، إذا جعلتَهما على حَذْوٍ واحد. ولذلك سمَّينا نحن ما تضاعف من الكلام مرَّتين مُطابَقاً. وذلك مثل جَرجَر، وصَلْصَل، وصَعْصَع.

Regular Readers will remember that our ‘qawl’ is what we communicate by way of speech, demeanor, or action.
لطف:  يدلُّ على رِفق ويدلُّ على صغَر في الشيء. فاللُّطف: الرِّفق في العَمل؛ يقال: هو لطيفٌ بعباده، أي رؤوف رفيق.

نكب: عن الشَّيء يَنكُبُ. قال الله تعالى: {عَن الصِّراطِ لَناكِبُون [المؤمنون 74]. والنَّكباء: كلُّ ريح عَدلَتْ عن مَهبِّ الرِّياح الأربع.
والأنكَب: الذي كأنَّه يمشي في شِقّ. والمَنْكِبُ: مُجتَمَع ما بين العَضُد والكَتِف، وهما مَنكِبان، لأنَّهما في الجانبين.

Commentators have had a problem explaining مَن في السماء / ‘Who is in the Exalted Expanse,’ since God cannot be ‘in’ anything.  Research shows us that HQ 43:84 says it well.  He is not ‘in’ it Himself, but He certainly is God IN both! 

Regular Readers will remember (HQ 28: 88) that EVERYTHING expires except God’s Direction!

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