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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, December 22, 2010

Day 282; Qur’an 75: 1-40, pages 577-578

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 القيامة
'The Resurrection'
From Introduction of Yusuf Ali:

This Surah belongs to the early Makkan period, but comes chronologically a good deal later that the last Surahs. Its subject matter is the Resurrection, viewed from the point of view of man, especially unregenerate Man, as he is now, and as he will be then- his inner and psychological history.”

From Introduction of Muhammad Asad:
REVEALED during the first third of the Mecca period, this surah is devoted almost entirely (with the exception of the parenthetic passage in verses 16-19) to the concept of resurrection, on which its traditional "title" is based.”


The Chapters are getting much shorter now, and their verses sometimes are only a few words long. Let's try this, dear Reader: When I like what any of our three Commentators above say, I will let you know, and will only comment when I have something different to say.

This Chapter tells us mostly about the 'Cognizant Human' at the 'Time' of Resurrection; how God resurrects us 'bone, for tiny-little-bone...' how helplessly we die, and how inevitably we rise to face the consequence of our deeds, good for good, and bad for bad.

'Yawm al Qiyaamah/يوم القيامة is mentioned 70 times in the Qur'an.

PAGE 577 Arabic Qur’an
1.  Verses 1-4: This Chapter begins by calling out two vows, mentioning TWO momentous phenomena, so as to draw our attention to the Resurrection. The two phenomena by which the Qur'an vows are the 'Time of Resurrection,' and the 'self-reproaching Self.'
'I do but vow by the Time of Resurrection. 
And I do but vow by the Oft-reproaching Self'

The 'Oft-Reproaching' Self is the second of three 'states' our Cognizant Self goes through (i):
  • Nafs ammara/ oft-inciting to wrongdoing (HQ 12:53).
  • Nafs  lawwama/ oft-reproaching oneself (HQ 75:2).
  • Nafs muTma’inna/ content/ tranquil/ at peace (HQ 89:27).

Let us pause a little here to take a look at the beautiful Qur'anic verses of Ch. 91, which tell us about the creation of the Self, and the all-important duty WE each have to help our own Self towards success because:
Successful is the person who had promoted/ enhanced it, and a failure is the person who had suppressed it (see belowii)!
Back to our verses:
Then, Verses 3-4 show us the important subject which these vows draw our attention to, namely, that our remains shall be gathered and reassembled after death, including our very finger/ 'banaana' (etymology of 'banana' mentioned when we discussed HQ 8: 12).
In Verses 5-13 we learn a little about the 'Cognizant Human' who is doubtful, and keeps questioning Resurrection and doing wrongful deeds in the time ahead, right up to the moment s/he is faced by the spectacular events of this world's destruction:
That is when that same wrongdoing person will cry, 'Whereto is the escape?' And the response will be that there is none.. to 'YOUR LORD' that day/ time is the 'grounding'.. the docking-site.. where all motion ends (I prefer Muhammad Asad's 'journey's end' to Yusuf Ali's 'resting place,' simply because there shall be no rest for such a person). At that time, the Cognizant Human shall be informed as to what s/he had sent forth, and what s/he had withheld/ postponed (there will be no 'rest' at all!).

2.  Verses 14-15 state a 'fact of life,' indicating something quite important:
Even as we are 'throwing around' our excuses, every Cognizant Human is clear-sighted against his/ her Self, knowing well our own intentions! This also means that each of us would later agree to the consequences we earn, simply because when we were doing the deed, we knew our purpose behind it. This statement ties-in with the introduction to this Chapter, and highlights the importance of having an 'oft-reproaching Self'... a healthy CONSCIENCE which puts us back on the right track as soon as we begin to deviate, and helps us stay put!
(Most Commentators however, including Ali, Asad, and Bakhtiar, consider this statement as relating only to the Hereafter.)
Then the subject changes completely, and Verses 16- 19 are addressed to the Messenger who was receiving Revelation, and may have been 'moving his tongue' to keep up to speed with it (perhaps also worrying about retaining it to memory). Here he was told NOT to 'rush it' (iii), since (the responsibility of) its gathering and its Qur'an is 'upon Us' (meaning it's up to God to take care of that part. Put 'ala/ على' in Search). The Messenger was told simply to 'follow its Qur'an as We are reciting (qara'a) it, after which (thumma) it is upon Us to expose it/ 'bayaan.' As we see in our definition below (iv), 'bayaan بيان' has to do with the 'full-extent exposure' of something.
Dear Reader:
Our entire project was triggered by the discovery of the meaning of the key-word 'IQRA.'
(New Readers MUST understand this before going on. Put each of these combinations in Search: 'iqra component'... 'kitaab quraan.')
Reverting the static 'Compilation/Kitaab' to its original dynamism as a 'Qur'an' is what we are attempting to accomplish here, and help others do as well.
Look at these verses, two of which contain the words 'ITS Qur'an/ قرآنه.' Note that:
  • It is God Who shall both gather it together, and 'Qur'an' it (keep it/ make it Qur'an).
  • The Messenger was told only to 'follow' its Qur'an.
  • Thereafter, it is God Who shall expose it (make it clear).
    Note that the Messenger was not responsible for explaining it, ever. Why? Because his explanation is subjective, and the Qur'an would then be referred back to him, becoming 'static' like other previous compilations. To remain dynamic, the Revelation should NOT be tied down to anyone, but rather, should remain God's Alone, based on its original Arabic and His wording and context, readdressed by Cognizant Humans, studied in its original Arabic and understood again and again, generation after generation.
    Q. Did 'Muslims' only 'follow' the Qur'an as commanded, or did they tie it down to certain 'accepted' interpretations, without even studying the Lexicons to uncover what its words meant over 1000 years ago?
    A. No comment!
Back to our verses:
A verse we'd spoken of earlier (HQ 20:114), also commanded the Messenger not to hasten through the Qur'an until its conveyance was completed (New Readers: See footnote belowv for remarks as well as the summarized definition of this key-word).
Here we notice once again the DYNAMISM of the word 'Qur'an,' as opposed to the STATICITY of the word 'kitaab' (if we understand difference between 'kitaab' and 'Quraan').

PAGE 578 Arabic Qur’an

4. After speaking about the Cognizant Human in the third person, then speaking directly to the Messenger in the second person singular, the next verses address listeners directly in the second person plural 'you:'
Verses 20- 21 declare that:
You (all) but love The Hasting/ Rushing (life).
And you let be/ leave (ignore) The Lasting (life)!”
Statements of fact, which tell us the truth of our feelings and behavior towards both this life (vi) and the next:
  • Firstly, we LOVE this Life, which is called 'The Hasting/ Rushing/ Al 'Aajila/ العاجلة' . It rushes past, overtaking us, keeping us in haste, and always seems to end prematurely (see 3 recurrences in Qur'an).
    Note, dear Reader, that Qur'anic context, as well as the definition of the root-verb 'ajala/ عجل (vii) denote haste which is usually 'rash,' and therefore ends in wrong or 'premature, incomplete' results. (It is NOT the same as another word denoting speed, which is “sar'a/ سرعviii).
    'Ajala/ عجل is therefore mostly a negative connotation, as in the famous Arabic saying:
    In Haste is regret, and in Deliberation is safety (ix).”
    في العجلة الندامة وفي التأنّي السلامة
  • Secondly, we ignore the Hereafter, abandoning all consideration of it, and 'letting it be' (see all occurrences of ذر in Qur'an). In a similar verse (HQ 76: 27) the Hereafter is called a 'Weighty/ Momentous' Time (x).

5.   Verses 22-25 describe two groups of people in the Hereafter:
  • Those whose faces shall be 'bright in beauty and bliss/ naaDira (76:11; 83:24) xi' as towards their Lord they 'look/ await in contemplation/ anticipation' (xii).
  • Those whose faces shall be taut and overcast (xiii), having gathered/ presumed that a 'crusher/ faaqirahxiv' shall be upon them.
Then, Verses 26 -30 describe the throes of Death, how 'she' (the Self/ soul) begins to exit the body, as someone wishes for a Healer/ 'raaqi' (put 'reiki' in 'Search). That is when the person realizes that this is The Parting. Then, the 'calves of one's legs/ saaq' fold upon each other, seeming to indicate the END of all worldly endeavor (in HQ 68:42, we spoke of 'baring the saaq' which indicated stride and effort). The verses then conclude by stating that, to your Lord, at that time, is 'The Drive.'
(Whoa...! Wait a minute. Let us THINK of this!
That part of our life-journey is called 'The Drive...' when all shall all be 'driven' to our Lord Sustainer... He Who knows every single thing about us. That IS a terrifying situation... especially for someone who hasn't done good in life!)
5.  Verses 31-33 speak of the dying person who had neither believed on one hand, nor prayed/ connected/ maintained relationship (with God) on the other. What he had done was the contrary: He had belied and had turned away. Furthermore, he had gone to his own people, strutting proudly; literally 'stretching out his arms and legs' as he walked, in a display of pride (xv).
6. Verses 34-35 denounce and warn this person twice, saying 'Awlaa laka, fa awlaa' expressing 'Woe to you, and woe! Woe to you, and woe!' but literally meaning 'Nearer to You, and nearer! Nearer to You, and nearer!' (is The Drive...!)
Then Verses 36- 40 conclude this chapter most eloquently by asking the Cognizant Human three questions:
  • Whether he reckons to be left with no purpose (in life) ?
  • Was he not a drop of moisture emanating? (Then mentioning several stages until the human was rendered a 'pair,' male and female.)
  • Is not someone (who did all that)... is He not of adequate power, ability, strength, and projection... to revive the dead?
    (New Readers: Put 'qadara' in 'Search.')
  • We always respond to this question by saying: 'Balaa, qaadir!'.. بلى قادر.. which means, 'Indeed (He is/You are) capable.

Peace unto all!
iThe ‘Self,’ or ‘Nafs’ in contemporary understanding: 
An individual’s total, or empirical Self (Nafs) is made up of the lower, material Self (ammara: carnal needs for physical survival and desires), and the higher, spiritual Self, or Soul (lawwama: that seeks promotion and perfection).  The empirical Self/ Nafs is free in this life to believe or disbelieve in God and to act upon its beliefs or desires, all the while facing the consequences of its actions in both the ‘nether’ life, and the ‘lasting’ life.  A 'tranquil' Self (muTma'inna) is one which has done its best at holding its material side as it grew in its quest for God and promoted itself towards it goal of Perfection.

Note that:
When the spiritual self is weak, the empirical Self succumbs to the prodding of the material self:

I do not absolve my Self (empirical); truly the Self (material) often prods towards evil, unless my Lord has been merciful unto it …” (HQ 12:53). 

The Self (empirical, having succumbed to the material) feels guilty, and rebukes itself (HQ 75:1-2). 

The Self (empirical, or the Soul) will taste death, and be resurrected:

Every Self shall taste death, then unto Us you shall be returned” (HQ 29:56). 

The Self (empirical) will then plead for itself:

On that day every Self shall come pleading for itself, and every self shall be repaid for its actions, not in the least wronged” (HQ 16:111). 

The Self (spiritual now), having held the material Self at bay during life as it promoted itself, now returns to its Lord, pleasing and well-pleased (HQ 89:27).


By the Sun and its rising
By the Moon as it follows
By the Daytime as it makes apparent
By the Nighttime as it conceals
By the Self and what developed it (duly proportioned it in a process)
Then inspired it to (both)
its Breakdown and its Awareness.
Successful is (the person)
who promotes it
And a Failure is (the person)
who suppresses it 

See below definition of عجل which is about PREMATURE occurrence of something.
بين: أصلٌ واحد، وهو بُعْدُ الشّيء وانكشافُه. والبَيُون البئر البعيدة القَعْر. وبانَ الشَّيءُ وأبَانَ إذا اتّضَحَ وانْكشَفَ. وفلانٌ أبْيَنُ مِنْ فلانٍ؛ أي أوضَحُ كلاماً منه.

The Messenger is told here NOT to 'rush through' the Qur’an before it has been conveyed to him in full.  This offers us yet another indication as to the meaning of the word ‘Qur’an,’ and indicates the need to proceed in a TIMELY manner through the 6 components of IQRA!
The SIX components to the root verb ‘qara’a قرأ-- (as found in our 1,000 year-old Arabic lexicon (summarized here):
1. Gathering the information.
2. Carrying it (retaining it).
3. Proceeding with purpose.
4. Bearing witness to it.
5. Being timely.
6. Being hospitable.
And if anyone needs further proof, please note that this beautiful verse, which begins by glorifying God the True Sovereign, goes on to mention the Qur'an and the need for the Messenger not to hasten through it, and then ends with the command to ask his Lord to increase his Knowledge...وقل ربِّ زدني علما.. Information processing- full circle!

vi'Loving' the RUSH of life -wanting things quickly, being hasty and impatient .. seem to be ingrained in us, perhaps as part of our make-up (HQ 21:37), and the Cognizant Human is naturally hasty (HQ 17: 11). This does not seem to be harmful until we consciously exercise our 'will/ iraadah/ إرادة' towards it (HQ 17:18).

عجل: أصلانِ صحيحان، يدلُّ أحدُهما على الإسراع، والآخر على بعض الحيَوان.
فالأوّل: العَجَلة في الأمرِ، يقال: هو عَجِلٌ وعَجُل، واستعجلتُ فلاناً: حثثته. وعَجِلْتُه: سبَقْته. قال الله تعالى: {أَعَجِلْتُمْ أَمْرَ رَبِّكُمْ} [الأعراف 150]. والعُجَالَة: ما تُعَجِّلُ من شيء. ويقال: "عُجَالة الرَّاكبِ تمرٌ وسَويق". وذكر عن الخليل أنَّ العَجَل: ما استُعجِل به طعامٍ فقُدِّم قبل إدراك الغِذاء. وقال أهل اللُّغة: العاجل: ضد الآجل. ويقال للدُّنيا: العاجلة، وللآخرة: الآجلة.
وقالوا: إنَّ المُعَجِّل والمُعْجِل من النُّوق: التي تُنْتَج قبل أن تستكمل الوقتَ فيعيش ولدُها.
والأصل الآخر العِجْل: ولد البقرة؛ وفي لغةٍ عِجَّوْل، والجمع عجاجيل، والأنثى عِجْلَة وعِجَّولة، وبذلك سُمِّي الرجل عِجْلاً.
Another word which means 'to speed' is “sara'a/ سرع,” used to describe speed which does accomplish its purpose, as we can see in all Qur'anic variations of سرع here. That is why we find that God is 'Speedy سريع' in settling Account (8 times الحساب), and in meting Consequence (twice العقاب).
See here similar proverbs from other cultures!

See the BEAUTIFUL verses in HQ 17: 17-21.

نضر: يدلُّ على حُسنٍ وجمالٍ وخُلوص. منه النَّضْرة: حُسْن اللَّون، ونَضَُِرَ يَنْضَُر. ونَضَّر اللهُ وجهَه: حسَّنَه ونوَّره. وأخْضَرُ ناضرٌ. ويقال هذا في [كُلِّ] مشرقٍ حَسَن. قال الله تعالى: { وُجُوهٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ نَاضِرَة} [القيامة 22]. والنَّضير: الذَّهب، لحُسنه وخلوصه.
نظر: أصلٌ صحيح يرجع فروعُه إلى معنىً واحد وهو تأمُّلُ الشّيءِ ومعاينتُه، ثم يُستعار ويُتَّسَع فيه. فيقال: نظرت إلى الشّيءِ أنظُر إليه، إذا عاينْتَه. ويقولون: نَظَرتُه، أي انتظرته. وهو ذلك القياس، كأنَّه ينظر إلى الوقت الذي يأتي فيه. هذا نظيرُ هذا، من هذا القياس؛ أي إنَّه إذا نُظِرَ إليه وإلى نَظِيرِهِ كانا سواءً.

The same word 'basara,' as in the previous chapter.
It is an uncommon classical word (hence my difficulty in explaining it). It seems to denote softness with unpreparedness, describing fruit that has changed color but is not yet ripe. It also denotes lack of motion.

فقر: أَصلٌ صحيح يدلُّ على انفراجٍ في شيء، من عضوٍ أو غير ذلك. من ذلك: الفَقَار للظَّهر، الواحدة فَقَارةٌ، سمِّيت للحُزُوز والفُصول التي بينها. والفقير: المكسور فَقَارِ الظَّهر. وقال أهل اللُّغة: منه اشتُقَّ اسمُ الفقير، وكأنه مكسورُ فَقَار الظَّهر، من ذِلَّتِهِ ومَسْكَنتِه. ومن ذلك:
فقْرَتْهم الفاقرة، وهي الدَّاهية، كأنها كاسرةٌ لفَقار الظهر. وأمَّا الفقير فإنَّه مَخرَج الماءِ من القناة، وقياسُه صحيح، لأنّه هُزِم في الأرض وكُسِر.


وأَصل المَطْو المدّ في هذا. ومَطا إِذا  تَمَطَّى. ومَطا الشيءَ مَطْواً: مدَّهومَطا بالقوم مَطْواً: مدَّ بهم.   وتَمَطَّى الرجل: تَمدَّد.وكلُّ شيءٍ مَدَدْتَه فقد  مَطَوْتَه؛   والتَّمَطِّي:التبختر ومَدُّ اليدين في المشي، المَطِيطاء وهو الخُيَلاءُ والتَّبَخْتُر مَطَوْتُ ومَطَطْتُ بمعنى مدَدْت
 ثم ذَهَب إِلى أَهله  يَتمَطَّى؛ أَي يتبختر

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