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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.'


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Day 283; Qur’an 76: 1-31, pages 578-580

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 الإنسان
'TIME/ Al Dahr/ Man’
From Introduction of Yusuf Ali:

The revelation of this Surah was probably in the early Makkan period, with the possible exception of some verses..
Its theme is the contrast between the two classes of men, those who choose good and who choose evil, with special reference to the former.
The title of the Surah recalls a Pagan Arab idea, which personified Time as existing spontaneously from eternity to eternity and responsible for the misery or the happiness of mankind. In Surah 45:24 we read: "They say... 'nothing but Time can destroy us.'" This attitude is of course wrong. Time is a created thing: it has its mysteries, but it is no more eternal than matter. It is also relative to our conceptions and not absolute, as Einstein has proved, It is only God Who is Self-Subsisting, Eternal from the beginning and Eternal to the end, the absolute Existence and Reality. We must not transfer His attributes to any figments of our imagination.”

From Introduction of Muhammad Asad:

THE OPINIONS of the earliest commentators are divided as to whether this surah - also called Ad-Dahr ("Time" or "Endless Time") after a word occurring in the first verse - belongs to the Mecca or the Medina period. Many authorities of the second generation - among them Mujahid, Qatadah, Al-Hasan al-Basri and 'Ikrimah (all of them quoted by Baghawi) - hold the view that it was revealed at Medina.”


Due to the subject-matter of this Chapter, it seems probable that these verses were revealed early on in Mecca, although that makes no difference to us today.
Verse after verse strengthens the Messenger and draws vast distinction between the Believers who are Forthcoming, and the Deniers who are Hindering, showing us the outcome for each in the Hereafter.

PAGE 578 Arabic Qur’an
1. In Verses 1-2, God asks whether there had come upon the Cognizant Human (Insaan) a period of time ('Heen'/ حين) WITHIN the overpowering 'Dahr' sequence (i), in which he was NOTHING acknowledged/ mentioned/ remembered...?
Our mental response to that would be yes, certainly.
We know of Humanity's beginnings as 'bashar' (بشر), when our non-cognizant ancestors existed in Time... when they were not yet anything mentioned/ remembered. We also know of our individual beginnings as undifferentiated cells in our parents' reproductive organs. (New Readers put 'bashar insaan' in 'Search.')

But then we hear the next verse, which tells us how the 'insaan' (Cognizant Human) was created from a 'mashaja/ mesh ii of 'nuTfah/ fluid' iii to undergo trial (by God), and was rendered by God, both 'hearing' and 'seeing.' Here we realize the marvel of our evolving creation, as per God's design, from our fluid beginnings. We also note that our life experiences and accomplishments seem to be an 'entrance-exam' to the Hereafter. It is there that we shall ultimately reside at the level of growth we had reached in life!

'Hearing and Seeing':
Take a look at this video on the miracle of pregnancy, and note how at Week 15-20, the nervous system and sensory development matures, so the unborn child can hear the mother's heartbeat and voice. It is not until Week 28 that the eyes open and see light. Indeed, eyesight continues to mature until puberty, and it is no coincidence that the Qur'an constantly mentions hearing before eyesight (see 5 major examples).

Almost 1400 years ago the Qur'an spoke of how all of Creation evolved, and early 'Muslim' scientists seem to have understood the general concept (minus the details which emerged later). It is sad and ironic (after all the advancement we have made as humans) that many of those who consider themselves 'devout believers in God,' are the FARTHEST removed from His creative method! Indeed, most such persons do NOT believe in God's actual 'modus operandi,' but rather, they think that the human was created all at once, in full function and form, and that human 'evolution' is blasphemy (see Gallup Poll for U.S. Percentages). This, despite the fact that the original teachings of all faiths referred to the stages of creation quite similarly. Indeed, even mythology offers evidence of life emerging from water (put 'Egyptians consciousness' in 'Search').
This also seems to hold true for the Old Testament, and ancient Sumerian manuscripts:

As we all know by now, the problem lies mostly in the mis-explanation of original texts.

2.  Verse 3 is VERY important. It shows us that God guides Humanity to 'The Way' (Al Sabeel), and that, we end up earning ONE of two labels:
  • 'Shaakir/ Productive' (accepting what is little and making the most out of it).
  • 'Kafoor'/ Denying' (ignoring whatever has been given to us).
Regular Readers will remember that the opposites, 'Shukr' and 'Kufr,' appear often in the Qur'an (see 5 examples).
This reminds us of the rhetorical question in HQ 90:8-10:
Have We not made for him a pair of eyes?
And a tongue, and a pair of lips?
And guided/ gifted him the two steep/strenuous roads (v)?”

So it is OUR CHOICE of either path in life, with the surprising information (gathered from the meaning of the word 'najd') that BOTH paths are steep and strenuous!
If so, then why do rational people make the wrong choices?'
The answer is in HQ 7:146: The single character flaw which causes people to deny the obvious is 'Arrogance.' Arrogance affects people's choices, making them prefer the way that was 'theirs' (or their parents' or peers') even if it happened to be the 'Way/ Path' of error سبيل الغي. It seems 'beneath them' to correct their course and follow instead the 'steady, well determined' Way/ Path سبيل الرشد.
Let's pause to think of that.
After that, Verse 4 takes us to the Hereafter, speaking of the fetters which await the Deniers.
(Note how Consequence is always matched to the Deed: In life, they had chosen to tie themselves to their personal desires and ends!)
In contrast to that, Verses 5-6 show us the picture of bliss, with the 'Genuinely Forthcoming/ al Abraar'(vi) sipping a drink with a 'mezj' /mix (مزج) of camphor (vii), a spring from which the 'Worshippers of God' drink and cause to 'burst forth' for them (also see contrast in HQ 3: 196- 198).

PAGE 579 Arabic Qur’an

4. Who are these Worshippers of God, 'Ibaad-Allah,' mentioned 7 times in the Qur'an..? We were told repeatedly in Chapter 37 that they are 'Self-Purified/ MukhlaSS.'
In Verses 7-8 we are told their outstanding characteristics, foremost among which is their fulfillment of 'what they had dedicated themselves to,' and their generosity at giving what they love to those less fortunate than themselves, doing it simply for God's sake/ in His Direction -with no desire for gratitude or acknowledgement from those whom they are feeding and helping!
This reminds us of HQ 3:92, which tells us that we shall never attain the degree of Genuineness/ Sincerity/ 'Bir' until we spend (on others) out of that which we love.

5.  No sooner do these fine persons express their fear of a 'difficult and lengthy period/day of gloom' in Verse 10, than they are reassured in Verses 11- 22! Twelve verses which begin by assuring them that they shall be safe, away from the affliction of that period/ day, enjoying the fruits of their forbearance in:
The best state of mind (joy; bliss).
Best surroundings (gardens).
Best clothing (natural silk, green brocade, silver ornaments).
Best position (reclining on couches).
Best atmosphere and food (neither sun nor wind, with fruit-laden branches hanging low overhead).
Best service (rounds of drink in silver and glass vessels).
Best drink (spring-water mixed with ginger). Interestingly, the spring is known as 'sal-sabeel,' which means: 'Ask/Demand a Way/Path,' which seems to point to the fact that those who asked/demanded direction, got it.... literally!
Best environment (a 'family' environment, with young children/ wildaan' who go to and fro among them like strewn pearls, and are 'mukhalladoon' constantly inclined to them). See footnote (viii) which reminds us of the explanation of another verse which told us clearly that these children are THEIRS. (See 6 occurrences of ولدان in Qur'an; note that in HQ 56:17 it was these children who were bringing them to drink.)
Best scene (comfort/ well-being for each, coupled with a grand dominion/ 'mulk').
Best Provider (their Lord /Sustainer giving them a 'Pure Drink'... saying that this recompense is deservedly theirs... and that the fruit of their labor has been enhanced/ mashkoor.)
After closing the beautiful garden-scene with the enhanced fruits of one's labor, the Qur'an speaks directly to Muhammad, peace upon him:

    6. Verses 23- 26 tell him directly (in the second person singular) to forbear and patiently persevere to his Lord's Judgment, and not to obey neither Hinderer nor Denier of them (of those who are causing him hardship)... and to remember/mention the attribute of his Lord in the earliest part of the day as well as after dark... and, during part of the night, to prostrate to Him, while being motivated towards Him, all night long.
    Doesn't the recommendation to face hardship with forbearance AND worship remind us of the chapter entitled the 'Burdened One/ Al Muddathir'? Here we also find motivation towards God as a response to people's denial and hindrance, both of which we should never succumb to!
    (See recommendations for 'tasbeeH' in Qur'an.)

PAGE 580 Arabic Qur’an

  1. Verse 27 tells us of people who love 'the Hasting, the Rushing' العاجلة (discussed in our last post, HQ 75: 20- 21, who in their desire of it, end up) 'leaving behind them' a weighty, momentous time/ period/ day. In Verse 28 God shows us that it is He Who had created and strengthened them, and that He could replace them with others alike, if He so willed.
    Thinking back to the beginning of this Chapter, we recall that we were told that God guides/ gifts us to The Path/Way. This issue is finalized here, where we find Verses 29- 31 stating that 'this' (the Qur'an) is indeed a Reminder for whomever 'wills to take a sabeel/ path' to his Lord (see all 9 occurrences of the 'Reminder'). This Chapter closes by telling us that we do not 'will' unless God wills, indeed He is the Knowing, the Wise. He admits whomever He wills into His Mercy, while He has prepared great suffering for Wrong-doers.
    May we take the 'sabeel' to God.
    May we be of the Forthcoming.
    Peace unto all!
There are a few words in the Qur'an which stand for what we perceive as 'Time;' with root-verbs such as 'waqata' (وقت) and 'Heen' (حين). Although the word 'zaman- زمن' is commonly used today, there is nothing related to it in the Qur'an.
'Dahr:' According to our Lexicon, the root-verb ('dahara' دهر) is more about something overpowering and fateful than about Time, although 'Al Dahr,' is commonly understood as a prolonged 'time-span.'

The English noun 'Mesh' is clearly identical to the Arabic noun 'meshj/ ْمَشج, yet ِEnglish Etymology, as usual, steers clear of mentioning any Arab influence. Note, dear Reader, how unusual it is (if one is being truly scientific), that ETYMOLOGY WOULD REVERT THE WORD BACK TO GREEK (PIE) ORIGINS, citing a different word 'mezg' as origin, supporting it with another similar word OF LITHUANIAN ORIGIN, 'mezgu,' failing to ACKNOWLEDGE THE ARABIC word 'meshj/ ْمَشج.
Actually, dear Reader, these two Greek and Lithuanian words seem to be from the Arabic 'MEZJ' مزج - 'MEZJU' مزجُ with diacritics..!

Mesh: Late 14c., mesche, "open space in a net," probably from late Old English max "net," earlier mæscre, from Proto-Germanic *mask- (cf. Old Norse möskvi, Danish maske, Swedish maska, Old Saxon masca, Middle Dutch maessce, Dutch maas "mesh," Old High German masca, German Masche "mesh"), from PIE root *mezg- "to knit, plait, twist" (cf. Lithuanian mezgu "to knit,"mazgas "knot").

نطف:  أصلان، أحدهما جنسٌ من الحَلْي، والآخَر نُدُوَّة وبَلَل، ثم يستعار ويُتوسَّع فيه.
فالأوَّل: النَّطَف. يقال هو اللُّؤلؤ، الواحدة نَطَفة.
والأصل الآخر النُّطْفة: الماء الصافي. وليلةٌ نَطوفٌ: مَطَرَتْ حتَّى الصَّباح. والنِّطَاف: العرَق. ثم يستعار هذا فيقال النَّطَف: التّلطُّخ.


The Babylonian/Mesopotamian creation myth, Enuma Elish, When on high, was written no later than the reign of Nebuchadrezzar in the 12th century B.C.E. But there is also little doubt that this story was written much earlier, during the time of the Sumerians. Drawing some new light on the ancients, Henry Layard found within the ruins of the library of Ashurbanipal in Nineveh, texts that were not unlike the Genesis creation in the Bible. George Smith first published these texts in 1876 under the title, 'The Chaldean Genesis'. :
When on high the heaven had not been named,
Firm ground below had not been called by name,
Naught but primordial Apsu, their begetter,
(And) Mummu-Tiamat, she who bore them all,
Their waters commingling as a single body;
No reed hut had been matted, no marsh land had appeared”


نجد: واحدٌ يدلُّ على اعتلاءٍ وقوّة وإشراف. منه النَّجْد: الرجُل الشُّجاع. ونَجُدَ الرَّجُل يَنْجُد نَجْدَةً، إذا صار شُجاعاً. وهو نَجْد ونَجُدٌ وَنجِدٌ ونَجيد. والشَّجاعة نَجدةٌ. والمُناجِد: المُقاتِل. ولاقَى فلانٌ نَجدةً، أي شدَّة، أمراً عاكه.أن ينظر النّاظرُ إليها فتلحقُها لذلك شِدّة، كأنَّه أراد نَعْمةَ جِسمها ورِقّته ومن الباب النَّجَد: العرق. ونَجِد نَجَداً: عَرِقَ من عملٍ أو كرب.
وربَّما قالوا في هذا: نُجِدَ فهو منجودٌ
ويقال: استنجَدْتُه فأنْجَدَني، أي استغثْتُه فأغاثني. وفي ذلك الباب استعلاءٌ على الخَصم.
واستنجد فلانٌ: قوِيَ بعدَ ضَعْف. ونَجَدْتُ الرّجُل أنْجُدُه: غلبته. حكاه ابنُ السكِّيت. والنَّجْد: ما عَلاَ من الأرض. وأنْجَدَ: علا من غَورٍ إلى نجد.
ومن الباب: هو نَجدٌ في الحاجة، أي خفيفٌ فيها. والنِّجَاد: حمائل السَّيف لأنه يعلو العاتِق. والنَّجْد: ما نُجِّد به البيتُ من متاع. والتَّنجيد: التزيين والنَّجْد: الطريقُ العالي. والمنَجَّد: الذي نَجَّده الدّهر إذا عَرَف وجَرَّب، كأنَّه شجَّعه وقوّاه
We note in the Qur'an that the label 'Al Abraar' is bestowed upon this group in the Hereafter, AFTER they'd earned it by their life-history of 'Bir' -complete genuineness and forthcoming behavior.


Etymology: 'Mix' is probably of Arab origin. Note that the Greek misgein is almost identical in meaning and pronunciation to the Arabic, with diacritics: mezjin.

See HQ 52: 24. Regular Readers will recall the following:
Ghilmaan/غلمانis plural of both ‘ghulaam (m.) and ‘ghulaamah (f.), which refers literally to ‘motivated youths.’
While the masculine singular ‘ghulaam’ is still in common usage today, Arabs have long ceased to use the feminine singular ‘ghulaamah,’ which is why the plural ‘ghilmaan’ or ‘youth’ seems to refer to males only.  We spoke about something similar when we noted that the masculine singular ‘rajul’ is still in common usage today, while Arabs have long ceased to use the feminine singular ‘rajulah,’ which is why the plural ‘rijaal’ seems to refer to males only…. despite its existence in ANY dictionary -not just the old ones.
 Some have explained this as ‘slave/servants’ while others have gone farther in their imaginations.  But the verses clearly add the words ‘of theirs/ lahum,’ indicating that they are, in fact, ‘theirs.’  Other verses help us understand who they are (HQ 56:17; 76:19), referring to them coming and going in their midst as ‘wildaanun ولدانwhich literally means ‘(born) children,’ and ‘mukhalladoonمخلدون perpetually inclined to them, homing-in to them’ (New Readers:  Put ‘khalada’ in ‘Search this Site’).  So Verse 24 is about the people of the Garden having their own children, youths who seem to take pleasure in being around and waiting on them (something which can only take place in Heaven, don’t you think?  But ‘one-track-minded’ people color such verses with their own desires, adding to this scene what is simply not there).

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