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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, January 11, 2011

Day 302; Qur’an 95: 1-8 page 597

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

سورة التين
'The Fig’

From Introduction of Yusuf Ali:

It has been suggested that the Fig stands for the Ficus Indica, the Bo-tree, under which Gautama Buddha obtained Nirvana. I hesitate to adopt the suggestion, but if accepted it would cover pristine Buddhism and the ancient Vedic religion from which it was an offshoot. In this way all the great religions of the world would be indicated (continued in footnote i).

From Introduction of Muhammad Asad:

REVEALED after surah 85 ("The Great Constellations"), the present surah formulates a fundamental moral verity, stressing the fact that it is common to all true religious teachings. The "title" - or, rather, the key-word by which it is known - is derived from the mention of the fig (i.e., fig tree) in the first verse. ”
The "fig" and the "olive" symbolize, in this context, the lands in which these trees predominate: i.e., the countries bordering on the eastern part of the Mediterranean, especially Palestine and Syria (continued in footnote ii).


I do agree with Yusuf Ali, in that the 'Fig' could very well be representative of what God had revealed to a Prophet unbeknownst to us. But which Prophet might it have been referring to?

a) When we search for clues, we find that, not only was the famous Ficus Indica, the 'Fig' tree under which Buddha found enlightenment, but his father was ruler of Kapil-Avastu, often shortened to 'Kapil,' and that a Messenger from such a township may have been mentioned in the Qur'an as 'Thul Kifl,' or 'He Of the Kifl/ Kipl (the 'f' sound naturally replacing the non-existing 'p' sound in Arabic, such as 'Fers' for 'Persians,' 'Falestene' for 'Palestine' ). The general opinion is, however, that 'Thuk-Kifl' refers to 'Ezekiel' (an anglicized version of the Hebrew name 'Yechezqel,' or 'Heziqyal/حزقيال' in Arabic), which is perhaps more far-fetched. Also, when we take a look at the 5 precepts (iii) of Buddhism, and also their other 8, we find many similarities to the Ten Commandments. And we also have some historic evidence, namely that the early Muslims treated the Buddhists and Hindus as 'People of the Kitaab/ Book/ Compilation,' and the famous historian Abu-Rayhan Al-Biruni has alluded to many similarites.

If that is true, then the Fig may symbolize the location and message of 'Thuk-Kifl,' peace upon him.

b) Other clues are 'Biblical' stories which figure fig-leaves in explanations of the Qur'an (such as Al- Qurtubi'siv), and in what the Bible tells us about 'Adam and Eve' sewing for themselves fig-leaf 'coverings.' It is quite interesting to compare the different translations to this one line in the Bible, Genesis: 3:7.

If that is true, then what the Fig symbolizes may be the beginning, the base upon which everything related to Human Cognizance is built.

God knows best.

PAGE 597 Arabic Qur’an ­
  1. The Qur'an vows by FOUR phenomena, as subjects of the oaths so as to draw attention to something of grave importance, which -in this instance- is the creation of the Cognizant Human in the best of 'standing/ constitution.'
    These phenomena seem to be symbolized by the four LOCATIONS where four major Prophets/ Messengers received their calling, peace upon them all:

    -Of the FIG we are uncertain: Some say it is symbolic of the location where Human Cognizance was born; where early humans were living when God quickened in them of His Spirit, and Cognizant 'Adam' first appeared.

    Others say it was where Thul Kifl, who might be Buddha, appeared, and is therefore symbolic of his Message.

    -The OLIVE, is probably symbolic of Jesus' location and Message (according to general knowledge, especially from Biblical 'Mount of Olives,' although not mentioned in Qur'an).

    -TOOR SEENEEN must be symbolic of Moses and his Message (the word 'Toor-طور ' in Qur'an is always related to Moses).

    -THIS TOWN of security is of course, symbolic of Muhammad and his Message, as he was receiving this revelation in Mecca.
But what do these FOUR phenomenal oaths draw attention to?
They draw attention to the creation of the Cognizant Human in the best of 'standing/ constitution,' not simply in form, but also in high function and role!
  1. The verses then show us that our original status as the finest of all God’s creatures ‘ahsani taqweem,’ is NOT permanently retainable, but that it requires active maintenance, or else we'll find ourselves being plummeted to becoming 'the lowest of the low!'

    In Verse 6 we realize that only by daily effort, achieved through faith and good deeds, can we regain or maintain that status.
    And we also realize that this status is the foundation from which we can soar towards the potential which God has ingrained in each of us, and reap its earned benefits, which no one shall consider us beholden for.
  1. The final two Verses 7-8 ask Muhammad two rhetorical questions, to this meaning:
    'What (justification) is there, after all this, to belie you regarding The Accountability? Is not God: The Most Just of Judges?

    Powerful questions which tie it all in with the first few verses!
    We are unparalleled among God's creatures: We were created with the best constitution and standing, and with a cognizance that is linked/ related/ 'alaq' directly to Him. We've received Messengers from God, ALL of them preaching ONE MESSAGE to help us, not only maintain that status, but also to soar beyond it, as we fulfill our potential and perform Goodness on earth, so that everyone else can fulfill their potentials too!

    Can anyone, knowing all that, deny Accountability?
    And who is to know exactly what our specific situations were, what our thoughts and intentions were, and what we have done or left undone... so as to hold each of us accountable?

    None other than God Himself, the Most Just of Justices!

Peace unto all!
    Yusuf Ali, continued:
    But even if we refer the Fig and the Olive to the symbolism in their fruit, and not to any particular religion, the contrast of Best and Worst in man’s destiny remains, and that is the main thing.
This raises a doctrinal question of considerable importance: how does Islam view the ancient Vedic religions and Buddhism, or for that matter, any other religion? As Muslims we are not in a position to affirm whether Buddha was a prophet or not. Although the Quran states that God sent Prophets to every people, 10:4716:36, it does not mention the names of all of them. In fact it mentions by name relatively few of the Prophets of the Semitic tradition, or only much as with whom its first audience, the Arabs were generally familiar. As to its present form, we find the doctrines of Buddhism clearly at variance with monotheism and cardinal Principles of the True Religion as explained in the Quran. This may have been the result of distortion or loss by the followers of its original teachings.
As a general rule, we cannot describe anyone as a Prophet or Messenger of God unless explicitly mentioned in the Quran, or Hadith. The Message as brought by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) preserves in itself all that was essential in the earlier revelations or scriptures: it abrogates all the previous messages sent through earlier Prophets ( 3:85).”

M. Asad continued:

As it was in these lands that most of the Abrahamic prophets mentioned in the Qur'an lived and preached, these two species of tree may be taken as metonyms for the religious teachings voiced by the long line of those God-inspired men, culminating in the person of the last Judaic prophet, Jesus. "Mount Sinai", on the other hand, stresses specifically the apostleship of Moses, inasmuch as the religious law valid before, and up to, the advent of Muhammad - and in its essentials binding on Jesus as well - was revealed to Moses on a mountain of the Sinai Desert. Finally, "this land secure" signifies undoubtedly (as is evident from 2:126) Mecca, where Muhammad, the Last Prophet, was born and received his divine call. Thus, verses 1-3 draw our attention to the fundamental ethical unity underlying the teachings - the genuine teachings - of all the three historic phases of monotheistic religion, metonymically personified by Moses, Jesus and Muhammad. The specific truth to be considered here is referred to in the next three verses.”

في تفسيره لسورة طه:
ويروى أن آدم عليه السلام لما بدت سوأته وظهرت عورته طاف على أشجار الجنة يسل منها ورقة يغطي بها عورته ; فزجرته أشجار الجنة حتى رحمته شجرة التين فأعطته ورقة .فطفقا " يعني آدم وحواء " يخصفان عليهما من ورق الجنة " فكافأ الله التين بأن سوى ظاهره وباطنه في الحلاوة والمنفعة وأعطاه ثمرتين في عام واحد مرتين .

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