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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.'


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Day 306; Qur’an 99: 1-8 page 599


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 إذا زُلزِلت/ الزلزال (i)
'The Earthquake’

From Introduction of Yusuf Ali:
This Surah is is close in date to the last: it is generally referred to the early Madinah period, though it may possibly be of the late Makkan period.
It refers to the tremendous convulsion and uprooting which will take place when the present order of the world is dissolved and the new spiritual world of Justice and Truth takes its place. The symbol used is that of an earthquake which will shake our present material and phenomenal world to its very foundations.”

From Introduction of Muhammad Asad:

MOST PROBABLY revealed in the early part of the Medina period (itqan), although some authorities regard it as a Meccan revelation.“


The root-verb 'zalla-زل' is about something spontaneously losing ground (ii).
Although sometimes used to describe delicious, free-flowing water, this word usually brings negative feelings of committing mistakes (faltering, the 'missteps' of body or tongue -زلّة لسان), and describes the agitation of one's mind, and the quaking of the earth.

PAGE 599 Arabic Qur’an

In this Chapter, Verses 1-3, tell us about a literal earthquake/ zilzaal (more specific than the general 'agitation/ quaking'/ zalzalah of the final Hour coming upon people as they are going about their daily affairs, mentioned in Chapter 22 iii).
Here, the Earth herself shall be 'quaking HER Quake, ' and releasing her load (entombed within). Here the Cognizant Human shall be calling out, wondering what is happening to her (.. to Earth. See HQ 36: 51-52, which tells us of the 'wailing' emergence of people from the graves, as they acknowledge both the promise of their Creator/ Al RaHmaan, and the sincerity of the Messengers He had sent them).

Verses 4-5 continue describing this scene, and we learn that meanwhile, at that Time, the Earth shall be imparting all (the information) that she knows, in that: It is her Lord Who had communicated TO her, exclusively/ waHi (communicated this information/ the capability to do so). See similar verses where God 'awHaa' unto someone (iv).

Verses 6- 8 tell us about Cognizant Humans:

At that Time/ Upon that Day, they shall ensue (out of the earth) separately (v), to be shown their deeds:

Then, whoever works an atom's weight of Good sees it,
and whoever works an atom's weight of Ill (bad) sees it!”

Awe-striking words!
Other verses also tell us that our deeds shall be presented to us (see HQ 3:30, which tells us how people feel when they see their deeds).

Our deeds.. presented to us: We have to face the deeds themselves as well as the results they had caused.. at a time when there is nothing we can do, but feel regret or relief. Nothing.
But now, at the time I am writing this... and now as you, dear Reader, are reading this.. NOW there is A LOT we can do!

May our BEST deeds be the ones presented to us, and may God overlook and forgive our worst..


Peace unto all!

Please note that زل- is not the same as 'thalla-ذل'- which those who do not speak Arabic might pronounce similarly.

Last night I couldn't sleep, thinking about the title to this Chapter:
How could it be titled 'zalzalah' (agitation), when this word is NOT present in the Chapter, which is about 'zilzaal,' an unmistakable QUAKING of the earth?
As we saw earlier, 'Zalzalah' is a key-word in Chapter 22, which is about human agitation at the Final Hour.

I checked out my hunch... and I was right! The title 'zalzalah' had been put in much later to replace the name given to this Chapter by the Companions of the Prophet, peace upon him. They referred to it as 'the Chapter of Zilzaal,' and sometimes as the Chapter of 'Itha zulzilat' (both words present in its first verse).

زل: أصل مطّرد منقاسٌ في المضاعَف، وكذلك في كل زاءٍ بعدها لامٌ في الثلاثي. وهذا من عجيب هذا الأصل. تقول: زلَّ عن مكانه زَليلاً وزَلاًّ. والماء الزُّلال: العَذْب؛ لأنه يَزِلّ عن ظَهْرِ اللِّسانِ لِرقَّته. والزَّلَّة: الخطأ؛ لأن المخطئ زلَّ عن نَهْج الصَّواب، وتزلزَلت الأرضُ: اضطرَبت، وزُلْزِلَتْ زِلْزَالاً. والمِزَلَّة: المكان الدَّحْضُ. ومن الباب الزُّلْزُل كالقَلِق؛ لأنَّه لا يستقرُّ في مكانه

This heart-wrenching Chapter reminds us of HQ 22: 1-2:

O Cognizant Humans:  Be Aware of your Lord!  
Indeed the Quaking of the Hour is a Tremendous thing.
At the Time you behold it, every nursing mother will be completely distracted
from what she is nursing, and each who is laden will drop her load,
 and you will see the people intoxicated, even though they are not intoxicated:
but God’s Chastisement is Severe!”

What I found interesting is that in all but HQ 41: 12, it says that God 'awHaa- ila إلى'... Here is says 'awHaa-laha لها.' Must ask linguists about this.

Root-verb: shatat; see occurrences in Qur'an.

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