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KITAB, QURAN & ARABIC

CHAPTER 1     KITAB, QURAN & ARABIC –     IS "ARABIC" THE NAME OF A LANGUAGE OF MIDDLE EAST AND "QURAN&quo...

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

SURAH 107 AL-MAUN


Surah 107 - سورة الماعون 

Al Maun - The assiduous effort to examine closely

NOTE :

IN THE CONTEXT OF THIS SURAH

1) DEEN DOES NOT MEAN RELIGION OR JUDGEMENT 

2) AL-YATEEM DOES NOT MEAN ORPHAN

3) AL-MAUN DOES NOT MEAN SMALL KINDNESS OR NEIGHBORLY NEEDS.


EXEGESIS:

This surah is not about charity to orphans or needy as generally perceived by the masses. Giving charities or helping people don't require special instructions. To give charity it needs empathy and not religion. The core message of this surah is to understand what the life of obligation (Deen) is and what is the connection between the unique / incomparable / unmatched thoughts [الْيَتِيمَ] with the deen in this surah? Why it is important to help our unique / incomparable thoughts [الْيَتِيمَ] ? Why we must not repulsed unique / incomparable thoughts ? What is Al-miskeen [الْمِسْكِينِ] ? It is important to think beyond the boundaries and so that we don't become stationary (Miskeen) ? We must never become miskeen; nobody is going to think for ourselves, we have to think on our own. It is important to receive knowledge so that we don't become miskeen. One must not curb the natural instinct of learning. The surah discusses those who drive away their unique thoughts are untrue with the covenant of loan or with the life of obligation or re-compensation [Deen] entrusted upon them or embedded in them? The surah does not preach about feeding the poor because one cannot eliminate poverty by merely feeding the poor but helping them overcome the hindrances that are preventing them from progressing ahead.



THEME OF THE SURAH:


Contribution or giving back or keep the promise is the most difficult job and those who don't honor their contract / commitments are untrue to the covenant of the loan or life of obligation [Deen] provided to them by their Malik [Owner]. We have forgotten the obligation lend to us by the Owner of our every moment or Owner of our every breath. Nature has granted us; or to be more specific, has given us a massive loan and we cannot run away from this obligation. In fact it is our duty to repay it peacefully to the Owner so that we can redeem ourselves. Deen is simply Paying Back. Living a life of a borrower is Deen, obedient to the terms and condition of the Owner. The thoughts of repaying come to mind but it is very difficult to implement it in reality. Such thoughts are unique, unmatched and incomparable. These thoughts are not common; they are unique, isolated and unprecedented because they were never contemplated before by anyone. In Quranic context such thoughts are called الْيَتِيمَ {orphan} because nobody can afford to adopt or espouse it. When such thoughts come to mind we usually repulse it as it is tough to nurture or nourish or follow them, thus we deceive our own self. We break the covenant. We are also not aware about our immense links [صَلَاتِ] of our mental network to join together the disrupted thoughts. We just wants our superficial presence to be projected without diving deep to study assiduously the unique incomparable thoughts that we all possess. Such thoughts are orphan because nobody is ready nurture or support it.

Please verify all the meanings from the lexicons before understanding this chapter.



بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

With the identification of the System, the Rahman, the Raheem


INTERPRETATION:

 أَرَأَيْتَ الَّذِي يُكَذِّبُ بِالدِّينِ

1.  Have you not seen who are dishonest with the agreement of obligation [DEEN]?

فَذَ‌ٰلِكَ الَّذِي يَدُعُّ الْيَتِيمَ

2. Then that who continuously repulses / drives away the unique / incomparable thoughts

 وَلَا يَحُضُّ عَلَىٰ طَعَامِ الْمِسْكِينِ

3. And not feel the urge on nurturing those [thoughts] that became stationary [Miskeen]

فَوَيْلٌ لِّلْمُصَلِّينَ 

4. So woe for such who are deceived [not able to make progress with their thoughts]

 الَّذِينَ هُمْ عَن صَلَاتِهِمْ سَاهُونَ

5. Those are heedless / unmindful / unaware about their [mental] connections / links

 الَّذِينَ هُمْ يُرَاءُونَ

6. Those only wanted to be seen / pretend 

وَيَمْنَعُونَ الْمَاعُونَ 

7. And they refuse to make an assiduous effort to study.



MEANINGS:

أَرَأَيْتَ = You have not seen, experience, observed, judged -  INTERROGATIVE prefixed interrogative alif, 2nd person masculine singular perfect verb, PRON – subject pronoun

الَّذِي = Such who, those who adhere - masculine singular relative pronoun

يُكَذِّبُ = Lies, untrue, falsehood, dishonest, altering or changing- what he hears - 3rd person masculine singular (form II) imperfect verb

بِالدِّينِ = (with the) Obligation, indebtedness, become submissive or abased or obedient or enslaved due to borrowing of loan or due to some agreement or certain conditions or circumstances, recompense, repay, remunerate, morally bounded, reward as in service, Law, Agreement of Loan - P – prefixed preposition bi - genitive masculine noun

فَذَ‌ٰلِكَ = So that, that is - masculine singular demonstrative pronoun

الَّذِي  = Those who adhere - masculine singular relative pronoun

يَدُعُّ = Pushes, thrust, drove, repelled, harshly, roughly or violently, repulses - 3rd person masculine singular imperfect verb

الْيَتِيمَ = The popular meaning is orphan but it also means, the unique, incomparable, isolated [thoughts that are unique of its kind, unequal, unmatched and are unprecedented - accusative masculine singular noun - Hans Wehr Dictionary page 1105 - According to Lisaan al-Arab it means solo, individual, unique, eminent / exalted / honored view point,never heard before - إِن لم يسمع - نظيرُه شريفٌ - الانفرادُ - الفَرْدُ - 
وَلَا = And not - CONJ –   prefixed conjunction wa (and) - NEG – negative particle

يَحُضُّ = excites, incites, urges, instigates, arouses, asking or requiring with urgency - 3rd person masculine singular imperfect verb

عَلَىٰ = On - P – preposition

طَعَامِ = Digestible food that nourishes, agreeable, eatable, nurture, contained marrow, inoculated, to imbue a person with idea, ripe, educate, nourishment, matured, disciplined, intelligence because of discourse or narratives, prompt him, as though putting recitation into his mouth-like as food - food for thought - genitive masculine noun

الْمِسْكِينِ = The person who is affected, motionless, stationary, blocked, still, calm, silent, tranquil, unruffled, sedate, quite in mind, state of paucity or poverty of mind, weak, subdued Sukoon is one of the derivative wordgenitive masculine singular noun

فَوَيْلٌ = Woe, a word of incitement, perdition befall him, punishment befall him - nominative masculine indefinite noun

لِّلْمُصَلِّينَ = Root word is صلى and not صلو as perceived by the majority. The context suggest that the root word of this is صلى - the basic meaning of صلى is to burn, roast, burn in jealousy, deceive, beguile, swindler, circumventor, impostor etc -  genitive masculine plural (form II) active participle

هُمْ  = They - 3rd person masculine plural personal pronoun

عَن = About - P – preposition

صَلَاتِهِمْ  = Their commitment or relationship - the root word is وصل and sila (صله) is one of its derivatives, which means he made close ties of relationship by behaving with goodness and affection, to kindred, to reach, communion, join, connection, bond, commitment etc - genitive feminine noun - 3rd person masculine plural possessive pronoun

سَاهُونَ = Unmindful, neglectful, heedless, forgetful, unaware - nominative masculine plural active participle

الَّذِينَ = Him who, those who, such who - masculine plural relative pronoun

هُمْ = They - 3rd person masculine plural personal pronoun

يُرَاءُونَ = Seen, experience, judge, consider-see by reflection, see by thinking, belief, thought, know, preconceive - 3rd person masculine plural (form III) imperfect verb

وَ = and, means - CONJ – prefixed conjunction wa (and)

يَمْنَعُونَ = refused, prevented, withheld, restrained, debarred, forbade, prohibited, refrain, etc - 3rd person masculine plural imperfect verb

الْمَاعُونَ = assiduous effort, examine closely, scrutiny, careful study, went very far in his search, deep beyond bounds, devote all efforts - accusative masculine noun - Hans Wehr Dictionary page 915 - In Lisaan Al-Arab it means to contemplate, look carefully




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ADDITIONAL EXPLANATION:

Suppose we agree with the traditional translators and take the meaning of musallina in surah 107:4 as "namazi" or "worshipers". Then why should the book Quran curse the worshipers or namazi when actually according to Quran they are worshipers or performer of prayers. Why to condemning them if they are declared as worshipers ?

My contention is that the interpretation of any word in the sentence should be according to the theme. The correct context / theme should dictate, in selecting the right word rather than our beliefs or understanding or concocted context. The translators have played with irregular weak letters (ا و ى) according to their convenience and comfortably accommodating the thoughts of every sect. The weak letters ( حُرُوْفُ الْعِلَّة) can be interchanged or altered or even dropped from the word according to Arabic grammarians. This rule empowers the translators to play with words having weak letters, according to their whims and fancies.


In surah 70:22 the context suggests that the root word should be صلو which means - to follow closely, pray, blessed and musallina means one who follow closely or those who pray. In verse 70:23 the root word would be وصل for صَلَاتِهِمْ. Translating it as ritualistic prayer will not make any sense to the message. The Salat of the book Quran is different from the traditional Namaz [ritual prayers] of Hadith. The followers of salat refrain from all kind of shameful and evil deeds (29:45) (19:59) because they are connected to the agreement / covenant of Loan [Deen]. Does this really happen in real life with those who perform namaz day and night? Establishing a connection (the real salat) is a difficult task (2:45) while performing ritual prayers (namaz) is very easy. And salat is a nonstop constant process (70:23) but very few understand it and implement in their life.

Now coming to salat in verse 107:5 - The main purpose of salat (صلات) in Quranic context is to communicate with our Rabb or with our thoughts or with our inherent script [Al-Kitab]. So please don't canonize this word and confine its vast meaning. The closest equivalent word for Arabic root of salat is sila, which in its most basic form means connection, networking, cooperation, fellowship, linking, relationship, kinship, association, harmony and understanding of each others commitment. But there are many who don't understand what deep connections ourselves is and are heedless of real connection. Unlike prayers which are only one way exercise, here in this surah purpose of salat is to connect with our unique thoughts and implement it. But some people are just concerned to be in the lime light when their unique thoughts urge to act, they make excuses. Their commitment to the fabric of the society is very fragile and poor.

My research or humble understanding does not mean to demean any translators. They all are respected human beings and to err is human. But the noble message of the honorable Quran must be above everything else. If we are translating anybody's script, it is a matter of trust and it becomes our duty to fulfill that job with utmost care and honesty. 







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