By: Maged Taman
The below arrangement might look strange at first, but it is written that way to make the structure of the text clearer. Surah 6:83-89 states:83 That was the reasoning about Us,which We gave to Abraham (to use) against his people:We raise whom We will, degree after degree:for thy Lord is full of wisdom and knowledge.84 We gave him Isaac and Jacob: all (three) guided:and before him, We guided Noah,and among his progeny,David, Solomon, Job, Joseph, Moses, and Aaron:thus do We reward those who do good:85 And Zakariya and John, and Jesus and Elias:all in the ranks of the righteous:86 And Isma'il and Elisha, and Jonas, and Lot:and to all We gave favour above the nations:87 (To them) and to their fathers, and progeny and brethren:We chose them, and we guided them to a straight way.88 This is the guidance of Allah:He giveth that guidance to whom He pleaseth, of His worshippers.If they were to join other gods with Him,all that they did would be vain for them.89 These were the men to whom We gave the Book,and authority, and prophethood:if these (their descendants) reject them,Behold! We shall entrust their charge to a new peoplewho reject them not.What is the reason to give this list of names so completely jumbled up? Arranged in the correct time line the sequence of the mentioned names of Abraham's progeny should be Isma'il, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Aaron, Moses, David, Solomon, Elias, Elisha, Jonas, Zakariya, John, Jesus. However, confusion in itself is not error.Several points need to be raised about this passage.First, Lot and Job are NOT of the progeny of Abraham. Lot was a nephew of Abraham who came with him to Israel when Abraham was still without any descendants (Genesis 11:27-30, 12:4-5). Although not much is known about Job, he was from a different nation, and not part of the descendants of Abraham either. From the structure of the passage it is clearly speaking about Abraham, and all names are stated in relationship to him. Noah as one who came before him and all other names are listed as being his descendants.Furthermore, the Qur'an states in ayah 89, "these were the men to whom We gave ‘the Book’." What book is in view? Should it not rather say that each of them was given "a book" (part of God's revelation)? How can all of them be given the same book? Which book? In other passages it is said that Moses was given the Torah, David was given the Zabur, and Jesus was given the Injil. Is that each time the same "the book"?Muhammad is also given "the book". Is the Torah = Zabur = Injil = Qur'an? (Some Muslims go to the extreme of claiming that this is indeed the case.) Why is such a claim not known elsewhere and the Torah and the Psalms and the Gospel are clearly different scriptures in the possession of the People of the Book?What book was given to Zakariya, the father of John, or for that matter, to John himself? What book was given to Isma'il? All these statements contradict what is known from God's revelation in the Bible. And they even contradict the rest of the Qur'an and Muslim belief since these are not among those who have received a book (a section of the eternal tablet).A last point would be that in ayah 89 "their descendants"is not in the Arabic and not found in other translations.How come that the author of the Qur'an raises doubt whetherthose long dead people might reject? They acceptance orrejection is long established. To insert "their descendants"gets rid of a problem, but it does indeed seem strange.Since this was unclear, let me rephrase it this way:89 These were the men to whom We gave the Book,and authority, and prophethood:if these (their descendants) reject them,Behold! We shall entrust their charge to a new peoplewho reject them not.Well, the part in (...) is not in the Arabic.Who is in view as "rejecting them"? Who is "these"?Wouldn't it be natural to think that "these" in the firstand in the third line refers to the same people?That is what I was wondering about. Furthermore, even ifthe second "these" are not the same but their descendantsor the people around them, all those were dead already forhundreds or thousands of years, why does the Qur'an say"if" as if it were uncertain, or a real possibility?Either they did or they didn't, but what is uncertainabout the events of the past?Or do I completely misunderstand what the verse istrying to say? Did they or did they not reject?It would make sense to say "because they rejected them,therefore we shall entrust the message to a new people".What is the "question/uncertainty" about in this verse?Response:Ah yes, ok. Well, there "these" refers to the Jews. I thinkthat's what is means by "their descendants". As you know,the Quran says that because the Jews rejected the messageof Mohammad they rejected the message of their fathers andthe Torah.As for the "if", it's rhetorical.I find no problem in this verse, the meaning is clear (if youtake it in Arabic). Thus I suggest you remove this part (oredit it) from the article.A similar statement is found in Surah 29:27 proclaiming:And We bestowed on him Isaac and Jacob,and We established the prophethood and the Scripture among his seed,and We gave him his reward in the world,and lo! in the Hereafter he verily is among the righteous.Some debate whether "his seed" refers to Jacob as the last person mentioned or to Abraham to whom Isaac and Jacob were given. In either case prophethood is like in the above linked to Abraham's descendents. And this even though Lot is mentioned in the verses directly preceding (29:26) and following (29:28) this verse. Lot is not of Abraham's or Jacob's seed. Nor is Job or Noah.Furthermore, the above ayah also contradicts Surah 16:36.Another issue: In the above it is said that Ismai'l is among those given the Book (al-Kitab). But 6:156-157 seems to indicate that it was sent before to TWO people only, and the Arabs were not one of them. How does that fit together? Is that then a proof that the Quraish are not descendants of Ismail, not part of this people (descendants) of Isma'il who received it?
In verses 6:84-89 God mentioned some of the prophets or the most prominent of them. God was talking in 6:79-6:83 about Abraham. He mentioned Isaac and Jacob as from his seeds. Before him Noah has been guided then mentioned from Noah seeds are and named the prophets. There is no indication that God is putting them in order. Actually the word from his seeds make it clear to us there is no order.
It is clear also from the verse 6:89 that God did not mention there is a book for each of these prophets but as a whole they received the book, authority and prophethood.
6:79 "For me, I have set my face, firmly and truly, towards Him Who created the heavens and the earth, and never shall I give partners to Allah."إِنِّي وَجَّهْتُ وَجْهِيَ لِلَّذِي فَطَرَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضَ حَنِيفًا وَمَا أَنَاْ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ
6:80 His people disputed with him. He said: "(Come) ye to dispute with me, about Allah, when He (Himself) hath guided me? I fear not (the beings) ye associate with Allah. Unless my Lord willeth, (nothing can happen). My Lord comprehendeth in His knowledge all things. Will ye not (yourselves) be admonished?وَحَآجَّهُ قَوْمُهُ قَالَ أَتُحَاجُّونِّي فِي اللّهِ وَقَدْ هَدَانِ وَلاَ أَخَافُ مَا تُشْرِكُونَ بِهِ إِلاَّ أَن يَشَاء رَبِّي شَيْئًا وَسِعَ رَبِّي كُلَّ شَيْءٍ عِلْمًا أَفَلاَ تَتَذَكَّرُونَ
6:81 "How should I fear (the beings) ye associate with Allah, when ye fear not to give partners to Allah without any warrant having been given to you? Which of (us) two parties hath more right to security? (tell me) if ye know. وَكَيْفَ أَخَافُ مَا أَشْرَكْتُمْ وَلاَ تَخَافُونَ أَنَّكُمْ أَشْرَكْتُم بِاللّهِ مَا لَمْ يُنَزِّلْ بِهِ عَلَيْكُمْ سُلْطَانًا فَأَيُّ الْفَرِيقَيْنِ أَحَقُّ بِالأَمْنِ إِن كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ
6:82 "It is those who believe and confuse not their beliefs with wrong - that are (truly) in security, for they are on (right) guidance." الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَلَمْ يَلْبِسُواْ إِيمَانَهُم بِظُلْمٍ أُوْلَـئِكَ لَهُمُ الأَمْنُ وَهُم مُّهْتَدُونَ
6:83 That was the reasoning about Us, which We gave to Abraham (to use) against his people: We raise whom We will, degree after degree: for thy Lord is full of wisdom and knowledge.وَتِلْكَ حُجَّتُنَا آتَيْنَاهَا إِبْرَاهِيمَ عَلَى قَوْمِهِ نَرْفَعُ دَرَجَاتٍ مَّن نَّشَاء إِنَّ رَبَّكَ حَكِيمٌ عَلِيمٌ
6:84 We gave him Isaac and Jacob: all (three) guided: and before him, We guided Noah, and among his progeny, David, Solomon, Job, Joseph, Moses, and Aaron: thus do We reward those who do good: وَوَهَبْنَا لَهُ إِسْحَقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ كُلاًّ هَدَيْنَا وَنُوحًا هَدَيْنَا مِن قَبْلُ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِهِ دَاوُودَ وَسُلَيْمَانَ وَأَيُّوبَ وَيُوسُفَ وَمُوسَى وَهَارُونَ وَكَذَلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُحْسِنِينَ
6:85 And Zakariya and John, and Jesus and Elias: all in the ranks of the righteous:وَزَكَرِيَّا وَيَحْيَى وَعِيسَى وَإِلْيَاسَ كُلٌّ مِّنَ الصَّالِحِينَ
6:86 And Isma'il and Elisha, and Jonas, and Lot: and to all We gave favour above the nations:وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ وَالْيَسَعَ وَيُونُسَ وَلُوطًا وَكُلاًّ فضَّلْنَا عَلَى الْعَالَمِينَ
6:87 (To them) and to their fathers, and progeny and brethren: We chose them, and we guided them to a straight way. وَمِنْ آبَائِهِمْ وَذُرِّيَّاتِهِمْ وَإِخْوَانِهِمْ وَاجْتَبَيْنَاهُمْ وَهَدَيْنَاهُمْ إِلَى صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ
6:88 This is the guidance of Allah. He giveth that guidance to whom He pleaseth, of His worshippers. If they were to join other gods with Him, all that they did would be vain for them.ذَلِكَ هُدَى اللّهِ يَهْدِي بِهِ مَن يَشَاء مِنْ عِبَادِهِ وَلَوْ أَشْرَكُواْ لَحَبِطَ عَنْهُم مَّا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ
6:89 These were the men to whom We gave the Book, and authority, and prophethood: if these (their descendants) reject them, Behold! We shall entrust their charge to a new people who reject them not.أُوْلَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ آتَيْنَاهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحُكْمَ وَالنُّبُوَّةَ فَإِن يَكْفُرْ بِهَا هَـؤُلاء فَقَدْ وَكَّلْنَا بِهَا قَوْمًا لَّيْسُواْ بِهَا بِكَافِرِينَ