Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Towards Understanding the Quran


Towards Understanding the QuranWith kind permission: Islamic Foundation UK
English Chapter 28. Al-Qasas Intro. Verse 14-21 of 88 View Ar En Nt Font Email
وَلَمَّا بَلَغَ اَشُدَّهٗ وَاسۡتَوٰٓى اٰتَيۡنٰهُ حُكۡمًا وَّعِلۡمًا‌ؕ وَكَذٰلِكَ نَجۡزِىۡ الۡمُحۡسِنِيۡنَ‏ ﴿28:14﴾ وَدَخَلَ الۡمَدِيۡنَةَ عَلٰى حِيۡنِ غَفۡلَةٍ مِّنۡ اَهۡلِهَا فَوَجَدَ فِيۡهَا رَجُلَيۡنِ يَقۡتَتِلٰنِ هٰذَا مِنۡ شِيۡعَتِهٖ وَهٰذَا مِنۡ عَدُوِّهٖ‌ۚ فَاسۡتَغَاثَهُ الَّذِىۡ مِنۡ شِيۡعَتِهٖ عَلَى الَّذِىۡ مِنۡ عَدُوِّهٖۙ فَوَكَزَهٗ مُوۡسَىٰ فَقَضٰى عَلَيۡهِ‌ قَالَ هٰذَا مِنۡ عَمَلِ الشَّيۡطٰنِ‌ؕ اِنَّهٗ عَدُوٌّ مُّضِلٌّ مُّبِيۡنٌ‏ ﴿28:15﴾ قَالَ رَبِّ اِنِّىۡ ظَلَمۡتُ نَفۡسِىۡ فَاغۡفِرۡ لِىۡ فَغَفَرَ لَهٗ‌ؕ اِنَّهٗ هُوَ الۡغَفُوۡرُ الرَّحِيۡمُ‏ ﴿28:16﴾ قَالَ رَبِّ بِمَاۤ اَنۡعَمۡتَ عَلَىَّ فَلَنۡ اَكُوۡنَ ظَهِيۡرًا لِّلۡمُجۡرِمِيۡنَ‏ ﴿28:17﴾ فَاَصۡبَحَ فِىۡ الۡمَدِيۡنَةِ خَآٮِٕفًا يَّتَرَقَّبُ فَاِذَا الَّذِىۡ اسۡتَـنۡصَرَهٗ بِالۡاَمۡسِ يَسۡتَصۡرِخُهٗ‌ؕ قَالَ لَهٗ مُوۡسٰٓى اِنَّكَ لَـغَوِىٌّ مُّبِيۡنٌ‏ ﴿28:18﴾ فَلَمَّاۤ اَنۡ اَرَادَ اَنۡ يَّبۡطِشَ بِالَّذِىۡ هُوَ عَدُوٌّ لَّهُمَاۙ قَالَ يٰمُوۡسٰٓى اَتُرِيۡدُ اَنۡ تَقۡتُلَنِىۡ كَمَا قَتَلۡتَ نَفۡسًۢا بِالۡاَمۡسِ‌‌ۖ اِنۡ تُرِيۡدُ اِلَّاۤ اَنۡ تَكُوۡنَ جَبَّارًا فِىۡ الۡاَرۡضِ وَمَا تُرِيۡدُ اَنۡ تَكُوۡنَ مِنَ الۡمُصۡلِحِيۡنَ‏ ﴿28:19﴾ وَجَآءَ رَجُلٌ مِّنۡ اَقۡصَا الۡمَدِيۡنَةِ يَسۡعٰى قَالَ يٰمُوۡسٰٓى اِنَّ الۡمَلَاَ يَاۡتَمِرُوۡنَ بِكَ لِيَـقۡتُلُوۡكَ فَاخۡرُجۡ اِنِّىۡ لَـكَ مِنَ النّٰصِحِيۡنَ‏ ﴿28:20﴾ فَخَرَجَ مِنۡهَا خَآٮِٕفًا يَّتَرَقَّبُ‌ قَالَ رَبِّ نَجِّنِىۡ مِنَ الۡقَوۡمِ الظّٰلِمِيۡنَ‏ ﴿28:21﴾

(28:14) When Moses reached the age of full youth and grew to maturity,18 We bestowed upon him wisdom and knowledge.19 Thus do We reward those who do good.
*18 That is, when he had attained his full mental and physical development. In this connection, different ages of the Prophet Moses have been mentioned in the Jewish traditions. Some say he was 18, others have mentioned 20 years and still others 40 years. According to the New Testament, he was 40 years old. (Acts, 7: 23). But the Qur'an does not mention any age. For the purpose of the incident being mentioned in the following verses, it is enough to know that he had attained his full maturity at that time.
*19 Hukum implies wisdom, understanding and power of judgment, and 'llm is both religious and worldly knowledge. The Prophet Moses became familiar with the teachings of his forefathers the Prophets Joseph. Jacob, Isaac and Abraham (peace be upon all of them) through his contact with his parents, and with the sciences prevalent in Egypt by virtue of his training as a prince in the king's palace. Here the gift of Hukm (wisdom) and `Ilm (knowledge) does nor refer to the gift of Prophethood, because Prophethood was bestowed on Moses several years afterwards, as is mentioned below, and has already been mentioned in Ash-Shu`araa: 21 above.

(28:15) Once he entered the city at a time when its people were heedless,20 and he encountered two men fighting, one of whom belonged to his own people and the other to his foes. Now the man belonging to Moses' own people cried out to him for help against the man from the foes, and Moses struck him with his fist21 and finished him. Moses said: "This is an act of Satan. Surely he is an enemy who openly misleads."22
*20 It might be the early morning, or midday in summer, or night in winter, when the roads were deserted and there was all quiet in the city. The words "entered the city" indicate that the royal palaces were situated outside the capital, away from the common population. The words used are "entered the city" and not "came out in the city", because the Prophet Moses lived in the royal palace.
*21 The word wakaza in the original means both giving a slap and giving a blow. We have adopted "Moses gave a blow" for the reason that a blow can cause death but not so a slap.
*22 One can imagine the state of utter remorse and confusion in which the Prophet Moses uttered these words when he saw the Egyptian fall down after receiving the blow and breathe his last. He had no intention to murder, nor is a blow struck to kill, nor can one expect that a healthy person would die on receiving a blow. That is why the Prophet Moses exclaimed: "This is the work of Satan! He has made me do this in order to work some great mischief, so that I am accused of killing an Egyptian while defending an Israelite, and a violent storm of 'anger and indignation is aroused in the whole of Egypt not only against me but the whole Israelite community." In this connection, the Bible gives a different version from the Qur'an. It declares the Prophet Moses to be guilty of willful murder. It says that when Moses saw an Egyptian and an Israelite fighting, "He ( Moses) looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, He slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand." (Exodus 2: 12). The same is the version of the Talmud also. Now anybody can see how the Israelites brand the characters of their elders with infamy and how the Qur'an exonerates them. The verdict of common sense also is that a wise and discreet person, who was to become a great Prophet in the future, and who had to give man a great code of law and justice, could not be such a blind nationalist that seeing a member of his own community fighting with a man of the other community he would be so infuriated that he would kill the other person willfully. Evidently, it could not be lawful to kill the Egyptian only for the sake of rescuing an Israelite from his tyranny.

(28:16) Then he prayed:23 "My Lord! I have indeed inflicted wrong on myself, so do forgive me," wherefore Allah forgave him for He is Ever Forgiving, Most Merciful.24
*23 What the Prophet Moses meant by this prayer was: "O my Lord, forgive this sin of mine, which you know I have not committed willfully, and also cover and conceal it from the people."
*24 This has two meanings and both are implied here: Allah pardoned Moses' error as well as concealed his sin from the people so that neither any Egyptian nor any official of the Egyptian government passed that way at that time that he might witness the incident. So, the Prophet Moses got an opportunity to escape undetected from the place of the occurrence of murder.

(28:17) Thereupon Moses vowed: "My Lord, because of the favour that You have done me I shall never support the guilty."26
*25 That is, "The favor of concealing my `act' from my enemies and enabling me to escape unharmed from Egypt."
*26 This pledge of the Prophet Moses is in very comprehensive words. What he meant by this was that he would neither become a helper of an individual nor of those who perpetrated cruelty and tyranny in the world. Ibn Jarir and several other commentators have rightly understood this to mean that on that very day the Prophet Moses pledged to sever his relations with Pharaoh and his government, for it was a tyrannical government, which had set up a wicked system on God's earth. He realized that it was not for any honest person to continue as a functionary of a tyrannical kingdom and become an instrument of increasing its power and grandeur.
(28:18) The next morning he proceeded to the city in fear and looking around as one apprehensive of danger when all of a sudden, the man who had sought his help the day before again called out to him for his help. Moses said to him: "Clearly, you are a very misguided fellow."27
*27 That is, "You seem to be a quarrelsome man:you have daily a new quarrel with one or the other person."

(28:19) And when Moses decided to lay his violent hands on the man belonging to the enemy,28 he cried out:29 "Moses, do you intend to kill me as you killed a person yesterday?" You simply want to live in the land as a tyrant, and do not wish to set things right."
*28 Here, the Biblical version is different from the Qur'anic. The Bible says that the fight on the next day was between two Israelites, but according to the Qur'an this fight also was between an Israelite and an Egyptian. This second version seems to be credible, for the manner in which the secret of the murder of the first day became known, as is being mentioned below, could be possible only if a member of the Coptic community had come to know of the matter. An Israelite's knowledge of it could not be so treacherous: he could not have gone to inform the Pharaonic government of such a heinous crime committed by the prince, who was a great supporter of his own community.
*29 The one who cried out was the same Israelite whom the Prophet Moses wanted to help against the enemy. When after scolding and rebuking him, he turned to assault the Egyptian, the Israelite thought that Moses was going to strike him; therefore, he raised a hue and cry and disclosed the secret of the previous day's murder by this own folly.
(28:20) Then a man came running from the farther end of the city30 and said: "O Moses, the nobles are deliberating about you that they may put you to death. So do be gone. I am one of your well-wishers."
*30 This happened when in the second day's fight, the secret of the murder became known and the Egyptian informed the authorities about the case accordingly.
(28:21) Soon after hearing this Moses departed in a state of fear, looking around as one in apprehension and prayed: "My Lord, deliver me from these unjust people."
English Chapter 28. Al-Qasas Intro. Verse 14-21 of 88 View Ar En Nt Recite Font Email

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