Channel: Jamal Badawi
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and welcome to
today's program is the 63rd in the series sources of Islam, and we'll continue with our topic on the interpretation or as it's called an Arabic Tafseer of the Quran. I'm your host, a sharp English and we welcome Dr Genova dye from St. Mary's University as
well, that the dematha viewers could have a summary of last week's program. Okay, I tried to do quick, we continued discussion of the evolution of the science of taxes or interpretation of the Quran, we discuss the various methodologies of interpretation and you said there are two basic types. One is called the axial sword and that is to seek authentic reports, what are saying by the prophet or the companions of the Prophet pertaining to the meaning of certain verses.
And this is the approach taken by Atari and Nicosia and asuci. The other basic approach is called axial barrage, let's rally opinion but he said that we have to be careful because it could have two meanings. It could be an acceptable opinion, it does not mean replacing authentic reports with English opinion but rather to apply opinion alongside with the authentic reports.
Or it could be also unacceptable if a person goes to the Quran with the view of trying to seek some support of an idea that he has already in mind. And said in this case, of course, the prophets warn people not to interpret the Quran in this way just to seek justification what you want. And we concluded that to understand the Quran,
at least the basics, the spiritual and modern message of the Quran, any person can understand that and you don't need any intermediate. But when it comes to the interpretation for theological reasons, or legislative reasons, of course, you need someone who has some kind of mastery or specialization.
Okay, now, in the Tafseer, or the interpretation of the crowd,
generally accepted rules or guidelines that we should be following. Yes, they are to start with the Quran is quite different. And the interpretation of the Quran is different from interpreting the writings of any other humanly written book. It's even different from the interpretation of any other scripture or sacred writings where pupils are disciples, for example, write their own impressions or understanding whereby you consider them to be and when you don't have to really be a deliverable in what they wrote to interpret what they they said.
In the case of the Quran, we have explained that amply in the previous section of that series, under the absurdity of the Quran, there is ample evidence that the Quran is indeed the Word of God, it could have not been written by Prophet Muhammad or any combination of human beings.
And a person after all this evidence, refuse to believe or reject belief in Allah, the creator of the universe,
reject belief in Prophets, and the Quran, could not be really trusted to interpret the Quran for us. It's just like imagining an atheist. Trying to interpret the verses in the Quran relating to divinity, obviously, did not make any sense to him.
Secondly, a person who tried to interpret the Quran should go with sincerity, as indicated in the summary for example, not to go to the court and to support one particular view or school of thought that you subscribe so, but to try to find what is the message there in the Quran. A third qualification is that a person also should have moral integrity, because in Islam, there is no distinction between the matter of belief and action or behaviors. And that's one aspect of credibility.
A fourth condition, of course, is that in my trying to interpret the Koran should be competent in the language in which the Quran was revealed. We have indicated before that in the translation of the Quran is really an interpretive translation of the meaning. And when you want to literally derive legislative rules, you've got to have good competence and I don't mean that you should be an Arab, that's immaterial. Many Arabs would not have
competence, and many herbs would have a great deal of competence and understanding the language. After all, we know that every language has its own expressions. It's on idioms, its own subtle meanings that you can only understand with deeper understanding of that language. Assess conditions, that nobody can really properly interpret the Quran, at least on a scholarly, scholarly level, without having some knowledge of the sciences of the Quran that we have discussed in some of the previous programs. The reason for the relation the question of abrogation or superstition, and or related issues, the nahki and meadowmere relations are all very essential.
In addition to this,
to interpret the Quran, also, one should have reasonable knowledge of other Islamic topics, such as jurisprudence, the the life history of the Prophet, Islamic history, and related areas, and to have also the talent as a scholar, to be able to use and relate all of these disciplines together to come up with a good interpretation of the Quran. Now, of course, in situations where you don't have people with this high qualifications, it doesn't mean that you cannot study or or share even your understanding of the Quran. if you for example, like many standing centers, across North America, I'll do that a person will be assigned to go back to some authoritative references on tafsir or
and come and give a talk on the basis of this not his own opinion, but to relate what he studied, that there is nothing wrong with that. Finally, in addition to this condition that relates more to the person who is working, or interpretation,
there are also some rules to follow. For example, the golden rule in interpreting the Quran is that the Quran interprets itself. In other words, something may appear somewhere in the Quran briefly, but you find the details somewhere else. So one cannot check one passage in isolation, you have to relate it to other passages relating to the same subject elsewhere in the Quran to study within the context of the entire Quran. If a person does not find other illustrations in the Quran, then one has to resort to the other type of Revelation, the similar or the same of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him. If not, one can see what opinions were given by the companions of the Prophet since they
were closest to him, and more knowledgeable of what was going on. So these are basic rules, I would say that are quite reasonable to expect before someone say yes, here is my interpretation of the Quran.
You've mentioned a number of qualifications that one should possess? No, he's going to interpret the crime that we see cases of scholars who have other classifications that you've listed, what are the differences in the interpretations among these scholars? Yes, why not? This actually relates to another science of the sciences of the Quran, known as the science of unmasking, shabby,
shabby, these are two terms that are rather difficult to translate into English. But let me first explain the literal meaning of each of these terms.
literally means something which is perfect eloquence, truthful. In that sense, you can say that the entire car Angeles is
a talker and is perfect. And we find actually reference in the Quran itself to that notion in chapter 11. In the first passage,
the other term watershed literally means something which is similar, consistent or coherent. Again, in that literal sense, we can say that that is terror and is Machado. And actually the Quran also make a difference to that in Surah, Chapter 39 in passage number 23.
Now this might appear now that there is no difference, well, what's the difference? Yes, there are.
other meanings also, others have different meanings of Muskaan. And Natasha does not that they both are similar. But by way of contrast, that the Macan will be differentiated from what a shabby and this can do derived from a reference to the Quran itself to chapter three. In passage number seven, in which Allah says that he revealed to your own 100 the book, some verses are muskan some verses are watershed
But what shows that you're really talking about some kind of contrast or distinction between McCann and Machado, which shows that there is a different meaning than the purely literal meaning of the two terms.
Now, I wonder
if you could possibly elaborate in that last meeting at the Academy, show us how the chronic versus rashly cost.
Okay. Some scholars of the sciences of the Enlightenment North baton and others
classify the contrast, the most common with a shadow from three different angles.
On one angle, you can say that the muskan, or you're comparing the type of verses or passages in the Quran, where there is no mystery, where the meaning is quite obvious ripclear versus another one done with a shotgun or do passages whose meaning is not really that clear. And the first look, and his full meaning even, might be not only to Allah.
the comparison between passages in the Quran, which can only be interested in one way, in other words, it's so clear, so decisive that you can tell like, it could be subject to different application, one interpretation, obviously,
versus other passages where there is room to say right, you could interpret it this way or that way, not necessarily contradictory, but to variant ways of looking at the meaning.
A third angle is to contrast
passages in the Quran, which could be easily understood, more or less independently, you don't really have to relate much to other verses to understand if it's certainly as that building as it stands as a passage, it's clear and obvious. Versus passages in the Quran, or Masada, where you can't really get proper understanding of what it means, unless you relate it to other interdependent passages relating to the, to the same subject. It is this kind
of contrast or variations between moscon and Machado, that allows a great deal of interest. Amongst colors, you can just give a quick illustration of this
outcome or decisive verses in the Quran would be something that relates to the fundamentals or belief, the oneness and uniqueness of Allah, and the rejection of any form of believing in any other thing or person that shares divinity or divine attributes with the creation so much repeated, so obvious. That certainly there could be no difference on that some of the basic aspects of worship or moral teaching and so on. Whereas with a Shabbat, or allegorical things might relate to the unseen things that are being our perception.
It might be worthwhile at this point, if you could highlight them the nature of DSM or the discussion, the opinions of scholars.
Of course, as far as the most common, or the more decisive and clear and obvious. passages in the Quran, there's no problem. It's understood informally.
But I think when it comes to the what you might call allegorical, it's not a very complete translation of the word Muta Shabbat, but let's say allegorical,
touching passages, we find that scholars have taken one or three different positions on that.
Some scholars, the majority, in fact, not as
people who predecessors literally
they said that the true meaning of this allegorical versus symbolical verses, is only known to Allah alone.
And then it is better for us simply to believe in them without trying to dwell too much on what really they mean, that it's something just to communicate to us, but you should not do it until you accept it as it is.
And in fact, they refer to the verse I quoted earlier, there are seven chapters in the Quran. And they say you must stop when you say when
in the law that only Allah knows the true meaning. And so we should stop there. And then add, as for those who are well established in knowledge, they say we believe in it. So even in terms of where to stop and recycling diversity, so you should stop after
the knowledge of Allah stop.
Now, another group of scholars minority really like Abu Hassan and Ashanti and boys have a Shirazi
Essentially of hedgerows or migration of the Prophet
said that, no, we said, Those who are established knowledge,
you will be able to understand the meaning the true meaning of these allegorical verses. And they decide the verse a little differently, even though it's the same verse, that they sell only Allah and those who are knowledgeable, understand its true meaning and they say we believe in it.
Now, there's a third opinion that appears to me
to be perhaps the one that sounds reasonable, is the one suggested by a rabbit. And as for honey, who died in the year 502 of hedgerows migration of the prophet who divided the different types of watershed or allegorical verses into three, as reported by Dr. Salah.
You want is the kind of the verses or passages which are impossible, impossible for us to fully comprehend or understand in front. Those might be things that relate to be the reality of the divine attributes, which is far beyond us, we can understand something but you can never get to the essence of God Himself.
The second category, he said, they kind of passages which are an agreement, but if we really research the meaning of the terms, you might be able to understand it. And then he said, there's also a third category which is in between something which is not impossible, not that obvious. And he said that this is the category perhaps that only those who have really deep knowledge might be able to discern its meanings as Dr. asylum comments, this opinions, the three positions, these are the the allegorical passages in the Quran, are not necessarily contradictory with each other. Because it all depends on the interpretation of what each scholar means,
or understands by the term meaning, which appears in chapter three, verse seven.
Because that will, in one sense, could mean literally speaking, interpretation, or attempt to understand and in that sense, there is no restriction because the Quran urges us to try and understand. And that's why, if you recall, in one program, you mentioned that in our best, one great companion of the Prophet
was so close to the Prophet and the Prophet, prayed for him. And he said, Oh, Allah will teach him that we are teaching a course in India, the understanding and interpretation, how they are on
that wheel, however, which is another possible meaning means to speculate on the reality of things which are beyond our perception, then, of course, this is objectionable, we can say that the real real, or the real essence of the meaning of this reality is only known to the creators, and that would be the rejected practice. So in other words, it depends what they understand by the term.
take this one step further and actually give examples of that. Well, during our discussion of the
first portion of that series, under the ultimate miracle of the Quran, how do we know that the Quran is the revelation from Allah,
you have a number of references just to refresh your memory.
For example, the Quranic reference to the earth being saved 1400 years ago,
using the term you covered, that Allah coined that over the night and called the night over the day, mirror just the day into the night and nurse the night into the day, or the mentioned in the Quran about the rotation of the Earth, at the moon motion of mountains alongside with the movement, rotation of the earth.
In the embryology, when the reference was made in the Quran to the term Allah which means something that claims apparently a reference to the development of velocities in the fertilized ovum so that it claims or embed itself in the lining of the uterus, the reference to the sun always as a source of light the moon as a reflection of life. Now, obviously, for this kind of passages in the Quran,
it is very difficult for a common man to understand the significance or the depth of the expression and the miracle and then unless his as the Quran says, well established knowledge was something about embryology know something about this journey so that you can see the beauty of the expression and how miraculous it was given the timeframe that been 1400 years old.
But when the Quran for example, refers to divine attributes that Allah healers are seen as, or that she has a throne, or that the hand of God is about human hands. It is impossible for any human being here to totally comprehend the reality of God's hearing, the reality of God seeming, because always when we're hearing, and see, we think, in terms of physical seeing and hearing.
And for that reason, we find that the
scholars have taken two opinions, visually, those passages, a set of
the traditionalist if you might say, like Malik said that we should accept the apparent meaning. Allah says, or see, it's fine, I mean, we should not dwell much on that, we should not try to understand what is the reality of seeing and hearing because it's just beyond us.
There are other scholars also
one of whom is a famous and joining me, who is known as also as amended Hermes, who died in 478, of the migration of the Prophet,
and others who said that these verses actually should be interpreted, but in non literal way, you cannot interpret the journey literally.
On one hand, you have to realize that you cannot connect the so called paths in
consideration, that if Allah says, he hears and sees, we cannot come and say,
he doesn't hear or see, because what I feel, but this might be anthropomorphic, or you know, physical, so you cannot do that, nor can also commit the so called Taksim to materialize God and think of God hearing using is like our exact like our humans, our eyes like ours. But he said, this could be understood in a way that does not contradict either. For example, they said, when a man shows in the front of the hand of God is above the hand, the hand is a symbol in Arabic to power, which means the power of God is above any human power.
Or when it says to profit uses that so that you will be made on my eyes, not eyes, physical eyes, but the eyes and means under my flesh, that you will be raised or brought up under my care. So this is the conduct position that has been taken, adopted last summer. He was named under and others were asked, Why did the crown contain these allegories in the first place? Why isn't the Vulcan subject to only one interpretation? And how does that relate to the crown as being quote unquote, a clear book, looking at this second practice, it is true that there are passages in the Quran that describes it as being a clear book. But that means actually very clear in the fundamentals of the
beliefs in simple person even reading the Quran, as far as the fundamental message of the Quran, it is easy to discern and understand
without any, you know, clarity because there is no collusion Islam as such. But this does not mean that the Quran is nothing but there was, you know, basic symptom truth that anyone can understand there is also a challenge in the Quran to the scholars, in every place and anytime, and that impressed explained the allegories in the Quran
which could be understood by the common man on one level, but also the scholar can find a deeper and richer meaning and the Quran is directed as a Razzie indicate to those groups. In addition to this, the challenge in the Quran is a new motive for many people to see further understanding and research at all times. And also perhaps it is a reminder for us to be humbled that as human beings, you cannot understand everything we can understand the main things Yes, but there are some fine points that you have to admit. No wonder we sang Prophet Muhammad peace we often describe the Quran, that is neither a Buddha, its wonders can never be exhausted.
Before we will leave the topic of interpretation of the crime. I'm asking you to please comment on the nature of the alphabetic index, which which centuries of the crime begin? Okay, I was 114 suicides are chapters in the Quran in 2019. Begin with one or more of these alphabets, which is in search of illustration. Some of them start with one that are being used, there will be chapter numbers. Some start with two letters.
Total of 1014 chapters begin with three letters. That's in the next frame.
Then in the fourth frame, we find that
We start with four letters, or two chapters of that category. And then finally, there is one, Chapter 19, nearly, or Marian, that starts with five letters. If you only need the repetition of 14 letters out of the 29 in Arabic alphabet, I just talked about the nature of the alphabets that appear in some sort of now that's, that's pretty clear on the chart, but
what are the explanations or, or the meanings of these letters? When a very nice explanation of this is provided by Dr. philosopher in his book The supplements are on but let us summarize these points. Briefly, with the help of the chart that we have here. There are there were a number of theories, or interests, for example, upheld the base. alphabets were added later, that there is no evidence for that opinion. And it's contrary to all the evidence that we discussed before for selling through authenticity. The second approach, held by non decay and Padma wizard that may be this alphadex were monograms of the names of people from whom collected manuscripts are delivered on the boxes where he
kept the manuscript. That second opinion also is a speculation. Sure, speculation really an erroneous because it is known that Prophet Muhammad recited those chapters in the Quran, with those letters in his lifetime, before even this collection was put in boxes as they claim. And also this explains the 29 of the 114 surah in the Quran, how about the other 85 a third opinion was suggested by Georgia served and so this might be a reference to the topic of that chapter. Answer for example of sod, one chapter called sod, and may be a reference to the topic because it deals with the study of Prophet Solomon. And there is a grave error here that takes long to explain, but I just mentioned
it very quickly, that the words the letter saw that Arabic has no equivalent in English, the closest thing really is F the letter S. And in Arabic, if that theory is correct, then prophets are a man should become Suleiman or like an English Solomon, which of course, is not a correct a first opinion was that
which by the way, was not under restricted Orientals. Some Muslims also made that error. They said that this letters might have some mystical meaning and use all kinds of numerology to protect them this is rather erroneous, I'd have said that the opinion that it is an abbreviation like Allah for Allah Lanford Latif, but again, there could be many other divine attributes that begin with the same letter. Some said it was simply titles of some chapters in the Quran, but that is erroneous again, because why only 29 out of 142. The seventh thing is that it is referenced to the frequency of the letters, the appearance of that letter in the surah.
As Akashi, even as MDL essentially noted that sort of our chapter called Caf,
the word or knockoff occurs 57 times even though the verses are less than that the same for noon. Other said that it might be simply the attention of the the hearer of the Quran. But the thing that I support you the most is the last one, the ninth one, that it is a challenge that it says that this Quran is composed of the same that are the two people know what you visibly failed to indicated in terms of content and wisdom. Well, thank you very much to Jamal every time.
I urge and request our viewers. If you have any questions or any comments whatsoever, please to adjust them to the address that will be your screen any minute now. Write to us. We'd love to hear from you.