Channel: Jamal Badawi
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Welcome to Islam in focus. This is the first test on the certain sources of Islam. And to be more specific, it's the fifth on the arrangement of the Quran. And I'm your host Rashad region with me Dr. Jamaica diary from St. Mary's University, serrano conducted Medical Center Salama. Now to
start off with us on last week's show. Sure, after we discussed some of the theories of some of the orientalists about the arrangement of the Quran, which was just one problem before that, and indicating why these theories are erroneous. We moved in the last program to discuss some of the attempts that were made by some scholars to try and reflect on the divine wisdom behind the arrangement that we have in the Quran
indicating that none of them really claim to have the last word on the subject.
But some of the interesting remarks were discussed, especially those offered by the famous scholars of the Quran gelatine a security of the 16th century of the Common Era. More specifically, we examine, why did the Quran start with this very short chapter, the opening chapter, followed by substantially longer chapters, and why the that opening chapter actually captures in a very few verses the essence of Islam. We also discussed how that first chapter relates to the second and much longer. Chapter number two, indicating again, but basically the second chapter was an elaboration on this very concise first chapter, giving some details about the teachings in the Quran.
We noted that the same kind of connection existed between the second and third chapters, which are more or less like cognate chapters connected meaning. And finally, we noted that sometimes the connection between the chapters in the Quran is not only between one chapter and the other one and two, or two and three. But in some cases, in a number of chapters, you might find some connection like to relate it to three related to four also, we have seen some examples of that in the previous program. And also, you know, this connection you've mentioned between the chapters is last week there are beyond the fourth chapter. Yes, indeed, actually, that the book that was referred to
earlier by Jonathan shooty, about the secrets of the arrangement of the Quran, his reflections on it kind of is all 140 chapters, he goes in some detail. But here's some chapter that some charts that might help us perhaps put some of these points together.
For example, you'll notice here that in the first boxsters, which is actually the contents of chapters two in the Quran, you'll find that it deals to some extent with diet.
I wrote the B means briefly, because it's elaborated later on. In chapter five.
In verse 178, we find that it deals also with the penalty for premeditated murder. Okay.
Moving on to the next box, you'll notice that for example, it is was another aspect of killing or whether that is the penalty for involuntary manslaughter. That's in verse 92. Again, you notice here there is a source of connection between these two boxes between various chapters to the next books, chapter three, in a sense that both of them deal with heavily actually, with various aspects of belief. Underneath the boxes, you might notice, for example, the first one focus a great deal on the question of faith, history, especially history of you know, religious development of different nations and peoples.
The same thing is emphasized in the second and the third chapter, I should say that the second books, history also the new order, that is the new Muslim community, as the heirs of the prophet who then stretch your message that were brought forth was brought forth by previous prophets.
Now if we move a little bit from that to the third box here,
the first one, on the left hand side represent chapter four. And the last one, represent chapter five. You'll notice here that there is a line that is coming on the top, which is coming all the way from chapter two, in which, as indicated earlier, Chapter Two dealt, but in a very brief way with the question of diet or dietary laws.
But again, we find that the same topic has been covered in chapter five. But we have the word here d for detailed in much greater detail. Actually, the name of the chapter that's five is an either or like the table spread.
On the other hand, you find that chapter four, for example,
deals with the contracts, varieties of contracts, marriage, and so on.
Chapter five, begins, in fact, with the verse that says, all you who believe, fulfill your contracts, so it seems like a very beautiful and nice one. That's the very first verse in chapter five.
You'll notice also that
there are various other laws,
especially dealing with criminals, that people who are like professional killers or people who really not just a premeditated murder of innocence of anger, but people who really
read others bandits, and so on. And again, that seems to be a nice flow again, from area of chapters, which one of which mentioned, deliberate, premeditated murder. The second one dealt with the penalty of involuntary manslaughter for deals with the question of deliberate criminal acts.
Both of these chapters four and five, as you notice,
deal with some aspects of application of faith in life. As you notice, underneath the boxes, on the one on the left hand side deals largely with social problems, particularly family leaders and family organization, right. The first chapter deals with the how the Muslim community, the emerging Muslim country should avoid backsliding into the same difficulties and errors that took place in the past.
Now, getting to the chapter six, as you notice, from the numbers on top of the box, we find that why in the first chapter, the last line in the first chapter, and the box, just on top of that,
it says that it ends, that is chapter five ends by stating that to Allah, that is God, capital G belongs everything the domain of heavens and earth.
Chapter Six, however, goes into much greater detail of what that last verse in chapter five stated, it describes the creation of Allah, creation of heavens and earth and everything in between them, creation of the humans, animals, birds, the creation of life and death, sleet and
rain, stars, it goes into a greater detail as if it is a logical, you know, flow from what has been stated before. Another aspect that is noted underneath the box there, that a great deal of emphasis, besides determining the creation of God or Allah is to speak very strongly about monotheism, that, this creation carry, if we really observe them carefully, a clear evidence manifestation of the existence, omnipotence and mercy of the Creator. Moving on to chapter seven, which is just on the left hand side, on the yes on the left hand side or on the right hand side of the screen. And that deals with Prophethood. And this is a very befitting topic, sentence six deal with monotheism and of
course, you cannot learn much about monotheism unless this information is communicated through prophets that has been sent by by God. This seven constitute more or less like a constant flow. However, if we move on to the next two boxes, for example, you find that two chapters also eight and nine, are very much interrelated.
While the previous one dealt with belief, this one again comes back to action or application, some real life problems of Muslims, especially in the early days. Chapter Eight, for example, dealt with the difference of the new orders, or the Muslim community.
t x t stands for external that is against external attacks by the pagans, for example and their allies.
Chapter nine continues to deal basically with the same question of defense also of the community, but this time, mainly internally that is a defense against internal treason and Treasury that tried to destroy the new order from within. I see.
The previous chart seems to indicate the various chapters of the Quran are divided into groups. No. Has there been any attempt to study the Quran in this manner? Okay. Well, the Quran itself, the official copies that we have in our hands of the Quran, of course do not have a particular grouping as such. But you're right, many scholars have tried their best to try and see whether there is some sort of connection between some groups
of chapters. Perhaps by referring again to a couple of charts, we might be able to illustrate this point and perhaps an easy to fall away.
For example, in the previous church, we dealt with chapters from one up to
It is noted here by some scholars, especially Yusuf Ali, the famous translator of the meaning of the Quran, whose translation is quite popular, especially in North America, and Europe.
Some of his observation is that chapters 10 through 16,
seem to deal largely with issues pertaining to the question of Revelation, the truthfulness of Prophet Muhammad as the emissary or messenger of God, the role of the Quran that was sent with him, and trying to provide some proofs of the truthfulness of his claim that he is the messenger or prophet
Now, you'll notice that in the next group, that has chapters 17 through 21,
it was noted that most of the emphasis in this chapter has dealt with the spiritual development of individuals, especially in reference to profits. For example, 17 dealt with the night journey and ascension of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him as again a symbol of spiritual purification.
For example, chapters 18 dealt with the story of the people of the cave 19 is called Mary, that deals with the study of Prophet Jesus and his mother peace be upon him. Chapter 20 deals with the story of Prophet Moses, Chapter 21 deals with the the story of other stories of other prophets in general, I should add here, that one interesting observation that was made by Jonathan asuci
is that if you compare for example, two chapters in this group, 18 and 19, you will notice that chapter 18, nine as the case deals are dimensions to impress and miracles. One is the study of the people of the cave known as the seven slippers.
And others is an exchange study also about an encounter between Moses and another holy man, the Quran, you know,
mentioned that, and chapter 19, it deals with two other amazing and strange incidents also miracles. One is the miracle of the birth of prophet
or john the baptist, even though his father, his parents were very old, and his mother was burned. And secondly, the verse the miraculous birth, also of Prophet Jesus peace be upon him from a virgin, that's from Virgin Mary. So that's another interesting connection also, not only within the group of the of the chapters, but sometimes even between two related chapters. If we return back to the, to the same chart, referring that in other books we have, for example, chapters
22 through 25, still deal with the issue of individual spirituality,
making some emphasis on the spiritual growth of individuals through various acts of piety and worship, like prayers, pilgrimage chestatee, has been emphasized in more than one surah in this
the next group 26 through 29.
This is where the confrontation of those splits really developed into
He was particularly developed into radios ie the profits, and how the various societies and communities reacted to their message by denial and rejection, and how they treated those profits. So they seem to be some common theme in this group
of chapters. Continuing to the next
box that is chapters 30. Through 32,
you find that the emphasis now
shifts to some of the various mysteries of creation,
indicating that after all truth shall prevail,
which might have been a lesson also, or a sort of assurance to the believers in the days of Mohammed peace be upon him at any other time, where they have similar circumstances that even though they might be oppressed, at one time or the other that ultimately the choice will prevail. Chapter 33 indeed, seem to be a logical continuation of this group of chapters, because it does not just talk about mysteries or general principles, but like the Quran does frequently. It talks about general sense beliefs, and then it comes to application talks about prophecies that comes to fulfillment to actual incidents are happening in the life of the Muslim community. The emphasis in chapter 33,
which is by the way, is called the Confederates
describes how Muslims were victorious against the conspiracy to suppress their faith, and the alliance that combined many of the
opposition's together in one great Confederate to try to suppress and destroy Muslims. But again, it talks about the miracle victory that
took place against all the odds. Continuing to the next
box, for example, verses chapters 34, through 39, you'll find that the major emphasis again, is dealing with the struggle between right and wrong, truth and falsehood, giving stories and narratives from various nations basically, trying to make the point that
nations in the past no matter how strong and powerful or rich, they might have been, could not continue to prosper when they rejected the spirituality and rejected God. So it keeps reminding people with God and the destiny in the hereafter and how they even should be overcome. And then finally, at least for that sheet, the last books, chapters 40 through 46, this seven chapters, interestingly enough, all of them begin with the broken letters, Hamming, which again shows that the order is not just a sort of, you know, haphazard lexicon, or interest assumed all of them. That's why it is known as a how I mean, are the seven chapter that begin with a similar kind of initial.
All of these chapters, the seventh deal with the notion of belief and rejection of truth, with the victory of truth, indicating that nothing really will stand in the path of truth No matter how powerful it may be.
Continue with the same line of analysis and the following chart. First, for the group of verses, or sorry, I keep saying verses I'm in chapters are similar as 47 through 49. We find that the major emphasis there is on the social organization of the Muslim community, both internally and externally that is in terms of its relationship with others, that is the defense of this emerging community, as well as the internal etiquette or character or moral behavior, especially as reflected in chapter 49, which deals a lot with the question of etiquette and respect for each other and dealing among believers. The next box 50 through 56, deals largely with
eschatology or to use a simpler term the future of what would happen after this life is done with
underlining the importance of the Quran, in bringing about a spiritual awakening the role of belief in the hereafter in shaping the direction of the lives of the people. I may add a comment here that was the end of this chapter.
That has up to 56. This covers more or less about 90% of the Quran, not 90% of the number of chapters because some chapters are very long, some are very short. But in terms of the total volume of the Quran, that covers up to about 90%.
To move on to the next box, for the group of chapters from 57 to 66, you find that largely, they deal with what you might call special aspects or special problems in the new order. By new order here again refer to the new believing community, the Muslim that are supposed to be the heirs of the spiritual message that was delivered by previous prophets prior to the advent of the last prophet Muhammad peace be upon him.
Some of the chapters might emphasize one aspect or the other, but all of them really deal with aspects of spiritual development family organization, facing the enemies, and conspirators, dealing with the pockets within the community itself and so on. And finally, from 67 to 114, you find chapters which are largely very, very short.
With the very
use of articles a mystic beauty, describing the rise and fall of nations.
Various lessons for people this were mainly mucky sore, as revealed in the early days of Islam. And then finally, with the last few chapters 112 13 and 14 112 reiterates the principle of monotheism and absolute oneness and uniqueness of Allah, God, the Creator. and end with the 116 and 114, which is basically
a source of prayers just like the Quran started with a prayer, beautiful prayer, it ends again with a prayer seeking refuge in Allah, from all evens, whether those evils are evils of satanic forces or other human beings. I should say that this is just a sort of very quick and brief answer to your question since a grouping of disorders, but even within each of these groups, or you can spend a lot of time actually analyzing even connection between various chapters or students. Well, that's very informative. Like Did you know The last category you mentioned? That is the last chapter is what contains a lot of chapters? Yeah, almost about 48, perhaps short ones I see. Now, can you give us a
few examples of how specifically do some of these chapters relate to see if there may be any reason behind the way that they're arranged? Okay. If we listen to examine just the connection within the group itself, perhaps you can refer to this last chart that we have here.
Just taking the last 10
chapters, very brief chapters in the Quran, they start all the way from the upper corner, on the left, on the left hand side, that is 105. And known as the elephant or this the dealing with the story of how the ruler of Ethiopia at that time abraha, brought an army with elephants, to try and destroy the holy shrine, the Kaabah that he was even default has become a peace be upon him, started his mission. It was the same year when Prophet Mohammed was born, about 570 in the comments, here.
So basically, the amount of 5 million the people of Christ the child of the Prophet, that it was, God or Allah alone, who protected that holy shrine, the Kaaba.
If you move on to one or six, which is the next one,
known as this surah of Quraysh, actually, the beginning of that surah seem to indicate that it is a perfect connection and flow from the previous one, as if it says, the life of Christ, that God has served the sanctuary that was very much revealed even by kurush before Islam, in order that they may be thankful to Allah.
So the kind of flow of topic or meaning seem to
children you know, to connect very nicely. And actually that very sort of 106 ends by indicating that it was a law only who provided the security for the crash and provided provision or food for them.
After hunger, okay, if you move to 107, you'll find that it is again a continuation because in that chapter 107, we find that there is a continuation of those who are not grateful for the blessings that Allah has given, for example, condemning those who refuse to give food to those who are hungry or in need, okay? what are known as alkalosis, you find that it makes a contrast, a beautiful contrast with the surah as before, because the sooner before describe those who are ungrateful to the blessing of Allah and are not helpful to others. Whereas when it deals with the
blessings that Allah has given to Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, which are the opposite of this negative characteristics. For example, it says that Allah has given Prophet Mohammed a great deal
of blessings, which is against Of course, miserliness.
It ordained him to pray.
Whereas in the previous surah, it talks about people who are not prayerful, they don't fulfill their prayers. It says, pray to your Lord, which means be sincere in all your worship and action, whereas in the previous surah, it condemns those who are show off, and they just do that, you know, not for the sake of Allah, but for other reasons. It addresses the Prophet that he should slaughter the animals and provide, you know, meat for the poor and needy. Whereas the previous chapter speaks about those unknown amount those who refuse to give charity or help to others. In 109, we find again, that's why the previous chapter one or eight emphasized that thrillers and action should be
only for the sake of the creators. In 109, it emphasizes again, that it is only Allah who is worthy of worship, and that there should be no compromise on that 110 it talks about the word see, because 109 is a source of purifying oneself from worshiping other than Allah, as a result of that 110 speaks about the reward for that sincerity. And that is called honesty. That is the victory.
The seventh, the or the 111, which comes after that. It talks about the contrast, as it talks about that award in 110. It talks about the punishment for those who deviated from the path of a lot more specifically the punishment for Abu lahab, one of the functions of the prophet who was unbeliever. And then finally, you notice that the last remaining chapters 112 13, and 14, as indicated at the end of the previous question, that the want to reiterate the most important aspect of monotheism and Islam, that Allah begets not, nor was he bigots, and there is nothing comparable or similar to him.
13 and 14, as indicated, again, is the prayer for seeking refuge from all evils, whether they come from humans, or any other sources. So even if you take this as a sort of unit, and I'm just dealing with the last 10, because of the limitation of the time, but as indicated earlier, in the book, written by Stuart, he goes through each and every chapter in the Quran. And it's a kind of interesting
type of analysis, even though again, we say that that's his best judgment. We cannot say that this is the only way of looking at it. Well, especially time again, we thank Dr. Darren for sharing his knowledge with us and hope to see all of you back here next week. Focus on all of us. Assalamu alaikum