The Incredible Symmetry of the Story

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Nouman Ali Khan

Channel: Nouman Ali Khan


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smilo Salatu was Salam ala rasulillah holla le he was iph marine Amala Aruba Billahi min ash shaytani r rajim Bismillah R Rahman r Rahim al Islam ra taka taka taka mubin in the Angela who Quran in Arabic en la la quinta Loon. Sorry, we're silly Emily, Emily, Sania Coco de la Sabina and mot de la la la la la la la la la mina Latina Amina Amina, Sunny hot water, wasabi hockey sobre la me. I am really excited to share something very beautiful with you today. And I want to start by giving credit to a remarkable author brother Jawad Qureshi who wrote a great paper on sort of use of

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that helped me quite a bit. I mean, I had some understanding of the structure and the coherence of the the surah. I had read something about it many years ago, authored by Professor muslin sumir. But his work jawatan regulation, his work went way further, and it's very methodical, and I thought that it really should be incorporated into our series. But of course, having given him credit, in the description of this session, there's actually a link to a YouTube video by the author of that paper himself so he can speak in his own words, and you can inshallah benefit from that. I personally have the document the PDF file for his,

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his paper, I'm sure you can find it on Google. Also, I'll ask my team, if they can, you know, if I can get the author's permission, we can upload it somewhere. And you guys can download it from there, if I had an option of putting a document up on Facebook, I would have, but I don't have that option. I couldn't at least figure it out. But let's get started. And look at the story of use of Elisa Lam and the entire surah as a whole, and how it's one of the most incredible examples of the literary beauty of the Quran. So today's session, not only is it about learning something about the wisdom of the Quran, but really, it's, it's going to be more focused on how beautiful and how

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structured the speech of Allah is and how it's just a marvel. So let's start with the overall structure of the surah. We already talked about it, the first three are the introduction, and from 102 to 111 is the conclusion of the solar. So that's something you guys already have heard from me and you, I've talked to you about that, that those portions are not really discussed in detail in jamaats paper, it's the rest of it that he has talked about pretty pretty amazingly. So now in the fourth to the sixth day, in the very beginning, you remember that a young boy tells his father the dream, right? That's where the story begins. So the dream has been shared. And if you turn to the

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very end, 99 to 101. It's when the dream is fulfilled. So the opening scene and the closing scene correspond to each other. They're both about the dream, what did it mean, here's what it meant. And it's actually interestingly, an exchange between father and son again, because in the opening scene, the son was telling the father, this is the dream. And the father was giving him warnings and on the on the flip, and it's the son telling the father again, this is the interpretation how that we literally I mean, COVID causada, horribly haka. So it's really beautiful how that mirrors each other, then you've got it from number seven to 18, you learn about the jealousy of his brothers, you

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learn about use of Yahoo's concern for their tendencies you learn about the entire scene lets you know they're they're conspiring with each other to get rid of you stuff in some way, they finally come to the conclusion that they should drop him in a ditch somewhere in a well somewhere, and maybe somebody will come and take him, then they come back and tell the you know, father and elaborate story about a wolf having eaten him, all of that is the family tension, and which all essentially led to the separation of the of the family. Now, on the flip side, working backwards from 58 to 98, you get family attention again, they come back in his life, right, and he sees them and he

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recognizes them, but they don't and then now they're saying offensive things to his face. And now he's, you know, engage with them. And that entire engagement, which we will dig into a little deeper, leads to the opposite of what happened in the beginning, in the beginning, that tension led to a separation of the family. And this time that tension is going to lead to a reunification of the family. So those two things converge with each other also. And then you've got in the middle use of Holly salaams time in Egypt. So when he was brought into a slave all the way to the point where he was exonerated out of prison and turned into the Minister of Finance and given that lofty position.

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So that's an overall sort of symmetrical view of the story, and that's where we're starting. And that's just where we're starting. Now what we're going to do is, you notice the middle section use of in Egypt, I said here, it's a pretty large section I in number 19 all the way to 57. So, think of it this way. You know how on your camera, you've got like the regular view

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You've got like the two X, zoom in, and then you've got the three x zoom in. So we're going to do the two x zoom in, on the middle section on Yusef in Egypt, then we're going to do a three x zoom in again on use of in Egypt. So we're going to zoom in twice on that Middle Passage. Okay, so let's zoom in once. But just so you can appreciate I drew lines, if not obvious enough for you. They're really pretty. I really liked them. The introduction and the conclusion, then dream shared and dream fulfilled, family tension and separation and family reunification.

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Now, we're zooming in, on the middle part, just the middle part, the life of use of in Egypt, okay.

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So he gets enslaved in Egypt from number 19 to 21. That's where it begins. By the way, reminder, that's 19 to 57. So it's a pretty large section, right? So we're starting at 19. He gets enslaved in Egypt, then he is in 22, to 35. He is tempted and that eventually leads to his imprisonment. That entire scene, that episode, then you've got he, when he's in jail, he interprets dreams. And there's an exchange where he gives Dawa. Right so that's that's that entire dream. And then after that, he is exonerated, and then he's freed, meaning the comes back. And then he's, you know, the problem is resolved in 50, and 51. And he is then made the treasurer of Egypt. That's the basic outline at a to

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zoom in, of what happened in Egypt. Now notice here to starts off being enslaved, ends up being the treasurer, so the lowest position to the highest position, he is tempted, and imprisoned. And on the flip side, he is exonerated, proves his innocence against that temptation and is also freed from prison. And in the middle, you've got the king and the dream interpretation. So you've got this like, incredible order, even within the middle, the wholesaler has a structure, and the middle has its own structure. And now it's time to go even deeper inside Egypt, because it's a large section. So we got to go, you know, step by step. So now life in Egypt, a closer look, this is the three x

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view. So we're really zoomed in on that 19 to 57 section of the surah. There were a lot of components here. So I wrote a little bit smaller, hopefully you can keep up 19 to 21 is enslavement, then he resists temptation when the wife of the minister, then he's assaulted by her when she rips his shirt, then he is she's vindictive, so she put him on display in front of other women, and they cut their hands. And this was part of the embarrassment to us of how powerless he is, where's he going to run now? Right, so she put them on display as a demonstration of her power, and the scene where the women cut their hands. And then of course, she is adamant that he should get imprisoned.

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And then he interprets the dream of the inmates that he meets in prison, and an ayah. Number 42. The inmate who was freed forgets to do what use have had asked, right, so he asked for help and asked to go make mention of him, but he forgot to make mention of him. And finally, you get to after all of that, the king sees a dream that we are dream that he couldn't figure out right. Now let's go forward. So now, again, the section is 19 to 57. But this is a an outline of events from 19, all the way to 44. We still got to get from 45 to 57. So we got to conclude the whole thing. What happens next is the freed prisoner remembers. So you notice I said D seven. Here is a section in D seven,

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the inmate forgot and now he is remembering. So forgetting and remembering are contrasted with each other. And then the dream of inmates was interpreted. And this time the dream of the king is interpreted by use of Friday syrup. So D six and D six correspond 46 to 49. And in D five, Yusuf was imprisoned and moving forward in number 50 use of Elisa Lam is free from jail. He was put on display as a show of humiliation when the women cut their hands. And now those same women are being brought to court and they have to declare that he was innocent, and they're put on display. And he gets to question them, and he puts them in a corner and they have to say Harsha lilla so that that

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resolution has now happened. Then she was assaulted by her when she ripped his shirt and she falsely accused him and now she admits her wrong. The wife of the minister admits her wrong, and is actually now coming to her senses. Then he had resisted his temptation in private and remember part of that was my master has been good to me. Right? Even though my master is not here right now, meaning the owner of the house but Allah has always been good to me right. Now notice what he says delicately Allah Neelam. On the flip side, he says, I did this. So he would know that I did not cheat him in the unseen.

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Right. So he's going back to that unseen scene where they were invisible from the world. And he says, even when nobody could see I still didn't cheat him. So it's a it's a

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You know, echoing of that scene yet again. And finally, of course, the opposite of enslavement, he is made the treasurer of Egypt. So as we zoom in, you've got 1234567 components, leading to the king seeing a dream. And then you've got those same seven components addressed or corresponded to, in reverse order. So it's really incredible that that's, that's just the middle of the the soda. Now, let's look at the entire story, the entire story, you can be argued about 21 scenes, and I know this is rather small salt, you know what I'm going to do? But can you go and like, put it on full screen because I want everybody to see this entire screen.

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So let's now look at the entire story.

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Yeah, that last one. Yeah, that's right. Okay, so the whole story, you've got the introduction, then you've got the dream. Then you've got the family separation. We already talked about that. Then we've got him turned into a slave. After that he resists temptation in the minister's house, then he is assaulted by the minister's wife. Then he's put on display and humiliated as the women cut their hands, which then leads to him being falsely imprisoned. And then he meets inmates whose dream he interprets. Then the inmate whose dream he interpreted, got out of jail and forgot all about it. Then you see, the king sees a dream. And when the king sees a dream, it triggers the memory of the

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inmate who forgot and the inmate remembers. And after the inmate remembers, the King's dream gets interpreted because he comes back to jail and asks Yusuf Ali Salaam, and then Yusuf Ali Salaam is freed. And once he's freed, he's exonerated by those women, because they say he didn't do any wrong. And then she, in turns, finally speaks and says, No, I was the one who wronged him. And then he's exonerated before that disease. When he says to the Minister, I didn't, I didn't wronged him in the unseen. And finally, he's also made or close to finally he's that made the treasurer and the family gets reunited, eventually, that long scene of family tension, right, and then the dream gets

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fulfilled. And you've got yourself the conclusion. Now notice, introduction, conclusion, dream and dream fulfilled, family separation, family reunited, slave treasure, resisting temptation exonerated,

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you know, proving that he was innocent, the assault, and then the apology from her exonerated by her display, and then the display before the women exonerated by the women, imprisoned and then freed. Inmates dream interpreted, the King's dream interpreted, the inmate forgot, and the inmate remembers, I mean, look at that.

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I was just making this and I was like, that's beautiful. Not my PowerPoint. But like, that's really awesome. That's just an incredible structure. Now. Now let's look further at some themes. And by the way, there are there's another two large sections, which we're gonna dig into after the themes, which is, you know, the family tent, the family separation in the family reunion, because they're complicated, right? There's multiple things that were happening. So we're gonna look at that a little closer to, but let's look at the contrasting themes. You've got the introduction and the conclusion. That's obvious. Though story opens with separation and ends with reunion. You've got him

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moving into a low status and working backwards, he moves towards a high status or less shows how trials are different from low status versus high status. You've got his temptation, and you've got the proof of his innocence. You can also call this slander and innocence. Right?

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Then you've got the one who assaulted him is also the one who apologized to him. And then you've got him being displayed for humiliation, and then him restoring his honor publicly and exonerating himself. And then you've got prison and freedom. And finally, you've got the inmate forgetting and then the inmate remembering so even thematically, if you look at these terms, I know what some of this you can't see clearly. But the bottom is forgetting and the bottom is conclusion there. So

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this is the just a thematic architecture of the story and the elements that it presents now, so I just did that till a pretty sizes is gonna do that. Because it's so so cool.

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Okay, now the presidency. So you know, when he it was known, the Minister knew you can go back to the shared screen. So it was it was known that

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the minister knew that he didn't do wrong, but he figured, you know, let the scandal die down. Let him go to prison for a time for some time. And then the inmates when they tell him their dream, they keep talking about how I see you know, the wine pouring wine and I see that birds are eating from my head.

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Yusuf Alayhi Salam uses the opportunity not just to interpret their dream, but before he would interpret the dream. He describes his faith and the legacy of his father Ibrahim Alayhi Salam and his harp and Yaqoob and one God, and how can multiple Gods be better than one. And so he takes this opportunity to describe his faith. And then he interprets their dream. And then Allah says they remain he remained in prison for some years. So notice, imprisonment for some time and some years is that the opening and closing even of the prison scene, and then in inmates telling their dream, and getting their dream interpreted, is the second, you know, ring on the outside. And then the center

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of that ring is Yusuf Ali Salaam, describing his faith. So it's pretty cool that at the heart of prison, is his description of his faith. So it's interesting thematically, and also spiritually, that the most powerful Dharma passage in the whole surah is in the darkest place. Right, the passage that has the most light, if you will, is in the darkest place. So that's also a kind of an interesting thematic component. Now let's talk about the two component two elements, which are the separation of the family and the reunion of the family. Okay, so in the beginning brothers had schemed for use of an iron number seven to 10. Then the brothers plead with their father to take use

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of right Oh, he'll come and play and he'll eat and all that stuff. So we remember how we zoomed in into Egypt three times. Now we're zooming in into the separation, the family drama in the opening, right so they you know, the brother scheme, and then they plead with their dad to take use of Ali Salaam, and then the brothers abandoned him and a pet fee reality job.

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Then they returned to iacobelli, salaam fake crying. We were running around and the wolf came and ate him. You guys know the story? 16 and 17. Then they bring their father a fit, you know, shirt with fake blood on it. And then finally, Kubernetes labs after seeing all of this nonsense, he says sovereign Jamil, right, he says, The only thing I can do is find beauty and patience right. Now, that's the story of how the separation happened. Makes sense, right? Now, let's go on the other side. How did the reunion happen? The first thing that happened was Yusuf Ali Salaam made a scheme to keep his brother

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right, because he falsely accused him of and with his knowledge falsely accused him of having stolen a goblet and then all of that transpired right. Then the brothers plead to take Benjamin back. They want to take him back and this is called an old father, please show mercy on him etc. And then the brothers lose Benjamin even their pleading doesn't work. So they end up losing him. And then they return to jacoba the salon crying truthfully, we tried to get him back but he wouldn't let him go. And Jacobo la Salaam says sovereign Jamil I can do is be patient. And then finally, when the drama transpires, they bring Yusuf Ali Salaam, his genuine shirt, that entire episode of how they got the

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shirt back. Now compare these, the opening and the opening of both the separation and the reunion is a scheme being made in regards to a brother, one being kept for safety, the other being kept to be to be ruined or to be abandoned. And then you've got the pleading, they had pled with the Father to take use of. And then they had played with the use of to take Benjamin back to beg him to take him and it didn't work. The father failed to keep him so they took use of La Salaam and they abandoned him. But they fail to just like they failed with use of La Salaam to get Binyamin and Binyamin stayed back. Then you've got them coming to their father in the opening, crying about how they lost

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you know, their brother Yusuf and a wolf ate him. And on the flip side, they come to him saying that the Egyptian King kept him and he stole what could we do? It wasn't up to us, how could we have known etc, etc. But what's interesting, so far everything corresponds right. But I colored it differently. So you could see not everything corresponds when you get to the end. On the on the separation side, you see the shirt, the fault, the fake shirt, near the shirt with the fake blood, and then you see him say sovereign Jamil right. But on the other end, on the reunion side, you've got the jacobellis alarm saying I'm gonna be patient sovereign Jamil. And then comes the shirt,

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which is incredible, because ally is teaching us in the, in the in the opening passage, that when you are faced with dire news, then you must resort to sub so it's subber before resolution.

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It's subtle, you know, so he's presented with a terrible calamity and he has to resort to sub it. And then Allah says, and when you show that kind of stubborn, I will send you a resolution. So he's got, there's a there's a shirt that is the cause of misery, and he's gonna have slobin and then he has suffer and unless I'll give

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You are short a shirt that will be the cause of joy. All right, so the last component is flipped between the two, highlighting this really beautiful contrast between the separation and the reunion. So you can see that all of these items are corresponding except the last who they crisscross with each other, right. So the study of the the organization of the solar even helps in that regard. So that these are the few things that I wanted to share with you today. I know this didn't take long, but I just wanted to give you this, this recap, the paper is worth read. And I think it's a really good research paper on just the study of nothing altogether, that's, you know, this is an emerging

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field of trying to discover the structure and the composition of soldiers. I'm not entirely sold on every soldier has to have some kind of a ring composition, or, you know, you know, symmetrical structure, there are different kinds of structures in the soldier. You know, I've talked about my view on how to how I engage in that process, how I look for those things inside of a surah. And what works I've benefited from that have already been done on it. And as I go, some of that work is original, and some of that work, people have done some pretty amazing things like you know, jawatan Rico he here, reward him for it. So hopefully, inshallah, this will be of benefit to you. And it's

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something that's so beautiful to share, you know, with family and friends, because the people who make the claim that the Quran is disorganized, and the Quran has chaotic themes, or it's all over the place, or it's not as you know, literary, it's not a literary Marvel, and, you know, some people are more impressed with the biblical narration of the same story. Well, maybe they haven't looked at the literary components closely enough. And these kinds of papers can highlight that even for an English speaking audience, so you don't even have to have the Arabic background to be able to do that. So with that, inshallah Tada. I'll conclude today's session. barakallahu, Li walakum Felker

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and Hakeem one whenever any error can be it was lacking. Salam aleikum wa rahmatullah wa barakato. There's one more session on the structure of the surah or the chorus of the surah that our brief discussion but I didn't want to mix it in with this. We'll have that one tomorrow and then we'll get to the sila. Does that come along?