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The Quest for Interpreting & Contemplating the Qur’an
Channel: Nouman Ali Khan
File Size: 55.31MB
Episode Transcript ©
Transcripts are auto-generated and thus will be be inaccurate and at times crude. We are considering building a system to allow volunteers to edit transcripts in a controlled system. No part of this transcript may be copied or referenced or transmitted in any way whatsoever.
Hey, everyone Somali Kumara delay where the cutoff is below salatu salam O Allah, so Allah, Allah, Allah, he was a freshman. It's myself and my dear friends. So haev some article sabe o alikum. Cinema, Allah, and under the shade of the beautiful final idea of Saud, Yusuf, where I spoke with you guys about guidance. And hold on wha I mentioned to you that I'm going to have a discussion with sohaib. About, really, you know, extracting guidance, because I think there's some practical questions around that issue that everybody should be thinking about, every Muslim should think about, at least at some point. So I'm going to start that conversation off, and I'll pose to our
audience, the same question that I posed to you when I was talking to you before we started this so we can bring that discussion up. And that is that, you know, when we say we have to get guidance from the Quran, the most common question you get is, well, what do you want me to do?
How do you have the authority to interpret the Quran Anyway, I'm not a scholar. And you have to have mastered these these in the sciences before you can even begin to interpret the Quran. So how can you say that you want me to go to the Quran, and contemplate it and seek guidance from it, when it's something meant first and foremost, to be studied at a scholarly level? Right. And so who has the authority to get guidance from the end? If we don't have the right tools, we'll end up getting misguided, it's dangerous to tell people to go and engage with the Quran directly, right? That's a very common sentiment. And like I said to you, I believe there's some merit to that sentiment, but
maybe understanding this issue in a more comprehensive way will help ourselves and everybody, because at the end of the day, this is our book, and we have to engage with it, all of us. So I wanted to have you start off and you know, what you were telling me about the way you think about this issue? And how you frame and we can take the conversation? Okay, well, yeah, it's a hugely important question. And for me a little bit difficult question, actually, to try to get the exact parameters of it. So I was looking forward to a chance to discuss it with you and hey, we're doing a live on the internet. So that's good. inshallah, I'm going to benefit from your insights as well.
I mean, first and foremost, everyone agrees all agree that the Quran is a book of guidance for all humanity, that it is for everyone, we are guided by each individual is guided by it. But sometimes you do get another kind of discourse. I mean, people have told me this.
I haven't actually heard it directly, but people have sometimes been in a hotel bar, like could have been in a spray disarm. And, and, and someone has been saying that the Quran was like raw material. And when it was revealed, then the, the scholars have have sort of received it, and they've woven that material into into or those threads into cloth and then and then others that have turned that cloth into clothes that we wear and and so the idea is that the Quran was revealed to some very raw material, which then Islam was then built upon that.
But then, when they talk about it that way, you sort of think well, then the brand has served its purpose, and everything that needed to be extracted from it has been extracted and woven into these beautiful cloths and colors and threads. Right? I know, we have the books of fifth for example, which are telling you about the practicalities of halal and haram, or you have the the scholars or the teachers and the preachers that we go to? And they answer a question, so we get it from them, we don't go to the Quran. And that is actually something as well people have told me
that people are saying to them, don't read. Don't read the Quran directly, you could end up being misguided about reading the Quran directly. Don't read the translation of the Quran, you can be misguided by the translation of the Quran. So then it's almost like they're saying, okay, you need something else, you need the explanation of the Quran, which is the seal. But then they're saying to them, and don't read the seal also, because you can be guided by the seal. So it seems to be all I can understand from that, as they're saying Come to me, not me. So here but you know, whoever it may be, I will I will tell you what's right and wrong.
Whatever. The Quran had to say, I have absorbed it already, if not myself directly, because the stuff for law, you know, who am I? But then people before me have absorbed it. And then it's been sort of passed them through our veins or through our tradition until I'm able to tell you what Islam says without going directly.
Now, that sounds like I might be talking about a very
sort of, I don't know what like I don't want to use insulting words with the kind of village mindset or you know what I'm getting at? Yeah, like you're just not. Listen, let the people with the big brains do this. Okay, sure. The most common analogy I've heard is, would you would you do surgery on yourself? Sure. Right, because you will only
Go to a doctor. Yeah. And but the thing is, what's interesting is that this kind of thing is being repeated by also very educated people, very tech savvy people.
I, you know, like some months ago, I was having some discussion with people over Twitter, and you know, to do many Twitter debates, really. But there was a strange kind of conflict over a certain question, which was,
is, are we supposed to go to the crowd primarily for its meaning? Or should we appreciate the product of the brand? In and of itself, it's letters and the restriction this letters even if we don't understand this, and I'm coming from the kind of point of view of what the purpose of having the letters of crowds to carry its meanings. And so when we are being taught to recite the Quran is so that we do recite the Quran, and then so that we understand the Quran and that we follow the guidance. And
I thought that that would be something nobody would, would argue with. But very quickly, people react very strongly to this. And they say things like, well, what are you saying then about? Let's say this an old woman can and village? I don't know which village they're talking about. But there's a religion is old woman there. And you're saying that she can't be close to Allah? Because she doesn't, you know, foldable in a TV or a study, Dream online? She doesn't know Arabic? Are you saying that? She can't because
I'm not going after anyone in the village whatsoever. I'm having conversation with you who's sitting on your modern phone and you're you have access to him, you have access to pause for a second on that thought somebody asked if does that mean he's a scholar? So I'm going to interpret interrupt this conversation? I'm going to have you embarrassingly enough. Tell me about your education.
Well, I've had some cloth
that's been woven by scholars.
You know, I I consider myself, obviously, as everyone says, this is a crucial part of
why I consider myself to be a researcher who works on the ground. My own education is in a larger university. I graduated there in the Faculty of tafsir. Al factor theology in the department of Ceylon Quran, and subsequently did a PhD. In the topic of Tafseer, at London University. My focus is on politics here. So what are the principles that underpin tafsir, I've looked particularly at the topic of the seal of the Quran, through the Quran.
Among the kind of work that I've done till now, I worked with Sierra Razi, I don't plug things usually what I do, but this is the plug plug away, bro. This is the this is the translated volume, one of the synergy. That's the kind of thing that I do. So naturally, you know, I'm also part of the community, and I'm concerned with,
you know, how all of us are reading the Quran, how we're engaging with it, through reading the words themselves through the translations, and trying to get to a point,
including in this work that we do would be to, you know, give people the resources in their hands, that would help them to get that guidance. And it's what's interesting is that some of us feel this very strong urgency that, like the reason we do what we do, and plug away to the up to date. And then you have people who sort of have something in them is pushing back and saying, look, the Quran has inherent Baraka, it has blessings in it, it is blasted, even if you recite it without meaning. And I would say okay, that's fine. I mean, I don't want to take that away from it. I'm not trying to take away anyone's blessing. I'm just trying to get back. Yeah, there's a defensiveness around that.
And also, because I asked for your credentials, I think it's important to mention my own, I don't have any, I am not a scholar, I have engaged in self study, I have informally benefited from a number of scholars, and engaged in my own quest, I have never claimed to be a scholar, and I'm probably not one
I do consider myself a teacher of some subject matter.
And whatever I come to learn, I present myself as a more
perhaps more advanced students than some of you that benefit from my work and I continue to benefit from others, including yourself and I think one of the main reasons I aligned myself with you sohaib and with some other scholars and particularly with you is because I come to the study of Tafseer and the study of the Quran from an unconventional beginning. And so I bring questions that are unconventional in nature. And so when we You and I are studying together because of your training, both in academia and before that in the traditional Muslim sense
you represent two
To me a kind of the background in Islamic scholarship. So even if I'm engaging, if I'm reading raazi, or if I'm reading Lucy, and I have certain questions, I'm still gonna go to you about the questions that I read about raazi. Right? Because I want you to represent to me to the best of your ability, what's being said that I'm not grasping properly. Right. And that discussion, I think has been extremely fruitful for myself and for you. And at the end of the day for I think our audience, too, because it's, it's allowed for us to think about areas of Islamic studies of Quran studies that are not normally thought about because we just end up reading one source, and we say, okay, that's
what it says. That's what it means. And we don't need to think about anything else. And I kind of keep you and I keep pushing the envelope. But let's think about this deeper. Let's think about this in a different sense. Or what, what, what's peculiar about this phrasing, etc, right? So that's actually what we mean. So engaging, but I want to take you back to that comment about
you know, somebody saying that, you know, that lady in the village who wants to get blessings and why can't you just have blessings from reading the Quran? The, the trick here is that here we are talking about the act of engaging in understanding the Quran, and immediately, but what about what about people who can't do that? So you're actually not engaging in this conversation? You want to distract with a What about? And now that we're caught up in that, what about that lady in the village? And we're on the backfoot defending her and saying, No, she's okay. Well, if she's okay, that I'm okay to that, I guess.
I related to the lady in the village. She's right with my hand must be fine. She'll, she'll intercede for me in the beer judgment.
Right. So with that issue aside, and why is it that we are quick to jump that if we talk about the importance of something that we're necessarily condemning somebody who's not engaging in what we're calling to calling importance to so if I say it's prayers really important, it would be pretty silly to say, Are you saying everybody who doesn't pray is evil, and they worship the devil? And they are? Well, hold on? No, that doesn't mean we can't talk about the importance of prayer. That's just a distraction from the actual subject matter, right. So it's the same thing here, I think that the subject at hand is one thing, but unfortunately, the conversation gets very easily derailed, because
we get defensive. Right? Whatever the problem is, that really just starting things have become very normal in our culture, and our collective culture, even maybe, across the whole movement, certain things we've become very used to and have become normal, which really shouldn't have been normal. So again, this is something people get very touchy, if I bring up the issue of the system, and how people are going to put on learning to pronounce the Quran, they're learning to recite the Quran, they're memorizing the words of the Quran, but very commonly, extremely commonly, that is completely separate from the idea of understanding the Quran. And sometimes you even hear that as a kind of
boost that we make, right?
where you say, you know, among the miracles of the Quran, is that you can have like a six year old child who can recite the whole Quran, but you would say too much smoke, my smoke, what's your name? For?
It doesn't understand
that that's, that's amazing. Because he doesn't know any other people he knows. Maybe on some level, that is amazing. But it's also like, why did you do that?
Why Why did you know maybe a company that that study with understanding and what people will say to them when I say something like that is okay, step by step. You know, Brother, please take it easy, you know, don't don't try to dismantle them that says, you know, we've got what we've got, let's build on it. Okay, you know, if we can build on it, let's build on it. But I'm saying that conceptually, we became very comfortable with the sort of string situation. And I'm going to take this further, because going back to talking about training a lot, and so on. I just want to point out that as a graduate of Tafseer, in Alaska, at no point was it the least bit suggested to me that
swipe after graduating here, you will be an officer, or, you know, maybe not just after the bachelor's degree, which is what I did. You could do the master's degree you could do
and then you'll be more passive, actually had no point was it really ever explained that
there was even a possibility of ever paying for, like, I'm on a path by doing this to be to be an asset because this is another problem that we have our attitude towards the sort of the Quran, collectively, almost completely as a plumber, or just very widespread, is that the car is a thing that was done in the past. We've got tons of books that have been written. Mashallah hamdulillah
Whatever had to be set up with the Quran like that cloth has been woven. It's been done. And so Tafseer there will be no need for it. So why would we train someone to be more festive?
Yeah, sure, we still need people to be fuqaha like, you know, move TVs and we need people to get fat. Why? Because there's always going to be new issues that come up. I mean, to clarify for people about their prayer, you know, if they're going to pray, we need to know how to pray, what was Haram, we're always going to need new ingredients to be analyzed for the hallowmas and hallowmas. But for senior, high, we've got the books, you know, a memorize, he did his job really well. A moment proved to be the cafe, we've got all these things, even they're starting to get translated. So there's a difficulty, I think, for people to conceive. And that's our topic now on like, what's, what remains?
Not just like, on the scholarly level, which I'm kind of starting off with, but then on the individual level, what is it? What is it that we're supposed to try to get from the grind? What is our task here, in terms of taking the guidance and the mercy from the Quran, which is, which is where we're starting from here at the end of producing?
Yeah. And so to me, when you gave this framework, he said, and I think it's important for our audience to know that there are two terms and there is some overlap between them. But in a broad sense, there are two terms that everybody should know about when they're going to study the Quran. And those two terms are seen into the book. Right? And let's draw, even though there's no hard line between them, it's a close enough of a line that we can try and draw that
can help our audience, I think, I mean, my intention behind this lecture is that everybody who has been listening to the lecture series, and I've been asking people to engage with the Koran more directly, and the Quran itself has been making that demand and it's hard to avoid talking about that demand. But practically, how do you do that? Right? So one way obviously is you're listening to my lectures and inshallah other better better scholars and their works. And you're reading that stuff. But what's a good practical way to understand the scope of what is it that you're engaged in? And one thing that I wanted to bring up to start this conversation is for nowadays, for the average
Muslim who doesn't have background in Islamic Studies, they don't know where to begin, they're like, man, I need to go get myself a translation of the Quran. Right? Because I'm being asked, Allah wants me to think about what he said. So I need to go grab a copy of the Quran, in whatever translation, whatever language I speak, you know, for our audience, most likely English. And so the question arises, which translation do you recommend? Or which, which translation? Should I read? And behind it? Actually, there's a problem that I want you to talk about that, basically, we've skipped the need for tafsir, because we've assumed translation is available. Right. And translation is become
almost a substitute for Tafseer. For a lot of for the average Muslim, like, at least I have a translation. Right. So I know basically, what it says.
And I think we need to raise the bar on that for everybody. Like individually, you have to raise the bar on that for yourselves. And inshallah, the The hope is through Vienna and other efforts that are already happening, at least a minimal bar, at least at the base level, what is the fear? What's the goal of it? In the most simplest terms, and why is that more important? Or, if not more important, equally important than reading a translation? So what's when, you know, let's talk about that a little bit. Okay. Yeah, I'm going to say something about the theory, which might be a bit unusual, like this is not really the answer you'll find in, in typical books. So yeah, I promise you
something exclusive. But the idea about the theory, usually we're talking about the theory of the Quran, the Quran, right? And I want us to maybe change the thinking on that, really, when when we have to see, it is not the fear of the Koran. It is the fear of our questions about the Quran, right? Because the Quran in first place is, of course, a communication from our virtual panel Tada. It was something which was speaking directly to the Prophet salallahu. Salam, and to the believers around him, and to the unbelievers around him and those who were listening in. And when it was speaking, for example, to the
Yeah, it will be Who are you speaking to? Yeah.
You know, different groups of people who were listening in, they weren't themselves having to say, Okay, what does this mean? I don't know. Let me find someone to explain it to me. I don't know what these words are. They weren't going to their rabbis, let alone to the orlimar. They weren't coming to the Muslim to explain things because the words impacted them directly. They got what was being said. Right. Yeah. So at the same time amongst the Sahaba occasionally, questions will come up
It might be your Sahaba. Who said I don't? I don't get what this means that happened. It could be about a word. It could be something to do with Okay, something. Oh, it looks like it means this but surely it doesn't. Because some, some dough comes in my mind, did I reaction the sentence correctly? Yeah, they implemented correctly, a famous one with a Sahabi heard about had a debate about how you can get translated, you know that you continue, you can continue eating during Ramadan until a white thread and black thread. So the black thread and the white thread of dawn become distinct. So one of the Sahaba famously used to keep
a black shirt and a white thread under his pillow. And he just took it at face value took it literally and so he would wait until the there was enough light outside that he could tell the difference between the two threads. And then he would begin is fast. And when the prompts are seldom heard about this, and he clarified to know that this is actually talking about the night and the day, and the expression is used of the black thread and the white thread. And if you were even in separations, he sort of says to him, You must have a really big pillow, or you must have a big neck and he's a big pillow, if you are keeping the night and the day under your under your pillow, right
because when I said I'm keeping the Blackford in the way thread, the postal system even sort of joked with him and teased him just said that in that kind of way to make him realize that this was not supposed to be understood, literally.
So questions would come up from believers, and things would come also from the unbelievers. Some contention some suggested contradiction, some problem that they would try to find the Quran. And that's where we find the only mention of the word in the Quran, which isn't suitable for con. If I remember its first 63 or 36, maybe 36
you look up so that they do not come to you with any method it can be method in a legit NACA will happy was an attempt to euro? Yeah, they don't come to you with any muscle any example. You could see, like any contention, Excel
three 433 33 Baraka Luffy. So the no six, I don't know where I got that from. So the we reboxetine, you think about surah number 36? As seen, that's why Alhamdulillah Okay, so that's it. So, he said that we bring you the truth, and the best seal. So that's why I say the word of CNN is the only place in the whole Quran the word to use. So for our audience again, so 25 is number 33 is the only place in the Quran where the word of seed is used. So let's see how I used it. And what is it used to mean? It means the answer to a contention, right? So it is an explanation. That's what the word Tafseer indicates there's something becoming clear, but it's cleaning something up, which was in the
mind of, say, an opponent or someone making a problem. Or it could be then you know, the believers themselves are affected by that and ask a question. So Allah is giving them the Tafseer that they need, according to their gap, you know, the gap that arises between myself and the Quran, maybe because of language. Like if I'm brought up speaking the language of especially those are at the time of Revelation. You know, nobody is as fluent as they were. Right. So that's a gap that then leads us to say, Okay, what does that word actually mean? That does, we need to see an answer to that question, right. And then plenty of other things, so to see, basically has three levels, this
is what I think could be useful for us to think about. Because if
you brought up the idea of the C, versus the doubleroom, right. And I think that's definitely something that's very useful for us as well. So I'll try to I'll try to bring some clarity to these two words. But at the same time, maybe not as simplistic as people sometimes do. So FCA is going to operate on three levels, right? So let's see, I'll use the screen here in the middle. Okay. In the middle level, here is what we'll talk about first, this is the text of the grand, right, the words of the Quran. So that's where translation is going to be really functioning here in the middle. It is the actual words of the Quran, the phrases and the sentences, the structure, right? So that's
where, you know, we need to get to an understanding of what what are the words of the Quran saying, right? That's our starting that's basically perhaps we're even emphasizing here the language of the Quran when the language of the text
dictionaries to investigate that we're going to need the rules of Arabic language and how instructions are you know how they lead to meanings? Yeah. all sizes of Bulaga so they all come in to get to get here which are
which are called text or texts. So we have to have liquid on basically Arabic literacy to engage the text. That's what it boils down to. Yeah. And that's the first thing that's going to be needed by any professor, or, or other really important that you said it's the first thing because for a lot of people, you know, I am I'm a huge advocate of teaching and propagating the teaching of the Arabic language. And it can be easily assume that that's all I'm propagating, is study Arabic, and you'll understand the Quran. No, study Arabic, because it's the first step to understanding the Quran not study Arabic. So now you got it. Right. There's a that's the most, that's the most fundamental step.
And it's on this, we will build everything else. But there are people who spoke perfect Arabic, like you said, In the time of the Sahaba, who sometimes didn't understand an ayah. Yeah, who didn't get it? You know? So let's think about why like, so. Any I and we we experienced this ourselves, even if we're reading a translation, the translation will give us something on that level. It might not give you anything else, you know, some translations, I've got useful footnotes and so on, but others don't. Right. So in translation, you're just operating on this middle level. So there's something that you need in a sense before that, so I'll put it here at the top covering my head in my head
with it. So we've got the text, and we're going above it. above it. Yeah. Right. This is this is what I tend to call pre text, because I want to think of it as something that exists before we even before the text arrives to us, right? But you can just call it context. Okay. Okay. Context is two things, both the the page context, the actual context, contextual context, that is to say, what was said immediately before what and some extent what said after, right, but before even more so because in us in a speech context, right, your understanding each sentence as it comes based on what was before it, right? But then what comes after can further explain and clarify, right? So everything
basically, if you look at any idea, what else is on the page, that's you're going to be you know, you have to, like, especially what people do when they want to take things out of context is take an eye on this, this is very violent, and, you know, look, how do you know, it's called talking about, you know, killing or something like this? I said, Well, you know, just pause a little bit, read the whole page, that might answer your question, without me having to go into some deep discussion about whatever. Yeah.
So that's, that's what's meant by textual context. And even I mean, just generally, in speech, if I'm talking to you, and in the middle of us joking around, say, Man, I'm gonna kill you. And then somebody just pulls that out and says,
I'm gonna murder you that without context, you don't know if something was a joke. You didn't know who was saying it to who? You don't know what if I'm quoting someone or representing my own thoughts, sometimes, in the course of an argument, you can represent the devil's advocate, right, you can represent the the opposing party's view, and somebody could take a snippet when I'm representing the opposing party's view, and say, Well, this is what he believes, because he came out of his mouth. Yeah, it came out of my mouth when I was quoting someone that I'm about to engage their idea it with, right? So textual context, basically, what you're getting at is, there's a
common occurrence, not just isolated speech, it's a conversation. And it's a lie engaging in a divine conversation. And the first layer of pretext, if you will, is you can't take something in isolation, you have to put it in its place. So that's the textual context. And of course, the other one probably is the the context of time in place. Yeah. Or what we can say context of Revelation. So right. To some extent, we have, we have this captured in the genre of narration, which is called as ababu, the reasons of revelation or the context of Revelation.
But not every idea has a specific report that tells us, okay, this was the place or the time or the situation it was revealed in, sometimes we have that sometimes you sort of deduce it, again, from the text, it can, it can guide you to some understanding about, you know, for example, this was revealed after hood, for example, you know, that because of what was going on,
you know, over the preceding pages, but this is very important as well, because it affects what the ayah is understood to mean, sometimes the wording of the ayah appears to be very general, very universal, all encompassing, but actually, it's, it's referring to a kind of situation that resembles that initial place, that it came into, right. So, so that so that means that
in order to understand this, this middle level, the text, we need to understand it in context, right, or according to these two contexts, right. So once you when we talk about that suburban newzoo situation, I think there's a few things to maybe even think about that.
In a subcategory kind of way, like, it's, it's almost almost always oversimplified as when was the IR revealed? But it's actually there's a when there's aware, and there's a who meaning Who is this talking about? And what circumstance are they dealing with? And what situation is it responding to. So there's a, there's a time place, social setting, political setting, you know, the psychological setting, in which certain iaat, we have clarity on when they were revealed. And it's also an important thing you mentioned in passing, and I want people to stop and think about that, is that we, for a huge chunk of the Quran, we don't have precise information about when this was given, and
who this was talking about. And it's, it's incredible that those huge chunks of the Quran tend to have very general language also, right? It's the places in the Quran, where you say, I wonder what this is talking about tend to be those places where you do have narrations, and you do have reports on what the context actually was. And it's, it's pretty cool that in the study of the Quran, when you come across places like that, you're even as a shallow reading of the English translation, you're gonna say, I wonder what this is talking about. And you're gonna, if you dig deep, you're gonna find there's a sub, you know, context that's, that's been discussed at length in our
scholarship. Right? Yeah. And this is why I worry for people. I mean, maybe this is why if we go back to the earlier point, people are discouraging, you know, they're saying, don't read the transition to crime, because you get confused. You know, I'm not part of that crowd at all. But as you said, there is sometimes a point behind what they're trying to say. And yeah, what is that the books as they are, you know, the books of translation are not often giving you that that background information. So if you're just reading the text by yourself and decontextualized, not from the page context by this from the revolutionary context, then then a person could be like, Huh, and then they
get a question in their mind, and they don't know necessarily where to find the answer.
But I'd rather think about, okay, how do we solve that problem of where they're going to get the answer to it? Rather than sit? Don't read, you know, exactly like, reading we do. So to me, to me, one of the responsibilities that also last I saw them left for this oma was actually mass education of the Quran, like everybody should know, at some level, what the Quran fundamentally is saying, what its soldiers are talking about. Look to me that this is where I draw the line between the seven to the FFC or to me what and you can correct me if I'm not getting it right, between text and pre text, what you described as text and pretext. You know what Ally's saying in the language that he
revealed it in? And you know, some things about it wherever the meaning isn't immediately clear, like when somebody reads Al hamdu, lillahi, rabbil, aalameen, there's no confusion. There's like, I don't know what Praise and Gratitude belongs to a lot of the master of all words, can you please help me understand this? No, that's pretty clear. Well, actually, in in San Jose was pretty clear. Right?
In, in Santa la castagna, the human being tends to, you know, truly rebel, thinks that he has no need of anyone. Those are pretty, pretty straightforward, obvious places. And I would even say, like, gins could pass by and hear Quran and say, well, we heard, we heard a unicorn impacts them, there was no Tafseer necessary in the sense of until a scholar tells me what this means. I don't know what this means. There's plenty of places in the Quran, where that's not the case. But there are places in the Quran where even I would argue at a shallow level, you're gonna hit a roadblock and say, Wait, I need to know more about this. This translation is leaving me with a question. And
it's not giving me the answer immediately. And those are the places where you are going to go to a Tafseer, you are going to go and find out more. Now, I'm not saying that the places that are simpler in or easier, more directed, meaning don't deserve to see this, they fundamentally do. But to make it sound like the entire Quran is so ambiguous and so complicated, and such a scholarly exercise, that nobody can read it and get anything out of it is one extreme. And the other extreme, forget these scholars, they're trying to control my view of the Quran. They're trying to make it sound like unless you go through us, you can't access the word of Allah. I'm gonna, you know, a level of guide
me directly if I'm sincere. I'm just going to read the translation. And I've got I've got friends from back in New York, these not friends, people that I met, that like have sticky notes all over their translation of the Quran, and they've got all their interpretations, crazy stuff that they got from translation, and the translation is horrible to begin with. And they took some English word. Then they looked up the etymology of that English word, and they came up with all kinds of craziness. And that's but that's not what the Arabic word was at all. You know, and then they say, no, no.
They're in shock because they're like, well
How am I supposed to engage with the Quran then? Well, you are supposed to engage with it, you first of all, we have to up the bar on quality of translation. And we also have to up the bar on Hey, this requires a little bit of context study pre text and context study. Right? So footnotes need to be there.
On some way, I kind of appreciate what your new yorker friends are doing. I appreciate the spirit of what they're doing. I you know, I just feel bad that maybe they they were slightly misled in or just lacking in the materials to perhaps do it right, then they may get to wrong conclusions, but I appreciate that they didn't just step back and see is not for me to do that, you know, I Why do I have to think about it? This knowledge, is there. Any way I was guided us through the grant home as guided? Yeah. You know, they're saying there's something that I have to get individually. And I think that we appreciate that.
The other thing that happens a lot of times similar to what you said is that people say, Well, okay, if you think that there's a need for FCA, or there's a need for going to scholars of the year and listening to or reading what they're saying, then you're kind of accusing the Quran of being unclear, right? And the Quran says in several verses that it is clear, you know, it's verses are clear, it's it's in clear Arabic tongue. Right. Now, whatever we take that to mean,
it's not going to, it's not going to change the fact that there are different categories of hire, as you have just described, things that are immediately understandable. As long as you've got the language and a bit of context, then you understand it without a problem. And things which actually require a lot more thought and investigation. And, you know, if we're going to put into the you know, how the brand describes itself, one of the things that says about itself is number seven of sorts Allium, Ron. So three, verse seven, is that it has been Who is tomoka? Matt, who normally
shall be hot. So it has within it, what you can call clear, decisive versus an ambiguous, decisive verses, which are the foundation of the book, that's when we're going to start.
Yeah. And there are others, which are open to interpretation, or others, which are sometimes people say ambiguous, or somehow you need to understand those ones to go back first and foremost, to the market up to go back to the clear at incontrovertible.
You know, he's straight talking is that, you know, it's, it's, it's not going to be open to debate, there are other things which are open to debate, and then, you know, bring different parts of the brand together. That's one of the things that our professor does. Okay. But the professor also brings in other other sources in order to help understand, you know, the text of the Quran, and the pretext or what we call the context of the Quran. Yeah. So we've still got the space at the bottom of, of the screen for proposed text. Okay. So this is where we're going to get to pre text post text. Right? What you got to put down here,
this is what flows from, from what we've just, you know, this union of, of text and text, once they come together, you are able to have things that flow from it, that stem from it. And applications of the text where where would be the world of today? I would argue, yeah. Or we can say to the boldface, enter this or you can say that a double is this process as well, right?
It is everything that follows from the understanding of the text. So it could be rulings, it could be fifth rulings, it could be rulings as to what is the correct creed, you know, theological rulings, it could be you know, things that, again, still are like, scholars need to tell us this because, you know, for all of us to derive, you know, what is the ruling based on this, I could get back again, because I have to bring in other factors, right. So I've got the Quran, but I also have to study with the sooner right, and the sooner is the context and is additional information that helps me to understand the rulings of the crown Right, right. So, there are still things which are
definitely in the domain of, Okay, here, we need people to specialize and to be experts and to help us collectively to, to explore this and to and to derive these rulings, but then you have other things right. So, what is the moral lessons? The, you know, the lessons of you know, like you, you talked before about different aspects of approaching the text like psychological context or social context, economic context, even what are the psychological implications, you know, what are the economic implications or are the political implications? It might not be a ruling, or fatwa, right, but like what can be understood
Got covenants from the IRA? Once you have understood it, right, so it's not necessarily what is stated by the IRA. In the words right here. It's not what is stated, but what is being said, as a consequence. Yeah. So so you can still say it is within, we'll call it is still that God said it. But God did not necessarily say, in solicitors, but it but it's where people who are good at reading what Allah says, can say, Well, yeah, but Allah is also saying that, in not so many words, right, all right, it follows from what he said there are things that follow. And that's where a person has to go. As soon as they start. Yeah, go ahead, you have to construct an argument to show how you go
from, from the text and the contents, how you got from that to this to this other thing. And this is that that's the space that I wanted to talk to you about, in my view. And maybe this is, I mean, I hold plenty of politically incorrect views. But one of my views, at least as an, you know, not being a scholar being an average Muslim, who tried to make their way through understanding this religion, and eventually getting to some place of maybe intermediate level of understanding.
What I observed was that we have a massive gap between the public and scholarship. And that gap, is it's a social phenomenon. It has many reasons why that social phenomenon exists. But one of the problems that that gap created is that the scholarship is not aware of the questions being raised by the public.
And therefore, they're studying the questions that were raised by people centuries ago.
And so the average person today that says, I'm going to engage the Quran, and then has questions, because they see the world around them, and they're like, what does the Quran have to say about the world around me? Right? And they're reading the Quran? And they have a question. And then they want to go to a scholar and say, What does the Quran say about this? But the other side of that is also somebody who's, you know, engaging in a quest to study the Quran, on their own, comes to somebody who knows more, comes to scholarship in general, not an individual but scholarship in general and says, I want to know what this ayah means. Or I have a question about this ayah. Right. And they're
being told you need to go read this, this this resource. That's great. But I already read that. You told me to go read him because he Rahim Allah, I did, I found the English translation of it, I read the interpretation of this ayah that's what it means. But I still have five questions. Right? The platform for engaging questions about the Quran. First of all, we didn't create an opportunity to engage the Quran like that, collectively. And second of all, that platform needs to be there, where somebody can engage in the Quran, and then have somebody they can talk to and say, Hey, what about this ayah? Or how do you think about this? And you know, what can happen, you might find a
satisfactory answer, which helps you grow. But over time, what that does, I think it raises public awareness of the Quran to a point where they're now asking harder questions of our scholarship, and maybe even forcing scholars to consider things they didn't consider before. And it's pushing scholarship to a new standard, to what really a higher standard, because that what that gap doesn't, to me, it creates intellectual stagnation. So either people become pseudo scholars, they become scholars in their own world where they don't have to go through any of the credentials and the training and all of that stuff. And they can come up with, you know, conclusions about whatever, as
much as I studied or on, if I come across a lot that has to do with inheritance, or they have to do with, you know, the legal dimensions of hedge or divorce law or whatever else, I need to go to a tee and really grasp what's going on here. Right, or the art of Riba. I need to sit with a muhaddith and a scholar and a key to say, what is Allah saying here? It really helped me understand because I don't want to, you know, the language is the language got me this far. Context study got me this far, but there's a legal dimension to this that is beyond my scope, right? So the same way, the you know, if we, if we educate the woman to a certain level, and enough people, then they'll know the
limits of their knowledge to like, they'll say, okay, you know, what, my studies got me this far. Here's where I need scholarship to help me above and beyond that, you know, instead of them saying, Well, I'm kind of, it's a free for all, I'm on my own. I'm going to do my own reading and come to my own conclusions, etc. And I've been on both ends of that I've been on the end, where you're learning from a scholar, everything they say is that that's what it is. And that's what it is, you don't question it. And then kind of on the chaotic side, where I'm going to try to figure this out myself. And then finding the path in the middle. I'm going to do whatever reading I can study I can. But
first I have to humble myself to the text and say, because it's a last word and say, to the best of my understanding, this is what
I think it means, but I need to go and ask these questions to someone who knows more? Or can you can cross reference or, you know, head back against what I'm concluding. Yeah. So that it's refined. So my own thinking is refined. Right. And that's, that's a collective conversation that we need to encourage you might have. Right? And it sort of moves in a circle, you know, because there's just two ways that you can do this one is to,
to read the works of scholars first so that you have the basic information about the if, yeah, if you've got a computer available in English, whatever it may be, you read something and you read, you understand as much as you can from that and then then you go further and say, Okay, what what can I understand from that? What does that lead me to think and the goal that we all need to do as individuals is, is applying into our own lives right? So that's when it becomes like a full blown every person
that has not an anywhere in the Quran told you to do. Right? As I told you that work that shows up in 2533. Right. But he told you to do the double mental you think and to everybody else to think and to ponder and to ask the question to reflect in many different words. But the one that maybe sticks the most when it comes to the Quran is the Double of the Quran. Yeah, but but other words are used for for thinking and observing and and it's a process where you have all these different aspects are interplaying right? So it's not just sitting with with the Kitab you know, the printed book and just just thinking about Do they not wander in the world you know, do they not observe Do they not see
what happened to other civilizations do they do not look in the heavens do not look within themselves to the study they do not reflect you know, actually just have curiosity to have just wonder at the creation wonder human beings and and that's going to interplay with your reading of the text. But no, yeah, cuz the bronze asking you to engage in the outside world. Like I was talking to a group of people that were studying Quran pretty intensely. And there was also before going in I had met some of their families and their families were saying these people don't spend enough time with us. They're just so engrossed in their own Koran studies that their life outside of that
doesn't exist anymore. So I wanted to give a dose about a fellow young Guru nyla liveleak eva wholecut right then look at the camel how it was created. Allah says did they don't look at the camel how it was created. I was like, you can read it. Look at Hera, Himalayan Caribbean Tabare about the camel and how he was created. And the grammar of the word camel and the etymology of the word camel. But ally saying go look at a camel. Yeah, because the camel and coming inside the machine. So we'll look at it. And that's a great example of something that
the explanation of it or the deceit of a can can increase over time, because we can study camels a new way we can do x rays of a camel, if you really want CAT scan.
You can do you can, yeah, things that are known, you know, through through sciences connected with, you know, zoology and biology as well, which which can exceed whatever was written, you know, in the, in the first century is about camels, even though they were perhaps closer to, to, you know, to the cultural context in which camels are important. So, that's where, like, more questions can be asked, you know, what is what what you're telling me about the camel, and then books are going to be probably not the best thing, a documentary, a science documentary, about the honeybee, about, you know, galaxies and stars and so on, it's going to be a lot better than anything that was written
however many centuries ago, and that's not taking anything away, genuinely not taking anything away from from our, our great minds and authors and scholars and humans.
So the double importantly, it's, it's going to be about how does this affect me? How is how am I going to change on the basis of what I am pondering here, whether it's to do with action, whether it's to do with attitude, whether it's belief and feeling, you know? Is this an ayah which is supposed to instill within an all and reverence of God a fear of God if you like, then you know, it better do that. Otherwise you've not you've just read it okay? I understood that Allah is getting his servants you know, that he can be happy by the who Yeah, by default, the food I'm in this ayah Allah subhanaw taala as seen by this law instills fear into a service will my service fear me and
peace, be vigilant of being okay Mashallah move to next ayah?
What kind of, you know, dead heart would read the eye in this way and if
you have Wi Fi, you know, Allah is calling it's making, it's telling me that in the proceeding, I when he's describing Johanna, it was to instill within
We have, and then he says, Yeah, buddy,
you know, take this message and and do your best to live within the boundaries I have given you, be careful because you're going to harm yourself if you don't follow this path. So that's the other thing, you hit it on the head of C becomes, at one point, an academic, intellectual exercise, and you easily lose sight of the fact that it's Allah talking to you directly. And sometimes shaking you like you're asleep, wake up. And you can read a scholar, say, and in this ayah, Allah is scaring his slaves, and you're like, Oh, that's what I'm gonna I'm gonna take notes on that. You can take notes on that, or you can actually take in what's being said, we've run
out of lessons on it as well.
My son, my soft students got a kick out of that.
thing. So there's so many angles to approach. But when we talk about
the first thing that every one of us has to have is an attitude, relationship and engagement with the heart as well as with the mind. Yeah, what am I getting from this? And that's where it doesn't have to be emphasized. The other thing where sometimes people have got this idea that contemplating the Quran and pondering into the Quran is to be able to produce a really neat quote that you can put on Insta, you know, I call the Institute of war, right?
So it's where you It's where you come up with a quotable, right, you basically paraphrase the meaning of the idea and in some other words, you don't have to do anything wrong, you know, that might be skewed, but it's a wave of accomplishment. It's not the purpose, you know, yeah. to reward the purposes like you know, you could do to double down on something just by reading the AI over and over again and you feel the effect you feel it somehow impact on you. That's the this is the last thing I want to kind of have you chime in on and I'm going to say, say my piece on this and I want your two cents on it too.
We in the Muslim community have certain buzzwords that we throw in when it comes to interpretation of Quran. We have to interpret the Quran through the Sunnah of the Prophet sighs that's great. I believe that too. But we don't qualify these statements we make them blank, you know, sort of posters around and so now Quran and Sunnah Quran sola, the issue is when you're reading Alif Lam Meem
when you're reading the elegant tabula vaporfi, who the limit again, when you're reading a huge score of the art of the Quran,
even the most classical of the faster you're going to read, the scholar will not actually cite a hadith under it. On many, many occasions, you're not going to find a hadith being talked about no sadhana was mentioned in the interpretation of desire, yes, sila may have been may have been talked about, may not have been talked about some references and some scholars may have cited 15 other if the issue is we conflate this notion that unless you have a an expansive knowledge of the books of Hadith, you cannot engage with the Quran. And I think that's historically dishonest, because not to dismiss the value of the sun at all. And it's pivotal importance on certain key places in the Quran.
But the issue is when Islam spread in the early we say the earliest Muslims were the purest of all Muslims fine when Islam spread, and Muslims are spreading like wildfire across Africa across the desert, or, you know, in Abyssinia, Persia, Roman Empire, we're spreading Islam is spreading very, very, very quickly, right? And people are taking Shahada and the world of the seed and the world of scholarly interpretation and the world of jurisprudence and the world of even the codification of Hadith has not even fermented yet. There are some things that are known there are some things that are not known. And Muslims are spreading far and wide, and Quran is spreading far and wide. And over
time, we're consolidating all of this other body of knowledge and developing that, what do we say about those early Muslims that had no access to resources? They didn't have the proper understanding? Is that how we look at it? They may have had some questions they weren't able to answer. And then they sought out the answer, and it was a much longer quest for them to find the answer perhaps. Right. But to say that, Oh, well, it's the you know, for every ayah you must understand what the Sona has to say about it is actually academically, intellectually, in a scholarly sense. I believe that to be a dishonest, exaggerated claim that people say in order to
say, if we don't say that we're not loyal to the Sunnah, right? And you cannot make a claim by being defensive. You have to be honest about something. You have to be transparent about something, because because if you don't make that blanket claim, then somehow you are in denial of Hadeeth or your denial of this analysis.
literature and I want your thoughts on that. Yeah, I mean, it's something that has has different meanings in this context. So, there are not so many where we know that the prophet SAW Selim give a direct explanation, like in words that he delivered a directive See, if you look for hadith of this nature, there is a there is a book that I
consulted on this question. It gathers all the Hadees that the author could find,
which are direct. Even if life you know, even a very weak Hadith, directly commenting on an IRA. Yeah, whether it is strong Hadith or a weak hand, if you just put it all in, in order to gather together he came up with 318 Hadees. Right. Okay. If you think about it's not, it's not a huge amount, you know, 318 verses 6000 something I add, the idea that books are seldom explained in words, most of the Quran or all of the Quran doesn't really stand up. Even if that happened, it wasn't transmitted, it wasn't recorded in right, you'd think it would have probably been a priority when in terms of recording, so the pasta salad relied on the fact that people for the most are going
to understand what they had to understand. But then the Quran itself
and the Sunnah, guides towards the value of thinking and pondering and contemplating and going to deeper understanding. So, the sooner is also the general practice of the possum and of the community also becomes part of the sooner so understanding the Quran within that sooner, which includes, for example, if the Sahaba were doing were acting
upon certain, you know, for example, in their prayers, right, specific Sahaba are being observed that they pray in this particular way. Like everybody knows, their Sahaba they prayed behind us, and they're not getting it wrong. Right, right. So in a way, the words you don't have to have a hadith about this is this is Rahul and this is the angle. And this is you didn't have to have that overwhelming practice that is the established on and you would also then if something in the Quran seems to be at odds with that, then you know that Okay, I have to understand the diversity Quran, in light of what is observed from the Sahaba is more likely to happen than saying, what the Sahaba is
armed with the Quran clearly says so and so. So yeah, they got they all got it wrong. Yeah, because that's not gonna happen. Yeah, that couldn't have happened. Right? So then, okay, the, the prayer is just so it's a visual example. But in other things were the same. Okay, this is how the law is, this is what we do. This is how we deal with a situation. And the words book or a movie or their parent minute, seems to be contrary to that, then they will say, Okay, well, the words of a parent can be understood in another way that's less obvious.
And scholars do that. Because they will say, well, we need to reconcile somehow, between what the scholars have fixed and jurisprudence and law, what they have concluded, based on the entirety of the evidence, including Hadees, including the fatwa of the Sahaba, you know, sort of comes together. And then we say, okay, the words that were put on maybe, are not always to be taken at face value, but they have the highest authority, regardless highest authority in their transmission, I think this is certainly going to play a role, especially I mean, in our engagement over the last year, but still with the use of this was less of an issue. But I think going forward, especially when we deal
with some of them whether or not
and maybe perhaps when we get to sort of Nyssa or we get to sort of MMA, or we get to sort of even
at ease is going to Selena and sila are going to play a pretty fundamental role in our engagement with the text. They don't have to it did with Ron Allen. Ron. Absolutely. Yeah. A lot of huge content there as well. Yeah. JOHN. So there are you know, and this is this is a balance that has to be struck. But we can't you know, when you my disclaimer on all of this is when you become accustomed to catchphrases without really thinking about them, then you end up running into a wall.
And we have to have nuanced we have to have deeper thinking about these things. Even as an average Muslim we have to raise the bar and how we think about things and hold ourselves to a higher standard.
And inshallah Darla raise the bar that way. I think there's some pretty interesting questions. Some people are saying what to name their baby, that's okay. But what I'm going to do is I'm going to end the broadcast here but so him and I both will probably try and engage some of the questions in the comment section on both YouTube and on Facebook over the next day or so. And shall Basilica located and save for coming on. And it's much better time here for me so I gotta go to so