Channel: Yasir Qadhi
In this episode of the Tafsir of Surat al-Fatihah, Shaykh Dr. Yasir Qadhi discusses the following:
- Acquaintance and emphasis on the sheer eloquence of the verse ‘Iyyaka Na’budu Wa ‘Iyyaka Nasta’in’.
- The common doubt in the mind of a common man regarding the Divine Speech of Allah SWT and considering it flawed with grammatical errors( Astaghfirullah) and the reason for this in the realms of difference in grammar of the Arabic and English language.
hola hola Khartoum and hamdu Lillah wa salatu salam ala rasulillah. Early he will be one word about we now move on to the fourth is written fat, which is the middle iron yuck and I will do what I can to stay in and there are many issues to discuss with this ayah and we will deal with this ayah today and inshallah tada tomorrow. The first issue, if you notice very interestingly, and somehow that many of us don't even know this is even though we have recited the surah by now probably a million times, there is a change in tense in this verse, there is a change in tense in this verse from the third person to the second person.
I repeat, there is a change in tense what is the first three verses All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds, the Merciful, the one who shows mercy, the Master of the Day of Judgment, we speak of Allah azzawajal in what we call an English the third person. And then when we get to er cannot do all of a sudden we change to the second person you alone, the first three verses were speaking and what is called the neutral tense is the third tense a law is this a law is that there's no direct contact, there's no communication, we're simply praising a lot. Then when we get to the fourth verse, automatically the tense changes we are having now a dialogue, a conversation. And this
change in tense in Arabic is called lt facts. In Arabic It is called lt facts, you change from the third to the second to the first, we have this change in English. Now, in the English language. If you study literature, if you study grammar, you are taught in the English language that once you begin your essay, your book in one tense, you stick with that tense. This is what we are taught in English. However, in Arabic and Arabic is a Semitic language and English is a romance a Latin based language in Arabic, it is a part of eloquence, to change your tense into facts, is a common phenomenon of Arabic poetry, of pre Islamic poetry, and especially of the Quran. And if you read the
Quran, hardly a page goes by, except that you find this change of tense, sometimes a lot. So just speaking in the third person, then all of a sudden he changes to the direct and the one of the most dramatic examples of this, what he does Allah kyriba do I need one My servants asked you about to me. So the Prophet says is being told to speak on the behalf of Allah. When my servants asked you Yasuda about me. Then all of a sudden Allah directly answers he doesn't say to the process, then you go tell them he answers and he says for anybody, I am close to them. And this is a simple example that we all understand by changing the tense then Allah azza wa jal is emphasizing the closeness
that he has. So this is one example. In fact, you have inserted fact you have this change of tense what is the purpose of this and I reiterate here, that's when you study English you are taught this is not good grammar. Therefore, when people from an English background from a Western background, read Quranic translations, one of the most common problems is they don't understand the tenses keep on changing. And this has allowed some non Muslims when they read translations to say the Quran is not eloquent, how to how is this eloquence but somehow Allah it is so shallow to judge the grammar of another of another language through the grammar of English It is so intellectually shallow to
judge eloquence based upon your own rules of grammar. The problem is these people are judging translations and they think they understand eloquence, whereas the Arabic eloquence and the styles of what is called Bonanza eloquence are very different. So here we have an example of what is called empty fat from the third person to the second person. What is the purpose of this empty fat? Why is it here as a machete, the famous Mufasa in his tafsir he mentioned that of the wisdoms of lt fat right now is that after praising Allah in such a beautiful manner, Al hamdu Lillahi Rabbil aalameen or Rahmani Raheem MADI, kiyomi, Dean, you have described who is Allah, but there's no action being
done. It's simply a description. So by changing the tense and by speaking directly iya kana Abu, we are translating in into Amman. We are translating knowledge into action. What do we do after we've praised the law? So what if Allah is Alhamdulillah? I mean, what does that do? What should we do based upon that? What do we do er cannot we worship you Allah because you are robbing either mean?
Because you are a reminder of him because you are molecule Medina. So we affirm Allah sto heat and hamdu Lillahi Rabbil alameen we affirm that Asana, we affirm the akhirah. Then we worship Allah based upon that also we affirm love and fear and hope we talked about this a few days ago, we affirm that allows worthy to be loved. And hamdu Lillahi Rabbil aalameen we affirm that Allah is worthy to put your hope in R Rahman r Rahim, we affirm that Allah is worthy to be feared Maliki or Medina, what do we do with love and hope and fear, we then worship Allah based upon the three pillars of love and fear and hope, also of the wisdoms of changing the tense is that the attention of the
listener is jolted. If you fall asleep, if you're not paying attention, when the when the when the tense changes, then all of a sudden, you start thinking and that's one of the wisdoms of Arabic, changing the tense in the Quran, and also in Arabic poetry, also of the wisdoms of changing the tense is that the rest of the surah is now a dialogue between the servant and a lot. So the first part of the surah was the praise. And the last part of the surah is the dialogue. So the fourth verse changes the praise and begins the dialogue. So after the praise after the introduction, now the direct dialogue begins, it is as if we are having a direct conversation with a law er Cannot you
alone do we worship and You alone do are the one who's helped that we seek the second point, this was the first point. The second point here is that we notice, for those of you who are studying Arabic, this is not the most common way to phrase we worship you. If I were to ask an Arabic student or to studying Arabic language, translate, we worship You, he would say, darbuka This is the natural way to say it. The most common way now Boudicca, we worship You, but that's not how Allah says it. That's not the Quran, the Quran, it actually does something that is not that common, and that is he yaka Naboo, it takes the pronoun, and that is God, the calf is the pronoun and it separates it from
the verb. Now, I'm going a little bit advanced here, but in Arabic, generally, the pronoun that the verb and the pronoun, the verb and the pronoun are linked together, right? So if you hit somebody say, Bob Touka, I hit you, right? So the dadada, and then you're joining it together, this is the common way of doing it. But to separate the pronoun from the verb, it's not that common, and there's always a reason why it is done. And especially now to take the pronoun and put it before the verb, which is what the Quran does. iaca nabooda there's a wisdom here, what is that wisdom to wisdoms here, the first wisdom, the emphasis is not on our worship, it is on a law. So we put a law and the
pronoun referencing a lot the beginning, you owe a law, we want to emphasize a law, not ourselves, you owe a law yakka. So this is the first and so we're emphasizing we're getting the blessings of mentioning Allah before he mentioned us. So he aka you owe a law, or the one that is the one that we worship. And then the second wisdom, or the second reason why the pronoun has been put before the verb deals with a linguistic issue of the Arabic language, which is, is called hassle or exclusivity, which basically means very simple. When we say, Boudicca, we worship You, in Arabic, it could mean you worship a lot today and you worship somebody else tomorrow. So today, we're
worshiping you another time we worship somebody else, but when you put the pronoun before the verb, then the emphasis is that you alone do we worship exclusivity houses in Arabic. So when you say he cannot avoid what you are actually saying, we do not worship anybody other than you. And this is done. Now this is a rule of Arabic You can just learn it, that when the domain when the pronoun is basically placed before the verb, so then there's a matter of exclusivity, right. So the translation of iaca does not and many translations say we worship you, this is a wrong translation. This is a grammatically incorrect translation. iya cannot, translates as you alone do we worship and that is
one of the wisdoms of placing the the pronoun or the domain before the verb er cannot go to time. And the third point that will say, and maybe we might have to spend three days on this verse, But Ramadan is coming to an end, and you will say I didn't finish it. So we need to hurry up a little bit. But the third wisdom here is that or the third point of the ayah? Is that amazingly, it's in the plural,
even though the one who recites the Fatiha is always a person iaca nabooda, noon is plural, we worship you. Even though when you recite five, how many are you? The reciter is always going to be one, the reciter is single. So why the plurality because Allah subhana wa tada once again, is demonstrating
The ones who worship me are millions and billions. I am one. All of the creation is worshiping Allah. But I alone am unique. That's one wisdom. Another wisdom. The Muslim is always reminded that he is not a selfish individual being rather he or she is connected to a global oma. We are one oma we're in the house. He asked me to come on martin why Ada one hon confiable john, this is your own one oma and I alone am your Lord so worship me. So when we say it in the plural, we remind ourselves over and over again of our connection with the oma. We cannot be selfish. When we recite certain Fatiha we always have the oma in mind we think of us as we recite Fatiha because they cannot worship
Allah the way that we're worshiping. Right now we think of me and Mark we think of Burma we think of Kashmir we think of every situation and scenario because we are a part of a collective body er cannot avoid all of us, Oh Allah, we are worshiping we collectively are worshipping you alone. So that is of the wisdoms of placing the pronoun before the verb and of the wisdoms of putting it in the plural and inshallah Tada. My time is up for today. Tomorrow we will continue talking about some of the wisdoms of this verse EOC and I will do what I can to stay in was Salam aleikum wa rahmatullah wa barakato.