Thursday, December 18, 2008


Salaam all,

This is 4:88
فَمَا لَكُمْ فِي الْمُنَافِقِينَ فِئَتَيْنِ وَاللّهُ أَرْكَسَهُم بِمَا كَسَبُواْ أَتُرِيدُونَ أَن تَهْدُواْ مَنْ أَضَلَّ اللّهُ وَمَن يُضْلِلِ اللّهُ فَلَن تَجِدَ لَهُ سَبِيلاً
Fama lakum fee almunafiqeena fiatayni waAllahu arkasahum bima kasaboo atureedoona an tahdoo man adalla Allahu waman yudlili Allahu falan tajida lahu sabeelan

The Aya says:
So what about you having in the hypocrites two groups?! And Allah turned them upside down because of what they earned. Do you (plural) seek to guide whom Allah made lost?! And whomever Allah makes lost, then you (singular) will never find for him a path.

My personal note:
The Aya touches on important issues. First is the issue of Munafiqeen which I translated as hypocrites. The term munafiqeen applies to anyone who declares Islam while hiding rejection of Islam. This rejection can be complete or partial and it can be completely hidden, or apparent in degrees. The context of this Aya suggests that the term munafiqeen was used for people who apparently showed their rejection in one way or another, while still declaring Islam. The reason is that their actions caused the division of the Muslims into two groups in how to deal with them. The context becomes clearer in the next few Ayat.

The other issue that is being mentioned is this: Does God cause people to become misguided? The answer is yes, if they deserved it or asked for it. The aya here brings the reason why God caused them to be misguided. It is by what they earned in moving towards misguidance and in abandoning Taqwa= consciousness of God. This is the message to all of us to move in Taqwa= consciousness of God, so that God will move us towards guidance and away from misguidance.

Translation of the transliterated words:
Fama: then what/ so what
Lakum: to you (plural)/ belongs to you
Note: MA LAKUM is a form of sentence that poses a question with the meaning: What is happening with you? What is going on? and so forth.
Fee: in
Almunafiqeena: the hypocrites/ the ones who claim safety in God while they are otherwise.
Note: the root is N-F-Qaf and it means tunnel in the concrete sense. This is then used to mean anything that is tunneled from one place to another as in having an apparent picture that is different from the hidden one. Another is tunneling you money to another destination as in giving some of your money to charity or so forth. Here, it is used for the apparent being different from the hidden. ALMUNAFIQEEN in this context are the ones who declare Iman (safety in God) while in truth, they are otherwise.
Fiatayni: two groups
Note: the root is F-Hamza-Y and it means in concrete, hitting an entity so that it becomes divided in two. Conceptually, it is used for groups because of the division. FIATAYNI means two groups.
waAllahu: and Allah/ while Allah
arkasahum: made them turn upside down/ made them return where they started
Note: the root is R-K-S and it means turning an entity upside down. Conceptually, it is used for many things including return an entity to where it came from in a humiliating way and so on. ARKASAHUM is an action that is completed. It means: the action of making the object (HUM= them and points to the hypocrites) turn upside down or return to what they came from happened by the subject (third person singular pointing to Allah).
Bima: by what/ with what/ because of what
Note: Bi denotes that what comes after is a tool and/or an object or an association with an action that was mentioned. If it is an object of the action then it makes it stronger. MA means what
Kasaboo: they earned/ gained
Note: the root is K-S-B and it means earning or collecting. KASABOO is an action that is completed and that is derived from the root. It means: the action of earning or collecting happened by the subject (third person plural).
Atureedoona: Do you (plural) seek? Want?
Note: ATUREEDOONA is derived from the root R-W-D and it means in concrete the person that goes ahead of the people looking for resources. Therefore, the word has within it the meanings of pioneering, seeking and desiring. ATUREEDOONA is a question about an action that is being completed or will be completed that is derived from the root. It means: Do you (plural) seek or want?
An: that
Tahdoo: you (plural) guide
Note: The root is H-D-Y and it means gift in all it’s forms and it carries the meaning of guidance since guidance is a gift. TAHDOO is an action that is being completed or will be completed. It means: the action of guiding the object (man= who, coming up) is happening or will be happening by the subject (second person plural).
Man: who
Adalla: He made lost
Note: the root is Dhad-L-L and it means getting lost as in lost the road or losing something. ADALLA is an action that is completed. It means: the action of making the object (man=who) loose the path or become misguided happened by the subject (third person singular pointing to Allah, coming next).
Allahu: Allah
Waman: and whoever
Yudlili: He makes lost
Note: the root is Dhad-L-L and it means getting lost as in lost the road or losing something. YUDILLI is an action that is being completed or will be completed. It means: the action of making the object (man=who) loose the path or become misguided is happening or will be happening by the subject (third person singular pointing to Allah, coming next).
Allahu: Allah
Falan: then never
Tajida: will you (singular) find
Note: the root is W-J-D and it means in one concrete meaning the water that has accumulated in the desert. This is then used to mean a find that is really important. TAJIDA is an action that is derived from the root. It means: the action of finding is happening or will be happening by the subject (second person singular).
Lahu: to him/ for him
Sabeelan: a path
Note: the root is S-B-L and it means and it means flowing water from the falling rain from the sky to the flowing water in the river and so forth. This is the concrete and the other uses are related as in path, which allows the flow, to soft flowing hair and so forth. SABEELAN is the flowing water or the path of. It takes the meaning of path or even the trip on the path.

Salaam all and have a great day.



sa said...

assalam-u-alaekum brother,

May Allah reward you.

The concept of nifaaq is very interesting. My understanding (and Allah knows best) is that it is not rejection of islam, rather islam without Imaan. Like a tree without roots. If we examine the hadith of Imaan, Islam and Ihsan where the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam defined Imaaan as faith in Allah, Messengers, Day of Judgment and so forth while defining ISLAM as the prayer, zakah, fasting, etc. (I am paraphrasing), one would realize that Islam (manifested by actions) should be a fruit of emaan(i.e the seed of belief). But the case of munafiq is different where the ISLAM exists in the form of salaah and other acts but inner roots of emaan are missing. So what is the reason for such hypocrisy? Interestingly enough, the linguistic meaning of the word nifaaq as tunnel with two openings has the concept of being on two sides of an issue depending on which is the EASY WAY OUT. So the Islam of a munaafiq is convenience based and not grounded in Imaan where one may have to face challenges but rather seeking one's desires. Not "an act of truthfulness" as you defined it so well in your previous post.So the hypocrites during the time of the Prophet sallaahu alayhi wa sallam wanted the worldly benefits of Islam (recognition, protection, war booty etc) without the hardships so they made excuses to escape(the linguistic other opening of the tunnel).This is different from a Muslim who sincerely tries but may fall short due to various reasons. And since only Allah Subhanahu Ta'ala knows the inner dynamics of our outer shells of actions, only He knows the truly guided ones from the ones seem to be guided but corrupted inside. Their punishment in this regard with Allah Subhanahu Ta'ala turning them upside down relates perfectly to their act of deception (bi ma kasaboo)where in the act of toppling them over their reality is exposed. May Allah protect us all from this disease. ameen

hussein said...

Walaikum assalam sister,

I do agree that the Munafiqoon have a lack of Iman and that is the reason they enter into Nifaq. However, whenever they are mentioned in the Qur'an, one gets the feeling of people who harbor some animosity towards the muslims. Also, in aya 49:14 The bedouins were mentioned as not mumins but the scholars did not necessarily consider them as falling into the category of Munafiqs. To make it more complex, many of the Sahaba were afraid that they had some elements of Nifaq. That fear falls within what you are touching upon, as they were afraid of some weakness of their Iman which they considered partial Nifaq, but not the same as the nifaq that is mentioned in the Qur'an.

It is very interesting as you say and the way you look at the tunnel is very thoughtful and perceptive. Thank you sister and I appreciate your contemplations.


sa said...

As far as the case of bedouins mentioned in Quran, it would be like me claiming to be a mumina on account of my salah or other outward acts. But since emaan is a higher station and its purity only known to the One who knows the secrets of our hearts, I cannot claim to be a mumin just like I cannot call anyone a hypocrite. This is how I understand And Allah knows best. Animosity towards Muslims may be incidental but can it be defined as a criterion? May be in extreme cases. I still think there is an inverse relationship with emaan. So that is why we should be on the lookout for the outward signs of hypocrisy like laziness in salah when our Imaan dwindles (one of the signs mentioned in Qur'an)and not consider ourselves safe from hypocrisy unless we become enemies of Islam. And then there could be categories of nifaaq too. Anyway, interesting discussion and hopefully insha'allah there are more answers to this complex issue.


hussein said...

Baraka Allah Feeki sister,

All are good points. Indeed, Nifaq is in degrees, where the worst puts the person in the depth of Hell and the mildest covers a weakness of Iman. As if there is an inverse relationship between Iman and Nifaq where whenever Iman is strong, then Nifaq, if present will be weak, whereas the weaker the Iman is, will open the way for a stronger Nifaq. All with an outward declaration of Islam.

The important thing is to pay attention to the context of each passage of the Qur'an to know who is specifically talked about within that wide range of category.

Take care sister and may Allah reward you for your help in this.