this is 4:117
إِن يَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِهِ إِلاَّ إِنَاثًا وَإِن يَدْعُونَ إِلاَّ شَيْطَانًا مَّرِيدًا
In yadAAoona min doonihi illa inathan wain yadAAoona illa shaytanan mareedan
The aya says:
They call upon, short of Him (Allah), nothing but inactive entities and they call upon nothing but a manipulating satanic entity.
My personal note:
This Aya, though short, has very interesting issues. The first big issue is the one regarding the word INATHAN which is generally translated as females, but I translated it as inactive entities. One can use the term females because the Arabs worshipped mainly Goddesses, and therefore this applies as a general rule and is correct.
The term ONTHA in concrete form points to the female organ, while the term THAKAR points to the male organ. While sexually interacting the male organ assumes generally the more active role, while the female organ, the more passive and receptive role. It is true that there is activity on the part of the female organ, but less so in comparison. When those roles are taken conceptually, then the term INATH can be pointing to passive/inactive entities within the context of this sentence. It does not however point to the other potential conceptual meaning of INATH as a receptive entity, because the entities they worshipped were only passive/inactive and never receptive.
The Aya should not be understood as saying anything negative about women or females in general. It was pointing merely to a concept that applies to the idols that they worshipped.
The interesting thing is that the Aya then proceeds to mention a masculine entity in the same sentence in “manipulating satanic entity”. In a sense it maintains a balance. So, one potential message of this Aya is this: “You are calling upon entities that are inactive, but the active entity that you are actually calling while you do this, is a satanic entity that manipulates you or manipulates the truth.” Indeed, the power of Satan is in manipulation. The more we are stable in our being, the less likely we are to be manipulated by him.
One important thing to remember is that Allah is above gender and therefore male and female do not apply to Him. Therefore one should not understand this Aya as suggesting that God is male. The Aya does point to the fact that Allah is an active and not inactive entity. God is also receptive, a feature that is often covered within the conceptual meaning of the term ontha, but not intended in the context of this Aya.
Translation of the transliterated words:
yadAAoona: they call upon
Note: the root is D-Ain-Y and it means calling as in calling someone for help or otherwise. YADAAooNA is an action that is being completed or will be completed. It means that the action of calling or calling upon is happening or will be happening by the subject (third person plural) o the object (INATHAN= females/ inactive).
Doonihi: short of him/ below him
Note: The root is D-W-N and it means short of someone or something. It can also mean lower than at times depending on the plane of thought of the sentence. DOONI means short of or below of. HI means him and it points to Allah.
Illa: except/ if not
Note: the sentence IN YADAAooNA MIN DOONIHI ILLA has the meaning of “They call short of him nothing but”.
Inathan: feminine entities/ inactive entities
Note: the root is Hamza-N-Th and it means female. This word is further used to any entity that is soft, passive and receptive as opposed to male which is generally used for active and hard and non receptive. INATHAN means females and the majority of the idols that they worshipped had feminine names. In this context, it can conceptually be pointing entities that are inactive or passive because that is one opposite of male that applies to this context.
Wain: and if
yadAAoona: they call upon
Note: the root is D-Ain-Y and it means calling as in calling someone for help or otherwise. YADAAooNA is an action that is being completed or will be completed. It means that the action of calling or calling upon is happening or will be happening by the subject (third person plural) o the object (SHAYTANAN= satan/ devil human or otherwise).
Illa: if not/ except
Note: the sentence WAIN YADAAooNA ILLA has the meaning of “and they call upon nothing but”.
Shaytanan: Satanic entity/ one that is distanced from God’s mercy and works on distancing others.
Note: the root is SH-Ta-N and it means in one of the concrete meanings the long rope and in another the long rope at the well that one uses to get the bucket out of the water. The term is used to mean far and away (in all the planes of thought) as the long rope and it is also used for displacement or pulling away, as a parallel to the rope that pulls the bucked out of the water. ALSHAITAN is the one who is far or away (from God’s mercy) and who works at pulling others away through his long “rope”. It is the word used for Satan but also for anyone that is in the same position whether human or otherwise.
Note: the root is M-R-D and it means in concrete when an entity is massaged and stretched sometimes beyond it’s limits and others appropriately. One use of the word is for the young man who has not yet had his beard grow or whose beard was delayed. Conceptually, it is used for any form of stretching of entities and is understood according to the context. In this context, it is used to point to an entity that manipulates the truth. MAREEDAN is one who stretches the truth beyond it’s limits, a manipulator.
Salaam all and have a great day.