Tuesday, October 06, 2009


Salaam all,

This is 4:174
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ قَدْ جَاءكُم بُرْهَانٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَأَنزَلْنَا إِلَيْكُمْ نُورًا مُّبِينًا
Ya ayyuha alnnasu qad jaakum burhanun min rabbikum waanzalna ilaykum nooran mubeenan

The Aya says:
O you people, indeed came to you convincing proof from your nurturing Lord and We descended clarifying light towards you (plural).

My personal note:
This Aya returns the dialogue to all humanity and explains to them that what came down is convincing proof and a clarifying light. In 4:170 it mentions that the messenger came to all humanity. Here, it is giving a description to what came with the messenger.

The theme of light is very strong in Qur’an for we can never see the path except when there is light. The message that came from God is not only a proof, but a light that makes things clear, including making it easy to differentiate between right and wrong and so on.

Translation of the transliterated words:
Ya ayyuha: O you (plural)
Alnnasu: the people/ the society/ the humanity
Note: ALNNAS is derived from the root Hamza-N-S and it means socializing. ALNNAS are the society/the people. In this context, it is addressing the whole of humanity
Qad: indeed
Jaakumu; came to you (plural)
Note: the root is J-Y-Hamza and it means coming. One concrete word that is derived from this word is the pool where the rain water comes. JAA is an action that is completed and that is derived from the root. It means that the action of coming happened by the subject (third person singular pointing to ALRRASOOL= the messenger/envoy) to the object KUM which means: plural you.
Burhanun: convincing proof
Note: the root is B-R-H-N and it means to prove convincingly. BURHAN is the convincing proof.
Min: from
Rabbikum: your nurturing lord
Note: the root is R-B-B and it means nurturing and Lordship as two components of the meaning that can be present together or one at a time according to the context of the sentence. RABBI is nurturing Lord of. KUM means plural you.

waanzalna: and We made descended/ And We brought down
Note: WA is a letter that links what is before with what is after. This link is through inclusion, either one is included in the other or they are all included in the bigger sentence or bigger picture. WA often corresponds with “and/ addition” but the more encompassing meaning is in inclusion one in another or all in a bigger picture or sentence. ANZALNA is derived from the root N-Z-L and it carries the meaning of arrival to stay and descent. One concrete meaning is the descent of the person from his or her horse or camel as they arrive at the place where they plan to stay. ANZALNA is an action that is completed. It means: the action of making arrive or making descend happened by the subject (first person plural).
Ilaykum: to you (plural)/ towards you (plural)
Nooran: light
Note: the root is N-W-R and it means lighting. This could be lighting light or lighting fire according to the word and the context. NOORAN means light.
Mubeenan: making clear/ clarifying
Note: the root is B-Y-N and it means in concrete between. The action of the verb is betweening. This betweening can mean clarifying because one can know better the difference between two things. It also can mean distancing because the betweening makes things become apart. MUBEEN is the one that makes between in a conceptual sense. In this context, NOORAN MEBEEN carries the meaning of light that makes things clear to see and differentiate.

Salaam all and have a great day.



A. Muhammad Ma`ruf said...

Assalaamu `aleykum brother,

In the interesting comment on 4:174, the word light is used in two different ways: Once with the adjective “clarifying” and once without. In the second use,

“The theme of light is very strong in Qur’an for we can never see the path except when there is light. The message that came from God is not only a proof, but a light that makes things clear, including making it easy to differentiate between right and wrong and so on.”

The word light is used in English, as e.g. in Websters online, in many different meanings.

In your second use, in this commenatry as in what I have quoted, it is implied that the Qur`aan itself is Light or Nuur.

This will be true only for those who understand the Qur`an. However the Book is also read and listened to in Arabic by many people who have no understanding of the words or their meaning. In those cases is the Qur`aan light or sound? Does not the Qur`aan describe itself as Sound, i.e. as a recited word?

In regard to “clarifying light”: Many different schools of thought within Islam claim to base their teachigs on the light of the Qur`aan. But they are in conflict and may often contradict each other.

Looking at the question of differentiating between right and wrong in view of the observed diffrences of opinion, can one say that an Islam interpretation system which one has found to be erroneous or wrong may still contain some elements or aspects of it which are right? That is to say, right and wong in regard to ethical and philosophical matters is not like right and wrong in arithmetic or geometry where there is supposed to be only one right answer to a question.

In ethics, philosophy, language, meaning, translation, law and related sciences, e.g. psychology, right and wrong can be derived in more than one way, and it is not possible to derive any one right answer that suits every case. There are personal, historical, and even ethnic background coloring issues that are part of the supposed, one true, and right anwswer.

Often there is something right in what is wrong and something wrong in what is right.

Thank you very mcuh for your help, even if my question may seem rather strange.

hussein said...

Salaam brother,

Thanks for your points and questions. Regarding the "hearing" and it's relationship to light. I view the Qur'an as a light that works for the individual but the individual needs to turn that light on. So, the isssue of S-M-Ain which is understood as hearing is really understood as hearing and understanding well in the Arabic language. Barriers for this could be problems with comprehension that are sometimes compounded by bias and denial as strong component.

So, the light of the Qur'an needs to enter us before we can use and it enters us through the S-M-Ain. The clarity of our vision will then depend on the intensity of the light as well as the acuity of our vision. Those of us who internalized a little will see a dim light while those who internalized a lot will see lots of light. Same thing with our ability to see.

So, of our differences in opinion regarding matters. This depends on how the clear the straight path is in some places. so, you have three or more scenarios:

1- The straight is very clear so that even those with the dimmest lighgts can see. Those are generally the main areas where all Muslims agree, as Prayer, Shahada and so on.

2- In other areas there is a need for a stronger light and stronger vision to see the right from the wrong. That is an area for experts and where error can occurr, but they are not essential. This means that erring here will not take a person in or out of the religion.

3- Still in other areas the path is wide and can take a multiplicity of opinions and that is another explanation for the varying opinions. In a sense, the correct opinion in this case, can depend on the situation at hand.

I hope this answers some of your question and take care brother.


A. Muhammad Ma`ruf said...

Thanks very much for your explanation.

Your breakdown of the reasons for differences of opinion about the ways and means of the path is enlightening.

May Allah reward you and give you more strength and support in your project.


A. Muhammad Ma`ruf said...

Assalaamu `aleykum Brother Hussein.

To continue with this a little further:

You have said

"1- The straight is very clear so that even those with the dimmest lights can see. Those are generally the main areas where all Muslims agree, as Prayer, Shahada and so on."

The acceptance and practice of “the main areas” can be done symbolically with growing children, for instance in a Muslim village where everybdoy does it, or in a family situation even in non-Muslim societies, without the parents or childrem knowing the full import and meaning of utterances and actions.

Even when done like that, the doing of it and repeating it in adult life, is a clear boundary between being Muslim and not, is it not?

This is so even if the majority of people in the world today do not subscribe to the belief in the items of the “main areas”. The areas occupied by those who are beyond that boundary are cearly something that we don’t know about, except for taking refuge in what the Qur`aan says about them.

There is a danger of the disbelief or active denial of those areas corrupting or weakening the beliefs of those who are not conscious of the need to constantly protect, and defend their beliefs, and purify them with more knowledge and righteous actions.

The corruption and weakening can happen in conscious and unconscious, or gross and subtle ways