Tuesday, 31 December 2013

The Earthquake

2. The Earthquake

“No calamity can ever befall the earth and your own selves, unless it is in Our decree before We bring it (the calamity) into being. Verily, this is easy for Allah.” [Q: 57.22].

2. The above is an approximate translation of Verse 22 in Chapter 57 of the Qur’aan. It unmistakably means that Allah knows beforehand when, where and why any calamity takes place. Its occurrence is pre-recorded in His Book of decrees.

3. The sceptics are bound to raise their eyebrows on this divine claim, but keeping aside their scepticism for a while let us consider another divine claim. "Soon will We show them Our Signs in the regions, and in their own selves, until it becomes manifest to them that this (Qur’aan) is the Truth --------" [Q: 41.53]. As per this latter claim, Allah in His mercy gives some signs to help the sceptics get over their doubts about the divine statements.

4. One such sign has recently come to light. It has been lying concealed for fourteen centuries in the 99th Chapter of the Qur’aan, which Chapter starts with a Verse having 20 letters of the Arabic alphabet. The Chapter is entitled, ‘The Earthquake’, and has 8 Verses. The 4th Verse therein, which could literally be rendered as, “The day when its news would be broadcast”, has, in the original, 17 letters of the Arabic alphabet, counting the Arabic letter da, with a Tasdid thereon, twice. The 3rd Verse describes the immediate spontaneous reaction of the people crying out, “What is happening”, when the earthquake strikes them suddenly and devastatingly. The 7th and 8th Verses each contain the word misqaal, which inter alia means a unit by which to weigh or measure.

5. The underlined numbers in the preceding paragraph, viz., 99, 20, 8, 17, 3, 7 and 8, and their sequence are very significant. These numbers have an amazing correspondence with the timing and the severity of the earthquake that struck Turkey recently. This earthquake occurred in the 99th year of the 20th century. The month was the 8th (August) and the date, the 17th. It struck at 3 a.m. and its intensity was measured as between 7 and 8 (at about 7.8 to be more specific) on the Richter scale! Its severity drove people, in their thousands, out of their homes and onto the streets, crying out, “What happened?” And thousands died.

6. Can this amazing correspondence be dismissed as a series of mere coincidences? Let us examine this important question in greater details.

7. Events taking place in a year can well be considered as a distinct Chapter in the book of all events in the relevant century. As such, the numbering of the Chapter on the Earthquake as the 99th of the Qur’aan has a striking analogy to the event of the earthquake in Turkey occurring in the 99th year of the 20th century. It is as if somebody, who could clearly look into the future, consciously numbered it so. There are, after all, 114 Chapters in the Qur’aan and the Chapter on the Earthquake could have been numbered as any one of the other 113. The sceptics may well say, “Earthquakes occur almost every year in some or the other part of the world. Had this particular Chapter in the Qur’aan been given any other number from 1 to 98, the same would have been claimed to be alluding to the earthquake occurring in that particular year.” But, as may be seen from what is mentioned herein above, the signs, alluded to in this particular Chapter of the Qur’aan, are specific to the earthquake that occurred on the 17th August 1999 in Turkey. These signs, together, could not be made applicable to other earthquakes. So, the odds are heavily against the Chapter being numbered as 99th. These are 1 to 113. The chance of its being so numbered is an infinitesimal 0.88%. Even so, let us concede to the sceptics that they have a chance of 1 in 114 here. That is some chance indeed!

8. The 99th year could come in any century. The indication that the earthquake in Turkey would befall in the 20th century is given in the very first Verse, which contains 20 letters of the Arabic alphabet. The link between the 20 letters to the 20th century is aptly indicated by the word izaa, meaning ‘when’, at the beginning of the Verse. Now Verses in the Qur’aan could be containing any number of letters up to over 270 as in the 11th Verse of its 4th Chapter. There could be Verses containing letters still more in number. Making however a very, very conservative estimate, letters contained in various Verses of the Qur’aan could be, at the least, in 100 different numbers. So there could be only one-in-a-hundred chance for that first Verse of the 99th Chapter being of 20 letters. And, the likelihood of both – (1) the Chapter being numbered as 99th and (2) its first Verse containing exactly 20 letters – happening simultaneously would be 1 in 11400, as per the law of probability. The chance – of both the things happening together – is now reduced to 0.0088%. The chance – of all the 7 things mentioned in the foregoing paragraphs happening together amazingly in the one Chapter on the earthquake – would be further reduced to almost an impossibility at 0.00000000000088%. That too, by taking a very, very conservative estimate of only 100 different ways in which the rest of the 5 things could happen. In fact, there are many, many more than 100 different ways that every one of these 5 things could happen.

9. Scientifically and mathematically speaking therefore it would be impossible, by mere chance, for the said seven things to be there in such a combination as to unmistakably indicate the occurrence of the earthquake in Turkey. It was as if the signs were put there in the Qur’aanic Chapter by someone who knew beforehand every detail of the earthquake – fourteen centuries before its actual occurrence. That someone could be none other than Allah Himself. The signs therefore unmistakably point to the Truth that Allah is the Author of the Qur’aan. Not only did the Verses originate from Him, but He also determined the order in which the Verses were placed in the Qur’aan.

10. The sceptics may wonder how the Qur’aan could indicate the date of the earthquake by the solar calendar whereas in Islam the lunar calendar is followed. This apparent anomaly gets resolved the moment it is realised that the Author of the Book knew the future. He knew beforehand that in this age all communities including Muslims would generally follow the solar calendar. Moreover, it is significant to note that the Qur’aan mentions both the moon and the sun as Allah’s signs for mankind to count time thereby.

11. It should very well be noted in this context that Allah’s plan is for mankind to realise the reality of His existence primarily through the faculty of intellectual reasoning, with which it is specially endowed. Mankind has moreover been granted the freedom of choice unlike other animals. Whether one believes it or not, every man or woman has been given a fixed spell of life on this earth, within which to realise that reality and submit his/her self to that reality completely and unequivocally. Human life is nothing but a test for that purpose. Freedom to make a choice is an essential prerequisite of that test.

12. Now if in the Qur’aanic Chapter on the Earthquake, had it been clearly mentioned that an earthquake of a devastating magnitude of 7.8 would befall a section of mankind at 3 a.m. on the 17th of August, 1999, mankind would have been deprived of its freedom. Everybody, aware of such a clear prophecy in the Qur’aan, would know for certain that there is Allah and there would be no question of making a choice in this regard. Allah has therefore given only some indications or hidden signs as mere aids to mankind’s special attribute of intellectual reasoning with which to recognise His existence and thus for mankind to pass the test.

13. The hidden signs in the said Qur’aanic Chapter have to be understood in that perspective. Such signs are to be recognised by means of the very same intellectual or scientific reasoning, as has been done in this case herein above. The obvious theme, otherwise, of the Chapter is the cataclysm that is to happen on the Last Day.

14. But, alas, the bulk of mankind obstinately refuses to make use of the Allah-given gift of intellect to recognise the innumerable such signs that Allah, in His mercy, has been sending down for its guidance!

Sunday, 29 December 2013

The Night of Divine Decree

Qur'aanic Verse 97:5:






Transliteration:

5. Salamun hiya hatta matlaAAi alfajri


Translation:

5. Peace it is, until the break of dawn.2


Study Note:

2. Laylatu alqadri – the night that is described in this 97th Chapter of the Qur’aan – is one of the mutashabihaat (parts of the Holy Book that the human mind cannot clearly understand) in terms of Verse 3:7. Therefore, in pursuance of divine directions in that Verse, we have to content ourselves with what Allah Almighty was pleased to inform us about it in this Chapter. But we are not content! We insist on giving our own error-prone interpretations thereof or on searching for such interpretations in the books of ahaadeeth. We are thus guilty of seeking mischief as the Verse 3:7 tells us. According to that Verse no one but Allah knows its correct interpretation.

An extract from yet-to-be-published Qur'aanic Studies Manzil VII.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Nonsense!

Qur'aanic Verse 92:3:






Transliteration:

3. Wama khalaqa alththakara waal-ontha


Translation:

3. And by the Power1 that created the male and the female!


Study Note:

1. The deep wisdom inherent in, and the necessity behind, the creation of the male and the female do not but point to that Power being superhuman, absolute and extremely intelligent. The atheistic point of view that this happens without any intelligent power consciously designing it is just nonsense! That view is nothing but mortal man’s sheer conjecture, aided and abetted by the Satan, in search of something to negate the overwhelming evidence in the Universe in favour of a Super-intelligent Being consciously creating everything out of nothing.


An extract from yet-to-be-published Qur'aanic Studies Manzil VII.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Divine Welcome

Qur'aanic Verses 89:27 to 89:30:










Transliterations:

27. Ya ayyatuha alnnafsu almutma-innatu 28. IrjiAAee ila rabbiki radiyatan mardiyyatan 29. Faodkhulee fee AAibadee 30. Waodkhulee jannatee


Translations:

O you contented soul! Return to your Lord pleased [with yourself], pleasing (to your Lord). Enter then to be among My devotees! And enter My Garden!2, 3

Study Notes:

2. Verses 27 to 30 constitute the divine welcome address to those who have successfully passed the lifelong test of this world.

3. The Qur’aan speaks of two other sorts of souls: nafsa la-ammarah, soul prone to evil [Verse 12:53], and, nafsil-lawwamah, self-reproaching soul [Verse 75:2]. The soul, apparently, has to graduate to its third stage of nafs almut-mainnah to deserve the divine welcome.

An extract from yet-to-be-published Qur'aanic Studies Manzil VII.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Clueless Mankind

Qur'aanic Verse 89:5:






Transliteration:

5. Hal fee thalika qasamun lithee hijrin


Translation:

5. Is there in this an oath for one with understanding?1


Study Note:

1. For quite some time in the past, I have been thinking about the divine oaths mentioned in the first four Verses of this Surah – particularly about the ten nights. What particular ten nights could those be? I have not been able to get a definite, satisfactory, answer. I looked for the answers in various published commentaries, and I found them varied and based purely on conjecture. And, in this fifth Verse, Allah Almighty is posing a question to the clueless mankind. Can anyone understand the significance of the objects on which the oath is taken? It appears rather to be a divine challenge to those who claim to be endowed with deep understanding. It is as if Allah Ta’ala is telling us that our intelligence would be of no avail at all without divine Guidance!

An extract from yet-to-be-published Qur'aanic Studies Manzil VII.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Blood Circulation

Qur'aanic Verses 86:5 to 86:8:




















Transliterations:

5. Falyanthuri al-insanu mimma khuliqa

6. Khuliqa min ma-in dafiqin

7. Yakhruju min bayni alssulbi waalttara-ibi

8. Innahu AAala rajAAihi laqadirun


Translations:

5. Let man then see how he is created.

6. He is created by means of fluid [blood] spurting

7. Out from between the spine and the ribs.

8. It [blood] is certainly indeed capable of its return.2


Study Note:

2. These 4 Verses 5 to 8 of this Chapter is an in-capsule description of the blood circulatory system in a human body by means of which the body is developed and sustained. Please refer article The Qur’aan and Blood Circulation for details.

An extract from yet-to-be-published Qur'aanic Studies Manzil VII.






Monday, 9 December 2013

Unseen Security

Qur'aanic Verse 86:4:






Transliteration:

4. In kullu nafsin lamma AAalayha hafithun


Translation:

4. Not a soul but has a protector over it.1


Study Note:

1. Were it not for the divine protection over him every second of his life, man would be dead in no time! Allah Almighty has granted him a fixed tenure of life on this earth, and He provides him unseen security to make him live the complete term. Without that security – and left to fend for himself – he would foolishly entangle himself in situations that could prevent him from proceeding an inch in his span of life.

An extract from yet-to-be-published Qur'aanic Studies Manzil VII.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Why Believe?

Qur'aanic Verses 84:19 to 84:21:

















Transliterations:

19. Latarkabunna tabaqan AAan tabaqin

20. Fama lahum la yu/minoona

21. Wa-itha quri-a AAalayhimu alqur-anu la yasjudoona


Translations:

19. You [humans] do move from stage to stage.1

20. Then how come they believe not [in a life to come]

21. And when the Qur’aan is read out to them, they prostrate not!?


Study Note:

1. Mankind is well aware of the many stages through which man passes from his conception in a womb to his grave. Then why does he not believe in the divine intimation to him of his further stages of barzakh (state of complete unconsciousness from death till his resurrection in the Hereafter) and further life in the Hereafter? This very question is posed to him in the next two Verses. The divine intimation is given to him through the Qur’aan, which he ought to believe in and prostrate (submit himself) to. But one may ask why. The answer is: there is no other source which gives us the information as to what happens after death. Our knowledge of science just tells us that we cease to exist. Science also does not tell us as to what it is that triggers life in the 3 week old fertilized ovum in mother’s womb. Science is thus absolutely helpless in giving us this vital info. So we have no alternative but to go to the divine source. And the divine info provides answers to a number of unresolved questions arising in the human mind. Why do innumerable cases of injustices apparently remain unpunished in this world? And why acts of good deeds remain unrewarded? Why do innocents suffer and why do wrong-doers apparently enjoy good life on this earth? Science has no answers to such questions; the Qur’aan has!


An extract from yet-to-be-published Qur'aanic Studies Manzil VII.

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Beware!

Qur'aanic Verse 82:19:







Transliteration:

19. Yawma la tamliku nafsun linafsin shay-an waal-amru yawma-ithin lillahi


Translation:

19. That Day no creature shall be of any avail to another. And Allah’s shall be the sole command that Day!2


Study Note:

2. Christians, who are sure their Christ [peace on him] will take them to Paradise, beware! And Muslims, who claim that whatever their deeds here in this world their Muhammad [peace on him] will ensure their entry into Jannah, beware!


An extract from yet-to-be-published Qur'aanic Studies Manzil VII.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

The Worlds

Qur'aanic Verse 1:2:






Transliteration:

2. Alhamdu lillahi rabbi alAAalameena


Translation:

2. The praise is for Allah, Lord of the worlds5


Study Note:

5.  This is the dictionary meaning of the Arabic word aalameen. It is in plural: worlds, and not world. In most of the places where this word has been used in the Qur'aan, it is accompanied by the word Rabb, as in this place. But there are a few places where it isn't, as in Verses 2:47, 3:97, 6:86, 6:90, 21:107 and 29:6. A close study of these latter Verses would show that the word is used in the same sense as in the sentence, "My world is different from yours." Every individual life is one's own individual world in the sense that his/her environment, conditions of living, circle of contacts etc. are different from others'. One's own world is, in other words, one's own individual life. It is to these millions of individual worlds that the Qur'aan refers to as aalameen. Allah thus declares that He is the Rabb of every individual life. If every individual would but submit completely to His will and obey His commands as given in the Qur'aan, the Lord will surely nourish and lead the individual's life to Success and Salvation! In the phrase Rabbulaalameen, however, Aalameen would include jinns, angels, all living things (besides human) and all inanimate things in the entire universe as well. Refer in this context Moses’ reply to Pharaoh in Verses 24, 26 and 28 of Chapter 32 (Manzil V). Rabbulaalameen could as well be translated as the Lord of the Universe.

An extract from Qur'aanic Studies Manzil I.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

He Frowned

Qur'aanic Verse 80:1:






Transliteration:

1. AAabasa watawalla


Translation:

1. He1 frowned and turned away


Study Note:

1. A study of the Verses that follow reveal the identity of ‘He’ here to be the Prophet (peace on him) himself. The use of the third person pronoun instead of the direct ‘You’ is obviously a subtle divine way to mitigate the embarrassment of a direct accusation. But, nevertheless, the accusation is there in the public domain! It shows that Allah Almighty had kept a close watch on even the minutest thing that the Prophet did, to steer him away from any wrong move on his part. It also shows up the transparency in which the Prophet truthfully conveyed the divine Message, even when it contained something disparaging to his own person.

An extract from yet-to-be-published Qur'aanic Studies Manzil VII.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

The Spirit

Qur'aanic Verse 2:87:










Transliteration:

87. Walaqad atayna moosa alkitaba waqaffayna min baAAdihi bialrrusuli waatayna AAeesa ibna maryama albayyinati waayyadnahu biroohi alqudusi afakullama jaakum rasoolun bima la tahwa anfusukumu istakbartum fafareeqan kaththabtum wafareeqan taqtuloona


Translation:

87. And We did give Moses the Book; and, after him, We caused a succession of Messengers to follow him in his track. And We gave Jesus, son of Mary, clear signs and fortified him with the Holy Spirit113-116. Didn't you become arrogant and behave haughtily whenever a messenger came to you with what wasn't in accord with your carnal desires? You then accused some of being false; and some, you killed!


Study Notes:

113. In Verses 2.253 and 5.110 too, it is similarly stated that Jesus was fortified with the Holy Spirit. And in Verse 16.102, it is stated that the Holy Spirit (Roohul Qudus) brought the Qur'aan down from the Lord in Truth. In Verses 26.192-194, the Trustworthy Spirit (Roohul Ameen) is stated to have brought the Qur'aan down upon Prophet Muhammad's mind/consciousness. In Verse 58.22, it is stated that the Believers too are fortified with the Spirit (Rooh) from Him.
114. In Verses 59.23 and 62.1, one of Allah's attributes mentioned is Quddoos (Holy). Besides, the Qur'aan states: (i) when Allah fashioned Adam from clay, He breathed into it His Spirit (15.29 & 38.71-72), (ii) when He fashioned Adam's progeny from 'contemptible water', He breathed into it from His Spirit (32.9), (iii) "We sent to her (Mary) Our Spirit", who appeared before her as a real man (19.17), whereafter, miraculously, without the agency of a man, Mary gave birth to Jesus, who was Allah's Word and a Spirit from Him (4.171), (iv) the Angels and the Spirit ascend to Him in a period of time, the measure whereof is fifty thousand years (70.4); and they (the Spirit and the Angels) would stand in attention, in rows, on the Resurrections Day (78.38), (v) the Spirit is one of Allah's Commands, and  mankind has been given but little knowledge (17.85)!
115. From the Qur'aan thus, what we know, for certain, is that the Spirit or the Holy Spirit is an entity very close to Allah - so close that He calls it My or Our Spirit. This Spirit it is with which are all human lives kindled. Prophet Jesus (peace upon him) was especially fortified with it so that he could talk to people even while in his cradle and perform many miraculous deeds. All believers are also additionally fortified with it so that they keep to the right path. It was through this Spirit that Allah revealed the Qur'aan to Prophet Muhammad (peace and Allah's blessings be upon him). The Spirit nevertheless is subservient to Allah and would be standing in respectful attention, on the Resurrection Day, before Him!
116. We should be content with the info that the Qur'aan gives us on the Rooh, the Roohul Qudus or the Roohul Ameen. These Qur'aanic terms are beyond the scope of our human understanding (mutashabihaat). We should not therefore speculate over their meanings further with our own human opinions. See Verse 3.7 and also study note 2.17, in this context.

An extract from Qur'aanic Studies Manzil I.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Hadeeth

Qur'aanic Verse 7:185:











Transliteration:

185. Awalam yanthuroo fee malakooti alssamawati waal-ardi wama khalaqa Allahu min shay-in waan AAasa an yakoona qadi iqtaraba ajaluhum fabi-ayyi hadeethin baAAdahu yu/minoona


Translation:

185. Do they not ponder over the kingdom of the heavens and the earth and whatever things Allah has created, and over the likelihood of their own death being near? What hadeeth74 would they then believe in after this?


Study Note:

74. This Arabic word has been used in the Qur’aan variously in the meanings of (i) story, (ii) discourse, (iii) speech, or (iv) the Qur’aan itself. In the context of the preceding sentence, in this very Verse, the word here could connote the broad statement as under:
The orderly behaviour of the entire universe gives enough proof of the existence of a super-intelligent Being faultlessly governing it. When that Being can so control such a gigantic thing, He can obviously do the far less complex task of managing and controlling, inter alia, every human life. It is this Being – Whom we call Allah – that is guiding mankind in the proper conduct of their lives, through this Qur’aan. Every human being should grasp this Reality before it is too late. No one knows when death would come. It may be just round the corner.
But the word hadeeth came to acquire another meaning after the completion of the revelation of the Qur’aan, and the departure of the Prophet from this world. Centuries after the death of the Prophet, his orally reported sayings, and those of his companions, came to be recorded in writing. And these recorded sayings came to be known as ahaadeeth (plural of hadeeth). Allah Almighty knows all about the future. And at the time of the revelation of this Verse, He was aware of this future meaning of the term hadeeth. He (Allah), in that sense, is disapprovingly hinting here at future generations of the Muslim Ummah believing in such man-influenced, error-prone ahaadeeth in preference to the well-explained teachings in the Qur’aan, which can also be taken as referred to by the pronoun hu in baAAdahu of the Arabic text. The Verse is thus telling us categorically that the Qur’aan is the best hadeeth; one need not go after other ahaadeeth.

An extract from the e-book Qur'aanic Studies Manzil II

Thursday, 24 October 2013

The Hereafter

Qur'aanic Verse 75:5:






Transliteration:

5. Bal yureedu al-insanu liyafjura amamahu


Translation:

5. But3, man desires to go on doing evil in what lies ahead of him [in worldly life].


Study Note:

3. Use of this word ‘but’ here is significant. It is not for want of cogent reasons that man would not believe in the Hereafter; the need for it – the inevitability of it – is ingrained in the very nature of man! But he suppresses this inner call of his conscience; for, otherwise, he would not be able to lead a profligate life, the Satan has lured him into.

An extract from yet-to-be-published Qur'aanic Studies Manzil VII.