Researcher’s Companion to Ghamidi’s Al-Bayan: Surah Baqarah (142-162)

Researcher’s Companion to Ghamidi’s Al-Bayan: Surah Baqarah (142-162)


Qur'anic Exegesis

I. Meaning & Morphology (الصرف و اللغة)

1. 'وَسَط'

According to Ghamidi (note 5), the word 'وَسَط' is used literally. It refers to the Companions of the Prophet Muhammad (sws) who stood as an intermediate nation. On the one side was the Prophet (sws) and on the other, the rest of the nations of the world before which they had to bear witness.

Most commentators have taken the metaphorical meaning of this word viz 'best' since that which is in the middle is the best.

2. 'كُل'

Writes Ghamidi (note 22): 'Although the word 'كُل' is an indefinite noun; however, when it comes after a mention of someone or some group then it generally refers to that person or group'.

Examples of this usage can be seen in the following verses:

فَلَمَّا اعْتَزَلَهُمْ وَمَا يَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ وَهَبْنَا لَهُ إِسْحَقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ وَكُلًّا جَعَلْنَا نَبِيًّا(49:19)

ِAnd when Abraham had cast off his people and the idols which they worshipped, We gave him Isaac and Jacob. Each of them We made a prophet. (19:49)

وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِدْرِيسَ وَذَا الْكِفْلِ كُلٌّ مِّنَ الصَّابِرِينَ (85:21)

And you shall also tell of Ishmael, Idris, and Dhul-Kifl. All these were among those who endured with patience. (21:85)

II. Style & Eloquence (الاساليب و البلاغة)

1. Elision of an Incomplete verb

As pointed out by Ghamidi (note 1), there occurs an elision of an incomplete verb (الفعل الناقص) in the expression 'قَدْ نَرَى تَقَلُّبَ وَجْهِكَ'. The sense is 'قَدْ كُنَّا نَرَى' (We have been seeing).

Such an elision is customary in eloquent Arabic. In the Qur'an, this is quite common. Here are some examples:

Inthe following verse, the sense is 'وَفَرِيقاًكُنْتُمْ تَقْتُلُونَ':

أَفَكُلَّمَا جَاءكُمْ رَسُولٌ بِمَا لاَ تَهْوَى أَنفُسُكُمُ اسْتَكْبَرْتُمْ فَفَرِيقاً كَذَّبْتُمْ وَفَرِيقاً تَقْتُلُونَ(2 :88)

Similarly, in 'وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ مِن رَّسُولٍ إِلَّا نُوحِي إِلَيْهِ (25:21)', the sense is 'إِلَّا كُنَّا نُوحِي إِلَيْهِ'.

2. Direction of Address

There are several instances in the Qur'an where the Prophet (sws) is seemingly addressed while the actual addressees are his opponents. This form of indirect address serves to give the actual addressees the time and respite to reflect on what is being said to them. It does not hurt their ego since they are not singled out by name. In fact, since the address is indirect and the apparent addressee (the Prophet) bears the brunt of such an address, great admonishment can be sounded out to the real addressees (the opponents) without causing any reaction from their side.

As pointed out by the Ghamidi(note 18),2:145 presents such form of address:

[So if there is anything that can satisfy them, then it is that you accept their Qiblah] and [you should know that] if, after the knowledge [that has been revealed to you], you yield to their desires, then you will surely be among these transgressors.

What is being said is that even if a person as respected in the eyes of Allah as the Prophet (sws) follows his whims and desires which contradict the divine revelation sent to him, then he too will have to face the wrath of God. It is evident that there was no possibility of the Prophet (sws) yielding to his desires; it is actually his addressees who were guilty of it. Thus a severe warning is actually sounded to them that such is the grasp of God that He would not even spare His Prophet (sws) in this matter what to speak of others!

Some more examples of this style of address are:

Example 1

وَلَن تَرْضَى عَنكَ الْيَهُودُ وَلاَ النَّصَـارَى حَتَّى تَتَّبِعَ مِلَّتَهُمْ قُلْ إِنَّ هُدَى اللَّهِ هُوَ الْهُدَى وَلَئِنِ اتَّبَعْتَ أَهْوَآءَهُم بَعْدَ الَّذِي جَآئَكَ مِنَ الْعِلْمِ مَا لَكَ مِنَ اللَّهِ مِن وَلِيٍّ وَلاَ نَصِيرٍ(120:2)

Never will the Jews nor the Christians be pleased with you [O Muhammad!] till you follow their religion. Say: 'Verily, the Guidance of Allah is the [only] Guidance. And if you [O Muhammad (sws)] were to follow their desires after what you have received of knowledge [--ie the Qur'an--], then you would have against Allah neither any guardian nor any helper. (2:120)

Example 2

وَلَقَدْ أُوْحِىَ إِلَيْكَ وَإِلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكَ لَئِنْ أَشْرَكْتَ لَيَحْبَطَنَّ عَمَلُكَ وَلَتَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْخَـاسِرِينَ (65:39)

And indeed it has been revealed to you [O Muhammad], as it was to those before you: 'If you join others in worship with Allah, then surely [all] your deeds will be in vain, and you will certainly be among the losers'. (39:65)

In both these examples, the harshness present in the address is directed to the opponents of the Prophet (sws), who are actually addressed. In the first example, the people of the Book are reprimanded for their attitude of denying the Qur'an and told that such is the nature of its guidance that even the Prophet (sws) would not find Allah at his help if he follows their vain desires instead of the Qur'an. In the second example also, the Idolaters of Arabia are being told how heinous a sin polytheism is. Obviously, no prophet of Allah could have indulged into it. But to bring out the abominable nature of this sin, the Idolaters are informed that even the prophets of Allah despite their status will end up at the losing end if they are guilty of it.

3. Elision of the Mubtada

Writes Ghamidi (note 20): 'The Qur'anic words used are:'الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكَ'. 'الْحَقُّ' is an enunciative (khabr) of a suppressed inchoative (mubtada) and the words'مِن رَّبِّكَ' relate to this enunciative. Generally, the inchoative is suppressed in the Arabic language when all attention need to be focused on the enunciative.'

Here are some more examples of such an elision:

In the sentence: (2 : 18) 'صُمٌّ بُكْمٌ عُمْيٌ' there occurs an elision of the Mubtada to focus all attention on the Khabr. It can be unfolded thus:

'صُمٌّ بُكْمٌ عُمْيٌ [هُمْ]'.

Another instance of elision of the Mubtadais:

الرَّحْمَنُ فَاسْأَلْ بِهِ خَبِيرًا (59:25)

The sense is: 'الرَّحْمَنُ فَاسْأَلْ بِهِ خَبِيرًا[هُوَ]'

III. Exegesis and Explanation (الشرح و التفسير)

1. The Background of 'عَلَيْهِ أَن يَطَّوَّفَ بِهِمَافَلاَ جُنَاحَ'

While explaining the following verse, commentators generally narrate that two idols had been placed on the hills of Safa and Marwah and the Qur'an has reassured the believers that if they offer Sa'i between them, then this will not entail any wrong:

إِنَّ الصَّفَا وَالْمَرْوَةَ مِن شَعَآئِرِ اللّهِ فَمَنْ حَجَّ الْبَيْتَ أَوِ اعْتَمَرَ فَلاَ جُنَاحَ عَلَيْهِ أَن يَطَّوَّفَ بِهِمَا(2: 158)

Safaand Marwaare indeed two of God's symbols. So it shall be no offence for those who come for Hajj or 'Umrah of this Sacred House to walk around them. (2:158)

According to Ghamidi, this is not the case. If the context of the verse is considered, it becomes evident that the Jews were guilty of concealing certain facts about the relationship of Abraham (sws) with Arabia. While referring to this concealment, the Qur'anin the very verse says:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَكْتُمُونَ مَا أَنزَلْنَا مِنَ الْبَيِّنَاتِ وَالْهُدَى مِن بَعْدِ مَا بَيَّنَّاهُ لِلنَّاسِ فِي الْكِتَابِ أُولَـئِكَ يَلعَنُهُمُ اللّهُ وَيَلْعَنُهُمُ اللَّاعِنُونَ(2: 159)

Those who conceal the clear proofs and the guidance We have revealed [in this matter]even though We had openly proclaimed them for these people in our Book it is they who shall be cursed by God and cursed by those who curse. (2:159)

According to Ghamidi(note 51), in order to conceal the relationship of Abraham (sws) with Safaand Marwah they must have come up with the propaganda that offering Sa'i was an innovation and that it should therefore be avoided. It was to reveal this concealment of facts that the Qur'anvehemently asserted that offering Sa'ibetween these two hills is no sin. In fact, both these hills symbolize certain aspects of religion. He writes:

When the Jews tried to sever the relationship of the Safa and Marwah from Abraham (sws), they must have also asserted that offering the Sa'i between these two hills is polytheistic innovation and has nothing to do with Abraham's religion. It was in this background that the Qur'an refuted this claim by clarifying that there was no harm in offering the Sa'i between these hills; in fact this is a designated worship ritual and therefore certainly an act of virtue which if done with zeal will be accepted by the Almighty.

Moreover, the placement of two idols on the hills could not have been the case for reassuring Muslims to observe Sa'isince on similar grounds there were over 360 idols placed within the Ka'bah and Muslims never needed any re-assurance to observe the ritual of Tawaf.




Articles by this author


Some Requests to Wives

Humanity burnt at the Stake*

A Summary of some Exegetical Views on Verses 16-19 of Surah Qiyamah (2/2)

A Summary of some Exegetical Views on Verses 16-19 of Surah Qiyamah (1/2)

Some Remedies for Jealousy

Four Steps to Selflessness

The Five Essentials of Constructive Criticism

An Introduction to Ghamidi’s Mizan

How to overcome Selfishness

Your Question Answered

Explanation of Some Qur’anic Words

Anger Management

Some Suggestions for Married Couples

God’s Domain

Let us Light up our Prayers!

Successful Parents

The “Successful Spouse” Test

Let us Value what We have

Dear Husbands … If I may say!

The “Blind Drill”

Life goes on all the same!

Prayers can Move Mountains!

Two types of “Junk Food”

Reforming Our Conduct

Supplications from the Hadith

Supplications from the Qur’an

A Small Act of Kindness

Respecting the Privacy of our Mature Children

Explanation of Some Jarh Terms

Selections from Hadith

Your Questions Answered

Two Tough Trials

Benefiting from Criticism

Your Questions Answered

The Cause of Truth

Your Questions Answered

Selections from Hadith

Restraining our Wounded Pride

Selections from Hadith

The Power of One

Preparing for the Inevitable!

Selections from Hadith

Let us Refuse to Lose!

The Sound of Silence

Selections from Hadith

Let us Enjoy every Moment of our Lives

Lets be Just, Come what May!

Selections from Hadith

Beware of the three C’s: Cynicism, Criticism and Complaint

Never Give Up!

Do We have a Spiritual Part of the Day?

Tears of Old Parents … for their Children

Life goes on all the same!

The Decorum of Criticizing Others

Tears that would not stop!

Selections from Hadith

Hobbies we must have!

Death in Innocence

“Thank you” Culture

Visit to an Old Home

We Owe it to Our Society

Experiencing God

Discovering our Inner Talent

The Battle for Honesty Continues!

Saintly Sinners

Secret to Inner Peace

Your Questions Answered

Small Acts of Kindness

Illness can be a Boon!

Philosophy of Animal Sacrifice on ‘Id

Tears of Gratitude!

Lookout to Leap for Others!

Charity

Turning Foes into Friends

Let us then Live for Others!

SPECIAL ISSUE

A Re-Evaluation of Early Developments in Qur’anic Orthography (1/4)

A Re-Evaluation of Early Developments in Qur’anic Orthography (2/4)

A Re-Evaluation of Early Developments in Qur’anic Orthography (3/4)

A Re-Evaluation of Early Developments in Qur’anic Orthography (4/4)

Abdus Sattar Ghauri (The Father Figure of Al-Mawrid!)

Brief Profile

Special Issue

Charity: Points to Ponder

Your Question Answered

“Dignity in Hard Labour Lies!”

Forgiveness

Never Lose Hope!

The Trials of Life

Anger Management

Handling Mature Children

Let us Promise…

An Introduction to Ghāmidī’s Mīzān

Visit to a Graveyard

Are We Ready to Die?

A Shame to Humanity[1]!

A Critical Evaluation of Variations found in the ‘Uthmānic Copies (Part 4/4)

A Critical Evaluation of Variations found in the ‘Uthmānic Copies (Part 3/4)

A Critical Evaluation of Variations found in the ‘Uthmānic Copies (Part 2/4)

A Critical Evaluation of Variations found in the ‘Uthmānic Copies (Part 1/4)

The Key to Successful Marriage

Taming the Tongue

Sexual Intimacy between Husband and Wife

Pretension and Pomposity

The Cause of Truth

Narrative on the Changes made in the Qur’ān by al-Hajjāj ibn Yūsuf

Sūrah Mā’idah (64-89)

Sympathy

A Man of Steel

Critical Evaluation of Ustuwānah al-Mushaf Narratives

Humility

Fasting in Extreme Conditions

How to overcome Selfishness

Nothing but the Truth, Please!

Narratives on the Collection of the Qur’ān by ‘Alī(rta) (part 1/3)

Narratives on the Collection of the Qur’ān by ‘Alī(rta) (part 2/3)

Narratives on the Collection of the Qur’ān by ‘Alī(rta) (part 3/3)

A Tribute to Brig (retd.) Noor Ahmed Husain (Quaid e Azam’s Last Military ADC)

Courage

Appendix C: A Brief Biographical Sketch of Hamīd al-Dīn al-Farāhī (1863-1930) [1]

Appendix B:  A Brief Summary of the Views of Traditional and Radical Western Scholars

Appendix A:  A Summary of the View of Traditional Muslim Scholars

A Critical Evaluation of Farahī’s View on the Collection of the Qur’ān

A Citizen of Paradise (Written on the Martyrdom of Dr Habib ur Rahman)

Forgiveness

Gratitude

Your Questions Answered

Reason and Revelation

Your Questions Answered

Explanation of Some Qur’ānic Words

Explanation of Some Jarh Terms

The Warrior who became a Martyr

A Narrative on the Placement of Sūrah Anfāl (8) and…

A Critical Analysis of the Narratives on the… (Part 1/2)

A Critical Analysis of the Narratives on the… (Part 2/2)

Your Questions Answered

Travelling Alone!

A Narrative on the Schematic Arrangement of the Qur’ān (Part 2/2)

A Narrative on the Schematic Arrangement of the Qur’ān (Part 1/2)

The Word Rusul in the Qur’ān

Your Questions Answered

Mustafā A‘zamī’s Critique on “The Dishonest Scribe” Narratives

A Passionate Preacher of the Qur’an passes away!

Animal Sacrifice

… And the List is Unending!

English Translation of the first volume of Tadabbur-i Qur’ān

Sūrah Ghāshiyah

Your Questions Answered

Jihād in the Qur’ān

Your Questions Answered