Some people worship Allah ﷻ on a (حرف) – commonly translated to mean “on the edge”, making sense in the broader context of the verse and the general usage of the Arabic language. But a deeper linguistic analysis reveals some interesting observations behind this choice of word.
Have you ever heard the tweets of a bird? In the story of Prophet Sulaiman (as), we are given a glimpse into the way these creatures think and speak, translated to us by Allah ﷻ. Its chirping would not have been dissimilar to the tweets at the start of this podcast, yet they are completely inaccessible to us. How strange it is to think these tweets carry sophisticated language and meaning within them, yet to us sound nothing more than a few simple sounds.
There is a subtle difference between these two verses which doesn’t translate in the English. When describing an atoms weight of good, the words (ذَرَّةٍ خَيْرًۭا) have no ghunnah (i.e. stretch) between them, requiring the reader to continue without elongating the word. In the following verse, Allah ﷻ repeats a similar phrase but this time describing an atoms weight of sin: (ذَرَّةٍۢ شَرًّۭا). This time, a ghunnah is found between the two words, requiring a reciter to stretch the end of the first word for 2 moments before continuing with the rest of the verse.
When describing people on the day of judgement, Allah ﷻ divides them into 3 camps: the people of the right, the people of the left, and the foremost – or at least that’s how they are commonly translated! Delve deeper, and you find a much richer meaning to them
Quran Reflections by Imam Tom Facchine & Talha Ghannam خَتَمَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِمْ وَعَلَىٰ سَمْعِهِمْ ۖ وَعَلَىٰٓ أَبْصَـٰرِهِمْ غِشَـٰوَةٌۭ ۖ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌۭ ٧ Allah has sealed their hearts and their hearing, and their sight is covered. They will suffer a tremendous punishment. Before reading this, make sure you watch the video! A wonderful reflection…
The examples of scholars having decorum and etiquette in their disagreements are too many to relate. But one example came up today while I was doing some reading around this verse in Surah Al-Ankabut.
After Fakhr al-Din al-Razi, may Allah have mercy on him, spends a significant number of pages responding to some Mu’tazilite theological arguments – something he spends a lot of time doing in his exegesis – he then says something quite profound about this whole back-and-forth he’s engaging in.
Ibn Kathir mentions in his Tafsir:
“Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (ra) was asked about the meaning of this verse. He replied:
`What sky would shade me and what earth would carry me if I said about the Book of Allah that which I did not have knowledge of.’ ”
Many of us are quick to interpret the words of Allah ﷻ with little study or knowledge, particularly when asked a question.
My uncle Adnan has finally returned home. As a Syrian refugee, his life was filled with challenges and hardships, forced to move from country to country as none would truly welcome him as their own. But through it all, he remained grateful, patient, and strong, never complaining about his plight, and always seeing the blessings in what he had.
Notice the order which Allah ﷻ gives His commands; you will find a wonderful subtlety which hides an ocean of meaning. As Musa’s (as) heart filled with fear at the sight of his staff turning into a snake, Allah ﷻ commanded him to “take it, and have no fear”. He leads with the action before addressing the emotion.
These are pictures of Allepo, Syria before and after current events. Harrowing. Really puts life in perspective. What’s worse is imagining what has happened to all the people that once walked these streets. Then, try imagine it happening in the UK… …the shops, homes and malls all gone …uncomfortable right? I never could have imagined…