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
Throughout the Quran, you will find the day of judgement described through the terror of an earthquake. In surah Al-Hajj, Allah ﷻ gives vivid imagery to describe it:
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…
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.
This podcast is a tough one. Some topics are taboo to discuss, and none more so than this. So I’ve decided to take a different approach. Rather than outline my own reflection, I invite you to consider the evidence yourself and ask; how would you interpret them? If you read the verses yourself, what would you conclude they say?