Thursday, January 14, 2016
Contextual Nature of the Quran
MSA asked: Do you believe in the "contextual" nature of revelations given to the Prophet in 7th century? Please make yourself clear.
Answer: The primary addressees of the Quran were the people to whom Prophet-Messenger Muhammad directly preached [42:7; 62:2], while it is guidance for entire mankind [9:32,33 ; 62:3]. Hence, some verses are specific to certain events and situations, such as the declaration of annulment of treaty and notice of war in Surah Taubah, the narrations of the past nations and their Messengers, and so on. Some of the orders are specific to the person and time, such as the order to Moses' mother to throw the baby in the river, while other verses are applicable in general. For example, guidance given regarding the esteem and kindness to parents are for their progeny only; guidance given for matters of the State are for implementation by the State; guidance given for feeding the poor are applicable to all who can feed those less privileged; and so on.
[Quran 9:32,33] They want to extinguish Allah's light with their mouths, but Allah refuses except to perfect His Light even if the disbelievers dislike (it). He (is) the One Who has sent His Messenger with the guidance and the religion (of) [the] truth, to manifest it over all religions. Even if dislike (it) the polytheists.
[Quran 42:7] And thus We have revealed to you a Quran (in) Arabic, that you may warn (the) mother (of) the towns, and whoever (is) around it, and warn (of the) Day (of) Assembly, (there is) no doubt in it. A party (will be) in Paradise and a party in the Blazing Fire. [http://islamawakened.com/quran/42/7/]
[Quran 62:1-4] Glorifies Allah whatever (is) in the heavens and whatever (is) in the earth, the Sovereign, the Holy, the All-Mighty, the All-Wise. He (is) the One Who sent among the unlettered a Messenger from themselves reciting to them His Verses, and purifying them and teaching them the Book and the wisdom although they were before surely in an error clear. And others among them who have not yet joined them; and He (is) the All-Mighty, the All-Wise. That (is the) Bounty of Allah, He gives it (to) whom He wills. And Allah (is the) Possessor of Bounty the Great.
[http://islamawakened.com/quran/62/1/ ; http://islamawakened.com/quran/62/2/ ; http://islamawakened.com/quran/62/3/ ; http://islamawakened.com/quran/62/4/]
Note: I would translate 62:2 as '... among the Ummi (meaning dwellers of umm-ul-Qura mentioned in 42:7) a Messenger ...'
Thanks for your response. I will have a lot to say on what you have said, but before I do so, I want to know from you if any Arabic speaking man or woman from Saudi Arabia has translated the Arabic Quran into English, or any other languages so that non-Arabs, who do not know or speak Arabic, could understand what Allah has told them through the Quran? If not, why?
Answer: Surah Fussilat (Explained in Detail) gives the reason for the revelation of Quran in Arabic:
[Quran 41:42-44, Translator: Sahih International] Falsehood cannot approach it from before it or from behind it; [it is] a revelation from a [Lord who is] Wise and Praiseworthy. Nothing is said to you, [O Muhammad], except what was already said to the messengers before you. Indeed, your Lord is a possessor of forgiveness and a possessor of painful penalty. And if We had made it a non-Arabic Qur'an, they would have said, "Why are its verses not explained in detail [in our language]? Is it a foreign [recitation] and an Arab [messenger]?" Say, "It is, for those who believe, a guidance and cure." And those who do not believe - in their ears is deafness, and it is upon them blindness. Those are being called from a distant place.
I do not know the background of the translators. However, I pray that may Allah reward them greatly for their service towards spreading the Deen.