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Messages - Anwar

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31
Islamic Duties / Re: Food Prohibitions
« on: June 16, 2014, 01:50:18 PM »
Salaam,

1. I was using the more common (and still valid) understanding of sunnah. There is not only 1 Sunnah. Everyone has a Sunnah and technically we should emulating all good and godly sunnah's. Please don't be so closeminded or dogmatic about these concepts, claiming that they can only be used in the way the Quran uses them. Secondly, who told you 'we hear and obey' is the only Uswah of rasoolullah? We are given many examples of the behavior of God's last messenger in the Quran as well as the direct commands to him. Allah put them there on purpose as an 'ibrah from which we are to take lesson from. We are to imitate them. This is clearly his Uswah. We also have the Uswah of other messengers of God in the Qur'an. We should also be emulating them, especially that of Abraham (saas). 

2. As for na7r. I said there is a Quranic reading (actually it says harf Abdullah, implying an an alternative text that was extant at the time of Abu Bakr Al-Qasim who was the author of Mu'jam Al-faadh Al-Quran) for 2:71 that says 'fana7aroohaa' instead of 'fadhaba7oohaa.' You are reading ONE reading. As far as I know most readings say dhaba7a. The fact that one actually says na7ara proves the connection citing Quranic readings. Linguistically, as I stated na7ara means to sacrifice an animal. The animal does not have to be mentioned along with the word. If I just said 'na7ara' it is understood that I sacrificed an animal as this is implied in the basic meaning of the word, just like dhaba7a.

In addition to sacrificing an animal here are some of the things it can be:

ونَحَرَ الرجلُ في الصلاة يَنْحَرُ: انتصب ونَهَدَ صَدْرُه

"The man na7ara in prayer means that he put down and lifted his upper chest/lower neck." This means bowing. Because the passage says 'fasalli lirabbika wa-an7ar' the context can be taken as prayer and can mean to bow down. Na7ara coming from sacrificing in the upper neck and check area takes on various meanings involving this area of the body.

Mu'jam Al-faadh Al-Quran says: "It is said that it is a command to put one's hand on one's chest (during prayer)"

This is from it being a verb that implies actions involving the chest. I did not pay attention to this one before and find it valid and very interesting.  I may be incorporating this into my prayer.

Here is what it cannot be:

قال طائفة: أُمِرَ بنحر النُّسك بعد الصلاة،

"A group of people have said (the verse 'fasalli lirabbika wa-an7ar) means: He was ordered to direct himself towards his religious rites and rituals after prayer.'

Nahr here means to face towards, more literally understood as 'to show one's chest or forward part towards.' The religious rights and rituals is a theological interjection.

Mu'jam Al-faadh Al-Quran says that "It is said that it means killing one's self (na7ru-n-nafs) by suppressing one's lusts/desires (qam3u-sh-shahwaat)." This is from it being a verb that involves killing/slaughtering. Tanaahara and intahara mean to kill each other (literally and figuratively) as when one slaughters an animal/camel according to Lisanul-Arab and Mu'jam Al-faadh Al-Qur'an.

I find this meaning of killing one's self by suppressing lusts/desires to be taking theological license with the word, as the word does not have self, lusts or desires as part of its meaning. Intahara however does mean to kill/sacrifice one's self but it is not the form of he verb that is used in Suratul-kawthar

Salam

32
Islamic Duties / Re: Food Prohibitions
« on: June 15, 2014, 08:54:02 AM »
Greetings to you,

1. Sunnah is the more common expression for the terms uswah or qudwah. uswah and qudwah mean example. As far as I know it has this meaning as well as pattern. This is what most Muslims mean by Sunnah, unfortunately they believe that the sunnah/uswah/qudwah of the prophet Muhammad is to be taken from hadeeth and not the Qur'an.

2.  Yes. There is a Quranic reading for 2:71 that says 'fana7aroohaa' instead of 'fadhaba7oohaa.' So yes na7ara is synonymous with dhaba7 in its meaning of 'to slaughter'. na7r is also used for a specific type of slaughter where usually a camel is stabbed in the upper chest/lower neck area but it can be applied to all types of slaughter.

Peace.


33
General Discussions / Re: Khamr
« on: June 15, 2014, 04:47:14 AM »
Salam,

I find it somewhat significant that khamr in 5:90 is described as an 3amal or an action, i.e. 'min 3amali-sh-shaytaan.' 2:25 also implies that the things that we will be given in paradise will be similar to the things that we have been given on earth. This means that the things that we will enjoy in paradise are lawful to have here on earth, however in paradise they will be purified and improved. I hope this is a cause for further reflection on my above points.


34
Islamic Duties / Food Prohibitions
« on: June 15, 2014, 04:38:32 AM »
I want to commend the author of this forum for these articles:

http://www.quransmessage.com/articles/does%20the%20quran%20allow%20the%20eating%20of%20all%20animals%20FM3.htm

http://quransmessage.com/articles/food%20restrictions%20FM3.htm

Every time I read 5:1, it left me with a certain impression that this was a limitation on what sort of animals we should be eating and I am extremely glad that I came across an article that tackled this. Otherwise, why the need to mention that it is lawful given the other clear prohibitions that allowed these animals.

Where I dissent somewhat is in the definition of words. I use Classical Arabic lexicons like Lisanul-Arab, Sihah-Al-lughah, Mu'jam Al-faadhu Al-Quran and others, like Taj al-arous and Muheetul-Muheet to arrive at the proper meaning of Classical Arabic words, meanings that when it comes to the Quran have to be able to applied pre-Quran. Some of these lexicons can prove deficient so using as many as possible usually completes the picture for the word. You can find many of these lexicons at www.baheth.info. They are only in Arabic.

I have found Lane's lexicon to be deficient in many ways and I often wonder why he just didn't outright translate Taajul-Arous or Lisanul-Arab instead of arrogantly trying to compile his own lexicon. Colonialist agenda? Ego-centrism? I have found clear falsities and deficiencies in his work when compared to the original Arabic Lexicons. This is why I no longer use Lane's lexicon.

Having said that the Qur'an's use of baheematul-an3aam indeed refers to pastured animals who eat herbage alone. Baheemah specifically refers to 4 legged animals, be they land dwellers or water dwellers.  So the limitation here is on 4 legged animals. In particular, the four legged animals that we eat have to be eaters of al-kala' also known as 3ashb, which in Arabic refers to all herbage dry or fresh. Their being eaters of herbage in particular has to do with the term an3aam which means any 'maal(un) raa3iyat(un)' or maal raa3iyah. Maal in this context is taken in its meaning of 'hayawaan' or 'animals.' Raa'iyah means to be herbage eaters when applied to animals. So we can eat any 4 legged animal of land or water as long as it eats herbage.

This has implications on what we catch from the waters, and limits it to animals of the sea that do not have 4 legs unless those animals with four legs are eaters of herbage.

This would seem to take water creatures like alligators who have 4 actual legs/feet, as well as frogs and toads out of the dietary picture (Ecologically this is a bit unfortunate seeing that alligators in places like Africa need their numbers taken down, but I guess they could be hunted, ground up and used for fish food). Hippos would be fine, as long as they have not been seen eating carrion which they rarely do. It is assumed that they do this due to aberrant behavior (mental deficiencies?) or nutritional deficiencies.  They are however almost exclusively known to pasture on grasses and occasionally eat aquatic plants. There are also herbage eating lizards like the iguana. Lizards are 4 legged animals. Many monkeys walk on all 4's as well and are exclusive herbage eaters. Not all.

Snakes do not have 4 legs and do not eat grass, but neither do birds so I think the restriction on bahaa'im (4 legged creatures) only refers to 4 legged creatures. The Quran mentions snakes but there is no prohibition on them. I think the same thing can be said of them I mention later when I speak of insects.

As it concerns the section: "THERE ARE SOME GRAZING ANIMALS WHICH ARE SPECIFICALLY MENTIONED FOR TRAVEL AND NOT FOR FOOD"

Let's look at:

6.142

    "Of the An3aam (herbage eating 4 legged animals) some are for burden and some for meat: eat what God has provided for you, and follow not the footsteps of Satan: for he is to you an avowed enemy" 

The word used for meat here is 'farsh.' Farsh is defined in Mu'jam Al-faadh AL-Quran as 'Al-farsh are the pastured animals that are ridden.' So farsh refers to the riding of the animals. Hamulah in this case most likely refers to their ability to carry loads. Lisanul-Arab gives Tha'lab's definition of farsh in this context as meaning 'the big camels.' It can also mean 'the small camels.' Abu Ishaq says that most of the linguists agree that it means small camels.  It is also said that it means all camels, cattle and sheep that are only good for slaughtering and nothing else.

So the word farsh here has a number of definitions. The closest meaning of 'for meat' is in how it means grazing animals that aren't good for work or for loads but only for slaughter. This does not imply that some of them (like horses) can only be used for riding and not meat, while others like cows can only be used for meat. Both cows and horses have been ridden and eaten for thousands of years and they are both herbage eaters, so there should be no problem eating either of the two. This includes donkeys and mules as well, which are also technically an3aam. The verse implies when farsh is taken this way that some of them are not good for work and are only good for slaughtering for food. I understand how the author sees a prohibition on eating the horses, donkeys and mules in 16:8. However, if we read from 16:5-8 we see that the same animals that we eat in 16:5 also carry our loads to faraway lands in 16:7. Horses, Mules and donkeys historically and probably genetically have more use as burden animals than food animals but they still have been eating when not good for work or burdens or when there is not use and food is more important. I see 16:8 as distinguishing the particular blessing that they are as riding animals and animals of beauty but not that they cannot be eaten. I however can admit that the use that God distinguishes for them should be what we use them for before we think of slaughtering them for food just because they are lawful for slaughter. So I think it may be safe to say that horses, mules and donkeys that are of no use for work or riding can be slaughtered and eaten.

As for birds we have the mention of the salwaa during the children of israel's journey after Egypt. The word can mean honey, as well as a bird that is described as either the sumanaa (understood as a quail) or a bird like the quail.  56:21 mentions how we can eat birds of any kind in paradise and I'd like to note that 2:25 says the believers will be given things similar to what they have been given in this life. This means that what we will be given in paradise we have been given here, but of course paradise is flawless and everything in it is purified unlike the things we have here. Hence why we have 56:19 implying flowing wine which does not inebriate, which relates to the rivers of wine in 47:15.

So technically we can eat any sort of bird, even the birds of prey. You could by indirect means understand that the birds who eat carrion are not allowed because one would also be indirectly eating carrion by eating the flesh of such a bird. This may make the bird dirty or filthy. Many birds like chickens and vultures are scavengers who don't always eat rotten carrion but will if they get the chance. It would also disallow all fish who eat anything dead in the sea as well as any other creature big enough and safe enough swallow.

Perhaps it is safe to say that the Quran takes the stance that the biology of a bird no matter what it eats is not the same as the biology of a non-herbage eating four legged mammal or lizard. But if the bird looks unclean or smells unclean it is probably safe to consider it rijz/rijs/khabeeth. The same can be said for a sick cow, cows that are not fed grass or a cows in a disgusting environment.

As for insects, there are a few insects mentioned in the Quran. Ants (naml), locusts (jarad, being large types of herbage eating grasshoppers), spiders, flies, lice and bees. None of the above are mentioned as food although people have eating locusts, bee larvae and bee parts in honey and honey comb for thousands of years. The honey of the bee is understood in Mu'jam al-faadh al-Qur'an as the saliva of the bee. This is also how it is defined in Lisanul-'Arab. We know now that it is actually the vomit of the bee. Notwithstanding, the Quran actually praises this food that has been understood and is known to be from the bodily fluids of an insect. The smaller particles in honey are full of bee parts as well. So I think it is safe to say that God is okay with us eating insects.

I believe the difference comes in whether those insects are rujz (filthiness), khabeethah (objectionable because of its badness) or rijs (filthiness/dirtiness) because they eat or are associated with impure things like feces, urine or decay. We are expected to avoid contaminated things on all levels because they are harmful. 74:5

I'd like to thank those who read this and Joseph Islam for addressing this. As one last item when it comes to the foods we are too eat I think we should address the Sunnah of our last prophet and messenger (saas) as it concerns his slaughtering of animals. In Surat-ul-Kawthar he is told to 'pray to your lord and slaughter.' So not only should we be mentioning God's name before we slaughter but we should be saying a prayer before we do it, which in its most basic sense according to " most of the Ahlul-lughah (Arab Classical linguists) is calling (du'aa), blessing (tabreek) and/or praising (tamjeed)," 'Mu'jam Al-faadh Al-Quran.' This is Sunnah/Uswah of God's messenger (saas) before we slaughter any animal for consumption.

Salamun 'Alaykum and thank you for reading this.

35
General Discussions / Re: Khamr
« on: June 15, 2014, 12:01:02 AM »
Ahmed,

Quote
However in verse 16:67, conflict will arise if you take "WA" to denote further explanation of intoxicants. Because in verse 2:219 it is clearly stated that its sin is greater than its benefit. For that reason, how can good provision be referring to intoxicants ?

Khamr's sin/harm is greater than its benefit. This does not apply to sakar. Please stop conflating their meaning as intoxicant.

Quote
Taking the meaning of "Khamr" as "drunkenness" causes incompatibility with the same verse 2:219. Because how can drunkenness have some benefits. It is more logical to take the meaning as wine.

Ask anyone who uses any substance that induces a drunken state what the benefit of drunkenness is and they will clearly tell you...absence of stress and relaxation of the mind. That is a clear benefit. But the harm of that state is greater than the benefit. Please do not argue with me about whether this is truly a benefit or not given
the means through which it was acquired.

Quote

Furthermore, it is clear from verse 12:41 that "khamran" means wine.

The Qur'an is not a dictionary and Classical Arabic words, even in the Qur'an, are not limited to one meaning. 12:36 shows how khamr in its context should be understood in its meaning of grapes. I never denied that khamr also means wine. Rather, I am informing you and others that it can also mean 'an inebriated state' based on the Classical Arabic grammar of the verb 'khamira' in its meaning of 'to be inebriated.' This fits the context of 5:90 much better, especially when taking into consideration 4:43 and 16:67.

With that said, I am not seeing the benefit of this back and forth being more than its harm. I hope it is because you do not clearly understand my point. For that reason I will clarify again. My point is to show you that given what the Quran says in totality, it is more logical to interpret khamr in 5:90 as drunkenness instead of wine, unlike what we have in 12:41 where wine is more appropriate. As I stated earlier at 12:36, which is just previous, khamr is most appropriately understood in its meaning of grapes.

For more clarity, I am not giving khamr any new meaning. Nor am I negating any of its established meanings. I am showing how being fair with the grammatical implications of the passages that mention khamr, sakar, and sukaraa (sukraan) is more logical to take khamr in its meaning of drunkenness at 5:90.

Additionally, I believe that this creates a wider prohibition on the abuse of intoxicants in general rather than using the traditional Islamic process of qiyaas to arrive at a contrived meaning for khamr as any general intoxicant, which is certainly NOT its meaning.

I hope you can see my points. If you just flatly disagree there is no need for further challenging. I want to avoid arguing points that I have not made, like when you insinuated that I am somehow saying that khamr CANNOT mean wine. A point that I never made.

If you have questions about my stances, claims or conclusions please ask them and I will expound as much as I can to make them clear if they are not clear to you. Then, you can then decide on your own what to make of my conclusions and what I have based them on.

Salam

36
General Discussions / Re: Khamr
« on: June 11, 2014, 12:27:02 AM »
Ahmed,

I understand your point. However, it would seem that you do not understand all of the grammatical functions of wa. 'wa' can be used an marker for further clarification.

And that is my point. Your understanding is valid, but so is mine according to Classical Arabic grammar. Rarely are phrses within Quranic verses limited to one understanding. Because the 'wa' CAN be being used as a marker for further clarification, who am I to disallow what is grammatically valid in that context?

Again, I also clearly explained the meanings of Khamr, pigeon-holing it as just 'wine' is an unwillingness to recognize the breadth of Classical Arabic words and their meanings.  Taking all of the valid meanings of these verses I find that alcohol is not forbidden, drunkenness is. I find this to be more consistent with all that the Qur'an says on the subject and to be even more comprehensive given that the state of inebriation can be caused by substances other than alcohol.

Salaam

It is okay if you disagree. This is a natural bias for those of us who grew up as tradtionalist Muslims or who are from culture's where the majority are traditionalist Muslim. So think on what I have said. If you do not understand it don't follow it. Afterall, the Quran says 'laa taqfu maa laisa laka bihi 3ilm', so it is sunnah/uswah to refrain from what we do not understand.

37
General Discussions / Khamr
« on: June 10, 2014, 12:12:53 PM »
Peace,

I know this has been discussed already and actually I do not have any questions on the issue but rather some statements.

1. I do not believe alchohol to be forbidden, given the Qur'an's use of sakar in what can be taken as a positive light in 16:67. The 'wa rizqan hasanan' can even be taken as a descriptive of the alcoholic drink taken from the products of (date) palms and grapes.

2. Khamr can mean: covering, wine, grapes, leavening (yeast or the fermentation process of yeast) as well as inebriation, intoxication and drunkenness.

3. Taking one of the meanings of khamr as 'to cover' and interpreting that into 'to cover one's mind' in the case of wine is etymological opinion. It is also one that proves irrelevant in front of meanings such as grapes and leavening.

4. Taking khamr as 'something that covers one's mind' and applying this to all inebriants/intoxicants is etymological conjecture on top of Classical Islamic qiyaas, which is no more than more conjecture to be brutally honest.

5. Khamr's valid meaning of drunkenness/inebriation, although less known fits the larger Quranic context of alcohol consumption better. First we have avoid 'khamr', avoid (tajannub/ijtinaab) is usually used for things that you may be faced with often. The Quran doesn't say avoid other sins, it just tells us not to do them. Secondly we have the Quran telling us not to pray while drunk. Yes this can be other sorts of stupors like extreme anger, sadness or even sleepiness (hmmm?), but this is opening up the fact that the Quran is showing us that we can be/are/will be engaging in a sort of behavior that may cause us to be drunk when it is time to pray.

6. As far as I understand inebriation is not limited to alcohol consumption and naturally applies to inebriation caused by non-alcoholic sources.

7. My conclusion is that while substances that can inebriate like wine and others are allowed, we are explicitly told to avoid inebriation which means limiting consumption. This makes accidental inebriation forgivable but not purposeful inebriation. In general the Quran tells us to stay away from what is harmful, to protect ourselves from harm and to engage and partake in 'at-tayyibaat.' If the substance we are using is harmful as far as we know, it is a sin for us to use it. If it inebriates us we are to limit consumption or abstain altogether

8. Acccording to 16:67, alcoholic drink make from atleast dates and grapes are good provision. However, we are expressedly told to avoid becoming inebriated.

9. If this bothers some because they want the Quran to be applied to the masses and know that the masses will not be able to show such self-discipline, intelligence and restraint I would like to remind everyone that the Quran does not say that it is for the masses. It says that it is for those who use intelligence, wisdom, ponder and carefully think. It says that most people (the masses) are like cattle or worse.

10. My advice is that if you cannot drink without getting drunk, do not drink Additionally over-consumption of alcohol is harmful to the body and the liver in particular. To engage in harmful activities that only serve to harm is against the fundamental concept of taqwaa in the Qur'an, which is self-protection or protection from harm in this life and the next.

Salaam

38
Wakas,

You missed Mu'jam al-faadh Al-Qur'aan. I'm sure there are some others that are not yet on our radar.


39
General Discussions / Re: "Asch-Schajar"Tree or Celestial Object?
« on: June 10, 2014, 11:44:54 AM »
This is not pertinent to this context but shajarah can also be the plural of shaajir and can have meaning of 'bad company.' This is more relevant to the verse about Adam not eating/partaking from the shajarah.

Salaam

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