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1
Women / Re: Husband can beat ( not severe ) his wife
« Last post by Wakas on August 17, 2018, 09:05:49 PM »
Please be notified that if the meaning "shun / turn away from" is chosen it will result in issues. The following is a brief comparison to the "cite them" view:



"shun / turn away from"
This alleged usage in 4:34 occurs in 43:5 with the preposition "Aan", thus making Quran seems inconsistent IF it did mean that in 4:34
No identical example of this DRB usage in Quran

No explanation of how the authority are notified
Commands husband to shun / turn away from then promotes reconciliation in next verse, mixed message

It is unclear to what extent one shuns, how they can do so without being unjust etc
No supporting marital example in Quran
Impractical/illogical result when inserted into 4:128-130 and somehow requires iAAradan to be a positive thing and potentially makes Drb/3rD similar


"cite them" Quran434.com
Several identical examples of this DRB usage in Quran, including when humans are the direct object as in 4:34
Explains how the authority is notified by 4:35, and provides perfect logical/sequential coherence
No mixed message

DRB use is clear and simple to implement practically
58:1-4 provides perfect coherence in terms of marital example
When inserted into 4:128-130 provides a complementary practical and coherent solution
2
peace,

Does the Quran tell us how non Arabs should approach the book for guidance ?

It has lots of information on this [source]:

Quote:


The following is a brief list taken directly from The Quran on how to process information, read, study and understand it:

16:98 - seek God's spiritual aid, away from the forces of satan/opposition (e.g. emotional instability, personal desire, self-delusion, arrogance, prejudice, deviation).
3:7 - ground oneself in solid principles, maintain sincerity.
6:56, 13:37, 30:29, 42:14-15 - be wary of following desires as opposed to following God's revelation.
3:195, 4:135, 5:8, 8:61, 28:54, 42:40 - remain true to its principles of justice, equivalence, fairness, compassion, opting for the good/better response etc.
6:114, 12:111, 15:90-91, 17:89, 16:89, 18:54, 39:27 - try to utilise and appreciate its complete system of concepts.
4:82 - anything from God will not have contradiction/inconsistency/variance. This also applies to our understanding as well. If we formulate a correct interpretation of The Quran, we will find that everything falls into place. This is one of the most crucial criteria.
5:101, 20:114, 25:32, 73:20, 75:17 - do not rush our learning, read what is easy of it, gradually build knowledge and acceptance to strengthen one's heart, and ask God to increase our knowledge.
73:4-5 - in order to receive a weighty or profound word or saying, we need to arrange the likenesses in The Quran, e.g. cross-reference concepts/words/topics.
21:10, 30:30, 41:53, 51:20-21  - its information and teachings should map to our reality (within our psyche, experience and to the furthest horizons). All signs, internal and external can point to the truth of it and act as a verification mechanism.
29:20, 3:137, 3:190-191, 45:3-4 - knowledge of archaeology/biology/physics/history/sciences/philosophy etc will all help to better understand it.
6:75-79, 21:57-67, 36:78-79, 21:22, 23:91, 2:258, 12:26-27, 22:5-6, 2:260 - promotes logical thinking.
2:269, 8:22 - strong affinity towards use of wisdom and reason.
49:6, 45:24, 6:116, 53:28, 2:111, 21:24 - disapproves of conjecture/guesswork and promotes examination of evidence.
34:46, 6:50, 2:219, 3:191, 10:24, 16:44, 30:21 - shows the importance of reflection, to deeply consider/think.
47:24, 23:68 - "tadabbur" means to ponder over something giving careful consideration to its consequences.
41:44 - language is not a barrier, belief/acceptance of it will help understanding.
25:33, 17:41 - it contains the best response/explanation.
39:18, 42:38 - listen and consider other views and follow what is best of them.
6:116, 12:106 - majority opinion can be baseless.
2:2, 3:138, 10:37 - a guide for the god-conscious/forethoughtful, there is no doubt in it, thus understandings which raise doubt about it must be carefully reviewed.
17:45-46 - to not believe in the hereafter can act as a barrier to its understanding.
12:3, 18:54, 17:89, 7:176, 12:111 - look to its internal examples, stories within it give us lessons, it is a clarification for all things.
2:170, 7:28, 6:112, 7:70, 26:74, 43:23 - advised not to blindly follow the teachings of our ancestors.
17:36, 39:9 - seek knowledge, verify, use your God-given senses.
25:1, 2:185, 6:114-115 - it is the criterion with which to determine/judge.
7:204, 9:122, 6:104-105 - give it full attention, focus, spend time studying it.
19:76 - it increases guidance for the guided, i.e. those who continuously turn towards, seek it and follow it.
22:46, 7:179 - open your heart and mind.
13:17 - any interpretation must always be understood in a way that is focused on benefiting mankind and our development.
15:1, 17:82, 36:2, 2:97, 45:20, 10:57, 56:77, 85:21 - any understanding should reflect its attributes, such as: wisdom, mercy, healing, noble, glad tidings, blessing, clear etc.
17:9 - guides to what is straight/upright/establishing.
20:2 - it has not been sent to make us suffer unnecessarily, thus any interpretation should bear this in mind.
22:54, 34:37 - those closest are those who believe and do good works, implying god-consciousness/righteousness and understanding could go hand in hand.
56:79 - purity of mind/heart will grasp it. Work on this aspect of oneself as you seek guidance.
3:79, 75:18 - apply what you learn/know.
39:27-29 - variance rejected, no crookedness, one consistent source is the preference.
4:87, 31:6 39:23, 77:50 - stick with a solid/proven source, not a baseless narration/hadith. The Quran is the best, most truthful and only obligatory hadith.





3
General Discussions / Re: 27:40 Throne carrier?
« Last post by Student on August 17, 2018, 05:47:55 PM »
Walekumus salaam,
Dear Athman,

Thanks again for sharing your understanding and parting wisdom. My argument was exactly as yours:

"Said one [Person 1] who had knowledge from the Scripture, 'I [Person 1] will bring it to you [Person 2] before your [Person 2] glance returns to you [Person 2].' And when [Person 2] saw it placed before him [Person 2], he [Person 2] said, 'This is from the favor of my [Person 2] Lord to test me [Person 2] whether I [Person 2] will be grateful or ungrateful. And whoever [Person 'Any'] is grateful - his [Person 'Any'] gratitude is only for [the benefit of] himself [Person 'Any']. And whoever [Person 'Any'] is ungrateful - then indeed, my [Person 2] Lord is Free of need and Generous.' "(Qur'an, An-Naml 27:40)

And my Arabic grammar is at ABC level  ;) but sometimes it is exactly what one needs - perhaps  :)

Jazak Allah Khair.
4
General Discussions / Re: 27:40 Throne carrier?
« Last post by Athman on August 17, 2018, 01:11:38 PM »
Dear Student,

As-salaam aleikum,

From my humble view, I first share with Br. Joseph the following sentiment to you from a thread [1] below.

Arguably, whether the need to elicit finer details beyond the narratives present is relevant to future generations of believers can be argued as moot (debateable).

With such Qur’anic narratives that seem to be devoid of details of some aspect as like that of a particular figure in 27:40, I would advise one to heed whatever wisdom extractable and avoid dwelling on details that the Qur’an deemed not relevant for future guidance. This is with recognition that nowhere else in the Qur’an is such an identity hinted despite the spectacular event associated with them.

On the other hand, apart from the various debates amongst traditional muslims concerning such an identity as to whether they were a ‘human being’ or a ‘jinn,’ others have even suggested that it was an ‘angel.’ Some specific human identity of such a personality commonly alluded to by various scholars and traditional muslims goes by the name ‘Asif Bin Barkhiya, an alleged pious person from the Bani Isra’eel, believed to be Prophet Sulaiman’s (pbuh) minister and in fact his sister’s son[2]. Those who understand it to be a reference to a ‘jinn’ personality do seek support from the preceding verse 27:39 which mentions of an ‘ifrit’ among the ‘jinn’ hence reading 27:40 within the same context of ‘among the jinn.’ For some who propose an ‘angelic’ personality, they do identify him as the ‘angelic messenger’ sent to Prophet Musa (pbuh), allegedly ‘Khidri.’

As regards to what you cite as suggestion made by the late scholar Fakhruddin Razi from what was referenced to you, unless you present here the claimed grammatical argument from the reference, I personally can’t find an interpretation that would extract such an understanding from 27:40. In fact, it is clear from the verse that two different 'persons' were involved, the one [Person 1] who volunteers to go fetch the throne and the one [Person 2] to whom the throne is to be presented. Since Prophet Sulaiman (pbuh) happens to be the one who requested for a volunteer to fetch him the throne, hence the one to whom the throne is to be presented [Person 2], he can’t again be the one who volunteered to fetch the same throne [Person 1]. See below an illustration of mine (black box-bracketed) for the same:

"Said one [Person 1] who had knowledge from the Scripture, 'I [Person 1] will bring it to you [Person 2] before your [Person 2] glance returns to you [Person 2].' And when [Person 2] saw it placed before him [Person 2], he [Person 2] said, 'This is from the favor of my [Person 2] Lord to test me [Person 2] whether I [Person 2] will be grateful or ungrateful. And whoever [Person 'Any'] is grateful - his [Person 'Any'] gratitude is only for [the benefit of] himself [Person 'Any']. And whoever [Person 'Any'] is ungrateful - then indeed, my [Person 2] Lord is Free of need and Generous.' "(Qur'an, An-Naml 27:40)

In my humble view, the identity could either be of a ‘jinn’ or a ‘human being.’ Firstly, we note from 27:17 that Prophet Sulaiman’s (pbuh) troops were comprised of ‘al-jinni,’ human beings (al-insi) and birds (at-thwayri). In 27:38, he is addressing the ‘notables’ (al-malau) among his army members. From this, any ‘angelic’ personality is ruled out. Again, the ‘one who had knowledge of the Book’ (alladhi indahu ‘ilmun mina al-kitabi) - 27:40 could not be from among the ‘birds’ since birds do not read of ‘scripture.’ We however are sure about ‘jinn’ (46:30, 72:1) and ‘human beings’ (7:174) as being the subjects of revelations as reminders for the sole purpose of 'Ibada (51:56). Thus, from among Prophet Sulaiman’s (pbuh) troops notables, we are only left with the possibility of either a ‘human being ‘or a ‘jinn.’

For a ‘man,’ we can possibly attribute the immense power to bring the throne from that far distance in an eye’s blink moment to his wisdom as from his ‘knowledge of the Book.’ Beyond that, nothing else is hinted from the verse concerning his capacity. However, from 2:102, we learn that those ‘shayathwin - wicked’ (could be ‘men’ or/and ‘jinn’) learnt some powerful knowledge from Harut and Marut which, coupled with ‘black magic’ (sihra), could cause spousal separation. This knowledge which was also taught to ‘human beings’ (an-nasa) was also a ‘fitnah’ and thus could possibly be utilized wickedly at volition. One can also surmise that if used wisely, it could do great things. If we allow the possibility that the personality in 27:40 was a man that had this ‘knowledge’ (2:102) apart from the ‘knowledge of the Book’ (27:40), we can see a greater possibility of him to have swiftly brought the throne that fast. However, not only does such an approach entail a mere extrapolation of the verse (27:40) but also employs a far-fetched idea.

As regards to the personality of a ‘jinn,’ as stated earlier, reading 27:40 as a continuation of the context of 27:39, we see a possibility of the identity as that of one ‘among the jinn.’ Again, this one could possibly also be an ‘ifrit’ and in addition, ‘well versed with the Book.’ Also, though we see the general inference in 21:82 and 38:37-38 of those who worked for Prophet Sulaiman (pbuh) as ‘shayathwin - wicked,’ we can infer from  34:12-13 where we see the ‘jinn’ the ones tasked in making and handling huge and heavy structures. In 72:6, we are informed of some ‘men’ (rijalun mina al-insi) who used to seek power through some ‘male jinn’ (rijalun mina al-jinni) hence supporting the idea that ‘jinn’ possessed some more powerful capacity than their counterpart ‘men.’ We also see from the previous verse (27:39) the prowess and capacity of such typical ‘jinn’ i.e, ‘ifrit.’ Coupled with the ‘knowledge of the Book,’ this lends support to the suggestion that the identity of 27:40 could be that of a ‘jinn.’

In the main, as believers, we ought to take heed of the wisdom imparted in 18:22 staying cautious on matters that are not clear. The spiritual wisdom one could extract from 27:40 especially as regards what is uttered by Prophet Sulaiman (pbuh) is very obvious "this is from the favor of my Lord to test me whether I will be grateful or ungrateful. And whoever is grateful - his gratitude is only for [the benefit of] himself. And whoever is ungrateful - then indeed, my Lord is free of need and Generous." This is despite either knowing or not knowing the exact identity of the figure referred to in 27:40.

As to the idea of inquiry into the details of the incident, one could in turn ask several questions regarding the same. For instance people ask; what exact typical knowledge did the figure in 27:40 possess for them to bring the throne in that shortest time possible? What Book did he have some knowledge of? Some suggest the Book sent to Prophet Musa (pbuh), some refer to the reference in 43:4. One could even ask as to why Prophet Sulaiman (pbuh) asked for a volunteer to go bring him the throne while he himself possessed such wisdom (21:79) and knowledge (27:15), majesty, might and power to even command the wind (21:81, 38:36) by God’s leave (34:12). Some suggest that it was a way to point out to his heir. However, all these suggestions cannot be directly substantiated from a Qur’anic perspective.

Therefore, instead of dwelling on details that are not deemed relevant as to the overall purport of the verse (27:40) and such-like ones in the Qur’an, it is better to extract the best available meaning and wisdom possible. After all, God knows best.

I hope that somehow helps God willing.

Regards,
Athman.


REFERENCES:

[1]. Cleansing Power Of The Rain, in Qur'an 8:11?
http://quransmessage.com/forum/index.php?topic=2464.0
[2]. https://www.al-islam.org/enlightening-commentary-light-holy-quran-vol-13/section-3-solomon-and-queen-sheba
5
General Discussions / Re: The "Names" of God in Ancient Texts (Part 2)
« Last post by Ocyid on August 14, 2018, 10:06:39 PM »
can anyone inform me how to modify my writing?

since i cannot modify it.

Thank you
6
General Discussions / Re: The "Names" of God in Ancient Texts (Part 2)
« Last post by Ocyid on August 14, 2018, 09:29:14 PM »
Further Readings:

This is the reference that I used in this writing. Yet, since I copied this from Word, this reference will trouble you a bit. I just hope it is worthy. I have the MS Word version. Yet, since I do not know where to upload, I apparently cannot share it with you here.

1.Wikipedia page about “Aten” with the source mentioned Redford, Donald (1984). Akhenaten: The Heretic King. Princeton University Press. pp. 170–172. ISBN 0-691-03567-9. Being honest, I have my own limitation to see the original source and thus need more information about it to conclude whether the word “Aten” is a translation which has guidance or it is an interpretation because it is simply pictured with shining circle. The understanding of it will make everything clear. Therefore, any information about where I could read the book for free is much appreciated. Regards, Ocyid.
2. https://katherinestange.com/egypt/hymn2.htm
3. http://corpus.quran.com/translation.jsp?chapter=112 I use the Sahih International version in this quotes.
4. http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/
5.http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/sbe32/index.htm
6.http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/sbe32/sbe3215.htm
7.http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/rigveda/rv10121.htm
8.https://www.jstor.org/stable/1062566?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
9.https://books.google.co.id/books?id=N7LOZfwCDpEC&q=Prajapati&source=gbs_word_cloud_r&cad=5#v=snippet&q=Prajapati&f=false
10.https://books.google.co.id/books?id=DH0vmD8ghdMC&q=Prajapati&source=gbs_word_cloud_r&cad=4#v=snippet&q=Prajapati&f=false
11.https://books.google.co.id/books?id=g6FsB3psOTIC&pg=PA504&source=gbs_selected_pages&cad=2#v=onepage&q&f=false
12.https://books.google.co.id/books?redir_esc=y&id=OgMmceadQ3gC&q=prajapati#v=snippet&q=prajapati&f=false

13.https://www.jstor.org/stable/1062566?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
14.http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/sbe32/sbe3215.htm
15.http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/sbe32/sbe3215.htm
16.https://books.google.co.id/books?id=N7LOZfwCDpEC&q=Prajapati&source=gbs_word_cloud_r&cad=5#v=snippet&q=Prajapati&f=false
17.https://books.google.co.id/books?id=g6FsB3psOTIC&pg=PA504&source=gbs_selected_pages&cad=2#v=onepage&q&f=false
18.https://books.google.co.id/books?id=DH0vmD8ghdMC&q=Prajapati&source=gbs_word_cloud_r&cad=4#v=snippet&q=Prajapati&f=false
19.Bernard Ellis Lewis and Buntzie Ellis Churchill, Islam: The Religion and the People (https://books.google.co.id/books?id=IVyMAvW9slYC&source=gbs_navlinks_s)
20.https://rejuvenasiakal.wordpress.com/2014/06/14/agama-hindu-berasal-dari-islam/ with the source mentioned Jesse Russel & Ronald Cohn (2012). Anacalypsis: An Attempt to Draw Aside the Veil of the Saitic Isis or an Inquiry into the Origin of Languages,Nations and Religions, Book Of Demand, Jilid 1, hlm 396
21.http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/sbe32/sbe3215.htm


I hope nothing but the best for you, may peace be with you.


Salamun Alaikum,
With Regards



Ocyid
7
General Discussions / Re: The "Names" of God in Ancient Texts (Part 2)
« Last post by Ocyid on August 14, 2018, 09:28:46 PM »
The Lessons from The Translations of The Quran

If we pay attention, the words-to-words Quran and the so-called “translation” usually would be different. The so-called “translation” of the Quran is actually the “end product” of the translation process itself, in which the final process is to make the source texts “readable” in the target language. Therefore, some “adjustments” may be needed. This is common or even natural in the process of translation – mostly to the language with different grammatical rules. However, maybe not many people are aware that by doing so, this final stage of “readability” is actually already included the process of interpretation. This is why the translation of Quran is different between translators, because every translators has their own interpretations regarding the source texts that they read. Once more, this is natural in the process of translation or even in the reading process itself: every readers will have different understanding even if they read the same book. It would highly depends on the background of the readers themselves. The thing is that we may want to focus more on what is actually mentioned in the Quran itself. Therefore, if it is possible, words-to-words translation would be a great addition to any translations of the Quran. So, every readers of Quran would know what is actually mentioned in the source text and what is “supplementary” to make the source text “readable” in the target language.

Most people must be aware by now that additional information within the verses of Quran are usually put inside a bracket or “()” symbol in the Quran. Yet, what most people might not realize is that the final translation of the Quran itself is actually already involved the process of interpretation, in which the deep but wide meanings within the Words of All-Knowing God is simply understood by limited humans’ minds. Humans, no matter how much knowledge we have, are bonded with our very limited understanding. This, actually, has been implied in Al Baqarah (2) 255: we know nothing about what is in front and behind us. All we know is strictly limited by the time and space – and, most importantly, by what He wills. For me, this limitation of mankind, or even creatures, is actually the very essential and most fundamental value within the revelation of Quran itself or in my humble term simply; the human in humans (as it has been implied within the Ar Rum (30) 30). Thus, again, words-for-words translations of the Quran are essentially required to know exactly what is really mentioned within the Quran itself and how the translators interpret them in the target language.

The easiest way to see the whole process of translation is actually by seeing your own translated version of the Quran and its words-to-words translation (if any) to prove it yourself. However, my recommendation would be the website http://corpus.quran.com/translation.jsp. In that website, you can click the Arabic to see the words-to-words translation. By comparing the words-to-words translations and also each translations of the Quran, you will see the "basic" difference between a “translation” and “interpretation”. This also concludes that within any process of translation, the involvement of interpretation is actually something natural. Therefore, the word-to-word translation or the translation of each linguistic elements present to the source texts would be a crucial point in understanding the Quran or any so-called sacred texts.

The False Name of God

In the 10th verse of Mandala X Hymn 121 of the Rig Veda, the “name” of Sole God - with none other besides Him - is mentioned as “Pragâpati” or “Prajāpati” (the Lord of Creatures). Again, if the original text does literally mention such a concept, the text itself is actually a proof that the God or at least the concept of Oneness of God in Islam is actually already known since a long time ago. It also means the God or at least the concept is known by the Hindus. However, the language used in the Rig Veda is not Arabic but Sanskrit. Thus, the “linguistic element” used to represent The God or The Creator is not “Allah” but rather “Pragâpati” or “Prajāpati”. This understanding that "Allah" is only a linguistic element to represent "The God" in Arabic not an exclusive name is actually very crucial in finding the truth of Quran. Thus, God explains that
Quote
We did not send any messenger except [speaking] in the language of his people (Ibrahim or chapter 14, verse 4)
. Now, why don't we use this information to find His other "Names" in ancient texts? This is actually why I wrote this very long article. You can see the original text or the Sanskrit of Mandala X Hymn 121 in www.Sacred-Texts.com (http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/rvsan/rv10121.htm).

I know this finding will have its own controversy, mostly because “Pragâpati” or “Prajāpati” has His own statue, while the concept of God in Islam does not have any forms – mostly not in the form of a human. The thing that we might want to put in mind is that anything could have happened during the course of many centuries. Things like a human became the son of God or the name of a human elevated equally to the name of God do happen in the course of time.

There is actually a logical explanation for the statue itself, either it is an ancient misconception for the depiction of the Creator and Sustainer of the heaven and earth (Rig Veda 10:121 verses 1, 5, 6, and 9)  or there was something happening over a very long-long time. Please note that when I stated “misconception” I did not state it in a disrespectful manner. However, if Prajāpati is the ancient “name” or more precisely “reference” of God in Islam, Prajāpati or the Lord of Creatures (or if I may, the Creator) is simply far too great for any humans’ minds can comprehend. It is actually based on respect and awareness that Islamic people do not depict The God, since God is simply beyond us all. I do have the same respect for Prajāpati who in the first verse of Mandala X Hymn 121 is mentioned “He alone was the lord of all” . Thus, depicting such an Absolutely Powerful Lord with my limited mind would be far beyond my own or any other humans’ capability as nothing more but a human. In my respect of His Greatness, I see that depicting Prajāpati as the Lord of Creatures would be a “misconception”. I apologize if you find this offensive. However, this view does not come from “disrespect” but rather “a deep respect”. Surely, there would be different views about this. I just hope you will understand my motive regarding this particular matter.

Other possible explanation is that the depiction of Prajāpati in the form of statue is a result of the time itself. Williams in Handbook of Hindu Mythology (2008) writes that the supremacy of Prajâpati was taken over by Brahma and later Brahma was replaced by Vishnu and Siva. This has been “subcontracting creation to first seven, then ten, and finally twenty-one or more Prajâpatis, of whom Brahmâ was seen as one” (page 235) . Since Prajāpati was taken over by Brahmâ, Prajāpati often refers to Brahma in later literature followed by Shiva and Vishnu. This is why Prajāpati can also refer to Brahma, Shiva, and Vishnu in later Hindu practice (Lochtefeld, 2001. Page 519) . Moreover, according to Roshen Dalal in Hinduism: An Alphabetical Guide (2010) there are also “several others referred to as Prajāpati in Mahabharata and Puranas” (page 311) . Still according to Dalal, there are even groups of Prajapatis, which were the descendants of the God Brahma mentioned in Puranas and other texts. From this information, it can be deduced that there is a possibility where the statue of Prajâpati might actually not have been a depiction of Him, but rather a depiction of other Gods referred to as Him. Yet, during a long course of time, the statue itself was started to be referred to as Him. This is possible. However, to make sure about it, a further study will be needed. Now, if we take Quran as a point of reference, the event itself might actually have been mentioned in At Tawbah (9) 31. You may want to read the verse yourself.

Based on the explanation above, Quran actually could be used as a point of reference in finding other “names” of God in ancient texts. We just have to follow the characteristics of the God being mentioned in Quran – especially His Supreme Oneness characteristic. We just have to see beyond the linguistic elements used as tools in delivering meanings. This is actually the method implied in Ibrahim (14) verse 4. Moreover, if we look closely, the verses in Quran actually could be used to explain the history itself. We just have to keep our eyes and minds open and keep learning about Quran and the world itself. This is how we will understand the truth in Quran. The thing that we should remember is other religions will have their own views. Therefore, there would be a lot of views, whereas the view used here is from Quranic point of view. This is why this method is called The Quranic Versions; in which the history in general is explained through the verses of Quran.

The Vedas (or here mostly the Mandala X Hymn 121 in Rig Veda), for instance, might be a very important ancient texts for Islam itself. In a blog Rejuvenasiakal.wordpress.com, some young people from Malaysia wrote about “Agama Hindu berasal dari Islam?” (roughly translated “Does Hindu Religion came from Islam?”). Now, before the title inciting any misunderstanding for the Hindus, Islam here means “to surrender oneself, to commit or resign oneself to the will of God” (Lewis and Churchill, 2008) . The word “Islam” used in the article actually refers to its meaning rather than the religion or "the people of the Quran". If I can take it roughly, the title actually implies that Hindus is essentially a religion that leads to the way to “salvation”, just like the Christian, Jewish, and “Islam” essentially are. I believe people in this forum can explain this matter more than me. This explanation is merely a just-in-case scenario for those who might misunderstand about the tittle – which may often happen.

Within the article written in Melayunese language, it is explained that there is possibility where Brahma is actually Ibrahim (Abraham) being mentioned in Quran. This explanation could be found under the subsection “Tuhan Brhama itu Ibrahim a.s?” (sic).  It could be roughly translated as “Is God Brahma Ibrahim AS?”. In this subsection, there is an explanation about the etymology of Abraham from the word “Ab” or “Ap”, which means “father” in Kashmir, and “Ram”. It is stated in that site that “the prototypical Jews will call Ram “Ab-Ram” or “father Ram”. It is also explained further in that page that the word “Brahm” (sic) is derived from the word “Ab-Ram” and not the vice versa. I personally believe that it could be the other way around. Unfortunately, I cannot contact the site owner to verify or clarify this. Honestly, I have not conducted my own research regarding this matter, so I cannot say anything further about it. You may want to contact the site owner for further explanation, since I failed to reach them. However, if Prajāpati (the “name” of the One Supreme God mentioned in Rig Veda) is indeed The Absolute One God mentioned in Quran, then there is a chance that Brahma is indeed the prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) mentioned in the Quran. It will also explains why Prajāpati appears late in the Vedas, why Prajâpati was the Supreme Entity and the father of Gods during the time of Brahmanas (George M Williams, 2008), and why Mandala X Hymn 121 is about "sacrifice". Maybe, only Quran that can explain this. However, I must warn you that before further study is conducted, this shall not be made into a final conclusion. I too want to be right about this, but the truth should always come from evidences - not a mere argument. Therefore, you may want to look up the ancient texts during the time of the Brahmanas. There, you will find the truth.

This is actually my whole point in reminding Mr Joseph of his article “‘ALLAH’ IS NOT AN EXCLUSIVE NAME FOR GOD”. It is true that the name of “Allah” is simply a linguistic element in Arabic that represent the concept of God itself. Therefore, it is equivalent with God in English, Tuhan in Indonesian, Dios in Spanish, Dieu in French and such. However, when Mr. Joseph started to enter specific “name of God”, preferably those who are mentioned in other Holy Books, maybe –just maybe- there is actually a better method to confirm it. Remember that these specific “names” such as Krishna, Khuda, Yahweh, Elohim, Adi Purush (Timeless being); Para Brahman (The absolute Truth), El, Eli, Eloi, and Jehovah are bonded with historical background, which in the end creates religious understanding. Without checking the historical background, I do think it would be quite risky and reckless. Sure, Para Brahman might be known as “The Absolute Truth” nowadays, but did it really refer to “The God” itself a long time ago? Time can really change many things. Therefore, a little precautions and background study might be required to determine whether it is a “reference” of God or something else. There is actually another lesson that can be learned from the Rig Veda Mandala X Hymn 121 as it is explained by Max Müller in Vedic Hymns. You can read it in www.sacred-texts.com.

Ka

In his note about the 10th verse of Mandala X Hymn 121, Max Müller mentions about a misunderstanding in viewing the pronoun “Ka”, which means “who”. Müller explains that since “the authors of the Brâhmanas had so completely broken with the past that, forgetful of the poetical character of the hymns, and the yearning of the poets after the unknown god, they exalted the interrogative pronoun into a deity,' and acknowledged a god 'Ka, or Who’”. Müller further explains that the Brâhmans actually have invented “a God” named “Ka”. Thus, “in the later Sanskrit literature of the Purânas, Ka appears as a recognised god, as the supreme god, with a genealogy of his own, perhaps even with a wife; and that in the Laws of Manu, one of the recognised forms of marriage, generally known by the name of Pragâpati-marriage, occurs under the monstrous title of 'Kâya'”.

This explanation given by Max Müller could be a good example or even hard evidence of Al A’raf (7) 71, Yusuf (12) 40, and An Najm (53) 23 in the Quran. Müller explanation is also the reason why we may want to be very cautious in mentioning “specific reference” of God, mostly those who are mentioned in other sacred books or ancient texts. However, it does not necessarily some “names” of God in ancient texts are not the ancient “names” of Islamic God. It is just that these “names” of God mentioned in other sacred books or ancient texts must fit the characteristics of God as they are mentioned in Quran – mostly His Absolute Oneness character.

They are actually some benefits in applying this method for us. It can improve our knowledge or understanding about history or other religions. It can show us the truth that other ancient texts have already mentioned similar concept as it has been informed in Quran even far before the Christian Bible. But, for me, the most important thing is that we will know the “names” of God in the ancient time. As I am a believer of His Exalted Authority, these “names” are very important to me – no matter how people often laugh and underestimate me for this. For me, these “names” actually the evidence of the truth within Quran itself.

Again, Mr. Joseph is right that God Himself is far beyond our limited capability to understand. Thus, essentially, He simply cannot be represented by any linguistic elements. Therefore, when He sent us His words through His prophet including His Beautiful Names, there must be a very good reason behind it. Allah is the All-Acquainted (Al Khabir/Khobiiro ) after all. This is also what makes me believe that the verses Mr. Joseph mentioned 017:110 and 007.180 are actually still within the context, which is the Quran itself - not out of it.

I do not say there are 99 Names of Him, since I haven’t counted them. I personally count His Names that are mentioned together as one name, not separately. Now, the question is: how if we use His Beautiful Names mentioned in Quran for our benefits, like to search His other “names” in the timeline of history?

Can this be proven?

Sure! Why not?

There is a way to prove it by using the same method. If we look deeper in the historical timeline, there is actually another ancient text that already mentioned Beautiful Names of God within the Quran in an extinct language several hundred years before the Bible – an ancient text that might often be forgotten by us: the Avestan Gathas. However, since the Avestan Gathas are quite long than "The great Hymn to the Aten" and "Mandala X Hymn 121 of the Rig Veda", I will need more time to prepare it.

In the end, I apologize if there are some "inappropriate" things in my writing or if you find this offensive, as I have no intention to do so. Please remember that any mistakes I made in this writing is mine alone as a limited being. Yet, if this turns out to be truth, please remember that it is Quran that tells you the truth. I am among you who know this kind of truth from the Quran. Therefore, please read your Quran and try to understand its messages. And you will see even more than this piece of writing.
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General Discussions / The "Names" of God in Ancient Texts (Part 2)
« Last post by Ocyid on August 14, 2018, 09:26:35 PM »
This writing is a continuation from my previous post in this forum http://quransmessage.com/forum/index.php?topic=2598.0. The topic is about to find the "names" of God in ancient texts/scriptures. In the previous post, I explained how language actually works and the importance of understanding that "Allah is NOT an Exclusive Name of God". In this post, I will show you one example of ancient text where the concept of One Supreme God was actually already mentioned far before the Quran, only not in Arabic language.

Until this point, we know that humans have been endowed with linguistic capability to make them able to give “names” to things as it has been explained in Al Baqarah (2) 30-33. Unfortunately, “name” itself is still too general to trace the “other names” of God in ancient time. Every culture might have their own label for the abstract concept of “God”. Thus, we need to be more specific in finding "The God” we are looking for. Therefore, this time we will look for the “characteristics of God” being mentioned in Quran to know "The God" we are actually looking for. Here, we simply go beyond the surface forms into the level of meanings but not necessarily reach the level of interpretation itself.

“The Great Hymn to the Aten”

I previously have given the example of Aten, the monotheistic God of ancient Egypt in this forum http://quransmessage.com/forum/index.php?topic=2587.msg13402#msg13402. If we only look to the “name” of the God itself or “Aten”, we might not be able to determine whether Aten is the “other names of God” in ancient Egypt or it is not. It could simply be a general “label” for the underlying concept of “God” or even “Gods”, not necessarily The God being mentioned in Quran. This is not enough to determine whether “Aten” is other “name” or more precisely “reference” for God that we are looking for. “Aten” itself actually means “disc” , which makes it seem like the name “Aten” does not have any relation with the God being mentioned in Quran. However, if we dig deeper on the history of Aten itself, there is a hymn for the “Aten” called “The Great Hymn to the Aten” . In this hymn-poem, there are similarities between these hymns with verses in Quran. The clearest one would be the third line of the sixth paragraph which states “O sole god, like whom there is no other!”. This line is the same with Al Ikhlas (112) verse 1 and 4: “ Say, "He is Allah , [who is] One” and “ Nor is there to Him any equivalent.".

Not only on that particular line, there are other conceptual similarities between verses in the Great Hymn to the Aten with Quran as I have explained in the previous writing. Surely, deeper analysis is needed. This is actually why I am writing this essay: to invite others who are interested in this field of study to work together in order to reveal the truth about the past, since I do have my own limitation. Nonetheless, if the Great Hymn to Aten is indeed authentic text from the ancient time and its translation is correct, there is a possibility "Aten" is another “name” of God in another language, as it has been explained in Ibrahim (14) verse 4.

From the above explanation, it is actually quite clear that the things we really need in order to discover other “names” of God far before the revelation of Quran is actually the characteristics of the God itself, as they are being mentioned in multiple verses of Quran. Like the name or precisely reference of “Aten” above, the “name” itself cannot be used to conclude whether Aten is the other name of God or not, but His “Oneness” characteristic as it has been mentioned in the sixth paragraph line three is undeniable evident that “Aten” is the other name of God based on the information provided by Quran (Al Ikhlas (112) verse 1 and 4). This is actually the method of Quranic version; to use the information provided by the Quran to find the historical evidences of verses within the Quran itself. Since this method heavily rely on the Quran itself to find the historical evidences of its own verses, it can be said that this method is simply provided by the Quran by using the method implied in the Quran to prove the verses within the Quran itself.

Now, can this really work?

Yes and –to tell you the truth- it is actually quite easy, even a man like me can do my own independence research to implement this method. Only when I try to prove this, I will need help, since I do have my own limitations. Unfortunately, not many people understand or even care to even pay attention about how important this is. Therefore, I have not been able to give any hard evidences that I need to prove the effectiveness of this method. But, again, it does not mean it cannot be proven. The “name” of Aten is one of the possibility. Therefore, by using the same method, it is actually possible for us to find other “names” of God by looking deeper into other ancient texts and compare these texts with the Holy Quran itself. Based on my finding, other concepts of the Supreme One God can be found in at least two other ancient texts. These two ancient texts are the Vedic and the Avestan Gathas.


Rig Veda: Mandala X Hymn 121

The Rig Veda is the oldest of the four Vedas. It is estimated that this ancient text “was composed about 1500 B.C., and codified about 600 B.C” . In one of the Vedic Hymns by Max Müller (1891) , there is a Hymn to the Unknown God, which is Mandala X Hymn 121. In this Hymn, the concept of One Supreme God is mentioned. From my finding, the Oneness of God can literally be found at least in the 1st, 3rd, and 8th verse. Now, the more interesting thing that I found is actually in the 10th verse. In the 10th verse, the “name of God” mentioned is “Pragâpati” (Prajapati). Here, I will quote three translations I could find from  Max Muller along with J Muir  and Ralph T.H. Griffith  (1896). These translations are from Internet Sacred Text Archive:

   Muller : Pragâpati, no other than thou embraces all these created things. May that be ours which we desire when sacrificing to thee: may we be lords of wealth!
   Muir :   Pragâpati, no other than thou is lord over all these created things: may we obtain that, through desire of which we have invoked thee: may we become masters of riches.
   Griffith: Prajāpati! Thou only comprehendest all these created things, and none beside thee. Grant us our hearts' desire when we invoke thee: may we have store of riches in possession.

As you can see from the three translations above, the same concept of One God as it has been mentioned in Al Ikhlas (112) 1 and 4 has already been mentioned by this ancient sacred text – just like it has also been mentioned in “The Great Hymn to The Aten”. Even though so, the “name” or the linguistic element used to represent the concept of “God“ is not “Allah”, but “Pragâpati” or “Prajapati”. In its Wikipedia page, it is explained that “Prajapati (Sanskrit: प्रजापति) is a compound of "praja" (creation, procreative powers) and "pati" (lord, master)” with the source mentioned: Jan Gonda (1982), The Popular Prajāpati, History of Religions, Vol. 22, No. 2 (Nov., 1982), University of Chicago Press, pp. 137-141. Unfortunately, I cannot read the detail in Jstor.org . Hence, I cannot make it as a source, but rather an information only. Maybe, you can check the information yourself. And, if you are kind enough, maybe you could provide me with the detail – only if you will.

Not only Jan Gonda, there are several other books that discuss about Prajapati. In Handbook of Hindu Mythology (2008) By George M. Williams, Prajâpati “was first a Vedic God (Deva) of real importance, only to be reduced over the centuries to the function of a group (rank) of Gods” (page 234) . Moreover, Williams mentions that Prajâpati was the Supreme Entity and the father of Gods during the time of Brahmanas until “His supremacy was taken over by Brahma”. Roshen Dalal in Hinduism: An Alphabetical Guide (2010) wrote that Prajapati in Rig Veda is “praised as the creator of heaven and earth, of the waters and of all that lives, of the one God above all other Gods” (page 311) . Similar with Williams, Dalal also mentions that Prajapati was replaced by Brahma, which is why in the later literature “Prajapati often refers to Brahma”. Still according to Dalal, Shiva and Vishnu are sometimes also called Prajapati. Moreover, several other Gods in Mahabarata and Puranas are also referred to as Prajapati. This group of Gods is called “Prajapatis” (Prajapatayah). Similar information can be found in The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Volume 2 by James G. Lochtefeld, Ph.D. (2001). Although appearing late in the Vedas, Prajapati is “described as the creator of the universe and is considered superior to the Vedic deities” (page 518) . Moreover, Lochtefeld also mentions that “Prajapati can also be used to refer to the God Brahma, as fashioner of the universe, or the Gods Vishnu or Shiva, as the universe’s supreme deities” in later Hindu practice. Based on these information, Prajapati is apparently the Supreme God with none others besides Him before He became only as a reference for other Gods.

A little note, there is actually other explanation in Encyclopedia of Hinduism by Constance Jones and James D. Ryan (2006). In their book, there is an explanation about Prajapati “being identified with the cosmic Purusha, the source of all reality” (page 332) . In page 338, there is an explanation about how Purusha began to be called as Prajapati. Unfortunately, I cannot see the content of this book. So, the best thing I can do is to put this information here. Hopefully, this information will be very useful for those who are interested with this matter more. Even though so, I personally hope someone will help me to read this book.

In the internet, there are many explanations and interpretations given about “Prajapati” or the Lord of Creatures (Williams, 2008 and Lochtefeld, 2001) or Lord of All Born Being (Jones and Ryan, 2006) or Lord of Living Creatures (Jan Gonda, History of Religions, 1982. Page 129) . Surely, these various interpretations are something natural for a text that has been existing for more than 2000 years. However, if the text is authentic, the translation is correct, and the original text does mention about the Oneness of “Prajapati” in 1st, 3rd, 8th, and 10th verse of the hymn, Mandala X Hymn 121 of the Rigveda could be a linguistic evidence that the God (or at least the concept of One God) in Islam is actually also known by the Hindus – only linguistic element used to represent the concept of “the God” is different. This, by itself, also proves the explanation given by Ibrahim (14) verse 4 that every prophets was sent in the language of their own people, not Arabic. And, also by itself, it shows that Allah is NOT an exclusive name, but rather a linguistic element to represent "The God" Himself. Surely, this is an initial research and not a final conclusion; a further study is needed. However, this proves that if we look deeper than the “label” or the linguistic elements used to represent God in spoken or written language, we can actually find the same underlying concepts as they are narrated in Quran within other ancient texts.

Once again, there would be a lot of interpretations regarding “Prajapati” and it is actually natural for a text that has been around for more than a millennium. Therefore, the authenticity of the text and the accuracy of the translation would need to be confirmed and proven. When the authenticity of the text and the accuracy of the translation can be confirmed -no matter what the interpretations are- the linguistic elements existing within the text itself is enough to be the evidences. Please remember that anybody can interpret anything, yet we simply have to focus on what is mentioned in the text itself. Quran would be a good example of this.
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Salamun Alaikum brother

i wrote something about this, so if I may answer the answer would be: Yes.

The Quran is actually intended to be a message, in which we, or the readers, are supposed to know the meaning of the Arabic of the Quran itself. Quran is sent down in Arabic because the language of the prophet is Arabic. This is clearly mentioned in Fussilat (41st chapter) verse 44. Some other verses also support this verse Ash-Shura or Asy-Syura (Chapter 42 ) verse 7, Maryam (19) verse 97, and Ad Dukhan (44) 58.

By knowing this, we know now that the rest of the verse in which “Arabic language” is mentioned initially is addressed to the prophet or the Arabic people at that time. In Quran these verses that mentioned “Arabic language” (with the exception verses that has been discussed above) are: Yusuf (Ch.12) verse 11, Ar Rad (13) 37, Ta-Ha (20) 113, Ash-Shu’araa/Asy-Syua’ara (26) 195, Az Zumar (39) 28, Ha-Mim/Fussilat (41) 44, and Az-Zukhruf (43) 3.

There are actually two other verses that explicitly mention about “Arabic language”, which are An Nahl (16) 103 and Al Ahqaf (35) 12. However, these two verses give different emphasis from the rest of the verses in which Arabic language are mentioned in it. In An Nahl 103, the emphasis is in denying the accusation that Quran was made by Prophet Muhammad by learning it from other people. Meanwhile, Al Ahqaf 12 explains that Quran is the book that confirmed the scripture that was sent down to Musa (Moses) the prophet. It should be noted that although this verse (Al Ahqaf 12) explained that Quran is indeed the Book confirming the Scripture of Moses the prophet, yet it is also explained that it is confirmed by using Arabic-language. This implies that the Scripture/Book of Moses might not have been sent down in Arabic. Thus, this information is consistent with the information in Ibrahim (14) verse 4 that every prophet (or messengers) spoke the language of their people.

Language here, and in any act of communication, actually only play the role of a "bridge" to deliver meaning. Therefore, any messengers were sent in the language of their own people as it has been explained in 4th verse of Ibrahim (14th).

Now, you actually have two different questions:

1. does the Quran transcend the language barrier?
and 2. do we rely on God?

These are two different matters.

The answer of the question no. 1 is simple: it was supposed to. But, then again, Quran is a medium in which it is passive; the way any books is. A book is nothing more than a medium to record and "transfer" information between the writer and the readers. The one that is supposed to be active is the humans. We are actually the one that is supposed to be active and take the lessons from the Quran itself. Thus, as the non-Arabic language speakers, we must see it beyond the language of the Quran or the Arabic itself. If you want to see the whole point of the revelation of Quran itself, you may want to look up the Al Qamar chapter (chapter 54) mainly these verses: 15, 17, 22, 32, 40, and 51.

Now, by understanding question number 1, we will be able to answer question no. 2: is there any in this planet that can be relied on but God?

There is a deep and very long explanation concerning the 2nd question. It simply could not be answered by yes and no or brief explanation. Yet, the most vital point will go back to us: do we really understand how it works?

By understanding the Quran, we are expected to understand that, in the end, God is the Only One that makes the final decision for our own good through His Wisdom. This is why "muslims" is said to be "those who submitted to the Will of God" (CMIIW). The thing we should do is that we try our best as it is implied in 2:134, 141, 13:42, 14:51, 6:158, 17:19, 20: 15, 25:47, and some more verses. But then again, how do we try our best if we do not even know where we are going? It would be like driving without Google map in unfamiliar or foreign road. Therefore, the thing that we should do in the first place is simply trying to understand the Quran or the "map" itself. This is what I believe most people in this forum trying to do; they try to understand the map itself.

This is the conclusion I get by trying to understand the Quran itself. So, my answer would be:
1. Yes, but we are the one that should be active in overcoming that language barrier
2. Well, by finding the answer of no.1, I believe you would be able to answer this question yourself.

This is my humble opinion. I apologize for any mistakes I made. It would be my own limitation as an ordinary humans. But whatever good you find in my writings, those must come from the Quran. You may want to study and understand it, because it is truly interesting.

My Regards


Salamun Alaikum
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