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Offline Reader Questions

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Past Tense and Future Events
« on: December 27, 2011, 05:11:37 AM »
Salam Brother Joseph.

I have noted that in some verses such as 66:10 events are narrated in the past tense. In the verse quoted this would indicate that the punishment of both the wife of Noah and Lot were given in the past (before Day of Judgment). We know the Day of Judgment has not arrived so are verses such as these in the past tense or future tense?

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: Past Tense and Future Events
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2011, 05:16:29 AM »
Salamun Alaikum

Future events of certainty are often narrated in the past tense as if they have already occurred. This is a well recognised dialogue style in the Quran. They impress on the listener's mind the absolute guarantee that the event will occur. Furthermore, it is useful to remember that future events have already been witnessed by God as He is not subject to time and space that He Himself has created. The linear concept of time and space only applies to His creation and not to Him as He exists outside and separate from His Creation.

For example we note in the following verses:

016:001 'God's command comes...'
By applying the verb in the past tense confirms the certainty of a future event. On hearing, this clearly indicates to the listener that the event will surely come to pass.

005:116 "And Lo! God said: O Jesus, son of Mary! Didst thou say unto men, `Worship me and my mother as deities beside God'?..."
Again, this signifies to the listener the absolute guarantee of a future event on the Day of Judgment by narrating it in the past tense as if God has already spoken to Prophet Jesus.

There are many other examples.

I hope this helps.

'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell