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Offline QM Moderators Team

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Questions for Br Joseph - Contradictions?
« on: July 06, 2018, 06:00:04 PM »
Question shared for brother Joseph [From outside the forum]

Assalamu aleykum!

Sorry for my English I find your articles and it seems interesting. Can I ask you something?

1. Why Allah curses Christians and jews, calls them disbelievers for Trinity and Uzeyr and says they'll be in hell for Trinity again? I find some contradictions, cause on one place they described as good on the other place as disbelievers.

2. You say that grave punishment is nonsense because punishment before judgment is not correct. But in many places in Quran says that when soul of bad person gone away angels beats her and tells her destiny is fire. And that's all before judgment too like a grave punishment. Contradictions?

Offline Wakas

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Re: Questions for Br Joseph - Contradictions?
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2018, 04:37:52 PM »
Re: 2)

You may find the following interesting.

source, section 6:

Walaw tara ith yatawaffa allatheena kafaroo almala-ikatu yadriboona wujoohahum wa adbarahum wa thooqoo AAathaba al hareeqi
= And if you could but see when the angels/controllers* are taking (unto themselves, i.e. at death) those who reject striking their faces/fronts and backs and (say) "taste the penalty of the fire."

Fakayfa itha tawaffathumu almalaikatu yadriboona wujoohahum wa adbarahum
= So/then how (will it be) when the angels/controllers* take them (unto themselves, i.e. in death) striking their faces/fronts and their backs?

*angels is better translated as controllers, i.e. forces in control of certain functions/laws. There are some controllers we know about, e.g. those found in nature: F=ma, E=mc² etc. and some we do not know about.

In the above two verses, translators commonly use "beat / strike / smite", and whilst this may seem acceptable on the surface this translation does have significant problems when examined more closely:

In 8:50 it says if only you could see, thus clearly implying that what the controllers are doing cannot be seen. And since it is at the time of death, then the controllers cannot be striking the physical fronts/faces and backs as this would be observable. It could be suggested that at death, this is a special/unique transition phase so perhaps the controllers are indeed beating/striking but in a different form somehow, and the living simply cannot see it.

It causes problems with verses such as 7:37, 16:28, 8:51, 6:93-94 in which the controllers are in communication with people being taken at death, and the ones taken are listening properly and answering, but this is highly unlikely if they are being beaten at the same time!

It causes a clear problem with 6:93 when it describes the controllers as stretching/extending forth or opening their hands/powers when taking them at death saying "Bring out your souls...". This sounds unlike striking/beating, and there is no implication of this in the verse at all.

If this is indeed a beating/striking causing pain in some way, then this would be the only example in The Quran of an explicit punishment between death and the 'day of obligation/judgement/requital/due'.

In contrast, the controllers take those who are good with a greeting of peace/salam in 16:32 and there is no mention of taking them gently for example.

To explain away these anomalies it could be suggested 8:50 and 47:27 refer to post Judgement not at death, which would be much more plausible if DRB is interpreted in a punishment way, i.e. beat/strike, but no trasnlator or tafsir/interpretation I have read gives this option.
Thus, is there possibly a more suitable translation? Whatever the controllers are doing it is to their "fronts and backs" and this creates an imagery of a complete surrounding, coming at them from all directions, i.e. there is no escape. This imagery is similar to 6:93 mentioned above. Further, see 6:61 and 21:39. The only other occurrence of the exact same form "yadriboona" is in 73:20 in which it means journey or go/move about. Thus, taking the evidence into account, the Classical Arabic meanings of DRB and its usage in The Quran, it could be translated as the controllers set/march on or put forth or go/move about their fronts and backs, i.e. come at them from all directions. Even the English translation of "strike" has similar imagery to this, but "beat" does not. That is not to say it cannot mean "beat", it theoretically could, but it is not a particularly sound translation when cross-referenced.
As a side note, in M. Asad's notes, he says the early commentator Razi saw this phrase as an allegory: "They have utter darkness behind them and utter darkness before them", suggesting he did not agree with the commonly stated understanding of beating/striking literally.