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Offline w3bcrowf3r

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How would we know what the Safwa and alMarwah are?
« on: March 01, 2019, 09:13:52 PM »
I read the Torah and it mentioned the story about Hagar and Ishmael in detail about her running to find water until the Angel of God came and made the water come from the ground for them. But in the Quran i couldn't find what the Safwa and alMarwah mean or are? Can someone help? How would we suppose to know this by using the Quran alone? Or should we just accept it that we use history for this topic? On wikipedia it says they are the two hills which Hagar was running between to search for water.
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Offline Duster

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Re: How would we know what the Safwa and alMarwah are?
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2019, 12:25:07 AM »
Shalom / peace

The following article states:
http://quransmessage.com/articles/makkah%20bakkah%20FM3.htm

Quote
Furthermore, despite the popular Muslim belief, there is also no evidence in the Quran that Safa and Marwah refer to hills, which once again only seems to provide a possible conduit to support the Biblical Abraham-Hagar narrative. There is no support for this narrative in the Quran.

Quote
Safa and Marwah have only been mentioned in the Quran as a place where there were 'symbols' (sha'airi) of God (Not necessarily connected with Prophet Abraham). (pbuh) These were sites that the Pre-Islamic Arab community were familiar with and circumambulation of them was allowable if desired.

The story of Hagar running to find water isn't connected to Safa and Marwah in the Qur'an.....


Offline Wakas

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Re: How would we know what the Safwa and alMarwah are?
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2019, 01:30:14 AM »
Analysis from Quran: source.

2:158 Indeed, the safa1 and the marwah2 are from the markers/tokens (sha3air)3 of God, so whoever did HaJJ 4 (at/of) the shelter/house5 or enlivened/visited6 there is no blame/error on him that he go amongst by/at them both7 and whoever volunteered good/better8 then God is Appreciative, Knowing.

1 - root: Sad-Fa-Waw. See Project Root List to read about possible meanings for given roots in this article.
2 - root: Miim-Ra-Waw.
3 - root: Shiin-Ayn-Ra. The root meanings and Quran usage suggest the word describes things/tokens/symbols/markers/practices (usually to do with sustenance/benefit) that have a deeper significance, i.e. help make us aware of something (e.g. God and His beneficience). Honouring such "sha3air" can indicate "taqwa" (forethoughtfulness/conscientiousness/piety) of the hearts, and can provide opportunity to be thankful and/or magnify God for what He has guided you - see 5:2, 22:32, 22:36-37.
4 - root: Ha-Jim-Jim. Note the perfect/past tense implies one could have done "HaJJ" but not necessarily encountered "safa" and "marwah" yet, meaning they are not compulsory aspects of "HaJJ" (or "umrah") but are accessible secondary to it. Also if they were an intrinsic part of "al HaJJ" then there would be no need to state "there is no blame on him that he should go about/amongst them". This is further reinforced by the imperfect tense "ttawwaf" which follows. As a side note, some Traditional commentators also mention this point.
5 - root: Ba-Ya-Ta. It principally means to reach the night or spend the night in and "bayt" is that place. It can be used for any structure that is utilised for such a purpose. Thus, "bayt" is closer to shelter as the conceptual meaning and within that meaning is the house. In this context it refers to the locality/region/area, wherein "al hajj" is being held, and is thus acting as a shelter/house for the people. This will be further discussed later.
6 - root: Ayn-Miim-Ra. Also perfect/past tense.
7 - root: Tay-Waw-Fa. Note it says "ttawwaf bi" which is the exact same phrase in 22:29 (involving the ancient/noble shelter/house / "al bayt al 3tiq") which most commentators take to mean "circuit" but they do not take it to mean "circuit" here. Some may argue that since there are two objects here, going to and fro is the implied meaning here rather than "circuit".
8 - the phrase "whoever volunteered good/better" is likely related to what came before, i.e. "no blame on him that he go about them". Interestingly, if it is taken as "whoever volunteered better", as I feel the implication is, then this can only mean: better than "going about/amongst safa and marwah". The obvious question then is: what is better?

2:158 clearly indicates there is a difference between HaJJ and i'tamara/visited (commonly translated as "umrah").

The additional information we have extracted about "safa" and "marwah" is as follows, which may help narrow down the possible meanings:
1) other occurrences of "sha3air of God" refer to provision of sustenance/food by means of the animals, thus they could be related to that
2) they are accessible to those who did HaJJ or visited the house/shelter, but are secondary to it
3) it is possible some might mistakenly assign blame if one goes about them or one going about them could think they are doing something negative/wrong
4) it may be possible to volunteer better than going amongst them

When we look at CAD "al safa" can refer to the animals which give much milk (said of she-camel/sheep/goat), and "al marwah" can refer to a stone where a cooking fire is started or on which an animal is slaughtered. If we opt for these meanings then the one going about them in 2:158 would be consuming food, not providing it. If so, this makes it easy to understand why this could be thought of as a negative, i.e. someone at this location could take advantage of such offerings/availability and consume aplenty without giving in return. This would also help explain why it says "whoever volunteered better" because providing food is better than consuming it, and this may tie in with verses such as 2:196 which discusses giving an offering/gift (e.g. an animal to be used for food provision). This is also the case for one who did HaJJ because even though doing HaJJ involves providing food for others, one could still consume more than they gave.
If we do choose this meaning, then we may need to consider why animals of milking are not discussed under the ordinary food to give/feed others with for one undertaking the HaJJ and this may be because it is more difficult for one to do, as the timing needs to be right for a female animal to give milk, e.g. shortly after them giving birth. Giving an animal for slaughter is much easier.
There are other possibilities for these words from CAD, e.g. "al safa" can mean "the palm tree heavy with fruit", "al marwah" can mean "a type of fragrant tree".

A plausible interpretation of "no blame on him that he go about them" is that this phrase is often used in AQ to discuss an exception/modification to the recommendation/rule/principle (e.g. 2:229, 2:282, 4:101, 4:102, 24:29, 24:58, 24:60), thus could refer to an exception, e.g. regarding slaughtering of animals on a stone (as this may be misconstrued as a throwback to idolatrous practice, see 5:3), or "marwah" can mean a stone from which blades are made even though there is no hunting or fighting in this period, or sightseeing of unique/stone landmarks at such a location could be mistaken for their veneration. Volunteering good/better in this case would be to help out at the event rather than sightseeing perhaps.

There seems to be insufficient evidence, as per Quran, to definitively deduce the meaning of "safa" and "marwah", however we should bear in mind that whatever they are the implication is that they are not critical/compulsory aspects for one who did "HaJJ" or visited.


Offline w3bcrowf3r

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Re: How would we know what the Safwa and alMarwah are?
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2019, 10:13:52 AM »
Shalom / peace

The following article states:
http://quransmessage.com/articles/makkah%20bakkah%20FM3.htm

Quote
Furthermore, despite the popular Muslim belief, there is also no evidence in the Quran that Safa and Marwah refer to hills, which once again only seems to provide a possible conduit to support the Biblical Abraham-Hagar narrative. There is no support for this narrative in the Quran.

Quote
Safa and Marwah have only been mentioned in the Quran as a place where there were 'symbols' (sha'airi) of God (Not necessarily connected with Prophet Abraham). (pbuh) These were sites that the Pre-Islamic Arab community were familiar with and circumambulation of them was allowable if desired.

The story of Hagar running to find water isn't connected to Safa and Marwah in the Qur'an.....

Umm i am not going to believe what wikipedia said about this.. Why would God in the Quran allow us to do something that was pre-islamic and idolatry..

I probably are the hills that Hagar was running between to find water for Ishmael when they were in the desert.
Repent, the Kingdom of God is at hand!

Offline w3bcrowf3r

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Re: How would we know what the Safwa and alMarwah are?
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2019, 11:03:15 AM »
Analysis from Quran: source.

2:158 Indeed, the safa1 and the marwah2 are from the markers/tokens (sha3air)3 of God, so whoever did HaJJ 4 (at/of) the shelter/house5 or enlivened/visited6 there is no blame/error on him that he go amongst by/at them both7 and whoever volunteered good/better8 then God is Appreciative, Knowing.

1 - root: Sad-Fa-Waw. See Project Root List to read about possible meanings for given roots in this article.
2 - root: Miim-Ra-Waw.
3 - root: Shiin-Ayn-Ra. The root meanings and Quran usage suggest the word describes things/tokens/symbols/markers/practices (usually to do with sustenance/benefit) that have a deeper significance, i.e. help make us aware of something (e.g. God and His beneficience). Honouring such "sha3air" can indicate "taqwa" (forethoughtfulness/conscientiousness/piety) of the hearts, and can provide opportunity to be thankful and/or magnify God for what He has guided you - see 5:2, 22:32, 22:36-37.
4 - root: Ha-Jim-Jim. Note the perfect/past tense implies one could have done "HaJJ" but not necessarily encountered "safa" and "marwah" yet, meaning they are not compulsory aspects of "HaJJ" (or "umrah") but are accessible secondary to it. Also if they were an intrinsic part of "al HaJJ" then there would be no need to state "there is no blame on him that he should go about/amongst them". This is further reinforced by the imperfect tense "ttawwaf" which follows. As a side note, some Traditional commentators also mention this point.
5 - root: Ba-Ya-Ta. It principally means to reach the night or spend the night in and "bayt" is that place. It can be used for any structure that is utilised for such a purpose. Thus, "bayt" is closer to shelter as the conceptual meaning and within that meaning is the house. In this context it refers to the locality/region/area, wherein "al hajj" is being held, and is thus acting as a shelter/house for the people. This will be further discussed later.
6 - root: Ayn-Miim-Ra. Also perfect/past tense.
7 - root: Tay-Waw-Fa. Note it says "ttawwaf bi" which is the exact same phrase in 22:29 (involving the ancient/noble shelter/house / "al bayt al 3tiq") which most commentators take to mean "circuit" but they do not take it to mean "circuit" here. Some may argue that since there are two objects here, going to and fro is the implied meaning here rather than "circuit".
8 - the phrase "whoever volunteered good/better" is likely related to what came before, i.e. "no blame on him that he go about them". Interestingly, if it is taken as "whoever volunteered better", as I feel the implication is, then this can only mean: better than "going about/amongst safa and marwah". The obvious question then is: what is better?

2:158 clearly indicates there is a difference between HaJJ and i'tamara/visited (commonly translated as "umrah").

The additional information we have extracted about "safa" and "marwah" is as follows, which may help narrow down the possible meanings:
1) other occurrences of "sha3air of God" refer to provision of sustenance/food by means of the animals, thus they could be related to that
2) they are accessible to those who did HaJJ or visited the house/shelter, but are secondary to it
3) it is possible some might mistakenly assign blame if one goes about them or one going about them could think they are doing something negative/wrong
4) it may be possible to volunteer better than going amongst them

When we look at CAD "al safa" can refer to the animals which give much milk (said of she-camel/sheep/goat), and "al marwah" can refer to a stone where a cooking fire is started or on which an animal is slaughtered. If we opt for these meanings then the one going about them in 2:158 would be consuming food, not providing it. If so, this makes it easy to understand why this could be thought of as a negative, i.e. someone at this location could take advantage of such offerings/availability and consume aplenty without giving in return. This would also help explain why it says "whoever volunteered better" because providing food is better than consuming it, and this may tie in with verses such as 2:196 which discusses giving an offering/gift (e.g. an animal to be used for food provision). This is also the case for one who did HaJJ because even though doing HaJJ involves providing food for others, one could still consume more than they gave.
If we do choose this meaning, then we may need to consider why animals of milking are not discussed under the ordinary food to give/feed others with for one undertaking the HaJJ and this may be because it is more difficult for one to do, as the timing needs to be right for a female animal to give milk, e.g. shortly after them giving birth. Giving an animal for slaughter is much easier.
There are other possibilities for these words from CAD, e.g. "al safa" can mean "the palm tree heavy with fruit", "al marwah" can mean "a type of fragrant tree".

A plausible interpretation of "no blame on him that he go about them" is that this phrase is often used in AQ to discuss an exception/modification to the recommendation/rule/principle (e.g. 2:229, 2:282, 4:101, 4:102, 24:29, 24:58, 24:60), thus could refer to an exception, e.g. regarding slaughtering of animals on a stone (as this may be misconstrued as a throwback to idolatrous practice, see 5:3), or "marwah" can mean a stone from which blades are made even though there is no hunting or fighting in this period, or sightseeing of unique/stone landmarks at such a location could be mistaken for their veneration. Volunteering good/better in this case would be to help out at the event rather than sightseeing perhaps.

There seems to be insufficient evidence, as per Quran, to definitively deduce the meaning of "safa" and "marwah", however we should bear in mind that whatever they are the implication is that they are not critical/compulsory aspects for one who did "HaJJ" or visited.

Ty for your response. In a root dictionary online, arabtools, it said that alsafwa walmarwah are stones?

Yeah i am probably going to let them. It's better to accept that i don't know something when it's not compulsory. We could have done it by Gods will if we were living in the time of the Messenger because he knew what it meant.

I was just curious if someone found out what they are according to the Quran.
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Offline Duster

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Re: How would we know what the Safwa and alMarwah are?
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2019, 04:48:33 PM »

Umm i am not going to believe what wikipedia said about this.. Why would God in the Quran allow us to do something that was pre-islamic and idolatry..

I probably are the hills that Hagar was running between to find water for Ishmael when they were in the desert.

Who said anything about Wikipedia? I gave you an article from this site ....

And as to your question about why would Allah allow something that was pre-Islamic? Simple ... He is concerned with the 'purpose'. Worshipping around the Kaaba was also a pre-Islamic practice with idolatry.. but the process was 'cleaned up' and was allowed but in Allah's name alone ... So don't agree with your point ..

Offline w3bcrowf3r

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Re: How would we know what the Safwa and alMarwah are?
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2019, 11:32:03 AM »

Umm i am not going to believe what wikipedia said about this.. Why would God in the Quran allow us to do something that was pre-islamic and idolatry..

I probably are the hills that Hagar was running between to find water for Ishmael when they were in the desert.

Who said anything about Wikipedia? I gave you an article from this site ....

And as to your question about why would Allah allow something that was pre-Islamic? Simple ... He is concerned with the 'purpose'. Worshipping around the Kaaba was also a pre-Islamic practice with idolatry.. but the process was 'cleaned up' and was allowed but in Allah's name alone ... So don't agree with your point ..

Worshipping God through the Kaaba doesn't have a polytheistic origin. The Israelites worship God through their 'Kaaba'/Tabernacle.

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Offline Duster

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Re: How would we know what the Safwa and alMarwah are?
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2019, 01:03:10 PM »
Worshipping God through the Kaaba doesn't have a polytheistic origin. The Israelites worship God through their 'Kaaba'/Tabernacle.

I think you are missing the point. There were pre-islamic practices that were allowed to continue but cleaned up for the one God! - Allah .... purpose was more important....

Visiting Arafat and the monuments was another as was shaving or cutting the hair during pilgrimage ......It's in the Quran .... check out the article below...

http://quransmessage.com/articles/hajj%20FM3.htm

Offline Wakas

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Re: How would we know what the Safwa and alMarwah are?
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2019, 05:13:59 PM »
peace all,

Please note the Quranic evidence for the claim that these practices were somehow cleaned up for God is flimsy.

Quote
The Israelites worship God through their 'Kaaba'/Tabernacle.

I'm not familiar with the above. Can you clarify how/what they worship God through their tabernacle. Thanks.


Stone cuboids were objects for pagan worship in Arabia at the time: source.

Quote
North Arabia
     Allah (al-Ilahah) "the God"
     "Daughters of Allah"
          Allat (Ilat)   "the Goddess"  Mother goddess, Goddess of
                         Taif (east of Mecca)
               Shams     Sun goddess
                    ash-Shiraq  "the Rising One" (Male?)
                    Muharriq    "the Burner" (Male?)
               Chabou, Ka'bu [Nabatean/Petra] Virgin Sun Mother of
                         Dhu-al-Shara/Dushares

          al-Uzza, Lady `Uzzay-an  "the Most Mighty." Planet Venus
               ash-Sa'ida     "The Blessed"
               Azizos    "the Powerful"  Morning star
               Monimos   "the Benificent"  Evening star
          Manah, Manat [Nabatean/Petra], Maniya   "Fate"
.
     Dhu-al-Shara/Dhu-'sh-Shara/Dushares [Nabatean/Petra] {Block of
               black stone, 4x2} Dying god, son of the Earth
               mother.  Sacred day, Dec 25.


     Hubal     Chief god of Ka'bah (Allah?)

Root entry in Lane's Lexicon for Kaf-Ayn-Ba
Quote: "a house or temple belonging to the tribe of Rabee'ah, who used to compass it, or perform circuits round it (as is done round the Kabbeh of Mekkeh)".

e.g. Book: Mecca and Eden: ritual, relics and territory in islam

p26,
Quote
Such stones, especially black stones, were used as the main cult objects for the worship of other Arabian gods. According to Epiphanius the Nabatean God Dhu-shara (Dhu al Shara) was represented by something called "khaabou" which represented the deity. The Byzantine lexicographer Suidas reports that this was a black stone, roughly square, four feet high by two feet wide. Antoninus Placentinus relates that in Sinai the local Arabs had an idol which changed from snow white to pitch black..... Ibn al Kalbi relates that a number of Arab deities were represented by stones

Discussed in more detail here:
http://www.free-minds.org/Old/articles/science/language.htm

e.g.

Quote
In the fourth century AD, Epiphanius, the bishop of Salamis, Cyprus wrote a letter describing cults such as the Nabataean cult and their celebration of the festival of the birth of Dhu Al-Shaara around the winter solstice. It is interesting that the birth celebrations culminated with bringing forth from beneath the earth the image of the male infant idol, which was carried seven times around the inner sanctuary of the pagan temple. [See Langdon, S., Semitic Mythology, The Mythology of All Races, Vol. V. Boston: Archaeological Institute of America, Marshall Jones Company, 1931, page 19.]
.
The celebration of the idol's birth around the winter solstice is also an indication of a relationship to the sun. The present cube structure of Dhu Al-Shaara in Saudi Arabia also has evidence of its pagan purpose. For example, the cube is aligned such that the Southeast corner is in the direction of the winter sunrise. Interestingly, in that corner lies the so-called Black Stone, which is the most revered object by sectarians who love to kiss and fondle it.

Offline Hamzeh

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Re: How would we know what the Safwa and alMarwah are?
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2019, 12:22:57 AM »
Asalamu 3alykum

In light of verse 5:3 brother Dusters comment seems valid and not sure why you find it flimsy as I notice you seem to find many valid opinions flimsy while you fail to make a conclusive valid opinion. Sometimes a close opinion or a close practice to a command is better than no action or implementation. For example zakat zakat hajj etc

Forbidden unto you (for food) are carrion and blood and swineflesh, and that which hath been dedicated unto any other than Allah, and the strangled, and the dead through beating, and the dead through falling from a height, and that which hath been killed by (the goring of) horns, and the devoured of wild beasts, saving that which ye make lawful (by the death-stroke), and that which hath been immolated unto idols. And (forbidden is it) that ye swear by the divining arrows. This is an abomination. This day are those who disbelieve in despair of (ever harming) your religion; so fear them not, fear Me! This day have I perfected your religion for you and completed My favour unto you, and have chosen for you as religion al-Islam. Whoso is forced by hunger, not by will, to sin: (for him) lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

Salam

Offline Wakas

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Re: How would we know what the Safwa and alMarwah are?
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2019, 08:03:00 PM »
peace,


In light of verse 5:3 brother Dusters comment seems valid.....

I'm not sure I follow. Can you clarify the relevance of 5:3 here?

Offline Hamzeh

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Re: How would we know what the Safwa and alMarwah are?
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2019, 10:17:12 PM »
Peace Wakas

It's obvious frim the Quran that God has guided humanity through the Quran and had choosen to use a nation of the Arabs and their culture and system to be an example. From there much can be extracted.

Verse 5:3 states that God has perfected the religion/ways/system of Muhammad's people.

They used to have a religion but it was adjusted so that it would fit the system of God. (Islam). The Quran also had reconfirmed the previous scriptures and provided itself as guard over them and also provided itself as a guidance to humanity.

There was certain foods thst the Arabs mad lawful to certain things and forbid some other food. Was not acceptable and they were guided in what to eat and what not to eat.
They had a prayer but not acceptable. Their  prayers was whisling and clapping. God had then corrected and established a correct way.

They had a direction of prayer but that was allowed to continue.

Like bro Duster was mentioning the people seemed to be doing practices that God had allowed to continue. Those did not seem to intervene in the system of the Lord.

Peace

Offline Wakas

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Re: How would we know what the Safwa and alMarwah are?
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2019, 02:42:45 PM »
peace,

Thanks for clarifying. Still don't really see the connection with 5:3.

In any case I consider what bro Duster said as valid, in the sense that his opinion is possible. However the evidence for it is flimsy in my opinion.

On the one hand The Quran has a very strong anti-idolatry message, yet on the other hand we know many practices (particularly those associated with Traditional Hajj rituals/relics) are strongly associated with idolatrous/pagan practices of the time. Seems polar opposites to me, but each to their own.

Offline w3bcrowf3r

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Re: How would we know what the Safwa and alMarwah are?
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2019, 10:17:44 AM »
peace,

Thanks for clarifying. Still don't really see the connection with 5:3.

In any case I consider what bro Duster said as valid, in the sense that his opinion is possible. However the evidence for it is flimsy in my opinion.

On the one hand The Quran has a very strong anti-idolatry message, yet on the other hand we know many practices (particularly those associated with Traditional Hajj rituals/relics) are strongly associated with idolatrous/pagan practices of the time. Seems polar opposites to me, but each to their own.

What kind of practices in the Quran about Pilgrimage were being performed in the time when Mecca was still worshiping idols?
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Offline Wakas

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Re: How would we know what the Safwa and alMarwah are?
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2019, 12:55:12 PM »

What kind of practices in the Quran about Pilgrimage were being performed in the time when Mecca was still worshiping idols?

I asked you a question but you did not answer, and now you ask me a question.

In any case, to answer your question, the first thing I recommend (other than reading Quran yourself) is to read the article I linked to above.