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Offline Reader Questions

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Dhul Quarnain
« on: May 25, 2019, 07:56:08 PM »
Dear brother Joseph

A person recently asserted to me that when Dhul Quanain is mentioned in the Quran, there is reference to the “sun setting in a muddy pool.” Or such like.

I was wondering if you have any articles on this. It was asserted by this person that taken literally, such a statement is clearly in error as the sun does not do this.

I am vaguely aware of the verse but not it’s place or it’s precise meaning.

I would appreciate your guidance.

Kind regards

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: Dhul Quarnain
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2019, 07:57:14 PM »
Dear brother,

May peace be with you.

I hope my following article will assist, God willing.

THE SUN SETTING IN MURKY WATERS
http://quransmessage.com/articles/the%20sun%20setting%20in%20murky%20waters%20FM3.htm

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

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Re: Dhul Quarnain
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2019, 07:58:06 PM »
Dear Brother
 
Many thanks for that.
 
So, essentially the translation is correct, but it is simply a figure of speach, just as we might say the sun set in the ocean. Correct?
 
Many thanks for your assistance.

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: Dhul Quarnain
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2019, 08:01:19 PM »
Dear brother,
 
Absolutely.
 
It may interest you that I have allowed a particular paper to be published to my site from a gentleman by the name of I.FARUQUI as I feel he deals quite interestingly with the Quranic data in relation to Dhul Qurnain’s journey. [1] I would kindly refer you to pages 12 and 13 of this paper, which may be of particular interest with regards what Dhul Qurnain may have perceived.
 
Albeit, I have shared points of academic differences with this author [2] on other topics, I find his work with this particular subject interesting.
 
I hope this helps, God willing.
 
Regards,
Joseph

 
REFERENCES:
 
[1] FARUQUI, I., QUR'ANIC ODYSSEY
http://quransmessage.com/files/Gog%20&%20Magog%20-%20M.%20Imran%20Faruqui.pdf
[2] IMRAN FARUQUI
http://quransmessage.com/forum/index.php?topic=1545.0
[3] Yajuj wa Majuj (Gog and Magog) FORUM THREAD
http://quransmessage.com/forum/index.php?topic=313
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

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Re: Dhul Quarnain
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2019, 08:03:58 PM »
Dear brother
 
Thank you for your reply.
 
However, the reason I ask this, is because this is one of the things he raised.
 
The Quran, and your way of analysing it, are both very specific, methodical and granular.
 
Your article focuses more on the issue of what Dhul Quarnain "found." The article you have referred to and attached regards what he may have perceived, with plenty of supposition of what river it might have been.
 
However, the issue is the wording.
 
I really appreciate the huge effort you have gone to in all of your articles. I know you must be busy. However, I would be very very grateful, if you could revisit the issue of "sun setting in murky water" or whatever the best translation is, and what the quran specifically says about this, that phrase. Drilling right down to it's core. It is that, which causes difficulty.
 
It does not feel like a figure of speech. It does not feel like a perception. It feels like a statement of fact. 
 
I would be very grateful if you could look at that specific part,  "sun setting in murky water" or "sun setting in a muddy spring". It is that act of the sun setting in a particular place that seems to be causing difficulty.
 
Thank you so much for even reading this email.

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: Dhul Quarnain
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2019, 08:13:34 PM »
Dear brother,
 
As I trust that you will appreciate, one can only put forward the best evidence. One cannot guarantee that one will be convinced particularly if the desire is not to accept the evidence put forth.
 
I sincerely feel that the issue is not the wording. As you will have noted, I shared a clear reference from reputable Arabic lexicons that indicate that the verb 'wajada' can mean to perceive something.
 
If it seems like a statement of fact to the person in question, then this is a matter of their 'perception' and 'interpretation' and thus, it is their burden of proof to provide clear evidence why 'perception' cannot be appropriately attached to the word 'wajada' from a classical Arabic perspective.
 
Finally, it is noteworthy that the Quran does not provide this as a statement of fact.
 
The Quran merely states that Dhul Qurnain perceived something. This does not mean that God perceives it that way.
 
Wajadaha

ha - pronoun - 3rd person singular object
 
It is Dhul Qurnain’s perception that is the focus.
 
Maybe Dhul Qurnain in his ignorance of celestial process believed this to be fact (as many may have done in his day). May be he didn't. Either way, this does not mean that the Quran is wrong particularly when it has such an intricate handle / understanding of celestial process.
 
This is no different from Luqman’s advice to his son when he made the claim that the most hideous / harshest of noise is surely (emphasis exists in the Arabic) that of an ass / donkey (31:19) That was his perception. This was not a statement of fact. Maybe, others find the bark of a Koala hideous, others the scream of a fox, others the screeching of barn owls, or the noise a dolphin makes.

I trust that this is evidence that when a Quran presents a statement from the point of view of a human personality, this does not necessarily mean it is fact or that the Quran ‘has got it wrong’. The disbelievers claimed the prophet to be a madman (Majnun) (15:6). This again does not necessarily mean that it was fact.
 
I trust this clarifies.
 
Regards,
Joseph
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

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Re: Dhul Quarnain
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2019, 08:17:05 PM »
Dear brother Joseph
 
Thank you for your reply and consideration.
 
I understand your perspective.
 
Can you also clarify: Some translations say that he found it setting specifically in a well or spring, rather than a body of water that could be interpreted more broadly.
 
Could you assist with that?
 
I apologise for labouring the point. I understand that you are busy.
 
Kindest regards and many thanks.
 
Your brother

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: Dhul Quarnain
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2019, 08:21:20 PM »
Dear brother,
 
The Arabic used is: "aynin hami-atin"
 
Aynin - can mean a spring of water,  running fountains, gushing water
Hami - means something which is muddy, black fetid mud etc
 
So the best renditions would imply muddy springs / muddy waters or a fountain / springs of water with a muddy appearance etc.
 
I am not sure if you have read the link I shared (pages 12-13) which gives a good example what the appearance could look like. I provide two excerpts:
 
"Bodies of water can be grouped according to two basic functions; those that collect and move water, such as rivers and streams, and those that primarily hold water, such as lakes and oceans. [67] A ‘muddy’ appearance is produced by water that carries silt in suspension. It is impossible for a relatively stationary body of water to appear ‘muddy’ because silt cannot be held in suspension due to lack of flow and will deposit on the waterbed leaving the top levels clear. Wetlands such as swamps and marshes with water shallow enough for their muddy waterbeds to show through and thereby discolour their surface appearance, do not appear as ‘a muddy spring’ because they are checkered with abundant aquatic vegetation" [1]
 
"China’s second longest river and sixth longest in the world, is called the Hwang Ho or Huang He, but most often known simply as the Yellow River. The name ‘Yellow River’ describes the perennial reddish-yellow colour of the muddy water in the middle to lower courses of the river. The Chinese even poetically term the river, ‘the muddy flow.’ [2]
 
Given that I will not be able to discuss this further given my time restraints (thank you for understanding), I trust that you will kindly accept my response as my last on this particular matter.
 
I hope this helps, God willing.
 
Regards,
Joseph


REFERENCES:

[1] FARUQUI, I., QUR'ANIC ODYSSEY, Page 12
http://quransmessage.com/files/Gog%20&%20Magog%20-%20M.%20Imran%20Faruqui.pdf
[2] Ibid.
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

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Re: Dhul Quarnain
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2019, 08:23:02 PM »
Thank you brother

I really appreciate your input and knowledge.

I did read the exerpts previously (from I.Faruqui), though I did not find it totally convincing. I may read it again.

Many thanks, and of course i understand that you are busy.

Kind regards

And thanks again.