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Offline Reader Questions

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Questions Regarding Verse 3:7 - Mutashabihaat
« on: March 15, 2012, 09:30:10 PM »
Salam alaykum Joseph,

I had a couple questions on 3:7

Verse 7. He it is Who has sent down to thee the Book: In it are verses basic or fundamental (of established meaning); they are the foundation of the Book: others are allegorical. But those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part thereof that is allegorical, seeking discord, and searching for its hidden meanings, but no one knows its hidden meanings except Allah. And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: "We believe in the Book; the whole of it is from our Lord:" and none will grasp the Message except men of understanding.

1.  Some believe that the verse says...."but no one knows its hidden meanings except Allah and those who are firmly grounded in knowledge.  They say: "We believe in the Book; the whole of it is from our Lord:" and none will grasp the Message except men of understanding.

So some say the sentence ends at the end of "and those who are firmly grounded in knowledge."

I personally feel that the Qur'an left some ambiguity because those grounded in knowledge will grasp much of the allegorical verses (wheras many of those not with knowlede will not) but they may not grasp all the verses with the allegorical meaning and they may not grasp the full profundities of meanings and multiplicities of meanings as of course God can.

2.  "But those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part thereof that is allegorical, seeking discord, and searching for its hidden meanings, but no one knows its..."

I understand why it is perverse to seek discord but is not searching for hidden meanings good so we can ponder on the Qur'an as other verse tell us to do so?

Maybe the criticism is only on "seeking discord" part but "searching for hidden meanings" is still attached to it as a conjunction.....how do you interpret it?

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: Questions Regarding Verse 3:7 - Mutashabihaat
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2012, 09:31:00 PM »
Salamun Alaikum.

I have shared my humble perspective in parts.

The Recitation:

The Quran is a 'mutawwatir' (with majority consensus) reading and secondly a text. Both have worked in tandem to protect the authenticity of the Quran. (recitation + codex). Any codex text of the Quran must always be understood in light of the Quran's mutawwatir recitation.

The main drive of verse 3:7 is to cement a believer's approach to the Quran which is to focus on the fundamental over the allegorical, clear over the unclear, substance over the symbolic, explicit over the implicit, and greater over the lesser.  Similarly, no lesser reading can ever supersede a majority reading.

The majority reading of 3:7 without doubt, accepts the pause separating it from 'wa-rasikuhuna fi-l'ilmi' (And those firm in knowledge)

Grasping Profundities:

I think there is a crucial difference in the 'tadabbur' (reflecting, studying, analysing) of clear verses of the Quran, reconciling them with other passages to 'grasp the full profundities' of its meaning, extracting 'hikmah' (wisdom) and applying them to our daily lives with that of 'searching the Quran for hidden meanings' and pursuing 'mutashibihaat'.

There is a difference.

The Quran calls itself 'clear bayyin', so the idea of pondering to extract hidden meanings does not even arise. Furthermore, the Quran clearly rebukes the approach without a proviso. I read the 'ib'tigha 'lfitna' (seeking discord) as a confirmation of a condition along with 'ibtighaa tawilihi' (seeking its interpretation) not a proviso. As with 74:31, there is a disease in the heart (fi qulubihim maradun) which makes them take this approach.

In my humble opinion, such an approach to seek hidden meanings and to justify it from the Quran is usually concocted by those that largely have a theological axe to grind to support esoteric knowledge and twist clear verses of the Quran to support a particular theological bias.

I hope that helps, God willing.

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