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Offline chadiga

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four birds or four parts of the bird
« on: May 29, 2012, 12:37:34 AM »
Salam  :)
I do not know if brother Joseph has written an article on this question, but I do not find it.
in 2.260 we learn the story of Abraham and the proof of the resurrection from the death. Now my question:  is the story about four birds (interpretation from asad) or is it one bird and a quarter of this bird, which was distributed to the mountains?
means it is not in the original Arabic
 .. 'ala kulli gabalin minhunna dschuzan? .. "
... on every mountain a  part of them"...?
Thanks for the explanation.Peace

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: four birds or four parts of the bird
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2012, 07:41:09 AM »
Salamun Alaikum Chadiga,

Please see the following post in the Q&A section to which I've responded when asked a similar question.

http://quransmessage.com/forum/index.php?topic=262.msg791#msg791

I hope it helps, God willing.

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

Offline optimist

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Re: four birds or four parts of the bird
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2012, 04:09:52 PM »
Salam Alaikum,

I think we should refer to the exposition of Parwez.   He has given the following exposition for the verse;

2:260        Each Nabi has been confronted with the problem of giving life to a dead nation. For instance, Abraham faced such a problem and said to Allah: “What is the process by which new life may be infused into a dead nation?”. Allah asked him: “Do you not believe that dead nations may receive new life?”. Abraham said: “I do believe but I would like to know by what process, so that I can undertake it with full confidence.” Allah explained the process to Abraham through an example. He said: “Take four untamed birds. At first they will seek to get away from you. Make them familiar with yourself gradually. This will bring about remarkable change in them. Even if you set them free and call to them, they will come to you swiftly.” This is how you must patiently reform those who rebel against your call and bring them close to yourself and make them understand and appreciate the Divine System. This is how they will receive “life.” Most certainly Allah is All-Mighty, Wise.

The above explanation is very much convincing due to the following reasons

1.  The previous verse 2:259 mentions about giving life to dead قَالَ أَنَّىٰ يُحْيِي هَٰذِهِ اللَّهُ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا (qala anna yuhyee hathihi Allahu baAAda mawtiha - When will God restore it to life after its death?), which is specifically related to giving life to a dead nation, not givin life to a dead being.   Verse 2:260 also mentions about giving life to dead رَبِّ أَرِنِي كَيْفَ تُحْيِي الْمَوْتَىٰ - (rabbi arinee kayfa tuhyee almawta - show me how to give life to dead), which must be connected to the discussion in the previous verse as pointed out by Parwez.

2.  Prophet Ibrahim would not ask Allah to show him how to give life to a dead being, especially while directly communicating with Allah.   He will not ask such a silly question. It is like he is telling Allah his heart is not fully convinced about life after death, such a question is impossible from a prophet's mouth.  If such a question is asked by ordinary people we can understand that.

3.  Nowhere in the verse it is mentioned cutting the birds into pieces, it is just an interpretation. 

4.  Allah's request to Moses to take four birds and فَصُرْهُنَّ إِلَيْكَ fasurhunna ilayka (tame them) is very important.   If the purpose was to show to Moses how to give life after cutting the  birds into pieces, it is not necessary to tame them or make them feel familiar to Ibrahim.  Allah could have shown him this miracle without taming the birds.

5.  If the purpose was to show Ibrahim how to give life to a dead person, Allah could have selected any dead person and give life to him.

6.  The question was specific "how to give life",  if it was about how to give life to a dead being, even the example (which is interpreted to mean cutting the birds into pieces and giving life) does not teach "how to give life".

7.  It is also important whether prophet Ibrahim did  comply with the direction in the verse as per the meaning of the verse traditionally understood (to get fully convinced about life after death!)

There are some of the logical reasons to prove that the issue was not giving life to a dead being, but the issue was connected to give life to a nation, which was the primary duty of prophet Ibrahim.  Allah was teaching a great principle using parable of birds, in a couple of sentences.   The message hidden in this verse must be taken for a research topic.  By the way, the character of our prophet must be understood in this context.  About our prophet Allah says "If you were severe or hardhearted, they would have broken away from you' (3: 159).   This was the message Allah was teaching prophet Ibrahim, how to give life to a dead nation through making people get attached to him by mingling with them, sharing their sorrows and problems,  giving helping hand to them, forgiving their sins, etc  Once we have the confidence and trust of the people, we can make remarkable change in society.
The meaning which was lost in all our divisions will not be understood until our perceptions become untainted -  Allama Iqbal

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: four birds or four parts of the bird
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2012, 03:02:11 AM »
Salamun Alaikum Optimist.

Thank for sharing your thoughts. Please see my academic contentions with your presentation. I will look forward to your rebuttals to my contentions with a view to understand this topic deeper.


CONTENTIONS:

1 - When a parable is cited, it is usually cited to elucidate a central theme. Parables are not cited to support each other. So if I make a statement X, I will use parable Y and Z to explain 'X'. The central argument ‘X’ is not found in the previous verse 2:259 as you seem to suggest.

Verse 2:259 and verse 2:260 are only 'parables' (‘Y’ and ‘Z’) which support the theme which is found in verse 2:258 (‘X). Verse 2:260 is not used to support 2:259 directly.

The central theme is established in verse 2:258 where God's majesty and sovereignty was contested by a disbeliever along with God's ability to give life and death only. Verse 2:258 by itself has nothing to do with a nation. 

Therefore, I cannot support the central premise of your argument which I feel is unwarranted as is Parwez's interpolation.

2 - What Prophet Abraham would and would not ‘ask’ and the appropriateness underlying it is not a judgment call for us to make. We can only establish testimony based on the evidence provided clearly by the Quran. If the Quran says X happened or Y said this, then as believers we believe that X happened and Y said it.

The comment that Prophet Abraham's question would otherwise appear to be 'silly' is subjective and unwarranted. If this line of subjectivity is followed, other subjective questions can also be asked. For example: why did the Prophet Muhammad fear men when he should have rather feared God (33:37)? One could argue whether the Prophet should have known better? Do we now change the Arabic because the Prophet should have known better?  Why did the Prophet make something unlawful when he had no authority to do so (66:1)? Why did he frown and turn away (80:1)? Why did Prophet Yunus abandon his people for a laden ship?  The list can continue.

Prophetic actions and sayings (whatever they are) are a matter between them and God. They have been imparted for us to extract wisdom, not to deny them. We can only provide testimony on what is being narrated to us by God.
 
3 - The 'portioning' of the birds is strongly implied by the Arabic. The Arabic of 2:260 clearly imparts the instruction to take four of the birds (arba'atan mina-tayri). 'kulli jabalin' is clearly a reference to 'each mountain'. So the inference would be to take four birds to four separate mountains and then to put a 'juz' on each of them. A 'juz' is basically a part or a portion of something. As the theme of the verse is resurrection and juz strongly suggests parts of the bird, hence it is usual to find renderings which mention cut pieces of the bird.

Please can you provide me strong evidence from the Arabic of verse 2:260 and the Quran alone, which clearly supports a better alternative explanation.

4 - The Arabic word 'fasur' from the verb 'sara' means to 'incline' or to ‘lean’ something or to twist or turn something to get them to do what you want. Therefore, in this context it means to incline or to summon towards oneself. This would be necessary if they were to be summoned from different places after they have been portioned 'juz'. Otherwise why would they come towards him?

Similarly, on the Day of Reckoning, everything in the Universe will be summoned by God. 

5 - Please can you provide me clear evidence based on the verses which proves that the purpose of the exercise was to simply show Prophet Abraham how God gives life to a dead person?

The 'purpose' was established in verse 2:259 to show God's sovereignty and how He with His majesty, is able to do all things including resurrecting the dead on the Day of Judgment.

6 - Your assertion seems to be linked with point (5). If I cut something and it forms and comes back to life, what have I proven?

7 - I am not sure what point you are trying to make with this. Please elaborate.

At present, I respectfully find no cogent argument that provides clear evidence that verse 2:260 has anything to with bringing nations to life. I humbly feel such a premise is based on the faulty assumption that the two parables in 2:259 and 2:260 are linked with each other, rather than being linked by a common theme which is established in 2:258. Therefore, 2:260 has nothing to do with 'nations'.

I look forward to your response.

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

Offline optimist

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Re: four birds or four parts of the bird
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2012, 01:51:14 PM »
Wassalam,

Borther Joseph Islam, let us focus our attention to the Arabic words;

The Arabic of 2:260 contains instruction to take four birds (arba'atan mina-tayri), the word, mina (from) denotes that it can be from four different categories of birds.  And then the command to fasurhunna ilayka “فَصُرْهُنَّ إِلَيْكَ.  This is very important.   You have said the Arabic word 'fasur' from the verb 'sara' means to 'incline' or to ‘lean’ something or to twist or turn something to get them to do what you want.   Yes, to get to do what we want.  That is why Usfur sawwar means the bird which comes at a call: as siwaar means a herd of cattle: (which follows the shepherd’s call), in the context of the verse  2:260 means familiarize these birds with yourself: make them your pets: make them so familiar that they come to you when called.

As you said 'kulli jabalin' is clearly a reference to 'each mountain'.   The inference is; you put them, a part of them, at any mountain.   It is only just an interpretation that 'juz' on each of them refers to "pieces of birds" and in fact juz is the only word in the whole of the ayat that someone can conveniently interpret to mean pieces of birds, whereas “minhunna  juzhan”  can very clearly refers to 'from the four birds a part', ie. to put any bird (whether one or more as per his wish) on any mountain.  There is no inference anywhere to cut the birds into pieces and if at all there was any instruction to cut the birds into pieces it would have been mentioned before the word “minhunna”.  Before the instruction "to take from them" a part, the only instruction provided was fasurhunna ilayka which I explained above.  The instruction as a whole refers to taking four birds and tame them (fasurhunna ilayka) and thereafter putثُمَّ اجْعَلْ  'from the four birds a part' (minhunna  juzhan) at different mountains. 

I agree with you the context of verse 2:258 is resurrection, but closely check verse 2:259, the discussion changes from individual’s life and death to resurrection of a nation from its death.   The discussion is on a ruined city and its resurrection from death.  Notice the question in the verse, how can the devastated, ruined city will be bought (ever) to life, after its death?  In this context we should understand the next verse 2:260  how each Nabi has been confronted with the problem of giving life to a dead nation and a guidnace is mentioned from story of Ibrahim.
The meaning which was lost in all our divisions will not be understood until our perceptions become untainted -  Allama Iqbal

Offline chadiga

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Re: four birds or four parts of the bird
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2012, 08:14:41 PM »
Salam all together

i found a interesting statement in the NT

Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die , it abideth alone: but if it die , it bringeth forth much fruit. 25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. 26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am , there shall also my servant be : if any man serve me, him will my Father honour .
John 12:24

peace :)

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: four birds or four parts of the bird
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2012, 06:14:52 AM »
Wassalam,

Borther Joseph Islam, let us focus our attention to the Arabic words;

The Arabic of 2:260 contains instruction to take four birds (arba'atan mina-tayri), the word, mina (from) denotes that it can be from four different categories of birds.  And then the command to fasurhunna ilayka “فَصُرْهُنَّ إِلَيْكَ.  This is very important.   You have said the Arabic word 'fasur' from the verb 'sara' means to 'incline' or to ‘lean’ something or to twist or turn something to get them to do what you want.   Yes, to get to do what we want.  That is why Usfur sawwar means the bird which comes at a call: as siwaar means a herd of cattle: (which follows the shepherd’s call), in the context of the verse  2:260 means familiarize these birds with yourself: make them your pets: make them so familiar that they come to you when called.

As you said 'kulli jabalin' is clearly a reference to 'each mountain'.   The inference is; you put them, a part of them, at any mountain.   It is only just an interpretation that 'juz' on each of them refers to "pieces of birds" and in fact juz is the only word in the whole of the ayat that someone can conveniently interpret to mean pieces of birds, whereas “minhunna  juzhan”  can very clearly refers to 'from the four birds a part', ie. to put any bird (whether one or more as per his wish) on any mountain.  There is no inference anywhere to cut the birds into pieces and if at all there was any instruction to cut the birds into pieces it would have been mentioned before the word “minhunna”.  Before the instruction "to take from them" a part, the only instruction provided was fasurhunna ilayka which I explained above.  The instruction as a whole refers to taking four birds and tame them (fasurhunna ilayka) and thereafter putثُمَّ اجْعَلْ  'from the four birds a part' (minhunna  juzhan) at different mountains. 

I agree with you the context of verse 2:258 is resurrection, but closely check verse 2:259, the discussion changes from individual’s life and death to resurrection of a nation from its death.   The discussion is on a ruined city and its resurrection from death.  Notice the question in the verse, how can the devastated, ruined city will be bought (ever) to life, after its death?  In this context we should understand the next verse 2:260  how each Nabi has been confronted with the problem of giving life to a dead nation and a guidnace is mentioned from story of Ibrahim.


Salamun Alaikum Optimist  :)


RESURRECTION

With regards verse 2:259, you have agreed with me that the theme is 'resurrection' yet you have kindly asked me to look at verse 2:259 which is a parable to support the central theme of resurrection. The parable in verse 2:259 of the nation is not itself the theme. I made my contention with regards this point absolutely clear in my post above and in paragraph titled [1].

Please can you provide me clear evidence that the theme of which the parables found in verses 2:259 and 2:260 are elucidating is to 'revive nations'. The parables themselves cannot be used to establish the theme as they are only elucidating the theme of resurrection. Such an assertion in my humble opinion would be unacceptable. They can only provide examples of a central theme not become the theme themselves.


FOUR BIRDS - QUALIFIED

I would have to strongly disagree with you as the matter of the word 'juz' is not simply one of a mere interpretation. Rather, it is a very strong interpretation suggested by the clear Arabic. 

The primary meaning of ‘Juz’ in Arabic is the act of cutting or cutting off. Please see any authoritative lexicon for yourself.

The 'Juz' (definition - to cut, break off into parts or in portions) in my humble opinion, does not describe a part from a group (i.e. 1 or x birds from 4), especially when the group has been qualified into parts / numbers already (4 birds).

Rather, from a Quran's perspective, the noun 'juz' inherently means a portion or part of an entity or a portion or part of an unqualified group.

So as an analogy (from a Quran's perspective), I would not say "Here are 12 cats. Can you put a portion from them in the car". This would sound nonsensical and the word 'portion / part / juz' would never be used in this context as it would imply a part of a cat as the cats have already been 'qualified' into numbers. I would rather say for example "can you put 3 cats, 8 cats or 9 cats etc in the car" as they have already been qualified as 12 cats.

However, if I said 'here are cats, please can you put a portion of them in the car", this would make sense as the unqualified group is now the complete entity (cats) of which the 'portion / juz' is a part. In this case, any number of cats can be put in the car.
 
This is supported by examples from the Quran.

015:044
"To it are seven gates: for each of those gates is a portion (Arabic: min-hum juz'un) assigned"

Here, the gates have been qualified into different gates - numbers / amounts (qualified) and each gate has a 'portion' (juz) assigned. The gate itself is not the portion (juz).

043.015
"But they attribute a portion (juz'an) from His slaves! ..."

The slaves here are an unqualified group (any number), like the group of cats. So the 'juz' is usable in this context.

Similarly, the Quran does not say 'take any birds and put a portion of them on the mountains'. It says take '4' birds (qualified) and put a 'portion' of them on the mountains.

There is a difference.

I hope you can see my perspective.

Regards,
Joseph.

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

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Re: four birds or four parts of the bird
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2012, 01:53:47 PM »
Assalamu alaikum,

I will say, your explanation, once we qualify a group into a specific number, we cannot use the word Juzan is not at all convincing.    Imagine, we went together for shopping and you purchased 10 apples what does it mean when I ask you to give me a portion?  Ok I can request you a specific number of apples.  But when I request you a portion, it means it is your choice to decide on the number of apples.   You cannot say my question is a nonsense question.   Also, for instance, I tell you to take this 100 coconuts as gift from me and give a portion to my servant, here also I am giving you the choice to decide the number of coconuts.  You can not insist that I should mention the number of coconut to be given to the servant.    In the same way, here the choice is for prophet Ibrahim to decide on the number of birds and the mountain (notice even the mountain is not specific, “every mountain”).     Therefore, in the context of the verses, it was not required to specify the number of birds and mountain.  Of course Allah could have specified to put one bird on a specific mountain and another bird in another mountain, etc, which is actually not at all required (it would have sound bizarre if he was instructed something like this)

Also, the question you have not yet answered is this.   Where is the instruction to cut the birds into pieces other than the word juzan you claim and trying to interpret to refer to pieces of birds.     It is said Min hunna juzan (from them a portion) what does “hunna” here refers to?  It clearly refers to birds.  Nowhere before this word cutting the birds into pieces mentioned.   You have also not given a proper and fair explanation for Fasurhunna, which I explained clearly what it means.   

Quote
When a parable is cited, it is usually cited to elucidate a central theme. Parables are not cited to support each other. So if I make a statement X, I will use parable Y and Z to explain 'X'. The central argument ‘X’ is not found in the previous verse 2:259 as you seem to suggest.

In verse 2:259, the central t theme is resurrection of a nation from dead.  The central theme is how a devastated, ruined city will be bought (ever) to life, after its death.  This is the question which is asked in the beginning of the verse.   Then the resurrection of the city after death like situation for a 100 years is explained through a parable.   I prefer the explanation of parwez.   I quote “This issue as is known in history, after the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, the Bani-Isr’ael lived in captivity for about a hundred years. Then they were liberated and re-established in Jerusalem. This story has been narrated in the Quran symbolically”.   Therefore, the central theme is not giving life to dead being, but giving life to a dead nation which is symbolically explained through a parable.

By the way, can you make a comment on my post in the following thread?  I would like to know you further thoughts after reading my comments (Courtesy of course Parwez :))http://quransmessage.com/forum/index.php?topic=197.0
The meaning which was lost in all our divisions will not be understood until our perceptions become untainted -  Allama Iqbal

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: four birds or four parts of the bird
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2012, 05:39:57 PM »
Salamun Alaikum Optimist,

With respect, my purpose is not to convince you. My purpose is to provide an argument based on the Quran and I elucidated my claims about qualification with two verses of the Quran citing examples (15:44, 43:15).

The word in Arabic is not 'portion', it is 'Juz'. They are not identical terms. My examples about cats was merely to give you an analogy in English and support my convictions established by the usage of 'juz' elsewhere in the Quran (15:44, 43:15). So what we may say about apples or coconuts in English in the 21st century is mute in the context of the Quranic usage of the word 'juz'.

Whether you find it convincing or not is entirely your prerogative :) Given the verse and the inherent meaning of 'Juz' in the context used, I find this to be the best explanation.

You have provided me no clear evidence why 'juz' implying cut is not the best explanation given the theme is resurrection and despite the Arabic words primary meaning to cut. Your only recourse is to suggest it means to resurrect nations based on 2:259 which is being contested as the parable in 2:260 is not explaining the parable in 2:259.

With respect, you keep missing this point about the parable. You are consistently citing 2:259 to establish the theme of the parables in 2:259 and 2:260. The theme of the parable is set in 2:258 which talks about general resurrection. Verse 2:259 and 2:260 are just separate parables explaining the theme of resurrection in two different ways.

It is clear to me from the posts hitherto, that you are going to support Parwez's arguments which I am happy to critically evaluate on this forum only if time permits (God willing). However, we are seeking best arguments and thus far you have given me no clear reason why 'resurrection of nations' is the theme and not 'resurrection' alone.

If you do not address this specific point further, please accept my post the last on this matter as I will sadly see no value in continuing this discourse with you on this topic.

As to your request for my comments on another thread, I will take a look in due course, time permitting God willing. Please appreciate, that this forum is for everyone to participate and in their own time.

With regards 'fasur', I have already explained what it means. Please see: Reply #3 and section 4 of this thread. However, please can you provide evidence from notable lexicon authorities for your definition that "siwaar means a herd of cattle: (which follows the shepherd’s call)". In my understanding of Arabic, suwar is plural of 'soorah' which is used in the Quran to signify a form or shape. (40:64, 64:3, 82:8'). It is also used in Arabic for a sparrow that answers or responds to a call.

I have discussed the root of this word in more detail in another article:

THE TRUMPET IS BLOWN OR IS IT?
http://quransmessage.com/articles/the%20trumpet%20is%20blown%20or%20is%20it%20FM3.htm

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

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Re: four birds or four parts of the bird
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2012, 10:50:08 PM »
4 - The Arabic word 'fasur' from the verb 'sara' means to 'incline' or to ‘lean’ something or to twist or turn something to get them to do what you want. Therefore, in this context it means to incline or to summon towards oneself. This would be necessary if they were to be summoned from different places after they have been portioned 'juz'. Otherwise why would they come towards him?

Similarly, on the Day of Reckoning, everything in the Universe will be summoned by God. 

Assalam alaikum,

Kindly consider our discussion as positive.  I do not want to impose my views on you just like you do not want to impose your views on me.  I touch my heart and tell you I am open to accepting your views if you can convince me.   I never blindly accept the views of any scholars.  That is why regarding the miracles issue I told you I can not answer your comments at the moment.  I am fully aware I am answerable to Allah for whatever posts I make here.  I can not even imagine misrepresenting anything.  No scholar is going to rescue me from Allah's questioning. 

Well, earlier I did not make any specific comment on this.   Since you have asked me to check this comment, I want to tell you the followings.   

I find the above explanation very strange.   I agree with you the Arabic word 'fasur' from the verb 'sara' means to 'incline' or to ‘lean’ something or to twist or turn something to get them to do what you want.  You yourself has mentioned suwar is used in Arabic for a sparrow that answers or responds to a call.  I had pointed out this meaning in my post.   So the contexual meaning you can not deny that fasurhunna means to make them so familiar that they come to us when called.  In other words, make them "incline" or "lean" towards us so that we can get them to do what we want (initially when we take birds they will be hesistant to incline towards us, and this shows the reason for the command fasurhunna).  The point is very clear. 

However, you are here saying that the contexual meaning is;  "in this context it means to incline or to summon towards oneself".   You further said "this would be necessary if they were to be summoned from different places after they have been portioned 'juz'."  My question is; how come they were to be summoned from different places after they haved been cut into pieces?  After prophet Ibrahim took the birds, they are with him.  If he had cut the four birds into pieces all the pieces of birds are still with him.   Are suggesting that the instruction for "fasurhunna ilayka" is after cutting the birds into pieces?  This is quite strange.  I am totally unable to understand what surhunna you are here referring to.   Are you referring to collecting the pieces of birds?  Then you will spoil the meaning of the word fasurhunna.   The issue of summoning is mentioned only after putting them on the mountains.   

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With respect, my purpose is not to convince you. My purpose is to provide an argument based on the Quran and I elucidated my claims about qualification with two verses of the Quran citing examples (15:44, 43:15)

With all respet to you, I politely disagree with your connecting verse 2.260 with 15:44 & 43:15 and making a case.   You may compare Verse 43:15 "And they assign to Him a part of His servants (as His children)"  وَجَعَلُوا لَهُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ جُزْءًا   with Minhunna Juzhan in 2.260 (from them a part).  Here the usage minhibadihi juzhan and minhunna juzhan actually support my case.  I can not find any logic in your arguement (explained to me through the example of the cats) that since the birds are catergoried as four birds (and assuming my case the birds are not cut into pieces),  it is nonsensible to mention "from them a part".   I have even verified with a few and asked them if we assume the birds are not cut into pieces, whether there is a gramatical error in the usage "minhunna juzhan" to denote "from the birds a part" and they told me there is no gramatical error.  The verse you pointed out "min hibadihi juzhan" for sure can not refer to pieces of Allah's servants.  Suppose imagine I have several grocery shops and I purchased 1000 pens and I requested my staff to put a part of them in every shops.  The only thing is that I am not specifying the number and my staff has the discretion to decide the number.  Your are implying by the example if Allah was referring to 4 birds,  Allah would be mentioning "put from them one, (two or three, etc) on every mountain".   Not really convincing, considering also the instruction for fasurhunna after taking four birds.   Please note, after the instruction for fasurhunna the immediate instruction is  ثُمَّ اجْعَلْ 'thereafter' put from them a portion at every mountain", no killing and cutting the birds into pieces is mentioned.  If cutting the birds into pieces was instructed it would have been mentioned after fasurhunna.  Actually fasurhunna loses its meaning if the birds are needed to be cut into pieces after they are caught.

Please take my comments positively.   I have started reading many of your posts here and I liked lot of your comments.  Please no harsh thoughts about me.  I am only politely disagreeing with you.

Assalamu alaikum
The meaning which was lost in all our divisions will not be understood until our perceptions become untainted -  Allama Iqbal

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: four birds or four parts of the bird
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2012, 11:49:22 PM »
Salamun Alaikum Optimist.

Thank you for your very pleasant demeanour in your post which I truly respect :)

The point of the parable in 2:260 is to show Prophet Abraham how God resurrects from the dead. This is clear from the question at the start "Show me, Lord, how You will raise the dead". So someone or something has to die in verse 2:260 for the parable to work. There is no use connecting 2:260 with verse 2:259 as verse 2:260 is a separate parable.

So my question is: So how do the birds die?

If the birds do not die, then there is no parable. Please try to understand my contention with your argument.

(1) He took four birds
(2) Made the birds respond to his call
(3) Put a portion / part 'Juz' of them on each mountain top / hill
(4) Then called them back
(5) They responded and came back to him

So how does this prove resurrection? Clearly between [2] and [3] there is an implied action. Otherwise, how do the birds die?

Remember, this is a parable that stands alone to prove resurrection.

Regards,
Joseph.

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

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: four birds or four parts of the bird
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2012, 07:41:29 AM »
4I touch my heart and tell you I am open to accepting your views if you can convince me.   I never blindly accept the views of any scholars.  That is why regarding the miracles issue I told you I can not answer your comments at the moment.  I am fully aware I am answerable to Allah for whatever posts I make here.  I can not even imagine misrepresenting anything.  No scholar is going to rescue me from Allah's questioning. 

On a side note, I wanted to point out this great sentiment MashAllah of Optimist's which we should all (including me first) be conscious of at all times. We should always be receptive to a better argument and not follow blindly the views of anyone. In the end, we are all answerable to God alone. Reminders like this are good for everyone.

017.036
"And do not follow that of which you have no knowledge. Indeed! the hearing and the sight and the heart - of each of these you will be questioned"

I felt it was worth pointing out separately. Thanks for sharing.

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

Offline optimist

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Re: four birds or four parts of the bird
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2012, 10:48:29 PM »
Assalamu alaikum,

Thank for your above two posts.   Let me ask you only one question;
 
What is the relevance of  the discussion about a ruined city in verse 2.259  and the exclamation how come this ruined and destroyed city could be ever resurrected to life again after its death?

I look forward to your answer before making any further comments

Kind regards
The meaning which was lost in all our divisions will not be understood until our perceptions become untainted -  Allama Iqbal

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: four birds or four parts of the bird
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2012, 02:31:25 AM »
Salamun Alaikum Optimist,

The parable attempts to show through the narrative one of the ways God resurrects from the dead.

To show this example to an individual before the Day of Judgment, something out of the ordinary must have to happen. Sleeping for a 100 years is not ordinary (2:259), neither is sleeping for an extended number of years as in the narratives of Surah Kahf, ordinary. These are extraordinary events.

Now if:

[A] One does not want to accept that God can temporarily suspend / alter / interfere with the laws He himself has created as and when 'He so wills' to manifest a particular truth, then not only do we deny God's attributes such as "He does what He wills",  "He will not be questioned as to that which He does", "When He decrees a matter, He only says "BE!" and is" we also limit God's capacity and have to find imaginative ways to avoid the literal testimony of the Quran and turn it into riddles to explain it.

Dear brother, as I trust you will agree, turning the Quran into riddles or attempting semantic gymnastics (as I have noted some others do) to explain a literal narrative of the Quran goes against its own testimony that the 'Quran has no crookedness" (18:1) and that it is easy to understand.

If we simply accept that [A] is possible and that God can 'suspend' His laws IF he so Wills, then literal interpretations become easier.

In my humble opinion, this is the crux of the matter. Some just do not want to accept [A].

Now as I accept [A], I accept the clear literal testimony of the Arabic words revealed by God that:

(i)    Man passed by a town in ruins
(ii)   He questioned how any of what he saw could be raised again (a question of resurrection - which is the central theme which the parable attempts to elucidate)
(iii)  He was then put to sleep for a 100 years [extraordinary event]
(iv)  He was awoken [extraordinary event]
(v)   He questioned to himself how long he had slept
(v)   To make him realise how long he had slept, he was inclined to look at his food and drink which were fresh and the ass which were by now bones (due to the 100 years).

If he could be awoken after such an unnatural period of time, then God can clearly resurrect the dead. If there was nothing extraordinary in the events, then the 'extra ordinary question regarding resurrection' becomes futile.

Now I have elaborated this literal understanding in another thread. Please see: 

http://quransmessage.com/forum/index.php?topic=257.0

...and reply #11.

However, I think the most important question is:

Are we willing to accept [A] or not? If we are not, then I humbly feel there is no point of continuing this discussion as on this point, you and I will be arguing from mutually exclusive theological positions.

With utmost respect,
Joseph.

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

Offline optimist

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Re: four birds or four parts of the bird
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2012, 01:21:19 PM »
Now if:

[A] One does not want to accept that God can temporarily suspend / alter / interfere with the laws He himself has created as and when 'He so wills' to manifest a particular truth, then not only do we deny God's attributes such as "He does what He wills",  "He will not be questioned as to that which He does", "When He decrees a matter, He only says "BE!" and is" we also limit God's capacity and have to find imaginative ways to avoid the literal testimony of the Quran and turn it into riddles to explain it.

Dear brother, as I trust you will agree, turning the Quran into riddles or attempting semantic gymnastics (as I have noted some others do) to explain a literal narrative of the Quran goes against its own testimony that the 'Quran has no crookedness" (18:1) and that it is easy to understand.

If we simply accept that [A] is possible and that God can 'suspend' His laws IF he so Wills, then literal interpretations become easier.

In my humble opinion, this is the crux of the matter. Some just do not want to accept [A].

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However, I think the most important question is:

Are we willing to accept [A] or not? If we are not, then I humbly feel there is no point of continuing this discussion as on this point, you and I will be arguing from mutually exclusive theological positions.

With utmost respect,
Joseph.

Wa alaikumussalam,

This is a very interesting dicussion.   Brother, can you read the following link related this issue and provide me your comments (I am patient to wait if you need time).  I believe it will a learning process for me and you might be coming across with a  different analysis to make a scrutiny.  Thank you for your patience.  This is from Kitabu taqdeer by parwez and there are actually different chapters relevant, but I am requesting you at the moment only this chapter.

http://www.tolueislam.org/Parwez/kt/kt_10.htm

Thanks & kind regards

Allah bless you
The meaning which was lost in all our divisions will not be understood until our perceptions become untainted -  Allama Iqbal