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Offline Shahmatt

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On the signs of Prophet Muhammad and the angels of Badr
« on: May 31, 2013, 05:56:32 PM »
Dear Joseph Islam,

I refer to the article on the prophet's miracles:

http://quransmessage.com/articles/prophet%27s%20miracles%20FM3.htm

According to the Quran 3:123 to 128, the narrative seems to describe angels sent to assist the Apostle's force.

The Quran seems to suggest in 3:124, that the prophet had said: "Is it not enough For you that God should help you With three thousand angels (Specially) sent down?", i.e. pointing to a seemingly miraculous event.

Can you please explain if the angels of Badr described here constitute a miraculous event, and if so, how is this consistent with the argument that the prophet received no signs aside from the Quran itself?

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: On the signs of Prophet Muhammad and the angels of Badr
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2013, 06:08:32 PM »
Dear Shahmatt,

May peace be with you.

'Nasarakum' (helped you) is a plural address, better translated in the Archaic English style 'helped ye'. As you have noted, verse 3.124 also clearly shows that the angels were sent for all believers. This was not an event exclusively for the Prophet.

There are many verses in the Quran that attest to the fact that angels carry out many tasks by Divine command. If angels didn't carry out tasks on Earth, then one could possibly argue otherwise.

I hope that helps, God willing.
Joseph.
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

Offline Shahmatt

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Re: On the signs of Prophet Muhammad and the angels of Badr
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2013, 07:04:54 AM »
Thank you for the reply.

Can you please point out to me another event during the prophet's lifetime where angels are alleged to have performed tasks?

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: On the signs of Prophet Muhammad and the angels of Badr
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2013, 01:49:28 PM »
Dear Shahmatt,

May peace be with you.

You said:

Can you please point out to me another event during the prophet's lifetime where angels are alleged to have performed tasks?


As I have already respectfully shared, angels of God are continuously carrying out duties on Earth with God's will. Therefore, I do not find the angelic involvement during the Prophet’s like remarkable.


ON EARTH

  • They descend with the command of God (19:64)
  • The Quran clearly recognises a 'heavenly exalted assembly' ('mala-i-l-ala' (37:08)) who are also possibly tasked with decrees (97:4).The prophet is only informed of these assemblies through Divine revelation. (38:70)
  • They carry out tasks including inspiring bondmen to warn others (16:2)
  • They hasten in fulfilling their roles and they regulate the affairs (by command of their Lord) (79:3-5)
  • They do not flinch from executing commands (66:6) and obey God (16:49)
  • They all know their positions and arrangement in ranks for service (37:164-166)
  • They bring revelation and reminders (dhikran) (77:5)
  • They bring the criterion (furqan) (77:4)
  • They act as messengers (22:75)
  • They drive winds and regulate the affairs (77:1-3)
  • They take away human souls at the point of death (6:61, 32:11, 8:50)
  • They guard humans in various situations (13:11, 82:10 - hafiza)
  • They record events (82:10, 50:17-18), and by inference the deepest thoughts (86:9). They know all that we do (82:12)
  • They can manifest in human form (2:102, 11:69-70, 11:77, 20:33-34) as can the spirit (19:7)
  • They can inflict punishment and destruction by God's command (20:33-34)
  • They transit between an earthly plane and otherwise (70:4)
  • They can inspire / give information (3:39, 3:45-46). Servants know that this information is by God's will (3:47 - Note Mary's direct response to God and not the angels)
  • They have been sent to assist believers during affliction and war (3:125)
  • They pray for believers and righteous folk on earth (40:7, 33:43)
  • They have been implicitly involved throughout creation. They regulate the affairs (79:5) which God ordained with the creation of the heavens and the earth (10:3)


ON THE DAY OF JUDGEMENT

  • They will set the ranks (89:22, 37:165)
  • There will be eight angels who will bear the 'arsh' of God (69:17)
  • They will be questioned and will expose the sins of human souls (34:41)
  • They will guard Hell (66:6) and are nineteen in number (74:30)
  • They will welcome believers and the righteous in paradise (13:23-24)

Belief in the angels and by inference, what God relates about them in the Quran is an essential part of faith (2:285).

I hope that clarifies, God willing.

Regards,
Joseph.


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

Offline Wakas

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Re: On the signs of Prophet Muhammad and the angels of Badr
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2013, 01:55:19 PM »
peace,

Thank you for the reply.

Can you please point out to me another event during the prophet's lifetime where angels are alleged to have performed tasks?

You may find the following interesting:

#####


fa idriboo fawqa al-aAAnaqi wa idriboo minhum kulla bananin = so strike above/over the necks, and strike from them every/each finger/extremity.
[8:12]

Some use "smite". Translators are divided when it comes to the issue of who is being addressed by this command, even though the verse itself clearly states who is being addressed at the start, and that is the angels/controllers. In terms of what is more likely, it should be noted that this verse is likely addressed to the controllers than to the believers, due to the Arabic construction (i.e. no obvious break in addressee throughout and the first "fa" refers to the controllers, thus the second "fa" most likely does also) and it is in the imperative mood, meaning it is a command to be followed. Thus, it is impractical and illogical to command all believers when in battle to strike above/over the necks and each/every finger from the enemy. Especially since there is no need for doing both! Therefore it more likely refers to the controllers, as we shall now examine:

When your Lord inspires* to the angels/controllers** “I am with you so keep firm those who believed. I shall cast terror into the hearts/minds*** of those who reject; so strike above/over the necks, and strike from them every/each finger/extremity.” [8:12]

*imperfect tense, i.e. an action in the process of being done.
**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.
 ***qalb is often used like the English word "heart", meaning the physical organ, but more often for the locus of feelings/intuitions etc.

The verse seems to imply then: God will instil/cast terror into the heart/minds of those who reject, and then nature's forces take their course, resulting in affecting anything above the neck, e.g. the throat/mind/thoughts/senses/breathing and limbs/fingers of the rejecters, i.e. likely causing impairment of their performance. Instilling a sense of terror/fear in someone often results in their mind/thoughts/senses being affected/paralysed, and often results in trembling/shaking, especially transferring to the hands, which would likely result in weak fighting skills (swordsmanship or accuracy of arrows) when in battle. It is also interesting to note that when someone is fearful or anxious/nervous, their throat often becomes dry and precipitates an involuntary gulp reaction, i.e. a manifestation of fear/anxiety. Physical manifestations of anxiety: trouble concentrating, feeling like your mind's gone blank, dizziness, shortness of breath, muscle tension, fatigue, headaches (source).

The above understanding may also help clarify the confusion some translators have about 8:17 on who really did the defeating and who really did the casting (Arabic: rama, root: Ra-Miim-Ya). As it likely refers to the use of "cast" (Arabic: olqee, root: Lam-Qaf-Ya) done by God in 8:12. Also see 33:26 for comparison. Interestingly, if we take "rama" to mean "throw or cast" as in arrows or pebbles in 8:17 as done by some translators, then obviously the believers did not strike above the necks and each finger, making this interpretation even less likely. As is common, there are conflicting accounts between the traditional tafsirs on 8:17 and what was thrown, e.g. Asbab Al-Nuzul by Al-Wahidi (arrow), and Tafsir al-Jalalayn (pebbles), and Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs (dust). See M.Asad's note on 8:17 which mentions several possible explanations.
Interestingly, some traditional interpretations take 8:12 to mean the "angels" literally struck off the necks in battle (but neglect to mention the fingers!), but if this was the case, then there would be little need for 8:17 to re-affirm who really did the defeating, i.e. God, as it would be rather obvious. To resolve this problem, some say just as the believers were to strike the necks with their swords the heads of the enemy would fall off, and this was the angels at work! It is a fanciful explanation, but again, they neglect to mention the fingers, or the logic of this application. Thus, the division amongst translators as to whom the command refers is likely related to their misunderstanding of DRB, hence their awkward explanations.

To conclude, 8:12 is addressed to the controllers, and DRB does not mean a literal/physical "strike" e.g. by sword, as is commonly understood, unless taken metaphorically. Thus, may be better rendered as "put forth" or "put into commotion" in these two occurrences.

Offline Shahmatt

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Re: On the signs of Prophet Muhammad and the angels of Badr
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2013, 05:22:56 PM »
Joseph Islam, thanks very much for the references.

@ Waqas, that is an interesting interpretation, thanks very much!