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Offline ahmad

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What is the wisdom behind the structure of the Quran ?
« on: September 06, 2013, 01:08:10 PM »
How is the Quran structured ?

For instance, does verse 3:7 describe this structure ?

[3:7] Saheeh International
It is He who has sent down to you, [O Muhammad], the Book; in it are verses [that are] precise - they are the foundation of the Book - and others unspecific. As for those in whose hearts is deviation [from truth], they will follow that of it which is unspecific, seeking discord and seeking an interpretation [suitable to them]. And no one knows its [true] interpretation except Allah. But those firm in knowledge say, "We believe in it. All [of it] is from our Lord." And no one will be reminded except those of understanding.


Is there coherence in the Quran ?

Thanks in advance

Offline Ismail

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Re: What is the wisdom behind the structure of the Quran ?
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2013, 07:49:08 PM »
As for the present structure of Al Qur'an, we can say that it is reasonable.

For example:

Verse 2: 23 says: "If you are in doubt regarding what We have sent down, then bring a sura of the like thereof..."

Now if you look at the present structure of the Book, we find a small complete sura Al Fathiha in the Book before the 2nd sura wherein is this verse.

Verse 11: 13 says: "... then bring ten similar (but) forged suras..."

Now if we look at the Quran as it is today, we will see that before this verse which is in the 11th sura, we have obviously ten, and only ten divinely revealed suras. 

Offline Saba

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Re: What is the wisdom behind the structure of the Quran ?
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2013, 11:59:44 PM »
Salaam everyone.

This is a great read by Mustansir Mir - Coherence in the Qur'an.

http://yassarnalquran.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/mustansir-mir-coherence-quran.pdf


Saba  :D 8)


Offline Ismail

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Re: What is the wisdom behind the structure of the Quran ?
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2013, 07:17:26 AM »
Salaam.

Also thanks to Saba for:

http://yassarnalquran.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/mustansir-mir-coherence-quran.pdf

which is a must-read.

In this respect I would like to add that Islahi has drawn on the secondary sources themselves to show that stoning to death was never intended as a punishment for adultery.

Regards,
A. Ismail Sait.

Thus, our so called ulema feel completely paralyzed and quite at a loss to bring in any relevant proof against Islahi on this subject.

Offline Ismail

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Re: What is the wisdom behind the structure of the Quran ?
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2013, 11:43:11 AM »
Salaam.

Perhaps the following insight throws some faint light on the wisdom of the sequence of the verses in the Revelation as it has been received by us:

The first mention of cohabitation with “what your right hands possess” appears in 4: 3.

The phrase appears again in 4: 24. 

THE CONDITIONS FOR SUCH COHABITATION are mentioned in the next verse: 4: 25.

Altogether the phrase is mentioned in 15 places in the Qur'an.

All the rest, 12 in number, are mentioned only after the explanatory verse 4: 25.   

They are:

4: 36, 16: 71, 23: 6, 24: 31, 24: 33, 24: 58, 30: 28, 33: 50, 33: 50, 33: 52, 33: 55, 70: 30.

Regards,
A. Ismail Sait.

Offline Ismail

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Re: What is the wisdom behind the structure of the Quran ?
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2013, 07:03:17 PM »
Salaam.

Verse 4:25 is related to Verse 24:32.

Moreover, there is more to Verse 4:25 than meets the eye.

So I thought, and wrote the following article: (I request the honorable moderator and members of this forum to honor me with their studied comments.)

4:25:
“And he who does not have the means wherewith to wed free believing women, they may wed believing girls from among those whom your right hands posses. And Allah has full knowledge about your faith. You are one from another: Wed them with the leave of their owners, and give them their dowers, according to what is reasonable: they should be chaste, not fornicators, nor taking adulterous.  However, after they have been taken in wedlock, if they commit obscenity, their punishment is half that of free married women. This is for those who fear undue botheration. And it is better for you if you would exercise patience. God is Very Forgiving, Consistently merciful.”   

There are a lot of gross discrepancies in the traditional interpretation of 4:25:

Regarding: “This is for those who fear undue botheration”: 

Here the word “this” is taken by the traditional exegetes to mean the permission (not encouragement) to marry believing slave girls. That is to say, (according to the traditional interpretation,) this permission to marry believing slave girls is for those who, lacking in the wherewithal to marry free women, fear that they may commit unlawful sex if they do not marry soon.

This interpretation also means that they have translated the word that I have here taken to mean “undue botheration”, to mean unlawful sex.

But the fact is that this permission or encouragement to marry slave girls is mentioned in the verse much before the mention of “This is for those who fear undue botheration”. In between there are intervening narratives: 
Examine the verse again:

“And he who does not have the means wherewith to wed free believing women, they may wed believing girls from among those whom your right hands posses. And Allah has full knowledge about your faith. You are one from another: Wed them with the leave of their owners, and give them their dowers, according to what is reasonable: they should be chaste, not fornicators, nor taking adulterous.  However, after they have been taken in wedlock, if they commit obscenity, their punishment is half that of free married women. This is for those who fear undue botheration. And it is better for you if you would exercise patience. God is Very Forgiving, Consistently merciful. “

Finally, after the command to exercise lenience regarding the punishment of slave girls we have: “(Even) this (lenient punishment of only 50 lashes) is (only meant) for (the satisfaction of) those who fear undue botheration.  And it is better for you if you would exercise patience. God is Very Forgiving, Consistently merciful.   

In other words, in the verse, way after permission to marry believing slave girls, we have the command to show lenience to the slave girls who commit obscenity after entering into such wedlock. Soon after this command to show lenience, we have: “This is for those who fear undue botheration”. This is followed by the clarification that it is better to be patient (thus remitting even this half punishment).

From the above mentioned discussion, we understand that the verse 4:25 does not corroborate the meaning pedaled by the traditionists that permission to marry believing slave girls is only for those who fear that they have run out of patience regarding their modesty!

The traditional interpretation will also mean that you are not in any way encouraged, but rather just permitted to marry believing slave girls! And that too only in case you fear that you could no more control yourselves!

First of all, this sounds like saying that believing slave girls are rather inferior!
This diametrically contradicts 24:32, wherein marriage of reformed slave girls is encouraged.

What is the message such an interpretation has for the young men belonging to our twenty first century?

That in this modern age we do not have such divinely ordained easy facility to marry! Either, Allah is biased against us, or we must conclude that the shari’a does have some alternative for us. Otherwise it will be taken for granted that we do have a special privilege that Allah will certainly remit our commitment of obscenities to a considerable extent! 

Once this message sinks in, Western culture will altogether overwhelm the Muslim World. All importance will be attached to mere (religious) symbols. And shedding of blood for the sake of religious symbols will dominate world politics. Integrity of character will become archaic.

But if it is the punishment of the slave girl is what Qur’an means, then the squalid state of life that used to be the lot of those girls and the great struggle and patience that was needed for their redemption will become apparent.

Regards,
A. Ismail Sait. 

Offline Truth Seeker

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Re: What is the wisdom behind the structure of the Quran ?
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2013, 10:36:53 PM »
Salaam All,

God does tell us that He arranges the verses in order so there is logic in the Quran's compilation.

Welcome to the forum Ismail and I am glad that you are posting your thoughts here. I notice that regarding 4.25, you say that there are gross discrepancies.

Please can you tell me what you think that verse should actually read in terms of translation or are you saying that the verse is implying that marrying slave girls is only encouraged if a man is unable to marry free believing women.

Also if a woman commits an indecent act, she is punishable regardless of her being a slave or not, although the former has half the punishment.


Thanks

Offline Ismail

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Re: What is the wisdom behind the structure of the Quran ?
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2013, 06:26:16 PM »
Salaam.

Q:  Please can you tell me what you think that verse should actually read in terms of translation?

Ans:  In terms of translation, I have already attempted a draft translation which you find in my article. Some of the words therein are borrowed. Especially, the sentence: “This is for those who fear undue botheration is mine. So also some more.

Q:  Are you saying that the verse is implying that marrying slave girls is only encouraged if a man is unable to marry free believing women.

Ans:  The natural or traditional, or more convenient preference (that of preferring free women over slave women for marriage is not discouraged.

But in case free women are not affordable according to the conventions obtaining in those days in Arabia, God reminds them that there is no compunction in marrying suitable, believing slave women.

That means preferring free women is no t being encouraged either.

Clearly, freedom of choice is neither being scuttled nor curtailed. For, marriage is a lifelong holy commitment to cohabit until, in the words of the marrying couple: “death does us apart”! - A Tough or Durable Covenant, according to 4:21. Therefore, clear, responsible, thoughtful, unfettered choice is indispensable, and so divinely granted. 

I think nobody can disagree that in an environment of utter contempt and disregard for slaves, the stage is being set for them to be drawn into mainstream life, according to 4:25.

It is not that “marrying slave girls is only encouraged if a man is unable to marry free believing women”.

They are only being reminded that if non affordability is the only constraint keeping you from lawful conjugal bliss, then throw all jahliyya conventions to the winds, and opt for a believing slave girl of your choice, for, such a choice is not at all a detestable thing.

This is quite in accordance with 49:13:
“… (Not that you may despise each other). Verily, the most honored of you in the sight of God is he (who is) the most righteous of you…”

And, in 24:32, we have the clarion call to pay special attention to the marriage of slave girls.

Q:  Also if a woman commits an indecent act, she is punishable regardless of her being a slave or not, although the former has half the punishment.

Ans:  Slave girls or slave women have some inevitable considerations, because they were living below the level of human dignity.

For exampleVerse 4:25, and also Verse 24:33:

“… And force not your maids to prostitution… compels them (to prostitution), then, after such compulsion, Allah is Very forgiving, Most Merciful.”.

42:40: “And the recompense for an evil is an evil like thereof. But whoever forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from Allah…” 

2:178: “…in cases of murder….but if a remission is made by the brother of the slain,…This is a concession and a Mercy from your Lord…”.

Interestingly, the mention of this very great remission is mentioned much before 4:25.

Regards,
A. Ismail Sait.

Offline Ismail

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Re: What is the wisdom behind the structure of the Quran ?
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2013, 06:52:07 PM »
The following is the corrected version of the above.
Salaam.

Q:  Please can you tell me what you think that verse should actually read in terms of translation?

Ans:  In terms of translation, I have already attempted a draft translation which you find in my article. Some of the words therein are borrowed. Especially, the sentence: “This is for those who fear undue botheration” is mine. So also some more.

Q:  Are you saying that the verse is implying that marrying slave girls is only encouraged if a man is unable to marry free believing women.

Ans:  The natural or traditional, or more convenient preference (that of preferring free women over slave women for marriage is not discouraged.

But in case free women are not affordable according to the conventions obtaining in those days in Arabia, God reminds them that there is no compunction in marrying suitable, believing slave women.

That means preferring free women, is not being encouraged either. 

Clearly, freedom of choice is neither being scuttled nor curtailed. For, marriage is a lifelong holy commitment to cohabit until, in the words of the marrying couple: “death does us apart”! - A Tough or Durable Covenant, according to 4:21. Therefore, clear, responsible, thoughtful, unfettered choice is indispensable, and so divinely granted.
Moreover, we notice that a compulsion to marry slave women was not at all necessary in order to salvage them. Otherwise it would have been ordained.

I think nobody can disagree that in an environment of utter contempt and disregard for slaves, the stage is being set for them to be drawn into mainstream life, according to 4:25.

It is not that “marrying slave girls is only encouraged if a man is unable to marry free believing women”.

They are only being reminded that if non affordability is the only constraint keeping you from lawful conjugal bliss, then throw all jahliyya conventions to the winds, and opt for a believing slave girl of your choice, for, such a choice is not at all a detestable thing.

This is quite in accordance with 49:13:
“… (Not that you may despise each other). Verily, the most honored of you in the sight of God is he (who is) the most righteous of you…”

And, in 24:32, we have the clarion call to pay special attention to the marriage of slave girls.

Q:  Also if a woman commits an indecent act, she is punishable regardless of her being a slave or not, although the former has half the punishment.

Ans:  Slave girls or slave women have some inevitable considerations, because they were living below the level of human dignity.

For exampleVerse 4:25, and also Verse 24:33:

“… And force not your maids to prostitution… compels them (to prostitution), then, after such compulsion, Allah is Very forgiving, Most Merciful.”.

42:40: “And the recompense for an evil is an evil like thereof. But whoever forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from Allah…” 

2:178: “…in cases of murder….but if a remission is made by the brother of the slain,…This is a concession and a Mercy from your Lord…”. Both free and slave, men as well as women, are included in the meaning of 2:178.

Interestingly, the mention of this very great remission is there much before 4:25.

Regards,
A. Ismail Sait.