I am eternally indebted to those who translated Parwez Saab’s dictionary of the Quran into English. The “hue of Allah” is beautifully explained here, as is also done by Dr Saab who is able to put complex issues into a nutshell; great minds are a blessing for us all:-
Saad, beh, ghain
As sabgh: means basically to produce change : and change: as sabgh and as sibaagh mean anything with which a cloth or something else is colored: sabaghas saub means to color cloth: as sabbaagh: means a man who colors cloth: kazzaab: one who colors his talk: as sibghah: the method of coloring: also means Deen or nation.**
Sabagha yadahu bil maa’i: he dipped his hand into the water (for coloring the cloth): sabagha fulanun fin naeem: so and so man was flooded with benefits:
*Taj and Muheet **Taj
curry is also called sibgh because bread (roti) is dipped into it for eating: *23:20 for Baptism the Christians dip their children into water: or spread color on them: this is called sibgha or istibaagh: *
The Qur’an says: sibghatil laahi aman ahsanu minal laahi sibghah: 2:138 Allah’s color: what other color can be so purifying and beautifying: but what is sibghatullah? The rest of the ayat seems to answer the question: nahnu lahu aabedoon: 2:138 i.e. to adopt fully the laws of God; the way color permeates the warp and weft of the cloth and completely changes it (its color): therefore by homogenizing with God’s laws there is a basic change in human life and the change permeates his blood and he becomes a completely ‘different’ man: that is, his latent capabilities start becoming developed and Godly traits begin to be reflected in him: and just like God’s opposing traits never clash with each other but are quite balanced, so those opposing traits also begin to be found in man with complete balance: but this thing is possible only within a society(not in isolation): therefore sibghatuullah(the color of God) is not something which can be attained in isolation or through spiritual meditation in some hideout: it is the name of living a life in Qur’anic society,that is, in a society based on Qur’anic laws : nahnu lahu musalimoona nahnu lahu aabidoon: 2:138 and their result is ‘sibghatullaah’: Ibn Qateebah says it means the Deen of Allah**.
Related to this:-
Siin, beh, qaf
Sabq basically means to get ahead in a race; then it began to be used to mean exceed in everything; got ahead of him; sabaqa rasulul lahi wa salla abu Bakar: first Hazrat Muhammed SAW left the world and behind (after him) him, Hazrat Abu Bakar left the world;
As sabaw: is the prize which is given to the winner of any race or horse race.**
Istabaqal baab: 12:25 both of them leaped towards the door with each trying to go out ahead of the other; **
Muheet says if this word is followed by Ala then the thing which goes ahead or comes first is harmful and if it is followed by a laam then the thing is beneficial as in: sabaqat lahum minnal husna 21:101 pleasantness welcomed them from Our side and went forward to greet them;
Surah Naqarah says fastabaqul khairaat: 2:148 try to surpass one another in good work or work which is pleasant; phychologically it is believed that to get ahead is a motivating force in man; it is the catalyst of competition and the desire to get ahead is one which keeps a man busy no end; the Qur’an also makes concessions for this human emotion and wants to develop it, but the Qur’an changes its direction; it says instead of getting ahead of others for personal gain, try to excel one another in things which bring happiness to others; this will not only satisfy your desire (to get ahead) but will also not create the chaos in society which would have occurred due to unbridled ambition.
In surah Hijr this word ‘tasbiqu’ has appeared to mean ‘yastakhir’ (to fall behind);15:5 and at another place mutaqdemeen has appeared as against mustaakhireen: 15:24
*Raghib **Taj **Muheet
Therefore, sabaqun istikhaaratun means the opposite of falling behind and the same as istiqadaam i.e. to move forward; surah Waqiah says: musbooqeen: 56:60 i.e. maghloobun: the one who is surpassed.
Surah Ambia says: innal lazeeena sabaqat lahum minnal husna: 21:101 this is taken to mean those for whom already Our blessings have come: i.e. God has already destined as to who will do good deeds and who will do evil deeds: this concept is against the Qur’an: the law which God has formulated beforehand is as to which deed will produce good results and which deeds will produce bad results; and thereafter He has given man the right to choose as to the sort of deed he wants to adopt ( and get the result according to his deeds): the surah mentioned above therefore means that those who take the right path will have pleasantness (because the result of such deeds is such) and this thing has been predetermined: We have not merely adopted this principle simply for them.
Surah Hadeed says: saabequ ila maghferatin mir rabbikum….57:21 try to outdo each other in going towards (asking for) your Rab’s forgiveness.