Dear brother, words are the basis of any language. From words we make sentences which convey what we want to convey. Same words when used in certain forms with certain other words carry different meanings and connotations. Arabic is no different in this general sense. Tasreef-ul-Ayaat is a very potent way to decipher certain words and phrases which may not be clear otherwise and/or may have diverse meanings. This way, God unveils divers meanings and shades of various terms and terminologies in Quran for our understanding. This however does not provide a license to replace established, understood, and well-fitted meanings in a clear and unambiguous statement with meanings and statements ambiguous and/or unclear. Further, no tasreef meanings are valid unless supported by the context.
You wrote: “The Qur’an can only be interpreted given an accurate understanding of the Arabic idiom in the Prophet’s time.”
I agree with the above with some qualifications. If the dialect and the language of Prophet’s time is still in existence today, then its idioms are also in existence today. It is also captured in classical dictionaries. Idioms are mostly used to say certain things in a roundabout way, not directly. This creates beauty in a language but may also create confusion and thus is generally avoided in established verses containing orders/injunctions and commandments. For example, in English, saying “Be honest” is more accurate than saying “honesty is the best policy,” if used as an injunction.
You wrote: Every individual Muslim has the right not only of a literal but also of a symbolic and analytical interpretation.
That is what I am doing. You may enlighten me if I have deviated from it.
You wrote: The bases of interpretation are the underlying principles (Usool), and not the minutiae or details (Furoo) derived therefrom or the verses in the Qur’an referring to specific historical situations.
I believe I have not brought any minute details in my discussion so far. Historical events are for us to take lessons from and to understand why certain things happened the way they did.
You wrote: "Lughat-ul-Quran is a dictionary and that’s what all it is! It will provide you with both literal and when applicable, figurative meanings. It also provides you how the words and understanding are used in verses with some having literal meanings where it should have been figurative –such example are found in - falling on face versus being humble, turn your faces towards versus focus your mind/attention/mission, and such."
I agree with most of what you wrote, but not with “…such example are found in - falling on face versus being humble, turn your faces towards versus focus your mind/attention/mission, and such.” This is what Allama Parwez on p. 846, Urdu Lughat, writes:
“physical movements of Qiam, Ruku, and Sujood in Salat (Nimaz) are manifestations of this fact. Example (Surah Nissa, where order for Salat is given in war, it is said) that one group stand behind the messenger of Allah, Faitha Sajadoo (4:102), “Then when they have prostrated,” then this group fall behind and the other group do Nimaz. It is clear that here “Sajida” is the physical Sajida in which a person puts his head physically as done in Nimaz, and that this form/shape was in practice during the time of prophet and the revelation of Quran.”
Thus, it is obvious that I am using well established meanings for Salat/Nimaz and Sujood as advocated above by Allama Parwez. You and brother Jawaid disagree with this without any evidence and keep pressing for no rituals in Quran, yet claiming you take Allama Parwez’s meanings???
You wrote: "You are cherry-picking extracts from the Lughat to fit your understanding in an attempt to justify your points, while ignoring other references. The Lughat, on the contrary, declares: “This shows that qiblah is actually the symbol of a way of life or Deen and following the qiblah means to follow a particular way of life.”
No, I am not, rather you guys are mixing both clear speech and figurative speech, making clear speech figurative as well. No interpretation is valid which goes against the context. The phrase that you are using above is from p. 1325 of Lughat and could possibly be a part of figurative speech. In this context, the preceding word to Qibla is “Ita’ba Qibla= to follow Qibla” which can possibly be rendered as a figurative speech. However, the Qibla in 2:142-4 is not a figurative speech. It was/is the Qibla towards which one faces while praying. Allama Parwez mentions this on p. 1325: “Its manifest form is to face Ka’ba during Salat.” But accepting this will not fit with your assertion that “no rituals in quran.” Thus, you are forced to declare “clear speech” as “figurative speech.” This is erroneous and amounts to bending clear verses as per outside and preconceived notions.
You wrote: “ ‘Typical day-to-day’ is not what the Quran is directing us to do. It is asking to remain focused perpetually on the mission and goal of uniting mankind by following the Divine commands of the Quran. Salat is not the Persian Namaz or any physical action of worship that you are trying to rationalize that Muslims are required to perform facing the Ka’bah. Salat is following the divine teachings and commands of the Quran, and remaining focused (Qibla) towards the central goal of unity of mankind. The symbol that represents this unity is Ka’bah, as it was first erected by Ibrahim (s) and Ismaeel (S).”
This is another misconception and need be clarified. Salat is mandatory at fixed times, not all the times. Remembering God and His commands are mandatory all the times under all circumstances. Salat helps to bring about the latter.
Persian Nimaz is a term coined rather very recently to confuse Muslims not to do their Salat. Another Persian word is Roza, which is commonly used by Urdu speaking people in place of Saum/fasting. Would you advocate Roza is not a physical action/ritual either because Urdu speaking people borrowed the term from Persians and Bukhari wrote about it?
[2:142]: The foolish (of little understanding) among the people will say, "What has turned THEM away from their qiblah, they were upon?" Say, "To Allah belongs the east and the west. He guides whom He wills to a straight path."
In response to my Q1, you picked “C=Muslims” who are referred as “THEM” in 2:142. It is clear that Muslims changed their Qibla in 2:142. It must be a physical action which foolish people saw happening, and God predicted their reaction. But in response to my Q3, you named the Qibla in Q1 to be Jerusalem? Confusion all around.
Then you go on to direct me to Br. Jawaid for my other questions. Please see my response to him.
You wrote: “On Bukhari, subversions and conspiracies of such magnitude and enormity had to be state-sponsored in order to get hold of the masses. Do you need to be reminded of the Pauline doctrine, of the “Nicene Creed”? The bishops at Nicea in 325CE voted to make the full deity of Christ as the accepted position of the church, and it was enforced by the Roman Emperor Constantine. That moment marked the birth of trinitarianism. What makes you think it would not have been possible to canonize Namaz based on the tales spun by Bukhari?”
First, what evidence do you have to suggest that Bukhari’s subversions were adopted by a Muslim state? Do you find equivalent of “The bishops at Nicea in 325CE” and “the Roman Emperor Constantine” with reference to Islam and Muslims? Just saying “had to be” does not cut it. If you know with certainty much older happenings in Christianity, you should know relatively recent subversions in Islam with the same certainty if not greater?
Second, you want me to believe in the fiction that Muslims were doing no Nimaz until Bukhari came along in 3rd century AH? He first made up some stories related to Salat, called it a Nimaz, and then banded with some “muslim state” to enforce nonexistent ritual prayer on Muslims en masse East to West, North to South? Muslims en masse dutifully followed the commands of their rulers and started praying, doing Nimaz, five times a day, constructing masajids, and thus, participated in this subversive activity? The most powerful states cannot even run their computers on a single program in any given country what to talk of making people do rituals en masse. Dear brother, no dialogue, no conversation is possible when people are so consumed in fiction and conspiracy theories.
I will take up Surah 9 when get sometime under a different thread.
Lastly, you wrote: “What you need is an urgent refresher on some of the books in the QXP library: - The Criminals of Islam – By Dr Shabbir Ahmed …”
Yes, indeed, I am grateful to Dr. Sahib. It was the “dual Islam” which I studied first some 15-16 years back. It brought me out of my ignorance and I never looked back since then. Much gratitude to Dr. Sahib. May God grant him long and healthy life.