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MEEZAN - Preamble - Part 30 - Principles of Understanding Quran - Javed Ahmed Ghamidi

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    Meezan - Tadabbur-e Quran
    (Understanding the Quran)
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    Topic: Intentionality of words, Muhkam and
    Mutashaabih. Lecture. 15 B. 26-04-2002
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    Scholar. Javed Ahmed Ghamidi
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    [Javed Ahmed Ghamidi] Alhumdulillah
    All Praise is due to Allah,
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    Peace and Blessings be upon His
    Trustworthy Prophet Muhammad.
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    I seek refuge with Allah from the
    accursed Satan.
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    In the name of Allah, Most Beneficent
    and Ever Merciful.
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    Ladies and gentlemen,
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    in the debate about muhkam (clear)
    and mutashaabih (ambiguous),
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    where did the issue originate, is
    what we have just talked about.
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    Now you can see from which angle our
    researchers and scholars have studied it.
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    But to be able to understand their
    point of view,
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    it is crucial for you to first understand
    the difference between two things.
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    I have used two words here, 'maani'
    (meaning),
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    and 'misdaaq' (referent or evidence).
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    What is the difference between
    these two?
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    Let's go back to the past for sometime.
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    And see how there used to be
    ancient nomadic tribes,
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    and they have set up camp at
    a place.
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    There they cook food, they dance
    and play music,
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    and they also come together and gather
    in assemblies.
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    Whatever happens, is done as
    a collective.
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    Individual has not become manifest and
    autonomous in his own personality.
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    So they felt that since human beings
    have a stomach and hunger is natural,
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    food must be prepared to
    satisfy oneself.
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    So when they brought meat
    from hunting,
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    they would have to cook it in order
    to eat it.
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    And in order to cook it, they
    fashioned a pot.
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    Imagine all this for a while.
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    So now since it was a huge pot,
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    it made it possible to cook the
    meat for the whole tribe
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    and then everyone would sit and
    eat it together.
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    They called it 'deg'.
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    They named the huge cauldron or
    pot as 'deg'.
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    Human civilization continued its
    journey, tribal life came to an end.
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    Individuals became more autonomous
    from the collective.
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    Instead of huge cauldrons, smaller
    pots were now required.
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    Now that small pot was put on
    the stove.
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    Then they needed a name
    for it.
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    What human beings do at times like
    these is that
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    the name they had given to the
    similar entity,
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    they give a name to the new one which
    shows that influence
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    by clashing, opposing, contradicting,
    or drawing similarities between them.
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    Either they see it as distinct from
    the other entity,
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    or as separate from it, or he views
    it in accordance to that thing.
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    So when they saw the smaller pot,
    they thought why give it a new name?
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    This is simply a smaller 'deg'.
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    And that's how it was called
    'degcha' (small pot).
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    So when we say the word 'degcha',
    what is its meaning?
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    It means a small deg (caludron).
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    We were teaching and learning, and
    when you were not familiar with Urdu,
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    and you read the word 'degcha', you
    were told it means a small cauldron.
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    Did you imagine a 'degcha' in your
    mind at all?
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    No, you didn't visualize it.
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    You think of 'deg', and you also
    imagine something smaller.
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    Now we take you home, and showed
    you a small pot on the stove.
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    This 'degcha' is actually a referent which
    carries the meaning of small cauldron, deg
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    but now it is lying right
    in front of us.
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    So there are numerous words in
    a language,
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    which do not make their referent
    clear with regards to their meaning.
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    Misdaaq is actually that utensil called
    degcha, which is put on your stove.
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    And for that, we did not have
    a word initially.
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    There was no separate word that
    existed a priori.
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    We only had the word 'deg'.
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    We picked another concept of smaller
    and bigger things from our mind,
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    and affixed the term for 'smaller'
    with 'deg'.
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    In Persian 'cha' implies smaller.
    So 'degcha' means a smaller 'deg'.
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    So we took that, affixed it with deg,
    and that created a meaning.
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    A smaller pot. But whichever way you
    may use this word degcha,
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    even now you can see, if someone asks
    you what is 'degcha'?
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    You will reply with 'a small deg'. So you
    will convey the meaning for sure.
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    But it does not determine
    that actual referent.
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    Referent will be when you are
    shown a degcha and you will know,
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    this is what it is.
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    Otherwise it is possible, you would
    have thought a smaller deg to be
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    something just marginally smaller
    than a deg!
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    You might not be able to imagine
    that degcha which you use on the stove.
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    So this is the difference between
    meaning and referent.
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    Imagine for a while that one of you
    went to the planet Mars.
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    And there he saw a living
    creature.
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    Such a creature he had never seen before,
    either among the birds or the animals,
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    and certainly not among
    human beings.
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    He wants to come back and tell
    you that he saw a living being on Mars.
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    What way would he adopt to
    convey that?
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    What that person will do is that whatever
    he saw there,
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    its referent he had seen with his
    own eyes.
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    But he has no word to convey
    what he witnessed.
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    Hence the question of a word and
    its meaning does not arise.
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    He is standing on Mars and he
    saw a creature.
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    But no word exists in our language
    for that creature.
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    The reason for that is that the words
    are created
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    when a thing comes into existence or
    an idea comes into our mind.
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    And after that human beings produce
    some specific sounds to refer to it,
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    after that a common consciousness
    of the thing is born among them.
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    And then after a few centuries,
    the word is born.
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    This is how it happens right? But this
    process didn't happen in that case.
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    He was simply picked up at night and
    then dropped on Mars,
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    where he saw a creature. When he
    saw that being,
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    it did not resemble any animal,
    nor a bird.
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    So there is nothing exactly like
    that creature.
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    He had seen birds here, he had seen
    animals, he had seen human beings.
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    But the creature was like none of them,
    it was entirely a different being he saw.
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    So the creature he saw there, there is
    no word that exists for it.
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    And since there is no word that exists,
    hence no meaning exists either.
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    But the evidence was certainly
    before his eyes.
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    So that entity is before his eyes.
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    He came back from Mars onto
    the Earth.
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    After coming back here, he wants to
    tell you what he saw.
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    So what would he do? He would actually
    find some entity
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    similar to the one he saw in
    order to convey its likeness.
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    This is what he would do right?
    And after that,
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    when he would find a similar
    referent for the entity,
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    then the objects which are found
    here on Earth,
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    there are words as well as meanings
    for them.
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    So that word and meaning which are
    available here for a similar entity,
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    he would use them with some changes,
    to refer to the creature he saw.
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    That this is what I had seen.
    He would say that right?
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    So now the entity referred to is clear.
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    Now you understand what is
    the meaning and what is the referent?
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    Misdaaq here are some creatures, such
    as birds, animals, and human beings.
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    For them, some words have
    been created.
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    For instance, 'humans', or 'lion'.
    These words have meanings.
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    And we are aware of those
    meanings.
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    On the other planet there is a referent,
    a creature,
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    for which neither word nor
    meaning exists.
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    So to a referent for what it is, and
    then to interpret it by closest likeness,
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    is something we have no option but
    to do. Please understand this.
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    What a meaning is, what a word is,
    and what the referent is.
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    If you have understood this, let us now
    see what issues this gentleman faced.
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    This is Imam Razi, he says 'wa ammal
    muhaqqiq al munsif
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    fainna hu yahmir ul amar fil ayaat
    ala aqsaam salaasa.'
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    That is, the person who is a scholar
    and a researcher as well,
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    and is not carrying any particular
    biases with him,
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    and is a person who stands
    with justice.
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    Imam Razi says that he divides the
    verses of the Quran into three categories.
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    So that scholar will divide the verses of
    the Quran into three categories.
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    'Ahduha maa yata'aqqadu zahiruha
    bil dala'il al aqliya'.
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    Now since according to him, verbal
    evidence is worth nothing,
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    therefore the first category of the
    verses of the Quran is that
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    whose apparent meaning, i.e. the obvious
    meaning which comes from the word,
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    that becomes confirmed even through
    a logical argument.
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    So a rational argument, and whatever
    meaning you understand from the word,
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    even though they had come through
    isolated report and conjectural.
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    But now even a rational argument is
    there in its support.
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    So that rational argument, along with
    that conjectural meaning,
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    what has been done to it? It has
    made it categorical and clear.
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    The word itself not going to do
    anything.
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    At most, it would have given testimony
    of its meaning by speculation.
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    So he says 'maa yata'aqqadu zahiruha
    bil dala'il al aqliya'.
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    So the apparent meaning that the words
    were conveying,
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    and the moment you read the words,
    you understood some meaning from it.
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    Along with that meaning, some rational
    arguments also stand now.
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    And what did the both of them
    do together?
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    They gave it a clear certainty.
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    Now this issue, 'fazaakahu al
    muhkamu haqqa'.
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    So this is then the 'real'
    muhkam.
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    That verse, whose apparent meaning
    conveyed by the words is understood
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    as 'wa awal wahla', that is,
    immediately upon reading it.
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    If you are familiar with the
    language, you read the verse,
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    and from that you understood the
    apparent subject matter.
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    You joined that subject matter with
    a rational argument,
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    so it is as if it were equivalent. That is,
    the rational deduction says the same thing
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    which is being conveyed by
    the words at first glance.
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    And the apparent meaning of the words is
    the same as conveyed by logical reasoning.
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    So when both of these things become
    mutually inclusive, what is this then?
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    'Fazaakahu al muhkumu haqqa'.
    So this becomes the real muhkam verse.
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    'Wasaani ha allazee kaamit at-dala'il ul
    qaate ala imtanaayi zawahir riha.'
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    Now another category is born.
    Which was that
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    you derived an apparent meaning
    from the words.
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    It is this same action which was
    done in the first category.
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    You understood an apparent meaning
    from the words.
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    There is no difference in this first step.
    What had happened in previous instance?
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    You had understood an apparent meaning
    from words.
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    Rational arguments ratified that
    deduction.
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    Here too, the same thing happened.
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    You understood an apparent meaning
    from the words.
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    But then rational arguments stood
    against your deduction here.
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    So the rational arguments negated the
    apparent meanings you were understanding.
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    'Allazee kamit at-dala'il ul qaate'ala
    imtanaayi zawahir riha.'
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    And these rational arguments are
    absolutely categorical.
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    So this is absolutely clear that
    these apparent meanings
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    cannot be the correct deduction
    from these words.
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    He says 'fazzakahu allathii yuhukumu
    fiihi bi anna muraadillah ta'ala
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    ghairu zahirahi'. This aspect
    which is there,
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    about this too we can say with
    complete certainty that
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    the apparent meanings which are
    drawn from these words here
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    is absolutely not what Allah
    intended to convey.
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    So this too has become clear.
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    The apparent meanings which one
    was deriving from the words,
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    since the rational arguments are
    standing against it,
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    therefore, this too has become
    muhkam.
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    Because the negation of its apparent
    meaning has become certain,
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    based on rational arguments.
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    'Wa saalisuha allazee laa yujid
    mislu haazid dala'il alaa tarfa
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    sabuutihi min tafa'ihi'.
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    And the third category is when
    no rational arguments exists
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    either to ratify the apparent meanings,
    or to refute them.
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    So neither do the logical arguments
    confirm those meaning, nor reject them.
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    'fayakoon min haqqahii tawaqqafi'.
    What would you do in this case?
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    Now he says that you just have
    to make peace with it,
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    because it is not possible to say
    anything with certainty about this.
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    There is no other option but
    to be patient about it.
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    'Wa yakoona zalika mutashaabihan.'
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    Now we would say that this has
    become mutashaabih.
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    Actually he has to make clear how
    do we determine something is mutashaabih.
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    So see what way he adopted
    to do that.
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    The way he chose was that if we
    read a verse,
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    an outward and apparent meaning of
    it was understood by us.
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    We went to seek rational evidence
    for it,
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    which absolutely confirmed the meaning
    we had understood.
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    This becomes muhkam then.
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    Then we read a verse, whose apparent
    meaning was understood by us.
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    Rational arguments completely rejected
    that inference,
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    making it clear that what we understood
    cannot be the meaning of the words.
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    In fact the meaning would be the
    opposite of what we inferred.
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    So our understanding was incorrect,
    and the correct was its opposite.
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    So this too is muhkam, for it
    has become clear.
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    Now if we read a verse, and understand a
    meaning that was apparent from the words.
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    But the rational arguments do not prove
    or determine it,
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    nor do they reject our inference.
    Neither of these things can be done.
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    So what would we do? We would give up
    and state that
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    no statement can be made with certainty
    about its meaning.
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    So he says 'yakoona zalika
    mutashaabihan.'
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    In what sense is this used?
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    'Bemaana annal amara ishtaba'a
    fii'.
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    The case here has become doubtful
    and ambiguous.
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    As I had said before, in what
    sense is he using this term?
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    So the case here has become
    doubtful.
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    'Walam yatamayii' zahdul janabain
    ilaakhir'.
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    Now there are actually two
    paths in this.
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    One is the apparent one, and the
    second is the one contrary to it.
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    In this, it became impossible to
    distinguish either of them.
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    So when it is no longer possible to make
    a distinction between the two paths,
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    that makes the words mutashaabih.
    This is the statement by Imam Razi.
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    Now naturally, since he is a rationalist
    scholar, thus he has conveyed it
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    on the basis of a logical
    deduction.
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    Saying that whichever verses of the Quran
    you will be reading,
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    you must remember that
    first point,
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    about which we have already
    discussed before this.
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    That the words of the Quran cannot
    convey their own meanings
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    with absolutely certainty.
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    Therefore we only understand the
    apparent meanings of its words.
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    If the rational evidence supports it,
    the meaning becomes muhkam.
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    If the rational arguments negate
    that meaning,
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    if it is pointing to something contrary
    to its outward meaning,
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    then again it is muhkam.
    [Student] But then what is muhkam here,
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    if the meaning has been negated?
    [Ghamidi] That which has been negated,
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    that meaning becomes muhkam
    or clear.
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    For instance, you say that lion is
    the king of the jungle.
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    Rational argument also says that yes,
    this refers to that very lion
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    which is found in the forest. Now
    this has become muhkam.
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    You say, 'who is the lion that approaches
    and makes the battleground shudder?'
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    Rational inference comes and says no,
    this is not the lion of the forest.
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    So the metaphor has become
    clear, hasn't it?
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    Since the literal meaning was rejected,
    it makes the other aspect certain.
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    This is a simple example I have
    used to explain this to you.
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    The example Imam Razi wants to give, that
    would be a little too complex for you.
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    There is an entire debate about takleef-e
    ma laa yutaq (unbearable trouble)
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    that he has done.
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    [Student] Has any reference been taken
    from the Quran?
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    [Ghamidi] For instance, he borrows a
    reference from the Quran,
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    now that you have brought it up,
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    he says that the Quran says 'ya
    yukkalifulla nafsan illa wus'aha.'
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    This is his own argumentation.
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    That Allah never burdens anyone more
    than he can bear.
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    Outwardly, this is what the meaning
    seems to be.
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    This is what the verse is saying.
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    But Imam Razi says that rational arguments
    are testifying to something contrary.
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    Rational evidence is refuting
    this apparent meaning.
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    The evidence of the Quran itself
    are pointing to something contrary.
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    Categorical arguments are also
    standing against this.
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    Allah does burden people more than
    they can bear (takleef-e ma laa yutaq).
  • 15:10 - 15:13
    Allah did say that Abu Lahab would not
    become a believer,
  • 15:13 - 15:16
    and yet commanded him to
    become one!
  • 15:16 - 15:17
    I am giving you an example.
  • 15:17 - 15:19
    So Allah does burden people.
  • 15:19 - 15:22
    Allah made people stand and stiffened
    their backs,
  • 15:22 - 15:24
    and then commanded them to bow!
  • 15:24 - 15:26
    This is mentioned about the Day
    of Judgment right?
  • 15:26 - 15:27
    So Allah does give people
    unbearable burderns.
  • 15:27 - 15:30
    When it is proven that he does do
    that, it means that the meaning of
  • 15:30 - 15:33
    'la yakullifa nafsan illa
    wus'aha',
  • 15:33 - 15:35
    which appears apparent
    and outwardly,
  • 15:35 - 15:37
    the intention is to convey the exact
    opposite meaning.
  • 15:37 - 15:40
    This is certain, so it becomes
    muhkam.
  • 15:40 - 15:45
    So this is his way. Then he says that
    where either of these situations has come,
  • 15:45 - 15:50
    that either the apparent meaning which
    the words are conveying,
  • 15:50 - 15:53
    rational arguments are also confirming
    it, then the case is closed, it is muhkam.
  • 15:53 - 15:56
    But if the rational evidence has
    negated the meaning inferred,
  • 15:56 - 15:58
    meaning that he is saying no
    doubt remains here,
  • 15:58 - 16:01
    and it is certain that Allah in fact does
    give takleef-e ma laa yutaq,
  • 16:01 - 16:03
    then the meaning conveyed outwardly
    by the words are incorrect,
  • 16:03 - 16:06
    the intention is actually to convey the
    exact opposite of it, we are certain of it
  • 16:06 - 16:09
    When we are sure of that, and Imam Razi
    of course was certain of it.
  • 16:09 - 16:11
    I don't know if you are convinced of
    it or not though.
  • 16:11 - 16:13
    But when one is convinced and sure,
    then the case has come to a close.
  • 16:13 - 16:17
    So this too is muhkam then.
    But if both of these cases in not certain,
  • 16:17 - 16:21
    and one is not able to clarify if the
    rational evidence is affirming
  • 16:21 - 16:23
    or rejecting it, then it falls under
    mutashaabih.
  • 16:23 - 16:27
    Because now the situation is doubtful
    and unclear, we don't know its meaning.
  • 16:27 - 16:31
    So the Quran is correct in saying that
    if a situation of this kind arises,
  • 16:31 - 16:35
    according to Imam Razi, then that
    word becomes doubtful,
  • 16:35 - 16:36
    whose meaning we cannot
    establish.
  • 16:36 - 16:40
    This attempt he has made to clarify
    this, is to be able to tell you
  • 16:40 - 16:43
    where to draw the line between muhkam
    and mutashaabih.
  • 16:45 - 16:47
    So this is how he has drawn
    a distinguishing line.
  • 16:47 - 16:49
    The line has been drawn.
  • 16:55 - 16:57
    [Ghamidi] No I am only telling you
    about his stance.
  • 16:57 - 17:00
    I am not passing a judgment on
    whether his position is right or not.
  • 17:00 - 17:04
    I am simply telling you that this is
    his opinion which he states about it.
  • 17:04 - 17:08
    These are the issues he is facing,
    and this is his opinion regarding it.
  • 17:08 - 17:10
    I am not saying whether his position
    is correct or not.
  • 17:10 - 17:14
    Nor is it our concern right now.
    Our purpose is only to understand
  • 17:14 - 17:16
    what he means by the category
    of 'mutashaabih'.
  • 17:16 - 17:18
    That is what I have tried to
    explain to you,
  • 17:18 - 17:20
    what exactly is meant by
    mutashaabih?
  • 17:20 - 17:25
    Now see that it is not as if this is
    where the situation ends with Imam Razi.
  • 17:31 - 17:32
    [Ghamidi] Yes?
  • 17:32 - 17:34
    [Ghamidi] With rational evidence.
  • 17:34 - 17:37
    He says that with rational evidence it
    is absolutely clear for us that
  • 17:37 - 17:41
    this is not what this means. But
    in fact it means the exact opposite.
  • 17:41 - 17:44
    So now we have to accept it.
    [Student] So it means the opposite.
  • 17:44 - 17:47
    [Ghamidi] Yes we have to take the
    opposite of the meaning it conveys.
  • 17:48 - 17:48
    Yes?
  • 17:52 - 17:54
    No that is not what rational
    evidence means.
  • 17:54 - 17:58
    Rational evidence means that he will
    deduce from a lot of other sources as well
  • 17:58 - 18:01
    and then they will also do a
    logical deduction in that matter,
  • 18:01 - 18:04
    that God is omnipotent, and Allah does
    not accept any constraints about Himself.
  • 18:04 - 18:07
    It is problematic to assume that.
  • 18:07 - 18:10
    Hence when He burdens people, and
    since He is capable of everything,
  • 18:10 - 18:13
    therefore He can give unbearable
    burdens to people too.
  • 18:13 - 18:15
    So you would not have the last word
    even in rational arguments.
  • 18:15 - 18:19
    [Student] So this is what one can
    be negated, his opinion can be refuted.
  • 18:19 - 18:23
    [Ghamidi] Yes of course.
    [Student] What is the criterion for this?
  • 18:23 - 18:25
    [Ghamidi] This is something you would
    have to debate with Imam Razi himself.
  • 18:25 - 18:28
    I have only told you about what he
    says about this matter.
  • 18:28 - 18:32
    If I delve into it further to talk about
    whether his opinion is correct or not,
  • 18:32 - 18:35
    then I would actually be deviating from
    our topic.
  • 18:35 - 18:39
    See the thing is, Zamakhshari
    for instance says exactly the same thing.
  • 18:39 - 18:42
    He says, 'muhkamaat uhkimat ibaaratuha
    bi an hufizat min al ehtimaal
  • 18:42 - 18:46
    wal ishtibaah'. That is, what are the
    muhkam verses?
  • 18:46 - 18:50
    Those are the verses whose interpretation
    has been safeguarded in a way
  • 18:50 - 18:53
    'bi an hufizat min al ehtimaal
    wal ishtibaah.'
  • 18:53 - 18:56
    That is, now neither any doubt
    nor ambiguity remains.
  • 18:56 - 18:58
    So the opposite of ambiguity.
  • 18:58 - 19:01
    The text is no longer ambiguous.
  • 19:01 - 19:04
    The subject matter is no longer
    doubtful, it has become muhkam.
  • 19:04 - 19:08
    Mutashaabihaat? Zamakhshari says
    these are ones which are ambiguous.
  • 19:08 - 19:12
    This is how he translates it, that it is
    doubtful, carrying multiple possibilities.
  • 19:12 - 19:16
    That in which there is uncertainty in
    determining the meaning,
  • 19:16 - 19:19
    and in which there is apprehension
    about the meaning.
  • 19:19 - 19:22
    So this is how he explains the term.
  • 19:22 - 19:26
    So this means that in both these scholars,
    and Zamakhshari was a Mutazilite,
  • 19:26 - 19:27
    and Imam Razi belonged to the
    Ash'ari school of thought.
  • 19:27 - 19:29
    He is an Imam of the Ash'aris.
  • 19:29 - 19:31
    And despite being an Ash'ari and
    Mutazilite,
  • 19:31 - 19:33
    there was no difference in their opinions
    in this matter.
  • 19:33 - 19:35
    Because both of them presented
    their arguments,
  • 19:35 - 19:37
    and there was no difference in
    their conclusions.
  • 19:37 - 19:39
    Now see, there is Maulana Shabbir
    Ahmad Usmani,
  • 19:39 - 19:44
    and naturally among our esteemed
    scholars of the contemporary era,
  • 19:44 - 19:47
    especially those of the classical and
    traditionalist school of thought,
  • 19:47 - 19:49
    he is among the great scholars
    of that worldview.
  • 19:49 - 19:52
    He too has written a note on this.
  • 19:52 - 19:55
    He says that you must look at it
    this way,
  • 19:55 - 19:58
    that in the Holy Quran, and in fact in
    all the revealed Books,
  • 19:58 - 20:01
    there are two kinds of verses
    which are found.
  • 20:01 - 20:05
    One is the kind whose intention
    is known and established.
  • 20:06 - 20:09
    Whether it is because, with regards
    to the vocabulary and style,
  • 20:09 - 20:13
    there is no doubt and ambiguity
    in the words.
  • 20:13 - 20:16
    Nor does their interpretation imply
    multiple meanings.
  • 20:16 - 20:23
    So if we have a verse, its intention
    is known and established.
  • 20:23 - 20:26
    In which aspects? Well, with regards
    to its vocabulary and linguistic style,
  • 20:26 - 20:28
    there is no ambiguity in
    its words.
  • 20:28 - 20:30
    But since he does not agree with
    what Imam Razi says,
  • 20:30 - 20:32
    therefore he has accepted this
    approach.
  • 20:32 - 20:34
    That with regards to the vocabulary,
    style, and grammar,
  • 20:34 - 20:37
    we are absolutely clear in what its
    subject matter is.
  • 20:37 - 20:39
    There is no doubt or ambiguity
    in its words,
  • 20:39 - 20:42
    nor does their interpretation imply
    multiple meanings.
  • 20:42 - 20:45
    And it is also not the case that out
    of all the meanings known to us,
  • 20:45 - 20:47
    it might be said that this verse could
    also mean something else.
  • 20:47 - 20:50
    This is also not the case. It can
    only have one meaning.
  • 20:50 - 20:52
    Nor is it that that which was
    considered reasonable,
  • 20:52 - 20:54
    is actually against the universally
    accepted rules.
  • 20:54 - 20:56
    This is that same point.
  • 20:56 - 21:01
    So the intentionality of the verse,
    that which was understood from it,
  • 21:01 - 21:04
    is not against the commonly
    accepted rules.
  • 21:04 - 21:07
    Here he has not specifically mentioned
    reason, but that is his reference.
  • 21:07 - 21:12
    If the meaning is against
    the universal rules or reason,
  • 21:12 - 21:15
    if this is the case, then he says that
    it becomes muhkam.
  • 21:16 - 21:19
    Or else because, and this is the other
    category of muhkam,
  • 21:19 - 21:22
    or else because in the text and the
    terms used,
  • 21:22 - 21:25
    even though many other meanings
    could have been implied instead,
  • 21:25 - 21:27
    so with regards to its vocabulary,
    multiple meanings could have been implied.
  • 21:27 - 21:31
    But the detailed proofs given by
    the law giver (the Prophet).
  • 21:32 - 21:36
    It means the Prophet (pbuh) mentioned
    it somewhere in the Hadith,
  • 21:36 - 21:38
    and it gained fame and
    reputation.
  • 21:38 - 21:41
    This is a specific terminology,
    nusuus-e mustafiiza.
  • 21:41 - 21:43
    Or the consensus of the
    (infallible) Ummah.
  • 21:45 - 21:49
    Or the Ummah unanimously agreed on it,
    and the collective Ummah is infallible.
  • 21:51 - 21:54
    Or the common, universally accepted
    principles of religion
  • 21:54 - 21:58
    has categorically established that the
    intention of the speaker was not that,
  • 21:58 - 22:01
    but is this. So the apparent meaning
    which we understood, that is correct.
  • 22:01 - 22:04
    Such verses are called muhkamaat.
  • 22:04 - 22:11
    So he has presented that opinion in
    the contemporary style.
  • 22:11 - 22:14
    The second kind of verses are
    called mutashaabihaat,
  • 22:14 - 22:19
    that is, the intention and meaning of
    which is not determined
  • 22:19 - 22:21
    because of some doubts and
    ambiguities.
  • 22:21 - 22:22
    See the words have been repeated
    by him.
  • 22:22 - 22:26
    Doubtful and ambiguous. This is
    how he has explained ambiguous verse.
  • 22:26 - 22:31
    So this is the exact same explanation,
    except with the rational element.
  • 22:31 - 22:35
    That part he has conveyed in the
    end in another way.
  • 22:35 - 22:38
    But you can see that here too,
    the meaning has been established
  • 22:38 - 22:41
    either through the words, or the
    grammatical style.
  • 22:41 - 22:44
    And if that has not happened and
    there was some apprehension in meaning,
  • 22:44 - 22:46
    and the Quran itself could not
    establish it,
  • 22:48 - 22:52
    it was determined by the Prophet's
    clear proofs, confirming the meaning.
  • 22:52 - 22:55
    The consensus of the Ummah determined
    that this is the meaning.
  • 22:55 - 22:58
    Or it was derived from the generally
    accepted principles of the religion.
  • 22:58 - 23:01
    The Quran commanded that the man or
    woman who commits adultery,
  • 23:01 - 23:03
    should be punished with a
    hundred lashes.
  • 23:03 - 23:05
    Now naturally one understands from it
    that whoever commits adultery,
  • 23:05 - 23:07
    should be punished with a
    hundred lashes.
  • 23:07 - 23:10
    Then nusuus-e-mustafiiza came from
    the Prophet (pbuh)
  • 23:10 - 23:12
    and told us that it only refers
    to a bachelor.
  • 23:15 - 23:17
    The Ummah unanimously concurred
    with this.
  • 23:19 - 23:22
    So we got nusuus-e-mustafiiza, as well
    as the consensus of the common people.
  • 23:22 - 23:25
    Now the apparent meaning which was
    understood from the words,
  • 23:25 - 23:26
    would you accept that?
  • 23:28 - 23:30
    You should not accept it based
    on this principle.
  • 23:30 - 23:33
    Is the matter clear from this
    example?
  • 23:33 - 23:37
    The Quran said that whichever person
    commits adultery, man or woman,
  • 23:37 - 23:40
    should be punished with a
    hundred lashes.
  • 23:40 - 23:43
    For when you read this verse, the
    apparent meaning is of course that
  • 23:43 - 23:45
    whoever commits adultery should
    be given a hundred lashes.
  • 23:45 - 23:48
    There is no mention of an unwed or
    a married person here.
  • 23:48 - 23:53
    But what happened then? As soon as
    we derived this apparent meaning from it,
  • 23:53 - 23:56
    along with it came some nusuus-e
    mustafiiza,
  • 23:56 - 23:58
    that is, some famous narrations
    came from the Prophet.
  • 23:58 - 24:03
    They informed us that no, this verse is
    referring only to an unwed adulterer.
  • 24:04 - 24:08
    The consensus of the common people,
    i.e. the Ummah, agreed with it.
  • 24:08 - 24:11
    And other rules of jurisprudence also
    came up in its support.
  • 24:11 - 24:14
    After that, the apparent meaning which was
    derived from the words,
  • 24:14 - 24:18
    we did not accept that meaning.
    This is what he is saying.
  • 24:18 - 24:22
    Please do not think from this that
    I am advocating it as correct.
  • 24:22 - 24:24
    I am only giving you an example
    that this is how he will take it.
  • 24:24 - 24:27
    What was the difficulty he was
    faced with?
  • 24:27 - 24:30
    The difficulty was that the apparent
    meaning conveyed by the words of Quran,
  • 24:30 - 24:33
    naturally there are textual evidences
    contrary to it.
  • 24:33 - 24:35
    So this is the way he adopted
    to deal with it.
  • 24:35 - 24:36
    That this is how it will become
    muhkam.
  • 24:36 - 24:38
    This is the case with Shabbir Ahmad
    Usmani.
  • 24:38 - 24:42
    Now you can see, one of our scholars
    from the previous generation,
  • 24:42 - 24:48
    Maulana Syed Abul A'la Maududi.
    He is also saying the exact same thing.
  • 24:48 - 24:52
    Muhkam verses refer to those verses
    whose language is completely clear,
  • 24:52 - 24:55
    in which there is no ambiguity while
    determining their meaning,
  • 24:55 - 24:59
    whose words testify their intentionality
    and meaning clearly and categorically,
  • 24:59 - 25:03
    and are hardly possible for anyone to make
    them a practice board
  • 25:03 - 25:05
    for expansive interpretations.
  • 25:05 - 25:08
    Since he is a writer, he has presented the
    matter so simply.
  • 25:08 - 25:11
    Mutashaabihaat, that is, those verses in
    whose meaning there is a possibility
  • 25:11 - 25:13
    of ambiguity and doubt.
  • 25:13 - 25:15
    This is how he has defined muhkam
    and mutashaabihaat.
  • 25:15 - 25:19
    So one can see in this matter that
    'muttafiq gar deed raay bu ali bayad
  • 25:19 - 25:20
    Everyone holds the same opinion.
  • 25:20 - 25:24
    There is no particular difference in how
    scholars approach this.
  • 25:24 - 25:30
    So you can say that in our tradition, this
    is the position of the classical scholars.
  • 25:30 - 25:33
    Now about this opinion, recall one
    thing again in your minds.
  • 25:33 - 25:36
    What is the issue? There are two words
    in the Quran,
  • 25:36 - 25:40
    'mutashaabih' and 'taveel'. These are
    the fundamental words in the verse.
  • 25:40 - 25:45
    The word 'mutashaabih' has been taken
    by him in the same sense
  • 25:45 - 25:47
    as we ascribe to the word 'mushtabeh'
    (ambiguous).
  • 25:47 - 25:50
    And he has explained that too.
    'Mushtabeh'.
  • 25:50 - 25:53
    A word which carries the probability
    of many meanings.
  • 25:53 - 25:56
    How has this meaning been derived? I have
    already told that in the previous lecture.
  • 25:56 - 26:00
    So it is not as if that word does not
    have those other meanings, it does.
  • 26:00 - 26:03
    When that word is used, going by
    its conclusions,
  • 26:03 - 26:07
    it also has this meaning, and this meaning
    was derived among linguists,
  • 26:07 - 26:10
    and they started using this word
    to imply this particular meaning.
  • 26:10 - 26:13
    Its example is found in the Quran as well
    as in our colloquial use as well.
  • 26:13 - 26:16
    About the word 'taveel' I have already
    mentioned that
  • 26:16 - 26:22
    in the ancient vocabulary, it was used to
    return something to its misdaaq or reality
  • 26:22 - 26:25
    Now you know the meaning of
    misdaaq (actual referent).
  • 26:25 - 26:33
    But in the later eras, it began to be used
    to imply meaning and explanation.
  • 26:33 - 26:36
    We use this word quite commonly.
  • 26:36 - 26:40
    So this later (born-again) meaning of
    this word, and the meaning of mutashaabih,
  • 26:40 - 26:43
    both of these were taken together
    and a meaning was derived from the verse.
  • 26:43 - 26:46
    Now naturally when one understands
    the subject matter of the verse,
  • 26:46 - 26:49
    then whether you take the position of
    Imam Razi,
  • 26:49 - 26:52
    or you take the stance of Maulana
    Shabbir Ahmad Usmani,
  • 26:52 - 26:54
    or whether you decide to go by the
    opinion of Zamakhshari,
  • 26:54 - 26:58
    or even if you see Maulana Maududi,
    all of them convey the same thing
  • 26:58 - 27:02
    that there are some verses in the
    Quran, in whose meanings
  • 27:02 - 27:06
    there is a possibility of ambiguity. This
    would be the conclusion from it right?
  • 27:06 - 27:09
    So the subject matter of those verses is
    ambiguous or vague for us.
  • 27:09 - 27:12
    We cannot categorically establish it.
  • 27:12 - 27:15
    I had said that whenever we have to
    understanding the meaning of something,
  • 27:15 - 27:17
    we must always go to its source.
  • 27:17 - 27:20
    So here the mistake which has
    occurred,
  • 27:20 - 27:26
    it happened first in determining the
    meaning of the word 'mutashabeh'.
  • 27:26 - 27:30
    And the second error was taking the
    word 'taveel' in its later meaning.
  • 27:30 - 27:32
    This was the second mistake.
  • 27:32 - 27:36
    In what sense has the word 'mutashaabeh'
    been used here actually?
  • 27:36 - 27:38
    It has been used in its literal
    sense only.
  • 27:40 - 27:43
    It means things are similar or
    indistinguishable.
  • 27:43 - 27:46
    Similar things means firstly in the
    sense as used in
  • 27:46 - 27:48
    'Kitaabam mutashabiham masaani'.
  • 27:48 - 27:51
    That the verses of the Quran are similar
    and of a related disposition.
  • 27:51 - 27:53
    That gives it a second meaning.
  • 27:53 - 27:58
    But one meaning is that some verses
    of the Quran are those which have words
  • 27:58 - 28:04
    which relate the unknown referents to
    things are well known to all.
  • 28:06 - 28:07
    Understand this sentence.
  • 28:07 - 28:13
    The unknown referent of things is related
    to known ones to explain them.
  • 28:13 - 28:15
    Why did Allah feel the need
    to do this?
  • 28:15 - 28:21
    This need arose because Allah is
    saying a lot about this world in the Quran
  • 28:21 - 28:25
    but the most significant things that
    He is proclaiming are basically only two.
  • 28:25 - 28:30
    One is that this Universe has a
    Creator, whose own world is concealed.
  • 28:30 - 28:35
    We cannot see it, nor can we conceptualize
    or observe its substance,
  • 28:35 - 28:38
    nor can we see the
    actions therein.
  • 28:38 - 28:40
    I have not used the word
    'attributes',
  • 28:40 - 28:42
    because the evidence of those
    attributes is present in this world.
  • 28:42 - 28:45
    So we cannot see the substance of
    that Creator or His world,
  • 28:45 - 28:48
    nor do we see how He brings about
    any actions.
  • 28:49 - 28:53
    I will tell you later on that this is
    that very issue
  • 28:53 - 28:56
    from where the debates of ontology and
    epistemology arose in philosophy ...
  • 28:56 - 28:58
    But this is a topic for a later stage.
  • 28:58 - 29:01
    So there is no example of the substance
    of the unseen world before us,
  • 29:01 - 29:05
    there is nothing we can see. It is an
    essence of a concealed world.
  • 29:05 - 29:07
    What is it, of what nature, we don't
    know anything.
  • 29:07 - 29:10
    We cannot see it, cannot observe it.
  • 29:10 - 29:14
    And in a similar way are its actions,
    how does it bring them about?
  • 29:14 - 29:17
    A being produces some actions
    right?
  • 29:17 - 29:19
    Attributes are simply the properties
    of that being.
  • 29:19 - 29:21
    We can conceptualize and imagine
    those.
  • 29:21 - 29:24
    But when an act or deed is
    brought about,
  • 29:24 - 29:27
    then a need arises that it be observed, or
    be witnessed,
  • 29:27 - 29:30
    that others should understand what
    deed is being done.
  • 29:30 - 29:32
    So we can see neither of those
    things.
  • 29:32 - 29:35
    And yet the Quran has to introduce
    God.
  • 29:35 - 29:40
    Because to have faith resting solely on
    God, the entire religion rests on this.
  • 29:40 - 29:46
    But He cannot be shown, and nor
    can His actions be observed.
  • 29:46 - 29:50
    The second aspect which forms
    the basis in the Quran
  • 29:50 - 29:52
    is that one day all of us have
    to depart this world
  • 29:52 - 29:56
    and there is another world in which
    we have to open our eyes.
  • 29:56 - 30:00
    Which is a concealed world, and it
    proclaims that there will a Judgement Day.
  • 30:00 - 30:03
    That Judgment Day which will come,
    that too will bring forth a world
  • 30:03 - 30:07
    which we have not seen.
    We cannot observe it right now.
  • 30:07 - 30:09
    So this means that the invitation
    of the Quran
  • 30:09 - 30:13
    is based on two fundamental premises
    which it wants to convince us of,
  • 30:13 - 30:17
    i.e. the existence of God, and
    the Day of Judgment,
  • 30:17 - 30:21
    if some idea and conception has to
    be given to us about both of them,
  • 30:21 - 30:23
    for both of these conceptions are
    absolutely clear and established.
  • 30:23 - 30:26
    One should have faith in Allah who
    is the Creator of this Universe,
  • 30:26 - 30:28
    there is no debate about this.
    This is absolutely muhkam.
  • 30:28 - 30:30
    Similar is the case with the
    Day of Judgment.
  • 30:30 - 30:31
    But what is God like?
  • 30:31 - 30:35
    And what would Judgment Day be
    like, what kind of world would it be?
  • 30:35 - 30:38
    These are the things which belong
    to the concealed world.
  • 30:38 - 30:42
    In this unseen world, there would be
    some material things, right?
  • 30:42 - 30:45
    And there would be some ideas.
    This is how it would be right?
  • 30:45 - 30:49
    At least we cannot imagine or ascertain
    anything more than that.
  • 30:49 - 30:53
    And those things and ideas would be in
    some perceptible form.
  • 30:53 - 30:56
    There would be a tree. What would
    it be like? Well it would be like a tree.
  • 30:56 - 30:58
    There would be fruit. And it would
    be like a fruit!
  • 30:58 - 31:01
    There would be some living creatures,
    probably us only.
  • 31:01 - 31:03
    So there would be some things
    there, i.e. referents!
  • 31:03 - 31:07
    Now those entities which will be there,
    we have no words for them in our language.
  • 31:07 - 31:09
    Like I gave you the example
    of Mars.
  • 31:10 - 31:15
    Because they have never been seen
    before, nor has anyone imagined them here.
  • 31:15 - 31:17
    So how could we have words for them?
    We don't have any in our language.
  • 31:17 - 31:20
    If a conception or imagination of them
    has to be conveyed,
  • 31:20 - 31:22
    what way would be adopted to
    do that?
  • 31:22 - 31:26
    The way can only be that that entity
    of the concealed world
  • 31:26 - 31:30
    should be placed in relation to an
    entity closest to it in this world,
  • 31:30 - 31:33
    and the word which is being used
    to refer to the thing here,
  • 31:33 - 31:34
    should be used for the unseen
    thing too.
  • 31:35 - 31:39
    This is the only way one can adopt for
    it right? There is no other way for it.
  • 31:39 - 31:42
    So the verses in which Quran has
    used this approach,
  • 31:42 - 31:43
    are the mutashaabihaat ones.
  • 31:43 - 31:45
    It does not mean their meaning
    is ambiguous,
  • 31:45 - 31:48
    for their meanings are absolutely
    clear.
  • 31:48 - 31:51
    Only the objects they're referring to
    are not before our eyes.
  • 31:51 - 31:53
    But there is no doubt in their
    meanings.
  • 31:53 - 31:57
    It is absolutely clear. When the Quran
    says that there would be fruits there,
  • 31:57 - 32:01
    so this word used by the Quran, or when
    it is saying there would be streams there,
  • 32:01 - 32:05
    these words are Arabic words it uses,
    and their meaning is known to us.
  • 32:05 - 32:06
    There is no issue in the meanings
    of these words.
  • 32:06 - 32:08
    But what kind of a stream would
    it be?
  • 32:08 - 32:12
    So it just means that the conception
    of that stream is not in front of us.
  • 32:12 - 32:16
    So what has been done? An example
    has been taken of a stream in this world,
  • 32:16 - 32:19
    and in the afterlife too there is
    a stream that runs. What kind is it?
  • 32:19 - 32:21
    It is possible that it would be
    completely different from this one.
  • 32:21 - 32:24
    Like I gave you the example of
    a 'degcha' (small pot).
  • 32:24 - 32:25
    'Deg' (cauldron) could be seen
    lying before people's eyes.
  • 32:25 - 32:28
    But the 'cha' part had not come
    into existence back then!
  • 32:28 - 32:32
    So in light of that 'deg' lying before
    us, we created the name 'degcha'.
  • 32:32 - 32:35
    So this approach is adopted by
    Allah as well.
  • 32:35 - 32:38
    And apart from this, there is
    no other way.
  • 32:38 - 32:41
    There is no other way of presenting
    an unseen world.
  • 32:41 - 32:43
    Not just Allah, but we too do the
    same thing.
  • 32:43 - 32:49
    If we have to convey such a thing
    which has not yet come into existence,
  • 32:49 - 32:52
    what do we do? We use the tool
    of simile or comparison.
  • 32:52 - 32:55
    That is what we do right? In fact the
    things which have come into existence,
  • 32:55 - 32:59
    about them too we are at times
    unable to communicate our impressions
  • 32:59 - 33:01
    without using the simile or
    comparison.
  • 33:01 - 33:08
    We have not seen the lips that Mir
    praises in this poetry.
  • 33:09 - 33:14
    And he insists that nowhere else
    can one find such beautiful lips.
  • 33:14 - 33:19
    So he took us to a garden, and said
    that you have seen the petals of a flower.
  • 33:19 - 33:23
    So the exquisiteness of this petal, its
    loveliness, its beauty, its excellence,
  • 33:23 - 33:30
    its color, now that you have seen it,
    I can use it as a simile to tell you
  • 33:30 - 33:33
    that the lips I am talking about
    are like this petal.
  • 33:33 - 33:38
    'Of her delicate lips, what can one say,
    a blushing petal of a rose are they.'
  • 33:38 - 33:42
    So here what he has done is, since he
    could not show us those lips themselves,
  • 33:42 - 33:45
    he could certainly show us the flower
    and the petals.
  • 33:45 - 33:48
    And he could show us the petals in
    such a way
  • 33:48 - 33:51
    that it would make clear every
    aspect of it.
  • 33:53 - 33:54
    Have you understood this?
  • 33:54 - 33:57
    So actually the point it that this
    is a constraint that applies over us too.
  • 33:57 - 34:00
    At times, when we too cannot
    show something,
  • 34:00 - 34:03
    when we cannot produce the proof
    of something.
  • 34:03 - 34:05
    One way could have been that Mir
    had said, I am lifting the veil,
  • 34:05 - 34:09
    have a look at it yourself. So this veil
    would be lifted on Judgment Day,
  • 34:09 - 34:11
    and then you can see
    for yourself.
  • 34:11 - 34:15
    But till the veil is lifted, there is no
    other way except that
  • 34:15 - 34:19
    the things similar to it which are
    found in the world,
  • 34:19 - 34:23
    a comparison should be drawn with
    them to explain one's point.
  • 34:23 - 34:26
    So 'mutashaabih' has been used in
    its very literal meaning.
  • 34:26 - 34:33
    And its meaning is to describe a thing
    by reference to its closest example.
  • 34:33 - 34:37
    This is what it means. The Quran says
    that there are two kinds of verses in it.
  • 34:37 - 34:42
    One kind of verses are the ones where
    the Quran has clearly conveyed the content
  • 34:42 - 34:45
    and they are muhkam verses. The Quran
    is saying what it wants to through them.
  • 34:45 - 34:50
    And in this respect, all the verses of
    the Quran are actually muhkam verses.
  • 34:50 - 34:55
    But where a verse has to convey a
    quality or attribute of Allah,
  • 34:55 - 34:57
    or give a conception of His
    actions or deeds,
  • 34:57 - 35:01
    or the world which Allah has created,
    that unseen world,
  • 35:01 - 35:03
    and it includes the past too.
  • 35:03 - 35:05
    For instance the Quran wants to
    tell us how Adam was created
  • 35:05 - 35:08
    and the Spirit was blown into him.
    That too was an unseen world for us.
  • 35:08 - 35:12
    One concealed world is the one
    that is going to come in the afterlife.
  • 35:12 - 35:14
    So how will this be conveyed?
  • 35:14 - 35:19
    There is no other way to convey it
    except to do it through similitude.
  • 35:19 - 35:22
    Not the way of ambiguity, but the
    style of similitude.
  • 35:22 - 35:25
    So what are called the ambiguous verses
    of the Quran
  • 35:25 - 35:27
    are not actually ambiguous, but are
    rather 'mutashaabih' verses.
  • 35:27 - 35:30
    That is, the way of similitude and
    resemblance has been adopted in them
  • 35:30 - 35:33
    and one thing has been drawn parallel
    with another
  • 35:33 - 35:35
    to create a conception of it
    in our minds.
  • 35:35 - 35:39
    If there was any other way of conveying
    the truth of unseen things,
  • 35:39 - 35:41
    then Imam Razi and Zamakhshari would
    certainly have told us.
  • 35:41 - 35:45
    But there is no other way. This is
    the one and only way.
  • 35:45 - 35:47
    No other approach is found to
    do it at all.
  • 35:47 - 35:51
    We are bound to adopt this
    approach only.
  • 35:51 - 35:56
    Is this clear? Now see, these verses
    which are there,
  • 35:56 - 36:00
    are known to me too, and you know
    it as well.
  • 36:00 - 36:02
    Zamakhshari and Imam Razi were also
    aware of the meaning.
  • 36:02 - 36:05
    Their meaning is known to
    all of us.
  • 36:05 - 36:08
    But their visual evidence is not seen
    by any of us.
  • 36:08 - 36:10
    This is the case, isn't it?
  • 36:10 - 36:15
    So the Quran did not say that their
    meaning is not known to anyone but Allah.
  • 36:15 - 36:18
    Quran says that their referent is not
    known to anyone except Allah.
  • 36:18 - 36:24
    That is, no one knows other than Allah
    what paradise really is like.
  • 36:24 - 36:26
    Allah knows of course, He is looking
    at His paradise.
  • 36:26 - 36:29
    He can see the past as well as
    the future.
  • 36:29 - 36:32
    But Zamakhshari and Razi don't
    know what it is like.
  • 36:32 - 36:34
    Me and you are not aware of it either.
    We don't know.
  • 36:34 - 36:37
    So the paradise that Allah has created,
    or for that matter the Hell He has made,
  • 36:37 - 36:39
    or whichever unseen world He
    has created,
  • 36:39 - 36:42
    or when He talks of His own
    qualities and attributes,
  • 36:42 - 36:45
    or when He talks of His deeds.
    'Nafakhtu fihi min ruhi.'
  • 36:45 - 36:47
    I infused from My own Spirit
    into him.
  • 36:47 - 36:51
    Allah is narrating an event. Now
    naturally we have not seen God,
  • 36:51 - 36:54
    nor do we know what His
    Spirit means.
  • 36:54 - 36:57
    Nor do we know what blowing
    it means.
  • 36:57 - 37:02
    But whatever occurred, was related
    somewhat to the blowing of the Spirit.
  • 37:02 - 37:04
    So those were the words taken from
    our language,
  • 37:04 - 37:08
    and Allah has communicated that
    event to us.
  • 37:08 - 37:12
    So all such verses are mutashaabih.
  • 37:12 - 37:16
    And these are not at all ambiguous in
    their subject matter and content.
  • 37:16 - 37:20
    They are absolutely clear. We can present
    their meaning and content.
  • 37:20 - 37:23
    We can debate about it, and we
    can determine it.
  • 37:23 - 37:28
    If this is clear, then there should be no
    problem understanding what I have written.
  • 37:28 - 37:32
    Is this clear, where the mistake
    originated?
  • 37:32 - 37:36
    The mistake arose in two places.
    The word 'mutashaabih' has one meaning
  • 37:36 - 37:41
    according to its conclusion in the Arabic
    language, which is still in use.
  • 37:41 - 37:44
    That meaning was taken.
    This is the first error.
  • 37:44 - 37:49
    The Muvallad meaning of 'taveel' became
    dominant in people's minds.
  • 37:49 - 37:53
    Muvallad latemeaning means that in the ancient
    times, that word did not have that meaning
  • 37:53 - 37:57
    but in the later eras the word developed
    a new meaning.
  • 37:57 - 38:00
    And it began to be used in
    that sense.
  • 38:00 - 38:03
    So like I had told you in the
    previous debate,
  • 38:03 - 38:06
    that there too, the mistake which
    has been made is
  • 38:06 - 38:10
    that the journey of the word, its
    reality and the reality of its meaning,
  • 38:11 - 38:15
    the reality of its style and its
    subject matter,
  • 38:15 - 38:17
    has been conflated with an event.
  • 38:17 - 38:24
    Whereas an event occurs in the past
    and then comes to an end.
  • 38:24 - 38:27
    Only its historical narration remains.
  • 38:27 - 38:32
    A word is born after centuries, and its
    journey continues.
  • 38:33 - 38:37
    And this journey, unless the word
    becomes obsolete, never ends.
  • 38:37 - 38:39
    A word's journey is always
    going on.
  • 38:39 - 38:44
    So a word is actually a continuous
    practice that is perpetually going on.
  • 38:44 - 38:48
    It is that which the vocabulary is
    conveying, which grammar is presenting.
  • 38:48 - 38:50
    Which rhetoric is explaining.
  • 38:50 - 38:54
    So the experts of these disciplines are
    not actually historians.
  • 38:54 - 38:58
    But rather, whatever exists, they are
    presenting it and thereby deducing from it
  • 38:58 - 39:00
    and are telling us what the
    word actually is.
  • 39:00 - 39:04
    So there too as I told you, the source
    of the mistake is that
  • 39:04 - 39:10
    the journey of the word along with its
    meaning is conflated as a historical event
  • 39:10 - 39:13
    But a word is not an event
    from the past.
  • 39:13 - 39:16
    Absolutely not.
    [Student] The word 'taveel'
  • 39:16 - 39:19
    has been used by people in this
    sense as well.
  • 39:19 - 39:22
    Even if it was not spoken in this sense
    in the time of the Prophet (pbuh).
  • 39:22 - 39:26
    [Ghamidi] I had said that this word
    in that era,
  • 39:26 - 39:29
    the dominant meaning of this word
    was that of its misdaaq.
  • 39:29 - 39:31
    In the Quran too, it has been used
    in that sense.
  • 39:31 - 39:34
    Its meaning as interpretation and
    translation came into use a lot later.
  • 39:38 - 39:40
    So now let us read this.
  • 39:40 - 39:44
    The answer to the third question is that
    it is not correct that
  • 39:44 - 39:48
    we cannot with certainty distinguish the
    muhkam verses of the Quran
  • 39:48 - 39:52
    from the mutashabih or that we are unable
    to determine the meaning of mutashabihaat.
  • 39:52 - 39:55
    So both of these assumptions
    are false.
  • 39:55 - 39:57
    We can determine which verses are
    mutashaabih.
  • 39:57 - 40:01
    Those verses are mutashaabih in which
    there is reference to an unseen world,
  • 40:01 - 40:03
    whether it is related to our past
    or our future.
  • 40:03 - 40:07
    Whether it is related to Allah's first
    creation, as per human history,
  • 40:07 - 40:10
    or whether it is related to whatever
    is going to happen on Judgement Day.
  • 40:10 - 40:14
    Whether it is related to Allah's own
    world where there are angels,
  • 40:14 - 40:16
    and we don't know what else
    resides there.
  • 40:16 - 40:18
    So it might be related to any of it.
  • 40:18 - 40:22
    The verses which talk of those
    world are mutashaabih.
  • 40:23 - 40:27
    All verses of the Quran on which its
    guidance is based are muhkam,
  • 40:27 - 40:32
    and mutashabih are only those verses which
    mention certain blessings and torments
  • 40:32 - 40:37
    one may encounter in the Hereafter, which
    are stated through parables or similes.
  • 40:37 - 40:40
    Or the attributes and actions of God,
    or the mention of something
  • 40:40 - 40:43
    which is beyond the grasp of our knowledge
    and observation
  • 40:43 - 40:47
    has been stated about one of His worlds
    in an allegorical manner.
  • 40:47 - 40:50
    So now it has been absolutely established
    and is known of certain
  • 40:50 - 40:52
    which verses are mutashaabih.
  • 40:52 - 40:55
    Either they are the blessings and
    torments of the Hereafter,
  • 40:55 - 40:59
    which Allah has to convey to us,
    about what blessings will be given there.
  • 40:59 - 41:01
    Or what punishments will be inflicted
    in Hell.
  • 41:01 - 41:04
    What would be its nature? Would it
    be with fire, a tree of Thuhar (Sehund),
  • 41:04 - 41:07
    there would be pus to drink, Allah
    says all this about Hereafter, right?
  • 41:07 - 41:09
    Same is the case with paradise.
  • 41:09 - 41:12
    Or the mention of the attributes and
    actions of God.
  • 41:12 - 41:16
    Naturally we have not seen Allah,
    and we are unfamiliar
  • 41:16 - 41:19
    with the nature of his attributes.
    Although we have some idea of them.
  • 41:19 - 41:22
    His actions are something we cannot
    see at all, we cannot observe them.
  • 41:22 - 41:25
    Allah has to convey them too, like
    I had given you the example,
  • 41:25 - 41:28
    when Allah says that I blew My
    Spirit into Adam.
  • 41:28 - 41:34
    This is His action. But I cannot show
    it to you, cannot make you observe it.
  • 41:34 - 41:37
    Or the mention of something which is
    beyond our knowledge and observation,
  • 41:37 - 41:39
    about one of His worlds.
  • 41:39 - 41:44
    So there is a world of Allah which is
    beyond our knowledge or observation.
  • 41:44 - 41:47
    and some element of it has been
    described in an allegorical way.
  • 41:47 - 41:50
    For instance, God blowing His spirit
    into Adam,
  • 41:50 - 41:53
    the birth of Jesus (AS) without
    a father,
  • 41:53 - 41:57
    or the various places and circumstances
    one may encounter in Paradise and Hell.
  • 41:57 - 42:02
    These are the things about which only
    this manner can be used to describe.
  • 42:02 - 42:10
    All things for which words have not yet
    been invented,
  • 42:10 - 42:15
    can only be stated through parables
    and similes.
  • 42:15 - 42:17
    This is the point which I have already
    explained to you.
  • 42:17 - 42:24
    Two hundred years ago, if a person had
    foreknowledge of electricity bulbs
  • 42:24 - 42:27
    when they had not been invented yet,
    he would perhaps have said,
  • 42:27 - 42:32
    lanterns which would neither require oil
    nor fire will one day light up the world.
  • 42:32 - 42:34
    This is how it would have been
    described right?
  • 42:34 - 42:37
    An unseen world which has now
    become observable.
  • 42:37 - 42:41
    Now we can see it and words have been
    created to describe it.
  • 42:41 - 42:44
    Now there is no difficulty faced
    in interpreting it.
  • 42:44 - 42:50
    But if two or three hundred years ago if
    one had to describe the electricity bulbs
  • 42:50 - 42:55
    which is an extraordinary thing. It's such
    a thing human beings have conquered
  • 42:55 - 42:57
    which has created a drastically
    new world.
  • 42:57 - 42:59
    If someone had wanted to convey this two
    centuries ago, how would he describe it?
  • 42:59 - 43:01
    He would have done it in these
    words right?
  • 43:01 - 43:04
    The nature of mutashaabih verses is
    no different.
  • 43:04 - 43:08
    Neither are they unascertainable nor is
    there any ambiguity in their meaning.
  • 43:09 - 43:12
    So they are ascertainable, we can tell
    which verses are mutashaabih
  • 43:12 - 43:14
    based on this principle which
    is there.
  • 43:14 - 43:16
    And nor is there any ambiguity
    in their meaning.
  • 43:16 - 43:20
    Their intention is absolutely clear, and
    there is no issue in understanding them.
  • 43:20 - 43:24
    Their words are that of an
    eloquent Arabic,
  • 43:24 - 43:28
    and we are able to understand their
    meaning without any difficulty.
  • 43:28 - 43:30
    So there is no difficulty in understanding
    their meaning.
  • 43:30 - 43:36
    The only thing is that we are not able to
    understand what they imply in this life.
  • 43:36 - 43:42
    This is the fact of the matter. That we
    are not meant to know what they imply.
  • 43:42 - 43:45
    However, since this lack of understanding
    has nothing to do
  • 43:45 - 43:46
    with understanding the Quran,
  • 43:46 - 43:50
    so a believer should not pursue the
    determination of what they imply.
  • 43:50 - 43:53
    So when we have understood that Allah's
    blessings will be given
  • 43:53 - 43:56
    in the form of Paradise, and this
    statement is absolutely muhkam,
  • 43:56 - 43:58
    and in that blessing is a great
    peace of mind and sight for us.
  • 43:58 - 44:02
    And all of our instinctive and natural
    desires will be fulfilled there.
  • 44:02 - 44:04
    And they will be fulfilled to the utmost
    extent, we have understood this.
  • 44:04 - 44:08
    But if a person decides to pursue that the
    Thuhar tree that will be there in Hell,
  • 44:08 - 44:11
    what would it really be like?
    Then Nadeem would become Hyder.
  • 44:14 - 44:15
    He would be right?
  • 44:15 - 44:18
    He was laughing so I referred
    to him.
  • 44:19 - 44:25
    So to pursue the question of something
    indeterminate ... what does it entail?
  • 44:25 - 44:27
    Streams might flow in the Paradise,
  • 44:27 - 44:30
    but to attempt to conceptualize an
    image of that stream.
  • 44:30 - 44:33
    And to argue and fight about it.
  • 44:33 - 44:38
    What is this? When it is clear that
    Allah's blessings will be given to us.
  • 44:38 - 44:42
    While explaining this, Imam Amin Ahsan
    Islahi writes,
  • 44:42 - 44:49
    'The reality to which the mutashaabihaat
    point is itself very clear and obvious.'
  • 44:49 - 44:51
    So the fundamental reality these
    revelations relate to
  • 44:51 - 44:55
    are rewards and punishments. About
    getting Allah's rewards or punishments
  • 44:55 - 44:58
    on the Judgment Day. So this is absolutely
    clear and obvious in the verses.
  • 44:58 - 45:03
    'The intellect can understand that part of
    it which is essential for it to understand
  • 45:03 - 45:07
    However, since it belongs to an
    unseen world,
  • 45:07 - 45:11
    the Quran mentions it through parables
    and similes
  • 45:11 - 45:15
    so that students of the Quran can
    understand it as per their capabilities
  • 45:15 - 45:19
    and consider that only God knows what
    their real form and shape is.'
  • 45:19 - 45:22
    So the correct attitude is that people
    should be grateful
  • 45:22 - 45:25
    for whatever knowledge Allah has
    given us about these things.
  • 45:25 - 45:28
    And instead of quibbling over the reality
    of those things,
  • 45:28 - 45:32
    we should leave it up to Allah. Whenever
    Allah will want to, He will lift the veil,
  • 45:32 - 45:33
    we will know the truth in the
    Hereafter.
  • 45:33 - 45:35
    'These relate to attributes and works
    of God
  • 45:35 - 45:39
    or to the reward and punishment
    of the Hereafter.
  • 45:39 - 45:43
    We are able to understand them to the
    extent we need to understand them,
  • 45:43 - 45:47
    and this increases our knowledge
    and certainty,
  • 45:47 - 45:53
    but if we go beyond this and start to seek
    their real form and shape,
  • 45:53 - 45:55
    then this will only lead
    us astray.'
  • 45:55 - 45:59
    If you open the doors to this kind
    of debate,
  • 45:59 - 46:02
    that the tree which will be there in
    Hell and the fire that would be burning,
  • 46:02 - 46:05
    then what would that tree be like
    which would not catch fire?
  • 46:05 - 46:09
    This creates an issue then, right?
    This example has been given in the Quran.
  • 46:09 - 46:12
    That the unbelievers brought up this
    debate that
  • 46:12 - 46:14
    look how irrational statements the
    believers are making.
  • 46:14 - 46:18
    They say that there would be fire in
    Hell and a Thuhar tree as well!
  • 46:18 - 46:20
    But if there would be fire there cannot
    be a tree surviving in it,
  • 46:20 - 46:22
    and if the tree is there, then there
    can't be a fire.
  • 46:22 - 46:26
    This is actually making a comparison
    of it with this world.
  • 46:27 - 46:32
    'But if we try to go beyond our limit and
    start to seek their real form and shape.'
  • 46:32 - 46:35
    See he doesn't say meaning or sense, he
    is talking of the real form and shape.
  • 46:35 - 46:39
    If we try to capture that, then that leads
    us astray and causes strife.
  • 46:39 - 46:44
    'The result of this is that while wanting
    to remove one thorn of doubt from the mind
  • 46:44 - 46:49
    a person ends up getting pricked by
    many more.
  • 46:49 - 46:54
    So much so, that in this quest to know
    more he loses what he had gained.'
  • 46:56 - 47:02
    So the situation becomes such that when
    one had gone to discover something unknown
  • 47:02 - 47:05
    when he came back he had
    lost even himself.
  • 47:05 - 47:07
    In the words of Ghalib, he even lost
    himself in the fruitless search.
  • 47:07 - 47:09
    This is what happens.
  • 47:09 - 47:13
    'And refutes very clear facts just because
    he is not able to ascertain
  • 47:13 - 47:16
    their form and shape.' So something
    was very clear,
  • 47:16 - 47:20
    but he negated it only because he could
    not understand
  • 47:20 - 47:22
    what the Thuhar tree would
    be like.
  • 47:22 - 47:24
    Or what would the stream of Paradise
    look like?
  • 47:24 - 47:27
    Or how would honey flow in the
    rivers?
  • 47:27 - 47:30
    [Student] But reading these Surahs
    seems as if
  • 47:30 - 47:33
    it is necessary for one to
    have faith first.
  • 47:33 - 47:38
    So if one wants to understand mutashaabih
    verses, one would have to have faith first
  • 47:38 - 47:42
    only then can one reach a conclusion
    in this debate.
  • 47:42 - 47:45
    [Ghamidi] No, one can easily
    understand them.
  • 47:45 - 47:49
    If it is clear to a person based on
    rational arguments,
  • 47:49 - 47:53
    that the Hereafter should exist.
    Now Allah has presented a picture for us
  • 47:53 - 47:57
    of the Hereafter. No rational person would
    have difficulty in understanding this.
  • 47:57 - 47:59
    There is no need for one to have
    faith in it first.
  • 47:59 - 48:02
    It is comprehensible for all, that
    there would be streams there,
  • 48:02 - 48:04
    and so and so blessings would
    be there.
  • 48:04 - 48:07
    This can be understood. As for faith,
    that has to be accepted about Paradise.
  • 48:07 - 48:10
    One would need to have faith
    about rewards and punishments.
  • 48:10 - 48:14
    The subject of faith and belief is not
    that stream which would be flowing there.
  • 48:14 - 48:17
    The concern for a believer is simply that
    there would be a reward and punishment.
  • 48:17 - 48:19
    This is a very rational point, and it can
    be understood by every person in the world
  • 48:19 - 48:22
    that this is how it should be.
    But when you have accepted it,
  • 48:22 - 48:24
    based on your intellect and reason that
    there would be a Judgment Day,
  • 48:24 - 48:28
    then what would be the debate
    about the particular details of it?
  • 48:28 - 48:30
    There is no difficulty in even
    understanding the particulars,
  • 48:30 - 48:34
    but only its referent is not before us.
    That is the only thing.
  • 48:37 - 48:41
    [Ghamidi] So it means that this meaning
    which we have just used,
  • 48:41 - 48:44
    what is that entity for which they
    stand true?
  • 48:44 - 48:46
    'Degcha' for instance, what is that
    thing for which its meaning stands?
  • 48:46 - 48:49
    That pot which is lying in the kitchen
    in your house.
  • 48:49 - 48:50
    [Student] So can we convey it in
    some other words then?
  • 48:50 - 48:52
    [Ghamidi] Yes you absolutely can
    convey it in some other words,
  • 48:52 - 48:54
    to communicate what the reality
    of that thing is.
  • 48:55 - 48:57
    Is the time up?
    [Student] We have two minutes left.
  • 48:57 - 49:03
    [Ghamidi] So we cannot read the next
    paragraph right now in two minutes.
  • 49:07 - 49:10
    [Student] Are the angels and Iblees
    (Satan) also mutashaabih?
  • 49:12 - 49:15
    [Ghamidi] Naturally we have not seen
    Iblees ourselves.
  • 49:15 - 49:18
    If someone has met him then I
    cannot speak for that person.
  • 49:23 - 49:25
    No that is a separate debate, what
    he is or is not.
  • 49:25 - 49:29
    We have not seen Iblees, we do not know
    who Iblees is, or what Djinns are.
  • 49:29 - 49:32
    Allah has only informed us about
    them
  • 49:32 - 49:37
    and has explained it to us in the
    only possible way.
  • 49:38 - 49:41
    Anything more than this is simply
    not possible for us to have observed.
  • 49:41 - 49:43
    When we have not seen something
    ourselves,
  • 49:43 - 49:47
    although if in case it happens that a
    Djinn appears before us,
  • 49:48 - 49:50
    then alright, we can see them.
  • 49:51 - 49:52
    Even right now what is
    the case?
  • 49:52 - 49:57
    There was a concept of Djinns created
    within the minds of human beings.
  • 49:57 - 50:01
    And they interpreted that concept with
    a word of their language, 'djinn',
  • 50:01 - 50:03
    which basically means concealed
    or hidden.
  • 50:03 - 50:07
    You see there is no referent conveyed
    even within the word itself.
  • 50:07 - 50:12
    A concept has been given a word, but
    if you go into the meaning of that word,
  • 50:12 - 50:14
    then even there you will find no
    testimony of the thing itself.
  • 50:14 - 50:16
    It simply means concealed.
  • 50:16 - 50:18
    It means such a creature which
    is hidden.
  • 50:18 - 50:21
    Because human beings have never
    seen a Djinn,
  • 50:21 - 50:24
    therefore they can only ascribe the
    word for 'concealed' to that concept.
  • 50:24 - 50:26
    Otherwise they would have at least
    used a word in which
  • 50:26 - 50:29
    there would be a reference or comparison
    to some thing or another.
  • 50:29 - 50:33
    For instance, if he had to use a
    word for it,
  • 50:33 - 50:36
    he might have used human beings
    as a reference, or maybe an animal,
  • 50:36 - 50:39
    and then would have created a word
    similar to it.
  • 50:39 - 50:41
    But he had to create a word for
    a concept, so he said 'djinn',
  • 50:41 - 50:43
    that which cannot be seen.
  • 50:43 - 50:46
    What happened here?
  • 50:46 - 50:50
    We know the meaning of Djinn,
    but we do not know its evidence.
  • 50:51 - 50:55
    [Student] You mentioned that the
    meaning of 'mutashaabih' is
  • 50:55 - 50:58
    those verses whose meaning is known
    but evidence is not known.
  • 50:58 - 51:01
    So the Huruf-e Muqattaat (disjoined
    letters) which we see in Quran,
  • 51:01 - 51:04
    how would we know their
    meanings?
  • 51:04 - 51:06
    [Ghamidi] Huruf-e Muqattaat is
    a topic of the Quran,
  • 51:06 - 51:08
    InshaAllah when I teach you about
    it, I will explain it all,
  • 51:08 - 51:11
    its meaning is also absolutely
    clear and determined.
  • 51:15 - 51:18
    Alright, so we are now left with
    a bit more of this topic.
  • 51:18 - 51:21
    After this we will begin with the next
    debate on Friday InshaAllah.
Title:
MEEZAN - Preamble - Part 30 - Principles of Understanding Quran - Javed Ahmed Ghamidi
Description:

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Video Language:
Urdu
Duration:
51:23

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