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MEEZAN - Preamble - Part 31 - Principles of Understanding Quran - Javed Ahmed Ghamidi

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    Meezan - Tadabbur-e Quran
    (Understanding the Quran)
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    Meezan and Furqan, Muhkam and
    Mutashaabih. Lecture. 16 A. 03-05-2002
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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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    what is the meaning of muhkam
    and mutashaabih verses,
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    and when it is said that some verses of
    the Quran are muhkam
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    and some are mutashaabih,
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    then does this have any affect on the
    Quran being
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    a Meezan (scale) and Furqan
    (separator of truth and falsehood)?
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    We have discussed about this
    in detail.
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    The fundamental position in this was given
    to two words, as I had said.
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    One was the meaning of mutashaabih,
    and the second was the meaning of taweel.
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    I had said that the source of the mistake
    occurred precisely in these two words.
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    What is the correct point of view in
    this matter,
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    is also something we have already
    studied.
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    There was only one last paragraph in this
    topic which we had to read still.
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    After reading that, I will begin
    with the next discussion.
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    In the verse of the Quran from which
    people have mistakenly deduced
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    that no one can understand the meaning
    of the mutashabihaat verses,
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    the Almighty does not say that no one
    except Him
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    knows the meaning of the
    mutashabihaat verses.
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    On the contrary, He says that no one
    other than Allah knows the reality
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    of what is conveyed by these
    verses.
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    So the mistake which has been made has
    come from the word 'taweel'.
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    Because the word 'taweel' came to be
    used in the later ages
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    to mean explanation, commentary,
    or meaning.
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    As I had said, this is a meaning adopted
    in the later ages.
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    So the word has come to be used in
    this meaning in the later eras.
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    The word 'taweel' in reality is not
    used to mean the things I mentioned.
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    In the Quran, this word has not been
    used in just one place.
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    It has been used in many places.
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    One of the more prominent usages out
    of those, I have quoted here.
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    But we will look at the other places
    too where it has been used.
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    Since this is a very fundamental word,
    and the whole misunderstanding has arisen
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    from it.
    And by not understanding it correctly,
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    the matter has become so complex,
    which we have already commented upon.
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    Therefore, we must have a look at the
    uses of this word in the Quran.
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    In the Quran, this word has been
    used
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    in the mention of the events related
    to Joseph (AS) quite frequently.
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    And it has been used exactly in the
    sense in which we use
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    the word 'haqeeqat' (reality) or
    'taabiir' (interpretation).
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    When we say that I saw this
    dream. We often say this right?
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    And we ask, what is its interpretation?
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    That does not imply the meaning
    of the dream.
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    While narrating a dream, one uses
    certain words right?
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    We say that we saw a river, in which
    a boat was rowing.
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    I too was sitting in it and the boatman
    was rowing the boat.
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    All of a sudden the rain started.
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    Then I saw that somehow, we had
    reached the banks of the river.
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    Now this is the narration of
    a dream.
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    Or for instance, the dream of
    Syedna Abraham.
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    In which he mentioned before his son,
    'Inni ara fil manami anni azbahuka'.
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    Which means that I see in a dream that
    I am slaughtering you.
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    Now the words which have been used of
    the Arabic language,
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    'Inni ara fil manaam', there is no issue
    in understanding them.
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    These are clear words, 'Inni ara fil
    manaam', is very clear Arabic.
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    'I see in a dream'. Just like we say it
    in Urdu too, that I saw it in a dream.
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    'Anni azbahuka'. 'I am slaughtering you.'
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    The word 'slaughtering' too is very
    intentional, we use it every day
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    and we are aware of its
    meaning too.
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    Understanding this word too was not
    at all difficult for Ishmael.
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    And even now when these words
    are spoken,
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    there is no doubt about their
    meaning.
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    But it is a dream, and when you will
    relate this dream,
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    you will say,
    'what is its interpretation?'
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    So its meaning is not a point of
    debate; meanings belong to the words.
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    The word or the sentence which we choose
    to express an issue or a matter,
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    there the debate is about the
    meaning.
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    Meaning implies a discussion about what
    'inni' means or what 'ara' means,
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    what 'manaam' means.
    This is concerned with their meanings.
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    But to say that I have seen I am
    floating down a river,
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    in this we know the meaning of the words
    river, floating, and downstream as well.
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    But what is their reality? What is the
    implication of what I have seen?
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    This reality or this interpretation of
    the dream,
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    because in Surah Yusuf, as the people who
    have read the Quran would know,
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    that dreams were continuously
    coming under discussion.
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    A dream was seen by the King, another
    was seen by Prophet Joseph,
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    after that his cellmates in the prison
    also saw some dreams.
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    So the Surah is talking about a lot
    of dreams.
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    You can see that the Quran has used
    this word again and again.
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    Surah Yusuf is the twelfth Surah
    of the Quran.
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    In its sixth verse, it says 'Wa kazaalika
    yajtabeeka rabbuka
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    wa yu'allimuka min ta'weelil
    ahaadees.'
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    'Wa yu'allimuka min ta'weelil
    ahaadees.'
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    It means that your Lord will teach you
    how to reach the truth of things.
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    It does not say that He will tell you
    the meanings of the sentences.
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    When a narrative will be presented,
    then what is the truth behind it,
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    that is what your Lord will teach you.
    Or this is what God has taught you,
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    this is what you have learned
    from Him.
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    So 'taweel' is used in the exact same
    meaning in which we use the word 'reality'
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    Then at another place, this same word
    has been used
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    where the King has narrated his dream
    and has asked his Courtiers,
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    what do you have to say about my dream?
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    So there is no trouble for anyone in
    understanding the words
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    which have been used in
    that dream.
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    There are seven fat cows who are
    being eaten, and there are ears of corn.
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    The dream which has been narrated,
    there was no trouble in its meaning.
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    But see what he says in response. He says:
    wa ma nahnu betaweelil ahlame be'aalameen
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    We are not scholars of the reality and
    interpretations of dreams.
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    So it is that same word which has
    been used here.
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    We are not learned in it, we are not aware
    about the things that are seen in dreams
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    and what their reality is.
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    What do those things denote?
    Or we can borrow the same word
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    which I had explained in my previous
    lecture.
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    That it is not the meaning, but the
    referent of the dream I have seen.
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    So what is it for which it stands
    as a true testament?
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    What is it that would manifest
    in reality from it?
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    So here too this word has
    been used.
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    Then there is the famous dream of
    Prophet Joseph,
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    which led to the whole incident of
    Surah Yusuf.
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    He said, I dreamt of eleven stars, and the
    sun and the moon, prostrating before me.
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    This was his dream, right? Now here, the
    word used for 'eleven', 'ahada 'ashara',
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    no person fluent in the Arabic language
    has any issue in grasping its meaning.
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    In fact even a student of the Arabic
    language knows its meaning.
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    Or the statement that I dreamt of
    eleven stars,
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    so the word used for stars in it,
    i.e. 'kawkaba',
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    this too is understood easily
    by everyone.
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    So there is no doubt in its meaning.
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    The words used for the sun and the moon
    are also the ones prevalent in Arabic.
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    'Al shamsa wal qamar'. And after that,
    'ra aytuhum lee sajideen',
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    this too is eloquent Arabic,
    clear Arabic.
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    I dreamt that they were prostrating
    before me.
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    I dreamt that they are bowing
    to me.
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    So there is no difficulty in understanding
    the meaning of these words.
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    But when the interpretation of this
    dream was put before us,
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    when you read Surah Yusuf, towards the
    end of it, its interpretation is revealed.
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    That event really comes true, that his
    brothers and his parents,
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    they all bow their heads in reverence
    to him, seeing his greatness and glory.
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    This incident has come at the end
    of the Surah right?
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    Now at that point, he says to his
    father,
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    'qala ya abati haaza taweelu
    ru'yaaya min qabl.'
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    'O my dear father! This is the
    interpretation of that dream of mine.'
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    He does not say this is the meaning
    of my dream.
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    The meaning was clear
    even earlier.
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    This is the interpretation of my old
    dream which has been revealed.
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    Then at another place too, Quran has
    used this word.
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    In Surah Al-Kahf, which is the
    eighteenth Surah.
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    In Surah Al-Kahf, that incident has been
    narrated in which
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    Prophet Moses was travelling with a young
    companion of his.
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    And in that journey, he was faced with
    some mystifying incidents.
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    Which people have usually called the story
    of Moses and Khizr.
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    So in that, Moses is looking
    at the situation.
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    There is a boat going by, and Khizr
    destroyed it.
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    When he saw a collapsed wall, even when
    people of the tribe did not offer him food
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    he fixed that wall up. He saw a
    young man, and killed him.
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    Now these incidents which have been
    narrated here,
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    if you convey them in words, there is no
    difficulty in understanding their meanings
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    But what is the reality behind them?
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    So there too, this same word has
    been used in Surah al-Kahf.
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    When Prophet Moses kept asking
    questions of Khizr,
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    and Khizr commanded him not to ask
    him anything but only to watch,
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    but he did not stop asking, then Khizr
    decided on parting ways with him.
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    'Haza firaqu bainee wa bainak.' Because
    you could not be patient,
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    so we must part ways.
    At that point he further added,
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    'sa unabi 'uka bitaweeli ma lam
    tastati' 'alaihi sabraa.'
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    Now I will inform you of the
    interpretation of that
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    about which you could not
    have patience.
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    So the Quran has again used the
    word 'taweel'.
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    It means what is the reality of
    the incidents.
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    So here again that word
    was used.
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    After that, when he had narrated
    the whole explanation,
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    he said, 'zalika taaweelu ma lam tastati'
    'alaihi sabra.'
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    This is the reality, or interpretation,
    about which you could not have patience.
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    Now I have explained it to you.
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    Similarly, this word has been used at
    other places in the Quran as well.
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    And you will see that it is used each
    time in this same meaning.
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    The word 'taweel' came to be used
    to imply 'meaning' later on.
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    As I have said before, it happened much
    later and it is a later meaning.
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    In the ancient Arabic language, in the
    language of the Quran,
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    this word was actually used to mean
    uncovering the true meaning of something,
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    to reach back into its source, and from
    that it has come to be used now
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    to mean 'truth' and 'example'.
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    Hence in verses such as these, it is used
    like 'zaalika ahsanu taaweela'.
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    There we translate it as, 'this is a
    beautiful thing for what it led to'.
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    It means that the conclusion it arrives
    at, that is its ultimate end.
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    We use the word in that sense too.
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    So as I had said, there are actually two
    words who are fundamental in this case.
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    The whole error has actually arisen
    because of these words.
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    The word 'mutashaabih', when going by
    its conclusion the meaning that it gives,
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    and then the meaning which is then
    ascribed to it,
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    people have adopted that meaning
    for that word.
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    And this word 'taweel', was taken to
    mean 'meaning'.
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    So the result of both these errors was
    that the purport of the verse became,
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    that in the Quran there are some verses
    whose meaning is ambiguous.
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    This was the inference drawn as a
    result of the first error.
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    And the second error led to the conclusion
    that their meaning is known only to Allah.
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    Naturally if this is the situation, then
    that third objection is valid.
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    So I have already discussed about muhkam
    and mutashaabih.
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    Now I have told you in what sense the
    word 'taweel' is used.
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    In light of this, let us read the
    following.
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    In the verse of the Quran from which
    people have deduced the fact
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    that no one can understand the meaning
    of the mutashabihaat verses,
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    the Almighty does not say that no one
    except Him knows the meaning
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    of the mutashabihaat verses. On the
    contrary, He says that
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    no one knows the reality of what is
    conveyed by these verses.
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    So that is not what Allah said. He says
    their reality is known only to Him.
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    When Allah says that in Paradise, you
    will find such gardens
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    underneath which streams will be
    flowing,
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    then in this we know the meaning of
    a garden, of streams,
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    and there is no doubt in this verse
    in terms of its meaning.
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    This is eloquent Arabic, clear
    Arabic.
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    But what will those streams be like?
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    What will those gardens be like? The
    reality of these is known only to Allah.
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    This stands true even today.
    Yes, go on.
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    [Student] Hello.
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    [Ghamidi] I thought you are going
    to strangle me.
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    [Student] These mutashabihaat verses
    are those verses
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    which have been conveyed by drawing
    parallels with some other thing.
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    But there are some other kinds of
    verses which are harder.
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    Like it is said about Sulaiman (as) that
    a mere body was cast on this throne.
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    What would we say about these
    verses?
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    [Ghamidi] I have understood your
    question.
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    What is the meaning of a difficult
    verse?
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    It is possible that a scholar might have
    been mistaken
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    in determining the intention
    of a verse, that's all.
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    What is the meaning of a
    difficult verse?
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    [Student] But we do not know
    their reality.
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    [Ghamidi] That is dependent on what
    is understood by the verse.
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    It is quite possible that a word was
    used in a verse
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    which people had misunderstood.
    The way we just discussed.
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    One is the mutashabihaat verses
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    And the other is what the verse
    itself is conveying.
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    So here there was an error in
    determining the meaning of mutashabihaat,
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    as well as in the meaning of
    taweel.
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    So when you will correct and clarify
    the meanings,
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    there would be no further difficulty
    in this verse at all.
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    The verse there says, 'walqayna 'alaa
    kursiyyihi jasada',
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    and when its correct meaning will be
    conveyed, what its intention is,
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    what is being said therein, and that will
    be conveyed based on
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    those same linguistic principles which are
    needed to understand any good discourse.
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    So that verse is not difficult in itself.
    It has been made difficult because
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    outwardly the supposed intent of that
    verse does not make sense.
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    That difficulty had arisen here as well,
    but you see it has been resolved.
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    So it does not mean the verse was
    ambigious.
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    The verse in fact was very clear. There
    was an error in determining its meaning.
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    And when that error occurred, did we go
    back fourteen centuries to correct it?
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    The knowledge we have with us, based
    on which argumentation is made,
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    it is based on that only that we have
    deduced its correct meaning.
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    We took the word 'mutashaabih', and
    delved into it to understand what it means
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    and how did it originate, in which sense
    is it used?
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    And even in that we did not have
    to look outside of the Quran,
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    for Quran itself has used it at different
    places with such mastery,
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    that we have been able to establish
    its intent and meaning.
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    The exact same situation you have seen
    in the word 'taweel'.
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    We took the word 'taweel', and we pursued
    it back through history,
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    so that its correct meaning can
    be established.
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    When the meaning was clear, then this
    verse, which was difficult before, right?
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    This became easy. So a difficult verse is
    a relative thing.
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    One person is unable to understand
    a verse. It becomes difficult for him.
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    If you find someone who can explain
    it, then it would become easy.
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    This is relative. It is the same as
    if you were to say,
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    I cannot understand this couplet
    by Ghalib at all.
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    'Qumri kaf-e-khakistar o bulbul
    qafas-e-rang
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    ai naala nishan-e-jigar-e-sokhta
    kya hai?'
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    You tell me what is it?
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    'The ring-dove is just a handful of dust,
    the nightingale merely a cage of colors,
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    O their mournful lament! Where is the mark
    of their burning passion?'
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    So if this is explained to you, you will
    be very impressed.
  • 17:12 - 17:17
    The difficulty or ease actually relate to
    a person's knowledge and understanding,
  • 17:17 - 17:20
    and not to any complication within
    the verse itself.
  • 17:20 - 17:22
    This couplet too is an extremely
    simple one,
  • 17:22 - 17:27
    on the condition that one is aware of
    the style in which Ghalib has written it.
  • 17:27 - 17:33
    And the words which have been used in it,
    their correct meanings should be taken.
  • 17:35 - 17:39
    So do not call any verse difficult.
    'Difficulty' is a relative attribute.
  • 17:39 - 17:41
    A couplet might be difficult for
    one person,
  • 17:41 - 17:43
    a linguistic style might be difficult
    for another,
  • 17:43 - 17:48
    but when a scholar explains these things
    to them, it becomes absolutely clear.
  • 17:48 - 17:53
    So these kinds of verses of the Quran,
    about which some people think that
  • 17:53 - 17:59
    they are difficult verses. Such as that
    verse is there, in which it is said that
  • 17:59 - 18:04
    now you must put a patch of land
    on the sky, 'summa li yaqta'.
  • 18:04 - 18:06
    Now that has become an issue
    hasn't it?
  • 18:06 - 18:09
    What does 'summa li yaqta' mean?
  • 18:09 - 18:13
    But I can explain it to you as per the
    common Arabic style.
  • 18:13 - 18:15
    After that you will say, there is no
    easier verse than this!
  • 18:15 - 18:19
    But when one struggles with it, he
    thinks it must be a very difficult one.
  • 18:21 - 18:27
    When one's liver burns with the pain
    of separation, and one sighs and cries,
  • 18:27 - 18:31
    when a person's heart is aflame
    with passion,
  • 18:31 - 18:36
    what happens then? He is consumed and
    pained with love isn't he?
  • 18:36 - 18:40
    When his liver is consumed with
    passion, this has happened inside him.
  • 18:40 - 18:43
    How would it manifest outwardly?
  • 18:43 - 18:46
    We saw that even the ring-dove is
    also burning with passion,
  • 18:46 - 18:51
    as is the nightingale. Both of them
    lament and sing mournfully.
  • 18:51 - 18:54
    This has been established, both of
    them are burning in passion.
  • 18:54 - 19:01
    But that liver which is aflame, that
    heart which is burning in anguish,
  • 19:01 - 19:05
    where is its scar? What is the mark
    it has given?
  • 19:05 - 19:07
    There must be an outward mark
    of it too right?
  • 19:07 - 19:11
    As we say, when the heart is crying,
    the eyes reflect it.
  • 19:11 - 19:13
    So there must be some outward
    sign of it.
  • 19:13 - 19:16
    So Ghalib says that I can't understand
    that when both of them are burning in pain
  • 19:16 - 19:20
    but when I see them, then 'qumri
    kaf-e-khakistar'.
  • 19:20 - 19:23
    It seems that the ring-dove
    is just a handful of ashes.
  • 19:23 - 19:27
    If you have ever seen a ring-dove, it
    is the same ashen color as dust.
  • 19:27 - 19:30
    'Bulbul qafas-e-rang'. And what is
    the nightingale?
  • 19:30 - 19:35
    It appears to be a cage made out of
    beautiful and colorful sticks.
  • 19:35 - 19:39
    'Ai naala nishan-e-jigar-e-sokhta
    kya hai?'
  • 19:39 - 19:42
    So I can hear the lament, but O lament,
    let me ask you,
  • 19:42 - 19:46
    that the liver that is burning inside, is
    there a visible mark of it too?
  • 19:46 - 19:50
    And where is it? So there is nothing
    difficult in the couplet per se.
  • 19:50 - 19:53
    But when I read it, you see I asked,
    what is it?
  • 19:53 - 19:58
    So that 'what' is indicative of the
    relative difficulty of the couplet.
  • 19:58 - 20:01
    This is why, thanks be to God there
    is nothing difficult in this verse.
  • 20:01 - 20:06
    Why does the difficulty arise sometimes?
    I will explain it later as we go on,
  • 20:06 - 20:09
    as to where do people face difficulty
    in understanding the Quran.
  • 20:09 - 20:10
    Why do people struggle with it?
  • 20:10 - 20:12
    There are causes for that difficulty.
  • 20:12 - 20:15
    For instance, what did we just see
    right now?
  • 20:15 - 20:19
    The word was in use in its
    actual meaning too,
  • 20:19 - 20:23
    and it was also being used according
    to the implication it reflected.
  • 20:23 - 20:27
    But it was the latter meaning which
    was taken mistakenly.
  • 20:27 - 20:29
    And the first meaning was not
    considered.
  • 20:29 - 20:33
    There was dominance of the latter
    meaning on the word 'taweel'.
  • 20:33 - 20:36
    And since that one became dominant,
    it created some dilemma.
  • 20:36 - 20:39
    But I have just presented before you
    many verses,
  • 20:39 - 20:40
    where you see no dilemma or
    difficulty.
  • 20:40 - 20:45
    The moment we see the word 'taweel',
    we come to know what its true meaning is.
  • 20:45 - 20:48
    So this is why, put aside the idea of
    it being difficult.
  • 20:48 - 20:52
    One thing is difficult for you, another
    would be hard for me,
  • 20:52 - 20:54
    but it might not be difficult for
    a third person, a scholar,
  • 20:54 - 20:56
    when he would explain it.
  • 20:57 - 21:02
    In fact it says that their reality is
    not known to anyone but Allah.
  • 21:02 - 21:07
    The word used for that in the Quran
    is 'taweel',
  • 21:07 - 21:12
    and it is used in the exact same meaning
    as it has been used in Surah Yusuf.
  • 21:12 - 21:17
    'Qaala ya abati haaza taweelu ru'yaaya min
    qablu qad ja'alaha Rabbee haqqa.'
  • 21:17 - 21:21
    The reason I have chosen this verse is
    because it conveys the meaning clearly.
  • 21:21 - 21:24
    Prophet Joseph's dream has been narrated
    at the beginning of the Surah.
  • 21:24 - 21:30
    After that comes the event in which his
    eleven brothers and his parents
  • 21:30 - 21:33
    prostrate before him in
    reverence.
  • 21:33 - 21:39
    At that moment he says, 'Father, this is
    the meaning of that dream of mine,
  • 21:39 - 21:42
    my Lord has made it a reality.'
  • 21:43 - 21:47
    So the dream he had seen was real, but
    at that time its reality was not clear.
  • 21:47 - 21:51
    Its interpretation was not known. It
    was not clear what it really represented.
  • 21:51 - 21:53
    I think I had mentioned it
    here before,
  • 21:54 - 21:57
    about the reality of the dreams.
  • 21:57 - 22:00
    Dreams are a very good example
    of this issue,
  • 22:00 - 22:03
    the problem which is faced in the
    mutashabihaat verses.
  • 22:03 - 22:07
    When something is conveyed in an
    allegorical manner,
  • 22:07 - 22:10
    then naturally given that it is
    mentioned in the style similitude,
  • 22:10 - 22:15
    then before its referent and reality
    is revealed,
  • 22:15 - 22:18
    it is hard to say categorically what
    its reality is.
  • 22:18 - 22:20
    Just like I had told you about the
    blessings of the Paradise,
  • 22:20 - 22:23
    that they have been mentioned in the
    Quran through similitudes.
  • 22:23 - 22:28
    So the blessings of our world have been
    pointed at, and by comparison with them,
  • 22:28 - 22:31
    the blessings of Paradise have been
    traced to some extent.
  • 22:31 - 22:33
    Now when their reality will be
    revealed to us,
  • 22:33 - 22:38
    every one of us will say, and may every
    one have the good fortune of seeing them,
  • 22:38 - 22:41
    then all of us will say that yes, this is
    that same thing
  • 22:41 - 22:43
    the form of which we had been shown
    in the world here.
  • 22:43 - 22:47
    In fact, our great esteemed teacher
    Amin Ahsan Islahi,
  • 22:47 - 22:49
    took that famous verse 'haaz allazee
    ruziqnaa min qablu
  • 22:49 - 22:53
    wa utoo bihee mutashaabihaa'.
    and interpreted it as this only,
  • 22:53 - 22:55
    that when those blessings will be
    revealed,
  • 22:55 - 22:59
    they will be similar to the picture that
    is painted of them in this world.
  • 22:59 - 23:03
    So people will say upon looking at them
    that haaz allazee ruziqnaa min qablu'.
  • 23:03 - 23:06
    We have been given a flavor of them
    earlier itself,
  • 23:06 - 23:08
    that is, in this world itself.
  • 23:08 - 23:11
    I am not debating right now about whether
    this interpretation is correct or not.
  • 23:11 - 23:13
    But it says that this will be the
    situation with every human being.
  • 23:13 - 23:16
    Whether this is what has been said in
    this verse or not is a separate issue.
  • 23:16 - 23:19
    But the situation there will be
    exactly like this.
  • 23:19 - 23:23
    I think I had told you about the
    dream of Syeda.
  • 23:23 - 23:29
    The dream of Syeda Ayesha. She told her
    father Abu Bakr Siddiq (RA),
  • 23:29 - 23:34
    that I have seen a beautiful dream.
    He asked her what it was.
  • 23:34 - 23:40
    She replied that I saw in a dream that
    in my room, in my lap,
  • 23:40 - 23:42
    three moons have descended.
  • 23:43 - 23:48
    I am sitting in my room, and three moons
    have come down in my lap.
  • 23:49 - 23:52
    So her father asked her, what do you
    think is the interpretation of this dream?
  • 23:52 - 23:58
    She replied that I think I will bear three
    sons by the Prophet (pbuh).
  • 23:58 - 24:00
    Now this is seems a very plausible
    understanding of the dream.
  • 24:00 - 24:02
    Three moons have descended.
  • 24:03 - 24:07
    Syedna Abu Bakr Siddiq heard this, and
    smiled and remained silent.
  • 24:07 - 24:11
    When the Prophet (pbuh) died and he
    was buried in Ayesha's room,
  • 24:11 - 24:13
    and after the funeral Abu Bakr
    told her,
  • 24:13 - 24:17
    this is your first moon that has
    descended in your room.
  • 24:18 - 24:21
    So you see what the reality of that
    dream was.
  • 24:21 - 24:25
    But from the words, a different conception
    was being conveyed of that dream.
  • 24:25 - 24:32
    So this is a very good example of how
    a reality is conveyed before us
  • 24:32 - 24:35
    in an allegorical style, and from that we
    conceive of an idea.
  • 24:35 - 24:38
    We create an imagination of a blessings
    of Paradise, right?
  • 24:38 - 24:43
    If you ever notice, when one reads the
    Quran, an image in created in our minds.
  • 24:43 - 24:46
    You may create as glorious an image as
    you possibly can,
  • 24:46 - 24:49
    it nevertheless would find resemblance
    from this world itself.
  • 24:49 - 24:51
    But when its reality would be unveiled
    for us,
  • 24:51 - 24:54
    it is possible ours would be the same
    condition as happened with Syeda Ayesha.
  • 24:54 - 24:57
    But you see that soon as the reality of
    her dream was revealed,
  • 24:57 - 25:01
    then those words which she said, that
    three moons have descended in my room,
  • 25:01 - 25:04
    it is not that those words do not conform
    to this interpretation.
  • 25:04 - 25:07
    They would conform to the other assumed
    meaning and they fulfill this meaning too.
  • 25:07 - 25:11
    So had the reality been what she imagined,
    the words would conform to it then too.
  • 25:11 - 25:14
    Now that this was the reality, even then
    the words satisfy the interpretation.
  • 25:14 - 25:18
    So you must understand this. Hence
    Prophet Joseph had at that point said,
  • 25:18 - 25:24
    'ya abati haaza taweelu ru'yaaya min
    qablu qad ja'alaha Rabbee haqqa.'
  • 25:24 - 25:28
    Everyone knows the meanings of the words
    in which this dream is stated in the Quran
  • 25:29 - 25:32
    So the words which the Quran has used
    to convey this dream,
  • 25:32 - 25:34
    the dream upon which this comment
    is being made,
  • 25:34 - 25:40
    there is no debate about its meanings.
    Everyone can understand it.
  • 25:40 - 25:44
    Even an ordinary student of Arabic
    language understands without any issue
  • 25:44 - 25:47
    the meaning of the Quranic verse in which
    this dream is mentioned.
  • 25:47 - 25:49
    So with regards to its meaning, there is
    absolutely no difficulty in it.
  • 25:49 - 25:53
    It is a simple phrase, a straightforward
    sentence,
  • 25:53 - 25:56
    if you are taught some preliminary Arabic,
    and this sentence is put before you,
  • 25:56 - 25:57
    you yourself will do the correct
    translation.
  • 25:57 - 26:00
    So there is nothing difficult in its
    language or expression.
  • 26:00 - 26:02
    It is a very simple sentence.
  • 26:03 - 26:07
    But what was the true manifestation of the
    sun, the moon and the eleven stars
  • 26:07 - 26:10
    which Joseph saw bowing before
    him?
  • 26:10 - 26:14
    When he was stating this dream, not by
    any stretch of the imagination
  • 26:14 - 26:18
    could he have thought that one day the
    brothers who, right now,
  • 26:18 - 26:22
    are trying to kill me and my esteemed
    father, and my beloved mother,
  • 26:22 - 26:25
    they all would bow their heads before
    me in reverence.
  • 26:25 - 26:28
    He could not have imagined this at
    that time at all.
  • 26:28 - 26:31
    No person could have ascertained
    this interpretation
  • 26:31 - 26:35
    till these words manifested
    themselves in reality.
  • 26:36 - 26:41
    Even now if you think about it, Joseph
    was only a young boy at that time,
  • 26:41 - 26:45
    he was the apple of his father's eye,
    his father loved him deeply.
  • 26:45 - 26:48
    And his brothers envied him a little
    as well.
  • 26:48 - 26:52
    But despite all of that, no one could have
    imagined the way this dream manifested.
  • 26:52 - 26:56
    No one could have guessed it, that it
    would come to pass this way.
  • 26:56 - 27:00
    These are the things the Quran
    calls mutashaabih.
  • 27:00 - 27:04
    So the word mutashaabih which has been
    used in the Quran,
  • 27:04 - 27:06
    has been used for these kinds
    of verses.
  • 27:06 - 27:11
    One world which exists in our past,
    Allah's world which was there
  • 27:11 - 27:13
    before this world of ours came
    into being.
  • 27:13 - 27:16
    The Quran relates some facts about
    that too.
  • 27:16 - 27:20
    And there is the world which
    is unseen right now,
  • 27:20 - 27:24
    and then there is a world which
    would be unveiled in the Hereafter.
  • 27:24 - 27:26
    The Quran refers to all three
    by 'mutashaabih'.
  • 27:26 - 27:30
    It says that when we created Adam,
    what were the conditions then,
  • 27:30 - 27:33
    and the Angels bowed to him and so on.
    And whatever happened after that.
  • 27:33 - 27:37
    So there is no difficulty in understanding
    the meanings of these verses.
  • 27:37 - 27:40
    But what are they referring to
    in reality?
  • 27:40 - 27:44
    Those things will be known to us
    only when we are able to observe them.
  • 27:44 - 27:46
    We can imagine somewhat about what
    the Quran says,
  • 27:46 - 27:51
    that we released all the evil spirits and
    then asked them, 'alastu birabbikum'.
  • 27:52 - 27:54
    There is no difficulty in these
    words is there?
  • 27:54 - 27:56
    But what is the real referent and
    manifestation of this,
  • 27:56 - 27:58
    how did this event come
    to pass?
  • 27:58 - 28:01
    At this time, it is not possible
    for us to even imagine it.
  • 28:01 - 28:04
    The few recent investigations and
    discoveries which have happened,
  • 28:04 - 28:08
    they have made some things
    possible to imagine to some extent.
  • 28:08 - 28:10
    But that is true only of a few
    things.
  • 28:10 - 28:14
    We cannot say what is the reality of
    the many things which will manifest.
  • 28:16 - 28:19
    These are the things the Quran
    calls mutashaabih,
  • 28:19 - 28:23
    and as people contend, they do not mean
    something which is ambiguous and vague.
  • 28:23 - 28:27
    Thus the mutashabihaat in no way undermine
    the status of the Quran
  • 28:27 - 28:33
    as Furqan and Meezan. So the case
    which I had to argue is this one.
  • 28:33 - 28:35
    That the Quran is a Meezan
    and Furqan.
  • 28:35 - 28:39
    It conveys its intention which complete
    clarity,
  • 28:39 - 28:42
    and nothing can make suspect the
    meaning it wants to convey.
  • 28:42 - 28:44
    Nothing can have an affect
    over it.
  • 28:44 - 28:46
    Some questions had been raised
    about this aspect,
  • 28:46 - 28:50
    and one of those questions related
    to muhkam and mutashaabih.
  • 28:50 - 28:53
    After discussing about this, I have
    quoted that verse here.
  • 28:53 - 28:55
    This is the verse.
  • 28:55 - 29:00
    'Huwal lazee anzala 'alaikal Kitaaba minhu
    Aayatum muhkamaatun hunna Ummul Kitaabi
  • 29:00 - 29:04
    wa ukharu Mutashaabihaat.' 'It is He who
    has revealed to you the Book.
  • 29:04 - 29:07
    Some of its verses are muhkam, which
    are the foundation of the Book.
  • 29:07 - 29:11
    And others are mutashaabih.'
    So Allah says that
  • 29:11 - 29:17
    your focus should be on those verses in
    which I have given the articles of faith,
  • 29:17 - 29:22
    the rules of etiquette, My Shariah, or
    have given warnings,
  • 29:22 - 29:24
    they form the real foundation of
    the Book.
  • 29:24 - 29:27
    The others only represent the outcome
    of these.
  • 29:27 - 29:30
    Such as rewards and punishments.
    Now these in themselves are muhkam.
  • 29:30 - 29:34
    A judgement will be given, and it will
    have a Paradise which will have gardens
  • 29:34 - 29:36
    and streams of milk and honey
    will flow.
  • 29:36 - 29:41
    These are the things about which only
    a vague conception can be formed,
  • 29:41 - 29:45
    nothing more than that. Now it has
    further commented on it.
  • 29:45 - 29:50
    'Fa'ammal lazeena fii quloobihim zaiyghun
    fa yattabi'oona ma tashaabaha minh'.
  • 29:50 - 29:55
    Then those whose hearts are warped go
    after the mutashaabih among them.
  • 29:55 - 30:00
    So their interest is not in those
    realities which Quran brings to attention.
  • 30:00 - 30:05
    The interest of those people is, say,
    in that Thuhar tree in Hell,
  • 30:05 - 30:07
    about what would it be like.
  • 30:07 - 30:11
    And this thing that is being said, that
    when Judgement Day will come,
  • 30:11 - 30:16
    Allah will manifest Himself with eight
    angels who will be carrying His throne.
  • 30:16 - 30:19
    So why only eight?
    Why not nine?
  • 30:19 - 30:22
    You will say, who would ask such
    a foolish question?
  • 30:22 - 30:24
    But there are lengthy debates about
    this in our tradition.
  • 30:24 - 30:26
    People have filled books with these.
  • 30:26 - 30:30
    When a person uses his mind focusing
    on the wrong thing,
  • 30:30 - 30:32
    that is what the Quran has commented
    upon.
  • 30:32 - 30:36
    Then those whose hearts are warped go
    after the mutashaabih among them.
  • 30:36 - 30:38
    And the Quran has given two reasons
    for that.
  • 30:38 - 30:42
    One is to create dissension, so when
    one has the wrong intentions.
  • 30:42 - 30:46
    A person wants to deviate from the
    true teachings of the book.
  • 30:46 - 30:49
    He wants to make it a target of
    ridicule.
  • 30:49 - 30:54
    He prefers to go towards those aspects
    from where some discord may be created.
  • 30:54 - 30:57
    Hence we see that we too read
    the Quran,
  • 30:57 - 31:00
    and oftentimes it happens that others
    are reading too,
  • 31:00 - 31:02
    but the entire Quranic teaching will
    be sidelined
  • 31:02 - 31:06
    and they would suddenly stop at a place
    where they pick this kind of an issue.
  • 31:06 - 31:11
    So this is one reason. The second
    reason is to know their reality.
  • 31:11 - 31:15
    So the second reason is that human
    beings have a natural curiosity in them.
  • 31:15 - 31:17
    The Quran has given an example
    for this too,
  • 31:17 - 31:23
    that when people asked about Allah's
    revelation to His Prophet.
  • 31:23 - 31:26
    And he was Allah's Messenger.
    This is among the muhkam things.
  • 31:26 - 31:29
    One can present evidence for this
    based on knowledge and reasoning.
  • 31:29 - 31:33
    The question people asked was, what
    exactly is this revelation?
  • 31:33 - 31:37
    Naturally this matter belongs to the
    unseen world of Allah.
  • 31:37 - 31:39
    What is revelation?
  • 31:39 - 31:43
    How is that message communicated
    and transferred to the Prophet?
  • 31:43 - 31:47
    Now we understand a lot more, many more
    things about the Cosmos Allah has created
  • 31:47 - 31:49
    has been discovered and come into
    our knowledge.
  • 31:49 - 31:52
    But this question was raised at the time.
    'Yasalunaka 'anir Ruh'.
  • 31:52 - 31:56
    They ask, what is revelation? The reply
    was 'Quli l ruhu min amri rabbi.'
  • 31:56 - 31:59
    That this is a command of your Lord,
    it is issued by Him.
  • 31:59 - 32:02
    And after that it reaches the
    Prophet.
  • 32:02 - 32:05
    And about that, the Quran has made a
    beautiful comment.
  • 32:05 - 32:08
    After stating this and answering the
    question, the Quran comments further,
  • 32:08 - 32:11
    'wa ma ooteetum minal 'ilmi
    illa qaleela'.
  • 32:11 - 32:15
    Humankind has been given only a little
    knowledge of it.
  • 32:15 - 32:20
    It is not as if you have been given the
    ability to understand every thing.
  • 32:20 - 32:24
    This is what some enlightened people call
    'laa adri nisful ilm'.
  • 32:24 - 32:29
    Half the wisdom is knowing that
    you do not know.
  • 32:30 - 32:32
    This is not an ordinary statement.
  • 32:32 - 32:34
    It means you know the limits
    of your knowledge.
  • 32:34 - 32:37
    You have come to know that I
    do not know this.
  • 32:37 - 32:40
    That this is beyond my intellectual
    capability.
  • 32:40 - 32:44
    I had briefly referred to it, and this is
    not the place to get into this debate,
  • 32:44 - 32:48
    that in our tradition, all the debates
    about philosophy and theology,
  • 32:48 - 32:50
    whether it is about free will and
    determinism,
  • 32:50 - 32:53
    and many other ones such as the
    attributes of God,
  • 32:53 - 32:55
    .... and attributes and their connection
    with each other,
  • 32:55 - 32:59
    if put before you, you will wonder what
    kind of things people wasted their time on
  • 32:59 - 33:05
    When all those debates are made clear,
    some complex questions really do emerge.
  • 33:07 - 33:13
    For example, how do God's omnipotence and
    omniscience both work at the same time?
  • 33:15 - 33:20
    Because if you believe in one, then
    apparently you have to negate the other.
  • 33:20 - 33:23
    And if you believe the latter attribute,
    you have to negate the first one.
  • 33:23 - 33:24
    So this is a complicated matter,
    isn't it?
  • 33:24 - 33:26
    Where is the fallacy in this?
  • 33:26 - 33:30
    The mistake is that from our perspective,
    if you try to understand this issue,
  • 33:30 - 33:34
    then we are able to understand both
    free will and determinism.
  • 33:34 - 33:38
    But if you try and imagine it from Allah's
    perspective, about how He works,
  • 33:38 - 33:41
    then this is something about which Allah
    will again say
  • 33:41 - 33:44
    'wa ma ooteetum minal 'ilmi
    illa qaleela'.
  • 33:44 - 33:46
    That is, it is very easy for human
    beings to question things,
  • 33:46 - 33:48
    they can raise questions about
    every thing.
  • 33:48 - 33:52
    But then they must know what
    their limits are.
  • 33:52 - 33:58
    And you can see that the journey in human
    knowledge from philosophy to science,
  • 33:58 - 34:01
    the fundamental step in it is
    precisely this.
  • 34:01 - 34:06
    This was the concern of philosophy
    for two thousand years,
  • 34:06 - 34:08
    the question, 'why does anything
    exist?'
  • 34:10 - 34:14
    And it could not come up with any
    answer for this
  • 34:14 - 34:17
    Ibaaraatuna shaqqa
  • 34:17 - 34:21
    Whichever way a person turned, he found
    that the matter just became more complex.
  • 34:21 - 34:25
    Resolving one problem only created
    another, and on it went.
  • 34:25 - 34:28
    After that, there came a great revolution
    in the world.
  • 34:28 - 34:32
    And the most intelligent people of the
    world said that the things we cannot know,
  • 34:32 - 34:35
    why should we waste our time
    pursuing them?
  • 34:35 - 34:37
    We are putting aside the metaphysical
    concern of 'why',
  • 34:37 - 34:40
    and we are starting with the question
    of 'how'.
  • 34:40 - 34:42
    If you read the classical books
    of science,
  • 34:42 - 34:44
    this will be the first sentence you
    see therein.
  • 34:44 - 34:50
    Science began its journey when philosophy
    was concerned with the 'why' of being,
  • 34:50 - 34:54
    and we realized that that cannot be
    answered and put it aside,
  • 34:54 - 34:57
    and now we are looking at the question
    of 'how' based on observation.
  • 34:57 - 35:00
    So when you delve into it, what exactly
    is this first statement saying?
  • 35:00 - 35:03
    This is an acknowledgement of
    one's limits.
  • 35:03 - 35:07
    And along with an admission of humility,
    it is also a great knowledge discovery.
  • 35:07 - 35:10
    For now we came to know this is not
    something that falls within human domain.
  • 35:10 - 35:14
    And soon as we left it aside, then Allah
    gave us knowledge of numerous things
  • 35:14 - 35:16
    that were within our intellectual
    capabilities.
  • 35:16 - 35:21
    So this is a turning point in the history
    of human civilization, which began here.
  • 35:21 - 35:24
    And this same thing is the cause
    of error in our understanding here,
  • 35:24 - 35:28
    for what people do is 'ibtegha alfitnati
    waibtighaa taweelihi.'
  • 35:28 - 35:32
    Either their intention is not right, or
    it is a natural curiosity,
  • 35:32 - 35:35
    to find out at any cost what the streams
    of Paradise will look like.
  • 35:35 - 35:39
    They start pursuing it.
    'Wama ya'lamu taweelahu illa Allah'.
  • 35:39 - 35:41
    Then it says, what is the situation
    here?
  • 35:41 - 35:45
    The fact of the matter is that the
    knowledge of these things
  • 35:45 - 35:48
    has not been given by Allah even to
    any Messenger.
  • 35:48 - 35:50
    Only Allah has the knowledge of
    these things.
  • 35:50 - 35:55
    Now after that, the next comment is,
    'Warraasikhoona fil 'ilm'.
  • 35:55 - 35:59
    So those people ... naturally people
    wanted to know the reality
  • 35:59 - 36:03
    mistakenly believing that it will increase
    my knowledge.
  • 36:03 - 36:08
    The Quran said that no, here knowing and
    accepting that you cannot know,
  • 36:08 - 36:11
    this is the purest form of knowledge.
  • 36:11 - 36:14
    Those people, 'Warraasikhoona
    fil 'ilm'.
  • 36:14 - 36:17
    Those people who are sincere in their
    knowledge, whose intellect is not shallow,
  • 36:17 - 36:21
    who are aware of the truth of knowledge,
    who are conscious of their own limitations
  • 36:21 - 36:23
    and are aware of their intellectual
    constraints,
  • 36:23 - 36:26
    what do they say? When they read this
    verse, 'yaqooloona',
  • 36:26 - 36:30
    they say, 'aamannaa bihee'. That we
    believe in these things.
  • 36:30 - 36:34
    So this is actually a details of the
    fundamental truths.
  • 36:34 - 36:37
    It is one of its branches.
    And this is not our concern.
  • 36:37 - 36:40
    This has been clear through rational and
    logical arguments
  • 36:40 - 36:43
    that the Judgment Day must happen.
    These are just its details.
  • 36:43 - 36:47
    Therefore we believe in them.
    'Kullum min 'indi Rabbina.'
  • 36:47 - 36:52
    It is all from our Lord. 'Wa ma yazzakkaru
    illaa ulul albaab.'
  • 36:52 - 36:56
    And it says that none will be mindful of
    this except those Allah has given reason.
  • 36:56 - 36:58
    So if you see these two words, intellect
    and knowledge,
  • 36:58 - 37:02
    and how the Quran has made them
    a subject of concern and told us that
  • 37:02 - 37:04
    if a person possesses intellect and
    reason, then what should be his attitude
  • 37:04 - 37:07
    about these things. And if he is constant
    in his pursuit of knowledge,
  • 37:07 - 37:08
    then what should his
    disposition be?
  • 37:08 - 37:11
    So this is what has been conveyed in
    this verse.
  • 37:11 - 37:16
    Hence, if you see this you will know,
    that in the world of religion,
  • 37:16 - 37:20
    whatever issues and discords have arisen,
    have come up because of these two reasons.
  • 37:20 - 37:23
    Which the Quran has mentioned.
    Either the urge to spread discord,
  • 37:23 - 37:25
    or to seek the reality
    behind such things.
  • 37:25 - 37:29
    It is the most comprehensive commentary
    on the entire religious life and knowledge
  • 37:29 - 37:32
    which the Quran has done here.
  • 37:32 - 37:36
    When religion is on its absolute correct
    path, what does it do then?
  • 37:36 - 37:40
    It lays its foundations on categorical
    and clear principles and rules.
  • 37:40 - 37:42
    What an eloquent response Imam Malik
    had given
  • 37:42 - 37:47
    when he was asked that Allah says in the
    Quran that He created the Earth and skies,
  • 37:47 - 37:51
    and after that He ascended His Throne
    over the skies. He stood firm on it.
  • 37:53 - 37:57
    So Imam Malik was asked, what does it
    mean? How did Allah ascend His Throne?
  • 37:57 - 38:00
    This does create a lot of questions
    right? Does Allah have a material body?
  • 38:00 - 38:02
    Does He have a throne over which
    He sits?
  • 38:02 - 38:05
    So Imam Malik replied, and it is
    a very historic statement of his,
  • 38:05 - 38:12
    'al istawa maloom wal kayf majhool
    Wal suwaal 'anhu bid'ah.'
  • 38:12 - 38:16
    The ascending of Allah upon His
    Throne is known.
  • 38:16 - 38:20
    The Quran has told me this. What is the
    nature and state of this? I do not know.
  • 38:20 - 38:27
    I am not aware. And to become too
    inquisitive about it and to ask its nature
  • 38:27 - 38:30
    is akin to an blameworthy innovation
    in the religion.
  • 38:32 - 38:35
    So this is the response of one of
    our early righteous scholars.
  • 38:35 - 38:37
    But there was no adherence of it.
  • 38:37 - 38:41
    In our tradition, an entire sect of
    scholastic philosophers which came up,
  • 38:41 - 38:43
    if you ever look at Imam Razi's
    exegesis,
  • 38:43 - 38:47
    because we study it anyway whenever we
    have to establish an opinion about a verse
  • 38:47 - 38:51
    so it seems that it is an entirely
    different world in which one ventures.
  • 38:51 - 38:54
    It has these argumentations, these
    debates.
  • 38:54 - 38:58
    And in the end there is his confession
    which he made on his deathbed,
  • 38:58 - 39:04
    that in this matter, I read that God is
    ascended upon his Throne.
  • 39:04 - 39:08
    This is his last sentence before he died
    right? Which has been recorded.
  • 39:08 - 39:14
    And I also humbly accepted that there
    is nothing equivalent to God.
  • 39:14 - 39:16
    'Laysaka misal'yi shay'.
  • 39:16 - 39:20
    And O people, testify to this that this
    is my last confession before my death.
  • 39:20 - 39:23
    So what is this acknowledgement about?
    It recognizes that
  • 39:23 - 39:27
    these are the things which are not
    concerned with me.
  • 39:27 - 39:31
    To establish something like what would
    be the stature or build
  • 39:31 - 39:34
    of the virgins of Paradise, what would
    they be made of?
  • 39:34 - 39:37
    This is not my concern. My concern is
    that Allah is telling me that
  • 39:37 - 39:41
    there would be a Judgement Day, and all
    the blessings you can possibly imagine,
  • 39:41 - 39:43
    they would be given to you.
  • 39:43 - 39:46
    So understanding the meaning of a
    verse is one thing,
  • 39:46 - 39:49
    and to pursue their real manifestation,
    that is an entirely separate thing.
  • 39:49 - 39:51
    Is our time up?
  • 39:53 - 39:56
    [Student] We have ten minutes.
    [Ghamidi] Ok ten more minutes.
  • 39:56 - 40:00
    So we have come to the end of
    this debate.
  • 40:00 - 40:02
    And the verse of the Quran given
    here, I have translated that too,
  • 40:02 - 40:07
    and I have told you how Allah is bringing
    our attention to extraordinary things.
  • 40:07 - 40:12
    He is telling us what attitude we must
    adopt as we approach the Quran.
  • 40:12 - 40:15
    Yes?
    [Shehzad Saleem] My question is that
  • 40:15 - 40:20
    you said that the word 'taweel' in this
    verse was taken in its later meaning
  • 40:20 - 40:22
    which became dominant among the
    exegetes.
  • 40:22 - 40:26
    And its real meaning was sidelined. So can
    we say with certainty that
  • 40:26 - 40:29
    the four epochs for instance which
    Khateeb (al-Baghdadi) has listed out,
  • 40:29 - 40:32
    wherein he says that evidence will be
    taken from the Arabic poetry.
  • 40:32 - 40:36
    Has there ever been any change in the
    latter dominant meaning
  • 40:36 - 40:39
    after the pre-islamic period?
    Or through that entire epoch?
  • 40:39 - 40:41
    [Ghamidi] In the literature of the
    second and third centuries of Islam,
  • 40:41 - 40:45
    it began to be used in the sense of
    'meaning' and 'commentary'.
  • 40:45 - 40:49
    And that too with some emphasis. And then
    its usage increased as well.
  • 40:49 - 40:52
    In the literature of the second and
    third centuries,
  • 40:52 - 40:56
    its usage in its actual meaning
    started decreasing.
  • 40:56 - 40:59
    And the latter meaning gained
    prominence.
  • 40:59 - 41:01
    [Saleem] The second question was that
    the literal meaning of 'tashabah',
  • 41:01 - 41:04
    that is, to be similar to each other,
    for instance it is used in the Quran,
  • 41:04 - 41:10
    'Kitaabam mutashabiham masaani'.
    So does it imply the same meaning?
  • 41:13 - 41:16
    [Ghamidi] I have written a note here.
    [Student] Like you have written here,
  • 41:16 - 41:20
    is it not used in its original meaning?
    The other meaning, 'ambiguity',
  • 41:20 - 41:22
    is its necessary meaning.
    [Ghamidi] It is as per the consequence.
  • 41:22 - 41:24
    [Student] Yes by virtue of the conclusion
    it leads to.
  • 41:24 - 41:26
    This meaning of similarity, the meaning
    of 'tashabah',
  • 41:26 - 41:28
    is it also its original meaning? Or is
    this too a later one?
  • 41:28 - 41:30
    [Ghamidi] This is the original meaning.
    To be similar is the actual meaning of it.
  • 41:30 - 41:32
    [Student] This meaning of being of the
    same nature.
  • 41:32 - 41:34
    [Ghamidi] Yes, to be of the same nature
    or to be similar. It is the same thing.
  • 41:34 - 41:36
    Being of the same nature is what
    it means.
  • 41:36 - 41:38
    Having the same nature or being of
    the same kind.
  • 41:38 - 41:42
    Like 'kund ham jins baa ham jins parvaaz'
    (the birds of a feather flock together).
  • 41:42 - 41:44
    So to be a similar nature or of the
    same kind,
  • 41:44 - 41:47
    all of us human beings are of the
    same species.
  • 41:47 - 41:49
    But we still differ from each other.
  • 41:49 - 41:53
    In our human traits, we are all similar
    to each other.
  • 41:53 - 41:55
    This is what it means.
  • 41:55 - 41:58
    Hence I have written here that the words
    muhkam and mutashaabih
  • 41:58 - 42:01
    are used in this verse to refer to those
    specific technical meanings
  • 42:01 - 42:05
    which we have already explained above.
    So what the Quran has done is,
  • 42:05 - 42:08
    it has taken the words from their
    actual meanings
  • 42:08 - 42:10
    and elevated them further.
  • 42:10 - 42:13
    And it has then used them in their
    unique shades.
  • 42:13 - 42:15
    So in this way the words became
    specific terminologies,
  • 42:15 - 42:19
    such as the mutashabihaat verses,
    and muhkam verses.
  • 42:19 - 42:22
    And at certain places in the Quran, these
    words have been used
  • 42:22 - 42:25
    in a different meaning too. The word
    muhkam has been used
  • 42:25 - 42:28
    to connote concise and comprehensive
    verses,
  • 42:28 - 42:30
    and the word mutashaabih means verses
    which are similar to
  • 42:30 - 42:32
    and in harmony with one
    another.
  • 42:32 - 42:35
    And since you have raised this question
    and we have a few minutes left
  • 42:35 - 42:37
    and we will begin with the next topic
    in the next session.
  • 42:37 - 42:42
    Let me also tell you here that the issues
    faced in understanding the Quran,
  • 42:42 - 42:47
    like I just mentioned to you, that what
    happens at times is that
  • 42:47 - 42:51
    a word is used in its real and
    literal meaning.
  • 42:51 - 42:56
    When that word is used with that meaning,
    it is altered into another meaning.
  • 42:56 - 43:01
    I had explained this word. I had told you
    how this word 'tashaboh' was used.
  • 43:01 - 43:06
    Then, after that, there is an consequence
    in meaning by virtue of its particular use
  • 43:06 - 43:09
    and after some time, that word begins
    to be used as per that new meaning.
  • 43:09 - 43:13
    So this is how the word goes through
    these different stages.
  • 43:13 - 43:16
    If a person is not entirely familiar
    with that,
  • 43:16 - 43:19
    then at times he is mistaken in
    understanding a verse.
  • 43:19 - 43:22
    Another difficulty with the Quran,
    like I had referred to it,
  • 43:22 - 43:25
    that the latter meaning of the word is
    the one that
  • 43:25 - 43:26
    becomes dominant in our minds.
  • 43:26 - 43:29
    That is, the meaning which that word
    has now donned,
  • 43:29 - 43:31
    and is now used much more
    prominently.
  • 43:31 - 43:35
    So I had given an example of this, that
    both the kinds of things happen here.
  • 43:35 - 43:41
    One is that that word is now used by
    us as a specific terminology.
  • 43:41 - 43:45
    An example of this is the word
    'jihaad'.
  • 43:45 - 43:50
    Nowhere in the Quran is it used
    purely in the meaning of 'fighting'.
  • 43:50 - 43:54
    Not at all. 'fighting' has been
    called 'jihaad', yes,
  • 43:54 - 43:57
    but 'jihaad' has not been used to
    mean 'fighting'.
  • 43:57 - 43:59
    There is a significant difference between
    these two things.
  • 43:59 - 44:02
    For instance, you have gone into
    the battleground for war.
  • 44:02 - 44:05
    So the word in Arabic for war
    is 'qitaal'.
  • 44:05 - 44:07
    That is the word which will be
    used for it.
  • 44:07 - 44:10
    But if you have to convey the spirit
    of warfare,
  • 44:10 - 44:12
    if you have to use a word by virtue
    of its purpose,
  • 44:12 - 44:16
    then you will say that this person is
    striving exceptionally hard
  • 44:16 - 44:20
    to achieve his objective. And that can
    be done in the arena of the battle too.
  • 44:20 - 44:25
    So earlier you mentioned a war, and then
    the people who strive in such a way,
  • 44:25 - 44:28
    then here the word 'jihaad' has been
    used for 'fighting (in war)',
  • 44:28 - 44:31
    but not to mean 'warfare' in itself!
    This is what happens.
  • 44:31 - 44:34
    For instance, we had covered this
    debate in the beginning,
  • 44:34 - 44:38
    that the word 'kitaab' is used
    for example,
  • 44:38 - 44:41
    the word 'kitaab' has multiple
    meanings.
  • 44:41 - 44:44
    When we go back to ancient classical
    Arabic, we know it immediately.
  • 44:44 - 44:47
    After having gone through this
    intellectual journey, we know
  • 44:47 - 44:49
    whether it is being used to mean
    letters, or law.
  • 44:49 - 44:52
    And it is was so widely used to
    mean law,
  • 44:52 - 44:55
    but now what has happened? The word
    'kitaab' has come into our Urdu as well,
  • 44:55 - 44:57
    and it is there in the Persian
    vocabulary too.
  • 44:57 - 45:00
    After its entire journey, today when one
    reads the word 'kitaab' in the Quran,
  • 45:00 - 45:02
    he just thinks it means a book.
  • 45:02 - 45:08
    So the meaning that came in the later era,
    has become dominant over the word for me.
  • 45:08 - 45:13
    This is how it happens. Similarly,
    another difficulty with Quran is,
  • 45:13 - 45:16
    and this is a whole separate chapter
    on these difficulties with the Quran.
  • 45:16 - 45:19
    The issues with the language which
    are there.
  • 45:19 - 45:24
    Another thing is that for us, a word
    has become a terminology.
  • 45:24 - 45:29
    But in the time of the Quran, it was being
    used the same way
  • 45:29 - 45:32
    as the Quran picked it and made it
    into a specific term.
  • 45:32 - 45:34
    Look at the word 'Salaat' for instance.
  • 45:34 - 45:37
    The word salaat is used in the Quran to
    refer to the prayers we offer.
  • 45:37 - 45:39
    But it has become a terminology
    now.
  • 45:39 - 45:43
    It has a specific referent. But it has
    been used to mean civility by the Quran,
  • 45:43 - 45:46
    it has used it is that sense with
    complete ease.
  • 45:46 - 45:50
    It has also been used for mercy,
    blessing, and kindness.
  • 45:50 - 45:53
    That is because that word does have
    these meanings. And it is used as such.
  • 45:53 - 45:56
    Now if someone for instance is
    unaware of this,
  • 45:56 - 45:59
    then he would translate it as 'prayer'
    everywhere he comes across it.
  • 45:59 - 46:02
    When he will read the verse of the
    Quran that says,
  • 46:02 - 46:04
    those people who when faced with
    tribulations say
  • 46:04 - 46:07
    'Inna Lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji'un
    Ula'ika 'alaihim salawaatun
  • 46:07 - 46:10
    mir Rabbihim wa rahma.'
    Allah prays Salaat for them!
  • 46:10 - 46:12
    The word used here is that very
    same one.
  • 46:13 - 46:16
    Similarly the word 'rasool' is there,
    or 'nabi'.
  • 46:16 - 46:19
    Some words have become terminologies,
    but they are common words in Arabic.
  • 46:19 - 46:23
    You see in contemporary Arabic,
    the case of Nehru
  • 46:23 - 46:27
    when he proposed the Panchsheel Agreement
    (Principles of Peaceful coexistence),
  • 46:27 - 46:31
    and he came up as a leader of the
    Non-Aligned Movement.
  • 46:31 - 46:34
    So when he went to Egypt he said,
    'Ya Rasool Assalam'.
  • 46:34 - 46:37
    An Ambassador of Peace has
    come.
  • 46:38 - 46:41
    Arabic language will have no qualms
    in this.
  • 46:41 - 46:44
    But when you use this same word
    in Urdu,
  • 46:44 - 46:47
    we are actually aware of the word
    only as a specific term.
  • 46:47 - 46:50
    In our language, it is not used
    prominently in its general meaning.
  • 46:50 - 46:53
    It is not used to mean a messenger
    or an ambassador.
  • 46:53 - 46:55
    Arabs will without hesitance call the
    ambassador of Pakistan as
  • 46:55 - 46:59
    Rasool ul Pakistan. For it just means
    the Ambassador of Pakistan.
  • 46:59 - 47:03
    And in Urdu, if we were to use this
    to say that these days
  • 47:03 - 47:05
    the Minister of External Affairs,
    Abdul Sattar,
  • 47:05 - 47:09
    is appointing Rasools for
    various places.
  • 47:09 - 47:12
    So this is a difficulty with the Quranic
    language.
  • 47:12 - 47:15
    You have to rise above the meaning
    of words as specific terminologies,
  • 47:15 - 47:17
    and then you approach the text.
  • 47:17 - 47:19
    It is not like a lot of difficulty
    is faced,
  • 47:19 - 47:23
    for the context makes it clear in what
    sense the word has been used.
  • 47:23 - 47:25
    So these are some of the difficulties
    and they will always be there.
  • 47:25 - 47:28
    Along with these issues, like I had
    pointed out,
  • 47:28 - 47:31
    are the difficulties of the
    linguistic styles.
  • 47:31 - 47:35
    So for instance a style of expression
    has become obsolete.
  • 47:35 - 47:39
    We do not use that way of expression
    which is used in the Quran.
  • 47:39 - 47:42
    So you can recall those initial
    discussions about classical Arabic,
  • 47:42 - 47:45
    in which I had told you about the
    issues of Quranic linguistic styles,
  • 47:45 - 47:48
    what are the things which must
    be kept in consideration.
  • 47:48 - 47:53
    So we have come to the end of the
    debate about muhkam and mutashaabih.
  • 47:53 - 47:58
    After this, InshaAllah in the next
    session, we shall discuss about
  • 47:58 - 48:01
    the mutual relationship between
    the Hadith and the Quran.
  • 48:01 - 48:04
    That will be under discussion next.
    So how much time is there?
Title:
MEEZAN - Preamble - Part 31 - Principles of Understanding Quran - Javed Ahmed Ghamidi
Description:

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Video Language:
Urdu
Duration:
48:04

English subtitles

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