I read this on May 24 and wrote the post the following morning ... too early in the day. Would love to read your thoughts on my rather disjointed notes. Thanks!
Sura 15 -- al-Hijr
The first part of this chapter discusses a time of judgment which is coming at an appointed time.
4. Not one habitation have We destroyed but at the time determined for it. 5. No people can hasten or delay the term already fixed for them.
This should be proof enough for certain people who think by orchestrating certain world events they can bring the End Time events to pass and usher in the Messiah or whatever they believe will happen towards the end. I hear this occasionally. Really.
9. We have sent down this Exposition, and We will guard it.
I assume "this Exposition" is the Quran and since Muslims believe the Torah and Gospels were corrupted, God decided this time He would personally guard it from being changed. What do you think?
12. We place in the hearts of sinners (disbelief). 13. So, they will not believe in it: The example of former people is there.
So from my reading thus far, I am getting the impression that if you are a "sinner" then God will make you disbelieve and guide you astray. However, if you have some measure of goodness already in you, He will help you believe and guide you the right way. I suppose the twenty-five thousand dollar question is: how much goodness do I have to possess in order for God to show me the right way?
Verses 16 and following have some pretty interesting descriptions of the creation - God stretching out the world (is it flat then?) and fastening it down with stabilizers. Rain-laden winds and "water from the sky." Kind of fascinating to visualize all this.
And then we get to how God created man:
28. But when your Lord said to the angels: "I am verily going to create a human being from fermented clay dried tingling hard; 29. And when I have fashioned him and breathed into him of My spirit, bow before him in homage;"
The Bible's account says Adam was made from the dust of the ground, God breathed into him the breath of life (Genesis 2:7) and also that we are made in the image of God. (Gen. 1:26). In what ways do you believe we are in the "image of God" or do you think this is a grossly false statement?
39. "O my Lord," he said, "since You have led me into error I'll beguile them with the pleasures of the world and lead them astray, 40. Except the chosen ones among Your creatures."
I thought this was an interesting talk by Satan since he blamed God for leading him in error. Does God lead us astray?
There was some more of Lot's story in this passage -- the visitors he received, the message of doom for Sodom and the instruction for Lot and his family to flee.
80. The people of Al-Hijr denied Our apostles;
Good to see where the name of this sura came from. I found it interesting how the Quran noted these people hid in mountains. I remember the caves I'd see in Maaloula, Syria and how fascinated I was by them as we'd drive by. I could well imagine how someone would hide out in them. Unfortunately for the Hijri people, they couldn't hide from God and when they rejected His message, a "mighty blast" got them and their attempts at finding security in the mountains failed.
Verses 88 through 93 took my attention. Something about not coveting the things God has given others to enjoy, His being a "distinct warner" such as those apostles, I suppose, who were sent to other people previously. I'm guessing the Jews and Christians since this version reads:
89. And say: "I am a distinct warner," 90. Like (those) We had sent to those schismatics who slandered their Books 91. And severed their Scripture into fragments.
What's the meaning of these verses?
It follows that those people will be questioned for their deeds and for the Muslims not to worry at those who scoff at them. Instead they should keep worshiping, keep bowing in submission and glorifying God with their praises until death comes.