Sura 25 - al-Furqan
"The Criterion" is a sura defending Muhammad's prophet status (again) since it seems it was always being called into question by the naysayers. It begins with a statement by God that this Quran was given as a revelation to warn people of right and wrong. It set the standards which would keep us on the right path. I liked it fine, but only a few verses stood out to make mention of here.
5. And they say: "These are fables of antiquity he has invented, which are dictated to him morning and evening."
This is attributed to the unbelievers who are mentioned in nearly every sura as saying something negative against Muhammad's message. Because I've noticed the Quran has Bible stories (with the details often the same, often very different) apocrypha tales, Jewish legends, pagan stuff and even scientific miracles that are mentioned in Hindu scripture, I thought this statement about "fables of antiquity" worth noting. I can see how the unbelievers could draw this conclusion.
26. The real sovereignty will belong to Ar-Rahman. How grievous will be the day for the infidels! 27. The sinner will then bite his hand and say: "Would that I had taken the road with the Prophet. 28. Woe alas, ah would I had not taken so-and-so as friend! 29. He led me astray from the Warning after it had come to me. Satan always betrays man.
For some reason these verses were quite a serious visual for me.
48. It is He who sends the winds with auspicious news in advance of His benevolence; and We send pure water down from the sky 49. To quicken a region that was dead, and to give it as drink to animals We have created and to men in plenty. 50. And We distribute it among them in various ways that they may ponder and reflect; yet most men disdain everything but denial and thanklessness.
At first I read this as a great visualization of rain and how it made lands alive with its life-sustaining water. However, on rereading it I think there is also a spiritual element of how the good news of God can make a land alive and how it is distributed among people in a variety of ways so they can "ponder and reflect." Wow, this passage made me ponder and reflect!
I loved the first part of this verse.
58. Have trust in God the Living, who will never die, and sing His hallelujas.
Sura 26 -- Ash-Shu'ara
"The Poets" was mostly a review of some of the earlier suras. I think it was to show Muhammad that other prophets had been accused of lying so Muhammad would feel in good company when the unbelievers didn't accept Muhammad's revelations. The stories of Moses, Abraham, Noah, Hud, Saleh, Lot and Shu'aib were mentioned. I was thinking "why is this called poets?" and then finally saw verse 224! We have "books of poetry" in the Bible so I mistakenly thought this sura would discuss Muslim poets. Only a few verses were worth noting.
90. Paradise will be brought near those who take heed for themselves and follow the straight path
This made me think of Jesus and his discussion of the narrow way.
The key for me is never religion, but relationship with God.
171. Except one old woman who remained behind.
This was in the recounting of Lot's story and made me smile.
194. To (communicate) to your heart that you may be a warner 195. In eloquent Arabic.
This was in the context of the Quran being revealed. I know I've read though that not all the Quran was in Arabic, right? Did it use some Aramaic and Persian words as well?
224. As for the poets, only those who go astray follow them.
Finally the mention of poets!