"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Friday, June 11, 2010

Notes on Quran - Sura 38

Sura 38 - Sad

This sura was another reminder of what awaits believers and unbelievers. It defends Muhammad from those who claim he has invented lies and reminds us of David, Solomon, Job, and others mentioned previously. The rebellion of Iblis in not bowing to man is mentioned again as well.

The story of David here includes talk of 99 ewes and a mentioning of lust. See here.

23. This man here is my brother. He has ninety and nine ewes while I have only one. He demands that I should give him my ewe, and wants to get the better of me in argument." 24. (David) said: "He is unjust in demanding your ewe to add to his (many) ewes. Many partners are surely -- unjust to one another, except those who believe and do the right; but there are only a few of them." It occurred to David that he was being tried by Us, and he begged his Lord to forgive him, and fell down in homage and repented. 25. So We forgave him. He has surely a high rank with Us and an excellent place of return. 26. "O David, We have made you trustee on the earth. So judge between men equitably, and do not follow your lust lest it should lead you astray from the way of God. Surely for those who go astray from the way of God, is severe punishment, for having forgotten the Day of Reckoning.

This reminded me of the Bible when David's lust took over, he committed adultery and then when the woman informed David that she was pregnant, he conspired to kill the woman's husband. That explains the "lust" part, but where does the ewe come into play? I never thought you'd ask! :)

II Samuel 12 reports:

1 The LORD sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, "There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. 2 The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, 3 but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him.

4 "Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him."

5 David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, "As surely as the LORD lives, the man who did this deserves to die! 6 He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity."

7 Then Nathan said to David, "You are the man! This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. 8 I gave your master's house to you, and your master's wives into your arms. I gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. 9 Why did you despise the word of the LORD by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 10 Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.'

11 "This is what the LORD says: 'Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity upon you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will lie with your wives in broad daylight. 12 You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.' "

13 Then David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD."
Nathan replied, "The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. 14 But because by doing this you have made the enemies of the LORD show utter contempt, the son born to you will die."

Concerning Solomon, the Quran records his love of horses.

32. He said: "The love of horses is worthy of desire to me for the remembrance of my Lord;" and when they were out of sight, (he said): 33. "Bring them back to me," and he began to rub and stroke their shanks and necks.

The king was not allowed to acquire great numbers of horses according to the Mosaic Law. See this from Deuteronomy 17

16 The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them, for the LORD has told you, "You are not to go back that way again."


I Kings 4

26 Solomon had four thousand stalls for chariot horses, and twelve thousand horses.

27 The district officers, each in his month, supplied provisions for King Solomon and all who came to the king's table. They saw to it that nothing was lacking. 28 They also brought to the proper place their quotas of barley and straw for the chariot horses and the other horses.

I liked reading a bit of Job's story in this sura though it lacks much of the details of the biblical book with Job's name.

I enjoy reading the quranic chapters that mention people familiar to me since I know some of their stories already!


Wafa' said...

(I enjoy reading the quranic chapters that mention people familiar to me since I know some of their stories already!)

and in away shows that we are all following the same God no matter what we call him. and no matter what we believe about each other's religions.

What unites us is way more than what seperate us. But....how can we see that ?

I just got a copy of Muhammad Asad's translation of the Quran. I read the quran in Arabic and read its interpretation but i want to read it in another language,i believe that another language is another human and another human is another culture and another understandings. And seriously i need another look at my religion other than the stupid ones in my country have been brainwashing us with all these years.

Thanks for tempting me to do so Susanne :)

Susanne said...

Wafa', yay, I'm so glad you came back! I missed you a lot the last few days and hoped you weren't upset or something.

Heheheheh. I love tempting you! Ha! That made me grin! :D You are really sweet to read your own religious text in another language. Maybe you can see it a bit better through my "English-reading eyes" that way. :)

I hope you are doing well and having a good weekend. Thanks so much for dropping by!

Suroor said...

I liked this post. Solomon's horses was a famous game that Aisha used to play as a child; I think pagan Arabs knew a lot about Solomon already.

Thanks Susanne!

Susanne said...

It's cute to think of children's games involving Solomon's horses. Cute! :) Yes, it seems Solomon lived in legends, huh?

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed it,Susanne!
I knew about the meanings of the ewes when reading the Quran.And it's very interesting to read the comparable bibilical verse on it.

It's quite upsetting that Solomon commits adultery.What the point of being so powerful in wealth and in rank when you're but what you're in the end.That's is why I've never believed in the infalliblity of prophets as some do.

Susanne said...

Lat, so good to see you and your blog link! Yay! I told someone recently that I thought you were one of the sweetest people I'd "met" in the blogging world and I only judge that on your comments since I'd never read a blog of yours. :)

I found it interesting that a story about ewes and a mention of "lust" (at least in this translation) was used in a quranic story of King David. It seems way more than coincidence relating to the story I shared from the Bible. So I figured I'd include it here for interest sake. :)

I have a post about prophets and their infallibility. Maybe I'll put it up today.

Thanks for your comment. I enjoy reading your point of view! :)

Durriyyah said...

38:23 - The lusts talked about here are the leanings of one's own desires, such as a emotional response to the case brought forth to David. Any type of leaning of our own desires that does not first start with intention to please God will bring us astray. The notes I have state that the Biblical story you pointed out and the Qur'an story don't actually match, but I don't have a lot of notes to back that up.

Huh, I never knew about the restriction on horse in the Bible. The Qur'an does not state this, and we believe that Solomon had a miraculous gift, given by God, to talk to animals and Jinn. Interesting.

Susanne said...

Durriyyah, I think horses were a symbol of might and power and there is somewhere in the Bible where God challenges the people not to put their trust in their own power and might, but in Him. Perhaps this Law against gathering too many horses was so they wouldn't start thinking they were more powerful than they truly were. Like their power source was GOD not chariots of horses. Kind of like Americans who think our power is due to our military instead of realizing our power should be from GOD alone!

Enjoyed your perspective!