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

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Notes on Quran - Sura 91 - 96

I'm countin' down to the end of these Quran posts!

Stay tuned for my post about Esther as I want to hear your thoughts. Maybe I'll post it on Friday.

Friday again. Yes, I am glad this week is nearly over. My nephew has been away at church camp and I've missed the little guy! :-)

Sura 91 - 96

This group of suras was rather nice. God continues to call witnesses of things He created -- the sun, the moon, the evening sky, the morning. I enjoyed much of the imagery and I applied some of that to myself metaphorically. Like in sura 91 and the thoughts about the soul:

7. The soul and how it was integrated 8. And given the faculty of knowing what is disruptive and what is intrinsic to it.  9. He who nourishes it will surely be successful, 10. And he who confines it will surely come to grief.

I like imagining our souls and how our consciences prick us when we do wrong and how small our souls feel deep inside when we know we've hurt others. On the contrary, when we put others ahead of us and honor others instead of ourselves, we nourish our souls and they are full of joy and life.

Sura 92 verses 4-11 had a good lesson about those who endeavor for different reasons. Some do good and will be rewarded while others endeavor to cheat and steal and get ahead however they can. These people will fall headfirst into the abyss.

Sura 93 was quite lovely as God reminded Muhammad all that He had done for Muhammad. This shows me how God is a Father to the fatherless and promises to show the perplexed, the Way. Though He does not always make the poor into rich people by human standards of wealth, God increases our spiritual wealth and joy which is of far greater value than gold or pearls.

Sura 94 was another lovely chapter. I loved the imagery of God taking the burden that made us hopeless and freeing us to love and serve others. The Bible says that God takes our hearts of stone and gives us new hearts - ones that love Him and others. Therefore, we are not only free to love others, but we have the desire to do that. And living for God and others bring us much joy. (You probably recognize this joy when you do something for others yet you feel so blessed and joyful because you were able to meet a need or just make someone feel special, adored and loved. Can anyone relate?)

Sura 95 was a bit puzzling as God says He made men with fine possibilities then brought mankind to the lowest of the low except those who do right. So it seems God brought the unbelievers low so only the "cream" rose to the top, I guess we could say.

Sura 96 declares God taught by pen so I wondered does this refer to God writing a book? Or a number of them?

Interesting imagery of God dragging people by their forelocks.

15. And yet indeed if he does not desist We shall drag him by the forelock, 16. By the lying, the sinful forelock.

Good point about mankind being rebellious and thinking himself self-sufficient (vs. 6-7). I often like to pretend I'm self-sufficient, but who am I kidding? I cannot even regulate my heart to keep pumping and my lungs to keep efficiently using oxygen. Plus I can't even produce my own oxygen. Thank God for His wonderful provisions for me! I am a needy woman indeed!


mohamed ali said...

"God continues to call witnesses of things He created -- the sun, the moon, the evening sky, the morning. I enjoyed much of the imagery and I applied some of that to myself metaphorically."

“Well, it’s quite simple. I am sad because I can’t marry the woman I love. But despite my sadness I can laugh, I can walk, I can talk, and I can think. And when I think, I feel ashamed of myself, because I would then realize that I am thinking of someone who hasn’t given me anything. I think of the girl night and day, but she doesn’t give me anything. What about God, Who gave me life, Who gave me eyesight, Who gave me speech, Who gave me all the means to learn and think, etc, etc? The truth is that I am now thinking more of the girl than of God! Isn’t this reason enough for me to be ashamed of myself? And when I realize this and try as best I can to think of God –again– I just can’t do it. I would only find myself torn between the girl and God. I can’t help it. I wish I could forget all about the girl and think of God only, but I can’t. Every single day now I am becoming more and more aware of my contradictions. Every single day now I am learning more and more about myself. I’m becoming more and more aware of the world around me. Now, I not only see the world or hear it– I feel it. Now, I am more sensitive to beauty. Now, more than ever before, I would love to see the bright moon in the heart of a starry sky: I would love to see and hear birds twittering over my head; I would love to see water flowing in a river, with the green trees swaying gently in the wind on the banks; I would love to see trees in full blossom; I would love to see kids playing merrily on the ground around their homes; I would love to see late-roosting birds fluttering away to their nests.
“And again, I realize that those things are just what God wants me to pay attention to. You’ve read the Koran, haven’t you, and you know that God speaks about the earth and the skies, about the rivers and the seas, about palm-trees and grapes and olives and figs and birds and beasts, and all sorts of thing. God wants us to think of those things. He wants us to think about them as a means to remind ourselves of Him. And so I find myself thinking once again of Him, although for a short while. Now, I think of God in a different way– say, in a better way. Still, I’m ashamed of myself. I know that my thoughts should go to God first. But what can I do? I am torn between God and my love.”


Susanne said...

Mohamed Ali, that was very pretty! But I can understand a man being upset and sad because he cannot marry the one he loves. God made us so that we would love another and want to share our lives with someone special. It's great to focus on God FOR SURE, but I can also relate to the sadness of lost love.

What a lovely excerpt from your novel though! I enjoy especially the thought of being more sensitive to the beauty around us.

Thank you for sharing this and also welcome to my blog! :)

Suroor said...

"Sura 96 declares God taught by pen so I wondered does this refer to God writing a book? Or a number of them?"

I think it is a general reference to education and you use a pen when you learn?

Susanne said...

Oh, education. I see. Well, I don't see how "believe this message from Muhammad" is really education per se. Unless the sura was about getting a good education so God could teach you. Maybe I'll reread it. Thanks!

mohamed ali said...

I was once standing alone, facing our classroom, when a classmate came up to me, and said, shaking with laughter: "On my way to the Faculty (College), a group of little children stopped me, and said, 'Tell us, if you know: does a hen urinate?' You know what, I had never thought about that before!" Now I ask you the same question: does a hen urinate?

We tend to take so many things for granted--small things, I mean. How many times have you stopped to think about the tick-tock of your watch, about that tiny insect that you sometimes find scurrying across the page when you are reading through a book, about the fallen leaves in your garden or in the woods, about the human mind that made all the inventions you're using everyday? Like people in antiquity, who wondered at the Seven Wonders and forgot about the million small wonders around them, we still marvel at such big things as the Pyramids and forget to give a thought to small things in ourselves and in our environment.

People marvelled at the Montgolfier Balloon, at the first solo nonstop transatlantic Flight in history, at the Airbus A380. They still marvel at the Great Wall of China, at the Guizeh Pyramids, at the Eiffel Tower and Lady Liberty. We still marvel at the breathtaking performances of circus animals and clowns, at the stunning achievements of record-breaking athletes, at the extraordinay talents of our artists (that we sometimes take for gods!). Almost every week, there's a new entry into the famous Guinness World Records. There you can learn about the longest moustache, the thinnest waistline, the tallest woman, the shortest man, the largest cake--all mad records. All that man has been able "to achieve".

When people think of something, they often forget something else--something more important. When we look at ourselves in the mirror, do we think of the mirror itself? When we think of our computer, do we think of the one who invented it in the first place? When children read Harry Potter, do they think of J.K. Rowling? When we wonder at our (human) power of imagination, do we think of the One Who originated the human mind in the first place? When people wondered at how Karadzic had managed to metamorphose his appearance, how many of us wondered at the fact that although we have the same father and the same mother, we still are not identical. Even so-called "identical twins" are differenciated by their fingerprints and irises.

Susanne said...

Mohamed...very lovely words indeed! You are a gifted writer. :)