Donkeys Carrying Books: Surah 62 With Exposition

In this talk I cover surah 62 as part of my exposition of all surahs from 50 through to the end of the Qur’an. In it, I touch on subjects which include why I do not accept the assertion that the hadith literature “explains” the Qur’an, why it is you need to look at surah 62 in the context of the end of surah 61, and flesh out my thoughts on the meaning of salat.

1 What is in the heavens and what is in the earth gives glory to God, the King, the Holy, the Exalted in Might, the Wise.
2 He it is that raised up among the unschooled1 a messenger from among them, reciting to them His proofs, and increasing them in purity, and teaching them the Writ and wisdom — though they were before in manifest error —
3 And others of them who have not yet joined them. And He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.
4 That is the bounty of God; — He gives it to whom He wills — and God is possessor of tremendous bounty.
5 The likeness of those given to bear the Torah then have borne it not, is as the likeness of a donkey bearing books: evil is the example of the people who deny the proofs of God. And God guides not the wrongdoing3 people.
6 Say thou: “O you who hold to Judaism: if you claim that you are the allies of God to the exclusion of other men, then wish for death, if you be truthful.”
7 But never will they wish for it, because of what their hands have sent ahead. And God knows the wrongdoers.
8 Say thou: “The death from which you flee, it will meet you. Then will you be sent back to the Knower of the Unseen and the Seen, and He will tell you what you did.”
9 O you who heed warning: when the call is heard for the duty of the day of assembly, then hasten to the remembrance of God, and leave commerce; that is better for you, if you but knew.
10 And when the duty is concluded, disperse in the land, and seek of the bounty of God, and remember God much that you might be successful.
11 But when they see trade or diversion they disband towards it, and leave thee standing. Say thou: “That which is with God is better than diversion or trade”; and God is the best of providers.


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Sorcery, Brand Islam, And More: Surah 61 With Exposition

In this talk I discuss surah 61, and explain — among other things — why I think the Traditionalist often takes the wrong message from it by quoting single verses rather than looking at the surah as whole.

1 What is in the heavens and what is in the earth gives glory1 to God; and He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.
2 O you who heed warning: why do you say what you do not?
3 Most hateful is it to God, that you say what you do not.
4 God loves those who fight in His cause in ranks, as though they were a compacted structure.
5 And when Moses said to his people: “O my people: why do you hinder me when you know that I am the messenger of God to you?” Then when they deviated, God caused their hearts to deviate; and God guides not the perfidious people.
6 And when Jesus, son of Mary said: “O Children of Israel: I am the messenger of God to you, confirming what is before me of the Torah, and bringing glad tidings of a messenger coming after me, whose name is more praiseworthy.” Then when he came to them with clear signs, they said: “This is obvious sorcery.”


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Choose Where You Stand: Surah 60 With Exposition

Here I outline surah 60 both as a structure and with the import as I see it which that structure expresses. The purpose of this series of videos is to showcase a toolkit with which anyone who chooses to put the the time in, can enrich his understanding of the Qur’an.

1 O you who heed warning: take not My enemy and your enemy as allies, extending to them love, when they have denied that which has come to you of the truth — they, turning out the Messenger and you because you believe in God, your Lord, if you go forth to strive in My cause and seeking My pleasure — showing them love in secret. And I best know what you conceal and what you proclaim; and whoso does it among you, he has strayed from the right path.

2 If they come upon you, they will be enemies to you, and stretch out their hands and their tongues against you with evil; and they wish that you should deny.

3 Neither your kin nor your children will benefit you on the Day of Resurrection; He will judge between you; and God sees what you do.

4 There was for you a good model in Abraham and those with him when they said to their people: “We are quit of you and what you serve, besides God. We deny you, and become clear between us and you are enmity and hatred forever until you believe in God alone,” — save the saying of Abraham to his father: “I will ask forgiveness for thee, but I have no power for thee against God.” — “Our Lord: in Thee we place our trust; and to Thee have we turned; and to Thee is the journey’s end.

5“Our Lord: make Thou not us a means of denial1 for those who ignore warning; and forgive Thou us. Our Lord: thou art the Exalted in Might, the Wise.”

6 There was for you in them a good model1 for one who hopes for God and the Last Day. And whoso turns away: — God, He is the Free from Need, the Praiseworthy.



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“What The Messenger Gives You, Take It” — Surah 59 With Exposition

This talk looks at the whole of Surah 59, and gives special attention to one of the key “proof texts” the Traditionalist uses to shoe-horn his usurping literature into the mind of the unwary.

6 And what God gave in spoil to His messenger from them: you spurred not for it any horse or camel; but God gives His messengers authority over whom He wills; and God is over all things powerful.

7 What God gave in spoil to His messenger from the people of the cities belongs to God and His messenger, and to relatives, and the fatherless, and the needy, and the wayfarer[…] that it be not a distribution by turns between the rich among you. And what the Messenger gives you: take it, and from what he forbids you: refrain — and be in prudent fear of God; God is severe in retribution —

8 For the poor émigrés, who were turned out of their homes and their possessions, seeking favour from God and approval, and helping God and His messenger; it is they who are the truthful.



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God Sees Everything — Surah 58 With Exposition

This is an exposition of surah 58.

1 God has heard the word of her that disputes with thee concerning her husband, and makes complaint to God. And God hears you two conversing together; God is hearing and seeing.

2 Those among you who assist among their wives: — they are not their mothers; their mothers are only those who gave them birth. And they say what is perverse of speech, and a falsehood; but God is forgiving and merciful.

3 And those who assist among their wives, then go back on what they have said: the freeing of a slave before they touch one another. By that are you admonished; and God is aware of what you do.

4 And whoso has not the means: a fast of two months consecutively before they touch one another.And whoso is not able: the feeding of sixty needy persons. That is that you might believe in4 God and His messenger. And those are the limits of God; and for the false claimers of guidance is a painful punishment.


The Traditionalist insists upon a fanciful, highly specialised interpretation here. In summary, his assertion (see also 58:1-4) is that pre-Islamic Arabs would divorce their wives by saying that a wife was ‘like the back of’ his mother, and that it is this practice which the verb at this juncture (rendered by me as assist) references. No support is found for this assertion in the text itself, we are expected simply to take the Traditionalist’s word for it. Facts first: the form III verb based on ẓahara objectively and correctly means to assist, to help, to aid, to support – and the Traditionalist himself renders this form III verb in just this sense in all other instances outside of this specific context and its adjunct at 58:1-4 (see 9:4, 33:26, 60:9). Allowing the verb its natural meaning (i.e. that of assisting among your wives) fits the context exactly. The Qur’anic redress for those who swear off their wives (which is what the Traditionalist is claiming as the sense here though by another name) is entirely different and comprehensively treated at 2:226. Now to the application of reason: in a context which permits of limited polygeny a situation is possible in which one wife might not be able to have children while others might be able to have them. In such a case, a man – it may be reasoned – might decide (it is assumed within the Qur’anic principle of mutual consultation) to ‘assist’ both the fertile and infertile wives by allowing the infertile wife to raise a child born to the fertile wife. Thus, the infertile wife might experience something of the joys of motherhood, and the fertile wife – who may already have her hands full with existing children – might get support in the raising of a child. (Other comparable scenarios are where the husband has a child from a previous wife, or a wife brings an existing child into a marriage.) The point in such scenarios (i.e. in which a man ‘assists’ among his wives) is that we should remember who the true mother is and not obfuscate that fact. These points granted, it is possible to envisage a case in which a man has allowed a wife to raise a child of which she is not the natural mother, and that that decision has resulted either in regret on the part of the natural mother or in a change of mind on the part of the man. It is surely such a case which is the subject here, i.e. one in which a man has to go back on this arrangement (returning a child to the care of its natural mother, thus depriving the adoptive mother of her charge). This scenario is addressed also at 58:1-4, to which the present verse forms an adjunct.


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Wise Preparation For The Life To Come — Surah 57 With Exposition

Please note: I missed verses 13 and 18 due to distractions with the new set-up.

57 2 1 What is in the heavens and the earth gives glory1 to God; and He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.2 2 To Him belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth; He gives life, and He gives death, and He is over all things powerful. 3 He is the First and the Last, and the Outer and the Inner; and He knows all things. 4 He it is that created the heavens and the earth in six days,1 then established Himself upon the Throne. He knows what penetrates into the earth, and what comes forth from it, and what descends from the heaven, and what ascends into it. And He is with you wherever you may be; and God sees what you do. 5 To Him belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth; and to God are matters1 returned. 6 He makes the night enter into the day, and makes the day enter into the night. And He knows what is in the breasts. 7 Believe in1 God and His messenger, and spend of that whereof He has made you heirs. And those who heed warning2 among you and spend: theirs will be a great reward. 8 And why should you not believe in1 God, when the Messenger is calling you to believe in2 your Lord, and He has taken your agreement, if you be believers?3 9 He it is that sends down to His servant clear proofs,1 that He might bring you out of darkness2 into the light; and God is to you kind and merciful. 10 And what is with you that you spend not in the cause of God, when to God belongs the inheritance of the heavens and the earth? Not equal among you is he who spent and who fought before the victory — those are greater in degree than those who spent and fought afterwards. But to each has God promised the best;1 and God is aware of what you do. 11 ¶57.2 Who is he that will lend to God a goodly loan?1 And He will multiply it to him, and he will have a noble2 reward. 12 The day1 thou wilt see the believing men2 and the believing women,3 their light running4 before them5 and on their right hands:6 — “Your glad tidings this day: gardens beneath which rivers flow, you abiding eternally therein!” That7 is the Great Achievement. 13 The day the wavering men1 and the wavering women2 will say to those who heeded warning:3 “Wait for us, that we may acquire some your light,” it will be said: “Go back behind you, and seek light.” And a wall will be set up between them having a door, the inward of which is Mercy, and the outward, to the fore thereof, is Punishment. 14 They will cry to them: “Were we not with you?” They will say: “Verily,1 but you subjected your souls to means of denial,2 and you waited, and you doubted, and vain desires3 deluded you, until the command of God4 came; and the Deluder5 deluded you concerning God, 15 “So this day no ransom will be taken from you, or from those who ignore warning.1 Your shelter is the Fire; it is your protector.”2 And evil is the journey’s end! 16 Has not the time come for those who heed warning1 that their hearts should be humbled to the remembrance2 of God, and what has come down of the truth,3 and that they be not as those in possession4 of the Writ5 before? And the span seemed long to them, so their hearts hardened; and many of them are perfidious.6 17 Know that God gives life to the earth after its death. We have made plain1 the proofs2 to you, that you might use reason.


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The Elites Are Close To Victory, But They Are Vulnerable

The ruling elites know they are close to winning, but they are also not immune to the protocols of the Adversary whom they serve.

And when the Adversary made their deeds fair to them, and said: “None among men can defeat you this day, when I am at your side,” then when the two companies came within sight of one another, he turned on his heels and said: “I am quit of you; I see what you see not. I fear God”; and God is severe in retribution.


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