University of London Undergraduate Programmes: Coursework/Essay Cover Sheet
Student ID Number 080414 Word Count 2246 Full Name MOHAMMAD HAMID MAHMOOD ASSALEH Degree/Diploma Title BA ABRAHAMIC RELIGIONS Year of Degree 3 Extension Granted? N / A Deadline N / A Deferred Assessment? N / A Deadline N / A Specific Learning Difficulty inc. Dyslexia? * No
*A learning difficulty that you have notified to the College and needs to be taken into account for marking
Subject knowledge and understanding Breadth of knowledge Depth of knowledge Awareness of range of interpretations Intellectual skills Identification of key issues Focus on key issues Selection of relevant material Use of sources to provide critical analysis Evidence of own assessment Argument running throughout, summarised in conclusion Transferable skills Overall structure Structure within paragraphs Balanced treatment of opposing views Complete and consistent referencing Clarity and fluency of style Grammar Accuracy – typographical/spelling General comments:
Mark before deduction: Provisional Mark:
islamic-awareness. the two sūrahs of any pair being complementary to each other and. and the seventh at sūrah 114. M. Each group contains one or more Makkan sūrahs followed by one or more Madīnan sūrahs of the same cast. the fourth at sūrah 33. C. however. ‘a connection. Thus no verse.2011]: http://www. because it is a kind of preface to the whole of the Qur’ān. (2010). (1999). pp. does not have a compliment. 13-42 [Urdu]. the sixth at sūrah 66. (2) The sūrahs of the Qur’ān exist in pairs. A. Vol. Tadabbur-e-Qur’an (ِ ا ان ). A. when analysing verses and sūras could ‘organically unify and structure each verse with the lived experience of Prophet Muhammad. around which all the verses of that sūrah revolve. 1 . In each group. 85-88. howsoever weird and farfetched. together constituting a unit. The first sūrah. Trans. 479 Mir. All the other exceptions too are not exceptions in the real sense of the word since each of them is an appendix to one or the other sūrah. p. now the need intensifies.html Also for a detailed exploration see. can be established between any two objects of the universe. by using his basic principles alongside Marwān Nūr al-dīn Sawār’s innovative notion of colour coding verses grouped under specific contexts. But organic unity implies the presence of a harmonious interrelationship between the components of a body or entity which produces a unified whole. and thus all the groups become variations on the basic theme of the Qur’ān. each group has a central theme which runs through all its sūrahs.
ِ وە ﲜﲆ ﰷ ﮐﮍﰷ ﺗﮭﺎ ﺻﻮت ﮨﺎدی ﻋﺮب ﰽ زﻣ ﺟﺲ ﺳﺎری ﮨﻼدی
(ؒ )ﻣﻮﻻ ﺎﱃ
Exploring organic unities and structures within sūras is a new phenomenon. A. the fifth at sūrah 49. as even on grassroots level yearn to understand the organic unity of the Sacred Text. (4) Each group logically leads to the next. stands alone but has a direct relation with the axis of the sūrah and is part of the coherent scheme of the sūrah. 8 .2
Now. the second at sūrah 9. pp.
. knitting together all the sūras of the Qur’ān to form a structured organic unity. as I believe the early Muslims (ṣaḥāba and tābi’īn). See also Campanini. called the axis of the sūrah. Accessed online [25. I will therefore analyse and experiment with Amin Ahsan Islahi’s idea of ’umūd. Tadabbur-e-Qur’an (ِ ا ان ).Analyse Sūra al-‘Qalam (Chapter 68) showing the structure and organic unity of the sūra. a whole which is over and above the sum total
Islahi. Islahi. (3) The 114 sūrahs of the Qur’ān fall into seven groups. Vol. knitting them into a distinct body. However. Like individual sūrahs or each pair of sūrahs. There are a few exceptions. I will also aid my analysis with illustrations and diagrams marked on pages 5 and 6. Hence they sought no need of understanding structures and organic unities. A.org/Quran/Q_Studies/Mirshape. or no group of verses. The Qur’an: Modern Muslim Interpretations. The first group comes to an end at sūrah 5. Mustansir Mīr explains the notion in four parts:
‘(1) Each Qur’ānic sūrah has a dominant idea. ‘Is the Qur’an a Shapeless Book?’. M.01. Fatihah. by Higgitt. (2009). (2009). – Under Chapter IV ‘The Qur’an and Nazm’. which is: ‘Allah’s call to man to adopt the right path’. keeping in mind Mir’s concern regarding the difference between ‘connectedness’ and ‘organic unity’. the third at sūrah 24. the themes of the other groups also occur but as subsidiary themes. I will initiate by elucidating Islahi’s notion of the ’umūd and how it functions within each sūra between the verses.
The approach to indhār in this group is reminiscent to the Prophet’s indhār on mount ṣafā. hence the ؑ earthly (dunyawiyya) and heavenly (ukhrawiyya) punishments have been the axis of certain verses. Bayanul Qur’ān ( . whereas for Thānwī a response to those who reject notions of tawḥīd and nubuwwa. p. or on the contrary ardently opposed to it.sing. 1.5) to then project this notion upon each sūrah and in this case.m. ( . Vol. (2008).): War ned. Called attention to. 5 Islahi. the sūrah’s organic unity within itself. it is also possible to see how both the exegetes explain a similar notion from differing perspectives. and because denying Prophethood is kufr.) ن ا انVol. Dictionary of the Holy Qur’ān.).H.3 I have sought to depict Islahi’s idea through a diagram (see fig.or the components of and has worth and meaning in itself’. all the suwar in this group have the notion of indhār flowing through them knitting them all together in harmony. I will explore. as Islahi describes them to be pairs in this final group and believes that they both have the same ’umūd . 3rd. 3. 3. According to Islahi’s understanding. It is also interesting to note that Ashraf ’Ali Thānwī too.‘indhār’ despite the differing style of deliverance. 7 Translation of the Urdu text of Bayānul Qur’ān. Indhār would mean ‘warning of an approaching danger’. p.7 Hence. (1424 A. pp. 557-558) – hence. M. p. on the contrary this sūra (alqalam) deals with ṭā’inīn fī al-nubuwwa (those who reproach and taunt the Prophethood of Muhammad◌). the aḥwāl of qiyāmah.
ibid. portrays in his exegesis similarities between the sūras and marks the slight difference in both:
(رﺑﻂ: ﺳﻮرت ﺳﺎﺑﻘﮧ ﻣ ﻣ ﮑﺮﻦ ﺗﻮﺣ ﺪ ﰽ ﻃﺮف ز دە روے ﲯﻦ اور اس ﺳﻮرت ﻣ ﻃﺎﻋﻨﲔ ﰱ اﻟﻨﺒﻮت )اﱃ ٰاﺧﺮە ﺑﻂ ِ ٰ
Interconnection (rabṭ): The previous sūra (al-mulk) covers the narratives of munkirīn-e-tawḥīd (those opposed to monotheism). A. ‘A. within it’s group amongst the seven other groups and finally its unity within the Qur’ān. 479 6 Thanwi.p. it is now fitting to analyse the ’umūd (Axis) of sūra al-mulk and sūra alqalam. Tadabbur-e-Qur’ān (ِ ا ان ). However. This indhār therefore includes vivid images of qiyāmah. of sūrah) begins from sūrah 67 (al-mulk) till the end of the Qur’ān and Islahi believes that the Axis of this group is indhār ( 4. p. 571
. A.) ن ا انVol. A.IV. through Islahi’s tadabbr-e-qur’ān. Showed the danger to come (Omar. (2009). 571. 8 . particularly sūra al-qalam. the seventh and final group of suwar (pl. as for Islahi. )ا ر( : اِ ارAndhara (prf.) ِاﻧﺬارhence. with its pair.1. A. he views the axis of the sūra to be indhār. the consequence of denying this indhār for the Quraysh and the power of language and kalām used in delivering this indhār is as described by Molana Ḥālī in his Urdu poem:
ِ وە ﲜﲆ ﰷ ﮐﮍﰷ ﺗﮭﺎ ﺻﻮت ﮨﺎدی ﻋﺮب ﰽ زﻣ ﺟﺲ ﺳﺎری ﮨﻼدی
Was it a thunderbolt or the voice of a guide (hādī) That shook the entire Arabian Peninsula The state was such after the revelation of these suwar that Arabia changed in its entirety: one was either for this call.
10 All purposes for the oath are linked to the axis (indhār) as the response of the Quraysh was a direct result of the Prophet’s indhār to them. I opine. according to Islahi the purpose of the oath was to give a three fold response to the Quryash. ‘Ḥurūf-e-Muqaṭṭa’āt: Farahi’s View’.
. and in doing so hint towards the endeavour of previous Prophets. 2007) 9 Adapted from Islahi’s ‘Tadabbur-i-Qur’an’ and translated by Shehzad Saleem. hammāz etc. who were responding to the indhār of the Prophet by declaring him majnūn. (2) rejection of their claim that the Prophet’s endeavour is for a limited period. This first set of verses (1-4) then move onto the second. as apposed to the atomistic approaches. M. by reminding him of the incident of Yūnus in the whale (nūn) which is linked to verse 48 – and be not like the man of the fish. 6). Verses’ 1-4. These set of verses in their response play a major role in reassuring the Prophet of his ‘ajr and status. N (1st ed. and it would soon fade away with the turning pages of history.512.8 Sawār forms six groups of verses in this sūra as shown in Fig. and (6) 48-52. in which all the verses of the same context are colour coded together and a further specific verse based explanation of the text is given at the foot of the page (see Fig.amin-ahsan-islahi. Despite the mainstream cognisance of ḥurūf al-muqaṭṭa’āt. the
ّ Al-Qur’ān al-Karīm: اءة وا ا : ا آن ا ٰ ا ما ا رج ا ام ة ا ا ا ۔ ِ Edited and researched by Sawār. (5) 42-47. Vol. to be the Qur’ān’s response to the allegations laid down by the Quraysh. p. A. that their true meaning is only in the mind of the Author. Accessed Online [18. and finally (3) that the Prophet is the beholder of high character.9 Therefore the Prophet has been reminded at the very beginning of the sūra that patience is incumbent once the call (indhār) has been given.Hence. 2. Keeping in mind Sawār’s categorization I will now merge Islahi’ṣ idea and axis (’umūd). Farahi opines that it is because of this reference that the sūra is called ‘nūn’. therefore the Quraysh call upon themselves grave torment. (2009). Tadabbur-e-Qur’ān (ِ ا ان ). I believe group 2 to be a follow on of the reassurance to the Prophet by instructing him not to give in ْ َﱡ and follow or become sympathetic in his call (indhār) ( َ )ودوا َ ْ ُ ْ ھ ُ َ ُ ْ ھ ُ نtowards ِ ِ such a people.1 on p. (2) verses 5-16. (1) rejection of their claim of the Prophet’s junūn. who have produced a ‘colour coded verse contextualised Qur’ān’. Thereafter. whom the Qur’ān describes as al-mukadhibīn. I will now experiment with Islahi’s basic concept to structure sūra al-qalam and explore whether the āyāt flow amid the ’umūd – indhār.03.0 : (1) verses 1-4. the theme moves onto a parable of the people of the garden (Group 3: verses 17 – 33). especially Yūnus (Jonah). Finally. to understand the relationship of nūn with the ’umūd Ḥamīd al-dīn Farāhī presents sūra al-nūn in support of his theory regarding these letters: “the letter nūn still denotes its ancient meaning of fish.com/?=65 10 Islahi. it is quite likely that the abbreviated letters by which other Surahs commence are placed at the beginning of the Surahs to symbolize a relation between the topics of a particular sūra and their own ancient connotations”. In doing so I will now introduce an innovative idea on grassroots level edited and researched by Marwān Nūr al-dīn Sawār and his team. the Prophet Jonah (sws) has been addressed as ṣāḥib al-ḥūt (he is also addressed as ṣaḥib al-nūn in sūra 21:87) that is he who is swallowed by a whale. 8.2011]: http://www. ḥallāf mahīn. both of which are intertwined with the ’umūd. verses 5-16. 2. I view this parable from two distinct perspectives. (4) 34-41. He goes on to say that if one keeps in consideration the example given above. In this sūra. A. (3) 17-33. The first being that of Thānwī mentioned earlier.
For the former notion the Quraysh are warned to beware of similar consequences to those who had all the wealth and the latter to the Prophet. Group 4 of the verses (34-41) sets out an immensely significant ethical principle in Islam: the one who opposes the indhār and on the contrary the one who wholeheartedly accepts it cannot be equal. alongside insān. when trying to reconstruct the unity in verses and within the Qur’ān as a whole. but will ultimately embrace once the power of God can no longer be rejected: similar to the saying of one of them ‘Did I not say to you. at times he (the Prophet) warns (indhār) his people of alqāri’ah.earthly (dunyawiyya) torment upon those who reproach nubuwwa. I believe this also reflects the message of verse 68:9. And finally. Hence. that the Quraysh will not accept in the initial stage of the indhār. specifically here in the seventh group: I see the Prophet returning from his first message. God responding. and his golden promise the ’umūd of which flows through the last group of suwar. hence reject the indhār foretold to them. After illustrating the punishment for those who reject the call. paragraph. the falling stars. I see his struggle at dār al-arqam and then standing at ṣafā ridiculed. In conclusion I believe that if the verses in the suwar ‘seem’ to be disconnected.
all reminiscent to the orbit of the moon around their planets and the planets their sun. and there is no logical unity from one verse to the next. the shattering of the earth. the Qur’ān’s each verse or grouped verses orbit around the ’umūd. unlike modern books which flow from one sentence. and each group connects to its own axis. ‘shall We make the obedient like the sinners? What has happened to you? How do you judge? (68:35-36). I opine. I envision him warning the jinn. we were wrongdoers” (68:28-29) is reminiscent to the attitude of the Quraysh following the conquest of Makkah. enshrouded in his blanket commanded to stand and warn (indhār – qum fa’andhir wa rabbaka fa kabbir). all existing in absolute harmony 4
. and then the seven groups outlined by Islahi encircle the ’umūd of the Qur’ān11 . Group 5 (Verses 42-47) draws vivid images of the resurrection and verse 44 ( َ َ رْ ِ و َ ُ َ ﱢ بُ ِ َـ َ ا َ ِ ِ َ ْ )اcould also be taken as clear indication towards the significant unity with the ’umūd. in the midst of all chaos a kind of glad tiding to the Prophet of an ultimate spread of Islam within the Quraysh. illustrating the unlit sun. page and chapter to the next. group 6 (48-52) comes back to what was mentioned earlier: instructing the Prophet to be patient upon his people’s attitude towards the indhār.)اھ ِ َ ا ﱢ َ اط اTherefore. the Qur’ān portrays the awaited rewards for those who take heed of the warning and clearly draws the line. unlike ṣāḥib al-ḥūt (dhu al-nūn). which man َ ْ constantly pleads for in the preface to the Qur’ān ( َ ِ َ ْ ُ ْ .‘Allah’s call to man to adopt the right path’. then it may in accordance with Islahi’s understanding be organically united with its ’umūd. The second perspective. working on the theme of patience. ‘why do you not pronounce Allah’s purity?”. No doubt. they will be rewarded accordingly. ‘if they put the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left… I would not abandon it (the indhār). they said “we pronounce the purity of our Lord.
(1) Reminiscent to Quraysh’s attitude towards wealth (2) Glad tiding to the Prophet of the Quraysh’s initial reproach followed by ultimate acceptance of the indhār (after conquest of Makkah)
Immensely Significant ethical principle: that the ones who accept the indhār of the Prophet and those who take no heed cannot be alike.
(Verses 42-47 )
The significance of taking heed from the indhār of the Prophet
َ َ رْ ِ و َ ُ َ ﱢ بُ ِ َـ َ ا َ ِ ِ َ ْا
Instructs the Prophet to refrain from being sympathetic towards the Quraysh as they desire to be unmindful towards the indhār. 1.2
(Verses 48-52 )
The Prophet instructed on being firm following the indhār and the onslaught of his people.
The Qur’ān’s response to the reaction of the Quryash towards the indhār.
Parable of the people of the Garden.Fig.
N (1st ed.Fig. 2007)
. and every colour represents its own theme (given below in the key
| Specific group and contextual explanations. M. 2. | Key for the colours Pages taken from: Al-Qur’ān al-Karīm:
ا آن ا ِ ا
۔ ا ما ا Edited and researched by Sawār.0
| Verses of the same context are colour coded.
G. London & New York. Pakistan http://www. Tadabbur-e-Qur’ān (ِ ا ان Foundation: Lahore.2011]
Hawting.com/Tafasir. Dār al-Fajr al-Islāmī: Damascus. (1993). Revised ed. (2008). Thanwi.com/ [Accessed online: 25.amin-ahsan-islahi. M.islamic-awareness. A. Syria. USA Ibn Abbas. S. Bayānul Qur’an ( .01.02. (1999).2011] http://www. R. K. Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs.2011]: http://www. ‘A. A. and Shareef A. The Qur’an: Modern Muslim Interpretations.html Mubārakpūrī. (1424 A. Dictionary of the Holy Qur’ān – (Arabic-English). (2009).islamic-awareness. Approaches to the Qur'an (SOAS Series on Contemporary Politics & Culture in the Middle East). [Accessed online: 25. No.
Campanini. Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtum – The Sealed Nectar: Biography of the Noble Prophet (PBUH). Pakistan [Urdu] ). 8. Faran
Mir. Volume 9. Saudi Arabia ‘Omar. M. M. 2007). A.). ‘Is the Qur’an a Shapeless Book?’. A.Bibliography The Qur’an: A New Translation by M. Surah al-‘Asr (English Translation by Mokrane Guezzou) accessed online [20. S. N (1st ed. NOOR Foundation – International Inc: USA and Germany. R. M. A.org/Quran/Q_Studies/Mirshape. 1999.) ن ا انVolume 3.01. Idārah Taleefate-Ashrafia: Multan.01.H. 5th ed. Routledge: New York. Renaissance. Volumes 1 and 8.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=73&tSoraNo=103&tAyahNo= 1&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=2 Islahi. (2010). Abdel Haleem
ّ Al-Qur’ān al-Karīm: اءة وا ا : ا آن ا ۔ ٰ ا ما ا رج ا ام ة ا ا ا ِ Edited and researched by Sawār. Darussalam: Riyadh.org/ [Accessed online: 25. A. (2002).2011]: http://altafsir.