Dr. Pasha’s Arabic Language and Cultural Immersion Sessions — Lesson 56
Read Every Word Carefully!
Innan Nafsa La-Ammaaratun Bis-Soo-i
Transliterations are Haram.
Translations, especially in English, are woefully inadequate. And at times outright wrong.
And there is no earthly way for you to rely on English Translations and then hope to understand the Qur’an.
Commentaries are exactly what they say they are: Comments by people on Allah’s words.
The deeper you get into them, the farther you may wander off from the Text of the Qur’an.
And the more the layers, and degrees of separation and distance, call them hurdles and impediments if you wish, between you and the words of almighty Allah.
Some day, check out what Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal says about what the Hadith Books have by way of Tafsir. And Imam Ahmad is as strong as they come on the question of Hadith.
For all these reasons, I have a personal preference for Tafsir Jalalain. Does the job; helps you out language wise and otherwise; and does not drag you in all kinds of thickets.
I also like Tafsir Kashshaaf by Zamakhshari. Great for text and language analysis.
If you really want discussions of an Aayat to go on forever, develop a taste for Tafsir Kabir by Imam Razi.
Qurtubi is one of the earliest and it is mostly Hadith based.
Now, maybe it is time to talk a bit more about Nafs. The Ammaarah kind. For, Nafs Ammaarah is practically at the root of all evil in the world.
In simple words: It is Me. What I want. What is good for me. And to wherever with the rest of the world.
It is total preoccupation with Self.
With one’s body and its requirements. Demands of the Flesh.
And here are some of its fruits and manifestations listed in no particular order:
a) Kathrat al-Akl, wash-Surb, wal-Kalaam, wad-Dahk wan-Nawum: Excessive eating, drinking, talking, sleeping, laughing and merrymaking.
b) Bukhl: Being Tight-fisted, niggardly, stingy.
c) Jubn: Cowardice; lack of courage.
d) Ujb: Self-importance. Thinking highly of oneself.
e) Riyaa’: Doing things to impress others.
f) ‘Ajz: Feeling helpless and lost and unable to do things.
g) Tama’: Avarice.
h) Qeeala wa Qaala: Gossip.
i) Khawud: Gossip.
j) Kibr: Arrogance. Pride.
k) Khuyalaa’: Pride.
l) Hasad: Jealousy.
m) Khawuf: Fear.
n) Huzn: Worry. Grief.
o) Bughd and Inaad: Enmity. Hostility. Except when it is for a just and righteous cause. Except when it is for the sake of Allah and in the path of Allah.
p) Ghadab: Anger. Fury. Wrath. Again, Except when it is for a just and righteous cause. Except when it is for the sake of Allah and in the path of Allah.
q) Ghaibat: Backbiting.
r) Tajassus: Seeking other people’s secrets.
s) Kasal: Sloth. Laziness. Sloppiness.
t) Israaf: Wastefulness.
u) Zulm: Injustice. Committing atrocities on others. Robbing people of their rights.
v) Hubbud Duniya: Inordinate love of the world and worldly things.
x) Karaahiyyatul Mawut: Fearing and Hating Death.
y) Showing Off.
z) Self-Praise. Self-Adulation. Self-Absorption.
aa) Excessive Praise of Others.
cc) Shahawat: Lust.
dd) Ghaflat: Indifference. Nor caring about one’s role in society, community and on this earth.
And about one’s own Ibaadaat and Taa’aat and Sunan and Nawaafil.
ee) Hawaa: Putting one’s own views, preferences, likes and dislikes over and above Haqq and what Allah and Rasul, Sallallahu alaihi was Sallam, demand, and over above what is right and just and fair.
ff) Lawmat Laa-im: Fear or inability or unwillingness to speak the Truth when one is expected and required to do that.
ff) Sukoot An Al-Haqq: Silence in the face of Injustice and Zulm. And when it is time to stand up for Haqq.
gg) Pursuing Self-Interest and Self-Preservation at the expense of Saying and Doing the Right Things — especially, when adverse consequences may flow from such actions and speech.
hh) Moral Cowardice; A form of Jubn.
And…a few other things.
Please study Aayaat Nafs carefully. Find them using Mu’jam.
And also study Aayaat Zulm.
First, analyze them using Dictionary.
Study Aayaat Nafs in all kinds of contexts and meanings.
Use Translations as needed.
Recite, Chant, Practice!