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29:64 "And this worldly life is not but diversion and amusement. And indeed, the home of the Hereafter - that is the [eternal] life, if only they knew."


Qur’an and Context Anonymous 08/31/2020 (Mon) 05:10:10 ID: aa1e69 No.103
I’m not a Muslim, but I have been exploring Islam over the last few months with another non-Muslim friend of mine, and on the topic of the Qur’an, my friend has said that he finds it hard to believe that something like the Qur’an was intended to be a scripture of universal application given the fact that what happens is so contextually linked and that you basically need to read tafsir half the time to understand what a certain verse is actually in reference too (for example with “kill them where you find them...”). Basically his criticism is that you’d expect it to have more clarity and not so tightly tied into context to such an extent that you can’t even tell half the time they’re talking about something that happened after Mecca was retaken, or whether this happened after the battle of Badr, etc. I find this very strange about the Qur’an as well, and am curious why it is like this, and how it can be properly understood by many Muslims who have no access to the tafsir. I’m not here to really argue against the Qur’an, I’m mainly curious to here an explanation for this
>>103 Alhamdulillah. You've asked a very good question. May Allah grant you and your friend guidance and insight into our religion. The Qur'an is indeed a universal message for all of mankind until the Day of Judgment. That is why Allah has made its message clear and easy to understand. Allah says: > And We have certainly made the Qur'an easy for remembrance, so is there any who will remember? [al-Qamar 17] >(...) And We have sent down to you the Book as clarification for all things and as guidance and mercy and good tidings for the Muslims. [an-Nahl 89] Still, we find that some parts of the Qur'an can be more difficult to grasp, such as when the Qur'an sometimes addresses Muhammad ﷺ or his companions directly, regarding certain historical events. This however does not mean that the message is limited only to them, rather Allah makes use of even these situations to grant lessons to all of humanity. Scholars have written different explanations (tafseer) of the Qur'an over time. Of course, this begs the question, why do we need Tafseer if the Qur'an is already supposed to be clear and understandable? Indeed Tafseer is necessary to fully understand the meanings of the Qur'an. Not everyone can be a scholar - the average reader who doesn't know the context of certain verses or what exactly they refer to, or may not even know the Arabic language, will have a hard time benefitting from it in the same way as somebody who is well versed in these matters. Iyaas ibn Muawiyah said: "The example of a people who recite the Quran and do not know its explanation is like a group of people who have a written message from their king that comes to them during the night, and they do not have a lamp. Therefore they do not know what is in the message.The example of one who knows tafseer is like a person who comes to them with a lamp and reads to them what is in the message." The Qur'an itself was not brought as a standalone message, but rather it was given to the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ who recited it to the people around him bit by bit. When they had a question concerning the faith, they would come and ask him directly, and he would explain it to them. Today we find these explanations within the Ahadith which have been preserved. The Ahadith of the Prophet ﷺ (Sunnah) are indeed the best Tafseer of the Qur'an, as the Prophet ﷺ had the greatest amount of knowledge regarding the message of the Qur'an among all men. Most works of tafseer written by scholars are therefore based upon the Ahadith from the Prophet ﷺ and his companions. Hence the Qur'an stresses the importance of following God and His Messenger, and therefore Muslims follow both the Qur'an and the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. The Almighty says: >... until the truth (the Qur'an) came to them along with a messenger making things clear. [az-Zukhruf 29] In conclusion it can be said that had the Qur'an itself been enough to fully understand the religion, then it could have simply dropped from the sky. But instead it was given to Prophet Muhammad ﷺ so that he may explain and clarify its meanings to the people.
>>104 Thank you for the answer, anon. That seems to make a lot of sense to me. You are right that the Qur'an says to follow the example of the Prophet. I had not thought of that. I don't mean to totally divert the topic of the thread of pepper you with questions that might be better for the QTDDTOT, but since you seem knowledgeable, I do have one more question, less about the Qur'an itself, and more about Jesus as he is discussed in the Qur'an. In particular this verse: (4:157) >That they said (in boast), "We killed the Messiah Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah'; but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not. Why would Allah do this, and leave the followers of Jesus unsure of what had really happened to him? Did they see him crucified but think that he died? It is quite strange to me that God would leave them in the dark until Muhammad's prophethood nearly 600 years later while all of these apparent innovations gradually crept in like the Trinity, or is the onus of them going astray totally on those who became Christians?

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