Author Topic: A.L.M...single letters and "strike the necks ?" (47:4)  (Read 106 times)

Iyyaka

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A.L.M...single letters and "strike the necks ?" (47:4)
« on: June 09, 2019, 12:17:14 PM »
Salam everyone,

The expression "to strike the necks" is often taken by the Traditionnal literalists as the open door, authorized by God, to massacre in the event of war and in particular to slice heads ... Let's see what it is when one makes linguistic "tadabbour/Meditating in-depth", under control of the Qur'an of course (the Ultimate Argument)

I discussed the role of isolated letters and the nominal meaning of the word "DaRaBa" here: https://free-minds.org/forum/index.php?topic=9610707.0

As a reminder, the root of the word "DaRaBa" refers to the idea of deploy (person / thing) actively to evolve a blocked / difficult situation "

Now let's analyze the word "RiQaB = neck":

               R Q B (ر ق ب)

Rā  : Repetition, continuity
 +
{QāF, } = Cover from above
=> General definition : Cover from above a thing /person/situation continuously

With as a complement :
 {, }     = Evolution, continuity
 {, QāF} = Lower, decrease, yoke etc.

This root refers to the notion of "neck" because the neck is the symbol of the control of the situation and its evolution.

So, we can propose a new translation close to the meaning expressed by God:
"Hitting the necks" means "Deploy actively to change this situation of conflict by controlling/overpowing them"


- - - Proofs from Literal Context - - -

(1)
(47:4)...until when you have subdued them,

(2)
ar-RiQaB : 2 others times in the Quran (with 47:4)
- (2:177) ...Freed those who are under control
- (9:60) : Only l-ṣadaqātu/charity-in-justice..those who are under control

- - - Proofs from History - - -

Raazias had to avoid as much as possible shedding blood (on both sides) and taking goods/people in a minimum of time


Peace
But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it. (Luke - 11:26)

Wakas

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Re: A.L.M...single letters and "strike the necks ?" (47:4)
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2019, 02:03:23 PM »
peace,

No.

See: http://www.quran434.com/wife-beating-islam.html

part 1,

17)
fa darba al rriqabi hattaitha athkhantumoohum = so strike the necks until when you have overcome them
[47:4]

Some use "hit", "smite", "strike-off". Whilst this is the most common translation, it should be noted that it is taken by many as an idiom (e.g. Al-Jalalayn, Ibn Kathir), meaning slay or kill. This seems a plausible interpretation as in a battle of swords and arrows no commander would order his soldiers to aim for the necks alone. Similarly, "put forth" could also be used. Interestingly, Mustansir Mir's book mentions a similar expression "daraba raqabatahu" and renders it as "to cut off somebody's head / kill somebody".

However, upon closer examination, there is an alternative translation, which seems the most likely based on the evidence:

So, when you encounter those who have rejected/concealed, then put forth /bring about the captives; until when you have subdued/overcome them, then strengthen the bind. Then after either grace/favour or ransom, until the war lays down its burdens. That, and had God willed, surely He would have gained victory Himself from them, but He tests some of you with others. And those who get killed in the cause of God, He will never let their deeds be put to waste.

Notes for the above translation:
1) "darba" is a verbal noun, indicating the act of doing as well as the noun itself, e.g. then putting forth / bringing about the captives.
2) In a battle of swords and arrows no commander would order his soldiers to aim for the necks alone.
3) RQB is NEVER used to mean neck elsewhere in The Quran, as the word for neck is "unuq" (as used in 8:12 also with DRB). RQB is always used to mean slaves/captives.
4) If they were supposed to be beheaded, there would not be a need for an instruction regarding captives. Thus to overcome this apparent omission, many traditional commentators translate "fa shuddoo al wathaqa" as "then tie the bond" and say this refers to taking prisoners of war. However, the word "strengthen/tighten (Arabic: shuddoo)" implies a pre-existing thing to strengthen/tighten (see its usage in 38:20, 76:28, 28:35, 10:88, 20:31), but if this is true, where is it in context? It can only relate to "darba al rriqabi", and thus provides strong proof that this phrase is about bringing about captives from the enemy.
5) This translation makes sense because during open/active fighting, the captives may not be totally secure, and could only really be secured once the enemy has been subdued/overcome. Thus, this verse is implying aim to bring about captives, not necessarily kill them, which shows mercy and less aggression in such a situation, even if it means getting killed.
6) One meaning of DaRaBa found in Lane's Lexicon is "he made or caused to be or constituted" which is similar to the suggested meaning discussed above.
7) I am not aware of a Classical Arabic Dictionary which references verse 47:4 under the root entry of DRB or RQB.
8) 47:4 refers to those mentioned in the previous verses, going by its use of connective particle "fa", then these people were not fighting or killing, thus killing them may violate the law of equivalence [2:190, 4:90, 5:8, 16:126, 42:39-43].
9) Interestingly, Traditional Tafsirs (altafsir.com) also mention this possibility along with the common understanding. Ibn 'Abbas: "...and taken them prisoners, (then making fast of bonds) keep the prisoners in captivity...". Tafsir al-Jalalayn: "...take them captive and bind firmly, the bonds (al-wathāq is what is used to bind [yūthaqu] a captive).".

As a side note, it is interesting to note the difference in phrasing of this verse compared to 8:12, giving further weight to each of them having different meanings as discussed.
All information in my posts is correct to the best of my knowledge only and thus should not be taken as a fact. One should seek knowledge and verify: 17:36, 20:114, 35:28, 49:6, 58:11. My articles

www.studyQuran.org

Iyyaka

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Re: A.L.M...single letters and "strike the necks ?" (47:4)
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2019, 03:05:26 PM »
e
But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it. (Luke - 11:26)

Mazhar

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Re: A.L.M...single letters and "strike the necks ?" (47:4)
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2019, 04:12:42 PM »
فَضَـرْبَ ٱلـرِّقَابِ

Particle Fa reflects it as Apodosis clause, meaning if the condition existed then it is the consequence.

What type of phrase is it? It is إضافة لفظية
.
Deriving meanings is not a guess work. Meanings are derived by analyzing the choice words and grammatical assemblage.

Why is it accusative? Case endings determine the role and function of words. Firstly it needs to be determined why is it accusative.

Iyyaka

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Re: A.L.M...single letters and "strike the necks ?" (47:4)
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2019, 11:16:18 PM »
Salam Wakas,

I am not agree with your answer.
Before answering let me congratulate you for the efforts provided. I had read all your articles and even if I do not agree with everything they bring to the reflection and that it is the best of the goods..

Now, I know that This grammatical approach used (Binarity=Zawj in the quran**) is new for almost all the people So sorry but let me summary again what is the fundamental meaning of the root R-Q-B :

   The primary meaning is "Control of the situation and its evolution" as i explained :
       Rā  : Repetition, continuity
        +
       {QāF, Bā} = Cover from above

   The derivative meaning is slaves yes etc...You can find it directly from the primary meaning (to have someone under control) or by the merger of these two etymology :
       {Rā , Bā}    = Evolution
       {Rā , QāF} = Lower, decrease, yoke etc.
       => Decrease the evolution of someone...Like to be a slave

Now,i hope you can better understand the following arguments :
(1)
You said : "RQB is always used to mean slaves/captives." How can you explain this name of Allah in (5:117) (others ayats like this one..) ?
   (5:117:23) l-raqība the Slave.   => Allah, The slave ? No..The observer, Watcher in the sense of "the entity who has the control of the situation (under control)"

(2)
This sura is the one that allows "Those who had rally to God and his messenger" to fight those who oppress them (47:20).
So God tells them how to fight => the goal is not Killing people but to take them Under control and try to RALLY them of the cause of peace/God. That's why God us the expression in (47:4) "fashuddū l-wathāqa = then bind firmly the bond". Otherwise you make an anachronism in terms of history and you project your collective representations of the war (many movies!) on the tribal reality of the beginning of the 7th century (situation which reflects the Koran).
At the moment where this ayat came down (47:4), no tribal war still happened (fa-idhā..So when…). God explains the good behaviour to have in such a situation.

(3)
God give you the anwser in the Quran ! (By correlation of terms - in blue below). I colour the words for a better understanding :
(47:4)..faḍarba l-riqābi
           
ḥattā idhā athkhantumūhum.."
=> Do actively something (faḍarba) to attain a goal (athkhantumūhum) and when this goal (athkhantumūhum) is reached then stop it (ḥattā idhā)


Peace

** i will probably, if God wills, more develop this approach with the Quran himself and modern linguistic semitic science (but today almost limited to an academic work...)
But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it. (Luke - 11:26)

Cerberus

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Re: A.L.M...single letters and "strike the necks ?" (47:4)
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2019, 01:08:25 AM »
Quote
"2) In a battle of swords and arrows no commander would order his soldiers to aim for the necks alone."
That's what you get from the expression "strike the necks" ? It's seems more like "go for the kill". Something a commander would say.
On top of that, killing through decapitation was the norm in Arabia and still is today.

It seems to me that combat was inevitable in that era, and with that brutality. A bunch of Arab tribes, ignorant, savage stone worshipers and one guy comes in and preaches against everything they stand for ? No chance he's not getting away without a fight. There is a documented historical battle that ended few years before the birth of Muhammad, a battle that lasted 40 years between two neighboring tribes over a dead camel, just so you get that they were truly savages. And according to the only source we have on Muhammad, his own tribe tried to kill him because of what he preached, which resulted in them moving to Medina.

Here is some heartwarming pre-islamic poetry for you:
Quote
Weep for me, my eyes! Spill your tears
And mourn for me the vanished kings
Hujr ibn 'Amru's princely sons
Led away to slaughter at eventide;
If only they had died in combat
Not in the lands of Banu Marina!
No water was there to wash their fallen heads,
And their skulls lie spattered with blood
Pecked over by birds
Who tear out first the eyebrows, then the eyes
.

Wakas

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Re: A.L.M...single letters and "strike the necks ?" (47:4)
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2019, 03:47:31 AM »
peace,



Now,i hope you can better understand the following arguments :
(1)
You said : "RQB is always used to mean slaves/captives." How can you explain this name of Allah in (5:117) (others ayats like this one..) ?
   (5:117:23) l-raqība the Slave.   => Allah, The slave ? No..The observer, Watcher in the sense of "the entity who has the control of the situation (under control)"


Re: quote: RQB is always used to mean slaves/captives.

Thanks for pointing this out. I have updated the article and clarified I meant the specific word RiQaB.


Your method seems too subjective for my liking, sorry.
All information in my posts is correct to the best of my knowledge only and thus should not be taken as a fact. One should seek knowledge and verify: 17:36, 20:114, 35:28, 49:6, 58:11. My articles

www.studyQuran.org

Wakas

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Re: A.L.M...single letters and "strike the necks ?" (47:4)
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2019, 03:52:33 AM »
peace,

That's what you get from the expression "strike the necks" ? It's seems more like "go for the kill". Something a commander would say.
On top of that, killing through decapitation was the norm in Arabia and still is today.


If it was only an isolated phrase "strike the necks" then I might agree with you. However when the context is read the evidence is easily weighted in favour of the rendition I give. In my view of course.

For example, I have read various translations of this verse but very few, if any, bother to address the issues I raise. So it is not a surprise to me people think they are plausible.
All information in my posts is correct to the best of my knowledge only and thus should not be taken as a fact. One should seek knowledge and verify: 17:36, 20:114, 35:28, 49:6, 58:11. My articles

www.studyQuran.org

Iyyaka

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Re: A.L.M...single letters and "strike the necks ?" (47:4)
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2019, 06:19:24 AM »
peace,
Re: quote: RQB is always used to mean slaves/captives.
Thanks for pointing this out. I have updated the article and clarified I meant the specific word RiQaB
Your method seems too subjective for my liking, sorry.
No problem. being a good person is the most important..

But, please think about this, what is the most logical ?
Arabic lexicon based on "triliterous root and scheme" (artificial organization made by arabic grammarian around 800 AJC - I'm not saying that it can be helpful!) and Lexicon based on natural research on how a language has evolved (and confirmed by al-quran!).

Naive highlighting of the need for a more explanatory level than that of the root:
   It is enough to examine a series of facts in Arabic (and Hebrew too) to realize that the triconsonant root can not be considered as a primitive, if one wants the Arabic lexicon to appreciate the relations between the words.
Let's just look at the following facts:

B-W-H hash to calm down, to extinguish (fire, anger, heat)
B-H-H  bahha become calm again after being angry
B-H-W baha calm down, calm down (angry)

Can we attribute to chance, as does the triconsonant analysis, that these verbs have the same meaning and all three express the B-H consonants?
It could be if it were an isolated case, but there are many examples of doublets or similar triplets, in Arabic as in Hebrew, which has been demonstrated by university scholars in Semitic grammar
But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it. (Luke - 11:26)