Author Topic: Verse 3:7 - Alternative understanding of the word "mutashābihātun"  (Read 398 times)

Iyyaka

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Salam aleykoum,

The term "mutashābihātun" is translated in different ways:
- allegorical
- elusive
- ambiguous
- not entirely clear
- unspecific
- methaphoric
- various interpretations / multiple meanings
etc...
However, the Qur'an defines itself as a "Written/kitâb whose verses are made explicit", S11.V1.
This essential aspect of divine communication is repeatedly emphasized: nothing tortuous/'iwaj, S18.V1; nothing dubious S2.V2; nothing contradictive/ikhtilâf, S4.V82. On the contrary, it is said to be an explicit book/mubîn, S12.V1, in a clear language/mubîn, S26.V195.

The term mutashâbihât is the plural feminine past participle of the form VI tashâbaha meaning to resemble each other and hence to be easily confused. Dictionaries therefore give for mutashâbih the meaning of resembling, a meaning that we find indisputably in six verses of the Qur'an : S2.V70; S2.V118; S6.V99; S6.V141; S13.V16; S39.V23. But, in our verse, this meaning cannot be retained, because one does not see what interest would have those who "have in their heart an inclination towards straying" to want to "find an interpretation" to the verses which are similar since the interpretation of one would necessarily be similar to the interpretation of the other!

Given all these data, a possible plausible explanation is the following: these verses of the Qur'an called mutashâbihât are not equivocal in themselves, but according to a meaning of the participle mutashâbihât would only seem to be equivocal :
=> [3:7]....while some would seem equivocal/mutashâbihât".
This meaning is in accordance with the rules governing verbal derivation in Arabic. Indeed, the form VI can express the fact of pretending to and, as the root shabaha means to compare one to the other, one obtains for the past participle mutashâbih: which seems to be similar, so here which seems to be equivocal

Peace be upon you.

TellMeTheTruth

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Re: Verse 3:7 - Alternative understanding of the word "mutashābihātun"
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2020, 11:44:26 PM »
Salam!
Agreed.
Peace!

Iyyaka

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Re: Verse 3:7 - Alternative understanding of the word "mutashābihātun"
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2020, 01:39:57 AM »
Salam!
Agreed.
Peace!
Peace be with you TellMeTheTruth,

In the future, with God's help and if He permits it, I will publish the detailed structural composition of the passage in which is located the verse 3:7, too often unfortunately isolated from its scriptural and historical context.

In the meantime, it is interesting to bring together verses S3.V7 and S3.V19-20 :

   [S3.V19-20] In truth, debt obligation in relation to God is complete self-abandonment.
   Those to whom the Holy Writing was given did not differ until after the Holy Knowledge had come to them, out of rivalry among them.
   And whoever denies the clear signs of God, let him know that God is swift in reckoning.
   And if they dispute with You, answer them, "I have surrendered my whole being to God thus those who followed me." [...]

Best regards,

TellMeTheTruth

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Re: Verse 3:7 - Alternative understanding of the word "mutashābihātun"
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2020, 06:48:30 PM »
Salam!
Yes, you are right. Will be waiting for further details.
Peace!

Mazhar

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Re: Verse 3:7 - Alternative understanding of the word "mutashābihātun"
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2020, 12:53:47 PM »
Format and Organization

Miscellany of Grand Qur’ān

http://haqeeqat.pk/FacilitatorByMetaphors.htm

Iyyaka

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Re: Verse 3:7 - Alternative understanding of the word "mutashābihātun"
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2020, 06:59:51 AM »
Format and Organization

Miscellany of Grand Qur’ān

http://haqeeqat.pk/FacilitatorByMetaphors.htm
Thanks for sharing your thoughts about this subject - a big and deep analysis as usual ; even if we don't share the same uderstanding at this time.
To meditate.
Just one question for now : How do you consistently link or not verse 3:7 with verses 11:1 and 39:23 ?

ajzhyder

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Re: Verse 3:7 - Alternative understanding of the word "mutashābihātun"
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2020, 03:33:27 PM »
The meaning of Mutashbehat that would fit in all occurrences of this word in Quran is 'Similar'.

As  Sura Al-Imran Ayat 7 (3:7) states, the Quranic Ayahs can be considered to be of two broad categories. Ones which contain Hukum or orders and others which are termed as mutashabehat or Similar ones. The mutashabehat Ayahs are further defined in 39:23 to be written ones, similar ones and repeated ones. So mutashabehat Ayats are those which are similar to one another and are repeated in Quran. They are not ambiguous Ayahs containing confusions or abstractions, as some translations suggest. Mutashabeha means 'similar' in Quran such as Ayats 6:99 and 6:141 suggest, when they mention similar fruits.

The Ayat 3:7 states that the people who have crookedness in their hearts they follow what is similar to the Ayahs and Al-Quran. Please carefully note that this Ayat states that these people do not follow the mutashabehat or Similar Ayahs, instead they follow what is similar to these mutashabehat Ayats. Practically we observe that in many lectures on Quranic topics, the lecturer will read an Ayat or few Ayahs from Al-Quran but then he will tell details related to these Ayahs from other books.  The story being told will have some resemblance to the narration in these Ayajs but it will not be purely from Quran. People who are fascinated with these stories which have some resemblance with Quranic Ayahs, are said to be those who have crookedness in their hearts.

Those people with crookedness in their hearts will have fascination with these stories and in order to find Taweel or details they follow what would seem similar to the Quran. But those people who are established in Knowledge, they believe in all Ayahs of Quran  and they do not seek fascination in finding Taweels of similar and repeated Ayats. they know that the details are only known to Allah, so nobody, no matter how great they are considered by people, would know the Taweel or interpretation. The Tafseers written by so called great scholars of yore, are just their personal opinions and beliefs.

TellMeTheTruth

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Re: Verse 3:7 - Alternative understanding of the word "mutashābihātun"
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2020, 08:33:38 PM »
Salam!
Good. However, please note that two similar may cause some confusions as in case of twin children, even their own parents face some problems. So this meaning cannot be ignored. However, need to work more on this.

I think these mutashabehat ayahs also include those ayahs which are used in AQ as examples or similitudes.

Peace!


Iyyaka

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Re: Verse 3:7 - Alternative understanding of the word "mutashābihātun"
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2020, 11:33:56 PM »
Salam,

Thanks for your contriubtions.

Context and linguistics is very important to understand a word in the great Quran :

(1)  Dictionary (extract from Mazhar's study) :

"inf. n. تَشْبِيهٌ, He made it to be like it, or to resemble it; he assimilated it to it; . مَثَّلَهُ [meaning thus: and also meaning he likened it to it, or compared it with it; agreeably with the explanation here next following]: شَبَّهَتُ الشَّىْءَ بِالشَّىْءِ I put the thing in the place, or predicament, of the [other] thing, by reason of an attribute connecting them [or common to them]; which attribute may be real and ideal; real as when one says, “ this dirhem is like this dirhem, ” and “ this blackness is like this blackness; ” and ideal as when one says, “ Zeyd is like the lion ” or “ like the ass ” i. e. in his strength or his stupidity,....

6 تَشَابُهٌ  signifies The being equal, or uniform; syn. اِسْتِوَآءٌ:

تَشَابَهَا They resembled each other so that they became confounded, or confused, or dubious.

And مُتَشَابِهَاتٌ Things like, or resembling, one another."

(2) Form (vi) can also express pretending to :
"
17 (h) . The agent or subject shows you that he is in a state that he is not in. (pretending, feigning etc.)
(k)(n)(a) . The agent showing to possess the quality indicated in the root or the quality or thing indicated in the root or word from the same root that is neither there, nor actually wanted by the agent, nor a quality deemed recommended or liked for possession etc.
"
(http://revivearabic.blogspot.com/2016/07/arabic-verbform-vi-6-tafaa3ala.html#:~:text=Arabic%20Verb%20Form%20VI%20is,of%20some%20quality%20or%20thing.&text=Arabic%20Verb%20Form%20VI%20is%20%D9%85%D9%8F%D8%B7%D9%8E%D8%A7%D9%88%D9%90%D8%B9%20of%20Arabic%20Verb%20Form,becomes%20reflexive%20in%20Form%20VI.)

(3) intertextuality :

11:1 = kkitābun/a writing  uḥ'kimat āyātuhu/its Verses
39:23 = kitāban/a writing  mutashābihan
=> In the same time 2 qualities, not separated (no word like "some..")

The Ayat 3:7 states that the people who have crookedness in their hearts they follow what is similar to the Ayahs and Al-Quran. Please carefully note that this Ayat states that these people do not follow the mutashabehat or Similar Ayahs, instead they follow what is similar to these mutashabehat Ayats. Practically we observe that in many lectures on Quranic topics, the lecturer will read an Ayat or few Ayahs from Al-Quran but then he will tell details related to these Ayahs from other books.
=> Wrong "[so/fa] they follow what is tashābaha min'hu/of it,"

TellMeTheTruth

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Re: Verse 3:7 - Alternative understanding of the word "mutashābihātun"
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2020, 08:44:19 AM »
Salam!
Dear Iyyaka! As per my knowledge کتب kitabun means a writing/an instruction while کتابا kitaban may mean some/a few writings or instructions.
Moreover, the word من min means 'from/within' so منہ minhu would mean 'from/within it (the Quran) '.
Rest, I agree that the meaning 'similar' or 'resembling' fits far better than the traditional meanings and it clears words of a few more ayats. For example, یضل بہ in 2:26
Peace!