In the Qur’an, [there are] three words to describe our hearts: qalb, fu‘ad and sadr. We know that every Arabic word is chosen for a reason, yet all three of these words for the most part are translated as “heart.” As usual, the intricate meanings of these words are not captured in the translation.
So, what is their difference?
Qalb is the general word for heart. It comes from the root which means something that turns around and about and upside down. It is the nature of hearts that they are constantly changing, this is the normal state of our hearts. When ta’ala refers to eman and diseases of the heart, qalb is used.
Fu’ad is from the verb fa’ada meaning burning or a flame. Continue reading
A BRIEF HISTORY OF EGYPT
By Arthur Goldschmidt Jr., 2008
3 PERSIAN, GREEK, ROMAN, AND ARAB RULE (525 B.C.E.–1250 C.E.)
In 525 B.C.E. Egypt ceased to be ruled by Egyptians. With very few exceptions, the head of the Egyptian state would always be a foreigner […]. For most of this time Egyptians would still serve as administrators, scribes, judges, religious leaders, and village headmen. Egypt’s subordination to the Persians, Macedonians, Greeks, Romans, and Arabs, described in this chapter, set the pattern for later colonization by other outsiders. Usually the Egyptians accepted their lot, but sometimes they rebelled openly and often they subverted or influenced their foreign masters. A modern Arabic proverb sums up the popular view: Fi bilad Misr khayruha li-ghayriha (In the land of Egypt, its good things belong to others).
The year 525 was when Cambyses II, the Persian emperor, defeated the last Saite pharaoh, conquered Egypt, and established the [27th] Dynasty. The Persians, originally tribal nomads in what now is Iran, Continue reading
The Malāmatiyya (ملامتية) or Malamatis were a mystic group active in the 9th century Greater Khorasan. Their root word of their name is the Arabic word malāmah (ملامة) “blame”. The Malamatiyya believed in the value of self-blame, that piety should be a private matter and that being held in good esteem would lead to worldly attachment. They concealed their knowledge and made sure their faults would be known, reminding them of their imperfection. The Malamati is one for whom the doctrine of “spiritual states” is fraught with subtle deceptions of the most despicable kind; he despises personal piety, not because he is focused on the perceptions or reactions of people, but as a consistent involuntary witness of his own “pious hypocrisy”. Continue reading
Chapter 5 (Spiritual Ailments)
From Quranic Healing
Types and Signs of the Evil Eye
1- The Human Evil Eye.
2- The Jinni Evil Eye.
Regarding the Signs of the Evil Eye, the following issues need to be dealt with:
1) Issues related to the diagnosis of the evil eye are not a matter of metaphysics or the supernatural, the evil eye has signs and effects that show its affliction. Previously mentioned were a number of prophetic sayings that denote this concept, as indicated by the relation of Om Salama when Allah’s Messenger (PGBUH) saw a girl in her house whose face had a black spot so he said: ” She’s under the effect of an evil eye, so treat her with Ruqya”. Also Asmaa told Allah’s Messenger (PGBUH) about Gaafar’s children that ”The evil eye goes quickly to them”. This clearly indicates that there are certain signs that can be Continue reading
Concerning The Hur al-`Ayn (Houris)
Are the Hur al-`Ayn exclusively female?
The way of the commentators of Ahl al-Sunna as well as Daniel Webster is to understand the “Houris” as the female spouses of the righteous in Paradise. Our evidence is their description as “buxom girls” (kawa`ib) – in Surat al-Naba’ – who are “virginal” – in two verses in Surat al-Rahman – and their similarly unambiguous and detailed – such as their never getting menses – descriptions by the Prophet himself in innumerable authentic narrations, as well as Ibn `Abbas and the authorities in Tafsir among the other Companions and Tabi`in.
As we had agreed – I think – in a similar exchange on soc.religion. islam with Brother `Abd al-Rahman Lomax back in July 1996 (cited in full at the end of this reply), the sound narrations in the two Sahihs (al-Bukhari and Muslim) specify that: Continue reading
The concept of the houri received wide publicity as “virgins” (most usually 72 in number) promised as a reward to Muslim shahids (martyrs), after their death. However, the Quran states that all believers who go to Heaven shall be granted the company of more than one houris—explicitly mentioned in the plural. The number 72 comes from a hadith, and not the Quran.
In the Quran the houris are called “companions”, described as being “restraining in their glances (chaste)”, with “modest gazes”, “wide and beautiful/lovely eyes”, “eyes like pearls”, “splendid” and “full-breasted”. Surah Al-Waqia (56:35-37) of the Quran describes the houris as “most refined”, created by God “in the best of form”, “virgin, loving, and well-matched”. Continue reading
JONAH AND THE “GOURD” AT NINEVEH: CONSEQUENCES OF A CLASSIC MISTRANSLATION
By Jules Janick and Harry S. Paris, CUCURBITACEAE, 2006, pp. 349-357.
ABSTRACT. The fast-growing plant referred to in the biblical Book of Jonah is most often translated into English as “gourd.” However, this is a mistranslation that dates to the appended Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, in which the Hebrew word qiqayon (castor, Ricinus communis, Euphorbiaceae) was transformed into the somewhat similar-sounding Greek word kolokynthi (colocynth, Citrullus colocynthis). In translation of the Greek into Latin, kolokynthi became the similar-sounding cucurbita (gourd). This is reflected in early iconography, the plant most often depicted being a long-fruited Lagenaria siceraria (bottle or calabash gourd), a fast-growing climber.
Cucurbits are frequent subjects of art, literature, and myth. Since ancient times, people the world over have been fascinated by the fast growth of cucurbits, from seed to a rampant vine bearing prominent, attractive fruits within two or three months. Metaphorically, the cucurbits are associated with warmth, Continue reading