163 the Nature of Man

Should we not try to inquire in to the nature of man? This is an attempt.
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  1  2 163 Why the Khaleefah and why the Bashar? Dear Friends, Assalamu Alaikum, Alhamdulillah this is the 13 th   talk in the series ‘Pleasing Madrasah Reforms’.  The purpose of this series of talks is to make Muslims more aware of the endless material in the Quran that requires research and intellectual application. This intellectual application is not necessarily confined only to Muslim Academics but this application has to be the endeavor of every Muslim, irrespective of his academic achievement, with the belief that sincere devotion would bring understanding and guidance. Over the last 3 of these talks I have been trying to point out the purposes or the objectives in creating the Universe or what is referred to as the (  َضرَاَو   ِتاَوََا )  or the Heavens and the Earth from the Aayaths of the Quran. In today’s talk I shall try to focus on ‘the creation of the nature of man’ as well as in trying to understand the purpose or the objective of creating this man. Now when we begin collecting material about Man from the Aayaths in the Quran one factor that strikes us is as to the many names that Allah uses to describe or to refer to man. For example in the Quran man is referred to as Insaan, Rijaal, Bashar and Khaleefah. So I ask, ‘Why the different names?’ Surely there has to be a message behind each of those names? One explanation could be that these are qualities of man. For example we have one Allah or one God. We also know that Allah has infinite number of Attributes and some of these attributes are described in the Aayaths of the Quran. So we know that Allah owns the attribute of Rahmaan or Mercy, of Hikmeth or wisdom, of Khaaliq or creator and so on. Now we also know that in many Aayaths Allah refers to himself as Allah as well as through His named attributes. So we read Aayaths where these attributes are pointed out to us. So could it be that in a similar manner Allah is pointing out to us the different qualities of man. So when trying to learn about the creation of the nature of man it is necessary to ask the question why the word Insaan was used in some Aayaths and why Rijaal was used in other Aayaths and similarly why Bashar and Khaleefah were used in still other Aayaths. Interesting isn’t  it? There are many Aayaths that give us insights or pointers into the creation of the nature of man, and I would like to read from 2 sets of Aayaths. The first set begins from Aayath No 30 of Surah Baqarah and the second set begins from Aayath No 28 of Surah Al Hijr.  3 From these Aayaths I am going to discuss some interesting and enlightening points. I shall also number these points. Let us begin with Point 1 What could we learn from the statement of the Malaa’ikah?  This is from Aayath No 30 of Surah Baqarah This one Aayath contains 3 complete sentences as follows; [002:030] and when, thy Rabb said to the Malaa’ikah: Indeed I am going to place Khaleefah on the Earth” ۖًَِَخ   ِضرَا   ِ   ٌِَ   ّِ   ِَِََِ   َُَر   َلَ   ِَو   They said: Wilt Thou place therein one who will spread mischief therein and shed blood? - whilst we glorify with thy praises and we sanctify you? ُّَُ   ُََو   َءَّا   ُِََو   َِ   ُِُ   َ   َِ   ُَََ   اُَ   ۖََ   ُسّَُَو   َكِَِ   He said: Indeed I know, what ye know not. ﴿   َنُََ   َ   َ   ُََ   ّِ   َلَ٣   The point that strikes me the most from reading this Aayath is the reply of the Malaa’ikah when Allah tells them that he is going to place Khaleefah on Earth. Their response is  (  َءَّا   ُِََو   َِ   ُِُ   َ   َِ   ُَََ   اُَ ) which means “They said: ‘Wilt Thou place therein one who will spread mischief therein and shed blood?’”  Now this statement raises questions which in turn raise other questions. Let me voice just 5 of them; 1.   How is it that these Malaa’ikah know the quality of the Khaleefah or of Man even before he was placed on Earth? 2.   Is this not clear evidence that Man has been present and displaying his mischief even before he was placed on Earth? 3.   If man was present even before he was placed on Earth, then where was he? 4.   Again if man was present even before he was placed on earth then in what form was he. For example we all know that if man goes in to Space he should wear what we call a ‘ Space Suit ’  Similarly if he were to land on the Moon he would need to be dressed in a suit compatible to the environment on the Moon, say a ‘Lunar Suit’ So could it not be argued that to be placed on Earth, this man would need to be equipped with an ‘Earthly Body’ or an ‘Earth Suit’  So in what Suit were we clothed whilst in that pre earthly world or in that pre earthly environment? Or, were we ‘suit - less’ ; that is, were we in an environment that did not require us to be clothed in what I would refer to as an ‘environment customized suit’?    4 5.   The other interesting question would be since Allah had decided to place man on Earth, what happened or what was the sequence of events that led to God telling the Malaa’ikah that He is going to place man or the Khaleefah on Earth?  Now getting on to Point 2 What does Bashar mean? This is from the Aayath No 28 of Surah Al Hijr [015:028] Behold! thy Rabb said to the Malaa’ikah: I am about to create Bashr, from sounding clay from mud molded into shape; ٍََح   ّ   ٍلََص   ّ   اًََ   ٌقِَخ   ّِ   ِَِََِ   َُَر   َلَ   ِَو﴿   ٍنُَ   It is a quality of all Aayaths of the Quran that when you begin to contemplate the message in any Aayath, a number of questions begin to take shape or arises in your mind. Let me list out 3 of these questions that strike me when I read this Aayath. 1.   What is the meaning of the word Bashar? 2.   Why did Allah use the word Bashar here and the word Khaleefah in the Aayath we read earlier (Aayath No 30 of Surah Baqarah) 3.   In the earlier Aayath we read evidence that Man had been present even before he was sent to earth. So it does follow that this man who is being referred to as Bashar too had been present before he was sent to earth. So then in this Aayath is Allah instructing us that it is this Bashr (  ًََ   ٌقِَخ ) that is actually being created in the ‘Earthly Suit’  Or in other words it is the Bashr who is being fitted out w ith this ‘Earth Suit’ of ‘ sounding clay from mud ’   Interesting isn’t it?   Let us first find out the meaning of the word ‘Bashar’  The triliteral root   bā shīn rā  () occurs 123 times in the Quran, in 11 derived forms. Let me now read a list of meanings of this root word made up of the bā shīn rā  ()    Skin/Pare/Strip/Skin Contact/Epidermis (or insides)    Complexion, hue    Fineness of Beauty    Elegance of form    Bright cheerful countenance    Rejoiced, rejoicing good, good tidings, glad tidings    Announcements (bearer of),    Proclaiming,    Commencement,    Beginnings of anything    Indications    Streaks (daylight breaking, wind over land)    Conducting, managing affairs personally.    Lie with, to go in unto.    Perfect man (combining gentleness with strength).
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