Gateway to the Quran: Introduction – Dr. Sayed Abdul Wadud
Every book begins with a preface which is meant to introduce briefly the object as well as the subject matter of that book. The most appropriate preface is the one which is very brief and at the same time comprehensive. (سورة الفاتحة) the fist chapter of the Quran is known as (فاتحة الكتاب) which means that it is an introduction to the Quran. As a matter of fact it is an introduction to the Quran, very small in size, comprising only seven short verses, but it is so comprehensive that it contains in a nutshell all the basic teachings of the Quran and the purport of (الدين) or the way of life, prescribed by Allah Almighty for the guidance of mankind.
THE NEED FOR WRITING THIS EXEGESIS OF (سورة الفاتحة)
Numerous commentaries on the have appeared from time to time in Arabic, Urdu and English languages. Although they supply material which is fairly useful in understanding the Quran, yet they are replete with so many pitfalls which lead to distortion of the basic concepts of the book of Allah.
The main hurdles that come in the way are as follows :-
- The Quran is essentially untranslatable-
A literal translation of the Quranic text is not possible because equivalent words in other languages are not available. On the other hand the selection of words in the Quranic text is unique. Every word brings in to focus, not only the purport of the verse in which it is placed, but also reflects the Quranic teachings as a whole. Therefore in order to understand the true meanings of a word at a particular place, one has got to go back to the concepts hidden in its (ماده) root. Hence the explanation of a verse, reached after a methodical approach to its purport, is the right way to understand the Quran, rather than a literal translation into other languages. Moreover it is difficult to find even Arabic words equivalent to a certain word of the Quran, placed in its respective place in the text.
- The existing commentaries of the Quran –
The interpreters of the Quran, who have added interoperations to their own translations, have adopted an inappropriate method, to explain the Quranic text which is of their own making. They have depended mostly on speculations, manmade ideas, legends, Biblical stories and Jewish versions on such subjects as are common to the Quran and the old
Testament; thus compounding truth with falsehood and obstructing the visibility of the Quran by raising clouds of myths around it, although the Quran has openly declared:
“And follow not their vain desires, diverging from the truth that has come to you.” 5/51
On the other hand, new commentators go on following sheepishly, the commentaries produced by the earlier ones, without making an attempt to understand the holy book themselves. This mode of interpreting the Quran is UN-QURANIC. The Quran leads the way in every sphere of human activity and has thus provided guidance for its own interpretation by saying:
Thumma inna AAalayna bayanahu (75/19)
“After that it is for us to explain it”
Thus as guided by the Quran itself, a satisfactory explanation of the book of Allah, can be achieved by interpretation based on the Book itself. The Quran is self-explanatory and classifies itself by presenting a subject in various ways and in different contexts, so as to make things easily understandable:
Walaqad sarrafna fee hatha alqur-ani lilnnasi min kulli mathalin… (18/54)
“We have explained to mankind, by displaying different aspects of things in this Quran, with every kind of similitude.”
Thus the way to understand the Quran from the Quran itself, is the way shown by Allah Himself.
There is however, another aspect of this issue which is important and forms a part of the true approach to the understanding of the Quran. The Quran has made it incumbent on the believers to explore nature:
Wafee al-ardi ayatun lilmooqineena Wafee anfusikum afala tubsiroona (51/20-21)
” In the earth are clear signs for those who get convinced (after thorough investigation or research), and also within yourselves. Then will you not exercise you vision?”
The more we gain knowledge of the physical laws that operate in the physical world, the more we get convinced of the social laws revealed to the messengers of Allah for the guidance of mankind, as both sets of laws arose from a common source and are equally immutable. Thus, the more we explore nature, the more the meaning of those verses which are related to natural phenomena, becomes clear. At yet another place, the Quran makes an emphatic declaration:
Sanureehim ayatina fee al-afaqi wafee anfusihim hatta yatabayyana lahum annahu alhaqqu… (41/53).
” We shall show them Qur Signs in the universe and withen themselves, until it becomes manifest unto them that this (Quran) is the truth.”
But how can the signs of Allah become visible to us unless we explore them. Our orthodoxy is averse to exploration of nature. They have enclosed science and religion in two watertight compartments. Thus, on account of their lack of knowledge of natural phenomena, while interpreting the Quran, they either ignore the interpretation of such verses as are related to nature, or, if at all they make an attempt to do so, they produce explanations which are simply ridiculous, to say the least about it.
The point raised by me that the commentaries of the Quran based on myths and Biblical stories and produced without sufficient knowledge of the phenomena of nature, are most unsatisfactory, is not without foundation. Let me clarify this point by means of examples. Amongst the orthodoxy, Sayed Abul Aala Maudoodi is considered to be an eminent commentator. I therefore shall quote instance from his commentary on the Quran entitled (تفهيم القران) “Tafhimul-Quran”
- The creation of life on the earth forms a significant part of the Quranic descriptions but our commentators have missed certain important steps in this connection, on accountant of their lack of knowledge of natural phenomena in general and of the chemical evolution on the earth in particular which occurred for millions of years prior to the first cell formation and appearance of life. The words:
Huwa allathee khalaqakum min turabin…(40/67)
Wahuwa allathee khalaqa mina alma-i basharan… (25/54)
Huwa allathee khalaqakum min teenin…(6/2)
Walaqad khalaqna al-insana min sulalatin min teenin (23/12)
Khalaqa al-insana min salsalin kaalfakhkhari (55/14)
Walaqad khalaqna al-insana min salsalin min hama-in masnoonin (15/26)
Which lie scattered in different parts of the Quranic text, when read together, present a beautiful description of a continuous chemical evolution, on the earth step by step, as a precursor of life., Being ignorant of the basic fact that evolution is a continuous process which began millions of years before the creation of life, they make mistakes in describing even those steps in creation which are related to events after the appearance of life. Moreover the words of the Quran related to chemical evolution are wrongly interpreted. For example the words (حَمَاٍ مَسنُونٍ) is translated as (بد بو دار كارا) ” putrific mud”. It is an established fact that decay was unknown on the earth before the origin of bacteria which are living objects. Thus the words (حَمَاٍ مَسنُونٍ) mean old mud which with the passage of time had undergone physical and chemical changes, but not putrefaction which is a biological phenomenon.
According to the holy Quran, life was created from (سُللـةٍ مِن طِين) i.e. extracts of clay and not from clay itself. سُللـةٍ مِن طِين forms the basis of, not only an important but also an impressive and comprehensive chapter of chemical evolution on the earth. But our ‘learned men’ still believe in the creation of man from a model of clay as a whole. Perhaps they are under the impression that the words (سُللـةٍ مِن طِين) as they occur in the Quran, are a mere poetical expression.
- In verse (32:9) it is said
Allathee ahsana kulla shay-in khalaqahu wabadaa khalqa al-insani min teenin Thumma jaAAala naslahu min sulalatin min ma-in maheenin (32/7-8)
“It is He who has made every thing which He has created in an appropriate form and initiated the creation of man from the inorganic matter of the earth; and made his progeny from an extract of (what may seem to you) a despised fluid.”
The Quran here refers to the pre-human chemical evolution which later passed on gradually to the stage of sexual reproduction in plants and animals and ultimately in-to man. But our orthodoxy still believes in the theory of Special Creation which has been in vogue since t he time of old Testament. In Tafhimul Quran. (Volume-4, Page 40) after laying great stress on direct creation, it is said :
“If at all it is accepted that the first life cell was directly created, then where is the hitch in accepting that the first individual of every living species of animals came in to being by direct creation by the Creator and from then onwards its progeny proceeded by mean of procreation.”
This type of explanation is the result of ignorance about the chemical evolution which occurred prior to the appearance of life, as well as of ignorance about the stage at which sex appeared in living organisms. That is why, in the above said statement. Maudoodi starts with an improvised acceptance of first cell having been directly created and bases his further argument in favour of ‘Special Creation’ of other animals on a wrong assumption. As a matter a fact the creation of first cells was only a continuation of chemical evolution. Our orthodoxy has got a poor knowledge of Organic Evolution and still believes in the theory of ” Special Creation”, inspite of the fact that actual forces which brought about evolution were gradually discovered and are now thoroughly understood. That is why they still go on sticking to the idea that the first man created on the earth was Adam who was brought in to existence directly from a model of clay. In fact, the word Adam, as it occurs in the Quran means ‘human species and not any particular individual.
- The Quran says
Ma khalqukum wala baAAthukum illa kanafsin wahidatin (31/28)
” Your creation and recreation is in no other way but as a single life cell.”
It means every time a new life starts, from a single cell both in unicellular as well as multi-cellular organisms. In the later case this single cell is a Zygote which id the product of fertilization of a female by a male cell. A Zygote has got the potentiality of developing in to either a male or a female adult. The Quran says:
Khalaqakum min nafsin wahidatin thumma jaAAala minha zawjaha … (39/6)
“He created you from a single life cell and made from it its opposite sex.”
But our ‘learned men’ translate the word (نفسٍ واحدةٍ) as ‘Adam’ and having been influenced by Jewish literature produce a fantastic story of the creation of Adam and Ewe, the Adam having been created direct from a model of clay and the Ewe having been taken out of his body by means of bisection.
- The Quran says:
WaAllahu anbatakum mina al-ardi nabatan (71/17)
“The divine plan has raised you up from the earth in the form of a (geneological) tree.”
In Tafhimul Quran (Vol. Vi, p-102) this verse is translated as follows:
“And Allah raised you up from the earth in a strange way”. And it is further said, on page 103:
“Here the creation of man from the earthly materials is expressed as being similar to the growth of vegetation from the earth. As there was no vegetation on the earth before and then Allah created them.”
This explanation based on ignorance of evolutionary processes makes no sense. In fact, not only the theory of “special creation” but also the idea that evolution took place from a single cell to man in a ladder-like fashion, is now obsolete. Actually as soon as a new type evolves, it becomes a potential ancestor for many simultaneous descendent lines and each line becomes specially adapted in particular way. The evolution thus forms the pattern of a branching tree.
- The holy Quran lays emphasis on the point that human evolution started long before man actually assumed the form of a human being i.e., long before he became capable of wielding a position of such magnificent importance that ‘Malaika’ the forces of nature bowed down before him. In these pre-human stages of chemical and biological evolution, man was not a thing worth mentioning:
Hal ata AAala al-insani heenun mina alddahri lam yakun shay-an mathkooran (76/1)
“Had there not been upon man a period of time when he was not a thing worth mentioning?”
In Taghimul Quran volume vi P-186 the verse is explained as follows:-
” One part of it (man) in the form of a microscopic male cell in father and the other part in the form of a female ovum in mother. For a long time man did not know that he comes in to existence from these male and female cells, until it was detected by means of microscope.”
Thus, according to Maudoodi the word دهر (a period of indefinite continuous duration) means that period of man’s existence which occurred before the invention of microscope. What a poor an irrelevant explanation. Being ignorant of the stages of evolution he errs at one step after another.
- The Quran while describing human evolution, says:
Waqad khalaqakum atwaran (71/14)
“He it is who created you in different stages, forms, measures and environments”
In the Tahimul Quran (vol. 6, P-101) this verse is translated by saying: and the words (طرح طرح) are explained further as the different stages of man’s development inside the mothers uterus. But in fact the word (اطوار) fits exactly in to a variety of steps in evolution of man, pre-human, as well as human, and even into the evolution of the physical universe, prior to it.
- The Quran says:
Thumma khalaqna alnnutfata Aaalaqatan… (23/14)
“Then from نطفه (the reproductive unit) we created علقه ‘Alaqa’.”
The word علقه is translated by almost all commentators as congealed blood (جما هوا خون) although not blood is present in this early embryonic stage; it is just a tiny mass of undifferentiated cells. The word علق root ع ل ق means a hanging object attached to a fixed object situated higher up. In this early stage it is only the blastocyst which can be called علقه. The very first impression one gets on observing a blastocyst under the microscope is that it is indeed an ‘Alaqa’.
- The origin and significance of Sex amongst plants and animals, form an important and interesting chapter of the science of Biology. The Quran says:
… waanzalna mina alssama-i maan faanbatna feeha min kulli zawjin kareemin (31/10)
We send down rain from the sky and produce in it (the earth) every kind of growth in pairs.”
Here the word زوج is significant and needs detailed explanation. But Maudoodi translates the words (كل زوج كريم) as قسم قسم كى عمده اشياء (a variety of good things.) (Tafhim vol. Iv. P-12). He has not been able to realise the significance of the word زوج and thus explain what is means.
- The Quran lays great stress on exploration of nature and in order to prove the truth of its fundamental principles, brings in to evidence a variety of natural phenomena but to our ‘learned man’ these phenomena are of no significance. For example, the subject of ‘colours’ is important in physics, in geology, in chemical and biological evolution, and in genetics etc. The Quran says, “Do you not see that Allah sends down rains from above? With it We then bring out produces of various colours. And in mountains are newly created strata of rocks, white and red of various shades of colour and intensely black. And so amongst men and crawling creatures and cattle are they of various colours. Those who possess the knowledge of these sciences really appreciated the mighty powers of the laws of Allah and are afraid of going against them. They know that His law is omnipotent and provides protection for those who abide by it.” (35:27-28)
The above said passage deals entirely with natural sciences and those people who are acquainted with them (i.e. scientists) are termed by the Quran as علما ‘learned men;
In Tafhimul-Quran (vol: iv. P 232) said:
“In these verses ‘knowledge’ does not mean philosophy history or mathematics etc, but it means knowledge of the attributes of Allah” as regards the words مختلفاً الوانها Maudoodi says: هر طرف تنوع هى تنوع which means ‘variety of forms alround. It is apparent how reluctant our commentators are in touching the subjects underlying the Quranic verses,
which are related to natural phenomena and how undignified they feel in calling those people علما ‘learned men’ whom the Quran calls as such. According to Maudoodi, عالم is one who is afraid of Allah, without seeing him.
- Our self designated ‘Ulema’ have got a poor knowledge of the scientific research that is going on pertaining to the vast spaces of the universe. The scientists have observed that the universe is expanding. The galaxies are running out with a tremendous speed. It is marvellous that the Quran pointed towards this phenomenon 1400 years ago and said:
Waalssamaa banaynaha bi-aydin wa-inna lamoosiAAoona (51/47)
“With power and skill. We did construct the heaven. Verily we are expanding it.”
Strenuous efforts are being made to solve the questions from what the universe started expanding? – Where is the center? – And what causes the expansion? On the other hand, our commentators of the Quran make no effort to understand the meaning of the word موسعون Tafheemul Quran (vol. 5, P151) explains it by saying:
“We have not finished up the creation of this grand universe in one stroke. We are constantly making توسيعin it.” It is not clear what Maudoodi meant by the word توسيع apparently he means an addition to the substance of the universe. But the Quranic word موسعون means ‘expansion in space’, not in substance. The later phenomenon is dealt with in the Quran at a different place when it is said:
…yazeedu fee alkhalqi ma yashao… (35/1)
“He adds to his creation according to his laws.”
- It was formerly believed that interstellar and interplanatory space must be empty. Only recently astronomers have been able to discover the interplanatory gas and dust. The research in this field has well advanced since the year 1950. Yet the Quran repeatedly pointed towards it 1400 years ago. A number of descriptions related to السموات والارض ‘the heavens and earth” are accompanied by the words وما بنيهما for example in (83/85), (20/6), (25/59), (44/7), (15/85), (46/3) and (44/38). The subject is of great importance in understanding the basic process of the creation of the universe and the star formation, as well as the exchange of energy and matter in between the stars and in between the sun and the earth. It is interesting to note that, so far as the modern research goes, the interstellar matter appears to be different in nature and origin from the interplanatory material; and that the Quran has also differentiated between the two. Whereas, in all other verses of the Quran where the words وما بنيهما occur along with the السموات والارض words that is used is سموات which is plural and which points towards interstellar space; but in verse (21/16) the word سما is used which is singular and points towards the space between the sun and the planets.
However, our ‘learned men’ have not made the slightest effort to find out why the Quran frequently repeats the words وما بنيهما Maudoodi translates it as:
“Everything in between the heaven and the earth” The translation may be correct but it is ambiguous.
- There are certain passages in the holy Quran in which only adjective principles are described, without any noun having been used. As a matter of fact these passages refer to the ‘fundamental forms of energy’. But our commentators having no knowledge of the working of forces of nature, have made a horrible mess in explaining the verses (51/1-6, 77/1-7, 79/1-6 & 37/1-2) one can find its details in my book, the Heavens, the Earth and the Quran, (Chapter VI)
- The Quran says:
Fala oqsimu bialkhunnasi Aljawari alkunnasi (81/15-16)
“Nay! I call to witness (the heavenly bodies) that recede: That flow without hindrance and (still) go on hiding.”
In Tafhimul Quran the words (جوارالكنس) and (خنس) are left without any explanation. The only heavenly bodies that appear periodically and again disappear silently; moving constantly within their respective orbits without any hindrance and yet hiding themselves for many years continuously, are none others but comets. The usual translations of the words (خنس) and (جوارالكنس) as ‘rising and setting of stars’ as Maudoodi calls them (Tafhimul Quran vol., vi P-268) are far from their true import. No. stars behave in this manner, it is the comets that do so.
- The Quran pointed out 1400 years ago that man can not penetrate the regions of heavens and the earth unless he gets power to do so i.e. unless he gains sufficient knowledge of forces of nature. And so it happened; man explored nature gain sufficient knowledge of the laws of nature and after fulfilling the condition of (الابسلطان) as mentioned in verse (55/33), reached the moon and is now making efforts to reach other heavenly bodies and penetrate in to the wide expanse of space around us.
However Maudoodi categorically denies the human penetration into space (Tafhim vol. 5, P-263). He translates the verse (55/33) as follows:
As a matter of fact the misunderstood the word (الابسلطان) and put its explanation in to some other imaginary channels by saying:
“This verse means that you can not escape the grip of Allah. It is beyond your power to do so.”
- The Quran says:
Qul a-innakum latakfuroona biallathee khalaqa al-arda fee yawmayni … (41/9)
“Say: Is it that you deny Him who created the earth in “Two Eras’
Faqadahunna sabAAa samawatin fee yawmayni … (41/12)
” So He completed them as seven (or a number of) heavens in Two Eras.”
Thus, according to the Quran, the creation of the heavens and the earth took place in Two Eras. The word (يوم) usually translated as ‘day’, mean here a very very long period of time. The Quran says, it may be a thousand years of your reckoning (32/5) or it may be fifty thousand years (70/4). The figures one thousand or fifty thousands, however, are not specific’ it means very lengthy period, may be millions of years.
In scientific term, the period of creation of the material world is called ‘Azoic’ i.e., without life. The Quran however, divides this period into two and calls it يومين (Tow Eras).
I translate the word يوم as ‘Era’ because an Era starts with a specific event. Modern scientific research throws some light on the division of Azoic Era, by the Quran, in to two, which is as follows – To begin with the entire space was full of smoke. ” He comprehended in His design the heaven when it was smoke” (41/11). Smoke, as we know is a mixture of gases and solid particles. Areas of condensation appeared later in this gas and dust cloud resulting in to the formation of Prostars, which further developed in to stars. The stars further became divided in to planets and other smaller heavenly bodies. The division of one complete whole of دخان)) in to prostars is a great event. Thus we may call the period of time before the occurrence of division of the complete whole of دخان)) as يوم الاولى)) or Era -I of the creation of the universe; and the period of time after this division till the appearance of life as يوم الثانى)) or Era-II.
On the other hand our so called ‘learned men’ who are averse to science but are fond of copying the Biblical stories translate the word (يومين) as ‘Two days’ and from the work ‘day’ they mean “The time between two successive sunrises’. Thus Maudoodi translates the word (يومين) as ‘forty eight hours’. In Tafhimul Quran vol. Iv, P-446; it is said :
“As soon as it was ordered, the matter condensed and shrunk obediently according to its Mater plan and within forty eight hours, the entire universe, including the earth, came into being” What a fantastic explanation?
The Quran divides the time of creation after the appearance of life on the earth into four Eras (اربعة ايام).
(يومين) plus (اربعة ايام) make (ستة ايام) ‘Six Eras’ of evolution (32/4). Maudoodi leaves the words (اربعة ايام) and (ستة ايام) without explaining, as to what they are and how long they lasted. But it is apparent that from (ستة ايام) he means six days of a week, because the Bible says so. The Bible describes that the creation of the universe occurred in six days, followed by a day of rest, the ‘Sabath’. That is why the Jews take rest on Saturday.
- The Quran says:
… yaAAlamu ma yaliju fee al-ardi wama yakhruju minha wama yanzilu mina alssama-i wama yaAAruju feeha … (57/4)
“He knows what enters the earth and what comes out of it, what comes down from the heaven and what mounts up to it.”
It is a vast subject which deals with the exchange of the physical and chemical forces between the outer space and the earth which change every bit of the earth’s substance, inorganic as well as organic. The exchange of radiation between the heaven and the earth is a subject of great importance. All the seasonal climatic changes and the environmental cycles which occur on the earth depend on this exchange. Living matter is interposed between these cycles, and as the earth’s components circulate, some of them become raw materials for the use of living matter. Dependant on these cycles, inorganic matter and living matter give rise to each other in a cyclic order:
…yukhriju alhayya mina almayyiti wamukhriju almayyiti mina alhayyi… (6/96)
“It is the divine law that causes the living matter to spring from the non-living and the no-living to spring from the living one.”
In Tafhimul Quran this verse is explained as follows:
“A grain in the interior of the earth sprouts and rises upwards. Rain falls from the heaven; Water vapours ascend from the sea, to the heaven.” What a limited explanation of a subject of unlimited nature.
So far I have briefly produced just a few examples, in order to bring into focus, how lack of knowledge of natural phenomena, affects the exegesis of the Quran. It is beyond the scope of this work to deal with the subject in full detail because the verses related to the phenomena of nature, cover about one eight of the Quranic text. However, it is worthwhile, if I mention at least one more example, in order to explain, how the subjects other than those related to the natural phenomena, are dealt with by our commentators, and how instead of explaining the Quranic verses from the Quran itself, they take pleasure in the display of distorted views based on the most hateful man-made stories, present in the Jewish scriptures. For this, we refer to chapter 38 of the holy Quran. The Quran says: “Remember our servant David, the man of strength and who ever bowed down to out laws” (38/17). “We strengthened his kingdom and gave him wisdom in speech and decision.: (38/20). ” Has the story of disputants reached thee? Behold they climbed over the wall of the private chamber. When they entered the presence of David and he was terrified of them, they said : fear not, we are two disputants, one of whom wronged the other; decide now between us with truth and treat us not with injustice, but guide us to the even path – This man is my brother. He has ninety nine ewes and I have (but) one. Yet he says, commit her to my care, and moreover he overpowers me in speech., David Said, ‘He has undoubtedly wronged thee, in demanding the (single) ewe, to be added to his (flock) of ewes. Truly many are the partners (in business) who wrong each other, not so do those who believe and work deeds according to the divine laws, and how few are the? And David gathered We had tried him; he asked for forgiveness of his Rabb, fell down, bowing (in prostration) and turned to Allah in repentance.” (38/21-24)
The case described in the above-said verses was a simple case of economic injustice. One man had ninety nine ewes and the other had only one and still the former asked the latter to transfer his single ewe to ho flock. David decided in favour of the latter and said that the former had done wrong. Moreover he lamented this unjust attitude that was common amongst business partners except a few. After making this decision David felt that the case was in fact his own trial by Allah because a wrongful and unjust economic system prevailed in his kingdom where the rich were getting still richer and the poor were getting still poor. David felt that it was his responsibility to put right this wrongful economic system and he thus bowed down to Allah in repentance.
It is amply clear that the case was one of economic injustice and there was dearth of those people who actually believed and worked deeds according to the divine, laws, as the words of the Quran (قليل ما هو) (How few are they) indicate. But our commentators being influenced by shameful Jewish fairly tales, have produced fantastic explanations of th e above said verses, Regarding the point as to why David repented and asked for forgiveness by his Rabb, our commentators have attributed disgraceful accustion to a person who according to the holy Quran was a pious man and who always bowed down to the divine laws. The accusations, brought about against David by the Jews, was that he had raped a certain woman who was the wife of (اورياحتى) an army officer in his kingdom: not only that, he also planned to get that officer murdered and after words married his wife. This fictitious tale described by Jews in *Samuel-II Chapter 11-12, has been almost fully accepted by some of our commentators, as stated in (Tafhimul Quran vol. Iv. Page 329); and others accepted it partly and brought it under lengthy discussions. Instead of outright rejection of this accusation on the basis of Quranic text, they have taken pains to discuss it at length. Maudoodi has written Pages After pages to disprove the accusation of rape, yet he could not resist the temptation of sticking to this fanciful tale by trying to prove the David had only a strong inclination toward that woman which was not objectionable. He thus explains the verse (38/24) of the Quran by saying:
“From the narration given in the Quran it appears that David only expressed his desire to Uriah-the-Hittite, to divorce his wife who on account of the great personality of David felt himself compelled to divorce her.” (Tafhim at Part 2, P=96).
No body knows to which Quran Maudoodi refers to. There is no mention of this tale in the Quran revealed to Muhammad (P.B.U.H.). The Quran describes only a case of pure and simple economic injustice prevalent in David’s time, for which he repented and determined to put things right. But our commentators are so much impressed by this shameful though attractive tale, of which there is no mention in the Quran, that they fail to use their own intellect and take guidance from the Quranic text only. It is surprising how they dare to play with the Quran.
Let me conclude by pointing our that late Allama Ghulam Ahmad Parvez was the poiner in the field of interpreting the Quran by the Quran itself. He produced his commentary entitled Matalab-ul-Furqan in urdu language. However there are people, especially those living abroad, who are interested in the study of the Quranic interpretations in English. They have asked me off and on to make it possible for them to have a glimpse of this new approach to the Quranic studies. It is beyond my capacity as a professional man, advanced in age, to undertake this gigantic task. However inorder to meet their demand. I have ventured to produce herewith the exegesis limited to Surah-e-Fatiha only; in the hope that this Surah being an interested in the Quranic research. Although I have explained it in my own way, especially while touching the points related to the natural phenomena, yet I have followed the pattern laid down in the Matalab-ul-Furqan.
Let me also admit that all that is said or explained in the following pages in not final or irrevocable. The text of the Quran is always open to further explanation and research, with the advancement of human knowledge, through ages. On the other hand, if any body points out to me a genuine error in my understanding any particular points I shall gracefully accept it.
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