Appendix 4: Which One Do You See: HELL OR MIRACLE?
(From 19 Questions for Muslim Scholars by Edip Yuksel)
From the smoke of hell-fire in their minds,
hypocrites and unappreciative people
are not able to witness one of the greatest miracles.
I know that the title and the subtitle of this article are quite challenging. If you have developed an attitude against witnessing the mathematical miracle of the Quran, you are justified to get upset with these words and perhaps get little angry. You might have already blinded your eyes and closed your ears with one or more false, contradictory, trivial, or irrelevant excuses, such as:
- God uses literary styles to prove the authenticity of His word; but not mathematics. God is not a mathematician and His word has nothing to do with math.
- If Muhammad was not aware of a mathematical miracle in the Quran, then it cannot be true. Muhammad knew everything in the Quran. The knowledge contained in the Quran is limited with Muhammad's knowledge and understanding more than 14 centuries ago.
- If I accept a mathematical structure in the Quran based on number 19, then I will be denying two Quranic verses in the end of Chapter 9, and thus would contradict the majority of Muslims and their manuscripts. Besides, I would be contradicting the verses guaranteeing the perfect preservation of the Quran.
- Some verses of the Quran are Mutashabih; none can understand their meaning except God. The proponents of 19-based mathematical system in the Quran are indulging in those Mutashabih verses.
- The number 19 is heresy, since it is the holy number of Bahai sect.
- Though I can balance my check and shop in the stores, I am innumerate when it comes to the 19.
- We can find many mathematical phenomena if we spend enough time on any book. For instance, the Bible Code claimed that the distorted translations of the Bible contain impressive coded prophecies.
- The Quran cannot contain secrets, mysteries or prophecies; it is a clear book.
- What about the previous generations; will they all go to hell?
- The claim of a 19-based mathematical code is a mythology.
- The claim of a 19-based mathematical code is a magic.
- There are many other numbers in the Quran and the number 19 has no special place.
- There are problems in the count of letters or words. For instance, the first verse of the Quran does not have 19 letters; it has 18, 20, 21, or 22 letters, but not 19. For instance, the counts of A.L.M. letters have errors.
- Part of the numerical claim is based on the Gematria system (ABJAD), a Jewish fabrication and a deceptive tool used by numerologists and astrologists.
- The pronoun "it" in verse 74:30 is feminine and it refers to Hell not the Quran. Thus verse 74:30 is about guardians of hell, not a mathematical proof of authenticity.
- Even if there is such a code in the Quran it is not important. We need to follow the instruction of the book. We need to focus on how to fight against infidels.
- The discoverer of Code 19 claimed to be the messenger of God. He deserved divine retribution. Thus, he was killed in early 1990 by an Al-Qaida affiliate American cult, al-Fuqra, as Al-Qaida's first act in the USA.
- If we believe in code 19, then we would end up rejecting holy teachings of Hadith and Sunna.
- Code 19 is a Zionist trick.
- I already believe in the Quran and I do not need miracles.
- I believe in the Quran because its message is true.
- I believe in the Quran because it does not contain contradictions.
- I believe in the Quran on blind faith and I do not need any reason for my belief.
- And, many more excuses, reasons or lack of them...
I will deal with all these excuses, and God willing, I will respond each of them one by one; but first thing first:
Whatever are your EXCUSES or REASONS to ignore, reject, or ridicule the number 19, this article will expose your true intentions, which you might be trying to hide even from yourself (11:5). If you are claiming to believe in the Quran, and after reading this article still continue ignoring or ridiculing the mathematical code of the Quran, you will be TORMENTED all your life by repeatedly witnessing an exciting fact and losing its sight afterwards, like a person who witnesses succeeding events of lightning in the darkness (2:17). You will neither appreciate nor comprehend the miracle, nor will you be satisfied with your denial. You will perpetually oscillate between momentary belief end prolonged disbelief, between private doubt and public denial. You will be doomed to SAQAR here and in the hereafter.
But, if you have faith and gained some goodness in your faith, then this article, by God's will, may wake you up from ignorance, and may change your paradigm (6:158). You will never be the same; you will be among the progressives (74:30). You will be one of the few who are blessed by God to witness one of the greatest miracles. You will be sure about your faith, a faith not based on self-deceptive claims, on conformity with a religious group, or on blind faith, or wishful thinking; but a faith based on knowledge gathered from empirical and rational evidence corroborated by spiritual experience (41:53; 74:31). You will experience God's presence in your life and attain happiness promised to believers and submitters (9:124; 10:64; 16:89). You will dedicate all your life to serve God alone without remorse or fear (2:62; 3:170; 10:62; 46:13). You will understand many Quranic verses that had not much meaning for you (2:1). Every time you see an unappreciative disbeliever denying or mocking the 19-based system, your knowledge-based faith will be justified. And the more people do not see what you and few others have witnessed will increase the importance, power and the wonder of the prophetic description of 74:31 in your mind. You will attain certainty (74:31; 27:1; 2:260; 13:2; 2:118; 45:20). However, witnessing this miracle will also put some responsibility on you (5:115; 47:25).
Let's start from the translation of verses 21-37 of chapter 74, The Hidden One:
74:21 He looked.
74:22 He frowned and scowled.
74:23 Then he turned away arrogantly.
74:24 He said, "This is but an impressive illusion/magic!"
74:25 "This is human made."
74:26 I will cast him into SAQAR!
74:27 And what will explain to you what the SAQAR is?
74:28 It leaves nothing, it lets nothing (NOT MORE, NOT LESS; PRECISE; PERFECT);
74:29 VISIBLE (LAWAHATUN) to PEOPLE (BASHAR) (universal)!
74:30 On it is Nineteen.
74:31 As guardians of fire we appointed none except angels, and we assigned their number (1) to torment the unappreciative disbelievers, (2) to convince People of the Book, (3) to strengthen the faith of the faithful, (4) to remove all traces of doubt from the hearts of People of the Book, as well as the believers, and (5) to expose those who have disease in their hearts, and the unappreciative disbelievers; they will say, "What did God mean by this allegory?" God thus sends astray whomever He wills (or, whoever wills), and guides whomever He wills (or, whoever wills). None knows the soldiers of your Lord except He. IT (HIYA) is a reminder for the people.
74:32 Indeed, by the Moon.
74:33 By the night as it passes.
74:34 And the morning as it shines.
74:35 This (NUMBER) is one of the GREATEST (KUBRA).
74:36 A WARNING (NAZEER) for the PEOPLE (BASHAR).
74:37 For those who want to progress or regress.
Though the function of 19 is listed in Chapter 74, conventionally known Muddathir (The Hidden One), its implication and fulfillment was kept hidden according to God's will as the Quran's secret for 19x74 lunar years after its revelation to Muhammad. However, the All-wise God, unveiled this secret via a monotheist scientist in 1974, according to the most commonly used calendar, a calendar allegedly based on the birth of Jesus, which is considered a holy day and the sign of the End (19:15). As a result, the number 19, as the miraculous code of the Quran and the Bible strengthened and continue to strengthen the faith of believers, removed and continue to remove doubts in the heart of people of the book, and intellectually tormented and continue to torment hypocrites and unappreciative disbelievers.
Now let's first discuss the words written in CAPITAL letters in the translation of the verses above. Then, we will discuss each of the popular excuses used by the unappreciative disbelievers of the miracle 19.
We should understand the meaning of these words by first referring to their usage in the Quran. Their immediate context as well as their use in other verses is usually sufficient to illuminate their meanings. For believers who have been lucky to witness this great miracle, the meaning of the verses above is good news; it gives them hope, enlightens them, informs them, and turns their faith from wishful thinking or conjecture to knowledge-based faith. Thus, the rhetorical value of these verses is very high for believers:
74:27 ---> SAQAR (saqar, to be defined by the following verses)
74:28 ---> (NOT MORE, NOT LESS; PRECISE; PERFECT);
74:29 ---> LAWAHA (obvious; visible; tablet; screen)
74:29 ---> BASHAR (humans; people)
74:31 ---> HIYA (it; reference to the number 19)
74:31 ---> ZIKRA (reminder; message)
74:35 ---> HA (it; referring to the number 19)
74:35 ---> KUBRA (great miracles)
74:36 ---> NEZEER (warner to be embraced and supported)
On the other hand, those who have deprived themselves from witnessing the miracle 19 because of their ill intentions or their dogmatic rejection try hard to render these key words incompatible with the semantic context of the Quran. They conceive God of the Quran as an angry and despotic God who is not able provide any reasonable argument against those who question the Quran's authenticity, but only resorts to intimidation: "I will burn you in hell!!!" The God they depict has double standard: He asks the disbelievers to bring their evidence for their argument (2:111; 11:17; 21:24; 27:64; 28:75; 35:40) but for His argument He only wants to scare them! The opponents of 19-based miracle, by distorting the meaning of the words in these verses, manage to blind themselves to one of the most profound philosophical and theological arguments and evidences in history. Not only they divert themselves from the right path they try to divert others too (6:25; 22:3; 41:83).
Thus, the understanding (more accurately, the misunderstanding) of those who cannot appreciate God as He should be (6:90), the argument for Quran's authenticity is scorching, burning, dark, hellish, misfortune, disastrous, and scary. Thus, in the minds of opponents of miracle 19, the rhetorical value of these verses is simply a threat to burn and torture:
74:27 → SAQAR (hell-fire)
74:28 → (NEITHER LEAVES THE FLESH NOR THE BONES; DESTROYS CONTINUALLY);
74:29 → LAWAHA (scorching; burning; shriveling)
74:29 → BASHAR (skin)
74:31 → HIYA (it; referring to hell-fire)
74:31 → ZIKRA (news of disaster)
74:35 → HA (it; referring to hell-fire
74:35 → KUBRA (great punishment; gravest misfortune; dire scourge)
74:36 → NAZEER (warning to be escaped)
Now let's one by one discuss each of these words, which were widely and perhaps JUSTIFIABLY misunderstood by pre-1974 generations, and yet are intentionally distorted by the post-1974 opponents of one of the greatest miracles.
Does "Saqar" In 74:27 Mean Hell OR Something Else?
Though prominent Arabic dictionaries such as Lisan-ul Arab and specialized dictionaries such as Mufradat Fi Gharib-il Quran acknowledge that the word might be of foreign origin with no Arabic derivatives, these and other dictionaries and commentaries of the Quran do not hesitate defining it as hell or heat radiating from Sun. Lisan-ul Arab refers to a Hadith which uses a bizarre derivative of the word Saqar to mean "liars". The word SaQaR is mentioned four times in the Quran, three times in Chapter 74 and once in 54:48. In the later one, the word SaQaR is used in a statement warning that when criminals will be dragged to the fire they will be told: "taste the touch of Saqar". From this verse one might infer that Saqar is another word for fire; but a better inference is that Saqar is a negative feeling or state of mind one tastes after being committed to the divine punishment. In this case, there is no reason to think that this negative state of mind could not be obtained from experiences other than fire.
The Arabic word for hell is GaHyM or GaHaNnaM. The word NAR (Fire), though not a specific name for hell, is also frequently used to denote the same phenomenon. However, the word NAR (fire) is also used in its literal meaning, which is simply fire. For instance, verses 20:10 describe God's communication with Moses through fire. Obviously, this fire in the holy land where God spoke through cannot be the Hell. Similarly, the word SaQaR does not necessarily mean hell. In fact, the semantic connection of SaQaR with hell is allegorical, since SaQaR is a descriptive word derived from the verb SaQaRa rather than a noun like GaHYM, GaHaNnaM.
In any case, the verse 74:27 does not ask nor expect us to rush into defining the meaning of this word, which it appears to be its first usage in the Quran. We are warned against rushing to define Quranic words or attempting to preempt the Quranic definition by prematurely assigning a meaning to a verse before considering its immediate or Quranic context or fulfillment (20:114; 75:16). Doing so is a sign of pretension and arrogance. Since the word is rarely used in the Quran (total four and three of them is in this chapter) and this verse is most likely the first usage of this rare word, it is more appropriate to wait the Quran explain the word. In brief, rushing to limit/define the meaning of the word Saqar in the verse "Do you know what SaQaR is?" is a disrespectful act against the Quran. When the Quran asks "Do you know what X means?" it does not want us to try to understand the meaning of X in the very question about its meaning! It is a rhetorical question. God wants to pull your attention to its modified or new meaning. The Quran uses this question 13 times either to modify the meaning of an already used word or to add another nuance (See: 69:3; 74:27; 77:14; 82:17; 83:8, 19; 86:2; 90:12; 97:2; 101:3, 10; 104:5).
Nevertheless, we see that almost all commentators or translators of the Quran have rushed to translate SaQaR as Hell or Fire:
|Yusuf Ali||: "Soon I will cast him into Hell-Fire!"|
|Marmaduke Pickthall||: "Him shall I fling unto the burning."|
|T.B. Irving||: "I'll roast him by scorching!"|
|M. H. Shakir||: "I will cast him into Hell."|
|MaulaHUM Muhammad Ali||: "I will cast him into hell."|
|N. J. Dawood||: "I will surely cast him to the fire of Hell. "|
|Muhammad Asad||: "[Hence,] I shall cause him to endure hell-fire [in the life to come]!"|
|Rashad Khalifa:||"I will commit him to retribution"|
As you see, none leave the word SaQaR as it is. However, Rashad Khalifa, as the one who was chosen to fulfill this great prophecy, renders the word SaQar accurately by translating it with a general word, "retribution." Yasar Nuri Ozturk, a Turkish theology professor, in his post-1974 translation of the Quran, translated the word SaQaR under the light of the descriptive verses and related discoveries as the COMPUTER with succeeding screens manifesting the mathematical miracle of the Quran to all people.
So, we should not prime our minds or blind ourselves with prejudice by assuming SaQaR as HELL-FIRE before reading the following verses (75:16; 20:114).
Does "It Leaves Nothing; It Lets Nothing" in 74:28 Mean "Exact, Precise" OR "Destroys Flesh And Bones"?
Though the short verse is not generally mistranslated, but its meaning and implication is distorted. In the light of the context and post-1974 discoveries we should understand it is description of the 19-based mathematical structure that is exact. It does neither leave extra (BaQaYa) nor it let anything necessary go away (WaZaRa); in other words, it is perfect and precise; it is not one more not one less!
However, parroting the pre-1974 commentaries of the Quran, many translations and commentaries still convey the same misunderstanding. Since English translations usually do not comment on this particular verse and leave it to be understood within the context of CORPORAL PUNISHMENT, HELL and FIRE rather than the crucial role of the NUMBER NINETEEN, I will give you a sample of some popular Arabic commentaries of the Quran (which I have easy access in my personal library) in ascending chronological order. If the name of the commentary different than the name of the author his name will be indicated in the parenthesis. The number in parenthesis is the year of the authors' death:
|Tabari (922):||Neither kills nor leaves alive; or devours them all and when they are recreated do not leaves them until eating them.|
|Tha'alibi (1035):||:Does not leave the dweller of hell alone and burns them.|
|Bagawi (1122):||Neither kills nor leaves alive; eats everything thrown in; does not leave their flesh nor take their bones.|
|Nasafi (1143):||Does not leave the flesh nor does let the bones of its dwellers; destroys everything in it and then restores them back to their starting point.|
|Baydawi (1292):||It does not leave anything thrown in and does not leave it until destroys it.|
|Qurtubi (1272):||Does not leave for them neither flesh, nor bone, nor blood, but burns them. Or does not leave anything from them and then does not let them go when they are recreated.|
|Zad-ul Masir (Ibn Cawzi, 1200):||Does not leave but destroys their flesh and does not let them go when they are recreated.|
|Ibn Kathir (1372):||Eat their flesh, sweat, bones, and skin. They do not die in this condition or they live.|
|Jalalayn (Celaleddin, 1459):||Destroys flesh and bones, then starts it again.|
|Ruh-ul Maani (Alusi 1853):||Destroys flesh, bones of everything thrown in.|
Interestingly, one can understand the verse as pre-1974 commentators understood. Though they all heavily relied on Hadith for understanding of this verse, and knowing that there were literally thousands competing to fabricate hadith for various reasons we cannot prove whether Muhammad and his believing friends too understood that way. In fact, since we know that Muhammad and his friends had no clue about the mathematical structure of the Quran but had faith in its promise of QURANIC MIRACLES being manifested in the future (10:20; 25:4; 29:50; 41:53), it is highly conceivable that they understood the fact that these verses were about the importance of the number 19 and that their meaning would be fulfilled in the future. I further assert that Muhammad and those who dedicated their religion to God alone by upholding the Quran as the sole authority in their religion, stopped speculating on these verses as soon as they received the divine instruction in 75:16. As we know, after Muslims started following the fabricated hadiths, sunna, and man-made teachings of various sects (6:112; 6:159; 7:29; 9:31; 16:52; 18:57; 39:2;14; 39:29; 39:43; 40:14; 42:21; 98:5), they lost their capacity for understanding of the Quran (6:23; 17:46). (See ENDNOTE 1)
However, it is important to remember that the verses 74:26 contain many words that can be understood both a description of Hell and a description of a great miracle, though the later is a much better fit. This linguistically marvelous aspect is well appreciated by those who witness the mathematical miracle and understand the original language of the Quran.
Does "Lawaha" In 74:29 Mean Scorching/Burning OR Obvious/Visible?
The derivatives of the word LWH are used in the Quran to mean a surface used for recording information, board, and flat wood; and nowhere is it used to mean scorch or burn. Before the fulfillment of the prophecy, translators and commentators of the Quran had difficulty in understanding the simple meaning of this word and thus, they resorted to external sources and often odd meanings, such as scorch, or burn. In fact, the drive to justify a particular meaning for some "difficult" Quranic words is one of the many reasons for fabricating Hadith (See ENDNOTE 2).
Verse 74:29 is very interesting and crucial in understanding the rest of the chapter. Though it consists of only 2 words, this verse is translated in several different ways. Here are some examples from English Translations:
|Yusuf Ali||: "darkening and changing the color of man"|
|Marmaduke Pickthall||: "It shrivelleth the man"|
|T.B. Irving||: "as it shrivels human (flesh)."|
|M. H. Shakir||: "It scorches the mortal."|
|MaulaHUM Muhammad Ali||: "It scorches the mortal"|
|N. J. Dawood||: "it burns the skins of men."|
|Muhammad Asad||: "making (all truth) visible to mortal man."|
|Rashad Khalifa||: "obvious to all the people."|
Those who do not know Arabic might think that the words are really difficult to understand and translate. In fact, the meaning of these two words, LaWwaHa and BaSHaR is very clear in the Quranic context. The word LaWwaHa, which comes from the root LWH, is the sister of the word LaWH (85:22) and its plural aLWaH. The plural form aLWaH is used in verses 7:145, 150, 154 for the "tablets" given to Moses, and in verse 54:13 for broad planks used by Noah to build his ark. The medieval commentators, not knowing the mathematical implication of the verses, mostly chose an unusual meaning for the word: scorching, burning, shriveling, etc. Ironically, most of them did acknowledge the obvious meaning of the word as "open board, tablet" (See Baydawi, Fakhruddin Er-Razi, etc.) Few preferred the "obvious" to the obscure. For instance, Muhammad Asad, who had no idea of the mathematical code, preferred the most obvious meaning. Rashad Khalifa who fulfilled the prophecy and discovered the implication of the entire chapter reflected the same obvious meaning. That "obvious" meaning, however, was obscured by the smoke of "scorching fire" burning in the imaginations of generations before him.
In 7:145; 7:150; 7:154, the word alwah, the plural of lawha is used to depict the tablets on which the Ten Commandments were inscribed. In 54:13 it is used to describe the structure of the Noah's ship that made of wood panes. In 85:22 the same word is used for the mathematically protected record of the original version of the Quran. As for the lawaha of 74:29, it is the amplified noun-adjective derived from the root of verb LWH, meaning open tablets, succeeding screens, obvious, manifesto, or clearly and perpetually visible.
Ironically, the Quran uses different words to describe burning or scorching. For instance, for burning the derivatives of haraqa (2:266; 3:181; 7:5; 20:97; 21:68; 22:9; 22:22; 29:24; 75:10), or for scorching the derivatives of salaya ( 4:10; 4:30; 4:56; 4:115; 14:29; 17:18; 19:70; 27:7; 28:29; 29:31; 36:64; 38:56; 38:59; 38:163; 52:16; 56:94; 58:8; 69:31; 74: 26; 82:15; 83:16; 84:12; 87:12; 88:12; 92:15), or nadaja are used (4:56).
Again, we should note that the understanding of pre-1974 commentators was not without basis. Though their understanding did not rely on the Quranic usage of the words, and created some problems (such as explaining the verse 74:31), they had some justifiable excuses to understand the way they understood. The word lawaha also meant burn and bashara was another word for skin in Arabic language. As I mentioned above, the multiple meaning of these verses allowed the impatient pre-1974 generations to have an understanding, though a temporary and not primarily intended one. In fact, it was better for them to have patient and not rush to speculate on these verses without knowledge (20:114; 75:16). It was the computer generation destined to understand their real meaning (10:37).
Does "Bashar" in 74:29 Mean Skin OR Human?
The translation of the second word, BaSHaR is also among the distorted one. Many old commentaries translated it as "skin" rather then "human being" or "people" or "humans." For instance, N. J. Dawood parrots such a translation. The meaning of BaSHaR is also obvious in the context of the Quran. The word BASHAR occurs in the Quran 36 times. It is also mentioned as BASHARAYN (two bashars). If we exclude the BASHAR of 74:29 for the sake of the argument, we see that the word BASHAR is used to mean human beings in all 36 verses: 3:47; 3:79; 5:18; 6:91; 11:27; 12:31; 14:10; 14:11; 15:28; 15:33; 16:103; 17:93; 17:94; 18:110; 19:17; 19:20; 19:26; 21:3; 21:34; 23:24; 23:33; 23:34; 25:54; 26:104; 26:186; 30:20; 36:15; 38:71; 41:6; 42:51; 54:24; 64:6; 74:25; 74:29; 74:31; 74:36.
Then, why those who have allergy against the code 19 still insist to translate the word BaSHaR as skin while in its all 36 occurrences the word BaSHaR there is not a single instance where the word BaSHaR is used to mean skin; but always used to mean human beings? Especially, despite the fact that the word BASHAR occurs thrice in the same Chapter: after 74:29, in 74:31 and 74:36, and the fact that the verse 74:36 witnesses for the 36th times for "human beings," and that they were obliged to translate the last two occurrences as "human beings," how could they still insist on translating the BaSHaR of 74:29 as "skin." Since the prophetic verses did not make any sense for them before its fulfillment in 1974, translators and commentators of the Quran had an excuse to translate it differently before the fulfillment of the prophecy. However, after learning the discovery, none has an excuse to still continue parroting the overly stretched meaning.
Furthermore, the Quran uses "GeLD" for skin. This organic wrap that protects our body and provides tactile sense is referred in 13 verses with GLD and its derivatives: 4:56; 4:56; 16:80; 22:20; 24:2; 24:2; 24:4; 24:4; 39:23; 39:23; 41:20; 41:21; 41:22.
In short, while the Quran consistently uses GLD and its derivatives for skin and related words and while it consistently uses BShR for human beings, a convincing reason must be provided for ignoring all these examples and translating the BShR of 74:39 as "skin." The pre-1974 generations can be excused for trying to understand these verses even if it meant accepting some uncommon usages or dialects. As for post-1974 generation, if they are still stuck with hell and fire, then they share the same disease with the disbelievers of the past (2:75; 4:46; 5:13; 5:41).
After the fulfillment of the prophecy and divine clarification of its context, it is distortion to render this two-word verse 74:29 as "shrivels/scorches the skin" or "shrivels/scorches the man" rather than "it is clearly visible for human beings" or "it is a manifesto/successive-screens for human beings." However, the repetitive stretch and distortion committed by the post-1974 translators/commentaries on the many verses of Chapter 74 is bizarre and extraordinary. This pattern is prophetically described by verses 2:18; 3:7; 11:28; 41:44; 17:72; 25:73; 27:81.
Does The Pronoun "Hiya" (She) in the End of 74:31 Refer to the Hell OR to the Number 19?
We know that verse 74:30 does not qualify the reference of 19. It pulls our attention to a NUMBER ALONE. The verse does not say "on it nineteen angles" or "on it nineteen guards" or "on it nineteen this or that." The verse says "on it nineteen." Period. Verse 74:31, after informing us that the number of guardians of hell is 19, isolates this number from hell again describes its role.
Yet, those whose minds stuck in Hell cannot even notice this evident emphasis to the number. Thus, they violate the general grammar rules and universal linguistic logic and identify the reference of HIYA (SHE) in the end of 74:31 as HELL FIRE.
According to the grammar rules and common linguistic logic, the reference of a pronoun should be sought in proximity first. Sure, if there is no compelling empirical or rational reason for skipping a closer noun. For instance, "Yesterday, at Mary's home I saw Lisa. She was very thoughtful." In this sentence grammar and logic leads us to think that the thoughtful person was Lisa not Mary. But, "Yesterday, in Delhi's streets on the back of an elephant I saw Lisa. She was swinging her trunk/hose left and right and walking majestically." (I had given the original example in Turkish and in Turkish the same word is used for both elephant's trunk and hose. For didactic purposes please assume that it is the same in English.) Though grammatically the best candidate for reference of SHE is Lisa, we have an empirical reason to ignore the general rule since the one who would swing her trunk/hose is the elephant. But if these sentences are in a story and if we are told that Lisa was walking in the street with a hose in her hand, then the SHE in the sentence may equally refer to elephant OR Lisa. There will be ambiguity and if it is intentionally done then we wonder the purpose of the ambiguity. But, if the sentences continue, "When she hit the trunk/hose in her hand to a store sign…," then we become sure that it was a hose not trunk. "Your mother had given you a walnut and a book. Have you eat and finished it?" A sound mind can easily deduce that that "it" refers not to the book, but to the walnut. But, if the question were "Your mother had given you a walnut and a book. Have you finished it?" then, an ambiguity will arise. However, if the context of the question is known then we can deduce whether the query is about finishing the book or the walnut or both.
The pronoun HIYA (SHE), based on the rules of grammar, the emphasis of the verse in its context, and based on the rhetorical superiority of its meaning, must be referred to the grammatically feminine closest noun IDDATAHUM (their number, that is Nineteen). How can we explain the act of skipping IDDATAHUM (their number, Nineteen) by ignoring the grammar, context, emphasis, and rhetoric, and insisting to reach the FIRE?
We will see in the miraculously elegant and prophetic expression of the Quran that hypocrites and unappreciative people have deserved the SaQaR penalty both in this world and hereafter. In this world as the 19-based mathematical code of the Quran; they will be intellectually tormented by its powerful evidences. And in the hereafter as the 19 guards of symbolic hell-fire; they will be convicted to eternally face the number 19 in the presence of guarding angles. (See ENDNOTE 3)
Does The "Zikra" (Reminder) In 74:31 Refer To Hell OR The Evidence?
This brings us to the last phrase of verse 74:31 "it/this is a warning/reminder for mankind." Old commentaries and their parroting contemporaries refer "it/this" to the FIRE or HELL.
Those who have difficulty in accepting the possibility of an intellectual argument in The Hidden One (Muddathir), insert a HELL in the translation or the understanding of the last phrase of 74:31:
"This (HELL) is a warning for people."
This way, they transform the ZiKRa to a warning to be scared, to a penalty to avoid. However, all the derivatives of ZKR, including ZiKRa, are used in the Quran 273 times; and if we include DKR which is mentioned 7 times; this word is mentioned 280 times in the Quran and NOWHERE is it used to describe HELL or FIRE. You may check for yourself all the 21 verses where the word ZiKRa is mentioned: 6:68; 6:69; 6090; 7:2; 11:114; 11:120; 21:84; 26:209; 29:51; 38:43; 38:46; 39:21; 40:54; 44:13; 50:8; 50:37; 51:55; 74:31; 80:4; 87:9; 89:23. You may also check the two verses where the word is suffixed with pronouns ZiKRaha and ZiKRahum: 47:18; 79:43.
More interestingly, however, you will find another derivative of the same word "ZiKRa" (reminder) is used in verse 74:49 as "taZKiRa."
"Why do they turn away from this message/reminder (taZKiRa)?"
The disbelievers had ignored the reminder! Obviously, hell cannot be that reminder, since you are not supposed to embrace and face hell while you are alive on this earth. You are expected to turn away from Hell and turn to the message (taZKiRa). Therefore, taZKiRa and ZiKRa cannot be both HELL and the MESSAGE of the Quran. All the derivatives of ZKR are consistently used in the Quran for the divine message that revives and bestows eternal happiness.
Because of the self-ignited and self-inflicted hell fire burning in their minds, the disbelievers and hypocrites ignore the PLEASANT meaning associated to the word 280 times, and fight with us to keep it as HELL. Well, this was exactly what they were promised and what they deserve. Their initial decision, their prejudice, ignorance and arrogance, have led them to bet their faith on hell, a questionable one chance against 280 chances!
How does the Number Nineteen Increase the Faith of Believers and also Remove Doubts From the Minds of People of the Book as Promised in 74:31?
With the exception of Rashad Khalifa, all the translations and commentaries listed above have had big problem with this question. Since they did not accept it as a prophecy left to be fulfilled in the future, and since they rushed to speculate on them without knowledge, they dug a hole for themselves. Surely, they always could deceive themselves and others by claiming that THEIR FAITH was increased because of the association of the number 19 with the guardians of hell. This claim obviously would be a non-falsifiable claim. One can say anything about his or her own faith. However, this claim could not explain why specifically 19 and not another number or another thing. Let's assume they could pretend that their faith was really increased by the nineteen guardians of hell, but how could they explain the other functions of the number nineteen? How could this number nineteen remove the doubts of people of the book? The proponents of HELL-19 just could not make up an answer for this, since the issue involved an OBJECTIVE fact, not a subjective claim.
Interestingly, those who saw the Hell-fire in these prophetic verses claimed that the people of the book would believe in the Quran because they would see that the number of guardians of hell was also nineteen in their own books! What? Please read it again. Yes, this is the explanation of all the prominent Sunni and Shiite scholars of the past and unfortunately it is exactly parroted by the contemporary ones!
First, there is no such a statement in the Bible. Second, even if there was such a statement there would not be anything special about nineteen, since there are many principles, stories of prophets, and instructions mentioned in the Quran that are also in the Bible. In fact, the very existence of similarity had an opposite effect on many people of the book; they claimed and still claim that the Quran was plagiarized from the Bible. Third, none has been persuaded regarding the authenticity of the Quran because the number of guardians of hell is nineteen! I personally communicated and met dozens of Christians or Jews whose doubts about the authenticity of the Quran was removed because of their witnessing the mathematical miracle of the Quran based on the number nineteen. You can find some of these people on Internet forums. This is happening despite the aggressive misinformation and disinformation campaign carried out by numerous Sunni and Shiite groups. Compare the prophetic role of MIRACLE-19 to the role of HELL-19 in their powers of removing doubts from the minds of People of the Book. Two DECADES versus more than 14 CENTURIES, and several THOUSAND people versus more than a BILLION people.
The HELL-19 advocates cannot show a single Christian or Jew who converted to their version of Islam because their doubts were removed after they noticed that the number of guardians of hell is also 19 in their books! This failure alone should be sufficient to wake up those who are still eager to see Hell in these verses. Yet, they still shamelessly repeat this lie to defend their hellish version.
Some opponents of the CODE-19 even tried to use a phrase in verse 74:31 against understanding of the very verse. They quote the fifth function of the number nineteen, "to expose those who have disease in their hearts, and the disbelievers; they will say, 'What did God mean by this allegory?'" and then charge us: "You 19ers are asking this question; therefore, you have disease in your hearts." First, none of us have asked this question, including Rashad Khalifa. We happened to learn the meaning of number nineteen even before asking such a question. We know the meaning of this allegory and we do not challenge that meaning. Furthermore, this question is not a question of a curious person who sincerely wants to learn the meaning of the Quran. This question is the challenge of arrogance and ignorance. It is a question that many still millions of Sunni and Shiite people are asking themselves. They will keep asking this question as long as they follow their ancestors blindly and worship Prophet Muhammad and religious scholars.
Does the "Ha" In 74:35 Refer to Hell OR the Number 19? Does the Word "Kubra" in the Same Verse Refer to "Great Disasters and Calamities" OR to "Great Signs and Miracles"?
When we reflect on the context and the usage of the words of verse "This is one of the greatest" we can easily deduce that this refers to the number 19 and its prophetic function as a conclusive evidence for the authenticity of the Quran and a great test for people. Unfortunately, many of those who did not witness the incredible mathematical structure based on the number 19, related this verse to Hell, again.
Let's one by one see several different translations of this verse. (Again, the pre-1974 translations have an excuse in their mistranslations since they did not witness the fulfillment of the prophecy of the mathematical miracle):
|Yusuf Ali||: "this is but one of the mighty (portents)"|
|Marmaduke Pickthall||: "Lo! This is one of the greatest (portents)"|
|T.B. Irving||: "Surely it is one of the gravest (misfortunes)."|
|M.H. Shakir||: "Surely it (hell) is one of the gravest (misfortunes)."|
|MaulaHUM Muhammad Ali||: "Surely it is one of the gravest (misfortunes)"|
|N. J. Dawood||: "it is a dire scourge."|
|Muhammad Asad||: "Verily, that [hell-fire) is Indeed one of the great [forewarnings]"|
|Rashad Khalifa||: "This is one of the greatest miracles."|
I leave for you to assess the contextual reference of the pronoun in 74:35. Here, I will draw your attention to the descriptive word KuBeR, which is the plural of KaBeeR derived from KBR (great). The derivatives of KBR are used in the Quran to describe positive or negative events, people, or things. For instance, in verses 20:23; 44:16; 53:18; 79:20 it is used to describe God's ayaats or miracles. The derivatives of the same word are used for disaster in 79:34 and hell in 87:12.
In other words, if we do not consider the context of the group of verses, we may understand the reference of THIS IS ONE OF THE GREATEST as either HELL FIRE or one of God's greatest MIRACLES. Through this verse alone, one may see flames of fire or signs of a miracle. Nevertheless, considering the context of this verse it becomes clear that the first vision is a man-made hallucination and the later a divine gift.
Does the Word Nazer in 74:36 Refer to the Hell Fire OR to the Devine Evidences?
NAZER is an adjective derived from the root NZR and means "WARNER" Throughout the Quran the various derivatives of this word occur 130 times. Here are the verse numbers where the form NaZeR (warner) occurs 44 times: 2:119; 5:19; 5:19; 7:184; 7:188; 11:2; 11:12; 11:25; 15:89; 17:105; 25:1; 25:7; 25:51; 25:56; 26:115; 28:46; 29:50; 32:3; 33:45; 34:28; 34:34; 34:44; 34:46; 35:23; 35:24; 35:24; 35:37; 35:42; 35:42; 38:70; 41:4; 43:23; 46:9; 48:8; 51:50; 51:51; 53:56; 67:8; 67:9; 67:17; 67:26; 71:2; 74:36.
In NONE of these verses the word NaZeR is used for HELL or FIRE. In these verses NaZeR describe God's messengers, books, revelation, and signs.
Then Why Those Who Claim to be Muslims do not Understand or Appreciate the Prophetic Fulfillment of These Ayaat (Revelations/Signs/Miracles)? Why They See and Work Hard to See Hell-Fire, Instead of the Precise and Universal Great Miracle?
Surely, previous generations who were not aware the discovery of Code 19 via computer had an excuse to twist the meaning of obvious verses in order to make sense out of them. They could not imagine that the 19 was the code of an elaborate mathematical system. Nevertheless, some early commentators of the Quran who did not limit the understanding of the Quran with Hadith and Sunnah sensed something beyond HELL from these verses and discussed them as alternative understanding. For instance, Fakhruddin er-Razi in his famous Tafsir al Kabir, in his 23rd comment on Basmalah, speculates on the 19 letters of Basmalah and lists numerous implications, such as the difference between the number of 5 prayers and the number of hours in a day; the number of physical, intellectual, and emotional faculties that humans are blessed with, etc. Among the modern commentators who lived before 1974, Muhammad Asad is the only one that subscribes to Razi's interpretation of the number nineteen of 74:30 (See ENDNOTE 4). However, Asad too could not avoid but see Hell everywhere.
The opponents of the miracle 19 are no different than those who rejected the entire Quran in the past. The description of these verses fits both groups, which is another miraculous aspect of the Quran:
74:21 He looked.
74:22 He frowned and scowled.
74:23 Then he turned away arrogantly.
74:24 He said, "This is but an impressive illusion/magic!" (See ENDNOTE 5
74:25 "This is human made."
In conclusion, those who reject to witness the miracle 19 are insulting the wisdom of God. According to them God's only answer to someone who challenges the authenticity of the Quran is: "Get lost! I will burn you in the hellfire" Depicting God as someone who cannot engage in an intellectual argument with His opponent, but can only employ the cheapest method of persuasion (threat) cannot be the path of believers who are warned by the incredible prophecies of this wonderful chapter, The Secret.
Turning back to the question: Then why those who claim to be Muslims do not understand or appreciate the prophetic fulfillment of these ayaat (revelations/signs/miracles)? Why they see and work hard to see hell-fire, instead of the precise and universal great miracle?
The Quran provides prophetic answers to this question in numerous verses. Please read and reflect on them:
29:2 Did the people think that they will be left to say, "We acknowledge" without being put to the test?
29:3 While We had tested those before them, so that God would know those who are truthful and so that He would know the liars.
29:4 Or did those who sinned think that they would be ahead of Us? Miserable indeed is their judgment!
2:17 Their example is like one who lights a fire, so when it illuminates what is around him, God takes away his light and leaves him in the darkness not seeing.
2:18 Deaf, dumb, and blind, they will not revert.
7:146 I will divert from My signs those who are arrogant on earth unjustly, and if they see every sign they do not acknowledge it, and if they see the path of guidance they do not take it as a path; and if they see the path of straying, they take it as a path. That is because they have denied Our signs and were heedless of them. (See ENDNOTE 6)
29:54 They hasten you for the retribution; while hell surrounds the ingrates. (Please read from 29:48)
3:7 He is the One who sent down to you the book, from which there are definite signs; they are the essence of the book; and others, which are multiple-meaning. As for those who have disease in their hearts, eager to cause confusion and eager to derive their interpretation, they will follow what is multiple-meaning from it. But none knows their meaning except God and those who are well founded in knowledge; they say, "We acknowledge it, all is from our Lord." None will remember except the people of intellect. (See ENDNOTE 7)
25:73 Those who when they are reminded of their Lord's signs, they do not fall on them deaf and blind.
6:158 Do they wait until the angels will come to them, or your Lord comes, or some signs from your Lord? The day some signs come from your Lord, it will do no good for any person to acknowledge if s/he did not acknowledge before, or s/he gained good through his/her acknowledgement. Say, "Wait, for we too are waiting."
6:25 Among them are those who listen to you; and We have made covers over their hearts to prevent them from understanding it, and deafness in their ears; and if they see every sign they will not acknowledge; even when they come to you they argue, those who reject say, "This is nothing but the tales from the past!"
6:26 They are deterring others from it, and keeping away themselves; but they will only destroy themselves, yet they do not notice.
27:84 Until they have come, He will say, "Have you denied My signs while you had no explicit knowledge of them? What were you doing?"
78:27 They did not expect a reckoning/computation.
78:28 They denied Our signs greatly.
78:29 Everything We have counted in a record.
74:56 None will take heed except if God wills. He is the source of righteousness and the source of forgiveness.
To see the examples of misunderstanding and distortion of Quranic verses by the followers of Hadith and Sunnah, please read the comparative section in the beginning of the Reformist Translation of the Quran.
Soon after Muhammad's death thousands of hadiths (words attributed to Muhammad) were fabricated and two centuries later compiled in the so-called "authentic" hadith books, to support the teaching of a particular sect against another (for instance, what nullifies ablution; which sea food is prohibited); to flatter or justify the authority and practice of a particular king against dissidents (such as, Mahdy and Dajjal); to promote the interest of a particular tribe or family (such as, favoring Quraysh tribe or Muhammad's family); to justify sexual abuse and misogyny (such as, Aisha's age; barring women from leading Sala prayers); to justify violence, oppression and tyranny (such as, torturing members of Urayna and Uqayla tribes, massacring Jewish population in Madina, assassinating a female poet for her critical poems); to exhort more rituals and righteousness (such as, nawafil prayers); to validate superstitions (such as, magic; worshiping the black stone near Kaba); to prohibit certain things and actions (such as, prohibiting drawing animal and human figures, playing musical instruments, chess); to import Jewish and Christian beliefs and practices (such as, circumcision, head scarf, hermitism, using rosary); to resurrect pre-islamic beliefs and practices common among Meccans (such as, intercession; slavery; ); to please crowds with stories (such as the story of Mirage and bargaining for prayers); to idolize Muhammad and claim his superiority to other messengers (such as, numerous miracles, including splitting the moon); to defend hadith fabrication against monotheists (such as, condemning those who find the Quran alone sufficient); and even to advertise a particular fruit or vegetables (such as, the benefits of date grown in Ajwa farm). In addition to the abovementioned reasons, many hadiths were fabricated to explain the meaning of the "difficult" Quranic words or phrases, or to distort the meaning of verses that contradicted to fabricated hadiths, or to provide trivial information not mentioned in the Quran (such as, Saqar, 2:187; 8:35 ...)
Take a look at Appendix 8: "Eternal Hell and Merciful God" .
After translating the verse 74:30 as "Over it are nineteen (powers)" Muhammad Asad explains his parenthetical comment with the following footnote:
"Whereas most of the classical commentators are of the opinion that the "nineteen"' are the angels that act as keepers or guardians of hell, Razi advances the view that we may have here a reference to the physical, intellectual and emotional powers within man himself: powers which raise man potentially far above any other creature, but which, if used wrongly, bring about a deterioration of his whole personality and, hence, intense suffering in the life to come. According to Razi, the philosophers (arbab al-hikmah) identify these powers or faculties with, firstly, the seven organic functions of the animal - and therefore also human - body (gravitation, cohesion, repulsion of noxious foreign matter, absorption of beneficent external matter, assimilation of nutrients, growth, and reproduction); secondly, the five "external" or physical senses (sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste); thirdly, the five "internal" or intellectual senses., defined by Ibn Sina - on whom Razi apparently relies - as (1) perception of isolated sense-images, (2) conscious apperception of ideas, (3) memory of sense-images, (4) memory of conscious apperceptions, and (5) the ability to correlate sense-images and higher apperceptions; and, lastly, the emotions of desire or aversion (resp. fear or anger), which have their roots in both the "external" and "internal" sense-categories - thus bringing the total of the powers and faculties which preside over man's spiritual fate to nineteen. In their aggregate, it is these powers that confer upon man the ability to think conceptually, and place him, in this respect, even above the angels (cf. 2:30 ff. and the corresponding notes; see also the following note)."
Magic is not considered an extraordinary, paranormal event by the Quran. Its influence on people is described by its two aspects: illusion and suggestion/bluffs/hypnosis (7:103). Magic is an art of influencing gullible people via illusion and hypnosis (7:11; 20:66; 2:102). So, when the unappreciative disbeliever describes the Quran OR the mathematical miracle of the Quran as "influencing magic," what should be understood is that it is just a manipulation and hyperbole.
The plural word AYAAT means revelation, sign, evidence, or miracle. However, its singular form AYAT is mentioned in the Quran 84 times and in all its occurrences it means sings, evidence or miracles, not literary revelation of the Quran.
This verse is a crucial verse in understanding the Quran and ironically this very verse is one of the most commonly misunderstood verses in the Quran. For a detailed argument on this verse please visit: www.yuksel.org or www.19.org.