The Quran and Quran Tafsir with Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa (على جمعة): Al-An’am (سورة الأنعام), “The Cattle” (Quran 6:6)
I have been studying chapter 6 of the Qur’an: The Cattle (Al-An’am). I have been learning from Ali Gomaa one of the foremost Islamic scholars in the world. This is episode 10 of 19.
Sheikh Ali Gomaa’s Teaching About Surat Al’An’am
Have they not seen? Tell me.
Ali Gomaa discusses Quran 6:6,
YUSUF ALI: See they not how many of those before them We did destroy?- generations We had established on the earth, in strength such as We have not given to you – for whom We poured out rain from the skies in abundance, and gave (fertile) streams flowing beneath their (feet): yet for their sins We destroyed them, and raised in their wake fresh generations (to succeed them).
PICKTHAL: See they not how many a generation We destroyed before them, whom We had established in the earth more firmly than We have established you, and We shed on them abundant showers from the sky, and made the rivers flow beneath them. Yet we destroyed them for their sins, and created after them another generation.
SHAKIR: Do they not consider how many a generation We have destroyed before them, whom We had established in the earth as We have not established you, and We sent the clouds pouring rain on them in abundance, and We made the rivers to flow beneath them, then We destroyed them on account of their faults and raised up after them another generation.
“In this ayah, Allah (SWT) 1Abbreviation for the Arabic phrase, Subhanahu wa ta’ala. This expression is used after using the name Allah. The English translation means “highly praised and glorified is He.” is showing proof against the offenders, the unbelievers and the atheists, and on those rejecters of faith. Who close the eyes to partially or totally, the signs of Allah present all along history. History shows us Allah’s steady tradition in His universe, which doesn’t change or alter. “Have they not seen how many a generation We caused to perish even before them,” Powerful question that means, tell me. This expression in the Arabic language “have you not seen” means, tell me. The word, tell me, is an initiative for me to learn. We [you] look up the word “haven’t you seen” in the dictionary, it means, tell me.”
The importance of history in Islam
“We caused to perish...” –
Ali Gomaa says, “The perishing happened in the past, so He (SWT) referred us to history. So this ayah has a proof that we should study history, benefit from its lessons and examples. Because you have to study history in a significant way, and extract some certain events for you. Those certain events, either to be physical taken from monuments, inscriptions, scratches and graffiti found on stones, in papers. Either they are concluded from the flow of events, a certain conclusion agreed by everybody upon.”
“There is a difference between history, the explanation of cause and reason of history, and the conclusion of lessons from history. History is the study of events, or the flow of events in times, and therefore we are interested in studying the time, the place, the persons and the conditions.”
“For example, you studying Egypt at the (time of) the Fatimid’s era. In such case, you did select the time and the place. When you study such scholar, or such governor etc., or such nation (population) etc., in the case of such and such. These are the four elements studied by the historian when he wants to study a certain point. But why has this act taken place? This is another issue where points of views may differ. Opinions and points of views may vary on the explanation of history, but for the narration of history there is no disagreements or contradictions as long as it is truthful, correct narration.”
Free thinking in Islam
“Some argue that a person should be educated to think freely. We say, let him learn free thinking, yet respecting the sanctuaries. Respect the Ka’ba. Respect the Qur’an mean while enjoying the free thought. Let him be a free thinking person as he prostrates to Allah. Thus, he will not fall under the dominance of any human, and won’t fear the blame of a critic. This is what free thought is all about. No one said that freedom means the lack of manners and modesty. Those voices want to kill the human in front of another human. Yet, our respect for our master Omar will remain forever, and our master Abu-Bakr, and our master Ali. We do respect them all. We do respect the prophets, the patrons of Allah and the companions because these are the good manners.”
Christianity, the Quran, and the Crucifixion and Death of Jesus on the Cross
So much of what Sheikh Gomma says about the meaning of Quran 6:6 applies to Christian and Muslim dialogue,
“this ayah has a proof that we should study history, benefit from its lessons and examples. Because you have to study history in a significant way, and extract some certain events for you. Those certain events, either to be physical taken from monuments, inscriptions, scratches and graffiti found on stones, in papers. Either they are concluded from the flow of events, a certain conclusion agreed by everybody upon.”
Many people saw and testified to Jesus death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead. My challenge to Muslims is, “tell me.”
- Tell me why the Quran denies the historic truth of Jesus’ death on the cross.
- Tell me why we should believe the other judgments seen in the Bible and not the death of Jesus on the cross which is historically verified.
- Tell me why we should believe Muhammad who came hundreds of years after Jesus.
- Why does the Quran refer to God’s work in history in this ayah and deny God’s work in history elsewhere (Quran 4:157–158)?
If you believe Allah has given you a mind to reason, then I encourage you to to learn about Jesus’ death on the cross.
|↥1||Abbreviation for the Arabic phrase, Subhanahu wa ta’ala. This expression is used after using the name Allah. The English translation means “highly praised and glorified is He.”|