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Tafseer and Balaghah Questions, Part 2

August 11, 2013

kr’s note: The previous post regarding a balaghah(rhetoric) question I asked one of my teachers about the Qur’an was quite well received, so I figure another post on a similar topic might be of interest to my readers.

My Question:
So in Surah al-Ṣāffāt, there’s an interesting “refrain” of ayahs that’s always mentioned after each story of the Prophets mentioned, the four ayahs of “wa tarakna”… until “innahu min `ibadinal-mu’mineen”
But then when the story of Prophet Ibrahim (A) is mentioned, we see the “inna kadhalika” comes in 37:105:
قَدْ صَدَّقْتَ الرُّؤْيَا ۚ إِنَّا كَذَ‌ٰلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُحْسِنِينَ
and then when the “refrain” ayahs come, the “inna” is not present (37: 108-111)
وَتَرَكْنَا عَلَيْهِ فِي الْآخِرِينَ
سَلَامٌ عَلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ
كَذَ‌ٰلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُحْسِنِينَ
إِنَّهُ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا الْمُؤْمِنِينَ
Any particular reason for this? Is it as simple as the “inna” is left out the second time because it was already mentioned in verse 105?
My Teacher’s Reply:

For two reasons, “Inna” is not mentioned the second time:

1) It was already mentioned in Ayah 105…as you mentioned…
2) In the other stories, the “Inna Kadhalika”…usually comes at the tail end of the story.  It usually comes in the second to last verse in each sequence, but in this story of Ibrahim (A), after verse #110. There is still a bit more of the story left with mention of Ishaq (A) so no “Inna” mentioned here otherwise one might think the story has ended.

Now the question arises: why is that type of verse (ie, كَذَ‌ٰلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُحْسِنِينَ) mentioned two times and for other prophets, it is only mentioned once?  Well,  because Ibrahim (A) is Ibrahim (A), he deserves the extra mention to distinguish him exclusively among all the other Prophets.

So the next question is, OK fine, the above points are understood, so why wasn’t the “Inna Kadhalika” mentioned at the tail end of the Surah as the other stories? Well…Ibrahim (A) is special and deserves to be treated differently from others.  His whole family made tremendous sacrifices in submitting to Allah, He was ready to sacrifice his son just because it was the order of Allah — that’s what you call submission! And that submission was so beloved that his story had to be distinguished accordingly, so the language had to reflect that Divine Acceptance.

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