“He was running before he caught and gained possession of the ball.” Many make a comment, like this, when a receiver drops the football thrown to him, after gaining momentary control of the ball, while in a certain pass-pattern; especially when there was the chance to either make a long gain or score a touch down. This happens when the receiver’s attention is partly on the ball and partly elsewhere. Thus the pass catcher (receiver) fails to grasp what came his way, for his benefit and for his team and supporters.
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”–but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.
There is a principle in this that applies to how we interpret the sayings and doings of others; whether of relatives, close friends, mere acquaintances or even enemies. This is especially important when it comes to the words of God in the scriptures, or the direct words of God today. To misunderstand, or misread the words of God spells disaster. This is always serious.
If misunderstanding of God’s word is due to a mistake of the head and is unintentional, that is one thing. It is another thing when misunderstanding is due to having been deceived about the meaning of God’s words.
Far too many people are too quick to give what they feel or think various scriptural passages mean, before they really know the facts of the text. We must first know what the writer wrote before we can get into what the writer meant. Meaning largely includes interpretation.
Let us also be certain we understand what we mean by the word “interpretation.” The Honorable Elijah Muhammad re peatedly taught us, it means: what did the writer have in mind? It is the meaning, of whoever wrote what we are reading, to which we must arrive before we can say that we have the right interpretation. If the words we use to tell another, or others what the writer meant, or had in mind, and if they accurately represent what the writer had in mind, when he or she wrote thus and so–that is the right interpretation. These words that we use to enable another, or others, understand the words of another’s intent with those words, make up the true interpretation of that person’s mind. Again, if the interpretation is correct, then we have the real meaning (of the writer’s or speaker’s) words. It is really not any more complicated than that.
It is not always easy, however, to extract the meaning of the scriptures. There are many things that have, can and do throw people off when reading the scriptures. This could range from such factors as the outdated English of the King James version; to the deeper ones involving (the timing) when prophecies, or the whole of the book, were to be understood.
Tied to this is the big fact that God didn’t want some things known before certain times, and some things He doesn’t want known to everyone. As we all know, He has enemies. The main point being made here is our need to take the time, or make the time, to really use our minds and eyes to see what is on the pages of what we read–especially of scriptures or of any communication, for that matter. (This is very important as we are living in time of great deceit.) This is good training for “everyday” life. It’s excellent training, on more than one level.
Please, let’s not say we don’t have time to study God’s word, yet we breathe His air, and benefit from His mercy and grace, every fraction of every second of every minute we live. That is gross ingratitude! Moreover, we are severely hurt by this–not Him.
It’s vitally important for us to get the facts clear in our minds, that are written, or that we are reading.Of course, the attitude with which we approach the scriptures is vital to seeing clearly that which is actually on the pages, which we are reading, and of which we are trying to gain a clear conception. This is really the start of correct interpretation of scriptures. First, what are the actual facts before us, as we read? Then we must get to the intent or motive out of which the writer was writing. We must get deep into the very spirit of the writer as he wrote. Why? It is the intention, the motive, the spirit or the state of mind of the writer that gives meaning to his/her words. This, of course, applies to the true understanding of all human acts.
Look at 1st Corinthians chapter two, which contains some beautiful and clear teachings about the relation be tween gaining the true understanding of another–especially of God–and entering the spirit of that other. It is worth repeating it from another version of this passage.
1 Corinthians 2:6-13: “We do, however, speak a mes sage of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”–but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
“We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.”
Now, we really do not know, from the text of the passages, of Holy Qur’an 18: sections 9 and 10, that the parents of that boy (who was killed by the wise man), ever knew that he (the wise man) did it. We don’t know how their son’s death appeared to them. It could have been made to look accidental. Maybe he did it in front of them. That would have been very shocking to them, especially if they were not expecting this. It could have been done in any number of ways.Let us remember we don’t know the means by which his life was taken–not from the actual words of the text of the Holy Qur’an. Nor do we know if there was any witness to this act of violence except Moses–not for sure, anyway.
One thing is sure, if those details were important for us to know, to gain what Allah wanted us to gain, that would have been written. However, even such deliberate omissions forces thought. Western scholars have stated that the Holy Qur’an seems to be jumbled up. They’ve oftimes written there are unexpected breaks between certain verses, or passages. To them there seems to be no connection between this verse, or passage and the next. With such views they reveal themselves as shallow thinkers. One may be reading such and such verse or pas sage, and then come what appears to be a gap between that verse or passage and the next. How the reader is really reacting to what he or she is reading determines how they may react to the next and what they will get out of it. They may see nothing, very little, or much, depending on what they bring to that reading. The God of that book is aware of the reader. He produced a book filled with wisdom; not only in terms of content but also in the way it was written.
More next issue, Allah willing.