Two Qur’anic passages about families

Two Qur’anic passages about families October 15, 2019

 

Piki Wiki Quneitra
A 2012 view from Mount Bental into Syria, by Dr. Avishai Teicher. The fields in the foreground are under Israeli control. The abandoned Syrian village of Quneitra is in the trees beyond, and has sometimes been occupied (or so I’m told) by ISIS fighters. (Photo from PikiWiki Israel)  I accompany groups to Mount Bental at least once annually.  It’s a very powerful stop.

 

“US troops express anger at Trump’s Syria policy: ‘We betrayed’ the Kurds”

 

“Bill Bennett: I don’t think I can defend Trump’s policy on Syria”

 

“Trump’s Syria Pullback Is an Obama-Like Blunder: Obama triumphantly exited Iraq, only to have to go back when things spun out of control. If Trump wants to be done with Syria, it might not be done with him.”

 

In the meantime, Mr. Donald J. Trump appears to have done a very considerable favor for his friend, Vladimir I, Czar of All the Russias:

 

“Russia Begins Patrolling Area Dividing Syrian and Turkish Forces”

 

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“Meet the imam building a ‘Muslim Village’ in the heart of Vegas”

 

“Malawian Teen Taught Himself How To Build A Windmill From Junk, Brought Power To His Village, ALL Learned From Library Books!”

 

“At least 16 killed in Burkina Faso mosque attack – reports”

 

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Among the classes I’m teaching this term is a course on the Qur’an in English translation.  (We’re using M. A. S. Abdel Haleem’s version, in the Oxford World’s Classics series.)  Here are a couple of passages, both concerning families, that have recently struck me:

 

Your Lord has commanded . . . that you be kind to your parents.  If either or both of them reach old age with you, say no word that shows impatience with them, and do not be harsh with them, but speak to them respectfully and lower your wing in humility to them in kindness and say, “Lord, have mercy on them, just as they cared for me when I was little.”  (17:23-24)

 

The second refers to the pagans of pre-Islamic Arabia, who believe that God had three divine daughters but who sometimes (until Islam put a decisive end to it) practiced female infanticide:

 

They assign daughters to God — may He be exalted! — and the [sons] they desire to themselves.  When one of them is given news of the birth of a baby girl, his face darkens and he is filled with gloom.  In his shame he hides himself away from his people because of the bad news he has been given.  Should he keep her and suffer contempt or bury her in the dust?  How ill they judge! . . .  They attribute to God what they themselves dislike while their own tongues utter the lie that the best belongs to them.  Without doubt it is the Fire that belongs to them: they will be given priority there!  (16:57-59, 62)

 

 

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