Verse 29:45

by Quasim Hamdani, Chicago, Monday, October 24, 2011, 03:19 (1949 days ago)

In his post, Brother Mubashir, asked the following:

“Could you please explain what the proper translation of 29:45 should be? Does Salaat forbids, restrains, prohibits, prevents OR stops shameful and bad deeds?

The reason I am asking it that there is a difference between the terms used by translators below. Compared to other terms used, "stops" is totally different; It implies that a person who regularly performs salaat does not engage in fuwahishaat and Munkar.

Taken to wider meaning of the term Salaat (establishing a system) "Stops" makes sense as in an Islamic state steps are taken by law enforcing authorities to stop people from engaging in objectionable behavior.”

In verse 29:45 the first instruction is to the Prophet: “(O Prophet) convey to people all that is revealed to you of the Book” This requires the Prophet to teach and explain the Quran to the Muslims. Explaining the Quran is not a trivial undertaking; it requires that certain terms, prohibitions, and suggestions are clearly defined and understood by all.

Once a basic understanding is achieved, then certain practices have to be inculcated within a systematic framework where this understanding of the Quran is then turned into laws. These laws are accepted by all and effectively enforced by the people appointed to administer them. These laws closely follow the Quran and when they are found not to, they are amended and set right.

So establishing Salaat is in essence following the Quran. It is incumbent on every muslim to read and study the Quran. The Quran has much to guide an individual to live a fruitful, upright life, likewise the Quran has much to guide a society or a state to conduct itself within the Quranic laws.

When the Quran is ubiquitous in our individual and collective lives, the lewdness, stinginess, and bad conduct begins to decline and eventually disappear. With continual study, reflection, and discussion of the messages in the Quran, Aqimi Salaat becomes a habit and what a wonderful habit it is.

Verse 29:45

by Sr. Mehgan @, Minnesota, USA, Monday, October 24, 2011, 04:10 (1949 days ago) @ Quasim Hamdani

Masha'Allah, I really enjoyed this post as I am also enjoying the posts on this forum very much.
It makes sense, unlike what I was originally taught when I reverted to Islam, taking a long time to correct everything that I was taught and this forum is a breath of fresh air.
Jazak Allah khayr,

Verse 29:45

by Laurie Hamdani @, Chicago, Monday, October 24, 2011, 12:15 (1949 days ago) @ Sr. Mehgan
edited by Laurie Hamdani, Monday, October 24, 2011, 12:19

Welcome Sister Mehgan! Perhaps you'll consider writing more about your experiences or asking some questions here. This is your forum!

Salaam and thank you.

Verse 29:45

by Shabbir Ahmed, Florida, Monday, October 24, 2011, 16:04 (1949 days ago) @ Quasim Hamdani

Dear brother Quasim,

You and Sr Laurie have understood more of the Qur'an than I thought.

Your devoting a few minutes/d to will be showing light to many students.

Verse 29:45

by Imraan @, South Africa, Tuesday, October 25, 2011, 13:00 (1948 days ago) @ Shabbir Ahmed


Here is my understanding of the passage where this verse appears

Restraining from shameful and evil deeds (29:45)
Another purpose of the salat is restraining from shameful and evil deeds (29:45). We should look at this in its Quranic context by studying 29:45-51 at the very least.

Recite what has been revealed of the book and uphold the salat. The salat keeps away from indecency / shameful deeds and evil / injustice. The remembrance of God is the greatest (v.45). Advice on arguing with the people of the Book and confirmation of the revelation to the messenger (v.46-50). The revelation is a mercy and a reminder for the believers (v.51).

The meaning of the root “nun-kaf-ra” carries a meaning of changing or altering something to an unknown state so as not to be known. Hence it is associated with the practice of deceit. It also carries a meaning of becoming ignorant of or unacquainted with something. Hence denying or disacknowledging something due to not being acquainted with it because it’s being changed into an unknown state. This is interesting because we know that the purpose of salat is also removing uncleanness, bringing about purification (33:33) and for the remembrance of God (20:14).

We are also told that the salat will keep us away from "al-fahshaa". The root "fa-ha-sha" seems to mean being excessive, transgressing limits, especially in a public manner.

I see the passage 2:45-51 as meaning that we utilise the Quran through the salat to keep us away from following any adulterated perverted interpretations of the revelation as this is a remembrance of God.

Verse 29:45

by Waqas ⌂ @, UK, Tuesday, October 25, 2011, 20:09 (1947 days ago) @ Quasim Hamdani

Salaam Mubashir, Quasim, all,

I wish to clarify a few things:

In 29:45 it says "...what has been revealed/inspired to you FROM/OF the decree/writ/kitab...". Note that the Arabic "min" is a partitive, thus in this instance "al kitab" cannot be equated to "al quran". There is of course other proof of this non-equivalence in The Quran, with 10:37 perhaps being the most famous/prominent example. Please bear this in mind.

Secondly, a robust/sound method to determine what meaning fits best for "tanha", we can do this by cross-referencing its other occurrences in The Quran itself, specifically this grammatical form using project root list:

Nun-ha-Waw/Ya = to prevent, forbid, chide away, prohibit, make one to stop from, restrain, interdict, hinder, desist, refrain.
naha vb. (1)
impf. act. 3:104, 3:110, 3:114, 5:63, 6:26, 7:22, 7:157, 7:165, 9:67, 9:71, 11:62, 11:88, 11:116, 15:70, 16:90, 29:45, 60:8, 60:9, 96:9

Once we do so, the strong candidates are: prohibits/forbids.

However, since a person is not actually the object of the verb "tanha", it is "al salat" this does seem to add a little flexibility to the possible meanings, because as far as I know this is the only example of a non-being as the object of "tanha", hence "restrains/prevents/etc" become possible.

However, when we apply logic, we can filter the possibilities. IF "tanha" were to mean "prevents/stops" this would imply that the establishment/upholding of salat (whatever you take salat to mean) is so strong that is eliminates completely "fahshai" and "munkar". This is extremely unlikely. They may be much reduced but to imply non-existence is difficult to accept logically. This logic can be further shown by 29:45's use of "...and surely the remembrance of God is greatest" as this implies greater than whatever was in context and having something greater that wipes out all fahshai/munkar seems a little odd to me. And lastly, I am sure the prophets established/upheld the salat, and if we go by Quran, fahshai/munkar seem to still have existed somewhat in their environments, so this further reinforces the position that "prevents/stops" is an unlikely meaning.

Thus, what does "tanha" in 29:45 mean? Well, if we insert the most likely meanings, these are acceptable:

"Recite/tell/follow what is revealed/inspired to you from/of the writ/decree/kitab and uphold/establish the salat, indeed the salat hinders/forbids/prohibits/restrains from the fahshai/munkar and/but surely the remembrance of God is greatest, and God knows what you do".

What is greater than reciting/telling what is revealed/inspired from the writ/kitab? It is the remembrance of God, because no matter what you tell a person who is in a state of remembrance of God, they will naturally do the right thing anyway. So, whilst it is good to recite/discuss/learn God's message, it is greater to remember God in all that you do, hence we can perhaps appreciate the end of the ayat/verse "...and God knows what you do".

Some background reading:

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