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Quranic Terminology: Good

 

Quranic Terminology: Good

 

Published in September 24, 2019

Translated by: Ahmed Fathy

 

 

Firstly: a Quranic, general comparison between the bad and the good:

 The Lord God says the following in the Quran: "Say: “The bad and the good are not equal, even though the abundance of the bad may impress you. So be conscious of God, O you who possess intelligence, that you may succeed.”" (5:100).

 

Secondly: the good, permissible items within provisions:

 This is about human beings in general:

1- "God has given you mates from among yourselves; and has produced for you, from your mates, children and grandchildren; and has provided you with good things..." (16:72).

2- " We have honored the progeny of Adam, and carried them on land and sea, and provided them with good things, and greatly favored them over many of those We created." (17:70).

3- "It is God who made the earth a habitat for you, and the sky a structure. And He designed you, and designed you well; and He provided you with the good things. Such is God, your Lord; so Blessed is God, Lord of the Worlds." (40:64).

 This is about prophets/messengers of the Lord God:

"O messengers, eat of the good things..." (23:51).

 This is about the Israelites:

1- "And We shaded you with clouds, and We sent down to you manna and quails: “Eat of the good things We have provided for you.”..." (2:57); "...And We shaded them with clouds, and We sent down upon them manna and quails: “Eat of the good things We have provided for you.”..." (7:160).

2- "O Israelites! We have delivered you from your enemy, and promised you by the right side of the Mount, and sent down to you manna and quails. Eat of the good things We have provided for you..." (20:80-81).

3- "And We settled the Israelites in a position of honor, and provided them with good things..." (10:93).

4- "We gave the Israelites the Book, and wisdom, and prophecy; and We provided them with the good things..." (45:16).

This is about the believers in the Yathreb city-state led by Muhammad:

"And remember when you were few, oppressed in the land, fearing that people may capture you; but He sheltered you, and supported you with His victory, and provided you with good things - so that you may be thankful." (8:26).

 

Thirdly: consuming good, permissible food items and avoiding prohibited ones:

1- All food items are legal/permissible and good ones except the items prohibited by the Lord God in t the Quran: "Say, “In what was revealed to me, I find nothing forbidden to a consumer who eats it, except carrion, or spilled blood, or the flesh of swine - because it is impure - or a sinful offering dedicated to other than God. But if someone is compelled by necessity, without being deliberate or malicious - your Lord is Forgiving and Merciful." (6:145). This means that particular prohibited food items are dead animals, blood spilled from living animals, flesh of swine/pigs, and food/meat items offered as oblation to allies/saints/gods in the way we see by Shiites in their Ashura feast and by Sufis and Sunnites who celebrate their entombed saints/gods/allies in 'holy' mausoleums.  

2- Good food items are the ones made permissible, legal, and allowed by the Lord God; this is meant by His Holy Name mentioned upon these food items.

2/1: The Lord God says the following about consuming good/permissible food items and the prohibition of the consumption of bad, forbidden ones: "...and allows for them all good things, and prohibits for them bad things..." (7:157).

2/2: Prohibited food items are the ones never permitted/allowed by the Lord God; i.e., His Holy Name is not mentioned upon them; of course, allies of Satan argue against this; true believers never argue about/against the Lord God's commands so as not to be among the polytheists: "And do not eat from that over which the Name of God was not pronounced, for it is abomination. The devils inspire their followers to argue with you; but if you obey them, you would be polytheists." (6:121).

2/3: The Lord God warns true monotheists against following the footsteps of Satan regarding the topic of Quranic legislations related to prohibited and permissible food items: "O people! Eat of what is lawful and good on earth, and do not follow the footsteps of Satan. He is to you an open enemy." (2:168).

3- There are repeated Quranic assertions about allowing good, permissible food items; the details of prohibited meat of dead animals are mentioned in the last verses revealed shortly before the death of Muhammad.

3/1: "O you who believe! Fulfill your contracts. Livestock animals are permitted for you, except those specified to you; but do not go hunting while you are in pilgrim sanctity. God decrees whatever He wills." (5:1). 

3/2: "Prohibited for you are carrion, blood, the flesh of swine, and animals dedicated to other than God; also the flesh of animals strangled, killed violently, killed by a fall, gored to death, mangled by wild animals - except what you rescue, and animals sacrificed on altars/edifices...Today, those who disbelieve have despaired of your religion, so do not fear them, but fear Me. Today I have perfected your religion for you, and have completed My Bounty upon you, and have approved Islam as a religion for you. But whoever is compelled by hunger, with no intent of wrongdoing - God is Forgiving and Merciful. They ask you what is permitted for them. Say, “Permitted for you are all good things, including what trained dogs and falcons catch for you.” You train them according to what God has taught you. So eat from what they catch for you, and pronounce God’s name over it...Today all good things are made lawful for you. And the food of those given the Book is lawful for you, and your food is lawful for them..." (5:3-5). 

4- The Quranic commands regarding consumption of good/legal food items and avoiding the consumption of bad/prohibited ones include mentioning the latter only: "O you who believe! Eat of the good things We have provided for you, and give thanks to God, if it is Him that you worship. He has forbidden you carrion, and blood, and the flesh of swine, and what was dedicated to other than God. But if anyone is compelled, without desiring or exceeding, he commits no sin. God is Forgiving and Merciful." (2:172-173).

5- The Quranic commands regarding consumption of good/legal food items and avoiding the consumption of specified bad/prohibited ones include the warning against prohibiting food items made permissible by the Lord God. He says the following in the Quran.

5/1: "Eat of the lawful and good things God has provided for you, and be thankful for God’s blessings, if it is Him that you worship. He has forbidden you carrion, and blood, and the flesh of swine, and anything consecrated to other than God. But if anyone is compelled by necessity, without being deliberate or malicious, then God is Forgiving and Merciful. And do not say of falsehood asserted by your tongues, “This is lawful, and this is unlawful,” in order to invent lies and attribute them to God. Those who invent lies and attribute them to God will not prosper. A brief enjoyment - then they will have a painful torment." (16:114-117).

5/2: To prohibit permissible food items is to violate the Lord God's right to be the Only Legislator in Islam: "O you who believe! Do not prohibit the good things God has permitted for you, and do not commit aggression. God does not love the aggressors. And eat of the lawful and good things God has provided for you; and be conscious of God within piety, in Whom you are believers." (5:87-88).

6- Those among the People of the Book who prohibited legal/permissible food items have been punished by the Lord God by His prohibiting these items. The Lord God says the following in the Quran.

6/1: "Due to the injustices committed by the Jews, We forbade them good things that used to be lawful for them; and for deterring many from God’s Path." (4:160).

6/2: "For the Jews We forbade everything with claws. As of cattle and sheep: We forbade them their fat, except what adheres to their backs, or the entrails, or what is mixed with bone. This is how We penalized them for their injustices. We are indeed truthful." (6:146).

 

Fourthly: the expression (good things) is also the Quranic description of legal earnings:

1- We see here a Quranic comparison between well-earned money ill-gotten money. The Lord God says the following in the Quran.

1/1: "O you who believe! Give of the good things you have earned, and from what We have produced for you from the earth. And do not pick the bad things to give away, when you yourselves would not accept it except with eyes closed. And know that God is Sufficient and Praiseworthy." (2:267).

1/2: "And give orphans their properties, and do not substitute the bad for the good. And do not consume their properties by combining them with yours, for that would be a serious sin." (4:2).

2- The Lord God warns against prohibiting legal/good things within earnings/provisions: "Say, “Who forbade God’s finery which He has produced for His servants, and the good things of livelihood?” Say, “They are for those who believe, in this present world, but exclusively theirs on the Day of Resurrection.” We thus detail the verses for people who know." (7:32).

3- "So consume what you have gained, legal and good; and remain conscious of God within piety. God is Forgiving and Merciful." (8:69).

 

Fifthly: about the good progeny:

 The Lord God says the following in the Quran: "Whereupon Zachariah prayed to his Lord; he said, “My Lord, bestow on me good offspring from Your presence; You are the Hearer of Prayers.”" (3:38).

 

Sixthly: about good deeds/words:

 This following is about the comparison between good deeds/words and bad ones.

1- "God will not leave the believers as you are, without distinguishing the bad from the good. Nor will God inform you of the future, but God elects from among His messengers whom He wills. So believe in God and His messengers. If you believe and practice piety, you will have a splendid reward." (3:179).

2- "The bad are for the bad and the good are for the good. Those are acquitted of what they say. There is forgiveness for them, and a generous provision." (24:26).

3- "Do you not see how God presents a parable? A good word is like a good tree - its root is firm, and its branches are in the sky. It yields its fruits every season by the will of its Lord. God presents the parables to the people, so that they may reflect. And the parable of a bad word is that of a bad tree - it is uprooted from the ground; it has no stability. God gives firmness to those who believe, with the firm word, in this life, and in the Hereafter. And God leads the unjust ones astray. God does whatever He wills." (14:24-27).

4- "Whoever desires honor - all honor belongs to God. To Him ascends speech that is good, and He elevates righteous conduct. As for those who plot evil, a terrible torment awaits them, and the planning of these will fail." (35:10). This is about good words of Paradise dwellers: "They were guided to good speech. They were guided to the Path of the Most Praised." (22:24). This is about the good greetings in a Muslim/peaceful society: "...But when you enter any home, greet one another with a greeting from God, blessed and good. God thus explains the verses for you, so that you may understand." (24:61).

 

Seventhly: about good or pure/clean items employed in purification or Tayammum:

The Lord God says the following in the Quran.

1- "O you who believe! Do not approach prayers while you are absentminded, so that you know what you say; nor after sexual orgasm - unless you are travelling - until you have bathed. If you are sick, or traveling, or one of you comes from the toilet, or you have had intercourse with women, and cannot find water, find good surface and wipe your faces and your hands with it. God is Pardoning and Forgiving." (4:43).

2- "O you who believe! When you rise to pray, wash your faces and your hands and arms to the elbows, and wipe your heads, and your feet to the ankles. If you had intercourse, then purify yourselves. If you are ill, or travelling, or one of you returns from the toilet, or you had intercourse with women, and could not find water, then use a good surface and wipe your faces and hands with it. God does not intend to burden you, but He intends to purify you, and to complete His blessing upon you, that you may be thankful." (5:6).

 

Eighthly: about good land or society:

The Lord God says the following in the Quran.

1- "As for the good land, it yields its produce by the leave of its Lord. But as for the bad, it produces nothing but hardship and misery. Thus We explain the verses in various ways for people who are thankful." (7:58).

2- "In Sheba’s homeland there used to be a wonder: two gardens, on the right, and on the left. “Eat of your Lord’s provision, and give thanks to Him.” A good land, and a forgiving Lord." (34:15).

 

Ninthly: about the good wind juxtaposed with the destructive, tempestuous one:

The Lord God says the following in the Quran: "It is He who transports you across land and sea. Until, when you are on ships, sailing in a good wind, and rejoicing in it, a raging wind arrives. The waves surge over them from every side, and they realize that they are besieged. Thereupon they pray to God, professing sincere devotion to Him: “If You save us from this, we will be among the thankful.”" (10:22).

 

Lastly: the Quranic adjective (good) in relation to the Hereafter:

1- The angels of death talk this way to good, pious souls who are the allies of the Dominant Lord God: "Those who are good: when the angels take them the angels will say, “Peace be upon you; enter Paradise, for what you used to do.”" (16:32).

2- The following verses are about good homes of the Paradise-dwellers.

2/1: "God promises the believers, men and women, gardens beneath which rivers flow, abiding therein forever, and good homes in the Gardens of Eden. But approval from God is even greater. That is the supreme victory." (9:72).

2/2: "He will forgive you your sins; and will admit you into gardens beneath which rivers flow, and into good homes in the Gardens of Eden. That is the supreme success." (61:12).

3- This is about the eternal good life of the Paradise-dwellers: "Whoever works righteousness, whether male or female, while being a believer, We will grant him a good life - and We will reward them according to the best of what they used to do." (16:97).

4- When the disbelievers will be made to stand before the Hell-Fire on the Last Day, they will hear these words said to them: "On the Day when the faithless will be paraded before the Fire: “You have squandered your good things in your worldly life, and you took pleasure in them. So today you are being repaid with the torment of shame, because of your unjust arrogance on earth, and because you used to sin.”" (46:20).

5-  This is about throwing disbelievers into the Hell-Fire like trash or garbage bags: "That God may distinguish the bad from the good, and heap the bad on top of one another, and pile them together, and throw them in Hell. These are the losers." (8:37). As always, the Lord God says nothing but the Absolute Truth.

 

(N.B.: we refer readers to the previous article of ours titled "Quranic Terminology: Bad", found in English on this link: http://www.ahl-alquran.com/English/show_article.php?main_id=19935).


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