CONTEXT AND MEANING: Nun-Seen-Ka’f — ن س ك (or نُسُكِ in Q. 6:162)

The term nusuk-e (نُسُكِ) is found in Q. 2:128, 200, 6:162, 22:34, 22:67, by which traditional narratives and translation have formed an understanding and firm belief that in every instance, it conveys the term called Rite in the sense of some bunch of rituals, or formal ceremonies in the religious offering to please God.

With no surprise, this term is also taken out of context in every instance to assume a value of ritual to establish, predominantly, the ritual solaa’t with physical prostration on the ground conjoining to the solaa’t duty as prescribed in the Quran. This erroneous translation or interpretation even takes more regretful value when a group of Quran alone followers takes a similar view as that of the traditional religionists in all sects or dominions in the brand Islam.

An example can be shown in a discourse that can be found in the following FB link as follows:

Yet, both traditionalists and neo-ritualists Quran aloner, use the same old technique and tricks of the so-called magical-mystical Arabic justification to impose authority over the meaning, translation and interpretation of Kala’m-Allah. Thus, in many instances, for example, solaa’t & suju’d, the term nusuk (نُسُكِ) is valued as a rite or even religious sacrifice as in Q, 6:162. In doing such, both parties, in reclining towards the physical rituals, deliberately ignore or even hide the predominant CONTEXT in which the term nusuk (نُسُكِ) takes part in different derivatives in the circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea in every instance. To impose their authority in the Arabic language, they mislead the audience from a part of a segment of a verse that immediately precedes and follow a passage of verses and clarify its meaning.

It happens when the term nusuk (نُسُكِ) idiosyncratically takes part in different settings and contexts as in 2:125-128, 2: 200, 6:162, 22:34 and 22:67. Thus, when Abraham urged God to accept him and his progeny – and to accept his repentance and submission (see: Q, 2:128), by that time, he had already been tested and had been in the practice of his maqa’m/hallmarks/attributions as seen from Q. 2:124. Therefore, in Q. 2:127-129, Abraham is found to have been making his concluding urges in a passionate petition to God. In such an instance, in a concluding statement in the petition, why was he required to ask God to show him the so-called rites or rituals at the concluding stage of his mission? Was it not his final willingness in rhetoric to attain confirmation of his salvation for what he undertook the whole mission in setting up the way of God? So, the context seems in an urge to construct Q. 2:127-128 as follows:

[Q. 2: 127-128] “And so Abraham and Ishmael elevated (yarfa-u يَرْفَعُ) the Rules (Al-Qawa-e’da ٱلْقَوَاعِدَ) of the Institution (Al-Byet-e ٱلْبَيْتِ): “Our Lord, accept from us. Surely, YOU are the Hearing, the Knowing. Our Lord, make us submitting (muslimai-ne مُسْلِمَيْنِ) to YOU and from our descendants a submissive (muslimata-n مُّسْلِمَةً) nation to YOU. And show us our refuge (ma-nasika-na مَنَاسِكَنَا) and accept our repentance. Indeed, YOU are the Sustainer of repentance, the Merciful”.

وَإِذْ يَرْفَعُ إِبْرَٰهِـۧمُ ٱلْقَوَاعِدَ مِنَ ٱلْبَيْتِ وَإِسْمَـٰعِيلُ رَبَّنَا تَقَبَّلْ مِنَّآ ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ ٱلسَّمِيعُ ٱلْعَلِيمُ — رَبَّنَا وَٱجْعَلْنَا مُسْلِمَيْنِ لَكَ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِنَآ أُمَّةً مُّسْلِمَةً لَّكَ وَأَرِنَا مَنَاسِكَنَا وَتُبْ عَلَيْنَآ ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ ٱلتَّوَّابُ ٱلرَّحِيمُ

Similarly, in Q. 22: 34, God described the communities preceding the Messenger for whom HE allowed ways and recourses in safety for them, so that they are content, being satisfied on what provision God had given in their livelihood to submit to HIM devoutly in HIS remembrance. Thus it reads as:

[Q. 22:34] “And for every community, WE have appointed a recourse (mansakan مَنسَكًا) to remember (li-yazkuru لِّيَذْكُرُوا۟) the name of God over what (ma مَا) provision they have in the livestock animals. So, your god is one God, so submit to HIM. And, give good tidings to the sincere”.

وَلِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ جَعَلْنَا مَنسَكًا لِّيَذْكُرُوا۟ ٱسْمَ ٱللَّهِ عَلَىٰ مَا رَزَقَهُم مِّنۢ بَهِيمَةِ ٱلْأَنْعَـٰمِ ۗ فَإِلَـٰهُكُمْ إِلَـٰهٌ وَٰحِدٌ فَلَهُۥٓ أَسْلِمُوا۟ ۗ وَبَشِّرِ ٱلْمُخْبِتِينَ

A similar approach and theme are found in Q. 22:67. At that instance, however, it appears that the Messenger was in a discourse with some rejecters, which begins in Q 22:42, unfolding the context continues to the end in Q. 22:78. So, in Q. 22:67, the same term mansakan ( مَنسَكًا) as in Q. 22:34 engages in negating those who are given a recourse (mansakan مَنسَكًا), they do the opposite, and thus they misuse/misplace ((na’siku-hu نَاسِكُوهُ ۖ), hindering such recourse or refuge (mansakan مَنسَكًا) in the diversion. As they do the opposite of what God appointed for them, Messenger was told to be prudent and cautious in dealing with them and recommended simply to call upon to God. So, it contextually reads as follows:

[Q. 22:67-68] “For every community, WE have appointed a recourse (mansakan مَنسَكًا) which they misuse/misplace (na’siku-hu نَاسِكُوهُ ۖ). So, let them not defame you over the command. And call upon your Lord. Surely, you are upon straight guidance. And if they dispute with you, then say, “God knows most of what you do.”

لِّكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ جَعَلْنَا مَنسَكًا هُمْ نَاسِكُوهُ ۖ فَلَا يُنَـٰزِعُنَّكَ فِى ٱلْأَمْرِ ۚ وَٱدْعُ إِلَىٰ رَبِّكَ ۖ إِنَّكَ لَعَلَىٰ هُدًى مُّسْتَقِيمٍ — وَإِن جَـٰدَلُوكَ فَقُلِ ٱللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ

And rest of the verses from Q. 22:68 to 22:78 continues the context as has begun in Q. 22:42 and pinned down in Q. 22:67.

Accordingly, the same rooted term nusuk (نُسُكِ) in Q. 6:162 and manasika (مَناَسِكَ) in Q. 2:200 read as follows:

[Q. 2:200] “And when you have completed your recourses (manasika-kum مَّنَـٰسِكَكُمْ), remember God like your remembrance of your fathers or with greater remembrance. And among the people is he who says, ‘Our Lord, give us in this world’ – and he will have in the Hereafter no share”.

فَإِذَا قَضَيْتُم مَّنَـٰسِكَكُمْ فَٱذْكُرُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ كَذِكْرِكُمْ ءَابَآءَكُمْ أَوْ أَشَدَّ ذِكْرًا ۗ فَمِنَ ٱلنَّاسِ مَن يَقُولُ رَبَّنَآ ءَاتِنَا فِى ٱلدُّنْيَا وَمَا لَهُۥ فِى ٱلْـَٔاخِرَةِ مِنْ خَلَـٰقٍ

[Q. 6:162] “Say, —“Surely, my commitment (solaa’t-e صَلَاتِى), and my refuge (nusuk-e نُسُكِى), my living and my dying are for God, Lord of all the realms”.

قُلْ إِنَّ صَلَاتِى وَنُسُكِى وَمَحْيَاىَ وَمَمَاتِى لِلَّهِ رَبِّ ٱلْعَـٰلَمِينَ

Muhammad Al Mamun
Abd-Allah- A servant of God
London 12/10/2021

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