• AbdulHayy Salloo

Surah Ma'un | "Destruction for those who pray!" | Last 10 Surah's Series

Moving onto the 3rd Surah in the Series of the Last 10 Surah's following Surah Al-Feel & Quraysh which covered the Prayer of Ibrahim a.s,

Suratul Ma'un, at face value seems as a complete departure from that subject. Having a closer and deeper look, let's see what we discover and how Suratul Ma'un is connected.

The Surah begins; 'Did you see the one who considers/calls the religion a lie'. "أَرَءَيۡتَ ٱلَّذِى يُكَذِّبُ بِٱلدِّينِ "

'Then such is the one who pushes around the orphan'. "فَذَٲلِكَ ٱلَّذِى يَدُعُّ ٱلۡيَتِيمَ"

'And he doesn't encourage upon *the food of the Needy'. "وَلَا يَحُضُّ عَلَىٰ طَعَامِ ٱلۡمِسۡكِينِ "

The word "مِسۡكِين" we translated as 'Needy', however the word is actually coined together from two separate words, مَسَكَ "Someone who has no means", and سَكَنَ "Someone who doesn't have a way to change their situation."

In other words, they are; 1. Poor, and 2. Helpless

When you combine poverty and helplessness, then you get the word مِسۡكِين. You're not a مِسۡكِين if you're only poor, yet able to find a job and start earning. Neither are you مِسۡكِين if you have money, but just in a difficult tight situation. The word مِسۡكِين necessitates an impossible situation of poverty and helplessness put together. _ _ _ _ _ _ _

One thing I find very intriguing about this third Aayah of Suratul Ma'un is that I've never come across the exact and accurate translation of it as it should be translated. The mistranslation is in "طَعَامِ ٱلۡمِسۡكِين", by saying 'Feeding of the poor/needy' If it was supposed to be "Feeding . . ." then the Arabic word would have been 'إِطْعَامِ الْمِسْكِيْن'. The Aayah doesn't say that.

The Aayah says طَعَام, which means "Food", and that makes a huge difference. It changes your whole perspective completely! It's very profound. Pay attention to this carefully, when you say, 'You are stopping people from feeding the needy', As opposed to saying, 'You are stopping people from the food of the needy'.

When it's "The food of the needy", it’s actually their food, it belongs to them. Not you.

When you say, 'Feeding the needy', that suggests you are doing them a favour. That the food actually belongs to you, and you have a choice to give to the needy or not.

In this Aayah however, Allah is saying you are not doing them any favours. Rather they are in fact entitled to it, it's theirs! This is according to Allah himself in what he says.

You're not simply feeding them, you are giving them their own food. "طَعَامِ ٱلۡمِسۡكِين"

There's a huge difference between "طَعَامِ ٱلۡمِسۡكِين" & 'إِطْعَامِ الْمِسْكِيْن'

This example is one of many reasons why you can't only rely on translations, as you miss out so much of the intended meaning. So much is lost in translation. Of course then there's also the beauty of the Arabic language. Not just the Arabic in of itself, but of whose words the Quran is. Allah's. _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Moving along to the next Aayah. 'Did you see the one who considers/calls the religion a lie'. -1

'Then such is the one who pushes around the orphan'. -2 'And he doesn't encourage upon the food of the Needy'. -3 Then "فَوَيۡلٌ۬ لِّلۡمُصَلِّينَ". 'So then destruction