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A different perspective on verses 4:43 and 5:6

Updated: May 30

The following verses are quite often a topic on controversy and argument from both sides of the isle when attempting to use/justify them for the concept of Salat as a ritual type prayer. I went through them from my own studies and found several contradictions in the translations. The following are my understanding of these two verses providing both the (standard common translations directly below) and my (translation after study). I have provided notes to reference to while reading them to help grasp the understanding of the verses without breaking them into pieces. ------------------------------------------------- This is the standard translation 4:43 Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo la taqraboo alssalata waantum sukara hatta taAAlamoo ma taqooloona wala junuban illa AAabiree sabeelin hatta taghtasiloo wa-in kuntum marda aw AAala safarin aw jaa ahadun minkum mina algha-iti aw lamastumu alnnisaa falam tajidoo maan fatayammamoo saAAeedan tayyiban faimsahoo biwujoohikum waaydeekum inna Allaha kana AAafuwwan ghafooran 4:43 O you who believe, do not go near the prayer while you are intoxicated, until you know what you are saying. Nor if you have had intercourse, unless traveling, until you bathe. And if you are ill, or traveling, or one of you has excreted feces, or you had sexual contact with the women, and could not find water, then you shall select from the clean soil; you shall wipe your faces and hands. God is Pardoning, Forgiving. ---------------------------------------------------- (translation after study) 4:43 (See Note 1) O you who believe! Not approach the way/following (of) Allah while you (are) intoxicated until you know what you are saying and not impure/distant in mind (See note 2) except (when) passing (through) a way until you are clear headed. (see note 3) And if you are ill or traveling or you excreted feces, or you have intercourse the women and not you find water, then resort to earth clean (see note 4) and anoint your faces and your hands. Indeed, Allah is Oft-Pardoning, Oft-Forgiving. Note 1: pay attention to this first part of the verse it not only alludes to the understanding that intoxicants are not good but that they are the cause of a mental capacity that is not capable of clear reason or understanding and goes on to clarify this by stating that you must be clear headed. Note 2: is a continuation of the first part of the verses explaining that you are not to approach/speak/address/apply/discuss etc. anything about the way of Allah with anyone under this condition but it is ok to travel and pass through to whatever destination. Note 3: Here the verse goes from the mental state to the physical state of the person in Question four specific things are mentioned: a) If you are Ill or Sick b) If you are traveling (as often in those days you would be hot, dirty, sweaty and smelly) c) If you have excreted feces d) You have had intercourse (mentions with women specifically, this gives the understanding this is addressing men specifically) These things have one thing most in common, they all are related to odor/smell as feces and sexual contact are covered by clothing they are not a visible thing but also very odorous. Note 4: after going through the Arabic and dissecting the verse it becomes clear that it is not talking about washing your face and hands with dirt as this will not clean the parts of the body soiled by feces and intercourse and will not clean the hands and face, but by applying/anointing natural herbs, soils, plants from the earth that are fragrant will help in all cases to cover or mask the odors and make the person in question more approachable. Summary: (Mental capacity) This verse is addressing the “”everyday”” man who is out in public, he should not discuss the dean if Intoxicated either by drugs, alcohol, mental incapacity like anger or fear or unfocused due to distraction, under those premises it is ok to travel about the public sphere just do not converses about the dean. (Physical capacity) If your mental capacity is in tack do not go about the public sphere while you are smelly and dirty and not presentable when discussing the Dean. (Remember) once the discussion starts you are acting as a direct representative of God and Islam. If all else fails at least put on some cologne or fragrance to mask the smells. Otherwise do not do it. ------------------------------------------------------- This is the standard translation 5:6 Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo itha qumtum ila alssalati faighsiloo wujoohakum waaydiyakum ila almarafiqi waimsahoo biruoosikum waarjulakum ila alkaAAbayni wa-in kuntum junuban faittahharoo wa-in kuntum marda aw AAala safarin aw jaa ahadun minkum mina algha-iti aw lamastumu alnnisaa falam tajidoo maan fatayammamoo saAAeedan tayyiban faimsahoo biwujoohikum waaydeekum minhu ma yureedu Allahu liyajAAala AAalaykum min harajin walakin yureedu liyutahhirakum waliyutimma niAAmatahu AAalaykum laAAallakum tashkuroona 5:6 O you who believe! When you stand up for the prayer, then wash your faces and your hands till the elbows and wipe your heads and your feet till the ankles. But if you are (in) a state of ceremonial impurity then purifies yourselves. But if you are ill or on a journey or has come anyone of you from the toilet or has (had) contact (with) the women and not you find water, then do (with) earth clean, then wipe your faces and your hands with it. Allah (does) not intend to make for you any difficulty but He intends to purify you and to complete His Favor upon you so that you may (be) grateful. -------------------------------------------------------- (translation after study) 5:6 O you who believe (See Note 1) When you stand for/present the way/following (of) Allah, then wash your faces and your hands till the elbows and wipe your heads and your feet till the ankles. (see Note 2) But if NOT CLEAR HEADED (remote/distant/far off/aloof) then purify/ CLEAR YOUR HEAD yourselves. (see note 3) And if you are ill or traveling or you excreted feces, or you have intercourse the women and not you find water, then resort to earth clean (see note 4) and anoint your faces and your hands Allah (does) not intend to make for you any difficulty but He intends to cleanse you and to complete His Favor upon you so that you may (be) acceptable. Note 1: This is the only verse giving the instruction to “” wash your faces and your hands till the elbows and wipe your heads and your feet till the ankles “” Also note there is no mention of intoxication in the beginning of the verses as 4:43 has, this is important when determining the person or type of person being addressed. Note 2: a part of the verse explaining that you are not to approach/speak/address/apply/discuss etc. anything about the way of Allah with anyone under this mental condition but it is ok to travel and pass through to whatever destination. Note 3: Here the verse goes from the mental state to the physical state of the person in Question four specific things are mentioned: a) If you are Ill or Sick b) If you are traveling (as often in those days you would be hot, dirty, sweaty and smelly) c) If you have excreted feces d) You have had intercourse (mentions with women specifically, this gives the understanding this is addressing men specifically) These things have one thing most in common, they all are related to odor/smell as feces and sexual contact are covered by clothing they are not a visible thing but also very odorous. Note 4: after going through the Arabic and dissecting the verse it becomes clear that it is not talking about washing your face and hands with dirt as this will not clean the parts of the body soiled by feces and intercourse and will not clean the hands and face, but by applying natural herbs, soils, plants from the earth that are fragrant will help in all cases to cover or mask the odors an make the person in question more acceptable/approachable. Summary: (Mental capacity) This verse is addressing the person (Man) who is intentionally going to go out to address the public (like the Prophet) always make sure you are presentable and smell pleasant before doing so. (notice no mention of intoxicants in this verse) implying that the person is above this type of distraction. But, He should not discuss the dean if he is mentally incapacitated by things like anger or fear or unfocused due to mental distraction. Under those premises it is ok to travel about the public sphere just do not converses about the dean. (Physical capacity) If his mental capacity is in tack do not go about the public sphere while you are smelly and dirty and not presentable when discussing the Dean, (Remember) once the discussion starts you are acting as a direct representative of God and Islam. If all else fails at a minimum when no water is around put on some cologne or fragrance or use fragrant herbs to mask the smells. If you do not meet both criteria’s than just do not do it. SUMMARY: Both verses 4:43 and 5:6 seem to say the same things but they are indeed distinctly different. As defined below verse 4:43 appears to be addressing all who believe about what is expected of men when it pertains to discussing the deen in public. Verse 5:6 appears to be addressing all who believe about what is expected of someone of a higher status such as the Prophet when it pertains to discussing the deen in public. 4:43 1. Never tells you to specifically wash your faces and hands and wipe heads and your feet till the ankles. 2. addresses intoxicants 3. Is addressing Men specifically as the ones intended to do the task as it only address ones who have had sexual contact with the women, there is no mention of women who have had sexual contact with men. 4. In the end of the verse it says “God is pardoning and forgiving” 5:6 1. Never mentions intoxicants 2. Specific about standing /presenting and then washing, as if the process is a public show of it. 3. Is addressing Men specifically as the ones intended to do the task as it only address ones who have had sexual contact with the women, there is no mention of women who have had sexual contact with men. 4. In the end of the verse it is clearly different and addressing that the individual is more than the average person as it says “He intends to cleanse you and to complete His Favor upon you so that you may (be) acceptable. To who? To those around him. As always i am open for discussion on the topic and always open for constructive criticism. Peace and blessings to all.

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