what is the meaning of the word nuzul

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edited May 16 '12 at 07:20 Al Ummat ♦ 31877 Al%20Ummat's gravatar image

Meaning of nuzul

The fact of the matter is that nearly everybody has been misled by the word nuzul in the Tradition. Literally it means 'descent'. Therefore, most people have been misled into thinking that as the Messiah was to have a descent, it can only be the first Messiah. Now, it is quite wrong to think that the word nuzul always means 'descent from an eminence'. The word 'descent' only points to how important, significant and far-reaching the thing is which is to descend. It tells us that the thing to descend is to be the instrument of the Majesty and Power of God. Such things are said to descend from God to a people. This meaning of'descent' (sending down) is in conformity with usage sanctioned by the Holy Quran in several passages. Thus:

'Then Allah sent down His peace upon His messenger.'21 'Then after the sorrow, He sent down peace on you, a slumber that overcame a party of you 22 'And He has sent down eight head of cattle in pairs.'23 'We have indeed sent down raiment to you to cover your shame, and to be an elegant dress; but the raiment of righteousness, that is the best. That is one of the Signs of Allah that they may remember. 24 'And sent down on you Manna and Salva.'25 'And We sent down iron, wherein is material for violent warfare and many benefits for mankind and that Allah may distinguish those who help Him and His Messengers without having seen Him. Surely, Allah is Powerful, Mighty.'26 'And if Allah should enlarge the provision for His servants, they would rebel in the earth; but He sends down according to a proper measure as He pleases. Indeed, He is All-Aware and All-Seeing with regard to His servants.'27

Everybody knows that peace is a quality of the human mind and sleep a function of the human brain. Animals, garments, green fields, quails (salwa), iron, and other things grow on the soil or come from under it. They do not descend or drop down from Heaven. Nor is their descent from Heaven a description sanctioned by the Holy Quran. The description of the Holy Quran is quite clear. It says:

'And He put therein firm mountains on the surface, and He put blessings therein and measured its foods therein into four periods, alike for all seekers.'28

In this verse, God points out that the whole subject of the creation of nature and the creation of different kinds of wealth needs for its comprehension a knowledge of the different sciences. This knowledge God reveals in pieces. Some of it has been revealed already, some will be revealed in days to come. Ever new questions will be raised and they will receive their answers. But, says God, We have described the creation of nature and the creation of the wealth of nature in such a way that all men at all times (according to their capacity) will find in them a description which will be both satisfying and true. From the Holy Quran, therefore, it appears that all things in nature descend from God - are gifts of God - and yet they do not drop from Heaven. Their creation takes place in and on and through this very earth. They grow on it or show themselves from under its surface. Therefore, the word nuzul (descent), when used for the coming of the Messiah, can have no other meaning. It can only point to the importance, the blessedness and the spiritual significance of the Promised Messiah. It is not in the least intended to suggest that he would physically drop from Heaven to earth. Most people forget that the word 'descent' has been used in the Holy Quran for the Holy Prophet also. All commentators of the Holy Book take this expression to point to the greatness of the Holy Prophet and to the importance of his advent. And they are right; for, as all the world knows, the Holy Prophet was born in the house of honourable Quraish parents. The name of his father was Abdullah and the name of his mother Amina. The verse which describes the advent of the Holy Prophet as descent is this:

'Allah has indeed down to you a Reminder, a Messenger, who recites unto you the clear Signs of Allah, that he may bring those who believe and do good deeds out of every kind of darkness into light'29

Now it is amazing that the same word nuzul is used about the Holy Prophet and the Messiah. Yet that same word is interpreted one way for the Holy Prophet and quite another way for the Messiah. The Holy Prophet was born like any other human being on this earth and grew up to be a prophet. The event was described as nuzul (literally, descent). Why not mean the same thing when the same word is used for the Messiah? Why not let even the Messiah descend in the ordinary way, that is, be born on this earth and grow up to be a prophet?

Why the Promised Messiah is called Isa Ibn Maryam Jesus, son of Mary

I hope this helps....

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answered 242 Heba's gravatar image
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Asked: May 16 '12 at 03:44

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Last updated: May 16 '12 at 07:20


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