Kur’an’da Genel Anlamlı Bir Kelime: Nimet

Cumhuriyet İlahiyat Dergisi 20 (2):207-207 (2016)


In this study, the term of ‘blessing’, which is a basic Qurʾānic concept, is analyzed. In this regard, the study focuses on the definition of ‘blessing’, its different meanings in the various contexts, synonyms and antonyms and its leading individuals to the dimensions of faith, worship and morality. These subject matters are studied by taking into consideration of the meanings of ‘blessing’ in the Qurʾān and commentators’ explanations about the word. The expression of the ‘blessing’ in the Qurʾān indicates that the word has an extensive and constructive meaning. The fact that having an extensive meaning demonstrates that the points the word encompasses can be determined to some extent. It is exemplified in the Qurʾān what can be regarded as ‘blessing’. Furthermore, the commentators determine various meanings to the word by considering the contexts in which the word is used. It is understood that the aim of using the word in the Qurʾān is to lead the individuals to the dimensions of the faith, worship and morality. It is possible for people to be grateful to God by making this aim more visible in their lives. SUMMARY The word blessing mentioned in the Qurʾān has a general meaning. This type of words contains more than one subject inside them. The fact that the blessing contains more than one subject may be seen in the Qurʾānic attributions of it as well as seen in its dictionary and term meaning. Also, the way of explaining a part of subjects, which are in its content, points out this aspect. Thus, in the Qurʾān, the new ones are being added in another place to things referred as blessing in one place. Also, sometimes the blessings with entirely different contents are included. For example, the blessing of God upon Muslims is His support on a battle. In another place rendering them as brothers is a blessing. This is also an example that blessing was partially explained in the Qurʾān. The explanation of the word is sometimes in the same context and sometimes in different contexts. For example, in the verse 47 of the Surah al-Baqara, the blessing given to Jews in the time of Moses is mentioned. Starting from the next verse, between the verses 49-61, these blessings are aligned. Moreover, the blessing that was given to prophets, martyrs and righteous (siddiq) can be an example for the explanation of blessing in the different verses of the Qurʾān. These people who have been given blessing are mentioned side by side in the verse 69 of al-Nisā’. However, it is not explained that what the blessing given to them is. Each blessing mentioned is explained in different places in the Qurʾān. While some part of blessing is determined by the Qurʾān itself, the other part is attempted to be determined by commentators. Given that the explanations in the Qurʾān and commentaries, the subjects that affected by blessing can be divided into two as tangible and intangible blessings. The resources offered for humans to maintain their lives, emancipation a slave, the wind that helps the ship to move forward and Muhammad himself as a prophet are the tangible ones. Faith, miracle, mercy, reward, retrieving safety, the place where all kind of resources and ease, peace and happiness exist (Heaven) can be commentated as intangible blessings. The subjects included in the concept of blessing in the Qurʾān are changing according to the context. The blessing from God upon believers is “the faith granted by God on the earth” in one place, and “the Heaven bestowed in the afterlife” in another place. When determining the close and opposite meanings of the word, it should not be ignored this aspect of the blessing. In other words, it changes according to the context. For example, if the content of blessing is “the resource presented to human beings”, the close meaning of it in the Qurʾān is “compassion”, the opposite meaning of it is “harm”. However, if the thing that fell within blessing is “reward”, the close meaning will be “good deed”, opposite meaning will be “torment”. The blessing changes according to the addressed person as well. It is the all kind of resource that God presents to humans if the human kind is in question. If it is for a believer, it means moral support and every kind of reward as well as the resources offered. However, if it is relevant to a prophet, the prior meaning is prophethood as well as the meanings above. The expression of blessing in the Qurʾān helps us to have more opinion about it. For example, blessing has a positive meaning according to the Qurʾān. The word’s positive aspect is emphasized by comparing things that cannot be blessing to negative person types. The perception of blessing of Pharaoh and a hypocrite that is expressed in the Qurʾān can be evaluated in this content. According to the Qurʾān, the blessing they qualify is not in the context of blessing. Another aspect that draws attention in the expression of blessing in the Qurʾān is the relationship between the blessing giver and receiver. This relationship between God and servants takes place both in the earth and the afterlife. First, God has presented blessing to humans by considering that he/she is worth creating. Human beings show ingratitude or gratitude for being created and all other blessings. Here, the blessing is a test tool for humans. God responds according to the behaviors of human beings in test. He gives this response either only in the afterlife or both in the afterlife and the earth. If the humans respond the blessing with gratitude, God puts him/her to the heaven full of blessings in the afterlife. The blessing here is the result of the test on the earth. So the purpose of expression of blessing in the Qurʾān is to direct the humans to exhibit the behavior with that God is pleased, gain His contentment, deserve His heaven full of blessings. This is the reason that prophets remind the blessings of God to humans while they invite them to religion. Prophets invite people to believe, worship and be moral toward God as a response to these blessings. Even though the content of blessing changes according to addressed person and time, the principle of the relationship between God and His servants does not change. Blessing and gratitude or blasphemy shall continue to exist as long as mankind exists. Here, the principle of “Every blessing’s gratitude is its own type” can be remembered. This principle recommends that giving thanks to God by tongue only for blessings will not be enough. Because of that, how should be grateful for different blessings should be exemplified. These definitions containing examples help us to understand better the purpose of expression of blessing in the Qurʾān. For example, the gratitude for humans’ own equipment can be through remembering always Him who gave that equipment, obey and worship Him constantly. Gratitude for children and good fortune happens by directing them towards God’s sake. As for the gratitude for the blessing of the universe, that contains signs of the existence of God, can be through recognizing his/her Creator and maintaining its existing order. If human beings break this order, he/she would be ungrateful because this would be an attitude against the one who created this order. Just as a servant might be ungrateful to God when he/she does not appreciate the blessing of prophet that reminds us God, exhibiting negative attitude against the universe that points out the existence of God is a kind of ungratefulness against God as well. So that, the blessing carries humans to faith and worship dimensions and also to moral dimension in terms of relationship between himself/herself and other things. The modern-day people need this Qurʾānic perspective. A human being should review his/her relationship between himself/herself, God, other people and the nature, then he/she should try to reach the Qurʾānic dimension by being grateful properly for blessings that he/she has.

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