In the Spirit of the Gracious and Compassionate
Creator of the Heavens and the Earth
ظَهَرَ الْفَسَادُ فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِي النَّاسِ لِيُذِيقَهُم بَعْضَ الَّذِي عَمِلُوا لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ
Corruption has appeared in the land and the sea by what the hands of human beings have earned so that he (Allah) may cause them to taste part of what they have done, so that perhaps they will turn back.
Recently, upon reading/reciting this ayah once again, I thought of pollution, climate change, and capitalism.
More and more, with every reading/recital, I find that the Arabic word (in this instance, “fasaad“) conveys something which the English word (“corruption”) does not convey, but instead conveys other meanings and connotations. I am learning the meanings and connotations of words in the Qur’an from their usages in various contexts in the Qur’an. Eventually, I come to have the meanings in Arabic in my heart and mind. Having English translations obviously — obviously — does not do that. English-speaking Americans — including African Americans — seem to be convinced that in order to mean something, words must mean something in English. There are numerous words in the Qur’an which have no English counterpart. Not technical terms. Common words — “nafs” — “falaah” — “qur’aan” — which, upon being given English “translations”, we think we know what they mean. It is better to realize that we don’t know, than to think that we do know, when we don’t know.
Every ayah in the Qur’an has more than one meaning. My understanding of it — this interpretation — is just one possible meaning.
Those human beings who have come to dominate the world over the last five or six centuries have polluted the land and the sea, brought about climate change which is becoming catastrophic, and exterminated many species of living creatures as well as many millions of human beings. All of this because they are greedy. What is happening is a recompense for only part of what they have done. They need to turn back, before it is too late.