Saturday 12 March 2011


I have been reading about l-'ijl and put the Word Study up on search.Quran Addict

I pondered, how the "biʿij'lin" as something to eat (takulūna) (from 51:26-27) could fit in with the premise of hastening and impatience. It makes sense to me that  l-'ijl could be the opposite of "sabr" (2:61 naṣbira, 7:128 wa-iṣ'birū, 14:5 ṣabbārin) and also 76:24-27 mentions fa-iṣ'bir and l-ʿājilata

2:93 uses the words "wa-ush'ribū fī qulūbihimu l-ʿij'la" so I infer the drinking (ush'ribu) here to be metaphorical in the sense of consuming, spiritually because of "fi qulubihimu". So I wondered whether the eating (takuluna) is metaphorical too.  

Having said that, it is interesting that in German, "Schnellimbiss" is a "snack" or "quick/fast snack". So I imagined the possibility that maybe Ibrahim served his guests entrees, or appetisers. This link to Lanes Lexicon, right hand column, 13 lines down does not disagree with this hypothesis. 

In 15:52 - Ibrahim was afraid (wajilūnaof his  guests (ḍayfi), and in 11:69 Ibrahim returned to his  guests  "biʿij'lin anīdhin" which makes me think possibly "sweating with haste/panic" (if not with the hospitable snacks) see middle column, half way down. 
11:74 shows Ibrahim was shocked/frightened/alarmed (l-rawʿu)
In 51:26 Ibrahim came to his honoured guests (ḍayfi l-ib'rāhīma muk'ramīna 51:24) with biʿij'lin  samīnin. Samin usually means "plump" or "fat". If one were sweating in haste/distress, that could  be described as a "full"  panic or one could even be considered "moist" as that is another possible use of the word "samin" according to :  

Another way of looking at it is if the "snacks" were prepared with butter/fat, if food was indeed present.

If there is no food, then asking them in 51:27 (alā takulūna"do you not eat?" seems senseless unless asking whether they eat is a way of establishing if they are mortal or not (compare with 21:8, and 5:75 establishing Messengers as mortals because they eat, and 23:51; and 25:7 which implies angels do not eat)   Also see middle column which shows an expression of saying that someone has died is that he has stopped eating, which could lead one to believe (by some stretch of the imagination, admittedly)  that asking whether someone eats is a way of asking if they are alive/mortal. Either way, in 11:70 we see that the guest's hands were not taṣilu (reaching - from waw-sad-lam!) it shows they didn't want to eat and that's when Ibrahim started to feel nakirahum (uneasiness) and wa-awjasa (apprehension) and khīfatan (fear)

14:21 shows another good word for the opposite of ṣabarnā :  ajaziʿ'nā

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