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Offline Qualities of Allah

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Tenses Question
« on: May 26, 2021, 10:09:13 PM »
Assalamu Alaykum,
I just want to ask why does the Quran refer to future and present events as past tense? There are many examples, like Surah 56:1 is one of them: "When the Occurance occurs," إِذَا وَقَعَتِ الْوَاقِعَةُ

The word used here is وَقَعَتْ, which is actually a past tense verb which means "occured" so the literal meaning would be "When the Occurance occured," instead of "occurs". So why does the Quran talk about the Day of Judgment in the past tense instead of the future tense?

Also, Surah 4:148 says, "Allah does not like negative thoughts to be voiced—except by those who have been wronged. Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing."

لَا يُحِبُّ اللهُ الْجَهْرَ بِالسُّوْءِ مِنَ الْقَوْلِ إِلَّا مَنْ ظُلِمَ وَكَانَ اللهُ سَمِيْعًا عَلِيْمًا

The word used for "is" in "Allah is" is كَانَ, which is actually a past tense verb (can it be used in the present tense?)"was". So the literal meaning of وَكَانَ الله is "Allah was," instead of "Allah is". But Allah is always hearing and knowing. Instead of كَانَ, the word could have been يَكُونُ (no?), which is the present tense "is". So why does Allah use past tense verbs to describe  things that are in the present or future?

Offline QuranSearchCom

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Re: Tenses Question
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2021, 08:38:45 AM »
Wa Alaikum As'salam,

Past tense is used for Allah Almighty to tell every flesh and blood creation on this earth that Allah Almighty is the GOD Almighty of all times and all existence, and all infinity and all eternity.  Our earth and existence here is limited, and our logic can not encompass this.


Take care,
Osama Abdallah

Offline Qualities of Allah

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Re: Tenses Question
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2021, 09:45:36 AM »
I get why Allah uses past tense for future events now but I do not get why Allah says "وَكَانَ اللهُ سَمِيْعًا عَلِيْمًا" (Allah WAS hearing and knowing). But Allah is always hearing and knowing. Like the Day of Judgement will come to pass, which is why it is past tense, but Allah being hearing and knowing will never come to pass because He is always hearing and knowing and those are His Attributes. So please explain to me why Allah uses كَانَ for Himself when His Attributes are always there.

Offline QuranSearchCom

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Re: Tenses Question
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2021, 08:08:16 AM »
Kaana كَانَ when used for Allah Almighty it means what I described in the previous post, because it indeed is the closest word that can give us a simple picture of His Infinity.  Allah Almighty did use YAKOON (2:117), which is present of Kaana, when the Almighty Said when He wants to create something He commands it "be and it becomes" (2:117).  Here YAKOON was used, because it has beginning and end (all shall taste death) 3:185 كل نفس ذائقة الموت .  But with Allah Almighty past tense encompasses all past and present and future.  There is nothing comparable to Allah Almighty (112:004).  Our earthly grammar does not encompass Allah Almighty.  But the use of past tense is the most appropriate.


In a nutshell, before anything and everything was Allah Almighty.  Hence the use of past tense for Allah Almighty.

Offline Qualities of Allah

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Re: Tenses Question
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2021, 08:23:04 AM »
It was just a question when I was reading the Quran. Obviously the infidels have nothing, if the infidels argue about كَانَ they have to know that there are present tenses for Allah. (وَاللهُ سَمِيْعٌ عَلِيْمٌ) "And God is Hearing, Knowing." So forget about the infidels. I was just asking why كَانَ was sometimes used in the Quran. You have given a good answer saying كَانَ is for Allah and resembles the Eternal and Infinite Attributes and that they weren't just "become" one day.

جَزَاكُمُ اللهُ خَيْرًا

Offline QuranSearchCom

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Re: Tenses Question
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2021, 08:28:44 AM »
Jazaka Allah Khayr as well, brother.

Offline QuranSearchCom

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Re: Tenses Question
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2021, 04:09:51 PM »
Also brother, the past tense even in English can include the future.  For example, if you ask me "Do you own www.answering-christianity.com ?" or "Are you the owner of www.answering-christianity.com ?"

Technically, I can answer you something like this: "I've been since 1999".  "I've been" here doesn't stop at today and the future.  In other words, it doesn't mean that I stopped owning the website or no longer own the website.  No, on the contrary, it would mean here that I've been and I am still and will always insha'Allah be the owner of this website.  The context of "I've been" here means it is continuous.

So Allah Almighty using past tense is indeed most appropriate, because it does include the past, present and future and all infinity and all eternity.  So Kaana for Allah Almighty means that He's been and is and will always be.


Take care,
Osama Abdallah

Offline Qualities of Allah

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Re: Tenses Question
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2021, 02:06:40 PM »
Yeah I was thinking about it. It sounds more powerful. Like when Allah says, "And God was the Forgiving, the Merciful," He basically means, "And God was [since the beginning of time] the Forgiving, the Merciful." Instead of using "is" which can mean God just learned how to be Merciful and Forgiving, was means always.

Take care too.

Offline Qualities of Allah

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Re: Tenses Question
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2021, 02:45:00 PM »
I found a hadith which is related to this:

كَانَ اللهُ وَلَمْ يَكُنْ شَيْءٌ غَيْرُهُ

"God was and nothing else existed."

This hadith means that God always existed before anything (obviously) and it used كَانَ to say God existed. So, the Quran's use of كَانَ means that His Attributes "were" (with Him) and nothing was.




 

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