Monday, 3 July 2017

The Quranic Philosophy on Positioning the Visual Sense Early Then the Audio Sense When Both of Them Mentioned Side By Side in Several Verses



The paper has been presented in the 4th YRU NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE IN ISLAMIC EDUCATION AND EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT: FUTURE AND CHALLENGES
(YALA RAJABHAT UNIVERSITY, THAILAND)
Date 18th-19th 2017
(http://edu.yru.ac.th/islam_me/view/98_THE_4th_YRU_NATIONAL_AND_INTERNATIONAL_CONFERENCE__.html)

Written by the following main author and co-authors: 

*Muhammad Widus Sempo (Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia)
Robiatul Adawiyah Mohd (Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia)
Abdul Karim Toure (Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia)
 Abdul Rahman Obeid Hussein (Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia)
Norullisza Khosim (Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia)
Norazimas Idayu Ahmad (Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia)
 Nor Wahida Mohamed (Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia)

*Corresponding author: widus81@usim.edu.my

Abstract
Commonly the audio sense had a highest frequency of earliest mention over the visual sense when both of them mentioned arm in arm in the Quran. Therefore, there are many studies done on this particular issue including our article ‘The Quranic Philosophy on Superiority of Audio Sense against Visual Sense based on the Book of Exegesis (tafsir) and Science Reports” presented in World International Conference on Islamic Sciences (WICOIS2016). Since the study of the earliest mention of visual sense over the hearing sense in the Quran is very rare and it should be in order to gather a complete knowledge of both senses frequency in Quran; Audio and Visual sense, this study will focus on it by extracting firstly the number of verses mentioning the visual sense earliest than the audio sense. Secondly, the study will examine also the Quranic philosophy behind the mentioning visual sense earliest then the audio sense when both of them mentioned side by side in several Quranic verses.


Keyword: Quranic Philosophy; Visual Sense; Audio Sense; Verses


Introduction
Indeed, the audio sense (al-sama’) got highest frequency of being placed firstly then the visual sense (al-basar) when both of them mentioned side by side in the Quran (Ibn Adil al-Hanbali, 1998: 10/339). Nevertheless, the visual sense (al-basar) occasionally has been placed early then the audio sense (al-sama’) in several verses (Ibn Arafah, 2008: 3/39). Since the Quran has a reason of making the audio sense (al-sama’) got superiority against the visual sense (al-basar) in many verses, perhaps on the contrary the Quran philosophically has also a strong reason.
To gather the complete knowledge of both senses frequency in the Quran; the audio and the visual, both of them should be studied comprehensively and separately from each other. Since the study of superiority of audio sense (al-sama’) against the visual sense (al-basar) has been completely studied, the focus now is more on the precedence of the visual sense (al-basar) over the audio sense (al-sama’).
To best of our knowledge, here are some results of the previous study on The Quranic Philosophy on Superiority of Audio Sense against Visual Sense based on the Book of Exegesis (tafsir) and Science Reports” as follows:
[1]            being placed firstly then others in such a position points out logically that the first one is more important than another. That is why audio sense is most important than the sight (Al-Qurtubi, 1964).
[2]            The audio sense is the most significant instrument for transforming knowledge, rather than sight. It is because an audio sense being an important part of producing such good result in terms of thinking and mental integrity (Ibn Asyur, 1984: 1/258).
[3]            The audio sense is more involved in attracting others to listen to da’wah (speech), rather than sight (Alusi, 1995: 1/138).
[4]            The audio sense may catch up easily several sounds from the six areas of audio contact at the same time, which is the sound coming from the front, behind, right side, left side, top, and the bottom (Alusi, 1995: 1/138).
[5]            Both ear and heart have a partnership in dealing with six areas of an object contacting (Alusi, 1995: 1/138).
[6]            The importance for audio rather than sight in the purification of the soul (Mohammadreza Rajabnejad, 2012. Pg. 11).
[7]            In Embryo, the eye begins to form after the inner ear  has seized its first form. Hence, the audio sense is being active before visual sense (Abdul Azim Ibrahim, 1992).
[8]            In the process of learning and understanding, the ear is more important than the eye in acquiring knowledge especially in the field of science (Seifollahi V, 1378).
[9]            In physiology, the last sense that loses its sensitivity is the audio sense. For example in cases such as, getting to sleep, unconsciousness, a reduction of oxygen in the air, or when the brain has no more blood supporting, the last sense that loses its sensitivity is the audio sense (Al-Hilai, 2015).
[10]       Further, the audio sense is always functioning. It is because the ear psychologically can hear the sounds in sleep or even when one is unconscious (Paknejad, (n.d.). pg. 105; World International Conference on Islamic Science, 2016).

Objectives
We aim to achieve the following objectives:
1. To identify how many verses in the Quran placed early the word of Basara (بصر) for visual sense than the word of Samia (سمع) for audio sense when both of them mentioned side by side in Quran.
2. To analyze the Quranic philosophy of placing word of Basara (بصر) for visual sense early then the word of Samia (سمع) for audio sense when both of them mentioned all together.

Methods
To address the issue of this research, firstly the data is gathered through searching the frequency of Basara (بصر) for visual sense in the Quran and choosing among the data number of verses that placed visual sense early then the audio sense.
Secondly, those verses will be critically analyzed in qualitative approach by using question-answer in order to come out with the expectation result.

Result and Discussion:
By using the Quranic Arabic Corpus Online, we found that Basara (بصر) for visual sense has been placed early then the Samia (سمع) for audio sense in the five verses only as following:

Frequency
Chapter/verse
The Quranic Morphology of the Word of Basara (بصر) for Visual Sense and  the Word of Sama’ (سمع) for Audio Sense
Translation
Verse
1
As-Sajdah (32: 12) 
أَبْصَرْنَا وَسَمِعْنَا
Absharnā wa Sami’nā

We have now seen and heard
(وَلَوْ تَرَىٰ إِذِ الْمُجْرِمُونَ نَاكِسُو رُءُوسِهِمْ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِمْ رَبَّنَا أَبْصَرْنَا وَسَمِعْنَا فَارْجِعْنَا نَعْمَلْ صَالِحًا إِنَّا مُوقِنُونَ)
2
Al-Kahfi (18: 26)
أَبْصِرْ بِهِ وَأَسْمِعْ
Abshir bih wa Asmi’

How clearly He sees and hears (everything)!
قُلِ اللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا لَبِثُوا لَهُ غَيْبُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ أَبْصِرْ بِهِ وَأَسْمِعْ مَا لَهُم مِّن دُونِهِ مِن وَلِيٍّ وَلَا يُشْرِكُ فِي حُكْمِهِ أَحَداً
3
Al-A’raf (7:179)
وَلَهُمْ أَعْيُنٌ لَّا يُبْصِرُونَ بِهَا وَلَهُمْ آذَانٌ لَّا يَسْمَعُونَ بِهَا 

Wa Lahum A’yunun La Yubshiruna bihā wa Lahum Āzānun La Yasmauna bihā

And they have eyes wherewith they see not, and they have ears wherewith they hear not (the truth)
وَلَقَدْ ذَرَأْنَا لِجَهَنَّمَ كَثِيرًا مِّنَ الْجِنِّ وَالْإِنسِ ۖ لَهُمْ قُلُوبٌ لَّا يَفْقَهُونَ بِهَا وَلَهُمْ أَعْيُنٌ لَّا يُبْصِرُونَ بِهَا وَلَهُمْ آذَانٌ لَّا يَسْمَعُونَ بِهَا ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ كَالْأَنْعَامِ بَلْ هُمْ أَضَلُّ ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْغَافِلُونَ

4
Al-A’raf (7: 195)
أَمْ لَهُمْ أَعْيُنٌ يُبْصِرُونَ بِهَا ۖ أَمْ لَهُمْ آذَانٌ يَسْمَعُونَ بِهَا 
Am Lahum A’yunun Yubshiruna bihā Am Lahum Āzānun Yasmauna bihā

Or have they eyes wherewith they see? Or have they ears wherewith they hear?
أَلَهُمْ أَرْجُلٌ يَمْشُونَ بِهَا ۖ أَمْ لَهُمْ أَيْدٍ يَبْطِشُونَ بِهَا ۖ أَمْ لَهُمْ أَعْيُنٌ يُبْصِرُونَ بِهَا ۖ أَمْ لَهُمْ آذَانٌ يَسْمَعُونَ بِهَا ۗ قُلِ ادْعُوا شُرَكَاءَكُمْ ثُمَّ كِيدُونِ فَلَا تُنظِرُونِ
5
Hud (11: 24)
وَالْبَصِيرِ وَالسَّمِيعِ 
Al-Bashiri wa As-Sami’i

And the seer and the hearer
مَثَلُ الْفَرِيقَيْنِ كَالْأَعْمَىٰ وَالْأَصَمِّ وَالْبَصِيرِ وَالسَّمِيعِ ۚ هَلْ يَسْتَوِيَانِ مَثَلًا ۚ أَفَلَا تَذَكَّرُونَ

Now, each verse will be critically analyzed by quoting the interpretation of different Quranic commentators as follows:

First verse:

(وَلَوْ تَرَىٰ إِذِ الْمُجْرِمُونَ نَاكِسُو رُءُوسِهِمْ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِمْ رَبَّنَا أَبْصَرْنَا وَسَمِعْنَا فَارْجِعْنَا نَعْمَلْ صَالِحًا إِنَّا مُوقِنُونَ)
“And if you only could see when the mujrimin (criminals, disbelievers, polytheists, sinners) shall hang their heads before their Lord (saying): “Our lod! We have now seen and heard, so sendu s back (to the world), that we will do righteous good deeds. Verily, we now believe with certainty.” (As-Sajdah (32:12).
In this divine script ((رَبَّنَا أَبْصَرْنَا وَسَمِعْنَا, the word of Basara (بصر) for visual sense has been placed early then the Samia (سمع) for the audio sense. Perhaps, the pattern itself has a divine goal which needs further exploration from the Quranic interpreters. So, what divine goal is it?
To answer this above question, Fadhil as-Samura’i (2002: 40) quoted:
“In this verse, the word of absarna (أَبْصَرْنَا) which means “we saw” placed firstly before the word of Sami’na (سَمِعْنَا) which means “We heard” because of the structure of verse itself is about doomsday. At the first day of resurrection, the visual sense is active early then the audio sense. Therefore, people with their eyes will see before they hear at that particular time.
It is supported by strong evidence from the Quran when Allah said in the verse of 68, Az-Zumar chapter:
(ثُمَّ نُفِخَ فِيهِ أُخْرَىٰ فَإِذَا هُمْ قِيَامٌ يَنْظُرُونَ).
“Then it will be blown a second time, and behold, they will be standing, looking on (waiting).”
Indeed, at the first day of resurrection, every humankind feel fair on their self because keeping touch directly to the real phenomenon of doomsday. Moreover, people doesn’t care anymore about others. What inside their hearts and minds is only their self, ‘am I free from the torments of the hellfire or not?”
Therefore, the visual sense being addressed early then the visual sense in the above verse because the eyes affect more the heart towards a feeling of afraid of.

Second Verse:

(قُلِ اللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا لَبِثُوا لَهُ غَيْبُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ أَبْصِرْ بِهِ وَأَسْمِعْ مَا لَهُم مِّن دُونِهِ مِن وَلِيٍّ وَلَا يُشْرِكُ فِي حُكْمِهِ أَحَداً(
Say: “Allah knows best how long they stayed. With Him is (the knowledge of) the Unseen of the heavens and the earth. How clearly He sees and hears (everything)! They have no Wali (Helper, Disposer of affairs, Protector) other than Him, and He makes none to share in His Decision and His Rule.” (Al-Kahfi (18:26).
Why has the visual sense been placed in front of the audio sense as shown in the divine text above (أَبْصِرْ بِهِ وَأَسْمِعْ)?
Because of the story of the ashabul kahfi has been addressed in this verse, they are the group of young people, who escaped their self from the tyranny of the dictator at that time and chosen the cave as their dwelling in order to be unnoticed by any people, but Allah have seen them even though they were in the dark of cave. All of them noticed each other to be extra of being careful in protecting their self from people around. So, the issue is a seeing, how to avoid the eyes people in their effort of seeking a shelter from any harm? Because of that reason, word Abshir bih (أَبْصِرْ بِهِ) which meant ‘How clearly He sees’ placed early then the word Asmi' (أَسْمِعْ) which meant ‘How clearly He hears’ in this verse (Fadhil as-Samurai. (2002: 41).
Admittedly, if you wish to be not unseen by people around, you are going to seek a refuge in the unseen place. The same goes to the Ashabul Kahfi who protected their self in the cave from the tyranny of the dictator at that time. So, the human sense involved more in this particular case is the eyes. It is the reason why the above verse placed the visual sense early then the audio sense. 

Third Verse:

(وَلَقَدْ ذَرَأْنَا لِجَهَنَّمَ كَثِيرًا مِّنَ الْجِنِّ وَالْإِنسِ ۖ لَهُمْ قُلُوبٌ لَّا يَفْقَهُونَ بِهَا وَلَهُمْ أَعْيُنٌ لَّا يُبْصِرُونَ بِهَا وَلَهُمْ آذَانٌ لَّا يَسْمَعُونَ بِهَا ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ كَالْأَنْعَامِ بَلْ هُمْ أَضَلُّ ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْغَافِلُونَ).
And surely, We have created many of the jinn and mankind for Hell. They have hearts wherewith they understand not, and they have eyes wherewith they see not, and they have ears wherewith they hear not (the truth). They are like cattle, nay even more astray; those! They are the headless ones. (Al-A’raf (7:179)
Again the visual sense that formulated in the plural form A’yun (أَعْيُنٌ) which means ‘eyes’ being mentioned early then the audio sense A’dsan (آذَانٌ) which means ‘ears’ in this divine scripture (وَلَهُمْ أَعْيُنٌ لَّا يُبْصِرُونَ بِهَا وَلَهُمْ آذَانٌ لَّا يَسْمَعُونَ بِهَا ). What is the divine reason all about?
According to a usual pattern of the Quranic rhetoric, the audio sense should be placed early then the visual sense when both of them mentioned arm in arm. It is because of the importance of the audio sense performance in receiving the revealed knowledge sent down to Allah’s messengers as quoted in verse, number 7, Al-Baqarah chapter (خَتَمَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِمۡ وَعَلَىٰ سَمۡعِهِمۡۖ وَعَلَىٰٓ أَبۡصَٰرِهِمۡ غِشَٰوَةٞۖ. ) Accordingly, the verse above is not going to break this common pattern when placing eyes early then the ears. It is because the verse in Al-A’raf chapter is about positioning the human sense based on the function of sense itself which is started from the heart as the inner key of knowledge through the eyes and the ears as the tools of knowledge (Ibn Asyur. (1984: 9/182).
Certainly, the eyes catched up easily the objects more than then ears from the different areas of knowledge sources. The same goes to the above verses when emphasizing the source of knowledge where the eyes play a significant role. The unbelievers saw everyday before hearing a different signs of the onennes of Allah from the sky, plants and animals, but then they denied and neglected them.
Fourth verse:

(أَلَهُمْ أَرْجُلٌ يَمْشُونَ بِهَا ۖ أَمْ لَهُمْ أَيْدٍ يَبْطِشُونَ بِهَا ۖ أَمْ لَهُمْ أَعْيُنٌ يُبْصِرُونَ بِهَا ۖ أَمْ لَهُمْ آذَانٌ يَسْمَعُونَ بِهَا ۗ قُلِ ادْعُوا شُرَكَاءَكُمْ ثُمَّ كِيدُونِ فَلَا تُنظِرُونِ)
Have they feet wherewith they walk? Or have they hands wherewith they hold? Or have they eyes wherewith they see? Or have they ears wherewith they hear? Say (O Muhammad): “Call your (so-called) partners (of Allah) and then plot against me, and give me no respite! (Al-A’raf (7: 195)
In this divine text (أَمْ لَهم أَعْينٌ يُبْصِرُونَ بِهَا أَمْ لَهُمْ آذَانٌ يَسْمَعُونَ بها), the eyes again placed firstly then the ears where the verse itself is referred to the unbelievers. Perhaps, this particular pattern of Quran has a philosophy, so what is it?
In answering the above question, Abu Suud al-Imadi (n.d.): 3/306) quoted:
“The reason of positioning their feet and their hands early in this divine quoting (أَلَهُمْ أَرْجُلٌ يَمْشُونَ بِهَا ۖ أَمْ لَهُمْ أَيْدٍ يَبْطِشُونَ بِهَا ۖ) then their eyes and their ears at the (أَمْ لَهُمْ أَعْيُنٌ يُبْصِرُونَ بِهَا ۖ أَمْ لَهُمْ آذَانٌ يَسْمَعُونَ بِهَا ۗ) is an equitable of the feet and the hands as a suitable pair. Furthermore, without having no legs and hands, the unbelievers felt so humiliated, helpless and hurt. But then, the reason why eyes have been placed firstly then the ears in this divine sentence (أَمْ لَهُمْ أَعْيُنٌ يُبْصِرُونَ بِهَا ۖ أَمْ لَهُمْ آذَانٌ يَسْمَعُونَ بِهَا ۗ) is about the unbeliever’s feeling of humiliated being stronger by losing their eyes rather than losing ears.”
It is clearly mentioned that the above verse goes to emphasize Allah’s torment over the unbelievers by making their eyes being lost following their ears. Perhaps, losing eyes more painful than losing ears. That is the way the above verse mentioned the visual sense early then the audio sense.

Fifth Verse:

)مَثَلُ الْفَرِيقَيْنِ كَالْأَعْمَىٰ وَالْأَصَمِّ وَالْبَصِيرِ وَالسَّمِيعِ ۚ هَلْ يَسْتَوِيَانِ مَثَلًا ۚ أَفَلَا تَذَكَّرُونَ(
The likeness of the two parties is as the blind and the deaf, and the seer and the hearer. Are they equal when compared? Will you not  then take heed? (Hud (11: 24)
In this divine quoting (مَثَلُ الْفَرِيقَيْنِ كَالْأَعْمَىٰ وَالْأَصَمِّ وَالْبَصِيرِ وَالسَّمِيعِ ), the seer has been mentioned early then the hearer. Again, what is the divine reason of Quran in choosing this particular pattern when describing the likeness of believers and unbelievers?
To answer this above question, we quote Abu Hayyan interpretation of which he said:
The two parties here are unbelievers and believers. Because of earliest mention of unbelievers then the believers, the likeness both of them started placing unbelievers early, so that, al-Quran quotes, “Both of them like the blind and the deaf. Because of the blind has been mentioned early, structurally the seer will be coming first then the hearer because of the blind against the seer, while the deaf against the hearer.”
It seems that placing of the visual sense early then the audio sense is based on the verse structure itself that made a likeness of believers and unbelievers. The parable both of them goes to set up the blind against the seer and the deaf against the hearer.

Conclusions:
After considering the point of views of quranic commentators and scientist towards the superiority between audio and visual senses, the researchers come out with some results as follows:
[1] The visual sense sometimes placed early then the audio sense when the issue addressed by the Quranic verse is about doomsday as being described in As-Sajdah Chapter (32:12). The reason is because of the visual sense being active firstly then the audio sense at the first day of the resurrection.
[2] Sometimes the visual sense being addressed early then the audio sense because of following the narrative of the Quranic verse itself, like Ashabul Kahfi story. Because of they want to escape their self from the tyranny of the emperor at that time, the way to grant their self a safety is being protected from any harm of people around them by hiding their self in the cave. So, the human sense that involved more in the story of Ashabul Kahfi is a visual sense. Therefore, Al-Kahfi chapter (18: 26) mentioned the visual sense early then the audio sense.
[3] Because of realizing the positioning of human sense based on the function of sense itself, Al-A’raf chapter (7: 179) placed eyes early then the ears. Moreover, the visual sense may catch up easily several  objects from the different areas of seeing at the same time.
[4] Because of losing the eyes is very painful and uncomfortable rather than losing the ears, the Al-A’raf chapter (7:195) placed firstly the visual sense then the audio sense when talking about the punishment of unbelievers.
[5] Because of the blind against the seer and the deaf against the hearer, the Hud chapter (11:4) placed the visual sense early then the audio sense when talking about the likeness of two parties: unbelievers and believers.
[6] We hope this study can nurture our greater awareness of the Quranic knowledge related to the human senses. Indeed, al-Quran has articulate clearly before others the importance of both senses: audio and visual senses.
[7] The important impact of this study is strengthening Muslim's believe that the Quran is not belonging to Muhammad, nor other people, but it is revealed down to Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) to guide humankind to embrace the oneness of Allah. Furthermore, this study also will lead us to focus more on the Quranic verses structure in order to unpack the beauty of the divine Scripture of God Almighty.

Future Work:
The story of “Ashab al-Kahfi” (The Cave Owner) who fall asleep just after entering the cave for 309 years is linked strongly to the topic of this paper. It is because the reason for a deep sleep of Ashab al-Kahfi is their ears. Hopefully, will be another study in this particular case based on quranic commentaries and sciences reports.

Acknowledgments:
This paper presents a work that is supported by Two agencies in Malaysia as follows:
[1] Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE), under the Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS), coded by: USIM/FRGS/FPQS/32/51814, by the title “Model Baharu dalam Pengekstrakan Pola Quran berdasarkan Ontologi Tanzil Quran” through the collaboration of the lecturers of the Faculty of Quranic and Sunnah Studies at the Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM).
[2] Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM), under USIM short term grant (USG), coded by: PPP/USG-0115/FPQS/30/10715, by title: A New Approach of the Quran Contextual Meaning Based on Makkiy and Madaniy for the Word of Sama’, through the collaboration of the lecturers of the Faculty of Quranic and Sunnah Studies at the USIM.


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