Every word in the Quran has been specifically selected by God. Even how that word is spelled or the placement of that word in the sentence has been divinely dictated by God for a special reason. As we study the Quran, God allows us to slowly unlock these gems and increase in appreciation for this immense blessing that God has bestowed upon us.

[10:57] O people, enlightenment has come to you herein from your Lord, and healing for anything that troubles your hearts, and guidance, and mercy for the believers.

 يَاأَيُّهَا النَّاسُ قَدْ جَاءَتْكُمْ مَوْعِظَةٌ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ وَشِفَاءٌ لِمَا فِي الصُّدُورِ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةٌ لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ

[20:114] Most Exalted is GOD, the only true King. Do not rush into uttering the Quran before it is revealed to you, and say, “My Lord, increase my knowledge.”

 فَتَعَالَى اللَّهُ الْمَلِكُ الْحَقُّ وَلَا تَعْجَلْ بِالْقُرْآنِ مِنْ قَبْلِ أَنْ يُقْضَىٰ إِلَيْكَ وَحْيُهُ وَقُلْ رَبِّ زِدْنِي عِلْمًا

The Quran often utilizes words with subtle symbolism that is clear in the Arabic, but not always conveyed when translating the Quran. An example of this is in the following verse:

[17:67] If you are afflicted in the middle of the sea, you forget your idols and sincerely implore Him alone. But as soon as He saves you to the shore, you revert. Indeed, the human being is unappreciative.

 وَإِذَا مَسَّكُمُ الضُّرُّ فِي الْبَحْرِ ضَلَّ مَنْ تَدْعُونَ إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ فَلَمَّا نَجَّاكُمْ إِلَى الْبَرِّ أَعْرَضْتُمْ وَكَانَ الْإِنْسَانُ كَفُورًا

To appreciate the word selection it helps to look at the verse word by word in Arabic and draw your attention towards two particular words:

The word ضَلَّ / ḍalla occurs 18 times in the Quran. In every other occurrence it is in the context of one who strayed and is translated as “[he] strayed”, as in from the right path, but in this verse it is in the context of one who abandoned. So when reading this in Arabic there is an inert connection that the reason the person is afflicted with hardship is because they strayed from the right path.

The other interesting word selection is the word الْبَرِّ / l-bari which means land or shore, but has the same root as the word الْبِرِّ / l-biri which means “[the] righteousness”.

From this veres there is an underlying symbolism of one who is astray and because of that they are facing hardship, then God blesses them with righteousness which eliminates their hardship, only for them to revert again afterwards.

[17:68] Have you guaranteed that He will not cause the land, on shore, to swallow you? Or, that He will not send upon you a tempest, then you find no protector?

 أَفَأَمِنْتُمْ أَنْ يَخْسِفَ بِكُمْ جَانِبَ الْبَرِّ أَوْ يُرْسِلَ عَلَيْكُمْ حَاصِبًا ثُمَّ لَا تَجِدُوا لَكُمْ وَكِيلًا

[17:69] Have you guaranteed that He will not return you to the sea another time, then send upon you a storm that drowns you because of your disbelief? Once this happens, we will not give you another chance.

 أَمْ أَمِنْتُمْ أَنْ يُعِيدَكُمْ فِيهِ تَارَةً أُخْرَىٰ فَيُرْسِلَ عَلَيْكُمْ قَاصِفًا مِنَ الرِّيحِ فَيُغْرِقَكُمْ بِمَا كَفَرْتُمْ ثُمَّ لَا تَجِدُوا لَكُمْ عَلَيْنَا بِهِ تَبِيعًا

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