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'Stage between towns' - Surah Saba


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N. Truth Seeker
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« on: August 13, 2013, 07:52:54 pm »

 BismEm


"And We set, between them and the towns which We had blessed, towns easy to be seen, and We made the stage between them easy, (saying): Travel in them safely both by night and day."  (34:18).

"But they said: Our Lord! Make the stage between our journeys longer. And they wronged themselves, therefore We made them bywords (in the land) and scattered them abroad, a total scattering. Lo! herein verily are portents for each steadfast, grateful (heart)."  (34:19).


I have been reflecting the Quranic description of "stage between" implying between towns.  Apparently it's concerning traveling.  Does it refer to any specific conditions existing in towns for the benefit of travelers? 

Moreover, I presume Saba is the name of a place .. an ancient name which has now been changed.  Which place might it be?
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Zeynab
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« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2013, 10:36:45 pm »

A lot of people have opined that the reference is to the Sabaeans or the residents of Saba, which is the title of this Surah.  Saba (or Sheba) is probably the old name for Yemen.  Few thinkers also surmise that Saba maybe a reference to today's Ethiopia. The idea of linking Saba or Sheba with Ethiopia comes from the history of some old Ethiopian dynasties who linked their descendancy from the Queen of Sheba.  But more likely it's Yemen. 

You're right .. these two verses are about traveling.  As I read it, the expression "stage between" refers to the distance between towns.
 
In V.34:18 perhaps the indication is to the comforts available for the travelers of Saba. "And We set, between them and the towns which We had blessed," may imply to the long stretches of traveling land, from south to the north across the Arabian peninsula.  Probably from Yemen to the borders of Syria .... the entire journey passed through stretches of uninhabited as well as populated lands. But perhaps this Verse implies to well-planned paths for traveling with resting places through populated areas, so that the stops made by travelers for either overnight stay or midday rest before reaching their destination could be easily and safely planned beforehand and acquired.  It's hugely different from traveling through uninhabited regions and vast deserts where there are no arrangements for travelers to take a break from their journey nor any surety for their safety.  So they simply have to take a chance by stopping anywhere along the path, whenever they're tired.   While I'm not sure if the busy roads in those ancient times were muddy tracks or had a more solid base, the Verse may also refer to developed surroundings of the traveler's path such as clearly paved-out tracks, inns, rest houses, small markets and shops selling foods and clothes, wells containing potable water, places for horses and camels of travelers to eat and rest,  etc. .... all of this for the convenience, comfort and safety of travelers.

V.34:19 clearly refers to the ingratitude of the people of this community.  Even though Allah, through His infinite mercy and consideration, had provided them the knowhow of constructing, developing and safely linking their travel destinations, they were still not thankful and kept demanding more ease and comfort.

And only Allah would know the most precise details. 
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« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2013, 11:06:52 pm »

Thank you very much Sister Zeynab.  I follow it perfectly well now.  Alhumdulilah.
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« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2016, 01:59:49 pm »

Ah!  Thank Allah Almighty that I located the probable commentary of these Verses.  I was reading this Surah last night and needed to discuss these two Verses.  Your comment is very helpful Sister Zeynab.  Can anyone throw some light on Verse 34:19 quote "Our Rab! Make the stage between our journeys longer."  I assume this means making the distance longer .. that is, making the journey longer. What might be the reason for that or what could that refer to?
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« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2016, 02:13:05 pm »

.... Can anyone throw some light on Verse 34:19 quote "Our Rab! Make the stage between our journeys longer."  I assume this means making the distance longer .. that is, making the journey longer. What might be the reason for that or what could that refer to?

Salam Sis! Smiley  I think this means that the people wanted more comforts to be built for their convenience along the travelers roads so that travelers could stopover more frequently and for longer duration.  Obviously this would increase the traveling time and thus make the wayfaring longer.  In my opinion this is what is meant by making the stage of the journey longer.   But only Allah knows best.    
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« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2016, 02:19:57 pm »

Wa'salam dear sis  Cheesy    Many thanks.  Yes, get your point.  I think you're right.  Allah bless.  InshAllah, will get in touch on email.
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