- Abdul-Lateef Sabir
The Rib - One Soul 4:1
O mankind! Protect yourself from pain and suffering from your Lord. Who developed and originated you without a similar precedence from one soul and created from it, its pair; and propagated and spread from both of them many men and women. And have regard for Allah, whom you beseech from him by oath, and the wombs. Indeed, Allah is over you Watchful.
It is in the book of Genesis in the Bible, where it says G-d created man, and man should not be alone. So, from one of his ribs, he created a woman. Just as G-d uses metaphorical language in the Qur’an, it is used in the Bible as well. In Genesis, the first Prophet is identified as a “man” and not by his name. We know all prophets speaks to our minds to show the human being how to live their lives under the order of G-d. Therefore, “man” means mind. The intellect of the human being.
The rib is part of the bone structure in the human body and therefore is strong and rigid. However, it curves at one end and is flexible. Because it protects the vital organs such as the lungs, it can expand when taking in air. Now in this very chapter and verse (4:1), it is entitled “The Women” and the verse speaks about the soul. And the intellect is a component of the soul.
If we look at the rib, it looks like a hook; not only is it curved, but it also is not straight; it’s crooked. If Man means Mind and this rib came from our minds, then our mind can be crooked at times; subtle, sneaky or clever at times. We have to be clever sometimes and not always rigid. Life will put us in situations where sometimes we may have to be subtle. But when doing so, we must always use our subtleness, our sneakiness, and our cleverness in the way of truth and justice. Just as the rib protects the vital organs, the bending of our minds must at the same time, protect our souls from doing wrong.
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