Blogging the Qur’an: Sura 36, “Ya Sin”

posted at 8:00 am on July 27, 2008 by Robert Spencer

Sura 36, “Ya Sin,” is a Meccan sura that takes its name from the two Arabic letters that begin it (v. 1) – and as with all the chapters that begin with such letters, in the words of the Tafsir al-Jalalayn, “God knows best what He means by these.” Muhammad said: “Whoever recites Ya Sin in the night, seeking the Face of Allah, will be forgiven,” and “Surah Ya Sin is the heart of the Qur’an.” Maududi explains that this because it “presents the message of the Qur’an in a most forceful manner, which breaks the inertness and stirs the spirit of man to action.”

Muhammad also said that “Reciting Ya-Sin at the beginning of the day makes the rest of the day easy for the person till night approaches. Also, reciting it with the approach of the night makes the rest of the night easy till the next day.” He directed his followers to “recite Surah Ya Sin to the dying ones among you.” This should be done, says Maududi, “not only to revive and refresh the whole Islamic creed in the mind of the dying person but also bring before him, in particular, a complete picture of the Hereafter so that he may know what stages he would have to pass through after crossing the stage of this worldly life.” And indeed, this sura does indeed “revive and refresh the whole Islamic creed,” as it sounds a goodly number of the same themes that we have seen in many other suras.

Allah swears by the Qur’an (v. 2) – that is, according to the Tafsir al-Jalalayn, “the “Definitive Qur’an, made definitive by its marvellous arrangement and unique meanings.” The deity addresses Muhammad in verses 2-12, reassuring him that he is indeed one of the prophets (v. 3), sent to warn a people who had not been warned before (v. 6) – that people is, says Ibn Kathir, “the Arabs, for no warner had come to them before him.” However, he adds, “the fact that they alone are mentioned does not mean that others are excluded,” and “the mission of the Prophet is universal.” And once again denying that human beings have free will even when it comes to belief or unbelief and avoiding hellfire, Allah says he has set barriers around the unbelievers so that they “cannot see,” (v. 9); the Tafsir al-Jalalayn says that this depicts “the way in which the paths of faith are closed to them.” The Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs agrees, saying that this verse means that Allah has “covered the insight of their hearts (so that they see not) the Truth and guidance.” Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam also concurs: “Allah placed this barrier between them and Islam and Iman [faith], so that they will never reach it.” Ibn Kathir paraphrases this passage as “We [i.e., Allah] have blinded their eyes to the truth.” So whether Muhammad warns them or not, they will continue in unbelief (v. 10) – as Ibn Kathir says: “Allah has decreed that they will be misguided, so warning them will not help them and will not have any effect on them.” Thus only believers will benefit from Muhammad’s warning (v. 11).

Then verses 13-29 recapitulate in the form of a parable the story that has been told many times before in the Qur’an, in connection with specific prophets: messengers come to a city (identified as Antioch by many Muslim commentators), but the people reject them, saying they’re only “men like ourselves” (v. 15) – as those who rejected Noah said about him (11:27; 23:24). And of course, Muhammad is also just an ordinary man (18:110). They respond by saying that their “duty is only to proclaim the clear Message” (v. 17) – just as is Muhammad’s (5:92; 5:99). Another man then comes up to warn the people, and is rewarded with Paradise, whereupon this messenger, enjoying Paradise, wishes that people knew what he knows (v. 26).

Verses 30-46 repeats warnings to the unbelievers. Mankind rejects and mocks Allah’s messengers (v. 30); don’t they see how many people Allah has destroyed (v. 31)? Everyone will face the judgment (v. 32); they don’t see the signs of Allah’s power in the natural world (vv. 33-42). One of these signs is that the sun runs its fixed course daily, but only “for a period determined for him” (v. 38). About this Muhammad explained that at sunset, the sun “goes (i.e. travels) till it prostrates itself underneath the Throne and takes the permission to rise again, and it is permitted and then (a time will come when) it will be about to prostrate itself but its prostration will not be accepted, and it will ask permission to go on its course but it will not be permitted, but it will be ordered to return whence it has come and so it will rise in the west. And that is the interpretation of the Statement of Allah: ‘And the sun runs its fixed course for a term (decreed)’ [v. 38].”

Allah could drown the unbelievers and no one would be able to help them (v. 43). Verses 47-54 repeat some of the scornful remarks of the unbelievers: they don’t need to feed the poor, because Allah would have fed them if he had so willed (v. 47), and they ask Muhammad when the Day of Judgment will come (v. 48). But once it comes upon them, they will cry out in woe (v. 52). But the believers, in verses 55-58, will enjoy Paradise, reclining on couches with their wives (v. 56) — the famous virgins appear in the next sura.

In verses 59-64 Allah addresses the unbelievers on the Day of Judgment, telling them to depart from his presence (v. 59) and reminding them that he warned them not to worship Satan (v. 60) and now Satan has led them astray (v. 62) and they must enter hell (vv. 63-64). In verses 65-68 Allah discusses the unbelievers: on the dreadful Day they will be unable to speak (v. 65), and he could have blotted out their eyes (v. 66). Ibn Abbas paraphrases this as “If We willed, We could have misguided them all away from true guidance, so how could they be guided” – which of course Allah says that he does in many places in the Qur’an (including, but not limited to 7:179; 10:99-100; 16:37; 32:13).

In verses 69-83 Allah emphasizes the miraculous nature of the Qur’an (vv. 69-70); the signs in the natural world (vv. 71-73; 77-81); and the powerlessness of the idols (vv. 74-75). He tells Muhammad not to let the unbelievers get him down (v. 76), as he does also in 3:176; 15:88; 26:3; and 31:23. For Allah has power over all things (vv. 82-83).

Next week: Sura 37, “The Ranks.” Meet the houris: in Paradise, the blessed “will sit with bashful, dark-eyed virgins, as chaste as the sheltered eggs of ostriches.”

(Here you can find links to all the earlier “Blogging the Qur’an” segments. Here is a good Arabic Qur’an, with English translations available; here are two popular Muslim translations, those of Abdullah Yusuf Ali and Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall, along with a third by M. H. Shakir. Here is another popular translation, that of Muhammad Asad. And here is an omnibus of ten Qur’an translations.)


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Comments

I read somewhere that reciting the Ya-Sin once = reciting the Koran in it’s entirety 10 times, is this true?

JetBoy on July 27, 2008 at 11:12 AM

About this Muhammad explained that at sunset, the sin “goes (i.e. travels) till it prostrates itself underneath the Throne and takes the permission to rise again,

typo??

I e-mailed to the tips address, but it must have gotten lost in the site update hullabaloo.

Thanks for all of your hard work and scholarship, Dr. Spencer.

hillbillyjim on July 27, 2008 at 12:03 PM

goes (i.e. travels) till it prostrates itself underneath the Throne and takes the permission to rise again, and it is permitted and then (a time will come when) it will be about to prostrate itself but its prostration will not be accepted, and it will ask permission to go on its course but it will not be permitted, but it will be ordered to return whence it has come and so it will rise in the west.

What? That reads like Jabberwocky. It is a sign of Allah’s power over the natural world that the sun rises every day?

Does Mohammed ever explain WHY the sun will rise in the west? What does this sign mean? That the day of judgment is at hand? What happens when the sun rises in the west to the earth and to man? Does he explain? Is there a cause and effect?

CrimsonFisted on July 27, 2008 at 12:05 PM

I really enjoy your posts Robert. I visit Jihad Watch daily also. We all learn how the muslims think.
L

letget on July 27, 2008 at 12:08 PM

Robert:

However, he adds, “the fact that they alone are mentioned does not mean that others are excluded,” and “the mission of the Prophet is universal.”

I know I’ve harped on this before, but this is a prima facie example of the logical pretzel-twist Islam works itself into: On the one hand, the message is universal and dawa is an obligation. On the other, Allah declares that most will go to Hell not because they refuse to believe, but because he has made sure they cannot believe.

Ignore for a moment the moral quandary this creates regarding the unbelievers victims, why on Earth would an all-knowing, all-powerful god waste his “beloved messenger’s” time preaching to people who are damned no matter what? In moments like these Allah reminds me of the pointy-haired boss from Dilbert.

I wonder who Islam’s Dogbert is? :)

irishspy on July 27, 2008 at 12:26 PM

I believe the name you’re looking for is Satan.

bikermailman on July 27, 2008 at 12:53 PM

If Dizzy was playing his horn in Mecca – I would dress up as a Muslim and go!

iam7545 on July 27, 2008 at 12:53 PM

I know I’ve harped on this before, but this is a prima facie example of the logical pretzel-twist Islam works itself into: On the one hand, the message is universal and dawa is an obligation. On the other, Allah declares that most will go to Hell not because they refuse to believe, but because he has made sure they cannot believe.

irishspy on July 27, 2008 at 12:26 PM

Yeah, I’m still with you on that. Since the Koran has made clear on several occaisions that Allah has already predetermined many to go to hell, and now there’s “healing” verses?

JetBoy on July 27, 2008 at 1:21 PM

How do Muslims reconcile the parts about the sun “traveling” when the fact is that it’s the earth that does the moving, and not the sun? Surely an omnipotent Allah would not have given his prophet erroneous information?

AZCoyote on July 27, 2008 at 2:05 PM

“Ya sin.”

Southern fried mohammed?

“Whoever recites Ya Sin in the night, seeking the Face of Allah, will be forgiven”

Forgiveness. I always thought this concept was relatively foreign to islam. It was the believers words & actions which determined the worthiness of the believer in the eyes of allah. Hence, the ‘ambiguous guilt complex’ many recovering muslims speak about – they never know if they are good enough to go to paradise. Perhaps this is why ‘martyrdom’ is so appealing to some islamists. Guaranteed admission to paradise.

A question for you, R.S.

Is the forgiveness derived from reciting ‘Ya Sin’ a daily confession thing which allows purification from a specific wrong, or a more permanent act of eternal forgiveness akin to the Christian concept of Christ’s sacrifice?

Thanks again for another good lesson.

locomotivebreath1901 on July 27, 2008 at 2:22 PM

Verses 30-46 repeats warnings to the unbelievers. Mankind rejects and mocks Allah’s messengers (v. 30); don’t they see how many people Allah has destroyed (v. 31)? Everyone will face the judgment (v. 32); they don’t see the signs of Allah’s power in the natural world (vv. 33-42). One of these signs is that the sun runs its fixed course daily, but only “for a period determined for him” (v. 38). About this Muhammad explained that at sunset, the sin “goes (i.e. travels) till it prostrates itself underneath the Throne and takes the permission to rise again, and it is permitted and then (a time will come when) it will be about to prostrate itself but its prostration will not be accepted, and it will ask permission to go on its course but it will not be permitted, but it will be ordered to return whence it has come and so it will rise in the west. And that is the interpretation of the Statement of Allah: ‘And the sun runs its fixed course for a term (decreed)’ [v. 38].”

Translation: if you can kill me, you must be right.

The foundations of Islamic logic!

infidelpride on July 27, 2008 at 3:06 PM

One of these signs is that the sun runs its fixed course daily, but only “for a period determined for him” (v. 38). About this Muhammad explained that at sunset, the sun “goes (i.e. travels) till it prostrates itself underneath the Throne and takes the permission to rise again, and it is permitted and then (a time will come when) it will be about to prostrate itself but its prostration will not be accepted, and it will ask permission to go on its course but it will not be permitted, but it will be ordered to return whence it has come and so it will rise in the west.

Mr. Spencer,
Some of the above posts have touched on this. It seems to me in this Sura Muhammad is once again demonstrating his limited knowledge of astronomy. Were Muhammad and the community around him aware of the Aristotelian Model of the Universe? It was the accepted theory at that time. This is not the first time the Qur’an has used astronomical parameters as “proof” of Allah’s might.

dentalque on July 27, 2008 at 4:14 PM

“Allah has decreed that they will be misguided, so warning them will not help them and will not have any effect on them.” Thus only believers will benefit from Muhammad’s warning (v. 11)

Then…

Verses 30-46 repeats warnings to the unbelievers.

Is it too much to ask for consistency even within the same Sura?

I think I know why Muhammad wanted this read to the dying. He wanted to give them one last chance to smarten up and become apostates.

TheBigOldDog on July 27, 2008 at 8:58 PM

JetBoy:

I read somewhere that reciting the Ya-Sin once = reciting the Koran in it’s entirety 10 times, is this true?

According to a hadith that pops up in Tirmidhi and several other sources, Muhammad said: “Whoever recites Yasin once Allah will record the reward of reciting the Qur’an ten times.”

Robert Spencer on July 27, 2008 at 9:21 PM

hillbillyjim:

Thanks. I don’t know where the Tips email goes, but I don’t see them. I’ve been hurtling through the skies in a sardine can all day, but I did have a minute in an airport earlier today to fix the typo. Thanks again.

Robert Spencer on July 27, 2008 at 9:23 PM

CrimsonFisted:

Does Mohammed ever explain WHY the sun will rise in the west? What does this sign mean? That the day of judgment is at hand? What happens when the sun rises in the west to the earth and to man? Does he explain? Is there a cause and effect?

My impression is that this will be a sign of the end times — a warning that this life will not go on forever.

Robert Spencer on July 27, 2008 at 9:25 PM

IrishSpy:

Ignore for a moment the moral quandary this creates regarding the unbelievers victims, why on Earth would an all-knowing, all-powerful god waste his “beloved messenger’s” time preaching to people who are damned no matter what?

This may be one reason why Allah consoles Muhammad so often in the Qur’an, telling him not to grieve over those who reject his message and that his duty is discharged once he has issued the warning.

Robert Spencer on July 27, 2008 at 9:27 PM

iam7545:

If Dizzy was playing his horn in Mecca – I would dress up as a Muslim and go!

Me too.

Meanwhile, speaking of non-Muslims going to Mecca, allow me to take this opportunity to recommend Admiral Sir Richard Burton’s Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina. Or some title close to that. Burton was an English officer who adopted the guise of a Muslim dervish and made the pilgrimage to Mecca in 1852. It’s a wildly entertaining and illuminating account of the Arab world in the mid-nineteenth century.

Robert Spencer on July 27, 2008 at 9:29 PM

AZCoyote:

How do Muslims reconcile the parts about the sun “traveling” when the fact is that it’s the earth that does the moving, and not the sun? Surely an omnipotent Allah would not have given his prophet erroneous information?

There is much made of alleged scientific prophecies in the Qur’an. Maurice Bucaille, a French convert to Islam, wrote a book about this that circulates widely. But then there are passages like this, which reflect a pre-scientific view, and are generally explained away as reflecting the perspective of the hearers of Muhammad, and not imparting scientific fact.

Robert Spencer on July 27, 2008 at 9:31 PM

locomotivebreath1901:

Is the forgiveness derived from reciting ‘Ya Sin’ a daily confession thing which allows purification from a specific wrong, or a more permanent act of eternal forgiveness akin to the Christian concept of Christ’s sacrifice?

It’s not entirely clear from the various traditions regarding the virtues of “Ya Sin,” but it does seem to be a get-out-of-jail-free card. That’s why it is recited over the deceased.

Robert Spencer on July 27, 2008 at 9:33 PM

dentalque:

Were Muhammad and the community around him aware of the Aristotelian Model of the Universe? It was the accepted theory at that time. This is not the first time the Qur’an has used astronomical parameters as “proof” of Allah’s might.

They had a prescientific, observation-based view of the universe. This does, as I explained above, create some problems for the oft-repeated claim that the Qur’an contains advanced scientific knowledge — advanced, that is, beyond the ken of 7th-century Arabs.

Robert Spencer on July 27, 2008 at 9:35 PM

TheBigOldDog:

Is it too much to ask for consistency even within the same Sura?

Oh, yes, it certainly is too much to ask. Consistency would be a limitation of the absolute sovereignty of Allah. It is the Jews — the worst enemies of the Muslims (Qur’an 5:82) — who say that “Allah’s hand is chained” (Qur’an 5:64). Allah’s hand is utterly unrestrained.

Robert Spencer on July 27, 2008 at 9:37 PM

My impression is that this will be a sign of the end times — a warning that this life will not go on forever.

Robert Spencer on July 27, 2008 at 9:25 PM

I’ll say! If the earth begins spinning in the opposite direction….

If the sun rose in the west, all my scout training is down the drain. And every thing I try to teach the kids about directions flies out the window too.

CrimsonFisted on July 27, 2008 at 9:49 PM

Me too.

Robert, great photo of Dizzy and thanks for these posts.

I thought that Dizzy was God?

No?

iam7545 on July 27, 2008 at 9:52 PM

But then there are passages like this, which reflect a pre-scientific view, and are generally explained away as reflecting the perspective of the hearers of Muhammad, and not imparting scientific fact.

Robert Spencer on July 27, 2008 at 9:31 PM

So the hearers of Muhammad got it wrong? Interesting — but doesn’t that raise the possibility that the hearers may have misheard (or misinterpreted through their perspective) other things that Muhammad said, meaning that other parts of the Qur’an could also contain information that is incorrect?

AZCoyote on July 27, 2008 at 9:53 PM

I thought that Dizzy was God?

No?

iam7545 on July 27, 2008 at 9:52 PM

I thought it was Eric Clapton? :)

CrimsonFisted on July 27, 2008 at 9:57 PM

I’ll say! If the earth begins spinning in the opposite direction….

If the sun rose in the west, all my scout training is down the drain. And every thing I try to teach the kids about directions flies out the window too.

CrimsonFisted on July 27, 2008 at 9:49 PM

Unfortunately there may be another way to interpret a sun rising in the West and that’s if it’s an artificial sun…

TheBigOldDog on July 27, 2008 at 10:06 PM

So the hearers of Muhammad got it wrong? Interesting — but doesn’t that raise the possibility that the hearers may have misheard (or misinterpreted through their perspective) other things that Muhammad said, meaning that other parts of the Qur’an could also contain information that is incorrect?

AZCoyote on July 27, 2008 at 9:53 PM

Perhaps the text was corrupted? Something they accuse of happening to Christian and Jewish texts.

dentalque on July 27, 2008 at 10:18 PM

iam7545:

I thought that Dizzy was God?

I don’t think so, but close. Maybe Coltrane?

Robert Spencer on July 27, 2008 at 11:46 PM

AZCoyote:

So the hearers of Muhammad got it wrong? Interesting — but doesn’t that raise the possibility that the hearers may have misheard (or misinterpreted through their perspective) other things that Muhammad said, meaning that other parts of the Qur’an could also contain information that is incorrect?

I’m not sure I follow you here. There is no mishearing necessary. What I meant was that the text reflected the way the world looks — the sun rises and sets. That is, the pre-scientific understanding, based on simple visual observation.

Robert Spencer on July 27, 2008 at 11:47 PM

The second paragraph in that last comment is, of course, my answer.

Robert Spencer on July 27, 2008 at 11:48 PM

I don’t think so, but close. Maybe Coltrane?

I thought Trane was Moses

Miles was Abraham

and

Art Blakey – King David

iam7545 on July 27, 2008 at 11:50 PM

iam7545:

I see your point about Miles and Trane, but Blakey as David? The chronology snags me.

Meanwhile, re Coltrane, there is of course this.

Robert Spencer on July 28, 2008 at 12:30 AM

The Sun(called Obama)rises in the West(called The Left)….hmm gonna have to work on that.

TBinSTL on July 28, 2008 at 1:57 AM

Robert, thanks for that link. Very cool. I have visited the monument to him in NC several times.

Look at all of the musicians that went through Blakeys Messengers. In mythical terms his energy was that of a King. He was dedicated to keeping the music alive.

Thanks again for the link.
Only in SF! ;)

iam7545 on July 28, 2008 at 10:54 AM

That’s Dizzy Gillespie!!! God rest ye merry soul!

iam7545:

If Blakey is King David, then Duke is God. Or is it E.C?

budorob on July 28, 2008 at 12:20 PM

iam7545:

Only in SF! ;)

Indeed.

I’ve been thinking of a few alternates today: first, on Coltrane’s Meditations there is the frenetic, tempestuous and magnificent piece “The Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost,” which many surmised was referring to Coltrane (the Father), Pharoah Sanders (the Son), and Albert Ayler (the Holy Ghost).

Or else one could see Miles as King David, Coltrane as King Solomon, and Archie Shepp and Pharoah Sanders as Rehoboam and Jeroboam, but how many people know enough OT and enough jazz to have followed me this far?

Robert Spencer on July 28, 2008 at 1:28 PM

but how many people know enough OT and enough jazz to have followed me this far?

Robert Spencer on July 28, 2008 at 1:28 PM

Are you kidding? You lost me about 3 posts ago, I know even LESS about music than about the Qur’an. That’s why I ask questions about Aristotle or what Muhammad knew about the planets!

dentalque on July 28, 2008 at 1:57 PM

Indeed.

I’ve been thinking of a few alternates today: first, on Coltrane’s Meditations there is the frenetic, tempestuous and magnificent piece “The Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost,” which many surmised was referring to Coltrane (the Father), Pharoah Sanders (the Son), and Albert Ayler (the Holy Ghost).

Or else one could see Miles as King David, Coltrane as King Solomon, and Archie Shepp and Pharoah Sanders as Rehoboam and Jeroboam, but how many people know enough OT and enough jazz to have followed me this far?

Robert, I will give you this. Listening to First Meditations is the closest I ever came to God! Did you ever read the linear notes on his ‘Live in Seattle” release?

FYI – I have a Cat named Miles – All Black and very sly
another Cat named Trane – very avante guard
A Cattle Dog named Ella as she is so joyful
and a Bearded Collie named “W” as he has the certain “look”

iam7545 on July 28, 2008 at 2:56 PM

I thought that Dizzy was God?

If God is love…

…and love is blind…

…then Ray Charles is God.

crazy_legs on July 28, 2008 at 3:52 PM

iam7545:

Robert, I will give you this. Listening to First Meditations is the closest I ever came to God! Did you ever read the linear notes on his ‘Live in Seattle” release?

First Meditations is incredibly great. It’s hard to believe he set it aside as unsatisfactory. But Meditations itself is a whole ‘nother thing. I can’t decide which is better. Both are fine with me.

I must have read the liner notes to Live in Seattle, but many years ago, and I no longer have it so I cannot revisit them.

Robert Spencer on July 28, 2008 at 4:31 PM

Just catching up on this discussion, and the repeat mentions of Jazz reminded me of another reason I could never be Muslim: The ban on music.

Just what did Muhammad have against music, or is that just a Wahhabi thing?

Back to Jazz, here’s my take:

If God is supernal, mystical, almost beyond understanding, above all worlds, yet touching one at the root of the soul, then Coltrane is God.

In that cosmology, Miles is the god of this world, trapped by his anger at it, but capturing its essence. (Although he almost crosses over with Sketches of Spain.)

The prophets are musicians like Lester Young, Horace Silver, Art Blakey, Elvin Jones, and Wayne Shorter.

Fun digression. :)

irishspy on July 28, 2008 at 11:02 PM

IrishSpy:

Just what did Muhammad have against music, or is that just a Wahhabi thing?

It ain’t just a Wahhabi thing. The prohibition of music is based on these statements by Muhammad:

“Allah Mighty and Majestic sent me as a guidance and mercy to believers and commanded me to do away with musical instruments, flutes, strings, crucifixes, and the affair of the pre-Islamic period of ignorance.”

“On the Day of Resurrection, Allah will pour molten lead into the ears of whoever sits listening to a songstress.”

“Song makes hypocrisy grow in the heart as water does herbage.”

“‘This community will experience the swallowing up of some people by the earth, metamorphosis of some into animals, and being rained upon with stones.’ Someone asked, ‘When will this be, O Messenger of Allah?’ and he said, ‘When songstresses and musical instruments appear and wine is held to be lawful.'”

“There will be peoples of my Community who will hold fornication, silk, wine, and musical instruments to be lawful.”

Robert Spencer on July 28, 2008 at 11:27 PM

not bad irish! I like it!

Robert, How about Coltranes release – Kulu Se Mama? The track called “Welcome” is divine.

My admiration for Dizzy is as much about his contributions to Jazz as a person as his musical contributions.

I attended many workshops that Dizzy lead when I was a teen and in College. I was a drummer and a Jazz snob. Still am. I have many B&W photos of Dizzy sitting in a chair, cheeks bulging, with his infamous horn taken in unairconditioned rooms in the hot summer at these workshops. Dizzy spent many summers touring the USA in a bus, via a Federal grant and would do these workshops in cities throughout the country. He always invited the young bucks up on stage to join his band. You can imagine what this did to a wanna be drummer like me! He was one of the founders of bebop yet never suffered the horrors of addiction that many of the others did. So he was one of the few that lived long enough to be a KING!

Dizzy always had a BIG, like real big smile, a warm hug and a joke for all of us youngsters.

Robert, this is why the picture you chose is so appropriate. I remember seeing him play at Fort Dupont Park in DC after a workshop. He played for 4 hours. People came from the four corners of DC. His goodwill and music brought a momentary peace to an embattled city.

His music lives on!

iam7545 on July 28, 2008 at 11:36 PM

iam7545:

Robert, How about Coltranes release – Kulu Se Mama? The track called “Welcome” is divine.

Indeed it is. You remind me of those palmy days many years ago when I used to play it myself, on soprano…….

Robert Spencer on July 29, 2008 at 5:10 AM

“There will be peoples of my Community who will hold fornication, silk, wine, and musical instruments to be lawful.”

When’s the block party? :)

irishspy on July 29, 2008 at 10:26 AM