The word Mesani is translated as meaning "repetition" Two verses in Qur'an refer to Al mesani / Al mesaniy: 15:87and 39.23.
Qur'an 39:23 makes it clear that there is a mesani / mesaniy and Qur'an, and they are separate:
- 39.23 Allah has revealed (from time to time) the most beautiful Message in the form of a Book, consistent with itself, (yet) repeating (its teaching in various aspects): the skins of those who fear their Lord tremble thereat; then their skins and their hearts do soften to the celebration of Allah's praises. Such is the guidance of Allah: He guides therewith whom He pleases, but such as Allah leaves to stray, can have none to guide.
The main text makes it clear that something, a book or a text called mesaniy / mesani were given to Mohamed (pbuh).
- 15.87 And We have bestowed upon thee the Seven Oft-repeated (verses) and the Grand Qur'an.
Which implies that there were seven laws before the giving of the Qur'an. It is generally accepted that "saban minel masani" (Seven Oft-repeated verses) and "quranel azim" (Grand Reading/Qur'an) must be two different things because they are separated with conjunction waw. However many Islamic scholars are at a loss to defined what the Mesani is. The proposal that they are the seven laws of Noah has been found acceptable by those muslims who have thought about it.
In the Qur'an Noah is portrayed as prophet teaching against idolatry even before the flood. http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/quran/071.qmt.html
The Qur'anic word "mesani" is the same word as the Hebrew word "mishna" (repetition), and probably derived from the hebrew.
- Qur'an 17:22 Take not with Allah another object of worship; or thou (O man!) wilt sit in disgrace and destitution.
- Qur'an 17:23 Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him, and that ye be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour.
- Qur'an 17:32 Nor come nigh to adultery: for it is a shameful (deed) and an evil, opening the road (to other evils).
- Qur'an 17:33 Nor take life - which Allah has made sacred - except for just cause. And if anyone is slain wrongfully, we have given his heir authority (to demand qisas or to forgive): but let him not exceed bounds in the matter of taking life; for he is helped (by the Law).
- Qur'an 17:34 Come not nigh to the orphan's property except to improve it, until he attains the age of full strength; and fulfil (every) engagement, for (every) engagement will be enquired into (on the Day of Reckoning).
- Qur'an 17:35 Give full measure when ye measure, and weigh with a balance that is straight: that is the most fitting and the most advantageous in the final determination.
- Qur'an 17:36 And pursue not that of which thou hast no knowledge; for every act of hearing, or of seeing or of (feeling in) the heart will be enquired into (on the Day of Reckoning).
Qur'an 17:22-36 and the "Ten Commandments"
It is interesting if these verse correspond to the "Ten Commandments", only seven of them appear:
A possible connection between the Qur'an 17:22-36 and the "Ten Commandments" might be:
- Qur'an 17:22, 23 You shall have no other Gods before me (1st commandment)
- Qur'an 17:23 Honour your father and your mother (5th commandment)
- Qur'an 17:32 You shall not commit adultery (7th commandment)
- Qur'an 17:33 You shall not kill (6th commandment)
- Qur'an 17:34 You shall not covet your neighbor’s house, you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.... manservant.... maidservant.... his ox.... his ass...anything that is your neighbor’s (10th commandment)
- Qur'an 17:35 You shall not steal (8th commandment)
- Qur'an 17:36 You shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor (9th commandment)
The second, third and fourth commandments (You shall not make unto thee any graven image or likeness of any thing. You shall not take the name of the L-rd your G-d in vain. Remember the Sabbath day) were left out perhaps as not being applicable to Islam, being particular to Judaism. The key may be in Qur'an 15:87 “..We have given you seven (sections) of mesaniy and this great Qur'an..” Perhaps these seven were derived by Qur'an from Noahide law instead.
Qur'an 17:22-36 and Noahide law
A possible connection between the Qur'an 17:22-36 and Noahide law might be:
- Qur'an 17:22, 23 Avodah zarah - Do not worship false gods. (1st Noahide law)
- Qur'an 17:23 Ever min ha-chai - Do not eat of any living animal (6th Noahide law)???
- Qur'an 17:32 Gilui arayot - Do not be sexually immoral (4th Noahide law)
- Qur'an 17:33 Shefichat damim - Do not murder. (2nd Noahide law)
- Qur'an 17:34 Dinim - Set up a system of honest, effective courts, police and laws. (7th Noahide law)
- Qur'an 17:35 Gezel - Do not steal or kidnap (3rd Noahide law)
- Qur'an 17:36 Birkat Hashem - blasphemy (and lying?). (5th Noahide law)