Monday, August 31, 2009

Reading The Quran 2

Another contribution from my Singaporean friend :)

Reading the Qur’an II

No matter how intelligent we are, we will never know everything. Our views, ideas, perspective, judgments, prejudices and demands for rights are skewed by our limited knowledge. But faith is beyond knowledge… it pierces into the soul and moulds the heart.

“When the Qur’an is read, listen to it with attention, and hold your peace that you may receive Mercy.”[7:204]

“Alif Lam Ra. These are the Symbols (or Verses) of the perspicuous Book. We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur’an, in order that you may learn wisdom” [12:1-2]

“We know indeed that they say, ‘It is a man that teaches him.’ The tongue of him they wickedly point to is foreign, while this is Arabic, pure and clear.”[16:103]

“We send down (stage by stage) in the Qur’an that which is a healing and a mercy to those who believe: to the unjust it causes nothing but loss after loss”[17:82]

“Ha Mim. By the Book that makes things clear – We have made it a Qur’an in Arabic, that you may be able to understand (and learn wisdom). And verily, it is in the Mother of the Book, in our Presence, high (in dignity), full of wisdom.”[43:1-4]

It is quite incredible how many people in the non-Arabic speaking world read the Qur’an in Arabic (some even memorise it) without understanding the language. I have often heard the criticism that the demand to read the Qur’an in Arabic causes non-Arabic speaking Muslims not to know its meaning - Muslims do not understand their own sacred text, they read blindly.

Of course the ideal is to read the Qur’an in Arabic and understand it. But many of us do not consider learning Arabic a priority in the way we view learning the English language (or even Mandarin, nowadays). Nonetheless, I would be slow to advocate that it is sufficient to only read the translations of the Qur’an.

I was lucky enough to be in a household where I would wake up to the sound of my father reading the Qur’an in the mornings. He was the early riser who would continue to read the Qur’an after he does his prayers at dawn. I would wake up and hear his recitations. It was very comforting to hear the melodious sounds even before I opened my eyes, the rhythm went deep inside and became a part of me, my morning serenade

Sometimes I saw my father in tears as he recited the Qur’an. Considering that my father, a typical Arab man, would normally not show any emotion, these occasions moved me. It made my father, more than just a father, human.

It is inexplicable and I do not fully understand how it works, but I know that the years of waking up to my father’s Qur’anic recitations have done wonders to keep and protect my faith. It is like no matter how far I go away, it will keep me from going too far astray, it will cause me to look for the solitary mosque in a predominantly non-Muslim country.

I always know that there is talent in the family (we can sing), but instead of singing for the purpose entertaining, perhaps the talent is best meant to recite the Qur’an to benefit the little ones. I know I benefited from it.

1 comment:

samaritan said...

Dear Syed, Walski, Marina , Anas. and all your faithful blogger followers. Feel free to drop by on my blog as I begin to write a series of articles entitle Mankind’s Search for God. Hoping one can finally find the missing link and allow you to have intimate relationship with the true God Jehovah.

Agape love to all.