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THE KEY TO UNDERSTANDING THE QUR'AN

Posted by PenaBertulis Tuesday, August 25, 2009
TAZAWWUQ RUUHI

Arabic - The Key to Understanding the Qur’an


By Sister Fatima Barakatullah

We all feel touched when we open up a good translation of the meaning of the Qur’an and we ponder and wonder at the beauty of the words and the deep meanings within. But in reality we are just seeing a glimpse of the real treasure that the Qur’an is.

Imagine how you would feel if you could understand the words of Allah in the form in which they were sent down and not just rely on a translation of the meaning in English. Imagine the power of the words and the directness of the message then! The potency would be awesome!
The Qur’an is the word of Allah; a direct message from Allah to us His creation and Allah chose the Arabic language as the language of this message. Indeed Allah tells us this in the Qur’an emphasising to us that to understand the message in its fuller form one must understand the language:

“Indeed we have sent it down as an Arabic Qur’an, in order that you may understand” (Yusuf: 2)

“And thus we have inspired to you an Arabic Qur’an so that you may warn the mother of towns and all around it” (ash-Shura: 7)

Arabic and the message of the Qur’an cannot be separated and translators throughout the ages have tried to convey to the non-Arabic speaking people the beauty of the meaning of the Qur’an but have always called it ‘The translation of the meaning of the Qur’an’, emphasising the fact that the Qur’an’s direct translation is not possible, because so much of the potency and splendour of the words and their meanings which are inextricably linked to the Arabic language are lost in English or any other language. Indeed to even appreciate the poetic beauty of the Qur’an one needs to have an understanding of Arabic.

Remember that for the Arabs in the time of the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wassalam), who were masters of eloquence and poetry, the words of the Qur’an itself were so unique compared to the poetry of the most eloquent of them, that many came to Islam recognising that the Qur’an could not be the handiwork of even the best human poet, rather it could only come from Allah. The language itself was one of the miracles of the Qur’an. Allah challenges mankind:

And if you are in doubt about what we have sent down to our servant, then produce a chapter like it and call your witnesses besides Allah if you are truthful. But if you do not do it, and you can never do it, then fear the Fire whose fuel is men and stones, prepared for the disbelievers” (al-Baqarah: 23-24)

Dari Kami Tazawwuq Ruuhi 2009

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