Back again with the Islamic bookclub! I’ll post a summary of each chapter of an Islamic book I’m reading, so you get the rundown without ever picking it up!
This is all about the Quran…
Being Muslim: A Practical Guide by Asad Tarsin
“But when guidance comes from Me, as it certainly will, there will be no fear for those who follow My guidance, nor will they grieve.” — Quran 2:38
The Quran is the direct word of God. It is His message to humanity.
“Every syllable and inflection is based on the transmission of God’s own speech, by way of Archangel Gabriel (Jibril), to Prophet Muhammad ﷺ [pg. 157].”
It is divided into 114 chapters (surahs) with verses (ayahs). The two main categories for surahs are Meccan and Medinan.
“The Meccan chapters present aspects of belief: primarily, the oneness (tawhid) of God ﷺ, prophethood, the resurrection of the dead, and the Day of Judgement. These chapters also concern ethical and moral behavior, calling people to act with justice and social consciousness. The Medinan revelations addressed laws governing communal life, including laws of marriage and divorce, criminal law, treaties of peace, rules of engagement for war,and commercial contracts [pg. 158].”
The only actual Quran, is a Quran in Arabic. Any Quran that is not in Arabic, is only an interpretation. Muslims all across the world recite the same words God revealed to the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.
The Quran is rhythmic and poetic in nature. It effects the soul of anyone who recites it, and is a literary masterpiece that no human can create.
“The meanings found within it are limitless, because it is Speech of God, the Infinite. Each word is used and placed with divine wisdom [pg. 159].”
Previous scriptures have been lost or altered. God promised not to let that happen to the Quran. It is the exact same text that Prophet Muhammad had during his life.
“Much like physical fitness, in which a lifestyle of regular physical activity changes the very makeup of your body, a lifestyle that includes a daily, deep relationship with the Quran alters the very composition of your soul [pg. 160].”
There are two types of ways to read the Quran:
The Quran itself states it have both unequivocal and ambiguous verses. To find the meanings of these verses, scholars have to know Arabic, grammar, the Prophet’s biology, and so much more.
Just like the Bible or Torah, the Quran has verses that can be misinterpreted. This is because the Arabic language is very concise. One word can have different means based on the context used.
“It becomes evident how quoting a Quranic excerpt out of context– ignoring the verses before and after, and quoting it without regard to its historical setting– can lead to gross misinterpretation and misapplication [pg. 162].”
The primary way to learn the Quran is to memorize it.
“Start with what you will need for your daily prayers (salah), and gradually expand the number of verses you can recite by heart. Divine speech is illuminating, and learning the Quran ‘by heart’ will illuminate both your heart and your soul. A very special status in both this life and the next is given to a person who commits the entire Quran to memory and embodies it in his or her life [pg.163].”
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