Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Meaningful Prayer - GEMS of words used in Salaah

Meaningful Prayer

My Personal Reflections and points made by Abdul Nasir Jangda.

Takbeer Tahreema at the beginning of Salaah/namaz/prayer:

'Allahu akbar' means - 'Allah is greater'.

We say this at the beginning of our Salaah, and by saying it - we are telling ourselves that 'Allah is greater' than anything else in our lives. So now we need to focus on Allah in our prayer.

Rukoo' (Bowing) - Subhaana Rabbiy al-'ADheem -

Subhaan comes from the root word Sabaha = it Floated.

Anything which is constantly Floating or Gliding.

Meaning: something which does not sink or fall - but keeps in its high position.

This is why Allah says; 'Subhaan Allah' about Himself when the disbelievers slander Him (i.e. by accusing Him of having a son, or daughters etc.)

Subh = Perfection, Gliding/floating above all falsehood and evil.

Subh-AAN = ABUNDANT/LOADS of Perfection.

So by saying; Subhaana Rabbiy = Abundant Perfection (to)

Rabb-IY ( ربي ) [MY Master].

The Meaning related to RUKOO' (bowing)

By bowing to Allah, we are standing in a position which is lower than our normal standing position. Which means we are not in a state of 'Subhaan' (perfect balance and uprightness). Yet we are bowing to One who is ALWAYS Subhaanah (Perfect/Above ALL).

GEM: This is why we are praising Allah as 'subhaana Rabbiy' (perfectly upright is my Master), showing that we are humbling ourselves to His Perfection, by Lowering ourselves from our normal Upright (subh) position.

al-'ADheem ( العظيم  ) - from the word; 'ADhm ( عظم  ) = Bone.

The Bone is strong and firm and has all descriptions of being the Strength and structure of the body.

So Allah is the 'ADheem = Strong, Firm, Powerful.

'aDhEEm (the letter 'Ya' after the 2nd Root Letter signifies 'Constant') = CONSTANTLY strong, firm, powerful.

= Subhaana Rabbiy al-'ADheem -

Perfect is my Master, the Constantly Strong, Firm and Powerful.

RUKOO' (bowing) - We praise Allah as al-'ADheem - the Firm, Powerful, and we know that the 'ADhm (Bone) is Stable.

So Allah is al-'ADheem - constantly Stable/firm/powerful.

Now Abdul Nasir Jangda mentioned in his tafseer (i think surah Haqqah 69:52) that when we do Rukoo' [bowing] to Allah - we are in one of the most Non-Stable positions. So that even if a really strong man was in Rukoo' (bowing) position, and a child ran past him and accidentally pushed him - this man would probably fall or lose stability. Showing that humans are not Constantly stable.

: So by bowing to Allah in Rukoo' - we are admitting our Weakness and Instability (Lack of Stability/strength/firmness) to our Master Allah, al-'ADheem (the Constantly Firm/Stable/Strong.).

Sajdah (Prostration) - Subhaana Rabbiy al-A'la:

Subhaana = Abundant Perfection and Constant Highness is given to Allah as praise when we are in the lowest position in our prayer.

So we praise His highness when we are low position which is not normal for humans to be in, except when in a state of total submission, dependance and weakness.

So we admit our weakness and dependance to Allah by lowering ourselves in a position which everyone (Muslim or non-Muslim) recognizes as submission.

al-A'la ( أعلى
) = the Higher.
When we prostrate (do Sajdah) to Allah - we place ourselves in the lowest position the human can get.

By placing your face on the ground - you are saying you are the lowest, and the Arabs would say to someone they hated; 'May your nose be rubbed in dust' (on the ground) - i.e. may you be humiliated.

So for someone to place their nose on the ground is humiliation, but the believer puts his nose on the Lowest ground for no-one, except for One only. Who? Al-A'la (the Highest!)

We gain strength through this, and non experiences the true joy of it except the Muslim, and none finds honor through sajdah (prostration) except the Muslim.


«ثَلَاثٌ أُقْسِمُ عَلَيْهِنَّ: مَا نَقَصَ مَالٌ مِنْ صَدَقَةٍ، وَمَا زَادَ اللهُ عَبْدًا بِعَفْوٍ إِلَّا عِزًّا، وَمَنْ تَوَاضَعَ للهِ رَفَعَهُ الله»

(I swear regarding three matters: no charity shall ever decrease the wealth; whenever one forgives people, then Allah will magnify his honor; and he who is humble for Allah, then Allah will raise his rank.) [Tafsir ibn Katheer]

A Part 2 on the Tash-shahud might be posted soon inshaa' Allah...

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

O Mankind, there has come to you heart-felt advice from your Lord - (Yunus 10: 57-58)

O Mankind, there has come to you heart-felt advice from your Lord - (Yunus 10: 57-58)

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ قَدْ جَاءَتْكُم مَّوْعِظَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَشِفَاءٌ لِّمَا فِي الصُّدُورِ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةٌ لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ

O mankind, there has to come to you instruction from your Lord and healing for what is in the breasts and guidance and mercy for the believers.

The ayah starts with 'O Mankind' - so it is a call to ALL people.

There has already come to you a: -

Maw'iDhah - Wa'Dh = Sincere, heart felt advice which targets the Heart of the listener.

from your Lord.

This advice targets peoples hearts whether they are Muslim or non Muslim, and anyone -whether Muslim or non Muslim - who is truthful will admit to this. Where many cry just by listening to the Qur'an, even if they don't understand it.

Our hearts have spiritual diseases in them naturally, due to the continuous swear words, shameless things, and evil practises we see and do daily. To get rid of disease, you need to find a cure which targets the place of illness. (i.e. if you have a disease in your arm, you inject in your arm the cure.)

So Allah is telling us that He has given a maW'iDhah - a sincere advice which targets the heart.

What does this maW'iDhah do?

Shifaa' = a Cure

For what is in the Sudoor (Chest, heart).

We feel a strain and tightness in our chest when we do not follow the guidance. The world seems hard for us. Allah removes this tightness and anxiety in our hearts through this Qur'an and through its Guidance and replaces the anxiety with Sukoon (tranquility/calmness.) O Allah, expand and relax for us our hearts.

This maW'iDhah is a guidance, and a mercy for the believers.

Allah started the ayah with 'O Mankind', and now He has ended the ayah that it is a guidance and mercy, exclusively for the believers. Why? Because they are the only ones who benefitted from its heart-felt, sincere advice, and so they are the only ones who gained the cure from diseases of the heart.

In ayah 58: Allah continues -

قُلْ بِفَضْلِ اللَّهِ وَبِرَحْمَتِهِ فَبِذَٰلِكَ فَلْيَفْرَحُوا هُوَ خَيْرٌ مِّمَّا يَجْمَعُونَ

Say; with the FaDl (excessive blessings) of Allah, and with His Mercy, then let them in that Rejoice. It is better than what they are Collecting.

Allah is telling the believers to rejoice in this Excessive Favour which He has sent to us of Islam and the Qur'an.

FaDl = Excessive favour and more than is needed. (i.e. FaDl is - if you asked someone for $5 and they give you $100 = FaDl.)

This is what the believers should rejoice [FarH] - be extremely happy in.

'It is better than what they are collecting/accumulating.'

Ustadh Nouman jokes about how he has a son who collects toy cars, or how coin collectors, stamp collectors, money collectors, or women who buy clothes just for the fun 'high' of shopping, just carry on collecting like an addiction and they feel they never have enough.

Then when he (Nouman's son) gets a new toy car, he spills out all his toy cars, lines them up, and places his new car into the collection, and *sigh of relief* - he feels satisfied.

This is what the people do without true taste of the Qur'an. They will find ways of collecting and gathering things  - trying to satisfy themselves but never fully being satisfied.

But Allah tells us that we should be joyous/celebrate with our Islam and the Qur'an because we have the true inner joy. We do not need to gather material things to be happy. Anyone who has tasted the Qur'an in the arabic language knows this because while everyone else is collecting material possessions, the believers are collecting amazing Gems from the Qur'an and gaining continuous closeness to Allah. That is the true richness. 'It is better than what they are collecting'.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Arabic Grammar/Eloquence Gem #4: EXCLUSIVITY

Exclusivity (taQdeem):

When Someone/thing is placed before a Description (adjective)  - it is not normal [it is abnormal] sentence structure. Which implies that this person/thing Exclusively has that description.

For example: People may say;

hamdun La-Ka - Praise is For You.
[normal sentence structure]

But; La-Ka al-Hamd = Praise is EXCLUSIVELY For You. [abnormal structure because 'For You' (La-Ka) is mentioned earlier in the sentence.)

This is why, when you say;

Iyyaa-Ka [You] - Na'budu [We worship].
- the 'You' (iyyaa-ka) is mentioned earlier in the sentence structure. Which implies that we worship 'You' [Allah] Exclusively/alone.

This is called TaQdeem (placing Earlier) and Ta'kheer (placing at the End) in Arabic eloquence.
and is used many times in the Qur'an.

Arabic Grammar/Eloquence Gem #3: Female Plural used for non-Female descriptions.

Gem #3: Female Plural used for non-Female objects = 'Handful'
(less than 10)

If Female characters are not being discussed - but Feminine plural is still being used to describe them, it implies:
Jam'u qillah/small plural = less than 10 objects. ('a handful of objects')

Allah says about those who believe and
('amiluw al-saalihAAT [ عَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ ]) do A Few good actions, for them is Jannah (Paradise.) [see Quran 5:9]

This shows the extreme Mercy of Allah. He doesn't expect too much from His slaves. He just wants us to be grateful to Him. He wants us to - atleast the minimum - complete the 5 pillars of Islam and to stay away from the haraam (forbidden things.) And then He will reward His believing slaves with Jannah (beautiful Gardens in Paradise.)

Arabic Grammar/Eloquence Gem #2: Noun (constant) vs Verb (temporary)

Noun (constant)
vs Verb (temporary):

Someone/thing can be described in verb (doing) or noun (object) form in the Arabic language.

Noun [ism faa'il] form signifies that the doer always/Continuously does that action (i.e. 'FightER')

Verb form signifies that the doer [faa'il] sometimes does that action (i.e 'he was Fighting').

A FightER is someone who always fights, whereas someone 'who is Fighting' might be fighting only once in his life.

This is why; Mu'minoon = Believers are described as Nouns [ism faa'il] = Continuously always Believing (through times of ease and hardship.)

'al-ladheena Aamanoo' - those who believe' [verb/temporary form] are not as strong in their Beliefs and their Emaan/belief is not as constant as the Mu'minoon.

Mu'minoon = strong/continuous Believer.
'al-ladheena aamanoo' = those who believe strongly sometimes, but sometimes not.

So next time, whenever you see something as a Noun (usually with a 'Mu' prefix attached at the beginning. Or any form of human personification of a doing word), then this is a Constant Attribute of that character.

Whereas when someone/thing is being described in Verb form, i.e. the pattern of Faa'il [doer], then you know that this Characteristic is only a temporary attribute.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

"And she certainly determined [to seduce] him." [Yusuf 12:23]

Asalaamu alaykum waRahmatullah waBarakaatuh.

I'll tel you one Gem which amazed me at the depth of the Quranic Arabic;

In surah Yusuf, ayah [12:]23, Allah tells us [in translation of the meaning in english]:

وَرَاوَدَتْهُ الَّتِي هُوَ فِي بَيْتِهَا

"And she certainly determined [to seduce] him."
[Yusuf 12:23]

That's a common English translation, it seems boring and simple. But now I'll tell you the word in arabic and its deep meaning;

The word Allah used for 'attempted seduce' [on the pattern of muFaa'alah = 'attempted'] is: رَاوَدَ

The Root letters of this word are; رودَ

1st meaning: ( رود) Ra-Waw-Dal = to seek, ask a thing gently, search (for food), go to and fro in a pasture, go round about.

2nd meaning: rawada - to long after, desire, seduce, entice, seduce against the will

3rd meaning: The word iradah is used for power and capacity with reference to subjugation as well as to option and choice. i.e. ruwaidan = to leave someone for a little while, go gently with them (even though you have authority to punish them.) [i.e. see surah Tariq 86:17])

4th meaning: راود from Lisan Al 'arab that the prophet PBUH “ rawada “ his uncle Aba Talib , meaning he kept talking to him [to convince him] about Islam , so did Moses with his people.

قال الليث: وتقول راوَدَ فلان جاريته عن نفسها وراوَدَتْه هي عن نفسه إذا حاول كل واحد من صاحبه الوطء والجماع؛ ومنه قوله تعالى: تراود فتاها عن نفسه؛ فجعل الفعل لها. وراوَدْتُه على كذا مُراوَدَةً ورِواداً أَي أَردتُه. وفي حديث أَبي هريرة: حيث يُراوِدُ عمَّه أَبا طالب على الإِسلام أَي يُراجعه ويُرادُّه؛ ومنه حديث الإسراء: قال له موسى، صلى الله عليهما وسلم: قد والله راودْتُ بني إِسرائيل على أَدنى من ذلك فتركوه

So we're not trying to do a Tafseer of the ayah, but just for personal reflection, we see the depth of the ayah so the wife of al Azeez could probably fit all those descriptions when trying to seduce Yusuf:

She would show him hints that; she likes him, she would go around him and give him attention, she would entice him, she would go around him 'to and fro' (like a person who in hunger searches for food), she would try to subjugate him while giving him abit of choice so that he might start getting attracted to her. She would even talk to him to convince him to like her.
Subhaan Allah, the depth of Allah's speech! This is all explained - just through one word Root; Raawada - رود / رَاوَدَ

[I got the definitions from Lane's Lexicon [PRL Online], which is an Arabic-English Lexicon with definitions from Classical Arabic dictionaries.]

Thursday, 10 November 2011

So when Our command came.. [Hud 11:82-83]

فَلَمَّا جَاءَ أَمْرُنَا جَعَلْنَا عَالِيَهَا سَافِلَهَا وَأَمْطَرْنَا عَلَيْهَا حِجَارَةً مِّن سِجِّيلٍ مَّنضُودٍ

مُّسَوَّمَةً عِندَ رَبِّكَ ۖ وَمَا هِيَ مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ بِبَعِيدٍ

[Surah Hud 11: 82-83]

Allah decided to destroy the nation of Lut [Lot] because of their evil, and opposition against His Messenger.

When Our decision came, We made the highest part (of their tall buildings) the lowest part
. [Hud 11:82]

So at the time Allah prepared to destroy them - they now had nowhere to hide.

In an Earthquake, you find somewhere to hide, but they never had any place to hide. You're also supposed to lie down on the floor;

Then We started raining upon them stones from the sky, manDuwd (a full bucketful excessively thrown time after time, repeatedly).

Ayah 11:83:

Musawwamatun - Marked; specifically, intensively, repeatedly - (with every person who is being targeted's name marked upon it.

Like a sniper fire, targeting the individual people who have nowhere to hide.

What a horrible destruction! What a horrible ending.. a disastrous punishment to end this life for each individual enemy specifically, and a humiliating arrival to their next life. This is what Allah did with them evildoers.

وَمَا هِيَ مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ بِبَعِيدٍ
'and they are not far from those who do wrong'

Allah is warning all of us listeners, especially those who first heard it (the Quraysh polytheists) that Allah's snipers are not far away from the wrongdoers...



Saturday, 5 November 2011

Eid Present: Arabic-English Dictionary Of Qur’anic Usage

Eid Present: Arabic-English Dictionary Of Qur’anic Usage

In the Name of Allâh, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

The Qur’an is the living source of all Islamic teaching, and is of singular importance to those interested in Islam and the study of religions. Despite this, there exists a long-felt lack of research tools for English first-language speakers who wish to access the Qur’an in the original Arabic. The Dictionary of Qur’anic Usage is the first comprehensive, fully-researched and contextualised Arabic-English dictionary of Qur’anic usage, compiled in accordance with modern lexicographical methods by scholars who have a lifelong immersion in Qur’anic Studies. Based on Classical Arabic dictionaries and Qur’an commentaries, this work also emphasises the role of context in determining the meaning-scatter of each vocabulary item. Illustrative examples from Qur’anic verses are provided in support of the definitions given for each context in which a particular word occurs, with cross-references to other usages. Frequently occurring grammatical particles are likewise thoroughly explained, insofar as they are used in conveying various nuances of meaning in the text.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

3 Official Bayyinah E-Books you'll Love to Download! (Near Synonyms, small Dictionary, Literary Characteristics)

3 Official Bayyinah E-Books you'll Love to Download!

These Books are awesome and will allow you to appreciate the depth of the Arabic language. They have been compiled by Ustadh  Nouman Ali Khan himself.

To Download: Right Click and Save Link/Target As.

Near Synonyms [PDF] (MM) - Nouman Ali Khan

Mini Bayyinah Dictionary [unit2i [PDF] - Bayyinah Institute]

Literary Gems [PDF] - Nouman Ali Khan