You are on page 1of 15

At the end of this article I have included 3 charts and an explanatory note, as follows: 1.

A Chart (Series 4) that lists the titles of the 10 Six Minute Talks with the corresponding Talk Number. These Scripts or Articles could be read or downloaded from ScribD 2. A Chart (Series 3) that lists out the series of talks that covers the subject Muslim History or Islamic History. This interesting subject is covered in two approaches. One set of talks (Talk Nos 114 & 116) are an outline of what happened, and The second lot of talks (Talk Nos 117 to 119) is a description of the reaction of the Muslim world or the Muslim Populace to the changes or the social tribulations that were taking place right throughout this history. 3. A Chart (Series 2) that lists out the 16 Talks (or Episodes) under the series Knowing Allah Taaalah or Knowing GOD These Scripts or Articles too could be read or downloaded from ScribD 4. Notes to these talks or to these scripts/ articles

The main objective of these talks (and therefore the scripts of these talks), is to stimulate thinking. Sensible, rational and logical thinking. So, my message, think, think & think! Be sensible, be rational and be logical.

#136 Learning from the Quran

Dear Friends,

What is the Quran? It is the collection of the words and Aayaths that were revealed to Prophet Muhammad over 1400 years ago. It was never in the form of a printed or published book as we recognize it and the concept of writing out the Aayaths in to a book was done only after the death of the Prophet. Thus though most of us refer to the printed or the published book as the Quran, it is more correct to refer to it as the Mus-haf. Now the Aayaths of the Quran that have been written or printed in to the Mus-haf has been arranged or placed in a certain order. The Mus-haf contains 114 chapters or Surahs. The Surah that contains the most number of Aayaths is Surah Baqarah which has 286 Aayaths and there are three Surahs that contain the least number of Aayaths and these Surahs are named Surah Aswr, Surah KauSsar and Surah Naswr, and contain 3 Aayaths each. There are many Aayaths in the Quran that instruct us to read the Quran often, and thus the question has arisen, how do we read a Quran that is not written in a form of a book? The answer to this becomes very obvious if we were to ask another question, How would the Sahabas or the companions to the Prophet have read the Quran, when most of them were illiterate (they could not read letters) and also the Quran was not available in a book as we read it now? So the answer to that question would be that the Sahabas memorized the Aayaths of the Quran as recited by the Prophet and then they red it from their hearts (remember we use the phrase by-heart) and whilst reading the Aayaths from memory they also read the Aayaths in the creation of Allah. So it was a 2 way reading!!!! Wonderful, isnt it? I wish I could be like that. I wish we could all be like that! However, in todays context the Quran that we read is off a printed book that we refer to as the Mus-haf. So again, we are instructed to read the Quran often, so then trying to implement these instructions in todays context, how much of the Mus-haf or the printed Quran should we read? Of course there are many answers, sensible rational answers. However there is also this thinking that we should endeavor to do a complete reading of the Quran once a month. This one reading a month has considerable appeal to Muslims. So scholars have marked out 30 divisions in the Quran which we refer to as the Juz of the Quran. So we could say that in the printed Mus-haf, for our convenience, the 6,236 Aayaths have been organized in to 114 Surahs or chapters and there are also 30 markings referred to as the 30 Juz that indicate to us 30 parts of the Quran. We always hear instructions that we should read one Juz every day, so that we could read one Quran every month, but then there are very few who actually do this. We all love to read as much Quran as possible. 1

But then, many of us face a huge problem. We just do not know how to overcome this problem, so we just ignore it. Let me, briefly, describe this problem The language of the Quran is Arabic, and most of us Muslims in Sri Lanka just do not understand Arabic. So all of us are reciting Aayaths of the Quran which we cannot understand, and then at night we stand in Swalaath listening to the Quran, being beautifully recited, and even then not being able to understand. Is there not something we are all missing? Isnt this something that we are missing something very very important? What should I do to try to understand the words, the Aayaths, the message and the many lessons that are being described to us by Allah through the reading or the reciting of the Quran? Most Muslims in Sri Lanka, we could even say most non Arab speaking Muslims can read the Quran, we all learn the Arabic script in our childhood. But then we do not learn the language! Just like all Muslims I have had this longing to be able to understand the language of the Quran, not just to only read and recite the Quran with understanding, but to be able to think out the many instructions in the Quran and try to work out the deeper meanings, the deeper truths. In fact there are many Aayaths in the Quran that instruct us to think deeply on what Allah is actually instructing us and then there is this assurance of Allah that he would guide whose who think deeply. Let me quote just three such Aayaths: Two are from Surah Aal E Imraan, and the third from Surah Saad (3:190) Surely, in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, there are signs for the people of wisdom,

(3:191) who remember Allah standing and sitting, and (lying) on their sides, and do Fikr on the creation of the heavens and the earth

S Saad (38:29) This is a blessed Book We have revealed to you, so that they look back in its verses, and so that the Oolul Albaab would do Zikr

So now let me explain my dilemma. I could read as well as recite the Aayaths in the Quran.

But then since I do not understand Arabic, I just cannot understand the message. Now what do we do if we want to know what a certain Aayath means or we want to know, say for example what the Quran instructs us, and say on Swalaath or prayer? What I used to do was to take the translation of the Quran. The copy that we used at home was the translation by Yusuf Ali. I would then turn to the back pages and look up the index. I would then search for the word Swalah. It does become frustrating to find that there is no entry for Swalah. Then I realize that this is an English translation so I would have to look under Prayer if I wanted to find out the entries for Swalah. When I do locate the entry for Prayer in the index I also find that the references given are inadequate. What is given is a list of Aayath references, for example 1: 1 to 7, 2:238 & 239, 3:26 & 27, 147, 191 to 194 and so on. Now when I start referring I realize that what Yusuf Ali meant by Prayer was not necessarily Swalaath only, but he has also included invocations. Now trying to locate a reference can be very frustrating and time consuming. Then, if and when I do find the particular Aayath, I have another problem, how do I find or locate other Aayaths that are connected to this topic or subject. The questions are endless and in our plight of not understanding Arabic, the task of researching looks almost impossible. Now the words of the Quran or rather the Mus-haf we are reading or reciting are the words of Allah or the words of God to us. They are His instructions; they are His words of guidance or enlightenment to us. So the words of the Quran, which to us are the Arabic writings in the Mus-haf, are something we revere without understanding. The printed book becomes Holy. The wording becomes sacred. Even a paper on which some words from the Quran are written is treated as sacred. We cannot understand what it says, but we can read it, we can recognize it as Gods words, so to us even that piece of paper is sacred. We can recite the Quran, but we cannot understand what we are reciting, but we have this conviction in our hearts that these are the words of God, Allah is speaking to us, so then these words these Aayaths take on some mystical hue. So though we do not understand, we recite and memorize many of the Aayaths and the Surahs hoping to be blessed purely by the fact that these are the, words of Allah, We convince ourselves that there has to be some miraculous effects in just reciting the words. Are we not hinting that these Aayaths have a quality of magic? To describe the effects of just reciting the words of the Quran we use words like miracle, blessing, and barakath and so on. Is this not a clear form of superstition? So many of us recite, sometimes from memory, Aayaths or Surahs convinced that this recitation would magically or miraculously assist us. 3

Are we not treating the words and the Aayaths and the Surahs of the Quran as some form of Manthras? We regularly read Surah Yaseen. Some of us recite Surah ALM Sajdha, Surah Mulk, Surah Waqia and Surah Rahmaan daily. Many of us recite Surah Kahf every Friday. We just do not understand what we are reading, but we feel that the blessings associated with these Aayaths would benefit us. We do not pause to think that the blessings in these Aayaths have to be understood. The way to derive these blessings have to be worked out through understanding the words and the Aayaths of the Quran, and the Quran itself instructs us that those who are humble and sincere would be deserving of Allahs guidance. In fact what frightens me is that the Quran itself points out to us the fact that some people would treat these Aayaths as Magic Is this what we are doing? Should we not find out? A few years ago Alhamdulillah, I had this desire to learn more about the Quran and from the Quran Let me explain the methods that I now use. I realized, (again Alhamdulillah) that I should read each Aayath of the Quran, read its translation and then think about each Aayath and then gradually create my own index of the Quran. This index would be for my reference only. I also realized that I had to learn the Arabic language, especially the Arabic Grammar so that I would not only know the meaning of the word but would know grammatically the role that that word plays in that sentence or in its placing in that sentence. So I had two projects. Let me first describe how I set about the first project. I created a spreadsheet using MS Excel 2007. In the first column I wrote out the reference Aayath numbers of all the 6,236 Aayaths in the Quran. So if I wanted Aayath number 25 in Surah Yusuf, I could refer to the reference number (012:025) I next downloaded the complete Arabic Quran and placed the Aayaths in the 2nd Column. I then also downloaded 4 English translations of the Quran. There are literally 100s such translations, but I chose the 4 that I had heard the most about. These are the English Translations of the Quran by; 1. Yusuf Ali, 2. Marmaduke Pikthall 3. Dr Mohsin Khan and 4. Mufti Taqi Usman However, I always prefer Yusuf Alis version, probably it is the translation that was available at our home from my childhood. So I now had a spreadsheet with 6 Columns (Please study the picture in next page - below). 4

A column for the Aayaths of the Quran, A Column for the reference numbers of the Aayaths and 4 columns containing the English translations of the Quran by 4 different but well known translators. I added one more Column, which I called the Category Column and then I began to read half a Juz of Quran every day. I did not just read the Aayaths, but I was able to listen to the Quran recited by well-known Quaries this is a wonderful advantage of using a computer. So I read the Aayath in Arabic. At the same time I also listen to it being recited, and I also read the 4 English translations, trying to work out the message. I used to be surprised to find that in some instances all 4 translators used to give 4 different meanings. This gave me an indication of how difficult it was to give a true translation of the words and the Aayaths in the Quran. So, I was multi-tasking. I was reading the Quran in Arabic, listening to it in Arabic and at the same time reading 4 English translations. Of course I sometimes had to re-read and re listen to an Aayath 4 or 5 times. I added one more task. I would see what the Aayath was referring to and then I would down this reference in the 7th column. Remember the Category Column? In this manner I found that gradually I was attaching a reference, (my reference), to each Aayath. Actually I was creating my own index of the Quran. But then I found that this was not very easy. Many Aayaths required more than one category. 5

For example let me describe just a part of a simple Aayath, not the whole Aayath, but just a part of the Aayath.

(2:45) Seek help through patience and prayer.

The first time I read this I categorized it as a Swalaath Aayath, and then the second time round I categorized it as a Swabr Aayath and then the third time round I categorized it as seeking help Aayath. As I kept working I realized that every word in the Quran was rich in meaning and could easily be or necessarily classified into a separate category. Working with a spreadsheet is exciting because I could then sort out all the Aayaths so that all the Swalaath Aayaths would appear grouped together, the Swabr Aayaths would be grouped together, the seeking help Aayaths too would be grouped together. There were so many other categories. I could then, take each group of Aayaths and read them and try to arrange them in some sort of a sequence so that I would find that there is more meaning to the word Swalaath because I am now reading all the Swalah Aayaths together. Swabr has more meaning because I am reading all the Swabr Aayaths together and so on. As I gradually became more and more familiar with the words or the vocabulary used in the Quran, I also found a number of sites on the Web that taught Arabic. There were so many sites for learning not just the normal spoken Arabic, but for learning the Arabic of the Quran, and the best part of all, the teaching was in English. Maasha Allah! There are 2 Web sites that I would like to recommend for learning Arabic, - The Arabic of the Quran! 1. This is a course of lectures that can be viewed or downloaded from YouTube It is a wonderful course because you learn the intricacies of Arabic Grammar and also learn to analyze very word and sentence (Aayath) of the Quran Maasha Allah! That is something just wonderful. Try it - to learn Arabic you have to devote quite a lot of time. There are a series of lessons on Nouns - Book 1 Later on you have to get on to Book 2 - The Verbs, and then on to Book 3 (The Books can be downloaded in PDF format for free search for them on Google, if you cannot locate them let me know I can find the link for you, if necessary Insha Allah) 2. When I read 4 translations, I sometimes find that each translator uses different English words to describe one Arabic word. As a result I have found (there is no www) to be a wonderful site to learn the meanings of each and every word in the Quran. I usually visit this site many times every day!

Now let me try to explain to all of you what I was learning or even what I was discovering from just regularly reading the Quran whilst trying to work out its message. We know that the Quran is a huge treasure of knowledge and it is just not easy to describe in a few words. But then let me at least try! The Quran itself points out many of its objectives, let me just state one of them. One purpose of the Quran is to endow us with wisdom or to make us Hakeem. The Aayath I quote is the 1st and 2nd Aayaths of Surah Yaseen. (36:1) Y Sn (36:2) By the Qurn, that is full of wisdom,

The Arabic word Hakeem or wise is made of the triliteral root Hay Kaaf and Meem and appears 210 times in the Quran in 13 derived forms. This would give us an indication as to how much material there is in the Quran to explain to us the concept of wisdom through all its many facets. How do we become wise? This too is pointed out to us in the Quran; let me read to you Aayath No 87 of Surah Saad (38:87) It is nothing but a Zikr for all TheWorlds.

The Arabic word Zikr or process of thinking or remembering is made of the triliteral root Zay Kaaf and Ray and appears 292 times in the Quran in 15 derived forms. Again, just think! Does this not give us an indication as to how much material there is in the Quran to explain to us this concept of Zikr? Now how do we do Zikr, especially Zikr of the Aayaths? Well we have to read the Aayaths in the Quran, listen to the Aayaths in the Quran and then we have to use special faculties that Allah has provided us with. I have counted 6 such faculties; let me list them out; 1. The faculty of Baswr or seeing, observing and then going through a process of perceiving and thinking deeply rationally and logically of what we see. We all should try to work out the sources, the objectives as well as the finality of all that we observe. 2. The Samgha or the faculty of hearing. Like in the case of Baswr we should process what we see. 3. AQL, which probably means intelligence or something more. 4. Qalb or what we refer to as the heart the spiritual or the philosophical heart 5. The Swudhoor or what we refer to as the chest the spiritual or the philosophical chest 6. The Afidah which is a faculty that registers feelings or sensitivity These six words appear again and again in the Quran, explaining to us how these faculties should be used. 7

As you can well imagine it is a huge topic! That is interesting, but then here comes an even more interesting part. In the Quran, Allah begins to describe to us the qualities of those who do Zikr and the qualities of those who do not do Zikr. In other words he describes the qualities of those who use their Samgha, their Baswr, their AQL, their Qalb, their Swudhoor and their Afidha as instructed, and those who do not. Not only does Allah describe these qualities, He also describes those who possess these qualities. Now when we are doing research in to the Quran, many words that we just took for granted, words that we did not attach much significance to suddenly take on meanings, rich vibrant, dynamic meanings. Suddenly we begin to really take notice of words such as Kaafir, Mumin, MuththaQi, Faasiq, Mufsidh, and Mukhlis and so on. We notice many words that are constantly repeated in the Quran. Let me point out two such important words. These are the words Ulaa-ika and Allazeena. For example: (2:5) It is these who are guided by their Rabb; and it is just these who are successful.

This Aayath is pointing out to us 2 categories of people The

or those who are guided by their Rabb, and The or those who are successful
Notice the word Ulaa-ika? Do you know that the word Ulaa-ika appears in the Quran 87 times? This means that there are descriptions for 87 categories of people. These are those categorized by Allah. Worth knowing isnt it? What is really worth knowing is the frightening question, What category do I belong to? Then we have the word Allazeena: For example: (23:1) Success is really attained by the believers

(23:2) who concentrate their attention in humbleness when offering Salh (prayers)

(23:3) and who keep themselves away from vain things,

(23:4) and who are performers of Zakh ,

(23:5) and who guard their private parts

Did you know that this word Allazeena appears in 1,129 Aayaths in the Quran? Does not the Quran contain so much material that we should do Zikr if so that we could become wise or Hakeem? Would not this process also give us good qualities so that we become of those categories that Allah favors? Let all of us endeavor to spend our time doing research in to the Quran and learn the true lessons of life. I sincerely hope and hope that all of you benefit from these talks as much as I benefit from preparing and then presenting these talks to you.

May Allah Taaalah guide us all and accept us all. Jazza Kalla Khairan. Assalamu Alaikum
Imtiaz Muhsin Colombo Sri Lanka You Tube Channel - HaneefanMusliman


Series 4

The Talks Numbered 125 to 134 are a series of Six Minute Talks presented in the month of Ramadhlaan (2013). The titles are as follows: Talk No Talk Number & Title 125 The Muslim 126 Shaithaan 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 How did the Prophets Earn? The Swudhoor Scoldings the Prophet Received Understanding Allahs Justice Arabic language of the AQL Pretending to be Mumin Jinns and Insaan The Mu'min Comments

Series 3 Note on Talks on History of Muslims

As Muslims it is necessary that we are aware of the History of Muslims over the last 1400 years. It is necessary for us to realize the winds of change over these last 1400 years especially since Muslim Populations have been through quite some turbulent times. I have covered this vast area in 5 talks. (This is insufficient) The first two talks were on the history and the next three talks were from another viewpoint. I discuss the response of the Muslims due to the many changes that were affecting their lives their religion and thus their culture. These Talks are numbered and titled as follows: Talk No 114 116 117 118 119 Topic The History Series The Effects of 1400 Years - Part 1 Effects of 1400 years - Part 2 The Muslim Response Series The Religious Response of Muslims due to Events surrounding the Caliphates of the Khulafaa Ur Raashidheen The Religious Response of Muslims due to Events surrounding the beginning of the Ummayyads The Religious Response of Muslims due to Events in the Period of the Muslim Empires Date Broadcast Jan 25th 2013 Feb 8th 2013 Feb 22nd 2013 March 29th 2013 April 5th 2013

Series 2 The Talks numbered 054 to 071 is under a series titled Knowing Allah Taaalah or Knowing GOD
The details of the scripts of these 16 Episodes (Talks) are as follows;
Talk No Episode 1 Episode 2 Episode 3 Episode 4 Episode 5 Episode 6 Episode 7 Talk Number & Title 054 Ilm Knowing Allah 055 Rationality - The Foundation of Islam 056 Is Man Special? 057 Ar Rahmaan - The Beneficent 058 Nature or GOD? 059 Our Relationship with GOD! Sub Series: 060 Is this what we are created for? (Is this what we are created for? Part 1) Sub Series: 061 What do we see on Earth (Is this what we are created for? Part 2) Sub Series: 062 Who are WE? Where do we fit in? (Is this what we are created for? Part 3) Sub Series: 063 Our benefits on Earth (Is this what we are created for? Part 4) Sub Series: 066 What makes us 'Stand Out'? What makes us 'Special'? (Is this what we are created for? Part 5) Sub Series: 067 Who is in charge? (Is this what we are created for? Part 6) Sub Series: 068 What ALLAH Teaches Us, About Himself (Is this what we are created for? Part 7) Sub Series: 069 Our Special Faculties How they should be used, How they should not be used! (Is this what we are created for? Part 8) Sub Series: 070 The TWO Paths 071 Is this what we are created for? A review of Parts 1 to 8 from the Sub Series Is this what we are created for? Date Broadcast th Dec 9 2011 Dec 16 2011

Details of Picture on Cover Wellawatte Jummah Mosque in Colombo, Sri Lanka Parasangaswewa Mosque (a remote village) in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka Mutwal Jummah Mosque in Colombo, Sri Lanka The Akbar Mosque in Slave Island, Colombo, Sri Lanka Mosque in Matara, from the Southern Province of Sri Lanka Beach Mosque at Kalmunaikudi in the Eastern Province, Sri Lanka A Mosque in the Kurnegala District, Sri Lanka Maradana Jummah Mosque in Colombo, Sri Lanka Colpetty Jummah Mosque, in Colombo, Sri Lanka The Jummah Mosque at Natpidimunnai, in the Ampara District, Sri Lanka The Devatagaha Mosque in Colombo, Sri Lanka A Mosque in a rural village in the Ampara District, in Sri Lanka The Jummah Mosque in Oluvil a village in the Ampara District, Sri Lanka The Dhanakawewa Jummah Mosque in a remote village in the Anuradhapura District in Sri Lanka Mosque at Madhavakulam in the Puttlam District, Sri Lanka A Mosque by a river in the Eastern Province, Sri Lanka

Dec 23 2011 th Dec 30 2011 th Jan 6 2012 th Jan 13 2012 Jan 20 2012 Jan 27 2012 Feb 3 2012



Episode 8


Episode 9

Episode 10

Feb 10 2012 Feb 17 2012 Feb 24 2012 Mar 2 2012



Episode 11


Episode 12


Episode 13

Episode 14

Mar 9 2012


Episode 15 Episode 16

Mar 16 2012 Mar 23 2012



Please Note
1. I have had the great privilege, (since Aug 2010), of presenting talks on the weekly Radio Program Culture of Islam [Friday 5.30 to 6.00 am, Radio Sri Lanka - FM 97.4] 2. Since these are Radio Talks, I refer to, or address the audience as listeners 3. I am well aware that the audience to these talks would consist of people belonging to a variety of faiths. So as to make people of all faiths feel included, I very often use words and names that are common to all religions. 4. For these reasons, I use the name GOD, as well as Abraham, Moses, Jesus etc as well as the names Allah, Ibrahim (Alaihis Salaam), Moosa (Alaihis Salaam), Easa (Alaihis Salaam) etc 5. Muslims by habit usually say Sallallahu Alaihiwasallam, when the name of Prophet Muhammad is mentioned, and Alaihis Salaam' when the name of a Prophet is mentioned. However, in these series of talks I have reduced the use of these prayers & sayings to the bare minimum. 6. Muslims, also by habit, use a number of Arabic prayers or sayings, such as Alhamdulillah, Insha Allah and so on. Again, I have reduced the use of these prayers or sayings to the bare minimum. 7. Sometimes I have to write Arabic words in the English script. I have devised my own way of writing Arabic in English, as follows;

th TH

s Ss SW


H h


Information on these talks along with all download links can be found on my on my Blog ( The dates or the schedules of these talks can be viewed on the Facebook Page ( The Scripts of these talks can be downloaded from ( ( Author Imtiaz Muhsin) The audio files of these talks can be downloaded from YouTube (YouTube Channel Imtiaz Muhsin) The YouTube Link to this talk is at

All Praise and Thanks is due to Allah and Allah alone Alhamdulillah!