Qur’an

Iqraa (Read)

These are the first 5 verses of the glorious Qur’an that were revealed to Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) while he was in the cave Hira.

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(In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful)

1. Proclaim! (or Read!) in the name of thy Lord and Cherisher, Who created–

2. Created man, out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood:

3. Proclaim! And thy Lord is Most Bountiful,–

4. He Who taught (the use of) the Pen,__

5. Taught man that which he knew not.

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You can read Surah Iqraa in its entirety here.

For a detailed commentary on these verses and indeed the entire surah or any other surah of the Qur’an, I recommend Ma’ariful Qur’an.

What Exactly Is Going On?

No doubt you’ve seen Muslims in prayer before (even if only on TV), right? Ever wonder: “what exactly are they doing, what’s going on, what are they saying?”

Well, here’s a translation of some of what a Muslim recites while performing prayers (5 times/day everyday x the # of prostrations each time. There are 17 obligatory prostrations and about 23 highly recommended ones… so a Muslim performs the following at least 17 times but many do so at least 40 times (and then some, there is no limit). Bear in mind that prayers are offered in the Arabic language and there are specific actions and other details that I am not giving here… this is just to give you an idea of the meaning of some of the words behind the actions:

  • Allah is the Greatest.
  • Glory be to you, O Allah, and all praises are due unto you, and blessed is your name and high is your majesty and none is worthy of worship but you.
  • I seek Allah’s protection from Satan who is accursed. In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
  • Praise is only for Allah, Lord of the Universe. The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. The Master of the Day of Judgement. You alone we worship and to you alone we pray for help. Show us the straight way, the way of those whom you have blessed. Who have not deserved your anger, nor gone astray. Ameen.
  • In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. Say: He is Allah, the One and Only; Allah, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him.
  • Allah is the Greatest.
  • Glory to my Lord the Exalted. Glory to my Lord the Exalted. Glory to my Lord the Exalted.
  • Verily Allah listens to one who praises Him. Oh our Lord, all praises be to you.
  • Allah is the Greatest.
  • Oh Allah, glory be to you, the Most High. Oh Allah, glory be to you, the Most High. Oh Allah, glory be to you, the Most High.
  • Allah is the Greatest.
  • Allah is the Greatest.
  • All compliments, all physical prayer, and all monitary worship are for Allah. Peace be upon you, oh Prophet, and Allah’s mercy and blessings. Peace be on us and on all righteous slaves of Allah. I bear witness that no one is worthy of worship except Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.
  • Oh Allah, send grace and honour on Muhammad and on the family and true followers of Muhammad, just as you sent Grace and Honour on Ibrahim and on the family and true followers of Ibrahim. Surely, you are praiseworthy, the Great. Oh Allah, send your blessing on Muhammad and on the family and true followers of Muhammad, just as you sent blessings on Ibrahim and his true followers. Surely, you are praiseworthy, the Great.
  • Oh Allah, Give us goodness here in this world and in the next. Protect us from the fire of Hell. Oh Allah, forgive us when the day of judgment has come. And also excuse my father and mother and the believers as well.
  • [to angel on right] Peace be on you and the mercy of Allah
  • [to angel on left] Peace be on you and the mercy of Allah

Peace.

The Favours

Now, if you’ve taken a moment to consider the previous posts, then:

Please, as we recline on this carpet –  woven with fibers from the earth, harvested, cleaned and prepared, dyed and woven, transported and marketed, with hardship and cooperation at every level –   with one beautiful example of a favour (the cat), let’s take a moment to listen to Surah Rahman from the Qur’an and imagine yourself reclining on a Carpet of immense beauty; a pure Carpet, clean and comfortable. And as we listen, let’s consider the favours and what it might take for us to get from this carpet to that One?

First, let’s listen to it with our eyes open, reading the translation, keeping our heart as open as we can to the recitation of the words in Arabic. Then, we can listen to it one more time, this time with our eyes closed, absorbing the words fully with our hearts.