Friday, July 9, 2010


Qari: Saad Al Ghamdi
Translation: English....Pickthal[audio]


"Lo! thy Lord knoweth how thou keepest vigil sometimes nearly two-thirds of the night,
or (sometimes) half or a third thereof, as do a party of those with thee.
Allah measureth the night and the day. He knoweth that ye count it not, and turneth unto you in mercy.
Recite, then, of the Qur'an that which is easy for you. He knoweth that there are sick folk among you,
while others travel in the land in search of Allah's bounty, and others (still) are fighting for the cause of Allah.
So recite of it that which is easy (for you), and establish worship and pay the poor-due, and (so) lend unto Allah a goodly loan.
Whatsoever good ye send before you for your souls, ye will surely find it with Allah, better and greater in the recompense.
And seek forgiveness of Allah. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful."
Al Muzzammil , 73 ; 20

I enjoy this haunting rendition of the Noble Quran either by Al Baasit, Al Ghamdi, As Sudays Shraym, Mishari Rashid or Salah Bukhatir to name just a few from this very useful website. It has somewhat transformed my daily routine. Try this on your own. You will find this a pleasant experience. An addictive one as well!

On my own steam, I was never able to 'khatam' the Quran once in even two years, before. Too dry, too tedious. But with the help of the 'explorer', if I am not at it at least twice a day, there is already a feeling of void in my life. What was a tedious routine before has become pleasure. A paradigm shift of sort!

If I have any problem with comprehension,I go straight to hadithexplorer [ also within the quranexplorer ]. I usually though use the link on my website connected to Tafsir ibnu Kathir. Tafsir ibnu Kathir though may not discuss enough [for those new and not exposed to The Quran ] because understandably this is a 'salaf' tafseer ie done within 200 years of The Prophet. It presupposes and assumes a certain high level of basic knowledge and faith.

For people not bored with reading , and wanting to know more, may I suggest you get Tafsir Al Azhar by the late Prof Hamka. It is voluminous, discuss things in a wee bit lengthy way but if you are not in a hurry, why not? Hamka discuss contemporary issues related to the ummah with respect to each 'ayat'.

Lengthy because he did not assume he was the expert. As such you tend to get the whole spectrum, from the 'salafi' scholars, Ridha, Sayyid Qutb, right up to Hamka himself. Then 'you' yourselves choose your pick. Published by Pustaka Nasional of Singapore, a 10 volume hard cover collection come at a giveaway price of less than 250RM and could be obtained from any book store in Jalan Masjid India.

However if you are already a hardcore student of tafseer, may I suggest Prof Muhamad Al Ghazali's 'Thematic Commentary of The Quran'. Ghazali treated each surah as having one or several themes and he went thru them, relating to the present as and when necessary. I find his treatment of The Quran intellectually stimulating.

The Noble Quran will definitely change you. It has enriched my life some 30 years back and continue to enlighten me after every read. My understanding of the meanings of life, here and in the hereafter,keep changing, with small nuances here and there with repeated readings thru the years.

I can still remember the old guru from Mendaling, Sumatra, who was giving some kuliah to us Tabung Haji health workers some 26 years ago at our Ghazzah Clinic, Mekkah. He said," our souls are like the 'magneto system' in our car carburetion system. It need to be in continuous contact with the spark plugs. Otherwise your car cannot even start in the morning due to accumulated rust within the plugs!".That was some 26 years ago. I have forgotten what Sheikh Al Mendaling had taught us on that day but his analogy on the spark plugs is indelible.

The Noble Quran are indeed Divine letters. We need to read and reread them to have a clear idea and be reminded of where we are heading on a daily basis.The straight path. In my case, when I am in the hallowed company of the world best qari such as Al Baasit or As Sudays Shraym, I just sit back and listen. Pickthal is always there to narrate the meaning. My friends Ibnu Kathir , and whenever necessary, Prof Hamka would join us in elucidating the inner secrets and the spirit of The Noble Quran.If I am still confused, Dr Abdullah Yasin is just a phonecall away. If I need a dissenting and a contemporary view, Prof Wan Mohd, formerly of ISTAC, is there.
[ Even Sayyid Qutb is available on line...his tafseer of chapter 72 to 114 is subliminal, superb and beautiful from the perspective of language he used!...I would probably cry if I understand Arabic.. ]

Now , who is the joker who still insist that knowledge in 2010, still need to be imparted 'one on one' with a 'guru' squating in front of you!

If you decide that sailing the ocean is dangerous because you might get lost,there are stars to guide you.. in the 20th century, compasses and maps...and now 'google earth' and that ubiquitous built in gps in handphones!.....just use them.

We have powerful friends! We just need to use them to illuminate our lives.
Some already dead, some still up and about....the ulama'.

That joker can keep his 'understanding' of his 'hadith' about the limited way of seeking knowledge to himself!....Let us all sail into the open seas. Some may get themselves 'temporarily' lost in the process...but what the heck?.. it is better than not going to sea at all. The pearls and gem.....My God!...Go , discover them yourselves!

Dr Nik Howk

No comments: