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July 10, 2010



by Umm Muawiyah

Assalamu Alaikum.

An acquaintance of mine once told me something that happened to her:

A non-Muslim acquaintance of hers came over to her house. They chatted. The non-Muslim lady saw a copy of the Quran.

Non-Muslim: “Ooooh, so you can read Arabic!”

Muslim: “Yes.”

Non-Muslim: “So, what does it say?”

Muslim is a bit stunned: “Umm…I’ll have to check the translation.”

Non-Muslim: “You don’t know what you’re reading ?????”

Muslim is completely stunned.

It was at that time her eyes opened. She was reading something that she didn’t understand. Did that even make sense?

Allah says in the Quran:

“The likeness of those who were entrusted with the (obligation of the) Taurah (i.e. to obey its commandments and to practise its legal laws), but who subsequently failed in those (obligations), is as the likeness of a donkey who carries huge burdens of books (but understands nothing from them). How bad is the example (or the likeness) of people who deny the Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, signs, revelations, etc.) of Allah. And Allah guides not the people who are Dhalimoon (polytheists, wrong-doers, disbelievers, etc.). [Surah Al-Jumuah (62) :5]

“And there are among them (Jews) unlettered people, who know not the Book, but they trust upon false desires and they but guess.” [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) :78]

Both of the above ayaat refer to people who read the Quran but cannot understand it. You might say: “Wait, this is talking about the earlier nations.”

Yes, it is but it has been mentioned in the Quran for OUR benefit not theirs. We’re being warned about not following their mistakes.

Abu Said al-Khudri reported Allah’s Messenger (sallahu alaihi wasallam) as saying: “You would tread the same path as was trodden by those before you inch by inch and step by step so much so that if they had entered into the hole of the lizard, you would follow them in this also. We said: Allah’s Messenger, do you mean the Jews and Christians (by your words)” those before you”? He said: Who else?” [Saheeh Muslim, Hadeeth No. 6448]

Yes indeed. We’re following Banu Israil in what they used to do. In so many different ways.

So, how can you motivate yourself to read the Quran with the meaning?

Well, Brother Abu Abdissalaam has set up a nice challenge for everyone: read the Quran in your own language by the end of Ramadan.

Here is his story and why he is doing it.

Here is the website:

Go for it.

PS. There’s absolutely nothing like reading and understanding the Quran in Arabic. So, please try to make that your eventual goal. And yes, it is definitely possible – for the one who strives to achieve it.

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. jawahir
    Jul 11 2010

    salam 3aleikum
    first i want to say jazak Allah kheir sister for this beautiful blog…. sec i want to translate to all… the word ((dhalimoon)) in the surah of al jumoah (60) (5).
    dhalimoon= is >>opressors<< they can opress themselves or opress others,,
    i wont recomend also the word disbelievers or polytheist

    polytheist=is The worship of or belief in more than one god.
    disbelievers= is To withhold or reject belief or refuse to believe in….
    thank you for your efforts sister may Allah reward you for that.

    • Umm Muawiyah
      Jul 11 2010

      Wa Alaikum Assalam Sister.

      Wa Iyaaki.

      Jazakillahu kheira for your kind comments.

      Dhaalim is someone who oppresses, yes, but a person who is a kaafir (disbeliever), for example, also comes under this category because they oppress themselves by refusing to believe in Allah.

      I used the Muhsin Khan translation so I left it the way it was. Brothers Muhsin Khan and Taqiudeen Hilali didn’t just translate the Quran. They went back to the books of tafseer to get the meaning of the ayah. So, I wouldn’t remove the addition in the parenthesis because it is the implied meaning of the ayah.

      By the way, when they used “polytheist”, I believe they meant “mushrik” so that would mean someone who believes in one God but attributes partners to Him.

      Ameen to your dua. May Allah reward you for your keeness to learn about Islam


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