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Posts from the ‘The Quran’ Category

22
Jul

The Rights of the Quran and some tips on how to fulfill them – Part 3

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

[Here are Parts 1 and 2.]

[Note: I forgot to mention one thing with regards to reciting the Quran: we are supposed to MOVE OUR LIPS.

It seems that some people think that one can recite “mentally”. They do this in the silent prayers too!

No, we need to MOVE OUR LIPS.]

In the last part, I had promised some resources for understanding the Quran so here goes:

1) Word to word translations:

If you want to buy a nice, authentic translation, then you could try out the Darussalam set. Here’s a sample page.

This one by Brother Muhammad Mohar Ali is supposed to be quite good as well, and it also gives the root words apparently (this is good for those studying grammar).

It’s available in Darussalam (in Sharjah).

Oh and here’s a nice software for mobile phones.

Some (free) online websites which provide the word to word translation are:

[Note: I haven’t checked all of them thoroughly. It’s always better to use more than one resource so as to be able to catch any errors. You can always pray Salatul Istikhara (prayer for guidance) before trying any of these out.]

http://www.allahsquran.com/learn/

http://www.emuslim.com/Quran/Translation_English.asp

http://www.quraninenglish.com/cgi-local/pages.pl?/contents

The following three sites seem to come from the same source. The last one is still new (and is still being worked on).

http://www.studyquran.co.uk/Quran_ArabicEnglish_WordforWord_Translation.htm

http://corpus.quran.com/wordbyword.jsp

http://beta.quran.com

I would advice caution with the above sites, especially the last three ones as some of the founders seem to believe in “self-studying” the Quran.

If you’re looking to learn Quranic vocabulary, you might want to use a Quranic dictionary which introduces the NEW words in a juz.

Here are two good ones:

The Easy Dictionary of the Quran

The Concise Dictionary of the Quran

Here’s a short pamphlet which goes through 80% of the words in the Quran in many languages. And here’s a nice website based on the pamphlet.

2) Various tafsirs of the Quran:

Well, I suppose this is a good time as any to advertise one of my other blogs:

http://attafsir.wordpress.com/

The aim of this blog is to gather all the authentic articles and lectures of tafsir out there, insha-Allah.

What books of tafsir are out there?

Well, there’s an abridged version of Tafsir ibn Kathir available online.

The print version is available at Darussalam.

Question:

One of my friends (who reads a LOT of Islamic literature) found Tafsir Ibn Kathir a bit “difficult” to understand. I was shocked to hear this from her (of all people).

So, my question to all of you is: How many of you feel the same way? And why?

[And no, I’m not asking just for the sake of asking. I have an idea, you see.]

Another tafsir (sort of) that you can read is the 9 volume version of Muhsin Khan’s translation. It has lots more notes than the 1 volume one. It’s also available at Darussalam.

[Question: Why is it that most people don’t know that this set exists?]

 Another tafsir that is available only for the last four juz so far (27-30) is Tafsir Minhaji. I don’t have it but I’ve heard good things about it from someone who has read it. Here’s a sample page.

Another basic tafsir that is available in English is Tafsir Ahsanul Bayan. It’s originally an Urdu work, and is quite good according to a friend of mine. The Urdu book is supposed to be just one volume but the translation is 3 volumes (and counting as they still haven’t finished the whole set)!

Why? “The font is bigger”, said the Darussalam guy.

What about other tafsirs?

Well, there are some tafsir sets which go through the whole Quran. However, they have mistakes in them. I don’t think that they are beneficial for laymen at all which is why I’m not going to mention them here.

Apart from these, there are various books which focus on just one surah like Dr. Bilal’s Tafsir Surah Al-Hujuraat. These are an excellent source of tafsir as well.

To be continued…

21
Jul

Ramadan: The Month of… – Part 2

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

[Here’s Part 1.]

The Month of Istighfar (Seeking Forgiveness), Prayer, Laylatul Qadr (the Night of Decree) and Dawah (inviting to Islam)

إذا دخل رمضان فتحت أبواب الجنة وغلقت أبواب جهنم ، وسلسلت الشياطين

Narrated Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu): Allah’s Messenger (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of the heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 3, Hadeeth No. 123]

[Here’s an explanation of how the devils are chained up.]

الصلوات الخمس . والجمعة إلى الجمعة . ورمضان إلى رمضان . مكفرات ما بينهن . إذا اجتنب الكبائر

Abu Hurairah reported (radiallahu anhu): Verily the Messenger of Allah (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Five (daily) prayers and from one Friday prayer to the (next) Friday prayer, and from Ramadan to Ramadan are expiations for the (sins) committed in between (their intervals) provided one shuns the major sins.” [Saheeh Muslim, Hadeeth No. 450]

[Want to know more about major sins? I’ve provided two resources here.]

كان النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم إذا دخل العشر شد مئزره ، وأحيا ليله ، وأيقظ أهله

Narrated Aishah (radiallahu anha): “With the start of the last ten days of Ramadan, the Prophet used to tighten his waist belt (i.e. work hard) and used to pray all the night, and used to keep his family awake for the prayers.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 3, Hadeeth No. 241]

سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول لرمضان : من قامه إيمانا واحتسابا ، غفر له ما تقدم من ذنبه

Narrated Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu): I heard Allah’s Messenger (salallahu alaihi wasallam) saying regarding Ramadan, “Whoever prayed at night in it (the month of Ramadan) out of sincere faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 3, Hadeeth No. 226]

من قام ليلة القدر إيمانا واحتسابا ، غفر له ما تقدم من ذنبه ، ومن صام رمضان إيمانا واحتسابا غفر له ما تقدم من ذنبه

Narrated Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu): The Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “Whoever established prayers on Laylatul Qadr out of sincere faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven; and whoever fasts in the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 3, Hadeeth No. 125]

“We sent it (this Quran) down on a blessed night (i.e. the night of Qadr). Verily, We are ever warning [mankind that Our Torment will reach those who disbelieve in Our Oneness of Lordship and in Our Oneness of worship].” [Surah Ad-Dukhan (44) : 3]

An entire surah (chapter) was revealed concerning this great night:

“Verily! We have sent it (this Quran) down in the night of Al-Qadr (Decree) “

“And what will make you know what the night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is?”

“The night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months (i.e. worshipping Allah in that night is better than worshipping Him a thousand months, (i.e. 83 years and 4 months).”

“Therein descend the angels and the Ruh (Jibreel) by Allah’s Permission with all Decrees.”

“Peace! (All that night, there is Peace and Goodness from Allah to His believing slaves) until the appearance of dawn.”

[Surah Al-Qadr (97) : 1-5]

[When is Laylatul Qadr?]

To be continued…

12
Jul

Sukainah’s questions to her dad…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

Sukainah who, you ask?

Sukainah bint Muhammad Nasiruddin Al-Albani.

She’s the daughter of that guy who authenticated thousands of hadeeth.

Oh and he also happened to be one of the greatest scholars of our time.

Nothing to write home about (not if you’re part of that family anyway).

So, whilst Shaikh Al-Albani (rahimahullah) was alive, his daughter asked him a few questions.

And then she posted these questions on her blog under the label: “I asked my father”.

Two of these questions were about Ramadan and a brother has translated both of them on his blog:

Shaikh al-Albaani’s Daughter asking her Father about Devoting Oneself to Reciting the Quraan to the Exclusion of other Acts of Worship in Ramadaan

How does a Menstruating Woman Worship During the Night of Decree?

I had written an article on the second topic last year. However, Shaikh Al-Albani makes a terrific point about how the ibaadah (worship) of the woman prior to her menstruation would make a difference. The same issue applies to ill people as well. It’s an excellent point that everyone needs to understand.

PS. He mentions the 27th night in particular as he holds that this is Laylatul Qadr. However, as I explained in this post, there is a difference of opinion of the scholars on this issue.

8
Jul

Ramadan: The Month of… – Part 1

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

I thought that it would be a good idea to remind ourselves of the virtues of Ramadan from the Quran and the Sunnah.

[Yes, many of us might know these but we all need reminders now and then.]

The Month of Fasting

“O you who believe! Observing As-Saum (fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqoon (the pious).” [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) : 183]

“[Observing Saum (fasts)] for a fixed number of days, but if any of you is ill or on a journey, the same number (should be made up) from other days. And as for those who can fast with difficulty, (e.g. an old man, etc.), they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a Miskeen (poor person) (for every day). But whoever does good of his own accord, it is better for him. And that you fast, it is better for you if only you know.” [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) : 184]

The Month of the Quran, Guidance, Gratitude and Generosity

“The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Quran, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong). So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadan i.e. is present at his home), he must observe Saum (fasts) that month, and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe Saum (fasts) must be made up] from other days. Allah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you. (He wants that you) must complete the same number (of days), and that you must magnify Allah [i.e. to say Takbir (Allahu-Akbar; Allah is the Most Great) on seeing the crescent of the months of Ramadan and Shawwal] for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him.” [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) : 185]

كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أجود الناس ، وكان أجود ما يكون في رمضان حين يلقاه جبريل ، وكان يلقاه في كل ليلة من رمضان فيدارسه القرآن ، فلرسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أجود بالخير من الريح المرسلة

Narrated Ibn Abbas (radiallahu anhu): Allah’s Messenger (salallahu alaihi wasallam) was the most generous of all the people, and he used to reach the peak in generosity in the month of Ramadan when Jibreel* met him. Jibreel used to meet him every night of Ramadan to teach him the Quran. Allah’s Messenger (salallahu alaihi wasallam) was the most generous person, even more generous than the strong uncontrollable wind (in readiness and haste to do charitable deeds). [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 1, Hadeeth No. 5]

[*For those new to Islam, Jibreel = Gabriel (the angel).]

The Month of Tawheed (worshipping Allah alone) and Dua (supplication)

“And when My slaves ask you (O Muhammad) concerning Me, then I am indeed near (to them by My Knowledge). I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me (without any mediator or intercessor). So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright.” [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) : 186]

To be continued…

27
Jun

Countdown to Ramadan: Changing one habit a week – Habit No. 3

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

[Okay, I have a question: How many of you are trying to follow these habits?]

Now, you might be thinking “Hey, she didn’t say ‘Choosing the third habit'”.

True, I didn’t because I chose it based upon the first two polls. This habit came in second both times.

And I mentioned it in yesterday’s post.

So what is the third habit?

Reciting at least one page of the Quran daily with the translation (for those who don’t understand Arabic).

Okay, let’s take this step by step:

1) Why is this not a habit in the lives of many Muslims?

If one reads the lives of the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) and his Companions (radiallahu anhum), we would find that they were attached to the Quran.

And this is something that most Muslims know so why don’t they attempt to be like this?

Well, if I had to guess, the following reasons might be amongst those that keep us away from the Quran:

a) The Shaytaan

You know, the devil is not dumb. He knows the powerful affect that the Quran has on a person so he tries his utmost to keep us away from it.

b) The lack of understanding leads to boredom.

Sad but true.

Most people don’t understand what they read which is why they really don’t want to read any further.

c) Difficulty in reciting the Quran.

Surprisingly this might be one of the main reasons why many eager beavers, who want to recite the Quran, don’t recite much – because they have great difficulty in doing so.

Spending 1 hour in trying to recite a few ayaat (verses) can be exhausting. However, remember that it is also highly rewarding.

d) Looking for inspiration in the wrong places.

What do I mean by that?

Well, I’ve noticed that many people tend to seek out blog posts and inspirational lectures when they are depressed.

Just a question: Why is it that they don’t turn to the Quran? Is there anything more inspiring than the words of the Lord of the Worlds?

Also, listen to this short lecture that I linked to earlier.

e) Seeking advanced knowledge whilst leaving the basics.

I remember one of my teachers pointing out that the Quran was the foundation so we should make more of an effort to keep in touch with it.

I’ve seen many students who regularly attend Islamic classes but have not memorised more than Juz Amma.

Why is that? Why aren’t we focusing on the Quran, on it memorisation and on its explanation?

f) Not understanding one’s priorities.

It doesn’t matter how much work you have, you are still required to keep in touch with the Quran.

If one doesn’t regularly recite the Quran, one is considered to have deserted it.

2) What are the difficulties people face in reciting the Quran daily?

I mentioned two of the reasons above: lack of understanding and difficulty in recitation.

Another reason might be not dedicating a fixed time to reciting it. It doesn’t have to be an hour. You could start with 5-10 minutes and then work your way up from there.

3) What can one do in order to make this a habit?

Right, here are some tips:

a) Decide when and how much you’re going to recite and stick with it.

Do you want to do it after Fajr? Or before sleeping? Or after lunch?

[Note: It’s much easier to recite on an empty stomach.]

How much will you recite? Try to make it at least a page. If that’s too much, then at least half a page.

b) If you don’t understand Arabic, get a nice translation.

You could try to get a word to work translation as well.

Of course, this is just a temporary measure until you understand Arabic.

[Oh and you can also use a Quran journal whilst you read so that you can record your questions, thoughts, etc.]

c) If you can’t recite properly, get some tapes of a good reciter.

Or as I said yesterday, you could use http://tanzil.net as then there’s no need to buy any tapes or translation.

d) Do dua and stick to the rountine until it becomes a habit.

Try and try until you get there.

Let’s try this for two weeks, insha-Allah.

Do any of you have any tips? Feel free to share, insha-Allah.

PS. Has everyone gone for away for the summer holidays? Certainly looks like it…


26
Jun

The Rights of the Quran and some tips on how to fulfill them – Part 2

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

[Here’s Part 1.]

An important point regarding reciting the Quran:

I’ve noticed that many people do not recite the Quran daily and they do not recite it in order.

What do I mean by “in order”? Well, one is supposed to recite the Quran from Al-Fatihah, then move on to Al-Baqarah and so on until one reaches Surah An-Naas (the last Surah).

After that, one returns to Al-Fatihah and starts all over again.

That’s what the Sahaabah (the Companions of the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam)) did. Some of them recited the whole Quran in a month, others completed it in a week and still others finished it in three days.

[Yes, that may sound impossible but it’s not.]

I asked a couple of sisters about how they recited the Quran and they said they just picked up the mushaf and recited the parts that they liked. Well, okay that’s fine but one should also attempt to recite from start to finish, even if that takes a year.

Also, it seems that some people have gotten confused about the fact that the Sahaabah used to study ten ayaat (verses) of the Quran at a time. Yes, they did but this was apart from their daily recitation.

Apart from reciting the Quran in order, one should sure to recite some of it daily even if you can only manage to recite a few verses. Don’t sleep without doing that, no matter how tired you are.

Just think about this: What if you were in bed and you realised that the gas stove was switched on or that you had left your car keys in your car (some people do that!)? Would you still go to sleep?

No! You’d jump out of bed and solve the problem.

So, if you’re in bed and you realise that you haven’t recited your daily portion of the Quran, then get up and do it. This way, you’ll make sure that it becomes a habit.

Oh and please remember to recite with tajweed. The whole point of learning how to recite properly is to….well, recite properly.

3) To understand it

In order to understand the Quran, one needs to understand Arabic.

I’ve put some tips up on my series on learning Arabic (here’s Part 5).

I should point out a few things here:

a) Even if you don’t understand Arabic, you can still understand the Quran to some degree by using a translation.

Try to use more than one so that you end up getting a more complete picture of the portion that you are reciting. The two most accurate translations are the Muhsin Khan one and the Saheeh international one. You could also use a word to word translation of the Quran.

[Yesterday, I heard of a story of an agnostic Jew who read 4 translations side by side and also used an Arabic dictionary along with it!]

For those of you who are struggling to recite and understand the Quran, you could use the following site:

http://tanzil.net – It has both audio and translation. You could play each ayah, then recite after it and then read the translation.

b) Translations are not enough.

You know, I’m in the process of listening to a rather wonderful lecture series by one of my teachers entitled “How can you understand the Quran?”

The sad news (for those that don’t understand Arabic) is that this series is in Arabic. [For those of you who can understand Arabic, you can download it here.]

Now, the purpose of me mentioning that was not to rub it in your faces, rather it was to make you ponder.

Why would ARABS need to know how to understand the Quran? Don’t they know Arabic?

Yes, they can understand the words but that does not necessitate that they understand the intended meaning of the ayaat (verses).

Unfortunately, many people think that they can study the Quran on their own by just understanding the meaning of the words. This is not correct.

Why not? Because when Allah revealed the Quran, He also sent a Prophet to explain His Book, so we need to refer back to him (salallahu alaihi wasallam) and his Companions (radiallahu anhum) in order to understand the meaning of the ayaat and the context in which they were revealed.

So, one needs a tafsir (explanation) to fully understand the Quran. And one is not enough. If you are able to read ten, then you should read ten. If you can read a hundred, then you should read a hundred. The Quran is a treasure. Reading just one tafsir is not going to give you the whole treasure.

Apart from the tafsir, one should also try to study the sciences of the Quran. These deal with the language of the Quran, the reasons for revelation of various ayaat, etc.

Insha-Allah, in the next part, I’ll mention some word-to-word websites and books, various tafsir books as well as some courses and books on the sciences of the Quran.

[And yes, I will only mention English resources…]

c) Don’t forget the whole point of learning all this stuff.

We’re not in a race to see who will read the most books. However, we are in a race to see who will have the highest iman and who will have the most amount of good deeds.

So, the point is not to finish as many tafsirs as possible. What is the point of studying the Quran then? The point of studying the Quran and its sciences is to ponder over its message.

The message? It’s tawheed (worshipping Allah alone). The whole Quran is just about that one topic. It introduces us to Allah, His Power, His Mercy, His Majesty and His other attributes* and it tells us what we need to do in order to get closer to Him. It also talks about what awaits those who follow His orders and what awaits those who don’t.

[*Remember that the Quran is the Speech of Allah and hence is one of His attributes as well.]

Unfortunately, many people today will talk about the Quran and discuss everything except tawheed. It’s sad but true.

So, we should not be like them. Rather, we should strive to remember the purpose of reciting the Quran whilst doing so.

To be continued…

11
Jun

A great reminder for all of us…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

I just came across this translation of a segment of a lecture (about 5 minutes). It was quite an eye-opener to say the least:

[There’s an annoying nasheed going on in the background, but alhamdulillah, it does not have any musical instruments, just some guy going “Aaaaaaaaah”.]

Note: The majority of people chose “controlling our tongues” as the second habit. Keeping that in mind, I’d advise everyone to pay even more attention to what the shaikh says.

Advice to those that want to soften their hearts by Shaikh Salim Al-Maghamsi

2
Jun

The Rights of the Quran and some tips on how to fulfill them – Part 1

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

Last year, I put up a lecture on the rights of the Quran.

Here is a summary of its rights:

1) To believe in it

2) To recite it

3) To understand it

4) To act upon it

5) To call to it

[6) To do the above all the time]

Now, how can we can actually fulfill these rights especially with the month of the Quran almost here?

Here are some tips that might be useful, insha-Allah.

1) To believe in it

Well, here is the main obstacle that this ummah (nation) faces today when trying to keep in touch with the Quran: many Muslims secretly have doubts about the Quran.

They don’t directly say it of course but one can easily understand that they do when they say things like “Polygamy is not correct” or “Capital punishment is cruel” or “Times are different now.”

These are the same people who call for “reinterpreting the Quran”. They also reject many authentic hadeeth. Why? Well, because it goes against their beliefs.

There’s a problem here, of course. Being a Muslim means we take our beliefs from the Quran and the Sunnah. It does not mean that we come in with a bunch of pre-conceived notions then try to interpret Islam in a way that suits our desires. That is not called submission.

Submission is letting Allah and His Messenger dictate what we should and should not do.

So, how can we fulfill this right of the Quran?

Well, we need to take everything that it tells us as the truth. We need to judge everything else according to it and not the other way around.

For example, suppose someone mentions a scientific “fact” that goes against the Quran. We need to accept what the Quran says and reject this scientific “fact”.

Another way would be to learn aqeedah (creed). This is one way of increasing oneself in certainty and iman (faith).

Also, there’s a nice book, called “How to Approach and Understand the Quran” by Jamal Zarabozo, that talks about the proper way to approach the Book of Allah. [No, I don’t think that it’s online.]

2) To recite it

The proper way to recite the Quran is explained in a science known as “tajweed”.

It is mandatory for a person to read the Quran with tajweed (i.e. following the rules of recitation). Why? Well, if one recites the words incorrectly, it could lead to changing the meaning.

So, how can you recite the Quran with tajweed?

1) Get a teacher ASAP. You cannot do this alone as someone has to be there to spot your mistakes.

2) Practice, practice, practice and after that, practice some more.

What if you have no teachers in your area? Well, try to get one of those online teachers. [Warning: Some of them these online Quran teachers are cheats. A relative of mine had a bad experience with one of them.]

Also, you could try to keep listening to the ayaat (verses) over and over again.

The following websites would be helpful:

http://tanzil.net/

http://www.houseofquran.com/

For tajweed rules, one may refer to the following websites:

http://www.abouttajweed.com/

http://www.tajweedinenglish.com/

http://www.readwithtajweed.com/

[Oh and I have some useful stuff on my Haafidh blog as well.]

For those who have no way of getting a teacher, the following two series may help:

Correct your recitation by Muhammad Salah

The Noble Emissaries by Yasir Qadhi

To be continued…

25
May

Post-Ramadan Teensie-Weensie Tip #5: Start learning Arabic (if you haven’t already) – Part 5

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

[Here are Parts 1, 2, 3 and 4. Please excuse me for taking so long with this series.]

8) In order to learn Arabic, you need to learn grammar and vocabulary.

[Okay, I mean in order to learn simple Arabic. You need to learn much more than just grammar and vocabulary to go deep into the Arabic language!]

By grammar, I mean two things: sarf and nahu.

To use an example I heard, sarf involves word construction and nahu involves sentence construction.

a) Sarf

Studying sarf is what really broke open the code of Arabic for me.

What is sarf exactly? Well, it is sort of like verb conjugation but it’s more than that. I think it would be pointless of me to explain because you won’t understand until you start studying it.

Arabic verb conjugation is something that will amaze you due to its simplicity – unlike in French where some verbs drive you crazy (devoir, pouvoir and vouloir, I’m talking to YOU).

For a quick way to learn some Sarf before Ramadan, I would suggest:

1) Understand Quran

2) Ustadh Fahd Al-Tahiri’s classes

b) Nahu

That’s basically learning about nouns, prepositions, etc. There’s no point in explaining this either because you need to study a bit of nahu before you understand how wonderful it is.

Both sarf and nahu can be tough in the beginning (especially if you are monolingual) but be patient and you’ll reap the rewards, insha-Allah.

A good place to start learning nahu would be the Madinah books. There are two websites where this book is explained:

1) Madinah Arabic

2) LQ Toronto

The second site has basic to advanced nahu lessons. However, a little warning: In the Madina series videos, the instructor mentions the names of  some deviant speakers and recommends their lectures (according to what I read on a website). If so, then please be careful.

Okay, what about the vocabulary?

Well, actually when you learn sarf, you’ll learn new vocabulary faster. See, each word in the Arabic language has some “root letters” so when you know the meaning of a set of root letters, you can figure out the meanings of all the words that are derived from it.

Let me give you an example from English (all these come from Latin):

Trans means “across, through, over, beyond, to or on the other side of, outside of”.

So, based on the above, can you guess what the following words mean?

Transform, transfer, transatlantic, translate, transition, etc.

Yes, to some degree, you’d have a general idea of what they meant.

Another example:

Circum means “around, about, surrounding, on all sides”.

So, based on the above, can you guess what the following words mean?

Circumvent, circumference, circumstance, etc.

Now, you might have known what  these words meant already but knowing the meaning of “circum” might have given you a deeper look into these words, thereby leading you to understanding their meanings better.

9) There are different vocabulary sets depending on what you want to understand.

If you want to understand the Quran, that’s one vocabulary set. The ahadeeth have another vocabulary set. Islamic literature has another vocabulary set (and each subject matter has it’s own vocabulary set).

If you want to study something else in Arabic, like IT or cooking, that has another vocabulary set altogether.

Of course, the above all refers to the standard Arabic. Each colloquial dialect have their own vocabulary sets as well.

Scared? Why? Isn’t this the case in every language? Think about it.

Generally speaking, sarf will help you with most of them (not the colloquial though). However, you would also need to start learning the vocabulary separately for each subject.

The first thing that you should focus on is the vocabulary of the Quran. The rest of them can come later, insha-Allah.

How can you improve on this?

Well, I can suggest three short ways before Ramadan:

– The Understand Quran courses also teach Quranic vocabulary.

– Using the dictionary of the Quran on the Understand Quran website which gives the translations of each new word, juz by juz.

– Reading the Word-to-Word translation of the Quran on a daily basis. I would recommend the Darussalam version due to its authenticity. However, the others are acceptable as well.

10) So, what will your Arabic schedule look like before Ramadan?

Well, assuming that you know how to read the Arabic letters, do not understand any Arabic at all and have not registered for any course, I would suggest:

a) Starting with the Understand Quran Short Course.

Dedicate 15 minutes in the morning to doing the course and another 15 minutes in the night to reviewing it.

b) Read at least one page of the Word-to-Word translation every day.

Write down all the new vocabulary that you’ve learnt in a notebook and keep reviewing them.

c) You could also keep listening to the Quranic recitation along with its meaning.

Here’s one with Shaikh Abdullah Basfar’s recitation (excellent tajweed).

d) After you finish all the Understand Quran lessons, you can then move on to the Madinah Arabic lessons.

Again, I should point out, that these are all suggestions. It’s okay if you don’t follow all of them. I’m just try to give you an idea of what you can start with.

Remember: The more you push yourself, the more Quran you will be able to understand in Ramadan and the more khushoo (humility) you’ll feel in the taraweeh prayers (and all the other prayers for that matter).

To be continued…