A Quranist friend sent me this picture. What can we notice in this picture of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed? Yes that does look like a nice cup of tea.
Being an avid reader of the Quran obviously what caught her eye was the translation of the Quran on Dr Mahathir’s table. She said, ‘Look at his Quran translation”
So I zoomed into the picture. Here it is :
Can you see all the bookmarks that Dr Mahathir has inserted into his copy of the Quran translation? This particular translation “Tafsir Pimpinan Ar Rahman Kepada Pengertian Al Quran” is by the ‘old’ JAKIM.
I have my views about this translation but their translation of Surah 72:18 (Surah Jinn) is perhaps the best in any language. Sadly I could not find this translation online. Do look it up.
Tun Dr Mahathir is obviously a reader of the Quran. Meaning he does not recite the Quran in Arabic like a parrot (like most other people). He reads the translations to understand what it says. Hence all the bookmarks.
Believe me even the so called scholars and “religious experts” will not know the contents of the Quran. This would include the muftis. The Quran is just NOT a book that is read to be understood by the Muslims, even by their scholars. The Muslim ignorance of their own Quran is quite universal.
During the rise of Anwar Ibrahim, I happened to have a conversation with Syed Naquib Al Atas at a buka puasa in Anwar’s house. We spoke about the Quran. He said he could not comment about it because he was not a scholar of the Quran. (I believe he used the word ‘hafiz’). So even the so called scholars do not wish to comment on the Quran. This means they do not know the Quran.
So what chance do you have dear “everyday-ordinary” Muslim reader, of understanding what is in the Quran when even your scholars say that they do not know the Quran ?
I am just being provocative ok.
The truth is anyone can read the Quran. And I hope you will embark on this journey with zest, gusto, determination, great interest and curiosity to read and understand the Quran. Your Quran. This is the “bulan puasa”. Maybe you will be inspired to read and understand the Quran (or however much of it) in this bulan puasa.
There is plenty to do. You will be saved. Your life will become like living in a “jannah” (Arabic) or “piyaridasa” (Sanskrit) or “pairidaeza” (Persian) or “paradeisos” (Greek) or “paradise” (English).
They all mean the same thing – a garden. Meaning a life of plenty, ease and comfort. “Piyaridasa” or ‘pairidaeza’ or ‘jannah’ or ‘garden’.
Being a writer of books and many of my thoughts and a reader of sorts, I find it quite true that the beginning of a book or the beginning of a paragraph determines what the book or even that particular paragraph is trying to say.
Some call it ‘the Mission Statement’. The first part of the book clears the way for what the rest of the book wishes to say.
In the Quran, in the very first chapter (Surah Fatiha) and in the second line (after the Bismillah) the Quran describes what is Allah.
1:1 Bismillahhir-rahman-nirraheem : In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.
1:2 Alhamdu lillaahi rabbil alameen – The Praise be to Allah, the Overlord of the worlds.
So what is Allah? Allah rules over (the rabb) the entire universe. That is what Allah does. Then the Quran goes on to describe how this is achieved.
For example :
Surah 36:036 Glory be to the One who created all kinds of plants from the earth, as well as themselves, and other creations that they do not even know.
36:037 Another sign for them is the night: we remove the daylight therefrom, whereupon they are in darkness.
36:038 The sun sets into a specific location, according to the design of the Almighty, the Omniscient.
36:039 The moon we designed to appear in stages, until it becomes like an old curved sheath.
36:040 The sun is never to catch up with the moon – the night and the day never deviate – each of them is floating in its own orbit.
This is a description of the stars and planets around us. Everything has been set in order.
And the Quran tells us HOW we are to perceive and understand all this:
Surah 16:79 Do they not see the birds, held poised in the midst of the sky?
Surah 16:48 Do they not see all the things created by Allah?
Surah 26:7 Do they not see the earth – how many noble things of all kinds We have produced therein?
“Awa – lam – yaraw” – do they not see ?
We have to see. We have to observe. We can only appreciate this universe and everything it has to offer us by “observing”. . Let us not be blind to the real world around us.
To see, observe, appreciate, understand and take benefit from the real world around us.
Do not waste your time in time wasting hermitism and monasticism (seclusion, meditation, “spirituality” etc).
Surah 57:27 Subsequent to them, we sent our messengers. We sent Jesus the son of Mary, and we gave him the Injeel, and we placed in the hearts of his followers kindness and mercy. But they invented hermitism which we never decreed for them. All we asked them to do was to uphold the commandments approved by Allah. But they did not uphold the message as they should have. Consequently, we gave those who believed among them their recompense, while many of them were wicked.
Conclusion : Trees only bend in the wind ok. That is how Allah has designed it.