Thursday, September 27, 2007

A Tribute to and a Radiant Prayer for the Lovers of Bint 'Adnan

Assalamu 'alaykum warahamtullahi wabarakatuh

A Tribute to and Radiant Prayer for the Lovers of Bint 'Adnan

Whether your involvement with Arabic is as a teacher or a student, a blogger or a forum administrator, an author or a publisher, or just an ordinary contributor, I pay tribute to you and applaud your efforts in this regard. Remember that: whatever you do of good (no matter how little), Allah knows it (al-Baqarah: 197, 215) and it will not go unrewarded, and remember that: whatever you send forth of good for the benefit of your own souls, you will find it with Allah even better and greater in Reward (al-Muzzammil: 20).

I ask Allah to reward you richly for taking the time out to serve the language in which the Qur'an was revealed and the tongue in which the Prophet of Allah communicated and made clear to us (both in word and deed) the teachings and injunctions contained in the Noble Qur'an. "Bint 'Adnan" (the Daughter of 'Adnan) is another name for Arabic, and the Lovers of Bint 'Adnan are all those who love the Arabic language. The Daughter of 'Adnan - by herself - is already beautiful, but when she moreover becomes the medium and form through which the Noble and Sublime Meanings of the Qur'an are expressed, a Beauty of a totally different kind is added to her already existing beauty - that Beauty is no other than Divine Beauty. It is truly a case of Nur 'ala Nur (Light upon Light), with the result that our love for her increases even more. May Allah guide us all to both these radiant lights - the Light of the Qur'an and the Light of Bint 'Adnan - so that we in turn are lit with their light and become light-bearers ourselves illuminating the world that we inhabit just as those before us were light-bearers who were also lit by their light and illuminated the worlds that they inhabited.

اللهم اجعل في قلبي نوراً ، وفي لساني نوراً ، واجعل في سمعي نوراً ، واجعل في بصري نوراً ، من فوقي نوراً، ومن تحتي نوراً ،وعن يميني نوراً ،وعن شمالي نوراً ، ومن أمامي نوراً ، و في خلفي نوراً، و اجعل في نفسي نوراً، وأعظم لي نوراً ، وعظم نوراً ، واجعل لي نوراً ، واجعلني نوراً ،اللهم أعطني نوراً ، واجعل في عصبي نوراً ، وفي لحمي نوراً ، وفي دمي نوراً ، وفي شعري نوراً ، وفي بشري نوراً ".
"اللهم اجعل لي نوراً في قبري .. ونوراً في عظامي وزدني نوراً ، وزدني نوراً ، وزدني نوراً وهب لي نوراً على نوراً"

O Allah, place light into my heart, light in my tongue, light in my sight, light in my hearing, light on my righthand-side, light on my lefthand-side, light above me, light beneath me, light in front of me, light behind me, (O Allah) place light in my soul and magnify for me my light, increase for me light. O Allah, grant me light, and place light in my muscles, light in my bones, light in my flesh, light in my blood, light in my hair and light in my skin.

O Allah, place light in my grave, light in my bones, and increase me in light, increase me in light, increase me in light, and grant me light upon light.

اللهم إني عبدك ابن عبدك ابن أمتك ناصيتي بيدك، ماضِ في حكمك، عدل في قضاؤك، أسألك بكل اسم هو لك سميت به نفسك أو أنزلته في
كتابك، أو علمته أحداً من خلقك أو استأثرت به في علم الغيب عندك أن تجعل القرآن ربيع قلبي، ونور صدري، وجلاء حزني وذهاب همي"

O Allah, I am Your servant, the son of Your (male) servant, the son of your maid-servant, and entirely at Your service. You hold me by my forelock. Your Decree is what controls me, and Your Commands to me are just. I beseech You by every one of Your Names, those which You use to refer to Yourself, or have revealed in Your Book, or have taught to any one of Your creation, or have chosen to keep hidden with You in the Unseen, to make the Noble Qur'an the springtime of my heart, the light of my eyes, the departure of my grief, and the vanishing of my affliction and my sorrow.

اللهم ارحمنا بالقرآن واجعله لنا نورا وإماما وهدى اللهم ذكرنا منه ما نسينا وعلمنا منه ما جهلنا اللهم اجعلنا من أهل القرآن الذين هم أهلك وخاصتك يا أرحم الراحمين

O Allah, Have mercy on us through the Qur'an, and let it be for us a light, a leader and a guide. O Allah, make us remember what we have forgotten thereof, and teach us what we are ingorant thereof. O Allah, make us from the People of Qur'an - those who are Your favourite people and Your select, O Most Merciful of those who show mercy.



Humairah Irfan said...

Jazakallah khair brother for the excellent information you left on our Arabic Learners blog. I really appreciate it!
Subhanallah, we're just beginners, and we have such a long way to go!
I look forward the knowledge that you'd share with us inshallah :)

Ibn Uthman said...

Wa iyyaki, Sister, you're welcome. Al-Hamdulillah, it's just very encouraging to see how many people are attending to the task of spreading the knowledge of Arabic and its beauty, and with so much potential. Not too long ago the learning of Arabic amongst Muslims living in the West was the private preserve of a select few. Now, al-Hamdulillah, more and more people are taking an interest in Arabic and the success rate also appears to be much higher than before. Also, methods have been refined and there are a number of institutions that are doing excellent work in this regard.

Even though we all might be at different levels we all have different but crucial roles to play at those levels. The important thing is that we play those roles and successfully so that we can move up yet another level, and so on. In other words, the role that you are playing is just as important as the role everyone else is playing in promoting and advancing the Language of the Qur'an.

As I mentioned before, that more and more effort is being made to learn and teach Arabic by highly talented people who have great potential and bring along with them important resources because of their diverse professional backgrounds. Anyhow, I would like to one day see all of the aforementioned consolidated into a single global effort where everybody can benefit from everybody else. This seems to be happening locally but nothing has yet been attempted on a global scale to the best of my knowledge. I'm in the process of working on something of the sort. So make du'a that Allah grants us all success in our endeavours.

Hafsa said...

i echo Humairah's sentiments.. Jazak Allahu Khairan for the encouragement and the kind words.

Please suggest books in English on balagha, as my arabic isn't up to par to read books in arabic yet..

Jazak Allah.

Ibn Uthman said...

Insha Allah, your Arabic will soon be up to par.

I don't know of anything written in English on Balaghah. However, if you are familiar with literary analysis and literary terms in English, and you study a basic Arabic text on Balaghah, you should be able to find corresponding terms in English for the Arabic terms. Alternatively, you could study Balaghah as you would study Tajwid, and leave the terms in Arabic and just find simple explanations and definitions for them.

Because of a lack of English literature on the subject, I decided to write a basic manual on it which I entitled "Balaghah in Brief", and it is not very long. The most basic Arabic primer on Balaghah is undoubtedly "al-Balaghah al-Wadihah" of which I have translated all 77 rules into English. It is definitely a book worthwhile translating completely. There is also a small matn dealing with the imagery part of Balaghah called "'Ilm al-Bayan" where you deal with literal vs. non-literal speech, the comparison (simile), and metonymy, which I'm in the process of translating. The Matn is called “Tuhfah al-Ikhwan fi ‘Ilm al-Bayan” (The Brethren’s Gift on the Science of Eloquence). Make du'a that all of these efforts mature into complete works.

Because of the current state of Balaghah in English, this makes it all the more important to start popularising it. In fact, an attempt has been made to take Arabic in the West to a completely different level. There is the reservation that we Muslims in the West might not be ready for it. I think people are turned off by the sheer depth and breadth of the project. At the moment there is only one contributor who has taken it upon himself to layout and supply the content. If you are interested you can go and visit it at this address:
Your feedback on the project will be appreciated. For one, I'm sure that a discussion forum is not the best medium for what the project seeks to achieve. Anyhow, that is only how I feel after having worked on it for several months.

Coming back to Balaghah, if you people are interested we could do something brief on Balaghah on this blog or wherever, and we can see how it goes from there. The more people involved exhibiting the same interest the merrier, as they say. This, insha Allah, could lead to a very positive state of affairs for all those involved and more importantly for Arabic.

You will also find on the website a project that I've been working on for a while now, which incorporates Balaghah, called "Fann of al-Tadabbur Project" (The Art of Qur'anic Reflection and Contemplation" which I thought of making into subject than can be taught. You will find there that I've listed about 40 rules for optimal reflection and contemplation, amongst other things. Some of the aspects of content still need to be developed before it can be adequately presented as a subject to be taught. So, insha Allah, let me know what you people think, and we'll take it from there.

Humairah Irfan said...

Mashallah, you're so encouraging! :)
I was wondering if you teach @ an institute? I think it's easier for people to grasp the concepts through teaching rather than reading a blog.
Inshallah after Ramadan I want to catch up on all your posts :)

Ibn Uthman said...

I used to teach Arabic for quite a while and my last teaching post was at Qasid Institute in Amman. Since my family and I have moved to Abu Dhabi where I work in a field totally unrelated to teaching Arabic, so I feel little bit like a fish out water.

While I agree that teaching does have its benefits it is very limited for the type of vision that I have in mind, unless it is lecturing at a university which again also have its downsides.

Some of the limitations of teaching are: (1) that you are limited by the level, needs and himmah of your students (esp. students with Western backgrounds), (2) your audience is limited, that is, you only teaching a small group at a time and you can't be reaching out to a much larger group, (3) there is often no time for Arabic research, and so on.

I don't mind teaching, in fact, I enjoy teaching but my current vision for Arabic extends far beyond teaching. In an attempt to realise this vision I've started to a discussion forum on Arabic which I referred to in a previous comment. Here is the address once again
The idea of the discussion forum I got from a another very successful discussion forum on Arabic in Arabic of which I was a very active member. I thought that it would be good to have the same thing (but more extensive and comprehensive in scope) in English for Muslims (& non-Muslims)living in the West.

So if you take a look at the website you'll get an idea of what I have in mind, and you'll also see that it goes well beyond teaching. After having working on it for quite some time now, I'm not sure of the discussion forum was the proper medium for it, or maybe it is not picking up enough traffic if any at all.

This state of affairs has prompted me to try out another medium, namely, blogging, to try and realise what I have in mind, insha Allah. I'll still hold on to the discussion forum and still occasionaly post with the hope that one day it will take of, bi-ithnillah.

At this stage you might want to know what my vision is. My vision - which is somewhat ambitious to say the least - is organise a series of activities that seek to harness individual and group efforts involved in Arabic-related activities (from all over the world) into a single collaborative network that aims to promote Arabic globally and to stimulate interest in Arabic and Arabic related subjects as well as raise the level awareness of and interaction with Arabic and its rich historical tradition mainly amongst non-Arabs (Muslim and non-Muslim).

So what am I doing? I'm trying to stimulate interest in this project and help out others with their projects, and offer and explore ways on how others can improve their individual or collective efforts in promoting Arabic.

So there you go, that is my perspective. So while teaching is what I enjoy doing, it is just a small part of the bigger picture. Make du'a in this blessed month esp. the last 10 days that Allah grant succes in whatever we do to please Him, and plant and water in us the seeds of sincerity. Ameen!

Humairah Irfan said...

Ah Qasid... so you must know Sh Sohail (who's my favorite) and Sh Hamza.
Ever since I came to Al Ain in Nov 2006, I've been looking for an Arabic teacher who can teach in English, but without much luck.
I wonder if you know anyone here? [I think it's best not to turn this post into a discussion forum! My email is my first name dot last name at gmail, that will be great]

I think Hafsa, Sheepoo, many others who've been studying Arabic together including me, sort of have the same vision as yours. I'm sure if we can be of any help to you, we'd be pleased to. Just let us know.

May Allah (swt) reward you for all your work, bless your time and knowledge and increase you in iman and in your drive to spread the knowledge of this language.

Ibn Uthman said...

Assalamu 'alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh

Jazakumallah both of you for your positive replies.

Yes, I know Sh. Sohail (who's also my favourite) from Qasid and Sh. Hamza from Sunnipath. They are both extremely accomplished in what they do, masha Allah, and their programs have been highly successful, masha Allah. May Allah reward them for rendering such a great service to the Language of the Qur'an. Insha Allah, I would like to soon start a post on acknowledging the services that various individuals from all over the world are doing to promote Arabic, insha Allah.

The idea is to be in touch with all aspects of the Arabic language. I appreciate your willingness to help out with the project. For the moment you can help by just doing what you are doing on your respective blogs. I will meanwhile explore ways on how to expand the scope of what we are currently doing to include areas that have hitherto not been touched upon. Eventually, the idea is to have discussion on as wide a variety of topics, so that participants can become familiar with them and gain confidence in competently discussing them. This might require that they be empowered in these areas which would call for basic manuals and courses for empowering them, like the one I suggested on Balaghah.

Shukran, for all the kind du'as.