Assalamu alaikum, peace to all!
The Quran is a phenomenal book. It has about 50 titles, most of which I don’t know. One, the better known is ‘Furqan’, meaning roughly, ‘criterion’, i.e., a way to distinguish between right and wrong. The most commonly used word, ‘Quran’ comes from the root word ‘qara’a’. The arabic root word system is amazing. Root words are usually derived of three letters (in arabic there are no vowels and consonants, it is a phonetic language with diacritical marks denoting vowel sounds), in this case; q-r-a’, which can then be formed in many versions to mean many things that are derived from that root word. ‘qara’a’ means to read a written thing, recite with or without a script, proclaim, convey, call, rehearse, transmit, deliver. In fact the first revealed word, which is found in the Quran as the first verse of chapter (or sura) 96, is ‘iqra’. It was the first revealed word to Muhammed, the final messenger, upon whom God shower peace and blessing, and indeed a fitting opening for what was to follow and the mission he recieved with that word.
One of the Quran’s titles is shifa, meaning a ‘healing’. The recitation of the Quran carries immense healing and calming. Which is why often Muslims, even those who don’t understand arabic (the majority) will know how to recite the Quran. And this recitation has certain rules and methods. The best reciters or ‘qaari’s’ (you can see how the root word system is working!) often lead the prayers in Mosques, as during the prayer, verses of the Quran are recited. These recitations are beautiful and many around the world listen to recordings of them. And such is the healing power of the Quran, that the recording of it’s recitation is often used (i.e., by playing it over radio, internet, tapes etc) to cure people or comfort those who are dying. For myself, the Quran healed a broken heart and also soothed a mind when it was wandering ( I carry schizophrenia susceptibility genes and for a time was almost delusional due to some bad life incidents). Mashaallah (=by God’s grace), the Quran healed me. The words of my Lord are a soothing balm and comforter.
That was a long prelude! But it was organic so I hope you will indulge me and I wanted to explain the context of what reciting means to a Muslim. This is a poem written a few days ago ater a peaceful pre-dawn time of reciting, sitting on a prayer mat that was made of my grandmother’s soft old white sari, folded many times and wearing the white prayer dress of embroidered (white on white) skirt and loose head covering. I hope you will like it and I wish for you many such moments of utter peace and comfort, of such closeness with the divine. Praise and Glory be to Him. To end I want to say, ss Muslims believe, any good in me is from God and God alone.
Teaching, guiding, soothing
Each morning before the sun rises
with the birds who wake before dawn
learning their song. I recite
the revealed words of the Creator
As the earth stirs to life
So does my heart.
As the cool gentle breeze of truth
hums within my heartstrings
As the perspicious light of guidance
dissipates the doubt in my brain
As the wise and the true
embellishes itself in my heart
I am but a grateful slave
of the One. One beyond time and place
One closer to me than my conscience
One knowning me better than I do myself
So then peace. In the safest hands
I am gently lead. To a better way to live.
Each morning as I recite
The words of my Lord. The birds sing
And soon it will be dawn.
Copyright Joymanifest Blog (C) 2012.