My attendance for ‘The Final Miracle’ was what you can call a gift. I wasn’t able to get a ticket at first, much to my disappointment, but I resolved to head up to KL anyway for the first 2 talks. Hey, 2 talks are better than none right?
One day before my trip up to KL, I received a text from a dear friend, stating she had an extra ticket to pass on and if I’d like to take it up. Hello, this is what you call, kecil tapak tangan, nyiru ditadahkan*! Of course I took it up (and immediately changed all travel plans)! Alhamdulillah! Such rizq!
So let’s take a look at the topic of the talk: “The Final Miracle”.
Trust me, that is one broaaaaaad topic. Here, the ‘final miracle’ refers to the Quran. But referring to the descent of the Quran from the highest of Heavens to mankind itself as a miracle is an oft-talked topic. Ustaz Nouman Ali Khan, in his talk, decided to approach it differently and instead, talked about how the Quran itself, (ie its content) is a miracle. Now, I’ve mentioned in the previous post that he is a student of language right? Here, he delves into the language of the Quran, its lexis, its syntax, its discourse etc to show how it is beyond doubt that the Quran is the Divine word.
To say that my mind was blown away during and after the talk would be an understatement.
I’m going to share this talk in 2 different entries because there is so much to share. I’m going to try to do justice to the content of the talk, your attention span and my falling-sick body. May Allah make it easy, ameen!
Right, before I proceed further, it’s important to, first and foremost, remember that the Quran was spoken, then written. Whenever Prophet Muhammad s.a.w received a revelation, he would first memorize it himself, later declare the revelation and instruct his companions who would also memorize it. He would immediately ask the scribes to write down the revelation he had received, and he would reconfirm and recheck it himself. Prophet Muhammad s.a.w was an Ummi who could not read and write. Therefore, after receiving each revelation, he would repeat it to his Companions. They would write down the revelation, and he would recheck by asking them to read what they had written. If there was any mistake, he would immediately point it out and have it corrected and rechecked. Similarly he would even recheck and authenticate the portions of the Quran memorized by the Companions.
The complete Qur’an was revealed over a period of 22.5 years portion by portion, as and when it was required. The Quran was not compiled by Rasulullah s.a.w in the chronological order of revelation. The order and sequence of the Quran too was Divinely inspired and was instructed to Rasulullah s.a.w by Allah s.w.t through archangel Jibril. Whenever a revelation was conveyed to his companions, Rasulullah s.a.w would also mention in which surah (chapter) and after which ayat (verse) this new revelation should fit.
Every Ramadhan all the portions of the Quran that had been revealed, including the order of the verses, were revised and reconfirmed by Rasulullah s.a.w with archangel Jibril. During the last Ramadhan before the demise of Rasulullah s.a.w, the Quran was rechecked and reconfirmed twice.
Even Allah s.w.t has promised in the Quran regarding the preservation of the authenticity of the Quran:
Indeed, it is We who sent down the Qur’an and indeed, We will be its guardian. [Quran, 15:9]
Ok, so we know the Quran was spoken then written, and its authenticity is preserved. What does this mean?
Think about this: the people of Makkah knew Rasulullah saw for 40 years before he was raised as a Prophet. You’d think they would know his pattern of speech by then right? It’s like you knowing the way your parents/siblings’ talk. You’d know if the words coming out of their mouth aren’t theirs, i.e. they’re mimicking someone else or they’ve read it somewhere and repeating it. It was clear that the words coming out of Rasulullah’s mouth wasn’t his speech, that was why the musyrikin called him a magician! They knew it was coming from another source but refused to believe it was from Allah.
And when our verses are recited to them as clear evidences, they say, “This is not but a man who wishes to avert you from that which your fathers were worshipping.” And they say, “This is not except a lie invented.” And those who disbelieve say of the truth when it has come to them, “This is not but obvious magic.” [Quran, 34:43]
Right, so hopefully I’ve made that part clear. I believe it is important to maintain the distinction between human’s limited understanding of the Quran and Allah’s perfect word. As Muslims, we read the Quran but let’s face it, most of us don’t really look into the language of the Quran, largely due to the fact that we’re not proficient in the Arabic language. All we do is read it then hopefully, read its transliteration too. But there’s an inherent problem in translation, you see. You can translate it only to the best of the capacity of the recipient language – and you should know that English has a limited capacity (I’m an English major, I can assent to this. 😛 ). Therefore, when the language of the Quran is translated, the intensity of the beauty of the language used is greatly diminished.
Ustaz Nouman, in the beginning of the talk, shared his journey of studying the Quran. He started studying the Arabic language primarily to learn the Quran. Once he was proficient enough to be able to sit down, study and take notes of the language used, whatever he found out just overwhelmed him. It was so overwhelming to the extent that he would cry or just had to calm himself down by doing other stuff.
Ok let’s go back to the topic: The Final Miracle.
There is no Arabic word for ‘miracle’. The better word to describe the Quran is ‘ijaazul’. Ijaazul comes from the word ‘ajaz’, which means to be on your knees and unable to stand. You could say it in slang as ‘absolutely floored’, which has the connotations of utter amazement, bewilderment, awe.
Once again, WHY?
Now that I’ve given you the background of all this, I will give you some time to digest and think. I’ll be back inshaAllah with the details of the talk, i.e. the perfect (mindblowing) language used in the Quran that in no way, can come from a human being’s speech.
I hope I’ve given you enough to whet your appetite to seek more knowledge! 😉
*A malay idiom that means accepting something with a huge heart.