Monday, February 22, 2010

Reflections Journal

I started something new last week. It's been going pretty much amazing.

Basically I read a section of the Qur'an everyday and write down my reflections on verses that struck my eye in my reflections journal (which is on Word b/c I hate writing and love typing).

It's been quite a spiritually enriching experience. I mean each verse has newer and deeper meaning when I'm reading and actually reflecting on the God's words.

So far I've written my reflections on the verses of the first two chapters of the Quran in my journal).

Here's an example of one of my reflections...


وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ ۖ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ ۖ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ


And when My servants ask you about Me - indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me so that they may be rightly guided. [2:186]

A group of believers once asked the Prophet Muhammed, peace and blessings upon him, 'Is our Lord nearby so that we should talk to Him secretly, or is He far away, so that we should call out to him?’. This verse was revealed to answer their question.

I love looking at how Arabic syntax and sentence structure gives depth to the meaning of the verse. In this case, look at the red phrase above. God responds by saying "If my servant asks about me, Indeed I am near." God uses the Arabic language in such an eloquent way to convey to us that He is very close to us.

God is showing His nearness to His servant first by mentioning him as "
عبدي" ('abdi) which in Arabic generally means "My servant." [Technically speaking it means someone who willingly puts himself in servitude of someone]. God could have answered the question saying “if someone asks you about me” or “if a believer asks you about me,” but He doesn’t. Instead he uses a very special word in Arabic which connotes a more intimate meaning.

Second, the form of the word (because it’s all one word) makes the possessor (God) and the possession (servant/believer in Him) close in actual space in this verse. In Arabic the way the language looks also gives depth the meaning.

Third, God shows His nearness to us, His servants, by not putting the word "say" after the conditional clause. For example, I could say, "If someone asks them about SD's blog, tell them its www.symphonic-discord.blogspot.com." In giving an answer to the question you would put "tell them" or "say to them" or some type of verb that indicates what you should be communicating to the questioner. But in the verse, God turns to the first person and just says, "Indeed I am near." It's beautiful because you don't need a mediator or intercessor speaking on your behalf to God...it’s a direct relationship between you and Him.

I like to picture verses like a movie. For this verse I imagine God first facing the Prophet and then for the second part just turning to the believers who asked the original question and letting them know directly, "I'm right here for you!"

Lastly, God says "Indeed I am near." He could have just said I am near but He used emphasis on the fact that there is absolutely no doubt of the fact that He's near.

I don’t know if this all was too technical or not but I really just love analyzing the Arabic of the Qur’an. I feel like it gives me such a strong connection with God’s words.

So don’t forget… if every you need anything or are going through a hard time or anything really just turn to God and ask Him…He’s always right there waiting for you!



18 comments:

C said...

Asalaamu Alaikum

Masha Allah. That's beautiful. I could never get that out of the verse being a convert and not knowing arabic. The translation is so wanting.

Artistic Logic said...

that's excellent. i've been wanting to start this type of reflective reading for a long time now ...

Mrs. Cullen said...

You are so cool.

Mrs. Cullen said...

Mashallah

MarjnHomer said...

loved it. sigh im not fluent in arabic to do that..

supreem said...

i love the part about like direct communication. I really need to restart doing this.

MarjnHomer- you can do it with translation. YM's style has a lot to do with grammar, but it's a reflection journal, so whatever works for you works. :)

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