When I seek affirmation, I take my Qu’ran, always on my desk while I work or write, I place my palm flat upon the cover, open it randomly and always, it speaks to me.
My Qu’ran is different. It was gifted to me by an Imam in a masjid in Buffalo, New York. I simply walked in one day, saw a man in the front of the masjid, dressed in a suit with slightly greying hair, and said, “Salam, I wish to learn of Islam.”
The man did not hesitate, he took the exact Qu’ran used in prayer and handed it to me. It is worn leather with gold scripting on the cover that I am unable to see any longer, and deep forest green. It is written in both Arabic and English, translated by Abdullah Yusuf Ali from 1420 AH. It smells of flowers. [I can smell them now with it open.]
I adore it, it’s mine and it’s special.
I bowed my head to the man and said, “Salam, what do I owe you for this?” He said, with a confused look on his face, “No, nothing, we do not charge for Qu’ran, this is gift.”
That is the first time I had ever stepped into a mosque.
This Qu’ran was meant for me. When I place my hand upon the cover, I feel very safe. I opened it just now to this:
Surah 18: Al Kahf: (The Cave) C.135
“The life of this world is ephemeral, and its gains will not last. Good deeds are the best possessions in Allahs sight. All will be leveled up on the Day of Judgment, and a new order created on the basis of Truth, according to the Book of Deeds. Pride is the root of evil, rebellion and wrong. Who will choose evil ones in preference to Allah? Let us accept Truth, for though falsehood may flourish for a time, it must perish in the end.”
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Abdullah Yusuf Ali scripted a letter in this Qu’ran. He is humble considering he learned to read the Qu’ran in Arabic between ages 4-5, reciting the entire text by memory. Ali was a South Asian Islamic Scholar born in Surat, Gujarat, British India. His translation of the Qu’ran to English is the most widely known.
In one part Ali states, “It is the duty of every Muslim- man, woman or child – to read the Qu’ran and understand it according to his own capacity. If any one of us attains to some knowledge or understanding of it by study, contemplation, and the test of life, both outward and inward, it is his duty, according to his capacity, to instruct others, and share with them the joy and peace which result from contact with the spiritual world. The Qu’ran, indeed every religious book, has to be read, not only with the tongue and voice and eyes, but with the best light that our intellect can supply, and even more, with the truest and purest light which our heart and conscience can give us. It is in this spirit that I would have my readers approach the Qu’ran.”
[“Dhu al-Hijjah” means ‘Possessor of the Pilgrimage.’ It is during this month that pilgrims from all around the world congregate at Makkah (Masjid al-Haram, or Mecca, Saudi Arabia) to visit the Kaaba [al-Kaʿbah or The Cube.]
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“As to those who believe and work righteousness, verily We shall not suffer to perish the reward of any who do a (single) righteous deed.” – Surah 18: 30
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The Qur’ān is the central religious text of Islam. The Qur’an is the literal word of God as revealed to Muhammad (pbuh, Peace Be Upon Him) over a period of twenty-three years by the angel Gabriel (Jibril) and regard it as God’s (Allah) final revelation to mankind.