I am not a native Arab. I learned to read the Noble Quraan from an early age. I still do not understand why the meaning of the Noble Quran was not a part of my regular syllabus. Sometimes I feel embarrassed to tell people that I can read the most important Book of Islam but I don’t understand what I read. I know it does not make sense but unfortunately that is the reality in many non Arab Muslim countries.
When I read the Sacred Book I keep a translation copy to quickly check for understanding. I did this for about 12 years. I can now understand the frequently used words to some extent. This led me to start a memorization project, many times. I achieve some results and then I stop. Then I start all over again. About 10 years ago I started with Juzz Amma. I was quite happy with my progress initially but then after a while I stopped. Slowly I forgot many of the long surahs. 3 years ago I started to memorize again. But this time I started with Juzz ALM. I memorized page 1 and then stopped.
Few weeks back I started the memorization project again. This time I did some research. I now know which reciter I like most, Salman Al Utaybi, and I also know which Mushaf to use everyday (Medina Mushaf). Equally importantly, I know that I can give about 15 minutes a day after Fajr salah with both revision of old and new surahs. It is a 10 year program and I am so far doing good, Alhamdulillah.
IU am currently on Surah Fajr. The beauty of this Surah is in its rhythm, the words and the noble concept that shakes man by his collar. The Surah starts out by making a man come to his senses. ALLAH SWT tells man to think about history of mankind, to reflect on what happened to the people of Ad, Thamud, Firaoun for their unrelenting rebellion against G-d. Around the middle this magnificent Surah talks about our deepest desires.
When a man gets what he wants he thanks G-d for it. He thinks he has been honored with privileges in the pursuit of happiness. He says My Lord has honored me. The same man when he is tested with diffciulties he changes his tone to an ungrateful person. He says, my Lord has disgraced me. What is happening here?
I am happy and thankful to G-d when I get what I want. My piety and outward show of gratitude happens to be due to the good things in life I got from the Lord. Like an exchange, when the index goes up market is bullish, when the index is down the market had a bad day. My relationship with my Creator according to this materialistic theory is connected by the exchange of benefits. I get wealth, my Lord gets my gratitude. No wealth, no gratitude.
It is the trading mentality of Wall Street brokers employed in mostly Jewish owned houses. Its what the Jews used to do outside the Masjid Al Aqsa when Jesus AS broke their usurious banks at the gates. It is what the pagan Arabs used to do in Makkah. The Jews and the Mushrikeen pagans were pure materialists, they had no worry about the after life, this world was all there was to it, and therefore they tried to make the maximum profit in the Duniya.
The Majestic Quraan tells us to open our hearts, to see the tears of the orphan child, to feel the hunger
of poor men and women, to see the world as a normal human being, not as an elite. The Surah is telling us to stop thinking about material benefits all the time. We must put a stop to this insanity of collecting wealth for the sake of purchasing happiness. It does not work like that and we need to make our minds understand all this by opening the inner visions waiting to be opened in our hearts.