Posts Tagged 'Muslim'

Iftar in Nigeria.

Nigerian president Buhari in this picture.

 

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Hurting the weak to feel powerful.

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Problems to opportunities

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Protecting people from harm and loss…

Faithful in prostration in Medina.

The believers in unison in prostration on the floor in the yard of the prophet’s  صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم mosque in the holy city of Medina. The illumination of the lighting contrasts with the dark black of the sky above.

Medina, city of the prophet  صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم.

Medina, city before known as Yathrib but then called ‘Medina (city) of the prophet’  صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم or just ‘Medina’ (city).

Medina, said by a few to be the holiest city in the world, host to the grave of the best of creation and beloved of Allah, Muhammad  صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم.

Peace be upon or noble prophet, and his family and companions.

May Allah make us of those who can visit Medina, or visit once again.

  • Faatih

 

The Quran commentary series: 2b

 

In the previous article, which you can read by clicking here, we started discussing the ‘basmallah’ which means uttering ‘Bismillahi Rahman ar-Raheem’ meaning ‘In the name of my Allah the most beneficient, the most merficul’. We covered the words ‘bi’ (by/with/in) and ‘ism’ (name) now in this article I will focus on the word ‘Allah’.

 

Every thing has a name, for without a name, how can we speak of it or if ‘it’ be a person how can we speak to him or her?

A name identifies, describes.

Names are important, for without names there is nothing but chaos and confusion. They are a fundamental basis for humans to function. ‘Oh Adam, pass me the …..{no name/unspecified thing}’, or ‘Oh Adam, our daughter {no name} needs milk.’, ‘Oh Sara, which daughter?’

So names are essential for our existence.

What is the name of the most important being in existence, the most important one in our lives, the one who created us, to whom we owe our very existence and being? What is the name of the one to whom we owe everything, our lives, our health, our family?

His name is ‘Allah’

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Root/etymology

Some, especially amongst the non-Muslims, believe that ‘Allah’ is a compound consisting of ‘Al’ (Arabic for ‘the’) and ‘ilah’ (Arabic for god or deity). In contrast to the many other deities worshipped by the ancient Arabs of the past, that ‘Al-ilah’, which is pronounced ‘Allah’, (the two words being merged).

The Muslims state that the name ‘Allah’ is the proper name for God.

The word ‘Allah’ existed before Islam and was used by the Jewish and Christian Arabs and is still today. The name of the father of the prophet Muhammad MHMD was ‘Abdullah’ (slave of Allah)

Arabic is a sister language of other Semitic languages such as Hebrew and Aramaic. The word which the ancient Hebews used as the personal name for God was ‘Yahweh’, but they also used the words ‘El’ or ‘Elohim’ which contain the ‘vowel’ + ‘L’ sound that we see in ‘Allah’. The word for God in Aramaic is either ‘El’ or ‘Elaha’ or ‘Elahi’.

The closest languages to Arabic include Hebrew and Aramaic.

The Jewish Arabs, Christian Arabs, monotheistic Arabs, polytheistic Arabs during the time before the holy prophet Muhammad all called ‘God’ as ‘Allah’. There was no dispute over this.

Despite there being disputes as to how only ‘Allah’ should be worshipped and certain acts constituted ‘shirk’ (idolatry or making partners with God) between the early Muslim Arabs and polytheist Arabs. Despite there being differences between the early Muslims and Christians on the nature of the Trinity or the allegation that Jesus (peace be upon him) was the ‘son’ of Allah. Despite there being certain monotheist Arabs (‘Hunafa’ in the Islamic tradition) they did not use a name other than ‘Allah’ for the supreme creator. It is the word for God in Arabic, as the word ‘God’ in English is used by Muslims, Christians, Jews, atheists and others.

Sound

It has three main sounds.

 

‘A’.

The first vowel ‘A’ or ‘A’ preceded’ by a ‘hamzah’

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A hamzah.

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Before we recite the Alif, we have to say the Hamza. The Hamza is from the lower part of the throat and you should be able to feel the bottom of your chest being worked.  Alif in Arabic is produced by moving the mouth open slightly wide and down (American English pronunciation is flawed because they open their mouth execessively wide and should instead focus on also dropping the jaw slightly as in the sound ‘Uh-huh’) and exhaling air and then quickly saying the second sound.

‘L’

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The second sound is the ‘L’ sound which linguists classify as a ‘lateral’. You should press the tongue to slightly behind your upper teeth and hold it.

The ‘L’ or ‘Lam’ sound is not momentary but uttered when raising the tongue to the upper part of the mouth immediately behind the teeth and  then maintained when lowering the tongue.

 

‘HA’

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The final sound is the soft ‘HA’.

As the tongue is lowered from the top of the mouth it continues to 1: Make an ‘L’ sound to get the double ‘L’ in ‘Allah’ then makes an ‘A’ sound and then a final very soft ‘H’ sound which is not followed by any vowel.

To get the correct pronunciation find a Muslim or Arab who has learnt how to say the name of ‘Allah’ properly, and failing that you can find videos online or an online teacher or language exchange partner.

Many south Asian Muslims make mistakes when uttering the name ‘Allah’ by overemphasizing the ‘LL’ and not adding the very soft and subtle ‘H’ sound at the end.

This is the most important word in the universe and great care should be taken to learn how to pronounce it properly.

 

VIRTUES

The name of ‘Allah’ is the most powerful word and name in the entire universe, in the seven heavens and earths. It is a divine name whose utterance causes divine blessings to be endowed upon the one say it. It is encouraged to say it in abunance. Many of the great ‘awliyah’ (saints) of the past have said this holy and divine name tens of thousands, if not more every day.

The name of ‘Allah’ is often said in conjunction with other words such as ‘bismillah’ (in the name of Allah) or ‘A’udhubillah’ (I seek refuge in Allah), nevertheless it is constantly on the tongues of the pious, for it is He, the Most High, the Most Exalted for whom we exist, for whom we live and why we have been placed on this earth, to love him, to revere him, to thank him, to praise him and to earn his love by following commands and loving others including his beloved and holy messenger, Muhammad MHMD, who has been described as ‘rahmatul lil ‘aalameen’ (a mercy to the worlds).

The more frequently the name of ‘Allah’, the more blessings there are upon the one saying it.

 

From Abu Sa`id al-Khudri, the Prophet MHMD said, upon him peace:

“No people mention ALLAH but the angels surround them, mercy covers them, tranquility descends on them, and ALLAH mentions them to those who are with Him.” (Muslim, at-Tirmidhi)

Modern life can be stressful, here in London it is said that officially (let alone unofficially) one in four of Londoners have what is medically classified as ‘depression’. Those who are heedless of their creator, the Most Generous, will not receive the same amount of generosity as the ones who constantly remember him, call upon him, and praise him.

When you say ‘bismillah’, you are saying that you are performing an act in the name of the Master of the Heavens and the Earth, the One who can do all things, the One who has power over all things. You are saying that you are performing an act in the name of the One who created you, the One to whom you will be held to account on the day of judgement, that day of reckoning when men will have to answer for their deeds during their very short stay in his temporary, transient, and harsh residence called the earth.

Oh son of Adam, oh Muslim, engage in frequent invocation of Allah, in frequent utterance of his name and upon doing so you will witness much blessings flowing in to your life. Be grateful to the One who has given you countless blessings including that you are aware of and that you are not.

  • Faatih

 

*In the next article in the Quran commentary series we will complete our focus on the ‘basmallah’ by looking at the words ‘Rahman and ‘Raheem’

When two people are meant for each other…


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