It has been quite awhile. How's your Ramadhan going on? We are into the final third of Ramadhan and hopefully the month has been a blast for you.

Since we are still in the holy month of Ramadhan, i think i am obliged to write something beneficial.

38 : 29 (This is) a Book (the Qur'an) which We have sent down to you, full of blessings, that they may ponder over its Verses, and that men of understanding may remember.

What about the Qur'an you ask?

Well, as Khalid Yasin explained in one of his lectures, it's a manual for human beings.

Like, for example, i just bought this dSLR Nikon D40 and was complimented with a user manual from probably the inventors of that camera. Of course any invention or machinery comes along with a set of manual on how to use it. In order for me to be able to fully utilise it, of course i have to go through the pages, try to understand what it is all about.

Likewise, Allah gave us the Qur'an as the divine message, a guidance, a manual on how to live this temporary life. Since the creator knows us better, what better way than for us to follow this manual. This is the final revelation from Allah, and is guaranteed to last til the end of times. And at the same time, he chose Muhammad PBUH as the final messenger to show the way. Just like some complicated machinery that needs an explanation from a technician, the Prophet PBUH was an example for each one of us to follow.

The Prophet PBUH received his first revelation at the cave of Hira, when the angel Jibrail came to him and taught him the first few verses of the Qur'an (96 : 1-5). While the popular belief is that the event took place on the night of 17th Ramadhan, some scholars believe that the occasion transpired on the night of 21st of Ramadhan. From a hadtih narrated by Abu Qatadah,when the Prophet PBUH was asked about fasting on Monday, Muhammad PBUH replied "On it i was born, and on it the Revelation descended upon me." From calculations conducted, the 7th, 14th and 21st nights of Ramadhan that year fell on Mondays. And aptly, they prefer the 21st as the possible night since from the Qur'an was sent down on the night of Al-Qadr (97:1). As we are informed through some narrations, Lailatul Qadr occurs in the last 10 nights of Ramadhan, most likely on odd nights. (The Sealed Nectar, page 87).

The Prophet went crazy, and it was normal for a sane man, with a perfectly normal mental status would react, and Allah explained in the Qur'an that he was not a madman (52:29). And in the period of 23 years, he received revelations in various forms and established a reform never seen before in the history of mankind.

Throughout the years, the Qur'an has been studied extensively, with various discoveries ranging from science to human relations to the study of nature, jurisprudence and so on, it was a revelation that changed the course of history.

One aspect of the Qur'an which is hard to replicate is its intricate and eloquent Arabic language. At that period of time, Arabia was full of kahins who were according to Reza Aslan "revealed divine messages through rhyming couplets". And so, Allah delivered the Qur'an in with a touch of divine literature, applying Arabic with a poetic touch to challenge these poets to produce something similar.

Of course, they failed miserably.

17 : 88 Say: "If the mankind and the jinn were together to produce the like of this Qur'an, they could not produce the like thereof, even if they helped one another."

It's hard to replicate such writings and the translations could not really capture the originality and beauty of the language of the Qur'an. Marmaduke Pickthall tried to translate the Qur'an with a poetic touch, and wrote his magnum opus "The Meaning of the Glorious Qur'an" which was authorized by Al Azhar university. He mentioned that the Qur'an has "that inimitable symphony, the very sounds of which move men to tears and ecstacy." However, he made quite a simple claim in his foreword, "the Qur'an could not be translated."

In the end it depends on our intention and hardwork to understand the Qur'an. There are a lot of translations out there for those who are not well versed in Arabic. Recall this hadeeth from Bukhari :

"He who is skillful in reciting the Qur’aan is with the unveiled, honorable, and pious (i.e. Hur al-Ain). And he who stutters when reading the Qur’aan, (and its recitation) is difficult upon him, will receive two rewards."

For our difficulties, we will receive twice the reward. So what are you waiting for?

Sidenote : Whoever did those demonstrations with the cow head, well let's just call them ignorant. There's a good article by Amin Ahmad on Malaysian Insider.

6 : 108 And insult not those whom they (disbelievers) worship besides Allah...

Real Muslims tolerate other religions and cultures, as that was the way the Prophet PBUH showed us. And those people do not show the slighest semblance of what Islam is all about. Believe me, those are just politically and emotionally influenced people who have nothing else to do in life. Malaysian Muslims, mostly are silent because they are sick and tired of the political fiasco behind all those demonstrations.