The mountains are on evening watch with their reflections in the lake. The Shaykh speaks of Dhikr and the many ways of it, and I recall that all creation, animate and inanimate is in Dhikr as we speak.
Language is such an essence of ones being that even when one learns a second language and becomes fluent, it is not the same as our mother tongue. The words of which are absorbed by the heart as water is absorbed by a thirsty sponge.
The Shaykh has spoken of the night prayer, Tahajjud. As I exit, I pause outside, the chilled air reminding me that I should proceed to my cabin. I am rooted at the thought as I look up at the silent sky, that in a few hours (may Allah be exalted from human metaphors) Allah Subhanawataala will descend to the lowest heaven and will seek my Istighfaar, eager to forgive me, if I ask. The silent twinkling stars say “yes”…………
My brother approaches me, and hands me a slip, in it is a couplet in Urdu which just puts the entire scene in perspective:
Rumi ho, Razi ho, Ghazali ho,
Kuch hath naheen aata bey aah he sahar gaahi.
Thus the essence of the night Dhikr distilled into a couplet says it all!
The connection of truly understanding the Quran at an emotive level comes to me as I listen to the following tafseer by Dr. Farhat Hashmi (translated):
SURAH NAHL 16:47
Omar (RA) used to meet with the Sahabis in and discuss each word of the Quran. One day they came to the word تَخَوُّفٍ,
A man from the Huzail Qabeela said: This is in our dictionary it comes from Tanaqqus
Takhawaf means to slowly dissolve something till it disappears, like sugar in water, like snow, like age which slowly dissolves the person.
This opened the paths of ilm and the process to prepare a dictionary for words in the Quran.
Hazrat Omar said to the man, you should hold on to your diwaan of your couplets from jahhiliya and this will assist you to understand the words in the Quran because of the sophistication of the language and it will thus completely sink into the minds of the people (eg. Iqbal’s couplets on the Sunnah) with daleels.
His sentence opened the path to preparing the dictionary to explain the words of the Quran.
A Muslim prepared the first formal Lughaat or Dictionary: Kitabul Aeyn by Khalil ibn Ahmad al Farahabi (Please correct spelling of the name if you (the readers) have the original reference, thanks)
Two concepts evolve from this tafseer for me:
1. The concept of a halaqa in which the group gets together and discusses sometimes even only one word from the Quran.
Our halaqa meets once a week and sometimes we end up discussing only one ayah. Some have criticized this slow progress.
2. The advent of the concept of a Lughaat or Dictionary came out of the discussion of the words of the Quran in the times of Umar (RA)
Allah knows best.
For the full details of the tafseer of this ayah CLICK HERE