THE ADVENT OF THE FIRST DICTIONARY 16:47


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


أَو يَأخُذَهُم عَلَى تَخَوُّفٍ فَإِنَّ رَبَّكُم لَرَءُوفٌ رَّحِيمٌ (٤٧)

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)

My take:
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

7 thoughts on “THE ADVENT OF THE FIRST DICTIONARY 16:47

  1. I already recognized it.. but still wanted to make it sure, coz i cnt believe it.

    Its not about fame at all, because MajesticIslam doesn’t speaks about me but Islam indeed. And why shouldn’t I make famous the message and teachings of Islam? Rumi didn’t said it wrong, perhaps u actually didn’t get my point.

    Jazaak Allah Khair!

    Like

  2. @asqfish

    Thanks for replying brother. I checked that tomorrows post i.e of 31st Dec, I couldn’t find the answer. Anyway, I really loved your blog! and I’ll surely recommend it.

    Wassalam!

    Like

  3. The complete shair is :

    Attar ho, Rumi ho, Razi ho, Ghazali ho
    Kuch haat nahein aata be aah-e-sehar gahi

    Reference is to:

    1. Fariduddin Attar, the mystic who is remembered from his Mantaq-et-Tair, translated as Conference of the Birds where the birds seek the Simurgh but end up discovering themselves. Know thyself. Thirty birds eventually find the mythical Simurgh (themselves), word play on Si = thirty. They must cross seven valleys, those of Talab, Ishq, Ma’arifa, Istighna, Tauheed, Hayraat, and Faqr and fana. Teh sufi reference is to Yom-e-Alast mentioned in the Quran. The saying whosoever knows himself well knows his Maker is atributed to Ali, KaramAllah wajhu.
    Ancient Greek aphorism , Know Thyself (said to have descended from heaven), was reported to have been inscribed at the temple of Apollo in Delphi.

    2 .Rumi, inebriated with God’s love, recognizes love in the creative process of God. There are over 25,000 lines in his Masnawi, 6,000 of which are said to be taken directly from the Quran.
    Man banda-e-Quranam, agar Jan daram
    Man khak-e-rah-Muhammad-e mukhtaram

    (Wipikedia)

    3. Fakhruddin Razi 12- 13th Century commentator of the Quran, Tafsir Al-Kabir. Serious, deliberate , he was born in Iran and died in Afghanistan.
    The other Razi 9th-10th centur, known as Rhazes, was Al-Zakariyya Al-Razi, a physician of great renown, also born in Rayy.

    4. Last , but not the least Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali (11 -12th century). He refuted Batini-Ismaili theology and aspects of Arabacized Aristotelian philosophy and unified Islmic Sharia with mystic thought. his fous wa ll actions should be done with the Hereafter in mind. Riayadat-e-nafs was important and not just the rituals.

    So, Iqbal’s point is no matter how great your intellectual or mystical maqam, Aah-seher gahi is essential.

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  4. As Salam O Alaikum,

    This is Mohammed Faizuddin Sheikh, my blog is
    http://majesticislam.wordpress.com, my vision with MajesticIslam is not much different from yours. Propagation of Islamic principals and teachings that Muhammed (SA) taught to the mankind.

    I have page where I recommend the best of the blogs that provide Islamic teachings (http://majesticislam.wordpress.com/resource/).

    The general idea however is that I recommend your blog and you recommend mine, this will exchange our readers and the different Islamic information that we have to deliver.

    Let me know what you think?

    Fi-Amanillah

    Like

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