Monday, October 18, 2010

Awaken from Within...

quran bismillah
Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Raheem
 As Salaam Alikum (Peace be upon you)!  Being that this is the first post, I feel an introduction should take place.  I am a Muslimah for 13yrs.  Married with six wonderful children, by the grace of Allah.  I've become inspired by a dear friend of mine to start a blog and utilize it to keep track of Surahs memorized, as well as, I would like to implement Islamic knowledge as I learn it.  May Allah (swt) Give me the strength and the patience and help me learn more about Deen al Haqq (The True Deen) and memorize the Quran.

First and foremost.  It is important to start every action we do with Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Raheem.  You will find this insha'Allah on every post of mine.  I feel inclined to elaborate on its meaning just a bit.

Bissmillah ir-Rahman ir-Raheem is a magnificent expression that most Muslims use especially before doing any significant activity.  I feel that it should be used even in the insignificant activities including sweeping the floor and cooking food.  In addition, every surah (chapter) of the Quran except Surah 9 begins with this phrase.

It is generally translated as "In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Compassionate".  This translation is good, however, it lacks the true depth of the meaning.  Many people write it in different ways when using transliteration and some say it in different ways due to accents.  What is important and what we will be rewarded for is within our hearts when we are saying it.

The word Bismillah is a combination of three different words.  The first part, "bi", means "by", "for", "with the aid of".   "Ism" is from a root word which indicates the means in which something is distinguished.  The third word, "Allah" is an Arabic name for the "One".  The word Allah goes back to the Hebrew El and Elohim, Canaanite Elat, and Aramaic Alaha. All these roots point toward unity, oneness, the eternal power which includes all of existence and of non-existence. In modern English this would generally be translated as God (which is old English, likely based on the Sanskrit word "hu", meaning that which is worshiped, honored or adored).

Using the basic roots discussed above, we can conclude that Bismillah can be translated as any of the following:
  • By means of the very essence of God
  • For the glory of our Creator
  • With the light of the One
  • With the guidance of The Divine
  • As an instrument of the One
  • In harmony with Divine Presence 
The point is... Every action we do we should we should do for and BECAUSE of the One who Created us.  The One who we came from and the One who we will return to!

Ir-Rahman Ir-Raheem

The beauty of these two names of Allah (swt)! According to Ibn Qayyum (1350 AD), rahmân describes the quality of abounding Grace which is inherent in and inseparable from the Almighty.  Suban'Allah, without any request, Allah (swt) Gives us endless Blessings, many of which we don't even think about until it is taken away or struck with a thorn.  Raheem, on the other hand, is the essence of the One when we do something for His sake alone.  If we take one step towards Allah, He takes ten steps towards us.  According to Ibn Qayyum (1350 AD), ram expresses the continuous manifestation of the Grace in our lives and its effect upon us as a result of our own activities.

The term Rahman points toward the One who gives an endless amount of love and mercy and it is continually showered on the entire creation. The term Rahim points toward the Merciful One whose love and mercy are manifested in that which is received as the consequence of one's deeds. 
So, the phrase "ir rahman ir rahim" is recognizing and giving honor to the very source of all existence, blessings, compassion, and mercy to the One who gives endlessly to all of us and who also responds accordingly to our moral integrity, our harmony with all of creation and our love of Allah.

I found some beautiful poetic renderings that I would like to share insha'Allah!

With every breath that we breathe, may we be act on behalf of the Divine Presence,  the Source of all that we receive.  

With every step that we take, may we be instruments of the One Light which guides us, the Source and Nourisher of all of creation.

Every moment of this life is filled with your eternal radiance my Beloved, You are the Beneficent One who endlessly showers all of creation with nourishment and blessings, and the One who generously rewards those who live in harmony with Your Divine Will.

Subana'Allah!  I really want to point out that as you can see... Arabic is such a beautiful and magnificent language and the simple translations that we read in whatever language that we can read and understand is simply NOT enough to TRULY understand the beauty of the Quran.  We will never be able to feel within our hearts, within our souls unless and until we learn the beautiful language of the Quran.

Insha'Allah when you read above, I pray that you have taken something from it and it has awakened your heart the way that it has mine.  It has inspired me in such a way and I pray Allah (swt) continues giving me the Blessings in which He has and I pray for more knowledge of this beautiful religion, Islam.

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