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The Qur'an is a book containing the words of Allah, revealed through Angel Gabriel to prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in Arabic language. Its eloquence is so clear to anyone who understands Arabic language. From the name, Qur'an, it depicts a meaning of a recited and read piece. A translation of a verse in it states:

"(Here is) a Book which, We have sent down Unto thee, full of blessings,That they may meditate On its Signs, and that Men of understanding may Receive admonition. (As-Sad: 29)

For Muslims, the above verse from Abdullah Yusuf Ali’s English translation of the meaning of the Qur'an communicates a vital message: that the Qur'an is to be read, understood, reflected upon and used to gain enlightenment about all aspects of life and all branches of knowledge. Thus, it is important for Muslim students to have many opportunities to read and study the Qur'an along with their regular academic coursework. If this is not possible in the language of the Qur'an, which is Arabic, then these opportunities should be made available through the translations of the meaning of the Qur'an in other languages.

 

The majority of Muslims in the world are non-Arabic speakers which indeed makes it a necessity to deal with the Qur'an through the translations of its meanings in various languages. Translations of the meaning of the Qur'an are of great importance in this ongoing process of Islamic education due to the following two reasons:

1) They enable the message of Islam to be presented to and be shared with non -Muslims.

2) They point out to Muslims who are non-Arabic speakers the revealed guidance which explains what Allah has ordained human beings.

 

Asad also mentions some linguistic considerations of the Qur'an. He specifically mentions two terms-“al-quran” and “surah” which do not need to be changed or translated in any way since neither of these two terms has ever been used in Arabic to denote anything but the title and sections or chapters respectively. Otherwise, Asad claims to have endeavoured to transfer every Quranic concept to appropriate English expressions, sometimes finding it necessary to use “whole sentences to convey the meaning of a single Arabic word” (Asad, 1980: p. vi). This means that no matter how hard one may try to convey the meaning of the Qur'an in any other language, it will always fall below its real meanings as depicted in the original Arabic language.

 

Abul A’la Mawdudi agrees with the above point when he mentions that the literature of the Quran is so rich and powerful that explanation of the most subtle aspect of the Divine Knowledge or revelation is made impossible (Mawdudi,1980:42).

 

Nonetheless, in a very concise form, the eloquence of the Qur'an as manifested in Du'a is but not limited to the following:

1- Very Concise in Composition: The du'a or supplication verses of the Qur'an are generally found to have well-articulated concise composition. When the words are matched with the meanings they bear, a huge landscape of difference is seen between them. The words are so minimal, well-constructed and full over meanings. This is referred to by the prophet (PBUH) when he explained that among those things Allah gave to him and never gave to any other prophet before him is 'Jawami' al-Kalim'. We look at two du'as from the Qur'an. Allah says:

 

1-   Surat al-Fatihat

 

In The Name Of Allah, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful (1)

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.(2)

The Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful. (3)

Master of the Day of Judgment. (4)

It is You we worship and it is You we beseech for help.(5)

Keep us on the right path.(6)

The path of those upon whom You have bestowed favors. Not (the path) of those upon whom Your wrath is brought down, nor of those who go astray. (7)

2-   "Our Lord! Give us in this world [that which is] good and in the Hereafter [that which is] good and protect us from the punishment of the Fire.(Al-Baqarah:201)

These two citations are du'a from the Qur'an. Obviously, the meanings embedded in them are linguistically composed in a very uniquely packaged manner to depict a huge meaning that would ordinarily be contained in a composition passage of words

2- Very All-Encompassing in Context: As could be seen in the above cited examples, the meanings are so encompassing that one would have no reason to seek any other thing afterwards. Example from the second du'a, one cannot imagine anything after being granted 'good' in this world and 'good' in the Hereafter. All the best possible things of the both worlds have been entailed in the du'a. To make it more unique and unprecedentedly constructed, it ended it with the words "and save us from the Fire of Hell". This points at a fact that some people who will be granted Paradise and the good of the Hereafter may still have a taste of the Fire. To be completely free from such touch of the Fire in any way, it ended it the way it did.

This also proves right the point of view of the Ahlus-sunnah which claims that believers who have sinned and did not repent to get their sins forgiven by Allah, will have to be cleansed in Hell Fire before they are admitted into Paradise. As such, no believer will be in Hell forever like the non-Believers.

3- The Stylistic Construction: In most of the Qur'anic language construction with the du'as inclusive, there is this aura of uniqueness in the stylistic wording. It could be said to have a connotation of the rhyming nature, yet it cannot all be said to be so. The ending of the verses in the opening surah, earlier cited, makes an example. The chapter of sincerity, surat al-Ikhlas, which is a very good du'a for protection prescribed by the prophet (PBUH) is another example. All these Qur'anic du'as do not only have the so-called short, well-articulated rhyme and rhythm in them, but they also have the most befitting meanings carried along.

4- The Far Reaching Spiritual Touch: When reading these du'as from the Qur'an or Sunnah as taught by the prophet (PBUH), one gets to have this far reaching spiritual touch deep inside him. It is such a unique feeling that even when one tries reading du'as from his own constructions, he cannot achieve such. This adds more to the fact that things with divine touch can never be like such made by man with his human mental intelligence.

All the aforementioned points are very few among the features of eloquence depicted by the Qur'an in its du'a verses. May Allah the almighty accept our du'as and grant us the best in this world and the world to come.

 

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