Friday, February 29, 2008

I Finished the Quran!

I was actually hoping to finish it last night but I underestimated both how much I had remaining and how tired I was. However, today after jumuah, I stuck around the mosque and finished it off; I figured it would be fitting. I don't really think I have much more to say than I did in my last Quran post. The end is packed with much shorter surahs so the reading goes much quicker. Also, there seems to be a lot more apocalypse talk with plenty descriptions of heaven and hell and the final day of reckoning.

Also, I talked to one of my native Arabic speaking friends about the Quran as a piece of poetry and literature. I don't feel like she would unfairly praise the Quran just because it's the Quran but, rather, I feel like she would give me her honest opinion. She told me that the Quran really is very beautiful and, in the original Arabic, its poetic qualities hide the repetition that is more evident in the English translation. Obviously, the repetition is still there but it's part of the poetry so it fits. I figure I should try listening to a Quran recitation sometime so I can hear how it sounds. Even if I won't understand it, I figure I'll be able to hear some of the poetry. I'll miss out on anything that requires meaning like wordplay and metaphor but I'll at least hear the tonal and lyrical characteristics.

Now I have to decide what to read next.

1 comment:

Azooz said...

>>Now I have to decide what to
>>read next.

Easy, go to page one and start again. You will find that a lot more details show up - garanteed. The Quran really does get much better with each reading - you'll see for yourself if that is true or not.

The Arabic part you miss is mostly language and makes rereading it much less of a chore, in English you'll have to work harder on meanings and word relations - and always feel free to ask the hard questions. When you see a concept explained in one Sowrah differently than in another sowrah - contrast and combine the two (or more) and also the look at the verses before and after each mention.

The important thing to understand is that there is an unbelivably large amount of "information/data" in each verse and page of the Quran - it is higly compressed and needs more attention from you as a reader than all other books you read - it's "designed" that way, even if you know perfect Arabic you'll still find lots of new details and those details will then give you new insights.

Notice the word arangments, when heaven is mentioned before hell, wealth before children, death and life - examine each for priority, and question why this word instead of that - what is emphasisized and what is vague - what is extremmly clear and easy to understand and why some things are harder to reach.

Last point, ( I do try) - there is absolutly no poetry in the Quran, nor any poetic structure - it's normal talk, a monoluge - one word after another. It just goes way beyond anything all poets could ever say.