Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Qur'an: cooking with omee, driving with abee

The other day I was with my sisters and we were preparing for an iftar because we were having guests over. We decided to play some Qur'an while we worked, and there were several different options for recitors we could choose. The three of us were arguing over who was the best recitor was...and every time my sister put a different recitor on, we would have an associated memory with his voice.

For example, Abu Bakr Al-Shatery reminded us of cooking with our mom in the kitchen, since that's what she plays when cutting onions and such. Muhammad Jibreel reminded us of riding in the car with our dad, because that's what he plays on long drives.

Then there are certain verses that remind us of our own histories. Like when I come across the ayat in Surat Yusuf where Yaqoub's eyes go white with sorrow and he says: "I only complain of my distraction and anguish to Allah, and I know from Allah that which ye know not...O my sons! go ye and inquire about Joseph and his brother, and never give up hope of Allah's Soothing Mercy: truly no one despairs of Allah's Soothing Mercy, except those who have no faith."

The ayat bring back emotions and memories from the past - a time when I found such great comfort in the verses. And every time I read or hear them, I'm filled with such gratitude that I have Allah (swt) to complain to of my own anguish.

Or one of my ultimate favourite surahs Ad-Duha when Allah (swt) says to His prophet: "Thy Guardian Lord has not forsaken you, nor is He displeased" it brings to mind the beautiful mercy and compassion that Allah had for our prophet, and the same mercy He has for all of us...subhanAllah.

It's kind of cool to have those homey memories associated with the recitation - the Qur'an holds greater significance even beyond it's literal meanings. It's so intertwined in our actions and memories that we can't separate it from our beings. It lives with us, even if we don't realize it. I guess the only thing remaining is for us to live with it, too.


sara said...

this is so true!

Listening to Abdul Basit Abdul Samad recite the end of surah Bakarah always reminds me of waiting at T.L. Kennedy in the back of our gray van for my sisters (and the other people who carpooled with us) to finish class so we could finally go home because we hated taking Urdu classes there on Sundays.

Asmaa said...

Haha, I remember our T.L. Kennedy days. My mom always tried to make us take classes there but we rebelled and she gave up eventually