This is the beginning of a Qur’an translation and tafseer (explanation of the Qur’an).
By Ifikhar Husain Sayid
In The Name of Allah, the Benevolent and Merciful
Insha’Allah this work of explaining the Qur’an will be beneficial to those who read it. I will begin by stating my background.
I am Iftikhar Husain Saiyid; my ancestory starts from Hasan Muthanna, the grandson of Imam Hasan bin Ali Bin Abi Talib, who had married the granddaughter of Imam Hussain Bin Ali Bin Abi Taalib. My Lineage is known as Hasani Ul Husaini and goes through that of the sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani Rematullah Alaih.
I come from Lucknow, U.P, India. I was 9 years old when I learnt the Arabic language and Ilmul Hadith from a well-known scholar Syed Sulaiman Nadvi, the head of Nadvatul Ulamaa of Lakhnau. I received my B.S and B.S (Hons) in physics from Lucknow university, the latter is a crashed course equivalent to M.S, then I went to the Thomason College of Engineering at Roorkee, northern U.P India and studied Civil Engineering.
My father owned the largest printing press of Lucknow and since the age of 4, I had been seeing and listening to the great celebrities of the time, such as Maulana Husain Ahmed Madani, Moulana abul kalam Azad, Moulana Abdul Bari Firangi Mahali, Moulana Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi, , poet Abdul Bari Aasi, poet Jigar muradabadi, writer Niaz Fatehpuri, Moulana Arshad Thanvi, who were friends of my father and used to come to the press regarding their publications.
I started writing poetry and short stories in Urdu at an early age and my writings were printed in the magazines of those days. I also introduced sonnets in the Urdu literature.
Although, I had completed reading my first Qur’an at the age of 7 and repeated it with my knowledge of Arabic in next two years. My knowledge was far away from this vast ocean of wisdom and meaning, for the most part of my life! It was only at the age of 75 that I started reading Qur’an with full concentration Aayah by Aayah referring to the translations and interpretations of Ibne Katheer, Moudoodi, Abdul Kalam Azad , Abdul Majid Dariabadi, Ashraf Ali Thanvi and others, grasping the teachings of this wonderful book.
In the following years I completed 50 Qur’an this way, with the investigation of a research scholar. I noticed that although the great scholars of the past had contributed in their way, a lot of translations and interpretation there has remained a gap in the recording of the history of each Aayah as it was revealed, so I started my research in this field and completed my work in Urdu, covering all of the 6,157 Aayahs recently. I tried to record the history as far as I could lay my hands on relevant material and at the same time, I have recorded the interpretations of each surah’s Aayahs as it appealed to me.
Qur’an is the kind of scripture which differs greatly from the usual books written by authors in continuation. It is a collection of sermons, describing the ordains and decrees of Allah SWT, issued over a long span of 23 years. These sermons were divinely inspired by Allah (SWT) through the Archangel Gabriel as and when He the Almighty willed. The text of Qur’an is therefore based on the exigencies of the day and on the events that transpired. The salient features of the Qur’an (and there are many) are:
1. Most of the Surahs out of a total of 114, start with some split letters of the Arabic alphabets as was thecommon practice in those days, for instance Surah Al Baqarah starts with Alif, Laam, Meem, Surah Maryam starts with the Kaaf Haa Yaa Ain Suad. A complete list of the 29 such surahs will InshaAllah be given in the appendix of this book.
2. Allah SWT has sworn by His own creations, in several places in the Quran to emphasize on a certain matter. A complete list of such 22 Surahs will be InshaAllah in the appendix.
3. In Quran, there are 15 (14 for Hanafis and 15 for Shafais) Aayat us sajdah at tilawah. The one who reads, writes, recites or listens must perform the prostration of reciting and saying: “Subhana Rabbi Al Allah” 3 times. A list of such Surahs will also be in the appendix InshaAllah.
4. In Quran, certain phrases have been repeated over and over again. For instance in Surah Ash-Shu`arā’, the Phrase “Inna Fee Zaalika La Aaayaah. Wa ma kaana Aksaruhum mominnen. Wa innaa Rabbuka La huva Al Aziz ur Raheem;” has been repeated eight times and in Surah Ar Rahman the Aayah “Fa Be Aiyye Aalaai Rabbikuma Tukazziban” has been repeated 31 times. A list of Surahs containing repetitions will be in the Appendix InshaAllah.
5. In Quran the word “Qul” (say) has been has been repeated 342 times, mostly addressed to the Holy Prophet (PBUH), but it has been addressed to Bani Israel in Surah Baqarah once and in Aaraf once and addressed to Noah twice in Surah Al Mominoon, once to Maryam (AS) in Surah Maryam, and once for the 10 brothers of Hazrat Yusuf in Surah Yousuf, twice for both Moses and Aaron in Surah TaHa and for all Muslims once in Ahzab. A list of Surahs is also being included, InshAllah in the appendix.
As mentioned earlier, altogether the word Qul appears 342 times, there are 57 Surahs which contain this word and 57 Surahs which do not. In all it is addressed to the holy prophet 332 times.
The Holy Qur’an is a collection of Verses revealed to the Holy Prophet (PBUH) over a span of 23 years, 13 years in Makkah and 10 years in Madina. The recording of the verses as they came from Allah (SWT), through Gabriel was done as the Holy Prophet (PBUH) instructed the writers, by the guidance of Allah (SWT) which is called “ Wahee Al Khafee”. The revelations of Qur’anic verses is called “Wahee Al Jalee”. When a substantial part of Qur’an was revealed, The Holy Prophet (PBUH), by the guidance of Allah instructed the writers to re-arrange the verses in form of Surahs.
Final editing of Qur’an into the shape we have now in our hands was done by Hazrat Uthman Bin Affaan (R.A), the third Calif to whom two of the prophet’s daughters were married (one after another) and he was known as “Zun Noorain”. It is a miracle that the Qur’an, wherever one finds it, from Morocco to Indonesia and from Norway to Sri Lanka is exactly the same word by word.
When Allah (SWT) decides to send a prophet to any nation he selects a suitable mature adult man among that very nation. Allah then starts his divine inspiration in the form of dreams or visions which prove to be true eventually.
For the position of his last Prophet, he decided to send Muhammed Bin Abdullah (PBUH) of the leading tribe of Bannu Hashim in Makkatul Mukarrama. He was well known for his honesty and truthfulness.
Muhammad (PBUH) was a 40 year old man, totally unlettered but of a noble character. He was well known for his honesty and truthfulness. When Muhammed (PBUH) started having visions, he became recluse and started to spend his time in meditation in the caves of the mountains around the town of Mecca. Then one day he was surprised by the Archangel Gabriel, who appeared suddenly in front of Muhammed (PBUH) with a tablet and said to him “READ” when Muhammed (PBUH) said he was not literate, the angel hugged him tightly and then commanded him again to read . This happened three times and Lo and Behold, Muhammed’s (PBUH) tongue started uttering whole sentences, which were engraved on the tablet:
“Iqra Be Isme Rabbika Allazee khalaq…”
Upto the fifth verse of the Surah Al Alaque “..Allama Al Insaana Ma lam Yaalam”.
The initial reaction of this unusual occurrence was physical, he ran down to his house, shivering and shouting “ Cover me! Cover me!” When he recovered, his wife Khadijah (RA) took him to her cousin Verqah Bin Nouful who was a well known scholar of the Jewish and Christian religions. He heard the whole story of the occurrence in the cave of Hira and then congratulated his brother in law, Muhammed (PBUH). He shouted “You have been appointed by Allah (SWT) as his Rasool.” It was the Archangel Gabriel who came to you who is Allah’s messenger to his prophet to transmit his orders to his prophets. This same angel had brought the Torah to Moses and Injeel to Jesus.
That was the first Wahi, the first five verses of the Qur’an revealed to Prophet Mohammed (PBUH), then for a while the revelation process was suspended in order to acclimatize him with the heavy burden of prophet hood. After some time the next revelations came in the form of first seven verses of Surah Al Muddathir, then the revelation of Qur’an continued over 23 years 13 in Makkah and 10 in Madinah.
In this book I will InshaAllah start with surah Alaque then Surah Muddathir, Qalam, Muzammil, then fatiha. I shall try to keep the order of revelation in each surah’s first few Aayahs, InshaAllah as far as possible then complete the surah before going to the next.
( To Be Continued InshaAllah)