Monday, February 16, 2009

Dhikr Station

For last Eid al-Fitr, someone gifted me a CD set of an "in-depth study" of Al-Fatihah, by Jamaaluddin Zarabozo. I've recently started listening to it--but I haven't yet gotten past the first CD. Actually, it was a while before I even got past the first track--the introduction!

Because after introducing what the CD set is and the publisher, etc., there is a recitation of the surah that is just so clear and beautiful, I didn't want it to stop. I listened to it over and over and over and over and over...

Isn't that strange? I mean, we read al-Fatihah so many times in a day--and in Ramadan so many more times. And yet in the last couple days I haven't been able to get enough of just hearing the recitation of Al-Fatihah. As soon as it starts, I can just feel myself calming down, and my mind clearing and focusing on the recitation with all of my attention.

After all these years of listening to Al-Fatihah, every day, I felt like all of a sudden I had never heard it before. And this is not after listening to some 25+ hours of lecture on the surah, but rather before listening; rather, just acknowledging that Al-Fatihah is important enough for me to begin a CD set of such magnitude on such a short surah.

It was really an amazing feeling, to have some recitation of Qur'an strike my heart that way--like I had never heard it before even though I thought I knew it like the back of my hand.

I had listened to it so many times that without even being entirely aware of it, I was sort of reciting it under my breath while at the gas station last night. So consumed was I with the beauty and flow of the words that I didn't realize the woman at the pump beside me. So I was a little bit shocked when she said "As-salaamu Alaykum!"

Having learned in class just hours before that we should always return a greeting with what is equal to it, or better than it, so I replied with a smile, "Wa alaykum as-salaam!" And I asked her if she was a Muslim--since I have been greeted as such by non-Muslims before, but she informed me that she was a Muslim though reluctantly admitted that she did not practice like she should.

So we talked for a minute about how beautiful Islam is as a middle path--comprising both outward manifestations through the law, and inward aspects of spirituality, and that it accommodates people of all nations and races and even with physical disabilities.

It was just a reminder to me to be grateful not just that Allah has guided me to Islam but that He has made Islam a part of my life, every day. So even while I was whispering al-Fatihah under my breath, I was blessed to remember that Allah did guide me. And that only makes me cling desperately to that guidance, and to beg for more.


Jamilah said...

Sounds like a nice CD... I'll have to look for it.

I also like it when someone says salams to me that may not be so practicing... then we get a chance to talk and perhaps they go away with a sense to pick up the pace a bit. :)

BrownS said...

Any idea who the reciter is?

Shamsuddin Waheed said...


The Qur'an, be it in verbal or written form, is a powerful tool, one which has the ability to always have some sort of affect on the reader. It may not be that the Qari on your CD was go great, but rather that your own Imaan [faith] is so strong, that you always hear the beauty in Allah's words.

Check out this video. This little girl is not only a Hafiza, but knows the verse and surah placings, the number of times phrases appear, and place of revelation.