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Offline Ismail

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How did the Prophet teach Al Qur'an?
« on: January 07, 2014, 08:36:39 PM »

In the absence of any report whatsoever, that the Prophet gave lengthy discourses on

Thafseer of Al Qur'an, people are wont to ask, as to how then, did he teach the Book to his disciples?

We only know for certain, and that too according to Al Qur'an, that the Prophet and his disciples used to spend long hours, reciting or listening to Al Qur'an, in rapt attention (73:1-4), probably, in Salah. (Here, the ordinary idea of the outward form of Salat, consisting of standing in attention, prostrating, etc; will do.)

And there is no doubt at all that the practice of this exercise - that of reciting or listening to Al Qur'an in rapt attention - is what propelled them to a life, that, subsequently, was instrumental in changing the world, for the better.

With all this in mind, read on:

According to a classic Arabic dictionary, Mufradathul Qur'an, by Ragib, the infinitive of the form of thaf'eel, namely the word Tha'leem, of the root 'Ayn Laam, Meem, has, among others, the sense of facilitating the imparting or imbibing of knowledge, skill, etc.

For example, the sense also encompasses providing the students good food, all other basics of life and well being, and providing them an environment with the least of distractions.

From here, it is possible to infer that the facility or vehicle, of Salat, was employed by the Prophet in order to instill Al Qur'an into their bodies, hearts, minds, and souls.

If you open, and, after opening the page for the word "teach", scroll down to the sub heading Synonym Study, you can find that "teach" can refer to almost any practice that caused others to develop skill or knowledge: to teach children to write; to teach marksmanship to soldiers; to teach tricks to a dog.(dictionary quote ends here.

In order to make the reading interesting, please keep the last example in the online dictionary: to teach tricks to a dog, as you proceed:

Now refer to (5:4) in Al Qur’an.

“They ask thee what is lawful to them as (food). Say: Lawful unto you are (all) things good and pure: And what you have taught the beasts and birds of prey, training them to hunt in the manner directed to you by Allah: Eat what they catch for you, but pronounce the name of Allah over it: and fear Allah; for Allah is swift in taking account.” (Translation by Yusuf Ali. Itallics mine.)

Here, in 5:4, the original (word translated here as training,) is a form of the infinitive “tha’leem”.

Look at the amazing coincidence of what is referred to as an example for teach, in the English online dictionary, and the reference in Al Qur'an regarding the derivative of the infinitive tha'leem in (5:4), to refer to the training of animals for the purpose of hunting.

The only thing I want to stress is that, from the above narrative, we can safely infer, that  the Arabic infinitive “tha’leem”, also has the sense: to enlighten, discipline, drill, school, indoctrinate.

Especially because, the above mentioned recitation (especially in salat), has all this potential and more, as in (8:2), and, ((9:124).

What better teaching, can there be?

A. Ismail Sait