In our everyday life, we frequently use and come across certain very important words and concepts from the Qur’an. However, many a times, we do not know the deeper meanings and implications associated with these words and concepts; hence our hearts, minds and actions are not positively affected by them. This article uses a dictionary of the Qur’an to look into the deeper shades and implications of seven different words and concepts we frequently use as believers in the message of the Qur’an.
1. ALLAH:We are informed that ALLAH is one and only Creator and Governor of all existence.
ALLAH is the Supreme Being who possesses all the perfect attributes. He is free from all defects, imperfections and does not depend on anything or anyone.
Hence, when we say the word ALLAH, our hearts should tremble and be moved with awe and reverence as mentioned in the Qur’an.
We are reminded that we have been created for Allah’s (SWT) IBADAT.
IBADAT means to serve, worship, adore, venerate, obey, submit and devote. It also means the impress of Divine attributes as well as imbibing and reflecting them on one’s own person.Hence, we should try our best to internalise and reflect ALLAH’s perfect attributes of mercy, love and compassion in our everyday life.
We are told to engage in Allah’s (SWT) TASBIH.
TASBIH means to declare (with heart and tongue) that Allah (SWT) is free from all imperfections and flaws. It can also mean ascribing positive attributes of Holiness to Allah (SWT).
Hence, when we say subhan-Allah, we should feel with our hearts and minds that ALLAH is absolutely perfect and flawless.
4. AR-RAHMAN and AR-RAHIM
We are informed that Allah (SWT) is AR-RAHMAN and AR-RAHIM.
AR-RAHMAN means to have love, tenderness, mercy, pity, show forgiveness and goodness. It conveys the idea of fullness, extensiveness and indicates the greatest preponderance of the quality of love and mercy which encompasses the entire universe.
AR-RAHIM indicates constant and excessive repetition and manifestation of the above mentioned qualities. It also indicates the special love that may be received through faith, deeds and supplications.
We should try to remember and try to see that the kindness, mercy, compassion of Allah embraces all existence as mentioned in the Qur’an.
During difficult times we are asked to exhibit SABR.
SABR means to control (the self), endure without complaining, adhere to reason and command, restrain from manifesting grief, agitation and impatience, contentment, perseverance, calmness and perseverance in doing good.
Hence, when something unfortunate happens, instead of expressing grief, agitation and annoyance, we should persevere calmly towards our goal and be content with Allah’s decree.
We are informed that at the gates of paradise people will be greeted with SALAAM and it is also an attribute of Allah (SWT). The believers also greet each other with SALAAM.
SALAAM implies safety, security, soundness, peace, freedom from all defects, imperfection, blemish or vice, prosperity, good health, wholeness, and completeness in every way.
Hence, greeting with SALAAM is in essence wishing sincerely for someone’s peace, prosperity and security.
We are reminded again and again to exhibit SHUKUR.
SHUKUR means gratefulness or gratitude. It has three components:
1) Shukur of the heart: realisation and awareness of the blessings bestowed by Allah (SWT)
2) Shukur of the tongue: to thank Allah (SWT) with the tongue
3) Shukur of the limbs: to perform good deeds (prayer, charity, etc.) out of gratitude.
Hence, merely saying Alhamdulillah with the tongue is not complete shukur. The heart must be truly grateful, humble and the limbs must engage in charity out of love and gratitude for Allah (SWT).
Once we know, understand and apply the concepts of the Qur’an, they will start having a real impact on our personalities and communities. However, if we do not know their meanings and implications, then the positive and miraculous transformation of individuals and societies that the Qur’an can bring about will not happen. Hence, let us endeavor to understand, internalise and apply these concepts in our individual and communal lives.
The writer is a Lecturer at North South University