Saturday, May 2, 2009

Studying the Qur'an: Tips and Pointers

There are certain aids which you will require to help you if you intend on studying the Qur'an as fully as possible. Try to acquire as many of them as you can.

  1. Have a copy of the Qur'an with a translation in your language. This is the minimum that you will require. This you should use for both general reading and study. The same can be used for memorization, if it is handy. But, take care that throughout life you stick with the same copy for memorization, otherwise revision will be difficult.

    Remember, too, that no translation can be perfect or accurate. Each translation contains an element of interpretation by the translator. There is not, and cannot be, an 'authorized' translation of the Qur'an.

  2. The same copy may contain a short commentary, or you may have to acquire one separately. But you must have one. A translation and a reliable commentary should be enough for your initial, main objectives.

  3. You may find it useful, though it is not necessary, to have more than one translation and commentary to investigate various meanings of words and text as understood by different scholars.

  4. For more advanced study, you should have at least one more detailed tafsir. You may not find one in English; but, then, try to acquire whatever part-Tafsir works are available.

  5. Have a good Arabic dictionary, preferably a Qur'anic dictionary, to enable you to look deeper into the meanings of words.

  6. Have a concordance. (This is an alphabetical verbal index (of the Qur'an) showing the places in the Qur'an where each principal word may be found, with its immediate context in each place. - for example; the word "Hamd" can be found in various places in the Qur'an; surah al-fatihah, al-Kahf, and so on)

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