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Friday, July 1, 2011

A review of "UnderstandQuran.com"

Qur’an! The Last Wahy of Allaah (subhanahu wa ta’la) for the Guidance of mankind. The Final Revelation meant for people of all places and to be followed till the last day. For people to know what their Lord Orders them to do and what He Commands them not to do. How to believe in Him and how to Obey Him. Qur’an was Revealed to be followed and implemented in our lives. Qur’an is not a Book which is to be merely recited only on certain occasions, most of the time even without understanding what is being read. In fact Qur’an is a Guide, a Proclamation, a Criterion, a Source of Esteemed Knowledge, a Light and a Healing! Qur’an was revealed to be a Guiding source for people, and for someone to take guidance and follow something with conviction, he should be able to understand it. Surely then Allaah (subhanahu wa ta’la) in His Mercy and as a Blessing has made the Qur’an easy to understand, think and reflect on. Allaah (subhanahu wa ta’la) Informs this and Asks in many places in the Qur’an as to is there anyone that will take Guidance from this Book? One such verse is:
And We have indeed made the Qur'an easy to understand and remember; then is there any that will receive admonition?” [al-Qur’an (54:17, 22, 32, 40)]

Unfortunately, most Muslims today recite and many even memorize the entire Qur’an, but without understanding anything or very little from it, making it the most widely read and the most memorized but least understood Book in the world! Especially those who do not understand the Arabic language. Many Muslims have the zeal and enthusiasm to read and understand the meaning of what their Lord has Revealed, but due to lack of knowledge of the language they are not able do it and rely all of their lives on translations, and translations can never match the original text. Very few of these people would take up learning of the Arabic language, which is encouraged, but could be tedious and may take a long time. While, majority of them would not consider learning the Arabic language for reasons such as ‘not enough time’, ‘courses are too costly’, ‘do not have a good Arabic teaching center in the city’ etc.

What if someone tells you that you can very well read and understand the meaning of the Qur’an on your own, within few weeks without having spent that time or money and that too from your bedroom? Well, that is exactly what we are discussing in this article! Alhamdulilaah, Understand Qur’an Academy, has designed some really wonderful and helpful courses that enables a person, who does not understand Arabic, to directly understand the meaning of the Qur’an as he reads it, in a short span of time without actually learning the entire Arabic language!

The courses are designed by Dr Abdul Azeez Abdur Raheem, the Director of the Understand Qur’an Academy which is based in Hyderabad, India. These courses really make it easy for someone who does not understand Arabic language, to read and simultaneously understand the meaning of the Qur’an, without needing support from the translations. These courses are short and concise and do not take up much time. The courses are available on their website in various languages and the material, which includes texts, audios, videos and power point presentations, is all for FREE! The Understand Qur’an Academy conducts this course regularly in various cities and it is also aired on Peace tv Urdu.

These courses help you memorize few often repeated words in the Qur’an, from basic duas and short Surahs which generally most Muslims already know. What that means is, a good portion of memorizing part is already done and you only have to remember and relate the meanings of the words. Further, this then adds up to the Khushoo in your Salaah right from the first session, as you would very much understand what you recite in your Salaah. Along with these set of words, which make-up up to 70% of the Qur’anic text, the course explains basic essential grammar, and all this, using a very interactive learning method known as the Total Physical Interaction (TPI). TPI gets you physically involved while learning, making it quite a fun and lot easier to memorize and remember, rather than remembering terms like ‘first person singular masculine’ and ‘third person plural feminine’, which actually leaves one confused. The use of hand gestures makes the whole learning and remembering process much simpler, easier and convenient.

However, if they can get their courses translated into more languages and conduct more and regular live courses it would be very useful. Also, they should create more awareness about these courses and use social networks to reach out to more people and benefit them. Further, the site lacks an FAQ or Help section, which can leave amateur users puzzled. But as the site is getting a face-lift, we can be hopeful of improvements, inshaAllaah.

But, all-in-all the courses are really helpful for one who does not know Arabic and for some reason cannot learn it. So if you want to understand the meaning of the Qur’an, but could not do so because you do not understand Arabic and do not see yourself learning the language; then this course is for you. With less than 30 minutes per session, this course does not take much time and can be completed pretty soon, inshaAllaah. In addition it is free and does not ask you to go anywhere to attend the classes. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and inshaAllaah Understand Qur’an, the easy way!

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