“Why would Allah send a book to guide humanity that only 3.5% of the human population can understand?”
As much as I hate to admit it, that is a legitimate question.
- Certainly Allah knew most people wouldn’t be Arabic speakers.
- Certainly He knew Islam would spread beyond the Arabian peninsula.
- And certainly He knew that one day English would be the most popular language in the world.
Allah knew all of these things. So why did He send the Quran in Arabic rather than English or Chinese or Spanish or some other more popular language?
Why is the most significant miracle in Islam something that most of us cannot understand?
The problem is not with Allah, nor is it with the Quran, nor is it with Islam.
The problem, like most things in life, is with us.
As the Prophet (pbuh) predicted hundreds of years ago, we’ve become wahn.
We’ve failed. We’ve become weak. We are feeble.
But we’ve also been tricked.
We’ve been told that one must become fluent in Arabic in order to understand the Quran. And because of that, we’ve allowed ourselves to become lackadaisical in this effort.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.
Allah has stated clearly that He’s made the Quran easy to remember. All you have to do is make a little effort.
I’ve studied Arabic for years and have a pretty decent fundamental handle on the language. But when I made Hajj in 2014, I had a hard time communicating with anyone who didn’t speak English.
But yesterday, when I made Salaatul Isha at a local Masjid, I knew the Imam was reciting Surah Yusuf because I understood almost every word he was saying.
- I’m tired of hearing about people leaving Islam because they don’t understand the Quran.
- I’m tired of people depending on century-old translations of the Quran.
- I’m tired of Muslims making excuses about why they don’t know more about their faith.
If you are already involved in some program to better understand the Quran, then I applaud you. You are among the tiny minority of Muslims who are striving to be like those people Allah commended when He said:
(This is) a Book (the Quran) which We have sent down to you, full of blessings that they may ponder over its Verses, and that men of understanding may remember.
Reasons Why The Quran is Easy to Understand
When Allah said He made the Quran easy to remember, He wasn’t joking. It is easy to memorize and easy to understand.
But that doesn’t mean you don’t have to put the work in. With some effort and guidance, you can grasp a good comprehension of the Quran.
Here are a few reasons why I believe the Quran is easy to comprehend:
- The Arabic language it was revealed in is very simple and straight to the point.
- Many words and phrases are repeated over and over again.
- There are many tools available to help readers gain a better understanding.
Some Tools You Can Use In Quran Comprehension
Let’s look at that last point real quick. There are many tools available online that will help you understand the Quran better.
First, there are many freely available tafseer collections online. The most common are those by famous Muslim historian and scholar Ibn Katheer.
The website Q-Tafsir has a comprehensive database of Ibn Katheer’s tafseer that is easy to navigate and understand.
Another tafseer option is Abul A’la Mawdudi. Though his tafseer is much more recent than Ibn Katheer’s, it is still one of the most highly regarded English collections available.
There are now several sites that allow you to study the Quran word by word. These are amazing tools that often go into the deeper details of the individual words of the Quran.
Using these lexicons will help you understand how different words are related and how subtle changes in the words can make huge differences.
My favorite Quran Lexicon is from Corpus Quran.com. But there are others.
Another popular option is Allah’s Quran.
Having a good online Arabic-English dictionary is priceless in your study of the Quran. Fortunately, there are many options available.
First, you can just use Google Translate. That may not always be the best option, but it will help you translate most Arabic words in a pinch.
An even better option is Al-Maany. This is a very detailed online Arabic dictionary that will offer several different variations of a single word. It can be very touchy, however, so you have to be sure the word you’re looking for is exact.
And then there’s the classic Lane’s Lexicon. This is also a good dictionary, especially for trying to seeing how Arab linguists viewed certain words. It is especially good because it often references the Quran in its translations.
There are many Arabic keyboards online. These allow you to type Arabic characters using your standard keyboard.
Many of them are virtual where the keyboard is actually on your screen and you have to use your mouse to click on a digital button. Personally, I don’t like those.
There’s only one Arabic keyboard I recommend and that’s from Lexilogos. Use it often enough, and you’ll soon be typing in Arabic without even looking at your keyboard. This is by far and away the best online Arabic keyboard I’m aware of.
You can even copy the Arabic words you write on the screen and paste them into a Word document without any changes. It saves tons of time and effort.
There are a plethora of Arabic/Quran schools to choose from online. Really, there are too many to count.
I’ve personally been involved in three of them:
- Islamic Online University with Bilal Philips
- Bayyinah TV with Nouman Ali Khan
- Shariah Program
Islamic Online University offers degrees in Islamic Studies, but you can also take a standalone intensive Arabic course. I’ve taken several Islamic and Arabic classes in this program and highly recommend it if you’re serious about your Islamic studies.
And I do mean serious. It is a school so there are textbooks, midterms, finals, and grades. If you’re ready to commit to a rigid school schedule, then this may not work for you.
I’ve also studied with the Bayyinah TV program. It is a self-paced program and you can take your time. Nouman Ali Khan records his Arabic lessons with his daughter and uses those as a teaching tool.
However, you will already have to know how to read Arabic for this to work for you. In my opinion also, it assumes you’ve already achieved a certain level of Arabic skills.
I studied with Shariah Program several years ago, so the information I’m sharing has most likely changed.
The program at the time I participated, focused mostly on Sarf which is conjugation of Arabic words. Like Bayyinah, you’re going to have to know how to read Arabic already to benefit from this one.
There were some live classes which made things easier. However, I had a hard time making the live sessions because of my work schedule. At the time, I wasn’t as committed to studying Arabic and Islam as I am now.
Unfortunately, it didn’t really work out for me, but you may fare better. It did have a robust community and the instructor seemed willing to help.
Finally, I’d like to suggest you consider our program here called the Islamic Learning Materials Club.
This program is not designed to teach you how to speak Arabic fluently. Instead, it’s purpose is to help you understand the Quran.
The ILMClub comes from my own personal experience in studying the Quran. I memorized a lot of Quran as a child, but always had a hard time retaining things.
However, I realized that I could retain a lot more when I actually understood what I was saying.
To that end, I began reading Quran translations while memorizing the Quran. In addition to this personal study, I also took structured lessons from teachers in Africa, the Caribbean, and online.
I don’t believe it is necessary to know all the intricacies of Arabic grammar to understand the Quran. You do need some; but certainly not all.
Also, I know that most Muslims have memorized at least the last twenty chapters of the Quran.
With that in mind, we focus on those Surahs first before going into the bigger, longer chapters.
The whole thing is designed to help you understand the Quran quickly, painlessly, and easily.
By helping you learn a few key fundamentals, you’ll be able to grasp large portions of the Quran in no time. Inshallah, you’ll soon be reciting Surahs with understanding.
And that’s what it’s all about.
And while you should not base your choice of study on cost, our program is definitely more affordable than others.