Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The Qur'an: A Reflection of Our Own Fancies? (Some Wisdom)

To all who love and reverence the Book,
And earnestly strive to find in it,
Not a reflection of their own fancies,
But a clue to Unity, Discipline,
And the Call to higher matters of the spirit,
I dedicate this humble effort at Interpretation,
The fruit of my Life, Thought, and Study.

[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali (Servant of Islam) Dedication upon translation of the Quran into English in 1934 ] -- From Some:Wisdom.

These words are full of much, much wisdom. We have for some time observed that many of those who are in the field of the academic study of Islam are there not out of love and zeal for the din, not because they feel a call to defend our faith in this most influential sphere, but for exactly what Abdullah Yusuf Ali is speaking against. Many, especially those who profess Islam as their religion, are striving to find in the Qur'an a "reflection of their own fancies", not Unity, Discipline, and a Call to higher matters of the spirit.

It is vital that we always check our intents and purposes. What many fail to understand in the "objective" study of Islam in the university is that it is in fact not objective at all. It is the state of our own nufus that is reflected by the conclusions we reach in reading a text. Thus, the text often says more about us the readers, than the intent of the author.

Let us be from among those who
earnestly strive to find a clue to Unity, Discipline, And the Call to higher matters of the spirit. Amin.

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