Al-Ghazali is one of the most famous and controversial figures in the Islamic world. Many of his works that were written almost a thousand years back, influence millions around the world even today! Shaykh Abu Umar ibn Al-Salaah (RA) spoke well of him when he said: “A lot has been said about Abu Haamid (Al-Ghazali) and a lot has been narrated from him. As for these books – meaning Al-Ghazali’s books which contradict the truth – no attention should be paid to them. As for the man himself, we should keep quiet about him, and refer his case to Allah.” [IslamQA.info]
Even though Al-Ghazali went through various stages in his life, he was no doubt a man of great intellect and produced some significant works. Today, I want to share just one statement of his that I could resonate with, and consider worth sharing.
Jewels of the Quran
Al-Ghazali described the Quran as a vast ocean which has numerous jewels and pearls. He further went on to explain that, apart from the jewels and pearls, there are also sea-shells, which is the garment of the Quran. He says: “Some of the people who reach the sea-shells know [only] these, while others break the shells and carefully examine the pearls [inside them]. Likewise, the shell of the jewels of the Quran, it’s garment, is the Arabic language.”
Just pondering over this one statement, shows us the importance of the Arabic langauge in our lives as Muslims. How many of us truely believe this, yet we deprive ourselves of this Treasure? How many of our Arab brothers and sisters are born with the key to this Treasure and yet remain unaware of it’s importance? Are you looking for that key?
Purpose of learning Arabic
Al-Ghazali further explained that the people who have the knowledge of the sciences of Arabic Grammar and the language itself, are superior to the people who only have the knowledge of the sciences of reading the Quran; and the one who understands it’s meaning is superior to the one who has the knowledge of the Arabic language. This indicates that our sole intention to learn the Arabic language should be to understand the Quran and the Sunnah, so we can fulfil the purpose of pleasing Allah (SWT). It is the first step towards acquiring the Jewels of the Quran!
We have to reflect on these statements and take it seriously. As Muslims, we believe that the life of this world is temporary and short, compared to the eternal life of the Hereafter. How can we then not take the necessary steps towards learning the langauge of the Quran? How can we be heedless of it’s value? Can we ever hope to succeed without the Guidance that Allah (SWT) has preserved in it?
May Allah (SWT) grant us the ability to learn this beautiful language and help us benefit from the Jewels of the Quran. Ameen.