Thursday, November 26, 2009

Read! Read! But he could not read..

Talk! If you can't read.

One day, a man came to see an optician.

Patient: Doctor, could you make me a pair of reading glasses because I can't read without it.
Doctor: OK, then. I'll be happy to help you.

So, the doctor prescribed for him reading glasses. But then the man came to the clinic again..

Patient: You must have gave me a wrong prescription!
Doctor: Why? I'm sure i gave you the right one.
Patient: My vision doesn't improve and I still can't read on using it.
Doctor: That is strange. Anyhow, do you know how to read?
Patient: That's why I asked you to prescribe me reading glasses!

Oh, dear! A pair of reading glasses never can help someone who is simply does not know how to read. So, the man above has a disease called 'illiteracy'....not so a disease after all. He is called as illiterate. Actually, millions of people all over the world are illiterate. Even in industrialized western countries as UK and the USA, approximately 20% of the population has 'low literacy level'. Surprised, huh?

You and I, we are both literate-we can read and write. However, there are lots of definitions of literacy. Some experts define it as having the reading and writing skills that you need to be independent in your everyday life. In short, you can read sign boards, write a memo, fill in forms and etc. -then you are' functionally literate'.

Others say that you are illiterate if you think that you are illiterate. For instance, I can't read or write Japanese as well as I would like to- so, I can be called illiterate (just for the time being, ok? I'll improve myself! You'll see!)

If you live in a society where most people are literate, then you will feel ashamed or embarassed and avoid situations in which you have to read or write. Frankly, a man who can't read doesn't mean that he is a poor-knowledge person. KNOWLEDGE IS NOT JUST ABOUT READING AND WRITING. Allah ordered the Prophet to say: "O Allah, increase me in knowledge," but not in other things.

So, know (O Muhammad) that La ilaha illa Allah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah)..
(Qur'an; 47,19)

Our amazing Prophet Muhammad who is a sultan without a throne, a noble person ever walks on earth admitted by peers and foes, an excellent teacher, a brave admiral in battle field, one who is divinely protected- is also an 'umiyy', illiterate.

He stepped inside his home, was overwhelmed with fear
An angel came with words from God, things were still unclear
Saying read - read, but he could not read, amazing words that he heard
A trembling deep inside his heart, confused by what had occurred
(Zamilooni, Zain Bhikha ft. Native Deen)

It has been part of the Muslim’s belief, that Prophet Muhammad was illiterate. He was raised illiterate, unable to read or write, and remained so till his death. His people, before his mission as a prophet, were ignorant of science and most of them were illiterate. As he grew up, he became known to be truthful, honest, trustworthy, generous, and sincere. He was so trustworthy that they called him the Trustworthy.

If one were to read the various sayings of the Prophet, one would be amazed by his eloquence. His speech by Allah, had and continues to have, the effect of captivating the souls of people. Brilliantly crafted sentences, well-chosen words, compact and cohesive phrases, succinctness coupled with fluency- all of these were the trademarks of the Prophet's speech.
(Muhammad: As if you can see him)

When the Prophet delivered a sermon, the hearts of his audience trembled with fear and awe. When someone would ask him about a legal ruling, the Prophet in his answer, would at once educate the questioner and tell him what would benefit him in his Religion. When someone asked for advice, the Prophet replied with an answer that filled the questioner's heart with Faith, piety and righteousness. When he used parables, analogies, or metaphors, e used palpable, easy-to-understand examples to make matters clear to his Companions. In brief, he was an excellent knowledgeable illiterate teacher!

Everything he said was unrehearsed, extratemporaneous. Even the best leader of the world needs at least some form of rehearsal and planning to do so. No one can just stand before a group of people and give a perfect speech without any preparation. But the Prophet did! In all his sayings, not a single word was found out of place, not a single word could be replaced by a better word, not a single instance of stilted, affected or tritely-expressed sentence. It should come as no surprise that the Prophet was the most eloquent of people despite he was an illiterate; after all, the greatest miracle he came with was the Qur'an, which, in its perfection, grandeur and magnificent, amazed the most eloquent of Arabs.

And instruct them in the Book (this Qur'an) and al-Hikmah (full of knowledge of Islamic laws and jurisprudence or wisdom or Prophethood, etc.)...
(Qur'an: 2,129)
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