Throughout history, there are people whose name is destined to be remembered because of the significant contribution that they bring. These are people like Albert Einstein who formulate the theory of relativity , Imam Bukhari who compiled the authentic narration of the Prophet Muhammad most of them are already dead. But there is one who are now living among us that is creating an impact that other’s can only admire or envy. His name Nouman Ali Khan.
Who is Nouman Khan?
What is so special about Nouman Ali Khan, that he deserves in to be in the same sentence with Albert Einstein and Al Bukhari. Well, he is one of the 500 most influential Muslim of our time for starters. But, most importantly, he revived the lost tradition of appreciating the Quran as an amazing unrivaled linguistic miracle. This initially began as talked series called the Divine Speech in Mosques across America. It inflated the number of students of Bayyinah Institute exponentially from just 3 to over 10,000 registered students in America. And both of his videos
Now the content of the seminar is documented in the book entitled Divine Speech: Divine Speech: Exploring the Quran as a Linguistic Miracle and co-authored by Sharif Randhawa.
Whether you are Muslim or an atheist, we all heard about miracles. When a messenger sent by God to us he is armed with super powers to convince people that he is in fact who he say’s he is. Without these superpowers, every body politician, bosses and unscrupulous character would have claimed that they are a messenger of God, just to influence or voting decision, working commitment or just to take our hard earned money.
Prophets and their Superpowers
Moses, for example, has his stick that can turn into a snake and can create a highway across the ocean. Jesus can cure the blind and bring the dead to life. These are all super powers that not given to ordinary man. But unfortunately these super powers is attached to that particular person that it was given and when they die the miracle die with them.
So you are left with only stories. Stories are great devices for arresting attention but it is not the same as the real thing. You can’t really see, feel or experience the goose bump on your neck.
This is the case with every messenger throughout history they take their superpower with them to their graves except for one, Muhammad. Prophet Muhammad’s also was given a superpower like the rest the only difference is Muhammad’s superpower did not die with them.
An Eternal Miracle
You can still see, feel and experience the miracles given to Muhammad to this day. It is in every, mosque, Muslim houses and can be downloaded on any smartphone in the world. It is the Quran
The only catch is you can only appreciate the linguistic miracle in the Quran, if you understand it’s original language which is Arabic. And a special kind of Arabic, not standard or colloquial Arabic it has to be classical Arabic.
Before Nouman Khan popularised the Divine Speech, finding someone that knows classical Arabic and have the skills to explain the Quran in an inspiring way is like looking for a miracle itself.
It is like going to London and expecting people to speak English like what you read in Shakespeare;s play. The reason is simply that people don’t talk like that anymore. The same with Classical Arabic, the only people who understand it does not really know how to explain it in a way that the common people especially Millennials need to understand it.
Reviving a Lost Art
Then came Nouman Khan and he basically nails it. He explains the linguistic miracles in such a way that,, we all can feel, experience and most importantly in way that we can relate. The Divine speech basically took the Muslim world by storm.
When the Quran was revealed they are two types of audience believers and those who hates it. The linguistic miracles at that time did not discriminate it was felt by those who revere the Quran and the those who hates it. So much so that those who hate Muhammad used to pluck the ears whenever they hear the Quran, to avoid themselves from being mesmerised by the Quran.
The Divine Speech attempts share the linguistic miracles using the English language. There are more than 6000 sentences in the Quran and each and every sentence contains at least one or a series of linguistic wonder, from word precision, sentence structure , symmetry and many more.
Some of the Linguistic Wonders
An example is the second chapter of the Quran Al baqarah which has 286 sentence. The amazing thing is the word Wasath which can be loosely translated to mean ‘middle’ or ‘balance’. Guess where does exactly the word appear in the Surah? In the 143th sentence which is right in the middle. This is the least astonishing wonder of the Quran.
Another one is the use of palandrum, which is basically in English it is a word that you can spell forward and backwards it will still spell the same like ‘race car’ if you spell it forward , it is going to be r. a, c, e, c,a,r if you spell it backwards it is still going, to be r. a, c, e, c,a,r.
It is possible to do this with one word or two at the most. And you have to think really hard. In the Quran there is a whole sentence that can be classify as a palandrum. This only a glimpse of many linguistic feat that you’ll find the Quran. In short, reading Divine speech you will never look at the Quran as religious text but as linguistic marvels.
Miracles of Al Fatihah
The best thing about Divine Speech is it explaining the linguistic marvel of a chapter that every Muslim reads 17 times a day in their 5 daily prayers. And that chapter is Al-fatihah. This is very generous because to learn the Tafsir of Al-fatihah I can take you weeks but with Divine speech you’ll five daily prayers will have the life that it should. It will help you in your concentration because you can appreciate the beauty of what you are reciting.
As for non Muslim, reading this book will tremendously improve your writing skills especially in making every word counts. If you are an atheist it may compromise your conviction in that everything happens because of the Big Bang, You’ll start to question who cause the Big Bang. So. if you want to remain an atheist please DO NOT READ THIS BOOK
The works of Nouman Khan is easily accessible on internet on Youtube.com and at bayinnah.com
Shahfizal Musa is the Founder and Managing Editor of Halalop. He graduated with a Law degree from Thames Valley University London. He is an award-winning journalist covering topics such as human trafficking, Muslim research discoveries, and exceptional Muslims.