Certain parts of the Quran can pop out at readers or listeners, whether or not they themselves are speakers of Arabic. I cannot fully understand the language, and yet, some verses demand my attention and push me to open up a translation of the Islamic Holy Book.
I remember one time I was reading the Arabic verses of Chapter 14 of the Quran. I noticed the same word was repeated four times across two verses. I was able to recall the definitions of some of the other words in the verses from my Arabic vocabulary obtained during my earlier school years. Words like sun, moon, night, and day. But one word, the one which would tie the actual meaning of all my vocabulary phrases together, I had to look up. The word was translated as “to be of service to you.”
The meaning of the two verses then came together quite beautifully:
“Allah is He Who has created the heavens and the earth and sends down water from the sky, and thereby brought forth fruits as provision for you; and He has made the ships to be of service to you, that they may sail through the sea by His Command; and He has made rivers to be of service to you. And He has made the sun and the moon, both constantly pursuing their courses, to be of service to you; and He has made the night and the day, to be of service to you.” (Q. 14:32-33)
Upon reading the translation of these verses, I had to pause and reflect upon the amazing way in which Allah worded this message and how it was able to impact me—someone who can’t even understand the language without assistance. We know the sun, moon, night, and day to be parts of nature. They are simple, overlooked aspects of our lives. But Allah described them as things He made of service to us, humankind. If the sun moved a tad away from the earth, we would all freeze, and if it moved a tad closer we would all melt. The moon is a sight to be seen—it hypnotized me just the other evening as it shone, bold and gold in the night sky. The day gives us opportunity to earn our livelihood and take care of our families, and the night provides us with much needed time for rest. We do not ever think about it, but as the verse says—yes, Allah made these things to be of service to us.
When I continue reading the same chapter, the very next verse delivers yet another blow of reflection my way: “And He gave you of all that you asked for, and if you count the Blessings of Allah, never will you be able to count them.” (Q. 14:34)
Trying to reflect on the four blessings mentioned in the previous verse is already overwhelming, but then this following line brings to light there is so much Allah provides for us, and no matter how hard we try, we will never be able to enumerate all of the blessings we have been bestowed.
This is but one example from the Quran that stands out even to non-Arabic speakers. The message is delivered in such a way that it makes you want to learn exactly what is being referenced. The more one reads, the more one can pick up on these patterns and beautiful style of verse.