The (Arabic) Qur’an Heals

In the Spirit of the Gracious and Compassionate
Creator of the Heavens and the Earth

Lester A. Knibbs aka Doctor Hakeem

Prophet Muhammad advised against becoming angry. I apologize for calling people “lazy hypocrites”. Allah knows you, and Allah is your judge. Quite likely, my understanding fails to encompass your various conditions.

Everyone in this society is mentally disordered — 100%, without exception. One in four — 25% — are seriously disordered. That’s at least 50 million Americans. You live here. You haven’t noticed. Because you are mentally disordered.

I haven’t had the unfortunate luxury of thinking that I do not need (extensive) healing. If you knew Isaac Newton, Tesla, and so many other people whose work has benefited you, you would realize that being mentally disordered does not disqualify anyone from accomplishing wonderful things. I am working for Allah (that’s why he created each of us), and I hope that my good work will weigh enough on the day of judgment to get me into paradise. (There is only one other place to go.)

There is an excellent little book entitled “The Arabic Writing in Five Lessons”. I discovered it in a Washington DC bookstore about 40 years ago. The title provoked a “Yeah, sure!” response in me, but the book only cost $1.25 — so what did I have to lose? (The book costs several times as much now. Sorry!) A week later, I had learned to read Arabic writing. It was another two years of work before I became fluent enough to tackle reading through the entire Qur’an.

You learned your “ABC’s” after you had been speaking English for two or three years, or more. English does not have its own alphabet. English uses the Roman alphabet, which was adapted from the Greek alphabet, for writing the Latin language that the Romans spoke. In other words, English letters are not “real letters” (as I’ve heard them called). The Arabic writing system (it is not merely an alphabet) was devised specifically for the language of the Qur’an, and it fits it like a glove.

Learn a few of the easiest letters and learn to read simple words. That’s how you start. Repeat everything you learn over and over — at least ten times daily. Little bits and pieces. This is how you learn. Do not attempt to memorize long-winded explanations. That is a waste of time.

Rote-learning — repetition — is basic to learning. A higher level is imitation. Find someone who knows what you want to learn and imitate them. The highest level is identification. This is how young children learn to speak. They identify with their parents and other people who can speak. Allah has blessed me to learn to recite the Qur’an. If you do not identify with me, you are putting a roadblock in the path of your own advancement. I am an African American Muslim who, after the age of 30, learned to recite the Qur’an. If you do not see yourself in me, then … well … what do you expect?

There is an irony here. The Qur’an heals. But it is the mental disorder of African American Muslims which stands in the way of learning to recite the Qur’an, which will heal them.

As-Salaam alaikum.


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