In Quran 20 verse 113, Allah says, ‘’We have sent it down as an Arabic Quran and have diversified therein the warnings that perhaps they will avoid sin or perhaps it will cause them to remember Allah.’’
To understand the Quran word by word, the Arabic language must be understood very well. It is not enough to understand the Arabic language alone, the manner and context for which each word is used must be known and understood. Also, the root words for which each word is derived must be known. The type of vowels that each word can receive must also be known. Also, how to use each word in conversation must be known.
Guide to Understand Quran Word by Word
1. Learn and Understand the Words of the Quran
The Holy Quran has about 7730 words, 18,994 distinct words, 12, 183 stems, 1,685 roots, and 3,382 words. To understand the Quran word by word, these words need to be learned and understood perfectly. Learning all these words and understanding them might take some time. In the meantime, you can learn some important words that appear a lot in the Quran. Knowing these important and popular words will set the tone for learning and understanding the remaining words in the Quran.
Some of the important and popular words in the Quran include Deen which means religion. Another one is Imaan which means faith. Solat and Zakat also appear a lot in the Quran which means prayer and almsgiving respectively. Other words are Halaal, Haraam, and Hajj which means permissible, forbidden, and pilgrimage.
Furthermore, words like Umrah, Jannah, and Jahannam also appeared a lot which are used to explain minor pilgrimage, garden, and hell respectively.
Other words are Jumu’ah which means Friday, Dunya which means life or world, Akhira which means hereafter, Yawm which means day and Rabb which means lord or master.
2. Learn the Meaning in Your Spoken or Native Language
The Quran was originally revealed in Arabic by Allah. With the efforts of scholars all over the world, the Quran has been translated into more than a hundred languages. Studying the Quran in your native language can help understand the Quran word by word. For example, if you do not understand an Arabic word in the Quran, if you check it in your native translated Quran, you are likely to get the meaning of the word and that will help you to understand the Quran better. Some of the languages that the Quran has been translated into are Albanian, Urdu, English, Indian, Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, French, German, Chinese, Japanese, Pakistan, Indonesian, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Philippines, and Swedish. May Allah bless the efforts of our scholars who translated the Quran into these languages for a better understanding of the Muslim Ummah and the world at large.
3. Learn How to Read the Quran First
Although reading and reciting might have the same meaning in the English language, they differ in meaning when it concerns the Quran. To understand the Quran word by word, it is better to learn to read Quran. You should read the Quran like you are reading a newspaper or a journal. It will help you understand the words better.
4. Proceed to the Recitation Stage
After the reading stage comes the recitation stage. Recitation of the Quran is done with a melodious voice like we hear from the Qari’s. The Quran recitation stage is better enjoyed when the reading stage has been perfected. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and his family said): ‘’Beautify the Quran with your melodious voices.’’
5. Learn Arabic Grammar, Morphology, and Usool
Arabic grammar is a branch of knowledge where we learn how to correctly convey the meaning of an Arabic word and sentence without making mistakes. It is compulsory knowledge for anyone who wants to understand the Quran word by word. The knowledge itself was obtained from a careful study of the Quran. Arabic grammar is concerned with being able to work with the endings of words in order to read and comprehend them.
Morphology is similar to Arabic grammar but it is based on the meanings associated with patterns of vowelization. In other words, it is used to learn the basic roots of words. Since the Quran words are Arabic, it means we need the knowledge of morphology to know the basis of each word and other words can be added to them. Following the Quran reading rules is essential for all of us. We can also learn how root words are interpreted and how they are interpreted when other words are attached to them.
Usool is a knowledge that is very important for all those who wish to understand how pieces of evidence are applied to various situations. Sheikh Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said: ‘’Take advantage of the principles and Usool because whoever misses them is deprived of attainment of knowledge.’’
6. Learn Contextual Usage of Words
This is another important knowledge for anyone who wants to understand the Quran word by word. The Quran consists of the same words which are used in different contexts. A very good example can be found in Quran 12 verse 19.
Allah says ‘’And a caravan came, and they sent their water drawer to draw water. As he let down his bucket in the well he observed Joseph and cried out: ‘’This is good news. There is a boy’’. They concealed him, considering him as part of their merchandise, while Allah was aware of what they did.
In this verse, the word ‘’Sayaratun’’ was used to describe travelers. But the literal meaning of the word is ‘’car’’. This is an example of how some words used in the Quran do not carry their literal meaning. In those cases, they are interpreted according to the context of the sentence.
7. Proceed to Tafseer
Quran Tafseer is also important in explaining the meaning of words used in the Quran and the causes of revelation. Also, it helps explain the contextual meaning of words.
8. Converse using the Arabic language
Another way to understand the Quran is to converse with people in the Arabic language while using the Quran words frequently.
Even though the Quran has been translated into many languages, nothing beats knowing the meaning of the words of the Quran in its original Arabic form. Allah encourages us to recite the Quran properly. There is no way the Quran can be recited properly without knowing and understanding the Quran. If you want to learn Quran properly and understand its words with proper meanings, after reading this article anyone will be able to read and understand quran words.