Friday, May 8, 2015


I'm typing this with a minor distraction from Masterchef Australia (which is playing on the side tab) so, pardon all the silly grammar mistakes and crazy sentence structures from here on.

I really love how Allah structures your life in ways that you can never imagine. When I first came to Sydney, I was practically starting fresh. The only person I knew then was Nadira, my ex-roommate (she's getting married this winter hence explains the 'ex'; long story). And it didn't help that I have the middle-child-introvert-at-heart-extrovert-somewhere-deep-down-if-anyone-dare-to-dive-in-and-have-a-look syndrome. Basically, the idea of socializing and making friends at a new place is exhausting as hell.

Which explains why it took me a year to get to know Reime and Nadia. I've met them a couple of times but it's always at some event where there's fifty million other people I know and just have to go and hug. So yes, I don't do huge crowd and small talks. I get zoned out really really quickly and unless the other person contributes as much to the conversation, I can usually sense an awkward cue coming and my soul get ripped to pieces when this happens.

So there I was, playing basketball with Nadia at Moore Park when she asked me if I wanted to join the weekly tafsir session at Lakemba Mosque that very night. It was Easter break and I just got back from Dubbo, so despite my 'introvert'ness, I was still in the mood for some unplanned trips, so I said yes. Wallahi, it was the best decision ever. It was a step into getting to know two beautiful souls, Nadia and Remie, and a great introduction to what now has become my hobby and a great passion; understanding the words of the Quran.

The sessions runs every Tuesday for around 45 minutes, commencing after the Isya' prayer. The speaker is, Allah bless him, Sheikh Abu Bakr Zoud. He's really worth listening to. He has the typical Lebanese-Australian accent that reminds me of my muslim friends at uni. He's pretty young. He doesn't make that many jokes, but that's not an issue. He just takes stuff seriously and he delivers them really really well.

Here's the tafseer series collection from
Syekih Abu Bakr Zoud tafseer collection

His youtube channel (I would personal go here, coz the sessions are numbered)
Syeikh Abu Bakr Zoud youtube channel

His facebook page: (Many of his recent tafseer videos are uploaded here too, but you gotta scroll down to find them.) 
I like his tafseer sessions in particular, because he takes time to go through one verse after another. It took 3 to 4 sessions for us to cover Surah 'Abasa and the explanations are always packed with mind-blowing information. I'm really bad at wording his lengthy lectures but I would highly recommend anyone who is keen to understand the meanings of the verses that we usually read in salah, to have a listen at his podcast. You would be amazed by the relation of one Surah to another  eg: Surah Al-Layl and Surah As-Shams. You'd be surprised that there are so many verses that relates. Rhetorical questions that are answered here and there and all this while, we have just been oblivious. The beauty of the Arabic language and how a simple phrase like 'the sun is wrapped', when translated word by word according to the norm of the word 'wrap' in Arabic, captures the imagery of the Hereafter in such a way that you can never fathom alone.

And it helps that his sessions are tafseer of the Juz Amma, which is helpful considering that most of us would recite verses from this last juz whenever we pray. That's a plus point for us, non-Arabic speakers.

From the way I see it, it's better that we recite verses that struck our hearts when we pray. We get to concentrate better and we'd say our Salams with satisfaction. Imagine that. It's amazing how you were given the opportunity to remind yourself everyday of anything from the Quran. If you read Surah At-Takwir, you are reminded of the hereafter. If you read Surah Al-Asr, you are reminded of  the essence of time. But rather than just knowing the literal meaning, you get to understand the in-depth translation, the messages, the miracle of what He is conveying.

It is not a wonder then that during the glory days of Islam, people are most connected to Quran. It wasn't wealth that makes them amazing. It's their connection with God. Their connection with His book.
Really, if we understand the Quran, we get to learn so much.
And our prayers will make us humble.
It will be more than just a ritual filled with reciting verses after verses of what we memorized since forever.