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Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Ramadan Challenge

Muslims all over the world will be celebrating the giving of the Quran as well of the unity of the Ummah in just a few weeks. During Ramadan, Muslims fast from food and water during daylight hours. While fasting a person experiences physical deprivation, but can also use this to draw closer to God. I came up with my own challenge for this year's Ramadan.

I will be reading the entire Old Testament (Torah, Prophets, and Writings):

Isaiah from the Dead Sea Sea Scrolls 57:17-59:9, 1Cent BCE

The entire New Testament:


Opening of the Gospel of John, P66, late 1st Cent C.E.

and the entire Quran:


Tashkent Quran, 8th Cent CE (oldest extant copy)


I would love to read them each in their original languages, but for time's and sanity's sake I will be reading them all in English. I have chosen to read the ESV for the Bible, clearing it up with the Hebrew or Greek whenever I have a question. I feel like reading the Bible and the Quran together could confuse me, but might also help me gain insights into the Quran and Bible that I haven't seen before.

I might need some help in choosing a Quran translation though. I have Yusuf Ali's translation, but it is awkward to read. I have never actually finished reading the entire Quran mostly because of that. I have heard that Muhammad Asad's translation is good. Any thoughts?

It is a lot of reading, I'll admit, but I know I can do it. I just need to ignore the other books on my shelves and spend less time online. Is anyone else doing a special challenge for Ramadan?

23 comments:

Skye said...

insha'allah u get through all of them sis thats a great idea...My main focus this ramadan will be to finish the qur'an insha'allah

Stacy aka Fahiima said...

@Skye, I hope you are successful!

Nikki said...

Wow! You have set forth quite the challenge for yourself! I'll be back in school (sr. year of university!) and taking care of my son (9 months next week) so my goal's aren't quite as lofty. I haven't even read the Qur'an in its entirety so my plan for Ramadan is to finish it. I read the Bible once, and read about half of the new testament a second time, but it took me years. No way with school that I'd get through all of it in a month. :/

I've only ever read the NIV of the Bible, for it was the only translation accepted by my parents. As I believe you read on one of my posts, my version of the Qur'an is the one seen her: http://www.amazon.com/Message-Translation-Glorious-Quran/dp/0979671523/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top
with no brackets! Unfortunately I can't tell you if it's a good, sound translation because I have nothing to compare it to; so far it is working for me, though. I hate (parenthesis)!

OhSoMuslim said...

As far as reading the Qur'an, from my experience the translation of Dr.Muhammad Muhsin Khan and Dr. Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali is very good. They even have Tafsir(an explanation of a verse) for some verses.

Mama Kalila said...

Wow! I fasted and read the Quran one year during Ramadhan in college... I gained a whole new level of respect for yall (from the fasting, much more difficult than Lent). I keep meaning to reread the Quran (mostly to answer some questions my husband has) but haven't had the time (lets face it I'm Christian and rarely read the Bible... I need to work on that too). Anyways, where I was going w/ that is I can't imagine reading all 3 at once!

Yasemin said...

I'm really proud of you! I am also currently reading both the Torah and Qur'an 10 pages a night. Not much but I am using the Al-Bukhari translation. Love you and great, great job. Reading the Torah has been helpful to understanding how Islam and Christianity also evolved with Judaism's help.

Yasemin said...

Sorry I meant Asad translation, that one is the best.

Aynur said...

Yes yes yes, if you can, get the Muhammad Asad translation. It's lovely. :)

Nadia said...

Wow. You are ambitious! Please write about any thoughts you have after reading during Ramadhan! I have never read the Torah, but want to badly, and have read parts of the Bible. As for the Qur'an, during Ramadhan I read it in Arabic at night 'proper recital' then I read the English translation during the day because it's my mother-tongue and I understand it better. I stick to Yusuf Ali's translation. I find it's better than most. My mother converted to Islam thirty years ago and still swears by his translation! Best of luck!

Stacy aka Fahiima said...

@Nikki, I can identify with babies keeping you busy. Its amazing how much time they can take up.
I did see that translation too. I will be looking at a few verses in each translation and seeing which one I think is the best.

Stacy aka Fahiima said...

@OhSoMuslim, Thanks I will take a look at those translations too. The tafsir would be helpful so I don't have to look things up elsewhere if I have a question.

Stacy aka Fahiima said...

@MamaKalia, You're right about Ramadan fasting being really hard. I think its the lack of water more than anything. I also fasted the first 3 times when I was in college. Now I haven't fasted since 2006. My goal is just to read all the texts and gain some spiritual benefit as well as insight into the Quran and its background in the Bible.

Stacy aka Fahiima said...

@Yasemin, That's interesting that you decided to do something similar before me! I think starting at the beginning will help me understand the N.T. better as well as the context and historical background of the Quran. It is a lot for one month though, so I might start a few days early.

Stacy aka Fahiima said...

@Nadia, I will definitely post on interesting topics I read. I plan especially to focus on the stories that are in both the Bible and Quran.

R.A.~ said...

Hey there, I had read your blog before and I've found your posts interesting, I never knew you were a torah keeper though! It's awesome to meet you. I find it a lot easier to relate to muslimahs than to many christian ladies I know; the spirituality and devotion in Islam is really amazing which then inspires me to take the same measures in my own walk of faith.

this is a cool goal you have here. I hope you can do it! :D I myself have never thought to make a ramadan challenge, but now that I think about it...I just may.

Hajar Zamzam Ismail said...

My focus is just to get the fasting and devotions done. I have not been able to fast the past few years because of pregnancy and then illness. So, my goal is just to get the wajib things done, this year. But I will make a tentative goal to read Qur'an every day too. I still have problems with my stomach sometimes, even though my gall bladder was taken out, so I think the fasting alone will be a two-fold struggle. Insha Allah, I will do it, though.

Candice said...

Wow, that's a lot of reading! Quite a goal! My main goals are to be succesful in fasting, to pray all 5 prayers and to memorize a couple of the short surahs.

Laila Of Course! said...

Oh, wow, Mashaallah! :) I think I'm going to try and read the entire Quran in English, Inshallah. We'll see how that goes...
Be sure and pop by & leave a note & follow! It would really make my day! :)

-Laila
www.randomweavings.blogspot.com

Nashe^ said...

Salam.

Wowza... I'm a Linguistics major in university, and it's always nice for me to find someone who is interested in original languages and stuff like that. I'm so impressed here.

Sarah Plain And Short said...

Hi Stacy aka Fahiima :) thats great that you've set such goals for yourself. One way that some Muslims finish the entire Qur'an (in Arabic though) is to read 5 pages after each of the 5 prayers. At the end of each day they have read 20 pages, almost 1 juz (1 chapter) since the Qur'an is divided into 30 parts it helps to break it down bit by bit.

Stacy aka Fahiima said...

@R.A., It is something I have been doing for quite a number of years. I guess that's why I was initally attracted to Islam. The piety I see in most Muslimas is 100% real. Its also easier to socialize with other people who pray and don't eat pork.

Stacy aka Fahiima said...

@Laila, I will be sure to stop by and say hi! My daughter is Layla. We decided to do the more Americanized spelling since Americans are notoriously bad at spelling in general.
I would love to read it in Arabic one day InshaAllah, but its just not even a remote possibility right now.

Stacy aka Fahiima said...

@Sarah, That's a great suggestion. I don't know who has the mental fortitude to read after fajr time, but maybe as I'm drinking my morning tea I could read the 1st portion. Five pages at each prayer does sound pretty do-able.
Salaam!