We Want That Old School Boom Bap: When Knowledge Was Learned Like People Memorize Commericals, Movies, Songs And Rap!


Getting back to the three things that brought about literacy in the Muslim world

1.) learning large portions of knowledge by rhyme

2.) memorizing the Qur’an and writing it and knowing how to recite it well

3.) beginning the path of knowledge at a young age

Learning by rhyme made knowledge enjoyable and sharpened the memory. Memorization and the writing of the Qur’an strengthened the memory and refined writing and speech and provided one with a surplus of examples that are used in grammar and morphology plus the Qur’an teacher taught you a good lesson if you did not behave and learn so you learned adab too. Learning young capitalized on unblemished character and a virgin memory.

Many of us brothers from the West harbor sadness because we did not start on the path of knowledge early on but actually there is an advantage to starting late despite the great opportunity presented by youth. The advantage of learning late is that we bring reflexive activity to learning and life experience so the key for us lies in understanding rather than memorization without understanding as is the case with early child education. But we must combine some degree of memorization with understanding.

It is by approaching knowledge through rhyme and rhythm (Nadham) that makes the process of building memory easy and light and enjoyable. In the mean time at least let us get our kids into the rhythm of learning and recognize it is not too late for us we just need time, silence and patience and to forget about the critics and the competitors and kill the ego a bit and just sit and learn a bit and tap into the right part of the brain. Knowledge comes with repetition.

The attack on the Qur’anic madrasa is an assault on educational sovereignty and the beginning of exposing the youth to other forces which undermine the process of building refined morals and good people, rather than a good citizen we run the risk of creating a psychotic consumer. There must be balance between the demands of modernity and values, we must infuse values into modernity and that begins in education, education of youth and adults.

Abul Hussein

Print Friendly

5 Comments

  1. Abdul Sattar says:

    Assalamu Alaikum,

    Does anyone think that english rhymes that are written to teach Islamic principles could be of benefit?

    ws
    ASA

  2. sister says:

    awesome point mashaAllah.

    also:

    “Many of us brothers from the West harbor sadness because we did not start on the path of knowledge early on…”

    just wanted to point out… many of us sisters harbor the same sadness..

    walHamdullilah,may Allah help us put our late realizations into action. like right now! i’ma go review Qur’an inshaAllah.

  3. SaqibSaab says:

    Maybe it’s because the Arabic language gave way to such rhyming ease? I love how old books the scholars used to write were even titled in rhyme. Was in Saturday morning class for Mustaleh Hadith yesterday and went over brief history of scholars and their works.

    Jami’ al-Usul fi Hadith ar-Rasul (Ibn Atheer)
    al-Fawaid al-Majmua’ fil Hadith al-Mawdua’ (Imam Shawkani)
    al-Bidaya wa an-Nihaya (Ibn Kathir)
    You Better Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself (Imam Oaklandiyyah)

    :P

  4. SaqibSaab says:

    Abdul Satter, my cousin is getting his Master of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell. This past semester, he took an Intro to the Quran class by Dr. Shawkat Toorawa (Indian decent, grew up in Mauritius). He’s working on a rhyming translation of the Quran. Check out what my cousin sent me:

    {1} 1The Compassionate Onea

    2Taught ‘The Recitation’,

    3Brought Humansb into creation,

    4Taught them clear expression.

    5The Sun and Moon follow a fixed rotation,

    6The plants and trees prostrate in adoration.

    7He raised the skies and has balanced all in true proportion, 8That you not unbalance that proportion. 9So be fair in your allocation and do not skew any proportion.

    10He rendered the earth for the sake of His creation:

    11Upon it are fruit and fronded palms, and 12Aromatics and huskèd grain—13Which, then, of your Lord’s wondersc do you both deny in vain?

    14He fashioned Humans from clay, like an earthenware jar, 15And fashioned the Jinn from the fire’s ashless char—16Which, then, of your Lord’s wonders do you both deny in vain?

    17Lord of the sun’s risings and settings twaind —18Which, then, of your Lord’s wonders do you both deny in vain?

    19Fresh water and salt water meet in concursion, 20But they cannot overrun: between them is a separation—21Which, then, of your Lord’s wonders do you both deny in vain?

    22Both of them pearls and corals contain—23Which, then, of your Lord’s wonders do you both deny in vain?

    24The mountainlike ships in the sea are His domain—25Which, then, of your Lord’s wonders do you both deny in vain?

    {2} 26Everything on the Earth shall wane, 27But not the countenance of your Lord, Full of Majesty, Magnanimous, which alone shall remain—28Which, then, of your Lord’s wonders do you both deny in vain?

    29Everyone on earth and in the heavens beseeches Him; daily all matters does He ordain—30Which, then, of your Lord’s wonders do you both deny in vain?

    31We shall soon have dealings with both you wearisome legions—32Which, then, of your Lord’s wonders do you both deny in vain?

    33O assembly of Jinn and Humans: If you are able to venture beyond the regions of the Heavens and the Earth, then do so; but you shall not venture except by Divine power and permission—34Which, then, of your Lord’s wonders do you both deny in vain?

    35Smokeless flames and flaming smoke will descend upon you, and you will have no protection—36Which, then, of your Lord’s wonders do you both deny in vain?

    37And when the skies are torn apart and become like a hide scorched crimson—38Which, then, of your Lord’s wonders do you both deny in vain?

    39On that day, neither Jinn nor Humans will need to be asked about their transgression—40Which, then, of your Lord’s wonders do you both deny in vain?

    41The guilty shall be known by distinguishing marks, and then seized by forelock and feet twain—42Which, then, of your Lord’s wonders do you both deny in vain?

    43This will be the very Hell-Fire denied by the guilty, those to blame, 44Running back and forth, between it and a Cauldron boiling aflame—45Which, then, of your Lord’s wonders do you both deny in vain?

    46But for the one who fears standing before his Lord, are Gardens twain—47Which, then, of your Lord’s wonders do you both deny in vain?

    48Which myriad trees contain—49Which, then, of your Lord’s wonders do you both deny in vain?

    50Two springs flowing in each domain—51Which, then, of your Lord’s wonders do you both deny in vain?

    52And in each place two of every fruit, and of every description—53Which, then, of your Lord’s wonders do you both deny in vain?

    54Both Gardens’ fruits within reach of the righteous, reclining upon divans of silk brocade confection—55Which, then, of your Lord’s wonders do you both deny in vain?

    56Residing there are companions of modest gaze, virginal, untouched before by Jinn or Human passion—57Which, then, of your Lord’s wonders do you both deny in vain?

    58Like rubies or coral gems of perfection—59Which, then, of your Lord’s wonders do you both deny in vain?

    60Can the reward for Right Action be aught but Right Action?— 61Which, then, of your Lord’s wonders do you both deny in vain?

    62And beyond these two Gardens, Gardens twain—63Which, then, of your Lord’s wonders do you both deny in vain?

    64Dense with dark vegetation— 65Which, then, of your Lord’s wonders do you both deny in vain?

    66With two springs that surge, that naught can constrain—67Which, then, of your Lord’s wonders do you both deny in vain?

    68Abundant in them are pomegranate, date palm, and fruit of the heavens—69Which, then, of your Lord’s wonders do you both deny in vain?

    70And in them virtuous and lovely companions—71Which, then, of your Lord’s wonders do you both deny in vain?

    72Dark-eyed beauties secluded in pavilions—73Which, then, of your Lord’s wonders do you both deny in vain?

    74Virginal, untouched before by Jinn or Human passions—75Which, then, of your Lord’s wonders do you both deny in vain?

    76The righteous recline there on mottled carpets, on green cushions—77Which, then, of your Lord’s wonders do you both deny in vain?

    78Your Lord, Full of Majesty, Magnanimous—blessèd be His name.

    Pretty interesting!

  5. Abul-Hussein says:

    AS

    Ustadh Abdus Sattar, how are you may Allah accept from you and me akhi.
    Honestly, your question is very important and timely. It is important that we implement such an effort and presenting knowledge in rhyme but it should not have the same feel and spirit as hip hop. But it would be very useful in my opinion, very beneficial.

    AS

    Abul-Hussein

Leave a Reply

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

More in Islamic Studies (1097 of 1169 articles)