Du’a Nasiri and Hadith Qudsi for April 7th halaqa

Alhamdulillah for our last session where we had a fruitful discussion on Surah Balad. InshaAllahu ta’ala we will implement all we learned from it in our lives striving to better live the attitude of a believer.

We also did the following hadith and du’a. I will post these up also on the blog. For those of you who have not yet done so, please do subscribe by email to the blog so that you get posts there even if I forget to add you to the mailing list. The site is www.ramadan10.wordpress.org

InshaAllah our next meeting will be on the 22nd at 7 pm. I will confirm the location closer to the date. Inshaallah we will do Surah 91, another hadith and recite again the du’a. Please do try to make it.

The du’a is very special. It is called Du’a Nasiri written by Imam Muhammed al-Dar’ii. He died in 1085, but this is Hijri not Gregorian, my mistake, I got it wrong yesterday. Many great things have been said about this prayer. I will copy some of it below. You will be interested to learn the French occupiers of Morocco were so afraid of it, that they took the extraordinary step of proscribing its recital during the occupation. Sh. Hamza translated this prayer from the Arabic a few years ago and it is available for purchase now. Alhamdulillah, a beautiful recitation by the renowned Fez singers from Morocco is available to listen online as well. InshaAllah next session, we will listen/join the recitation as we read the translation (attached). Recitation here or copy paste the link below in another browser window.

http://www.sandalaproductions.com/images/media/The%20Prayer%20of%20the%20Oppressed.mp3

Here is a youtube video of the same du’a but recited in a different style. –

And we know that Allah answers the prayer of the oppressed. In fact, the prayer of the oppressed is so powerful we are afraid of being in any way oppressive to anyone, lest they make du’a against us!

Please do make this du’a whenever you can. Especially for our brothers and sisters in so many parts of the world, especially Libya, Yemen, Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria, Bahrain to name but a few. The Muslim Ummah is under great strife, internal and external and is in urgent need of good leaders, scholars, and strong Muslims. May Allah accept our prayer.

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Here are some notes on why this prayer is so powerful –

The Power of this prayer of Imam Muhammad al-DarÏ lies in its simplicity, its purity, and its sincere supplication. It is essentially a plea to God that our transgressions be overlooked, that divine mercy be bestowed upon us, that social justice be restored in spite of us, that wrongs be righted, and that righteousness reign once again in our lands, so that the destitute may no longer be in need, the young may be educated, the animals’ purpose fulfilled, rain restored, and bounties poured forth.

It is a plea to be freed from the aggression of foreigners in lands over which they have no right—a plea much needed in our modern world, rampant as it is with invasions and territorial occupations. Ultimately, it asks not that our enemies be destroyed, but simply that their plots, and the harm they cause, be halted. Its essence is mercy, which in turn is the essence of the Messenger of God, Muhammad (saw): “And We have only sent you as a mercy to all the worlds.

More information and purchase links here

https://www.fonsvitae.com/OnlineStore/tabid/58/pid/359/The-Prayer-of-The-Oppressed.aspx

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Here is the hadith we covered yesterday

On the authority of Abu Dharr al-Ghifari (may Allah be pleased with him) from the Prophet (peace be upon him) is that among the sayings he relates from his Lord (may He be glorified) is that He said:

O My servants, I have forbidden oppression for Myself and have made it forbidden amongst you, so do not oppress one another. O My servants, all of you are astray except for those I have guided, so seek guidance of Me and I shall guide you, O My servants, all of you are hungry except for those I have fed, so seek food of Me and I shall feed you. O My servants, all of you are naked except for those I have clothed, so seek clothing of Me and I shall clothe you. O My servants, you sin by night and by day, and I forgive all sins, so seek forgiveness of Me and I shall forgive you. O My servants, you will not attain harming Me so as to harm Me, and will not attain benefitting Me so as to benefit Me. O My servants, were the first of you and the last of you, the human of you and the jinn of you to be as pious as the most pious heart of any one man of you, that would not increase My kingdom in anything. O My servants, were the first of you and the last of you, the human of you and the jinn of you to be as wicked as the most wicked heart of any one man of you, that would not decrease My kingdom in anything. O My servants, were the first of you and the last of you, the human of you and the jinn of you to rise up in one place and make a request of Me, and were I to give everyone what he requested, that would not decrease what I have, any more that a needle decreases the sea if put into it. O My servants, it is but your deeds that I reckon up for you and then recompense you for, so let him finds good praise Allah and let him who finds other that blame no one but himself.

It was related by Muslim (also by at-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah).

‘The Tool of The Unwearied Believers’

The Tool of the Unwearied Believers

Abu Rumaysah Refi Shafi

Jan 17 |21:14

Last Updated on Tue, 18 Jan 2011 09:08

evil_thumb.pngFaith is of two halves: patience and gratitude. As such it is befitting for one who is sincere to himself, who desires his soul to succeed, and gives preference to its being felicitous, that he not ignore these two principles, and not swerve from these two paths.

 

And so, the Imam, the jurist, traditionalist, ascetic, indeed polymath, Ibn Al Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, wrote on patience:

Allah, Glorious and Most High, has made patience a race horse that never falters or stumbles, a sword that never loses its sharpness, a vanquishing army that is never defeated, and a fortified stronghold that never breaks and is never taken by force. Patience and Divine Help are two brothers: Divine help comes with patience, relief follows difficulty, and ease follows hardship. Patience aids and supports the individual more so than an army of people, and in the attainment of victory it is like the head to the body. In His book, the Truthful Guarantor has promised that He will repay the patient with a reward that knows no bounds; He informed us that He is with the patient through His guiding them, aiding them, and granting them clear victory. He, Exalted is He says, And be steadfast, Allah is with the steadfast.[1] The patient are victorious by virtue of His being with them, both in this life and the next, and through it they attain both His esoteric and exoteric blessings.

Allah made leadership in the religion dependant upon patience and certainty,
‘We appointed leaders from among them, guiding by Our command when they were patient and when they had certainty about Our signs’[2]
He informed us that patience is best for the patient, consolidating this reality by taking an oath,
‘But if you are patient, it is better to be patient.’[3]
He informed us that the plots of the enemy are of no avail against the one who has patience and taqwa,
‘But if you are steadfast and have taqwa, their scheming will not harm you in any way.’[4]

 

He informed us that it was the patience and taqwa of his truthful Prophet, Yusuf, that led him to circumstances of nobility and authority,
‘As for those who fear Allah and are patient, Allah does not allow to go to waste the wage of a people who do good.’[5]

 

Success is dependent on patience and taqwa,
‘You who have faith! Be patient; be supreme in patience; be firm on the battlefield; and have taqwa of Allah so that hopefully you will be successful.’[6]
He, Exalted is He, gave the greatest encouragement possible concerning patience to those who desire Him saying,
‘Allah loves the patient.’[7]
He gave glad-tidings to the patient of three things; each of these things being better than anything that could be envied in this world,
But give good news to the patient: those who, when disaster strikes them, say, ‘We belong to Allah and to Him we will return.’ Those are the people who will have blessings and mercy from their Lord; they are the ones who are guided.”[8]
He enjoined His servants to seeking aid through patience and prayer in the face of the vicissitudes of the world and religion,
Seek help in patience and prayer. But that is a very hard thing, except for the humble.’[9]
He declared that the grant of victory by way of Paradise and deliverance from the Fire is only for the patient,
‘Today I have rewarded them for being steadfast. They are the ones who are victorious.’[10]
He informed us that the desire for His reward and turning away from this world and its allures can only be attained by the patient believer,
‘But those who had been given knowledge said, ‘Woe to you! Allah’s reward is better for those who have faith and act rightly. But only the steadfast will obtain it.’[11]
Returning an evil with that which is better transforms an enemy into a close friend,
Repel the bad with something better and, if there is enmity between you and someone else, he will be like a bosom friend.’[12]
‘None will attain this quality but those who are truly patient. None will obtain it but those who have great good fortune.’[13]

 

Allah, Exalted is He, informed us – making an oath to further stress what is being said,
‘Truly man is in loss – except for those who have faith and do right actions and urge each other to the truth and urge each other to patience.’[14]

 

He divided the creation in two groups: the People of the Right and the People of the Left. He particularised the People of the Right to be those who urge each other to patience and mercy[15] and particularised the patient and grateful as those who truly benefit from his Signs. He said in four verses of His Book,
‘There are certainly Signs in that for everyone who is patient and thankful.[16]

 

He made forgiveness and reward dependent on righteous deeds and patience – and that is truly easy for the one for whom He facilitates the way –
‘Except for those who are patient and do right actions. They will receive forgiveness and a large reward.’[17]

 

Patience and forgiveness are from the resolute, definite, matters such that the one who trades in them will never face loss,
‘But if someone is patient and forgives, that is the most resolute course to follow.’[18]

 

He ordered His Messenger to be patient for His judgment and informed us that patience can only be for His sake, and through this all calamities become relatively minor and easy to bear,
‘So be patient for the judgment of your Lord – you are certainly before Our eyes[19]
‘Be patient. But your patience is only with Allah. Do not be grieved by them and do not be constricted by the plots they hatch. Allah is with those who have taqwa of Him and with those who do good.’[20]

 

Patience is the rein of the believer tying him down: he may wander for a bit but always returns. It is the pillar of his faith to which he recourses – there is no faith for the one who has no patience. If, in such a case, it does exist, it would be severely weak. The one who has no patience is like one worshipping Allah at the edge of a faltering precipice; if good comes his way he takes comfort, but if trial comes his way the world turns inside out and he loses both it and the Hereafter.
The best livelihood that the felicitous attained was because of their patience. They rose to the most exalted stations because of their gratitude. On the wings of patience and gratitude they soared to the Gardens of perpetual bliss. That is the grace of Allah which He bestows on whoever He will, He is the possessor of great grace.
Faith is of two halves: patience and gratitude. As such it is befitting for one who is sincere to himself, who desires his soul to succeed, and gives preference to its being felicitous, that he not ignore these two principles, and not swerve from these two paths. In this way Allah would place him in the better of the two parties on the Day of His meeting.

Notes:
Islam21c requests all the readers of this article, and others, to share it on your facebook, twitter, and other platforms to further spread our efforts.
[1] al-Anfal (8): 46
[2] al-Sajdah (32): 24
[3] al-Nahl (16): 126
[4] Ali `Imran (3): 120
[5] Yusuf (12): 90
[6] Ali `Imran (3): 200
[7] Ali `Imran (3): 146
[8] al-Baqarah (2): 155-157
[9] al-Baqarah (2): 45
[10] al-Mu’minun (23): 111
[11] al-Qasas (28): 80
[12] Fussilat (41): 34
[13] Redacted from Fussilat (41): 35
[14] al-`Asr (103): 2-3
[15] al-Balad (90): 17
[16] Luqman (31): 31; Ibrahim (14): 5; Saba` (34): 19; al-Shura (42): 33
[17] Hud (11): 11
[18] al-Shura (42): 43
[19] al-Tur (52): 48
[20] al-Nahl (16): 127-128

On Surah Muzzamil and arabic…

Assalamu alaikum,

Yesterday we began Surah Muzzammil (One who is wrapped up), chapter 73 in the Quran. I had a few notes on the first ayah I wanted to share, with respect to what we are learning about Arabic root words and the life of the prophet (peace be upon him) –


بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

يأَيُّهَا الْمُزَّمِّلُ

73:1 O you wrapped up!

The transliteration is ‘Ya ayyuhal Muzzamil’

In Arabic many meanings are formed by adding to the beginning and end of a root word. Here you see the prefix ‘mu’ used to denote someone in the state of.. for example, those in the state of Islam are ‘mu-slim’, those in the state of hijab are ‘muhajaba’, one who sings nasheed is called ‘munshid’ etc..

The suffix ‘i’ is usually used to when relating the noun/verb  ‘to me’, for example ‘name’ in Arabic is ‘ism’ and ‘my name’ would be ‘ismi’, heart is ‘qalb’ and ‘my heart’ would be ‘qalbi’ and so on.

There is very much that can be taken from this first ayah. In terms of the incident referred to one opinion (considered the dominant opinion among the scholars I believe) is that the wording is a reference to Muhammed (sal)’s reaction upon receiving the revelation, when he ran home to his beloved wife Khadija (may Allah be pleased with her) and said ‘Zammilooni, Zammilooni, Daththirooni, Daththirooni’… which can be translated as ‘cover me, cover me, wrap me up or embrace me’ . So you now see how the words form. Interestingly the surah following this one is Surah Mudhathir.

As we were also talking a lot about women in our history and in the Islamic tradition last night, I wanted to share this nasheed that nicely ties in together the above incident with the role of our great mother and role model, Khadija (radhiallahu anha).  The nasheed is well known, sung by Zain Bikha of South Africa and Native Deen of the USA. It sticks to using only percussion and I hope you will not mind me posting a nasheed up. I think it works well in this context and a great learning tool. InshaAllah khair 🙂

Enjoy!

A little introduction on Arabic root words

Assalamu alaikum,

As we are getting more familiar with the Arabic, here is a useful article on the Arabic root word system. InshaAllah you will find it useful.

Inshaallah next class onward we’ll start distributing a page a class on the common words in the Quran booklet.

Fee Aman Allah

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Brief List of Arabic Roots

Introduction to the Use of Arabic Roots:

Arabic words are generally based on a root that uses three consonants to define the underlying meaning of the word. Various vowels, prefixes and suffixes are used with the root letters to create the desired inflection of meaning.

Each set of root letters can lead to a vast number of words, all predictable in form and all related to the basic meaning of the three root letters.

For example, the root k-t-b has the basic meaning of marking, inscribing or writing. The root may be conjugated in simple past tense (perfect) verb forms such as:

kataba he wrote
katabû they wrote
katabat she wrote
katabnâ we wrote

Similarly, there are simple and predictable rules for present (imperfect) and imperative forms of  the basic root, such as:

yaktubu he writes
yaktabunâ they write
taktubu you write
naktubu we write
‘uktub write!

And then the vastness really begins to be seen as additional forms such as verbal nouns are created from the same simple root k-t-b to describe things such as:

katîb writer
kitâba the act of writing
kitâb some writing, book
kutub books
kutubî bookdealer
kutayyib booklet
maktûb letter
maktab school, office
maktaba library, literature
maktabî individual office
miktâb typewriter
mukâtaba correspondence
iktitâb registration
istiktâb dictation

…. and on and on. This is only a limited sample of the immense variety of words that can be formed by simple and predictable usage of the basic root which was only the three consonants k-t-b.

A Brief List of some Arabic Roots:

The following list of roots is sorted according to the English alphabet, ignoring any diacritical marks.

Examples of typical usage of the root are shown in parenthesis.

a-b 2 father, ancestor, forefather
(ab, abû)
‘a-b-d 685 to serve, worship, be devote to, show veneration
(‘abd, ‘ibâda, ma’bûd)
‘a-d-l 696 to act justly, equitably or to make straight, set in order
(‘adl, a’dâla, ta’dîl)
‘a-d-m 698 to be non-existent, disappeared, destroyed, devoid of
(‘adam, ‘adîm)
‘a-f-w 731 to be obliterated, effaced, eliminated
(al-‘afûw, ‘afwîya, ‘afâ’, isit’fâ’, ‘âfin, mu’fan)
a-h-d 7 to unify, be one
(al-ahad, ahadîya, uhâdî)
a-kh-r 9 to postpone, defer, be last, final, ultimate
(al-âkhir, âkhar, ukhrâ, ta’khîr, mu’akhkhara)
a-l-h 30 to adore, deify, turn to another with intense feeling
(ilâh, ilâhî)
‘a-l-m 743 to know, have knowledge, be informed, teach, notify
(al-‘alîm, ‘ilm, ‘ilmiya, ‘allam, u’lûma)
a-m-l 35 to hope, to look attentively, meditate, consider
(amal, âmâl, âmil, muta’ammil)
a-n-s 38 to be familiar, friendly, sociable
(uns, insî, ins, anîs)
‘a-q-d 734 to tie, knit, make a knot, put together, join
(‘aqd, ‘aqîda)
‘a-q-l 737 to have the faculty of reasoning, comprehension
(‘aql, ‘aqlî)
‘a-r-f 708 to know, to perceive, discover, to announce
(‘arîf, ‘irfân, ma’rîfa, ta’rîf, ma’rûf)
‘a-s-m 722 to hold back, restrain, preserve, to take refuge, guard
( ‘asama, ‘isâmî)
‘a-z-m 729 to be great, powerful, mighty
(a’zam, al-‘azîm, ‘izâmî, ‘azîma)
‘a-y-d 774 to celebrate, to feast
(‘îd ul adhâ, mu’âyada)
‘a-z-z 712 to be strong, powerful, respected, to fortify, strengthen
(al-‘azîz, ‘izz, ta’zîz, ma’azza)
b-d-‘ 57 to introduce, originate, start, do for the first time
(al mubdi’, bdi’, badî’a, abda’, ibtidâ’)
b-q-y 84 to remain, continue, endure, be ever-lasting
( al- baqî’, baqâ’, abqâ, bâqin)
d-a’-â 326 to call, summon, appeal to, invite, invoke
(du’â, da’wa)
dh-k-r 358 to remember, recollect, bear in mind
(dhikr, tadhkâr, dhâkira)
d-w-n 350 to record, write down, enter, collect
(dîwân)
d-y-n 352 to be obedient, submissive, to be indebted, to owe
(dîn, diyâna)
f-l-q 851 to split open, cleave, tear asunder, burst
(falq, falaq)
f-n-y 854 to wane, dwindle, recede, come to an end, cease to exist
(fanâ’, fânin)
f-q-h 847 to understand, comprehend or to teach, instruct
(fiqh)
f-t-h 811 to open, unlock, reveal, conquer
( fattâh, mifatâh, miftâhî, al-fâtiha)
f-t-m to wean, relinquish, disengage, abstain, cut-off
(Fâtima)
gh-f-r 793 to cover, hide, forgive, guard, protect
(al-ghafûr, ‘astaghfirullâh)
gh-n-y 803 to be rich, wealthy, free or to sing praises, extol
(ghanâ’, istighnâ’ )
gh-s-l 788 to wash, clean, cleanse, purge
(ghusl)
h-â-l 251 to change, be transformed, become, to be transferred
(hâla, tahwîl, ihâla)
h-a-t 249 to guard, protect, encircle, encompass, surround
(ihâta, muhît)
h-b-b 179 to love, to endear, to make dear, to like, to prefer
(hubb, habîb, mahbûb)
h-b-l 182 to catch, ensnare, or to be pregnant
(habîl, habila, hublâ)
h-f-z 220 to protect, guard, preserve, take care of
(hafîz, tahz)
h-m-d 238 to praise, commend, laud, extol
(hamîd, mahmûd, muhammad, al-hamdulillâh)
h-m-l 240 to carry, bear, lift, take along, transport, convert, bring around
(hamîla, haml)
h-m-s 239 to be zealous, ardent, enthusiastic, excited
(hamâs, tahammus)
h-q-q 224 to be true, right, correct
(al-haqq, haqîq, tahqîq)
h-s-d 207 to envy,  to be envious
( hâsid)
h-s-n 208 to be beautiful, lovely. fine, proper
(husnâ, hasan)
hs-n 214 to fortify, be accessible, to be chaste, pure
(ihsân hasâna)
h-y-y 256 to live, to exist
(al-hayy, tahîya, ihyâ’, hayâh, hayya)
j-â-‘ 177 to come, to get to, reach, arrive, set forth, set out to do
(jai’a, majî’, jâ’iât)
j-â-d 172 to be good, to improve, to be skilled, proficient
(jûd, tajwîd, jayyid)
j-â-l 176 to roam, wander, move freely, circulate
(jawwâl, tajwâl, majâl)
j-h-d 168 to struggle, endeavor, strive, labor, strain, fight
(jihâd, majhûd, ijtihâd)
j-n-n 164 to hide, conceal, put under cover
(janna, junna, junûn, jinn, jinnî)
j-w-d 173 to be good, be better, to grant generously, liberally
(jûd, jayyid, jawâd, tajwîd)
k-b-r 947 to be older, esteemed, big, great, large, famous, admired
(kabîr, ‘akbar, takbîr)
k-f-â 977 to be enough, sufficient, to meet all needs
(kifâya, iktifâ’, mukâfâh)
k-l-m 981 to speak, talk, converse, express
(kalima, kalâm)
k-m-l 984 to be whole, complete, perfect, finished
(kamâl, kâmil, kamâla, takmîl, ikmâ, istikmâll)
k-s-b 966 to earn, acquire, win, gather, attain
(kâsib, iktisâb)
k-w-n 993 to be, exist, happen, take place or make, create, bring forth
(yakûn, kiyân, kaun)
kh-l-f 297 to be a successor, take the place of, substitute or to differ, argue
(khalîfa)
kh-l-s 294 to be pure, refined, purged,  free, liberated, redeemed, sincere
(ikhlâs, takhlîs)
kh-l-q 299 to create, make, form, mold, pattern
(khulq, khulqî, khalîq, al-khâliq, akhlâqî)
l-h-b 1032 to flame, burn, blaze, kindle, excite
(iltihb, lahab)
l-t-f 1018 to be kind, friendly, amicable, benevolent
(latîf)
m-l-k 1081 to possess, rule, own, have dominion over
(mâlik, malîk)
m-r-‘ 1058 to be wholesome, healthy, manly
(imra’, marî’)
m-s-h 1064 anoint, rub, wipe off, stroke with hand
(masîhî)
m-w-l 1093 the have wealth, to become rich, finance something
(mâl, amwâl)
n-d-r 1118 to dedicate, consecrate, vow, notify, warn
(nadîr, indâr, mandûr)
n-f-k 1152 to blow, puff, breathe, inflate
(nafk, manfûk)
n-s-r 1138 to help, aid, assist, defend, protect
(nasîr, mansûr)
n-s-y 1130 to forget, neglect, omit
(nasy, mansîy)
n-w-r 1182 to illuminate, light, enlighten, to clarify, be revealed, disclosed
(nârî, nûr, munîr, munawwar)
n-z-l 1122 to come down, descend, reveal
(tanzîl, nazîl)
n-z-m 1147 to arrange, put in order, determine the details of something
(nizâm, munazzam)
q-â-m 934 to rise up, get up, ascend, to begin, to remain, to exist
(al-qayyûm, qiyâm, maqâm, qâ’im)
r-â-d 425 to walk about, prowl, search, seek
(irâda, murîd)
r-b-b 370 to bring up, to foster, to nourish, a master, lord, owner
(rabb)
r-h-m 384 womb, kinship, mercy, compassion
(al-rahmân, al-rahîm)
r-sh-d 395 to be on the right track, rightly guided
(murshid, irshâd, rashâd, rashîd)
r-z-q 389 to provide, supply, grant means of subsistence
(al-razzâq, rizq, marzûq, murtazak)
s-b-h 457 to glorify, praise, to be swimming in
(subhan allâh, tasbîh)
s-b-r 585 to be patient, to make durable
(al-sabûr, sabbâr, asbar, musâbara, istibâr)
s-l-m 495 to be safe, secure, protected, to surrender, to submit
(al-salâm, islâm, salîm, muslim)
s-l-w 611 to pray, worship, bless
(salât, musallâ, salawâtun)
s-m-d 613 to be unaffected, or turn to someone or to resist, oppose
(al-samad)
s-m-‘ 501 to hear, to listen, pay attention, be told, hear about
(al-samî’, samâ’)
s-w-m 621 to abstain, to refrain, a particular form of abstinence e.g. fast
(saum, sâ’im, siyâm)
sh-k-r 563 to thank, to be grateful, laud, offer thanks
(al-shakûr)
sh-r-k 547 to share, become a partner, participant
(shirk)
sh-r-q 546 to radiate, shine, beam,  to rise like the sun
(sharq)
sh-r-r 539 to be evil, bad, wicked
(sharr, sharîr)
t-b-b 108 to perish, be destroyed, stabilized
(tabban lahâ)
t-w-b 119 to turn toward, to repent, renounce
(al-tawwâb)
w-b-l 1226 to be unwholesome, unhealthy, noxious, heavy rain
(wabâl)
w-h-d 1236 to be one, unique, without equal
(wahîd, wâhid)
w-k-l 1283 to entrust, assign, commission, empower
(wakil, tawakkul)
w-l-d 1285 to give birth, make, create
(walid, maulûd)
w-l-y 1288 to be near, close, friend, servant, defender, supporter, protector
(walîy, wâlî, maulânâ)
w-s-w-s 1254 to whisper, to temp, to awaken doubts
(waswâs)
y-d 1295 hand, handle, control, power
(yad)
y-q-n 1298 to be certain, convinced, certitude
(yaqan, yaqîn, mûqin)
z-h-r 682 to be visible, perceptible, manifest, distinct
(al-zâhir)
z-l-m 681 to do wrong, treat unjustly or to grow dark, gloomy
(zulm, zalâm)

Useful References:

An Arabic-English Lexicon, Edward W. Lane… an eight volume masterpiece of classical Arabic which includes plentiful examples of classical usage and the meanings of the words during the time period that the Qur’ân was revealed. Indexed by Arabic roots, with definitions in English.

Hans Wehr Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic, edited by J.M. Cowan.

Dictionary of the Holy Qur’ân, Abdul Mannân Omar… truly a precious gift to those who speak English, this magnificent dictionary translates every Arabic word used used in the Qur’ân into English, giving the Arabic root word followed by English translations of every form of that root which appears in the Qur’ân. This dictionary is easy to use, is relatively inexpensive and is based on classical Arabic as used in the Qur’ân.

The story of the three Quraish who listened to the recitation in secret…

Here is the rendering from Ibn Ishaq about the incident with the three members of Quraish who used to listen in secret to the Prophet (peace be upon him) when he read the Quran. Ibn Katheer mentions it in his tafseer with relation to the 33rd Ayah in Sura An’am (6th Sura, Mekkan) given below-

قَدْ نَعْلَمُ إِنَّهُ لَيَحْزُنُكَ الَّذِى يَقُولُونَ فَإِنَّهُمْ لاَ يُكَذِّبُونَكَ وَلَـكِنَّ الظَّـلِمِينَ بِـَايَـتِ اللَّهِ يَجْحَدُونَ

6:33 We know indeed the grief which their words cause you; it is not you that they deny, but it is the verses of Allah that the wrongdoers deny.

Ibn Katheer says

‘ Allah’s statement,

… فَإِنَّهُمْ لاَ يُكَذِّبُونَكَ وَلَكِنَّ الظَّالِمِينَ بِآيَاتِ اللّهِ يَجْحَدُونَ ﴿٣٣﴾

it is not you that they deny, but it is the verses of Allah that the wrongdoers deny.

means, they do not accuse you of being a liar, وَلَكِنَّ الظَّالِمِينَ بِآيَاتِ اللّهِ يَجْحَدُونَ (but it is the Verses of Allah that the wrongdoers deny). It is only the truth that they reject and refuse.

Muhammad bin Ishaq mentioned that Az-Zuhri said that;

Abu Jahl, Abu Sufyan Sakhr bin Harb and Al-Akhnas bin Shurayq once came to listen to the Prophet reciting the Qur’an at night, but these three men were not aware of the presence of each other. So they listened to the Prophet’s recitation until the morning, and then left.

They met each other on their way back and each one of them asked the others, “What brought you!”

So they mentioned to each other the reason why they came. They vowed not to repeat this incident so that the young men of Quraysh would not hear of what they did and imitate them.

On the second night, each one of the three came back thinking that the other two would not come because of the vows they made to each other. In the morning, they again met each other on their way back and criticized each other, vowing not to repeat what they did.

On the third night, they again went to listen to the Prophet and in the morning they again vowed not to repeat this incident.

During that day, Al-Akhnas bin Shurayq took his staff and went to Abu Sufyan bin Harb in his house saying, “O Abu Hanzalah! What is your opinion concerning what you heard from Muhammad.”

Abu Sufyan said, “O Abu Thalabah! By Allah, I have heard some things that I recognize and know their implications. I also heard some things whose meaning and implications were unknown to me.”

Al-Akhnas said, “And I the same, by He Whom you swore by!”

Al-Akhnas left Abu Sufyan and went to Abu Jahl and asked him, “O Abu Al-Hakam! What is your opinion about what you heard from Muhammad.”

Abu Jahl said, “We competed with Bani Abd Manaf (the Prophet’s sub tribe) and so we fed as they fed and gave away as they gave away. So, when we were neck and neck with them, just as two horses in a race, they said, `There is a Prophet from among us, to whom revelation from the heaven comes.’ So how can we ever beat them at that! By Allah we will never believe in him or accept what he says.’

This is when Al-Akhnas left Abu Jahl and went away.”

–It is interesting how this story also relates to this verse, when we were discussing it in how it related in a different context!–