The world-renowned Muslim lecturer and teacher delivered a speech titled “Quran: Book of Guidance” to the Muslim Student Association Monday night.
Muslims’ love of the Quran is similar to the way most people dote on a letter from a loved one they rarely see, Birjas said. He added that a letter will be continually reread because it embodies the person who sent it. The words of the Quran embody God.
Birjas encouraged the audience to lead an upright life and follow God’s guidance evident in religious texts like the Quran.
“If you don’t follow the instructions, blame no one but yourself,” Birjas said.
The unique linguistic style of the Arabic language used in the Quran was also discussed.
“The Quran has wonderful, wonderful style,” Birjas said. “The Arabic language is so unique because Arabs were isolated in the desert.”
Birjas said the Arabic people had limited outside influences and didn’t have written records. He added that because all communication was done orally between the same group of people.
Over time, a unique language was developed.
Arabic is the only language where one single letter can be an entire sentence, Birjas said. He added that discourse became compressed and musical for easy memorization.
“The Arabic language became perfect in a sense,” Birjas said. “If you get the message in few words, it’s a very, very powerful message.”
Learning to read and understand the Quran takes a lot of devotion.
“If you’re going to learn the Arabic language, good luck,” Birjas said. It’s going to take some time.”
Birjas said that in Arabic, the way individual letters are stressed and the scale they are spoken in are as important as the way words are pronounced.
“If you use the wrong letter, it won’t sound right and will send the wrong message,” Birjas said.
A person doesn’t have to speak Arabic to feel the impact of the Quran.
“Even if you don’t understand the Arabic language, just listening to it will bring you peace,” Birjas said.
Audience members found the speech to be beneficial.
“I think it was really informative because some of the things said here tonight were unique and unheard of,” said graduate student Ishak Shaik. “There were questions about how the Quran was revealed, and these things are not talked about generally.”
Others from the audience complemented Birjas’ speaking abilities.
“I think it was very elaborate the way he spoke,” said junior biology major Lalarukh Mukhtar. “Personally, I’d love to have him again.”