About Nur Al Qasas

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Once upon a time, imagination, memory, inner vision, speech, and listening were seen as divinely bestowed gifts.

Less than a generation ago, ordinary Turkish schoolgirls could gather and sing sacred songs for hours on end, having memorized hundreds of stanzas and their melodies. Now one must travel the countryside to find a handful who still know a few of them.

Less than two generations ago Yemeni craftsmen knew and sang sacred songs about their own crafts. Now, nobody knows such songs ever even existed.

Less than three generations ago Iranian peasants had so many stanzas of poetry committed to memory that they could play a game with them that would last for days on end. Now few have even heard of that game.

In the time of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and give him peace, virtually all of his followers had memorized most or all of the new Revelation, the Qur’an; it lived in their vibrational patterns and they interacted intimately with it every day. Now we are content with it being inscribed between two covers of a book on the shelf, and most interact with it, if at all, only a few moments a day.

When we stop using a gift and allow it to atrophy, we are ungrateful. Allah hates ingratitude.

Nur al Qasas sounds a call to persons who think. The call is to a return to the wisdoms and practices of the oral traditions, including narration, imaginative play, memorization, and recitation.

What you have written
in small black letters on a page
can all be washed away
with a single drop
of water.
But what you have written in your mind
will be there for eternity.

The intellectual, spiritual, linguistic, social, and emotional development of Muslim children is our responsibility. We will be questioned about it in the afterlife. How can Muslim children develop adequately on a steady diet of electronic entertainments and individual escapist reading of books that have no moral force?

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