Monthly Archives: May 2017

Ramadan and random acts of dates

I was on my way home, having turned onto that dreaded narrow road where the bole of the massive tree curves into the roadway. I am ever certain that there is insufficient space for two vehicles to traverse alongside each other. And I am ever wrong.

So there I stood at a standstill, wondering why the driver who approached from the opposite end did not wait for me to clear the tree before beginning his approach. He approached, veered towards the treeside, and flagged me. For an instant I wondered whether he meant for me to go left, because I thought that that was impossible to do safely. Then I glimpsed the topi and as he drew alongside, I rolled (powered?) down my window.

“Salaams, this is for you.”

Tears sprung to my eyes as I said jazakallah and accepted the container of dates.

Ramadan, rukus & Qur’an

Yesterday, Youngest & I were discussing how to complete the Qur’an in 30 days. I started by saying there were just over 6,000 verses in Qur’an so if we divided that by 30, we’d have to read about 200 verses a day, which we could do if we read 50 verses after each of 4 salaat.  My very logical Youngest said you mean 40 verses if you read after each salaat. Well, yes. That devolved into a discussion about rukus, another ‘divider’ in the Qur’an. My children have been exposed and acclimatised to words like ‘juz’ ‘para’ ‘sipara’ & ‘ruku’ with respect to recitation of al Qur’an. I have not, and I have to rely on them to translate. I’m good with juz as I understand that to mean 1/30 of the Qur’an. But juz can be further subdivided. A ruku is one of those sub-divisions, but I couldn’t get a grasp of how many verses comprised 1 ruku. (Please note that this is not to be confused with the ruku position of salaat, but you will see that that position lead to its name).

So off we went to Google. After reading quite a few entries/posts, this is the explanation for a ruku in Qur’an:

Neither the Rasool saws nor his Companions ra divided the Qur’an into parts, and it seems that up to contemporary times, Arab-printed Qur’ans do not show the sub-divisions.

“Around the 4th century of the Hijri calendar the Ulema of Bukhara, Russia divided the entire Quran into 540 Rukus for Taraaweeh purposes. They reckoned that if one Ruku is recited in each raka’at of the Taraaweeh salaah the Hafiz will finish the Quran exactly on the 27th night of Ramadaan. The equation is as follows:

1 ruku per raka’at x 20 raka’ats = 20 Rukus per night x 27 nights = 540 rukus.

When devising these Rukus the Ulema made sure that Rukus contained aayats of the same topic and theme.

They named it Ruku because the Hafiz goes into ruku after reciting it in one raka’at of Taraaweeh salaah.”

However, searches for the number of rukus in Qur’an will also yield the number 558. Huh? The explanation lies in the the ulema of South Asia (according to my quran online):

“In South Asia the tradition is to complete recitation of the whole Qur’an in 27 nights. This required partitioning of the Qur’an in 27 x 20 = 540 sections excepting the Surah al-Fatiha. When such partitioning was done they ended up with 556 (+1 for Surat al-Fatiha) sections. Evidently, they did not go back to redo the partitioning to come with 540 sections. The Qur’an copies printed in South Asia have Ruku’ or Section markings showing number of the ruku’ within the Surah, within the Juz and ayah number within the ruku’.”

In Qur’ans which carry the ruku markings, the end of each ruku is marked on the margin of the Qur’an with the letter ‘ain, with the number of the ruku over it.

Read it in smaller more manageable portions, my respected brothers & sisters. And persevere.

PS: There is no compulsion to perform a ruku (as in salaat) after recitation of a ruku of the Qur’an. This is completely different from reciting an ayah of the Qur’an which requires that you perform a sajdah (as in salaat) at the end of the ayah.