1. Michael Sells is Religious Studies professor at Haverford College. A few years ago he wrote a lovely introduction to the Qur’an called “Approaching the Qur’an: The Early Revelations” which also contains a CD with some beautiful recitations in it of the Surah’s that he discusses in the book. You can learn about Michael Sells and order the book and CD that comes with it here.
In my humble opinion, the most beautiful recitation on that CD is of the Surah called Al-Qadr, which, and I think this is kind of cool, is a title that is almost impossible to translate. Sometimes it is translated as “Power” and by others as “Destiny.” Neither term fully captures the evocativeness of the Arabic word.
Al-Qadr was revealed on a night during one of final odd numbered days of the month of Ramadan. On that night, the entire Quran was send down from the 7th heaven to the lowest heaven from whence, through the mediatorship of the angel Gabrielle, it was revealed in portions to Muhammad over a twenty-three year period. That night is extolled in this very short Surah in ways that still give commentators pause today. Michael Sells has some great comments on this Surah in his book.
The recitation I am including here of Al-Qadr is done by Seemi Bushra Gazi, a woman residing in Vancouver, Canada. A short and interesting bio of her can be found here. So, if you’d like to hear something beautiful and have one minute and eighteen seconds to spare for something like this, then please click right click and save the follwing link qadr-hafs-ghazi971 and sit back and enjoy. To follow along using English transliteration go here. To see the actual Arabic go here. For a translation go here.
2. If you like beautiful photography of architecture and nature then TrekEarth is for you. Great stuff to look at and ponder while listening to Quran recitation. Here’s a nice example.
3. “Okay Mantiq, where’s the Griff Witte update?!” Please don’t get your feathers ruffled. There will be more published either later today and certainly by tomorrow. إن شاء الله .