So, this project that Ustaadh Adam assigned us, evoked in me the interest to up my reading and practice Arabic composition. I have always loved writing, and while Malay is my native language, I’m so horrible at composing in Malay since I practically grew up reading Enid Blyton’s books and very rarely read Malay books. Regardless, I’ve always loved reading and writing.
In doing the project, in which we have to compose anything we want in Arabic, I found it difficult to express myself. Of course, I found myself translating English to Arabic, but after a while, I do feel that there is a flow or Arabic thought in my head, however insignificant it may be, and I feel that it may have come from the readers, which I feel are really helpful masha Allah!
I read the Arabic kids books I had bought for my 3 older kids eons ago, trying to get a feel for the Arabic flow and to get a feel for how certain things are expressed in Arabic. I spent quite some time in front of the computer, using Hans Wehr, trying crosschecking new vocabulary Google Translate gave me. I would never have used Google Translate, but Al Maany is not working for some reason, so I would type what I wanted to express in English and Google Translate would give me the Arabic. I know when the translation is off, so when that happens, I’d cross check it in Hans Wehr. It’s time consuming, but surprisingly, I do enjoy it. You do feel that excitement of discovery in learning when you scan through the dictionary entry in Hans Wehr for a word, and see how else it can be used in a phrase.
Ustaadh Adam had given us an extension on when we can submit the project, but as usual, I like to have my stuff done early. The pressing reason is also my son’s schedule, which if not the same, may be tighter than mine. He’s the one who will be doing the video part of my project, and so it all has to be done now. We’ll save me narrating the actual text for later, hopefully after I’ve gotten my composition checked by the TAs. In sha Allah. I realized though early in the spring break that I’m probably the only one that I’m aware of who’s really concerned with finishing the project this early. I understand why, and I know why I want it done early. But last night, I also realized that I’m somewhat hooked in a nerdy kind of way into working on my reading. During spring break. I never was like this with Arabic. عجيب!
I’m also practicing typing in Arabic. My practice hasn’t been as consistent as I’d like, but when I do, I’d type in passages from the Quran that I’ve memorized. From this practice, I’ve realized one thing that has been jumping out at me again and again. Before Bayyinah, when I was memorizing, I always thought to myself,
“I don’t necessarily know the ending harakah of an ayat. How am I supposed to know that? Memorizing is already hard enough in itself!”
As I am typing these passages onto notepad, I realized that knowledge of Arabic grammar has made it so easy in figuring out what the ending harakah is ! Subhaanallah. I seriously couldn’t even figure out this quick what the ending harakah would be at the end of each ayat in Al fatihah! Now it’s almost second nature. Subhaanallah! Alhamdulillah!
I don’t know how the last quarter will be like. All I know is, it’s tafseer. A lot of reading. I look forward to it. As Ustaadh Adam said in an email to us during this break,
Make sure you recharge your batteries because we’re getting right back to it and inshaAllah will end the year stronger than ever. #thisisit