I looked back into my 1956 diary to be sure of his name, Ghazi Aziz, from Iraq. Sharing the same room with him was a white South African, a Christian, and another, a Jewish. Sharing an adjacent roam with me were two boys, a Budhist from India and a Christian from Chile (South America). The third one, a small single room, was occupied by an Irish. It was as international it could be in a three-room ‘digs’ run by a Scottish lady. That made eight nationalities from four continents, representing four major religions.
Thrown into that rare environment I, an absolute green-horn at 20, was obliged to learn to respect each other’s race and religion.
During the following months I grew quite close to the Arab boy from Iraq. We often sat talking about our countries, people and so on. In the course of our conversation one day, I told him that, being a Muslim, I knew a bit of Arabic, the language of Quran that we all had to learn to read in Malaya (pre-merdeka). I was not at all surprised when he took out a copy of Quran and started to talk with high praise of the language of Quran, .."the best example of Arabic language" so he said. That I was not least surprised. Then he dropped the bombshell, “ I have to admit so. although I am not a Muslim.”!
How was I to know that an Arab, bearing that name, Ghazi aziz, was not a Muslim? That’s how green I was. I wonder if I managed to hide my shock.
Since that day no book would surprise me if it says the language of Quran is one of the miracles of Quran. After all Muhammad (saw) was an ‘ummi’, an illiterate person. How could he, of all people, claim the Book to be his work even if he wanted or tried to? There, in that strange environment I learnt of the first ‘Mukjizat’ (miracle)of Quran; it being too perfect to be of human creation.
Part of Ayat 23 from Surah Al-Baqarah
Interpretation by Muhammad Asad: "And if you doubt any part of what We have bestowed from on high, step by step, upon Our servant(Muhammad), then produce a surah of similar merit, and call upon any other than God to bear witness for you – if what you say is true!"
That is my introduction to this new series. With humility I must, from this very first stage, declare that I will only do the work of compiling the facts from other sources; delivering an original thought is beyond my human capability.
Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan