Tuesday, September 23, 2008



Read! In the name of your Lord who has created (all that exists)….
Surah ‘Al’alaq – 96. Such is one command.

Lima ayat pertama dari surah yang mula-mula diturunkan membawa maksud, “ Bacalah Muhammad dengan nama Tuhanmu yang menciptakan. Ia menciptakan manusia dari sebuku darah beku. Bacalah dan Tuhanmua yang amat Pemurah, yang mengajar manusia melalui pena dan tulisan. Ia mengajar manusia apa yang tidak diketahuinya”

So much it is for the power of reading; no less from our Holy Koran itself. It is therefore easy to find quotes declaring its intrinsic worth. We may be familiar with this: “Reading makes a full man, Conference a ready man and Writing an exact man” Yet another “ Books are not made for furniture, but there is nothing else that so beautifully furnishes a house” that categorically justifies the presence of reading materials in our homes. No matter how displaced and abandoned they may be. We are also reminded that “A library is a hospital for the mind” and Ray Bradbury added “You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them”. Lovingly Daniel J Boorstin succinctly added what we often do. “A wonderful thing about a book, in contrast to a computer screen, is that you can take it to bed with you”

During this month of Ramadan, Muslims all over the world take upon themselves to delve into reading the Koran, reciting and uttering the Holy words in their prayers. They would stay up late in the nights excited by the urgency and discovery of ‘Lailatul Qadr” (The Night of Power) the holiest and most blessed night.

Another quote simply put “If you can read this, thank a teacher”. Indeed we do. Without him or her in the beginning we would be ‘buta huruf’ missing out wealth of knowledge and wisdom.

This is a preface to what I think ‘books’ and reading have contributed to our resources. Even the government has allocated a reserve for us to purchase books and earnestly be rewarded with tax exemption. Children in schools now irrespective of standing get free textbooks; a far cry from those days when many parents have to wrought hard to get the necessary reading materials for their children. Libraries and archives have sprouted out in most places though cordiality and usage still fall behind.

The million dollar question comes to the fore. How much have we invested in reading? Have we a regular pattern of purchasing books? What constitutes our library? Would we have a treasure trove benefitting our family? Could we present a catalogue of our collections? Or more seriously “Have we expanded beyond reading?”

1 comment:

Monster Mom said...

Alhamdulillah Pak Non, I'm lucky to be an avid reader as my Papa... He taught me that when I read, I'll be in another world... A world full of adventure and lessons...

Yesterday he lent me another 2 books to read -
Muhammad the Educator of Mankind
Dr Burhanuddin Al Helmy - Politik Melayu dan Islam

p/s - My parents are in Taman Muhibbah. Salam Aidilfitri Pak Non.