The magnificent Arabic phrase Subhān Allāh is a delightful inspirational message.
The common translation is something like "All glory to Allāh" or "Praise the Lord!", but as is all too often the case with such simple translations, that rendering does not reveal the full magnificence of this marvelous phrase.
The Arabic root s-b-h can certainly mean to praise or to glorify, but in a deeper sense, this root also points toward a sense of swimming in something, or being immersed in something, or to be be floating in something, or to have something spread out in front of you as far as the eye can see.
Armed with these insights, we have a whole new vision of this word subhān... a delightfully expansive view, as though one is immersed in a vast sea which spreads out infinitely in all directions, a vast sea that one is floating in and the one is totally supported by. Oh, that is so beautiful.
What a powerful and magnificent metaphor this is for our existence in Allāh, portraying the vast Ocean of Allāh, and our utter dependence upon Allāh for all of our support.
The deepest loneliness arises when we forget that we are immersed in this Magnificent Ocean. The Ocean is not something to seek. It's already here. The challenge of life is to become aware of what we already have.
Dictionary of the Holy Qur'ān, Abdul Mannān Omar... truly a precious gift to those who speak English, this magnificent dictionary translates every Arabic word used used in the Qur'ān into English, giving the Arabic root word followed by English translations of every form of that root which appears in the Qur'ān. This dictionary is easy to use, is relatively inexpensive and is based on classical Arabic as used in the Qur'ān.
An Arabic-English Lexicon, Edward W. Lane... an eight volume masterpiece of classical Arabic which includes plentiful examples of classical usage and meanings of words during the time period that the Qur'ān was revealed. Indexed by Arabic roots, with definitions in English.
A Dictionary and Glossary of the Koran, John Penrice... useful, but occasionally relies upon somewhat less accurate references than the previously cited works by Lane and Omar.
Wishing you love, harmony and beauty,
last updated 18-Oct-2005