'Khatem': An Arabic word with deep spiritual meaning

The word is often associated with reading the Quran - and bureaucracy

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Those seeking some of the spiritual benefits of Ramadan may well begin with the end in mind.

In addition to fasting on the prescribed days, if you are physically able to do so, Muslims are encouraged to read the entire Quran before the holy month concludes.

While the scripture is meant to act as a daily guide, revisiting the Quran in Ramadan is even more significant because this was the time its first verses were revealed to the Prophet Mohammed more than 1,400 years ago.

A hefty word is often used when completing such an undertaking: khatem.

As well as finishing a task, khatem denotes a deeper sense of finality.

Completing the Quran, also known as khatem Al Quran, is hailed as an important act of worship and high spiritual achievement.

Some are known to celebrate the feat with a gathering of family and friends.

The Prophet Mohammed is also referred to as khatem al nabiyeen, meaning the seal of the prophets, to illustrate his standing as the last messenger sent by God to guide humanity.

In bureaucracy, khatem is a seal or stamp on objects and documents to certify authenticity or ownership.

It is also heard in the common expression khatem al amr, to signify the end of a particular matter or discussion.

It is additionally used to literally describe a seal to join things together, khatem's spiritual and worldly meanings ensure its vitality throughout the year.

Updated: March 08, 2024, 6:02 PM