O READERS OF THE QUR’AN!!
Always ask yourself: “Why am I reading the Qur’an?”
This may be the best way to ensure the purity and exclusiveness of purpose and intention. Your intention should be directed to seeking only your Lord’s pleasure by devoting your heart, mind and time to the guidance that He has sent to you. That is what you barter when you surrender yourself to Allah: ‘There is such as would sell his own self in order to please Allah’ [Qur’an 2:207]. Purpose and intentions are like the soul of a body, the inner capability of a seed. Many seeds look alike, but as they begin to grow and bear fruits, their differences become manifest. The purer and higher the motive, the greater the value and yield of your efforts.So let an intense desire to come nearer to Allah be your one overwhelming motive while reading the Qur’an.
Read the Qur’an with no purpose other than to receive guidance from your Lord, to come nearer to Him, and to seek His good pleasure.What you get from the Qur’an depends on what you come to it for. Your intention and purpose is crucial. Certainly the Qur’an has come to guide you, but you may also go astray by reading it should you approach it for impure purposes and wrong motives.As we read in Qur’an :
“Thereby He causes many to go astray, and thereby He guides many; but thereby He causes none to go astray save the iniquitous” (Qur’an 2:26).
Also in a Hadees where The Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) said that the Qur’an is a Proof/Evidence in your Favour or against You.
“…..and the Holy Qur’an is a proof on your behalf or against you……” [ Sahih Muslim hadees-223]
The Qur’an is the word of Allah; it therefore requires as much exclusiveness of intention and purity of purpose as does worshipping and serving Him. Do not come to the Qur’an with the fixed intention of finding support for your own views, notions and doctrines. For if you do, you may, then, hear an echo of your own voice in it, and not that of God. It is this approach to the understanding and interpreting of the Qur’an that the Prophet, blessings and peace be on him, has condemned.
You must exert yourself to absorb and discover what the Quran has to say, mainly for one very important, crucial reason. The Quran is not merely a book of knowledge, or a collection of do’s and don’ts. It does not merely inform about God and what He wants of you. It also wants to take hold of your person and bring you into a new living and pervasive relationship with Him. Hence, it should increase and strengthen your faith (Iman), your will (iradah), and your steadfastness (sabr). It should purify you, form your character, and mould your conduct. It should continually inspire you and elevate you to greater and greater heights.All this can be accomplished only if you enter into a personal relationship of study, contemplation, and understanding with the Quran. Without pondering over its messages, your hearts, your thoughts and your conduct cannot respond to them. Without immersing yourself in thinking and reflecting over them, you cannot absorb them, nor can they impinge upon your life.You cannot gather the real blessings and treasures of the Quran unless you know its meaning, unless you understand what God is saying to you, unless you exert yourself personally to find that out.Pondering on the Ayats of Qur’an has immense importance.
Hasan al-Basri [one of the Tabi’een] said, “There was not revealed a [single] Ayat from the Qur’an except that it has a Dhahir [an apparent] and Batin [inner] and every letter has a value [measure] – and for every value is an ending.”[Source: Baghawi, Sharh us Sunnah no. 1/214]
Abdullah ibn Masood, the Companion, said, “When you intend to acquire knowledge, deeply study the Qur’an for in it lies the [principles] of knowledge of the ancients and future generations.”[Source: Ghazali, Kitab Adab Tilawat ul Qur’an]
Hasan ibn Ali said, “The people before you considered the Qur’an to be correspondence from their Lord, so they would ponder it by night and perform it by day.”[Source: Nawawi, Tibyan fi Adab Hamalatul Qur’an]
Aishah said, “The Prophet spent the night [in prayer] with [a single verse] Ayah from the Qur’an.”[Source: Tirmidhee no. 448 – [Sahih]]
Ibn Taymiyah said, “Whoever contemplates [tadabbur] upon the Qur’an [with the condition] of seeking guidance from it, [then] the path of truth will be made clear.”[Source: Aqeedah tul Wasityah]
Under the sun Qur’an is the only book which, according to its subject, purpose, arrangement of the topics, construction of its sentences and the style of narration, is quite different and distinct from the books authored by man. It is composed, word by word, by the ruler of the universe and was revealed to Prophet Muhammad Sallal’lahu Aalaihi Wa’Sallam, during a period of 23 years (610-632 C.E.) in MAKKAH and MADINA. In this book ALLAH himself addresses man and clarifies the path of guidance for him. But for receiving guidance from it, it is necessary that man should study it with a clear mind and should keep his mind and heart open for accepting the truth unhesitatingly. Prejudices, mental reservation, and biased mind are such veils that come in the way of understanding the Qur’an. To treat this book on the level of man-made books and to judge its contents on the man-made principles and parameters is that basic error which diverts Men in wrong direction.
This book is the word of that Being who is the wisest Being, therefore its every Ayah is meaningful and every statement is full of wisdom, although to its commentator or its reader its wisdom may not be clear owing to lack of understanding.
So far as the inter-relation of its verses are concerned, it is like the stars in the sky, which are spread over the whole of the sky or space but they are related or linked together in their system of galaxy, its verses are also related to the system of its Surahs, and sometimes this relation is so hidden that it is discerned only after considerable contemplation. And it is also a fact that in many verses the relations among them are those circumstances in which they are revealed. In such cases instead of searching for relation through the meaning, the conditions in which they are revealed should be sought, which conditions have made them related. Thus we should also read Tafseers, Hadees and Biographies of Prophets to understand its Historical context. Any text (religious or non-religious) without context is practically meaningless or has a distorted meaning and could be problematic without its own context. But if one could know the verse in the context the issue would be no longer a problem.If you do not understand the words of Allah (Quran) in any place, the best thing to do is to ask the man who has transmitted to us the word of God, i.e. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).As he was a walking, talking, living, breathing embodiment of the Qur’an. He understood it, lived it, and implemented it — all of it, without exception, as it was revealed to him and preserved throughout time. Aisha (raziallahu anhaa) said essentially this when asked about rasulullah. She said:”His personality was the Qur’an.”[ Sahih Muslim 746 a].So when we don’t understand certain Ayats of Qur’an it is better refer to Hadees and Seerah of Prophet and also Tafsirs of classical Scholars wherein we can find references of Hadees and historical contexts.
As for the repetition of the topics, it is like the thunder of the clouds, whose frequency brings with it the merciful rain. In reality Qur’an is not an academic book like the academic books prepared by men, in which captions are chosen and under each caption the related subject or topic is discussed, But it is that book of dawah, education, remembrance, reform and training, which lays down the commands of the Shariah and also provides guidance for practical living. Besides this it rolls out pearls of knowledge and wisdom, therefore, if in it a lesson is repeated often, then it is with a view to man’s intellectual and practical training, as the very objective of Qur’an is character building and to prepare men of good attributes. Then to present a single topic in hundred ways is the specialty of wise and masterly writing. Therefore, to consider it mere repetition is lack of understanding. It may also be noted that this was the style of the previous divine scriptures too, accordingly in the Psalms the topic of monotheism and praises of ALLAH have been narrated frequently, which gives us an idea that whenever the word of God was revealed for the guidance of man its tune all along had been the same.We must remember that there is no absolute repetition in the Quran. Whenever a story is repeated, God Almighty tells something new to us.
If you want to act on the Book of Allah, you have to first understand the Book of Allah. If you don’t have a good understanding then you’re not going to have good implementation. This Book is not like a magazine, article, or blog. You can’t skim through the Qur’an to get its treasure.The Quran is a guidance for every person, his teacher and mentor. Understanding it is vital; otherwise it will remain no more than a sacrament. The crucial centrality of endeavors, personal endeavors, to open hearts and minds to the messages of the Quran is made abundantly clear by the Quran itself. We are confronted with the utter folly of keeping our hearts locked against our understanding of the Quran:
“Then do they not reflect upon the Qur’an,or are there locks upon [their] hearts?” [Qur’an 47:24]
Therefore the invitation to bring reason and understanding to the Quran is spread on almost every page of it: Why you hear not? Why you see not? Why you think not? Why you reason not? Why you ponder not? Why you understand not? Why you take not to heart? To whom are these invitations addressed if not to every human being who possesses the faculties of hearing, seeing and thinking?It is also emphatically declared that the Quran has been sent down to be understood:
[This is] a blessed Book which We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], that they might reflect upon its verses and that those of understanding would be reminded.
Likewise, the Quran praises as the true ‘servants of the Most-merciful’ those:
“And those who, when reminded of the verses of their Lord, do not fall upon them deaf and blind.” (Qur’an 25: 73)
Conversely, it castigates as worse than animals those who do not use their hearing, sight and hearts to listen, see and understand:
“And We have certainly created for Hell many of the jinn and mankind. They have hearts with which they do not understand, they have eyes with which they do not see, and they have ears with which they do not hear. Those are like livestock; rather, they are more astray. It is they who are the heedless.” (Qur’an 7:179)
You cannot gather the real blessings and treasures of the Qur’an unless you know its meaning, unless you understand what God is saying to you, unless you exert yourself personally to find that out.