Month 5: Qur’an

The Qurʾan

The Qurʾan is the final, and most comprehensive, communication from God to mankind. Its verses were revealed over a period of 23 years to Prophet Muhammad (s), over 1400 years ago.

The Qur’an consists of 114 chapters and over 6600 verses of varying length. Around two thirds of the revelation occurred in Makka, and the remaining one third was revealed after the Prophet (s) migrated to Madina.

Each Prophet (A) sent by Allah would display to the people a miracle to prove his claims to apostleship. The Holy Prophet (S) declared his miracle to be the Qurʾan. The Arabs were appreciative of poetry and eloquent speech, and in the Qurʾan they found a beauty of expression and rational argument that struck them with wonder. This miracle of the Holy Prophet (s) was not only a miracle in his time, but continues to be a miracle until today. The Qurʾan is unique amongst the Divine scriptures in that it has been faithfully preserved since its revelation in the 7th century CE.

For the Muslims, the Qurʾan represents a link between man and his Creator; a book of guidance and wisdom in the form of laws and admonitions, rational and moral arguments, and parables and instructive histories of the ancient communities. God tells us in Surah Yunus:

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ قَدْ جَاءَتْكُمْ مَوْعِظَةٌ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ وَشِفَاءٌ لِمَا فِي الصُّدُورِ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةٌ لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ

[10:57] O mankind! there has indeed come to you an admonition from your Lord and a healing for what is in the breasts and a guidance and a mercy for the believers.

The Ahl al-Bayt (as) have greatly emphasized maintaining a close and constant connection to the Qurʾan. Two narrations are mentioned below as examples:

The Prophet (s) has stated: The best amongst you are those who learn the Qurʾan and teach it to others.[1]

Imam Ali (as) has stated: The house in which the Qurʾan is recited will be showered with God’s blessings (barakah), frequented by His Angels, and forbidden to the Satans. That house will sparkle for the people of the sky, just like the stars sparkle for the people on the Earth.[2]

The close link between the Qur’an and the Ahl al-Bayt (as) has been clearly mentioned in the tradition of Thaqalayn by the Prophet (s):

Indeed, I leave two weighty things (thaqalayn) among you. If you hold fast to both of them, you will never go astray: The Book of God, and my household (Ahl al-bayt). The two will never separate from each other until they come to me at the pool (of paradise).[3]

This hadith tells us that Imam Mahdi (af) is the partner of the Qurʾan, which is the meaning of his title, Sharik al-Qur’an.

Our Imam (af) is the walking, talking, living Qur’an, and so if we want to know how our Imam (af) would respond in a given situation, we just have to look to the Quran – as the Imam (af) is a manifestation of its message.

Finally, our relationship with the Qurʾan is indicative of our commitment to our Imam (af). The frequency with which we approach the Qurʾan gives us an idea of how often we would visit our Imam (as) if he was present in front of us.

So let us increase our interaction, relationship and commitment with the Qur’an in this Blessed month of the Qur’an (Mahe Ramadhan). Below are some ideas, using the easy-to-remember acronym IMAM!

I -Igniting the love of the Qur’an

It is only when we see the value of the Qur’an that we will love the Qur’an; when we realise that it is 100% the words of Allah, the only truly unchanged, protected, authentic scripture.

Once we have understand its value, let us use Mahe Ramadhan, known as the month of the Qur’an, the month in which the Qur’an was revealed into the heart of the Prophet (s), as the match to ignite our love for this Holy book.

Let us in this Holy month not just read the Qur’an in a parrot fashion, with the aim of simply completing a full recitation in the month. Instead, this month, let us read it as if Allah is talking to us directly, as this is one of the many miracles of the Qur’an; each verse talks to each person directly and specifically dependant on where they are on their life journey. As Allah tells us in Surah Saad:

كِتَابٌ أَنْزَلْنَاهُ إِلَيْكَ مُبَارَكٌ لِيَدَّبَّرُوا آيَاتِهِ وَلِيَتَذَكَّرَ أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ

[38:29] (It is) a Book We have revealed to you abounding in good that they may ponder over its verses, and that those endowed with understanding may be mindful.

M – Making and maintaining a relationship with the Qur’an

Once we have ignited our love of the Qur’an, then we will want to have a relationship with this Holy Book. If we can use this Blessed month to develop a relationship with the Qur’an, then it will be easier to maintain that relationship after the month is over, throughout the year. In order to ensure that we do this and continue with it throughout the year, we should make SMART goals:

S – Specific goals

E.g. How many verses/pages will I read, and how many verses will I ponder over daily?

M – Measurable

The number of pages/verses in the specific goal

A – Achievable

Is the specific goal achievable for me given all my other commitments?

R – Resources

Is there anything I need to carry out the specific goal?

T – Time-bound

Making it daily has made it time-bound

A – Applying the teachings of the Qur’an

The Qur’an was sent as a book of guidance, which means that we need to not only read it and ponder over it, but also apply its teachings in our lives. Allah tells us in Surah A’araf:

اتَّبِعُوا مَا أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْكُمْ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا مِنْ دُونِهِ أَوْلِيَاءَ ۗ قَلِيلًا مَا تَذَكَّرُونَ

[7:3] Follow what has been revealed to you from your Lord and do not follow guardians besides Him, rarely do you remember.

M – Memorising the Qur’an

Finally, let us try to memorise the words of Allah, so that they become part of us, and we can continuously recite, ponder and live by these verses. As Allah tells us in Surah A’araf:

وَإِذَا قُرِئَ الْقُرْآنُ فَاسْتَمِعُوا لَهُ وَأَنْصِتُوا لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ

[7:204] And when the Quran is recited, then listen to it and remain silent, that mercy may be shown to you.

وَاذْكُرْ رَبَّكَ فِي نَفْسِكَ تَضَرُّعًا وَخِيفَةً وَدُونَ الْجَهْرِ مِنَ الْقَوْلِ بِالْغُدُوِّ وَالْآصَالِ وَلَا تَكُنْ مِنَ الْغَافِلِينَ

[7:205] And remember your Lord within yourself humbly and fearing and in a voice not loud in the morning and the evening and be not of the heedless ones.

When we recite the Qur’an, it is like picking up a torch and using it to spread light. When we memorise its verses, it is like being the torch that shines and spreads the light. Therefore, if we have memorised the Qur’an, then we will continuously recite it, and listen to it, and remember our Lord; then we will be shown mercy and not be of the heedless ones InshAllah

 

[1] al-Ṭūsī, al-Amālī, vol.1, p.5

[2] al-Kulaynī, Uṣūl al-Kāfī, vol.2, p.610

[3] al-Mufīd, Kitāb al-Irshād, 1/233; with similar wordings: Muslim, al-Ṣaḥīḥ, 4/1883 ; al-Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, 1/294.

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