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The Noble Qur`aan

Allah Most High has said: "Had We sent this Qur’an down upon a mountain, you would have seen it humbled, rent asunder from the fear of Allah…" [Surah al-Hashr, 59:21]

I read a very interesting hadeeth from Saheeh al-Bukhari in which the noble Sahabi Zaid bin Thabit was asked the question, "How much time was there between the pre-dawn meal and the Dawn Prayer?" He answered, "Enough time to recite fifty ayat." Since it was the practice of the Arabs to time in terms of everyday actions, this hadeeth shows that the Sahabah were pre-occupied with the Qur’an, especially in Ramadhaan.

I did a little more research on this matter and was greatly inspired – and shamed – when I read about how the Salaf venerated the Qur’ân. They used to recite the whole of the Qur’ân many times and when Ramadhaan came, they would recite even more. Jibreel `alayhis salaam used to meet the Prophet every night during Ramadhaan and study the Qur’ân with him but during his final year on the earth, he reviewed the Qur’ân with him twice.

When Abdullaah Ibn Idrees was dying, his daughter wept and he told her: “My daughter, do not cry, for I have recited the whole of the Qur’an (in preparation) for this very hour four thousand times.” Imagine that… FOUR THOUSAND TIMES! SubhanAllah…

Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali in "Lata'if al-Ma'arif" gives many more examples from a remarkable Qur`aanic generation. He said,


"... Some of the Salaf would complete reciting the whole Qur’ân during the night prayer of Ramadan every 3 days, others every 7 days, e.g. Qataadah; others in 10 days, e.g. Abu Rajaa' al-Atardi. The Salaf would recite Qur’ân in Ramadan in Prayer as well as outside it. Al-Aswad would finish the Qur’ân every 2 nights in Ramadan; Ibrahim an-Nakh'i would do likewise in the last 10 nights specifically, and every 3 nights during the rest of the month. Qataadah would regularly finish the Qur’an in 7 days, but in 3 days during Ramadan, when he would study the Qur’an especially, and every night during its last 10 days. Al-Zuhri would say when Ramadan began, 'It is recitation of the Qur’an and feeding of people.' When Ramadan began, Imam Malik would cease narrating Hadith and sitting with the people of knowledge, and stick to reciting the Qur’ân from its pages, while Sufyan al-Thawri would leave other acts of worship and stick to reciting the Qur’ân. 'Aishah would recite from the pages of the Qur’ân at the beginning of the day in Ramadan (i.e. after Dawn), until when the sun had risen, she would sleep. Zayd al-Yaami would bring copies of the Qur’ân when Ramadan began and gather his companions around him..." *

The Virtues of Reading the Qur’ân

It was only when I began to study Islam in earnest that I began to appreciate the value of the Qur’ân. I found it difficult to master and to this day, I still cannot read it in confident and assured tones. It used to dishearten me a great deal, but no more. It was sheer folly that brought my practising the Qur’ân to a standstill for I was in actual fact not just missing out but passing up on the abundant rewards that Allah has promised.

[1] One receives hasanah for reading the Qur’an
It was reported by `Abdullaah bin Mas`ood radhiallahu `anhu that Rasulullaah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam stated that "Whoever reads a harf [letter] from the Book of Allah will receive a hasanah (good deed) from it (i.e. his recitation), and the hasanah is multiplied by ten. I do not say that Alif-Laam-Meem is (considered as) a harf, rather Alif is a harf, Laam is a harf, and Meem is a harf." [At-Tirmidhi, Ad-Darimi] Rewards? You do the math!

Further, an authentic hadeeth states: "He who is skillful in reciting the Qur’ân is with the unveiled, honorable, and pious (i.e. Hur al `Ain). And he who stutters when reading the Qur’ân, (and its recitation) is difficult upon him, will receive two rewards." [Al-Bukhari]

[2] The Qur’an will act as an intercessor for one in the hereafter.
We all want Paradise and a sure way to get there is to give the Qur’ân its due importance. One who reads and lives by it will be successful.

"Read the Qur’ân. For verily it will come forth on the Day of Resurrection as an intercessor for its readers." [Muslim]

"The Qur’ân is an intercessor (which by Allah's permission) intercedes, and an opponent (which is) truthful. He who appoints it as his leader, (then it) will lead him to Paradise. And he who puts it behind him, (then it) will lead him to the Fire." [Ibn Hibban, Al-Bayhaqi, At-Tabarani, Sahih]

"Fasting and the Qur’ân will intercede for the slave on the Day of Resurrection. Fasting will say: 'O My Rabb! I prevented him from food and desires, so accept my intercession for him.' And the Qur’ân will say: 'I prevented him from sleep during the night, so accept my intercession for him.' He (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said: 'And they will (be allowed to) intercede.'" [Ahmad, at-Tabarani, Al-Hakim, Sahih]

"Indeed those who recite the Book of Allaah and offer the Prayer perfectly and spend in charity out of what We have provided for them - secretly and openly - hope for a sure trade-gain that will never perish. That He may pay them their wages in full and give them even more out of His Grace. Indeed, He is Oft-Forgiving, ready to appreciate good deeds." [Soorah Fatir 35:29-30]

[3] Reading the Qur’ân increases our faith
The Qur’ân contains a cure for the diseased and weak heart as Allah says, what translated means, "And We sent down from the Qur’ân that which is a healing and a mercy to those who believe (in Islamic Monotheism)." [Surah al-Isra 17:82] If we read the Qur’ân with understanding, we will see how it contains a wealth of information – teachings of tawheed, Allah's laws, inspiring illustrations of the prophets `alayhimus salaam, models of the best behaviour and examples of the fallen nations.

We are told that the pious before us would read the Qur’ân and be so moved that they would weep heavily.

Ibn al Qayyim said in Zaad al Ma'aad: "As for the weeping of the Prophet sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam, it was in the same degree as his laughter. He wouldn't sob loudly and raise his voice, just like his laughter wasn't loud. However his eyes would fill up with tears, until they flowed out, and you would hear the sound like that of a whistling kettle coming from his chest. He would weep out of mercy for the dead, out of fear and compassion for his Ummah, out of deep fear of Allah, upon listening to the Qur’ân. And it was a weeping of longing, love and exaltation, accompanied by fear and khashyah."

On the authority of 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ood RadhialLahu `anhu who said: "The Messenger of Allah sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam told me: "Recite to me!" So I recited Surah an-Nisa' until I reached: 'How will it be then, when We bring from each nation a witness, and bring you (O Prophet Muhammad) as a witness against these people?' [Surah an-Nisaa 4:41] Then I looked towards him and behold! I saw that his eyes were overflowing with tears." [al Bukhari, Muslim and others]

The weeping of `Umar RadhialLahu `anhu could be heard from the last rows, as it has been reported to us by `Abdullah ibn Shaddaad, who said, "I heard the sobbing of `Umar from the last rows while he was reciting the verse from the Qur’ân: 'I only complain of my grief and sorrow to Allah.'" [Surah Yusuf 12:86] [al Bukhari, al Bayhaqi (2/251), saheeh]

Understand Its Meanings

In order to truly benefit from the Qur’ân, we should concentrate on it as if we are the ones being directly addressed. Allah the Most High says: "Indeed in this there is a remembrance for those who have a living heart, listen attentively and are awake to taking heed." [Surah Qaaf 50:37]

Ibn Qutaibah said: "Listen to the book of Allah whilst your heart and mind is attentive, not neglectful nor distant."

We should also strive to UNDERSTAND the Qur’ân. Allah the Most High says: "This is a Book which We have sent down to you, full of blessings, that you may ponder over its Verses, and that men of understanding may remember." [Surah Saad 38:29]

"Read the Qur’ân, put it into practice, do not abandon it, do not put grudges (upon others) through it, and do not eat and gain wealth through it." [Ahmad, At-Tabarani, Sahih]

How can we absorb and implements the teachings of this noble Book if we do not comprehend it? We should not rush through it perfunctorily as if it were an ordinary book. Rather, we should give it due time for serious contemplation, seeking Allah's Pleasure. "Read the Qur’ân and through it seek the Face of Allah, Exalted be He, before there comes a nation that implements it like an arrow. They read it fast and they do not recite it slowly (to implement)." [Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Hasan]

Indeed, the Sahabah radhiallahu `anhum would not go beyond ten ayat until they had learnt them and understood the knowledge therein and how to act upon it.

We can better acquaint ourselves with the meanings of the Qur’ân by learning the Arabic language, attending classes and study circles on the Qur’ân and its sciences and reading the books of Tafseer, some of which are now available in the English language.

Do not abandon the Qur’ân

The Messenger of Allah sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam described various people according to their relationship with the Qur’ân: "The likeness of the believer who reads the Qur’ân is like that of citron; its taste is delicious and its scent is pleasant. And the likeness of the believer who does not read the Qur’ân is like that of a date; its taste is delicious, yet it has no scent. And the likeness of a hypocrite who reads the Qur’ân is like that of a basil; its scent is pleasant, yet its taste is bitter. And the likeness of a hypocrite that does not read the Qur’ân is like that of a colocynth; its taste is bitter and it has no scent." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

We need to make a resolute effort to read the Qur’ân regularly. The Prophet sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam said: "Verily he who has nothing of the Qur’ân in his heart, is like a house (which has been) destroyed." [At-Tirmidhi] He also warned, "Maintain learning the Qur’ân, by heart for verily it is greater in escaping from the chests of men than camels from their reins." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Let us strive to read, understand and reflect upon the Qur’ân during these blessed days and nights, insha’ Allah. May Allah guide us and may He give us success in this world and the hereafter, Ameen.





* Al-Haafidh Ibn Rajab (rahimahullaah) said: "The forbiddance of reciting the Qur’an in less than three days (as stated in a hadeeth) has only been mentioned in regards to its being done on a normal basis. As for the specific times that are virtuous, such as the month of Ramadaan and especially the nights in which the night of Al-Qadr is sought. Or those places that are virtuous, such as Makkah for the one who enters it without residing there, then it is recommended to recite the Qur’an a lot in these times and places, seeking the merits connected with their time and place. This is the opinion of Ahmad, Abu Ishaaq and other scholars. And the actions of others indicate that as has been stated previously." [Lataa'if-ul-Ma'aarif]

Useful Qur’ân Resources

1. Tafseer of Ibn Kathir (abridged, in 10 volumes),
Darussalam Publications
2. Study the Noble Quran Word-for-Word (in 3 volumes),
Darussalam Publications
3. Interpretation of the Meanings of the Noble Qur`an, by Dr. Muhsin Khan & Dr. Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali, Darussalam Publications
4. Imaan.Net's Qur`an Page
5. Qur’ân Reciter - great for the children & for memorizing, Mashaa Allah

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