Sunday, 2 September 2012

Reading the Quran but neglecting it at the same time

Many of us read the Holy Quran yet neglect it at the same time. Arabic is not the mother tongue of a large number of Muslims, but that is not an excuse to not understand the content of this Holy Book. Reading it day and night is futile if we do not make an effort to understand its meaning, and do its biddings. While reading it in flawless pronunciation is commendable, what matters more, in my humble opinion, is receiving the message that it conveys and adhering to its commands. Do not scorn upon new brothers and sisters who struggle to say the Arabic words if we do not practice what the Quran teaches. I am discomfited by the actions of some born Muslims who by the Grace of Allah have been given the privilege of learning to read the Holy book in Arabic from a young age, but disdainfully ridicule muallafs whose untrained adult tongues grapple with the Arabic verses.

For new brothers and sisters: continue to learn the contents of the Quran, and do also learn to say the words correctly; do not be disheartened by the initial difficulty or the mockery of ignorant fools. In Surah alAnkabut Allah says: "As for those who strive in Our cause, We shall surely guide them to Our Ways. Indeed Allah is with those who do good". With each step towards Allah, He will guide us and make us better.

The rest of us should spend more time and effort understanding what the Quran says, not merely reading the Arabic version from start to finish over and over without knowing what the message is. After all the Quran has been sent down as a Guide, a Sign, a judgment/standard of Authority and a source of cheer and good news. In our lives when we are faced with confusion or distress there is nothing that clears the mind like reading the Quran. We get answers to our questions in the Quran. Such is the miracle of this little Book that carries immeasurable blessings. Nothing short when it is after all the word of God.

Our Prophet Muhammad SAW also taught us the supplication prior to reading the Holy Book - he said: "There is no person who suffers any anxiety or grief, and he/she says -

'Oh Allah, I am Your servant and the offspring of your servants, my fate is in Your Hands, Your Judgment upon me is assured, Justice upon me is Your command, I ask You by every Name You have taken for Yourself, revealed in Your Book, taught anyone of your creation or taken unto Yourself in the realm of the unknown, to make the Qur'an the spring of my heart and the light of my breast, the banisher of my sorrow and the reliever of my despair'
- except that Allah will take away his anxiety and grief, and replace his sorrow with joy" (Musnad Imam Ahmad)

May Allah protect us all and make the Quran a source of our happiness on this earth and in the hereafter. Amen.

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