1- WRONG NOTIONS
Since centuries a wrong notion has been infiltrated into the minds of Muslims by some special interest groups that “Quran is not understandable to a common man” and therefore such easy short cuts have been invented to bypass Quran that it no longer remains, an essential part of our learning process. Although the same Quran was revealed through the Messenger for all of mankind i.e. Believer, Rejecter, Hypocrite, Educated, Uneducated, Young, Old, Good, Bad, Christian, Jew, Urban or Rural people.
Quran was sent as HUDAN LIL NAAS (Guidance for all of Mankind) and ZIKRUN LIL AALEMEEN (Advice for all states of Human existence). The curriculum of major madrassahs (Religious school of any sect) comprise of more than 40 books on Dars e Nizami and other subjects, in a 7 years course, yet only Surah Al – Baqarah of Qur’an and some verses specific to “fiqhee masaail (Issues related to Fiqh)” are included. Rest of the Quran is left to their own will and desire to learn. Without getting involved in any Historical debate on the subject, I have preferred to seek guidance from The Supreme AUTHOR of the Quran.
2 – UNDERSTANDING THE QUR’AN
In chapter 54 verses number 17, 22, 32 & 40 Allah repeats the following statement four times :-
“And We made the Qur’an easy to remember. Is there anyone who would remember?”
If Allah Who created human mind and its capabilities, repeats the above verse four times in one small chapter, then how could it be possible for any Muslim believer to say “Quran is difficult to understand”? And that too, before even making as much effort to understand it, as they did for their primary or middle school books.
12:1 Alif Lam Ra, these are the signs of the clarifying Book.
12:2 We have sent it down an Arabic revelation, perhaps you will comprehend.
41:44 If we made it a Non-Arabic Quran they would have said, “Why not its verses are explained in detail (Fussilat Ayatuhu)?” WHETHER IT IS ARABIC OR NON-ARABIC, say, “For those who believe, it is a guide and healing. As for those who disbelieve, they will be deaf and blind to it, as if they are being addressed from faraway.”
14:4 And We have not sent any messenger except in the language of his people, so he may clarify for them. But God misguides whom He wills, and He guides whom He wills. And He is the Noble, the Wise.
In a situation like this all that is required of non Arab Muslims is to make an effort to consult different translations of Quran and a dictionary to see which meaning is more consistent with the text of the Verse (sentence), the Rukuh (paragraph) and the whole of Quran because Quran never contradicts itself. The teachers while teaching a language, normally give exercises to FILL IN THE BLANKS and to MAKE SENTENCES FROM A WORD, in order to know, how much a student has understood the meaning and usage of the words. Similarly from Index of Quranic words we can find out how Allah used these words in sentences and which meaning of a word carries itself consistently in almost all verses.
Quran being word of Allah is in itself a masterpiece of literature and uses words and sentences that are most appropriate to convey the desired meanings. No one can replace these words without losing the meaning of the text.
In Quran the Meanings as well as the beauty of the narration is at its utmost perfection. Therefore in order to understand Quran, try to keep an eye on each and every word of the verse. Just like an accountant or a mathematician can never afford to miss a digit in their calculations. Or a scientist can not ignore a fact or a data.
47:24 Do they not reflect upon the Qur’an? Or are there locks on the hearts?
6:65 “See how well We explain these revealed verses so that you may Understand their wisdom (UFQAHOON)”.
47:24 “…See how We revealed the verses, perhaps they may understand (UFQAHOON).”
The word used is “ufqahoon” which has the same root as for “Faqih” or “fiqah”.
Therefore every BELIEVER is supposed to do “ufqahoon on verses of Quran” and become a faqih himself. Verses number 6:99/ 7:179/ 8:65 / 63:3 also repeat the above message.
Allah says: –
2:219 & 266 “This is how Allah explains His verses so that we may reflect.”
3- Seeking Refuge with Allah before reading the Quran
16:98-100 When you read the Qur’an, you shall seek refuge with Allah from the outcast devil. He has no authority over those who believe, and who put their trust in their Lord. His authority is over those who follow him, and set him up as a partner.
4- WHY DOES THE QURAN APPEAR DIFFICULT TO UNDERSTAND ?
6:125 According to the laws created by Allah, any one who chooses to be guided, his heart is opened to accept Islam. But the one who chooses himself to go astray then in that case according to the rules set by Allah his heart becomes so narrowed to accept Islam as if he is climbing a mountain peak, high up to the sky. This is how they get covered with the filth of immorality according to Allah’s law if they do not believe in His guidance.
6:127 This is the path of your Lord, a Straight Path. We explain our verses in full detail for those who care to receive their advice.
5- WHEN TO READ QURAN
1- Read it in the morning when your mind is fresh.
2- Read it at night when you have more free time.
17: 78 “And the Quran in the morning, verily reading of Quran in the morning reveals its meaning very clearly.”
17:79 “And during a portion of night, keep awake with it.”
(It is very unfortunate that in some translations the Quran al-fajr has been replaced with Salaat ul fajr). (Regarding the work to be done at night; the word used in the Verse is “FA-TAHAJJED BIHI”. Since Allah is talking about Quran in the previous verse therefore the reference of the word “BIHI” (with it) can be nothing other than Quran itself. Please note that the word TAHAJJED is used only once in Quran, as in this verse. That means keeping awake at night to study Quran. Just like any one doing his studies or important work at night for any other purpose. Tahajjed can never mean recitation of a couple of small surahs to Allah ten/eleven times, as it is being done these days.) .
Further detail of how to read Quran at night is given in the following verses 20:1-4 and verse 73:20.
73:1 O ! You Muzzammil !
73:2 Stay awake at night but a little less.
73:3 Half a night or little less than that
73:4 Or little more than that and study Qur’an slowly, point by point.
73:20 Your Allah knows that you, along with a small group of people keep awake with Qur’an sometime 2/3 of the night, sometime ½ of the night or sometimes 1/3 of it. Allah knows the measure of night and day. Knowing that you may not be able to continue this routine He has turned to you with kindness. Therefore now read out of Quran what ever you can easily read .Allah knows that some of you could be sick; some have to go on a business trip and some times you might have to go to battle. Therefore read out of Quran what you easily can. and establish Salat and spend in zakaat. ( unfortunately this Quran reading has now been replaced with “salaat tahajjed”, that means reciting couple of small surahs to Allah, without knowing their meaning and then label ourselves as “Pious Tahajjed Worshiper “. )
6- HOW TO READ QURAN SO THAT YOU ARE ABLE TO UNDERSTAND?
73:4 “Read Quran slowly in small understandable portions.”
73:20 “Read Quran, as much you can easily read.”
34:46 “Tell them (O! Messenger) that I advise you of only one thing that you should get together in twos or alone and contemplate on my verses. Then you will realize that this companion of yours has not lost His mind but He is none other than a Warner before the terrific doom.”
7 – HOW TO LISTEN TO QUR’AN ?
7:204 “When ever Qur’an is recited, listen to it attentively (no other sound should draw your attention) and stay completely quiet (you should not even think of any thing to speak) so that you can receive the Mercy.”
25:73 “When they (servants of Allah) are being explained the Verses of their lord, they do not attend them like deaf and blind.”
8 – THE PRESENT STATE Of AFFAIRS
It is so tragic that for the Muslims today, the recital of just a word of Quran or just a small surah of Quran, without even knowing its meanings, has been made equal to the study of whole Quran. Sawab (Reward) is a word which has lost its meaning and the word is used so vaguely, to make us believe that we can reap a harvest without sowing seeds.
Keep in mind that most of the translations are normally based on the New or Old Dictionary meanings. Only at those places where the sectarian believes differ, the selected meanings of verses also differ.
So much so, that over 1400 years the kind of kingdoms which have been ruling over Muslims from very early period had to introduce and associate such meanings with Quran through Shan e Nazool, Tafaseer, Aqwaal, Ahadees, historical statements and Biblical stories, so that the “Establishments” could have the justification to do what ever they wished, in the name of religion.
That is why after the death of the last Messenger of Allah. Only the cruel dynasties of Ummayeds, Abbasides , Fatimies, Pathans , Ottamans, Safavees , Mughals etc. could rule over Muslims just as Nimrods, Pharaohs and Romans ruled over their people.
Efforts were made during these periods to modify the meanings of Quran and down grade its status, so that they could introduce their own brand of religion which could better suite their kingship and their criminal set of desires.
To elaborate my point that how far Quran was neglected, I would like to narrate only one example of such actions.
28: 85 “Verily Allah is the One who has made Quran FERZ upon you, in order to lead you successfully to the place of return (Ma’ead).”
In this verse, Allah very clearly states that Quran has been made FERZ (COMPULSORY COMMANDMENT) upon you; yet it is very strange and tragic that Quran has not been mentioned as FERZ or Wajib in any fiqah books of any sect of Islam; like Namaz , Roza , Haj, zakaat are being enforced as =>FERZ<= .
In order to succeed in removing Quran from the FERZ list a very strange kind of Shan-e-nazool (circumstances in which verse was revealed) has been associated with this verse and on that basis the translations are now being done to minimize the whole significance of this verse.
According to Shan-e-nazool (circumstances in which verse was revealed) “This Verse was revealed during the pilgrimage of the Prophet when he was very sad and Allah gave him an assurance through this Verse to console him that this Quran has been made Ferz upon him so that it could take him back to Makkah.”
Now the following questions counter this understanding of Shan-e-nazool (circumstances in which verse was revealed):-
1- Does this statement mean that, the Qur’an which was revealed during the thirteen years of Makkah period, was meant to get the Holy Prophet out of Makkah and The Qur’an of ten years Madni period was then meant to take him back to Makkah. This would also imply that the whole purpose of Qur’an was to get the Holy Prophet out of Makkah and then back in to Makkah.
2- If this was so, then why our Prophet did not stay in Makkah after returning there?
3- In the address (Khutba) which was read from a book in the beginning of this session, repeated the word MAEAAD three times. The meaning of that word as we all know is “The Day Of Judgment”. Then how come the same word which is used only once in Quran should mean Makkah Instead of the Day of Judgment.
WHY WE MUSLIMS ARE TREATING THE QURAN LIKE THIS?
It is a shame that we are reading this Qur’an, without understanding a word. Instead of reading Qur’an to ourselves, we recite this book back to Allah Who in the first place had revealed It to us through the Prophet Muhammad. So that we could understand the Quran and follow it’s guidance. Even the establishment of SALAT, a daily program on the basis of which the entire Religion of Islam was established, has been reduced to just a recitation of Surah Al- Fatiha plus one smallest surah, about 50 times in a day repeatedly without making any effort to understand it ourselves or act upon, what we say. Besides that, very innocently, we make ourselves believe that we are becoming billionaires in earning SAWAB (Reward). I don’t know who we are deceiving. Not Allah of course.
From this brief introduction you might have noticed how badly we Muslims are treating the Quran. Had we treated Quran respectfully, the battles like Karbala, Jamal, or Siffeen would never have occurred and the Muslim world today would not be in its present pitiful state.
There is no way that any book can ever be understood by just reciting or memorizing it with perfect phonetics, without even trying to understand a word of it. If we do not understand Qur’an, the fault is ours not of Quran. We just simply don’t want to understand it. By understanding Quran we might become capable to stop ourselves, our families, friends, colleagues, neighbors or our superior Masters connected with mosques from doing anything against this book.
BUT WE DO NOT WANT TO DO SO. THEY DO NOT WANT SO. NO BODY WANTS QURAN EXCEPT A TRUE BELIEVER.
9- FINAL WARNING
According to Quran chapter 25 verse 30 Messenger will complain before Allah on the Day of Judgment, in very sad words.
25:30 “And Messenger will say,“ O My Lord! My people have deserted this Qur’an.”
My Dear Brothers and Sisters! before that day comes, let us all get connected with Quran. The Master Of The Day Of Judgment tells us to get guidance and light from it in order to walk on a Straight Path, otherwise we will not be able to show our faces to Allah on the Day of Judgment. Let us all help each other to achieve our Eternal Bliss under the guidance of Quran.