In the name of Allah, Most Beneficent, Most Merciful Is it not obligatory to understand the Qur’an?www.understandquran.com
I. Clarification Following are some examples from our daily lives. These examples are: Not intended to offend anyone but to make us review our commitment to Qur’an. To review the ‘justification’ that we have, if any, for not giving proper time for understanding Qur’an To dismantle the arguments provided to us by shaitaan for not studying the Qur’an. Each of us has a shaitaan with him which has almost ‘convinced’ us to neglect the direct understanding of Qur’an. The speaker is just one of youwww.understandquran.com
Revealed for pondering-1 ِ َ ْ َ ْ ُ ْ َ ّ َ َ َ ِ َ ِ ِ َ ُ ّ ّ َ ّ ٌ ِ َ ٌ َ َ ْنا ُ ْ َ ُ َ ر كتاب أنزل َهإ َِليك مبا كليدبروا آياته وليتذكر أ ُولوا اللباب َ (This is) a Scripture that We have revealed unto thee, full of blessing, that they may ponder its revelations, and that men of understanding may reflect. [Al-Qur’an, 38:29]www.understandquran.com
Revealed for pondering-2 َ ُ َ ْ َ أَ َ َ َ َ َ ّرو َ ْ ُرآ َ أ َ ْ َى ُ ُ ٍ أ فل يتدب ُ ن الق ْ ن م عل قلوب قفالها َ Will they then not meditate on the Quran, or are there locks on the hearts? [Al-Qur’an, 47:24]www.understandquran.com
What is “Tadabbur” or Pondering? One can ponder only after he understands it. Example: You read newspapers or stories, you don’t need to look back to understand the message. Can you read a book of maths or science like that? What you do while reading maths or science is pondering. You think carefully about it for some time to understand it.www.understandquran.com
A grave warning! قال ال سول يا رب ن قوياتخذواهذا الق ْ نمهجورا ً ُ ْ َ َ و َ َ ر ُ ُ َ َ ّ إِ ّ َ ْم ّ َ ُ َ َ ْ ُرآ ِ ّ َ And the Messenger (Muhammad, pbuh) will say (on the day of Judgment): O my Lord! Lo! mine own folk make this Quran of no account [Al-Qur’an, 25:30].www.understandquran.com
The Rights Of Qur’an Scholars say that to leave Qur’an is not to do any of these: Believe in it Read it Understand it THE RIGHTS OF QUR’AN Ponder its verses Act upon it Spread itwww.understandquran.com
Are we Excused? No excuse for the non-Arabs, especially those who have learned other languages (other than their mother tongue). We learnt English and became Masters in it. Why? Because it meant benefits of this world. We neglected Arabic because no such benefit is attached with it! How are we going to face Allah if we don’t learn the language of His Book.www.understandquran.com
Qur’an is easy to learn “And We have indeed made the Qur’an easy for Zikr, then is there any that will remember (and receive admonition)?” [Al- Qur’an, 54:17]. Qur’an is easy for receiving admonition (not for other aspects such as extracting rulings)www.understandquran.com
Qur’an is easy to learn (cont’d) 2 meanings of Zikr: Hifz (remembering; memorizing) and understanding; As an Ummah, we worked on the first one and saw Allah’s promise fulfilled in front of our own eyes. We have almost millions of huffaz. To see greatness of this miracle, try to memorize paragraph of a language which you can read but not understand (any European language that you don’t know). Would not find it extremely difficult? If we work on the 2nd aspect (of understanding), we will see the miracles here too. In fact, the amount of work required to develop understanding of the Qur’an is much less than that for doing Hifz.www.understandquran.com
The Prophet’s (pbuh) eagerness to learn Qur’an And hasten not (O Muhammad) with the Quran ere its revelation hath been perfected unto thee, and say: My Lord! Increase me in knowledge. Al-Qur’an [20:114]www.understandquran.com
Greatness of Qur’an: The only non-creation Everything around us in this universe is a creation of Allah except the Qur’an. It is the attribute of Allah. It contains the words of Allah. How extremely fortunate we are that the creator of this universe, the one who is always existing and will always live, has blessed us with a Book in His own words containing guidelines for our own benefits and WE DON’T HAVE TIME TO STUDY IT!www.understandquran.com
The best of the Books the worst treatment from us If I have 20 books in my shelf, then Qur’an perhaps is the one which receives the worst treatment (in terms of the real use of a book, i.e., understanding it). Allah has sent us the ‘best of the Books’ and our attitude towards it is almost the worst in practical terms (even though we do pay a lot of lip service).www.understandquran.com
Every other book is understood For every other book which concerns us (whether that of physics, chemistry, commerce, maths, etc.), we give a better treatment in terms of understanding it. For Qur’an, we just don’t bother to understand it.www.understandquran.com
I am busy!!! Many among us are so ‘busy’ all day that we don’t have ANY time to recite or study to understand it! ‘Busy’ does not mean that I am dead in those moments. It only means that I am doing something which I think is more important than Qur’an. Practically speaking, I don’t think it to be of ‘worth.’ If it was of any value to me, I would surely have spared time for its recitation and understanding.www.understandquran.com
Time for everything else On the contrary, I have time for everything! For reading news, meeting, chatting, …. When it comes to talking with Allah or listening to Allah (reciting), I don’t have time. Well, is it not what you say (I am busy) when you don’t want to see a relatively ‘worthless’ person or relatively ‘unimportant’ work?www.understandquran.com
Fixed slots for every other activity Our lives have daily time slots for everything, i.e., for sleeping, eating, reading newspapers, etc. Do we have a fixed slot for the Qur’an (in addition to the five prayers)? If not, it only shows the importance that we attach to it.www.understandquran.com
Disposable slot at slightest pretext Even if such a daily slot or weekly slot exists for attending a dars or a study circle of the Qur’an, we drop it at the slightest pretext such as, “I am tired,” “I had some friends/relatives at my house and I can not come,” etc. By the way, none of these pretexts are used when it comes to our job or other interests (such as social gatherings).www.understandquran.com
Did I bother to think that… If I treat the Book of Allah in this ‘light,’ ‘take-it-easy,’ and neglectful manner, how do I except the Author of the Book to treat me?www.understandquran.com
Examples to emphasize the Importance of understanding the Qur’anwww.understandquran.com
Ex. 1: The Prophet’s (pbuh) example [Uswah?] Lo! thy Lord knoweth how thou keepest vigil sometimes nearly two thirds of the night, or (sometimes) half or a third thereof, as do a party of those with thee [Al-Qur’an, 73:20].www.understandquran.com
Ex. 1… Was the Prophet, pbuh, not busy during the day, doing Dawah all day? Yes. Was his understanding not OK? No. Was his memorization poor? Not al all. Still He was asked to recite it every night for hours and hours. Because it was the word of Allah. The Prophet (pbuh) also needed guidance from this Book. (Allah knows best)www.understandquran.com
Ex. 1… The Prophet (pbuh) spent on the average approx. 4 hours every night. And we don’t want to give even 10% (24 minutes) of what the Prophet (pbuh) gave, THAT TOO during the day. What level of his “Ittibaa” (following) do we have in our lives? How strong is my connection with my Prophet (pbuh)? (I am talking about our relationship with Qur’an and not Tahajjud).www.understandquran.com
Ex. 2: The companions The companions of the Prophet (pbuh) wanted to recite more and more. He (pbuh) had to say that one who recites Qur’an in less than 3 days does not understand it (approximate meaning). The companions valued it properly. Are we eager to recite the Qur’an and to understand it?www.understandquran.com
Ex. 3: Your son in 10th grade Suppose you have a son who is studying in 10th grade. You bring everything for him for his comfort and enjoyment; dresses; sports items; nice study table and chair; etc. etc. The most important advice you give him is to be attentive to his books/studies.www.understandquran.com
Ex. 3: … He enjoys all the facilities and does everything except studying his books. When you come in the evening (and you know that he has not opened a single book during the day), he starts praising you, “O Dad! How nice are you! Thank you so much for bringing me everything!” May be you will tolerate it the first day. But, if this behavior continues for the next four or five days, your patience will surely run out. You may perhaps punish him in response to his PRAISE and will tell him that you have done everything for him so that he is careful about his studies.www.understandquran.com
Ex. 3 … Now, let us extend this example to ourselves. We are asked by our friends, “How are you?” In response, we say, alhamdulillah, thanks to Allah, we are healthy and wealthy, etc. (We should surely thank Allah). What type of thanks is this? He has given us only one Book and we don’t have time to read it! In fact, the condition of general Muslims is that they have ‘almost’ vowed to study everything except Qur’an!!!www.understandquran.com
Ex. 4: Only one Book! It is a blessing of Allah that he has asked us to study only one Book and STILL WE DON’T UNDERSTAND IT!!! School students in any grade, let us say 8th grade, have a set of books. When they move on to the 9th grade, all their previous books are cancelled and they are given a new set to study. Allah did not say, for example, “You have reached 25 years of age, so another book for you,” “30 years! another one, …” AND STILL WE DON’T HAVE TIME TO STUDY IT!www.understandquran.com
Ex. 5: The Same Book as was given to the Prophet! The Prophet (pbuh) was asked to recite the same Qur’an that we have for almost 4 hours every night! He was asked to recite it again and again. Are we not lucky to have the same book for us too. Don’t we always value the practice of great people in terms of what they read and how they lived?www.understandquran.com
Ex. 6: Night of Qadr versus the Book “Lo! We revealed it on the Night of Power. Ah, what will convey unto thee what the Night of Power is! The Night of Power is better than a thousand months.”www.understandquran.com
Ex. 6: … The night became extremely valuable because something came down in that night! Then how great that thing itself is!!! If the night in which it was revealed became so highly honored, imagine the greatness of the Book itself which was revealed in that night. Do we really feel the greatness of this Book?www.understandquran.com
Ex. 7: The King’s Anniversary Suppose, in our country we have a king. On the day of his anniversary, he gives us 1000 times the regular salary and numerous other gifts. All of us will surely appreciate his big heart. Suppose that after the anniversary, if he tells me, “I will come and stay in your house for some time,” How excited will I be? Will I not do everything to please him?www.understandquran.com
Ex. 7: … By Allah, the Book (Al-Qur’an) that I have in my house is the same Book, because of which the night in which it was revealed became so much honored, because of which Ramadaan became the best of months, … Do I spend sleepless nights full of excitement because this Book is present in my house! Do I ever feel so much happy and overjoyed when I look at this Book in my house!!! Do I GET UPSET/RESTLESS THE DAY I MISS ITS LESSON, ITS RECITATION, …www.understandquran.com
Ex. 7: … In fact and sadly enough, the situation is reverse!!! When some of us are asked to spend sometime daily to learn it, they feel the burden inside. So, in a way, when it comes to commitment, this Book is a burden for them, rather than a source of happiness.www.understandquran.com
Ex. 8: A software manual for a 6 digit salary In today’s environment of high perks for software engineers, if we are told that a new language (N++ !!?) has come and anyone who masters that language using a manual of 600 pages will get a job worth $10,000, then almost everyone of us perhaps will do his best to understand each and every line of the manual.www.understandquran.com
Ex. 8 … The Book of Allah is ready to give us the infinite wealth of this world (most importantly, in terms of real peace) and in the hereafter (in terms of lasting and forever bliss). Do we ever get restless and spend nights studying this Book? Do we give it the real value and respect?www.understandquran.com
Ex. 9: A manual for converting metal to gold As a scientist, how precious would we treat a manual which can given us a key to new discoveries. Will we not scan each and every line of such a manual? But the manual from Allah (Al-Qu’ran) will give us success and infinite wealth both in this world (the invaluable peace of mind and heart) and in the hereafter. Do we care?www.understandquran.com
Ex. 10: Education for Aakhirah? For a position/ job in this world, we have spent thousands of days and nights, from KG to PG, Kingergarten to post graduation. (Well, if we have the right intention, we will be rewarded inshaAllah). How long will we work on the position/job? 30 or 40 years. After that, shall we not go to grave and start our eternal journey?www.understandquran.com
Ex. 10: … If I have spent thousands of days and nights for 40 years of service/position/job, then what about Al-Quran, with which my infinite future (not 40 years, not 40,00, not 40,000, not 40 million, not 40 billion, not 40 trillion, but infinite future) including that of this world is related. How many hours have I or do I spend or do I plan to spend for this Book?www.understandquran.com
Ex. 11: Our reverse logic when it comes to Qur’an ِ َ ْ َ ْ ُ ْ َ ّ َ َ َ ِ َ ِ ِ َ ُ ّ ّ َ ّ ٌ ِ َ ٌ َ َ ْنا ُ ْ َ ُ َ ر كتاب أنزل َهإ َِليك مبا كليدبروا آياته وليتذكر أ ُولوا اللباب َ Allah says in the Qur’an, “(This is) a Scripture that We have revealed unto thee, full of blessing, that they may ponder its revelations, and that men of understanding may reflect” [Al- Qur’an, 38:29]. The purpose of revelation is that “they ponder over its verses”. A simple and clear statement by Allah!.www.understandquran.com
Ex. 11: … Have you ever read a book on any topic (Maths, physics, social sciences, commerce, etc.) in which the author has asked you to understand its contents! Never! However, we Muslims have reverse logic when it comes to Qur’an. Even after clear statements by Allah subhanahu ta’ala about the purpose of revelation, we just take it easy and never bother seriously to understand it. The tragedy is that no Muslim denies the importance of understanding it yet at the same time does almost nothing serious to understand it.www.understandquran.com
Ex. 12: Common sense applied everywhere except.. I can ‘read’ a newspaper in French which has similar alphabets as those of English (even though I don’t understand French). If I tell you that I have read it, you will ask me about the news. If I respond by saying, “Well I have read it but I don’t know the news,” you may immediately tell me to stop ‘fooling around’ or ‘joking.’www.understandquran.com
Ex. 12: … Didn’t we find any other Book except Qur’an to ‘fool around’ or ‘joke’? We never bother to understand it seriously and on the top of it are completely satisfied with our performance. We still claim that we can ‘read’ Qur’an!!! If we don’t understand the Qur’an while reading it, then we have not read it in the most common sense of the word, ‘read.’ (I am not talking of beginners here).www.understandquran.com
Ex. 13: Ever strict on kids for this Book? We are very strict and concerned about the ‘secular education’ of our kids. Well, that is good. What about the most important book about aakhirah education? Did we ever ask our kids to work on reciting/understanding Qur’an? If the parents themselves don’t recite/understand, with what face, can they ask their kids to do that!!www.understandquran.com
Ex. 14: Self made concessions If your son takes up a new language, say French, in his primary school class and comes in the beginning of the year with some French sentences, you surely will be happy. You may not be upset even if he does not understand those sentences. However, if this style continues till the end of year, you surely will not be happy with his mere utterances of French sentences. You will tell him explicitly that one year is long enough for one to start understanding at least something of that language.www.understandquran.com
Ex. 14: … Let us look at ourselves. We are reading this book for the last couple of decades of our life and still expect Allah to keep ignoring our carelessness towards understanding this book! And even after reminding, we don’t bother to seriously start understanding it!!! How much do we value Allah and His Book? Have we ever thought of His opinion about our attitude of carelessness towards His Book?www.understandquran.com
Ex. 15: A generous Boss vs. the Author of Qur’an Suppose you were employed by a French company with a French boss (suppose you don’t know French and he does not English) who is paying you TWICE what you were earning before. If he is interacting with you daily, won’t you learn his language? Will you still run to his secretary for translations? Won’t you start saying ‘Merci’, ‘bon ..’ from the very next day!www.understandquran.com
Ex. 15: … The Most Merciful, our Creator, our Rabb has given us the Qur’an for OUR OWN benefit. For how many years, will we keep looking at translators for meanings? Our brain contains 1000s of words of English. Is it too difficult to add couple of 1000s of Arabic words to understand the book of Allah. If we learn 5 words/day, it will take only 2 years to understand the whole Qur’an... Only if we care!www.understandquran.com
Daily Salah not complete without it!!! Out of the 24 hours in a normal day, the most precious moments for a Muslim is when he stands in front of Allah for Salah. Before, after, and during the Salah, I do ask Allah a long list of things and He out of His mercy grants them too. But how ungrateful I am that when He tells me something through the Imam during the Salah, I stand there as a deaf guy! How obstinate I am that even with years passing by, I don’t try to learn Arabic!www.understandquran.com
Daily Salah … 2 Nothing happens in this world by chance. It is not that Imam remembered some Surah and he recited it. Whatever I am made to listen in these Salahs is written in my fate and is the message by Allah for me for TODAY at that time in that Salah.www.understandquran.com
Daily Salah … 3 Allah wants us to start everyday under Qur’anic light (with 2 lectures in 2 Raka’ahs of Fajr) Allah wants us to end the day also in Qur’anic light with 4 lectures; 2 in Maghrib and 2 more in Isha within 2 hours! Perhaps because man is more prone to Satanic temptations in the night (Allah knows best).www.understandquran.com
Daily Salah … 4 I emphasize these 3 Salah because in these Salah, Imam may recite from any part of the Qur’an (and he should try to recite from different parts of the Qur’an). Consequently, if I do not understand complete Qur’an, I may miss the message in any of these Salahs; simply because Imam may recite from any part of the Qur’an. I can not read translation in Salah. Most importantly, I won’t know which part of Qur’an the Imam will recite. So, for all practical purposes, relying on translations for this purpose does not work.www.understandquran.com
Daily Salah … 5 The right attitude in each one of these 3 Salahs is that I should stand with full attention and wait for instructions from Allah. I should try to pick up each and every word of Allah. And if I fail to understand, I should ask forgiveness from Allah and re-commit myself to understanding the Qur’an. Each Salah is a continuous reminder for me to understand Qur’an IN TOTAL and not just a part of it.www.understandquran.com
Daily Salah … 6 If I don’t understand Qur’an, then everyday I loose the message given to me in 6 lectures (two each in Fajr, Maghrib, and in Isha). That too, at a time when I am in the best of worshipping mode to Allah (out of the 24 hours). Every year, I miss the message given to me in 2000 Rakahs (plus 240 or 600 rakahs of Taraweeh). It is equivalent to 5 EQUIVALENT rounds of Qur’an per year (2 rounds in 3 Salahs of the whole year + 1 in Taraweeh + Self recitation of at least one round per year)www.understandquran.com
Daily Salah … 7 It is true for other Salahs TOO. Whether we recite it or the Imam recites it, every part should be understood. It is true of our personal recitation of the Qur’an outside Salah too. Allah wants us to concentrate on certain ayahs (ponder on small pieces of Qur’an) in these Salah and to have a global view (ponder on bigger sections of Qur’an) in Taraweeh. If we don’t understand Qur’an, a tremendous opportunity to build the relationship with Allah is lost. How tragic and tremendous loss it is!!!www.understandquran.com
Daily Salah … 8 If we don’t understand Qur’an, a tremendous opportunity to build the relationship with Allah is lost. How tragic and tremendous loss it is!!! Therefore, understanding Qur’an is not just related to time duration when one recites the Qur’an at certain time of a day. It is, in fact, related to every Salah everyday!!! Does that not motivate us to work quicker and faster (almost daily) on understand Qur’an?www.understandquran.com
Attention in the most important worship Maintaining Attention in Salah is a must. Without understanding what is being recited (by self or by Imam), it is extremely difficult to keep attention. And attention to what (if you don’t understand Qur’an)? Just words? Yes, they are full of blessings. But how long will we limit ourselves to listening words of Allah (without understanding them).www.understandquran.com
“O my God! ...” One of my friend said it frankly. When the Imam starts Surah Rahman in Fajr, I say, even though unwillingly, “O my God! I have to now wait for 15 min. to complete the Salah.” There are some of us who count the number of rakahs completed while praying Taraweeh. All this is due to the fact that we don’t understand what is recited. If we understand it, we will never say of feel such things. Understanding Qur’an will make Salah a worship full of spiritual enlightenment rather than just a ritual.www.understandquran.com
Purpose of Taraweeh Qur’an is recited in Taraweeh so that whole message of Qur’an comes to ones mind at least once in Ramadan. If we dont understand it, then how can we make effective use of Taraweeh? And more importantly, we will miss all the spiritual joy and enlightenment by understanding Qur’an while listening.www.understandquran.com
KNOWLEDGE As far as Qur’an is concerned, most of us (Muslims by birth) have learnt it because of our parents efforts. They arranged a teacher for us to learn the Qur’an. Have we got any plans to learn the most basic of books by OUR OWN EFFORT. Have we added to what we learnt in childhood? Do we plan to spend anytime to learn this most important Book, the most important source of knowledge?www.understandquran.com
Rewards for learning Abud-Darda (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "He who follows a path in quest of knowledge, Allah will make the path of Jannah easy to him. The angels lower their wings over the seeker of knowledge, being pleased with what he does. ... [Abu Dawud and At- Tirmidhi].www.understandquran.com
Rewards for learning Abu Umamah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "The superiority of the learned over the devout worshipper is like my superiority over the most inferior amongst you (in good deeds). He went on to say, "Allah, His angels, the dwellers of the heaven and the earth, and even the ant in its hole and the fish (in water) supplicate in favour of those who teach people knowledge. [At-Tirmidhi].www.understandquran.com
BE LIKE THOSE RECITERS Say: Believe therein or believe not, lo! those who were given knowledge before it, when it is read unto them, fall down prostrate on their faces, adoring, Saying: Glory to our Lord! Verily the promise of our Lord must be fulfilled. They fall down on their faces, weeping, and it increaseth humility in them. [Al- Qur’an 17:107-109] For more details click on another presentation, “Be like those reciters.”www.understandquran.com
BE LIKE … The is not possible without understanding. There are 1000s who have read tarjuma or tafseer. Rarely does any one cry when he reads the translation? But you can see some Arabs who cry (in Taraweeh or in Fajr prayers) while listening to the Qur’an, esp. in Haram (Makkah & Madina). For more details click on another presentation, “Be like those reciters.”www.understandquran.com
Qur’an is not translatable An example of a stanza from an Urdu poem: Kaise kaise ayse wyse hogaye Ayse wyse kaise kaise hogaye The beauty, the choice of words, the rhythm, and the message in such compact simple words is almost impossible to be translated. If this is the case with human composition, can God’s composition be translated?www.understandquran.com
Translations are not Qur’an. Quran is: Words + Meanings You can not separate the two. If you have read the translation only, then you have NOT READ Qur’an (even though the translation does contain the message of Qur’an). (Here, I am not talking about rewards of reciting Qur’an. Please don’t mix the two).www.understandquran.com
Translations … All scholars say that Qur’an can not be translated. You may have read 100 translations & received the basic message but they are not Qur’an. You will have read Qur’an only when you read it in own language with meanings. (I am not talking of rewards of recitation here)www.understandquran.com
Revealed in Arabic so that you understand Allah says, “Lo! We have revealed it, a Lecture in Arabic, that ye may understand” [Al-Qur’an 12:2]. For non-Arabs: It is not in an alien language of which there is no script or no way to decipher or learn it. It is in Arabic, a live language. Just spend some time to learn it and understand the Book of Allah, the ultimate precious gift on earth for a human being. If we can learn English to get degrees / jobs, why can’t we learn Arabic to understand Allah’s message DIRECTLY IN ARABIC.www.understandquran.com
Only through Arabic Qur’an By presenting the message of Quran in our language (other than Arabic), we loose the impact. Its rhythm and "sauti ejaz" looses its effect completely. It does not carry that influence A listener does not go deeper (in its meaning) while listening to the translation THE SPIRITUAL EFFECTS and the reward.www.understandquran.com
Example if you say, "Every human will die," it will not have as much impact as "Kullu nafsin zaaiqatul maut". In fact we do the same thing in our language too. We keep quoting the poetic lines to strengthen our message because it has the heat to convey the emotions.www.understandquran.com
Opportunities for 2 extra Awards for non-Arabs He will get a reward for learning the meaning of every word, such as Qul, say. An Arab does not have this opportunity. Another reward by gathering friends and teaching them the basic Qur’anic Arabic.www.understandquran.com
Real Learning (like Mathematics) If you just read the solved problems and do not think yourselves or work on it, you will never learn Maths. If you don’t ponder over the verses of the Qur’an, you may not get its real benefits.www.understandquran.com
The Prophet’s morals Once Aisha (pbuh) was asked about the morals of the Prophet (pbuh). She replied that, “His (pbuh) morals were Qur’an.” So, the theory is Qur’an and the practical model is the Prophet’s (pbuh) life. Without a complete and continuous study of the Qur’an, even the Prophet’s life can not be properly understood in its true sense.www.understandquran.com
Live guidance for our lives? Do we really treat it as the book of our lives? Do we become doctors by reading the books just once? We are passing this life and this book is for life, for guidance. Before talking about solutions to a specific problem, do we ever refer to Qur’an, or sit down and study it a couple of hours? Rarely!www.understandquran.com
Do we want others to teach us the Qur’an? Recently the print media (in the East or in the West) and anti- Islamic leaders are quoting Qur’anic verses on Jihad or other issues. There are many Muslims who must have read this first time in their life. Are we waiting for such moments? We will be questioned left and right by our non-Muslim neighbors/colleagues. Are we prepared? What are we going to answer if we don’t know them?www.understandquran.com
Can we let the East and the West to confuse Muslims? Remember, 80% Muslims are non-Arabs. We need an intense campaign to spread the understanding of Qur’an to 100% Muslim population. Yes! If we plan for 100%, we will reach at least 25%, inshaAllah. If we don’t do that, then Muslim masses will be easy targets of anti-Islamic attacks.www.understandquran.com
Most importantly, how will we convince our kids The media is continuously attacking Islam. They are preparing for the ultimate attack. To remove certain verses from the Qur’an itself. Will we wait till then? Even if we close our eyes and ears, how will we protect our children and youth? What will you answer if your kids tell you, “Dad, you don’t understand Qu’ran, so why don’t you keep quiet!”www.understandquran.com
Maintain the heart To keep our heart clean which is continuously eroded because of sins, we need to recite Qur’an (with understanding) daily.www.understandquran.com
Material vs. Spiritual food Just like ones physical existence, everyone of us has a spiritual existence too. The most important source of spiritual food is the Quran. The second source is the authentic Hadith. Spiritual exercises include the daily prayers, Tilawah, Azkar and the work for Islam. Reading Qur’an without understanding is like eating extremely tasty foods but with a tongue which has no taste buds! You read excellent verses, but you simply miss their impact.www.understandquran.com
A blind man touring… A person reading translation is like a blind who is given tour by somebody (translator) of a wonderful garden (with respect to the original beauty of the Qur’an and not with respect to the essential message). However much the translator tries, he can not convey the impact of the original Arabic of the Qur’an Of course, a learner will not get all that beauty in the first try, but he surely will enter into a huge new world once he starts understanding Arabic; and Allah will take him to new heights of understanding as his learning continues.www.understandquran.com
Only a KG level course It is not for making experts or scholars of Quran. Anyone who can read + attend 40 min for just 10 months is eligible for this course and can qualify this course.www.understandquran.com
No intellectual involvement There is rarely any intellectual involvement of Muslims with the Quranwww.understandquran.com
PRETEXTS The quotes in white in the following slides are reasons given by some people who avoid / object to studying the Qur’an.The text below in yellow is an effort to answer such people.
“What is the need? Just pray/fast/do hajj.” Why then Allah had to reveal 6600 verses? Are they na’oozubillah not worthy to ponder upon? Why are we asked to listen to it daily and in Ramadaan? Are they only ritual? If somebody claims that he does not need Qur’an, then he may be deprived from guidance from Allah’s Book. We should always approach Qur’an with an attitude that we are ignorant.
What is … Guidance keeps increasing with Allah’s help. If we are Muslims, that does not mean that we have all the guidance for all the problems of this life. Don’t we ask for guidance in every Salah in our daily prayers? Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says: “While as for those who walk aright, He addeth to their guidance, and giveth them their protection (against evil)” [Al-Qur’an 47:17].
"Why hurry in completing the Quran?" That is really amazing to hear from a Muslim! We have been talking about the importance of understanding Quran as one of the rights of the Quran for the last so many years. We are already late. How long are we going to neglect the Quran?
“Why hurry…” If I tell my students in Master’s degree program to stay one or two years more then they simply get terribly upset. They say that they have to go for a job, use the knowledge to earn money to start the life. Are we not supposed to live in complete light/guidance of the Qur’an? To ensure the continuous guidance, Allah has asked us to recite/hear it in every Salah and we simply ignore it.
“Is it a must to understand the whole Qur’an?” Why then did Allah ask us to recite from any part of the Qur’an in Salah? One should come up with redundant verses/chapters (na’oozubillah). Can anyone claim to do that? Allah knows best and He gave us this Book. To say that it is not necessary to understand the whole Book is to question His wisdom. (I am talking about the basic understanding only. Not of mutashaabihaat etc.)
“Is it a must …” In our daily lives we are faced with tens of different situations. Qur’an gives us a number of examples, stories, commands, advices. We don’t know where the solution is hidden for our problems. We should keep reciting it with understanding and ask Allah to guide us. He surely will guide us. After all, did He not reveal it as a Book of guidance? (We can surely take scholar’s help. But we should do our part too)
“Just focus on practice…” There are some who say, “Just focus on practice. Practice what you know and don’t worry about learning more!!!” Learning to understand the Qur’an is not part of ‘more’. It is the most basic Book that is given to us by Allah as guidance. If we neglect the basic Book of guidance, where else will we find it? According to scholars: Obtaining extra (nafil) knowledge is more rewarding that performing extra (nafil) worhsip.
“Qur’an is only for Scholars?” If so, then why are we (the masses, the general public) asked to listen to it in our daily prayers and in Ramadaan? Is that only a ritual? There is no Brahmin class in Islam (where the books are restricted to them only) nor the rest are untouchables, who should not even open the holy books. Allah has asked each one of us to understand, think, and ponder over its verses. Can any one show that he (if capable) is excluded from this command?
“Still we have time!” Perhaps almost ‘half’ the life is gone (in the sense of average human age). We don’t know when we will die. If we learn it at snails’ pace or wait for a time to learn, when are going to live our everyday life in full Qur’anic light?
“Are all Arabs good Muslims?” There are some who say, “Understanding Qur’an is not necessary for living as a good Muslim. Arabs understand the Qur’an so why are they (all of them) not good Muslims?” A simple answer to this is: Allah guides those who turn to Him. Guidance is not related to knowledge alone. Otherwise Abu Jahl and Abu Lahab would not have been left behind.
“The most widely read book in existence” According to Encyclopedia Britannica (11th Edition under Koran), Qur’an is “the most widely read book in existence.” Well, It is most widely memorized book too. But sadly enough, it is the only book which is so widely read without understanding – BY THOSE WHO CLAIM THEIR BELIEF IN IT.
They read to learn and we learn to read This is what is said about the others (whoever they are from west or east) that they read to learn and we Muslims, when it comes to Qur’an, learn to read only and stop there. Don’t Muslims ‘claim’ that it is the dearest Book to them!!!
Joy or grief? “O mankind! There hath come unto you an exhortation from your Lord, a balm for that which is in the breasts, a guidance and a mercy for believers. Say: In the bounty of Allah and in His mercy: therein let them rejoice. It is better than what they hoard. [Al-Qur’an, 10:57-58].
Joy or … Are we really happy and excited to have the Qur’an? Does our heart throb when we look at Qur’an? OR it is a ‘burden’ on us, especially when we are asked to spend sometime daily to understand it? OR we feel it an unnecessary obstruction in our daily lives when we are asked to recite it everyday?
Only at tough times Most of us read the Qur’an only when we face tough times! The reciting of Qur’an has almost been associated with gloomy situations. According to an authentic hadith, we should remember Allah in good times, He will remember us in hard times. Let us remember Allah (and recite His Book too) in all times.
Correcting Tajweed Only! If you visit those who have some religious awareness, you will be corrected multiple times if you recite the Qur’ran wrongly (violating Tajweed rules). However, nobody will fault you if you don’t know the meaning of the Qur’an! It is a must to learn Tajweed but let us not stop there.
Holders of big degrees but We are holders of big degrees and that is a pride for us. If somebody does not hold such degrees, it is a matter of shame or a sign of ignorance in our society. (Of course, we should work for education). However, when it comes to Qur’an, our ‘Main Textbook’ we are ignorant (jaahil)! Nobody even bothers to ask or makes sure that he knows it.
Muslim Schools … Muslim Schools are churning out qualified students in east and west of Non-Arab Muslim world. These students pass with flying colors as far as secular education is concerned but can not understand even 5% of the MAIN TEXTBOOK of Muslims directly. Is it not time for the administration of such schools to think seriously on this aspect? (See a proposal for schools on www.understandquran.com)
What type of recitation (Quality)?The recitation of Qur’an should lead to: Increase in our faith [??] Increase in Khushoo (humility, fear, and submission, …) Cry Hair standing at their end Soften our hearts
If this does not happen…IT MEANS ONE OF THE TWO THINGS: We do not understand; or We have hardened hearts. [Al-Qur’an, 57:16] Have you ever seen non-Arabs who cry while listening to Imam in Fajr, Isha, or Taraweeh prayers? Why? Because they don’t undestand it! You can see that phenomena in Arab world, especially in Majid-e-Haraam or in Masjid-e-Nabawi.
If this does not happen… Allah has mentioned the effects (increase in faith, crying, hair standing at their ends, …) of recitation on His believers. Don’t want to be like those? Unless we feel those effects we should say that our reading of Qur’an in not perfect. We should always work towards this goal. Understanding Qur’an is the first step towards this goal. Simultaneously we should seek refuge of Allah from hardened hearts.
The problem/challenge is of the heart Prayer for the right heart [Al-Qur’an, 3:8]. Hearts of hypocrites Hearts of Kuffar Hearts become blind Hearts become rusted Hearts become heedless Entry in Jannah if…
The problem/challenge is of the heart According to a hadith [..], to remove the rust of hearts, we should: (1) remember death; and (2) recite Qur’an. Qur’an in fact does bring the life of heart back.
Weekly vs. Daily classesIn the following slides, it is urged that you should try to hold/attend daily classes on Qur’an for effective learning.
Why weekly sessions are not effective1. We, in general, dont open the book after the class for another 3 days!!! The week passes so fast that on the day of Class, we say, “Is it Friday/…? O! I forgot that we have class today!”.2. Teaching experts say that retention in learning for a weekly class (especially with our heedless attitude towards Qur’an) is only 20 to 25%. Consequently, the learning process is very ineffective.
Why …3. If we skip one class, it is almost half-a-month of no-touch/no- interaction with the Qur’anic lesson.4. Even if you do it regularly (with 1 or 2 pages/class, it means 2 or 3 Juz/paras in a year; or 10 to 15 years to complete the Qur’an!!! What a tremendous loss of remaining active life! For the next 15 years (IF WE LIVE!), we will not be able to understand 50% of the Qur’an on the average!
Do it daily, otherwise…1. We will loose a lot – message given to us in 1000s of Rakahs (5 equivalent Qur’ans)2. We may not have proper concentration in Salah, esp. in those where the Imam recites something we don’t understand.3. The late we start or the slower we build up our relationship with Allah, the more of the remaining life (interactive with Allah’s message) we loose.
General Benefits:4. In addition to fulfilling the requirements of the study of Qur’an, let us see how ahadeeth encourage us: Uthman ibn ‘Affan (may Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “The best among you are those who have learnt the Qur’an and teach it (to others)” [Bukhari].
General Benefits: On the authority of Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “… No people gather together in one of the houses of Allah, reciting the Book of Allah and studying it among themselves, without tranquility descending upon them, Mercy (of Allah) enveloping them, the angels surrounding them, and Allah making mention of them amongst those who are with Him” [Muslim].
Benefits of daily program5. We will stay daily for 40 minutes in Quranic environment and will be counted as those who are the best, inshaAllah.6. Daily we will be receiving those 4 blessings (mentioned in the hadith) for 40 minutes, inshaAllah.7. We will have a much better retention of the meanings of words of Arabic. This will increase our confidence in learning.
Benefits of daily program (cont’d)8. Our excitement will increase with time because we will get the sense of achievement that we have covered so many paras. In fact, this is what happens. Completion of 10, 15 paras will inspire us to complete the Quran as early as possible.9. We will develop a habit of daily recitation of the Quran.
Benefits of daily program (cont’d)10. We will be in contact with each other everyday. That way, (as Daees) we will have an opportunity to invite our colleagues to regular Islamic work.11. One of the important benefits of this approach is that a participant will see the demands of Quran with his own eyes.
Benefits of daily program (cont’d)12. What will we gain if we don’t come for those 40 min. What will we spare? Will we make millions in those 40 min? Will we enjoy the best of sleep in those 40 minutes (if it is after Fajr till Ishraaq, the best and ideal time)? Compare it to how much will be lost!
Benefits of daily program (cont’d)13. Make use of blessings before they are gone – they may run out very quickly!!! Five blessings: Life; youth; time; health; prosperity; Additional blessings: availability of the daily program (if it is not there, you can start it with your friends); the friends who are arranging this program; you may soon go to an area where you may not find such a program; the availability of translations (there was a time when there was no translation available);
From Next year under full Qur’anic light If you start daily study, then from the next year onwards, you will live under full Qur’anic light and guidance. You will inshaAllah understand every verse recited or heard. Consequently, your relationship with Allah will increase with time.
The worth of Qur’an? Let us say that our company announces a 50% increase in salary for an overtime of 40 min. (after Fajr – the ideal time to study the Qur’an). Let us say the salary is 4000. The daily overtime for this comes to 2000/30, i.e., 60. All of us including me will jump for the opportunity. None of us will come up with any excuse. We will in fact call a person fool who misses this golden opportunity.
The worth… We are ready for for the infinite fraction of this dunya which is not worth even the wing of a mosquito; and that too in a situation when we don’t really need that extra money. If we are ready for that and not for a Qur’anic class (that too for 10 months only), we say with our actions that the worth of Qur’an in practical terms is not even 60!
Last AppealEven if you can’t start with daily class of 40 minutes after Fajr (or after Maghrib/Isha), go for 20 minutes daily after Fajr; go for 20 minutes daily after Isha; If not daily, go for 5 days a week or at least 3 days a week. But there is nothing like daily class (after Fajr, till Ishraq). It will be the most effective, as outlined earlier.
A Reminder Again Will they then not meditate on the Quran, or are there locks on the hearts? [Al-Qur’an, 47:24]
Let us not be deaf The duties of Qur’an do not disappear by neglecting them. Let us not become deaf or blind to this call or any call by Allah, “O ye who believe! Obey Allah and His messenger, and turn not away from him when ye hear (him speak). Be not as those who say, We hear, and they hear not. Lo! the worst of beasts in Allahs sight are the deaf, the dumb, who have no sense”. [Al- Quran 8:20-21].
Allah is there to help us! As for those who strive in Us, We surely guide them to Our paths … [Al-Qur’an, 29:69]
Allah is there to help us! The Prophet (pbuh) said, “Allah says: … and whosoever comes to Me walking, I go to him running …” [Hadith Qudsi, Muslim]. We have to at least start walking. Allah will then surely help us. If we don’t even try to walk, then how can we expect any help from Allah.