Virtues of the HOLY QURAAN a C Revised translation of the Urdu book Fazail-e-Quraan z.? ;b Eg Tx byShaikhul Hadith Maulana Muhammad Zakariyya Kaandhlawi translated by Aziz-ud-Din
CONTENTS c z aFOREWORD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 a: , O 2 Mo 3h -5 >x = PART 1-FORTY AHADITHHadith No: Page No: 1 Who is the best person?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 2 Blessings of recitation and virtues of the Word of Allah . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 3 Rewards of two, three and four ayaat . . . . . . . . 19 4 Rewards for fluent recitation and for falter- ing recitation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 5 Two things for which jealously is permiss- ible . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 6 Similitude of those who recite the Holy Quran and those who do not . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 7 Rise and fall of nations by reason of the Holy Quran . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 8 Three things shall be under Arsh (of Allah) on the Day of Judgement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Reading it completely twice a year is the . right of the Holy Quran . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Commentary requires expert knowledge of fifteen sciences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 9 Elevated stage in Paradise by virtue of the Holy Quran . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 10 A reward of ten virtues for every word of the Holy Quran . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Virtues of the Holy Quran 54 Virtues of the Holy Quran 18 Contents Contents Hadith No: Page No:Hadith No: Page No: 11 Parents of one who recites the Holy Quran and acts according to it, shall wear a crown 23 Those seeking nearness to Allah have no act more effective than recitation of the Holy = -3 aJ L c more brilliant than the sun . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Quran . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 $? O2 12 Fire does not burn the Holy Quran . ... ... .. . 40 The dream of Imam Ahmad ibn Hambal . . . . . 56 52 A means of attaining the stage of Ihsan . . . . . . 57 ,I3 One who memorizes and acts upon the Holy Quran shall be granted the right to inter- 24 Men of Quran are of the household of Allah 59 cede on behalf of ten persons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 25 Allahs special attention towards the 14 Similitude of one who learns and recites the Prophet who recites the Holy Quran in a Quran is like a bag full of musk . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 sweettone . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 15 A heart devoid of the Holy Quran is like a 26 Allahs special attention towards recitation deserted house . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 byaQari . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 16 Recitation of the Holy Quran in Salaat is Hadhrat Abdullah ibn Masood and a singer 62 morevirtuous . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 27 The Holy Prophets exhortation for reciting 17 The reward of reciting three ayaat in Salaat 45 the Holy Quran day and night . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 18 Rewards of visual recitation and recitation An extract from the Torah. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 by memory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 / 28 The Holy Quran contains the essence of all 19 Recitation of Quran cleans the rust of hearts 47 previous Revelations-and more. . . . . . . . . . . . 66 20 The Holy Quran is the honour and distinc- 29 The Holy Prophet sits in the company of tion of Muslims I.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 poor Muhajirin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , - 67 I 21 Secitation of the Holy Quran is Nur (efful- 30 The reward for reciting and listening to reci- gence) in the life and a provision in the tation of the HolvQuran. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 Hereafter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 31 Kewardsof loud and silent recitation . . . . . . . . 70 Houses of recitation shine like the moon and 32 The Quran as an interceder . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72 stars, for those in Heaven . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 , 33 Intercessiori of Fast and the Holy Quran . . . . . 73 Number and subject-matter of Heavenly Booklets and Divine books . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Stories of recitation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 22 Descent of Sakinah and mercy upon, and the Kules for completing the reading of the floly surrounding by Angels of a group engaged Quran . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .,. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75 in recitation of the Holy Quran . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 i
Virtues of the Holy Quran Virtues,of the Holy Quran ContentsHadith No: Page No: 34 No interceder shall be better than the Holy 7 Punishment for one who reads the Holy w fi Quran . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76 Quran for wordly benefits alone. . . . . . . . . . . . 93 2-I Protection afforded by the Quran in the grave . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 PART 3-FINAL NOTE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96 ;6 e+ PART 4- COMPLEMENTARY NOTE . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sx 115 35 One who reads the Holy Quran secures in his heart the knowledge of prophethood . . . . . 77 36 Three persons shall be strolling on mounds of musk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78 37 Learning of one ayat is more rewarding than hundred rakaat of Nafl Salaat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79 38 One who recites ten ayaat shall not be reck- oned among the neglectful ...............:. 80 39 One steadfast in Salaat is not of the neglect- ful . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80 40 The Book of Allah is protection against evil disorders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81 PART 2 -CONCLUDING SECTION t 1 Surah Fatihah as a balm for all ailments. . . . . . 83 Virtues of Surah Fatihah and some other Sowar and ayaat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83 2 3 Blessings of Surah Yasin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Blessings of Surah Waqiah . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86 88 I 4 Blessings of Surah Tabarak-al-lazi . . . . . . . . . . 89 5 Which is the most virtuous act?. . . . . . . . . . . . . 91 6 Need for devotion to the Holy Quran . . . . . . . . 92
FOREWORD 9 riedly written pages contain forty ahadith (Plural of hadith-a saying of the Holy Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wa- In the name of Allah, the Most Benevolent, the Most sallam)), which I have compiled on virtues of the Holy Merciful Qur,an, in obedience to such people whose words are law for me and following whom is most valuable to me. One of the special favours of Allah, the Sanctified and Pure, which 33 I-- FOREWORD have always descended upon the higher Madrasah (relig- ious school) of Mazahir-ul-Ulum, Saharanpur, has been the ;& annual gathering of this Madrasah for the purpose of briefly @Q Fx mentioning the progress of the institution. For this gather- ing at the Madrasah, not much effort is made to collect speakers, preachers and the famous people of India, but more attention is paid to invite men whose hearts are full of love for Allah and Mashaikh (saintly people) who prefer to live unknown. Although those days have receded in the past when Hujjat-ul-Islam (a title meaning a great author- ity on Islam) Maulana Mohammad Qasim Nanautvi Saheb (Rahmatullah alaih) and Qutbul Irshad (a title meaning a great savant) Hadhrat Maulana Rashid Ahmad Ganghoi Saheb (Nawwarallahu marqadahu) used to honour this gathering with their presence and illuminate the hearts of all who attended, and the scene has not yet disappeared from the eyes when the spiritual descendants of those revi-All praise be to Allah Who created man, gave him the gift valists of Islam-Hadhrat Shaikh-ul-Hind (Rahmatullahof expression and revealed for him the Holy Quran, which alaih), Hadhrat Shah Abdur Rahim (Rahmatullah alaih),is a source of advice, healing guidance and mercy for those Hadhrat Maulana Khalil Ahmad Saheb (Rahmatullahwho have faith. The Quran contains nothing that is doubt- alaih), and Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi Sahebful or crooked. It is absolutely straight, and authority and I (Nawwarallahu marqadahu) used to assemble at the annualNur (enlightenment) for the believers. Abundant and per- gathering of the Madrasah. Their presence was a fountainfect salutation be on Muhammad Rasulullah (Sallallaho source of life and light for deadened souls and quenchedalaihe wasallam) (blessing and peace from Allah be upon the thirst of those who sought Divine love.him), the person who is the best of all creation, whose Nur At present, though the annual gatherings do not haveilluminated the hearts of the living and their graves after I the illuminations of even such sources of guidance, theirdeath, whose appearance was a bounty for the whole uni- true spiritual descendants still honour these gatheringsverse. Peace be upon his descendants and Companions, j with their presence and enrich the audience with bounties t who are the stars of guidance and propagators of the Holy and blessings. The people who attended the gathering thisQuran, and also upon those believers who are their fol- year are witnesses to this. Only those who possess eyes that lowers in faith. see can experience the effulgence, but sightless beings like After this praise and salutation, I (the author), Zaka- i us can also feel something unusual. riyya, son of Yahya. son of Ismail, state that these hur- I I At the annual gathering of this Madrasah, if a person comes to listen to polished speeches and forceful lectures, he will perhaps not return so much happy as one who seeks a balm for his heart.
10 Virtues of the Holy Quran FOREWORD 11 .. . 6-+ MJ ".* &, .. . +vj & , + . . -.. i,,w,J, &ii All praise and supplication is for Allah. In the same connection, during this year on 27th Zil- . .qadah (name of the eleventh month of Islamic calendar),1348 Hijri, Hadhrat Shah Hafiz Mohammad Yasin Naginwi(Rahmatullah alaih) visited the Madrasah. His coming was & 3 j A$ ?& Qs , - ~ .i L>, g 9*>j -3, l G1 5xlike a shower of affection and kindness, and I cannot ad-equately thank him for this. After knowing about him thathe is one of the spiritual heirs of Hadhrat Gangohi (Rahma-tullah alaih), there is no need of mentioning his fine quali- - I J! $jp ,> . L * 3 &bj *$, . .,$!&,jc Lj J ail$. L+ g j 9 1 +!ii &&I2 &j ?*ii . &@ties of devotion and piety, and the presence of Anwaar I have done it in the hope of being raised together on(Plural of Nu-enlightenment and blessings) in his ownperson. When this gathering was over, he returned homeand honoured me with a kind letter asking me to compileforty ahadith regarding the virtues of the Glorious Quranand send them to him along with their translations. He also$& wrote to me that, if I did not carry out his wishes, he would ask the successor to my Shaikh (teacher) and elderly uncle, Maulana Hafiz Alhaj Maulvi Mohammad Ilyas (Rahmatul- lah alaih), to confirm this order of his. He made it certain that he wanted me to do this job. Incidentally, I received that honourdd message when I was out travelling and my uncle was present (at Saharanpur). On my return, my uncle gave this letter to me along with his own firm orders for compliance. Now there was no occasion for me for any excuse or to plead lack of ability. Although my occupation with the commentary of Moatta (a book of Ahadith) of Imam Malik (Rahmatullah alaih) was a good excuse, I had to postpone that work for a few days and, in compliance with the urgent orders, produce my effort for his esteemed consideration. I beg to be excused for such shortcomings as are inevitable because of my incompetence.& & 2 --&, &h:.$.dj,& ,-. t% , &,& $ - ,; & 56 L J ., f JG; $ $ &+; ; & JG 2 & 2 J au d 3 & j f -.~4, & > Gj , d!j : &&j i , q+ ; 3 r j h 2 9 J,,$ 2 +g 3 .- @, $ ; &+ - j & , J, J $ < ,. +&2 i j ~ &$ L!j 4 6- #Ji+ A. r u; , 9 JG , @ & ; , J + $j , & $&I . , O , ;j * & & * > $> I I the day of judgement together with such people as were re- ferred by Rasulullah (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) when he said: "Whoever will preserve for my Ummah (followers of the Prophet) forty Ahadith concerning important matters of their faith, Almighty Allah will raise him, on the Day of Judgement, as an Alim (religious scholar) and I will inter- cede on his behalf and stand witness in his favour." Alqami (Rahmatullah alaih) says that the word pre- serve occurring in this hadith is used in the sense of secur- ing something and guarding it against loss by either committing it to memory without recording it or by record- ing in black and white, without even memorizing it. So any one writing them in the form of a book and passing them on to others will also be covered by the blessings men- tioned in this hadith. Munaawi (Rahmatullah alaih) is of the opinion that "preserve for my Ummat" means reporting of a hadith along with its authority. According to some, "preserve" in- cludes even those who are reporting it to other Muslims without memorizing it or even Without knowing its mean- ings. Also the expression "forty ahadith" has been used in general sense, i.e., these ahadith may be all sahih (authen- tic), hasan (correct) or even daif (weak) to the degree that can be acted upon because of their virtues. Allaho akbar! (How great Allah is!). Many are the fa- cilities provided in Islam. And commendable indeed has been the role of scholars and theologians who took such pains to explain the subtleties of various expressions. May Almighty Allah bless us all with perfection in Islam.
12 Virtuesof the Holy Quran FOREWORD 13 It is important to note that whenever I have quoted a The Quran is the word of our Beloved Lord, Who is alsohadith without mentioningthe name of the book, it should the Supreme Monarch. We should, therefore read thebe deemed to have been taken from one of the five books, Quran with the emotions of love and awe.viz., Al-Mishkat, Tanqih-ur-Ruwat, Al-Mirqat. Sharah- It is said that whenever Hadhrat Ikramah (Radhiyal-ul-Ihya and At-Targhib of Mundhiri, on which I have laho anho) (may Allah be pleased with him) opened therelied and from which I have drawn extensively. Whenever Book for recitation, he became unconscious and fell down.I have quoted from any other book, the source has been Then he would utter,mentioned. It is incumbent upon the reader of the Quran to ob-serve the rules of reverence for its recitation. Before proceeding further, it seems desirable to men- "This is the Word of my Allah, this is the Word of mytion first some of the requirements of decorum for reading Allah."of the Holy Quran; because, as admitted. The aforesaid contains briefly the spirit of the require- ments of decorum as written in great detail by the Muslim scholars. It will further be explained in the following para- graphs. In short, a Muslim should read the book of Allah not just as a servant, but as a slave in the spirit of complete One who is devoid of reverence misses Allahs special humility towards his Lord, Master and Benefactor. The favour, Sufia (Plural of Sufi-mystic) have written that, if a person feels his shortcomings in exercising due respect and rever- In brief, the essence of all the rules of reverence is to ence while reciting the Quran, he will continue to progressconsider the Glorious Quran as the words of Almighty along the path of nearness to Almighty Allah but a personAllah. Whorq we worship, and as the Word of One Whom who regards himself with approval or pride will not ad-we love and seek. vance further. Those who have ever experieced love, know howworthy of adoration is a letter or speech of the beloved. The Rules of R e v e r e ~ r e readivg the Holy Quran forecstatic raptures caused by such a communication arebeyond all rules of propriety because, as it is said. After cleaning the teeth with a miswak (a green twig of special varieties of trees used for brushing the teeth) and wudhu (ablution), one should sit in a quite place with grace and humility and face towards Qiblah (direction to- wards the Kabah in Mecca). Then, with an attentive heart, deep devotion and zest befitting the occasion, one shouldLove itself will teach one the rules of conduct in love. recite, imagining all the time that he is reciting it to So, while reading the Quran, if we attempt to "isualise Almighty Allah. If one understands the meaning, onethe real beauty and limitless bounty of our Beloved Allah, should pause and reflect on ayaat (Plural of ayat-a verseour hearts will be swayed by emotions of heavenly love. At of the Quran) of promise and mercy and should beg for Histhe same tine, the Quran is the Word of the Master of mas- forgiveness and compassion. On ayaat of punishment andters and thacommands of the Emperor of all kings. It is the admonition, one should seek His refuge, as except Himlaw promulgated by the All-powerful Monarch, Who re- there is no Helper. On ayaat pertaining to His Majesty andmains unequalled for ever. Those who have served at the Sanctity, one should say "Subhaanallah" (Glory to Allah).courts of kings know by experience, while others can just If one does not spontaneously shed tears while reading thevisualise the extreme awe insprired by the kings orders. Book, one must induce oneself to weep a little.
14 Virtues of the Holy Quran 1 FOREWORD 15 (3) The heart should be free from distraction and doubts. For a lover, the moments of greatest pleasure are those (4) Dwell upon the meanings and enjoy reading it. when, in the presence of his beloved, he is full of self- Rasulullah (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) once spent the reproach and shedding tears profusely. whole night reading over and over again the following ayat: I One should not read fast unless one desires to memor-ize it. The Quran should be placed in a slightly elevatedposition on a wooden stand or a pillow. One should nottalk to others during recitation. If one is forced by necessity If Thou should chastise them, they are Thy servants,to speak to someone, it should be done after first closing and if Thou should forgive them, Thou art the Mighty,the Book, and then recite Taawwudh (seeking refuge of the Wise (V: 118).Allah against Satan), before reading again. If people nearbyare occupied in their work, reading in a low voice is appre- Once, Hadhrat Saeed ibn Jubair (Radhiyallaho anho)ciated otherwise reading loudly is more rewarding. spent the whole night repeating the following ayat: The Mashaikh have mentioned six external and six in-ternal rules of reverence for reading the Holy Quran,which are given below: I And withdraw aside today, 0 guilty ones! (XXXVI: 59).Rules of External Iieverence (5) Submit your heart to the subject-matter of the verses you are reading. For instance, on ayaat con- (1) Perform Wudhu and then sit facing Qiblah in a n taining a message of mercy, the heart should be extremely dignified manner. filled with delight. And on ayaat of chastisement, (2) Do not proceed fast, but read with measure and the heart should tremble with awe. correct pronunciation. (6) The ears should be made as attentive as if ( 3 ) Try to weep, even if vou have to compel yourself Almighty Allah Himself is speaking and the reader to do so. is listening to Him. (4) The response to ayaat of mercy or 01 punishment May Allah, out of His mercy and kindness, grant all of should be as explained above. us the ability to read the Quran according to these rules of reverence. ( 5 ) Reading should be in a low v o ~ c e if insincerity is . apprehended on your own part or disturbance is caused to others. Otherwise read in a loud voice. A Heligious Principle The memorizing of that much of the C;lorious Quran (6) Read in a melodious voice, because there are nu- v as is necessary for the offering of salaat is obligatory for merous ahadith laying emphasis on this. every Muslim, whereas memorizing the whole of the Holy Quran is Fard Kifavah, i.e. an act obligatory on all, butRules oflnternal Reverence which may suffice if performed by an adequate number. If there were not a single hafiz (may Allah forbid) all the (1) The heart should be full of the glory of Quran i.e. Muslims would be held responsible for this sin. MullaAli realizing how sublime it is. Qari (Rahmatullah alaih) has further reported from Zarka- ( 2 ) Bear in the heart the Loftiness, Majesty and Mag- shi (Rahmatullah alaih] that if, in a town or a village, there nificence of Almighty Allah, Whose Revelation the were no person to read the Holy Quran, all the Muslim in- Quran is. habitants of that place would be considered sinful. In this
16 Virtues of the Holy Quranage of darkness and ignorance when the Muslims haveboc:ome misguided in respet:t of manv aspects of Islam, it isgr:nerally (:onsidered useless and stupid to nlemorize the PART IQuran and a sheer waste of time and mental energy torepeat its words without understanding their meaning. If FORTY AHADITHthis were the only case of our aversion to faith, somethingin detail could be written about i t . But today all our actsare erring and all our thoughts are leading us astray. Forhow manv should one wail and about how many shouldone complain. So to Allah do we complain and from Him do we seek help. Hadhrat Uthman (Radhiyallaho anha) narrates that Ra- sulullah (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) said: "The best amongst you is he who learns the Quran and teaches it." In most of the books, this hadith is quoted with the word and between learns and teaches as above. Thus the greatest reward would be for him who learns the Holy Quran and thereafter teaches it to others. But in some of the books this hadiths is narrated with the word or, in which case the meaning would be: "The best amongst you is he who learns the Quran or teaches it." Accbrding to this version, the reward is general, i.e., I equally great whether one learns himself or teaches to others. Thus there would be equal virtue for both. I The Quran is the basis of the religion of Islam, and on the preservation and propagation of the Quran depends the .very existence of this faith. Hence the virtue of learning and teaching the Quran is self-evident and does not need further elucidation. t There are, however, various degrees of excellence. The highest is to learn the Quran along with its meanings and purport, and the least is to learn its words only. The hadith mentioned above is supported also by an- other saying of Rasulullah [Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) as reported by Hadhrat Saeed ibn Saleem (Radhiyallaho anho): "If a person who has acquired knowledge of the Holy Quran considers another person who has been gifted with something else to be more fortunate than himself, he has shown disrespect to the blessings of Allah bestowed on
18 Virtues of the Holy Quran Part I [Hadith 3) 19him on account of his learning the Quran." It is evident aside for the person who cannot attend the function be-that since the Quran, being the Word of Allah, is superior cause of the task of distribution given to him by the dis-to all other discourses as mentioned in some of the ahadith tributor himself. In another hadith, in the same context, itquoted later, its reading and teaching must be superior to is mentioned that Allah would give such a person a bettereverything else. reward than what He would give to His ever grateful ser- 25 =-a Mulla Ali Qari quotes from another hadith that who-ever acquires the knowledge of Holy Quran stores the vants. ;!3knowledge of prophethood in his forehead. HADITH- 3 Sahl iastari (Rahmatullah alaih) says that the proof oflove for Allah is the existence of love for the Word of Allahin ones heart. In Sharhul Ihya, the list of people who will be givenshelter in the shade of the Arsh (Throne of Allah) on thefearful Day of Judgement includes those persons who teachthe Quran to the children of Muslims and also those wholearn the Holy Quran in their childhood and are devotedto its recitation when grown up. HADITH- 2 Hadhrat Uqbah ibn Aamir (Radhiyallaho anho) has said: "Rasulullah (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) came to us while we were sitting on the Suffah and asked if any one of us would like to go to the market of But-haan or Aqeeq and fetch from there two she- camels of the finest breed without commiting any sin or severing a tie of kinship. We replied that everyone of us would love to do so. Rasulullah (Sallallaho alaihe Hadhrat Abu Saeed (Radhiyallaho anho) narrates that wasallam) then said that going to the musjid and recit-Rasulullah (Sallallahotalaihe wasallam) said: "Almighty ing or teaching two ayaat of the Quran is more pre-Allah says; "If anybody finds no time for My remembrance cious than two she-camels, three ayaat are mostand for begging favours of Me, because of his remaining precious than three she-camels, and that similarly re-busy with the Holy Quran, I shall give him more than what citing or teaching of four ayaat is better than four she-I give to all those who beg favours of Me. The superiority of camels and an equal number of camels."the Word of Allah over all other words is like the super-iority of Allah over the entire creation. "Suffah" is the name of a particular raised platform in In other words, compared to those who are begging the Mosque of the Holy Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasal-favours of Allah, He will surely confer some better reward lam) in Medina. It used to be occupied by the poor Muslimon a person who remains so occupied with committing the muhajirin (Plural of muhajir-emigrant from Mecca toQuran to memory or learning and understanding it that he Medina) who are known as "Ashab-us-Suffah" (Men ofhardly gets time for dua (prayer). Suffah). The number of these men varied from time to time: Allamah Suyuti (Rahmatullah alaih) has listed one hun- It is commonly known that when a man distributes dred and one names and also written an independent book-sweets, or something else amongst others, a share is set let about their names.
20 Virtues of the Holy Quran 18 Part I (Hadith 4) 21 But-han arid Aqeeq were the two market-places for second meaning, the explanation that a n ayat is superior tocamels near Medilia. lhe camel, more particularly a she- a she-camel or he-camel does not hold good, but it impliescamel having a fat hump, was a favourite of the Arabs. a collection, i.e.. one ayat is superior to a he-camel and a she-camel considered together, and likewise every ayat is The expression "without sin" is significant. A thing superior to the combination of an equal number of he-can be acquired without labour either by extortion, through camels or she-camels. Thus a single ayat has been com-illegal inheritance (by forcefully taking over the property of pared to a pair or couple (of camels). My late father (Maysome relative) or by theft. Kasullullah (Sallallaho alaihe Allah bless his grave with Divine light) has preferred thewasallam) thus ruled out all such acquisitions. Acquiring a latter interpretation because it points to a superior virtue.thing without any sin is certainly preferred by all, but This however, does not mean that the reward of an ayat canmuch more valuable is the learning of a few ayaat. be equalled to a camel or two camels. All this is for induce- It is a clear fact that let alone one or two camels, even ment arid illustration. It has been clearly written before thatif one acquires the kingdom of all the seven continents one an ayat whose reward is permanent and enduring iswill be forced to leave it, if not today surely tomorrow (at superior and preferable even to a kingdoni over the seventhe time of death), but the reward of one ayat will be ever- continents. which is bound to disintegrate.lasting. We see even in this life that a man feels happier Mulla Ali Qari has writteri an account of a piouswhen he is given only one rupee (without the condition of Shaikh who went to Mecca for Hajj on the 9th day of Dhulreturning it), rather than if he is given one thousand rupees Hijjah--the 12th month of the Islamic calendar. When hefor keeping in his safe custody for a while only. In the landed at Jicldah, some of his friends in business requestedlatter case, he is merely burdened with a trust without get- him to prolo~ighis stav in Jiddah, so that they could earnting any benefit out of it. in fact, this hadith implies an more profit for their merchandise by virtue of his blesskdadmonition not to compare something temporary with presence. In fact thev wanted that some of the servants ofsonlething eternal. Whether in action or at rest, a man the Shaikh be benefited by the profits of their business. Atshould corisider if his efforts are being wasted on acquiring first the Shaikh expressed his inability to prolong his stay.the temporary gains of this world, or, are directed towards but when thev insisted the Shaikh asked them as to theachieving the everlasting ones. Woe be to the waste of maximum profit that they woutd earn for their goods. Theveffort for which we earn eternal misery. The last phrase of explained that the profit was r7t the same in all cases; butthe hadith "superior to a n equal number of camels" con- the maximum that they could expect was hundred pertains three meanings. First, upto the number four, the cent. The Shaikh said, "You have taken all this trouble for reward has been mentioned in detail. Beyond this, it is such a petty gain: for such ari insignificant gain. I cannotbrieflv mentioned t h d the more ayaat a person acquires, miss the salaat in the respected Harani (the most Sacredthe greater will be their superiority over the number of Mosque), where the reward of salaat gets multiplie(l onecamels. In this case, the word "camels" at the end refers to hundred thousand times." 111fact, we Muslims should con-the species-either he-camels or she-camels-and the sider how, for petty worldly gains, we s o m e ~ i m e s sacrificenumber implied is more than four because, upto the great spiritual benefits. number four. the reward has been mentioned in detail. Thesecond meaning is that the numbers mentioned are thesame as referred to earlier, the significance being that incli- nations are always different; some are fond of she-camels,others prefer a he-camel. Therefore Rasulullah (Sallallahoalaihe wasallam) has used this expression to signify that every ayat is superior to a she-camel, and if one prefers a he-camel, an ayat is also superior to a he-camel. The third meaning is that the numbers mentioned are the same as re- ferred to before and not more than four. According to the
22 Virtues of the Holy Quran 1.9 Part I (Hadith 6) 23 Iladhrat Aaishah (Kadhiyallaho anha) narrates that Hadhrat Ibn Umar (Radhiyallaho anho) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) once said. Rasulullah (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) said, "Hasad "One who is well versed in the Qilran will be in the (jealousy) is not permitted except in respect of two c:ompanv of those angels who are scrihes, noble and persons-one whom Allah blesses with recitation of righteous; and one who falters in reading the Quran, Quran and he remains engaged in it day and night, == a ar- and has to exert hard for learning, gets double the and the other who is given a lot of wealth by Allah and reward." he spends it day and night." ;$ 3 "Orie who is well versed in the Quran" means one On the authority of many ayaat of the Quran and nu- c*vho is proficierit in riiemorizitlg as well as in reciting it. It merous ahadith, hasad is an evil and is absolutely forbid- gis highly praiseworthy if one masters its meaning and sig- den. This hadith, however appears to permit hasad innifir:anc:e as well. "To be with the angels" means that, like respect of two persons. Because there are many well-knowntht? i~ngelswho transferred tlie Qura~ifrom the. Lowhul traditions dealing with hasad, the Ulama (Plural of aalim- Mahfooz (Protectetl Iablet in the Heavens), he also (:on- religious scholar) have interpreted this hadith in two ways. lovs i t to othors through its recitatioti and, therefore, both Firstly, hasad as denoted by the Arabic word ghibtah, is Ilave the salnc occupation; or that he will join the company taken here in the sense of emulation. There is a difference of such angels o n the Day of Judgement. One who faltcrs between jealousy and emulation. Hasad is a desire that one ivill get double reward-olio for his reading and the other possessing a blessing should be deprived of it: whether the tor liis effort in readi~tgthe Quran, in spite of fitltt?~.i~~g person who feels jealous acquires it or not, while emu- ag,lin atid again. It does liot rnean that liis reward will lation signifies a desire to possess a thing, whether the c:xc.eed that of a well-versed person. The reward tliot is actual owner is deprived of it or not. Since hasad is haram mt:ntioned for a well-versed person is far gleater. so nluc:h (religiously unlawful) under Ijma (consensus of opiniod), so that he ivill be in the company of special angels. The ex- the Ulama have translated, by way of metaphor, this word plii~iationis that the labour involved in faltering and tlie hasad as ghibtah, meaning emulation. Ghibtah is permiss- tlifficllltics in the reading of the Quran carry an indeperi- ible in worldly affairs and commendable in religious mat- don1 reward. As such, reading of the Qurali should not be ters. given up, even though faltering 1lliiv be ail excuse. The second interpretation is that the term hasad has M ~ ~ I 1Ali Qari has reproduc:t?cifmm the riwbyat of Ta- ;~ been used in a hypothetical sense, i.e., if hasad were per- broni and Unihaqi that one ~ ~ 1 1(:a11110t menlorizt* the 0 missible it would have been so with regard to the two per- (211ran well and yet persists i l l loarning i t by heart gets sons mentioned above. doi~blt:reward. Sitnilarly, one who cherishes a longing for 111cmorizi.ing and does not posst!ss the iibilitv to d o so, but it doc.s not give u p his efforts. will t)e reckoned by Almighty hllah atnorig the hl~ffaili!(Plural of hafiz-one who has HADITH- 6 laarnt !he whole Quran hv heart) on the Day of Kesurrec- t ion. $ r
24 Virtues of the Holy Quran Part I (Hadith 7) 25 Hadhrat Abu Musa (Radhiyallaho anho) narrated thatRasulullah (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) said: ,I > ... ,, $>&l3!& i b, $1 J$, JG J & ~ ~;r-; - +(V)U ~ 9 p "The example of a momin (believer) who reads the J . Quran is like that of citron which has a pleasant smell and a sweet taste. The example of a momin who does not read the Quran is like that of a date, which has no smell, though its taste is sweet. The munafiq (hyp- Hadhrat Umar (Radhiyal~aho anho) narrates that Ra- -is " L ocrite) who does not read the Quran is like a wild gourd, which has a bitter taste and no smell, and the sullullah (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) said: "Allah exalts many people by means of this Book (the Holy Quran), and He also degrades and disgraces many sa3 E munafiq who reads the Quran is like a raihan [sweet- others by means of the same." smelling flower), which is fragrant but has a bitter taste. " People who believe in the Holy Book and act upon it are given by Allah position of honour and respect, both in In this hadith an abstract quality of reading the Glor- this life as well as in the Hereafter, while those who do notious Quran, has been compared to concrete objects in act upon it are disgraced by Allah. This principle is alsoorder to illustrate the difference between reading and not borne out by the various ayaat of the Holy Quran. At onereading the tIoly Quran. Otherwise it is obvious that ma- place it reads:terial objects of this world like citrons and dates cannotmatch the sweetness and perfume of the Quran. There are,however, special points in this similitude, which pertain tothe deep knowledge of the Prophets and testify to the vast "He misleads many by this Book and guides manyunderstanding of Rasulullah (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam).Consider, for example, the citron, which gives flavour to thereby."the mouth, cleans the stomach and stimulates digestion. At another place we come across:These are the qualities specially associated with thereading of the Quran since, fragrance in the mouth. inter-nal purity and spiritual strength result from reading theQuran. It is also said that if there is citron in the house, no jinn can enter it. If it is true. then such is the speciality of "And We send down in the Quran that which is a the Quran. Some physicians say that citron strengthens the healing and mercy for believers, though it increases for memory and it is reported in Ihya by Hadhrat Ali (Rad- the evil-doers naught save ruin." hiyallaho anho) that three things, i.e., cleaning the teeth The Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) is also re- with miswak, fasting and reading the Holy Quran ported to have said: "Many hypocrites of this Ummat will strengthen the memory. be the qurraa, i.e., those who recite the Quran correctly." i In the book of Abu Dawood, it is mentioned at the con- 5 In Ihya-ul-Ulum it is reported ffom some Mashaaikh. "As clusion of the hadith given above that a good companion is soon as a man starts reading a surah (chapter of the Holy like a person having musk. Even if vou do not get musk, Quran), the Angels start invoking mercy for him and they you will at least enloy its fragrance. An evil companion is continue to do so till he stops reading; on the contrary an- like a person with a furnace, near whom, even if you do not other person starts reading a surah and the Angels start get blac:kened, vou certainly cannot avoid the smoke. It is, / cursing him and they continue to do so till he completes therefore. important that one should be very careful in i the reading." I choosing his companions, with whom he has to mix gener- Some scholars have stated that sometimes a man reads ally. the Holy Quran and invokes curses on himself without even knowing it. For instance, he reads in the Holy Quran: i
26 Virtues of the Htdy Quran Part I (Hadith 8 ) 27 be amaanat (trust). The third will be kinship, which shall proclaim, 0. Allah! have mercy wn the person who upheld me. and deprive him of Your merry who- "Beware, the curse of Allah is on the wrong-doers" soever severed me. "and he exposes himself to this warning because of his wrong- "Three things will be under the shade of the Arsh"doings. signifies their utmost nearness in the sublime preserlce of Allah. "The Quran will argue" nieans that it will pleacl tht: In the like manner, he reads in the Quran: cause of those people who read it, respect it and act upon its commandments. It will intercede on their behalf and solicit the upgrading of their rank. Mulla Ali Qari has tiar- b rated on the authority of Tirmizi (a book of Hadith) that. "The curse of Allah is upon the liars". in the presence of Almighty Allah, the Holy Quriin will beg Allah to grant an apparel to its reader. Almightv Allah In fact he exposes himself to the warning by reason of will give him a crown of honour. The Quran will again beghis being himself a liar. for additional favoitrs for him. Thereupon Alrnighlv All;th Aamir ibn Waathilah (Radhiyallaho anho) say$ that will award the reader a complete robe of honour. IlluHadhrat Umar (Radhivallaho anho) had appointed Naafi Quran will again beseech Allah to be pleased with him.ibn Abdul Harith as the Governor of Mecca. Once he asked and Almighty Allah will express His pleasure to him.the latter as to whom he had appointed as the administra- We find in this life that the pleasure of the belovt:d istor of forests. "Ibn Abzi" replied Naafi. "Who is Ibn-e- considered to be the most coveted gift. Similarly i l l the lifeAbzi?" said Hadhrat Umar (Radhiyallaho anho). "He is Hereafter, no bountv shall stand comparison with theone of our slaves" was the reply. "Why have you appointed pleasure of our ljeloved Alnlighty Allah. And in c a w ofa slave the ameer (leader)?" objected Hadhrat Umar (Rad- those who ignore their duty towards the Quran. i t willhiyallaho anho). "Because he recites the Book of Allah" challenge them saving, "Did you care for me? Ilid vou fullilsaid Naafi. At this, Hadhrat Umar (Radhiyallaho anho) your obligations towards me?"narrated the hadith that it had been said by Rasullullah It has been reported on the authority of Irnnrn Abu(Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) that, because of this Book. Hariifa (Rahn~atullah alaih) in Ihya that it is the clue rightAllah elevates many people and degrades many. of the Quran that it should be read completely tu ,I year. Those of us who never care to reaci the Quran shoultl first consider how they will defend themselves agilir~st such a strong plaintiff. Death is inevitable and thew (:an l)e no escape from it. i The meaning of the expression "exterior and interior of 1 t the Quran" is evident. The Quran has an apparcxlt mean- ing which can be understood by all. but the doepcr spiri- tual significance is not understood by everybody. It is in this connection that Rasulullah (Sallallaho alaihe wasal- lam) has said: "Whosoever expresses his personal opinion in respect of anything .in the d u r a n commits niistake. Hadhrat Abdur Rahman ibn Auf (Radhiyallaho anho) even if he be right in his opinion." narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) Some scholars hold that the word exterior. refers to said, ",On the Day of Judgement, three things will be its words, which can be recited properlv by evervbodv and under the shade of the Arsh (Allahs Throne). One, the the word interior, i.e., spirit, refers to its n~eanings. and its Holy Quran which will argue with men-the Quran ! underlying ideas, the understanding of which varies with has both an exterior and a n interior. The second will the ability of the readers. E I i
28 Virtues of the Holy Quran Part I (Hadith 8) 29 Hadhrat Ibn Masood (Radhiyallaho anho) said, "If vou he ignorantly rendered it thus: "On the day that We shallseek knowledge, you should meditate on the meanings of I call each people after their mothers." He supposed that thethe Quran, because it embodies the history of former as singular Arabic word imam (leader) was the plural of thewell as of latter times." It is, however, essential to observe Arabic word urnm (mother). if he had been conversantthe pre-requisites for interpreting the Quran. An unbecom- with etymology, he would have known that the plural ofing present-day fashion is that even those who possess I umm is not imam.little or no knowledge of Arabic vocabulary offer their per-sonal opinion on the basis of vernacular translations of the (4) Ishtiqaaq, i.e., derivatives, It is necessary to haveQuran. Specialists have laid down that any one atte~npti~lg 1 the knowledge of derivatives and their root words,a commentary of the Holy Quran should be well versed i11 I because if a word has been derived from two dif-fifteen subjects. These, a s briefly given below, will show ferent root words, it will have two different mean-that it is not possible for everybody to understand the ings, e.g.. the word maseeh is derivable fromunderlying significance and real meanings of the Holy masah which means to touch or to move wetQuran. hands over, and also from masaahah which means measurement. (1) Lughat, i.e., philology of language, which helps in understanding the appropriate meanings of words. (5) Ilrnul Maaani, i.e., knowledge of semantics, be- Mujahid (Kahmatullah alaih) says, "one who be- cause phrase constructions are understood from lieves in Allah and the Day of Judgement should their meanings. not open his lips in respect of the Quran, unless (6) Ilrnul Buyaan, i.e., knowledge of figures of speech, he is thoroughly conversant with the philology of like similes and metaphors, due to which express- the Arabic language. Quite often an Arabic word ions or shades of meaning or similes and meta- has several meanings. A person may be knowing phors become known. only one or two of them, though in a given context the gctual meaning may be quite different." (7) llrnul Badee, i.e., knowledge of rhetoric, the knowledge which reveals the beauty of language (2) Nahw, i.e., syntax, a branch of grammar. w11ic:h and its implications. helps in understanding the relation of a sentence with another and also of Iraab (vowel sounds) of 1 The last three are the branches of Ilmul Balaaghah the letters of a word. A change in Iraab often (knowledge of oratory), clnd are considered very important means a change in the meaning. subjects, which a cornmelltator should master, because the Glorious Quran is a perfect miracle and its amazing con- (3) Sarf. i.e., et$mology, a branch of grammar, which structions can only be understood after mastering these helps in knowing the root words and conjugations. subjects. The moaning of a word changes with the change in the root and with a change in its conjugation. (8) llmul Qirrtaah, i.e., knowledge of the art of pro- nunciation. because different methods of recita- Ibri Faris (Rahmatullah alaih) says, "One who loses the ti011 sc~metimesconvey different meanings, anciknowledge of etymology loses a great deal." Allamah so~nekimes one meaning is to be preferred over theZamakhshari (Rahmatullah alaih) mentions that, when a other.certain person set to translate the ayat- (9) IlmuJ Aqaaid, i.e., knowledge of the fundamentals of faith. This is necessarv to explain certain ana- logies. The literal meaning of certain ayaat refer- ring to Almighty Allah is not the correct one. For example, the analogy in the ayat-- On the day that We shall call each and every people after their leader,
Virtues of the Holy Quran Part I (Hadith 8 ) 31 be kind to him) when he was asked by the people if he had received from Kasulullah (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) any special knowledge or instructions which were not received (The hand of Allah is over their hands) by others. Hadhrat Ali (Radhiyallaho anho) said, "I swearwill have to be explained because Allah has no physical by Him Who made the Paradise and created life that 1 pos-hands. sess nothing special, except the clear understanding which Almighty Allah bestows upon a person i l l respect of the (10) Usoolul Fiqh i.e., Prin~iplesof Islamic Jurispru- Quran." dence. These are necessary for reasoning out and finding arguments in the basic support of state- Ibri Abid Dunyaa (Rahmatullah alaih) says that the ments. knowledge of the Holy Quran and that which can bc de- rived out of it are as vast s s a boundless ocean. (11)Asbaabun Nuzool, i.e., the particular circum- stances which caused revelation. The meaning of The branches of knowledge described above are like an ayat will be better understood if we know how tools, i.e. essential pre-requisite for a c.ommentator. A com- arid when it had been revealed. Someti~nesthe mentary written by a person who is not thoroughly ac- true meaning of an ayat is understood only if we quainted with these branches of knowledge will be based know the circumstances in which the ayat had on his personal opinion, which is prohibited. The Sahabah been revealed. (Companions of the Holy Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasal- lam) already had Arabic language as their mother-tongue, (12) An Naasikh wal Mansookh, i.e., knowledge of and they reached the depth of the rest of the knowledge by commandments that have subsequently been abro- means of their illuminati~lg contact that they had with Ra- gated or changed. so that abrogated command- sulullah (Sallallaho alaihe-wasallam). ments may be distinguished from the standing ones. Allamah Suyuti says that those who think that it is beyond the capacity of a man to acquire Wahbi ilm, or (13) IImul Fiqh, i.e., knowledge of Islamic Jurispru- gifted understanding, are not right. To get this k~iowledge dence, because it is only through this knowledge from Allah, one should adopt the means to this end, e.g., that we arrive at a complete understanding of gen- acting upon the kllowledge that one has acquired, and dis- eral principles. inclination towards the world. (14) Knowledge of such ahadith that happen to be com- It is stated in Keemiyaa-e-Saaadat that three persons mentary on cerfain brief verses of the Quran. are not blessed with complete understanding of the Quran. (15) The last but most important is the Wahbi ilm, or First, one who is not well versed in Arabic, seco~ldly, one the gifted understanding, bestowed by Almighty who persists in committing a major sin or indulges in act of Allah upon Ilis selected ones, as is referred in the religious innovation, because these actions blacken his hadith- heart, which in turn prevents him from understanding the Quran. Thirdly, one who is a rationalist, even in the niatter of faith, and feels enibarassed when he reads an ayat of the Qura~i which he is not able to fully rationalize. Whosoever acts upon what he knows, Almighty Allah bestows upon him the knowledge of things not known to him. . It is this special understanding that was implied in thereply of Hadhrat Ali (Karramallaahu wajhahu) (may Allah May Allah protect us from all such sins and evils.
32 Virtues of the Holy Quran Part I (Hadith 9 ) 33 HADITH 9 (1) The letters of the alphabets should be correctly ut- tered to ensure their correct pronunciation so that (b) is not read as (b) and (Lb) and so on. (2) Stopping correctly at the pauses, so that the join- 25 ing or finishing of the verses may not take place at inappropriate places. 5. : m& (3) The correct pronunciation of the vowel sounds. I-Iadhrat Abdullah ibn Amr (Radhiyallaho anho) re- ports that Rasulullah (Sallallaho alihe wasallam) said: (4) Raising the voice slightly so that the words of gg 3 h "On the Day of Judgement, it will be said to the Man Quran uttered by the mouth. may reach the ears devoted to the Quran, Go on reciting the Quran and and thus influence the heart. continue ascending the storeys of Jannat (Paradise) and (5) Setting the sound in a way that it may become full recite in the slow manner you had been reading in of pathos and may affect the heart quickly, be- worldly life; your final abode will be where you reach cause a pathetic voice influences the heart at once, at the time c)f the last ayat of your recitation." i moves and strengthens the soul more affectively. "The man of Quran" apparently means a hafiz. Mulla The physicians are of the opinion that if a medicine is re-Ali Qari has explained it fully that this honour is reserved quired to affect the heart quickly, it should be given afor. a!hafiz, and that this hadith does not apply to one who sweet smell by means of a perfume, for the heart is sensi-reads by looking into the Holy Book. First, because the tive to sweet smell and if the medicine is required to affectwords "Man of Quran" point towards a hafiz and secondly the liver, it should be sweetened with sugar because thethere is a tradition in Musnad Ahmad- liver likes sweet things. Therefore, if a perfume is used at the time of recitation, it will have a better influence on the heart. Till he reads of whatever Quran is with him. This word more clearly refers to a hafiz, although a I (6) Tashdeed ( (5) ) (doubling of letters) and madd ( (3) ) (prolongation of letters) should be fully pro- nounced because this reveals the grandeur of thereader who remains very often engaged in reciting the Quran and adds to its effectiveness.Quran inay also be implied. ( 7 ) As stated earlier, the readers heart should respond It is written in ~ i 6 a a tthat this hadith does not apply to the ayat indicating mercy of Allah or chastise-to a reader who is accursed by the Quran. This is with re- ment by Him.ference to the hadith that there are many readers of the The aboce-me~~tioned seven rules constitute the cor-Quran who read the Quran but the Quran invokes curses rect way of reciting the Quran, which is called tarteel, andupon them. Therefore, the reading of Quran by a person the sole object of all this is to reach the correct understand-who does not adhere to the correct tenets does not consti- ing and grasp of the deeper meaning of the Holy Quran.tutc ar! argument that he is acceptable to Allah. Many Aha-dith of this type relate to the Khawarij (a sect who were Hadhrat Umm-e-Salamah (Radhiyallaho anha) wasopposed to Hadhrat Ali (Radhiyallaho anho). once askecl by someone as to how Rasulullah (Sallallaho aleihe wasallam) used to recite Quran. She said, "In a way In this conimentary, Shah Abdul Aziz (Rahmatullah that all vowel sounds were clear and the pronunciation ofalaih) has written that tarteel literally means reading with each letter was distinct." It is desirable to recite the Qurangood and clear pronunciation, while according to Islamic with propriety even if one may not understand the mean-p r i ~ c i p l e s it means reading in accordance with certain I ing. Ibn Abbas (Radhiyallaho anho) said that he preferredr d e s as follows: I
34 Virtues of the Holy Quran Part I (Hadith 10) 35to recite with propriety, short surahs like Al-Qaariah ( (kpk) ) without. But this hadith points to another kind of elevationor Izaa zulzilah (+)j i!))rather than to recite (otherwise which is a type of an inner experience and is related to the recitation being with proprietv or without it. So a personlong) surahs like Aal-e-Imran ((dl& ~i,) without it. will be able to read in the same way as he reads in this = The commentators and learned scholars explain the worldly life. Mullah Ali Qari (Rahmatullah alaih) has quoted from one hadith that, if a person reads the Quranabove-mentioned hadith to mean that, for each ayat recited.the reciter will be elevated to a higher level in Paradise. very often in this life, he will remember it in the life Here- ;gFrom other ahadith, it appears that there are as many levels after, otherwise he will forget it. May Allah help us there. .gg hxin Paradise as the number of ayaat in the Holy Quran. There are many among us who memorized the Quran inTherefore, the status of a persori will be raised by as many their childhood through the religious zeal of their parents,levels in Paradise as the number of ayaat in which he is bu! through sheer carelessness and negligence on their ownwell versed. As such, the one best versed in the whole part, have forgotten this capability in the later part of thisQuran will reach the highest level in Paradise. very life. It is mentioned in other ahadith that one who dies while labouring and working hard to commit the Glorious According to Mulla Ali Qari, it is mentioned in a Quran to memory, will be reckoned amongst the huffaaz.hadith that there is no level in Jannat higher than that Allahs bounty has no limits. We should only seek it. As agiven to the reader of the Quran. So the readers will poet says:ascend in proportion to the number of ayaat recited bythem in the world. Allamah Daani (Rahmatullah alaih)says that authorities agree that there are six thousand ayaatin the Quran. But there is some difference of opinion aboutthe numbers over and above six thousand. These are vari-ously reportedto be 2 0 4 , 1 4 , 1 9 , 2 5 , 3 6 . 0 Shaheedi! His bounties are common for all, You It is written in Sharhul-Ihya that each ayat corre- could not be denied [these bounties), if you were allsponds to a higher level in Paradise. So a reader will be worthy.asked to ascend according to his recitation. One who readsthe whole of the Quran will attain the highest level in Par- HADITH 10adise. And one who knows only a part of the Quran willrise up to the proportionate level. In brief, the stage or levelreached will be fixed by the number of ayaat recited. According to my understanding, the above hadith has a different meaning- Hadhrat Ibn Masood (Radhiyallaho anho) narrates that Rasullullah (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) said, "Whoso- ever reads one letter of the Rook of Allah is credited (If my interpretation is corect, it is from Allah and, if it with one blessing and one blessing is equal t o ~ ~ e n f o l d the like thereof in its reward. 1 do not say that @Jl (Alif is wrong, it is from me and from Satan, and Allah and His Prophet are free from it.) Laam Meem) is one letter, but (9 (alif)is one letter, (J, (laam) is one letter, and (r) (meem) is one letter." I think that the elevation implied in this hadith is not The hadith affirms that whereas, ordinarily for the pur-that which can be determined by the number of ayat to berecited. i.e., when one ayat be recited, the status will be pose of reward an act as a whole is taken into account butraised by one step, whether it be read with propriety or in the case of Quran it is not so, parts also count. Thus, in