By Dr. Muhammad Waseh Zafar
Translated from Urdu by Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam
28 June 2022
Ways to Meditation, Thinking and Reasoning in the Holy Quran
1. Allah commands people to consider the wisdom of His commands so that they may comprehend them fully.
2. The Quran promotes learning about jurisprudence (Fiqh) and purification (Tazkiyyah).
3. The Quran calls for thinking over the Past Nations
Thinking over the Commandments
The fifth way of contemplation is prescribed by the verses in which Allah commands people to consider the wisdom of His laws so that they may comprehend them fully and put them into practical use in their daily lives.
See for example:
“They ask you about wine and gambling. Say, "In them is great sin and [yet, some] benefit for people. But their sin is greater than their benefit." And they ask you what they should spend. Say, "The excess [beyond needs]." Thus Allah makes clear to you the verses [of revelation] that you might give thought.” (2:219)
After speaking about the laws of retribution (qisas), Allah Almighty said:
“And there is for you in legal retribution [saving of] life, O you [people] of understanding, that you may become righteous.” (2:179)
He Almighty similarly described the element of fasting concession:
“[Fasting for] a limited number of days. So whoever among you is ill or on a journey [during them] - then an equal number of days [are to be made up]. And upon those who are able [to fast, but with hardship] - a ransom [as substitute] of feeding a poor person [each day]. And whoever volunteers excess - it is better for him. But to fast is best for you, if you only knew.” (2:184)
He Almighty said in connection with Friday prayers:
“O you who have believed, when [the adhan] is called for the prayer on the day of Jumu'ah [Friday], then proceed to the remembrance of Allah and leave trade. That is better for you if you only knew.” (62:9)
There are other verses on this subject, such as Al-Baqarah: 185, 230, 240, 241 and 282, Surah Nisa: 23-26, Surah Maida: 89-100, Surah An’am:119, Surah Ankabut: 45, Surah Hashr: 7 etc.
These verses promote learning about jurisprudence (Fiqh) and purification (Tazkiyyah), in which the arguments of the divine commands and spirit are discussed. But one should look for Sufi knowledge that is based on the Qur'an and the Sunnah rather than inventions (Bid'at) and superstitions.
Thinking over the Past Nations
The verses, which ask us to think about the methods of God Almighty, which permeated among the nations throughout the epochs of history, reveal the sixth method of meditation:
“Have they not seen how many generations We destroyed before them which We had established upon the earth as We have not established you? And We sent [rain from] the sky upon them in showers and made rivers flow beneath them; then We destroyed them for their sins and brought forth after them a generation of others.” (6:6)
“And the thunder exalts [Allah] with praise of Him - and the angels [as well] from fear of Him - and He sends thunderbolts and strikes there with whom He wills while they dispute about Allah; and He is severe in assault. To Him [alone] is the supplication of truth. And those they call upon besides Him do not respond to them with a thing, except as one who stretches his hands toward water [from afar, calling it] to reach his mouth, but it will not reach it [thus]. And the supplication of the disbelievers is not but in error [i.e. futility].” (13:13-14)
This guideline for believers is expressed elsewhere:
“Allah has promised those who have believed among you and done righteous deeds that He will surely grant them succession [to authority] upon the earth just as He granted it to those before them and that He will surely establish for them [therein] their religion which He has preferred for them and that He will surely substitute for them, after their fear, security, [for] they worship Me, not associating anything with Me. But whoever disbelieves after that - then those are defiantly disobedient.” (24:55)
There are other verses on this subject such as: Surah Aal-e-Imran: 137-138, Surah An'am:11, SurahAl-A'raf: 96, 136-137, Surah Hud: 18-20, Surah Yusuf: 109, Surah Hajj: 40-41, Surah Naml: 69, Surah Qisas: 4-6, Surah Rum: 9 etc.
These verses encourage the study of global history in order to comprehend the ways in which God Almighty interacted with earlier civilizations. To put it another way, what causes a nation to rise and develop, and what causes a nation to decline? Achieving the highest level of advancement and prosperity is possible if one is aware of these variables through historical research since, as the Qur'an states in the aforementioned verses, Allah Almighty's ways never alter.
It should be remembered that the universe's accidents and changes, which scientists refer to as the Law of Nature, are continuations of the ways of Allah Almighty. In reality, science is the process of comprehending and explaining the beauties of these aspects of Allah, or the "natural laws."
These details imply that the Quran has extended a reflection invitation to man. This arrangement exemplifies the benefits of meditation in daily life. This self-examination and reflection create the space for scientific investigation. According to the Quranic perspective, he will find himself immersed in a great ocean of knowledge no matter how he directs his thoughts. Since a Muslim is its special addressee, it is imperative for him to demonstrate his abilities in these fields, which have been highlighted in the above lines under various subheadings, and to avoid wasting one's abilities in other inappropriate and useless fields. Therefore, this emphasis on the reflection of the Holy Qur'an is actually an invitation to knowledge and research that has been given to all human beings.
The Quran does not distinguish between religion and the outside world in terms of knowledge. The only thing promoted is an advantage of knowledge. As a result, the person who seeks the aforementioned knowledge does so with the intention of understanding Allah's power and craftsmanship, finding the signs of Allah that are scattered throughout the cosmos, and helping His creatures, especially the human world, with the ultimate goal of obtaining divine pleasure. If he follows through, his actions will be in accordance with Islam, making him eligible for all of the advantages of knowledge outlined in the Quran and Hadith. There was no such knowledge division in the past, not even in our religious seminaries and schools.
The Quranic verses, which encourage reflection and thinking with the necessary knowledge and which brought Muslims to the apex of knowledge and progress and also led to the European Renaissance which is also acknowledged by Western thinkers, served as an inspiration for the intellectual capital that was created through the efforts of Muslim scholars in the fields of jurisprudence, commentary, principles of commentary, hadith, principles of hadith, mysticism, lexicography, history, as well as various sciences and mathematics.
Unfortunately, the majority of Muslims began to value different scientific fields rather than the Quran as their source of guidance. As a result, they began to decline, and today, despite having the second-largest population in the world, they have no impact anywhere else. The community that formerly acted as the imam for other nations now is now looking at others for every knowledge.
Part 1 of the Article: What Does The Quran Teach Us About Meditation, Thinking, And Reasoning?
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