By Sirajuddin Aziz
May 10, 2019
THE Holy Quran is the last and final scripture, revealed to the Last Prophet (PBUH). The revelation was spread over 23 years. The book is the ‘criterion’ and ‘guidance’ for mankind, clearly establishing and distinguishing truth from falsehood. “There hath come to you from Allah a (new) light and a perspicuous book” (V-15). The subsequent verse goes to explain what effect the reading and understanding of the ‘book’ (light) has, “wherewith Allah guide all, who seek His good pleasure, to ways of peace and safety, and leadeth them out of darkness by His will unto the light — guideth them to a path that is straight” (V-16) Allah exhorts mankind in verse 121 of the second chapter, to study the Quran and confirms that those rejecting the book, do so to their own peril and disadvantage. “Those to whom we have sent the book study it, as it should be studied; they are the ones that believe therein; those who reject faith therein, the loss is their own.”
Since the Holy Quran has the unique distinction of being the last revealed message, it owing to its comprehensiveness, was revealed in stages to the Holy Prophet.” We send down (stage by stage) in the Quran that which is a healing and mercy to those who believe; to the unjust it causes nothing but loss after loss.” (XVII-82). Abdullah Yusuf Ali interpreting this verse says,” In Allah’s revelation there is healing for our broken spirits, hope for our spiritual future and joy in the forgiveness of our sins”. Those who complain of distress and depression need only to revert to the recitation and understanding of the Holy Quran. It offers to sooth the turbulent mind and brings peace to tormented souls, for indeed in Quran is healing and healing of both the physical and spiritual ailments, that beset, humanity. The power and glory of the word of Allah is stated, “Had we sent down this Quran on a mountain, verily thou would have seen it humble itself and cleave, asunder for fear of Allah” (LIX: 21). At another place in the Quran it is stated that when Allah only partially manifested His “Nur” (light), the mount crumbled to become dust.
As Muslims, when we believe, with unshakable resolve, this verse, do we need to depend on anything that shows itself to be a worldly power? Allah Subhanahu Tala, in His infinite mercifulness, recognizes the inability of man to complete recitation of the Holy Quran, in a single sitting. Since recitation is almost equivalent to prayer, hence it also is not to be taken as a burden. In chapter Muzammil, Verse 20, Allah exhorts, “…read ye, therefore of the Quran as much as may be easy for you. He knoweth that there may be (some) among you in ill health, others travelling through land, seeking of Allah’s bounty, yet others fighting in Allah’s cause. Read ye, therefore as much of the Quran as may be easy for you…” (LXXIII: 20). Whilst the Quran contains the legal charter of life, it is however, not difficult to understand. In fact, there are many verses oft repeated that allude, to this aspect. In Surah Qamar alone, the verse “and we have indeed made Quran easy, to understand and remember, then is there any that will receive admonition” (LIV: 17) is repeated four times.
From the several verses that expound upon the virtues of attending the recitation of the Holy Quran, coupled with its understanding, we can deduce that, we as Muslims, must refer to the Quran, as a standard operating manual that provides us guidance on how to lead life in the temporal world while also simultaneously securing an honourable station in the Hereafter. Whilst, it is preferable to recite and understand the Holy Quran in Arabic; but if Arabic language is not understood, then it is best to recite the Book in Arabic and together read its translation in a language that is clearly understood. The practice is to read it in small measure, but it is important to make it a habit to recite and read it every day. May Allah bless the Ummah with better and quality understanding of His book. (Ameen)
Sirajuddin Aziz is Chief Executive Officer of a financial institution.