By Dr Israr Ahmed
April 7, 2017
THE pathetic and disastrous condition of the Muslim Ummah throughout the world is due to its abandoning of the Holy Quran. The constant attitude of indifference, along with our hypocritical lip-service, is tantamount to ridiculing the last of Allah’s revelations. Instead, we must clearly understand our responsibilities towards the Holy Quran and try our very best to fulfil them. We can neither expect any improvement in our worldly state of affairs, nor hope for salvation in the Hereafter, unless we carry out all the obligations that we owe to the Quran.
A Muslim is required to believe in the Quran. He is required to read and understand it. He is required to act upon its teachings and convey its teachings to others. A Muslim must have faith (Iman) in the Divine origin of the Quran. Iman has two phases: verbal profession (Iqrar Bil-Lisan), and heart-felt conviction (Tasdeeq Bil-Qalb). To have faith in the Quran means that we should verbally profess that the Quran is the Word of Almighty Allah that was revealed by Him through His angel Jibrael (AS) to the last of His messengers, the Prophet (PBUH). This is a legal requirement for the acceptance of a person as a member of the Muslim society.
Having done that, however, we also need to develop a deeply felt certitude in the Quran. It is only when we have real conviction in this verbal declaration, that our hearts and minds would come under its spell, leading us towards genuine devotion and veneration of the Holy Book. Its absence is the reason why we neither find any reverence for the Quran in our hearts, nor feel inclined to study it, nor evince any interest in pondering over its meanings, nor ever think of seeking its guidance in conducting our lives.
If the Book is studied and its meanings are pondered upon in an authentic quest for truth, all the veils of darkness shall be lifted from our heart. It might be asked as to how we can acquire true faith. The answer is that the source of Iman is the Holy Quran itself. If the Book is studied and its meanings are pondered upon in an authentic quest for truth, all the veils of darkness shall be lifted from our heart, and the inner self – the soul – will get illuminated by the light of true faith. Note that faith is not something that can be planted in us from the outside. It is an embodiment of fundamental truths that already exist inside us; the practice of pondering over the ayahs of the Quran serves to bring them to the surface of our consciousness.
The second obligation is slow and thoughtful reading of the Holy Quran with correct pronunciation, generally described as Tilawat, Tarteel, and Tajweed. Note that Tilawat is not only an important form of worship, but it is also an effective method of continually refreshing our faith.
The Quran is not a book to be read once; it is a book that needs to be read again and again. We must read it carefully, reflecting on its messages, constantly seeking guidance for our lives. Just as our material body is in constant need of food for its sustenance, our spiritual soul (or Rooh) is also in perpetual need for its nourishment. And while the food for our bodies is derived from the earth, the nutrition for our souls is obtained from the Word of Allah, the Holy Quran itself.