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When to Contemplate the Qur’an?

Should they declare Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) a king or should they kill him? The pagans of Makkah did not know what to do to refute this phenomenon, Islam, which they claimed was aiming at sweeping their ranks and estranging fathers from their sons and husbands from their wives. It had to come to an end. Secular Offers

Abu Al-Waleed `Utbah ibn Rabi`ah said to the pagans, “Let me finish this once and for all.” He found the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) sitting near the Ka`bah. He approached and said, “O Muhammad.” The Prophet turned to him, acknowledged him, and listened attentively.

`Utbah began, “Why do you persist in this message you are calling to? Is it riches you desire? If so, we shall make you the richest amongst us. Is it women you desire? If so, we shall marry you to the fairest of our women. Do you find illness in your mind? If so, we shall bring you the best of doctors.”

When Al-Waleed had exhausted the offers, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) asked him politely, “Have you said all you wanted to say, Abu Al-Waleed? “ `Utbah said, “Yes.”

Then, in the sweetest recitation, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) began reciting from the beginning of Surat Fussilat:

[Ha Mim! A Revelation from (Allah), Most Gracious, Most Merciful; A Book of which the verses are made plain, an Arabic Quran for a people who know: A herald of good news and a warner, but most of them turn aside so they hear not. And they say: Our hearts are under coverings from that to which you call us, and there is a heaviness in our ears, and a veil hangs between us and you, so work, we too are working. ] (Fussilat 41:1–5)

`Utbah’s eyes widened as he listened to the recitation of the Prophet to whom the Qur’an was revealed. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) continued reciting until he came to the following verse:

[But if they turn aside, then say: I have warned you of a scourge like the scourge of Ad and Thamood. When their messengers came to them from before them and from behind them, saying, Serve nothing but Allah, they said: If our Lord had pleased He would certainly have sent down angels, so we are surely unbelievers in that with which you are sent. ] (Fussilat 41:13)

Hearing this verse, `Utbah, terrified, leaped forward, and covered the Prophet’s mouth for fear that the sa`iqah (destructive awful torment) would befall them right then and there.

A Message Waiting for You!

Coming to back to the 21st century, you turn on your computer, and a signal flashes on your screen says “You have 1 message waiting.” Is it your friend? Has that online order been shipped? You are too eager to wait. Or is that “annoying mailing list” that sends out a verse-a-day that many delete without having a look?

There is an unread message waiting for us, Muslims. It is the noble Qur’an. And its author is Allah, our Creator!

All Muslims worldwide should ask themselves the following question: Why did Allah reveal the Qur’an? Many Muslims will respond without hesitation, “The Qur’an was revealed to bless us.” But is that the correct response? The Qur’an is blessed, and blessed is he who recites it. However, reading the following verse carefully, we shall find out that this “blessedness” is not the main aim of revealing the Qur’an. Almighty Allah says,

[(It is) a Book We have revealed to you abounding in good that they may ponder over its verses, and that those endowed with understanding may be mindful. ] (Saad 38:29)

Blessedness (barakah in Arabic) is a characteristic of the Qur’an, not the purpose of revelation. The purpose of revelation is to contemplate and act upon its verses.

The misconception of using the Qur’an as a means of blessing in Muslims’ lives has many manifestations.

Many Muslim families are eager to have their children read the Qur’an in Arabic once, only once, in their lifetime. Other Muslims print their Qur’ans in 30 separate parts so that they can recite it when someone dies.

Another manifestation is that when some wealthy person dies, his family donates US$100,000 from their inheritance to print a million copies of pocket-size Surat Ya-Sin, so that they can get blessedness or barakah from those who recite from these copies.

Those Muslims are misunderstanding the role of the Qur’an in their lives, and the message that is still waiting to be read.

Truth in Its Purest Form

The Qur’an is true. Falsehood cannot touch it. Almighty Allah says,

[Falsehood shall not come to it from before it nor from behind it — a revelation from the Wise, the Praised One. ] (Fussilat 41:42)

The Qur’an is the straight path that Muslims ask for many times in their everyday Prayers by imploring Allah, saying,

[Show us the straight way. ] (Al-Fatihah 1:6)

To know that [straight way ], Muslims just need to turn the very next page, and then they will discover the straight path. Allah, the Exalted, begins the Qur’an by speaking about His Book wherein there is no doubt, and then He characterizes it, saying,

[This is the Book; in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear Allah. ] (Al-Baqarah 2:2)

The Qur’an is Allah’s rope that Muslims are ordered to hold fast to:

[And hold fast by the rope (covenant) of Allah all together and be not disunited. ] (Aal `Imran 3:103)

The Qur’an Is the Best Speech

[Allah has revealed the best statements, a book conformable in its various parts, repeating, whereat do shudder the skins of those who fear their Lord; then their skins and their hearts become pliant to the remembrance of Allah. ] (Az-Zumar 39:23)

Knowing this, would Muslims listen to the message attentively? Would they listen to Allah’s message with such passion?

The Qur’an is abandoned in a Muslim’s life when he or she does not believe in it anymore. When he or she prefers listening and watching 135 channels by satellite, but if the Qur’an were to accidentally play, he or she would not listen to it, or perhaps rush to shut it off.

In Ramadan, we had good brothers here at Dar As-Salam Mosque. They led the Tarawih Prayers, recited the Qur’an, and made du`aa’, and once in a while, tears overtake the words they recite. A brother came up to me with a sheet of paper and a pen in his hands and, with misty eyes, said, “Muhammad, I want you to translate for me everything the imam says in his du`aa’.”

Caught off guard, I shrugged and said, “You want me to translate the whole thing here in the hallway?” He replied, “Yes, because we are Muslim too. If it makes the imam cry, it would make us cry too, if we only knew what it means!” As he spoke, tears overtook him. The words locked in my mind, and I thought, “If only we knew what it meant!”

How Is the Qur’an Abandoned?

In the Qur’an, Almighty Allah says,

(And the Messenger will say, “O my Lord! Lo! My people have treated this Qur’an as a forsaken thing.”) (Al-Furqan 25:30)

  1. The Qur’an is abandoned in a Muslim’s life when he or she does not believe in it anymore. When he or she prefers listening and watching 135 channels by satellite, but if the Qur’an were to accidentally play, he or she would not listen to it, or perhaps rush to shut it off.
  2. It is also abandoned when a Muslim does not care to learn Allah’s message in the Qur’an.
  3. It can be also abandoned when a Muslim leaves its laws and turns instead to the laws laid down by men to dictate justice to him.

For those Muslims whose hearts are so hard that they do not feel any spirituality, there is a striking verse in the Qur’an, in which Allah the Almighty says,

[Has not the time yet come for those who believe that their hearts should be humble for the remembrance of Allah and what has come down of the truth and that they should not be like those who were given the Book before?) (Al-Hadid 57:16)

This verse is an admonishment from Allah that Muslims’ hearts are not responding to the Qur’an. Allah is telling Muslims that it is their fault when they do not feel that spirituality. How much time has passed since you last contemplated the Qur’an? 20 years? Fifty years? When are we to contemplate?

`Uqbah ibn `Amir (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated:

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) once came to us while we were sitting on the suffah (a place in the Prophet’s Mosque that was specialized for the poor) and asked,

“Would any of you like to go to the market of Buthan or Al-`Aqeeq [two marketplaces that sold camels near Madinah] and bring two she-camels of the finest breed without committing any sin or severing a tie of any kinship?” We replied, “Every one of us would love to do so.” The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) then said, “Going to the mosque and reciting or teaching two verses of the Qur’an is more precious than two she-camels. Three verses are more precious than three she-camels. Similarly, reciting or teaching four verses is better than four she-camels and an equal number of camels.” (Muslim, Ahmad, and Abu Dawud)

Muhammad Ash-Shareef

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