Saturday, May 2, 2009

Tilawa of the Qur'an

The most important nourishment for the qalb or heart is the Qur'an. Those who lived in the time of the Prophet received their training and inspiration from the Qur'an. It was their guide, their light and their leader. Likewise, it must be your constant companion.

The Qur'an contains a treasure house of soul-stirring inspiration and wisdom. We can and should spend hours in understanding the Qur'an. There are thousands of pages of tafsir or Quranic exegesis to read. But we must know that the real test of benefiting from the Quran lies somewhere else. The Qur'an says that when people really listen to it, their faith must increase:

Believers are those who, when God is mentioned, feel a tremor in their heart, and whenever His Messages are conveyed to them their faith is strengthened.
[Surah al-Anfal 8: 2.]

Where there is a fire, there is smoke. If the 'fire' of iman has been lit inside the heart, there must be smoke, and you will see that those who truly listen to the Qur'an, their eyes begin to well up with tears which trickle down their cheeks.

Nowadays, when we listen to the Qur'an or read it, our hearts are not moved, nor do our lives change. It is as if water is felling on a rock and flowing away. Our task is to replace this hard rock with soft absorbent soil so that the Qur'an may nourish the seed that has been planted. We should always study the Qur'an as if it is being revealed to us today. One of the greatest injustices we do to the Qur'an is that we read it as if it were something of the past and of no relevance to the present.

Remember that the whole purpose of the man is to guide you and to change you by bringing you into submission to Allah. As you read it, also try to live by what it invites you to. If it does not have any impact upon your actions and if you do not observe what it enjoins and avoid what it prohibits, then you are not getting anywhere nearer the Qur'an. In fact, one who reads the Qur'an and does not try to act upon it may be more likely to be cursed and punished by Allah. The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said:

Many of the hypocrites in my Ummah will be from among the reciters.

He is not a Believer in the Qur'an who makes halal or lawful what has been made haram or prohibited.

It is also narrated that many Companions, like Uthman and Abdullah ibn Masud, once they learnt ten verses from the Prophet did not move further unless they had `learnt' it fully both in understanding and in action; that is how they sometimes spent years in learning only one surah or chapter.

If you sincerely start changing your life according to the Qur'an, Allah will certainly help you and make the path easy for you. Allah reassures us in the Quran:

Those who say, 'Our Lord is Allah,' and continue upon the straight way, the angels descend upon them: Do not fear, nor be grieved, and receive glad tidings of the Garden which you were promised. We are your supporters in this world and in the Hereafter. And for you therein is whatever your souls desire, and for you therein is whatever you ask for.'
[Surah al-Fussilat 41:30-31.]

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