Alif-Lãm-Ra. These are the verses of the clear Book. Indeed, We have sent it down as an Arabic Quran so that you may understand. [Surah Yusuf 12:2]
I want to imagine a situation. Picture the person you most love in your life – it could be your mother, wife, little sister, son, daughter or your best friend. Now this person has to move to another country and they learnt another language which is foreign to you. A long time passes where you have no contact – no phone call, no email, voicenote, nothing. And your heart aches from their absence. A year passes and then another and another. After a long time, you are amazed to see a letter come through your letterbox and its made out to you by name and you can see from the foreign stamps its coming from their country. You’re so overjoyed, you rip open the letter, not even sitting out of the desperation to hear from your beloved. But when you open this letter up, you cant understand it. Its all in the foreign language they have now made their own. How far would you go to understand that message? Translators, googling for hours online to piece it together, downloading apps to help you learn this language so that you can pore over each word.
Many of us, if we have lived away from home, remember that you would get a letter, sometimes a recorded tape and these days of course, pictures, a voicenote or message from someone you love. As a prison volunteer, I see these messages in cells, lying on desks and bedsides often read and carried from chamber to chamber. How you would play it again and again and laugh as you recalled that moment, reflected on their words and were consumed by their love.
I’m telling you now that your most important message properly hasn’t even been read. The Qur’an. When I teach my classes, I often ask new students who’s read Harry Potter and what happens in it – they go on to recount, with a big smile, the story in summary in a simple paragraph or two and only stop talking out of courtesy because they want to share more. Then I ask them what who’s read the Qur’an and can tell me what happens in it? Pin-drop silence and uncomfortable stares.
A message from your Beloved!
Yes, Allah(SWT) has sent you a message – a personal message that you will hear when you tune in and read this Qur’an. Part of its miracle is that it talks to you and just like Google maps, it gives you a personalised journey to return to your Beloved.
People may hurt you, but its only Allah(SWT) who can really heal you – the deepest of wounds, losses and grief are lessened over time, other blessings and His guidance.
People may humiliate you, but you take a moment to remember Allah(SWT) and He(SWT) will amplify your name and remembrance to the angels and the creation.
People will leave you, but the One who sustains your every moment – Allah(SWT), the One who gives you air to breathe, a mind to appreciate and a heart to feel, never leaves you even for a moment. He(SWT) was there at your first and will be there at your last. He(SWT) is witness to what you did when alone and what you do in public. He(SWT) watches over you and responds to your calls on Him.
People may judge you, but only Allah(SWT) knows what is seated in your heart and understands you.
And what about your challenges? Allah(SWT) allows you to taste the bitterness of this world so that you can fully appreciate the sweetness of faith. Be patient, for what has been written for you has been written by the greatest of writers.
Not once did Allah(SWT) say “Worry about it” or “Stress over it”, rather He(SWT) said “Trust me”.
Imam Ghazali said in Ihya that
“The sign of loving Allah is loving the Qur’an;
the sign of loving the Qur’an is loving the Prophet (SAW) and loving the Sunnah;
the sign of loving the Sunnah is loving the hereafter;
the sign of loving the hereafter is being averse to the worldly life;
the sign of being averse to the worldly life is only consuming from it [his] needs and what will deliver [him] to the hereafter.”
Don’t abandon this
Allah(SWT) gives us a description on the day of Judgement about those who did wrong in this life. They will full of regret – crying, wailing, holding their head, biting their hands. They’ll be saying “If only I had taken a path alongside the Messenger” – if only lived a lifestyle like him rather than taking Bill Gates, Messi or Ronaldo.
The aayah goes on to describe when the Messenger has cried, “O my Lord! My people have indeed abandoned this Quran.” [Surah al Furqan 25:30]
This Qur’an, it’s right here in our hands but the final word is here “Mahjoora” is connected to the word hijrah – to migrate away from something, not just put it aside but left it way, way behind. By the way, this does not mean that they have stopped reading it. The Prophet (SAW) said, “There will be a time when knowledge disappears.” I said, “O Messenger of Allah, how can knowledge disappear when we read the Quran and will teach it to our children until the Day of Resurrection?” The Prophet said, “May your mother be bereft of you, Ziyad! I thought you were the wisest man in Medina. Do not these Jews and Christians read the Torah and the Gospel, but they do not act upon what is in them?” [Sunan Ibn Mājah 4048]
If we’re reciting it but its not having an impact on our behaviour and character, this too is abandoned. Do we love this more than Fifa, Fortnight, Netflix or Instagram?
These people did not regard the Qur’an as worthy of their consideration: they neither accepted it nor followed it. This is the case even if we heard and our heart is moved on hearing this, but we didn’t change our actions.
One of our teachers would say in Urdu “Sun, sun ke sunni haw gai he” they hear so much, they don’t hear anything. That “yes, yes, I know that already” approach – if its not as entertaining as a UFC match or a social media dare, we don’t have time for things.
Jubayr ibn Mut’am reported: We were with the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, and he said, “Do you not bear witness that there is no God but Allah without any partner, that I am the messenger of Allah, and that the Quran has come from Allah?” We said, “Of course.” The Prophet said, “Then rejoice, for one end of this Quran is in the hand of Allah and the other is in your hands, so hold fast to it. Verily, you will never be ruined or led astray ever again.” [Musnad al-Bazzār 3421]
Revive the hearts
Sufyan reported: Uthman, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “If our hearts were pure, we would never be tired of the speech of Allah.” Source: Ḥilyat al-Awliyā’ 7/272
‘Alqamah reported: Abdullah ibn Mas’ud, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “Do not scatter the Quran as if it were dates falling from a tree, nor recite quickly as if it were poetry. Stop at its verses that amaze you and let it move your hearts. Let not your concern be reaching the end of the surah.” [Akhlāq Ḥamalat al-Qur’ān]
Abu al-Ahwas reported: Abdullah ibn Mas’ud, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “Verily, this Quran is the banquet of Allah, so take as much of it as you can, for I do not know of anything more bereft of good than a house in which there is nothing from the Book of Allah. Verily, the heart which does not contain anything from the Book of Allah is ruined, like a dilapidated house in which no one lives.” [Sunan al-Dārimī 3350]
Whats the message?
Someone explains “I was sitting alone, holding my aching head, tensions, and despairs all around me. It seemed there was no purpose in life! Everything I did went wrong always, conditions were getting worse day by day. I couldn’t fight more so I thought of calling to ALLAH! I said! I am tired, exhausted, and worn-out.
Allah(SWT) answered Laa taqnatoo mir rahmatillah“do not despair of the mercy of Allah .” az zumur [39:53]
I said no one cares about what is in my heart, ALLAH answered: InnAllahi yahoolu baynal mar’e wa qalbihi“And know that Allah intervenes between a man and his heart.” Al-anfaal [8:24]
When I said there is no one mine in this world! I am alone! HE replied in the Quran Nahnu aqrabu min hablil wareed“We are closer to him than [his] jugular vein . ” AL-qaaf [50:16]
Then I said, if you are so near to me, how should I contact you? I got the answer in the Quran Fadhkuroonee adhkurkum “So remember Me; I will remember you.” Al-baqara [2:152]
Oh ! so now I got, what was the issue. Maybe I stopped remembering you, that’s why you stopped communicating with me too? OK, now I will try to reconnect with you. but how long it would take? how long should I wait and tolerate?
“And what may make you perceive? Perhaps the Hour is near.” Al-Ahzaab [33:63]
I said I am weak and sinful, while you are great and glorious, it would take too long for me to be able to get your attention and mercy. What should I do till that time? He replied to me :
“And follow that which is revealed to you and have patience until Allah decrees .” Surah Yunus [10:109]
I said, my Lord! you are magnificent and your attributes are incomparable. No doubt You are imperial and majestic and so is your patience and bounteousness. but my patience can not meet the standards. So, just give me a sign, something to pacify my impatience. He responded to me through a verse of the Quran.
“But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you.” Al-baqarah [2:216]
And then I said I do believe in you, and your plans. I trust in you and whatever you have written for me in my fate. but these are my sins, which fright me and discourage me. And ALLAH’s reply was so soothing! He replied to me :
“Indeed Allah is, to the people, Kind and Merciful.” al-Baqara [2:143]
I said I am feeling suffocation. He told me the reason why I feel suffocation.
“Say: In the bounty of Allah and in His mercy: therein let them rejoice. It is better than what they hoard.”
Knowing this, I decided to change. from now onwards I am handing over all my matters to ALLAH. I count and rely upon ALLAH and only ALLAH. hearing this, blessings of my Lord embraced me, saying
“Indeed, Allah loves those who rely [upon Him].”
Remember, at each occasion there is a word of Allah(SWT) waiting for you. When Musa(AS) was commanded to return to the most tyrannical leader of his time, Fir’own and he told his brother Haroon(AS) who was also made a Prophet to support him. They both reflected on this immense challenge and they both asked, “Our Lord! We fear that he may be quick to harm us or act tyrannically.” And Allah(SWT) reassured ˹them˺, “Have no fear! I am with you, hearing and seeing.” [Surah Ta Ha 20:46]
How to treat this message
Imam an-Nawawi reported: Al-Hasan ibn Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “Verily, those before you viewed the Quran as letters from their Lord, such that they would contemplate it by night and yearn for it by day.” [al-Tibyān fī Ādāb Ḥamalat al-Qur’ān 1/54]
Anas ibn Malik reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Verily, Allah has His own people among humanity.” They said, “O Messenger of Allah, who are they?” The Prophet said, “They are the people of the Quran, the people of Allah and His chosen ones.” [Sunan Ibn Mājah 215, sahih]
Travel its peaks: Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Everything has a summit (sanaam) and the summit of the Quran is Surat al-Baqarah. It contains a verse which is the head of the Quran, the verse of the Throne.” [Sunan al-Tirmidhī 2878, Hasan li ghayrihi]
Jabir reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The Quran is an intercessor and a truthful prosecutor. Whoever puts it in front of himself, it will lead him to Paradise. Whoever throws it behind his back, it will drive him into the Hellfire.” [Ṣaḥīḥ Ibn Ḥibbān 124, jayyid]
Whats your smell and taste? Abu Musa al-Ashari reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said,
“The parable of the believer who recites the Quran is that of a citrus fruit (utrujjah), which tastes good and has a pleasant scent.
The parable of the believer who does not recite the Quran is that of a date (tamrah) , which has no scent but tastes good.
The parable of a hypocrite who recites the Quran is that of basil (rayhaaanah), which has a pleasant scent but tastes bitter.
The parable of the hypocrite who does not recite the Quran is that of a vine (handhalah), which has no scent and tastes bitter.” [Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 5059, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 797]
Memorise to be protected from punishment: Abu al-Qasim reported: Abu Umamah, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “Recite the Quran and do not be deceived by depending on the written copies. Verily, Allah will never punish a heart that has memorized the Quran.” [Muṣannaf Ibn Abī Shaybah 34044, Sahih]
Don’t accumulate wealth by it: Mu’awiyah reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Learn the Quran. When you teach it to others, do not exaggerate with it, do not be crude with it, do not earn your livelihood from it, and do not accumulate wealth by it.” [Musnad Aḥmad 15239]
Disappearance of the Quran is a sign of the hour: Ibn Taymiyyah said, “Indeed, it will be taken away by night at the end of time, from the written copies and the hearts. No word of it will remain in the hearts, nor any letter in the written copies.” [Majmū’ al-Fatāwá 3/174]
Shu’bah and Qatadah related from Yunus bin Jubair, who said that he and his companions visited Jundub and said to him, “Give us some advice”. He replied:
“I advise you to fear Allah. I advise you to adhere to the Quraan – for it is light in the darkest of nights and it is guidance during the day. Apply it…and if a trial, such as poverty comes to you, give precedence to your religion over wealth. If that trial worsens, continue to put your religion before your wealth and your soul, for indeed the one who is destroyed is the one whose religion is destroyed; the one who is poor is the one who has lost his religion. Know that there is no poverty after Paradise and there is no richness after the Hellfire”.
Who’s reaching out?
We are all glued to our messages – even those who don’t get a lot, spend their time scrolling through others, seeking to fill their heart with some happiness, but looking in the wrong place.
Allah(SWT) tells us that if we find our hearts hard, there is one reason. Do they not then reflect on the Quran? Or are there locks upon their hearts? (Surah Muhammad 47: 24)
It isn’t about how far you have reached in the Quran, it’s about how far the Quran has reached in you“. Sufyan reported: Uthman, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “If our hearts were pure, we would never be tired of the speech of Allah.” [ Ḥilyat al-Awliyā’ 7/272]
Uthman bin Affan reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The best of you are those who learn the Quran and teach it.” [Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 5027]
Ibn Masoud RA said: “Indeed these hearts are vessels, so fill them with the Quran & nothing else.” [al-Hilyaah 1/118]
Access Quran is a unique service which teaches every Friday, through a local Imam, a summary of every juz of the Quran in 10 minutes. This is then followed with an overview of the Arabic code – how to understand the Arabic language from selections of this same juz. And then practically applying these rules to some of these key aayaat. 30 weeks so you can cover the whole Qur’an before next Ramadan. Selections which you will hear in taraweeh. Online so everyone can benefit – Everyone one of you can learn the language.
Umar ibn al-Khattab(RA) reported: The Messenger of Allah(SAW), said, “Verily, Allah raises the status of people by this book, and by it he humbles others.” [Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 817]