Rising Above Ranks

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

 

The Qur’an is Al-Adheem, Al-Kareem, Al-Majeed. It is Shifa’ and a source of immeasurable contentment. We often approach it with awe and a sense of huge responsibility towards it; wishing to read it to completion speedily and as often as we can. Such was also the case among some of our righteous predecessors.

‏كان أبو العباس بن عطاء يختم القرآن كثيرا إلا أنه جعل له ختمة يستنبط منها معاني القرآن فبقي بضع عشرة سنة، فمات قبل أن يختمها

Abu’l-Abbas bin Ata’ [d. 309H] used to complete (recitation of) the Qur’an often, but then Allah made him read the whole Qur’an with (the privilege of understanding and deducing) the meanings of the Qur’an. He remained at it for ten years, and he died before he could finish and conclude it.❞  [Hilyat al-Awliya’, 10/302]

The general folk often suffice with reading the Qur’an for purpose of barakah (blessing) alone. Yet it is those who have a loftier intent of seeking its guidance, wanting to understand its meanings to apply in their lives and get closer to the One who Revealed it – who are truly privileged and rise above the ranks of the ordinary.

Sufyan ibn ‘Uyaynah (d.198H) said:

إنما آيات القرآن خزائن فإذا دخلْتَ خزانةً فاجتهد أن لا تخرج منها حتى تعرف ما فيها

Indeed Ayât of the Qur’an are treasures, so when you enter upon the treasure strive (to ensure) you do not leave them until you know what is in them.

Allah’s Love is achieved through capturing His Words with purpose of applying their objectives in our lives. Ibn Rajab said in ‘Majmu’ al-Rasa’il, 4/87:

أعظم ما تحصل به محبة الله من النوافل: تلاوة القرآن، وخصوصا مع التدبر

“(From the) greatest means in attaining the love of Allah is through voluntary reading the Qur’an, with particular focus on contemplation and (paying) deep attention to what its message is instructing.”

Ibn al-Qayyim said in his, ‘Al-Fawa’id, “If you want to take advantage of the Qur’an, then have an acute focus when reading and listening with your heart. You will find it like someone who is being spoken to by Allah for it is the Word of Allah spoken to you through His Messenger.”

Having tadabbur of the Qur’an must contain the  objective to take advantage and follows what it contains, for the purpose of reading and reflecting upon it means to practice and hold on to what it implies. Ibn Katheer mentioned in his commentary  on Ayah that Al-Hasan al-Basri said:

والله ما تدبره بحفظ حروفه وإضاعة حدوده، حتى إن أحدهم ليقول: قرأت القرآن كله ما يرى له القرآن في خلق ولا عمل

“By Allah! Tadabbur of the Qur’an does not mean to (just read and) memorise the letters or to waste (and ignore its legal rulings and) its boundaries. I’ve even heard someone say, ‘I have read the Qur’an entirely’, but its effects do not appear in his manners and morals, nor in their deeds’.”

Shaykh Abd Al-Rahman Habanakah asserted that the purpose of tadabbur is not merely the luxury of knowing, or for a proud (shallow) achievement of having knowledge – or a reason to express the meaning for the sake of boasting. Rather the aim of contemplation and understanding is to remind and extract lessons for practical implementation. Such lessons will not tangibly benefit except the ‘ulul albaab’ (i.e. people with intellects and cognitive minds).

In framing a closer relationship with the Qur’an, Dr Muhammad al-Rabee’ah mentioned some practical steps:

‏من أعظم الطرق للتخلق بالقرآن
أن تقرأه فتستخلص منه القواعد والأخلاق والسنن الثابتة وتمارسها في حياتك وتعاملاتك مع الناس

One of the greatest ways to develop (and establish) the Qur’an (in your lives) is to read it and infer (from it) rules of akhlaq (etiquette) and the sunan (i.e. the pathways) it establishes, and exercise them in your life and in the way you deal with people.”

Ibn Taymiyyah said, “Whoever makes tadabbur of the Qur’an in order to gain instructions (and guidance) from him, the way of truth will become clear to him.” And indeed this is the end goal for us all, to be guided by Allah and to seek His Pleasure in all that we do.

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May Allah ﷻ‎ make Al-Qur’an the delight of our hearts, the light of our chests, the remover of anxiety and the pacifier of grief. Ameen.

 

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