Category Archives: Qur’an Contemplation

Prioritising the Heart 💛

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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Qur’an Reforms Hearts

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Scholars identify a hardened heart as “root” of all punishments, and its basis in found in Al-Baqarah 74:

ثُمَّ قَسَتْ قُلُوبُكُم مِّن بَعْدِ ذَٰلِكَ فَهِيَ كَالْحِجَارَةِ أَوْ أَشَدُّ قَسْوَةً

“Then your hearts became hardened after that, being like stones or even harder…”

Qaswat al-qalb (hardening of the heart) is a topic many scholars have addressed throughout history because of its pivitol status and the profound impact it has on one’s life in determining success or failure. It is directly linked to receiving guidance and self-reformation.

And in the moving words of Malik ibn Dinar (d.127H) who said, “What is there that strikes the slave (of Allah) greater than hardening of the heart, for the wrath of Allah is upon a nation from whose hearts mercy and compassion is removed.”

Al-‘Allamah Muhammad ibn Salih al-‘Uthaymeen رحمه الله said, in response to a question regarding causes of apathy and feeling weakness in one’s Deen. And how preservation of the heart and moving away from incessant disputation is key:

‏ترى العامي خيرا في عقيدته وإخلاصه من كثير من طلاب العلم الذين ليس لهم هم إلا الأخذ والرد والقيل والقال هذاالذي يضيع العبد ويسلب قلبه عن الله

“…and (thus) you will see that the layperson is better in his ‘aqeedah and ikhlas than many of the students of knowledge, whose only concern is to criticise and refute and (indulge in) qeela wa qaal – causing the slave to become lost and his heart taken away from Allah.” [1]

Thus, taking special care of the heart ensures it remains soft and absorbant; readily accepting admonishment and guidance. Al-Allamah al-Sa’di رحمه الله said:

صلاح القلب بكمال الإنابة إلى الله وقوة التوكل عليه، وتمام الإخلاص له، ومحبة الخير لكافة الخلق، وفساده ونقصه بضدِّ ذلك

“Rectifying the heart fully (and perfectly) confers itself to Allah, and wholly renders sincerity to Him. (Such a heart) loves goodness for all of the creation, and opposes corruption and deficiency.” [2]

Ibn Uthaymeen also said:

إن قسوة القلب لها دواء وهو الإكثار من قراءة القرآن، دليل ذلك قول الله عز وجل: ﴿لَوْ أَنْزَلْنَا هَذَا الْقُرْآنَ عَلَى جَبَلٍ لَرَأَيْتَهُ خَاشِعاً مُتَصَدِّعاً مِنْ خَشْيَةِ اللَّهِ﴾ [الحشر:21] والجبل كما نعلم حجارة صماء لو نزل القرآن عليها لخشع وتصدع، كذلك القلب إذا ورد عليه القرآن وقرأ الإنسان بتفكر وتمعن فلا بد أن يؤثر في قلبه

“The hardening of the heart has a cure, and it is the recitation of the Qur’an. The evidence for this is in the Words of Allah Almighty, ‘If We had sent down this Qur’an upon a mountain, you would have seen it humbled and coming apart from fear of Allah…’ [Al Hashr, 21] And the mountain as we know is (made of) deaf stones, yet if the Qur’an was revealed upon them would render them humbled and asunder apart. Similar to that is how the the heart should respond when the person reads the Qur’an with contemplation and ponderance, it must affect the heart.” [3]

Ibn Uthaymeen also warned those to take note said regarding this remedy:

‏إذا رأيت قلبك لا يتأثر بالقرآن فاتهم نفسك لأن الله أخبر أن هذا القرآن لو نزل على جبل لتصدع، وقلبك يتلى عليه القرآن ولا يتأثر

“If you see your heart is not affected by the Qur’an then indict yourself, for Allah informed us that if this Qur’an descended on a mountain, it would cleave it (asunder). And yet your heart recites the Qur’an and is not affected.” [4]

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May Allah grant us hearts that are quick to return back to Him in repentence, and reform upon reminders and admonishments. Ameen.

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References:

[1] Al-Bab al-Maftooh, 232 (Audio @ http://bit.ly/2l4kqeM)
[2] Majmu’ al-Fawa’id wa Iqtinas al-Awabid
[3] See: http://binothaimeen.net/content/1661
[4] Majmu’ Fatawa wa Rasa’il, 8/278


Genius of Misdirection

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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The Qur’an is the most potent force against shaytan and his evil designs. If people show love for the Qur’an, and want to read, study and contemplate its meanings, shaytan will change tact and increase its awe in a person’s heart. To the extent that the person becomes afraid to even approach the Qur’an out of a false sense of respect.

Ibn Hubayrah رحمه الله (d.560H), the jurist of Baghdad said:

ومن مكايد الشيطان تنفيره عبادالله من تدبّرالقرآن، لعلمه أن الهدى واقع عند التدبّر، فيقول هذه مخاطرة، حتى يقول الإنسان أنا لا أتكلم في القرآن تورعا

It is from the deception of shaytan that he holds back the slave of Allah from pondering and contemplating upon the Qur’an. For he knows the actual reality of guidance is (found) by such taddabur, so he (discourages them) by saying, ‘there is danger in this’… until people (begin to say), ‘I can’t speak about the Qur’an so I’ll abstain (from it).❞ [Ibn Rajab, ‘Dhayl Tabaqat al-Hanabilah’, 3/273]

Shaytan tries to exploit extremities in people’s nature. If they incline towards goodness in seeking what will benefit them, he disheartens them and tries to scare them away to the opposite end.

If this fails, he switches to genuis of misdirection, as was narrated that Abu Bakr ibn al-Arabi (d.543H), who said:

*{ إن إبليس حين لم يستطع أن يشغل الناس عن القرآن شغلهم به عنه }*

أي: أنه جعلهم يشتغلون بشيء فيه لا ينفعهم في معادهم يشغلهم عما ينفعهم في دينهم وآخرتهم

“Indeed when Iblees can’t hold people back from (busying themselves with) the Qur’an, he (strives to) busy them with other than it.”

Meaning: He makes them engage with something that does not bring them benefit; repeatedly distracting them from what will benefit them in their Deen and the Hereafter. ❞ [‘Tahzeeb al-Qur’an’ li ‘Abd Al-‘Azeez al-Harbi, p.42]

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May Allah make us from Ahlul Qur’an, His special people. Ameen.

 


Fit Your Time Around The Qur’an 📖

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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The relationship of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ with the Qur’an was impenetrable no matter where they were, whether traveling or stationary; in peace or at war. It is impossible to find them detached from the Book of Allah, the Most High.

One of the traps of shaytan is that, while Muslims are aware of their religious priorities, they are sometimes practically demobilised and rendered languid to do anything about it. In the case of the Qur’an, it was narrated that Abu Bakr ibn al-Arabi al-Maliki (d.543H) said:

إن إبليس حين لم يستطع أن يشغل الناس عن القرآن شغلهم به عنه
أي: أنه جعلهم يشتغلون بشيء فيه لا ينفعهم في معادهم يشغلهم عما ينفعهم في دينهم وآخرتهم

“Indeed when Iblees can’t hold people back from (busying themselves with) the Qur’an, he (strives to) busy them with other than it… Meaning: He makes them engage with something that does not bring them benefit; repeatedly distracting them from what will benefit them in their Deen and the Hereafter.”  [Tahzeeb al-Qur’an, 42]

The Sahabah used to advocate ease and flexibility in enacting mandhubat [those deeds that come highly recommended]. This was to ensure they were done moderately but consistently ,no matter how small. As a reality check advice, Ibn Abbas رضي الله عنه used to ask:

!ما يمنعُ أحدَكم إذا رجع من سوقه أو من حاجته، فاتكأ على فراشه، أن يقرأ ثلاث آيات من القرآن

❝ What prevents one of you, when coming back from the market or after fulfilling any need you have; that you recline on your couch and read (even) three ayat from the Qur’an. ❞  [Sunan Al-Darimi, 3336]

He did not say “three pages” or even a single page, but only three ayat [verses] that can be read around daily tasks with ease, and pondered upon and even memorised. Surely this is not beyond the reach of most of us; if our hearts were pure and strong, they would never get enough of the Qur’an. So let’s work towards that purity and strength by commencing to fit our time around the Book of Allah ﷻ with a deliberate and concerted effort.

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And Allah ﷻ alone grants tawfeeq.

 


Springtime of the Qur’an

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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Blossoming of the Qur’an 🌿

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Malik ibn Deenar (d.127H) said:

يا حملة القرآن ماذا زرع القرآن في قلوبكم؟ إن القرآن ربيع المؤمن، كما أن الغيث ربيع الأرض

“O carriers of the Qur’an, what have you sown (from) the Qur’an in your hearts? Indeed the Qur’an is (the season of) spring for the believer, as such it’s (like) spring showers cultivating the earth.” [1]

Without cultivation, land becomes barren and hard; and with constant care and attention, it blooms and is kept alive, delighting the owner. Avoid breeding attitudes of laxity and belligerence for it has far reaching consequences. Abu’l Aaliyyah, Rafi’ ibn Mihran (d.93H), Imam of the reciters and hafidh of the mufassireen رحمه الله said:

يأتي على الناس زمان لا يجدون فيه للقرآن حلاوة، إن قصّروا قالوا: الله غفُورٌ رحيم، وإن عصوا قالوا: سيُغفرلنا

“There will come upon people, a time when the sweetness of the Qur’an will not be found. They’ll become accustomed to saying, “Allah is Ghafoor, Raheem”; even while being disobedient, they’ll say (with false optimism), “He’ll forgive us!” [2]

Therefore, immersing one’s self in the Qur’an, from its reading and contemplation and looking into the established commentaries, is from the means of discovering solutions. Imam Al-Shafi’i (d. H) said, advising his disciple al-Rabee’ah:

إذا أردت صلاح قلبك أو ابنك أو أخيك فأودعه في رياض القرآن سيصلحه الله شاء أم أبى بإذنه تعالى

“If you want to correct (and rectify) your heart, or (that of) your son or your brother, then let yourself go (and roam) in the gardens of the Qur’an. Allah the Most High, permittingly will correct (your affairs)…” [3]

The Qur’an has such powerful effect on a believer’s spirit too. Shaykhul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said:

ما رأيت شيئا يغذي العقل والروح ويحفظ الجسم ويضمن السعادة ؛ أكثر من إدامة النظر في كتاب الله تعالى

“Whoever would like to feed the intellect and spirit, and preserve the body, and guarantee happiness; then persistently look in (and heed) the Book of Allah, Most High.” [4]

There are prerequisites however, to tasting the delights of the Book of Allah ﷻ and for its effects to appear in one’s manners, morals and deeds. Al- Zarkashi (d.794H) said:

‏ومن لم يكن له علم وفهم وتقوى وتدبر لم يدرك من لذة القرآن شيئا

“Whoever does not have knowledge and understanding, nor taqwah or contemplation, will realise nothing of the delight of the Qur’an.” [5]

May Allah make the Qur’an the spring of our hearts, the ight of our chests and the eliminator of our sorrows and worries. Ameen.

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References:
[1] Hilyat al-Awliya’, 2/358
[2] Ahmad ibn Hanbal, ‘Al-Zuhd’, 1760
[3] Hilyat al-Awliya’, 9/123
[4] Majmu’ al-Fatawa, 7/493
[5] Al-Burhan fi ‘Uloom al-Qur’an, 2/290