God has ordered us to study the Quran and learn from it (47:24, 4:82) as He has placed in it all the lessons that we need to find salvation, and He wants us to follow His word as the only source of religious guidance, otherwise we will end up disputing and dividing ourselves (3:103) and we are the witnesses of the consequence for violation of His command. The Quran is God’s word in truth and justice; a blessing and guidance for those who want to submit to the Lord of the Universe, the Almighty (3:85, 5:3). He has commanded us to read it from cover to cover (73:4). Therefore, we should read what our Creator tells us for our own sake and we can read it in any language that we understand. When God repeatedly says that He made the Quran easy to learn (54:17, 22, 32 & 40), He means it. He is the One who controls the hearts and minds of the people and guides them accordingly (28:56):
[47:24] Why do they not study the Quran carefully? Do they have locks on their minds?
[4:82] Why do they not study the Quran carefully? If it were from other than God, they would have found in it numerous contradictions.
[3:103] You shall hold fast to the rope of God, all of you, and do not be divided. Recall God’s blessings upon you – you used to be enemies and He reconciled your hearts. By His grace, you became brethren. You were at the brink of a pit of fire, and He saved you therefrom. God thus explains His revelations for you, that you may be guided.
[3:85] Anyone who accepts other than Submission as his religion, it will not be accepted from him, and in the Hereafter, he will be with the losers.
[5:3] …Today, I have completed your religion for you, perfected My blessing upon you, and I have decreed the Submission as the religion for you…..
[73:20] Your Lord knows that you meditate during two-thirds of the night, or half of it, or one-third of it, and so do some of those who believed with you. God has designed the night and the day, and He knows that you cannot always do this. He has pardoned you. Instead, you shall read what you can of the Quran. He knows that some of you may be ill, others may be traveling in pursuit of God’s provisions, and others may be striving in the cause of God. You shall read what you can of it, and observe the contact prayers (Salat), give the obligatory charity (Zakat), and lend God a loan of righteousness. Whatever good you send ahead on behalf of your souls, you will find it at God far better and generously rewarded. And implore God for forgiveness. God is Forgiver, Most Merciful.
[54:17] And we made the Quran easy to learn. Does any of you wish to learn.
[28:56] You cannot guide the ones you love. God is the only One who guides in accordance with His will, and in accordance with His knowledge of those who deserve the guidance.
God is a teacher of the Quran for those who turn to Him (55:1-2) and He has told us to read and learn from it (7:204, 39:27 and 12:111):
[55:1-2] The Most Gracious. Teacher of the Quran.
[7:204] When the Quran is recited, you shall listen to it and take heed, that you may attain mercy.
[39:27] We have cited for the people every kind of example in this Quran, that they may take heed.
[12:111] In their history, there is a lesson for those who possess intelligence. This is not fabricated Hadith; this (Quran) confirms all previous scriptures, provides the details of everything, and is a guidance and mercy for those who believe.
Thus, the Quran being the guidance, clear teachings and statute book (2:185) serves as a road map for us to get back to Him, which includes commands and laws, history and examples, updates, explanation and clarification, reminders, warnings and consequences, predictions, advice and suggestions, mercy and healing, rewards and punishment, mechanism of preservation and protection of it from any distortion or entering any falsehood into it along with logical and physical proofs of its divineness including details on God’s creations and systems. However, our reflection on the following might help us to understand and learn from the Quran to use it effectively as our road map if we read or listen to it carefully:
- God has revealed the Quran with proofs of His authorship of it. If we careful study the Quran, we may find both logical and physical proofs that He is the author of this book. Not only the text of the Quran but the arrangement and naming of suras in the writing of it are also from God (46:9). The historical records indicate that prophet Muhammad wrote the Quran in a chronological order of revelation including notes on physical arrangement but not in one book and there is also hint in the Quran (25:5).
- We can be allies of God only through His scripture as God sends scriptures and messengers from time to time to guide the humanity as promised at the time of our descent from the Heaven to the earth (2:38, 20:123). Hence, this is God’s system from the past (7:35) which will continue until the end of the world as His system never changes (17:77).
- The Quran is not revealed for any person or a tribe or for a specific time of era rather to guide all the people of the word from the era of prophet Muhammad until the end of the world (12:104, 38:87, 68:52, 81:27).
- Those who have real trust in God and in the Hereafter will make their utmost efforts to know God’s commands, laws,systems and teachings fromthe Quranto use it as their guidance.
- It has been observed that some matters are stated both positively and negatively whereas others are explained with citing of examples as necessary for our better understanding.
- Our attention is needed to the order of revelation as well as to the writing of the Quran when we interpret its verses to understand the real meaning of them in many cases.
- We should have the knowledge of the historical preservation of the Quran as well as the mechanism as provided (74:30 & 74:35) to protect it from any distortion or from entering falsehood as predicted in the Quran (15:9, 41:42).
- The Quran has confirmed all the previous scriptures, which means that God sends scriptures and messengers from time to time to guide the humanity. As such, any commands or laws in the previous scriptures which are intact and do not contradict the Quran are still valid and applicable to us.
- Quranic initials, certain numbers and names as mentioned in the Quran play a significant role for our teaching.
- None can understand the Quran without being blessed by God (56:79) and He has given higher responsibility to those who are blessed by Him to be knowledgeable of the Quran.
- What we need to understand the Quran is our initiatives and sincerity rather than expertise in the Arabic language and possessing of higher academic qualifications.
- God has told us that the ones who possess intelligence will be able to understand the Quran but He does not tell us that they have to be expert in Arabic language or the Arabs will be able to understand the Quran. Moreover, He has clearly mentioned that He has revealed it in Arabic for better understanding as well as to avoid any ambiguity (12:2).
- When we read the translated Quran we should consider the knowledge of the translators of the Quran about the custom and culture as well as the colloquialof the people through which the Quran was revealed along with contemporary phrases and idioms of Arabic language which are required to accurately translate it to other languages from the original Arabic text to reflect the actual message in the translations.
- The Quran is a timeless message for all the people of the world which indicates that the meaning and/or application of certain commands maybe different in the context of time periods, geographical areas, culture and customs of people all over the world including the circumstances of the individuals.
- We should know that the Quran has the information for us from the past, present and the future.
- We have to realize that the Quran is not only the last scripture but also one of the great wondrous creations of God if we carefully study and examine its verses considering the order of revelation and the literary mathematical composition of it.
- We should read the Quran from cover to cover to understand the message as a whole as well as to find the link of a verse in one sura with another verse in another sura to have clear explanation of some events and commands.
- Our salvation is attained by knowing God’s message to us, the Quran, and Satan will do his utmost to keep us from being redeemed (16:98).
- The knowledge and use of gematrical values may help us understand some events and explanation in the Quran.
- Sura 1- Al Fatehah (revelation 5) is for our prayer (2:37) while the rest of the Quran from sura 2- Al Baqarah (revelation 87) is for our guidance. You may find logic behind it, if you carefully examine first and second verses of the sura 2.
- The Quran is fully detailed (6:114, 7:52 & 10:37) and complete (6:115), and there is no contradiction (4:82) or error in it (2:2). What is in it or what is not in it is done deliberately (18:109, 31:27) as God does not forget anything (19:64). Hence, He does not want anyone to correct Him.
- Many crucial verses and certain phrases are repeated in the Quran that we should take seriously.
- Those who have coverings around their minds and deafness in their ears imposed by God for NOT to value the Quran as it should be valued (17:46, 18:57) need to be removed it if they intend to learn from the Quran at any time during their lifetime.
- We must believe that the teachings of Islam can only be found in the Quran or any material or discussion based on it presented by the Quran study group.
- Finally, we have to be careful of a group of people who advocates Islam but take it as their profession and present their own thoughts and opinions to their followers being unaware of the burdens of the sins of those whom they misled (16:25): Those who follow their footsteps may not be able to understand the Quran or their practicing of religious rites may not please God if they continue to do so until death. Here are some of their misunderstanding, misconceptions and evil behavior that may serve as warnings for the true believers of God to avoid them:
- It is very common that they show up to be religious through their dresses, behavior and voices.
- You will notice evil behavior in them and also among their followers when you ask them to worship God alone (39:45) as well as to follow the Quran alone (17:46).
- They say “The Quran is difficult to understand and details of living (in an Islamic manner) are not found in it.” The best example they cite in most cases is the Salat being unaware that the Salat existed before the revelation of the Quran, and the steps of performing Salat were known to the people at the time of prophet Muhammad.
- They advocate the ignorant believers to follow the supposed sayings and deeds of the prophet called Hadiths which are satanic innovations falsely attributed to the prophet that they uphold as religious laws (6:112 & 6:113).
- They give the Quran and Hadiths the same status as they believe that the Hadiths are needed to explain the Quran as well as to give full details of living in an Islamic manner.
- They have mixed up traditions and myths to be part of Islam that divert them from Islam to a new religion innovated by them other than Islam.
- They believe that they have authority to clarify any disputes adding new teachings to the existing beliefs and practices when needed being knowledge about Islam.
- They believe and advocate that one may earn reward from God just upon recitation of the Quran.
- They make prophet Muhammad an idolizer in their praise and prayers and also advocate others to do that because of his power of intercession on the Day of Judgment despite clear warning in the Quran (2:48, 2:123, 35:18, 53:38 & 82:19).
- They have made practices of Islam more difficult for themselves and also for others against God’s will adding new laws to it.
- They have taken some crucial verses of the Quran out of context and have misinterpreted them that make difficult to accept the Quran to be the only guidance and mercy for the believing people.
- They force the people to be religious but there is no compulsion in religion (2:256) and never ask their followers to verify and confirm the information that they share with them (17:36).
- They do not have real trust in the Quran to be complete and fully detailed, and always mention the Quran and Hadith as sources of religious teachings. As a consequence, God has provided the covering around their hearts and deafness in their ears to prevent them from understanding the Quran (17:46, 47:24).
- They prohibit what God has made lawful for us and tell us “do not eat it or this is not lawful for us etc.”
- They believe slaughter houses, grocery stores and restaurants can make food lawful or unlawful.
- They cannot interpret certain verses of the Quran to reflect the real meaning because of limitation of scientific knowledge (27:88).
- Although they believe that the Quran is divine but they do not find many wonders in it and cannot apply them to strengthen their own beliefs and perfect their practices.
- They claim they are Islamic scholars but cannot make a difference between prophet (Nabi in Arabic) and messenger (strong>Rasool in Arabic) from the definition given in the Quran found in (2:213, 3:81, 3:79 and many other verses). Also they are not aware that the word “prophet” (Nabi consistently refers to Muhammad only when he was alive (33:56, 3:161 and many other verses), and the Arabic word, “Rasool” means both messenger and the message (Quran).
- They believe all religious rites originated from the time of prophet Muhammad despite clear command in the Quran (4:125, 16:123).
- They are supposed to obey the message (Quran) left by prophet Muhammad and make their efforts to follow it but they obey him as a person what makes them idol worshipers disregarding the warning given in the Quran found in (3:79).
- Many of them write religious books incorporating many myths and mysteries to make money being recognized as famous Islamic scholars.
- They believe prophet Muhammad is the last prophet as well as the last messenger but he is the last prophet NOT the last messenger (33:40). They also believe that prophet Muhammad as the last prophet deserves higher status and declare him to be the greatest prophet violating clear God’s commands in the Quran found in (2:136, 2:285, 3:84 & 4:152).
- They insist on their ways even the clear proofs are given to them from the Quran that they are doing wrongs but they remain heedless and continue their ways being afraid of losing their job, income and reputation.
- Even they do not accept any genuine publications in the public domain by the Quran study group and consider them to be the activities of the enemies of Islam to divert the believers from the path of God.
Islam is the God’s religion (3:85) completed through the final revelation of God (5:3) and we must study the Quran by ourselves or hear from the knowledgeable who have real trust in it for the knowledge to use it as the road map for our one way journey. The mere recitation of the Quran without learning anything from it does not bring any real benefits for us as the knowledge of the Quran is required to obey God and His messenger, to perfectly practice the religious rites as designed and given to us by God and to lead a righteous life. Hence, to study the Quran is a prerequisite for every believer for his/her own good to be successful in the Hereafter being saved by God as every believer is in charge of his/her own soul to benefit or harm it. If we believe that we are Muslims, we must give the top priority to study and learn from the Quran to use the knowledge to ensure our safe journey to reach the right destination following the directions given in the road map by God.
Peaceful Friday, salaam and God bless.