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The Qur'an: A Book of Guidance

By Ashraf Salah
Imam and Writer
quran

 

The Glorious Qur'an is the final Book of divine guidance, revealed by Allah through His Last Prophet, Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Each and every word of this Book is from Allah, the Creator of the Universe.

Qur'an literally means reading or recitation. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did not receive the whole of it at one stretch. Revelations came to him in fragments from time to time, covering a period of 23 years. As soon as he received a revelation, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to communicate it to his companions and asked them to learn it by heart. Though the Glorious Qur'an was revealed piecemeal, yet the entire revelation is one organic whole. It is the Word of God, revealed to the last of the Prophets, Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) through the angel Gabriel. Whenever there was a revelation, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) got it inserted at its proper place in the text revealed so far. There is indeed perfect evidence, internal as well as external, that every single word or verse or part of a verse, and every chapter that was revealed, has been put where it belonged, by the Prophet himself under divine guidance. The arrangement of the Qur'an was thus a part of the divine scheme. The Glorious Qur'an itself says: {It is for Us (Almighty Allah) to collect it and to give you (Muhammad) the ability to recite it (the Qur'an ).} (Al-Qiyyamah 75:17)

The Glorious Qur'an thus existed in a complete and ordered form in the memories of numerous companions in the life-time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and had also been reduced to writing on such materials as were available for writing purposes in those days.

The Glorious Qur'an is mercy, healing and guidance for the believers; Allah says: {And We send down of the Qur'an that which is a healing and mercy to those who believe..} (Al-Israa 17:82)

And, in surat Yunus verse No. 57, Allah says: {O mankind! There has come to you a good advice from your Lord, and a healing for that which is in your breasts, a guidance and a mercy for the believers.} (Yunus 10: 57)

Allah orders us to recite the Glorious Qur'an; He says: {..And recite the Qur'an in a slow pleasant tone and style.} (Al-Muzammil 73: 4)

The virtue of those who recite the Glorious Qur'an and act upon it is established in the Glorious Qur'an; Allah says:  {Verily, those who recite the Book of Allah, and perform As-Salat, and spend out of what We have provided for them, secretly and openly, they hope for a sure trade-gain that will never perish.} (Fatir 35: 29)

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The best of you is he who learns the Qur'an and teaches it." (Al-Bukhari)

Allah even rewards us for every letter we recite from the Glorious Qur'an.

In another hadith, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) explains the reward for learning or reading the Glorious Qur'an: "Will not any of you go to the masjid and learn or read two verses from the Book of Allah `azza wa jall (Glorified and Exalted be He)? (For) that is better for him than two she-camels, and three (verses) are better for him than three (she-camels), and four (verses) are better for him than four (she-camels). And the number (of verses read in total) are better than the same number of camels." (Muslim)

Also, he (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "There is no envy (acceptable) except in two (cases): a person whom Allah has given the Qur'an and recites it throughout the night and throughout the day and a person whom Allah has given wealth that he gives out throughout the night and throughout the day." (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Allah even rewards us for every letter we recite from the Glorious Qur'an. It was reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "Whoever reads a letter from the Book of Allah will receive a hasanah (reward) for it (i.e., his recitation), and the hasanah is multiplied by ten. I do not say that Alif-Laam-Meem is (considered as) a letter, rather Alif is a letter, Laam is a letter, and Meem is a letter." (At-Tirmidhi and Ad-Darimi)

We should try to improve our Qur'anic recitation; our Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) says: "The one who recites the Qur'an and is skilled in doing so will be with the obedient and noble angels and the one who recites the Qur'an in hesitance due to difficulty will receive a double reward." (Al-Bukhari)

Moreover, we should also try to memorize the Glorious Qur'an or at least some of it. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) says: "Verily he who has nothing of the Qur'an in his heart, is like a house (which has been) destroyed." (At-Tirmidhi)

The Glorious Qur'an will avail the good believers on the day of judgement. This is clear in the following four prophetic hadiths:

1. "Read the Qur'an. For verily it will come forth on the Day of Resurrection as an intercessor for its readers." (Muslim)

2. "The Qur'an is an intercessor (which by Allah's permission) intercedes, and an opponent (which is) truthful. He who appoints it as his leader, (then it) will lead him to paradise. And he who puts it behind him, (then it) will lead him to the Fire." (Ibn Hibban, Al-Bayhaqi and At-Tabarani)

3. "Fasting and the Qur'an will intercede for the person on the Day of Resurrection. Fasting will say: 'O My Lord (God)! I prevented him from food and desires, so accept my intercession for him.' And the Qur'an will say: 'I prevented him from sleep during the night, so accept my intercession for him.' He (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: 'And they will (be allowed to) intercede.'" (Ahmad, At-Tabarani, and Al-Hakim)

4. "It will be said to the beholder of the Qur'an: 'Recite, ascent and rattil (recite slowly and distinctly) as you used to make tarteel in the life of this world, for verily your level (in paradise) is at the last verse you read." [Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi)

The Glorious Qur'an has its good effects on the believers in this world as well. The Prophet says: "Verily Allah raises nations by this Book (the Qur'an) and puts down (i.e., destroys) others by it." (Muslim)

And in another hadith, he says: “The likeness of the believer who reads the Qur'an is like that of citron; its taste is delicious and its scent is pleasant. And the likeness of the believer who does not read the Qur'an is like that of a date; its taste is delicious, yet it has no scent. And the likeness of a hypocrite who reads the Qur'an is like that of basil; its scent is pleasant, yet its taste is bitter. And the likeness of a hypocrite that does not read the Qur'an is like that of a colocynth; its taste is bitter and it has no scent." (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

One should comprehend the greatness and nobility of the Qur'an, reflect upon it's meanings, be fully attentive when he reads it, and follow the Glorious Qur'an as his way of life.

One should be sincere to Allah alone when he is reciting the Glorious Qur'an. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) says: "Read the Qur'an and through it seek the Face of Allah, Exalted be He, before there comes a nation that implements it like an arrow. They read it fast and they do not recite it slowly (to implement)." (Ahmad and Abu Dawud). He also says: "Verily, the best of people with regards to voices, is he whom you feel fears Allah when he recites." (Ad-Darimi)

It is also recommended to read the Glorious Qur'an before others. Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) said that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to Ubay ibn Ka`b (may Allah be pleased with him): 'Verily Allah has ordered me to read upon you.' He [Ubay] said: 'Has Allah named me for you?!' He (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: 'Allah has named you for me.' He (Anas) said: 'So Ubay began to weep.' (Muslim)

Of course those who recite the Glorious Qur’an in the mosque gain many blessings. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) says: "There is not a group which has gathered in a house from the houses of Allah, reciting the Book of Allah, and studying it among themselves, except that tranquillity will descend upon them, mercy will befall them, the angels will encircle them, and Allah will mention them to those who are with Him (i.e., the angels). And he who falls short in action (in gaining knowledge and memorizing the Qur'an), whose lineage will not hasten him (to do)." (Muslim)

Finally, one should comprehend the greatness and nobility of the Qur'an, reflect upon it's meanings, be fully attentive when he reads it, and follow the Glorious Qur'an as his way of life.

May Allah bless, guide and forgive us all, (Ameen).

Based on a Friday sermon delivered at London Central Mosque, UK, in May 10, 2002.
Sheikh Ashraf Salah is an Imam at one the Egypt's mosques. He has an MA in Islamic Studies.

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