Sadly, contemplation of the book of Allah has become a forgotten practice and more effort is put into the memorisation and recitation of the Qur’aan rather than the reflection of it. It has become a grave problem and a disillusion that many people are ignorant about. On the other hand, we see the great concern and importance that the sahabah had with their relationship with the Qur’aan through their tireless efforts to implement it in their daily lives!
If our aim as Muslims is to implement the laws of Allah on this earth, shouldn’t we exhort the same efforts in understanding the very words in which we want to implement? Yes, it is actually imperative that we do not neglect this practice and strive to revive the Qur’aan in our hearts as well as in our lives.
The reality is that we live in times of negligence towards the Qur’aan, we have not only abandoned it’s understanding but for many of us, the Qur’aan is only read in Ramdaan and then put back on the shelf until the next ramdaan (I will make another post about this issue). It is a sad reality that we have become like those whom the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon Him complained to Allah about when he said:
“And the Messenger has said, ‘O my Lord, indeed my people have taken this Qur`an as [a thing] abandoned,” (Qur’an, 25:30).
May Allah forgive us and protect us from being of those who abandon the Qur’aan Ameen
There are only a few who engage in studying and seeking the understanding of the Qur’aan and acting upon it and we ask Allah to make us amongst them.
In an ayah that talks about Ahlul Kitab (People of the book), Allah سبحانه وتعالى says:
وَمِنْهُمْ أُمِّيُّونَ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ الْكِتَابَ إِلَّا أَمَانِيَّ وَإِنْ هُمْ إِلَّا يَظُنُّونَ
“Some of them are illiterate (‘Ummiyyun), knowing nothing of the Book but wishful thinking. They only speculate.” [Al-Baqarah, 2:78]
It is evident that they, the people of the book, were selective in what they wanted to learn. If it benefitted them in the dunya then they would learn it and if it didn’t then they would leave it. Picking and choosing from the religion.
Furthermore, Ibn Taymiyyah (rh) says about this ayah:
‘Ibn Abbas and Qatadah interpreted the meaning of the word ‘ummiyyoon’ (illiterate) as meaning, “they do not understand the meaning of the book. They learn it, they memorize it, and they recite it without understanding it. The meaning of ‘illiterate’ in this verse does not mean that they cannot read or write. They read it, memorize it and teach it yet they don’t understand what the book is talking about. They are satisfied by only reciting it.”
Imaam Ahmed narrates that the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم said ‘something’ and then he صلى الله عليه وسلم said, ‘That would happen when knowledge is lost. One of the Sahabah (Ibn Lubaid) said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, how can knowledge be lost when we have studied Qur’an, we are teaching it to our children and our children will teach it to theirs?’ The Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم said, ‘Woe to you! I thought you were one of the most learned men of Madinah. Can’t you see the Jews and Christians are not benefiting even though they have their scriptures (Torah and Injeel) right with them.’
But Allah سبحانه وتعالى says:
كِتَابٌ أَنْزَلْنَاهُ إِلَيْكَ مُبَارَكٌ لِيَدَّبَّرُوا آيَاتِهِ وَلِيَتَذَكَّرَ أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ
“It is a Book We have sent down to you, full of blessing, so let people of intelligence ponder (liyaddabbaru) its Signs and take heed.” [Saad, 38:29]
In this ayah the word, liyaddabbaru is used – which means have to have ‘taddabur’ (deep contemplation)
Allah سبحانه وتعالى says:
أَفَلَا يَتَدَبَّرُونَ الْقُرْآنَ أَمْ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبٍ أَقْفَالُهَا
“Will they not then ponder the Qur’an or are there locks upon their hearts?” [Muhammad, 47:24]
Allah سبحانه وتعالى is not only asking us to recite the Qur’an, rather He is asking us to ponder and contemplate over the Qur’an.
Make an effort to learn the language in which YOUR Creator has chosen to reveal this book in. Make an effort to ponder over its meaning and make an effort to implement its teachings. Ask Allah to increase you in knowledge, understanding and wisdom and have taqwa of Allah and He will give you knowledge.
وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ ۖ وَيُعَلِّمُكُمُ اللَّهُ
“Have taqwa of Allah and Allah will give you knowledge.” [Al-Baqara, 2:282]
Make the intention now and you will be rewarded for what you intended. Embark on this journey to understanding the kalaam of Allah. Embark on this journey to gaining a closer relationship with the Qur’aan and bi ithnillahi ta’aala, if your efforts are purely for His sake, then He will make the path easy for you.