It was during my teens that I picked up a translation of the Quran in my quest to find my true identity. I wanted to know why I was born, what Allah required of me in the form of duties and responsibilities, and how I ought to spend my life in order to win His Pleasure.
Since then, many years on, my heart brims with gratitude at how this Glorious Book has filled up my life with the most beautiful and vibrant colors in order to make it resonate with spiritual fulfillment. The Quran should be connected to in the following ways:
- Recite it:
Reciting the Quran with correct tajweed fills the heart with solace, the soul with peace and the house with blessings. It makes you feel close to Allah, and alleviates any sorrow or grief, because of its immediate stress-relieving effects. Daily recitation of a few pages of the Quran, especially after Fajr prayer, is the best remedy for keeping oneself on the path of righteousness, tied to the rope of Allah.
`Abdullah bin `Amr bin Al-`As (may Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Prophet [صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم] said:
"The one who was devoted to the Qur'an will be told on the Day of Resurrection: `Recite and ascend (in ranks) as you used to recite when you were in the world. Your rank will be at the last Ayah you recite.'''
[Abu Dawud and Tirmidhi]
- Read its translation and exegesis:
Reading is one of the most fulfilling pastimes, pursued by millions with zeal, and what better to read on a relaxing day than the Quran or its explanation? A good understanding of reality can be obtained if the Quran is understood by reading its translation and exegesis/ ‘tafsir' [explanation with context] written by an authentic scholar.
- Memorize it:
Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah [صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم] said:
"He who does not memorize any part from the Qur'an, he is like the ruined house.''
Having Divine words ensconced in your heart enables you to hum them to yourself when feeling low; to stand in long, deep supererogatory prayers at night; and to feel especially close to Allah when, as you witness incidents in practical life, He replays relevant Quranic words in your mind, granting you insight into the reality of the life of this world.
- Listen to it attentively:
Whether it's listening to a tape of Quran recitation, or to a scholarly lecture explaining it, whilst traveling in the car or perusing websites on the Internet, or attending a live class at an institute or a mosque, one of the best ways of reflecting upon the Quran is listening to it intently when someone reads it and explains it aloud to you. Any student of Islamic knowledge would testify to the "on-high" feeling of enlightenment that follows a Quran class.
- Act upon it:
The Quran should be adhered to in practical life; it is a Book that was sent as guidance for all mankind. Therefore, all other acts of worship related to the Quran would be of little avail; rather, they could actually bear witness against us on the Day of Judgment, if we did not act upon its commands, or did not intend to act upon them when pursuing its knowledge.
From fulfilling covenants, taking loans, leaving behind inheritance, returning bad with good, tying the nuptial knot, and calling to Islam; to principles of raising pious children and giving charity - the Quran provides complete guidance to us, about how to live life individually and communally.
- Teach it to others:
Narrated Uthman Bin `Affan (may Allah be pleased with him), Allah's Messenger [صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم] said:
"The best among you is the one who learns the Quran and teaches it to others."
It sounds very fancy to say, "I teach the Quran", but in reality, propagating the Quran can be as simple as inviting a few sisters over for tea, and reading out its Arabic, translation and exegesis to them over a period of half an hour. Everyone can then discuss how to apply what they have learned to their lives. Shorter surah's of the Book may be covered, or it may be taught chronologically in its entirety. The point is to open up the Quran for da'wah and reflection on a regular basis. The benefits of this activity - teaching it to others - outweigh those of reflecting upon it in seclusion.
- Enjoy the friendships of your "Ahl al-Quran" (the ‘family' of the Quran):
The bond that forms between Muslims on the basis of studying the Quran together is indescribable. It is sincere and unworldly love, solely for the sake of Allah; one that transcends petty motives or gains.
The Quran has filled my life with vibrant colors, enriched my soul with its beneficial knowledge, and guided me to feel the solace of being close to Allah, my Creator. Wouldn't you also want to ride this beautiful rainbow?