Posted by: believer786 | March 14, 2007

How To Approach The Qur’an – Part 2

Read Part 1 before reading this.

Bringing Gratitude and Praise

Third: Make yourself constantly alert with intense praise
and gratitude to your Lord for having blessed you with His
greatest gift – the Qur’an – and for having guided you to its
reading and study.

Once you realize what a priceless treasure you hold in
your hands, it is but natural for your heart to beat with joy
and murmur, and for your tongue to join in: ‘Thankful praise
be to Allah, who has guided us to this; [otherwise] never
could we have found guidance had not Allah not guided us’
(al-A’raf 7: 43).

Of all the intimate blessings and favours He has bestowed
upon you nothing can match the Qur’an. If every hair on
your body becomes a tongue praising and thanking Him, if
every drop of blood in your body turns into a joyful tear,
even then your praise and thanks will not match His
enormous generosity that is the Qur’an.

Even if the Qur’an had not been sent down for us, its
perfection and beauty, its majesty and splendour would
deserve all the praise at our command. But that this sublime
and perfect gift, having the unique distinction of embodying
our Lord’s speech, has been given solely for our sake must
intensify our praise beyond bounds.

Such intense praise inevitably turns into intense gratitude.
And no word expresses this intense praise combined with
overflowing gratitude and thanks as well as does al-hamd.

alhamdu li ‘llahi ‘I-ladhl hadana li hadha …

Why thank Allah for having given us the Qur’an? Prin-
cipally because He has, thus, guided you to meaning and
purpose in life and brought you on the Straight Path. The way
to honour and dignity in this-world has been opened for you.
In the Qur’an, you can converse with Allah. Only by following
the Qur’an in this-world can you attain forgiveness, Paradise
and Allah’s good pleasure in that-world.

Gratitude and joy lead to trust, hope and greater gifts.
The One who has given you the Qur’an will surely help you
in reading, understanding and following it. Thankfulness and
joy generate an ever-fresh vigour which helps you to read
the Qur’an always with a renewed zeal. The more you are
grateful, the more Allah gives you of the riches that the
Qur’an has to offer. Generosity evokes gratitude, gratitude
makes you deserve more generosity – an unending cycle.
Such is God’s promise: ‘If you are grateful, I will surely give
you more and more’ (Ibrahim 14: 7).

Having the Qur’an and not feeling immensely grateful for
it can only mean two things: either you are ignorant of the
blessings that the Qur’an contains, or you do not attach any
importance to them. In either case you should be seriously
worried about the state of your relationship with the Qur’an.

The sentiment of gratitude that permeates every pore of
your heart and mind, must also pour out in your words, which
should be profuse and incessant. Thank Allah at every step of
your journey: for having had time for the Qur’an, for reading
it correctly, for memorizing it, £or every meaning you discover
in it, for having been enabled to follow it. Gratitude must also
be transformed into deeds.

Acceptance and Trust

Fourth: Accept and trust, without the least doubt or
hesitation, every knowledge and guidance that the Qur’an
conveys to you.

You have the freedom to question whether the Qur’an is
the word of Allah or not, and to reject its claim if you are
not satisfied. But once you have accepted it as His word,
you have no basis whatever to doubt even a single word of
it. For to do so would negate what you have accepted. There
must be total surrender and abandonment to the Quranic
teachings. Your own beliefs, opinions, judgements, notions,
whims should not be allowed to override any part of it.

The Qur’an condemns those who receive the Book as an
inheritance and then behave as bewildered and puzzled,
doubting and sceptical ‘believers’.

Those whom the Book has been given as an inheritance
after them [the early people], behold they are in doubt
about it, disquieting (al-Shura 42: 14).

The Qur’an also repeatedly emphasizes that every measure
was taken to ensure that it came down and was conveyed
without any adulteration. And affirms:

With the Truth We have sent it down and with the Truth
it has come down (al-Isra’ 17: 105).

And perfect are the words of your Lord in Truth and
Justice (al-An’am 6: 115).

Accepting and trusting the Qur’an as true, and wholly
true, does not mean blind faith, closed minds, unenquiring
intellects.

You have every right to enquire, reflect, question and
understand what it contains; but what you cannot fully
comprehend is not necessarily irrational or untrue. In a mine
where you believe that every stone is a priceless gem – and
it may have proved to be so – you will not throw away the
few whose worth your eyes fail to detect or which the tools
available to you are inadequate or unable to evaluate.

Nor can part of the Qur’an be discarded as being out of date
and old-fashioned, an old wives’ tale. If God is Lord of all
times, His message must be equally valid fourteen centuries
later.

To accept some part of the Qur’an and to reject some is
to reject all of it. There is no room for partial acceptance in
your relationship with the Qur’an; there cannot logically be
(al Baqarah 2: 85).

There are many diseases of the heart and mind which may
prevent you from accepting the Quranic message and
surrendering to it. They have all been described in the
Qur’an. Among them are envy, prejudice, gratification of
one’s desires and the blind following of the ways and customs
of society. But the greatest are pride and arrogance, a sense
of self-sufficiency (kibr and istighna’) which prevent you from
giving up your own opinions, recognizing the word of God,
and accepting it with humility.

I shall turn away from My revelations all those who wax
proud in the earth, without any right; though they see
every sign, they do not believe in it, and though they
see the way of rectitude, they do not take it for a way,
and if they see the way of error, they take it for a way
(al-A’raf 7: 146).

And those who deny Our revelations and wax proud
against them – the gates of heaven shall not be opened
to them, nor shall they enter Paradise until a camel
passes through a needle’s eye (al-A’raf 7: 40).

Obedience and Change

Fifth: Bring the will, resolve and readiness to obey
whatever the Qur’an says, and change your life, attitudes
and behaviour-inwardly and outwardly-as desired by it.

Unless you are prepared and begin to act to shape your
thoughts and actions according to the messages you receive
from the Qur’an, all your dedication and labour may be to
no avail. Mere intellectual exercises and ecstatic experiences
will never bring you anywhere near the real treasures of the
Qur’an.

Failing to obey the Qur’an and to change your life-because
of human frailties and temptations, natural difficulties and
external impediments is one matter; failing to do so because
you have no intention or make no effort to do so is quite
another. You may, then attain fame as a scholar of the
Qur’an, but it will never reveal its true meaning to you.

The Qur’an reserves one of its most severe condemnations
for those who profess faith in the Book of God, but when
they are summoned to act or when situations arise for
decision-making, they ignore its call or turn away from it.
They have been declared to be Kafir, fasiq (iniquitous), zalim
(wrongdoer).

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