“Why do people not give Qur’an its due importance these days? Why is the Qur’an left to gather dust on our shelves and abandoned? What has brought this upon our Ummah??”
By Gilla Barre
New Delhi, India
Allah sent down the Qur’an as a mercy to humanity, to serve as a reminder of our purpose here on earth and to warn us of Judgment Day, like a teacher who gives all the answers before a big test.
He sent down the Qur’an to help us seek answers to heal our overburdened souls and to ponder over the blessings of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى).
Allah says in the Qur’an:
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ قَدْ جَاءَتْكُم مَّوْعِظَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَشِفَاءٌ لِّمَا فِي الصُّدُورِ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةٌ لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ
O mankind! There has come to you a good advice from your Lord (i.e. the Qur’an, enjoining all that is good and forbidding all that is evil), and a healing for that (disease of ignorance, doubt, hypocrisy and differences,) Which is in your breasts, – a guidance and a mercy (explaining lawful and unlawful things) for the believers. “
Then, why do people not give Qur’an its due importance these days? Why is the Qur’an left to gather dust on our shelves and abandoned? What has brought this upon our Ummah??
Perhaps, it is the growing need for people to satisfy their worldly desires more than fulfilling their religious obligations. They devote themselves to fulfilling their whims and desires, by engaging in haraam activities like listening to music, idle talk, excessive socialising etc. trying to find some comfort for their bruised souls.
Ever wondered how people can memorise all the latest songs but find it so difficult to memorise a single ayah from the Qur’an? It is because committing sins hardens one’s heart. One of the signs of the hardness of the heart is hearing Ayahs and not being moved by them.
The righteous Caliph Uthmaan ibn Affaan said: “If our hearts were truly pure, we would never get enough of the Words of our Lord.”*
You can spend hours watching TV (including commercials) or work on that important work assignment till the wee hours of the morning but never get tired or bored of it. But flipping a single page from the Qur’an seems like an uphill task. What does this tell you? It is not about “not having enough time”. It’s all about priorities.
If its important to you, like that office project that could cost you your job or the school assignment that can make you fail a whole year, you find all the energy, time and will to complete that task regardless of how tired, busy and sleep deprived you are. It is ironic how hard we are willing to work to keep ourselves happy in this dunya but when it comes to doing acts loved by Allah, we get lazy and find every lame excuse in the world to not do it.
I’m speaking out of experience. I realised that it is not just enough to put the Qur’an before everything and make it top priority. It also takes real efforts, with sincere niyyah, to develop a deep connection with the Qur’an and make it a huge part of your life. You will begin to look forward to reading it, studying it, memorising it and you’ll celebrate every ayah you memorised, cherish every lesson learned, implement every wisdom gained and experience true peace of mind. We need to stop taking pride in how good our kids do in school while they’re completely ignorant of their Deen and the Qur’an. We need to set a good example and show them — through our actions — that the Qur’an is not meant to be abandoned on our shelves as a showpiece. It is meant to be read, understood, absorbed and studied little by little, just like it was revealed.
If we begin to inculcate the idea of being more mindful of our Qur’an, they’ll grow up living by it and influence others in the process. As one sister once told me, we need to invest in our ummah, we need to invest in the future warriors of our Ummah.
My journey to the Qur’an was somewhat the same. I was addicted to music and hearing a recitation of the Qur’an would make me cringe. Because my heart was already engaged in things that made it miserably heedless, I was never moved when hearing its recitation. I have always been looking for some relief from the madness in my life, and music always seemed to bring (supposed) relief. I have realised, that it was because of Shaytaan.
As Ibn Qayyim said: One of the favourite tricks of the Shaytan, which deceives everyone except those who are clever enough to see it, is to show a person some goodness in a wrong thing, and call him to go towards what is good; when the person gets close to it, he falls into the trap.**
If you, too, are struggling to build your relationship with the Qur’an, these are some tips to help you along the way:
1. Understanding the significance and rewards of making Qur’an a part of your life:
People who live their lives following the Qur’an will receive maghfirah (forgiveness). When you live by the words of Allah, its like cleansing and washing away all the sins you have committed in this life. And on Judgment Day, the Qur’an will intercede for you.
Imam Ahmad (6589) narrated from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “Fasting and the Qur’an will intercede for a person on the Day of Resurrection. Fasting will say: O Lord, I kept him from his food and desires during the day; let me intercede for him. And the Qur’an will say: I kept him from sleeping during the night; let me intercede for him. And they will be allowed to intercede.”****
2. Purifying your heart and intentions:
Many people commit the mistake of memorising the Qur’an for the wrong reasons – to show off, gain some worldly benefit or to feel proud. Some parents even send their kids to madrassas just to get the label of a Hafidh, where kids mindlessly memorise the Qur’an without understanding its meaning.
Do it for the sole purpose of pleasing your Lord, to come closer to Him, to understand His words. The right intention motivates you to give your 100%. That way, it won’t feel like just another “task to finish”.
3. Make Dua:
Plead with Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى to make the Qur’an touch your heart. To let its words sink deep into your soul, so much so you become unaffected by the whims of this world, so much so that you find comfort in its words and ayahs, and you look forward to reading it and pondering over its wisdom. Ask Him to purify your intentions so you’re rewarded for what you intended.
4. Set a fixed time everyday to study Qur’an:
After Fajr prayer is an amazing time to be alone with the Qur’an. Before the day’s distractions begin, use this time to recite, reflect and memorise the Qur’an or you’ll find it incredibly difficult to sit after work or at the end of the day to try to get some quality time with the Qur’an since we are usually very tired by then. This is also a great way to start your day. Plus, your mind is still fresh and will make memorising easier.
أَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ لِدُلُوكِ الشَّمْسِ إِلَىٰ غَسَقِ اللَّيْلِ وَقُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ ۖ إِنَّ قُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ كَانَ مَشْهُودًا
Establish prayer at the decline of the sun [from its meridian] until the darkness of the night and [also] the Qur’an of dawn. Indeed, the recitation of dawn is ever witnessed.
5. Make Qur’an Buddies:
I can’t stress enough how much peer pressure can work in positive ways too. The people you surround yourself with can influence you significantly. Healthy competition is a great motivation too.
Join a class, arrange to meet with friends to study together, set challenges with your family, get a Qur’an teacher. You can even join online classes or attend online webinars on Qur’an and watch Tafseer lectures online. (I highly recommend Qur’an Weekly on Youtube)
6. Implementing what you learn:
Qur’an is a way of life. It is not meant to be read mindlessly, it’s meant to be lived by. Read it while waiting for the bus, learn its tafseer, ponder over the words of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى), listen to it on your way to work or school, or while doing household chores. It’ll keep your mind occupied and your heart pure of satanic desires while helping you come closer to your Lord. You’ll slowly begin to understand and remember the ayahs. Understanding it will make you follow its teachings, and you’ll notice a world of difference that it’ll bring to your life.
May Allah help us read, understand and implement the Qur’an in our lives. Ameen!
*‘al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah’ 7/215
** “Patience and Gratitude”, Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, (an abridgement of his original work entitled, “Uddat as-Sâbireen wa Dhâkirat ash-Shâkireen”), translated by Nasiruddin al-Khattab, p. 24
***Classed as Saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami‘, 7329
****Sahih Muslim Hadith 1757 Narrated by Abu Umamah