by Ibn Muzaffar Syed Hussain
Most of us, we just live our lives not worrying about what's happening around us or even what's going to happen to us. We think that just because we're Muslims everything is going to be OK and that, because Allah has blessed us and saved us from any big hardship, there is nothing to worry about. I don't think we could be more wrong. Even if we haven't had major tests and hardships, how many of us actually take the time out of our 'busy' lives and thank Allah for it? Or is it just something that's expected?
I think that a lot of us take things a little too much for granted and it's not that we mean to be outright ignorant, but rather it's not something we really think about. Allah has blessed us to be Muslim -- we should thank Him every day just for THAT. But I think many Muslims, if not most, live every day just like others, not caring about anything but themselves, in this busy world of today. But being Muslim, we can't be like that, ignorant to what's going on around us, ESPECIALLY with what's happening to our global Ummah.
And, when we DO look around us, what do we see? We only see Muslims in pain, being humiliated, or whatever else it is that they're going through. And have we ever stopped to consider why
that is? If we're supposed to be the best nation raised for mankind, then why aren't we more successful? Why aren't WE at the top and controlling organizations, politics, etc.? And why is it that Islam has such a bad name in the world today? The main reason, brothers and sisters, is that we have ourselves forgotten what true
Islam really is. We go about living our lives however we like, not really caring about how Allah has told us to live, when being Muslims our ONLY concern should be how to please Allah. And the answer, at least to me, is that, and you all can either agree or disagree, we really don't LOVE Allah. And if we don't love Allah, then how can we expect to truly worship Him? Because if we loved Allah and were truly worshiping Him, then we wouldn't do half the things we do now. So naturally the question arises how do we develop that love for Allah that is so lacking in our lives? It's a big question but it all starts with the Qur'an, His Holy Book. You know the same book that just sits as a decoration piece in a lot of our homes or in the back of some closet shelf or what have you. The same Book in which there is NO DOUBT and from where we can change our lives and get all the answers to our problems. For the rest of the article, I want to briefly mention about five obligations that all Muslims owe to the Qur'an. Let's start by giving Allah's Book the respect and the rights it deserves, and then, InshaAllah
, we will see profound changes in our lives individually and collectively.
Our first obligation is to have faith (Iman
) in the Qur'an's Divine Origin. To believe doesn't only mean to say verbally, it also means having a heart felt conviction. If we don't truly have a real conviction when we say that the Qur'an is the Word of Allah, then we can never benefit from it. It's the FIRST step in making the Qur'an a part of our lives. Nowadays many, if not most, Muslims lack faith in the Divine Origin of the Qur'an and therefore they have no respect for it, nor do they study it and definitely
don't seek guidance from it. And the only way to start believing in the Qur'an is to continue to read and study it with an OPEN HEART and knowing that these words are Allah's Words.
The second obligation that we owe to the Qur'an is to correctly READ the Qur'an. We need to read it over and over and read it carefully by reflecting on what it has to say and to seek guidance in our lives by it. It's an analogy we can make with our need of food. Just like we NEED to eat and drink for our physical well-being, similarly, and even more so, we need some fulfillment for our spiritual well-being. That nourishment comes from the Qur'an. However, we just can't read it haphazardly; we should read it slowly and regularly, showing some effort and wanting to refresh and revive our faith. There is an Ayah in the Qur'an that says "...wa rattilil quraana tarteela"
, which means "...and recite the Qur'an in slow, measured rhythmic tones"
. Allah actually has told us to read His Book slowly because it won't penetrate us or leave an effect on us if we just rush thru it as if it's some chore that we don't feel like doing.
Along with the second obligation, our 3rd duty is to understand and comprehend the Qur'an. Of course there are different levels of comprehension but nevertheless, every person no matter at what level can learn SOMETHING from the Qur'an. However, there are 2 stages of comprehension, of which the first stage is called tazhakkur
, which comes from the word Zhikr
meaning 'to remember'. We've been told to do Zhikr
of Allah all the time and what better way to do Zhikr
than to read His Words? We must realize that nothing in the Qur'an is alien to anyone, it speaks to the innate nature of all of us and if we truly allow ourselves to open up and not have preconceived notions or prejudices or whatever else is corrupting our thoughts, then all those truths will become evident. So the more we listen to and read the Qur'an and ponder over its meanings, the more all these truths will become clearer to us -- things that might be hidden in the backs of our minds which we were suppressing because we've been corrupted. The Qur'an, as Allah says, has been made easy for us and all we have to show is an open heart and an open mind to be able to understand it, and InshaAllah
guide our lives with it. With this comes another duty upon all of us -- to learn the Arabic language, at least so much so that we can understand the Qur'an OURSELVES without
depending on someone else's interpretation of its meanings. The Qur'an is true but people's translations might not give us that same feeling and level of understanding that would come with us understanding Allah's Words ourselves. The second stage of the 3rd duty is not for everyone and is called tadabbur
or 'deep reflection'. It's a penetrating study of the Qur'an and all that it has to offer -- for those people who give up everything and make that their life's goal. But for the rest of us, we can still read and study the Qur'an to some level and receive some guidance from it.
The fourth obligation we have to the Qur'an is to ACT upon its teachings. It is a guidance for mankind which we can read and understand all we want, but if we don't act upon what it says it will only harm us in the end, because we KNOW the truth and we still do whatever we desire. People use the verse from the Qur'an that there is no compulsion in the Religion when they hear that we have to sacrifice our wants and our desires to truly live according to how Allah wants us to live. However that verse is being misused...it refers to the fact that we can't force anyone to become Muslim, as we tell them about Islam and guide them in the right direction and then it's up to them. However, when one is in Islam, then we can't really use that verse, because Islam is about sacrifice
. Jihad bin nafs
is the ultimate jihad -- when we give up what our nafs desires because of our love for Allah because He told us to and because we want to follow our beloved Prophet (saws). He said that, "None of you can become a true believer until his desires become subordinate to what I have brought."
We have to change our whole way of living so that it is in accordance to how Islam says it should be. That's on an individual level. On a collective and community level, ALL of us have to work towards establishing an Islamic State, where everyone lives according to the system that Allah has told us. It is an obligation on each and every one of us to do whatever we can to help establish Islam on a community level, because Allah's Sovereignty has to be Supreme and it can't TRULY be Supreme until it's established on a mass level. Nevertheless we have to incorporate Islam into our lives and make ourselves the best Muslims we can be first, so that we can show people how a Muslim is supposed to be.
Lastly, our 5th obligation to the Qur'an is to propagate the Message as much as we can. It was the duty of Prophet Muhammad (saws) and now it is our duty since there will be no more Prophets after him. He even told his followers in his farewell Khutbah to propagate the message till the end of time. However, that really can't happen until we come back to the Qur'an, until we truly realize and believe with the utmost conviction that this, the Qur'an, IS THE ACTUAL, UNADULTERATED WORD OF ALLAH. We can't just take from the Qur'an what we want and leave what we want -- that's not following Allah, that's following our desires and that
, brothers and sisters, can be counted as Shirk. Allah says that something might be good for you even if you don't like it and something might be bad for you even if you do like it, so in the end it's not about what we want or what we desire, it is and always will be about what Allah has told us to do and how to live.
I hope this served as a reminder of the importance the Qur'an should hold in our lives and I pray that we can all start making it a daily part of our lives, that we believe in it, read it, understand it, act by it and InshaAllah
try to spread it as much as we can.
Brothers and sisters, we're spending so much time and money, some of us using our parents' money, some of us taking out loans to become the best doctors/engineers/lawyers/teachers/businessmen we can be, isn't it about time to start becoming the best MUSLIMS we can be?
May Allah forgive all our sins, may He guide us to the Straight Path and may He make the Qur'an the Noor of our eyes.