Approach the Quran

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  • Approach the Quran

  • Teaching the Glorious Quran

    `Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,


    "The best among you (Muslims) are those who learn the Qur'an and teach it. "[1]

    In his Al-Barham, Az-Zarkashi said, "Teaching the Qur'an is a communal duty. Likewise, memorizing the Qur'an is an


    Obligation upon the Ummah. That means, according to Al-Juwayni, if a sufficient number of people shoulder the task of teaching the Qur'an, the rest of the people will be excused; otherwise, the whole community will be held sinful.


    Accordingly, if there is no one in a city or a village that can recite the Qur'an, all the inhabitants of that city or village will be held sinful."[2]


    But, the question which arises now is what is meant by learning and teaching the Qur'an'? Is it merely to learn the Glorious Qur'an by heart?


    Some people confine the meaning of learning and teaching the Qur'an to this limited sense. This is the reason behind awarding those who memorize the Qur'an with great financial gifts.


    However, I do not agree with this stance since it gives priority to memorization over understanding. I have dealt with this point thoroughly in my Fiqh AI-Awlawiyyat (Understanding Of Priorities). According to the Glorious Qur'an, one of the Prophet's salient roles is to instruct his people in the Book and Wisdom. This role is mentioned in four places in the Glorious Qur'an. For instance, Allah, Most High, says,


    (Allah did confer a great favour on the believers when He sent among them a Messenger from among themselves, rehearsing unto them the Signs of Allah, sanctifying them, and instructing them in Scripture and Wisdom, while, before that, they had been in manifest error. (Al `Imran: 164)


    No doubt, instructing the Book does not mean only recitation or memorization. In some hadiths, learning as well as teaching the Glorious Qur'an is called "study". Abu Hurayrah, for example, narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,


    "No people assemble in a house among the houses of Allah (mosques) and recite the Book of Allah and study it (among themselves), but there would descend upon them tranquility; mercy would cover them; and the angels would surround them and Allah makes mention of them in the presence of those who are near Him. "[3]


    Studying the Glorious Qur'an signifies learning its rules of recitation, knowing its teachings, and drawing attention to its admonitions. That is what the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to do with the Archangel Gabriel in the month of Ramadan during his lifetime. Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them both) said, "The Prophet was the most generous amongst the people, and he used to be more so in the month of Ramadan when Gabriel visited him, and Gabriel used to meet with him on every night of Ramadan until the end of the month. The Prophet used to recite the Glorious Qur'an to Gabriel, and when Gabriel met him, he used to be more generous than a fast wind (which causes rain and welfare)."[4]


    It is not sufficient, therefore, to learn the Glorious Qur'an by heart without knowing its meaning, even though one will be rewarded by Allah, Most High, for memorizing His Book. In this context, we may recall the following hadith narrated by `Uqbah ibn `Amir (may Allah be pleased with him) who said,


    "Once we were in Suffa when the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) came out and said, 'Which of you would like to go out every morning to But-han (a place near Madinah) or Al-Aqiq (a valley near Madinah) and bring two large she-camels without being guilty of sin or without severing the ties of kinship? 'We said, 'Messenger of Allah, we would like to do it.' Upon this he said, 'Does not one of you go out in the morning to the mosque and teach or recite two verses from the Book of Allah, the Majestic and Glorious? That is better for him than two she-camels, and three verses are better than three (she-camels), and four verses are better for him than four (she-camels), and so on. "'[5]


    I think what is meant by the Prophet (peace be upon him) in the above hadith is not merely learning the Qura'nic verses by heart. Rather, it means learning and acting according to them.


    Learning the Glorious Qur'an as well as acting according to its instructions was a characteristic of the Companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him). By doing so, the Glorious Qur'an will be a light and a proof in favor of man on the Day of Judgment. Abu Umamah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, "Whoever memorizes a verse of the Book of Allah will be faced by it on the Day of judgment while it is smiling."[6]

    [1] Reported by Al-Bukhari.


    [2] Az-Zarkashi, Al-Burhan. vol. 1, p. 456.


    [3] Reported by Muslim.


    [4] Reported by Al-Bukhari.


    [5] Reported by Muslim.


    [6] According to Al-Haythami in Az-Zwaid. vol. 7, p. 161, this hadith is reported by At-



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