The Obligations Muslims Owe to the Quran – Book Sample
THE OBLIGATIONS MUSLIMS OWE TO THE QURAN
Tazakkur wa Tadabbur
(Recalling through the Qur’an the fundamental truths intuitively recognized by human nature, and reflecting over its meaning)
We have discussed two of the claims that the Qur’an has upon us: (i) that we should believe in it and (ii) that we should recite it. Now we proceed to explain the third claim it has upon us. It is that we should understand it.
Obviously, the Qur’an has been revealed that it may be understood. There would be no sense in believing in it if we do not follow its meanings.
Also, how can it serve as a source of guidance for us if we.fail to comprehend its message.
Mere recitation (i.e., recitation without understanding the meaning of the text) may be excusable in the case of persons who have not been fortunate enough to receive any education, and· who are now past the age at which one can do so. Even a clumsy recitation on their part may be acceptable and may win them a reward from Allah (SWT).
Similarly, a person who cannot read the Qur’an at all, nor can learn how to do so, may get a reward and blessings from Allah (SWT) even if he just moves his fingers affectionately and reverently along the lines of the Holy Book, believing it to be kalam Allah (the Word of Allah).
However, the case of those persons will be quite different who may have devoted a considerable part of their lives to their secular education – who may have acquired a knowledge of different arts and sciences and may have learnt foreign languages besides their own.
If these educated persons were to read the Qur’an thoughtlessly and without understanding its meaning, then it is very much possible that, in the sight of Almighty Allah (SWT), they may be considered guilty of dishonoring and ridiculing the Holy Book.
For these persons, it is possible that the punishment for ignoring the meaning and message of the Qur’an may exceed the reward for reciting its text.
However, if they make a firm resolve to acquire a knowledge of the Qur’an and start earnest efforts in this direction, they may in the meantime continue to read the Qur’an in the way they can.
Perhaps, under the circumstances, recitation, mere and simple, may be acceptable from them and may even bring them a reward from Allah (SWT).
As for the comprehension of the Qur’an, it is not a simple affair. It has numerous stages and grades accessible to different persons according to the levels of their thinking.
The Holy Qur’an is like an unbounded sea from which a scholar can bring out pearls of knowledge and wisdom according to his natural ability, intellectual equipment, and mental makeup.
His efforts to comprehend the Qur’an will be rewarded in proportion to the enthusiasm, time, and labor that he puts into its study and research.
At the same time, it will be found that so far as its comprehension is concerned, no person, however intelligent and learned, shall ever feel that he has dpne justice to the Qur’an even though he may have spent his Whole life pouring over its pages and meditating over its meanings.
The Holy Prophet (SAW) himself has characterized the Qur’an as a treasure (of knowledge and wisdom) which shall never to exhausted.
It is such a source of guidance that man s.hall ever continue to feel the need of reverting to it and reflecting upon it.
… for this let (all) those strive who want to strive. (AI-Mutaffifin 83:26)
Therefore, let men of courage and determination come forward to undertake the stupendous task of Qur’anic research, fired with the noble ambition of surpassing others in this field.
The Holy Qur’an urges us again and again to study it intelligently, bringing our thought to bear upon it, and exercising our reasoning faculty in following its arguments and comprehending its meanings.
For this purpose, it uses such words as fahm, ‘aq/, fiqh, and fikr,1 but another important term, more widely used in the Qur’an in this context is tazakkur. For understanding the significance of this term we have to note that the Qur’an frequently calls itself zikr, zikra and tazkirah.1 In reality, tazakkur pertains to the first stage in the comprehension of the Qur’an and indicates the real purpose and final goal which it should serve.
It also alludes to the fact that the Qur’anic teachings are not extraneous to the human nature.
It actually reflects the experiences of man’s inner self and is meant to awaken reminiscences of something already apprehended, rather than to import