On reciting the Quran

Summary of a class with Ustadh Naveed Ahmed on 11.11.2017

After introductions and a brief reflection on the naming and purpose of the book, Ustadh Naveed commenced by asking the attendees why Imam Al Haddad emphasises the wird of the Qur’an. He stated that it was the Qur’an that was Rasulullah’s (SAW) first experience of the message (risaalah) in the cave in Mount Hira.

In that first experience was a command for him (SAW), specifically, and a command for us for all times. So it is an important wird as it comes in the form of a command from Allah.

In commanding to read/recite the Qur’an, it is the Arabic that is commanded. If unable to read Arabic, it is an act of worship (`ibaadah) to gaze over the words of the Qur’an in Arabic. We have a natural disposition towards the Qur’an and children have a natural love for the Qur’an. The Qur’an being from Allah has a pull on the heart of anyone. He cited the incident of Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (RA) who was a fierce opponent to Islam but believed upon hearing the recitation of Qur’an at his sister Fatima’s (RA) house.

In Tarim, the lay people recite the Qur’an every day after Maghrib in the mosques, each taking their turn to recite and it is not uncommon for the students of knowledge to have their recitation corrected by these lay people. Ustadh noted that there are indeed some lay people who sit in this gatherings and cannot themselves recite, but can tell when a reciter has made an error. When asked how they know that it is an error the response is that the correct recitation of the Qur’an brings a visible illumination which goes away when an error is made.

There are 3 types of people:

1. Mu’minuun – these are people whose hearts are spiritually alive. It is the remembrance of Allah that strengthens the spirituality of the heart.

2. Kaafiruun – people whose hearts are spiritually dead

3. Munaafiquun – people in whose hearts is disease.

 There are two types of disease:

1. Shubahaat are diseases related to understanding such as not having complete trust in Allah;

2. Shahawaat are the diseases from base desires.

The cure for spiritual sickness is the Qur’an, as set out in Surah Yunus

[10:57] “O mankind, there has come to you instruction from your Lord and a healing for what is in the breasts and guidance and mercy for the believers” and in Surah Ra`d [13:28] “Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of Allah. Verily, by the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest”. Furthermore, from a hadith in At-Tirmidhi comes the supplication for steadfastness of the heart. ‘Anas (RA) narrated “The Messenger of Allah (SAW) would often say: Ya Muqallibal-qulub, thabbit qalbi ‘ala dinik (‘O Changer of the hearts! Strengthen my heart upon Your Religion.)’

From Muslim it is narrated that Rasulullah (SAW) said that the best of his nation’s devotions is the recitation of the Qur’an.   In Surah Baqarah the Qur’an is denoted as a guidance for the Muttaqeen (people of taqwa) not just the Muslims – as we see some Muslims being misguided by the Qur’an (due to diseases they have in their hearts).

How we engage with the Quran:

We should engage in additional reading and study to truly understand the words of the Qur’an. From the Sahaba we see those who used to stand in night prayer for the entire night but reciting only one verse. Each time they recited the recited the verse they received a new meaning. We should take the time to connect with the Qur’an. Without reflection the heart becomes dusty.

As parents we should not be a barrier to children from the Qur’an. Encourage them but do not force them when it comes to the Qur’an. Our focus with children should not be speed of reading or completion of the Book, but on quality and understanding. We should allow our children to benefit from the Book at their own pace. `Abdullah ibn `Umar (RA) took 8 years to memorise Surah Baqarah as they spent many hours reflecting on the verses.

From the best times to recite Qur’an, with a measured recitation are after fajr and after maghrib. Surah Isra [17:78] “Establish prayer at the decline of the sun until the darkness of the night and [also] the Qur’an of dawn. Indeed, the recitation of dawn is ever witnessed.”

Hudhaifah bin Yaman (RA) said he stood next to Rasulullah (SAW) during the night prayer to see how he recited. He said he noticed that he (SAW) praised Allah when he (SAW) came to verses of praise and when he came to verses of supplication he (SAW) supplicated and when he came to a verse mentioning punishment he sought refuge with Allah.

The Qur’an is an opening that Allah gives to those who seek Him.  Shaykh As-Saqqaf was blessed with an opening to the Qur’an such that he would recite four Qur’an during the day and four in the night amongst his other deeds, prayers and acts of worship.

Parting words:

Having completed this chapter Ustadh Naveed advised not to hastily implement all the recommendations at once. After 40 days of consistency upon an action, you may add some more.

Notes by Sophia, and with Allah alone is all success.

For further classes and updates please contact Mohamed on 07772254406

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