Our Beloved Prophet peace is upon him said:
“The example of a believer who recites the Qur’an is that of a citron (a citrus fruit) which is good in taste and good in smell. And the believer who does not recite the Quran is like a date which has a good taste but no smell. And the example of an impious person who recites the Qur’an is that of Ar-Rihana (an aromatic plant) which smells good but is bitter in taste. And the example of an impious person who does not recite the Quran is that of a colocynth which is bitter in taste and has no smell.” [Bukhari]
The Quran is a compass where when one is lost and seeking questions that lurk within the mind in the fleeting duniya such as ‘Who am I?’ ‘Why am I here?’ ‘Where am I going to?’ it guides and allows one to re-establish their purpose on Earth and what is requested from his/her lifespan. Our lifespan is divided into two periods: pre-death and post-death. The pre-death period is our presence on the testing ground of the Duniya filled with trials and tribulations. The post-death period is where we will be accounted by Allah subhanahu wa taala on the Day of Judgement. Our destination is dependent on our actions during our lifetime.
The Quran is not a story being told to us. It is a message that is being sent especially to all of mankind. Does not that make you feel special? A Book written especially for you?
"[This is] a blessed Book (the Quran) which We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam], that they might reflect upon its verses and that those of understanding would be reminded." [38:29]
During the darkest times in life that are as dull and dark like black coal where we fall down on our knees turning to the Almighty for His help, mercy and guidance. He returns our call and says:
“O you, who has believed, seeks help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient.” [2:153]
During the times of happiness and success, when we thank Allah, He responds back:
“And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, 'If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favour; but if you deny, indeed, my punishment is severe.'” [14:7]
Do you see the connection my dear sisters? The Quran is not any ordinary book. It is a Book written by the One who created you and me to keep us sustained as travellers through this duniya journey. It is a gift from Allah!
Benefits of reciting Quran
There are many virtues from reciting the Book of Allah. Amongst these are simply just reading it! Our Beloved Prophet Muhammad peace is upon him said:
‘Whoever reads a letter from the Book of Allah, he will have a reward. And that reward will be multiplied by ten. I am not saying that “Alif, Laam, Meem” is a letter, rather I am saying that “Alif” is a letter, “laam” is a letter and “meem” is a letter.” So increase your recitation of the Qur’an to gain these merits, and to gain the following merit as well.’ [Al-Tirmidhi]
There is even more reward for those that have difficulty in reciting the Quran than those who are able to recite it with ease as Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him said:
‘Verily the one who recites the Qur’an beautifully, smoothly, and precisely, he will be in the company of the noble and obedient angels. And as for the one who recites with difficulty, stammering or stumbling through its verses, then he will have TWICE that reward.’ [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
There are also special times to read to such as last third of the night - Qiyamul Layl (Night Prayer)! Our Beloved Prophet Muhammad peace is upon him said:
“Whoever recites ten aayaat (verses) in qiyaam will not be recorded as one of the forgetful. Whoever recites a hundred aayaat (verses) in qiyaam will be recorded as one of the devout, and whoever prays a thousand aayaat (verses) in qiyaam will be recorded as one of the muqantareen (those who pile up good deeds).” [Abu Dawud and Ibn Hibban]
Another special time where the Glorious Quran has significance is during the blessed month of Ramadan in which it was revealed! Allah subhanahu wa taala said:
“The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Quran, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong)” [2:185]
Moreover, an additional benefit of reciting Quran is that it acts as an intercessor on the Day of Judgement. Our Beloved Prophet peace is upon him said:
‘The Qur’an is an intercessor, something given permission to intercede, and it is rightfully believed in. Whoever puts it in front of him, it will lead him to Paradise; whoever puts it behind him, it will steer him to the Hellfire.” [Al-Tabarani]
Furthermore, the Quran is a healer of pain and worries. At times, sometimes words reach my heart first and I get hurt like knife-stabbing wound. I reach for Quran and there appears a verse that shone like a burning sun in the clear blue sky: bringing tranquillity to my heart:
“We definitely know the grief their words cause you, it is not you they deny but it is the signs of Allah that the oppressors deny. Indeed messengers were denied before you and they were patient with the denial and they were harmed until our help came….” [6:33-34].
“And We send down of the Quran that which is a healing and a mercy to those who believe (in Islamic Monotheism and act on it), and it increases the Zaalimoon (polytheists and wrongdoers) nothing but loss” [17:82]
As I grew older, my relationship with the Quran became stronger and personal. I developed deepened connections with my Lord via the Quran like a barbed wire surrounding and protecting me from harm. The heart is not just an organ of the body whose role is pump blood around the body. It is also the centre of emotions and objectives. It is the Quran that is the abode of faith and softens the heart like butter:
Allah has sent down the best statement: a consistent Book wherein is reiteration. The skins shiver there from of those who fear their Lord; then their skins and their hearts relax at the remembrance of Allah. That is the guidance of Allah by which He guides whom He wills. And one whom Allah leaves astray - for him there is no guide. [39:2]
How can the Quran be a healer? Ruqyah is a method used within Shariah (Islamic Law) for spiritual and physical treatment where the Quran and/or Dua are recited. This can be done by the person himself. It is a Sunnah. There is evidence that suggests this as Aisha may Allah be pleased with her said:
“When the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was ill, he would recite al-Mi’wadhatayn [Surah Al-Falak, Surah Al-Nas] over himself and spit drily. When his pain grew intense, I recited over him and wiped him with his own hand, seeking its barakah (blessing).” [Al-Bukhari, Muslim]
It was narrated that Abu Sa’eed (may Allah be pleased with him) said:
“A group of the companions of Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) set out on a journey and travelled until they stopped in (the land of) one of the Arab tribes. They asked them for hospitality but they refused to welcome them. The chief of that tribe was stung by a scorpion and they tried everything but nothing helped them. Some of them said, ‘Why don’t you go to those people who are camped (near us), maybe you will find something with them.’ So they went to them and said, ‘O people, our chief has been stung by a scorpion and we have tried everything but nothing helped him. Can any of you do anything?’ One of them said, ‘Yes, by Allah, I will recite ruqyah for him, but by Allah we asked you for hospitality and you did not welcome us, so I will not recite ruqyah for you until you give us something in return.’ Then they agreed upon a flock of sheep.’ Then he went and spat drily and recited over him Al-hamdu Lillaahi Rabb il-‘Aalameen [Surah Fatiha]. (The chief) got up as if he was released from a chain and started walking, and there were no signs of sickness on him. They paid them what they agreed to pay. Some of them (i.e. the companions) then suggested to divide their earnings among themselves, but the one who performed the ruqyah said, ‘Do not divide them until we go to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and tell him what happened, then wait and see what he tells us to do.’ So they went to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and told him what had happened. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) asked, ‘How did you know that it (al-Fatihah) is a ruqyah?’ Then he added, ‘You have done the right thing. Share out (the flock of sheep) and give me a share too.’ And the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) smiled.” [Bukhari, Muslim]
Additionally, when reciting Quran and implementing it within our lives, our status is raised in both worlds: the testing ground of the Duniya and the Hereafter. Our Beloved Prophet peace is upon him said:
“Such a person, who recites the Quran and masters it by heart, will be with the noble righteous scribes (in Heaven). And such a person exerts himself to learn the Quran by heart, and recites it with great difficulty, will have a double reward.”
There are so many benefits of reciting Quran but how can we make it an integral part of our lives, internalise its teaching and derive maximum benefits out of it? I will be giving tips on how we can improve our connection with Allah subhanahu wa taala via the Quran. This is useful for those who hardly read Quran and those who read it on the daily basis.
Check your intention and heart out!
Intention is the most important thing before reciting Quran or performing any other action. One needs to question themselves. ‘Why are you reading this?’ ‘What have you understood, benefited and how will you implement it into your life?’ ‘Are you reading it because you want to or you have been ordered from your family?’
A tip that helps from a physical, emotional and mentally perspective when we perform Wudhu (Ablution) it reminds us that we are reading the Book of Allah and not any other book and cleansing is part of our faith!
Another tip is to supplicate to Allah subhanahu wa taala for guidance and steadfastness to be able to have a stronger bond with the Quran by adhering to His blessed and wise words into our lives. Our Beloved Prophet Muhammad peace is upon him said:
"Make Dua and be assured of it being answered, and know that Allah, the Exalted, does not answer a Dua from a careless heart which is not concentrating." [Al-Tirmidhi]
We as humans are weak and we tend to procrastinate due to an imbalance between duniya and deen. We tend to have these thoughts such as ‘I don’t have time as I have a deadline/meeting, I’ll read it later’. What is the probability of your presence in ‘later’?
We need to try to make time for at least 5 minutes a day or 5 minutes after Salah! We need to try to read it regularly, step by step; increase the time!
Attend a Quranic class/program or listen on your headphones!
Many tend to make an excuse that ‘they do not understand or cannot recite’. As stated earlier in this article; those who have difficulty reciting but still try get more reward than those who are able to!
If you are unable to read Quran – then I recommend you to join a Quranic class/program within your area, there also online classes available too! Learning Arabic and/or having a translation of the Quran in a written or audio format are also a tip because we need to be able to understand what we read!
Ultimately my dear sisters, the Glorious Quran is filled with endless lessons and knowledge. Do not abandon it, start your journey today!