Bonding with the Qur’an, the Divine Manual for Human Life
Unlike our predecessors, we are living in an information age. Anything and everything we need to know is available on our fingertips, so much so that we are bombarded with the excess information sometimes making it arduous to retain it.
We no longer have to go through the tedious regime of hunting for the concerned book and browsing through every page, nor have to walk hundreds of miles in search of a single hadith, as was done by the knowledge seekers of the past. Instead, now, we just have to click the button and the e-jinni retrieves back with required data.
We read everything from our palmtops, retaining very little of what we read in our brains. Perhaps, the ease of accessibility has retarded the process of transformation of information into knowledge, so that we apply it in our lives and benefit from it.
Unfortunately, we have had the same approach towards the Book of Allah (swt), the Qur’an. Though we have read and re-read the Qur’an many times we neither try to understand it nor ponder over its meaning.
We have failed to give it its right, not realizing the high esteem it deserves. Getting to know its miraculous nature with the meticulous presentation, may perhaps open up our hearts and minds towards bonding with this divine book.
We should know that Qur’an is the speech of Allah (swt), and it is one of His attributes, it has been there and will remain so forever. It was first revealed down from Lauh-e-Mahfooz to the lowest heaven (one closest to the earth) in one go and then from there to the earth gradually, in portions, for over twenty-three years, during the prophethood of our prophet, through the means of Wahy. Both descend from preserved tablet to lowest heaven, and the start of the revelation to the earth was during the month of Ramadan.
Further defining Wahy, it is the highest source of knowledge for man which offers to explain to him what his senses and reasoning cannot, about life. Wahy came only to the prophets, and to our prophet it came in many forms, some times as chiming of the bells, which, in fact, was very hard on our prophet, when the sound of bells subsided, the revealed verses through sound would be memorized by him through divine help, and at other times angel Jibreel would appear in the human form and narrate to him the revelations, or sometimes he would even appear in his angelic form with the revelation.
Once, during Mi’raj – the heavenly ascension – our prophet also had the honor of having the direct one-to-one conversation with Allah (swt), and this is when the five daily prayers were made obligatory on us.
In yet another mode of Wahy, Jibreel (asws) would directly put the verses in the heart of our prophet without physically being present around him.
Receiving these revelations was no easy task for our prophet: he would sweat profusely on a cold winter night, or sometimes his breath would seem to stop and his blessed face would turn pale, and teeth would shiver from cold. On occasions Wahy also came while our prophet was riding on his camel, the intensity of the revealed verses would become unbearable for the animal and it would sit down.
In another instance, once, when, our prophet was resting his blessed head on the lap of his companion, Zayd bin Thabit (ra), Wahy started to descent in that very posture. Zayd bin Thabit (ra) began to feel the pressure so much so that he even felt his leg would break due to this.
Had Allah (swt) willed, the entire Qur’an could have been revealed at once, rather than gradual revelations, but that would not have fulfilled the purpose of the Qur’an.
If one reads the Tafseer, or explanation of the Qur’an, he/she will find that most of the verses from the Qur’an had a background for its revelation, at that particular time.
Allah (swt), the Most Wise, chose to explain to us the Qur’an through real-life examples so that we understand it better and implement it in our lives.
The Sahaba (may Allah be pleased with them) put all the effort they could to understand and live by the Qur’an. Umar (ra) spent twelve years to learn and comprehend the meaning of Surah al-Baqarah; similarly, his son, Abdullah bin Umar (ra) spent eight years to do the same.
These instances are the sources of encouragement for us; we should read the Qur’an with the intention of understanding and living by it.
We may not always succeed in our implementation of the command, but every time we fail, we should seek forgiveness of Allah (swt) and renew our intention to follow the straight path.
This is the purpose of our lives; this is the obedience of Allah (swt), our Lord and Creator.