[We all read the Holy Quran. But how does one read it as it ought to be read? How does one derive real benefit from it? Find that out in the words of a great master of spirituality, Muhaddith-e-Deccan Abul Hasanaat Syed Abdullah Shah Naqshbandi Mujaddidi Qadri. The first part of this article runs here]
Hadith: The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) says: Read the Holy Quran. On the Day of Judgment, the Holy Quran will intercede for its readers.
Hadhrat Imam Ahmed bin Hambal (May Allah shower His Mercy on him) says: I have seen Almighty Allah in my dream 70 times and asked: O Lord of all worlds! With which deed does a slave become the most worthy of mercy? It was said: Read the Holy Quran. I said: If one doesn’t understand the meaning of it? It was ordered: Even if one doesn’t understand the meaning. Our pleasure lies in that Our Word should on the tongues of Our slaves.
It is also said: Nothing clears the darkness of the hearts except the recitation of the Holy Quran and remembrance of death.
When Hadhrat Yousuf bin Asbaat (May Allah shower His Mercy on him) would finish the Holy Quran, he would repent 700 times and would supplicate 70 times thus: O Allah! Don’t punish me because of reading the Holy Quran without acting on it.
He says: The person who doesn’t cry while reciting the Holy Quran is proud and arrogant as the real intent of reading the Holy Quran is to act on it. When he would finish the Holy Quran, he would cry so much that he wouldn’t be able to finish the Surah and would say: I wonder at that person who finishes the Holy Quran and feels happy on it and doesn’t examine his own Self (Nafs) with its instructions and warnings
The inward proprieties are also 6.
1. To realize that the Holy Quran is the Word of Almighty Allah and is established along with the Being (Dhaat) of Almighty Allah. Whatever the reciter is uttering are letters with respect to this material world. The way saying “fire” is easy, but touching it is very difficult, the same is the case with the meanings of the letters. If the meanings are revealed then all the heavens and all the layers of the earth will not be able to bear it. But the beauty and the grandeur of the Holy Quran are hidden in its letters so that the tongue and heart can bear it. It was impossible to convey the Holy Quran to human beings without letters and words. For many people, the Holy Quran means only the letters and words! That’s why many people think that the letters and their intonation is the Holy Quran! This is a grave disease of the heart and they don’t realize that apart from them, there are such meanings as well that no one can reach their true reality. The way every body has a soul that remains with it, in the same way the soul of the letters is the meaning and the letters themselves are like the body and the grace of the body is the soul.
2. To keep in mind the greatness and grandeur of Almighty Allah and to realize that this Word is His and to be calm and collected. Before reciting the Holy Quran, one should realize what one is reading. Unless and until one is clean, one shouldn’t touch it as touching the Holy Quran when unclean is not allowed. In the same way, an unclean heart can’t gain the real meaning of the word of Almighty Allah. For this reason, one should clean the heart of the filth of blameworthy traits and adorn it with the radiance of respect and reverence and then recite the Holy Quran.
Nobody can realize the greatness of the Holy Quran unless and until they realize the greatness of Almighty Allah and this greatness doesn’t enter one’s heart unless one contemplates the attributes and works of Almighty Allah; unless one realizes that this is the Word of the Lord Almighty under whose power this whole universe is. Then the greatness of Almighty Allah will enter the heart.
3. To keep the heart attentive while reciting the Holy Quran and shouldn’t be heedless while reciting the Holy Quran. Stop stray thoughts from coming. Whatever one reads in heedlessness, don’t consider it as read and read it again. This is as if someone goes to a garden and comes back without seeing the wonders therein. This Holy Quran is like a garden for the Muslims and in it the wonders of wisdom are concealed. The person who contemplates and reflects over them will not accept anything else again. Thus, if any person doesn’t understand the meanings of the Holy Quran, that person is really luckless. However, that person should still have the respect of the Holy Quran in his/her heart
4. One should reflect over every sentence so that one understands the meaning of it. If one doesn’t understand it, one should read it again. If one feels pleasure in that meaning, one should reread that sentence. A small amount of reading in this manner is better than reading a large amount of the Holy Quran without understanding it. If someone reads a verse of the Holy Quran and doesn’t understand the meaning, then the right of that verse will not be fulfilled. In every verse, one should think of nothing but Allah Most High.
When one reads the verses in which the attributes of Almighty Allah are mentioned, one should contemplate over the attributes of Almighty Allah so that the sacred meanings of the attributes, ‘Azeez, Jabbar, Hakeem, etc. are understood clearly.
When one reads the verses of the works of Almighty Allah, one should think about the greatness of Allah and His wonders and should think every kind of perfection and power is His so that whatever one sees, one sees the power of Allah Most High in it…………
The meanings of the Holy Quran are not revealed to 4 kinds of people:
1. Those who don’t know Arabic and are unaware of exegesis of the Holy Quran (Tafseer).
2. Those who insist on major sins, i.e. don’t stop committing them.
3. Those who follow (reprehensible) innovations in religion in place of the Sunnah as their hearts are darkened.
4. Those who read with great conviction but don’t consider those meanings which come in their heart as correct against what they think is correct.
5. The mood of the reciter should change as per the different verses of the Holy Quran. When one reads a verse regarding the fear of Allah, one should feel despair. When one reads a verse of the mercy of Allah Most High, one should feel an uplift and gladness. When one reads a verse in which say the disbelievers say that Almighty Allah has children, etc., one should read it softly with embarrassment. One should read every verse of the Holy Quran as per its meaning so that the rights of that particular verse are fulfilled.
6. One should read the Holy Quran as if one is listening to it right from Allah Most High.
[Excerpted from Mawaaiz-e-Hasanah, Vol. 2]