From ad-Dawal ila-Allah

There is a very good reason why Ramadaan, out of all the months in the Islamic calendar was chosen by Allah to be the month of Fasting. That reason? It was in this month, on the Night of Decree (Laylatul-Qadr), that the Qur’aan was revealed to mankind. Allah, the Most High says: “ The month of Ramadhan in which was revealed the Qur’aan, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the Furqaan (criterion) [between right and wrong]. So whoever of you sights [the crescent on the first night of] the month [of Ramadhan], he must fast that month.” [Soorah al-Baqarah (2) :185]

Allah honored this month by revealing the Qur’aan in it and it is because of this that He obligated fasting in it.

This is also the month in which Jibreel (alayhi as-salaam) would come to meet the Prophet (sallalahu alaihe wa-sallam) every night in order to repeat the recitation of the Qur’aan with him. [1]. Thus, the relationship between Ramadaan and the Qur’aan is very close, which is why Muslims worldwide turn to the Qur’aan with a heightened sense of vigor during this month.

Recitation of the Qur’aan
The main purpose of the Qur’aan is to be a source of guidance for mankind, leading those who cling to it from darkness into light, from misery to happiness and raising them from lowliness to a lofty station. However, another important feature of the Qur’aan is that its recitation is in itself a form of ‘ibadah’ (worship). Infect the Qur’aan is defined as being the (uncreated) word of Allah, sent down to Muhammad (sallalahu alaihe wa-sallam) the recitation of which is a form of worship” [2] a unique definition that can be applied to no other book, writing or statement.

From the very beginning of the Prophet’s Messenger-ship, great emphasis was placed on the recitation of the Qur’aan. The literal meaning of the word Qur’aan itself is ‘Reading’ or ‘Recitation’. First Ayat (verse) to be revealed on that momentous occasion where Jibreel (‘alayhis salaam) came to Prophet Muhammad (sallalahu alaihe wa-sallam) whilst he was alone in the cave Hira was: “Iqraa (Recite/Read), in the name of your lord who created you…” [Soorah al-Alaq (9): 1]

The Prophet (sallalahu alaihe wa-sallam) himself strongly urged his companions to recite as much of the Qur’aan as possible. He said: “whoever reads a single letter from Allah’s Book will receive a blessing (for each letter) and each blessing is worth ten times its value.” [3]

Indeed the virtues and blessings of reciting the Book of Allah are many. And by way of encouragement to all of us to spend time reciting and reflecting upon the Qur’aan, some of these virtues are listed below.

1. It will come as an intercessor on the Day of Resurrection.
The Prophet (sallalahu alaihe wa-sallam) said: “Recite the Qur’aan, for verily on the Day of Resurrection it will act as an intercessor for those who recite it” [4]

On the day when neither our family nor our wealth will be of any benefit to us, this Qur’aan will beseech Allah on behalf of those who recites it frequently. Allah will give it a speech and Allah is able to do all things – and it will say to Allah: “I prevented him from sleep at night, so accept my intercession for him” [5] And its intercession will be accepted.

2. Tranquility descends.
Al Baraa reported that a man was reciting Sooratul-Kahf and there was a horse tied with two ropes at his side, when a cloud overshadowed him. As it began to come nearer and nearer his horse began to take fright from it. He went and mentioned that to the Prophet (sallalahu alaihe wa-sallam) in the morning, who said: “It was tranquility [as-Sakeenah] which came down at the recitation of the Qur’aan.” [6]

This shows us that the tranquility and the calmness which results from the recitation of the Qur’aan is not something abstract, but something very real which permeated the whole atmosphere so that even the animals can imbibe it. This ‘Sakeenah’ (tranquility) which descends upon the reciter is accompanied by Angels who assemble to listen to the Qur’aan. The Companion Usaid ibn Hudair mentioned to the Prophet (sallalahu alaihe wa-sallam) that once when he was reciting the Qur’aan, he saw something like a canopy or a cloud with what seemed to be lamps contained inside. The Prophet (sallalahu alaihe wa-sallam) explained to him that: Those were Angels who come near to you for your voice if you had kept on reciting till down it would have remained there till morning when the people would have seen it as it would have disappeared.” [7]

3. It will be a shade on the Day of Resurrection.
The Prophet (sallalahu alaihe wa-sallam) said: “Recite the two bright ones, al-Baqara and Soorah Aal-e lmraan, for on the day of Resurrection they will come as two clouds, or two shades or two flocks birds in ranks, pleading for those who recite them” [8]

We are well aware that on a hot summers day when we are out in a scorching Sun, the thing we appreciate most is a tree or some sort of canopy, beneath which we can shade ourselves. Imagine how much more we will be pinning for a shade on the Day of Resurrection. When…

“ the people will be submerged in perspiration according to their deeds, some up to half of their knees, some up to the waist and some would have a bridle of perspiration up to their mouths” [9].

“ We seek refuge in Allah from the terrors of this awful Day.”

So these are just some of the blessing awaiting those who recite the Qur’aan as it should be recited, bringing with them a receptive heart. [10] Furthermore, these blessings and rewards are only multiplied for those who struggle in their recitation, for the Prophet (sallalahu alaihe wa-sallam) said.

”One who is skilled in it, ‘the Qur’aan’ is associated with the noble upright, recording Angels, and he who falters when he recites the Qur’aan and finds it difficult, he will have a double reward.” [11]

Of course it goes without saying, that although great emphasis and encouragement has been made to recite the Qur’aan, this is not the goal in itself. Recitation of the Book of Allah is just a means through which we can absorb its message and act on whatever that messages entails. However, reciting with the meaning is superior to merely reading as the Prophet (sallalahu alaihe wa-sallam) explained.

He (sallalahu alaihe wa-sallam) said “The example of a believer who recites the Qur’aan and acts on it, is like an orange which tastes nice and smells nice. And the example of the believer who does not recite the Qur’aan but acts on it is like a date that tastes sweet but has no smell. And the example of the hypocrite who recites the Qur’aan is like sweet Basil which smells good but tastes bitter And the example of a hypocrite who does not recite the Qur’aan is like a Coelacanth which tastes bitter and has a bad smell”. [12]

Companion of life:
In this month of Ramadaan, let us use it to habituate ourselves into spending a daily period with the Qur’aan – reciting, memorizing and acting upon it. Because we should know that no people are better and more worthy of our envy than the companions of the Qur’aan, [13] which is why the most striking and outstanding character of every pious person of knowledge is their love and attachment towards the Qur’aan. There is no man or woman who is considered to be righteous, except he or she is known to poses this noble quality. So when Aa’isha was asked to describe the best of al mankind, the Prophet (sallalahu alaihe wa-sallam) she could find no more a suitable description other than to say that: “His character was the Qur’aan”. [14] And among the inheritors of the Prophet (i.e. the scholars) We have the example of lmaam Maalik, whose sister was asked: ”What did maalik occupy himself with in his House?” She replied, “The Mushaf (i.e the Qur’aan), reciting. [15] Dear readers, no person can afford to remain ignorant or neglectful of the Qur’aan. Reading it regularly, sincerely not ritualistically to derive guidance from it and adopt the company of those who make mention of it in their gatherings. Make the Qur’aan your constant companion, not just for Ramadaan, but for life.


FOOTNOTES

1. Collected in Saheeh al-Bukhari (eng. Trans. Vol. 6, pg. 486, no. 518-520)

2. Al-Waadih Fee Usoolil Fiqh (p.66) of Muhammad Sulayman al-Ashqar

3. Reported by Ibn Majah and collected in at-Tirmidhee.

4. Sahih Muslim (eng. Trans. vol. 2, p. 385. no.1757)

5. Hasan part of long Hadeeth reported by Abdullah Ibn Amr and collected by Ahmad and others.

6. Sahih Al-Bukhari (Eng Trans. vol. 6, p.492, no. 531)

7. Sahih al-Bukhari (eng. trans. vol. 6, p. 496. no. 536) And Sahih Muslim (Eng Trans. vol. 1, p.382, no. 1742)

8. Sahih Muslim (eng. trans. vol. 6, p. 385. no.1757)

9. Sahih Muslim (eng. trans. vol. 4, p. 1487. no. 6852) 10. There are many virtues attached to the recitation of certain parts of the Qur’aan, for example; Ayat-Al-Kursee [(2):225] is a protection against Shaitaan (Bukhari), Soorah al-Naas and Soorah al-Falaq protect against the evil eyes and is a cure (Muslim).