Recite the Quran During Ramadan

Date: 5th June 2015; 17th Shaban 1436

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The month of Ramadan is almost at our doors and we should be mentally prepared in the way of welcoming it in the most productive manner. We all know that the Quran was revealed on the month of Ramadan and all of us need to endeavor into reciting the Quran more beautifully and this is the perfect month as we will be able to accumulate a lot of Allah’s blessing.

Any Ibadah on the month of Ramadan gets a multiplied figure amounting to seventy times more blessing.

One Hadith mentions:

The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Whoever draws near to Allah during it (Ramadan) with a single characteristic from the characteristics of (voluntary) goodness, he is like whoever performs an obligatory act in other times. And whoever performs an obligatory act during it, he is like whoever performed seventy obligatory acts in other times.”

References: Sahih Ibn Khuzaymah, Hadith 1887; Baihaqi

Reciting the Quran will be the greatest Ibadah on this month, firstly as it was revealed in this month, reciting the Quran will mean we are respecting the Quran. Secondly, reciting the Quran will bring us limitless blessings. Hadith says:

Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (Radi Allahu Anhu) said: The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “Whoever reads one letter from the Book of Allah will earn one good (hasanah) thereby. One good deed is equal to ten good deeds the like of it. I do not say that Alif-Lam-Mim is a letter, but Alif is a letter, Laam is a letter and Meem is a letter.’”

References: Jami at-Tirmidhi, Hadith 2910. Classed as Sahih by Imam al-Albani (Rahmatullah Allaih) in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 2327.

The amount of blessing on the month of Ramadan can never be enumerated as it depends totally on the sincerity of the Mumin. Another Hadith says:

Abu Hurayrah (Radi Allahu Anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: Every action a son of Adam does shall be multiplied—a good action by ten times its value, up to 700 times. Allah says: With the exception of fasting, which belongs to Me, and I reward it accordingly. For, one abandons his desire and food for My sake.

There are two occasions of joy for a fasting person: one when he breaks his fast, and the other when he meets his Lord, and the (bad) breath (of a fasting person) is better in the sight of Allah than the fragrance of musk.

Reference: Sahih al-Bukhari

Our amount of blessing will depend on the beauty of our recitation. A lot of us can recite the Quran while there are still of people who did not make an effort in learning the Quran. We should all attempt to beautify our recitation as we can’t hope to lose such a radiant opportunity which comes once a year.

The Quran is our greatest scope of gathering our blessings. Some of us who can recite the Quran don’t really wonder whether their recitation is truly proper or not. We really need to find means of reciting the Quran as rhythmically as possible. Spending an hour on the Quran each day won’t harm us and spending time with a Quran tutor will not necessarily hinder us into congregating wealth in this Dunya except for building us the assurance for a better Akhirah.

In the very first verses of Surah Baqarah, Allah made it clear His intention upon creating us. He says:

Alif, Lam, Meem.

This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allah –

Who believe in the unseen, establish prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them,

Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayahs 1-3 (2:1-3) Translation: Sahih International

Allah clearly wants us to learn the Quran and live our lives according to its teachings. That is why he has created us. In Surah Ar-Rahman it is mentioned:

The Most Beneficent (Allah)!

Has taught (you mankind) the Quran (by His Mercy).

He created man.

Surah Ar-Rahman, Ayahs 1-3 (55:1-3) Translation: Muhsin Khan

It is evident that Allah demands us to learn the Quran so that we can be successful in the Hereafter. We are the creation of Allah who agreed to learn the Quran and spread it. For this Allah has honored us with this Holy Book. In another ayah it is mentioned:

Indeed, we offered the Trust to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, and they declined to bear it and feared it; but man [undertook to] bear it. Indeed, he was unjust and ignorant.

Surah Al-Ahzab, Ayah 72 (33:72) Translation: Sahih International

In the Tafseer of this ayah it is written:

In the Sahihs of al-Bukhari and Muslim, and in the Musnad of Ahmad, there is a narration from Sayyidna Hudhayfah (Radi Allahu Anhu) saying that, ‘the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam)  had told us about two things. One of these we have already witnessed with our own eyes. The unfolding of the other is still awaited. The first thing was that, “First of all, amanah was sent down into the hearts of the men of faith. Then, the Qur’an was revealed and then the people of faith acquired knowledge from the Qur’an, and practice from the Sunnah”.

After that, he narrated the other Hadith as follows: “A time will come when no sooner does a man rise from sleep, amanah (trust) will be confiscated from out of his heart leaving some of its traces behind, just like you would roll down an ember from the fire on your feet (and this ember will certainly roll away but) its traces will survive in the form of inflammation or blister – although, no constituent element of the fire itself is left out there. So much so that people will enter into mutual transactions and contracts, but no one will fulfill the obligations of amanah due against him and (there will be such a dearth of trustworthy men that) people will be found saying that there is a trustworthy man in such and such tribe!”

In this Hadith amanah has been declared to be something which relates to the heart and this alone has the ability of fulfilling the obligations and duties imposed by the Shariah of Islam.

Reference: Ma’ariful Quran by  Mufti Muhammad Shafi. Tafseer of Surah Al-Ahzab, Ayah 72 (33:72) Volume 7, pp. 242.

So it is a duty upon us to learn the Quran and also act upon it, otherwise the knowledge which was given to us will be seized by Allah and we will be humiliated on the Day of Judgement.

The Quran is perfect. There is nothing wrong with any ayah on the Quran. There are Muslims as well as non-Muslims who try to identify “flaws” in the Quran. Allah is the Al-Mighty and there is no scratch of error on His revelations. Us, humans, when we write a book we do make spelling or grammatical or logical mistakes, it is natural. But the Book of Allah is pure as it is free from errors. The Quran is so considered to be so pure that we are not allowed to touch its pages without Wudu.

It is mentioned in the Quran:

None touch it (The Quran) except the purified.

Surah Al-Waqiah, Ayah 79 (56:79) Translation: Sahih international

The servant is said to be loyal if there is a special bond between that person and the Quran. The papers of the Quran is so valuable is that we are not allowed to throw them away. Allah gives status to those who are most faithful to him and the things they touch become also blessed. This concept is seen from the story of Prophet Ya’qub (Alayhi As-Salām) and Prophet Yusuf (Alayhi As-Salām).

When Prophet Yusuf (Alayhi As-Salām) was thrown in the well by his brothers, he was reported by his brothers of being dead to his father Ya’qub (Alayhi As-Salām). For his endless grief and weeping for his dead son Prophet Ya’qub (Alayhi As-Salām) lost his eyesight. It is mentioned so in the Quran:

And he turned away from them and said: “Alas, my grief for Yusuf!” And he lost his sight because of the sorrow that he was suppressing.

Surah Yusuf Ayah 84 (12:84) Translation: Sahih International

The brothers of Yusuf (Alayhi As-Salām) were on their way in a caravan to see the chief minister (Yusuf) – when they were stricken with poverty and grief.

On reaching Egypt they collected Judah and called on Yusuf (Alayhi As-Salām), to whom they pleaded: “O ruler of the land! A hard time has hit us and our family, and we have brought but poor capital, so pay us full measure and be charitable to us. Truly, Allah does reward the charitable.” (12:88).

At the end, they begged Yusuf (Alayhi As-Salām). They asked alms of him, appealing to his heart, reminding him that Allah rewards alms givers. At this moment, in the midst of their plight, Yusuf (Alayhi As-Salām) spoke to them in their native tongue saying: “Do you know what you did with Yusuf (Alayhi As-Salām) and his brother when you were ignorant?”

They said: “Are you indeed Yusuf (Alayhi As-Salām)?”

He said: “I am Yusuf (Alayhi As-Salām), and his is my brother (Benyamin). Allah has indeed been Gracious to us. Verily, he who fears Allah with obedience to Him (by abstaining from sins and evil deeds, and by performing righteous good deeds), and is patient, then surely, Allah makes not the reward of the good doers to be lost.”

They said: “By Allah! Indeed Allah has preferred you above us, and we certainly have been sinners.” (12:89-91)

The brothers began to tremble with fear, but Yusuf (Alayhi As-Salām) comforted them: “No reproach on you this day, may Allah forgive you, and He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy!” (12:92)

Yusuf (Alayhi As-Salām) embraced them, and together they wept with joy. It was not possible for Yusuf (Alayhi As-Salām) to leave his responsible office without proper replacement, so he advised his brothers: “Go with this shirt of mine, and cast it over the face of my father, he will become clear-sighted, and bring to me all your family.” (12:93)

And so the caravan headed back for Palestine. The old man (Yaqub as.) is sitting in his room; tears have been flowing down his cheeks. He stands up all of a sudden, dresses and goes out to his son’s wives. Then he lifts up his face to Heaven and sniffs the air.

The wife of the eldest son remarked: “Yaqub (Alayhi As-Salām) has come out of his room today.” The women inquired about what was amiss. There was a hint of a smile on his face. The others asked him: “How do you feel today?”

He answered: “I can smell Yusuf (Alayhi As-Salām) in the air.”

The wives left him alone, saying to one another that there was no hope for the old man. ‘He will die of weeping over Yusuf (Alayhi As-Salām).’

“Did he talk about Yusuf (Alayhi As-Salām)’s shirt?”

“I do not know. He said he could smell him; perhaps he has gone mad.”

Each and every one of us posses a unique smell on our body and this makes me (the Imam) recall one of the incident when Abu Lahab’s son was eaten by a tiger.

The story goes like this:

Before the proclamation of Prophethood, two of the Holy Prophet’s (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) daughters were married to two of Abu Lahab’s sons, Utbah and Utaibah. After his call when the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) began to invite the people to Islam, Abu Lahab said to both his sons:”I would forbid myself seeing and meeting you until you divorced the daughters of Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam).”So, both of them divorced their, wives. Utaibah in particular became so nasty in his spitefulness that one day he came before the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and said: “I repudiate An-najmi idha hawa and Alladhi dana fatadalla” and then he spat at him, but his spital did not fall on him. The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) prayed: “O Allah, subject him to the power of a dog from among Your dogs.” Afterwards, Utaibah accompanied his father in his journey to Syria. During the journey the caravan halted at a place which, according to local people, was visited by wild beasts at night. Abu Lahab told his companions, the Quraish: “Make full arrangements for the protection of my son, for I fear the curse invoked by Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) on him.” Accordingly, the people made their camels sit all around Utaibah and went to sleep. At night a tiger came which crossed the circle of the camels and devoured Utaibah tearing him to pieces.

References: Ibn Abdul Barr: Al-Istiab; Ibn Hajar: Al- Isabah; Abu Nuaim al-Isfahani: Dalail an-Nubuwwat; As-Suhaili: Raud al-Unuf.

The tiger which approached Utaibah was sent by Allah and the odor of his was given to that tiger. That allowed the tiger to identify Utaibah among all the people and also the camel. Now moving on to the tale of the Yusuf (Alayhi As-Salām) and his father:

That day the old man wanted a cup of milk to break his fast, for he had been fasting. At night he changed his clothes. The caravan was traveling in the desert with Yusuf (Alayhi As-Salām)’s shirt hidden among the grain. It neared the old man’s estate. He gesticulated in his room, and then he prayed a long time, lifting his hands to heaven and sniffing the air. He was weeping as the shirt was nearing him.

And when the caravan departed, their father said: “I do indeed feel the smell of Yusuf (Alayhi As-Salām), if only you think me not a dotard (a person who has weakness of mind because of old age).”

They said: “By Allah! Certainly, you are in your old error.”

Then, when the bearer of the glad tidings arrived, he cast the shirt over his face, and he became clear sighted. He said: “Did I not say to you, I know from Allah that which you know not.””

They said: “O our father! Ask Forgiveness from Allah for our sins, indeed we have been sinners.” (12:94-97)

Yusuf (Alayhi As-Salām) embraced them, and together they wept with joy. It was not possible for Yusuf (Alayhi As-Salām) to leave his responsible office without proper replacement, so he advised his brothers: “Go with this shirt of mine, and cast it over the face of my father, he will become clear-sighted, and bring to me all your family.” (12:93)”

Reference: Tafseer Ibn Kathir

Allah gave the power of regaining eyesight on the cloth of Yusuf (Alayhi As-Salām) so as to show us his status in Islam, likewise the papers of the Quran are given a lot of status to such an extent that the reward for reciting one letter from the Quran can never be enumerated by any of us.

Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (Rahmatullah Allaih) was related a dream regarding the importance of honoring the Quran as it is the collection of words narrated directly by our Lord. The story is as follows:

Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (Rahmatullah Allaih) used to be severely tortured for just saying that Qur’an is not created. At that time, the caliph, Al Mu’tasim was also with the opinion that Qur’an was created. So one day, Imam Ahmad was imprisoned and as Sulaiman said, ‘He was then carried to the prison and the people departed, so I departed with them. Then when the next day arrived the people came (to the door of al Mu’tasim) so I came with them and stood in front of the chair. Then al-Mu’tasim appeared and sat on the chair and said, ‘Bring Ahmad ibn Hanbal.’ So he was brought and when he stood in front of him al-Mu’tasim said to him, ‘How were you in your cell during the night, O’ son of Hanbal?’ He said, “In goodness, and all praises are due to Allah.” Al-Mu‘tasim said, ‘O’ Ahmad, I saw a dream yesterday.’ He said, “And what did you see, O’ Ameer-ul-Mu’minin?” He said, ‘I saw in my dream as if there were two lions approaching me and they desired to tear me apart. And then two angels appeared and repelled them from me. They gave me a hook and said to me, ‘This written (piece) is the dream that Ahmad ibn Hanbal saw in his cell.’ So what is it that you saw, O’ son of Hanbal?’ So Ahmad faced al-Mu’tasim and said, “O’ Ameer-ul-Mu’minin is the book with you?” He said, ‘Yes, and when I awoke, I read what was in it. So Ahmad said to him, “O’ Ameer-ul-Mu’minin, I saw as if the Day of Judgement had been established, and as if Allah had gathered the first and the last (of people) in a single plain and He was calling them to account. Whilst I was standing, I was called for, so I proceeded until I stood in front of Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, and He said to me, ‘O’ Ahmad, for what were you beaten?’ I said, “On account of the Qur’an.” He said, “And what is the Qur’an?” I said, “Your words, O’ Allah, belonging to You.” He said, ‘From where do you (derive and) say this?’ I said, “O’ Lord, ‘Abdur-Razzaq narrated to me.” So ‘Abdur Razzaq was called for and he was brought, until he was made to stand in front of Allah, the Mighty and Magnificent, and He said to him, ‘What do you say about the Qur’an, O ‘Abdur Razzaq?’ He said, ‘Your words, O’ Allah, belonging to You,’ so Allah said, ‘From where do you (derive and) say this?’ He said, ‘Ma’mar narrated to me.’ So Ma’mar was called for and he was brought, until he was made to stand in front of Allah, the Mighty and Magnificent, and He said to him, ‘What do you say about the Qur’an, 0 Ma’mar?’ He said, ‘Your words, O’ Allah, belonging to You,’ so Allah said, ‘From where do you (derive and) say this?’ He said, ‘Az Zuhri narrated to me.’ So Az Zuhri was called for and he was Brought, until he was made to stand in front of Allah, the Mighty and Magnificent, and He said to him, ‘What do you say about the Qur’an, O’ Zuhri?’ He said, ‘Your words, O’ Allah, belonging to You,’ So Allah said, ‘From where do you (derive and) say this?’ He said, “Urwah narrated to me.’ So ‘Urwah was brought, and He said to him, ‘What do you say about the Qur’an?’ He said, ‘Your Words, O’ Allah, belonging to You,’ so Allah said, ‘O ‘Urwah, from where do you (derive and) say this?’ He said, “Aa’ishah (Radi Allahu Anha), the daughter of Abu Bakr as-Siddiq, narrated to me.’ So ‘Aa’ishah was called for and she was brought, until she was made to stand in front of Allah, the Mighty and Magnificent, and He said to her, ‘What do you say about the Qur’an, O’ ‘Aa’ishah?’ She said, ‘Your words, O’ Allah, belonging to You,’ so Allah said, ‘From where do you (derive and) say this?’ She said, ‘Your Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) narrated to me.’ He said, ‘So Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) was called for and he was brought, until he was made to stand in front of Allaah, the Mighty and Magnificent, and He said to him, ‘What do you say about the Qur’an, O’ Muhammad?’ He said, ‘Your words, O’ Allah, belonging to You,’ so Allah said, ‘From where has this come to you?’ So the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, ‘Jibril narrated to me.’ So Jibril (Alayhi As-Salām) was called for and he was brought, until he was made to stand in front of Allah, the Mighty and Magnificent, and He said to him, ‘What do you say about the Qur’an, O’ Jibril?’ He said, ‘Your words, O’ Allah belonging to You,’ so Allah said, ‘From where has this come to you?’ He said, ‘Such did Israfil narrate to me. So Israfil (Alayhi As-Salām) was called for and he was brought, until he was made to stand in front of Allah, the Mighty and Magnificent, and Allah, the Sublime, said to him, ‘What do you say about the Qur’an, O’ Israfil?’ He said, ‘Your words, O’ Allah, belonging to You,’ so Allah said, ‘From where has this come to you?’ He said, ‘I saw that in the Lawh Al-Mahfooz (the Preserved Tablet).’ So the Preserved Tablet was brought and stood in front of Allah, the Mighty and Magnificent, and He said, ‘O’ Lawh, what do you say about the Qur’an?’ And it said, ‘Your words, O’ Allah, belonging to You.’ Then Allah, the Exalted said, ‘From where has this come to you?’ And the Lawh said, ‘Such did the Qalam (the Pen) inscribe upon me.’ Then the Pen was brought until it stood in front of Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, so Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, said to it, ‘O Qalam, what do you say about the Qur’an?’ The Qalam said, ‘Your words, O’ Allah, belonging to You.’ So Allah said, ‘From where has this come to you?’ The Qalam said — ‘You dictated and I wrote.’ Then Allah, the Mighty and Magnificent, said, ‘The Qalam has spoken the truth. The Lawh has spoken the truth. Israfil has spoken the truth. Jibril has spoken the truth. Muhammad has spoken the truth. ‘Aa’ishah has spoken the truth. ‘Urwah has spoken the truth. Az-Zuhri has spoken the truth. Ma’mar has spoken the truth. ‘Abdur-Razzaq has spoken the truth. Ahmad ibn Hanbal has spoken the truth. The Qur’an is My Speech, it is not created.’

Sulaiman as-Sijzi said, ‘Al-Mu’tasim leapt upon hearing that and said, ‘You have spoken the truth, O’ son of Hanbal.’ Then al- Mu’tasim repented, ordered the necks of Bishr al-Mareesee and Ibn Abi Duwaad to be beaten and revered Ahmad ibn Hanbal and bestowed upon him, but (Ahmad) refrained from that. He was then ordered to be taken to his house and was taken.’

Reference:Usool as Sunnah,” by Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (Rahmatullah Allaih)

All of us need to realize the importance of reciting the Quran on a regular basis so that we get to be closer to our Lord. Some people actually complain about the Quran being difficult for them to recite. For them there is a beautiful Hadith. It goes like this:

Narrated Aisha: The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, “Such a person as 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.”

Reference: Sahih al-Bukhari, Book 6, Volume 60, Hadith Number 459

Firstly the double reward for the type of people who struggle in learning the Quran will be because of their recitation of the Quran. The other part of their reward will be because of their dedication in trying to be better. So no one should ever despair the mercy of Allah, rather everyone should be sincere towards whatever they do for their Deen.

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