The Qur’an is the actual speech of Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala
It is not the meaning of what He said. It is not Rasoolullah’s sallā llāhu ʿalay-hi wa-sallam understanding of what Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala said. It is the actual speech of Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala. But the big question is, ‘Are we listening?’ Listening is different from hearing because listening is the result of understanding, not merely registering sound. So do we understand what we hear? The Qur’an is the spoken word. It was revealed as the spoken word. Not as writing on a piece of parchment. That is why listening to it is the most powerful way of approaching it. The Qur’an enters first the heart, then the mind. First it connects the spirit, then the intellect. First it wakes us up, then tells us what we need to hear. So let’s ask if we are still asleep after listening to the Qur’an or if we are awake. Our hard hearts will tell us, our dry eyes will tell us, our fearless lives of disobedience will tell us, our hurtling towards our own destruction while reciting the recipe for rescue will tell So let us ask ourselves. For there is none so destitute as the one who looked upon a treasure but returned empty handed.
Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala said about the power of His Kalaam: Hashr 59: 21. Had We sent down this Qur’an on a mountain, you would surely have seen it humbling itself and rending asunder by the fear of Allah. Such are the parables which We put forward to mankind that they may reflect.
He said about its effect on the hearts of the Believers: Anfal 8: 2. The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts and when His Ayaat (this Qur’an) are recited unto them, they (Ayaat) increase their Faith; and they put their trust in their Rabb (Alone)
Let us ask if any of this happens to us and if it doesn’t then is it a matter of concern?
Abu Hurairah (ra) one of the personal and favorite students of Rasoolullah sallā llāhu ʿalay-hi wa-sallam who dedicated his entire life only to learning from him said, ‘The dryness of the eyes is a
sign of the hardness of the heart.’ In another Hadith Rasoolullah sallā llāhu ʿalay-hi wa-sallam said, ‘Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala has made the fire of Jahannam Haraam on two kinds of eyes; the eye that weeps for the Glory and Magnificence of Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala and the eye that stays awake for the protection of the Muslims.’ Let us ask if we fit. Or if our eyes weep listening to poetry, watching movies and listening to dirges but not when we listen to the Glorious and Magnificent Kalaam of Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala. Yet we find nothing strange in that! That’s why Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala called the ignorant, cattle and said that they are worse than cattle.
- Do we reflect on the fact that what we are listening to is the actual speech of Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala revealed to Rasoolullah sallā llāhu ʿalay-hi wa-sallam – from the Creator to the Best of His Creation?
- Do we reflect on the fact that what we are listening to are the exact words that were revealed to Rasoolullah sallā llāhu ʿalay-hi wa-sallam and which the world heard for the very first time in his voice?
- Do we reflect on the fact that this message contains information that is critical to our success in this world and the next? Are we eager to know?
- Are we aware as we recite that Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala is listening to us in real time and is mentioning us by name to those who are around His Arsh? Are we overwhelmed with awe and gratitude and do we fall into Sajda in thankfulness?
- Are we aware that what we are reciting in Salah is what Rasoolullah sallā llāhu ʿalay-hi wa-sallam recited and the Sahaba who were witness to that revelation were listening to it in the voice of the best Qari that ever lived; because he was the one to whom it was revealed?
Are we excited? Or are we those who a curse can transform but the Word of Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala leaves unmoved?
- Do we reflect on the fact that this Word is the most truthful word that can ever exist, that it is protected in its exactness, in its meaning and in its application by the One Who Spoke it?
- Do we reflect on the fact that this Qur’an changed a people who were despised in the world and made them into role models who were looked up to?
- Do we reflect on the fact that this Qur’an transformed people and changed their destination from Jahannam to Jannah? And then do we ask, ‘But what is it doing for me?’
- Do we reflect on the fact that Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala has mentioned us in the Qur’an and also mentioned what will happen to each of us depending on the qualities He mentioned? And then as is the demand of intelligence, do we search for ourselves in the Qur’an?
- Do we reflect on the fact that the Qur’an is Shifaa – a cure for illness; the most serious of which is the illness of the heart called Nifaaq – hypocrisy? And then do we seek that cure before it is too late?
- Do we reflect on the fact that the Qur’an teaches us how to ask Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala and then do we ask Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala as He told us to ask and see the result of our dua being accepted?
- Do we reflect on the fact that Qur’an gives solace to the bereaved, comfort to the aggrieved, safety from danger, takes away our fears and anxieties? And then do we seek these things from the Qur’an before we run to anyone else for help?
- Do we learn to read the Qur’an properly according to its rules and do we teach our children ourselves? Or do we hire a poor Imam for a pittance and leave it to him to teach our children while ourselves not even having the knowledge to judge if he is doing the job correctly or not?
- Do we take pride in the course of study our child is doing in a worldly sense and feel no shame whatsoever that our child can’t read the Qur’an properly, can’t lead two Raka’at of Salah and will not be able to lead our own Salaat-ul-Janaaza when we die?
- Do our children listen to us reciting the Qur’an at home or is that not a part of their memory? How many homes are there which are palaces outwardly but in reality ruins; where the walls and tapestries, chandeliers and carpets are witness to Qawwali and Ghazal parties but yearn to hear the Kalaam of Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala in vain. Truly O! People on the Day of Judgment, every brick in that wall will complain to Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala about what you forced it to witness.
- How many of our homes are bereft of the sound of the Kalaam of Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala? Our voices reciting His Kalaam are not a part of the memories of our children. They will remember us for many reasons, some good, some bad, but never because they used to hear us reciting the Kalaam of Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala in the dead of the night when the world was asleep.
- How many of us have children who come to us and say, ‘Mummy, Baba, please make dua for me because I am in this difficulty. I know your connection with your Rabb. Please ask him to help me.’ And how many of us can then lift our hands and look up at the heavens with confidence and say, ‘O! Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala, give me because I am asking.’
So how can we change this state and make our Salah a thing of great joy, rejuvenating the spirit, strengthening the heart and connecting us to the Only One who has the power to change our lives to make us winners in both worlds? We can do this by praying deliberately and not mechanically. Please reflect on the importance of the Niyyah in Salah. Why is it necessary to make the Niyyah? It is not because Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala doesn’t know what we are doing. It is so that we remind ourselves of what we are about to do and to do it deliberately, consciously, thankfully with the sense of awe and gratitude to be able to stand in the presence of Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala.
Credits: Sheikh Mirza Yawar Baig