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The Qur'an - A Divine Reflection

The Qur'an - A Divine Reflection

Issue 71 August 2010

This article was first published in Issue 25, October 2006

 

Ramadan is the month when the Qur’an was revealed. Muhammad, a man of constant contemplation, would sit on the Mountain of Light and reflect. One night he was visited by the Angel of Revelation, who ordered him to “Read!” “I cannot read,” replied the awe-struck Muhammad, but the order came again, “Read!” Again, he replied, “I cannot read.” It happened a third time. Finally, the Angel recited, “Read, in the name of thy Sustainer, Who has created - created man out of a germcell. Read - for thy Sustainer is the Most Bountiful One, who has taught man the use of the Pen, taught man that which he knew not!” (96:1-5) And so began humanity’s relationship with the Qur’an.

 But what of this relationship? How is it possible to build bonds with a collection of words? And with words in a language perhaps foreign to our mother tongue? How is it possible to build a relationship with a book written in a different time and different place? Surely these barriers make a relationship with the Qur’an impossible, and so it sits wrapped in fabric on the top shelf, brought down occasionally to read as an incantation; not understood, merely recited.

 The late Khurram Murad said in his book, The Way to the Qur’an, “We must bring each word of the Qur’an to bear upon our own realities and concerns by transcending the barriers of time and culture. For the essence of man has not changed; it is immutable… Then, instead of being a mere revered book, a sacred fossil, or a source of magic-like blessing, it will change into a mighty force, impinging, stirring, moving and guiding us deeper and onto higher achievements, just as it did before.”

 Powerful sentiments, but how does one practically transmit such noble feelings into one’s own life? How do you do more than just read the Qur’an? How do you become inspired by it? We ask three seekers how they have built their own relationship with the Sacred Text.

 

Aaysha

 

 

 

"When I was searching, I found something so unique that I felt spoke to me and me alone. It made my journey to the Qur'an more special and more meaningful."


“I didn’t always have a strong relationship with the Qur’an. When I was younger it was more a case of being told to read it, as is the case with most children growing up within the Asian culture. It was always something so foreign, something I didn’t see the point in doing, I mean why would you want to read a book that was in another language that you didn’t understand?

 By the age of 16 I was practising my faith more confidently and I found within that period that I wanted to learn more about it, this included wanting to know more about the Qur’an: what it was and what it meant. I found something so unique that I felt it spoke to me and me alone. It made my journey to the Qur’an more special and more meaningful.

 I think everyone is touched by the Qur’an in different ways. For me, when I turn to the Qur’an I look to it as a source of comfort, especially in difficult times when I need God the most. The words of the Qur’an have a powerful effect over me and I find myself relaxing, being at one with the words when I recite them aloud. It builds and strengthens my connection with God and I feel Him close to me in these moments.

 I have been guilty of neglecting the Book in the past where throughout the year I don’t reach out for it as much and then suddenly I’ll be pulling it out when the month of Ramadan is about to begin. However, there is a reason why I find myself reading the Sacred Text throughout this holy month and that is a desire to reap the multiple rewards that Ramadan offers.

 I hope to use the Qur’an as a tool to nourish my relationship with my Lord, allowing His words to penetrate and absorb deep into my heart, to let His Message take full effect on my life and in all that I do. So, while the month of Ramadan falls upon you, and you too find yourself unable to hold back from opening this miracle, remember it is a letter, from your Lord, talking directly to you and only to you, in its content and its message. While reconnecting with your Lord, remember His words on the believers who hold this Book and His Message close to their hearts, and aspire to be one of them. ”

 

Ali

 

 

 

"Reading through the Qur'an feels just like drifting through the top of a vast ocean, an ocean of knowledge; and still, I know that I am only at the surface of it."


“A Glorious Book! The number one bestseller for over a 1000 years, and its content has never been changed, never a revised edition. People have gone through it with a fine toothcomb for centuries and have been dazzled by its magnificence, its free-flow, its directness, so no wonder why I should feel anything different!

 My personal relationship with the Qur’an truly began once I had finished university. I found that having to first study for GCSE’s, then A-levels and then for my profession at university, didn’t give me as much time towards understanding it as it does today. I always had school texts books to read, assignments to do, essays to write, so although I did read the Qur’an during these years, it did not have as much an impact on me as it has in the past three years.

 By profession, I work at sea, so having time now to read and reflect is more far-reaching and dynamic than it was during the schooling years. Having the time now to really take in what is being said in the Qur’an makes me wonder why I didn’t start all this before. But, as with everything, when the time is appointed, it shall come to pass. Reading the chronicles in the Qur’an during any month is fascinating in itself, but nowhere else does this ‘magnetism’ feel more pronounced than during the month of Ramadan. Reading this Divine Word confirms it within myself that this could NEVER have been written by a man or by a group of literary scholars. But rather by Some-One, who loves me and only wants the best for me.

 I have spent the last three Ramadan months at sea. And nowhere more so than here have I learnt about this Magnificent Book. It is an honour afforded to me, to be one of the very few, to read, understand and to try and implement this Book, while drifting through these vast, fathom-deep waters. For me, reading through the Qur’an feels just like drifting through the top of a vast ocean, an ocean of knowledge; with the knowledge evidently made clear for me to see, as the ocean’s waters tell me there is water, and still I know that I am only at the surface of it. There is a huge abyss beneath. The more I keep exploring this abyss, the more I keep discovering.”

 

Tasneem

 

 "The Qur'an is no longer that book which used to be placed on the top of a shelf to be admired from a distance. Now it is not just integral to life, it is life."


“When I first became acquainted with the Qur’an, to me it was just a book I knew I had to respect, something that bound me to unfamiliar rituals and words, and that was how the relationship between the Qur’an and myself remained for much of my teenage years. As the years rolled on I became increasingly aware of its physical make-up, and was drawn to its aesthetic aspect, wondering what these perfectly formed squiggles and dots were which flowed like water across the pages. The thought then dawned on me like an illumination: it was a Book of Guidance, of Truth and of Eternal Beauty.

 More recently, due to a blessed combination of studying varying Islamic and Qur’anic features in addition to studying and living in the Middle East and North Africa, I have been given an invaluable key with which to unlock the Qur’an. The theoretical aspect made me understand the magnitude and force of God’s words. Travelling touched my spirit and I was granted a glimpse into the beauty behind creation, making the saying “God is beautiful and He loves beauty” a tangible reality.

 The mixture of these two experiences makes me view the Qur’an as more than just scripture confined to past generations, rather is it sustenance recorded for the human soul till the end of time. The Qur’an is no longer that book which used to be placed on the top of a shelf to be admired from a distance. Now it is not just integral to life, it is life and therefore is a great comfort in times of contemplation, distress and need, and a joy in times of happiness. It is what will drive me to tears in awe and make me fall to my knees in humility.

 I have many favourite verses, some that strike my heart with wonder or open it up with love, however there is one particular part of a verse which is repeated many times over in the Qur’an, it is preceded and succeeded by words each as poignant as the other. I personally love this as it provides me with an image I find irresistible to reflect in this life, though it lies in the Hereafter which is outside the range of human comprehension; I am reconnected with God, reflecting on His promise to the righteous who will enter ‘Gardens under which rivers flow’.”




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Comments

2 Comments

1

Muhammad Taufik

17 Aug 10, 07:48

Assalamualaikum,MISS TASNEEM DAKKA..Actually, i like to say something about your synopsis,cuase i had read about that..And,according to your interesting in Holy Al-Qur'an,which mean, that ALLAH S.W.T love Beauty..So, in this context means,i advise myself and all people in this world,keep inmprove everything just for ALLAH.S.W.T..INSYA'ALLAH,HE will help us..

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Muhammad Taufik

16 Aug 10, 17:09

ALHAMDULLILAH..I can say this words for you all people in this world,especiall MUSLIMS people..Happy Ramadan AL-Mubarrak..And,MAY ALLAH S.W.T BLESS you all..AMIN YA ROBALALAMIN..ASSALAMUALAIKUM..

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