Ramadan and the Quran
Ramadan and the Quran ( (رمضان و القرآن
17 June 2014 – 19 Sha’ban 1435
In order to get the best out of Ramadan, you need to look at the state of the heart. How can you expect to take advantage of a great month of worship if your heart is not there, subhan Allah.
Only Allah (swt) knows if you have joy for the obedience, and to have the feeling of joy is the highest feeling, higher than contentment and gratitude.
Joy is not something you can just make up, it is a feeling that comes as a result of faith. We discussed that there are those who will not taste the joy of a worship, or Ramadan for this matter. Who are they?
o Surah Yunus 7:
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ لَا يَرْجُونَ لِقَاءَنَا وَرَضُوا بِالْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَاطْمَأَنُّوا بِهَا وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ عَنْ آيَاتِنَا غَافِلُونَ (Verily, those who hope not for their meeting with Us, but are pleased and satisfied with the life of the present world, and those who are heedless of Our Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.),)
o What makes a person to not look forward to the meeting with Allah (swt), and being pleased and comfortable with the duniya? Being heedless of the signs of Allah (swt), and what is the greatest of signs THE QURAN.
What makes people to not enjoy Ramadan, they are heedless of ayat Allah. So let us talk about Ramadan and the Quran, because when we understand this connection, then we will have the excitement for Ramadan and Quran.
Ramadan and the Quran – A Connection
Surah Al Baqarah 185:5
شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنْزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدًى لِلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِنَ الْهُدَىٰ وَالْفُرْقَانِ ۚ فَمَنْ شَهِدَ مِنْكُمُ الشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ ۖ وَمَنْ كَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ ۗ يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ بِكُمُ الْيُسْرَ وَلَا يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ الْعُسْرَ وَلِتُكْمِلُوا الْعِدَّةَ وَلِتُكَبِّرُوا اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ مَا هَدَاكُمْ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ
(The month of Ramadân in which was revealed the Qur’ân, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong). So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadân i.e. is present at his home), he must observe Saum (fasts) that month, and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe Saum (fasts) must be made up] from other days. Allâh intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you. (He wants that you) must complete the same number (of days), and that you must magnify Allâh [i.e. to say Takbîr (Allâhu-Akbar; Allâh is the Most Great) for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him.)
You cannot enjoy Ramadan without the Quran. Ramadan is the month of the Quran because that is when it was revealed, so the connection between the heaven and the earth began in Ramadan, subhan Allah. All of the divine books were revealed in Ramadan, subhan Allah.
The Quran is guidance for all of mankind, not just the believers.
Why is it guidance for all of mankind? Because it is very clear and it shows you the criterion between right and wrong.
Whoever witnesses this month, then you need to fast, but if there are excuses like sickness and travel, then you can make it up later. And this shows that Allah (swt) made it easy for you. Allah (swt) wants the ease for you, and without the Quran you cannot get ease. When people follow anything besides the Quran it will be difficult, but with the Quran it is a short cut – it makes everything clear.
Allah (swt) wants you to magnify Him in Ramadan. And every day in Ramadan with the Quran shows you how much Allah (swt) is guiding you, and when you appreciate this, it makes you magnify Allah (swt) and exalt Him in your heart. And when you magnify Allah (swt), then you will have the joy and happiness within you, subhan Allah.
And Allah (swt) wants the gratitude from you – He wants the ease for you, wants you to complete the month, and He wants you to magnify Him so that you may become grateful.
Why is gratitude important in Ramadan? Because when you are grateful, then Allah (swt) will increase you, and He will increase you in worship. And you want to come out of Ramadan having increased in worship, not going back to how you were before, subhan Allah.
You want your heart to always be in gratitude mode. And when there is gratitude with your worship, then you trap that blessing to worship.
The Quran is reminding you to be grateful.
The Quran is a mercy ( القرآن رحمة )
Surah Al Ankaboot 51:أَوَلَمْ يَكْفِهِمْ أَنَّا أَنْزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ يُتْلَىٰ عَلَيْهِمْ ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَرَحْمَةً وَذِكْرَىٰ لِقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ
(Is it not sufficient for them that We have sent down to you the Book (the Qur’ân) which is recited to them? Verily, herein is mercy and a reminder (or an admonition) for a people who believe)
The Quran should be sufficient for you, don’t think any other book comes after the Quran.
Virtues of the Quran:
o Mercy of Allah (swt): You will see the mercy of Allah (swt) on you, we are such a small speck, and Allah (swt) is allowing His words and speech to be written, heard, and be understood, subhan Allah. And this is a great mercy because we cannot be of the standard of the dwellers of paradise without the Quran.
o The salaf left all other books except the Quran, whether reading, hearing, teaching, tafseer. Even Imam Malik left the study circles of the hadith during Ramdan because he is going to the Quran, though he is a scholar of hadith, subhan Allah.
o Imagine when people are doing detox, they are taking one thing in order to purify their body, and subhan Allah we are taking the Quran everyday and this will purify us in and out, subhan Allah.
o The Quran is a reminder: to remind us to be patient, to remind us about ourselves, the plots of the shaitan, etc, and you will not have a friend that can remind you about all these things except for the Quran, subhan Allah. Any problem you have, there is a solution – this is a truthful friend that will never leave you or betray, even at your grave, subhan Allah.
o It is a mercy and reminder for whom? For the believers, you need to have faith in order for it to be a mercy and reminder for you. There are people who read the Quran but it brings them doubts, this means the faith is not there, but for the believer, every ayah makes them happy, as if it is glad tidings from their Lord.
o The Quran is a medicine for all – there are those who will benefit (who have faith) and those who will come out with side effects (those without faith), subhan Allah.
The Quran is a comfort ( القرآن طمأنينة )
Surah Zumar 23: اللَّهُ نَزَّلَ أَحْسَنَ الْحَدِيثِ كِتَابًا مُتَشَابِهًا مَثَانِيَ تَقْشَعِرُّ مِنْهُ جُلُودُ الَّذِينَ يَخْشَوْنَ رَبَّهُمْ ثُمَّ تَلِينُ جُلُودُهُمْ وَقُلُوبُهُمْ إِلَىٰ ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ هُدَى اللَّهِ يَهْدِي بِهِ مَنْ يَشَاءُ ۚ وَمَنْ يُضْلِلِ اللَّهُ فَمَا لَهُ مِنْ هَادٍ
(Allâh has sent down the Best statement, a Book (this Qur’ân), its parts resembling each other (in goodness and truth), and oft-repeated. The skins of those who fear their Lord shiver from it (when they recite it or hear it). Then their skin and their heart soften to the remembrance of Allâh. That is the guidance of Allâh. He Guides therewith whom He wills and whomever Allâh sends astray, for him there is no guide.)
o This is a book that has beautiful ayat, and they resemble each other in beauty and truth.
o ( م ثانِ ى ) they are oft-repeated. The meaning is repeated again and again but in different ways, paradise, the heavens and the earth, etc. Why? Because we need repetition. And Allah (swt) did not make one chapter all about Allah (swt), one chapter about paradise, etc. Each surah will give you a mix of everything, subhan Allah.
o What is the effect? It makes the skin of those fear Allah (swt) shiver, subhan Allah. This means unconsciously you will feel goose bumps, but for whom? For those who fear Allah (swt). After the Prophet (pbuh) passed away, there were around 20,000 companions, and only 6 memorized the Quran. This shows you that the Quran should not be a competition, what is the point of memorizing the Quran and it is not penetrating the heart? This makes a fitna for all and this is one of the plots of the shaitan, subhan Allah. But for the companions, you can see the effect of the Quran on them.
o The Quran is the project of your life, it is not something to be raced or done in haste.
o The skin will shiver for seconds, and the effect is the skin and the heart will soften. The Quran will make you softer – more merciful, caring, compassionate, gentler, subhan Allah. The Quran does not harden you, but makes you soft.
o And they will be guided to the remembrance of Allah (swt).
The Quran is a cure ( القرآن شفاء )
Surah Al Isra’a 82:وَنُنَزِّلُ مِنَ الْقُرْآنِ مَا هُوَ شِفَاءٌ وَرَحْمَةٌ لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ ۙ وَلَا يَزِيدُ الظَّالِمِينَ إِلَّا خَسَارًا
(And We send down of the Qur’ân that which is a healing and a mercy to those who believe (in Islâmic Monotheism and act on it), and it increases the Zâlimûn (polytheists and wrong-doers) nothing but loss.)
o Again the Quran is mentioned with the believers, so it shows the pre-requisite for the Quran is that you need belief. When you trust Allah (swt), then you will benefit.
o And the Quran will be a cure for you, it is not a remedy. Cure means it will immediately cure you, and imagine this is free of charge, subhan Allah.
o Every single ayah will cure you from a sickness that you do not even know about it – whether it is a physical, mental, or heart sickness, subhan Allah. And it will cure you without even realizing.
o The Quran is a cure from:
All problems we are facing: spouse, children, poverty, financial, economical, etc
The Quran is the life of the hearts ( القرآن حياة القلوب )
Why? Because it is a:
o Gives you comfort
o It is a cure
Free yourself from any distraction before entering Ramadan – if you have any problems with others, solve it, get the recipes you need and focus, etc. Why? Because you want to focus on the Quran.
Surah Al Hadid 16: ۞ أَلَمْ يَأْنِ لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَنْ تَخْشَعَ قُلُوبُهُمْ لِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ وَمَا نَزَلَ مِنَ الْحَقِّ وَلَا يَكُونُوا كَالَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ مِنْ قَبْلُ فَطَالَ عَلَيْهِمُ الْأَمَدُ فَقَسَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ ۖ وَكَثِيرٌ مِنْهُمْ فَاسِقُونَ
(Has not the time come for the hearts of those who believe (in the Oneness of Allâh – Islâmic Monotheism) to be affected by Allâh’s Reminder (this Qur’ân), and that which has been revealed of the truth, lest they become as those who received the Scripture [the Taurât (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)] before (i.e. Jews and Christians), and the term was prolonged for them and so their hearts were hardened? And many of them were Fâsiqûn (the rebellious, the disobedient to Allâh).)
o This is a strong admonition from Allah (swt) to the companions – they are hearing the Quran and the Prophet (pbuh) is amongst them. Allah (swt) wants to upgrade them, and wants to upgrade the believers.
o Don’t think you want minimum faith, Allah (swt) wants more for you. He wants that the Quran humbles your heart and to have khushu’ – to be submissive and have presence of heart. When we are reading something and someone comes to talk to us, we tell them I am reading something important now. And when we are reading the Quran and someone interrupts to talk to us, we put the Quran down and say it’s time to end now, subhan Allah. May Allah (swt) forgive us. Ameen.
o The Quran is kallam Allah, Allah (swt) is above the 7th heavens and He rose over the throne in a matter that suits His majesty. And the throne of Allah (swt) is the greatest creation. Imagine that Allah (swt) – The Most High and Exalted, revealed His words, and we are being allowed to read it and say it, subhan Allah. There should be manners and etiquettes with the Quran.
o We don’t our relation with the Quran to be like last year, we want quality, not quantity. The salaf used to read the Quran during the night prayer, and they would just read one ayah, they would repeat it and repeat it, and they would cry over it, subhan Allah.
o Allah (swt) wants you to have khushu’ – focus and presence of the heart – with the Quran. Anything that you are focused on, you will feel like you are alone. There was a story of a companion that need to have his leg cut, and they told him that you need anesthesia, and he said I don’t want to be absent from remembering Allah (swt). He said you can cut my leg when I enter the prayer because I cannot think about anything when I am talking to my Lord, subhan Allah. And imagine we are scratching, or easily distracted, etc. subhan Allah.
o Do not be like the people before whose hearts became hardened from kallam Allah. We want our hearts to be soft, and we can get this when we are focused. When you hear an ayah, don’t feel like you already heard it or know it. Anything that comes to you, take it personally because it means Allah (swt) wanted you to listen to it.
o What makes the hearts hardened? ( ف طا ل عل يۡہِمُ ٱلۡۡ مدُ ): the term prolonged for them. Meaning when a person is away from the remembrance of Allah (swt), then the heart hardens. So you will be in focus when you are always in touch and connected to the remembrance of Allah (swt), don’t be detached. May Allah (swt) make the Quran the spring of our heart. Ameen – and this is the dua’a for grief, subhan Allah.
Ramadan and the Quran – A Second Connection
Hadith: (Narrated Ibn `Abbas: The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was the most generous person, and he used to become more so (generous) particularly in the month of Ramadan because Gabriel used to meet him every night of the month of Ramadan till it elapsed. Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) used to recite the Qur’an for him. When Gabriel met him, he used to become more generous than the fast wind in doing good.) – Sahih al-Bukhari 4997
o The Prophet (pbuh) was the most generous and his generosity was at its peak in Ramadan. Generosity is not limited to money, but with your knowledge, learning, good advice, etc.
o Every night in Ramadan, Jibreel used to descend to the Prophet (pbuh) and they would study and revise what was revealed to the Prophet (pbuh) from the Quran after the isha’a prayer, in the night, subhan Allah.
o So from this daily provision of revising the Quran made the Prophet (pbuh) the best in generosity. Busy your nights especially with the Quran because that will solve greed and miserliness, because that is the opposite of generosity.
o This hadith gives evidence that it is recommended:
The best time to study the Quran is in the night, subhan Allah.
Study with at least two, not alone, subhan Allah. When you are gathered, Allah (swt) will open more.
And during the night there are less distractions than during the day.
Hadith: (The Prophet (pbuh) said: whoever recites 100 ayat in the night, then it is written for him as if he established the whole prayer) – Al Albani
Intercession of the Quran
Hadith:(Narrated Abu Hurairah: That the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “The the Qur’an shall come on the Day of Judgement and (the reward for reciting the Qur’an) says: ‘O Lord! Decorate him.” So he is donned with a crown of nobility. Then it says: “O Lord! Give him more!’ So he is donned with a suit of nobility. Then it says: “O Lord! Be pleased with him.’ So He is pleased with him and says: “Recite and rise up, and be increased in reward with every Ayah.'”) – Book 45, Hadith 3164
o The Quran will appear on the Day of Judgement, everything will be tangible. The Quran will ask for a crown and gown for the reciter. And the Quran will stay it’s still not enough, he wants that Allah will be pleased with him, and this more than paradise. And then he will recite one ayah, and will be elevated one level, and each level is more than the heavens and the earth, subhan Allah.
o We all want to be companions of the Quran, and if anyone is saying that the Quran is difficult, then there is a problem with the person because Allah (swt) said that He made the Quran easy and not a burden.
How to taste the sweetness of the Quran in Ramadan? ( كيف تحصل على لذة القرآن في رمضان؟ )
There are manners and etiquettes when dealing with the Quran, remember that you are dealing with kallam Allah, subhan Allah.
Keep in mind we are talking about manners / recommendations, not about halal and haram.
Outer Manners (الآداب الظاهرة ):
o Etiquettes of the Reciter (آداب القارئ ):
It is recommended to be on wudhu.
To be facing the qibla, it is not obligatory.
The best reciting is while standing in the prayer. Surah Al Imran 191 الَّذِينَ يَذْكُرُونَ اللَّهَ قِيَامًا وَقُعُودًا وَعَلَىٰ جُنُوبِهِمْ وَيَتَفَكَّرُونَ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ رَبَّنَا مَا خَلَقْتَ هَٰذَا بَاطِلًا سُبْحَانَكَ فَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ
(Those who remember Allâh (always, and in prayers) standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and think deeply about the creation of the heavens and the earth, (saying): “Our Lord! You have not created (all) this without purpose, glory to You! (Exalted are You above all that they associate with You as partners). Give us salvation from the torment of the Fire)
Those who remember Allah (swt), and the best remembrance is the Quran while standing in prayer.
Then while sitting to recite the Quran.
And the third is while on you are lying on your side, subhan Allah.
o Amount of reciting (مقدار القراءة ):
This depends on the heart of the reciter. You cannot put a quantity to it.
The purer your heart, the more you can take because you will not feel it.
Everybody is different, may Allah (swt) purify our hearts. Ameen.
The more your faith increases, the more you will read with ihsan.
o To recite with tarteel (الترتيل ):
Again this is a recommendation, not obligation.
Tarteel is to recite letter by letter, every letter is clear and pronounced.
And when you recite with tarteel, then you can ponder, because you want the Quran to affect you.
And when you recite with tarteel it shows respect to the words of Allah.
Ibn Abbas (ra) said to read Surah Al Baqarah and Al Imran with tarteel is more beloved to him than to read the whole Quran quickly, subhan Allah.
o Crying (البكاء ):
This is not something you go around and tell people that you cried. You cannot force tears, this comes with belief as you read the ayat.
Every ayah touches you whether out of happiness or fear.
One of the people that Allah (swt) will shade on the Day of Judgement is the one who weeped alone out of khushu, subhan Allah.
o Taking care of the rights of every ayah (يراعي حق الآيات ):
What does this mean? Either you are fulfilling the rights of each ayah or not, either it will be for you or against you.
How will you interact with every ayah? You read ( سبح اسم ربك الۡعلي ) (Glorify the name of your Lord Most High) and you say ‘subhan Allah’, etc. If there is sujood, you make sujood. If there is dua’a, you say ameen, if there is takbeer, you say Allah Akbar, in your heart first and you can say it. If there is something fearful, you seek refuge in Allah (swt), if there is something hopeful, you ask for it – so you interact with the Quran.
o Secretness / openness in the recitation (الإسرار في القراءة ):
If you are afraid that it can cause riya’a and can disturb others, then recite in a low voice.
But if you are alone and you are not disturbing anyone, then it is better to say it louder.
o Improve the recitation (تحسين القراءة ):
Pronounce the words correctly, with tajweed, and beautifying the voice while reciting the Quran.
Hadith: ( زينوا اصواتكم بالقرآن ) (The Prophet (pbuh) said to beautify your voices with the Quran) – Al Albani
Some might say I don’t have a beautiful voice, but with the intention Allah (swt) will open for you. The beauty of the voice comes with the purity of the heart. So alhamdulliah you are dealing with Al Wahab, Allah (swt) gave us our voice to beautify the Quran, and each person has their own unique tune, subhan Allah.
Hadith: (Narrated Abu Salama: Abu Huraira said, “Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, ‘Whoever does not recite Qur’an in a nice voice is not from us,’) – Sahih al-Bukhari 7527
Allah (swt) loves it when you beautify your voice while reciting the Quran.
Inner Manners (الآداب الباطنة ):
o To understand the greatness of these words (فهم عظمة الكلم ): you need to feel these words are so great that you are being able to read it. There is nothing greater than the Quran.
o Magnifying the One speaking (التعظيم للمتكلم ): The One speaking is Allah (swt) and you need to magnify Allah (swt) otherwise you will not taste the sweetness of the Quran.
o Presence of the heart (حضور القلب ): which is khushu’, meaning your heart has to be there while reciting the Quran. The salaf would recite the Quran, and if they felt that their heart was not there, they would repeat the ayah until their heart was there.
o Pondering (تدبر ): reflecting the ayat, tadabur comes from (دبر ) which means behind, what is the impact of the ayah on you. One of the salaf used to finish a recitation in one week, and he was doing another recitation that he would do in one month in order to ponder more, another recitation he would complete in one year in order to ponder more, and one recitation that he has been doing for 30 years, subhan Allah.
o Understanding (التفهم ): to recognize that this ayah is about Allah, about creation, about halal/haram, etc.
o Only one being addressed (المخاطب ): when you are reciting the Quran, then you need to take each ayah as if you are addressed personally. When you come across ayat regarding adultery, inheritance, etc – don’t say this does not apply to me, don’t
Barriers to understanding (حجب الفهم ):
o Concern is to finish (الهم هو النتهاء ): when you start you want to finish. You are checking the pages and seeing how much more is left. Imagine someone talking to you, and you are saying ok, what else, what else, you are restless, subhan Allah.
o Concern with tajweed and pronunciation (الهم هو المخارج و التجويد ): tajweed is a tool for improving and understanding, it is not meant to be an obstacle. One of the plots of the shaitan is to make you focus on the reading and forget the understanding.
o Sins and especially arrogance (الإصرار على الذنب أو الكبر ): Allah (swt) will not open for someone who is arrogant. Arrogance is to feel that you are better than someone else, you feel as if you are better in understanding or reciting. May Allah (swt) purify our hearts. Ameen. The heart is like a mirror, and you should see the reflection of the Quran, but if there is rust and dust (meaning sicknesses of the heart), then you will not be able to see the reflection of the Quran in your heart, subhan Allah.
Surah Qaf 8: ( تبۡصِ ر ة وذِكۡ رىٰ لِكُلِّ عبۡ د مُّنِي ب ) (An insight and a Reminder for every slave who turns to Allâh in repentance (i.e. the one who believes in the Oneness of Allâh and performs deeds of His obedience, and always begs His pardon).
The salaf would get scared if an ayah would not open for them, so they would make so much istighfar.
Impacts of reciting
o Emotions (التأثر ): you will have feelings of happiness, hope, fear, etc while reciting
o Upgrade (الترقي ): the more you are applying the inner and outer manners, the more there will be an upgrade in the way of reciting the Quran. What are the levels for recitation while you are enjoying the Quran (درجات القراءة )?
First level: which is the minimum, you feel as if you are reciting it to Allah (swt), subhan Allah. So you are reading and Allah (swt) is listening to you.
Second level: in your heart, as if you are not speaking, but Allah (swt) is speaking to you. There is a great feeling of humbleness.
Third level: to see in the words only Allah (swt) – meaning His actions and attributes. ( ان يرى في الكلم المتكلم ). You have gone past the words and your focus is only on Allah (swt).
Anything besides these levels is heedlessness, subhan Allah.
One of the salaf said at the time of dying, the angel will say smell his head, and there is the Quran, smell his heart, there is the fast, and smell his feet, and there is qiyam. Then may Allah (swt) protect Him, subhan Allah.
May Allah (swt) open the Quran for us and may He makes us the people of the Quran. Ameen.