Virtues of the Quran

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(part 1 of 2) Description:  This 2 part lesson discusses the virtues and blessings of reciting the Quran and special portions of the sacred ...

(part 1 of 2)

Description: This 2 part lesson discusses the virtues and blessings of reciting the Quran and special portions of the sacred text.
Objectives:
·       To learn the general reward of reciting the Quran.
·       To learn the reward of one who is learning and struggles to recite the Quran.
·       To learn the reward of specific surahs and verses of the Quran.
Arabic Terms
·       Surah – chapter of the Quran.
·       Rakah - unit of prayer.
·       Aayaat - (singular – ayah)  the word aayaat can have many meanings.  It is almost always used when talking about proofs from Allah.  These include evidences, verses, lessons, signs, and revelations.
·       Zakah - obligatory charity.
No other world scripture shares the unique features of the Quran. Every other holy book is a collection of wisdom and teachings of their religious leaders gathered over time. It is not known who compiled it and how. The Quran, on the other hand, is a book that claims to be from the Creator of the heavens and the earth. It is a book that was not collected and edited over time by unknown authors. Since the entire book is from God, taught to the Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon him, and handed over to us in its entirety, certain surahs (chapters) and verses have associated rewards and blessings that Prophet Muhammad has attached with reciting them. The Prophet has mentioned rewards of reciting the Quran, memorizing it, and following its teachings.
In this lesson, we will learn the rewards of reciting some of the chapters of the Quran.
The Prophet has informed us that for reciting one letter of the Quran, we get the reward of ten good deeds. It should motivate us to learn to recite the Quran in its original Arabic. It is doable and many people have done it. If you are consistent and follow the advice given in the earlier lesson “Why and How to Learn the Quran”, you will find the steps you need to take to get there.

One Letter of the Holy Quran is 10 Good Deeds

The messenger of Allah said: “Whoever reads a letter of the Book of Allah will be credited with a good deed, and a good deed gets a tenfold reward. I do not say that Alif Laam Meem is a letter, but Alif is a letter, Laam is a letter, and Meem is a letter (i.e. it is equal to three letters).”[1]
Some people will undoubtedly find difficulty in learning to recite the Quran in Arabic. After all, they will have to get familiar with certain letters and learn how to pronounce them. Here is a beautiful encouragement from Prophet Muhammad on those who struggle to learn the Quran in Aabic:

Whoever Recites The Holy Quran with Difficulty has Double Recompense

Prophet Muhammad said, “A person who recites the Quran and reads it fluently will be in the company of the obedient and noble angels, and he who reads the Quran haltingly and with difficulty will have a double recompense.”[2]
One of the first surahs (chapters) of the Quran you should have memorized is Surah al-Fatihah, the first chapter of the Quran that is recited in every single rakah of prayer.

Surah Al-Fatihah, Most Superior Surah

Abu Sa’id says that while he was praying, the Prophet called him but he did not respond to his call. Later Abu Sa’id said: “O Allah’s Messenger! I was praying.” He said, “Didn’t Allah say: ‘O you who believe! Give your response to Allah (by obeying Him) and to His Messenger when he calls you?’” (8:24)  He then said, “Shall I not teach you the most superior surah in the Quran?” He said, “(It is) ‘Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds’ (i.e.,Surah al-Fatihah) which consists of “Seven Repeatedly Recited Verses” and the Magnificent Quran which was given to me.”[3]

Ayah al-Kursi Provides Protection from Allah

The second chapter of the Quran following Surah al-Fatiha is Surah al-Baqarah. It also happens to be the longest chapter of the Quran. 255th verse of this chapter is called Ayah al-Kursi (verse of al-Kursi).
Abu Huraira recalls that Allah’s Messenger ordered him to guard the zakah revenue of Ramadan. Then somebody came to him and started stealing of the foodstuff. Abu Huraira caught him and said, “I will take you to Allah’s Messenger!” Then Abu Huraira described that that person said to him, “Please don’t take me to Allah’s Messenger and I will tell you a few words by which Allah will benefit you. When you go to your bed, recite Ayah al-Kursi, for then there will be a guard from Allah who will protect you all night long, and Satan will not be able to come near you till dawn.” When the Prophet heard the story he said to me, “He (who came to you at night) told you the truth although he is a liar; and it was Satan.”[4]

Last two Verses of Surah al-Baqarah

The Prophet said: “If somebody recited the last two verses of Surah al-Baqarah at night, that will be sufficient for him.”[5]

Surah Al-Baqarah and Aal ‘Imran are Two Lights

Describing the second and third chapters of the Quran, the Messenger of Allah said: “Read the Quran, because it will intercede on behalf of its people on the Day of Resurrection. Read the two lights, al-Baqarah and Aal ‘Imran, because they will come in the shape of two clouds, two shades or two lines of birds on the Day of Resurrection and will argue on behalf of their people on that Day.”[6]

Surah al-Kahf is Tranquility

There is a special surah of the Quran that comes almost in the middle of the book calledSurah al-Kahf.
A man was reciting Surah al-Kahf and his horse was tied with two ropes beside him. A cloud came down and spread over that man, and it kept on coming closer and closer to him till his horse started jumping (as if afraid of something). When it was morning, the man came to the Prophet, and told him of that experience. The Prophet said, “That was ‘tranquility’ which descended because of (the recitation of) the Quran.”[7]

Surah Al-Kahf is Protection from the Anti-Christ (Dajjaal)

The Prophet said: “Whoever memorizes ten verses from the beginning of Surah al-Kahf will be protected from the Anti-Christ.”[8]

Surah al-Kahf is a Shining Light

The Prophet said, “Whoever reads Surah al-Kahf on Friday, will have a light that will shine from him from one Friday to the next.”[9]


Footnotes:
[1] Tirmidhi
[2] Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim
[3] Saheeh Al-Bukhari
[4] Saheeh Al-Bukhari
[5] Saheeh Al-Bukhari
[6] Musnad Ahmad
[7] Saheeh Al-Bukhari
[8] Muslim, Abu Dawud, Nasai
[9] Hakim, Bayhaqi

Virtues of the Quran (part 2 of 2)

Description: This 2 part lesson discusses the virtues and blessings of reciting the Quran and special portions of the sacred text.
Objectives
·       To learn additional rewards of reciting the Quran.
·       To learn the reward of specific surahs (chapters) of the Quran.
Arabic Terms
·       Surah – chapter of the Quran.
Emphasizing the importance of reciting the Quran, the Prophet said, “The example of a believer who recites the Quran is that of a citrus fruit which tastes good and smells good; and one who does not recite the Quran is like a date which tastes good but has no smell.  The example of a wicked person who recites the Quran is that of basil which smells good but tastes bitter; and a wicked person who does not recite the Quran is like a vine which tastes bitter and has no smell.”[1]
The Quran, the words of Allah, has many virtues.  Each surah of the Quran is important but some of the surahs have special importance.  The best surahs to recite for a new Muslim are those that will accrue the greatest reward for him and help him memorize them as well.
In this lesson, we will mention the virtues of the last three chapters of the Quran which are short but powerful:
Build a house in Paradise by Reciting Surah al-Ikhlas: The Prophet said: “Whoever recites Qul huwa Allaahu ahad [Surah al-Ikhlas] ten times, Allah will build for him a house in Paradise.”[2]
Reciting Surah al-Ikhlas is Equivalent to One-Third of the Quran: A man heard another man reciting Qul huwa Allaahu ahad [Surah al-Ikhlas] and repeating it.  The next morning he came to the Messenger of Allah, may the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon him, and told him about that.  The man thought that it was too little, but the Messenger of Allah said: “By the One in Whose hand is my soul, it is equivalent to one-third of the Quran.”[3]
A man stayed up to worship Allah at the time of the Prophet just before dawn and recitedQul huwa Allaahu ahad [Surah al-Ikhlas], but did not recite anything else.  In the morning, the man came to the Prophet and told him about this, thinking that perhaps he was not doing enough.  The Messenger of Allah said: “By the One in Whose hand is my soul, it is equivalent to one-third of the Quran.”[4]
It is recommended to Recite Surah al-Ikhlas before sleeping: Aisha reported that when the Prophet went to bed, he would cup his hands together, blow into them and recite into them Qul huwa Allahu ahad [Surah al-Ikhlas], Qul a’oodhu bi Rabbil-falaq [Surah al-Falaq] and Qul a’oodhu bi Rabbin-naas [Surah an-Naas] (these are the last 3 chapters of the Quran).  Then he would wipe as much of his body as he could with his hands, starting with his head and face, and the front of his body.  He would do this three times.[5]
The love for Surah al-Ikhlas: Aisha also reported that the Prophet sent a man in charge of a small military campaign, and when he recited the Quran while leading his companions in prayer, he would always end with Qul huwa Allaahu ahad [Surah al-Ikhlas].  When they came back, (his companions) mentioned that to the Prophet, who told them to ask him why he did that.  So they asked him, and he said, “Because it is a description of the Most Merciful, and I love to recite it.” The Prophet said: “Tell him that Allah loves him.”[6]
Reciting Surah al-Ikhlas every night: Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir said “I met the Messenger of Allah and he said to me: ‘O Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir, shall I not teach you some surahs the like of which have not been revealed in the Torah or the Psalms or the Gospel or in the Quran? No night should come except you recite in it (i.e., every night you should recite) Qul huwa Allaahu ahad [Surah al-Ikhlas], Qul a’oodhu bi Rabbil-falaq [Surah al-Falaq] and Qul a’oodhu bi Rabbin-naas [Surah an-Naas].’” ‘Uqbah said: “So every night I would recite them.  It became my duty to recite them, because the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had commanded me to do so…”[7]
Paradise is His Right: The Prophet heard a man reciting Qul huwa Allaahu ahad, and said, “It is his right.” They asked, “O Messenger of Allah, what is his right?” He said, “Paradise is his right.”[8]
There are many great virtues mentioned in these lessons for general recitation of the Quran in Arabic and reciting some of the longer surahs.  There are also great virtues of reciting smaller surahs of the Quran that are easy to memorize, like Surah al-Fatihah andSurah al-Ikhlas.
Until you cannot read Quran well, if you listen to it being recited by someone else and seek the reward that has been mentioned for that, then there is hope that you will have the same reward as the one who reads it, because of your good intention and doing what you are able to do.


Footnotes:
[1] Saheeh Al-Bukhari
[2] Saheeh al-Jami’ al-Sagheer
[3] Saheeh Al-Bukhari
[4] Saheeh Al-Bukhari
[5] Saheeh Al-Bukhari
[6] Saheeh Al-Bukhari
[7] Musnad Ahmad
[8] Musnad Ahmad

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Jama Masjid: Virtues of the Quran
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