Why & How to Learn the Quran

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Part 1 Description:  The first lesson on learning the Quran highlighting the importance of having a relationship with the Book of Allah. Obj...

Part 1

Description: The first lesson on learning the Quran highlighting the importance of having a relationship with the Book of Allah.
Objectives
·       To appreciate that the Quran is Allah’s blessing and to learn some qualities of the Quran.
·       To appreciate that the Quran is as relevant today as it was when it was revealed.

Some of the Qualities of the Quran

1.    Why-and-How-to-Learn-the-Quran--part-1.jpg“There shall come to you guidance from Me, and whosoever follows My guidance no fear shall be on them, neither shall they sorrow.” (Quran 2: 38)
The Quran is Allah’s greatest blessing for you.  It is the fulfillment of His promise to Adam and his descendants. 
2.    It is the only means to overpower your fear and anxiety.  It is the only ‘light’ (nur), as you grope in the darkness, with which to find your way to success and salvation.  It is the only healing (shifa’) for your inner sicknesses, as well as the social ills that may surround you.  The Prophet Muhammad said,
“The Quran is an intercessor and it’s intercession is accepted and its plea is believed.  Whoever makes it lead him - it leads him to Paradise and whomsoever places it behind him (the result will be) he is dragged to the Fire.”[1]
3.    The Prophet Muhammad said, “You must engage in Remembrance of Allah and the recitation of His Book, for it is light for you on earth and (a means by which) you will be mentioned in the Heavens.”[2]
The Quran is a constant reminder of your true nature and destiny, of your station, your duties, your rewards, your perils.  More than anything, it is the only way to come nearer and closer to your Creator.  It tells you of Him, His attributes, how He rules over the cosmos and history, how He relates to you, and how you should relate to Him, to yourself, to your fellow men and to other existence.
The rewards that await you here are surely many, increasing manifold in the Hereafter, but what awaits you at the end of the road, promises Allah in the Hadith qudsi,
“What no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no heart has ever conceived”, and Abu Hurayrah adds, “Read if you wish: ‘No human being can imagine what joys are being kept hidden for them in reward for all that they did.’ (Quran 32:17)”[3]

Quran is as relevant today as it was when it was revealed

The guidance of the Quran, by its own claim, has an eternal relevance for all people, being the word of the Eternal God.  The Quran, the eternal guidance of the Ever-living God, is as relevant for us today as it was 14 centuries ago and will remain so forever.  The word of the Ever-living God has been sent down to guide human beings for all times to come. 
For the truth of this claim, it must be possible for us to receive, experience, and understand the Quran as its first recipients did, at least to some degree.  In other words, despite the historical incidence of the revelation in a particular language and at a particular time and place, we should be capable of receiving the Quran now because its message is eternal. 
For those who heard it for the first time from the lips of the Prophet, the Quran was a living reality.  They had absolutely no doubt that, through him, Allah was speaking to them.  Their hearts and minds were seized by it.  Their eyes flowed with tears and their bodies shivered.  They found it deeply relevant to their concerns and experiences and integrated it fully into their lives.  They were completely transformed by it.  As a result, those who grazed sheep and herded camels became the leaders of mankind. 
Today we have the same Quran with us.  Even though millions of copies are in circulation, since we no longer read the Quran as a living reality, our eyes remain dry, hearts remain unmoved, minds remain untouched, and our lives remain unchanged.  Can the Quran be a living, relevant force, and as powerful for us now as it was 1400 years ago? This is the most crucial question that we must answer if we wish to shape our destiny afresh under the guidance of the Quran. 
How do we do this? The answer is simple.  We study and learn the Quran by entering the world of the Quran as if Allah were speaking to us through it now and today, and by fulfilling the necessary conditions for such an encounter.  Only by centering our lives on the Quran, Muslims will find meaning to their existence or find dignity in this world.  More importantly, without emphasis on learning the Quran, we will never please our Creator and Lord. 
Make its message as much a real part of our lives as it was for the first believers and with the same urgent and profound relevance for all our present concerns and experiences.
The Quran’s blessings are limitless, but the measure of your taking from it depends entirely upon the capacity and the suitability of the receptacle you bring to it.  So, at the very outset, make yourself more deeply aware of what the Quran means to you and what it demands of you.
In conclusion, every Muslim has a duty to devote himself to reading, understanding, and memorizing the Quran.  The next lesson will focus on how to learn the Quran.


Footnotes:
[1] Ibn Hibban
[2] Targhib wa-Tarhib
[3] Bukhari, Muslim

Why & How to Learn the Quran (part 2 of 2)

Description: The second lesson on learning the Quran highlighting practical tips to embark on your study.
Objectives:
·       To learn five beautiful ahadith of the Prophet Muhammad on learning the Quran.
·       To know how often to read, how much to read and when to read.
·       To understand the importance of listening attentively and memorizing the Quran.
Arabic Terms:
·       Hadith -  (plural – ahadith) is a piece of information or a story. In Islam it is a narrative record of the sayings and actions of Prophet Muhammad and his companions.

Importance of Learning the Quran in the Words of Prophet Muhammad

1.    Why-&-How-to-Learn-the-Quran-Part-2.jpg"The best of you are those who learn the Quran and teach it."[1]
2.    "Allah has His own people among mankind." They said: "O Messenger of Allah, who are they?" He said: "The people of the Quran, the people of Allah and those who are closest to Him."[2]
3.    "This Quran is the Banquet of Allah. Learn as much as you can from His banquet. This Quran is the Rope of Allah, and it is the clear Light and [the effective and beneficial] Healing. It is a protection for the one who clings to it and a rescue for the one who follows it. It is not crooked and so puts things straight. It does not deviate so as to be blamed. Its wonders do not cease. It does not wear out with much repetition. So recite it for Allah will reward you for the recitation of every letter...." (Also Abdullah ibn Masud said, “This Quran is the Banquet of Allah. Whoever enters it is safe.”).[3]
The Quran is a ‘banquet’ in the sense that it is something of great benefit that Allah has prepared for people then invited them to it.
4.    "...A group of people do not gather in a house among the Houses of Allah (a mosque) reciting the Book of Allah and studying it amongst themselves - except that tranquility descends upon them, they are enveloped by mercy and surrounded by the angels - and Allah mentions them with those with Him (the higher angels).”[4]
5.    "Whoever teaches one verse of the Book of Allah Almighty, will be rewarded (every time) it is recited."[5]

Practical Guidelines to Study the Quran

How Often to Read?

Every day you must read some of the Quran. In fact do not consider a day complete unless you have spent some time with the Qur'an. It is better to read regularly, even if it be only a small portion, than to read long parts, but only occasionally.

How Much to Read?

There is no fixed answer. It varies from person to person and from situation to situation. The guideline is what Allah has said: 'Read whatever you can with ease' (Quran 73:20)
The quantity of reading will very much depend on the purpose of reading. If you just want to spend time with the Quran, or get a quick overview, you may read much faster and, therefore, more. If you want to ponder and reflect, you may read much slower and, therefore, less.

When to Read?

Any time of the day or night is suitable for reading the Quran and one may do so in any physical posture. Allah says,
“Remember the name of your Lord at morning and in the evening and part of the night.” (Quran 76:25)
“Those who remember Allah when they are standing, and when they are sitting and when they are lying.” (Quran 3:191)
There are some specific times which are more desirable and rewarding as they are recommended by Allah and His Prophet. There are also certain recommended postures. The most excellent time to read is at night and the most desirable posture is to stand in prayer. To do so requires that you should memorize some portions of the Quran and remain awake for some time during the night. You may not be able to do so all the time for various reasons and the Quran recognizes such limitations, therefore, you are permitted ‘whatever portion’ at ‘whatever time’ and ‘whatever position.’

Learn to Read Correctly in Arabic

It will take some time and effort to learn the Arabic script and to learn to read the Quran correctly. It is best to learn with a qualified teacher, but if you do not have the opportunity to do so, you can learn with any of the online Quran learning websites. Dedicate half an hour three to five days a week for about a year and you will be on your way to reciting the Quran in Arabic.

Listen Attentively

While you may not be able to recite the Quran immediately, you can download free mp3 files and listen to it on your smartphone or computer. Listen attentively and fall silent whenever the Quran is being recited. This is what the Quran itself commands: “When the Quran is read, listen attentively, and fall silent, so that you may be blessed with mercy”. (Quran 7:204)
You should not talk while the Quran is being recited.

Memorize the Quran

Memorize as much of the Quran as you can. Memorization is an essential way of making the Quran penetrate you. It is not a mechanical, ritual act. It is an act of high spiritual and devotional importance. Only through memorization can you recite the Quran in prayers and ponder over its meaning while you stand in the presence of the Speaker. It makes the Quran flow on your tongue, reside in your mind, dwell in your heart. It becomes your constant companion. The best way to memorize is with a qualified teacher, but if one is not available, you can use an online teacher. It will be very difficult to do it on your own.

Free Resources

·       http://quranicaudio.com/
·       http://www.quranful.com
·       Search iTunes or Google Play for recitation applications with keyword ‘Quran’ for your smartphone or tablet.

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About God,23,Acts of Worship,32,Ahmadiyyah,1,ALLAH,8,and the Quran,1,Angels,1,Approaching the Quran,4,Articles of Faith,11,Benefits of being a Muslim,2,Benefits to Science and Civilization,5,Benefits to Society,6,Bible,11,Bidah,1,Celebrations,1,Christian,12,Coping with Change,6,Dawah,3,Dietary Laws in Islam,3,Dua,1,Education,1,Eid,1,Evidence of Muhammad’s Prophethood,12,Explanation of Quran,6,Fasting,6,Fasting in Islam,1,Features of Islam,3,Finance in Islam,1,Fiqh,2,Five Pillars of Islam,15,Forgiveness for All Previous Sins,1,Future,2,Hadiths,68,Hajj,2,Health Care in Islam,5,Here After,10,Hindu,2,Hobby,1,How to Convert to Islam and Become a Muslim,6,Human Development,6,Interaction with non-Muslims,1,Islam,60,Islam Growth,1,Islamic Beliefs,26,Islamic Dress Code,1,Islamic Guidelines,2,Israel,4,Jerusalam,3,Jewish,6,Jinn,2,Judgment Day,6,Learn Islam Online,4,Life in Islam,49,Life Style,10,Logical Proofs,12,Marriage,4,Means to increasing faith,6,Medina,1,Men Converted to Islam,9,Merits of Islam,4,Miracles,4,Mohammad,4,Morals and Practices,24,Mosques in Asia,7,Mosques in Europe,1,Mosques in Medina,3,Mosques in Saudi Arabia,4,Muhammad,1,Muhammad Biography,5,Muhammad Companions,10,Muhammad in the Bible and Other Scriptures,1,New Muslims,10,News,12,Oneness of GOD,7,Paradise,4,Peace,30,Popular Mosques in Afghanistan,1,Popular Mosques in Americas,1,Popular Mosques in Germany,1,Popular Mosques in India,7,Popular Mosques in Middle East,6,Popular Mosques in Pakistan,1,Popular Mosques in USA,1,Prayer,19,Prophet Abraham,2,Prophet Ayub,1,Prophet Jesus,6,Prophet Joseph,1,Prophet Lot,1,Prophet Moses,2,Prophet Muhammad,10,Prophet Noah,1,Prophets,16,Quran,23,Quran and Science,5,Ramadan,6,Repentance,1,Salah,11,Salvation from Hellfire,1,Scientists on Quran,1,Sects in Islam,6,Self Purification,2,Shia,1,Social interaction,21,Sodomy,1,Spirits,3,Stories of New Muslim Converts,9,Stories of the Prophets,20,Sufism,1,Sunnah,2,Taj Mahal,1,Tawheed,8,Technology,3,The Authenticity and Preservation of the Holy Quran,8,The Door to Eternal Paradise,2,The Existence of God,29,The Five Pillars of Islam and Other Acts of Worship,3,The Muslim Community,8,The Purpose of Life,7,The Scientific Miracles of the Holy Quran,13,The Scientific Miracles of the Prophet Muhammad Sayings,1,The Six Pillars of Faith and Other Islamic Beliefs,23,Thoughts,1,True Happiness and Inner Peace,9,Truth,10,Universe,7,Various Recommended Deeds,5,What is Islam,11,What Others Say about Islam,3,Women in Islam,1,World Today,6,Zakah,1,
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