REVIVAL OF RELIGIOUS LEARNINGS
Translated by FAZL-UL-KARIM
VOLUME ONE: THE BOOK OF WORSHIP
THE BOOK OF WORSHIP
CHAPTER VIII Excellence of the Quran 209
External and internal rules of reciting 212
Individual Interpretation 224
RECITATION OF THE QURAN
All praise is due to God who showered blessings on His servants by sending revealed books and Prophets. This Quran does not contain any false stories of yore or future. It is a revelation from the Most High, the Almighty. Therein there is food for reflection for those who are thoughful and there is true stories of former nations. By its help, walk on straight path becomes easy as the commands and prohibitions were expressed there in clear terms and the lawful and unlawful things made clear. It is a light and therein there is cure of the diseases of mind. God destroyed those who opposed it. God misguides one who seeks knowledge other than that of the Quran. It is a firm rope of God, clear light and firmest tie. There is everything in it, small and great. There is no end of its miracle. It is ever fresh and new to the reciters. It is a guide for the past and future. The Jinn heard it and warned their classes. They said: We heard a wonderful Quran. It is a guide. We believe in it and did not set up anything with our Lord. Those who advised according to it told truth. Those who held it firm, found guidance. Those who acted up to it got salvation. God says: I have revealed it and I will certainly preserve it. The modes of preserving the Quran are the following committing it to memory, writting it in papers, to recite it always, to read it in prayer, to explain it and comment on it. It will be discussed in four sections.
EXCELLENCE OF THE QURAN
The Prophet said: If a man thinks that what has been given to others is better than it considered little the dearest thing of God. He said: Prophets, angels, or anybody else cannot be better intercessors in rank than the Quran. He said: If the Quran is kept within skin, burning fire will not go near t, nor touch it. The Prophet said: Recitation of the Quran is the best divine service of my followers. He said: God recited chapter Toaha and Easin one thousand years before creation. When the angels heard them, they said: How fortunate are they on whom they will be revealed. How fortunate are those who commit them to memory. How
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fortunate are the tongues which broadcast them. The Prophet said: The best of you is he who learns the Quran and teaches it. He said: God says: If a man cannot pray or invoke Me on account of his being engaged in reciting the Quran, I will give him better rewards than those who express gratefulness. He said: Two persons will stand in the mountain of musk on the Resurrection Day. They will have no fear and will render no accounts, even they will be free from the wants of men - (1) He who recites the Quran for pleasure of God, (2) He who becomes the leader of a people who remain satisfied with him. The Prophet said: A reciter of the Quran belongs to the family of God and is His sincere servant. He said: Rust falls on heart as it falls on iron. The Prophet was asked: 0 Messenger of God, how can the rust be removed? He said: By reciting the Quran and by remembering death. The Prophet said: God hears the recitation of the Quran more attentively than the master ofa singing girl.
Wise saying: Hazrat Abu Omarah Baheli said: Recite the Quran. This hanging book will not deceive you. God will not punish one who commits it to memory. Hazrat Ibn Masud said: When you wish to acquire knowledge select the Quran as it is the embodiment of the knowledge of the previous and future generations. He said quoting the saying of the Prophet: You will get ten rewards in lieu of each word of it. Beware, I am not saying that 'Alef, Lam and Mim' is a word but Alef is a word, Lam is a word and Mim is a word. He said: Let nobody among you ask anything about himself except the Quran. If he loves the Quran and remains satisfied with it, he loves God and His Prophet and if he disrespects the Quran, he disrespects God and His Prophet. Hazrat Amr-b-A's said: Every verse of the Quran is a door of Paradise and a light in your house. He said: He who recites the Quran opens as it were the door of Prophethood by his two sides, but no revelation will come to him. Hazrat Abu Hurairah said: The provision of the inmates of a house in which the Quran is recited increases, their good becomes more, angels remain present there and the devil goes out of it. The provision of the inmates of a house in which the Quran is not recited becomes straitened, their welfare diminishes, angels go out of it and the devil comes in. Imam Ahmad-b-Hambal said: I saw God in dream and asked him: 0 God, for what thing one can come near to Thee! He said: 0 Ahmad, by means of My Kalam the Quran. I asked Him: 0 Lord, by means of its understanding )r not? He
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said: Yes, whether you understand its meaning or not. Fazil-b-Yeaz said: One who commits the Quran by heart is the bearer of the standard of Islam. He should not hold useless talks with those who hold such talks. He should not forget the Quran as others do. Imam Sufiyan Saori said: When a man recites the Quran, an angel kisses on his forehead. Amr-b-Maimum said: If a man reads one hundred verses of the Quran after morning prayer, God will give him rewards of the actions of the inhabitants of the world. Once Khalid-b-Oqbah came to the Prophet and said: Read out to me the Quran. He read out to him: God enjoins you to do justice and good. He said to the Prophet: Recite again. He read it again and then said: By God, therein there is sweetness, heightness, its lower portion has got bases, its upper has got fruits and it is not the words of a man. Hazrat Hasan Basri said: By God, there is no greater wealth than the Quran and there is no want after the Quran. Fuzail said: If a man recites the last portion of chapter Hashr and dies on that day, the seal of martyrdom is imprinted on him. If he reads it in the evening and dies in that night, the seal of martyrdom is imprinted on him. Hazrat Ali said: Three things increase the power of memory and removes scum, tooth- stick, fast and recitation of the Quran.
PUNISHMENT FOR HEEDLESS RECITATION
Hazrat Anas said: There are some men who recite the Quran, but them. Abu Solaiman Darani said: The angels of Hell will arrest those who commit the Quran to memory but become disobedient to God. Hazrat Ibn Masud said: Those who committed the Quran to memory should get acquainted with the night when the people remain asleep and should be sorry when the people commit sins and make enjoyments during day time. They will weep when the people will laugh, they will remain silent when the people will hold useless talks. The Prophet said: Recite the Quran till it prohibits you to do evil deeds. If it does not prohibit you, it will not be considered as your recitation. The Prophet said: He who knows the unlawful things of the Quran as lawful does not believe in the Quran. Hazrat Ibn Masud said: The Quran was revealed to you for doing actions. So translate your recitation into action. There are men among you who recite the Quran from first to last and do not omit a single word therefrom but they donot translate it into action. There is in the Torah: God
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said: 0 My servant, are you not ashamed of Me? If a letter from your friend comes to you in your journey, you at once come toa side of the road and read with an attentive mind every word and sentence of it and you do not omit anything from it. but I sent My Book to you and I am seeing with what attentive mind you are reading it and how you have followed its commands and prohibitions. But you have turned your face from it. 0 My servant, have you considered it more mean than your friend's letter? I am present to you. I am speaking with you but you have turned your mind from Me. Have I become more mean to you than your friend?
EXTERNAL RULES OF RECITING THE QURAN
There are ten external rules for the recitation of the Quran.
(1) After ablution, face the Ka'ba without showing pride in sitting with head downwards just like the sitting of a student before his teacher. The best way of Quran reading is in prayer standing in a mosque. God says: They remember God standing, sitting and lying on their sides and ponder over the creations of the heaven and earth. In this verse, every condition has been said in order of excellence-first standing, then sitting and then lying state. Hazrat Ali said: If a man recites a portion of the Quran in prayer standing, one hundred rewards are written for him for every word. If a man recites a portion of the Quran sitting in prayer, fifty rewards are written for him for every word. If a man reads the Quran outside the prayer with ablution, twenty five rewards are written for him for every word. If a man reads the Quran without ablution, ten rewards are written for him for every word. Hazrat Abu Zarr Geffari said: To make much prostration at day time and to pray long at night are better.
(2) THE QUANTITY OF QURAN RECITING: There are different rules for the readers about the quantity of the recitations of the Quran. Some finish the whole Quran in a day and a night, some twice, some thrice and some once in a month. The best way is what the Prophet said in this Hadis: He who finishes the Quran within less time than three days cannot gain the knowledge of the rules of religion as hasty reading cannot clearly be recited. Hazrat Ayesha said of a man who recited the
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Quran hastily: This man neither recites the Quran, nor remains silent. The Prophet ordered Abdullah-b-Amr to finish the Quran once a week. Some of the companions followed this rule. They were Hzrats Osman, Zaid- b-Sabet, Ibn Masud, Obai-b-Ka'ab and others. So there are several modes of finishing the Quran, (1) once in a day and a night, (2) once in a month, (3) once in a week with seven equal portions a day.
The Quran was first free from I'rab or dots above and below. Hazrat Hasan Basari said: There is no harm in giving I'rab to the Quran. It is commendable to read the Quran slowly. The object of the Quran reading is to ponder and there are fixed places therein for slow-reading. The Prophet explained every word and every sentence separately. Hazrat Ibn Abbas said: I prefer to read chapter Baqr and chapter Imran slowly and to ponder about them than to read them hurriedly.
Weeping at the time of recitation of the Quran is also commendable, as the Prophet said: Recite the Quran and weep. If you cannot weep, assume weeping attitude. The Prophet said: He who does not read the Quran with sweet tone is not of us. Saleh Marbi said: I recited the Quran in dream before the Prophet. He said: 0 Saleh, where is your weeping in reciting the Quran? Hazrat Ibn Abbas said: When you read the verse of prostration, don't prostrate soon till you weep. If the eyes of any one of you do not shed bears, let him weep by his heart. The mode of weeping by force is to bring sorrows to the mind. He who can bring sorrows to the mind can also bring weeping. The Prophet said: The Quran has been revealed for sorrow. When you read it, be in a sorrowful mode. The mode of bringing sorrow is to ponder over the words of warnings and punishments in the Quran. Fulfil your duty to every verse. If you read the verse of prostration, prostrate. If you hear the verse. from another, make prostration but do it not without ablution. There are fourteen prostrations in the Quran. Prostration is perfect when Takbir is recited therein. God says: Fall down in prostration and glorify the praise of your Lord. There are conditions of prostration like the conditions of prayer to cover private parts, to face the Ka'ba, to have the body and cloth pure. Recite Takbir for prostration, then fall in prostration, then raise up your head with Takbir and then return salam. A follower will follow the leader in prostration without reciting the Quran.
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When you begin to recite the Quran, recite: I seek refuge to God from the accursed devil. Then recite chapter Nas and Fateha. When you finish the Quran, say: 0 God, show mercy on me for the Quran, make it for me a guide, a light, a leader and a mercy. 0 God, remind me what I have forgotten therefrom, teach me what I do not know therefrom, and give me provision of reading it day and night and make it a proof for me. 0 Lord of the universe.
TO RECITE THE QURAN WITH SOUND: Recite the Quran with such sound as you may hear it. The meaning of reciting is that you will hear yourself what is recited. Read it with such sound in prayer as you yourself may hear it. If you do not hear it, your prayer will not be valid. The Prophet said: As secret charity brings more reward than open charity, so secret Quran-reading brings more reward than open Quran reading with sound. In another narration: Reading the Quran with sound is like open charity and silent Quran reading is like secret charity. There is in Hadis that the reward of a secret deed is seventy times more than that of an open deed. The Prophet said: What gives consolation is a good provision and secret Zikr is the best Zikr.
There is in Hadis: don't recite the Quran with loud voice in between sun-set and night prayers. The Prophet heard one party of his companions reciting the Quran with loud voice in night prayer and considered it right. The Prophet said: If any of you stands to pray Isha (night prayer), let him read his Quran openly, as the angels and the inmates of the house hear Quran reading and pray for him in lieu of his prayer. The Prophet saw his three companions in different conditions. When passing by Abu Bakr, he heard him reading silently and asked him about it. He said: He with whom I speak hears it. While passing by Hazrat Omar, he heard him reciting the Quran with loud voice. He asked him about it and he said: I am waking up the heedless and the sleeping men and driving the devil. The Prophet passed by Bilal and found him reading some verses silently and some with sound. On being asked, he said: I am mixing good. verses with good verses. The Prophet said: Each one of you has one well. In other words, he who fears show should read it silently. Open reading awakens the mind and centres the thoughts to one thing. It is better to recite the Quran by seeing it as to look to the Quran is also worship.
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To read the Quran with sweet voice and slowly is sunnat. The Prophet said: God did not order sweet voice for anything except for the Quran. He said: He who does not read the Quran with sweet voice is not of us. It is narrated that the Prophet was waiting one night for Ayesha as she was late in coming. The Prophet asked her: Who prevented you from coming? She said: 0 Prophet of God, I was hearing the Quran-reading of a man. I never heard such a sweet voice. The Prophet came to him and heard his recitation for a long time and said: The name of this man is Salem, the slave of Abu Hurairah. All praise is due to God who created such a man among my followers. One night, the Prophet heard the Quran- reading of Hazrat Ibn Masud with Hazrat Abu Bakr and Omar and there they remained for long time. Then the Prophet said: If anybody wishes the Quran to be read with sweet voice and slowly, let him hear the Quran-reading of Ibn Omme Abd.
The Prophet said to Ibn Masud: Read out the Quran to me. He said: 0 Prophet of God, I am reading it has been revealed to you. The Prophet said: I wish to hear it from you. When he was reading the Quran before him, the eyes of the Prophet began to shed tears. The Prophet said after hearing the Quran reading of Abu Musa; This voice has been given to him from the sweet voice of David. Hazrat Abu Musa said on hearing it: 0 Prophet of God, if I had known that you would hear it, I would have read with sweeter voice. When the companions of the Prophet gathered together, they told one another to recite the Quran. Hazrat Omar once asked Abu Musa: Remember our Lord. He began to read the Quran before him. When the prayer time came, Hazrat Omar was reminded of the prayer to which he said: Are we not in the midst of prayer? There is hint in this verse of God: God's rememberance is greatest. The Prophet said: If a man hears a verse of God's Book, there will be a light for him on the Resurrection Day. There is in Hadis that ten rewards are written for him.
INTERNAL RULES OF THE QURAN-READING
There are ten internation rules of reciting the Quran. (1) To realise the superiority and excellence of the Quran. God's word is self-existent attribute and mixed with His being and He expressed that attribute in human forms and words to mankind.
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When the people become unable to appreciate the attribute of God,they are able to understand it through the mean of this own attributes. If the glory and excellence of the words of God could not have been made understandable in the garb of words, the heaven and earth could not stand to hear His words and all things between them would have been smashed to pieces. If God had not made Moses patient and steady, he could not have remained without falling into swoon after hearing His words as the mountain has no power to remain steady being attacked with His Brilliance. For this reason, a friend of God said : Every word of God kept in the Guarded Tablet is higher than the mountain Kaf. If all the angels try to made a word short, they are unable to do it till the guard of the Guarded Tablet lifts it up and makes it short by order of God. This is not because of the strength of its words but the Glorious God made it fit for human use dressed with words. A wise man said : We saw in case of human beings that when they wish to make their domestic animal understand something, they mix some of their words with some unexpressed words of the animal and create some language to guide its nature. It can under-stand'it' by instinct and act accordingly. Similar is the case with men. Though they are unable to understand the perfectness, dignity, beauty and solemnity of God's words, the Prophet made them understand in such a manner as man conducts his animal by a strange language. The thoughts of the Quran were stated with such words that men can understand the wisdom of the Quran, as a lower animal can understand the thought of men by their hints and voices The root meaning of wisdom lies concealed in these words and voices but still it is honoured on account of its meaning Words are the bodies of wisdom and their meaning is the soul of wisdom and voice is their life.
As human body is honoured for its internal soul, so the word of wisdom is honoured for its voice The word of God revealed has got high rank. It is just,judge and dear witness It orders and prohibits There is no such strength of a void thing As shade is unable to stand before the brilliant rays of the sun, so a man is unable to stand before the words of wisdom of the Quran. As eye sight is unable to stand before the scorching rays of the sun. so a man has got no power to enter into the deepest recess of wisdom. He takes so much rays of the sun as he can see and know his necessary things In short, the word of God is like an unseen
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emperor in the deepest cover whose face is not visible but yet whose order is prevalent The word of God is like the sun of wl ich the rays are open but its constitution is secret like radiant star By its help the paths of journey are seen. The word of God Or the Quran is an invaluable treasure or an ever lasting drink of life which prevents death or it is such a medicine for a disease which leaves no ailment if it is taken.
(2) Honour the Quran containing divine word At the time of reciting the Quran, realise in a beautiful manner divine glory and think that what you recite is is not human words. God says : None shall touch it except the pure ones. As the external papers are preserved from touch of impure hands, so its secret meaning and wisdom are shut up from the internal mind if it is not free form all impurities and not illuminated by the light of honour and gravity. As the pages of the Quran cannot be touched by every body, so every tongue can not utter the words of the Quran and every heart cannot grasp its meaning. When Hazrat Akramah son of Abu Jahl opened the Quran, he fainted and said : This is the word of my Lord, To honour His word is to honour Him and He is not honoured till His attributed and the mysteries of His creation are not pondered over, till he knows that He is the Creator of all things in Heaven and earth, and that He gives them Provision.
(3) To recites the Quran attentively after giving up one's own ideas. God says: 0lhya, hold fast by God's Book. It means that he should follow the Book with industry and perseverance He who remains busy in an enjoyment does not think of any other thing.
(4) To think about the Quran. Thinking comes after attention. For this reason it should be read slowly as slow reading makes thinking possible. Hazrat Ali said: There is no good in the divine service in which there is no knowledge of religion. It has been said that once the Prophet read 'In the name of the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful' twenty times thinking about its meaning. Hazrat Abu Zarr said : The Prophet prayed with us one night. He recited the same verse again and again. That is this If Thou punisheth them, they are merely Thy servants and if Thou forgiveth them, Thou art Forgiving, Merciful. Sayeed-b-Jubair once read the following verse repeatedly standing in prayer : 0 the guilty, be separate to-day. Abu Solaiman Darani said : I stood in prayer in four or five night
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reciting only one verse. A certain sage of yore passed six months by reciting only the chapter Hud.
(5) To understand the Quran. Realise true and correct meaning of every verse. Therein there are the descriptions of God's attributes, His wonderful creations, the stories of Prophets, the fate of the liars and how they were destroyed and the descriptions of Paradise and Hell.
GOD'S ATTRIBUTES: God says: There is nothing to be compared to Him. He is seeing, hearing. He says that He is pure, Almighty, Guardian, Merciful, Compassinate, and Glorious. Think of the meaning and significance of these names, Behind them, there are inner meaning, and none but the God gifted people can understand them. Hinting at this Hazrat Ali said : The Prophet did not inform me of any secret thing which was not disclosed to men. The real thing is that God has given some people to understand them and they remain desirous of understing them. Hazrat Ibn Masud said : He who desires to acquire the knowledge of the previous and future peoples,
should seek it in the Quran.
HIS ACTIONS: God says : He created the heaven and earth and other things. One who recites the Quran should learn from it His attributes and His glory. He who can recognise real truth sees it in everything as all things come from Him and return to Him and everything is founded on truth for Him and for His help He who'does not see it in every visible thing cannot recognise Him. He who can know Him knows that everything besides Him is void and everything except He with be meeting will destruction. If he sees his being due to the existence of God, he will see that he has come from God and with His power. If he walks in the path of servitude, he will exist and if he walks freely he will not exist. This is the root of spiritual insight. He should therefore ponder over these verses : Don't you look at what you saw? Don't you look at what you throw semen ? Don't you look at the water you drink ? Don't you look at the fire you enkindle ? So think in these lines at the water, fire crops and semen. Ponder over the elements with which a man is created. It is only a drop of semen. Look at its different compositions-bones, flesh, veins, head, hands, feet liver, heart etc. Then all honourable attributes have been placed in it-power of hearing, power of seeing, wisdom, power of smell. Then it has been given attributes like anger, sexual passion, pride
etc. God says: Does man not consider that I have created him from a drop of semen and he is then an open adversary ?
CONDITION OF THE PROPHETS: Think how the Prophets were given wonderful qualities for which they were oppressed. Some of them were murdered and attributed falsehood. Think of the condition of the liars like the A'd, Samud, etc. Think how the rejecters of truth were punished and take advice from their fate. There is no such new or old think which is not in the Quran. God says : If the sea were ink to describe the attributes of my Lord,it would become dry before it described the attributes of my Lord. For this reason, Hazrat Ali said : If I wish, I can load seventy camels with Tafsir of the chapter Fateha. The substance of what has been said is that care should be taken to understand and
interpret the Quran.
(6) To be free from the impediments of understanding. Majority of the people do not understand the meaning of the Quran. The reason is that the devil closed the door of their hearts for which they are deprived of the. secret meanings of the Quran. The Prophet said : If the devil would not have roamed over the hearts of men, they could have seen the mysteries of the unseen world. The real meaning of the Quran appertains to the unseen world. The thing which is outside the grasp of the five senses and cannot be grasped except by the light of sharp insight appertains to the unseen world. Similar is the case with the meaning of the
FOUR IMPEDIMENTS OF UNDERSTANDING
(1) To remain busy in extracting words from the root of words The devil works in this matter. He keeps attached with every Quran reader to keep him away from understanding its meaning. He recites the words repeatedly and yet he understand that he has not pronounced it correctly and rightly. In this way, all his thoughts are centered round the pronunciation of words. How can the meaning of the Quran come to him in these
(2) The believe the sects blindly. The Quran-reader praises the mazhabs or sects and follows the opinions he heard from others. He believes them without ascertaining the truth or otherwise of the opinion of the sects and follow them blindly. He
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then becomes chained with the chain of belief of the sect and does not try to remove them. His look is directed towards what he heard. A man of firm faith sees it as a snare of the devil and keeps away therefrom. Sufiyan Saori said : Sometimes learning becomes as it were a screen. He understands learning as the
opinion of his sect.
(3) To commit a sin repeatedly or to be proud or to remain immerged in worldly passions. They are like dusts on a mirror and screen to radiant star of truth. It is a great screen of heart. The greater is passion and greed amassed in mind, the greater is the screen over the mind, and the lighter is the worldly burden on mind, the greater is the light of understanding. Mind is like a mirror and greed and passion are like dusts in mind. For this reason, the Prophet said : When my followers will consider their wealth as great, fear of Islam will disappear from their hearts. When they will give up enjoinging good and forbidding evils, they will be deprived of the blessings of revelation. Fuzail explained it by saying that they will be deprived of understanding the meaning of the Quran. God made a condition of the acceptance of Tauba on understanding and repentance, God says : This is deep insight and reminder for every penitent servant. God says : None but a repentant man remembers. God says : Only the wise remember.
(4) To accept open meaning and to believe that there is no inner meaning except external meaning of the Quran. Hazrat Ibn Abbas, Muzahed and other companions said that there is provision for explaining it according to individual opinion. "If anybody explains it according to his opinion, let him seek his abode in Hell fire." This is a great obstacle. He gets understanding whom God gives it. If open meaning is accepted, then there arises difference therein.
(5) To give,speciality to every verse, in other words to give speciality to every call of the Quran. If you hear commands and prohibitions of the Quran, think thus . This command has been given to me and this prohibition has been directed against me. If you hear any warning, consider that it has come about you. When. you hear the stories of the Prophets and early persons, think that it is not merely a story for your information but you are asked to take lessons from it and to take what is necessary therefrom. There is surely some benefit for the Prophet and for his followers
in the subject matter of the Quran. For this reason, God says : 'I settle your mind therewith.' So the people should think that by describing the stories of the Prophets, God settled the mind of the Prophet, gave him patience to bear troubles and hardships, made him firm in religion so that God's victory can be seen by him. How will you not be able to do it when the Quran was not revealed only for the Prophet alone but it is a medicine for all diseases, guide for all, blessing for all light for the whole universe. So God has directed all men to get blessing by the help of the Quran God says : Remember the blessing of God on you all and what has been revealed to you all from the Book and wisdom with which you admonish them. God says : I have revealed upon you all such a Quran in which there are descriptions of yore.
Don't you then mind it?
God says : I have revealed the Reminder to you that you may explain to the people what has been revealed upon them. God says : Follow the best out of what has been revealed to you from your Lord. This is a guide for the people, a guide and a bless for those who believe firmly. God says : The Quran is explainer to the people, a guide for its followers and an admonisher. In these verses, all people have been addressed and not a particular man. The readers of the Quran are also among them. For this reason, their object will be as God says : This Quran has been revealed on me that I may warn you there with and those to whom it reaches. Mohammad-b-Ka'ab said : He who reads the Quran speaks with God as it were. A certain learned man said : This Quran is an embodiment of some letters which have come to us with His promise, so that we may understand them in prayer, so that we may ponder over them in loneliness and admit them in our religious affairs and sunnat which is followed. Malek-b-Dinar said : The Quran is the fountain of a believer just as rain is the fountain of earth. God says °. It is a cure and a blessing for the believer and it increase nothing but loss to the oppressors.
(8), Mind influenced by reading
As there are different verses, so different thoughts should fall in your mind. You should have change of condition and thoughts according to the meaning of each verse. So in your mind there should be feelings of sorrows, fear, hope etc. You should find forgiveness and blessings attached with some verses and a wise man tries to get it as God says : I am forgiving to one who is
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repentant, has got faith and does good deeds and who finds guidance. This. forgiveness is based on four conditionsrepentance, faith, good deeds and guidance.. God says : Man is surely in loss except those who have got faih, do good deeds, advice one another with truth and for patience. He mentioned four conditions even in this verse. God says : God's blessing is near those who do good to the people. Sufiyan Saori said : By God, if a man reads the Quran in the morning and brings faith in it, his sorrows increase, his happiness decreases, his actions increase and his comforts decrease. The Prophet said once to Ibn Masud : Recite the Quran to men. He said : I began to read the chapter 'Women'. When I reached this verse : How will it be when I shall bring every people with a witness and bring you as witness over them ? I saw that his eyes were shedding tears. He said to me: This is sufficient now. Seeing this condition, my mind became filled up with fear.
Those were God-fearing people who used to faint when they heard some verse of the Quran and even somee of them met with instantaneous death. God says : How many signs there are in the heaven and earth which pass by them but they turn there aces from them. A wise man said : Whose recites the Quran and does not imbue himself with that idea. God says to him : What connection have you got with My word ? You have turned your face from me. The sinner who reads the Quran repeately is like a man who reads the letter of the king repeatedly. Therein there is order to him for making his reign firm but he remains busy to recite it and thinks that to read the letter is sufficient. If he does not read the letter and acts contrary to the order of the king, his order is hated and he becomes an object of wrath of the king. He who acts contrary to the commands of the Quran is guilty according to this verse : They threw it behind them and took small price in lieu of it. How bad is that which they purchase.
The Prophet said: Recite the Quran till you pay attention to it and till the skin of your body is alright. Close it when this condition does not remain. God says : When God is remined to them, their hearts become soft and when the verses are read out to them, their faith increases and they rely over their Lord. The Prophet said : The sweetent voice in reciting the Quran is of that a man who fears God when he makes it recitation. The Prophet said. The Quran is not heard from anybody so sweet as it is
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heard from the God-fearing men. When the Prophet expired, he left behind him twenty thousand companions out of whom only six committed the whole Quran by heart Majority of the companions committed to memory only one or two chapters. They moved their tongue very little as the Quranreciters without action are fit to receive rebuke according to the following verse If a man turns away from My remembrance, there is narrow provision for him and he will be raised up blind on the Resurrection Day. This verse is also applicable to him: This My verse came to you but you forgot it. You will be forgotten to. day inasimilarmanner.
(9) To raise up mind. Raise up your mind by reciting the Quran so much that you are hearing the words of God. There are three excellences in reciting the Quran. The lowest excellence is that a man should think that he recites the Quran standing before God and that He sees and hears his recitation. At this time, he should invoke and pray. Secondly your mind will bear witness at the time of reciting the Quran that God sees you and He is speaking secretly with you. You should apply your full mind to it and be careful of its understanding. Thirdly, you will see God in the recitation of the Quran and His attributes.
The reciter who is outside these three things gets the rank of the heedless. Imam Jafar Saleq said with regard to the highest rank : By God, God disclosed His light for His servants in His words but they do not see it. He once fell in swoon in prayer. When he regained his senses, he'said : I was repeatedly reciting the verse of the Quran in my heart and I then heard it as it were from its author. My body could not stand at His glory. If the mind is rasied high, one can get sweetness in invocation. Hazrats Osman and Huzaifah said : If the mind becomes pure, it cannot rest satisfied only with the recitation of the Quran. The sage Sabet Bonani said : I bore hardships for 20 years and have been getting His gifts for the last 20 years. One can become fit for this verse on account of his sight of the author of words : Flee towards God. Another verse. Don't set up partner with God.' He who does not see Him in his every action, sees someone else and he who looks to anything besides God sees towards secret Shirk. To see nobody in any action except God is sincere Tauhid.
(10) To be free from ones own strength and ability and not to see towards himself with the eye of pleasure and purity. When
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you read the words of praise of pious men, don't include yourself among them, but hope that God may include yourself among them. When you read the verse of the punishment of the transgressors, think that it was said about you. Hazrat Ibn Omar used to say 0 God, I seek forgiveness from you for my sins and infidelity.
TO INTERPRET THE QURAN ACCORDING TO
The Prophet said : If a man explains the Quran according to his opinion, let him, seek his abode in Hell'. Thelearned men who explain it according to its literal meaning accuse the Sufis for their explanation. They explain the verse of the Quran which Ibn Abbas or other companions did not make. The spirit of the above Hadis is that the Quran should be interpreted according to the sayings and doings of the Prophet. Difference arises when it is believed that there is no meaning of the Quran except its open meaning. The meaning of the Quran is wide to the wise. Hazrat Ali said : God has given His servant the understanding of the Quran. If it is not without the Tafsirs of the early sages, what is the meaning of this understanding ? The Prophet said : There are surely for the Quran open meaning, secret meaning, limits and different steps. Hazrat Ali said : If I wish, I can load seventy camels with Tafsir of the chapter Fateha' What is it meaning?
Hazrat Abu Darda'a said: Nobody can be Fagih till he accepts the Quran in different forms. A certain learned man said There are sixty meanings of every verse Another learned man said : The Quran is the embodinent of 77,200 learning as every word is a learning and it is increased four times. Every word has got its external and internal meanings and has got high, higher and highest steps. The Prophet once recited 'Bismillah' twenty times. For what purpose was it nead repeatedly except for its inner meaning ? Hazrat Ibn Masud said : If a man desires to gain knowledge of the earlier and future peoples, he should ponder over the Quran. It is not acquired by only external Tafsirs. The Quran speaks of His glory and might which are unlimited. Therefore the explanations of the Quran are unlimited.
The Prophet said: Read the Quran and search for its unknown matters. The Prophet said about Hazrat Ali : By One
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who sent me with truth, my followers will be divided into seventy three sects in matters of the fundamental principles of religion and Jamaat. Every sect will be misguided and call towards Hell. When it will occur, hold firm to the Book of God, as it contains the stroires of your predecessors and successors and decisions about what you differ. Whose opposes the Quran among the transfressors, God punishes him. Whose search learning other than the Quran, God misguides him as the Quran is the firmest tie, open light and benefiting medicine. If anybody holds it firm, it protects him. If one follows it, it gives him salvation. There is no cutting of the miracles of the Quran and it does not become old for repeated readings. When the Prophet told Huzaifa of different sects and differences, he asked him : 0 Prophet of God, if I get that time, what do you order me to do ? He said : Learn the Book of God and act upon it, as there is salvation in it. Hazrat Ali said : He who understands the Quran acquires all the learnings together. There is hint in this that the Quran contains all the learnings. The Quran says : He who has been given wisdom has been given abundant good. Hazrat Ibn Abbas explained this word wisdom as the knowledge of the Quran. God says : I gave Soloman knowledge, wisdom and learning. What has been given to him was termed as wisdom and learning. The speciality which has been given to him is learning and it has been given to him before wisdom.
Regarding the external meaning of the Quran, there are innumerable sayings of the Prophet. The Prophet said : He who interprets the Quran according to his own opinion should seek his abode in Hell Thus he prohibited individual interpretation according to his own opinion. Hazrat Abu Bakr said : If I interpret the Quran according to my opinion what world will give me protection and what sky will give me shade ? This prohibition has got two objects. The first object is to limit it in Hadis and Tafsir, not to discover new meanings and to give up independent thinking. The second object is other than that. If its object is that a man cannot interpret the Quran except according to the standard Tafsirs, it is void for the reasons given below.
(1) One condition of interpretation is that it should rest upon the interpretation of the Prophet. If it is accepted. Tafsirs of Ibn Abbas and Ibn Masud cannot be accepted as they had their opinion also therein.
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(2) There are different opinions regarding the inter pretation of some verses among the companions. It was not possible for them to be unanimous. Everybody did not interpret it after hearing it from the Prophet, then their own opinions are fit to be rejected. It is well known that the interpreters extracted many meanings by applying their intellect. Even they had seven interpretations of the abbreviated words at the beginning of a chapter. So how can it be said that they interpretated them by hearing every thing from the Prophet?
(3) The Prophet prayed for Ibn Abbas by saying : 0 God, give him knowledge in theology and give him learning of interpretation. What is then the meaning of his special prayer for him if interpretation cannot come except from his saying?
(4) 'Those who discover meaning by their intellect know it certainly'- in this verse, to discover meanings by exercise of intellect by the learned men has been spoken of. To discover open meanings is different from what is heard. The tradition regarding the interpretation of the Quran is opposed to this verse. So it appears that it is incorrect to impose condition of Tafsir only in all interpretations and it is lawful to discover the meaning of the Quran according to the limit of one's own intelligence and intellect.
There are however two reasons for the prohibition of interpreting the Quran according to one's opinion. One reason is that a man has got his own individual opinion with regard to every matter and actually he is inclined to that opinion. He also interprets the Quran according to his wish and desire to serve his own end. For this reason he thinks that his interpretation is correct and lawful. He recites the Quranic verses to support his opinion. Thus he decries his adversary and he knows that this is not real meaning. This is interpretation according to one's own misguided opinion. The Prophet said : Eat pre-dawn tiffin as there is blessing in it. They interpret it as Zikr in place the real meaning tiffin. The Quran says: Go to Pharaoh as he has transgressed the limit. They interpret the word 'Pharaoh' as heart.
(2) To discover the meanings of those verses which are not understandable and short without Hadis and Tafsir. He who is not expert in external meanings and discovers their meanings only by intellect commit many mistakes. He belongs to that class
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of men who interpret it according to their opinions. At first, there is necessity of Hadis and Tafsir for external meanings in order to be free from mistakes and then with the advancement of knowledge, meanings come out from intellect. He who claims to have internal meanings of the Quran without at first being expert in its external meanings is like a man who claims to have reached the interior of a house without first approaching its door or like a man who claims to have understood the object of a Turk syithout understanding his language. To learn open meaning is like learning a language. In Tafsir, there is explanation of also internal meanings. For instance, God says : I gave to the nation of Samud a she-camel as open sign but they made oppression on account of it. Here the word 'sign' is omitted. He will interpret it openly by saying that the she camel had power of sight and was not blind. God says : On account of their infidelity, dring of calf was given to their hearts. In other words, they thought the worship of calf as dear on account of their indfidelity. Here to think 'dear' has been omitted. God says: I gave you to taste of life on the taste of death. In other words: I gave you the taste of severity of punishment of life and of death. The word 'punishment' has been omitted in this verse. God says : Ask the city where we were and the mountain to which we proceeded. In other words. Ask the inhabitants of the town and the mountain. The word 'inhabitants' have been omitted. God says : It has become heavy in heavens and earth. In other words: It has been made secret for the inhabitants of the heavens and earth God says
You make your provision such as if you are telling lies. In other words : You express gratefulness for your provision. God says : I have revealed it in the Blessed night. hi other words, I have revealed the Quran in the Blessed night. God says : Till it became covered with screen. 'It' means here sun. God says : Peace be on AI Yasin. The latter word means Elias.
The word 'Qareen' has got different meanings. It means angel in this verse : His companion (angel) said : He who is near me is a rebel. It means the devil in this verse : His companion (devil) said : 0 otir Lord, I have not misguided him. Similarly, the word "Ummat" has got different meanings in the Quran. It means a group of men in this verse : He saw a party of men to give drink of water. It means the followers of a Prophet in this verse: We belong to the followers of Muhammad (P.H.). It means the possessor of all virtues in this verse : Abraham was possessor of
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all virtues. It Means an age in this verse : Up to a fixed age. Similar is the case with the meaning of the word "Ruh "
(6) To interpret the same subject gradually. God say : The month of Ramzan in which the Quran has been revealed. This verse does not disclose when it was revealed, day or night. Then the next versesays : I revealed it in a blessed night. This verse first speaks of revelation by night. Then this verse was revealed : I revealed it in the blessed night.
Then to take internal meaning of a verse, Tafsir is not sufficient. God says : You have not shot arrows when you shot arrows but God shot arrows. The external meaning of the sentence is clear, but its internal meaning is one secret as there is therein the meanings of both throwing arrows and not throwing arrows which are contradictory to each other. So the knowledge of the reason of throwing is, essential. The reason for which it is said that you did not throw arrows but God threw arrows is in the following verse : Fight with them God will punish them through your hands. This lies in the deep ocean of spiritual knowledge. Firstly, know that the action of a man is tied up with his strength and that strength is tied up with the power of God. Every verse of the Quran similarly has got a secret meaning. It is clear to those whose hearts are clear of impurities of thoughts and ideas. So open Tafsirs are not sufficient for understanding the internal meanings of verses. These internal meanings are not opposed to the external meanings. God knows best.
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