So, celebrate, rejoice…” proclaimed my teacher in a loud insistent voice making me look up at her while jotting down quick notes from her tafsir lecture. “Celebrate,” she said again, “and be happy from the depths of your heart … for the blessing, the treasure Allah sent down to you. Cherish the blessing of the Qur’an…
It is way better and way above the rest of the blessings that you collect and enjoy.”
I heard the bell indicating that the class was over for today. Wrapping up I took my copy of the Qur’an, stared at it for a while, smiled and wiped away a tear. Feeling a deep sense of gratitude I fixed my hijab and walked out into the warm sunshine thinking about how blessed we really were! Allah bestowed us with countless blessings. He endowed us with the gifts like sight and hearing, the intellect, health, wealth and family. He has even subjected everything in the universe for us: The sun, the moon, the heavens and the earth, and many countless things, but none of these can ever match up to the blessing of the Qur’an that He gifted us with!
Mere words can’t describe its excellence and magnificence. It’s a precious gift in the form of a divine Book, a valuable treasure given by Allah Almighty to mankind. It’s too precious to be left untouched on high shelves, too precious to be kept back after reading a few lines without understanding it, too precious to ignore it and move on in life like stray cattle. It is this precious quality of the Qur’an through which hundreds of people accept Islam each year, in awe of its eloquent verses, precise words and astounding meanings which penetrate and shake their innermost souls.
Awed by the deep sense of love and gratitude, I fondly recalled the verses we had studied earlier where Allah addresses all of mankind and says: “O mankind there has to come to you good advice from your Lord and healing for what is in the breasts and guidance and mercy for the believers. Say, ‘In the bounty of Allah and in His mercy, in that let them rejoice; it is better than what they accumulate.” (Qur’an 10:57-58)
The Qur’an without doubt, is the best advice ever to reach us. It is an instruction, a guide that gives us the strength to wake up each day and strive to be the best in all that we do. It gives us not just a larger perspective of life but also a deeper understanding of the things and people around us. It’s a Light that guides us not just out of the darkness of ignorant practices but also makes us get back to our feet after every failure and loss.
The Qur’an is like a miraculous pill that if read with understanding and reflection, takes away the diseases in the heart such as doubt, hypocrisy, shirk, deviation, misguidance, envy, anxiety, grief and greed; the Qur’an heals all of that. And it is also a mercy which brings about faith, wisdom and the pursuit of and desire for goodness specifically for those who believe in it and follow it. If the noble words of this Book brought eternal peace to the hearts and freedom to the souls who were chained to the whims of their own desires more than fourteen hundred years ago, it surely can free us from our own issues and stressful facets of life. From wonderful stories and parables that have special effects on the heart and mind, serving as lessons, glad tidings and admonition for those who reflect to beautiful supplications which when recited and repeated calm the soul and make one obtain Allah’s mercy, love and acceptance, one can only marvel and be amazed at the gems and jewels the Qur’an contains!
So no wonder, Allah Almighty, the Master and Creator of all that exists, calls us to rejoice, celebrate and treasure His Glorious Book as it deserves to be treasured. It truly demands our appreciation, undue attention and reverence. And true appreciation and gratitude means we should be sincerely grateful for this blessing from our heart, then use our tongues to utter words of praises and thanks to our Master who blessed us with this Noble Book and show Him the practical proof of this gratitude by increasing in recitation of its beautiful verses, learning and understanding them for His sake and then applying its teachings into our lives in a way that pleases Allah and benefits His™ servants.
The biggest motivation that we would ever need for this task is in the words of our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) when he said: “The best among you is the one who learns the Qur’an and teaches it.” (Bukhari) At another instance, he (peace be upon him) said: “Allah has His own family among mankind.” His companions said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, who are they?’ He (peace be upon him) said: ‘The people of the Qur’an, the people of Allah and those who are closest (special) to Him.” (Sunan Ibn e Majah, Hadith no 214, Sahih Al-Albani)
Such is the Generosity of our Creator that on being grateful for this gift, by understanding, absorbing and by following and teaching the Qur’an, we have been promised huge rewards and high status in this world and in the Hereafter. Nothing can ever bring us nearer to our Lord and His pleasure than the moments we spend with His Book.
In one of his lectures, Sheikh Ibn Baaz (May Allah have mercy on him) said: “Of the things that I advise you and myself to do is attachment and eagerness toward reading the Majestic Qur’an; to perform this a great deal at night and during the day, with reflection, thinking and comprehension of its magnificent and heart-purifying lessons that prevent one from following desires and following the Satan. The Qur’an is the unbreakable rope of Allah and His straight path to which whoever holds on will reach Allah and will reach the home of grace (Paradise), and whoever turns his back on it will live a life of struggle in this world and the next.”
So let’s strive to appreciate and show true gratitude to Allah for the precious gift He has blessed us with. Let’s not alienate this Glorious Book to be read only in Ramadan, or let it be kept away on a dusty bookshelf, or to be used only by the elders of the household. Instead, let’s pick it up now, benefit from the treasures it contains for us and experience peace, true happiness and eternal success.
-Originally Published at Arab News in November 2015