Assalam Alaikum. Peace and blessings be upon you all.
Islam is religion of peace, love, respect, equality, unity, and many other elements that are essential in ensuring that people live their lives according to the laws of nature while maintaining their civilizations in harmony. The Holy Quran contains divine guidance sent by Allah on how one must live their lives and follow Allah’s commands to His every word. All of these commands, knowledge and guidance are very logical, whether we may understand them or not.
The month of Ramadan has approached where we all make strong efforts to not only control our hunger but also to control our desires such as anger, dishonesty, jealousy, quarrelling, etc. that do not please Allah and do not benefit us. Listing down all the instructions given to us by Allah takes us a lot of time. In addition, we are human and have worldly commitments such as jobs and families, and we cannot remember and follow 100% of Allah’s guidance at one time. I am a medical student and I am currently worried about whether I’ll be able to give enough time to reading and understanding Quran, praying Nafl and Taraweeh prayers, etc. due to my current busy schedule. So, I thought about it and I came up with a useful tip for all you Muslims who get caught up in life as I do:
Before, I used to take Quran classes in the morning when I had vacations where I would learn Quranic tafseer of each para of the Quran per day. But I’m planning to try the above method out as a lot of people on Facebook recommend it and I recommend you all to do so, so that you will be able to complete the Quran.
Now, getting to the main useful tip that I mentioned above. I believe we should all make a conscious effort to complete the Holy Quran in this blessed month. But Allah is Merciful if we are unable to do so, despite our efforts. Last Ramadan, when I was busy during Ramadan giving my CIEs and preparing for MCAT exams that I was unable to devote much time to my spirituality, my parents told me something I hold very close to and very dear to my heart. They said that Allah understands your struggles and intentions and it is better that you read the Quran at your own pace and not complete it in this month. However, it is essential that you really understand the guidance you have read, in your mind and in your heart. So my useful tip is this: Read Quran with understanding and share what you have learnt with others.
Hence, the point of logic is what I believe is essential. It is not enough to only read Quran in Arabic and complete it (without understanding its message), if one does not understand Arabic. It is not enough to only read the translation of the Quran within a few seconds and move on to the next ayat. It is important that one must delve into the meaning of each ayat and understand its depth and beauty. One must understand the love and care that Allah put into writing every syllable of an ayat to give us ease in this challenging life, and every firmness He put into making every syllable of an ayat crystal clear to make us aware of how important it is in Allah’s Eyes and therefore, how determined one must be to follow it in all costs. Even if you are clear about one ayat that you were previously confused about in the month of Ramadan, you have done a tremendous deed for yourself as your Iman will strengthen.
Surely the worst of beasts in God’s sight are those that are deaf and dumb and do not reason. (8:22)
The Quran says, “Let there be no compulsion in religion” (2:256) So anyone who is invited to Islam must convert only if he or she is convinced of the authenticity of Allah’s Message. They must be logically incline to this Divine Way of Life, as there is no truer Muslim than one who is completely content with what Allah has spoken. So if newly converts use their logic to understand Islam, why shouldn’t we?
I’m not a good judge of who is a better Muslims or not, but in my country (and perhaps in other countries), people born in Muslim families do not seem like they have Allah present at the center of their universe. They put their own needs and desires above worshiping Allah as they see less benefit in it while making fun of those who spend their time and effort working in the way of Allah (this is also from my personal experience). If one does things the right way, they are stupid. If they steal and use their intellect in the wrong way to achieve something, they are considered smart and clever. What’s the main reason for this? They haven’t properly understood the commandments of Allah to know that they are, in truth, actually more intellectual.
You might think that going into the depth of each ayat is a lot of work. I agree, so I advise you all to do what I do; whenever I’m reading the Quran, I listen to its Tafseer as well, of scholars such as Farhat Hashmi and mostly Nouman Ali Khan, of the ayats I plan to read that day. You can do this according to the procedure mentioned above.
After listening to their Tafseers, an ayat in the Quran is no longer just a series of obvious words strung together into repetitive sentences but you understand in what context the guidance is speaking about and, with examples, how it effects us in our daily life and current era. I listen to lectures related to specific topics as well such as about mental health and revitalising your faith, etc. La Ilaha Illallah is no longer just “There is no god but Allah” where we just acknowledge that fact and our work is done. La Ilaha Illallah means that Allah is Supreme over every idol in this world that we give more attention to than Allah; our cellphones, our jobs, our activities, our families, our sleep, etc. Suddenly, our every act must be in subservience to Allah and the sentence is no longer just a sentence anymore.
I’ll give you another example. The below ayat is from Surah Nur, which talks about an incident that occured where Hazrat Ayesha (R.A), the wife of Hazrat Muhammad (SAW), was victim of a rumour that included her involvement with another man.
“Behold, you received it on your tongues, and said out of your mouths things which you had no knowledge of; and you thought it to be a light matter, while it was most serious in the sight of Allah” (Surah Nur: 15)
When I read the ayats at first, I thought, “People can be so cruel and lack judgement so easily. I’ll never spread rumours like this about anyone.” But after listening to a lecture by Nouman Ali Khan, I understood how one can easily be part of the rumour spreading without being the voice behind it. A single statement, whether agreeing or disagreeing with the rumour fuels its fire. Even a few words like that! And when you think about it in our current lives, it’s true. The more you talk about a rumour, even if you don’t believe it, the more the rumour spreads. How easy it is for us to talk about such gossips and rumours and not stop it. So, according to him, the best option is to simply tell them to stop talking about it until the speaker has proof and four witnesses:
“Say (O Muhammad), Produce your proof if you are truthful” [al-Baqarah:111]
Once again, an ayat is no longer just a collection of obvious words strung together.
On to the second aspect of my tip: share what you have learnt with those around you. We are in a trial-filled era where Muslims’ faith are weakening and they are losing their way in this world. People are suffering physically and mentally and don’t know where to turn to for help, with many commiting suicide. Atrocities are being conducted against Muslims in different parts of the world. People are now becoming more aware of our faith and if they’re not against us, they’re trying to learn about us.
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We can engage with out fellow Muslims and people of other faiths and teach them about the teachings of Islam and how they are beneficial to us and the logic behind them so that they understand that these are not just baseless gibberish words that we follow but are perfectly planned guidelines on how to live life. They can be in our local communities or online communities. For instance, I use this blog to show a positive image of Islam. You can do this and any simple act to share what you know and why Islam appeals to you. Knowledge is Sadaqah. People want to understand the gushing river so let it flow.
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Allah does not instruct us to annoy, punish and hurt us but because we are His Creations and He loves us. What we understand of his teachings, we understand that it’s a good thing that can appear bad and what we don’t understand, we understand the reasoning behind it that Allah gives us that knowledge that we need and that is sufficient for us. How can we understand that until we understand the Divine Guidance itself and be content with it ourselves?
I’ll end this post with the following Hadis:
Do not let yourselves become blind followers, saying that if the people are good then we will be good, and if they are unjust then we will be unjust. Rather, make up your own minds. If the people are good then be good, but if they are evil then do not be unjust.
Source: Sunan At-Tirmidhi 2007, Grade: Hasan
HAPPY RAMADAN MUBARAK. May our efforts to become better Muslims and humans never falter even the slightest bit.
A regular 20 year old Muslim Pakistani girl and First Year medical student, navigating through life, sharing knowledge and opinions related to different topics in life from basic moral Islamic values to travelling, books, food, art, personal experiences, observations, interpretations and anything that comes to my mind. Blogging at Andale Seaworne.