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[I]-A NEW WORLD AWAITS YOU | [II]-ATTITUDES OF HEART AND MIND | [III]-HEART WITH YOU | [IV]-INNER PARTICIPATION | [V]-RECITATION
[II]-ATTITUDES OF HEART AND MIND
There are certain basic attitudes of heart and mind, to be integrated deeply in the conscious soul and in action, which constitute the necessary prerequisites to any fruitful study of the Qur'an.
Come to the Qur'an with a deep and firm faith and conviction that it is the revealed word of Allah. Such is the charm of the Qur'an that even if a man takes it up and starts reading it as he would an ordinary book, he would still benefit from it, provided he reads it with an open mind. But this is the Book of Allah; and you should always remain conscious that each word you are reading has been sent for you by Allah. This constant awareness is vital to develop the right attitudes and strong determination required to reach the heart of the Qur'an and assimilate its message. Think of His majesty and glory and power, and you will feel the awe and devotion and a longing for His words. That is why the Qur'an reminds you of this important truth at the beginning of most surahs and frequently in between.
Recite the Qur'an with no other purpose than to come nearer to your Lord and seek His guidance and good pleasure. You should seek guidance from the Qur'an, for your total life, and only from the Qur'an. It is the word of Allah; and it requires as much exclusiveness as He does. One who desires worldly ends from the Qur'an may get them, but he shall surely lose a whole ocean that could have filled his cup. One who has the Qur'an with him and yet goes to other sources for guidance, is surely running after mirages.
Accept, without the slightest doubt or scepticism, every piece of truth, knowledge and guidance that the Qur'an conveys to you. You have every right to enquire, reflect and understand what it contains; but what you cannot fully comprehend is not necessarily unreasonable. You have a right to reject that it is the word of Allah; but once you have accepted it as His, you have no basis whatsoever to doubt even a single word of it. There must be a total surrender and abandonment to the Qur'an. Your own opinion, beliefs, notions, whims and caprices should not be allowed to override any part of it.
Have the determination and readiness to change and mould your attitudes and behaviour -- inward and outward -- in accordance with the teachings you come across in the Qur'an. Unless you are prepared and begin to act, there intellectual exercises will never bring you anywhere near the real treasures of the Qur'an.
Remain aware that, as you embark upon reciting the Qur'an, the possibilities and the potentials of your advancement are so great that Satan will, on this occasion, make greater efforts to deprive you of the fruits of your labour. He may pollute your intention make you remain unmindful of its meaning and message; create doubts in your mind; create barriers between your soul and the words of Allah; or tempt you away from obeying the Qur'an. It is with the full consciousness of these perils and dangers that your tongue should, in obedience to the Qur'an, say: "A' Uzubillahi...."
WHEN YOU RECITE THE QUR'AN SEEK REFUGE WITH ALLAH FROM SATAN, THE REJECTED (Holy Qur'an 16:98)
Realise that, just as it has been Allah's infinite mercy that has brought His words to you in the Qur'an, so it can be only His mercy that can lead you to the full rewards of its reading. Your desire and effort are the necessary means; but His will and support are the only guarantees. So approach the Qur'an with humility, with a sense of utter dependence upon Him, with trust in Him and with supplication and devotion to Him at every step.
Make yourself constantly pulsate with intense praise and gratitude to your Lord for having blessed you with His greatest gift--the Qur'an, and for having guided you to its reading and study. It is but natural for your heart to beat with joy and murmur:
THANKFUL PRAISE BE TO ALLAH, WHO HAS GUIDED US TO THIS; (OTHERWISE) NEVER COULD WE HAVE FOUND GUIDANCE, HAD ALLAH NOT GUIDED US. (Holy Qur'an 7:43)
The more you are grateful, the more Allah will give you from the riches of the Qur'an.
In this spirit of dependence, trust, praise and gratitude, let your heart and tongue, in mutual harmony, begin the recitation: "In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful" -- the verse which appears at the head of all but one of the 114 Surahs of the Qur'an. And also pray:
OUR LORD! LET NOT OUR HEARTS SWERVE (FROM THE TRUTH) AFTER YOU HAVE GUIDED US; AND BESTOW UPON US YOUR GRACE INDEED YOU ALONE ARE THE BESTOWER. (Holy Qur'an 3:8).