ourIslamOnline.net | home
[I]-A NEW WORLD AWAITS YOU | [II]-ATTITUDES OF HEART AND MIND | [III]-HEART WITH YOU | [IV]-INNER PARTICIPATION | [V]-RECITATION
[III]-HEART WITH YOU
Before starting to recite the Qur'an, you should ensure that so long as you are with the Qur'an, your "Heart" remains with you; not merely a piece of flesh, but the centre of all your attention, remembrance, emotions, aspirations and activities; or, your whole inner "person" Only then will you have the capability to receive the great gifts of Allah and respond with humble devotion. The seven prerequisites discussed earlier lay the foundations for the communion of the Qur'an with your heart. In addition to these, the observance of a few more rules will greatly increase the intensity and quality of this presence of heart.
Always keep yourself alive to the reality that, while you are reciting the Qur'an, you are in the very presence of Him who has sent these words to you.
HE IS WITH YOU WHEREVER YOU ARE (Holy Qur'an 57:4)
WE ARE NEARER TO HIM THAN HIS JUGULAR VEIN. (Holy Qur'an 50:16)
WHATEVER PORTION YOU MAY BE RECITING FROM THE QUR'AN, AND WHATEVER DEED YOU MAY BE DOING, WE ARE WITNESSES THEREOF WHEN YOU ARE DEEPLY ENGROSSED THEREIN. (Holy Qur'an 10:61)
REMEMBER ME AND I WILL REMEMBER YOU. (Holy Qur'an 2:152)
You may not see Him, but He is certainly seeing you.
Feel, as a part of your effort to "remain" in the presence of Allah, as if you are listening to the Qur'an from Allah Himself. Al-Ghazali tells, in the Ihya, of a person who could move nearer to the Qur'an and could taste more of its sweetness by feeling that; first, as if he was listening to it from the Prophet (peace be upon him); then, as if from the angel Jibra'il; and lastly, as if from Allah Himself.
Consider that you, individually and personally, are the direct addressee of the Qur'an. Though the Qur'an has been received by you indirectly through persons, time and space, but let all these intermediaries recede and disappear for some moments and allow yourself to receive the Qur'an as if it is talking directly to you, penetrating your heart and intellect. The very thought of such direct reception will keep your heart seized by what you are reading.
Make your outward posture reflect your inner awe, respect, devotion and submission for the words of your Lord. There is a deep connection between the outward and the inward of a man. The "presence" of the body will keep the "Heart" present. There should be a difference in your posture while reading the Qur'an in comparison to an ordinary book.
Purify yourself as much as you can. You know that only the "pure" are entitled even to touch the Qur'an. You know that your body, dress and place should be clean. You also know about the purity of intention. But you should also realise that the purity of heart and body from sins is equally important. No one can be completely free from sins; but try to avoid as much as you can. And if you happen to commit some, try to turn to Allah in repentance and ask for His forgiveness, as soon as you can. Also take care that, while reading the Qur'an, you are not eating haraam, wearing haraam, living in haraam (obtained through means not permitted by Allah). The purer you are, the more your heart will remain with you, the more it will open itself to the Qur'an
It is vital that you should understand what Allah is saying to you and reflect over it as much as you can. If you read the Qur'an without understanding, you may derive some reward because of your sense of devotion and your desire to read this Book. But this would not, in the least, fulfil the purpose for which it has been revealed. It has come to vitalise you, mould you and lead you to a new life and existence. It is not merely a source of blessing, a sacred ritual, a revered relic or a holy magic. The Qur'an is full of exhortations asking you as to why you "hear not", "see not”, “ think not", "use not reason", "ponder not". It says that,
WHEN THEY ARE REMINDED OF THE VERSES OF THEIR LORD, THEY FALL NOT DEAF AND BLIND THEREAT (Holy Qur'an 25:73)
DO THEY NOT PONDER OVER THE QUR'AN, OR ARE THERE LOCKS ON THE HEARTS. (Holy Qur'an 47:24)
You will find elsewhere better guidance on how to understand and ponder over the Qur'an, but there are certain important principles you should keep in mind.
1. Understand and reflect over the Qur'an as if it was being revealed today, as each word of it is as living and relevant today as it was when it was first revealed. In this light, you should try to relate and apply it to your own life, concerns, experiences and levels of knowledge and technology. Do not consider any verse of the Qur'an as merely a thing of the past.
2. Read the whole of the Qur'an, from beginning to end, with the help of a translation. This will give you an overall idea of the Book, its style and message.
3. Initially, read only short but good commentaries and do not delve in long and detailed tafsirs.
4. Try to learn at least as much Arabic as will enable you to understand the meaning of the Qur'an without the help of a translation. It may seem an arduous task, but I have known semi-illiterate persons accomplish this within a few months, once they took to it seriously and devotedly.
5. Ponder and think deeply over the various parts of what you read. This requires reciting a particular verse or portion thereof slowly (with tarr'teel) or even repeatedly. The more you think and reflect, you will have a greater share of its rich and unlimited meanings. It is in this sense that Ibn 'Umar spent eight years on Surah al-Baqarah alone. The Prophet (peace be upon him) and many others used to spend whole nights repeating just one verse.