In this article, I reflect on my passion and enthusiasm for the Divine Book. Here, I relish the moments I spend in the company of this Divine book. I invite you to join me and listen to Allah’s speech.
Reading randomly for sheer joy
I read the Quran mostly for sheer joy, and the pleasure of handling Allah’s book. Particularly after the morning prayer with fresh eyes, a clear mind, and a clean heart ever ready for a book that promises rewards. And sometimes just reading randomly from anywhere, stumbling across strange topics. But my experience is that wherever I open it, the page has something to tell me, it’s relevant to me it speaks clearly. The section headings of The Majestic Quran are inviting. As though the Quran senses my needs, my anguish and joy, my feelings and frustrations. Why not? It’s a living book that responds to my personal needs.
Reading the Quran awakens human imagination to understand the spiritual world. It acts like a doorway to the real world, not the world of Hollywood, or BBC. The former is profound truth the latter false. The Quran answers an important curious question that humans want an answer to, why do we exist? How did we get here? What is here? Who are we? Where are we going? The Quran gives astonishing answers. Starting with who we are; it clearly defines our role and responsibility on earth. Khlifat-Ullah, a special position, the divine representative, with huge potential and immense dignity. We are the only species that can speak and use language “He taught them communication” (Al Rahman: 4).
My mother’s Quran reading
The Quran is a public document, for all, the elite and the ordinary. It’s uplifting and captivating. I have witnessed my mother then in her eighties reciting the Quran for hours on end. “Mother, don’t you get tired?” I would ask her. She would look at me with surprise, as though what’s this dumbo thinking. I could palpably sense how much she enjoyed those hours reciting and humming surah after surah. Was she reading for leisure, or to pass the time? I am sure she read it because she enjoyed the company of the Lord.
Reading the Quran for a dying person
Once, there was an exceptionally devout sister from my congregation, a dedicated worshipper and learner, who was nearing the end of her life. I visited her at the hospice, where her family was gathered in a solemn vigil around her deathbed. Together, we recited Surah Yaseen, following the practice recommended by our beloved Master (peace be upon him). It provided comfort, and I sensed that we were fostering a bond that would extend into her life beyond, remaining until she reached the point where the angel of death would claim her soul.
The Quran encourages us to yearn for this moment of meeting, “anyone expecting to meet Allah should know: Allah’s appointed time is fast approaching” (Ankabut: 5). She was a practising believer, lifelong committed reader of the Quran, lived by it, and it gave shape to her world. Seven times in Surah Yaseen we read that Allah will bring the dead to life, so we were getting her ready.
Rapturous Quran recitation
There’s a difference between reading and reciting. The recitation is a performance, reading for social gatherings. The Quran is recited melodiously and loudly, so others can hear it and enjoy its lyrical content. My good friend Qari Syed Sadaqat Ali is world-renowned for his beautiful recitation of the Quran, when he recites everything stops and he’s watched by millions on the internet.
The blissful recitation by the master Qari offers healing and relieves pain and suffering. Some doctors in Lahore, Pakistan, played his recitation of Surah Al-Rahman to patients in intensive care units and found it relieved them and quickened healing. This reading and listening together strengthens social bonds between the reader and the listeners. I remember once entering the Masjid and I was greeted by a harmonious chorus of young and old voices, all reciting the Quran with melodic rhythm, swaying gently from right to left. Their concentration was profound, deeply immersed in the verses, a world away from the clamorous rush of city life.
Glimpses of Paradise
I read the Quran wherever I am, I read it for knowledge and company. Sometimes I read it to have glimpses of paradise. “They were patient so they will be rewarded with breathtaking gardens, silk clothing, comfortable couches to rest, an environment neither hot nor cold, its low hanging branches give them shade and plenty of fruit. They will be served in crystal-like silver cups, selecting the size of the cups to drink from. And will be given a drink mixed with ginger, from the spring of Salsabil. Young people blessed with eternal youth and beauty like scattered pearls serve them. As you watch these delightful scenes you will see an immense blissful kingdom. Their lavish clothing is of green silk and brocade, decorated with silver bracelets. It will be said: This is the reward for your tireless efforts, that have been gratefully recognised” (Al-Dahr:12-22).
Special prayer for the besieged people in Gaza
Mighty Lord, we ask you to protect the people of Gaza from their enemy. You are their only refuge. No one else is willing to help them. Mighty Lord, give courage and strength to people who want justice for the Palestinians. We ask you to help the International Court of Justice to see the truth, defend the Palestinians and pronounce judgement against their enemy. Ameen.