"Purity" Part 3 - The Quran is an Argument (January 17, 2014)

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       Parts one and two of the “Purity” sermon dealt with purification, glorification, prayer, charity and patience. In continuation of the profound hadith on purity; part three deals with the Qur’an. The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) eloquently stated, “The Qur’an is an argument either for you or against you.”

       One of the main articles of faith is to believe in the Scriptures. Hence, all Muslims believe in the Qur’an. Not only do we as Muslims believe in it, we cherish and revere the Qur’an. We even keep it up on a high shelf with a protective covering like a treasure. Often, as a sign of respect and adoration, we kiss it. Unfortunately, with most Muslims, the Qur’an has become an ornament, a piece of decoration in homes, offices and even cars.

       While some recite the Qur’an to gain maximum benefit of its guidance, many others seldom read it, and one should not be surprised to learn that some have never opened a Qur’an. Of those who seldom read it, they do so on special occasions such as Ramadan (for thawab, reward), death events (Qur’an Khawani) or for a cure, etc.

       Those who truly appreciate the Qur’an; where hidden treasure and gems of divine wisdom and knowledge are found, seek its guidance and make it their leader and light, shall find the Qur’an speak and intercede on their behalf on the Day of Judgment. The Qur’an becomes an argument for them. Otherwise, it will be an argument against those who didn’t read the Book or read it for the wrong intentions and purposes. The Prophet (SAW) eloquently stated in the hadith on purity, “The Qur’an is an argument either for you or against you.”

       We are informed of another hadith found in the collection of prophetic traditions in Musnad Ahmad (RA) where the Prophet (SAW) said, “The fast and the Qur’an are two intercessors for the servant of Allah on the Day of Resurrection. The fast will say, ‘O Lord, I prevented him from his food and desires during the day. Let me intercede for him.’ The Qur’an will say, ‘I prevented him from sleeping at night. Let me intercede for him.’ And their intercession will be accepted.”

       On the Day of Resurrection, the Qur’an will complain to Allah (SWT) and testify against those who only gave lip service to it. It will speak and complain, “I was there for him to answer his questions, to heal and guide him, but he never bothered to read me. He made me a piece of decoration in his home.” Such people will be very disenchanted, disillusioned, and let down. What excuse will such people make on that dreadful day? Excuses such as, “O Allah I intended to read it but didn’t have time!” or, “O Allah my family and business kept me too busy” will not produce good results. What will one do when he/she finds him/herself drowning in his/her own sweat from the scene of that horrific and gruesome day, when there will be no turning back?

       There is no third option. The Qur’an will either speak favorably on behalf of the believer or protest against him. The ayah from surat al-Isra’ makes it very clear,“We send down the Qur’an as healing and mercy to those who (truly) believe; while, to the unjust ones, it only adds to their loss”( al-Isra’, 17:82).

       The true believers who genuinely believe in the Qur’an read it and ponder over its signs (ayat) with the aim to live by its philosophy and wisdom, to implement its instructions, to follow its principles and guidance and to become righteous and God-conscious servants of Allah (SWT). They are always hungry and thirsty for more knowledge. For them, the Qur’an is a source of comfort and healing when in distress and a guiding tool to becoming better human beings rising above their baser self. In this way, the Qur’an becomes a source of mercy to the faithful in both worlds.

       With the increase of social media and reciters of the Qur’an (Qaris) than ever before, Muslims have resorted to listening to Qaris as a substitute for reading or simply for pleasure. We are encouraged to listen to beautiful recitation of the Qur’an as a substitute for the traditional music that may contain vulgar and obscene language. The Prophet (SAW) commanded that we beautify the Qur’an with our voices. He (SAW) considers those who do not nicely recite or sing (with proper rules) the recitation of the Qur’an as not one of us.

       Divine composition is sufficient to satisfy one’s urge for music. As there is nothing wrong with listening to others recite the Qur’an in a beautiful voice, one needs to probe his or her intention. We should consider stopping at its amazing parts and let not only our head move with it but also our hearts. Allah (SWT) instructs us to pay close attention to every word being recited and reflect on its meaning. “So listen quietly and pay attention when the Qur’an is recited so that you may receive mercy” (al-A’raf, 7:204).

       The Qur’an as the speech of Allah (SWT) is all about people and their guidance. We are informed by Allah (SWT) of His Book while targeting the believers, “That is the Book, let there be no doubt about it. It is guidance for those who have taqwa” (al-Baqarah, 2:2). It is intended to guide all humanity, “The Qur’an, revealed in the month of Ramadan, is guidance to humanity” (al-Baqarah, 2:182).

       While the Qur’an guides the individual, it provides guiding principles for our collective political, social and economic affairs. It is a complete guidance. The Qur’an offers the road map for success. It is the blue print for a complete way of life.“Verily, this Qur’an guides to the straightest way and gives the faithful who do good deeds the glad tiding that they shall have a great reward” (al-Isra’, 17:9).Indeed, it is they, the faithful, who make the Qur’an the spring and light of their hearts who will cheer the testimony of the Qur’an on the Day of Judgment.

       The purpose of the Qur’an is to guide humanity to a good, happy and peaceful life in this world and to eternal bliss in the world to come. It is about achieving real salvation. Only the true believers, the God-conscious and God-fearing people who want to save themselves from doom on the Day of Judgment may avail themselves.

       How can we achieve the intended purpose of the Qur’an if we don’t read and comprehend its message? How can we achieve peace amongst ourselves if we don’t implement its teachings? How can the world be guided if we don’t act as an example? It makes Allah (SWT) exclaim, “Do they not ponder over the Qur’an? And had it come from a source other than Allah they would surely have found much discrepancies in it” (al-Nisa’, 4:82). In reality we have blocked our hearts from its guidance, “Do they not ponder over the Qur’an? Or are there locks on their hearts?” (Muhammad, 47:24).

       It is amazing that we employ the faculties of hearing, sight and most importantly the intellect Allah (SWT) bestowed upon us in ways that prove we are capable of learning and comprehending. We use these faculties competently to become doctors, lawyers and engineers among other complex fields of science and philosophy. Often times, one finds Muslims having to learn another language to obtain their education and careers in the fields of medicine, science and technology. We use our intelligence effectively for worldly concerns.

       However, we have failed to take time out to learn the mother tongue of the Qur’an, Arabic, and invest in the most important Book in the world. What would be the fate of such people? Is it any wonder the Qur’an will prosecute such intelligent beings who neglected to fulfill its rights? The sad part is, on the Day of Judgment, not only will the Qur’an become an argument against such people, the messenger of Allah (SWT) will complain, “O my Lord! Verily, my people have deserted this Qur’an” (al-Furqan, 25:30).

       Time is precious and short. We can truly be among the best. The Prophet (SAW) described such individuals when he (SAW) said, “Best among you are those who learn and teach the Qur’an.” Let us begin this journey of learning and teaching the Qur’an and be among the best in the sight of Allah (SWT). We can succeed in both worlds.

       Imagine each one of us begin to embody the Qur’an. We would become role models everyone would want to emulate. We would become the tools for good and effective dawah. We would be on top of the world. Unfortunately, our state of affairs as an ummah is the exact opposite. Our condition is pathetic and the answer lies within. We have treaded the footsteps of our predecessors, the children of Israel,“Some of those who had received the Scripture before (the people of the Book) threw the Book of Allah behind their backs as if they didn’t know” (al-Baqarah, 2:101).

       Muslims are at their lowest ebb. We are receding and the Qur’an is disappearing. The Prophet (SAW) had the foresight to predict our times. He prophesized, “There will come a time when there remains nothing of Islam except its name and nothing of the Qur’an except its script.” Indeed the Prophet (SAW) spoke the truth.

       No one can deny that we as an ummah are in turmoil and going through trials and tribulations (fitan). What is the way out? The Prophet had the answer. He (SAW) replied, “The Book of Allah, in it is the news of those who came before you, and the information of what will come after you. It is the judge (by which you rule) among you. It is the decisive speech (that distinguishes between good and evil, truth and falsehood) not a joke. Allah will destroy the arrogant tyrant who forsakes it. Whoever seeks guidance from other than it Allah will lead astray. It is the firm rope of Allah. It is the wise reminder. It is the straight path. It is that by which the desires do not deviate nor the tongues become confused. Scholars are never satiated with it. It never becomes tiresome with repetition. Its wonders never end. It is that (Book) which the Jinn did not hesitate to declare, when they heard it, ‘We have heard an amazing recital which guides to what is right, and we believe in it.’ He who utters it speaks the truth. He who upholds it is rewarded. He who judges by it has done justice. And he who calls to it guides to a straight path or is guided to a straight path.” The Qur’an is our only Hope. The Qur’an will be an argument either for or against us.

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