READ! Author: Issa Abbasi


Can you imagine being asked to do something that you’ve never done before? For a moment, put yourself in the shoes of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).  The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was in the cave of Hira (as explained by Ibn Kathir’s Tafseer) until an angel came to him commanding him to “read”.  (I replied: “I am not one who reads) (the Prophet Muhammad (pbh) was illiterate). Then he said, “So he (the angel) seized me and pressed me until I could no longer bear it. Then he released me and said: “Read” So I replied: `I am not one who reads.’  So, he pressed me a second time until I could no longer bear it. Then he released me and said: (Read in the Name of your Lord who has created.) until he reached the Ayah, (That which he knew not.)’ (Source: http://www.tafsir.com/default.asp?sid=96&tid=58753)

The Prophet Muhammad was so shaken by this experience that he ran home to his wife Khadija (r.a.) and asked her to wrap him up (in a blanket or cloth) because of the fear he was experiencing.  Once she calmed him down, it was explained to the Prophet (pbuh) that this was a divine revelation and the angel Jibril explained to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) that he was truly the messenger of God.

But what is the main point of all this?  The main point is that no matter how intelligent our society’s inhabitants think they are, we knew nothing when we were born.  When we were born, we cried, we did not know to use a bathroom and we couldn’t even feed ourselves.  Man was born in a state of arrogance and without the grace of Allah s.w.t., we would not have been taught anything.  Ibn Kathir’s explanation of this is as follows:

“These Ayat inform of the beginning of man’s creation from a dangling clot, and that out of Allah’s generosity He taught man that which he did not know. Thus, Allah exalted him and honored him by giving him knowledge, and it is the dignity that the Father of Humanity, Adam, was distinguished with over the angels. Knowledge sometimes is in the mind, sometimes on the tongue, and sometimes in writing with the fingers. Thus, it may be intellectual, spoken and written. And while the last (written) necessitates the first two (intellectual and spoken), the reverse is not true. For this reason Allah says, Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous. Who has taught by the pen. He has taught man that which he knew not.) (Qur’an 96: 1-5) There is a narration that states, “Record knowledge by writing.” There is also a saying which states, “Whoever acts according to what he knows, Allah will make him inherit knowledge that he did not know.” 

So I ask myself and all of us, when was the last time we made an attempt to read the Book of Allah s.w.t., the revelation that was brought down over 23 years, the Book that was revealed for all of mankind?  If the answer to this question is “a long time”, then I ask you to reconsider why it has been “a long time.”

There are so many benefits to reading this book such that no book is like it.  For each letter you read (yes, each letter!), you will be rewarded with a good deed (if not more since every good deed is multiplied).  Even if you just look at the words and letters inside the Qur’an, you will be rewarded! Reading the book of Allah s.w.t. that He revealed (again, it was not created) will be a proof of us on the Day of Judgment, the Day where will there will be no shade except where Allah s.w.t. allows there to be shade.  And not only will this book be a proof of your good deeds on the Day of Judgment, but it will also intercede on your behalf (or testify against you, it can go both ways) when you are being judged by the One Creator and Sustainer of the universe.

Abu Umaamah relates that the Prophet (pbuh) said: “Read the Qur’an, for verily it will come on the Day of Standing as an intercessor for its companions.” [Muslim]

Your status will also be raised (or lowered) based on the last ayah (verse) you recite on the Day of Judgment! So you know those guys with the long beards who have the whole Qur’an memorized? Well, if everything else is pure within them (and Allah s.w.t. knows Best), they have a high chance of being raised to the highest ranks of Paradise because of where their recitation will stop!  There are more benefits to reading the Qur’an that I encourage us all to see for ourselves at the following link: http://www.themodernreligion.com/basic/quran/quran-benefits.html.

Finally, what excuses do we have for not reciting the Book of Allah s.w.t.?  The Qur’an in today’s world is everywhere; it’s on our iPhone, Blackberry, the internet, in book stores, on Kindle, it’s everywhere!  And if you can’t read Arabic, no worries!  The Qur’an has transliteration (meaning the Arabic pronunciation is written out in English) and is found in Urdu script, Chinese, Spanish, French, you name it, it’s written in it.  I was taught and recently reminded never to put my head on my pillow at the end of the night without reading at least one ayah (verse) from the Qur’an.  And if you think it’s boring, I want you to watch the following video and learn what you have to do so that reading or listening to the Qur’an becomes a blessing for you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuNNygj-hMo

So brothers and sisters, let’s (start) or continue to read this glorious Book.  The same Book that Allah s.w.t. dares us to bring even an announcement like it!

“And if you are in doubt as to that which We have revealed to Our servant, then produce a chapter like it and call on your witnesses besides Allah if you are truthful. (Qur’an 2:23)

Or do they say: He has forged it? Say: Then bring a chapter like this and invite whom you can besides Allah, if you are truthful.  (Qur’an 10:38)

Or, do they say: He has forged it. Say: Then bring ten forged chapters like it and call upon whom you can besides Allah, if you are truthful. (Qur’an 11:13)

Say: If men and jinn should combine together to bring the like of this Quran, they could not bring the like of it, though some of them were aiders of others. Qur’an (17:88)

Or do they say: He has forged it. Nay! They do not believe. Then let them bring an announcement like it if they are truthful. (Qur’an 52:33-34)

Are we reading yet?

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~ by Yousaf on February 19, 2010.

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