What is our relationship like with the Quran? Do we flip through it like a magazine? Do we only read it when we need to cite a specific evidence for something? Do we read it mostly based on our emotional state, when we are feeling very high or very low? Are we reading it as much as we should? Are we reading it with any level of regularity at all? We must be honest with ourselves.
This brings to mind the statement of our Lord,
"And the Messenger has said, 'O my Lord, certainly my people have taken this Quran as a thing abandoned.'"
Chapter al-Furqan (25): 30
In truth, the Quran has been revealed so we can recite it correctly, but not only. We recite it correctly so we can understand its meanings correctly. We understand its meanings correctly so we can contemplate upon those meanings. We contemplate upon those meanings so we can take the admonition from that contemplation. Ultimately, we take the admonition to act in accordance with the meanings of the Quran.
If we have followed this line of thought, we recognize the importance of reflecting upon the meanings of the Quran. Quranic reflection is the node linking correct recitation of the Quran to acting upon the meanings of the Quran. But just what is Quranic reflection and how do we practice it?
Quranic reflection is to look beyond merely the words within the Quran to the meanings of those words, the lessons extracted from those words, and the goals of those words. It is to look toward the finality of meaning.
Ibn al-Qayyim has mentioned, "It is to hone the vision of the heart toward its meanings whilst gathering the thought process toward intellectually reflecting upon it."
The importance of Quranic reflection becomes apparent from the following:
1. It is one of the reasons Allah has revealed the Quran.
It is a blessed Book we have revealed so that its verses are reflected over and the intelligent contemplate it.
Chapter Saad (38): 29
2. Allah disapproves of one who does not reflect upon the Quran.
"Will they not reflect over the Quran or are there locks upon their hearts."
Chapter Muhammad (47): 24
From the fruit of Quranic reflection:
1. The servant becomes acquainted with Allah, His names, His qualities, what pleases Him and what does not, and as such is in prime position to build a fluent relationship with Him.
2. The servant becomes sensitive toward the signposts of good and bad, the routes that lead to each, and the causes that being about each.
3. The heart becomes firmly fortified with faith to the extent it is as though one is shown the reality of this life and the hereafter, and as though Paradise and Hell are placed on a visual display before him.
4. The servant becomes conscious of prevailing nations, failing nations, and takes lessons from both.
From the obstacles in the path of Quranic reflection:
1. Diseases of the heart and continuance upon sin.
"I will turn away from My verses those who are haughty upon the earth without due right."
Chapter A'raaf (7): 146
2. Believing the Quran is difficult to understand.
In fact, it is quite the opposite.
"And certainly We have made the Quran easy to remember, so is there anyone who will remember?"
Chapter al-Qamar (54): 17
Ibn Hubayrah has mentioned, "From the plots of Satan is causing the servants to flee from Quranic reflection. This is because he knows guidance comes from reflection. He will tell him this is dangerous; to the point the servant will say he won't speak about the Quran out of piety."
3. Breaking family ties.
Our Lord adjoins breaking of the family ties with not indulging in Quranic reflection.
"So would you perhaps, if you turned away, cause corruption upon the earth and sever your ties of kinship? Such are those Allah has cursed, so He deafened them and blinded their sight. Will they not reflect over the Quran or are there locks upon their hearts."
Chapter Muhammad (47): 22-24
So the person who has severed the family ties would not have done so if the person had reflected upon the speech of our Lord.
And Allah knows best.
Kenneth "Aqil" Ingram II
Sha'ban 29, 1442 Anno Hegirae
April 11, 2021 Anno Domini