Wednesday 14 November 2018

Understanding Quran can Change Our Lives

I am a born Muslim, Alhamdolillah, and have been following my faith as best I can. But let me confide very candidly with my readers that beside reading the Holy Quran and its translation, I never ventured myself deep into the message and the commandments contained therein to under the philosophy and the context in which the divine revelations have been made to last of the prophets Muhammad (peace be upon him). Thus I think my faith remained incomplete till one day.. 

Yes one day in April earlier this year, I just pondered over how born Muslims differ from the reverted ones. So I started reading about the personal experiences on non Muslims opting to become Muslims despite a very negative image of Islam being presented in the world media. And one thing that clearly stood out was that they all really READ the Qur'an in the language they understood, interacted with practicing Muslims and after a thorough understanding of the religion, they embraced Islam.

This opened my eyes and I decided to start understanding Qur'an by reading exegeses by revered Muslim scholars and reading about meaning of Qur'an and what is expected of us by reading, understanding and practicing its substance. And as I read, I came to know how much I have missed by not really reading and understanding Qur'an.

So while I read, I thought of sharing my experiences in the form of this blog. And today Alhamdolillah, I have posted summaries of 51 chapters of Qur'an as I read these with tafsir / exegeses. And believe me, the more I read more secrets started to unveil and I started to understand the Qur'an better than before. For example I never really knew the difference between the last two surahs of the Qur'an: Surah Al Falak and Surah An Nas. After reading the details and the context in which these were revealed, I came to knew that in both surahs proprioception is sought against the Evil. But while Surah Al Falak relates to the outer evil forces, like the magic by witches, Surah An Nas talks of inner evil. And thus by reading details and reference to the context of each surah, one is clear as to the why of their revelation. 

If you want to read and understand Qur'an and are not an Arabic speaking, all you need is to get a translated version of Qur'an which should also have short explanations on the sidelines to get a rough idea as to the why of the need of the revelation of a particular surah.

It is preferable to read the Qur'an from the end, that from the last of the surah and then going backwards.It is for two reasons:
  • The size of the surahs in the beginning is very larges with diverse substance, and as one progress the size starts to shorten. That is the last surahs are the shortest and easier to understand.
  • The second thing is that the most of the later surahs were the first to reveal in Makkah and are mostly relate to the stubbornness of the pagans of Makkah who refused to listen to the Prophet of Allah and mocked him for being a self proclaimed prophet. Due to this resistance, the concept of reward and punishment abounds in these surahs, specially of the Day of Resurrection, which was taken very lightly by the disbelievers and were thus cautioned to be ready for the day when they would be made answerable for their deeds.
Then there are sites in which one can find short stories about Prophets and people who refused to listen to the prophets and teased them, in many cases they were killed, like John the Baptist, called Prophet Yahya in the Qur'an. From these stories  one can learn many lessons and draw relevant conclusions for self improvement.

Once reading the Qur'an, one must look for the Dos and Don'ts. These may save from many wrong decisions in ones life as a true Muslim by knowing what if good or otherwise for a faithful.

While most of the later verses generally caution the non believers and give them tidings of the blazing fires of hell waiting for them in their lives in the hereafter, there are good tidings for the believers who remain steadfast amidst all difficulties for Allah never leaves His servants alone, for Quran will act as an intercessor on the Day of Judgment for them.

And one very important aspect of understanding Qur'an is know the context in which a certain verse or surah was revealed. And this is very important as reading anything out of context can entirely change the meaning and understanding of a particular verse / surah. So be watchful for the reference to the context. One of the oft misquoted verse of Qur'an is "kill them wherever you find them." In many sites of non Muslims, this verse has been quoted to show the 'barbaric face of Islam.' But when this is read in the correct perspective, its meanings change altogether.
  • Since proclamation fo Islam in Makkah, the pagans of Makkah made the lives of Muslims miserable and were tortured whenever the nonbelievers found them weak and alone.
  • This sometimes infuriated companions of the Prophet of Allah and even the Prophet himself, but Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) always advised for restraint.
  • And ten bitter years went by. And when Muslims could no longer tolerate atrocities of people of Makkah, the immigrated to nearby countries and finally to Medina. The disbelievers followed them drew them to war. It was then these two verses (190-191) of Surah Baqarah (surah number 2) were revealed allowing Muslims to retaliate. But please read the complete verses and then know for yourself that Muslims were still asked not to transgress: "Fight in the way of God those who fight you but do not transgress. Indeed. God does not like transgressors. And kill them [pagan Arabs] wherever you find them and expel them from wherever they have expelled you, and persecution is worse than killing."
  • I hope this reference makes the ambiguity clear which is wrongly quoted by non Muslims these days.
And if Qur'an is read like this, one would see wonders happening to one's life for after understanding the Qur'an one would know what Allah has really wanted from the man. And if we go by the Divine commandments, and follow the life of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), for his entire life was exactly spent as ordained by Allah, we shall prosper both mentally and spiritually.

Photo | 114 Chapter of the Holy Quran
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