The Qur’an is the central religious text of Islam. Muslims believe this to be the final revelation of all previous sacred texts and is a direct word of Allah ﷻ to the Holy Prophet Muhammad .
The Qur’an was revealed over a period of 23 years to the Holy Prophet via the archangel Jibra’il and written down in Arabic. It consists of 114 chapters of varying lengths, each known as a “Surah”. The Qur’an is separated into thirty even parts called “juz-un” in Arabic or Para (Farsi) or sipaara (commonly referred to in the Indian sub-continent). It is also divided into seven equal parts, each called a manzil.
The first revelation (also commonly referred to as a Wahy) began on Shab e Qadr (Night of Power) in Ramadan whilst the Holy Prophet was in the cave of Hira, located on the mountain called Jabal an-Noor, near Makkah. The first revelation was after the Prophet had passed the fortieth year of his life (that is around the year 610). Over the next 23 years, Wahy came at different times and length as the need arose for guidance for the believers. The holy revelations did not come as a complete book as in the current form. It was later durig the time of the third Caliph Uthman that it was compiled it is existing form. In the time of the Holy Prophet , scribes used to write down the revelations on stones, leafs, parchment, paper and it used to be memorised by the Companions of the Holy Prophet . To ensure no mistakes were made by the scribes in recording the word of Allah ﷻ, the Holy Prophet used to ask the scribes to read back to him what they had recorded. As a result, that method of cross-checking and authenticity of the word of Allah ﷻ was done by the Holy Prophet .
In the final sermon of the Holy Prophet , one of the advice to Muslims was that after him, he has left behind two things, which if the Muslims held onto tightly, they will not be led astray. One was the Qur’an and the other was his Sunnah.
The Qur’an is a guidance for all those who wish to understand till the end of times. Allah ﷻ has Himself taken the responsibility of protecting the Qur’an from any alteration and it contains solutions to the ills and problems which society are faced with today. As Muslims it is our duty to ensure that we read the Qur’an on a regular basis and if Arabic is not our native tongue then we should read the meaning to ensure we understand the guidance of the Qur’an. The point is not to just read the Qur’an, although the blessing which ones gets are undisputed, but to understand the Qur’an and implement the teachings into one’s life. It is said that the Companions of the Holy Prophet never used to move to another ayat of the Qur’an unless they had understood it and had fully implemented it in their lives. That is the standard that we ordinary Muslims should aspire to so that we can remain on the straight path and develop our connection with Allah ﷻ.
A narration from the mother of the believers, Sayyida `Aisha , the noble wife of the Holy Prophet , said that when the Holy Prophet used to recite the Qur’an, each and every word was clear and distinguishable. This is known as Makhaarij (Points of Articulation of Letters). It is essential that Muslims read the Qur’an with Tajweed and ensure that they are not unintentionally changing the meaning. This is because many of the haroof are very close together and any laziness in reciting can lead to a change of meaning, which is a sin.
We should get into the habit of finding time to recite the Qur’an on a daily basis. Even reciting a page is beneficial but if we can get into the habit of reciting one-quarter of a sipara then we can easily complete the Qur’an several times in a year.
A lot more can be written about the Qur’an and its benefits but it is essential that we pray to Allah ﷻ and ask Him to give us the ability to read, understand and implement the Qur’an in our lives and remove any difficulties for us, Ameen.
Al Qur’an al Kareem – Part 1
Al Qur’an al Kareem – Part 2