By Marya Bangee
It’s time to do an exercise. I want you to take out your personal copy of the Qur’an – Arabic if you’re fluent and can understand what the divine words of Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala are saying or English if you cannot – and go to the title page. Write: “Read this as a living book of light and guidance!”
It is imperative as Muslims that we stop reading the Qur’an passively, not understanding what it says, and read it as the ultimate guidebook for our lives, a divine miracle that lives – and can transform us if we let it.
How is the Qur’an a Miracle?
The Qur’an is a miracle on many levels. Let’s look at five – but let’s make sure this is action-oriented. When going over these aspects of the Divine Book, really understand what it means to hold a miracle from God in your hands.
The Qur’an is a miracle…
- In its language. The Qur’an “came” from an illiterate person who lived in an isolated area in Mecca, who did not know how to read or write.
- In its structure. The structure of the Qur’an does not fit any other structure known – it is neither prose nor poetry. The words themselves have great meaning, and this is why a translation of the Qur’an is not the same as the true Arabic Qur’an.
- In its science. The scientific facts and teachings it contains are too sophisticated for a human to come up with. An example of this would be the description of the development of the fetus in the mother’s womb.
- In its prophecies. The Qur’an prophesized many things and they happened, such as the Muslims fighting the disbelievers and defeating them in Surah al-Qamar or the victory of the Romans at the beginning of Surah Ar-Rum.
- In its logic. The Qur’an is free of contradictions, something that is literally impossible to find in any works done by man.
I have just scratched the surface here – but the idea is to fully grasp what it is that we hold in our hands. To no longer be passive readers but active participants of the divine message the Qur’an preaches. Now – how do we bring the Qur’an into our lives?
How Can We Live the Qur’an?
The Mother of the Believers, `Aisha (radiya Allahu `anha), was asked about the Prophet Muhammad (sal Allahu `alayhi wa sallam)’s character. Her reply was simple: “His character was the Qur’an.” (Ahmad) He (sal Allahu `alayhi wa sallam) sets an example we are meant to follow. Here are some tips to how we can start on this lifelong journey:
- Make a sincere intention. Actions are judged by intentions, so sit for a moment. Clear your mind and heart. Make the intention that you wish to actualize the Qur’an in your words, your deeds – your life.
- Du`a’. Without the help and guidance of Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala, we are truly lost. Beseech Him for His help in understanding His book.
- Pick a personal copy of the Qur’an. You can choose more than one, but have a personal copy that you will be building a connection with. If it’s in English, breakout the highlighters and grab a pen – make sure you mark that copy up more than your school textbooks!
- Find a teacher. The world has become very small these days. If you cannot find a local, trusted religious figure that will help you in discovering the mysteries of this Holy Book, there are plenty of online classes to take advantage of. If you’re not sure where to start, let me know – I’ll help as much as I’m able. A teacher is important because they have more knowledge, and can guide you on this journey – and they can also help answer questions or confusing issues that may arise.
- Get to know the books of Tafsir. Tafsir books are there as an explanation and commentary of the Qur’an – utilize them.
These are only some steps you can take, but they are steps that have worked for me. I ask Allah, the Wise, the All-Knowing, to purify us, guide us to the best of guidance, and fill our hearts with the nur of the Qur’an. Ameen.
“[This is] a Book which We have revealed to you [O Muhammad], that you might bring mankind out of darknesses into the light by permission of their Lord – to the path of the Exalted in Might, the Praiseworthy…” [Qur’an, 14: 1]