Enriching Life: Understanding the Holy Quran

Year 2020, became the year of book reading. Books sold like hotcakes in general but self-help books were particularly high in demand. Books impart knowledge and seeking knowledge is a noble cause. Knowledge opens up a tangled mind and sharpens it. Self-help books can help you become better, stronger and happier without having to ask others for help. 

Significantly, in the Holy Qur'an, Allah (SWT) mentions the word ilm (knowledge) 105 times, thus emphasizing its importance. The Holy Qur'an is the complete code of life and holds solutions to all problems. Millions around the world read the Holy Qur'an but unfortunately most who read it do not understand it.
We tend to enrol in French classes to procure a lucrative multinational job, learn guitar to quench our thirst for music and travel half way around the world to meet an old friend but hardly make any effort to decipher the message of the Holy Qur'an. The crux of the matter is to draw your attention to the fact that the Holy Qur'an was sent as a book of guidance for all humankind.
Talking about myself, I deliberately included the practice of reciting the Qur'an in a literal manner my entire life. In pursuit of attaining the blessings, I just read it, line after line and page after page without knowing what it actually meant.  Therefore, my bond was weak. This article is my humble endeavour in sharing the process of understanding the Holy Qur'an in detail.

The Niyyah — Making Intention in One's Heart to Do an Act for the Sake of Allah
There is a famous hadith, which translates to, “Actions are but by intention.” (Bukhari & Muslim). It is the intentions that Allah (SWT) sees. Whenever we intend to begin a task, a seed of thought is born in our mind. It requires a sincere piece of land to grow and prosper. Pure thoughts with earnest devotion are bound to produce the best outcome. When we are equipped with ideas, materialistic aid and a healthy body, we are capable of carrying out any work but sometimes the results are not desirable. Here, ponder upon the niyyah. A good niyyah attached with wings of sincerity will certainly meet success.
If we seek the pleasure of Allah (SWT) in all our worldly affairs, our niyyah becomes pure and thus accepted. We achieve goodness in this world and the hereafter. Hence, niyyah is the first building block of any goal, which we want to achieve. Before diving into the learning of the Holy Qur'an, we need a genuine intention to start with. Be composed, make dua to Allah (SWT) and enjoy the blessings, which the Holy Qur'an brings forth during this blessed journey. This will be the only journey that will proceed effortlessly, rectify perceptions and enrich the mind and body.
Reciting the Holy Qur'an with Translation
English is a universal language, therefore, we strive to perfect our English. On the contrary, the Holy Qur'an is written in old Arabic. To understand and grasp the divine message we need to go that extra mile. The commandments, requirements, refrainment and explanations in the Qur'an are for all who desire to seek knowledge and lead a meaningful life. Just think for a minute, Almighty telling us the secret of living a righteous life through the Holy Qur'an and yet most of us fail to find the treasures. All we haste in is to manage reciting the Holy Qur'an.
So, let us begin the recitation of the Holy Qur'an with translation. Translation of the Holy Qur'an is available in more than 47 languages worldwide. You will experience a stark difference when you start reciting the Holy Qur'an with translation as compared to plain recitation. Studying the Holy Qur'an with the translation unravels its true meaning. The text comes forth comprehensively, thus assisting the learning procedure. Reciting with translation makes the message clear that every verse holds. From total oblivion, we step into the world of awareness. The joy and satisfaction we go through while understanding the Holy Qur'an is again one of the many blessings of this miraculous book.
Advancing to Tafseer
The Holy Qur'an is not all about commandments and abstinence, in fact it is full of interesting prophetic stories, moral incidents and parables, as well. Missing out on these stories deprives us and our progeny of the real heroes of Islam, thus, living a life of ignorance whereas the Holy Qur'an offers light of cognizance.
Moreover, the Holy Qur'an is a guide to live a fruitful worldly life. Connecting with the Holy Qur'an strengthens our connection with Allah (SWT). It would not be wrong to say that the Holy Qur'an is the key to the door of wisdom and a powerful defence against evil.
Once we start understanding the Holy Qur'an, it swiftly takes us ahead with an abiding desire to seek more knowledge. It provokes rumination and leaves us eager to know more details about Islam. This is the time to take a step further and indulge ourselves in Tafseer.
Tafseer is a clear explanation of the Holy Qur'an and explains the Holy Qur'an meticulously, simplifying every single detail. A few famous readily available tafseer are by, Ibn Kathīr, Abul A'la Maududi, Muḥammad ibn Jarīr al-Ṭabarī and Abu Mansur Al Maturidi.
A language reflects on the culture and its origin. Its diction is an extension of emotions and warmth of its people. Arabic that is spoken worldwide is not the language used in the Holy Qur'an. Once we understand the translation and the tafseer, the Holy Qur'an gives us a clear picture of what to do next. Yes, you are absolutely right, breaking the shackles of imbecility. Translation and tafseer enables us to have a better understanding the Holy Qur'an. HH

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