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How to Approach the Quran
By Safi Abdi
Last edited: Thursday, June 21, 2007
Posted: Monday, April 23, 2007



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Today as never before, more and more people are asking about Islam. They want to know. Is Islam just another religion competing with other religions? Or is it a way of life that transforms the thinking person into a reasonable responsible humanbeing?

Today as never before, more and more homes are becoming hosts to the Quran. People want to read this book and they want to know how best to approach and benefit from this book.

There is an air of urgency. People want to know what the Quran has to say for itself. Today. For Tomorrow may never come.


How to Approach the Quran:

The Quran is not like other books. Quran is Light.  Quran is Wisdom. Quran is Good News. Quran is Absolute Knowledge. Quran is Remembrance. Quran is your book brought to you by One who cares about you. The Author of this Book is not after your money. He is not after fame. And He has no axe to grind. He just wants you to be happy. He just wants you to be truthful. He wants you to be successful. 

And He just wants you to be the best you can be.

 

He says He made you and that He is your Lord. So before you make up your mind about Him, listen to what He has to say about Himself. He says He made everything in the Heavens and the Earth. This is the Author of the Quran and He is telling you He made you, single handedly, without help from anyone. He didnít even ask for your permission. So you must agree with me that this Author is different. His claims and His wishes are different from other authors that we know.

 

He says He is the One and only God you have got. He is the sole Designer of your Eyes. The Sole Designer of your Ears. Everything you have got is His. I want to guide you, says this Author. You need Me. Stop making excuses for yourself. This Message's function is to guide YOU, O Seeker of Truth, and bring you back to where you belong: Paradise and Eternal joy.


Man is weak, he is hasty and forgetful. The Maker of Insan (the frail human thatís you) knows this, so, out of mercy for your frailty, He repeats Himself so you won't forget. After all, the whole point of this revelation is about saving you from your self and your forgetfulness.


 

While you read, remember, this is not a book that came down at one go, but a message that  gradually descended over a period of 23 years to a society that was evolving from idol-worship and ignorance to true  faith and Enlightenment. How this method of gradation works can be appreciated by looking at the way God dealt with the eradication of  intoxicants and gambling: (Chapter #2, Verse #219), (Chapter #5, Verse #90), (Chapter #5, Verse #91).

Therefore, some understanding of the dayís events is inevitable if one is to get the full picture. So be patient, and while you keep a general perspective, never lose sight of the context of certain verses, i.e. verses relating to jihad, method of gradation leading to final prohibitions, and verses that relate to events taking place on the ground at any given point at the time of revelation.

Keep in mind, Quran is its own best explainer, a question mark in one verse can be explained by another verse, so be patient until you come to that verse, and ask the Author to help you to grow in knowledge. After all the One you are trying to communicate with is the Author. So ask Him to guide you. There is no barrier between you and Him except the one you create, so step out of your confinement and listen, listen and again listen.

Everything thatís contained in this book is addressed to you, and the stories of previous generations that you will be reading are for your own benefit. The good news is for you to welcome and enjoy, and look forward to; The warnings and admonitions, and the failures are for you to avoid.

 And because He loves you so much, He has entrusted this gift to a most trustworthy Messenger' Muhammad Al Amin. And because He loves you and cares about you, He has protected this Message for you in its original language.

How to Approach the Quran:

1.     Make sure you are physically clean. I suggest you take a full bath with the intention that you are coming to a Holy Scripture.

2.     Be pure in thought. Remove any thoughts you may have about the dayís Muslims, the dayís politics, these have absolutely nothing to do with this Book. In other words, be objective.

3.     Sit in a quiet place, and be decently dressed, perhaps a scarf on your head if you are a woman, out of respect. If you donít have one lying around, donít bother. This is not a read for a lazy afternoon, the time you spend with this Book is quality time with your Lord.

4.      Every time you open the book, before you start reading, say:


'I seek refuge with Allah from Satan the Accursed.'

That way God will protect you from all evil whisperings and interruptions. A mistake people who are not familiar with Quran make is that they donít know how to protect themselves from Satanís influence and many times fall victim to his negative powers. To avoid that, seek protection from God. Then read:

'In the Name of God the  Beneficient the Meriful.' 

5.      As you read, ponder and reflect on the words. This is a message for the living. Stay alive by being alert. Remember God is speaking to YOU. The important person who is being talked to is YOU. There is none between you and the One Who made you. Be happy. Show gratitude. Use your brain. Exercise common sense, and donít let anyone elseís misinterpretations come between you and your Lord.


6.       Make a point to read only as much is easy for you at a time. And at the end of every reading, don't underestimate the power of Prayer. Pray for Guidance. It doesn't cost you anything. And you can do it in your heart in your own tongue directly to the One who made you.

7.      Handle this Book with care. Find a decent place for it. The way you handle this Book, this Honorable guest in your home, must be different from the manner you handle your novels and magazines. This is not a lazy read. This Author is far more intelligent than any other author you have come across so you can't afford to be lazy or shallow. Think. Apply your intelligence. And be prepared for a stimulating discourse.

8.       Learn Arabic, this is an Arabic Quran. Whatever translations you are reading are only a rendering of the meaning. So, if you truly are in dire need of conversing with your Maker through the Quran, learn Arabic.

We have sent it down as an arabic Qur'an, in order that ye may learn wisdom. ( Quran: Chapter #12, Verse #2)
إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ قُرْآنًا عَرَبِيًّا لَّعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ


  
 
 
 
 

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Reviewed by Fallen Sword 9/27/2010
We are in a tumultuous time when resident Muslims are on the bumpy road to being assimilated into the American culture. Ignorant hate-mongers, fearing change, are going public with fear-tactics launched from podiums and spewing across the Internet. In spite of them, as always God's changes will happen.

The answer is not for Americans to learn Arabic. Most of them cannot even handle proper English. Count yourself proud if you can talk them into seriously reading a decent translation of the Qur'an, such as the one done by N.J. Dawood [435 pages of clarity and light].

On Craigslist last night, one hate-monger posted: "The Koran teaches Muslims to kill women." Having recently completed a study of the Qur'an, I was able to jump into the discussion and shut this idiot down. If I had never read the Qur'an, his confused rhetoric might have infected my own thinking. This is the kind of a battle which we see across the American land/cyber space today.

The christian religion grew up parallel in time with the growth of Islam. However, unlike Islam, the christian church allowed itself to be divided into so many different denominations [sects], each one following its own arrogant path into confusion, disappointment, and finally into the christian apathy we see today in America today. I look around me in this medium-sized Texas county and I see 700+ churches which are not doing good community works, where Sunday services are a social dress-up act, and where God has largely been forgotten. It is their natural resulting confusion which is more our enemy than all of the hate-mongers.

Our mighty pens are in the hand of God. In wisdom, and according to the will of God, let us use them.

Thank you for this article, Safi Abdi.

Salam
Reviewed by Robert Williams 1/11/2009
Greetings in Peace,
It might be helpful to mention that although The Recitation (Al-Qur'aan) specifically addressed the Arabs (it's in their language of Arabic, not in Hebrew or Greek) and their backsliding into paganism and idolatry after the Kabah, a House of God, was built in his monotheistic honor and even rebuilt by Prophet Abraham and his son Ismail, it also addressed all mankind as God's Last Testament to restore and preserve God's Message - Submission to God (Islaam in Arabic) that had previously been given to earlier prophets from Adam to Moses and Jesus and was subsquently distorted through the centuries by the interventions of men. These distortions and omissions became the Old and New Testaments. God would not leave mankind without correct knowledge of Him, hence the Last Testament.

That said, there's still enough proper guidance in the hadith of the previous prophets that are known today as the Bible that God says in the Last Testament - "All who believe in Me and the Judgement Day and practice righteousness, unto them shall be no fear nor shall they grieve - the Jews, the Christians, and Sabaeans."
Reviewed by Paul Grimen (Reader) 4/27/2007
Very interesting write as always from your pen. There are lots of things we westerner have to learn about Islam and the Quran and this is a good starting point.
We take many thing for granted and dont understand the importance of the Holy Quran, we still believe that if people are notlike Us both in religion and life there are something wrong with them. People reading the quran with an open mind will find this book to be very informative,educational anD truthfull. People not reading it however are THE first to critecise the book as well as Islam, they should instead open their hearts and read the Quran as you decribe and they would be surprised what they will find.
Again your pen has shown the way, keep them coming your input is important.

Paul
Reviewed by Jibril Mohamed 4/26/2007
Assalamu Alaykum my sister Safi.
This is an outstanding write. The Qur'an, the most authentic book in the world is a must read for every intelligent human being. It gives us a choice. It plants wisdom in our hearts. It gives meaning to our lives. It opens our eyes to the reality of eternity. It guides us to the path of success.

Many people misinterpret the Qur'an, the great religion of Islam. The Qur'an is remedy for the confused, guidance for the lost, happiness for the wise. The Qur'an teaches respect, peace, kindness, generousity and forgiveness.

Let me share with you what the Qur'an prohibits. The Qur'an prohibits anything that can have a negative impact on any of six things. I will summarize the principles so that everyone can use them. I will give an example of each:

1. LIFE: In the Qur'an life is very important and Allah warns us not to kill ourselves. Anything that causes death and harm to life is Haram. This is why the Qur'an contains verses to the effect that if you kill one person you killed the whole world.
2. RELIGION: The Qur'an forbids anything that can spoil one's religion. If anything stops you from praying, fasting, reading the Qur'an or practising Islam it is Haram.
3. DIGNITY: Anything that can destroy one's dignity is forbidden. Examples are gossip, insult, abuse, cheating, stealing, prostitution, adultary, untrustyworthiness/uncreditworthiness and anything that can make someone in 'bad credit' in society or in the system.
4. INTELLECT: Anything that can hamper oneís thinking capacity is not tolerated in Islam. That is why Islam forbids illegal drugs and alcohol.
5. Wealth: Anything that extravagantly plunders oneís wealth is forbidden. A good example is gambling. The Qurían teaches us to achieve financial independence through hard work. It warns us against spoiling that hard-earned wealth.

I am sure anyone who has never read the Qur'an will have endless questions after reading this article. I encourage everybody, myself included, to read the Qur'an to learn more and to grasp more wisdom in the process of conversing with Allah, the Creator of the universe. Please let us follow the simple steps outlined for us by our sister Safi:

1.Make sure you are physicaly clean.
2. Be pure in thought. In other words, be objective.
3.Sit in a quiet place, and be decently dressed.
4.Every time you open the book, before you start reading, say:
'I seek refuge with Allah from Satan the Accursed.'

Thank you very much Ukht Safi. Maasha Allah: You are endowed with exceptional talent. Zaadak-Allah Hirsan wa-khayran.

Your brother:

Abdullahi


Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 4/23/2007
Interesting article, Safi, thanks for the sharing! Well done!

(((HUGS))) and much love, your friend in Aemrica, Karen Lynn in Texas. :D

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