Blessed Friday jemaah,
Let us show our takwa towards Allah s.w.t. in all earnestness and with our fullest convictions. Obey all of Allah’s commands and avoid what Allah has prohibited upon us by appreciating the teachings of the noble Quran.
I am confident that every one of us here owns at least one copy of the Quran. We are often reminded that the Quran is a guidance and compass for us provided by Allah s.w.t. in surah Al-Isra’, verse 9:
Which means: “Indeed, this Qur’an guides to that which is most suitable and gives good tidings to the believers who do righteous deeds that they will have a great reward”.
This verse explains that the Quran was sent as a guide for humankind. Thus, we have to always reflect upon our relationship with the Quran. Have we recently referred to the Quran to seek guidance and help from Allah to get through our lives? Have we reflected upon the stories in the Quran and learn the lessons found in them? We do not want the Quran to simply be a decorative item in our house; or as a symbolic gift during our wedding. We also do not wish for the verses of the Quran to be read only when there is a death in the household. We need to realise that the Quran is first and foremost, aimed for those who are still alive and not for the dead. The Quran aims to guide humankind in our daily lives. Rasulullah s.a.w. once warned us in a hadith:
Which means: Whoever keeps it (that is, the Quran) in front of him, then the Quran will lead him to paradise. And whosoever keeps it behind their backs, it will show him the way to hellfire. [Hadith narrated by Ibn Hibban]
To ensure that we reap the benefits from the Quran, we need to make it our culture. This requires two basic steps:
The first step: Learn to recite the Quran.
Al-Quran is the Word of Allah or Kalamullah, and it becomes a form of worship or ibadah for those who recite it and enliven the teachings of the Quran. Jemaah, just by simply reciting the Quran we are promised rewards and benefits! So imagine what rewards await us if we were to appreciate it, and apply what is taught in the Quran. Allahu Akbar!
Jemaah, when was the last time we looked at the noble verses from Allah s.w.t. Is the Quran the antidote that helps to ease our anxiety and is music to our ears? With advancements in technology today, none of us can say that we do not have access to the Quran. In the past it may be difficult to carry a mushaf with us all the time, and to ensure that we are in a state of wudhu all the time, but today many of us have smartphones that have various Quran apps. We should make it a point to learn and reap the benefits from the Quran just as how our hands are hardly “free” from using our phones. We need to make the Quran a part of our lifestyle.
Spend some time with the Quran every day. If we are not fluent readers of the Quran, then we should make it an effort to listen to beautiful recitations of the Quran, which are now easily available on YouTube and various apps and websites. Start our day with the melodious recitation of Quranic verses. Apply the same to our families. For example, during this school holiday, we can come up with a Quran challenge for our kids, for them to recite the Quran everyday, at their pace and ensuring that they do not get bored. On our way to our holiday destination, ensure that Quranic recitations are part of our audio playlist while in the car. This will signal to our children that the Quran is not a boring book or one that is recited only at official events. When the Quran is part of our family life when we are on holiday and when we are relaxing, then it will become a norm for us to be close to the Quran and from there, we can develop this into an interest.
There is a hadith of the Prophet s.a.w. which means: “Whoever reads the Qur’an and acts upon what is contained in it, his parents will be made to wear a crown on the Day of Judgment. The brightness of it will excel that of the sun that lights up your worldly houses. So, what do you think (the situation is) about the person who himself acts upon it?” [Hadith narrated by Abu Daud]
Subhanallah! Just see how noble and how great an honour Allah has given to parents who work hard to educate their children to be close to and to love the Quran. The Prophet s.a.w. only gave a picture of Allah’s reward for their parents who will be treated like Allah’s guests; just imagine how great the reward will be for the child who applies the lessons from the Quran.
If we look at the reality of life, we will find that much of our time and energy is spent working. Hence, we must make time to read the Quran with our family. Do not let our family and our children stray away from the Quran because it is the source of barakah. Rasulullah s.a.w. said in a hadith that means:
“Increase the recitation of the Quran. Indeed a house that does not recite the Quran will not have much goodness, and more badness and it will be narrow and will burden the residents.” [Hadith narrated by Al-Daruqutni]
The second step after making it a habit to recite the Quran is to realise the importance of applying the lessons from the Quran.
In the hadith that was shared earlier, the Prophet s.a.w. said: “…Anyone who reads the Quran and applies what is in it”. Hence, among the virtues of a Muslim who commits to making the Quran as his guide, is that he will strive to understand the meanings stored in the verses of the Quran. However, for us to apply the Quran well, we need to know how to understand the lessons in the Quran. We need to understand the stories in the Quran, the main themes in the Quran that are related to our daily lives and our family.
Imam Ibn Kathir, in his book of tafsir, noted a practice that was narrated by Saidina Uthman bin Affan and Abdullah ibn Mas’ud: When the Companions learnt the Quran from the Prophet s.a.w., they would only learn ten verses at a time. They would not move on to the next ten verses until they have learned, understood and applied the lessons from the verses that they are learning.
Jemaah, let us use this coming Ramadan to motivate and inspire ourselves to learn to read the Quran and to appreciate its contents. Attend classes that teach Quranic recitation and classes aimed at helping us to understand the Quran, conducted by the various mosques throughout the year.
Ensure that our children receive a complete Quran education. May Allah s.w.t. bless our efforts and make the Quran our adornment and that of our family’s, and at the same time a source for us to gain His pleasure and barakah in this world and the hereafter. Amin.
Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura
Friday Sermon, 20 June 2014 / 22 Syaaban 1435