Acting upon the Qur’an

Thursday، 22 September 2022 10:36 PM

it was narrated on the authority of Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention), said:
“The Qur’an has been revealed in five divisions: the lawful, the unlawful, the precise (in meaning), the unspecific (in meaning), and the examples. Act upon the lawful, avoid the unlawful, follow the precise, believe in the unspecific and take lessons to learn from the examples.” [Al-Bayhaqi]
No doubt, the lawful is evident in the Book of Allah Almighty; Allah Almighty says (what means):
• {… and makes lawful for them the good things and prohibits for them the evil.} [Qur’an 7:157]
• {… marry those that please you of [other] women, two or three or four. But if you fear that you will not be just, then [marry only] one.} [Qur’an 4:3]
• {It has been made permissible for you the night preceding fasting to go to your wives [for sexual relations].} [Qur’an 2:187]
Similarly, the unlawful is evident: Allah Almighty has made unlawful the evil things, as shown in His saying (what means):
• {So avoid the uncleanliness of idols and avoid false statement.} [Qur’an 22:30]
• {Prohibited to you are dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that which has been dedicated to other than Allah, and [those animals] killed by strangling or by a violent blow or by a head-long fall or by the goring of horns, and those from which a wild animal has eaten, except what you [are able to] slaughter [before its death], and those which are sacrificed on stone altars, and [prohibited is] that you seek decision through divining arrows.} [Qur’an 5:3]
The precise includes those Qur’anic verses of well-established meaning which give a specific legal rule like Allah’s saying (what means):
• {Allah instructs you concerning your children: for the male, what is equal to the share of two females.} [Qur’an 4:11]
• {[As for] the thief, the male and the female, amputate their hands.} [Qur’an 5:38]
This should be followed and acted upon as mentioned in the hadith.
The unspecific includes those Qur’anic verses whose meanings seem ambiguous to some people, like the letters in the opening of some Surahs such as: {Alif Laam Meem}, {Saad}, {Alif Laam Meem Saad} and the verses of subtle meanings, like Allah’s saying (what means): {The Most Merciful [who is] above the Throne established.} [Qur’an 20:5] The establishment (istiwa’) in general is known; but we do not know how it takes place for Allah Almighty is not like any of His creation because there is nothing like unto Him. The Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, ordered us to reflect upon the creation rather than the Essence of Allah Almighty. Despite the fact that many Qur’anic verses whose meanings seem ambiguous to some people are indeed precise and definite to those well-established in knowledge, and some verses which are unspecific and indefinite at a particular time may seem precise and definite at another time. It is incumbent upon the believer to believe in them all and not delve into their subtleties without knowledge.
The examples in the Noble Qur’an from which one should take lessons to learn and receive instruction are, in part, reported from previous nations and, in part, similitudes of concrete things such as Allah’s saying (what means): {The example of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is like a seed [of grain] which grows seven spikes; in each spike is a hundred grains. And Allah multiplies [His reward] for whom He wills. And Allah is All-Encompassing and Knowing.} [Qur’an 2:261] Allah multiplies good deeds, each one by ten to seven hundred times, as He pleases, to whomever He pleases, in the same way as He extracts seven hundred grains from a single seed; and Allah has power over all things. It is due on the believer to take lessons to learn and receive instruction from those examples.
It is narrated on the authority of ‘Abdullah ibn Abi Awfa, may Allah be pleased with him, that he was asked whether the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, left a will, and he answered in the negative. He was asked how leaving a will was prescribed on the people whereas the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, himself did not do it. On that he said: “The will of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, is his advice to us to hold onto the Book of Allah Almighty.” [Al-Bukhari, Muslim, At-Tirmithi, An-Nasa’i and Ahmad]
The Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, was not to advise his Ummah to do anything after him better than to follow the Book of Allah Almighty. It is the Book which contains the will of Allah and His Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, to his Ummah after his death in which Allah says (what means): {And is it not sufficient for them that We revealed to you the Book which is recited to them? Indeed in that is a mercy and reminder for a people who believe.} [Qur’an 29:51]
The rest of the will left by the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, is his hadiths and Sunnah, reported from him by the noble Companions may Allah be pleased with them. Writing a will in the question refers to the statement of Allah (what means): {Prescribed for you when death approaches [any] one of you if he leaves wealth [is that he should make] a bequest for the parents and near relatives according to what is acceptable – a duty upon the righteous.} [Qur’an 2:180] Similarly, the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, commanded that he who has any wealth or debt worthy of bequest should make a will without delay since death is nearer to mankind than the strap of his sandal.
It is narrated on the authority of Jabir, may Allah be pleased with him, that he said: Once, the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, addressed us with a khutbah (sermon) in which he praised Allah and lauded Him as befits His majesty and then said: “The best speech is the Book of Allah and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad. The worst deed is the introduction of new practices (which are not of the religion), and every religious innovation is misguidance.”
Whenever a mention was made of the Final Hour, his eyes would become red, his tone loud and he would show anger as if he were warning us against an army, saying: “The Hour is about to attack you in the morning or in the evening. I have been sent (as a Prophet) ahead of the Hour as (close to each other as) such,” beckoning with his index and middle fingers. “He who leaves an estate, it belongs to his heirs, and he who leaves a debt or children (in helplessness), it is my responsibility to pay it off and bring them up.” [Ahmad]
One of the main foundations of belief is to have faith in the Book of Allah and in its being the truest speech. Whoever has doubt in the truthfulness of anything thereof or takes another book than it and gives it preference over the Book of Allah Almighty or believes that it is truer than the Book of Allah is indeed a disbeliever and an apostate. Next to it in the obligation of following is the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam.
Religious innovation is any practice introduced in the religion which violates the Noble Qur’an or the Prophetic Sunnah or any of their principles. This definition is clarified by another hadith narrated on the authority of ‘A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, in which the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “He who innovates in this matter of ours (the religion) anything that is not of it, (his deed) should be rejected.” [Al-Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawood and Ibn Majah] To introduce into the religion anything that is not in it is indeed a religious innovation; whereas to do anything that is in the religion is not a religious innovation. For example, to dash the malicious allegations of the enemies of Islam with new arguments is of the religion and not included in the hadith of religious innovations: it is, rather, a good act. In this way we could know whether an invented practice is a good act or an evil religious innovation.
It is narrated on the authority of ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib may Allah be pleased with him that he said:
I heard the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention) say, “Indeed, there will be a Fitnah.” I asked, “What is the way out of it, O Messenger of Allah?” He said, “The Book of Allah, which includes the stories of those who were before you, the news of those who will come after you and the judgment on the disputes between you. It is a decisive statement and not an amusement. No tyrant left it but Allah broke him, and whoever seeks guidance in anything else other than it, will be misguided by Allah. It is the strong rope of Allah, and the wise mention. It is the straight path, by virtue of which inclinations never deviate (from the truth), nor are tongues confused, nor are scholars satiated from it, nor is it ever considered old regardless of its being repeated so often, nor do its wonders die out. It is that which prompted the Jinn, when they heard it, to say (what means): {… indeed, we have heard an amazing Qur’an. It guides to the right course, and we have believed in it. And we will never associate with our Lord anyone.} [Qur’an 72:1-2] Whoever speaks with it proves truthful, and whoever acts upon it receives reward, and whoever judges by it becomes just, and whoever invites to it will be guided to a straight path.” [At-Tirmithi]
This hadith, which includes the characteristics of the Book of Allah Almighty, is of great significance and should be deeply considered. It is a satisfactory answer to the way out of Fitnahs once they occur, i.e. to return to the Book of Allah Almighty, which contains:
1- The stories of those who were before us, i.e. the previous nations, some of whom belied the Messengers, whereupon they were ruined, while others gave trust to the Messengers, whereupon they were rewarded.
2- The news of those who will come after us till the establishment of the Day of Judgment and the Final Hour, like the descent of ‘Eesa (Jesus) son of Mary, may Allah exalt his mention, and others which are known to some and unknown to others.
3- The judgment of the disputes between us, i.e. the rulings of qisas (legal retribution), personal affairs, dealings among individuals and communities at times of prosperity and adversity, war and peace, and so on.
4- It is the decisive statement, i.e. its judgments are incisive and its fundamental rules established and as clear as a sword’s point.
5- It is not amusement; all of it is serious and decisive: either lawful or unlawful, precise or unspecific, narrations or examples.
6- No tyrant abandons it but that Allah breaks him because the Qur’an enjoins justice and kindness. Justice is the foundation on which dominion is based; and any ruler who abandons justice, Allah punishes him and seizes him with the seizure of One Exalted in Might and Perfect in Ability.
7- Whoever seeks guidance in anything other than it will be misguided by Allah because no guide in any sharia comes but from Allah; and whoever seeks for honour and power, for sure, it has all power and honor; and whoever goes astray from its guidance will be disgraced by Allah in this world, and the punishment of the Hereafter is more grievous.
8- It is Allah’s strong rope, one of whose ends is in the Hand of Allah while the other is in our hands. Whoever adheres to it has indeed grasped the trustworthy handhold which never breaks.
9- It is the wise mention: whoever likes to remember Allah Almighty, there is nothing better than the recitation of His Book, all of which abounds with wisdom.
10- It is the straight path: whoever follows it will not be among those who evoke [Allah’s] anger nor of those who are astray.
11- It is that by virtue of which inclinations never deviate from the truth: whoever seeks to be inclined to its interpretation and rulings, soon his snares will be discovered because Allah Almighty promised to guard it, saying (what means): {Indeed, it is We who sent down the Qur’an and, indeed, We will be its guardian.} [Qur’an 15:9]
12- It is that by which the tongues are never confused because it is an Arabic Qur’an evident in wording and mutawatir in text (collectively contiguous) which no letter has been added to or reduced from.
13- The scholars are never satiated from it because all Sharia sciences stem from the Qur’an and they take what they take from its inexhaustible spring; and whoever likes more will not be able to quench his thirst.
14- It is never considered old regardless of its being repeated so often: every time one recites the Qur’an, he tastes a fresh sweetness in it, as if he is reciting it for the first time; new meanings appear to him, and the believer understands it with a new understanding; and no one feels it is old except him whose insight is blinded by Allah from the even path. Allah Almighty challenged all people to produce even a single verse like it, and this challenge will be in force till the Day of Judgment, and no human being will ever be able to produce a verse like it.
15- Its wonders never die out: the wonders which emerged after the death of the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, were more numerous than those which appeared during his life, and what will appear in the future is even more.
16- It is that which prompted the Jinn, when they heard it, to say (what means): {… Indeed, we have heard an amazing Qur’an. It guides to the right course…} [Qur’an 72:1-2] It is the Book of Allah to guide men and jinn, and what amazed the jinn amazes men more, and what guides the jinn to the right course guides men to a better right course.
17- Whoever speaks with it is truthful because the whole of it is true and nothing else.
18- Whoever acts upon it will be rewarded because if one acts according to its principles and laws, Allah multiplies, for him, one good deed by ten times the like of it, up to what Allah wills.
19- Whoever judges by it will be just, whether with himself, his family, the community or the people. There is nothing but justice in it.
20- Whoever invites to it will be guided to a straight path because it is the guide of the callers to Allah, the truth and the straight path.
Does this hadith not have the most comprehensive, the most accurate and the most wonderful description of the Noble Qur’an? No doubt, the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, was given the keys of eloquent speech, and about him, Allah says (what means): {Nor does he speak from [his own] inclination. It is not but a revelation revealed.} [Qur’an 53:3-4]

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Neglecting the Glorious Qur’an

It is recommended for every believing man and woman to recite the Book of Allah, the Noble Qur’an, often, with due contemplation and understanding. This may be done by using a copy of the Qur’an or from one’s memory. Allah - the Most High – Says (what means): “[This is] a blessed Book (the Qur’an) which We have revealed to you [O Muhammad], that they might reflect upon its verses and that those of understanding would be reminded.” [Qur’an 38:29] And:
“Indeed, those who recite the Book of Allah (the Qur’an) and establish prayer and spend [in His cause] out of what We have provided them, secretly and publicly, [can] expect a transaction [i.e. profit] that will never perish. That He may give them in full their rewards and increase for them of His bounty. Indeed, He is Forgiving and Appreciative.” [Qur’an 35:29-30]
The aforementioned recitation of the Qur’an includes both reciting and acting upon it (abiding by what Almighty Allah enjoins in it and refraining from what He forbids in it). The recitation is to be done with contemplation and understanding of it. Sincerity to Allah is a means of complying with and acting upon the Qur’an, and its recitation contains a great reward - as the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “Recite the Qur’an, for on the Day of Resurrection, it shall come as an intercessor for its companion (one who recites and complies by its teachings).” [Muslim]
The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, also said: “The best of you is he who learns the Qur’an and teaches it.” [Al-Bukhari]
Another narration states: “Whoever reads one letter of the Qur’an shall receive a good deed and ten good deeds similar to it. I do not say that Alif Laam Meem is one letter, but Alif is a letter, Laam is a letter and Meem is a letter.” [At-Tirmithi]
The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said to Abdullaah Ibn ‘Amr Ibn Al-’Aas, may Allah be pleased with him: “Complete the recitation of the Qur’an once a month.” He (‘Abdullaah) said: “I am able to do more than that, O Messenger of Allah.” So he, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “Then complete its recitation once in seven days.” [Al-Bukhari]
The Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, used to complete the entire Qur’an once every seven days.
So, it is recommended that the readers of the Qur’an increase their reading of it, with contemplation and understanding it, along with sincerity to Allah - with the purpose of learning and benefiting from it. They should read the entire Qur’an once a month. If, however, they are able to do more than this without any difficulty, then they should complete it in less than this time.
However, it is best not to complete it in less than three days, since this is the least amount of time that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, mentioned to ‘Abdullaah Ibn ‘Amr Ibn al-‘Aas, may Allah be pleased with him. This is because if it is read in less than three days, the person becomes hasty and lacks thought and concentration while reading it.
Allah, the Most High, Says in the Glorious Qur’an (what means): “And the Messenger has said, “O my Lord, indeed my people have taken this Qur’an as [a thing] abandoned.” [Qur’an: 25: 30]
So, Allah Almighty informs us about His Messenger Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, that he said: “My Lord my people have abandoned - acting or listening - to the Qur’an.” and that is because the idol-worshippers did not pay attention nor listen to the Qur’an, as Allah Says (what means): “And those who disbelieve say, “Do not listen to this Qur’an and speak noisily during [the recitation of] it that perhaps you will overcome.” [Qur’an 41:26]
Thus, when the Qur’an was being read to them, they would deliberately make noise and futile speech so that they would not hear the Qur’an. However, this is from the ways of abandoning the Qur’an. Likewise, not having faith and trust in it is also from the ways of abandoning the Qur’an. Not pondering over it, nor trying to understand it, not acting by it, not obeying its orders and refraining from what it forbids, turning to something other than it - whether poetry, music, amusement, or other forms of vain speech and taking a path that is derived from other than the Qur’an are all from the ways of abandoning the Qur’an, of which we were strictly warned by Allah, the Most Exalted, and His Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam.

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