Wednesday, 5 September 2012
The Depth of the Qur'an
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
The following is adapted from a swuhbah from Shaykh Muhammad Nazhim Adil al-Haqqani (q.s.) on the 05th April 2009.
Shaykh Nazhim (q.s.) says that these people in attendance at the swuhbah were those who sought to cleanse themselves. It is the reminder of the hereafter; purified their minds, their hearts and their bodies.
Verily We did Choose them for a special (purpose) - remembrance of the Hereafter. (Surah Swad:46)
Shaykh Nazhim (q.s.) encouraged people to attend so that they could achieve blessed and peaceful lives full of pleasure and fulfillment.
But those will prosper who purifies themselves. (Surah al-‘Ala:14)
Man is curious by nature. He likes to learn, to know and to discover things. Shaythan strives ceaselessly in order to make us lazy and apathetic, so that we no longer wish to learn and understand. This is the Age of Ignorance, such is the condition of Man today.
The holy books have been Sent to their respective ummatan. The prophets have spoken. They have advised their own nations. The guides too, have been Sent. The advice of the Qur'an, the prophets and the guides is to teach Man about his life, to be wary of the cursed one and to show him the way to servanthood. Shaythan cannot do anything to stop these words. The Qur'an and the advice of the Prophet (s.a.w.) have already been Sent, and are being repeated by the guides. But Shaythan and his followers sow discord amongst Mankind, by constantly changing these words to create confusion. They cause miscommunication and misinterpretation of these words of advice, resulting in misunderstandings, tension and opposing opinions. This is Shaythan 's mission – to spike heavenly advice with his poison.
Allah's (s.w.t.) Commandments have been Laid out clearly in the Qur'an. He does not make them confusing. As we are weak creatures, the message is meant to be easily understood.
And We have indeed Made the Qur'an easy to understand and remember: then is there any that will receive admonition? (Surah al-Qamar:17)
Allah (s.w.t.) Commands us to ponder over each ayat that we read in order to grow in understanding:
Will ye not then receive admonition? (Surah asw-Swaffat:155)
We have Put Forth for men, in this Qur'an every kind of parable, in order that they may receive admonition. (Surah az-Zumar:27)
Every sentence of the Qur'an is an ocean of knowledge, understanding and guidance. If only we were to reach out and seek it by pondering over it. Allah (s.w.t.) has filled the oceans with wondrous creatures, from tiny plankton, to massive whales. There are colourful corals, hidden treasures and mysterious living things that Man is still discovering, up until today. A person who merely stands at the beach will see none of it. He just sees a lot of water and despite the fact that Allah (s.w.t.) has Said that the sea is filled with all these creations of His, Shaythan whispers to that person on the beach, “Do you see all these so-called creatures and treasures? No. So don't be a fool and believe all that. Don't be gullible. Surely you are not so naïve as to believe in what you can't see, feel or hear?” Shaythan does not deny that the ocean exists; he denies that it contains all that Allah (s.w.t.) Says it contains. He sows the seeds of doubt. Shaythan teaches Man to stand lazily at the beach, without entering the ocean – to doubt all that is in the Qur'an and hadits.
Just as one cannot see the treasures on the seabed by simply standing at the beach, and one cannot taste food by looking at it from afar; so too how can anyone understand the message of the Qur'an, without reflecting upon it? Pondering upon the Qur'an is like a man who has entered the ocean, and who begins to explore it. If he snorkels, he can see more now as compared to just standing at the beach. If he were to dive deeper, he can discover even more. If he has a submarine, he can see much more than the snorkeler or the diver has seen. If he uses a microscope to study the sea-water, he will discover so many microscopic creatures that cannot be seen with the naked eye. So depending on how determined we are to explore and discover, more and more knowledge is revealed to us. Compare that with the person who simply stands on the beach. What he understands is nowhere close to those who have ventured into the ocean.
Shaykh Nazhim (q.s.) gave a personal example from his own life. When he was a very young boy, he liked star-gazing, and most kids of his time thought that stars came from the embers of their ovens, that had floated up into the sky. Soon telescopes were invented, and Shaykh Nazhim (q.s.) says that, for the first time, people could see so many things that they had only conjectured about before. Then Man learnt how to put telescopes on satellites. The photos and recordings that came back stunned the world. It made all that they had learnt prior to that, obsolete. Man now knew that the universe was so vast This was in stark contrast to when they were kids who thought that stars were just glowing embers in the sky. Understanding grows with reflection and effort and each new level of understanding is a completely fresh experience that makes the old knowledge out-dated and irrelevant.
Such are those who stand on the beach without diving in. They know the Qur'an exists. They may even have read it but they have never bothered to ponder over its advice in order to unlock the hidden wisdom contained within. They are racked with doubts and wrong ideas about religion. We must explore the Qur'an and just like the diver and the astronomer in the examples above, we will make many discoveries. Each discovery is not the end; it is merely a step, on the ascending stairway to the peak.
Shaythan never likes Man to ascend. He loves those who have shallow knowledge. He convinces them that it is enough so that they will stop striving. We must disregard this whispers and dive deeper. We must not just read the Qur'an but also reflect and ponder about its meaning, and we will keep unearthing more and more pearls of wisdom and understanding.
Allah (s.w.t.) did not Create the Oceans for us to just stand and them. So many people benefit from the oceans – people go fishing, travelling, swimming, diving, hunting, exercising, sailing in it – and all the ignorant want to do, is to look at it? Similarly, Allah (s.w.t.) did not Send us His Divine Words, the Holy Qur'an, just for us to read blindly and to be contented with a shallow understanding of its message. Whilst, so many people are climbing unimaginable spiritual stations and unearthing eternal honour from it, are we going to treat the Qur'an with disinterest and doubt? We will be questioned on Judgement Day about which parts of the Qur'an we had upheld in our life. Each prophet was Given authority to unlock the secrets of their own books to their ummatan. It was only the blind from amongst them who kept saying they did not understand.
It is wajib for us to teach our children the Qur'an and to explain to them its meanings and secrets. Qur'anic study is not optional and we must not make the Qur'an inaccessible to our children. The study of the Qur'an and its message must be given utmost priority in our mission to educate. We must know that all education and understanding must be based on the Qur'an. We must build our entire foundation on the message of the Qur'an. Without that foundation, there is no rahmah, no blessings in our lives. Instead of blessings, curses descend upon such people. For every curse that befalls an unbeliever, twice that amount befalls a believer for he knows about the Qur'an but chooses to ignore it. And for every curse that befalls an ordinary citizen, ten times that amount befall those in authority for they have the power to make changes to the system but they do not do so.
To deflect these curses, we must study the message of the Qur'an. Reading it blindly by rote is not what the Qur'an was Sent for – it contains a message for each and every one of us. The Qur'an teaches us to know our Lord. It teaches secrets about ourselves, our enemies and our special relationship with Allah (s.w.t.). We are not lowly animals. We are Honoured. Thus we are Given an Honoured Book with an Honoured message. Why are we discarding this distinguished message and seeking the lowly insignificant knowledge of dunya? There is nothing more important that the knowledge of the Holy Qur'an.