“This is the book about which there is no doubt, guidance for those conscious of Allah” (Al Quran 2:2)
The Quran is the true benefactor of the conscious knowledge seeking human being. It envelopes a plethora of ethical directives, social, legal, moral, economic responsibilities, frameworks and guidance’s. It enjoins unity amongst all human beings from our unique races, creeds, wealth and health backgrounds, statuses and classes. The Quran offers divine solutions to every problem our world faces; imbued with practical advices that if heeded to, puts one’s mind at ease and draws one’s soul closer to peace. It is filled with words of warning yet words of justice and consolation. It aligns itself to the beat of the heart and the reality of the world- destined to play a decisive role in the reconstruction of thought and speech whilst gaining perspectives in existence and purpose. The Quran guides the followers of Islam towards a way of life.
One of the miracles of the Quran resides in its authentic preservation and protection in its totality since its completion 1400 years ago. The unadulterated and unaltered chapters has allowed simplicity of memorization by millions around the world and its content testament to timelessness and applicability to every era of time till its end. Interestingly, the first word revealed in the Quran was “Iqra” meaning read, as Allah Subhanawata’allah says “Read in the name of your Lord who created” (Al Quran 96:1). With knowledge of this verse, it becomes important for us all to turn towards the Quran with an open mind, sincerity and humbleness, seeking to gain heightened understanding of what our Creator has prescribed for us to ensure we free ourselves from the shackles of this temporary existence and travel smoothly upon this journey through to the True world.
The deep wisdom the Quran withholds, aims to benefit not only one person or a select group of people, but the whole of humanity. This is conveyed by Allah Subhanawata’allah in His book where He says “This Qur'an is enlightenment for mankind and guidance and mercy for a people who are certain in faith” (Al Quran 45:20). The personification of the ‘mercy’ Allah speaks of can certainly be ascribed to His final messenger our beloved Prophet Mohammad peace be upon him, through whom the final revelation was sent so he may serve as the "mercy to the worlds" (Al Quran 21:107), sent to humanity to perfect good character. Prophet Mohammed peace be upon him having been granted the honour of divine revelation from his Creator makes him the most authentic interpreter and expounder of the Quran. This embodiment affirmed through the description of him by his wife Aisha (RA) when she says he was like a ‘walking Quran.’ This becomes the example that every believing Muslim should embrace and continuously strive to follow.
“The month of Ramadhan is that in which the Qur'an was revealed, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights the new moon of the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey - then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and wants for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that to which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful" (Quran 2:185). This becomes the month that every believing Muslim should take as a gift from their ever Generous Creator in which opportunity is unravelled to delve greater into the understanding of His book, intent to gain profound knowledge of the wisdom He conveys- with deep rooted faith that the human disposition can reach its greatest potential through practice of the divine advices present within its pages, in the fashion it was by the best man to ever walk the earth.
The distinct features of this month resides in the beauty that it is present to purify the tarnished soul. Allah Subhanawata’allah grants His servant days where he refrains from worldly addictions and desires for His sake to make Him the sole focus of attachment because He knows the unseen aspects of our characters that are in desperate need of His divine inspiration. If these steps to seek Him and near Him are made especially during this month, He promises His reward as He says in a Hadith Qudsi “Every deed of the son of Adam is for him except fasting; it is for Me and I shall reward for it,” highlighting the bountiful blessings that can come from fasting- indicating not only the power of Ramadhan but the extent of mercy of our Rabb towards us.
When one becomes aware of the work of Shaiytan, one better understands the benefit of Ramadhan. As the prominent Islamic Scholar Hamza Yusuf relates that “a clear enemy is easier to defeat than a slinking one.” We know through a famous Hadith that during this month Shaiytan is chained. Prophet Mohammad peace be upon him says “When Ramadhan comes the gates of paradise are open and the doors of hell are closed. And a caller cried out: “O seeker of good come in this month- O seeker of evil cease.” Allah decrees this because He knows that if Shaiytan cannot overcome the believers in creed or belief he has promised to probe our lusts and desires so we can stray away from His path; the path of righteousness. Therefore when the giver of ill tidings and whispers is locked up, the believer must take advantage of this time and strive to understand the state of their soul, take notice of bad influences and their own shortcomings, practice to correct their thought, speech and actions, remove negativity from their heart and fill it with love and kindness, and be mindful of Allah in all that they do.
Ibn al Qayyim said that “the body of the human is like a country, whose capital is the heart and whose frontiers are the seven limbs (eyes, ears, tongue, stomach, private parts, hands, feet).” Fasting acts as a guard of these limbs. As we shield our limbs we are encouraged to enjoin one another in righteous deeds, in hope these acts are our gateway to spiritual growth fulfilment and purity. We recognize that it is through purification of each of these limbs that we can free the soul from its constant need and dependency on the fleeting pleasures of this life, redirecting the heart towards its Ultimate abode. With the reminder of our final destination our heart lightens as our dependency shifts from the worldly to the Divine.
As the month of the Quran is with us, let us connect to the Giver and the Book Given. Let us remember that since the birth of every son of Adam, the call to prayer is recited. Since these very first few moments on earth, the Light of Allah shared in the ear of a child illuminates the love and presence of Allah in the child’s life and forms a connection to Ar Rahman as he/she was in the womb. May this month serve to strengthen this connection and act upon His book as Imam al Ghazali reminds us that “those who hold it (Quran) firm found guidance and those who acted upon it got salvation.”
Let us Muslim brothers and sisters take these last few days of this divine month to get closer to our Rabb. Our Creator, Designer, Maker and Divine Care Taker. He is indeed in control and promises to near those who near Him, correct our matters if we seek Him, get His increase if we are grateful and ever responding to those who call Him. Let us increase our heart-to-heart conversations with Him. We make great efforts with the creation to understand them and create bonds, let us make these efforts and more to understand and deepen the connections with our Creator.
May the words of our Rabb transcend our understanding. May it move our hearts and grant us clarity of mind in practicing this gift of peace that has been bestowed upon us and make us increase in His remembrance. May we grow in patience, govern our emotions and feel empowered to overcome any challenge that we are faced with.
May Allah make this Ramadhan for you and all your loved ones one of Quran, supplication, mercy and forgiveness. May Allah keep our intentions pure, see Him in all we do and accept all we do in our desire to near Him. May He grant us our deepest duas and give us the strength to remain patient through His answers and keep our heart grateful and at peace for whatever He decrees.
And finally we accept the reality that none of us knows if we will see another Ramadan. So let us take the moments we have today to strive for the understanding, mercy, forgiveness and pleasure of our Rabb. There is nothing more worthy of our concern and effort than this.