Posted by: Dawud Israel | May 28, 2018

When the Qur’an is Lifted from Earth

When the Qur’an is Lifted from Earth

We Muslims have for the large part not honoured the Qur’an as much as we should. Many a times amongst even the most pious Muslims, the Qur’an is invoked as if a token or accessory to self-praise and riyya. Our child memorized the Qur’an or so and so recited this many khatm e Qur’an. We don’t truly indulge our hearts and souls into the Qur’an anymore in the West. Many a masjid are empty of people reading the Qur’an, but we see plenty of parents and adults forcing their kids to read the Qur’an. If they don’t see love of the Qur’an in their parents, how will they attach to the Qur’an?

In light of that, then what of when the Qur’an is lifted from this earth as it will before Yawmul Qiyama? One day, the Muslims will wake and go for Fajr and there will be no Qur’an in their chests. It sill vanish from our books and from the calligraphy in our masjids. The loss of that moment will be so unbearable. One can imagine some ashiqin going insane or becoming nearly suicidal. Something supernatural and essential to us which we have no power over and which we neglected will have disappeared. The tragedy of that moment will be like the death of Rasulullahﷺ. We have very few hadith descriptions of what will happen to the Muslims but one can only imagine.

For Muslims, all our religion is derived from the Qur’an. We cannot make salah, or know the rules for Zakat or Hajj and Ramadhan without the Qur’an. In a post-Qur’anic age, the only pillars of Islam that will remain will be the Shahadah. Our ibada without the Qur’an will be dhikr of the Shahadah and simple nafl ibada like tawaf and sadaqa and perhaps optional fasting. These will be like time capsules to a time of treasure troves of guidance. Ilm will become scarce; tafsir will vanish and much of hadith may as well too. The door to heaven will become like a small window. We will be like the hunafa, the pre-Islamic monotheists, scavenging for religious guidance in a desert of the dunya, like Waraqa bin Nawfal, awaiting Qiyama. We will be like Ahlul Kitab, guided but only in the past tense.

This should frighten us and make us run to the Rope of Allah – the Qur’an. We have little izzah without it. The Qur’an is our civilization and foundation of our being. We think we are in troubles now, with wars and post-colonialism, but imagine being deprived of the Qur’an? True oppression in Islam is being denied worship and access to the next world. Would we even really care about being modern and hi-tech if we had no Qur’an? Wealthy Muslims would wish they could ransom their millions and billions to get even a few ayat back from Heaven. We would realize how little of value this dunya is in comparison the next world. For the Qur’an was our qibla compass to Jannah, and without it, Jannah becomes as if Atlantis, a dream, and we Muslims, a people exiled without a land or hope of return.

This Qur’an is not like any other Scripture. Its marvels are numerous, its prose and prosody is unparalleled to any word, speech or sound. The least revelation of the Qur’an was 5 words and it is said to have almost broke the leg of a sahabi upon whom the blessed head of Rasulullah ﷺ was resting. There are words in the Qur’an that are not Arabic in origin. Their are spiritual cures, exercises and diagnoses of spiritual diseases in the Qur’an. The scientific miracles of the Qur’an are well-known but likely a drop in the ocean of miracles that we are yet to uncover. I have noted in the many salawat Muslims have composed, the most powerful ones incorporate language and meanings of verses of the Qur’an, for this is natural as the Qur’an is the maktubat (speech/diary) of Rasulullah ﷺ who was the walking Qur’an. It also makes sense what is said, that when Allah subhana wa ta’ala removes the Qur’an from the Earth, He also removes the true vision of Rasulullah ﷺ in a dream and the Hajr al-Aswad, for the true dream of him ﷺ, the walking Qur’an, is the spiritual access to Allah and the Hajr al-Aswad is the concrete physical access to Allah, ‘His Right Hand on Earth.’

There is little repose in the world except with the Qur’an. The peace and sakina that descends is like a vacation on the most beautiful tropical island. The carefree feeling I experience and thinking the thought, “there is absolutely nothing else in this world truly worth doing except reciting this Qur’an so don’t rush.” If you listen to an Islamic lecture they tell you to read Qur’an. It is said to be best form of remembrance and the best pleasure even in Jannah is its recital. The hadith “recite and ascend just as you recited in the world” is not limited to being hamalat al-Qur’an (memorizers or carriers of the Qur’an) but to actual recital of it. For recital and devotion to the Qur’an is from the essence of riyadat an nafs (struggle against the self). There is the self and its words, whisperings and incitements and then there is Allah and His words, whisperings and encouragements. For good thoughts from Allah come to us when we recite the Qur’an, guide our affairs and solve our problems. To be effaced in the Qur’an is as close to fana as we can understand. The awliya of Yemen have said about the Qur’an recitation:

Shaykh Umar al-Mihdar al-Alawi said, “When the righteous recite the Qur’an, they erase the letters and sounds. Then they stand by a sea and then that sea vanishes, so they remain suspended in mid-air in a state of awe and exultation. And we are amongst these ones.”

True Sufis are people of Qur’an, not people of rosary beads. Imam al-Ghazali says 1-2 khatm of Qur’an is needed each week for suluk (spiritual wayfaring). The great wali of Africa, Ahmadou Bamba, would be seen walking on water and he was known for his poetry on loving the Qur’an. Miracles and the Qur’an go hand in hand. Even today it can happen. I find it strange Muslims go looking for various duas as if magic spells and shortcuts to their worldly and spiritual goals, but all along the Qur’an is before them. The root of spiritual power in Islam is through the Qur’an. Magic pales in comparison to the Qur’an. Even if someone has done magic, the last two surahs of the Qur’an recited nonstop can destroy that magic. Battalions of huffaz would always succeed in battle by virtue of the Qur’an. Above all – the Qur’an is the meeting place of Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) and His Rasul (salallahu alayhi wasalam) – an ever-continuing Isra & Miraj with its letters, diacretical marks, and sounds being the Lote Tree (Jujube tree some say) of the Furthest Limit.

There are some rare narrations from my notes on the virtue of the Qur’an I want to highlight.

Mawquf saying of Sayyidina Ali (ra): Recite Quran in salah 100 reward, outside of salat with wudhu 25 rewards, without wudhu 10 rewards

Ibn al-Sunni, Anas (ra): whoever recites in 24 hours: 50 verses is recorded as not amongst the ghafilin, 100 verses written as qanitin, 200 verses then considered acting in accordance with the Qur’an on Day of Judgement, 500 verses receive ‘qintar minal ajr’ (large amount of ajr – like mountain of Uhud). Hafiz Ibn Hajar: weak but other similar ones are rigorously authenticated chains.

Tamim ad-Dari (ra): Whoever recites 200 verses in 1 night then get reward as if stood up entire night to pray. (Ibn Hajr: hasan and sahih)

Ibn Abbas (ra)said regarding the ayah in 13:17 “He sends down water out of heaven, and the wadis flow each in its measure,” said that ‘Water, in this verse, means knowledge (‘ilm) while wadis (valleys) means the hearts (qulub).’

Abu Darda(ra) said, “A man does not fully understand until he sees numerous layers of meaning in the Qur’an.”

Ibn Mas’ud (ra) said, “There is no a single verse except that it has people who will know it (that is, its correct interpretation).”

Jafar as-Sadiq said, “God has manifested Himself to His servants in His Speech, but people see not.” Once he fainted while performing the prayer and said, “I kept repeating the verse until I heard it from the Speaker.”

Imam Malik said, “Nothing will rectify the last part of this Ummah except that which rectified its first part (i.e. the Book of Allah & the Sunnah).”

When we read Qur’an mercy descends on all of us. We benefit in ways we can barely imagine. Our masajid don’t do khatm gatherings of Qur’an regularly – only once in Ramadhan. We neglect the Qur’an but do Qira’at competitions and force our kids to read Qur’an as if the angels watching above will respect this odd mix of ghafla and guidance. Places in the world like Morocco are still surviving fitna because their masajid are committed to regularly reciting the Qur’an every week.

“And beware O my ally in God, if you have any doubt, that the Book of Allah is the most secure intercessor, the most trustworthy intercessor, the wealthiest of any wealth, a giver of gifts, virtuous in it’s giving. You do not ask for rain and the mercy of Allah ever more hopeful than with the Book of Allah, and if mercy descends, everybody gets the mercy.” – Qadi Maulay Ibn Arabi

We should schedule in our masajid regular khatm of Qur’an and all come together for the khatm dua. Lets say one masjid does khatm every 30 days, another masjid that does every 10 days, another masjid every 7 days. We can all attend those masjids on those days and get a share of that mercy. Allah’s mercy is endless and we can make it come down in ever increasing quantities with the Qur’an. But can we hope for mercy from Allah when we neglect the Qur’an?

Subhana kallahumma wa bihamdika ash-haduana la illaha illa Ant astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk, ameen.


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