Wa-qālal-rasūlu yā rabbi inna qawmīt-takhadhū hādhal-qur’āna mahjūrā
And the Messenger will say: O my Lord! Surely my people have received
this Quran with neglect!
(Sūratul Furqan, No.25, Āyat 30)
The Holy Prophet (s) complains to Allah of his people’s treatment of the Quran. There is a difference of opinion among commentators whether this complaint was made while the Prophet was alive or if it will be made on the Day of Judgement. The essence of the message however is that it distresses the Prophet that his people take the Quran lightly. It refers to people who took the Quran, or accepted it, but still neglected it. According to Tafsīr Nūr, neglecting the Quran includes: not making it a focus in life, not reflecting on it, not teaching it to others, and not acting upon it.
The Quran is a source of life and a means of success in different aspects of life. It can stir movement and reform both within the individual as well as society if it is understood and implemented. Muslim communities have always given the Quran an important place in their lives. They learn to recite it and ensure that their children do too. They give importance to correct and beautiful ways of reciting it. The Quran is very much a part of religious gatherings, Islamic schools and weekend Madrasahs, programs in the month of Ramadan, etc. Many households have Quran recitation as part of their daily schedule. So it is not that the Quran has been forgotten. It is the message of the Quran that is neglected. It is as though we stop at the entrance, without delving deeper to discover the treasures within.
Imam Ali (a) in Nahjul Balāgha talks about a time when the Quran will be among people but will not be followed: At this time the Quran and its people will be among the people but not among them, will be with them but not with them, because misguidance cannot accord with guidance even though they may be together. The people will have united on division and will therefore have cut away from the community, as though they were the leaders of the Quran and not the Quran their leader. Nothing of it will be left with them except its name, and they will know nothing save its writing and its words (Sermon 147).
Some ways of not neglecting the Quran include:
– reciting the Quran and reading its translation
– highlighting and reflecting on certain verses
– studying passages of Quran through available commentaries
– listening to lectures by scholars on Tafsīr of certain sūras
– memorizing verses or phrases from the Quran to apply in daily life
– discussing verses of Quran with family, or friends. These discussions should be based on authentic tafsīr of the verses obtained through lectures or books.
On this week of the birth of the Holy Prophet (s) make the decision to not be a part of the group that the Prophet complains of. Ask Allah azza wa-jall for help and plan how you will act on your decision. It will be the best gift you can give the Prophet.
Sources: Amīrul Mu’minīn Ali bin Abu Talib (a), Nahjul Balāgha; Āyatullāh Nāsir Makārim Shirāzī (Ed.), Tafsīr-e Namūneh; Shaykh Muhsin Qarā’atī, Tafsīr-e Nūr