Quranic Reflection No 666. Āyat 29:49 – Preserving the Quran in the Hearts.


بَلْ هُوَ ءَايَـٰتٌۢ بَيِّنَـٰتٌۭ فِى صُدُورِ ٱلَّذِينَ أُوتُوا۟ ٱلْعِلْمَ ۚ 

Indeed, it (the Qur’an) is present as manifest signs in the chests of those who have been given knowledge. 

 (Sūrat Al-Ankabūt, Ayah 49)

This verse is an important argument for the Divine nature of the Holy Quran. Most literary masterpieces are produced after years of writing and composition. The content in their works can be traced back to the author’s teachers and the ideas that were present in their societies. Allah ‘azza wajall points out in the previous verse that before the revelation of the Quran, the Holy Prophet sallal-lāhu ‘alayhi wa-ālihi wasallam neither used to read any books nor write any text. It leaves no doubt that a text with such profound messages and eloquent style could only have a Divine source. 

The Quran consists of āyātun bayyināt, meaning manifest or clear proofs. Bayyin refers to a statement that does not require any further proof or explanation.  It is mentioned in Tafsīr Namūne, that most of the verses of the Quran are clear and self-evident. As for the few verses which are not self-evident, their meaning is made apparent by other verses of the Quran. Of course, understanding the true meaning also requires further reflection and seeking guidance from the Ahl al-Bayt (a). 

Unlike other texts only written on scrolls or pages, the Quran is contained within the hearts of those given knowledge (ūtul-‘Ilm). According to Tafsīr Nūr, this primarily refers to the Infallible, and then those who can appreciate the guidance of the Holy Quran. ‘Allāmah Tabarsī describes them as the believers who are the memorizers of the Holy Quran because they carry it in their hearts. The traditions also promise a great reward for those who preserve the Holy Quran in their hearts, such as being with the honorable angels who carry God’s messages (Al-Kāfī, H 2, the book of the Excellence of the Holy Quran).

The renowned scholars were known to memorize the Quran and to keep it close to their hearts. The great exegete of the Quran, ‘Allāmah Tabātabā’ī, had memorized ten sections of the Quran. Āyatullāh Behjat also encouraged the memorization of the Quran so that a believer is always intertwined with it. He viewed the Quran as a fortress that provides refuge in times of trials and hardships.

A common concern is that memorizing the Quran can be arduous, especially for those who do not speak the Arabic language. Shahīd Mutahharī beautifully explains that amongst the heavenly books, it is only the Quran that is designed to be easily retained in the hearts.

Below are a few steps to initiate the memorization of the Quran. This is especially useful for those wish to do this in the month of Ramadan:

  1. Building an intimate relationship (uns) with the Quran should be a goal in a believer’s life. This can be achieved through a program of daily recitation, regular reflection, and memorization. Being involved in an active Quran circle can also help in staying motivated and disciplined.
  2. Begin with memorizing the smaller chapters from the thirtieth section of the Quran. Completing these chapters will inshāAllah give you a sense of achievement and the confidence to memorize larger sections of the Qur’an.  Also, memorize some of the well-known verses such as Āyat al-Kursī (Q2:255-257), Āyat al-Mulk (Q3: 26 &27), and Āyat al-Shahadah (Q3:18 & 19). 
  3. Recite these chapters in the obligatory and recommended salāt. This not only preserves its memorization but also has numerous rewards as mentioned in Hadith. 

We pray to the Almighty to make us amongst those who preserve the verses and the messages of the Holy Qur’an in their hearts and express it in their actions. 

Resources: Āyatullāh Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsir-e Namūne. Agha Muhsin Qarā’atī, Tafsīr Nūr