Reflection No. 265 on Q 10:57 – Role of the Holy Quran

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ قَدْ جَاءَتْكُمْ مَوْعِظَةٌ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ وَشِفَاءٌ لِمَا فِي الصُّدُورِ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةٌ لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ
Yā ayyuhan-nāsu qad jā-atkum maw‘izatun min rabbikum wa-shifā’un limā fis-sudūri wa-hudan wa-rahmatun lilmu’minīn
O mankind, There has certainly come to you an advice from your Lord, and a cure for what is in the chests, and a guidance, and a mercy for the believers.
(Surat Yūnus, No. 10, Ayat 57)

In this verse Almighty Allah describes four different functions of the Holy Quran:

1) An advice – The word maw‘idhah denotes a reminder to do good that is done gently, with care and concern. It is also a reminder to stay away from evil. Anything that affects the heart of the listener or has the potential to affect receptive hearts is a maw‘idhah. The messages of the Quran are a reminder from the Creator. They convey a concern that human beings rise to their highest potential. Their effect is intense on hearts that have not become hardened or locked.
2) A cure for what is in the chests – Refers to a cure for the diseases of the heart such as jealousy, selfishness, hypocrisy, etc. Just as the body has diseases the heart too suffers from diseases. The messages of the Quran show human beings how to correct their perspective and cleanse their hearts and souls of negativity and pollution. Imam Ali (a) says about the Quran: It contains a cure for the biggest diseases, namely unbelief, hypocrisy, revolt and misguidance. (Nahjul Balāgha, Sermon 176)
3) A guidance – It leads the human being towards perfection. The messages of the Quran illuminate the path for the human being and make truth clear from falsehood. It makes the journey of the human being towards God very clear and straight. Imam Ali (a) says; No one will sit beside this Quran but that when he rises he will achieve one increase or one decrease – increase in his guidance or a decrease in his (spiritual) blindness (Ibid).
4) A mercy – Refers to the blessings bestowed by God to the human being that allows him to achieve perfection. The messages of the Quran are a blessing as they assist him to do what is expected of him by his Creator. The more worthy he is the more he can receive these blessings.

Each of these four functions of the Quran show a stage in the nurture and training of the human being. The first is an external reminder (advice), the second an internal cleansing (cure), the third distinguishes the path to be followed (guidance), and the fourth is assistance on the path (mercy). The goal is to nurture the human being such that he is worthy of being admitted to God’s presence when he returns to Him. That in essence is the role of the Quran.

Understand what the Quran can do for you and for other human beings as Allah (swt) addresses to the entire humanity in this verse. Recite it when you recite the Quran and be awed by the potential transformation of the self through the Quran. The messages can be life changing, especially when we are about to welcome the Holy month of Ramadan soon.

Amīrul Mu’minīn Imam Ali bin Abu Talib, Nahjul Balāgha;
Āyatullāh Nāsir Makārim Shirāzī (ed.), Tafsīr-e Namūne;
Agha Muhsin Qarā’atī, Tafsīr-e Nūr