Reflection No. 267 on Q 10:58 – Finding joy in the Quran
فَبِذَٰلِكَ فَلْيَفْرَحُوا هُوَ خَيْرٌ مِمَّا يَجْمَعُون
Fabi dhālika falyafrahū huwa khayrun mimmā yajma‘ūn
In that they should rejoice; it is better than that which they gather.
(Sūrat Yūnus, No. 10, Āyat 58)
Almighty Allah talks about the different roles of the Holy Quran in verse 57 of Sūrat Yūnus. He says it is an admonition, a cure, a guidance and a mercy. That is by His grace and mercy. Then the next verse makes an important point – believers should rejoice in it, it is better than what they have gathered.
Human beings often rejoice in material things. They gather wealth and possession and seek happiness in them. This type of happiness found in worldly thing is transient. It is fleeting and shallow. The initial excitement often wears away quickly. Things, people, events . . . all can disappoint sometimes and lose their appeal. It is only that which comes from God that remains forever. It is a source of comfort and healing, a mercy and guide that does not fail you. It is fresh each time you delve into it. A person once came to Imam Ali al-Ridhā (a) and asked why the Quran only increased in freshness the more it was spread and studied. Imam replied that it was because God had sent it for all times to come and for all people, so it would remain fresh till the Day of Judgment (Mīzānul Hikmah, H. 16135).
Hadith tell us some insightful points about appreciation for the Holy Quran. The Holy Prophet (s) says: The Quran is rich, there is no wealth before it and poverty after it (Mīzānul Hikmah, H. 16143). He also says: Whoever has been given the Quran and then thinks anyone has been given something better than he has been given, has belittled something great and magnified something small. (Mīzānul Hikmah, H. 16145).
Human beings can rejoice in the Quran by understanding that:
1) God speaks to them in the Quran, sometime through the Holy Prophet and sometime directly. How exciting, uplifting, awe-inspiring that the Creator Himself would speak to human beings. That is a conversation that brings great joy. Read from verses 57 to 74 in Sūratul Wāqi‘ah (No. 56) and experience the joy of being addressed directly by Allah, the Mighty and Sublime.
2) Finding comfort from the Quran. Reflecting on verses of the Quran opens up many windows of the soul. It brings hope, calms fears, cures negativity, and puts things in perspective. Every time a person sits with the Quran, he increases in guidance or decreases in blindness (Nahjul Balāgha, Sermon 176).
3) Seeking inspiration and higher levels of faith. The stories of the Quran, its descriptions of the qualities of the believers, and its messages about the world and the Hereafter increase the faith of the believer. Almighty Allah says about this: and when its verses are recited to them it increases them in faith (Q 8:2). This increase in faith brings peace and pleasure to the hearts of the believers.
4) Growing to higher levels of perfection. The verses of Quran create growth of the human soul. Material things may lead to greed, corruption, bringing the human being to lowly levels. The Quran does the opposite. It pulls them up and causes them to rise.
Spiritual pleasures run much deeper than material ones. The joy experienced in them cannot be compared to the joys of worldly pleasures. The verse reminds us of this important fact. Remind yourself of this verse when you recite the Quran. Rejoice in the Quran especially in the Holy month of Ramadan – the best season for reciting and studying the Quran, and you will become needless of the shallow pleasures the world has to offer.
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