Taking heed of the lessons of the Qur’an
Our approach towards the Qur’an should be multi-layered and should follow a five-step process as outlined below:
- Tilaawah (Recitation). Allah ta’ala says: “Wa rattilil Qur’aana tarteelaa – Recite the Qur’an in slow measured, rhythmic tones.” We recite the Qur’an in the Arabic that it was revealed in and we do so with proper tajweed, to the best of our ability.
- Tahfeez (Memorisation). Allah ta’ala says: “Bal huwa aayaatum bayyinaatun fee sudooril ladheena ootul ‘ilm – It is clear verses in the chests of those who have been granted knowledge.” Not all of us will be granted that great fortune of memorising the Qur’an in its entirety, but we should all endeavour to memorise as much of it as we are able to.
- Tafahhum (Comprehension). Allah ta’ala says: “Afalaa ta’qiloon – Won’t you use your intellect?” We don’t just recite mindlessly but try and comprehend what it is that Allah ta’ala is saying to us in the Qur’an as well. The Qur’an was not revealed to merely be recited as an act of ‘ibaadah but was sent as a message to us from the Lord of the Worlds. The best way to understand the Qur’an is to learn Arabic, so that as we recite we understand as well; but if that is not possible for us, then at least we should make use of the English translations that are available.
- Tadabbur (Contemplation). Allah ta’ala says: “Afalaa yatadabbaroonal Qur’an – Will they not contemplate on the Qur’an?” Now that we’ve understood what we’ve read, we don’t just remain content with the surface level understanding we might have gained, but seek to acquire a deeper insight into the verses through contemplation and reflection. Part of this process is to also refer to and read up on the tafseer of the aayaat.
- Tadhakkur (Taking heed). Allah ta’ala says: “Wa laqad yassarnal Qur’aana lidh-dhikri fa hal mim muddakir – We have made the Qur’an easy to take a lesson from, so is there anyone who will take heed?” This is the last level and the ultimate objective we should be striving for. This is when we take heed of the lessons of the Qur’an and actively try and implement it in our lives. Tadhakkur is an internal transformation which is manifested outwardly in our actions and behaviour. It is when we become transformed by the Qur’an and endeavour to make its characteristics our character, as was the case with the Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam.