Ramadhaan – A Date with Dr. Zakir
Episode - 15
Ramadhaan - The Month of the Qur’an
[Part – 1]
(Duration – 45 minutes)
Yusuf Chambers: Dear brothers and sisters in Islam and Humanity, Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh, may the peace, mercy & the blessings of Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) be upon all of you. Welcome to the show Ramadhaan - A Date with Dr. Zakir, I am your host Yusuf Chambers. And today we are discussing the topic ‘Ramadhaan - The Month of the Qur’an, Part 1’.
Dr. Zakir: Wa Alaikum Assalam Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh
Yusuf Chambers: The month of the Glorious Qur’an. Such an important topic and I’d first like to begin by asking you for the definition of terms once again. Can you define the term, for the benefit of our non-Muslim viewers, what does Qur’an actually mean?
Dr. Zakir: Alhumdulillah was salaatu was salaam ala rasoolillah wa ala aalihi wa ashaabihi wa ajma’een. Amaa Ba’ad
A’uzu billahi minash shaytan nir-rajeem,
Bismillah hirrahman nirraheem,
Rabbish rahli Şadri Wa Yassir Li 'Amri Wa Ahlul Uqdatan Min Lisani Yafqahu Qawli.
The word Qur’an is derived from the Arabic word ‘Qara’a’ which means to read or to recite and Qur’an means the recitation or the reading. The Qur’an is the last and final revelation of Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) which was revealed to the last and final messenger Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
And Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) has sent down several revelations.
Allah says in Surah Raad, Ch. no. 13 verse 38,
“likulli ajalin kitab”
“In every age, have We sent down a revelation”
There were many by name 4 are mention in Qur’an, Torah, Zabur, Injeel and the Qur’an.
Torah is the wahi, the revelation which was given to Moses (peace be upon him)
Zabur is the wahi, the revelation which was reveled to the prophet David (peace be upon him) and
Injeel is the wahi, the revelation which was revealed to the Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him)
And Qur’an is last and final revelation which was given to the last and final Messenger Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
So if there is something like Old Testament and the New Testament then Qur’an is the last testament.
So Qur’an actually is the Wahi, it is a revelation. Normally, people think that Qur’an is the book. Actually the book Qur’an, the right Arabic word is ‘Mus’haf’. So Qur’an is actually the revelation of Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) which was given to the last and final messenger prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
Yusuf Chambers: Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam. JazakAllah Khair. I think that is a very appropriate way to begin the topic. Ahm… Second question I’d like to put to you…if I may.. is can you mention the various names and attributes which Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) uses to describe the Qur’an in the Qur’an or with the Qur’an?
Dr. Zakir: There are many, umpteen number of attributes and names used by Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) in the Qur’an for the Qur’an. I’ll just mention few that I can recollect immediately.
Allah refers to the Qur’an as the ‘Furqaan’, the criteria to judge right from wrong in
Surah Furqan ch. 25 verse no. 1 and there is full chapter, chapter no. 25 named after that Furqan, criteria to judge right from wrong.
It’s also there in Surah Baqarah verse no. 185, the word Furqaan is used.
Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) also describes the Qur’an as ‘Tanzeel’ that is a revelation in
Surah Shu’araa’ ch. 26 verse no. 192.
It is describe as ‘Dhikr’ i.e. is the message in Surah Ambiya ch. 21 verse no. 50.
Its also described as the ‘Kitaab’, that’s the book. Kitaab is called as the book, also as the wahi, the revelation in Surah Yusuf ch. 12 verse no. 1.
It is described as ‘Noor’ meaning the light in Surah Nisa ch.4 verse no. 174.
It is described as ‘Huda’ meaning guidance in Surah Baqarah ch. 2 verse no. 2, as well as Surah Baqarah ch.2 verse no. 185.
It is described as ‘Rahma’ meaning blessings in Surah Luqmaan ch. no. 31 verse no. 3.
It’s also described as ‘Majeed’ meaning glorious in Surah Burooj ch. no. 85 verse no. 21.
It is called as ‘Mubarak’ meaning blessings in Surah Saad ch. no. 38 verse no. 29.
It is described as ‘Basheer’ meaning the good news in Surah Fussilat ch. 41 verse no. 4.
It is called a ‘Nazeer’ meaning admonition in Surah Fussilat ch. 41 verse no. 4.
It is called as ‘Qalamullah’, the word of Allah in Surah Tawbah ch no. 9 verse no. 6.
It’s also referred to as ‘Mawaaza’ that is an instruction in Surah Al Imran ch.3 verse 138.
Its also referred to as ‘Shifah’ i.e. healing in Surah Isra ch. no. 17 verse no. 82.
And it’s also called as ‘Mubeen’ meaning easily understood in Surah Yusuf ch. 12 verse no. 1.
These are the various names and attributes and several others which Allah has referred to the Qur’an in the Qur’an.
Yusuf Chambers: SubhanAllah! Have you ever counted them. seems to be another…
Dr. Zakir: There are many I think… many ‘Balaag’ and I think you can keep on adding if you keep on thinking.
Yusuf Chambers: No wonder if they refer to it as often as the astonishing Qur’an.
Dr. Zakir: Alhumdulillah!
Yusuf Chambers: SubhanAllah! Dr. Zakir, just to talk more specifically about this holy month of Ramadhaan, what’s the relationship between the Qur’an and this month Ramadhaan?
Dr. Zakir: There is special relationship of the Qur’an with this month of Ramadhaan.
As Allah says Surah Baqarah ch. no. 2 verse no. 185
“Shahru ramadana allathee onzila feehi alqur-anu hudan lilnnasi wabayyinatin mina alhuda waalfurqan”
“Ramadhaan was the month in which the Qur’an was revealed as a guidance to whole of humankind and signs for guidance and judgment to judge between right and wrong.”
So all those who witness this moon in this month they should fast so Ramadhaan was the month in which this Glorious Qur’an was revealed as a guidance for the whole of humankind.
And beloved Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) said, it’s mentioned in
Sahih al Bukhari Vol. no. 1 in the Book of Revelation Hadith no. 6 that
“Archangel Gabriel, every night in the month of Ramadhaan, he used to come to the Prophet and recite and rehearse the Qur’an”
So it was special month where Archangel Gabriel every night in the month of Ramadhaan use to come and rehearse the Qur’an with the Prophet. And this month the Qur’an was reveled as guidance for the whole of humankind.
Yusuf Chambers: Alhumdulillah.
Dr. Zakir: Therefore it is called the Month of Qur’an.
Yusuf Chambers: Furthermore then can you explain the viewers, what are virtues and blessings of reciting this wonderful, the book of criterion between right and wrong during this month of Ramadhaan?
Dr. Zakir: There are various virtues mentioned in the Qur’an, in the authentic Hadith about reciting the Qur’an and it’s mentioned in
Sahih Bukhari Vol. 3 in the Book of Fasting, Hadith no. 1902
“The Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) was the most generous of all the people and his generosity used to reach the peak in the month of Ramadhaan and Archangel Gabriel used to come every night and recite and rehearse with the Prophet, the Qur’an and his generosity was much stronger than the most strongest uncontrollable wind.”
And the first revelation, the first Wahi, the first verse of the Qur’an to be revealed to the Prophet was from Surah Iqra ch. no. 96 or Surah Alaq ch.96 verse no.1 which says
And when archangel Gabriel, the first word which he recited of the Qur’an to the Prophet when he was in Ghare Hira in Jable Noor, the Prophet when he heard the word ‘Iqra’ he said
“ma ana bi qari”
“I am not learned”
Again angel Gabriel, again repeat “Iqra” the prophet repeated
“ma ana bi qari”
“I am not learned”
Archangel Gabriel again repeated “Iqra” and the Prophet understood that “Iqra also means to recite, to read. One of the meanings, the other is recite and rehearse. So the Prophet repeated “Iqra” then another revelation came
“Iqra bismi rabbikal lazee khalaq
Khalaqal insana min alaq”
“Read, Recite in the name of thy Lord who created - who created the human the beings from something which clings, a leech like substance”
So reading is important but in the name of thy Lord who has created is also very important.
And reciting this Glorious book, there are various virtues. And our beloved Prophet said, its mention in Hadith of
Tirmidhi (Book of Virtues) Hadith No. 2910 where the beloved prophet said that
“Every letter you recite of the word of Allah, of the word of Glorious Qur’an you get a blessing. And each blessing is equivalent to 10 Hasanat, 10 blessings.”
Each letter you recite the word of Allah you get reward, each word is equivalent to 10 Hasanat.
“And Alif laam meem is not one letter. Alif is a letter, laam is a letter, meem is a letter”
That means 10, 10, 10, you get 30 blessing if you say Alif laam meem. And our beloved Prophet has said it’s mentioned in
Sahih Bukhari vol. no. 6 [Book of Virtues] Hadith no.5027, the prophet said
“khairakum man tallamal Qur’ana wa allaml”
“The best amongst you is the person who recites the Qur’an and teaches to other who learns the Qur’an and teaches to other.”
That means its important to learn the Qur’an and teach it to other. And the beloved Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) said, its mentioned in
Sahih Muslim Vol. no. 2 in the Book of Salaat Hadith no. 1757 that
“Recitation of the Qur’an will act as an intercession on the Day of Resurrection to the reciter”
The Qur’an will intercede for you on the Day of Judgment, on the Day of Resurrection.
It’s further mentioned in a Sahih Hadith of Musnad Ahmad Vol. no. 2 Hadith no. 6625 which says that
“Fasting and the Qur’an will act as interceders on the Day of Resurrection, on the Day of Judgment. And the fasting will tell to Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) that the person because of me he left his food and drink and desires so I would intercede on his behalf. And the Qur’an would say that the person sacrificed his sleep for me so I will intercede for him on the Day of Judgment.”
So the Qur’an will act a interceder on the Day of Judgment.
Its mention in Surah Abasa ch. no. 80 verse 34 and 37, its says that
“No person on the Day of Judgment, talking about the Day of Resurrection, that a person will not be bothered about his brother neither will he be bothered about his mother or father or wife and children. He will not be bothered about the mother, father, brother, wife, children and he will be so much engrossed about his own concerns that he will not be bothered about other persons concern on the Day of Judgment, on the Day of Resurrection, each one will be bothered about himself and the Qur’an will act as an interceder.”
It’s mentioned in Sahih Bukhari Vol. no. 6 (Book of Virtues) Hadith no. 5011 that
“A Sahaba was reciting the Qur’an and horse was tied with 2 ropes and he saw the cloud descend and the horse was frightened. The Sahaba went to the Prophet. The Prophet said “do you know what happened?” He said “No” “The angels came down to listen to your recitation.”
Another Hadith of Sahih Bukhari Vol. no. 6 (Book of Virtues) Hadith no.5018 it says that
“A Sahaba was reciting the Qur’an and he saw the clouds descending down and it had something like lamps and when he came out so that he could see it and then he went to the Prophet and Prophet said “Do you know what was that?” and the Prophet said on the could there were angels who had come down to listen to your recitation and if you had continued they would have been there till dawn and people would have seen it and then they would disappear.”
It’s further mentioned in Sahih Muslim Vol. no. 2 in the Book of Salaah Hadith no.1757 that
“If you recite the 2 i.e. Surah Baqarah and Surah Ale Imran, they will come down as 2 clouds or 2 canopies or 2 flock of birds and they will intercede on your behalf.”
It’s further mentioned in the Hadith of Sahih Muslim (Vol. no. 4 Book of Dhikr) Hadith no. 6518 that the beloved Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) said that
“Anyone who recites the Qur’an in the house of Allah, in the mosque that when people gather in the house of Allah, the mosque and when they recite the Qur’an and they learn it and they teach among themselves, on them there will be tranquility and they will be calm and the angels will descend and they will send blessings on them”
It’s further mentioned in Sahih Bukhari Vol. no. 6 (Book of Commentary) Hadith no. 4474, our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) told one of the Sahabas while he was in the mosque that
“I will inform you of the greatest Surah in the Qur’an before I leave the Mosque” and when the Prophet is about to leave the Mosque after sometime the Sahaba reminds him that “Which is the greatest Surah in the Qur’an which you were going to tell me about?” The Prophet says “Alhamdu lillahi rabbi aalameen” talking about Surah Fathia, the often repeated 7 verses.”
It’s further mentioned in Sahih Bukhari Vol. no. 6 (Book of Virtues) Hadith no.5009 the beloved Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) said that
“Anyone who recites the last 2 verses of Surah Baqarah at night, he will be safe.”
The beloved Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) said in Sahih Muslim Vol. no. 2 in the Book of Salaah Hadith no. 1766, the Prophet said
“Anyone who memories the first 10 verses Surah of Kahf, he will safe from the Dajjal”
And immediately the next Hadith Sahih Muslim Vol. no. 2 Book of Salaah Hadith no.1767 says that
“Anyone who remembers the last 10 verses of Surah Kahf. he will be safe from the Dajjal”
It’s further mentioned in Sahih Muslim Vol. no. 2 in the Book of Salaah Hadith no. 1768 that the beloved Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) said that
“O Abu Munzir, do you know which is the greatest verse of the holy Qur’an?” And he said that “The Messenger of Allah knows the best” Again the Prophet repeated “O Abu Munzir, do you know which is the greatest verse of the holy Qur’an?” so he started reciting ‘aytal kursi’
“Allahu la ilaha illa huwa alhayyu alqayyoomu la ta’khuzuhu sinatun wala nawmun”
And the Prophet said may you be a pleasant with the knowledge of Qur’an.
The greatest source of the Qur’an is Aytul Qursi
Surah Baqarah ch. no. 2 verse no. 255
And it’s mentioned in Sahih Muslim Vol. no.2 in the book of Salaah Hadith no. 1774, the Prophet said that
“The 2 Surahs have been revealed which no one has seen before or heard before and he spoke about Surah Falaq and Surah Naas.
I seek refuge with the Lord of the dawn.
“Qul aa’oothu birabbi alfalaq” and
“Qul aa’oothu birabbi alnnas”
Say “I seek refuge with the Lord of the Dawn” So these 2 were the Muwa’dathain and these will protect you from the evil.
So this was some of the virtues mentioned of reciting the Qur’an and you can go on go on there are various other verses of Qur’an and several Sahih Hadith talking about the virtues of reciting Qur’an, Alhumdulillah.
Yusuf Chambers: Alhumdulillah. A very important month indeed for all human beings not just Muslims. Dr. Zakir, can you explain to the viewers some of the etiquettes of reading and reciting the Glorious Qur’an?
Dr. Zakir: There are various etiquettes of reading and reciting the Glorious Qur’an
1st is that when you recite the Qur’an it should be for Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) and to seek His blessings.
No. 2 it’s preferable that the person is pure, in tahaarat, he is in wudu
And 3rd, the place where he is keeping the Qur’an or he is having the Qur’an should be clean.
No. 4 that time should be best chosen time.
No.5 it should be if you are reading the Qur’an preferably the direction should be towards Qibla preferable it’s not a must.
No. 6 your intention and your concentration should be on Qur’an and you should concentrate while reading the Qur’an.
No. 7 it should be in Tarteel which is a slow rhythmic way.
No. 8 the tajweed should be correct, the Makhrij, the pronunciation should be good.
No. 9 it should be with humility when you are reading and reciting it should be with humility and humbleness.
No. 10 when you reciting the Qur’an and reading the Qur’an and if there any verse talking about the wrath or talking about the punishment of Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) we should seek his protection.
Next, if you read any verse talking about the blessings and Paradise we should ask Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) to give you blessings and for His mercy.
And if you reading the Qur’an and if any verse known as the ‘Sajdah tilawat’ verse in which you have to do Sajdah, at that time you should stop reading and do the Sajdah as soon as possible.
Furthermore some verses its preferable to repeat the verses as many times as possible and lastly we should try and remember, do Hifz of as much verses of the Qur’an as you can.
And one important thing which is rather Fard, all the others are preferred is that before reading the Qur’an you should seek refuge from Satan, the accursed with Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) as Allah says in Qur’an in
Surah Nahl ch. no. 16 verse no. 98 that
“Before reading the Qur’an say ‘Auzu billahi minash shaytan nir-rajeem’”
“I seek refuge with Allah from Satan, the accursed.”
And when you are reciting any Surah from the beginning you should recite the first verse or the beginning of it i.e. ‘Bismillah hirrahman nirraheem’
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
Because every Surah of the Qur’an begins with the formula ‘Bismillah hirrahman nirraheem’, ‘In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful’ except for Surah Taubah ch. no. 9.
Yusuf Chambers: It’s a fact today the glorious Qur’an is the most widely read book in the world today.
Dr. Zakir: Alhumdulillah, Alhumdulillah.
Yusuf Chambers: It’s obviously recited by all of these people, most of these people are in Arabic. Unfortunately it isn’t the language that they understand necessarily. So the Qur’an is recited without understanding in many-many cases. What you would you say or how could we encourage brothers and sisters to read the Qur’an with meaning and therefore being able to derive more benefit from recitation of it?
Dr. Zakir: As you rightly said that the Qur’an has various benefits you can keep on listing them. There are umpteen number of benefits, hundreds of them. The Qur’an is the most positive book in the world. It’s a proclamation to humanity; it is a fountain of mercy and wisdom. It is a warning to the heedless, a guide to the erring and assurance to those in doubt. It is a solace to the suffering and a hope to those in despair. How is it possible to derive all of these benefits if a person does not read the Qur’an, if he does not understands it, if he does not ponder over the verses, if he does not implement the verses of Qur’an and does not put it in practice.
As you rightly said that the Qur’an is the most widely read book in the world but unfortunately it is also the book which is maximum read without understanding. It will be a tragic misfortune if someone comes to the Qur’an and goes away empty handed, soul untouched, heart unmoved, life unchanged. To get the right benefit besides reading the Qur’an it’s compulsory that you should understand it, you should ponder over the meaning of the Qur’an, you implement the guidance which Allah has given to the human kind and put it into practice.
We have 2 types of people amongst the Ummah.
Some people who think that only reading the Qur’an is sufficient & others who think that reciting is not required only the meaning is important. Allah says in the Qur’an in
Surah Nisa ch. no. 4 verse no. 171
“la taghloo fee deenikum”
“Do not commit excesses in your religion.”
There is benefit also by reciting but with understanding you will get multiple times more benefit.
Allah says in the Qur’an in Surah Ankaboot ch. no. 29 verse no. 45 Allah says
“Recite of what We have revealed by inspiration”
That means we have to recite the verses of the Qur’an
“Otlu ma oohiya ilayka mina alkitabi”
“Recite of what We have revealed by inspiration”
Further its mention in Surah Baqarah ch. no. 2 verse no. 242, several times it comes in the Qur’an
“la allakum ta’qiloona”
“Do they not understand?”
That means it is a book to be understood and it is important that we have to come understand the book while reading besides reading we should understand it.
So reciting the Qur’an will get you many benefits as I mentioned earlier our beloved Prophet said, it’s a Sahih Hadith in
Tirmidhi (Book of Virtues) Hadith no. 2910 that
“Every letter you recite the word of Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) in the Qur’an, you will get reward. each reward, you will get 10 blessings and alif laam meem is not a letter. Alif is a letter, laam is a letter, meem is a letter. So if you say alif laam meem you get 10, 10, 10; 30 sawabs. So there is sawab in reciting, there is blessing is reciting the Qur’an but as I mentioned earlier, its not sufficient only that you have to recite. So if you realize that both are important but understanding & implementing is more important.
Let me give you an example, suppose you go to France for a Graduation and you don’t understand French but since you know English you know the script, when you attend the college every day you are marked ‘P’ i.e. present. When you sit for the examination, you don’t understand a word what the teacher is saying. When you sit for examination you get the question paper since the script is the same may be you can try and read the transliteration but you don’t understand a word. Here also in the examination, you get a ‘P’. ‘P’ is not for pass, it’s for presence. It is only indicating you are present for the examination but that will not pass you. So therefore if you want to go to Jannah besides reciting the Qur’an, its important that you even understand what Allah is telling us because Qur’an is the guidance for the whole of humanity to understand it and to implement on it.
I’d like to give you one more example. Suppose there is a friend of yours, since you are living in UK, a friend of your’s comes from Germany, he is a close friend of yours. He can speak some broken English. When he goes back he writes to you a letter in German which you don’t understand. So when a close friend of yours, he writes a letter in German and if you can’t understand what will you do? But natural you will go to a person knows the German and have it translated because you want to know what did your friend mention in letter. Isn’t it important that we should know what our creator Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) has mentioned in His last and final guidance that’s the glorious Qur’an? We don’t have to go and translate the Qur’an. The translation is already available. So it’s important that besides reading if you can’t understand Arabic, you should read the translation so that we able to understand the message of Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) and implement on it.
Yusuf Chambers: Makes sense, it certainly does make sense. Dr. Zakir, since there are so much more reward for reading the Qur’an with the understanding why is it or what are the excuses given by Muslims, multitudes of Muslims, for not taking your advice and reading it with understanding?
Dr. Zakir: There are many excuses given by the common Muslim for not reading the Qur’an with understanding the most common is that we don’t understand the Arabic as a language. As you may be aware that more than 1/5th of the world population, more than 20% of the world population, about 1.5 billion out of the 6.3 billion people in the world, they are Muslims but more than 80% don’t understand Arabic as a language. 15% of the Muslim population approximately, they are Arabs and a few non-Arabs know Arabic as a language. So more than 80% of the Muslims they don’t understand Arabic as a language. The most common excuse is “we don’t know Arabic as a language”.
Now every human being knows at least 2 or 3 languages some know 4, some know 5, some are linguist but when a child is born, he does not know any language but he learns the mother tongue to converse with the family members, he learns the language of locality so that he can converse with the friends, he learns the language in which he is educated. Every human being knows at least 2 or 3 languages isn’t it important that we should know the language in which last and final guidance, revelation was given by our Creator Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala)? Many people say that it’s difficult to learn a language when we are old but age is never a barrier for any good work. And that reminds me the example of Dr. Maurice Bucaille, Dr. Maurice Bucaille, he was a French and he was given the French Academy award in the field of medicine and he was selected for studying the Mummy of Manapta that was found in the Valley of Kings and when he went to Egypt while doing his research one of the Muslims said “it is nothing great that you found the body, its already mentioned in the Qur’an in
Surah Yunus ch. no. 10 verse no. 92 that
“Almighty God will save the body of the Pharaoh as a sign of posterity”
So he was shocked that how could this book which is so old mention about things which we have come to know recently that body of the Pharaoh will be saved? So that made him read the translation of the Qur’an. After reading the translation of the Qur’an, he was so impressed with the Qur’an, he wanted to understand the Qur’an directly in Arabic so he learnt Arabic as a language at the age of 50. Imagine being a non-Muslim learning Arabic as a language to understand the Qur’an better and then he writes the book – the Bible, the Qur’an and Science’ which is a very famous book.
So age is never a barrier for a person to learn any language but it’s not possible that all of us will be as enthusiastic as Dr. Maurice Bucaille. According to Abdul Majeed Dariyabadi, he says the Qur’an is the most untranslatable book in the world. It is most difficult book to translate because the language of the Qur’an is so pure, it is unsurpassable, it’s intangible, its is supreme, it is noble, it is divine and many a times one Arabic word has got several meanings. One verse of the Qur’an it can be understood in various different ways. It will have a different angle for a layman when he reads it, for a scientist, it will have a different angle so that is the reason, that’s the beauty of the Qur’an.
So to read in Arabic it is best but for those people don’t know Arabic, Alhumdulillah, there are many Shuyookhs, many Ulema, many scholars who have translated the Qur’an into major different languages of the world. Most of the major languages of the world, the Qur’an has been translated by different scholars. So if you don’t understand Arabic as a language at least read the Qur’an in the language you understand the best. If you know English, you read in English. If you know French, read it in French. If you know German, read it in German. If you know Urdu, read it in Urdu. Read it in the language you understand the best.
But it’s a requirement that we should read the Qur’an in the language we understand. So there is no excuse that we don’t know Arabic then read it in the language you understand. And Alhumdulillah in most of the major languages of the world, we have Qur’an today that it has been translated. We have the translation of the Qur’an in most of the major languages of the world.
There is various other excuses given by Muslims that they are busy, they have business, in their work, in studies that’s the reason they can’t read the translation of the Qur’an. Many of us we go to schools, we go to universities, to colleges and we spend decades in schools universities, colleges, and we read and memorize volumes and volumes of books but we don’t have the time to read the Qur’an. How much time does it take to read Qur’an? If you read the translation of the Qur’an and if your reading is fast, it will take few days for you to read Qur’an.
If you read one Juz, one part every day it will take one month but unfortunately we give excuses that we don’t have the time. Whatever degree you acquire in the school, in the college it may or may not help you in this world. Many of the people they Graduate but they are jobless and in the hereafter unless this education does not get you closer to Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala), this knowledge if useless for Aakhirah.
The Qur’an says in Surah Baqarah ch. no. 2 verse no. 1 & 2
Zalikal kitabu la rayba fee”
“Alif Laam Meem….This is a book without doubt, it is a guidance for the those who have faith.”
It is surely giving you a promise that it’s a guidance for you. It will help you this world as well as the hereafter. So it’s a requirement that the Muslims should read the Qur’an with understanding. If they don’t know Arabic, read in the language they understand the best.
Yusuf Chambers: Okay, Well there is no excuses now. Many Muslims consider that its only an Aalim or a scholar who can interpret the Qur’an and recite the Qur’an to them. Is this a correct understanding?
Dr. Zakir: Allah says in the Qur’an in Surah Qamar ch. 54, no less than 4 times it says in the same
Surah Qamar ch. 54 verse no. 17, verse no. 22, verse no. 32 as well as verse no. 40
“Walaqad yassarna alqur-ana lilththikri fahal min muddakir”
“We have made the Qur’an easy for you to remember and understand. Then which of you shall not receive admonish.
So here the Qur’an says that it is easy for you to understand and some people say its only meant for the scholars so there is a contradiction. Would you believe in them or will you believe in Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala)?
And Allah says in the Qur’an in
Surah Hijr ch. no. 15 verse no. 1
“Alif laam Ra” - These are the Ayats of the revelation which make things clear.”
That means it make things clear it’s easy for a person to understand but at the same time Allah also says in the Qur’an in
Surah Nahl ch. no. 16 verse no. 43 as well as
Surah Ambiya ch. no. 21 verse no. 7
“fas-aloo ahlaz zikri in kuntum la ta’lamoona”
“If you don’t know ask the person who posses the message.”
Ask the person who is knowledgeable, ask an Aalim.
So if you are reading and while reading the Qur’an if you find something difficult to understand then ask the person who is scholar, ask an Aalim.
If the Qur’an speaks about science and you find it difficult in understanding, who will you go to? Will you go to a cobbler? Will you go to a barber? You will go to a scientist.
If the Qur’an speaks about medicine, you will go to a doctor to try and understand what does the Qur’an say.
Similarly if you want to know about the Nuzul-e-Qur’an, the meaning of certain verses in the Qur’an then you go to an Aalim who has gone to a Darul-uloom may be for 7 years or 14 years, he is an expert in that field. So the Qur’an says if you don’t know, if you are in doubt ask the person who posses the message.
So it is meant for the whole of humanity, for the common man as well as for the scholars but while reading you find any difficulty you can ask the person who is knowledge.
And that reminds me of an example that a few decades earlier in the late 70s or early 80s there were a group of Arabs who followed on the guidance of the verse of the Qur’an that if you don’t possess the message, ask the person who has the knowledge and they collected all the material in the Qur’an and the Sahih Hadith dealing with subject of embryology and they presented it to Professor Keith Moore. At that time in the late 70s & early 80s
Professor Keith Moore was one of the highest authorities in the field of embryology in the world. He was the head of the department of anatomy in the University of Toronto in Canada and when he was shown the verse of the Qur’an along with the English translation and he was asked that what are his comments. So he said that most of the things that Qur’an speaks about embryology are 100% in conformity with what we have come to know recently in modern embryology but there are a few verses which I cannot say that they are right neither can I say that they are wrong because I myself do not know them and two such verses were the first 2 verses of Qur’an to be reveled
Surah Iqra or Surah Alaq ch. 96 verse no. 1 & 2 which says
“Iqra bi-ismi rabbikal lazee khalaq
Khalaqa al-insana min alaq”
“Read, recite and proclaim in the name of the Lord who created. Who created the human beings from something which clings, a leech like substance”
The word Alaqah means something which clings, it also means as leech like substance. So Professor Keith Moore said “I did not know whether the early stages of an embryo”… embryo means early stage of the human beings that is there in the womb of mother. Embryology is the study of human development. He said he doesn’t know whether the earlier study of embryo looks like a leech or not. So he went to his laboratory and under a very powerful microscope he observed the shape of an embryo and compared it with a photograph of a leech. And he was astonished at the striking resemblance. And later on after reading various verses of the Qur’an and the Hadith he said, after about 50, more than 50 questions were asked to him, more than 80 questions were asked to him and he said that “If these questions were asked to me 30 years ago”, he said that in early 80s “I would not be able to answer more than 50% of them”
Because embryology is a branch of medicine which has advanced recently and he said that he has no objection in agreeing that this book is the word of Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala), is the word of Almighty God and Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the Messenger of this Almighty God.
And this book…then later on whatever additional information he got, he wrote a new book ‘The Developing Human’ which even I had to refer when I was in medical college, in the 1st year, the subject anatomy… He wrote 3rd edition for which he got an award for the best medical book written by a single author in that year.
And I would like to give one more example that any machine that you buy along with it comes the instruction manual. More complicated the machine; more is the requirement of an instruction manual. If you buy a machine which is more complicated like a computer, the more difficult it is to understand, the more requirement of an instruction manual. If you allow you me to call human beings a machine, you will have to agree, it is the most complicated machine in the whole world. Don’t you think this machine requires an instruction manual? So according to me the Glorious Qur’an is the last and final instruction manual for the human beings, the Do’s and Don’ts for the human being is written in the Glorious Qur’an.
And that reminds me, once there was a Nawab of Hyderabad. Nawab is a person who is like a landlord or very rich person and when first time automobile was introduced in India people did not know how to drive the car. So along with the car, the company even provided the driver. This rich landlord, Nawab of Hyderabad he buys a new car so the company along with the car provides him with a driver. So one day in the morning he tells the driver that I want to take my wife, ‘begum sahiba’, for shopping. Please keep the car ready. Driver says “Nawab sahib, the car is not in working condition.” Nawab gets angry and he says “I want the car immediately in working condition because I want to take my wife for shopping”. So driver says “To put the car in working condition I require 10 KGs of honey, 20 liters of milk, 30 KGs of pure ghee and 50 KGs of rice that also basmati rice.” So the Nawab Sahib gives him 10 KGs of honey, 20 liters of milk, 30 KGs of pure ghee and 50 KGs of basmati rice. The driver takes it give it to his wife and within a few minute car is in working condition.
My question is that today, suppose your driver says he requires 10 KGs of honey, 20 liters milk, 30 KGs of pure ghee, 50 KGs of Basmati rice, what will you do? If he says he requires these things to put the car in working condition, what will you do? You will kick him out of the job because today even though we may not know how to repair the car, we know that the car doesn’t work on honey, milk, rice or ghee, it works on gas, it works on petrol. So therefore though we may not know how to repair the car, we know the basic mechanism of the car.
If everyone knows the basic menu of the Qur’an then no one will take you for a ride. So you should know the basic meaning of the Qur’an and if the car gets spoilt once in a year or once in six months then you can go to a mechanic. So while reading the Qur’an if you find something difficult to understand at that time surely you can go to a person who is knowledgeable and he will explain to you what is there in the Qur’an
And just a last example how people, they say that why is reading the Qur’an, its not required and it should only be read by the Aalims and not by layman, they give an argument that if you have a learners driving license called as ‘kacha license’ over here, a learners license, and if you bang up the car, if you have an accident the police will give you a less fine but if you have permanent license, a complete license and then if you do an accident then the police will fine you double. Therefore its better not to know the Qur’an, not to understand the Qur’an and if you do sins then God will punish you less. If you know the Qur’an and if you understand the Qur’an then if you do a sin then Allah will punish you double. I said I agree you with you for the sake of argument that if a person has a temporary license, a learners license, if he has a ‘kacha license’ and if he does an accident, he will get half the punishment may be he will be fined 1000 dollars but if person has a permanent license, a complete license and if he does an accident he will be fined doubled may be 2000 dollars but the point to be noted is that if a person who has a learners license and has not learnt driving correctly, the chances that in one year he will have an accident will be may be 50 times. But a person who learns how to drive and has a permanent license, chances that he will have an accident in the full year is may be once. So if a person who has a proper license and learns driving he may end up fine of 2000 dollars but the other person who has learners license, who bangs up the car may be 50 times ends up paying 50,000 dollars at the end of the year. So yet it’s preferable that you should have a permanent license.
Similarly you read the Qur’an with understanding and you implement on the message of Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) and the chances that you will commit sins and mistakes will be less if you read it with understanding rather than saying that its only meant for the Aalims, it’s preferable that all the human beings they read the Qur’an with understanding and implement on the message of Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala), last and final revelation which was revealed to the last and final Messenger Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
Yusuf Chambers: Brothers and sisters I’ve been enthralled and very happy to hear all the information from Dr. Zakir regarding Ramadhaan - The Month of the Qur’an. I hope you have been excited as I have today to hear all of the arguments for us to understand, read, recite and love the Qur’an for what its worth. Join us tomorrow, Part 2 of ‘Ramadhaan - The month of the Qur’an’.
Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu……!