Lecture 2: The Qur'an is my Book of Guidance

  1. Let us continue from where we left yesterday. Having stated the reasons for choosing the topic of our discussion during the `Ashraa: I'M PROUD TO BE A MUSLIM FOLLOWING THE TEACHINGS AND PRACTICES OF THE AHLUL BAYT (A), let me now give you some reasons for this fakhr (pride) of being a Muslim. There are very many reasons that we can enumerate for following that Islam, which has been taught and practiced by the Ahlul Bayt `alayhimus salaam. For the sake of this `ashraa we may confine to only ten reasons, which in my humble opinion are significant and demand discussion in our lectures. These are:

    1. The Qur'aan is my Book of Guidance;

    2. Hadhrat Muhammad Mustafa is my Prophet;

    3. The Ahlul Bayt of the Prophet are my Imams;

    4. `Amalus Swaalih (virtuous deeds) are my course of action;

    5. Makaarimul Akhlaaq (elevated morals) are my tool of interacting with others;

    6. Salaat (the daily obligatory prayers) is my worship;

    7. Du`aa (supplication) is my way of communicating to my Creator;

    8. Hijaab is my dress code and

    9. Halal is my food.

  2. The Holy Qur'aan is and has always been a book of Guidance for all Muslims since its revelation to Prophet Muhammad (s). Nothing has inspired, guided, fascinated and made Muslims proud of their religion like this Holy Book. Every Muslim parent puts tons of efforts in ensuring that his/her child learns to read, revere and follow the Holy Qur'aan. Weekend and/or evening Islamic Madrasahs have been set up in almost all cities and towns wherever Muslims have settled. These include remote places in Europe, North America and Australia. Many Muslims take trouble to learn Arabic so as to understand the profound message of the Book. Others toil to memorize the entire or large passages from the Qur'aan. In short, the recitations of Aayaat (verses) from the Holy Qur'aan form part of Muslim life the way blood runs in their veins. Only the unfortunate have been deprived of this great pride.

  3. Before we look at the significance of reading, studying and following the Holy Qur'aan let me briefly comment about the accusations charged against us regarding our belief of the Qur'aan. Some ignorant Muslim laity as well as 'scholars' claim that we follow a different Qur'aan. They say it is part of our believe the present Qur'aan is corrupted. Na`udhubillaah (we seek refuge with Allah) from such concepts. They quote, nay misquote, reports from our books in this regard. They either overlook, or deliberately, ignore what our great scholars have commented about such reports. In any case, enough for me is to present to you the following response: If anyone were to accuse you, o my dear brother and sister, about your well established and fundamental belief regarding the Holy Qur'aan then ask him/her to do the following: (a) go to our centers (masajid, imambarghas, madrasahs, and libraries) and pick up a copy of the Qur'an. Let them then compare that copy with what other Muslims have with them. We say with full conviction that would not find a single difference in the arrangement and contents of the Holy Book. (b) Visit Internet sites hosted by the followers of the Ahlul Bayt (a) (e.g. http://www.al-islam.org/ and http://www.holyquran.net/ ) and examine the text of the Holy Book posted on them. (c) Ask the young and adult Huffaaz (those who have memorized the entire Qur'aan) to read passages from the Holy Book. It is our challenge they would no differences in their recitations. What more do you need for the evidence? When the disbelievers refused to acknowledge the apostleship of Prophet Muhammad, the Almighty asked him to tell them:

    Say (O Our Messenger): Sufficient for a witness between me and you is Allah and he who has the knowledge of the Book (13:43).

  4. Significance of the Holy Qur'aan: We begin by referring to the Qur'aan itself. In 3:164 the Almighty says:

    It was a special Grace from the Almighty that He sent the Prophet who, amongst other things, recited the aayaat from the Holy Qur'aan and taught it to the people. Before this, the people had been in a manifest error. In 17:9 Allah says the Qur'aan guides to that which is most just and right:

    In the same soorah, verse 45 says the Qur'aan serves as a protection against the disbelievers:

    And in verse 82 it is stated that the Holy Qur'aan has come with cure and mercy for the believers:

    Now let us look at some of the Hadiths on the Qur'aan: (i) When a believer recites the Qur'aan, Allah looks at him with mercy (Holy Prophet) (ii) Lo, he who learns the Qur'aan, teaches it and acts by it then I'll be his driving force and guide to Paradise (Imam as-Saadiq); (iii) Merits of the Holy Qur'aan as appearing in sermon 175 of Nahjul Balagha.

  5. What is our obligation vis--vis the Holy Qur'an? There many obligations but we would list only five to maintain brevity and respect the time limits set for the lecture. (i) Let us not abandon the Holy Book. In 25:30 the Prophet's complain against his own people is mentioned:

    (ii) Let us make our hearts soft and acceptable to the noble and profound teachings of the Qur'aan. Let us not be like Jews & Christians on whom the "term was prolonged so that their hearts were hardened, and many of them were rebellious":

    (iii) Read the Qur'aan regularly: It is said that one of the meanings of the word Qur'aan is something, which is read often. There is so much emphasis in Hadith on doing the tilaawah of the Qur'aan.

    (iv) We try to study and understand the Holy Book. The Book has come with the final Message from the Almighty. We need to understand it to be able to appreciate and follow. E.g. a person sends you a letter in French. If we can't read it we would have it translated to understand the contents of the message.

    (v) Try to find ways through which we can make the Qur'aan source of guidance and a tool to increase our faith. In 8:2 Allah states: