Our Duty towards the Quran
Jumada al-Ula 3, 1437 AH / Feb. 12, 2016 CE

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Sermon Plan

  1. The Qur’ān is the Eternal Miracle of Islam
  2. The Position and Merits of the Quran
  3. The Lofty Status of the People of the Qur’ān
  4. Muslim Duties towards the Qur’ān
  5. Glorification, Recitation and Contemplation
  6. Respect of the Qur’ān and Following the Quranic exemplary ideals
  7. Obeying Quranic Commands and Avoiding Quranic Prohibition

Sermon Theme

The Noble Qur’ān is the major miracle of all times; both the humankind and Jinn failed to produce the like of it or the like of any part of it (the Quran, 17: 88, 11: 13; 2: 23). It was revealed to the heart of Prophet Muhammad as a guidance and light to this life; it guides the confused souls forming the constitution of Muslims whereby hearts are revived, souls are purified and ethics are refined. Allah, the Almighty, says:

  • “Alif, Lām, Meem. (1) This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allah – (2) Who believe in the unseen, establish prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them” (the Quran, 2: 1-3).
  • “Indeed, this Qur’ān guides to that which is most suitable and gives good tidings to the believers who do righteous deeds that they will have a great reward” (the Quran, 17: 9).
  • Adhering to the Quranic teachings relieves from trials. It is the guiding spirit and light of believers, as Allah, the Almighty, says, “And thus We have revealed to you an inspiration of Our command [i.e., the Qu’rān]. You did not know what is the Book or [what is] faith, but We have made it a light by which We guide whom We will of Our servants. And indeed, [O Muhammad], you guide to a straight path – (52) The path of Allah, to whom belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. Unquestionably, to Allah do [all] matters evolve [i.e. return]” (the Quran, 42: 52-53).
  • Hearing to the imposing beautiful Quranic message, a group of the jinn believed in and glorified it. They were thus guided to the straight path and immediately returned to warn their nations “And [mention, O Muhammad], when We directed to you a few of the jinn, listening to the Qur’ā And when they attended it, they said, “Listen quietly.” And when it was concluded, they went back to their people as warners. (29) They said, “O our people, indeed we have heard a [recited] Book revealed after Moses confirming what was before it which guides to the truth and to a straight path. (30) O our people, respond to the Caller [i.e., Messenger] of Allah and believe in him; He [i.e., Allah] will forgive for you your sins and protect you from a painful punishment. (31) But he who does not respond to the Caller of Allah will not cause failure [to Him] upon earth, and he will not have besides Him any protectors. Those are in manifest error” (the Quran, 46: 29-32).
  • Like the jinn, the angels are also moved by the Quran, as narrated by Usayd Ibn Ḥuḍayr (may Allah be pleased with him) that while he was reciting Surat Al-Baqarah (the second chapter of the Quran) at night, and his horse was tied beside him, the horse was suddenly startled and troubled. When he stopped reciting, the horse became quiet, and when he started again, the horse was startled again. Then he stopped reciting and the horse became quiet too. He started reciting again and the horse was startled and troubled once again. Then he stopped reciting and his son, Yaḥya, was beside the horse. He was afraid lest the horse might trample on him. When he took the boy away and looked towards the sky, he could not see it. The next morning he informed the Prophet who said, “Recite, O Ibn Ḥuḍayr! Recite, O Ibn Ḥuḍayr!” Ibn Ḥuḍayr replied, “O Allah’s Messenger! My son, Yaḥya, was near the horse and I was afraid that it might trample on him, so I looked towards the sky, and went to him. When I looked at the sky, I saw something like a cloud containing what looked like lamps, so I went out in order not to see it.” The Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “Do you know what that was?” Ibn Ḥuḍayr replied, “No.” The Prophet said, “Those were angels, who approached you for your voice and if you had kept on reciting till dawn, it would have remained there till morning when people would have seen it as it would not have disappeared” (al-Bukhari). Such is the impact of the Qur’ān when recited.
  • It is the word of Allah whose miracles never end. It is divinely preserved and saved from distortions and changes; Allah, the Almighty, says, “Indeed, it is We who sent down the message [i.e., the Qur’ān] and indeed, We will be its guardian” (the Quran, 15: 9). Whoever speaks it declares the truth; and whoever acts upon is rewarded; and whoever judges by it has judged justly; and whoever invites to it guides to the straight path. Allah makes it a mercy and healing saying, “And We send down of the Qur’ān that which is healing and mercy for the believers, but it does not increase the wrongdoers except in loss” (the Quran, 17: 82).
  • ‘Abdullah ibn Masud (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “This Qur’ān is the banquet of Allah. Learn as much as you can from His banquet. This Qur’ān is the rope of Allah, and it is the clear light and the effective healing. A protection to the one who adheres to it and a rescue to the one who follows it. It is free from deviation and perversion and thus needs no apology or rectification. Its wonders never end. It does not wear out with much repetition. So recite it, for Allah will reward you for the recitation of each letter gets ten times the like of its rewards. I do not say that Alif, Lam, Mim, is a letter, but Alif is a letter, Lam is a letter and Mim is a letter.” (Hakim in his Mustadrak)
  • Allah attributes to it the lofty characters using the grandest names, so people could know the Quranic merits and greatness. Allah, the Almighty, says, “[This is] a Book whose verses are perfected and then presented in detail from [one who is] Wise and Acquainted” (the Quran, 11: 1). Allah also says, “Indeed, it is a mighty Book. (41) Falsehood cannot approach it from before it or from behind it; [it is] a revelation from [Lord who is] Wise and Praiseworthy” (the Quran, 41: 41-42).
  • The Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) told us of the great merits and excellences of the Noble Quran, which are beneficial to man in this life and in the afterlife. The following are a few examples of the Prophetic statements in this regard:
  • Superiority of the People of the Quran: ‘Uthman Ibn Affan (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “The best of you are those who learn and teach the Qur’ān” (al-Bukhari in His Authentic Collection).
  • Lofty Position Promised to a Companion of the Quran: ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Amr (may Allah be pleased with him and his father) said that the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “It would be said to the one who memorizes the Qur’ān: “Recite and ascend, recite melodiously as you did in the world. Indeed, your rank shall be at the last verse you recite” (Abu Dawud in His Sunan).
  • Intercession: Abu Umamah al-Baheli (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that he heard the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) saying, “Recite the Qur’an, for on the Day of Resurrection it will come as an intercessor for those who recite it” (Muslim in His Authentic Collection).
  • Great Rewards for Qur’ān Readers: ‘Abdullah ibn Mas‘ūd (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “Whoever recites a letter from Allah’s Book, then he receives the reward from it, and the reward of ten the like of it. I do not say that Alif, Lam, Mim, is a letter, but Alif is a letter, Lam is a letter and Mim is a letter” (al-Tirmidhi in his Sunan).
  • Preservation of Houses in which the Qur’ān is read: Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “Make not your houses graveyards; indeed, Satan runs away from the house in which Surat al-Baqarah is recited” (Muslim in His Authentic Collection).
  • Ibn Sireen said, “A house in which the Qur’ān is recited is visited by angels and is freed from devils. It even becomes so roomy for its people and richly prosperous. Conversely, the house in which the Qur’ān is not recited is attended by devils and deprived of angels; it becomes so narrow for its people and lacking prosperity” (Ibn Abi Shaybah, al-Musannaf).
  • Reflecting on the conditions of the Honorable Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) with the Qur’ān reveals that they were not satisfied with reading or listening. Instead, they contemplated the Qur’ān giving it hearts and souls. They applied it in word and deed following its commands and avoiding its prohibitions. Thanks to their obedience to Quranic teachings, they had their lofty merits and greatness. ‘Umar Ibn al-Khaṭtab (may Allah be pleased with him) memorized Surat al-Baqarah in eight years. It was not due to his weak memory but because he was keen to practice each verse before moving to the other. Abu ‘Abd al-Raḥman al-Sulami (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “When we learned ten Quranic verses, we would not move to the other following ten verses before learning what permissible and what is impermissible, what is obligatory and what is forbidden thereof” (‘Abd al-Razzaq in His Muṣṣannaf).
  • Since the Prophet’s Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) used to understand and practice the Quranic verses, they were quickly in obeying Allah and avoiding forbidden matters. When the verse forbidding wine was revealed and a caller declared that “Wine has been peremptorily prohibited,” they responded effectively on the spot. Anyone who had any glass of wine poured it; and anyone who had a mouthful of wine spat it; and anyone who had preserved some vessels of wine poured them out in response to the imperatives of the Quran. The streets of Medina became muddy with it. They said we have already abstained!
  • Likewise, when Allah, the Almighty, says, “Never will you attain the good [reward] until you spend [in the way of Allah] from what which you love. And whatever you spend – indeed, Allah is Knowing of it” (the Quran, 3: 92). Abu al-Daḥdaḥ at once gave his most beloved valuable orchard in charity. Such was the way the Prophet’s Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) preserved the Book of Allah. For them, it was not a group of words but a way of life, education and faith manifested in behaviors and everyday activities between themselves and also with others.
  • As such, a lofty position is promised by Allah to the People of the Qur’ān who read and acted upon it. Anas Ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “Allah has His own people among mankind.’ They said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, who are they?’ He said: ‘The people of the Qur’ān, the people of Allah and those who are closest to Him” (Ibn Majah in His Sunan). A reader of the Qur’ān is very close to Allah, what a great honor! The more you memorize of the Quran, the more honor you earn.

Our Duty Towards to the Quran:

  • Learning and Teaching: We should continuously read and study the Qur’ān as the best of people are the Qur’ān teachers and learners:The best of you are those who learn and teach the Qur’ān.” The Prophet also commanded us to read it constantly; Abu Musa (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “Read the Qur’ān regularly. By the One in Whose Hand Muhammad’s soul is, it escapes from memory faster than a camel does from its tying ropes” (al-Bukhari in his Authentic Collection).
  • The Qur’ān is the main element of the Muslim person’s entities from which the Muslim derives religious teachings and morals. The Muslim shall read it well, which is an easy task. Many people, for instance, learn foreign languages and endure difficulties to learn some areas of specializations to get a well-paid job. How could one lazily neglect the learning of the word of Allah under a pretext that it is difficult to read? ‘Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated that the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “The one who recites the Qur’ān and he is proficient with it, he is with the noble and blessed angels, and the one who recites it and it is hard for him, then he gets two rewards” (Abu Dawud in His Sunan). Allah, the Almighty, promised us easiness in reading the Quran: “And We have certainly made the Qur’ān easy for remembrance, so is there any who will remember?” (the Quran, 54: 17).
  • Contemplation as being revealed to readers: It is our duty to contemplate the Qur’ān and taste the sweet and grand impression it reflects. Allah, the Almighty, says, “Then do they not reflect upon the Qur’ān, or are there locks upon [their] hearts?” (the Quran, 47: 24). Allah also says, “Then do they not reflect upon the Qur’ān? If it had been from [any] other than Allah, they would have found within it much contradiction” (the Qur’ān, 4: 82). The best rewarded of the people of the Qur’ān are those who recite with tongues and deeply understand with hearts and minds. Allah, the Almighty, says, “[This is] a blessed Book which We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], that they might reflect upon its verses and that those of understanding would be reminded” (the Quran, 38: 29). Praising readers who grow firmer in faith by reading, Allah, the Almighty, says, “The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, their hearts become fearful, and when His verses are recited to them, it increases them in faith; and upon their Lord they rely” (the Quran, 8: 2).
  • Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “Allah is the guarantee for him/her who recites that Qur’ān and acts upon it that s/he will neither go astray in this life nor suffer in the afterlife,” as Allah, the Almighty, says, “[Allah] said, “Whoever follows My guidance will neither go astray [in the world] nor suffer [in the afterlife]. (123) And whoever turns away from My remembrance –indeed, he will have a distressful life, and We will gather [i.e., raise] him on the Day of Resurrection blind.” (124) He will say, “My Lord, why have you raised me blind while I was [once] seeing?” (125) [Allah] will say, “Thus did Our signs come to you, and you forgot [i.e., disregarded] them; and thus will you this Day be forgotten” (the Quran, 123-126).
  • The Prophet sets examples to us in contemplation and reaction to the Quran. Once he said to ‘Abdullah ibn Mas‘ūd (may Allah be pleased with him) “Recite the Qur’ān to me.” ‘Abdullah said, “Shall I recite (it) to you while it has been revealed to you?” He said, “I like to hear it from another person.” So he recited Surat al-Nisā’ (the fourth chapter of the Qur’ān) till he reached the Verse: ‘How (will it be) then when We bring from each nation a witness, and We bring you (O Muhammad) as a witness against these people.’ (4.41) Then he said to him, “Stop!” “Thereupon, I saw his eyes overflowing with tears,” ‘Abdullah said. (Narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim). A believer is wholly moved and impressed by the word of Allah. Allah, the Almighty, says, “Allah has sent down the best statement: a consistent Book wherein is reiteration. The skins shiver therefrom of those who fear their Lord; then their skins and their hearts relax at the remembrance [i.e., mention] of Allah. That is the guidance of Allah by which He guides whom He wills. And one whom Allah leaves astray – for him there is no guide” (the Quran, 39: 23).
  • Respect of the Qur’ān and Following Quranic Morals: It is the duty of Quranic readers to assume the morals, ethics and teachings of the Qur’ān whereby a human being is free from the dominance of desires and lust and has an elevated soul backed by lofty ethics: ““Indeed, this Qur’ān guides to that which is most suitable and gives good tidings to the believers who do righteous deeds that they will have a great reward” (the Quran, 17: 9).” Our ideal example is the Prophet who was a living Qur’ān on the earth; he followed the morals of the Quran, is pleased or displeased according to the criteria of the Quran. When ‘Aishah was asked about the morals of the Prophet (may Allah be pleased with her), she said, “His morals were that of the Qur’ān” (Ahmad in His Musnad).
  • Most Quranic verses encourage the lofty morals and high ethics. The Qur’ān is the teacher of mercy, truthfulness, justice, tolerance, honesty and fulfillment of one’s promise among other ethics necessary for a Muslim to win the happiness in this world and in the afterlife.
  • Obeying Quranic Commands and Avoiding Quranic Prohibition: It is also our duty, beside recitation, memorization and contemplation, to abide by its commands and avoid its prohibitions in deeds and behaviors as the Prophet and His Companions did. A Muslim shall obey the Quranic commands and avoid the Quranic prohibitions. The Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “the Holy Qur’ān is a proof on your behalf or against you” (Muslim in his Authentic Collection). It is a proof against you when you read it heedlessly and it has no effect on your behaviors. Actually, one may read the Qur’ān while the Qur’ān curses him.
  • It is also necessary to face the distortions of the extremists and the misinterpretations of the false deniers, who attempt to employ the Qur’ān politically or ideologically to win some interests or gains. It is a must to learn the Qur’ān in word and meaning from the specialized scholars, who are reliable in knowledge. Those scholars teach people the right faith and teachings. They never employ religion for their favor or interpret it in line with their desires.
  • The today world is urgently in need of the Quranic guidance; the present world is essentially ethical. No other book urges lofty morals with all people as frequently as the Qur’ān does. The mistake of contemporary Muslims is their being away from the ethics of the Qur’ā The most significant duty the Muslims must do is to return to the ethics of the Qur’ān following the lofty practical ideal example of the Qur’ān, namely, the Prophet who was described by the Lord as the companion of the great moral character as he followed the moral teachings of the Qur’ān. He was the best ideal of Quranic morals in practice and obedience. Allah, the Almighty, says, “And indeed, you are of a great moral character” (the Quran, 68: 4). This is the declaration of ‘Aishah when she was asked about the morals of the Prophet (may Allah be pleased with her), she said, “His morals were that of the Qur’ān” (Ahmad in His Musnad).
  • We defend the Qur’ān in hope to win the Quran’s defense of us on the last day as Abu Umamah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that he heard the Prophet saying, “On the Day of Resurrection, the Qur’ān and those who acted according to it will be brought with Surat al-Baqarah and aI-‘Imrān (2nd and 3rd chapters of the Qur’ān) preceding them. The Messenger of Allah likened them to three things, which I did not forget afterwards. The Prophet likened them to two clouds, or two black canopies with light between them, or two flocks of birds in ranks pleading for one who recited them” (Muslim in his authentic Collection).

Only when Muslims recite the Qur’ān continuously in contemplation, practice its teachings and educate it to children, they will get the greatest prosperity. It is with the Qur’ān that the social reform comes true, the mercy and justice dominate, hearts are purely refined and good things increase and evils are eliminated.