How to Benefit from the Qur示膩n

If you truly want to benefit from the Qur示膩n, your heart must be attentive and alert when reciting it or listening to it. Listen to it carefully with presence of mind, paying attention to it as if All膩h Himself was speaking to you directly. Understand that this Qur鈥櫮乶 is addressed to you from All膩h, Most High, upon the tongue of His Messenger (SAW).

All膩h, Most High, says, 鈥淭ruly there is a reminder in this for anyone who has a heart, or who listens attentively with presence of mind.鈥 (Q50:37)

A deep and lasting impression is dependent upon the presence of something that will stimulate a person, a focal point, the right frame of mind, and the absence of anything that would impede the impression from taking effect. This verse mentions of all of these in the most succinct and lucid of ways:

鈥淭ruly there is a reminder in this鈥 refers to the previous verses of this chapter. This, the Qur示膩n, is the stimulus.

鈥渇or anyone who has a heart鈥 refers to the focal point which is to be stimulated. The heart referred to here is the living heart: the heart that is aware of All膩h. He, Most High, says, 鈥渋t is simply a reminder and a clear Qur示膩n so that you may warn those who are truly alive,鈥 (Q36:69-70) i.e. those whose hearts are alive.

鈥渙r who listens attentively,鈥 i.e. directs his faculty of hearing towards it and pays it the utmost attention. This is the condition that must exist for a person to be roused by the words.

鈥渨ith presence of mind,鈥 i.e. with an alert and present heart, not one that is unmindful and absent. Ibn Qutaybah said, 鈥榠.e. a person who listens attentively to All膩h鈥檚 Book with presence of heart and mind, not someone who is unmindful with an absent air.鈥 {1] This then alludes to the barrier: an unmindful and inattentive heart that does not understand what is said and, as such, is unable to reflect upon it or direct any conscious thought towards it.

Therefore, if all these things come together, the end-result is achieved: benefiting from the Qur示膩n and taking heed.

If someone were to ask: if the end-result, the lasting impression, is only attained by the combination of these matters, why then did All膩h say 鈥渙r鈥 in the verse, 鈥渙r who listens attentively鈥 which implies a choice between one or another option? Surely 鈥渁nd鈥 should have been mentioned in its place?

This is a good question; the answer is that 鈥渙r鈥 has been mentioned because what is being considered is the state of the addressee.

Some people have hearts which are full of life, hearts that will readily accept the truth and whose innate nature (fi峁璻ah) is intact; if such a person was to reflect just in his heart and turn his mind to it, he would conclude that the Qur示膩n is authentic and true. His heart would bear witness to the truth of the Qur示膩n and the subsequent impression of its verses would be as

light layered on top of the light of its innate nature. This is the description of those about whom it is said, 鈥渢hose who have been given knowledge see that what has been sent down to you from your Lord is the truth.鈥 (Q34:6)

Concerning them, All膩h says, 鈥淎ll膩h is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The metaphor of His light is that of a niche in which there is a lamp, the lamp inside a glass, the glass like a brilliant start, lit from a blessed tree, an olive, neither of the east nor the west, its oil all but giving off light even if no fire touches it. Light upon light! All膩h guides to His Light whoever He wills, All膩h propounds metaphors for mankind and All膩h has knowledge of all things.鈥 (Q24:35)

This verse refers to the light of the innate nature covered by the light of revelation; this is the condition of the person who has a living, receiving heart. We have explained this verse, its subtleties and lessons in detail in our book, Ijtim膩士 al-Juy奴sh al-Isl膩miyyah 士al膩 Ghazw al-Mu士a峁弓ila wa鈥檒-Jahmiyyah.{2}

Therefore, the person who has this type of attentive heart receives the meanings of the Qur示膩n and readily accepts them so much so that it seems as if the words are inscribed in his heart and he is able to recite them fluidly from memory.

Other people have hearts that fall below the level of those mentioned above; their hearts are not as ready to receive the truth, they are not completely alive, and their innate nature is not as refined. Therefore, they stand in need of a witness who would differentiate the truth from falsehood for them. In order to be guided, such a person must pay the utmost attention to the Qur示膩n鈥檚 words, he must devote his heart to it, ponder it and comprehend its meanings, and only after this will he come to realise that it is true.

The first type of person sees the truth of what he is invited to and informed of with his own eyes. The second type of person has learned that it is the truth, has certainty in it and is satisfied. The first has attained the ranking of beneficence, i岣膩n and the second has attained the ranking of faith, 墨m膩n. The first has attained 士ilm al-yaq墨n from which his heart ascends to the degree of 士ayn al-yaq墨n. The second has acquired that level of unwavering belief that takes him out of the fold of disbelief and into the fold of Isl膩m. {3}

士Ayn al-Yaq墨n is of two categories: what is acquired in this world and what is acquired in the Hereafter. In this world it is to the heart what the beheld is to the eye. All the matters of the unseen that the Messengers informed us of will be seen by the eye in the Hereafter and the inner sight in this world; in both cases, this is 士ayn al-yaq墨n.

Ibn al-Qayyim, al-Faw膩示id, pp. 2-5

{1} Ibn Qutaybah, Ghar墨bu鈥檒-Qur示膩n, pg. 419

{2} Ibn al-Qayyim, Ijtim膩士, pp. 6-12. He also discussed this verse in al-W膩bil al-峁yyib, pp. 65-68, I士l膩m al-Muwaqqi士墨n, vol. 1, pp. 205-209, al-峁w膩士iq al-Mursalah, vol. 3, pg. 851

{3} i.e. he has acquired the station of 士ilm al-yaq墨n

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