неделя, 15 август 2010 г.

Why Should We Study the Qur’an in Ramadan

The angel Gabriel used to review the entire Qur’ân with Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) during the night in the month of Ramadan.

This teaches us the value of studying the Qur’ân with others. It shows us that it is good for the believer to study the Qur’ân at the hands of someone else who can benefit him. The Prophet (peace be upon him) studied the Qur’ân at the hands of the angel Gabriel in order to benefit from him. Gabriel was the one who came from Allah, since he was the emissary between Allah and His human Messengers.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) was certainly the one who received benefit from their study sessions together. He would profit from what Gabriel brought to him from Allah – from the way the Qur’ân was to be recited to the meanings that Allah intended for its verses.

A person should preferably learn the Qur’ân from someone who can help him to understand its meanings as well as assist him in its proper recitation. This is the example that the Prophet (peace be upon him) set for us with the angel Gabriel.

This does not mean the angel Gabriel was better than Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). It is simply that since Gabriel was Allah’s emissary to the Prophet who conveyed to the Prophet (peace be upon him) what Allah wished to have conveyed to him, it was the Prophet (peace be upon him) who was the recipient of the benefit. We know that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the best of humanity and that he has preference over the angels. Nevertheless, his studying the Qur’ân under the angel Gabriel was very beneficial for him.

There is another useful lesson for us to learn from this Ramadan practice of the Prophet (peace be upon him). He studied the Qur’ân with the angel Gabriel at night. We can derive from this that studying with others at night is better than doing so during the day. Nighttime, as we all know, is a time when people’s hearts are more attentive and more respnsive to others. Therefore, the benefit to be gained in studying with others is usually greater at night.

We can also learn from this the value of group study in general – whether during Ramadan or at any other time of the year. It is a rewarding practice for all those involved. There can be more than two people participating in it, since each person can benefit from the other participants. The group acts as a source of encouragement and positive reinforcement, since a person studying alone is liable to become lazy. The members of the group are also able to help review each others’ memorization and assist each other in difficult passages. There is great good in all of this.

We can also derive from the Prophet’s review of the entire Qur’ân in Ramadan that it is good for the imam to read the entire Qur’ân during the month in the Tarâwîh prayers. This is also a kind of group study. In this case, the whole congregation benefits from the reading.

This is why Ahmad b. Hanbal used to prefer it for the imam to recite the Qur’ân in its entirely during the course of the month. Ahmad was following the way of the Pious Predecessors, who had a particular love of listening the Qur’ân from beginning to end.

At the same time, we should understand that it is not obligatory to read the entire Qur’ân in the month or Ramadan during the Tarâwîh prayers. It is far more important to offer our prayers with devotion and with attentive hearts. This should be our primary concern in our nightly observance of prayer, not making sure we get through the whole of the Qur’ân.

 Sheikh `Abd al-`Azîz b. Bâz

May Allah grant us all the blessings of Ramadan

"Whoever guides [another] to a good deed will get a reward similar to the one who performs it." Prophet Mohammad (PBUH)[Sahih Muslim]
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