بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
I’m always amazed how Allah SWT fulfills His Decree and how He SWT finds you things and people that you think you’d never ever find in certain places. Unexpectation (a word I’ve coined) upon unexpectation.
I have this thing for books. If I like them, I pursue them. Yeah, it’s that serious. There was a book on my reading list that I had been interested in for ages. When I read Ust. Alomgir (Abu Qutaybah)’s reading list, the exact book caught my attention again and I knew I had to get it. And get it that very day. Online of course. We don’t have ‘real’ Islamic bookstores where I live. There’s just one which has only quick-selling books and rarely gets updated with variety of books that may appeal to people like me.
I searched high and low, almost every website but found nothing except a few pages of that book uploaded as an ‘e-book’. I had never been so disappointed and saddened at my search. I initially started off thinking that if one could find all volumes of Ibn Katheer and Sayid Qutb’s Contemplations on Quraan, then one could definitely find the book I sought.
Sadly, I just couldn’t find it.
I order books online from Amazon or elsewhere after I collect the titles of a few books that I need to buy so that the shipping is justified. I eventually told myself that I’d have to wait until I could do that and left thinking about it.
3-4 days later, I got the opportunity to go to the nearby Masjid which hardly has any books at the sisters side. Usually that side of the shelves are abused by Sunday-school teachers and kids who have their textbooks all stacked in a manner that if you touch one, all are ready to jump on you. Astaghfirullah. I ended up going to the shelf and looked at it. Lots of thin ~10-page or so-long pamphlet-books were on Islam so I just looked through. I enjoy looking through children’s Islamic books so I found two to spend some time with. After placing them back, I looked for more out of curiosity and I found a small, dwarfed, thick book. I seized it to have a look at its cover and guess what?
I had essentially found the book I had been searching for online! All lost and forlorn. As if it was in a place it didn’t want to be or where it wasn’t getting the respect it deserved because nobody was interested in reading it. My excitement had no bounds. SubhanAllah…of all the places, I would have never imagined a Masjid void of any good books besides the Quraan, would actually have this great piece of work by Sh. Jamal al-Din Zarabozo! Allahu Akbar!
I read the first chapter of the book and I was hooked.
It is for the first time that by the second chapter of any book, my soul was stirred so deeply. I’m not exaggerating when I’m saying that because the first two chapters of most books are lengthy introductions of what could’ve been easily summarized.
In chapter 2, it was as if it was my life story was explained in Quraanic verses. As if I had never come across those ayaat before…it was mesmerizing, beautiful and very relevant. It made me realize why the Mushriks and Jews at the time of Prophet salalahu ‘alayhi wasalam used to cry upon hearing the verses of Quraan despite their disbelief. It is something about the Quraan that when you read/listen to it, you just know it in an instant that it’s the Truth because it’s talking about you, your life, your past, your hopes, your fears, your personal struggles, your tears.
I used to love this ayah but never really understood what attracted me to it only until today:
[42: part of ayah 52]
I’ll quote what it says in the book regarding this ayah:
While commenting upon this verse, Saalih al Fauzaan noted that rooh implies the thing that gives life to a heart. In the same way that the physical heart’s life is directly tied to a rooh, the spiritual life is also directly tied to a rooh, and that rooh is the Quran. It is this Quran that gives life to the spiritual heart. If the heart is void of the Quran, then it is in fact spiritually dead, no matter how much it may be physically alive in this world.
The heart attains real life when it is joined with the Quran. It is by the teachings of the Quran that he heart truly knows its Lord and knows how to worship Him. The heart then becomes filled with love of Allah, fear of Allah, reverence for Him and hope in Him. These are some of the key ingredients that are needed for a healthy heart. The heart is moved by the Quran in the same way that the physical heart is moved by the Quran in the same way that the physical heart is moved by the physical soul. The physical death that is the result of the loss of the rooh cannot compare to the spiritual death that is the result of being void of the spiritual rooh or the Quran. Physical death comes to believers, disbeliever,es, evildoers and even animals. Its result us a departure from this worldly life. A spiritual death is what the disbelievers are experiencing and its result is the painful abode of the Hell-fire forever.
Al-Raawi notes that people are very much aware of the result of the physical rooh leaving the body. When that happens, they take the body and bury it as it is not able to perform any action since its rooh has left. Ina sense, it has become useless. At the same time, people disregard what happens when the effects of the Quran are not longer seen on a person. They do not see what happens to the person in both this life and the Hereafter when he has lost the rooh of the Quran. Without this rooh, a person is truly spiritually dead even though it looks to all round him that he is physically alive. He is dead because he is not even realizing his purpose in this life. He is living his life without heading toward its proper goal, hence, he may as well be physically dead.
[From: ‘How to Approach and Understand the Quran‘ by Jamal al-Din M. Zarabozo, pp.11-12]
SubhanAllah, I can swear by Allah SWT that every word is true in that chapter. It’s scary because I can relate to every single word. I experienced it myself. As much as I and others around me thought I had lofty goals for my life, I think my life was meaningless, pleasure-less, useless without the connection with the Quraan. Quraan resuscitated my heart by the Extreme Mercy of Allah SWT. As if all the seasons of my heart were suddenly turned off and the season of Spring only prevailed regardless of what the weather was around me in my environment. Bitter, harsh, cold winds…nothing mattered. The warmth of Quraan made me feel secure. I felt like I was in a safe place whenever I started reciting the Quraan. Emotionally secure and independent of all creations. But so very dependent on Him and that was all good since it made me ‘invincible’ from inside.
Receiving Hidaya from Allah SWT is an exhilarating experience. Although Hidaya is a life-long continuous process (inshaa’Allah for all of us),the particular moment in which everything changes, SubhanAllah, that’s simply heavenly because you know you’re breaking from inside but somehow that ‘demolishing’ process is strengthening you. You feel weak due to the emotional overflow but then you feel nourished after being so malnutritioned since …erm…forever. I sound like a revert and I think maybe I am despite the fact that I used to try to fulfill basic obligations.
It’s the miracle of the Quraan which cannot be described but when it is felt, you know it for sure that it’s from Allah SWT. Your questions get answered. The solutions to your daily problems become visible. It’s absolutely fascinating, mashaa’Allah.
I urge everyone to get a copy of this book because Sh. Jamaal Zarabozo’s books are one of a kind. Academic and very fulfilling. And this book increases one’s love and respect for the Quraan. Another great book is by Khurram Murad called ‘The Way to the Quraan’ and it can be found here. I don’t know much about the author because I read that book 2 years ago so please do your research yourself regarding it. It was a very good book by the way, mashaa’Allah although I have a feeling the last chapters weren’t that great so inshaa’Allah be on your guard.
Most importantly, however, is to get yourself a Sahih International/Dr. Mohsin’s word-for-word translation of the Quraan and start listening to Br. Nouman Ali Khan’s or Sr. Taymiyyah Zubair’s lectures on the Quraan. If they don’t change your relationship with the Quraan by His Help then you are free to send me hate-mails/hate-comments, whatever gives you peace. But you have to start the journey off with sincerity.
I can assure you that if you seek guidance from Allah SWT through the Quraan, you will notice that the Quraan will become the Spring of your heart, the Light in your dark times and the balm of your wounds/broken expecations/hurt! You’d be happy and content without any reason; if not all the time then at least most of the time. Challenges will seem trivial…SubhanAllah…one can never thank Allah SWT enough…for His Quraan. Without it, life would be unbearable, constricted, suffocating, boring! These are just dunia-based benefits I’ve talked about. Imagine the rewards related to Akhirah! Okay, stop imagining because I don’t think we can ever imagine the rewards distributed on that Day to those who learned and practised the Quraan. It’s that big of a deal. Get eligible for it before your time’s up!
Start your very own journey with the Quraan today inshaa’Allah!
Need a Sign from Allah SWT to study the Quraan? Consider this post to be one inshaa’Allah!
May these words be of benefit for those who wish to get closer to Allah SWT. Ameen.
And Allah SWT knows best.
Wasalamu ‘alaykum warahmatullah,
Always-in-need of duaas,
رَبِّ إِنِّى لِمَآ أَنزَلۡتَ إِلَىَّ مِنۡ خَيۡرٍ۬ فَقِيرٌ۬