SHAFAQNA – As Muslims and followers of the AhlulBayt (as), we all know of the value of the Holy Quran, being well aware of the famous sentence uttered by the Prophet (sawa) in his sermon at Ghadir Khumm: “I leave among you two weighty things, the Book of Allah and my Progeny; if you hold fast to them you will never go astray…these two shall never separate from each other till they meet at the heavenly fountain of Kawthar.” Holding fast to both the Quran and the AhlulBayt (as) is the way through which we can guarantee our salvation. The AhlulBayt (as) themselves were known as the walking and talking Qurans and, being our role models in every aspect of life, we all desire to emulate them. We can emulate them in this regard by incorporating the word of Allah into our daily lives and actively seeking to familiarize ourselves with His book.
One of the means through which we can boost our spirituality is by taking the time to memorize verses of the Quran. Prophet Muhammad (s) has said, “The number of levels in Heaven is (equivalent to) the number of verses in the Quran. Thus, when a reciter of the Quran enters into Heaven, it will be said to him: ‘Go up one level for every verse that you can recite.’ Thus, no one will be in a higher level than the one who has memorized the entire Quran.” Imam Ali (as) has also said, “Recite the Quran and seek assistance from it for surely Allah the Most High will not punish one who has memorized the Quran (and has it within one’s heart).”
The AhlulBayt (as) constantly encouraged people to recite the Quran regularly and more importantly, to act upon its teachings. There is little benefit in memorization if it is done with the wrong intention or if the verses are not acted upon. Below are listed some benefits that one may reap if she/he takes up memorization of the Quran with pure intentions and follows the proper method of application. The exact methods of memorization and tips and techniques will insha’Allah be covered in part two.
Purification of the Soul: To achieve higher degrees of perfection and proximity to our Creator is the ultimate goal of life. This is the goal that we hope to attain with our every action in this world. The only way through which we can gain closeness to Allah (swt) is by purifying our souls.
The Holy Prophet (s) has said, “The hearts rust just as iron rusts; and indeed they are polished through the recitation of the Quran.”
Reading the Quran regularly is a way to cleanse our souls. We are always looking for ways to enhance our spirituality and form a connection with our Creator and there is no better way to do this than through His words themselves. As Imam Ali (as) has said, “When I wish to converse with Allah, I pray. When I wish Him to converse with me, I read the Quran.” The verses of the Quran constantly remind us of our Lord and of our true purpose. Consistently reading it will keep us from being of the forgetful and negligent ones. If you have verses of the Quran memorized, you have the advantage of being able to recall them at any moment during your day, whether you may have a copy of the Quran with you or not.
Increase Your Knowledge: Living in an era where Islam is becoming increasingly stigmatized, it is necessary that we are well informed about our religion so that we may be able to defend it. We need to know how to answer questions about our beliefs. Being familiar with Quranic verses will give you the upper hand in debates and discussions, allowing you to refute those that accuse Muslims of certain actions or beliefs. The Quran is also the basis of all of our religious practices; all of our great scholars derive Islamic rulings based off of the verses of this Holy Book. Familiarizing ourselves with the verses of the Quran will open up many doors for us in this regard. We will be better able to understand both contemporary and historical issues in the religion of Islam. If you are not an Arabic speaker, consistently reading, listening, and eventually memorizing the verses of the Quran in Arabic with an accompanying English translation will improve your understanding of the Arabic language. You will pick up words and sentences and this will allow you to better understand the Arabic language used in dua (supplications), hadith (narrations), sermons, religious books, etc. This in itself will open up many opportunities.
Worldly Benefits: There is no doubt that familiarizing yourself with the Quran has infinite benefits in the afterlife. But what about in this life? Prophet Muhammad (s) has said: “Place a portion from the Quran in your homes, for surely ease will come to the people of that house in which the Quran is read, goodness will increase, and the inhabitants will be given excessive bounties.” Memorizing Quran requires a great deal of discipline and exemplary time management. Both of these skills can be incredibly helpful in both the academic and professional aspect of one’s life. If you have these skills, you can excel in any field, be it secular or religious. The memorization of Quran also allows you to improve your memory in general, which is particularly useful for students.
The points mentioned here are just a small preview of what benefits a person may gain by memorizing the Quran. The true extent of blessings that the Quran contains may never be fathomed by the human intellect. It is said that on the Day of Judgement, the Quran will have the ability to intercede. By memorizing Quran, we will form a relationship with this Holy Book and therefore gain its intercession. Imam Ali (as) states in Sermon 176 of Nahjul Balagha: “Know that it [the Quran] is a speaker who is testified…For whoever the Quran intercedes on the Day of Judgement, its intercession for him would be accepted.” Allow us to take these aforementioned points as an incentive to learn the Quran. Some methods and tips regarding memorization of the Quran will be the focus of a coming part two article, insha’Allah.
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