It was a peaceful and quiet evening in Mecca. Not yet a messenger, Muhammed [s] was busy pondering in the cave of Hira when he heard a strange voice from above saying, “Iqraa”. It was demanding him to read. The voice repeated again, “Read in the name of your Lord who created” [Surat al-Alaq, Verse 1]. This was the first verse of the Holy Quran revealed to the Holy Prophet. The very first verse revealed to the Prophet of Islam, the Prophet of Mankind, was demanding him to read.
This simple verse illustrates the importance of reading the Quran and the reason for the revelation of the Holy Quran.
Before even revealing the religion of Islam to Prophet Muhammed [s], Allah [swt] stresses the importance of reading and understanding the Quran. The religion of Islam was originally revealed to mankind through the first man on earth, Prophet Adam [s]. Since then, there have been numerous prophets and messengers who have instructed their people and taught them the message of Islam. Unfortunately, many of these people eventually deviated from the religion. In order to prevent this from occurring again, Allah [swt] starts His revelation to Prophet Muhammed [s] by emphasizing the importance of holding tight to the rope of Allah [swt]. At this day and age, the Quran is one of our strongest links to Allah [swt].
The Quran contains treasures that have yet to be discovered by many. Prophet Muhammed [s] advised us to read the Quran frequently. He says,
“…When afflictions surround you like the dark night, refer to the Quran, because it is an Intercessor whose intercession is accepted. It reports evils (of people) that will be confirmed. It leads the person to Heaven who puts it in front of himself (follows it); and he who puts it behind himself (neglects it) will be driven to Hell. This very Quran is the best guide to the best ways. It is a Book in which there are useful explanations, statements, and gaining (of goals). It is the Separator (of right and wrong)…”
– Usul Al-Kafi, vol. 2, p. 599 –
There will come a day when all of mankind will have to answer to God. Every human will be held accountable for all that he did and did not do. This day is the Day of Judgment, the Day of Accountability. On this day, Allah [swt] will ask us whether or not we used these gems that He has given us. On this day the Quran will complain to Allah [swt] claiming that the Muslims did not utilize it to their advantage. It will complain that it was not read on a regular basis and that in some households it was merely considered a decoration.
It is up to us to make use of all that the Quran has to offer. The Quran should be read regularly and not exclusively in times of hardship. It is our guiding light. Without it, one is like a lost child in the dark night. Those who stick with it and follow it will be guided. Like a traveler with a compass, one who knows what he believes will never loose his way.
A’alam al-Wara, pp 132-133
In another reference, the holy prophet (P.) mentioned:
“Behold! I am leaving for you two precious things. First of them is the book of Allah in which there is light and guidance… The other one is my Ahlul-Bayt. I remind you in the name of Allah about my Ahlul-Bayt. I remind you in the name of Allah about my Ahlul-Bayt. I remind you in the name of Allah about my Ahlul-Bayt. (three times).”
Sahih Muslim, Chapter of the virtues of the companions, section of the virtues of Ali, 1980 Edition Pub. in Saudi Arabia, Arabic version, v4, p1873, Tradition #36.