Will you not ponder over the Quran?
“Will they not then ponder upon the Quran or are there locks upon their hearts?” Surah Muhammed: 24
Stop and just think!! What kind of image is created in your mind when you read this verse…? Can you imagine a heart which has a lock upon it? How will this heart function? What will it do? How will it behave?
Subhan’Allah, when one reads this verse one cannot help but feel in awe at the majestic words of our amazing creator, Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla. The Most Patient One, who is taking care of our hearts, gives us ample opportunities to make us understand. Alas, it is man who fails to understand this Loving God.
This question begs an answer!
For those of us who are teachers, we know the challenges we face. We exhaust all possible means to convey a concept. A good teacher caters for visual, audio and kin-aesthetic learners, those with Special Education Needs and behavior problems; those who have language barriers and even those who don’t want to learn.
As we embark upon the journey of the Quran, we learn about the forbearance of our Creator. The endless ways He tries to make us understand. In this verse He is teaching us through questioning. Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla is asking you and I a question, “Will we not ponder over the Quran?”. But do we even stop to answer? As mentioned in Sayyid Qutb’s tafsir, when people try to understand the Quran, they see things in complete clarity. They see the light. Their hearts and feelings, enjoy new vigor and their souls are full of life.
Can you imagine?
Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla, the Almighty, then uses imagery to drill the message home. A heart which has a lock! What do you take from this? A door that is locked doesn’t allow anything or anyone to enter or exit. A locked treasure chest doesn’t allow anyone to benefit from its treasures, as no one can open it. And what happens to the treasures within? It probably gets rusty, dirty, dusty…. There is treasure within the box that can benefit so many but it is locked. Is this treasure beneficial?
So, what about the heart of a man that has a lock? Will guidance enter it? And if guidance doesn’t enter, how will it pour out goodness to those around him. If goodness doesn’t pour in, how will goodness pour out? What about the hidden treasures within a man’s heart that is bursting to come out. We allow it to be closed and locked. It is deprived of the light of the Qur’an. Hence, it is in complete darkness. Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla describes such hearts as,
“They are deaf, dumb and blind, so they return not”. Surah Baqarah: 18
Reflection = guidance
Can you guess what the remedy is to unlock this heart? Subhan’Allah it is found within the Ayah itself ‘yatadabbaruna’, which carries the meanings of: they reflect, contemplate, ponder, meditate and consider. One of the rights of the Quran is that we reflect upon its verses.
“[This is] a blessed Book which We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], that they might reflect upon its verses and that those of understanding would be reminded.” Surah Sad: 29
When one is busy reflecting at the creation of Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla, pondering at his endless blessings and contemplating at his endless mercy, it is the key to what unlocks those hard hearts. This question begs an answer. Will you then not ponder upon the Quran?
It is almost as if Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla is telling us that it is simple!! It is simple to recognize him. It is easy to find him! It is easy to understand this message. All we have to do is to reflect. Reflect at his creation, look at yourself, and look at the things around you. They all point to what? They all testify to, “There is no deity (worthy of worship) except Allah. And if we can’t see such obvious evidence, Is it because our hearts are indeed locked?
Just to share some basic etiquette’s when reciting the Quran, this is to ensure we embark upon an exciting journey of reflection in the correct way.
- Read the verse (with correct pronunciation)
- Understand the verse (read a translation in your own language)
- Understand the context of why the verse was revealed. (Use any famous Tafsir. Eg Ibn Kathir)
- Reflect/ponder upon the ayah. (How can I personally internalize this verse according to the Quran and Sunnah).
- Implement or act upon it.
In these series of articles our aim is to work on Step 4, to become people of reflection, Insha’Allah. Knowledge of the Arabic language and the seerah can also aid us.
How can you help?
Reflection is a personal experience, which isn’t usually found in any book. This is what we want to revive. An ummah that will return to reflecting and pondering upon the words of Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla. This is the key to gaining His nearness. However, this requires time (which many of us struggle with due to busy schedules). So let’s help one another.
Share your reflections and thoughts about this verse! Let’s create a buzz and totally submerge ourselves into the words of Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla. Insha’Allah the aim is to post an article at least twice a month, where we dedicate our self to reflecting upon a certain verse/s. So if you have a favorite verse that you would like us to write about please share that too! Look forward to reading your comments.
I leave with the beautiful narration of our beloved ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam:
“Abu Hurayrah raḍyAllāhu ‘anha narrated that the Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “Any group of people that assemble in one of the Houses of Allah to recite and study the Quran, tranquility will descend upon them, mercy will engulf them, angels will surround them and Allah will make mention of them to those (the angels) in His proximity.” Muslim