“The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts and when His Verses (this Qur'an) are recited unto them, they (i.e. the Verses) increase their Faith; and they put their trust in their Lord (Alone);”
Surah Al-Anfal 8:2
I was talking to the Wise Owl the other day and he commented that many people nowadays recite and read the Quran but somehow it does not have any effect on them. Quran is God’s Words so by reading the Quran is like God talking to us directly. Question is, are we really listening?
I must say that, the Wise Owl’s statement really alarmed me. Am I one of those people? Am I one of those people who have gone cold in their hearts? Is my heart dead or is it beating to a different tune? Has my heart gone crusty and stale?
“Allah has sent down the best statement, a Book (this Qur'an), its parts resembling each other in goodness and truth, oft-repeated. The skins of those who fear their Lord shiver from it (when they recite it or hear it). Then their skin and their heart soften to the remembrance of Allah. That is the guidance of Allah. He Guides therewith whom He pleases and whomever Allah sends astray, for him there is no guide.”
Surah Az-Zumar 39:23
For Muslims, our guide is Quran and Hadith. The way we should live our lives should only be in accordance to Quran and Hadith. We should adopt and live the lifestyle stated in the Quran. The operative word here is “should” but do we really do?
What is Quran to us? Is it just to put on display at home? It is just to recite during Ramadhan or festive season? Is it just a ‘book’?
Have you ever ask yourself, how does your heart reacts when you hear Quran being recited? Are you indifferent? Do you feel shivers running down your spine? Do you feel fear or sadness or happiness? Do you weep or do you shut it off immediately?
If we read about the history of the Companions, we will find that their reaction to Quran is very much different from ours. Perhaps the lapse of time or maybe situation has altered tremendously. I remember reading about Abu Bakr As Siddiq, who used to weep when he read the Quran.
“Aaisha said, "During his illness, the Messenger of Allah (p.b.u.h.) said: 'Order Abu Bakr to lead the prayer.' I told the Messenger of Allah (p.b.u.h.) that, 'Indeed, if Abu Bakr stands in your place the people will not be able to hear him due to his (excessive) weeping.'" (al-Bukhari)
Umar ibn Al Khattab became ill when he recited surah At-Tur 52:7-8
I also remember reading that Abu Bakr fainted when he first heard Surah Al-Waqiah, when it was revealed to our beloved Prophet Muhammad SAW. Most of Prophet SAW Companions wept when they recited the Quran. They had such strong reaction to Quran. Their hearts felt the tremors and the full impact of its meaning.
“And with truth We have sent it down (i.e. the Qur'an), and with truth it has descended. And We have sent you (O Muhammad SAW) as nothing but a bearer of glad tidings (of Paradise, for those who follow your Message of Islamic Monotheism), and a warner (of Hell-fire for those who refuse to follow your Message of Islamic Monotheism).
And (it is) a Qur'an which We have divided (into parts), in order that you might recite it to men at intervals. And We have revealed it by stages. (in 23 years).
Say (O Muhammad SAW to them): "Believe in it (the Qur'an) or do not believe (in it). Verily! Those who were given knowledge before it (the Jews and the Christians like 'Abdullah bin Salam and Salman Al-Farisi), when it is recited to them, fall down on their faces in humble prostration."
Surah Al-Isra’ 17: 105-109
The Wise Owl had once told me that Quran is a cure for the disease of the heart. For every sin that we commit, a black dot will appear on our hearts. If we do not remove the tiny black dot immediately, soon it can become cancerous and blackened our hearts completely. When that happens, perhaps, that is when Quran loses its effect on that person. That person’s heart becomes hardened and deaf.
Sadly, as much as I wish I would react the same way as the Companions did when they recited the Quran, I don’t. My heart does react but I fear, not as strong as I hope it would. Maybe I am not listening properly or maybe the understanding has not reach me. I need to rectify that but in the mean time, I pray that God will soften my heart and remove any crust so that I can weep for Him. I pray that God will put fear and also love for Him, in my heart. I also pray that God will always guide me and place me amongst the Believers. Ameen….