Pondering the Quran

As a  Muslim I can talk to Allah, The Most High in my prayers but if i want Allah to talk to me, I must read His Book. This is for those who want guidance to be made clear to them. This Quran has stories, advice, warnings, information, comfort for the oppressed, beautiful and frightful descriptions, that make us hope for His reward and fear His punishment. When we read the Book of Allah, our hearts can be guided if we listen and reflect.

Allah asks a question

أَفَلَا يَتَدَبَّرُونَ ٱلْقُرْءَانَ أَمْ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبٍ أَقْفَالُهَآ

Do they not ponder/deeply reflect over the Quran or do their hearts have locks on them? (Muhammad 24)

SubhaanAllah. We are ordered toread the Quran and deeply reflect over its verses applying them to ourselves and the world around us.

“Pondering” or “reflecting deeply” does not mean that we give the ayaat a different meaning or our own meaning.

Pondering or reflecting is not ‘tafseer’.  Tafseer has to do with the situations in which certain verses were revealed and the laws that are understood from the verses and other than this.
Pondering means that we open our hearts to apply Allah’s speech to ourselves and seek understanding of about our lives.  Deep reflection leads to wisdom about the world around us and our role in it.
So for example, if I read about how Allah created the sun, moon, and Earth and how the Earth rotates in its due course and how the night turns to day and how the seasons change, and how all this happens in fixed times. We can see that SubhaanAllah, He the Most Mighty and Majestic has set order and organization to this entire universe. So perhaps, I should set order and organization to my home, my activities, my life so that I can reach the goals that I want to reach each day.

Great examples can be taken from the stories of the Prophets as well.

So you and I may read the story of Musa and Pharoah and get 2 totally different benefits from it. For example I may read it and reflect upon how strong of a man Musa was as a Prophet whom Allah spoke to directly. Yet, even after Allah showed him miracles to strengthen his heart, he still requested that Allah send him support by way of his brother, Harun.

قَالَ رَبِّ اشْرَحْ لِي صَدْرِي (25) وَيَسِّرْ لِي أَمْرِي (26) وَاحْلُلْ عُقْدَةً مِّن لِّسَانِي (27) يَفْقَهُوا قَوْلِي (28) وَاجْعَل لِّي وَزِيرًا مِّنْ أَهْلِي (29) هَارُونَ أَخِي (30) اشْدُدْ بِهِ أَزْرِي (31) وَأَشْرِكْهُ فِي أَمْرِي (32) كَيْ نُسَبِّحَكَ كَثِيرًا (33) وَنَذْكُرَكَ كَثِيرًا (34) إِنَّكَ كُنتَ بِنَا بَصِيرًا (35)

“He said, “My Lord expand my chest, and make my situation easy, and untie the knot in my tongue, that they may understand my words. And appoint for me a Send a ‘wazeer’ (Minister/ Representative)  from my family. Harun, my brother so that we can glorify You together and remember You much. Indeed You are Ever Seeing over us…” (surah Taha: 25-35)

No matter how many times I read this story I am always amazed with Musa and how Allah blessed him with miracles and spoke to him directly. Yet, he still had fear about this responsibility that Allah placed upon him.  So he asked for help. He asked for support. He asked that his brother Harun go with him and be a ‘wazeer’ for him. SubhaanAllah. if this great Prophet (alyhi salaam)  was not too proud to ask for help, then who am I?

We also read of  Allah’s Beautiful Names and Majestic Descriptions in Quran; that for example Allah is a-Sami’, the All-Hearing.

If I know that Allah is all Hearing and I ponder this, ,then I would watch what I say because I know that Allah is Hearing AND the angels are also writing as Allah says:

كِرَامًا كَٰتِبِينَ – يَعْلَمُونَ مَا تَفْعَلُونَ

Noble writers who know what you do (surah al Infitar: 12) 

so when I read such an ayah as this I must be aware that my words and actions are recorded and try to be on my best behavior at all times as our Prophet sallallahu alyhi was sallam had said,

مَنْ يَضْمَنْ لِي مَا بَيْنَ لَحْيَيْهِ وَمَا بَيْنَ رِجْلَيْهِ أَضْمَنْ لَهُ الْجَنَّةَ ‏”‏‏.

If you can guarantee what is between your jaws and what is between your legs, I guarantee you paradise. (Sahih al Bukhari) 

When I read an ayah such as

يَعْلَمُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَيَعْلَمُ مَا تُسِرُّونَ وَمَا تُعْلِنُونَ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ بِذَاتِ الصُّدُورِ

He knows what is in the skies and the Earth and he knows what you keep secret and what you make public and Allah knows what is in the hearts

I should then be afraid to harbor evil thoughts and intentions.  I should want to cleanse my heart by asking forgiveness, pardoning those who harmed me, and recommitting myself to obedience to Allah.

When we reflect on Allah’s verses we understand  more about the world around us.

ظَهَرَ الْفَسَادُ فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِي النَّاسِ لِيُذِيقَهُم بَعْضَ الَّذِي عَمِلُوا لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ

Corruption has appeared throughout the land and sea by [reason of] what the hands of people have earned so He may let them taste part of [the consequence of] what they have done that perhaps they will return [to righteousness]. (Rum: 41) 

Pondering means that we read the Quran with an open heart so that Allah can bless us with wisdom about our own selves and the world around us. This block between the one who is committing major sins

Ummu Aamina, Nadiya Johnson

Arabic Language Curriculum & Instruction