By Iman Amin
A while ago I attended a khutba at East London Mosque which was on the topic of Surah Yusuf. The Khateeb presented the verse
وَلَئِن شِئْنَا لَنَذْهَبَنَّ بِالَّذِي أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ ثُمَّ لَا تَجِدُ لَكَ بِهِ عَلَيْنَا وَكِيلًا
And if We please, We should certainly take away that which We have revealed to you, then you would not find for it any protector against us 17:86
And then he posed a question to us all – If the Qur’an ceased to exist, would our lives be any different?
The obvious answer would be yes, of course our lives would be different. But when you think about the question more, it becomes a bit more difficult to answer. The Qur’an was revealed as a guidance for the whole of Mankind, and it should be our reference point for every aspect of our life. Every single verse has a purpose, or Allah would not have revealed it. So the question arises, are we really taking as much benefit as we can from the revelation Allah has blessed us with?
Ibn Mas`ud RA said, “A red wind will come to the people, meaning at the end of time, from the direction of Syria, and there will be nothing left in a man’s Mushaf (copy of the Qur’an) or in his heart, not even one Ayah.” Then Ibn Mas`ud recited:
[وَلَئِن شِئْنَا لَنَذْهَبَنَّ بِالَّذِى أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ]
(And if We willed, We could surely take away that which We have revealed to you.) [Tabari]
If a single ayah was taken away from us, would we even realise it was gone? Would our hands halt due to the absence of Allah’s command, or would we have to wait until our huffadh start to stutter, when our favourite Qari hesitates, or when the khatm during taraweeh is interrupted? Has the Qur’an become something only recognised by our tongues, and not by our actions?
We’ve compartmentalised our worship and our daily lives so much that the former almost becomes ritualistic. Our madrassa’s have become after school day care units, and our relationship with Allah is only apparent during our five minute salah breaks. We need to go back to basics and remind ourselves that we are living in this world with revelation that has been sent down by Allah the Most High. And in it He has provided us with solutions to all of man’s problems. This revelation should be apparent in every aspect of our lives – whether we’re up at 3am praying qiyam al layl (the night prayer), out working a 7 hour shift, or at the dinner table.
This revelation should not be confined to the walls of our homes, but rather fully embodied in our character and actions at all times. It tells us to carry ourselves with honour and humility in the face of ignorance, orders us to enjoin the good and forbid the evil, and stand firm upon the truth even if it is against our own selves. It informs us of the rights people have over us, and encourages us to uphold them with ihsan (excellence). And it has provided us with a holistic system that allows us to establish justice amongst people and create a society of prosperity and harmony in obedience to our Creator.
The Qur’an answers questions people spend their whole lives searching for – Where did we come from? Where are we going? Who created us? What is our purpose in this world? Answers that provide contentment and peace in the heart of the searcher of truth. During our trials it reminds us of the reward that awaits us, and during our days of ease, it reminds us to thank Allah. It teaches us that in a world where struggle erases sin, no such thing as a calamity truly exists – there are only those with perspective, and those lacking it. The Qur’an assures us that our efforts will never go to waste, and that true success lies in the pleasure of Allah alone.
Without revelation we’re left to ourselves. And although we’re intellectual beings, we’re not perfect. We are limited beings with needs and desires clouding our judgement. With no sense of clear direction, we determine our own purpose (or lack of one), and are left to trial and error our life away at the expense of everyone else. Allah did not leave us in this world to figure everything out for ourselves. We may be limited in our abilities and knowledge, but we do have access to revelation from the One whose knowledge encompasses everything, and whose wisdom is beyond our comprehension.
This Qur’an is not only a massive blessing, but a huge responsibility on the shoulders of a Muslim. As well as us trying to embed the Qur’an in our life, we should be conveying it to everyone we know.
I encourage you all to stay updated with current events, don’t keep yourself in a vacuum where your actions impact yourself and only yourself. Seek knowledge and know what your obligations are, and work to uphold them as with ihsan. Know that this deen is a mercy, and Allah knows what you are capable of, so don’t despair.
As Al Ghazali mentioned in his book ‘Remembrance and prayer – the way of the Prophet (pbuh)’: “…the essence of worship is the commitment of one’s inner and outer being to Allah, planting one’s feet firmly on the legitimate battleground of life without fear or shame. Worship may be said to be supplication or praise. Within and beyond that, it is the ability to make over one’s life, and control its direction, for the sake of Allah, and for the exaltation of His name.”
I implore all my readers to take the practical steps to live your life through the lens of the Qur’an, and fuel it with your submission to The Most High