The deserted Quran: Are we forsaking the words of Allah?

When the concepts the Qurān puts forth become strange for us, where we no longer feel any affinity towards them, then that is an instance of us having deserted the Qurān.

When the concepts the Qurān puts forth become strange for us, where we no longer feel any affinity towards them, then that is an instance of us having deserted the Qurān.

“And the Apostle will say, ‘O my Lord! Indeed my people had taken this Qurān as deserted’.” [Quran 25:30]

There is this understanding amongst some Muslims that if one owns multiple copies of the Qurān and if they are not all read, then that is a case of someone forsaking the Qurān. This is not what it means for the Qurān to be forsaken or deserted, rather that is an instance of someone not reading one of the copies of the Qurān they possess.

Āyatullah Ṣādiqī Tehrānī, in his exegesis al-Furqān fī Tafsīr al-Qurān, explains that the word ‘my people’ in this verse is not restricted to just Muslims, but to anyone to whom the message of the Qurān was delivered. From amongst these groups of people are those who intentionally did not want to hear its message, some going as far as to block their ears. This group of people subsequently did not believe in its message either. The second group of people are those who believed in the Qurān, but only on the outside, and in fact, were hypocrites. The third group of people who deserted the Qurān are those who believed in it, listened attentively to it, and recited it themselves, but failed to ponder and contemplate over its meanings. The fourth and last group of people who deserted the Qurān are members of religious institutes who believed the Qurān to be their fundamental and primary source for religious teachings, but abandoned its teachings to the extent that its verses only made an appearance in footnotes or in the margins of their works.

The average Muslim would fall into the third category of people. If listening to and reading every copy of the Qurān that fills our bookshelf is not merely enough, then what can one do to not be from those who considered the Qurān to be deserted? As Āyatullah Ṣādiqī alludes, the Qurān is deserted when we cease contemplating over its verses and stop acting on its teachings.

When the concepts the Qurān puts forth become strange for us, where we no longer feel any affinity towards them, then that is an instance of us having deserted the Qurān. Many teachings of the Qurān today do not only sound strange to us but at times we even detest these teachings and concepts, hence the Qurān plays no real role in our lives.

To put it simply, the Qurān can be deserted either theoretically, by us not contemplating over it, or practically, by us not practicing its teachings.

Shaykh Ḥaider Ḥobollah cites a few examples to explain how the Qurān is deserted in the sense explained above. Consider the concept of al-yawm al-ākhir. This term is mentioned 26 times in the Qurān, while different combinations and derivatives of the word – al-ākhirahal-dār al-ākhirah – are mentioned hundreds of times altogether. Though the word refers to the Day of Judgement, the emphasis of the Qurān on it is not only because it indicates an event that will take place on some timeline and that we are to have faith in it, rather it is so we make this concept a part and parcel of our practical lives.

It demands from us to realize the temporal nature of the world we are residing in and to recognize it as a realm of trial and tribulation. How many times do we fail to be satisfied or submissive (two other crucial concepts in Islamic teachings) to the teachings of Islam and the Will of God when we encounter a challenge? How many times do we, in fact, begin questioning the Wisdom of God Himself?

We spend a lifetime thinking and stressing about finances and the construction and renovation of our homes. It occupies our thoughts and actions, yet any preparation for al-yawm al-ākhir, the day we will begin our eternal lives, doesn’t seem to cross our minds. When we look around ourselves today, we see that this idea is essentially absent from our lives. The standard and criteria for our actions are matters that solely pertain to this world, while we remain heedless of the hereafter which should be an important criterion to base our actions on. This is just one simple example of someone deserting the Qurān and its teachings.

To take it even further, consider the word Allah. How much significance does Allah have in our lives? Perhaps not more than a few minutes per day, in our daily prayers, and that too generally amongst the righteous and pious believers. Other entities and concepts play a much more significant role in our lives and the decisions we make than Allah. This is while no one can deny that the most important matter in the Qurān is Allah Himself.

Allah is not meant to remain a mere thought or a concept in our mind, rather His existence is to be felt to the point that our actions are entangled with the recognition of His existence. It wasn’t the concept of Allah that raised the status of Ibrahīm (a) to that of an Imām nor was it the concept of Allah that granted victory to the Prophets (p) in their struggles. The Allah that did all that and more is real, not a mental concept.

This article was written by Ali Imran for Iqra Online. To read the original article, click here.



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