2. Approach the Qur'an with an open mind:
Is what we want from the Qur'an consistent with what the Qur'an wants from us? Do we try to approach the Qur'an with our own personal rules and views of life, and try to bring the words of Allah SWT, in terms with our thoughts and notions. And then we claim that this is what the Qur'an teaches us?!
We should allow the Qur'an to speak for itself, to guide us, to show us the truth from falsehood, the right from wrong. If the purpose of the Qur'an is this, then why not bind ourselves, and commit to following it sincerely, instead of beating about the bush, and trying to justify our actions which do not adhere to the teachings of the Qur'an and the Sunnah? We should work hard in transforming ourselves by learning the Qur'an, and grabbing the fruits of wisdom, rather than trying to reform the Qur'an.
This is the difference between the Muslims of today, and the Sahabah Radhiyallahu anhum of the Prophet Sallallahu alaihiwassalam. They would sincerely look to walk upon the right path, without the slightest of deviations, focused in their mission to attain Jannah. If they had to eliminate some cultural acts that they had been following before Islam, out of ignorance; they would do so completely removing it off from the roots, sincerely with their hearts and actions. And today, our society has adopted customs and rituals which are not from the teachings of Qur'an or Sunnah, and we do not like to be told so. There are some cultural practices that have become so religious, and this is one of the ways by which innovation in religion (bid'ah) arises, A'oodhubillah. And when the Qur'an shows that it is wrong, some still do not want to give it up. This shows the exact similiar kind of pride in the way of the fore-fathers that the Mushrikeen(polytheists) in Makkah during the time of Muhammed Sallallahu alaihiwassalam and Ibraheem Alaihissalam showed!
Today, we pride ourselves for our so-thought-to-be-so high level of intelligence and advancements that we feel we can always make the right decisions and do the right thing. And this, gradually has started to corrupt our beliefs too. In Islam, we believe that we need Divine Guidance, that is, The Qur'an. Unlike what today's rationalists and philosophers claim that God has given us all the intelligence that is needed to guide ourselves. So why not turn to the Qur'an sincerely, and accept with full heart, all that it says, teaches, commands and prohibits?! We should not approach this Divine Book of Guidance like the way of the Orientalists who tried to establish their views and opinions, or people with feminist views, or like the deviant sects like the Mu'tazilah (who claim that Allah does not have the Attribute of Speech) etc. Basically, what happens is, they try to bend the real and true interpretations of the Qur'an to match their way of thinking. A'oodhubillah, doesn't this show arrogance?
So, let's keep a check on ourselves inshAllah, where we stand!
3. Release the Qur'an from any constraints of time and space:
The Qur'an was revealed and preserved, and will be preserved till the end of mankind for the purpose of showing the truth. We have to believe that every ayah in the Qur'an is a message for us to reflect upon and learn from it. We know the stories from the Qur'an, but do we know the messages and numerous lessons it brings to us? We just enjoy the story, and then move on with complacence, that so-and-so things happened in the past. Why did Allah SWT, The All-Knower, and The Most-Wise, preserve it in the Qur'an?
The Message is for us, so that we can check whether we share those characteristics and change for the better. The Qur'an is talking about the reality of things happening to us and around us whether or not, we realise and accept it. For example, in the story of Bani Isra'eel, there are many lessons for us to take from. And SubhanAllah, for this purpose, Allah mentions it in the Qur'an around 180 times. We learn about their insincerity to Allah and His Prophets, their laziness, how they turn back to their old ways, their ingratitude towards their Lord, their qualities of hypocrisy, their weak emaan, their inconsistency in the worship of Allah etc. And then we even curse them, view them as the worst among the disbelieving people. Period. What do we do? Part of all these qualities, or all? May Allah SWT protect us from these characteristics, aameen...We have to realise that the messages within the stories are independent of the actual stories, as the similar kind of stories still continues. And so, we have to release the messages of the Qur'an from any constraints of space and time.
Another example of ayah that we should always reflect upon:
وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَعْبُدُ اللَّهَ عَلَى حَرْفٍ فَإِنْ أَصَابَهُ خَيْرٌ اطْمَأَنَّ بِهِ وَإِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ فِتْنَةٌ انْقَلَبَ عَلَى وَجْهِهِ خَسِرَ الدُّنْيَا وَالاٌّخِرَةَ ذلِكَ هُوَ الْخُسْرَنُ الْمُبِينُ
And among mankind is he who worships Allah as it were upon the edge: if good befalls him, he is content therewith; but if a Fitnah strikes him, he turns back on his face. He loses both this world and the Hereafter. That is the evident loss. (Surah Al-Hajj: 11)
We learn from the tafseer that this ayah is talking about the Bedouins who used to come to Medina, and accept Islam. If their wives gave birth to sons and their mares gave birth to foals, they would say, `This is a good religion,' but if their wives and their mares did not give birth, they would say, `This is a bad religion.' They would feel content, and say that they have not experienced anything bad ever since they accepted Islam. But if they had become afflicted with something bad, then they would blame it on the religion.
What is the lesson for us in this ayah? There are among us who have this attitude towards Our religion of Islam. Sometimes, we fear following Islam thinking that it will bring us bad. For example: we deal with interest fearing that otherwise, we will not be able to purchase a car, a house, or sometimes even petty things like clothes etc. We sometimes fear to wear our Hijab fearing that people will stereotype us as being backward people, we fear that having a beard will be a hindrance to get a good job etc. We join in unnecessary conversations (their weekend party experiences etc) with our colleagues or classmates fearing that we will be considered boring. This is due to lack of strong belief. We turn our backs on Islam, instead of placing complete thawakkul upon Allah Azza Wajal.
May Allah SWT always us on the straight path, and may He bless us with the true understanding of the Quran, aameen...
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