Qur’an and our Fast-food Approach!
The situation of the global Muslim community is no better than fast-food companies!
They specialize in food that is prepared and served quickly.
We specialize in Qur’an Reading that is faster and finished quickly!
They make food that is designed for ready availability or consumption.
We take the Qur’an as a readily available thing for fast and mechanical recitation!
They at least give some or little consideration to quality. We give no consideration whatsoever to quality reading!! Smarter we, right?
Wrong! While living in a fast changing world, we have adapted to the fastness of things. Fast Rukoo, Fast Sajdah, Fast Du’aa, Fast tilawah. Going to the masjid late and be the first to come back fast!
Qur’an is not fast-food, my dear. That you use and throw the packet!
It is the Speech of Allah, the One Who created you. The One Who gave you the ability to see and read these lines.
Do you know that Allah, the Almighty, took almost 23 years to complete the revelation of the Qur’an?
Did you ever think as to why did Allah take such a long time to reveal the complete Qur’an to His last and final Messenger, Prophet Muhammad sal-lal-laahu alaihi wa sallam?
So that you read it ridiculously and insult Him thereby? To mock at His words by reading at a super-sonic speed? Or to use it as a ready-made dish to be licked and finished?
Allah could have revealed the Qur’an all at once. He could have bundled and couriered it overnight to His Messenger. Was He incapable of doing that?
No! Allah is Al Hakeem, the Wise. Doing that would have created generations of crazy fellows reading a meaningless book!!
But He took 23 long years to reveal His Last Book for the guidance of mankind.
وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لَوْلَا نُزِّلَ عَلَيْهِ الْقُرْآنُ جُمْلَةً وَاحِدَةً ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ لِنُثَبِّتَ بِهِ فُؤَادَكَ ۖوَرَتَّلْنَاهُ تَرْتِيلًا
“And those who disbelieve say, “Why was the Qur’an not revealed to him all at once?” Thus [it is] that We may strengthen thereby your heart. And We have spaced it distinctly.” Surah al Furqan 25: 32
وَقُرْآنًا فَرَقْنَاهُ لِتَقْرَأَهُ عَلَى النَّاسِ عَلَىٰ مُكْثٍ وَنَزَّلْنَاهُ تَنزِيلًا
“And [it is] a Qur’an which We have separated [by intervals] that you might recite it to the people over a prolonged period. And We have sent it down progressively.” Surah al Isra 17: 106
The purpose of revealing the Qur’an distinctly, progressively, in gradual stages was to strengthen the hearts of the reciters. To implant the Eemaan in the hearts of its believers in a firmer way. To make Muslims read the Qur’an better, understand it better, memorize it better and practice it better.
Now when we have the entire Qur’an in front of us, does this mean that we have to read and finish it off fast? Without understanding? Without contemplating?
Well, in the above two verses Allah describes how He revealed the Qur’an and answers why He revealed it in stages. But in the verse given below, Allah issues forth a command:
وَرَتِّلِ الْقُرْآنَ تَرْتِيلًا
“and recite the Qur’an with measured recitation.” Surah al Muzzammil 73: 4
Wa Rat’tilil Qur’aana Tarteela is the command. Recite the Qur’an with tarteel!
Tarteel is a very comprehensive word which includes all the following meanings:
Recite the Qur’an in a slow, pleasant tone and style.
Recite the Qur’an calmly and distinctly while your mind is attentive to its meaning.
Recite the Qur’an slowly and distinctly, in a measured and rhythmic tone
Recite the Qur’an aloud with a beautiful voice following the rules of recitation.