To reflect upon the verses of Allah is a form of worship; it is something that will draw one close to Allah, Most High. This reflection is not a reckless and wandering one, rather, it includes a study of the classical Tafsir (explanation) of the verses being pondered over. Allah, Most High, says in the Qur’an (what means):
“Then do they not reflect upon the Qur’an? If it had been from [any] other than Allah, they would have found within it much contradiction” (Al-Nisa’ 4:82).
The Book of Allah is unlike any other; it is the timeless Speech of Allah and not a created thing. It is the study guide for life, death, and what follows. Therefore, it deserves a far more careful study than anyone else’s speech. It necessitates that its reader returns to the early narrations of those who witnessed its revelation and heard its explanation by the one deputed by Allah to rehearse and explain His Words to humanity, Muhammad (Peace be upon him). For if one would try to ponder over the meanings of the verses without having done this study, then surely the filth of the time that he lives in and his ignorance of the correct application and understanding that the early Muslims had would cause him to understand some things not intended by Allah, Most High, and therefore he would go astray, thinking to be worshipping Allah. So, let every sincere Muslim who hopes to earn Allah’s Love by reciting and reflecting over Allah’s Book hold tight to the meanings explained by the Prophet and those taught by the Companions and their immediate followers, and the early scholars of Islam.
One should know that reciting and pondering over the Book of Allah and devoting regular time to its study and implementation has tremendous benefits in this life and the next. Let us now look at just a few of them to attach ourselves more firmly to the majestic Words of Allah. Each benefit stands as enough of an encouragement to shun any laziness we have and dedicate ourselves wholly to the Qur’an.
Reading and Reflecting Over the Qur’an Fulfils an Islamic Duty
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) summarised this religion with his statement: “The religion (of Islam) is nasihah (offering sincere advice)!” Tamim bin Aws (May Allah be pleased with him) said: “We asked, ‘To whom?’” He (Peace be upon him) replied: “To Allah, His Book, His Messenger, the leaders of the people, and to their subjects” [Sahih Muslim]. The sincerity that is due to the Book of Allah includes its regular recitation, learning the rules of Tajwid (the recitation of the Qur’an, according to specified rules) and reciting it beautifully, learning about its Tafsir and the reasons for its revelation, affirming that it is the truth, the perfect Speech of Allah and not part of the creation, honouring it and defending it, abiding by the orders and prohibitions found in it, and teaching it and calling to it.
The Qur’an will be a Proof for or against Us on the Day of Judgement
This is due to the statement of the Messenger (Peace be upon him): “And the Qur’an is a proof for you or against you” [Muslim]. So, one of two things will occur with this proof, the Book of Allah. It will either be in one’s favor, a proof for us on the Day when we will desperately need every single good deed, or it will be something standing against us. The very Speech of our Creator as a proof against us! Who could be saved from the terrors of that Day if Allah’s own Speech is against Him?
Think carefully about your position with the Qur’an. Are you neglecting it, contradicting it, and being heedless of its orders and prohibitions? Are you thinking deeply about it? Will it be on your side on the Day of Judgement?
The Qur’an will Intercede for Us on the Day of Judgement
Abu Umamah (May Allah be pleased with him) related that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: “Read the Qur’an, for indeed it will come on the Day of Standing (Judgement) as an intercessor for its companions” [Muslim].
The Qur’an Raises One’s Status in this Life
In Sahih Muslim, which is one of the two most authentic books of prophetic narrations, we find a wonderful story about how a man from the people of Paradise, ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab (May Allah be pleased with him) understood this principle. The story is that once, some men came to question him during his reign as caliph regarding the leadership of Makkah. The men asked: “Who do you use to govern Makkah?” He (May Allah be pleased with him) said: “Ibn Abzaa.” They asked: “And who is Ibn Abzaa?” ‘Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) replied: “A freed slave from those we freed.” They remarked: “You left a freed slave in command of the People of the Valley (the noble tribes of the Quraysh)?” He (May Allah be pleased with him) replied: “Indeed he is a reciter of the Book of Allah and is knowledgeable about the obligations of the Muslims. Haven’t you heard the statement of your Messenger (Peace be upon him): “Verily Allah raises some people by this Book and lowers others by it?””
The People of the Qur’an are from Best of People
‘Uthman (May Allah be pleased with him) said that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: “The best of you are those who learn the Qur’an and teach it to others” [Sahih Al-Bukhari].
There are Ten Rewards for Every Letter Recited from the Qur’an
As a Hadith (prophetic statement) in Al-Tirmidhi proves: “Whoever reads a letter from the Book of Allah, he will have a reward, and this reward will be multiplied by ten. I am not saying that ‘Alif, Lam, Mim’ (a combination of letters frequently mentioned in the Ever-Glorious Qur’an) is a letter, rather I am saying that ‘Alif’ is a letter, ‘Lam’ is a letter and ‘Mim’ is a letter” [Al-Tirmidhi]. So, increase your recitation of the Qur’an to gain these merits, as well as the following ones.
The Reciters of the Qur’an Will Be in the Company of the Noble and Obedient Angels
‘A’ishah (May Allah be pleased with her) related that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: “Indeed the one who recites the Qur’an beautifully, smoothly, and precisely, will be in the company of the noble and obedient angels. As for the one who recites with difficulty, stammering or stumbling through its verses, then he will have twice that reward” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
So, do not let the Shaytan (Satan) give you false excuses, such as ‘I am not an Arab.’ or ‘It is not in my language.’ This Hadith is a firm proof against these whisperings.
Dedicate yourself to the Book of Allah, whether you are an Arab or not! The excuses have been eliminated and the pathway has been cleared for you to embrace the Book of Allah without holding back or offering excuses! Surely you will not hesitate to seek a teacher or a study circle for the Qur’an once you hear the last and perhaps greatest benefits of reading and contemplating over the Qur’an.
One’s Position and Rank in Paradise is Determined by the Amount of Qur’an He Memorised in this Life
‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr bin Al-‘Aas (May Allah be pleased with him) heard the Prophet (Peace be upon him) saying: “It will be said to the companion of the Qur’an: ‘Read and elevate (through the levels of Paradise) and beautify your voice as you did when you were in the worldly life! For verily, your position in Paradise will be at the last verse you recite!’” [Abu Dawud and Al-Tirmidhi].
The Qur’an Leads to Paradise
The Qur’an states (what means): “Indeed the Qur’an guides to that which is most suitable and gives good tidings to the believers who do righteous deeds that they will have a great reward” (Al-Isra’ 17:9).
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: “The Qur’an is an intercessor – something given permission to intercede, and it is rightfully believed in. Whoever puts it in front of him, it will lead him to Paradise; whoever puts it behind him, it will steer him to the Hellfire” [Al-Tabarani].
Know that these nine benefits from the numerous benefits available can only be attained by a sincere commitment to the Book of Allah, and not simply by an empty claim of love for it. Rather, the heart must be sincerely attached to the Book of Allah and the limbs and tongue will follow suit in this attachment. One must know that we only mentioned a few of the numerous benefits of reading and reflecting over the Qur’an. There are many other benefits that await your reading of the Qur’an and books of Hadith, such as the chapter of the Qur’an that will plead on your behalf in the grave, and that it is a physical healing, a source of rest and relaxation for your heart, among many other things.
Taken with slight editorial modifications from http://www.themodernreligion.com