Indeed to reflect on Allah’s verses is a form of worship 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 tafseer of the verses being pondered over, as this would fulfil Ibnul-Qayyim’s great advice, “Such as reflecting over a book which a person has memorised and he expounds it so that he may understand what its author intends by it.”
Indeed the Book of Allah is not a book like any other, it is the timeless Speech of Allah, not a created thing, the study guide for life and death and what comes after. Therefore it deserves a more careful study than anyone else’s speech. It necessitates that its reader return 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 (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam). 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 every sincere Muslim who hopes to earn Allah’s Love breciting and reflecting over Allah’s Book, then let him hold tight to the meanings explained by the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), and those taught by the companions and their immediate followers, and the early scholars of Islam.
So dear brother and sister Muslim! Know that reciting and pondering over the Book of Allah, devoting your time regularly to its study and implementation has tremendous benefits in this life and the Next, so let us now look to just a few of them to attach ourselves more firmly to Allah’s Majestic Words. Each benefit stands as enough of an encouragement to shun any laziness we have and dedicate ourselves to the Qur’an.
1 – Reading and reflecting over the Qur’an fulfils an Islamic duty.
Indeed the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) summarised this Religion with his statement: “The Religion is naseehah (sincerity)!” So then Tameem ibn Aws, may Allah be pleased with him, then said, “We asked, ‘To whom?’” He said: “To Allah, HIS BOOK, His Messenger, the leaders of the people, and their common folk.” [Muslim] The sincerity that is due to the Book of Allah includes its regular recitation, learning the rules of tajweed and reciting it beautifully, learning about its tafseer and the reasons for its revelation, affirming that it is the Truth, the perfect Speech of Allah and not part of the creation, honoring it and defending it, abiding by the orders and prohibitions found in it, teaching it and calling to it. [See Jaami’ul-’Uloom wal-Hikam of Ibn Rajab Al-Hambalee] So by reading and reflecting over the Qur’an, one fulfills an obligation and is rewarded for that. Upon fulfilling this obligation, the Qur’an then becomes a proof for him on the Day of Judgment! And that is our second benefit we will take by embracing this Noble Book…
2 – The Qur’an will be a proof for us on the Day of Judgment.
This is due to the statement of the Messenger: “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 your favor, a proof for you on the Day when you will need every single good deed, or it will be something standing against you, the very Speech of your Creator, a proof against you! Who could be saved from the terrors of that Day if Allah’s own Speech is against him?!?! Think carefully, dear Muslim brother or sister, about your position with the Qur’an! Are you neglecting it, contradicting it, being heedless of its orders and prohibitions, are you thinking deeply over it?! Will it be on your side on the Day of Judgment.?! O Allah! We ask you, by Your Glorious Speech and the rest of your beautiful Names and Attributes, to make the Qur’an a proof for us! O Allah! Don’t make the Qur’an a proof against us on that Day, and save us from the hellfire! For if Allah makes the Qur’an a proof in our favour on that Day, then it would also be an intercessor for us, when NO intercession will take place except by His Permission.
3 – The Qur’an will intercede for us on the Day of Judgment.
The proof: Aboo Umaamah relates that the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: “Read the Qur’an, for verily it will come on the Day of Standing as an intercessor for its companions.” [Muslim]
4 – Your status in this life will be raised.
In Saheeh Muslim, we find a lovely story, about how a man from the people of Jannah, ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattaab, understood this principle. Some men came to question him during his khilaafah about the leadership of Makkah, they asked, “Who do you use to govern Makkah?” He said, “Ibn Abzaa.” They asked, “And who is Ibn Abzaa?” Umar replied, “A freed slave from those we freed.” They remarked, “You left a freed slave in charge of the people of the Valley (the noble tribes of the Quraysh)!?!?” So he answered them, “Verily he is a reader of the Book of Allah and is knowledgeable about the obligations of the Muslims. Haven’t you heard the statement of your Messenger: “Verily Allah raises some people by this Book and lowers others by it.”
5 – You will be from the best of the people.
‘Uthmaan, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: “The best of you are the ones who learn the Qur’an and teach it to others” [Al-Bukhari]
6 – There are ten rewards for each letter you recite from the Qur’an.
As an authentic hadith in At-Tirmithee proves: “Whoever reads a letter from the Book of Allah, he will have a reward. And that reward will be multiplied by ten. I am not saying that “Alif, Laam, Meem” is a letter, rather I am saying that “Alif” is a letter, “laam” is a letter and “meem” is a letter.” So increase your recitation of the Qur’an to gain these merits, and to gain the following merit as well.
7 – The reciters of the Qur’an will be in the company of the noble and obedient angels.
‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, relates that the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: “Verily the one who recites the Qur’an beautifully, smoothly, and precisely, he will be in the company of the noble and obedient angels. And 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 dear brother or sister Muslim, do not let the Shaytaan give you false excuses, such as “I am not an ‘Arab,” or “Its not 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! And 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…
8 – Your position in Paradise is determined by the amount of Qur’an you memorize in this life!
‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Amr ibn Al-’Aas heard the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) saying: “It will be said to the companion of the Qur’an: Read and elevate (through the levels of the Paradise) and beautify your voice as you used to do when you were in the dunyaa! For verily, your position in the Paradise will be at the last verse you recite!” [Aboo Daawood and At-Tirmithee, saheeh]
9 – The Qur’an will lead you to Paradise!
The Prophet 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.” [An authentic hadith found in At-Tabaraanee, on the authority of ‘Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood]
Know, dear brother or sister, that these nine benefits from the many benefits available can only be attained by a sincere commitment to the Book of Allah, not by a person’s mere statement, “I love the Qur’an, it’s beautiful.” Rather the heart must be sincerely attached to Allah’s Book and the limbs and tongue will follow in this attachment. You must know that we only mentioned a few of the numerous benefits of reading and reflecting over the Qur’an. There are many benefits that await your reading in the Qur’an and books of hadith, like the chapter of the Qur’an that will argue 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. And Allah knows best. (Taken from Look 4 Islam)Read More
Let us first establish that children in accordance with the Islamic concept means both male and female. Some Islamic opponents accuse Islam of differentiating between male and female children claiming that Islam prefers boys over girls in terms of inheritance, ‘Aqeeqa (slaughter of two lambs upon the birth of a male baby, and one lamb only for a baby girl) and other matters. In accordance with the true Islamic teaching, both male and female are alike in the sight of Allah, the Almighty. Each, however, is physically prepared and equipped to perform certain tasks and duties that are suitable to his/her nature. All, again are equal in religious duties, except for certain exceptions that are defined and illustrated by Allah, the Almighty, in the Glorious Quran, or declared and specified by Allah’s Apostle, PBUH. Only these differences are to be acknowledged and honoured and only in accordance with Islam and its teachings.
Children, according to Islam, are entitled to various rights. The first and foremost of these rights is the right to be properly brought up, raised and educated. This means that children should be given suitable, sufficient, sound and adequate religious, ethical and moral guidance to last them for their entire lives. They should be engraved with true values, the meaning of right and wrong, true and false, correct and incorrect, appropriate and inappropriate and so forth and so on. Allah, the Almighty stated in the Glorious Qur’an:
“O ye who believe! Save yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is Men and Stones.” (66:6)
Allah’s Apostle, PBUH also said: “Every one of you (people) is a shepherd. And every one is responsible for whatever falls under his responsibility. A man is like a shepherd of his own family, and he is responsible for them.” This Hadith is reported by both Bukhari and Muslim.
Children, therefore are a trust given to the parents. Parents will be responsible for this trust on the Day of Judgement. Parents are essentially responsible for the moral, ethical and the basic and essential religious teachings of their children.
If parents fulfill this responsibility, they will be free of the consequences on the Day of Judgement. The children will become better citizens and a pleasure to the eyes of their parents, first in this life, and in the hereafter.
Allah, the Almighty stated in the Glorious Quran:
“And those who believe and whose families follow them in Faith, to them shall We join their families: Nor shall We deprive them (of the fruit) of aught of their works: (Yet) is each individual in pledge for his deeds.” (52:21)
Moreover, Allah’s Apostle, PBUH said: “Upon death, man’s deeds will (definitely) stop except for three deeds, namely: a continuous charitable fund, endowment or goodwill; knowledge left for people to benefit from; and pious righteous and God-fearing child who continuously prays Allah, the Almighty, for the soul of his parents.” This Hadith is reported by Muslim.
In fact, such a statement reflects the value of the proper upbringing of children. It has an everlasting effect, even after death.
Unfortunately, many parents from every walk of life, in every society, regardless of creed, origin, social and economical status, etc., have neglected this very important imposed right of their own children on them. Such individuals have indeed lost their children as a result of their own negligence. Such parents are so careless about the time their children spend with no benefit, the friends they associate with, the places they go to, etc. Such parents do not care, are totally indifferent about where their children go, when they come back and so forth and so on, causing the children to grow up without any responsible adult and without caring supervision. Such parents neglect even to instruct, direct or guide their children to the proper way of life, behaviour or even right attitudes towards others. Yet, you may find these parents are so careful about guarding their wealth. They are extremely concerned about their businesses, work and otherwise. They exert every possible effort to lead a very successful life in terms of materialistic gains, although all this wealth is not actually theirs. No one will take wealth to the grave.
Children are not only to be well-fed, well-groomed, properly dressed for the weather and for appearance, well-taken care of in terms of housing and utilities. It is more important to offer the child comparable care in terms of educational, religious training, and spiritual guidance. The heart of a child must be filled with faith. A child’s mind must be entertained with proper guidance, knowledge and wisdom. Clothes, food, housing, schooling are not, by any means, an indication of proper care of the child. Proper education and guidance is far more important to a child than this food, grooming and appearance.
One of the due rights of children upon their parents is their spending for their welfare and well-being moderately. Over-spending or negligence is not condoned, accepted or even tolerated in Islam. Such ways will have a negative effect on the child regardless of the social status. Men are urged not to be miserly to their children and households, who are their natural heirs in every religion and society. Why would one be miserly to those who are going to inherit his wealth? Children are entitled to such an important right. They are even permitted to take moderately from their parent’s wealth to sustain themselves if the parent declines to give them proper funds for their living.
Children also have the right to be treated equally in terms of financial gifts. No one should be preferred over the others. All must be treated fairly and equally. None should be deprived his gift from the parents. Depriving, or banning the right of inheritance, or other financial gifts during the lifetime of the parents or the preference of a parent for one child over the other is considered according to Islam as an act of injustice. Injustice will definitely lead to an atmosphere of hatred, anger and dismay amongst the children in a household. In fact, such an act of injustice may, most likely, lead to animosity amongst the children, and consequently, this will affect the entire family environment. In certain cases a special child may show a tender care for his aging parent, for instance, causing the parent to grant such a child a special gift, or issue him the ownership of a house, a factory, a land, a farm, a car, or any other valuable items. Islam however considers such a financial reward to such a caring, loving and perhaps obedient child, a wrong act. A caring child is entitled only to a reward from Allah, the Almighty. Although it is nice to grant such a child something in appreciation for his dedication and special efforts, this must not lead to an act of disobedience to Allah, the Almighty. It may be that the heart and feelings of such a loving and caring child may change, at one point in time, causing him to become a nasty and harmful child. By the same token, a nasty child may change, at any given time, as well, to become a very caring and kind child to the same parent. The hearts and feelings are, as we all know, in the hands of Allah, the Almighty, and can be turned in any direction at any given time and without any previous notice. This, indeed, is one of the reasons for preventing the act of financial preference of a child over another. On the other hand, there is also no assurance or guarantee that a caring child can handle the financial gift of his parent wisely.
It is narrated by Abu Bakr, RAA, who said that Allah’s Apostle, PBUH, was approached by one of his companions, al-N’uman bin Basheer, who said: “O Prophet of Allah! I have granted a servant to one of my children (asking him to testify to that gift).” But Allah’s PBUH asked him: “Did you grant the same to each and every child of yours?” When Allah’s Apostle, PBUH was informed negatively about that, he said: “Fear Allah, the Almighty, and be fair and just to all your children. Seek the testimony of another person, other than me. I will not testify to an act of injustice.” This Hadith is reported by both Bukhari and Muslim. Thus, Allah’s Apostle, PBUH called such an act of preference of one child over the others an act of “injustice.” Injustice is prohibited and forbidden in Islam.
But, if a parent granted one of his children financial help to fulfil a necessity, such as a medical treatment coverage, the cost of a marriage, the cost of initializing a business, etc., then such a grant would not be categorized an act of injustice and unfairness. Such a gift will fall under the right to spend in the essential needs of the children, which is a requirement that a parent must fulfil.
Islam sees that if parents fulfil their duties towards all their children in terms of providing them with necessary training, educational backing, moral, ethical and religious education, this will definitely lead to a more caring child, a better family atmosphere and a better social environment and awareness. On the other hand, any negligence in those parental duties can lead to the loss of a child or ill treatment of the parents at a later age.