In Part 1 of this series, we discussed the importance of studying the Quran collectively.
In this Part, we will provide you with some guidelines that should help in making the collective Quran study effective.
Quran Study Circles
One: The number of participants should be 3-10; with no great divergence in the levels of their knowledge and intelligence. Anything less will make it a dialogue, anything more may hinder the active participation of everyone.
Two: The stress should always remain on the message, context and what guidance and lessons are to be drawn. Never get entangled in fine points which have no relevance to real life.
Three: All members should be fully aware of their aims, limitations and procedures.
Four: All members should have the necessary commitment to their task. They should also realize that time, attention and hard work will be required. It is especially important that regular preparation and attendance are observed.
Six: The group members should not sit as strangers, but as brothers in faith in the Quran; committed to understanding and obeying it.
How to Conduct a Study Circle
One: One member should, first, make a presentation of the results of his study.
Two: The rest should then join in, further elaborating, correcting, modifying, raising questions, or providing answers.
Three: If all the members are required to study, then you may either designate beforehand who will do the presentation; this will result in better standards of presentation. Or, call upon anyone present to do the presentation; this will keep everyone alert and working hard.
Four: It will always be useful if at least one member of the circle is more knowledgeable and has access to sources. He would, then, during the discussion, overcome any deficiencies and shortcomings in the original presentation. He may also set and steer the tone and direction of discussion.
Five: If one member who is learned in the Quran participates, he should not intervene from the beginning. Rather he should let the participants say what they want to say, and only then, gently correct them if they are wrong, or add to their knowledge. His method should be suggestive and interrogative rather than discursive.
Six: Towards the end, one member should always sum up the broad message of the passage, its main themes, and its call to action.
Taken, with slight modifications, from the author’s Way to the Quran.