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Why Do You Read the Quran? Here Are Some Precautions

To attain a faithful relation with the Quran, you need to read it with no purpose other than to receive guidance from your Lord, to come nearer to Him, and to seek His good pleasure.

What you get from the Quran depends on what you come to it for. Your niyyah (intention and purpose) is crucial. Certainly the Quran has come to guide you, but you may also go astray by reading it should you approach it for impure purposes and wrong motives.

{Thereby He causes many to go astray, and thereby He guides many; but thereby He causes none to go astray save the iniquitous} (Al-Baqarah 2:26)

The Word of Allah

The Quran is the word of Allah. Therefore, it requires as much exclusiveness of intention and purity of purpose as does worshiping and serving Him.

Do not read it merely for intellectual pursuit and pleasure; even though you must apply your intellect to the full to the task of understanding the Quran.

So many people spend a lifetime in studying the language, style, history, geography, law and ethics of the Quran, and yet their lives remain untouched by its message. The Quran frequently refers to people who have knowledge but do not derive benefit from it.

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Seeking Support for Your Views?

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Nor should you come to the Quran with the fixed intention of finding support for your own views, notions and doctrines. For if you do, you may, then, hear an echo of your own voice in it, and not that of God.

It is this approach to the understanding and interpreting of the Quran that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) has condemned: “Whoever interprets the Quran by his personal opinion shall take his place in the Fire.” (At-Tirmidhi)

Worldly Gains

Nothing could be more unfortunate than to use the Quran to secure, for your own person, worldly things such as name, esteem, status, fame or money.

You may get them, but you will surely be bartering away a priceless treasure for nothing, indeed even incurring eternal loss and ruin.

Indeed, the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said that one who learns, recites and teaches the Quran for worldly acclaim will be thrown into the Fire (Muslim).

You may also derive other lesser benefits, from the words of the Quran, such as the healing of bodily afflictions, psychological peace, and deliverance from poverty.

There is no bar to having these, but, again, they should not become the be all and end all that you seek from the Quran nor the goal of your niyyah.

For in achieving these you may lose a whole ocean that could have been yours.

Every Letter Counts

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Reading every single letter of the Quran carries with it great rewards. Remain conscious of all the rewards, and make them an objective of your niyyah, for they will provide you with those strong incentives required to spend your life with the Quran.

But never forget that on understanding, absorbing and following the Quran you have been promised much larger rewards, in this-world and in the Hereafter. It is these which you must aim for.

Not only should your purpose be pure, but you should also, once you have the Quran with you—both the text and its living embodiment in the Sunnah—never go to any other source for guidance. For that would be like running after mirages. It would mean a lack of confidence, a denigration of the Quran. It would amount to divided loyalties.

Get Closer to Your Lord

Nothing brings you nearer to your Lord than the moments you spend with His words. For it is only in the Quran that you enjoy the unique blessing of hearing His ‘voice’ addressing you. So let an intense desire to come nearer to Allah be your one overwhelming motive while reading the Quran.

Finally, your niyyah should be directed to seeking only your Lord’s pleasure by devoting your heart, mind and time to the guidance that He has sent to you. That is what you barter when you surrender yourself to Allah: {And of mankind is he who would sell himself, seeking the pleasure of Allah.} (Al-Baqarah 2:207)

Purpose and intentions are like the soul of a body, the inner capability of a seed. Many seeds look alike, but as they begin to grow and bear fruits, their differences become manifest. The purer and higher the motive, the greater the value and yield of your efforts are.

So always ask yourself: Why am I reading the Quran? Tell yourself constantly why you should. This may be the best way to ensure the purity and exclusiveness of purpose and intention.