INDEED, to reflect on Allah's verses is a form of worship that will draw one close to Him. The Quran is not a book like any other; it is a timeless guide for life, death and the hereafter.

Therefore, it necessitates that the reader return to the early narrations of those who witnessed its revelation and heard its explanation by the one deputed by Allah to explain His words to humanity. So every sincere Muslim who hopes to earn Allah's love by reciting and reflecting over His book should hold on to the meanings explained by the Prophet of Islam, his companions and early scholars of Islam.

Reciting and reflecting over the Quran has tremendous benefits. Each of the ones explained here stands as an encouragement to read and try to understand the Holy Quran. The Prophet of Islam (PBUH) summarised the faith as naseehah (sincerity). When Hazrat Tameem ibn Aws inquired, “To whom?” He said “To Allah, His book, His messenger, the leaders of the people and their common folk.”

Thus, sincerity is due to the Quran, its recitation, learning the rules of reciting it beautifully, learning about its interpretation and the reasons for its revelation, abiding by the orders found in it, teaching it and calling the faithful to it. So by reading and reflecting over the Quran, one fulfils an obligation and is rewarded for it. Upon fulfilling this obligation, the Quran then becomes a witness for one on the Day of Judgment. The Holy Prophet says, “the Quran is a proof for you or against you.”

It will either be in your favour, a proof for you on the day when you will need every single good deed, or it will be something against you, the very speech of your Creator, a

proof against you.

The Quran will intercede for us on the Day of Judgment. Hazrat Abu Umaamah relates that the Prophet said “Read the Quran, for verily it will come on the Day of Judgment as an intercessor for its companions.” According to Saheeh al-Muslim, we find a lovely story about how Hazrat Umar understood this principle. Some men once came to ask him, “Who do you use to govern Makkah?” He said, “Ibn Abzaa.” They asked, “Who is Ibn Abzaa?” Umar replied, “A freed slave.”

They remarked, “You have left a freed slave in charge of the people of the valley (the noble tribes of the Quraish)?” He answered them, “Verily, he is a reader of the Book of Allah and is knowledgeable about the obligations of Muslims. Haven't you heard the statement of your Messenger 'Allah raises some people by this Book and lowers others by it'?”

Hazrat Usman also narrates the Holy Prophet as having said “The best among you are the ones who learn the Quran and teach it to others,” according to Saheeh al-Bukhari. There are ten rewards for each letter you recite from the Quran. A hadith in Al-Tirmizi says “Whoever reads a letter from the Book of Allah will have a reward. And that reward will be multiplied by ten. I am not saying that 'Alif, Laam, Meem' is one letter, rather 'Alif' is a letter, 'Laam' is a letter and 'Meem' is a letter.”

Hazrat Ayesha, too, relates that the Prophet once said “One who recites the Quran beautifully, smoothly and precisely will be in the company of noble angels. As for the one who recites it with difficulty, stammering or stumbling through its verses, (s)he will have twice that reward.”

Hazrat Abdullaah ibn Amr ibn al-Aas quotes the Holy Prophet as saying “It will be said to the companion of the Quran 'Read and elevate (through the levels of paradise) and beautify your voice as you used to do when you were (alive). For verily, your position in paradise will be at the last verse you recited!'”

The Prophet also said “The Quran is an intercessor, is given the permission to intercede, and it is rightfully believed in. Whoever puts it in front of himself, will be led to paradise; whoever puts it behind him, will be steered to hellfire.”

This hadith about the Quran is on the authority of Hazrat Abdullaah ibn Masood, summarising for the faithful the importance of reading the Quran and reflecting on its universal message.

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