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Grasp the Quran to attain Taqwa

Published : Wednesday, 15 May, 2019 at 12:00 AM  Count : 364

Shahriar Feroze

Shahriar Feroze

There are four individual ayahs in the Quran's second chapter, Sura Al--Bakara that mentions of Ramadan, fasting and the revelation of the holy book. Fascinatingly, three of the ayahs generally focus on the nature of fasting, its timeframe and do's and don'ts--which are 183, 184 and 187--but its ayah 185 which clearly adds an extra importance to Ramadan and the Quran. It says, "Ramadan is the month in which was sent down the Quran."

The ayah pin pointedly intertwined the holy month with the revelation of the Quran--no mention of fasting, Tarawi , Sehri , Iftar or whatever is commonly associated with the Islamic holy month. This particular ayah should be enough to draw a sincere believer to seek the Quran. Open the holy book and select a chapter at own will. Easy said than done, there are multiple reasons which yet continue to prevent a curious Muslim to read the Quran without inhibitions--at least in Bangladesh.

The dilemma begins with a wider confusion over whether one needs to perform an ablution prior touching and reading it. The second in line is that Arabic is a foreign language , and majority of the public focuses more on the 'Thawab' or good deeds earned more than understanding what message the Quran has to deliver. The biggest predicament here, however, is to find a reliable, knowledgeable scholar-cum-teacher as a guide.
Sorry to admit, at least this writer truly hasn't come across many so-called scholars, teachers, imams or Hafizes in Dhaka those who inspire general believers to read and understand the basics and simple translation of the Quran in their native lingo. Opportunely, there are numerable English and Bengali translations available in today's book shops and even better is that the Youtube has become flooded with countless posts on recitation, explanation and Tafsirs.

Whatever the obstacles are, please don't pay heed to anyone, including clerics and imams, read and try to grasp the Quran as according to your personal intellectual convenience.  In the Quran, the ayah where the god almighty predominantly focuses on developing trust and fear of god aka Taqwa is the one below:

O you who securely believe!
Fasting is prescribed for you
just as it was prescribed for people of the past,
so that you may attain Taqwa.
- 2:183

The point to ponder over this ayah in this month--for the believer the goal of Ramadan is to attain Taqwa (being conscious and cognizant of god) and apart from fasting -- the second method for developing Taqwa is to read , recite , understand and think about the Quran.

Unquestionably, fasting has been prescribed to help a Muslim attain Taqwa; however, in most cases the ritual actually compels us to refrain from selective prohibitions for a specified number of hours. In order to get closer to Allah, it's essential we read and think about his words and message, therefore follow them to remain mindful of his presence in the long run--not only for specified hours. 

I am truly glad to be living in a well connected tech-savvy era where understanding and reflecting over the Quran has become so much easier than any time before. In fact, given that you are no short of enthusiasm--reading and understanding of the Quran with the help of Google, YouTube and other media modes should not anyhow be a problem.

Coming back to the purpose of this piece, having the correct approach to read and understand the Quran is very important for a non-Arab Muslim. It's not a book meant for reading in the fashion of a novel or a fiction. Perhaps the best method is to read a widely accepted Bangla or English translation for easy understanding of contents of the suras.

Even then the pre-eminent of the translations can appear confusing, since the Quran's contents are a curious blending of historical events, clear instructions, Islamic codes of conduct, parables and metaphors with deeper meanings and at times a silent and a spiritual dialogue between the Prophet Muhammad and his creator via the intermediary archangel Gabriel.

More to it, the Quran assumes familiarity with major narratives recounted in the Biblical scriptures. It summarizes some, dwells at length on others and, in some cases, presents alternative accounts and interpretations of events.

To cut a long story short, the purpose for introducing this piece with Sura Al Baqara ayahs on fasting and Ramadan was meant to restrict my readings and reflections within the boundaries of Ramadan , fasting and the revelation of the Quran. Finishing the entire Quran within a month can perhaps be a sound technique for disciplining Tarawi prayers and its length to divide and finish the Quran in line with a thirty day timeframe, but it should never be followed in the course of developing your personal spiritual maturity.
To finish with, Allah or the god almighty has revealed his words otherwise the Quran through his messenger, so that we the believers pay efforts to read, think, reflect and be acquainted with our creator. The Quran is not an exclusive holy text meant for the clerics and the Ulema, it has been made easy for all.

The bottom-line, we are passing through the month in which the Quran was sent down, what else can compliment your fasting better than thriving to dig deeper inside the Quran?

The writer is editor--in--charge, editorial section, The Daily Observer

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