Advice to the Hamil al-Qur’ān (Bearer of the Qur’ān)
- Ikhlas (sincerity). Have a sincere intention when studying the Qur’ān – this is inextricably linked to the condition of the Heart. Sincerity is key in understanding the Qur’ān.
- Approach the Qur’ān with a readiness to follow the guidance. Sayyid Qutb writes, “We should return to it to find out what kind of person it asks us to be, and then be like that. During this process, we will also discover the artistic beauty in the Qur’ān, the marvellous tales in the Qur’ān, the scenes of the Day of Judgment in the Qur’ān, the intuitive logic of the Qur’ān, and all other such benefits, which are sought in the Qur’ān by academic and literary people. We will enjoy all these other aspects, but these are not the main object of our study. Our primary purpose is to know what way of life is demanded of us by the Qur’ān, the total view of the universe which the Qur’ān wants us to have, what is the nature of our knowledge of God taught to us by the Qur’ān…and the kind of legal and constitutional system it asks us to establish in the world.”
- Ask the help of Allah سبحانه وتعالى to understand the Qur’ān.
When faced with problems in understanding the Qur’ān, one should supplicate to Allah سبحانه وتعالى for help and guidance while continually studying and trying to understand. It is mentioned that when Abdullah ibn Masood (ra) would recite the words of Allah, “And say, My Lord, increase me in knowledge,” (20:114) he would say, اللهم زدني علمًا وإيمانًا ويقينًا “O Allah, increase me in knowledge, faith, and conviction.” It is also reported that when Ibn Taymiyyah encountered difficulty in understanding an Ayat of the Qur’ān, he would take refuge in a large mosque in a desolate area, place his forehead on the ground (in sajdah) and repeat, “O teacher of Ibrahim! Grant me understanding.”
- Appreciate the magnificence of the Divine Speech.