Realising That Everything In The Qur'aan Is True And Having A Complete Trust In It
Allaah سبحانه و تعالى states,
"And who is more truthful than Allaah in statement?" (Sooratun-Nisaa', 4:87)
"And whose words can be truer than those of Allaah?" (Sooratun-Nisaa', 4:122)
When a Muslim reads the Qur'aan he must realise that everything it states is true. No matter what the topic might be, what Allaah سبحانه و تعالى says about it is the truth, regardless of whether it be something related to the unseen, the Hereafter, history, natural law, social law or any other subject. It is all true, coming from the Lord of the Worlds, and no truth can possibly contradict it.
This is an important aspect because sometimes someone may read a passage in the Qur'aan that 'seems' to go against the reality around him. This might make the person question or doubt the Qur'aan. But for the reader who realises that nothing in reality can go against the Qur'aan, this kind of event just opens his eyes. He realises, for example, that the Qur'aan is laying down some general law and there is some reason or precondition that is not being met that is keeping that law from being implemented. This will make him study the principles of the Quranic verse in greater detail, in light of other verses and ahaadeeth, to see what it is exactly that Allaah سبحانه و تعالى is describing. Or it will make him study what is happening in greater detail, going beyond the superficial level to find the true cause for the apparent - and only apparent - contradiction between what the Qur'aan states and what is happening in front of him.
For example, some question why there are so many Muslims in this world yet they are in such a humbled and defeated state. They argue that, in the Qur'aan, Allaah سبحانه و تعالى promises to help the believers yet this help and victory from Allaah سبحانه و تعالى does not seem to be coming about. This kind of argument can only come from someone who does not have complete confidence that everything that Allaah سبحانه و تعالى says in the Qur'aan is true or from someone who does not realise the intricacies of the principles stated in the Qur'aan.
Allaah سبحانه و تعالى promises to test the believers, to have them demonstrate their faith and willingness to sacrifice for Allaah's سبحانه و تعالى sake, before Allaah سبحانه و تعالى grants them victory.  Allaah سبحانه و تعالى states in Sooratul-'Ankaboot,
"Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: "We believe," and will not be tested? And We indeed tested those who were before them. And Allaah will certainly make (it) known (the truth of) those who are true, and will certainly make (it) known (the falsehood of) those who are liars, (although Allaah knows all that before putting them to test)." (Sooratul-'Ankaboot, 29:2-3)
Furthermore, there is the question of whom Allaah سبحانه و تعالى promises to give victory and aid. Allaah سبحانه و تعالى says,
"O you who have believed, if you help (in the cause of) Allaah, He will help you, and make your foothold firm. " (Soorah Muhammad, 47:7)
One may ask how many Muslims today are really striving for the sake of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى and are, therefore, deserving of Allaah's سبحانه و تعالى support and victory. The answer to that question will demonstrate that Allaah's سبحانه و تعالى promise of giving the believers victory is true yet the Muslims are not fulfilling the conditions needed to earn victory and succor from Allaah سبحانه و تعالى.
When the astute and alert reader of the Qur'aan notices this apparent contradiction between reality and what the Qur'aan says, he is led to study the Qur'aan more deeply to understand what the Qur'aan is really saying. Hence, he ends up with a more complete and stronger understanding of the Qur'aan than the reader who doubts such passages or the one who does not even bother to notice such apparent contradictions.
Sometimes the apparent contradiction is because the reader does not realise the reality of what is happening around him. With respect to the situation of the Jews in occupied Palestine, one could argue that this seems to go against the clear teachings of the Qur'aan found in the verse,
"Shame is pitched over them [the Jews] (like a tent) wherever they are found." (Soorah Aal 'Imraan, 3:112)
Actually the rest of this verse explains why there could be exceptions to this law:
"Except when under a covenant (of protection) from Allaah and from men." (Soorah Aal 'Imraan, 3:112)
This is exactly what is happening today. If it were not for the billions of dollars of aid that the Jews receive from their allies in the West and others, they would, it seems clear, collapse. 
When the reader approaches the Qur'aan in this manner - knowing that what it says is true and that reality must follow it - he has a completely different awareness and understanding of the Qur'aan than the reader who does not give this concept much thought. The first reader not only knows that what the Qur'aan says is true but he also realises that what it states must be happening in the world around him. Hence, he understands what is happening around him and acts accordingly based on this deep understanding of the Qur'aan.
In addition, the believers must have confidence in themselves and in their religion in the sense that they believe that the remedy for any problem they face, modern or old, can be found in the guidance of Allaah. 
This attitude can be found in the Muslim who truly believes that everything the Qur'aan says is true and any contradictory way of life is falsehood. In reality, some Muslims, especially in the past few centuries, have "given up" on the teachings of the Qur'aan and have looked for alternative sources to find the best way to live in today's world. They still believe in the Qur'aan at one level but they fail to believe in it completely, in the sense that everything it says is true and will always be true, no matter what changes occur in the world.
Finally, it must be pointed out that this approach to the Qur'aan is essential for a believer. He is not free to doubt any verse or teaching of the Qur'aan because doubt or scepticism concerning any verse is tantamount to heresy and disbelief. It means that the person is not really certain that the Qur'aan is from Allaah سبحانه و تعالى; this is completely unacceptable. Either the person knows with certainty that the Qur'aan is the truth from Allaah سبحانه و تعالى, as is often stated in the Qur'aan, or, in fact, he is not a true believer. Similarly, the person does not have the right to believe in what he likes of the Qur'aan and disregard what he doubts or dislikes of the Qur'aan. Allaah سبحانه و تعالى says,
"So do you believe in part of the Scripture and disbelieve in part? Then what is the recompense for those who do that among you except disgrace in worldly life; and on the Day of Resurrection they will be sent back to the severest of punishment. And Allaah is not unaware of what you do." (Sooratul-Baqarah, 2:85)
The believer must exert himself to see the truth of any Quranic passage if it is dealing with something he experiences and sees in this life. This will bring him closer to the Qur'aan and increase his correct understanding and application of the Qur'aan. 
 For example, during the early 1990s, they received from the United States alone about $3 billions annually, not to speak of the assistance from numerous other Western countries. That means that they received from the United States approximately $1,395 yearly for each of its Jewish citizens. During that time, they were sufferring from a chronic foreign trade imbalance. Without such close ties and assistance from the United States and other Western countries, their economy would have most likely faltered.
 Muhammad ar-Raawi, Hadeeth al-Qur'aan 'an al-Qur'aan, (Riyadh: Maktabah al-Ubaikaan, 1994), p. 104.
The Qur'aan Is Not Limited To A Certain Time Or Place
The Qur'aan was revealed at a certain time and in reference, in many cases, to a certain people or incident. It is sometimes easy for the reader to become complacent and to think of the Qur'aan in terms of referring just to something that happened, something bygone. He thereby closes his eyes unconsciously to the fact that the Qur'aan was not revealed only for a specific era or for a specific people. Instead it is the guidance for all of mankind until the Day of Judgement. It contains lessons that transcend the constraints of time and place. The reader must open his eyes and realise that the Qur'aan, although it refers to specific events, is laying down lessons and principles that are valid for all times and places.
Instead of thinking only about the event referred to, it is must more important for the reader to think about how the Quranic lesson is being manifested in front of his own eyes or is to be applied in his times.
This is not meant to downplay the importance of the science of asbaab an-nuzool (the study of the events leading up to a specific revelation). In many cases, the actual meaning or proper intent of a particular verse cannot be fully understood without looking to the verse's asbaab an-nuzool. But that does not mean that the verse itself or its ruling or lesson is restricted to only that occasion or only to those individuals to whom it was originally referring. If that were the case, then perhaps much of the Qur'aan would have no validity today. This important point is why scholars agree upon the maxim: the ruling is determined by the generality of the text and not by the particularity of the occasion of the ruling.
That the text of the Qur'aan was not to be confined by time and place was something well known to the scholars of tafseer throughout the ages. Whenever they turned to the Qur'aan, they found guidance for their own place and time because they realised that the lessons and rulings of the Qur'aan were not to be restricted to the time of the Companions رضي الله عنهم of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم. This was clearly reflected in their commentaries of the Qur'aan. Salaahud-Deen Al-Khaalidi notes,
"Each and every generation of Muslims found in the text of the Qur'aan a discussion of what they were passing through and what would improve their lives as if the Qur'aan was being revealed at that moment in particular. Every one of the commentators of the Qur'aan started from the texts of the Qur'aan to develop and train his people and make their situation better. And from every commentary on the Qur'aan one can derive the level of culture and civilisation, customs, social life, level of belief and behaviour for the period in which the commentator lived. That commentary was a recording of the civilisation and history of that period. That was only the case because the texts of the Qur'aan were applicable to the time and place of the commentator and were directed to the people around him." 
When the reader approaches the Qur'aan with this perception in his mind, not thinking that this verse was referring to the disbelieving tribes and so on, but thinking that each and every verse is actually giving a meaning that is relevant to what is happening around him, then he will see the Quranic messages living in front of his own eyes. He will read verses, that were originally revealed in reference to specific people or incidents, and see them being re-enacted around him in his life. Instead of thinking that the verses are talking about something that has passed, he will realise the Qur'aan is referring to living and happening events, things that occur over and over in the history of mankind and that are occurring around him while he is reading the Qur'aan, regardless of whether he be at the Ka'bah, in Karachi or in New York.
For example, Allaah سبحانه و تعالى says in the Qur'aan,
"And of the people is he who worships Allaah on an edge. If he is touched by good, he is reassured by it; but if he is struck by trial, he turns on his face [to the other direction]. He has lost [this] world and the Hereafter. That is what is the manifest loss." (Soorah Hajj, 22:11)
A look at Imaam at-Tabari's رحمه الله commentary tells us that this verse was revealed concerning some of the bedouin tribes around Madeenah who entered Islaam and stayed with the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم only if such a venture turned out good for them. 
Obviously, if when reading this verse, the reader simply thinks in his mind about those bedouin tribes only, he will be missing the real guidance of the Quranic verse. Instead he should look around him and see how until this day such people exist. He should take a warning from this verse and realise that the behaviour described in this verse is not something that was exhibited by some people during the time of the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم but it is a behaviour that will be repeatedly appearing throughout the history of mankind. If the reader applies the Qur'aan to the life around him, he will see this verse demonstrated in front of him. Even more importantly, because of his alertness, he might find that he himself exhibits this kind of behaviour. He might realise that the verse is actually talking about him. Because he approached the Qur'aan in the correct manner, releasing its text from contraints of time and place, he will be able to notice his grave mistake and correct himself before it is too late.
This is in contrast to the person who reads the Qur'aan thinking that those verses refer to bygone people and misses the relevance of the text to his own time. He does not realise that the Qur'aan is describing what is happening around him or, perhaps, most importantly, what he himself is doing.
In another verse, Allaah سبحانه و تعالى states,
"Those to whom hypocrites said, "Indeed, the people have gathered against you, so fear them." But it [merely] increased them in faith, and they said, "Sufficient for us is Allaah , and [He is] the best Disposer of affairs."" (Soorah Aali 'Imraan, 3:173)
One does not have to turn to any commentary on the Qur'aan to realise that this verse was revealed concerning a specific people at a specific event. This is quite clear from the wording and context of the verse. Yet the lesson it contains is a very important one, especially for Muslims living in times like today when they are very weak and the enemies of Islaam are taking advantage of their economic and military superiority.
What a loss it would be for the reader to read this verse just thinking about it as a historical happening and not realising what an example and lesson it contains for him. In this verse, Allaah سبحانه و تعالى is making it clear that the true believers with a correct understanding of Islaam know that the enemies of Islaam will gather against them. When this occurs, they know that Allaah's سبحانه و تعالى promise and plan for this world is true and this only increases their eemaan (faith) and never increases their fear of the enemies of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى. This was the case of those people concerning which this verse was originally revealed and the reader should realise that this should be his response, since he claims to be a true believer, whenever he comes across a similar situation.
When the Qur'aan is freed from constraints of time and place it really has a living and vital effect on the reader. When he closes the Qur'aan upon the contemplation of his reading, his vision and sight are now at a new level. As he looks around him, as he hears people speak or sees them act, in fact, as he himself speaks or acts, the verses of the Qur'aan flow directly to his mind and he says to himself, "This is exactly what Allaah سبحانه و تعالى was describing. This is exactly what that passage was talking about."
This will make him realise the reality of the Qur'aan as well as the reality of Allaah's سبحانه و تعالى presence, the importance of believing in and submitting to Him, the reward for doing right and the punishment for doing wrong. And, furthermore, when he comes across those aspects of life that the Qur'aan discusses, he will know how to respond in the manner that is pleasing to Allaah سبحانه و تعالى because he knows exactly what Allaah سبحانه و تعالى has said about that aspect in the Qur'aan and how he should behave to attain Allaah's سبحانه و تعالى pleasure. Far different will this person be from the one who reads the Qur'aan and in his mind he is thinking that each verse is referring to something that happened - something past, something gone, something dead - and thereby he makes the Qur'aan something past and dead as if it is not meant for today. The Qur'aan, therefore, does not breathe into him the guidance that it contains - guidance that is relevant and real for every time and place. 
 Salaahud-Deen al-Khaalidi, Mafaateeh Li-Itimaal ma' al-Qur'aan, (Jordan: Maktabah al-Manaar, 1985), p. 106.
 Jaami' al-Bayaan 'an Ta'weel Ayi al-Qur'aan, (Beirut: Daar al-Fikr, 1988), vol. 10, p. 123.
Realising That the Qur'aan Has Been Revealed for the Sake of the Reader and Is Directed to Him
Allaah سبحانه و تعالى says in the Qur'aan,
"O mankind, there has come to you an admonition from your Lord and a healing for the (diseases) in your hearts and for those who believe, a guidance and a mercy." (Soorah Yoonus, 10:57)
Hence, the Qur'aan is a mercy, healing and guide. The reader should approach the Qur'aan realizing fully the answer to the following questions: For whom is the Qur'aan a mercy? For whom is the Qur'aan a healing? For whom is the Qur'aan a guide? In fact, for whom has the Qur'aan actually been revealed?
The answer to all these questions is one and the same. The Qur'aan is a mercy, healing and guide and has been revealed for the sake of every individual who wishes to believe in it and follow it. Hence, in essence, the Qur'aan has actually been revealed for the reader himself. Furthermore, by following it and accepting its teachings, he is simply helping his own soul while, on the other hand, if he turns away from it, he simply hurts his own soul:
"Verily, proofs have come to you from your Lord, so whosoever sees it, will do so (for the good) of his own self, and whosoever blinds himself, will do so to his own harm. And I (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) am not a watcher over you." (Sooratul-An'aam, 6:104)
"Say: O mankind, now truth has come to you from your Lord. So whosoever receives guidance, he does so for the good of his own self, and whosoever goes astray, he does so to his own loss. And I am not (set) over you as a Wakeel (disposer of affairs to oblige you for guidance)." (Soorah Yoonus, 10:108)
It is true that the Qur'aan was revealed to the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم during his lifetime but the Qur'aan was not revealed just for him and his Companions رضي الله عنهم. No, indeed, the Qur'aan was revealed for every believer until the Day of Judgment. As Murad رحمه الله writes,
"No doubt the Qur'aan was sent down at a specific point in history, and you have received it indirectly through persons, time and space. But the Qur'aan is the word of the Ever-living God, it is eternally valid and it addresses every person. So let all these intermediaries recede for a while and allow yourself to read the Qur'aan as if it is talking directly to you, as an individual and as a member of a collectivity, in your time. The very thought of such direct reception will keep your heart seized by what you are reading." 
The reader must have this realization that the Qur'aan was revealed for him and his guidance. When he approaches the Qur'aan, he should think to himself, "In Allaah's mercy سبحانه و تعالى, He has revealed this book for my benefit. He has revealed it so I may know my Lord سبحانه و تعالى and see that path that is pleasing to Him. In reality, Allaah سبحانه و تعالى is talking directly to me in the Qur'aan. He is guiding me directly."
When the reader reads about the bounties of paradise and Allaah's pleasure سبحانه و تعالى with the believers, he should realize that Allaah سبحانه و تعالى may be talking about him being in Paradise and earning Allaah's pleasure سبحانه و تعالى if he chooses to believe and do right. Similarly, when he reads about the Hell-fire and Allaah's wrath سبحانه و تعالى, he should realize again that Allaah سبحانه و تعالى might be talking about him if that is the path that he so chooses. When the person reads with this awareness, as Murad stated, his heart will be seized by what he is reading.
In fact, whenever he reads about Allaah's rewards سبحانه و تعالى for the believers, from his heart will gush forth the words, "O Allaah, allow me to be one of those who earn such reward and Your pleasure." and whenever he reads of Allaah's punishment سبحانه و تعالى, he will immediately respond, "O Allaah, save me from such an evil end and life."
This is exactly the practice and the guidance of the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم in reading the Qur'aan. Ummul Mu'mineen 'Aa'ishah رضي الله عنها narrated that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم would never pass over a verse that mentioned "mercy" except that he would stop at that point and ask for Allaah's mercy سبحانه و تعالى. Similarly, he would never pass over a verse that mentions punishment except that he would stop at that point and seek refuge in Allaah سبحانه و تعالى from that punishment. 
On another occasion, Muslim ibn Makhraq رحمه الله said to Ummul Mu'mineen 'Aa'ishah رضي الله عنها, "Some of the people read the whole Qur'aan once or twice in a night." She said, "Whether they read it or don't read it [they are just reading its words but are not understanding it]. I prayed with the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم during the entire night and he read soorahs al-Baqarah, aali-'Imraan and an-Nisaa'. He would not pass by any verse that gave good tidings except that he would supplicate and hope for it. He would also not pass by any verse that mentions any punishment except that he would supplicate and seek refuge from it." 
Furthermore, when any command comes from Allaah سبحانه و تعالى in the Qur'aan, the reader must realize that it is directed to him. Whenever Allaah سبحانه و تعالى says, "O you who believe ... " or "O mankind ... ", he responds as if he hears someone calling his name because he knows that these verses are addressed to him. The Companion 'Abdullaah ibn Mas'ood رضي الله عنه once said, "When it says, 'O you who believe ... ' you must listen [closely] as it is either ordering you to something that is good for you or prohibiting you something that is bad for you."
In Ihyaa' 'Uloom ad-Deen, Imaam Abu Haamid al-Ghazzaali رحمه الله wrote,
"Although everyone is addressed by the speech [or verse of the Qur'aan], in fact, the individual is meant. The reader by himself is the one addressed. He has nothing to do with the rest of the people. He must realize that he is the addressed. Allaah سبحانه و تعالى says, 'That I may warn you and all whom it reaches.' (Sooratul-An'aam, 6:19).  Muhammad ibn Kaab al-Quradhi رحمه الله stated, 'Whoever the Qur'aan reaches, it is as if Allaah سبحانه و تعالى spoke to him.' If one is able to reach this realization, then he will not consider his recitation of the Qur'aan as his [final] deed but he will read it as a slave reads a letter from his master that [the master] wrote for him to study and act according to what it commands ... And for this reason one scholar said, "This Qur'aan is letters [or messages] that have reached us from our Lord سبحانه و تعالى with His covenants, so that we may ponder over it in the prayers, and ponder over it in our seclusion  and implement it in the acts of obedience and sunan.'" 
Obviously the Qur'aan is much more important than any letters from a master or friend or commands from a superior. It is the guidance of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى for every individual. The reader must realize that this is his personal guide. It is a mercy for him personally. It is a healing for the diseases of his own heart and soul. If the person understands that the Qur'aan is a revelation from Allaah سبحانه و تعالى but does not fathom that it has been revealed for his own guidance, his reading will certainly be lacking. He may never come to the realization that the Qur'aan is talking directly to him and to his heart. He may never realize that the Qur'aan is showing him the straight path. Alas, he may read the Qur'aan throughout his entire life and never realize that this is his guide and a mercy for him until it is too late and it will be of no avail to him.
Finally, the reader should realize that this aspect is true for every passage in the Qur'aan. Murad رحمه الله perceptively noted,
"Indeed, I believe there is not a single passage in the Qur'aan which does not have a personal message for you, only you have to have the insight to look for it. Every attribute of God asks you to build a corresponding relationship with Him, every description of the Life beyond death asks you to prepare for it, or aspire for its reward, or seek protection from its evils, every dialogue involves you in it and every character presents a model you should either emulate or avoid following. Every legal injunction, even it is apparently inapplicable in your present situation, has some message for you. Very general statements always have a specific meaning for you; very specific statements, events and situations can always lead to general propositions to apply to your lives." 
One final point should be made on this topic. Some people might get sidetracked by the Qur'aan's alluding to many aspects of the life and beliefs of the Arabs at the time of its revelation. But, as Maudoodi رحمه الله has concisely answered, this should not be taken to mean it was revealed for them for the principles it discusses not the incidents are apparent throughout all times and places. Indeed, many of the misconceptions they had regarding belief about Allaah سبحانه و تعالى are relevant today and an understanding of the arguments presented to them in the Qur'aan is very important for the purposes of calling non-Muslims to Islam. Maudoodi رحمه الله states,
"What ought to be considered is whether or not the Quranic statements in refutation of the polytheistic beliefs of the Arabs of those days apply as well to other forms of polytheism in other parts of the world. Can the arguments advanced by the Qur'aan in that connection be used to rectify the beliefs of other polytheists? Is the Quranic line of argument for establishing the unity of God, with minor adaptations, valid and persuasive for every age? If the answers are positive, there is not reason why a universal teaching should be dubbed exclusive to a particular people and age merely because it happened to be addressed originally to that people and at that particular period of time. No philosophy, ideology or doctrine consists of mere abstraction and is totally unrelated to the circumstances in which it developed."  
 Khurram Murad رحمه الله, Way to the Quran (Leicester, UK: The Islamic Foundation, 1985), p. 43
 Recorded by Imaam Muslim رحمه الله
 Recorded by Imaam Ahmad رحمه الله. According to Misfur al-Ghaamidi, it is hasan. See al-Ghaamdi's footnotes to Muhammad ibn Ayyoob adh-Dhaaris, Fadhaa'il al-Qur'aan (Dar Haafidh, 1988), p. 67
 The entire verse reads, "Say: What thing is most weighty in evidence? Say: Allaah is witness between me and you; this Qur'aan has been revealed to me by inspiration. That I may warn you and all whom it reaches. Can you possibly bear witness that other than Allaah there are gods? Say: Nay! I cannot bear witness. Say: But in truth He is the One God. And I truly am innocent of (your blasphemy of) joining others with Him."  Salaahuddeen Al-Khaalidi, Mafaateeh lit-Ta'aamul ma'al-Qur'aan (Jordan: Maktaba al-Manaar), 1985, p. 119, quoted this passage from Imaam al-Ghazzaali's work رحمه الله but the quote was mistaken at this point as al-Khaalidi's text states, "khutuwat." The mistake could have been from the edition of al-lhyaa' that al-Khaalidi used.
 Imaam Abu Haamid al-Ghazzaali رحمه الله, Ihyaa' 'Uloom ad-Deen (Beirut: Dar al-Marifa, n.d.), vol. 1, p. 285
 Murad, pp. 90-91
 Abul Ala Maudoodi رحمه الله, An Introduction to Understanding the Quran (Riyadh: WAMY, 1990), pp. 40-41
 Taken from: Shaykh Jamaaluddeen Zarabozo حفظه الله, How to Approach and Understand the Quran (Boulder, CO, USA: Al-Basheer Company for Publications and Translations, 1999), pp. 167-173
Realising That One Is Reading the Word and Speech of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى
Verses 190 and 191 of Soorah Aali-'Imraan read,
"Behold, in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alternation of night and day, there are indeed signs for men of understanding men who remember Allaah standing, sitting and lying down on their sides, and contemplate the (wonders of) creation in the heavens and the earth, (with the saying): 'Our Lord, You have not created (all) this in vain (or for naught). Glory to You! Give us salvation from the punishment of the Fire.'"
In these verses Allaah سبحانه و تعالى speaks about looking at this creation and its magnificence and wonders. Surely this should make any human conscious that this creation has not been created in vain or without a reason. There obviously must be some purpose and reason for this great creation.
If that is what the perceptive person concludes from this creation, what must be his thought when he turns to the Qur'aan realising that it is the Word and Speech of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى? It is the Word of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى that Allaah سبحانه و تعالى revealed to the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم and preserved for all of mankind until the Day of Judgment. The Word of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى - isn't that much greater than the wonders and magnificence of the heavens and earth? The Qur'aan is not a creation but it is the speech of Allaah. 
What can a human ever come across that should be more important or dearer to him than the Word and Speech of his Creator سبحانه و تعالى?
When this realisation is missing, the results can be devastating. The person may not even have any desire to read the Qur'aan if he does not consider it Allaah's Speech سبحانه و تعالى. And even if he does read it, there may be nothing to drive him to act upon it, especially when the society around him is not applying it and that if he does apply it, and acts righteously, he may miss many of the pleasures of this world that all those around him seem to be enjoying. 
Israr Ahmad رحمه الله aptly described this situation when he wrote,
"Now let us examine the condition of our faith in the Qur'aan. We profess that the Qur'aan is a Divine revelation, and indeed we should be thankful to the Almighty سبحانه و تعالى that He has included us among those who hold this belief about His book, but most of us are not inwardly convinced of its being the Word of God, a revelation from the Creator of the heavens and the earth. This is the real cause of our estrangement from, and indifference to, the Qur'aan. Even causal introspection and self-examination will prove that our hearts are devoid of true belief in the Qur'aan and that, instead of harbouring true faith, they have become the dwelling place of doubts and misgivings ... This lack of faith is the reason why we neither find any reverence for the Qur'aan in our hearts, nor feel inclined to study it, nor evince any interest in pondering over its meaning, nor think of seeking its guidance in the conduct of our lives. As long as we do not make up this dreadful deficiency, no useful purpose will be served by any amount of religious instruction." 
For the Qur'aan to have its greatest impact on the heart and soul of the reader, he should never forget exactly what the Qur'aan is: the Speech of the Creator and One and Only God سبحانه و تعالى. The believers should take to heart what Ibn 'Abbaas رضي الله عنهما stated with respect to the verse,
"We have indeed made the Quran easy to understand and remember: then is there any who will receive admonition?" (Sooratul-Qamar, 54:17)
It is recorded that Ibn 'Abbaas رضي الله عنهما stated "If Allaah سبحانه و تعالى did not make it easy for humans, no one of the creation would be able to speak with the words of Allaah." 
Perhaps Imaam al-Ghazzaali رحمه الله captured very well the essence and magnificence of this notion when he wrote,
"[The reader must understand] the greatness and lofty stature of the speech and the bounty of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى and His grace to His creation in revealing it from the Throne of His Majesty to the level of the understanding of His creation. [The reader] should consider how beneficent Allaah سبحانه و تعالى was towards His creation in delivering to their understanding the meanings of His Speech, which is one of His eternal attributes existing with His Essence..." 
When this fact is clear in the reader's mind, he definitely does not read the Qur'aan faintheartedly. Instead, he weighs each word of the Qur'aan and ponders over its meaning. He understands that there is some great purpose why Allaah سبحانه و تعالى revealed and preserved His Word and Speech.
Again, the Qur'aan is the word of Allah سبحانه و تعالى: The Speech of the Creator who is the All-Merciful, the Ever-Merciful, the All-Knowing, All-Wise سبحانه و تعالى. In fact, on a number of occasions Allaah سبحانه و تعالى reminds the reader of exactly Whom this revelation has come from. Allaah سبحانه و تعالى says,
"Allaah! There is no God but He, the Living, the Self-Subsisting, Eternal. It is He who sent down to you the Book in truth, confirming what came before it. And he sent down the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)." (Soorah Aali-'Imraan, 3:2-3)
In this verse, Allaah سبحانه و تعالى first informs the reader that there is none worthy of worship but Him and that He is the Living, the Self-Subsisting and then Allaah سبحانه و تعالى states that it is that very same only God who has sent down this Book. The following verses are of a similar nature:
"The revelation of this Book is from Allaah, Exalted in Power, Full of Knowledge, Who forgives sin, accepts repentance, is strict in punishment, and has a long reach (in all things). There is no god but He: to Him is the final goal." (Soorah Ghaafir, 40:2- 3)
"A revelation from (Allaah), Most Gracious, Most Merciful." (Soorah Fussilat, 41:2)
"Verily, those who disbelieved in the Reminder (i.e. the Qur'aan) when it came to them (shall receive the punishment). Indeed, it is an honorable, respected Book. No falsehood can approach it from before or behind it. It is sent down by One Full of Wisdom, Worthy of all Praise." (Soorah Fussilat, 41:41-42)
It is the revelation from the One full of Wisdom, Worthy of all praise سبحانه و تعالى. Furthermore, Allaah سبحانه و تعالى has protected it from any falsehood.
Need more be said? Need more be said to make the believer rush to the Qur'aan to hear and read his Lord's speech and message? Can a believer read such verses reminding him of who this revelation has come from and then not give his full heart and attention to what he reads? Can anyone realise that this revelation has come from the Living, the Self-Sustaining, the Compassionate, the Merciful, the All-Wise, and then be lackadaisical when it comes to the reading and understanding of this book?
Obviously when Muslims are more conscious of this fact that the Qur'aan is Allaah's Word and Speech سبحانه و تعالى, and what that actually implies, their attitude toward the Qur'aan becomes different. Instead of considering reading the Qur'aan a task, they would hasten to it to read the Word of Allaah. 
 One should keep in mind the exact nature of the Qur'aan. Imaam At-Tahaawi رحمه الله has explained the Islamic belief concerning the Qur'aan, "The Qur'aan is the Word of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى. It originated from Him as an articulated speech in an unknown manner (bi laa kayfiyyah). Allaah سبحانه و تعالى revealed it to His Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم by inspiration (wahy). The Believers bear witness to its revelation. They are certain that it is the actual Speech of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى. It is not created like the speech of humans. Whoever hears it and thinks it is the speech of man is an infidel. Allaah سبحانه و تعالى has condemned and censured him and threatened him with Hell-Fire when He سبحانه و تعالى says,'I will burn him in the Hell-Fire.'(74:26). By Allaah's threatening with the Fire those who say, 'This is nothing but the word of a mortal.'(74:25) we know and become certain that it is the Speech of the Creator سبحانه و تعالى of humans and it is completely unlike the speech of mankind." Imaam Ibn Abil-'Izz al-Hanafi رحمه الله, Sharh al-'Aqeedah at-Tahaawiyyah.
 "Seem to be enjoying" because, in fact, all that the disbelievers and evildoers engage in of this world can never bring them true happiness as is very clear from their own words and strife.
 Israr Ahmad رحمه الله, The Book and the Believer (London: Ta-Ha Publishers, 1988), pp. 6-7.
 Quoted in Imaam Ibn Katheer رحمه الله, Tafseer al-Qur'aan al-'Adheem, p. 1282.
 Imaam Al-Ghazzaali رحمه الله, Ihyaa' 'Uloom ad-Deen (Beirut: Dar al-Marifa, n.d.), vol. 1, p. 280.
 Taken from: Shaykh Jamaaluddeen Zarabozo حفظه الله, How to Approach and Understand the Quran (Boulder, CO, USA: Al-Basheer Company for Publications and Translations, 1999), pp. 173-178
What one receives from the Qur'aan, how much one understands of the Qur'aan and how much one is truly guided by the Qur'aan is not a static process. It is indeed a dynamic process that is directly related to one's faith and willingness to apply the Qur'aan. As the person learns and applies the Qur'aan, his understanding of the Qur'aan increases even further. The one whose heart already has faith and a willingness to submit to and apply the Qur'aan is the one who really learns the Qur'aan. This was the case with the Companions رضي الله عنهم of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم.
Indeed, Allaah سبحانه و تعالى calls the Qur'aan a guidance for those who are God-fearing and apply Islaam:
"This is the Book, in it is guidance sure, without doubt, for those who fear Allaah; who believe in the Unseen, are steadfast in prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them. And who believe in the revelation sent to you and sent before your time, and (in their hearts) have the assurance of the Hereafter. They are on true guidance from their Lord and it is these who will prosper." (Sooratul Baqarah, 2:2-5)
Commenting on these verses, Sayyid Abul A'laa Maudoodi رحمه الله wrote,
"This means that while the Book is potentially for all, only those who possess certain qualities can benefit from it. The first such quality is piety: those who want to benefit should be disposed to distinguish between good and evil, and to shun evil and do good. Those who lead an animal existence, who never stop to consider whether their actions are either good or bad, who cynically follow the prevailing winds, who are helplessly tossed about by the animal desires that dominate their minds, such persons are altogether incapable of deriving any benefit from the guidance embodied in the Qur'aan." 
If someone's heart is filled with pride, arrogance, vanity or other diseases or if a person's only concern is to satisfy his whims and desires, and he has the least desire to change his way of life according to the Qur'aan, he may get nothing from his reading of the Qur'aan. If, on the other hand, he does have some desire to mend his ways and live a goodly life, then each time he reads and applies the Qur'aan, his understanding and application of the Qur'aan will improve. Finally, the diseases in his heart will be removed and he will become one of the pious. And if a person whose heart and actions are pure and righteous turns to the Qur'aan, his heart and mind will be completely attuned to it and he will be granted guidance upon the guidance that he already possessed.
"And those who strive in Our (Cause), We will certainly guide them to Our paths: for verily Allaah is with those who do right." (Sooratul 'Ankaboot, 29:69)
"For believers are those who, when Allaah is mentioned, feel a tremor in their hearts, and when they hear His revelations recited, find their faith strengthened, and put all their trust in their Lord." (Sooratul An'aam, 8:2)
"But those who believe and work deeds of righteousness and believe in the (revelation) sent down to Muhammad for it is the truth from their Lord, He will remove from them their sins and improve their condition." (Soorah Muhammad, 47:2)
Sayyid Qutb رحمه الله convincingly argues that unless one applies the Qur'aan in his actions and actually begins to live in its shade, he will never really taste the sweetness and experience the guidance of the Qur'aan. In one passage, he states, "The underlying lessons of this Qur'aan will never be revealed to those who simply sit, those who discuss its texts in light of its linguistic and rhetorical principles ... They are the ones who simply sit." 
The teachings and guidance of the Qur'aan are meant to be lived and applied to reality; as long as the person does not attempt to live and apply them, there will always be a barrier between him and the essence of the Qur'aan. Sayyid Qutb رحمه الله emphatically notes,
"The [sweet taste] of this Qur'aan is not to be tasted save by the one who dives into the struggle. The one who faces the same situations concerning which it was revealed and faces them in the same way [that the Qur'aan] faces them. Those who search for the meaning and evidences of the Qur'aan while they are sitting studying it as speech or art only will never be able to discover the reality of the Qur'aan from that motionless, barren sitting far away from the struggle and far away from the movement. The reality of the Qur'aan is never revealed to those who simply sit. Its inner truth will never expose itself to those who are overtaken by rest and relaxation while they serve other than Allaah سبحانه و تعالى or submit to false lords and not to Allaah." 
Sayyid Abul A'laa Maudoodi رحمه الله eloquently echoed the same thoughts when he wrote,
"It should be remembered, nevertheless, that full appreciation of the spirit of the Qur'aan demands practical involvement with the struggle to fulfil its mission. The Qur'aan is neither a book of abstract theories and cold doctrines which the reader can grasp while seated in a cozy armchair, nor is it merely a religious book like other religious books, the secrets of which can be grasped in seminaries and oratories ....
This is the Book which inspired and directed that great movement which began with the preaching of a message by an individual, and continued for no fewer than twenty-three years, until the Kingdom of God was truly established on earth. In this long and heart-rending struggle between Truth and falsehood, this Book unfailingly guided its followers to the eradication of the latter and the consolidation and enthronement of the former. How then could one expect to get to the heart of the Quranic truths merely by reciting its verses, without so much as stepping upon the field of battle between faith and unbelief, between Islam and Ignorance? To appreciate the Qur'aan fully one must take it up and launch into the task of calling people to God, making it one's guide at every stage.
Then, and only then, does one meet the various experiences encountered at the time of its revelation ...
Again, in keeping with the same principle, a man can neither understand the laws, the moral teachings, and the economic and political principles which the Qur'aan embodies, nor appreciate the full import of the Quranic laws and regulation, unless he tries to implement them in his own life. Hence the individual who fails to translate the Quranic precepts into personal practice will fail to understand the Book." 
Furthermore, this Qur'aan - this light from Allaah سبحانه و تعالى - is something special. The one who has been blessed by Allaah سبحانه و تعالى to receive it must realize that he has been given something special by Allaah. 
Therefore, the behavior of that person must be a dignified one, corresponding to the dignified bounty that he has received. The Companion Abdullaah ibn 'Amr رضي الله عنهما said, "The one who has memorized the Qur'aan is carrying with him a great matter. The level of prophethood is in him except that he does not receive revelation. Therefore, the one who knows the Qur'aan must not get angry in circumstances where the others get angry nor should he indignant when the others become indignant for in his heart is the Qur'aan." 
Finally, one should realize that there is a relationship between committing sins, in other words, not living by the Qur'aan or in its shade, and loss of knowledge. Shaykh Naasir al-'Umar حفظه الله stated,
"[Committing sins is] the worst of the things that destroys knowledge. It crushes knowledge as a fire devours branches. How many forbidden looks led to the loss of a great deal of knowledge. Or [how often has] a small amount of forbidden or doubtful wealth turned knowledge into a mirage ... Verily Allaah سبحانه و تعالى has stated the truth [when he said], 'Those truly fear Allah among His servants who have knowledge.'" (Soorah Faatir, 35:28) 
Hence, the more one commits sins, the farther he strays from the Qur'aan and the more and more difficult it becomes for him to see, understand and apply the guidance of the Qur'aan.
In addition, sins and disobedience to Allaah سبحانه و تعالى can lead to one's heart being hardened. One's heart can become blinded and sealed. This is one of the greatest blockades to getting the guidance from the Qur'aan. As Allaah سبحانه و تعالى says in the Qur'aan,
"Do they not ponder over the Qur'aan or are their hearts sealed?" (Soorah Muhammad, 47:24)
When the heart is sealed, the light of the Qur'aan - by Allaah's will and command سبحانه و تعالى - is not able to penetrate it.
Khurram Murad's رحمه الله comments on this topic are a good conclusion concerning this matter. He wrote,
"Unless you are prepared and begin to act to shape your thoughts and actions according to the messages you receive from the Qur'aan, all your dedication and labour may be to no avail. Mere intellectual exercises and ecstatic experiences will never bring you anywhere near the real treasures of the Qur'aan."  
 Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi رحمه الله, Towards Understanding the Quran (Leicester: the Islamic Foundation, 1988), vol. 1, p. 45, fn. 3. In the following footnotes Sayyid Abul A'laa Maudoodi رحمه الله discusses the other prerequisites, mentioned in the above verses, of belief in the unseen, establishment of the prayer, giving charitably from one's wealth, belief in the books revealed and belief in the unseen.
 Sayyid Qutb رحمه الله, Fee Dhilaal al-Qur'aan (Cairo: Dar ash-Shuruq, 1992), vol. 3, p. 1453.
 Ibid., vol. 4, p. 1865.
 Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi رحمه الله, An Introduction to Understanding the Quran (Riyadh: WAMY, 1990), pp. 36-39.
 All Muslims must feel this way with respect to their bounty of being guided to Islaam. They must realize that Allaah سبحانه و تعالى has given them something special and, in return, they should behave properly with respect to that special bounty that Allaah سبحانه و تعالى has given them.
 Quoted in Imaam Abu Bakr al-Aajuri رحمه الله, Akhlaaq al-Qur'aan (Beirut: Daar al-Kutub al-'Ilmiyyah, 1987), pp. 55-56. Its chain is sound.
 Shaykh Naasir al-'Umar حفظه الله, Al-'Ilm: Daaroorah Shar'iyyah (Riyadh: Daar al-Watn, 1412 A.H.), p.
64. Also see Shaykh Bakr Abu Zaid رحمه الله, Hilyah Talib al-'Ilm (Cairo: Maktaba al-Tauiya al-lslaarniyyah, 1989), p. 9.
 Khurram Murad رحمه الله, Way to the Quran (Leicester, UK: The Islamic Foundation, 1985), p. 33.
 Taken from: Shaykh Jamaaluddeen Zarabozo حفظه الله, How to Approach and Understand the Quran (Boulder, CO, USA: Al-Basheer Company for Publications and Translations, 1999), pp. 178-184
The knowledge of 'uloom al-Qur'aan, or 'The Sciences of the Qur'aan', deals with the knowledge of those sciences that have a direct bearing on the recitation, history, understanding and implementation of the Qur'aan. It is, therefore, a vast field of Islaamic scholarship, and one that is of primary importance.
Thus, for example, with regards to recitation, 'uloom al-Qur'aan deals with the science of pronunciation (tajweed), the different methodologies of reciting the Qur'aan (the qira'aat), the blessings of reciting the Qur'aan, and the etiquette of its recitation.
With regards to the history of the Qur'aan, 'uloom al-Qur'aan deals with the stages of revelation of the Qur'aan, the compilation of the Qur'aan, the art and history of writing the Qur'aanic script (rasm al-masaahif), and the preservation of the Qur'aan.
With regards to its understanding and implementation, 'uloom al-Qur'aan covers the causes of causes of revelation (asbaab an-nuzool), the knowledge of the makkee and madanee revelations, the knowledge of the various forms (ahruf) it was revealed in, the understanding of its abrogated rulings and verses (naasikh wal-mansookh), the knowledge of the various classifications of its verses (muhkam and mutashaabih, 'aam and khaas, mutlaq and muqayyad, etc.), the knowledge of the inimitable style of the Qur'aan (i'jaaz al-Qur'aan), the knowledge of its interpretation (tafseer), the grammatical analysis of the Qur'aan (i'raab al-Qur'aan) and the knowledge of those words whose usage has become uncommon over time (ghareeb al-Qur'aan).
It has been said that the knowledge of the 'uloom al-Qur'aan is in reality the knowledge that one is required to know in order to properly interpret the Qur'aan. Therefore, to call this branch of Islaamic knowledge 'The Procedure and Methodology of Interpretation' ('Ilm Usool at-Tafseer) instead of 'Uloom al-Qur'aan would not be far from the truth. 
However, 'uloom al-Qur'aan also includes topics that have very little or no bearing on tafseer, such as the compilation of the Qur'aan, and the development of the script of the Qur'aan. Therefore, the knowledge of 'uloom al-Qur'aan is more general than 'Ilm Usool at-Tafseer. 
 cf. ar-Roomee, Fahd ibn 'Abdur-Rahmaan ibn Sulaymaan: Dirasaat fi 'Uloom al-Qur'aan, Maktabah at-Tawbah, Riyadh, 1994, p. 33, who equates 'Uloom al-Qur'aan with Usool at-Tafseer.
 Shaykh Dr Abu 'Ammar Yasir Qadhi حفظه الله: An Introduction to the Sciences of the Qur'aan, Al-Hidaayah Publishing and Distribution, UK, 1999, pp. 18-19.
"The Muslim Nation (Ummah) greatly needs to understand the Qur'aan which is the firm rope of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى, the wise reminder and the straight path. Evil desires will never corrupt it. Wicked tongues will never distort it. Continuously studying it will never cause it to fade and its miracles will never cease. The scholars will never be able to reach its depths. Whoever utters it has spoken the truth. Whoever acts according to it will be rewarded. Whoever rules by it has been just. Whoever calls to it has been guided to the straight path. And whosoever arrogantly leaves it will be destroyed. And whosoever seeks guidance elsewhere will be misguided."
Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Saalih al-'Uthaymeen رحمه الله commented on the above,
"Here the author (Shaykhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah رحمه الله) comments that people are in need of understanding the Book of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى. This is something clear and apparent for they have been ordered to follow this Book. Were a person ordered to follow a book written by a man he would need to study and familiarise himself with it. What then, if this is the Book of Allaah, the Most High?
The author رحمه الله then uses a number of attributes with which he describes the Qur'aan. He says: 'Which is the firm rope of Allaah.' It is the firm of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى, as He is the One Who revealed it. The word rope (habl) linguistically refers to that which is used in order to reach something or somewhere else. Furthermore, it is mentioned as being the rope of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى as it leads to Him.
The second description is 'the wise reminder.' This description is taken from the verse:
'This is what We recite to you, [O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم], of [Our] verses and the precise [and wise] message [i.e. the Qur'aan].' (Soorah Aali 'Imraan, 3:58)
So the Qur'aan is a reminder and an honour for whose who hold onto it and recite it.
'And indeed, it is a remembrance for you and your people, and you will be questioned (about it).' (Sooratuz-Zukhruf, 43:44)
This refers to it being an honour. It is also wise as it contains in its rulings and teachings the ultimate wisdom. And the straight path, i.e. a path which is not crooked.
'Evil desires will never corrupt it.' No matter how great the evil desires of mankind are they will never corrupt it. Rather, it is complete and everlasting despite all efforts to corrupt it. It is guidance.
'Wicked tongues will never distort it.' The Qur'aan was revealed in the pure Arabic language and so can never be distorted. Even non-Arabs recite it in Arabic which is why the words of the Qur'aan can never be translated. 
'Continuously studying it will never cause it to fade.' Irrespective of how many times it is repeated, it is as if one has never read it. On the other hand, if one was to repeatedly read a poem or sermon written by the most eloquent person it would eventually become boring. Even though certain chapters of the Qur'aan are often repeated in a single prayer one does not become fed up with them. This is from the great signs of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى present in the Qur'aan.
'And its miracles will never cease.' This is for the one who has been granted understanding of the Qur'aan; he is able to appreciate its great and hidden meanings. As for the one who turns away from it, he may never witness a single miracle in it. So here the description is of the Qur'aan and not the reciter.
All of the above descriptions hold true; the one who ponders will realise this.
The scholars will never be satisfied that they have studied it sufficiently. The more a person learns about Allaah سبحانه و تعالى and His religion the more he loves the Qur'aan. You find such a person constantly pondering and contemplating over the Qur'aan, whilst studying or walking, at any time or place. 
Also, 'whoever utters it has spoken the truth.' This is because it is the most truthful and honest of speech. If for example, a person says that the disbelievers in the Hereafter will be in the Hellfire, he has spoken the truth, as this is what is mentioned in the Qur'aan.
'Whoever acts according to it will be rewarded,' i.e. he will be rewarded for his actions.
'Whoever rules by it has been just.' This applies to general rulings or rulings between people. So, if one were to say: 'dead animals are unlawful to eat'  then he is just, as this and other rulings are to be found in the Qur'aan. Whoever says,
'The sacred month is for the sacred month, and for the prohibited things, there is the Law of Equality (Qisaas). So whoever has assaulted you, then assault him in the same way that he has assaulted you. And fear Allaah, and know that Allaah is with Al-Muttaqeen.' (Sooratul-Baqarah, 2:194) 
Such a person has also spoken the truth.
'Whoever calls to it has been guided to the straight path.' This means that Allaah سبحانه و تعالى has guided such an individual, for one who calls to the Qur'aan has been guided to the straight path. As for one who calls to his own desires then he will be misguided. This is why the author رحمه الله also states: 'And whosoever seeks guidance elsewhere will be misguided.'
'And whosoever arrogantly leaves it will be destroyed.' This peril and destruction does not necessarily have to take place in this world, but it can also be in the Hereafter." 
 The available translations of the Qur'aan are translations of the meanings. The miracle of the Qur'aan is such that it is unique in its language and eloquence and so cannot be directly translated.
 The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:
منهومان لا يشبعان طالب العلم وطالب الدنيا
"There are two strong likings that can never be satisfied: Seeking after knowledge, and seeking after this World."
Recorded by al-Bazzaar and others. According to Shaykh al-Albaani رحمه الله, it is saheeh. Cf. Saheeh al-Jaami', vol. 2, p. 1125
This cannot be undone and I am sure it will be greatly appreciated.
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