Those who learned the Qur'aan in depth and lived by its guiding light are the next to be turned to to learn more about the Qur'aan. Foremost among this category are the noble Companions رضي الله عنهم of the Prophet who received much of their teachings of the Qur'aan directly from the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم.
One of the most succint and concise descriptions of what the Qur'aan is really meant to be comes from Sayyiduna 'Ali Ibn Abi Taalib رضي الله عنه. He once stated,
"Stick to the Book of Allaah, which speaks of those who have gone before as well as of those who will come later, and tells the truth in clear and definite terms in matters concerning which you disagree. Whosoever neglects it out of conceit shall be humiliated by Allaah سبحانه و تعالى. And whosoever looks for guidance elsewhere shall be misled. It is the rope of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى which shall never break, the Wise Message and the Right Path which shall never be distorted by evil minds nor corrupted by wicked tongues. Its mysteries shall never end, nor shall scholars ever be satisfied by the amount they know of it. Whoever speaks according to it has spoken the truth; whoever acts upon it shall be rewarded; whoever rules according to it does justice; and whoever calls to it shows the Straight Path. 
Sayyiduna 'Abdullaah Ibn Mas'ood رضي الله عنه once said, "A human should not be asked about himself except with respect to the Qur'aan. If he loves the Qur'aan, then he loves Allaah سبحانه و تعالى and His Messenger (may Allaah exalt his mention and grant him peace)." 
Sayyiduna 'Abdullaah Ibn 'Amr رضي الله عنهما stated, "When one reads the Qur'aan, it is as if prophethood is descending upon him except that he is not receiving revelation. Whoever reads the Qur'aan and believes that someone has been given something better than what he has been given has made great what Allaah has belittled and belittled what Allaah has made great." 
Sayyiduna 'Abdullaah Ibn 'Abbaas رضي الله عنهما, for whom the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم prayed that Allaah سبحانه و تعالى would teach him the Book of Allaah, as recorded by Imaam al-Bukhaari and Imaam Muslim,  said, "The bounty of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى is Islaam. And His mercy is that He made you from the people of the Qur'aan." 
Indeed, in Sooratur-Rahmaan, in which Allaah سبحانه و تعالى mentions many of the blessings that He has bestowed upon mankind, Allaah begins the Soorah by stating,
"The Most Merciful, Has taught (you mankind) the Qur'aan (by His Mercy), He created man." (Sooratur-Rahmaan, 55:1-3)
In these verses, Allaah سبحانه و تعالى refers to His beneficent act of teaching mankind the Qur'aan before He mentions His beneficent act of creating mankind. This has been cited by some as an indication that, in reality, His merciful act of teaching the Qur'aan is even more merciful than His act of creating humans. This interpretation is consistent with the statement just quoted from Sayyiduna 'Abdullaah Ibn 'Abbaas رضي الله عنهما.
Sayyiduna 'Uthmaan Ibn 'Affaan رضي الله عنه and Sayyiduna Hudhayfah Ibn al-Yamaan رضي الله عنه are both reported to have said, "When the hearts become pure, they can never get enough of reading the Qur'aan." 
Imaam Sufyaan ath-Thawri رحمه الله was asked which was preferred, Jihaad or reading the Qur'aan? He replied that reading the Qur'aan is preferred and, as part of his evidence, he quoted the hadeeth, "The best of you is he who learns the Qur'aan and teaches it to others." 
'Abdul Ghani has explained and supported this view by writing: "There is nothing strange in Imaam Sufyaan ath-Thawri رحمه الله giving preference to reciting the Qur'aan over Jihaad. This is because Jihaad can be attended to by many, many people. The qualities and pre-requisites for Jihaad are found in many among the Muslim nation. However, those who excel in reciting the Qur'aan, being knowledgeable of its laws and being able to teach it to the Muslims are few in number. Therefore, their remaining behind and spending their time in teaching the Muslims the Book of Allaah is better in their case than their going out for Jihaad, especially if the Jihaad is one which is a communal obligation (Fard Kifaayah) and there are people attending to it.  In that case, the learning of the Qur'aan and teaching it to the Muslims is in itself a type of Jihaad."  
 This statement was recorded by Imaam at-Tirmidhi رحمه الله as a hadeeth of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم. But, in that matter, its chain is weak, as Imaam at-Tirmidhi رحمه الله himself points out. Some scholars, including Imaam Ibn Katheer رحمه الله and Shaykh al-Albaani رحمه الله, say that it is correctly a statement of Sayyiduna 'Ali Ibn Abi Taalib رضي الله عنه. However, Shaykh al-Huwaini points out that even in its narration as a statement of Sayyiduna 'Ali, there seems to be some weakness in its chain. Allaah سبحانه و تعالى knows best. See Shaykh al-Arna'oot's رحمه الله footnotes to 'Ali Ibn Abil-'Izz رحمه الله, Sharh al-'Aqeedah at-Tahaawiyyah (Beirut: Muassasat ar-Risaalah, 1988), vol. 1, p. 10 or Shaykh al-Albaani's رحمه الله footnotes to a different edition of the same work, Sharh al-'Aqeedah at-Tahaawiyyah (Beirut: al-Maktab al-Islaami, 1984), p. 7; Shaykh al-Huwaini, footnotes to Imaam Ibn Katheer رحمه الله, Kitaab Fadaa'il al-Qur'aan, pp. 44-48.
 Recorded by Imaam at-Tabaraani رحمه الله and others. According to Shaykh al-Huwaini, the chain back to Sayyiduna 'Abdullaah Ibn Mas'ood رضي الله عنه is saheeh. See footnotes to Imaam Ibn Katheer رحمه الله, Kitaab Fadaa'il al-Qur'aan, p. 48.
 This statement is recorded as a hadeeth of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم by Imaam at-Tabaraani رحمه الله and others. Shaykh al-Huwaini discusses its chain in detail and shows that as a statement of the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم, it is a weak narration. However, it seems to be correct as a statement of Sayyiduna 'Abdullaah Ibn 'Amr رضي الله عنهما, as presented above in the text. See footnotes to Imaam Ibn Katheer رحمه الله, Kitaab Fadaa'il al-Qur'aan, pp. 296-297.
 Sayyiduna 'Abdullaah Ibn 'Abbaas رضي الله عنهما said, "The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم embraced me and said, 'O Allaah! Teach him (the knowledge of) the Book (Quran).'" (Saheeh al-Bukhaari).
 Mahmood Ibn Shu'aib, al-Kalimaat al-Hasaan (Al-Jeezah, Egypt: Maktabah Ali-Yaasir, 1994), p. 9.
 Quoted in Salaah al-Khaalidi, Mafateeh lit-Ta'ammul ma'al-Qur'aan (Damascus: Dar al-Qalam, 1994), p. 46.
 The hadeeth was recorded by Imaam al-Bukhaari رحمه الله. The statement by Imaam Sufyaan ath-Thawri رحمه الله may be found in Imaam Ahmad Ibn Hajar رحمه الله, Fat-hul-Baaree Sharh Saheehul-Bukhaaree (Beirut: Daar al-Kutub al-'Ilmiyyah, 1989), vol. 9, p. 95.
 For the Definition and Ruling of Jihaad, see: http://www.muftisays.com/blog/Seifeddine-M/1154_08-02-2011/definition-and-ruling-of-jihad.html
 Sayyid Sa'eed 'Abdul Ghani, Haqeeqatul-Walaa' wal-Baraa' fee Mu'taqad Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah (Beirut: Daar Ibn Hazm, 1998), p. 57.
 How to Approach and Understand the Qur'aan, pp. 23-27.