By: Dr. KH. Abdur Rahman Dahlan, MA.
Member of the MUI Fatwa Commission
As believers, we believe that as part of our faith, the Al-Qur’an guides humankind so that they can live safely in this world and the hereafter. It also includes instructions for consuming halal food and avoiding haram products. “O humanity! Eat from what is lawful and good on the earth and do not follow Satan’s footsteps. He is truly your sworn enemy.” (QS. Al-Baqarah, 2: 168).
More specifically, Allah commands us who believe, “O believers! Eat from the good things We have provided for you. And give thanks to Allah if you ˹truly˺ worship Him ˹alone˺.” (QS. Al-Baqarah, 2:172). Allah has also explained food ingredients that are unlawful and must be avoided, including: “He has only forbidden you to eat carrion, blood, swine, one and what is slaughtered in the name of any other than Allah. But if someone is compelled by necessity—neither driven by desire nor exceeding immediate need—they will not be sinful. Surely Allah is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (QS. Al-Baqarah, 2:173).
Besides that, Allah has also commanded us in the Qur’an: “O Children of Adam! Dress properly whenever you are at worship. Eat and drink, but do not waste. Surely He does not like the wasteful.” (QS. Al-A’raf, 7:31). Many health experts say various diseases arise from excessive food consumption, such as obesity, cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, and so on. And those of us who have faith, in particular, have been warned to avoid this reprehensible behavior more than 14 centuries ago.
The Qur’an as Medicine
Al-Qur’an is also a medicine for various diseases in humans, spiritually in the Colby, the human heart, and physically. Look at what Allah says with the meaning, “We send down the Quran as a healing and mercy for the believers, but it only increases the wrongdoers in the loss.” (QS. Al-Israa’, 17: 82).
From these verses, the scholars explained, all the verses of the Qur’an are medicines that can heal. However, several verses or letters from the Al-Qur’an are more specific because they have the virtue of being a healing medicine, for example, Al-Fatihah. Shaykh Muhammad Al-Amin Asy-Syinqithi explained that the meaning of Medicine in verse is Medicine for physical ailments and the soul. He said, “Medicine includes Medicine for diseases of the heart/spirit, such as doubt, hypocrisy, and other matters. It can be a medicine for the body if done ruqyah to people who are sick. As the story of someone stung by a scorpion, he did ruqyah by reciting Al-Fatihah. This is an authentic and well-known story” (Tafsir Adhwaul Bayan).
Those who follow the instructions of the Qur’an will indeed find peace in their souls: “those who believe and whose hearts find comfort in the remembrance of Allah. Surely in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find comfort.” (QS. Ar-Ra’d, 13:28).
Life becomes peaceful, full of optimism, there is no feeling of despair, and only surrender, relying on Allah Almighty: “Surely those who say, “Our Lord is Allah,” and then remain steadfast, the angels descend upon them, ˹saying,˺ “Do not fear, nor grieve. Rather, rejoice in the good news of Paradise, which you have been promised.” (QS. Fushshilat, 41: 30). People whose soul is calm indeed their heart will be healthy. And if the heart is healthy, blood circulation becomes smooth. Thus, God willing, the body will also be beneficial.
People who submit put their trust in Allah, and indeed their personalities will not be torn apart because they depend on the deified creatures. The polytheists are usually like that, their dependence on others other than Allah. So that it becomes busy serving the various wishes requested by the beast that it considers a god. But on the contrary, if you depend only on Allah alone, then your life will be comfortable because your trust will be complete, and you can focus on Allah alone, the Almighty.
But in reality, it is not as described in the verses of the Qur’an. Because instead of understanding the Qur’an, they still need to read it. How can your soul be healthy if you read and understand it but don’t live and practice it?
The Qur’an is a guide for the life of the world and the hereafter. Not only the afterlife. Like living a healthy life with a healthy heart, it can be felt and enjoyed in the world we live in today.
So it is necessary to remind us to contemplate and implement an inspiring expression: Back to the Qur’an. Let’s go back to recitations, reading the Qur’an intensively, and returning to intimate interaction with the Qur’an, which has been neglected or even ignored so far. Back to study its meaning and practice its content wholeheartedly.
According to the scholars, the understanding of the Qur’an itself in Ta’rifi (terminology), as mentioned in the Book of At-Tibyan fi’ Ulumil-Qur’an, by Shaykh Muhammad Ali Ash-Shobuni is “Kalamullah which is your mu’ miracles, revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, through the intermediary of the angel Jibril Al-Amin, and written in the mishaps which are then conveyed to us mutawatir and read as worship, which begins with the letter al-Fatihah and ends with the letter An-Naas.”
If we pay attention to the living conditions of our society, where the majority are Muslim, social conflicts often occur, far from peace and comfortable life. So this can be confirmed because most of them do not read, understand, or live up to the guidance of the Al-Qur’an. Moreover, practicing the direction of the Qur’an should be a guide in the lives of those of us who claim to be believers. Just reading it is not necessarily recited; it is not done routinely.
To get intercession with the Qur’an, not from the newspaper or chatting
We can observe that many people who claim to be Muslims open and read WhatsApp verses more often than the Holy Verses of the Divine Word. A friend told me his cell phone was on a low bet and dead for a few hours. When it was turned on again, hundreds of WhatsApp chat verses entered, all relatively devoured. While 24 hours of his life passed, he is unlikely to even read a single verse of the Qur’an. Even for days, his life was left empty of the chanting of the holy verses.
Very ironic indeed. Many people feel that they have lost information when they are late reading the newspaper, but instead, they take it easy even if they don’t read the Qur’an for days, weeks, or even months. Indeed, there is a Mushaf of the Qur’an in his house. But it was tucked away neatly on the cupboard until it was gray and covered with dust because it had been so long since no one had touched it. Duhai, don’t touch it, let alone open its sacred noble pages, even though the Al-Qur’an provides essential information and guidance about how to save the world until the next day.
Very often, people wake up and immediately read the chat (WhatsApp), while they don’t know when to read the Qur’an, or even sometimes, they don’t think about it. Finally, the body is wrapped in a shroud, and then the Qur’an is read to him. If so, sure, it’s sorely missed! Even though it is clear, people who diligently read, God willing, will get intercession on the Day of Judgment, in a moment: “Read the Qur’an it will come on the Day of Judgment to intercede for those who read it.” (HR. Muslim). Indeed, not just reading the Qur’an literally, but also understanding and practicing it. Because we need to read the Qur’an to understand it and practice it, apart from Rasulullah saw., no one can provide mediation, or help to someone on the Hereafter Day, except for the Intercession of the Qur’an, bi-zillah, which is recited while he lives in this world.
Attitudes that must be corrected and improved
We need to remind each other that no history mentions reading verses chatting on WhatsApp. Even thousands of chats can get intercession in the Hereafter, which will happen later. In a way, the majority claim to be Muslims but don’t stick to the Qur’an. Many even ignore it. Of course, our collective duty is to correct this fatal mistake.
As has been explained, we all understand that the Qur’an guides our lives. If people want to read it and thus need help understanding its contents, how can they understand the guidance for life in the Book of Allah? Therefore, some scholars even oblige us who believe to be severe and persistent in reading, understanding, and practicing the contents of the teachings of the Qur’an. Because the first revelation that Allah sent down to the Prophet was in the form of an imperative sentence: Iqro’, “read.” Many verses of the Qur’an and Al-Hadith also instruct us always to read the Qur’an. Among them:
“Read, ˹O Prophet,˺ in the Name of your Lord Who created humans from a clinging clot.” (QS. Al-‘Alaq, 96: 1-2). This command is repeated in the following verse: “Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous, Who taught by the pen— taught humanity what they knew not.” (QS. Al-‘Alaq, 96: 3-5).
Reading the Qur’an is easy, except for people whose hearts have been closed. Pay attention to how Allah reminds us of how easy it is to read the Al-Qur’an in verse: “And We have certainly made the Quran easy to remember. So is there anyone who will be mindful?” (QS. Al-Qamar, 54: 17). Allah repeated this sentence four times in His glorious book. Everything we meet in the letter Al-Qamar. This tells us that Allah made the Qur’an easy to learn.
Another verse also explains, “Surely your Lord knows that you ˹O Prophet˺ stand ˹in prayer˺ for nearly two-thirds of the night, or ˹sometimes˺ half of it, or a third, as do some of those with you. Allah ˹alone˺ keeps a ˹precise˺ measure of the day and night. He knows that you, ˹believers˺ are unable to endure this and has turned to you in mercy.1 So recite ˹in prayer˺ whatever you can from the Quran. He knows that some of you will be sick, some will be traveling throughout the land seeking Allah’s bounty, and some will be fighting for the cause of Allah. So recite whatever you can from it. And ˹continue to˺ perform ˹regular˺ prayers, pay alms-tax, and lend Allah a good loan.2 Whatever good you send forth for yourselves, you will find it far better and more rewarding with Allah.3 And seek Allah’s forgiveness. Surely Allah is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (QS. Al-Muzzammil, 73: 20). From the verse, it is explained there is no reason for believers not to read the Qur’an. In sickness, busy trying to find halal sustenance, or even in a very precarious condition of jihad fi sabadilla war, still don’t leave reading the Qur’an.
Reading the Qur’an Until Khatam
Therefore, scholars always recommend that Muslims, all of us, read the Qur’an more until it finishes (ends continuously), from beginning to end. The same goes for reading and studying it. Because he is Kalamullah, including worship in reading it. And Allah Azza Wa Jalla is pleased if His servants worship Him this way.
In the past, the Salaf scholars had varied high spirits. Among them, some burn every day. There are three days a week and those who finish once a month. It could be khatam once a month, including the lowest spirits. Should a Muslim, all of us, not diminish from it (khatam recitations, reading the Qur’an once a month, as a position of relatively lowest value). Rasulullah SAW said to Abdullah bin Amr bin Ash, “Read the Qur’an every month.” (Narrated by Bukhari, in Chapter Fi Kam Yaqraul Qur’an, how many times have you read the Koran, and Muslim, hadith no. 1159).
Ibn Hazm said, “A Muslim who wants to be saved should do something that is expected to overcome his sins and mistakes. He should get used to reading the Qur’an and be able to finish it once a month. If you can finish less than that, that’s even better.” (Rasail Ibn Hazm, 3/150). Even the Hanbali fiqh experts emphasized that “It is Makruh to end the khatam of the Qur’an for more than forty days without aging. Imam Ahmad said, “What I often hear is that one should complete the Qur’an in forty days. Because of that (unfinished more than forty days), one can forget it and belittle it.” (Kasysyaful Qana, 1/430).
Syekh Ibn Utsaimin was asked, “Is it obligatory for a fasting person to complete the Qur’an in Ramadan?” He also replied, “Indeed, completing the Qur’an in the month of Ramadan is not a mandatory matter. However, a believer should (must) read the Qur’an more during Ramadan, as it is the sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad. Always reciting his Al-Qur’an with the angel Gabriel during Ramadan.” (Majmu Fatawa Ibn Uthaymeen)
Mentioned in the Hadith narrated from Ibn Abbas, he said: “The Messenger of Allah is the most generous person, and his generosity increases in the month of Ramadan when he meets the angel Gabriel, and Jibril meets him every night in the month of Ramadan to mudarosah (study) the Qur’an.” (HR. Al-Bukhari).
Rasulullah read Qur’an until khatam, even monitored directly by the noble Archangel, Jibril. It should motivate us always to try to interact intensively with the Al-Qur’an by always reading, studying, understanding, living, and practicing it sincerely. Until Allah’s provision arrives, we are in His pleasure and get the Intercession of the Qur’an on the Day of Judgment, bi-zillah. (USM)