—Ibn al-Qayyim [d. 751H/1350CE] on curing one’s heart.
Today we are going to focus on how the Qur’an can make you a better person, and how to bring the ayat (verses) of the Qur’an back to YOUR life.
We all know why the Qur’an was sent down to us, right? To ponder and to receive its admonition. To ponder and to lessons from it.* Pondering means to stop and think over or reflect upon something. But for many of us the Qur’an is the only book we do not actively think about. Do we think how every ayah can change us as a person? How every ayah can teach us a daily life lesson? Not really. Occasionally we come across ayat which shake us and move us to action, but it never seems to last for long. We come closer to and move away from the Qur’an all the time.
Now, there’s something you can do which will take you five minutes each day. It will bring back the Qur’an to your daily life and it will direct you towards better character and a cleaner heart. Before showing how this simple and fun daily exercise works, let’s look at some practical tips on how you can bring the ayat of the Qur’an to life!
We need to know that the Quran is not something we should struggle to fit into our lives; rather, it is the answer to how to get the most out of our lives. It is a guide to productivity.
We have our goal: to serve Allah and to live a life pleasing to Him in order to be rewarded with Paradise. Then we have our manual: the Qur’an gives us the guidance on how to be most productive in achieving this. It does not say that you must spend every moment in prayer; it also tells you the rights others have upon you and the rights you have on yourself. It tells us how to reap reward in every situation.
By acting upon the words of the Qur’an there will be benefit in every moment of yours. Plus the Qur’an is easy and effective for advising others too.
Now, that’s productivity!
So, we know we should ponder upon its ayat. But do you know how to actually do that?
HOW do you ponder? Here are five tips for maximizing your benefits from every ayah:
Firstly: when you read an ayah, say to yourself, “this is Allah” – don’t say that you hear an imam reciting; these are Allah’s words, direct from Him. Then… think these words are directly addressing YOU. At the moment you read an ayah Allah is watching you and how you REACT to His words! So form a direct relationship between you and the ayat.
Secondly: whatever you read or hear, take the advice as “that advice is for ME.” Don’t take the ayat as, these are for hypocrites, disbelievers, idolaters, etc. You should look at what is in there for YOU.
Thirdly: everything is part of al-Qadr, even the exact amount of oxygen we breathe every second of the day. So, every ayah you read is part of your destiny. So ask yourself: “Why is Allah swt making ME read THIS today?”
Fourthly: while reading an ayah, focus your eyes, ears, your brain and your heart, don’t think of anything else. Use your imagination; visualize!
And finally, fifthly: thank Allah sincerely…by ACTION.
Form your sincere intention and start today. And most importantly, stick to it. You will see how it will change you as a person and how your relationship with the Divine will excel. This is how it works.
1. Open the Qur’an and pick one ayah.
2. Read the translation, understand the meaning and APPLY it to your own life: (To your problems. To your social circle.)
3. Jot down the ayah in your journal and state in keywords;
a) the theme of the ayah
b) your personal action point.
E.g. 65:3 a = Reliance on Allah; b = Increase my dua & complain less to friends as soon as I feel down.
4. Make acting on the ayah your mission for the day.
5. Share the ayah and your personal lessons with someone else.
To conclude, each ayah of the Qur’an demands something from us. To fulfil it, start with dua’!
* In Surah Saad [38:29] Allah says [interpretation of meaning]:
“A Book (the Qur’ân) which We have sent down to you, full of blessings that they may ponder over its Verses, and that men of understanding may remember [or receive admonition].”
Note: Receiving admonition means to take lessons!