Only when you try to understand the Qur’an with your own mind, will you personally experience the power of the Divine Word. We will present just one quote from someone who read the Qur’an for the first time, after having read other religious scriptures:
“Everything made so much sense. This is the beauty of the Qur’an; it asks you to reflect and reason….When I read the Qur’an further, it talked about prayer, kindness and charity. I was not a Muslim yet, but I felt the only answer for me was the Qur’an and God had sent it to me.”
– Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam), former British pop star
It is through the Qur’an that we know: from where we come when we are born into this life; and where we will go after death. Through the Qur’an, God, our Creator and Sustainer, is speaking to us and guiding us concerning our lives. Through the Qur’an we know why God created us, and how one can live a successful life—here and in the Hereafter?
If people do not understand the Qur’an, then the purpose for which the Qur’an was sent shall remain unfulfilled; and this may lead to our own misfortune!
Some people believe that if we recite the Qur’an without understanding, even then we will be rewarded. But this is not our emphasis over here. We should ask ourselves the question, “Why did God send us this Book?”
According to the Qur’an, guidance is a matter of understanding. If there is no understanding there is no guidance. This is why thinking (fikr) is a form of ibadah.
In the Qur’anic Concept of God, God creates as well as guides. God guides the sun, the moon, and all other physical objects. God also guides plants and animals. For all these objects, of the physical and the biological world, God has prescribed a path which they follow.
The same is the case with human life. God has given us the ability to think and make judgments. But, in spite of it, very often people fail to use their ability to think properly.
Therefore, out of Divine Mercy, God has offered further help. God sent, throughout human history, prophets and messengers, who conveyed Divine Guidance to human beings in all parts of the world. At the end, God sent the Qur’an which was revealed to Muhammad (peace be upon him), the Last Messenger and the Final Prophet of God. The Qur’an is the Divine Book for the guidance of humanity. The Prophet (peace be upon him) explained the practical implications of the Book by his own words and deeds. But he also emphasized that everyone must have direct contact with Allah’s Words. The Qur’an says repeatedly: “Obey God and obey God’s Messengers,” that is, try to understand the Book, and follow its guidance in life. Follow the guidance of the Prophet and try to understand how the Prophet himself explained the Divine Guidance to his first addressees for their benefit and for the benefit of all later generations.”