Disclaimer: This write up has nothing to do with my religious affiliation or beliefs neither is it meant to preach anyone anything. I wholeheartedly believe in the beauty and the message of all the scriptures. I only ask people to read the books to understand themselves, before passing any irrational judgment on anyone or anything.
I was born into a Muslim family. Of course with many privileges that come with being Muslim, it was also prerequisite to say prayers and read the Quran on a daily basis.
Did I do it regularly? Yes
Did I like it? NO
The reading of the book and prayers were done mechanically. My excuse was that Arabic is not my language and since I was young I was supposed to (forced to) do what my family wanted. Down the years sometime I realized that I must read the translation for a better understanding (or let’s say the basic understanding of the book).
Again there was no effect.
Through all these struggling years of understanding myself and my surroundings; the only best part was that I was an avid reader. I used to read everything.
Once I stumbled upon the poetry of Iqbal and Rumi. And oh my God they were such opening verses, I wouldn’t say my life got transformed but these two poets showed a new direction to my restless soul. After that, it’s all history. I actually ended up reading books and interpretations based on various religions and regions. I was lucky enough o have made friends from different countries with knowledge and reasoning. When they used to give references from the Quran I sort of, used to feel embarrassed (I have read the book but I have no idea what they are talking about).
And another road of discovery opened. I actually started opening the book. I started treating it as a book and not as a ‘collection of wazaif’ for every calamity in my life. One ayat at a time and a new discovery every time. It is funny and very revealing when for the first time I was able to make the connection between the Pharaoh of the Quran and the Pharaoh of history books.
Yes, I have been working my way through life by trial and error. But not everyone is as lucky as I had been, especially when it comes to the passion for reading.
One of the dilemmas of modern times is: the young generation was never forced to read the Quran so they have no attachment or even link with the book it’s not just the younger generation even the generation of the parents is not ready to open the book, let alone understand it.
Believe me when I say reading and understanding this book will not make you a “mullah” but a better human being. And isn’t it a modern trend to follow humanity and take pride in oneself as being called just a human.
This book actually helps a great deal in making a good human.
Let me share some of the techniques that could prove beneficial in being motivated to develop an in-depth understanding of the book:
- Find a very good translation/interpretation of the Quran in a language that makes sense to you. Do not read Arabic. Read English or Urdu or whatever suits you.
- Treat it as any other book. Yes, you are supposed to give it respect but anyone who understands the value of a good book knows that every book deserves it. So the Quran is a book. Read those translations, read the stories and deduce the lessons from them.
- First of all, develop a relationship with it. Read the stories. Read what message this book is trying to give through those stories. Your heart will tell when there is a link. Once you have it then shift to the higher issues that the Quran talks about.
- Remember that this book is guidance. As a human, you take the guidance and use your brain to implement it. It doesn’t ask you to read certain ayat or surah for a certain number of times to get its benefits. Unless you take the guidance from it nothing will help you.
- Living in modern days, all the youngsters carry those fancy phones with them all the time. Why not download the Quran in your phone and read whenever and wherever you have some spare moments. Some might argue that they go to the bathroom with their phones. Simply put: do not take your phones to bathrooms.
We are born with the inculcation of the notion of giving the highest level of respect to the Quran. But what is the use of this respect when you do not even know what is written inside?
At the end of the day, the only important thing is; if we are born with the label of Muslims then the least that we can do is to read the Quran to develop a better understanding.
(By the way, this regular reading will help you to come up authentic references in your social media debates).
Your OBJECTIVE must be to understand it and not to make a ritual of reading it daily just for the sake of reading.
I am thankful to you for bearing with my ramblings and I hope you will find something useful from all this.