NOW that the holy month of Ramadhan is here, we should take this opportunity to learn to recite and know the message of the Holy Qur’an. You may ask, “Why?” The Qur’an says, “(It is) the month of Ramadan in which the Qur’an was revealed as a guidance for mankind, clear proofs giving guidance, and the Criterion (for distinguishing right and wrong). So whoever of you witnesses this month, let him fast it.” [2:185]

What is the Qur’an?

The word Quran literally means “recitation.” It is THE holy book for Muslims. It was revealed in stages to the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) by the Angel Gabriel [Jibril] in Arabic and the prophet recited them to his followers over 23 years. Thus, we regard the Qur’an as the sacred word of Allah (God in Arabic). It was also intended to correct any errors in previous holy books such as the Bible, especially in Old and New Testaments. By definition, the verses in the Qur’an were meant to be recited, heard, and experienced. Muslim scholars believe that the recitation of the “Quran [tilawah] is a science, an art, and a form of devotion, governed by tajwid, the rules of pronunciation, intonation, and approach”.

The very first verse of the Qur’an revealed to Muhammad on the night of 27th of Ramadhan in 611 AD says: “Recite: In the name of thy Lord who created man from a clot. Recite: And thy Lord is the Most Generous Who taught by the pen, taught man that which he knew not.” (The Qu’ran 96:1-5)

What are the contents of the Qur’an?

To save time in discussing it, I will use a summary I got from the BBC Website: There are 114 chapters in the Qur’an, which is written in the old Arabic dialect. All the chapters, except one, begin with the sentence Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem, ‘In the name of Allah the most merciful and the most kind’. This is the thought with which Muslims should start every action. The longest chapter of the Qur’an is Surah Baqarah (The Cow) with 286 verses and the shortest is Surah Al-Kawther (Abundance) which has 3 verses. The arrangement of surahs does not correspond to the chronological order in which they were revealed. The Qur’an is sometimes divided into 30 roughly equal parts, known as juz’. These divisions make it easier for Muslims to read the Qur’an during the course of a month and many will read one juz’ each day, particularly during the month of Ramadan.

Muslims must always remember that the faithfuls’ reward for fasting and praying this month is so great, that the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) states, “Whoever fasted the month of Ramadhan out of sincere faith and hoping for reward, then all his past sins will be forgiven, and whoever stood for the prayer on Laylat al-Qadr out of sincere faith and hoping for reward, then all his previous sins will be forgiven.” In this time of the pandemic and ECQ, we are given the opportunity to pray, to reflect, and to read the Holy Qur’an. Alhumdulillah, Ramadhan is here.

Whatever your goal may be during this month, always keep in mind that the Qur’an is a fundamental part of our faith. We need to read, practice proper recitation, and understand its message. May Allah SWT guide us all with His words, and may He bestow on us all the benefits and rewards of this Ramadhan! Ameen.