Things Muslims Must Do –
Over and Above All Things They Must
(Bringing Islam to the World One Concept at a Time!
Taking the Qur’an to Every Home and Heart that Needs It --
And which One Does Not?)
Teach Yourself How to Read the Qur’an Correctly
All those entering the fold of Islam, whether from a Muslim or non-Muslim background, and committing themselves consciously and seriously to learn and practice Islam, must undertake the following set of activities – along with everything else that they may be expected or required to do.
First of all, they must – these new people – teach themselves how to read the Qur’an correctly and properly in the original Arabic language and script.
There is absolutely, positively no escaping this responsibility.
Our book QUR’AN READING MADE EASY, available on www.IslamicSolutions.Com, can teach them how to do that.
That book lays out a self-teaching method in English that anyone can follow, in any part of the world, coming from any language or cultural background, even without the help of a teacher.
Individuals using that book can, thus, learn to read the Qur’an correctly and properly for the most part, in about three months, provided they will devote at least one or two serious hours to it on a daily basis.
Immediately Start with a Translation of the Qur’an
Next, they must – these new people – immediately start reading a translation of the Qur’an in any language they are familiar with, along with some minimum commentary and notes from the same source.
The same book that gives them the translation will often also give them the notes and the commentary they may need.
These individuals must start with Surah Al-Fatihah and keep going till they finish the entire Qur’an and end with Surah Annaas – the last or 114th chapter of the Qur’an.
Once that is accomplished, they must then start over from the beginning – from Surah Al-Fatihah.
My advice to them is, do this three times. Complete reading the Qur’an this way three times.
Another very serious advice to them is: Under no condition let any one individual take over and give hours of speech explaining what a particular Aayat of the Qur’an means.
Most likely that individual hasn’t got a clue. Most likely it will hinder or slow your own basic and progressive understanding of the Qur’an – and connecting with the Qur’an.
It took me forever – years, decades – to realize that every time I use expressions such as “What Allah means by that is,” in trying to explain a particular Aayat or expression of the Qur’an, I may be uttering a blasphemy, if there is an expression like that in Islam.
And that monstrous offense may seal my fate in this world as well as in the next world.
For, who can ever know the mind of God? Who can ever guess what God “meant to say,” other than the specific words of the Qur’an that God himself did say in the Qur’an.
Qur’an Has a Companion Volume Called Hadith
Don’t forget what Allah says in the Qur’an – repeatedly: that the Qur’an comes with Hadith.
And that means you reject one, you reject the other. And you embrace one, you must embrace the other.
And that there is no Allah without Rasul (of Allah, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam!)
That means, you cannot understand him; you cannot get to him.
And you are sure to get lost if you went looking for him on your own without your path being lit by Allah’s eternal and pervasive Noor – light – in the form of the Qur’an and the Hadith.
Al-Kitaab and Al-Hikmah
Everyone must know and understand that the Qur’an couples the Al-Kitaab with the Al-Hikmah multiple times.
So, Qur’an is the Al-Kitaab and Hadith is the Al-Hiktmah.
Qur’an is Heaven. Hadith is earth.
Qur’an is Ghaib. Hadith is Shahaadah.
Allah you don’t see, Rasulullah, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, you see.
You cannot have one without the other.
And Islam runs on those two wheels: Qur’an and Hadith, Al-Kitaab and Al-Hikmah.
Allah and Allah’s Rasul, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
Everything else is details, details, details.
And practical application of these two sources – Qur’an and Hadith, Al-Kitaab and Al-Hikmah – in our daily lives at different times and in different places, in different cultural, historical and societal contexts.
Some Suggested Hadith Books to Read
Therefore, these individuals – new and old Muslims coming into Islam – must realize that there is something called the Hadith. And it is the backbone of all knowledge about Islam.
So, what these people need to do is to start reading a Hadith book systematically, one or two Hadith a day.
Forty Hadith by Nawawi is a good place to start.
Another one is Riyaazus Saaliheen.
Another is Mishkaatul Masaabeeh.
They can finish them one after the other. And it really does not much matter with which one they start.
Again, the caveat is: Don’t get bogged down into what all the deeper meanings and implications of a particular Hadith could be.
It has taken me years – sometimes decades – to get a satisfactory sense of a Hadith or even an Aayat of the Qur’an. And, Alhamdulillah, I have been blessed by God with all kinds of background knowledge – and a few other things.
So, just read the Hadith at hand in Arabic as best as you can, and then read the translation, and then move on to the next Hadith.
Decisions Were Made Long Time Ago
Understanding will come when you are ready for it. And when God Almighty decides you are ready for it and decides to give it to you.
And those decisions were made anyway way, way before you were even conceived in the belly of your mother.
So, understanding will come when God wants to confer it upon you. And he has made that decision a long time ago – when eternity and infinity began; in Laa Makaan, where there was no time and no space.
This way, these new Muslims, whether from a Muslim or non-Muslim background, must seriously and systematically go through, one after another, the three books of Hadith I mentioned above.
So, along with all the things Muslims, new and old alike, are expected or required to do, there is no way they can run away from these three things that I have outlined above.
For, Qur’an and Hadith is Islam. And all else is mirage. All else is an escape and a distraction.
Seek Out Best Islamic Literature --
and Make Reading a Lifelong Habit
Of course these new and old Muslims must, then, after that, seek out the best “Islamic” literature they can find and go through it in whatever languages they are comfortable using.
After that, they must make reading a habit. For, Islam came to teach people to read. Islam wanted to jump start a new reading-based culture in the world. So, they must read and read and read.
And they must make “seeking of knowledge or Ilm” from the best sources their lifelong concern.
For, Islam is all about Ilm – knowledge – of the best kind.
Islam Is Not Just Knowledge, It Is Also Character:
Knowledge, along with the best character that is supposed to go with Knowledge: that is the need of the hour, as some people would say.
For, the Rasul, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, does not only give you knowledge – he not only teaches you – he also helps you to build your character.
The Qur’an calls it Tazikyah!
So what Muslims need today, old as well as new Muslims, more than they ever needed before, and as much as they may have needed at anytime in their short 1400-year-old history in this world after the Bi’that or arrival of Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, is:
- Ilm – Knowledge.
- Character – that comes as a result of a very thorough and systematic process of Tazkiyah.
A people or nation or society armed with these two powerful weapons of Knowledge on the one hand and Character on the other hand is unstoppable in its march to success – in this world or in the next world.