Pearl of Wisdom

returning from the Battle of Siffin, in answer to an old man who asked him about their journey to Syria: 'Is this fate or destiny?' said, 'By He who created the seed and made the human being, we have not gone through a valley or ascended a mountain without it being our fate and destiny.... You might think this to be imperative fate and inevitable destiny. If this were so then promise of reward (wa'd) and threat of penalty (wa'id), would cease to apply, and reward and punishment would become null. Allah would not blame the sinners, nor would He praise the good-doers. The benevolent would not be more worthy of reward for good deeds than the sinner, which is the belief of the idol worshippers.... and the Magians. However, Allah has commanded good by choice and forbidden evil by warning, and He is not disobeyed helplessly, nor obeyed forcefully or freely, and nor does He give man absolute control.'

Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib [as]
Ibid. no. 1560

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Library » The Lantern of the Path » On Reciting the Qur'an
On Reciting the Qur'an E-mail

Whoever recites the Qur'an and does not humble himself before Allah, whose heart is not softened, nor regret and fear provoked within him, undervalues the immensity of Allah's affair and is in a clear state of loss.

The person who recites the Qur'an needs three things: a fearful heart, a tranquil and receptive body, and an appropriate place to recite. When his heart fears Allah, then the accursed Satan flees from him. As Allah said,


When you recite the Qur'an, seek refuge with Allah from the accursed Shaytan. (16:98)

When he frees himself of all attachments, then his heart is devoted to recitation, and nothing impedes him from obtaining the blessing of the light of the Qur'an and its benefits. When he finds an empty place and withdraws from people, having acquired the two qualities of humility of heart and tranquility of body, then his soul and his innermost being will feel communion with Allah, and he will discover the sweetness of how Allah speaks to His right-acting bondsmen, how He shows His gentleness, to them and singles them out for all the varieties of His marks of honour and wondrous signs. If he drinks a cup of this drink, he will never prefer any other state to this nor any other moment to this. He will prefer this to every act of obedience and devotion, since it contains intimate conversation with the Lord, without any intermediary.

So beware of how you read the Book of your Lord, the guardian to whom you aspire, how you respond to His commands and avoid His prohibitions, and how you observe His limits, for it is a mighty Book: Falsehood shall not come to it from before it nor from behind it,


a revelation from the Wise, the Praised One. (41:42)

Therefore recite it in an orderly manner and contemplatively and adhere to the limits of His promise and His threat. Reflect on its examples and warnings. Beware of paying undue respect to the recitation of its letters while failing to observe the legal limits contained therein.

 
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