The Quran is our sacred book and represents the Divine word of Allah, as revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). It serves as a guide for us, providing essential knowledge and teachings about ethical values, morality and how to lead a righteous life. However, despite its importance, many of us neglect to even attempt to understand its teachings, which is considered a major sin in Islam.
It is crucial to recognise that the Quran was revealed in Arabic and not everyone is proficient in this language. As a result, translations of the Quran are now available in various languages, making it more accessible to a broader audience. Nevertheless, many Muslims still choose not to attempt to understand the Quran, and this can be due to various reasons such as lack of interest, time or the misconception that reading the Arabic text is enough.
Not attempting to understand the Quran goes against the very principles of Islam, which emphasises the significance of knowledge and learning. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “Seeking knowledge is mandatory for every Muslim” (Ibn Majah). This includes knowledge of the Quran as it represents the most crucial source of knowledge in Islam.
Allah has made the Quran easy to understand for those who seek guidance with a sincere heart, Allah says: “We made the Quran easy to learn and understand, so will anyone pay attention” (Qammar: 17). This verse highlights that the Quran is not a difficult book to understand and that it has been made easy for us to remember and seek guidance from. All we need to do is approach it with sincerity and a willingness to learn.
Moreover, the Quran contains essential teachings that are fundamental for us to live a pious life. By not attempting to understand the Quran, we are missing out on this enlightenment and are more likely to deviate from the path of righteousness. It can also lead to misunderstandings and misinterpretations of its teachings, which can result in the practice of Islam in a way that is not in line with its true values and principles as we see around us today.
There are several verses in the Quran and Hadith that emphasise the importance of understanding the Quran. Allah says: “We revealed to you a glorious Book that explains the truth about all things; it is guidance, a kindness and good news for the Muslims” (An-Nahl: 89). This verse points to the Quran’s role as a source of guidance and mercy for Muslims.
Again, this can only be fulfilled if we understand its teachings. Similarly, in Surah Baqarah, Allah says: “This is the Majestic book, there is no doubt in it, a guidance for the pious, who believe in the unseen, perform prayer and spend in charity from what We have provided them. They believe in what is revealed to you and what was revealed before you, and they have firm faith in the Hereafter” (Al-Baqarah: 2-4). These verses stress the importance of believing in what has been revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), which includes the Quran. To believe in it (the Quran), you have to know what’s in it and have some degree of understanding of it.
In the Hadith, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) accentuated the importance of seeking knowledge and understanding the Quran. For example, he (peace be upon him) said: “The best of you are those who learn the Quran and teach it” (Bukhari). This Hadith underscores the significance of not only learning the Quran but also teaching it to others, highlighting the Quran’s necessity to be understood by individuals and shared with others.
In conclusion, it is evident from the Quran and Hadith that not attempting to understand the Quran is a significant sin in Islam. The Quran serves as the primary source of guidance for Muslims, and it is our duty to study and understand its teachings. Therefore, it is vital for us to make an effort to understand this amazing book, which means taking the time to read it, learn it, study it and seek help from others who are more knowledgeable. By doing so, we can gain the knowledge and understanding necessary to lead a righteous life and fulfill our obligations as Muslims.