Ten principles while reading the Quran
(How can one be a Muslim of the Quran?)
There are some principles that should be paid attention to while reading the Quran so that the Quran will dominate the spirit of man and will elevate him spiritually. We can list those principles as follows:
1. To realize the greatness and exaltedness of the Quran...
The following is stated in the Quran:
“Had We sent down this Qur'an on a mountain, verily, thou would have seen it humble itself and cleave asunder for fear of Allah...” (al-Hashr, 21)
Allah makes man carry the burden that mountains cannot bear with the ability He gave him. Then, a person who reads the Quran should realize the magnitude and sublimity of the Quran first.
2. To think that the Quran is the word of Allah.
A person who reads the Quran should think that the owner of the Quran is Allah and he should always bear in mind that it is not the word of a human being.
3. To read the Quran with tranquility in one’s heart and to abandon the gossip of the soul...
When a scholar was asked, “Does anything come to your heart when you read the Quran?”, he said “There is nothing lovelier than the Quran for me. How should anything come to my heart?”
4. To think about the truths one reads (contemplation)...
A person sometimes reads the Quran without thinking about it. However, what is meant by reading the Quran is to think about it and to draw lessons from it. It is regarded as sunnah to read the Quran slowly because it enables one to think.
Hazrat Ali said, “there is no good in worshipping performed without understanding it and in reading the Quran without thinking about it”
The Prophet read the 90th verse of the chapter Aal-i-Imran and said, “woe on him who reads this verse and does not think about it...”
5. To understand what one reads...
A person who reads the Quran should try to understand the part he reads as much as he can.
6. To keep away from the states that prevents one from understanding the meaning of the Quran...
The main states that prevent one from understanding the meaning of the Quran are as follows:
a) Imitation and fanaticism: To adhere to some ideas with fanaticism or to learn things by imitation prevents one from discovering and understanding the subtleties of the Quran.
b) States like conceit, insistence on committing sins or pursuing the temporary fancies of the world prevent one from understanding the truths of the Quran.
c) To read the translations of the Quran and to think that all of the meaning of the Quran consists of only the words and information in that translation.
That state is one of the greatest obstacles to understanding the Quran. Today, many people read the translations of the Quran and think that the truths of the Quran consist of only those apparent meanings and their hearts are affected and their respect to the Quran is hurt.
7. To regard himself as the addressee of the Quran.
A person who reads the Quran should regard that he is the addressee of all of the addresses of the Quran. That is, he should read the Quran by regarding his soul as the addressee.
8. To be affected or moved by the Quran...
The heart of a person who reads the Quran should be moved by the meaning of the verses. He should be in a state that is in compliance with the content of the verses he is reading. When he reads the verses about torture and Hell, he should shrink out of fear as if he will die at that moment; when he reads the verses regarding mercy and forgiveness, he should be joyful as if he will fly. When he reads the verses that mention the attributes and names of Allah, he should lower his head before the sublimity of Allah and should think about the greatness of Allah. When he reads the attributions and slanders of the unbelievers against Allah, he should pronounce them more quietly, feel grievous and ashamed. While reading the verses informing about the properties of Paradise, he should have enthusiasm and desire for Paradise. While reading the verses about Hell, he should shiver. When the Quran is read truthfully, the tongue, mind and heart work together. The duty of the tongue is to pronounce the letters properly. The duty of the mind is to interpret the meanings of the verses. The duty of the heart is to tidy itself up due to the influence of what is read. That is, the tongue reads the Quran; the mind translates it and the heart draws lessons from it.
9. To ascend spiritually...
What is meant here is reading the Quran as if one is listening to it from Allah not from himself by ascending spiritually.
10. To be freed from the soul and egoism...
A person who reads the Quran should give up depending on his own strength relying on his own soul and complementing his soul. When he reads the verses that give good news about good Muslims and praise good Muslims, he should not regard himself as one of them but he should pray Allah to join him among that luminous group.
When he reads the verses regarding rebels and sinners he should regard himself as one of them, he should take refuge with the mercy of Allah, and he should repent and ask for forgiveness.