How reciting the Qur’an makes Muslims righteous and tolerant

The Qur’an, no person on earth that hasn’t heard of it and everyone has his own opinion about this book. The perception of the book is linked to the environment and situation you live in. Without going further about the perceptions, often there’s still a striking constant, namely the simplicity of it.

Qur’an scares

Let us start by discussing the non-Muslims. Sometimes fear and even hatred prevail towards the Qur’an. You can explain this with the proverb “unknown, unloved” but also with the spirit of time, that isn’t really Islamic-minded. Broadly you can come to the conclusion that this group, except for the naivety and the lack of interest for more interpretation, cannot be blamed for this.

Ignorance of Muslims

But of course we cannot forget about us, Muslims. Because what is the share of the Muslim in taking away these catastrophic perceptions about God’s word? Without derogating the many positive initiations that explain Qur’an, My general view about this isn’t that positive. We, and I include myself there, suffer from the mutual syndrome of ignorance and irresponsibility.

Luckily that doesn’t make us sweat of fear, but on its turn it makes us have the same simplistic vision and understanding about ‘God’s word’. And that makes us dwell trough life as unconscious Muslims. How do we as Muslims want to strive for the outstanding Islamic ethics if we don’t even reflect about the divine message?

Of course a lot of Muslims have to deal with the lack of quality institutes to develop that consciousness from a young age by using standard works from our abundantly heritage. By that I mean every theological subject you can think of, from knowledge of jurisprudence (Fiqh) to knowledge of the fundaments of the jurisprudence (Usul-Al Fiqh). Because the Qur’an exegesis is exactly the subject that can only be taught if the subjects that were mentioned before are studied. The knowledge of the Quranic exegesis (Tafsier) is about ‘the crowning glory’.

Reflection leads to moral civilization

But do we all have to be Qur’an scholars just to reflect about a fraction of this comprehensive book? No because also reflection has its levels.

As a young Muslim memorising the Qur’an is the first thing you start with, 114 chapters, 6226 verses, day in and day out. Then you get introduced in the rules of ‘Tajweed’ (pronunciation rules) and you determine that every sentence, every word and even every letter has pronunciation rights that you have to respect. Sometimes you have to emphasise a letter for two seconds, sometimes you assimilate a letter with the letter that follows, sometimes you emphasise a letter for six seconds and so on. And you can be sure that the imam will superintend without mercy. Even if you give the entire sentence its granted rights, but you discriminate just one letter, you will have to start all over again.

Next I came to the conclusion that even though the Qur’an is the same everywhere and it was revealed in the same language to the Arabs, there are nevertheless ten different legitimate recitation styles, ten different ways to recite the word of God. Let us say ten different ‘truths’.

My own moral reflections

Without me being a Qur’an scholar or imam, I reflect about these 2 simple facts. If Allah has even granted rights to tiny letters that have to be followed strictly and consistently, what about the rights of our fellow people that we handle so careless?

And if we as Muslims have ten different recitation styles to recite the word of God in a legitimate way and therefore can come to the truth with ten different ways, why shouldn’t we accept other opinions or strategies that can lead us to the same noble goal?

So, prevent yourself from disregarding someone’s rules and above all, embrace diversity and consider it as enrichment for your soul. Why? Because Allah has already immersed his religion in it!

Written by Khalid El Jafoufi

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Khalid El Jafoufi is a 21-year-old law student with an interest in politics, sociology, ethics and education.