Pondering over the Meaning of the Qur’an


One of the inward manners that one should abide by when reading the Glorious Qur’an is pondering over the meaning of the Qur’anic words and verses. When reading the Glorious Qur’an, one is recommended to think of the meaning and significance of what he reads. Allah, Most High, has revealed the Glorious Qur’an in order to be reflected upon and understood. In this connection, the Glorious Qur’an says:

[This is] a blessed Book which We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], that they might reflect upon its verses and that those of understanding would be reminded.
(Sad 38:29)

Furthermore, Allah, Most High, urges people to reflect on the Glorious Qur’an saying:

“Do they not ponder over the Qur’an? Had it been the word of any other but Allah, they would surely have found a good deal of variation in it.”
(An-Nisa‘ 4:82)

“Do they not ponder on what the Qur’an says? Or have their hearts been sealed with locks?”
(Muhammad 47:24)

In his Jami` Al-`Ilm, Ibn `Abd AI-Barr reported on the authority of `Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: “There is no good in worship without consciousness, knowledge without understanding, nor in reading without contemplation.”

Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them both) said: “It is better to read surat Az-Zalzalah and AI-Qari`ah with contemplation than to heedlessly read Surahs AI-Baqarah and Aal-`Imran.”

Zayd ibn Thabit (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “In my opinion, it is better to read the Glorious Qur’an in a month than to read it in fifteen days, to read it in fifteen days is better than to read it in ten days, and to read it in ten days is better than to read it in seven days, as long as I ponder (over the meanings of the verses) and invoke (Allah).” (Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah)

Apparently, reading the Glorious Qur’an slowly paves the way for contemplation, which is the avowed objective of reading the Glorious Qur’an. Allah, Most High, says:

“This is a Book whose verses are indeclinable and distinct, which comes from One who is most wise and all-knowing”
(Hud 11:1)

The Glorious Qur’an is further described in a Prophetic hadith as follows:

The Glorious Qur’an is full of signs, wisdom, rules, proofs, instructions, and miracles. Therefore, deep thinking and contemplation in reading the Qur’an is the only way to realize these contents. If a reciter of the Glorious Qur’an needs to repeat the Qur’anic verses to understand and reflect on them, he is recommended to do so. This was the custom of the Prophet (peace be upon him), the Companions (may Allah be pleased with them all), and the early Muslims.

In this context, Abu Dharr (may Allah be pleased with him) reported, “One night, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) led us in the Vigil Prayer, in which he repeated the following Qur’anic verse during the whole Prayer:

“If You punish them, indeed they are Your creatures; if You pardon them, indeed You are mighty and wise.”
(AI-Ma’idah 5:118)