Neglecting al-Quran

 

Neglecting al-Quran

وَقَالَ الرَّسُولُ يَا رَبِّ إِنَّ قَوْمِي اتَّخَذُوا هَذَا الْقُرْآَنَ مَهْجُورًا

And the Apostle cried out: O my Lord! surely my people have treated this Quran as a forsaken thing.”( al-Furqan 25: 30)

The topic of this verse is still closely related to the previous verses . The previous verses tell us about the events that will occur on the Day of Judgement (yawm ul hisaab). At that time, the residents of Paradise have the best shelter and the most beautiful resting place.

Allah (swt) says:

أَصْحَابُ الْجَنَّةِ يَوْمَئِذٍ خَيْرٌ مُّسْتَقَرًّا وَأَحْسَنُ مَقِيلًا ﴿٢٤

The companions of Paradise, that Day, are [in] a better settlement and better resting place. [25:24 ]

Their fate is in contrast with that of the kuffar which is covered with distress

الْمُلْكُ يَوْمَئِذٍ الْحَقُّ لِلرَّحْمَـٰنِ ۚ وَكَانَ يَوْمًا عَلَى الْكَافِرِينَ عَسِيرًا ﴿٢٦﴾ 

True sovereignty, that Day, is for the Most Merciful. And it will be upon the disbelievers a difficult Day.[25:26 ]

The cruel people (dzalim) will regret their deeds in the world by not taking the path of Rasulullah

وَيَوْمَ يَعَضُّ الظَّالِمُ عَلَىٰ يَدَيْهِ يَقُولُ يَا لَيْتَنِي اتَّخَذْتُ مَعَ الرَّسُولِ سَبِيلًا ﴿٢٧﴾ 

And the Day the wrongdoer will bite on his hands [in regret] he will say, “Oh, I wish I had taken with the Messenger a way. [25:27 ]

When still living in the world, they make people who lead them astray from al-Quran as companions (25: 28-29).

يَا وَيْلَتَىٰ لَيْتَنِي لَمْ أَتَّخِذْ فُلَانًا خَلِيلًا ﴿٢٨﴾ لَّقَدْ أَضَلَّنِي عَنِ الذِّكْرِ بَعْدَ إِذْ جَاءَنِي ۗ وَكَانَ الشَّيْطَانُ لِلْإِنسَانِ خَذُولًا ﴿٢٩﴾ 

Oh, woe to me! I wish I had not taken that one as a friend.

He led me away from the remembrance after it had come to me. And ever is Satan, to man, a deserter.”

The next that follows after verse 29, Rasulullah (saw) complained about his followers who ignore al-Quran.

Tafseer of ayah

Allah SWT says : 

وَقَالَ الرَّسُولُ يَا رَبِّ إِنَّ قَوْمِي اتَّخَذُوا هَذَا الْقُرْآَنَ مَهْجُورًا 

And the Apostle cried out: O my Lord! surely my people have treated this Quran as a forsaken thing.. 

This ayah tells about the complaint of Prophet to Allah (SWT). The complaint deals with the attitudes and behavior of his followers against al-Quran. What is meant by al-rasûl in that ayah is Rasulullah (saw), while the lafadz qawmî points out to the Quraish or the Arabs.

According to al-Qasimi, although this ayah is related to the idolaters (mushrik) and their absence of faith in al-Quran, the address of this noble ayah being general also threatens those who turn away from Quran, either those who do not put into practice or those who do not take the manner (adab) of it.

Some mufassir, such as Abu Muslim, assumed that the words of the Prophet (saw) will be uttered on the Day of Judgement as a testimony to the unbelievers (the kuffar). As mentioned in al-Nisa’ [4: 41], Rasulullah (saw) and other prophets who will bear witness to the unbelievers on the Day of Judgement.

Others argued that the remark of Rasulullah (saw) is his complaint when he still lived in the world. At the time when the mushrik kept denouncing al-Quran, his chest felt tight, then he complained to Allah (SWT). It seems that this opinion is stronger. The reason is that after Allah (SWT) conveys the saying of the Prophet saw, it is followed by His words:

وَكَذَلِكَ جَعَلْنَا لِكُلِّ نَبِيٍّ عَدُوًّا مِنَ الْمُجْرِمِينَ وَكَفَى بِرَبِّكَ هَادِيًا وَنَصِيرًا

Thus have we made for every prophet an enemy among the sinners: but Enough is Thy Lord to guide and to help.  [25: 31] .

The next ayah is tasliyah (to console) Rasulullah (saw) that he should not be too sad. The reason is that the same thing was also experienced by other prophets. If at present he faced the mushrik who uttered bad words and left al-Quran, then the previous prophets also had the enemies from among the mushrik who invited people to misguidance and infidelity. This verse commands the Prophet (saw) to be patient and to remain strong and convey His message. Moreover, Allah (SWT) also promises that He will provide assistance from his enemies, with His words:

وَاللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِأَعْدَائِكُمْ وَكَفَى بِاللَّهِ وَلِيًّا وَكَفَى بِاللَّهِ نَصِيرًا

But Allah hath full knowledge of your enemies: Allah is Enough for a protector, and Allah is Enough for a helper.( al-Nisa’ [4]: 45).

According to al-Zamakshari, the story conveyed in this ayah is ta’zhîm li al-sikayah (a magnification of the complaint) of Rasulullah (saw) as well as takhwîf li qawmih ( frightening his people). The reason is that, if the prophets had submitted his affairs to Allah (swt) and complained about his people to Him, it means the punishment against them had been lawful.

The Meaning of Hajr al-Qur’ân

The behavior of people complained by Rasulullah (saw) to Allah (SWT) is the behavior that made al-Quran as mahjûr[an]. Lexically, mahjûr[an] is a form of maf’ûl. Some said that the word mahjûr[an] is originated from the word al-hujr which means evil and dirty words. Making al-Quran as hujr[an] means they uttered cruel words against al-Quran, such as their allegation that al-Quran is magic, poems, or tales of those who passed. Allah (SWT) says:

وَإِذَا تُتْلَى عَلَيْهِمْ آَيَاتُنَا قَالُوا قَدْ سَمِعْنَا لَوْ نَشَاءُ لَقُلْنَا مِثْلَ هَذَا إِنْ هَذَا إِلَّا أَسَاطِيرُ الْأَوَّلِينَ

When Our Signs are rehearsed to them, They say: “We have heard This (before): if we wished, we could say (words) like these: these are nothing but tales of the ancients.( al-Anfal [8: 31].

Others argued that the word mahjûr[an] in the above ayah is from the word al-hajr which means al-tark (to abandon, ignore, or neglect). So, mahjûr[an] means matrûk[an] (which is abandoned, ignored, or neglected).

In relation to al-Quran, the commentators made an effort to elaborate various attitudes and behaviors which are classified as hajr al-Qur’ân (to leave or to ignore al-Quran). According to al-Alusi, leaving al-Quran means leaving it in total, not believing in it, will not listen to it, and not influenced at all by its promises and threats.

Abu Bakr al-Jazairi argued that hajr al-Qur’ân is neglecting to listen, understand, and practice its content. Meanwhile, Ibn Kathir detailed some forms of the actions of leaving and neglecting al-Quran. The attitude of the kuffar who do not want to heed and listen al-Quran, even they make noise and talk about something else so that they don’t listen al-Quran when it is being read, as described by Allah SWT:

وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لَا تَسْمَعُوا لِهَذَا الْقُرْآَنِ وَالْغَوْا فِيهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَغْلِبُونَ

The unbelievers say: “Listen not to This Qur’an, but talk at random In the midst of its (reading), that ye may gain the upper hand!”( Fussilat [41: 26]

This is among the action of neglecting al-Quran. This also includes believing and justifying it. Also, not to understand it, practice it and obey its commands and prohibitions, and turn away from it, either in poems, utterance, songs, games, or methods (tarîqah) which are taken otherwise. All these actions are included in the scope of leaving and neglecting al-Quran.

A similar explanation was also given by Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jauziyyah. According to him, some measures which include leaving and neglecting al-Quran are : unwilling to listen and believe in it; not wanting to practice it; not wanting to take laws from it, either in the cases of usûl al-dîn (foundation)  or furu’ (branches); not understanding (tadabbur) its meanings; not taking treatment from it for all kinds of diseases of the mind. All of that, said Ibn al-Qayyim are categorised as leaving or neglecting al-Quran, though they are in the different level.

Based on the above explanation of the mufassir, there are some attitudes and behaviors that can be categorized as the acts of leaving and neglecting al-Quran, namely: (1) refusing to believe and justify it; (2) unwilling to listen and read it; (3) not making an effort to understand it, assess, and comprehend its contents; and (4) unwilling to practice its contents, including unwilling to apply its laws, either in the lives of individual, society, or state. 

All things categorized as leaving and neglecting al-Quran are forbidden acts. The hints (Qarînah) of it are the following ayah ( al-Furqan [25: 31]). After the mentioned complaint of Rasulullah saw against the attitude of his people who leave and neglect al-Quran, then it is followed by His words:

وَكَذَلِكَ جَعَلْنَا لِكُلِّ نَبِيٍّ عَدُوًّا مِنَ الْمُجْرِمِينَ وَكَفَى بِرَبِّكَ هَادِيًا وَنَصِيرًا

Thus have we made for every prophet an enemy among the sinners [25:31 ]

It is clear in this verse that people who leave and abandon al-Quran are placed side by side with the enemies of the prophets from among the sinners.

Some Examples of Neglecting of al-Quran

Al-Quran al-Karim is a Book which was revealed by Allah (SWT) to Prophet Muhammad (saw) through the Angel Gabriel (as). As explained before, not believing in this fact is categorized as neglecting al-Quran. It can be said that this attitude is the biggest and the most serious act of ignoring al-Quran. The reason is that anyone who neglects al-Quran as the Book of Allah, he has denied most foundational component of the creed of Islam.

Faith in the nature and Asma Allah (Swt), the existence of the angels, Holy Books which were revealed by Him, His prophets and apostles, and the Hereafter with a variety of accompanying events which are based on al-Quran. If al-Quran which is the basis of these beliefs is rejected, then these matters are also rejected.

Not only rejecting al-Quran, simply doubting its truth is also threatened and will be put into hell and get severe punishment. Allah SWT says:

أَفَمَنْ كَانَ عَلَى بَيِّنَةٍ مِنْ رَبِّهِ وَيَتْلُوهُ شَاهِدٌ مِنْهُ وَمِنْ قَبْلِهِ كِتَابُ مُوسَى إِمَامًا وَرَحْمَةً أُولَئِكَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِهِ وَمَنْ يَكْفُرْ بِهِ مِنَ الْأَحْزَابِ فَالنَّارُ مَوْعِدُهُ فَلَا تَكُ فِي مِرْيَةٍ مِنْهُ إِنَّهُ الْحَقُّ مِنْ رَبِّكَ وَلَكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ

Can They be (like) those who Accept a Clear (sign) from their Lord, and whom a witness from Himself doth teach, As did the Book of Moses before it,- a guide and a mercy? They believe therein; but those of the Sects that reject it,- the Fire will be their promised meeting-place. be not then In doubt thereon: for it is the truth from Thy Lord: yet many among men do not believe!  [11: 170].

Allah Swt also says:

وَلَا يَزَالُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا فِي مِرْيَةٍ مِنْهُ حَتَّى تَأْتِيَهُمُ السَّاعَةُ بَغْتَةً أَوْ يَأْتِيَهُمْ عَذَابُ يَوْمٍ عَقِيم

Those who reject Faith will not cease to be In doubt concerning (Revelation) until the Hour (of judgment) comes suddenly upon them, or there comes to them the penalty of a Day of Disaster. [22:55 ]

Likewise, turning away from it. Anyone who turns away from it will bear major sin on the Day of Judgement and is eternal in such circumstances. Allah says:

وَلمَنْ أَعْرَضَ عَنْهُ فَإِنَّهُ يَحْمِلُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وِزْرًا .خَالِدِينَ فِيهِ وَسَاءَ لَهُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ حِمْلًا

If any do turn away there from, Verily They will bear a burden on the Day of judgment; They will abide In This (state): and grievous will the burden be to them on that day  [20: 100-101]

Faith in al-Quran must be in total. As it is supposed to be belived as a whole, al-Quran must be believed part by part, ayah by ayah of it. Rejecting al-Quran, though only one ayah is enough to make someone fall into disbelief (kufr) [4: 150-151] 

At present, as a result of the unrelenting onslaught of the western ideas and the low status of the ummah which comes to its lowest point, there are many who have the attitude of being ‘discriminative’ against al-Quran. They can accept without reservation the laws of worship (ibadah) or manners (akhlak), but reject the laws of al-Quran that deal with power, government, economy, criminal, or international relations.

As an illustration, when the ayah of al-Quran that use the same word of kutiba which in al-Quran means furidha (required or obligatory) are responded with different attitudes. For example in al-Baqarah [2: 183] that contains the obligation to fast is read : Kutiba ‘alaykum al-siyâm (fasting is prescribed to you), there is no tone of objection or rejection. In contrast, if al-Baqarah [2: 178]: Kutiba ‘alaykum al-qisâsh (qisash is prescribed to you) or al-Baqarah [2: 216]: Kutiba ‘alaykum al-qitâl (fighting is prescribed to you). The attitude of objection, rejection, or even opposition –with a variety of excuses and reasons—will appear to both of the ayahs when they are called to be implemented in the real life. So, the attitude of being ‘discriminative’ which lead to the neglecting some ayah of al-Quran can be categorized and the attitude of leaving and neglecting al-Quran.

Since long time ago, Allah SWT had warned Rasulullah (saw) –which is also addressed to his followers—to be alert of the efforts of the kuffar which can turn the ummah away from what has been revealed by Allah (SWT) in His words:

وَاحْذَرْهُمْ أَنْ يَفْتِنُوكَ عَنْ بَعْضِ مَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ إِلَيْكَ

But beware of them Lest They beguile Thee from any of that (teaching) which Allah hath sent down to thee. [5: 49]

Al-Quran must be believed as the words of Allah, either its lafadz or its meanings all come from Allah (SWT). There are many ayahs which tell that al-Quran is one hundred percent from Allah (SWT). Rasulullah saw was not involved at all in its formulation. He simply read it for us, as the words of Allah SWT:

تَنْزِيلٌ مِنْ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ (43)

وَلَوْ تَقَوَّلَ عَلَيْنَا بَعْضَ الْأَقَاوِيلِ (44)

لَأَخَذْنَا مِنْهُ بِالْيَمِينِ (45)

ثُمَّ لَقَطَعْنَا مِنْهُ الْوَتِينَ (46)

(This is) a Message sent down from the Lord of the worlds. and if the apostle were to invent any sayings In Our name, we should certainly seize Him by His right hand, and we should certainly then cut off the artery of His heart: [69: 43-46]. 

The denial of these facts can also be classified as an act of neglecting al-Quran. Among this neglecting is the opinion of Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd who said that al-Quran is muntaj al-tsaqâfî (a cultural product). In his book, Naqd Khithâb al-Dîn, he said that al-Quran is not the text which is sent down from heaven in the forms of actual words, rather it is a spirit of revelation which is filtered by Muhammad saw and simultaneously expressed within the limit of his intellect and linguistic ability. In processing the editorial language of al-Quran, according to Nasr Hamid, as a man Muhammad saw cannot escape from the situation and condition surrounding him. It is because he is a part of socio-cultural and historical part of his community, then al-Quran can also be called as “a cultural product”. Such opinion not only can remove the utterer from his faith, it is also dangerous as well. As a result of such opinion, there are many laws of al-Quran which must be rejected because they are considered incompatible with the cultural dynamics of society.

The necessity of the Khilafah State 

Al-Quran contains a system of life that must be applied. In it, there are laws which regulate all facets and dimensions of life [16]: 89. Various interactions are done by man, either his interaction with his Creator, with himself, with his fellows, are all within the jurisdiction of al-Quran.

Only, there are some laws that can only be applied by the state, such as the laws related to governance, and power, economy, social, education and foreign policy. It also includes laws that govern the sanctioning of perpetrators who violate the Shariah laws. These laws cannot be carried out by individuals. So, not everyone, for example, may cut off the hands of a thief, or whip an adulterer.

Similarly, it is also the case with someone who gives commands to the Muslims to wage a jihad of futuhat (conquests), make treaties with other countries, divide the property of ghanimah or fa’iy, force every individual of Muslim to pay zakat, regulate the distribution of wealth of baitu al-mal, prevent various evil conducts of criminal penalties, and so on. All of these laws must be carried out by a khalifah or someone authorized by him.

Based on these facts, the existence of a state is something dharuri (necessary). Without a state, it is impossible that all ayah of al-Quran can be implemented. Without the Khilafah state, there are many verses of al-Quran which are neglected, whereas neglecting the verses of al-Quran –though only some—is considered as an act of neglecting al-Quran which is forbidden.

Finally, to avoid being an ummah who neglects al-Quran, the establishment of the Khilafah state should hasten so that none of the verses are neglected.

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