Revelation of Mystery (Kashf al Mahjub)
Audition of Quran and its Related Matters
Chapter XXV (b)
Audition of Quran and its Related Matters
The most beneficial audition to the mind and the most delightful to the ear is that of the Words of the Lord, which all believers and unbelievers, human beings and Genii alike are commanded to hear.
It is a miraculous quality of the Quran that one never grows weary of reading and hearing it, as its recitation is very touching. The Quraish of Mecca used to come secretly by night and listen to the Prophet (peace be upon him) while he was praying and marvel at his recitation. For example Nadir b. al-Harith the most elegant of them in speech, Utba b. Rabi very eloquent, and Abu Jahl b. Hisham a wondrous orator, one night when Prophet (peace be upon him) was reciting a Sura of Quran, Utba swooned on hearing it and he said to Abu Jahl, “I am sure that these are not the words of any created being.”
Allah commanded Genii and they came in groups and heard the Quran from the Prophet (peace be upon him) and they said,
إِنَّا سَمِعْنَا قُرْآنًا عَجَبًا
we have really heard a wonderful Recital!” (Q 72:1).
Then Allah repeated their saying that Quran guides to the right path:
يَهْدِي إِلَى الرُّشْدِ فَآمَنَّا بِهِ وَلَن نُّشْرِكَ بِرَبِّنَا أَحَدًا
“It gives guidance to the right, and we have believed therein: we shall not join (in worship) any (gods) with our Lord.” (Q 72:2).
The methodology of Quran to counsel is the best and it has valued vocabulary. It has very subtle way of command and its prohibitions are extremely affective. Its vows are the most pleasant and its denunciations are the most life melting. Its narrations are the most affective and its similitude’s are the most eloquent. Thousands of hearts are its hunts and thousands lives are captivated by its subtleties. It shows the real face of everyone.
Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) while he was still infidel heard that his sister and brother-in-law had embraced Islam. He left to kill them but Allah by His Grace had placed a force to ambush him in the garb of Sura Ta-Ha. When he reached his sister’s house she was reciting following verses:
طه - مَا أَنزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْقُرْآنَ لِتَشْقَى - إِلَّا تَذْكِرَةً لِّمَن يَخْشَى
“We have not sent down the Quran to thee to be (An occasion) for thy distress, But only as an admonition to those who fear (Allah),“ (Q 20:1-3).
He was captivated by the delicacies and subtleties of Quran; he threw away the garb of enmity, selected peace and adopted the path of conformity.
It is related that when following verse was recited before the Prophet (peace be upon him) he went into unconsciousness:
إِنَّ لَدَيْنَا أَنكَالًا وَجَحِيمًا - وَطَعَامًا ذَا غُصَّةٍ وَعَذَابًا أَلِيمًا
“With Us are Fetters (to bind them), and a Fire (to burn them), and a Food that chokes, and a penalty Grievous.” (Q 73:12-13).
“إِنَّ عَذَابَ رَبِّكَ لَوَاقِعٌ
verily, the Doom of thy Lord will indeed come to pass, “ (Q 52:7)
before Umar (may Allah be pleased with him). Hearing this verse, he shrieked aloud and went into swoon and he had to be lifted to his house. He remained very sick for complete one month.
Somebody recited in the presence of Abdullah b. Hanzla (may Allah have mercy on him),
لَهُم مِّن جَهَنَّمَ مِهَادٌ وَمِن فَوْقِهِمْ غَوَاشٍ وَكَذَلِكَ نَجْزِي الظَّالِمِينَ
for them there is Hell, as a couch (below) and folds and folds of covering above: such is Our requital of those who do wrong” (Q 7:41),
Abdullah began to weep so violently that, it looked as he might loss his life. After sometime he recovered and stood to his feet. People bade him to sit down, but he refused and said that the awe of that verse prevented him from sitting down.
When the following verse was recited in the presence of Junaid,
لِمَ تَقُولُونَ مَا لَا تَفْعَلُونَ
why say ye that which ye do not?” (Q 61:2),
“O Lord, if we say, we say because of Thee, and if we do, we do because of Thy blessing: where then, are our sayings and doings?”
When the following verse was recited before Shibli,
وَاذْكُر رَّبَّكَ إِذَا نَسِيتَ
and call thy Lord to mind when thou forgetest,” (Q 18:24),
he said, “Remembrance (of Allah) involves forgetfulness (of self), and all world have stopped short at the remembrance of Him;” He said this and then shrieked and fell senseless. When he came to himself, he said,
“I wonder at that heart who hears Words of Allah and remains unmoved and I wonder on that soul who hears the words of Allah and does not leave its abode.”
Some Sheikh says once while he was reciting,
وَاتَّقُواْ يَوْمًا تُرْجَعُونَ فِيهِ إِلَى اللّهِ
and fear the Day when ye shall be brought back to Allah.” (Q 2:281),
a heavenly voice called to me and said, “Recite slowly! four Genii have died from the terror inspired in them by this verse.”
A dervish said that for the last ten years he had read that much Quran which was sufficient for the performance of prayer. Beside that neither he had read nor heard the Quran. On being asked why, he answered, “For fear lest it should be cited as an argument against me.”
One day I came into the presence of Abu al-Abbas Shaqani and found him reciting,
ضَرَبَ اللّهُ مَثَلاً عَبْدًا مَّمْلُوكًا لاَّ يَقْدِرُ عَلَى شَيْءٍ
Allah sets (another Parable of two men: one of them dumb, with no power of any sort: (Q 16:77),
and weeping and shrieking, so that he swooned and I thought he was dead. When he came to his own I asked him what ailed him. He said:
“In eleven years I have reached this point of the Quran and I am unable to proceed further.”
Abu al-Abbas b. Ata was asked how much Quran he recited daily. He answered that formerly he used to read the whole Quran twice in a day and night, but then after reading for four years he had only reached the Sura al-Anfal.
Abu Abbas Qassab asked a Qari to recite:
لاَ تَثْرَيبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْيَوْمَ يَغْفِرُ اللّهُ لَكُمْ وَهُوَ أَرْحَمُ الرَّاحِمِينَ
“This day let no reproach be (cast) on you: Allah will forgive you, and He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy!” (Q 12:92).
Next he asked him to recite:
يَا أَيُّهَا الْعَزِيزُ مَسَّنَا وَأَهْلَنَا الضُّرُّ وَجِئْنَا بِبِضَاعَةٍ مُّزْجَاةٍ
“O exalted one! Distress has seized us and our family: we have (now) brought but scanty capital:” (Q 12:88),
Then he asked him to recite the following verse also:
قَالُواْ إِن يَسْرِقْ فَقَدْ سَرَقَ أَخٌ لَّهُ مِن قَبْلُ
“They said: `If he steals, there was a brother of his who did steal before (him).” (Q 12:77).
On hearing that Abu Abbas cried:
“O Lord, I am more unjust than Yousaf’s brethren, and You are more kind than Yusaf, deal with me as Yusaf dealt with his wicked brethren.”
All Muslims, pious and disobedient alike, are commanded to listen to the Quran, for Allah has said:
وَإِذَا قُرِئَ الْقُرْآنُ فَاسْتَمِعُواْ لَهُ وَأَنصِتُواْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ
“When the Quran is read, listen to it with attention, and hold your peace: that you may receive Mercy.” (Q 7:204),
i.e. when somebody is reading Quran, the presents should listen it quietly and attentively. Allah says,
فَبَشِّرْ عِبَادِ - الَّذِينَ يَسْتَمِعُونَ الْقَوْلَ
to My servants, those who listen to the words,” (Q 39:17-18), i.e. obey its commands and listen with respect.
And Allah also said:
الَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُكِرَ اللَّهُ وَجِلَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ
“To those whose hearts, when Allah is mentioned, are filled with fear,” (Q 22:35),
i.e. the hearts of the listeners of words of Allah trembles.
And it is further said:
الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَتَطْمَئِنُّ قُلُوبُهُم بِذِكْرِ اللّهِ أَلاَ بِذِكْرِ اللّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ
“Those who believe, and whose hearts find satisfaction in the remembrance of Allah: for without doubt in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find satisfaction.” (Q 13:28).
There are many more such verses which command about hearing of Quran attentively.
In contrary to this those who do not hear Quran wholeheartedly and neither open doors of their hearts are scorned.
خَتَمَ اللّهُ عَلَى قُلُوبِهمْ وَعَلَى سَمْعِهِمْ وَعَلَى أَبْصَارِهِمْ غِشَاوَةٌ
“Allah hath set a seal on their hearts and their hearing, and on their eyes is a veil;” (Q 2:7),
لَوْ كُنَّا نَسْمَعُ أَوْ نَعْقِلُ مَا كُنَّا فِي أَصْحَابِ السَّعِيرِ
“Had we but listened or used our intelligence, we should not (now) be among the Companions of the Blazing Fire!“ (Q 67:10)
وَمِنْهُم مَّن يَسْتَمِعُ إِلَيْكَ وَجَعَلْنَا عَلَى قُلُوبِهِمْ أَكِنَّةً أَن يَفْقَهُوهُ
“Of them there are some who (pretend to) listen to thee; but We have thrown veils on their hearts, so they understand it not,“ (Q 6:25),
وَلاَ تَكُونُواْ كَالَّذِينَ قَالُوا سَمِعْنَا وَهُمْ لاَ يَسْمَعُونَ
“Nor be like those who say, `we hear` but listen not.“ (Q 8:21).
There are many more such verses in Quran.
Once the Prophet (peace be upon him) asked Ibn Masud (may Allah be pleased with him) to recite the Quran to him. Ibn Masud said astonishingly that should he recite to whom it was revealed. The Prophet (peace be upon him) answered:
“I get more delight by hearing it from another.”
This is a clear proof that the hearer is more perfect in state than the reader, that’s why Prophet (peace be upon him) said these words. The reader would recite with or without true feeling, whereas the hearer feels truly, because speech is a sort of pride and hearing is a sort of humility.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said that the Sura Hud had whitened his hair. It is mentioned that he said this because of the
فَاسْتَقِمْ كَمَا أُمِرْتَ
Therefore stand firm (in the straight Path as thou art commanded,“ (Q 11:112).
The Man is weak to be really steadfast in fulfilling the Divine commandments, as he cannot do anything without Allah’s help. The Prophet (peace be upon him) got amazed with this commandment “be steadfast”, and thought that how it was possible to remain steadfast. He took it in his heart which affected his health so much that that he had to take help to be raised from the ground. Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) asked what had gone wrong with him although he was still healthy and young. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said that the Sura Hud had made him aged. Its subject had put so much influence on his heart that he had lost his strength.
Abu Said Khidri (may Allah be pleased with him) related:
I was sitting with a group of aged migrants among the companion and some of them were covering others with their cloths. Qari was reciting Quran and we were hearing. In the mean time the Prophet (peace be upon him) came there. The Qari stopped reciting. He inquired what we were doing. We told him that Qari was reciting the Quran and we were listening. He said:
“All Praise to Allah! There are such people in my Ummah with whom I have been commanded to be patient.”
Then he settled down with us as if he was part of us. Then he asked all to gather around him and said, “O poor migrants! I give you happy tidings of complete success. You will enter Paradise half a day before the rich and half day will be equivalent to five hundred years.”
The same tradition has differently been conveyed by other sources. The difference lies only in words and not in meanings.
Zarara b. Abi Awfa (may Allah be pleased with him), one of the chief companions, while he was leading the prayer, recited a verse of the Quran, uttered a cry and died.
Abu Jafar Juhin, an eminent follower (may Allah have mercy on him), on hearing a verse which Saleh Marri (may Allah have mercy on him) read him, gave a loud moan and departed from this world.
Ibrahim Nakhai relates that while he was passing through a village in the neighborhood of Kufa he saw an old woman standing in prayer. As the marks of holiness were manifest on her countenance, he waited until she finished praying and then saluted her in hope of gaining a blessing thereby. She asked him whether he remembered Quran, of which he gave an affirmative reply. She asked him to recite some verse for her. He did so, whereupon she cried aloud and her soul flew forth to meet the vision of Allah.
Ahmad b. Abi al-Hawari relates that he saw a youth in the desert. He was clad in a coarse frock, standing at the mouth of a well. He said to me, “O Ahmad you have come in good time, for I hear Quran that I may give up my soul. Read me a verse.”
Allah inspired me to read,
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا رَبُّنَا اللَّهُ ثُمَّ اسْتَقَامُوا
in the case of those who say, `our Lord is Allah` and further stand straight and steadfast,” (Q 41:30).
The youth said, “O Ahmad you have read the same verse which an angel was reading to me just now, and with these words he gave up his soul.