Closing Remarks: The Final Reminder
Alhamdulillah, the Bayyinah course was an awesome three weeks of being immersed in the remembrance of Allah ta’ala and the language of His Book. I hope this compilation of the gems have been beneficial inshaAllah. To see everything that was shared again, check out the Bayyinah Gems category. May Allah ta’ala grant Bayyinah Institute success, and bless all of its instructors with guidance, knowledge and tawfeeq and may He ta’ala grant them Firdaws al ‘Alaa for their work, Ameen.
As a close to these gems, I wanted to share the final reminder that br Nouman gave us.
The Final Reminder
Why are we learning Arabic?
Allah ta’ala poses a challenge to us all: وَلَقَدْ يَسَّرْنَا الْقُرْآنَ لِلذِّكْرِ
We have certainly facilitated the Qur’an for remembrance. (54: 17)
Allah ta’ala calls the Qur’an a rembrance many times:
إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا ذِكْرٌ
indeed it is only a Reminder. (81:27)
إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ
Indeed We have sent down this Reminder. (15:9)
فَاسْعَوْا إِلَىٰ ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ
Race to the Remembrance of Allah. (62:9)
The longest part of salaah is qiyaam, in which we read the Qur’an. Allah says about the salah: أَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ لِذِكْرِي– Establish the salaah to remember Me (20:14). The ultimate remembrance of Allah are His own Words, which is why He says: فَاذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ كَمَا عَلَّمَكُمْ remember Allah how He taught you (2:239). So the ultimate reminder of Allah is the Book of Allah, which calls itself the ultimate means to reminder:
كَلَّا إِنَّهَا تَذْكِرَةٌ
Rather, it is only an admonition! (80:11)
فَذَكِّرْ بِالْقُرْآنِ مَنْ يَخَافُ وَعِيدِ
And remind by the Qur’an, him who fears My Threat. (50:45)
What does ‘reminder’ mean? It is not necessarily new knowledge. When you remind someone of something, they already knew about it. So a reminder is sort of repetitive, as opposed to knowledge which can be something new.
From that point of view, we can address one of the main criticisms of the Qur’an in the west which is “the Qur’an repeats too much.” The first response to that is that the first purpose of the Qur’an is not to educate, it is to remind. Even more so, the reminder is not the main goal but the main goal is guidance and the means to guidance is the reminder. The Qur’an calls itself reminder and it always calls itself guidance.
What is the means to remembrance? It is the salaah. Allah ta’ala ensured that we do not loose a single day without going before Him, leaving the world behind us to stand in front of Him, making sure we all recite the ultimate remembrance in hopes that we may be guided. The biggest testimony to this is that we recite “ihdinas siraatal mustaqeem” in Fatihah, and then we recite something from the dhikr.
There are two central terms in appreciating the Qur’an for all of us that have been undermined. What is being overemphasized is the knowledge of Qur’an, the tafseer of Qur’an, the sciences of Qur’an, the grammar of Qur’an, tajweed of Qur’an-these are all important, but the MOST important of all of these is the GUIDANCE of the Qur’an by means of the reminder of the Qur’an. These are the two key components, and if you are missing these two, you can be a mufassir of the Qur’an, a reciter of Qur’an, a tajweed expert – but that will not help you at all because that is not the primary function of the Qur’an.
The word ‘guidance’ in and of itself is very cliché and we use the term fairly loosely. But let’s look to a simple definition of guidance to drive the point home; don’t think of it as a religious term but as a wordly term. Take these examples: when do you ask for guidance in school? When you don’t know which career to chose or which classes to take, so you go to the guidance counselor. Or how about if you’re lost on the way to the airport, what do you do? You stop and ask for guidance. Guidance, generally speaking, is when someone has a goal in mind, and they do not know how to reach this goal so they ask for help. This makes guidance seem like knowledge. If I knew which courses to take, I wouldn’t need to see the guidance counselor. If I knew the directions, I wouldn’t ask for help. So we think of guidance almost the same as we think of knowledge and these two seem to be tied together.
This association of knowledge and guidance works for everything else in life but it does not work for our deen and our relationship with Allah azza wa jal.
Why not? Think about it:
Do you know Muslims who know something is haraam yet they still do it?
Did Allah speak about people who have a lot of knowledge, and still rejected the Messenger?
So knowledge does not necessarily lead to guidance, and knowledge and guidance are not the same thing. It is very possible that a person can have a lot of knowledge and still be void of guidance.
Allah ta’ala speaks of people who are very knowledgeable in the Qur’an-and think about it, if Allah ta’ala says they have knowledge then that means they must of have a lot of knowledge. Yet in the same passage where Allah tells us that they are knowledgeable, He tells us that they rejected the Messenger and they changed their books after they understood them…They did not change the book because they did not understand, but Allah says:
يُحَرِّفُونَهُ مِن بَعْدِ مَا عَقَلُوهُ they altered it even after they understood it (2:75). So there was no knowledge missing. We can see from this that there is a difference between knowledge and guidance.
So what is the relationship between knowledge and guidance? Knowledge is a stepping stone TO guidance but it is not necessarily the case that when you take the step to knowledge, that you are guaranteed guidance.
Those who have knowledge and did not take the next step to guidance are greater criminals than the ones who did not have knowledge and did not seek guidance. Allah ta’ala calls these people: الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ those who received anger upon them. After knowledge they still disobeyed and turned away from guidance.
An increase in knowledge is not an increase in guidance…UNLESS you want it to be.
How do you do this? The more your knowledge increases, the more your remembrance should increase. And when you remember Allah, beg Allah for guidance.
The next clarification is between being Muslim and being guided. Being Muslim does not guarantee one being guided. Guidance is a day to day, an hour to hour, a salaah to salaah thing…Choices we must make everyday, which is why we have to keep asking Allah for it because we do not know which choice we will take when it comes up.
The purpose of this course and learning Arabic is to give us a reason to remember Allah. We can learn about some tafseer which is great, but the number one thing is that we want to do is empower our remembrance of Allah, and the real remembrance of Allah is salaah. We should upgrade from having an artificial definition of khushoo’, to experiencing the real thing.
There is a serious state of emergency for our ummah with regards to the Qur’an. The great thing about the Sahaba radi Allahu anhum is that they were in love with this Book. Umar radi Allahu anhu would make sure there was duroos (classes) of Qur’an in every community. We are now moving more and more from this Book.
Our intentions should be to remember Allah azza wa jal by means of His Words. For example, if you want to gain a love for the sunnah, study the Qur’an. You will appreciate how Allah loves His Messenger sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, and that will make you love the messenger even more. A Sahabi or a scholar can write their love for the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, but when Allah ta’ala shares His love for the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam…that is just amazing.
Finally, we sincerely ask Allah ta’ala to make us among those whom the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam mentioned:
خيركم من تعلم القران و علمه
The best of you are those who learn the Qur’an and teach it. (Bukhari)
We all say ‘Ameen’ together now, but when you are alone in your home or driving by yourself, beg Allah ta’ala to make you among these people for your effort in learning His book.
When learning the Qur’an and studying it, we should not let shaytaan come to us and incite us with whispers of pride or think we have a lot of knowledge. We should remain firm and steadfast in our courses of study, and take up the challenge that Allah ta’ala posed in first ayah here:
فَهَلْ مِنْ مُدَّكِرٍ Allah made the Qur’an easy for dhikr, is there anyone who will put in the effort to remember?
Allah ta’ala did not start by telling us to remember the Qur’an, rather He started by telling us the Qur’an is EASY, so in that case… Who amongst us will step forward?