Posted in Islam & Religion

Who benefits from reading Quran?

Most Atheists I have talked to have told me that they have read Islam and they never forget to add that they have very poor opinion of it. But when asked from which book did you learn Islam and its concept, can they name the scholar they read. Till today, no one has ever replied to me with a name of a scholar, their teachers are usually anti Islamic website and what they hear in media. They never read Islam as explained by Quran, Hadith and Islamic Scholars. Fact remains that most who claim they have read Islam has gone to Anti Islamic websites and gobbled up the garbage Anti Islamic websites spew, and of course then there is media polluting their mind. This anecdote was essential to begin this article because this states the state of mind where most approach Islam, with closed and bigoted mind. They have already made their decision when they approach Islam, hence they never buy Islamic books written by Islamic Scholars, they are not ready to change their mind, even if presented with every kind of argument. However, a select few answer me that they have read Quran’s Translation and then they start quoting the same verses that Anti Islamic websites quote that have been replied several times. Again same problem, Quran is difficult to understand without knowing the context of what was happening, you still need someone to explain you what you are reading. Again most of those who read Quran have their mind made up, and are not ready to change their opinions when they start reading Quran.

The issue is that Quran is a book whose appreciation can not be put into words, or atleast it is beyond my capabilities to praise it to extent it deserves to be praised. Quran starts with Surah Al Fatiha (The Opening). Fatiha is among the earliest revelation and the first Surah (chapter) that was revealed in full. It is made up of 7 small Ayahs, and the first 4 are dedicated to praising God Almighty, and in the next 3 verses comes a covenant between a faithful servant and his Master. The servant promises that he would not pray to anyone but Him nor would ask from anyone but Him. The servant asks Master to guide him so that he would be successful and would not be lost like other people and nations. And that is where the Surah ends. This Surah is so central to Islam that Muslims must recite it at least 17 times in a day. After this covenant, this oath, this promise, we move to longest chapter of Quran, Surah Baqarah, The Heifer. The reason I think that most Non Muslims who read Quran do not benefit from it, is because of the explantion given in the first 25 Ayahs of this Surah.

Surah Baqarah was revealed in Medina through several years and encompasses many issues that Muslims faced, hence it is laced with several laws like inheritance, historical incidences like story primarily directed at Jewish heritage. But since it is the beginning of the Quran, Quran starts in an extraordinary way. It starts with declaration of who is the book for and who is going to benefit from this book, and in the first 25 ayahs it talks to the three groups of people that would be its audience.

The first group of people it refers to are Muslims, the first five verses are dedicated to people who actually believe in the book. The books informs them that this books is for them and that this is their guidance that their Master promised in Surah Fatihah, and if they follow this book they would be successful. However, it is important to note that it does not include every kind of Muslim, it refers to Al Muttaqun (God fearing, pious and righteous) who love God Almighty, those who believe in unseen and perform ritual prayer and give compulsory charity, and believe in religion as it was sent down to Prophet and not those who have divided them into sects and come up with their own theologies different from Prophet’s teaching.

The next two verses are the verses because of which I think most Non Muslims who read Quran do not benefit from it, ie, they reject Quran. Think of it this way, the three groups of people who have been mentioned in these verses, this is the book’s potential largest audience, but it wraps them up in two verses, primarily because most of these have decided to oppose it without giving it an honest chance or out of sheer arrogance. The book is demanding that it must be read honestly, if you approach it with your bigoted mindset, Quran will not benefit you. A simlitude is of the a glass full of water, if you pour more water into it, it will spill over and not remain in the glass. Similarly when one approaches Quran with junk from Anti Islamic propaganda and individual acts of stupid, unintelligent and criminal Muslims as a reflection of Quran, Quran refuses to teach them anything. To benefit from Quran especially if you are a Non Muslim, you must come with an open mind or empty glass! Many who accept Islam after reading Quran are those who came to it with an open mind.

An explainer of the previous verse regarding the Allah has set a seal on their hearts and hearing does not mean that Allah has taken it from them, not at all. Allah has sealed their hearts and hearings from guidance after they became arrogant and closed their hearts to Islam so Allah has returned them their favour by setting seal on their hearts.

Next is the third group of people, the hypocrites. After Prophet migrated from Makkah to Medina, a group of people hated Islam, but the environment during those days was that you do what your people are doing. Hence these people accepted Islam, but in their hearts they were still polytheists who loved religion of their forefathers. They were always trying to belittle Muslims from Makkah (eg. once they said that those with honour will throw dishonorable out of Medina), they made excuses for not fighting alongside Muslims (ran away from Badr & Uhud), plotting against Muslims (in Khandaq) and worked towards damaging reputation of not just Prophet (during Khandaq they said that Muhammad showed dreams of Persia and Rome, but will have us and our family slaughtered in our backyard), but also family of Prophet (slander of Aisha, case of Zaid and marriage with Zainab). They gave him endless troubles, there were times Prophet was more concerned with activities of hypocrites and was delaying in obeying a command from Allah for which prophet was reprimanded in the Quran (31:36). The next several verses are for this group.

Lastly it goes back to believers and tells them what they should do and what awaits for them awaits them in hereafter. Culminating into a challenge if producing literature of standard of Quran in Arabic, and warning them of the punishment that awaits them.

To wrap up, anyone who reads Quran, must read it with an open mind. If an Atheist or Non Muslim approaches Quran, they must understand that it will not be beneficial to read it to find guidance if they have approached it with a bigoted approach, wherein you decided that Islam and Quran are lies, and your reading is to convince yourself that you are right.

A fact many do not understand is that, God Almighty does not need us, He gave us all this on earth so that we can benefit from it. There is nothing we can do to benefit Him. It is us who need Him and it is our benefit He is interested in. But to be able to benefit, we need not have any characteristics described in the Ayahs.


Humanist, Muslim, Doabi, Hyderabadi, Londoner, European. Urdu Lover