We seek refuge in Allah from shaytan the accursed and we begin in the name of Allah (SWT) the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful. We ask for blessings upon the noble Prophet Mohammed(SAW), his family, companions and the generality of the Muslims both living and dead. Almighty Allah (SWT) has narrated in Quran 45: 20 that “ This (Quran) is an enlightenment for mankind and guidance and mercy for a people who are certain in faith”. This book has stood the test of time and proven its competency scientifically, morally, socially, among other aspects. It is not strange therefore that it is the most read book in the whole world by Muslims and non-Muslims alike for the wealth of knowledge that can be gotten from it.
The history of the Quran
The Quran was revealed through spoken words during the last 23 years of the prophet (SAW) ‘s life from Allah (SWT) through the archangel Jibril (AS). The first revelation came in a cave in Mount Hira where the prophet used to go to for seclusion and reflection. This occurred when the prophet was about 40 years of age. The angel Jibril (AS) came upon him and told him Iqra meaning “read”. The prophet(SAW) who was illiterate couldn’t read and the angel recited for the prophet to repeat and memorize the sayings. In this way, the Quran was memorized by the prophet (SAW) and subsequently taught to his family, friends and earliest companions who accepted Islam initially. Additionally, any new revelation was written on parchment, animal skin and any surface they could find and then subsequently memorized. This first generation of Muslims were all Hafiz( full Quran memorizers) and their concentration and effort to memorize the Quran did not provide any immediate need for the compilation in book form of the Quran. Also, most of the first generation were not literate and couldn’t read or write properly.
Up until the death of the prophet, the Quran was not in a fixed or compiled form but still largely found in parts and pieces. It wasn’t until after the emergence of the first caliph Abu Bakr that compilation of the revealed verses started. This urgent need arose when 70 Hafiz all died in one battle, the battle of Yamama. This duty was continued after the death of the first caliph by the second and after his death too, eventually to the third caliph who finally finished compiling and formed what we know today as the holy Quran.
The features of the holy Quran
Allah (SWT) has stated that he has sent a messenger and a book to every generation and the book of the Muslim’s in the Quran. The Quran is a book that has been preserved right from when it was compiled to the present day, retaining the same number and density and this is as Allah (SWT) Himself mentioned that He would preserve His book by Himself in Quran 15:9 “ Verily I have revealed the Reminder ( Quran) and verily I shall preserve it”. Being the last book given to us through the seal of the prophets (SAW), it is the book to serve as the ultimate guidance in our lives.
There are many features and benefits that we get from the Quran which Allah (SWT) has in his infinite mercy granted us with and some of them include
• The Quran discusses a whole array of topics concerning the life and mannerisms of a Muslim. Topics such as war and it’s rulings, family, law, women rights, dressing, the widow and orphan’s rights, how to share the wealth of the deceased, what is considered haram and what is considered halal, wedding contracts and the steps involved, business transactions and their implications, etc. are extensively discussed and dealt with.
The Quran also takes us back and tells us some of the stories of the past as a means to teach us and ensure we learn valuable lessons from what has preceded us.
Overall, this ensures we are guided and have no excuse for ignorance. We are admonished by the prophet that “seeking knowledge is compulsory” and we should always strive to learn and know more. The Quran provides an ideal platform to teach us most of what we ought to know about how to live a decent Muslim life.
• The Quran serves as a means of healing for both mankind and jinn, as many ayat (verses) are known to have strong healing powers and are used for daily supplications. SuratulBaqarah, the second chapter in the Quran protects the home from evil and should be recited in the home daily. SuratulMulk if recited every night before going to bed protects one from the torments of the grave, etc.
• The Quran is a book of miracles and has been proven scientifically to contain a lot of facts that could not have been known as at the time of compilation over 1500 years ago. Knowledge about atoms, mountains acting like pegs on the earth's surface, the revolution of the earth around the sun, separation of the saltwater and freshwater in the sea through a nonphysical barrier, the presence of iron in the middle of the earth, etc. were discussed in many details before their discovery by scientists much later. The first universities were owned by Muslims and many mosques even had schools in them initially. This is because the Quran already provided a foundation of knowledge for further learning and discovery.
In actual fact, the Quran itself is considered a miracle of Allah as Allah has challenged anyone who can replicate it to try.
Why you should learn to read the Quran
The Quran is the main book of Islam and unlike the previous other books which have been changed or altered, the Quran has remained the same from its time of revelation and compilation till now. It is no wonder then that the Quran is the most memorized book in the world and its consistency is one of the reasons so. The implication is that because the Quran is the same and remains the same, someone in Egypt can teach another person in Australia the Quran quite easily without any fear of any form of variation in their individual copies.
Benefits of learning to read the Quran
Learning the Quran in itself is an important attribute and there are many reasons to do this. Some of them include
• The best among the Muslims are those who learn the Quran and teach it.
• The Quran would act as an intercessor on the day of the judgment for those who used to read it.
• The Almighty Allah (SWT) would not punish the heart of the one who reads and ultimately memorizes the Quran.
• Reading of the Quranfulfills an important Islamic duty.
• The Quran would act as proof for us on the day of resurrection.
• Reading the Quran would raise one's status in life while reading and memorizing would raise a person’s status in death according to how many verses he has memorized.
How to learn to read the Quran
Learning to read the Quran can be done in a variety of ways; through a physical teacher or online Quran lessons.
For a physical teacher, one needs to get a well versed and certified Quran teacher. But due to a lot of circumstances beyond our control, an online Quran teacher might be needed to fulfill this particular role.
Additionally, we should strive to read the Quran in the best way possible, through tajweed (rules guiding the proper pronunciation of Arabic letters). Reading and ultimately memorizing with Tajweed is the best and should be highly encouraged.
Incorporating other aspects of Islam such as memorization, apart from reading the Quran, improves our overall understanding and relationship with Allah (SWT) and helps us to seek His face better. When we do the right things, we can use that means to ask Allah for other things that are bothering us.
Benefits of learning the Quran online
• Busy schedule
For the workers or students who have limited time during the day but would still want to learn to properly read and understand the Quran, then learning online is the solution to this increasingly rampant problem. Most online Quran classes are downloadable and can be read and practiced at one's leisure. An online Quran teacher may be needed for some interactions and clarification so an ideal arrangement and a learning schedule can be agreed upon with this tutor. Flexibility and ease can be observed with this busy schedule.
Also, it is possible that due to your busy schedule, your only free time is very late at night or very early in the morning. Having a physical teacher would not be conducive or even possible as it would not be right or proper to visit or have your tutor visit you so late during the night or so early in the morning. Having an online tutor can easily take care of this problem.
• Fear of discrimination
Due to the increasing number of Muslims reverts all over the world, the religion of Islam is almost exponentially growing. This results in a knowledge void and the new reverts would need all the support and help to acclimatize properly. Especially in a non-Muslim country such as Australia, most people would rather get an online teacher, especially one who is very knowledgeable and can adequately teach a new revert or anyone who is interested in learning about the Quran and how to read it. This could also be as a result of discrimination, backlash, and rejection from society. So online Quran classes in Australia may be the solution to new reverts or Muslims generally in Australia.
• Living in a non-Arabic country or Muslim country with few Arabic teachers
In a non-Muslim country, it is not expected for there to be an abundance of knowledgeable Quran tutors so to get yourself one who is good enough, you may need to get a foreign teacher. The teacher may be Arab or Egyptian and should be well versed and if possible have a degree in Arabic and Islamic studies to show his competence. Through technology, you can have the opportunity to meet a variety of tutors and get the best online Quran tutor.
• Learn with family and friends
When we perform highly rewarding acts in Islam, teaching others or admonishing others to perform such acts are highly rewarded. In the case where it may not be possible to teach your family members, spouse or friends, then instead, you can learn with your family by having online learning sessions at a convenient time for all those involved.
So, you can pay online Quran tuition and get Quran lessons for kids specifically or for all members of the family as a whole to get the reward and benefits from learning.
• Learn more than just reading the Quran
Due to the wealth of knowledge available with an online class, it is possible to learn a variety of things and not just to learn to read the Quran. Other online Quran courses are available such as memorize Quran online, learn the Quran with tajweed, understand and interpret the Quran, online ijazah course, learning ten Qirat online, learn tafsir online, etc. Incorporating these other aspects of Islamic learning would help to widen our knowledge and provide a more rounded approach to Islam and it’s many tenets.
In summary, we understand the history of the Quran and that it is the central book of Islam and should be given the respect and relevance it deserves by learning to read it and applying its teachings into every aspect of our lives. Taking it a step further by memorizing and teaching the Quran is a very highly rewarding practice and should be done if possible. Taking online Quran classes would certainly help with achieving all these. May Allah ( SWT) continue to make it easy for us all, Ameen.