This past Ramadan I spent the majority of its days praying in Masjid Al Azhar for the night prayer. One night during the nightly talk by one of the scholars of the university, an older gentleman stood up and began to mention some beautiful words, of which I hope to share with you here.
“The month of Ramadan as we know, is the month in which the Quran was revealed. It was the night in which the Angel Gabriel came to the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and told him to recite the words of God. Thereafter, near the end of the Prophet’s life it became the month in which he would be visited by Gabriel and they would read the Quran together every night of Ramadan. But here is my question, did the Prophet forget the Quran? No, of course not! So then, unlike many of us that spend our nights of Ramadan attempting to review and memorize the words of God, the Prophet ﷺ was not revising, so then what was it? What we must understand is that the Quran is passed down, it is not a book as we understand books, but rather it is the word of God Almighty, passed down to the Angel Gabriel and then passed down to Muhammad ﷺ.
Narrated Muhammad bin Ka’b Al-Qurazi:
“I heard ‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud saying: ‘The Messenger of God (ﷺ) said: “[Whoever recites a letter] from God’s Book, then he receives the reward from it, and the reward of ten the like of it. I do not say that Alif Lam Mim is a letter, but Alif is a letter, Lam is a letter and Mim is a letter.”
So every word that is read is a means of attaining the pleasure of God, a way to raise one’s rank in the Paradise and to be removed from the depths of the Hellfire, and we ask God to spare us the punishment of the Hellfire. The reading of the Quran is a form of worship, and there is no better form of worship aside from adding the worship of prayer to it. Thus why during these blessed nights of Ramadan we complete the Quran within our prayer. So this reading between the Angel Gabriel and the Prophet of Islam was for the purpose of worship. But that isn’t just it, what we also need to pay attention to is what is most obvious in this narration, who was in the company of the Prophet? The greatest of angels, Gabriel. This shows us the relationship between good company and good deeds. Some of us may not contemplate the effect of our companionship and how that companionship either brings us closer to God or further away. In the case of the Prophet ﷺ, his company wasn’t just any person, it was the one chosen by God to deliver His own words to the Prophet.
But this doesn’t end here, because was it the Prophet that read the Quran to Gabriel or did Gabriel come to read to Muhammad? We say that Gabriel came to read to the Prophet, why? Because the Prophet was the embodiment of the Quran on Earth, He was the perfect man, and he attained a rank higher than even the angels themselves, a rank that even Gabriel himself could not reach.
And what did all of this do to the heart of the Prophet? What should all of this do to all of us?
Ibn ‘Abbas said, ’The Messenger of God, may God bless him and grant him peace, was the most generous of people in giving charity. He was even more generous in Ramadan when Gabriel, may God bless him and grant him peace, used to meet him. Every night of Ramadan Gabriel used to come to him and the Messenger of God, may God bless him and grant him peace, would read the Qur’an to him. When Gabriel came to him, the Messenger of God, may God bless him and grant him peace, was more generous in giving charity than the blowing wind.’”
The Quran, Good company, should make us charitable people. The reciting of the Quran and its contemplation, the good company to remind us and help motivate us should cause us to be people that give. We should give of ourselves, of our time, of our happiness, of our advice and wisdom, and of our money. We should be people who look for opportunities to better the lives of those around us. We should be people who never fear poverty but instead, fear the loss of Divine reward. We should be people who give to the point where we forget who we have given to and how much we have given. We should be people that are affected by the Quran so strongly that it makes us better people.
With that being said, why did I wait until after Ramadan to post this? Because one of the greatest barriers we have is that we fall back to our old ways when Ramadan ends, we lose hope, we wonder if we are truly hopeless people. The reality is, maybe you just need more Quran in your life, maybe you need to find some good companionship, and maybe you just need to give of yourself a little more.
So let this be a reminder to you, to myself, and of course, to all of those who believe.