BY OSAMAH SALHIA
Walking down the streets of my neighborhood in the early morning and making my way towards the ‘taxi stop’ (Muslim-majority country :)), I expected to routinely make it to my class. I soon found out that there was an enlightening twist awaiting me today.
I entered the taxi, which would usually be filled with passengers later on in the day, and it was just me and the driver. Taking a look at the driver, he just seemed like a ‘regular’ old man, cigarette in hand, and the effects of poverty were quite apparent in his attire and his facial expressions. I tried to block those digressive thoughts out of my mind and tried to focus on the Qur’an I was preparing for my class. To my surprise, the man somberly told me: “Read Qur’an for me ya Shaikh”. To me, this was a bit awkward. I was never accustomed to having conversations with taxi drivers, let alone recite Qur’an for them. But Allah blessed me to accept his request, and I only asked him if he could please put out the cigarette.
After litteraly a minute of recitation, I look at the poor, old man, and I see him crying!! I was baffled by the situation!! It didn’t make any sense! I said to myself: How could this be?! Wasn’t this guy just smoking a minute ago?! How could the tears flow down his cheeks so instantaneously just by hearing a few verses?! Isn’t this man one of the taxi drivers who are known for their poor character, lack of education and belligerent attitudes?! But I just continued to recite, and after a few minutes we both went our separate ways, and I will most likely never see him again. He continued his very low-paying job, and I went on to tend to my responsibilities. Little did that old man know the heavy impact he had on my day.
What is it about this grand book, the Qur’an, that enables it to breach the conscience of seemingly heartless individuals and make them weep like babies? It happened to the mighty Umar ibn Al-Khattaab when he read the first few verses of Surah Ta-Ha. It shook the heart of Al-Waleed ibn Al-Mugheera, a noble of Quraish, when Prophet Muhammad recited to him the opening verses of Surah Fussilat. When he returned to the ruthless leaders of Quraish they saw the impact that the verses of the All-Mighty and All-Wise on his face. Sadly, they could not recognize the divine experience that had occured in the presence of Al-Waleed. “Had We sent down this Qur’ân on a mountain, you would surely have seen it humbling itself and rending asunder by the fear of Allâh. Such are the parables which We put forward to mankind that they may reflect”.
Allah, the All-Capable, has revealed His verses in a way befitting the needs of every human being. That is one of the reasons why the Qur’an is so powerful! It contains clear concepts conveyed in a way perfectly geared towards human nature! Since it is the words of our Creator, it is no wonder that the Qur’an contains the power of changing the most wicked people into happy, productive individuals. “Should not He Who has created know?! And He is the Most Kind and the All-Aware.”
It addresses the most sensitive aspects of our existence, and it arrouses our emotions along with directing us to the best course of action in all affairs. To those who open their hear and mind to its guidance, it will not fail to revive the spirit and grant the believer the comfort and confidence of knowing his/her true purpose in life. “A guidance for those who are pious”.
May Allah grant us the pleasure of living and understanding His revelation, the pleasure of this life and the hereafter. May He grant us a clear vision as a movement (MAS) and in our personal lives.
And [it is] a Qur’an which We have separated [by intervals] that you might recite it to the people over a prolonged period. And We have sent it down progressively. Say, “Believe in it or do not believe. Indeed, those who were given knowledge before it – when it is recited to them, they fall upon their faces in prostration, And they say, “Exalted is our Lord! Indeed, the promise of our Lord has been fulfilled.” And they fall upon their faces weeping, and the Qur’an increases them in humble submission.” (Al- Israa)