Ramadan, the Quran, and Me
Muslims believe that the Quran is the word of God. It was revealed over a
period of 23 years through Angel Gabriel to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon
him). Angel Gabriel used to revise the Quran with the Prophet once a year. But
in the year of the Prophet's death, Gabriel revised with Prophet Muhammad all
what was revealed to him twice. The revision process took place during the
month of Ramadan. That is why the month of Ramadan is always linked to the
According to Muslims, everything linked to the Quran has a special
significance. The night in which the Quran was revealed is called the "blessed
night". The paper on which the Quran is written should be touched by people
who show respect to it.
Ramadan is the month during which Muslims observe fasting, the fourth pillar
of Islam. Fasting train Muslims how to discipline themselves and how to
surrender themselves to God's commands.
Practicing Muslims do their best to get closer to God during Ramadan. They do
extra good deeds, help the poor and the needy, visit their relatives, and so
on. The best kind of worship they can do, however, is read the Quran. When
Muslims read the Quran, they feel that God is addressing them directly.
The Quran is everywhere, in our cars, houses, offices, bookshelves, and even
in our hearts, as many Muslims learn it by heart. But the question is, is it
in our life? Do we act upon it? Do we embrace it in our daily life?
From my experience, the book really talks to me. I feel that every single
command to do certain things and not to do certain things, is addressed to me.
Sometimes when I am really concentrating while reading the Quran I find myself
crying because of the way it addresses different issues.
Muslims are very keen to finish reading the Quran once or twice during the
month of Ramadan. Early Muslim scholars used to finish reading the Quran many
times. Imam Al-Shafi, one of the founders of the four main schools of thought,
is said to have finished reading the Quran twice every night during Ramadan.
What is more important than reading the Quran, is reflecting and pondering on
its meanings. While reading the Quran recently, one verse stopped me. The
verse reads to mean:
[Tell those who believe to forgive those who hope not for the days of God; in
order that He may requite folk what they used to earn.] (Al-Jathiyah 45:14)
The verse urges Muslims to be kind to non-Muslims who do not hope for the days
of God. What is meant by the days of God is His promise of rewards to those
who believe in Him. The verse was revealed when one of the non-Muslims of
Makkah abused the Prophet's Companion, Umar ibn Al-Khattab. (may Allah be
please with him). Initially, Umar wanted revenge. So the verse was revealed
asking Umar and other Muslims to forgive the man and anyone who wants to
inflict harm on them.
When Muslims are oppressed and discriminated against, they should show
patience and put their trust in God that surely He will make a way out for
The idea of forgiving those who harm us and try to hurt our feeling is very
basic in Muslim belief. Muslims are forgiving human beings. They forgive
because God the Creator is also forgiving. How come that the Creator of the
world is forgiving and we the humans are not?
This is one verse among many other verses which urge Muslims to be kind to all
people, even those who harm them.
Mohsen Haredy is the Managing Editor of Reading Islam website. He graduated
from Al-Azhar University and earned his MA in Hadith literature from Leiden
University, the Netherlands.Currently he is an overseas PhD student at Leiden