The Qur'anic Map [PART 2]

• The Qur'an repeatedly reminds us that the people described within its pages were real people, involved in real incidents, and not legend or fiction. They were of flesh and blood, with feelings and emotions, just like us.

• When reading about the virtues which will lead you to paradise, make dua to be granted the same characteristics.

• When reading about the mercy of our Creator and other words of comfort and encouragement, let such words sooth your souls and inspire you to love Him more.

• When reading about the past nations which refused to submit to Allah SWT and His Messengers, make dua to be granted with vision (baseerah) so that we do not follow the same blind and destructive path.

• When the Qur'an encourages or discourages a pattern of behaviour or thinking, try to implement it in your daily actions.

If you do this, then the reading of the Qur'an will be an amazing and enriching experience, one that will internally shape you and change your character for the better. It naturally follows that once you are in harmony and live within the guidelines prescribed in the Qur'an, you will also achieve a harmony within yourself and those around you. Of its many virtues, the Qur'an is a cure for the diseases of the soul, and will help you overcome your internal chaos and conflict.

The Madinah Verses

It is highly recommended that you wait until you have a firm grasp of the messages contained in the Mecca verses before progressing to the Madinah verses.

The Madinah verses mainly deal with regulations and rules – for example rules of inheritance, governance, warfare, marriages, fasting, hajj, hijab, social structures, divorces and conduct of business.

If you follow the revelation of the Qur’an in sequence, you will understand that the Madinah verses are aimed at the people who have accepted and carry the messages of the Mecca verses in their hearts. If one is not convinced by the Mecca verses, or if the complete love to Allah SWT and His Messenger have not been fully inculcated in one's heart, the implementation of the rules and regulations will be difficult to perform sincerely and willingly. This is not to say that you should neglect the observation of Islam practices while studying the Mecca verses, but rather, is in the context of the study of the relevant Qur'anic verses from which these rulings and injunctions originate.

Hence, before applying the Madinah verses, the message of “La ilaha il-Allah SWT” (there is no God but Allah SWT) has to be entrenched firmly, beyond conviction, in the heart of the believer.

However, people have a tendency to do this in reverse – they skip directly to the Madinah verses, and immediately impose the regulations on themselves and others – without a concrete understanding of what the regulations are meant to achieve, and worse, when their conviction and faith in Allah SWT have not taken root in their hearts. This is when Islam is reduced to a bunch of rules and "halal and haram", without a deeper understanding of the spiritual values which form the core of our belief system and which makes it such a beautiful religion and way of life.

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