Themes in Quran

Justice and Equality

Studying the Quran

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Studying the Quran: Where to begin?

By: Ahmad Ibrahim

Whenever we start studying a new subject, typically  the first question is:  Where
to begin?
Studying the Quran is not an exception. In-fact in this case the issue is
much more complex due to several reasons.

First, the Quran contains a large number of subjects which deal with different
aspects of life. Studying all the subjects or themes and relating them to each
other is sometimes a challenge, even for those who are studying Quran for many  

Second, the Quran is in classical Arabic. It is not the language of many  students
of the Quran. If you are one of them, you naturally begin with a handicap. You need
to refer to dictionaries, lexicons and commentaries to discover the meanings of
Arabic words used by the Quran. It can very easily take your focus away from
studying the Quran and more towards learning Classical Arabic.

Lastly, there are many different interpretations and books available on subjects
related to the Quran. It is usually a difficult decision to pick some and leave the
others. These books also reflect the perspective of their authors, which is often,
unfortunately, tainted by parochial and sectarian beliefs.

So where do we begin? To make the study easier, we propose a simple approach
which is evolutionary and close to the natural process of human learning. In fact
the Quran itself refers to this process of learning in the following verse:

But their (the believers) description in Injeel (Gospel) is like a (sown) seed which
sends forth its shoot, then makes it strong, it then becomes thick, and it stands
straight on its stem, delighting the sowers that He may enrageth the disbelievers
with them. [48:29]

Here the example of men or women who believe is like a seed; their knowledge
and faith comes out of this seed as small plant and as they grow it becomes
stronger and stronger till they reach a stage where they develop confidence and
steadfastness in their faith; just like a tree which is standing firm on its stem.

Therefore we suggest that the process of studying and learning from the Quran
and applying it in our lives must follow a natural step-by-step approach,
something like below :

Think of your faith and knowledge like a seed. Put it in the soil of your heart and
mind and constantly nourish, take care and water this seed with knowledge and
good deeds.

Our good wishes and prayers are with you !