Why Do Many Muslims Attach as Much Importance to Memorizing the Quran as to Studying Its Meaning?

Why do many Muslims attach as much importance to memorizing the Quran as to studying its meaning? According to the teachings of Islam the Quran is Allah’s eternal speech, in terms of its meaning as well as its letter and sound and is the last of the heavenly books revealed by God to the last of His messengers, Muhammad (pbuh). The Holy Quran occupies a pivotal position in Islam since it is also the book that forms basis of the religion of Islam and is its foremost source of knowledge. This is why we Muslims attach so much importance to it and show utmost respect to it.

It is the book memorized, recited and studied by millions of Muslims every day. One of the specific features of the honorable Quran is that it is a Book that can be committed to memory. We Muslims have attached a great significance to memorization of the Quran for several reasons. In Arabic this process is termed hifz Al-Qur’an and the person who memorizes the Qur’an in its entirety is referred to asha fiz Al-Qur’an. The tradition of memorizing the Quran goes back to the time of the Prophet (saws). He himself knew Quran by heart and encouraged others to memorize of it as much as possible.

One of the essential reasons is that committing Quran to memory is one of the most dependable ways to protect it from any change or deformation. Qur`an is a major source of Islam, be it in case of doctrinal, legal, moral or any other regard. That is why committing its text to memory (hifz) is of vital importance. In addition, the Quran has to be committed to memory, or at least some of its parts, also because of worship. It is well known that every believer is obliged to practice the prescribed daily prayers regularly. In the course of those prayers it is must that something from the Quran be recited by heart.

Because of that, it is necessary that every believing man and woman have some smaller or larger parts of the Quran memorized. If we also take into account the fact that, in addition to the five prescribed prayers there are also prayers established by the Prophet’s practice, as well as voluntary (nafl) prayers whose performance is connected particularly to nighttime, when it is recommended that as much from the Qur`an should be recited as possible, then it becomes clear how huge is the believer’s need to know the Quran by heart as much as he can.

The Prophet (pbuh) has promised magnificent rewards for those who commit the Holy Quran to memory and this is why we Muslims lay so much stress upon its memorization. The Prophet, who was himself hafiz, encouraged others to memorize the Qur’an, and in that respect left behind many sayings, mentioned below, which speak about the merits of that deed. In these sayings great rewards and honors are promised in the next world to those who know Quran by heart.

Generally, it can be stated that all the sayings in which the Prophet (pbuh) recommends the reciting of the Qur`an and promising a reward for it, indirectly point to the fact that it is commendable to recite it by heart, because these sayings aim at encouraging believers to be always in touch with the Qur’an. Also benefits of memorizing the Quran will be extended to the parents of the one who reads the Quran and lives in its spirit.

A hadith says “He who learns the Qur’an and practices upon it, his parents will be made to wear a crown on the day of Qiyamah, the brilliance of which will excel that of the sun if the same were within your worldly houses. Hence, what do you think about the person who himself acts upon it? ” The hadith quoted therefore commends those who regularly take the Qur’an to read it, and announces to them a great reward in the next life. That reward will include their parents too, because they also made their contribution, by properly raising their children and teaching them the Qur`an.

Moreover another hadith says “Whoever reads the Qur’an and memorizes it, while he regards what it makes lawful as lawful and it’s unlawful as forbidden (i. e. he practices according to it), Allah Ta’ala will admit him into Paradise and will accept his intercession on behalf of ten such persons of his family who were doomed to the fire of Jahannam”. The following hadith also points to the extraordinary honor which will be extended to those who know Quran by heart. Therefore after having quoted all these sayings it becomes indeed obvious why we Muslims attach so much importance to memorization of the Quran.

The Quran is a holy book that has had a remarkable influence in shaping world’s religious, political and geographical structure. . Indeed, Allah says in the Holy Quran, this is a Book full of Blessings that we have revealed unto you so people ponder upon its verses and men of intellect may reflect. Therefore Muslims attach a great importance to understanding the Quran since it contains timeless information. Quran being the word of God contains infinite wisdom and is a dynamic source of knowledge. It contains secrets inherent in its structure, and, above all, in its self, internal world and its relationship with the exalted heaven.

It insists upon a journey to all parts of the earth, on the observation of the vestiges of those gone by and the inquiry about the nations, human societies and their history. Thus it invites to a study of natural and mathematical sciences, philosophy, literature and all the branches of knowledge accessible to humanity, the learning of which is in the interest of humanity and brings happiness to humanity. The Quran invites to these branches of knowledge on condition that people are guided by this knowledge to truth and know the real world which is headed by Godliness.

The science of studying the Quran have a great significance for Muslims since it is a source of guidance and explains morals of life to benefits of Muslims and all mankind. It has said that whenever the affairs become dubious as a dark night on someone he should resort to the Holy Quran for it is an intercessor whose intercession is accepted and it is a witness which has been acknowledged. Whoever takes it as a guide, it will lead him to paradise and anyone turning his back on it, it will push him to the fire. It is the clearest guide towards the best ways.

Whoever speaks by it shall be acknowledged and agreed with. And whoever judges on its basis, he will have done justice. And whoever acts upon it, he will be rewarded. Therefore this honorable book is important since it helps to make Muslims walk on the right path. However apart from being a guide, the Quran is also reputed for it contains cure for all ailments be it physical or spiritual. The Quran was also sent down as a healing and mercy book for believers. Therefore by studying some specific verses, we can use is to cure several physical ailments.

However, most important of all, in the Quran there are some surahs which are a cure for all our spiritual ailments. Therefore, it becomes obvious that one should learn the Quran so as to seek cure from it for ailments and seek its assistance in your distresses. It contains a cure for the biggest diseases namely unbelief, hypocrisy, revolt and misguidance. In addition, it is only in the holy book that there are guides and commands for rituals and worshiping God including prayers, fasting, and pilgrimage, rules of marriage, divorce, inheritance, and finance justifying the need to study the Quran.

After these sayings of the Prophet (saws),which promise such rewards and honors to those who know Qur`an by heart and to those who have studied its meaning, it is logical to expect that they will be taken by Muslims, wherever they may be living and in whatever time. Since committing the text of the Qur`an to memory brings in lots of blessings and the study of its meaning guides mankind as well as contains cure for several ailments, this is why we Muslims have always devoted so much importance to its memorization and study.