Quran for Critical Reasoning: – The process of Contemplating on the Quran
Bismillah. Al Hamdulillah!
Quran for Critical Reasoning: TEN (10) STEPS
A Common Sense:
You know this. Anyone reads or listens to anything (a regular common thing of life) has the ability to understand it and dissect the info from it. Therefore, you will find most of the stages/levels I mentioned here is just common sense. There’s nothing new but an application of Common Sense!
But the ‘wrap of shaitan’ is there:
People employ common knowledge everywhere but unfortunately, when it comes to the creator they believe in, they keep the same common knowledge locked. And you know how that happened, don’t you? We call it the ‘wrap of shaitan’. You can’t explain this blockade of mind except that you attribute it to shaitan. Allah is the truth and His statement is the truth. shaitan is there to take humans to Jahannam. Didn’t he make most of the human to unbelieve in the Quran?
Therefore, what would be his strategy with those who believe in the Quran (the Muslims)? Simply by keeping them away from the knowledge of the Quran. And how successful he has been! You know it. So, how does he do it? In Shaa Allah, bi-iznillah we will show you that later in detail. For now, let’s start with the common intellect, In Shaa Allah!
The INTENTION (Mindset and Attitude) – The Pre-requisite:
(1) Take it personally that ‘either Quran REVEALED TO ME or revealed FOR ME.’
Al-Ḥasan al-Baṣrī said,
‘‘Indeed, those who came before you saw the Quran as personal LETTERS from their RABB, So they would ponder over it by night and yearn for it by day.”
– Imam al-Nawawī, Al-Tibyān fī Ādāb Ḥamalat al-Qurʾān.
(2) Then connect and feel attachment through IMAGINATION that ‘Either I was present at the TIME of Rasulullah, Salla Allahu alaihi wa Sallam or a Rasul, a messenger was sent for THIS TIME.’
(3) Then read an Ayah or a Hadith, try to find ‘What’s the instruction there for me?’ and implement it.
(4) And the final approach is that ask Allah, Al-Hadi, the Owner of the Day of Judgement, to ‘guide me to that which would save me from the punishment of Qabr, the Qiyamah, Jahannam and save me from the trial of death and life and make my journey towards Jannah easy.’
It’s just that simple.
Quran for Critical Reasoning: The Primary Level
The FIRST attempt – What TYPE of Ayah is that?
- Is it a COMMAND/ Instruction/ Order?
- Is it a PROHIBITION?
- Is it a WARNING?
- Is it a RECOMMENDED thing?
- Is it a NOT RECOMMENDED thing?
- Is it a description/statement?
What type of DUA is it?
- Is it a REQUEST/ asking for help?
- Is it a PRAISE/ Thanks/ Gratitude?
The SECOND attempt – Finding SUBJECTS/ Issues/ Topics/ Incidents:
- WHAT is the SUBJECT Allah talking about?
(Allah Ta’ala Himself, Rasulullah Sallillahu Alaihi Wa Sallam, Quran, Prophets, Malaikah, Qiamah, Jannah, Jahannam, Human Being, shaitan, Creations (Bees, Ants), Kuffar, Believers etc.
- What is said about the subject?
- Who Allah is addressing to?
and so on!
The THIRD attempt – ‘What’s in it FOR ME?’
(An attempt to connect the Ayah with yourself)
ACTION Based (Direct COMMAND):
- Is it a COMMAND/ Instruction/ Order (that ‘I MUST have to OBEY’)?
- Is it a PROHIBITION (that ‘I MUST NOT do’)?
Is it a LIMITATION/ Condition that ‘I have to OBEY?’/ (keep within the LIMIT)?
- Is it a WARNING (that ‘I must be CAREFUL of?’)
- Is it a RECOMMENDED thing (that ‘I try my BEST to do’)?
- Is it a NOT RECOMMENDED thing (that ‘I try my BEST NOT to do’)?
ACTION based (InDirect COMMAND):
- Is it a description of the QUALITIES or CHARACTER of the people of JANNAH (that ‘I HAVE TO ACHIEVE’)? (Mufliheen, Mukhlaseen, Swoliheen, Swodikeen, Mohsineen etc)
- Is it a description of QUALITIES or CHARACTER of the people of ZAHANNAM (that ‘I MUST avoid’)? (Zalimun, Khasirun etc.)
The FOURTH attempt – What’s the CERTAIN KNOWLEDGE here?
‘I don’t have any act on it BUT get CERTAIN knowledge from it which will give me Muslim’s mindset or Muslim’s philosophy of life.’
- Is it an information/ Statement/ Description that ‘gives me CERTAIN KNOWLEDGE’?
Quran for Critical Reasoning – The Progression
The FIFTH attempt is to look for the INNER meaning.
The SIXTH attempt is to look for RHETORIC meaning. (Comes upon understanding linguistic aspect)
The SEVENTH attempt is to EXTRACT UNKNOWN PATTERN from observing a known pattern.
The EIGHTH attempt is to EXTRACT SYMMETRY or DI-SYMMETRY (Comes through mathematical analytical ability).
The connecting FINAL Level:
The NINTH attempt is to DISCUSS with an attitude of ACCOMMODATING other’s opinions (and beware of the arrogance).
The TENTH attempt is to look for RECONCILIATION of your understanding with the greatest minds of Islam, the classical and contemporary scholars by reading Tafsir and explanations.
The detailed understanding and explanation with examples of these levels will follow In Shaa Allah….
If you read it attentively, you would notice the ‘reading of Tafseer’ comes at the last stage in order to reconcile your understanding. The eight steps you do on your own before you come to Tafseer. That’s how you do the contemplating on Quran. I just call it ‘Critical Reasoning’ in order to give the matter simplicity and accommodating by any common person, as ‘contemplation’ seems a very huge thing to common people, therefore, out of fear they leave it only to the ‘higher’ intellectual scholars! 🙂
Why does reading of the Tafseer comes at the end stages? Please read this to know the reason,
Contemplating on the Quran; Do you do it YOURSELF or do you spoon-feed yourself someone else’s contemplation?
My brothers and Sisters,
If you like to give this approach to the Quran, then I request you, sit with your family, teach the same thing to your spouses and children over 7 years of age. Print it and stick it on the wall of their study table.
The implication would be huge in the Muslim families In Shaa Allah. We need a culture in the Muslim families who sit together and ask one another about an Ayah of the Quran and discuss it among themselves.
May Allah make us contemplate and understand the Quran. Ameen.