There are days when I’m so lost and confused, upset and disheartened; overwhelmed with all sorts of emotions none of which, however, I am really acquainted with.

On one occasion, I couldn’t take it anymore on my own, so I took it to the Almighty in prostration. I most sincerely asked Him to help me. I told Him everything I could put into words; and the rest I left silently in my heart knowing that He knows and hears those as well.

I told Him I was at a loss and desperately needed His help, so much so that I did not even know what kind of supplications to make anymore. I knew that He was always there for us; He will always take care of what is His, in this case His poor sorry and penitent servant.

As soon as I ended my prayers, I picked up the Quran, and the first verse that popped out was:

And keep yourself patient (by being) with those who call upon their Lord in the morning and the evening, seeking His countenance. And let not your eyes pass beyond them, desiring adornments of the worldly life, and do not obey one whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance and who follows his desire and whose affair is ever (in) neglect (18:28).

At once tears started rolling down my cheeks and my heart became saturated with awe and contentment. I felt as though Allah was talking to me directly, instantly answering the calls I just made. It was like He was telling me most tenderly that He knows best everything I was going through; and that I should continue to be patient and strive on His path, for as long as I keep Him close to myself, everything will be alright.

Read Also: My Journey Through the Quran

At times like this I wish I had studied the Quran and the boundless ocean of its meanings and wisdom more eagerly and more systematically. I wish I had a stronger and more meaningful relationship with it.

I wish I had picked up the habit of reciting it along with its translations and commentaries for the purpose of seeking more comprehensive and profound knowledge about my beautiful deen which, in turn, will have strengthened my faith (iman).

Growing up, I have always been taught that the Quran overflows with miracles and elements of inspiration and guidance compatible with all ages and conditions, individual and societal.

The Quran is the Word of the Almighty for His servants. The Quran is comprehensive in nature. It reveals and speaks about everything people need to know in order to live a peaceful, meaningful and happy life.

In short, the Quran is a sign of Allah’s ultimate care for His servants so that {…on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve} (2:38) neither in this world nor in the hereafter.

Bonding with Quran

So, I asked myself:

“Why haven’t I had a stronger bond with the holy Book, the true Word of Allah? Why didn’t I read it more persistently with gladness and enthusiasm, conscientiously learning its meanings and reflecting upon its messages?”

As I deeply contemplated these questions, I got some answers.

I recalled reciting quickly a few pages every day, just in order to tick it off my daily schedule. I would read mechanically through those pages without translation, not understanding a single verse.

Fulfilling the task at hand, however, neither increased my knowledge of my religion nor did it generate any significant impact on my life’s activities and interactions. SubhanAllah and astagfirullah, the whole thing bore a resemblance to parrot-like word-calling processes.

Now I believe that is where the biggest mistake lied. In order for us to firmly believe in, adore and appreciate the Qur’an revealed from Allah to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), through him to the whole of mankind, we need to understand the meaning, significance and purpose of its content. This ought to be followed by concrete life actions and initiatives derived from the former.


There’s a Malay proverb to the effect that “you cannot love what you do not know”. Accordingly, knowledge and contemplation of the words of Allah will bring us immense peace and joy, as the Quran is filled with guidance, wisdom, blessings and mercy.

Immeasurable love for it will be the next stage. One of the many verses that talks about this very status of the Quran declares:

Verily We have revealed the book to you in truth for instructing mankind. He that receives guidance benefits his own soul, but he that strays injures his own soul (39:41).

Thus, aside from securing great rewards for merely reciting the Quranic verses, much greater rewards await those who recite them with understanding and contemplation, trying to apply them as much as possible in their daily life struggles.

Allah urges us to recite, understand and apply the Quran simply because the Quran was sent as a guide to mankind and a clear guidance and judgment (so that mankind will distinguish from right and wrong).

The Quran, it goes without saying, can benefit not only Muslims, but also non-Muslims, as it is attuned to the intrinsic nature and aspirations of man. Allah thus says:

Will they then not contemplate the Qur’an? Or are there locks upon (their) hearts? (47:24)

Easy Ways to Learn Quran

There are many ways to learn the Quran with ease nowadays, the most basic being recitation of the holy Book along with its translations and simple commentaries side by side. There are also many applications for all types of technological devices that can play the audio of both the Quranic recitation in Arabic and its translations in virtually all languages.

This is very good especially when a person is occupied with work or household chores. Just hit the play button and calmly get through your errands.

There are now so many videos of prominent and trustworthy scholars on YouTube; they explain things in remarkably systematic and captivating ways.

Admittedly, music was a major distraction from my journey towards the love and appreciation of the Quran. Music would often play in the background when I drove or studied, did laundry or jogged. Then, if music was not being played, I’d usually and unconsciously chant random song words.

Let Quran be Your Best Companion

A good friend of mine shared an advice given to her by her dad. He said:

“For all the times and occasions you listen to music, if they are replaced with listening to the Quran you would be able to memorize a good amount of surahs; these beautiful words of God, have much more positive results and consequences for your body, mind and soul.”

Those words really got to me, and he was absolutely right. I decided to start off with regularly listening to the Quran, both in Arabic and with translation, while driving. I chose a few of my favorite surahs recited by my favorite reciters, and I would play and listen to them over and over again.

With the help and will of Allah, I found myself reciting along with the reciters with ease. Then I would chant the memorized verses throughout the day, consciously or otherwise.

The feeling to have the Quran stuck in my head (and heart) gives me inexpressible serenity and gratification. Choose your favorite reciter(s) and let the beautiful sounds and intense messages of the Quran fill your home, car and workplace.


As you become more familiar with the Quran, your thoughts and actions will proportionately become more compatible and will be on the same wavelength with its messages and wisdom as well.

Finally, you will fall in love with the Quran, as a result of which the whole life, all of a sudden, will become one sweet song of incessantly worshiping, glorifying and singing praises to your Creator, Master and Cherisher.

You will then start living life not according to your own limited and often flawed knowledge and will, but according to the infinite revealed knowledge and will of the Creator and Sustainer of life. And that is that fine line between spiritual as well as ethical triumph and failure.

Let the Quran be our best friend and our greatest companion. Let’s develop gradually a habit of reciting, understanding and implementing the Quran out of pure love for it and its heavenly source. And let’s declare a big “No” to such relationships with the Quran as are based on ignorance, indolence and parrot-like routines.

There are no more appropriate times to embark on the long mission of seeking out the love for the Quran than now.

May Allah ease this journey for us, and may He accept our efforts.

To convey its message, the Quran employs various stylistic tools, including the following:

1. Narrative in the Quran

The Quran contains many narratives (qisas, singular qissah), referred to in the Quran itself:

{We do relate unto thee the most beautiful of stories} (Yusuf 12:3)

These narratives, which illustrate and underline important aspects of the Quranic message, fulfill their functions in a variety of ways. The following are some of the more common patterns:

  • Explaining the general message of Islam

  • Giving general guidance and a reminder

  • Strengthening the conviction of the Prophet and the believers

  • Reminding of the earlier prophets and their struggles

  • Indicating the continuity and truth of Muhammad’s message

  • Providing arguments against some opponents of Islam, such as Jews and Christians

As far as the contents of these narratives are concerned, one may, broadly speaking, distinguish between the following three kinds:

  1. Stories of the prophets of Allah, their peoples, their message, their call, their persecution, etc., such as the narratives about Nuh (Ash-Shu`ra’ 26, Nuh 71), Musa (Al-Qasas 28), `Isa (Maryam 19) and many others

  2. Other Quranic narratives about past people or events, such as the narratives about the Companions of the cave, or about Dhul Qarnain (Al-Kahf 18)

  3. References to events that took place during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad, such as the Battle of Badr (Aal `Imran 3:13), the Battle of Uhud (Aal `Imran 3:121-128), the Battle of Al-Ahzab (33: 9-27), the Night Journey (Al-Israa’ 17:1)

2. Similes in the Quran

The Quran also employs similes (amthal, singular mathal) in many places to explain certain truths or to drive home important points of the message, by likening it to something well known or describing it in a pictorial manner. (See, for example, An-Nahl 16:75-76.)

The following verse is an example:

{He sendeth down water from the sky, so that valleys flow according to their measure, and the flood beareth (on its surface) swelling foam from that which they smelt in the fire in order to make ornaments and tools riseth a foam like unto it—thus Allah coineth (the similitude of) the true and the false.

Then, as for the foam, it passeth away as scum upon the banks, while, as for that which is of use to mankind, it remaineth in the earth. Thus Allah coineth the similitudes.} (Ar-Ra`d 13:17)

3. Passages With “Qul

More than 200 passages in the Quran open with the word “qul” (say), which is an instruction to the Prophet Muhammad to address the words following this introduction to his audience in a particular situation, such as in reply to a question that has been raised, or as an assertion of a matter of belief, or announcement of a legal ruling.

Examples of this follow:

{Say: Nothing will happen to us except what God has decreed for us: He is our Patron.} (At-Tawbah 9:51)

{Say: O People of the Scripture! Do ye blame us for aught else than that we believe in Allah and that which is revealed unto us and that which was revealed aforetime, and because most of you are evil-livers?} (Al-Ma’idah 5:59)

{They ask thee concerning (things taken as) spoils of war. Say: (Such) spoils are at the disposal of God and the Messenger: so fear God and adjust the matter of your difference: obey God and His Messenger, if ye do believe.} (Al-Anfal 8:1)

4. Oaths in the Quran

In a number of places the Quran employs oath-like expressions (aqsam, singularqasam). [For a brief discussion see also Abdullah Yusuf Ali, The Quran: Text, Translation and Commentary, Appendix XIV.] The function of these oaths is to strengthen and support an argument, and to disperse doubts in the mind of the listener. In the Arabic text these passages are often opened by the word “wa” or the phrase “la uqsimu” (indeed, I swear).

Here are some examples:

Sometimes an oath is taken by Allah Himself:

{But no, by thy Lord, they can have no real faith until they make thee judge in (all) disputes between them and find in their souls no resistance against thy decisions but accept them with fullest conviction.} (Al-Quran 4:65)

Other oaths are taken by Allah’s creation:

By the sun and his (glorious) splendor,

by the moon as she follows him,

by the day as it shows up the sun’s glory,

by the night as it conceals it,

by the firmament and its (wonderful) structure,

by the earth and its (wide) expanse,

by the soul and the proportion and order given to it…} (Ash-Shams 91:1-7)

Nay, I swear by this city…} (Al-Balad 90:1)

Man should only take an oath by Allah the Creator, and not by anything created.

This article is part of the fourth chapter entitled “Form, Language and Style” in the author’s work Ulum Al-Qur’an.

Many new Muslims find that it is through the Quran that they become acquainted with Islam; and the sudden interest in the faith sends them on a life-changing experience.

Once embracing Islam, however, getting to know the Quran is even more important – even for born Muslims. It is vital to remember that there are no versions of the Quran; neither have there been updates or replicas to suit different denominations of Muslim followers.

The Quran remains the same scripture that God has perfected. This is why it is important for believers to become as closely acquainted with Quran as possible in order to foster closeness with God.

For new Muslims, learning about Islam through the Quran can be a little daunting. But when good intentions are in tow, God makes the most arduous task, lightweight.

Start by Learning to Read Arabic

Reading the Quran may seem impossible for some, especially when Arabic is not a language of familiarity. Learning to read Arabic at a beginner’s pace would probably be the best way to familiarize oneself with the sight of the Arabic letters and the sounds they make. Engaging in a private tutor who has experience in teaching how to read Arabic from scratch is a good place to start.

Quran is such a blessing to mankind that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

Whoever recites a letter from the Book of Allah, he will be credited with a good deed, and a good deed gets a ten-fold reward. I do not say that Alif-Lam-Mim is one letter, but Alif is a letter, Lam is a letter and Mim is a letter. (At-Tirmidhi, 9)

So imagine just learning the letters of the Quran and being able to recognize them over and over again. This is the simplest way to garner rewards from God.

Aisha reported that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:

The one who is proficient in the recitation of the Quran will be with the honorable and obedient scribes (angels). And he who recites the Quran and finds it difficult to recite, doing his best to recite it in the best way possible, will have a double reward. (Al Bukhari and Muslim, 4)

Even if a Muslim finds it difficult to read the Quran, God has promised great returns. Even Aisha learned to read the Quran at her own pace. There are narrations relaying that she prayed to God for guidance to be able to recite the verses like her Prophet Muhammad; and Aisha later went on to become one of the best teachers in Islamic history.

Invest in a Tafsir of the Quran

Learning the meaning – or the tafsir – behind the messages and the stories of the verses is probably the most important part of getting to know the Quran. This is also true for understanding the principles that each verse places forth and the rationale behind each principle.

The first step in understanding the tafsir behind the verses would be to find a well-written translation of the original Quran, which tally with the original verses. The translation alone is not enough; it is better for Muslims to read the translations with their corresponding narrations.

The Quran thus is able to intercede on behalf of its reader and if this person is able to engage in the good deeds laid out in the Quran, his or her rewards will be multi-fold.

Learning the Arabic Language

Learning the Arabic language will be an immense benefit for Muslims. Not only are the daily prayers recited in Arabic – and include Al-Fatihah, the opening chapter of the Quran – the entire prayer is said in Arabic. Learning the Arabic language will also bring a greater sense of closeness to the Quran while a person reads it.

The Arabic of Quran is a bit complex; it is of a class higher than the Arabic that is heard and documented today. And this would make sense as the entire Quran is written by God.

However, this should not stop Muslims from at least learning the key words of verses.

In fact, learning the Arabic language will also aid in the memorization of verses. Memorization of the Quran is also something Muslims should strive for, as the Quran keeps the heart pure and soft and wards away evil thoughts.

The one who was devoted to the Quran will be told on the Day of Resurrection: Recite (commit to memory) and ascend (in ranks) as you used to recite when you were in the world. Your rank will be at the last ayah (verse) you recite. (At-Tirmidhi, 11)

This is probably the best incentive to read the Quran.

Take Time to Get to Know Prophet Muhammad

Prophet Muhammad, coined in the Quran as the mercy to mankind, is the best embodiment of the Quran.

His wife Aisha once described him as the walking Quran. He lived his life in full devotion of the principles of the Scripture, out of his love for God. With this, to get to know the Quran better, Muslims should make full use of their efforts to learn about the Prophetic Seerah.

From the way he ate to the way he slept; from how he treated his family members to his staunchest enemies; and from the way he worshiped to the way he taught his followers… Muslims will learn exactly how to practice Islam in light of the Quran, the ultimate source of knowledge for all believers.

The call has come, and you have a major life decision to make. What you do in this moment and how you handle the problem before you will either make – or break – your relationships, business fortunes, or educational path for years to come.

Sweat, blood, and tears have gone into looking for just the right opportunity, but are you now ready to take that final step?

Although this sounds over-dramatic, making changes in our lives can lead to serious amounts of anxiety and stress, and have a bigger impact than we notice. As we gain more experience in the world, we learn that there rarely ever is a completely “right” answer in life. So many things seem to rest in a grey area.

The Quran, however, sets out for us as Muslims a methodology through which we can take decisions. This article seeks to setup those parameters through an observation of the third chapter of the Quran (Al Imran).

Beginning and ending with the principle of reliance upon God, the verses of this chapter help provide us with guidelines to make decisions, rely upon each other, and chart the best path forward.

The Backdrop: Trust in God

If Al Imran is read with the mindset of decision-making, one verse sticks out amongst the others:

So by mercy from Allah, [O Muhammad], you were lenient with them. And if you had been rude [in speech] and harsh in heart, they would have disbanded from about you. So pardon them and ask forgiveness and consult them in the matter. And when you have decided, then rely upon Allah. Indeed, Allah loves those who rely [upon him]. (Quran 3:159)

This verse speaks directly to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH); but also sets-out the foundation of decision-making for all Muslims: consultation.

No important decision should be made alone; and it is a command from God that we take the advice of our mentors, teachers, friends, and family to find out their views before making that life-changing decision. If this involves solving a conflict, how are we to deal with it? Through leniency and using the best words for the right situation.

Read Also: Stories on Tawakkul – Letting Allah Take Hold

Once we have consulted others and are ready to make our decision, the verse then commands us to “rely upon Allah.” The concept in Arabic (tawakkul) means to delegate one’s affairs to God, putting aside any worries about the ultimate result.

This is not just a throw-away term, and as Muslims we must spend years cultivating tawakkul and learning that, once we have taken all the necessary steps, the rest must be left to God. Whenever we hear that voice in our head giving us doubts and suggesting uncertainty about our decisions, we must learn to turn it off and realize that, no matter how much things are stacked against you, God is always there.

Then they schemed, and Allah countered their schemes by schemes of His own. Allah is the best of schemers. (Quran 3:54).

The path of tawakkul is that of the righteous, those who:

… firm in knowledge say, ‘We believe in it. All of it is from our Lord.’ (Quran 3:7).

They are the ones rewarded with Paradise for their faith and steadfast reliance upon God in all their affairs.

Practical Applications: Mariam and the Battle of Uhud

Rarely does the Quran leave the reader with such an important concept without providing important practical examples of its application.

Tawakkul is no different, and in Al Imran are two sets of applications in the form of the lives of the Prophets. The first comes from the story of Mariam. Questioning the ability to have a child when no man has ever touched her, she is told:

Such is Allah; He creates what He wills. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it, ‘Be,’ and it is. (Quran 3:47)

In this verse, Mariam is being commanded to place the matter of her child in the hands of God.

Likewise, the second example comes from the life of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) during the Battle of Uhud.

O you who have believed, do not be like those who disbelieved and said about their brothers when they traveled through the land or went out to fight; ‘If they had been with us, they would not have died or have been killed;’ so Allah makes that [misconception] a regret within their hearts. And it is Allah who gives life and causes death, and Allah is Seeing of what you do. (Quran 3:156)

This verse came as the result of the losses sustained by the Muslim army in the Battle of Uhud, where some of the believers questioned whether God had abandoned them. “Had some soldiers not moved their positions during the battle,” they argued, “they would still be alive.”

The Quran admonishes these individuals, calling them to see the truth that only God gives life and causes death. They did their best and must leave these affairs to God.

Conclusion: Returning, Once Again, to God

I once read that nothing is more important to our ability to effectively address our present situation than understanding the lessons learned from those who have come before us. As young Muslims, challenges are many on all levels, more so, for Muslims living in the West.

A strong faith can keep us focused on the fact that Allah alone ultimately controls all destinies and has power over all things. Remembering this at the moment of affliction can help us in defeating the pain and finding hope and energy to keep moving forward.

The Ultimate Guidebook

It is a blessing that we have the Qur’an to reach out to during times of distress. Allah’s book is replete with stories that may be somewhat different from our personal afflictions; however, one thing is true, all stories reveal that peace comes from the verses.

Allah does things to teach us lessons. Things happen in order to demonstrate who He is and to show us who people really are. 

Since He is the One Who created us, He also knows how we should be. He knows how we should react and how to solve certain issues. Men and women, from the cradle to the grave, will be tested with these trials.

Allah says:

{Verily, We have created man in toil (hardship)} (Al-Balad 90:4)

Inspiring Stories

There are several stories and examples in the Holy Quran for us to use as a catalog to guide us and give peace during our most challenging times.

These difficulties in life strengthen us and act as a means of washing away our sins. Additionally, they bring with them a promise of tremendous reward if we are able to hold firm to our belief.

Yusuf’s Chastity

In this day and age, it is not surprising that young men and women are challenged to maintain modesty and resist temptation. It is comforting to know that while it is difficult to overcome, it can be done. In fact, who is not familiar with the story of the Prophet Yusuf?

Rather than make excuses and fall prey to whims and desires, with all the challenges and trials he faced, including being sold to slavery and facing temptation, Prophet Yusuf (PBUH) resorted to Allah and adhered to the ethics and morals of a true Muslim.

He trusted Allah and never compromised.

And Allah did not let him down. Prophet Yusuf was rewarded by later becoming the ruler of Egypt.

While I’m not suggesting we will become rulers, I do mention this as it somehow gives peace. Following every trial, there is a reward for those who wait. We may get a portion of this reward in this world.

But even if we don’t, let’s remember that the most significant, fully satisfying and endlessly lasting reward is guaranteed in the hereafter.

Tests are inevitable

After all, the Qur’an illustrates, that this world is a test:

{And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits} (Qur’an, 2:155)

Stormy seasons of life are inevitable. We know that many of our beloved prophets faced one challenge or another.

Maryam’s Miracle

Maryam is an example of a Muslim woman that is honorable and obedient towards Allah. Her story proves the power of Allah, as it recalls the miraculous conception of Jesus, conceived without a father.

Again, we see how she is rewarded. She is the only female to have an entire surah named after her.

The purpose of stories in the Qur’an is not only for the story to be told and retold. They remind us over and over again of the comfort and peace that comes from being loved by Allah. This is particularly evident if we are trying to follow Allah’s guidance.

Remember Prophet Yunus

Another example is when the Prophet Yunus,who gave up on his mission to the people of Nineveh, went onto a ship and was thrown into the sea. He was swallowed by a whale.

At the point of despair, he called upon Allah with all his heart and was rescued. He returned to his mission and achieved success.

Aishah in the Eye of Storm

Even Lady Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her), wife of the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) was tested. She was slandered by an ugly lie but Allah brought the truth to light and she ultimately became both a leader and scholar in her own right.

We are truly known and perfectly loved, even more clearly and truly than we know and love ourselves.

In fact, it is often quite difficult for us to know ourselves well, to differentiate between our longings, needs, and deepest desires.

Challenges are Inevitable

Just like our forefathers faced calamity and afflictions, so do we. It will continue to be that way. Allah did promise though, that if we endured patiently, we would be compensated.

There are many important lessons to be drawn from the stories that actually apply to our lives today. These stories can help us overcome difficult ordeals, boost our morale, and direct us on how to behave in a myriad of situations.

{but give glad tidings to As-Sabirin (the patient)} (Al-Baqarah 2:155)

The shared verses are powerful and I suggest that we write them down and save them somewhere easy to find.

When life gets challenging, just come back and really grab hold of the verses and the truth they contain. Meditate on these and rest in the truth that we are never alone.

Allah’s Plan for Us

The stories in the Qur’an remind us that if we find ourselves confronted by obstacles and hardship, not to feel desolation. The hardship is probably a sign that we are on the right path.

Simply put, what we think we need and what we actually need, is not always the same. This is especially true in times of pain or suffering. 

More Quranic Stories:

You may like to read:

Recent Posts

The Orthodox priest G ...

The Orthodox priest Gold David