There is no doubt that the Qur’an is the Book of Allah, His eternal word and divine miracle. Muslims know that and believe it with all their hearts. They know it was sent down to Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) in order to guide humanity to the straight path which leads to success in this life and the Hereafter.
[ Alif. Lam. Ra. A Book which we have revealed unto you, In order that you might lead humanity from the depths of darkness into light – by the leave of their Lord – to the way of (Him), the Exalted In power, worthy of all praise!”] (Ibrahim 14: 1)
Allah the Almighty has set the criterion of reward for the Day of Judgment. Taqwa and righteousness will be the key to heavenly bliss as long as the principle of tawheed is intact.
[…Verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is (he/she who is) the most righteous of you…] (Al-Hujurat 49:13)
Therefore, it is not surprising that the concept of taqwa and righteousness is mentioned constantly and continuously in all divine revelations.
Allah the Almighty says:
[For Allah belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth. And truly We have enjoined on those who were given the Scriptures before you, and you yourselves, that you shall all be God-fearing…] (An-Nisaa’ 4:131)
The earlier scriptures were ultimately sent down to serve the purpose of developing God-fearing individuals, and nourishing the concept of taqwa amongst the followers of the Messengers of Allah.
Concerning the Torah, Allah The Almighty says:
[In the past we granted to Moses and Aaron the Criterion (for judgment), and a light and a ‘revealed’ reminder for the God-fearing –AlMuttaqeen.] (Al-Anbiyaa’21:48)
Then down came the Gospel of `Isa (Jesus) (may Allah be pleased with him) with the same message. Allah the Almighty says:
[And in their footsteps We sent ‘Isa the son of Maryam, confirming the Law that had come before him: We sent him the Gospel: therein was guidance and light, and confirmation of the Law that had come before him: a guidance and an admonition to those who fear Allah.] (Al-Ma’idah 5:46)
The Qur’an was revealed as the last revelation to confirm the previous revelations and to reaffirm the religious guidance they once provided to their followers.
[To thee We sent the Scripture in truth, confirming the Scripture that came before it, and as a guardian over it…] (Al-Ma’idah 5:48)
Taqwa, as stated previously, was one of the main objectives of this revelation, the revelation of the Qur’an. Allah the Almighty says:
[(It is) a Qur’an in Arabic, without any crookedness (therein): in order that they may become righteous (achieve Taqwa).] (Az-Zumar 39:28)
The Qur’an, being the last testament and the final revelation Allah the Almighty sent down to mankind, made its call to build God-fearing people very clear.
In a basic search of the paradigm of the Arabic word ‘taqwa’ we find over two-hundred and thirty locations in the Qur’an. More than half this number is found in the first third of the Qur’an, according to its order.
The subject of taqwa was covered thoroughly in the Qur’an in different ways. In the form of command Allah the Almighty mandates taqwa for His servants:
[O you who believe! Fear Allah As He should be feared, and die not except in a state of Islam.] (Aal `Imran 3:101)
This explicit command is repeated frequently in the Qur’an. There are many verses in the Qur’an that begin, “O ye who believe! fear Allah.”
Taqwa was mentioned in the Qur’an as one of the injunctions Allah the Almighty prescribed upon those who preceded us, as explained earlier, and hence was perceived as one of the highly-praised qualities of the righteous throughout the ages.
Those who acquire taqwa are those who believe in the revelation:
[And He who brings the truth and He who confirms (and supports) it – such are those who are righteous.] (Az-Zumar 39:33)
They follow it and benefit from it. Allah the Almighty says:
[And this is a Book which We have revealed as a blessing: so follow it and be righteous, that ye may receive mercy.] (Al-An`am 6:155)
And they realize the goodness that is revealed within its verses. Allah the Almighty says:
[To the righteous (when) it is said, ‘What is it that your Lord has revealed?’ They say, ‘All that is good.’ To those who do good, there is good in this world, and the abode of the Hereafter is better and truly excellent indeed is the home of the righteous.] (An-Nahl 16:30)
The Qur’an is a source of guidance to those who are truly God-fearing. Allah the Almighty says:
[Alif. Lam. Mim. This is the Book; in it is sure guidance, without doubt, for those who fear Allah.] (Al-Baqarah 2:1-2)
The whole of the Qur’an was revealed as an admonition and a reminder to the one who fears Allah the Almighty. Allah the Almighty says:
[But verily this ‘Qur’an’ is a reminder for the Muttaqeen, the God-fearing.] (Al-Haqqah 69:48)
Ultimately, the Qur’an is a divine message that promotes taqwa and those who have taqwa benefit most from the Qur’an.
The relationship between taqwa and the Qur’an has been established. Therefore, it is not surprising to add this virtue of the taqwa-Qur’an relationship to the Fasting-taqwa -Qur’an triangle.
Ramadan is called the month of the Qur’an because the revelation of the Qur’an began in this month.
[Ramadan is the month in which was sent down the Qur’an as a guide for humanity, and also clear (signs) for guidance and Judgment (between right and wrong)…] (Al-Baqarah 2:185)
Ibn Kathir says in his commentary on this verse: “Allah praised the month of Ramadan beyond other months by choosing to send down the Glorious Qur’an therein.”
Ibn Rajab says: “…And the month of Ramadan is distinguished by the Qur’an, as Allah says: Ramadan is the month in which the Qur’an was sent down.
The most favorable act of worship performed in this month is recitation of the Qur’an. Occupying oneself with the Qur’an in Ramadan has been the tradition of Muslims; scholars and laymen, throughout the history of Islam. It is the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him).
Ibn `Abbas narrated: “Allah’s Apostle was the most generous of all the people and he used to reach the utmost in generosity during the month of Ramadan when Jibreel (Gabriel) met with him. Jibreel (Gabriel) (Gabriel) used to visit him every night of Ramadan to revise (in another narration: to teach him) the Qur’an. Allah’s Apostle (peace and blessings be upon him) was the most generous person, even more generous than the strong, bountiful wind (in readiness and haste to do charitable deeds).” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Ibn Rajab said: “This hadith shows the excellence of studying the Qur’an in Ramadan and gathering for this purpose. It is also proof of the recommendation to increase recitation of the Qur’an in Ramadan.”
The Sunnah of Qiyam Al-Layl and Tarawih Prayer, performed every night throughout the whole month of Ramadan, is another manifestation to the virtue of the Qur’an in Ramadan.
Narrated Abu Hurairah, the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Whoever prays at night in Ramadan out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
In the hadith of Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) explains the concept and significance of Qiyam Al-Layl, stating: “Qiyam (night prayer) is the long Qunoot (standing).” (Muslim)
Imam An-Nawawi asserts that: “The meaning of ‘Qunoot’ in this hadith is the long standing in recitation. This is what all the scholars of Islam agree on.”
Jibreel (Gabriel) (peace be upon him) used to review the Qur’an with the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) every Ramadan and in the last year of the life of Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) he did so twice. Since then, the Muslim Ummah started the tradition of reciting the whole Qur’an every Ramadan.
There is an abundance of reports regarding the tradition of the scholars and pious predecessors regarding their approach to the Quran in Ramadan. Some reports might seem strange and difficult to understand. People used to count sixty full recitations of the Qur`an for Imam Ash-shafi`i in Ramadan. Imam Az-Zuhri used to stop the sessions of hadith and direct his attention to the Qur’an in Ramadan.
During the month of Ramadan, the Qur’an becomes the theme and focus of this Ummah. Ramadan is the month of the Qur’an and the achievement of taqwa is its purpose. All this is sought so as to develop God-fearing individuals who will then become citizens of a God-fearing society.
There is no better chance to achieve the triangle of virtue than the opportunity that Ramadan presents. No wonder! When Jibreel (Gabriel) said to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him): “May his nose be rubbed in dust; one who experiences Ramadan and in spite of that does not enter Paradise. Say ameen.” The Messenger of Allah replied: “Ameen”. (Muslim)
[O ye who believe. Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed to those before you. That ye may (learn) self-restraint.] (Al-Baqarah 2:183)
By Yaser Birjas