The third way by which we can soften our hearts is the Quran itself.
Allah states in the Quran, Al-Hadid, 57:16, “Has not the time come for those who believe for their hearts to fear Allah when they hear the Quran (dhikrullah here is in reference to the Quran) and what truth there is in it, so that they not be like those who received the Scripture before, but in the passage of time, their hearts became hard. And most of them are corrupt.”
If we reflect on the Quran, it has the power to soften our hearts. Allah said, about the jinn who heard the Quran, “Indeed we heard an amazing Quran; it guides us to Allah and we believe in it and we will set not partners besides Allah.” [See Quran, Surah al-Ahqaf 46:29-32]
Allah goes on to describe the righteous, “And if they (this is amongst the Christians) hear what was revealed to the Messenger, you will see their eyes welling up with tears because of what they know of the truth of what has been brought.” This was the case of the ruler of Ethiopia. When Muslims sought refuge there and they recited a portion of the Quran, they saw his eyes fill with tears.
This is how we should be. When we hear the Quran, we should reflect on the meanings. The Quran should not become for us a replacement for pop songs that we used to hear before. People buy recordings of their favourite reciters for the beauty of their voice… The listening of the Quran has become more of a musical thing. We are entertained by that music, so much so that when the reciter is reading, we hear people in the background going, “Allah! Allah! Allah!” People making statements in the background as thought it were a pop show! This is not the Quran… Allah tells us, “Will they not reflect on the meanings?”
The Quran is a Book of Guidance and it is in the reflection on the meaning of the Quran that we benefit, for it is very important for us to re-assess how we are dealing with the Quran. We should be reading it regularly, not only leaving it until Ramadhan. We reflect on it… not reading it Ramadhan so we can finish the whole Book and say we finished the Quran in Ramadhan. It really does not matter if we don’t finish the Quran in Ramadhan. For most of the Prophet’s Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa sallam life, he did not finish the whole Quran in Ramadhan. Most of the companions did not finish the reading of the Quran in Ramadhan. Today, for us, Ramadhan is not complete unless we read the whole Quran in Ramadhan. We hire reciters to recite the Quran at 99 miles an hour so much so that even Arabic-speaking people cannot figure out where in the Quran the reciter is!
This has become the precedence — finishing the Quran in Ramadhan and if you can finish it twice, even better! B