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What are the ways through which we can get familiar with the Quran?

What are the ways through which we can get familiar with the Quran?

There is a saying from Imam Ja'far Sadiq (a.s.) according to which eternal happiness and salvation would be achieved only through getting familiar with the Quran at the time of youth age: ‘If one reads the Qur'an in his youth as a true believer, the Qur'an mingles with and becomes a part of his flesh and blood, and Allah places him alongside the pious and noble scribes, and on the day of resurrection the Qur'an will be a witness in his favor... Whoever recites a great amount of the Qur'an and underwent hardship due to the difficulty of memorization will be given by Allah this twice over.'[1]
There is no doubt that in order for a person to be benefited by the Quran, it is necessary to fulfill certain conditions the most important of which is to be God-fearing. In fact, one should always be in mutual interaction with the Quran in the sense that whenever he gets an injunction from the Quran, he should put it into practice so that he may further be able to benefit from the other guidelines and spiritual aspects of the Quran. If one fails to act according to the advice of the Quran, getting familiarity with what the Quran says and even reciting it will be no of avail to the individual. There are verses in this regard which we want you to read and understand:
1. "We send down (stage by stage) in the Qur'an that which is a healing and a mercy to those who believe: to the unjust it causes nothing but loss after loss."[2]
2. " Say (O Prophet): It is to those who believe a guidance and a healing; and (as for) those who do not believe, there is a heaviness in their ears and it is obscure to them."[3]
3. " Surely this Quran guides to that which is most upright and gives good news to the believers who do good that they shall have a great reward."[4]
4. " Therefore remind him by means of the Quran who fears My threat."[5]
Hence, man should seek refuge with Allah from the accursed Shaitan before reciting the Quran[6] and those who, when they are admonished with the Signs of their Lord, droop not down at them as if they were deaf or blind[7]; in fact, they should fall down in prostrate adoration and in tears.[8] And after his flesh and heart soften after hearing the teachings of the Quran, and start shuddering and trembling due to fear of Allah, then they should be ready to move to the next stage.[9]
This is how love of the Quran is instilled in man's heart which helps him and befriend him throughout his life. As Hafiz Shirazi puts it in his poem:
Your love will reach its climax, should you, like Hafiz, recite the Quran in fourteen recitations.[10]
Then with the love and enthusiasm for the Quran, one can achieve spiritual growth and perfection:
Wake up early in the morning and seek wellbeing like Hafiz,
Because, I did so, all thanks are due to the Quran.
In contrary, if the purpose behind learning and reciting the Quran is to act counter to it or make a mockery of it, or to use it for selfish and worldly gains, then such a relationship with the Quran not only will not lead to spiritual growth but it will also degrade him and make him lower than those individuals who are not in communication with the Quran. There are many traditions which analyze different kinds of relationship with the Quran. Here are a few examples:
1. It has been narrated from the Holy Prophet (S) that he said: "Those who are most humble and submissive in prayers and fasting, openly or secretly, are those who have the Quran in their chests. Then he said out loud: 'Behold, those who have the Quran in their chests, make yourselves humble with Quran so that Allah may elevate your position. Never seek to gain pride with the Quran, or else God will knock you to the ground. Beautify yourself with the Quran for your Lord so that God may further increase your beauty and do not use the Quran as an adornment in front of people, or else God will make you feel ashamed of yourself. One who recites the Quran well, he is as though he contained all the messages of prophethood in his heart without communication with God. One who is familiar with the Quran will not behave ignorantly with the ignorant, he will not get enraged with others' anger nor will he be aggressive with the aggressive ones. In fact, he will, in order to respect the Quran, be patient and forbearing and will ignore others' mistakes..."[11]
2. Imam Baqir (a.s) has been reported as saying: "Reciters of the Quran are of three kinds; the first is one who recites the Quran and takes it as an article of commerce, flatters the rulers, and shows off before people. The second is one who learns the art of recitation of the Quran and spoils its boundaries (rulings). Allah may not increase such kinds of reciters of the Qur'an! The third is one who recites the Quran, considers it as a cure for his ailment, passes the night with it, spends his days with thirst with it, spends his times with it in the mosques, and leaves his bed for it. By this kind of the people of the Qur'an, God repels the enemies, and by them, God sends down rain from the sky. (I swear) by Allah! This kind from among the reciters of the Quran are rarer than red sulfur."[12]
3. Jabir b. Abdullah Ansari says: "I said to Imam Baqir (A.S), 'there are people who, in order to attract others' attention to themselves while reciting the Quran pretend to be unconscious to the extent that if you cut off their hands and feet, they will not notice.'
Imam Baqir (A.S), said: 'Allah is Glorified! This is a satanic act and God does not want them to do so. The recitation of the Quran should entail softness and lightness of the heart and fear of God.[13]

[1]Kulayni, Muhammad bin Ya'qub, al-Kafi, vol.2, p. 603, hadith 4, Dar al-Kutub al-Islamiyah, Tehran, 1365 (1986)
[2] - Al-Isra (17): 82
[3] Fussilat (41): 44
[4] Al-Isra (17): 9
[5] Qaf (50): 45
[6] An Nahl (16): 98
[7] Al-Furqan (25): 73
[8] Maryam (19): 58
[9] Az-Zumar (39): 23
[10] عشقت رسد به فریاد، گر خود بسان حافظ - قرآن ز بر بخوانی با چارده قرائت
[11] Al-Kafi, vol.2, p. 604, hadith 5.
[12] Ibid, p. 627, hadith 1.
[13] Ibid, p. 616, hadith 1.


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