وَاتْلُ مَا أُوحِيَ إِلَيْكَ مِن كِتَابِ رَبِّكَ ۖ لَا مُبَدِّلَ لِكَلِمَاتِهِ وَلَن تَجِدَ مِن دُونِهِ مُلْتَحَدًا
And recite, [O Muhammad], what has been revealed to you of the Book of your Lord. There is no changer of His words, and never will you find in other than Him a refuge. (al-Kahf: 27)
In this ayah, there is a command to recite the Qur’an and follow it. Many times, people just focus on completing the Qur’an, by counting the ayaat and pages they have left. However, this should not be the sole purpose! Yes, we need to recite the Qur’an, but we also need to ponder and reflect over its meanings and draw valuable lessons for ourselves, so that we can implement them in our lives.
Here’s what some of our pious predecessors had to say about reciting and pondering over the Qur’an:
Abdullah bin Mas’ud said, “Do not scatter it [the Qur’an] like inferior dates and do not recite it quickly as with poetry. Instead, pause (and reflect) on its wonders, move the hearts with it, and let not your concern be the end of the surah.”
Ibn al-Qayyim said, “As for pondering over the Quran, this means to fix the vision of the heart on its meanings and to serve all thought in its reflection and understanding, and this is the purpose of the revelation of the Quran.”
Hasan al-Basri said, “By Allah, it is not preserving its letters while wasting its limits! One of them even says, ‘I have recited the whole Qur’an without missing a single letter of it,’ although by Allah, he has missed it all, for the Qur’an is not seen in him in any of his character or deeds.”
Allama ‘Ajawi said, “He ponders over the Quran so that he becomes one of manners, and he should ask himself: When will I be of those who are conscious of Allah? When will I be of those who are humbly submissive [to Allah]? When will I be of those who are patient?”