How to understand the Qur'an

Introduction to Reading the Qur’an

The Qur’an was revealed from God piecemeal to meet the needs and requirements of the Islamic Movement in its different stages.  It is a divine guidance to humanity so that we can successfully reach our destiny - the Hereafter. Because of its divine origin, the Qur’an in its original Arabic language does not have human authors.

The Qur’an is unique in its composition and style. The Qur’an does not conform to the normal conception of a book.  It is a book that is not like any book ever written.  The chapters of the Qur’an consist of verses that deal with a mixture of subjects and miscellaneous topics.  It is for this reason that the title or name of a chapter would not reveal the total information and contents in that chapter.  The information contained in a chapter of the Qur’an is woven together and laid down in a mosaic form that might give the feeling of lack of continuity and order.  Interconnection between the verses and the continuity of the subject might not be apparent or existing. Varied information within the same verse can also be found.  It is reasonable to think of a chapter of the Qur’an as a beautiful flower bouquet, each of its flowers has its unique color and smell.

Thus, for one to understand the Qur’an, one should first free the mind from the preconceived notion of a “regular” book, and then concentrate on grasping the meaning of each individual verse in the chapter.  Verses that have obvious and clear connection should be studied together.  After one reads a chapter more than once, one is able to comprehend all the important lessons in that chapter.  It is important that, for deeper and more understanding of the Qur’an, the reader should visit any index, commentary, or notes, if available in the translation.   

It is difficult to understand the complete meaning and grasp all the wisdom of the Qur’an after one reading.  As a matter of fact, one needs to read the Qur’an over and over again with complete concentration and meditation before one can fully discover its hidden treasures.  Because you gain new meanings and perception each time you read the Qur’an, you might feel as if you never read such verses before. Amazingly, these realities, about re-reading the Qur’an often, hold true for all people regardless of their level of education.  Fortunately, God rewards us generously for reading each and every letter of this great divine book.

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