Understanding The Quran: Pre-requisites (Dr. Manzoor-ul-Haque)

The Quran seeks to awaken in human the consciousness of his/her intimate relation to the universe. Its main emphasis is on reason and knowledge. Its purpose is to help to build up a free, self-reliant and rational personality, vivified with the sense of Allah’s working in the universe according to His immutable, unalterable laws. Now the question is: “How to understand the Quran?”

For this purpose, some pre-requisites are suggested. Study them very carefully, minutely, and meticulously before manifesting any emotional reactions.

Pre-requisite No. I
For understanding the Quran, it is not enough to have mastered its language, the Arabic language. A man may be proficient in the Arabic language and yet the meaning of the Quran may elude him.

Pre-requisite No. 2
He/She should approach this Divine Book with a receptive mind, free from preconceived ideas and notions, prejudice and bias.

Pre-requisite No. 3
He/She should be serious about human life and universe in which we live, and should have an intense consciousness of participation in a purposeful cosmic process.

Pre-requisite No. 4
He/She should be anxious to guard against pitfalls in the way of life and to steer clear of the obsacles which hinders his/her progress

These are, according to the Quran, the essentials pre-requisites for understanding the Quran. Those who do not approach the Quran in this way, it remains a sealed book to them. In the stories of the Anbiya -the Messengers recounted in the Quran -we are told how those who were not perceptive and alive were only bewildered when they listened to their i.e., the anbiya’s passionate exhortations. Some of them frankly confessed that they found their words unintelligible:
O Shu’aib ! We understand not much what you say (11: 91)

Our first task, in the light of the above mentioned pre-requisites, is to understand the real meaning of the Quran with the help of all the intellectual faculties we possess. It can only be then that we can proceed to assess the values of its teaching.

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