Every gadget, machine or tool, has specific way to be used. Most of the things we use in our life have manual books or instruction guides. If a person buys a brand new car, he has to know how to operate or run the car. He can get a complete information about the car in the manual book which explains the elements of the car, how to take care of it, the dos and don'ts, and many more. In order to successfully and safely use the car for a long time, he has to follow all the instructions or rules in the manual book of the car. If he doesn't follow or if he changes some of the rules according to his own limited knowledge, then sooner or later the car will be broken.
Human being is the product of God, the creation of God. Therefore, human being also need manual book for living on earth. The Qur'an which was revealed by Allah (God) through Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is a manual book, a complete guidance for all people on earth. People have limited mind. People can't solve everything based on his limited knowledge. That's why, God sent the Qur'an and it is a proof of God's love towards human being as the Qur'an is truly a guide for human being in how to live on earth so that human being is happy not only in this world but also in the hereafter. Whoever wants to achieve happiness in both worlds, he must use the Qur'an as his manual book.
However, the Qur'an is often treated or used in the wrong ways. Basically, based on what happens in the society, people use the Qur'an in one of these three ways:
1. the Qur'an as rhymes or recitation,
2. the Qur'an as magic formula,
3. the Qur'an as manual book for life.
If a person uses the Qur'an as rhymes, then all he has to do is to make sound or to recite the Arabic letters perfectly and beautifully, according to the rules of Qur'an recitation, without the need to know the meaning. There are competitions in Qur'an recitation in which the winner is the one who is able to recite it the most beautifully. Sadly, there is common perception in the society (muslim society) that people who can recite the Qur'an beautifully are pious people, kindhearted people. This perception is of course wrong as such people don't understand the meaning of what they are reading. Even if they understand, doesn't mean they implement the rules of God in the Qur'an.
If a person uses the Qur'an as magic formula, then he doesn't have to recite it perfectly or beautifully, but what matters to him is which verses or chapters that he has to recite (say) and how many times he has to recite it. People dealing with jins or black magic, fortune tellers and witchcrafts often use verses from the Qur'an. They will say something like these: "If you want to be rich, you have to read chapter 114 of the Qur'an for 100 times every night!". "If you want to be successfull, you have to say "laa ilaaha illallaahu" for 200 times every morning!" "Say 'astaghfirullah' for 99 times every day, then your sins will be forgiven by God!"… those are examples of using the Qur'an as magic formula.
The correct way to use the Qur'an is to make it as manual book for life. If a person uses the Qur'an as his manual book then he MUST understand the meaning of the Qur'an. Besides reading the Arabic part of the Qur'an, he will read the translation of the Qur'an, he will try to understand it and implement the rules of God as stated in the Qur'an. If a person uses the Qur'an as his guide in his life, he will find solutions for his problems and he will decide every issue/problem according to the Qur'an. In short, using the Qur'an as a manual book means following the teaching of God in whole, not in parts.
What will happen if the Qur'an is not used accordingly? Well, what will happen if a person doesn't obey the manual book when he tries to operate or fix his washing machine? If he doesn't do as the manual book's instructions, the machine will not last very long and finally it will be broken. The same thing happens when people don't use the Qur'an correctly. Using the Qur'an in the wrong way will definitely result in great loss for human being. It will cause a great loss as the ultimate goal of true happiness in the world and in the hereafter will not be achieved. And the action of using the Qur'an improperly or not using the Qur'an at all in life will be accounted before God in the hereafter.
God truly wants all human being to have the ultimate happiness and to enter paradise. God says in chapter 2 verse 38, "… And if, as is sure, there comes to you guidance from Me, whosoever follows My guidance, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve." God has provided human being with perfect manual or guide book to follow. All we have to do is to understand and obey the guidance.
On the contrary, God doesn't favor people who don't use the Qur'an in their lives and condemn those who don't refer to the Qur'an for solutions. God says in chapter 5 verse 44, "…If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what God hath revealed, they are (no better than) unbelievers." Verse 45, "…And if any fail to judge by (the light of) what God hath revealed, they are (no better than) wrong-doers." Verse 47, "…If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what God hath revealed, they are (no better than) those who rebel." And there is no place in paradise for the unbelievers, wrong-doers, and those who rebel.
The Qur'an is truly an awe-inspiring book. It's such an amazing book that God says in chapter verse 31, "If there were a Qur'an with which mountains were moved, or the earth were cloven asunder, or the dead were made to speak, (this would be the one!)." However, such a qualities can be felt or sensed only when the holy book is used according to the purpose, that is the manual book for life on earth. And the manual book must be understood and the instructions must be obeyed.
Indonesia is a country where the muslim community is the highest in number in the world. If the muslims use the Qur'an properly, that is if they understand and follow the teachings, the country should be prosperous and noble qualities such as honesty, cleanliness, and discipline should prevail. However, looking at the situation and condition of the people, it is obvious that the Qur'an hasn't been used properly. The Qur'an lies only on bookshelves at homes. The people only read aloud or recite the Arabic letters beautifully. Or, people just position the Qur'an in the brain, that is as knowledge. Most of them don't have the Qur'an in their hearts, meaning they don't have belief that the Qur'an is their manual book. Remember, knowledge will not result in action but the belief will.
It is interesting to know that the habit of using the Qur'an as rhymes or recitation is the result of Dutch colonialism in Indonesia for more than 300 years. At that time, whenever people recited the Qur'an, the Dutch would say, "Let them recite the Qur'an, do not disturb them! By reciting only, they will not know the meaning, so just let them recite." The colonizer actually had read the Qur'an and they knew that if the people knew the meaning and teachings of the Qur'an, surely they would not let themselves being oppressed and enslaved. God forbids oppression and slavery.
The Qur'an is guidance for mankind containing wisdom and rules in how to lead our lives on earth so that we survive in this world and in the hereafter. Using the Qur'an in a wrong way or not using the Qur'an in our lives will be a great loss. Don't let it happen…
Verily this Qur'an doth guide to that which is most right (or stable), and giveth the glad tidings to the believers who work deeds of righteousness, that they shall have a magnificent reward. (Qur'an chapter 17 verse 9).
Twitter: Maharani Hasibuan