What If the Quran Completely Disappeared?

Only about one week left in these blessed last days of this blessed month of Ramadan – make the most of it!

Some ayat to reflect on:

وَلَئِن شِئْنَا لَنَذْهَبَنَّ بِالَّذِي أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ ثُمَّ لَا تَجِدُ لَكَ بِهِ عَلَيْنَا وَكِيلًا
إِلَّا رَحْمَةً مِّن رَّبِّكَ ۚ إِنَّ فَضْلَهُ كَانَ عَلَيْكَ كَبِيرًا
قُل لَّئِنِ اجْتَمَعَتِ الْإِنسُ وَالْجِنُّ عَلَىٰ أَن يَأْتُوا بِمِثْلِ هَٰذَا الْقُرْآنِ لَا يَأْتُونَ بِمِثْلِهِ وَلَوْ كَانَ بَعْضُهُمْ لِبَعْضٍ ظَهِيرًا

“And if We willed, We could surely do away with that which We revealed to you. Then you would not find for yourself concerning it an advocate against Us.
Except [We have left it with you] as a mercy from your Lord. Indeed, His favor upon you has ever been great.
Say, “If mankind and the jinn gathered in order to produce the like of this Qur’ān, they could not produce the like of it, even if they were to each other assistants.” (Surat Al-Isra’, 86-88)

Just ponder these beautiful, powerful verses. What a beautiful passage about the Quran!

Previously, I have listed all the ayat in Surat Al-Isra’ that talk about the Quran and its inimitability and incomparable beauty. This is one of the themes of the surah, actually.

But here, in this one passage, let’s zero in one on aspect: the terrifying possibility that the Quran may be removed, taken away entirely.

We all, as Muslims, love the Quran and know that it’s the word of Allah. But we all have different relationships with it.

Some Muslims strive hard to forge a strong bond with the Quran, reading it, memorizing it, pondering it, trying to act on its teachings.

Other Muslims read it occasionally, mostly during Ramadan and when someone dies.

Others rarely touch it, content to let it sit on the highest, most dusty shelf in their living room bookcase as decoration.

From the tafsir of ibn Jareer At-Tabari رحمه الله, the fascinating explanation of the first ayah:

وكان عبد الله بن مسعود يتأوّل معنى ذهاب الله عزّ وجلّ به رفعه من صدور قارئيه.
ذكر الرواية بذلك حدثنا أبو كريب، قال: ثنا أبو بكر بن عياش، عن عبد العزيز بن رفيع، عن بُنْدار، عن معقل، قال: قلت لعبد الله، وذكر أنه يُسرى على القرآن ، كيف وقد أثبتناه في صدورنا ومصاحفنا؟
قال: يُسرى عليه ليلا فلا يبقى منه في مصحف ولا في صدر رجل، ثم قرأ عبد الله ( وَلَئِنْ شِئْنَا لَنَذْهَبَنَّ بِالَّذِي أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ ) .
حدثني يونس، قال: أخبرنا ابن وهب، قال: ثنا ابن إسحاق بن يحيى، عن المسيب بن رافع، عن عبد الله بن مسعود ، قال: ” تطرق الناسَ ريح حمراء من نحو الشام، فلا يبقى في مصحف رجل ولا قلبه آية. قال رجل: يا أبا عبد الرحمن، إني قد جمعت القرآن ، قال: لا يبقى في صدرك منه شيء. ثم قرأ ابن مسعود ( وَلَئِنْ شِئْنَا لَنَذْهَبَنَّ بِالَّذِي أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ ).”

Absolutely chilling!

The gist of this bit of tafsir translates to:

“Abdullah ibn Mas`ud would understand the meaning of this ayah to be that Allah will remove the Quran from the chests of its readers.

A Sahabi asked Ibn Mas`ud, “How, when we have confirmed/ saved (memorized) it in our hearts and in our masahif?”

He replied, “It will lifted up at night and it will not remain in any mus-haf or in the chest of any man.” And then he recited the ayah.

In a similar narration, ibn Mas`ud has said, “There will come upon the people a red wind from the direction of Ash-Sham (the Levant region), and then not a single ayah will remain in the mus-haf or in the heart of any man.”
A man said, “O Abu Abdurrahman! I have memorized the entire Quran!”

Ibn Mas`ud replied, “Nothing will remain in your chest of it.”

And then he recited the first ayah listed in this post. “And had We willed, We could surely do away with that which We have revealed to you…”

Read the Quran. Pore over it. Cry over it. Reflect on it. Try to memorize it. Do your best to apply it to your life. Love it.

This Quran is precious.

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