Question: How can we be a generation devoted to the Qur’an? What would be the qualities of such a generation? What would be the duties we are supposed to fulfill to accomplish this?
Answer: A generation devoted to the Qur’an is a generation of individuals whose sole objective is to ensure that the divine will is fulfilled in this world, to properly represent and embody the truths presented in the Qur’an, and to make it a primary goal of their lives to fully comply with the Qur’an in their thoughts, words, and acts. They will reflect meanings from the Qur’an, no matter what direction you view them from. Their worldview is shaped by divine wishes as this is what being in the esteemed presence of God entails. Their ultimate aim is not this world, which is nothing but a transient place of trial and testing, but the Hereafter, which is the land of infinite beauty and goodness. They do not prefer themselves over others, but others over themselves. They do not aspire for the transient face of this world which may offer pleasures and delights, but for being on the path to the Hereafter, even though it may come with trials and tribulations. They decorate themselves with the moral principles advocated by the Qur’an. As described in a noble saying of the Prophet, whoever sees them will remember God (Ibn Majah, Zuhd 4). Those who follow them will reach God. They not only practice and embody in their personal lives what the Qur’an preaches, but also dedicate themselves to reviving the truths presented in the Qur’an for the whole humanity and making them the very essence of life.
There are numerous belief forms, metaphysical conceptions, and understandings of divine around the world. For Muslims, the Qur’an’s perspective in these matters holds the center. The most accurate information about metaphysical realms is the one prophets have taught humanity. It is the prophets who have made the divine known to humankind in the most correct way. They have made the most realistic descriptions of death, the intermediate realm (barzakh), and the Hereafter. Failure to lend an ear to the divine revelation regarding these matters will result in false or misguided conceptions. Indeed, even the People of the Book stepped into various gaps regarding creedal matters, misinterpreted them, and suffered from deviations, since they were unable to preserve the divine revelation in its original form.
It must be remembered that human reason has its perceptive boundaries. No one, not a single person, can go beyond those bounds. Just as Ziya Pasha once said:
“This tiny mind is not required to comprehend high ideas,
For its scale cannot bear such a weight.”
Many philosophers and intellectuals have talked about the existence of God, but in order to obtain true and unerring knowledge about God’s names and attributes, we have to lend an ear to the divine revelation. Indeed, this is a matter that falls within the domain of the unseen (ghayb), and, as such, human comprehension cannot make final assessments about it. The way to have true, correct, and accurate information about divinity and lordship is to listen to what prophets say. It is an essential duty for a generation devoted to the Qur’an to learn about God by taking the Qur’an and the Prophetic tradition as basis and helping others learn about Him so that this learning process eventually heals everyone.
The following goal, described by Mehmet Akif Ersoy, should be an important target for a Qur’an generation:
“Being inspired by the Qur’an directly,
We need to make Islam address the mind of this age.”
Today, the way people see and analyze existence and look at creation and natural phenomena has changed due to scientific advancements. If you fail to take into consideration perspectives or points of views of the people you are trying to reach, you may fail to properly address their intellects and emotions, as is the case with many. In this regard, the generations who are devoted to the cause of promoting faith and the Qur’an should present the metaphysical truths in such a manner as to avoid causing any intellectual, spiritual, emotional, or sensational gap and provide knowledge that satisfies people’s hearts and minds.
Incidentally, it should be noted that some people who adopt a different approach to the aforementioned couplet tend to suggest that Islam should be reformed considering the circumstances of the time; and with a historicist perspective, they even argue that some verses in the Qur’an no longer have any binding effect in our time. Seeing certain principles set forth in the Qur’an as contradicting existing perceptions and understandings, they disown them and suggest that they are provisions targeting exclusively the people of Jahiliyyah (the age of ignorance before Islam) exclusively, and therefore, they do not apply to our time.
This is a wrong perspective. But, unfortunately, some people are motivated by certain passing, fashionable ideas. They believe that no lifestyle other than the current one is practical. They assume that the worldview imposed upon us by the modern world is the most ideal one and reject all other understandings. Consequently, they believe that certain injunctions in the Qur’an are outdated and cannot be applied to today’s world. This can largely be attributed to the fact that the Qur’an has been neglected for many centuries thanks to a failure to understand, promote, and represent it correctly. If a devoted generation manages to put the truths presented by the Qur’an into practice perfectly, the whole of humanity would run toward their world.
In this respect, I think it is critical for the devoted people who have dispersed all around the globe to express their worldviews and feelings as they engage with their new communities. Still, it should be remembered that it is not easy for others to come to appreciate your values; this is especially true for certain individuals, states, and nations that have dominated the world for several centuries. They’ve looked down on others, have fossilized thoughts, nurture national pride, act in line with an implicit caste system, impose their cultures on the rest of the world, and wield a certain economic power.
Nevertheless, living up to your virtues and values may evoke serious admiration. So far, we have seen numerous cases of this. “If there is something that is promising for the future of the world, it is this movement,” some influential scholars have asserted. Correct representation even on small platforms has the potential to stir such great admiration. Even the slightest glitters are capable of generating excitement for a better world. These are important sources of hope for us. But you should exhibit your altruism and magnanimity, continue to perform your usual services with increasing intensity, and try to practice a more watchful life. You need to explain, describe, and represent your faith and values in the best way. You need to try to repair the damage that has been incurred so far, start rebuilding, and eliminate the gaps. You should endeavor to promote the fascinating grandeur and beauty of Islam to everyone, trying to make sure that every single servant of God can benefit from it. You should make the best use of your faith, enthusiasm, and knowledge.
Then, with God’s permission and grace, your efforts will be appreciated by others. Indeed, human nature is characterized by a quest for truth and longing for beauty and perfection.