In order to benefit truly from the Qur’an, one must listen attentively and be alert when reciting or listening to it. We must also try to attach and focus our hearts on it. The Quran is the words of Allah SWT and listening to it is as though He is speaking to us directly, so it is important for us to show respect by listening attentively. Allah SWT says: “Truly there is a reminder in this for anyone who has a heart, or who listens attentively with presence of mind.” Qaf (50): 37
This verse shows that the Qur’an is a stimulus and that it is the heart that it can be influenced. It goes further to say “or who listens attentively,” which means that the person turns all his attention to the words of the Quran and pays utmost alertness. “with presence of mind,” in the sense that the person listens or recites with an alert and present heart, not one that is unmindful and absent. Ibn Qutaybah said, ‘that is a person who listens attentively to Allah’s Book with presence of heart and mind, not someone who is unmindful with an absent air.’ Ibn Qutaybah, Gharibu’l-Qur’an, pg. 419. It is only an attentive mind that can grasp and understand the message being said.
Thus, if one complies with that verse, then that person can benefit from the Quran and take heed. Moreover, people with hearts which are alike and ready to accept truth are those that can ponder on the words of the Quran and turn his mind to hit. Concerning them, Allah says: “Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The metaphor of His light is that of a niche in which there is a lamp, the lamp inside a glass, the glass like a brilliant start, lit from a blessed tree, an olive, neither of the east nor the west, its oil all but giving off light even if no fire touches it. Light upon light! Allah guides to His Light whoever He wills, Allah propounds metaphors for mankind and Allah has knowledge of all things.” al-Nur (24): 35
This verse refers to the light of the innate nature covered by the light of revelation; this is the condition of the person who has a living, receiving heart. Therefore, the person who has this type of attentive heart receives the meanings of the Qur’an and readily accepts them so much so that it seems as if the words have been inscribed in his heart and he is able to recite them fluidly from memory.
We must also try to remember how great it is to memorize and recite the Quran. A’isha reported Muhammed SAW as saying: “one who is proficient in the Quran is associated with the noble, upright, recording angels; and he who falters in it, and finds it difficult for him, will have a double reward.” [Sahih Muslim]. This shows how important it is to recite the Quran and that we should not be discouraged if we have difficulties when reciting it.