When we read a book or magazine for leisure or pleasure we don’t really need to comprehend what we read.
On the other hand when we are preparing for an examination, we pay attention to what we are reading in order to comprehend and remember as much as possible in order to pass the examination. We make notes along the way.
How do we approach the Glorious Qur'an? Do we read it as a book of leisure – simply for the sake of the enormous blessings associated with reciting the Qur'an? Or do we approach it as we do an examination – preparing ourselves for Our Final Examination?
Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala tells us in the Qur'an: Do they not ponder over the Qur'an or are their hearts sealed? (Surah Muhammad 47: 24)
Here are some Words of wisdom the Sahabah (Radhi Allahu Anhum) Ali ibn Talib (Radhi Allahu Anhu) said: “There is no good in a reading without knowing (what one has read) and there is no goodness in knowledge without understanding and there is no goodness in worship that contains no concentration.” (Al-Zabeedi Vol 5 pg 87)Abdullah ibn Masood (Radhi Allahu Anhu) said: “It was difficult for us to memorize the wording of the Qur'an but it was easy for us to act upon it. For the people who come after us, it will be easy for them to memorize the Qur'an and difficult for them to act upon it. (Abd Rabbihi page 112)Ibn Masood (Radhi Allahu Anhu) said: “(Do not read the Qur'an) in the manner that one throws out dates or in the quick manner that one reads poetry. Instead, stop at every one of its magnificent points and allow your heart to be moved by it. None of you should be thinking just about reaching the end of the Surah.” (Akhlaaq Ahl Al-Qur'an – Abu Bakr Al-Ajuri)Abdullah ibn Masood (Radhi Allahu Anhu) said: “When one among us learned ten verses, he would not go beyond them until he knew their meanings and he acted upon them.”Uthman ibn Affan (Radhi Allahu Anhu) said: “When the hearts become pure, they can never get enough of reading the Qur'an.” (quoted in Salaah Al-Khaalidi – Mafateeh li-l-Taammul ma al-Qur'an)
Finally another Ayah for the Glorious Qur'an:Has not the time arrived for the believers that their hearts in all humility should engage in the remembrance of Allah and of the truth which has been revealed (to them) and that they should not become like those to whom was given revelation aforetime, but long ages passed over them and their hearts grew hard? For many among them are rebellious transgressors (Surah Al-Hadid 57: 16)O Allah make include us among the Ahlul-Qur'an Ameen!