In order to be able to understand the Quran there is one single requirement…Sincerity
Only the Sincere Can Understand the Quran
[56:75] I swear by the positions of the stars. [56:76] This is an oath, if you only knew, that is awesome. [56:77] This is an honorable Quran. [56:78] In a protected book. [56:79] None can grasp it except the sincere.
And this is true for all righteous endeavors. In order for people to be guided, they need to be sincere.
Moment of Truth
There was a game show called the Moment of Truth where contestants would be asked a series of questions after conducting a thorough lie-detector screening. If they truthfully answer all the questions they get $1M.
[41:19] The day will come when the enemies of GOD will be summoned to the hellfire, forcibly. [41:20] Once they get there, their own hearing, eyes, and skins will bear witness to everything they had done. [41:21] They will say to their skins, "Why did you bear witness against us?" They will reply, "GOD made us speak up; He is the One who causes everything to speak. He is the One who created you the first time, and now you have been returned to Him." [41:22] There is no way you can hide from your own hearing, your eyes, or your skins. In fact, you thought that GOD was unaware of much of what you do.
Self-deception is the blindfold we wear that hides the presence of the firing squad
Self-deception leads to self-destruction because if we do not know if we are being sincere then how would we know if we are guided?
As indicated at the beginning of Sura 2 there are three kinds of people:
[2:8] Then there are those who say, "We believe in GOD and the Last Day," while they are not believers. [2:9] In trying to deceive GOD and those who believe, they only deceive themselves without perceiving.
So how do we know if we are being sincere?
Sincere: free from pretense or deceit; proceeding from genuine feelings.
[16:98] When you read the Quran, you shall seek refuge in GOD from Satan the rejected.
[23:97] Say, "My Lord, I seek refuge in You from the whispers of the devils. [23:98] "And I seek refuge in You, my Lord, lest they come near me."
When we read the Quran are we going there to try to find verses to justify what we already know? Or to genuinely search for what God is telling us?
When you read the Quran are you able to put all your preconceived notions aside and listen to what God is saying?
[28:50] If they fail to respond to you, then know that they follow only their own opinions. Who is farther astray than those who follow their own opinions, without guidance from GOD? GOD does not guide such wicked people.
“The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions.” - Leonardo Da Vinci
[5:101] O you who believe, do not ask about matters which, if revealed to you prematurely, would hurt you. If you ask about them in light of the Quran, they will become obvious to you. GOD has deliberately overlooked them. GOD is Forgiver, Clement.
There are going to be in the Quran it may not make sense when we first read it…
Why would God say this…
What does this mean…
[20:114] Most Exalted is GOD, the only true King. Do not rush into uttering the Quran before it is revealed to you, and say, "My Lord, increase my knowledge."
God's Revelation is Heavy
[11:12] You may wish to disregard some of that which is revealed to you, and you may be annoyed by it. Also, they may say, "How come no treasure comes down to him, or an angel?" You are only a warner; GOD controls all things.
No different than when you go to the doctor and the prescribe medication or a regiment it may not make sense, but you have to trust in God
Moses and the Teacher
[18:67] He said, "You cannot stand to be with me. [18:68] "How can you stand that which you do not comprehend?”
Like Mr. Miyagi from Karate Kid
You cannot wake a person who is pretending to be asleep
Don’t believe everything you think
[40:56] Surely, those who argue against GOD's revelations without proof are exposing the arrogance that is hidden inside their chests, and they are not even aware of it. Therefore, seek refuge in GOD; He is the Hearer, the Seer.
[3:7] He sent down to you this scripture, containing straightforward verses—which constitute the essence of the scripture—as well as multiple-meaning or allegorical verses. Those who harbor doubts in their hearts will pursue the multiple-meaning verses to create confusion, and to extricate a certain meaning. None knows the true meaning thereof except GOD and those well founded in knowledge. They say, "We believe in this—all of it comes from our Lord." Only those who possess intelligence will take heed.
when the student is ready the teacher appears
[18:17] You could see the sun when it rose coming from the right side of their cave, and when it set, it shone on them from the left, as they slept in the hollow thereof. This is one of GOD's portents. Whomever GOD guides is the truly guided one, and whomever He sends astray, you will not find for him a guiding teacher.
[55:0] In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful [55:1] The Most Gracious. [55:2] Teacher of the Quran. [55:3] Creator of the human beings. [55:4] He taught them how to distinguish.
God knows we are not perfect - that we will not come into the message without any fault
[65:10] …GOD has sent down to you a message—
[65:11] a messenger who recites to you GOD's revelations, clearly, to lead those who believe and work righteousness out of the darkness into the light. Anyone who believes in GOD and leads a righteous life, He will admit him into gardens with flowing streams; they abide therein forever. GOD will generously reward him.
There is no teaching only learning
Diamond is made from carbon no different than a lump of coal - the only difference is that a diamond endured extreme pressure
One of the ways of being able to spot a fake diamond from a real one is that the real one has flaws minor imperfections, but the fake has the illusion of having no flaws except for one major one that it is not a real diamond
How can we tell that we are putting any bias or preconceived notions aside?
When we look in the Quran genuinely to hear God’s word
[10:22] He is the One who moves you across the land and sea. You get onto the ships, and they sail smoothly in nice breeze. Then, while rejoicing therein, violent wind blows, and the waves surround them from every side. This is when they implore GOD, sincerely devoting their prayers to Him alone: "If You only save us this time, we will be eternally appreciative.”
[17:67] If you are afflicted in the middle of the sea, you forget your idols and sincerely implore Him alone. But as soon as He saves you to the shore, you revert. Indeed, the human being is unappreciative.
[31:32] When violent waves surround them, they implore GOD, sincerely devoting their prayers to Him alone. But as soon as He saves them to the shore, some of them revert. None discards our revelations except those who are betrayers, unappreciative. [31:33] O people, you shall reverence your Lord, and fear a day when a father cannot help his own child, nor a child can help his father. Certainly, GOD's promise is truth. Therefore, do not be distracted by this life; do not be distracted from GOD by mere illusions
[39:7] If you disbelieve, GOD does not need anyone. But He dislikes to see His servants make the wrong decision. If you decide to be appreciative, He is pleased for you. No soul bears the sins of any other soul. Ultimately, to your Lord is your return, then He will inform you of everything you had done. He is fully aware of the innermost thoughts. [39:8] When the human being is afflicted, he implores his Lord, sincerely devoted to Him. But as soon as He blesses him, he forgets his previous imploring, sets up idols to rank with GOD and to divert others from His path. Say, "Enjoy your disbelief temporarily; you have incurred the hellfire.”
Who Is Doing Whom A Favor?
[49:17] They act as if they are doing you a favor by embracing Submission! Say, "You are not doing me any favors by embracing Submission. GOD is the One who is doing you a great favor by guiding you to the faith, if you are sincere."
So what do you see when you read the Quran?
[1:1] In the name of GOD, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
Know that the God who created you, the God who put this all into existence has sent down to you this book to guide you. And if we are sincere we can unlock this message and purify our Submission and draw closer to the source of everything that is good and righteous both in this world and in the Hereafter.
[17:82] We send down in the Quran healing and mercy for the believers. At the same time, it only increases the wickedness of the transgressors. [17:83] When we bless the human being, he becomes preoccupied and heedless. But when adversity strikes him, he turns despondent. [17:84] Say, "Everyone works in accordance with his belief, and your Lord knows best which ones are guided in the right path.”
[10:57] O people, enlightenment has come to you herein from your Lord, and healing for anything that troubles your hearts, and guidance, and mercy for the believers.
[10:58] Say, "With GOD's grace and with His mercy they shall rejoice." This is far better than any wealth they can accumulate.