Is Quran revealed as a Good Luck Charm?

Among Muslims there are people who receive the Holy Quran as a gift and then place it ceremoniously on a shelf or keep it with themselves as a means of protection. No doubt the use of the Holy Quran for such purposes is good and also an effective deed. But the problem is that Quran has not come exclusively for such purposes; they are only secondary. It will be an insult to Quran if it is accepted that it was revealed only for such petty purposes. 

Its example is like that of a man who gets an invitation from the king. That unwise fellow neither opens that royal letter not reads it. Even if he opens it, he only looks at the writing and even if he reads the words he does not know their meaning. He simply utters them orally. Even if he understands them, he gets no inspiration to see the king. He is not prepared to attend the royal court. He merely kisses the king’s letter and then either puts it in his pocket or on a shelf in his house. In this way, has he not insulted the royal invitation? Will he not make the king frown on him? 

The condition of most of the Muslims is like this. Only a few keep any spirited connection with the Holy Quran. A majority of them, in order to get divine rewards are content with mere recitation of the words.

No doubt the Words of Allah are in themselves radiance and there is reward in merely reading, writing or even looking at them. But the original and main purpose of the revelation of the Holy Quran is that man must think over its verses so that his heart may turn towards the higher world. His heart may not entertain hopes from this world but become inclined towards the Hereafter. The study of Quranic verses makes the heart warm and then man becomes ever ready to act according to its commandments.

The Lord of the universe has ordered man to think and ponder at many places including the following, where He ordains: (It is) a Book We have revealed to you abounding in good that they may ponder over its verses, and that those endowed with understanding may be mindful.[432]

In Surah Zumar Allah says about the effectiveness of the verses of Quran:

Allah has revealed the best announcement, a book conformable in its various parts, repeating, whereat do shudder the skins of those who fear their Lord, then their skins and their hearts become pliant to the remembrance of Allah; this is Allah's guidance, He guides with it whom He pleases; and (as for) him whom Allah makes err, there is no guide for him.[433] 

What is meant to convey is that the verses describing the punishment of the Hereafter make the reciter fearful and those promising mercy make the hearts happy and satisfied. Therefore if a man does not get affected by reciting Quran then know that he reads the Quran in a state of mind when both his heart and mind were involved in their love for the material world. In his sermon, Amirul Momineen (a.s.) says about the virtues of the pious people, “These people recite the chapters of the Holy Quran with intense thought. They make their hearts melancholic by its recitation. They remedy their troubles and illnesses with the same verses of Quran. When they read verses relating to Divine Mercy their hearts incline to it with intense desire to get the same. When they hear verses mentioning Allah’s chastisement, both their ears and hearts become so much attentive to them as if they hear the horrible roar of Hellfire.”[434]

There are hundreds of verses in the Holy Quran wherein the punishments of the Hereafter as well as the niceties of Paradise have been detailed at length and then its followers have been invited to make this attainment the center of their efforts. It has also condemned worldly life and revealed its defects and drawbacks. The Holy Quran says:

And this life of the world is nothing but a sport and a play; and as for the next abode, that most surely is the life- did they but know! [435] In other words it is like the example of children gathering to play for a while and then disperse and return to their homes. The fact is that only the life of the Hereafter is the real and everlasting life. Now the question which inevitably arises is, after reading and hearing all these verses, have the hearts of Muslims turned away from this world and inclined towards the Hereafter or they are mere orally and apparently expressing their belief in Quran and Islam while their thoughts and deeds, just like the materialists, have discarded the thought of the Hereafter altogether?

As regards the Muslim faith in Hereafter, there are innumerable events. But to be brief we point to only three in brief:

Anas bin Nazar came to fight in the battle of Uhad. Thereafter no one could get his whereabouts. All Muslims began to search for him. At last Saad bin Maaz found him out. Addressing Saad, he (Anas) said, “By the Lord of Ka’ba, I am observing Paradise with my own eyes, I can smell its fragrance.” Saad says, “I could see more than seventy wounds on his body. Thereafter, when I once again went to look for him, I could not find him. But his sister saw his fingers lying on the ground and we knew that he was already martyred.”

During the battle of Badr, Umair bin Hamam Ansari heard the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) saying, “O Muslims! Get up and rush towards Paradise, the area of which is equal to the sky and the earth.” Umair asked in amazement, “Is it so vast?” The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) replied, “Yes, of course.” Umair expresses much happiness. When the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) asked for the reason, Umair replied, “Perhaps I may also get admission to it.” The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) assured him, “Your entry is certain in it.” Then Umair picked up some dates and began eating. Then all of a sudden he said, “It will be too late if I remain alive to finish all these dates.” He put down the dates and started fighting until he attained martyrdom.

Amr bin Jamooh had four sons. He entered the battlefield of Uhad with a lame leg. He also took all of his four sons with him. His sons told him, “Since you have a significant physical defect, Allah has not made Jihad compulsory for you.” Amr went to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and complained that his sons were preventing him from fighting in the path of Allah. He emphatically said, “It is my strong desire and ambition that I should be killed in this holy war and enter Paradise with this defective leg.” The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) told him, “Of course, Jihad is not incumbent on you,” but at the same he also asked his sons not to prevent the enthusiastic old fellow from fighting against the enemies. “May be Allah grants him the high status of a martyr.” Amr entered the battlefield along with the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and was martyred. [436]

The adventures of bravery and courage shown by Amirul Momineen (a.s.) in his desire for the Hereafter, during the battle of ‘Lailatul Mabit’ and similar battles are recorded in history books. So much so that after returning from every battle he used to complain to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.), “I am afraid I may miss martyrdom in the path of Allah.” In reply the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) gave him good tidings of martyrdom in the mosque. Similarly the sacrifices of his beloved son, Imam Husain (a.s.) and his companions and the virtues of his Shias (companions) are also recorded in history books.

[Love for the Hereafter and Negligence do not go together]

We should know that love for the Hereafter and carelessness do not go together. Since the world-lovers remain engaged all the time in earning worldly material benefits their entire attachment is only with the world. Similarly those who long for the Hereafter also remember only the Hereafter and their love and affection is reserved for the other world only. Therefore the only way of loving Hereafter is to remember life after death constantly. Negligence towards it must be decreased. That is why the holy Shariah has made it desirable to remember death again and again, to keep one’s will and shroud cloth ready and also to look at it often; to attend funerals, to participate in the burial of other Muslims, to remember the dead and to give charity on their behalf. The aim of all these actions is to make the living remember death constantly.

It is necessary for a believer that the time he spends for the world should be used for his Hereafter so that the love for the world in his heart may be replaced by the love for the Hereafter. Here an objection is likely to be raised and that is: What has been said above does not apply to the man of today. His life is different. Now he is so busy that at every moment he is short of time. A number of his jobs remain unattended even after sunset. This is the only point that makes some think that the ignorant have also some point and so they say that our statement does not apply to the modern age.

In this connection our reply is that, first of all, today’s man has made it his aim of life to gather worldly material benefits and so also irrationality. In order to gain wealth, luxury, comforts and tasty things he has deprived himself of genuine and natural rest, keeping himself engaged in a hot pursuit all twenty-four hours. Such continuous struggle affects his nerves adversely, makes him ill and shortens his life span.

Secondly, the focus of our talk was on thoughts, not on work and effort. What we said was that man must always keep thinking how can he, in a short span of this worldly life, beautify his eternal life of the Hereafter. So far as effort, work and business is concerned, there are innumerable narrations telling us that Allah does not like a lazy, inactive and self-indulgent fellow. Similarly Allah also dislikes one who goes too far in loving worldly comforts and who becomes almost mad after them. A man who keeps himself engaged in his genuine worldly needs and works and also is moderate in his life along with making his aim the obedience of God will be the beloved of God. The worldly deeds of such a man will become the means of bettering his Hereafter. For example, if one is a soldier, his aim will be maintenance of public peace and of protecting Muslims from enemies.

If he is an office employee, his aim ought to be service to public and to help the weak. If he is a teacher, he must always keep the instruction of the youth and their religious education before his eyes. Likewise if he is connected with trade and industry, his goal should be public welfare. Shariah has put emphasis on each and every point and has also insisted that one must earn a lawful income and maintain his family members. (See Wasaelush Shia, Chapter of Business). If his aim is to please God then the same worldly job will, since it will be in obedience of Allah, be regarded as an act of worship which will benefit him in the Hereafter. Thirdly, we have not said that it is essential that the worry for the Hereafter should be more than that about worldly life. What we said is that one who has a powerful Faith and wants to benefit by it should do so.

It should be understood that just as friendship with world-lovers proves very harmful, similarly, sitting with the Hereafter-lovers plays a very important role in strengthening the Faith.

[Lessening the love of the world]

The following things should be kept in mind in order to divert the heart from worldly love, to inculcate the love of God, the Prophet, the Holy Progeny and the Hereafter:

It is necessary to study deeply the verses of the Holy Quran and other narrations quoted in this discussion and which condemn worldly love so that the severity of this sin can be understood, as it deserves to be understood. The root cause of all sins relating to body and soul is this love for world, because if this fountainhead of sins is nipped in the bud, man will remain protected from the whims of Satan. Man can practice good deeds as a provision for his Hereafter only when he clears his heart of worldly love, because until he remains captive of worldly love, neither his Faith will be strong and steady nor can he be expected to do good deeds, which can benefit him in the Hereafter. If man’s intentions are pure and selfless, sometimes the results of his good deeds show permanence, whereas a man whose heart is full of the dirt of worldly love remains empty of truth and selflessness.

[Worldly love comes in the way of Gathering provision for the Hereafter]

To understand the severity of the sin of love for the world, it is enough to mention that it prevents man from making provision for the life after death, that is, Hereafter. The reason is that one will reap in the Hereafter only that which he has sown in this world. This world is the market place of trade whereas the Hereafter is the place of enjoying the fruits of this business. It is compulsory for man to refrain from things that prevent him from realizing the severity of the sin which forces him to enter a life of bankruptcy in the Hereafter. This should be regarded as the greatest of all dangerous things.

The summary of the talk is that the importance and seriousness of the sin of love for the world must be exposed fully because it is the root cause of all spiritual and physical illnesses. If diseases like tuberculosis and cancer cut off man’s physical life, the worldly love also brings man’s spiritual life to an end. Such a man is from the viewpoint of the permanent abode, a walking corpse who, becoming deprived of the successes of the everlasting life gets entangled in worldly troubles and chastisement.

[This Illness must be remedied]

Let it be understood that there is no man whose heart is empty of love for this world because the moment he comes here and attains instinctive conscience he gets inclined towards the world around him. During this journey towards perfection, there comes a stage when human conscience ripens and he becomes aware of his eternal life. This exactly is the time when he should divert his attractions from this world and connect himself with the eternal world after death, i.e. the Hereafter.

Therefore it is a must for man to ponder over all the three stages of worldly love mentioned above and decide for himself as to in which stage he finds himself and then try his best to reform himself.

[Danger upto the brink of grave]

So long as man is in this world, he faces the danger of his conditions being changed or altered. For example, it is possible that man remains in the third stage of worldly love for one month or for one year, but, thereafter, due to carelessness he may come up to the second stage and finally even at the first one, which is disbelief or blasphemy. So it is absolutely essential for man to look attentively to the condition of his heart and the circumstances and he must never remain careless. 

[Excessiveness of lust and intensity of anxiety]

One who gets himself imprisoned in the love of the world not only makes himself liable to eternal punishment in the Hereafter but also gets entangled in trouble and difficulties in this worldly life. So much so, that a time comes when he desires death. Here we enumerate some such difficulties and worries.

[Increase in Greed]

This is a condition of the mind and heart of man wherein if he has nothing of the worldly wealth, he tries to earn it. When he gets it, he does not rest contented but struggles to increase it. This is the condition about which the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) says, “If man has two valleys full of gold he will remain anxious to acquire a third one.”

[Growing anxieties]

Such a man always remains full of anxieties about the future. He feels terribly worried about his empty handedness and failure in his aims. When he loses any worldly thing he becomes so gloomy that he finds it unbearable to remain alive. No other thing gives him satisfaction.

[Envy, anger and fearlessness]

A world-loving man cannot see his beloved in the possession of others. He burns himself internally seeing others enjoying its benefits. Even if he enjoys the world he does not like that others too should benefit from it (worldly possessions).


In the life of a world-lover, if anything happens which is against his liking it becomes unbearable for him. He expresses this in his frowning and burns himself in fury.


A world-lover does not care about his Hereafter when he runs after his worldly wishes. He rushes towards it becoming fearless of the future. As a consequence, he has to suffer difficulty, competition and a tug of war, so much so that finally he even loses his life.

[The difficulty of death] 

When it will become clear to the lover of this world that the moment has come when a barrier is to come up between him and his beloved permanently, death will become difficult for him to the extent of his love for the world. About such people, the Holy Quran says: And a barrier shall be placed between them and that which they desire, as was done with the likes of them before: surely they are in a disquieting doubt.[437] In short, death is a point of separation for world-lovers and the first step towards meeting the beloved for those who love the Hereafter. And these people will forever remain (satisfactorily) enjoying their longings. Obviously the more one will have tasted the sweetness of worldly drinks and the more wealth he will have gathered, the more difficult and regretful will be death for him.

It is said that Sultan Mahmud Ghazni was very fond of jewels. He remained on the deathbed continuously for three days. He ordered that all the precious stones brought from India should be heaped before his eyes. So boxes full of jewels were brought before him. He was looking at them and weeping. Sighs went off his heart. Finally he had to breathe his last with a heart full of ungratified intense desires. What is all the more strange is that even at that stage he was not ready to give some of his wealth to the needy.[438]

Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) says, “The more a man is attached to this world, the more difficult will death seem to him.”[439]

If a man longing for worldly life comes to know definitely that death will separate him from his beloved forever and he also knows that death comes only by the Command of God, from which he can never escape, he becomes an enemy of the angel of death. The condition of a man who enters the other world in a state of anger and frowning is obvious. According to the testimony of the Holy Quran and authentic narrations, such a person will never come out of Hell and will remain eternally in chastisement. Sometimes it also happens that Satan brings before the eyes of a world-lover at the last moment, things intensely loved by the departing soul and compels him to commit blasphemy. There are innumerable examples of such tragic ends. Here we present only two.

[Last moments of Abu Zakaria]

Abu Zakaria was a very pious and virtuous worshipper. When he was in his deathbed a friend came and advised him to recite the formula of faith but Abu Zakaria turned his face away. His friend repeated his request to say ‘There is no God but Allah’. But he again turned his face and said, “I will not recite”, and then he fainted. After some moments when he came to his senses he opened his eyes and asked his friend, “Did you ask me something?” That man said, “Yes, I had requested you thrice to recite the formula of faith (Kalimah) but you turned away your face and on the third occasion also replied that you would not do so.” Abu Zakaria said, “In fact, Satan came to me twice, showing me a glass of water and asking, ‘Would you like to drink it?’ When I said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘First you should say that Jesus is the Son of God.’ I turned away my face. He asked me to do so twice but I refused. On the third occasion he said, ‘Say there is no God at all.’ I said, ‘I will not say even that.’ Then he threw away the glass and flew away. On every occasion I was saying ‘no’. But now I witness that there is no God, except Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) and that Ali (a.s.) is the Wali of Allah.”[440]