Obstacles towards Understanding the Quran in the View of Imam Khomeini

Obstacles towards Understanding the Quran in the View of Imam Khomeini

Despite the fact that the Quran repeatedly invites us to ponder over its verses and get the deeper understanding of its messages, the Quran is still being abandoned at every level.
There is a less interest in understanding the real message of the Quran and more tendency to understand the Quran at a superficial level.

This issue demands us to look into the matter and find out the root causes of lack of interest in understanding the Quran, and at next level, highlight the obstacles towards understanding of Quran for those who really want to get deeper knowledge of the Quran but due to moral, ethical, theological, and mystic veils, they are unable to explore the deeper meanings of Quran.

Imam Khomeini is one of the great Muslim scholars who addressed this issue in the light of moral, ethical and mystic principles. What we understand from the writings of Imam Khomeini is that sometimes lack of understanding or misunderstanding can be due to lack of knowledge and information and sometimes due to moral and ethical deficiency.

In the beginning of the article, the relation between moral corruption and misunderstanding will be explained in the light of the Quran. The Quran clearly states that despite the certainty, arrogant behavior can lead someone to deny the truth.

Imam Khomeini’s views on the obstacles towards understanding the Quran can be summarized as:

– Unwillingness to recite the Quran for educational purposes and taking more interest in seeking spiritual reward.

– The Quran invites us towards our prosperity and perfection, which means that the Quran is a book of awareness and moral teachings. It necessitates us to pay attention to the ultimate objectives of this Book in order to beautify our soul and heart with the moral and ethical principles of Quran.

– Self-centeredness, egoism and boasting attitude lead an individual to consider imaginary perfections as real perfections and, as a result,  this moral veil cause him to stay at very low stage and satisfy himself on a level which he has already achieved. Imam Khomeini gave beautiful examples to further clarify the  severity of this issue.

– Blind attachment with corrupt and invalid views also create hijab (veil) between us and the Quranic verses. These invalid views do not allow us to shift our attention from apparent aspect of the Quran to the deeper and the universal aspect of the Quran.

– One of the obstacles towards understand the Quran is to induct the idea that in order to understand the Quran, one has to be a commentator of the Quran while taking moral, ethical and mystic benefit from the Quranic verses is nothing to do with tafseer (interpretation) and hence ordinary people should also be encouraged to pay attention to the ethical and moral aspects of the stories mentioned in the Quran.

– Veil of sins originated from the rebellion attitude towards God refrain us from comprehension of facts and realities.

– Love of the world also plays an important role to engage our heart in materialistic things and divert it from the remembrance of God, and the more love of the world increases the more veil of heart becomes thick.

The contents have been extracted from a paper submitted to the International Congress of Imam Khomeini (RA) and the Quran, Dr. Syed Nasir Zaidi, a Pakistani scholar based in Vancouver, Canada, discusses Imam Khomeini’s (RA) views on why there is a lack of efforts to get a deep understanding of the Quran’s messages.)

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