al-Hasan al-Basri rahimahullaah said:
“The reciters of Qur’aan are three types. The first type take the Qur’aan as a merchandise by which to earn their bread; the second type uphold its letters and lose its laws, aggrandizing themselves over the people of their country, and seeking gain through it from the rulers. There are many memorizers of Qur’aan that belong to that type. May Allaah not increase them. Finally, the third type have sought the healing of the Qur’aan and placed it on the sickness of their hearts, fleeing with it to their places of prayer, wrapping themselves in it. Those have felt fear and put on the garment of sadness. Those are the ones for whose sake Allaah sends rain and victory over the enemies. By Allaah! That kind of memorizer of Qur’aan is more rare than red sulphur.”
[Fadaa’il al-Qur’aan; al-Qaasim ibn Sallam]
A slightly different version of the above statement is mentioned in Ibn Rajab’s (rahimahullaah) risaalah on Kashful Kurbah fi wasfi haali Ahl-il-Ghurbah:
“The reciters of the Qur’aan are of three types: Those who take it as a commodity and gain their sustenance from it. Those who establish its words, yet neglect its commandments (i.e. read it but don’t practice according to it). Due to (their knowledge of) it, they act arrogantly towards the people of their land and they use it (the Qur’aan) as a support for gaining positions of authority. This type of people from among the bearers of the Qur’aan are many. May Allaah diminish their number! And there is a type who apply the remedy of the Qur’aan and thus place it over the sickness of their hearts. Due to it, their battles come to a standstill and they feel compassionate in their burnooses (long capes worn by the people of old). And they feel a sense of fear (of Allaah) and the worries (of the worldly life) have left them. They are the ones whom Allaah sends His rain down upon and He sends victory through them over the enemies. By Allaah, this type of group from the carriers of the Qur’aan are more honorable than that of flaming torches in the sight of the rest of the reciters of the Qur’aan.“
Excellent site, keep up the good work
Asalam alaikum, when metioning these people…
“Due to (their knowledge of) it, they act arrogantly towards the people of their land and they use it (the Qur’aan) as a support for gaining positions of authority.”
Are these also the type of people that use bits and peices of the Quran for their own worldly benefits, but forget the rest of it as a whole? In other words; they follow some parts of the Quran, which best fit their desires but become neglectful towards the rest. If this is not an example of those type of people…can you explain more about this group of people?
wa`alaykissalaam wa rahmatullaah wa barakatuh,
Yes you described them right. Our Muslim rulers/leaders for instance who use their partial following of the Qur’aan (i.e. they might pray, perform hajj, fast, etc..) to their advantage (by seeming pious on the outside and hence attract followers) but then they don’t rule by the Qur’aan. Instead they give the concept of al-walaa wal-baraaa’, they inflict torture upon their people, etc.