God, the Lord of all the Worlds, the One with infinite knowledge and power, has sent the Qur’an as a source of mercy to all of mankind. He has bestowed his benevolence on people by sending them this book. Those who respond to this gift from God with sincerity and gratitude will reap the benefits; they will be able to understand the Qur’an, follow it, believe in it, and so receive His mercy. They will be well rewarded in this world and in the Hereafter. Conversely, those who approach the Qur’an with insincerity and animosity will suffer the consequences of their actions. They will never comprehend the Qur’an nor benefit from its wisdom, and will suffer losses both in this world and in the Hereafter. And try as they may, they can do no harm to the Qur’an or to Islam.
The Qur’an has been sent as a book that can be easily understood by everyone. God says in one of His verses “Mankind! Admonition has come to you from your Lord and also healing for what is in the breasts and guidance and mercy for the believers.” (Surah Yunus: 57). As illustrated in this verse, those who believe in God and obey their consciences can benefit from the Qur’an and easily understand and follow its commands.
However those people who heed their baser selves, do not fully accept the power of God, and have doubts about the Hereafter, will use their twisted logic to misinterpret the Qur’anic verses. God informs us of the nature of such people who do not seek guidance from the Qur’an in the following verse:
We have made things clear in this Qur’an so that they might pay heed, but it only makes them run away the more! (Surat al-Isra’: 41)
What we have said so far makes it clear that only those who are sincere in their faith will understand the Qur’an correctly. The Qur’an was revealed as a clear book from God that those of His servants who believe and who use their reason can easily understand and seek guidance from.
As faith increases, so do wisdom, sincerity, and fear of God at the same rate. As a result, the finer points and mysteries of the Qur’an can be understood much better.
When a person who is not a believer still reads the Qur’an sincerely and without ulterior motives, he readily recognizes that it is a holy book and thus become a believer. As God’s verses are clear, they can be acted upon immediately. After an individual becomes a believer, the depth of his faith, prayer and the level of his knowledge will be the factors that will grant him access to the intricacies and mysteries of the Qur’an.
On the other hand, those without faith or fear of God cannot comprehend the Qur’an correctly. In fact, they misinterpret even the most obvious matters which they claim to know. Explicit expressions appear contradictory to them. No matter how clever, knowledgeable, cultured or well-informed about the Qur’an these people may be, they are incapable of comprehending its contents due to their lack of faith in God.
When one studies the allegations made by people who oppose the Qur’an, the misunderstandings and gaps of logic they are based on are obvious. Self-seeking people claim to see the verses, which are so clear as contradictory and confusing. The Qur’an mentions the confusion that those who deny it display in the face of the examples in various parts of the Qur’an as they ask, “What does God mean by this example?” Indeed, just as the Qur’an has informed us, in every era deniers have admitted, directly or otherwise, how they have not been able to understand these examples. This is a miracle of the Qur’an; a verse that is very easy for a believer to understand becomes equally perplexing for a non-believer. This shows us that understanding the Qur’an depends on the sincerity of one’s intentions, and that it is God who decides whether or not a person should receive this understanding. This is clarified in a verse in these words:
Who could do greater wrong than someone who is reminded of the Signs of his Lord and then turns away from them, forgetting all that he has done before? We have placed covers on their hearts, preventing them from understanding it, and heaviness in their ears. Though you call them to guidance, they will nonetheless never be guided. (Surat al-Kahf: 57)