Abdullah ibn Busr reported: Two men came to the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, and one of them said, “Who is the best man, O Muhammad?” The Prophet said, “One who has a long life filled with good deeds.” The other man said, “Indeed, the laws of Islam are too many for us, so give us something comprehensive we can hold onto.” The Prophet said, “Keep your tongue wet with the remembrance of Allah the Exalted.” Musnad Ahmad 17227
Bismillaah arraahmaan arraheem
There is a very beautiful short story, about how Allaahs words, al-Quran, affects us, no matter we understand them or not.
An old man lived on a farm with his young grandson. Each morning Grandpa was up early sitting at the kitchen table reading his Qur’an. His grandson wanted to be just like him and tried to imitate him in every way he could.
One day the grandson asked, ‘Grandpa! I try to read the Qur’an just like you but I don’t understand it, and what I do understand I forget as soon as I close the book. What good does reading the Qur’an do?’ The Grandfather quietly turned from putting coal in the stove and replied, ‘Take this coal basket down to the river and bring me back a basket of water.’ The boy did as he was told, but all the water leaked out before he got back to the house. The grandfather laughed and said, ‘You’ll have to move a little faster next time,’ and sent him back to the river with the basket to try again. This time the boy ran faster, but again the basket was empty before he returned home. Out of breath, he told his grandfather that it was impossible to carry water in a basket, and he went to get a bucket instead. The old man said, ‘I don’t want a bucket of water; I want a basket of water. You’re just not trying hard enough,’ and he went out the door to watch the boy try again. At this point, the boy knew it was impossible, but he wanted to show his grandfather that even if he ran as fast as he could, the water would Leak out before he got back to the house. The boy again dipped the basket into river and ran hard, but when he reached his grandfather the basket was again empty. Out of breath, he said, ‘See Grandpa, it’s useless!’ So you think it is useless?’ The old man said, ‘Look at the basket.’ The boy looked at the basket and for the first time realized that the basket was different. It had been transformed from a dirty old coal basket and was now clean, inside and out. ‘Son, that’s what happens when you read the Qur’an. You might not understand or remember everything, but when you read it, you will be changed, inside and out. That is the work of Allaah in our lives.’
On the authority of Anas (may Allah be pleased with him), who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say:
“Allah the Almighty said:
‘O son of Adam, so long as you call upon Me and ask of Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done, and I shall not mind. O son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me, I would forgive you. O son of Adam, were you to come to Me with sins nearly as great as the earth and were you then to face Me, ascribing no partner to Me, I would bring you forgiveness nearly as great as it.’”
[At-Tirmidhi (also by Ahmad ibn Hanbal). Its chain of authorities is sound.]
”I realised that taqwa is the way out of every grief and distress
and as soon as I followed the path of taqwa, I found the way out.”
“When night befalls, they endure it
and see it through bowing in ruku.
Fear has released their sleep, so they stand
and acquire security in vigilance.”
Hasan ibn Hani (rahimahullah) composed the following (it has been credited to Imam Shafi`ee (rahimahullah)):
“Fear Allah and hope for every good thing from Him;
Don’t follow your adamant self, lest you regret it;
Remain in between hope and fear
and you will rejoice with the Pardon of Allah if you submit.”
[Muajjamul Udaba: 17/303 credited to Imam Shafi`ee and also in the Divan of Hasan.]