Recently, I posed a question to my fellow Muslim friends and family: what is your favorite verse of the Quran? Many people have a number of verses that especially touched them during a past event in their life, and they feel extra connected to those words. It is often hard to choose just one or one set of verses because the entire Quran holds such a profound meaning. But nevertheless, this type of discussion is one I love having for two reasons.
Firstly, a conversation about the Quran is such a lovely and meaningful one to have—a huge step up from sharing a joke or commenting on the latest news story. Sharing a special verse that means so much to you is very personal, so much so, that after hearing responses from various people, I felt I learned a lot about them. It made me very happy to know they have such a strong connection with the words of God.
Secondly, when I read people’s favorite verses, I found that I either also shared their favorites or they directed my attention to a particular excerpt of the Quran that I overlooked in the past. Either way, I gained a greater appreciation for the relationship Muslims have with the Quran. It is certainly a special bond.
Below are the verses people singled out and why the particular set of words means so much to them.
“And those who say, ‘Our Lord, grant us from among our wives and offspring comfort to our eyes and make us an example for the righteous.’” (Q. 25:74)
This is a du’a (supplication) in the Quran that many people advise those who wish to get married or those who are married to make. It describes a spouse and children in a beautiful way—a comfort to our eyes. As a dear sister put it, “It’s my most favorite because it feels like the du’a that keeps on giving, it follows through with every breath and every good deed. It’s the essence of my family.”
“For indeed, with hardship [will be] ease. Indeed, with hardship [will be] ease.” (Q. 94:5-6)
Two people credited this pair of verses as their favorites in the Quran—both of them students. One said, “They give me hope and remind me that things will get better and that I’m strong enough to face any problems I have.” Another added in, “Whatever hardships you go through, if you remember Allah, you will eventually have some ease.”
“[To the righteous it will be said], ‘O reassured soul, return to your Lord, well-pleased and pleasing [to Him], and enter among My [righteous] servants, and enter My Paradise.’” (Q. 89:27-30)
When someone sent me a screenshot of these verses, I could not help but smile because I consider this a favorite too. The chapter these verses come in is one that I listened to as a little kid back when cassette tapes in the car were still a thing. My mom and older sisters would play it in the car and I ended up memorizing the short chapter. Years later, I heard a sermon in which the speaker quoted these verses and it hit me extra hard: these are the beautiful words a person God is pleased with will hear. All their efforts in this life will be rewarded at that moment that they are told by Him to enter into His Paradise.
For the dear sister who sent me these verses, they were a comfort that showed up on the page of her Quran she opened to the night her grandmother passed away. As someone who took care of her elder, she was very sad upon her death, but these verses of the Quran consoled her the moment she needed it most.
“But those who feared their Lord will be driven to Paradise in groups until, when they reach it while its gates have been opened and its keepers say, ‘Peace be upon you; you have become pure; so enter it to abide eternally therein,’ [they will enter]. And they will say, ‘Praise to Allah, who has fulfilled for us His promise and made us inherit the earth [so] we may settle in Paradise wherever we will. And excellent is the reward of [righteous] workers.’ And you will see the angels surrounding the Throne, exalting [Allah] with praise of their Lord. And it will be judged between them in truth, and it will be said, ‘[All] praise to Allah, Lord of the worlds.’” (Q. 39:73-75)
The verses above feel somewhat like a continuation of the previously quoted verses. After the righteous enter Paradise, they will experience a conversation like this. The dear sister who directed my attention to this excerpt shared, “I really love these verses. They put everything into perspective and help you see the light in times of difficulty.”
“Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.” (Q. 13:28)
I remember a few years back my teacher decorated her classroom with different Arabic calligraphy art pieces. One of them had the above quote, and when posing this question to my circles, this verse again popped up. A dear sister said, “True sakeenah (tranquility/peace) lies here. When Allah is the one occupying your heart, your whole mind, body, and life will find eternal peace wherever it goes, whoever it interacts with, and whatever it is exposed to. The heart that is occupied with the love of Allah does not find love in anything else.”
“[Moses] said, ‘My Lord, expand for me my breast [with assurance] and ease for me my task and untie the knot from my tongue that they may understand my speech. And appoint for me a minister from my family—Aaron, my brother. Increase through him my strength and let him share my task that we may exalt You much and remember You much.’” (Q. 20: 25-34)
The general context of the above excerpt from the Quran is a supplication the Prophet Musa (Moses) makes to God asking Him to help him in his upcoming encounter with the Pharaoh. A dear sister said, “I love how Musa asks Allah to give him the strength to confront a difficult situation along with him asking Allah to have Haroon (Aaron) accompany him.”
“He is the First and the Last; the Outer and the Inner; He has knowledge of all things.” (Q. 57:3)
Like many other responses I received when asking the question about favorite verses, a dear teacher of mine quoted one that gives her a peace of mind and refocuses her. She said about the above verse, “This is one of my favorite verses because it puts everything into perspective for me.”
“He frowned and turned away when the blind man came to him—for all you know, he might have grown in spirit, or taken note of something useful to him. For the self-satisfied one you go out of your way—though it is not your responsibility if he does not attain purity. But from the one who has come to you full of eagerness and awe you are distracted. Never again! This is a reminder—whoever wishes will remember it.” (Q. 80:1-13)
These verses were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) after he was approached by a blind companion at a time when he was looking to preach to the upper class in Makkah. A dear sister said, “We all need reminders about where we turn our attention.” In the verses above, God is reminding the Prophet (peace be upon him) that he is not responsible for whoever accepts the message or does not accept it, but that he should turn his attention towards those wanting to learn instead of exerting extra efforts on those who do not care.