Why read the Qur’an when we do not understand arabic?

Recently I found an old note attached on a wall in a friend of mine’s office. It was a printout of an article from the internet with the above title about the virtue or hikmah of reading the holy Qur’an. A beautiful story worth sharing!

Here it is:

An old American Muslim lived on a farm in the mountains of eastern Kentucky with his young grandson. Each morning Grandpa was up early sitting at the kitchen table reading his Quran. 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 Quran 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 aganot trying hard enough,” and he went out the door to watch the boy try in.

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 Allah in our lives.”

Habib bin Hilal

Habib bin Hilal is Editor in Chief of this blog and manager of the website: Alhabib - Coloring with Islam.


  1. read and learn Quran which means you are trying to find yourself….

  2. I can’t remember much the way i got here, but boy oh boy I truly did not need to hesitate and browse a few of your articles, they’re just fine works of writing and incredibly much great views on just about this hard subject. Rock on my friend.

  3. I just love this story.With a few changes It will work well in our Baptist church.All I had to do was change Alah to Jesus and Quran to Bible.Thanks to the author we may win a few more young souls to the Lord.God bless the author.

    • That's plagiarism. And why Jesus? You can use God because Jesus came to tell us about God, not to say that he was God.

    • You should be Ashamed of yourself. Your just giving Islamic people a bad image about Christians.

  4. الله أكبر ,الله أكبر ,الله أكبر

  5. very nice and inspired story, I am one of those who can read Quran any chapter but I am not Arabic speaker

  6. Even if i know arabic but most of time i can't understand qoran, but i feel very good when i read qoran..thanks for the story.
    Sister from Algeria

  7. السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

    معذرة فلا أعرف غير لغتي الأم ولكن أحببت أن ألقي التحية من مكة المكرمة

    وجزاكم الله خير الجزاء

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