[ Part Eight of a series of inspiring articles from a recorded lecture entitled, “Min Ma’een al-Imaam Ahmad” (“Benefits from the Life and Works of Imam Ahmad”) by Shaykh Saalih Aal ash-Shaykh (may Allaah preserve him) ]
Memorizing the Quran
From the noteworthy sayings of Imam Ahmad (may Allaah have Mercy on him) is his statement, “‘Azeezun ‘alayya that the dunyaa melts the hearts of men whose chests comprehend the Quran!” He said (repeating), “It is hard for me to accept that the dunyaa could melt the hearts of men whose chests comprehend the Quran.”
If a man is able to carry (memorize) the Quran with him by heart, then verily Allaah has given him a great bounty indeed. On the Day of Judgment it will be said to the recitor of the Quran: “Read, ascend, and recite with rhythm as you used to recite rhythmically in the dunyaa! For verily your place will be determined by the last verse you recite.” 
The one who memorizes the Quran is the most deserving of the people to be obedient. The one who memorizes the Quran is the most deserving of the people to possess humility. He is the most deserving of the people to be one who strives hard for Paradise and flees from the Hellfire. The one who memorizes the Quran is the most deserving of the people to not be swept under by the dunyaa.
This is why the imam (may Allaah have Mercy on him) said, “‘Azeezun ‘alayya that the dunyaa melts the hearts of men whose chests comprehend the Quran!” For the person of understanding, which is better – the dunyaa or the Quran? Is there anything comparable to it? Is there anything similar?
Allaah, the Mighty and Exalted, has said in Soorah Yoonus :
( Say: Let them rejoice over Allaah’s Bounty and His Mercy, As it is better than everything they gather! )
Aboo Haatim reported a story in explanation of this verse, saying:
When the camels that people paid their zakaat with arrived, one of ‘Umar’s servants (may Allaah be pleased with him) said, ‘O Commander of the Believers! Could we take a look at the camels of zakaat?’ So they went to see the camels that were kept caged in the outskirts of Al-Madeenah.
When they saw the camels, the servant became fascinated by their great number and said, ‘O Commander of the Believers! This is Allaah’s Bounty and His Mercy!’ ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) looked at him and said, “You have lied! Allaah’s Bounty and His Mercy is the Quran! (Say: Let them rejoice over Allaah’s Bounty and His Mercy, As it is better than everything they gather! ) Rather these camels are what the people gather!” 
Rarely could the dunyaa melt the one who memorizes the Quran, learns its explanation, has a special relationship with it, prays with it, or leads the people in prayer with it. Rarely could he be someone who follows his desires! Rarely could he slip into doubts or fall victim to his lusts! Rarely could the one who memorizes the Quran, the one known by the Quran, be a person of disobedience and neglect while Allaah has honored him by causing his heart to contain the Speech of Allaah, the Mighty and Exalted.
What a great statement! He was grieving, “‘Azeenun ‘alayya,” meaning it is a great burden on him, “That the dunyaa melts the hearts of men whose chests comprehend the Quran.”
What is the dunyaa anyway with its lofty status? What is the dunyaa with all its wealth and women? What is the dunyaa and everything in it compared to the Speech of Allaah, the Mighty and Exalted?!
The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) described the two rak’ahs before the Fajr Prayer:
“The two rak’ahs of Fajr are better than the dunyaa and everything in it.” 
This is for the one who understands the reality of the Religion and the reality of the return to Allaah.
 an authentic hadeeth found in Aboo Daawood and At-Tirmithee, on the authority of ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Amr (may Allaah be pleased with him). Al-Albaanee declared it to be authentic in Saheeh Sunan At-Tirmithee (#2914).
 the meaning of Soorah Yoonus (10):58
 Tafseer Al-Quran Al-‘Atheem (#10435, 6/1960) of Imam Ibn Abee Haatim, who related this report by way of his father, Aboo Haatim, with his chain back to ‘Umar.
 an authentic hadeeth collected by Imam Muslim, on the authority of ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her)
Continue reading… Part Nine – Seeking Knowledge Until Death
Or go to the Index of articles in this inspiring series.
Translation, Titles, and Footnotes by: Moosaa Richardson
Originally published on Bakkah.net: 1423-05-16