10. Contemplating the Texts is the First Action
On the authority of 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud (ra) who said, "The Prophet (saw) said to me, "Recite (the Qur'an) to me". I said, "O Messenger of Allah shall I recite to you while to you it was revealed?". He (saw) said, "Yes". So I recited Surah an-Nisa' until I came to this verse:
"How (will it be) then, when we bring from each nation a witness
and we bring you (O Muhammad saw) as a witness against these people". (4:41)
He (saw) said, "Enough for now". I then turned to him (saw) and his eyes were shedding tears". (al Bukhari, Engl. trans. vol.6, p. 515, no. 570; and Muslim).
The Messenger of Allah (saw) used to listen to Allah's verses being recited to him, no sooner a verse reached him depicting him being brought as a witness upon his Ummah, he said: "Enough for now", and started crying out of fear and awe of Allah (swt). This was how the Messenger (saw) would poinder and contemplated over the verses, and as a result, break into tears.
Contemplating and reflecting upon Allah's verse without a doubt, directs towards invocation and actions, so this should be our condition concerning them and concering the hadeeth of the Messenger of Allah (saw).
Hudayfah (ra) narrates, "I prayed with the Prophet (saw) one night and he started reciting Surah al Baqarah and I thought he might bow at the end of one hundred verses but he proceeded on. I then thought he might read all of it. Then he started Surah al 'Imran and complteted it, reciting leisurely. Whenever he recited the verses which referred to the Glory of Allah, he Glorified (saying subhanallah) and when he recited verses which shows how Allah is to be begged, he would beg from Him. When he recited verses dealing with protection of the Lord, he sought His protection. He would then bo and say "Glory be to my Lord the All Mighty (Subhana Rabbi al 'Adheem); this bowing lasted about the same length a his standing, then he would (upon raising his head), "Allah listened to he who praised Him", then he would stand for a period almost as long as he had bowed. He would then prostrate and say: "Glory be to my Lord the Most High (Subhana Rabbi al 'Ala) his prostration lasting for almost as long as his standing". (Muslim, Engl. trans., vol.1, p.374, no.1697)
'Auf ibn Malik said, "I stayed with the Messenger of Allah (saw) one night during which he stood in prayer and recited Surah al Baqarah. He would stop at every verse that mentioned Allah's Mercy., begging Him for it, and at every Verse that mentioned His punishment, seeking refuge in Allah from it. He would then bow for a period similar to that of his standing, supplicating: "How Perfect is He Who has all Power, Kingdom, Magnificence and Supremacy", as he would in his prostration". (Abu Dawud, an-Nasa'i, and Sahih al-Kalim at-Tayyib, no.75)
The Messenger (saw) would recite the Qur'an in his prayer contemplating it's verses, whenever he passed by a verse mentioning Allah's Mercy, he paused, asking of Allah, the Most High, and whenever he passed by a verse mentioning His punishment he paused seeking refuge from it. Whenever he (saw) passed by a verse referring to the Glory of Allah, he glorified Him.
In this way contemplating Allah's Verses brings about actions of the heart like fear, hope, and thereupon, invocation - the most noble form of worship. All this, accordingly, must affect the character and manners of a person and his dealings with people.