20.1 Learning the Precepts of the Koran
In the more clement climate of Medina, in freedom and without secrecy or fear, the Messenger taught the Muslims the spiritual and moral meanings of the precepts and stories found in the Koran. He also taught them how to act and what was expected of them as slaves of Allah. They loved the Koran and cherished it. Whenever a verse was sent down they studied it and learnt it by heart. The verses were written down on parchment, bone, or wood. They realized that it was not enough only to cherish the Koran but that it was a code to live by. So they studied the Koran in the full realization that it was to be the law of their lives.
Abu Masud relates that,
"When a man among us learnt ten verses of the Koran, he kept practising what he had learnt before learning the next ten."
The Koran teaches that piety is not merely a matter of rising and bowing in prayers or turning one's face towards Mecca; much more is involved. It is charity in all its aspects, in giving money, in being kind, in freeing slaves. It is to keep one's word, to be patient in sickness and adversity, and to be firm and strong at the moment of trial.
A Muslim is part of a community and it is in his daily behavior inside the community that he can serve Allah best. A Muslim has to learn how to live with people; for it is in serving his fellow man that he serves Allah best. It is in the give and take of the relationships of everyday life that a man is really tested. He has to learn how to be truthful without hurting other people's feelings, to be good without being weak and submissive, to be unselfish and charitable without being prodigal, to be learned or gifted without being conceited, and to be granted more than other men without being proud.