Tadabbur (contemplation) is an Arabic word which means -To ponder, reflect and think.
Literally (Tadabbur), it means to look into the consequence or the end result of the matters, e. g. if we did that what would happen to us.
Tadabbur, means pondering over the meaning of the verses of the Qur’an and contemplating them.
It is not enough to learn the Qur’an and recite it profusely. But what is required from us is to understand the words and the meaning of the ayah. To know the matter (or the case or what the ayah says) and this cannot be attained except by reading the Tafseer (the interpretation), by heart or heedful mind and not by ears and eyes.
Examples of Tadabbur
Tadabbur is comprehensive and deep thinking and consideration in order to reach to a guidance or indications.
For example, the word Rahmah (Mercy) indicates many things such as abundant knowledge, abundant provision (if Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) bestowed upon you abundant provision this indicates a mercy from Him), if your manners have been refined and perfected by the Qur’an, then this is a mercy from Allah, you heard a story and took the admonition then this is a mercy, and so on… This is when you just think considerably in the word Rahmah (Mercy).
Accordingly, we say Tadabbur means the utmost understanding of the meaning of the words of Allah by reading the Tafseer, deep thinking and consideration over the meanings of the verse, accept its guidance fully and completely. Mould yourself according to its guidance. Take each passage of the revelation as addressed to you. Put yourself in the same state (similar situation) [i.e. ask yourself whether you have gone through a similar situation or not].
After that comes acting upon it, putting it into practice and that would be by developing an inner response to the Ayah, and express it by praising Allah, seeking His forgiveness, etc. Kitab Al Fawa’id by Imam Ibn Al Qayyim
Conditions for a person who wants to do Tadabbur of the Quran:
- Knowledge of the language of Quran (i.e. Arabic)
- Tadabbur should follow the understanding/interpretation of the Pious Predecessors of the Ummah from the first three generations of Islam
- Dua (Supplication) to Allah seeking Knowledge and Understanding of the Quran
Bear in mind that Tadabbur, pondering over the meanings of the ayah of the Qur’an, is obligatory upon every Muslim reciting the Qur’an.
The Qur’an itself emphasizes that mere reading or reciting of it is insufficient. One needs to reflect upon what one reads, and then act upon it. Allah said: (This is) a Book (the Quran) which We have sent down to you, full of blessings that they may ponder over its ayah, and that men of understanding may remember. The Qur’an Surah Saad 38:29 The Word used in the ayah is YADDABBARU.
كِتَابٌ أَنزَلْنَاهُ إِلَيْكَ مُبَارَكٌ لِّيَدَّبَّرُوا آيَاتِهِ وَلِيَتَذَكَّرَ أُوْلُوا الْأَلْبَابِ
Allah also said: Then do they not reflect upon the Qur’an, or are there locks upon [their] hearts? – Surah Muhammad 47:24
Allah said in the Qur’an:
“Do they not then consider the Qur’an carefully? Had it been from other than Allah, they would surely have found therein much contradictions.” – Surah an-Nisa’ 4:82
أَفَلاَ يَتَدَبَّرُونَ الْقُرْآنَ وَلَوْ كَانَ مِنْ عِندِ غَيْرِ اللّهِ لَوَجَدُواْ فِيهِ اخْتِلاَفاً كَثِيراً
The Fruits that one will gain from the Tadabbur
- Guidance: Through Tadabbur one can get the light with which he can distinguish between the right from wrong, the truth from falsehood, the guidance from astray, the lawful from the unlawful, etc..
- Tadabbur will give the person a strength in his heart, happiness and joy.
- Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) attributed the Qur’an with Barakah, a Blessed Book. Only the person who ponders over the meanings of the ayah will get this Barakah, and also the one who learned the Qur’an and acted upon it will get this Barakah.
- If one reads the Qur’an with understanding the meaning of the ayah and with heedful heart, this will clear all the doubts, whispers and the diseases of the heart and peace and rest will be put instead into one’s heart. Also one’s faith will increase, because Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) said:
إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُكِرَ اللّهُ وَجِلَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَإِذَا تُلِيَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتُهُ زَادَتْهُمْ إِيمَاناً وَعَلَى رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ
“The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts and when His Verses (this Qur’an) are recited unto them, they (i.e. the Verses) increase their Faith; and they put their trust in their Lord (Alone).” – Surah al-Anfal 8:2
Another benefit that one can get from the Tadabbur is that the person will reach to the rank of certitude and knowledge that the Qur’an is the Word of Allah, because he will see that all the parts of the Qur’an affirm each other and agrees with each other. All the stories and news that are mentioned are repeated in many parts of the Qur’an, and all of them are confirming and agreeing with each other, there is no contradiction between them. Therefore, Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) said:
“Had it been from other than Allah, they would surely have found therein much contradictions.” Qur’an Surah Muminoon 23:68
- Shaykhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah states that he used to refer 100 interpretations of certain ayah to reach a conclusion. Thereafter he used to make dua to Allah in his Sajdah: “O Teacher of Ibraaheem! Teach me… And O Granter of Understanding to Sulaiman! Grant me understanding”
- Shaikh as-Sa’di (Rahimahullaah) said interpreting verse 82 of Surat an-Nisa’ as regard the statement of Allah ‘Do they not think deeply in the Qur’an’: “Allah orders us to ponder over the verses of His Book which means detitation over its meaning and thinking deeply in its meaning.
- Tadabbur of the Book of Allah is the key with which opens for the person all the knowledge that he is seeking. Tadabbur guides one to all the good and with which the faith will increase.
- Through Tadabbur one knows His Lord, His perfect Attributes (what He loves and what He hates).
- By Tadabbur one knows the way to Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) and the way to Paradise. He knows the qualities of the people of Paradise.
- Through Tadabbur one knows the way to Hell and the qualities of its people. Also one knows his own self and its characteristics.
- One knows the Halal and the Haram. As the person increases in Meditation over the verses of the Qur’an, as his knowledge will increase and acting upon this knowledge.
Therefore, Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) commanded and encouraged us to make the Tadabbur. He (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) informed us that the Tadabbur is the purpose behind revealing the Qur’an, and it is one of the conditions required for the recitation of the Qur’an. Accordingly the breasts will be opened and the hearts will be enlightened and it reaches with the slave to the degree of certainty.” [Tayseer al-Kareem]
Ibn al-Qayyim (Rahimahullaah) pondered over the following ayah (The Quran Suarh Al-Baqarah 2:216), he came up with seven benefits and wisdoms out of it::
وَعَسَى أَن تَكْرَهُواْ شَيْئاً وَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ وَعَسَى أَن تُحِبُّواْ شَيْئاً وَهُوَ شَرٌّ لَّكُمْ وَاللّهُ يَعْلَمُ وَأَنتُمْ لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ
“And it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.”
He concluded all these actions of the heart:
- إيمان وتصديق, belief in Allah’s Word, to believe that Allah knows and I don’t know.
- Complete Tawheed , full authorization to Allah in all one’s affairs.
- Submission to Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala).
- Tawakkul, Complete reliance and putting trust in Allah. Whatever Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) has decreed for you is the best.
- Inaabah, to turn unto Allah in all our affairs and seek His Guidance for every matter.
- Rida, to be pleased and satisfied with what Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) has chosen for you [of husband, children, job, nationality, country, place, house, etc.]
- Hamd and Shukr, thanking Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) for the blessing that He has bestowed upon you.
- invoke Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) to keep you firm when you face any misfortune or calamity, and to grant you also patience.
Eight acts of the heart, one can perform while sitting and pondering over this ayath.
In this way, you have acted upon this verse. If you recited the Qur’an without Tadabbur, then you will be deprived from getting the fruit. The Qur’an should change our behavior and characters.
What is the ruling on deriving scientific proofs from the Quran?
Indeed, there are many scientific facts mentioned in the Quran which was unknown to the world until very recently. So it is beyond doubt one of the miracles of the Quran. As Allah says in Surah Fussilat (41:53)(the meaning of which can be translated as):
“We will show them Our signs In the universe, and In their ownselves, until it becomes manifest to them that This (the Quran) is the truth. is it not Sufficient In regard to Your Lord that He is a witness over All things?”
But while trying to prove the scientific facts from the Quran the following things are to be kept in mind:
- The Quran is not a science text Book. It was revealed to teach human being the correct Deen, concept of Tawheed (Unique Oneness of Allah) and the correct way of worshiping Allah. So this should be our main purpose of reading the Quran. Nowadays, we see many among the youth who read the Quran only to extract such scientific facts. This is a big mistake, since it goes against the primary purpose for which the Quran was revealed. This is a clear violation of the sanctity of the Quran.
- Proving scientific facts from the Quran is not a duty that Allah has imposed on us. However, ayath that clearly speak about the creation of human being and the embryonic development, the barrier between the seas and ayah like these may be used for the purpose of doing Dawah. But what should be avoided is trying to challenge and claim that Quran has all the scientific facts and anything can be proved from the Quran, as some of the youth do today. They end up trying to give their own meanings and interpretations to the verses to keep their challenge.
- Science is not a stable/steady field. Scientists have differed over and over on the same issue through the decades and centuries. So what Science states today may be possibly disproved tomorrow by the same science through new scientists and experiments. So it is not for us to exert ourselves too much into this to the level that we try to prove that something is matching with scientific facts today whereas, scientists go on and change their opinion in the near future. This might turn out to be a wasted effort and unnecessary claim, which Allah has not made us answerable for. 
This article is borrowed and adapted from https://www.askislampedia.com
 Kitab Al Fawa’id by Imam Ibn Al Qayyim, http://www.4theseekeroftruth.com/?p=203