Quran is not to be put on the shelf and decorated and covered.
Abu Darda رضي الله عنه said:
‘Whenever the time comes when you will decorate your mosques and your mushafs, that is the time when you will be destroyed because that is an indication you are favouring symbols over substance.’
At the time of Abu Darda رضي الله عنه, Quran was written on bones, leaves and pieces of leather. These days the Quran is decorated so much that people don’t even want to touch it and read it because it looks so good! If people were to see the Quran written on bones or other pieces, they would be quick to say that such a thing is disrespect to the Quran. Yet people do not think that not following the Quran is disrespect to it.
We have lost track of what the Quran should do for us and how we should study the Book of Allah ﷻ.
(This is) a Book (the Qur’an) which We have sent down to you, full of blessings that they may ponder over its Verses, and that men of understanding may remember.’ [Surah Saad, Verse 29].
‘Do they not then think deeply in the Quran, or are their hearts locked up (from understanding it)?’ [Surah Muhammad: Verse 24].
Allah is not only asking us to recite the Quran, rather He is asking us to meditate and contemplate over the Quran. We have to have ‘tatabbur’ (deep contemplation).
[Transcript from a lecture by Shaykh Anwar Al-Awlaki: Understanding the Quran]
May Allah help us gain understanding of the Quran and help us live by it.