Abdullah ibn Masud -Allah be well-pleased with him- says:
“When a Companion returned home, his wife would straight away ask him two questions: ‘How many ayat were revealed today?’ and ‘How many of the Prophet’s ahadith did you memorize?’” (Abdulhamid Kashk, Fi Rihabi’t-Tafsir, I, 26)
The below words from Abdullah ibn Masud -Allah be well-pleased with him-, further bear out the strong connection the Companions had with the Quran:
“I promise by Allah, apart from Whom there is no god, that there is not a surah revealed from the Book of Allah, whose place of revelation is unknown to me. Again, there is not an ayah revealed from the Book of Allah, without me knowing which person it was revealed about. If I heard that someone knew the Book of Allah better than I and it was possible to go to him on camelback, I would not waste anytime in setting out on the road.” (Bukhari, Fadail’ul-Quran, 8)
Time and again, Abdullah ibn Masud -Allah be well-pleased with him- would recite and teach his students a certain ayah of the Quran and follow it up by saying, “This ayah is better than anything the Sun has ever shone upon on Earth!” He would say the same for every single ayah. (Haythami, VII, 166)
His below words again show just how much the Companions were occupied in training themselves in Quranic sciences:
“Whosoever desires knowledge, let him thoroughly contemplate the meanings of the Quran and concentrate on its interpretation and recital; for it contains the knowledge of past and present.” (Haythami, VII, 165; Bayhaki, Shuab, II, 331)
The Companions would frequently get together to discuss the Quran and hadith.(1) The students of the Suffa, especially, were always at the Masjid, reading the Quran at day and discussing it amongst each other at night.(2)
Hazrat Umar -Allah be well-pleased with him-, for one, focused on contemplating in order to better understand the Quran, reciting it reflectively, in a way that resulted in practice. Proof of this are his words, “I managed to complete (fully implement in my life) surah al-Baqara in twelve years and as thanks, I sacrificed a camel.” (Qurtubi, I, 40)
Imam Malik (Alaihi Rehma) reports that Abdullah ibn Omar -Allah be well-pleased with him- studied the ayat of surah al-Baqara alone for a complete eight years, in order properly understand and practice them. He would always read the Book with an eye to learn and practice its commands and steer clear from its prohibitions.(3)
Hazrat Abu Bakr -Allah be well-pleased with him- has in fact said, “Explaining a single ayah of the Quran is more appealing to me than memorizing it alone.” (Ibn’ul-Anbari, Kitab-u Izah’il-Waqf, I, 23)
(1) Khatib al-Baghdadi, al-Faqih wa’l-Mutafaqqih, II, 126.
(2) Bukhari, Jihad, 9; Muslim, Imarah, 147.
(3) See, Muwattaa, Quran, 11; Kattani, Taratib, II, 191.