Developing Our Relationship with the Qur’an
We connect with the people who are important to us on a daily basis. We meet with, call, message, and e-mail them. Who do you voluntarily communicate with the most? Chances are that person is someone you love and are close to.
Why not spend this Ramadan connecting with the One who is the most important in our lives? Why not spend this month connecting with and becoming a lover and beloved of our Creator?
You can really get to know a person through their words. The things a person talks about, their word choice, and their style of communicating their words can reveal so much about them.
If you really want to get to know your Lord, take a look at His Glorious Words. Let’s try to develop our relationship with Allah swt this Ramadan by connecting with the Qur’an.
Ways to strengthen your connection with the Qur’an:
There is no form of dhikr [remembrance] that is higher than the Qur’an. If a person wants to get closer to Allah swt, it is absolutely necessary for him/her to recite the Qur’an—there’s no way out. And for those of us who feel that we recite very slowly or that reciting the Qur’an is very difficult for us, never fear! For our beloved Nabi (saws) has said:
“Verily the one who recites the Qur’an beautifully, smoothly, and precisely, he will be in the company of the noble and obedient angels. And as for the one who recites with difficulty, stammering or stumbling through its verses, then he will have twice that reward.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
Of course, this does that mean that if we do not know how to read the Qur’an properly we can kick back and continue making mistakes without worrying about it. We should definitely make an effort to learn the art of Tajweed from a qualified teacher and we should try our best to improve our recitation and seek to rectify our mistakes. However, if despite our continuous and sincere efforts we still find it difficult to recite the Qur’an, we should not despair, as Allah (swt) knows that we are trying and we should have hope that He will give us the reward mentioned in the Hadith quoted above, Insha’Allah.
Also, it should be noted that by recitation, we mean reciting the Qur’an in Arabic. These days, many people settle with reading the translation of the Qur’an and remain deprived from the spiritual blessings and rewards of reciting the Qur’an in the original Arabic it was revealed in.
Rasulullah (saws) said, “Whoever recites a letter of the Book of Allah earns a good deed, and each good deed is worth ten like it. I do not say that ‘Alif-lam-mim’ is one letter, but that alif is a letter, lam is a letter, meem is a letter.” [At-Tirmidhi]
It is no doubt a highly noble and encouraged act to study the meaning of the Qur’an, but it does not give anyone the excuse of leaving the recitation of the Qur’an in Arabic.
Memorizing the Qur’an is not only the job of the huffāzh or of those who are striving to memorize the entire Qur’an. Even if your goal is currently not to memorize the entire Qur’an, you should still try to make an effort to memorize more surahs and portions of the Qur’an. Memorizing the Qur’an allows you to develop a very unique kind of connection with the Qur’an that cannot be put into words. It allows you to enjoy reciting those portions of the Qur’an that you have memorized in a different way.
The Prophet (saws) said, “It will be said to those who know the Qur’an, ‘Recite and ascend. Recite slowly as you did in the world below. Your station will be at the last verse you recite.” [Abu Dawud and at-Tirmidhi]
Also, whether you memorize an ayah a day or a page a day, try to recite what you memorize in your salah. You will likely find this to be beneficial not only in retaining what you memorize, but also in developing khushū’ [the desired calmness and the spirit of salah] in your salah. Memorizing more Qur’an means having more ways to interact with Allah (swt) in your salah. Instead of repeating the same surahs over and over again, you’ll have more options to choose from. Each salah can become a unique experience and interaction with Allah (swt).
Whether you are cooking iftar, in the car, or walking on the street, try to make a habit of listening to the recitation of the Qur’an whenever possible. Let the words of your Beloved flow into your ears and penetrate deeply into your heart. Fill your life and mind with the recitation of the Qur’an.
It is considered greater adab [etiquette] to drop everything while the Qur’an is being recited and to fully focus on the recitation. However, some scholars have given the permission to listen to pre-recorded, non-live recitation of the Qur’an while doing other quiet activities such as doing chores and typing up an e-mail. This is neither against the shari’ah nor against adab and it has immense spiritual benefit. If you are talking to someone, however, then you should not play the Qur’an in the background.
Additionally, listening to the recitation of someone who recites well with Tajweed and who understands the meaning of the Qur’an has a special kind of impact on our hearts and it increases our own desire to recite the Qur’an.
Our responsibility as Muslims is to not only recite the Qur’an but to also act upon it—and we cannot act upon the Qur’an if we do not know what the Qur’an is telling us. We should try to study the Qur’an under the guidance of a qualified ‘alim [Islamic scholar].
If it is not possible for you to study the Qur’an under the guidance of a qualified teacher, you can still read authentic books of tafseer. An excellent recommendation is Ma’ariful Quran by Mufti Shafi Usmani Sahib (db), which is available in both Urdu and English.
If you ever are unsure whether a teacher offering tafseer classes is qualified or whether a certain tafseer book is authentic, you can always contact the Nawal Academy administration and consult with them.
Remember, the Qur’an is essentially Allah swt speaking to us. Try to understand what Allah swt is telling us. Reflect and ponder on the words of your Lord. Try to implement one verse of the Qur’an into your life every day.
And beg Allah swt to bestow you with the noor of the Qur’an.
May Allah swt allow us to make the most of the remainder of this Ramadan and may He allow us begin leading lives colored with the beauty of the Qur’an this month. May Allah swt allow us to develop a special connection with the Qur’an this month and may He make that connection a means of bringing us nearer to Him. Ameen!
“Advice to Youth” by Shaykh Kamaluddin Ahmed (db) (http://www.islamicspirituality.org/lectures/general)
Hafiza Safa Subhani Sahiba
Head of Hifz Dept.