Asalaamu alaykum Abdulqani,
Ramadan Mubarak! Allah loves those who seek Him with pure hearts, and from your question, it is obvious to me that you are seeking God with a pure heart.
It is not easy to embrace Islam in these difficult times, and it’s even harder when we don’t have a strong support system.
Learning how to read the Qur’an and, more importantly, understanding the messages within it, are often difficult tasks for new Muslims. When we are not Arabic speakers, this can be even harder.
I learned, however, that learning to read the Arabic is much easier than I imagined, and far less necessary than I thought.
One thing is for sure: you don’t need to attend a masjid class or sit with a sheikh (scholar or learned older member of the community) to learn to read Qur’an. This would be great, but in your circumstance—working full-time and living far from a masjid—it is just not necessary.
There are so many websites that teach us how to read Qur’an for free! Here are a few:
- Arabic Reading Course: This is a free online course which is also available as an app for both Android and iPhone mobiles. It’s very user-friendly.
- If you do not have steady access to the internet or a smart phone, I recommend any of the sources at Kalamullah.com which are available for free download and can be then printed and carried around with you.
- Here’s a great source for learning to read Arabic which can be printed and memorized, as well.
Another creative way that Muslims have come up with for teaching new Muslims to read and understand Qur’an is through sight-word memorization. This is called “80% Quran” and if you memorize just these words, you will be able to understand 80% of any page of the Qur’an.
Here is a free pdf which includes these words, broken up into around twenty per page. You could print these pages or copy them down in a notebook and work to memorize one page per week, for example, and you would finish in no time!
Learning to read and understand the Arabic Qur’an is important, but it’s not nearly as important as embracing the message of the Qur’an in whatever language you speak and understand.
If you speak Kiswahili, and feel it’s easier for you to understand things in this language, here is an online translation of Qur’an in Kiswahili. If, however, you are comfortable with English, there are MANY resources. Personally, I recommend “The Clear Quran” translation by Dr. Mustafa Khattab.
Ramadan is the month of the Qur’an and we are so proud of you for seeking to be nearer to God through His book this month, inshaAllah (God Willing)!
I hope this helps answer your question. All the best in and please keep in touch. Salam.
Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links: