Do you feel the Quran isn’t in your life like you’d like it to be? Or do you wish to, but don’t know how to improve your relationship with the Quran? Do you feel overwhelmed, and don’t know where to start and how to keep motivated?
When I converted to Islam, I had read bits and pieces of the Quran in English; I was inspired, but I felt confused by the different themes and order of the chapters.
The translation of the Quran I had didn’t help much either, it was ‘old’ English, different stories seemed to be scattered over different chapters and a lot of verses I didn’t seem to understand. Not speaking about the Quran in Arabic yet, I couldn’t read a letter of it and I felt overwhelmed by the concept of ‘memorizing’ the Quran.
Allah, the Most High, says:
If We had sent down this Qur’an upon a mountain, you would have seen it humbled and coming apart from fear of Allah. And these examples We present to the people that perhaps they will give thought. (Quran, 59:21)
Imagine the effect the Book of the Creator Himself had on a solid, rigid mountain, which effect can it have on your tender, living heart? We need the Quran to find happiness; it teaches us all we need to know and all we need to do is to take the first step. And the transformation will follow, at times slowly, and at times rapidly.
Let’s discover some truly eye-watering narrations of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) to make you fall in love even more with this miraculous book and feel motivated to start on a personal plan to kick-start your relationship with the Quran!
What Prophet Muhammad Said to Motivate You
The Prophet Muhammad’s love for and relationship with the Quran was intense; his words can inspire us to increase our awe for the Book of Allah and take action! Here are some things he said about the book which defined his character:
You will not come back to Allah with anything better than that which came from Him (i.e. the Qur’an). (Al-Hakim)
Recite the Quran to have light in this world and to be mentioned in the heavens! … upon you is the remembrance of Allah and the recitation of His Book, for it is a light for you on earth and [a means by which] you will be mentioned in the Heavens. (Targhib wa-Tarhib, Jami as-Sagheer)
Have the Quran speak for you; Fasting and the Quran will intercede for the slave on the Day of Judgment. Fasting will say ‘O my Lord! I prevented him from food and desires, so accept my intercession for him. And the Qur’an will say: I prevented him from sleep during the night, so accept my intercession for him. Thus they will intercede. (Ahmad)
Ask Allah to be of
those for whom the Quran will intercede!
Let this motivate you to recite the Quran in your home and shine:
Recite the Qur’an (in your house) for the inhabitants of the heavens see them like the people on earth see the stars. (Silsilah ahadeeth as-saheehah)
Your Personal Plan
Your relationship with the Quran can start anytime, anywhere. Here are some tips to set up your personal Quran action plan.
1. Keep Asking Allah
You are reading the Quran for Allah and with His Help only, never forget this along the way!
Firstly, make and keep renewing a sincere intention (niyyah) to get closer to the Quran, by reading, understanding, memorizing and acting upon it.
– Use Affirmations
Affirmations are phrases you tell yourself out loud, and have an amazing effect on the brain. Start your day by saying to yourself: I can learn Quran, The Quran is easy to learn, etc.
– Say This Dua
Learn and use this supplication with feelings. Stick it on the wall as a reminder to use it often, convey it to others and revive the Sunnah in one!
Allahumma inni `abduka wabnu `abdika wabnu amatik nasiyati bi-yadik madin fiyya hukmuk `adlun fiyya qada’uk as’aluka bi-kulli ismin huwa lak sammayta bihi nafsak aw `allamtahu ahadan min khalqak aw anzaltahu fi kitabik awista’tharta bihi fi `ilmi al-ghaybi `indak an taj`ala al-Qur’ana al-karima rabi`a qalbi wa-nura sadri wa-jala’a huzni wa-dhahaba hammi.
O Allah, I am Your slave, son of Your male servant, and son of Your female servant. My forelock is in Your Hand. Your command for me prevails. Your judgement concerning me is just. I beseech You through every name You have, by which You have called Yourself, or which You have sent down in Your Book, or which You have taught to any one of Your creations, or which You have preferred to keep to Yourself among Your guarded secrets, to make the Great Qur’an the springtime of my heart, the light of my chest, the remover of my sadness, and the pacifier of my worries.*
* It is recorded in Musnad Ahmad and Sahih Abu Hatim that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:
Whoever was afflicted with grief and distress and says (above dua’), Allah, the Exalted and Ever-Majestic, will remove his grief and will change his sorrow into happiness.
It was said, “O Messenger of Allah! (Do) we have to learn these words?”
Yes, whoever hears them should learn them.
2. Pick an Easy Translation
I greatly benefited from The Quran Project translation to gain an overall view of the Quran, its message and themes. It’s in clear, modern English, has a smooth flow of sentences and most importantly has an introduction page for each chapter with a concise outline of contents.
3. Start Memorizing
I remember not being able to read Quran in Arabic yet, but wanting to add more meaning to my prayers. Therefore I simply started listening to the short surahs only, and learning them by heart from audio while learning their meaning at the same time.
This way I didn’t feel too overwhelmed by the task of ‘memorizing’ the Quran. As each time I learned a new chapter, I could use it in prayer, knew what it meant and could add another dimension to my prayer.
The effect was instant! Best is to read a new chapter you’ve learned to a qualified teacher, even if you can’t read Arabic yet; at least you ensure you have copied it from audio correctly and you can use it in prayer.
4. Make Tafseer Part of Your Daily Routine
Tafseer means explanation, and the goal of studying tafseer is to find out the true meanings of the verses of the Quran, so you can benefit from them. Reading through, or listening to tafseer of the Quran will make you appreciate its beautiful message more and more.
A classic, English translated Tafseer collection is Tafseer ibn Katheer, covering the entire Quran. Start a tafseer routine; simply start with dedicating five minutes a day to reading tafseer, starting from Juz ‘Amma (the last, thirtieth part) or listening to Tafseer videos. You can find the entire Tafseer ibn Katheer collection online: http://m.qtafsir.com/. A true gem!
5. Study Tajweed
Tajweed refers to the rules governing pronunciation during recitation of the Quran, starting from learning how to pronounce each letter correctly. It’s derived from the root jeem-waaw-daal, which means ‘to make well, make better, improve.’
Here are some great resources to kick-start (or revise) your Tajweed study:
– Read Quran course from the Understand Quran Academy – in 18 hours you will learn to read Arabic letters and words with built-in Tajweed rules and learn the meaning of 50% of the words of the Quran.
– Tajweed Untangled by Learning Roots – a comprehensive, visual must-have book for beginner and intermediate tajweed.
6. Understand Quranic Arabic
In a recent study, a group of Muslims were asked about the meaning of chapter Al-Fatihah and 80% of the recipients could not give an accurate meaning of the chapter they read daily in prayer!
An ultra-effective and easy program to start understanding the Quran by using short chapters and daily supplications you most likely already know is:
- Understand Quran 50% – a 12 hour program to learn half of the words of the Quran, also on www.understandquran.com.
- Another excellent, instant resource is the 80% Quranic words list: http://www.quranproject.org/80-Quran-Vocabulary-341-d, just spend five minutes each day on it.
- Using a Word-by-Word translated Quran will instantly help as well, for example: https://www.amazon.com/Al-Quran-Al-Kareem-Translation-Tajweed-Arabic-English/dp/2130754600.
O Allah, make us of the best of people by learning and teaching the Quran and gaining the Highest Paradise without reckoning by it.