Today, I got to chat with the IOU Oman Sisters Student Committee once again. We talked about the incredible lessons we can learn from the stories of women who’ve memorised the Qur’ān.
I don’t want you to miss out and so I’m sharing the stories with you here too. There’s so much motivation!
Fatimah’s Journey of Perseverance and Faith
Fatimah, at 47 years old, couldn’t read or write. Yet, she managed to memorise 15 ajzā’ of the Qur’ān, highlighting that the memorisation of the Qur’ān isn’t confined to any specific rule or type of individual.
As a child, she faced the tragic death of both of her parents in a car accident. She was left orphaned and alone. A compassionate neighbour, seeing Fatimah’s plight, took her in despite facing financial hardships herself.
When Fatimah turned 18, she was married to a man of good character and faith. They had a harmonious life, and she was blessed with two sons and a daughter. But, tragedy struck again. One day, her husband and children went out to buy some necessities. A reckless driver collided with their car, killing her family instantly.
Grief-stricken and alone, Fatimah found solace in a modest room provided by a charitable individual. She owned a small radio which she would tune in to listen to the Qur’ān recitations. Soon, she started to repeat the verses along with the reciters, which initiated her journey of memorisation. She purchased cassette tapes to assist her and even joined a Qur’ān memorisation school. Despite never having been to a formal school, Fatimah showed exceptional memory skills.
Fatimah frequently visited Masjid-ul-Harām in Makkah, where she would request memorisers of the Qur’ān to teach and test her. They gladly assisted her without showing any signs of exhaustion or boredom.
She recalls her painful past, where she lost her parents, family, and even the kind neighbour who had taken her in. But, every time she feels overwhelmed with sorrow, reciting and listening to the Qur’ān provides her with solace and acceptance.
Her story emphasised the comforting, happiness-bringing, merciful, and reassuring nature of the Qur’ān. It serves as an inspiration, reminding us of the healing power of faith and the transformative journey one can embark upon with the Qur’ān, regardless of life’s challenges. She overcame great loss but kept patient and sought peace in the best of places.
The Inspiring Journey of Umm Taha
Umm Taha, a seamstress from Al-Zarqaa, was also an illiterate woman who didn’t know how to read or write. One day, she was inspired to learn how to write the Name of Allāh (لفظ الجلالة). A young girl she knew taught her to write the Name, and from there, she began tracing it throughout the Qur’ān. This sparked a passion in Umm Taha’s heart, leading her to learn the Arabic alphabets and the basics of reading.
After learning to read, Umm Taha joined a Qur’ān memorisation school. With perseverance, she began reading from the Mus’haf (physical copy of the Qur’ān) and eventually completed reading the entire Qur’ān. This achievement, especially after a lifetime of not being able to read, was monumental for her.
To celebrate her accomplishment, she held a gathering for the sisters. During this celebration, she was gifted a book on how to memorise the Qur’ān. This book ignited her desire to commit the Qur’ān to memory. She learned that age is not a barrier to memorisation; even someone over forty can succeed with determination.
Over time, Umm Taha managed to memorise 15 ajzā’ of the Qur’ān, experiencing immense joy and satisfaction from this journey. During the summer of 2001, someone prayed for her, hoping that she would become one of the Hāfizah. Umm Taha replied, hoping that Allāh would hear and grant that prayer.
And what happens? Umm Taha has, indeed, memorised the entire Qur’ān, showcasing the miracles achieved through determination, faith, and the blessings of Allāh.
Again, this story illustrates the power of determination, faith, and the transformative journey one can undertake with the Qur’ān, regardless of their background or age.
Umm Ahmad’s Spiritual Journey
At the age of 59, Umm Ahmad was bedridden due to illness, surrounded by poverty, and relied on the charity of kind-hearted individuals. However, her circumstances began to change after a visit from some women. These women spoke passionately about Qur’ān memorisation schools, their roles, and their importance.
Umm Ahmad felt a profound connection to their conversation. Sensing her keen interest, the visitors provided her with a cassette player and a set of tapes of Qur’ān recitation. Umm Ahmad diligently listened to these tapes, repeating the verses multiple times until they settled in her memory. Every day, a teacher would visit her to listen to what she had memorised, providing immense support and encouragement.
As months and years passed, Umm Ahmad’s determination remained unwavering. Over a span of 10 years, through auditory learning, she managed to memorise the entire Qur’ān. As her commitment to the Qur’ān grew, her health started to improve. This improvement spurred her to join a nearby Qur’ān memorisation school.
Despite her health challenges, which required her to use two walking sticks, she consistently attended her classes, buoyed by the encouragement of her peers and teachers. In just another three years, Umm Ahmad managed to memorise hundreds of Hadith and even undertook lessons in Tafseer (exegesis or interpretation of the Qur’ān).
Her story shows us what happens when one’s primary concern is Allāh, He takes care of all their needs, alleviates their worries, fills their heart with love for Him, engages their tongue in His remembrance, and guides their actions in obedience to Him.
Umm Ahmad’s story exemplifies this profound idea, showing that despite her age and adversities, her unwavering faith and dedication led her to remarkable achievements. It’s a testament to the power of Imaan, perseverance, and the transformative nature of the Qur’ān.
Umm ‘Aasim Memorising the Qur’an at the age of 65
In an era dominated by fast-paced lifestyles and fleeting ambitions, the story of Umm ‘Aasim stands out as a beacon of determination, resilience, and unwavering belief. Her journey to memorise the Qur’ān, despite her advanced age and various obstacles, offers lessons that resonate beyond religious contexts and speaks to the human spirit’s indomitable will.
Umm Aasim’s quest began amid the challenges posed by both her advanced age and the scorching sun of Yemen that beat down upon her as she made her daily journey. Yet, undeterred by these physical barriers, she made a resolute decision to immerse herself in the Qur’ān, hoping to make it the crowning glory of her life.
Her typical day was testament to her discipline. After the ‘Ishā’ prayer, she would embark on her memorisation until nine at night. Then, she would revise what she’d previously committed to memory until eleven. Night and day, her life revolved around the Qur’ān. In four years she was able to memorise the Qur’ān relying purely on just listening to the Qur’ān.
Behind this remarkable woman was an equally remarkable support system. Her children, and notably her daughters, stood by her side, offering emotional and practical assistance. They encouraged her, listened to her recitations, and ensured that she never wavered from her path. This community of support emphasised that no journey, no matter how personal, is ever truly walked alone.
But her path wasn’t without its challenges. Midway, her original Qur’ān teacher had to leave, throwing Umm Aasim’s routine into disarray. Most would have seen this as a sign to give up, but not her. Demonstrating adaptability, she sought out another teacher and began her journey anew.
Her new teacher was initially hesitant, perhaps thinking that an older woman might not have the capability to memorise the Qur’ān. But Umm Aasim’s determination proved infectious. She convinced her teacher of her resolve, further showcasing that age is but a number when one’s spirit is invincible.
However, Umm Aasim’s vision extended beyond her personal aspirations. Recognising the importance of communal support, she advocated for the completion of a women’s mosque and the support of Qur’ān memorisation circles in her community. She understood that her journey, while personal, was part of a larger tapestry of Islam and the community.
Umm Aasim’s journey is more than just a story of dedication. It is a testament to the human capacity to achieve remarkable feats through determination, community support, and an unwavering belief in oneself. Her story serves as a shining example to all, reminding us that with passion and perseverance, no goal is too lofty to achieve.
The question for you is, what story are you going to leave behind?4 - Like and share!