I can’t remember the exact date I started to memorise the Qur’ān.
What I can say, for sure, is that I was around 11 to 13 years old at the time. It was around this point in my life that my connection to the Qur’ān began to grow. At the time, I was attending a class at a local mosque. I’d never been to a mosque class before, I was used to going to read at an old lady’s house – may Allāh bless her. Under her guidance, I’d already read at least two complete readings of the Qur’ān, memorised a few chapters, various other prayers, and even learnt the Urdu language. Every day we had to read some Qur’ān, memorise, memorise more and do some language. It was intense but, whatever she did worked.
When my father learnt about the opening of a new mosque close by, he decided to enrol me and my younger brother into the Qur’ān classes. It was a big change. We were used to going down the road to a house. The mosque was a little further but we only used to read some Qur’ān and return home two hours later.
Things changed fast.
I began to be asked again and again if I wanted to start a journey to memorise the Qur’ān. So I took the leap and got started. Everything that has followed came as a result of that day. That leap of faith took me to experience different contexts, cultures and continents.
Since then I’ve immersed myself in ‘trying’ to memorise the Qur’ān, learning the sciences of the Qur’ān and the Dīn whilst increasing my interest and involvement in education and community initiatives.
I believe that where you start in life shouldn’t dictate where you finish in it. No tool can more profoundly unlock a person’s ability to change his or her place in life than access to quality education. The good news is that we have the ability to provide quality education to every child on earth right now. I’ve been teaching children and adults for free for around a decade now and will continue to do so as long as I am able to.
I believe there’s a lot to do within the field. Our children are not only the future but, they are the now. What we do today shapes the world. Throughout the years, I’ve seen and experienced different issues facing the Muslim community. The topmost has been education. However, no individual can solve these problems alone. A collective effort is needed, and we each have a unique role to play. I’m not going to talk about this though. This book will explore everything that has led to this point in my life.
This is a story about what happens when you recognise that there’s more in this world for you to become. That you don’t have to have certain things to make contributions to the world. It’s a story about a journey from doubt to conviction. The story of my journey so far, but it’s a story that can belong to anyone.
The book briefly takes you through how I began my journey to memorise the Qur’ān. What happened, what I did and all I had to go through. My hope is that it reflects what an ordinary journey I’ve had, and one that speaks to many of you. I hope it also demonstrates exactly what goes into memorisation. I don’t think people realise the amount of work people put into memorisation.
When writing this book, I wanted to have thirty chapters like the divisional structure of the Qur’ān. But I didn’t manage to do that. Maybe I’ll add a couple more chapters in a later edition. I intended that each chapter be titled with a principle. Each principle having been lessons I’d learnt during my journey. The principles serve as guides and I believe they are great truths. I used them for both small and major decisions I had to make. I hope they will be carried forward, shared with others, and adopted in ways that will help you on your own journey. Not only for memorisation but in life too. The book is not only relevant to Ḥifẓ but life too.
The single thing that allows one to live his or her dreams is converting a spark of inspiration into immediate action. We have to take small steps, then chase the footprints you’ll want to leave behind. I hope this book helps you find yours because “what you seek is seeking you.” – Rūmi
This book was released officially on September 14th 2015.