When you're memorising the Qur'ān, there are moments where you may face challenges and doubts. During such times, finding inspiration and motivation can make all the difference in rekindling the passion for the journey.
Here, I present a collection of ten remarkable stories from individuals who have walked the path of memorising the Qur'ān. I shared these in the weekly newsletter but have put them together here in a different way. These stories showcase the triumphs and struggles, the joys and hardships, and the transformative experiences people encountered in their journeys.
I want you to delve into these narratives. Their stories remind us that with sincere intention, steadfast effort, and reliance on Allāh, the seemingly impossible becomes achievable, and the reward is beyond measure.
Let these motivational stories be a source of encouragement, a reminder of the blessings of Qur'ān memorisation, and a testament to the boundless strength and guidance provided to those who seek to draw closer to Allāh through His Words. May their journeys inspire your own and serve as a reminder of the profound impact of memorising the Qur'ān on the hearts and souls of believers.
I'd like to think it's a 30 minutes better spent than scrolling mindless videos on social media. I encourage you to share them and retell them to your students. Hold storytelling sessions with the intention to motivate young people.
Transforming Traffic: A Blessed Formula
This is story by Dr Amr Khaled:
Have you ever wondered how to make the most of your time stuck in traffic? Do you find yourself frustrated and bored during those long, monotonous hours on the road? How's your mood during traffic? Let me share a true story about me and through it I'll give you a magical formula!
When I was 20 years old, I travelled to London for a year of study and work. Like any young person my age, I had my concerns and worries. To find solace, I decided to keep the Qur'ān close to me, always within reach, in my pocket.
One day, while reading, I came across a beautiful verse from Surat Yaseen. It struck me with an enlightening thought: What if I had this wise book by my side at all times? How would my life be if the Qur'ān were a constant companion in my daily endeavours? I was so attached to Qur’ān.
I worked in the middle of London and so I had to rent a place an hour away (via underground) from my workplace due to the high rental costs. Commuting for one hour daily is such a boring and hard things to do. So I decided to read the Qur'ān during my hour journeys. As the days passed, my bond with the Qur'ān deepened to the extent that I learned Surat Al-Nisa'.
Something I didn’t do before, I did it while I was in the underground. That once-dreaded commute turned into my favourite part of the day. I couldn’t wait till the end of the day to start revising what I learned before. I didn’t feel so depressed any more. The depression and boredom that previously haunted me faded away.
Upon returning to Egypt, with its notorious jammed traffic, I continued my practice of reading the Qur'ān and engaging in prayers (mentioning Allāh - tasbeeh) during my commute. I also made use of the radio to listen to valuable and insightful content. As a result, I accomplished something incredible - I learned 20 chapters (Juz') of the Qur'ān during my transportation time alone!
So, here is my story of learning the Qur'ān, The Book of Allāh. My suggestion to you is simple: utilise your time in traffic wisely. Whether it's reading the Qur'ān, delving into a useful book, or engaging in prayers, transform that seemingly wasted time into a precious opportunity for personal growth. Invest in this quality time, and you'll find yourself gaining a smile of hope amidst the traffic chaos.
May this story inspire you to make the most of every moment and turn the mundane into something special. The key lies in finding value and purpose in the pockets of time that life presents us, making each day a step closer to self-improvement and spiritual fulfilment.
The Transformative Power of the Quran: A Journey of Faith
A story told by Talha:
"There are a few people whom I know who question the practice of reciting the Qur'ān when you don’t understand the words. They think that because you don’t comprehend what you're reading, it’s pointless and doesn't yield much for you. I was looking at the calendar and started thinking about the time when I first began my journey to memorise the Qur'ān way back in 2010 – yeah, it's been 10 years since I first embarked on that path!
Simply put, I am where I am today because I was granted the ability to stick to the Qur'ān – even though I didn’t understand it. I still don’t understand it. But that doesn't mean I won't eventually get there. Maybe I haven't been granted that ability because I haven't made enough of an effort – or that I have not yet gained the mental capacity to understand. My hope and belief are that I will if Allāh wills.
Around the time that I decided to begin this journey, I was leaving behind a very dark time in my life. I had stopped reading the Qur'ān at the age of 11 because I was struggling to recite properly. I used to get stuck and make many mistakes, and in response, I received harsh words instead of the encouragement I needed to thrive. This made me want to give up reading, and I started to feel as if I was never going to be good at this. On top of all this, I began to hate my voice because people would make fun of me every time I read aloud.
Over the next 4 years, I started feeling like I was living a meaningless life that was devoid of any purpose. I felt as if things would never get better, and that I was going nowhere. At the end of this dark time, I had decided to leave high school because the environment wasn’t something I wanted to be a part of. I tried to fit in, but there was a major conflict with the values I learnt at home and the values normal society wanted me to adopt.
I had to endure taunts from people that I would never succeed because of the decision to leave high school. Those taunts didn't get any less or better when I embarked on the memorisation journey. But I chose to stick to my decision and push forward because I knew they didn't matter.
A few months after this decision, I started to memorise the Qur'ān. After making this decision, I slowly started to see many things change in my life. One of the very first things I noticed was my ability to think had strengthened -- within a matter of weeks. Isn’t it strange that I was reading and memorising a book that I didn’t – and don't - understand, but somehow that book had increased my mind's capabilities? One of the miracles of the Qur'ān itself. This directly affected my academics; my grades had significantly improved.
I still had trouble with my mindset because I didn't know why I was doing this. I didn't understand the significance behind my efforts. All I saw were the immediate effects this had on my life, and this pushed me to pursue this goal even harder. I started feeling differently, having a change of attitude, within a matter of months. I was much happier; I became more sociable and began to strengthen my relationship with my parents. More importantly, I started to develop a stronger relationship with the Qur'ān. A strange thing would happen if I went a couple of days without reciting – I would start to see myself slipping back into the same state I was before. When this would happen, I wouldn’t feel better until I read. This taught me that I needed the Qur'ān in my life to be happy.
But the struggle didn't end there. I then faced another challenge in the form of judgement. I was told that I wouldn't develop any social skills because I chose to finish my high school education online. I was told by people that I was never going to get anywhere in life and that memorising the Qur'ān would cause me to lose my confidence. I was even told that no one would ever want to marry a religious person. Being a 16-17-year-old kid, it was very difficult for me to push through all the noise because I saw no end to the journey I was on. I didn't know where it would take me and if there was any success at the end. I just put my head down, put my trust in Allah SWT, and kept going.
I fell behind in school, but I started to realise later on, and also now when I look back, that Allah SWT gave me all that time back, and put me way ahead of everyone that said I would get nowhere in life. Not only did I do everything that people said I wouldn't be able to, on account of my Qur'ān memorisation, I exceeded beyond my expectations. It was all very simply because I brought the Qur'ān into my life. Allah SWT is the master of time - When you give time to Him, He will give it back to you!
I was told I would fail in my education, but I finished my education and started my career earlier than most. I was told I wouldn't develop social skills, but I still got into University and made tons of connections, and am now working a job where I easily connect with people. I was told I would have a hard time finding someone to share my life with, and here I am happily married at a very young age. All this happened simply because I stuck to the Qur'ān. People will talk at every stage of your life. It is your choice whether you let it control you.
I share my story with the intention that those who have thought about it or are going through a similar process need to hear that things will get better. The journey is not an easy one, and the progress and life changes will not happen immediately. Don't expect immediate results. It's been a 10-year process for me, and I still believe that 10 years from now, if Allah wills, I will be in a much better place – but ONLY if I stick to the word of Allah SWT and make a consistent effort to grow closer to Him. The important thing is, if you have faith, you will not be disappointed.
If you are thinking of starting the journey – then say bismillah and start it! If you stumbled in your journey to complete it – then pull yourself up and get back out there. If you finished your journey and lost your relationship with the book of Allah SWT, then pick it back up! Allah will make it easy. The only question is – are you willing to put in the effort? The Qur'ān will change your life in ways you cannot imagine even if you don't understand it!"
Talha's message is one of hope and encouragement. He urges those on a similar path to believe that things will improve with time, and the Qur'ān will guide them towards a better future. The journey may be long, but faith and consistency will not disappoint. For those considering starting the journey or feeling disheartened along the way, Talha's story inspires you to begin, persevere, or rekindle your connection with the Qur'ān.
The essence of Talha's story lies in the transformational power of the Qur'ān, even when its words aren't entirely understood. It serves as a reminder that dedicating time to the Qur'ān can result in unforeseen blessings and lead one to places they never thought possible. The message resonates with everyone, emphasising the importance of faith and effort in unlocking potential to change lives in unimaginable ways.
Triumph Through Determination
This is the story of Rukayya.
I started my journey as a child in the UK when I was 5, attending the local madrassa. Memories of lots of kids and loud prayers, sneaking sweets under the benches, and extended trips to the toilets with friends.
At the age of 10, the imam of the madrassa and my dad had a chat and decided I should start Hifdh as they felt I had a very powerful memory, Alhamdulillah. I resisted, as all my friends were starting to leave madrassa, and I was afraid of the hard work I'd have to put in, having seen my sisters invest so much time and effort into their Hifdh. My three sisters are also hafidhas.
They insisted I give it a try, and when I did, I realised it wasn't so difficult, and I quite enjoyed it, so I continued. I started officially when I was 11 and finished when I was 15. Then I revised it and moved on to secular studies in college and university.
After qualifying as a nurse, I still read the Qur'ān, but it wasn't structured revision, and this continued after marriage as I balanced work and children. I went on to train as a Nurse Practitioner, and the Qur'ān was read looking in, but nobody had really listened to it properly since I left madrassa.
Life in London was a rat race, constantly chasing my tail. Both of us were working to pay the mortgage, with my husband working long hours and often away with work, while I brought up four little ones. The evenings were focused on their Islamic studies, but my Hifdh was still on a back burner.
After I moved to AD (presumably Abu Dhabi), I decided it was time to take a career break. Alhamdulillah, my husband was on board. This would give me a much-awaited chance to focus on my daughters. I also went to see the teacher at the local mosque in my area (reef). She corrected my tajweed and makharij straight away, and I must admit this caught me off guard, so I slowly stopped going.
I started teaching English as a foreign language, and while it was rewarding, I didn't feel at peace. Around the same time, my husband started his new job, and when he went to see the medical team at his new workplace, he mentioned in conversation that I was a nurse practitioner. They called me in for a chat, and the manager (a very kind Jordanian man) asked me questions about myself. He was very frank with me and said, "We will snap you up, but if you want my honest advice, if you don't need to work, I would stay home and focus on your Qur'ān and your daughters."
So, I took his advice, probably one of the best pieces of advice I received. I went home and continued my Hifdh at home, but it wasn't the same, so after a while, I went back to the local mosque.
It was at this point that one of the ladies, a lovely Malaysian sister and my dear friend, mentioned another Centre that I should attend too. She gave me a number that I called.
The teacher told me to come to the Centre, so they could assess me. When I got there, a lady ushered me into a room where another lady sat behind a desk. She spoke to me in Arabic, and I responded in English. It was quite daunting. They asked me to recite from anywhere in the Qur'an, so I did. The two ladies spoke in Arabic, and then the lady who had taken me in said, "You will come into my class."
I followed her to her class and walked into a room of 10-11 Arab women. My stomach was filled with butterflies. The teacher resumed her class, and I sat and listened. Their recitation was wonderful, and mine was terrible in comparison. I hoped she wouldn't ask me to recite in front of the class, and I thought I'd got away with it until she said my name. I wanted the ground to swallow me whole. My recitation was terrible in comparison to the others, but I recited, and everyone listened. She didn't correct me much.
In the break, the ladies were curious about me. Who was I? Why was I in their class if I didn't speak Arabic (the teacher spoke to me in English)? Was I married? Did I have kids, etc.? After the initial curiosity, they all went back to their chit-chat in Arabic. I sat there silently and observed them. I could feel the emotions kicking in. What was I doing here? I didn't speak the language, I didn't know anybody. But I got through the session.
When I got home and told my husband how I felt like a fish out of water, he said, "You don't have to do this." But I did! I couldn't run away because it was difficult. I needed to do this to ensure that my Qur'ān was still there. I needed to do this because all my life, I'd focused on social influences, and this time there wouldn't be any in this gathering because I didn't speak the language. I could truly focus on the Qur'ān. I needed to do this to set an example for my daughters. So many reasons!
So I went back. Now, the teacher started correcting me, and the other ladies helped me tremendously, explaining and advising. I became a part of the Centre. They recognised me, and I took part in their class competitions, sharing their teas and snacks at break. The teacher and I built a beautiful relationship. Alhamdulillah, it was quite poetic.
In 2018, I completed my Hifdh certification with them, after taking five very intense exams. When they had the awards ceremony, my teacher cried as she told the gathering about my journey despite not speaking their language. She hugged me and sobbed, and so did I. It was a very emotional day.
Since then, I've been practicing and training for my Sanad, but I realise I'm in no rush. The Qur'an isn't going anywhere, and I want to enjoy every moment of my journey, sharing what I can with my daughters as they complete their Hifdh, with friends, and with the world at large.
I am now a Hifdh teacher to my four daughters - two who have completed their first Hifdh khatam and two still persisting. I also help others, and I have now created a variety of platforms to support others on their journey.
I would be lying if I said it's been plain sailing. It hasn't. But nothing worth having comes easily.
Two Hifz Journeys of Dedication and Transformation
These are stories shared at Amaliah.
“Amany’s journey started when she was growing up in Egypt. She memorised the last three Juz (chapters) of Qur’an, as it is the tradition in Egypt but stopped as an adult. She is 48 now, a mother of three and works as a researcher at a university in London. During lockdown, Amany suddenly realised she had free time at home and wanted to get back on track with her Hifz journey. She found having a teacher extremely valuable, and preferred group online classes with people at a similar level as it was more engaging, as opposed to one on one classes. Her teacher would recite a page to the class each week, give Tafsir on the verses they would memorise, then students could ask any questions on the verses and had a week to memorise the page.
After a year, Amany’s teacher was no longer available and she found it hard to motivate herself. She found another friend, who could also read the Qur’an with proper tajweed, to memorise with. Having a committed friend was of great help for Amany to continue her memorisation. She also started using an app called Tarteel, which she found useful for testing and helped her with memorisation.
It took Amina Mujela-Botic over 10 years to memorise the Qur’an, and she completed it in January 2022. Born in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Amina graduated from the Faculty of Islamic Studies in Sarajevo. She is currently married and works at Jannah Institute as the student affairs coordinator and copywriter. Her Hifz journey started in high school, when her friend Zekijja motivated her to start this journey. But it wasn’t always easy. Amina was scared of starting her Hifz journey, due to fear of being labelled someone who started and then forgot the words of Allah. She had imagined she would have to look and act in a certain way to be crowned a Hafiza.
Everything came back to her intention. When she first started memorising the Qur’an, it was to make her parents proud and happy on the day of judgement. She saw Hifz as an opportunity to finally repay them for everything they had done for her in this life. As time passed, her intentions transformed. Amina became more focused on herself and realised that the words of Allah could not enter her heart as long as she was memorising them for someone else. It was at this point that her journey with the Qur’an became much more personal and connected.
Obstacles We May Encounter While Memorising the Qur’an
One of the most common misunderstandings is that memorising is only for the young or for men. While it definitely helps to start at a younger age, it should not deter you from starting later on in life. Age or gender is not a factor in doing good deeds. Memorising the Qur’an is never about others, it is purely about our relationship with Allah and strengthening that bond, regardless of age or gender.
Another significant barrier many people experience is the fear of forgetting the Qur’an. People stop other people from memorising the Qur’an by telling them, “if you forget, it’s a worse sin.” Instilling fear into others who are trying to do a good deed can be extremely debilitating. One of the struggles Amany faced when memorising was how much one ended up forgetting. Amany suggested when reciting new ayahs, to always recite the preceding ones along with it.
Her teacher told her that, “forgetting makes it part of worship because it’s not about where you reach with your Hifz, it’s about how much you engage with the Qur’an. Allah has made it that way so that when you forget, you engage with it more, and you are immensely rewarded for your efforts.”
One of the messages repeated throughout the ‘Crowning Venture’ is that memorising the Qur’an is a lifelong commitment; you never stop. You memorise, understand the meaning, recite, review and repeat. Don’t be afraid of what others will say or think, just start and keep going. Our life circumstances can change and it might mean we end up forgetting some Surahs. It’s not that we stop caring about our journey with the Qur’an, Allah knows what is in every heart. But we must get back on track as soon as we can.
For Amina, prioritising was a huge roadblock for her. She loved to be an active member of the Muslim community. She started to teach the Qur’an, lead projects in the community, all whilst being a full-time student. However, because of all of her commitments, her connection with the Qur’ān suffered. Once she started prioritising the Qur’an change followed, and Allah allowed her to finalise her memorisation.”
Memorising Qur'ān while still at school
"I embarked on the journey of Hifdh al-Quran when I was 15 years old. My daily routine involved returning from school and heading to the mosque in the evening to engage in Hifdh. In my class, there were only four boys, including myself, who were undertaking this noble task. Alhamdulillah, this meant we received individual attention from our Ustaad, who provided valuable assistance and motivation. Inspired by a lecture on YouTube by Mufti Menk, where he emphasised how the Hufadh of the Quran are always protected by angels like VIPs, and how the Quran itself serves as our shield, I felt deeply motivated. Encouraged by this, I discussed my aspirations with my family and proceeded with Hifdh.
The first year proved to be quite challenging. It was far from easy. Starting from Juz 30, even the initial Surahs posed difficulty. Some family members even discouraged me, suggesting that Hifdh was not meant for me, questioning my aptitude. Nevertheless, I paid no heed to such comments. My determination to become a Hafidh and lead Taraweeh prayers was unwavering. Amidst the struggle, when I reached Juz 26 (completing six Juz so far, having started from Juz 30), I approached my Ustaad, expressing my desire to quit Hifdh. I confessed feeling guilty about forgetting the previous Juz and concluded that Hifdh wasn't suitable for me.
At that moment, my Ustaad responded, "Perhaps Allah is delaying your progress so that you can spend more time with His Quran." This statement resonated with me. Although I still experienced guilt and frustration, I began putting in extra effort. I devoted an additional half-hour every day for revision and reviewed my lessons before attending Madrasah. I even requested my mother to test me more frequently, and through these actions, I witnessed improvement. Subhanallah! Now, at the age of 17, I have successfully completed 16 Juz, ensuring perfection in each one before moving on. Alhamdulillah, my current routine involves reciting one Juz and studying my new lesson every night, which has been effective for me. Kindly remember me in your prayers.
Allow me to conclude by saying that if any of you find yourselves at a stage where you contemplate giving up, please remember that you are memorising the Book of Allah. Allah Himself mentions in the Quran how He has made it easy for us. Subhanallah! Perhaps try altering your routine, allocate additional time, and seek assistance from others for testing. It will undoubtedly yield positive results. Even if it takes longer than expected, so what? It will bring you additional rewards in Jannah!"
Finding Light Through Adversity
"I started Hifdh al-Qur'ān last year, actually. I'm 32 years old, an engineer who works full-time. I had never read the Qur'ān before, to be honest, because I never had time or, shall I say, I never made time for the Qur'ān. May Allah forgive me. It was only after I was involved in a car accident, SubhanAllah, that my whole life changed. I had to quit work, was on a wheelchair, and a normal life for me became impossible. I had to rely on my family for everything. I got frustrated. You can imagine, someone who was working, had a nice job, social life... all was taken away from me in an instance! I hated life. During that period, my fiancé left me. It wasn't her fault. I became a very toxic person. I was tired of this life, bound to a wheelchair, with nothing to do. My life had changed, SubhanAllah. Now I say it's actually a blessing; it brought me close to my Lord. Yes, it was hard and frustrating, but I started to pray to God. It was only when I picked up the Quran and started to read that I realized I had completely forgotten how to even read the Quran! That's when I asked my brother to help me. I did attend Madrassah at a younger age, so when I started to recite again, it was coming back. I remember in Jummah, I spoke to one of the sheikhs in my local masjid, complaining about everything I was going through. I said, 'Sheikh, I'm so bored. I can't do anything. I can't go to work, and all day I get tired.' The sheikh said, 'Why don't you challenge yourself and start to memorise some surahs of the Qur'ān, and every day you can call me, and I can test you?' That's where it all started.
Forgive me, but I'm really cutting this story short. I would memorise some ayahs from Juz 30, call the sheik, he would test me, and I'd move on to the next. As days passed, I started to love it! I would enjoy memorising and would wait for the time I could call my Ustaad! I guess it got me busy. I was feeling happy. I found a purpose! Something to do. I know this sounds cheesy, but Wallahi, it's the truth! From Juz 30, I proceeded to Juz 29, 28, 27, and so on... I'm on Juz 17 now. I'm taking it slow. Each day as it comes. My method is literally repeating and testing myself by recording and then listening to Sheikh Mishary Al-Afasy. I find it helps me. I just want to say... you are never too old to memorise. Start now. Start today. Don't let something like a calamity make you start. I wish I had started earlier, but I know this accident was a blessing in disguise for me. Please keep me in your Duas. I'm getting better now health-wise, Alhamdulillah. For me, and maybe this is what faith is, but I believe I'll soon start to walk... as each letter of the Qur'ān I recite, I feel like it's the medicine for me! Hahaha! Yes, I know that sounds so cheesy, but trust me. I believe it. May Allah bless you for this amazing page! Keep me in your Duas, Your brother, Dawood."
His story serves as a powerful reminder that it's never too late to connect with the Quran, and even in the face of adversity, there can be moments of profound growth and transformation.
"My father is an Imam. When I was around 7 years old, we were living in a house that was 45 minutes away from the mosque where he would work. Every morning and evening during the car ride, my father would teach me Surahs from the Qur'ān. Through this, I learned the 30th Juz within a month Alhamdulillah. From there on, love for the Qur'ān was instilled in my heart, and reciting its beautiful words was a way for me to escape from the world. After having the 30th Juz memorised, I memorised a few more Surahs (e.g., Surah Baqarah, Surah Yaseen, Surah Kahf, Surah Rahman, etc.), however, my parents didn't pressure me about memorising the entire Qur'ān; they just wanted me to do as much as I could and, most importantly, not forget any of it. I then started going to a Madrassah in Nottingham, UK at 12 years old (in 2013) and decided to start proper Hifdh from Juz 1. A few months in, after memorizing 6 Juz, my family and I moved to Canada. Because of the big change, my routine was disrupted, and I found it so difficult to get back into Hifdh; until last year. Alhamdulillah, by the grace of Allah Subhanaho wa taa'la, I've decided that more than anything, I want to become a Hafidhah. I've memorised almost half of the Qur'ān, and my goal is to have it all memorised by next year. I'm blessed to have my father as my Ustaad, as seeing how proud he is of me constantly motivates me. Please remember my family and me in your duas and pray that I complete my Hifdh, InshaAllah. Also, forgot to mention that I'd like to stay anonymous. And as for which part of the world, well, I started my Hifdh in the UK, and InshaAllah, I'll finish in Canada."
The story highlights several valuable lessons. Firstly, the early exposure to the Qur'ān by his father exemplifies the importance of instilling a love for the Qur'ān from a young age. The gentle encouragement from the parents to memorise portions of the Qur'ān without excessive pressure fosters a positive and meaningful connection with the Qur'ān. The journey also underscores the resilience and determination required in Hifdh, as the he faced disruptions and challenges when relocating to a different country. However, with unwavering resolve, they later embraced their goal. The role of the father as the Ustaad showcases the significance of strong familial support and guidance in achieving spiritual goals.
A Hafidh in 5 years
Re-sharing the story from a youth club:
For me, the Hifdh journey was an amazing experience. I undertook this journey on my own, in my twenties. There was no institute to attend and no teacher to supervise this journey. It was something I did on my own, along with my studies, my job and all the routine chores of the house.
It was a journey that spanned almost 5 years. Let’s do some simple math: If you do 30 juzz in five years, you’re doing 6 juzz a year. That means 1 juzz in 2 months. That means 1 page in 3 days. Or 5 lines a day! Just 5 lines a day and you can become a hafidh in 5 years. It is as simple as that! As you proceed on the journey, Allah keeps on making the memorization and revision easier.
Imagine, if you had started 5 years back, you would be a hafidh today. No, rather imagine it the other way: if you were to start today, you would be a hafidh in 5 years inshaAllah.
But you know what the difficult part of this journey is? Consistency. That is the key ingredient. Some of you might be inspired to start today, but you will stop after a week, or a month or two. It is only those who persevere who succeed. Slow and steady does win the race.
Let’s be honest. We are humans. We have problems, mood swings, iman swings, lack of motivation, illness, travelling and Satanic whispers to deal with. There were days when the daily prayers became a burden, let alone memorization and revision. There were days when I was juggling too much stuff. There were days when all I wanted to do was sleep and unwind on a holiday. The mountain seemed too steep to climb. The journey had its ups and downs. But the thing is that despite everything, if you push yourself to achieve your daily goals on the rainy days, you get incredible days bathed in sunshine. If you can navigate the lows, only then do you get to enjoy the highs, the amazing highs!
And The Highs
Yes, there were also those days when I just could not get enough of the Quran, when I wanted to soak up all its warmth. There were days when the Quran spoke to my heart. There were days when I felt infinitely blessed to be on this journey. There were days when opening the Mushaf would bring tears to my eyes. There were days when I felt that I could trade the entire world to continue with and complete my hifdh. Yes, there were beautiful days and nights. And then, there was that day- which is yet the happiest day of my life- when I finally completed the hifdh. I cannot even try to describe that day in words.
Eyes on the Prize
On a long and arduous journey, what keeps one going is keeping the end in mind- the end in this world as well as the end in the next world. I would often open up the last page and imagine the day I would finally reach there. I would count the pages left till the end. I would be enjoying the journey, yet yearning for the destination. And then there is the real goal, the true end. There is a Day to come that I still imagine, that still keeps me going. That is the Day when inshaAllah it will be said to me in front of all creation:
“Recite and climb, and recite in a measured and melodious tone (tarteel) like you used to recite in the dunya. Then indeed your station will be at the last ayah that you recite.”
I imagine a station which is al-Firdaus, right below the Throne of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala. I imagine the Day on which my Mom and my Dad will be given crowns and resplendent gowns to wear inshaAllah.
Slow and Steady
In the first twenty or so years of life, we are taught to go slow and steady, in order to learn, grow and achieve our goals. That is how everything in nature is grown and nurtured. That is how we progress from Pre-School to Primary to Secondary to University. That is how we become doctors and engineers. We trudge to school, college and then university, day in and day out, whether we like it or not. Later on in life, it is this same principle that we need to apply to grow in physical, mental, emotional and spiritual dimensions. We need to go slow and steady, very steady. We need self-discipline.
Go to the gym every single day for an hour. You’ll get your desired fitness.
Cook one new dish every single day. You’ll become a master chef in a year.
Read for half an hour every single day. You’ll finish literary and scholarly masterpieces, without even knowing it.
Dedicate one hour to learning an interesting language. You’ll start to speak like a native.
You can achieve more than you can imagine by just sticking to something and doing it regularly. Slow means: don’t go too hard on yourself. And steady means: don’t go too easy on yourself either. Some days, you will have to just force yourself to keep going, keeping the end in mind.
Once upon a time, my inbox bore testimony to all the courses I signed up for but never really followed through till the end. Flitting around like a butterfly doesn’t take one anywhere.
Today, my hifdh is a constant reminder for me to stay consistent in whatever I do. The journey is far over. There is daily revision and review to be done. For indeed, the Quran is quick to leave the hearts if due attention is not given to it. There is still a long journey ahead: to continue to understand, internalize, and implement the Quran. But the message my hifdh gives me every day is: Stay Strong. Keep going.
Fatimah’s story of memorising the Qur'ān
Re-sharing Fatimah's story:
It was during a difficult time in my life, I opened the Quran, hoping to receive guidance. For the first time, I read with contemplation, opening my heart to the words I would usually rush through. I felt my heart expand, and a sense of tranquility washed over me. I read until it felt like the veils between my Creator and me had been lifted. I felt a closeness to Him that I had never experienced before. Tears covered my face. “Oh, Allah, forgive me,” I whispered. I had neglected the Quran for too long. To taste the sweetness that came with reciting the Quran was enough for me to promise never to stay far from it again. I was captivated by words so beautiful. Words that will remain unmatched and unchanged. Words that were sent by Allah (SWT) for the guidance of mankind. The guidance I was in absolute need of.
Whether you wish to memorize the Quran or increase your recitation, know that it has been made easy for you. With the right intention and by seeking the help of Allah, anything is possible. You have to take the step. Steps taken with the purpose of seeking the pleasure of Allah (SWT) reap countless blessings. I have seen it with my eyes, and I have felt it with my heart. If you are looking for a positive change in your life, make the Quran your companion and Allah (SWT), your friend.
I’m always amazed at the statement of al-Hasan al-Basri, where he says that the hafidh of the Qur’an is not just preserving the Qur’an through his hifdh. No, rather, the Qur’an is what is preserving him or her. The more we surround ourselves with the Qur’an and busy ourselves with its recital and memorisation, the more Allah preserves and protects us through it.
When we think about how, at times, thousands of Angels descended with just one surah (e.g., Al-An’am) or one verse, it is no surprise to know that Angels surround, protect, and walk alongside the huffadh of Qur’an who spend their days in the company of this Book.
It is no surprise if, due to their continuous recital, they find their lives blossoming, their affairs being taken care of, their illnesses being removed, their hearts being settled in peace, things working out for them, and so on. When you preserve the Qur’an, realize that the Qur’an preserves you tons more. May Allah make us amongst the people of the Qur’an, ameen.”
To be among those whom Allah (SWT) has chosen to protect His Book is a beautiful responsibility. Words are not enough to perfectly describe the numerous ways in which memorizing the Quran can impact one’s life. It must be felt, by you, the reader. By reading the Quran aloud and consistently, is enough to feel the magnitude of its effect, but to delve into studying and memorizing it, is to live by its effect.
The moment you set sail on your journey of hifdh you are met with waves of excitement, you will see the pearls of your sacrifice, and you will always have the right navigation, InshaAllah. Learn, study, memorize the Book of Allah:
For the Pleasure of Allah
Whatever we do, we should do it for the pleasure of Allah. Our intention lights up the way on our journey, keeping us focused, reminding us that no action is worth doing if it is only to please ourselves or others rather than our Creator. Correct your intention every day. An honour from Allah is far greater than any we could receive in this world. You will be from the ones whom Rasulullah (saw) described as,
“Indeed, Allah has people from amongst Mankind who are from His Household (i.e., very dear ones): The People of Qur’an, they are the People of the Household of Allah and His Special Ones…” (Ahmad, Ibn Majah)
For the Reformation of Character
Slowly but surely, the negative traits within you begin to dissipate as the light of Allah surrounds you. Your usual behaviour, words, and manners start to leave you feeling uneasy. Something within you longs for a change. Your approach becomes more soft, kind, and humble. You begin to feel the pain you cause others, and you begin to feel the remorse of sins.
Most importantly, you begin to question how Allah sees you. Have I gained His pleasure or earned His displeasure? It becomes the most crucial concern in your life.
When the love of Allah grows in your heart, overflowing to a point where you are able to share it with others, you become conscious of your duty to Allah as well as your commitment to people.
When you allow the Quran to enter your heart:
- Frustration becomes patience,
- Envy becomes contentment,
- Judgement becomes empathy,
- Bitterness becomes forgiveness,
- Anger becomes rare,
- Fear becomes trust,
- Sadness becomes gratitude,
- Grief becomes acceptance.
Ill feelings become too heavy to carry. You begin to forgive eagerly, ensuring nothing negative harbours in your heart. It is Allah (SWT) who purifies our hearts through the Quran. SubhanAllah.
For guarding against sins
Gradually you become disturbed by sin and left with a feeling of uneasiness. You come to a point where you don’t want to do anything that displeases Allah. Your love for Allah (SWT) and His Book stops you from continuing on a path that is destructive for your Akhirah. Abdul Wahhaab Ash-Sha’raani has quoted in ‘At-Tabaqaatul Kubra’ the following statement of a pious person:
“When a reciter of the Qur’an goes towards any sin, the Qur’an in his heart calls out to him/her, saying, “By the oath of Allah! You have not studied me so that you could perpetrate this.” If the sinner could only hear this call, he would die out of shame and embarrassment.” (Wasiyyatul-Aaadaab)
For happiness, peace, and contentment
The Messenger (saw) said,
“No people gather together in one of the Houses of Allah, reciting the Book of Allah and studying it among themselves, except that Sakeenah (Tranquility) descends upon them, and Mercy envelops them, and the angels surround them, and Allah mentions them amongst those who are with Him.”
Through His Book, Allah softens, changes, and fixes hearts. The mercy and blessings of Allah descend on the huffadh and all that surrounds him. Suddenly he sees the light where there is darkness and finds ease during times of distress. Even the challenges in life seem more bearable. Trust in Allah becomes easier; life becomes a peaceful journey with Him by your side.
There is a certain happiness, peace, and contentment that comes from drawing close to Allah through His Book. It contains a love so pure; it is unwavering and fulfilling. If you’ve ever experienced an emptiness within you, like a void that cannot be filled, it is a sign that your soul is starving for the love of its Creator. It is the warmth your heart knows and has always been searching for. It is home.
For the sweetness of salaah & imaan
The Quran becomes your companion in life. Hours, days, and nights go by in memorization and continuous recitation. Your Salaah is enriched with the new surahs you learn. Your recitation blossoms with new interest. Whether it is standing in the night prayers or doing revision to strengthen what you have learnt, the time with the Quran becomes a sweet embrace after a stressful day.
It becomes the comfort you seek and a special time with Allah (SWT). A time where you can enjoy the beautiful words and ponder over its message, dreaming of a place where “no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no heart can ever imagine.” It is a piece of Jannah in this temporary world.
“If the people of this world take delight in their world and the people of status take delight in their status and the people of wealth take delight in their wealth, then the bearer of Qur’aan is more worthy of taking delight in the speech of Allah which is not moved by the Dunya and all that is in it of temporary enjoyment.”
Committing to memorizing the Quran will be one of the best decisions you make. May Allah make it easy for all those who wish to embark on this journey, those in the process of memorization and those who have completed it. May Allah make us all steadfast. Ameen.4 - Like and share!