By Sarah Salih
The Quran is Allah’s message to us. It was entrusted to the Prophet (saws) who sacrificed everything to get it to you and I. There’s no doubt that it should play a significant role in our day to day lives, but sometimes we can wonder, how?
Before the how, though, a more pressing question would be the why.
One of our predecessors, Ibn Taymiyyah, was asked, “How much Quran should we read?” They responded by saying “Equivalent to the amount of happiness you are looking for.” Amazing. Our proportion of happiness and contentment is directly linked to our relationship with the Quran. This is also captured beautifully within the following verse;
“الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَتَطْمَئِنُّ قُلُوبُهُم بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ ۗ أَلَا بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ”
“Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of Allah . Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured.”
Assurance from the Most High. That is its function in our lives. In other places within the Quran itself, Allah describes it as guidance [هدى], light [نور], mercy [رحمة], a criterion [فرقان], a ‘congratulations’ (glad tidings) [بشرى] – everything that we could possibly need to get through this life. It’s our moral compass. It gives us perspective when things become chaotic. It gives us depth when superficiality overcomes the masses and it gives us understanding in times of dire confusion.
Now that we’ve established the role the Quran is supposed to play in our lives what are some practical steps in order to make this happen?
More often than not, the first things that come to mind would be learning how to read the Quran properly (tajweed), memorising it (hifdh) and learning its language. While these are all noble endeavours that are almost incumbent for us to take on in some capacity- they are all a means to an end. The end is for the Quran to have a direct impact on our hearts. We need to reflect on it, feel it and most importantly, live it.
Now for the ‘how’.
Point #1 – Personalise the Experience
The beauty of this book is that there is more than one way to engage with it. Some people feel solace in listening, others feel intellectually stimulated through understanding, some find inspiration in the translation of its meaning; others are all of the above! Consistency can be attained through finding out what works for *you*.
If you’re a listener, play one part a day for an arbitrary time of 20 minutes. The condition here, though, is that it isn’t merely background noise. Lay down, occupy yourself with nothing and really listen. Alternatively, go through a podcast series- this option is great for those busier days. A podcast can be listened to on your commute to school, work etc., between tasks or even during tasks (depending on your multitasking skills).
If you’re a reader or opt to study the Quran then allocate a portion of your day to sitting down, going through a translation and making note of personal reflections (also known as active reading).If you’ve managed fluency in your recitation then add that into your daily routine, too. If you’re on your way to fluency, try to enrol into a class where you attend once a week. It’ll guarantee your weekly dosage of development. If commitment is difficult then the next best thing would be to find a friend or a family member to read to, as often as you can.You’ll notice a wonderful difference in your time once reciting Quran has become a consistent part of it.
Point #2 – Try Something New
Leading on from point one, after developing a routine of engaging with the Quran in the way that suits you best, try something new! Switch it up every now and again to experience the Quran in different ways and bear the fruits of all methods.
Point #3 – Always Make Time
We live in a time where you can get access to pretty much anything with a click of a button. If you missed your daily Quran session as you would formally do it, whip out your phone as soon as you remember and read a little.
When it comes to the Book of Allah or growing in our faith in general, the slightest effort makes all the difference. So never shy away from making an effort even if you perceive it to be imperfect or inadequate.
Point #4 – Maintaining Motivation
One of the key ways of maintaining consistency in our relationship with the Quran is by staying motivated. There are layers and layers of virtues, as well as benefits of being connected to the Quran communicated to us through prophetic traditions and the classical works of our scholars. Some virtues may inspire you more than others. Whichever do, put them somewhere where they will serve as a regular reminder. Your bedroom wall, for example- your computer at work, your diary, your phone- anywhere you can always see! It’ll rejuvenate your will and enhance your motivation.To get the ball rolling here’s some gems that I found;
On learning and teaching the Quran:
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “The best among you (Muslims) are those who learn the Qur’an and teach it.” [Bukhari]
On being occupied with the Quran:
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “The Lord, Blessed and Most High is He, has said: ‘Whoever is too busy with the Qur’an and remembering Me from asking Me, then I shall give him more than what I give to those who ask.’ And the virtue of Allah’s Speech over the speech of others is like the virtue of Allah over His creation. [Tirmidhi]
On memorising the Quran:
The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “It shall be said – meaning to the one who memorized the Qur’an – ‘Recite, and rise up, recite (melodiously) as you would recite in the world. For indeed your rank shall be at the last Ayah you recited.’ [Tirmidhi]
The Quran as an Intercessor:
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “Read the Qur’an, for it will come as an intercessor for its reciters on the Day of Resurrection.” [Muslim]
Remember, any effort taken to connect further with the Quran will be blessed and appreciated by Allah and without a doubt, entirely worth it. You’ll reap the fruits of it in this world and the next. What are your tips for maintaining a consistent relationship with the Quran? Leave them in the comments below!