Dear readers, I hope you are back to see how I had fared in the Surah an-noor memorization contest. I had tried hard and had managed to memorize surah an noor within a month’s time. Still I hoped that the contest was postponed by a week. Even a day’s delay could have improved my recitation drastically.Contestant was held as scheduled .
I waited in a room along with other contestants to be called for recitation. Fortunately, we didn’t have to recite on stage in font of one another. Our flaws wouldn’t be exposed to one another.Phew. Still, I was much tensed. I was able to hear my heart aloud. Whenever I am tensed, I try to see things through other’s perspective. This helps me a lot. I closed my quran and started looking at other participants in the room. They seemed equally tensed too. They were all reciting surah annoor. Amidst buzz, I was able to hear each one of them clearly. I have to admit, I was mesmerized by the way they were reciting. It was Honey to ears. They had all spent a month like me to memorize quran. I wondered, amidst how many challenges, these ladies should have memorized. Some should have struggled more than me; memorizing 10 pages in a week shouldn’t have been a big deal for few others. Though we all had come there for the same purpose our Ajar (good deeds) would vary.
Soon I was called for recitation. There were two section of verses to be recited (picked from a lot) – I did one well and other not so well. I knew I wouldn’t be shortlisted and asked my kind judges where I should improve. I had to recite slower and work more on letter “ain” and “Ha”. Yes! this is where the contest end for me. My hubby was very disappointed. He was sure, I will be called back. For him my recitation was perfect. Do I have to write how flattered I felt then? J Two days later I received SMS confirming my rejection.
Dear reader, what do you think about this struggle. Do you think, my efforts were in vain? If winning was my intension, IT SHOULD BE A BIG LOSS. This contest boosted my confidence.
- For once, I was convinced Quran memorization is a possible task for me! I had managed to memorize more than I could have ever imagined memorizing in a month’s time.
- It showed me it was possible to have a strong relation with quran outside the month of Ramadan. (As I had discussed in introduction). For the first time in my life I had Quran in my hands like a baby in a mother’s arm, or like a subject book before exams. And the last few days were spent like last few nights of Ramadan. Devil which needs to be locked away by us is ‘ Nafs’- it’s within us.
- It made me reflect on the time/life I had wasted. We could all do so much more within a day! If we could just overlook our excuses, we can work for better eternity. Our excuses cannot save us from ultimate Loss. I pondered upon self- improvement.
- Yes, we are weak beings and have a great chance of drifting away. This doesn’t mean we should give up. It’s time to start afresh. Remember, I hadn’t memorized for a week; Much to my surprise, by Allah’s grace –I had managed to catchup!
- And the biggest reward is indeed, having by hearted surah Annoor.
Alhamdhulillah, I am glad I participated in this contest. Insha Allah, if I again get a chance to participate in such a contest, I wouldn’t let it pass by. Insha Allah, there will come a day when I won’t be eligible for the contest – as the surah allotted for the contest would be one I’ve already memorized.
Still, it cannot to be ignored; In spite of my best efforts (so far- in my life), I had not even been short listed for finals! It was a big reminder that – ALLAH IS NOT SHORT OF HIS WORSHIPPERS. He doesn’t need my prayers and sacrifices. IT’S ME WHO DESPERATELY NEEDS HIM. Whatever I do to please Him will only benefit me in Hereafter. We have absolutely no idea – how well we will fair in hereafter. How can we feel assured with what little we do, that we’ll live an eternity in bliss?
Even an extra day of practice could have helped me lot in improving my recitation. But this was all the time I had. LIFE- ALSO HAS A BEGINNING AND AN END. Sad part is, we don’t know when we will leave the world. Still we live as though there is no end. We are happy with entertainment life has to offer and avoid spending enough time with Quran. I hope we are not amidst those who cry in vain with a request to be sent back to do some righteous work. LET’S BE PREPARED.
I recollect how tensed we participants were prior to the recital. Majority of us were concerned about our own recitation (of course, this should be the focus). This made me reflect on Day of resurrection – when we would be waiting to be judged. That would be the real tensed day, when all will fear the anger of Allah. It is this thought which made me be little the tension in the room. On that day of gathering, we would run away from those we are close too. Only thing that would matter to us is – HAVING OUR RIGHTEOUS DEEDS. How nice Insha Allah would it be, to be in peace amidst 7 who are promised shade when there is no other shade except of his throne. Shouldn’t we care to be amidst them?
Life is a gift filled with opportunities. The opportunity bestowed upon us will not be keep waiting for us. If we don’t grab it someone else would utilize the chance to get close to Allah. Even a smallest act could have great impact. I don’t remember who had sent the message about contest in the WhatsApp group. Though that lady had not participated in the contest, she has been part of my journey! May Allah reward her for bothering to forwarding the message. How many of us would have done it? Be generous in forwarding such messages even if you can’t avail the opportunity. You never know in which small deed there could be limitless blessing.
And think about the amount of blessings the organizers of the contest should have earned by attracting people like me towards memorization! Allah-o-akbar.
We, within our limits can also encourage others towards righteousness. Why not hold a small quiz contest amidst kids on oft repeated words/invocation in islam? During get together kids/grownups can be asked to prepared a speech on certain topics (About a sahaba(companion) or on ‘How to respect parents’). Providing such opportunities could build interest towards islam. It could leave a deep impact on a kid.
Other thing which struck my cord was, how shocked my husband was with my rejection. This reminded me of a hadith:
That’s scary! I seek refuge in Allah from being amidst such. Here, even during contest my flaws in recitation were hidden from other contestants. It was such a relief. I hope Allah, the Gafoor (oft forgiving) overlooks and forgives my short coming.
And I’m to reveal a heavy secret. Few days after contest, I found it tough to recollect few verses. It’s important to keep revising and reciting the memorized verses. MEMORIZING QURAN IS EASY. RETAINING IT IS TOUGH. (Unless a fixed time is allotted for revision) The contest is over. But it’s upto me to retain Light from this contest. May Allah help us to memorize, revise and retain Quran in our heart. Ameen.
Increase me in light, increase me in light, increase me in light .
Hold on to Quran; Organize your life around Salah; Rush towards righteousness; Save for your hereafter. Insha Allah, with this we could have real paradise vacation as permanent destination in store for us. Let’s make LIFE A SOURCE OF LIGHT.