Love comes from knowledge. When you learn about a person, when you hear him speak, when you see his actions; admiration and fascination build until your heart becomes filled with attachment, longing and love for this person.
Most of us recite the Qur’an without understanding its meaning. We can pronounce the Arabic letters that form words, but we cannot comprehend the speech of the Creator of the Heavens and Earth. We race to complete the recitation of the Qur’an in Ramadan, only to lose steam somewhere in the second or third week. Once Ramadan is over, and the incentive to complete the Qur’an diminishes, we often find ourselves struggling to pick it up again throughout the year.
How are we supposed to know Allah SWT so that our admiration and fascination grows deep enough to long for Him, if we cannot understand His Speech?
The only way is through the Qur’an and it necessitates comprehending what we are reading.
I invite you to try something different this Ramadan. Try to fall in love with the Speech of Allah SWT, so that you become attached to reading the Qur’an every night after the blessed month comes to an end. Forming a relationship to the Qur’an is essentially building a relationship with your Creator.
In August of 2007, a few weeks before Ramadan, I decided to listen to the Qur’an in Arabic while reading the English translation simultaneously. I was illiterate in Arabic. I could speak the language but couldn’t read or write nor understand the depth of the Arabic language in the Qur’an.
I turned to the Words of Allah that August searching for healing for my broken heart. Not only did listening with understanding heal me from the inside out, it completely changed me. It changed how I perceived the world. It changed how I responded to calamities. It taught me the names and attributes of Allah SWT which became the foundation of my Tawheed.
The more I listened with understanding, the more I changed. After 1 year of having the Qur’an become part of my daily life, I had a burning desire to wear the Hijab (and so 3 days before Ramadan 2008, I put it on). In the following weeks, I longed to learn Arabic so that I could recite directly from the Qur’an.
In the past 13 years, I have never read the Qur’an in Arabic cover-to-cover. I have tried several times, each Ramadan, but somehow It has always been a monumental effort. This doesn’t take away from the relationship I have formed with the Qur’an. The ayat and surahs that have touched my heart and have transformed my life.
I no longer focus on trying to complete the entire book – instead, I challenge myself to fall in love with a new ayah or a new surah that I haven’t read before. Understanding what I’m reading is the key to falling in love.
From comprehending and reflecting upon what I read, I have fallen in love with the Qur’an. Surat Al Anam, Surat Ar-Rahman and Surat Al Hadid have created a connection and understanding of Allah SWT that fill my heart with love and longing. Surat Al Fath, Surat Al-Muzzamil, and Surat Al Muddathir ignite attachment to the Prophet Muhammad SAWS. The stories in Surat Yusef, Surat Maryam, Surat Taha, Surat As-Saffaat developed a love and appreciation for the life and struggles of other Prophets A.S.
But I cannot feel these connections to the Qur’an if I simply recite words I cannot comprehend. Although I am a native Arab speaking Muslimah, my understanding of traditional Arabic is weak, and I still cannot fully grasp the depth of the Qur’an without the English translation or Tafseer.
So, before you race to recite the Qur’an and mark it as complete without understanding it or letting it change you, I urge you to slow down. Recite a page or two, while reading the translation after every ayah. Give yourself time to reflect on what you just read before moving on to read the next verse.
I have designated 15 minutes before bed just for reading Qur’an. This is the time of solitude where I can connect to the past stories, the future events that will unfold and the present guidance I need from Allah in order to thrive both spiritually and physically in this world.
Once you have a connection to the Qur’an, you begin to seek different surahs and ayat depending on your situation, sadness or calamity that you might be facing.
Whenever I want to make dua, and I want my heart to feel certain that Allah SWT is going to answer my supplication, I recite the following verses.
There is almost an entire page in the Qur’an where Allah SWT details the duas of some of the Prophets A.S. and how He SWT responded to them. It is the Chapter called Surah Al Anbiya, ayat 83-90
And ˹remember˺ when Job cried out to his Lord, “I have been touched with adversity, and You are the Most Merciful of the merciful.”
So We answered his prayer and removed his adversity, and gave him back his family, twice as many, as a mercy from Us and a lesson for the ˹devoted˺ worshippers.
And ˹remember˺ Ishmael, Enoch, and Ⱬul-Kifl. They were all steadfast.
We admitted them into Our mercy, for they were truly of the righteous.
And ˹remember˺ when the Man of the Whale stormed off ˹from his city˺ in a rage, thinking We would not restrain him. Then in the ˹veils of˺ darkness he cried out, “There is no god ˹worthy of worship˺ except You. Glory be to You! I have certainly done wrong.”
So We answered his prayer and rescued him from anguish. And so do We save the ˹true˺ believers.
And ˹remember˺ when Zachariah cried out to his Lord, “My Lord! Do not leave me childless, though You are the Best of Successors.”
So We answered his prayer, granted him John, and made his wife fertile. Indeed, they used to race in doing good, and call upon Us with hope and fear, totally humbling themselves before Us.
If you are fighting with your husband, recite the opening verse of Surat Al Mujadila (Ayat 1) and then complain of your grief to Allah.
Indeed, Allah has heard the argument of the woman who pleaded with you ˹O Prophet˺ concerning her husband, and appealed to Allah. Allah has heard your exchange. Surely Allah is All-Hearing, All-Seeing.
If you are barren and desire to be blessed with a child, recite these verses to instill certainty in your heart that your duas will be accepted, just as Zachariah was blessed with a child in his old age. (Surat Maryam ayat 1-5)
˹This is˺ a reminder of your Lord’s mercy to His servant Zachariah,
when he cried out to his Lord privately,
saying, “My Lord! Surely my bones have become brittle, and grey hair has spread across my head, but I have never been disappointed in my prayer to You, my Lord!
And I am concerned about ˹the faith of˺ my relatives after me, since my wife is barren. So grant me, by Your grace, an heir,
I ask Allah SWT to grant us all the gift of understanding the Noble Qur’an. I pray that He SWT blesses us with a deeper love and connection that creates longing to read the best of Speech every day. May Allah SWT make the Qur’an the spring of our hearts, the light of our chest, the departure for our sorrows and a release for our anxieties.
Aiman Attar is a marketing consultant turned into an herbalist-in-training and a researcher in Traditional Nutrition and Prophetic Medicine. As a mother of 5, her objective is to prevent illness as well as heal and nourish herself and her family according to the teachings of Islam and traditional medicine She wasn’t satisfied with the Standard American Diet (SAD) or the lack of solutions of modern medicine, so she discovered the path of wellness from traditional nourishment and remedies that can fit our busy, chaotic lifestyle. You can find her blogging at http://nurasunna.com/