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 Qurâ€™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 Qurâ€™an in Ramadan, only to lose steam somewhere in the second or third week. Once Ramadan is over, and the incentive to complete the Qurâ€™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 Qurâ€™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 Qurâ€™an every night after the blessed month comes to an end. Forming a relationship to the Qurâ€™an is essentially building a relationship with your Creator.
In August of 2007, a few weeks before Ramadan, I decided to listen to the Qurâ€™an in Arabic while reading the English translation simultaneously. I was illiterate in Arabic. I could speak the language but couldnâ€™t read or write nor understand the depth of the Arabic language in the Qurâ€™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 Qurâ€™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 Qurâ€™an.
In the past 13 years, I have never read the Qurâ€™an in Arabic cover-to-cover. I have tried several times, each Ramadan, but somehow It has always been a monumental effort. This doesnâ€™t take away from the relationship I have formed with the Qurâ€™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 â€“ instead, I challenge myself to fall in love with a new ayah or a new surah that I havenâ€™t read before. Understanding what Iâ€™m reading is the key to falling in love.
From comprehending and reflecting upon what I read, I have fallen in love with the Qurâ€™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 Qurâ€™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 Qurâ€™an without the English translation or Tafseer.
So, before you race to recite the Qurâ€™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 Qurâ€™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 Qurâ€™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 Qurâ€™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 Ë¹rememberËº when Job cried out to his Lord, â€œI have been touched with adversity, and You are the Most Merciful of the merciful.â€
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 Ë¹devotedËº worshippers.
And Ë¹rememberËº Ishmael, Enoch, and â±«ul-Kifl. They were all steadfast.
We admitted them into Our mercy, for they were truly of the righteous.
And Ë¹rememberËº when the Man of the Whale stormed off Ë¹from his cityËº in a rage, thinking We would not restrain him. Then in the Ë¹veils ofËº darkness he cried out, â€œThere is no god Ë¹worthy of worshipËº except You. Glory be to You! I have certainly done wrong.â€
So We answered his prayer and rescued him from anguish. And so do We save the Ë¹trueËº believers.
And Ë¹rememberËº when Zachariah cried out to his Lord, â€œMy Lord! Do not leave me childless, though You are the Best of Successors.â€
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 Ë¹O ProphetËº 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)
Ë¹This isËº a reminder of your Lordâ€™s mercy to His servant Zachariah,
when he cried out to his Lord privately,
saying, â€œMy 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 Ë¹the faith ofËº 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 Qurâ€™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 Qurâ€™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 wasnâ€™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/