Slow At Reading The Qur’an? REJOICE!

Bismillaahirrahmaanirrahiim…
Assalaamu’alaikum Wr. Wbt.
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It’s the month of the most awaited by most Believers. Many may not even know why Ramadhan is so special yet they’re still able to feel the beauty in this blessed month. That itself, shows how beautiful Ramadhan is. People are chasing for rewards, they’re more conscious of Allah SWT, they perform good deeds and leave the evil.

I’ll not dwell too much into what can and should be done during Ramadhan but I’ll just go straight into the core of Ramadhan – Qur’an. The Qur’an was revealed in this particular month of Ramadhan. It’s the month of the Qur’an even before fasting was being revealed to our Prophet SAW. Angel Jibril (a.s) used to meet Rasulullah SAW every Ramadhan to read the Qur’an to him and listened to him reciting. On the year of Rasulullah SAW passing, he had to recite the Qur’an twice which was a hint that it’s his last year on earth.

That’s the Sunnah in Ramadhan. To read and listen to the Qur’an. Take this opportunity to perform as much Sunnah as possible because rewards for good deeds are multiplied. This is the month when the gates of heaven are opened and the gates of hell are closed. Whispers of syaitan are gone because they are being locked up. It’s all about you. It’s you who’s controlling yourself now.

Reciting the Qur’an is one of the easiest ways to gain rewards. Rasulullah SAW says:

“Whoever recites a letter from the Book of Allah, he will be credited with a good deed, and a good deed gets a ten-fold reward. I do not say that Alif-Lam-Mim is one letter, but Alif is a letter, Lam is a letter and Mim is a letter.” [at-Tirmidhi]

Let me tell you a story about me and my experience with Qur’an. I was granted permission by my ustazah to read the Qur’an at the age of 10. During my weekly Madrasah, I’ll always escape from reciting the Qur’an. I didn’t even manage to complete Surah Al-Baqarah. Even after the end of my weekly Madrasah, I kept giving excuses until the age of 22. I finally realised that I wasn’t able to identify Arabic words that swiftly. It took me soooo long just to read one verse of the Qur’an. I gave up and told myself I need to start back from Iqra’. So I attended Iqra’ classes with uncles and aunties as my classmates. If it took me so long to identify letters, it took them even much longer to decipher the letters in front of them. But their determination is just MasyaAllah.

So yes. It’s been two years now and I’m still not that swift and smooth in my recitation. I fumbled a lot. Like really a lot. And I’m just monotonous. I think I have some kind of tone deaf. Huhu.

Really. It’s not too late. And it’s never too late. It’s only too late when the Angel of Death visits you. But you’ll never know when he will come. So start now my dear brothers and sisters.

Whenever you feel like giving up on reading because you’re so frustrated with yourself not being able to read the Qur’an fluently, remind yourself of this beautiful hadith:

“The one who is proficient in the recitation of the Qur’an will be with the honorable and obedient scribes (angels) and he who recites the Qur’an and finds it difficult to recite, doing his best to recite it in the best possible way, will have a double reward. ” [al-Bukhari]

However, do not use the hadith above as an excuse for you not to improve your recitation. You need to improve reading it. Go for Qur’an reading classes, find someone who can point out your mistakes, get someone who’s as motivated as you to complete the Qur’an together. Once you manage to grasp the fundamentals of reciting the Qur’an, teach it to others.

“The best of you are those who learn the Qur’an and teach it.” [al-Bukhari]

Qur’an is the Book of Guidance. Reciting is one thing, understanding is another. There’s no use of reciting the Qur’an if you do not understand what message Allah SWT tries to send. It’s like reading a Spanish book but not understanding the content. Living in an Arab country for almost 2 years now just proves how people can be so ignorant yet they memorise the Qur’an from cover to cover.

Let us pray that we do not fall into this category that Allah SWT mentioned in the Qur’an:

“Do they not then reflect on the Qur’an? Nay, on the hearts there are locks.” (Muhammad: 24)

Our Prophet Muhammad SAW loved listening to his companions reciting the Qur’an despite him being the greatest reciter of the Qur’an. His eyes would shed tears contemplating on Allah SWT’s words. What about us? May we not be among those whose hearts are locked.

A friend of mine once shared with me this trick. Whenever you feel down and need someome to talk to, randomly open up any page of the translated version of the Qur’an and read any verse that your heart brings you to. You’ll realise as if Allah SWT is talking directly to you. Internalize the meaning and ponder on them.

Another trick my friend shared with me was to change the second and third person personal pronoun to first person. For example:

“When you sought aid from your Lord, so He answered you: I will assist you with a thousand of the angels following one another.” (al-Anfal: 9)

Read it as:

“When I sought aid from my Lord, so He answered me: I (Allah) will assist me with a thousand of the angels following one another.”

That way, there’ll be a greater impact on you and you’ll feel like Allah is directly addressing you when reading the Qur’an. Allah has lots of things that He wants to tell us. His Book has everything that we need to feed our soul. The Qur’an contains both cure and mercy, and also admonition and lessons.

“And We send down of the Qur’an that which is healing and mercy for the believers.” (al-Isra’: 82)

“But remind by the Qur’an whoever fears My threat” (Qaf: 17)

Make the Qur’an your best friend cz it shows that you’re actually having Allah SWT as your best friend. Get a pocket sized Qur’an and it’s meaning. Bring it with you everywhere. Since it’s Ramadhan now, try to complete the whole Qur’an within this month. You’ll realise there’ll not be a time whereby you’re bored. You’ll always be occupied with your ‘best friend’.

May we be amongst those who will always be guided. May we die with the Qur’an in our hands and importantly in our heart. May the Qur’an come as an intercessor for us on the Day of Resurrection.

WAllahualam.

+ Sources for this post regarding Qur’an are extracted from the book “Tafsir of The Last Qur’anic Juz’ and Tafsir of Surah Al-Fatihah, Ayatul-Kursi Summarised from Tafsir Ibn Kathir and The Most Needed Topics for Muslims” revision and introduction by Dr. Salih bin Fawzan al-Fawzan, a member of the Committee of Senior Scholars and a member of the Permanent Committee for Islamic Research and Fatawa, KSA. Free copies of this book were distributed at Mecca.