In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate
As a child, I remember that my aunt would recite the Qur’ān every day. Her preferred time was in the morning and after the Fajr prayer her voice would fill the room, reciting the verses and Surahs and her gentle fingers would move along the black ink on a white page. When I recite the Qur’ān at home I am often taken back to that memory and I credit her scattering the fragrance of the Qur’ān while I slept in the same room.
As an adult with a family and a busy schedule, something else comes to mind: how do I incorporate the Qur’ān into my daily life, with all the work and appointments I have throughout the week? My aunt had a tough life as a teacher and raised three boys as a widow. Those were difficult times for her, but as I think now I realize that she never abandoned the Qur’ān and continued her habit of reciting it throughout those difficulties. She taught it to her sons and her grandchildren and taught others in her family and community.
So I come back to the question: how do I do it?
For one, I realize that daily recitation is a must. I try to make time at night or in the early morning to recite at least fifty verses, if not more. Along with the original Arabic, I make some time to read the English translation on my phone so that the meaning becomes more tangible for me. As I go about my day, I may become engrossed in my work and in driving that I may not remember the verses. But the Qur’ān is always there with me, covering me with the Mercy (Rahma) and Guidance.
The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his progeny) said:
“Whoever recites the Qur’ān secures (knowledge of) prophethood within their ribs (bosom), though Divine Revelation has not been sent upon them. It does not befit one endowed with the Qur’ān that they should be indignant with those in anger, nor should they indulge in any act of ignorance with those who are ignorant, while the Speech of Allah Almighty is with them in their chest.” (Mustadrak al-Hakim).
This blessed hadith reminds me that the Qur’ān is a constant presence, a consistent companion, and something which leads me to change and to grow. It gives the believer the opportunity to come into close proximity with the knowledge of prophethood, as though they have grasped some of the Sacred Realities bestowed upon the prophets and messengers (anibya wa rusul). Emotional responses are controlled as the Qur’ān guides its reciter to improve the behavior and to follow the Sunnah. As the believer recites and carries the Speech of Allah swt within their chest, knowledge, forebearance, patience, and emotional strength and stamina become apparent.
The benefit of learning and teaching the Qur’ān are endless, and a great approach is to take small bite-size pieces of the Qur’ān and staying with them. Let it be a daily practice where we read some verses, read the translation we are most comfortable with, and share and discuss these verses with our friend and congregation. We must make an intentional space (even virtual) and a set time (once a week) where we reflect on the verses and grow through them. This happens gradually and through practice.
The Messenger of Allah (blessings of Allah be upon him and his family) has said: “Everything in existence prays for the forgiveness of the person who teaches the Qur’an - even the fish in the sea.” (Usul al-Kafi).