بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Assalaamu ‘alaykum wa Rahmatullah

 

ramadanblog

 

May your connection to Allah Most High be strengthened through alQur’aan,

May you experience delight & serenity as you recite upon its Message & reflect upon its Wisdom,

May this Ramadan serve as a catalyst for meaningful change & firmer resolve to commit our lives to living alQur’aan,

inshaAllah – aameen!

 

Stay Inspired!

Rayhaanah

 

 

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Assalaamu ‘alaykum wa Rahmatullah

As we find ourselves drawing closer to the Month of The Glorious Qur’aan there are opportunities abound for us to connect to the Divine Book: for some it lies in improving tajweed, whilst for others it may be in memorising the Words, learning Qur’aanic Arabic, or studying the meaning of this heavenly Wisdom.

No matter what stage you are at, there is one thing in common: a Qur’aan connection in Ramadan has an extra special feel and atmosphere to it!
I am always inspired by and impressed with the number of sisters who continue devoting their lives to preserving the beautiful Words and those teaching it, despite what others may perceive as challenges or even setbacks: consistent, steadfast, focussed…they soldier on, trusting in His Help and Mercy.

The volume of questions that I receive around this time of the year is indicative of the ever increasing number of sisters committed to Qur’anic memorisation, mashaAllah!
For this week’s post, I’ve selected to answer some of the most frequently asked questions, with the hope that it will assist many more aspiring Qur’aan bearers!

 
Q: I’m really confused, it’s Ramadan and some say you should continue learning sabaq, and others say that Ramadan translates into dhor time for students. What should I do?!
A: Every teacher or hifdh institute differs in the methods employed for Ramadan Qur’aan schedules. My advice would be to consult directly with your own hifdh teacher and follow her recommendation – her decision would probably be based after her assessment of your hifdh (standard of retention), goal orientation, amongst other factors. In some instances, students resume with new hifdh after Ramadhan, and instead focus on thorough revision during the fasting month, using the Taraweeh and Tahajjud periods as prime opportunities to correct and improve upon hifdh. Taking into consideration the fact that most students study hifdh part-time, this month does actually present the perfect occasion for intensive revision and strengthening, together with establishing a wonderful habit of reciting ALL your hifdh in salaah, throughout the day or night. On the other hand, there are those students who maintain daily revision together with new hifdh, and they too, manage to successfully achieve their Ramadan hifdh goals.

 

 

Q: This is the 2nd year that I’m teaching hifdh, alHumdulillah. I’d like to know a good method of how they (the students) should be doing their muraa-ja’ah (dhor/revision), and how much they should be reciting to me?
A: MashaAllah! Those chosen by Allah SWT to teach others tahfeedhul Qur’aan, are indeed blessed! May Allah SWT accept from you, aameen. Generally, methods differ – not only from one hifdh learning institute to the next, but also from one student to the other. Whilst it is difficult to take a broad view, here are some key points you may wish to consider: -Some individuals perform well at school and find memorisation easy, whilst others may find it challenging to strike a balance between hifdh, school, sport / hobbies. My advice would be to set a consultation time with each student and discuss with her what her long-term and short-term goals for hifdh are. -Ask her how she feels on whether she is coping or not, given that she has a full schedule throughout the week. -Also, ask what she feels can be done (by yourself) to help with her hifdh progress.
During the course of your consultation, you may come to learn of (any) challenges and concerns that directly / indirectly affect her hifdh, and then be able to joint seek solutions. Based on this, together with your knowledge of the quality of her hifdh work, you will be more accurate and realistic in drawing up a sustainable & successful revision plan for her that would include the amount, frequency & your expectations of your student.
In some hifdh set-ups, school going girls attend hifdh for 1 / 1.5 hours in the morning (before school) and 2 hours after school or university. There is the daily lesson, sabaq, (each student will commit to what she can manage with) and then sabaq dhor (meaning: to read the juzz she is currently memorising), from the start. Then there is dhor / muraa-ja’ah (here, she will read from the older & oldest chapters): those that have memorized less than 10 ajzaa’ will read atleast 1 juzz each day. And then for every 5 additional ajzaa’ after this, the student will give an extra quarter juzz. This varies on the student’s ability, but generally, after 2 months they do settle in well and cope, mashaAllah.
As students progress in the hifdh and the volume increases, you may consider conducting lessons during the weekend mornings: whilst it may require sacrifice from both student & teacher (and families), part-time hifdh students find this to be an incredible window of learning opportunity, away from school and campus schedule, deadlines and assignment submissions.
There is plenty of benefit to be found from implementing a hifdh-salaah roster system: this would involve creating a time table with each student wherein she has a realistic plan of reciting her dhor in salaah.
Remember, there will be some days when students are unable to complete all revision in class and also instances where muraa-ja’ah may be weak & require constant repetition or re-learning, and here is where the roster helps tremendously in terms of accountability, responsibility & improvement. An effective way for every teacher to track progress of an inspiring hafidha!
Rest assured, once students start noticing improvement in their hifdh standard, they will begin enjoying and cherishing the gift of reciting hifdh in Qiyaam. And the days of reciting only surahs Feel until Naas in salaah will be long gone!

 

 
Q: If a person has ‘perfected mistakes’, how can these mistakes be corrected? Meaning, they make the SAME mistake each time they recite that page, then they note the mistake, but repeat this all the time. I really want to correct my mistakes this Ramadan, once and for all, inshaAllah!
A: For engrained, established errors: Re-learn the verses. Set aside a weekend every now and then, to do this, so that there isn’t a back-log of correcting weaker verses. Also, when you re-learn the verses, recite it to your teacher or classmate a few times. And, include in salaah soon thereafter, for at least a week. Follow the guidance provided on correcting mutashaabihaat verses. Practise writing out the verses at least three times. And lastly, reading through a translation of the verse may help improve the hifdh quality of that verse. Remember, established errors set in over time, so be patient and give yourself time to correct at a consistent pace.

 
Q: There are many verses which end with ‘Azeezun Hakeem’, ‘Gafoorur Raheem’, ‘Sami’ul Baseer’, etc. What is the best way to know which words come in these aayaat?
A: Read through the translation AND tafseer, so that you can create a mental ‘bridge’, connecting the earlier part of the verse to the Divine Attributes with which the verse concludes. You could also draw up a table, where you list the order in which the Attributes appear in your hifdh, viz: in their descending order. Frequent revision whereby you are revising and reciting looking into the mus-haf will help in cementing your retention of the correct verse endings.
May Allah SWT grant you ease in your hifdh journey, aameen!

 

Stay Inspired!

Rayhaanah

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Assalaamu ‘alaykum wa Rahmatullah

Ramadhan is literally round the corner! In a matter of a few weeks, we will – Allah Willing – have entered a month full of blessings, mercy, goodness and… Qur’aan!                                                                                                                                                                                                             So exciting, isn’t it? AlHumdulillah!

 

Earlier this week I presented a radio program entitled ‘ The Qur’aan, Ramadhan & you’, in which I shared  practical advise on how best to accelerate your pre-Ramadhan Qur’aan connection & ways in which we can fully benefit from the beauty of the Qur’aan.

You can listen to the podcast here: The Qur’aan, Ramadhan & you

I’ve also been regularly tweeting on how to get ready for Ramadhan here  , with the hashtags: #ramadancountdown .

The Fee Qalbee Ready for Ramadhan? series (2012) has also been compiled for convenience as an independent page. Click here for easy access to the 8-part series.

So, how are your Qur’aan preps coming along? How are you hoping to honour the Qur’aan this Ramadhan? Are there any challenges you’re facing? 

Post a comment below & let’s get talking!

Stay Inspired!

Rayhaanah

 

 

The Peace of the Heart Expanded By Allah
The conventional way to love the Quran is simply to place it on a shelf and let it get dusty. After some weeks or months we take it down, dust it off, plant a kiss or two on it, and return it to the shelf. We only take it down to read it during Ramadan or if some calamity strikes us.
This isn’t real love for the Quran. We all knew that the Quran is a guidance, revealed to all of humanity, but have we ever felt close to it? Can you remember a day spent blissfully with the Quran? Do you want to know what this strange love is all about?

Why don’t we feel love for the Quran?
Inability
It’s distressing to see many people who still do not know even one letter of Arabic. They do not know how to recite the Quran and some don’t know what the Quran is all about. They feel this as an inability and even if they are asked to learn it, they don’t desire to, or they don’t have an interest. May Allah give hidayat to all.

Unfamiliarity
One of the main things people say is that they aren’t familiar with the language and that’s why they don’t feel an attachment towards it, but we can’t repeat the same excuse nowadays, for we have ample opportunities and resources to help us learn more about the language. Allah has insisted in His Book that the reason He revealed it in Arabic is to make it easy to understand the Quran.
Indeed, We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur’an that you might understand. [Quran, 12:2]

Busyness
People say they don’t have enough time to open and turn the pages. We do, however, have time to eat our meals, iron our clothes, sleep, and engage in extra activities like hobbies and picnics. So why can’t we allocate a few minutes of our time for the Quran
Lame Excuses

It’s annoying to hear silly excuses like, “We recite it in salah and that’s enough.” Some say, “There’s no problem with it, for I am sure Allah will forgive me.” There are also people who say, “If we can do good and avoid bad, that’s enough, since there is no need to recite and spend our time with it as we have ample of works to do.” Some become frustrated and say, “We aren’t suitable to recite this Holy Book as we are sinners.”

These are silly excuses people make and talking like this can directly lead us to Jahannam. So be careful. Don’t control the situation by making up false statements. May Allah protect us all.

Different perceptions
If you look at the Quran as a most precious thing, then you will have a love for it, but in most cases, people just consider it as a Holy Book and keep it aside without realising the value of it. Some take the Quran and recite it with the intention of researching it. And some do it to make a comparison between other religious scriptures. Some recite it considering it just a deed. These are some of the ordinary ways people choose to see the texts in the Quran.
And the Messenger (Muhammad SAW) will say: “O my Lord! Verily, my people deserted this Quran (neither listened to it, nor acted on its laws and orders).” [Quran, 25:30]

What will be the outcome if we don’t love the Quran?
Lack of faith
You won’t feel close to Allah. You will have a suspicious mind, which will make you act indecisively. Your iman will weaken and you will have a failed relationship with Allah.
Rigid heart
You will realise that you don’t have a soft heart. You won’t want to act politely. Arrogance will overpower you, and your heart won’t tremble if you hear the word “Allah.”

Increase in bad deeds
When you are involved in a sin, you won’t feel it as a bad one. You will just console yourself that it isn’t a mischief at all. You will have a habit of breaking promises, telling lies, being disloyal to people, etc. This will lead you to a pit of sins where you will no longer consider any of your acts to be a sin.
Decrease in good deeds
There will be a gradual decrease in good deeds. You will miss the prayers and you will avoid good company. You will start to think of everything as a burden.
Frustration
All the above outcomes will lead you to frustration. You will always feel exasperated and disappointed. You will consider your studies, your job, and your family as burdens. Negativity will surround you and you won’t have any affirmative thoughts at all.
And We did not give Prophet Muhammad, knowledge of poetry, nor is it befitting for him. It is not but a message and a clear Qur’an, To warn whoever is alive and justify the word against the disbelievers. [Quran, 36:69-70]
And We send down of the Qur’an that which is healing and mercy for the believers, but it does not increase the wrongdoers except in loss. [Quran, 17:82]

 

Source: iqraquranforsisters

There is something about the month of Ramadan that makes accomplishing goals seem super easy. Either it’s the high level of motivation because of the rewards mentioned in Quran and ahadith that eases the process of goal accomplishment, or because it’s in the air.

Whatever the reason, Ramadan is a great opportunity to set and achieve goals, so I invite all of you to embrace this opportunity and become better versions of yourselves. I also invite you to grab a pen and start setting goals as you read this article and do some brainstorming, because once you close this window, this article will become history. So, let’s take action— right here, right now.

I’ve been writing about Ramadan and my Quran memorization journey for quite some time now, but this time I have decided to share with you, how to set your Ramadan goals and break them down into a tangible action plan.

Research reveals that 95% of those who lose weight by dieting regain it, and that a significant percentage of the weight goes back on even faster. Why such a high percentage?

After a heart attack, only 1 in 7 patients makes a lasting change around eating or exercising. Why so few?

Because people set goals without learning the how and why of goal setting. Goal setting is an art and you must learn it. Insha Allah, in this article we’ll learn to master this art.

My Ramadan memorization challenge this year is to commit Surah Kahf to my memory. I am not getting into the details here because that would be beyond the scope of my article, so if you like you can do a little bit of research to find out the importance of Surah Kahf.

Let’s directly jump into the do’s and don’t’s of goal setting.

1. Set a goal and write it down

Writing is a strange phenomenon, something that probably cannot be explained, just experienced. It actually helps you to see what you really want rather than just imagining it in your head.

A study on goal setting was conducted by a psychology professor at Dominican University in California. She had 267 participants in the study and she concluded that one is 42 percent more likely to achieve one’s goals just by writing them down. Writing crystallizes the goals and sets everything in motion. It also gives a chance to review your goals and create an action plan accordingly.

You can write your goals in a goals journal or use a white-board (I use both).

My Goal: Memorizing Surah Kahf

YOUR TURN: What one goal would you like to achieve this Ramadan (yes, you can have more, but for now, just think of one goal)? It can be memorizing the Quran, understanding it, or having more khushu in salah. Whatever it is, please write it down, right now.

2. Use the R.A.M.A.D.A.N tool.

Recently, I learned about using the acronym RAMADAN for goal setting. This was my biggest take-away from the course I attended. While I never had any issues with using the acronym SMART, RAMADAN made it’s way deep down in my heart in no time.

The instructor who taught this acronym was of the opinion that SMART focuses too much on being specific. Whatever the reason might be, I now use RAMADAN for goal setting. I feel as a Muslim, I can own it and have a special relationship not only with the acronym, but with the entire process.

So, let’s put Surah Kahf in the framework of RAMADAN (of course, you will have to customize it according to your goals).

Relevant

Ask yourself: is my goal relevant to my vision and mission? How will this goal help me to achieve my ultimate purpose or objective? For example, “I want to travel the world in 80 days from this to this date” is a perfect goal but completely irrelevant to the spirit of Ramadan.

Aspirational

Ask yourself does my goal excite me? The goal should be aspirational, something that really inspires and motivates you to take action. If it’s too easy, make it a little harder because it won’t excite you. If it’s too difficult, shrink it so it doesn’t become a burden.

For example, memorizing Surah Kahf. Does that excite me? Very much. I have been aspiring to memorize it for years. Is it a burden? Not at all. I can divide and chunk it and make it sallow-able.

Measurable and Assessable

A major mistake people commit while setting goals is that they make   vague and fuzzy goals. Example of such a goal, I will memorize Quran. Very nice goal indeed, but very vague. How much Quran? How many days will you assign to memorizing it? What is the deadline? How much time will you take every day to do it?

You must set your goals in a way that’s measurable. It should be quantified so that you can track it. Remember, whatever you track you improve. Also, it must be something we can assess or review at a   weekly level. This provides a balance to our workload. Don’t forget to set http://touringgreenland.com/online/ a deadline. Setting deadlines gives you a sense of urgency.

My Goal: Surah Kahf

Total no. of ayaat – 110

Deadline/Total days – 28th of Ramadan/ 28 days (to be on the safe side)

How many ayaat per day? – approx 4

How much time every day? – 15-20 mins

Weekly review—How many ayaat per week? 28 (approx)

So, I can not only measure my goal everyday but can also assess it on a weekly basis.

Your Turn: Make your goal measurable and assessable.

Another relevant mistake is to set too many goals. When we set too      many goals, measuring each of them becomes very difficult and     hectic. Remember, if we are not measuring it, we are not going    anywhere. For example, I will memorize Surah Kahf, understand and        memorize its meaning, learn the tafseer of multiple scholars, teach it   to my students and conduct a webinar on its importance.

There is a proverb that says,

A man who chooses two rabbits, catches neither.

Setting too many goals that can’t be measured or assessed violates the         law of focus, and if you can’t focus on it, you can achieve it.

Definite – clear cut

Your goals must be definite and clear-cut. We must know when to         achieve something and when not to. Is it the right time to achieve this   goal? For example, if it’s Ramadan, one might not expect someone to have some recreational goal and accomplish them. Another example        can be that if there is a pregnant woman, she must not have weight-    loss goals.

Appointment

Getting an appointment with yourself on your agenda is the third A of RAMADAN. Schedule it in a calendar. Keep it visible. Otherwise you will never get round to it. Treat it like an important meeting on    your calendar.

E.g. my calendar would look something like below

Ramadan Surah Kahf

1 1-4

2 5-8

3 9-12

4 13-16

5 17-20

 

Novelty

Get rid of the “same old same old” ways of accomplishing goals. N in   the RAMADAN acronym stands for Novelty, which is doing exciting new and different things from what you have always been failing at. For example, if you are trying one thing over and over again and failing at it, try some new ways to get it done. The reason is to avoid the damage to self esteem because of constant failure and to build momentum. For example, if you are trying to memorize the Quran by looking at the text of Quran and you find it hard to do it and you forget it easily – then try a new way of getting it done. Try to         memorize it by listening to it etc.

Your turn: What are some of the new and exciting ways that you are           going to try to achieve your goal?

3. Memorize by listening.

Personally, this technique has helped me a great deal:

4. Get an accountability buddy.

“Allah’s hand is over the group.” Tirmidhi

One and one make eleven. If you can find someone who has the same goal as yours and can help you in your endeavor by holding you accountable, it will become way easier to accomplish it. Pair-up, share your strategy with your partner and hold yourselves accountable to each other every day. This technique has worked miraculously for me.

5. Make a public pledge.

Now it’s a difficult one and may need us to recheck our intention again and again, but making a public pledge does help. If you think that it should be between you and Allah, great. Public pledge is not a must, it’s just an option. On a lighter note, you can very well imagine that now when I have publicly shared my goal, there is no way for me to escape.

Source: [iqraquranforsisters] on the Yahoo group list

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Assalaamu ‘alaykum wa Rahmatullah

🌻 Be so close to the Qur’an that with every turn of its page, your heart also turns. You undergo a change of character; and come out better. You come closer to Allah and you understand your religion more.

🌻 Be so close to the Qur’an that not only do you consider it to be your companion in life, but it also considers *you* to be its companion both here and on Yawm al-Qiyamah (Day of Resurrection).

🌻 Be so close to the Qur’an that whenever you open to read it, it draws you in deeply and takes you on amazing journeys through power concepts and thought-provoking dialogue, through history and the undisputed facts of the future and Hereafter; learning life lessons and learning about yourself. The journey doesn’t end until you end it (by closing the Book).

🌻 Be so close to the Qur’an that you make it your first point of judgement and guidance when you quarrel or fall out with a relative, spouse, friend or stranger. You place it before you with the sincerity to resolve matters and follow the causes for peace.

“… If they both desire reconciliation, Allah will cause harmony between them. Indeed, Allah is ever Knowing and All-Aware.” [al-Nisa: 35]

🌻 Be so close to the Qur’an that if you happen to miss your daily portion of it, it preoccupies your mind and you are not at peace until you take your regular nourishment from it.

🌻 Be so close to the Qur’an that just hearing the words, “O you who believe…” strikes something within your heart. You are all ears and attentive; ready to respond.

🌻 Be so close to the Qur’an that you truly feel its blessings in your life.

🌻 Be so close to the Qur’an that while many love listening to music and lyrical tunes, for you nothing can beat the melodious recital of your favourite Surah (chapter).

🌻 Be so close to the Qur’an that you actually walk F E A R L E S S. In every place, at all times, and every stage of your life. Your fear is only from One Being, and He is above His Throne, `azza wa jall.

🌻 Be so close to the Qur’an that the mere contemplation of a verse brings tears to your eyes.

🌻 Be so close to the Qur’an that after a long and tiring day, all you want to do is make wudhu’ (ablution) and sit down with a cuppa tea in a cosy spot for some heartwarming reading and reflection.

🌻 Be so close to the Qur’an that it becomes the first companion you turn to when you need to hear comforting words, or a shoulder to lean on in difficult times, or guidance in times of confusion. It becomes your first point of contact alongside salah (prayer) and du’a (supplication).

🌻 Be so close to the- Qur’an that its melodious verses drown away the meaningless chatter of this world and you prefer listening to it instead of listening to much of Mankind…

🌻 Be so close to the Qur’an that you become recognised for it; in your character and the way you carry yourself through life.

🌻 Be so close to the Qur’an that being in its company makes you feel like you are in the best company; the most serene, thought-provoking, heart-warming, and tranquil of gatherings. People think you are alone… but you are anything but alone.

🌻 Be so close to the Qur’an that you can’t fathom the idea of dying without having memorised it. You can’t see yourself standing in front of Allah in complete ignorance of His Book, His Verses, His Words.

Stay Inspired!

Rayhaanah

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Assalaamu ‘alaykum wa Rahmatullah

AlHumdulillah, on a weekly basis I receive dozens of inspiring emails or posts, all of which encourage and support the hifdh dream, the hifdh journey. But this morning as I sat down to prepare for the week’s hifdh mentoring classes, I opened a web-link that reminded me not only of the powerful impact that parents have on their childrens’ hifdh, but of what our spiritual aspirations as a Muslim family should be, ever-conscious of the great gift to mankind, AlQur’aan Al Majeed!

Here you go:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TV0U38lIkBA

Stay Inspired!

Rayhaanah

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