My path so far…

For a long time The Qur’aan called out to me, I just never knew enough to listen to its call.

I think my love for the Qur’aan started from a very early age. Maybe it was because I grew up seeing my parents and older siblings reading Qur’aan. Before I even had my own Qur’aan, I would ask my father to give me a Qur’aan to read (whilst all the others were reading) – to which he happily obliged by giving me a book with a short compilation of surahs. I can recall that as I grew older my tongue could naturally and easily read the beautiful Arabic language. My Ustaad would praise my reading and comment on how others should work as hard as me. Little did he know that I never worked, let alone worked hard! I was young and fickle-minded and it was only after I started my journey towards memorising the Qur’aan that I began to ponder over all these past moments.

Every Ramadan my siblings and I knew that we had to complete at least 1 Khatm of the Qur’aan. My father, hoping to encourage us- and checking that we were progressing, would question us every now and then at the Iftaar table as to which chapter we were in. I was younger than all the rest, but somehow I always beat them. As I grew older (around my mid-teens) I found that the month of Ramadan was just too long for only 1 Khatm, and so I would read another one. My family would all tease me and call me speedy since none of them could keep up any longer. Why I read it- I never knew, I never even questioned. And even though I never understood the beautiful words that I was reading, there was something about it… I just loved reading it.

I never realized that the Qur’aan was a choice, a path in life that I could have taken. I guess, in that way, it wasn’t put out for me. Instead I went to school, finished high school and went to University. Like I said, I never really pondered over my love for the Qur’aan, nor my ability to learn, read and memorise it so easily.

My love for the Qur’aan only grew as time went on. When I was about 20 years old I suddenly had the urge to memorise the Qur’aan. Again, however, I never responded to that urge. Then, about 2 or 3 years later I reconnected with an old friend who happened to be a haafidh. One day he said to me- and Allah alone knows why, “why don’t you start learning the Qur’aan” He told me that I should learn, even if it was just 3 lines a day. It was stupid of me really, I had the urge to learn it but I never realized that I could just simply start learning it by myself. The suggestion he made clicked with something in my heart and I made a decision that I would begin to learn. That was the beginning. I haven’t turned back since.

I started with just three lines per day, as per his suggestion. But I soon found that it was in my capacity to learn more. So everyday I would learn about half a page. I loved memorising, I still do, and I began to thoroughly enjoy this little daily practice. Then the Qur’aan started changing my life.

First it was tahajjud. I found,much to my frustration, that some days just did not afford me the opportunity to learn my lines. I really wanted to learn, so I started waking up for tahajjud. After reading tahajjud I would learn my new lines and then I would just have to go over it during the day.

Then it was television. I always used to love watching TV but somehow, after beginning to memorise the Qur’aan, I slowly began stopping. I used to think, how I can share my mind- that’s filled with Qur’aan, with all the ugliness from television. Alhamdulillah- today I don’t watch TV anymore.

That wasn’t all; slowly the Qur’aan began changing everything about me; I became more modest, I became more aware of my speech and how I used my tongue; my thirst for knowledge only increased; and I soon started abandoning my novels for Islamic books that could provide me with knowledge.
My road to becoming a haadfidha is far from finished; in fact it has only just begun. Not a single day goes by without me reading or listening to the beautiful Quraan, and I enjoy reading the Ma’ariful Quraan to help me better understand the aayats. The Qur’aan has become my companion in this world; providing me with comfort and advice when I need it most. I can honestly say that I, unequivocally, love the beautiful Qur’aan with all of my heart, and all of my soul; and while I know that there are many others who have taken much further strides in learning and loving this Qur’aan, I am grateful for the little knowledge that I have and for the small journey that I am undergoing.

Khadeeja Hassem; Johannesburg, South Africa.
I am the sixth of eight children, I enjoy writing and reading and (as of late) blogging. I think that each of us has the capacity to make a different to each others lives and, for that reason, I am trying to make a difference- word by word. My ideal getaway would be to get lost on an isolated island with the Qur’aan, the Ma’ariful Qur’aan and my iPod- (filled with recitations from different imams). Then I’d have no excuse to procrastinate, and all the time in the world to learn Qur’aan!

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