My Hifdh Journey


Assalaamu ‘alaykum wa Rahmatullah

Beloved Quran Hearts,

AlHumdulillah, we find ourselves in the midst of another Islamic month, all the while drawing closer to the onset of another Ramadan : how are you doing ? how are your Hifdh plans faring ? how do you hope to transform this upcoming Ramadan through the means of this gift, that of preserving the words from The Almighty SWT in your heart? 

An inspiring post full of gratitude & reflections follows, as is the tradition for our last post of each month: real life narratives from sisters around the world committed to the same journey as yours.

 

If you would like to share a part of your Hifdh journey, we’d love to feature your piece, too! Email: rayhaanah@gmail.com  and your piece will be considered for future publication.

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Do you know how ballet dancers manage to keep balance while making Pirouette? One of the essential condition is to do spotting. It is finding a point on a wall and looking at it again and again with every round. 

In our whirlpool of life this spot is always Allah swt; even more, all we do is to strive to this point-towards Him. 

Allah swt blessed us with various ways to come closer to Him and one of the most beautiful after obligatory ones is Hifz.

I will try to put into words my feelings on my Hifz journey, which have started not earlier than 2 years ago.

How blessed I am to be on a path of putting Quran in the heart that Allah swt gave me. To be honest, it is Allah swt in Hifz that protects me, not other way round, I feel it all the time.

Allah swt gave me a support from people on this journey. It could never started if my parents had not allow me to study in INCEIF where I met my friends who told me about Ustaza Rayhaanah. That was the first time I attended Hifz class and the whole path only began because she let me join in. I always feel her support in my Hifz and life journey.

When I practice Hifz I feel I am beautiful. When I do, Allah swt allows me to put His words inside my heart, word after word.

I also feel very small admiring the immense and massive meaning that some suras contain. That times I realize these words are indeed suras of the Creator, so powerful.

It sounds as a cliche but anyway, is still very true: my life has wonderfully changed after I have started Hifz. I hope He, Almighty, accepts it and from my hifzmates’ striving as well. 

Dear sister,I wish all the best in your path towards Allah swt, in whatever form it comes . [Kamila, Russia]

 

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Assalaamu ‘alaykum wa Rahmatullah

Beloved Quran Hearts,

Weeks and months pass by, and we are now drawing closer to the end of another academic / work year: for some, this means plenty of deadlines to meet and the stress of exam results, etc. It is a time when some of us may allow for our hifdh commitment to slip, only to feel regret and frustration later on.

If you find yourself rushed for time and days go by without a hifdh connection, perhaps this recent blog will help you. 

Read on to learn about the journey of one aspiring Haafidha’s hifdh experience. If you would like to share a part of your Hifdh journey, we’d love to feature your piece, too! Email: rayhaanah@gmail.com  and your piece will be considered for future publication.

With the name of the One, Who grants with knowledge and Who is the Knowledge – in the name of Allah.

My Hifdth journey has begun along with my actual journey to another country. For the first time I found myself in an environment where my spiritual dimension were supported by external factors: surrounded by majority Muslim teachers and students from all over the world, having no issues on where to pray and take a wudhu, hearing the polyphony of athan every day, having plenty of halal choices for food and many others. I was a wayfarer … My tree was the whole country and my shade was people.

One of them was Ustaz Ziyaad Mahomed, who shared with us Tajwid knowledge. The way how eloquently he brought Quranic rules and recitation manner triggered me to ask him how I should pursue my connection with Quran and its memorization. Uztaz Ziyaad recommended me to listen Sheikh Hudhaify’s and Sheikh Al Husary’s recitation. And he mentioned that his wife is giving Hifdth classes…I remember how he wrote her contact details on a white paper and put her name “Hafidha Rayhaanah”. It was such a respect towards someone who had memorized the Quran subhanAllah, and they were ready to share this experience with others.

Ustaza Rayhaanah allowed me join her class and since 2016 Quran turned out to be much more complicated and complex, comforting and healing, alive and responding, inspiring and demanding than ever. When I was among those who visited Ustaza for Hifdth classes we would be sitting on a floor covered with a blanket, and revising and memorizing ayas out loud. It felt like a bees buzzing waking up our hearts and minds, and somehow I was imagining that this is how students in West Africa, hiding in a madrasas made out of clay and mud, were memorizing Quran in a past. And it made process more sacred and idyllic.

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In my view, Hifdth journey is not just a way towards learning Quran by heart. It is rather attaching your heart to Quran – living and being a physical manifestation of the Quran. And that journey to me is full of hardships and questioning of my ability. But when Allah allows to dedicate even 10 minutes to connect with Quran, it will ground and make a veil on a heart less thick. Constant Hifdth will start revealing things about me, teaching me about myself: what makes me anxious, am I disciplined enough, what is the best way to my brain to absorb new ayas and so on. It is not just a test for a memory; it is an indicator for a soul and spiritual state. Hifdth makes me wonder of meanings and stories behind suras, as if I were looking on a see and trying to find out what deep waters concealed from us.

Allah’s mercy is to have a guide as my dearest Ustaza, who among other things taught me to appreciate small, even tiny improvements in my Hifdth; and co-travelers on this journey who inspired me with their restless and genuine efforts to please Allah, and for this may Allah accept duas of forgiveness asked by every creature on the heaven and the earth, and the fish in the sea for this people. Ameen.

 

Ainaz Faizrakhman (Kazan, Tatarstan/Russia)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wishing you success and joy at every stage of your hifdh journey!

Rayhaanah

Assalaamu ‘alaykum,

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Assalaamu ‘alaykum wa Rahmatullah

Beloved Quran Hearts,

Each passing Jumu’ah takes us further away from the start of the new Islamic year, and ever closer to Ramadan 1439!

Remember to assess your progress – on a regular basis – ideally, with your hifdh teacher or mentor. It’s important to get a different perspective and some fresh insight into your hifdh progress and potential growth areas, too. 

 

Read on to learn about the journey of one aspiring Haafidha’s hifdh experience. If you would like to share a part of your Hifdh journey, we’d love to feature your piece, too! Email: rayhaanah@gmail.com  and your piece will be considered for future publication.

Wishing you success and joy at every stage of your hifdh journey!

Rayhaanah

 

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My Hifdth journey began in the middle of an emotionally difficult period in my life. I was looking to reconnect and find solace in the Quran, which is often difficult when one’s heart is troubled. I knew I needed to seek out an environment where I was reminded of Allah and to be around those already connected to Him. It is then that a close friend of mine told me about Ustadha Rayhaanah’s Hifdh classes. I knew I wasn’t quite in the right place emotionally to be very disciplined in memorization, but I thought of going anyway to see what it’s all about. In my first couple of lessons, I realized there is a lot more to my Hifdh journey than I thought. Memorization is an external measure, and it’s easy to think that the quantity memorized equals success. In my own experience, I found how you live your life directly effects your Hifdh journey. It’s the other decisions you make each and every day in prioritizing your Deen above all else, that makes it easy or difficult to memorize well. Even though my progress is slow paced, Hifdh has helped me to be stronger, to re-prioritize what truly matters to me, and to start taking small steps to improve my life. My relationship with the Quran and Hifdth progress essentially shows me my ‘soul status’. When my soul is troubled, my Hifdh suffers as well. When I am at ease and doing my best to worship Allah, my Hifdh is smooth and easy as well. Hifdh is truly a holistic journey, and it’s really not just about the memorization, but rather how much of yourself is transformed for the better in the process. I do believe Allah grants the gift of being a Hafidh to whom He pleases, so it is not something to be taken for granted. 

Of course none of the above is possible without the guidance of my Ustadha. Ustadha Rayhaanah has been a huge inspiration along the way. Without her guidance and support, saying just what you need to hear at the right time, believing in her student’s ability to reach new spiritual heights, being a beautiful example for her students, my Hifdh journey would not be what it is alhamdulillah.

May Allah make the Quran the spring of our hearts. Ameen. 

Nihal Mahmood
A Canadian Muslimah with an MSc in Islamic Finance & currently a Council Member of Waqf World Growth Foundation.

Assalaamu ‘alaykum wa Rahmatullah

Beloved Quran Hearts,

I pray that this week has been one in which you successfully achieved your hifdh – related goals. We all wish, we all feel that we could do so much better – and that’s perfectly fine, too! The inclination and intention to want to do more, and to want to do better at our hifdh, can help us stay determined and motivated to keep trying. At every stage of our hifdh journey, we should always be able to ask ourselves: “How can I do better? What do I need to do to improve tomorrow?”

Hifdh is a journey. Not a destination – not even for those who have completed memorization.                                        

Each sunrise presents us with the question: “How can I be a more conscious Haafidha today, than I was yesterday?”

Read on to learn about the journey of one aspiring Haafidha’s hifdh experience. If you would like to share a part of your Hifdh journey, we’d love to feature your piece, too! Drop me an email to: rayhaanah@gmail.com  and your piece will be considered for future publication.

Wishing you success and joy at every stage of your hifdh journey!

Rayhaanah

 

“Hifdhul Quran was something I longed to start for some time but again was held back thinking that it will take me ages to complete memorization of the Holy Quran. However, Alhamdulillah by Allah’s grace and the guidance of Hafidha Rayhaanah, I came to realise that Quran memorization is about the quality of the hifdh, it’s when you feel the words of Allah (SWT) having a positive impact in your day to day life. When you feel the beauty in the words of the creator as you recite the Quran, then you realise that hifdh is not only about memorizing Allah’s book, it shapes your life and opens your mind and brings peace to your heart.

I would encourage all my sisters to start your journey of hifdhul Quran now and don’t think of how much you need to cover but rather enjoy the process. May Allah make us among the people of the Quran”

Suad (Kenya)

 

 

Assalaamu ‘alaykum wa Rahmatullah

Beloved Quran Hearts,

I pray that this week your hifdh was filled with gratitude: gratitude for the gift of being able to memorize – even through struggle – verses from your Lord Most High, All Merciful.

Read on to learn about the journey of one aspiring Haafidha’s hifdh experience. If you would like to share a part of your Hifdh journey, we’d love to feature your piece, too! Drop me an email to: rayhaanah@gmail.com  and your piece will be considered for future publication. 

Wishing you success and joy at every stage of your hifdh journey!

Rayhaanah

 

 

بسم الله

My Hifz journey

 

My initial intention to memorize the holy Quran was to protect it. In the beginning, I just made a lot of Du’a, almost everyday. Sometimes, I even doubt myself whether my intention was sincere or not because I didn’t put any action. Despite the fact that I doubt my intention, I still made a lot of Du’a. Later, in order to push myself to memorize Quran, I connected Quran memorizing with Tahajjud salat. After that, Quran memorizing journey started to be a little stable. In order to go further, I also memorized Quran during the journey of shuttle or train. It helped me a lot to achieve my Hifz goal.

 

Right after I memorized Surat Al-Ghashiya, I became a Hifz student of Hafidah Rayhaanah. Then I found that Hifz journey stated to become a challenge and struggle. Alhamdulillah! It was a struggle because I had to change my lifestyle, staying awake after Fajr, otherwise, I would not be able to continue the intensive PhD program while doing Hifz lesson with disciplines. I also made a lot of Du’a, asking Allah to help me to establish a very healthy lifestyle so that He would be pleased with me. I also faced other challenges in my Hifz journey, for example, I got sick after Friday Hifz class a few times. But due to the mercy of Allah, usually I recovered overnight. But the most difficult part in my life so far was the process of purification of heart. I only remembered that I was so hopeless and didn’t know what to do. I experienced a period of extreme depression. At my lowest moments, I made Du’a to Allah, one was taught by Hafidah Rayhaanah, in Surat Al-Qasas: 24. Another Du’a was taught by Sheik Omar Suleiman (through YouTube), which is in Surat Al-Anbiya: 87. 

 

Alhamdulillah, I’m very grateful to Allah Who gave me all those experience. It made me much much more humble than before. Alhamdulillah.

 

Despite those challenges of doing Hifz, Allah (s.a.w.) also blessed me with many moments which have warmed my heart. Sometimes when I review Quran before salat, one beautiful leaf or flower would float on my desk. I picked them up and put them in my Mus’hfa. Later, when I open Mus’hfa and saw those leaf or flower, I would immediately break into a smile. So much joy were in my heart. I also remember that I stood in the balcony at the 15th floor, facing with the vast sky, I recited Quran loudly from memory and saw birds flying around. I also remember that many times, I work up with reciting Quran subconsciously in heart. For sure, I also had time when I woke up with thinking hard about my study which was not pleasant at all. Even the way that I wake up becomes an indicator for me to see whether I’m dong Hifz well or not. Another beautiful moment is going to sleep. I start to autumnally smile when I rest myself in bed at night. But of course sometimes I don’t smile when I sleep. Therefore, the way I sleep also becomes an indicator for me to see how much I should do to strengthen my relationship with Allah. I also had other moments in my life which I don’t know how to describe them. I could not account all the blessings that Allah (s.a.w.) has given me after I stated Hifz journey with my teacher Hafidah Rayhaanah. Alhamdulillah. May Allah be pleased with my teacher and help me to become like her, ameen.

 

Now my intention to continue Hifz journey is just to be closer to Allah. Sometimes I could only memorize 1 or 2 ayat. But I told myself, at least, today I’m one or two more steps closer to my Master. I’m happy that I’m still making efforts and progress.

 

Many of my brothers and sisters are ahead of me in Hifz. Sometimes, when I pray Fajr salat, I would imagine myself standing in front of Allah on the Day of Judgement: all my brothers and sisters are reciting Quran at this time, and I am also among them. I don’t want to fall behind them. So I would review my Hifz carefully during salat and wish to fly very fast to my Master – Allah – on that Day.

 

Last but not least, taking Hifz with a teacher is very different with taking Hifz by myself. For me it is different. Without Hafidah Rayhaanah, my Quran would not be as good as now. Because of my teacher, and her inspiration all the time, I keep moving on and moving on. Whenever I feel down, I remember her words and try to be strong and discipline, especially in Hifz and salat. Sometimes I wanted to give up Hifz because of my weaknesses or others’ negative influence. My teacher Hafidah Rayhaanah never easily gave up me but rather kindly offered me with a chance to return back to Quran. So much appreciation in hear for my teacher. Very recently, I told Hafidah Rayhaanah to stop my Hifz class, but my teacher didn’t say “ok” immediately but gave me time to re-consider. When I got such beautiful feedback from my teacher I was so delighted and replied with commitment to continue Hifz class. I remembered that day, I opened  my Mus’hfa to review Quran before Maghrib salat, however, I was not able to recite it at all as so much tears were in my eyes.

 

May Allah (s.w.t.) bless my teacher Hafidah Rayhaanah and her loved ones and grant them with the beautiful houses in Jannah Firadous which are very near to Allah, ameen.

 

Chen Yi (China)

بِسْمِ اللَّ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Assalaamu ‘alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakaatuhu

Here is a post that has been moving through our local whatsapp groups like a travelling ray of light.
It touches those who take the time to read it.

A very real account of a Trinidadian Muslimah who was recently deceased, written by her granddaughter. Inna lilaahi wa inna ilayhi raajioon.
So many death announcements come our way. Do we as often wonder about the person behind the announcement, if we don’t know them personally?
This must have been a very special person, to be remembered like this and to still be inspiring others even after she is gone. May Allah elevate her status, forgive her shortcomings and grant her jannah Ameen
~
From granddaughter of deceased Shafirran Khan (Jordan):

“My dear grandmother was a hard working lady, who knew how to step on her nafs and get to work. She was planting rice in the rice field when she went into labour with her first child. She went home, gave birth and then tied the baby on her back the next day and went back to work. Her friends exclaimed “We didn’t know you were expecting!”. She used to tell us this story when we were little and would laugh at the memory.

She was a sweet soft spoken lady whose job later on in life was running a small parlour attached to a part of her house. Every day she would meet customers, giving them words of advice and share her optimism and good opinion of Allah. She was a light to all who knew her. She worked doing this until she became bed ridden two months ago, at almost 83 years old. Around the age of (60?), she started losing sight in one of her eyes due to a cataract. I remember her telling me her biggest lament about it was that she feared that she would not be able to keep up reading her juz of Quran every single day. That year for Ramadan however, she started reading two juz a day and thereafter doubled in what she was doing. She marveled that tawfeeq was from Allah and not necessarily in the means we were given. As she aged and her strength and eyesight weakened, she found her ability to read the Quran increased until it became her joy and companion. During her illness last Ramadan, she was reading ten ajza a day and doing a khatm every three days! SubhanAllah! She buried her parents, husband, brothers and sisters and even her son. Yet still she found no grief in her heart. Instead she would say to me in her broken Trinidadian dialect “Well, chile, what you go do? Allah is in control.”

Last year when the scans revealed secondary tumors in her brain and the doctors gave her three months left to live, she gave the same response. We kept asking her if she was in pain and she would always have the same response “No pain, alhamdulillah”. The doctors were baffled that she had no pain and kept saying “How strange!” My mother would tell me, it is because the Quran is her companion, so she has no grief nor pain.

Two years ago when she was still healthy and going strong, I was leaving Trinidad and was about to bid her farewell when she put one hand on my shoulder and said with a smile to me “Come, I want to tell you something before you leave, a secret. For I do not know if we shall meet again”. She asked me if I was reading the Quran and I mumbled a yes-I-need-to-read-more response. She leaned in close to me and whispered ‘Well I will tell you something. The Quran has the answer to every problem and it is the solution to every trial. Every need I have, that comes in my heart, Allah fulfills it before I can even turn the page of my Quran, even something small such as a longing to see someone or a wish to eat something. Allah just sends it! So make the Quran your companion”

Last year, I had the opportunity to see her another time, a last time alhamdulillah, and for my children to all sit with her. She told them this story:
“When I was about ten years old, I was reading Quran on my bed by the light of a kerosene lamp when the lamp fell on my bed and engulfed the whole bed in flames. I remember my father rushing into the room and picking me up and trying to put out the fire. They were amazed upon examining me that the fire had burnt a circle right around me and had not burnt any of my clothes or any pages of the mushaf I was holding. They kept saying how could it be! How could it be!”
My grandmother went on to tell my children that this was the reality of Allah’s words and the power and magnitude of it was that- it would be a shield for them in this world and in the next life. This is all amazing given that she did not understand or speak any Arabic at all! It was simply her yaqin and love that these were the words of Allah Himself!

Given her sickness, my grandmother still kept increasing in her works. This was in addition to her working 8 hrs a day in her eighties and reading all the masnoon surahs, duas and all her nafl prayers of tahajjud, ishraq, dhuhu, awabeen and saltul tasbeeh every day. These had just become part of her life since the last 30 years alhamdulillah.

Many of my family members inspired by her works, had resolved since her illness to increase in more works as she became bed ridden. One of my aunts started multiple Quran Khatm groups on whatsapp to encourage more istiqama in the quran, where groups of ten ladies each read one juz every day so that together, they would be able to do one khatm in three days while subsequently perform their own khatm in one month. SubhanAllah, what one person was doing, our hope was that ten of us can try to share, and continue in her footsteps.

Allah blessed her and chose her to be of those worthy to recite His words. She was from ahl Quran. May her reciting be her beautiful companion now in her resting place and her noor on the Day of Judgement and her Intercessor. And what better intercessor than Allah’s speech itself! By the days and nights that she spent with it and the solace she found in it, she will surely find what she sent forth!

May Allah bless her, forgive her and elevate her maqam and make her grave spacious and a garden from the gardens of Jannah. May the reality of the power, beauty and magnitude of the Quran dawn on our hearts and may it also be our beloved companion in our final place of rest.”

 

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