My Hifdh Journey


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)

 

 

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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.”

 

:::Guest Blog Post:::

By: Umm Muhemmed

Mornings are blessings, but for many of us they present a certain number of challenges: lunches, breakfasts, the first change of clothes, the first spill, the second change of clothes, the second spill, and so on. No matter whether we are mothers, aunts, daughters and even accomplished planners, all of this chaos seems to visit us in the fleeting moments of the morning.  So what to do?

Keep our cool, right? Yes. We all know that a negative reaction amidst chaos only exacerbates, but what more? How can mornings be made more manageable, and hopefully more enjoyable?

As aspiring huffadh, we know that Qur’aan is our answer, and that recitation by its very nature has the potential to calm our own selves and, if presented in a generous and beautiful manner, calm our loved ones as well.  How then do we integrate this into our morning routine, amidst the spills and clothing changes?

We wake, and fajr salah grounds us. We start to prepare for others, but first pause to select a recording or start our own recitation of Surah Ya Sin. With Qur’aan undergirding the mundane chores of the morning, these chores actually do become ibaadah. Our little ones wake, reluctantly. We ease them out of bed, with a du’a and nasheed. Again, enlist recordings to ease your own load here. 

But then, amidst the most poetic and sentimental verses of nasheed, a fight ensues with the socks. We can’t grasp why. Surely the socks did nothing wrong, but there is a fight over an errant seam. Almost all the socks are thrown on the floor; the seam of one sock is pulled out, and the sock is ripped. Breakfast has not yet started, and it is only Monday.   

But we are aspiring huffadh, so a sock should not rattle our soul. HeSWT is in the minutest detail and in the grand landscape. Yes, AllahSWT is here and so too the memory of his beloved ProphetsPBUT and their example of calmness, tenderness, perseverance and clarity, even amidst morning routines and ripped sock seams. Nothing is too mundane or too profound.

With this reminder, breakfast happens, almost seamlessly. And our little family is car-bound, en route to school (others may be bus-bound or walking, or simply charging off to work in alternate transport).

What happens next will inshaAllah encourage and touch all, whatever your next destination may be. In our little car (sometimes termed a ‘hifdh mobile’), we commence a recitation of Surah Ar Rahman as we review part of the sunnah suwar which we have memorized as a family. I anticipate a fight as two young children jockey for attention, but then we come to ayah 13, and the youngest in the family, not yet five, surprises us by saying :
فَبِأَيِّ آلَاء رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ (55:13)
The elder child offers ayah 14 and 15 as a couplet and then again the younger pipes in with ayah 16 and a repetition of:
فَبِأَيِّ آلَاء رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ (55:16)

We complete the entire surah in this manner, with the youngest contributing all 31 repeats of the verse ‘Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?’  Through the rear view mirror, I can see her smile, but her smile is also evident in her voice. Her brother has started smiling too, and I am, well, to put it mildly, elated, alhumdulilah.

Suffice it to say, all mornings are not quite like this. The children do argue about suwar (Nas or Naba, Fil or Fajr…) and when we will listen to the news and (which) nasheed, but there is always the potential for bliss, facilitated by the miracle of the Qur’aan. In fact, anything is possible in hifdh and life, provided we are open to the blessings.  

Umm Muhemmed is a student of Hafidha Rayhaanah Omar, the founder of Fee Qalbee. In 2012, she authored A Quraanic Odyssey: Towards Juz Amma, which narrates the story of a home-based hifdh experience, published by Greenbird Books. Umm Muhemmeds blog may be found at: http://aquraanicodyssey.wordpress.com. Presently, based in Texas, she is also a practicing development economist, with a focus on Sub-Saharan African electricity policy.

Jazaakillahu Khayran, Umm Muhemmed, may Allah Ta’alaa reward your time, efforts & incredible contributions to the world of Hifdh – ameen. 

 If you wish to feature as a guest blogger or contribute research material on tahfeedhul Qur’aan, I’d love to hear from you! Please email: rayhaanah@feeqalbee.com so that we can feature your writings & reflections in upcoming blog posts.

Assalaamu ‘alaykum wa Rahmatullah

Fee Qalbee’s quarterly blogging schedule includes a weekly Sunday post categorised as: World of Hifdh.

This week, I am so excited and blessed to introduce my readers to a fantastic publication:

A Qur’aanic Odyssey is a recently published hifdh-based novel written by one of my hifdh students, Umm Muhemmed.          

This is a unqiue publication and an invaluable contribution to the World of Hifdh: it promises to inspire, uplift and enrich your experience as you journey towards the noble spiritual goal of Qur’aanic memorisation.

QuranClub recently interviewed the author about her book, what inspired this publication and the primary messages that can be learnt from her book. Read more here.

‘A Qur’aanic Odyssey’ is a novel which comes highly recommended fromFee Qalbee Tahfeedhul Qur’aan. Essential for every home & heart!

Stay Inspired!

Rayhaanah

The Plan

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem

We planned and planned for the end of Juz Amma. At first, it was to happen in March, then April. Those months came and went, and we were still struggling with Surah Al Inshiqaq, then Mutaffifeen. A trip to Dallas was deferred, in part, as that was to be our celebratory spot. Day after day, we worked (albeit after my son’s Kindergarten classes and with the constant interruption of his younger sister) learning and reviewing. Sometimes the ayaat were difficult; sometimes they were less difficult, but they were never easy, and the end-date kept being pushed out. In June, I stopped planning. My six year old son would reach the end of Juz Amma when it was right for him. We would continue working, but I wanted to do away with the pressure for fear that it might take away from the fun and ultimately the true learning of hifdh al Qur’aan. We resumed more drawing and calligraphy, more translation, more recitation while walking, more hifdh games, more focus
on the sequencing of surahs—an area he loved, and one that his sister could enjoy as well. Of course, somewhere in the back of my mind, I wondered how we would ever reach the end, but I no longer communicated it to him. Meanwhile, I completed my own memorization of the Juz, approximately a month before Ramadan, but deferred any family celebration of my own for a later date when my son would join me (followed, hopefully, by his sister, one day, as well).

And then Ramadan dawned, and my son grew up, or so it seemed. He made Taraweeh a top priority. He integrated fasting and charity. He chose tilawaat as his pre-magreb activity, with very little to no cajoling on my part. We were still in Surah An Naziat, and I concluded that it would take us at least two more months given the pace of the previous months before we would be near the end of the Juz. But it was Ramadan, and miracles were in abundance (or perhaps we were simply more open to noticing them). And so, with the miraculous backdrop of Ramadan, my son approached the end of Juz Amma, with his sister repeating, all along the way. What I was expecting as an Eid gift did not, however, happen. On Eid, he was a good 10 ayaat off, and the following day he felt ill. And yet, it was in his illness that our little miracle finally occurred. Idle on his bed, we worked over the last 10 ayaat. Previously he had managed one, max two, ayah per day. Ten was unheard
of for us, and yet the day after Eid, we had another small celebration.

Meanwhile, we had long since re-planned the Dallas trip (over the weekend following Eid); it was simply intended to be a family, Eid get-together. On Saturday evening, three days after he had completed the Juz, the children were playing late into the night with their cousins. I tried to convince them of bedtime. In our midst was their father and four uncles. Remembering the recent accomplishment (and still trying to engage the children and get them off to bed), I beckoned for them to join the men who were seated on the couch. “Does your Uncle M know you completed the Juz?” I asked my son. He shook his head ‘no’; his sister mimicked him. “Do you want to recite something?” I suggested. He slowly found a seat on my lap, while his sister took up a spot in his father’s lap. One of their uncles who was nearby moved to give us space, not quite understanding our intentions.

I asked for the men’s attention, and whether they would be open to hearing my son recite. At once, there was quiet. I could feel my son’s palms press gently against mine. He looked at his uncles and then directly at his father, who had not yet heard him recite Surah An Naba, and he began. The recitation was not perfect, but it was beautiful masha’Allah. There were three instances where he lost his way, but I was there holding his hand, and he was able to navigate swiftly and smoothly back on course alhumdulilah. For both of us, it was a rite of passage (me as one of his coaches and him as the aspiring hafidh) in the company of his uncles and father. On some level, it was also a rite of passage for his sister, as she was the only voice, other than his and mine, occasionally, which could be heard —as she softly repeated ayaat she had heard her brother practice, over and over again. It was not the party for which we planned, but it was a celebration, of life, of family, of maturing into the Qur’aan and letting the text animate and shape our lives. Suffice it to say, I am humbled and very grateful for having had the real plan change me.

In faith, and constant awe,
Umm Muhemmed

Umm Muhemmed, a student together with her children of Hafidha Rayhaanah Omar, is a Houston-based, development economist and writer; her first piece of fiction, Ibrahim and Amna’s Story: Aspiring to Juz Amma, based on a home-based hifdh experience, will be published later this year by Greenbird Books inshaAllah.

My Inspiration

When my mom told me about the idea of memorizing the whole Quran I wasn’t sure if I was ready to do it and I thought that it would be really hard. Well it isn’t easy, but it is worth it. I don’t think anybody from the masjid I go to is a hafiz/hafiza. I felt as if I should wait till I get older to become a hafiza ( I am 11 years old ). When my mom and sister decided to do it I thought I would also give it a try. I thought that maybe hifdh will be easy because the teacher probably gives you lots of different tricks on how to memorize. When I started hifdh my teacher told me to start from the end of the quran to the beginning. I thought it was a good idea but then the only thing would be that I would memorize the order of the suwar in the Quran backwards. I was moving very quickly at first because I knew most of the suwar at the end of the Quran already. Our teacher would focus a lot on tajweed. He would only give me a few minutes to memorize a few ayahs, then he would test me and give me more ayahs to memorize. It was a cycle, over and over again for four hours and only a 5-10 minute break each day. He would come four days a week. After a while it was hard for him to come consistently so my mom’s friend offered to be our teacher. We excepted his offer and we started right away. We would do classes a different way. At first we would do class in the evening, then we swiched to 9:30-10:00 a.m. Sometimes he would call again an hour after class to test us on our revision. We are still doing it that way today.
Allah says in the holy Quran that “Verily with every difficulty there is ease”. This helps us when it comes to memorizing the Quran. If we want to memorize the Quran Allah will help us on the way. This encourages me to memorize the holy Quran, and should encourage everyone.
Now I know that if I am sitting, trying and trying to memorize my new ayahs, and I feel that it is too hard, I know that I should trust that Allah will help me if I pray to him for help because I am doing a good deed. In surah Qamar ayah 17 Allah mentions, “And in truth we have made the Quran easy to remember, but is there any that remembereth?”
Memorizing the Quran is a life commitment, because even after you memorize the whole Quran you need to teach it to others so that you remember it. You also get thawaab for teaching it to them and it helps you get fluent.

My autobiography: My name is Sarrah Virji and I will inshallah become a Hafiz e Quran. Right now I am 11 years old and I started hifdh last year. I have two siblings (a brother and sister). My favorite subject is math and I would like to work at a spa when I grow up.

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