By Khadija Arif
Ramadan is the month for celebrating the Quran which was sent to guide and reform mankind. In this month, we read and hear the Quran more than any other time of the year. Yet why is that despite such exposure to Allah’s words, we don’t get that deeper connection with Allah?
As soon as the new moon is sighted, the Quran is put on the shelf again. Certainly it is not merely a book to be read and re-read. How can we build an enduring bond with the book of Allah which does not end with the month but lasts way beyond?
Now that only the last few days remain, we should be focusing even harder on trying to build this lasting connection and gather maximum reward. Here are some different methods we can try:
Read for meaning: Recitation is surely a very rewarding deed especially in this holy month, and the reward will be multiplied even further in these last ten days. However, only reading isn’t of much use if you don’t understand what is being conveyed. One must aim to read to get the meaning.
Reading Tafsir, which offers detailed explanations of every surah and ayah, can help increase understanding of the Quran. Apart from that, use your own thought process to read between the lines and ponder the meaning. Look for themes and references.
Remember, reflecting and contemplating is most important. See how the verse relates to you in particular. In these last few days, deep reading will open up your mind, and you will begin to feel the essence of Allah’s words. In sha Allah this will be a huge step in establishing that connection we were aiming for since the beginning of Ramadan.
Keep in mind such reading is time consuming, so dedicate a little each day. For this type of deep reading, always prefer quality over quantity.
Divide into portions: As for recitation alone, go through your planner and check the targets you set at the beginning of Ramadan. Got some catching up to do? Do not worry! The last ten days are meant to be taken advantage of. You can finish the assigned portion throughout the day or night, or complete some after every prayer.
Remember not to be too hard on yourself. After all, you are fasting and need energy for other worship and tasks. There is no need for such fast and furious reading that ends up leaving you too exhausted to pray.
Listen to it: It is a great miracle of Quran that many embraced Islam merely by listening to it (just like Hazrat Umar bin Khattab). It affects the heart like nothing else. If your daily life makes it hard for you to recite large portions of the Quran even during these last few days, you can always include listening to its recitation during your routines, such as commutes to and from work. Taraweeh is also the best opportunity to listen to the Quran.
But remember that you can listen to it at any time. Try different reciters and pick one you like most. Listening to the Quran keeps Allah in your mind and helps focus in prayers. It will also improve your pronunciation!
Learn the Duas: Take a step further than reading and listening. Try to take advantage of these last ten days and pledge to memorize the Quran as much as you can!
Allah has given numerous Duas (supplications) in the Quran for a purpose. Determine that you’ll memorize at least 1 quranic dua each day. Learn it with translation and utilize it within your prayers. Very soon, you will have learnt a great deal of the Quran.
Practice it: What is a better time other than Ramadan to practice Allah’s teachings? Read the Quran carefully and mark any verse where there is some commandment, prohibition or prescription. Check if you are really obeying Allah. Keep that verse in your mind and try to act upon it. Very soon, you will see the effects on your habits and lifestyle.
Share it: In order to reap maximum rewards for your efforts, make them lasting. Share your Quranic knowledge with family, friends and colleagues. Teach them what you discovered and learnt through the Quran. And although we should be restricting our social media use especially during the last ten days, we can always use it wisely to earn benefits, spread Allah’s words and gain maximum rewards in sha Allah.
So let’s start!