Part 1: Introducing the Qur’an series

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem

Alhamdullilah we have now reached the month of Sha’ban and have less than 30 days before the blessed month of Ramadan begins. Where did the time go??? Subhanallah it felt like only yesterday we celebrated Eid Ul Fitr.

Ramadan is a month in which the Qur’an was revealed. The Prophet صلي الله عليه وسلم after receiving the first revelation at the age of 40, made Hijra (migration) from Makkah to Medina 13 years after prophethood. 2 years after he made Hijra, he was then given revelation for fasting. In Islam, the meaning of fasting is to refrain from doing anything that will break ones fast from dawn of fajr to sunset with an intention for the sake of Allah to worship. I will post some links down below which includes almost all you need to know about Ramadan.

It is narrated on the authority of Abu Hurayrah رضي الله عنه that the Prophet صلي الله عليه وسلم said : “ He who observes the fast of the month of Ramadhaan out of sincerity and hope for the reward from Allaah will have his past sins forgiven.”(2) That is, when fasting is observed out of belief and without resentment to it as an act of worship or doubt in its reward, Allaah will forgive the past sins of the one who observes it.

The companions of the Prophet صلي الله عليه وسلم used to recite a lot of Qur’an during the month of Ramadan and Muslims all over the world also follow this practice to read as much Qur’an and if possible, complete recitation of the holy Qur’an at least once in the month that it was revealed.

”And We have sent down to you the Book as clarification for all things and as guidance and mercy and good tidings for the Muslims).” (Soorah an-Nahl (16):89)

Allah has legislated for us the recitation of the Qur’an and has made it one of the greatest acts of worship and commanded us with it ;

”So, recite you of the Quran as much as may be easy for you” (Soorah al Muzzammil (73) : 20).

The Prophet صلي الله عليه وسلم has informed us of great reward for reciting the Qur’an.

Ibn Mas’ud (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Whoever recites a letter from the Book of Allah, he will be credited with a good deed, and a good deed gets a ten-fold reward. I do not say that Alif-Lam-Mim is one letter, but Alif is a letter, Lam is a letter and Mim is a letter.”
[At- Tirmidhi].

Now, this brings us to the purpose of this blog post.

To kick start these series, I’ll share my own story of how I got motivated to learn how to read Qur’an. ‘Ramadan 2014, I decided to attend my local masjid for taraweeh prayers (night prayers in Ramadan) which I slightly touched on here in my previous post. I was quite disappointed in myself that all the women at the masajid held a mushaf (Qur’an written in Arabic text) but I couldn’t. Alhamdullilah, I was guided when one of the sisters told me to set a target to be able to read Qur’an before the next Ramadan and subhanallah can you believe I actually met that target?

The excitement when I could finally open any page in the Qur’an and read! It was surreal and I remember crying out of joy. I can be a bit over the top sometimes I know. Being able to read Qur’an really isn’t hard for those of you that are unable to and it is never too late. Just like learning anything new, it also requires dedication and effort.

As I have my notes sitting on my bookshelf, I’ve  decided to share them with you with hope that you too can be able to learn how to read Qur’an from recognising the letters to reading it with tajweed. I am not promising that you will sound like Sheikh Mishary bin Rashid AlafasyI but I decided to start these series as I understand how difficult it might be for some to find time to learn. This is mainly for the mothers though. The rest of us really have no excuse. While learning, I found the letters ه ح ق ع quite hard to pronounce initially but practise makes perfect! If I can do it, you surely can too.

Narrated ‘Aishah:
that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “The one who recites the Qur’an and he is proficient with it, then he is with the noble and blessed Angels (As-Safaratil-Kiramil-Bararah), and the one who recites it” – Hisham said: “And it is hard for him” – Shu’bah said: “And it is difficult for him, – then he gets two rewards.”

How soothing is that hadeeth? Double rewards when you find it difficult and you reach the station of the Angels when you are proficient in reading it. Allahu Akbar!

May Allah make it easy for us to be able to read Qur’an with tajweed and memorise it.

”And recite the Quran (aloud) in a slow, (pleasant tone and) style.” (Soorah Al Muzzammil (73):4)

A fun way of learning which usually motivates one is to learn the letters along with your friends or family. It can be a great way to teach your children while you learn too! Imagine the rewards !

‘Uthman bin ‘Affan (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “The best amongst you is the one who learns the Qur’an and teaches it.”

As this is the very first post of trying to teach those of you that are unable to read Qur’an, I will start from the very beginning which is the etiquettes of reciting the Qur’an as the recitation is of the Words of Allah and not of a human being. The etiquettes are prescribed from the sunnah.

💫  Purity– The person reciting should be in a state of purity.

💫 Clean Place. The place where one wishes to recite should be clean and appropriate for the Words of Allah to be mentioned. It is also desirable that one faces the Qiblah.

💫  Siwak. It is encouraged that one uses siwaak before starting to read.

💫  Isthi’aadah. One should seek refuge with Allah before commencing.

💫  Basmalah. It is compulsory to read the basmalah at the beginning of each soorah except soorah At Taubah.

💫  It is incumbent to remain silent for those who intend to listen to the Qur’an and it is not permitted to busy oneself with anything during the recital, as Allah mentions:

”So, when the Qur’an is recited, listen to it, and be silent that you may receive mercy.” (Soorah al-A’raaf (7):204)

💫  Attentiveness. The reciter as well as the listener should guard their attentiveness and etiquettes with the presence of their heart and limbs for the recital and this actually relates to one’s silence. As for raising one’s voice, shouting and making unnecessary noises, then this is from the characteristics of the polytheists as Allah says:

”And those who disbelieve say: “Listen not to this Quran, and make noise in the midst of its (recitation) that you may overcome.” (Soorah al-Fussilat (41):26)

💫  Beautify the Recitation. It is incumbent that one beautifies his voice when reciting the Qur’an and recites melodiously. At the same time, one should avoid imitating the melodious tunes of singers and avoid being extravagant.

💫  Tarteel. It is desirable that one reads Qur’an in a slow tone and avoids haste in that as it will help one to ponder and reflect upon the verses.  Allah mentions:

”And recite the Quran (aloud) in a slow, (pleasant tone and) style.” (Soorah Al Muzzammil (73):4)

💫  Reflect. One should try his utmost to ponder and reflect upon the verses when reciting, or hearing a recital, as Allah mentions:

”Do they not then think deeply in the Quran, or are their hearts locked up (from understanding it)? (Soorah Muhammad (47):24)

💫  Crying. It is deemed praiseworthy that one sheds tears when listening to or reciting the Qur’an by being very attentive and greatly mindful of Whom the Words belong to.

💫  Implement. It is incumbent upon the reader to beware of contradicting the verses he reads and try his utmost to implement the rules and regulations therein. And this is how the Qur’an can either be proof/evidence for him or against him.

💫  Reading Regularly.  It is important that one reads the Qur’an daily, so he is not written from those that are heedless.

💫  Correct Intention. It is obligatory that the Qur’an is read only for the sake of Allah  and no act of worship can be directed to other than Allah. It is prohibited to read for any other reason or to take a wage for the recital.

On the next post in the Qur’an series, I’ll share the Arabic letters with a link to how to actually pronounce the letters and where they come from which is called makhraj.

Now how’s that for a treat ? Much Better than cookies and cream right? 🎉

     Barakallahu feekum and Asalamu alaikum

     Your Sister in Islam (Umm Yusuf / Mina) 

JazakAllahu khairan to my sister Abbie for taking the beautiful display picture at Charlton park just for my blog!

Fasting: The Great Act of Worship : Shaykh ibn Uthaymeen

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