Abu Hurairah (rtam) narrated: Allah’s Messenger (sa) said: “If Allah loves a person, He calls Gabriel, saying: ‘Allah loves so and so, O Gabriel, love him.’ So Gabriel would love him and then would make an announcement in the Heavens: ‘Allah has loved so-and-so; therefore, you should love him also.’ So all the dwellers of the Heavens would love him, and then he is granted the pleasure of the people on the earth.”
Q. What are your basic qualifications and how did you initiate your Quran education?
I learned Tajweed, Tarjumah (translation), Tafseer, and Hadeeth from Madrasatul Banat Rasheed tul-Islam (Clifton branch) for six years. I have done several courses of the Arabic language with Sir Ibrahim and Sheikh Abu Khalid. In Madinah, I learned advanced level of Tajweed from the teacher of Masjid Nabvi. I did this in intervals over a period of three years and, Alhumdulillah, I am still learning.
Q. What is your mission?
My mission in life is to spread the word of Almighty to all. It is my dream to see that the Muslim brothers and sisters read the Quran the way it was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (sa).
The Quran has five rights, and all are equally important:
- To read it with correct Tajweed (Tajweed means to beautify the recitation, as it was taught by our Prophet [sa]).
- To believe that this glorious Book is from a Supreme Being.
- To understand its meaning.
- To practice upon it.
- To pass its knowledge to others.
My mission is to give the Quran its due importance in our lives, as this is the only source of bringing peace and harmony. In order for people, especially children, to understand this, my aim is to spread this knowledge through love. Yes! Love for Allah (swt), love for His Prophet Muhammad (sa), love for the Quran, love for Islam, and overall love for humanity. I want to break the darkness of harsh, rude, and crude styles of teaching the Quran, in which people, especially children, are degraded, hurt, and hit. I would like to inspire people by the Sunnah style of teaching the Quran – we all know that our beloved Prophet Muhammad (sa) taught the Quran with his utmost Akhlaq, sweet tongue, and true love. We, as Muslims, are supposed to follow his Sunnah only! I have experienced with people, especially children, that their ability to grasp increases when the presentation is clear and easily understandable.
Q. What age group students do you have?
We take children from the age of three-and-a-half years. For boys, the age group is three-and-a-half to twelve years. By the age of twelve, the boys have to leave our Madrassah. For women, there is no age limit.
Q. What do you think is the difference between teaching Tajweed, Nazra, and Hifz to adults as compared to children?
Children are like blank papers. They absorb new things very easily. Their minds are fresh, so they learn quickly. They do not have to erase incorrect ways. However, in today’s day and age, children are very distracted. They are also burdened unnecessarily by their parents and the school system, whereas adult women (as I deal only with women) have many responsibilities and are loaded with commitments. Those who are serious do accomplish their goal due to their hard work and persistence. It is tougher for adults to undo what they have learnt earlier and to relearn. The children are at an advantage because they learn afresh.
There is no age limit to learn the Quran Nazra, and the same is for Hifz. Both children and adults can do Hifz with Tajweed, and this is possible only by continuous hard work by teachers and students and definitely with Duas. It is very important to make the learning of Tajweed and Hifz interesting for the young children, as they lose interest quickly. Adults, on the other hand, have longer attention spans.
Q. What challenges have you faced during your mission?
The greatest challenge that I have faced in my mission is to make people give the Quran its due importance. Unfortunately, generally in people’s lives the Quran is not the top most priority. It comes way below such worldly commitments as school, tuitions, and all school related extra curricula activities. Children are allowed to miss Madrassah for the slightest excuse. However, we cannot blame children for this. If only mothers would cooperate with the Madrassah teachers half as much as they do with the school teachers, our kids would understand the importance of Allah’s Book and would know how to keep the balance.
The same is true also for adults. Some students easily miss classes without realizing how much they are going to lose. However, those who commit themselves to the Quran show outstanding results. Some students (especially women) just want to read the Quran, and they do not want to understand the importance of the theory being taught.
Q. Would you like to share with us any interesting story?
I was sitting and reciting the Quran in Masjid Nabawi, when I heard the sound of this beautiful recitation. A girl who had travelled with me from Makkah was in that group, and she told me that she was there to learn the recitation of the Quran. The enchanting recitation prompted me to join the group as well, but every time I got up, I heard a voice saying to me: “Why are you going there to learn? You already know so much – you have been studying for six years. They are not going to teach anything new.” And I would just sit down. This happened thrice. Afterwards, I actually felt a push, urging me to get up and join the group. Finally, I went there. I was greeted with a lot of love and affection. I was the only Pakistani in the group. Although I was a stranger to them, the group greeted me and treated me as one of their own. I understood that their love for one another and for me was because of the Quran. We were all joined by one Book. The unconditional love I got from them is a miracle of the Quran.
When I heard the students and the teacher Mrs. Marwat read the Quran, I was full of shame. My knowledge of the Quran seemed so inadequate in front of them. When Mrs. Marwat found out that I teach the Quran, she gave me extra time and taught me accordingly. In spite of having an air of firmness around her, Mrs. Marwat is the sweetest teacher I have ever met. She changed my entire outlook. The Quran has to be taught with love and affection.
Interview by Rahila Abdul-Aziz