The blessed month of Ramadan is now upon us. There are countless virtues and blessings associated with this month and a Ramadan well spent can elevate our status in Jannah like no other. While Ramadan is glaringly synonymous with fasting and Taqwa, it is also the month in which the Quran was revealed:
“The month of Ramadan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion…” (Al-Baqarah 2:185)
And the month in which Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) used to revise the Quran with Jibreel (as). This should act as an inspiration for us to not only fast in all senses of the word, but also to strengthen our bond with the Quran. After all the Quran is not only the manual of our lives but also a compass that keeps us pointing towards the straight path.
Malik reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “I have left you with two matters which will never lead you astray, as long as you hold to them: the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of his Prophet.” (Al-Muwatta)
Here are a few ways we can revive our relationship with the Quran and cultivate a deeper understanding of this essential book in our lives. With the current reality of having more time on our hands, it will truly be a shame if we do not devote more time to this living miracle that we are blessed to have with us.
- Complete the recitation of the whole Quran during this month, along with the translation. Reading the Quran cover to cover at least once during Ramadan is something many Muslims aim to do. While there are benefits of just reciting the Arabic, the actual purpose of the Quran is to implement it in our lives, which cannot be done without understanding it. It is a Book that We have sent down to you blessed, so that they may contemplate its verses and so that people of understanding may take heed.” (Saad:29) Therefore, reading the translation should be the minimum addendum for non Arabs. It can be done in one go or divided up into bits throughout the day. If you really want to reflect a bit more deeply or jot down important reminders for yourself, try coupling it with Quran journaling.
- Follow an online daily Tafsir class. A lot of scholars do either a brief Tafsir (explanation) of the whole Quran or in-depth Tafsir of selected Surahs every Ramadan. Look up your favourite scholars and soak up the gems every day. You can do it on your own or make it a family activity. The whole family can gather together to listen, increasing the Barakah and receiving the benefits of a gathering of knowledge In sha Allah.
- Decide on a Surah you want to understand in-depth this month. Read multiple Tafasir of said Surah(s), listen to lectures on it, look up anecdotes about it, reflect on it and discuss it with friends or family. There is sweetness to be attained when one truly immerses themselves in the words of his Rabb.
- Start your Hifdh journey! Whether you aim to start on the long, arduous but ultimately extremely rewarding journey of memorizing the whole Quran, or want to limit yourself to a Juz or even a few Surahs, take the plunge this month. A website that can help with memorization is muqri.com. It has a list of Qaris one can listen to and the option of repeating selected ayahs the amount of times you want or the recitation with time delay between Ayahs so one can repeat after the Qari. Additionally, get hold of the book The Crowning Venture for inspiration and memorization techniques by different women who have been through this journey.
- Work on your Tajweed. Correct tajweed is important not only to beautify one’s recitation but to also make sure that we are not mispronouncing words and changing the meaning of Allah’s word. Allah tells the Prophet(صلى الله عليه وسلم) in the Quran: “…And recite the Quran with measured recitation.” (Muzzammil : 4) If you have always struggled with knowing how to sound out the letters or to Ghunna or not to Ghunna, then use this opportunity to work on your tajweed. While it is ideal to work one on one with someone, there are multiple online programs that are available too, for example something like this.
- Learn Arabic. It is unfortunate that a lot of us non Arabs have grown up with zero knowledge of Arabic despite it being the language the Quran was revealed in and the language we say our prayers in. Use this opportunity to enroll in an online Quranic Arabic class or program. Bayyinah and Qalam Institutes are two with online programs available, but there are many more available for every level.
These are only a few paths towards developing a closer relationship with the Quran, but ultimately we must remember that unless we strive to implement all that we learn, there is limited benefit in it.