By Sara Chaudhry
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
The month of Ramadan, the blessed month in which the Qur’an was revealed, is here. The main topic of discussion is often the fast itself. Yes, Ramadan is the month where Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, but abstaining from food and drink is only one aspect of what this month entails.
“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. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intent for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.”
– Surah Baqarah, verse 185
There are number of things we can highlight from this verse, but I will draw upon two central themes. Firstly, the Qur’an is specifically being highlighted in this verse. The entire month of Ramadan is a celebration of the Qur’an. It is a month of Qur’an and our journey to Allah. The Qur’an was sent down during this month as guidance for all people. Therefore, all of our focus should be on the book of Allah. We should use the month to renew and rejuvenate our relationship with the Qur’an. The entire spirit of Ramadan is the Qur’an itself.
Secondly, Allah beautifully ends this ayah by making a point that the month of Ramadan is about being grateful. There are abundant reasons to be grateful this month. For example, the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said,
“Whoever fasted the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith (i.e. belief) and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his past sins will be forgiven, and whoever stood for the prayers in the Night of Qadr out of sincere faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven.”
Aisha is reported to have said that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) was asked about the act most pleasing to Allah. He replied:
“That which is done continuously, even if it is small.”
There are a number of practical things we can do to help attain a genuine relationship with the Qur’an. The key is consistency.
Learning Arabic: Arabic should be something we all strive to learn. By no means is it going to be an easy journey, but taking the steps to learn Arabic will facilitate a deeper, holistic understanding of the Qur’an.
Memorisation: Have a memorisation buddy, someone who you are accountable to, and who will test you on your memorisation. Set yourself deadlines and create a memorisation folder to help keep track of your weekly and monthly goals.
Reading: Use this month to get into a habit of reading Qur’an everyday, try and make it part of your life.
Tajweed (elocution): Practice reading out loud and find a teacher who can teach you the basics of tajweed, to help improve your recitation.
Translation: Having a good translation is a great way to compliment your reading of Qur’an. There are many different translations available. Pick a good translation that suits you, one that you can understand and relate to.
Use this month to instil regular habits into your life that you can sustain after the month of Ramadan is over.
I sincerely pray that this month of Ramadan we can be truly grateful for the Qur’an. To read, understand and memories it more than we ever have done before. Let this Ramadan be about refreshing your relationship with the Qur’an.