The Return to the Qur’an

After two hours of taraweeh, and up to four hours of tahajud, the Shaykh was bawling to Allah in his sujood, pleading with Allah to turn to him in repentance.

This Shaykh, hafidhahullah, would recite the Qur’an and he would have to stop reciting because he was weeping so much. He would recite verses of the hellfire and you felt that he was witnessing the hellfire, verses of Paradise and it was as if he was in Paradise, he would recite a duaa in the Qur’an and beg this duaa as if he was the very one, amongst thousands of people, making it for his own soul. And then, after losing his voice from hours of recitation and crying, he would go into sujood, and we could hear him over the microphone weeping, making tawbah to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.

Why was I not feeling the weight of the Qu’ran like he was? Why was I not feeling the weight of my shortcomings like he was? And who could possibly have more shortcomings between the two of us? Clearly, the most overwhelming feeling that I experienced, was that he, hafidhahullah, may Allah reward and preserve him, is one who knows, and I am one who does not know. And indeed Allah ‘Azza wa Jall says, “Those truly fear Allah, among His Servants, who have knowledge” (surah Fatir, 35:28). And he recited this verse over and over.

And so after Ramadan, I went to his masjid and Alhamdullilah I was blessed with being able to ask him, “Shaykh, I was here in Ramadan… When you recited the Qur’an, I felt that you really understood it…sometimes you would recite a verse over and over, sometimes you would cry and cry. And even if I understood the meaning of the verse, I would not cry like you would cry. And so I felt you don’t just know the meaning, but you KNOW the meaning. How can I be of those who know?”

He replied, “asbab katheer”- the means are many:

1- Prepare your heart with the utmost preparation by praying salatul sunnah before the fard salah.

a. Prepare your heart before you enter salah. For example, before salatul ishaa, he explained, pray two rakahs to help your heart feel the Qur’an before the faraid.

2- Recite the Qur’an many times

a. When you recite an ayah, recite it over and over- contemplate the ayaat, think about the ayaat.

b. Interact with the Qur’an, one juz a day, so that you can finish the Qur’an within one month, reciting it plentifully.

3- Read the tafseer of the Qur’an

a. Recite the Qur’an, and when you are reciting it, if you realize there is a verse that you do not understand, go to the tafseer and read the tafseer. Then go back to the verse and read it with this knowledge about how it was revealed, why it was revealed, when it was revealed, the situation it was revealed in, and then think: did I understand it now?

4- Realize Allah ‘Azza wa Jall is calling YOU

a. Imagine how it was when the Qur’an was revealed to the companions imagine how it was when verses were recited to them, and they witnessed its revelation! They knew the reason for its revelation, they knew the Qur’an was addressing THEM. Imagine how the Companions, radi Allahu anhum, were then effected, when they knew the Qur’an was revealed to them, that the Qur’an was calling them.

b. So know: Allah is calling me! When you hear a verse, in surah Hujraat for example, and the verse says: O you who believe! Do not put (yourselves) forward before Allâh and His Messenger, and fear Allâh. Verily! Allâh is All-Hearing, All-Knowing [Hujraat, 49:1].

c. Think: I am from those who believe. What is Allah asking from ME? What does Allah, my Creator, Al Wadud, The Most Loving, requesting from me?

5- LIVE these ayaat

a. When you read about Jannah (Paradise), imagine you are SITTING in Jannah, looking at the fruits of Jannah, watching the people of Jannah, smelling the scents of Jannah

b. When you read about the Naar (Hellfire), think about your kitchen, think about how hot it is when you are by the stove, and the fire of the stove is on. Imagine how hot it would be if you were to touch that fire…so hot that you cannot stand the heat of the fire on your face. This is the fire of this life! Imagine the Naar! How hot is the Naar??

6- Very important: duaa.

a. He told me that Allah ‘Azza wa Jall is the Only One who will give you this understanding. You will not get it unless Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala wants you to understand. So when you make sujood, and you are between His Hands subhanah, make a ton of duaa: O Allah! You are the Opener! Open this knowledge for me, open the understanding of the Qur’an for me.

7- Qiyam al Layl (night prayer)

a. Read the verse, and think about the verse, and read it many, many times, and ponder over the verse. The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallama would read just one verse, over and over, weeping to Allah.

b. This reading and this contemplation of the Qur’an, this will move the heart [hatha taharok alQalb].

8- Lessen the sins and the disobedience to Allah

a. These things- raan [“Nay! But on their hearts is the Rân (covering of sins and evil deeds) which they used to earnSurah Muttafifeen, 83:14], these are a barrier from feeling and understanding the Qur’an. These things make a covering on the heart.

b. So you can hear a verse, such a strong, powerful verse, but you are not affected by it at all because you have this covering on your heart. So you need to decrease the sins you commit so that your heart can be effected by the Qur’an.

9- Listen to the Qur’an plentifully- katheer- a ton!

a. When you listen to the Qur’an, think, why does this Reciter recite this verse over and over? Why is he crying when he recites this verse? Listen and think about why the Reciter is reciting the way he is.

10- And finally: Hope with Allah ‘Azza wa Jall

a. Allah will NEVER [LAN] leave me to myself

b. Realize Allah will not leave you to yourself when you ask Him! Make duaa to Him! Have hope He will subhanahu wa ta’ala answer you!

c. Make dua, “O Allah! Who am I? Who am I except the companion of sin and disobedience? And You…subhanah! You are the Companion of forgiveness! O Allah, open the doors of understanding for me! You are the Only One Who can give me understanding!”

d. And know, KNOW that He subhanahu wa ta’ala, will answer you, and will never, ever leave you.

Floored, I asked him, Shaykh, how do you know all this? You answered me with steps, with a plan of how to return to the Qur’an. Is it all just in a book that I can read all of it and just know exactly what to do?

He replied, you know, just like if you are in a certain department in college, and you want to get the highest grades, what do you do? You read books, you speak to people who know the material…just like this, I thought: How do I become successful? So I read books, and I listened, and when I heard someone reciting and they were weeping, I thought, why are they weeping in this verse? Why are they weeping here? And so he searched, with the goal: kayf anjah? How do I succeed?

Perhaps not all of us can jump into implementing all of the above points overnight. Instead, let us make sure to take care and guard over doing at least two of them until we get them down, and then move on to do more, until, insha’Allah, we too are of those who have succeeded.

Below, please find the “I WANT THE QUR’AN!” chart. Print it out, put it somewhere you’ll see everyday [like the fridge], and mark your progress with the Qur’an.

The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallama taught us that whoever wants this life, on this person is the Qur’an. And whoever wants the akhira, on this person is the Qur’an. And whoever wants them both, then on this person is the Qur’an.

From knowledge to dough, whatever you want: cling onto the Qur’an! And in the end, “…whatever of good you send forth for yourselves before you, you shall find it with Allah. Certainly, Allah is All-Seer of what you do.” [Baqarah, 2: 110].

I WANT THE QUR’AN!

Heart Preps

Sun

Mon

Tues

Wed

Thurs

Fri

Sat

Did I pray sunnah before fard to prep my heart for my meeting with Allah?

Did I complete ____ pages today? [Plethora of Qur’an recitation]

Did I read tafseer today?

Have I realized Allah is calling ME when I read the Qur’an?

Did I LIVE the ayaat when I was reading them?

Have I made [a ton of] duaa to Allah to open the doors of the Qur’an to me?

Did I pray qiyam alLayl and try to contemplate on the verses I read?

Have I lessened my sins and disobedience to the One I am returning to on this day?

Have I listened to the Qur’an today?

Have I had [A TON!] of hope in Allah answering my duaa today?

HEART PUMP: [Here put an ayah, phrase, or anything which when you see will remind you why you want to be pumped to revamp your relationship with the Qur’an.

Download the Qur’an chart now!

I WANT THE QUR’AN Chart (Microsoft Word document)

I WANT THE QUR’AN Chart (PDF document)

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2 Responses to “The Return to the Qur’an”

  1. anon sister Says:

    Assalamualaykum,

    jazakallahu khair for this wonderful advise. I was just thinking of how I could return back to read the qur’an and tafseer regularly and diligently like before, which was a long time ago. that’s for pointing me to the right track.

  2. islamequalscool Says:

    wa alaykum as salam warahmatuAllahi wa baraktuhu!

    May Allah ‘Azza wa Jall make you a companion of the Qur’an and help us all turn back to His Book…ameen!

    jezakiAllahu khayrin, please keep us in your dua’

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