Journeying With The Qur’an

إنَّكم لا ترجِعون إلى اللهِ بشيءٍ أفضلَ ممَّا خرج منه يعني القرآنَ

“None of you will return to God with something better than that which came from Him (in other words, the Qur’an).”Abu Dharr al-Ghifari, al-Targhib wa al-Tarhib


Finally A Qur’an App That Delivers

Elmohafez TV, developed by Hossam Hammady, is a truly useful Qur’an app, that is if you want to use such an app to aid you in memorizing the Qur’an. The icing on the cake — at least for me — is its incorporation of the Qira’āt al-‘Ashr, or the 10 Variant Recitations of the Qur’an. It features a couple of useful tools: [1] a voice recorder. This allows you to record yourself reciting and compare it to the mushaf. If you get it correct, you get to mark that section/verse completed, which leads to [2] ledger function that tells you your progress in memorizing that chapter, or juz’, in percentages. The app also fearures a number of reciters in the variant recitations as well. May Allah bless the app’s creator(s).

Hat tip to Abdl-Karim. 

Ramadan Reflections 2017 – Week 1: The Importance and Blessings of Reading Qur’an Yourself

Showcasing a few reflections from our weekly classes and iftars about the importance of reading the Qur’an vs. only listening to it. Also some reflections about superstitious attitudes towards Ramadan and piety in general.

Superstition (n.) early 13c., “false religious belief; irrational faith in supernatural powers,” from Latin superstitionem (nominative superstitio) “prophecy, soothsaying; dread of the supernatural, excessive fear of the gods, religious belief based on fear or ignorance and considered incompatible with truth or reason,” literally “a standing over,” noun of action from past participle stem of superstare “stand on or over; survive,” from super “above” (see super-) + stare “to stand,” from PIE root *sta- “to stand, make or be firm.”

Do For Self: Read The Book Of Allah

I was treated to a wonderful Syrian breakfast this morning by an older brother in the community. Besides the amazing breakfast and hospitality, we met to discuss the possibility of him overseeing a Qur’an halaqah, or reading circle at Middle Ground. In our discussion we talked about the importance of the everyday Muslim to read the Qur’an for his or herself. He, a man who grew up attending Jami’ Abu Nur (Abu Nur Mosque) in Damascus, would like to give back to the community now that he’s retired. Both of us mutually shared a concern that increasingly Muslims have a relationship with Islam — with Allah, without reading the Qur’an.

So I was reminded of a couple of ahadith in which the Prophet ﷺ relates, concerning reading the Qur’an,

خيركم من تعلم القرآن وعلّمه

“The best of you is the one who learns the Qur’an and teaches it.”narrated by ‘Uthman bin ‘Affan. Recorded in Sahih al-Bukhari, #5027

But there is another narration in Sunan Abu Dawud, which states,

خياركم من قرأالقرآن وأقرأه

“The best of you is the one who recites the Qur’an and teaches others to recite it.”narrated by ‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud. Transmitted by al-Tabarani in his al-Kabir

While there is some weakness in the isnad (chain) of the riwayah (narration) that al-Tabarani relates, its meaning is sound but further, it also emphasizes an aspect which we were just discussing: reading the Qur’an for oneself, and then giving back. I meet a lot of students whom it is obvious that they’ve listened to a look of CD’s, mp3’s, and YouTube. They imitate the reciters but don’t actually know the rules of tajwid. And even further, in my opinion, this reduces the Qur’an to a passive exercise, much akin the music or entertainment. I’m not saying it’s wrong to listen to reciters but for starters, the barakat (blessings) are in the act. It also cultivates an attitude of knowing Allah’s Book, regardless whether you’re reciting in the Arabic or reading a translation.

So do for self: read the Book.

The Prophet ﷺ stated,

الَّذِي يَقْرَأُ الْقُرْآنَ وَهُوَ مَاهِرٌ بِهِ مَعَ السَّفَرَةِ الْكِرَامِ الْبَرَرَةِ وَالَّذِي يَقْرَؤُهُ وَهُوَ يَشْتَدُّ عَلَيْهِ فَلَهُ أَجْرَانِ

One who is proficient in reciting the Qur’an is as if he or she is with the noble angels who record deeds. And as for he or she who stutters when reciting the Qur’an, this one shall have a double reward.”Related by A’ishah in Sunan Abu Dawud, #1454


Also see, Tips On Memorizing the Qur’an: Magic Lawh.

The Secret To Giving Meaningful Khutbahs

I had an amusing question put to me today after Jumu’ah:

Sorry. No special sauce. Just simply reading the Qur’an, frequently, and with no distractions. Reading it with the intention to learn something new. Reading it and reflecting on it, my life, and the world around me. Sorry to disappoint.