Riyadh-based Quran teacher with three ijaazas speaks on the importance of learning the divine book. – Conducted and translated by Asma Yasin.

IjazahhCan you tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Adlia Hasan Mohammad Ahmad El-Fakeeh. My parents are Nubians from Northern Sudan but they moved to Cairo, Egypt before I was born. I lived there until I got married and had my first child, Iman. Then we came here to Saudi Arabia.

Many people are not familiar with the term "Ijaza". Can you please explain for them what an Ijaza is?

An Ijaza is a certificate from a sheikh authorizing the recipient to teach Quran and listing the sanad (chain) of teachers going back to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم who himself learned it from the angel Jibreel عليه السلام, who was sent down from the heavens to reveal what Allah سبحانه و تعالى has taught him.

(A page from her Ijaza is on the right).

When did you start memorizing the Quran and what motivated you to do it?

My memorization of Quran didn't become serious until I came to Saudi Arabia in 1990. It started when a friend of mine called Hanan told me about Dar Al-Quran. I remember her telling me that it was a place like no other: "مكان يخلِّيكي تنسي الدنيا و ما فيها" .

How long did it take you to memorize the whole Quran?

I didn't really finish memorizing the Quran until I studied for the Ijaza. Before that I memorized only parts of the Quran according to personal interest or courses that we took at the Dar.

What led you to consider studying for an Ijaza?

When I first went to Daar Al Quran my intention was only to memorize because I didn't know that there was more to Quran than memorization. Then I found out about the importance of tajweed in reciting Quran.

What exactly is Tajweed and why is it so important?

Tajweed literally means "proficiency" or "doing something well". It comes from the same root letters as the Arabic word "jayyid", which means "good". With regard to Quran, tajweed means reciting the Quran while observing the rules of recitation. Every letter of the Quran must be given its right.

The Quran was revealed with tajweed. The angel Jibreel عليه السلام recited Allah's words to the Prophet in a certain way and showed him the ways in which it was permissible to recite the Quran.

The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم taught these ways to his Companions who passed them down to us today. Applying those rules, reciting the Quran the way it was revealed, is an obligation. That was what led me into studying for an Ijaza. Allah says in the Quran:

(( ورتل القرآن ترتيلا ))

"And recite the Quran with measured recitation." [Quran 73:4]

What kind of Ijaza do you have?

First of all, I want to clarify that there are ten different kinds of Ijazas, meaning there are ten different ways of reciting the Quran. I have three Ijazas. The first Ijaza I completed is known as "Hafs from Aasim", which is probably the most widespread way of reciting the Quran throughout the Muslim world. I completed it here in Riyadh with Shaikha Ilham Al-Tarabeeshi. Later, while living in Cairo, I completed a double Ijaza--Warsh and Qaloon from Nafii—with Shaikh Muhammad Abdul-Rahman Sayyid.

How long did it take you to complete these Ijazas?

It took me two years to complete the first Ijaza but only six months to finish the double Ijaza.

What was the most difficult part of earning your Ijazas?

Alhamdulillah, I don't remember finding any special difficulty in doing the three Ijazas. Allah must have made it easy for me. In fact, the hardest part was not studying for the Ijaza, but the responsibility of actually finishing and receiving it. I remember feeling nervous as I was reciting the last surahs of the Quran. Receiving an Ijaza is a great responsibility. It's an amaanah (trust) not only from the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم but also from Allah the Most High.

What advice do you have for youth?

My advice to all youth is to hold fast to Allah's Book. Without Quran, a Muslim is "dead". The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said that the difference between the one who knows the Quran and the one who does not is like the difference between one who is living and one who is dead. I want you all to remember that one day you will be asked about the Quran and what you have done with it. What then will you say?

A lot of students concentrate only on getting A's in Math, Science, English and other academic studies, because they see this as the key to success in the world. But when it comes to Quran they say, "Oh I just don't have time." What these people fail to realize is that only through memorizing and perfecting Quran can they easily manage their time and find barakah (blessing) in their lives. Only through Quran will Allah pave their way to success in this life and in the next.

The Quran is as Allah says, a guidance, a light, and a cure for what's in the hearts. So pick up the Quran at least five minutes a day, read it, understand it, and live it. Trust me, it will light up your day and you will find the satisfaction and happiness we all seek; the real happiness, the real success, in this life and in the Hereafter.