It has been said that everything has a beloved and that the month of Ramadhaan has a beloved too: The Glorious Qur'aan. For the duration of this month, Muslims worldwide honour Ramadhaan's beloved and aspire to complete the recitation of the Qur'aan.
In this article you'll learn how you too can work towards achieving this noble goal, insha'Allaah.
STEP 1: ESTABLISHING AN INTENTION
Our beloved Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) taught us – through his words & actions – the importance of one's intent and purpose. Establishing one's intention is an effective catalyst for implementation. Once your intention has been established, remember to renew it often. Whilst reciting and even upon completion of the Qur'aan, recall your intention and renew it, thus ensuring that it is constantly purified and you are seeking His Divine Acceptance, Allaah Willing.
STEP 2: DON'T BE OVERWHELMED
For some, as much as they aspire to complete the recitation of the Qur'aan during Ramadhaan, they are overwhelmed by the number of pages or the length of some of the Surahs. Remove 'I can't' from your vocabulary and eliminate negative thinking, for the believer puts their trust in Allaah, matched by striving with their actions. Remind yourself that you (if Allaah wills) are fully capable of achieving your Qur'aanic aspirations, whether it be completing Qur'aan 1 or 5 times.
This second point is key. Put your heart into this accomplishment & reap the rewards throughout, Allaah Willing.
STEP 3: PLAN AHEAD
Prior to commencing with your recitation it's important to plan around your routine and block out time for your Qur'aan goal e.g. your work hours, rest hours & any other commitments which you may have. Structure a realistic plan of how to complete the recitation of Qur'aan within the month by dividing each Juzz per day. Draw up this personal plan, review it constantly, and put it into action!
As you put your plan to paper, consider your past Ramadhaan's and ask yourself if there have been instances where you were unable to complete Qur'aanic recitation. Reflect over why and how this occurred.
Is there a different mechanism that you could put into place?
How could you enhance your daily Qur'aan routine if these distractions were dealt with?
Take the first opportunity that comes, to begin your Qur'aanic quest. So when the moon is sighted & the announcement has been made for the 1st Salaatul-Taraweeh, begin in earnest, with Surah Al-Faatiha, Surah Al-Baqarah etc.
STEP 4: UNDERSTAND THE QUR'AAN
Read the translation of the Juzz you will be reciting daily. Having a basic knowledge of the theme, topic, message & meaning of what you are reciting makes the recitation of the Qur'aan an incredibly uplifting experience that you do not want to miss out on!
A very good word to word translation: A Word for Word Meaning of the Quran - 3 Volumes by Muhammad Mohar Ali: The next step after a translation in easily understanding the entire noble Qur'an for non-native speakers. The style of presentation retains the flow and also gives the meaning of the Arabic words along with their Arabic verb form and grammatical hints separately. Brief explanations of the verses is also provided on occasion. A highly recommendable work for understanding and improving knowledge of Quranic Arabic and an excellent resource for teaching a tafseer class or for self study.
STEP 5: FIND QUR'AAN BUDDIES AND COMPETE IN GOOD
Develop close bonds with brothers/ sisters who are known for their attachment to the Qur'aan. They'll be your spiritual friends. Engage a 'Qur'aan Buddy' in your noble Qur'aan productivity goals. Request that they remind you to fulfil your goals and spiritual aspirations so they can help you in times of slacking.
In life, we compete with many materialistic goals and race one another, but what about following the footsteps of the best of generations that had come before us in a competition this Ramadhaan? In striving and competing with our friends and colleagues towards our noble goals, in a good-natured way, we can motivate ourselves to finish our Qur'aan goal.
One of the common aspects which deter a Muslim from completing this task is excessive communication. Often, many of us spend too much unnecessary time surfing the net, chatting, texting, etc... . Reduce this even by a third and you will see, feel and witness the blessings in your time, Allaah Willing.
STEP 6: SEIZE THE MOMENT
A deeply inspiring story in 'lessons from the waiting room' – where a mother, who has taken her unwell child to the hospital, waits for the doctor to see to her child. She notices a young Muslim who uses his time in the waiting room, in a most effective & spiritually rewarding way, reciting from a pocket-sized Quran.
Lesson to be taken here: Invest in a pocket-sized Qur'aan and make it your best friend this Ramadhaan. Seize every opportunity and moment to be with Allaah (glorified and exalted be He) through your recitation.
One of the best times at which to recite Qur'aan, is after Suhoor (pre-dawn meal). Having partaken from the Sunnah meal, and within an hour or two still to go before work or school, this is the ideal jump start to your day. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) asked Allaah (glorified and exalted be He) to bless our Ummah in the early hours, and you will also be more likely to memorise Ayahs at this time. Research shows that morning study creates better performance in students so don't miss the morning recitation!
Time-Tip: Salaah Followed by Qur'aan.
Consider the following option that has worked well for numerous people in past Ramadhaans. Try reciting 6 – 8 pages of Qur'aan (depending on the Mus-haf (copy of the Qur'aan) that you are using), after each of your 5 daily salah. Add Qiyaamul-Layl (late night salah) as a 6th addition, and you will reach the end of Ramadhaan, having completed your Qur'aan recitation with ease & perhaps, even before the last 5 days of Ramadhaan so long as you remain committed.
Time-Tip: Recite before going to sleep.
Allaah (glorified and exalted be He) says: "Indeed, the hours of the night are more effective for concurrence and more suitable for words" (Qur'aan, 73:6). Reciting during the day is also beneficial, however the night time recitation is easier as well during Ramadhaan as there are less distractions and noise.
STEP 7: REMAIN STEADFAST AND CONSISTENT
The key to any success is consistency. Once you've mapped your plan, stick to it. Remind yourself of the greatness of this month, of the opportunities that it provides for your spiritual growth and your relationship with the Qur'aan. Don't be willing to compromise it in this month.
STEP 8: MAKE DUA'A TO ALLAAH (GLORIFIED AND EXALTED BE HE)
Nothing can be achieved without the aid and guidance of Allaah (glorified and exalted be He). When making your intention to complete your recitation or memorisation of Qur'aan, supplicate to Allaah (glorified and exalted be He) to ease this noble pathway and to crown your efforts with success, inshaa'Allaah.
These are the 8 ways I wanted to share with you on starting and completing your journey through recitation of the Qur'aan this Ramadhaan. Indeed, Allaah (glorified and exalted be He) says in Surah Al-Baqarah:
"This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allaah.''
In the hours of the days and nights of this sacred month, may the Qur'aan be your companion of light and guidance, resonating through your words, actions and life mission. May your relationship with the Qur'aan be strengthened, enriched & enlivened with the profound wisdom and divine message from Allaah (glorified and exalted be He).