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Quran and Sunnah

The Quran and Me: Developing a Personal Relationship

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By Ismail Kamdar

A few days ago, I was feeling very sad about an accusation somebody made against me. Although I knew it was false, it still hurt me that somebody would think like that about me so I turned to the best words for advice…the Quran. I opened the Quran randomly asking Allah to guide me and looked down at the verses in front of me, which read, “We definitely know the grief their words cause you, it is not you they deny but it is the signs of Allah that the oppressors deny. Indeed messengers were denied before you and they were patient with the denial and they were harmed until our help came….” (Surah Al-An’aam 6:33-34)

Over the years I have come to expect this from the Quran. As my relationship with the Quran grows, it becomes more personal and my view of the Quran has evolved from the book of Allah into a personal conversation with my Lord. I would like to mention some key events in my life that affected my relationship with the Quran so that everybody can develop a similar if not better relationship with the Quran than me, insha Allah.

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In my early childhood, my relationship with the Quran was the average cultural relationship, kiss it, keep it on the top shelf, memorize my basic surahs, nothing more. When I was eight, I started Hifz and was beaten many times because I found difficulty memorizing the Quran or reciting it with the level of Tajweed that was demanded by my teachers. I soon quit Hifz and had become averse to the Quran, its recital and Tajweed.

Many years later, as I was studying to become a Moulana, I still had this fear to recite and this hatred of studying Tajweed, it didn’t help that my Tajweed teacher was very mean and demanded perfection, which my tongue could not manage, so my relationship with the Quran did not improve.

However, a few years ago while still studying I came across a lecture that changed my perception of the Quran forever,

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Ismail Kamdar, a.k.a Abu Muawiyah, is the Head Tutorial Assistant of the Islamic Online University, and the host of Living Islam on Radio Al-Ansaar. He began his study of Islam at the age of thirteen, and has completed both the Alim course and a BA in Islamic Studies. He is the author of multiple books including Having Fun the Halal Way: Entertainment in Islam, Getting The Barakah: An Islamic Guide to Time Management and Best of Creation: An Islamic Guide to Self-Confidence.

68 Comments

68 Comments

  1. Mirza Shahbaaz Baig

    February 24, 2010 at 6:11 AM

    Bismillah.

    Barak Allaah feek Ismail. Jazak Allaah khayr for this reminder. wonderful experience. wassalam.

  2. Sami

    February 24, 2010 at 9:19 AM

    Anxiously waiting the first person who will say, “Open the Qura’an randomly and take a message for the day! This is bida’ah!”

    …and then Amad’s response about the concept of bida’ah.

    hehe :)

    May Allah make the Qura’an a proof for us and not against us. May Allah reward you for sharing your personal experiences Br. Ismail.

    • Abd- Allah

      February 24, 2010 at 2:13 PM

      Sneaky way of stating that this is an innovation without having to be the one who said it and thus avoid confrontation. Smart technique. I should use it more often.

    • Amad

      February 25, 2010 at 5:21 AM

      Sami, your comment is a bidah.

  3. Yus from the Nati

    February 24, 2010 at 10:13 AM

    جزاك الله خورا!

    Akhi, I think I enjoy your posts on here the most. Good reminders/experiences.

  4. Adam

    February 24, 2010 at 10:40 AM

    As’salaamualaikum,
    Alhamdulilah, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post. What I’ve realized is that, amongst our generation at least, there’s so much emphasis on your “hardware” of the Qur’an (how much is memorized, how good is your tajweed, how often do you recite) understanding it just gets brushed to the wayside. It seems many of us are more content with simply reciting and reading than actually knowing what it is we’re saying and then I realize it’s no wonder so many of us haven’t really connected with the Book of Allah – we honestly don’t know what he’s saying.

    But alhamdulilah, we have posts like these and brothers like yourself to help steer everyone towards actual understanding which is the only way, really, to know and love Allah. On this same note, I guess it would beneficial for us to suggest translations or tafsir collections that have opened our eyes to Allah and His word:

    Personally, it was the translation, “Al-Quran The Guidance for Mankind” by Muhammad Farooqi-i-Azam Malik” published by The Institute of Islamic Knowledge (can read online for free http://al-quraan.org/read-quran-online-c-4.html). Subhanallah I feel that it is excellent; before each surah is a overview, major points/guidance, and historical context of the surahs. On top of that it’s really written in modern day English which makes it VERY accessible. I pray that Allah guides us all to Him and that we each find benefit from this post, ameen.

    • Ismail Kamdar

      February 25, 2010 at 12:16 AM

      Jazakallah Khair to everyone for teh kind comments.

      Akhi, “Al-Quran The Guidance for Mankind” by Muhammad Farooqi-i-Azam Malik” is my favorite translation too, once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down, I read it cover to cover without missing any explanation. It just flows so well and so easy to understand. I definitely recommend it above all the English translations that I have read thus far.

      My favorite Tafseers are Tafsir Ibn Kathir and Imam Shawkani’s Fathul Qadeer. ALthough I do not know if Fathul Qadeer has been translated into English, I own an Arabic copy of it.

      • Amad

        February 25, 2010 at 5:24 AM

        Ah…
        I know Farooq Malik personally… both his sons were very good friends of mine in school.

        I don’t know how to say it, but take benefit from it as you can. But pls check it against the other translations. Basically, you’ll find a lot of it came from Maududi’s translation, mixed with other translations. I think his main goal was not as much to translate, but “help” the existing translations.

  5. Amatullah

    February 24, 2010 at 10:41 AM

    jazaak Allahu khayran Abu Muawiyah for sharing your experience. may Allah ta’ala make you from the companions of the Qur’an and grant you success in your hifdh soon.

    My relationship with the Qur’an started when I was around 15, I had this sudden urge to just memorize so I started listening to these Hodaify tapes my mom got me and just memorized on my own for a few years. My parents always took us to Qur’an classes and we would memorize but I never felt a connection with the Qur’an before this time. After that, I did what you did…I made it a habit to read the English over and over until I could remember the meaning on my own. I used to carry around a check list of which surahs I read with my pocket qur’an and how many more I needed to go to finish reading the translation. Then I started Al-Huda…the pinnacle alhamdulillah :)

    Which Arabic tafaseer did you start reading?

    I’d really like to have a tafseer like tafseer imam Sa’di translated for the English audience inshaAllah.

    • Ibn Malik

      February 24, 2010 at 12:04 PM

      Its not completely translated (Tafseer Sa’di rahimuAllah) but you can find tafseer of the some of the Juz Amma surahs
      here:

      http://islaam.net/main/index.php

      The translations are top quality Alhamdulillah and the brother is slowly translating each Surah, so check back often to see if a new one has come out!

      • Amatullah

        February 24, 2010 at 11:39 PM

        that is great mashaAllah, may Allah reward the brother tremendously. I really think his tafseer would benefit a wide range of people. It’s practically my favorite, as well as shaykh ibn Uthaymeen’s tafseer.

    • Ismail Kamdar

      February 25, 2010 at 12:19 AM

      Fathul Qadeer by Imam Shawkhani and Tafsir Ibn Kathir are my two favorite Arabic Tafsirs.

      In English for starters, one should read a short Tafseer of a surah to get a feel of it. My favorite Tafseer to recommend people first is “Tafseer of Surah Hujarat” by Dr Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips, its a very important Surah and one of the best and most contemprary Tasfeers of that Surah I know off.

  6. AsimG

    February 24, 2010 at 10:52 AM

    You’d be surprised to know how many “fear” the Qur’an in some sense because they lack the tajweed or reading skills and being previously embarrassed in their childhood for improper reading.

    I struggle with this a lot, but as long as I don’t give up insha’Allah I’ll be ok

  7. Abd- Allah

    February 24, 2010 at 2:17 PM

    JazakAllah khayr brother Ismail for sharing your experiences in this article. I think every person has their own journey to discovering the Quran, but once we taste the sweetness of the Quran, reciting it and understanding it, it gives us the motivation to keep pushing and struggling for a better and deeper understanding of the Quran.

    What amazes me personally is that regardless of how many times I have read a certain surah or ayah, but every time I read it I have a new feeling inside me and I realize or see in it something new which I haven’t noticed before.

    Indeed, { (All) praise is due to Allah, Who revealed the Book to His servant and did not make in it any crookedness. } (18:01)

    • Ismail Kamdar

      February 25, 2010 at 12:22 AM

      Same here, for example: Surah Asr is just three verses but the more often I recite it, the more lessons I pull from it. It is amazing how deep each verse of the Quran is, that alone is proof of its miraculous nature.

      Imaam Shaafi said, “If Surah Asr alone was revealed, it would have bee sufficient for guidance,”

  8. Wael - IslamicAnswers.com

    February 24, 2010 at 2:32 PM

    Jazak Allah khayr brother for this reminder about the importance of seeking understanding and guidance from the Quran. It’s not just something to recite in salat, or keep on the shelf to show our “Muslimhood”. It is Allah speaking to us, and not just as an excercise, but to help us understand the meaning of our lives.

    And now… I’m going to read the Quran, Insha’Allah.

    • Wael - IslamicAnswers.com

      February 24, 2010 at 3:14 PM

      It’s been a difficult time for me recently. I’ve been feeling suffocated and emotionally cramped in many ways. After reading brother Ismail’s article, I took a break from work, opened the curtains to let in some sun, and sat down with the Quran. I opened it randomly and read in Surah Yasin ayah 33:

      “And a sign for them is the dead earth. We have brought it to life and brought forth from it grain, and from it they eat.”

      SubhanAllah. This could easily be a metaphor for the deadened heart. Just as Allah brings life and sustenance from the dead earth, He will do the same with our lives, our hearts.

      It’s a sign for us, Allah says. It’s not accidental or random.

      Trust in Allah, turn to Him, and from the cramped, oppressed, suffering heart He will bring light, happiness, comfort, peace and joy.

  9. Mr M

    February 24, 2010 at 5:47 PM

    Most people fail to appreciate that they need to put enough effort into Islam just as they do so in order to gain entry to colleges of higher learning. Muslims should be prepared to study many years and not fall into the trap of listening or watching certain TVs that suit them; that is called “grooming” and not learning.

    You can google a torrent called “Learn Quranic Arabic words – The Easy Way” and take the necessary steps to download the files.

    Thank you.

  10. Umm Bilqis

    February 24, 2010 at 7:03 PM

    The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Some people will come on the Day of
    Judgement and their Imaan will be outstanding, it’s light will shine from their chests and from their
    right hands.
    So it will be said to them, ‘Glad tidings for you today, Assalamu ‘alaikum and Goodness for you, Enter
    into it (Jannah) forever!’
    So the Angels and the Prophets will be jealous of the Love of Allah for them.”
    So the Sahabah asked, “Who are they, Ya Rasoolullah?”
    He (sallahu ‘alayhi wasalam) replied,
    “They are not from us and they are not from you. You are my companions but they are my beloved.
    They will come after you and will find the Book (the Qur’an) made redundant by the people, and a
    Sunnah which has been killed by them. So they will grab hold of the Book and the Sunnah and revive
    them.
    So they read them and teach them (the Qur’an and the Sunnah) to the people and they will experience
    in that path a punishment more severe and more ugly than what you (O Sahabah) have experienced.
    Indeed the Imaan of one of them is equivalent to the Imaan of forty of you.
    The Shaheed of one of them is equivalent to forty of your Shuhadaa’. Because you found a helper
    towards the truth (the Prophet) and they will find no helper towards the truth.
    So they will be surrounded by tyrant rulers in every place, and they will be in the surroundings of Baitul-
    Maqdis (Al-Quds, Masjid al-Aqsa). The Nussrah (Help and Victory) of Allah will come to them, and
    they will have the honour of it on their hands.”
    Then he (sallahu ‘alayhi wasalam) said, “O Allah, give them the Nussrah and make them my close
    friends in Jannah.”
    – Reported by Ahmad

    • Wael - IslamicAnswers.com

      February 24, 2010 at 9:11 PM

      Wow, that’s an amazing hadith. I had not read that before. May Allah make us among them, or even allow us to learn from them and know them.

    • Abd- Allah

      February 25, 2010 at 1:09 AM

      Assalam Alaikum

      This hadith is fabricated, and it doesn’t even seem to be found in the musnad of Imam Ahmad nor in any of the other books of hadith.

      Allah knows best.

  11. Ibnu Ameen

    February 24, 2010 at 9:03 PM

    Insyallah akhi, i’m also trying to learn and understanding more about our precious Kitaab,
    amy Allah help us and guide us to understanding our deen better, in a right path, Ameen

  12. Aisyah

    February 24, 2010 at 9:48 PM

    Reading your story totally reminds me of myself :)
    I had been exposed to Quran at a very young age.I started reading Quran at 8 years old and managed to finish it less than a year.
    Every night, I will recite quran in front of my father and will be canned if I read it wrongly.My dad stressed so much on the tajweed,Thanks to him,Today I can see his efforts were paid off.Alhamdulillah, I can read quran fluently, with good tajweed and makhraj.
    Nevertheless, something seems not right.All this while,I read quran without putting my heart and soul at it.Reading quran just because its been my daily habit,I am not feeling excited,overwhelmed,or awed.Astaghfirullah.
    After I attended this one leadership training called ESQ, it seriously struck on me that I have been neglecting the most beautiful love letter by the sole Creator.So since that occurence, I read quran with translation and Subhanallah,Allah knows how beautiful HIS words were,of course,they came from HIM.And tears of happiness just gushed from my eyes.

    Thank You brother,I am eager to practice your advice about opening random verses in the quran as my REMINDER OF THE DAY vitamin.InsyaAllah.

    I remembered in a hadeeth:

    Rasulullah (Sallalloho alaihe wasallam) said:
    When a man dies and his relatives are busy in funeral, there stands an extremely handsome man by his head.

    When the dead body is shrouded, that man gets in between the shroud and the chest of the deceased.

    When after the burial, the people return home, 2 angels, Munkar and Nakeer (names of two special Angels), come in the grave and try to separate this handsome man so that they may be able to interrogate the dead man in privacy about his faith.

    But the handsome man says,
    “He is my companion, he is my friend. I will not leave him alone in any case. If you are appointed for interrogation, do your job. I cannot leave him until I get him admitted into Paradise”.
    Thereafter he turns to his dead companion and says,
    …“I am the Qura’an, which you used to read, sometimes in a loud voice
    and sometimes in a low voice. Do not worry.

    After the interrogation of Munkar and Naker, you will have no grief. When the interrogation is over, the handsome man arranges for him from Al-Mala’ul A’laa
    (the angels in Heaven) a silk bedding filled with musk.

    So Let us be a faithful companion to Quran,InsyaALLAH :)

    • Abd- Allah

      February 25, 2010 at 1:12 AM

      This hadith is fabricated too and is not found in any of the books of hadith. Allahu almusta’an.

      • Umm Bilqis

        February 25, 2010 at 2:04 AM

        Jazak’Allah Khairan brother Abd-Allah for pointing this out.

        Here is a hadith that is from Riyad al Saliheen.

        992. An-Nawwas bin Sam`an (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) saying, “The Qur’an and its people who applied it, will be brought on the Day of Resurrection preceded with Surat Al-Baqarah and Surat Al-`Imran arguing on behalf of those who applied them.”
        [Muslim].

        Commentary: This Hadith means that on the Day of Requital, the Qur’an, with Surat Al-Baqarah and Al-`Imran in the forefront, will intercede before Allah for those who used to recite and act upon them in the life of the world.
        May we Allah become Companions of the Quran. Brother Ismail please feel free to delete the previous hadith.

        • Umm Bilqis

          February 25, 2010 at 2:08 AM

          Typo> My Allah Make us Companions of the Quraan Ameen

        • Abd- Allah

          February 25, 2010 at 2:37 PM

          JazakumAllah khayr sister Umm Bilqis for providing an authentic hadith instead. I should have done that myself but I was in a bit of a hurry when I wrote that comment.

      • Asad

        February 25, 2010 at 1:01 PM

        Please can I ask: what is wrong with the yusuf Ali translation?

  13. Holly Garza

    February 25, 2010 at 12:10 AM

    MashaAllah thanks for this post

  14. Ismail Kamdar

    February 25, 2010 at 12:26 AM

    Nobody brought up the issue of beating kids to learn the Quran that I mentioned in the article. I was hoping somebody would comment on that. What are your views on the system of beating kids to learn their tajweed and Hifz? I’d like to have a beneficial discussion on this point, insha Allah.

    • Abd- Allah

      February 25, 2010 at 1:18 AM

      Beating the kids to learn the Quran? I’m pretty sure that isn’t even allowed according to Islam. Using a system where they are rewarded for learning the Quran and hadith would be a much better approach, and the kids would also enjoy it too which will make them develop a good relationship with it and not feel like it is a burden where they will be punished for not doing it. Besides, if you beat them up to learn the Quran, then what do you do when they reach the age of ten and don’t want to pray?

      • Qas

        February 25, 2010 at 1:47 AM

        This is pretty common in South Asian communities. I’m surprised you haven’t heard of this. May I ask, Abd- Allah, what is your background?

        • Abd- Allah

          February 25, 2010 at 2:13 PM

          This is pretty common in South Asian communities. I’m surprised you haven’t heard of this. May I ask, Abd- Allah, what is your background?

          I come from an Arab background. I have heard about some people who beat their kids to learn the secular sciences, but not to learn the Quran.

      • POPT

        February 25, 2010 at 2:00 AM

        if they do not pray you beat them after age 10 and rewarding to some extent can be fine, but systematic rewarding can lead to an improper intention of the child of memorizing the Quran.

        • Ismail Kamdar

          February 25, 2010 at 2:06 AM

          You do not beat them for not praying, you (daraba) hit them. Big difference! Beating involves physical and emotional harm, hitting can be just a light slap and a reprimand. Constantly beating a child for not praying will also ruin his intention, he might start praying to avoid being beaten and as soon as he is away and no one can beat him, he will not pray.

          A balanced approach is required.

          • POPT

            February 25, 2010 at 2:35 AM

            yes i agree that is what i meant. Hit would be a better word, but the translation of the hadith i usually hear beat. Allah knows best.

          • Abd- Allah

            February 25, 2010 at 2:34 PM

            In English there might be a difference between the words hit and beat, but in Arabic, the word (daraba) is general enough and contains the meanings of both words. That is why the word (daraba) is sometimes translated as hit and other times as beat.

            But if we are using the English meaning of the word beat which means to cause physical and emotional harm, then in that case a child should never be beaten up.

  15. Umm Bilqis

    February 25, 2010 at 12:40 AM

    Br. Ismail> This is a heinous crime and interferes with true learning.

    As Plato said, ‘Nothing of value to the individual, happens by coercion.”

    • Ismail Kamdar

      February 25, 2010 at 12:51 AM

      I agree, Umm Bilqis but then why is it so normal in our society. I have seen so much negative outcomes of this mentality, I know of a brother who sincerely started Hifz and was beaten severely for not knowing his work well enough.

      The result: He dropped off, grew averse to Ulema and became a modernist/progressive.

      The psychological effects of this backwards method are great. I do not understand why so many Madressas see nothing wrong with it.

      I had it easy actually, all they did to me was hit my head, poke me with pens or throw keys at me. I saw other boys have sticks broken over their heads and desks flung at them, busting them open, all in the name of Islam and Islamic knowledge. It is true, these things happen in many Madressas around the world and can be a cause of chasing many young people away from Islam.

      • Umm Bilqis

        February 25, 2010 at 1:07 AM

        How awful brother, many people convinced themselves that this is the only way to learn things. In effect it puts kids off learning or memorizing anything altogether which is sad. It needs the attentions of the Ulema, and a continued message that love of learning comes from positive experiences and successes in learning.
        No one would ride bikes or cook if they were hit for doing it so why are we doing the same for the best study the study of the Quran?
        Ultimately parents are in control of education and they have say in where their money goes. They should give naseeha to the ones who run the schools and then leave the schools that do this.
        The good news is that this message has been communicated in some Gulf states and will gain traction Insha”Allah.

      • Abd- Allah

        February 25, 2010 at 1:23 AM

        Who is the one beating the kids? Their parents or the hifz teacher? If it is the parents then I doubt that they have a proper understanding of Islam if they are beating their kids for something which isn’t even obligatory like prayer. And if it is the hifz teacher who is beating the kids up, then these kids shouldn’t even be learning the Quran from him because he definitely is not qualified to teach the Quran if he lacks the manners which are mentioned in the Quran. How can he teach something which he doesn’t know… how can he give something which he doesn’t have?

        • Ismail Kamdar

          February 25, 2010 at 1:32 AM

          It is the Hifz teachers, many a times they are Maulanas and Ulema who see it as the normal method of teaching Hifz that their forefathers have been using for ages. It is so normal in my community that many parents and Ulema here don’t even regard it as anything wrong. May Allah guide us all.

          • POPT

            February 25, 2010 at 2:04 AM

            Some form of discipline as long as it isn’t too severe should be present to indicate the seriousness of the task to the children.

  16. Umm Bilqis

    February 25, 2010 at 3:32 AM

    Brother Ismail I hope that people become those who value Our Holy Quraan.
    About 2 months ago I had a wonderful dream that I shall keep to myself but it made me realize the illusion of Dunya and the procrastination of Most Muslims about the study of the Quran and in seeking good deeds.

    At this time I was involved in post graduate studies in a field that does not motivate me.< that is all I'll say about that topic.

    So I handed back the golden chains of subjugation to this course of study and I wish to be a slave/ servant of Allah Insha'Allah. Who knows maybe my dream about the hereafter will become true. Insha'Allah Ameen.

    Here is a nice motivational speech about becoming people of action Insha'Allah. By Sh. Zahir Mahmood:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdsJLcjWa10

    • Ismail Kamdar

      February 25, 2010 at 5:35 AM

      Jazakallah Khair for this.

      This video is beautiful, I am going to play it at my Youth Workshops, insha Allah

  17. South African Sis

    February 25, 2010 at 3:41 AM

    Salam alaikum

    Abu Muawiya, kazakAllahu khairun for writing this beautiful reminder…

    It is unfortunately so common place in our society for children to be beaten in the Quraan/Hifz classes. In one Darul Uloom madressah near us, they shave the boys’ heads as punishment: one line from ear to ear as a lenient punishment, a cross for more severe offenses, and other “styles” for other offenses (read: not memorising well enough, not pronouncing what the teacher believes in correct, which does not mean that he knows tajweed properly anyway)… and we wonder why the kids have such psychological problems??!!

    May Allah swt guide all of us to the proper understanding of the Quraan, and help us to impart the beauty of the Quraan to others in a beautiful manner, ameen.

    Wasalam

  18. Faiza

    February 25, 2010 at 4:22 AM

    I’m feeling so angry at this moment. The part about beating kids to learn to read the Qur’an brought back all the bitter memories from my childhood Qur’an classes!!! My ‘Hafiz ji’ would would poke our hands with his pen when we made a mistake and after the class, we’d have pen marks all over the back of our right hands!
    We were caned all the time! He even had a wire which he had folded and twisted to whip us more efficiently and called it ‘Tambi’-ul-ghaafileen‘. May Allah forgive him and have mercy on him. I was a good student at school but I was the worst student in his class! It was really bad for my 6 years old self esteem. When it was time for the Qur’an class, I’d feign stomach ache or use onions ‘to raise my temperature to get a fever’ (it never worked!) or I’d simply run away to a friend’s house.
    I hated reading the Qur’an as a kid! There was so much fear, dislike and pain associated with the Arabic Qur’an that even when I started practising Islam, I never read the Qur’an in Arabic, only the English translation. It was so serious that I had to resort to counselling to be able to read the Qur’an without those bitter feelings. Alhamdulillah, I’ve overcome my fear. May Allah reward all those who helped me through it.

    • ummaasiyah

      February 25, 2010 at 9:59 AM

      SubhanAllah…you know what this goes to show? The real importance of akhlaaq as a Muslim. What sort of Muslim are you if you can’t be kind to children? What is the point of teaching Qurán and being a Hafiz if the well-earned rewards will be equally weighed against the cruelty towards children who make mistakes? It is in the nature of man to make mistakes, it’s how Allah created us and He is so Merciful towards us! And yet, Qurán teachers don’t have any patience with a 5-year old. Sad state of affairs.

      I really feel for you.

  19. Middle Ground

    February 25, 2010 at 9:14 AM

    Salam

    Here is how I see it, maybe it’s too simplistic… amongst KNOWLEDGEABLE and PRACTICING muslims, there are are two types.

    The first type are those who have seen and felt the beauty of the Quran and the beauty of Islam, and want to call others to Islam through this. Their emphasis is on how great Islam is, and how great it is to be a practicing muslim. They are the kind of people who, when you meet with them, you find a desire to be a better muslim.

    The second type are who are driven by fear, see Islam as mere “rules”, and want to call others to Islam in this way, by simply emphasizing what is haram, and talking about the punishments for doing haram. They are the kind of people who, when you meet with them, you come back scared out of your pants.

    If Allah wanted us to be like the second type, He could have summed up the Quran in less than 10 pages. He could have made the Quran one list of harams. But He chose, out of His infinite wisdom, to make the Quran a thing of beauty.

    Needless to say, the second type are the kind who will beat kids, not the first type.

    From what I have read on his blog, I think that Brother Ismail started as the second type, and is now, Alhamdolillah, the first type. May Allah make us all of those who truly find beauty in the Quran, and are motivated by it, Ameen.

    • Abd- Allah

      February 25, 2010 at 3:19 PM

      Isn’t the middle ground some where in between the first and second types?

      The Quran and sunnah talk about heaven and hell, reward (for good deeds) and punishment (for bad ones). A balance between fear and hope is what a believer must have throughout his/her life.

      Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, entered on a young man who was on his death bed. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, then asked him: “how is your condition?” The young man replied: “By Allah, O Prophet Muhammad, I hope for Allah’s mercy, but I am afraid of my sins.” The Prophet replied, “These two things (hope and fear) do not come together in the heart of a slave except that Allah gives the slave what he hopes for and secures him from what he fears.” (Tirmidhi, classed as hasan by Al-Albani rahimahullah)

      (And do not make mischief in the earth after its reformation, and call on Him with fear and hope; surely the mercy of Allah is near to those who do good) 007.056

      (Their sides draw away from (their) beds, they call upon their Lord in fear and in hope, and they spend (benevolently) out of what We have given them) 032.016

  20. ummaasiyah

    February 25, 2010 at 9:43 AM

    Jazakallah khair for this beautiful article. I do totally and completely agree about family/cultural tradition being that one must read Qurán in Ramadan as much as possible. Whilst that is a good thing, one thing I learnt when I went on Hajj just a few months ago with our wonderful Sheikh Abu Abdissalam is that we may all read Qurán in Arabic, but how many of us truly understand it in a language that we’re fluent in? Very few. So he set us a task on our last day in Mina…that task being that we should try to read the Qurán at least once by the end of January in a language that we fully understand. For me, that is English. Although I still haven’t finished it, I feel like I’ve built a relationship with a Qurán just by reading the meaning and it makes more sense to read it cover to cover in order to fully comprehend the true beauty of Allah’s Words.

    This article echoes my sentiments. Well written, masha’Allah.

  21. huzaifa

    February 25, 2010 at 9:56 AM

    I agree with all of you regarding the punishment for learning the Quran is not right… however, I was hit during my learning not beaten but hit … and I think it kind of worked on me…it set me straight and also gave me motivation to finish faster… just another side of it..

  22. Siraaj Muhammad

    February 25, 2010 at 12:17 PM

    I didn’t have a Maulana saab to teach me Arabic, so I was left with the translation. But y’know, to a kid in middle school and high school, the translation didn’t make much sense, I didn’t have any concept of tafseer, so reading the translation for me was like how some people read the Arabic – without understanding and just for whatever blessings come from reading :)

    It’s taken me years of classes and programs just to solidify the basic arabic reading, so I relied on transliteration w/tajweed ;) I know many of those who know Arabic reading and tajweed don’t like this, but I’m not one to really care – if the goal was to recite the Qur’aan, it didn’t matter if it was written with diacritical marks, without, or in Roman letters, so long as it got the job done.

    Now, alhamdulillaah, I’m able to read it and I’m continuing in my Arabic language and tajweed studies. I hope in the next few years to have cover significant ground for the purposes of reciting, reflecting, and understanding better the message of the Qur’aan. My journey’s been quite a bit longer, but I’m enjoying the ride, alhamdulillaah =D

    Siraaj

    • abu Rumay-s.a.

      February 27, 2010 at 1:38 PM

      May Allah bless your journey of learning the Quran. Ameen. I have found through my friends that the key to learning Qur`an is essentially three.
      1. Deep sincerity to Allah ta`ala and wanting to learn His book
      2. Persistence and review with a good teacher
      3. Lots of sincere Du`aa

      One of my friends started memorzing at age 30 something and finished the complete Quran in about 5 years time along with his full time professional career and kids….he was living in a Muslim country which kinda helped (smile).

      I kinda understand what you went through, the good old transliteration days…hahahehhe….but i think its just getting over the hurdle of being “ovewhelmed and/or intimated” with the new language…

  23. abu Rumay-s.a.

    February 25, 2010 at 4:20 PM

    Your story reminds me of the beautiful du`aa about the Quran which ends and says ..”Make the Quran the delight of our hearts, the light of our souls and the relief of our sorrows and griefs..

    اللهم إنا عبيدك، بنو عبيدك، بنو إمائك، نواصينا بيدك، ماض فينا حكمك، عدل فينا قضاؤك، نسألك بكل اسم هو لك، سميت به نفسك، أو أنزلته في كتابك، أو علمته أحداً من خلقك، أو استأثرت به في علم الغيب عندك، أن تجعل القرآن العظيم ربيع قلوبنا، ونور صدورنا، وجلاء أحزاننا، وذهاب همومنا وغمومنا. اللهم علمنا منه ما جهلنا، وذكرنا منه ما نُسِّينا، وارزقنا تلاوته آناء الليل وأطراف النهار على الوجه الذي يرضيك عنا، برحمتك يا أرحم الراحمين

    I’ll leave you with a most heart warming and earnest du`aa by my favorite reciter, (hafithahullah)…the above du`aa is also included in it, it calls unto Allah azza wa jal by some of His Noble and Beautiful attributes imploring Him…these are just some of the delights of which we can expect when we strengthen our relationship with the Quran…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxUK7vMKtzc

  24. Qasym

    February 25, 2010 at 6:49 PM

    The kids that used to get beat the most in my Quran classes are the ones that ended up memorizing the entire Quran. And it is these same kids who are now alcoholics, drug-addicts, commit some of the biggest Major Sins, all because their teachers found that it was better to beat them to death and have them memorize the Quran. So they beat them rather than give them that sense of connection with the Quran. To them (and in most cases the parents too) it’s all about telling people “My kid is a hafiz” no matter how screwed up he has become. The teachers in most of these madrassas never provide tarbiyya, guidance, or even an explanation of what is being taught.

    As for the beating stories, I have witnessed everything from beatings done with Rolling Pins ie. what our moms make Roti with, to kids being hung out of the 6th story of an apartment building. The odd part is that this was predominantly the case in Indo-Pak circles and those kids were usually the best behaved. It was just when they didn’t know their “sabak” that they got the beatdown. Pretty horrible stuff, most of which never really happened to me…maybe that’s why I’m not a hafiz:)

    But all of this has stopped presently. I don’t think Qari Saabs are allowed to hit anymore because kids are getting smarter and call 911.

    Allah (swt) knows best.

  25. Abu 'Ubaida

    February 26, 2010 at 7:14 AM

    Jazakhallah khair all for the reminders.

    Just wanted to share this interactive website that has multiple facets of Qur’an and it’s translations. Great resource to learn the qur’an and it’s translation at the same time (it has many use as well).

    Allahsquran.com (and then Click the the LEARN-EZ link on the top and it will take you to the Qur’an page).

    Upon the page feel free to browse for different reciters & surahs (top left) and different outlooks (top right).

    I hope you will find it beneficial Inshallah.

  26. Umm Bilqis

    February 26, 2010 at 8:55 PM

    Link> Imam Ghazali, ” I fear there will be no one left to study Islam.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AL1gz9zfGJ8

  27. Shakura

    February 27, 2010 at 1:48 PM

    Oh the sunday class days! fond memories

    I think there needs to be a balance though.

    I’ve been to both types of Quran classes. The first was probably started at age 8 ish, the teacher would beat us with a stick if we didn’t do our memorization in class or were not behaving, everyone respected him and didn’t act up in class.

    The surahs I got beaten for I find very easy to remember and are ingrained in my mind. At the same time Quran class was something I feared/dreaded, I would hide in closets and cry every week before class. Ten or so years later though I am very grateful that I went there because I ended up knowing how to read the Quran and having a signifigant amount memorized.

    The next class from age 11 was wayy more chilled, we didnt focus as much on memorization/reading Quran but more on building up eman, learning lessons through stories, hadith..etc. That class got me to more build up my love for Allah subhanwat’ala and the prophet sallahu alayhi wasaallam. I began to pray 5 times a day which is the best thing I got out of my experience. In my first class I would ONLY pray on sundays the rest of the week not once would I even do one prayer.

    I think both experiences helped me in different ways, the second class helped to me to actually WANT to learn the Quran while the first gave me the foundation of skills, so teachers need to have both approaches to be sucessfull.

  28. Jonny

    March 18, 2010 at 2:23 AM

    Ismail Kamdar,

    I AM GLAD TO FIND YOUR BLOG. IT IS ONE OF THE STORIES THAT I CONSIDER TRUE FROM GOD’S BLESSING. MY NAME IS JONNY. I AM FROM USA AND I HAVE THE DESIRE TO FIND A WAY TO FAITH THROUGH ISLAM. THE MAIN REASON I AM SENDING THIS MESSAGE IS TO REQUEST FOR AN ADVICE. I PERSONALY HAVENT READ THE WHOLE QURAN BUT I KNOW FROM PEOPLE THAT IT IS THE WORD OF GOD FOR OUR LIFE. ISLAM IS A WAY OF LIFE…IF QURAN TEACH US THE WAY OF LIFE DOES IT ALSO MENTION ABOUT THE WAY FOR RELATIONSHIP??? CAN YOU SEND ME BACK SOME SITES OR CHAPTERS WHERE I CAN AUTOEDUCATE MYSELF FOR MY RELATIONSHIP THROUGH QURAN?
    THANK YOU IN ADVANCE.

  29. Muqith Mujtaba Ali

    July 17, 2010 at 11:21 AM

    Assalamu Alaikum.

    A good article, alhamdulillah.

    I would like brothers and sisters at Muslim Matters to have a look at this recently initiated weblog on Qur’anic teachings http://yassarnalquran.wordpress.com/

    Suggestions for improvement are welcome.

    Vassalam.

    Muqith

  30. Ai

    September 1, 2010 at 3:58 AM

    Mashaallah, very inspiring. I cant remember where i heard this but i love it, If you want to speak o Allah ,pray and if you want Allah to talk to you, read the Quran.
    May Allah guide us.

  31. Quran

    May 24, 2011 at 3:20 AM

    JazakaAllah kheir very effective article you have shared,it inspired me.The Quran is not only about memorizing or Tajweed but even more it was a revelation from Allah that needs to be understood.

  32. Taha_fatima @IOU

    April 29, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    as salaamualikum sir MASHA ALLAH nice article i have ever gone through, it is an inspiration , a wonderful reminder for all of us , i always like all your articles but this one has inspired me soo much it will be 1 of my favourites INSHA ALLAH……may ALLAH reward you for sharing this JAZAK ALLAH for sharing this…….

  33. Hasan Kamal

    February 27, 2014 at 2:39 PM

    I would love to go for consulting the Quran whenever I am stuck in any situation. Thanks to ALLAH almighty.

  34. m

    April 22, 2015 at 6:51 PM

    as salaamu alaykum, just wondering is this the whole article? I can only read unto the part where it says that he watched a lecture that changed his life forever. i want to know more. where can i get the rest of the article from? jazak allah khair. I’m using apple to view the article if that has anything to do with it. jazak ALLAH khair :)

  35. miriam

    June 25, 2016 at 11:41 PM

    where’s the rest of the article?

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