The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed most countries to take social distancing measures more seriously by encouraging people to stay at home in order to reduce the spread of this virus. Most companies have also started to get use to telecommuting during this global pandemic. If you take a look outside your window, you could see that the city is taking a rest now.
Most of us have been urged to slower down our pace by spending more time at home. This includes doing almost everything at the comfort of our home. While some may feel that this quarantine is starting to bore them, there are meaningful activities that one can get into during this period. This quarantine period is definitely a perfect time for Quran-tining, a Quran journey that will lead you closer to God.
As a Muslim, we have an obligation to recite the Quran and also implement its teachings. We will be blessed with every single letter that we read. Our Prophet had also told us that reading the Quran will benefit us.
We shall refer to Surah Al-Ankabut 29:45:
اُتۡلُ مَاۤ اُوۡحِىَ اِلَيۡكَ مِنَ الۡكِتٰبِ وَاَقِمِ الصَّلٰوةَ ؕ اِنَّ الصَّلٰوةَ تَنۡهٰى عَنِ الۡفَحۡشَآءِ وَالۡمُنۡكَرِؕ وَلَذِكۡرُ اللّٰهِ اَكۡبَرُؕ وَاللّٰهُ يَعۡلَمُ مَا تَصۡنَعُوۡنَ
(O Prophet), recite the Book that has been revealed to you and establish Prayer.7Surely Prayer forbids indecency and evil.7And Allah's remembrance is of even greater merit. Allah knows all that you do.
We can learn many things from Quran such as life guidance, being thankful for God’s kindness, and many more. As our primary guidance in the world, we have to read with an open heart in order to understand the Quran. It's not all about your age, or your profession when you first flip open the page of this holy book, but rather how big your motivation is to read, learn and remember the Quran.
So let's get started on how you can begin your Quran Journey during this Ramadan period!
It is very important for us to understand the content of the Holy Quran without misunderstanding its meaning. This Sacred Manuscript was written in Arabic when Prophet Mohammad received it directly from God. This Holy written guidance was initially meant for the understanding of the people living in that area. However, with the spread of Islam all over the globe, it may be difficult for non-Arabic countries to fully understand what they are actually reciting in the Quran.
Not to worry about it. Thank to M.A.S. Abdel Haleem who did a great job in the translation of the Quran that is written in contemporary English langauge, you can now read and understand the Quran through the Qu'ran (Oxford World's Classics). The meaning and essence of the original text is still retained in this translated version with notes attached by Haleem that offers explanations on geography, history and many more aspects of the Quranic materials which makes it easy for readers to refer to.
Reading the Quran with translation is thus one way for you to start your Quran journey as it allows you to understand and delve deeper into the meanings of the text that you are reciting.
The perfect time to read the Quran is before Subh until after Subh Salath as our mind is still fresh and not burdened by our daily routines. By reading the Quran during this timing, we will be more focused and can absorb more. However, there are some principles that we need to comply with such as taking wudhu before reading the Quran, dressing well, facing the Ka'bah and finding a clean room to recite the Quran. Another thing that we need to consider is committing to this routine by setting aside some time everyday to read the Quran, if possible. It is also much better to start small by reading a few pages per day, and make this a regular routine.
Consistence is key. Being consistent and reading a minimum of three to six pages each day can boost your comprehension. For example, when you read the first page for about 10-20 times, before closing the book, you are able to practice memorizing the Quran. If you are able to do this consistently each day, Insya Allah, you'll be able to memorize these verses well. Another way is to mark those short verses that you find resonance with and incorporate it into your Salath, or reciting it before doing your daily task, or remembering it again (Muroja’ah) before you sleep. That way, this can continue to pique your interest and in no time, you may find yourself remembering this verses by heart.
Do you remember those colorful sticky notes in your office that is usually used to mark important documents? Hope you still have some in your home as these sticky notes can be very useful to mark the Qur’an pages that you stopped reading at. In the sticky post-it, you can write on the verse’s title or some keywords that best describes the content of the verse. You can even note down the translation of some of the verses that you like or resonates with you. Using these colourful sticky notes can be helpful as you can easily find the pages you have last stopped at using the easy references made by the sticky notes. Pink, green, yellow, or blue, it’s all up to you!
Most of us would have our own favourite verses that enlighten us all the time. We may have different opinion on each verses, but I would like to share several of my favourite verses. Hopefully, this may inspire some of our Muslim readers.
Surah Al-Ma’idah 5:3 – This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion.
Based on a historical note, Islam is the last religion that came in the history of mankind. Our Prophet Mohammad had just finished his last Haj pilgrimage and said farewell to His followers. In His last Haj, our Prophet received a revelation that explained the perfection of Islam that had been blessed by Allah SWT.
Currently, Islam has developed rapidly and had spread all over the world. There are many people all over the world who had converted and vowed to Islam. The glory of Islam is arising.
Surah Ya-Sin 36:82 – His command is only when He intends a thing that He says to it, “Be,” and it is.
This verse shows how God Almighty is truly powerful. When God says "be," it becomes, and this does not exclude death. Also, if we pray to God and ask for forgiveness, mercy, or blessings, God has the full authority to decide on everything that we ask for in our prayers. While we stay at home during this COVID-19 period, we can still help to combat COVID-19, which has taken so many casualties, in our own ways - and that is to pray to God as well as doing our part by maintaining physical and social distancing. Leave the rest to God.
An issue that arises is when we read the Quran without the guidance of a teacher. Moreover, given the current situation, we are encouraged to practice social distancing which means that some of us may no longer be able to go out for our regular religious classes. Thank to current digital development, we can easily make use of digital platforms like Spotify or Zoom to guide us in our spiritual journey. We can listen to recitations from Misyary Al Rashid on Spotify or on another platform like Qur’an.com. It would feel as though we are being guided on how to read and pronounce verses in the Quran properly by listening to these recitations. On the other hand, if we prefer being guided by a religious teacher, we can always set up a Quran reading session through online platforms like Zoom or Skype. Despite using digital platforms to read and learn the Quran, never forget to take your wudhu first.
It's been weeks of staying at home as a measure to control the spread of COVID-19. Some of us may feel uneasy or start to lose interest when we read the Quran all by ourselves. As such, it may be better if we connect virtually with others through social interactions on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Linkedin to find similar communities who are also doing Quran-tining. Finding like-minded individuals can make us feel a certain connection and motivate us to continue our Quran-tining journey. We can also get inspirations and tips from other individuals online to make our Quran journey better. Learning from the experiences of others as well as sharing our own Quran experiences can be beneficial during this trying times as we become aware that we are not alone in this journey.
There you have it, some recommendations on how you can start your Quran-tining during this Ramadan period. Quarantine during this upcoming Ramadan period can also be beneficial as it means that you have more time on your hands to start your Quran journey. Good luck!