“We Weren’t Born Knowing, We Had to Learn”


http://www.flickr.com/photos/letsbook/3958021457/The Path to Learning & Teaching Qur’an

By Amal S

Bismillah (In the Name of God)

It is reported that Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (radi Allahu ‘anhu) said: “Every day we are told so and so has just died. Most definitely, one day it will be said: “Umar has died.””

Let’s take that in for a second. One day, it will be said: [Insert your name] has died.

Death means time is up, opportunities are done, actions have ended. Except…              

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ (peace be upon him) said: “When a man dies, his deeds come to an end except for three things: Sadaqah Jariyah (ceaseless charity); knowledge which is beneficial; or a virtuous descendant who prays for him (the deceased).” [Sahih Muslim]

Insha’Allah (God willing) many of us are able to donate or volunteer for the first method and perhaps have offspring to cover the last method, but how then do we tap into that second goldmine of reward when most of us are not scholars? Well, there are a lot of ways one can leave behind beneficial knowledge; from organizing halaqahs (study circles) or conferences to verbally sharing the knowledge that we have with others.

There is also another way we can tap into the second gold mine of good deeds – one that can be even higher in reward than gifting a mushaf (written Qur’an)—though that is an amazing act of sadaqah jariyah!.

Learning & Teaching the Qur’an

For all the readers who read the subheading and are about to stop reading because they feel this article is no longer applicable to them – hold on, this article is exactly for you.

The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ  said: “The best among you are those who learn the Quran and teach it (to others).” (Bukhari)

Perhaps when some of us read this hadith (narration), we automatically dissociate ourselves from ever possibly being included among such people and assign the promised reward to those sheikhs and sheikhas, the huffadh (those who have memorized the Qur’an), the ones born into pious, religious families – but perhaps we never thought that we could work hard and that could be us.

Are you thinking: “Me!? Become a Qur’an teacher?.. Me!?

But then to whom is this hadith directed, if not you, O Muslim with so much potential?

A Qur’an teacher once aptly pointed out that she and other teachers of the Qur’an were not born knowing the Qur’an, they too had to learn and make mistakes. But in the end, they learned.

The Unimaginable Rewards of Teaching Qur’an

Think about it: if you teach just 1 person the Arabic alphabet and/or tajweed (rules of recitation), you could have an entire lineage and future generations of good deeds insha’Allah. This is not taking into account the good deeds accumulated through seeking knowledge and learning the Qur’an yourself.

How?

Insha’Allah you and those taught by you would at the minimum teach their future children. They would then teach their children, who would teach their children, and on and on insha’Allah. For every person in your lineage and your student’s future lineage, you could get reward for every letter of the Qur’an they recite insha’Allah.

The Prophet ﷺ said, “Whoever recites a letter from the Book of Allah, he will be credited with a good deed, and a good deed gets a ten-fold reward. I do not say that Alif-Lam-Mim is one letter, but Alif is a letter, Lam is a letter and Mim is a letter.” (At-Tirmidhi)

Allah (swt) is so Merciful (Ar-Raheem) and Generous (Al-Kareem).

Pursuing the Pleasure of Allah Ta`ala (Most High)

At this point, I would like to remind us to keep the bigger picture and goal in mind when studying the Qur’an and Islam. Here, the goal and vision is not to achieve the status of being an Ustadh (teacher) or Haafidh in and of itself. As we well know such pursuits are not for certificates, titles, or praise. It is for Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala  (exalted is He)–  to worship and please Him.

The purpose of this article is to show that learning and teaching the Qur’an is something each one of us can work towards and is thus a simple means of leaving behind knowledge that can benefit us after death. Learning the Speech of Allah is a noble way to fulfil our purpose in life and the greater end goal of drawing closer to Him (swt).

To end, learning and teaching the Qur’an is a legacy (sadaqah jaariyah, ongoing charity) of sorts that can be achieved without the resources it takes to create a charity or build an organization. It is a legacy that is accessible to many of us as it doesn’t require us to have a lot of money or rented office space. It does require sincerity, patience, and ambition, a teacher and a mushaf, some of your time, and most certainly Allah’s (swt) Bounty.

Learning & Teaching the Qur’an

The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ  said: “The best among you are those who learn the Quran and teach it (to others).” (Bukhari)

What I recently noticed about the above hadith is that it recognizes this process and specifically says those who learn the Qur’an and teach it; it does not simply state the best of you are those who teach the Qur’an.

Those brothers and sisters who teach the Qur’an in masjids, schools, and homes are not only those Muslims who had a heritage of Islamic scholarship in their family or those who grew up in a village known for its amazing tajweed. (Ustadha and Haafidha) Kareema Carol Czerepinski is one such example – she is an American convert who went on to memorize the Qur’an, become an expert of tajweed, and author books on the subject! So if anything, I take this hadith as a push, an encouragement for every student, shop owner, and engineer to go out and strive to bethat person – to learn (continuously) and then teach (when qualified to do so).

The Time Issue

Some of us may feel busy already and wonder how they can think about taking on Qur’an lessons/studies on the side.

Students and teachers of the Qur’an have testified to how Allah ta`ala (Most High) can put barakah (blessings) in your time. He ta’ala can make your schoolwork be completed quicker or help you understand the content more easily. Allah ta’ala facilitates, and insha’Allah you will see your time management skills improve.  A sister who was studying one of the sciences of the Qur’an while at university was worried about her exams, yet she scored much higher than the previous year.  Allah can facilitate your time and affairs when we try to make some time for His Book.

Learning tajweed/recitation of the Qur’an to a level of accuracy where one is qualified to teach others may take years, but that cannot put us off – it is an investment in your iman (faith) and eternal abode in the Hereafter. We will have spent at least 12 years in full-time school, so part-time Qur’an lessons and study really isn’t a heavy or onerous commitment.

A Shaykh once said that even if someone doesn’t manage to memorize the Qur’an in the usual shorter spans of time, if a Muslim just memorizes 1 juz’  (portion) a year they can memorize the Qur’an in 30 years. Whether it takes 2, 5 or 20 years, a lifetime spent in learning the Qur’an consists of hours spent in one of the noblest pursuits – striving to draw closer to Allah ta’ala by learning His Kalaam (Words). We just need to make that intention in our heart and dedicate a bit of time to actualizing it, whether that is through 10 minutes or 2 hours a day. If we really want it, we will work towards our goal even if it takes our whole life.

And the time to do it is now – as many people will tell you, there isn’t a time when life seems to get ‘less busy’. We really don’t know how long we’ll be around for so let’s seize the moment.

Making the Intention

So will you do it? Make that intention now solely for the pleasure of Allah ta’ala. And believe in your heart that you can do this with the Help and Mercy of Allah!

As the old adage goes, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. And that journey can be made blessed for Allah ta’ala draws closer to the one who sincerely strives to draw close to Him ta’ala. He (swt) can grant you opportunities you never imagined with you showing a sincere intention and commitment.

See Potential, Not Obstacles

Have ambition accompanied by tawakkul – look beyond your present state to the greater potential that can only be reached by the Help, Mercy, and Favour of Allah (swt).

It’s okay if you can barely get through the word ‘kataba’ at the moment, but it matters if we decide to give up, or try again and again. We know success and knowledge comes from Allah, so then there can come a point when we are not only able to reach the end of an ayah without being mentally exhausted, but can recite a page beautifully without stumbling, and feeling touched by the ayaat (verses) of Allah ta’ala!

And if you are already at that level, then we can maximize our knowledge by seeking to further our comprehension of the Qur’an as well as training to teach others.

So, let’s not give up –our Rabb is Al-Khabeer (The Fully Aware) and Most Appreciative (Al-Shakur).

Act upon the Intention

Enquire at your masjid about tajweed teachers or Islamic learning institutes in your locality. It is ideal to find a teacher/program/institute through which you can study long-term but even short-term options are good.

If you require extra flexibility and convenience through online study, I recommend http://www.studioarabiya.com/courses/quran, which provides one-to-one lessons with qualified Arabic and Qur’an teachers from the Middle East.

By the permission of Allah (swt), I hope this series encourages us to keep learning and insha’Allah one day teach the Qur’an (regardless of an intent to teach or not, learning as much as we can should apply to us all). At the end of the day, we ask Allah for guidance to that which pleases Him Ta’ala.

Mistakes and anything incorrect are from myself, I apologize if anything I wrote has offended, and all praise belongs to Allah (swt). 

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8 Comments

  1. Aafiya says:

    Baarak Allahu feeki my sister. Allahumma aameen!

  2. Erdawati Osman says:

    Jazakillah khairan kathira for sharing this knowledge.

  3. fatima hassan says:

    Jazaakillah :). these gems scattered online are a real eeman booster , a push for those who want to go in this direction but get distracted. May you always remain ALLAH’s protection AAMIN

  4. salsabil says:

    Jazzak Allah Khair! This post was sweet and simple with good directions. After reading this, I feel it is more of an obligation for EVERY Muslim in our Ummah to strive in the study of Quran regardless of busy lifestyle. Thank you for this wake-up call.

  5. k says:

    JazakAllah khair! As a convert who has been struggling a lot recently this is exactly what I needed to feel encouraged and empowered to take charge and really learn about Islam and to really take charge of learning Quran. May Allah reward you immensely for such an inspiring article ameen!

  6. Maria says:

    This is a much needed article. As we know we have our iman surge and downs..at the moment I’m struggling to get back up, so this is such a great reminder for me, alhamdulillah.
    Thank you so much. :)

  7. abdul says:

    Masha-Allah a very inspiring piece. May Allah swa guide us all to the straight path of those whom he has favored. JizakAllah khair.

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