This article was featured in the Mission Ramadan eBook.
Waking up before Fajr. Eating with the community at Maghrib. Praying for hours after Isha.
A very unlikely schedule, except in the month of Ramadan.
I find it very interesting that we are capable of doing so much Ibaadat in our normal schedule but never go about doing so until Ramadan appears. Many people say, “You know what, I’m just going to go to Pakistan/Egypt/Saudi Arabia, stay there, and do nothing but concentrate on worshiping Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). This dream of going off to a faraway land and just forsaking all their obligations and responsibilities takes such a great hold on them that they soon begin to feel that they can’t do any good until they arrive at that dreamland of theirs.
Ramadan comes to teach us that we can still function in society and have more than ample time for Ibadaat. Just think about it – You don’t miss waking up before Fajr – why? Because you gotta have your Suhoor. You don’t miss out on Maghrib Adhan – why? Because you gotta have your Iftar (Funny how a lot of things revolve around food)! You don’t miss out on Isha – why? So that you can continue listening to the whole Qur’an behind the Imam. It truly is amazing that we can be so steadfast in these Sunnah prayers but we can’t find the time throughout the day to read at least 5 pages of the Qur’an, but yet we are so steadfast after Isha’. Let’s try fixing this dilemma and make a schedule for a ‘Daily Qur’anic Immersion”. It basically goes like this – style your life according to the Salah times (and not vice versa) and make sure to read at least some Qur’an during that time.
- Before Fajr, wake up (like you do for Suhoor) and review/memorize/read until the time comes for Fajr. I found that the early morning is one of the easiest times to recite Qur’an because since you’ve just woken up, your mind is fresh and clear, and you can really concentrate on the Qur’an. As everyone is sleeping, the crickets are outside chirping (at least in Maryland:), and it is still dark outside, it truly is a very peaceful moment. We should all try our best to recite Qur’an at this time as it is even commended in the Quran in Surah Isra’, Ayah 78:
أَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ لِدُلُوكِ الشَّمْسِ إِلَىٰ غَسَقِ اللَّيْلِ وَقُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِإِنَّ قُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ كَانَ مَشْهُودًا
Perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) from mid-day till the darkness of the night (i.e. the Zuhr, ‘Asr, Maghrib, and ‘Isha’ prayers), and recite the Quran in the early dawn (i.e. the morning prayer). Verily, the recitation of the Quran in the early dawn is ever witnessed (attended by the angels in charge of mankind of the day and the night).
- In the midday, while at school/work, this is when the Dhuhr and Asr prayers take place. It is extremely important for us to be mindful of these two prayers, especially Asr as Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says in Surah Baqarah, Ayah 138:
حَافِظُوا عَلَى الصَّلَوَاتِ وَالصَّلَاةِ الْوُسْطَىٰ وَقُومُوا لِلَّهِ قَانِتِينَ
Guard strictly (five obligatory) As-Salawat (the prayers) especially the middle Salat (i.e. the best prayer – ‘Asr). And stand before Allah with obedience.
If we can try to read the Qur’an even just a little, we will see that it really gives a spiritual boost and rejuvenation since it gets you to seclude yourself from the materialistic society for a moment and just reflect on Allah. When you return back to your work/school atmosphere, you come with a refreshed focus and purpose.
- Once the time comes in for Maghrib, take some time to go over everything that you had read today. If you were reviewing the whole day, try memorizing something new, or review if you have been memorizing in the day. Ideally, it’d be best if you met up with someone, like a Qur’an study buddy, and tested each other on your memorization and review. This way, both of you can be motivated to study together – if needed, make rules such as that if one of you is not ready, then that person has to treat the other to food at his house dinner (my father’s Qur’an teacher actually did this with a student and after the whole class ate at his house, that student’s wife then made sure he never made the same mistake again!:)
- Isha – After Isha, it is recommended to go straight to bed (as many such as Ali [radhiAllahu anhu] did), so after Isha’, get into your snugly bed and instead of mulling over the day, prop open the Qur’an and just stare at it, even if you aren’t fully concentrating. You’ll see that in a minute or two of mind-wandering, your attention will eventually come to what you’re staring at, and you’ll find yourself drawn in. The best part is, you don’t even have to be standing or even sitting up – Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) says in Surah Aali Imran, Ayah 191:
الَّذِينَ يَذْكُرُونَ اللَّهَ قِيَامًا وَقُعُودًا وَعَلَىٰ جُنُوبِهِمْ وَيَتَفَكَّرُونَ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ
Those (men of understanding) who remember Allah (always, and in prayers) standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and think deeply about the creation of the heavens and the earth.
This truly is a mercy from Allah that we can remember Him in these different postures, so we can definitely be in bed and remember Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) by reading his Holy Book before going to sleep.
If we can keep up this Daily Qur’an Immersion, it will definitely make a big change in our lives. I remember when I was close to finishing the Hifzh of the Qur’an, I was memorizing almost triple my normal assignment and would spend every opportunity reading the Qur’an. I was using the type of Qur’an that has English on the borders (so the original Uthmani Arabic script is still intact) and I was so drawn in it at times that I would seriously get the feeling that Allah was talking directly to me; I would tremble when I read about the torment of the disbelievers and would feel grateful when reading about Jannah and all of Allah’s bounties. It was definitely an amazing experience and drew me much closer to the Qur’an
If you do not feel that your schedule will allow you to read a lot, then at least do a little continuously because Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) especially loves the small deed continously. If you feel that you don’t even have time to do a little, then listen to this beautiful parable my Hifzh School teacher once told us:
“If I was to hold a bucket filled to the brim with sand, it would seem that the bucket is packed and that nothing else could fit inside. However, if I was to take some water and pour it in the bucket, wouldn’t it be able to fit inside without any sand overflowing? No matter how packed the sand may look, there will always be ample cracks and gaps for the water to go through.”
Even though our schedules may seem full, there will always be some time in the schedule that we can reserve for the Qur’an.
Abu Hurayrah reported that the Prophet , said, “There is no envy except in two (cases): A man whom Allaah has taught the Quran and he recites it during the hours of the night and during the hours of the day, and another man listens to him and says, ‘I wish I had been given what has been given to so-and-so, so that I might do what he does'; and a man whom Allaah has given wealth and he spends it on what is just and right. Whereupon another man may say, ‘I wish I had been given what so-and-so has been given, for then I would do what he does.'” [Al-Bukhaari]
May Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) strengthen our relationship with the Qur’an and make us among those who recite it during the hours of the night and during the hours of the day. Ameen…
Daily Qur’anic Immersion. Are you in?