It was around 10am when my six-year-old first grader said, “Teacher! I want to recite Surat al-Mulk in front of the class!” Surat al-Mulk is title that refers to a chapter from the Quran; surah means chapter; al-Mulk means dominion.
“Insha’Allah (God willing) at story time,” I promised. Story time is at the end of the day. My student could not wait. She was bursting with anticipation, as if about to see her best friend after a long time.
An hour went by. “Teacher!” she exclaimed. “Can I please recite it now? I can’t wait!”
“We’re getting closer,” I reassured her. Math class came around. I stood at the board to explain a new math concept to the students. From the first row came a continuous hum. Surat al-Mulk was being recited and it continued to be recited throughout class.
Lunchtime arrived. “Teacher! Teacher! I really can’t wait!” my student exclaimed.
“Just about two more hours to go!” I said again.
She stood in the line and continued to recite Surat al-Mulk. She recited it while walking around the classroom, while walking down the halls, while sitting during free time in class and while waiting for the next part of the day. It had become her primary focus. She had an urgent, inseparable desire to be with Surat al-Mulk.
Finally, story time came. “Sayyida,” I called, “It’s time.” Sayyida stood in front of the class. This six-year-old girl who had spent her entire day reciting, living, longing for Surat al-Mulk, finally began her recitation from Kitab Allah (the Book of Allah) and became lost in the surah.
Her love for Surat al-Mulk had captivated her; she embraced it while she sat in class, and made it her companion while she walked through the halls, and enjoyed its company while she stood waiting in line. Surat al-Mulk on that day had become her best friend and she spent every moment with it.
The question now, for you and I, is which surah will we allow to become our Best Friend on this day? Let’s open the Qur’an and our hearts, let’s allow the Book of Allah to be the Friend who will never tire of us, the Friend who will always be there for us, the Friend who will constantly captivate us, console, motivate and support us. The Qur’an is always ready for a new best friend. What are you waiting for?
“Read the Qur’an, for verily it will come on the Day of Standing as an intercessor for its companions.” [Muslim]
Action Items to Develop Our Relationship with Our New Best Friend:
- Make the intention to develop a relationship with the Qur’an, and then make du`a’. Ask Allah to open the Qur’an to you and your heart to the Qur’an, for it to become your Companion, the light of your heart and the Friend you turn to in every situation.
- Decide on a specific, tangible amount of Qur’an you will commit to reading each and every day. This could be just one ayah (verse) or it could be five pages. Try your best to read this amount no matter what. We make time to check our email and facebook accounts (over and over and over throughout the day). It’s time to make the Qur’an a priority.
- Read those pages you commit to in a language you understand. If you can read Arabic but do not understand it, perhaps downsize the 10 verses a day you’ve decided to read, to 5 verses in Arabic and then those same 5 verses in English (thus, 10 all together).
- The Qur`an was revealed for us to understand it, interact with it, live it, apply it, love it, connect and relate to it. One time a young girl told me, “The Qur’an is boring.” I asked her, “Do you understand what you are reading?” She replied in the negative. If you haven’t yet felt a connection to the Qur’an, perhaps it’s because you haven’t understood it. One of the most important steps to understanding is simply reading it in a translation of a language you are able to comprehend.
- Find a Qur’an Buddy. If you are wary of your commitment, find someone who will check up with you once a week and you’ll check up on once a week. Insha’Allah (God willing), together you’ll find extra motivation to make sure you keep up with your pages.
- Listen to the Qur’an constantly. Find Qur’anic reciters who have off-the-hook recitations and listen to them in the car, walking through campus, while cleaning your room, while cooking dinner…the opportunities to connect with the Qur’an are literally endless! Here is just one website to get you started: www.alqaree.com (please post more!)
- Try to memorize Qur’an. The more you sit to memorize, the more those verses will play in your head constantly and come to you quickly insha’Allah in any situation you are in. You’ll soon find yourself looking at a tree and remembering an ayah from the Qur’an you had just memorized, or hear a name which sparks a connection to another ayah. Life with a connection to the Qur’an is life on a completely different level. Whether you’re depressed and lonely or elated and energetic, inshaAllah you’ll always find your new best friend a reliable guide in every situation.
And if you’re ready for more, here’s some advice to get you started.
Will there be times we just “aren’t feeling it?” Possibly. But with consistency, insha’Allah the Qur’an will become the crux of our lives.
Subhan’Allah, check out this story of how one ayah in the Qur’an led to the final conviction of this Australian convert:
The Prophet ﷺ has taught us, “The believer who recites the Qur’an is like a citrus fruit – its fragrance is pleasing and its taste is sweet. The believer who does not recite the Qur’an is like a dry date – it has no fragrance but its taste is sweet. The hypocrite who recites the Qur’an is like a basil – its fragrance is sweet, but its taste is bitter. The hypocrite who does not recite the Qur’an is like a colocynth – it has no smell, and its taste is bitter.” (Muslim)
Let’s be the believer with the best perfume, a benefit to all inshaAllah! Let’s aim high and make du`a’! Let’s be persistent and determined and even when we lapse, let’s just ask for forgiveness and ask Allah to give us the zeal again to move forward and then move forward with Allah’s Help!
May Allah Most High make us the people of the Qur’an – those who are Allah’s Friends – the Chosen Ones! Ameen!