Updated Version | Originally Posted November 2011
The Qur’an Series: Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | Part VI | Part VII | Part VIII | Part IX
Many of us have an addictive relationship with Facebook. We check our accounts compulsively, multiple times a day. It is sometimes the last thing many of us do before we sleep and the first thing we do when we wake up; time flies when we’re on it, and it can become obsessive.
Yet how many of us have an addictive relationship—have any relationship—with the Qur’an? This is the Book that transformed alcoholic, oppressive, baby-girl-burying people into callers for justice, defenders of the oppressed, soft-hearted, humble worshippers of the Lord of All the Worlds. If what is contained in this Book brought eternal peace to the hearts and freedom to the souls who were chained to the whims of their own desires, it undoubtedly can emancipate us from our own problems, heartaches and stresses. However, its ability to powerfully impact us may go a lifetime unrealized if we continue to decide that other relationships are more important.
Some of us want to establish a relationship with the Qur’an, but may find it… boring, difficult to understand, or simply not fast enough. We’re used to status updates, pictures and vivid virtual conversations. We prefer fun captions and vivacious images. We prefer real people, an interchange of words and tangible friendships—or at least, Facebook friendships. A lot of us don’t even really know the people we add as friends.
In reality, what we prefer is what the Qur`an already offers and more; it’s just up to us to experience the paradigm shift, with God’s help. Here are a few ways we can tangibly work to establish our relationships with the Qur’an and in doing so, elevate ourselves in this life and in the Next, by the will of God.
From Facebook to God’s Book
What is it about Facebook or other forms of social or popular media that makes us come back, over and over, sometimes multiple times a day—at a minimum? Is it the novelty of reading ever-changing statuses or finding new pictures? Is it feeling appreciated when others comment on our posts? Is it the fun of having instantaneous connections? Is it just boredom? Whatever it is, identify why we keep going back. Then, tweak our reasons for that connection and apply it to the Qur’an.
When we read stories about Noah, Moses, Jesus, Mary, Lot (upon all of whom be peace) — when we read about their struggles or the people who they called to the worship of God, recognize those as the Qur’an’s updates. The conversations that God quotes in the Qur’an, the arguments of the people to their Messengers, those are all comments to posts in the Qur’an’s feed.
Mary (peace be upon her) says something, then God Almighty responds. Jesus (peace be upon him) tells his disciples something and they all start liking and commenting his post. Moses (peace be upon him) posts on Pharaoh’s wall; Pharaoh responds and tags his henchman and is finally completely deleted from Facebook—and the world—in its entirety. God’s Book is more intense, exciting and novel than anything on Facebook. We just need to add it and tag it as our Best Friend.
Sometimes we find Facebook addicting because of our ability to interact with our friends. So let’s find the Qur`an addicting because of our ability to interact with God. When we read God’s Book and we want to like something, say Alhamdulilah (all praise is to God)! We’ll get rewards and be increased in what’s good (Qur`an 14:7). When we personally want to respond to a status, put up our hands and make du`a’ (supplication)! Now, our comment allows for us to directly strengthen our connection with the One Who can hook it all up for us, Who can hear us and will answer us! When we read the descriptions of Paradise and Hell, know that Allah Most High is uploading images for us to focus on and be impacted by; when we’re captivated or horrified by the image, comment through our actions! Do the actions which will include us amongst the ballers in Paradise and keep you from being in the excruciating fire. That type of commenting will bring everlasting results in this life and the Next and, God willing, Allah subahanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He) will tag us as His homies in this life and the Hereafter.
Make the Qur`an Our Best Friend
Oftentimes, when we’re sad or lonely, when we’re bursting with joy or excitement, when we’re apathetic or just need some down time, we post it. We let everyone know how we’re feeling, what we’re thinking, something that went down in our day or what we wished didn’t go down. We often treat Facebook as a best friend; checking it and reconnecting frequently. Here’s our opportunity to start shifting that connection; let’s start calling Allah’s Book our BEST FRIEND. With ourselves, let’s start using the term, “Best Friend,” for the Qur’an.
If we have a human best friend, think about the way we run to answer their call when we know they’re about to tell us the outcome of a life-changing decision. Think about the way we laugh at inside jokes we post on each other’s walls and comment on a million times over to the annoyance of all our other ‘friends’ whose feeds are overtaken by our conversations. Think about the way that we dial their numbers before anyone else’s, knowing almost with certainty that they will pick up the phone and be there for our comfort.
Now, apply that same understanding of our best friend relationship to the Qur’an. If we take the Qur’an as our Best Friend, we’ll run to it when we see it near, knowing it’s calling us, ready to listen to whatever it wants to share for our own benefit, guidance and happiness. When we’re distraught, feeling lonely or at loss, we’ll go to your Best Friend, hold it to our hearts, open it and begin reading it, reciting from it, reveling in its mind-blowing empathy, its heart-warming sympathy, it’s perfection of wisdom which relates directly to our situations. When we’re excited beyond measure; ready to jump through the roof because we finally got into that school, got that job, regained our health, going to get married to that dream person or had the blessing of a child, we’re going to pick it up and shed tears of joy or words of elation with it, knowing that in reality, we’re going back to the One Who gave us all that we’re excited about in the first place.
Like our best friends, we’ll understand the Qur’an’s inside scoop, its special messages and the guidance it shares with us because we have a special connection that no one else can gauge. Making the Qur’an our best friend begins with a paradigm shift; this is not simply a Holy Book; it’s the pinnacle of our life, it’s our first supporter, our constant companion, our guide, the keeper of our secrets—it’s our Best Friend.
Building Our Relationship
Let’s think about people we’re friends with on Facebook; would we really know about all that’s going on in their lives if they didn’t choose to share pictures of their meals, their vacations, or post about their daily struggles and conversations? Would we really be able to keep up with that many people, some very close friends and some whom we may have met less than a handful of times, if we weren’t in constant connection with them through social media- even if we weren’t actually personally connecting?
But let’s also consider our true best friends. The depth of our friendships likely didn’t happen overnight; we become continuously attached to the person we’ve already connected with because of our consistent ability to reconnect and re-align.
Then what about the Qur’an? How can we expect to know our Creator if we do not even open the social media through which He reveals Himself to us? If we’re willing to read through the posts of people we sometimes barely know, then what about reading through the posts of the One Who created us and all of those people? How can we develop a relationship if we are not willing to consistently converse with the One Who gave us the ability to speak (or sign) at all? How can we expect a depth of friendship to simply just happen with our loving Creator if we are not the ones taking any steps towards embellishing our relationship?
Yet despite the sometimes little attention we give it, the Qur’an’s feed is always beasting, waiting to be our closest homie! Why? Because when we establish a relationship with the Qur’an, we are, in reality, establishing a relationship with the One Who created us and knows us best. He tells us, “I am as My servant thinks I am. I am with him when he makes mention of Me. If he makes mention of Me to himself, I make mention of him to Myself; and if he makes mention of Me in an assembly, I make mention of him in an assembly better than it. And if he draws near to Me an arm’s length, I draw near to him a fathom’s length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed,” (Hadith Qudsi, Bukhari). When we think about God, when we make an effort to draw nearer to Him, He comes to us with speed. Therefore, let us run to Him through our relationship with the Qur’an!
Here is how we can start: We can set a certain amount of Qur’an that we must read, regardless of the circumstances, every day. Make sure this amount is in a language that we understand. If we can read Arabic and understand some of it, then read the Arabic but also read a translation. God revealed the Qur’an in the language of the Arabs for them to understand it so that they can live by and be transformed by it. Thus, let us read it in a language that will impact our lives, and let us do so daily. From 1 pages to 20, do whatever amount we can do consistently and stick with it because the Prophet ﷺ (peace be upon him) taught us that the best actions are those that are small, but consistent (Bukhari). Reading the Qur’an daily, year-round, is better than reading a ton only in Ramadan and then disregarding it. How can a relationship flourish to its fullest if it is only maintained once a year?
Facebook can be a great networking tool, but if used obsessively, we can become addicted to a media which often brings minute tangible benefits to our lives. Allah’s Book is an incredible networking tool which will connect us to the Creator of the Universe, the One through Whom we can gain tangible benefit in this life and the eternal hereafter. Let’s go to Allah’s Book—to our Best Friend—to the Qur`an—because the best “like” is when Allah (swt) likes your life.
“… Allah is pleased with them, and they are pleased with Him – those are the party of Allah . Unquestionably, the party of Allah – they are the successful.” (Qur`an 58:22)
Interested in memorizing the Qur’an? Read
For tips on reviewing what you’ve memorized of the Qur’an, Read
For suggestions on how to develop a relationship with the Qur’an for non-Arabic speakers, Read
like to share this with friends.. TQVM.
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Alhamdulillah. Delicious food for thought.
As’Salaamolaikum to all. Maryam (Mary); this is a very poignant article…may Allah reward you for illustrating the importance of the Quran in it’s implementation in our daily lives via comparing it to the whole facebook environment (wall, status updates, comments, pictures, etc.)
It’s so important and effective to compare the importance of our deen and the implementation of it by contextualizing it with how so many people live an “e-life” nowadays. In an ironic way; people may feel they’re living a very connected life via facebook, twitter, linkedin, etc…but for many; the side effect of such a connection is a disconnection of the soul.
May we all be cognizant of our environment through the lens of our deen insha’Allah.
Wonderful article.Jazalallahu khairan
What a breath of fresh air. Jazakillah Khairan ya ustadhati!
MARYAM YOU’RE SUCH A BOSS!
May Allah (swt) make the Qur’an our best friend and allow us to chill together as homies in Jannah insha’allah <3
wonderful article, can't remind us of this enough 🙂
Mashallah, words can not describe how much I enjoyed reading this article! I think that this is a post that is much needed in this day and age and Inshallah it will greatly benefit those who read it!
ماشاء الله . مقال أكثر من رائع وجزاك الله كل الخير اللهم آمين. أخوك حسن سليم من كلية الشريعة والقانون بجامعة الأزهر الشريف
Jazaki Allaah khairan sister Maryam for this beneficial article. Much appreciated!
Thanks You for this beautiful thought 🙂
Asalaamu Alaykom Wa Rahmitu Allah Wa Barakatu, I am amazed right now at this article, Today during Assr Salaah I asked Allah to help me connect more with him and less with facebook, I realized that I was thinking of facebook statuses during my Salaah and wanted so deeply to correct that, I fought the temptation for a while until I logged onto facebook several hours later and the first article I saw was this, Subhan Allah, Allah is so merciful in giving us what we need exactly when we need it!!! Which of Allah’s favors will you deny?!
Subhanallah! What a brilliant and creative article!! Best one I’ve read so far!! 😀
May Allah reward you for this inspiring article. Jazak Allahu khair!
JazakAllah for the thought provoking, superbly written and impact making article..
this is excellent, masha Allah
wonderful article maryam!
this article comes at the right time.
So true. What are we attached to and what is its ultimate significance to our existence? What is the eternal impact? This is a revolutionary article indeed!
Excellent write-up, Masha’Allah.
I will have this article, insha allah, re-published in my Qur’an blog.
Kudos to the writer!
Masha-Allah for this beautiful reminder of the holy Quran that most of us are not reading it on daily basis. May Allah (swt) help us to pick it up and read it daily.
I ask Allah to connect me with him more than facebook inshallah.
This is a superb article. May Allah (swt) bless you and always increase you in wisdom, eloquence and influence–for His sake.
JazakAllah khairan wa barakAllah feek. A MUST-READ. Nothing but beneficial, awesome article. May Allah enable us to LIKE His Book, and mercifully LIKE all of us.
I first read this during Hajj, having used FB only once during 2-3 weeks, and realised “hey this is me before Hajj”. Our addiction to FB is so pathetic really and during Hajj it was apparent. The paradigm shift you mention is easy if we just go back to what we were really created for – worshiping Allah (swt). I agree that we should all make the Quran our best friend. It is only Satan that hinders us. Read 50 verses a day, if you cannot do that then read 20, or just one 1 verse. If you cannot do that then at least look at the Quran.
my favourite part “…Mary `alayha assalaam (peace be upon her) says something, then God Almighty responds. Jesus `alayhi assalaam (peace be upon him) tells his disciples something and they all start tweeting him back. Moses (as) posts on Pharaoh’s wall, Pharaoh responds with his henchman and is finally completely deleted from Facebook—and the world—in its entirety…….. ”
i got off Facebook not completely but don’t go there as i used to. i find i have so much time for other things. Shaytan the accursed is always looking for a way to waste the time of Allahs Slaves.
now i just use it to connect with family around the globe.
Amazinggggg article mashAllah! May Allah reward you..:)
Good for us we read
A very important reminder of our real priorities in holding the Quran as our supreme authority and reference point in life? As we celebrate the coming of the Islamic New year, who is ready to make this HIJRAH ‘to’ the Qur’an? If we don’t fulfill our obligations towards the Qur’an, then there is this danger of makig Hijrah ‘away’ from the Qur’an as the Messenger (SAW) will complain on the Day of Judgment: “O my Lord! My people have made Hijrah (i.e. abandoned) the Qur’an” (25:30).
[…] From Facebook to God’s Book by Maryam Amir-Ebrahimi […]
Not very regular on facebook due to job situation, but from now on Will be a friend of Quran, thanks maryam that I am turning to Quran and its really amazing. Thanks for saving my life
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JazakAllahu khairan. Wonderful article. MashaAllah 🙂
Alhamdhulilla, i am a lucky man to read this
SO many gems in this article. It’s like you took some of my inner-most feelings and put them down so eloquently in writing. What is even MORE beautiful is that those who take this journey have a lot of the same feelings/emotions. You can make great friends through THIS journey. Good to know we can share/like gems we find with one another!!! This resonated with me, loud and powerful!!!!! x
heheh you’re funny sister. Awesomeness oozing 😉
Masha Allah, tabarakallah!
Jazak Allah Khair. Powerful Article.Thank You
Jazaki Allahu Khayran Sister Maryam.
This section blew me away…
“If we take the Qur’an as our Best Friend, we’ll run to it when we see it near, knowing it’s calling us, ready to listen to whatever it wants to share for our own benefit, guidance and happiness. When we’re distraught, feeling lonely or at loss, we’ll go to your Best Friend, hold it to our hearts, open it and begin reading it, reciting from it, reveling in its mind-blowing empathy, its heart-warming sympathy, it’s perfection of wisdom which relates directly to our situations.”
I have heard people saying something similar, but I never used to believed it; the Quran used to be rather random to me…I would read ayats which composed of stories, admonitions, images of this life and the next, etc, but which seemed random and did not seem to apply to my life.
But as I am spending more time with the Quran, trying to improve my recitation, trying to memorize it, trying to understand it by learning Arabic and taking tafseer classes, I find this is slowly changing, alhamdhulillah. While much of what I read still feels random and not always connected to my direct situation, there is a definite sense now that this is one powerful, incredible Book that demands my daily attention for my very well-being; it truly gives life to the heart, and it purifies the soul (even though I’m not sure exactly how).
And there certain times when I most need it, suddenly, I find an ayat that directly relates to my situation, and guides me, or gives me the much needed re-assurance…
You clearly are attached to the Quran at such a deep level, alhamdhulillah. I ask Allah to increase your love of the Quran even more, and put the same level of love of the Quran in my heart.
because the best like is when ALLAH likes you, mashALLAH, wat an article sister… truly the need of todays youth..
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Allahamdullilah for writing such a great article
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