Quran in Ramadan: Speed Reading Contest or Source of Guidance?

Bismillah!

Right, so most of us, if not all of us, have come across a pic on FB, twitter which says read 4 pages/salah..20 pages/day and you finish the entire Quran during Ramadan. My first thoughts while seeing the pic was: -_-

Really!?! I mean, are people really going to do this and forget the bigger picture? Of course, the person who started this must have had noble intentions for doing so, but..this Book is more than just “starting and finishing in one month” mania.

Reading the Glorious Book (even when you don’t understand) does bring in a lot of benefits for us in this life and in the next, but but but..the bottom line is: if you are not going to understand a single verse or letter of what you’re reciting and if you want to finish this amazing book in the Holy month like as if you’ve been put in some reading contest, then subhanAllah..you’ve lost the entire purpose!

Allah (swt) asks us to read this book so that we REFLECT.

This is our Lord asking us to read a special book He (swt) gifted us with, so that we may reflect…we may understand..and more importantly, make this amazing book our companion, our guide and a 24/7 friend to fall back on.

Mothers of the believers, Aisha R.A, our Prophet’s beloved wife was once asked what Prophet (saws) was like..and her amazing answer was “Indeed, he (saws) was a walking example of the Quran.”

Now please explain to me, how speed reading (with the sole intention of wanting to complete a book and in most cases not even understanding what we recite) is going to help us reflect, understand and become a walking example?! How will I utilize the verses and make it a reflection of who I am if I’m opening a book just to finish it within 30 days?

I would have been ecstatic if everyone had circulated this pic throughout the year..but singling out one month alone..common!!

True..you do get rewarded for every single letter you utter..but this Book is Allah’s commandments..its His book of laws..and He didn’t send it through Gibreel (alayhi’salam) or through dreams to our Prophet (saws) just for us, lesser mortals, to speed read (and that too once in a year). NO! He (swt) sent this book so that we act upon it..so that we treat this Book like a Guide, a Comforter at times of ease and hardship..

Allah (swt) says its a Book of guidance..and guidance means you keep going back to the Guide..to see what the Master has to say..every time you’re lost, every time you despair.

How would any of this be achieved if we are going to blindly read it in haste?! Allah (swt) says do not move your tongue hastily while reading the Quran: A point of reminder!!!

I remember listening to Muhammad Al Shareef in one of his tafsirs where he said that there was a man who would learn a single verse of the Glorious Book.. understand it.. memorise it and then go about preaching about the verse and its importance to everyone he came across…before moving on to the  next verse…!!

There is a lot of reward in reciting the Quran but again…each deed of yours will depend on your intentions..so rather than just having a single intention of finishing this Book, lets increase our list of intentions and intend to read the Quran:

  • To earn the ajr for reciting each letter.
  • To earn extra ajr by making an effort to understand each verse before moving on to the next.
  • To act upon each surah and see how we can change one aspect of ourselves before heading forward to the next surah.
  • To make this book our constant companion rather than a part time friend.

Maybe, I would just end up completing a couple of surahs if I go at this rate, but if my intentions were pure and if I recite this book to get closer to Allah (swt) and act upon it, like how He (swt) wants..and if I could be an example of the etiquettes and manners this book commands me to be, then maybe I’d just finish a surah or two but I’d have at least developed an unending love towards this book..I’d would have stopped and cried while reading verses about His rewards, His never ending forgiveness, His Infinite Love towards His slaves and the punishment that would befall those who do evil or go astray..

I’d rather read slowly and not finish the Book than speed read and not be moved by the words, or as Allah (swt) says..those whose hearts are like stones that they remain unmoved, they read and they forget..there is a seal upon their hearts that they do not pay heed..

Let this not be a month where we start and finish the Glorious Book. Let this be the month where we start a beautiful relationship with the Book that must never come to an end. Let this be the month where we vow to understand each verse and the context in which it was revealed and realise the magnanimity of the sentences before moving forward to the next verse. Let this month be the beginning of a life long friendship.. insha’Allah.

All good in this post is from Allah (swt) and any error or mistake is from me and the Shaitan.

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About Nasmira

Asalamualaikum !! =) A proud Hijabi, Writer, Nutritionist, Artist.. Click the link below and take a sneak peek into my world! =)
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14 Responses to Quran in Ramadan: Speed Reading Contest or Source of Guidance?

  1. x@hu says:

    I concur! Couldn’t have said it better myself :)

    The 4 pages/salah..20 pages/day pic starts doing its round every Ramadan I think. The first time I came across it, my reaction was pretty much the same. And it doesn’t help that the “Complete the whole Qur’an in Ramadan” mania is something that is firmly entrenched in where I come from.

    Last Ramadan, I barely made it halfway while my family and friends happily steam-rolled to the finish line! Lol, their expressions of horror over my tortoise-ness was almost comical :P

    True, there is a LOT of reward for reciting the Qur’an, but trying to understand what Allah says, how He says it and discovering the circumstances behind each revelation makes the whole experience more profound, subhan Allah!

    A small example is that for most of my life, I never knew just how much of a magnitude the Salah has. Oh I was taught it was a pillar of Islam, but there was a very lax attitude attached to it. It was only when I decided to understand what my Lord was saying in His Book that I discovered just how important it is. Subhan Allah, Allah subhanahu wa ta’aala talks about the Salah SO much in the Qur’an! To this day, it shames me whenever I come across such a verse.

    If the average Muslim just took the time to really ponder over the meanings, even a simple translation, it would impact him. It really would.

    • Nasmira says:

      subhanAllah…everything you’ve said here is so so so true!! esp. the salah part of it..I remember praying and reading the Quran since 8 or 9..but I never really understood the sweetness and beauty of this blessed religion until two years back when I started listening to the tafseers of the Surahs, coupled with lectures by Anwar al awlaki about the Prophet (saws) and the great companions (Abu Bakr n Umar)..
      subhanAllah! there’s so much of difference when you learn something and understand its importance rather than doing it just because everyone else does it or just because its a custom you’re forced to do..

      • *gulp* you girlies just sent me on a guilt trip!

        Frankly, I kinda felt the same way while I was deciding my goals for Ramadan before the started, but then figured out it would be better to complete the Quran atleast once in this month so I can get rewarded for each letter..
        But Nasmi, JazakaAllahu Khair! You mentioned some great points.. actions are judged by intentions.. and Ramadan being the best month to establish good habits.. makes sense to build a relationship with the Quran which will last even after the Ramadan ends inshaAllah. Rather than just forgetting about it completely once it has ended and opening it only once next Ramadan approaches!

      • Nasmira says:

        Barakallhu feek dearest! :)
        More than reading it quickly…I don’t like the manner in which some people recite the Quran without being moved by it…it makes the entire process worthless..
        I’m glad you found it beneficial.. :)

  2. mehmudah says:

    Absolutely brilliant post! I’ve always felt the same way.

  3. Bob Othman says:

    Nasmira, great article and your points are all valid and true. My approach is slightly different..if you can read and understand, that is the best for you. If you can read but cannot understand is always better than not reading it. Quran is a mukjizat (magical) and reading it even without understanding offers great benefits to everyone.

    • Nasmira says:

      Thanks for your input Bob Othman!
      You’re absolutely correct…as long as you read something and understand it, there’s no harm in reading it quickly..
      and the words are magical.. absolutely magical and healing.. subbhanAllah!
      Thanks for dropping by!
      Ramadan Mubarak!!

  4. ummkhaleel says:

    So true! I’ve always wondered how some can finish reciting the Qur’an every 3 days.. amazed but to some extent I sincerely hope they understand what they’re reading. I attended this Qur’an class recently and we were going through some verses when we came across one about ‘reflecting on the ayaats in the Qur’an so as to enliven the heart’. We are told to not only recite but to ponder on the verses too.. and this is something which is not always emphasized. The goal is always to read from cover to cover and that would suffice.

    I recall that the culture I grew up in was that it was important that a child is able to recite the Qur’an and then khatam. But after khatamul Qur’an..? It was khalas lol, there was no need to read anymore! Parents would then go around proudly telling relatives about how their child has read the whole Qur’an. Is that the same for you? It sounds absurd but that happened to me. Understanding the Qur’an was considered only necessary for Imaams and Sheikhs but not for ordinary people.. subhan’Allah, May Allah guide all of us!

    • Nasmira says:

      Yeah..there are people who go about proudly telling that they have completed Quran xyz number of times..but ask them if it changed them or made them ponder…I’d get an empty stare which loosely translates into “WHAT did you just ask”? lol
      Its is THE SAME here…people are just concerned with making sure their child finishes reading the Quran and that’s it..
      and also they just teach Arabic letters here…without the meaning…as weird and stupid as this sounds..most of here can read perfect Arabic and yet not understand a word..I think this is the ONLY language where we are taught to read something but not understand..I mean how and why do they teach a language without making the child understand?! :S
      It’s a very sad reality actually..and its even more sad that once they grow up, kids end up taking extra classes to learn all other languages (in India for example..you know your mother tongue..and then you have to learn Hindi in school coz that’s the national language..and then you have to learn the State language which differs from one state to another..)but the kids or parents don’t take any effort to learn Arabic!!
      Quran and Islam will be a part of you only if you take an effort to get closer to it..but ask people related to me and they’ll say, “praying 5 times (or less) and reading Quran once in a while is enough to be called a “practicing and religious Muslim” SICK!

  5. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for this post! :D
    I totally agree with you! I know people are trying to follow the Sunnah by completing the recitation of the Qur’an but if they are not aware of the language then first they should learn the language. Or atleast have translation with them while reciting. It just does not seem right that Allah is talking to someone and he is not even able to understand a word of it! Qur’an is our Guide, how can one think of using it in his life, if he does not understand it?
    Ramadan Mubarak :)

  6. afrin says:

    Assalamalaikum!
    this post exactly reflects what i have always felt.people have such strange attitudes.when someone asks me if i have finished reading the Qu’ran atleast once and i say no im reading it with translation they just look at me as if i am saying some strange thing!i just don’t understand what’s the point of reading the Qu’ran if u just don’t understand n follow any of it?!
    Honestly,how come people have such weird perspectives these days??
    Inshallah i hope to read n understand the qu’ran even if it takes me longer than the month of ramdhan :)

    • Nasmira says:

      Wa alalikum salam wr wb sis! :)
      Alhamdulillah, I’m glad you could relate to what I’ve written.
      You’re absolutely correct..what’s the point reading an amazing book when one does not even understand?! But I guess its a problem in many places and countries which teach Arabic in that fashion..
      JazakumAllahu khayran for taking your time out and commenting! :)

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