First Things First

quran-image

First things first –

and Qur’an always comes first. 

Alhamdulillah, today I was fortunate and privileged enough to attend a quite exquisitely beautiful event: the graduation ceremony of four huffaz (three huffaz and one haafizah to be precise, ma-sha Allah). There were many congratulatory messages and words of advice given to the students, and all the speakers spoke of the nobility and status of those who have memorised the Qur’an. If I had had the opportunity to address them though, I would have emphasised a different aspect. I would have said to them: “This is not the end. It is only the beginning…”

It is all too easy to allow the goal of completing one’s hifz to become our ultimate objective. That is what drives and motivates us and it is what we spend all that time and effort in striving for. The danger that lies in this is that we can then lose sight of the true perspective of things. The completion of one’s hifz is not the end of the road… it is merely the culmination of one stage of a lifelong, never-ending journey. And to traverse what lies ahead is far more difficult than the path already travelled. If we become complacent once we reach this stage, then we ought to realise that we can so easily lose all that we’ve worked so hard to acquire. Know that it will have taken you years and years to have reached this point of having memorised the Qur’an – but it will not take you years and years to forget it! It will not even be a matter of months, but mere weeks of neglect can cause all your efforts to be undone…

So to maintain one’s hifz for the rest of one’s life is the true challenge, and that is a much harder feat than the effort of committing the Qur’an to memory. I had previously written something on this topic before – some advice on how we as huffaz can maintain our memorisation of the Noble Qur’an – and here I would like to focus on the fourth point mentioned in that article, which is that of getting into a routine. As huffaz we need to constantly be in the process of completing a recitation of the Qur’an within a set amount of time. This is the only way of ensuring that we will retain it and not forget it.

We all have demands on our time and various responsibilities that we have to shoulder. And whether we acknowledge it or not, we all also have priorities in life: certain of those things that we need and want to do are given precedence over other matters. Sadly, a lot of the time our priorities are messed up… we spend more time on fun and entertainment than on the more important matters in life. And that is what the reflection above is all about: the Qur’an should always be our number one priority in life. This applies to all of us as Muslims, but especially to those of us who have been honoured with the distinction of having been granted the memorisation of the Qur’an, or are in the process of working towards that.

Once we finish our hifz and leave our hifz schools, we now have more distractions and things we need to attend to and less time to spend with the Qur’an. And that then becomes our excuse: we say that we are too inundated with work from our studies or our job to have any time to spend with the Qur’an, and so we end up neglecting it. Realise that you’re never going to have enough time – you need to make the time! You need to make the Qur’an your first priority and give it preference over all else. See that you complete your daily recitation first and then attend to other matters. And whatever your current situation is right now, realise that things are unlikely to get any easier – they will only become more and more difficult as time passes. If you’re single now, then one day you’ll have a family to attend to. If you’re a student now with exams and assignments to worry about, then one day you’ll be working, with even more pressure and stress to deal with. So it should not be that we allow our circumstances to determine for us how much or how little time we dedicate to the Qur’an. Rather, we should prioritise our revision routine above all else and make the necessary sacrifices we have to in order to ensure that we are able to stick to it. May Allah ta’ala make it easy for us all.

Just one last thing I would like to mention here, which is that of recitation during the month of Ramadan, which is now less than one month away. I mentioned in the article linked above that you should regard it as obligatory on yourself to lead the Taraweeh salaah and to not shirk that responsibility, which is something I still maintain. So if you find that you cannot do even that, then this should be a matter of grave concern for you. For if you cannot strengthen your memorisation and your relationship with the Qur’an, during this month – the month of the Qur’an – then there is little hope of you doing so at any other time…  :{

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