We pray salah in order to stand before Allāh and express our devotion. Likewise, we study
the Qurān in order to learn what the commands of Allāh are. This Book is not like any other
and therefore our connection to it cannot be like our connection to anything else.
Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn Al-’Aas (may Allāh be pleased with him) narrated that our Beloved
Prophet ﷺ said:
“The one who was devoted to the Qurān will be told [on the Day of Resurrection:] ‘Recite [the Qurān] and ascend [in ranks] as you used to recite when you were in the world. Your rank will be at the last verse you recite.”’ (Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi)
From another hadith we learn that, Abu Hurairah (may Allāh be pleased with him) narrated that our Beloved Prophet ﷺ said:
“Whenever a group of people assemble in one of the Houses of Allāh (i.e. Mosques), reciting the Book of Allāh and studying it, tranquility descends upon them, Mercy covers them, angels surround them and Allāh makes a mention of them among those who are with Him.” (Muslim)
With such priceless guidance, one can only want to dive deeper into the Qurān.
With that in mind, here are 12 ways to improve your relationship with the Qurān:
1) Make du’ā for Allāh to open your heart and increase you in beneficial knowledge:
Purify your intention for learning the Qurān, and ensure that it is for the sake of Allāh- to attain taqwa (God consciousness), to learn how Allāh wants us to spend our time in this life and to gain a comprehensive understanding of what has passed and what is yet to come. Once you are in a purified state, make sincere du’ā. Ask Allāh to open your heart to His Words and to make Qurān the basis of your life. A du’ā made by Our Beloved Prophet ﷺ can also be used here:
رَّبِّ زِدْنِي عِلْمًا
[O my Lord, increase me in knowledge]
2) Commit an amount to study every day:
Consistency is important to build a strong relationship and understanding of the Holy Qurān; for this, try to put at least one hour aside for this on a daily basis. Take into consideration your routine and attach your Qurān study to a particular time of day i.e. some people choose to study at Fajr for its spiritual benefit while others may choose to study half their daily amount at Fajr, saving the rest for a studying after a later salah i.e. between Asr and Maghrib.
3) Review what you have studied:
While completing your daily studies, ensure to take notes and write reflections in order to solidify your knowledge. You can do this digitally or with a notebook and pen but another alternative is to gather your family & friends and have a discussion about the verses you have read. The vocalization of your knowledge as well as being able to gain knowledge from others will surely help strengthen your understanding of the Qurān.
4) Learn the Arabic word for word:
Any translation is an interpretation. With that in mind, work towards removing barriers between yourself and comprehension of the Qurān in the way Allāh sent it for us. Having a firm grasp of the Quranic Arabic will enable you to read a verse and understand it without any further instruments – such a learning is truly enriching and absolutely attainable. Be patient and begin with one chapter at a time to memorize each word’s translation, test yourself and utilize tools and methods that can empower your learning.
5) Apply what you have learnt in your daily life:
Once you gain the definition and understanding of a verse or chapter. Apply its commands in your life – by the practical action of doing, you will further strengthen the connection between the word of Allāh and yourself. You can also memorize a chapter or parts of a chapter and recite them in your salah. For example, the greatest verse in the Qurān, Ayat-al-Kursi, is a good place to start memorizing.
6) Enrol in a class or course:
You will find many institutes, schools and organisations offering Qurān courses that can provide a good foundation, accountability and structure for your learning journey. Further to this, you can choose an in-person or online course but keep in mind that the knowledge sharing that happens in-person is usually more interactive, engaging, hands-on and overall a fuller experience. Check out what you have available around you and perhaps try a short course before you commit to a longer course.
7) Recite with Tajweed:
As the word ‘Qurān’ itself means ‘Recitation’, we cannot fully delve into The Book without reciting it. Within this recitation, there are many areas to nourish but the overall improvement and constant concentration on tajweed is fundamental to successful recitation. Tajweed is a collection of rules and instructions for the correct pronunciation of the letters with all their qualities i.e. giving each letter its due right (haqq). The best way to improve tajweed is with a teacher – there are many learned teachers that look forward to sharing this knowledge with their students. You may have to do some research, but in sha Allāh you can find someone locally around you (or online) that can help you to improve your recitation.
8) Listen to recitation:
While you are reading, reciting and pondering over the verses of the Qurān, listening to its recitation is another component to improve your overall relationship with this magnificent Book. Listening to its recitation engages different parts of your mind that are then able to retain the sound, vibrations and inflections which in turn can help you with your own recitation, word for word learning and memorization.
9) Make connections within The Book:
Once you start studying the Qurān with consistency, you will start to notice repetition of words and themes. As part of your note-taking and studying, try and retain the placements of concepts and relate them to other parts of the Qurān. Being able to create these connections within the ocean of the Qurān will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the prominent concepts that Allāh wants believers to understand.
10) Begin and end your day with the Qurān:
Making Qurān one of the first things you do as part of your morning worship and making it the final part of your night worship binds your day in a spiritual wrap. As beautifully declared in the Qurān:
‘…the recitation of dawn is ever-witnessed.’ (17:78)
From the above ayah we learn the majesty of reciting the Qurān at Fajr time. The fact is that while the world may be sleeping, your recitation is being witnessed by angels who are scribing your efforts, and Allāh- who is noting your devotion. For the evening and night, we have also been informed by Our Beloved Prophe tﷺ that one should recite the three Quls, Ayat-al-Kursi and the last two verses of Surah Al-Baqarah before going to sleep.
11) Understand the context and times of when verses were revealed:
The Qurān descended over the course of 23 years. The verses correspond with changing times and circumstances, therefore, making the Qurān a timeless guidance. With that being said, developing an understanding of the points in reality in which the verses were revealed is a knowledge that provides one with a fuller, greater and deeper connection to The Book and to Allāh.
12) Read the Seerah (Life of the Beloved Prophet ﷺ):
The Messenger of Allāh, our Beloved Prophet ﷺ is the example by which we should strive to live our lives. Among the countless blessings we received through him, the greatest is that it was his heart that was chosen for the Qurān to descend upon; the purest heart with the character that is often described as the living Qurān. Seeking knowledge of The Prophet ﷺ and his life, and discovering the events that coincided with certain verses being revealed are all incredibly beneficial tools to widen one’s way of thinking, grow one’s eemaan and soulfully comprehend the precious verses of the Qurān.
May Allāh make the gaining and retaining of beneficial knowledge easy and may He reward the sincere efforts. Aameen.