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~ Muslim by Choice ~
"Allah! None has the right to be worshipped, but He." Surat Al-Baqarah: 255

Avoid Fault-finding

Monday, August 22, 2005

Bismillah Ir-Rahmaan Ir-Raheem

Here's an article that I found interesting. You can find it online at Islamcity.

By: Sadullah Khan

As people of Faith, we have the duty of commanding good and forbidding evil. We thus engage ourselves, as social beings, in improving ourselves and working towards being instruments in improving the world we live in. Our Faith behooves us not to search for faults in others and we would do well to heed the advice of our Beloved Prophet : "Part of being a good person is minding your own business."

While the purpose of commanding good and forbidding evil is to correct and restore; fault-finding inevitably leads to undermining the character of people and sometimes to destroying relationships. Prophet Muhammad said: "The worst of people are those engaged in slandering others, those who ruin relationships between dear ones who try to find fault with innocent people."

The Prophet also admonished us that "when you pursue the faults of others, you corrupt them" and warned that "those who unduly pursue the shortcomings of others will have their own faults exposed."

Fault-finding is the habit of the miserable

Confucius said: "the great person calls to attention the good points in others while the miserable person calls to attention the defects in others." That is perhaps why losers can easily say, "something is wrong" and winners usually say, "how can I correct it". Why losers say, "why don't you do this?" and winners usually say, "here is something I can do."

Fault-finders normally tell others about someone's faults and rarely have the guts to face people; fitting the description of dhul-wajhayn (two-faced) which the Prophet Muhammad assigned to troublemakers and hypocrites. Fault-finders also tend to be miserable themselves, lacking self-esteem; and since they focus so much on blaming others, they become resentful; and rather than cherish people, tend to develop a desire to undermine and discredit people.

Negativity consumes a person

The negative feelings that a fault-finder harbors regarding others eventually consumes the person and this negativity eventually becomes part of the fault-finder's character. Prophet Muhammad therefore advised us "Refrain from holding bad opinions of people."

Deflecting one's own shortcomings

One of the common ways through which people deflect their own shortcomings and do not face up to their own faults is to blame others. The faults we see may well not be in what we are looking at, but rather in our looking. Prophet 'Isa/Jesus is reported to have said; "why do you look at the little speck in your brother's eye and forget the plank in your own eye". Hadrat 'Ali said: "The worst of people is the person who searches for faults in others while being blind to his own faults". Martin Luther King rightly said: "the highest form of maturity is self inquiry".

Watch your Heart, your Emotions and your Tongue

Speech is projection of thoughts and emotions; the content of speech reflects the culture of the heart, so consider carefully how you feel about others, why you feel the way you feel and what you say about people. Prophet Muhammad said: "None of your faith is correct unless your heart is upright and your heart will not be rectified until your tongue is in order". That is why Allah states in the Quran "speak what is correct, your actions will be rectified and your sins will be forgiven". Since virtually all fault-finding is conveyed verbally, we must be careful of the power of the tongue since wise people caution the fact that affliction caused by the tongue is more severe than the harm caused by the sword. The Prophet also provided a basic rule of good character when he responded to a question regarding salvation. He replied: "It is necessary for you to control your tongue and weep for your own faults".

The prayer of the Prophet is the most appropriate expression for one who introspects and genuinely wishes to be a catalyst for a better world: "O Allah, forgive that which I did secretly and what I did publicly; What I did inadvertently and what I did deliberately; What I did knowingly and what I did out of ignorance".

Always reflect on this advice of the Prophet : "glad tidings to the person more concerned about his own faults than bothering about the faults of others".

Sadullah Khan is the Director of Islamic Center of Irvine. He has presented lectures on Islamic Civilization at California State University at Dominguez Hills. He is a frequent lecturer for the Academy of Judaic, Christian and Islamic Studies at UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles). He is also an advisor to the Chancellor's Committee on Religion Ethics and Values at UCLA and serves as Director of Muslim Affairs at USC (University of Southern California).





The Importance of Time in Islam

Bismillah Ir-Rahmaan Ir-Raheem

By Dr. Norlain Dindang Mababaya

In general, sensible people know the importance of time.There are among those who believe in the popular saying as “Time is gold.” Time in Islam is more than gold or any precious material thing in this world.

Of all religions, only Islam guides mankind not only to the importance of time but also how to value it. Allah the Almighty and His Messenger, Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), very clearly tell us the value of time, why we must not waste it and how we can make use of our time wisely to increase our eeman (faith) and thus attain success, especially eternal success in the life Hereafter.

Both the Qur’an and the Sunnah enjoin Muslims to be conscious of time. We are reminded that life in this world is nothing but temporary. We never know when death has been appointed for us. We must value time for the satisfaction of Allah the Almighty. For our guidance and success, we must never waste time nor abuse it.Bin ‘Abbas narrated that Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said:“There are two blessings which many people lose: (They are) health and free time for doing good.” (Bukhari 8/421)

Indeed, we displease Allah the Most High when we abuse time. We must remember that time must be spent to fulfill our very purpose in life ¾ that is to worship Allah all throughout our lives. Allah makes this very clear in the Qur’an when He says:

“I have created not the jinn and men except that they should worship Me (Alone). I seek not any provision from them nor do I ask that they should feed Me. Verily, Allah is the All-Provider, Owner of Power, Most Strong.” Qur’an (51:56-58)

“So glorify the praises of your Rabb (Only God and Sustainer) and be of those who prostrate themselves (to Him). And worship your Rabb until there comes unto you the Hour that is certain (i.e., death).” (Qur'an 15:98-99)

Everything we do in accordance with the Qur’an and the Sunnah is an act of worship. Such worship must be done sincerely for the pleasure of Allah alone. We should make use of our time (which includes our “free time”) in doing beneficial things especially those that will make us closer to Allah and earn His Mercy.

We have to make use of our time wisely by knowing more of the Qur’an and the Sunnah. We must have correct knowledge of what Allah and His Messenger have commanded us to do and at the same time to refrain from what they have forbidden us. This is imperative so that we earn Allah’s pleasure and reward. Allah the Exalted makes it very clear, when he says:

“O you who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger (Mohammad) and render not vain your deeds.” (Qur'an 47:33)

Corollary to the above divine commandment, we must ask ourselves: Have we been obeying Allah and His Messenger? To what extent have we used our time learning the Qur’an and the Sunnah in order to have correct eeman (Faith), to do righteous deeds, to enjoin the Truth or do Da’wah, and be patient and constant? As time passes by, are we sure we are devoting our time for the sincere worship and pleasure of Allah the Most High? Are we taking guidance from the following very enlightening Ayat (Qur’anic verses)?

"By the time, verily man is in loss, except such as have Faith, and do righteous deeds, and join (together) in the mutual enjoining of Truth, and of patience and constancy.” Qur’an (103:1-3)

In line with the above Qur’anic injunction, we have to discipline ourselves by giving value to the importance of time. We must be prompt in doing good deeds, which will increase our faith and subsequently enable us to gain Allah’s pleasure and mercy. We have to remember that on the day of judgement we shall be asked how we spent our lives, wealth and knowledge. In other words, we will be questioned on how we spent everything that Allah has given us as implied in the following Hadith:Narrated Abdullah Bin Mas`ud Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said:“A man shall be asked concerning five things on the day of resurrection: concerning his life, how he spent it; concerning his youth, how he grew old; concerning his wealth, whence he acquired it, and in what way he spent it; and what was it that he did with the knowledge that he had.”

Abu Barzah Nadlah ibn Ubayd al-Aslami narrated that the Prophet(PBUH) said: “A servant of Allah will remain standing on the Day of Judgment till he is questioned: about his age and how he spent it; and about his knowledge and how he utilized it; about his wealth from where he acquired it and in what (activities) he spent it; and about his body as to how he used it.”

If we are to evaluate ourselves objectively, have we been spending our time wisely for the pleasure of Allah the Almighty? Have we been spending our lives based on the Qur’an and the Sunnah? Have we been practicing Muslims? How many of us are Muminoon (faithful Muslims) and/or Mutaqqoon (God-fearing Muslims)? How much knowledge of the Qur’an and the Sunnah do we know? Do we practice what we learn and impart the same to others or at least share them to our families and kin? Have we ever enjoined to others what is right and forbid what is wrong?

To be successful, we have to manage our time wisely by making plans for virtuous deeds that please Allah the Almighty. We must spend time learning Islam (based on the Qur’an and the Sunnah and the right deductions from these two revealed scriptures).

This article was found on Islam Online.





The Purpose and Duty of the Muslim Ummah

Friday, August 12, 2005

Bismillah Ir-Rahmaan Ir-Raheem

Here is an excerpt from an excellent book written by Sayyid Abul Al'a Maududi entitled "Witness of Mankind." I find it very inspiring. You can find the entire book online here and here.

Responsibilities and Duties

To the Muslims we have only one very simple thing to say: Understand and fulfil the responsibilities and duties that fall upon you by virtue of your being Muslims. You cannot get away with merely affirming that you are Muslims and that you have accepted God as your only God and Islam as your religion. Rather, as soon as you acknowledge Allah as your only Lord and His guidance as your way of life, you take upon yourselves certain obligations and duties. These obligations you must always remain conscious of, these duties you must always endeavor to discharge. If you evade them, you shall not escape the evil consequences of your conduct in this world or in the Hereafter.

What are these duties? They are not merely confined to the affirmation of faith in Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, and the Day of Judgement. Nor are they confined to performing the Prayers, observing the Fasts, going on the Pilgrimage, and paying the Alms. Nor are these duties exhausted by observing the injunctions of Islam relating to marriage, divorce and inheritance. Over and above all these duties, there is one which is the most important: that your lives bear witness to the Truth that you have been given by God before all mankind, the Truth which you believe to be true.



The Only Purpose of Existence

The Qur'an clearly states that witnessing to the Truth in a manner that would leave mankind with no justifiable ground to deny it is the only purpose behind constituting you as a distinct Ummah (community), named Muslims.

And thus We have made you a community of the middle way, so that you may be witnesses [to the Truth] before all mankind, and the Messenger may be witness [to it] before you (al-Baqarah 2: 143).

This mission is the sole objective for which your Ummah has been brought into being, it is the raison d'etre of its existence as a society of human beings. Unless you fulfil it you are squandering your life. For this is no ordinary duty; it is a duty enjoined on you by God. It is a Divine command and a Divine call:

O believers, be ever steadfast in standing up, for the sake of God, bearing witness to justice (al-Ma'idah 5: 8) .



It is not a mere trifle but an emphatic and grave mandate, for Allah also says:

And who is a greater wrong-doer than he who suppresses a witness entrusted to him by God (al-Baqarah 2: 140).



You have been warned of the consequences of evading this duty. Look at the history of the people of Israel. They too were appointed to stand in the witness-box; but sometimes they suppressed the Truth, and sometimes they witnessed against it. By their conduct, they, in fact, became witnesses to falsehood rather than witnesses to the Truth. The consequence was that God forsook them and a curse fell upon them.

And so, humiliation and powerlessness afflicted them, and they earned God's anger (al-Baqarah 2: 61).



Witness to the Truth

What does this duty of witness imply? Consider it carefully: You have been given Divine guidance, you have been shown the Truth. You must, therefore, establish by your testimony and witness its authenticity and truthfulness before all mankind. This is a testimony that will make the authenticity and truthfulness of Divine guidance self-evident, for all to see, and a witness that will make it clear and indisputable for all people.

For this very purpose all the Messengers were sent to the world; this was their primary duty. After them, their followers were entrusted with the same duty. And now the Muslim Ummah, as the successor to the Last Prophet, blessings and peace be on him, is charged with this very mission, just as he was charged with it during his lifetime.

How Should We Witness to the Truth?

Let us now see in what manner we should discharge our duty of witnessing to the Truth. Witnessing is of two types: one, witness by words, or the word-witness; the other, witness by acts and deeds, or the act-witness. [6]



Word-witness

In what way should our words witness to the Truth? Through our speech and writing, we should proclaim and explain to the world the guidance that has come to us through God's Messengers. This, in sum, is the word-witness. Employing all possible methods of education, using all possible means of communication and propagation, mastering all knowledge provided by the contemporary arts and sciences, we should inform mankind of the way of life that God has laid down for man. The guidance that Islam gives to humanity in thought and belief, in morality and behavior, in culture and civilization, in economics and business, in jurisprudence and judiciary, in politics and civil administration that is, in all aspects of inter-human relations we should clearly and fully expound before mankind. By rational discourse and convincing evidence, we should establish its truth and soundness. By soundly reasoned critique, we should rebut all that is contrary to the guidance given by God.

The task is enormous. Full justice cannot be done to it unless the thought of guiding man to the right path seizes the whole Ummah as completely as it did each Messenger personally. It is essential, too, that this task should become the central objective of all our collective endeavors, that we should commit all our hearts and minds, all of our resources, to this cause. Uppermost in all our actions should be this objective. Under no circumstances should we allow any voice within ourselves to bear witness against the Truth and Divine guidance that we have.



Act-witness

In what way should our acts and deeds witness to the Truth? For this purpose, the guidance that we hold to be true we must put into practice. Our actions should demonstrate the principles we profess to believe in.

Put simply: let our lives speak the truth, and let the world hear it not merely from our lips but also from our deeds; let mankind witness all the blessings that the Divine guidance brings to human life. Let the world taste in our conduct, individual and collective, that sweetness and flavor which only the faith in One God can impart to character and morality. Let the world see what fine examples of humanity are fashioned by Islam, what a just society is established, what a sound social order emerges, what a clean and noble civilization arises, how science, literature, and art flourish and develop on sound lines, what a just economy compassionate and free from conflict is brought about. Indeed, how every aspect of life is set right, developed and enriched.

We shall not be doing our duty to this task unless our lives, individual and collective, become a living embodiment of Islam: unless our personal characters are a living proof of its truth, our homes are fragrant with its teachings, our businesses and factories are illuminated by its rules and laws, our schools and institutions are shaped by its ideas and norms, and our literature and media reflect its principles. Indeed until our entire national policy and public life make its truth manifest and self-evident.

In short, wherever and whenever any individual or people come in contact with us it is our duty to convince them, by our example, that the principles and teachings which Islam proclaims to be true are indeed true, and that they do improve the quality of human life and raise it to better and higher levels.





Living the Quran ~ Al-Shura

Bismillah Ir-Rahmaan Ir-Raheem

I found this short beneficial article in the weekly newsletter called Friday Nasiha. If interested, you can sign up for their newsletter at the bottom of their homepage (follow the link).

I find their articles informative and inspiring - see what you think:


Living the Quran
Al-Shura (Mutual Consultation)
Chapter 42: Verse 20

Harvesting for the Hereafter

"To any that desires the tilth of the Hereafter, We give increase in his tilth; and to any that desires the tilth of this world, We grant somewhat thereof, but he has no share or lot in the Hereafter. ."

Both the seeker of the Hereafter and the seeker of the world have been likened to the farmer in this verse, who labours hard persistently right from the time he prepares the soil till the time his crop is ready for harvesting. He puts in all his labour so that he may reap and gather the crop of the seeds he sowed. But because of the difference of the intention and objective and also the difference of the attitude and conduct, to a large extent, a vast difference takes place between the farmer who sows for the Hereafter and the farmer who sows for this world. Therefore, Allah has ordained different results and consequences of the labours of each, although the place of activity of both is this very earth.

As to the farmer who is sowing for the Hereafter, Allah has not said that he will get no share from the world. The world, in a more or less measure, he will get in any case. For he also has a share in the common provisions being bestowed by Allah, and every person, good or bad, is getting his sustenance here. But Allah has not given him the good news of the harvest of this world. He has given him the good news that his harvest of the Hereafter will be increased, for he is a seeker of the hereafter, and is concerned about his end there. There are several ways in which this harvest can be increased; for example, as he goes on doing righteous deeds with sincere mentions, he is blessed with the grace to do more and more righteous deeds and his breast opens out for more and more good deeds. Above all, his good works, however small and insignificant, will at least be increased ten times over in the Hereafter, and there is no limit to this increase. Allah will increase it hundreds of thousands of times for whomever He may please.

As for the one who is only sowing for this world, and is not at all concerned about the Hereafter, Allah has plainly told him of two of the results of his labours: (1) That, however hard he may struggle and strive. he will not get the whole of what he is trying for, but only a fraction of it, which Allah has ordained for him; and (2) that whatever he gets, he will get only in this world: there is no share for him in the good things of the Hereafter.

Source:
"The Meaning of the Quran" - Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi





Before Your Demise . . .

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Life’s not so simple
As seen through thine eyes
For each word that is spoken
Conceals many lies.

And laughter and games
That seem innocent
Wastes away time
That should be well spent.

The world all aglitter
A dazzling display
Persuades with its beauty
Don’t worship – let’s play.

Blind in our purpose
We roam through the land
Enjoying life’s riches
Against Allah’s command.

Our graves lie before us
The time drawing near
Have we reflected?
Have we no fear?

Our deeds will be counted
No chance to repeat
Witness to all actions
Our hands and our feet.

So be firm in your purpose
Do not compromise
Live true Islam
Before your demise.


© Sumayyah Jameson, 2005





~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The heart of a Muslim

May it always grieve

For the burdens of sins

And good deeds not achieved.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
© Sumayyah Jameson, 2005








A Lesson Learned - Look Past the Faults of Others

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Bismillah Ir-Rahmaan Ir-Raheem

Why is it that we are so obsessed with the faults of others? We attend gatherings and the first word out of people's mouths are what someone wore to a function or that some people don't do the things that we think they should do (and of course, we do).

What's wrong with us - first of all - that we can't appreciate people as they are and if they do some things that are not in accordance with Islam - we should realize that we must be a good example to them or give them gentle naseeha? What's wrong with us secondly - that we don't realize the great harm to ourselves and others by engaging in this great sin?

In an authentic hadith reported by Imams Bukhari and Muslim, the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said in his speech on the day of sacrifice, in Mina, during his pilgrimage journey, "O’ people, your blood, fortune and honor are sacred amongst you, as sacred as your day today in this month, in this place, here I thus informed".

In another hadith in Sahih Al-Bukhari it is stated: “The Muslim is the brother of another Muslim; he does not betray him, lie to him or forsake him. The whole of the Muslim is sacred to his fellow Muslim – his honour, his wealth and his blood. Taqwa (piety) is here. It is sufficient evil for a man to despise his brother.”

If a muslim's blood, fortune and honor are sacred, then what is the punishment for always examining the faults of others - often speaking about them in the company of others? Don't we realize that having these thoughts also leads to another big sin - backbiting? If we think that we are above people and we constantly think of their faults, it's not too long before we take the next step and share those thoughts with others. Did we not hear about the punishment waiting for those who backbite?

Anas reported Allah's Messenger as saying, “When my Lord took me up to heaven I passed people who had nails of copper and were scratching their faces and their breasts. I asked Gabriel who these were, and he replied that they were those who were given to backbiting and who aspersed people’s honor.” (Abu Daud)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said: “A man might speak a word without thinking about its implications, but because of it, he will plunge into the Hellfire further than the distance between the east and west.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said: “One of the greatest of the major sins is to stretch out one’s tongue without right against the honor of a Muslim.” (Abu Dawud)

The other interesting thing that happens often is spouses (I'm sure many of us are guilty) complaining about their husbands/wives to other people. Often we nit-pic about little things that bother us about them - little habits we'd like to change, etc., but we must contantly remind ourselves that this is not a small matter!

Besides that, have we ever really looked at ourselves and realized that there are also habits we have that are annoying? Sometimes we are so busy worrying about things that they do that bother us that we totally miss the opportunity to fix the bad habits that we do ourselves and often forget or overlook that we even have these bad habits!

I recently was reading in my book entitled The Ideal Muslimah ( there is also The Ideal Muslim [for men] and I highly recommend everyone to purchase these books), written by Dr. Muhammad Ali Al-Hashimi . The book also touched upon this topic. "The chaste Muslim woman does not disclose her husband's secrets, and does not talk to anyone about whatever secrets and other matters there may be between him and her." She would never accept for herself to be counted as one of those people whom the Prophet (PBUH) described as one of the worst types: "Among the worst type of people in the sight of Allah (SWT) on the Day of Judgement is a man who enjoys his wife's intimate company, and she enjoys his intimate company, then one of them goes and discloses the secret of the other."

Instead of revealing another's faults, we must try to cover or conceal them . . .

In Sahih Muslim, a hadith relates the following: "Abu Huraira reported Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) as saying: The servant (who conceals) the faults of others in this world, Allah would conceal his faults on the Day of Resurrection.

Are we so heedless of our own faults that we don't realize the great blessing in this promise? Do we not realize that we, ourselves, have so many faults of our own. Do we not realize the importance of taking this time, this life that Allah has given us to work on those faults and improve our own souls?

It is a great blessing that Allah has shaded other people from our faults.

In a Qudsi Hadith, Allah the Almighty says, “. . .O My servant, I hide your sins in front of the other creatures, and you do not fear Me. . .”

Most of our faults are hidden from others - unless we choose to make them public. Don't we ever sit back and look at our faults and short-comings? Do we ever reflect that if other people openly knew what we did or did not do privately that most people wouldn't want to know us? I would think that sometimes, if we were truthful, we probably wouldn't even want to be around ourselves if we had the choice.

I don't want everyone to think that we must sit around and be depressed about our current state. What this is supposed to be is a reminder - we must use this knowledge to spur us into action. If we have shortcomings - we should spend more time working on improving our condition instead of reflecting on the shortcomings of others. If we find ourselves in gatherings where the faults of others are discussed, change the discussion or use the opportunity to remind the people that all of us have shortcomings and we must work to improve them. Better yet, if you find this type of conversation prominent in your discussions with others - think about whether these are the right people for you to be spending your time with.

If you spend all your time reflecting on the faults of others . . .
there will be no time left for you to reflect on your own.
If you spend all your time reflecting on the faults of others
there will be no reason for you to improve your situation . . .
because you will always at least be better than someone else.

Don't give yourself this false hope - when the Day comes when we will all be judged . . . no one else will be standing by our side . . . we will be compared with no one else . . . it will not matter that you didn't pray on time but some people don't pray at all . . . it will not matter that you talk about other's faults but some people actually lie, steal, cheat . . . Our deeds (whether good or bad) will be laid before us and there will be no excuses to hide behind.

On that day, we should all want to be prepared. We should want the light of faith to shine through us and illuminate the darkness. So the next step is ours, what are we going to do to make sure that happens?

Let's start by asking Allah to help us to be more aware of our faults . . . to ask for forgiveness and to ask for the ability to overcome them.

In a hadith related by Abu Musa Ash'ari, we are reminded of the dua that the Prophet (may peace be upon him) used to supplicate: " O Allah, forgive me my faults, my ignorance, my immoderation in my concerns. And Thou art better aware (of my affairs) than myself. O Allah, grant me forgiveness (of the faults which I committed) seriously or otherwise (and which I committed inadvertently and deliberately. All these (failings) are in me. O Allah, grant me forgiveness from the fault which I did in haste or deferred, which I committed in privacy or in public and Thou art better aware of (them) than myself. Thou art the First and the Last and over all things Thou art Omnipotent."

“Verily never will Allah change the condition of a people until they change it themselves (with their own souls)” (Surat Al-Ra'd: 11)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
An excellent lecture to listen to is entitled Be Just in Your Judgement,
by Sheikh Riyadh ul Haq. It can also be found here.
I highly recommend this lecture as it really opens
your eyes to the importance of this topic.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~





Memorizing Qur'an

Friday, August 05, 2005

Memorizing the Qur'an


From Abdur-Rahman Abdul Khaaliq's "Al-Qawaaid adh-Dhahabiyyah lil-Hifdh il-Quran il-Adheem"

English Translation byAmjad ibn Muhammad RafiqUniversity of Essex Islamic Society

Bismillaahir-Rahmaanir-Raheem

My Brother and Sister Muslim - there is no doubt that you know of excellence of memorising the Quran and the excellence of teaching it. The Messenger of Allaah (sas) said: "The best amongst you is the one who learns the Qur'aan and teaches it." [Reported by Bukhaaree]

Presented to you are some rules which will assist in memorising the Qur'aan, may Allaah benefit us by them.

I. Ikhlaas - (Sincerity) The purification of ones intention and correcting ones desire is obligatory. It is likewise for making ones concern with and memorisation of the Quran for the sake of Allaah, the Sublime and Exalted, and for gaining success with His Paradise and obtaining His pleasure.

Also for obtaining those mighty rewards which are reserved for those who recited the Quran and memorised it. Allaah the Exalted said: So worship Allaah, making the Deen sincerely for Him. Is it not to Allaah that sincere worship is due? [Zumar 39:2-3]

He also said: Say: I have been commanded that I worship Allaah making the Deen sincerely for Him. [Zumar 39:11]

And the Messenger of Allaah (sas) said: "Allaah the Exalted said: I am so self-sufficient that I am in no need of having an associate. Thus, he who does an action for someone elses sake as well as Mine will have that action renounced by Me to him whom he associated with Me." [Bukhaaree and Muslim]

Therefore, there is no reward for the one who recited the Quran and memorised it to show off and to be heard of. There is also no doubt that the one who recited the Quran desiring by it the world and seeking some sort of worldy reward for it is sinful.

II. Correction of ones Pronunciation and Recitation The first step in memorising the Quran after that of Ikhlaas is the obligation of correcting the pronunciation of the Quran. This does not occur except by listening to a good reciter or a precise memoriser of the Quran. The Quran is not learned except by acquiring it (from another). Thus, the Messenger (sas) who is the most eloquent of the arabs in speech, took it from Jibreel (as) orally. The Messenger (sas) himself used to recited the Quran to Jibreel once in every year and in the year that he died he recited it to him twice. [Reported by Bukhaaree]

Likewise, the Messenger taught it to the Companions (ra) orally and those who came after them heard it from the Companions and so on for each generation after them.
Taking the Quran from a good reciter is obligatory. Likewise, correcting ones recitation firstly and not depending on oneself in its recitation even if one is knowledgeable of the Arabic language and of its principles, is also obligatory. This is because in the Quran there are many verses which occur in a way that is opposed to what is well known in the rules of the Arabic language.

III. Specifying a Daily Limit for Memorisation It is necessary for the one desiring to memorise the Quran that he sets himself a daily limit for memorising. a number of verses for example, perhaps a page or two pages or even an eighth of a juz (one thirtieth of the Quran). So he begins, after he has corrected his recitation and set his daily limit, to learn by frequent repetition. It is also necessary that this repetition is done melodiously and this is so that a person follows the Sunnah firstly and that it the memorisation is made firm and strong secondly. Melodious recitation is pleasing to ones hearing and also assists in memorisation. Furthermore, the tongue will always return to a specific tone (of voice) and as a result of this it will become familiar with any mistake whenever the balance in ones recitation and familiar tone becomes disordered or imbalanced. The reciter will know therefore, that his tongue will not comply with him when he makes a mistake and that if the tone is wrong or out of tune, his memorisation will return to him

All of this is because reciting the Quran and beautifying it with ones voice is a mastronger which has been commanded. It is not permissible to oppose this command due to the saying of the Messenger (sas): "Whoever does not beautify the Quran (recite it melodiously) he is not of us." [Bukhaaree]

IV. Not Surpassing One's Daily Limit until You Have Perfected its Memorisation. It is not permissible for the memoriser to move to a new portion of the Quran until after he has perfected the memorisation of his previous limit. This is so that whatever he has memorised is firmly established in his mind. There is no doubt that amongst those things which aid the memoriser is his occupation with what he has memorised through the hours of the day and night. This occurs by reciting it in the silent prayers, and if he is the imaam then in the loud prayers. Also in the superogatory prayers (nawaafil) and in the times when one is waiting for the obligatory prayers. By this method the memorisation will become a lot easier. In this way it is possible for a person to practise it even if he is occupied with other mastrongers and this is because he does not simply sit at a specific time for memorising the Quran. Thus the night will not arrive except with those verses memorised and firmly established in the mind. And if there is something which has occuppied the memoriser during this day, he should not move onto his next portion of the Quran, rather he should continue on the second day with what he had started with the day before until the memorisation becomes perfected.

V. Memorise Using the Same Copy (Mushaf) of the Quran Among the things which aid the memorisation is that the memoriser should keep for himself a specific mushaf (copy of the Quran) which he should never change. This is because a person memorises using the sight just as he memorises using the hearing. The script and form of the verses and their places in the mushaf leave an imprint in the mind when they are recited and looked at frequently. If the memoriser was to change his mushaf from which he memorises or if he was to memorise from a number of different copies the places of the verses would be in different places and also the script may also be different. This makes the memorisation difficult for him. Therefore it is obligatory for the one memorisng the Quran that he does so from a single script and mushaf and he should never replace it.

VI. Understanding is the Way to Memorising Among the things which greatly aid the process of memorisation is understanding the verses that one has memorised and knowing their relationship and link, one to another. This is why it is necessary for the memoriser to read the tafseer (explanation) of those verses which he desires to memorise and that he knows their connection, one with another. Also, that he brings this to mind when he is reciting. This makes it easier for him to memorise the verses. Having said this, it is also necessary that he does not depend on knowing the meaning of the verses alone in memorising them. Rather the repetition of these verses should be the foundation. This should be done until the tongue can recite the verses even if the mind is occupied with other than the meaning of these verses. This is sign that the verses are firmly established in the mind. As for the one who relies upon the meaning alone then he will forget often and his recitation will be disjointed due to his mind being scastrongered and occupied with other things. This occurs frequently, especially when the recitation is long

VII. Do not move on from a Complete Surah until you have connected the first part of it to the last After one surah from among the surahs of the Quran has been completed it is desirable for the memoriser that he does not move onto another surah except after having perfected its memorisation and connecting its first part to its last so that his tongue can flow in reciting it, from its beginning to its end. He should be able to recite it without having to think or go through trouble in remembering the verses. Rather it is a must that the memorisation (and recitation) of these verses is like (flowing) water and that the memoriser recites these verses with out hesitation, even if his mind is occupied with more than one thing, away from the meaning of these verses. It should be as a person recites Surah Faatihah without any difficulty or having to think about it. This occurs by repeating thes e verses frequently and reciting them often.

However the memorisation of every surah of the Quran will not be like that of Surah Faatihah except rarely but the intent and desire should be to try to make it as such. Therefore, it is necessary that when a surah is completed it is firmly established in the mind, with its beginning connected to its end and that the memoriser does not move onto another surah until he has memorised it with precision.

VIII. Reciting to Others It is necessary for the memoriser not to depend on himself for his memorisation. Rather he should test his memorisation by reciting the verses or surah in question to somebody else, or he should recite them by following the mushaf. And how excellent this would be if a person had with him a precise memoriser (who would test his memorisation).

This is so that the memoriser becomes aware of the possibility of his being forgetful or confused in his recitation (without knowing it). Many individuals amongst us who memorise a surah make mistakes and a person may not realise that until he looks into the mushaf. Furhtermore, the one who desires to memorise may not realise by himself at which place he makes an error in his recitation despite the fact that he may be reciting from a mushaf. For this reason making others listen to his recitation of what he has memorised from the Quran is a means of perceiving and knowing these errors and being constantly aware of them.

IX. Constantly Returning to what one has Memorised The Quran is different from any other material that is memorised such as poetry and prose. And this is because the Quran is quickly lost from ones mind. In fact the Messenger of Allaah (sas) said: "By Him in whose Hand is my soul, it is faster in escaping than a tied camel." Reported by Bukhaaree and Muslim.

No sooner does the memoriser of the Quran leave it for a while until the Quran slips away from him and so he forgets it quickly. This is why it is necessary to constantly follow up what one has memorised and to be vigilant over it.

Regarding this we have the saying of the Messenger (sas): "Verily, the example of the owner of the Quran is like the example of the owner of the tied camel. If he keeps it tied (commits himself to it) he will hold it back and if he lets it loose it will escape from him."

And he also said: "Commit yourselves to the Quran, for by Him in Whose Hand is my soul, it is faster in slipping away than a tied camel." [Reported by Bukhaaree and Muslim]This means that it is obligatory upon the memoriser of the Quran to continuously recite what he has memorised from the Quran. With this constant astrongention and returning to what has been memorised will the Quran remain in his mind and without it, it will escape.

X. Being Aware of the Resembling Parts of the Quran The various parts of the Quran resemble each other with respect to the meaning, wording and (repetition of) verses. The Exalted said:
Allaah has sent down the most beautiful of speech, a Book, (parts of it) resembling (others) oft-repeated. The skins of those who fear their Lord shiver from it. Then their skins and their hearts soften to the remembrance of Allaah [Zumar 39:23].

The Quran has approximately six and a half-thousand verses. And there are approximately a thousand verses in which there is a resemblance of some sort. Sometimes there is agreement or difference due to a single lestronger or a word or two or more. For this reason it is necessary for the good reciter of the Quran that he has special concern for the parts of the Quran that resemble each other in terms of their wording. The excellence of ones memorisation will be according to the extent that one has concern for these resembling parts. One of the ways to aid oneself in this mastronger is to study those books which deal with this topic of resembling verses in the Quran. Among the most famous of them are:

1. Durratul-Tanzeel wa Ghurratut-Ta'weel fee Bayaan il Aayaat al-Mutashaabihaat fee Kitaab il-Laahi il-Azeez by al-Khateeb al-Iskaafee

2. Asraar ut-Tukraar fil-Quran by Mahmood bin Hamzah ibn Nasr al-Kirmaanee.

XI. Taking Advantage of the Golden Years of Memorising The succesful one, inevitably, is the one who takes advantage of the best years of memorisation and these are from the age of five to twenty-three approximately. A person's ability to memorise during these years is very good. In fact these are the golden years of memorising. Therefore, it is necessary for a person to keep himself occupied during the these years of his life, memorising the Book of Allaah as much as he can.

Commiting things to memory at this age can be done very quickly and forgestronging is not so easy. This is in opposition to what happens after this time when a person memorises with difficulty and forgets with great speed. He spoke the truth who said: Memorising in youth is like engraving on stone And memorising when old is like engraving on water.

Thus, it is necessary for all of us to take advantage of the golden years of memorising. If we cannot then we should encourage our sons and daughters to do so.
And with Allaah is success and prayers and peace be upon our Messenger Muhammad, upon his family and all his Companions.

This article was found on the Muslim American Society, Minnesota Chapter website.





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