Assalāmu ‘alaikum wa Rahmatullāh,

All praise and thanks are due to Allāh (SWT), who blessed us with the Glorious Qur’ān. Abundant salutations be upon our beloved teacher and role model, the first haafidh, Nabi Muhammad (SAW).

I’m the type of person that needs external acknowledgment. I mean, who doesn’t feel good when being deservingly complimented? When memorising the Quran, this translates to when you recite a juz (or any other amount) really well, or when you complete a juz timeously. This doesn’t mean that I wasn’t doing hifdh for Allah’s sake, it just means that I’m human and needed a little encouragement.

I didn’t feel like I got it from my teacher – she felt that I’m old and mature enough to be on my own – and neither from my mother. As hifdh was entirely my decision, I had to kind of rope her into listening to my dhor (back lessons) and try to keep her in the loop with my progress. I’d get upset when she forgot how far I was or would forget to ask me how my day was when I had informed her I’d be finishing a juz that day. Sometimes she’d forget to get me a gift she promised or would give it late, when it didn’t count anymore. (In her defense, she’s going through menopause.)

I would have liked to get a little gift after completing every juz, not merely as a wordly reward, but symbolic of Allah’s reward and as a means of motivation. (I hope to do so for my future kids in-sha-Allah.)

What I learned was to celebrate myself. When I completed a juz, I’d take myself out window shopping, have a burger or pie and dessert of course. I’d share the good by giving some charity in cash or kind and sometimes bring my class cake, which is a beautiful tradition here in Cape Town.

“When nobody else celebrates you, learn to celebrate yourself.” -Joel Osteen