Today I began sessions with an unofficial hifdh coach. I am supposed to be working towards reciting five ajzaa in one sitting but I currently have a mental block: the fear of success. I don’t want people to look at me and think I have it all together. From the outside, my privileged life may seem perfect, and it almost is, Alhamdulillah, but “the greatest battles of life are fought out daily in the silent chambers of the soul.” – David O. McKay.

The greatest battles of life are fought out daily in the silent chambers of the soul.

The biggest realisation I had was, sadly, that I’ve been dulled. Three years ago, I was creative, alive and vibrant. When I just started my hifdh, I was active on the MSA, I hosted craft classes, starting driving, learned how to cook and went to conversational Arabic lessons – all at the same time! However, I learned very soon that I wouldn’t be able to keep everything up and that memorising Qurʾān wanted more from me. Rather, it required more. Actually, it demanded everything. So I gave it all up.

Three years later, I’m a haafidha –  Alhamdulillah (all praise and thanks be to Allah). But in spirit, I’m like a caged bird. I want to get out and spread my wings. I can’t wait to go out there and do what I was born to do. It’s really sad because memorising Qurʾān is supposed to bring you alive and grant you a deeper love for it.

So what went wrong?

The major cause for me was being in an environment – my hifdh institution – completely void of spirituality. Memorising the Qurʾān is reduced to an academic exercise. (This is sadly the case with nearly all hifdh schools.) And the hifdh students are like typical high school students, always talking about the latest series, for instance. I complained, but I was reminded that I should take responsibility for myself. As I’m easily influenced by my surroundings, this is much easier said than done. This is one of my challenges in life and it may not seem like it, but internal battles are harder than external ones. With external struggles, there is an outside force pushing one to change, whereas with internal ones you have to push yourself; no one’s going to do it for you.

My hifdh coach acknowledged that my environment plays a role; she didn’t dismiss it and say that I should just focus on myself.

We worked on the whole “wheel of life” but I’ll focus on my Qurʾān. Moving forward, with regards to the academic side of hifdh, she said I should have goals set out (and then obviously work towards them). With regards to the other aspect of hifdh, she reminded me how awesome our ultimate goal will be- seeing the Face of Allah – a reminder I was reeaally in need of. She explained the different levels of relation to the Qurʾān:

  1. Reciting
  2. Reciting with Tajweed
  3. Memorising
  4. Reciting with Understanding
  5. Reciting with Feeling

I learned that when you love the Qur’ān, you’ll want to perfect it.

She also gave me homework and a beautiful hadith to internalise and creatively decorate as well:

“The Prophet Muhammad  (SAW) said, “Verily, Allah has a family amongst man.” The Sahaaba (RA) asked, “Who are they, O Rasulullah (SAW)?” Nabi (SAW) answered, “The people of the Qur’an are the family of Allah and his special servants.” (Ibn Majah)

She added something to the effect that to disregard this fact would be a great shame.

Look out for my next post to see what I’ve come up with in-sha-Allah.

I ask the Almighty by all of His most beautiful Names and Attributes to grant the Qurʾān to be a shifā’ (healing) in this world and a shafā’ah (intercessor) in the Next –  for us all. Ameen.