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).

If there’s just one thing I learned from studying economics for one semester, it would be that

everything has an opportunity cost.

In order to gain something, you have to give up something else, which is called the “opportunity cost.” For example, in my case, in order to study, I have to give up a salary I could have earned from working.

Where am I going with this? Well, studying both Islamic studies as well as Psychology plus a million other things I’m involved in means that I have to give up tons of time that could be used to recite Qur’an. So my dhor (back lessons) program hasn’t been going according to plan. If I managed my time better, I know I could fit in a lot more recitation, but self-discipline was never a strong point of mine.

So it really boggles by mind how Allah (SWT) STILL deems me fit to be a student of deen! And how He chooses me of all people, over and over again, Alhamdulillah! Moreover, how he has blessed me with the opportunity to be reciting for sanad in the reading of Hafs. Today, I started reciting to my teacher from memory, after having first read looking-in for the past few weeks. I completed half a juz, Alhamdulillah. This is a major achievement to me at this point in time.

I think I’ll always remember my first day. Moulana Saleem (my principal at al-Tanzil) mentioned that when students start [reciting for sanad], they experience a rude awakening. I mentally excluded myself, ’cause I thought that my tajweed was on point and just needed some extra polishing. After all, I was always the one people would come to with tajweed questions, plus, I teach tajweed.

So what was my first lesson like? A “rude awakening” is an UNDERSTATEMENT. I couldn’t get past the third letter of the isti’aathah! The isti’aathah! (To say a’uthu billahi min-ashaytaanir-rajeem). It was a truly humbling experience. It is frustrating to be struggling and not being able to pronounce a seemingly simple letter like “jeem.” (Especially since I memorised the entire Qur’an.)

I now have more respect for huffaadh with sanad, (because of the time and effort they’ve taken to perfect their tajweed). I initially felt a little disappointed in my previous hifdh teachers for teaching without sanad and ijaza (the permission to teach from their teachers). I also wanted to stop teaching tajweed completely, but I have a student who teaches underprivileged children, so I’d rather try to correct her recitation as far as I possibly can, bi-ith-nillah (by the permission of Allah). I’m sure my previous teachers were in the same boat. Or perhaps they were unaware of the significance of the sanad and ijaaza system, or maybe they really didn’t have any time but intend to do so.

May Allah (SWT) reward my teacher for her patience and efforts, as well as all of my previous teachers, mentors and supporters. Aameen.

Please comment, provide your feedback or ask questions. I’d love to hear from you!