Bismillāhir-Rahmānir-Raheem. In the Name of Allāh, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful. 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).
My mind was abuzz this morning. I didn’t know what I was going to say. I was wondering what was going to slip out of my mouth when I stepped on stage. As a “graduate”, I was invited to speak at Jam ‘Eyyatul Qurra (JEQ)’s Winter Snowflake Gala today. I had prepared a speech, only because I had to send it to its administrator. But I knew I was not going to stick to it.
Whenever you give a speech, they say it’s actually three speeches: the speech you prepare, the speech you give and the speech you wish you gave.
Here’s the speech I prepared:
In order to be successful, one has to have a vision and mission in life. And not an airy fairy “I just wanna be happy” or “I just wanna be successful.” Having a thought-out vision statement is so important that Allah documents the vision statement of Iblees, and isn’t he incredibly successful? Well, in this world, at least.
Iblees in detail explains “I will sit in wait for them on Your straight path. Then I will come to them from in front of them and from behind them and on their right and on their left and you will not find most of them grateful.” In another place Iblees further clarifies his vision into a mission statement when he says, “I will surely take from among your servants a specific portion. And I will mislead them and I will arouse them in [sinful] desires, and I will command them so they will slit the ears of cattle, and I will command them so they will change the creation of Allah.” If Iblees has such a detailed vision and mission, what about us? What about you and me? What is your personal vision and mission? Have you ever given it any thought? Or do you go through life just trying to get through the day? Never stopping to think, isn’t there more to life than this rat race? What would it feel like to wake up feeling alive, excited to start your day?
Well, Allah didn’t create us without a vision for us. A very beautiful, vivid vision. A vision of palaces and gardens beneath which rivers flow, servants at our beck and call, wait we don’t even have to ask for what we want. This vision is our ultimate reward, the highest levels of Jannah. Our palaces are already built for us, but we refuse them every time we don’t wake up for Fajr, neglect our other salaat, every time we forget about Allah. Beyond our vision, Allah didn’t leave us to figure out what our mission on this earth is. You all know the ayah off the top of your head “And I have not created Jinn and mankind expect to worship Me.”
Many of us think of worship as limited to the masjid, salaah, fasting, maybe thikr. But our entire lives can be an act of worship with the right intention. An intention is all it takes. An accepted intention that I made 5 years ago was all it took to get me where I am today, Alhamdulillah. An intention to memorise the Qur’an.
Memorising the Qur’an was challenging. No one told me how complex it is. And to the hifth students present, renew your intention every single day, persevere, put in the extra effort required. Persevere through your difficulties. It is worth your while. I remember Sheikh Suleiman telling me something to the effect that you may regret it now, but the day that you close your eyes, meaning when you die, you will be happy. The date you will complete was written before you were even born, but it’s up to you to work hard and trust in Allah. Recognize that you may need support, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. When I was learning I saw a counselor, a hypnotherapist, a doctor, an energy healer and whoever else I could get help and support from. But beyond the memorization, have a greater purpose, a greater motivation for memorising the Qur’an. The world needs you. “Allah put you on this earth for a reason. Allah wants you to do something for Him.” [Nouman Ali Khan]
You know, I used to say while I was learning that if I knew how difficult it is, I wouldn’t have started. But having completed I say that if I knew how challenging it is, I would’ve done things differently. I now have the opportunity to inform others to do things differently. Alhamdulillah, I conducted a free hifth workshop about a month ago and I go to hifth schools to conduct free workshops. I enjoyed doing radio programs on VOC and Halqatul Qur’an on Radio 786. I’m passionate about mentoring hifth students, with the aim of getting people back on track and achieving their goals. I’m also part of a youth group that is running a series of workshops for girls and the Muslim Students’ Association who’s having a youth conference next weekend inShaAllah. I’m not the most capable person to be doing these things, but I will do them until those qualified fill this gap in our community, inShaAllah.
I’m not speaking about myself and what I do for the sake of it, but to highlight the fact that there is so much work to be done. We’re seeing our Huffaath and haafithaat losing themselves, because we think them having memorized the Quran is enough for them in this life and the hereafter. It’s not. I hardly know the Quran, but I know for a fact, that unless you implement what you know by first understanding it, it may not come in use. We need to invest time, money and energy into building these youth, not glorifying their achievement.
With best wishes for your hifdh success,