I’m in awe of His mercy that someone so undeserving has been hand-picked to be a student of His Words. Again.
May He choose us over and over, accept us and from us and make us worthy. Āmīn.
So I’m in a full-time class from Mondays to Fridays with Ml Ayesha Abrahams. Do check out her impressive bio, MaShaAllah. What a privilege and honour to be a student of the most highly qualified female Qur’an teacher in South Africa, and someone with such exemplary character at that, MāShāAllah.
I was nervous about starting class this year. I messaged Moulana Saleem Gaibie the night before requesting his du’as. I reminded him that there was a time that he refused to teach females, but teaching her has proven to be fruitful. She actually has a waiting list of students! SubhanAllah. I am grateful to Moulana Saleem for offering part-time classes to females at Al-Tanzīl Institute of Qur’anic Sciences, and I thanked him because I wouldn’t have started full-time this year if it wasn’t for the opportunity I had last year. Not just the opportunity, but the beautiful experience that I had. It was the first time I had absolutely no complaints about an Islamic Institute! I’m trying to think of something that may have irritated me in the slightest but nothing comes to mind.
There are only two other girls in my class, and our day starts with doing an Arabic reader. We’re covering a book whose title translates as “Exposè of the Most Gracious, Most Kind on the Etiquette for Abassadors of the Qur’an.”
To be honest, I’m finding it rather challenging!
Then we start with our recitation. The first six months of our year is dedicated to strengthening our dhor/back lessons, known in Cape Town as “making lanja.” So far I’ve strengthened Juz 1 to Juz 10, and today I was meant to recite them to her consecutively, in one sitting – with only two mistakes where she corrects me and two mistakes where I correct myself. I recited nearly nine ajzaa, but then I had to leave to catch my lift club. I feel really disappointed about it. I wish I recited faster in the beginning so that I could have finished reciting all ten ajzaa. I asked her how my recitation was and whether I need to repeat the process tomorrow. I didn’t make any mistakes where she corrected me but there were quite a few self-rectified mistakes. So I was half-hoping that I would have to repeat the recitation tomorrow but she said it was fine.
Having an amazing teacher makes such a difference. She doesn’t crucify me for being human. Sometimes I make mistakes not because I didn’t revise but because my mind drifted for a second or due to the slip of my tongue, and I get irritated about it but she doesn’t mind at all. She indicates I’m wrong, I correct myself, and life goes on. But in my head I hear my past teachers’ disapproval, especially if I make an old mistake. It used to be the end of the world if I made an old mistake.
Thank God I passed hifdh “high school,” with its drama, politics and depression and moved onto hifdh “university” with its freedom, growth and contentment.
So daily I first recite the newly prepared juz, then come back and recite three inconsecutive ajzaa in one sitting.
Then when I’m finished I recite a maqara (an eighth) or a quarter juz towards my Khatm that I’m reciting to her for sanad in Hafs ‘An ‘Āsim.
Three weeks since class started, I can say there was nothing to be nervous about. With such an understanding and compassionate teacher, I know that I’ll achieve my goals, but more importantly achieve the goal of my heart: to reconnect with the Qur’an. The Words of Allah Almighty. InShaAllah.