All praises and thanks be to Allah SWT Who blessed us with the Glorious Qur’an. Abundant salutations be upon our beloved Nabi Muhammad SAW. 

I remember the first time I heard my teacher recite. Almost two years ago. “This is how Prophet Muhammad SAW recited” was the first thing that came to my mind. Her recitation was the hadith enlivened. I could clearly hear every letter individually within every word of the ayah, along with their sifaat – The very definition of tajwid. I had never heard anyone recite as meticulously as that before. There was no melody. But it brought a stillness to my heart. 

I could also hear that she was a little nervous. She’s not one for public recitals. Ever. It was only out of obligation due to being a judge at the (females-only) Qur’an competition that I was taking part in. She eventually stopped reciting; she selected ayat and asked her fellow judge to recite on her behalf. 
She’s not a lady of many words. Again, embodying the Prophetic teaching of not speaking unnecessarily. Something I couldn’t practice even if I tried. We live in a society where everyone is entitled to have an opinion on everything. 

I asked her to give us naseeha (advice) in class once, but I’m still waiting. When I’m asked to give naseeha I usually am happy to be asked and will immediately share whatever comes to mind without thinking about it. I remind myself that it’s rather dangerous to give naseeha when the Qur’an says, “Oh you who believe, why do you say that which you do not do?” It has happened that I’ve given advice and ended up stopping doing the thing I advised. (May Allah SWT forgive me and guide me and us all. Āmīn)

It’s my teacher’s birthday today so yesterday I joked with her to bring us cake. She wasn’t raised with celebrating birthdays. She said they sometimes forget it’s their birthday. I think that’s really admirable. Celebrating brings out one’s nafs – it’s about what I want as a gift, what I want to do, who I want to be with. I tried not celebrating my birthday once, and my nafs found it sad; ’cause it’s used to the wishes and the gifts and the feeling special for the day. 

Anyway, so I asked whether they celebrated when she finished memorising a juz and when she completed. She had to think for a moment and said she couldn’t really remember, but no. She shared that her father said (something to the effect that) the completion of the Qur’an is a gift in itself and they as parents can’t give her anything that comes close to it. SubhanAllah! That really blew me away. I used to imagine my future kids’ gifts and parties for memorising Qur’an but now I know that the best gift is no gift. No physical gift, but the gift of what true sincerity & humility means. 

With best of du’as for your worldly and hereafter success,