How to Improve your Tajweed in 5 Steps


All praises an thanks are due to Allah SWT. Abundant salutations be upon His and our Beloved SAW.

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Bad tajweed, especially from shuyukh/learned people is one of my pet peeves – things that irritate me. I don’t think there is a good enough excuse in this world not to make an effort to improve your recitation to the best of your ability, unless you’re incapacitated physically, mentally or circumstantially. I hope that covers all the valid excuses. People use money as an excuse but I can tell you that no true Qur’an teacher would turn you away for not being able to afford it. Being shy is no excuse either, sorry about that one. I’ve always been the type to try to change what I can, within my capacity. So hence this post. PS: I know I might sound harsh, but you’d have to be crazy not to want to be of the people of the Qur’an; the people of Allah. May Allah make us of them. Aameen.

Step 0

You need to have a teacher. This is a non-negotiable. I’m sorry but Sheikh Sudais doesn’t count as your virtual teacher bro. If there is no one in your area, go online. This year, I have a student in another province who is a uni student and employee yet recited the entire Qur’an to me over the phone in a couple months.

Oh, and then actually attend your classes. Refer to the valid excuses for being unable to attend.  

Step 1

Learn tajweed THEORY + PRACTICAL application simultaneously.  You need to understand what you’re doing and why you’re doing it in order to take your tajweed to the next level. I advise this from personal experience.

Step 2

Understand your mistakes and know how you are supposed to sound. If you don’t, ask your teacher to clarify, even if you need to ask him/her 100 times. 

Step 3

RECORD your lesson with your teacher so that you can go back to it at home and better understand where you’re going wrong, and if you’re sounding any better. Also, to monitor your improvement along the way.

This isn’t something I personally do but see the benefit of.

Step 4

LISTEN to a qualified qāri (reciter). My teacher recommends Sh. Khalil Husary, Sh. Abdul Basit and Sh.  Minshawy. You can listen to your favourite voices for leisure purposes, but for learning purposes, these are the recommended ones. Don’t just listen but take note of their makharij (origin of the sound of letters) and sifaat (characteristics of letters).

Step 5

Practice, but DO NOT OVER DO IT. 

My number one secret to improving my tajweed while reciting for ijaaza is after understanding my mistakes and knowing how I am supposed to sound, I don’t dwell on it. I let it go. The awareness of how I am supposed to sound has entered my conscious realm, and because of this awareness, it just falls into place with minimal effort, Alhamdulillah. It sounds counter-intuitive, but often those are the things that prove to work.

Bonus Step

Make tons of du’a, saying a du’a I learned from Ust. Nouman Ali Khan, Oh Allah, You have said that You’ve made the Qur’an easy, so make it easy for me.

With best of du’as for your dunya and aakhirah success


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Your Shadow Self


A lesson I inadvertently gained tonight: In coming to accept my shadow self, I am starting to accept the shadows of others.
I am coming to see them not as dark shadows, but as golden shadows. They have strengthened us, taught us and made us who we are today. We are therefore grateful for them. I invite you to accept your shadow. And see it as golden.

Marry Me, Islamically


All praises and thanks are due to Allah (SWT). Abundant salutations be on his beloved (SAW).

This post is not by me but by a guest author. I don’t usually copy and paste but this is too awesome not to share, so here goes.

Marry Me, Islamically

By Taaiebah Ebrahim

“Most of us have a primal craving to be truly known by someone before we die, to build a deeply committed relationship based on honesty, trust, self-disclosure, respect, appreciation, interdependence, and togetherness..” Aptly put! We yearn to be understood and loved for who we really are, that our better halves would see US as their better half – quirks & flaws included – especially when we’re in our weakened, less than what is deemed a defaulted average self. ESPECIALLY then.

Sh Navaid Aziz’s ‘Marry Me, Islamically’ talk makes mention of useful guides to the spouse hungry halves seeking direction to navigate their way towards their compatible other.

Some tips were combobulated by yours truly from the likes of Shaykhs: Navaid Aziz, Muaadth Allie, Allie Goder, in hopes that it aids in your search for theee one. Or for the males…theee one…of potentially four.


Focus on Deen and Character first. Walk into marriage with a sense of direction, using Islam as your foundation.

Look for someone that will be supportive of your Halaal goals.

Choose compatibility over looks / age / other material gunk. Don’t make the irrational trade of your life over a pretty face, a fancy car, or the other superficial fluff that can easily go up in smoke.

Aim for someone a tad more spiritual than you.
Don’t settle on low standards – instead, set them realistically high. Draw up a list of your must-haves and bonuses. Allah finds that companion for you, so don’t look too hard. Pray hard.

Don’t look for a hero/ine to ‘save’ you. A spouse should add to an already good life. Fix yourself, get your priorities in order, leave your baggage at the airport on purpose. They’ll think it’s a bomb and dispose of it.

Know that relationships with the opposite sex, apart from being Haraam, also rock the marriage boat – be it just-a-colleague, cousin, so-and-so’s-wifey-or-hubby. Understand who you’re allowed to interact with in terms of the opposite gender.

Emulate what you want. To attain greatness, you must be deserving of it.

Figure out your love language. Take it away Oprah & Dr Phil! Google is your friend.

Watch, read, listen…do your homework on your obligations as a husband / wife.
Educate yourself on ‘the wedding night’.

Marriage makes the family circle bigger, so it would be a logical step to meet with and (for the least part) like your potential extended family.

How to get hooked up?

Ask someone that knows someone! Good leads would be a Shaykh, Mualima, teacher, trusted family members, friends, the animal kingdom, etc. Make it known that you’re in the market and readily accepting applications.

Flush your fear of rejection down the loo and keep your eyes peeled like bananas! Allah may only allow him or her to cross your path once, so think of it as now or never, all or nothing, win or lose, chicken or beef, fight over flight!

Please note that a 3rd party needs to be present in meeting your potential spouse.

Objectives of Marriage:

1. Companionship (No brainer)

2. Procreation (Continuing the legacy of the Prophet SAW)

3. Physical pleasure – by fulfilling your desires in a halaal way, you get rewarded in this world and the next. A win-win situation

4. To unite people – two families should join forces to build a cornerstone in society.

Compatibility Test:

Topics of discussion on the first meeting:

1. Religion – Use your spidey senses and assess your potential spouse’s spiritual levels.

2. Discuss thoughts on balancing religion, family, friends, couple, work and alone-time.

3. Finance – Understand that a lady’s money is her own – and discuss your individual maintenance costs to gain a clearer perspective of needs & desires.

4. Children. Yes, no, maybe? How soon and how would they be raised (nanny’s, home/public schooling, etc.)?

5. Discuss how you wish to increase your Islamic education together.

6. Plans for future – discuss your long and short term goals for the next 5-10 years.

7. Be open about your good and bad habits. Video game addict, chain smoker, gymming fanatic, etc.

8. Health. Now would be the ideal time to mention if you have cooties. Discuss any diseases, defects and conditions you have.

9. Relationship expectations with in-laws and extended family?

10. Living arrangements? VIVA SA or move overseas? Robben Island is not overseas, no.

11. Polygamy needs to be discussed.

12. Ultimate vision for your family – what’s the plan to get to Jannah together? What are your plans to make this world a better place?


Don’t compromise too much when filtering the world for your spouse before marriage. Compromise after marriage.
Think of your potential spouse as a cake. The cake itself is the substance and what is vital. The icing is the ‘tang’. It’s nice to have a cake with icing, but the focus is on the cake. If you don’t have a sweet tooth, then think of it as a braaied piece of steak. The ‘tang’ is the marinade for crying out loud. You follow the analogy.

Gentlemen, please have purpose and direction in your life. Today’s men are still in the boy zone from being overly pampered by their moms. Don’t expect your wife to be a maid nor your mother. And realise that girl power is for the spice girls. Women are meant to be provided for by their men, and not vice versa.

Ladies, men generally want a wife that is good looking – not necessarily looking like a model, but one that takes care of herself physically. And a good cook – if all else fails, there’s always Nandos.

Both men and women need to be responsible in executing their obligations in the marriage. Focus on your own role, as opposed to what your spouse owes you. Go the extra mile and research what’s deemed ‘optional, and awesome’, and what’s dubbed ‘optional, but not-so-awesome’.
“A man will learn to love a woman he is attracted to and a woman will learn to find attractive whom she loves” Shaykh Navaid Aziz probably quoting someone else. Let’s just say Confucious said this one. He’s the default guy right.

Good YouTube watches:
The Healthy Marriage – by Nouman Ali Khan
Boys & Girls – A Love Story – Q&A – by Abu Eesa Niamatullah
Baba Ali (owner of offers entertaining clips in understanding the opposite sex for the looking-to-be, and already married folks.

Some ‘Halaal’ websites for serious Muslims looking for a spouse:

Consider this verse: “They are a garment for you and you are a garment to them” Qur’an [2 : 187] in conjunction with “The best garment is the garment of God-consciousness” Qur’an [7 : 26]

Post your mind-blasting ideas, tips and comments ~ Stay greedy for Jannah

le matrimoniales..


I’m a die-hard romantic who believes in love no matter what they say. So I thought to finally share a series of my marriage chronicles, though I’m yet to be betrothed. Keep this sister in your thoughts and prayers. May Allah SWT bless you with everything good you desire. Āmīn. 

Potential halal bae-to-be

Looks: check✔️ Voice: check✔️ Hafidh: check✔️ Studied Deen❌ from CT❌

A friend/acquaintance told me about this guy. She said he is deeni inclined and modern at the same time – (What does that even mean?) –  and that’s why she thinks we could be a match. She added: “NB -amaaaaaaaazing voice. u wudnt want the taraweeh salah to end.” And he was handsome too. I was sold, even though he wasn’t from Cape Town and doesn’t live here. Deal-breaker alert! 

We first exchanged emails, cc’ing a good friend as the third person. We then tried Skyping but that didn’t work out so he phoned. Deal-breaker number 2: He was supporting family members living with him.. and they’d still be there post-marriage. Very admirable MaShaAllah, but unfortunately that was not going to work out for me. 

I was grateful to have a good friend at the time with me, who asked all the right questions and helped me to formulate my email to him afterwards so that I didn’t crush him. 

He actually contacted me a few years later when he was no longer looking after the fam but that wasn’t the only thing. I learned that being a hafidh doesn’t equal being Islamically learned, and the shepherd of my household needs to know his deen for me to be his queen. 

Lessons learned: 

Have the advice of a friend or someone wise with you. 

Don’t negotiate your non-negotiables. TBH I didn’t quite learn the lesson this time, but I did learn more about what I wanted and what I was willing to accept and what I wasn’t.

Stay tuned for the next Potential halal bae-to-be.

My wisdom teeth removal


I was someone who was anti-wisdom teeth removal, but I decided to get it over and done with ’cause I didn’t want to risk my braces-straightened pearly whites being ruined in the future, amongst other issues. 

Before I had my wisdom teeth removed I searched the internet for other people’s experience, but I still had a lot of surprises, so I thought to add mine to to blogosphere. 

I went to Kromboom Dental clinic and Dr. Natha saw me. He didn’t want to risk removing my lower two ’cause they were close to my nerves, so he referred me to a maxillofacial surgeon at Contantiaberg Mediclinic. 

My X-ray

My mom would’ve preferred a stereotypical old, white man, but we instead met a young, handsome, Muslim Indian guy last Friday. And today he wore his scrubs with jeans. (That moment when you you have to lower your gaze for your surgeon🙈). 
Anyway, back to start of my whole spiel. My “dying wish”, were I to die, was to eat burfee. And if I were to survive, 3 days is a long time to crave burfee but can’t have ’cause I have to go without solids. So last night, after some begging, beseeching, you-know-I-could-die-speech, my sister went to Shalimar Delight and bought some. I went to sleep a happy chappy. I took slightly longer to sleep than usual ’cause I was a bit anxious. 

I could not eat for at least 6 hours before the op, but I was scheduled for 10am and I don’t usually have an appetite in the morning, so that was cool with me. 

My mom and I were early, which is a minor miracle for my mom, and that paid off, ’cause I got to be seen to earlier. 

FYI, For those who need to go: There are 3 options for the procedure: 

1. General anaesthetic in the hospital

2. Local anaesthetic in the surgeon’s chair

3. Sedation by a sedationist in the surgeon’s chair (in addition to the procedure by the surgeon)

I wasn’t aware of the third option but it was less effort and more cost-effective than option 1 and more comfortable than option 2. 

My sedationist was a non-Muslim male and that was annoying ’cause he was touching me to comfort me and I had to shift my scarf and my clothes for his sedation stuff. 

I closed my eyes while he was doing his thing; I was just waiting for the needle for the drip. He told me just before he put it in. I cried. I cannot stand needles. But once his stuff kicked in and I was sleeping it was all good; I didn’t feel a thing, Alhamdulillah. It’s pretty incredible. 

Apparently I took half an hour to wake up after the surgery.  ‘Cause I’m a tiny person. I’m not quite sure how it works, but anyway. I heard my surgeon tell me to open my eyes and I did. I said “I’m thirsty” and realised I couldn’t speak properly, but thankfully the sedationist understood me. I wasn’t expecting that. He took my hands and walked me to the waiting room. I could not walk on my own. I wasn’t expecting that either. I had a wheelchair porter wheel me to the car. That was fun. 

I wasn’t expecting the amount of blood I had to spit out every five minutes the entire day and how disturbing that was during salaah. 

I wasn’t expecting a stiff jaw afterwards, (although my surgeon did mention it as a possible side-effect).

I wasn’t expecting to have to sleep upright and not completely flat. 

I was expecting pain, but I’m all good, Alhamdulillah. 

Surgeon’s tip: Take Myprodol (pain-killers) BEFORE the sedation wares off so that you don’t feel any pain. This was a tip that really helped!

I’m taking probiotics and antibiotics as well. 

Other tips I came across:

-Do not drink from a straw. 

-Do not consume hot liquids. 

-Do not brush your teeth on the first day. 

-Do not rinse your mouth with mouthwash on the first day. 

-Bite on gauze to help stop the bleeding. 

-Use ice to help reduce the swelling. It works. 

-I’m using Labello med repair for my dry lips👌.

-Chew gum to help with the stiff jaw. 

– A hot bean bag /hot water bottle helps relax the stiff jaw and the bruising. I can’t believe I only tried it out on day 6!

My meds routine: 

Around 8am and 8pm: probiotic

Around 9am and 9pm: Eat + Antibiotic and Myprodol

Medicated mouthwash morning and night. 

Day 2

The swelling has gone worse and I look like a little chipmunk, as you can see. This was after having sat with ice blocks for half an hour. The square shape of my face is very exaggerated. (Now I know what I would look like if I was fat, except with a double as well). 

I’m doing well Alhamdulillah. Thankfully I don’t have an appetite, but we’re having a family lunch tomorrow. At least I can eat pudding😍. 

Chewing gum seems to be helping with the stiff jaw, except that I have to throw it away every time it gets full of blood. I’m having less bleeding today Alhamdulillah. I really want the bleeding to stop immediately✋. I’ll stop chewing gum in hopes that it helps. 

So much to be grateful for right now, especially being on holiday. I’m currently working on an essay on Carl Jung due next week. It’s taking me forever to wrap my head around his concepts.

Allah really inspired some people and gave them incredible intellectual insight, but unfortunately deprived them of īmān. Alhamdulillah for the blessing of being Muslim. 

Later on Day 2: even worse swelling😬

Day 3

The swelling and bruising has gone even worse. Hopefully today was the worst InShaAllah. I was planning on fasting tomorrow, but I doubt I’ll be able to. I unfortunately didn’t work on my assignment today. I slept a lot and we had a family lunch for my father’s birthday until well into the evening. I’m tired of soup and can’t wait to eat normally again. 

Day 5

I am STILL swollen but it has gone down a bit Alhamdulillah! The bruising has gone worse – it’s gone a weird green colour. And I had to go to my psych class looking like that. 

I am finally starting to EAT solids, whoo hoo!🎉 I’m taking my last antibiotics tomorrow and I will be fasting InShaAllah, scrambling to finish before Shawaal ends. 

Alhamdulillah, I submitted my assignment almost 2 hours before it was due, so proud of myself!👏 

I can finally focus properly on my Qur’an memorisation revision. 

Day 6

My face is still swollen but it is much better Alhamdulillah. You have no idea how good it feels to EAT! I’ve never eaten this little in my whole adult life! I absolutely love and cherish food. It has a special place in my heart. I know I need some tazkiyatun-nafs. I know I know. 

Day 7

We went to Syriana for my father’s birthday last night and I was so happy to eat, Alhamdulillah. The best thing we ordered was the cheese muhammara mana’aoshe. 

I’m starting to feel normal again. I still bleed when I brush my teeth though, and I hate blood. 

I chucked the extra pillows and slept normally! Yay! Alhamdulillah. 

Day 8

My gums are bleeding and it’s seriously annoying because I’m fasting and I’m worried about swallowing blood. 😩 


So I’m looking to buy a car and I’m struggling to find one that meets my criteria. I’m starting to wonder which is harder to find: a car or a husband? 

I’m sick of looking. Should I change my criteria? Automatic to manual? 

I sometimes wonder if I’m going to end up being one of those highly educated 30 year-olds still on the shelf. People out there, please pray for me🙏

But nah. I’m not going to throw in the towel just yet. You wait. I will get what I am looking for. InShaAllah. 

Be wise before you memorise 


Today I’ve given one of my students a repeat for the the fifth time in a row for making the same tajwīd mistakes. It sounds harsh, but I would be failing in my duty as a teacher if I didn’t. I would be the cause of weakening her memorisation if I let her move on without perfecting her old mistakes. She is an awesome student but got ahead of herself and memorised a new portion without reciting it to me whilst looking in the Qur’an first.  It was during Ramadhan so time was really tight. But that’s no excuse. 

If you’re memorising Qur’an, learn from my precious student’s mistake and ensure you recite the piece flawlessly to your teacher or a hāfidh/ah before attempting to memorise! 

An unintelligent person learns from his/her own mistakes whilst the wise person learns from the mistakes of others. 

Some things I learned [June]


Something I learned 

I’ve been a student of deen for a while (Alhamdulillah), but I hadn’t come across this comprehensive intention for seeking knowledge before. I had the privilege of meeting and learning from Shaykha Umm Abdullah, an Australian revert who studied in Syria and under the female Habā-ib of Yemen. She began with this intention and I share it with you to make this intention every time you study InShaAllah. 

Something I contemplated 

I’m currently doing a psych assignment on Carl Jung, and something that struck me was that he believed our current personality is based on our past as well as who we aspire to be in the future. I think that’s so true. For example, we want to have perfectly refined character in the future, so that aspiration makes us restrain ourselves in the present. 

Something I experienced 

I experienced such generosity all in one day that I haven’t before. After I put in petrol, the petrol attendant gave me a complimentary bottle of water and dates from the owner of the petrol station. So sweet. That water really came in handy. 

Later on, I went to have posters printed, and the guy at the printing shop printed them even though I came at closing time, and he didn’t charge for trimming the posters.

That day I sold three “Guidelines to Memorising the Holy Quran” books to three different people at R80 each and all three paid R100 and said I could keep the change. I was really chuffed.  

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


#Throwback to the start of my hifdh journey 

All praises and thanks be to Allah SWT. Abundant salutations be upon our beloved Nabi Muhammad SAW. 
I was invited to be a guest speaker at the Shukrul Mubeen 7th Annual Ladies Qira’at Program. I didn’t actually know about the program, as Mu’alimah Mariam Gallie messaged me on Facebook, but I didn’t check my messages until yesterday afternoon. If one of my friends was asked to speak she would have definitely declined, because her temperament requires lots of time to mentally and spiritually prepare. My spontaneous nature on the other hand didn’t think twice, even though I had little idea what I was going to speak about until shortly before it was my turn to address the audience.

As I sat there and listened to Mu’llimah Maghmoodah Taliep, I felt like Allah SWT was speaking to me as she recited the āyāt from Surah TaHa: 

رَبِّ اشْرَحْ لِي صَدْرِي وَيَسِّرْ لِي أَمْرِي وَاحْلُلْ عُقْدَةً مِنْ لِسَانِي يَفْقَهُوا قَوْلِي

I made du’a to Allah SWT to guide my words. So after an elaborate introduction, which made me feel uncomfortable, instead of speaking about what I had spent time preparing, I shared my story of becoming a haafidha. 


At high school I was an ordinary teenager, with big ambitions to study business and become a success: to be wealthy and live the life. The materialistic life of a corporate career, fancy shmancy car, house, overseas holidays, handsome bae and 2.5 children. 

The story starts. 

I was 17 years old. I had just matriculated and was on a gap year before I was to start university. The year was 2011. The date was the 2nd of March – My teacher Ml. Radia Bawa’s birthday. Our class threw a little surprise party for her. Her mother, Ml. Hajir spoke about their hifth journey and not merely encouraged us, but urged us to make the intention to memorise the Qur’an. So I did. And the rest is history. 

So I urge you to make the intention to memorise the Quran. I never truly appreciated Ramadan and tarāwīh salaah until I memorised the Quran. 

Okay, when I said that the rest is history, I didn’t quite mean that. I was just being a bit dramatic. But what is noteworthy is how ALLAH facilitates for you. 

I didn’t think about the decision. I didn’t make istikhara about it. I didn’t discuss it with my parents. Sometimes we think, I don’t have transport, I don’t have money, I don’t have the brain capacity to memorise the Qur’an. StopThe intention is upon you; the facilitation is upon Allah. 

At that same gathering, one of my classmates, Sister Najwa, told me about the hifdh schools at Masjidul Quds in Gatesville. I came home and told my mom that I want to start hifdh. We went to the masjid. I asked someone where the hifdh school was and I was directed to Ml. Mariam Londt. I had no idea who she was. My mother paid my registration fees and Ml. Mariam gave me a copy of Juz 30 recited by Sh. Ismail Londt. I had no idea who he was. (I came from a different world). But the point here is that there was effort made. Sometimes we make the best of intentions but don’t put in any effort. 

Back to my story, she said something to the effect that she’ll check my recitation and I’ll start with learning to recite if it’s not good enough. I really didn’t want to be put back. She made me recite the first page of Surah Baqarah, which I recited fluently only because my mother used to recite it in the car growing up. So she said I could start memorising the next day. SubhanAllah. If she asked me to recite anywhere else, I would have struggled. 

I looked for a 15-liner mus-haf (because that’s what Ml. Hajir recommended) and I found a colour-coded 15-liner. Colour-coded 15-liners aren’t readily available in South Africa but I found one – in my home. I needed a colour-coded one because I knew nothing about tajwīd at that point in time. 

A few short years later, I have memorised the Quran, with understanding, and I’m a teaching the Quran, Alhamdulillah. The Prophet SAW said that Indeed Allah has family amongst mankind. The people of the Quran are the family of Allah and His chosen ones. You’d have to be crazy not to want to be of the family of Allah. 

So my message is to take one step towards Allah, and He’ll take ten steps towards you. 

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


Some things I learned [May]


All Praises and thanks are due to Allah SWT. Abundant salutations be upon our beloved Nabi Muhammad SAW

Something I learned (from a YouTube video):

6 things to know before getting married:

1. Your husband will not make you happy. Sounds simple enough, but don’t put that expectation on him. 

2. Allah is truly your only source of fulfilment. 

3. You won’t magically mature after marriage. The person you are before marriage is the same person you’ll be after marriage, with the same struggles. 

4. Cultivate more of a selfless, others-focused heart, instead of such an independent, self-focused mindset. 

5. Domestic skills are extremely useful

6. Selflessness is the key to a vibrant marriage. 

Something I contemplated 

“marriage is a funny thing- it’s kind of like reallllllly yummmmy-looking cake- but when you bite into it, it’s not that yummy anymore… most people can live with it being unsoyummy and eat it still, while some will spit it out, or waste it.”

The above is a comment I read on one of dreamlife’s posts about marriage. It had me in stitches😂. I’m still on the side of marriage where it looks reallllllly yummmmy. 

Something I experienced

(This one has nothing to do with marriage.) I played scrabble for class for the very first time! I’ve played Junior Scrabble before so this was the first time playing big people’s scrabble. We could only use words related to developmental psychology. Such a fun way to end off our term. 

I’m pleased that I didn’t miss a single session of my 12-week module (Developmental Psychology B). *Pats myself on the back* 

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