By Mumtaz Saley
The days in Ramadhaan seem to be on a train track rushing at bullet speed and we’ve reached the 10th day. I’m feeling a little guilty as I’ve not kept to my intended plan for the month. I’ve not been punctual in reciting Qur’an which has set me back quite a bit. I feel despondent when I find out that some of the sisters have completed the recitation of the Qur’an and moving on to a second completion and others more than halfway through. I was just on my first para and felt like a failure!
The sense of failure became overwhelming and exacerbated when I remembered the WhatsApp posts about the dozens of savouries and other titbits we feel obliged to prepare for Ramadhaan. It was almost like participating in an Olympic event that you never, ever trained for!
As I began my daily chores, a lecture started up on the radio which grabbed my attention. The scholar was talking about the race we found ourselves in to finish the Qur’an when instead we should be giving every letter its right, reciting with proper pronunciation and as an act of worship and not as a chore. The Qur’an is meant to be read, understood, pondered and acted upon. He stressed that while it’s recommended to finish the Qur'an in Ramdhaan it was better to complete it after Ramdhaan provided we recite for the sake of Allah. His words made my heart feel lighter as if they were meant for me.
I rushed to finish my household chores and I was soon sitting in my lush garden with my Qur’an and for the very first time, I recited the words with an open mind and heart instead of feeling like I was pitting myself in a race for the pleasure of the created rather than my Creator.
As I sat savouring my wonderful garden and listening to the singing birds and rustling leaves I felt realised that I had reached a moment of self-realisation - we made the Deen a burden when it was a simple, perfect way of life. My mother always said reading Qur’an was about quality and not quantity. Each letter recited was rewarded and when one understood and pondered on the words of Allah, His mercy and blessings were showered upon you.
I vowed then to better myself in understanding and acting upon the Qur’an. My heart soared as I prepared to dash out for school rounds.
Allah speaks to us in different ways, sometimes through others, through His Noble Qur’an and even through difficult situations He tests us with. It is when you open yourself to change for Allah and in His path, seeking Him that He will ensure you find Him in the most comforting ways. For surely Allah is all comforting and all knowing. I have learned that when we do things for the pleasure of Allah and not to compete with each other that’s the moment we achieve true Imaan.
May Allah always keep us on His path, aameen.